A/N:

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, Naruto: Shippuden, or the Akatsuki. I do, however, own this fanfic and the OCs included within it.

My name is Jordan, and 8 years ago, I wrote a fanfiction called Akatsukitties (following the popular trend) that I then posted on a friend's account. (Valkyrie0Magma, AKA 'Zek')

In a weird burst of nostalgia, I recently went back and looked at that story…and it's bad. Really bad. So, in a similar strange burst of nostalgia and inspiration, I decided to see if I could make it better…and things began to get out of hand from there.

If you've read the original, welcome back! If you haven't, you're not missing much and I hope you like the story for what it is.

More notes at the bottom. Enjoy!


Prologue

"Do you ever despise the fate which you were granted?"

Itachi Uchiha blinked, suddenly aware as though awoken from sleep. The voice seemed to echo in his mind and all around him, drifting in an endless void of white. His body wouldn't move; only his voice was able to work.

"Who are you?"

"All I desire is an answer to my question: Do you despise the fate which you were granted? A lifetime of manipulations and failures, nearly destroying everything that you sought to protect. Forced to die, twice, for a cause you didn't believe in."

Ah. That explained the void and the memory loss then.

"I came to terms with it. I know my failings better than anyone. I can only hope I did enough to make them right in the end."

"But do you despise it?"

"To some extent. But as you've said, I'm already dead. I don't see much left to be done about the fact."

"I see." A pause for a moment, eerily silent in the void.

"So, you are saying…you would refuse a second chance?"


"The hell do you mean by 'second chance,' hm?" Deidara narrowed his eyes suspiciously, trying to move in the void but unable to do so.

"A chance to live again. To share your art with the world, properly and without limits. To get to live a proper lifespan…you died so very young, after all. Perhaps normally for your world, but nonetheless…"

"I went out with a bang. The way I wanted to, un! Why would I be dissatisfied with that?"

"Because in the end, it was meaningless. The only witnesses did not die and did not care. Was that really what you wanted?"

The scowl deepened. "I…no. Guess not."

"I thought so…"


"Are you saying you would offer a, 'second chance,' at life?" Kakuzu rumbled in a low voice.

"Indeed I would."

"Nothing is free. What do you get out of it?"

"Ah, you're asking the right questions. Clever one. What do I get out of it? Simple. I get entertainment. I get a good story."

"A good story." More of a statement than a question. Skeptical. The voice sounded downright amused at the fact.

"You were all such interesting characters. I hate when interesting characters meet unfortunate ends before they can truly reach their potential. So very wasteful..."


"Characters in a story, huh? You've got a pretty sick outlook on us in that case." Kisame chuckled. "I'd say my story is pretty well-finished by now. Though I must admit, I'm curious. What does this second chance entail? I'm not too keen on just, reliving the same path again."

"Nothing of that sort. Placement in a new realm. In some senses, similar to your own. In others, very different. You would be unknown to those there. Able to start fresh. Live an honest life, a quiet life if you desire. A chance to truly prove that you're, what was it, not so horrible?"

The thought was tempting, Kisame had to admit. The fighting and killing were sometimes enjoyable, but had mostly just grown to be tiring after spending his entire life doing it. One could only handle so much betrayal in a lifetime and he'd had his fill.

"That's, admittedly, a generous offer…"


"…but what's the catch?"

"Cautious as ever, are we, Sasori?"

"You don't last as long as I did without being cautious." The red-headed puppeteer's eyes narrowed ever so slightly, though he wasn't sure at what exactly. "You say this is for your own entertainment, but what makes it so entertaining for you?"

"Limitations. Your powers will, quite frankly, be reduced in this new realm. Chakra doesn't exist in this world, you see, and it will take some time to return to you. Even then, it may not be everything you once had.

"You, in particular, will find yourself in…a different body, than the one you were accustomed to for so long. Flesh and blood, not wood and gears."

"There were no gears in my puppet body." Sasori grimaced and the eerie voice seemed to laugh.

"Nonetheless, my point remains the same. Your abilities would not be what you remember, nor would your body. That is the catch in this scenario, Sasori. If that risk is not appealing to you, you're more than welcome to refuse my offer…"


"Now hang on just a second, fucker! The only one who gets to take ANYTHING from me is Lord Jashin, and you are definitely NOT Him!" Hidan was pissed. He'd been pissed off for a long time, down in that pit, and here he was in another place where he couldn't move or see around him. At least now he had his voice back.

"Ah, Jashin. Of course. His gift is not something that is mine to take. It will remain in the new, restored form that I will grant you."

That seemed to calm him somewhat, the tension easing though his eyes searched furiously for the source of the voice.

"So you know of Jashin, then? A follower of His, perhaps?"

"Yes, and no. It matters little. You of all that I choose have the most to lose from rejecting my offer. The others will simply remain in the Pure Land…but you will be dragged back into that pit to remain until your flesh and brain have finally decayed to nothing but shriveled scraps."

"Alright, alright, I get it. You don't have to fucking twist my arm anymore, I don't wanna end up back in that shitty pit." Was there a note of desperation to his voice? Surely not.

"But what the hell do you mean by 'Others?'"

"Others whose tales were not…satisfying. Others who, I believe, could have earned a much better fate than the one they received…"


"So you're asking for members of the Akatsuki, specifically? Interesting. Then how, pray tell, do I fit into the picture?" Madara drawled, sounding almost bored. He didn't even bother to search the void, sure he wouldn't be able to find anything.

"You were a part of them. Lurking in the shadows of a mind, watching and waiting and whispering for your chance and your goals to come to fruition. All of it leading up to your plan…a plan that was never truly yours, but a result of cruel manipulation from beings beyond your comprehension."

He gritted his teeth at that. "That it was. So what is your point?"

"My point, dearest Madara, is that I'm curious to see what you could be if not twisted into following the will of another. If you're able to better interact with those that your protégé commanded, but directly, not through him."

"And how do you propose I do that? I highly doubt the Akatsuki would be thrilled to see me, if they had any idea who I am at all. I was responsible for…much."

"Indeed you were. Which is why you would have to lie a little bit longer."

Shimmering in front of him was a sudden bursts of color. Gleaming threads, shimmering and weaving and swirling into the shape of…

Madara Uchiha couldn't help but laugh, a rare sound that echoed from somewhere deep in his core at the familiar one-eyed swirling pattern.

"Clever. I take it that's what you meant by my 'waiting and whispering?'"

"You saw through his eyes. I believe you can keep up the act as well as any…especially as he has already refused my call."

"A shame, but understandable. Very well. I'm curious to see how this game of yours plays out.


To seven different souls, a voice whispered a final question:

"Do we have a deal?"

And seven different souls gave their single answer:

"Yes."


Yume Hoshimoto didn't expect today to be anything special. She woke up at the usual time, grumbling her displeasure at the sound of birds and the light streaming through the window. She pulled on her clothes, ran a comb through her hair and trudged her way down to the kitchen.

Her friends and roommates, Shizuka and Haruka, were already up and about. Shizuka chewing through an apple and skimming through her notebook of designs, Haruka with a mug of coffee in one hand and a piece of toast in her mouth, flipping through the channels on the TV screen.

"Morning, sleepyhead." She chirped with a smile, then immediately scrambled to grab her toast as it fell, splattering coffee on her shirt as she did.

"Oh…"

"Nice move, Haruka." Shizuka said with a slight smirk, her eyes following Yume as she staggered her way towards the still fresh coffeepot in a downright zombie-like state.

"You know you wouldn't feel so shitty in the morning if you didn't stay up til three playing video games."

"Whatever, moooommm." Yume drawled with a roll of her eyes, her older friend laughing as she filled up a mug and took a swig, followed by grimacing and proceeding to drown the coffee even further with creamer and sugar.

Haruka, meanwhile, gave up on her clumsy attempts at dabbing the coffee from her shirt with a napkin while once again holding her toast in her mouth. Surrendering to the hopeless endeavor, she set the mug on the coffee table (where it likely should have been to begin with) and went to change.

Halfway up the stairs, the doorbell rang. Shizuka and Yume both glanced towards it quizzically, Yume turning to shout up to Haruka.

"Haruka, are you expecting anyone?"

"Nope!" Her voice echoed down just before the sound of her door shutting signaled that she was out of the conversation. Yume shrugged and turned to Shizuka, who was already back to her sketches.

"How about you, Shizuka? A bit early for visitors. Are you getting some new supplies in?"

"Not until later this week. It's probably your last one-night stand come to beg you back."

"Oh, ugh, it better not be!" Yume groaned, storming over to the door with her mug still in hand, flinging it open.

"Okay, if this is about last Thursday, I told you, it wasn't anything—"

Nobody was standing there and she broke off. The streets were empty, other than an early-morning jogger down the block glancing her way for the shouting.

"…this better not be a fucking prank. If you're out here, you'd better step up and say something, I have a mug of hot liquid and I WILL throw it in your face! It's way too early to go around pranking or robbing pe—EEP!" The twenty-year-old tried to warn, but nearly tripped and fell down the steps herself when her foot hit a box.

Immediately from the inside came a chorus of loud, furious meowing and her eyes went wide, staring down. There was a large cardboard box on the steps, with a single note taped to the top: "Free to a good home."

"…Shizuka, your shipment wouldn't have to be kittens, would it?"

"WHAT?"

And from the inside of the box, where the seven former Akatsuki members scrabbled to escape, a voice whispered in their minds one more time as the box was lifted and moved.

"Let it never be said that Fate lacks a sense of humor. Good luck."


A/N continued:

So, to reiterate, this is a sort-of-rewrite of an old bad middle school fanfic, in an attempt to make it something different. It's not a total rewrite. The main similarities will be the characters and pairings, everything else is going to be very different.

The OCs are from the first fanfic, but they will behave differently and hopefully be more interesting. One of them (Kagami) will not be present as she belonged to a friend and I wouldn't feel right writing her character on my own. There's going to be more drama, more plot, and while I want it to be lighthearted there will be some more mature plot elements. I'm going with T for now, but may adjust as the story goes on if the swearing and flirting becomes more mature.

Some Akatsuki members are going to be absent. This is because I feel they wouldn't be too interested in a 'Second Chance.' Konan and Pein finished their story and probably relish getting some peace. Obito already redeemed himself and got to be with Rin. Zetsu…well, I can't think of any way Zetsu could be used at ALL with the story being what it is. Sorry to fans of them. If they are included, it'll be in flashbacks unless I suddenly decide to add them.

And yes, Madara is Tobi in this fanfic. I have an in-universe (albeit very non-canon) explanation, but the main reason is that he was Madara when I was most into Naruto and I would feel odd using Obito. See previous paragraph for more info on that.

Anyway! To repeat myself once again: If you're an old reader, welcome back, and I hope you enjoy my new take on an old story! If you're a new reader, hope you enjoy! Updates will likely be sporadic, but I'll try not to let the story die without warning.

Zek and Kagami, if you're reading this, I still love you guys. The first story would have never existed without you and neither would this new attempt.