Disclaimer: I don't own this. If only…

Author's Note: Wazzup boys and girls, I'm back with what I'm sure is the much anticipated 18th chapter of The Way. Last chapter only got 2 reviews, thanks to Ben91 and freshprince91, but I had a personal best of over 2,000 views in like five days after posting chapter 17. So, I figured I might as well give a list of all the character's that have died so far: A, Omoi, Shizune, Jinin, Ameyuri, Asuma, Kohura, Hayate, Fu (from Root), and Sai. These are all characters from the original series, some more important than others, who've died from the beginning to now. If you've been paying attention as you've been reading, you'd have noticed that there are several characters that have died before the story took place. Some have been addressed in the story, others have been hinted at. Sasuke and Danzo have been addressed, the others will be brought up without a doubt. If you wanna ask or make presumptions about who's dead and what not, PM me. Don't post it on a review and possibly ruin it for someone else. Now, let's start the chapter.

-x-

Chapter 18: A Showdown with the Walking Dead

-x-

"Hehehe, look at the pink one over there Kakuzu." Hidan said, a smirk on his face with the three bladed scythe resting on his shoulder lazily.

Kakuzu sighed but didn't say anything.

The silver haired man didn't seem to care or notice that his partner didn't respond, "She looks like her entire world just got shattered or something!" He said with a cackle, "She would make a perfect sacrifice don't you think?"

Sakura looked up from her just passed teammate in shock and fear, "Wha-what?!"

Kushina stepped in front of Sakura, "Sakura, Aiko. You need to get back to the boat. Now."

Sakura nodded her head quickly, "Aiko help me get Sai-"

"Sakura!" Kushina barked, startling the pinkette, "I'm sorry but we don't have time, you and Aiko are going to have to leave him behind!"

Sakura looked to argue but stopped upon seeing Kushina's angry red eyes. Looking at Aiko, she saw that she didn't seem to be paying attention at all, having not taken her eyes off of Sai's body. At further inspection, she saw that her Sharingan was activated, only it seemed different. Instead of the usual red irises with three red tomoe in each eye, it was now a deep black with three red dots in place of the tomoe. She was crying tears of blood.

Getting up, Sakura walked over to her and tugged on her arm, "Come on Aiko, we have to go."

The tugging on her arm seemed to wake Aiko from her stupor, "…what?"

Sakura tugged harder, "We have to go! Come on!" she said desperately.

The Uchiha girl nodded absent mindedly, following after her pink haired teammate, but not before giving Sai one last look.

Sakura and Aiko were stopped however by the appearance of Hidan in front of them, his scythe poised to behead the both of them, "Did you really think I'd let two perfectly good sacrifices leave?" He said with a wicked grin. Before he could swing down the tri-bladed weapon, he was sent flying. He went through wall after wall, with each one collapsing after the other, before finally coming to a stop, leaving behind a cloud of smoke and debris. Sakura looked to see that Kushina was standing where Hidan had been, her fist still outstretched from her surprise attack, with a shroud of thick bubbling red chakra wrapped around her, a single tail swinging behind her.

Looking back down at Sakura, she said, "Go." Her voice distorted by the influx of her Biju's chakra.

The two girls didn't hesitate, running off towards the direction of their ship.

Kakuzu sighed once again, "Damn fool, letting his guard down in a situation like this." His eyes shifted towards Kakashi and Naruto, who were staring him down, "Kakashi Hatake, S-Ranked, worth 30 million ryo in Ame. Naruto Namikaze, A-Ranked, worth 1.5 million ryo in Ame as well. Your heads shall make me quite the rich man." He then turned his eyes on Kushina, "Too bad that Iwa, Kiri, and Kumo all dropped their bounties on you 'Red Death.' Could've had quite the bidding war for your head." With that he began to unzip his cloak, flinging it to the side revealing his bare torso. His entire upper body was littered in thick black stitches, giving him the look of a human rag doll. Naruto, being the one positioned closest to his back, could see the set of masks on his body. The four masks varied in appearance, with each having a different color scheme going from red, yellow, dark blue, and then a very light blue.

"What the hell?" He muttered.

-x-

With Aiko and Sakura

-x-

Sakura was still holding Aiko's hand, the pinkette still having to slightly drag the Uchiha girl, her eyes still in that strange pattern, her tears of blood having dried on her cheeks.

"Aiko, please snap out of it! We have to go, now!"

Aiko didn't respond, only looking back at where they had run from. Finally, she said, "He left him there."

Sakura closed her eyes, trying to force her tears back, "We can't think about that right now. Those guys back there meant serious business. Couldn't you feel that guy in the mask's chakra? It's bigger than Kakashi-sensei's!"

Aiko stopped in her tracks, causing Sakura to accidently let go of her hand. Turning back with exasperation, she stopped when she saw the anger in Aiko's face, "I don't care about any of that!" She screamed, "WE LEFT HIM THERE! We don't abandon our comrades Sakura, alive or dead, we don't leave them behind!"

"He wasn't our comrade!" Sakura screamed, "He betrayed us! He wanted to kill Mrs. Kushina! He tried to kill Naruto, our friend!"

"Am I interrupting something here?"

The girls turned around in surprised to see the man from before, his grey hair not so slicked back any more and the left shoulder of his cloak was torn and missing.

Seeing the girls had nothing to say in their shock, Hidan gave a crooked smile, "This is gonna be fun."

-x-

Back in the Village Square

-x-

"Naruto, go make sure that guy is dead. I have a funny feeling about that guy." Kakashi said.

Naruto nodded, and just before he was about to run off he was interrupted by Kakuzu, "Do you really think I'm gonna let any of you beautiful bounties leave my sight? No, I'm not gonna allow any of you to leave this place alive today." With that, the stitches around his body began to loosen, his skin shifting horrifically, the masks pushing out of his back. Eventually, with a disgusting tearing sound the masks shot out of his body, all four landing behind him, their weight causing a cloud of dust to emerge on their landing.

The red and light blue mask both had rather similar body types, with both being rather oval shaped with short arms and legs. The yellow mask was the tallest, its body triangular in shape, with long arms and legs. The dark blue mask was the shortest, being more circular in shape, sitting on all fours and a pair of bug like wings on its back. All four stood behind Kakuzu silently, the only sound they made being the sound of the life like threads that made up their body moving as if they had a life of their own.

Kakashi's eyebrows furrowed in thought at Kakuzu's sudden display, "This should be fun." He said, igniting his Chakra Sabre with his chakra, covering the tanto with a layer of white chakra. Flipping it into a reverse grip, Kakashi got into a fighting stance.

Kushina, who hadn't really reacted Kakuzu's masks bursting from his body, allowed her Kyubi Cloak to recede, still keeping her more animalistic features showing that she still had her powers active. Shifting her body, she too got into a battle stance, her palms facing outwards. A faint glow emitted from her hands as a pair of golden colored chains began to sprout from her palms, the end of said chains being bladed.

Naruto twirled the unfamiliar katana in his hands, giving it a few test swings as he allowed his wind chakra to envelop the blade, giving it extra length and edge. Noticeably, the jacket Kurotsuchi had given him was missing, having been sealed during Kakuzu's freaky technique. He didn't want to think about what the tomboy would do to him if she found out he got it ruin only after a few months of having it. He really wished he had a sword of his own, that way he could use Longsword of the Remnant Flame, but since this blade didn't have the necessary seals he couldn't cover it in Inferno Chakra, otherwise the blade would melt in a matter of seconds. Oh well, he might've been handicapped but he had other tricks.

"Just so you know, Hidan wouldn't have been killed by an attack like that. I doubt there are many ninja nowadays that could kill that fool, and you lot aren't any of them."

Kushina scoffed, "I doubt that he's that powerful."

"I never said he was."

With that, three of the masked creatures sprang into action. Red rushing towards Kushina, Yellow going for Kakashi, and Light Blue heading towards Naruto, with Dark Blue staying behind Kakuzu.

Naruto flipped back, just in time to dodge a blast of high velocity water from smashing into him, instead making contact with the ground, causing it to implode from the force of the attack sending water and debris everywhere. Naruto then skipped to the side, avoiding another torrent of water from the threaded creature. The Namikaze boy kept on the defensive, avoiding the surprisingly quick creature from bull rushing him or blasting him with his least favorite element. Seeing an opening, Naruto dashed towards the creature and slashed at its midsection, and knowing that it would dodge back, he at the last second extended the blade's reach with his wind chakra, cutting into Light Blue's threaded body like a hot knife through butter. Light Blue didn't seem to notice almost being split in half, only spitting out another blast of water into Naruto's direction.

"It had to be water, of course." Naruto grumbled. Seeing that the creature was about to fire off another attack, Naruto raised his arm an intricate seal on his palm expanding outwards glowing a mesmerizing blue, "I'm tired of running, Sealing Art: Barrier!" A blue translucent spherical barrier surrounded Naruto, just in time to block the powerful water technique from Light Blue, causing it to split in two different directions. Light Blue released the attack, causing the stream of water to disappear, revealing that Naruto was no longer there. The creature looked up to see Naruto up above him, flying through a set of hand seals.

"Wind Style: Great Breakthrough!" Taking a big breath, Naruto released it, sending a great gust of wind heading towards the threaded creature bellow.

The creature reacted in kind, its mouth opening with a crack before Kakuzu's voice called out, "Water Style: Exploding Water Colliding Wave!" Out of Light Blues mouth exploded a tidal wave of water into Naruto's Great Breakthough, the two attacks causing a standstill as the they exploded in a rush of water and wind, the force of which causing several buildings to collapse into themselves. Naruto, who was still in the air, raised his hand back, a ball of spiraling chakra in his palm.

"Rasengan!"

Light Blue jumped back, just barely dodging the attack, with Naruto's technique causing the water and ground to spiral out and break apart, causing a crater that was quickly filled up with the remainder of Light Blue's attack. Looking up, Naruto saw that Light Blue still had its mouth cracked open.

"Water Style: Exploding Water Colliding Wave!"

-x-

With Kakashi and Kushina

-x-

With Naruto having broken away from the group, Kakashi and Kushina's only sign that he was still fighting was the constant sound of water techniques being fired. Kushina was easily dodging Red's fire ball attacks, having enough practice with that when sparring with Mikoto. Ducking under another, Kushina raised her hand up palm facing out, her Adamantine Sealing Chain springing forward to impale the creature, the pointed end driving through its chest completely. Red showed no sign of acknowledging the chain in its chest, only firing off another set of fire balls at the red head. Kushina scoffed at the masked creature's persistence, jumping to the side as she allowed the chain to disappear.

A quick Body Flicker later, and she was behind Red, a Rasengan in her hand, "Rasengan!" She shouted, driving the sphere of chakra into the creature's back, before it went flying, it's body spiraling out of control from the attack before it became buried in a wall several yards away. As the dust settled, Red got back up, the spiral mark the Rasengan made stitching back to normal and before soon the creature was in perfect health.

"You gotta be fucking kidding me." She scoffed.

Kakashi wasn't having it much better, as Yellow was proving to be much faster than the other creatures and his lightning attacks weren't making matters any easier, as he was now running along one of the more intact skyscrapers, jumping and narrowly dodging around Yellow's lightning spears. Yellow then landed across from him, the two standing on the side of the building waiting for the other to move. Kakashi began to flow through a set of hand seals before grasping his right forearm with his left hand as Yellow opened its mouth with a loud crack, a powerful ball of lightning forming before it shot towards Kakashi in the form of what looked like a laser beam. Kakashi shoved his now lightning incased hand forward.

"Lightning Style: False Darkness!"

"Raikiri!"

Kakashi's Lightning Cutter met the False Darkness, splitting the attack in two around Kakashi, the two beams hitting the side of the building behind Kakashi, causing two medium sized explosions. While the explosions may have been average in size, it was more than enough to ruin the buildings structural integrity, causing it to begin to collapse in on itself. Seeing that the building he was standing on was falling apart, Kakashi back flipped off the side, sending him into a free fall just as the building crumbled. Yellow simply levitated away to safety, before pinpointing the air born Kakashi and firing off a set of lightning spears in his direction, all three zooming into the prone Konoha Ninja, piercing him through with a loud squelching sound, only for him to explode in a puff of smoke. Yellow had no time to react, as a piece of rubble on the ground puffed into Kakashi, his tanto pointed at the air born threaded creature.

"Shinso." He said calmly as his tanto glowed its usual white before shooting forward, extending out with great force, piercing any rubble or debris that got in its way before finally stabbing itself into Yellow's narrow abdomen. Kakashi seeing that the creature didn't seem to make much of a reaction towards being stabbed through, swung his extended tanto up, slicing all the way through its torso then mask and finally its shoulders. As the tanto's glowing blade retracted, Yellow's body fell to the ground lifeless, the threads keeping it together falling apart uselessly.

Kakashi didn't get much time to celebrate, having to dodge a condensed ball of air from blowing him to pieces. The air ball plowed through a wall nearby, blowing it to bits. Looking to his right, he saw that the dark blue mask was now flying towards. He then heard Kakuzu speak.

"You're lucky your heart will make a good replacement for my yellow mask, otherwise I'd have to eviscerate you for that." The human rag doll drawled, his arms folded lazily across his chest.

Kakashi narrowed his eyes, "So that's their weakness. Their masks." He then pointed his tanto at Dark Blue, "Shinso!" The tanto extended once again this time towards Dark Blue, or more specifically its mask. Before it could reach it however, Kakuzu appeared next to Kakashi, his arm extended back, his fist taking on a strange dark hue as he thrust his fist into Kakashi's face, sending him flying into a one of the last remaining buildings in the Village Square. Dark Blue then stepped forward its mouth cracking open.

"Wind Release: Pressure Damage."

The Village Square was then obliterated by Dark Blue's wind technique.

-x-

With Naruto

-x-

Just as Light Blue was about to release its water technique, a massive gust of wind struck the area, sending both Naruto and the masked being flying back, said creature's attack releasing off target, causing the wave of water to fly off into the ground, turning the ground into a thick crater, the left over water causing it to form a deep pond.

Naruto burst out of the water, taking in a deep breath as he placed his hand on the water as though it was solid ground. Pulling himself up, Naruto stood on top of the newly made pond. He began to look for Light Blue, only to sharply turn his head when he felt his mother's chakra spike, causing the water around him to ripple from the pressure exerted.

His distraction was punished however when Light Blue jumped out of the water, bull rushing into him and carrying him away into a building half a mile away, plowing him through the wall and into the decaying building itself. After several harsh tumbles, Naruto fell through a hole in the ground. With quick reflexes he grabbed the edge with his hand, keeping himself from falling down several floors as bellow him at least 5 floors were destroyed. He looked up when he heard several heavy footsteps above. Light Blue looked over the edge, looking at him almost mockingly before its mouth cracked open again.

"Fuck!" Naruto cursed as he Body Flickered away from the volatile ball of water that blew a hole in the wall behind him. Appearing on the ground several floors below, Naruto made a cross hand seal, "Shadow Clone Jutsu!" Two puffs of smoke appeared behind Naruto, with two clones of him appearing as the smoke dissipated.

Naruto huffed, "Alright, no better time to test a Jutsu than in the middle of a battle I guess." The three then began to go through hand seals, all three being different from the other. In perfect sink, the three stopped, with Naruto bringing his hand out in front of him, while the clones behind him took deep breaths each.

"Combo Technique: Striking Trinity!" Naruto called out as the clones released their attacks, one of wind, one of fire, before he released his lightning jutsu. The fire and wind blended together seamlessly, the thin bolts of lightning circling around the fire storm, giving it form and guidance towards Light Blue. The thick beam of wind, fire, and lightning crashed through the floor the threaded creature was standing on and into the creature itself, tearing through the top half of its body.

When the attack finally ended, Naruto saw that all that was left of Light Blue was its bottom half and legs, which was falling lifelessly to the floor Naruto was standing on. When the legs landed with a thud, Naruto waited a moment to see if it miraculously got up, only to sigh in relief when the threads broke apart.

"The lightning was way weaker than I wanted it to be, but considering I just got the last step down, its pretty good I guess." Naruto said, criticizing himself as he ran his hand across his still wet scalp. Checking himself over, Naruto saw that his shirt was torn to shreds as the left shoulder was completely gone and his left pant leg was ripped to shit too. Concentrating, Naruto ran his now glowing green hands across his torso and left arm, then finally his left leg. A few minutes later all his cuts were healed and was giving a few testing stretches.

Finally looking up at the hole he made, Naruto jumped up and ran up the wall towards it to look outside. He could sense Kakashi fighting Kakuzu along with what he assumed was the fourth mask. His mother's chakra was the easiest to feel by far, almost suffocated everyone else's. From what he knew, she had to be using at least three tails of the Kyubi's chakra. Not good. He was about to head towards his mother before he felt what he recognized as Aiko's and Sakura's both rather frenzied, along with a signature he recognized as the man named Hidan he believed.

"Dammit." He cursed, before jumping out of the hole towards Aiko and Sakura's chakra.

-x-

With Kushina

-x-

Kushina was huffing violently, her chakra cloak bubbling and her three tails waving savagely. She stood hunched over the remains of the red mask, the said mask pummeled to pieces, the threads keeping it together having loosened and fallen apart into pieces. She quickly turned her head towards Kakashi's direction, who was having a rough time dealing with the Dark Blue mask and Kakuzu himself. The Namikaze matriarch growled in rage at the sight of the man that was the reason for her rage, the man that had little thought for her ancestor's homeland, using attacks that caused mass destruction every chance he could get. If this fight lasted any longer there wouldn't be any Uzushiogakure left.

Kushina rushed forward in a burst of speed, the backlash causing the ground beneath her to buckle and crater. Almost in an instant she appeared at Kakuzu's side, while he and Kakashi were in the middle of a Taijutsu exchange, and flung her fist into his jaw, sending him flying at an incredibly high velocity. When he finally met the ground, he skipped several times before tumbling to a stop. It was when he stopped again that Kushina appeared once again, a volatile purple Rasengan in her clawed hand. Bringing it down without mercy, Kushina watched in satisfaction as Kakuzu was buried into the ground, the turbulent chakra burning into his back. She jumped back, her tails receding one by one as she waited for Kakuzu to get up. Seeing that Kakuzu was finished, Kushina allowed her shroud to diminish completely.

That proved fatal however, as a ball of wind blasted her in the back, sending her tumbling to the ground in a heap. She could feel that the back of her flak jacket and shirt had been torn to shreds from the attack, along with the blood that was seeping down from her back to the ground. She watched with a hazy vision as Dark Blue flew towards the downed Kakuzu, injecting itself into his corpse, its mask finding its original place before the fight had begun. Kushina's eyes watched in horror as the man she knew to be dead slowly picked himself off the ground.

"Kushina!" Kakashi yelled out, his forehead protector no longer wrapped around his head, his hair now falling just above his eyes. His flak jacket was missing as well, with the sleeves to his shirt looking rather worse for wear along with the bottoms of his pants that now hung loosely down his legs. He made to run towards her, only to find a hand wrapped around his throat tightly. Squinting his eyes open, he was shocked to see that Kakuzu had used his threads to extend his arm out towards him. Said man no longer had his head band or hood, his deep brown hair hanging loosely past his chin. His face mask was also missing, showing that his mouth was in the form of a Glasgow smile.

His green eyes were narrowed at the downed Kushina, "I shouldn't be shocked that I'd only have one heart left by the end of this fight. But from what I've seen, I'll be able to make up for it with all of your hearts. Be glad, any other scenario and you would all be stains on the ground." His deep voice even gruffer than before, showing that his rage was barely being contained.

Kushina didn't say a word, only looking up at Kakuzu as her eyes once again became a deep red. Suddenly, a beam of red chakra rocketed towards the sky, causing the clouds above to part and the ground to shake. Any remaining glass in the area shattered, and some of the more fragile buildings began to crack from the pressure of Kushina's Kyubified chakra. The pillar of chakra suddenly disappeared, revealing a hunched over creature that resembled a fox. Four tails waved behind the creature, its chakra so thick it gave off the form of a liquid, completely covering the fox like entity. The only area that was covered in the horrendously awful chakra was the face, which was a deep black, its eyes and mouth a shock white. The creature's glowing circular white eyes narrowed before rearing its head back and releasing a roar, the shock wave sending Kakuzu flying back, his arm forced to let go of Kakashi and retract back.

Kakashi collapsed to the ground holding his throat as he coughed, looking at Kushina in absolute worry, "Did she purposely go into a Partial Transformation or was she simply overcome by rage?" He thought.

The Partially Transformed Kushina looked back at Kakashi, causing him to brace himself in case she lost had control, "Kakashi…go find Naruto." She said, her voice taking on a demonic tone.

Kakashi sighed in relief at seeing his sensei's wife hadn't lost control and then nodded, getting up with a slight wobble before sprinting off towards the direction where he felt Naruto's chakra signature.

-x-

Earlier with Aiko and Sakura

-x-

"Sakura…get out of here." Aiko said.

Said girl looked at Aiko with annoyance, "I'm not leaving you alone with him, this guy might be weaker than the other one, but he's still out of our league!"

Aiko scoffed, "Fine."

Hidan smirked cockily as he hefted his scythe on top of his shoulder, "If you think you two have a chance against me you're sorely mistaken. I might be the slowest member of Akatsuki, but I'm more than good enough to kill a couple brats like you." With that he rushed towards the Konoha girls at low Jonin speed.

Aiko was shocked to find that she could track this man rather easily, ducking under his swing and pulling out a kunai to deflect the reach around swing going towards Sakura, who was utterly floored by the man's speed. However, even though Aiko could track the man didn't mean she was fast enough to dodge the kick that met her jaw, sending her stumbling back. Quickly, she flung her kunai towards Hidan, keeping him from advancing on Sakura who was attempting to go through a set of hand seals.

Finishing the seals, Sakura said, "Fire Style: Phoenix Flower Jutsu!" She then took a deep breath before blowing out a barrage of basketball sized fire balls. At such close range they made contact with Hidan easily, sending the now flaming man stumbling back.

Hidan began to comically pat down his now on fire cloak, painfully quenching the flames. He gave a glare towards Sakura, a vain throbbing across his forehead, "That hurt you little bitch!"

Sakura smiled weakly, holding her still bleeding side in discomfort, "Maybe you should've dodged then."

Instead of listening to their mid-battle banter, Aiko was trying to come up with a plan. Sakura obviously wasn't ready to fight someone like this, as she was barely able to keep up with him at all, and that last attack took up a good chunk of her remaining chakra, and then there's the fact that she was wounded and needed first aid as soon as possible. Aiko herself, while low on chakra, could use her Chakra Replenishment Seal to boost her chakra back to normal, but using Chidori was out of the question for at least another ten minutes due to her arm still giving out spasms from over use, and she doubted she'd be able to last another ten minutes without Chidori. That left her rather handicapped. So if they couldn't fight, that left trying to escape.

"Sakura…we're not gonna be able to beat this guy."

Aiko's statement caught Sakura's attention, her eyes darting at her quickly before going back towards the still scowling Hidan.

"What?" Sakura asked.

Aiko sighed, "You're out of chakra and injured. I can replenish my chakra, but the only attack I have that can finish this guy I can't exactly use at the moment. We're not gonna be able to beat him as we are, that means we have to run for it."

"Well if we run that means we have to somehow keep him from following us, otherwise with his speed he'd catch us no problem." Sakura said, seeing where Aiko was going.

Aiko nodded, "I have a plan…I think."

"…You think?" seeing Aiko nod, Sakura said, "All right, well if you think it'll work let's do it."

Aiko nodded again, "Just keep him as distracted as you can with some kunai and shuriken." Seeing Sakura nod in confirmation. Just as they were about to move, a gust of wind plowed through the area, causing the three to cover their face. Just as the wind was about to recede, they saw a huge wave of water gush through the area a mile away, some of it making its way to them, making the ground become soaked in a thin layer of water.

Hidan smirked, "Looks like things are heating up with Kakuzu and your friends." He then shifted his scythe pointing it towards the direction the two attacks came from, "That guy is a freak of nature. If your First Hokage couldn't finish him off, what makes you think your heretic friends can?"

That bit of news floored Sakura and Aiko, "H-he…fought Lord First?" Sakura stuttered, "That's impossible! He died almost 50 years ago! That would mean your friend would have to be at least 80 years old when he looks to be only 30…unless."

Hidan's smirk grew, "Unless he was immortal." He then shifted his scythe once again, "There's a reason we're called the Zombie Combo after all."

Aiko's eyes widened further, "Wait…so you're also-"

"Immortal?" Hidan asked, finishing her question, "Why don't we find out?" He cackled before charging towards them once again.

"Sakura!" Aiko signaled, the girl hastily throwing a school of shuriken at the crazed man. As he took the time to deflect the throwing stars, the two girls jumped back, with Aiko charging chakra into the seal on her arm, causing a burst of chakra to invade her system, and Sakura who threw a three kunai at Hidan.

"This is a gift from Naruto!" Sakura shouted, a secret signal for her and Aiko to jump back as far as possible. Hidan didn't seem to mind, simply parrying the multiuse bladed to the side, only for them to explode in a massive ball of fire.

RRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiinggggggggggg

Even after putting some distance between them, the shock wave of the explosion caused a vicious ringing in the two girl's ears. The held their heads as they looked at the billowing cloud of smoke. To their shock, Hidan emerged his cloak now gone, and his once silver hair was now burnt and black and missing in clumps. His skin was covered in crisp burnt streaks, with those areas being an angry red.

"You…little…bitch!" Hidan screamed, his eyes wide and manic. His breathing was heavy, ragged. He then charged forward, his injuries not slowing him down at all, if anything his rage made him even faster. And his target? Sakura. His scythe no longer in his hands, he instead used his bare hands to attempt to beat the poor girl to death. Sakura, who didn't expect the man's sudden aggressiveness, was completely caught off guard by the punch sent towards her face, then the next, then the next. With a roar of rage, Hidan finished his brutal onslaught with a final haymaker to the girl's chin, sending her flying back.

Sakura whose vision was swimming, slowly got up on all fours, a steady stream of blood flowing out of her mouth, with her chin and nose split open. Tears were starting to build along her eyes from the pain, never having taken a beating like that. A sob escaped her lips, as she looked up at Aiko, who was in the middle of engaging the enraged Hidan in a battle of Taijutsu. The girl was doing much better than Sakura had, able to dodge most of his blows and giving a couple of her own. The fight ended however when Hidan kicked the Uchiha girl away.

Aiko flipped through a set of hand seals, pointing her hands Hidan while shouting, "Lightning Beast Tracking Fang!"

Hidan simply allowed the attack to hit him, feeling the electricity course threw his vains, letting the euphoria the pain gave to give him an extra boost before dashing at Aiko and back handing her away. He then turned on Sakura, who was trying to get up but fell on her ass at seeing Hidan heading towards her, crawling back in utter fear of getting another beating from the man.

Hidan stopped however when he came across the puddle of blood Sakura had made, both from her side wound and from what she spat out. His face went from enraged to an almost blank slate, before throwing his head back he began to laugh hysterically.

"You dumb, dumb, bitch! You're gonna get it now!" He cackled manically. He then knelt down, and dragged his finger across the small puddle and then almost sensually brought it to his lips sucking the blood from his finger. Slowly, his skin began to turn a deep black, with what looked like a roundish version of his skeleton appearing also. He then drew a round object out of his back pocket, swinging it out to show it was a retractable pike. He then drove it into his side.

Sakura looked at Hidan in shock, who seemed to have an orgasm from the pain. Blood began to fall rapidly towards the ground. Hidan then placed his foot in the blood a began to drag his foot into the form of a circle around him. He then used the last of it to form a triangle inside the circle, making a strange looking pentagram. Hidan was giggling like a lunatic as he gazed down at Sakura who had finally gotten up to a standing position. Then he once again drove the pike into his side, sighing in ecstasy at the pain he brought on himself. Sakura didn't share his thoughts.

Sakura looked down in shock at finding that she was bleeding. Only, it wasn't the wound from before. It was coincidentally the same exact spot Hidan had stabbed himself. Looking up, tears flowing freely from the pain of having her abdomen mysteriously stabbed.

"Sakura…wha-what happened to you?!" Aiko asked in shock, seeing that Sakura was now holding her bloodied side, blood quickly and freely slowing between her fingers.

"I-I don't know." Sakura stuttered, "I…I-"

Sakura was interrupted by Hidan driving his pike into his thigh, causing said girl to once again scream in pain, collapsing to her knee in pain.

Turning to Hidan, Aiko screamed, "STOP IT!" Her strange eye pattern spinning in her anger.

Hidan only grinned wider, "I told her I'd make her pay, so I'm going to take out my pound of flesh. Don't worry, you're next!" He then reared his hand back about to stab himself again only to get bum rushed by Naruto sending him out of his ritual circle and tumbling to the ground. He looked up, rage once again in his eyes, "What the hell brat! You ruined my fucking ritual!"

"And I'm so sorry about that." Naruto growled, his eyes narrowed in anger as he stepped in front Sakura protectively, "I'm sorry I'm so late Sakura. I'll be with you in a moment." With that Naruto's fists combusted into an intense white flame, "I'm going to beat the shit outta you. Literally. I'm going to hit you so hard and so often you are going to shit yourself."

Naruto then disappeared in a burst of speed, only to appear in front of him with his flaming fist driving into Hidan's face. Just as the force of the blow sent Hidan flying, the power burst from Naruto's fist in the form of a torrent of white hot fire, swallowing Hidan's form whole. The attack sent Hidan flying into a nearby building. Naruto didn't relent though, as he jumped on top of the downed Hidan, who couldn't get up at the time due to be covered in rubble, and proceeded to beat his face in. No fire chakra, just his bare hands, beating mercilessly into the man that would hurt his friend. Eventually, he continued to drive his left fist into Hidan's jaw. Over and over, he pounded his now broken hand into the man's jaw. Finally, he jumped back, placing a glowing green hand on his other now busted one.

"That won't be enough Naruto! This man…he's immortal." Aiko said as she helped keep the pressure in Sakura's wound.

Naruto turned to look at Aiko in surprise, only to be surprised further upon seeing Aiko's eyes, "Aiko…your eyes." Seeing her confusion, he clarified, "Your Sharingan has changed into the Mangekyou."

Naruto didn't take the time to look at Aiko's shocked expression, turning back around to see Hidan walking out of the hole his body made, his jaw literally hanging as one side was separated from his face. He seemed to want to say something, seeing as his tongue was moving around wildly.

Before Naruto could go any further with Hidan, he heard a familiar shout, "Moon Fang Heaven Piercer!" A wave of powerful white chakra cut into the zombie man. The attack went through Hidan, destroying the building as well, causing it to crumble on top of him.

"Good to see you, Kakashi." Naruto said, looking at the rather ragged Kakashi. He then turned around and rushed towards the now rather pale Sakura. Kneeling down next to her, Naruto gently said, "It's okay Sakura. You're alright now." His hands her encompassed in a green hue.

Sakura knelt her head into Naruto's shoulder, "Thank you…Naruto." She sobbed.

"I'll deal with him Naruto. You just make sure Sakura is okay."

Hidan once again jumped out of the building, this time heading towards his scythe, with his foot he kicked it up, catching it with his now only good arm, seeing as the other was now severed from Kakashi's attack.

"Aaaaugghhhh!" Hidan gurgled, his lower jaw now completely missing, his tongue waving around wildly. Kakashi's attack left a rather deep gash in Hidan's torso, his left arm severed completely. With that battle cry, Hidan charged like a lune at Kakashi, swinging the blade around, obviously forgoing any finesse, only needing to get a drop of blood from Kakashi to finish him off.

-x-

With Kushina

-x-

Kakuzu jumped to the side, avoiding the extended claw from the Four Tailed Kushina. Kushina gave a deep throated growl as she glared at the rather evasive Kakuzu. The Jinchuuriki knew she could easily kill the man, only she'd have to pull out the big guns, with said big guns being powerful enough to destroy what was left of the village that was her home.

Kakuzu narrowed his eyes, he only had one heart left and he had to careful in how he handled killing this woman. Good thing that that fool Hidan was making a good distraction for those other Konoha Ninja.

He needed to retreat, first he needed to find Hidan. The last thing he needed was Suijin getting pissed at him for letting his partner die. Feeling the collection of chakra signatures near the village entrance, he made a mad dash towards what he figured was Hidan's direction. If not, he might just be able to use one of those brats as a hostage. Win, win.

Kushina narrowed her eyes at seeing Kakuzu trying to make a run for it. Thinking quickly, she drove her arm into the ground bellow her. As Kakuze thought he was making ground, a single arm burst from underneath him, plowing him into one of the many buildings that had been destroyed in the fight. The arm didn't let go of him, only continuing to plow him forward through and endless amount of rubble and debris. He finally came to a stop when the extended hand threw him up into the sky, way above any of the village itself. Suddenly, Kakuzu felt a spike of intense chakra. Looking over, he felt for the first time since his fight with the First Hokage a feeling he absolutely loathed; fear. Down in the now open area that had once been the Village Square, Kakuzu could see Kushina swallowing a ball of highly intense chakra. Her Kyubified body expanded, her once lithe form becoming spherical. Rearing her head back, Kushina finally launched her attack.

The last thing Kakuzu saw was white, before his very being disappeared from the physical world.

-x-

With the Others

-x-

Naruto, who had now completely healed the wound on Sakura's thigh, looked over in what he knew to be his mother's direction, "She's seriously going to fire that here?" Naruto wondered, having seen his mom use the attack in training.

"Who's going to fire what?" Aiko asked, having no clue as to what Naruto was talking about, her attention up and until then being on the rather one sided fight between Kakashi and Hidan, her sensei having disarmed the immortal a moment ago by severing his remaining arm.

Naruto sighed, "Nothing, my mom is just doing something reckless." He said while shifting his hands to Sakura's face.

It was when Naruto finished his sentence that a massive blast of energy shot into the sky from the center of Uzushio. The attack reached into the clouds, before eventually flickering out.

"What the hell was that?!" Aiko asked, startled by the sudden attack, "Was that your mother?!" She turned to Naruto.

Naruto nodded, trying to keep his attention divided on Sakura and the "fight" between Hidan and Kakashi in case the fight made its way to them.

"Wow."

Kakashi and Hidan were continuing their dance, with Kakashi hacking and slashing at Hidan, and Hidan trying to avoid being hacked and slashed. The immortal man was already missing his arms and jaw, his torso had been slice to bits, and the rest of his body was burnt to hell. Little to say he was pissed. Hidan back flipped away, trying to gain some distance from Kakashi, who didn't seem to be in a rush and allowed him to get a few yards away.

"Well this has been fun, but I think it's about time we finish up here." Kakashi drawled, before sheathing his family heirloom. Kakashi created a clone who appeared in a puff of smoke to his right. Sticking his right arm out to the side, Kakashi began to form a Rasengan. While the he was doing that, the clone took a step forward and with its hands began to add lightning chakra into the mix. Slowly but surely, the Rasengan began to mix with the lightning chakra, its form taking shape of a light blue sphere, surrounded by a wisping shroud of white lightning.

"Light Style Rasengan." Kakashi said. Suddenly, a form shot out of the ground behind Hidan, grabbing ahold of him in a full nelson. Hidan looked behind him to see that it was Naruto holding him in place. Looking over to where he thought he was, Hidan saw another Naruto who was kneeling next to Sakura, giving him a mocking solute. His distraction at the sudden appearance of Naruto's clone forced him to forget his impending doom, with him only remembering just before Kakashi drove the crackling Rasengan into his chest.

Aiko watched in awe as her sensei's attack completely surrounded Hidan in a swirl of electricity, sending the man flying back in a smoking haze. She half expected the man to get up, hearing him struggling to speak due to missing the bottom half of his mouth.

"He's not getting up from that." Naruto said reassuringly at seeing Aiko's face.

Aiko looked at Naruto skeptically, "How can you be sure."

"That jutsu attacks at the cellular level, similar to an attack my father and I created. Only unlike ours that cuts at the cells, Kakashi's fries them. Both of ours kill, but for a being like him it doesn't matter if he can live through it because Kakashi has literally fried his system. He's not getting up. Ever."

"Thanks for the lesson on how my jutsu works Naruto." Kakashi drawled in his usual monotone. He began to walk towards Hidan at a slow pace, knowing for sure that the fight with him was over, "The question is, what do we do with him?"

A sudden feeling entered Aiko. A name whispered in her thoughts. Feeling something instinctual kick in Aiko said, "I might have something…"

Kakashi looked at Aiko for a long moment with slight scrutiny until he shrugged nonchalantly, "Feel free he." He said, stepping aside.

Taking a deep breath, Aiko pointed her focus on Hidan, the whisper now a firm shout, Aiko said, "Amaterasu!" The Uchiha girl felt a buildup of power emit from her eyes, a vision in her mind of Hidan igniting into flames. Almost as though the gods answered her prayers, Hidan was suddenly swallowed by completely in flames. Only these weren't normal flames. They weren't even Naruto's flames. These were black. A deep hateful black. So hot, Aiko could feel them as though she was right next it.

Hidan didn't move, he didn't spasm. He only became a pile of dust.

-x-

Chapter End

-x-

Author's Note: Dammit that took forever to write. I hope you guys liked the fights, I watched the Kakuzu/Hidan vs Team 10/Kakashi fight a couple times in order to get down their styles and personalities, so I'd like to think I was faithful with the Zombie Combo. For those confused as to whether Kushina has full control over the Kyubi, she doesn't. Konoha doesn't have the method of training Jinchuriki that Kumo and Kiri does, so while having more control than Naruto did as far as tail wise (which is obvious due to the fact that Kushina is like 30 so she's had plenty time to train in the use of her Biju's power) she doesn't have full control. Will she eventually? Who knows. Maybe. I don't know. Just kidding, yes I do, I'm just not going to tell you. For Aiko's Mangekyou, its rather plain compared to Sasuke's was but there's only so many patters you can do. Her powers will NOT be Sasuke's as far as the Mangekyou goes. It will be original. She's an original character, she gets original things. If you have suggestions about what those powers should be I'd be happy to hear them. I think I have a general idea of what I want, but I'm open to advice as I am for most other things pertaining to this story. Next arc will be the Seven Tails Arc, which for those that pay attention is the Major Villages 'acquiring' Fuu the Jinchuriki of the Seven Tails from Takigakure, which I'm looking forward to since it'll be interesting for me to write about Fuu, a character that was touched upon in an anime filler, but not so much the main plot itself. And since I never watched that said filler, and have made a solemn oath to avoid all anime filler arcs in general, I never will. So the character's personality will probably be different. Whelp, that's that. If you're happy and you know it give a review…or favorite…or follow. But don't clap your hands. That's just stupid.