Say Hello To Your New Partner
Note: Inspired by the recent manga chapters, so beware spoilers! I started wondering how Kakuzu exactly 'found out' about Hidan's immortality, and this idea popped up as a result. I gotta say, I had a lot of fun writing it. XD
Say Hello To Your New Partner
Kakuzu stood in the middle of his room, looking down at the corpse on the carpet with an expressionless look on his face.
He just killed his sixth partner.
There was a short argument, brief confrontation, and then a quick jerk of his arms around the guy's neck, resulting in it snapping like a straw.
He sighed, shaking his head before leaning down and grabbing his dead partner by his ankle, dragging him out of the room and into Zetsu's. The plant man had become accustomed to 'cleaning up' after Kakuzu's impromptu murders, and merely nodded after Kakuzu left the corpse in the middle of the room and left.
The Leader was not happy.
Kakuzu received a severe tongue-lashing and a few well-worded death threats, and then was told he'd receive his seventh and final partner in a week.
He wasn't sure he liked the evil, conniving glint in the Leader's eyes when he told him that his new partner would be special.
But true to his word, the Leader delivered him his final partner exactly one week later.
Kakuzu disliked him the moment he set eyes on him, finding him lounging about in the common room in his new Akatsuki cloak with a disinterested look on his face.
He disliked him because one, he looked like a smartass; two, he was wearing a rosary and the religious in general had no interest in money, and three, he was better-looking than him. Almost as much as he hated those who were useless in acquiring money, Kakuzu hated pretty boys.
And his new partner, ladies and gentleman, was the epitome of a pretty boy.
He wasn't even wearing a shirt.
Kakuzu glanced in his direction at the sound of the drawling voice, glaring intensely.
Pretty boy didn't seem to notice.
"Yes. And I'll assume you're Hidan."
Kakuzu said nothing in response.
"I heard I'm your seventh partner. What happened to the others?"
"They're dead," Kakuzu said calmly, with a hint of menace. "Because they pissed me off."
"Seriously?" Hidan said in that irritatingly arrogant, drawling voice, approaching him with casual strides. "Do you have some mental problems or something I should know about? I don't want you trying to kill me in my sleep, if you know what I mean."
Oh yeah, Kakuzu definitely didn't like this guy.
Later on, he resolved to keep his temper under control for once, promising himself that he wouldn't lift a hand against his new partner for at least a month.
That proved impossible, because by the twenty-third day of their partnership, Kakuzu lost it and tried to kill him.
But that's rushing way too far ahead.
What Hidan did to bring him into such a state of homicidal rage is a topic worthy of recollection.
A few days after his arrival, Kakuzu began getting a feel of Hidan's personality.
He swore a lot, performed bizarre rituals that involved impaling himself with a pike, was unable to keep his mouth shut for more than five seconds, had an annoying tendency to be smarmy and sarcastic, complained about everything, seemed quite unremarkable in terms of ninjutsu skill, and worst of all, was totally apathetic in regards to money.
The complaining got to him first.
"What's with the Chinese takeout every day? Do you have any idea how much MSG is in this shit? It's poison!"
"Some asshole took my towels. I need money for new ones."
"Why the hell is it so cold in here? Turn the heat up, you stingy bastard."
SHUT UP! And put on a shirt!
"Kakuzu, seriously, stop looking at me like that. It's like you're feeling me up with your eyes."
OH MY GOD JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP!
In the end, Kakuzu coped by getting a baseball bat, a magic marker, and a pillow. He drew something that half-resembled Hidan on the pillow and proceeded to beat the living hell out of it, until the room around him and his cloak was covered in feathers.
Hidan, of course, was either oblivious or just didn't care.
Another thing that got on Kakuzu's nerves, almost as much as the complaining, was just how long Hidan took getting ready in the bathroom every morning.
Not only was the water bill going to skyrocket with the way he ran the shower for half an hour straight, but they were going to go bankrupt from the way he splurged on hair products and towels.
Kakuzu nearly had a heart attack when he found a towel on Hidan's bed with the price tag still on it, reading forty-two dollars. The would-be heart attack nearly progressed into a stroke when he went into the bathroom one morning and found a plethora of body washes, colognes, shampoos and conditioners, and can upon can of hair mousse piled on top of the counter.
Hidan happened to have an incredibly finicky nose, and liked to smell nice, as he put it.
And not only did he shower long, but he showered often; sometimes up to three times a day.
"What the hell do you want, Kakuzu? I have to go through a cleansing process before I can do my rituals, you know. And the blood is hard to get off."
Kakuzu left a soccer ball-sized dent in the wall after he bashed his forehead against it in aggravation.
One would think that with the tediously long showers and obsessive compulsive need for smelling nice, Hidan would be a tidy individual. One couldn't be more wrong.
Kakuzu walked into their room one afternoon and stopped abruptly a few steps in, staring in dumbfounded silence at the blood that seemed to have splattered everything on his side of the room.
And Hidan? Hidan was lying there on his bed, holding Kakuzu's blood-saturated pillow against his chest like a Band-Aid.
Kakuzu couldn't speak. The rage seemed to have paralyzed his voice box.
"Oh, hey," Hidan said nonchalantly from his bed. "What's up?"
Kakuzu mouthed wordlessly for a few seconds before finally finding his voice. It came out sounding strangely high-pitched.
"…did you slaughter a cow in here? Where the hell did all this blood come from?"
"About that," Hidan said with an infuriating grin, sitting up and gesturing to the bloodstained pillow. "I was doing one of my rituals and I think I slipped and hit an artery, or something. Blood freakin' flew everywhere. But I think it finally stopped…"
Hidan glanced down and pulled back the pillow a little before grimacing and pushing it back.
"Never mind, not yet."
Kakuzu came a hair away from picking up the baseball bat and taking it to Hidan's head.
Nights were nearly as bad as mornings.
Night, unfortunately, tended to bring out the philosophical and spiritual side of Hidan, eliciting religious lectures even when there was clearly no one in the entire headquarters willing to listen to him preach.
Kakuzu didn't have much of a choice, since they shared the same room.
"You know you're going to hell, right?"
"Yes, Hidan. I know I'm going to hell." Kakuzu said blankly, blinking up at the ceiling with bloodshot eyes. "Now can you just shut up?"
"Seriously, I'm trying to save you, here. I can cleanse you of sins right now. Just let me get my spear and"—
"Hidan, I'm not letting you stab me with a spear."
"Don't you get it? When you accept the faith of Jashin and perform the ritual, your sins flow out with the blood."
"Look, I don't know how you manage to survive those insane rituals, but I don't think I can. It'd be pointless to cleanse myself of sinsand die in the process."
"What the hell are you talking about? So what if you die? You'll go straight to heaven. Life is overrated, anyway."
"There's something wrong with you."
"I'm just enlightened. You're the one who's resisting the ways of God, you filthy heathen."
"I like being a filthy heathen. Now shut up."
He was quiet for only a few seconds. Then—
"So you know you're going to hell, right?"
"Hidan, if you don't shut up"—
"Seriously, though, hell is eternal. Are you sure you don't want to try the ritual? It'll only take me a second to get the spear and draw the seal."
"Listen to me, Hidan. I want to go to hell, all right? I want to go to hell."
"You're crazy," he said, sounding incredulous. "God, you're even crazier than I thought."
"Yes. Crazy. Now shut up and sleep."
"Are you sure you're not possessed?"
"I'm not possessed, Hidan."
"They taught me how to exorcise demons back in the sect, you know. If you start puking green vomit or doing some crazy shit"—
"Hidan, I am not possessed."
"…I'm keeping an eye on you."
So Hidan took an atrociously long time in the shower. So he used Kakuzu's pillow as a Band-Aid. So he whined every hour of every day. So he reminded him, whenever the chance presented itself, that he'd go to hell.
That was nowhere near as infuriating as what he did when Kakuzu had company.
Life in the Akatsuki was hard. When you weren't carrying out dangerous, life-threatening missions or perfecting dangerous, forbidden jutsu, you were either recuperating from injuries, sleeping, or paying the bills. Very rarely did the chance to socialize present itself.
Kakuzu was a man, and as a man, he had needs.
He hadn't been with a woman since his recruitment into the Akatsuki two years earlier. And despite an evil organization having its quirks, Kakuzu couldn't overlook the need to escape it once in a while and just…be normal.
So one night, he went out to a bar and came back with a mousy, vaguely interesting girl. He had a notoriously hard time picking up ladies because his appearance—the freaky eyes and odd headgear, in particular—tended to come off as alarming.
But the young woman he picked up tonight hadn't seemed too bothered by his appearance. And she was an accountant, so there was an instant rapport.
He snuck her up to his room, inwardly hoping that Hidan had gone out to sacrifice a goat or something, and was mildly relieved to see that the religious man was nowhere in sight when he opened the door.
"Whose bed is that?" his companion asked, pointing to Hidan's bed.
"Roommate's," he said shortly, before inviting her to take a seat.
They made small talk over money, thing pertaining to money, and had a short, random conversation about coffee. It was all very pleasant and whatnot, when suddenly the door opened and in walked Hidan.
"Shower," was all he said, not even bothering to look Kakuzu's way before disappearing into the bathroom and closing the door.
"Was that your roommate?" his date asked curiously, turning at the sound of the door slamming.
"Yeah, just ignore him. What were we talking about?"
"Coffee. It's so ridiculous how much they charge for a regular cappuccino, don't you think?"
"Yes, ridiculous," Kakuzu said, tapping his nails against his knees, hoping Hidan would shower long enough to give him the opportunity for some intimacy with little Ms. Accountant.
But little Ms. Accountant seemed to be passionate about coffee, and spent nearly twenty-five minutes listing all the cafes she went to and what their individual prices were. The fact that she was so attentive to cost was a turn-on in itself, but she'd talked enough and he was more than ready to move on.
Maybe I should take off the mask, he thought. Give her a hint.
Just as he was reaching up to untie the cloth, the bathroom door opened and out strode Hidan, bringing with him a scented cloud of ridiculously expensive soap.
Annoyed, Kakuzu lifted his head to tell him to get lost, but froze when he took in his partner's appearance.
Little Ms. Accountant turned her head to look, and also froze.
Not only was Hidan shirtless, but he was still wet. It wouldn't have been so bad if he was just shirtless, considering how he was wearing fleece pants, but he was WET, as in, still dripping water with the smug look of someone who'd never felt cleaner in his life.
And he didn't seem to be the slightest bit interested in the fact that Kakuzu had a lady companion in the room. In fact, he looked like he was ignoring her presence altogether.
Kakuzu had the sneaking suspicion that Hidan was, in fact, a celibate, and didn't care for the company of anyone save for his psycho Jashin God and the weird, perverted rituals he went through.
He probably adhered to abstinence and made getting laid look easy, with his charming, pretty boy looks and that aggravating, coy smile that looked purposely suggestive, seeming to say—
I know I'm hot and I know you like what you see, but you can't touch this. Haha!
And now, as he made a show of walking over to the dresser to pick up his comb and forty-two dollar towel, Kakuzu could feel his chances for sex dwindling, what with the way his lady companion hadn't yet looked away.
Hidan finally glanced in their direction when the noise of Kakuzu grinding his teeth reached his ears.
"Hidan," Kakuzu said in a voice of forced calm. "Do you mind?"
"No, go ahead and keep talking. I'm not listening, seriously."
"Hi," little Ms. Accountant said, gawking at his chest.
"Hey," Hidan returned nonchalantly, oblivious of the way Kakuzu was glaring poison and his date was ogling his chest.
"I'm Megumi," she continued, still gawking. "I'm an accountant."
"Seriously?" Hidan said, looking both amused and surprised. "Kakuzu, I'm impressed. She's definitely your type. Both of you are money whores."
That time, Kakuzu nearly did kill him, but Hidan got away while little Ms. Accountant got in the way.
And Kakuzu didn't get laid in the end after all, so that pissed him off even more.
But after the date fiasco, Hidan did something that made everything else pale in comparison.
More than anything else in the world, Kakuzu loved money. In fact, most of his earlier partners' deaths occurred simply because they got in the way of his money-making. If Hidan did anything to make him miss out on the opportunity to cash in on something, he'd kill him for sure.
The fated day was a Tuesday, when they'd both just returned from the Rain village after capturing two shinobi with massive bounties on their heads—50 million each. Kakuzu didn't tell Hidan this, one because he wouldn't care either way, and two because he felt that Hidan would do something incredibly stupid on purpose just to spite him.
So he kept his mouth shut, and merely told Hidan that they'd been captured alive for questioning.
Hidan shrugged and seemed to accept that explanation.
Both the captured shinobi were grievously injured, nearly to the point of no return, but alive just enough for Kakuzu's lie about interrogation to sound plausible.
They shoved the two in a holding facility near the headquarters, then returned to base.
The nins would probably die tomorrow, after which Kakuzu would pretend to question them and go ahead and exchange their bodies for the bounties.
Feeling more relaxed than he had for a long time, Kakuzu went to his room and went to bed, sleeping away the night in contentment.
The next morning, he woke to the sound of Hidan walking around the room looking for his forty-two dollar towel, and Kakuzu cursed when he realized that he'd slept in.
"Well," Kakuzu said loudly, making sure that Hidan heard. "I'm going to go question those captured Rain nins, now."
"You can't," Hidan said offhandedly, digging through his hamper. "They're dead."
Kakuzu blinked, but then shrugged.
"Whatever. I'll go dispose of the bodies, then."
"No need. I already did."
Kakuzu froze halfway out of bed, raising his head to stare at Hidan incredulously.
"Yeah, they died last night after you went to sleep, so I dragged them to the side of the cliff and threw them into the lake. Freakin' corpses start to smell after a while, seriously."
"You threw them off the cliff," Kakuzu repeated slowly, not quite comprehending the words. "You threw them off…the cliff."
"That's what I said. Do you have a hangover, or something?"
"Off the cliff," Kakuzu said blankly. "You threw them."
"…you're starting to freak me out. What, were you planning to do something with the bodies? That's just sick, Kakuzu, seriously."
It was then Kakuzu lost it.
He was on his feet within a second, and within another second, he had Hidan's pike clutched in his fist.
Hidan glanced up, only managing to blink in surprise before Kakuzu lunged forward and drove the pike straight through his chest and out the other side.
Blood flew everywhere and Kakuzu let go, breathing hard and waiting for Hidan to fall over and die.
But Hidan just stood there, staring down in dumbfounded silence at the object protruding from his chest.
I hit the heart, Kakuzu thought. Come on, die already.
Hidan took a few steps backwards, staggering a little with a look of shock on his face, and just as Kakuzu thought he was about to keel over, Hidan grabbed the pike and yanked the entire thing out in one quick pull.
"What the hell?" Kakuzu said blankly.
"Oww…ow! God damn it! What the fuck was that for?" Hidan shouted, looking extremely pissed off as blood poured all over the floor. "You fucking asshole, that really hurt!"
"Why…" Kakuzu continued blankly. "…are you still alive?"
"Didn't you know?" he snapped, grabbing Kakuzu's new pillow to press to his wound. "You stupid bastard, that won't work on me."
"But I hit your heart," Kakuzu said, wide-eyed. "You should be dead."
"Oh, trust me, if you'd managed to kill me, I would have been grateful. But this…this just fucking hurts," Hidan said with a grimace, glaring.
"You're immortal?" Kakuzu asked, astonished.
"No, my heart just happens to be located in my ass," Hidan said sarcastically. "Yes, I'm immortal, you stupid asshole."
Kakuzu couldn't believe his ears. So this is what the Leader meant by a 'special' partner. Holy crap.
"Why did you do that, anyway?" Hidan demanded. "What the hell is your problem?"
"Those nins," Kakuzu said suddenly, coming to his senses. "You threw them off a cliff when their heads were worth 50 million a piece!"
"You never told me that!"
"It's because I didn't want you fucking it up!"
"Me? Me? You're the one who fucked up, shithead!"
Kakuzu was at a loss for the first time in his life. His other partners had never dared to raise their voices against him, let alone insult him like this. But even if he took a baseball bat to Hidan's skull, or broke his neck, or stabbed him, or even cut off his goddamn head, he wouldn't and couldn't die.
That was just freaking creepy.
"So this is why all your old partners died, huh? Because they pissed you off?" Hidan snapped, suddenly tightening his grip around the pike.
Kakuzu unconsciously took a step backwards.
"Well, let me tell you something, asshole. You've been pissing me off since day one, too, with your stupid money obsession and shitty attitude. But did I try to kill you? No! God, I can't believe you fucking stabbed me!"
Kakuzu merely stared at him, wary of the way the pike started shaking in Hidan's fist.
"What are you going to do with that?" Kakuzu asked blankly, staring at the weapon.
"What am I gonna do with it? Heh," Hidan suddenly grinned maliciously, advancing towards him. "I'll tell you, you stab-happy fucker. I'm going to take this pike, turn it sideways, and shove it up your ass."
For the first time in his life, Kakuzu chose the lesser of two evils.
Hidan ran after him, shouting obscenities and gushing blood all the way down the hall and stairs, across the kitchen and out the back door.
Half an hour later, Hidan somehow managed to stab Kakuzu in the thigh, and he returned to the headquarters white-faced and panting, but grinning all the same. Kakuzu limped after him a few minutes later, keeping a fair distance behind.
The day ended without any fatalities, and the two were forced to call a truce once the Leader insisted upon it with pain of death and torture as an incentive.
They had the worst team dynamic in the history of the Akatsuki, but somehow managed to get their jobs done with a mutual, dysfunctional sort of cooperation.
Hidan went on lecturing him about religion in the middle of the night, taking abysmally long showers, and being an overall pain in the ass.
Kakuzu just went on being a temperamental 'money whore'.
And they lived happily ever after—except, not really.