By: firefly

Note: I'm convinced Hidan's a virgin. XD Here's why.

WARNING: Violence, blood, profanity, and mature content ahead.


Soft murmurs pervade the air, carrying through from the front entrance into the den.

He listens, lips moving soundlessly in prayer as he thumbs the beads of his rosary, the room silent save for the sound of small, metallic stones clicking gently together. Dim, yellow light spills through the darkness of the den as a switch is flicked, and a slow smirk tugs at the corners of Hidan's lips as Kakuzu comes into sight.

He's not alone.

Hidan cocks his head to the side, gazing appraisingly at the female companion Kakuzu's brought with him.

Long, dark hair frames her reddened face, her eyes wide and hazy with drink. She's stumbling in her heels, the skin of her bare thighs splotchy and red beneath the tight hem of her obscenely short skirt.

Easy, Hidan thinks, his smirk widening as Kakuzu glances into the den and catches his gaze. Seriously, Kakuzu, get her any drunker and you might convince her you're the emperor of Japan.

The girl happens to glance his way and squints, staring with her mouth hanging open slightly.

Hidan grins and waves in return.

Kakuzu glares in warning, aiming a silent threat in his direction before taking the drunk girl's hand and leading her up the stairs.

Her legs quake beneath her as she clumsily follows, and Hidan ceases his prayers as he reaches the last bead in the rosary.

He can't help but smile wryly as he recalls Kakuzu's glare.

That one look had communicated a total of three things: don't disturb us, don't you dare tell anyone, and get your own.

Hidan makes a soft noise of amusement in his throat.

Kakuzu hates him for it—hates him for making it look easy. Finding a companion for the night, even an open-minded whore, is more than difficult for the Falls nin. Where it takes Kakuzu more than an hour and at least five shots of vodka to convince a woman to even consider taking up his offer, it takes Hidan nothing more than a flirtatious smile and a few carefully chosen words.

Kakuzu hates him for knowing what they want.

Kakuzu hates him, because Hidan seduces without the intent of garnering sexual intimacy, because he lacks the mutual desire for carnal pleasure. He seduces, effortlessly and successfully, with the intent of pleasing no one but his God.

And lingering within the hate, despite all the Falls nin has seen, is a faint sense of disturbance at Hidan's utter nonchalance in the face of sexual pleasure, and absolute ecstasy at the prospect of bloodshed.

It's with that detached, indifferent air Hidan glances at the time, rising from his seat in the den and placing his rosary around his neck. It's late, but not so late so all the possible candidates have gone home from the bars. It's been a while since his last sacrifice and now that the opportunity has presented itself, he feels motivated to depart from headquarters.

Seeing Kakuzu's rare success has put him in the mood. He feels optimistic tonight, smiling unconsciously to himself as he departs down the dark, obscured road outside the headquarters. Tonight he feels lucky.

The breeze is crisp and saturated with the scent of burning leaves, pleasant against his skin as he makes his way into the nearest town, casually treading the wet, drunk-riddled sidewalks of cobbled stone and ignoring the heady, heavy gazes of prostitutes from the street corners. Luring one of those women into an alley would be ridiculously easy. A wave of a twenty and momentary eye contact was all the persuasion they needed, but as far as he was concerned, they were already dead.

They were dead women in fetid, used bodies, abused to the point of worthlessness. Spilling a pig's blood would suffice in place of spilling a prostitute's. It would be an unnecessary, worthless mess.

With that thought in mind, he strides past brawling drunks and couples isolated in dark corners, smiling amiably at the few odd, glaring passerbies who recognize his cloak. The crisp breeze seems to dampen as he nears the tavern, laden with the smell of sake, cheap perfume and sweat.

A couple reeking of alcohol are kissing heatedly next to the tavern door, completely oblivious to Hidan as he raises an eyebrow at them before pushing the door open and entering. Next to the morgue, the bar is the one place he wishes he could avoid stepping into. A musky humidity lingers in the air despite the cool weather outside, saturated with the smell of alcohol and sweat.

As he makes his way through the small dwelling, fighting back a grimace at the smell and feel of dirty air, he lets his gaze sweep appraisingly over the inhabitants. Six women catch his eye, two of them on the arms or laps of other men. One is lying facedown against the linoleum counter, slumping halfway off the stool, and another is performing a lewd dance for a small audience in the back.

He nods to the bartender in acknowledgement and gestures with one finger, and by the time he makes it to the vacant stool at the end of the counter, a cup of sake is already waiting there for him. Leaning back into his seat with his back against the wall, he draws his cup close and holds it in both hands, settling for observing the two remaining candidates.

One is by herself, taking sips of her drink and listening to the conversation of the couple in front of her. The other is with a friend who looks ready to leave, smiling in a way to suggest she's saying goodbye for the night. Both women are young, in their mid-twenties.

Hidan smirks, idly tracing the rim of his porcelain cup, watching intently as one of the two girls stands to hug her friend, waving as the other girl leaves before sitting back down at her table. She's pretty, he decides, his eyes sweeping appreciatively over her small, delicate features. But she looks the type to be easily intimidated. He can tell from the way her eyes are wider now, glancing around with acute wariness now that her friend is gone.

He glances over at the other girl, blinking momentarily in surprise when he catches her staring at him. From the moment he meets her gaze, he discards the possibility of using the previous girl, slowly reaching forward to set his cup aside.

Easy, he thinks for the second time that night, cocking his head to the side and returning her gaze with a slow smile. He's sure of his decision the moment she smiles back, the slight inclination of her head beckoning for him to come over.

Leaving money and his cup of untouched sake on the counter, he moves to stand and obliges the girl across the bar, eyes cold despite the amiable, practiced smile on his face.

Hidan knows Kakuzu hates him for making it look easy. He knows Kakuzu hates him for not wanting what the women are willing to offer. He knows Kakuzu hates him for his nonchalance in the face of beguiling side glances and gratuitous shows of skin.

Kakuzu hates him most because despite that nonchalance, Hidan knows exactly what women want.

He knows what makes them weaken—what makes their breathing grow shallow and their eyes haze over with undeniable desire. He knows how arousing a simple caress of fingertips can be, knows how powerful his slow, guileless smiles are, knows the influence he has when their lips part breathlessly and they unconsciously lean towards him.

He knows how to hone his voice into a dulcet murmur, how to spin whispering, harmless lies in their ears. He knows how to touch them, how to make them whimper his name and elicit breathless, urgent whispers that keen with yearning. He knows the allure of bedroom eyes and slight smiles, and delivers both without flaw.

Hidan knows when he has them; when their pulses spike at his touch, when their blinks slow and lips part, when they'd breathe his name in lilting voices and lean into his caress, when he'd lean close enough to make his intentions known, close enough to feel the warmth exuded by their readiness.

He'd come near enough to kiss them but never quite near enough—leaning in just enough for them to feel the caress of his voice against their lips as he'd suggest a better place to be.

And as they'd practically moan their affirmation and lean closer, he'd smile and slowly withdraw, discarding the complacency from his features and suppressing the urge to say you poor dumb whore.

Lewd thoughts and desires remained dormant, no feeling but cold satisfaction filling him when they'd take his hand and lead him from the bar into the bedroom.

He'd feel nothing when they'd remove his cloak and run warm fingers over his scars, feel nothing when their fingertips pried apart the flimsy fastenings of their own garments to reveal warm flesh to cold, impassive eyes.

They'd only succeed in arousing and disappointing themselves when touching him, pouting when he held their hands once they ventured too low for comfort. But then he'd be forcing them backwards, and they'd gasp and moan as hot lips pressed forcefully against their ears, blissfully ignorant of the harsh, soundless words he mouthed against the soft flesh.

Fucking slut.

There was no temptation when he lowered them against the bed, no urge or carnal desire when he slowly crawled over them, his smile absent in the presence of darkness. Their hearts would ache and throb and beat in earnest, legs shifting restlessly and lips parting wantonly when he'd hover over them. His would remain steady, metronomic and unfeeling as their fingers crept over the nape of his neck, feebly attempting to force him closer.

Hidan would blink and remain silent when they'd whimper an impatient fuck me against his ear, fingers entangling into his hair and brushing haplessly at his pants.

You want me to fuck you? He'd murmur back, and stare complacently into nothingness as they'd arch and moan their affirmation.

He'd catch their trailing hands and smile into the darkness.

Then close your eyes.

This was how it always went. The women were surprisingly predictable, unable to keep up their hard-to-get acts once he brought out his slow, flirtatious smiles.

He'd let things escalate in the bedroom till they reached that point, when he had them pinned naked beneath him, ready and willing to do whatever he wanted. Their soft skin tended to feel alien, the friction unusual and akin to a hot wrapping, barring him from the prize he coveted.

And now, in a small hotel room across the bar, on the verge of unearthing the gift beneath the sweaty, perfumed wrapping of the woman beneath him, Hidan watches her as she does as she's told. Her eyelids drift closed, lashes fluttering against her flushed cheeks—a sight that would leave most men reeling.

Hidan only waits, watching her closely as he slowly shifts, crawling higher until his hips are flush against hers, pinning her down securely.

"Hurry," she says, her voice an imploring whisper. "Please…"

He has to laugh at that, because the irony is so blatant he can't bring himself to keep up the act; if only for a moment.

"Keep your eyes closed, all right?" he murmurs, suppressing a grin as he reaches into his back pocket, his movement slow and discreet. "Can you do that for me?"

She bites her lip and nods slowly.

"Good girl," he whispers, slowly bringing his arm back up to rest next to her shoulder, reaching up with his left to touch her, trailing his fingers down the side of her face.

Her breath hitches at the contact, a dark blush tainting her cheeks as she reaches up, arms encircling his neck. He encourages her, lowering his head further, eyes drifting furtively from her face down to the slope of her neck.

He keeps his eyes trained on the soft, throbbing flesh above her pulse, only lifting his gaze once his right hand is poised directly above it.

She shudders as he runs his fingertips from her temple down to her throat, gently encircling it before creeping up again, the pad of his thumb brushing tenderly along her jaw line, inching towards her mouth.

Her blush darkens further, lips parting wantonly and back arching as he runs his fingertips along her lower lip. The gentle caresses stoke the heat within the pit of her stomach till she loses patience and moans his name, forcing his head lower, fingers straining against the back of his neck till their foreheads are pressing together.

She waits for him to move his hand, waits for him to replace his fingers with coaxing lips and probing tongue, but he does neither, withdrawing his fingers till only his thumb rests lightly against the corner of her mouth.

"Thanks," she suddenly hears him say, her eyes flying open at the sound of his voice. "…for being patient."

Then his left hand shifts suddenly, moving to cover her mouth as the right descends swiftly, forcing metal into throbbing flesh. She merely blinks in bewilderment at first, then feels the sharp pain of metal embedding itself into her throat, puncturing her carotid.

Her nails dig into his neck on reflex. Blood erupts from the puncture the instant the blade is removed, incredibly warm against her neck as his fingers quickly relinquish the weapon, clamping over the injury to stifle the violent spurts.

She can't open her mouth to scream even if she wants to, her lips slack beneath the weight of his hand as her wide eyes stare into his.

Then her brow furrows, eyes growing wider when she sees the white sheets blossom red, the blood seeping alarmingly fast into the clean linen, spreading like spilled ink down the length of the bed. It's then she tries to scream, panic flooding her, but her voice, weak with shock, only comes out as a muffled whimper against his hand.

"Shh," he chides her with pseudo gentleness, tilting his head forward and brushing his nose against her own. "It'll be over soon."

He doesn't need to tell her that; she can feel it, her vision growing blurry and body becoming numb, growing lighter and lighter as the blood spreads to the end of the bed.

Struggling is futile, as he stops supporting his weight on his arms and forces it on her instead, rendering her immobile. She finds herself only capable of feebly scratching the skin of his back.

Feeling as though she's shrinking beneath him, she lets her grip grow lax around his neck. Her arms fall limply by her sides, eyes growing heavy-lidded, still conscious of the way he watches her.

Hidan watches her eyelids droop, watches her hazy eyes grow dark, familiar with the way human eyes dim when the body empties itself of blood. A few moments later, he slowly removes his blood-drenched hand from her throat, the sharp spurts reduced to a heavy, ebbing flow, bubbling through the puncture and soaking into the pillow beneath her head.

Relaxing, he lifts his head and takes a deep breath, exhaling before he lowers his forehead back to hers. He blinks slowly, eyes searching hers intimately, penetrating her in a way she's never experienced before.

Looking into someone's eyes so intimately like this, like lovers do—sometimes even he thinks it's grotesque. It's different from watching someone die. Watching someone die implies watching the body become devoid of life, devoid of a soul.

He's watching her soul escape, her body's futile attempts to keep it, fascinated and envious of the way her eyes change as her body's hold on it becomes weaker, its grip growing slippery, snatching haplessly and pathetically at a dissipating fog.

Once so bright and full of vitality, her brown eyes grow dark and dim, the white spark in the black pools of her pupils flickering like a dying candle, blazing bright and dying down to a weak gleam at odd intervals.

He watches, and can't hold back the envy.

"I want it," he breathes, staring into flickering black. "I want it, too. I want to die. I want to go to God."

The flickering grows more sporadic, her soul straining against a dying prison as hot blood gushes suddenly from her mouth, warm and wet against his palm.

"You have no idea," he hisses now. "…how fucking lucky you are."

He removes his hand from her mouth, resting his arm next to her shoulder as he continues watching, seemingly oblivious to the blood that begins to congeal against his chest.

She's virtually dead by now, her heart pattering out its last, erratic beats, wringing feebly and forcing out the remaining blood in her body. Her face is stark white, lips blue and moving faintly, eyes open and staring back in faint confusion.

The clock on the far wall ticks loudly in the deafening silence, the muffled, blended noise of raucous laughter and bar music seeping faintly through the cracks in the wall. The bare bulbs flicker, seemingly blinking in response to the silent spectacle in the middle of the room.

Hidan watches till she stops breathing, violet eyes scrutinizing her flat, brown irises, delving into the depths of her endlessly black pupils, watching intently until the faint gleam of light dims permanently into darkness.

She's dead a few seconds later.

Hidan finally breathes, closing his eyes momentarily before pressing his blood-caked hand into the scarlet sheets, pushing himself to roll off of her. Lying on his back for a moment, he observes the silently spinning ceiling fan with half-lidded eyes, feeling the cool gusts of air dry the blood on his skin.

Sacrifices always make him feel listless, almost sated and drowsy in the aftermath. Often times he'd fall asleep and forget where he was, only to be reminded of his whereabouts once he woke and noticed his dead bed mate.

Lazily, he turns his head to glance at the girl next to him. She stares into nothingness, looking as though she's deep in thought, completely oblivious to the crimson sheen coating her torso and obscuring her nakedness where the bloodstained sheet doesn't.

He smiles wryly, turning his head to look back at the ceiling as the phrase wham, bam, thank you ma'am comes to mind. She had been relatively easy pickings, the type that didn't go for sweet words or gestures. She wanted to fuck, simple as that.

Poor dumb whore, he thinks complacently. Kakuzu would have loved you.

A few moments later, he laboriously sits up, grimacing as dried blood cracks and flakes off his skin, drifting to the floor like crimson snow. His skin feels taut, layered and stiff with coagulated blood, which resists even as he scratches at it.

Standing, he removes his rosary from his pocket, then moves to collect the discarded blade he'd used, setting both items on the nightstand.

Stripping off his remaining clothes, he stands beneath the dim light of the bare bulb, stretching and wincing in satisfaction as his back cracks. He leaves his garments in a pile at the foot of the bed before wandering off to find the shower.

When Hidan returns half an hour later, dripping water and toweling his hair, the girl is still there, still looking contemplative but now clad in a vest of congealed blood. He spares her a glance only momentarily before grabbing his clothes, dressing with fixed casualness near the bed.

The music in the bar next door must be deafening. It infiltrates the room, entwined with the scent of tobacco and cheap perfume, eliciting a smirk from him as he stands before the mirror.

The setting is blatantly reminiscent of a place reserved for one night stands and casual conversation, one where couples would lie together in post-coital bliss and exchange small talk.

"What do they say, anyway?" Hidan suddenly wonders aloud, staring at his reflection as he runs a comb through his hair. "Seriously…"

His gaze shifts to the reflection of the bed in the mirror, his smirk widening before he returns his attention to himself.

"Well?" he questions loudly, gazing appraisingly at his reflection before turning to look at her.

"What do they say? Oh, wait, I got it." He smiles as he strides across the room and gazes down at her.

"Was it as good for you as it was for me?"

She seems to be thinking about it, gazing unblinkingly at the ceiling, and Hidan makes a soft noise of amusement in his throat.

"I guess not…"

He walks around the bed and grabs a portion of the sheet that's not blood-stained, draping it over her, tenderly tucking it around her shoulders.

Then he pauses momentarily, leaning over her and gazing at her face, which is still pretty despite the stark whiteness. He brushes his fingers over her eyes, closing them as he lowers his head and kisses her forehead.

A brief display of affection as a parting gift, because it's what she would have wanted.

Then he extinguishes the lamp, donning his cloak and scythe before departing into the noisy, humid darkness, the door closing quietly behind him.

When he returns to headquarters later that night, he's shaking with excitement, ignoring the others as he strides quickly towards his room without looking back.

It's dark when he enters, and there's patch of moonlight on the floor near his bed, faintly illuminating dark stains in the hardwood floor. His excitement mounts, and he closes the door behind him before walking quickly into the bathroom to wash up.

His hands shake under the gush of hot water and he loses grip on the soap, cursing as it slides across the counter and onto the floor. He's too distracted to pick it, his breathing fast and heavy as he twists the tap and walks back into his room.

Tremulous fingers quickly undo his cloak, and he discards it carelessly in the corner before reaching under his bed, hand groping around the cool metal of kunai before settling on a smooth, steel shaft.

A shrill metallic ring sounds chillingly in the room as he carefully withdraws it, shivering at the sound in anticipation, his tongue running absentmindedly over dry lips. As he slowly moves to stand, he unconsciously mutters prayers, the words rapid and fervent as he walks towards the patch of moonlight.

Forcing his breathing to slow makes anticipatory shudders rack his body, and he slowly comes to stand within the seal, gazing with wide, rapidly blinking eyes into the moonlight streaming through the window.

His body is hypersensitive to his surroundings, his skin breaking out in goose bumps at the slight chill lingering in the air. He closes his eyes and prays, brow furrowing in bliss at the sound of his own murmurs mingling with the ring of metal as he lifts the pike.

The cold, sharp tip bites into his flesh, and he opens his eyes, looking down at himself holding the pike with both hands, pressing the tip lightly into the space between his pectorals.

The shivers grow in intensity, his voice catching and breaking in his throat as he steadies himself, planting his feet into the floor.

He can feel it—God, he can feel it—feel potential for his prayers being granted tonight, feel himself teetering on the brink of something violent and hopefully fatal. He can feel the promise of pleasure; feel his soul quivering in anticipation, in hope.

Hidan hesitates only a moment, pausing long enough to brace himself and tighten his grip on the pike before plunging it into his chest.

Biting on his lip to keep from crying out, he leans forwards and resists the urge to rip it out, holding tight even as blood immediately begins to drip down the metal shaft and makes his grip grow slippery. The pain is sharp and brutal, dulling neither with time nor experience.

It hurts, excruciatingly so, every time.

It makes him feel faint, makes nausea overwhelm him, and he forces back the bile that rises in his throat, breathing hard to keep conscious. Clenching his teeth, he tightens his grip further and forces the pike deeper, unable to stop himself from crying out as it pierces his heart.

This is the climax of pain. He's learned it, through years of practicing his rituals and receiving injury, and he knows of no other flesh or sinew that aches more profoundly than the heart.

The agony goes beyond comprehension and he freezes, dropping his arms till they hang limply by his sides. Harsh tremors rack his frame, cold perspiration beading on his forehead as he waits, lips moving soundlessly in prayer once more.

Please, please, please, please, please, it hurts, it hurts, please, it hurts, all for you, I'm doing it all for you, I'm hurting, it hurts, please, all for you, please, take it, take me, take it away, please, please, please.

The sharp, brutal sting subsides abruptly, so suddenly he's momentarily convinced he's dead, then it rebounds, duller and slower and heavier, pulsing and rippling outwards through his frame.

This pain encompasses all of him, surrounds and engulfs until he can't hear, feel, or see anything but red, red agony. He becomes enraptured by it, caught up and so deep in it he becomes able to see and feel it for what it really is.

It's the touch of God, a mere skim of His fingertips against the naked, vulnerable surface of his soul, and it renders a sensation that sears, agonizes and transcends the concept of physical pain.

His head tilts back, eyes closing and lips parting as his breath hitches.

The sublime agony razing his flesh gradually warps. He feels it twist and invert and blossom from shapeless, stabbing, white hot pain into demulcent, red ripples.

A moment passes with him frozen in agony until the pain changes, manifesting itself in pulsing, throbbing waves of pleasure that course with sudden, violent intensity through his lithe frame.

It spreads quickly, radiating through his torso and into his limbs, so hot his fingers tremble and goose bumps erupt along his sweat-slicked skin. Instinctively his shoulders hunch with a jerk, bracing him as the searing sensation racks his body, muscles growing taut and straining in an effort to keep him upright.

His mind is devoid of coherent thought, senseless with held-in gratification, chaotic with a repetitive cacophony of praise that he tries and fails to repress.

Oh…oh God… oh God, oh God, oh God. This feels…this feels…

A strangled blend of a gasp and moan catches in his throat, and he forcefully digs his nails into his palms to hold it in, head tilting farther back, eyes screwing shut as he bites his lip, hard.

It feels as though the pain and ecstasy are vying to burst through the pores of his skin, straining against his flesh till they violently rebound back, deep into his body, colliding and melding till he loses sense of what pleasure is and what pain is and can only acknowledge it as some incredibly intense, profound feeling.

It takes the breath out of him, makes his legs buckle till he's down on his knees, arms limp by his sides as he looks up into nothingness. There is crimson pulsing in the darkness, and it takes him a moment to recognize the soft gasps and muffled groans in the room as his own, stifled as he bites harder into his lower lip, the throbbing pain morphing and melding with the all-encompassing pleasure already coursing through his body.

Hidan wishes he could die at that moment, wishes so fervently and desperately that he speaks out without knowing, his words escaping in breathless moans between harsh, hitching gasps.

"Kill me…kill me…oh, please, God…please…"

The experience is sublime, euphoric and agonizing and all-consuming. He can feel it in a place deeper than superficial flesh, deeper than where his heart throbs and blood rushes. His soul is writhing in ecstasy, drowning in delirium, and the effect on his body is indescribable.

He's barely aware of the adrenaline rush and palpitating heartbeat, the rest of him lost in the confusion of a climatic sensation so intense he loses touch with all things physical. Seconds and hours bleed into each other, and he has no way of knowing how long the ecstasy lasts.

The blood blends with sweat, running in pale pink rivulets down his chest as the pain, and subsequently the pleasure, gradually begins to dim. His quaking ceases and hitched breathing slows, taut muscles falling limp as the searing sensation slowly ebbs into a dull throbbing.

He stays there on his knees, arms listless by his sides as he catches his breath, continuing to look skyward with closed eyes, the furrow in his brow gradually receding.

Still alive, still breathing, he notes, feeling his pounding heartbeat slow to a steady tempo. I'm still here.

The hot blood streaming from the wound stops feeling like a silken caress. The spear in his chest stops feeling like an instrument of God. It deviates from a scorching medium for integration with the divine into a cold, foreign object lodged between his ribs.

The skewered flesh around it aches and bleeds, and Hidan smiles through a wince as he extracts it, listening to the metallic ring of it clattering against the floor.

Tremors continue to rack his body, tiny, gratifying aftershocks of dull pain radiating from the wound as he gingerly moves to stand. His legs quake beneath him as he slowly crosses the room, staggering and collapsing onto the bed, breathing hard.

Blood blossoms into the sheets and he can't bring himself to care, mind and body still reeling from the experience. Numbly, he reaches up to clutch his rosary, closing his eyes and murmuring prayers of gratitude until the words slur into each other and stop making sense.

Each time he goes through it—the pleasure, pain, and sublimity, his faith strengthens further, his beliefs made incorrigible by what he feels. It goes beyond explanation and bodily pleasure, beyond the physical and the mundane. He's touched and loved by God, and no carnal pleasure can ever possibly compare.

He's in love with it, in love with the agony that comes with it and in love with the divine hand that bestows it. He's in love with the solitude and the lack of others to share it with. He's in love with the absence of fear, the knowledge that the recipient of his love is just as immortal as he is, immune to malady or human vulnerability.

Hidan sees, feels, and needs no one else. He doesn't desire material gain, acknowledgement, or the company of whores. He doesn't pine for the sensation of skin against skin, or the whispered sweet nothings of a companion. He regards pleasures of the flesh, and subsequently those who seek it, with utter disdain.

He is a child of God, and God loves him.

Nothing else matters.

He dwells on this and immediately chokes back a sob. The tears come anyway, relentless as his body trembles and lips stretch into a wavering smile. Hidan is used to it by now, to the irrepressible urge to break down and cry out of sheer gratitude and grief, used to the way his soul aches profoundly for hours afterwards.

More than anything else, it's the experience of smiling through tears that goes beyond explanation.

Cry when you're sad. Laugh when you're happy.

He does both, tears and blood mixing to form pale pink stains against his sheets as he turns onto his front, attempting to muffle his voice into the pillow. He's exhausted, but his body goes on shaking, shoulders taut with the strain to hold back the raucous blend of sobs and laughter.

Take me, take me, please, take me. God, why won't you take me?

Someone enters the room and pauses a few steps in, and Hidan can't bring himself to care, lying sprawled half-naked on a blood-stained bed with half his body slipping off onto the floor.

Then the footsteps retreat, and the door clicks shut behind them.

The euphoric instances are rare and fleeting.

More often he'd remain on his knees in the bloodstained circle, clutching the spear and driving it deeper, twisting and wrenching it till he was screaming, head thrown back, eyes screwed shut and fists drenched in crimson. He'd scream himself hoarse, scream and scream and scream until cords stood out in his neck and the screams manifested themselves into a primal, desperate plea for death.

Only tonight, months after his last ecstatic experience, did he feel the familiar excitement that signaled the possibility of one happening again, and with it came the possibility of enlightenment and death. He'd received neither, but felt grateful anyway.

He cried out of gratitude, grateful for God's acknowledgement and the reassurance that He was there for him, and out of grief at not being able to relinquish his soul permanently.

It's true that Kakuzu hates him, but only for petty reasons. What Kakuzu doesn't know is that Hidan hates him even more, his hate scathing and contemptuous and stemming from the venomous roots of envy.

Hidan hates him for treating the concept of a higher power with disdain. He hates him because his desires are attainable. He hates him for his mortality.

Hidan hates him, because Kakuzu has no idea how fucking lucky he is.

If it were up to me, Hidan thinks, lying semi-conscious on his bloodstained bed, blinking listlessly at the floor through half-lidded eyes. If it were up to me…

I'd let you have it. All the attention and immortality and whores. I'd let you take what you didn't have. I'd give you the charm, the looks, the talent to make people like you. I'd give you everything, because I don't want any of it. I only want one thing, one ability you and everyone but me possesses. I want to be able to die. I want to be able to die. I need to be able to die.

This life is nothing. Death is only a stepping stone.

Death is only a stepping stone to something greater. Death is a stepping stone I can't scale.

God, why won't you take me? Why won't you fucking take me? Why won't you—

Something stirs in the far corner of the room, startling Hidan out of his stupor. The soft, scraping sound of bare feet shuffling across carpet sounds in the room, and a moment later Kakuzu's companion emerges from within the dark, draped in a sheet with her mussed hair hanging about her flushed face.

Hidan stares at her from where he lies on his bed, realizing she's still intoxicated and that Kakuzu's already had his way with her. She stumbles closer and the sheet slips off one shoulder, exposing the slope of her arm and the curve of a breast.

Within a few seconds she's standing right next to the bed, gazing down at him with wide, overly bright eyes, barely keeping her grip on the bunched sheet against her chest.

She seems oblivious to the blood, gazing at him with displaced serenity, and there's a moment where he stares back in silence, mind devoid of intentions and thought. There's generosity in her eyes and he sees it. There's generosity and a gentle tug of persuasion, and she brings both to a climax when she lets the sheet slide off her body and onto the floor.

His eyes follow the sheet's descent to the floor, blinking hazily at the sight of it draping around her feet, before he raises his gaze again as she takes another step closer. He's not thinking as he presses a blood-caked hand into his sheets, pushing to turn himself onto his backside despite the pain.

He's not thinking as she presses one knee into the bed, the mattress sinking under her weight as she moves forward, still serene, still generous. He watches her and doesn't think when she crawls over him, balanced on unsteady, quaking arms and legs, her long dark hair brushing over his face.

She blinks down at him expectantly, waiting, serene and generous and beautiful. When he does nothing, she lowers her head and tries to kiss him, missing his mouth and bumping her soft lips against his chin. As she does, her scent—a musky, sweaty smell—pervades his senses.

He realizes that up until that moment he wasn't breathing, and stares up into nothingness as she murmurs a quiet you can take me against his ear, her voice husky in the silence, followed by a breathless you can fuck me against his temple.

Fingers entangle gently within her hair and she moans, and it's only then he realizes he can barely move. But he manages to inch his right hand down towards his pocket anyhow, finding her heavy, throbbing pulse with his left as she presses down against him.

He's not thinking of God when he withdraws the blade from his pocket, positioning it below her pulse. He's not thinking of prayers or seals or being subtle as he presses the blade against her skin, just enough so she feels it. He isn't thinking of spiting Kakuzu when she withdraws to look at him.

Closing his eyes, Hidan only thinks, with a slight air of wistfulness as he severs her carotid and feels the blood spray over him, of how fucking lucky she is.