Piano Man and Church Boy
Note: written for fadedrequiem on LJ, where I had to include the characters Itachi and Hidan and use the prompt: Piano man and church boy. XD Reviews would be love!
Piano Man and Church Boy
"Are you serious?" Hidan said blankly.
The Leader gave him a look.
"When am I not serious, Hidan?"
"You seriously want us to crash a wedding and kill the groom."
"That's correct. Do you have a problem with that?"
"No, but it's just—"
"It's doable," Itachi interrupted tonelessly. "We'll leave immediately."
Hidan gave Itachi an exasperated look, watching him depart from the meeting room, shifting uncomfortably on the spot before he followed.
"Hey, wait up," Hidan called, jogging after the Uchiha as he stepped out of headquarters.
Itachi paused, turning to look expressionlessly at the religious man as he came to a stop by his side.
"Explain to me…" Hidan said slowly, scratching his head. "Why we're going to kill some poor bastard on his wedding day. Because seriously, that's fucked up."
"I didn't know you cared," Itachi replied.
"I don't," Hidan said, flustered. "I'm just kinda unsure how this fits in with my religion."
"Then leave the killing to me," Itachi retorted. "I'm more than capable of carrying out the mission myself."
"See, this is why that bastard Leader paired me with you," Hidan said, sounding annoyed as they started walking again. "He said, and I quote: you two must assimilate yourselves seamlessly into the background. Discard your cloaks and carry out the mission in the guise of helpers. Be sure to leave no traces of your identity and blah blah blah—God, that asshole never shuts up. But the point is, knowing you, you'd just walk in there and slit the guy's throat while he was standing at the altar. This mission requires my social skills."
Itachi refrained from making any snide remarks and continued walking in silence.
"So, red-eye, why are we doing this again?"
Itachi twitched at the nickname.
"The wedding is a contract and represents the merger of two companies. One of the companies, from the bride's side, is the one supplying most of our income. They pay us to 'remove' rival companies. The company from the groom's side will combine profits made by both businesses and channel the money into the village they're from. We will lose our income if that happens, hence why the groom needs to die," Itachi explained nonchalantly.
"Again with the fucking money," Hidan griped, rubbing his forehead. "I don't know why I joined this shitty organization."
Itachi didn't reply, and they continued walking towards their destination for a few minutes in silence, until Hidan spoke.
"The wedding's in two hours."
"What are we gonna do?"
"Dude, what the hell are we gonna do about disguises? Well, you're pretty girly-looking. We could probably get away with dressing you as one of the bridesmaids, then you could seduce the groom and lure him into a closet and—"
"Say another word and I'll cut out your larynx."
"But it's a good idea!" Hidan protested.
Itachi fell silent for a few minutes, and when he finally spoke, he sounded thoughtful.
"Besides your sacrifice rituals," Itachi said slowly. "What other rites were you taught to perform in your sect?"
Hidan grinned, looking pleased at this sudden interest in his religion.
"Well, I know how to exorcise demons, and seriously, it's the most wicked shit you'll ever see. There was this one time—"
"Can you perform wedding ceremonies?" Itachi interrupted.
"Do you have the credentials to legitimize a marriage?"
"Why the hell do you talk like a fucking robot?"
"Just answer the question."
"Yeah. Kinda. I think."
"Good enough," Itachi said under his breath.
"Wait, what the hell are you planning, exactly?"
Itachi suddenly veered off their path and headed towards the nearest town, taking quick strides with his gaze focused resolutely ahead. Aggravated, Hidan followed, jogging to keep up as Itachi emerged onto the busy street outside the various shops to their left.
Hidan opened his mouth to ask what Itachi was doing but the Uchiha suddenly stopped at a door and pulled it open, entering without a word.
Bewildered, Hidan followed him in and came to an abrupt stop when he saw what the shop sold.
"What the hell?" he said blankly, when Itachi picked up a display banjo and held it up, face blank.
"Is this what they play at weddings?" Itachi asked.
"What kind of fucking hick would have banjos play at a wedding?" Hidan demanded. "Seriously, what the hell are you doing?"
"What instrument do people generally play at weddings?" Itachi asked, turning to look at the other instruments with scrutinizing eyes.
"How the hell should I know?"
There was a sudden shuffling in the back of the room and a short, bald man emerged from behind a shelf of mouth pieces and reeds, holding some boxes.
"Hello," he said warmly. "Do you need help finding anything?"
"Yes," Itachi said without preamble. "What instrument is generally played at a wedding?"
"Well, that depends. Is it a traditional Japanese wedding?"
Itachi told him no, keeping in mind that the groom was a foreigner and the rich generally aimed for new fads rather than sticking to tradition.
"Then a piano, most likely."
"Do you have visual instructions on how to operate this instrument?"
Hidan buried his face in his hands, shaking his head and muttering 'fucking robot' under his breath.
"You mean a video?" the storeowner asked.
"You're lucky, sir. I have a step-by-step guide on video for people wanting to learn the piano. There's wedding music near the end of it, in the advanced stages."
"I want to purchase it."
Hidan gave Itachi an incredulous look but the Uchiha paid no attention, approaching the counter when the storeowner went to retrieve the video for him.
A few seconds later, both of them emerged from the shop, with Itachi holding a bag with the video nestled inside.
"What the hell was that?" Hidan demanded, quickening his stride to keep up with the Uchiha's brisk pace. "What are you planning on doing with that?"
Itachi ignored him, leading him towards the nearest neighbourhood of single houses. Hidan followed, bemused as Itachi paused before each one momentarily before continuing on. At last, he stopped at the seventh house and walked towards the front door.
Hidan's confusion only grew when Itachi delivered a swift kick to the doorknob, knocking it off before casually pushing the door open and walking in.
Itachi glanced around at his surroundings to make sure no one was home, and then walked into the living room. Hidan understood the moment he saw the TV and VCR.
"Don't tell me you're seriously planning on watching that. The wedding's in an hour and a half."
"It'll take only a few minutes," Itachi said shortly, popping the video into the VCR and turning on the TV.
Shrugging, Hidan walked over to the nearest sofa and plopped himself down among the cushions.
Itachi fast-forwarded the video, reading the captions as they progressed from Beginners, to Easy, to Moderately Challenging, to Challenging, and finally to Advanced. He stopped it and played it from there.
The keening, dulcet notes of a wedding ballad filled the air, and Itachi watched the flashing of the digital keyboard on the screen, his Sharingan focused intently on the complicated display of flashing keys.
He sat there for fifteen minutes, absorbing the music like a sponge, committing it all to memory and letting his fingers mimic the key-tapping against the carpet. Five more minutes passed, and the video ended.
"We're done here," Itachi said, ejecting the tape and putting it back in the bag.
When Hidan didn't reply, Itachi turned and found him sprawled over the sofa, sleeping.
Itachi twitched. Then he picked up a cushion and threw it, hitting Hidan square in the face.
Ignoring the flurry of curse words as Hidan tumbled off the sofa, Itachi calmly walked out of the house.
Half an hour later, with another thirty minutes to spare, they arrived at the banquet hall where the wedding was being held. Hidan whistled when he took in the elaborate flower arrangements and silken canopy draping the entrance to the hall.
"These people are seriously loaded."
Itachi nodded once, straying farther back into the shadows when three harried cooks went rushing by.
"You haven't told me anything," Hidan complained, unconcerned with attracting attention. "You're worse than Kakuzu, and that guy's a fucking asshole."
"Is that him?" Itachi asked, pointing.
"No. Is that the priest?"
Hidan squinted, catching sight of the tall, white-haired man dressed in long white robes and holding a handful of cue cards, conversing amiably with some of the handymen.
"Take off your clothes."
Hidan slowly turned his head to look at Itachi, eyes wide.
"I don't know what Kakuzu told you about me, but I don't swing that way."
"Imbecile. Just do it," Itachi said, before suddenly darting out from behind the building and into the open. Hidan stared after him with his mouth hanging open, cursing when he saw Itachi approach the priest, talking and pointing in the direction of the lot next to the hall. A moment later, the priest followed him into the empty lot.
Cursing again when he realized what Itachi's intent was, Hidan glanced around to make sure no one had noticed him before pulling off his cloak and bundling it into a ball. Itachi returned five minutes later, holding an armful of white fabric.
Hidan paled when the Uchiha joined him by the side of the building.
"You just killed a fucking priest. I knew you were going to hell before, but goddamn, you've got reservations and a first-class ticket now."
"I didn't kill him," Itachi said shortly. "He's sleeping in a dumpster. Put these on, and take these."
Hidan fumbled to keep a hold of the cue cards as Itachi shoved the clothes into his arms, glancing around with narrowed eyes once more.
"I look like a fucking fairy," Hidan muttered.
Itachi turned to glance at him, seeing that Hidan had donned the long white robes, which were a tad too long and pooled around his feet.
"Hold it up when you walk," Itachi said blithely.
Hidan gave him an incredulous look.
"Okay, seriously, you don't get any gayer than that. At least cut off a few inches!"
Fighting back a suffering sigh, Itachi produced a kunai and knelt, shearing the extra fabric off but leaving enough so Hidan's nail-polished toes were hidden beneath the cloth.
"Hide that," Itachi advised, gesturing to the stark contrast of Hidan's rosary against the white robes before turning to glance out at the entrance again.
"Now what?" Hidan said from behind, sounding irritable as he tucked his rosary into the robes.
"I scouted the room where the ceremony will take place. It's an extension to the banquet hall where the guests will depart to for dinner and festivities. We will participate in the wedding to blend in, then…" Itachi paused, looking contemplative.
"We kill the bastard?" Hidan offered.
"Obviously. But it must be done without us being seen."
"Got any poison? That'll work."
"No. There are too many guests and drinks are liable to get mixed up."
"Jeez, like I said, you should totally dress up as a bridesmaid and—wait, why don't you just rig something to kill him?"
"Make it look like an accident," Hidan said matter-of-factly. "Get something to fall and break his skull."
Itachi looked thoughtful, and then his expression cleared, eyes widening in the slightest.
"In the chapel room, there is a chandelier hanging over the altar…"
"Yeah, that's perfect. Easy."
"Not quite. If I tamper with the chandelier, I won't be able to control when it falls. And it must fall before you pronounce them husband and wife, otherwise the contract is sealed. Furthermore, it may fail to kill him."
"Then we're fucked, red-eye."
"Stop calling me that. You make me sound like I have conjunctivitis," Itachi said, sounding annoyed. He had a look of intense concentration on his face, lips pressed tightly together as he weighed his options.
"It must not look like an assassination attempt. It must occur before you complete the ceremony. It must happen without either of us seeming suspicious…"
"Ow. God dammit."
Itachi lifted his head to glare at Hidan, finding the religious man grimacing and pulling on his collar to squint at his chest.
"What?" Itachi asked, with a hint of irritation.
"My rosary," Hidan whined, gesturing to the tiny bloodstain emerging through his white robe. "It's chafing me. It takes me a couple of days to heal after my rituals…"
Itachi stared at him.
"What?" Hidan asked.
"You're immortal," Itachi said.
"No shit. What, did you just figure that out? Genius, my ass."
Itachi ignored the remark, suddenly looking intensely thoughtful again.
"We may use this to work out the plan I had before," he announced, looking confident now. "It will accomplish the mission and seem like nothing more than a bizarre misfortune."
"Are you going to tell me or not?"
"I will only say this once," Itachi said, fixing his Sharingan on Hidan in a glare. "Pay attention. You will perform the ceremony. I will operate the piano—" Hidan twitched but said nothing. "—and in the midst of the ceremony, I will attack you. Security will be present and the first thing they'll do is remove the bride and groom to the back of the room to secure their safety. Once they are out of harm's way, security will attempt to stop me from murdering you. The bride and groom will be momentarily left alone. I will have a kage bunshin waiting in the wings, and once all attention is focused on the spectacle at the front of the room, my bunshin will remove the groom and take him to a secluded location, where he will be held captive. I will escape from security easily enough and proceed to the secluded location to finish the mission."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, what about me? You want me to just lie there?"
"Yes. Pretend to be dying so you hold everyone's attention," Itachi said with a short nod. "You will be free of suspicion, and my murder attempt on you will seem to have nothing to do with an assassination attempt on the groom, especially since I'm in the guise of the piano operator. Furthermore, the groom's disappearance will be attributed to cowardice. No one will suspect the Akatsuki had anything to do with this."
Hidan blinked, somewhat impressed.
"Damn, that might actually work."
"It will," Itachi said with another nod, before glancing out into the open at the early guests who'd arrived. His eyes glinted when he caught sight of a group of handymen pushing a grand piano into the lot, with a nervous-looking musician in a black tux scurrying after them.
"I'm going after my target," Itachi announced.
"But there's still a little less than half an hour left. What am I supposed to do till then?" Hidan demanded, gesturing to his robes. "Act like a priest?"
"Precisely," Itachi said shortly. "Go mingle. Eat cake. Bless children. Whatever priests do. I'm going."
Hidan opened his mouth to speak but Itachi was gone within a millisecond, zipping past the entrance in a flurry of black and red towards the lot.
Cursing, Hidan stared helplessly at the small bloodstain at the front of his robe, then proceeded to try and cover it with the long collar draping his shoulders. He'd just managed to obscure the most of it when someone spoke.
Hidan jerked in surprise at the sound of the voice, stumbling out from behind the side of the building and into plain view. A short, middle-aged man stood there, looking somewhat concerned.
"Father, are you all right?"
"Uh…" Hidan glanced around to make sure the man was addressing him. "Yeah, I'm fine."
"Oh," the man said, still somewhat concerned. "What were you doing behind the building?"
"Er…" Hidan glanced at the wall and vaguely gestured to it. "I was just…admiring the bricks."
"I see," the man said, sounding confused now. "Well, let me escort you inside to meet some of the family members. The wedding will start shortly."
Hidan grimaced and followed the man from behind, glancing around at his surroundings and feeling overly self-conscious in the garb he was forced to wear, a part of him insisting this was sacrilege.
The man led him into a large room lavishly decorated with orchids and drapes of white silk. Rich people crowded the area in their finest clothes, sipping punch and nibbling bite-sized cakes and pastries, and they all turned to look when the short man stopped, smiling widely and gesturing to Hidan.
"Father Dai has finally arrived," he announced, looking and sounding visibly relieved. "Please be patient. The wedding will start shortly."
Then the man left, and Hidan was immediately assaulted by a gaggle of people.
"Father Dai, you're awfully young for a priest!" a large, buxom woman declared, eyeing him up and down, fluttering her lashes. "I'm the bride's mother, Fujita Izanami." She giggled and shouldered him playfully. "But you can call me Nami."
It took every ounce of willpower he had not to kill the woman on the spot.
Swallowing back the nausea, he managed a weak, lopsided smile.
"Uh…thank you for having me."
"Such a waste, a handsome man such as yourself adhering to the strict rules of priesthood," another woman purred, putting a hand on his arm.
"It's not that hard, seriously," he managed to get out, worming his way out of her grip.
He glanced at the grandfather clock situated in the corner, biting the inside of his mouth when he saw that fifteen more minutes remained.
"You have an interesting hairstyle for a priest, Father Dai."
"Old habits," he ground out, restraining himself as one of the women dared to touch his hair.
"Would you like some punch, Father Dai?"
"Uh—" Hidan stopped suddenly, face going bright red when he felt a hand brush a little too close to his behind for comfort.
Someone giggled. Then he lost it.
"Whoever's got their goddamn hand on my ass has one second to move it before I rip their fucking head off."
The women surrounding him leapt back as if burnt, and practically everyone in the room turned to stare at him, looking appalled.
"W-What did you say?" gasped an elderly woman, looking as though she was on the verge of a heart attack.
"Did he just say the 'F' word?" someone whispered in the back.
Hidan glanced around, wide-eyed, before managing to find his voice.
"I…uh…" he stopped, suddenly, then buried his face in his hands, sounding morose as his shoulders slumped. "I'm so sorry…I didn't think it would happen at a wedding, of all places…"
"What?" someone demanded shrilly.
He removed his hands, looking shamefacedly at the floor.
"I have Tourette's syndrome."
A hush fell over the room.
Then the bride's mother, Fujita Izanami stepped forward and placed a hand on his shoulder, sounding tearful.
"Oh, you poor thing. It must be awful…cursing randomly like that when you're a priest, of all things."
"Seriously," he said somberly, suppressing a grin. "It's horrible."
Fortunately, his little lie managed to save him from royally screwing up the mission.
Unfortunately, though, the number of women tailing him increased exponentially, all of them pitying and sympathetic and grabby.
With five minutes to spare, he was saved when the news came that the groom had arrived, and the women ran squealing to the front entrance. Breathing a sigh of relief, he accepted a chocolate éclair from one of the servants, took a bite, then relieved the servant of the entire tray all together.
"They're fucking weirdos," he muttered to himself through a mouthful of chocolate. "But they know how to eat."
Then the five minutes were up and he was escorted through a side door into the chapel room first. The moment he walked in, he found Itachi sitting at the piano at the opposite side of the room, wearing the musician's black tux. He'd deactivated his Sharingan.
Hidan stared, and had to bite his hand to keep from laughing when the Uchiha shifted to obscure the pant legs that were obviously too short for him.
All the guests filtered in and the wedding planner escorted Hidan to the front of the room, muttering last-minute instructions he could barely keep up with. Someone at the side of the room signaled to Itachi to start playing and he did, flawlessly executing the piece he'd learned only an hour before.
Hidan stood there awkwardly, shifting on the spot and checking his robes mindlessly to see if the blood was showing through. Thankfully it wasn't.
It took forever for the people to come down the aisle, and there was a brief recess when the five-year-old flower girl threw up as soon as she stepped through the door.
Then the groom finally appeared, and Hidan had to bite the inside of his mouth to refrain from making a revolted face.
The man was obscenely overweight and looked more like a bulldog than a human. He lumbered down the aisle with a wide grin, a ring on every finger except for his left ring finger. He stopped at the altar and turned expectantly towards the doorway.
The bride entered, a tired-looking young woman, much younger than the groom. She walked listlessly up to the altar, unsmiling, and kept her gaze on the floor when she stopped in front of her would-be husband.
Silence. Then the wedding planner nudged Hidan.
Startled, he pulled the cue cards out from the folds of his robe and began reading.
"Dearly Beloved, we are gathered together here in the sign of God—and in the face of this company—to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony, which is commended to be honorable among all men; and therefore—is not by any—to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly—but reverently, discreetly, advisedly and solemnly…"
He continued reading in a blank voice, and started to sweat when he realized just how many cue cards there were and how hot and irritable the bright lights overhead were making him.
A long while later…
"Who gives this woman in marriage to this man?" Hidan asked miserably.
The short, bald man from before stepped forward, and Hidan made a face.
"What the fuck were you thinking?" he muttered under his breath, before continuing.
"This is a beginning and a continuation of their growth as individuals. With mutual care, respect, responsibility and knowledge comes the affirmation of each one's own life happiness, growth and freedom…ha, what a fucking joke."
The bride stared at him, wide-eyed.
The bride's mother muttered to the maid of honour—"Poor thing's got Tourette's."
It went on, and just as Hidan was feeling ready to throw down the cards and break the groom's neck just to get it over with, he saw Itachi shift from the corner of his eye.
Bracing himself, he kept reading, putting more enthusiasm into the words to look natural as Itachi quickly strode towards the left side of the aisle.
"—to minister to each other in all sorrow—to share with each other in all gladness."
Itachi was at the altar now, reaching into the pocket of his tux. The bride's mother looked at him in confusion.
"—for love, if it finds you worthy, shall direct—oof!"
Hidan went flying backwards when Itachi suddenly lunged at him, knocking him backwards and onto the stage. A moment later, Hidan swore as loud as he could when Itachi drove the kunai mercilessly into his chest.
"Oh my goodness!" the bride's mother cried. "Security! The piano man is killing Father Dai!"
Itachi pulled the kunai out and glanced over his shoulder long enough to see that security was removing the bride and groom to the back of the room like he'd predicted. Even better, he noticed with a small smirk, was that the groom was shoving the security guards out of the way so he could escape through the back door.
"Bastard," Hidan gasped, staring in shock at the blood blossoming over his robes. "That really fucking hurt!"
"You're supposed to act like you're dying," Itachi said in an undertone, before raising the kunai again and stabbing him in the same spot.
"OWW! You son of a whore!"
Satisfied, Itachi leapt off the stage just as security reached out to grab him, then fled out the back door.
Hidan lay there on his back, cursing repeatedly, moving to sit up when he realized he was supposed to act like he was dying.
He dramatically collapsed onto his side with a moan as people surrounded him.
"Father Dai! Oh my God, that psychotic piano man stabbed him twice!"
"Can you hear me, Father Dai? Keep your eyes open!"
"I can't," Hidan moaned, shaking his head. "God's beckoning to me. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, seriously."
"Just breathe, Father Dai! Don't give in!"
"I got stabbed twice, you dumb fuck. It hurts to breathe."
"What'd he call me?"
"Don't mind him. He's got Tourette's."
"Maybe I should give him mouth to mouth?" the bride's mother suggested.
Hidan's eyes flew open.
"Oh, never mind! I'm alive, I'm alive! God's saying it's not my time and I still have things to do and—dammit, bitch, get away from me!"
The medics arrived a few moments later and attempted to stop the bleeding, only to be bewildered when they saw that he was breathing fine despite having his lungs flooded with blood.
"What are you talking about, Father Dai? You simply must go to the hospital!" the bride's father exclaimed, shocked when Hidan sat up and coughed up a lungful of blood, cursing himself hoarse.
"No, I'm good," he said weakly, waving a hand. "Miracle of God, seriously."
"You've lost nearly two liters of blood!"
"It'll come back."
The wedding party stared, appalled as he slowly got to his feet, wiping the blood on his chin with the back of his sleeve.
"Yeah, uh, I don't know who that disgruntled young man was. Best to search for him before he gets far," Hidan said seriously, nodding.
Then he calmly walked down the aisle and out the back door, grabbing a tray of éclairs before striding out of the building in his blood-stained robes.
He found Itachi waiting for him near the side of the building where he'd left his clothes. The Uchiha had re-activated his Sharingan and had donned his cloak again.
Hidan paused, took a deep breath, and swore at him with an unbroken string of profanity so vulgar it made the Uchiha flinch.
"Do you have any idea how much that fucking hurt?" Hidan demanded after his tirade, ripping off his bloodstained robe to gesture to the two stab wounds. "Fucking asshole, you're ten times worse than Kakuzu!"
"I would think you'd question me first about the groom's whereabouts," Itachi said blankly. "But that's clearly too much to expect from you."
"What's that supposed to—"
"I didn't kill him," Itachi said suddenly, looking complacent.
Hidan stared, mouth agape.
"He died himself—run over by a cart when he was crossing through town."
"Are you fucking kidding me?"
"Then all that shit was for nothing? You mean I could have put on a fucking Halloween mask and scared the fat ass into getting run over? That just…you just…ahh fuck!" Hidan shouted, stomping his foot and yanking on his cloak.
Itachi stared at him, looking mildly amused.
"Consider it a learning experience."
"Oh, fuck you, red-eye."
"Stop calling me that."
"Make me, asshole."
Itachi calmly reached down towards the tray Hidan had placed on the floor, picked up an éclair, and before Hidan had time to react, Itachi shoved the entire thing into his gaping mouth.
"You're much more endearing when you're quiet," Itachi said, smirking slightly at a speechless, éclair-muted Hidan, before turning and walking off.
The real Father Dai and the real piano man were found shortly after.
Fujita Izanami refused to acknowledge this and put out a search party for the grievously injured, possibly naked—since they'd discovered his bloodstained robes near the building—silver-haired young man with Tourette's syndrome who'd claimed her heart.
The bride eloped with the milk man.
And everyone lived happily ever after—except the groom. Because he was dead.