This is a weird story. You have been warned. It is written in a weird tense. There are words and lines that are spoken, but not dialogue, and please don't tell me that I need quotations because this is a stylistic thing, thanks. The end contains major mind-fuckery, and Hidan has a potty mouth.

Have fun!

"The difference between a saint and a hypocrite is that one lies for his religion, the other by it."

-Minna Atrim.

When they first meet, Kakuzu calls Hidan a hypocrite.

They hate each other immediately. Kakuzu wants to kill him within five seconds, and actually tries to. Of course, decapitating his new partner only serves to make him bitch louder.

While whining at Kakuzu to sew his head back on, Hidan curses him out with every swear word he knows. This man is a blaspheming sinner, he thinks, and deserves to be offered up to Jashin like the rest of them. He demands to know how Kakuzu lives so godlessly, and Kakuzu responds by saying that he has a god, the god all humans have. His god is money, and shut up you stupid freak or I'll sew your head on crooked.

Hidan snarls, still annoyed at being called a hypocrite, and insists to see how that is so. Kakuzu merely raises an eyebrow and asks what kind of religion allows killing. This is a mistake, he realizes, as Hidan starts enthusiastically describing his theology. Kakuzu instantly grows weary and knows that this will be a long and hard partnership. Abruptly, unable to stand the babbling any longer, he stands up and walks away, Hidan still mid-sentence.

This infuriates the religious man, who screams obscenities and tells his new partner his soul is dark and tainted. At this, Kakuzu laughs. Hidan can feel his rage increasing, and inquires, rather sarcastically, as to what is so funny.

Kakuzu just turns to him and stares, and while his mouth is still covered, his eyes are smiling, because didn't Hidan realize? He didn't have a soul any more.

It, like everything else he once had, has already been sold.

"If it were not for the intellectual snobs who pay, the arts would perish with their starving practitioners – let us thank heaven for hypocrisy."

-Aldous Huxley

After their first mission, Hidan calls Kakuzu a hypocrite.

Hidan has somehow managed to get his entire torso cut off from his legs. Kakuzu of course blames his dreadfully slow attack style. Hidan simply glares and tells him he wouldn't expect a heretic to understand the importance of rituals, and fuck you, asshole, since I didn't see you doing anything useful either.

Kakuzu 'accidentally' lets the needle slip, making it stab into Hidan harshly. The fair-haired man lets out a startled yelp, making Kakuzu grin in a self-satisfied manner. The work of sewing people together is hard and tedious, and he doesn't have the patience to deal with his partner's moaning while he does it. To add insult to injury, he responds the earlier jab at him for being useless in the fight by saying that Hidan couldn't see him do anything useful do to his disadvantageous viewpoint he had at the time, face in the dirt and legs about ten meters to the side. Hidan proceeds to curse out Kakuzu, again, but the ragdoll man pays it no mind, already adjusted to the zealous man's repulsive language.

Somewhere along the lines, Kakuzu hears the word hypocrite, repeated a good few times, and asks Hidan how he figures that, but not before stabbing him again.

Kakuzu hopes he hit an internal organ. Spleen would be nice.

Judging from the shout that comes from his associate, he figures he must've hit something. Hidan swears loudly before taking a few calming breaths and smirking up at Kakuzu. It is at this moment that Kakuzu realizes just how much of a masochist his colleague is, as Hidan proceeds to ask him that if time is money, why is he wasting his time to make his stitches so anally perfect? This a mistake, he realizes, as Kakuzu delves into a lengthy lecture about economy theory, with something about industrial economy and public expenditure and some guy called Wagner, none which make much sense to Hidan. The man is quickly boring him out of his mind, and in a desperate attempt to escape the maddening money talk, Hidan tries to roll his only half-connected body away.

Kakuzu rolls his eyes and latches onto his collaborator's arm, holding him in place despite his loud protests and tells him it's his own fault for asking. In the end, Kakuzu explains, his money-counting has about as much purpose as killing for Hidan's religion, and Hidan smirks at him, with an 'I-know-something-you-don't-know' kind of sneer. Kakuzu dismissively waves his hand, saying that there is nothing Hidan can say that would convince him otherwise.

Hidan just kind of lies there (for what else can he do?), grinning in such a conceited way that Kakuzu wants to undo all the stitching he's just done, because doesn't Kakuzu know? The purpose of his religion is purpose itself. It gives him a justification behind his actions, and something to believe in, which is something every human needs.

After all, according to the law of Jashin, everyone's going to hell, so he may as well enjoy his life to the fullest while he still has it.

"Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The world is full of hypocrites, and Hidan and Kakuzu are beginning to understand that they're the only ones who realize it.

There have been more missions. Many more, in fact. Leader likes to keep his subordinates busy. Except Itachi, that is; he likes to mock Itachi by forbidding him from doing anything at all, but that's a different story entirely.

They meet many people in their journeys. Hidan is introduced to an obnoxiously high number of dealers in the black market, and Kakuzu is forced to greet hundreds of religious figures, both followers of Jashin, and others that Hidan has chosen to chase down and kill because they were on the hit list Leader sent out, and if someone was going to kill important religious figures, then it may as well be him, since he would at least do it respectfully, like they deserve.

But as time continues, they despair to find that the facts they had once taken to be truth are not as so. Kakuzu is disappointed to discover that there are things money, the one thing he had thought of as stable in his life, can't buy. Money cannot buy life, and rarely can it buy freedom. The worth of a human soul is immeasurable, as Hidan has explained to him so many times, but it still seems a pity to him.

Hidan, on the other hand, is horrified to find the fickleness of most priests. He finds that almost all of them are quite ready to denote their religions in exchange for their lives. It is times like these that he sees red, becoming angrier than Kakuzu could ever provoke him to, and with a growl of pure rages stabs his scythe right through his stomach, doubling over from the pain as blood pours from the wound and watching in grim satisfaction as his enemy opposite him mimics the movement before collapsing, eye rolling to the back of the priest's head.

He turns to Kakuzu, now that he has finished his kill, and notices an odd emotion is his partner's eyes. It is something curious, something Hidan has never seen on Kakuzu before, and though he is unable to identify it, it makes his eyes widen and suddenly the pain hurts, and there is nothing good about it. His body is in pain, his mind is in pain, his soul and heart are in pain and he falls to the ground and screams and screams and screams, and Oh, Jashin, make it stop because it's tearing him apart!

Some time, in the middle of one of Hidan's blood-curdling cries, Kakuzu has walked over to him as is stitching his new wound. Hidan doesn't notice until Kakuzu is done, biting the thread with his teeth and tying the end in a knot, before patting Hidan on the head. The immortal pauses in his shouts to look at the waterfall-nin, realizing how hoarse his throat is only now that he has stopped.

Kakuzu tilts his head, looking at Hidan curiously, then walks over to the corpse of the fallen priest, turning back to other missing-nin to thank him for killing his target, allowing him to collect the reward without having to do any of the work. His voice lacks the usual cynical tinge; instead, it is laced with an odd sort of sincerity that sounds false coming from Kakuzu's lips but is undoubtedly true.

Hidan remains where he was left, eyes wide and breath coming out in harsh pants. Kakuzu almost pities him; this is, he thinks, what must happen when someone discovers all they thought to be true is false. With an exasperated sigh, he kicks Hidan in the side and tells him to get up, you useless toad, we still have work to do.

Hidan blinks. His eyes come back into focus, and suddenly, he seems as he was before. It is as though nothing odd has progressed, and Hidan realizes, with no small amount of disdain, that Kakuzu is the one who snapped him out of his terrified trance. It is the way he said 'we' – so tainted from his mouth, so full of sin and evil… and yet, so binding. Hidan is understanding just how deep and everlasting his bond with this person has gone, and that no matter how much he may want to deny it, their souls are forever intertwined.

Slowly, Hidan rises and follows, carefully avoiding the trail of blood left from the body slung over his partner's shoulder in front of him. There is sin in his heart, he takes in, and it is all this man's fault. They were both honest men, he presumes, once upon a time, before they met each other. Together, they have made each other hypocrites.

Hidan snorts bitterly, his steps increasing in girth to catch up with Kakuzu, who refuses to slow down for him. It's too late now – he's already too far in to go back. May as well just follow this man who has already changed him so much. He needs to – otherwise, he won't be able to change him in return, and that just wouldn't be fair.

But where will he follow him to? Wherever, Hidan figures. It doesn't matter, because don't you realize? Whether you keep your soul or sell it, Hell is everyone's final destination, anyway.

Might as well see this world while he still can, and, while he's at it, may as well see it with this hypocritical man.

The end! Your mind still in one piece? -Has completely destroyed this pairing-

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