Of Sand and Sermons

A/N: Hidan and Temari, my latest obsession XD

Review, and receive a blessing from Hidan!

Temari would have sold her soul for a bath.

She trudged across the sand mechanically, barely registering when her feet sank deeper than they should have. The only thing she was aware of ―painfully― was the rough sand encrusted all over her body. Nothing had escaped the sandstorm, not her hair, not her clothes, not even her underwear. The kunoichi scowled as she touched her hair gingerly. Granted, her hair had always been a little bushy, but now a mess of stiff blonde wires protruded from her head. Moreover, the state of her clothes was best left unsaid. Torn, ripped, bloody… Temari winced as she looked over her ruined clothes, thankful that she had a cloak in her pack that would cover up the worst when she reached the village. The last thing she wanted was to walk into Suna looking like she survived a massacre.

And I just about did, she thought sourly. Gaara should never have underestimated that missing-nin.

The mission had seemed simple enough. One target, Hiroyuki Nakamura, a shinobi who was far below her level but still a formidable foe, had been declared missing-nin after he failed to return to Suna after a botched diplomatic mission. It was a foolish move, though – Gaara was no fool, and had immediately suspected him to be guilty of treason and sent one of the most vicious shinobi in Suna to eliminate him. That decision had not been questioned, considering that Nakamura had been openly hostile towards Gaara from the beginning and had been observed holding private meetings with unnamed shinobi for weeks now. All that had to be done was eliminate him before he could declare his allegiance to another village – track Nakamura down, kill him, burn the body. Gaara had given his sister the mission because his position was still fragile, and there were very few people beside herself, Kankuro and Baki that he could trust.

Temari had taken it because she was bored. She had no problem with being a diplomat, but the lack of exercise was making her cranky.

So, Nakamura had taken refuge across the border, hiring shinobi whom he believed would be enough to protect him until he managed to reach the rival village. She had counted on that, but she had underestimated the quality of those shinobi that he had bought. Ah, in the end it made no difference. They were dead. Nakamura was dead. Mission complete.

But there was still one unresolved issue…

"Damn sand…"

Temari tugged irritably at her shorts. She was chafing now, and she would kill Nakamura and his goons a thousand times over if it meant she could have a bath. Or a good long soak in a hot spring… she sighed at the thought of submerging herself in steaming hot water. No, she would even settle for cold water at this point.

The kunoichi lifted one hand to shade her eyes as she scanned the desert. It would be another three hours before she reached Suna, and her water supply was precious – just enough to drink, not enough to have a decent wash.

If there is a God, now would be a pretty good time to shove some divine intervention my way.

"I need a bath."

Kakuzu stopped walking abruptly at the plaintive whine from behind him. "Hidan," he began with forced calmness, "we're in the middle of a desert."

"I know that, shithead, but there should be an oasis around here somewhere."

"I don't care."

"But this goddamn sand is chafing me!"

"I don't care, Hidan." Kakuzu turned to look at him pointedly. "Maybe you wouldn't have a reason to complain if you bothered to wear a shirt."

The religious man scowled, scratching irritably at his chest. His pale skin was speckled with yellow sand and flushed an angry red, with the skin underneath his rosary being rubbed raw.

"It's your fault," he grumbled. "Designing a cloak that can't even keep out fucking sand."

"There is nothing wrong with my design," Kakuzu said flatly. "You're the one who insists on walking around exposing yourself."

Hidan glared at him. "Listen, asshole–"

The Falls nin just ignored him. He was used to death-threats, Hidan delivered them as often as he did his sermons, which was usually every hour or so. When the other nin realized he was being ignored again, he followed reluctantly, muttering something about "filthy heathens" under his breath and fingering his scythe threateningly.

After a further hour of plodding through sand, however, Hidan snapped.

"You know what? Fuck the sand, and fuck you, Kakuzu! I need a bath and I'm not fucking going anywhere until I get one!"

Kakuzu was not in the mood for any nonsense from his partner. He was too tired to do anything about it. He also wanted a bath (the sand was beginning to irritate his stitches), but did Hidan care that they were still in dangerous territory? No. Did he care that his partner was equally uncomfortable? Of course not. It was always abouthim. They could easily be ambushed in the open desert and it was better to avoid a battle in the state they were in, but Hidan could never think practically, the idiot.

"Hidan," he started menacingly. "I swear that I will hack you to pieces and carry you in a sack if I have to, but you are going back with me to headquarters, bath or not."

Hidan gave him a mulish look and planted himself on the ground. "Seriously, I'm not moving until I get my bath."

His partner sighed. Why did the Jashinist always choose to do this the hard way? If this was one of his weird pain fetishes again, if Hidan was pissing him off on purpose, Kakuzu swore he was going to kill him, immortal or not.

"H-Hey! What the hell are you–son of a bitch, get your hands off me!"

There is a God.

Temari could have cried when she caught sight of a hint of blue shimmering below the rocky outcrop. She almost did cry when she reached it: a secluded pool filled with clear water was hidden in the shade beneath the rocks, not too deep, not too shallow. It was perfect. She could bathe here without disturbance (because seriously, who the heck was going to find her in the middle of the desert?) and be on her way in less than hour, happy, clean, and most importantly, sand-free.

With a happy little sigh, Temari began stripping off her clothes, not even bothering to set any traps around the perimeter. No enemy shinobi were tracking her, and most others avoided the deserts of Suna. No one would be disturbing her anytime soon. No point in try to trap something that wasn't there, it would just be a waste of perfectly good equipment.

She slipped into the gloriously cool water, letting out a noise of contentment as the water slid over her sticky skin. The kunoichi never stopped until she was completely submerged, allowing her hair to float on the surface in a tangle of gold. She sighed underwater, watching the fine stream of bubbles float upwards.

Ah… this is heaven.

"Kakuzu, I swear I'm going to kill you."

"You tell me that everyday, Hidan," his partner responded resignedly

"Yeah, well, this time I'm going to fucking do it!"

"Go ahead. I'm not going to stop you."

"…I can't do anything until you let go of me, you miserable son of a bitch!"

"Not going to happen, Hidan."

"…You're such a bastard, you know that?"

"How could I forget? You take such care to remind me every day."

"You've been a goddamn prick since the day I met you–"

"Hmm." Kakuzu made a vague noise and continued dragging Hidan along behind him. From beneath his cloak, a clump of black thread extended to where they tied the religious man's ankles securely together. Given that Hidan was now swinging his scythe in violent arcs near his head, Kakuzu wondered if he should tie his hands up too, but he settled for just letting the thread out for a further metre. If Hidan tried to hold on to anything along the way, the masked nin would follow up on his threat to put him in a sack, and Hidan knew it.

"–and now you're going to rot in hell for eternity, you piece of shit. Yeah, you'll spend all eternity having pineapples shoved up your ass and eating your own crap. And I'll be watching every second, laughing my ass off because you fucking deserve it, Kakuzu, seriously. Fucking money-whore."

Kakuzu sighed. In some ways trussing Hidan up like a chicken and dragging him back to headquarters was a lot worse than just listening to him bitch and whine. Now he was bitching, whining and struggling. It was tiring, not to mention extremely annoying to have to drag his partner through the sand, but Hidan had given him no choice in the matter.

"And don't come crying to me when Jashin-sama– OW!" Hidan yelped, curling up on his side where Kakuzu had kicked him. "What the hell was that for!"

"I need you to shut up," the other replied sharply.

"Make me, fucker."

The Falls nin took several deep breaths, willing himself to calm down. He couldn't believe what he was about to do, but Hidan's voice was beginning to grate on his nerves and he was on the verge of doing anything to kill the immortal. And Leader-sama would not be pleased if he returned with a supposedly-immortal-but-now-dead partner.

"Hidan, if I find somewhere for you to have a bath, will you shut up?"

"Never mind the damn bath, I'm going to kill you! No, I'll fucking castrate you, gut you with my scythe, and then I'll kill you!"

"Fine." Kakuzu abruptly changed direction and started heading towards the rocky outcrop in the distance. No one could say he hadn't tried.

Hidan turned his head in the direction Kakuzu was going, blinking away the sand flying up from his partner's sandals. "H-hey, where the hell are you going?"


"…Rocks?" he repeated, squinting in confusion before his eyes widened.

"Kakuzu, you son of a whore, put me down!"

Perhaps dragging him over a couple of rocks would improve his attitude. But knowing Hidan, it would make no difference and only serve to make him bitchier. Well, Kakuzu would feel better for doing it, at least.It was enough consolation to watch that silver head bouncing off a sharp rock or two.

"Oh my god, Kakuzu, if you don't put me down right now, I swear I'll–"

Kakuzu heaved a sigh and wondered if cutting off Hidan's head would keep him quiet. He stared wistfully into the distance, imagining how blissful life would be if Hidan would keep his mouth shut. Alas, it was an impossible dream.

"–I always knew you were going to hell, but fuck, now I'm going to make sure you suffer–"

The Falls nin frowned suddenly, kicking Hidan in the head to get his attention.

"Ow! What the fuck–"

"I think I can see water ahead," he said abruptly.

"What, seriously?" the religious man craned his head, searching the landscape eagerly at the promise of water. "Kakuzu, you bastard, untie me so I can see."

"No," he answered complacently. "Not until you learn to behave."

Hidan wriggled impatiently in his bonds, letting a stream of curses fly out of his mouth, and Kakuzu wondered how a man with such angelic features could have such a filthy vocabulary – God must have a sense of humour after all, he thought wryly.

He also wondered if it was possible for Hidan to survive drowning.

"Hidan, if I shoved your head under water and kept it there, would you die?"

The Jashinist said nothing, only letting loose an enraged scream and throwing his scythe at Kakuzu's head. His partner caught the weapon with a sigh.

"I thought as much."

Temari leaned back to stare at the sky, a content smile lingering around her lips. It was amazing what a bit of water could do for her disposition. She lifted her arm lazily, watching the stray drops fall onto the rippling surface of the pool. She was certainly in no mood to leave soon, even to return home. Once she reached Suna, she would have to report to Gaara, write and then file the damn report, clean her clothes, cook dinner…

The kunoichi sighed.

The hell with that, she deserved a little time to relax. At home she had to deal with Gaara and Kankuro, mothering them like crazy and never getting a moment's peace. It was always "Temari, can you do this" or "Temari, what's for dinner" or "Temari, I can't find my socks".

"I deserve a break," she muttered, sinking deeper into the cool water.

And it was so peaceful here, so tranquil… Temari closed her eyes, allowing herself to drift away.

It wasn't as if anyone was around to sneak up on her, anyway.

Kakuzu eyed the rocky outcrop jutting out of the landscape. From his position, he could see a pool fringed with rocks and a lone palm tree. One shelf of rock even protruded out over the pool to provide a shade, making it even more secluded. Isolated, peaceful, perfect. He could dump his partner there and get at least one Hidan-free hour – the masked nin could even start working on his latest budget while he waited.

He glanced back to make sure that the Jashinist, who had been unusually quiet for the last ten minutes, was still conscious.

Hidan glared at him from where he lay flat on his back and gave him the finger.

"Go fuck yourself, Kakuzu," he hissed vehemently. "Go fuck yourself in hell."

Yes, he was definitely still conscious.

The Falls nin shook his head and continued dragging Hidan to the shelf of rock, ignoring the ominous muttering which had started up again.

"Stupid bastard…the hell he gets off treating me like shit… freakin' Leader is gonna hear about this…"

"Empty threats, Hidan, empty threats," his partner returned idly, reaching the lip of the stone shelf. "Now, I promised you a bath, didn't I?"

Hidan squinted up at him. "Huh?"

Kakuzu didn't hesitate. He planted one foot on Hidan's backside and pushed.

Now, Hidan may have been immortal, but he was still subject to the laws of gravity. Once Kakuzu applied enough force to his backside and yanked back his threads, he toppled over the lip of the rock and plummeted into the pool below. He hit the water with a dull smack, shrieking curses as the cold water burned against his heated skin. It wasn't that deep, but Hidan still floundered under the weight of his now waterlogged cloak.

"Goddammit!" he shouted, struggling to get to his feet. But he tripped on the hem of his cloak and lost his balance, toppling backwards. He landed on something soft and cushy with a loud "oof", which he followed with a perfunctory "fuck".

Hidan coughed up a mouthful of water. Okay, this was it. He'd had it, seriously. This time, he wouldn't even going to bother sacrificing Kakuzu to his god; the bastard didn't deserve to be cleansed of his sins, he just deserved to go to hell. Oh yeah, this time he would rip out all five of Kakuzu's hearts, one at a time and slowly so the bastard would really feel it, and then he would―

"Get off me before I kill you."

Hidan froze at the high-pitched voice from behind him. Slowly, he turned around and his eyes widened with shock and horror.

He was sitting on a girl. A blonde, kunai-wielding, wet, naked girl.

Hidan gaped at her. "Shit," he said blankly.

Jashin-sama was going to have his head for this, seriously.

"Are you freaking deaf? Get. Off. Me. Now!"

The silver-haired man, looking very much like a drowned rat, continued to gape at her.

"Shit," he repeated, a note of panic creeping into his voice.

Temari felt a small bubble of hysteria rising in her own throat. "What the hell is your problem?" she demanded in a high-pitched voice again, shoving him off her lap (oh god, he had been sitting on her lap) and pointing her kunai at his chest. "And who are you?"

He scrabbled away from her on his hands and knees, still looking wild-eyed.

"Jashin-sama," he choked out, fingers grasping frantically at the rosary around his neck. "You…heathen flesh… fuck, I am so dead…"

Temari gave him a disturbed look. This guy… was he some kind of religious nutcase? Her fingers tightened around the kunai. He certainly looked unstable. His face kept going pale and then mottled purple, and he was virtually throttling himself with his rosary, it was pulled so tight.

"Hey… are you okay?" she asked cautiously.

His head snapped towards her. "Oh, just fucking peachy," he said sourly. "Bitch."

She blinked. "E-Excuse me?"

No, she must have misheard him.

"Did you just call me a―"

"―bitch?" he finished. "Yeah, because you fucking deserve it, seriously."

Temari just stared.

Hidan scowled at her before standing up, dragging his sodden cloak with him. "I just cleansed myself this morning," he complained, "and now, because of you, I have to fucking do it again. Shit, do you have any idea how many rituals I have to do now because of you?"

She gave him a blank look, but before she could answer, he did it for her.

"No, of course you don't, because you damn heathens don't know shit about religion. Oh my god, you're worse than Kakuzu, and I didn't think there was a bigger blaspheming asswipe than him around."

He narrowed his eyes menacingly at her.

"Wait…" Temari finally found her voice. "What did I do to you?"

Hidan frowned. "Well, gee," he retorted sarcastically. "Could it possibly be that you tainted me with your heathen flesh?"

It was Temari's turn to gape as he practically shrieked the last part.

"What?" she said blankly.

Hidan pursed his lips and didn't reply. He settled for glaring at her indiscriminately while he stripped off his cloak and started on his pants, leaving Temari to stare helplessly while he undressed.

Wait. He was taking off his clothes. As in getting naked.

"H-Hey, stop that! Why are you taking off your clothes? You've got some nerve, lecturing me about "heathen flesh", and you're the one stripping in front of me on purpose!"

"I need to cleanse myself," he informed her matter-of-factly, dumping his cloak in a sodden heap. "So I need to be naked, dumbass."

Temari opened her mouth, but nothing came out.

Insane. This guy was insane, there was no other explanation. She watched with a kind of horrified fascination as he continued to strip. Then, with another thrill, Temari realized that she had forgotten one very important detail: he may have been getting naked, but she was already naked. He could see everything, and had been able to see everything for the past five minutes. A fierce blush spread like wildfire across her face and Temari brought her knees up instantly, clasping her arms tightly around herself.

Hidan noticed her discomfort and rolled his eyes. "Oh my god…" he muttered under his breath. "Listen, blondie, I'm not looking. I'm not even interested, seriously. I'm a priest."

Her blush intensified. "And how do I know that?" she retorted snappishly. "For all I know, you could be a pervert, because you sure as hell don't look like a priest to me."

He gave her a cool look. "Think what you want," he said indifferently. "I'm not interested in the opinions of filthy heathens, only God's."

"Yeah right," she muttered. "You're nuts. You―"

"―need to get out," he interrupted her impatiently.

"Why? Go ahead and do your stupid ritual, I don't care."

"I can't do my ritual with your heathen body fouling up the water."

She raised a brow. "Gee, isn't that a shame. Well, I'm not moving. It's comfortable in here, I can finally relax for the first time in weeks, plus I was here first, jerk."

Hidan gritted his teeth. "It can't wait. I have to cleanse myself first before I can make an offering and ask Jashin for forgiveness. Look, just get out. I'll even let you watch if you keep your mouth shut."

The brow rose even higher. "You'll let me watch your ritual? I feel so privileged."

He grimaced, running one hand through damp silver locks. "Look," he began again, "you have to take some fucking responsibility for this, you know. It's your fault I'm unclean."

Temari gave him a scathing look. "Excuse me if I fail to see how this is my fault."

"You're a heathen," Hidan said bluntly, as if that explained everything. "You have no faith in God."

"You don't know anything about me, moron. You've never even met me before," she pointed out scornfully. "How could you possibly know about my faith?"

The disarming violet eyes bored into hers and she almost flinched. He smirked.

"I make it my business to know, blondie."

Temari was the first to look away. "Yeah, whatever," she muttered. "This isn't about my faith"―or severe lack of―"it's about you being an unreasonable asshole."

"And about you being an unreasonable bitch."

They glared at each other.

"What kind of priest are you, anyway?" she demanded suddenly. "You swear more than most criminals I know, you go around accusing people you just met of being godless heathens… I've never met a priest like you before. It makes me think you're anything but a priest."

He gave her a beguiling grin. "Oh, I'm one of a kind, seriously. And I'm more of a priest than most of those fake fuckers out there."

Temari regarded him thoughtfully. "What's your name?" she asked eventually. This guy was a potential psychopath, he had an unnatural attachment to God, but… he was interesting. God help her, she found him intriguing. Plus, she couldn't confess to being innocent of a little craziness herself. At least he was frank about it.

"Hidan. Yours?"


There was a short pause.

"…well then, Hidan. Tell me about your god."

Hidan brightened instantly. It was rare for people to show an interest in his religion. He lived with the worst bunch of godless heathens on the planet, and he knew they were all going to burn in hell someday, but did they let him save them? No. All it took for salvation was one little stab with his spear, but were they asking to be saved? Of course not. But here was this girl, Temari, actually asking about Jashin. Like she wanted to be saved.

With gleaming eyes, the Jashinist reached into his cloak where he kept his collapsible pike.

"I'll do better than that, blondie. I'll show you."

Some few hundred metres away, Kakuzu looked up from his budget with a frown. An hour had already passed, and he had expected Hidan to come screaming for his blood by now.

Perhaps his partner could drown.

No… however much he wished it, his dysfunctional partner would be very much alive if he bothered to get up and check. Unfortunately, the shade provided by his cloak (propped up by a certain scythe) was proving to be most comfortable, and numbers were far more interesting than a bitchy priest.

And if Hidan was dead… Kakuzu shrugged, picking up his pencil again.

He was going to enjoy every minute of it.

In a few minutes, Kakuzu had lost himself in a blissful plethora of numbers and balances. He scribbled in a pleasant daze, pausing now and then to check a few figures on his pocket calculator. He was just about to balance his income statement when the screams started.

They were coming from the oasis where Hidan was.

Well, of course they are, Kakuzu thought jadedly. I should have known it was only a matter of time.

His ritual was beautiful.

Temari watched spellbound, eyes drinking in every detail as Hidan moved through his rites, captivated by the dulcet tones of his tones of his voice as he prayed. He stood alone in the pool, waist-deep in the clear water. His movements were reminiscent of Tai chi, the rosary clinking gently on his chest and mingling with the sound of his prayers.

Temari, seated by the side of the oasis, had no clue what it was supposed to mean. But it was one of the most exquisite rites she had ever seen. Maybe, she thought reflectively, maybe there is something to this whole religion thing after all.

Hidan stopped, opening his eyes suddenly. He looked over at her and smiled slowly.


"That was–" she paused. No need to tell him just how much she had liked his ritual. "–nice."

He rolled his eyes. "No shit. But I haven't even gotten to the good part yet."

"There's more?"

She cocked her head, looking curious.

"Hell yeah," he replied, stepping out of the pool and reaching for his pants. "Seriously, this will be the most wicked shit you've ever seen, I guarantee it, blondie. I just need to draw the seal…"

Temari watched as he used the pike to draw a series of lines on a flat rock, forming a seal. Her eyes widened when he lay down flat on his back, carefully aligning himself with the lines etched there. The pike was still clutched in his fist.

"Hidan," she said slowly. "What do you need that pike for?"

"Heathens," he muttered under his breath, rolling his eyes at the sky. "I need to make a sacrifice, obviously."

"What do you mean, a sacrifice–AAHHH!"

Kakuzu trudged towards the oasis, listening to the screaming get louder. It was enough that he had to deal with all kinds of nonsense as a member of the Akatsuki, but having Hidan as his partner had opened him up to all kinds of new, infinitely worse troubles.

Really, he was getting too old for this shit.

As he drew closer, the shouting grew more distinct.

"―by offering myself, I get double the blessings, see?"

"Are you crazy? You impaled yourself with a pike!" came the answering female screech. "You just killed yourself, idiot!"

Kakuzu sighed. Oh, how he wished that were true.

"No, really, I do this all the time. Look!"

There was another scream. The Falls nin raised a brow as a half-naked blonde girl came tearing out from behind the rocks, followed by Hidan. His partner was stumbling, pike still embedded deep in his chest, cloak flapping awkwardly behind him in one hand.

"Come back," he wheezed, coughing up a mouthful of blood. "I was just getting to the good part, seriously!"

Temari stared at him, wild-eyed, clutching her fan like a lifesaver. "Why are you still walking around?" she screamed back. "Why are you still alive? You… you're insane!"

"You don't know the half of it," Kakuzu said darkly.

The kunoichi whipped around to see the masked nin staring stoically back at her. But she never screamed, he had to give her credit for that. She just stared.

"That bastard's immortal," Kakuzu continued, jerking his thumb over to Hidan, who was staggering around, dripping blood all over the sand. "He refuses to die. And those rituals? He does them every day, you won't believe how much I spend on carpet cleaner every month. And does he care? Does he ever apologise? No, of course not. He tries to stab me in my sleep with a damn spear at least once a week."

Temari backed away from him quickly. "This has to be a dream," she mumbled. "A dream, yeah, I just need to wake up…"

"Temari, why the hell are you running away?"

Hidan finally stumbled up to them, looking annoyed. "I still need to perform your ritual," he said loudly. "If you're going to become a child of Jashin, I need to cleanse your sins, and trust me, that's a shitload of work. But don't worry, it only hurts for a second, seriously."

Temari didn't think twice. She just ran.

"Wait, I still need to save your soul!" he yelled after her. "Do you really want to burn in hell for eternity? I'm offering you salvation here, blondie!"

"I'd rather burn in hell for eternity if it means staying far away from you!" she screamed over her shoulder.

Hidan stared after her, looking aghast. "See, this is why I hate heathens," he spat, shooting Kakuzu a nasty look. "None of you fuckers wants to be saved. Seriously, I don't even know why I bother offering anymore. I should just let you all rot in hell."

"Yes, you do that," Kakuzu said offhandedly as he watched the blonde kunoichi running off into the distance. "Who was she?"

"Some chick I landed on when you shoved me into that pool," Hidan said indifferently. "And I should fucking kill you for that, Kakuzu – ow, goddammit…" he glared down at the pike, yanking it out with one quick pull. Blood gushed in a fountain onto the sand, and Hidan bundled his cloak into a makeshift bandage, pressing it against the gaping wound (inwardly, Kakuzu mourned the amount of money that would go into dry-cleaning the cloak and resolved to force the Jashinist to wash it by hand).

"Shit, I went to all this trouble for her, and this is how she repays me. Bitch."

"You landed on some girl in the spring," his partner repeated. "You landed on top of a naked girl and you ended up doing a ritual?"

The Jashinist gave him a weird look. "Yeah. What the hell was I supposed to do? I had to cleanse myself after touching her skin. She was a fucking heathen."

Kakuzu looked disgusted. Only Hidan, someone who refused to acknowledge the opposite sex, let alone sex at all, could wind up in an oasis with a hot naked girl and refuse to take advantage of her. Instead of seducing her, Hidan lectured her about his psycho religion and impaled himself on a pike.

"You're hopeless," he grumbled, turning towards the spring. He needed to wash the sand off his body, and Hidan looked in dire need of some water.

Hidan just sneered at him and kept walking, his chest wound still spurting blood over his rosary. "And she thought I was the pervert. You would've jumped her first chance you got. Seriously, you have the morals of a fucking dog, Kakuzu."

Kakuzu just gave him a look.

"Hidan," he said after a moment. "Do you really want to die?"

"What the hell kinda question is that? Of course I want to die. But I'm immortal, you dumb fuck. I can't die."

"Have you tried every method you can think of?" Kakuzu persisted.

"Yeah… I think so. Except blowing myself up, I haven't tried that."

"Did you ever try drowning?"

Hidan gave him a suspicious look. "No, why?"

Kakuzu reached the edge of the oasis. "Oh, no special reason," he remarked candidly. "By the way, Hidan… my earlier offer still stands."


"Let's see if you can survive with your head shoved under the water."

Hidan backed away, clutching his crude bandage tighter. "Kakuzu, you stay the hell away from me – hey, get your heathen hands off me, I just cleansed myself! Seriously, I – ack!"

Kakuzu stared down at the furiously twitching silver head and sat complacently as water was splashed all over him. Hey, at least no one could accuse him of going back on a promise to his partner.

He just hoped he wasn't going to make a habit of it.