Kakuzu's Birthday Ramblings

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Two hundred and eighty-seven years…that's a long time for anything to be alive in this world.

Sitting here at the table in front of a gigantic birthday cake, with all of the Akatsuki around me, laughing and poking fun at my age…it's all very endearing…but it doesn't feel real.

These people aren't my friends. Hidan is the one I know best, but our relationship is complicated and I know it's mostly because of me.

I wish I could change how I am…but I'm old. Too old to change. I've had plenty of time to do that, and I never did.

I suppose that old cliché is true…

"You can't teach an old dog new tricks."

People wonder what drives me, why I bother living so long. I tell them it's for the money. I have always lusted after it, and that's probably part of my problem.

Hidan asks me constantly why I am so focused on money, and why I cling to the mundane world just to attain more wealth than I'll ever be able to enjoy in a thousand years.

I try to tell him that it's simply because I love it so much, I can't stand the thought of dying and leaving it to some spoiled heir that doesn't deserve it.

But I think it's just something to hold onto. Something that doesn't die, something like me. True, the value of it goes up and down, but it's constant. Money has always been a part of the human world, and so I figured I would be too.

Hidan…it's funny that someone I've only known for a very brief moment in my life has become such a big part of it.

Another cliché that is so true…

"Opposites attract."

He's a devout priest, for starters. No real value in or appreciation of worldly things. He's pushy, loud, arrogant, closed minded, opinionated and I could go on.

However, he's also very inquisitive. That trait can easily grate on your nerves, but in small doses, especially at random moments, it's actually rather flattering.

I've gradually divulged in him all of my private thoughts, even the ones that made him blush.

I don't blush myself, or rather, if I do my dark skin hides it fairly well. That and my mask.

Another thing Hidan gripes about: my mask. I suppose he likes my face, but most people don't. I don't regret what I've done to myself, because I am a ninja at heart, and like all tools of war, I am honed to kill.

But I hide my body. It gives me a trump card. After all, I am rather unique in the ninja world. If I conceal my techniques until I need to call on them, I have a better chance of survival.

And I know a thing or two about survival.

Damn…the cake's already been cut, and everyone is eating their cake and ice cream while I sit here, reflecting. My own piece is left uneaten.

I am a devout dieter, if you could label me such a way. I don't eat sweets if I can help it. I have five hearts to take care of, after all, and though four of them aren't inside my body, they are still connected.

Devout dieter…that makes me laugh. Oh, great…now everyone wants to know what I'm laughing about.

I'll just give them my glare and keep as silent as an Uchiha. Not hard to do, especially if your mouth is sewn shut.

Hidan is eating a second slice of cake…the man gets sick every time he overeats, yet he doesn't learn his lesson.

Hidan…he is so persistent about converting me to Jashinism.

I used to think it was because he's just an annoying twit that way…but lately, I've begun to wonder if maybe he really fears for my soul.

Maybe he doesn't think we'll end up in the same place…when we finally go…

Funny, I think that thought actually scares me a little. Hidan's incessant talks about religion haven't converted me. If anything, I'm more afraid of death than ever.

I don't think that's the message he was trying to convey, but that's what I feel.

I'd rather just live on the planet forever…with him…to hell with the rest of these morons…to hell with this organization…

Just me and Hidan, two corrupt old men, as set in our ways as stone…in this crazy, ever changing world…