Already this week was turning out to be a good one

Already this week was turning out to be a good one. After last night, Deidara was showing Pein the respect he deserved; in the hallway earlier, the blonde had actually acknowledged his presence, and even stepped aside to let him pass. Yes, both actions might seem pretty insignificant to anyone else, but an idol such as himself deserved at least that. So, apparently, Pein's method was an effective one. So, now the question was, who needed the next lesson in respecting one's authority?

As he entered what might be considered the "living room", he found his answer. Well, sort of...

Sprawled over the couch, half dozing while watching TV, was Kakuzu, who was usually well-behaved, always following Pein's orders and getting things accomplished. Sure, he probably complained about some of the missions he was told to do, but who doesn't whine about their job, or their boss, for that matter? So, since the idle shinobi didn't have much of a reason to be punished, it was on to plan B.

Grinning, Pein sauntered past his subordinate, who quickly nodded a greeting while he resumed channel-surfing, and took a seat in the chair directly across from Kakuzu. Pein kept his head turned towards the TV, though his eyes were trained on the other. It was unusual to see Kakuzu being so...well, lazy: half dressed in only a pair of pants and a mask, laying around like a bum with a few empty drink cans on the end table and the remote resting on his chest. Perhaps even the biggest hard-ass has his day.

It took a few minutes, but the staring eventually made Kakuzu noticeably uncomfortable. He shifted nervously, eyes darting from the TV to Pein, and back again, while Pein sat patiently until Kakuzu spoke.

"...Sir?" Oh, how Pein loved that deep voice.

"Mm?"

"Would you mind not staring at me?"

"Does it bother you?" That's it; answer questions with questions.

"I wouldn't have said anything if it didn't."

Pein smirked. "Fair enough. Although, now that I have your attention, I have a little favor to ask you."

"Do you?"

"Mhmm. Turn that off and come over here. I don't want anyone else overhearing."

At first Kakuzu didn't budge. He didn't really want to; it was his day off, he shouldn't have to do much of anything. However, he didn't exactly want to cross Pein, so he flipped off the TV, making a noise resembling both a disapproving grunt and a growl, before deciding to move. Go figure, he had finally made his groove in the couch, and he had to get up. This had better be important...

Kakuzu made his way closer to Pein, more than a little curious about what his Leader needed him to do. Pein usually wasn't one to ask favors of his subordinates. Most of the time, if he needed a "favor", he would take care of the task himself. Kakuzu stopped just a few feet away and folded his arms across his chest. There was something about the look in Pein's eyes that he didn't like...

"Closer," the redhead murmured. As Kakuzu approached, Pein wagged a finger, telling his subordinate to lean down. Really, Pein could just stop being lazy and stand up. Nevertheless, Kakuzu obeyed.

Again Kakuzu's mind became curious about this favor. A mission maybe? Couldn't be. Missions usually meant paperwork. A bounty to collect? No...same category as the missions idea, plus he usually got a bag to carry money in. A simple, everyday task that Pein didn't want to do? Nah, that couldn't be it. There would be no need for all the secrecy. Maybe he and Konan were just out of condoms or something like that.

The pondering left Kakuzu unaware of the hand slowly moving towards his mask. But, the moment Pein's fingers began to pull it down, Kakuzu shied away from the touch. He hated when people touched him, especially his face. Usually he reacted a bit more...violently. Granted, it was an instinctive reaction, and Pein would probably understand as he was a shinobi too, but punching the Akatsuki Leader in the face probably wasn't the best idea in the world.

"Sir, I--" Immediately he was cut off.

"Pein. You can call me by my name for now." Pein slowly slipped the mask lower, revealing the forbidden lower half of Kakuzu's face. Though he didn't show it before, Pein was actually quite startled by Kakuzu's recoil. He hadn't expected someone like him to flinch like that from a mere touch. Kakuzu, from what Pein could tell, was rather powerful, in all aspects of the word; plus, he was much larger than the redhead. If Kakuzu didn't want something, it sure as hell wasn't going to be done, for fear of severe injury. Therefore, it was probably best not to try forcing things upon the man. However, after the initial shock of Pein's touch, Kakuzu calmed a bit. So, in other words, it was probably in Pein's best interests to take things slow. Mental note: with Kakuzu, Pein would make sure he was much gentler than he was with Deidara.

Pein lightly ran his fingertips over the stitching of Kakuzu's cheeks. As gruesome as they appeared, they were incredibly well done. With each move he made, Pein noticed the way those pupil-less green eyes watched so intently, almost as if waiting for him to make a wrong move. One hand on Kakuzu's cheek, the redhead reached out to touch the other's rarely-seen hair, marveling at the softness. Even stranger, Kakuzu seemed to be enjoying all the tender touches he was receiving, as his eyes were closed and he kept leaning his head into Pein's hand.

"Kneel down, Kuzu," Pein murmured. Kakuzu hated that nickname. Konan had started the name, as she claimed it to be cute, which Kakuzu didn't really mind. Hidan picked it up soon after, and he always said it in the most obnoxious way possible; it was no wonder Kakuzu loathed it. However, this time, he seemed okay with it; without a word, he knelt, resting his arms on Pein's legs.

Pein leaned in close to the other's face, making sure their lips were barely centimeters apart. "Who would have thought you'd be so...submissive?"

Kakuzu tensed. "I'm not."

The redhead simply grinned. "Anyway...the favor."

Not a moment later, Kakuzu felt something sliding down his belly. Upon a quick inspection, he found it to be a few bills. Pein was willing to pay for this favor?

Ah, so it was important.

Pein slipped the money into the waistband of Kakuzu's pants, taking his time sliding the hand back towards the other's chest. "Bring your partner here. It's about time the three of us had a little...chat."