A Friendly Wager: Epilogue?

by green see-through ghosts

Warning: strong language...


She was nervous. For the third time in two days, Temari was hands-sweating-nervous, and it was all Hidan's fault.

Church. God, she hadn't been to church sine her mother's funeral. Even though it wasn't Hidan who'd requested the outfit, and she had no idea who had, she wore the knee-length black skirt and the red corduroy jacket. Because she had nothing else, she argued to herself.

She half expected him to be listening to some sort of death metal or hard-core rap when he pulled into her driveway, but the radio was silent; which, while making for an awkward drive, could have been worse.

It wasn't like Hidan was quiet for long anyways.

Mumble, mumble, Temari complained to herself as his lips moved almost silently. He's ridiculous.

Still, it wasn't till halfway through the traditional hymn service that Temari began to relax. And while the sermon was unorthodox -- she'd thought flagellation and self-punishment were a thing of the past, only to be proved wrong -- it was definitely nothing but a sermon. No odd orders or strange behavior around her. Nothing from Hidan, who seemed to be the most devout worshipper there by his reactions during the lecture.

And the oddest thing of all?

She was definitely the most scantily dressed female in the sanctuary.

And here I thought I was being modest.

"So?" Hidan asked as they stood from the pew after the last song, turning towards her with a grin on his face. "How about it?"

"How about what?" she asked warily.

"What do you fucking think?"

"Uh…"

"Not what you expected, hmmm?" Okay, he was definitely smug.

"I didn't say that," she muttered.

"You were expecting some sort of fucking cult, weren't you?" Hidan laughed.

"I'm still not sure that it wasn't."

"Whatever," he said with a roll of his eyes. "Let's go."

Strangely enough, Temari didn't feel like a bird escaping the cage as they left the front entrance of the church. It was a transition, of course, but not a bad one; more like stepping from the box out onto the ice, moving from a rest-stop onto the highway, going from study-hall to physics.

"So, same time next Sunday?" Hidan asked when he'd come to a stop behind her car in the driveway.

"I…maybe."

"Let me guess," Hidan sighed. "Would I have to fucking make another damn bet for you to agree?" He put the car in park and twisted the key in the ignition till the engine silenced. "Hell, when's our next game? If I win-"

"I said maybe," Temari snapped. "No more bets."

"Maybe," Hidan repeated. "Is that the fucking best I'll get from you?"

"For now," she confirmed.

They sat in silence for a long moment; then Hidan glanced over, eyes alit with amusement.

"I'll see you next Sunday, won't I?"

"…yeah. Probably."

"Same time, Blondie."

"Whatever."

--

Two and a half months later…

"Skate, you little wimps! I'm fucking serious! Stop walking, and start skating! You're pathetic! The puck is over there, you damn idiots! Left! LEFT!"

Temari watched with an ashen face and a frozen heart: she'd relegated these poor kids to this?

Then she saw the grins on the faces of the five year olds on the ice-rink, and the way Hidan was fighting a smile, and the way the parents simply shook their heads, amused. With a sigh of relief, she settled back into her bleacher, jamming her hands in the pockets of her hoodie as she watched Hidan's team's first game. The normally boring game was made nearly interesting with the antics performed by Hidan's team; for the first time in her entire life, Temari observed a penalty called on six year old.

In retrospect, she would have made him do ice-rink maintenance, or something where he wouldn't have had the chance to pervert these kids. But it was far too late for that, and sometimes, when Sunday service got a little boring, and Temari remembered the loads of work she needed to do or the extra practice she had that night, she made repeated that inward vow of never betting again.

But then again, Hidan hadn't tried to instigate anything for weeks now. She supposed, in retrospect, that he'd gotten his way. They hadn't lost the game, even if they hadn't won; he'd proved that his offense was decent; and he'd harassed her into relatively steady church-going. She wouldn't quite call him a friend; they annoyed each other too much for use of that term.

As he waved at her from the coaching box at the end of the third period, motioning her down towards the lower level, she wondered vaguely who had been the guilty culprit of the message scrawled on her dresser.

She guessed it had something to do with Hidan's captain, Pein, who'd sent him, of all people, down to harass her, of all people, for information. And maybe Shikamaru, who hadn't been nearly surprised enough when she'd told him about the bet. And maybe, just maybe, Baki, who was just weird enough to allow that last Akatsuki goal to get past him for no reason.

Why?

That's something Temari would never know.

And I guess, she thought as she approached Hidan from across the rink, I'd rather not.


The End. Reviews are wonders...