Title: When the Music Disappeared

By Gothic Dancer

It was the end of Tayuya's last year in high school when it happened.

She just...I couldn't believe what she had done. It was...inhuman. How the hell could she DO that to me?! Was I not worthy of her love in whatever twisted form it was? She was such a...bitch!

I fucking HATED her for it. I hated her from the bottom of my heart.

...Wait a second, I should start at the beginning, shouldn't I?

So let's go back to when this all started. As you know, I've been attending Immortality University, studying religion and planning to major in that field. After giving it a lot of thought, I decided to minor in theater. I was always one for drama anyway.

Tayuya began her third year of high school not long after I had come back to see her for the first time. That night, after performing my ritual and listening to Tayuya play her flute, we headed out for dinner together, which I guess could be considered our first date. I took her to this fucking AMAZING yakiniku place about ten minutes by motorcycle from my apartment, and she loved it. We split the bill, because, after all, I'm a poor college student.

That was how our relationship was though. We never considered male/female roles or anything. If one of us could do something and the other couldn't, it didn't matter what the task was. Tayuya just so happened to be good at cooking and cleaning because she had lived with those six asshole brothers of hers.

...Oh, excuse me. I take that back.

Her FIVE asshole brothers.

Getting a little off-topic, I fucking miss Kimimaro. We both do. Not a day goes by where I don't think about him. I didn't know him for very long. When I did see him, it was all about picking up after Tayuya's messes. Still, he was such a great guy. He was the type of guy who everyone wanted as his best friend, the type of guy who would help you no matter situation or tasks, the type of guy who would come bail me out of prison if I was ever found guilty of those murders (Thank you, Pein!). Whenever I'm home from school, I spend a lot of time at his grave, especially when Tayuya's not with me. I tell him of my life and how it's going. My grades are decent enough to let me keep my scholarship, and most of my professors like me. I also tell him about Tayuya and everything she does. I don't know much, but I tell him whatever I can.

I know it sounds stupid. I sound like a damn idiot whenever I do that.

Like I fucking care.

Kimimaro is more important than what the rest of society thinks of me talking to a gravestone. Yes, I, the cruel bastard Hidan who finds pleasure in killing kittens, talk to this dead guy, telling him all sorts of funny stories and random things that happen in my life. I'm sure that people would find that uncool, but I really don't give a damn.

And I already explained to Jashin in a ritual that Kimimaro was special. I think he must have understood, because he obviously hasn't come after me or threatened to punish me.

Getting back on-topic, I spent a lot of time in front of Kimimaro's grave when I was with Tayuya, too. We didn't say much when we were together; Tayuya always just held onto me and stared into the name etched on the stone. I felt all the pain and loneliness within her whenever she did that.

However, in a strange and probably very mean way, I'm sort of thankful. If Kimimaro hadn't died, Tayuya never would have come to me. We didn't even need to tell each other we were sorry after the "breaking up" incident. We didn't need damn words. We just sort of...knew.

It's fucking selfish of me, and I hate myself for it.

In a sad, sorry attempt to make up for it, I pray to God for his soul once a day. No, I don't pray to Jashin. Jashin would take Kimimaro down to Hell if I prayed to him for his soul, so there's no way I'm doing that.

And it must be okay, because, well, I'm still alive.

If you're wondering how everyone else is doing, I'm afraid that there's not much to report. Tobi is still in America, studying politics. At one point during the beginning of my second year at Immortality University, I received a single postcard from Washington D.C. It had a picture of the Lincoln Memorial on it, and Tobi hadn't written much on the back. The entire message literally read, "Hidan: I'm having a good time in America; it's a great country. I think I want to move here. I hope that you are well back in Japan. I miss you and everyone else who was once part of the Akatsuki. I hope that, if you're still with Tayuya, that you are happy. Love from America, Tobi."

I wrote to the address written in the top corner of the card, but I never heard anything back.

I asked Deidara once during our summer vacation if he had heard anything. We had decided to go back to Okinawa to visit Kisame, and our routine was pretty much the same as last time: play on the beach all day, party all night, and avoid the art brothers together on the beach whenever possible.

Anyway, Deidara hadn't heard anything either. He told me that, he, too, along with the rest of the ex-Akatsuki members, had all received a single postcard, each one with a different picture on it (When he told me that, it reminded me of when Tobi made those multi-colored cupcakes for us, though I'm not sure why.). Deidara's postcard wasn't much different from mine. It said, "Deidara-sempai: I hope that you are very happy with Sasori no Danna. I am having a good time in America. The Americans really take their politics seriously, so studies have been intense. I'm sure that art school is going well for you. Love from America, Tobi."

That guy confused the shit out of me.

Regardless, Deidara is indeed very happy with Sasori at the art school, but that's sort of obvious. He calls me all the time, telling me about his projects and his love life, neither of which, honestly, I want to hear about. However, he IS one of my best friends, and as long as he's happy, I'm happy...I guess.

I mean, honestly, was the hour-long description of a new sex technique REALLY necessary during what was SUPPOSED to be about what color I thought looked best with Deidara's hair?

...Why THE HELL had he called ME anyway?

...Oh yeah, the hair.

Damn, I get it now.

...Right then, moving on. I'm not even going to go into detail about Itachi. He's totally fine now, learning all about how to deal with his blindness. And let's just say that that includes how he can continue his, uh, "relationship" with his brother.

Jashin, he's so fucked up.

I've barely heard from the rest of the gang. Last I had seen them, Pein and Konan looked pretty happy together, so I guess I can expect a marriage invitation soon. Zetsu was still at the mental health facility, though he was allowed to come down to Okinawa with us, so I guess that he must be feeling better. Kisame is still studying marine biology, and Kakuzu works two jobs along with his studies.

We're really boring.

But enough of that. Let's get to the real story.

I came to see Tayuya at the end of her third year in high school. It was the day before graduation, and the Sound household was hosting a party, celebrating the girl's accomplishment. I met up with the five asshole brothers and Orochimaru, who were all their usual selves. Tayuya's cousins were there, too. She had never told me that she had any other family, so I was in for a bit of a shock when I met the three kids.

Dosu, Zaku, and Kin were triplets and the Sound children's cousins on their father's side of thr family. I tried to ignore them throughout the party the best I could, but it seemed as though they were the ones trying to ignore me.

At one point during the celebration, Kabuto took me aside and told me something I should have expected. "Tayuya hates our cousins," he explained, "and they hate her. They know that you're her boyfriend, so they're avoiding you."

I nodded. "I understand."

After a few hours of stupid games, funny stories, and good food, Kabuto brought the cake into the center of the kitchen and began cutting it, giving a slice to everyone. It wasn't a big, fancy cake, and I assumed that Tayuya had asked for that, because chances were good she wanted to keep a low profile.

When I received my slice, I went straight for the door to sit outside. There, I saw Tayuya. The sun was setting on the horizon before us, casting orange and red lights on the green grass, ready to grow from the long winter months. It was a quiet night, only the crows calling out in the distance. The weather was cool and comfortable.

"Hey," I murmured.

The pink-haired girl looked up. "Hi, fucker," she snapped playfully. I grinned and sat down next to her on the steps.

We ate in silence for a few minutes until Tayuya finally said, "The cake sucks, doesn't it?"

I looked up at her. "I don't think so," I replied. "It's not bad to me. Of course, it's chocolate with white frosting and strawberries on top, which is my favorite, so I like it." I bit down on another piece.

Tayuya snorted. "I'll make you a cake one of these days," she offered. "Best damn cake you'll ever eat."

"So you're a baker, too?"

"I can kick a gourmet chef's ass with my brownies."

I chuckled quietly. "I'll take you up on that offer."

"But it'll have to be soon."

My eyebrows narrowed. "Why?" I asked. "Where are you going for college? Far away?"

"Yeah," she responded, her voice soft and insecure. She took another bite of the cake.

I bit my lip. This wasn't good.

"What are you studying?" I questioned. "Music?"

Tayuya nodded. "I'm going to be a flute major."

My eyes widened. "Schools have specific instrument majors? I didn't know that. I guess a big school could, but I wouldn't know. Immortality University is only average-sized." I glanced at her. "Where are you going?"

Silence.

I kept my eyes on the pink-haired girl; she didn't move. The awkwardness of the moment felt terrible, and it seemed as though we were locked in some sort of alternate dimension where time stood still, even though a lot of time actually passed before Tayuya spoke.

When she did, I wanted to cut my ears off.

"I'm going to France, Hidan," she whispered. "I'm studying the flute in Paris."

I stared at her. What the hell? No, she hadn't just said that...had she?

"You're joking," I insisted. "There's no way in hell that you can be serious." I bit my lip. "Please tell me that you're lying. I don't know if I can live without you here in Japan." I watched in horror as Tayuya shook her head. My right eye twitched. "NO!!" I shouted. "You can't! You can't go that far away! I'll never see you!"

Tayuya put her plate with the finished cake down. "I'm going, Hidan. I'm going to Paris."

I grabbed the collar of her shirt. "NO!!" I screamed, my face turning pink with frustration. "I WON'T LET YOU!! IT WAS YOUR FATHER, WASN'T IT?! HE WAS THE ONE WHO'S MAKING YOU GO!!" I let go of her collar. "That motherfucker..."

"Hidan..."

I looked up and Tayuya suddenly kissed me.

We stayed like that for a few seconds, and when I finally calmed down, Tayuya broke away. She looked at me with those beautiful brown eyes of hers.

"Dad isn't making me do this," she whispered. "I'm choosing to go of my own free will."

My face fell. No...no...Tayuya couldn't do this to me. She meant everything to me. I mean, when I left for college, I knew I was leaving her behind, but I also knew I'd be able to see her during the vacations. Plus, I wasn't too far away, only about two hours by bullet train. I could come home whenever I wanted to.

Tayuya would NEVER be able to come home. She would be stuck in Paris until one of the longer breaks. I didn't know what a European college schedule was like, so there would be no telling if I'd be able see her when she was home. I could still have class during those times!

So I broke down.

I cried on those brightly colored, sunset-washed steps in front of the Sound mansion. Tayuya leaned in and held me, just as I had held her when Kimimaro died. She was returning the favor, and I knew it. Her grip on me was strong yet comforting, and her body was warm with compassion.

"I'm not doing this because I want to leave," she murmured, kissing the tears on my cheek away. "I'm going so I can teach those European idiots how a REAL girl plays the flute." She snuggled up to me. "I'll miss you like fucking hell, but unlike Tobi, I'll write to you all the time."

I didn't know how she knew about Tobi, but I didn't bother asking.

The next day, I went to the graduation ceremony with Orochimaru and his sons. We clapped for Tayuya when she walked down the auditorium passageways and when she was called for her award. She won a scholarship to take with her to France.

Later that day, I waited outside for her on my bike, staring at the second seat, knowing it would be empty for a long time.

"I saw you in the audience."

I looked up and saw her.

"You looked like a total pussy."

I snorted. "Get in the seat, bitch," I hissed, tossing her her helmet. She did as she was told, and we raced down the street to my apartment.

Once we were inside, Tayuya immediately sat down on my bed and opened her backpack. "Are you going to do a ritual?" she asked. "I'll play for you."

I shook my head. "Not right now." I sat down next to her. "I want to spend as much time with you as possible."

"That's something oddly romantic for a moron like you."

I smirked. "I can be romantic when I want to be." Tayuya smiled and kissed me.

"Hidan," she whispered into the kiss, "I want to give you something before I go."

"You're leaving tomorrow, right?" I asked.

Tayuya nodded. "I'm going early to learn about France and learn some of the language." She pulled away and looked at me, her eyes uncharacteristically big and shiny. "I want you to always have a little part of me in case I don't see you. Trust me, I'll miss you like crazy. Hell, I already do." She reached out and touched my face. "You're the only person who has ever made me feel so human. Not even Kimimaro could make me feel this way, and for that, I am eternally grateful." She kissed me again and pulled something from her pocket.

My eyes widened when I saw what it was, and I pulled away. "Tayuya," I breathed, "what are you...?"

"I want you to have my virginity, Hidan," she murmured, tossing me the condom. "I'm sure. You don't have to ask. I'm positive that I want this." She seated herself in my lap. "Please?" she begged. "I want to take a little bit of you with me. I know I sound stupidly sappy right now, but it's what I want."

I wrapped my arms around her and held her close. Damn it, I had wanted her for such a long time.

So on that night, both Tayuya and I lost our virginity. No, we gave it to each other.

When I woke up the next morning, Tayuya was gone. I looked around the room and noticed that all her clothes, school supplies, and other things were gone as well.

She had left me.

I sat up in bed and smoothed my hair back, but it immediately fell back in front of my face. Strangely enough, I wasn't in the mood to gel it. I was feeling ridiculously lazy and depressed, but I guess that people would after waking up to find their partner gone after a night of amazing sex.

I eventually mustered up enough strength to haul my ass out of bed and walk to the bathroom to clean up. I tugged on a pair of boxers and looked at myself in the mirror. I was the same old silver-haired, pale-skinned, pink-eyed, Jashinist Hidan, but there was something different.

I guess that what they say is true. After your first time, you see the world differently.

I splashed some water on my face to wake myself up and trudged into the kitchen, where a box was sitting on the counter. Attached to it was a note that read, "I took a strawberry ice cream bar for the trip. I fucking love you, asshole, and I'll miss you like fucking hell. -Tayuya Sound"

I opened the box. Inside was a chocolate cake with white frosting and strawberries on top. It was homemade.

Jashin, I fucking love her.

It's been almost two years since Tayuya left. I go about my life like I always do. Whenever I'm home, I see her family and go to Kimimaro's grave. Sometimes I bring flowers.

Once I saw Tayuya's cousin Kin standing there, her long, black hair breezing back in the wind. She looked at me when I made it to the tombstone and said, "I hate Tayuya, you know."

I nodded. "Yes, I do know."

Kin bit her lip. "I always hated her...because she was so much prettier than I am." She paused. "She has everything now. She's in the college of her dreams in PARIS of all places, but she still has you." She looked up at me. "I hate her. I'm ridiculously jealous."

I didn't say anything. Kin could torture herself for all I cared.

I never saw Kin or her siblings after that day.

I've been getting letters from Tayuya constantly since she left. She sends me photos and random tourist crap, which I think is her idea of a joke. I write back to her all the time, always wanting to know more about how she's doing. She's sent me things of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and all the other Parisian sites. When she sent me a small statue of Notre Dame, I rented the Disney movie from the library and kept replaying the villain's song, since, after all, it was my favorite. It's too bad that 101 Dalmatians doesn't take place in France.

I miss that girl. I miss her so much, everything about her.

But I know that I'm not alone. Neither of us are. We may not see each other, but we own a little piece of each other. Plus, she'll have to come back to me one day.

Religion and music can't exist without each other.

THE END