Note: Based on the Dead Like Me universe, but takes place in the Naruto-verse. Knowledge of Dead Like Me isn't necessary at all; this fic just borrows the concept of reapers. It's assumed that Hidan eventually died in the ditch(...which, canon-wise, did happen, I think?).
For reference: reapers are the randomly selected souls of the dead forced to stay behind on earth and collect recently deceased souls until they fulfill an unspecified quota. They do not choose who dies, nor do they actually kill the victim, and they receive their assignments on post-it notes through their group leader. They have a physical body with the same needs as the living and have no special powers, aside from quick healing and the ability to go unnoticed during a reaping.
Gravelings: "Gravelings are mischievous gremlin-like creatures that cause the accidents and mishaps that kill people. The living generally cannot see them... Reapers can see and interact with them to some extent... Gravelings do not communicate verbally with Reapers, and talk to each other in a hushed and unintelligible babble."
All other details will be explained throughout the fic.
Fact: death is a bitch.
No, not dying; that had been great—a relief. The unexpected twist, the catch, the fucking punchline of the fucking joke, was that his reward after years of absolute devotion was reaping duty.
It was, no doubt, a punishment for his involvement with a group of atheists and heretics, something only slightly more merciful than spending an eternity trapped in darkness. This purgatory—he could only describe it as that—proved to be a cruel fate to someone who relished causing destruction. He was to lead others to the afterlife, but he could not cause a single death himself. He hadn't performed a sacrifice in decades; the gravelings were careful to keep him in check. Had any of the Akatsuki been still alive, they would have laughed.
His one consolation prize, Hidan decided, was that the fuckers were probably burning in hell.
The crumpled note in his hand indicated that Hidan was precisely three minutes late to his appointment, something that Hidan normally did not give a shit about, except that it was a double death. One of his fellow reapers, Miki, would be there as well, ready to lecture him on 'courtesy'.
Being trapped in one's body after it had died was a traumatic experience(Hidan knew first hand) and it was considered bad form among certain members of his group to purposely wait to reap a soul after its death. Hidan was notorious for the practice of simply loitering around the death site and waiting for a dead body to present itself, rather than reaping the victim before their accident. This, along with several other of Hidan's traits, had made his assignments easy targets of pity.
It had taken Hidan only a minute to discover the corpses after he had broken into the small home, and Miki was nowhere to be found. Hidan rolled his eyes—fucking hypocrite—as he observed the death scene. He noticed a sprinkle of plaster all around the room and stray wires hung from a hole in the ceiling, once attached to the large ceiling fan that now rested harmlessly on the floor in several pieces. Hidan approached the bodies, both lying face down, and lightly touched one of them. A white wisp formed between Hidan's hand and the corpse. Bingo.
"Yo, get up." Hidan nudged the body with his foot. "I don't have all day."
On cue, a soul rose out of the body. It screamed immediately.
Early in his duty as a reaper, Hidan would read his assignments their last rites from the Jashin doctrine before they would depart the mortal world. He quickly learned that this was a wasted effort.
"Dude." This almost made a case for 'courteous reaping'. "Shut up."
Hidan's command seemed to work. The spirit's screams ceased, though its frightened countenance remained, and its glance shifted from its broken body, which was laid a mere two feet away, to the reaper.
"Did you let anyone in earlier?" he asked, ignoring the ghost's gaping head wound. He could sense another spirit wandering somewhere inside the house, but he couldn't sense Miki. "Red curly hair, total bitch face?"
He scowled. "Can't you elaborate?"
"Sh-she shook our hands and just di-disappeared. And—"
"Yeah, yeah, I know. You had your accident." Hidan did not care enough to hear the details of their deaths; Miki disappearing did not bode well and he could feel the other spirit approaching the room. He was not in the mood to deal with the situation—this shouldn't have been his problem.
"What the hell is going on?" said a voice from the doorway.
Hidan turned toward the source of the question and froze, his throat tightening.
At first glance, the ghost looked exactly like him, but as the shock set in, Hidan noticed small discrepancies. The guy looked a lot younger; his hair was neater; there wasn't a single stitch on him. It was wrong.
"... What the fuck? Kakuzu?"