There you go, the epilogue. As always, thank you for sanitysleeping on dA for beta-reading!
I'm not really satisfied with the way it turned out, but I can't make myself give a damn anymore. It won't work any other way, the way I see it.
The first time Kakuzu visited Hidan at the hospital, he honestly expected some form of violence, be it verbal or a vase thrown at him.
What he didn't expect was Hidan not doing anything at all. He didn't even look at him; he just laid on his back, right leg in a thick cast, and stared up at the ceiling. His body was mostly covered by his blanket, but Kakuzu knew that underneath it and the pyjamas, there were countless cuts, some burns and large bruises. "So it takes a broken leg, broken ribs, and enough bruises to make you look like Kisame to stop you from running away from me?"
"That and an immense amount of painkillers. They work way better than any of the weed I've ever smoked, seriously."
A part of Kakuzu wanted to smirk, but a different part of him knew that he had to be serious now. "Hidan…"
"You can't throw me out, I work here." He studied Hidan for a moment before trying again. "You don't have to break up with me and leave just to prove a point. I know how you felt after the break up; I felt the same way."
Hidan turned his head to glare at the brunette. "Like I'll fucking believe that."
Kakuzu's eyes narrowed. "Breaking up with you was not easy for me, Hidan. I loved you. Still do."
"Why do you keep saying this crap?!" He tried to throw his hands up in frustration, but had to stop midway, wincing. "If you had loved me, you wouldn't have fucking dumped me! What was it, Kakuzu, huh?! Was I not good enough for you?! Too ugly, too dumb?!"
"You were everything I wanted."
Kakuzu couldn't look at him. The painkillers seemed to be taking their toll on the poor guy; he was a complete mess, and from the way it sounded, Hidan might have been crying.
"You were fucking everything to me, Kakuzu! I loved you so much, I would've – fuck, I would have married you, if that's what you wanted – is that why you didn't want me? You wanted a wife and kids? Fuck, Kakuzu, I would've – I would have married you, I would have learnt to cook and if it was physically possible, I would've had kids for you, and they'd be so fucking ugly but I'd still think they're the most beautiful kids on the planet 'cause they'd be ours…" He choked down a sob. "Fuck, the painkillers are making me say complete bullshit…"
The room was quiet except for Hidan's sniffling as he tried to stop crying and Kakuzu didn't know what to do; it was one of those rare moments when he felt completely and utterly unprepared and helpless.
He had thought about what he would say before he came, of course, but he had expected things to turn out differently. He had expected Hidan's head to be clearer. "Hidan…"
"Shut up! I don't want to hear anything else from you, just get the fuck out!"
"No, you're not!"
Kakuzu carefully approached the other man, eventually sitting down on a chair beside the bed. "Are you willing to listen to me for a while?"
"No! Get out before I call the nurse!"
"Too bad that this is my hospital and they won't dare to throw me out. Now listen to me."
Kakuzu didn't know how he was going to say everything. It had been twenty years – he had kept it all to himself for twenty years. He hadn't told anyone at all; not his friends, not his family, not his (ex) wife. He had chosen to play the role of the villain and to bear it all alone.
It took him a moment to figure out how to start, and in the meantime, Hidan had stopped crying. He was staring at him, eyes half open and cheeks wet. It looked pathetic; Kakuzu had never liked seeing grown men cry.
"Back then… we were at an age where everyone is just trying to figure out who they are, what they want in life. I was no different; before I met you, it was clear to me that I wanted to become a surgeon. That dream did not change while I was with you, but… I eventually realized that I loved you too much. As long as I was with you, I didn't want to go anywhere else. I was… too content, I think. Unknowingly, being with you changed my purpose – before, my purpose was to become a successful surgeon. When I started dating you, my purpose became to be happy with you.
"I knew that as long as I was with you, I wouldn't be able to focus on my studies. A long distance relationship or even spending less time with you was not acceptable for me. Our relationship was too intense – you… you made me find everything unbearable when it didn't involve you. I was a teenager and loving someone so much – I was confused and insecure. I broke up with you because I knew that if I didn't, I wouldn't reach my goal of becoming a great surgeon."
"Load of bullshit." Hidan huffed quietly, looking away. "You're saying you broke up with me to focus on your studies? B-U-L-L shit. You got married, how is that focusing on your studies?"
"Dating Tsubaki can't be compared to dating you. I was fine not seeing her for a few days when I had to study. I loved her, I guess, but not as much as I loved you. And you already know the kids weren't exactly planned – and neither was the marriage."
Kakuzu reached out, putting his hand on top of Hidan's. "Why do you think I didn't send you away immediately, Hidan? I saw through you right from the beginning. The reason I hired you… I guess it was masochism. I thought that if I let you pull through with your plan, you'd be feeling better and could finally let go of me." He smirked, but it was bitter. "But you know me. I selfishly broke up with you, and then I selfishly decided to try to prevent your revenge plan because I wanted to be with you."
It was eerily quiet in the room when he stopped talking; Hidan wasn't crying anymore, but he wasn't saying anything either. Eventually, Kakuzu decided to get up. "You need rest. I'll come back tomorrow and hopefully your head will be clearer then."
He had barely made it out the door when something impacted with his cheek. He held his aching face, glaring at the offender – Tayuya, who looked rather bruised up herself. At least she could walk though.
"You fucking asshole! I told you that if you hurt Hidan –"
"Me?" He narrowed his eyes. "You drove that car, not me."
"That's not what I fucking mean!" Her face looked terrible, as though she was going to start crying any second – but she remained brave, not shedding a tear.
"If you hadn't told him that I knew, none of this would have happened." He studied her face – lips trembling, eyes wet. "You ruined Hidan's happiness, are you aware of that?"
"I ruined his happiness?! Who's the jerk who broke up with him years ago! I know Hidan, probably better than you do, and he deserved to know the fucking truth about you! Hidan would not have wanted to live a lie!"
"Just for your information," he stated calmly, "I didn't intend to break up with him again."
"And if your lie had slipped in any other way? Just imagine that I didn't tell Hidan – one day, your lie would have come out. Do you really think Hidan would have stayed together with you?"
"Yes," Kakuzu replied smoothly. "He's stubborn, like a child, but he's not stupid. Now go back to your room; not only Hidan needs rest."
She glared at him. "You know that you're wrong, Hoku. Why else would you prevent Hidan from talking to me?"
He was quiet for a moment. "I don't really know what to think about you. I'm unable to predict what you do – in a way, you're impulsive like Hidan, but on the other hand, you are more intelligent and a strategist. Were you really just trying to protect your friend or were you trying to make him dependent on you? I couldn't tell."
Her glare had ceased. They were staring at each other now, faces expressionless, until Tayuya finally found the words she needed. "I do miss my best friend, but ultimately, I'm mature enough to let go of him when I know that it's time. It's just that Hidan…"
"…is a brainless idiot who needs someone watching out for him before he gets himself killed."
They stared at each other again sighing simultaneously. "You know," Tayuya said quietly, "maybe that's where we're both wrong."
"Maybe," Kakuzu agreed quietly.
The last person Hidan expected to visit him was Kakuzu's daughter. He was genuinely surprised when she came in, Ryou on one hand and a bouquet of flowers in the other.
"I didn't know which kind of flowers you like," she said before even saying hello and held out the flowers, "so we raided Dad's garden and made it as colourful as possible. Hospitals are so white and boring."
He was too confused to say anything. Wasn't she supposed to hate him? He had told her to. He had hurt her – badly, at that. "Thanks… does your father know that you two are here?"
She shook her head, smiling. "We're actually skipping school to be here." She chuckled. "Reminds you of something, doesn't it?"
"Asuka, why are you here? I was pretty cruel."
She licked her lip, looking down. "That night, I watched you leave. And when I saw you crying and hugging Tayuya I… I couldn't bring myself to hate you when I realised how much you'd been suffering. Once one gets the hang of it, you're pretty easy to see through. I understood."
"Even if you're not friends with Daddy anymore," mumbled Ryou quietly, half-hidden behind Asuka, "we had a lot of fun when you were with us. Can't you please come back and play with us again?"
"A classical drama," Hidan explained as he typed on his laptop – slowly because he was still so sore and his injuries hadn't quite healed yet – "consists of five acts. The first act contains the introduction and implies the root of the conflict. In the second act, the story develops and takes a certain direction. The conflict erupts in the third act – the turning point. The fourth act holds the last hope – the falling plot. The fifth act is called the catastrophe." He looked over his laptop, at Tayuya, who was sitting on a chair at the end of his bed. "That is the classical drama anyway."
"So," she mused, "your book isn't like that. Why are you talking about it now?"
"I'm still on bed rest, so I'm bored all the time. I read quite a few classical dramas in the meantime. You know what's so lame about them?"
She sighed, leaning back in her chair. "The fact that they're old and boring?"
"It's that it's always a higher power that the hero has to face. The conflict is always beyond his power and he cannot solve it. Even though the conflict is solved in the catastrophe, the hero is doomed in the end."
"I don't get what this has to do with us."
Hidan shrugged, shortly followed by a wince, and then carefully closed the laptop resting on his legs. "I just think that it's fucking lame the hero can't ever reach his own happiness, seriously. Who thought that shit up?"
Tayuya remained quiet for a moment, looking at her hands before raising her head slightly to shoot Hidan a glare. "Hey, you."
"Am I supposed to take that as a hint?"
He raised an eyebrow. "A hint to what? You're not making any fucking sense, seriously."
She rolled her eyes, crossing her arms in front of her chest. Even though her words sounded angry, on the inside her heart was pounding nervously. "Because I told you about Hoku. If I hadn't, you'd be engaged now. And I got us in here."
He snorted. "Are you fucking stupid? Happiness can't be built on lies, don't you ever read books?"
Her face twitched in irritation. "I'm serious, dammit!"
"So am I." Hidan turned his head, looking out the window. It was raining, which kind of ruined his mood, but hey – there wasn't always the right weather for a situation. "You know, I felt so fucking guilty for trying to break Kakuzu's heart that I couldn't be around him for a while. We were both lying to each other. It wouldn't have worked out. So yeah – you're forgiven."
She stared at him in surprise before shaking her head, sighing. "You're more mature than I thought."
His mouth twitched in what was a mix between a smile and a frown. "I had a lot of time to think while I was in here. Especially after Kakuzu came here for the first time to talk to me… I realised that I can't go on like this any longer. Grudges, anger, rejection and being hurt – I need to overcome them, otherwise I'll always stand in the way of my own happiness."
"…Getting back with Kakuzu? I don't know yet. It's not that easy."
Tayuya huffed, getting up and walking towards Hidan to knock on his forehead playfully. "Hello, anyone in there? Of course it's that easy! You love the guy, don't you? And he loves you!"
"When the fuck did you get on Kakuzu's side? Ow!"
"I," Tayuya said, forming a cross with her fingers, "am like Switzerland now. Fucking neutral, baby."
When Kakuzu came to check up on him a while later, Hidan was ready to talk to him. And damn it, this time, he would be completely honest and make the right decision, matters such as pride and fear aside.
That's it. For real this time. I have turned off anonymous reviews so I can reply to everyone, just in case that questions come up.
I would like to thank:
Kaz-san, for her continuous support. You're amazing!
Flock-of-doves, for putting up with my whining and supporting me!
Sanitysleeping, my amazing beta!
Ch-ch-cherry Best for taking the time to give me concrit
Moneycar for her very detailed concrit
Gravegonecold for supporting me
And everyone who followed the story from the beginning to the end and enjoyed doing so. Thank you!
Thank you for reading this fic, I hope you liked it because it's my last time writing Kakuzu/Hidan. See you in Hetalia!