This is part one of part one! The next two chapters will be introducing the other players and developing the setting a bit more...I LOVE BREAKS FROM SCHOOL! ...and I've no idea how long this will be...

Corolla by green see-through ghosts

WARNING: some bad language from Hidan, but honestly, it's to be expected...

"Why?" Temari grumbled as she shifted viciously into fifth gear, jolting the entire car as she floored the clutch too late, then stomped down heavily on the gas pedal. "It's ridiculous that I have to get finger-printed every-time they switch my position title. You'd think that my employer would have to keep this crap on file!"

"I'm sure there's a good reason for it," Kankuro mumbled without feeling -- without believing -- hardly glancing up from his magazine as his older sister swerved into the left lane of the highway without slowing down.

"There is no good reason for it," she snapped. The car jerked forward, then slowed; then jerked forward, then slowed. Kankuro finally looked up, annoyed, but didn't bother to speak when he saw her anger. When Temari was angry, you didn't tell her that her driving sucked. It was a rule that he had learned long ago, as soon as she got her license at sixteen.

"They switch my title from 'cliental assistant' to 'back-desk teller' and I have to go through this crap all over again," she complained, teal eyes narrowed into slits, annoyance visible in every movement made. "It's ridiculous. I swear, if it happens again, I am going to-"

"-quit this stupid job," Kankuro mouthed with her, magazine held just high enough to shield the predictive action from her view. She glanced over anyways, and, quickly enough that she didn't suspect him, he lowered the magazine and asked, "What time does Gaara need-"

"One-thirty," Temari snapped, swerving back into the right lane to pass a monstrous truck with fishing bumper-stickers plastered on the back window. "So go straight to the psychiatrist's, okay? You know he hates waiting."

"Right," Kankuro said with a conspicuous eye-roll. This time, Temari did notice.

"Listen, Kankuro, it's not my fault that I have to do this stupid back-ground check again. And," as she pulled into the left lane again, "it's not like I make you do this often. I mean, good grief, you never drive for Gaara. I am always picking him up, even when I have dinner to make and tests to study for. And when's the last time I've got to see my friends? You-"

"Chill out, Temari," Kankuro ordered, graciously refraining from making any comments about What friends? "I'm picking him up, okay? You don't have to be so psycho about it."

"I am not being psycho." And she shifted down to fourth, forgetting that it was always a good idea to press the clutch against the floor before doing something like that.

The engine revved loudly; the car jerked violently. Temari gasped, frustrated, as her foot slid off the gas pedal. Kankuro, unprepared for the jerk, cracked his head against the door, before she slammed the clutch and completed the shift.

"You suck at driving," he complained angrily, rubbing his forehead and blinking hard.


Without applying more pressure to the gas pedal, Temari released the clutch.

There was a single moment of dead silence after the gears grinded, the car screamed, and everything came to a jolting halt. Then, as Kankuro started yelling hysterically at nothing in particular and the sound of squealing tires invaded her ear-space, Temari let her chin drop to her chest, thoroughly defeated.

I hate. My life.



Temari lifted her head and turned her terrifying glare on the elderly policeman who'd just spoken. The station was buzzing with constant noise -- ringing phones, arguing voices, slamming doors, and the low drone of the news playing from the TV suspended in the far-left corner. It was draining, distracting, and annoying.

Temari had been putting up with it for the last three hours.


"We've finished filling out your report," the officer said, unfazed by her attitude. From the looks of things, he'd been around too long for much to phase him; his iron-gray hair was buzzed short, and the scars on his face spoke of fist-fights, and lots of them. "You're free to go. Just remember about the hearing three weeks from now."

Temari didn't even try disguising the contemptuous look that crossed her face. This wasn't what she'd come here to do.

"Josh said you needed to be finger-printed, right?" the officer continued, ignoring her unsatisfactory responses.

"Yeah," Temari muttered as she stood up, slinging her purse strap over her shoulder before gathering up the various documents scattered across the work-table -- license, proof of insurance, insurance contact card -- all the things necessary when you were responsible for a three-car collision in the middle of the highway. More like three-car accident, she satirized to herself. After all, her car hadn't even been scratched; it was the truck that had hit the culvert and the minnie-van that had flipped a few times. No one had so much as a scratch, and yet Temari was just waiting for the greasy lawyer with bad hair to walk up, slap a document in her face, and declare, "You've been served."

"Well then, come on," the old police-man ordered. "It's almost closing time."

Ha, she thought grimly. As if there is every really closing time at a police station in this town.

Granted, she hadn't had to spend much time in one since her father had finally croaked. Neither had she had any dealings with the few officers that she recognized; and maybe, since no one took a second glance at her, she'd grown up enough that none of them recognized her. But, just to be on the safe side, she made sure that the tiny fan in the front pocket of her purse was still present.

You never knew when a bit of wind might come in handy. And, in her fan's case, size could be so very deceiving.

Temari stuffed the papers and cards into her bag and followed the man across the crowded floor, wishing that she hadn't run out of Ibuprofen after dealing with that cranky bastard at the bank the day before. The headache she had now made the other look much like a splinter compared to a gunshot wound.

The cop lead her through a swinging door and into an even louder section of the station. Temari winced as noise after noise barraged her aching head -- shrieking babies, conversing mothers, little men shouting in different languages, secretaries trying to be heard over the noise. The moment passed, though, and soon the two of them were moving down a long, brightly lit hallway, passing by wood door after wood door with various plaques in place. Although the silence was virtual bliss, it also made Temari think about just how long she'd sat in the noisy room filling out papers and contacting her insurance company. To take her mind off her frustration, she studied the plaques absentmindedly, noting the names and positions printed beside city-police coat-of-arms.

D. Iwa, Arson Investigator.

S. Nara, Missing Persons Investigator.

P. Fuma, Alias Specialist.

K. Hoshigaki, Coast Guard.

I. Uchiha, Undercover Agent Trainer

K. Hatake, Weapon's Specialist.

And finally, an H something (the door was pushed open too quickly to catch it all) who specialized in...Religious Fanatics and Cult Interpretation?

"Hey, Hidan, can you finger-print this one?" the elderly officer asked as he stepped inside, motioning for Temari to follow.

"Shit, can't you see I'm fucking busy?"

"Nothing that can't wait," the officer said easily, stepping to the side as Temari moved through the doorway to reveal a much younger officer sitting behind a huge metal desk, every inch covered in ink-scrawled papers. Though the sheer amount of work was what caught Temari's eye first, the officer's silver hair and lavender eyes came in a close second. For some reason, the distinctive features seemed almost recognizable; for a moment, Temari wondered where she could have seen this young man.

"What are you fucking saying, my work's not important?"

"Sure," the officer said. "Miss, if you need something, don't come to me." He moved past her, heading for the door, then paused. "Unless, of course, you want to file charges against Hidan. Then I guess I'm as good as the next guy."

"Wha-" Temari started, but the man was already gone, closing the door most of the way behind him, but, she noted, leaving it cracked open.

"What the fuck is wrong with that mother-fucking bastard?" the silver-haired officer growled, slamming his hand palm down against an open book. The resulting boom resounded nastily through Temari's head; she winced once, then again as the man slid his chair back from the desk, the wheels squeaking shrilly. "I am obviously busy, and he just fucking dumps you in here like I've got nothing better to do. Goddamned bastard..."

"..." Where have I seen him before? Temari wondered, taking a closer look at the man as he continued to rant. She was only semi-aware of what he was saying -- fucking stupid job, shitty pay, ridiculous assignments -- until he suddenly looked right at her, his own eyes narrowed into slits.

"What the fuck? Are you going to sit down or not? I've got to finish this paper before we do the damn fingerprints."

Without speaking, Temari jerked forward, much like her car had before dying, and virtually fell into the extra computer chair in front of his desk. Perhaps this was when Hidan noticed how thin of a line her mouth was, how slumped her shoulders were, and how exhaustion shone in her eyes. She set her bag in her lap, stifled a yawn, and glanced around the office.

"Dude, you look fucked up. What the hell have you been doing?"

"Filing accident reports," Temari said blandly.

"Huh. Must have been some fucked up accident."


"Cause you look like it was some sort of ringer you went though."

"Look, not to be rude, but can we get this over with?" Temari said a little testily. Hidan's eyebrows shot up.

"Okay, fine, be a bitch. I'm just trying to make small talk."

Temari wisely kept her mouth closed, otherwise the Religious Fanatics and Cult Interpretation Specialist might have lost few decibels either way on his hearing range.

Silence reigned as the officer turned back to his paper, highlighter flashing across the last few paragraphs before thudding down against the desk. Hidan pushed himself to his feet with a low sigh.

"This way," he muttered distractedly, and Temari got up to follow him out the door and into the hall. He led her a ways further down the hall, then into a dark lab, upon which he promptly flipped the light switch on.

"You ever done this before?" he asked casually as Temari stepped in after him, eyes adjusting to the brightness to see a long, waist-high counter stretching across one side of the room, three separate finger-printing work-stations set up across the length.

"Only about three times," she muttered with vicious sarcasm, dropping her bag on the floor beside the first station before beginning to roll up the sleeves of her knit sweater.

"Three times? Fuck, what have you been in for?" Hidan asked as he circled the counter and dropped down on the stool across from her, pulling a bottle of ink and the stained porcelain pad out to rest on the spotless metal surface.

"Nothing," Temari said, a little too shortly.

"Really," Hidan laughed, slamming the finger-printing cards down on the counter beside the inker. "Say that while looking me in the eye, blondie."

"I have never been in prison," Temari growled. Even though it seems to run in the family. "My job just changes a lot. They don't keep these records on hand."

"Yeah. Of course." He glanced up as he screwed the top off the ink bottle, eyes locked on Temari. "They all say that."

"Whatever," Temari snapped, pulling the information cards away from him without waiting for him to give the instructions -- name, birth date, birth place, mother's name, father's name, social security number, ID form, yatta, yatta. For a moment, they both continued their separate work, Hidan filling out his bit of information on one card while Temari worked on the other. The statistics came from her automatically, filling the card with her neat, all caps handwriting, as Hidan scrawled, paused, thought, scrawled, paused, and thought.

When the time came, they exchanged cards silently, Temari because she couldn't see through her numb self-pity to criticize his illegible scrawl, Hidan because he was bored, and anyways, her scowl was so freaky that he was wondering how best to bring out all that anger at once. Now that might make up for the dullness of his day. His chance came a minute later, when the information was all filled out and he was placing the first card into it's holder, centering the boxes for the fingerprints just under the open space.

"So," he said, glancing up as she leaned forward, elbows on the counter, and let her head drop, eyes closing as if they had a will of their own. "You said this was your fourth time?"

"Yeah," she said, then yawned.

"Then you probably won't need any help?"

And therin lay the trouble, Temari through with another yawn as she lifted her head. With the mood she was in now, she'd rather pull her fingernails out by the teeth than ask for help, or admit to needing it. But there was a reason she so hated getting her finger-prints done, and that was because she sucked at it. Always got too much ink on, couldn't keep her finger steady, turned the wrong way, smudged the print, etc. Anything that a person could do wrong, she consistently did, and it wasn't for lack of trying to improve.

"Whatever," she shrugged, though her mentality dropped another few inches at the prospect of trying to do both cards, both hands each, with no outside help.

"Go for it, then," Hidan said with a wry grin, pushing the inked pad across the counter towards her. Temari stared at the glossy black surface, the ink thin enough that it wouldn't saturate the lines of her fingers but heavy enough to firmly mark the paper. She could almost -- almost -- see her despair reflected back at her.

"Right index first," Hidan prompted, and Temari raised an incredulous eyebrow at her bad luck. Why did all the police have to be so obnoxious, on this day of all?

"Just roll it across..."

She couldn't believe how bad the day had been. Like a nightmare. Like a farce.


It was ridiculous. No, it was beyond ridiculous. It was-

"Uh, Temari?"

Temari shifted her eyes so that they met Hidan's. With his head cocked to one side, bottom lip lowered, eyes a little wide, the odd feeling of deja vu increased. Temari stared for a moment longer, then remembered.

"That's it," she hissed, snapping her fingers as the deja vu evolved into recognition. "You were the one in that add campaign launched by the city, weren't you?" Good grief, she thought a little degradingly. His face was on over half the busses in the city, and it took you that long?

"'s fucking great to be recognized." Hidan scowled at her for a moment. "Yeah? So what?"

"Just wondering," Temari replied with a shrug and went back to studying the inked pad, hoping that the longer she stared, the more he'd realize that she needed help without having to ask. It didn't take long, though, for Temari to notice that it seemed as if he had something he desperately wanted to say; the man kept glancing up, then back down, thudding the ink bottle against the counter for a minute, then looking back up.

Finally, she glanced up with him so that their eyes locked, raising an eyebrow.


"Just so you don't think I'm some fucking model or anything, I was forced to do that add thing," he said quickly, unable to keep the defensive tone from his voice. "I'm not into that shit. Stuff will send you to hell without a second thought."


"Just so that you don't think I condone it, or anything," Hidan continued. "I don't."

"Okay," Temari muttered, then went back to staring down the inkpad. "Why?"

"Why what? And are you going to do the finger-prints? I have to get back to work." He was glaring again, the wide-eyed look long since replaced by one of impatience.

"Why will modeling send you to hell?" Temari repeated, glancing up for a short moment. "And seriously, if you want this to go fast, you're going to have to explain better than the last person did."

"Just roll your finger across the pad," Hidan snapped, reaching across the counter and latching his fingers around her wrist without warning. "Like this," he continued, not noticing the startled look that crossed Temari's tired face. He pulled at her hand; thoughtlessly, Temari stepped forward, allowing the officer to spread her fingers out and gently press the index finger against the edge of the pad so that the ink stained from the top joint, up. It was cool on her finger, a chill that quickly made her realize that the lab was, in fact, cold. It wasn't the fact that his fingers were exceptionally warm, she told herself. That had nothing to do with it. After all, when he pulled his hand away, she was still cold.

"Now just roll it-"


The door to the lab, which had been wide open, suddenly, for no apparent reason, slammed shut. Loudly. Temari, who had been attempting to relax her arm in order to complete the contortions necessary to lightly ink the entire first joint of her finger without smearing anything, jumped half a foot, her head shooting up, eyes widening.

" -lightly!" Hidan grabbed her wrist again to slow the out-of-control revolution that threatened to ink the next two inches of her finger as well as the first joint. "You have to be fucking careful," he explained as he lifted her limp hand from the ink pad.

"Didn't you hear tha-"

"Just the wind, blondie. Nothing to go all psycho about."

"That wasn't psycho," Temari said firmly, struggling to keep her arm loose as he carefully rolled her finger across the before-empty white square, leaving behind a rectangular finger-print, the corners splayed out unevenly. And that wasn't the wind, she mentally added. She, Temari Sabaku, knew what was and was not wind better than this odd policeman ever would.

"You had better fucking hope that one turned out," Hidan muttered as he reached for a magnifying glass. Temari bit her lip; there was so much she could have said, and so much she knew she would be sorry if she did say. In this case, silence was best.

"I guess that'll do," Hidan sighed after examining the print for a moment. "Okay, your turn." Temari suppressed a sigh, made sure her sleeve was still up, and drew in all fingers besides the second. In other situations, when it was an elderly woman with poofy white hair and beaded glasses that was helping her, she'd felt bad for the gesture.

Now, she hoped he noticed.

"I saw that," he muttered, and surprisingly enough, it brought a small smile to her face as she gently rolled the finger -- her whole arm with it -- across the pad. But it was no good. Temari had never had very good control over delicate movements, especially not when she'd recently been in a three-car accident and spent hours filling out paperwork and fearing being sued. Half-way through the rotation, Hidan threw up a sigh of disgust at her progress.

"That's pathetic," he stated grimly. "You look like you're afraid of the goddamned ink."

"Well, excuse me if I'm not-"

"Let me do it," he interrupted, sliding of his stool and moving around the counter. He walked to the paper-towel dispenser on the wall, cranked out a few feet, ripped it free, then turned towards her. "You've got to keep your arm loose," he reminded her, handing her the wadded up bunch of paper-towels and motioning for her to wipe the ink from her finger. "And just-"

A shrill noise, sounding suspiciously like a muffled scream, slowed his words, then stopped them completely. "What the fuck?" he asked to no one in particular as Temari rushed towards the door, paper-towels crumpled in her hand. She pushed it open haphazardly and stepped into the hall. Oddly enough, as soon as she was out, the scream died.

Hidan poked his head out a moment later; Temari walked a few feet down the hall, but nothing else happened -- no bodies appeared, no guns shot off, no noises sounded.


"Damn right, that was odd. Can't they keep those goddamned crack heads in the effing lobby?" Hidan complained. "Ridiculous, I swear."

Even more ridiculous was that two minutes later, as they were pressing her right pinkie against the half-black square, the door slammed closed again. Temari jumped, Hidan scolded, and the print was only barely saved. A moment later he jerked her back when she decided to investigate the second scream.

"Seriously, what is it with this station?"

"Nothing is wrong," Hidan said for the third time. "It's an goddamned police station. Things are bound to get ugly some times. Now hold still, and we'll be done with this hand."

Temari held still, and indeed, in a moment, every finger on the right hand was properly stained, and both cards had the right-hand boxes filled in.

"Think you can...?" Hidan trailed off; Temari turned to look back at him to see him staring at her hand, hanging limply from where he was grasping her wrist. "Do you have some sort of disease?" Hidan asked blankly as they both watched said hand tremble slightly for no apparent reason.

"No," Temari snapped as she pulled her hand away. "I'm just tired."

"Sure you're not scared?"


"Whatever. I'm guessing with that trembling, you're unable to print your left hand?" When Temari didn't immediately answer, Hidan reached over and waved his hand in front of her face; she merely pushed it away before walking over to the door.

"What?" Hidan asked. "Leaving? Good."

"Didn't you hear that?" she asked softly, peering out of the glass window with wide eyes.

"No, I didn't. Can we hurry up and finish?"


"I don't want to "shhh," bitch!"

"Would you just shut up for a minute?!" Temari snapped as she shot a glare in his direction. Hidan momentarily quieted, but the sound was gone. What sound?

Something suspiciously like muffled gunshots.

"Has anyone ever told you how annoying you are?" Temari asked as she walked back to the counter and finger-printing kit.

"No, actually, only a few," Hidan replied lightly. "Mostly those fucking photographers during that goddamned photo shoot."

"You never did tell me why you were doing a modeling gig when you think modeling is evil," Temari said absentmindedly as Hidan grabbed her wrist and elbow and they began the slow process of finger printing another hand.

"It was fucking blackmail, that's why," he grumbled. In the police force? "That buffoon Kakuzu said I hadn't brought in enough money for the force. Damn bastard. I have to spend weeks at a desk job because my face is still out there. "

"You're bringing in money by modeling? I thought it was the city council's job to fund you guys," Temari commented.

"Well, technically, it was volunteer, but Kakuzu went and sold separate albums out, like, across the world. Goddamned bastard. Now I never now when someone might recognize me. It's totally fucking not cool."

"Someone would buy those?"

" that supposed to be offending?"

"...Yeah. Sort of."

"Well, yes, some messed-up motherfucker would," Hidan said as he pressed her third finger against the pad, rolled it from tip to tip, then lifted her hand and arm and pressed the edge of the finger to the card. "Though, it's got me as confused as you are," he admitted. "That crap was nasty."

They were silent for a moment.

"So, can I ask a question without getting my head bit off?" Hidan asked, lips curled in sarcasm. Temari debated for a moment, the nodded. "What the fuck kind of accident did you get in?"

" car stalled in the middle of the highway."

"Fucking serious? That's funny."

" Not really."

"Anyone hurt?"

"No." My self-esteem, she added inwardly, but decided to leave it alone.

"Well, you're one lucky bitch. Most people don't come out unscathed."

"You call this unscathed?" Temari deadpanned, unable to trust herself with making any sort of vocal inflections. For all she knew, he'd decided she was complaining, and Temari didn't complain.


"Hey, it could be worse," Hidan shrugged. "You could be way more fucked up than you are now."


"And you could have been tossed in a holding tank for reckless driving," he continued, almost philosophically, as he examined the most recent print.

"...right." Temari, waiting for him to finish the last few prints, massaged her wrist with stained fingers, realizing a moment too late that she was leaving black smudge marks on the smooth skin.

"I mean, anyone that stupid really should have their license rescinded," he finished, setting aside the magnifying glass as he glanced over at her.

"Thanks, Hidan," she sighed, not bothering to tame the glare sent in his direction. "Really."

"Hey," he said defensively. "Truth is truth, Temari. You don't dumb it down depending on the person."

"I know," she said quickly -- a little too quickly. Hidan's eyebrows shot up; he turned briefly in her direction, then seemed to decided against it. A silence fell, and though Temari didn't want to acknowledge it as awkward, it happened that way.

"So," she said, a little irritably, as he rolled her second to last finger. "Which cult are you a part of?"

If she was any judge of reactions, his was surprised if she ever saw one.

"What makes you think I'm part of a cult?" he snapped, eyes narrowing.

"I dunno, just-" He jerked her arm harder than usual as he moved towards the finger-print card, and Temari stumbled after him. "It was just a question!" she exclaimed, annoyed. "You don't have to get so offended."

"I'm not offended, bitch! Just don't bring it up in the station, okay?"

"...okay?" Temari sighed, and her tone said everything that she didn't trust herself to vocalize.

"Listen," Hidan muttered after a long moment, when they were moving on to the last finger. "I'm not allowed to talk about my religion at work. Trust me, I'd love to, but I can't -- not for a while, at least."

"Is it some sort of county law?" Temari asked, trying to pretend that she was really interested. "They don't want you guys to be sued?"

"...ssssomething like that," Hidan said, a short smile lighting up his face. Temari glanced away hurriedly, because it wasn't exactly a nice sort of smile. It was...rather like the sort of smile she'd picture on the face of a homicidal...cannibal, to be perfectly frank. threw her off. More so than she'd been before. So much so that when Hidan held the ink-remover towards her, she stared at it for a full five seconds before realizing what it was.

As she washed her hands at the sink in the back of the lab, scrubbing at the ink under her fingernails with a soppy paper-towel, Hidan wiped off the ink-sheet and began putting the box back together. They were silent, but, at least on Temari's part, it wasn't the sort of comfortable silence that dropped on friends; more so the quiet on the cat's part before he pounces on the unaware mouse.

Well, Temari was no mouse, unaware or not. And as she dried her hands on yet another paper-towel, she swore that she'd make it through the next ten minutes till she got to her car no matter what they threw at her.

Oh, the resolve of the oblivious citizen.

They hadn't made it four feet down the silent hall-way when Hidan turned towards her, face a nightmarish mask of...annoyance. Major annoyance.

"Look, it's not my style to be quiet if someone asks me about my religion," he stated. "It makes me fucking angry, really. So, I dunno what your schedule is, but if you've got any free blocks, or whatever..."


"I just hate not telling people about the truth," he said vehemently, and Temari believed him. But it just so happened to be that a moment after he finished speaking, telling the truth became second priority as the building began falling apart.


It was almost like the scenes in war movies when they zoom in on the people hiding in the bomb shelters, as long as you replacing screaming children for a cursing Hidan and soothing mothers for a stunned Temari. It was unbelievable, and yet the building was shaking around them, the walls vibrating so hard that paint flaked off into the air, the lights flickering as if electricity was either surging or dropping, the floor cracking, like some huge hammer blow sent chasms through the carpet-covered cement.

And it wasn't just random spazations. It was a low roar, spreading through the air so quickly, but subtly, that it took a moment to recognize it.

"What the fucking hell!?"

"Earthquake?" Temari suggested, surprised at her own complacency as she moved them away from the nearest over-head light, which looked suspiciously like dropping its cover on their heads.

"I told them not today! What the goddamned hell are those bastards fucking thinking?" He looked enraged, but what Temari noticed the most was the fact that he wasn't moving.

"Hidan, should we-" she began, but he simply plowed on.

"-they are such losers! Goddamn it, they were going to fucking blow it with me inside!"

"I think-"

"Those (curses and complaints and insults)-"

"Hidan, we need to get out!"

He stopped at her shout, then glanced at her as if only just realizing she was still there. A light seemed to dawn just behind his eyes.

"Oh yeah. You could die, couldn't you?"

Temari just stared at him.

"Well, get fucking moving, then."

"Where's the closest exit?"

"Damned if I know."

What kind of person, Temari mourned as she spun around, deciding, in her frustration and confusion and, yes, terror, to ignore him, what kind of person is this casual when the building is falling in on his head?

"There's an exit down this hall," Hidan called after her. "Can you find it?"

The building gave another shake, sending a light fixture crashing down just in front of Temari.

"Probably," she shouted back, dodging backwards as shards of glass shot out from the demolished light. It was getting dark, and fast, as the lights succumbed to the violent tremors. "Why are you just standing there?" she yelled over her shoulder as she skirted the mess. "You're going to get killed!"

"Keep saying that, Temari, if it makes you feel any better." Nevertheless, he followed her down the hall, caught her elbow when another round of shaking caught up, and thrust her outside in front of him when they reached the door.

"You so owe me at least fifteen minutes for this!" he shouted as a much louder rumble rocked through the building behind them. That was when Temari could no longer deny that the sounds were explosions; that the shaking was from a blast; that really, it wasn't just an earthquake.

"Fifteen minutes for what?" she snapped, ducking instinctively as the building shook in the roar.

"Conversion!" he shouted back as they reached the edge of the back parking-lot.


"Bastards!" he half-screamed, and Temari turned with him to face the building.

It blew.

"I go through all that goddamned modeling to get them the funds, and they fucking set off the bombs with me inside? Those damn bastards! I didn't even get to see the main show!"

Temari watched, speechless, as chunks of what looked like flaming roofing thudded to the pavement, sending out spurts of fire to match the grimacing crash. The left-over walls of the police station were beginning to fall outward, revealing flames and rubble inside.

"This is so fucking unfair!"

The metal door they'd just gone through was resting near them, twisted grotesquely enough that it resembled more of a modern art project than a standard facility door. Temari stared at it.

"All this damn planning, and they just…argh!"

Without another word, Temari slung her bag tighter over her shoulder and began to run, following the general curve of the parking lot that would lead her to the main entrance.

"Hey! Where the fuck are you going?" Hidan shouted when he noticed her departure.

"There could still be people inside!" she yelled back, a sudden, intense drive overpowering her shock and confusion.

"Oh," Hidan said, staring after her for a blank moment before following. "I don't think you need to worry about anything, Blondie, but how cute."

Temari hardly heard him; she has just rounded the corner of the parking lot and stopped, incredulity obvious in her expression. A huge crowd was moving steadily further form the burning building, police officers and waiting-room occupiers and handcuffed prisoners looking amazed at their good luck. A few officers stood at random in the crowd, attempting to direct the flow, but from a distance, it looked as if they were failing miserably. Nonetheless, the density of the group caused a rush of release in Temari's heart, for there was simply no way that there had been more people than this inside the station.

"See?" Hidan taunted as he came to a stop beside her. "I told you, we had this planned out."

"…what?" Temari asked, finally understanding the full extent of the accusing and cursing he'd been doing for the past frenzied minutes.

"I said," Hidan repeated, "we had this all planned out. No worries, if they hadn't left me in the fucking dark."

"This…this is a police drill?" she asked, mouth dropping at the prospect. Hidan began to reply, but before he got further than the, "No way in-", a sharp voice rose above the frightened babble of the distant crowd, and a single figure broke free of the throng and began jogging towards them.

"Finally," Hidan whined. "Tobi, what the fuck was that?"

Though she wouldn't voice it, Temari had the exact same question for the black-haired officer who came to a stop in front of them, then bent forward, hands on his knees, panting for air.

"You'd think he just ran a goddamned marathon," Hidan muttered, rolling his eyes to the sky as he waited for the man to recover his breath.

"Tobi is glad you made it out!" the officer exclaimed, and lifted his head to eye the silver-haired investigator with a cheerful grin. It was then that he caught sight of Temari, seemingly for the first time, and a flash of woops crossed his face so quickly that she almost missed it.

"I thought you guys were going to wait!" Hidan continued, his previous anger resurfacing quickly now that there was a culprit to vent it on. "And what the fuck was with not telling me when the bombs were going off? Just because I'm fucking immortal doesn't mean that shit doesn't hurt, you know. And anyways, I could have lost some important body parts!"

"Um, Hidan…"

"Who's decision was it?" Hidan demanded. "Was it Itachi? I'll kill the bastard, I swear-"



With a furtive glance at Temari, Tobi shook his head, just a tiny bit.

"What?" Hidan repeated snappily. "Yeah, she got out too." Sudden understanding dawned in his eyes, and he turned to look at Temari, purple gaze narrowed. "What the fuck…were we trying to kill her?" He tilted his head back at Tobi, eyes questioning.

"Hidan!" the black-haired man exclaimed, eyes widening. "I think we should wait to discuss this!"

"No fucking way!" Hidan growled, furious. "I want answers, now! And if you are going to kill her, I need fifteen minutes!"

Suddenly, it occurred to Temari that now might be a very good time to get moving. It wasn't exactly that she was afraid -- more curious-like -- but even curiosity couldn't compel her to stay and get involved in the mess that this would undoubtedly turn into.

"Look, I'll just leave," she said diplomatically, easing away from both officers. "I need to call my brothers; they'll be worried."

"Whatever," Hidan snapped; he obviously didn't care. With a small sigh of relief, Temari began to turn away.

"Uuuummmm…" Tobi said worriedly. "Tobi's not sure, but…but…he thinks…you're needed for questioning!"

"Why?" Temari and Hidan asked together.

"Because…because Hidan can't testify since he's a police officer!" Tobi said, his words coming out very quickly as if he had hopes they would not recognize the ridiculousness of them if they could not properly hear them. "We need to know what happened to you!? If…if you want to sue!"

"I…don't want to sue," Temari said blankly, glancing over her shoulder with a raised eyebrow.

"Oh." Tobi looked stymied at this, but it only lasted a moment. "Well, you have to come anyways!" he suddenly exclaimed. "It's…mandatory!"

"Look, can it be done some other time?" Temari snapped, turning fully around to glare at the man. In doing so, she caught sight of the fireball to the right again, and paused, words dried up as the huge degree of destruction startled her into silence.

"No," Tobi said after a moment. "It has to be now."

Wordlessly, Temari blinked three times, then ripped her gaze away.

"Whatever. But let me call my brothers first."