A/N: TG- Now, let's see how Kakuzu is fairing at the Other-Blue Palace. But first, let's check up with how things with the Other-Jiraiya are doing. Other-Jiraiya?
Other-Jiraiya- (getting the life beat out of him) OH DEAR GOD!!
TG- Thank you Other-Jiraiya. Now onto the story.
Lol to the DBZ: Abridged reference. If you haven't watched it, I suggest that you do before those idiots at WMG decide that it disobeys the copyright rules and blah blah blah blah blah... But, just so no one tries that shit on me...
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Kishimoto-san (although Disney apparently has the rights to some of it) or Neil Gaiman (Go Gaiman!).
After hours upon hours of forcing himself to, Kakuzu had finally gone to sleep. It was peaceful; as peaceful as it could be with the threat of 'eye-replacement'-surgery downstairs. But wait. He wasn't in the other-house anymore. So, it wasn't his problem at all! This thought woke the brunette up with a smile. He threw off the covers, exclaiming, "I'm hom..!!" He looked around. The costumes, the dolls, and the picture of his friends... They were still there in his fancy, decorated room. "Oh dear God..." He gasped. "I'm still here?" He got up from bed and was surprised when the picture of his two friends from Takigakure had started moving again. The smaller figure, it was a girl, called over,
"Now now, Luv. No bother gettin' all annoyed. It'll be a lot better when you get your buttons! I mean, look at us!" Kakuzu turned towards the picture and his eyes widened. The images in the photo now had black button-eyes. Kakuzu growled angrily before grabbing the photo.
"Hold on then! What are you doing, Hoku?!"
"Shut up." Kakuzu replied curtly before, oh-so discreetly, throwing the photo with full force at the window. It broke through the glass and the screams of the two teens in the image could be heard all the way until it crashed into the ground. "I hate false-people." He murmured before he made his way out of the room.
Walking downstairs, Kakuzu noted that it seemed a lot darker than it was earlier. The lights had all been turned off and the building had an eerie glow. "Can't let it phase me if she's getting pissy just because I don't like buttons." He murmured. "Ah, there it is!" He whispered as he saw the door to the Other-Parlor. He hopped over the rest of the stairs and ran over, grabbing the handle. However, when he pulled, the door didn't budge. He tried again but had the same result. He let go and huffed, "Bitch.", looking around for another way in.
It was faint. He probably wouldn't even had heard it if he was still struggling with the door. But there it was. It was a musical note from a piano. Kakuzu frowned and narrowed his eyes. "So... Still playing, huh Other-Jiraiya?" Kakuzu ran to the Other-Jiraiya's office. Upon entering, he saw that the room was in shambles. The remnants of a thick, reddish-black liquid stained the floor, there was shredded paper all over, and the windows were broken, allowing the cool night air to steal in and disturb the mess even further. Kakuzu gave a long whistle. "Seems like I missed one hell of a party." Then, he saw him. Other-Jiraiya was sitting at the piano, listlessly plunking at the keys. Kakuzu frowned and called, "Hey, Asshole!" The brown-haired man didn't respond, but he kept plinking the keys. One...
"Don't ignore me!" Kakuzu seethed, storming over to Other-Jiraiya and grabbing his shoulder. "You're gonna listen here, and your gonna listen damn well! Were the hell is Other-Tsunade?!" No response. "I want to go home, and I want to go now. So, unless you want to lose one of those buttons of yours..."
"My beloved..." Other-Jiraiya began, in an utterly exhausted voice. "Isn't available at the moment. But, she'll be back soon. Just needed..." A few drops of liquid, the same shade as the substance on the floor, flecked onto the beautiful ivory of the piano keys. "A bit of time to herself. Her strength..." He coughed ferociously, splashes of reddish-clack adorning the piano. "Is our strength." Abruptly, the two arms of the piano shot up and covered Jiraiya's mouth before pulling him back to the instrument. "Musn't speak when She's not around." He whispered, going back to his previous task. Kakuzu scoffed,
"She's got your balls in her pocket, huh? Well then, if you won't help me, I'm plenty sure that the Other-Hidan will!"
"I wouldn't count on that..." Other-Jiraiya started.
"And why not?" As soon as Kakuzu uttered those words, Other-Jiraiya turned around. He used both of his hands to pull down at the corners of his mouth which mad his whole face stretch, like melting wax, to the floor. Once he was sure that Kakuzu's sights were on him, and they were, widened with fear. In a warped-voice, Other-Jiraiya continued,
"'Cause he made a loooong face..." At that moment, razor-sharp teeth appeared in the stretched-out mouth. There was also something pink in there too, but Kakuzu couldn't make it out. "And SHHHEEEE didn't like IT!!!" At that moment, a large tongue, much like a toad's shot out of Other-Jiraiya's mouth and latched onto Kakuzu's arm.
"What the hell-- AH!" Kakuzu exclaimed as he was being dragged towards Other-Jiraiya's mouth. "Jiraiya! Let go! Let go, damn it! LET GO!!!" Kakuzu yelled at the top of his lungs. He even tried grabbing at the floor just to have his fingers slip because of the liquid on the floor. "SHIT!" He hissed. He looked around frantically for something, anything to get him out of this situation. To the teen's great dismay, there was nothing. It was when Kakuzu was almost touching the dripping teeth that something clicked in his mind. "This is going to be worse for me than it'll be for you!" He groaned before he sunk his own teeth, hard and deep, into the muscle wrapping his arm.
"AAAGGGHHH!!!!" Other-Jiraiya howled in pain. He immediately recoiled his tongue and backed up. He actually slammed into the piano, breaking the instrument. Kakuzu spat out the saliva-mixture that he had in his mouth and rubbed his arm, glad to be free, but he looked at Other-Jiraiya. The elder man was whining, deep in his throat, and clutching his mouth. Even if they were made of some sort of ceramic, the brunette teen could see that the man was in pain. Not just from the bite, either. He cautiously walked over until there was a safe distance between the two. Kakuzu asked,
"Other-Jiraiya... Why did you do this?" Other-Jiraiya simply hung his head. After a moment, Kakuzu just shook his head and began to walk away. However, a weak voice said,
"Kid..." Kakuzu turned around to see Other-Jiraiya looking up at him, truly looking up at him.
"... You've got to get out of here, kid. Really, I don't want to see another..." The hands from the piano-wreckage jutted up and wrapped themselves around the man's mouth and slammed him into the floor. If anything, Kakuzu took that as the sign to get out of the room, the house in general.
Once outside, Kakuzu looked around. This outside seemed just like the outside at home. So, he rationalized that it was regular outside of the house and, if he went far enough, he would find help. So he began walking. After a few minutes, he was in the forest of trees (these were actually living, not like the ones back home) around the house. "I think that I'm doing pretty well. Now, to find that..."
Kakuzu looked to the side and saw Feline keeping stride right by him. She asked, in that southern-belle accent of hers, "Honey, what do you think that you're doing? The Other-Jiraiya told you to get out of here!" Kakuzu shook his head,
"What do you think I'm trying to do?!" He hissed. "Stupid cat..." He whispered, receiving a hiss. It was then that he actually looked at his surroundings. The trees were getting smaller and thinner until they actually disappeared. The whole area was white, like a blank piece of paper. "What the..? What's going on?!" He gasped, turning around. "Where's the well?!" Feline answered,
"Nothin' out here, Honey. It's the blank part of this world." Truer words had never been spoken as the two were walking in what seemed to be a void of nothingness. "She only made.. What She knew would impress you, Honey." Kakuzu groaned loudly, the dismay rich in his voice,
"But why me?! What does she want?!" Feline shrugged her shoulders,
"Mm-m-mm (I don't know). Maybe she just wants a play-thing. You are interesting, Honey, I bet that She would just have the most wondrous time taking out those stitches. One.. by... one. Delighting in your screams of agony." Kakuzu raised a feared eyebrow. "Or maybe, She just wants something to love, I think. Something that isn't her. But you know, Honey," She grinned up at the brunette, "There is such a thing as lovin' someone... To death." Kakuzu shuddered even more at the second possibility, although it seemed to be the best of the poison cabinet, so to speak. "Or, She would just love something to eat!" Kakuzu gulped.
"T-that's c-c-crazy! Mother's don't eat their kids..." He looked down, "Do they?" Feline sighed,
"Some animals in the Animal-Kingdom do.(1)" She smiled again, "It's all a matter of the situation... And the flavor. Tell me, how do you think that you taste, Honey?" She trailed off in cackling laughter. Kakuzu growled, as realization clicked in his mind,
"You've been mocking the entire time, haven't you?" Feline just shook her head, not answering the teen. However, Kakuzu soon found something else to talk about. As they kept walking, like a mist, the form of the Other-Blue Palace reformed in front of them, the rest of the scenery following. "What in the world? This isn't possible!" Feline mused,
"Walk around the world."
"Small fucking world." Just then, Feline heard something and darted over to a nearby bush. Soon, Kakuzu heard it too. It was a small horn playing a reverie of some sort. He watched on as Feline dragged out a small angelfish with button eyes. "Hey, stop that! That's one of the Dancing-Fish!" Feline ignored the teen and kept on batting the fish around, stopping its noise. She then tossed it up in the air and when it was in reach, snapped her fangs into its fin and back. "Don't do it!"
Kakuzu grimaced at the sound. "Look at it, Honey." Feline said, muffled due to the fish. Kakuzu looked at her and saw what she had wanted him to see. The beautiful angelfish transformed into a hideous beige eel, dripping slime everywhere. "Ugh..."
"Hmph. Although the slime is good for my coat, I don't usually like fish. But this one was sounding an alarm." She readjusted the eel in her mouth and then darted off behind a stump and disappeared, leaving Kakuzu alone.
"Good kitty..." He whispered. Then, he took his attention back to the house. "Now, how am I going to..?" He saw a cylinder full of canes and umbrellas. With a smirk, he chose a green and black cane and stormed inside. He made a beeline for the parlor-door and 'jimmied' the door open. Once open, he looked inside and saw the entrance to the tunnel. He let a small smile grace his features before he took a step in. Suddenly, a large beetle-shaped cabinet crawled in front of the entrance and sat right on down. Kakuzu frowned but then gasped when he saw the parlor was covered in insect-themed furniture that moved like actual bugs. A voice like the sweetest sugar chimed into the room,
"They say that even the proudest hearts can be broken..." A large, caterpillar-shaped couch in the middle of the room turned, revealing Other-Tsunade sitting on it and holding a decorated box. "..With love." Kakuzu shook his head as he walked into the room standing next to the woman on the couch. "But of course, sweets don't hurt." She opened the box and presented it to Kakuzu. He almost retched at the sight of it. "Want some?" The box was filled to the brim with maggots, crawling and writhing all over one another. "The babies of maggots are the best of delicacies..." Other-Tsunade cooed as she got a handful of them and dropped them into her mouth. "Mmm! Because they're so young and tender and sweet!" She squealed in delight as she began to eat them. Kakuzu was already dry-heaving at the time but he brought up his composure and stated,
"I want to go home. With my real my real family, Other-Tsunade!" The black-haired woman frowned as she swallowed. When her mouth was clear, she put her hands on her hips and chastised the young teen,
"Is that any way to speak to your mother?" Kakuzu's frown deepened as he replied, very deep, and very solemn,
"Lady, you need to quit kidding yourself. You're not my mother." The Other-Tsunade's face went flush with silent fury and she breathlessly said,
"Apologize... At once! Kakuzu!" Kakuzu smirked, cold and unfeeling, and replied,
"Make me.", Then mouthed the word, 'Bitch.' Other-Tsunade growled and hissed,
"I will give you to the count of three. One..." Kakuzu sat down, confident in his triumph. What would she possibly do? "Two..." Other-Tsunade's body began to change: It started with the elongation of her body. Then, her skin gained a blackish-tone. Her fingers got longer and her hair grew matted and glossy. It was when the Other-Tsunade's body began to grossly expand and swell that Kakuzu remembered what had occurred with the Other-Jiraiya. "Oh shit…" Kakuzu whispered when the Other-Tsunade, now shaped like a grossly obese slug towered above him.
"THREE! And watch that mouth of yours!" Other-Tsunade roared before she lunged an arm at the teen and grabbed his throat, holding him in the air. She frowned, her now-fat, black lips creasing with the action as she began to walk out of the parlor and into the hall.
"Ah! Hey, let go of me, you fat whore!" Kakuzu yelled as he tried in vain to get free from the slimy, sticky hand that was holding him. The Other-Tsunade finally stopped when she reached the end of the hallway. With a grunt, she swiftly tossed Kakuzu at the wall and he phased through the area. He grunted when he landed on a cold, damp floor in a dark, cramped space. Other-Tsunade pushed her head through the wall and hissed, smirking,
"You may come out when you clean that toilet of a mouth and learn to be a nice, respectable son." She pulled out, making the wall solid again. Kakuzu immediately went to the wall and pounded on it, trying to see if there was a weak spot of some sort. When he obviously couldn't, he walked back a few steps and stated,
"Stupid bitch, and what does she mean 'nice and respectable'? She's the one who just trapped me in a fucking wall!" Suddenly, a cold, deep, almost dead voice from behind him called over.
"Hey kid… would you mind keeping it down?" Another voice, this one feminine but just as dead, added,
"I really don't want to see Her again. Oh no…" It stopped for a moment. "Not again! Why does this keep happening, Oh God!!" It started sobbing. A third voice, this one was another boy but he sounded younger than the first two, exclaimed,
"Wait! He doesn't have buttons!" The voices all gasped in shock. Kakuzu gulped nervously and asked,
"Um… Are you three actually there or am I slowly losing the last remaining piece of my sanity?" When the brunette turned around he saw a broken down bed which was covered in a small puddle of water. After a moment, a blanket lifted up, as if by an unknown force, and appeared to have three masses underneath it. Kakuzu frowned and groaned, "Oh.. It can't get worse than slugzilla out there, right?", before yanking off the cover. Emerald eyes widened. "No…" Almost see-through, gray in tone but their hair, and what should have been their eyes but instead were buttons, still held some color. They were all teenagers, the guy with orange, spiky hair and grey button eyes who wore punker gear from the eighties and the girl with blue hair with and an origami-flower, had dusty-blue button-eyes and wore a Victorian-style dress. They were holding onto a blonde boy with whisker-shaped marks on his face, wearing a private-school uniform and had shiny, yet extremely despaired, sapphire button-eyes. Kakuzu asked, shakily, "Who are you guys?" Although the blonde seemed vaguely familiar. The ghosts floated over to Kakuzu. The first one chuckled sorrowfully,
"You know, it's weird… I don't remember my name…" He glided over behind Kakuzu before he continued. "But I can remember my real mother." Kakuzu asked,
"Why are you all here?" The three ghosts shuddered before unanimously saying,
"Beldam?" Kakuzu asked, confused. Then it dawned on him. "The... The Other-Mother?" The ghosts all nodded. The blonde ghost floated over to Kakuzu's side. He waved a small hand once and a sort of window appeared.
"She spied on our lives..." The window showed the orange-haired guy picking up a doll that looked eerily like him, then it showed the blue-haired girl having tea with a doll that looked like her. "..Through the little doll's eyes..." The window finally showed the blonde happily showing his look-alike doll to a pale-skinned teen with navy-blue hair. The orange-haired ghost continued,
"And she saw that we weren't happy." The blue-haired ghost floated over and around Kakuzu, sighing sadly,
"So she lured us away... With sweets and toys and games to play, just like any real mother..." The blonde ghost added,
"Gave us all that we wanted..."
"But we still wanted more." The orange-haired ghost finished.The blue-haired ghost flew over and through Kakuzu covering her button-eyes as she sobbed,
"So we let her sew in the buttons..." Kakuzu silently watched the window as it showed the Other-Mother (now in the form of a woman with curly red hair and those black button-eyes) eagerly showing a box of rainbow-colored buttons to the blonde. He seemed unsure but one look at the Other-Mother and he smiled, chosing a pair of sapphire-blue buttons. The Other-Mother clapped in joy and called over the Other-Father (now in the form of a man with long, spiky blonde hair with blue button-eyes) who smiled sadly but brought out the needle and thread. The blonde ghsot choked back a sob and the window dissapated. The orange-haired ghost stated,
"She told us that She loved us...", the blonde ghost adding,
"But She locked us in here..." The three ghosts came together and groaned together, painfully,
"And ate up our lives..!", before they all dissapeared. Kakuzu bowed his head; his eyes hurt, as if tears were threatening to arrive, but he tried his best to block them. Inhaling sharply, he turned back to the wall and said,
"She's not going to keep me in here." Then looked to the ground and whispered, "Not if she wants my life. I have to get out of here..." He felt a gossamer touch at his wrsit and whipped around. It was the blonde ghost, holding his hand and looking up at him. Oh, the feeling that gaze would have if the eyes were still there. The blonde ghost spoke,
"Sir? Maybe... If it's not too much trouble, if you find a way out of this, you could find our souls?" Kakuzu gasped, horrified,
"She took those too?!" The blue-haired ghost said,
"Yes... And hidden them just to be cruel..."
"But if you were to find them, we could finally leave this place." The orange-haired ghost finished. "I so miss my family... I just want to see them in the after-life and make peace..." The blue-haired ghost nodded, she wanted to do the same. But then she turned to the blonde. Kakuzu took a closer look too. The blonde ghost was crying.
"Hey, hey. Don't cry kid..." Kakuzu tried his best to console the little ghost, but what could he say? Abruptly, the blonde-ghost looked up and cried,
"Even if you don't..! Could you.. Could you please tell Sasuke that I'm so sorry? Please?" It hit Kakuzu. He held out a hand, as if to cup the crying blonde's face but it went right through. It was like trying to touch smoke.
".. Naruto?" The ghost nodded, still crying. That was it. Kakuzu backed and said, full of determination, "Okay. I will do my hardest to get you guys out of here. I make no promises except that I will try." At that moment, two gloved hands, sticky with more of that reddish-black substance, shot through the wall and pulled Kakuzu out with no more than a yelp of surprise from the brunette. When he was outside, after falling to the floor, Kakuzu looked up and saw a figure covered in a red cloak wielding a giant axe. "Oh shit..!" Kakuzu yelled out before quickly jumping to the side and avoiding the axe as it swung down into the floor. Kakuzu frowned and looked at the figure, who was now running towards him, waving the axe wildly. Kakuz dodged a few more hits, the figure instead shattering a mirror, the hallway table, and a hole into the wall. Kakuzu finally stopped and growled, "I am sick.. And tired of being a victim!!" With that, he rushed the figure with all his strength and slammed him against the ground. The cloaked-figure struggled recklessly, grabbing emptily for the axe, which had fallen to the other side of the hall. "Who are you?" Kakuzu asked, deathly calm. Without a moment's hesitation, he pulled down the hood of the cloak. The sight made his heart break. "Oh, Hidan..." He sighed.
The other albino's face was covered in reddish-black smears, especially around his mouth where someone (we probably can already guess who...) had run a metal-wire through the boy's mouth and cheeks, forcing him into a painful smile. There were furious scrathes around the entry marks of the wire which caused Kakuzu to look down at Other-Hidan's hands. The nails were caked with reddish-black and flecks of a pale, skin-like substance. "Hidan..." Kakuzu shook his head, but conitnued, "If I free you, you can't attack me anymore, got it?" Other-Hidan furiously shook his head up and down, signaling for Kakuzu to get to work. Slowly, and very carefully, he unwound one side of the wire in Other-Hidan's face. When it was straight, he began to pull at the other side of it. He pulled softly until he finally pulled it out of the flesh, dripping with reddish-black. Other-Hidan gasped as he was freed and he rubbed his pained face. "There, that's better, ri..?" Kakuzu was cut off when pale hands covered his mouth. He yelled in fury, even if it was muffled. So, Other-Hidan was going to betray him too? It was when Other-Hidan looked deep into his eyes: The ruby of Other-Hidan's buttons into the emerald of Kakuzu's eyes.
"Shh..." Other-Hidan sounded before getting the two of them up and quickly grabbing Kakuzu before dragging him all the way to the parlor. When they arrived, They both looked at the beetle-shaped cabinet before looking at each other and running over. They pushed it down and it fell with a large resonating boom. From upstairs, the sweet voice of the Other-Mother called down,
"Kakuzu? Honey, is that you?" Kakuzu looked at Other-Hidan and whispered harshly,
"Come on!", before opening the door. The tunnel was now a winding path of old toys and dripping slime.
"Kakuzu?" The Other-Mother called and the tunnel shook. Kakuzu began to crawl inside but he stopped and turned to Other-Hidan. The albino was sitting still by the door, waiting for Kakuzu to go in. The brunette tugged on the albino's arm, whispering,
"You have to come with me! She'll just hurt you even worse after this!" Other-Hidan shut his eyes and shook his head. "Why?!" To answer him, Other-Hidan touched the inside of the tunnel and then recoiled and removed the glove from his hand. Kakuzu gasped as Other-Hidan's hand disintergrated into dust. Kakuzu nodded sadly and began to enter the tunnel. However, he stopped again and asked, "Hidan?" The albino nodded, looking at the staircase to see if anything was coming. "Why were you never able to talk to me?" The albino was still. Then, still quiet, he dropped his cloak down past his shoulders and Kakuzu nearly shut his eyes, but he looked on. From Other-Hidan's chin all the way down to his chest was an angry maze of the most disgustingly festered-over, haphazardly-executed stitches the brunette had ever seen. Kakuzu couldn't help it anymore, the tears fell, free and unretsrained. "I can't leave you like this!" Other-Hidan shook his head again.
"You'd better not be disobeying me again..!" The Other-Mother growled as she slithered down the stairs. The albino looked down and seemed to think for a quick moment. Abruptly, he glanced at Kakuzu before pressing his pale lips into the brunette's tanned ones. Emerald eyes widened for a second before Kakuzu wrapped his arms around Other-Hidan and coerced the albino to open his mouth, deepening the kiss. It was beautiful, even in the face if danger, Kakuzu thought. Other-Hidan shakily brought his hands to Kakuzu's chest and shivered a bit. And, Kakuzu knew it was so wrong, but still, he could taste the reddish-black liquid all over Other-Hidan's mouth: It was so sweet that it made him cry even more. Suddenly, Other-Hidan shoved Kakuzu back into the tunnel and slammed the door. Instictively, Kakuzu wanted to bang on the door and shout for Hidan to open it back up, but as the tunnel began to shake again, he quickly crawled, up and out, until finally...
He made it out of the tunnel and into his own parlor. Free at last, Kakuzu didn't jump for joy. He didn't thank the powers that be or look for anyone. There, in the middle of the night, Kakuzu Hoku sat up against the small parlor-door and cried until he just couldn't anymore. The main word in his lament:
Soundlessly, except the noise of the impact, Other-Hidan slammed against the wall. When he fell to the floor, he coughed up some more reddish-black liquid and glared up at the Other-Mother. For the past hours upon hours, she had been tormenting the small albino: breaking his bones, rupturing organs, and just torturing the small male. He couldn't even get up, so she used one of her large hands to roll him over, relishing in the agonzied hiss that he released. She cooed sarcastically, "You know, you can't protect him." Other-Hidan smirked painfully, as if mocking the Other-Mother. She frowned and, using the same axe that the albino was wielding earlier, cut right on through the albino's right leg. Other-Hidan's mouth opened up in a voiceless yell of pain, arousing a laugh from the Other-Mother. When it was over, Other-Hidan's chest was rising and falling quickly. "Aw... Had enough, dear?" She smiled. Soon, however, she saw that it wasn't quick breathing that she was seeing. She observed the smile on Other-Hidan's reddish-black covered face. The little shit was laughing at her! The mere thought made her brow furrow in rage but then the albino, using his very last bit of strength, turned his head towards her and, still smiling, mouthed the words:
'Do... Your... Worst... Bitch." The Other-Mother roared in sheer fury before pulling up the axe and then slamming it towards the center of Other-Hidan's button-eyes. Right before the impact, Other-Hidan had one last thought.
'Kakuzu... The real Hidan is so lucky to be able to have you. I wish you two all the happiness in the world, but still..." He closed his eyes and smiled contently, 'I wil always have a special place for you in my heart...'
There was a series of wet thuds, then the clanging of the axe to the floor.
There are some animals who do this. Tazmanian devils for one…
TG- Other-Hidan... I'm sorry.
I'm sorry for the length and over-all content in this chapter but if you could find it in your heart to review, dear readers, I would be extremely appreciative. Thank you.