Somehow, it was all nothing but one messed up memory for Hidan. Really, it wasn't as though he couldn't remember what had happened so much as not wanting remember exactly what happened. Much to his dismay, though, Hidan found himself unable to forget said memories. What were they? Well, they had only to do with his jackass of a partner (or so he said), Kakuzu. A one-night stand, one could say. Really, to Hidan, he had just thought of Kakuzu using him to get rid of some stress…namely stress in the lower region. It didn't matter, though. Despite one night's worth of passion, nothing in their relationship had changed. Somehow, Hidan had preferred it as such. He didn't want Kakuzu to view him differently – he didn't want Kakuzu to look at him with disdain…more so than he already did. Of course, he knew that there was some sort of yearning inside him for their relationship to grow to be something more. Of course, growing up as he did and working for the Akatsuki as he did, Hidan had learned quickly that one had to separate wishes from reality because reality didn't fit in with dreams. The two puzzle pieces were from opposite ends of the board.

To Kakuzu, it had all ended horribly – crashing and burning. He hadn't known he harboured such useless and detrimental feelings for that idiotic Jashinist. Though, he had never known the pleasures of sexual intercourse, either. He could imagine someone like Hidan knew long before, though. Something about Hidan's personality and his obvious good looks told him that he had known even before Kakuzu. Something inside him made him ridiculously jealous thinking that someone had been with Hidan before him. Of course, with no evidence, it was mere speculation and would remain mere speculation. He could never ask Hidan, of course. Still, the feelings he had for Hidan were far stronger than a blind, unknowing attraction. It had always nagged him in the back of his mind – he could never stare at Hidan too long or else his face would flush crimson the moment the other turned his head his way; he could never touch Hidan and whenever he did, even accidentally, he would immediately pull away; he could never talk to Hidan if they weren't arguing – in fact, sometimes he appreciated those arguments just so he could hear Hidan's sweet voice. Sure, his voice was hard and rough as it screamed obscenities at him. Though, he couldn't say he minded hearing it. He never minded.

The two were opposite in nearly every way except for one – the enjoyment they found in blood, gore, and their love for one another (unbeknownst the other, of course). Somehow, through a chain of mishaps, they had managed to abruptly end their strictly platonic relationship. Always on missions, they would finish early just to make enough time to stay at a hotel and share something that the other Akatsuki members were sweetly oblivious to. Or, they would find the time to pull the other away at a moment's notice to satisfy their cravings. It had become a solemn and unspoken vow that what they shared – something more than comradery but less than love – would ever come to light to anyone or ever grow to be more. It wasn't so much that what they felt wasn't as strong as love – if anything, what they felt rivaled love itself – but they simply could not risk it. Love wasn't something S-ranked, outcast, criminal shinobi were supposed to feel – not that they were supposed to feel anything, of course – or know of, even. So, silently, they pledged to secrecy and pledged to hide the things they did when the curtains were drawn at night and the moonlight shed little light on their sweating, panting forms. It was a promise they could never break. Even criminals as they were, promises were sacred and to be kept. So, unwittingly, these two fell into a mistaken and unknown love…if they could call it that.

Never love…they could never call it love. Love wasn't something they were to know. So, call it what you may – and dare you call it love – these two fell into an emotional trap that they held affectionately over each other's heads. It was something they cherished and, though unwilling to acknowledge it as love, it was something they would continue to commit to in the silence of the night. To push each other just a little farther…it was their own secret dance.