Hinata woke slowly, but she did not move right away. Her entire body ached, for some inexplicable reason. She considered this for a moment and then realized that she had fainted while standing on top of a rather narrow stone finger. Judging by her splitting headache, she had fallen from the thing.
Hinata barely contained a groan when she heard Pein speaking from directly above her.
"Fucking hell, Kakuzu. How could you let this happen?" he hissed.
"With all due respect, Leader-sama, I didn't let anything happen. Hidan did this all on his own," Kakuzu answered angrily.
"Why the hell didn't you stop him?"
"He was wishing on a star for Christ's sake! Why would I stop him from wishing on a star? Sure, it's lame, but it doesn't usually produce such negative consequences."
"Well, what do you suggest we do with her?" Pein snapped.
"I don't know… We can't kill her. Besides the fact that she currently has Hidan's immortality and can't die, it would be a waste to simply get rid of him; worse still to leave him in this girl's body to tell the whole world the secrets of the organization."
"We could use her as a replacement."
"Impossible. She'll never have Hidan's talent for killing."
"This is ridiculous. How do you get them back in the right bodies, yeah?" Deidara chimed in.
"Well, I have a theory…"
"By all means, share it," Pein commanded in a low voice.
"She said that she wished that she would become more assertive and confident. So, I came to the conclusion that, perhaps, if she achieves this goal, she'll go back to her original body."
"It is an idea… but what do you suggest we do?"
"Take her under our wing, so to speak. Train her. Help her become more aggressive."
"That seems like an awful waste of precious time, Kakuzu."
"I know. But if we want to get Hidan back, we have no other options."
"And do we want to get Hidan back?"
"…I never thought I'd say this, but I kind of miss him. Yes, I want him back."
For a second, there was silence, then Hinata heard the unmistakable sound of someone being clapped on the shoulder.
"Alright. Let's get Hidan back."
Hidan stared at himself in the mirror and admired how pretty he looked in his dress.
With a surprised shudder, he realized just how un-masculine that thought had been and he fixed a sullen scowl on his face.
It was a quarter to seven and guests would be arriving at anytime.
Hidan has slunk back to Shino and Neji after Naruto had caught up with him with a considerable amount of embarrassment. Neither of them made any comment on his running away, however, for which Hidan could not help but be grateful. Rather, the two simply continued teaching him how to be respectful and demure as if nothing had happened at all.
Now, Hidan was sure that he could be a proper lady. He hadn't actually sworn for at least an hour and he had kept his sneers to a bare minimum. He could do this.
"Hinata-san," sang the voice of one of the maids, "Your guests are arriving."
"Coming," Hidan called back, his stomach jumping with nerves. He turned back to the mirror and smoothed his dress in the front.
"You can do this," he whispered to himself, "You are smart, you are cool, you are sexy." He repeated these words a few times in a sort of mantra and then took a deep breath. "Right, let's party." And with that, he flashed himself a dazzling smile and headed down to greet his guests.
"Congratulations, Hinata-kun!" cried a pink-haired girl, hugging Hidan tightly.
"Thank you," he said warmly, hugging her back after fighting down a shudder of revulsion.
"Yeah, congrats, Hinata," Naruto grinned from behind the girl with pink hair.
"Thank you, Naruto-kun," Hidan replied, forcing a blush to his face with a thought of them time he had tripped and fallen into a pile of dog shit in front of a hot girl.
He clapped her on the shoulder and wandered away with the pink haired girl, whom he referred to as Sakura.
Hidan sighed as they retreated and silently thanked Jashin for the sedatives that Shino had slipped him earlier. If it wasn't for those, he would certainly have been in a state of panic from being surrounded by so many people.
"Nice job," muttered a voice close behind him.
Hidan jumped and spun around.
"Shino! Christ, don't sneak up on me like that," Hidan gasped, clutching his chest.
"Sorry," Shino shrugged, not looking sorry at all.
"It's ok," Hidan sighed, smoothing his dress for the seventeenth time, "What were you saying?"
"Oh, I was just commenting on the fact that you haven't made a single mistake. You're really getting this soft and kind thing down."
"Really? Thank you!" Hidan beamed, before he knew what he was doing. "Ah, I mean…duh," he said gruffly, flushing. He wasn't sure why, but, for some reason, it felt good to be praised by Shino. He felt something for the boy that he hadn't felt in a long time. If he remembered correctly, it was called friendship.
Shino grinned and thrust his hands in his pockets, "Here," he said, scrounging around for a second, "I got you something."
Hidan eyed him with a certain amount of distrust, "What?" he asked warily, concerned that it might be some sort of bug related paraphernalia.
"I got you something too," Neji chimed in as he walked up, "Here," he said, holding out a fist.
Hidan put a hand underneath and Neji let a silver chain drop into his hand. Hidan frowned and brought it closer to his face. It was a slim necklace with the Hyuuga seal hanging delicately from it.
Hidan was touched.
"Thanks," he said, after a long pause. He looked up to see Neji smiling at him and found himself smiling back. "Even if it is retardedly feminine."
Neji shrugged, "I thought you might want to embrace your inner lady," he winked.
Hidan chuckled at this and put the necklace on. It was quite pretty, even though Kakuzu would laugh his ass off if he saw him wearing it.
"Ah, my gift isn't as expensive," Shino muttered, lowering his head.
"So? Give," Hidan said, curious in spite of himself.
With plenty of embarrassment, Shino held out a Konoha forehead protector.
"This was my first one," he mumbled, not looking Hidan in the eye, "I thought you might want it to remind yourself of your time here."
"…Thank you," Hidan whispered, taking it from him, "Thanks a lot. Both of you," he said, looking at the two of them.
They both smiled awkwardly and shrugged as if to say that it was nothing.
This was when a drunken Gai reached around Hidan and felt up his breasts in an entirely inappropriate manner.
"How ya doin'?" he slurred into Hidan's ear.
Before he knew what he was doing, Hidan whipped around and punched Gai straight in the gut while screaming, "Don't touch me, you fucktard!"
In the silence that followed this outburst, Hidan realized his mistake.
"Oh…shit," he muttered.
Hinata opened her eyes and blearily peered around to find Kakuzu standing over her. Pein and Deidara had returned to their posts on the stone hands and were continuing with the sealing.
"You ok?" Kakuzu asked gruffly, helping her sit up.
"Yeah… I think so," Hinata said quietly, putting a hand to her throbbing head, "What's going on?"
"Well," Kakuzu started, glancing up at Pein, "We've decided that we're going to help you. We need to get Hidan back, so we're going to aid you to make that happen."
Hinata swallowed, not sure she wanted to know what their version of help was going to be.
"Oh," she choked out, "Uh, what are you going to do?"
"You're going to spend time training with me and Itachi. We're going to try to make you more aggressive."
Hinata nodded slowly, contemplating the fear building up in my stomach.
"Oh," she said again.
"We won't kill you," Kakuzu continued, "We're just going to teach you to stick up for yourself."
"Think you can handle that?"
"…Yeah." She smiled at him and she could have sworn that he smiled back.
Hidan found that he wasn't afraid of the crowd due to a sort of claustrophobia anymore. Now, he was simply afraid of them because the silence following his outburst was turning decidedly deadly. In his own body, this wouldn't have been a problem, but being unable to do the things he usually could, with the addition of no longer being immortal, put him in a precarious position.
"Uh, I can explain," he said nervously, peering around at the hardening faces.
"By all means, do so," Hinata's father said icily, his eyes narrowed.
Hidan swallowed and looked around the room at the seas of faces showing confusion, fear, and even anger.
"Ok, I know this sounds completely impossible, but I made a wish on a star a couple days back and I got put into this body," he paused to gauge the reaction and was unhappy to note that it was the exact scornful distain that he had expected, "I think she ended up in my body."
"So, you thought you'd just waltz in here and start living as Hyuuga. Wanted to get a tste of the good life?" a woman asked angrily, her face cold.
"No! I didn't want this! I just want to be back in my own body. " Hidan reaplied quickly, throwing up his hands in the universal sign of appeasement.
"Who are you?" someone from the crowd called.
"Ah…," Hidan licked his lips and swallowed again, "It's probably better if I don't say."
"Tell us who you are!" yelled Hinata's father, hands curling into fists and chakra glowing brightly about them.
Hidan cast this a nervous glance and felt his back automatically curve and his pointer fingers come together.
"My name is Hidan," he whispered.
He barely had time to turn and run before the crowd descended upon him.
Hidan was wheezing and had a stitch in his side, but he kept running for fear that if he stopped for even a second the crowd would catch up to him. Truthfully, he was surprised they hadn't, seeing as he wasn't a particularly fast runner in this body.
On and on he went, until, eventually, he collapsed to the ground and lay immobile except for the quick movement of his chest as he tried to suck in enough oxygen. The fact that he was still in Hinata's party dress didn't do much to help him.
After some time, he caught his breath enough to drag his exhausted body under a nearby overhang and hide partially behind a rock. It wasn't lost on him that he was starting to think of the body as his, something that would have disturbed him greatly if he wasn't so goddamn tired.
A cursory check told him he was alone and, unable to keep his eyes open any longer, he sank into a deep sleep.
It seemed that only minutes had passed before he found himself wide-eyed, staring at the rock above him and wondering what had awakened him so suddenly. He remained perfectly silent and listened cautiously, trying to pick up on whatever it was that had awoken him, but he heard nothing more than the chirping of bird s and the gentle hum of a bee flying past. As the time passed, Hidan slowly relaxed, until he once again found himself lightly dozing, the gentle rays of the now risen sun reaching underneath his hideout to softly tickle his face.
He moved his arm to place it under his head and was surprised to find that there was something in his hand. He looked at it and found himself face-to-face with Hinata, the only break being the indent of the leaf symbol pressed into the reflection's cheek. Hidan stared and, before he knew it, found himself curled into a ball, wailing, with Shino's forehead protector held tightly against his chest.
"Kakuzu," he blubbered incoherently through the tears, "I'm sorry," his sobs continued, "And I'm s-sorry for y-you to Hinata," he sniffed, "I'm s-sorry I fucked your life up."
Even through his tears Hidan found himself surprised at himself. He hadn't cried, especially not this hard, since he was five and lost his parents. After that, he had refused to let himself show sorrow and took it upon himself to become as vicious and spiteful as the man who raised him; the man who had killed his family.
"I want my body back!" he howled, throwing his head back and digging his fingers into the Earth, as if its energy could do this for him.
Alas, if it could, it did not.
"Quiet down!" hissed a voice, causing Hidan to suck in a startled breath and start choking on his own tears, "Ah, shit.," said the voice, sounding vaguely amused. A hard hand hit his back and Hidan looked up to see Shino crouched next to him.
"What are you doing here?" Hidan whispered, sitting up and brushing dirt from his dress, trying to pretend that he wasn't extremely embarrassed by the situation he had been found in.
"Well, we couldn't just leave you, could we? Neji and I spent way too much time trying to make you soft to have you run off on us now," Shino replied, nodding to the tree line, where Neji stood.
He smiled and nodded to them and Hidan nodded shakily back, now wiping the wetness from his cheeks and becoming acutely aware of how warm his face was.
"We got the crowd to lay off you, but you should have seen how pissed they were. It was crazy. Neji used his byakugan to find you and then we hurried over here, though we probably could have just followed the sounds of your dulcet tones," he finished, a slight smirk crossing his face.
Hidan found himself grow impossibly redder at the words, "Shut up," he mumbled, looking away.
Shino chuckled, "Hey, don't worry about it. I'd freak out if I was in your situation too."
Hidan looked at him gratefully, even though he knew it probably wasn't true.
"Either way, Neji and I have come to take you back. Everyone has promised to be real calm about this. They just want to talk to you and then they're going to try to help you get back into your own body. That's that."
Hidan coughed quietly, "They won't try to kill me?" he said, embarrassed that a man as strong as him even had to ask.
Neji, who had stepped closer, shook his head, "Not if I have anything to say about it," he said darkly.
"Well…thanks," Hidan replied after a paused, not sure if Neji's proclamation made him feel better or worse.
"Besides, people are already pretty scared of you," Shino said, unable to keep a small grin from appearing on his face, "They were already terrified once you said who you were, but then they got even more afraid when they realized that you broke two of Gai-sensei's ribs with that punch of yours."
Hidan felt his eyes widen again, "I did? Oops." He was surprised to feel a smidgen of guilt in his chest at the thought of how he had injured the man.
"So, what of it? Will you come back with us?" Neji asked, his pale eyes boring down at Hidan.
Hidan nodded slowly and stood, once again smoothing the front of his dress. A half-hearted smirk made its way across his face, "Let's do it," he drawled.
Shino clapped him on the shoulder, "That's the spirit. And, if it makes you feel better, you haven't sworn once since we found you."
Hidan considered this for a moment, "Huh," he said finally, not sure what to make of this. He supposed he should be annoyed that a crucial part of his personality had changed, but he all he could really think was that Kakuzu would be delighted, and an idiotic smile became suddenly plastered on his face.
"Right. Let's do it," he repeated forcefully, standing straighter and clenching his hand tightly around the forehead protector. Neji and Shino nodded and the three of them started back towards Konoha, with Hidan leading the way.
A/N: Uh…I was reading this story over…and it kind of sucks. Seriously. It is ridiculously inconsistent. Almost to the point where I want to stop writing it… Why do you guys like it so much? It's very poorly done…