notes: this has been on my hard drive for roughly a year, maybe a year and a half, maybe even two years. All I know is that I barely remember writing it.

SO. there might be more added to it, there might not be. I know that when I was writing this, I intended for this to be a longfic that followed Hidan and Kakuzu to just before they tracked down Yugito. Right now, I don't trust myself to continue anything, so for now, this is going to be marked 'complete'. I'm trying to continue some of my other stories (hopefully! I don't know how long my motivation will last. I took a look around and this fandom is... pretty dead) and start writing for other fandoms, but I'm hoping that I'll eventually get to this again. so yes, until then, here's a freshly edited one shot.

Since these are just two stand-alone scenes from a longer fanfic, they're missing a lot of things I intended to be in the fic overall, but I still think it shows some of the intimacy and familiarity I wanted to convey.

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There is always a strange clarity of mind after a sacrifice, when the haze of bloodlust and euphoria fades, leaving behind an empty, raw feeling. It is only then he can comprehend the injustice of his situation—he has been so close to death, to god, that descending back into a human form feels like a cruel joke.

A deep voice registers in his mind, dragging Hidan out of his reverie. He flinches as he sits up, coughing up blood, and feels a hand roughly pull him up. "We've wasted enough time."

"Ow, bastard, watch it, I'm still tender," he snarls, digging his bloodied pike into the ground for balance, and gives him a furious glare. "It wouldn't kill you to have a little fucking religious tolerance, y'know? I can't rush these things, you fucking know that, and we're not even doing anything."

"It's a wonder that I have any patience for your rituals at all," Kakuzu sighs, slightly hunched on one side as he collects the body.

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They find themselves in an inn after the bounty is collected, hiding their collective injuries behind heavy cloaks, their faces scrubbed clean earlier in a nearby stream. They attain a room with minimal curious glances, Kakuzu removing his stuffy headgear and collapsing on the nearest bed at the first opportunity.

Hidan sits next to his crumpled form, his nimble fingers quickly undoing the clasps of Kakuzu's cloak and ridding him of his shirt. He examines the scarred torso stained with dried blood with a critical eye, before his eyes finally fell on hurriedly stitched-up wounds.

"Shit, Kakuzu," he laughs, tracing a still raw laceration idly and watches with strange satisfaction as Kakuzu flinches in pain, "One of these days, there's going to be nothing left of you to fucking fix."

Strong, pale shoulders lifted themselves into a shrug as Hidan takes off his own cloak, revealing an already healing gash over his chest, and shifts until he is kneeling above Kakuzu. Hidan examines each scar curiously, fingers eventually traveling down to massage Kakuzu's hips, and remarks mildly in a half-hearted attempt to fill in the gaps between their long silences, "Seriously, you're always saying you're the fucking smart one, but you keep doing all this stupid shit and fucking yourself up..."

A cold hand cups Kakuzu's cheek while the other tugs on his waistband insistingly, Hidan's pink lips ghosting teasingly over his as he lifts his eyes to meet the other's. "What am I going to do with you?"

"Someone needs to clean up your messes," he says finally, leaning into Hidan's touch, too worn and too comfortable to protest.