Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

AN: Completely random Akatsuki crack without shame. I'm not sure where it came from, I just rolled with it. Slightly OOC. Enjoy.

Kakuzu's Side Job

"I'm more than a little curious as to why you are sneaking into one of our own safe houses, Kakuzu." The stitch-nin knew he shouldn't have been too surprised to see his current commanding officer waiting for him in the dark of this safe-house's sitting room, his unique eyes almost luminescent in the gloom.

"Pein," he addressed carefully, reaching to turn on the light, unwilling on principle to let the other shinobi maintain that advantage. "You're awfully far from Ame."

"Don't change the subject," the heavily pierced man snapped, rising from the chair he'd been sitting in. "You've been exhibiting suspicious behavior lately, and unless you have a very good reason for periodically dropping off our radar then I feel I'll have to keep you on a shorter leash."

"It is neither your concern nor your business what I do on my own time," Kakuzu growled, his infamous temper rearing its head. But he knew full well that the fight he was on the verge of picking wasn't one he could win. It would be better if he just left before this got beyond him.

"Oh yes, it is." Pein quickly matched his pace, cutting off his most convenient escape route. "We are a tightly knit unit; the actions of one reflect on the rest. Remember our first rule of conduct: never compromise the Akatsuki."

"And I haven't been," the older ninja growled, backing up and adopting a more defensive stance against his leader.

"Somehow, I'm not inclined to believe you." Lithe arms came up to cross over a narrow chest. "I know you, Kakuzu; you'd sell anyone out if you were paid enough."

"Try to have a little more faith in me." The leathery-skinned man resisted the urge to adopt a stance similar to the Rinnegan-user's. "I've been in this business too long to be that careless."

"Like I've already said: you'd better have a good reason for these 'personal trips' of yours." Damn those haunting eyes that were somehow more terrifying than any level of Sharingan.

"It's just a side job." He quickly averted his eyes to the side, impatient for this confrontation to end.

"What kind of side job?" When Kakuzu didn't answer promptly, Pein pressed harder. "Have you been dealing information?"

"Not information," he tried to assure, but fell short when he couldn't quite come up with the right word. "…flesh."

"You've never been so ashamed of your head-hunting expeditions before." The icy comment informed him that he still hadn't found the right word.

"It's not trade in corpses, it's…" Kakuzu's throat constricted in a sudden spark of shame. Pein obviously saw it.

"Speak up!"

"Taki is paying me for stud service."

Silence. The younger man blinked, stopped breathing, resumed breathing, opened his mouth, closed it, and blinked again.

"Come again?"

The stitch-nin sighed; well, he'd gone and said it, might as well confess the whole thing.

"Taki, my home village, is paying me, quite a hefty sum, I might add, in cash, to get various women of their choosing pregnant with my children," he enunciated as clearly and slowly as he could, his head hung in a semblance of embarrassment. Why did he even have to spell it out?

A few more seconds of confused blinking, hitched breathing, and gaping, before Pein finally put all the pieces together in his mind. His eyes narrowed.

"Kakuzu," he growled lowly. "What did I just say just now about compromising the Akatsuki?"

"I'm not!" the older shinobi insisted, throwing up his arms. "I don't go wearing our colors! I doubt they even know I'm affiliated. Why would it reflect badly on you when no one knows you're my commanding officer?"

"And if it's all a ploy, a trap?" The tension in Pein's voice wasn't hard to miss.

"They'd want me alive, my bloodline is too valuable to waste needlessly," the mercenary tried to assure, hoping that if he acted nonchalant his leader would take the hint. "That gives the rest of you a chance to retrieve me before they can make me talk, not that I think they'll try."

"You haven't even considered the risks, have you?"

"I have considered them!" he practically screamed, the only thing allowing this outburst through his mental control the knowledge that, although he exhibited symptoms of schizophrenia on occasion, Pein was actually quite rational and level-headed. "And as far as I'm concerned the benefits outweigh those risks. I don't expect you to understand. You're not from a big bloodline-clan. You weren't raised proud of your family lineage and eager to perpetuate it. It's not an easy compulsion to resist, especially when you are the last of your clan and have been for all of your adult life."

Pein sighed and stepped back, rubbing his eyes with his thumb and forefinger, all while looking strangely resigned.

"So…" he began carefully. "This is what you've been sneaking off to do?"

"Yes," the mercenary sighed exasperatedly.

"And you plan on continuing this…" The Akatsuki's active leader struggled to find the right way of saying it. "…These… excursions?"

"Yes." Kakuzu's shoulders slumped a little as the line of the conversation became clearer.

"The money is worth it?"


"Kakuzu…" the heavily pierced man paused a moment before settling on being straight and to the point. "I hope you understand that there is a word for what you are, and that word is whore."

"Well, I suppose it's better than being a slut," the older ninja shrugged, once more looking for a way out of the situation that didn't involve challenging the Rinnegan user.

"You don't seem to want anyone to know either way," Pein commented slyly, tilting his jaw a little.

"Do you want a cut or something?" Kakuzu asked exasperatedly, on the verge of doing pretty much anything to end the discussion.

"If you want me to keep quiet, then yes." It wasn't so much that Akatsuki needed the additional money; it was more the principle of the thing; and the fact that the older shinobi had not informed anyone of this prior. "Fifty percent."

"Fine." If Pein was surprised by the stitch-nin's easy acquiescence to the terms he didn't show it. Instead he seemed slightly amused by the whole situation.

"I should have been getting a cut from the beginning, really. Because let's face it: if you're a whore, do you realize what that makes me?" He grinned a little at the irony and leaned in closer to Kakuzu's cowl covered ear. "Your pimp."