A.N. I want to thank everyone that took time to review this story! It really helped motivate me to finish this chapter in the time I was able to (someone even said their life depended on me updating O3o) To answer any potential questions about ages, Yumi is 14, Hidan is 18, and Kakuzu is probably in his late 80's. Poor Kakuzu, I still think he's awsome though! If you want to keep up with my progress with this story, read my profile, I update it frequently when I am working writing. I drew what Yumi looks like on , you can find the link to it on my profile. I hope my readers enjoy this chapter! Thanks again for the reviews!
Chapter 4: A City of Evil
"Yes! An actual room to sleep in!" Yumi yelled her excitement aloud.
The trio just reached Katabami Kinzan, a village that draws its profits from mining gold. Rumors spoke that the village was run by a crazed former seven swordsman, who dealt with any villager that crossed him by burying them alive. That man had been disposed of a few years ago, and now the village was booming under the management of groups of yakuza. Though the yakuza were harsh, nothing could have been more worse than the brutish nin from Mist.
As Kakuzu and Hidan walked on either side of her, Yumi took in the village's sights with a more innocent enthusiasm. Hidan and Kakuzu saw the village for what it really was, a city of evil. Along with the bright lights and shiny products, there were hoodlums in every dark space. Brothels and gambling houses on the corners sat on the corners, and money peddlers walked the streets. The immortal duo of the Akatsuki knew to keep the young girl between them.
"What about this one?" Yumi asked, pointing towards a more ritzy hotel.
Kakuzu shook his head. "Too expensive…"
His partner snorted his disdain, shooting him a narrowed eye. "Gonna put us up in the cheapest place you can find?"
There was no response, leaving Hidan to grumble and Yumi to wonder. Kakuzu had a lot of money, so then why would he pass up a nice hotel that he could easily afford? Yumi brushed the thought aside and looked around until something caught her eyes, and stopped her dead.
"Shit!" she cursed obtusely.
Hidan lifted a amused eyebrow, while Kakuzu eye twitched. Both looked back to see what had pulled the profanity out of the proper girl's mouth.
"My…M-My face!" Yumi cried, "I'm on a wanted poster!"
Kakuzu stepped over in large, measured strides to stand next to Yumi. Hidan followed suit to study the wanted poster on the village's bulletin board. Just as sure as the sky was blue, there was a sketch of Yumi plastered on the paper. 150,000,000 ryo screamed above her head, accompanied by the words Dead or alive! Below her face read Traveling with EXREMELY dangerous rogue nin, in bold letters. Below that were unrefined and even comical sketches of Kakuzu and Hidan. Kakuzu's shady appearance was exaggerated, and great emphasis was placed on his mask. Hidan's face was more overly crazed than it actually was. His mouth was agape as if in the midst of slaughter, eyes practically gushing fire from the depths of hell itself.
"Hn, more things to waste my time," Kakuzu mumbled as he stepped forward and grabbed the poster, ripping it up.
"Sweet Jashin-sama," Hidan cackled insanely, "Those dip shits don't know what they got themselves into!"
Kakuzu and Yumi turned their gaze to the eighteen year old madman while he trained his attention on the wanted poster, admiring his now mythical status no doubt. Hidan merely flashed them a cocky grin.
"Only more sacrifices for god."
"This isn't about sacrifices. Unlike you, I can die!" Yumi lectured as she crossed her arms, "We need disguises."
"That won't be necessary," Kakuzu spoke up in his deep, neutral voice.
A skeptical look poured over Yumi's face, making her look a bit spoiled. Why were her wards so confident? She was wanted, dead or alive. Her life was on the line, by whoever killed her father. She still had yet to even figure out who was behind this conspiracy.
"Like anyone's gonna fuck with you with us around," Hidan scoffed.
Yumi sighed nervously, but followed the two men on towards a place to rest.
"A pay-by-the-hour room!" Yumi nearly shrieked.
"It's the best cheap room we can get."
"My kinda room," Hidan grinned like a fox.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Yumi asked in a huff, hands on her thin hips.
"It means I'm gonna get some a-"
"It means nothing at all," Kakuzu cut his partner off. He glared fiery daggers at his filthy, lecherous partner. If Hidan was going to pick up a whore or some other loose woman, he'd have to buy a suite. He'd rather spend a little more money than lay witness to any more of Hidan's escapades.
Yumi pouted in mildly, confusion inkling into her system again. What did that all mean? Yumi knew pay-by-the-hour rooms were shady, but what were Kakuzu and Hidan keeping from her? She had to know!
After booking the suite, Kakuzu led his younger travel company down several dimly-lit corridors. The rooms themselves were only privatized by shoji doors, leaving little to the imagination about its occupants.
Yakuza and scoundrels stood in the halls, watching customers, and talking with women. Exotically dressed women stood outside certain rooms, looking eager for someone to join them.
The Akatsuki's treasurer ignored all, feet leading him solely towards his room. Yumi followed her body guard, but could not help but give the people in the hall a glance. Many of the male eyes were upon her, making her feel strangely squirmy and uncomfortable. She also noticed the women were shooting furtive looks at her other body guard. In curiosity, Yumi turned to gauge Hidan's reactions. Hidan's eyes were returning their attentions in full. His mouth was turned up into a crooked grin, and a cocky swagger lilted his steps. The look he was giving them - as if he was looking over meat for the best cut - it was odd. Yumi inwardly shrugged, forgetting about it.
Suddenly a foreign hand clamped down on Yumi's wrist, knocking her from her thoughts. Fear encroached her entire being, causing her to jump in her skin. Her brown eyes quickly traveled from the scarred hand and arm to the equally scarred face of a scruffy man. His eye was black and beady, the other was covered by a eye patch. A strange, but unbearable stench carried off the man, making Yumi want to pull away. Fear, however, held her in place.
"Oi, you look quite prim to be in a place like this," the man spoke in a sinister voice, "Are you lost?"
Yumi wanted to scream, to pull away. To do anything, but she could only stare back, dumbly. A large tanned hand with painted nails closed over the stranger's thinner wrist, squeezing it hard.
"Unless you want to lose this limb, I suggest you remove it from the girl," Kakuzu said in a low growl.
The man let go of Yumi's wrist - freeing her from her thoughtless, frozen state - but Kakuzu still gripped his wrist. Yumi fell back with a gasp until her back bumped into Hidan's front. Her breaths came out in pants, her hidden fear becoming more recognizable.
"That's fuckin' sick, man," came Hidan's voice from directly behind her. She had no idea what he meant by that.
More men seemed to converge on the scene, making Yumi more nervous. Hidan's hands rested on her shoulders firmly, making the possibility of someone grabbing her more difficult. Kakuzu merely glanced at the yakuza, hand still holding the other man's wrist in a death grip. If push came to shove, he'd show these puny street men what they were really dealing with.
A more well-trimmed, but tattooed man stepped forward from the group. He had leader written all over his tall, muscular frame. He was taller and thicker than Hidan, almost meeting Kakuzu's gaze levelly. A few wrinkles adorned the corner of his eyes, and a slightly graying facial hair brushed over his upper lip and chin. He was obviously seasoned at what he did.
"What's going on here?" he asked, a hint of a demand.
Yumi felt Hidan draw a breath as if to speak up, but Kakuzu beat to it.
"One of your men laid a hand on my young companion, frightening her. I was simply removing it for him before he got into some…unnecessary trouble."
He then slowly let go of the yakuza grunt's wrist, turning his full attention to the boss. The yakuza leader bravely - or stupidly - exchanged harsh stares with the Hidden Falls nin. His eyes then flickered to back to both Yumi and Hidan. Finally he rested his eyes back on Kakuzu.
"My apologies," the man said, his respectable tone at odds with his tough exterior. "My name is Noburu. The Chikamatsu runs this part of the village under my leadership, and I won't tolerate anything threatening my business."
Noburu then turned to the grunt that had grabbed Yumi, gaze hardening, he continued, "Right, Rokurou?"
Noburu then returned his attention back to Kakuzu, a smile cracking his lips.
"Again, my apologies. If anything else troubles you, please don't be afraid to tell me."
"Believe me, I won't hold back," Kakuzu spoke the threat calmly. He gracefully sidestepped the Yakuzu boss to reach the room he booked.
"Please, anything I can do to help you overlook my associate's foolishness?"
Kakuzu did not pause or respond.
"Yeah, get me a fine bitch and this'll all be forgotten," Hidan spoke his desire, shoving Yumi away from him to hurry after Kakuzu. Yumi stumbled, but caught her footing. She followed Kakuzu while glancing warily back to see what Hidan was planning.
The Yakuza boss looked at the younger, foul mouthed man, intrigue clearly written on his face. Noburu snapped his calloused fingers, beckoning a dark haired vixen to appear.
The woman's face was paled with powder, while crimson red lined the middle of both plump upper and lower lips. Her long inky hair refused to be held up traditionally, hung in straight waterfalls over her shoulders and forehead. Ice blue almond eyes outlined with black danced and flickered their way to Hidan, looking his body up and down. Said man felt a silken grin flow over his lips. He was dying to get those intricate robes off that hot body.
"If you wish to satisfy your sexual appetite, Ai is the woman to do that and more," Noburu introduced them, sending Ai over to Hidan's side with a pat to her slender shoulders.
Ai seemed to glide over to Hidan like a perverse specter, just enough sway in her step to keep him interested without coming off as cheap. Her body pressed tightly against his side, making him feel every delicious curve. Hidan was immediately allured, enjoying her even more when she shamelessly guided his arm around her waist, hanging off him like a trophy.
"I'll see you tomorrow, boss," Ai cooed, opening Hidan's Akatsuki cloak and trailing slim fingers down over Hidan's torso. Her eyes not once leaving Noburu's gaze.
Noburu grinned. "Go do your work, Ai-chan."
Hidan let out his trademark cackle and began leading his prize to the suite, shouting back, "I'll take good care of her for ya."
Once inside, Kakuzu checked over the suite, apparently seeing where each of them should sleep. There were two bedrooms, a main room, and a small kitchen in the suite. He would take the room closest to the main door, Yumi would take the one next to it. For being insolent and perverse, Hidan and his whore would have the living room. That settled, the tall treasurer trudged into the small kitchen.
"K-Kakuzu," Yumi squeaked, scampering to follow him.
He did not reply, but turned his eerie eyes to look at her. She looked back, shell shocked and fragile. Kakazu would have to say the right thing or she would break.
"The yakuza would be fool-hearty to mess with us," he said, "They should know by now that we are Akatsuki, and not to be trifled with."
"Akatsuki?""An organization. That's all I can disclose." He then turned back to making some simple mochi.
Yumi sat herself in front of the small table. Her hands rested properly on her thighs, her face looking at her hands. She forgot that she did not have to worry about formalities now - something that Kakuzu noticed.
Moments later, Hidan walked in with the woman, but they were only paying attention to each other. That only seemed to make Yumi more uncomfortable.
"Go suck face in the main room, Hidan," Kakuzu rumbled.
Hidan glared, but stood with the whore and moved back to the living room. Kakuzu returned his attention to Yumi as he passed her a plate of mochi.
"You're not in a good mood now," he said.
She answered without looking up, "Was that man after me?"
Kakuzu sighed through his mask. He was never one to comfort anyone or offer words of encouragement, so he looked to the side in thought.
"He might have been," he finally answered, "but he could have wanted you for other reasons…"
"What reasons?" she looked up at him.
Face still turned to the side, Kakuzu reached up and unhooked his mask to eat. "Perhaps disgusting reasons that you shouldn't learn about until you're older."
Brown eyes blinked and stared as Kakuzu started eating, his stitched face now visible. Kakuzu realized his error and closed his eyes.
"Sorry, my face must disturb you," he murmured, hand reaching to replace his mask over his face.
Yumi's curls bounced as she shook her head from side to side. "No, not at all. It makes you look more interesting." She took a bite of mochi.
Kakuzu was surprised, but returned to eating. They both ate in a comfortable silence for several moments. Yumi quietly thought about how glad she was to have met Kakuzu and Hidan. Kakuzu thought about how it might not be so bad to travel with the young girl in front of him. Once finished, Yumi bowed her head in gratitude.
"Thank you for the food, it was very delicious."
Kakuzu waved it away.
"No need for anymore formalities, Yumi" he elaborated.
That night, it took little time for Yumi to get comfortable in her futon. It was the first time in a week and a half that she did not have to find sleep on the cold hard ground. The bedroom was small, only about ten feet by ten feet. The walls had one scene painted on it. It was a serene creek with a white crane in the shallows. A small oil lamp glowed in the room so she could see what she was doing, but she snuffed it out quickly - it could be a disaster if she fell asleep with it lit.
Yet again Yumi curled up, ready for sleep to overtake her in the darkness. Everything was silent - save for the distant laughter of other occupants of the hotel, until Yumi heard a breathy sound come from living room.
Curiosity, her ever present companion, crept with her as she crawled from her futon and towards the sliding door. Her hand slowly pried at the wooden and rice paper frame, pulling it open just enough to allow one of her eyes to peer out.
The living room was only dimly lit, but the sound of panting enticed her to find out what it was. The door was soon opened so Yumi could poke her head through.
In the candle light, she spied two sweating, writhing bodies. They were tangled together like snakes, moving in a rocking rhythm.
Yumi was horrified. She was about to look away when she realized she was spying on Hidan and the woman he picked up. Now it was like she could not look away.
Her eyes roved over the slickness of Hidan's form. The muscles rippled under his skin with each movement, almost hypnotically. The woman clawed at his sculpted back, receiving his thrusts with heated moans. The forms of their bodies, the sounds they were breathing. It was all like a mantra, a curse, spelling Yumi into a trance.
Suddenly Hidan's body jerked and he let out a loud moan, chorused by the sounds of the woman under him. Like a key word, Yumi was snapped out of her hypnosis. Frantically, she pull herself back into her sleeping quarters and shut the door.
Again she curled into the fetal position, a rosy blush on her face. Sleep came to her with difficulty, but she was able to succumb after pushing the X-rated scenes from her head.
Hidan lay on his side, with his lips still pressed to Ai's, their kisses lazy from the aftereffects of sex.
"Damn, you have a tight little whore box," Hidan commented between kisses.
Something bitter then flooded his mouth, pulling him back from the alluring woman's lips. He tried to spit the intruding substance out, but his throat and body only seemed to close up with every movement.
"I'm not a whore, asshole…" Ai hissed, wiping Hidan's kisses from her lips.
She retreated her body from Hidan's paralyzed one, throwing on a more maneuverable outfit. Hidan's eyes widened minutely, realized he had been tricked by a kunoichi.
Hidan's curse was cut short as a swift kick to his chest knocked the remaining air out of him.
It was getting hard for Yumi to breath as she slept, causing her to stir a little. Her room was still dark, but she distinctly felt a weight on her chest. Worry bubbled up inside her, forcing adrenaline through her veins to fight back. She flailed her arms and attempted to scream, but it was all futile.
Cold, sharp steel pressed against her neck.
"Give up and die…" the voice was a female's, but as cold as the kunai at Yumi's throat.
Yumi could only muster a flimsy whimper, barely audible. The shinobi knife began cutting into her skin under her ear, and she could do nothing about it.
A calamity was heard, and the person sitting on Yumi's chest was suddenly gone. Inhaling was painful, yet felt incredibly good. She could finally breath again.
Her body dove for the oil lamp, somehow lighting it in the darkness.
There was debris on the floor and futon, Yumi followed it to one of her walls. It was smashed down and Kakuzu stood in the threshold. He cloak was missing, but he was fully clothed and face covered. His mysterious tendrils were extended from his arm. Pinned to the wall was woman Hidan had slept with earlier. Her limp body was punctured by Kakuzu's tendrils from her torso to her head.
The sight took everything for her to keep from becoming ill. It was hard for She had almost been assassinated by a woman. The whole world might as well have been against her. If Yumi escaped alone or perhaps chosen anyone else to be her body guards, she might have been the one dead.
"Are you alright?" Kakuzu asked.
Yumi nodded, but checked her neck when Kakuzu's gaze seemed drawn to it. Her hand found a slice on the side of her neck that was still leaking blood. The cut was not deep, however.
"Just a scratch," she answered quickly
They both found Hidan in the living room, still poisoned and mostly immobile, but of course alive. His clothes were tossed at him and he was told to get dressed to move out. The Jashinist could only curse back at Kakuzu's orders. Yumi could hardly look at him long enough to see if he would be able to move again soon.
The gleam of katanas slicing in through the shoji walls of their suite managed to get Hidan into his pants and swinging his scythe.
"You two get the fuck out, I'll hold 'em off!" He hollered.
Kakuzu did not hesitate one second. He grabbed Yumi by her arm, hauling her with him. Yumi gripped Kakuzu's arm tightly, moving with him once he made a hole through the thin walls.
Fire met them on the other side, and it was consuming everything fast. The smoke burned Yumi's lungs and eyes, making her cough. Kakuzu cursed under his breath.
He pulled Yumi close to him then leapt upward, crashing through the ceiling. Yumi managed to avoid further injury from Kakuzu shielding her body. They escaped onto the hotel's roof.
Yumi looked back towards the flaming hole from whence they came, wondering when Hidan would be following them. Kakuzu yanked at her hard, forcing her to come with him.
"What about Hidan?" she cried.
Kakuzu did not respond, only threw her over his shoulder and jumped off the roof.
At least an hour had passed since Yumi and Kakuzu fled to the outskirts of Katabami Kinzan. The fire from the hotel had died down from either burning down the structure or being extinguished by the villagers. There was no sign or even a simple hint of Hidan. Yumi was pacing.
"Hidan is immortal, don't worry about him," Kakuzu spoke finally.
It did little to calm her though. She simply stopped walking but tapped her foot. So what if Hidan couldn't die? He could still be captured. He could be tortured or something. Maybe she just wanted him to show up so they could finally leave. She had to admit that she was not particularly happy with the Jashinist, though. What ever he suffered, he deserved it for letting the wolves among the sheep.
She turned in the direction of the village upon hearing the unmistakable voice. Kakuzu looked that way as well with a small flicker of his eyes.
"Speak of the devil," he grumbled.
Though she heard Hidan, her eyes had yet to make him out. He was practically on top of her before she saw him. After a quick survey of his condition, Yumi averted her eyes again.
Dried blood, both from his own wounds and undoubtedly his victims, lay splattered over his bear chest. Dirt, burned flesh, and cuts littered his arms and face, making him look worse than he really was. Hidan smiled, he probably made many sacrifices to his god during that skirmish.
The Jashinist threw on his cloak, and placed his scythe where it normally rested when not in use.
"Well, let's get the hell out of here, shall we?" he said through his grin.