"I hate you." Hidan scowled, crossing his arms.
"Feeling's mutual." Kakuzu did not look up from the map, illuminated by the camp fire.
"Tch. Heathen." Hidan scoffed at his partner's lacking response.
He rolled off of a rock platform in the cave Kakuzu had made them stay in during the storm, lazily landing on all fours. Kakuzu sat off to the far side of the cave, trying to find where they were. Their mission was, to say the least, not going well. Halfway through their hunt for Jinchuuriki, it had started to snow. In roughly half an hour the little snow flakes drifting in the wind had become a full blown blizzard. It was a miracle they had managed to find the shelter they did.
"Where are you going?" Kakuzu actually noticed his partner had moved from the raised platform to the floor.
"Like you fuckin' care." Hidan rolled his eyes and crawled over to the fire.
Kakuzu would have rolled his eyes as well but decided that would be childish. He refused to sink to Hidan's level of immaturity. He retraced their path on the map with his forefinger and found they were near a village but not close enough to travel to with the given weather conditions. He growled under his breath, putting the map back in his pouch. He saw Hidan inching closer and closer to the heat of the flames and sighed. They did not have proper attire for the winter weather.
"I'm so damn hungry." Hidan pouted.
"What do you want me to do about it?" Kakuzu huffed.
"Then go lay down." Kakuzu felt his eye twitch as he jabbed his finger at the platform.
"But it's cold as hell over there." Hidan mumbled.
"I'll make another fire if you shut up." Kakuzu's eyes narrowed and Hidan grinned, keeping quiet now that he had won to an extent.
Kakuzu stood and let loose his fire-style mask. He put together a few sticks strewn about the cave floor and set the fire. He glanced at Hidan as the young male made his way over. Neither of them were wearing their cloaks. They had left them to dry out by the fire the moment they entered the shelter. Kakuzu instructed Hidan to stay still as he grabbed the cloaks and set them on the upraised slab of rock.
"Take off your clothes if you want to warm up quickly." Kakuzu informed his partner, already pulling off his head gear and slacks.
"Tch, fine..." Hidan paused then uttered under his breath, "Perverted old bastard..."
Kakuzu showed no sign he had heard and climbed onto their makeshift bed. He watched Hidan pull off his own pants and since he was wearing nothing else (save the boxers underneath), he was quick to join Kakuzu on the cloaks.
"Why didn't you take off your shirt?" he bugged the elder.
"I don't want to." The elder responded calmly.
"Why do I have to?" Kakuzu flopped onto his side, facing the wall instead of his annoying partner.
"You're the ass that said to strip." Hidan scrutinized the masks that grinned at him from their home on Kakuzu's back.
"I didn't force you." Kakuzu rolled his eyes now that Hidan would not be able to see it.
"Bet you wanted to." Hidan mumbled under his breath after he heard light snores from his partner.
He sighed then turned away from his partner, letting his eyes close and his mind wander. Soon he was fast asleep, having his usual dreams of his partner and his Jashin-sama. Kakuzu, however, received a dream not like his usuals in the least. It started as they usually do; Kakuzu standing in an ever-growing pile of money. He enjoyed it while it lasted, waiting for his partner to appear and take it all away as he always did. However a cloaked man appeared instead just as the riches vanished. Kakuzu was surprised by the chill radiating from the figure.
"Who are you?" Kakuzu asked.
"I am whoever you want me to be but I am the one Hidan worships." The man's voice was surprisingly average for such a powerful 'god'.
"I knew that mushroom was poisonous." Kakuzu replied dryly.
"Keep telling yourself that, bastard." A smirk is what the dreamer imagined on Jashin's face.
"Whatever. Just tell me what the hell you want so I can wake up." The stitched man sighed.
"Just want to know what you think of my follower." Jashin crossed his arms.
"Hidan?" Kakuzu rose a brow but answered, "He's an annoying, loud, foul-mouthed brat that worships something other than money."
"Money is indeed valuable. Life is more-so."
"Some god of death and destruction you turned out to be."
"Life is valuable which is why my followers give me theirs."
"Is that all you bugged me for?"
"What do you really think of Hidan?"
"I told you..." Kakuzu paused, thought better of it, and answered, "He's annoying but has times when he knows his limit. He still goes over the limit, at times, but at least he knows it. He is loud, even as he sleeps. His cursing is a trait I have to live with and, as you know, Hidan and I will be living together for ages."
"So you think." Jashin interrupts.
"What do you mean?" Kakuzu blanched.
His answer was to step back, revealing Hidan. As Kakuzu watched, Hidan began to grow thin and pale, his eyes became dull. Kakuzu stepped back as his partner collapsed to his knees, unable to support himself. He had not noticed he had stepped back into the pile of money.
"What are you doing to him? Stop!" Kakuzu panicked, leaving the money to kneel by Hidan.
"As you have said many times before; there is no such thing as assured immortality. Hidan will die." Kakuzu's head snapped up to glare at Jashin.
"You plan on killing your best follower?"
"Not I, but you." Jashin spoke softly and Hidan turned to dust in Kakuzu's arms.
"What do you mean?" Kakuzu choked.
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Kakuzu's exclamation ended in the waking world.
Hidan yelped as his comrade kicked him to the floor. He immediately shot up from the pile of hot ash that was their fire and glared at the elder. Kakuzu sat up with his head in his hands, his expression unreadable. Hidan huffed, marched over to the other fire, snatched a sandal, and then promptly threw it at the miser's head. Kakuzu jumped and glared in the direction the sandal had been thrown. He quickly looked away when he gazed into those magenta eyes a little longer than necessary.
"What the fuck is wrong with you?" Hidan snapped moodily, placing his hands on his hips.
"It's nothing." Kakuzu muttered then looked to the exit, "The weather has changed. Pack up."
"Tch. Moody bastard."
They continued on their way as they usually did; Hidan complaining to a quiet Kakuzu. The latter was deep in thought, still thinking about that odd dream. It had felt so real that he questioned whether or not it was just a delusion. More questions passed through his mind. He wondered what Jashin had meant by malnutrition. He had been so wrapped up in his thinking that he did not notice Hidan had gone silent, observing the taller. The sun began to sink and they were almost at a rundown town near the Hidden Cloud Village.
"Hey, dumbass, you gonna let us stop now?" Hidan resorted to tugging Kakuzu's arm in order to snap him out of his stupor.
"Yeah. Are you hungry?" Kakuzu had figured it out.
"Well yeah. Fuckin' starved!" Hidan cackled slightly.
Kakuzu gave a slight nod then headed for the first food stand he saw. It was a BBQ restaurant. Hidan gaped up at his partner when he ordered himself a liver dish and for Hidan, a plate of ribs. Kakuzu ignored his look of utter shock but glanced up from his bingo book when Hidan leaned over to feel his forehead.
"What... Are you doing?" Kakuzu blinked.
"You have a fever..." Hidan replied, holding his other hand to his own forehead.
"No, I just have a temperature higher than most." Kakuzu tried to scoff but got lost in Hidan's eyes.
"Why did you buy me ribs?" Hidan quirked a brow, letting his hands return to his sides.
"Er... you need food, right?" Kakuzu recovered, burying his nose in the bingo book.
"Of course but you usually just catch us fish or shop at some shitty food place."
Kakuzu ignored him, looking at a particular bounty. What a price! It was the head monk at the Fire Temple. He would take that man to repay this dinner and possibly the ones after. He felt the need to keep Hidan fed since he had been told the Jashinist could die from malnutrition. He frowned as he realized this. Why should he want to keep him alive? It would be selfish to kill him and even more selfish to keep him alive. He craved a companionship that could stick around as long as he lived and he could find that in Hidan.
"Here's your order, sir." The waitress smiled at Hidan as she set the trays on their table, "Anything else?"
"No." Kakuzu answered coldly, sending her the evil eye.
"You, sir?" She did not turn to face the man.
"Nah. Beat it so we can eat in peace." Hidan drawled, mouth watering at the idea of eating those delicious ribs.
The waitress looked a little offended but left them alone. Kakuzu watched Hidan eat, slipping his food under his mask while the other devoured the ribs as though he had never eaten. Kakuzu noticed Hidan did not touch his vegetables and frowned. That was a waste of money and nutrition...
"Eat your vegetables."
"Fuck you. I hate vegetables."
"I don't care." Kakuzu finished eating, as had Hidan.
"Of course you don't care." Hidan seemed a bit upset by this.
He saw Kakuzu staring at his messy fingers then smirked. He slowly brought a finger to his lips and lapped at the sauce. Kakuzu was confused at first then Hidan gave him a half-lidded look. He knew Hidan could hear his hearts beating when the younger male's smirk grew. He moved onto the next to fingers and started to suck.
"W-What are you doing, dumbass?" Kakuzu managed without blushing.
"Don't wanna waste such good sauce, Kuzu." Hidan had often flirted with Kakuzu but never before had it given results.
"Use a damned napkin, you look stupid..." Now the blush was starting to show.
"You should try it, Kuzu." Hidan held out his other hand.
"Stop calling me that." Kakuzu glared at the fingers. Not because Hidan had disobeyed but because he really wanted to try some sauce and then some. "We're leaving." Kakuzu stood, tearing his eyes from Hidan's hand and threw him a napkin.
"Heh. Easy." Hidan grinned but followed him out once the miser had reluctantly given up his precious money.
"We look for the Jinchuuriki tomorrow morning, for now we find shelter."
"In an inn?" Hidan hoped.
"... Just this once." Kakuzu sighed in defeat and led him to the inn with the most broken windows.
Hidan accepted this and followed him inside. Although the snow melted, it was still too cold for sleeping outside. Hidan expected Kakuzu to ask for one bedroom, one bed as he usually did but alas, he asked for two. Hidan tried to hold down his disappointment and let Kakuzu lead them to their room. Inside the room were two stained beds with thin, ragged blankets pulled on top. The pillows were also a bit iffy with a lumpy look to them. Kakuzu headed for the farthest bed that sat by the window, leaving the other to Hidan.
"Wonder what made these stains..." He said absentmindedly.
"Considering there was a whorehouse not far... do you really want to know?" Kakuzu retorted, not daring to undress himself.
"I hope you know how much I loathe you." Hidan droned mutinously, laying on top of the blanket, also fully clothed.
"... I could kill you one day." Kakuzu replied in a soft voice.
"Tch, yeah right. I'm immortal, dumbass. Go ahead and try." Hidan scoffed.
"Immortality is nonexistent and you know it."
"... Kakuzu?" Hidan did not like the way he had said that.
He looked to Kakuzu's bed to find him facing away from Hidan. Hidan gave a pout at being ignored then turned away from Kakuzu. Last night, before Kakuzu had woken them, Hidan had been enjoying the elder's close company. His body really was warm and, though his skin was rough, Hidan enjoyed being wrapped in those arms. It was a nice contrast to his own soft skin. Before he had fallen asleep, he had made a prayer to Jashin. Granted it was a selfish prayer that would be considered blasphemy if it were to be granted... but a prayer nonetheless. This led to Jashin leaving Hidan, towards the beginning of the dream, alone with the dream-Kakuzu. Hidan smiled at the memory and fell into a peaceful sleep.
In his dream, he was visited by Jashin. He knelt in front of his god, head bowed. Jashin told him to rise and stepped aside. Kakuzu appeared, sitting up in a bed, counting his beloved money. However, at his side, Hidan lay curled up against him. Kakuzu paused his money-counting to pet Hidan's hair and his lips parted; he was whispering words the real Hidan could not hear.
"Jashin-sama... why...?" Hidan did not notice the tears sliding down his cheeks.
"You pray for this heathen to love you in return. 'Why?' indeed, my child." Jashin spoke quietly and his emotion was hard to name.
"He hasn't shown disgust towards my rituals to you..." Hidan started but was silenced by a cold look.
"He cares for you in ways I cannot." Jashin murmured.
"Do not say that, my lord." Hidan gasped, "You have done far more than that heathen bastard!"
"No, we care for you the same amount." Jashin corrected, "Which is why I want to know what else draws you to him."
"Aside from his looks?" Hidan smiled now, "I'm not sure except that he has defended me from verbal and physical abuse. He says it was because he is the only one allowed to harm me. Yet he hasn't really hurt me; I'm no wuss and can take what he dishes out." Hidan shrugged, unsure of what else to say except, "I just love the bastard... He won't leave me like those others... He's immortal!"
"Hidan..." Jashin sighed with sadness, "You are like a son to me. So I shall fulfill your worthless prayer."
"It's not worthless..." Hidan pouted once he woke up.
"What's not worthless?" Hidan fell to the floor when Kakuzu's voice sounded from inches away.
"Don't fucking scare me like that!" He snapped, "And what the fuck are you doing in my bed!"
"I was sleeping." He lied.
"Tch. Yeah right, you were probably watching my sleep, perverted old man!" He scoffed.
"I'm going to kill you..." Kakuzu grumbled.
"Like you could pull it off!" Hidan laughed.
The awkward feelings between the two were lifted and they continued on their mission. They took down the two-tails after finding and cornering her. They were led into a trap though. Kakuzu was immediately taken out of the fight and hours later Hidan finished his ritual. Once Zetsu had taken the body, Hidan bitched to Kakuzu about blasphemy.
"You'll have to deal with it." Kakuzu sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.
They headed to the Fire Temple since they were in the Land of Fire. Another fight, another body bagged. Kakuzu smiled under his mask as Hidan finished his ritual. Hopefully this amount of utter carnage would please Jashin. He could not have Hidan's immortality taken away before he could confess. Hidan's almighty god had appeared in his dreams yet again, warning him of an approaching danger. He could not believe he had believed some 'god' of a murderous, cult-like religion.
Kakuzu let Hidan leave his side at the bounty office. Perhaps that had been the first mistake. The second was giving that shadow kid time to analyze Hidan's jutsu. The third was not losing the bounty; the bounty was obsolete at the moment... The third mistake was going back for the bounty. Fourth: Becoming overconfident while he fought side-by-side with his partner. Fifth and final mistake: Letting Hidan be led away by a kid with a vengeance.
'Why, Jashin? I was so close...'
Please let me know if you want a sequel! The last line is both Hidan and Kakuzu thinking before they're "killed". I wouldn't mind critique, just no flaming. First time actually trying for a oneshot... asides from the one KisaIta thing... PS - Sequel is up in next chapter!