Title: Erotophonophilia
Author: homesweethomicide13
Rating: M
Pairing: KakuHidan
Warning: Yaoi, violence, blood, sado-masochism, graphic adult content, etc.
Disclaimer: Oh boy do I wish.
Summary: Two twisted minds, paired together in a violent embrace. KakuHidan. Sequel to Taphephilia. Hardcore gore and Yaoi.

Author's Note: Erotophonophilia is a sexual fetish for murder.

Erotophonophilia

Several feet beneath the surface of the earth, Hidan laughed. And his laughter was heard by the man waiting in the shadows in the Nara forest, unusual eyes focused on the pile of rubble that marked the entrance to Hidan's earthy tomb.

His stitched face twitched into a rare smile.

"That twisted, masochistic Taphephiliac."

-x-

Hidan was still laughing when Kakuzu finally broke through the pile of rubble that covered his dismembered body. It was quite unnerving, actually, to pull away that last chunk of hardened earth and see that familiar face – separated from his body – spattered with blood, mud and saliva, eyes wide and pupils the size of needle-points as he laughed hysterically at a joke no one else understood. With fingers aching from gripping rocks and scraping away dirt, Kakuzu grabbed a handful of the filthy silver hair and tugged the laughing head free from its prison, holding it up so their eyes were level. And still Hidan laughed.

"You've really lost it, huh?" Kakuzu murmured. Without a second thought, he tossed the head up and out of the pit, hearing it land with a sickening crack on the ground above. A slight smirk did tug at his lips, however, when the laughter stopped to allow Hidan to yell several obscene words. Ignoring the filth that spewed from his partner's lips – a skill he had quickly achieved upon meeting Hidan – Kakuzu turned back to the pit of rubble and attempted to dig out the rest of Hidan's dismembered body.

It wasn't an easy task. The exploding tags that had done the job had done it well – the body truly was in shreds. Each piece he located he tossed up and out of the pit, not caring where they landed. He'd find them much easier up there than down here, and he wasn't about to start stitching the body together in this damn pit. He glanced up at the sky – just visible through the canopy of trees directly ahead, and groaned slightly. It had been dawn when he'd started the task of fishing Hidan out of his grave, and if the poor lighting was any clue, it would be getting dark in an hour or so. He glanced around the pit, briefly wondering if he was anywhere near the bottom. He shifted another huge piece of rubble and used his threads to grab the – what was it? An elbow? – from underneath it, and then tossed it up and out with the rest of the pieces he'd found. He'd been marking off each piece he found in his head, trying to figure out how much more of Hidan he might have to search for. Surely that had to be it now?

Straightening up and looking around the rocky, earthy walls of the prison, he decided that the pieces he'd already found would have to do, because hell if he was staying in here any longer. The walls could easily cave in at any second, and he'd have some trouble getting out again. He made his way out of the deep pit, crawling up over the edge and twisting, landing heavily on the ground beside the gaping hole. He was in a bad shape, and he knew it. Faking death for so long had taken its toll on him, and despite the strong, immortal heart beating away in his chest, he was weak. His arms ached from all the lifting, heaving, and throwing, and his hands were torn and bloody. He blamed Hidan, of course.

He pushed himself into a sitting position and looked around the small clearing where Hidan had battled Shikamaru. There was a dark stain in the grass right on the edge of the pit, and when Kakuzu cautiously ran a finger through it, the same stain brushed onto his fingertip, and shone a dark, dark red in the dimming light. Blood. And, if the familiar scent was any clue, it was Hidan's. Wiping his stained finger on cleaner grass, Kakuzu stood up, arching his back in an attempt to ease out some of the tension that had gathered along his spine, and walked around the clearing, picking up the various pieces of Hidan he'd tossed out of the pit.

It took some time to gather them all in one place, and then he stood there, staring down at the pile with disdain and irritation. Though he should have been used to piecing Hidan back together by now, this was by far the biggest job. First he'd have to arrange the pieces in the right position, otherwise Hidan could very well end up with a leg attached to a shoulder, or an elbow in place of a knee. Muttering complaints under his breath, he crouched down and began to work.

"Like a bloody jigsaw puzzle." He growled as he set out each piece in the shape of a body. He grabbed a hand from the pile, most of the skin burnt off and the pearly white gleam of bone showing underneath torn layers of muscle and tissue, and checked the few remaining fingers it had so he could make a correct assumption of which hand it was. Eventually, the pile began to lessen, and the bloody mess beside him began to look more and more like a human body – a body that looked like it had been mauled by a bear and then tossed into a volcano, sure, but a body nonetheless.

Finally, he'd arranged every last little bit of Hidan's ravaged body. Dark had fallen by now, but Kakuzu barely noticed the loss of light. He operated mostly by touch now – finding the stump of a neck, he fit it against the chunk of torso he'd laid out below it, and his threads set to work. He pieced together the rest of the chest and abdomen before he moved to the right shoulder, and down the right arm. Then he attached the hips, the thighs, the knees, the calves, the ankles, and then the feet. He worked around the body, moving to the left side once he was finished with the right, and attached the other arm. His hands were slick with blood, skin packed beneath his nails, but he didn't notice. He was amazed that there were only a few holes in the chest, and that only one finger was missing. Still, Hidan could heal easy enough once he was in one piece, so it didn't really matter much. He'd bitch about it, of course, probably up until the point where Kakuzu would threaten to tear him apart again, but right now Kakuzu would welcome that familiarity. As much as he hated the religious idiot, he hated it even more when someone else did this to him. Hidan was his punching bag, and only his.

"Right. Now for the head." Kakuzu straightened up, ignoring the dull ache at the base of his spine. There was a tightness in his chest as he crossed the clearing to where he'd left Hidan's head, but he forced it out of his mind. He knew what it meant. He was exhausted, and he was weakening with every step. His single heart was working overtime to keep him going. Hidan was no longer laughing, but he was muttering to himself under his breath, eyes glazed over and unfocused. Yet again grabbing a handful of his hair, Kakuzu bent and picked up the muttering head, walking back over to the body.

In his mind, he was back outside the exchange point, briefcase in one hand, handful of hair in the other. When he knelt beside Hidan's body, he was kneeling beside the cloak-covered body, still decorated with the ritual markings. When he set the head down to sit the body up, he was listening to the shocked murmurs of the Konoha shinobi, watching him in horror and amazement as he set the severed head back onto the stump of his neck. And as he positioned it correctly before sewing it back on, he heard Hidan's muttered complaints.

"Don't be such a baby." He murmured aloud as he watched a single thread pierce Hidan's skin, looping around the rough join, and tighten. If Hidan had heard him, he showed no signs of it. In fact, Kakuzu doubted that he'd even noticed that he had a body again. "Hidan." The zealot was unresponsive, still muttering to himself – words Kakuzu couldn't understand, despite his wide knowledge of languages gained through the many years he had walked on this plane of existence. Frowning in irritation, Kakuzu released his hold on the stitched-up body, and it fell backwards sharply, as he had predicted it would. Hidan's head cracked against the hard ground, and Kakuzu smirked in amusement when those violet eyes finally focused, and silver eyebrows turned down in the beginnings of a scowl.

"Ow! That fucking hurt!" Hidan yelled, attempting to sit up again. He frowned even more when he found it almost impossible to do. "What the fuck?"

"You really are an idiot." Kakuzu muttered, wiping his bloodied hands on the grass around him. "You've been in pieces for the better part of a week. It'll take at least a few hours for your body to heal all the nerves, ligaments and muscles in order for you to move." He tried to keep his voice steady and strong, but it was difficult. He didn't want Hidan to notice how tired he was. He was supposed to be the strong one, after all, and Hidan would never stop teasing him about it if he noticed. And then Hidan really would end up in pieces and buried again.

"A week?" Thankfully, Hidan's short attention span prevented him from noticing anything unusual about Kakuzu. "I was in that fucking hellhole for a whole goddamned week?" Well, Kakuzu thought, it's a shame his vocal cords never cease to work. "I swear, once my Jashin-damned body is working right, I'm gonna fucking track that pineapple-haired bastard down and rip him to fucking shreds for trapping me in that shitting hole for a whole bloody week!" Kakuzu actually raised his eyebrows in surprise. It had been a while since he'd last heard Hidan use such a wide range of swear words in one sentence. "I'm gonna do it slow, make him fucking suffer. I'll cut him up a bit, slice the bastard until there's nothing left to slice, then I'll fucking bury him in a fucking Jashin-knows how deep a damn hole, and see how he-"

"Hidan, shut up." Kakuzu growled in that familiar warning tone that usually told Hidan he was on the verge of becoming a talking head and nothing else. He stopped mid-sentence and actually complied with Kakuzu's command, pressing his lips together in a scowl but remaining silent nonetheless. He noticed now how beaten up Kakuzu looked, and cursed his idiocy for not spotting it earlier.

"You look like shit, man." He stated bluntly. He watched a vein twitch on Kakuzu's forehead, but he shrugged it off – or he would have, if his body wasn't so Jashin-damned unresponsive. "What the fuck did they do to you?" Kakuzu inwardly winced. He'd hoped this conversation would never come up – but of course Hidan had the knack of going to extreme lengths to annoy him, even if he didn't realise he was doing it.

"They had back-up." He offered as way of explanation, but Hidan simply raised an eyebrow. "The Nine-Tails Jinchuuriki, with some remarkably powerful technique." Hidan smirked a little. "Don't even start." Kakuzu warned. "If someone hadn't been tricked into thinking he was sacrificing that kid to some stupid, non-existent god, then I would have replaced the heart Hatake Kakashi destroyed, and wouldn't be two hearts down instead." Now Hidan winced.

"Ah… oops?" He grinned a little. That vein twitched again, and one of Kakuzu's hands clenched into a fist, but he made no move to injure or dismember Hidan. "Still, it must bite, knowing you almost got killed by a damn kid."

"That's rich coming from you." Kakuzu murmured, glancing back at the yawning pit not far from them. "The idiot I had to dig up and piece back together." It was amusing to watch Hidan's facial expression go from smug and slightly cheeky, to a comical expression of outrage.

"Shut the fuck up, asshole!" He screamed. "I swear to Jashin-sama, once my fucking body's moving, I'm gonna beat the shit out of you for that, you money-loving, heathen bast-" He broke off, the insult dying on his tongue as he watched Kakuzu lift a hand to his chest, saw the strain in his face that he'd been desperately trying to hide. "Shit… how many hearts you got left?" Kakuzu ignored the question, trying instead to focus on breathing. He'd never die, not with Hidan's heart pounding away in his ribcage, but goddamn, it hurt.

"Just the one left." He finally rasped out, leaning back against a tree. Hidan frowned.

"Why the hell didn't you stock up once you got free of those Konoha bastards? Figured that'd be first on your list of things to do." He saw Kakuzu tense at the question, and his frown deepened. He'd never seen the miser look so uncomfortable before. "Oi, oi! Answer me, dickhead! Why the hell did you come here before stocking up?" Kakuzu muttered something, so quietly that Hidan couldn't hear anything more than a low rumble. "Speak up, asswipe. My ear's are full of dirt, here." Kakuzu was avoiding looking in his direction, his face heavily shadowed. He spoke again, a little louder, but still too quiet for Hidan. "Jeez, are you fucking deaf? I said, speak up!"

"I had to get you out!" Kakuzu snapped, turning to meet his eyes at last. Hidan's jaw hung open as he was rendered speechless, trying to get his head around the fact that Kakuzu had placed his rescue above his own needs. Uncomfortable in the tense silence that followed, and even a little embarrassed at the revelation, Kakuzu stood up, trying to put some distance between himself and Hidan. He'd been trying not to admit, even to himself, that the first and only thought on his mind upon his escape from Konoha was to find Hidan. He staggered a few steps away, and then he pitched forward, the ground rushing up to meet him. He registered the sharp sound of Hidan's voice as he called out for him, and then darkness invaded his vision and his mind, and he fell back into the deep black of unconsciousness.

-x-

It was the sound of a familiar voice, muttering away in the background, which first registered in his hazy mind. It sounded distant, and not quite right, as if he were hearing it from under water. He listened hard, trying to pinpoint just where he was hearing this voice, and why it was so familiar.

"… Had to go and-Oh, fuck it!" His mind cleared sharply as the harsh curse echoed through his head, and he matched the voice to a face, and the face to a name. Hidan. He was with Hidan. Slowly, as if waking from a coma, he prised his eyes open, blinked until his vision focused. He was on his back, staring up at a rocky ceiling. For a moment he thought he was down in that pit, trapped beneath layers of rock and rubble, but after a moment's thought he realised it was too light, and too breezy to be the pit. His body ached all over, and his head throbbed with dull pain, but he ignored it as he pushed himself into a sitting position.

He was facing what appeared to be the mouth of a cave, and he could see daylight outside. With shaking legs, he stood up, leant against the wall of the cave for support while he regained his sense of balance. He felt stronger than he last remembered, and he wasn't so tired, so he assumed he'd been out for at least a day, perhaps a day and a half. He walked slowly to the mouth of the cave, and peered out into the open. A wall of trees arced around a wide clearing, and a small river ran through the centre, just wide enough for a grown man to stand in, and deep enough to reach his knees. He knew this because Hidan was standing in said river directly ahead of him, water glistening over his very naked body, silver hair plastered to his scalp and forehead. The dark stitching that had covered his body after being pieced back together had faded a little, looking more like scars than stitches, but it was still obvious where the joins were. He watched as Hidan crouched down closer to the running water, scooped some up into his cupped palms, and then splashed it over his face, scrubbing at his forehead with the heel of one palm furiously. Kakuzu had just enough time to register a small, jagged circular wound on Hidan's back – about heart-height – before Hidan turned to face him. And their eyes met.

"Oi, oi. Look who finally fucking woke up." Hidan smirked. "Feeling better, Sleeping Beauty?" If Kakuzu hadn't been so relieved to see him up and about, he'd have decapitated him in an instant. Instead, he leant against the cave wall, and crossed his arms over his chest, simply raising his eyebrows. Hidan stepped out of the river and shook himself – rather like a dog – before bending down and picking up a pile of black cloth that Kakuzu hadn't noticed. His eyebrows, still raised, lifted higher when Hidan pulled the black cloth on around his shoulders, and he saw that it was, in fact, an Akatsuki cloak. An Akatsuki cloak that was at least one size too big for Hidan, and had a huge hole on the left breast.

"Is that my cloak?" He murmured as Hidan walked closer. Hidan scowled as he rolled up the sleeves and adjusted the open collar.

"Yeah, well. Didn't have no fucking clothes, did I? Hell if I'm walking around fucking naked out here. And since you went and fucking collapsed, I didn't have a chance to find something better." He crossed his arms in a similar fashion to Kakuzu and tilted his head back slightly, cool violet eyes regarding him curiously. "Dragged your heavy ass out of that Jashin-damned forest, despite the fact my fucking body was a bitch to walk around in, then stumbled upon your damn cloak. Figured it'd do until I got a chance to steal some fucking clothes."

"You dragged me out here? By yourself?" He didn't know why he was surprised. He knew enough about Hidan to know that he wouldn't just leave an unconscious partner in enemy territory, despite how much he claimed to hate them, and especially when said unconscious partner had just pulled him out of a ten-foot deep hole and stitched him back together.

"Well, we're even now, yeah?" Hidan muttered. "You fucking dragged me outta that pit, so I dragged you outta that forest. I don't owe you shit now, okay?" Kakuzu felt the threat of a smile pulling at his lips, so he quickly distracted himself.

"How far are we from Konoha?" He didn't recognise the area around him, which was unusual. Hidan shrugged.

"Fuck knows. I just got us the hell out of there. Bollocks if I'm going back in that hole!" He rolled his shoulders, and Kakuzu heard his joints crack. "We're somewhere on the border, I reckon."

"Good." Kakuzu nodded. "I need to stock up on hearts. If you're strong enough to fight, then you can help. If not, stay out of the way." Hidan's face flushed with anger.

"Fuck you, Kakuzu! I was fucking strong enough to drag your Jashin-damned dead weight body out here, fucking strong enough to fight off a fucking herd of devil-deer and fucking strong enough to make sure no bastard came near you while you were out like a fucking light! You got no fucking right to treat me like shit right now, cocksucker!" Kakuzu would never admit it out loud, but he liked it when Hidan got angry like this. He was so passionate, so involved in whatever he was bitching about. And once he was finished screaming and ranting, he would stand there, as he was right now, face tinted pink with anger, eyes hard and burning with fury, every muscle in his body tense and ready for a fight. And it looked… good. It suited him. Rage suited Hidan. Of course, Kakuzu always knew exactly the right thing to say to keep him angry, or to calm him down.

"Devil-deer?" The calm tone, the dismissal of anything else he'd said, coupled with the slight quirk of one eyebrow, had Hidan fuming even more.

"You're such a dick!" Hidan turned on his heel, his back to Kakuzu, and scowled at the ground. He wanted nothing more than to walk right up to that asshole and smack that smug little smirk off his face, but he knew that brought up the risk of finding himself in pieces once again – and as much as he loved the pain and the thrill, he just wasn't in the mood for dismemberment.

Kakuzu could see Hidan's shoulders quivering under the big coat, and inwardly sighed. Treading carefully so he wouldn't alert the Jashinist to the fact he was approaching, he slowly walked up behind the silver-haired man and placed a hand on one of those quivering shoulders. As if someone had flicked a switch somewhere, the quivering stopped and Hidan's muscles turned to stone beneath his hand.

"Hidan." He murmured, applying pressure and twisting his hand so he was turning Hidan around to face him again. "Let's go get you some clothes, hmm? You must be cold." The uncomfortable change of character was worth it to see the surprise and confusion in those violet eyes. If he'd wanted to completely freak Hidan out, he'd have attempted a smile. Hidan opened his mouth to say something – probably to argue – and so Kakuzu jumped in before he could. "Shut up. I need hearts and you need clothes." He dropped the hand that was on Hidan's shoulder and pushed past him, leaving the confused Jashinist standing staring at the spot he'd just been in. After a long moment, Hidan turned and jogged after him, falling into step at his side.

It felt weird to walk around without his mask and head covering on, but he knew they were both a lost cause. His mask had torn during the fight with Kakashi and the two children, and his head covering and headband were probably destroyed by now. He dragged a hand through his loose hair, expecting it to feel grimy and tangled, but to his surprise he found it completely the opposite. Curious, he glanced down at his hands – remembering them to be bloody, filthy and torn up from the work of putting Hidan back together – and his eyebrows shot skywards when he noticed they were clean, and his bloodied knuckles had been tended to. He sent a sideward glance in Hidan's direction, watched the Jashinist as he ducked his head, staring at the ground as he walked.

"Hidan, did you-" He broke off, and when Hidan looked at him curiously, he shook his head slightly. "Never mind." He stuffed his hands into his pockets so he couldn't look at the cleaned wounds. His logic told him there was no way it could have been anyone else, but he found it hard to believe that Hidan would have cared for him like that whilst he was unconscious. He jolted out of his thoughts when Hidan stumbled beside him, staggered, and began to fall. A dormant instinct kicked in, and Kakuzu shot an arm out, catching Hidan before he hit the ground. Hidan's hand flew out, gripped onto Kakuzu's arm, and they both froze in place, Kakuzu's hand resting on the curve of Hidan's waist, his other hand clamped onto the shoulder furthest from him.

Time stood still as both men tensed, realised what had just happened. Hidan was still in shock over the strong arm across his body, the hands on his waist and shoulder. Before, if he'd tripped, Kakuzu would stand by or walk on as he fell flat on his face, and wouldn't even offer a hand to help him up. So why had he caught him this time? Why was he holding him in such a protective manner? And why was he holding onto Kakuzu's arm as if he needed protecting? He turned his head to meet Kakuzu's gaze, saw the surprise in those dual-coloured eyes, and realised that Kakuzu was just as confused at the action as he was. For a long, tense moment, neither spoke, nor moved away. They held each other's gaze – Hidan's eyes questioning, Kakuzu's eyes surprised – neither loosening the hold they had on the other. Eventually, Kakuzu broke eye contact, clearing his throat awkwardly and turning his head away.

"You should… be more careful." He muttered. "Idiot." He added quickly. He released his hold on Hidan's shoulder and loosened his grip on the Jashinist's waist, attempting to pull his arm away. Hidan still had his hand wrapped around the tan, stitched arm, however, and he was still too shocked to realise he hadn't let go. "Uh… Hidan…?" Hidan blinked, and he quickly straightened up, dropping his hand.

"Uh… I…" Hidan stammered, averting his eyes. "Body's still a bit… wobbly." He muttered pathetically. Kakuzu nodded and started walking again, and Hidan followed his example. They moved in silence – Hidan was trying desperately not to think about how Kakuzu had caught him, tried to ignore the fact that his skin tingled where Kakuzu had touched him, and Kakuzu was trying to forget how right it had felt to rush to Hidan's aid like that, even for something as simple as a stumble.

He'd had no problems with attacking Hidan before now – hell, it was a part of their teamwork! He'd put Hidan in the firing line of his attacks hundreds of times, had dismembered and decapitated him without a second thought, and listened to his whines about pain long enough to inflict more of it upon the zealot. Yet the idea of Hidan tripping and falling over had struck him as wrong, and he'd felt compelled to stop it from happening – to protect Hidan. It made his head spin, and he tried to force those thoughts to the back of his mind. He couldn't think about this now.

And yet… hadn't Hidan been his first thought upon waking from his death-like state in Konoha? Hadn't Hidan been the first wrong that had to be righted in his mind? Hadn't he followed the signature of Hidan's chakra through a huge, dark forest, risking falling into the path of a Konoha shinobi, with only one heart and a weakened body, just to find his annoying, irritating, masochistic idiot of a partner? On seeing the pit and hearing Hidan's laughter from beneath the rubble, hadn't he begun tearing at said rubble in a heartbeat, desperate to free the Jashinist? And when Hidan had questioned why stitching him back up had come first, hadn't he been embarrassed to admit that it was the only thing on his mind? Hell, he'd almost blushed. Him. Kakuzu. Blushing. It just didn't happen.

"Oi, dickhead." Hidan murmured, sounding a little more like his usual self and less like the stammering, shy idiot he had been only a moment ago. "I think I hear someone coming this way." Kakuzu stopped, and listened. He felt out for a chakra signature, and then smirked.

"Oh yeah, someone's coming." He met Hidan's gaze, and Hidan grinned, their earlier awkwardness forgotten now that they had something to distract themselves with. "Fancy a bit of blood, Hidan?"

"Always." Hidan licked his lips, then ran his tongue over his teeth. "Just like always?" At a nod from Kakuzu, they split, disappearing either side of the path through the trees and lying in wait. The poor, unsuspecting ninja heading in their direction wouldn't know they were there until it was too late. He eventually came into sight, a tall thin young man who looked barely out of his early twenties. His dark hair was pulled back out of his face into a low, spiky ponytail. Hidan's eye twitched as he recognised the symbol on a sash around the man's waist. It was the same symbol that had been painted on the ground when that pineapple-haired fucker had buried him. He glanced over into the trees on the other side of the path, saw Kakuzu's shadow, and the signal the stitched man gave him. Time to go.

He cursed when he realised he didn't have his scythe, as that would normally be the first thing he'd throw at a victim, and it temporarily threw him off. If it hadn't have been for Kakuzu, the guy might have noticed something was wrong before they'd had a chance to attack. Thick threads shot out from the shadows, wrapped around the guy's throat before he had a chance to call out. Hidan watched one thread hook around a wrapped-up handle sticking out of the guy's sash, and he caught the curved blade that was then tossed in his direction. Now he leapt out of the trees, arm swinging, the blade slicing through the air – and across the guy's cheek. This would be a quick kill, no fooling around – much to Hidan's disappointment, but they did need to be out of the Fire Country as soon as possible, just in case. He probably didn't need to ingest the blood and start up the ritual, but he felt like he'd ignored his god's needs for too long, and so he brought the blade up to his lips and licked it clean.

More threads pinned the guy's arms to his sides so he was unable to move, and a few clamped down around his mouth. Hidan used the same blade to draw his own blood, and squeezed it out onto the ground at his feet. He could practically feel Kakuzu rolling his eyes as he quickly drew the Jashinist symbol on the ground with his blood, and took up his position. He wouldn't go for a heart-kill, since Kakuzu needed it, but he could still have his own twisted fun with it. He pulled off the top half of the Akatsuki cloak, tying the sleeves around his waist so that it wouldn't slip down past his hips, and dragged the blade over his chest. He groaned softly as the pain flared up, sending shivers down his spine and making his fingertips tingle. The ninja in front of him made a muffled cry, but the threads clamped around his mouth and throat prevented him from making too much noise.

"Don't waste time, Hidan." Kakuzu growled, stepping out of the shadows on his side of the path. "Make this quick. You'll have plenty of time to play later."

"That a promise, asshole?" Hidan smirked, before he rammed the blade into his own liver. Another muffled scream from the doomed ninja, music to Hidan's ears. He stabbed himself a few more times, avoiding the heart – though some were dangerously close – before he tore open his own abdomen, blood gushing down his patterned skin and pooling along the folds of the cloak around his waist. Kakuzu felt the ninja slacken in his threads, and knew that he wouldn't last much longer. He'd lost a lot of blood, most of it in that last slash. More threads snaked out, pierced the guy's flesh around the heart – and wrapped around the frantically beating organ. With a twisted smile, Kakuzu ripped the heart out and pulled it into his own body, feeling the relief as his body adjusted to the second heart. He dropped the dead ninja to the ground and glanced over at Hidan.

His skin had returned to its usual pale colour, his torso stained dark red with his own blood. His head was thrown back, a satisfied smile on his face. Clicking his tongue in annoyance, Kakuzu sent a handful of threads snaking over Hidan's body, sewing up the wounds quickly. Hidan's head snapped back down and he scowled at Kakuzu for spoiling his fun so soon, but Kakuzu wasn't looking at him. He had crouched next to the dead ninja and was stripping him. Hidan had barely registered what he was doing before plain black trousers were tossed in his face.

"Put those on. We'll have to ditch the cloak soon, if we're going to keep a low profile until we're completely restored in strength." Kakuzu told him as he pulled off the ninja's shoes, also tossing them at Hidan. "At least this guy looks about your size. It would have been a bitch if he'd been a kid or something." Hidan scowled and pulled on the trousers, settling them comfortably on his hips. He pulled the cloak from around his waist and dropped it to the floor. Kakuzu glanced at the bloody symbol on the ground and sighed. "You're an idiot, Hidan. Find a way to get rid of that, otherwise it'll be obvious who killed him. Search the body, pick up any weapons he has. We may need them if we're going to successfully attack and kill someone else. I'm going to see if I can pinpoint our location." He walked off ahead, leaving Hidan scowling at his back. He needed to get away from Hidan, before he did something he might later regret. He couldn't wipe the image of a bloodied Hidan looking so perfectly in ecstasy from his mind. The blood, the slaughter… it was almost too much.

He'd always been fascinated by murder. He remembered his first kill, and how good it had felt. Then it had become habit, and he'd kill anyone and everyone who pissed him off. Each time he killed, it filled him with a satisfaction he couldn't name. Once he was a member of Akatsuki, he'd enjoyed pulling apart every partner they tossed his way – until Hidan. Hidan had been something new, and something more infuriatingly annoying. He'd been furious when Hidan's decapitated head had started yelling at him after he'd finally snapped and killed him – or so he'd thought back then – but after learning a little more about the annoying idiot, he'd begun to see a plus side. Hidan liked pain, and he liked inflicting it. He liked tearing someone apart and inspecting their insides like a gallery piece on display. He could mutilate Hidan to his five hearts' content, and Hidan would keep asking for more. And he loved watching Hidan kill, even if he took his time in doing it. It was just so… beautiful.

No. It was more than that. It was absolutely fucking perfect.

After gathering his bearings – and his thoughts – Kakuzu turned and headed back to where he'd left his loud-mouth partner. He frowned when a harsh scent invaded his senses, burned the inside of his nose and throat as he breathed in. He turned the corner – and cringed.

Hidan had set the body on fire – lord knows what with – along with the Akatsuki coat, directly on top of his ritual symbol. The ground beneath the body was burning, too, taking the telltale Jashinist marking with it. Despite his initial irritation, Kakuzu knew it was the most practical way of disposing of everything – which is why he walked over and increased the heat of the flame with a standard fire jutsu. They stood by and watched the heap burn, mesmerised by the flames. Kakuzu shifted his gaze when Hidan moved beside him, extended his hand, palm-down, directly in front of him. He swung it in an arc through the fire, hissing with both pain and pleasure as the flames licked at his skin, began to burn. Hidan pulled his hand free, inspected the damage on the skin, an odd little smile on his face. Kakuzu watched him, not noticing the smile slowly forming on his own face. Hidan still fascinated him, even after everything they'd been through together. And now, watching him stand there, the firelight dancing off his smooth, pale, bloodied skin, highlighting the curves and lines of his body, flickering over that perfectly chiselled face, Kakuzu realised it was more than fascination.

"Oi. What ya staring at, fucker?" Hidan's voice broke through the trance he'd fallen into, and he looked away, turning back to the fire, which was beginning to die down.

"Nothing. You're just fucking weird." It was a lame response, but it was all he could think of. "Damn masochist." He was expecting a torrent of curses and insults to be thrown his way any second. What he didn't expect was to feel a warm body pressed against his side, and an arm draped around his shoulders.

"Aww, Kakuzu-chan, you love it really!" That tone of voice was, to Kakuzu, like having nails slowly driven through his scalp and right into the part of his brain that contained the trigger for his bloodlust. He turned, ready to shove Hidan off him and impale him or decapitate him – whichever was easiest in that split second – and wipe that frustrating little grin from his face. He didn't account for how heavily Hidan was leaning on him, and how said zealot was still a bit shaky on his feet. As he turned, Hidan wobbled, tripped over his own feet, and landed heavily against Kakuzu's chest. Kakuzu, not expecting to suddenly have an armful of religious-idiot, staggered backwards and lost his balance. They both slammed to the ground, Hidan sprawled on Kakuzu's chest and between his legs, one arm hooked around the miser's neck.

"Fucking hell, Hidan." Kakuzu groaned, lifting his head. His breath caught in his throat a second later. Hidan's silver hair was splayed over his shoulder, his head resting directly over one of his hearts. The arm that was hooked around his neck was hot against his skin, the hand tangled in his dark hair. Hidan's other hand rested on the ground beside his hip, fingers tucked underneath the curve of his waist. Hidan's lower half was settled between his legs, hips only about an inch or so away from his own. He could feel the wet blood seeping through his shirt from where Hidan was pressed so tightly against him.

"Ow. Fuck." Hidan lifted his head, silver hair falling down in front of his face, hiding it from sight. With a little flick, he shook the hair out of his face and scowled at Kakuzu. "What'd you do that for, dick?" The scowl slowly faded from Hidan's face. "Hey… 'Kuzu, are you... fucking blushing?" Shit. Was he? Oh, crap. Not good. Wait.

"Did you just call me 'Kuzu?" Now Hidan flushed bright red. He shook his head a touch, and his hair once again fell in front of his face. Kakuzu smirked, and hooked his own arm around Hidan's waist, pinning the smaller man against him. "Well that's just fucking adorable." Hidan tried to push away from him, tried to get up, but Kakuzu had a grip like steel on his waist. Hidan lifted his head again, the hair falling away and revealing the fading blush on his cheeks.

"You're a dick." It had meant to come out as an angry growl, yet it was nothing more than a hushed whisper. The smirk vanished from Kakuzu's face and he loosened his hold on Hidan's waist, but Hidan made no move to get up. Blood was drying on Hidan's chin from where he'd coughed it up during his ritual, and Kakuzu couldn't take his eyes off it. The deep red stood out so wonderfully against that pale skin. It reminded him of how the blood had poured from Hidan's body, over that smooth, perfect chest, over those toned stomach muscles. He moved his hand, tracing Hidan's spine. "Ka…kuzu?" Hidan murmured, looking a little surprised. His hand slid higher, following the curve of the spine, until his fingers brushed over the familiar feel of his stitching. His eyes never leaving Hidan's, he picked at the stitching until it loosened, and he tore open the wound. Hidan gasped, eyes fluttering closed as his teeth gently clamped down on his bottom lip. He hissed slightly when Kakuzu shoved two fingers into the wound and prodded around inside, feeling the warm wetness of blood.

He watched Hidan's face as he explored the inside of the wound, listening to the gasps and murmurs that escaped Hidan's lips each time he pressed or prodded. He almost smirked at the pleading whine as he pulled his fingers free of the wound, and a thread stitched it back up. He brought his hand up and round to Hidan's face, and smeared his bloody fingers over Hidan's lips. Violet eyes snapped open in an instant, stared down at him in surprise and something that Kakuzu couldn't quite place. Without breaking eye contact, Hidan licked his lips, and then opened his mouth a little wider – and used his tongue to draw those bloodied fingers into the warm, wet cavern past those blood-stained lips. It was Kakuzu's turn to chew on his own lip as Hidan sucked the blood from his fingers, so slowly it was almost frustrating. Any frustration felt disappeared without a trace when Hidan closed his eyes and actually moaned.

As if the sound had woken him from a daze, Hidan jerked back and sat up, kneeling between Kakuzu's legs and staring down at him in complete shock. Kakuzu pushed himself up onto his elbows, meeting those shocked eyes. There was a long moment where neither spoke, and then Hidan licked his lips.

"We should… move. You know. In case someone comes by, sees the funeral pyre here." He gestured at the dying fire with a jerk of his thumb over his shoulder. Kakuzu nodded and shifted, scooting away from Hidan enough to stand up. Hidan remained kneeling on the floor, afraid that if he tried to stand, his legs wouldn't hold him. He was about to make the first attempt when he realised Kakuzu was holding out his hand. He glanced up at the miser, and – was that a smile on his face? Curious, Hidan lifted his hand and placed it in the outstretched one, and was treated to a warm, firm grip before he was pulled to his feet.

"Think you can walk without falling over again?" Kakuzu murmured, keeping his eyes on Hidan's face.

"Fuck you." Hidan muttered back, his tone light. Their hands were still joined. "With something sharp and sandpaper-y." Any other rude or insulting comments fizzled out in Hidan's mind when Kakuzu actually laughed. It was only a short laugh, and was more like a chuckle if anything, but he'd never actually heard him laugh before. Kakuzu let go of his hand and turned away from him.

"Come on then, moron. Let's go find another idiot to kill."

-x-

They hadn't talked about the incident by the fire. It had been two hours since it had happened – Hidan knew, because he'd been counting – and not a single word had been spoken about it. Kakuzu now had four hearts beating away in his body, and a long coat that he'd stolen from one of the unfortunates who had stumbled in their way. Hidan was still clothed in the trousers and shoes from the first ninja, and he was starting to wish he'd grabbed a jacket. He had managed to pick up a nice weapon, though. They'd left the Fire Country border behind now, which was a weight off both their minds. They'd decided they'd had enough of the place. Even though neither could die, they didn't want to risk another battle which could potentially end up with Hidan in bits and Kakuzu down to a single heart again.

Kakuzu was determined to get the full five hearts before they made any plans on where to go – it would be wise to return to the Rain country, and Akatsuki, but neither really felt like going back just yet. After all, Kakuzu was certain that Pein had no idea about the heart he'd taken from Hidan, and Zetsu would have reported back that he was dead, and Hidan was in pieces buried ten foot below the earth. Knowing the Akatsuki well, he assumed they'd already been replaced. If not, no one was going to expect them to walk back to the main base, so what was the point?

He stopped walking abruptly when he felt a foreign chakra signature up ahead. He felt it out a bit, seeing how strong the opponent would be. Then he turned to Hidan and nodded once, the only signal Hidan needed. Once again, they faded into the shadows – darker now that the day was drawing to a close – and waited for their next victim to fall into their path.

It was a female, probably somewhere in her late twenties, early thirties at most. She didn't appear to have a headband on show, nor any obvious weapons. In fact, she was dressed more like a civilian than a kunoichi. She sighed softly as she walked, brushing a strand of blonde hair out of her face and tucking it behind one ear, only to have it come loose and fall across her eyes again a moment later. Hidan waited, feeling out the right moment to make his initial attack. Then, with a grin on his face, he jumped out in front of her.

"Hey there, sweetheart." He smirked. "Going somewhere?" He saw the flash of panic in her eyes when she took in his bloodied appearance and the long, curved blade on a long pole draped over the back of his shoulders, his arms hooked around it, holding it in place. It wasn't his favoured three-bladed scythe, but it was good enough for what he had in mind. And it was nice to have a long, hard pole in his hands again.

"Who are you?" She demanded, shifting into a defensive pose, fists clenched and held up in front of her. "What do you want?"

"Who I am isn't important." He told her, still smirking. "And I think it's pretty fucking obvious what I want, darling." He lowered one arm, gripped the handle of the scythe in one hand and pulled it down from across his shoulders. He slammed the butt of the handle into the ground beside him, and his smirk widened into a grin. "Bet you got a pretty little heart in there. See, my partner's gonna need it." He scratched at the side of his head. "No chance you're gonna just lie down and fucking hand it over, is there?" When she frowned and her chakra signature flared up, he sighed. "Worth a fucking try. Oi, oi, Kakuzu. Can I mutilate this bitch?"

"Just keep the heart in one piece." Kakuzu stepped out from the shadows behind her, closing off her main route of escape. "Do what you like with the rest."

"I was hoping you'd say that." His hand tightened on the scythe. "Don't interfere, alright? I want to play with this one." He felt a rush of glee when Kakuzu nodded at him once and took a few steps back, still blocking the main route of escape. "So, honey, wanna dance?"

"Go to hell." She pulled a kunai from a hidden pocket in one sleeve of her shirt and brandished it, fire in her eyes. Hidan had to hand it to her, she was brave.

"Been there and back, bitch." Hidan hefted his scythe, held it across his body in two hands. "Reckon mine's a bit bigger than yours, love." Kakuzu always said he talked too much, played around too much. But that was all part of the game. Talk to them, they focus too much on what you're saying, and less on what you're doing. Keep them talking, and attack when their guard drops even just a little. Play around a lot, and they stop taking you so seriously. Dance around them, play with them, and then strike when they pull back a touch. It never fails.

"Shut up and fight." She challenged.

"You sound like dickhead over there." Hidan growled, glancing quickly at Kakuzu. "Always telling me to shut up when I know he loves the sound of my voice really. I know he hates the silence." He waited for it – there! A slight shift of her eyes as she checked the man hanging back behind her. She returned her focus to him just a second too late, but with a quick swerve managed to avoid the blade of the scythe that had previously been aimed for her pretty little neck. Hidan leapt to one side, swung the scythe again. The tip of the blade caught her shirt and tore it a little, but it missed her flesh by a millimetre. She did a series of quick hand seals, attempted to fire a powerful wind jutsu in his direction, but he easily danced out of its range, doing several backflips and twists until he was upright and on his feet facing her – and then he charged. She twisted, kunai raised, ready to counter his attack.

He jumped a second before their weapons would clash, lifted the scythe above his head and prepared to swing down. She cried out in panic, threw herself to one side. The blade sliced through her long blonde hair, severing a lot of it from her head. With an angry growl, she lifted a hand to her now short hair, and lifted the kunai again. Grinning madly, Hidan made another charge, twisted at the last second, turned on the spot, the scythe arcing towards her waist.

Kakuzu watched the fight with fascination. He may have been one of the slowest members of Akatsuki, but that didn't mean Hidan wasn't damned fast. Plus, what he lacked in speed, he made up for in agility and flexibility. Kakuzu had never seen someone pull off gymnastics in the middle of a battle before he'd witnessed Hidan fight seriously. He was quick, and he was agile, and damn if he wasn't focused. An idiot he may be, but Hidan knew what he was doing in a fight – especially with a large weapon. That three-bladed scythe of his had been heavy and awkward in Kakuzu's hands, but Hidan had handled it like a piece of rope in his hands, twirling it and flinging it around as if it weighed less than a feather. And he made controlling it on that long wire look like nothing.

He pulled himself out of his thoughts as Hidan landed a hit on the female – he watched her blood soak through her shirt with a small smile on his face. Now the real fun started. Hidan flipped backwards away from her, landed like a cat on the ground, crouched, one hand pressed flat against the dirt, his other hand still gripping the handle of the scythe, the blade pointed up towards the sky. The gleam of blood flashed in the dimming light as it dripped slowly down the curve of the blade. Hidan started laughing as he straightened up, angled the scythe towards his face. The woman frowned, crouched in a defensive stance with one hand pressed to the wound on her stomach, watching him closely. Still laughing quietly to himself, Hidan poked his tongue out, and slowly licked her blood from the blade.

"Now, bitch… you're dead." He slammed the blade of the scythe into the ground beside him, handle angled so he could easily pick it up and swing it if necessary. It was clear that the woman wouldn't be doing much moving, as the wound in her stomach prevented her from darting about too much, but it was handy to have a weapon close to hand, just in case. He giggled insanely as he reached for the curved blade he'd stolen from the first victim, and slashed at his own arm, letting the blood drip onto the ground. Teasingly slowly, he drew the symbol on the ground. Kakuzu smirked to himself as he watched Hidan's body change into the familiar black and white markings of his curse form.

"What the fuck?" She hissed. "What are you?" Hidan laughed as he stood in the centre of the triangle.

"I'm your fucking Reaper, bitch." He dragged the point of the blade through the wound he'd slashed into his own arm, laughed when she hissed and slapped her hand onto her own arm. The blood seeped between her fingers, spattered onto the ground. "Fucking hurts, doesn't it? Oh Jashin, it feels so good." He dug the knife in deeper, pushing harder until it ripped out on the other side of his arm. Her scream of pain only added to the rush of pleasure and happiness that flooded his mind.

Kakuzu leant against a nearby tree, happy enough to just watch Hidan end the kunoichi's life in his typical manner. She wasn't going anywhere, not now, so there was no need for him to stand as a barricade for her easiest way out. In fact, she had faded so far into the background for him that he'd almost forgotten she existed. Her screams of agony and the scent of her blood were the only things keeping her from fading away altogether. Kakuzu was focused entirely on Hidan, on that beautiful red liquid that leaked from his injuries, on the glorious sound of his bordering-on-insanity laughter. Hidan liked to play with his victims. Kakuzu liked to watch him do it.

"You're under my curse now, little tart." Hidan went on, wrenching the knife free of his arm. "It's been a while since I've been able to play like this. Feels so fucking good." He saw her attempt to move towards him, scowled. "Hey, did I say you could fucking move?" He bent, drove the knife through his right calf. Watched her stagger, drop to one knee. "Fucking bleed, whore." He tightened his grip on the handle, and dragged the blade up along the line of his leg, splitting the trousers along the seam as he did so. He left the blade buried to the hilt in his hip as he threw his head back and laughed hysterically, his body shaking with pleasure at the intense feeling of pain that radiated up through his entire right leg. She was sprawled on the floor now, bleeding out and coughing harshly.

He pulled another weapon from the back of his trousers. It was a short, black blade, and – according to Kakuzu – was possibly a chakra blade. Not that Hidan was going to use it for anything but inflicting pain on both himself and this bitch on the floor. He grinned widely as he stabbed the blade through his chest, just below the join of the ribcage. She coughed violently, blood splattering over the ground. Warm blood trickled from the corner of Hidan's mouth, and he licked at it, shivering with pleasure. Again, he left the blade sticking out of his chest and pulled a kunai out. Instead of stabbing or slashing like he'd done before, he simply dragged the tip of the kunai in a random pattern from one shoulder, over his chest and abdomen, and down towards his hips.

Kakuzu watched the blood slowly rise to the surface, trickle down his skin. Blood-coated and shaking with laughter, Hidan looked truly beautiful. It struck him as odd that he would think such a thing of his idiot partner, but he cared nothing for such thoughts right now. Hidan was truly magnificent. He was an expert at making someone suffer before the eventual release of death. It was one of the few things he'd originally liked about Hidan. They both understood the beauty of suffering.

He watched Hidan tear open his own stomach – again – and then he dragged the black-bladed weapon down from his ribcage, down into the open wound across his stomach, like an upside-down T. Laughing even more, he drove the black blade through his shoulder and down his chest, slicing open his skin with ease. The female was done for now.

"Oi, oi, Kakuzu-chan." Hidan called cheerily, and for once the tone of his voice didn't grate on Kakuzu's nerves. "Bitch's heathen heart is all yours. Take it. Let me feel the pain." Kakuzu slowly moved forward, but he didn't head in the direction of the dying female. While a cluster of threads snaked out in her direction, he walked right up to Hidan, and grabbed hold of the curved blade that still stuck out of one hip. "What are you-FUCKING HELL-OH JASHIN YES!" Kakuzu closed his eyes as Hidan screamed, smirking. He'd dragged the blade from Hidan's hip and up towards the huge slash in his stomach. At the same time, his other hand had plunged into the gorey wetness inside Hidan's chest, and grabbed hold of the join of his ribcage – and pulled. Hard.

"You're addicted to the pain, Hidan." Kakuzu murmured. "Addicted to making them suffer." He pulled again, and something snapped. Hidan gasped sharply, eyes slipping closed. His breath hitched as Kakuzu's hand slipped further up into his chest, tearing at the skin and muscle. "You need," he broke one of Hidan's ribs with a loud snap, and moved to the next one, "to feel," snap, "every," snap, "last," snap, "shuddering," snap, "breath." CRACK. Hidan threw his head back and screamed, but there was nothing resembling agony in that cry. "You like to feel their life slipping away." He dropped the blade and his now free hand reached up, grabbed a handful of Hidan's hair and pulled, yanking his head back and slightly to one side. Hidan was breathing heavily, his cheeks flushed, saliva dampening one corner of his mouth as he gasped out each breath.

Kakuzu paused as he registered than Hidan's skin had turned back to its regular colour, and he glanced over his shoulder at the female, who now had a gaping hole in her chest. He had no idea when she'd finally died. He'd been too distracted with this gorgeous, bloodied and broken man. Turning back to Hidan, he found that the zealot had opened his eyes again, and he was momentarily startled by the fire behind that rare shade of violet. And there it was again – the something that Kakuzu had been unable to determine before. Except now he knew what it was. Now it made sense.

Desire.

He blinked, and suddenly they were on the ground, and his hands were deep inside Hidan's abdomen. The silver-haired man writhed in pure ecstasy beneath him, one hand in his own hair, the other clawing at one of Kakuzu's arms. Blood trickled down his arm and over Hidan's fingers, but neither noticed nor cared. Kakuzu had a handful of Hidan's guts and he was squeezing and twisting, watching the reaction each movement received. He slid one hand up through the huge hole in Hidan's torso and back up to his ribs, pushing the broken ones aside with an quick shove. Hidan arched his back, pushing himself closer to Kakuzu, and a long, low moan escaped his lips. He leant forward over Hidan, his dark hair falling around both their faces like a curtain shielding them from outside eyes.

"I wonder how much I could tear out of you before you'd finally pass out." He murmured. "I wonder… how far you'd let me go." Hidan turned his head slightly, opened his eyes. Their faces were close enough for their noses to touch.

"And you call me the idiot." Hidan whispered, holding Kakuzu's gaze. A grin tugged at his lips. "I ripped out my own heart for you, asshole. You think I'd do that and go all frigid on you when you try to rearrange my insides?" Now it was Kakuzu's turn to grin.

"Where the fuck have you been all my life, you fucking masochist?" Hidan hooked an arm around Kakuzu's neck, pulled his face down until their foreheads met, and stared into those unusual eyes. The air was tense around them as they kept a locked gaze.

"Right fucking here, asshole." Hidan murmured a second before their lips met in a bruising kiss. There was nothing soft or loving about their kiss. It was a battle of dominance right from the very start, their tongues battling together, the taste and scent of blood invading their mouths and noses. Teeth nipped at lips and tongues, clashed together violently. Kakuzu's hand tightened on Hidan's liver, gave it a sharp tug. Hidan's mouth fell open as he gasped, arching up into Kakuzu's body. His head rocked back, exposing the smooth, pale curve of his neck. Kakuzu licked his lips, resisting only for a second, and then he latched bloodied teeth upon that lovely smooth curve, bit down hard enough to break the skin. Hidan made a choking gasp and nails dragged down Kakuzu's back, pulling at the stitches. He bucked his hips up, letting Kakuzu know just how much he was enjoying this.

"Oh Jashin… fuck… oh holy-… shit-Kakuzu!" He groaned, arching into him again as his liver was yanked almost completely out of his body. He gasped several times in quick succession when Kakuzu's hands snaked up through his insides, nails dragging on any and every inch of muscle and tissue they found. Kakuzu released his clamp on Hidan's neck, tearing at the skin as he pulled away. Fresh blood spilled down from the new wound, dribbling into the yawning chasm that had become Hidan's chest. He sat back and inspected the state of the Jashinist, amused at how he'd pretty much opened Hidan up like you would a birthday present. Hidan lay gasping and panting beneath him, his own blood pooling around him like rich wine. And, oh dear god, he was fucking beautiful.

Kakuzu pulled apart his ribcage with a sickening CRACK, earning another moan from the silver-haired man sprawled before him, and he pushed the lungs aside roughly – Hidan's breath hitched severely as he did this, whether voluntary or not, Kakuzu wasn't sure – and placed his hand over Hidan's pounding heart. He stroked the twitching, pulsating organ with his thumb, and Hidan bit through his lip as he moaned again, longer and louder this time. Every sound he made went straight to Kakuzu's groin, and it took an awful lot of self restraint to take his time with this and not just fuck the mutilated man senseless.

Temporarily moving away from his favourite organ, Kakuzu returned to Hidan's guts, tugging at his intestines until they tore loose into his open palms. Hidan twitched and groaned, blood pouring down his chin from where he'd bitten through his lip again. Grinning with mad delight, Kakuzu dragged the long, bloody rope of organ out of Hidan's body, looping it around his wrist as he wrenched it all free. It finally tore completely out with a sucking sound, and Hidan shuddered with pleasure – he cried out as he came hard, staining the inside of his trousers. Hidan gazed upon Kakuzu's face with half-lidded, glazed-over eyes, his lips bloodied and wet with saliva.

"K-Kuzu… please… m-more…" Typical of Hidan to only say please when he was being mutilated. Still, who was he to say no to his favourite activity? He pulled Hidan's head up by his – now bloodied and filthy – hair, and looped the rope of intestines around his neck twice. Shoving him back down into the dirt again, Kakuzu tightened the intestines around Hidan's neck, slowly cutting off his airway. Hidan's eyes fluttered closed and he moaned as best he could, considering his vocal cords were being crushed as well as his windpipe. He just knew Hidan would get off on being strangled. When Hidan's twitchy movements began to lessen, Kakuzu released his tight grip on the intestines and dragged them away from his neck, tossing them unceremoniously back into his abdomen. Then he dealt a sharp, harsh slap to Hidan's face.

"Don't go passing out on me, Hidan." Kakuzu growled playfully. "I'm not finished with you yet." He smirked, slipped a hand inside Hidan's trousers, and wrapped a hand around his hardening cock. "And looks like you're not quite done, either." Hidan opened his eyes, lust glazing them over once again.

"Fucking shut up." He grinned lazily. "And fuck with my insides some more." Kakuzu did as ordered, for once, and shoved his hand back inside Hidan's body, not caring what he grabbed and tore, just so long as Hidan would keep making those damn gorgeous sounds. He grabbed the discarded kunai and tore a second rip down the seam of Hidan's trousers, and pulled them away, exposing the rest of his body. He cut through the flesh of Hidan's thigh and slid his hand into the wound, groaning at the warm wetness that met his roaming fingers. His self restraint was slowly ebbing away. It would be gone completely very soon.

"Hidan." Kakuzu purred, placing both hands on Hidan's shoulders and forcing the zealot to look at him. "Tell me you want me to fuck you." He trailed a bloody finger down Hidan's cheek. Hidan used his remaining strength to push himself up a little, his lips brushing against Kakuzu's as he spoke.

"Fuck me. I want you to fuck me." He murmured slowly, his eyes locked onto Kakuzu's. "I want you to fuck me until it feels like I'm tearing in two. Until I can't tell where I am, who I am. Until my fucking brains come out my fucking ears. Make me scream, Kuzu. Make me fucking scream."

Kakuzu wasn't sure when his shirt was removed, he just suddenly became aware that Hidan was dragging his nails over the stitches on his chest on oh god did it feel good. He'd lazily stitched up the wound on Hidan's chest and abdomen, simply to make this next bit a little less messy – blood was still oozing out around the stitches, but it wasn't gushing out in fountains and rivers like before. Both of them were coated in it anyway, so it didn't matter much, but Kakuzu didn't particularly want bits of Hidan falling out whilst he fucked him into the dirt.

The rest of his clothing was torn away by Hidan's eager hands – eager hands that found his cock, encased it with warm, slick hands, stroked. He moaned low in his throat, temporarily distracted from the glorious, mutilated body of his partner. Then the hands were gone, and were instead raking over his chest, his stomach, his hips, his thighs, tugging at his hair. He knew what Hidan was doing. He was exploring, searching, memorising. Any other time, Kakuzu would have forced him down, established dominance and control. Not this time. This time he let him explore. Let him touch, caress, play. And when Hidan shifted, hooked legs around his body and pulled him down, brushed against him, he took control.

Their coupling was never going to be tender. Yet perhaps neither of them really expected it to be like this. He slammed into Hidan all the way without any preparation, with no warning, and without any hesitation. Hidan's back arched up, his head rolled back, and a scream ripped out of him that sent shivers down Kakuzu's spine. He'd never seen a creature more beautiful than Hidan in the throes of ecstasy. He doubted he ever would. He clawed at his own rough stitching as he slammed back against Kakuzu's hips, digging his fingers into the seam of the wound on his chest, groaned as more blood seeped out. Kakuzu dug his nails into Hidan's hips as he pulled back, slammed in again.

"Agh… nngh-Ka…Ka-ku…zu!" Hidan writhed beneath him, his whole hand buried inside his chest now. Kakuzu leant down, latched teeth onto the nearest flesh he could reach, and bit down hard. He was rewarded with another throaty scream, and Hidan's free hand fisted in his hair, tugged. Kakuzu growled, thrusting into him even harder, feeling warm blood deep inside Hidan already. "Shit, oh f-fuck… yes…!" A harsh tug on his hair had Kakuzu lifting his head, meeting the desire-filled gaze of his silver-haired masochist. He was leaning forward, his spine surely about to snap from the angle, but all he cared about was pulling his dark-haired sadist into another bruising kiss. Blinded by lust now, Kakuzu quickened the pace of his thrusts, encouraged by the moans, gasps and screams that Hidan kept making.

"Fuck… Hidan…" He murmured, one hand clawing up Hidan's arm and round to his throat. He reached higher, shoving three fingers into Hidan's mouth, his thumb pressing hard against the underside of his jaw. Hidan groaned, biting down on the fingers in his mouth, neck arching, forcing his head back. Threads wrapped around Hidan's limbs and worked their way into his wounds, probing and prodding, weaving in around his organs. One of them stabbed through his ear and retracted a moment later, blood following in its wake. Several circled Hidan's neglected cock, and squeezed, encouraging a deep moan out of his throat.

"Nngh-Kuzu, fuck… harder, asshole!" With a slight laugh, Kakuzu obliged, slamming so hard into Hidan he wouldn't be surprised if he broke him in two. He'd never felt desire quite like this before. It was just something about this beautiful, willing victim that drove him into this lust-blind frenzy – Hidan would let him go to all the extremes without needing to be asked. And only Hidan would demand even more. He knew he wasn't going to hold out much longer, but he wanted Hidan to come first, needed to see that magnificent look of pure satisfaction in his face, needed to hear that scream of absolute ecstasy.

He used his thread to rip open the wound on his chest, snapped the remaining ribs that were still in one piece, and punctured both lungs in the process of shoving them aside. And as he wrapped a hand around his favourite organ, felt it pulse and hammer in his palm, he leant down so his lips were against Hidan's ear, and murmured:

"Your heart is now mine."

And he pulled. With a blood-curdling scream of Kakuzu's name, Hidan came explosively, his whole body tensing, his back arching so sharply it nearly broke his spine. He clamped down around Kakuzu, pulling him over the edge with him. He growled out Hidan's name as he slammed into him a final time, breathing heavily, his body shaking with the intensity of his orgasm. His strength was completely sapped, and his arms buckled, dragging him down on top of Hidan, panting and slick with blood, sweat and viscera. It took them both several moments to regain awareness of where they were.

Still shaking, Kakuzu hoisted himself up for long enough to slide out of Hidan's broken and mutilated body, and he twisted as he fell down, landing heavily beside Hidan. He was vaguely aware that his threads were stitching Hidan up properly, hiding the gore that his insides had become. He lay on his back, staring up at the dark sky, and wondered just when exactly night had fallen. A warm body pressed against his, and he glanced down to see a head of filthy, bloody, matted silver hair splayed across his stitched chest, and an arm that was more blood than skin draped over his hips in a possessive grasp. With an affectionate smile, Kakuzu snaked his arm around Hidan's waist, holding him against him.

"You know, we can't stay here." He murmured after a while, stroking a hand up and down Hidan's spine – and noticing that it was slightly out of place. Hidan whined and twisted his neck rather painfully to look up at him.

"I don't think I can fucking stand up, let alone walk anywhere." He raised an eyebrow. "What the fuck did you do to my guts, you ass?" Kakuzu laughed and sat up, pushing Hidan down onto the dirt beside him.

"Exactly what you wanted me to, moron." He stood up, stretching until his spine cracked, and then he looked around for what may be remaining of his trousers. They weren't in that bad of a condition, so he pulled them on and used one of his threads to fix up a particularly large tear. He gathered the rest of their clothing and weapons together, and vanished into the shadows. Hidan lifted his head and watched him walk away.

"Oi, fuckhead! Don't just fucking leave me here, you fucking bastard!" He twisted his body so he was lying on his front, wincing as his loose organs moved around. "Oh, fuck me this feels fucking weird." He muttered as he tried to prop himself up on his hands. Groaning with the effort, he began to push himself upright. He managed to get into a kneeling position, but then his loose organs shifted around again, and he felt a wave of dizzying nausea wash over him. "Uh oh. Not good." His vision began to fade to black and he swayed backwards – and landed in strong, warm arms.

"Idiot." Kakuzu muttered, but with affection. He scooped Hidan up into his arms, holding him against his chest, and began walking back into the shadows with him. He glanced backwards once, at the chilled corpse, and the mass of blood and viscera that stained the ground. With a satisfied smirk, he stepped into the darkness, carrying Hidan to a makeshift camp he'd set up a moment ago. He lay Hidan down on the long coat he'd plucked from a corpse and wrapped it around him. Then he lay down on the grass beside him and pulled Hidan against his side, holding him in place. "Sleep now, Hidan. Let your body fix itself." In a sudden wave of affection for the mutilated man, Kakuzu pressed a kiss to the bloodied forehead of his masochist.

"Fuckin' heathen." Hidan mumbled as he slipped into a well-needed sleep. Kakuzu couldn't help but smile.

-x-

Hidan woke alone the following morning. He was wrapped tightly in Kakuzu's coat, but there was no sign of the miser himself. He attempted to sit up, temporarily forgetting how messed up he was from the previous night, and groaned when it felt like his insides had twisted round and turned upside down.

"Oh, fucking shitting bloody hell." He muttered, curling up into a tight ball and tugging Kakuzu's coat closer around his naked body.

"Want me to put them back in the right places, next time?" Kakuzu murmured, leaning against a tree not far from where Hidan was curled up.

"Fuck you." Hidan growled. "I feel like I've been put through a Jashin-damned blender." Kakuzu walked over and crouched down, stroking back the hair out of Hidan's face.

"Come on, idiot." He scooped him up into his arms again. "Let's get you cleaned up." He carried him through the trees until he reached the spot he'd found earlier that morning. A small pool sat surrounded by a thick canopy of trees, providing the right amount of privacy needed. He set Hidan down by the edge of the pool and quickly stripped down, tossing his clothes in a pile at Hidan's feet. Then he unwrapped the coat from around the filthy Jashinist and picked him up, carrying him into the pool.

"FUCK!" Hidan cringed. "This water's fucking FREEZING." Kakuzu smirked and dropped him all the way into the water. "YOU ASS!" Hidan yelled once his head broke the surface again. "If it didn't feel like my fucking organs are in a Jashin-damned washing machine on high-speed, I'd kick your fucking ass! You piece of shit, heathen fuc-" Kakuzu pulled Hidan's body flush against his and silenced him with a kiss. It didn't take long for Hidan to melt against him, arms clumsily circling around Kakuzu's back, his body still feeling a little shaky after being blown up and then mutilated. When they parted for air, Hidan clung onto him, not wanting to lose the warmth of Kakuzu's body.

"Not complaining anymore, hmm?" Kakuzu smiled. "Well, that's fine. You stay right there." He reached to the edge of the pool and grabbed a roughly cut piece of fabric, dunking it into the water. He squeezed it a little after pulling it out, and then began to gently wash down Hidan's chest and shoulders. He turned Hidan around so his chest was pressed against Hidan's back, and Hidan leant heavily against him, purring with pleasure. He lifted his arms and draped them over his head, lacing his hands together at the nape of Kakuzu's neck, fingers playing with his hair. Kakuzu turned his head and pressed a quick kiss to Hidan's temple before he carried on washing down Hidan's torso. He took caution around the stitching, just in case he re-opened the wounds. Hidan would like it, no doubt about that, but he'd also bitch about it, and he wanted a day with minimal bitching.

Once he was done with Hidan's front, he cleaned off Hidan's back. Then he eased Hidan down into the water, his threads holding him still and helping him to float easily on his back as Kakuzu washed down his arms and legs. Then, turning Hidan so that his head was directly in front of him, he washed out Hidan's hair. Checking he hadn't missed anything, he picked Hidan up and carried him out of the pool, wrapping him up in the coat once more. Hidan watched him with a lazy smile on his face as he quickly dried off and started to pull on his clothes.

"Hey, 'Kuzu?" He murmured in a voice thick with sleep. Kakuzu turned, dragging a hand through his hair, which had started to drip down his bare chest.

"Hm?"

"Is this what love feels like?" Kakuzu froze as he bent to pick up his shirt. He quickly composed himself, grabbing his shirt and pulling it on. He kept quiet as he bent and picked up Hidan – coat and all – and started carrying him back to their ten-second camp. "Kuzu?"

"I don't know." He replied quietly, staring straight ahead. Hidan closed his eyes and pressed his cheek to Kakuzu's chest, hearing the heavy drumbeat of his five hearts. He fancied that if he listened closely enough, he'd be able to pick out which of the five was the heart he'd given Kakuzu.

"I've never felt love before, so I don't know." Hidan scrunched his nose up as he scowled in confusion. "But… I get all tingly when you touch me sometimes, and I don't mean when you hurt me. And… I feel stupidly happy and giddy when you smile at me. It's pretty fucking lame, I know, and I feel like a shitting girl, but-"

"Shut up, Hidan." Kakuzu muttered. He set him down once they got back to their makeshift camp, and dried him off properly. Hidan was scowling at him as he did so, but Kakuzu ignored it. He lifted a hand and brushed back the hair from Hidan's forehead and met his eyes. And smiled. Despite attempting to be pissed at him, Hidan got that familiar fluttery happy feeling when Kakuzu smiled, and he averted his eyes as his cheeks flushed a pale pink. "You need to rest up. You're not completely healed yet." He stood up. "I'm going to fetch you some less torn clothes. You should be fine here, but I'm sure you can take care of yourself enough." He moved towards the edge of the small clearing.

"K-Kakuzu?" Hidan muttered. The miser turned to look at him expectantly. "Um… thanks." Kakuzu smiled again.

"You're welcome, Hidan."

-x-

It was a few days before they got on the move again. Hidan was still feeling a touch uncomfortable, but his organs had been rearranged and reattached, and he could at least walk without feeling dizzy or nauseous. Kakuzu had managed to get him some better clothes, including a sleeveless shirt with a high collar, and a shoulder strap to attach his new scythe to his back whilst he was walking.

It hadn't slipped past Hidan that Kakuzu hadn't said anything in response to Hidan's revelation earlier on in the week. He guessed it was just too awkward for him, but he still couldn't help feeling a little hurt. He'd opened up to that bastard, when he was feeling particularly weak and vulnerable too, and the fucker had just told him to shut up and left it at that.

Kakuzu watched Hidan as they walked. He looked a lot better now – less sickly, for a start, and all the stitches had faded away, leaving behind his beautiful, flawless skin. His hair, though not slicked back into the bullet-proof style he'd had prior to the Konoha battle, was combed back neatly, leaving a few strands hanging over his forehead. He looked more like Hidan.

His mind went back to that morning at the pool, when Hidan had asked him about what love felt like. He'd panicked then, and deflected. He wished he hadn't. He'd wanted to tell Hidan how damned confused he was about all of this, wanted to rant about how it just wasn't possible that he could feel anything but disdain, annoyance and occasional gore-induced desire for the silver-haired masochist, but instead he'd closed himself off – and worse, he'd told Hidan to shut up right when it was possibly the worst thing he could have said.

The subject hadn't been brought up again, and Kakuzu doubted Hidan would mention it again after his rude dismissal of his feelings. But how could he tell Hidan that he was the first thing on his mind every morning, that every second of every day he'd think about him, that he'd see something that reminded him of Hidan wherever he looked, and that he went to sleep every night wishing Hidan would be curled up beside him forever?

"Oi, Kakuzu." Hidan muttered. "Where the fuck are we going now, anyway? Not back to Leader-bitch and Whore-almighty, right?"

"No, Hidan." Kakuzu replied quietly. "We're not Akatsuki anymore. We're free men, to do as we please." He turned to him. "Why? Do you have somewhere in mind?" Hidan shifted awkwardly.

"Well, no." He growled. "Got no fucking home to go back to, have I? Whole fucking village is thirsty for my blood, no doubt, or at least the bastards I left alive when I ran away." He crossed his arms over his chest and scowled. "And it's not like I have any family or friends left, anyway. Anyone I ever fucking cared about is gone." There was a heavy silence. "… Except for you." He added quietly, not looking at Kakuzu.

"Are you saying you'll go wherever I go, because I'm all you have left?" Kakuzu asked casually, keeping his eyes ahead.

"I… yeah." He shrugged. "But not just that. You're in my fucking head, you know? I can still feel every fucking thing you did to me that night and I itch for more. I felt like Jashin-damned hell afterwards but fuck if it wasn't amazing. All I can think about is you, and fucking, shitting hell I've even considered giving you four more hearts, once mine grows back, just so you can stay as strong and as immortal as me. I think about what might have happened if I hadn't left my village, if I hadn't found Jashin-sama, and if Akatsuki hadn't picked me up. I'd never have met you, and Jashin-fucking-damnit I can't cope with the idea that I could have gone on living never knowing you existed." Kakuzu had stopped walking halfway through Hidan's speech, and now the Jashinist turned and realised he'd walked on without him.

Kakuzu felt all five of his hearts pounding away, and he couldn't breathe for a moment. Before Hidan could get embarrassed, or ruin the mood with some insulting remark, he strode up to his masochist, dipped him, and kissed him. Surprised, Hidan flung his arms around Kakuzu's neck to hold on. When Kakuzu pulled back and set Hidan upright again, they were both breathless. Hidan looked at him, an unasked question in his violet eyes. Kakuzu put a hand on Hidan's face, stroked his thumb across the smooth skin ever so softly, and smiled.

"Yes, Hidan. This is what love feels like."


Author's Note: So I just had to write a sequel to Taphephilia. Read that if you haven't already. I would like to point out now that I started writing this at 11pm yesterday, and finished at 10am this morning. Non-stop writing. I stayed up all night just to finish it.

Dedicated to my Kuzu and my Deidara. They know who they are.

And I'm allowed the OOC at the end, since I kept them mostly in character right up until that point. So bleh. - homesweethomicide13