A/N Hello there everyone! This is my first attempt at a Fanfiction so I hope it turns out well…Anyways please enjoy the story and leave a review if you liked it or have suggestions on how to make it better :D
Part One: Broken
I would never f-king forgive that b-tch.
I was trapped deep underground in the pit that heathen had left me in. Under normal circumstances Kakuzu would have sewn me up after getting beat and we would have been on our jolly f-king way...well after killing of everyone. Instead I remained here in the constant darkness of the earth. It was surprisingly warm though, I'd always thought that it was cold underground…wasn't that how everyone described caves and sh-t? Well this wasn't exactly a cave so maybe it wasn't too surprising…
I stewed in silence as those words ran through my head for what must have been the f-king hundredth time. "I believe in the Will of Fire. Your 'Jashin-sama' is NOTHING and you're pathetic. The only one bringing down judgment is ME."
How DARE that heathen b-stard insinuate that Jashin-sama was powerless! When I get out of this bloody hellhole I will personally rip that f-king kids da-n organs out of him in the most painful and bloody fashion I could f-king think of.
"Jashin-sama," I breathed into the black earth, "Free me from this da-n pit so I can carry out your divine judgment and spill that f-king heathens' guts."
Again I felt the bulk of the earth weigh down on me as I woke from the only relief I experienced in this pit. It was completely devoid of light and the f-king pressure was crushing my already motionless limbs.
Unfortunately for me just because I couldn't move my da-n limbs didn't mean I couldn't feel them. The constant pain of my severed limbs wouldn't fade as time passed. Normally my immortal body would heal quickly, making any pain I experienced short lived and glorious. But this was a new form of hellfire. The never ending sharp agony mixed with the steady crushing force was leaving even me wishing for the hellish pain to end.
I decided that I f-king hated the dark.
Whenever I opened my eyes I was greeted with the da-n sting of grit in my wounds, bringing tears to my eyes. I'd never realized how much I'd enjoyed the da-n sunlight until now. The warmth of its rays had been a steady comfort and pleasure. Its light had painted the world out for me see, something you couldn't really freaking appreciate until it was gone. Now I was left with only my imagined phantoms flashing past my eyes as I waited to escape this da-n coffin.
The ever present darkness was unbearable. Where was Jashin-sama? Hadn't I been a faithful servant? Surely one da-n blessing had been earned in my many years of faith filled service.
But I still remained in this prison.
I was being punished. I was sure of it.
Being buried alive in a coffin of Earth was grating on my already unstable sanity. Those words continued to run through my head on a constant replay "I believe in the Will of Fire. Your 'Jashin-sama' is NOTHING and you're pathetic. The only one bringing down judgment is ME."
Maybe I was pathetic. Maybe that was why Jashin-sama hadn't freed me yet. Being blown to pieces by a da-n heathen was certainly deserving of a punishment of this magnitude. But if Jashin-sama would just let me out I could prove that this 'Will of Fire' was nothing compared to the wrath of Jashin-sama.
…So why was I still here?
What if I had screwed up beyond forgiveness? What if Jashin-sama had discarded me as a useless follower, unable to even kill a single boy who doubted in the truth.
But if Jashin-sama had left me I would be dead. After all it was His Blessing that granted me immortality. So what purpose was I serving by remaining here? There had to be something. If there wasn't the Blessing would be removed and I would be called back to Jashin-sama's side.
"I believe in the Will of Fire. Your 'Jashin-sama' is NOTHING and you're pathetic. The only one bringing down judgment is ME."
"Your 'Jashin-sama' is NOTHING…"
What if it was true? What if Jashin-sama couldn't free me? There was no other excuse for leaving me here for so long.
I shied away from the idea. That was sacrilegious. The very idea of such treasonous thoughts made me feel sick.
"Forgive me, Jashin-sama!" I whimpered into the void around me. "I'll never doubt you, ever. So please just free me already…I've learned my lesson!"
It was raining again.
I could always tell when it rained. The liquid would seep down through the layers of soil and soak me to the bone. The rain had never bothered me before but now I dreaded its arrival. Every time it rained the dirt I was usually nestled in turned into a freezing sludge. I couldn't move to warm myself up and the muddy paste would always find ways to work itself into crevices I hadn't known existed between my scattered remains. Then once it dried it would burn fresh agonies into my taxed flesh.
And whenever it rained here in Konoha it was never just a light sprinkle. It would rain at a steady rate for at least a day, usually more, before clearing up. But underground there was no sun to evaporate the rain. The water would hang around for days after the rain stopped until it was absorbed by the trees or sank even deeper into the earth.
Since it was winter I knew it would take even longer to clear up. The next week or two would be spent shivering as the cold barely soothed my blast wounds and the additional weight crushed me further into the ground's hard embrace. I wished I was in hell, at least the fires down there would be warm.
The earth itself seemed to taunt me. I just wanted out and it would relentlessly press me further in…
I'd lost track of how long I'd been down here ages ago.
There was nothing to mark the passage of time inside this Jashin-forsaken place. It felt like years had gone by since I'd eaten anything. My stomach had stopped grumbling after about a week in here. Since then a steady pain had built in my stomach…well it had been blown into several pieces but I still had phantom stomach pangs. Water wasn't such a big deal. This deep underground it was always somewhat damp.
I hoped that a miracle would occur and I would get out. If I ever got out the first thing I would do was eat a whole mountain of spare ribs. Actually, if I ever got out I'd eat anything they gave me…even vegetables.
My life had been a lie.
I'd been forgotten by everyone down in this pit. There was no way I'd go back to the Akatsuki if I got out of here, they had left me to rot. If anyone there cared what happened to me they had a funny way of showing it. I'd been forgotten.
And I remembered hearing somewhere that if you were only truly dead when you were forgotten.
If only I was dead…
Jashin wasn't real.
If He was then I wouldn't still be here. All those people had lied to me. They told me Jashin was real, that He would help me. I regretted all those times I'd held back from something I'd wanted because it was against the "commandments". So much of my life had been lost in the worthless pursuit of some higher goal.
i couldn't believe that I'd missed the signs.
The priests who introduced me to Jashinism had always been after a different goal. They fooled people into believing that Jashin was a god who would reward them with eternal life and a place in heaven if they sacrificed themselves and others.
They had always been taking the people they dubbed the most "faithful" off to the side where they would attempt to bestow Jashin's Blessing on them. Everyone that they tried it on would then use the curse ritual to kill themselves and a virgin sacrifice they had found. They claimed that if they had received the blessing they would live through it and gain immortality from Jashin.
I had been the first success…and all the high priests had died when I gained the Blessing. There was no proof, but I was convinced now that they had just been some fools hoping to gain immortality using anyone foolish enough to believe in Jashin as guinea pigs. It would explain why the high priests never used themselves as sacrifices.
Personally I was mad they had died. If they hadn't I could have spent the rest of my immortal life torturing them until they found a way to turn me back.
I wanted to die. It was their fault I couldn't. If I could die I wouldn't still be in this hellhole dreaming of death.
I saw their faces all the time. They haunted me. I'd killed so many for the sake of that fake religion. I didn't regret killing them, I envied them.
It was ironic that while they were off enjoying wherever they had been lucky enough to end up I was rotting away in my own personal hell.
I've fallen really far if I was becoming envious of the people that I had sacrificed. I'd always thought that I was doing them a favor, saving their souls…well in a way I had. They didn't have to live in this horrid world anymore. But I was still here. Weren't ghosts supposed to kill you in vengeance? So why hadn't they killed me yet…?
It was too much. Everything was pressing in one me. Tidal waves of emotion slammed me around.
The pain the darkness the cold the hunger the Wet the Phantoms The Memories The Words The Irony THE VOICES THE BLOOD THE SCREAMS!
Eyes wide I started screaming
It was a wordless scream and all the worse for it.
It was the shriek of a soul that knows it can't die, that knows it's already in hell, that has nothing left…and that wants to be free.
He wanted to die. Being let out had no point anymore. Life had no meaning left in it.
He'd always wanted to die on the inside. Every time he had stabbed himself for a ritual or fought a tough opponent he hoped that it would finally be his time. But it never came…it was no Blessing. It was a Curse.
His body might live forever but it didn't matter. His soul was dead.
The screams never stopped. After all the damned in hell never stop screaming…
Part Two: Haunted
I'd never really forgotten. After all, no one can forget the face of the person who tore their life apart.
Night after night I'd jolt out of bed as I saw Him land the self-aimed blow that had killed my sensei. When I'd try to go back to sleep I would see His severed head staring out at me, screaming that it would get revenge. The memories replayed themselves over and over, mutating as they went.
It was me getting stabbed, it was Hidan blowing me to pieces, they were never the same. Each had the same ending though. Someone would die in a spray of blood. While it was usually myself or Him it had also been Asuma-sensei, Ino, Chouji, even my own parents.
It grated on my sanity. I saw blood where there was none. I heard phantom explosions ringing in my ears. Insane laughter played through my head whenever I closed my eyes.
I tried to hide it, but this wasn't something that could be hidden easily. The people close to me noticed. I was taken to the hospital after nearly killing myself with a kunai and an exploding tag, in one of my delusions I saw Him in front of me, laughing at my futile attempts to kill him. The need to kill Him rose as strong as it had the first time.
The medics saw that I was suffering from a serious case of sleep deprivation and prescribed me some sleeping pills. They had to be administered by others though, they didn't want to risk another suicide attempt. For the most part the doctors assumed that once I could get some sleep I would return to normal.
They were only half right. I regained control of my mind again. But the laughter and blood were there every night. But under the influence of the drugs I couldn't wake up…
Shikamaru was cloud watching. That was the only time he could come in the family forest anymore. With his return to sanity his team members had done everything they could to keep him busy, it left him with less time to remember. While he knew they meant well he was still a lazy bum and did not appreciate all the extra work.
He sighed and rose to his feet, dusting off his pants. It was almost time for his next missions to start and if he wasn't on time Ino would probably kill him.
"Troublesome woman." He muttered and started back toward the town.
He hadn't gone far when he heard something. Pausing he cocked his head to hear it better, it sounded like it was coming from a ways off. He turned toward the sound puzzled, he knew all the sounds that the deer in the forest made and this was definitely not one of them. If it wasn't one of his deer…then what was it? Making up his mind he changed directions and dashed toward the unnatural sound. Intruders where NOT welcomed in this forest and he would make sure they learned their lesson.
As he got closer to the sound he got more concerned, it was coming from the area where he had buried Him. Was one of the Akatsuki digging Him up? No. He would never let that man back into the world of the living. He would remain buried there forever. It was His grave.
Picking up the pace he burst into the clearing and froze. No one was there. He scanned the area rapidly only to be met with the same results. But the sound was still there. Louder. It almost sounded like…
As if in a trance Shikamaru walked over to where he had sealed up a man for eternity. Kneeling in the sunken crater of earth the shadow wielder placed his ear to the dirt. His eyes widened as he realized exactly what the sound was. Screaming. The cries of pure agony were rising from the earth and as he knelt there he realized what they were. The immortal was screaming in pain. That man was still down there, still alive, and was shrieking his misery out regardless of who could hear it.
Morbid fascination clung to Shikamaru as he remained there, ear pressed to the ground. The screams echoed in his very soul as he listened to the torment he had brought upon this man. Shikamaru had said that he'd bring down judgment, but he hadn't expected this. His brains started working against him as he considered everything that could have brought that man to shriek in this fashion. Reports of how people had found complete darkness to grate on the sanity of a person until they were reduced to animals in mere days flooded his mind. Down there a human being was screaming as madness and horror consumed his mind.
It was all Shikamaru's fault.
His mind started spinning as his heart rate increased. His breath came in short panicked gasps. Shikamaru stumbled to his feet, any grace he possessed long forgotten. He started to scramble away, but the screams weren't fading. They seemed to increase in pitch as he tried to escape. Flinging himself through the forest, tears of desperation spilled down his face.
A shriek ripped itself free of his lungs as he tore through the forest. He was long out of earshot of the screams but they didn't stop. He could still hear them as they bounced through his head, repeating and multiplying. A cacophony of sounds doubling up and increasing until all other thoughts had been shoved from his mind. He was left with nothing but the screams of the damned in the depths of hell.
Shikamaru careened wildly through the trees, he didn't even notice when he flashed past the startled forms of his two closest friends. Turning toward their friend fleeing back toward Konohagakure, Ino and Chouji called out his name. But Shikamaru was already long gone.
He continued his mad dash until he reached his house. Flinging open the door he rushed past his parents with wild eyes and barricaded himself in his room. He flung all his furniture up against the door as his parents tried to open it.
"Shikamaru! What in the world is going on?"
"Son, are you alright! Open the door this instant! Let us in!"
"No" he mumbled, "Go away. I know who you are. You won't fool me you hear! Never again! I Know The Truth! MAKE IT STOP!" His volume increased until he was screaming at the top of his lungs. "GO AWAY! MAKE IT STOP! STOP SCREAMING AT ME!"
The young boy clutched his head as he backed away from the door. Eyes haunted he glanced around the room. He hit the wall behind him and spun around, losing his balance and slamming into the ground. Shikamaru scooted away from the wall he had just crashed into.
"GO AWAY! MAKE IT STOP! I KILLED YOU! YOU'RE DEAD! LEAVE ME ALONE! I KILLED YOU ALREADY!"
Shikaku and Yoshino pounded frantically against Shikamaru's door as they screamed for him to let them in. At that moment Ino and Chouji burst through the front door. They ran down the hallway and skidded to a stop in front of Shikamaru's parents.
"Nara-san! Where's Shikamaru! We just saw him run out of your forest! He looked like he'd seen a ghost or something!" Chouji gasped out.
"Go get help now! The only other time Shikamaru's done something like this was when he had the first relapse involving that Akatsuki guy." Shikaku ordered, face grave.
"I'll go right away." Ino dashed back out of the household, Shikamaru's possessed screams ringing in her ears.
She headed straight towards the Konoha hospital. Running through the streets at top speed, the girl flashed past everyone in a blur. Then a pink haired form stepped into her path, Ino's eyes widened as she realized there was no way to stop in time. She slammed into Sakura at top speed. Both collapsed to the ground in a tangle of limbs, rolling several feet before their momentum ran out.
"Ino! What in the…!" Sakura began before Ino cut her off.
"Sakura! Something's wrong with Shikamaru! You need to come right away!" Ino gasped desperation border lining madness filing her face.
Sakura's eyes narrowed as she nodded and gathered up her things sent flying by Ino's untimely collision. "Alright, good thing I was on my way to the hospital, I won't need to stop by my place to get my medical supplies."
They took off back towards the Nara household. When they reached it they flew down the hallway until they reached Shikamaru's open door. Sprinting inside they came to a halt as they took in the scene. Shikamaru was pinned to the ground shouting by Chouji and Shikaku as Yoshino hovered nervously over them. Everyone's faces turned towards Sakura and Ino as they entered the room except Shikamaru's. Relief filled their expressions as they took in Sakura's presence, a medic was just what they needed.
"MAKE IT STOP! STOP SCREAMING DA-N YOU! I ALREADY KILLED YOU ONCE! I WON'T HESITATE TO DO IT AGAIN! JUST STOOOOOOOP!"
Sakura dropped to the ground beside the still screaming Shikamaru. Blood ran down the side of his face where he had dug his nails into his head earlier, trying to rip the screams out of his tortured head. His pupils where dilated to unnatural sizes, staining nearly his whole eye black as the panic filled him. Sweat dripped down his face as his breath rasped in his lungs between each bout of senseless screams and wordless shrieks. He continued to try to struggle free of his father's and best friend's grasp as they tried to keep him from hurting himself or any of them. Sakura could see that Shikamaru was having a panic attack and if he didn't calm down soon it could degrade into a fatal heart attack. She pulled a heavy sedative out of her pack and stuck the syringe into the vien in his upper arm.
The effect was almost instantaneous. In moments Shikamaru's eyelids drooped and his screams trailed away as the sedative came into effect. Sakura relaxed as she looked up slowly.
"What happened to him?" the medical ninja inquired tentatively, "I've never seen him do anything like that before, not even when he was having those flashbacks about Asuma's killer."
Everyone exchanged glances before Chouji spoke up, "We don't know what happened. We were out looking for him cause he didn't show up for the mission on time and we saw him come charging out of the woods like the devil was after him. We tried to stop him but he didn't even see us, if we hadn't moved out of the way he would have run us over. Then we followed him back here and he was barricaded in his room. We" Chouji indicated himself and Shikaku as he spoke " had to break down the door to get in. He was in the corner ripping chunks of flesh from the side of his head while screaming nonsense. When we tried to restrain him he attacked us like some sort of wild animal." Chouji shuddered at the memory "Then we got him pinned down and you showed up, you know the rest."
Everyone added their agreement. No one knew anything about what had caused this outburst.
"Well then, I guess we just have to wait until he wakes up again to ask him what happened…that is…unless the stuff he was shouting made any sense to someone. Does anyone know what he was shouting about?" Sakura asked.
"I have an idea." All eyes in the room turned towards Ino, "Well the only other time something like this happened was when he was having those nightmares about Asuma. And the last time I saw that Hidan guy alive was when Shikamaru lead him into the Nara forest. Since he came out of the same forest I think this might involve Hidan."
"Yeah that makes sense" Chouji spoke up, "If he dozed off while cloud watching and had another one of those dreams then woke up to find himself in the same place as he had killed Hidan he might have just plain freaked. After all he was yelling about 'I already killed you' and stuff."
"But that doesn't explain the screaming." Startled they looked up at Yoshino, almost everyone had forgotten she was there.
"Sure it does. Screaming is completely normal in these kind of situations-" Ino started.
"No. I'm talking about the whole 'Stop screaming' thing, he was repeatedly shouting that. It wouldn't make sense for him to shout at himself to stop screaming. So he must have been talking about something else, someone else's screaming." There was a brief silence as everyone considered what she'd said.
"Maybe Hidan screamed when he died." Ino offered.
"But why would that provoke such a strong reaction?" Shikaku argued, "I know my son. Screaming is something you can hear in any battle. So one person, even if they killed his sensei, screaming as they died wouldn't have any reason to provoke such a harsh reaction." He punctuated his remarks with a sharp slash of his hand. It was the most emotion most of them had ever seen from Shikamaru's dad, this was really getting under his skin.
"Geh." Sakura grumbled, "Can't we just end this guessing game and wait for Shikamaru to wake up? Then we could get some solid answers instead of this frame of guess work."
It took a long time for the sedative to wear off. Standing around waiting was too much for most of them to handle. Yoshino wandered into the kitchen where she started preparing dinner for her family and all their guests. Chouji was chowing down all the snacks in the Nara household while Ino started up a conversation with Sakura. Shikaku was the only one to remain by Shikamaru simply waiting. The tension filling the air was almost tangible as they waited for Shikamaru to wake up. According to Sakura's estimate he should have woken up almost an hour ago.
Yoshino was just setting the food out on the table when Shikamaru opened his eyes.
"Shikamaru!" Ino squealed, before tackling him in a hug. "We were so worried about you!"
"Get off me you troublesome woman." Shikamaru griped, "I'm perfectly fine except for you crushing me to death."
"Yep he's back to normal alright." Chouji nodded. Sakura pushed Ino out of the way as she knelt down in front of her patient.
"Shikamaru, I need you to tell me what happened in that forest. Something drove you out of your mind for a while there. I can't guarantee it won't happen again if you don't tell me what caused it in the first place."
You could see the emotions close off his expression as Shikamaru looked Sakura in the eye. "I don't want to talk about it." He deadpanned.
"Well of course you don't!" Sakura exploded "And that's exactly why you should! You can't get better unless you can get it out of your system! That's how it works for infection, wounds, and emotions! You need to tell us so we can fix it!" She shook Shikamaru violently as she continued ranting in his face.
"Fine!" he snapped, "If you wanna know so bad I'll show you!" He rose to his feet and stalked towards the door. "You coming?" he said looking over his shoulder.
"Y-Yeah! Sure!" Sakura, Ino, Chouji, and Shikaku quickly rose to their feet and followed him. He led them deep into the Nara family forest until they reached a small clearing with a shallow depression in the center of it. There was no grass or undergrowth growing in the crater.
Shikamaru pointed a slightly shaking finger at the dip in the forest floor. "That's where I heard it, ok? He was screaming. I don't know why but He was. Will you leave me alone now?"
"…Who was screaming?" Ino whispered. "There's no one here."
Shikamaru's hollow eyes spoke for themselves, "He was." He replied quietly. "This is where I buried him." Realization hit and they all backed away rapidly from the gravesite. This was where Shikamaru had buried Hidan…but if he was dead then who was screaming? Unless…he wasn't actually dead…
Ino felt like puking, this was where the man who'd killed Asuma-sensei was buried. And he wasn't dead. He was buried underground still alive. A living corpse. Chouji experienced a similar feeling. He'd always wondered how Shikamaru had managed to kill an immortal man. This answered his question, he hadn't. Instead he'd buried him in the forest. "What makes you think he won't dig himself out of there?" Chouji had a nauseous look in his eyes.
"He won't. I made sure of that." Shikamaru's face was completely devoid of expression.
They huddled there in silence for several minutes as they stared at the unmarked grave. Night was falling fast as they waited there. The shadows stretched and grinned at them maliciously as the last of the sunlight faded from the world.
Then Shikamaru spoke up again.
"I need to know." Everyone turned to look at him with confused expressions.
"Need to know what, Shikamaru?" Sakura asked.
Shikamaru took a deep breath before answering. "I need to know if he's still alive. Or if the screaming was all my imagination. Maybe I'm going crazy. It didn't seem like the thing that anyone could have imagined but still…"
Shikaku gave his son a sympathetic look before starting back towards the house. "I'll get the shovels."
They were there all night before they found anything. Shikamaru hadn't realized just how deep the hole had been until he was trying to reach the bottom again. But this time it was for a different reason, one that made him sick to his stomach. Several times he had to leap out of the pit as he emptied his churning stomach's contents onto the ground. He saw the face of his sensei's killer flashing before his eyes, every smirk, every insane laugh, every memory Shikamaru had tried to suppress for so long were brought back to the surface.
Sakura could tell that this exercise was straining Shikamaru to his emotional and physical limits. His face was desolate and he would flinch back every time his shovel hit something other than dirt. Pain and determination were apparent on his features as he struggled with himself. He didn't want to bring his sensei's murderer back to the world of the living. But he needed to know. More than anything.
As the sun began to peak out from the horizon they found the first piece. It was part of Hidan's arm, Ino had been the one to uncover it. As they stared at it incredulously they finally realized why Shikamaru was so sure Hidan wouldn't be digging his way out. After all, a bunch of immobile body parts weren't much good for escaping. Ino almost puked as she dropped the body part with a gag.
It didn't take them long to find the rest. They kept digging and uncovered lots of random pieces of flesh. Nothing had rotted away or been eaten by bugs in the year Hidan had spent underground. At least the severed limbs weren't still bleeding.
Then Sakura uncovered the head.
He stared up at the girl looming over him with a nervous hope painted on his face. Tears filled Hidan's eyes as he saw light for the first time in over a year.
"I'm finally in heaven. Aren't I? I'm finally dead. Thank you. I've been waiting for so long. I wish it had been sooner…" When Sakura grimaced and the others gathered around her to stare down at Hidan's talking head, his expression became confused. "I'm dead right? I'm finally dead? Please…Tell me! I'm dead! I have to be! I can't still be alive! PLEASE!" Desperation filled his eyes as Hidan turned his gaze toward Shikamaru. "You killed me right? I'm dead! I want to be dead! Please tell me I'm dead!"
Shikamaru just shook his head. "You're immortal, that means you can't die. You're still in this world."
Hidan's heartbroken expression was enough to make even Shikamaru feel sorry for him. The tears began to flow down his face again as the weight of his life fell back onto his shoulders, detached as they were. "Why…Why? Why can't I just be dead…I don't care anymore…"
Shikamaru shifted uncomfortably as everyone looked to him. It wasn't their place to decide what to do with the remains of the ex-Akatsuki member. But he could see it in each of their expressions, they pitied the poor man. Being buried alive for over a year had changed Hidan. It had broken his spirit. He wasn't a threat to them in his current condition. There wasn't any reason to put him back except for pure spite.
"It's gonna be okay Hidan." Shikamaru started uncomfortably, "We'll take care of you…" He trailed off as he saw Hidan's expression.
"You…you're gonna help me? But I thought you hated me…" Confusion welled up in Hidan's eyes. He had never expected to find sympathy from the very man who had sentenced him to hell.
Shikamaru's expression hardened as he steeled his resolve. "Yeah I'm gonna take care of you…but if you put one toe out of line or give me a single good reason I'll put you right back in this pit so fast it'll make your head spin."
Ino and Chouji were the first to recover from their shock. "Shikamaru! What are you thinking! This guy's dangerous! He could kill someone if we let him come to Konoha!" Ino exclaimed.
"Yeah, Shikamaru! Listen to Ino, she's got a good point! If you bring him back to Konoha-" Chouji chimed in before he was cut off by Sakura.
"No he's right. Hidan is suffering from emotional trauma on an extreme scale. If we help him out it could change his entire outlook on everything…he could even become a valuable ally. Having an immortal on your side isn't something to cast aside lightly." Sakura explained "Besides, if he does act up Shikamaru is more than capable of containing him. Don't doubt your friend so much, he knows what he's doing." Ino and Chouji ducked their heads in embarrassment.
Shikaku placed his hand on Shikamaru's shoulder. "You made the right choice. Mercy is a gift few are able to understand, much less give. I'm proud of you, Shikamaru."
"Come on" Shikamaru grumbled, embarrassed, "Let's just get the rest of him and leave. You can put him back together, right Sakura?"
"Yeah I can do that if we can get all of him." Sakura stated. Shikamaru nodded and grabbed Hidan's head. He leapt out of the pit and leaned up against a tree, sliding down until he was resting on the ground. He set Hidan's head on the ground beside him before closing his eyes, it had been such a long day…
"Thank you." Hidan's voice whispered, "I don't deserve it, but thank you anyways."
Without opening his eyes Shikamaru replied "I didn't do it for you. I did it cause that's what Asuma would have done. He was always the better man…It's him you should thank. I still want you dead and gone."
Shikamaru couldn't see it but Hidan smiled. "Well I guess we're working towards the same goal then. You want me dead and I want to be dead. Between the two of us I think we'll find a solution."
"Yeah, I'm sure we will" and Shikamaru drifted off to sleep.
Yeah…don't kill me! I think the ending might be a little corny but hey it worked ;)