The Hokage looked over the report and glanced back up toward the Anbu in the room with him as well as toward Hiashi Hyuuga and Kurenai Yuhi.

"Tenten's parents have not yet noticed?" he asked.

"Tenten doesn't suffer from Hinata's fainting fits," Kakashi said. "As such, the entity bonded with her rarely surfaces where it can talk to us. 'Erma' seems determined to make sure that she takes care of Hinata when she 'goes quiet'."

"Hinata is starting to get something of a poor reputation for mental stability as a result," Hiashi said grimly. "Is there anyway that we can purge these entities?"

"Until we know exactly how they were exposed," the Hokage said. "That may be dangerous. And they seem to have a good control over the entities."

"And this 'Saika' and 'Anri' they've been overheard mentioning?" Hiashi asked.

"Saika is the parent entity," Kakashi said. "And Anri is her host. We haven't discovered the location of this 'Ikebukuro' she's supposed to be at. The relationship seems to be a sort of penpal situation."

"Can you identify the differences in chakra?" the Hokage asked Hiashi.

"It is subtle, but I imagine even the sharingan can detect it if pressed," the man confirmed.

"We place them on watch then," the Hokage said. "If more exposures occur, then we will have to act. But for now, the symbiosis appears beneficial to them."

"Just a note," Kakashi said. "Naruto has mentioned that ...ahem...'Ramen'," he chuckled slightly, "has complained about the mean 'dog' that hates humans inside him. Apparently it doesn't like the idea of the kyubi devouring humans."

"That's at least comforting," Sarutobi said. "Though an enemy of an enemy is not necessarily a friend. And Naruto's mind and soul are already quite cluttered enough."

"If these entities are childish," Kurenai said. "It might be that they'll mature as affected children do. How we treat them might mean the difference between a threat, a weapon or an ally."

Team Guy was camped almost a week away from Konoha, on a patrol route around the edges of the Land of Fire. Tenten was polishing and other wise maintaining her weapons when she paused and looked up.

"Hey, Gai-sensei," she said. "Isn't the graduation test today back at the academy?"

"That's right, Tenten!" he declared. "And I'm excited that you continue to show such an interest in your younger students. However, you must not let that distract you."

"Right," Tenten said, slipping on a pair of thick sunglasses and smiling. "And I'm ready for the patrol route today, so don't worry."

Neji frowned as he looked over toward Tenten and was tempted to activate his byakugan even knowing he wouldn't be able to find much of a reason for the strange fluctuation in her chakra that accompanied that action. Apparently it was something with a physical side-effect, else the sunglasses wouldn't be necessary, but reaching out and snatching away the glasses wasn't likely to be appreciated either.

Gai-sensei knew something about it, because the man often watched Tenten with a measure of caution as well as pride and parental affection.

"All right," Tenten said, leaping up to one of the high branches in a leap that some chunin couldn't do. "Let's go."

Ramen had grown up a little the last two years, though she was still a very exuberant child in nature. Naruto barely noticed much of the time since he was much the same way. The two only really had issues when their focus and attention was split between two different things for some reason and Ramen found herself dragged away towards Naruto's interests while hers fell out of sight.

"All right," Iruka said. "It's time for the test. You will come up here and produce a single clone, is that understood?"

Naruto groaned as his old nemesis was named again. His clones had a tendency to look like someone painted them red. And then they usually got sick and puffed out.

I hate the clone jutsu, Ramen added as if in agreement.

Sometimes Naruto forgot that the spirits couldn't hear what they were just thinking. Which was odd given they lived in his, Tenten and Hinata's heads.

"Okay, I've got this," Naruto said, psyching himself up.

He could vaguely hear Erma quietly encouraging Hinata to do her best and Weird relaying that Tenten wanted to hear how well they did.

Anri and Saika were closed behind dimensional walls at the moment, unfortunately.

Taking a deep breath, Naruto stepped forward to take the test.

As Naruto moved to the front of the room in order to attempt again the clone jutsu, Ramen watched from inside, ignoring the laughing of the Kyubi deep inside Naruto's soul. Or at least the entity was trying to. A great deal of her still wanted to show the Kyubi its love and how great its love was.

But the Kyubi was behind a wall and Ramen couldn't reach it.

Not even when it tried to slash her with its massive claws could she reach it because then she'd be pushed away from it.

But she was confident that she would reach it sometime and then she'd show it her love and then it would understand. For now, she had to deal it's rampant, annoying hate.

If only Naruto and Mother would let me love freely. Love and cut, love and cut. Cut to love. But Naruto is strong. Very strong. Too strong for my love to just rule. He has to be convinced. Has to. Have to show love. Have to cut.

"I have to concentrate," Naruto said.

Oh, sorry, Ramen said. Here! I'll help!

Naruto immediately closed his eyes as he felt Ramen pushing forward, knowing it would mean his eyes turning red and glowing.

Naruto rolled his eyes and took a deep breath. Every so often, the entity did something like that which creeped him out heavily. It wasn't all that often, mostly when she was stressed now. But still, it was rather uncomfortable to be reminded of the yandere in his head.

She wasn't able to take over his body anymore, but when she started it instead of him, she didn't know where to stop and it became a distraction.

"Don't tell us, Naruto," Iruka said. "Just do it."

"Right, Iruka-sensei," Naruto responded, eyes still closed as he tried to gather his chakra through Ramen's attempt to help him with her own. "Bunshin!"

There was a puff of smoke and when it cleared a second figure was standing beside Naruto. It was short, red in color and staring forth with wide glowing eyes and broad smile.

"I helped!" it said creepily before melting into what looked like a pool of blood before vanishing into smoke again.

The normal laughter after one of his failed clones came weakly this time.

Hinata, watching, and Naruto exchanged nervous looks.

"The...exam was for a clone, Naruto," Iruka said hesitantly. "Not for a genjutsu to intimidate your opponent."

"Uh...sorry, Iruka-sensai," Naruto said in embarrassment.

"Go ahead and sit down please," Iruka said.

Hanging his head, Naruto walked to his normal seat, several eyes on him.

I helped? Ramen asked.

"Well, almost," he responded.

I feel not good. I'll sleep now.

"Almost what?" Kiba asked from in front of him. "Almost flipped your lid?"

"That...that wasn't..." Hinata stopped talking as she realized what she'd been about to say.

They'd done so well keeping everybody else from knowing about the Saika-born inside each of them, now wasn't the time to blow it.

"Yeah, Hinata, you're a paragon of sanity," Kiba said, rolling his eyes.

Naruto growled and started to edge forward in his seat when he noticed the Hyuga waving her hand back and forth to tell him to back off.

Tenten sighed in disappointment. Naruto hadn't passed according to Erma and Ramen, though apparently Ramen had tried to help. The weapon specialist couldn't help but wonder if that "help" was part of the problem.

"Okay, time for a little sleeping," she whispered under her breath.

She paused just long enough to pull the Weird-possessed-kama out into her hand and slash open a small cut as a way to thank Weird.

"Tenten, is everything fine?" Gai asked.

"Oh, fine, Gai-sensei," she said cheerfully, letting the kama vanish back into her body and trying to make it look like a sleight of hand.

"Naruto can still pass! Mizuki-sensei told him how!"

"Great! That's!"

"Tenten says that sounds fishy."

"Fishy? What is fishy?"

"It means a trick. Like the Kyuubi tricks! Tenten says tell Naruto."

"But he already was doing it when I woke up..."

Naruto leaned back and panted, recovering his breath as he heard Ramen's voice starting to wake up in the back of his mind and he brought her up to speed on what was going on.

"Fishy?" Naruto said, sitting up as the Saika-born that was implanted inside him passed along Tenten's worries.

He wasn't quite sure why it was fishy, though Ramen seemed to be thinking that it was something like one of the Kyubi's tricks. He'd never actually seen the fox that was sealed into his soul, but Hinata, Tenten and he had been spectators to one side of the Saika-borns attempts to deal with it. And it's own attempts to trick them into things, though it could only reach Erma and Weird if they "visited" Ramen.

The Kyubi's tricks from what he could gather, none of the Saika-born had much of a vocabulary yet, involved convincing someone to do one thing that looked like a benefit to the target, but was actually to benefit him.

"Why would Mizuki-sensei want me to steal this scroll?" he wondered.

The answer came to him almost immediately.

He wants it? Ramen asked innocently.

"But he's a chunin of the Leaf," Naruto said. "He can look at this whenever he wants. Can't he?"

Hinata-chan is coming with Erma. Tenten is way, way, way, way far away and Weird says she can't come.

Naruto knew the second part already.

"Well, I guess that means I can teach Hinata this..."

"Naruto!" a voice declared. "Who are you talking to?"

"Iruka-sensei?" Naruto said. "So did Mizuki-sensei tell you about the extra test?"

"Extra test?" Iruka said, confused. "Mizuki put you up to this? Is that who you were talking to?"

"Put me up was a trick then?" Naruto asked.


Naruto blinked and looked around to see what had attracted Ramen's attention when he was roughly pushed out of the way and a salvo of kunai knives slammed around Iruka's body, pinning him to the wall.

"Nice job finding him," Mizuki said with a laugh. "Now, Naruto, give me that scroll."

"Don't give him the scroll, Naruto, even if you die!" Iruka shouted. "That's a dangerous scroll with forbidden techniques in it! Mizuki used you to steal it so he could get it for himself!"

"Well there's no point in Naruto having it," Mizuki said. "After all, there's a truth to you..."

"No," Iruka shouted. "Don't tell him that!"

"You know about the demon that was sealed away twelve years ago, right?" the rogue ninja said. "Well..."

"You mean the one that's in me?" Naruto asked.

"There was a new..." Mizuki stopped and even Iruka took a deep breath.

"You knew?" Iruka said. "How...?"

"I have a friend that doesn't it like it much," Naruto said as he flicked his hand a kunai appeared in it, seemingly passing out of his arm.

His left hand reached down to grab a trio of kunai in a more normal fashion.

"Heh," Mizuki said. "You don't actually think you're going to beat me, do you?"

Mizuki jumped down at Naruto, knocking away the three kunai that lashed out at him and stabbing downward at Naruto. At the last instant, the rogue was shoved away by Iruka, and he went tumbling away, coming to his feet and lashing out with the massive shuriken at his back.

Naruto leaped over it, overshooting his goal of dodging the attack by a wide margin. Both Mizuki and Iruke looked up to see his form vanishing into the shadows, save two red spots of light about where his eyes should have been.

Mizuki flinched upon seeing the blood-red demonic eyes and even Iruka stepped aside in concern as Naruto came down and started attacking Iruka. His strikes came with insane speed, but he still had the skill of a novice and beginner.

Though the way the bark of the tree that Naruto struck simply shattered convinced Mizuki to be doubly careful not to let the Demon Brat hit him.

"So, you're going to use the Demon power already?" Mizuki demanded. "Look at this 'kid' Iruka! He really is the kyubi."

"Like hell!" Naruto shouted. "This ain't the Kyubi! This is the power of Ramen!"

He smirked as he said it, but the smirk vanished as the experienced ninja sent him off course and then slashed downward into Naruto's back. Straight down into his back through a vital point.

"Naruto!" Iruka shouted as the blade came down.

Both he and Mizuki were surprised as the blonde rolled back and came up to standing as if he hadn't been struck at all.

Ahh! If I was not with you now, you'd be dead! This is not love! Cutting is for love! Not hurting!

Poor naive spirit, the Kyubi chuckled where only Ramen could hear it. See how the humans kill even what they would consider good if they knew it? Hatred is the only way to treat them.

No! Humans are good!

Humans are as evil as you or I. To be living is to hurt others, spirit.


"Ramen?" Naruto said, panting. "Are you okay...?"

The red light started to fade from his eyes and he winced in pain as her sheltering presence fled. Even if she had kept the injury from being lethal, she'd only kept the pain away while active and now. And the blood was flowing out of the wound compounding his fatigue as he dropped to his feet.

"Talking to your food?" Mizuki said coming in again and kicking Naruto in the face, sending him flying backwards. "Has the Kyubi driven you insane then? Only a step away from killing people now aren't you."

Iruka came flying in then and slashed out with his own kunai, but Mizuki easily took the assault from the already weakened chunin and slashed his blade into the man's shoulder before shoving him away and looking toward the man with a snarl.

"Don't you see?" Mizuki snapped. "He's insane, he's the Demon itself!"

"No!" Iruka said. "Naruto isn't like that! If you'd watched your students more carefully, you'd know that Mizuki. Naruto is kind and enduring. He is one of my excellent students."

"Fine," Mizuki said. "I'll just have to kill you and your excellent student together."

Which was when the second small, red-eyed form dropped down and slashed out at Mizuki with a long Kodachi knife which Mizuki just barely dodged aside.

"Hinata?" Naruto gasped, taking a breath.

"Naruto-kun, don't move, you might hurt yourself!"

Ramen! Ramen is scared! He hurt Naruto! Erma shouted in Hinata's mind as the girl stepped forward to slash at the confounded image of Mizuki.

"Hinata-chan!" Iruka called out in surprise.

"Where'd you come from?" Mizuki demanded. The red-glowing of the eyes combined with the already disturbing throbbing veins of the byakugan made him hesitate to respond to the girl's attack.

Finally he snapped a knee up into her face, hard enough to snap her head back in a way that should have broken it. Only the muscle held and she snapped her head right back as if she had been nodding.

"What the hell is this? Is this that power of Ramen thing?" he demanded.

"Ramen is Naruto-kun's kunai," Hinata said quietly. "My Kodachi is Erma."

She stabbed forward again, getting through his guard just barely and stabbing her knife blade into Mizuki's thigh.

Erma's voice and words flooded into him.

You should love people! Only cut for love! Cut for love! No killing! No hurting! No taking! No!No!No! I won't let you hurt Hinata! Hinata and I won't let you hurt anyone again!

Mizuki dropped the kunai in his hand and reached up to grab his head and trying to fight through the cascade of words.

"She is right! I won't let you hurt Naruto-kun!" Hinata shouted, pulling back her left hand and preparing a barrage of one-handed jyuken blows to Mizuki's vitals as the blade still in his thigh attacked him psychically.

But Erma had been ordered to make no children, and she was not nearly as strong or old as Saika.

Before the jyuken could land, a surge of adrenaline gave Mizuki the chance to push through the assault and slam his own fist down into Hinata's head. The distraction to both Erma and Hinata lasting long enough for him to break her arm and tear the kodachi away from her.

"Hinata-chan!" Naruto said, standing up.

Hinata thudded back into a tree and pushed herself to standing as she looked at her broken arm, noting that Erma was still keeping the pain away as she physically twisted it about and set it, her Saika-born's power holding it firmly in place.

However, separated from her kodachi, she could already feel Erma's voice fading down inside her. Without the conduit, the Saika-born would just be a mute useless presence shortly.

"Whatever it is you have," Mizuki said. "It's clearly not enough."

Iruka grimaced and moved to standing as the power finally left Hinata and the girl cried out briefly in muffled pain.

"You two! Go," Iruka said. "I'll hold him off."

No, Naruto-kun, he'll hurt you. Grab Hinata-chan and run! Run! He is hate! Like the Kyubi! He is all hate!

"You think I'm going to let you hurt anybody else!" Naruto asked, panting as his injury still bled. "I've still got something!"

He hooked his fingers through the ring of Ramen's handle and went through a hand sign.

"Don't worry, Ramen," he said under his breath. "I'll protect Hinata-chan, Iruka-sensei, you, Erma." He shouted the next part. "I'll stop him here! Because I'm going to be Hokage!"

And that's when the shadow clones filled the clearing to Mizuki's astonishment.

Hinata and Iruka looked on in astonishment as Hinata tried to move back around to reach her kodachi in the confusion. Eventually, she grabbed hold of it and Erma's voice came flowing back to her. And when the voice came, the pain went away with it.

Naruto-kun is awesome, Erma whispered as the clones beat down on Mizuki. You should tell him, Hinata! Show love! Make Children! No...Mother said no children.

Naruto... Ramen whispered quietly, ashamed that she had failed to do much of anything.

At which point Hinata fainted.

Anri could tell when a dimension between her world and the other three was opened since Saika and her could both suddenly hear the three children from that world. She could tell some of the demon sword's confusion each time as well. Her children on this world never seemed to reach true independence, though Anri suspected that some had strayed outside of her knowledge.

But Ramen, Erma and Weird became progressively more independent each time the dimensions closed and re-opened.

Anri worried about that herself. If they became too independent, would she still be able to control them and keep them from causing havoc on that world?

We graduated! Erma's voice declared. A crazy guy tried to kill Naruto and Hinata. And he and the Kyubi scared Ramen, but Naruto and Hinata graduated!

"Are they all right?" Anri asked worried, though if Erma was talking at least Hinata was alive.

Anri didn't think the three were independent enough yet to inhabit their blades completely. She didn't even think that was possible, actually.

Saika didn't seem to think it was from what Anri could glean when she could hear bits and pieces of something useful through the eternal ramble of love and cutting and taking over humanity so that everyone could love and be loved. The sword's consistent attempts to drive past Anri's wall of emotional indifference and drive her into being an insane, crazed slave to the sword's will.

Hinata's arm is broken. Naruto was stabbed, Ramen explained. They are going to be fine.

"That's good," Anri said quietly as she sat in her house and ate her Ramen alone. "I start school tomorrow. I managed to get into Mika's class. I'll be glad to see her, I haven't seen her for a couple of days."

I like hearing about Mika! that was Weird's voice. She knows how to love! I told Tenten to be like Mika, but she won't. And you said not to make her do it, Mother.

You sound farther away, the somewhat sedate Ramen said.

"The portal must be somewhere far away from me...or you," Anri reasoned.

The conversation continued as the dimensional passage that fluctuated open between the two worlds held open in a place distant from Konoha on one end, and in the heart of Ikebukuro on the other.

There was an individual in Naruto's world who fancied himself the chosen of a particularly blood-thirsty god. Hailing from the Land of Hot Springs and the Hidden Village there, he'd grown disgusted with how his home had grown more and more into a tourist attraction rather than a center to hire ninja for espionage, bodyguard or assassination work.

Especially assassination work. For slaughter was the holy work of his religion.

As far as he was concerned, the role of a ninja was to kill people. Not to run hot springs for travelers between the Lightning and the Fire.

So as a young ninja, he'd slaughtered his nearest neighbors in retaliation for their blasphemous peace and complacency and then set out to follow the precepts of his religion.

And eventually he'd stumbled upon a secret that had elevated him from being a mediocre ninja turned serial killer into something that was an actual threat.

Ever since then, his life had been pure sweet pleasure and the pain of death.

He still had mediocre skills, and truly skilled opponents against him alone still had the edge, but it didn't change the fact that he was dangerous.

At the moment, he was wandering through the wilderness and a grove of trees somewhere in Cloud country, thinking about when he might next find a chance to perform his worship. Being a somewhat simple and foolish man, he failed to note the subtle disruption in the world around him as he walked through the moonlit trees and found the grove ending a bit sooner than he expected and opening out into a strange, glittering place full of people, people, people!

All sorts of heretical, blasphemous people who did not worship Jashin and were thus fit sacrifices.

As he walked out, heaving his massive three-bladed scythe, people along the streets near him started backing away nervously and starting to look like they were about to run away from him. Aside from one tall man with dyed blonde hair and a cigarette where he stood dressed in a pair of black pants with a black vest, white shirt and black bow tie.

"Wooohooo!" Hidan shouted. "All of you heretics! Listen up! I'm bringing the wisdom of the God Jashin! So if you want to live forever you'd better listen up! I'm willing to start taking converts now! Anybody who doesn't convert! Well I'll be ending your aethestic heretical and meaningless lives right..."

The blonde man took the cigarette in his hand and bent it in the middle with a simple motion before tossing it down and stamping it out hard.

"Shut up!" the man said, turning to glare at Hidan. "Shut up with your Jacey crap and your cult nonsense and killing people! You make me sick"

"Hehehe! Sooo, one of you people thinks that you..." Hidan blinked when he realized the tall, skinny dyed-blonde wasn't waiting for the return banter.

He dodged under the first punch and cackled madly as he darted to the side of the man.

"You aren't actually thinking you're going to stand up to the chosen of Jashin do you?"

A skinny man with a narrow face and broad, sharp smile looked away from the spot where a teenage girl should have splattered across the pavement.

"Ahh, Celty," he said tsking. "I told her your job ended when you brought the girl here. Oh well. Was interesting anyway."

He'd gone to all that trouble to set himself up as someone willing to enter a suicide pact. Then he'd had the girl kidnapped by people impersonating him so that she would fear for her life. And had her rescued by Celty so that she could be relieved that she still had that life. Then, when Celty had dropped her off, he'd had that little conversation about how terribly hypocritical she was. Claiming to want to die and yet fearing for her life.

As if one death was any different than the next.

It had been amusing to see her tip herself over the edge of the building just to prove him wrong about her. He doubted it was an actual urge to commit suicide and end her life.

But then a net or web of supernatural, living shadows had grabbed the girl and set her softly down on the ground where a biker woman hiding her lack of a head under a cat-eared yellow biker helmet gave the girl a pep talk consisting of a single typed line on a PDA.

"My, my," he said. "All that work erased in such a little time."

He was distracted when a cloud of dust and smoke rose up into the distance, seeming nothing less than the explosion of some massive bomb somewhere in the center of Ikebukuro.

"Hmmmm, what could Shizu-chan be doing over there?" the man wondered.

Hidan boggled as the blonde man he was trying to fight tossed aside massive, metal lamp-post in his general direction. It was at least twenty feet long, possibly thirty and possibly three feet thick in diameter.

It had managed to last as a weapon for five strikes before succumbing to the insane strength that his opponent held.

He'd dodged the first of those strikes, been clipped by the second and been slammed into the ground on the third. The remaining two strikes had splattered Hidan about before the lamp-post shattered and the blonde glared down at him.

Hidan picked his battered and slowly healing body out of the multiple craters and and backed away from the monster who stared at him with barely contained anger that was threatening to spill out again.

His Scythe had been shattered into a thousand pieces early on. His pike was a twisted piece of metal tossed aside after the immortal ninja had managed to stab it into Shizuo.

Meanwhile, with every strike that Hidan had survived, the blonde had upped the ante to something heavier.

"Get out of my town," Shizuo growled. "Or I'll kill you. Your talk of sacrifice and crappy cult idiocy. I hate that stuff. It reminds me of Izaya. He'd probably pull off some crap like that."

"weh...weh...wooo," Hidan wheezed. "WOOOO! You idiotic hedonist! You can't kill me! I'm immortal! Haven't that by now."

"I don't care," Shizuo growled. "I'm done."

Narrowing his eyes and turning away from the more or less crippled stranger, Shizuo started to walk down the street as the crowd of onlookers, standing a minimum of fifty feet away from the infamous strongest man of Ikebukuro, shifted about nervously.

Stepping forward woozily, Hidan bent down to where Shizuo had carelessly left his blood behind and started up his ritual as he looked for anything to deal the wounds with.

He found the twisted and gnarled remains of one of the street signs that Shizuo had procured as a weapon earlier. Meanwhile his feet traced a circle about the ground.

"Hehehehe!" Hidan shouted, licking up the blood. "It's all over now you stupid brute!"

Hidan's skin turned black with decorative bones painted on in white at appropriate places. He whooped again with wild joy, trying to ignore the fact that his enemy didn't even seem to be paying attention to him.

"Now face the curse of Jashin!" he shouted.

And then he stabbed down into himself with the rod and watched the blonde man...

...continue walking for three more seconds before pausing, glancing down at the spread blood under his vest and shirt.

The vest and shirt given to him by his younger brother.

Hidan stared in a total lack of comprehension at the slowness of his enemey's response. There was no way he could have been expected to know who he was facing.

Human beings had limits placed on their strength for the simple fact that if they used the total amount of power available in their muscles, that they would do all manner of hideous damage to themselves. Maito Gai would call these limiters the Eight Gates.

Shizuo Heiwajima was born with no such limiters.

He should have been dead through his own strength ages ago. His medical record from the middle of elementary school to the end of junior high read like the report taken after a single massive earthquake or terrorist report in which hundreds of people had died.

Every bone fractured at least once. Spine snapped in two to six places on four separate occasions. Skull fractured repeatedly. Lungs collapsed. Heart muscles torn enough to stop the heart three times. Organs ruptured. Skin split open and massive blood loss. Muscles shredded over ninety percent of his body, sometimes in a single incident.

He'd eventually healed from it all.

It wasn't until he reached high school that his body finally developed into something strong enough to channel power enough to shatter tank armor with out itself tearing apart.

It was doubtful if Hidan was capable of doing enough damage to his own body to make Shizuo even care.

A small part of Shizuo wondered how the man had hurt him. But the majority didn't care. The majority of his mind only saw the damage to his brother's gift.

And ignored the fact that his brother had given him dozens of the same outfit in an effort to try to encourage Shizuo to hold down a single specific job.

"You stained my uniform," he growled turning about.

That was all the warning that Hidan had before the blonde turned around and started charging forward, roaring at the top of his head.

"Wh...what the hell?" the Immortal demanded as he removed the twisted metal and stabbed down into his own leg.

Blood poured out from a likewise spot on Shizuo, but it didn't seem like the berserker ever noticed as he continued with his run, snatching a vending machine with barely casual strength along the way and hefting it over his head.

Hidan stabbed himself again into the heart and watched as blood poured out of the crazy man's mouth.

And then the vending machine was flying through the air and Hidan was soon moving ahead of it.

Shizuo himself actually stumbled as the curse transferred that impact to him, but was immediately charging forward again, snatching up Hidan by the hair where the psychotic immortal had landed. Ripping the stunned man up into the air by the roots of the hair and slamming him down again before lashing his arm up again.

This time, the roots of Hidan's hair gave way and he went flying up into the sky before toppling down again into Shizuo's grip and a one-handed choke slam into the pavement.

Then the choke slam was repeated.

Five times over the course of two seconds, creating a larger crater each time.

Finally, the blonde stood up again, growling down at the twitching mess he'd left.

"Still alive?" he asked.

Hidan whimpered and tried to raise a hand up.

"Good, get out of my town. Or I'll tear you up until I kill you."

He walked off in the direction of a certain street doctor he knew, complaining about the stiff feeling in his body and the way the blood was getting everywhere and ruining his bartender's uniform.

Izaya had returned to his office by the time his cell phone rang showing the number of a certain pharmaceuticals representative.

"One of our gather teams was taken out today," the woman on the other end of the line said. "Following your information. You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?"

"I am an information broker, Namie-chan," the man said with the same wide grin he'd displayed in watching the headless woman save that suicide. "I just might know anything."

On the other end, his current client was grimacing and he just knew it.

The thought widened his smile significantly.

"Then I have something else for you to look into," Namie said. "Another team picked something up in the wake of one of Shizuo Heiwajima's rampages. We'd like to see if you can get information on him."

That was interesting. Yagiri Pharmaceuticals didn't usually like to know details about the human lab rats they were snatching of the street. Not to mention the fact that Izaya could have previously counted the number of people capable of getting Shizuo into such a cataclysmic state of anger on one finger.


"Hmmm," he said with a broad smile. "I'll see what I can dig up."

After all, anybody that could annoy Shizu-chan that much would be a good person to know.

He turned to the wooden board at his side, a go board that had on it a collection of chess, shogi, go and reversi pieces scattered about it seemingly at random.

"I wonder if I'll have to get some new pieces," he said idly as he took up a shogi piece from the side and slammed it down on to the board threatening a white go stone and a black bishop.

Namie closed her phone tight and considered how much danger she put herself in by depending on Izaya Orihawa. A man who could go one on one with Shizuo Heiwajima, and survive unscratched even if he couldn't do anything to significantly hurt the living incarnation of rage. A man who had more information on the goings on of Ikebukuro and surrounding areas than was good for anybody.

And, worse, a man who might betray her just for the simple motive of seeing what would happen.

Unfortunately, he was the only one she knew that might be able to track down where this new immortal had come from.

Until then, in addition to the Dullahan's head, she had another interesting thing to run experiments on.

To paraphrase TVtropes page relating to Durarara! and Shizuo in specific: Silly Hidan, curses don't work on Shizuo.

Hidan is about the only Akatsuki who Shizuo's blind, incredible rage could beat so easily...I probably boosted his power a little, but he is canonically shown tossing cars around without much trouble.