Post-apocalyptic New York was nothing as it was portrayed in movies. The buildings were eerily quiet, not entirely run down and moss like; they looked pristine as they ever were, sans a few windows here and there. Cars lined the streets, some splattered with congealed blood that turned brown from the weather, their windshields gone from zombie nests. Rather than total disappearance and no cameos, the absence of human life was displayed on the streets for all to see – bodies that had the fortune of not becoming zombies were massacred along the pavement, necks ripped out, their limbs torn and thrown in every which direction. They were the lucky ones.
Carnage couldn't begin to describe the sheer amount of chaos that the zombies had left in their wake. They were left to their own devices, often snapping at each other when it came to it. Jugular veins were the most prized, draining the victim onto the streets where the scavengers who were unfit would lap up. Anyone physically unfit was fair game.
He didn't consider himself lucky. He was damned, damned for an eternity to eating flesh and tearing out viscera. Kakuzu still had the mind he once knew and cherished – analytical and strong, resilient and wise, but all inhibition flew out of the window when he was unfortunately bitten. He and his roommate, his own reason for living, had been separated during the fallout; he couldn't find him if he wanted to, not without the danger of wanting to bite his femoral artery out. The government had tried to warn them, and had tried to stop the invasion, but now the zombies govern. And their teeth were law. They had taken over every part of America, but their starting point, New York City, was a favorite among them. It was here that hierarchy was limitless, that the strong survived and the weak died. Times Square was a bloodied warzone, filled with rotting corpses that some zombies nibbled on from time to time. Any zombie that controlled the reigns there was ruler, until another would fight to the death for it.
Kakuzu had been ruler of Times Square for some time in the past, but left when the toll got too large to handle; and with human corpses littering the street rather than running humans, having a stake out in a large open area was not worth it. He was a burly man, almost six foot two, with stitches running along his entire muscular frame. His hair was short and stringy; his eyes were filled with bloodlust. There wasn't a time where he wasn't covered in mesentery linings or dried blood. He'd gag anyone with their own small intestine, and always ate the heart first of his victims. There was a rumor that he kept the heart of his victims stored inside of his body, forever immortal. No one has proved this alive.
His footsteps through the hollowed Broadway carried him over dead bodies, each with their throats slashed. His eyes peered up at smashed out shops, all looted around the time the apocalypse had happened. Buildings that surrounded the mom and pop shops had broken windows, currently sheltering any zombie that wanted refuge from the sun. Any apartment building with humans in it was cleaned out; Kakuzu wasn't sure if anyone still lived in them. Underground was the likeliest place they'd congregate, but with no lights to guide him, and the surviving humans being extremely cautious, he didn't feel like risking it or wasting energy. Then again, at that moment, a trash can thirty feet from him toppled over, revealing a small child that had been hiding in it. Her pulse was even visible through her neck as she stood up straight away; the side of her head was bitten into – she was already a zombie. How careless of someone else to leave her this way. Kakuzu's eyes narrowed as he stepped forward, his lips being licked dangerously.
"No…no mister…please….plea-he-hease….bring me to my mommy…please" Her death was increasingly swift as he lunged for her, knocking her lithe body to the pavement. In an instant, he sunk his teeth into her carotid, warm blood gushing through the gaps in his lips. With a jerking movement of his jaw, he snapped her small neck clenched in her mouth. Such a dinner had never before come so easily for him; his body became increasingly excited, his stitches cracking open and revealing snake like tendrils that wrapped around the body to claim on it. It was his prize, his only; and in a dog eat dog world, no one could hear her scream.
Hidan thanked his god that he was fast and strong. The disease had never quite managed to catch him. Even before the beginning of the apocalypse (the beginning of the end of the world that he considered- no, knew was Jashin's judgment against all the heathens littering the earth), he'd made a habit of collecting guns illegally and stashing them in his shared apartment. He'd brought those with him when he was forced to evacuate his apartment and had been separated from Kakuzu, his best friend.
The carnage of the apocalypse had taken a different toll on Hidan than it had for most people. Either they went crazy or gave up to the zombie hoards or hung themselves; but for him, the war had brought out a side of himself he'd never known existed. It was absolutely exhilarating to battle for his life the way he'd been forced to. When he was at gun-point with a man who wanted to kill him for his flesh, adrenaline pumped through his veins. The high he got from being so close to death was unlike any other.
Hidan lived in one room of a high-rise apartment in New York City alone. It had no water or power, but he could lock his doors at night when he needed to sleep and steal canned food from other abandoned rooms. His own living space looked like a munitions factory. Guns were stacked against every flat surface and leaned against every corner, and bullets were strung up along the walls like Christmas lights.
The last Christmas had been a lonely one. Hidan had spent the previous night shooting up a gaggle of schoolchildren hungry for his berry-eyes, and he had a flurry of snow-covered corpses to exchange gifts with in the end.
It was nearing the end of summer, and Hidan's stores of canned peaches and beef jerky were running low. He decided to try running across town to see if there were any general stores not entirely picked-over yet.
Before leaving the safety of his apartment, he suited up in a military-brand vest and pants. He threw a green-and-black cloak over his shoulders filled with bullets and various pistols galore. In his right hand was a large rifle, and in his left, a warm can of beer. The combined weight of his equipment might have been staggering for a less fit man.
Hidan walked down the streets of Broadway calmly. It was eerie how at-home he felt in the midst of Hell. He was entirely on-guard nonetheless, and the unmistakable sounds of flesh being torn apart didn't escape his notice.
The figure of a man bending over a child in a pool of blood and guts could be seen from his distance, and he slowly lifted his gun and moved towards it in order to get a more accurate shot. However, as he approached Kakuzu, Hidan was assaulted by a feeling of familiarity. His gun lowered slightly- despite what he'd taught himself about survival- and he stared at Kakuzu intensely, trying to get a better look at him.
It can't be. It's not fucking possible. Hidan's eyes widened, and his hardened heart skipped a beat. Disappointment nearly shook him. He'd always hoped that Kakuzu was living somewhere, alive and untouched by the spreading infection. But humans didn't devour corpses in the way he was watching his old roommate.
"Kakuzu?" Hidan spoke up finally, and his voice was absent of the dark threats or sadistic joy that usually filled it. He was left with hollowness and the hope that the man would turn around and dismiss the claim, assure him that his name was something else. And then Hidan would raise his gun and shoot him in the head without another thought.