Sealed in Blood

He laughs.

Even as the dust settles, the explosion rings in my ears, and lumps of humanity come to rest at the bottom of the chiasm; he still manages to laugh. He still manages to toss threats up at me as I stand far above his prone, dismembered body.

In a way I admire this about him, and a strange part of me feels almost at odds with what I plan to do next. If only he didn't end up on this path of destruction he was hell bent on creating, if only we were born into a different life, I think, we might have been friends.

He seems to realize the somber thoughts written on my face, because his own expression seems to sober up. We both share a moment of quiet, staring at each other. I can tell from his dropped jaw and vulnerable violet eyes that he knows what I intend to do.

We both know he probably won't be getting out of this, but even as I proclaim myself as his god, toss the explosive kunai, and tons of earth rain down onto him; he continues to scream out his intentions for retribution. He screams until the very last rock falls.

Still his voice echoes in my mind, every syllable of every word he's ever spoken since we first encountered each other. I've memorized every chiseled curve of muscle, which ear got nicked from battle, his many lively expressions. Locked inside are his fighting tactics, and every aspect of his jutsu. I should feel disgusted with myself that I'm retaining all this information for my own satisfaction, yet I don't.

I knew that moment that Jashinist would haunt me and I didn't care. Should his body somehow rot, he'd remain immortal in my memories.

I took out one last kunai and sliced my palm deeply. The pain welled up with the blood, but I pushed it back and kept myself from flinching. Kneeling slowly, I placed my bloody hand upon the earth of his grave, allowing the blood to sink into the dirt. A pledge sealed in blood.

"I won't forget you, Hidan."