"You should go see Hidan, Shikamaru," Nara Yoshino suddenly addressed her son as she washed the dishes.

Shikamaru sat alone with her in the kitchen. He looked up quickly from writing his mission report and tried not to disrespect her with his discontent at the suggestion. Though her back was turned, his mother could sense his feelings.

"Why should I, mom? We both don't want to see each other."

"Maybe," she replied, "but maybe you've misunderstood him."

Shikamaru scoffed then said, "Me, misunderstood him? He's misunderstood me, and I don't want to deal with him."

"He hurt you didn't he?"

A muscle twitched at Shikamaru's brow, but ignored the question. Instead he returned to his papers, but focusing on what words to put down was becoming more and more difficult.

"He looked pretty awful when he came by yesterday." Yoshino continued.

Once again Shikamaru paused from his task.

"Hidan was here yesterday?" he asked, shock and anger filling his voice.

"Yes. He looked like he was sad and that he hadn't slept in a year." Yoshino seemed to be washing the same spot on the same dish for the past few minutes.

"Good, I hope he's sad…" he gritted from his teeth, hand stabbing words into the paper.

A hand appeared over his report, sliding the paper from his reach. Shikamaru's head snapped up to see his mother now before him. Yoshino looked deep and seriously into his eyes.

"Go see him, now," she repeated, making it an order.

"Tch…fine…I'll see him, that's it," Shikamaru grumbled, trying to mask the fact that he was upset about it.

The walk to Hidan's small apartment wasn't marked with anything eventful. Shikamaru was greeted with simple greeting from those who recognized him. He gave curt responses and continued on, wanting to get everything over with.

Upon reaching the shady building, Shikamaru noticed Hidan's apartment seemed deserted. The lights were off inside and an abandoned feeling emanated from it. Shikamaru was tempted to leave, but he felt a familiar chakra inside. His hand gripped into a fist at his side, then rose and knocked on the door.

Nothing.

Shikamaru grudgingly knocked again, louder.

Nothing.

A snarl came bitterly to his usually stoic face. "I know you're in there Hidan," he shouted.

The door gave a faint creak as it opened up a narrow gap.

Shikamaru's breath left him, a sensation of dread fluttering up his spine. Something didn't seem right, but he gained the courage to swing the door fully ajar. The light outside only provided a dim light to the darkened room. More dread flew up Shikamaru's spine.

"Hidan?" he called, managing to keep the worry from his voice. His words seemed to echo into an endless void of darkness.

Slowly and carefully, Shikamaru began searching the apartment. The living room was empty, but cluttered with dirty food containers and other trash. The kitchen was left an even greater mess, the stench nearly choking him.

"Hidan?"

Still no answer returned to him.

Hidan's bedroom and bathroom were less dirty, but still looked like they had not been cleaned in months. Again, the immortal man was nowhere to be found. Panic filled Shikamaru's senses.

"Hidan?" he cried frantically as he searched over every room two more times.

The young Nara flung himself face down onto the vacant bed, trembles of distress shaking his body. Hidan's face came to his mind unwittingly, but he let the visions come. The more he remembered the other man's features, the more he realized he couldn't envision him perfectly anymore. They really had not seen each other in a long time.

Shikamaru.

Shikamaru's head lurched up, looking around for the voice of the man he had fallen for.

Nothing.

The voice didn't sound like Hidan to him. It was weak and raspy, and unlike Hidan.

"Am I going mad?" Shikamaru murmured, letting his head rest back upon the bed.

Shikamaru.

"I can't even imagine his voice right anymore…" Shikamaru continued the dialogue with himself.

"What are you doing here?" said that weak voice again.

"Mom told me to see you…but I can't even find you…" Shikamaru humored the voice.

"Right…I did come by yesterday…"

"Why? You said you didn't want me around anymore…"

The voice gave pause as a new weight rested on the bed. "I was scared."

Shikamaru snorted. "You? Scared? Could have fooled me…"

"I let you in…I let you closer to me than anyone else…and it scared me…I…I felt like I had to end it before you did."

"Fuck you…why would I do something like that?" Shikamaru said with venom.

"You made me feel weak…I've never felt weak in my life."

"Fuck you!" the young man shouted, finally lifting his head again.

The sight that met Shikamaru left him nearly speechless.

Hidan sat in front of him on the bed, but his face belonged to the straightforward, arrogant man Shikamaru thought loved him. One half of the immortal's face was skinned down to the muscle ligaments attached to his skull. The other side had its skin, but healing scars told him that Hidan had sliced off his whole face.

"…I keep healing…" Hidan said in that raspy, vulnerable voice.

Jumping up, Shikamaru grasped at Hidan's shoulders. "Why the hell did you do this to yourself?" emotion finally escaping him.

Purple eyes glanced aside. "I thought…you'd never come back…I thought I hurt you too bad and you hated me…"

"I-I do…I-I hate you," Shikamaru's voice quaked with anger and sadness.

To Hidan's surprise, the other man's arms wrapped around him, and Hidan couldn't stop himself from leaning against him.

"If you really do hate me…just…promise…not to leave me…?" Hidan asked shakily.

"I…I'll think about it," Shikamaru replied, running his fingers through the hair at Hidan's neck.


Wrote this just last, because I was feeling down. Dedicated to me and my best friend.