'...After that, I expect to see you back at the Hideout as fast as possible. Please, don't waste time as you usually do.' The Leader of the Akatsuki Organization, known as Pain, finished describing the mission to the two members.
'Eh? Not my fault that we're always late! It's his shitty side jobs that always keep us last in the schedule!' a man with silver hair and a scythe on his back, known as Hidan, replied, with a tone of great annoyance in his voice.
'Hey, I have to manage Akatsuki's funds! Try putting yourself in my shoes for a moment!' the other man, a bit taller than his partner, and with a mask over his face, exclaimed, annoyed as well.
'Enough! I'm not in the mood to listen to this bullshit! Start with the mission, now!' Pain bumped his desk hard, and some papers fell from it.
'Okay, okay, we're going! Jashin!' Hidan angrily screamed and reached out for the door of Leader's office. He opened it, and when he closed it, he almost hit Kakuzu with it.
'Watch it, idiot!' the old man yelled.
'Fuck you!' the young replied.
The two of them walked through the corridor, down the stairs, into the cave, and outside. It smelled of rotten animals and...Dead shinobi. Everywhere.
'Ugh, seriously, this place... Can't Pain clean it sometimes? It fucking reeks!' Hidan grabbed his nose as he passed a corpse. Kakuzu didn't bother to reply. He opened the map and was focused on their next location.
'Taki...' he mumbled.
'Eh?' Hidan turned to him.
'Takigakure (Waterfall Village)...That's our destination.' Kakuzu said quietly, and sighed.
'Ah...Something wrong with that?' Hidan questioned, curious because of Kakuzu's sigh.
'No...' Kakuzu said after a few seconds. Hidan stared at his partner for a moment, then annoyingly mumbled something under his breath and continued walking towards the forest.
'Taki' Kakuzu thought 'I abandoned it...I swore to never come back...And now, I'm crushing my own promise. How ironic...' he took a deep, heavy breath, and followed Hidan.
A few hours passed since they went out from the Hideout.
'Are we close?' Hidan asked for the thousandth time.
'Just a little bit further' Kakuzu replied for the thousandth first time, not bothering to look away from the map.
'You said that last time! Jashin...' the immortal man kicked a rock in front of him, feeling 'pissed', as he always said.
'If you don't shut the hell up, I'll kill you' the old man said somewhat dully, 'cause he was used to saying it on a daily basis.
'Heh, like you could pull it off...Kakuzu-chan!' Hidan stuck his tongue out at Kakuzu, trying to entertain himself.
Kakuzu stopped and gave his partner a death stare. Instead of being scared, Hidan just snickered.
'What did I do to deserve such a 'sweet' look?' he asked sarcastically. Kakuzu stared at him some more, and when he turned him his back, added 'One of these days, Hidan, one of these days...I WILL kill you'
'Like it's even possible...' Hidan shrugged and walked off.
'Whatever, we have to focus on the mission' the old man looked into the map again.
'What was it again?' Hidan raised his gaze to the sky, uninterested.
'Did you even listen to the Leader?' Kakuzu questioned.
'Yeah, of course I did! ...Okay, I didn't, you got me' Hidan rubbed the back of his head and grinned widely, like an idiot.
'Ah, why am I partnered with such a moron? The mission is to capture the Village's Head, Shibuki, and destroy the village. They became a threat to Amegakure (Rain Village), and you know Leader's feelings for Ame-'
'Shibuki? Hmph, sounds stiff' Hidan interrupted Kakuzu with his sarcastic thought.
'Don't underestimate him, even though he's young' Kakuzu said, annoyed because he was interrupted.
'What? I don't wanna fight a friggin kid! I want a worthy opponent, for the sake of Jashin!' the immortal complained.
'What an idiot...He is the head of the village, means he's strong. Don't underestimate him just because he's a kid. Thus, he's from a clan who has a strong Water Style. I used to know his father…' Kakuzu said and sighed again.
'Eh? How so?' Hidan questioned.
'I was born in Takigakure...Now zip it and walk' Hidan was ready to ask something, but as Kakuzu told him to 'zip it', he decided to listen for that one time. 'He has to destroy his own home...Jeez, what a jinx' he thought.
They walked a bit further down the road, the forest still surrounding them. The birds flew over the duo, and joyfully sang, whilst the river was burbling from nearby. It was a pleasant sight. Hidan wished he could simply sit under a tree and relax, instead of following an old geezer through the forest and fighting some kid. But at least, he shall fulfill Jashin's will and obliterate everything. As for Kakuzu, he was pretending to look at the map, but however, what he was really doing is thinking of the old days, when he was a shinobi of Taki, when he was going on missions...Mission...That one mission he failed, it cost him his honor...It cost him everything. He failed to kill the first Hokage, Senju Hashirama. All of his teammates died, and he was the only to survive. Instead of being welcomed back as a hero, the only one who managed to survive a fight with one of the strongest shinobi in the world, he was hated and despised, called a failure...
No one wanted to be his friend...
Left by everyone...
'KAKUZU!' Hidan yelled his partner's name angrily.
'Eh? What?' Kakuzu replied, his mind twisting back to the real world.
'There's some village ahead of us. Is that it?' Hidan pointed forward. Indeed, there was a village, and as they were on top of a cliff, they could see it was built around a huge tree. It's geography was mixed: hills, plains, and a lot of forest. There were also a few waterfalls, the protective mark of the village. A beautiful sight, it was really a pity that it has to be destroyed.
'Okay, what now?' Hidan asked, a little bit clueless.
'Hm, it's getting dark...Let's wait for the night, then we'll strike' Kakuzu answered, not giving the strategy itself much thought. All he wanted was to capture the Leader and destroy that hellhole that caused him so much pain. Also, Shibuki has quite a bounty on his head, one more reason for him to be captured.
The duo sat on the ground to rest. Hidan gave Kakuzu a thoughtful stare. 'I hate this guy, his guts and all...But I kinda feel sorry for him, it IS his home after all...Hmph, why the hell am I bothering myself with this?' the immortal was thinking. Kakuzu was looking at the horizon. The sun was setting fast; Soon, they'll attack...
'Say, Kahiru, you got any plans for tomorrow?' one of the men guarding the gate of Takigakure asked.
'Hm, I heard Shibuki-sama is marrying Teira-san in a few weeks. Maybe they'll call me to help out with the preparations.' replied the other, called Kahiru.
'Nah, that's girl stuff! Us guys ain't for that crap!' the first elbowed Kahiru and laughed.
'Hm, I guess you're right' Kahiru smiled.
They heard something in the nearby bushes.
'What was that?' Kahiru questioned.
'I'll go check it out' his friend replied and walked up to the bush from which the noise could be heard. He looked into it, putting his head deeper into the leaves. His heart started beating faster, because he was excited. Maybe it's the enemy, ready to assault them all?
'Kuroji-san…?' Kahiru called him.
The guy named Kuroji sniffed the air. It smelled of some weird chakra, he wasn't quite sure what it was. He looked even deeper into the bush, but to his dislike, all he saw was a small white bunny.
'Kuroji-san? Is everything okay?' his fellow called for him worriedly, and took a few steps toward him.
'Meh, it's just a rabbit. But, I was sure…This chakra…' Kuroji stared at the rabbit for a brief moment. Then, mumbling 'Never mind', both he and Kahiru returned to their positions.
While they were occupied with the rabbit, two shadows swiftly passed through the gate and jumped on the roof of a nearest house. They could be seen on the moonlight, but only for a brief moment, because they were moving fast from one roof to another.
'Shibuki-sama, here is the report from today's mission!' in the Leader's office, a girl, with a little muscular body and long blonde hair, metal-grey eyes, wearing a Jounin uniform, gave a piece of paper to the Leader of Takigakure, Shibuki.
'Teira, you worked your ass off today too. I told you not to! You're my future wife, you know how much I love you! You should prepare yourself for the wedding too…God, why are you so stubborn?' a quite tall and muscular man, with long brown hair tied in a ponytail and in a uniform similar to something the Kage wear, stepped up from his desk, walked to the blonde-haired woman, and hugged her tight. 'And how many times did I have tell you not to call me 'Shibuki-sama'?' he added.
'Haha, don't worry for the wedding, almost everything's in place. And even if I am marrying, I can't stop doing my duty, right?' Teira replied, laughing a little.
'Okay then, if you say so, honey' Shibuki slightly kissed her on the cheek as he held her hand, which made her blush.
'Lovebirds…How yuk…' a voice could be heard from outside the open window. Shibuki and Teira turned to it, a bit surprised.
'Who's there? Show yourself!' the leader yelled.
'I don't take orders from anyone, kiddo! Especially not you!' the man speaking screamed.
'Shut up already, Hidan. Let's go.' a much deeper voice was now speaking.
'Certainly, Kakuzu…' the first voice excitedly smirked. In a flash, the triple-bladed scythe was going for the two lovers. Shibuki did some hand signs and yelled 'Takigakure Style: Watercutting Sword!' Some water appeared in his hand and it took a shape of a sword. He held it and quickly blocked the scythe with it. The scythe was pulled back through the window, into the darkness.
'Quit fooling around, Hidan! Let's do it already!' Kakuzu angrily yelled at his partner.
'Okay okay, fine! Jashin, can't a man have some fun?' Hidan annoyingly replied as he took out a kunai and attached a paper bomb to it. He threw it, and it pounded right into Shibuki's desk. The leader grabbed Teira and ran out of the room as quick as possible.
The paper bomb created a massive explosion, as half of the building was destroyed. Our duo safely stood on one of the house roofs and watched the burning building. With burning flames reflecting in his eyes, Hidan was thinking of something. He turned to his partner, who was somewhat hypnotized by the fire.
'Are you sure you want to do this? This is your home after all…'
The old man looked away. A slight tear came down his cheek. He tried to hide it from Hidan. But the immortal saw it nonetheless. It made him feel bad for the old geezer. But there was nothing he could do to help him. It was up to Kakuzu: the mission or his home? Hidan waited.
'Just shut up. Let's get it over with already…' his partner quickly wiped off the tear. Hidan patted his shoulder for a few seconds, then moved his gaze back to the burning building. It was already half destroyed. A whole lot of villagers were on the street, and they watched the sight in awe. None of them noticed the duo on a nearby rooftop.
'Say, do you think that kid is dead?' Hidan questioned.
'Nah, I can feel his chakra. It's close' Kakuzu answered and looked around. It was perfect; they got the attention of the villagers, and all of them were easy targets now. The only problem for now is to find Shibuki.
The duo was on the move; Kakuzu threw a few kunai with paper bombs at the villagers in one street and activated them. They were killed in an instant. Hidan was in another street. But he preferred a different kind of killing.
'Okay, bastards! Get ready for some pain, yeah!' he shrieked and started swinging his scythe and assaulting the surrounding people with it. Blood was everywhere, as well as corpses. Enjoying the sight, the immortal ran into the next street and did the same. He repeated the act a few times. Kakuzu let his monsters out, and was using them to attack. One of them, the one with Fire Release, tried to burn up one of the bigger houses. As it spitted fire through its mask, Shibuki appeared, and used his Watercutting Sword to break through the jutsu and repealed it.
'Ah, so there you are' Kakuzu quickly thought and summoned up all of his monsters at once. He rapidly attacked Shibuki with all kinds of jutsus, but somehow, the leader would either escape, or have a technique powerful enough to counter his.
'He's strong…But it's no use if I succeed in hitting him, I still need him recognizable for the exchange' the old man thought. He looked around the streets from one of the roofs, and spotted his partner.
'Hidan!' he called his name. But the immortal couldn't hear him; he was much too busy killing the people around him and shrieking while doing so.
'That idiot…Hidan! Get your ass here and do that Ritual of yours! I need this guy for the exchange!' Kakuzu yelled, annoyed.
'Eh? You want that kid? I have to perform my Ritual on that stupid KID?' Hidan madly spoke back.
'Yeah! Now come on!' Kakuzu yelled. Shibuki stared at the two confused.
'Okay, okay, fine!' the silver haired man jumped up next to Kakuzu. In the same moment, Teira appeared next to Shibuki.
'W-What? I told you to stay hidden!' the leader angrily yelled at his lover.
'You mean, stay useless? Come on, I'm dying for a good fight!' the girl took out a kunai and pointed it at the duo.
'Pish, what a bunch of kiddos! I'll stab you 'til you die, then stab you some more, then cut your heads and use them to wipe my ass while I shit on your bodies!' Hidan yelled out.
Teira laughed a little. 'Only in your dreams…Grandpa!' she added, referring to Hidan's silver hair, which was like the hair of an old man.
'WHAT? WHY YOU-!' Hidan furiously gripped his scythe, ready to shred the girl to pieces. He started running, but Kakuzu grabbed the back of his coat and held it tight. The scene was rather comic.
'Quit it, idiot! Your job is to kill the leader! And don't mess him up too much, okay?' Kakuzu ordered.
'Tsk! Fine then, you take the damn bitch. And mess her up GOOD!' Hidan sighed, still feeling pissed.
'Yeah, whatever. Just go.' the old man huffed.
With no further talk, the immortal rushed after Shibuki. The leader was prepared to counter with his sword. Cling-Clang-Cling! Hidan's scythe was bumping into the sword. Being more aggressive with his attacks, Hidan made Shibuki jump down into an empty street, where they continued fighting. During that time, Kakuzu and Teira clashed; all sorts of jutsus were used. A large group of Jounin appeared to aid Teira in the fight. But Kakuzu didn't panic; he used a fire and wind jutsu and by fusing them, created a massive wave of fire that was almost impossible to encounter. Some of the Jounin managed to shield themselves with Water Style, but most were engulfed in the flames and burnt to death. Teira was one of the survivals, of course.
'Not bad' she complimented Kakuzu.
'Same' he simply replied.
'I have a feeling you know this place from before…Correct?' she questioned. The old man looked away.
'I was the shinobi of this village once…' he barely managed to get out.
'I see…Why did you abandon it?' she asked more.
'It's none of your business' Kakuzu was eager not to speak about it.
'Alright then…' Teira stared at him for a brief moment, then she did a Water Style jutsu and the fight was on again.
As for Hidan, he was still stuck attacking Shibuki with his scythe. Each time he tried to get his blood, he failed. It annoyed the hell out of him. Getting angrier and angrier, Hidan lost concentration, and was cut by Shibuki's sword and bumped into the wall of a near house.
'Damn…It!' he slowly got up. While he was off guard, Shibuki used the opportunity to attack more seriously. Doing a lot of hand signs, he screamed 'Water Style: Water Dragon Bullet!' A few water waves appeared around Shibuki, rose up, and formed a big dragon with glowing yellow eyes. The dragon roared and crushed right into Hidan, who was unable to dodge nor counter it. He was glued to the wall behind him. He fell to the ground, coughing some blood.
'You said something about wiping your ass with my head? You can't even kill me! How do you think you'll do it?' the leader joyfully pointed at the immortal and laughed. Hidan rose his head and watched him. He himself snickered. Then he laughed. And laughed. And laughed some more. He was laughing very loudly.
'Huh? You're laughing? Are you crazy?' Shibuki asked, somewhat confused. Why would someone laugh if he was beaten up?
'You stupid piece of shit…You think I'd let myself get beaten by a kid like you? Jashin would smite me!' said Hidan.
'What do you mean?' Shibuki was still confused. Deciding not to speak anymore, Hidan…Disappeared!
'What the-?' bounced out of Shibuki's lips. The immortal was right behind him, this time with a pike instead of a scythe. Smiling, he cut the leader on the neck with it, making him fall to the ground. Grabbing the bleeding scar on the back of his neck, Shibuki let out an enormous scream of surprise. Feeling excitement through his whole body, Hidan licked the top of the pike, and took a reaper-like appearance. Grinning, he stabbed himself in the hand and used the blood coming from it to draw a symbol of his religion on the ground. He stepped right in the middle of it, snickering.
'I guess, I can't play with you, I used up too much time. Well then, let's finish this quickly…' he panted, feeling the blood rush fast through his veins.
'What the hell's going on?' Shibuki thought, as he watched Hidan in awe.
The immortal started laughing wildly. This was it; he'll fulfill his Lord's will once more, by sacrificing this kid. He stared into the sky for a brief moment, and then—
The sound of piercing flesh echoed throughout the air for a few moments. A few long moments. Shibuki fell down to the ground, holding his chest and coughing some blood. His stare was empty; his breathing has gotten weaker and weaker. Hidan watched him fall with delight. He was dead. How thrilling, Hidan thought. Jashin-sama sure is proud of him.
The Jounin who were fighting alongside Teira were now around Shibuki's corpse. They were asking him questions, and being confused because he didn't reply.
'Don't bother, he's dead… And so are you!' getting back into his normal state, Hidan charged at the Jounin.
The next morning…
'Yo, Kakuzu, Pain's gonna get pissed! Why don't we simply go back to the damn Hideout instead of exchanging that crapster?' Hidan pointed at Shibuki, who was carried by Kakuzu.
'I told you already: I have to manage Akatsuki's funds. That's a long process, and Leader has to accept it, whether he likes it or not. The nearest exchange point is in the Water Country, so move faster' Kakuzu explained. Hidan annoyingly shrugged. They were walking through the forest, the same one they passed through to reach Taki. Then, there was a clear plain, then a hill, and the forest again.
'Hm, we fucked up that shithole pretty good last night, eh?' Hidan tried to change the gloomy mood by saying this. But he got the exact opposite result from wanted. Kakuzu furiously turned around, wanting to punch Hidan, but the silver haired man was quick enough to grab his scythe and shield himself.
'Oi oi, what's your problem?' the immortal yelled.
'Don't you ever, ever, insult my home. EVER' the old man spoke. Rage and despair we're mixed in his voice. Hidan smirked. Kakuzu moved his fist away, Hidan put his scythe back in its place, and they were on a move on again. The immortal decided not to speak anything anymore, since it would make the old geezer pissed and he would start up a fight. As much as he wanted to fight, Hidan wanted to go back to the Hideout and take a nice, long, relaxing bath. His feet were killing him since last night, and he reeked of blood and corpses. Thus, he had a few wounds on his arms and chest, and he wanted to treat them properly. But oh well, he knew complaining wouldn't get him anywhere. Well, only to pissing off the geezer…
The duo needed three days of non-stop travelling to get to their destination. Kakuzu walked up to a rotting tree in the middle of a plain and pulled down one of the branches, which left Hidan surprised.
'Kakuzu, what the hell are you doing?' he questioned confusedly.
'Just shut up and follow me' the old man answered and stood right in front of the tree, giving Hidan a sign to come beside him. Doing so, Hidan was itching to ass 'What the fuck do we do now?', but before he got the chance, the ground beneath them slowly moved downwards. Like an elevator. They went deeper and deeper into the earth. While Hidan was left confused by the act, while Kakuzu was standing calmly, already used to it. They finally reached solid ground, and the old man with bright-green eyes stepped away from the 'elevator', into the darkness.
'Wait for me here' his words momentarily stopped Hidan, who already stepped forward. The immortal was left standing, alone.
Half an hour later, footsteps could be heard in the darkness, followed up by heavy breathing.
'Where were you until now? I was waiting here like an idiot!' Hidan angrily exclaimed.
'Hm, that's exactly what you are' said Kakuzu while walking to the 'elevator' again, beside his partner.
'Fuck you, don't get me pissed here!' Hidan shrugged.
'Whatever' was the old man's simple answer. The 'elevator' got them back up into the plain, and they were off once more, for the Hideout this time.
They needed even more time to reach the Hideout than the exchange point; Five days, only this time, they did make a quick stop at a restaurant in a small non-ninja village. They ordered dango and tea, both starving. They ate quickly, without much talking. That bored Hidan, and he was eager to boost the mood, whether the geezer likes it or not.
'Oi oi! You were kickass in that fight back there y'know!' he thought that was a good start. Kakuzu stared at him.
'I told you not to talk about that' he replied.
'Jashin! Why do you act like that? Tell me! I want to know what happened back there, when you were younger!' Hidan had enough of it already.
'It's none of your business' the old man said, managing to stay calm.
'Tsk! I'm your fucking partner! Do as I say for once!' the immortal exclaimed.
Kakuzu was unsure whether he should listen to the idiot or not. After a few minutes of thinking, he finally mumbled 'Hm, fine, I guess I could tell you…'
'Finally!' Hidan barked in relief.
'It was like this: When I was a Jounin of Taki, I was respected and loved by all, because of my unique skill and fast ninjutsu learning. One day, I was sent on a mission with a large platoon to kill Senju Hashirama, the Leaf's first Hokage. It was a difficult fight, and everyone from the platoon died…Everyone, except me. I returned to Taki. I expected them to welcome me back as a hero, the only one who managed to survive against Senju Hashirama, one of the world's most powerful shinobi! But instead, they pitied me, calling me a shame, a failure, a weakling. They all threw me away. I was left alone, with my dignity crushed, and honor lost. I abandoned Taki, and after years of bounty-hunting, joined Akatsuki, where I am now. That is all' Kakuzu finished. Hidan listened to each of his words with great focus. He felt sorry for his partner, for the crap he went through. A minute of awkward silence resented in the air.
'Well…You showed them who's boss a few days ago! You should be proud of yourself, Kakuzu yo!' Hidan finally broke the silence. Rising his gaze at his immortal partner, the old man stared, unsure what to say.
'Seriously, you kicked their asses back there! They paid for all the crap they put you through, those bastards!' Hidan smiled at his partner while saying this.
'Y-You really think so?' for a brief moment, Hidan was left surprised; his partner just…Stuttered? That was the first time he did so since they knew each other. But the immortal quickly managed to calm down, and added 'Yeah, of course! You rocked! Don't regret anything you did, it was the right thing to do! I swear to Jashin!' he grinned widely.
Kakuzu stared at Hidan's grin. It somewhat amazed him, as much as he hated to admit it. That idiot…He was cheering him up. He was on his side, not against him. For the first time in his life, the old man was glad he had the immortal idiot as a partner.
Grinning as well, Kakuzu put up a fist in front of Hidan. Greatly startled, the silver haired immortal stared at it for a few seconds.
'Kakuzu…?' he confusedly asked.
'Thank you…For being my partner' the old man spoke, with a tone of pride in his voice. The immortal stared at him some more. Then, rubbing the back of his head, he put his fist up as well, and fist-bumped his companion.
'You old geezer!'
'You immortal scumbag!'
They both spoke through their grins, glad for one another.
Finishing the dango and tea, they continued their journey back to the Hideout. However, during that time, they switched back to their old selves, arguing and fighting. And when they finally reached the Hideout, they were welcomed by Pain's rage, Tobi's hugs, and Deidara's explosion or two.