They were meeting in the school lunchroom, and this one person couldn't help but think:
It's all so wrong.
This person looked around, remembering how things had been before everyone died, died, died, and how no one else could remember now. They were all reborn, yes, but if only one person remembered, it only caused that person pain, because this person remembered the power, the camaraderie, weak though it sometimes was. This person remembered it all, and mourned its passing. This person remembered it all, and only wanted the others to remember it too.
It's all so wrong, but I can't fix it back to the way it was.
Pein had been so great, a god among men, or at least as close as anyone could get. The ruler of Amegakure, the holder of the Rinnegan… But now, now he was a high school junior, an orphan that had managed to become class president despite the bright orange hair, natural, though it screamed bleached and degenerate, and the same with the light purple eyes, the copious amounts of piercings, and being a year younger than everyone else in the running. The only thing that seemed to link him to who he had been was that whenever he felt sadness…
It's all so wrong, and yet so right.
Konan had been the angel, the paper master that could survive as the only S-class woman in a criminal organization for years. But now, Konan was Pein's girlfriend—they'd never gotten together before, but finally—and she still had the blue hair, the orange eyes, and had gotten the lip piercing again. This time, she'd come from a stable family, but that didn't seem to change much. She still loved origami, and never seemed to notice…
She never seemed to notice the scraps of paper in the recycling bins that would mend themselves as she walked past.
It's all so wrong, but I almost think that I like this better.
Zetsu had been the land itself. He had been more powerful than any of them had realized when they knew him as just the spy to end all spies. In this life, Zetsu had been born with the same coloring he'd had before, green hair, yellow eyes, and split skin included, though the giant plant sprouting from his shoulders was gone, gone, gone. He still had the split personality he'd had before, and still loved gardening. He was another orphan—why had so many of them become orphans in this life?—and he was already preparing to go into botany and psychology in college, despite being just a junior. It was fitting really…
Since the plants still reached out to try and curl around him, whether he knew it or not.
It's all so wrong, and yet so very much the same.
Sasori had been a puppet master. He had had the power to move the dead in the way he'd wanted them to move, to become his art in a way that he'd been so very proud of. He had been so poisonous, too… Now he still made his puppets with all the care he had before, and he was also no stranger to the school's chemistry labs. He lived with his grandmother—with his hatred of her in his past life, the fact that he can put up with her in this one was almost miraculous—and had, somehow, gotten together with Deidara of all people. He had a prosthetic hand and forearm, but what really connected him to the past…
Was that when he walked through his workshop, the puppets sometimes turned to stare after him on their own.
It's all so wrong, and so very, very strange.
Deidara had been a walking bomb, fiery and vicious. He'd used his clay, his art, he had managed to take down a Jinchuuriki that just so happened to also be a Kage. He had had so much power. Now, he was the second brightest, the second peppiest person in Akatsuki again, and the relationship with Sasori which had sprouted when the two were ninth graders last year—however that happened, it happened and there's no use trying to figure it out now—had brought a certain gleam to his one visible eye. Since he hadn't been forced into Akatsuki this time, he had no reason to hate Itachi, and so they treated each other politely, at least. He still had his hair the same, still had a scope, still loved to blow things up. None of that really hid two things…
None of it hid the fingerless gloves that even Sasori couldn't try to take off without fear of a panic attack on the blonde's part.
It's all so wrong, but there are some things that just won't disappear.
Kakuzu had been one of the most dangerous shinobi in the world, and almost certainly the oldest. He had the kinjutsu, the knowledge, the tactics, the strength. He definitely had the experience… and that was why he was the only senior of the group. He still loved his money, though he'd tempered out a bit and no longer treated it like the only thing in the world that mattered. He could still figure out a complex math problem in seconds if he just imagined that there was money riding on it. Still…
It didn't change the fact that the doctors still couldn't really figure out why he'd been born with two hearts, and not suffered any adverse effects from it.
It's all so wrong, and yet I think it might be worth it.
Hidan had been, quite frankly, a religious nutcase who couldn't be killed. Now… he still was. Not so much on the nutcase bit, but he was still a Jashinist—but no one's heard of it. The only one who even follows the religion or knows what it's about is sitting right at this very table, and has to explain it, again and again—and he was still hard to kill. No matter how many fights he got in, and he got into quite a few, he always came out fine.
It may have had something to do with the fact that even serious injuries seemed to heal up before the nurse could even see that something was wrong.
It's all so wrong, but it's not all that different when it comes down to it.
Itachi had been almost like Pein, in the 'god among men' way. He had been overly powerful, and, like Pein—like Nagato—had only died when his body gave out from the combination of a fight and a deadly bodily condition. He'd been nearly blind, and yet was still capable of carrying out feats on the level of the one that first got him listed as a nukenin. Now, Itachi was born as the son of the CEO of a very large corporation. The majority of the family had perished in a mansion-fire, and he, Sasuke, and Tobi all lived together in a mid-sized house somewhere. Itachi, now a sophomore like Hidan, Deidara, and Sasori, had to wear glasses because of damage done to his eyes when he'd been thrown through a collapsing, burning wall by his cousin Shisui in a suicidal attempt to save the younger boy, but he was still a bookworm, and at least his brother didn't hate him this time.
That didn't really change the fact that his eyes sometimes seemed to flash red, though only the one with the memories ever noticed.
It's all so wrong, but they seem to be happier this way.
Kisame had been a shark-man hybrid thing that could kill dozens and still be polite about it. He had had a sword that could grow 'til it was longer than he was tall, and didn't cut, but shaved. He barely looked different now—that wasn't the best of situations, but it was workable, if barely—and Samehada was now a pet of his: a very small shark. It was so oddly patterned, like the bandages that had once crisscrossed the sword. Of course, Kisame never told anyone a few things…
He didn't tell anyone that he could breathe underwater, or that he sometimes thought he could understand Samehada-chan.
It's all so wrong, and it's driving all of them insane.
Tobi had been odd. So very, very odd. He'd had that manufactured personality in addition to his own, and the two had been so different that it was often hard to believe that the person threatening the small child was the same man who pranced around with a lollipop and a bright orange mask, singing about how he was a good boy. Now, he was a freshman—he's so young! He should be a junior, considering the age that he died at—and had only one eye, the result of a hiking trip gone bad, and numerous burns and scars covered half his body, his younger cousin appearing to be the only one that had escaped the fire physically unscathed. The happy personality was now the one that was usually in charge, while the darker one stayed back, only leeching in at the most creepy of times.
He was oblivious to the fact that he sometimes walked through things instead of around them.
It's all so wrong, but… I want it this way. It's better this way.
…I just want them to remember, too.
Hidan looked up as Kakuzu slugged his arm roughly—too rough, almost—and reprimanded him, telling him to get going before he was late.
Hidan just nodded, and then looked to the skies, grasping his pendant with both hands, lightly.
When, Jashin-sama? When can I bring back their memories?
Soon, Hidan. Pein will be first, and it'll just be a rolling snowball from there.
Hidan smiled almost beatifically, ignoring the odd stares he was receiving.
Thank you, Jashin-sama. Thank you so much for giving us this second chance. Thank you for giving me another chance to be with them. To be with my…
… your family, Hidan. It's alright to say it.
Jashin smiled proudly down at his priest. Things had worked out well, in his opinion.
It's all so wrong, but…
We couldn't be happier.
A/N: THIS IS A ONESHOT.
We cool? Good. If you want to adopt this and continue it, go right ahead. Just make sure to credit me.
In case anyone was confused, though not getting it would be really hard, HIDAN is the one that remembers, and no one else does. Everyone else is a little ignorant of the 'leftovers' from their past lives, barring Kakuzu, Kisame, and Deidara. They'd regain their full powers upon reawakening, and no one outside of the Akatsuki would be affected.
Jashin's a good guy, really. If you're confused about why such a nice guy would want sacrifices, Chapter Three of my story Gender Confusion probably explains it best.
I hope I pulled this little twist on the High School AU off well.