Warnings and Disclaimer: Please regard the previous chapter for either.

Ages and Grades of the Akatsuki (I do explain all of this in the chapter but if you're like me and skim through details, it'll be helpful):

Kakuzu, Pein, Konan, Zetsu, and Tobi are seniors, ages 17-18(if it matters in the future, I'll differentiate).

Itachi is a senior, 16, skipped a grade.

Kisame is a junior, 18, failed a grade.

Sasori is 15, junior, skipped a grade. (I only made him young because of his appearance)

Hidan and Deidara are juniors, age 16.


Waiting

Chapter 2

Some people believe Kakuzu must have had quite the life. His body is swaddled in ribbons and his past outbursts nearly ended in murder. But if you asked him, he would tell you that only a brief period of his life was terrible, but other than that, he's lived pretty decently.

He comes from a cute, little family. His mother was Filipino to the core and the same could be said about his father except Indian. Both migrated to the United States of America at different times with nothing on them but a suitcase and their ethnicity. There's a town in Washington made up of a jumble of eastern cultures and they were one of the many Asians attracted to its familiar culture.

They met at a hospital where his mother worked as a nurse. During his father's night shift at a motel as the desk keeper (it helped pay for his engineering course), some dick with a chick tried to skip out on paying. In the end, Kakuzu's father got his ass handed to him.

And after a few months of courting, the two were happily married at a small Catholic church. Then another lot of months passed, and Kakuzu was birthed into a pair who embodied their stereotypes. But in a good way.

And they settled. But unlike them, Kakuzu didn't want to settle. He knew the world ran on money, and he planned on taking it over.


His parents were at work when he arrived home. Kakuzu threw his soggy bag against the breakfast table's leg and looked through his fridge for leftovers from Tuesday's dinner. He pulled out the remains of a rotisserie chicken and rice to microwave before turning on the television set.

On was a recording of one of his mother's eccentric dramas. He changed the channel to a random, glorified doctor's show, before turning down the volume. The noise accompanied him as he took his hot dinner out and set it on the table. The lone boy removed his mask and placed it to the side.

Kakuzu finished his atrociously simple homework quickly and took out a notepad. In it were scribbles and outlines and layers of math. But altogether, they were schemes to make money. The less plausible ones were crossed out.

Lately, the paper had been used for planning on retrieving answers for different tests and keeping track of his customers.

That was now over.

He could actually tutor kids for a price. A risk-free opportunity he had also considered prior to his now crumbling "business." But tutoring took time and required planning as well as patience.

Today's tutoring session managed to be decent. It had started out terribly but somehow turned around.

The next morning, he rose at the appropriate time and left at an appropriate time. On his walk to school, the teenager paused to stare at the door of a very quizzical boy.

Hidan was… different. Definitely different. He was a junior, similar to Deidara, Kisame, and Sasori(though Kisame failed a grade while Sasori skipped one). Their school was small, around three hundred students, one story, and surrounded by swamps. What reason could anyone have to move out here?

Kakuzu shook his head, dispelling the thoughts from his mind. It was odd for him to be so fixated on something that didn't involve money. Maybe his mind was trying to subconsciously hint at something, something that would lead to a greener field. Hidan was, after all, not completely useless.

The storm from the day had only abated into a light sprinkle. This time, Kakuzu had an umbrella on hand. He hurried to Akatsuki High.

Upon arriving at school, he headed straight for his locker. He had ten minutes to kill before the second bell rung. The contents of Kakuzu's locker were haphazardly put together. Papers stuck out of textbooks and binders were falling apart.

In all actuality, everything but the textbooks was at least three years old. Even the pencils were on its very last strokes—not that Kakuzu was worried; wasteful classmates always left pencils and pens lying around.

After switching a few of his books, he decided to just wander the halls. Scavenge for a fallen quarter or two.

He rounded a corner but paused at a new sight. The hall had rows of lockers on each side, two stacked on to each other. But the dulling blue lockers weren't the oddities he was staring at, rather the clear vandalism on someone's locker.

In all of his four years in Akatsuki High, nothing so mischievous had ever occurred. People would occasionally carve desks or write with sharpies on school property but no one had ever been bold enough to use spray paint. The bottom locker had a pentagram painted on it, and Kakuzu pondered on whether this had been an act of bullying or some punk's rebellious attempt.

The longer he absorbed the sloppy job, the more uncomfortable he felt. It became clearer that this was harassment. In red sharpie, someone drew a stick figure devil with a pronounced penis. But that wasn't why he was queasy; it was the name being tossed around in his head. He would actually bet money that he knew who owned the locker.

Words in more sharpie: "JASONS LIL BITCH"

Kakuzu may be verbally and occasionally physically harsh, but never enough to damage someone's property—

unlike the bastards that left him bleeding with strips of skin peeled off like God carved new crevices for rivers

—unless they deserved it. Religion didn't fall under the list. Money, the new essence of life, would have to be used to fix that. The disgraced locker reminded him of before he grew some guts and nearly killed a kid who tried to steal his mask. But at least he didn't leave any scars other than a disfigured nose.

The bell finally rung and he quickly left the hall. Kakuzu didn't want to run into Hidan and explain why he was staring at the teen's locker. However, on the way he spotted a head of silver.

He planned to ignore Hidan but when the younger teen only glanced at him, Kakuzu, bewildered, slowly raised a hand up in a half-wave. Hidan didn't even pause to acknowledge the gesture. Kakuzu had expected at least a "hello" from him; instead he was coldly brushed off. Kakuzu tried to ignore the unfamiliar ache. It shouldn't have mattered anyway.

As soon as they passed each other, two nuisances attached themselves to his side.

"Trying to make new friends, yeah?" the blond teased. Despite his normal appearance, Deidara was an oddball, transferring in a year ago after nearly killing a teacher in a dangerous, explosive prank. Within a week, Sasori and he hit it off, becoming best friends through their art class. And since Sasori and Kakuzu were decent friends, Deidara considered Kakuzu a friend. Kakuzu saw him as tolerable, at best.

"He's an acquaintance from my tutoring group."

"You guys are talking about Hidan, right?" Kisame asked from his left. After they both nodded, he whistled, "I swear you go for the weirdest people." And he was referring to his scaly self as well.

"That kids a riot, yeah! Last week in Bio, we were dissecting piggies and he cuts out the heart, and draws some weird Satanist symbol with the blood, yeah. When the teach told him to stop, he called her a "damned cockslut, unworthy of beholding His sacrificial ceremony." And then he gutted his pig and through some intestines at this one bitch who keeps nagging on my art." They headed towards Kakuzu's class which was conveniently in the same hall as the juniors' shared classroom.

"Are you two friends?"

Deidara shrugged, "Something like that, yeah. At least in Biology, we are."

Kisame nodded in understanding, "Hidan's in my English class and we've paired up for a few projects. He's fucking hilarious but when we're not working together, he doesn't even pretend to like me."

Kakuzu took all the information in. Why was Hidan pushing people away? Was it part of his religion?

"Does he talk to anyone outside of class?"

He regretted asking immediately after the words escaped his mouth. Both of them raised their eyebrows.

"Yo, I know Hidan's pretty fine but he's trouble."

"Are you serious? Shut up, Kisame, yeah. We're all "trouble" and if Kakuzu finally wants to hook up with someone-"

"No." he growled dangerously, "That's not why I'm asking."

"Hidan's not our type of "trouble."" Kisame continued, as if he hadn't heard Kakuzu, "He's like… "serial killer/cannibal/cult leader/blood bather trouble.""

"I thought you said he was pretty cool, yeah!"

He shook his blue head, "I never said that! I said he was funny but outside of class, I think he's planning genocide."

"Be quiet, you two. I'm not planning on…" Kakuzu paused before awkwardly repeating, ""hooking up" with him. And our group is a fucked up mix, so Hidan would fit in without a hitch. I wouldn't be surprised if any of you confessed to murdering someone. Zetsu eats everything including humans if that story of his visit to one of the Pacific islands is true, Pein and Konan actually believe Pein's a god, Sasori's dolls may as well be real, Itachi always seems to be plotting murder, Tobi's Tobi, you're practically a shark, and Deidara, you play with explosives. And Hidan would get along fine with your sick senses of humor.

"As stupid and ridiculous as he is, he is admittedly astute in terms of history. He also has a small range of manners. And from what you two told me, he's not a squeamish coward, so Zetsu and he would get along fine through blood. Hidan's as religious as they come, so he'd be a stubborn jackass with Pein. Ugh, anyone who'd clash with that spoiled brat. He'd do just fine in our group."

The two juniors blinked and Deidara said in awe, "That's the most I've ever heard you speak without mentioning money, yeah.

"Man, there's no way you don't like him." Kisame nudged him softly, almost apologetically, "If you wanna go for Hidan, it's cool. Is that your type? Insane but sexy?"

He answered louder than necessary, "I'm not interested in him. Grow up, Kisame." Why did he talk to these people?

"You two would be cute together, yeah." Deidara continued, grinning and waggling his eyebrows suggestively.

"I'm going to kill both of you." he threatened quieter but it held much more seriousness. It was darker and menacing, he even got a good amount of rasp under his words. To anyone else, it promised pain and destruction. But Deidara didn't catch the message.

"And then he'd sacrifice our bodies to Satan, yeah! You two would totally work."

Kakuzu narrowed his eyes and the scowl could be felt despite the cloth hiding it. Kisame interjected, possibly saving Deidara's life.

"Whelp, time to go, wouldn't want to be late, let's go, Deidara!" Kisame yelled quickly, he grabbed Deidara's sleeve and pulled him away.


The Hidan riddle continued to bug him throughout the day. Kakuzu didn't know whether or not he wanted to befriend the zealot, but he refused to consider him as a possible romantic partner.

His first class was AP European History. After witnessing a true History ace teach, Kakuzu wasn't even inspired to open his backpack. His teacher paused midway through his rant about inflation to stare at Kakuzu, but the boy held the eye contact defiantly. Mr. Salinga broke and continued nervously.

Back to his thoughts.

Hidan cursed out teachers and peers but had the decency to offer everyone a ride home. He moved into the apartment complex months ago for apparently strange reasons. If he had to associate with someone that didn't provoke him, he was enjoyable company.

Once the period ended, he swiftly walked towards his next class. He was stopped by the duo he was trying to ignore.

"Deidara texted me about your new pursuit. I must say I'm surprised, no monetary drive for once." Konan said as she and Pein blocked his path. Pein stared from behind, his eyes practically digging into Kakuzu's soul.

"I do not agree with your choice. An ignorant, religious fool? Surely you could find someone better." Pein patronized him bitterly. His blue-haired partner turned slightly to glare.

"Ignorant and religious? Hypocritical isn't a good choice, either." Kakuzu glowered. In moments like these, he thanked his intimidating height. He loomed over his friend who skimmed six feet. The tanned teen stood nearly five inches taller; the only person that met his height was Kisame. "I will associate with whomever I want and if that is a problem for you, you will become a problem to me."

"Calm down, guys." Konan said nervously. She placed herself closer to the center to create a barrier.

"I am always calm. I am always ready for a fight as well. Kakuzu, everyone knows about your terrible temper. If I push the right buttons, I know exactly how you tick. With this knowledge, I can basically control you-"

"Get your head out of your pompous ass! You're not a god; you're not anything but rich and spoiled!" Kakuzu snarled and a few kids stopped in their proceedings to stare. As soon as they saw who were prepping for a clash, they knew it would be interesting. The stitched giant was well known for getting mixed up with a gang a couple of years ago, and through his fallen cheating business that he had kept well under control through intimidation.

Pein was known solely for his influence throughout the school. Teachers seemed to bend over backwards for him. There was suspicion of bribery but no one would admit anything.

The two were acquainted since middle school only because they were the very few not scared of the other.

"Tsk. I didn't expect you to crack so easily. I've always had trouble respecting you due to your immaturity."

"Shut the fuck up!" His hand flew forward to grab Pein's soft polo. Konan had been squeezed out from between them and the crowd stared excitedly. Camera phones blinked awake in preparation.

However, before anything extreme could occur, a staff member pushed herself through the wall of people.

"Hey! What's going on here!" she yelled. She shooed the disappointed kids and reported the situation in brief words into her walkie-talkie. "Kakuzu, Pein, to the office! Kakuzu, this is the second time this month."

Kakuzu froze, he couldn't afford an expulsion. He tersely let go of the expensive shirt and let his eyes fall to the ground. His dark green and red eyes glanced at Pein. If anyone could stop shit from falling, it was Pein.

Pein confidently looked back at him. It infuriated him but he kept a better hold of his senses (if only he had done that a minute ago). "Mrs. Luo… it's fine. Everything's fine. We were just heatedly discussing something from class." He said charmingly. His smirk looked like a smile to the teacher but Kakuzu knew better. "Isn't that right, Kakuzu?"

"Yes... I have difficulties controlling my anger sometimes." Kakuzu bit out, "I'm sorry for the trouble."

"It is alright, friend." Pein replied condescendingly. Konan lingered at the sidelines. Pein wins again.

Mrs. Luo looked uncertain but after thinking it over and probably considering Pein's name, she nodded and left. Not without a quick, "Get to class."


During lunch, he sat on the opposite corner of the rectangular table from Pein. He was still very pissed and knew it would be safer to stay away. Each seat had a foot of elbow space so the distance was actually enough.

Tobi, with his cute-sy Teen Titans lunchbox, pranced over to sit beside him. He opened the metal container and removed a PBJ shaped as a dinosaur. "Tobi has been such a good boy lately that Tobi gets a dinosaur!"

Deidara and Sasori filled the seat in front of him. The blond grinned deviously and Kakuzu wondered if he had a death wish. "Sooo, I heard about what happened, yeah." He glanced over to the other side of the table and it seemed that Konan, Pein, and Itachi were busy discussing something. Kisame wouldn't be able to hear anything with how grotesquely loud he was eating his apple. Every bite sounded like bones breaking.

"Considering your gossiping really triggered this…"

The artist gasped, insulted, "Hey! No it didn't, yeah! They woulda found out at some point. Especially when you're seen walking around with Mr. Eye Candy."

His eyebrow twitched in annoyance, "I'm not planning on doing anything with Hidan." Yes, he's gay but that doesn't equate to him fucking the first guy that didn't rub him the wrong way (perhaps a bad choice of words).

"But you were totally about to throw down for him, yeah!" Deidara squealed.

"That wasn't for him-"

"Tobi thinks that's really romantic!" the masked boy interrupted. He dipped his celery stick into weird looking peanut butter, prepping it for the raisins. Tobi was pulled out of the conversation by Zetsu who leaned over his shoulder, voicing Kakuzu's question of "what the fuck is wrong with those peanuts?" They were apparently "natural" and crunchy. Kakuzu thought he would be off the hook since Deidara also appeared revolted by the healthy snack.

However Sasori ignored them, "I also believe you have an interest in him, since you have never put any focus on another human being in the past."

He groaned and placed his covered face between his hands. "I'm curious about him. That does not mean I am interested."

"Yesh, it doesh!" Deidara chirped with an ant's on a log between his teeth, "Damn, these aren't half bad, yeah…"

"Kakuzu should invite Hidan to the lunch table and hand feed him pizza rolls!" Tobi said with his hands clasped. The one socket of his mask revealed his squinted eye, implying a colossal smile.

"He doesn't have this lunch." Kakuzu stated, practically saying stop, just shut up and stop.

"Have you checked?" the short redhead inquired

"No, but I think I would have noticed."

The explosives engineer paused in remembrance before refuting, "Hidan has this lunch, I remember seeing him around here the first week he moved here."

"He probably had a schedule change by now." Sasori responded.

"Eh, probably." he shrugged, "But that shouldn't stop Kakuzu!"

"Yeah!" Tobi chipped in. Zetsu chewed on his Tupperware that was once filled with peanut butter.

"What? I wasn't planning on building a relationship in the first place."

"You've already gone through all this trouble," Sasori began but Deidara quickly inserted excitedly:

"And you can rub it in to Pein's face!"

"That too. You might as well befriend Hidan simply to introduce him to Pein. I believe I'm not the only one who would like to know what would happen."

Kakuzu sighed. Despite how irritating his friends were, they had a point. A very worthy point. Out of their group, only Tobi disliked Pein more than Kakuzu, but everyone could agree that Pein placed himself a little too high on a pedestal. "I've tried to speak to him but he isn't affable unless it's necessary."

Deidara snorted, "Unless you're blind, 'cause he's plenty effable, yeah." He squawked when a sharp pain from Sasori's elbow hit him in the ribs. "I was kidding! I didn't mean you're not—"

The disgruntled teen blocked the bickering couple out. However Tobi was still sitting beside him with two thumbs up.

"Love will guide you through!"


A/N: LOOK! IT HASN'T BEEN OVER A MONTH! VICTORY! WOOOT! So this chapter... not much Hidan but a bunch of everyone else! They may be OOC because I've only read the manga chapters and episodes of the Shippuden with Kakuzu and Hidan. I added a lot of unplanned things... like I literally don't even know why I added so much shit. Hidan wasn't supposed to be antisocial... Pein and Kakuzu weren't supposed to have so much animosity. Kakuzu's past wasn't supposed to be a big deal either. Ugh, oh well, shit happens. It's also because I needed enough words to hit three thousand words. I needed three thousand.

I don't know how many kids are in a small school... I thought I went to a middle sized one and we have like two thousand, but apparently, the average is like less than a thousand outside of Florida. Weird.

I'm only replying to guests because I can't reply through a PM!

Jellyfisher2:

Thank goodness! I absolutely love it when people think I interpreted a character correctly! I hope you liked this chapter as well.

NerfBall:

I like friendship fics between them too... especially if it ends with something that involves a lot more touching.