Come What May

Shikamaru lay in his bed, his head resting on the pillow with his arms both held up to fold the stained sides of the loosley fluffed fabric over his ears.

He stared at the ceiling, wide-eyed but in absolute silence.

Sleep wouldn't come tonight, it seemed.

Hundreds and hundreds of different things Hidan had said were flooding his mind at the same time in hushed whispers. He laid quietly in horror, body tensed and shaking with the strain of trying to somehow physically push the mental torture away.

Keep your faith. Itachi says.

So loud, so fucking loud but so quiet. He wanted to scream, but he couldn't. He was still well aware of what was happening around him, outside his mind. everyone he knew was here, sleeping away peacefully in each of their little rooms on their disgusting, grimey mattresses. If he screamed they would all come running, and what would they do? What could they do?

Jashin... please... I'm begging you... He said in his own mind, somehow still able to hear his own thoughts with the many voices of his love and soulmate echoing and bouncing around. Every single thing the man had every said, things that made sense, things that didn't. Half-sentences, half-words, random noises, laughs, cheers, whoops.

He stared at the ceiling, so perfectly still that he wasn't sure if he were even breathing. He didn't even care if he was or not. He wanted to die, he wanted to kill himself, to grab something and shove it through his head just so he could pass out and escape this ungodly fucking noise!

I'll do anything... He cried inwardly, his eyes actually fogging up with tears. Stop it. Just stop it. Leave me alone...

He clenched the pillow tighter around his head, unknowingly biting down on his own lip so hard that he bit completley through it.

There had to be a way to stop it. He had to decode the mesage, but what was it? There was nothing! It was a sensless garble of unintelligable nonsense!

YOU PINEAPPLE HEADED FUCK! - Got him for you - FUCKING - HURRY THE FUCK UP AND KILL HIM, - I love you -Don't think you know- not even- KAKUZU! - DAMN - You really - another Jashinist's - WAKE THE FUCK UP!- DIRTY BITCH- GODDAMN UCHIHA!- not even - make sense - REAL! - SON OF A BITCH - KILL YOU - DON'T FUCK WITH ME! - sick of your shit -GODDAMN UCHIHA! - Tolerate that shit from Kuzu - our lord and savior - do it yourself -PINEAPPLE HEADED - hurts so bad - act like you didn't like it - nasty - goddamn - something planned - don't get cocky - FUCKING KILL YOU! - don't really remember - don't even try- you think you're - took you so long? -like some little- know who- SON OF A BITCH KAKUZU! - You still think I'm stupid - MOTHERFUCKER! - Pineapple head...

I saw my blood and... it calmed me down...

Liquid pennies flooded his mouth as suddenly, with no other warning, it stopped, leaving a small ringing in the Nara's ears. His eyes, still saucers, stared still at that one spot for a minute, afraid that if he did anything at all, it might come back.

Hesitantly, they flicked to another area of the ceiling. When the silence continued on, he made the concious effort to take in a breath. Air whooshed into his lungs, seeming loud in the suffocatingly heavy atmosphere.

There was nothing, no noise what-so-ever.

He heavily let out his breath, letting his arms flop down onto the mattress beside him. Something warm ran down his chin, and he lifted his hand again to wipe it away. His fingers came off a dark crimson, and suddenly he realized he was bleeding heavily through the hole in his bottom lip.

He only stared absently at his fingers, unable to process any thoughts at the moment other than the fact that it was so wonderfully quiet in here, he could almost fall asleep...

Then something thumped outside his door, and he heard a whispered swear word.

Gaze now resting calmly on the door, thoughts finally started trickleing back into him, and he pushed himself up to a sitting position, eyes never leaving the closed door.

It had to mean something.. He told himself, while simultaneously scooting off the mattress so he could stand up. But what? What the hell could that gibberish mean?

He turned the handle, having resolved not to lock it anymore since it took so damn long to undo, and gently slid the door open toward him. He was greeted only by the darkness, which he regarded emotionlessly, his thought process still only barely working. The surreal feeling was back, as if he weren't really here, as if this weren't really happening.

It was a peaceful, calm kind of feeling, the kind he used to get a lot when he used to smoke pot. He felt distant from himself, from his problems. His body seemed to move on it's own, leaning forward to peek out into the hall and scan each direction.

There was no one there...

Probably just someone going to the bathroom... his sleep deprived mind reasoned.

Speaking of which... He yawned, distantly thinking that that was a wonderful thing. He was tired, he was actually tired! Which meant maybe he could actually sleep tonight!

Stepping into the hall, he again scanned his surroundings, sensings little blurbs of chakra in each of the occupied rooms on either side of him as he walked barefooted down the old, dusty, uninsulated carpet. One... two.. three..

He swayed slightly as he trudged along, laughing a little bit at the thought of living with the Akatsuki, Sasuke, and Neji. What a fuckin' sitcom that would be...

Four...five... fiiive...

He stopped, blinking heavily with brows furrowing, his turned to the left, as if that would somehow help him sense the missing chakra better. Someone was missing, not in their room. This didn't alarm him really, seeing as he'd just reasoned that someone had got up to go to the bathroom. But he didn't know who was in which room, and he really didn't want to run into a grumpy Sasuke in the middle of the night.

His brain finally seemed to click on, his dull eyes sharpened a bit as he realized something. The room Shikamaru picked was the southernmost one, all the rest of the occupied rooms were to the north of his. All that was south of his room was an empty hallway, some kind of janitorial office, and more empty rooms. The only reason someone would be walking past his door is if they didn't know where they were going...

He turned to look back the way he came. Being in a warehouse as they all were, the only windows were small, up high, and heavily covered with cobwebs and years of dust and grime. Moonlight didn't really get through them too well, and didn't offer any more sight than a bare minimum.

Who would be wondering around in the middle of the night?

Surely not any of the Akatsuki... they didn't seem like the type to boredly wonder around. Neither did Sasuke...

Neji maybe?

Hm. Maybe, he recalled many nights those few years ago when he'd wake up to find the brunette out in the livingroom watching some sappy movie with a bowel of popcorn of tub of ice cream, claiming to be unable to sleep.

He smiled for a moment. Ah... the old days.. he never really thought about them any more, usually there was too much on his mind, far too much. Usually Hidan.. And speaking of Hidan.

He turned around and continued slowly and silently down the hall, trying to replay what Hidan's disembodied voice had been screaming at him, only on a lower volume level. It was a moot point though, there was no way to interpret it, seeing as he couldn't even remember exactly what had been said.

Something about Uchiha... and Kakuzu had been mentioned a couple times...

His lip was beginning to throb, and with a sigh he washed his hands of it, content enough just for the agonizing moment to be over with. It was just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, same as all the rest of the voices he kept hearing. It wasn't real, it had no meaning.

Right? Just his subconcious mind trying to fill Hidan's absence...

"What the fucking hell!?" Someone said, Snapping the Nara to attention and making him freeze in place.

He wasn't far from the bathroom, which meant he must've been correct in his assumptions. But that had sounded like Sasuke... and he really didn't want to have to deal with that bastard.

"If someone doesn't show up and start fucking explaining shit..." Sasuke's voice continued, confusing Shikamaru as he contemplated just going to the kitchen are and peeing in the sink. No.. he needed to clean the blood off himself or the others would flip out in the morning when they saw it, and he needed a mirror to do that.

Loud footsteps started coming toward him, growing faster and faster, as if the younger Uchiha had started running.

"HEY!" he shouted, Making shikamaru jump and twist to his left just before he was tackled full-on to the ground. His head smashed into the carpeted but still rock-hard floor and he saw stars for a minute, keeping him from shoving the bastard off in the angry fit he was in now.

"I see you fucker! Now who the fuck are you?" Sasuke said, leaning his face in so close that when the Jashinists eyes finally refocused he was stareing point blank into an active pair of sharingan.

"SHIT!" He half-yelled, slapping his hand onto Sasuke's face and shoving him off. "What the hell are you doing!?" He said, sitting up to glare at the man who'd fallen flat on his back and was struggling to get up. "Are you on fucking drugs? What the hell are you doing?" he asked again.

Finally Sasuke scrambled to his hands and knees and turned around, eyes squinted as if he were having trouble seeing. Then they popped open wide. "Pineapple head..." He whispered.

Shikamaru's body locked up, and he scooted back in stunned silence before his eyes narrowed in anger. "That's not fucking funny Sasuke. I told you I had no problem with you but if you're going to keep being a fucking tool-"

He was cut off as he was tackled again, and before he could even react there were hands feeling his face and pinching his skin and pulling at his hair.

"No way. There's no way this is really you. It's another hallucination, it's gotta be..." Sasuke whispered, running his hands everywhere. "Jashin fucking Christ these things are getting so real..."

Finally snapping out of his shocked daze, Shikamaru once again shoved the man off of him, pushing with added chakra this time to send him tumbling down the hall. "GET THE HELL OFF ME!" He shouted, knowing full well that everyone else in the establishment would probably have heard that and be either waking up or fully awake and on the way to investigate. "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU!?" He shouted again, sending out a mental S.O.S. for someone to turn on the fucking lights.

"WILL YOU QUIT FUCKING SHOVING ME AROUND! Damn why the hell are you suddenly so strong?" Sasuke shouted right back, sitting up and rubbing his neck with his head tilted.

"STOP TALKING LIKE THAT!" Shikamaru said, pushing quickly to his feet. "I'm about fucking sick of your shit, seriously. I don't care who the fuck your brother is I'll still beat the shit out of you!"

"What the hell are you talking about!?" Sasuke said back, taking the same stance. "Goddammit isn't there anyone else in this dream I can talk you, you piss me the fuck off you Pineapple headed fuck!"

"DON'T FUCKING CALL ME THAT!" The Nara all but screeched, taking off in a dead run toward the man and pushing chakra into his fist. Sasuke's eyes widened and he turned to run, tripping over nothing and making a faceplant into the floor.

"Goddamit FUCK this stupid dream! I hate this shit!" he shouted, flipping onto his back afterward and then holding his hand over his face protectively as Shikamaru readied for the strike.

He suddenly slammed into a shimmering light-blue wall of light, hearing a disgusting crack and a terrible pain in his nose before he was knocked backward onto his ass.

"Shikamaru! What the hell!" Neji cried, running past him and helping Sasuke to his feet. The younger Uchiha immediatly gave neji a hard shove once he was up again, pushing the Hyuga into the wall.

"Whoa, hey Princess, don't you fucking touch me." He said darkly, then hesitating for a moment and leaning closer with eyes slightly squinted again. "Wait... why in the name of Jashin are you here? You're never in these things..."

"Sasuke..." Neji said softly, clutching his shoulder. "What... what are you talking about? Are you okay?" His features were set in concern for only a second before they shifted to anger. "Are you fucking drunk again!? Seriously? You can't even go one night?"

Sasuke's face twisted in confusion, and he began to say something before the lights suddenly whirred on. Shikamaru said a small thank you while holding a hand over his heavily bleeding nose a milisecond before the sharingan user suddenly roared and doubled over, clutching at his eyes.

"Oh DAMMIT! SON OF A DIRTY BITCH! Shut those fucking things off! Fucking hell that hurts!"

"Sasuke!" Neji cried, running to comfort the man and being shoved away once again.

"I said don't fucking touch me you stupid little bitch! Dammit what the hell is wrong with you people!? Do you not understand English! Damn!" he said, not uncovering his eyes.

"What's going on here?" Itachi's voice said, making his younger brother turn to squint at him while still bent over. The sharingan gone from his eyes.


Itachi stopped suddenly to give Sasuke a strange look, not even bothering to try and hide his emotions as usual.

"Stop fucking talking like Hidan you shithole!" Shikamaru called in a slightly nasally voice.

More footsteps sounded off the arrival of the rest of the crew.

"I swear if you two children are bickering again..." Kakuzu growled, coming to stand beside Itachi. "You're both going to die."

"No kidding, hm. It's three in the fucking morning I finally got to sleep-"

Sasuke's eyes went wide in the midst of Deidara's complaining and he bolted toward the older man. "KAKUZU OH THANK JASHIN!" He wailed, slamming into the brick wall of a man and wrapping his hands around him. "Someone who can fucking make sense of this crazy batshit! Holy hell I've never been so glad to see your wrinkled old ass!"

Kakuzu raised his hands up out of Sasuke's reach and looked around respectively at Itachi, Neji, and Shikamaru. The last having mentally slap himself not to burst out laughing at the uncharactaristic look of absolutle and utter confusion on the man's face.

"Is this real?" Sasuke whined. "I can't fucking tell if this is real. It feels real but I can't fucking control my body hardly at all and they're all talking to me and the princess keeps touching me with his nasty prissy hands and Pineapple head is yelling at me and I don't understand what's going oooonn!" Sasuke wailed dramatically, gripping tightly to Kakuzu's waist.

The old man continued staring flabbergasted down at the Younger Uchiha. Deidara started laughing, tried to stop it, and then just ended up laughing even harder.

Everyone else was just as confused as Kakuzu.

"Sasuke." Itachi said in a strict but somehow still soft tone, putting his hand on his brothers shoulder and forcing him to meet his eyes. "What in the world are you doing?"

"STOP CALLING ME SASUKE!" He yelled into Itachi's face, turning to nuzzle the eldest of the group again.

"I'm so fucking sick of being fucked with like this!" His voice was muffled by the cloth and flesh he was practifally trying to bury himself in. "Someone just wake me up alreadyy..." He finally whined pathetically.

Everyone exchanged glances, except for Deidara, who stopped in his snickering to give the pitiful Uchiha an awkward look. "Is he crying, hm? What the hell is wrong with him? I thought he was supposed to be the psycho one, yeah?" He said, gesturing to Shikamaru, still holding his nose though the blood had long leaked through his fingers and covered the entire lower half of his face.

Kakuzu was still standing awkwardly, looking back and forth between the Uchiha currently clinging to him and the one regarding him in confusion, silently asking what exactly he was supposed to do in this situation.

"Sasuke..." Neji said softly, having slipped past Shikamaru without him noticing and taken a stance behind his lover. "Why... Why are you acting like Hidan?"

"I'm not fucking acting bitch. Stop goddamn calling me Sasuke. How many fucking times do I have to repeat myself with you? Are you seriously goddamn retarded or am I fucking talking in some foreign language?" he pulled his head away from Kakuzu's torso halfway through his rant. "Get the fuck out of my hallucination! Get out! Or do I need to carve it into your fucking flesh for you to understand? PINEAPPLE HEAD CONTROL THIS BITCH, SERIOUSLY!" He called out, eyes refocusing on the Jashinist, still sitting on the floor with a bloody hand over his face. His eyes widened again before suddenly pushed off of Kakuzu and rushed over to kneel beside him.

"Oh fucking thank Jashin! You're bleeding! Gimme some of that! That'll wake me up!" He reached out toward Shikamaru who fratically reared back and swung, slamming his fist directly into the center of Sasuke's face.

"Shikamaru!" Itachi barked in anger.

"Sasuke!" Neji shrilled.

"Oooh, ouuuch." Deidara said, wincing.

Sasori still hadn't said a single word.

"SON OF A BITCH!" Sasuke shouted, falling back and covering his own face. "Goddamit you stupid-What the hell?! Stop fucking knocking me around! What's wrong with you?"

"Get away from me." Shikamaru said darkly.

Neji had stepped forward but was halted by Itachi, who motioned for everyone to stay put and let this play out.

Sasuke's eyes flicked back and forth between Shikamaru's, getting more and more distressed as each second went by.

"You... you look different. You always look the same.." He said quietly, letting his hand fall away from his nose, which was also bleeding now. "You always look the same. But you look different... and... and that means..." His eyes fell down to his own hands, when he held palms up, closing and opening them a couple times before turning them over to study them.

"This... isn't my body is it?"

Shikamaru only stared at him, brows still slightly furrowed in determined anger.

"I'm always in my own body at least. So this isn't a dream. But... then.." He turned twisted his upper body around to look at everyone else, studying still-shocked person individually, letting the silence drag on.

Suddenly he turned back around, eyes hard and locked onto Shikamaru, whos heart sped up.

As foreign as it looked on Sasuke, there was no mistaking the perfect alignment of the features. That was Hidan's serious face. No amount of practicing could allow him to do that. The faintest bit of a squint, the nearly invisible downward crook of the corner of his mouth. Every last detail, down to the michevious glint in the eyes.

It was Hidan. He was almost positive of it.

But... it couldn't be. That was Sasuke. He had Sasuke's chakra signature, Sasuke's sharingan...

Something was terribley, terribley wrong here.

"Hidan...?" He finally choked out, not even careing that his face had gone slack, and eyes fell open wide.

The confusion from all the other men poured out into the air, which seemed to almost vibrate with it. Kakuzu's arms had moved to lay crossed across his chest, christmas eyes narrowed to mere slits. Itachi still had a hand around Neji's arm, flinging his skeptic but studious glances between his 'younger brother' and the immortal.

Neji looked almost as if he were going to faint, and Shikamaru realized suddenly that the Hyuga had activated his byakugan, and was now staring at his boyfriend in terror and disbelief, taking quick, shallow breaths.

"YES!" Sasuke said, entire face lighting up as he half-smiled excitedly. He leaned forward and grabbed both of Shika's shoulders. "Yes, oh fucking hell, finally! Someone's starting to make sense! Damn I should have known it would be you. Please, Pineapple head, in the name of our lord and savior, tell me what the FUCK is happening right now!?"

"There's no way.." The Nara whispered, feeling as if maybe he might pass out as well. Surely this was a dream, some weird nightmare. It was definitley different from his usual ones, but at least Hidan wasn't dying in the worst possible way. He would prefer him randomly having Sasuke's body any day.

"QUIT FUCKING STARING AND FUCKING TELL ME!" Sasuke shouted in his face, shaking him roughly.

Shikamaru came somewhat back to his senses and shoved the man away again, although far more gently this time. "I don't know what's going on.: He said, blinking hard and almost considering slapping himself to make sure he were awake. "But... I think we need a mirror." No.. he had to be awake, a large portion of the front of his body was covered in blood, his lip had stopped hurting, probably already healed by now, and his nose had stopped bleeding long ago, but it still throbbed in time to each of his quickened heartbeats.

He couldn't help the small side of him that was nearly giddy with excitement. The other half,the logical half, was trying and failing miserabley to bitchslap that side back into submission. There really could be no possible way this was real. No way. Shikamaru had seen a lot of crazy, impossible shit in the last few years of his life, but this... this was...

Fuck, there wasn't even a word for how rediculous it is.

"A mirror. Yeah! Damn, what would I do without'cha Pineapple head! I have to see why my body's being so fucking weird." He rose to his feet, the Nara following soon after.

Neji had gone slack-jaw'd now, looking as if everything he knew and loved had just been slaughtered right in front of him, but still concious. He did take a large step backward as 'Sasuke' turned to look at him, and practiaclly pressed himself against Itachi, who calmly stepped out and to the Hyuga's side.

"Shikamaru, please explain to the rest of us as well." He said gently, eyes not leaving Sasuke.

"I... don't really know. I think..." He looked to Sasuke, who turned to look back impatiently. "Er.. uh. Well, let him go look in a mirror first, then I'll explain."

Itachi didn't seem satisfied with this, but nodded none-the-less.

Deidara snorted. "Well, damn, as much as I hate to miss this little family fiasco... I think I'll go wait at the table for you all to sort this shit out, yeah." he said, whirling around with a flip of his blonde hair to saunter away, shoulders shaking in unmistakeable laughter.

"The first intelligent thing you've said all week, brat." Sasori finally spoke up, taking a miniscule step forward out from his spot behind the group. "I will go as well, you seem to need time to figure this out. As Deidara said, please come inform us of what you determine from the situation." With that he turned and silently followed after the blonde.

Kakuzu only stared in what seemed to be seething silence before turning around and doing the same.

Neji, still stricken into silence, stayed exactly where he was, managing to shift his eyes to Shikamaru's and silently convey that he would join them in a bit.

So Shikamaru nodded to Itachi, who gave Sasuke one last confused look, sighed, and continued walking past them to Shikamaru's original destination before all this shit had occured. "This way." He said in monotone.

Shikamaru made the 'You first' gesture when Not-Sasuke looked to him for guidance, and then nearly bounced into step behind Itachi.

"So are we in some kind of shitty mansion? What's with this place? Kakuzu must've picked it out huh? I think he fucking outdid himself on this one. Never seen a bigger pile of crap in my life."

Shikamaru reveled at the bipolar mood swings of... whoever this was. Hidan may have been confusing, able to go from one extreme to the other, but never in such dizzying amounts. How could he act so... so Hidan right now? How could this situation not be bothering the shit out of him? Even if it was somehow the zealot in Sasuke's body, that didn't explain why he'd be acting so moronic.

Not even - make sense - REAL! - you still think I'm stupid.

He blinked, stopping for only a second as he followed the two down the hall. That was a chunk of what Hidan had been saying to him in his head earlier... Not even make sense... real. That described the situation perfectly.

This does not even make sense, but it's real.

Once more he blinked. That's it. You had to fill in the blanks.. it was a coded message! RIGHT!

An involuntary smile peeked across his face.

But damn, he couldn't remember everything that had been said...

"Is Red-eyes the butler? That's be fuckin' great." Sasuke/Hidan said, bringing Shikamaru's attention back to the present. "I think I like this hallucination, now that all that annoying shit is over. They slipped me some serious fucking drugs this time, I've never had one as crazy fuckin' real as this. My face still hurts!"

"Who slipped you drugs?" Shikamaru questioned as they stopped before the bathroom door. Itachi turned to the two but remained silent, seemingly just as interested in the answer.

Sasuke's face went dark. "The dead motherfuckers that caught me."

"Who? Do you know who they were?" The Nara pressed on.

"Nah, they claimed to be Jashinists but their bunch of half-wit, pussy asses would never survive Jashin's judgement. He'd slaughter'em on the spot."

"How did they get you?" Itachi said in his soft voice, seeming to finally catch on.

"Through a bunch of slippery bullshit tricks!" the Not-Sasuke said in an agitated tone. "I fucking killed a shit-load of em and mutilated a hell of a lot more, but they just kept fucking coming at me. Put these weird handcuffs on me that kept me from using any fuckin' jutsu, dislocated my arms and legs and tied me up. Pansies. They better keep me good and drugged, Cause I'm killing off the rest of the fuckers if I ever wake up..." He paused, studying Shikamaru again. "Damn, you look so different..."

"They've kept you unconcious?" Itachi asked before Shika had the chance.

"Yeah. I wake up every now and then. I coulda sworn that's what was happening earlier it felt like I was awake, still does, but I was in this place... Must be another goddamn dream. I think they've been trying to trick me into doing some shit, they think I'm a fucking idiot..."

You still think I'm stupid..

"They haven't been... torturing you... or anything?"

He shrugged. "Ahh I don't fucking know... Whatever, they can't do shit to me, it's only a matter of time before they fuck up and I get out. Kakuzu got out, I can too. Are we gonna find a mirror or what?"

"Hi- ...Hidan.." Shikamaru said, it felt strange to say it to Sasuke's face, but then mans attention landed on him, one brow arched high as he waited. A signature Hidan expression.

Oh Jashin, he needed to stop saying his life couldn't get any more fucked up.

"...Nevermind. The mirrors in there.." He surrendered, gesturing weakly to the door.

The Sasuke/Hidan regarded the door for a second before pushing through without a second word. Itachi and Shikamaru stayed where they were, staring at each other in calculating silence.

"Hidan is in Sasuke's body." Itachi said, finally stating aloud Shikamaru's suspicions.

The Nara gave a small nod. "That's as much as I've been able to figure out.. I thought Sasuke was just being a jerk at first but... There's no way he could mimic Hidan so perfectly. There's no logical reason why he'd go to all that trouble!"

"Neji had his byakugan up, didn't he?"

Again Shika responded with a nod.

"Please go fetch him. I have a theory but I need his verification."

"I'm right here.." Neji's voice said from where they'd come from. The Hyuga came trudging slowly up to them, looking extremley pale.

"Are you all right, Neji?" Itachi said, his expression not mirroring his attempt to seem concerned.

"Well, how would you feel if your arch enemy inexplicabley posseses your boyfriends body?" He muttered, only confirming the other men's suspicions.

"So you agree with our assumptions?"

"I don't just agree, I can confirm it. That's not Sasuke. I mean, it's Sasuke's chakra, Sasuke's body, Sasuke's sharingan, his voice, everything physical is Sasuke..." He said, pausing to lift his eyes from the floor where they'd been rooted to stare at the older Uchiha. "But.. it's hard to explain. It's his curse mark, It's... it's like it's alive. It has it's own chakra source somewhere, It's all mixed in with Sasuke's, wrapped around it almost..."

"What color is it?" Shikamaru said quickly.

Neji looked at him for a moment, exhausted and still somewhat confused. "What color do you think it is?"

"It's red isn't it? Blood red."

Neji nodded sadly. "Hidan's chakra..."

Itachi put a hand to his chin in thought, propping it up with the other arm pulled across his lower chest. "That's what I thought. It's the curse mark, Hidan is somehow using it to project his concious into Sasuke's body."

"But I thought only Orochimaru could do that!" Neji replied.

"Only Orochimaru can, you're correct..." Itachi trailed off in thought.

"So how the fuck is Hidan here instead of him!?" Neji said, voice pitched high.

Shikamaru agreed whole-heartedly with his reaction, except for the fact that he was excited about it instead of horrified.

"This is the only scenario I can think of.." Itachi said, lowering his hands. "Sasuke agree'd to let Orochimaru take him over next time an attack occured. He must have had one in the middle of the night, and he'd let it happen willingly. I can only assume that Orochimaru must have shown up, saw what we were planning in Sasuke's mind, and replaced his presence with Hidan to toy with us."

"Why did no one forsee that happening!?" Neji whisper-yelled, after there was a loud bang in the bathroom.

"The Idea was for Sasuke to tell me when an attack was coming, so I could immediatly place a genjutsu on Orochimaru. Not just let it happen without warning. I suppose I should have gone to greater lengths to make that clear..." Itachi sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"Oh this is fucking perfect. So now what? We still don't have any way to figure out where the bastard is and now we're stuck with a useless psychopath in the body of the person who was supposed to show us the way!" Neji said, throwing his arms up in defeat.

"Well... why can't you just use a genjutsu on Hidan?" Shikamaru said, earning another sigh from the Uchiha and an apologetic, weary stare from the brunette.

Silence floated between the three ment for 3 heartbeats before the Nara's brows dropped in irritation. "What? Why can't we do that?"

"Sharingan doesn't work on Hidan, Shikamaru." Neji said, glancing curiously at Itachi. "Isn't that right?"

Itachi only nodded, not meeting either of their eyes.

"Wait.. what? Since when?" The Jashinist said, looking angrily back and forth between the two. He felt a little left out, and as a result, a little bit betrayed. This was rather important information, Itachi should have mentioned it a looong time ago. And why the hell did Neji know, but not himself? Unless maybe Sasuke told him...

"It never has. Not since I first met Hidan." Itachi stated even quieter than usual. "It doesn't work on you either... not anymore."

Now both the Hyuga and his ex looked quizically at Itachi.

"It doesn't work on Shikamaru?"

"What do you mean?"

"Not since you converted to Jashinism."

"What's that got to do with it?"

Itachi regarded them both calmly before the door to the bathroom burst open, revealing an extremley red-faced, pissed off looking Sasuke.

All three men turned to look at him, he stared back, breathing heavily, obviously trying to control the rage seeping from him in waves.

"Someone... better start fucking explaining... right fucking now."

Shikamaru looked back to Itachi, face also darkened in anger.

More secrets. Of course there was more secrets. Would there ever be a time when people didn't keep shit from him? Would he ever be caught up on his own goddamn religion?

"Let's rejoin the others, and then I will do my best to shed light on the situation..." Itachi said somewhat sullenly, moving past the others to return down the hall.

Neji looked back and forth between the two remaining men, shifting nervously. "I guess I'll... uh... just.. follow him." He said, whirling to scurry after the older Uchiha.

"Pineapple Head..." Hidan said in Sasuke's voice.

Shikamaru twitched uncomfortabley at it, but met his eyes.

"You're real, aren't you? This is real. It's really happening."

The fellow Jashinist nodded solemnly. "Yes... Hidan. I don't know how... but this is real."

He was taken offguard as arms suddenly closed so tightly around him that the air whoosed out of his lungs. He realized after a few seconds that Sasuke's lips had just pressed themselves against his own for a brief second, and then in the blink of an eye the man was standing back where he had been.

"You tell anyone that just happened and I'll fucking kill you." The Not-Sasuke said, before walking off the direction Neji and Itachi had gone.

Shikamaru stood in the same place stiffly, unable to move due to the millions of thoughts racing through his head, and yet none at all.

Oh Jashin... Hidan had kissed him... Which was good. But with Sasuke's body... That was bad. That was aweful, actually. Psycholocially scarring.

Even worse yet was the butterflies that were still zipping around his stomache and the light pattering of his heartrate in his ears.

Hidan had missed him, quite a bit apparently. He was so happy to see him that he was unable to keep himself from commiting that terrible act that would surely haunt Shikamaru's nights for quite some time.

Ugh, this was the worst possible time for such distracting sensations and feelings. It pissed him off, but at the same time made him want to laugh.

Hidan was back. Maybe not in his body, but only the crazy albino would so something so stupid and thoughtless... and sweet and heart-wrenching.

Damn you Hidan...


Not long after, everyone was once again gathered around the dining/conference card table, waiting impatiently for someone to explain what the hell was going on.

Hidan(Sasuke) Sat leaning back in the folding chair with his arms crossed, glaring unhappily into the distance. Itachi was behind him. Everyone else was on the other side of the table, except for Neji and Shikamaru who were placed opposite each other on the right or left side of the table from Sasuke(Hidan).

"Sooo..." Deidara said, breaking the intense silence and leaning forward across the surface to get a better look at the younger Uchiha(elder Jashinist). "Is that really the psycho in there, hm?"

"Hey!" Hidan/Sasuke snapped, "Don't act like I'm not in the goddamn room you brainless barbie-doll! I can still sacrifice the shit out of you and your empty goddamn head!"

The blonde whistled in mock appreciation. "Holy shit... it is him! I don't know whether to be glad that stuck up Uchiha is gone or pissed off that I have to deal with your stupid ass, yeah."

"Can you? Don't forget you're in Pretty boy's body now. " He said, breaking into a huge smile. "Which means I could blow you both to fuckery if I wanted to, hm!"

"You'll do no such thing." Sasori intervened, smacking him once again on the back of the head.

Deidara hissed in a breath and mumbled some incomprehensible complaint, but stayed quiet.

Sasori continued on. "I'm sure we're all curious as to how this happened."

"Yeah, so start fucking talking Red-eyes." Hidan(Sasuke) said, almost looking as if he were going to pounce on the blonde.

Kakuzu had yet to say or do anything other than silently study the Sasuke-Hidan mixture, and other than that initial awkard moment, the two had yet to even acknowledge each other. this bugged Shikamaru, but made him resist a smile at the same time. Despite the confusion earlier, he'd been a bit put-off that Hidan had run to and held Kakuzu the way he did. Even if he had Sasuke's body, Hidan was still his by the way of fate.

"Yes, well. As you all know the plan we had originally laid out was to have Sasuke let Orochimaru possess his body so that I could cast a genjutsu on him and trick him into leading us to his hideout. Sasuke had finally agree'd to this at the end of our conversation, and so it happens he seems to have had an attack this very night." He looked around the room, seeming to gauge everyone's reactions, but no one made one, and so he continued. "The only circumstance I can come up with is as I've already said to Shikamaru and Neji here, who helped me to devise it. Orochimaru came in the night, saw in Sasuke's mind what we were planning, and to throw us off, somehow replaced his presence with Hidan's."

At this point Deidara opened his mouth to ask a question, but Itachi quickly held up a hand, closing his eyes as he regaled the rest of the explanation. "It was already suggested that I simply continue with the plan and cast the genjutsu on Hidan..." he trailed off, leaving a room full of expectant stares.

Shikamaru noticed itachi's discomfort earlier at admitting that Sharingan didn't work. And though he was still upset with Itachi for continueing to keep secrets from him, he could sense now how badley the Uchiha wanted to withold the information from everyone else. If he understood right, being unaffected by Sharingan was not just some trait restricted to Hidan. Itachi had made a point of saying that it applied to Shikamaru as well because he was a Jashinist. and anything related to Jashinism should be kept quiet from allies who might misunderstand.

"But Orochimaru saw what we were planning and somehow made genjutsu unaffective on him." He finished for the man, whose eyes flicked to him, appreciation flashing across them.

"Yes. We've tried already, and it did not work." He said calmly.

Neji looked back and forth between the two suspiciously, and Shikamaru eyed him, trying to mentally portray the situation for the Hyuga. Whether he understood of not was unknown, but the brunette remained quiet.

"I find it revolting that no one thought this situation might occur." Kakuzu finally said. "Sasuke should have been being monitered."

"Yes, Kakuzu, I agree." itachi said tiredly. "It was an error on my part to not clarify to him that he was to fetch me when the take-over took place. I suppose I was wrong in assuming he would know this."

"So just have his little boyfriend chase the psycho out of his body, yeah." Deidara said almost boredly, gesturing to Neji. "You said he did it before."

"What I did before was chase out the chakra that took him over when his transformation occured. That knocked him unconious, which kept Orochimaru from being able to corrupt him. The curse seal is a mixture of Science and Jutsu, it's not as simple as just cutting off the chakra junctions." The byakugan user explained somewhat impatiently, as if Deidara were to inexplicabley already know this. "The chakra from the curse seal enabling Hidan to possess his body is coming from somewhere else and leaking through the seal, flooding his system. It's not traveling by the normal chakra paths, there's no way for me to cut it off."

"So why don't we just knock him around until he passes out, hm?"

"Because I'll fucking rip your hair out and hang you with it, that's why!" Hidan spat at the blonde.

"How are we to know that this is really Hidan and not some ploy?" Kakuzu said, distracting the two from the inevitable argueing match.

"Because it's his chakra leaking through. I'd know it anywhere." Neji said lowly, eyes downcast.

Sasori cleared his throat then. "Well, at the very least, this confirms our suspicions that it is indeed Orochimaru who has taken Hidan captive."

Everyone seemed to silently acknowledge this.

"But it seems now that we have been left without any way to complete the mission. With Hidan in Sasuke's body, we no longer have your brother's in-depth knowledge of Orochimaru at hand." He said, looking at the eldest Uchiha. "It seems he's sucessfully slashed any chances we had."

"Sasuke did warn us that he was not to be underestimated." Itachi stated quietly.

"Is there any chance maybe it would wear off if Sas-... ermmm Hidan... just went to sleep?" Neji piped.

"I do not know." Itachi replied.

Then everyone was brought violently to attention as Hidan slammed his fist on the table. "ALRIGHT FUCKERS! First of all, I'm right fucking here, quit talking like I'm not. Second; Are you fucktards just completley ignoring the fact that I'm here now?"

the entire room looked at him in question, which he responded to with a huge sigh.

"Okay, I guess I need to use smaller fucking words." He said, standing up. "From what I've fucking heard so far I'm gonna go ahead and guess that you guys are all gathered here in this shithole to fucking rescue me or something. That's fucking flattering and all, but this fucking idiot that has be captive here is a dumb-shit, and I can get out on my own."

"If that were true, Hidan. You would not be in this situation." Kakuzu said.

"Shove it up your ass old man. I wasn't done, don't fucking interrupt me." Hidan barked, beginning to pace. "Anyway, since I'm stuck in this body, I can't really get myself out. But I can still help, once I get used to this scrawny ass body."

He stopped next to Itachi. "Tell your brother to start working out Red-eyes, seriously." He said, then whirling around to move next to the fellow Jashinist watching this all happen in amusement. "And you, Pineapple fucker, need to give me my goddamn scythe back. I don't fucking know how to do all Red-eyes' brother's techniques and shit, so I at least need a weapon I'm familiar with."

"I must say Hidan, I'm surprised that you're taking this so well." Sasori said, not looking as if he were surprised at all. "Transitioning bodies can't possibley be so easy."

"Yeah well, I'm just fucking happy to be off that stupid fucking table..." Hidan(Sasuke) replied.

"What I'm kind of pissed about here is that this kid over here had all of us all worked up that you were in some kind of horrible torturous pain, hm." Deidara said, gesturing to Shikamaru. "He's been aggrivating the shit out of everyone. 'We have to save Hidaaaaan. We have to save Hidaaaaan!' Hm. And now we find out you were actually having a goddamn blast. That's a fucking burn, yeah."

In half a second Sasuke(Hidan) had vaulted across the table, snatched Deidara by the collar of his shirt, pushed him 10 feet across the room and slammed him against the wall. He leaned in close to glare at the blonde with deadly intent while everyone else shoved themselves from their chairs, ready to jump in if necessary but not interveneing yet.

Only Kakuzu and Shikamaru hadn't moved an inch. His smirk had grown into a full on smile now. Kakuzu only twisted in his seat to watch.

"What the hell do you know about horrible, torturous pain, blondie?" Hidan growled in Sasuke's voice, so low and threatening that Deidara swallowed heavily, and Itachi stepped forward, hands glowing faintly.

"Do you know how many times I woke up unable to do anything other than scream because my organs were hung on fucking meat hooks above my body? Still attached and working just fine, but no longer inside me where they belong. How long I laid there, each second dragging by, taking fucking centuries while I prayed and prayed for something, anything just to knock me unconcious. Have you ever been in such all-consuming pain that you stop feeling anything at all? Unable to convert it to pleasure because the drugs your captors are pumping into your system keeps your mind from working properly? Because they're being extra fucking careful not to get even one tiny, miniscule, little drop of blood reach your mouth so you can have just one fucking second of peace? Have you ever had that happen to you, Deidara?" He asked, pulling the blonde off the wall a small bit and slamming him back again when he didn't answer.

"I have been through some serious fucking hell before. I've felt some pretty intense fucking pain. I have been tied to a fucking stake, and burned alive. And I'd rather do that fifty-fucking-times over than to ever, ever go back to being strapped to that goddamn table. You you better listen to you little walking sex-toy and shut the fuck up before someone finally gets tired of hearing your annoying fucking voice and puts an end to your worthless heathen life."

He released his hold on the terrified man, who slid limply to the floor. Hidan(Sasuke) stood over him, staring but not focusing on him as he appeared to be regaining control of himself.

Shikamaru's smile had dissapeared, and his face and stomache sank at the mentions of Hidan's methods of being tortured. He had seen these things happening as if he were there, felt the pain, the hopelessness, and the questioning of his faith that the zealot had not mentioned. He had seen bits and pieces of all of this every time he managed to fall asleep, and he was sick with the notion that it had actually happened, that his poor Hidan had been forced through that.

At least previous to this night, he could mostly convince himself that they were nothing more than nightmares. He could take imaginary solace in the belief that maybe it actually wasn't true. But having it confirmed... he almost felt he was going to be sick.

Sasuke(Hidan) whirled around then, back to the normal, goofy, mood he'd been in previously, and clapped his hands together.

"Alright, so I don't know about any of you fuckers, but I could definitley go for letting off a little bit of built-up tension. So who the fuck wants to fight?"

"You shouldn't be fighting anyone until you get used to that body, Hidan." Kakuzu said.

"That's right. Sasuke is not immortal. You cannot be as reckless as you usually are." Itachi added. "I will personally see to it that you are dead if you harm my brother."

"That's why I want to fight you ficking idiots! I have to figure out a whole new battle style and you motherfuckers are going to help me since you been just sitting around this shithole scratching your asses this whole time!" Hidan shouted, then pointed dramatically at Shikamaru. "You're first! Let's go!"

"He's right." Sasori said now, helping a shaken Deidara back to his feet. "We no longer need to conserve our chakra since our earlier plan failed anyway. If he's going to help us then he'll need to know his own strengths and weaknesses."

"But isn't there still the chance that Orochimaru could pull out Hidan and take his place at any moment?" Neji piped up nervously, still standing beside his seat at the table.

The group was silent for a moment as everyone considered this.

"Yes, that's a good observation. However, we are powerless to do anything about it. All we can do is make sure Hidan is monitered constantly." Itachi said softly.

Hidan(Sasuke) made a face at this, but recovered quickly. "Whatever, I don't even care. I just wanna blow off some steam." He started walking in the opposite direction of the door that led outside. "C'mon Pineapple head. Let's go."

"Hidan.." Shikamaru said boredly. He didn't get an answer, and he could help the small smile that slipped onto his features.



"The door's that way."



Bet you guys weren't expecting THAT huh?


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Seeya next chapter! :)