Hidan swung the door of his apartment open with a flourish. “Welcome to the Zombie Den,” he said, and gestured for her to go first. “Shoes off at the door, coats and bags go in the coat closet.”
Hinata walked in, noting that the small space was much neater than she had expected. Stepping over to the side, she toed off her sandals. “Why Zombie?”
He snickered. “Deidara started calling Kakuzu and me that a while ago. It kinda stuck, I guess.” He kicked off his shoes as he shut the door, then used a foot to shove them into some semblance of order. “So you mentioned food? I have a kitchen.”
Tilting her head, Hinata watched him as he dropped his bag in the closet. “You live with Kakuzu?” she asked as she pulled her cell phone from her bag before tucking it in next to his.
Hidan shrugged. “Yeah.” He moved into the apartment and flopped down on a big, ugly couch. But it was comfy.
“Just you two?” Hinata asked half aware of her wistful tone. Must be nice to be away from family obligations.
He nodded. “Ye-ep,” he replied. “Deidara stayed for a month once, during one of his arguments with his mother.” He got up and went over to a DVD stand. “What do you feel like watching?”
Thinking about who she was with and the mood that she was in, Hinata realized she just wanted to enjoy a few hours laughing. “Anything violent and funny?” She wandered over to the kitchen, flicking the light on as she went.
He eyed the rows of movies. “Jackie Chan? Got The Medallion, Accidental Spy and his movies with Owen Wilson.”
“Surprise me,” she called around the corner. Hm, if she was cooking lunch… Well, it depended on what was available. Thank you Tenten for the cooking lessons!
The Medallion it is, he thought, and put the movie in.
“Hidan? What’s this?” She stood with the fridge open, looking down at a pot full of… something.
Hidan poked his head into the room. “Oh, that’s Kakuzu’s chili surprise. The surprise is caramel,” he said with a smirk. “It’s awful.”
“Caramel? In chili?” Hinata wrinkled her nose. “How did he get that idea?” The cool congealed mess filled most of the pot. “And why is it still in here?”
“Something about wasting money being a death punishable offense. Rather than argue, I’ve been waiting for it to come to life. Might need another week or two. Leave it there,” he said, grinning the whole while.
She lifted horrified lilac eyes. “How long has it been brewing in its own juices?” The implications were frightening.
He paused to think about it. “A couple weeks–Hey, what are you doing?!” he yelped as she picked it up and started for the trash can.
She paused, tilted her head, and reconsidered what she was doing. Right, probably not the best idea. “Where’s the washroom?”
He pouted. “But it’s not zombie food yet!” he protested.
Hidan looked heartbroken, even as he pointed the way. “This is brutal, Hinata. And Kakuzu’s gonna charge me for it!” he complained as he followed her down the hall to the bathroom.
“Ugh…” Hinata shuddered as she lifted the lid. The pot now perched on the counter, fully exposing… “Ugghhhhh.” Men. No, boys.
She leaned a little away, fingers reaching past Hidan to flick on the fan. “This is disgusting.”
Though, incongruously, the bathroom itself was relatively clean.
Luckily, the toilet’s lids were already left up (go figure), but that was for the best. She carefully poured the primordial soup (chili was supposed to be chunky wasn’t it?) down into the waiting bowl and flushed.
Then she handed the empty stinking pot to Hidan. “I’ll deal with Kakuzu. Really. Now please wash that.” Hinata plucked the lid from where she had left it in the sink and fitted it onto the pot. “I’m going to pass out on the couch now.”
He blinked and wandered after her. “Uh, okay. I’ll go clean this…” He pouted and wandered into the kitchen.
Collapsing on the couch, Hinata leaned back and closed her eyes, a slight smirk on her lips. Ten minutes into his house and she was already creating chaos. Both Ino and Tenten would be congratulating her on getting Hidan to do chores before there was any cooking even started!
Speaking of cooking. She groaned as she got back up out of the really comfortable couch. It was softer than her bed! Hinata padded into the kitchen again.
Hidan glanced over at her. “Yo. Food time?” he asked hopefully.
She snorted. “Now that that is gone, yeah.” She turned to look at the various cupboards. “So, what’s available?”
He shrugged. “Whatever you can find. We have a lot of dried noodles, rice, a few potatoes… Hamburger meat, sausages, bacon…” He shrugged. “Whatever you can find.”
Hinata began listing ingredients in her head as she opened the fridge. Eggs, some vegetables… What she was thinking about wasn’t going to be a gourmet meal, but it would be fast.
However… “Should I trust your washing skills? Cuz I need a pot.”
He put the now washed pot in the drainer. “I do half the chores. Don’t worry about my capabilities. Pots are in the cupboard to the left of the stove.”
An hour later found the two of them sitting on the couch, empty ramen bowls on the coffee table, Hinata laughing at Jackie Chan’s antics.
Half an hour later, and she was dozing on Hidan’s shoulder. Not that he minded.
And twenty minutes after that, Kakuzu came home. He quirked a brow at his roommate. Hidan smirked. “I gotta get to work. Keep an eye on her?”
“I work too,” Kakuzu pointed out. At Hidan’s I will bug you until you give in grin, he sighed. “Fine. You owe me two hundred bucks.”
Hidan winced and carefully shifted her off him. “Money monger,” he muttered, and stalked off for a shower. Not that it made much difference.
Awareness drifted in, and Hinata found herself wrapped up in a delicious sensation of warmth and softness. And unfortunately, really hungry.
She blinked at the ceiling above her and frowned. The wall wasn’t familiar, neither was the rising swell of cushions to her right. As she shifted she noticed that she was fully clothed, though a soft blanket covered her from toes to shoulder.
The room was completely dark and off to the side she could hear the hum of a refrigerator.
She frowned. I was at school… Neji was–Oh, Hidan found out… and Kakuzu… so… Oh. Oh shit! What time was it?
Glancing around, Hinata snatched her phone from the nearby coffee table and thumbed a button. The screen lit up. She could feel her face pale as she read the numbers. It was almost 3am.
She was still on Hidan’s couch.
There was the muffled sound of arguing coming from the kitchen. Hushed voices. Hidan and Kakuzu. The sound of glass shattering, and a muffled curse. “I’ll get the stitch wire,” Kakuzu said, stalking out and down the hall. He didn’t notice Hinata’s state of wakefulness.
Scrubbing a hand over her face, the girl sat up and blinked some more. She briefly mourned the loss of heat as the blanket slid off her back, but she had other worries. Like standing.
Which seemed to mean a bit of wobbling.
Kakuzu came back through and paused. “Oh. She’s awake,” he said, heading back into the kitchen. “Keep your ass in that seat, idiot.”
Hinata poked her head about the doorway and felt her eyes widen at the sight. There was blood splattered on the counters and the tiles, glass shards glinted from the floor, and in the middle of it was Hidan. He was perched on the edge of a chair, eyes a little bright, while Kakuzu was carefully maneuvering around the mess on the floor to reach his roommate.
Hidan spotted her and tried to curb his excitement at the pain in his bloody arm. “Oh, hey, sleepy head. Did you dream of me?” he asked, and winced when Kakuzu grabbed his wrist.
“No, sorry,” Hinata responded, pale eyes tracing over the lines of the gash in his arm. “Can I help?” The question was more towards Kakuzu than the happily bleeding man.
“Make him sit still,” Kakuzu grumbled, scowling as he tried to clean the masochist’s arm.
Hinata frowned slightly. How was she going to do that? Still, she padded over to Hidan and looked down at him. “Why are you twitching?” she asked.
Hidan stifled a grin. “Uhhh… No reason.”
One of her eyebrows rose, an idea forming. “Really?” She glanced down at Kakuzu, but he was wholly focused on the wound. “You seem to be wriggling a lot.”
He gulped and gritted his teeth. “I can’t help it!” he hissed. “Ahhhh, shiiiiitt…”
She leaned against a cupboard and blinked at him. “Actually, for a masochist, I figured you’d be wriggling more.” And then she smiled.
Hidan froze, eyes wide, and sputtered for a minute. Kakuzu managed to get the last stitch of five in place by the time Hidan whipped his head around to glare accusingly. “You told her!”
“She would have found out eventually,” was the reply as Kakuzu mopped up the remaining blood on his friend’s arm. “And it’s not like she minds, clearly.”
“She doesn’t?” Hidan looked back at her hopefully. “You don’t?”
Hinata sighed as she relaxed against the counter. Good thing shocking Hidan had worked. She hadn’t really known what else to do.
Chewing on the inside of her cheek, she thought about Hidan’s question, gaze taking in the blood and the glass and the puppy eyes. “I don’t mind it,” she said slowly, “but it’s something to get used to.” One side of her mouth quirked up. “I do have to admit though, it does suit you.”
He grinned. “It is me, so of course it does,” he replied, pleased. He paused, then frowned. “Did you wanna go home? We didn’t want to wake you.”
At that, Hinata winced. “I should have been home hours ago…” She had only slept outside of the house a handful of times. All in the company of only girls. All with a week’s notice in advance.
She thunked the back of her head against the cupboard behind her. “I guess I’ll take a cab.”
Kakuzu shrugged. “If you go home in the middle of the night, they’ll think you slept with him,” he commented casually.
Hidan scowled at his roommate. “Shut the fuck up, dick,” he snapped.
“Whatever. Goodnight,” Kakuzu replied, and left the room before Hidan could come up with a retort.
Was he right? Hinata could see how that conclusion could be drawn. But, showing up in the morning wasn’t much better either… Could she just sneak into the house? Possibly? She’d never tried the bedroom window before, but she knew it was possible. What if she just went to school as if nothing had happened? No, Ino would surely know she was in yesterday’s clothing. That were probably rumpled.
Absently, Hinata focused further inward and chewed on the inside of her bottom lip.
“For the record, it’s no one’s goddamn business what you do,” Hidan said. He was seriously getting sick of those Hyuuga bastards.
The girl hummed in response, but otherwise didn’t respond.
Hidan got up and forcefully returned her attention to him… With a steamy kiss. But, true to his word, he didn’t otherwise touch her. “Stop worrying. You can have my bed. I’ll crash on the couch.”
Head resting on Hidan’s shoulder, nose buried against the side of his neck, Hinata took a moment to breathe. In gulps. The only worry she was dealing with was whether her legs would buckle if he let go of her.
It took a few more seconds, but she finally had enough air to speak. “No, the couch was fine. Fantastic actually.” A comfy couch didn’t mean she wanted to move though…
“You sure, goddess?” he asked teasingly. When she only nodded, he smirked and they lapsed into silence. A moment passed. “Can I ask you about something?”
“Mmmhmm,” was Hinata’s contented response from below his chin.
“Earlier… That blond guy, Naruto or whatever… Why did he ignore you?” he asked, frowning.
Sucking in a gasp, Hinata held her breath and stared at the pale skin just increments from her wide eyes. Thoughts scattered in her brain. How… But… Oh, fuck my life. Hinata blinked. Where had that thought come from?
“That’s fine. You don’t have to talk about it,” he said after a moment.
Inexplicably, Hinata began to giggle. “Can you blame me? The last guy I told you about who was ignoring me, you broke his wrist…” She sighed and then jerked away, eyes wide. “I’m sorry! Isn’t your collarbone cracked?”
He grinned. “Space cadet,” he teased.
“It’s a valid question,” she retorted, easing back, but not away. “Can we talk on the couch?” The counter top edge was reminding her that there were comfier places to be.
“Sure,” he agreed, and let her back away so they could move rooms.
“So, what were you doing?” She motioned at the stitches in his arm that Kakuzu had slapped gauze and tape on.
He smirked. “Arguing. Pirates versus ninjas. Kakuzu is anti ninja.”
She blinked. “And the glass?”
“Beer bottle. Pirates use them as clubs,” he replied, and sat on the couch.
Still standing, Hinata stared down at him with a look of dismay. “You two are insane,” she muttered before sitting down next to him.
He snickered. “It’s my best quality, you know.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” Hinata murmured, absently wrapping her arms around up-drawn knees. She pursed her lips for a second and organized her thoughts. “Naruto… never sees me, not as a friend, less than an acquaintance.” She shook her head, a wry smile on her lips, “Just another body with a name in a school with hundreds of others.”
Hinata rest her forehead on her knees, not daring to look at the boy next to her. She waited for the wave of depression to rise, but was a little surprised to feel nothing but indignant frustration. Maybe it was better this way, leaving the blond behind.
“He doesn’t do it on purpose. He just doesn’t see me,” she added. Naruto was clueless, but he wasn’t malicious.
Hidan nodded thoughtfully. “I was surprised. From what I know of him – which really isn’t much, honestly – he didn’t seem the type. Kind of empty-headed, but not needlessly mean. Stupid.”
By the time he was finished, Hinata was nodding. “Very empty headed,” she agreed. “He is so clueless. It seems that everyone else knew how I–uhm…” She mumbled something into her knees.
Hidan looked at her. “I missed that,” he pointed.
She took another deep breath… and mumbled again. A slight bit louder.
“What was that? You wanna be tickled? No complaints here,” he said, and dragged her into his lap, fingers tickling her stomach with a massive grin stretching his mouth.
Shock quickly passed into relief, followed shortly by panic. Hinata collapsed into giggles and tried to swat his hands away. “No! Sto-op!” she managed to sputter between gusts of laughter. She tried to wriggle away but he only grabbed hold of her hips and pulled her back in. “Hidan! I’ll castrate you!”
He actually paused at that. “That is not funny, Hinata,” he said seriously.
Panting, sprawled literally across his legs, the blue-haired girl grinned up at him. “I’ll help Kakuzu sew it back on,” she offered.
He scowled. “Still not funny,” he replied, eyes narrowed. Then he smirked. “But I know how you can make me feel better.”
This time Hinata’s eyes narrowed. “I don’t think I really need to apologize to you, Hidan…” she told him, cautiously sliding off his lap. “You’re the one who started tickling me. I had to defend myself.”
He pouted. “Awww, all I want is a little love. Is that too much to ask?”
Now seated a safe distance away, she crossed her arms and frowned at him, grumbling, “A little he says… What does a little love entail exactly?” she asked him.
Would she hit me if I said sex? he wondered. Only one way to find out… He grinned at her, shrugged and replied off-handedly, “Sex? For starters.”
Hinata blinked, blushed bright enough to be seen in the dark, then abruptly paled. Of course he would ask for that, that was predictable. What startled her though was how willing she was to indulge him on his request.
Her eyes traced what features she could see of him, noting the grin, the hair, the eyes. He was nothing at all like any other man she’d dated. Nothing like Naruto. And she really did find him attractive.
Still… He didn’t need to know that.
Huffing out a short sigh, Hinata tilted her head at him and smirked. Brushing the hair back from her face, she turned on the cushions and crawled back towards him.
His breath caught in his throat, mind going blank. What was she doing? Dare he hope she was actually going to sleep with him?
Settling back into his lap, Hinata gave him a cool look, one eyebrow quirked. “You know, your mind is constantly in the gutter,” she told him calmly as she slid her palms up his chest and around the back of his neck. Her fingers were already twining into the soft hairs at his nape as she leaned in to brush her lips over his. “Just one question, Hidan.”
He swallowed. “Sure,” he agreed.
She smiled at him, eyes half-lidded, watching his mouth. “Where did Neji crack your collarbone?”
“Left side.. It hurts.” He blinked. “Why?”
Her gaze drifted down to below his chin. “Can I see?” she asked him instead.
He nodded and nudged her forward, then tugged his shirt off one-handed. The right hand. He tossed it aside and leaned back again. On the left side of his upper chest was a bruise the size of an apple, dark and angry.
Frowning softly, Hinata shook her head. All thoughts of punching Hidan in the opposite shoulder evaporated almost as soon as the cloth exposed the first traces of the bruise. Yes, he had man-handled her into his lap and tickled her. Clearly, he was also a masochist, but that didn’t mean she could just add to his injuries.
Change of tactics then.
Sliding around so that she straddled his legs, she leaned forward, one hand propped in his hip, the other braced on the back of the sofa. Moving slowly, carefully, she ghosted her lips over his shoulder and on the first traces of the bruise.
He made a soft sound in the back of his throat. Whether it was a pained groan or a pleasured moan was hard to tell.
The girl in his lap froze. “Good or bad?” Her warm breath tentative on his skin.
“Both,” he muttered, watching her. “Masochist, remember?”
“Tell me if the bad outweighs the good then,” she said, bringing her lips back down onto the bruise. Pausing after every light kiss for a verdict.
He chuckled softly, then inhaled sharply. “Should explain, maybe… Cause it’s… Not that simple.” He grabbed her biceps gently and forced her back a bit. “It’s the pain that gets me. I still feel pain the same way everyone else does, Hinata. It hurts. But I crave it, love it… It’s fantastic, and real… And it’s one of the few things that another person can’t possibly take away from me. You see?”
Hinata frowned, absorbing his words. “So, pain is a sensation. A pleasure for you. Something, that only you can feel, because it’s happening to your own body? Even so,” she looked up into his eyes, trying to understand, “there must be a point where the pain is not worth the cause. There must be a threshold?” He wouldn’t actually have sex with a broken bone, would he?
He shrugged. “Haven’t found it yet,” he replied. “Maybe I don’t have one.”
Hinata sat back, studying him. “Why me?” she asked him, confusion clear in her eyes. “I don’t understand. I know my family is a whole clan of sadists,” she smiled briefly, “but do I look like one? You search for pain, and you pick me?”
He sighed. “You caught my interest. Is there supposed to be a deeper meaning to it? I’m not the soul-searching type,” he pointed out. “And besides, you haven’t exactly pushed me away.”
“That’s because you haven’t given me a reason to,” she replied, then blinked. He really hadn’t. She cast her eyes down on the bruise, the stitches, and back up to the black eye. She sighed. “Can we leave sex for until I understand this whole masochist thing?”
He sighed, but shrugged. “Sure.”
Hinata blushed, eyes tracing over the lines of his torso. “And because I’m still nervous about that bruise, I think I’ll concentrate on the other side,” she said glibly, leaning over to place an open-mouthed kiss on the ball of his right shoulder.
He smirked. “Whatever makes you happy, goddess.”
Tenten approached Hinata in between classes, frowning faintly. “Hinata? Neji said you didn’t go home last night. What happened?”
“Uhm…” The pale girl glanced around, watching the other students drift past. “I-I, well, we, um… Can we talk somewhere,” she motioned at the busy hallway, “quieter?”
Tenten nodded and dragged her friend into the nearby bathroom. “Okay. Spill.”
“First–How is Neji?” She bit her lip, feeling horrible. This was her friend, who had encouraged her to date Hidan, who had hurt Neji… who Tenten was dating… for a long time. “I’m sorry, Tenten! I didn’t know Hidan would hurt him.”
Tenten sighed. “It’s not your fault, Hinata. Boys will be boys. Neji’s okay. Just a little bitchier than normal.”
“You’re sure?” she asked, searching her friend’s eyes. She found nothing but patient assurance. “Okay…”
A little bit calmer, Hinata blushed bright red and promptly started to stutter. “W-we left sc-chool, and w-went to Hidan’s pl-place,” she blurted out. “Nothing happened!” she assured her wide-eyed friend. “I just fell asleep, on his c-couch. By th-the t-time I woke u-up, it was th-three.”
She bit her lip, looked down, and blushed harder. “I–er, we talked. U-um. A-and then I w-went back to sleep.” Her hands came up to flutter in the air before her. “Then came to school.”
“And that’s it.” Her eyes flicked up to Tenten.
Tenten stared at her. “Damn that boy is fast,” she muttered.
Hinata gaped at her. “He is not! I mean, I’m not. Cuz nothing happened!”
Tenten gave her a disbelieving look. “Right, okay. We should get to class, but don’t think I’m through with you, missy! We will continue this conversation later.”
The shorter girl blinked, and then grinned, darting forward to hug Tenten around the waist. “Definitely!” she chirped. Wait til she got around to telling her that Hidan had a fantastic set of abs!
Tenten smiled and hugged her back. “Good.”
They were almost at the door, when Hinata paused. “I think I like him,” she said softly.
Tenten didn’t need to ask. “Good. It’s about time you changed things up, ne?” She beamed.
A/n: And the rest of their interactions will be in Sand Trails. Cheers!