Sand Trails Ch 28: Red and White

Flopping down into his seat, Hidan heaved a sigh.  It would just be him and Deidara today.  Well, and then later Hinata, hopefully.  But Kakuzu and Kisame were at work, Itachi was off plotting dastardly deeds that somehow appeared to involve Sakura (the Jashin kind of actually missed her a bit, believe it or not).

Wait.  No.  Deidara wouldn’t be coming either.  Something about explosives, and a rock bed.  Hidan was dying to know, but the blond had been pretty hush-hush about it.  Regardless, that all meant—

“DAMMIT!  I’m fucking alone.  For hours.  On my fucking own.”  He scowled.  “… cards?  No.  Solitaire is for gays.”  He looked around the room, but nothing caught his interest.  Until…  “Ooooh, shiney.”

Getting up, he quickly retrieved the bit of metal and sat down again.  He looked around, toward the camera, but didn’t bother turning his back to it.  Luckily, before he relieved his boredom by stabbing his own hand, the door opened.

“Yo. Jashin,” drawled a familiar voice from the door. “Gotta minute to talk?”

Setting down the letter opener, Hidan spun in his chair, eying Shiranui Genma suspiciously.  “Sure, teach.  C’mon in.  What’s up?”  He didn’t mention the older male almost seeing him stab himself.  Why worry?  It didn’t matter.

On the job and playing with sharp objects. This being a junkyard, Genma wasn’t surprised. “Kisame said you’d be good for a project,” he began, stepping through the entrance and tugging the door closed. “I’m thinking of opening up a shop of my own. Small stuff first. Mostly metal, may get into other materials. What we do depends on who I have with me.” He took a seat in Itachi’s spot, the comfy chair, and waited.

A look almost like Kakuzu’s expression of pure calculation settled briefly across the albino’s face.  He must have picked it up.  “What about Kakuzu?” he asked, but chances were, if Kisame had mentioned him, he’d mentioned his roommate as well.  It would be stupid not to.  Kakuzu could get money out of a broke, morbidly obese corpse.  That was like five hundred years old.

“From what I’ve heard, Chuushin has plans that don’t involve a small starting business,” Genma replied cautiously. He’d like to have Kakuzu on, but if the guy already knew what he wanted… “If he’s willing to consider, then yeah, he’s welcome.”

The albino nodded.  Wise man.  “Yeah, but better ask him.  He’d be brilliant for it, and if it makes him money, he’ll probably consider it.  At least through college,” he reasoned.  “As for me, I’ll need a bit more detail before I make any decisions.  You understand.”

Waving a hand, the other man grunted. “Wouldn’t expect anything less. Kakuzu part-time would be better than any other person I know pulling over-time. I’ll get the business plan over to you later in the week. Email okay?”

Hidan nodded, grinning sharply.  “Sure.  Sounds good.”

“Alright then.” Genma paused. “Damn, this is a good chair.” It made a few things clear about Kisame’s opinion earlier today about furniture. And this was a junkyard office! Shaking his head, the teacher rose and walked over to shake Hidan’s hand. “See you tomorrow.”

Hidan got up and took the proffered hand, pumping it twice before releasing.  “Yeah, later.  Er, and make sure you don’t go near the fridge outside?”

One brown eyebrow rose and the toothpick tilted as Shiranui smiled. “Wouldn’t dream of it.”

“Great.”  Hidan almost beamed at him.  In a scary, I’m-probably-an-axe-murderer kind of way.  He watched the brunet leave with a lazy wave tossed over his shoulder, then sat down, grinning.  Oooh, how fucking interesting!

He snatched up his phone and texted Kakuzu.  He knew he wouldn’t get a reply until after Kakuzu’s shift—somewhere around two AM—but that was out-of-the-way and he wouldn’t forget now.

However, with that done… he had nothing else to do for two hours.

Fuck, I’m gay,” he grumbled, and pulled out the cards for solitaire.

When, two hours later, the door opened to reveal his hot girlfriend, he was attempting—with partial success—to create a card tower with marshmallows he’d found stuffed into a drawer of the desk.  He paused, blinking, and gave her a sheepish look.  “I was bored.”

“No kidding.” She carefully nudged the door closed and took a seat nearby. “How old are those things?” The marshmallows looked gray.

“Uh…”  He snatched up the now empty bag.  “Two years.  Wow, no wonder they tasted weird.”

Pearl eyes blinked at him. “You… “ was about as far as she got before dissolving into giggles and collapsing against the couch.

He grinned at her reaction and tossed the bag aside again.  “I what?  C’mon, at least finish your sentence!  Though…”  He paused, eying her chest as it heaved.  “I don’t mind the view.”

Still gasping for breath, Hinata rolled over to her side and stuck her tongue out at him. Then giggled some more at his expression.

“You shouldn’t tempt me, you know,” he murmured, eyes narrowing as he got up.  “Cause… I have the codes to turn off the camera.”

Daring him with a grin, Hinata stretched out completely, the left arm resting in a curve over her head and the other splayed out on her stomach. “Too obvious,” she told him cheerfully. “Your boss would be able to figure this—” She twirled her right index finger around, indicating the office. “—out way too easily.”

His eyes slid sideways, as if he could stare at the camera behind him through the back of his skull.  “You’re right,” he said after a beat, and then looked back at her.  Wine-red eyes danced as he sat down.

And grinned.  “So I’m just gonna tell you what I’m gonna do to you.  Audio’s broken.”

The Hyuuga girl blushed bright red and brought both hands down to lace on her stomach. “Not tempting. This is me not tempting,” she vowed scrambling to sit up.

His grin grew wider as he got up again, walked over, sat down and dragged her into his lap.  “Or we could just give the old man a show…”

“Hidan!” For all of her protests though, she didn’t shove him away.

“Whaaat?  Oh c’mon, you always say nooo,” he whined.  “We’re dating!  Say yes!  Like hell I’m gonna fuck you and drop you after all the work I put in to keeping you!”

All movement stilled. Then Hinata raised her head and blinked up at him, a faint frown appearing. “Where did that come from?”

“Tch.”  His grip loosened, and he made a face.  “That pansy ass bitch cousin of yours.  Keeps saying that he’s gonna kill me if I go after you and then drop you.  Guess I figured you were worried about the same thing…”

Sighing, Hinata relaxed and cuddled further into his arms, smiling slightly as they tightened again. “It’s not that I’m afraid you’ll leave me after sex,” she muttered. “Neji is wrong about that. Just—Seriously, my first time, in your work office?” She ended with a huff.

He actually appeared to be considering this.  “You have a point,” he murmured thoughtfully.  “We should go out to the car instead.”  He grinned outright when she swatted him.  “Awww, you do love me!”

Poke. “I—” Poke. “Will.” Jab. “NEVER.” Poke. “Ever.” Poke. “Bring you another fucking lunch ever again!” Hinata ended with a jab to the side of his ribs. He could feel the heat radiating off her cheeks. And imagine how far down the flush travelled…

He leaned forward a little, their mouths a fraction of an inch apart.  “I don’t mind.  Means I can bring you some for once,” he said, and stole a quick kiss.

Kisses were supposed to be nice. Arousing, sure. They weren’t supposed to elicit a growl of pure frustration though. Not like the one Hinata was giving him. “Not. The. Point.”

The crass albino barely managed to refrain from making a cock joke, and instead changed the subject.  “Does that mean you don’t love me?”  He gave her a winning smile.

“Hidan.” Her tone was flat. “The last time you said that to me, was three seconds before you dumped ice down the front of my shirt.”

“Are you saying you want me to do something to get you wet?  Cause I’m cool with that,” he retorted.

She blinked once, gave him a trembling glare, then burst into giggles, repeating, “I give up!” between hiccups and gasps against his throat.

He snickered and gave her another tiny kiss before finally relaxing against the couch.  “Hidan, four, Hinata… fucking six.”

Coughing a little to choke down her laughter, Hinata raised her eyes. “Is that what I’m doing? Well, at least I have his number.” She hid from him as she giggled some more. Apparently, being a Hyuuga didn’t save you from making bad jokes.

“Oh,” he said, voice loud and pained.  “Oh, c’mon, and I make bad jokes?!  Oh Hinata, you truly were sculpted just for me!”

There was a soft thump as her fist came up and lightly punched him in the shoulder. “Shaddup.”

He tugged her face up into view and kissed her again.  “Never.”

Feeling light-headed and philosophical, she shrugged regaining her breath. “Hmm, in that case…” She reached up and dragged him down to her by the back of his head. Kissing seemed to shut him up just fine.

Her reaction, while a bit unexpected (though less and less every day), was reciprocated without a pause.  With tongue, and teeth, and lips.  His hands came up, fingers burying themselves in her hair, as the zealot greedily plundered her mouth.

And when they parted, it was only long enough for half a breath before he trailed the kisses down.  Her jaw, the space just beneath her ear, behind it, her pulse… all with the same, painstaking attention as the original kiss, only somehow more erotic.

Still, his hands stayed where they were, in her hair.

Hinata’s hands were a slight bit more active. One had indeed wrapped up to dig nails into his scalp, but the other had slipped down under his arm, a warm palm with sharp points that wandered and scratched in random patterns up and down his back.

Her head was thrown back over the bend of his elbow, the smooth white column of her throat open to the air. She gasped and shuddered as he bit down on her neck, a tiny moan escaping as he suckled the soft skin in the dip of her collarbone. Across her delicate skin, he took tiny pinches between his teeth, nibbling and scraping. It was only when he had gone as far as her neckline would allow that he paused.

For a moment, they panted. Each clinging to the other and working through the haze. Little wonder Hidan decided to go back in. He was already licking one hot line up her abused throat when Hinata tugged on his hair.

“E-enough… Hi-dan.” He would never get tired of hearing her gasp like that, but he could do without the words.

“D’I have to?” he mumbled, staring sideways up at her with dark red eyes.

Lifting her head a little more, she gave him a wry smile, lips bruised and swollen. Utterly delicious. “Work office, Hidan.” She let herself relax, neck arching as her eyes disappeared from view, though he could feel her voice below his lips. “If we keep going… I don’t know if I can stop you again.”

A slow grin slid across his mouth.  “Alright, I release you… for now,” he said evilly.  He didn’t tell her that the audio wasn’t the only thing broken on that camera.  Kakuzu had smashed it with a book months ago.

“Oh goody,” Hinata murmured, then lifted her hand from his hair to languidly point at the couch cushions next to him. “Pour me out over there will you? Thanks.”

He smirked again and stole one last kiss before shifting her over where directed.  “Tease,” he accused lightheartedly.

“Hmm, if I wasn’t, you wouldn’t be interested. Hell, I wouldn’t be interested. Interesting. That.” She rubbed a palm over her eyes, blinking when she discovered a trace of blood on a few of her nails. “Oh shit…”

“Eh?  Oh.  Knew I was hornier than usual,” he said thoughtfully.

Flushing crimson again, Hinata sat up. “Idiot. Turn around and let me look,” she demanded.

Sighing, he twisted around and rolled up his shirt, locking it in place with both arms right inside the hem.  “I don’t mind it, Hinata…”

The damage wasn’t bad at all. True, there were red tracks up and down his back, numerous and dark enough on his skin that Hinata was both embarrassed and amazed at herself. Only two scratches had broken skin though, neither were deep.

She ran a hand across his back, fingertips tracing over the raised welts. “Wow.”

The albino shivered slightly at her touch, gulping.  Shit.  “Yeah,” he bit out.

Shaking her head slightly, Hinata pulled back and got up from the couch. “I’m getting the first aid kit. Just to clean it.”

“Uh…”  He chuckled awkwardly.  “It’s… empty.”

Three steps away, the blue-haired girl stopped and turned. “Seriously?”

“Yes?”  He shrugged at her expression.  “What?  It’s usually me and the guys, and the boss rarely ever replaces the contents… not since my first week, actually…”  He trailed off, blinking.

Grumbling something about safety procedures and tetanus, she stalked back and slumped down onto the couch, eyes back to her handiwork. “I guess we’ll have to wait until we get you home,” she sighed and reached out again to trace another line.

He gulped under the force of another shiver.  Shit.  He was ticklish there!  Man, she was torture.  “Yep,” he grunted.

Pausing, she blinked. He had… twitched? She slid another finger up his side, this time wandering further to avoid a scratch.

Hidan moaned.  Like a girl.  Not groaned.  Not growled.  Moaned.  Like a fucking girl.  “Can we… not do that,” the young man practically pleaded.

A grin started to grow, but the Hyuuga stayed behind him. “Does it hurt?” she asked as she lightly stroked two fingers down his spine.

“No.”  And that was a whine.  Fuck, he was such a pansy.

Humming, Hinata brought both hands into play, trailing the backs of her nails from his spine to the curve of his sides. “So, why do you want me to stop?”

He jerked away.  “Stoppit!” he yelped.

“Okay,” she replied cheerfully, bringing up one knee and wrapping her arms around it. “I’ll let you go.”

A baleful glare was shot in her direction as he quickly fixed his shirt.  “Geez.  No one knows I’m ticklish, Hinata.  No one.  Not even fucking Kakuzu.  Or Itachi.  And those bastards know fucking everything.”

The beaming smile that Hinata wore stayed in place, though one black eyebrow rose.

Huffing and shaking himself lightly, he shrugged.  “Just know that you’re special, that’s all.”

The other brow rose to match the first. “Uh huh.” Leaning back, she crossed both arms behind her head. “So, what’s the plan for tonight?”

“Eh, we were doing pizza, I thought?” he asked.  “Kakuzu’s working late again so it’ll just be us, though.”  Though he’d known that when they made the plans, she didn’t need to know it.

“Pizza is good.” Hinata nodded. “Though, could we get something else other than meat, meat and meat?”

A silvery brow lifted.  “Sure?  Like what… half tomatoes and mushrooms or something?”

“Mushrooms and maybe green peppers?” Really, any non-meat other than olives and pineapple.

He nodded.  “Kay.  It’s all yours though.  I hate mushrooms.  Fucking Kakuzu always orders them.”

Rolling her eyes, Hinata reached out and poked him lightly in the side. “Then change the mushrooms. I like sharing, but I don’t know what you like yet.”

As he was not privy to her thoughts, he gave her a grin.  “Pineapple?”

Narrowing her eyes, Hinata countered, “Onion? And the third topping can be ground beef.”

“Deal,” he said promptly.

“Good.” She wrapped her arms around his waist. “Uhm, when did Neji say that to you? The have sex and leave thing?” The two guys didn’t really meet and chat on a regular basis.

He shifted at that.  “Eh, after school today…”

Her arms in their light blue sleeves tightened slightly as Hinata sighed and rested her forehead on his spine. “Today? Man… He’s still not letting this go?”

The albino was quiet for a moment, eyes drifting down toward her hands.  He unlaced them from his waist and interlaced both with his hands.  “Don’t worry about it, seriously,” he told her.  “I can handle it.  Not like it’s anything new…”

xXx

“I could shoot him.”

“No.”

“Okay.  Tie her up in the basement.”

“No.”

“Hire a hitman?”

No.”

“Well!  You keep pouting and I’ll have to do something!”

Neji turned and glared at the other male, who gave him an innocent look.  “No.”

Suigetsu pouted.  “Awww, c’mon, it’ll be fun.  Like revenge.  And stuff–aw, shit.  That didn’t even make sense in my head.”

“You… are an imbecile,” the Hyuuga snarled, and stomped out of the room.

Purple eyes blinked after him.  “Was it something I said?”

xXx

Twenty minutes later, when lunch was nearly over, the gray-haired boy caught up with the Hyuuga.  “What about beating him up slightly?  I hate seeing you pout!”

“Why, on Earth, are you so obsessed with harming Jashin?” the pearl-eyed boy demanded shortly, spinning around to pin the other boy with a glare.

“He used me as a piñata.  All of them did.  I want revenge.  You hate him ‘cause he beat you up—”

“It was a tied fight,” the Hyuuga snapped.

Suigetsu waved a dismissive hand.  “What the fuck ever.  He broke your arm.  He’s dating your little sister figure.  I figure, the two of us could handle him together–”

Drawing himself up in righteous fury, Neji scowled mightily at the younger boy.  “That would be an unfair fight and I will not do it!” he said firmly.  “Ever.”

Two hands lifted, purple nail-polish glinting.  “Alright, alright.  That’s not what I meant.  Let me finish talking.”  He paused, but when Neji didn’t say anything, he lowered his hands and stuffed them into his pockets.  “I meant… I’ll fight the bastard.  You can just stand there to… assist me should things start to look bad.”

“That’s an unfair fight,” Neji deadpanned.

“He’s a masochist, what the fuck’s the difference?”

Pearl eyes blinked.  “He’s a what?”

xXx

“Fuuuckkk, it’s not fucking natural to have this much goddamn homework!” Hidan complained as he and Hinata walked out of the school.  “I fucking swear!”

Smiling at his side, the pale girl rolled her eyes. “It’s school, Hidan. And a Friday. And the teachers are sadists.”

He moaned.  “And not even the good kind!” he complained.  “Fuuuuccckkk.”  Suddenly, he turned and grabbed her shoulders.  “Look, Hinata.  I want you to know that if I die from over-working myself… you have to make sure that fucker Kakuzu cremates me.  If you don’t, he’ll throw me in a river somewhere rather than waste the money.”

“Hmm…” Pearly eyes studied him for a moment. Hinata tilted her head and pursed her lips thoughtfully. “Fifty bucks and I’ll consider it. Heck, make it eighty and Kakuzu probably won’t even blink.” She beamed at him. “Anything else?”

“Uhg, he’s rubbing off on you!” Hidan said in mock horror, backing away from her.  “Man!  That fucker.”  He grinned back at her.  “Deal.”  And he started toward the bus stop again.

A few steps behind him, his girlfriend quietly followed, tapping her lower lip with a finger. Maybe she should have padded that a little more. Cremation definitely cost more than eighty…

They trailed to a stop finally, amongst the last of the milling crowd waiting for the buses to come, and he turned toward her, mouth open to say something else.  Then it snapped closed as a hand landed heavily on Hinata’s shoulder, jerking her back from him.  And a figure flashed past, pouncing Hidan.

Neji pulled her at least ten feet away before stepping in front of her.  “Hello, cousin,” he said stiffly, in a manner that said he didn’t expect a response.

And ahead of them, a circle already starting to form, Suigetsu had tackled the masochist and was pummeling him.

“Neji?” Hinata’s eyes bloomed wide at the heavy sounds of knuckles hitting flesh. Shaking her head, she tried to shove past him. Didn’t matter if she couldn’t help Hidan directly, but if she could find someone to help… “Stop this!”

Neji pushed her right back.  “You’re not getting in the way.  The only reason I agreed to his stupid plan was because you spend most of your time with that idiot and I don’t want you getting hurt.”  He cast a glower over his shoulder at her.

Hidan managed to get his arms up after a second, and shoved Suigetsu off him, then latching on and rolling them.  His fingers automatically wrapped around the idiot’s throat, but Suigetsu had expected it and escaped by simply kneeing the zealot’s groin.

Groaning, the albino stumbled to his feet at the same time his opponent did, teeth bared and red eyes furious.  “Fucker!  Dirty, cheating, motherfucking—I’ll fucking kill you, bitch!”

Suigetsu let out a loud, excited yell.  “Fuck you, Jashin!” he crowed.  “You said the same fucking shit last time!”

“Hurt?” Hinata hissed, outraged. “He treats me better than you do!” Taking a step to the side she slid past him, but the older boy snapped out a hand yanking back on her backpack.

She stumbled back with a gasp and then her cousin was snarling in her face. “You think he cares? You think it will matter in a month? A week? He’ll get you in his bed and then you’ll be discarded like any other whore he’s been with. Then what? What if you end up pregnant?” He shook her. “You’ll be disowned, Hinata. Do you want that?”

Glancing around, Hidan ran his tongue over his teeth.  None of them were loose yet; good.  He finally caught sight of Hinata, behind her fucking batshit crazy cousin.  Still, at least the bastard seemed to be making sure she stayed out of it.  That meant Hidan didn’t need to worry about accidentally hurting her.

“Kay, bitch, it’s fucking on!” the albino yelled, and leapt at the other male.

Twisting, Suigetsu avoided the first strike, lifting one arm to guard his middle while the other drove into Hidan’s stomach in a sharp uppercut… that didn’t appear to do much at all.  Harder hits then.  He could do that.  Fucker was going down.

Grasping onto his wrists, Hinata gritted her teeth and snapped back. “So my family will leave me because of a mistake? That’s supportive! Well, you know what, Neji?” Leaning close, the heiress narrowed her eyes, lip curling, voice a low viscous thrum. “Hidan won’t. He won’t leave me, cousin. Which makes him better than family, doesn’t it? He won’t discard me because I’m no longer a virgin. Neither of us are stupid enough to have sex unprotected, as if that’s even your concern!”

The longer they traded blows, dodged, ducked, swerved, grabbed, the more information Suigetsu was fed.  Hidan rarely ever blocked, but then again, he probably had never needed to.  He hit like a battering ram and took hits like a brick wall.  Hell, even his stomach tensed up when Suigetsu used it for target practice.

Then the purple-eyed boy landed an actual hit.  Something that made a difference.  Collarbone, left side.  The albino yelped and jumped back, but Suigetsu pressed his advantage and followed, slipping in another hit to the spot with a viciousness born from growing up on the back streets.  “Shit,” Hidan moaned, twisting away.

He started to reach for his shoe, and Suigetsu realized that the bitch was armed.  He jumped in before the albino could get his weapon, landing another glancing blow on the collarbone.  His next strike was actually blocked and caught, but the purple-eyed sophomore slipped under Hidan’s guard and slammed his hard head down.

The colour began to rise in Neji’s cheeks, but Hinata continued on, frustration and helplessness creating a rage deep in her chest. Behind her, Hidan’s cry triggered something inside and the rage condensed into a hard knot of fury. “I don’t expect him to stay with me forever, but to be tossed aside by my own family for a moment of perceived weakness? Oh that’s a pretty laugh. The taint on the Hyuuga pride must be cut away. Yeah, that’s loving.”

Hidan dropped to his knees, his whole left arm going numb and goddamnit, the fucker had just rebroken his collarbone.  The pain was incredible, enough so that the albino’s vision went stark white for a brief moment, long enough that Suigetsu was able to kick him in the jaw, sending him crashing hard against the pavement.

White faded to normality, seeping into red.  Suigetsu lifted his foot, and brought it down on that spot again.  Red faded to black.  Hidan passed out.

Her cousin’s arm tensed the moment before and Hinata accepted it. The slap was hard, palm rigid, his full right side behind it. Hinata bit back the gasp, twisting to lessen the blow. Then she saw Hidan.

And Suigetsu hadn’t appeared to notice the Jashin’s state of unconsciousness.  He drove his foot down again, and again, and again, until he was suddenly dragged backwards off the albino, an uncompromising grip on his arm.

“Alright, Hozuki,” Kakashi growled, jerking his arms hard behind him as Tsunade shoved through the surrounding crowd of bodies to get to the boy on the ground.

Neji didn’t stop her as she pushed through the crowd. Hidan was down. He wasn’t moving. “Hidan?” she called out as the last student moved aside and the pale girl stumbled into the clearing of staring teenagers. “Hidan?”

She would not cry. He’d tease her forever if she did. Hidan was bleeding because he wouldn’t leave her. Crumpling to her knees, Hinata watched with wide eyes as Tsunade pressed fingers into bruised and bloody skin. He wouldn’t leave her. And he was hurt. A pale hand reached out and touched his fingers, just below the split knuckles where his opponent’s teeth had cut. Because of me

Standing at the back of the crowd, Neji stood tall. His palm stung, but it was negligible. Suigetsu was being led back to the school, but that was inevitable. Hinata broken and staring by Jashin’s body was unexpected but not surprising. The Hyuuga teen turned and walked to the next bus stop. What he hadn’t expected was the bitterness in his cousin’s eyes. Her utter contempt for her own blood. Hinata would have to be watched. He knew his cousin though. The separation would come soon. He left the crowd of whispers behind.

The sirens were already approaching, lights flashing within sight.  Tsunade was saying something that Hinata didn’t hear, fingers pressed to the pulse at Hidan’s wrist briefly before moving toward his chest and tugging open his shirt.  The skin had split, bone sticking through.

The first thought to surface in Tsunade’s mind that wasn’t related to what she could do medically, ironically, was, he has no emergency contact.  She had often puzzled over it.  Even the other handful of orphans in the school had emergency contacts.  Guardians.  Aunts.  Uncles.  Someone.  But not Jashin.  The boy had absolutely no one

“Hinata,” Tsunade said abruptly, voice sharp and loud to cover the sound of the ambulance as it pulled to a stop.  She looked up and snapped the fingers of her free hand in Hinata’s face.  “Hinata, you two are dating, aren’t you?”

The girl nodded quickly, eyes never leaving the exposed bone.

“Hinata, look at me,” Tsunade ordered, scowling, and when the girl glanced at her finally, she went on.  “He has no one, okay?  No emergency contacts.  Can you go with him?  He needs someone who knows him there to answer the questions…  I would ask one of his other friends, but no one else is here.  And don’t worry.  Hozuki will be dealt with.”  Her expression darkened.  “You have my word.”

“I’ll go with him,” Hinata whispered. Her pale face, marred by a blooming bruise of its own, smoothed out as all expression melted away. “I’m not worried about Suigetsu, Tsunade-san,” she replied. No, there was no worry there. Absolutely none. Her new family took care of its own. Whether she would still be welcome in their company in the future would remain to be seen, but for now, right now… She stood as the paramedics ran forward with the stretcher.

The nurse heaved a sigh and got up, quickly running through an explanation of events as she knew them with one man, while a woman and another man moved Hidan onto the stretcher.  The man turned to Hinata as his comrades moved toward the ambulance with the stretcher.  “Hyuuga-san?  Senju-san informs me that you’ll be riding with us.  You’ll have to be in the front, though.  I hope that’s okay.”

There was a barely perceivable flinch. “Of course.” The heiress allowed herself to be guided to the seat. She only had one request: that they call her by her given name.

xXx

Surgery was pretty much a given, what with the bone poking out.  But within the next two hours, Hidan was straightened out (more or less), stitched up and moved to the recovery and observation ward.  He was still unconscious, though the doctors had assured his girl this was due more to the drugs than anything else.

They eventually let her in to see him, and she was sitting at his bedside when the door was shoved open and a familiar pair stalked inside.  Green eyes flickered over her before moving toward the sleeping boy, and Kakuzu’s expression bordered on furious black.

“How is he?” the money monger demanded, coming to a stop at the foot of the bed and snatching up the clipboard there.

“The doctor said he’ll be fine. It’s a bad break though,” Hinata watched as the older teen scanned the papers. “Lots of bruising,” she added in a half whisper.

By the door, Itachi dragged two chairs towards the bed next to her, where they would not hinder the nurses who needed to get to the machines. Enough visits to the hospital had taught them all certain habits. “Hozuki.”

It wasn’t a question and Hinata didn’t nod, but Kakuzu let out a snarl.  “He’s dead,” the money monger said under his breath, teeth bared with sharp malice.  “And his family is going to be bankrupt.  For several generations.”

She looked straight at him, a flutter of emotion crossing her features. “Put him a coma then. Or make him a paraplegic.” Her blank face turned back to regard her unconscious boyfriend. “Put him on life-support.” Little sweet Hinata said, “Keep him alive and suffering for decades, Kakuzu-san.”

The green-eyed male finally sat down, gaze trained on his roommate’s face.  He was very tempted to get right back up and go act on the girl’s request right then and there.  However, his own rules needed to be followed.  The welfare of the injured was to be seen to before revenge was exacted.  All of them adhered to that.

Uchiha sat down next to the girl in silence. Her soft even voice turned his head. “Itachi-san. I have a request, if you will hear me out.” He nodded. “I want fighting lessons. I want to repay them in kind.” Her eyes rose to meet his, pearl to black. “Teach me please?”

A smirk slowly curled Itachi’s lips as he lifted fingers to brush lightly against her dark purple cheekbone. She could take the pain. “Better hope Hidan doesn’t get jealous,” he warned her.

“I doubt it.” Hinata lifted a dark brow. “I think he’d be delighted.” Knowing that in a few weeks, the girl would be able to hit harder, yes, it was completely possible the masochist would be overjoyed.

The other conscious occupant of the room snorted.  “She’s got a point, Itachi,” he said.  “So.  We’ll leave initial punishment to his girl, shall we?”  Initial only, though.  Not all of it.  Kakuzu still wanted to rip the cowardly bitch’s arm off.  And beat him with it.  Then shove it up his ass.

“No.” The pale girl looked up shaking her head. “Give that corpse to Hidan. I want Neji.” A small shrug followed. “Kill-stealing,” she uttered softly.

Amusement curled through Itachi’s gut. “You’ll do.” He hadn’t been sure at first. The girl had been timid, a mouse that only murmured to Hidan and Kakuzu. Kisame hadn’t been optimistic. Now though…

There was a soft groan.  “… Hinata… you are so hot…”

Kakuzu scoffed.  “Fucking retard.  How long have you been awake?” he demanded.

“Uh…”  Hidan opened his eyes and rolled his head to the side, staring at them dumbly.  “Dunno.  I’m on drugs.  I know, because Itachi looks like a girl.”

Beside him, the blue-haired girl smiled fully for the first time since Itachi had walked in through the door. Itachi only shook his head. “Idiot,” he muttered in relief.

“Will… will that be okay?” Hinata’s voice hovered just this side of uncertainty as she stared down at her lap. “If Itachi-san teaches me how to fight?”

Wine-red eyes flickered back and forth between Itachi and Hinata, his brows pulling down into a frown.  “Eh…”  He paused, though.  “Heh…  If he teaches ya that Vulcan death-grip thingy, then yeah, it’s okay.”

Kakuzu groaned.  Hidan was a fucking imbecile.

“I will be teaching her far more than just a choke, Jashin,” Itachi rumbled. Honestly. “Maybe you should take lessons as well. Brawling will only get you so far.”

“Fuck you, bitch,” Hidan retorted, but it was without any real animosity.  “Only if Hinata dresses up like Katana from that one movie.”

The girl in question blinked. Itachi shook his head again. “Hnn. Maybe I’ll start lessons now.” He stood up and motioned to Hinata to do the same. “This is how you do a choke hold. Hidan, don’t make a sound…”

“Is it best to do that in the hospital?” Kakuzu asked, looking pointedly at the heart monitor.  “He’s already getting horny.”

Pearl and ebony eyes snapped over to the machine and then to the albino’s bright eyes.

“Maybe we shouldn’t give him masturbation material,” Hinata murmured with a dark blush. Itachi grunted and sat back down as the girl leaned forward and kissed the prone male. “You’re impossible,” she told him with a smile.

His half smile slipped away, though.  “Hinata.”  His voice was flat, eyes focused on her cheek.  “Who did that?”

Slim shoulders rose as Hinata took a breath. Then her chin lifted. “Neji. But he’s mine, Hidan.” And her tone didn’t suggest a single ounce of protective feeling towards her cousin.

Kakuzu exhaled quietly as Hidan’s heartbeat slowed to normal, and the albino sighed.  “Shit.  Alright,” he muttered.  “But… if you change your mind…”

She let out a strangled laugh. “I’ll give you the second round.” Sitting down, she shook her head. “This is insane…”

His half-grin was back.  “Eh, shoulda seen that one time I fell off a building.  Luckily, Kisame cushioned my fall…”

And, as if on cue, the door creaked open, the last two members of their group—well, those still in Konoha—slipping inside.  “Holy fuck!” Deidara burst out, and ducked Kisame’s swipe.  “Sorry, sorry, I’ll quiet down, un!”

Black Uchiha eyes swung to the two newcomers. “Hidan’s obviously awake. Neji has been claimed by Hinata. Suigetsu is an open case after Hidan and Kakuzu. What are the teachers doing?”

Rolling one shoulder, Kisame pointed at Deidara. “He knows the details. Fucking blond hair gets him places I can’t even look at,” the big teen muttered in disgust.

Deidara made a face at Kisame, then shook his head at Itachi.  “Fucker was escorted out of school and put in a cop car, un,” he said, waving a hand.  “His ‘parent’, some Orochimaru guy, picked him up and made bail.  The nurse is pressing charges, but that Orochimaru git doesn’t seem to care.”

“Tch.”  Hidan shook his head, feeling sleepy again.  “Figures.”

Twining her fingers with the albinos, the Hyuuga girl and the injured teen shared a look. Itachi took the hint, rising from his seat. He nodded when Hidan glanced up. “Get well,” he said.

The albino nodded.  “You told Pinky yet?” he asked, eyes drooping a little.  “Cuz… y’know.  Gotta know about stuff… and all…”

Deidara shifted from one foot to the other, antsy.  “I told her, un.  Emailed her earlier.  Haven’t gotten one back yet, er, that I know of.  But she’ll reply eventually.”

“Oh, she’ll reply,” Kisame snickered. “And if we don’t leave her a piece of meat to shred, she’ll come after us.”

Smirking, Itachi walked around the bed. “Note to self,” he said smoothly. “Keep a thigh for the girlfriend.”

“Maybe rib cage would be better?” his blue friend suggested as he neared.

But he shook his head. “Kakuzu might want that part.” They both looked at the money monger.

“I’ll let Pinky have her preference,” Kakuzu said wisely.  “She knows where to find me.”

Hidan choked on a laugh.  “Get the fuck out,” he chuckled.

“Not me,” Kakuzu retorted.  “I’m staying.”

Shifting again, Deidara shook his head.  “I’m gonna go look into a few things… er…  Hidan… When all is said and done, can I blow him up?”

“I’ll think about it.”

“Hnn.” Itachi opened the door as Kisame saluted the injured. “We’ll need to use the beach for this. The fire pit?” He walked out murmuring to himself. Chuckling, Sharky followed.

Hidan watched the blond follow them out, then sighed and looked at the only two people he’d ever been asleep—willingly; hospitals didn’t count—around.  “How long’re ya sticking around?” he asked Hinata, grinning.  “Cause I know I could probably shift over a little…”

Smiling, Hinata shrugged. “It’s Friday. I don’t have to be anywhere for days.” As she carefully moved up onto the bed, her eyes passed from Kakuzu to Hidan again. “And I wouldn’t be anywhere else.”

xXx

Chapter 27 | Table of Contents | Chapter 29

A/N: So if anyone was getting tired of the sudden non-violence of this story.
Here. There’s your dose.

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