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Hidan had laid dismembered and buried in a ditch for four months and sixteen days before the rock and soil gave way and let in cold moonlight and the chill of earthy air.

==

He felt everything; every rock digging into torn flesh, every splintered bone, every ripped and burned bit of skin and muscle. The maggots and scavengers had yet to begin to eat away at his almost-corpse, but the day had only just begun.

==

He could hear the thrum of the earth. Loud, like it was screaming, as if it wanted him gone. It knew who he was, what he was. How much blood he had spilled, how it had soaked into the dirt, how the death he spread killed the land beneath their feet and left it as red as the iron that was reclaimed by the earth.

By the time his face had gone numb, Hidan had wondered if Kakuzu would come and save him, if he would dig him up and pull his severed head out by his bloody hair like he always did.

He decided that he didn't need to hope that Kakuzu would dig him up and sew his body back together before the hunger pangs had set in his removed stomach and made him woozy. If Jashin-sama wanted him to be saved then by some chance, maybe years into the future after Itachi had his fight with his little brother and had died in battle ,or even mores unlikely, old age or Deidara had finally executed his carefully planned suicide and left a mass of corpses in the wake of his greatest masterpiece, he would be unearthed by another generation of the clan of Nara heathens who had no idea who he was and could be his first sacrifices to Jashin-sama.

The Nara deserved nothing but the worst possible death he could give them with his curse technique, and whoever had taken Kakuzu’s life (or lives, considering he had five hearts) would suffer so much worst at his hands for fucking with something that had -no, still does- belonged to him.

Once he got out of this forsaken fucking hole, anyone who touched his shit was gonna lose a whole lot more that just their fingers.

==

He knew it was raining, had smelled it in the earth before it had soaked into the dirt and mud had run down his face and into his eyes.

The heavens did not weep for him. They never have nor will they once he removes his rotting presence from the holier-than-thou earth.

They were weeping for the lives he had taken, so shamelessly orphaned many just like he had been and widowed others.

But the heavens knew that death didn't discriminate between sex or class, it took and gave nothing in return except maybe liberation from the not so innocent people he had slaughtered.

Death didn't discriminate between age and yet he had never killed a child, had never killed in front of one either.

As the saturated soil soaked into his meat, he told himself that that was the sort of sin he was not willing to commit.

==

He remembered his first kill.

A man from Hidden Snow named Isayama Kiyotaka.

He had begged and pleaded, said he had a wife and two children on the way, as if he actually thought he would get out of this alive.

Hidan had screamed back, “I had a family once too,” and then asked him why he thought he was going to get to see his family if Hidan could never see his again.

He had scratched down his own chest, broke his bones, tore himself open and pulled out his own organs until Isayama Kiyotaka had coughed up the names of several other Hidden Snow shinobi.

Every one of them died from the shock before he could spear himself through the heart like his sensei had told him to.

==

It was storming when he realised that no one would come for him.

==

He heard a dull thump above him that vaguely reminded him of a body dropping to the ground.

There were heavy footsteps and soft
cursing and Hidan could feel every ounce of pressure decrease as he was unearthed.

The light burned his eyes when he opened them, and a familiar patchwork face stared back at him, angry but relieved.

“Hidan,”

His throat was raw, his mouth bloody, but he smiled nevertheless, and sent a spill of red going down his face and over Kakuzu's fingers.

“We're supposed to be dead.” He said, voice quiet despite the life- or lack thereof; there were three bodies of Nara clansmen in the clearing missing hearts from what Hidan could see.

He smiled again; more blood and dirt spilled over Kakuzu's hands.

He felt the strands of his stitches pierce his cheek. New blood spilled over dried red.

==

Kakuzu left Hidan's head on the ground, practically dropped it on the torn cloak he had dug up, facing his impromptu burial site.

He watched through bloodshot eyes as he dug up legs and arms, a torso, fingers. He watched as Kakuzu took his sweet fucking time reattaching his arms to his shoulders, stitching up any cuts or holes that had been blown into him.

It was strange, he thought, to watch Kakuzu work on him from the perspective of a severed head on the ground.

His throat pulsed as if it were being filled with smoke again, burning his esophagus and making his eyes water, and he was sure he would hack up more tar and blood if he had lungs.

Kakuzu carefully placed organs back in his abdominal cavity and told him it was a wonder his lungs were still attached to the roots and had not been punctured by his shattered ribs.

(Hidan still felt like they had been; every time he tried to take a breath it seemed as if his lungs would not expand but instead contracted, or possibly, filled with blood.)

Kakuzu propped his now closed torso on a tree and leaned farther down to retrieve more parts.

Hidan tried to speak, which produced a sound that was more or less akin to that of a cat being strangled, and blinked tears out of his eyes.

“They're going to know I'm here if you keep making noises like that.”

Hidan flashed another red toothed smile.

==

He watched, as the moon disappeared behind dark clouds that promised rain, Kakuzu climbed out of his hole and stitched the last remaining finger onto his right hand.

He picked up Hidan's head, looked him dead in the eyes, and smiled a small sick kind of smile that reminded him of the the feelings he got after torturing his sacrifices to near death before delivering the finishing blow.

Pride.

Not pride in him, of course. After all, Kakuzu was the one who had to dig him up and put his back together. Pride, he assumed, in what he had created, although not entirely from scratch.

Thicker strands, so much thicker than what he had used for the rest of him, kept his head connected to his body and made him whole again.

A hitai-ate was tied around his neck. “We need to leave. Immediately.” Kakuzu's voice seemed much softer, much farther away.

(Hidan, who felt like he was on verge of passing out, assumed that is was the ever present ringing in his ears that dulled out the volume of practically everything around him instead of even thinking that Kakuzu felt anything other than definite anger and reasonable disappointment in that moment )

He stood with shaking legs and yanked his scythe out of a tree to his left, and spoke something intelligible for the first time since he had been buried.

“Fuck,”

Then he smiled the same sick smile Kakuzu had given him and promptly passed out.