"Seriously, swirl-face, she's not a fucking dog."
"But she's so cute."
"Hey, you get too close and she takes out an eye, don't come crying to me."
"Aww, she wouldn't do that. Would you, Hinata-chan?"
"Like hell she'll admit that."
"Such pretty hair. I wish I could keep her."
Hinata stared up at the masked man crouched before her in muted horror, her bound hands quaking behind her back as he continued to gently pat her on the head, fingers ruffling her hair.
The other captor stood leaning against a tree, idly thumbing the beads on his rosary and shooting them disgruntled looks. Her shoulder pack and all its contents, including her ID, were scattered over the forest floor.
The last thing she remembered was being ambushed during her trek out into the forest to look for provisions while her team stayed back at the camp. The area was still within Konoha's borders, so she'd assumed she wouldn't need any backup.
Her current situation was currently rubbing that presumption in the dirt. Two S-class missing nin—from the Akatsuki, to make matters worse—were holding her captive. She struggled to hold a discomforted meep behind the mouth gag as the masked man reached out to pet her again.
"What the fuck are we waiting here for?" the silver-haired man finally burst out, straightening and coming towards them. "And why the hell did the Leader send me here with you? Are we gonna kill the little bitch or what?"
"Hidan-san," Tobi said admonishingly, hand stilling on Hinata's head. "Don't call her that. And why on earth would we kill her?"
Tobi let out a startled yelp when Hidan smacked him upside the head.
"Then enlighten me, damn it. What are we supposed to do with her?"
"Leader-sama said to wait for instructions," Tobi said with a wince, rubbing his head. "I'm sure he'll tell us soon."
Hinata stared at her two captors warily. The one called Tobi actually didn't seem so bad—a little creepy, but rather sweet in demeanor. Hidan, on the other hand…
"Fuck off for a bit and bring back something to eat," he ordered. "I'll watch the bitch."
He scared the ever-loving hell out of her.
Tobi reluctantly left them alone, and for several minutes Hinata watched Hidan continue to finger the beads on his rosary, and she inwardly recited her own prayers for help when he finally placed the rosary over his head.
"That was seriously a dumb move, wandering around by yourself," he suddenly commented, smirking as he sauntered over, nudging her pack out of the way. "Bet you never thought we'd get past the border."
Hinata recoiled slightly as he knelt a few feet away, disinterestedly combing through her things.
"Might just end up using you for a sacrifice if the Leader gives us the go ahead." He raised his head to look at her, brow furrowing. "You're a virgin, right?"
Mortified, Hinata pressed herself as far back against the tree as she could, averting her gaze and hating herself for blushing uncontrollably when he snickered.
He continued to rifle through her things, pausing when he encountered a few bottles of her homemade healing salve.
Hinata glanced at the bottles, shifting a little as he unscrewed the cap on one of them and sniffed it, wrinkling his nose slightly.
She made a muffled sound, then instantly recoiled in fear when he leaned forward, reaching out. But he merely took a hold of the gag and pulled it down, raising the small jar questioningly.
"What's this for?"
Hinata moved her lips soundlessly for a few seconds, momentarily paralyzed by his proximity, then stammered.
"H-Healing salve…f-for cuts and…burns."
"Oh yeah?" he inquired, lowering his gaze to look doubtfully at the jar. "Work any good?"
She licked her lips nervously, eyes darting left and right for a possible escape route before answering.
"I…I think so. I use it."
"Think it'll work on this?"
She lifted her gaze to look at him and had to bite her lip to hold back a shriek as he casually shrugged the cloak off his left shoulder, revealing a gaping, bloody hole right where his heart should have been.
"Hurts like a bitch," he finished bluntly, prodding at the wound a bit. "Deal with a new one every day."
"You…how are you alive?" Hinata squeaked in disbelief.
"Long story," he said shortly, examining the bottle again. "So does this shit work or not?"
She momentarily couldn't bring herself to speak, so she merely nodded, tearing her gaze away from the wound.
"It, um, speeds it up. The h-healing process."
When he didn't reply, she glanced back at him, wincing when she saw him slathering a large amount of the cream over the wound, apparently impervious to the pain.
A few minutes passed in awkward silence as he returned to rifling through her things. Hesitantly, she finally spoke, curious despite herself.
He glanced at her and then down at his wound, prodding it a bit. A surprised look worked its way onto his features.
"Well shit, it actually did."
Even from where she sat, Hinata could see that the wound had already begun to close up. Despite herself, she couldn't help but feel a little proud, a small wavering smile overtaking her face.
"Good?" he echoed, raising an eyebrow. "You touched in the head, or something? I'm probably gonna end up killing you."
Hinata shifted uncomfortably, trying and failing to fight her dismay.
"You…can't you let me go?"
He snorted derisively. "Not gonna happen."
But…" she paused, biting her lip, looking at the half-empty jar of salve in his hand. "If you let me go, I could…I could make you more of those."
He gave her a look. "You think I'm retarded, or something? I'm not swirl-face."
She shook her head vehemently, gradually working up some courage to try and negotiate, but at that very moment Tobi came bursting through the trees, looking rather pleased.
"Good news, Hinata-chan," he said in a sing-song voice, circling around to her side. "Zetsu-san just told me you're worthless and no good to us and killing you would only bring us unwanted attention, so you can stay alive! I'm going to bring you back with us and keep you as a pet, and—"
"Fuck that," Hidan interrupted flatly, scowling. "I'm using her as a sacrifice."
"Hidan-san!" Tobi cried, aghast, falling to his knees near Hinata's side. He paid no attention to her alarmed yelp as his arms encircled her head, pulling her protectively to his chest. "You can't!"
"Why the hell not?"
"B-Because!" Hinata managed to gasp out, worming her way out of Tobi's grip. "I promise, I'll send you a new jar of salve every day. It w-worked, right…?"
Hidan raised an eyebrow, lowering his gaze to his chest again. The wound had closed up even more since he'd last checked it, and Hinata could tell from his expression that he was impressed.
"Please," she continued, grimacing as Tobi squished her closer. "If…if I don't, then…"
She didn't finish the sentence, settling for shooting him a pleading look as Tobi recommenced petting her head.
Hidan gave Tobi an exasperated look before thoughtfully lowering his gaze to the salve in his hand, then back at Hinata again.
"Done," Hinata choked out, struggling to get away from Tobi. "Just…please untie me."
Half an hour later, Hinata found herself dumped off at the edge of the forest holding a piece of paper with the address to a River Country post office scrawled on it.
And the next day, she remained true to her word and sent two bottles of healing salve to the address, including a note that read:
I added some lavender so it would smell better. Thank you for not sacrificing me.
P.S. Please tell Tobi-san that a hamster would make a much better pet than I would have.