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“You need to unwind.” Kisame places cups on the table between them, the two bottles he’d purchased earlier in the day clicking down directly after. Itachi’s eyes follow listlessly. “We have time, a room for the night, and safety. Pour yourself a drink.”

“I’d rather not,” Itachi says.

Kisame shakes his head. “I wasn’t asking.”

“Weren’t you, now?” With a low, rasping sigh, bony Uchiha fingers reach for the neck of the bottle. Itachi regards Kisame with muted frustration as he drags the glass into his lap and takes the top off. To Kisame’s surprise he doesn’t pull a glass to him, instead tilting the bottle to his lips. “Compromise.”

“Suit yourself,” Kisame says, mimicking Itachi’s action. The alcohol bites, but he keeps his face straight even when his partner can’t. One mouthful goes down, and it’s all right. Two, and he wants to wince. Three, and he swallows under Itachi’s gaze as the Uchiha takes another swig. “There. It’s not so bad, is it?”

“I don’t drink much,” Itachi says. He drops his eyes to the lip of the bottle as he swirls the liquid inside, tucking his lip between his teeth in contemplation. “Dulls the senses.”

“Takes the stick out of your ass.”

“Maybe I like a stick in my ass.” Itachi folds his legs under the fabric of his cloak and glances briefly to Kisame before waving the comment away. “That stick--” he taps his fingers against the bottle-- “has kept me going for a long time. It’s a purpose.”

“Mm.” Kisame attempts catching his eye, eventually giving up and staring out the window with a sour expression on his face. “You’re too serious all the time. It’ll kill you.”

Itachi laughs mirthlessly and takes another, longer drink before dabbing at the corner of his mouth with a black sleeve. “Not before my own god-forsaken body. Come on, Kisame, it’s like you’re not even trying.”

“Shut the fuck up,” Kisame rumbles.

“Make me.”

“No.” Kisame fidgets, uneasy as Itachi continues to tap. “Sounds like too much effort to waste on a man so insistent on dying.”

The tapping stops. “Why insist on trying to change the inevitable?”

There are many reasons Kisame could list, the first and foremost being--if he’s being honest with himself--that he’ll miss Itachi when he’s gone. He’s positive that’ll get him nowhere, though, so he keeps quiet and lets more liquid slide down his throat. Seven years is a long time to spend with someone and if Itachi’s still not willing to let Kisame care for him now, then it won’t suddenly change just because of one night and an admission.


“Die, for all I care. At least it won’t be me killing you.”

“No, that’ll be my brother,” Itachi says, soft but with a confidence Kisame finds unnerving. “It’s what I deserve.”

“We’re not talking about that,” Kisame says. He doesn’t want to hear the forced indifference masking sorrow, especially not when the alcohol begins to sink in. It’s upsetting, the way Itachi paints a picture of his past in broad strokes. Even if he assures Kisame that it was his decision or worse, that he’s proud of what he did, it makes him sick. “Told you. Stick. Ass. Remove. Drink.”

Itachi does, and Kisame nods approvingly. “You’re special, you know,” the raven quips. “Not many people could convince me to do this.” A shudder rolls through him, up his back and into his neck before he shrugs and tugs at the collar of his robe. “How does it feel?”

“How’s what feel?”

“Knowing you’re going to have me exactly where you want me after this is gone?” Itachi sets the bottle back on the table and reclines onto an elbow to look out the same window Kisame is fixating on. “I can’t imagine you’re doing this just for fun and games.”

“I’m getting you drunk because you need to stop being such a prick,” Kisame snaps, bristling at the accusation. “What’s wrong with you?”



“Fine, everything. Happy?” 

“Not drunk enough for happy,” Kisame grunts. There’s a slow trickle of heat through his veins, a pleasant warmth curling in his belly as he stretches his hands above his head. “Might end up poisoned if I try to drink to that point.”

“Satisfied, at least?” One corner of Itachi’s mouth is pulled up in a slight, snarling smile when he looks over. His nose is lined with distaste, and Kisame looks away before regret for his words can sink in. “I might’ve even let you, if you weren’t so disgusted.”

“I’m not disgusted,” comes out before Kisame can stop himself.

“Yes, you are. Think about fucking me, just for a second.” The dying sunlight splinters through the bottle and onto the table as Itachi picks it up for another swig. As in everything he does, he makes it look effortless, even beautiful in the seconds he waits for Kisame to consider. When he looks over once more, he arches an eyebrow at Kisame’s face. “...interesting.”


“You’re telling the truth,” Itachi says, and his brow smooths before knitting together in confusion. “Why?”

Kisame shrugs. It’s not as though he prefers men, but he’d be lying if he said he hadn’t thought about Itachi in the dead of night with nothing but his hand and imagination for company while Itachi’s asleep. “Told you. Not worth wasting the effort on lying.”

Itachi takes the explanation without another word. Both fall into silence, only the swishing from the bottles to break it. The feeling isn’t anything new to Kisame, as quiet is how they normally spend their time together. He’s surprised Itachi has even revealed this much, shocked at the forwardness the normally reserved man is showing. The metallic whine of a zipper jolts him from a particularly tantalizing thought about Itachi’s tongue tracing his lips instead of the lip of the bottle.

“Too hot,” Itachi mumbles, letting his cloak fall to the floor to reveal a milk-white shoulder marred only by the crimson stain of his ANBU tattoo. His cheeks are dusted the same color as the cherry blossoms outside, and Kisame struggles to hold back an amused snort as he makes the connection between flowers and Itachi.

He fails, earning himself a glare. “What are you laughing at?”


“What” Itachi wobbles a bit as he sits back up straight and sets a hand on the table separating them. There’s something unexplainable in his eyes, something that winds its way past what remains of Kisame’s inhibitions and sets his blood on fire. “I’m...I’m…”

It’s a rare day Kisame catches him off guard. “You’re absolutely tanked,” he says.

“Can’t even feel the stick.” Itachi tips the bottle toward Kisame before taking a final drink and setting it down, only to shuffle to sit against the wall with his partner. “No sssstick,” he hisses, wagging a finger in front of himself. “Poisoned yet?”

“Not drinking for happiness tonight.”

Itachi’s eyes glint dangerously before he leans in to whisper in Kisame’s ear. “What’re you drinking for then?”

Kisame can’t hide the way his shivers, nor can he hide the way the hair on the back of his neck raises at the low purr of Itachi’s voice. “To forget.”

“Forget what?” Itachi’s breath washes hot over Kisame’s neck as his hand ventures across the broad planes of his chest, inching toward the zipper on Kisame’s cloak. “Past? Present?” When he finally manages to catch the tab and pull it down a few inches, Kisame’s breath has stopped. “That you’ll be all alone when Sasuke gets to me?”

“You’re a real bastard, you know that?”

Itachi’s fingers skim over the line of Kisame’s collarbones as he nods, then shakes his head. “I remember my father. Now he--” he holds up a finger-- “was a bastard. ‘M not that bad.”

Kisame tucks his legs into his chest and does his best to push Itachi out of his space. He’s not sure exactly what the man’s plan is, and he’s not sure he trusts himself enough to ask. When Itachi lays his head against the wall, Kisame lets his face tip over. “You’re always so cold,” he says. “Maybe it’s better that way. I don’t like this side of you.”

“Cold means I don’t have to regret.” Itachi folds his arms and slides down the wall, reaching for his bottle before Kisame stops him. “Give it here.”

“I think you’ve had enough for now,” Kisame says, and Itachi actually growls. “Why do you regret?”

Itachi coughs out a laugh. “Everything. Come on, Kisame. You know I died a long time ago.”

“You’re no Kakuzu, I highly doubt that.” Kisame holds the bottle far away when Itachi lunges for it, planting his face firmly in Kisame’s chest as he tips forward. “I said no more.”

“I just wanna feel it, Kisame, let me have some.”

Kisame stiffens at the mourning evident in Itachi’s tone. “What?”

“Feel it.” Inky black spreads across Kisame’s chest as Itachi rubs his face against it, nuzzling into Kisame as though he were a kitten. “Something.” He brings a hand to Kisame’s neck, then jaw, cupping it as he pulls back to stare at him. “Ever fucked a virgin?”

“Fuck, Itachi.” Kisame’s heart stutters to a stop as Itachi’s eyes sink to half-lidded, his mouth pulling up in what he’s sure is supposed to be a seductive smirk. The answer’s yes, but… “You could’ve just fucking asked,” he says, wrenching Itachi’s wrist away. “Would’ve been easier fucking you than picking up someone on the road.”

“Didn’t feel like it before,” Itachi says. 

“Now that you’re drunk, I’m appealing?”

Itachi’s face suddenly falls serious. “I never would’ve minded,” he mumbles. “Just didn’t want to.” He tugs his hand away and tucks it into his chest, looking a bit ashamed. Kisame doesn’t like that look on him. “Could’ve just said no.”

“Maybe I didn’t want to.”

“Ohh,” Itachi breathes, understanding dawning in his eyes. He doesn’t go for the bottle this time, choosing instead to lean in so close that Kisame can feel the heat radiating from his flushed face. “You wanna fuck a dying man, Kisame? Let me feel you?”

Instead of answering, Kisame shuts his eyes and holds an arm out, gathering Itachi in his lap and attempting to keep the Uchiha’s hands from venturing to where he’s not sure he’s ready to be touched. He’s pretty positive he’ll regret this come morning, but the way Itachi’s writhing against him makes it hard to think two seconds into the future, let alone hours.

Itachi hums, his lips vibrating against Kisame’s pulse. “You do,” he says quietly. “I bet you could break me if you wanted.” 

Kisame breathes in deeply as his hands slide down to cup the curves of Itachi’s ass. “Good for you I don’t want to, isn’t it?”

“I...wouldn’t...mind…” Itachi presses his lips to the corner of Kisame’s jaw after each word, gasping softly when Kisame’s fingers dig into him. “Ah~” It’s a barely there noise, but the way Itachi’s voice cracks as his head falls back has Kisame wanting to hear it again and again. “Please use me.”

“Fuck you, Uchiha. You’re not a toy.”

“‘M just a pawn,” Itachi murmurs. “I’m tired, Kisame. I just want to know how it feels. Teach me.” 

“Take your shirt off,” Kisame orders. His head swims as Itachi rears back, nearly catching Kisame in the face with an elbow as he struggles with the fabric draped over him. “No, no, stop.” He catches Itachi’s forearms in hands that are too large, too rough to be touching the lithe grace that is Uchiha Itachi. “I’ve got you.”

“Mhmm.” Itachi stills with a sigh as Kisame rucks his shirt up around his chest. He gathers his hair at the nape of his neck with one hand, letting it flow back over his shoulders when Kisame sheds the fabric completely. His skin all but glows in the streetlight shining through the window, and Kisame leans in to inhale deeply against Itachi’s neck. “Tickles,” Itachi says with a shiver.

Kisame does it again, and the way Itachi moans his name makes his cock stiffen. “What do you want me to do to you?” he asks. “Something special? Think you want that?”

Itachi rolls his hips against Kisame, his much smaller bulge pressing into Kisame’s cloak as he shuts his eyes. “I don’t care,” he says. “I just want…” He trails off with a roll of his head, a click of his tongue. “Something…”

“I’ll give you something.” Kisame’s hands tighten on Itachi’s stomach to lift him off and put him to the side, much to the younger man’s chagrin. “Calm down,” he says, stepping from his cloak. “I’m comin’ back.”

“Kisame,” Itachi says. He opens his arms and beckons with bone-white hands, face lined with a silent and mournful plea. It’s the same face he sometimes has when he wakes in the middle of the night with terror in his eyes and a tremor in his hands, and Kisame hates that it’s directed at him. 

He hates that Itachi’s so far gone that he’s actually close to begging.

“You sure?” he asks, one more time, and Itachi nods quietly as he presses close to Kisame’s side. “Tell me.”

“I want you to have sex with me, and I want another drink.” Before Kisame can catch him, he’s brought the bottle to his lips and taken several more gulps. “Hnn, you can’t stop me. Just touch me. Make me--” his bottom lip drops open as he kneels over Kisame’s lap once more, and Kisame shivers as it drags up the column of his throat-- “feel.”

If it’s feeling he’s begging for, then Kisame’s willing to give him what he wants. Calloused hands smooth up and down the Itachi’s thighs as he presses sloppy kisses to Kisame’s pulse, setting it to thundering from just a simple touch. Itachi might not be his first choice, no, but fuck if he’s going to pass up the opportunity to get those clan-slaying hands on him.

“Get up,” he says, a bit harsher than intended as Itachi’s teeth sink into his shoulder. When the younger man pulls back, confused, Kisame shakes his head. “I’m not fucking you on the floor, Uchiha, I’m not an animal. Get on the bed. And take your clothes off, okay? Just--”

Itachi’s already obeying before he can finish the thought. There’s a flush high on his cheeks, fading into deep shadow around his crimson eyes. They’re glassy, a bit dead while he strips, and Kisame’s stomach flips when Itachi turns away from him. He sways a bit before peeking back over his shoulder. “How d’you want it? Me? I don’t...know, I’ve never done this.” His pants hit the ground, and with miles of skin on display before him, Kisame doesn’t quite know how to answer.

“Let me warm you up at least,” he says. The contents of the table clack as he snags a foot on one of the legs, cursing. “Knew drunk was a-fuck- shit--” He pitches forward to land above Itachi, hands on either side of his shoulder as he looks down with wide eyes. “Hey.”

“Hey.” Itachi’s face falls to the side while he drags himself up the mattress and tugs at Kisame’s arm. “Come here,” he insists, and Kisame thinks it’s probably one of the few times in his life that Uchiha Itachi has been endearing. “Kiss me.”

“Yeah, your wish, my command,” Kisame mumbles. He’s still got his pants on, knows he’s making a mess when he jerks at the sight of Itachi pulling his knees to his chest. “Cool it,” he says. “Not kissing your ass.”

Itachi, Mr. Propriety, snickers before letting his face fall blank once more .

“Not funny.”

“Funny,” the raven says, trailing a finger down the lines of Kisame’s abdomen to where blue hair begins to curl just above his waist. “Take these off.”

Kisame pushes his hands away and settles on his elbows and knees, listening carefully to the sharp inhale when Itachi realizes he’s all but trapped below him. “I said wait,” he says. His nose skims over Itachi’s collarbone before he thinks better and bites down softly, teeth barely denting the skin. “Else I might have to do something horrible.”

“Like what, leave?” There’s a pained pause as the words sink in, then, “Please don’t leave.” When Kisame’s head jerks up, he sees Itachi’s face slack with the slightest trembling in his jaw. “Do whatever, just don’t do that.”

“What--” Kisame shakes his head, hair flopping in his eyes as he bends down to press his lips to the underside of Itachi’s jaw. “I’m not leaving.”

“Something bad…”

“Not leaving.”

Itachi brings a slender finger to his lips and shushes Kisame. “I’ve done bad things,” he whispers loudly. “Killed a lot of people.”

“Yeah, w--”

“My family,” Itachi says, drawing out the syllables as he brings the finger to Kisame’s lips. “‘cept Sasuke.” He swallows hard. “He’s got things to to yet.”

Kisame wraps his lips around the tip of Itachi’s finger and sucks softly, eliciting a rumbling whine from the man below him. “Keep your mouth shut and enjoy yourself,” he warns. “Can’t fuck you like you deserve if I’m thinking of your dead family, huh?” He hooks an arm under Itachi’s knee and leans forward. “Acceptable?”

Itachi nods mutely.

“Good.” Warmth rushes over Kisame’s chest as Itachi’s breath leaves him in one smooth exhale, ending in a soft moan when Kisame’s nose presses into his throat. 

“Feels good,” Itachi breathes. His brow knits when Kisame’s lips find his pulse, his hands sliding over the broad panes of Kisame’s back before his nails catch on the skin. “I want…” Seeking, his face tips toward Kisame’s until he takes Kisame’s chin in hand and brings their lips together in a halting kiss. 

He’s not lying about his inexperience. Fingers knit between the thick strands of Kisame’s hair as Itachi tries to bring him closer, push him away in the next second when the sting of Kisame’s teeth on his lips is too much. Whispers of nonsense fill the air between them, and the sound of Itachi learning the ropes is beautiful.

When he seems to have had his fill, clumsy movements stilling under Kisame’s hand, Kisame pulls slightly back to meet his eyes. They’re still a bit glassy, distracted, but they’re swimming. “Itachi?”

“‘S not enough,” Itachi says. “More.” He winds a hand around Kisame’s neck to draw him down, sneaking the other hand between them to paw at Kisame’s crotch. “C’ mon.”

“Stop,” Kisame says. Itachi’s hands are dwarfed in his as he stretches them above their heads and undulates his hips to pull out a loud, unbecoming groan from his partner. “I don’t like it when you beg, I’ve decided, you know.” He repeats the motion, gathers Itachi’s wrists in one palm and caresses the Uchiha’s cheek before slipping the tip of his thumb between pink lips. “Show me what else your mouth can do.”

“A lot,” Itachi mumbles, nearly all one word before his tongue wraps around the digit. His lips follow soon after, eyes fluttering shut as he sucks softly. It feels nearly... practiced, and Kisame shivers when Itachi sighs happily around him. The younger man’s hips press up against his, seeking, wanting-- needing. 

“‘S this getting you off, Uchiha?”

Itachi gives one final suckle before letting the finger slip from his mouth with an exaggerated pop. “Not quick enough.”

“I’m not going for quick,” Kisame says. “I’m going for memorable.”

“What’re you going to do, make love to me?” Itachi asks. His wrists flex in Kisame’s grip as he tries to wiggle away, bring a hand to himself, and Kisame shakes his head. “Then fuck me.”

“I said wait .” Kisame feels up Itachi’s side with his free hand, able to count the ribs as they expand with Itachi’s inhale. He doesn’t get a chance to say whatever he was going to say before Kisame’s lips are on his, rough and heavy. Kisame doesn’t give him any quarter, unyielding even when Itachi whimpers into his mouth, and it’s not until copper bursts on his tongue that he realizes there’s something wrong.

Itachi rolls over hacking when Kisame breaks away. His hands fly to the sheets and fist in them as he attempts to hold himself upright, then uses them to dab at his kiss-swollen lips.

The cloth comes away red.

Kisame can feel the sobering dread creep down his spine.

“I’m fine,” Itachi says.

“You’re not.”

“I will be.”

Kisame sits up and lets Itachi slump into him as another cough rattles out of him. He’s not going to be, they both know it. But if it clears for tonight, he might be able to help Itachi forget that he’s going to be nothing but bones come next winter. Soothing, he runs his hand up and down Itachi’s spine as the tremors begin to subside. “If you say so,” he finally says.

“I do.”


After a few seconds, Itachi’s brow knits as he presses his forehead to the marks on Kisame’s shoulder. Kisame can feel the hesitancy when he speaks. “I still mean it. I want you to fuck me tonight.” He lets out a small huff of a laugh. “But maybe I need you to be gentle. Gentle giant. Hold me." He holds his frail hands to his chest as Kisame gathers him in his arms and rocks softly. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

“Plenty, Uchiha,” Kisame says. “You wouldn’t be here with me if you weren’t fucked up.”

“So kind of you,” Itachi says. 

Kisame grunts and lays back down, taking Itachi with him. “You know it’s true. Besides, you don’t like me lying to you.”

“I’ve done plenty of that myself,” Itachi says. When Kisame begins to kiss his shoulder, arms tightening around his chest with each press of his lips against Itachi’s skin, Itachi shivers as he holds back another cough. “I’m not half the man I should be.”

“Yeah, well…” Kisame buries his forehead in the crook of Itachi’s neck as he risks the next statement. “You’re man enough for me. It’s not everyone that can handle being with me for so long.”

“It’s not everybody can get me naked and drunk enough to start admitting things,” Itachi says softly. “I--”

Kisame cuts him off with a kiss again, unwilling to wait for secrets to begin spilling. He listens carefully to the sound of Itachi’s breathing as he grinds their hips together, and when he doesn’t hear a rattle, he delves deeper. His tongue flicks between the seam of Itachi’s lips as the younger man’s nails dig into his shoulders. “Enough talkin’,” he says. “Put your hands above your head and don’t let ‘em down.”

There’s no protest from Itachi, only obedience. 

“Spread your legs,” Kisame says. He fixes his lips against Itachi’s pulse and worries at the tendons cording there, one hand cradling the back of Itachi’s head and the other smoothing down his side. “I mean, you don’t need to be totally silent. I want to hear the way you come undone. I bet it’s as pretty as your hair in the sun.”

Itachi jerks with a groan below him, cock twitching against Kisame’s abdomen.

“You like that? Being told you’re pretty?”

“Wanted,” Itachi breathes. His eyes flutter shut as Kisame marks his way down his shoulder, laying claim to skin no one’s seen before and no one’s liable to see again. “‘S been long time~”

“Fuck,” Kisame says. Itachi’s nearly burning against him, the trademark Uchiha fire seeming to burn through his skin and into Kisame’s body with every kiss, every nibble, every touch in places Itachi’s never been touched. It almost feels like a sin, seeing the embodiment of grace reduced to a whimpering mess. 

Marks bloom across Itachi’s chest as Kisame ravishes him, paying him the attention someone-- anyone-- should have before tonight. Itachi sounds broken, and in the moment, Kisame wishes he could take back every night he’s left him alone in favor of chasing his own selfish desires. 

He wishes he would’ve seen Itachi like this earlier.

“I-I need--” It’s still strange, Itachi speechless, but the way he pulls his legs up leaves no question as to what he wants. “Please, Kisame, just do it.”

“Yeah, sure, Uchiha.”

Itachi breaks the rules to lay a delicate wrist over his eyes. “Itachi.”

“That’s your name, yeah,” Kisame says, pausing in confusion.

“I want you to call me Itachi when we fuck,” Itachi says. Then, barely audible as he turns his face to bury it in the pillow, “Please?”

Kisame slowly lowers his head to nuzzle into the underside of Itachi’s jaw and bring his face to what little light is left. “I want to see that pretty mouth as it cries for me, Itachi,” Kisame says, punctuating the name with a roll of his hips. “Hands up.”

Itachi stills, then very slowly stretches like a cat below him. “You want all of me.”


“You should know--”

“Don’t want to hear it.” Kisame presses two fingers into Itachi’s mouth and sighs at the way the younger man dutifully-- sloppily-- sucks them down as far as he can before Kisame takes them away to rub over his hole. His lips track across the map he’s left on Itachi’s chest, then down his stomach until Itachi’s dripping cock is enveloped in his mouth.

It rips a cry from Itachi, one Kisame will treasure in the years to come. When he looks up the length of Itachi’s body he’s pleased to see that even though he’s fighting it, his hands are solidly fisted in the pillows as he grunts in pleasure. “Ha, ah, Ki-Kisame~”

Kisame hums softly around him. He wants him relaxed, boneless, before he fucks him in earnest. It’s perhaps not the best strategy, but it’ll feel better when building up to the thick length of his cock. Hollowing his cheeks, he takes Itachi apart lick by lick until Itachi decides obedience is no longer worth it and threads his fingers through Kisame’s hair. 

“‘M gonna come,” he slurs, and Kisame lets him fuck into the wet heat of his throat until he does. He squeezes a hand around himself as Itachi coats his tongue, staving off the urge to bend him over and take him as he is now--loose, pliant, relaxed for once in his damned life. When he lets the Uchiha’s cock slip free of his lips, Itachi whines softly at the sight of Kisame licking his lips. “So good.” His pupils are blown wide as he lets go of the blue strands, cradling Kisame’s cheek gently. “Feels... so good.”

“You’re about to feel better,” Kisame says. He makes sure to keep his weight on Itachi as he reaches for the bedside drawer, fumbling for the small packets of lube he knows this inn in particular keeps stocked. It’s hard to focus on just one thing now--he’s not sure whether he wants to carry on or make Itachi come like that again for him. His own arousal hangs heavy between his thighs, however, and demands attention.

It’s a little shocking how quickly Itachi’s body welcomes his fingers, then his cock. He bends Itachi nearly in half, enraptured by every noise and expression Itachi makes as he’s fucked. Itachi finally lets himself go, and Kisame thinks that Itachi in the throes of pleasure is one of the more beautiful things in life.

Less beautiful are the tears after he’s cleaned them and has Itachi tucked against his chest. “What’re you on about now, Uchiha?”

Itachi shakes his head. 

“Bullshit.” Kisame tightens his arms and brushes his lips across the outer shell of Itachi’s ear, kissing gently along his hairline. “You can at least tell me if I hurt you. I didn’t, did I?”

“No,” Itachi mumbles.

“Then what?”

“Do you know how long it’s been since someone hugged me like this?”

Kisame’s blood freezes, then heats with something like rage at the fact that he’s missed that too. “Too long, I take it.”

“Not since…” Itachi trails off and uses the back of Kisame’s hand to wipe away the wetness on his cheeks. “Well.”



“You don’t have a home,” Kisame says coolly. None of them do, not anymore, and it’s useless to consider anything else. He swipes his thumb below Itachi’s eye, catching another drop as he tangles their naked legs together. “But this is a good substitute, isn’t it?”

He doesn’t expect resistance.

He doesn’t expect Itachi to sob below him.

He doesn’t expect the bomb he drops.

“I still fight for my village. Konoha will always be my home.”

The world fades from existence as more and more flows from Itachi, years of keeping everything under wraps undone by the alcohol and endorphins still flowing through his veins. He listens in shock as Itachi details why he did it, and why he wishes things could have been different. He wants to stop him, force him back into silence, but when he moves to clap a hand over Itachi’s mouth, the force with which it’s slapped away terrifies him.

“This is my truth to tell,” Itachi says bitterly. “Someone needs to know before I die and they erase me from history.”

It’s Kisame that stays quiet this time, grinding his jaw against the angry cry that’s threatening to burst out of him. He’s shaking with the effort of holding it back, and Itachi notices. When he shrugs Kisame’s arm off, Kisame takes it as his sign to roll over and stare at the wall instead of Itachi’s folded hands. 

“You can hate me for lying, if you’d like,” Itachi sniffs. “You should.”


Itachi gasps before pulling the blanket over himself to muffle a wave of coughing. “It’s li-like everyone else,” he says. “But they don’t know. They can’t.”

“Yeah,” Kisame says, quieter.

“Promise me you’ll let him kill me, Kisame. Let him kill your enemy.”

Of all the times Kisame’s hated himself, none compare to the way his gut twists as he says, “Yeah, Uchiha. Like I said...fuck off and die, for all I care.”