Chapter the Second

Life has become very interesting now that my environment's changed. Actually…looking back at my previous entries is embarrassing. I made myself seem like a complete jackass. I mean, it still irritates me that this stupid diary has flowers on it (and not just any old flowers, either. They have little smiley faces on them. Smiley. Faces. They're so disgustingly cute it makes me ill), and I have no idea why I keep writing in it (though it is NOT because I'm embracing my inner…sensitivity or something. It is NOT), but I think I've matured.

Hell, I have to be mature with Orochimaru and that twinkletoed twit Kabuto around.

His glasses are fake, by the way. He doesn't wear them at all in the Lair, and he perches them on a mannequin's head (the bridge of it's nose, to be technical) that he has mounted on the corner of his vanity (yes, he has a vanity. The full shebang. Huge ass mirror, lights, desk littered with beauty products…and here I thought Orochimaru was bent in more ways than a pretzel…)

Double yew tee f (eff?). Oh who cares.

The point is…I don't know what the point is. But I do know that if I had to choose between Orochimaru and Kabuto to offer my body as a vessel to, I'd choose Orochimaru.

Because at least HE doesn't have a vanity. (Except…he won't let me within ten feet of any mirrors, vanity or otherwise. Which sort of pisses me off. And makes me a bit apprehensive about my appearance. What the hell has he DONE to me, I wonder? Nothing can be as bad as the lipstick and the nail polish, right?)

The Lair itself is cozy. Well…claustrophobic is a better term, but cozy sounds…cozier. There are lots of tunnels. And candles. Everywhere. It gets creepy after a while, I can't deny it. I've taken to carrying my stuffed ducky around with me (I'M NOT SENSITIVE, SHUT UP) because he's soft…and cuddly…(JUST BECAUSE I LIKE CUDDLY THINGS DOESN'T MEAN I'M A PANSY) and…and I'm defending myself to my journal.

Oh god.

I said I wasn't naming this journal so I could avoid talking to it like it was a real person. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Bad sign. Bad, bad, bad sign.

Do you SEE what you have driven me to, Itachi, you spineless, gutless bastard? At this rate, I'll be locked up in a loony bin before I can kill you.

Sakura's fault. SAKURA'S FAULT.

Smiley flower diary…such a swell birthday present.

Augh. Kabuto's calling. He wants to test one of his new anti-venoms on me.

Like hell, fairy princess. Test it on yourself. Hopefully, it'll have side effects like shriveled balls or engorged pectorals (hello, man boobs).

"So Kabuto is the female of the pair, eh? Weird."

Itachi snorted. "If I were to hazard a guess, I would say Orochimaru is not necessarily the male, however."

The shark man cackled. "Good point. He oscillates between the two, I'll bet."

"Oh my. What large words we're using. I'm ever so proud of you, Kisame. Your vocabulary has progressed beyond Neanderthal."

Silence for a moment, and then, "Go to hell."

"Yes, yes." Itachi waved a hand absently, and flipped to the next page. "And I will see you down there, etcetera, etcetera."

Despite the fact that he was half shark, Kisame had perfected the brooding, irritated face, and he employed it presently.

"I'm starting to agree with your brother on the bastard front," he muttered darkly.

Itachi sighed. "Must we go through this again? I can show you my family tree if it will make you feel better."

"…Lord you are annoying."

"The sentiment is mutual."

Kisame gnashed his teeth, and changed the subject. "Speaking of glasses, how's your eyesight these days?"

A pause.

Itachi frowned. "I'd prefer not to discuss it."

"Contacts aren't horrible, you know," Kisame said. "You should give 'em a chance."

Lips pursed, Itachi said, "Perhaps."

"Don't look so excited."

"I said I did not wish to discuss this."

Kisame puffed out his cheeks. "Spoil sport."

Dear …Uh…no…resist…RESIST…

Orochimaru told me before we agreed to this arrangement that I was his most prized acquisition. At the time, I believed him.

At the time.

He's a lying sack of shit, that's what he is.

I finally realized why he's so anal about mirrors and me.

I'M WEARING KIMIMARO'S OLD CLOTHES. Kimimaro. The dead guy. Who had a terminal disease. And a disturbing habit of popping his own bones out of his skin and brandishing them as weapons.

Orochimaru got it through his head that sewing a decal of the Uchiha fan on the back of the tunic would somehow make the ensemble more acceptable, but he miscalculated when he asked Kabuto to make the damn thing.

He shaded it with markers, first of all. Washable, kiddy markers. In primary colors.

Second of all, the decal has the consistency of paper. It's flimsy. Easily torn. And if it gets wet, the colors bleed everywhere.

Nice job, Kabuto. I am in awe of your domestic skill.


I suppose, aside from the fact that a DEAD GUY wore my clothes, the outfit is passable. The tunic is airy and the breeches are not too tight, but not too loose, the way I like them. I could do without the rope belt, though. It's overkill. But Orochimaru insisted, and I have to pretend like he runs the show while I'm here.

On the plus side, I have a sword now, and I'm becoming quite proficient with it. This'll be the weapon that kills both Itachi and Naruto, I'm sure of it.

Excited, Itachi?

"Foolish boy, I was unaware you thought of me in that way for so long," Itachi said, brows raised.

"That's one hell of a brother complex."

"The proper term is incest, I believe, Kisame."

He shuddered. "Please…no mental images…I'll be scarred for life."

Itachi grinned. "Suit yourself." He tapped his finger against his chin contemplatively. "Kimimaro…he was a member of the Kaguya clan, yes?"

Kisame nodded. "I think so. Bloodthirsty savages…"

"Quite. They had the most unusual hair styles."

"Yeah! Like…sausages stuck to their temples—"

There was a knock at the door.

"Come in," Itachi said.

"Oy, we'd better make this quick, Uchiha. The boss just assigned a mission for me." Kakuzu stood in the doorway, arms crossed over his chest. He held a bottle of midnight purple nail polish between the index and middle fingers of his left hand. "I'll loan it to you, with interest."

"I am not as slow as Hidan where touchups are concerned, Kakuzu," Itachi said, voice slightly amused. "You won't profit much, I fear."

Kakuzu smirked. "I'm leaving now. You'll have the nail polish for however long I'm gone. Get it?"

"How vexing…" After a moment, Itachi held out his hand. "Done, then."

"Excellent." Kakzuzu stepped forward and plopped the bottle on Itachi's palm. "Pleasure doing business with you."


Nodding to Itachi and Kisame, Kakuzu departed.

"Slippery fellow," Itachi said once he'd gone. "But he does have the best taste in nail polish next to Deidara."

Kisame shook his head. "You're crazy, man. He's going to rob you blind."

The atmosphere grew tense.

"Surely that was not a crack at my eyesight, was it, Kisame."

Statement. Not a question.

"Ah…no. It wasn't."

"That's what I thought."

Dear …blah blah blah…

Orochimaru has a pet. (No, no, it's NOT me. For the record, he has referred to me as "my pet" in the past, but…but that's different).

Literally, he has a pet, and it's not a snake, though I've seen a ton of snakes slithering around in the tunnels (and Orochimaru's tongue looks like a snake…)

It's a chinchilla.

His name is Herbert.

Herbert the chinchilla.

Herbert the chinchilla has big, black beady eyes, and he's fat. Roly-poly, like. He takes baths in sawdust. I'm not kidding. Sawdust. He rolls around in it and then he stands up, shakes himself off, and rolls around in it some more. He reminds me a bit of Naruto, come to think of it.

Moving right along…

WHY Orochimaru has a pet chinchilla (named Herbert) is beyond me. I don't think I WANT to understand why he has a chinchilla (named Herbert).


That's…that's harsh. You name your fish Herbert. Or your teddy bear (I DO NOT HAVE A TEDDY BEAR. I…have a ducky…BUT THAT SAYS NOTHING ABOUT ME AS A PERSON).

Herbert the chinchilla…

What the hell. Just what the hell.

I'm here for power, and I have to contend with a chinchilla named Herbert and Kabuto the flaming yahoo.

This enterprise better pay off in the end, or I'll be seriously pissed.

"Chinchilla?" Kisame appeared perplexed. "What's a chinchilla?"

"A large rodent," Itachi said, examining his freshly painted fingernails closely. Satisfied, he set to work on the opposite hand. "Imagine a cross between a rabbit and a mouse, and you'll have a fairly decent idea of what they look like."

"How do you know so much about them?"

"I read, Kisame. You should try it sometime."

"I have," Kisame sniffed, and then he grimaced. "Damn…that stuff reeks."

"Complain elsewhere, please. I'm not in the mood to listen to your whining today."

Kisame worked his jaw and stood abruptly, stalking to the door. As he was about to walk out, Deidara walked in, and they collided.


"Ohhh…you rumpled my cloak, Sharky."

Kisame bristled. "Yeah? Well you stepped on my foot! And don't call me Sharky, Dr. Frankenstein."

Itachi glanced up. "You really do read."

The shark man left in a huff, muttering to himself.

Straightening his cloak, Deidara took Kisame's vacated seat. He noticed the brand of nail polish Itachi was using and smirked. "I would've lent you mine for free, y'know."

Itachi chose to remain silent.

"All you had to do was ask, mm-hmm."

"Rather late for that, I should think," Itachi said evenly. There was a reason he refrained from asking Deidara for his nail polish, and that reason sat beside him presently. "Why have you come?"

"I was bored."


"Be bored with Kisame, then."

Deidara ignored him. "What's that?" He plucked the diary out of Itachi's lap and thumbed through it. "Sasuke…hey, that's your brother!"

"My, aren't we observant…"

"I've heard a lot about him, mm-hmm."

Itachi rolled his eyes. "If you're intent on bothering me, at least make yourself useful and recite."


Kisame better finish sulking and hurry back soon…

Dear Herbert


Don't stick your nose in my ear, either. I almost woke up screaming because you scared the willies out of me.

AND STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM MY HO-HO STASH. They are my Ho-Hos, Herbert, not yours. Mine. If you had any idea how hard I fought to keep them…

NO HO-HO FOR YOU, HERBERT. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.


My Ho-Hos are under constant surveillance. There will not be a repeat of the last incident. Period. Naruto got the best of me once. You shall not.

"Herbert?" Deidara's nose wrinkled. "Yuck. Who names their kid Herbert?"

"Herbert is a chinchilla," Itachi said.

"What's a chinchilla?"

Oh dear lord. Today was not Itachi's day, he decided.

Today was more akin to a nightmare.

"Ask Kisame when he returns."

"Okay," Deidara said. "Your brother has good taste in snack foods, mm-hmm. I'm fond of Ho-Hos myself."

Nails complete, Itachi closed the bottle. "What is your stance on stuffed duckies?"

The blonde man made a 'tch' noise. "I'm more of a teddy bear kind of guy."

It was a rare occasion indeed for Itachi to laugh, and he came very close, however his lips merely quirked instead.

"I see."

"Outta my seat," a gruff voice ordered.


"That was fast," Itachi said, relief barely registering in his voice, though Kisame heard it, and he couldn't help feeling a little smug.

"Aww." Deidara pouted. "I wanted to read more."

"Take a hike," Kisame said. "Or move over. You pick."

Deidara moved over, much to Itachi's chagrin, and Kisame sat.

"Oy, Kisame, what's a chinchilla?"

Definitely not Itachi's day.

Dear eeeeeehhhh

There is no way in hell that I'm Orochimaru's favorite, otherwise he wouldn't make me share a shower with Kabuto. He'd give me my own shower, and my own bathroom, for that matter, and everything would be peachy.

Everything isn't peachy.

I do not have my own bathroom. I do not have my own shower.

My skin's crawling.


I realize everyone sheds hair. It's natural, and that's…fine. It's fine. But…but there's a certain KIND of hair that breeches the line of acceptability. Hell, it acts like the line doesn't even exist.

Got out of the shower. Felt pretty damn awesome, because training was actually worth my time. I'm learning a new jutsu. High class. Good stuff.

In the midst of toweling myself off—still feeling awesome—I made a discovery.

There was…I can't write it. I can't. Oh god…

There was…pubic…hair…stuck to my leg.

And it wasn't MINE.

Kabuto has white hair. I have black hair. In…both places.

The hair on my leg was white.

For the love of…


Augh. Oh man. I can't…this is ridiculous.

Your number is on hold, Itachi. Kabuto has the special privilege of snuffing it first. Sorry, but this is the way it has to be.

On my leg


"So this is how my little peons have been wasting their time."

Kisame jumped.

Deidara twitched.

Itachi didn't do anything. Even though he resented being referred to as a 'peon.'

Sir Leader tapped his fingers against his arm. "I ought to have you all gutted," he said cheerfully. "There is work to be done, and here I find you, three of my most talented agents, sitting around giggling like a pack of teenage girls."

With the exception of Itachi, of course. Itachi never giggled.


"Ah, but our conclave held a certain import, my lord," he said.


Clueless, Deidara and Kisame blinked, yet they kept their mouths shut.

Itachi nodded. "Yes." He held up the bottle of nail polish.

"Ah," Sir Leader said. "I suppose I will grant you clemency, then."

"My lord is most kind."

"He is, isn't he?"

Deidara bit the inside of his cheek. Kisame pressed his lips together tightly. They couldn't laugh. Not in front of Sir Leader.

"Yes," Itachi agreed.

"Mm. Ta-ta," Sir Leader said, and vanished.

"What the bloody hell," Deidara swore. "He…that man is certifiable, mm-hmm."

"No kidding," Kisame said, a little green around the edges.

Itachi yawned. "He is tolerable when one knows how to deal with him." He yawned again. "My brother seems to be in pleasant spirits, does he not? I'm eagerly awaiting our next meeting."

"If he doesn't have a date with a straight-jacket, you mean," Kisame said.

Itachi smiled. "He won't. Mark me, he won't."

Okay. I'm sorry it took me this long to update, guys (a year? ACK). As with Confessions of an Insomniac, I'm not entirely shunting aside the idea of another chapter for this piece. The new manga material gives me a lot to play with, so we'll see. Heehee. Hope everyone enjoyed!

:winks at Glenda: (You know why, kiddo).

Oh. And. I have nothing against Kabuto. I adore the guy. He was just...convenient. :evil grin: Sorry Kabuto. You got to be fodder for my muses this time around.