All men have weaknesses, regardless of where they stand in the world. The only difference between the common and the powerful is that the latter will learn to hide their weaknesses early in life, whereas the stupid or the brave will display themselves openly to both friends and enemies alike. That's why they are, and why they remain, commoners. If one wishes to rule the world, he needs to be clever enough to make others believe him when he says he is invincible.

But regardless, weakness is still there. And in most cases, a weakness is only an indulgence. In fear, in confidence, in people or items... a need that cannot be broken no matter what methods are used against it. If it were possible to get rid of it, well then, there wouldn't need to be that rule, now would there? But Gato wasn't anywhere near strong enough to defy the rule, and in all honesty, he had never met a man who was.

He heard a knock on his door and immediately called for the person on the other side to enter. With his eyes watching the gradual ticking of the clock mounted above his fireplace, Gato knew what time it was, but the late night visitor was far from a surprise to him.

He only allowed himself to be seen without his bodyguards by so many people, but the type of person he expected to come see him in the middle of the night was one of them. Another part of his indulgence. But still, he wasn't stupid. His guards were still present in the hotel, stationed throughout the hotel, just in case. When one becomes powerful, it should be noted, he also becomes hated. And the people clever enough to hide their weaknesses also learn early on that there is an intimidating power in having a pair of very large, armed men prepared to carry out their every whim on whatever wholesome hero-of-town they thought might deserve it. Yes, power was sweet...

Gato didn't need to turn around after the he heard the click of the door being opened. True, as a person he didn't know the girl who had just entered and was now standing quietly behind him, had never seen her before and would likely never see her again. But tonight she was his employee, and playing a part that he already knew very well.

And of course, he knew it was a she...

"You're late," he said to her, back still to the doorway.

He heard the sound of the door being hastily closed, and then a timid voice answering him, "I-I'm sorry, I had trouble getting—"

"Don't let it happen with your future employers," Gato said to the clock. He was no longer paying attention to its numbers, but listening for the faint sound of the girl's weight shifting on the floorboards behind him. He wanted her to think that he was annoyed with her, that his schedule could have easily kept him away from the hotel room at that moment, despite the lateness of the hour. After giving the thought time to slip into the girl's head, he asked her, "You've already been told what to do?"


Gato turned, taking in the girl's appearance through the dark lenses of his sunglasses. His glasses were never removed in private, much less for someone like his current visitor. She was still standing in front of his door, hands nervously hidden behind her back. He could see her shirt sleeve moving as she rubbed it from wrist to elbow with long white fingers, thankfully not bony as some of the village girls' were. A pair of large dark eyes looked back him, then immediately fluttered toward the floor when they noticed him looking her over. She was dressed exactly as he had requested: in a short blue plaited skirt that was dangerously high on her thighs and hung close to her skin as if clinging. There was also a tight-fitting button down dress shirt, topped with a matching blue ribbon tied around her neck to keep her collar modestly held together. The hem of her shirt was casually untucked and the bottom two buttons left undone to expose a small triangle of milky white skin over the girl's stomach. That particular portion of the girl's skin held his attention, seeming to glow invitingly in the moving firelight.

Sensing where his eyes were focused, the girl shifted her weight from one hip to the other, expertly making the triangle glide across her abdomen while he continued his inspection. By request, the knee-high socks that were worn with the official uniforms of the village schools were left out of the outfit, leaving long, long legs bare and gleaming in the shadowy hotel room. Almost begging to be touched.

Gato cleared his throat, and said sternly, "Take off your shoes before you come in."

Without a word, the slim form in front of him bent forward, and Gato watched. The sandals she was wearing were old and worn looking, the kind that could be found at a garage sale or stolen from a chapel's clothes drive. She unclasped them slowly, raven hair falling forward like the blacking shields on the sides of a horse. Then without looking up to see if he was still watching her, the girl pulled herself back up, letting her hands ghost along the length of her legs as they went. Gato didn't take his eyes off the spidery hands as they continued traveling up, even after she was standing regularly again. They slipped under her skirt, forcing the blue material to bunch on her hips as they hooked onto something underneath. One swift tug and she let her skirt fall back into place. She withdrew her hands, and some thin, black material slid to the floor on its own. Daintily, the school girl stepped forward, leaving the old shoes and lacy underclothes behind her. Her smile was as unnoticing as he could have asked for.

Gato stared for a minute; then forced himself back to remembering that he was paying by the hour. Leaving his place by the fireplace, Gato motioned for the girl to follow him as he went to an overstuffed recliner near the fireplace. After sitting down, he was given the chance to admire the girl's physique from a closer perspective than before, but he was careful not to waste as much time on his second look. He reached out and planted both hands firmly on the girl's waist, pulling her forward and onto his lap.

She was arranged her legs around him expertly. A little too expertly for his taste, but he wasn't going to complain about that yet, and chance ruining the scene that he was trying to bring together in his mind. Instead, he hooked a finger under the girl's down-turned chin and lifted her face to meet his when he asked, "How was school today?"

She smiled shyly at him, like she was supposed to, and replied with the answer that he had instructed when he arranged for the night's events. "Sen...Sensei beat me again, Daddy."

Gato reached to the side of the chair, trying to find the lever that controlled the angle of the chair so he could make himself more comfortable. His other hand was settled casually at the small of the girl's back, steadily applying pressure until she was forced to lean forward, closer to him. He made his voice stern to match with the scene as he ordered, "What did you do this time, honey?"

She shifted in his lap a little, trying to find a more comfortable position for herself while leaning back against him stubbornly. Still, she hesitated the correct amount of time before answering him, looking up at him serenely through a sooty pair of lashes. "I was in class..."

Gato laid his other hand on the girl's shoulder, playing with her collar while he listened to her. He pinched one loop of the bow between his thumb and forefinger, and watched her dark eyes travel toward it as she recited her lines. "I...I was..."

Gato smugly sent his other hand to the back of the girl's neck, pulling her forward again. This girl was turning out to be rather good at playing the part of an innocent schoolgirl, especially with the short amount of time she had been allowed to memorize it beforehand. In an amused voice, he asked, "What was that?"

"In c-class, I was...uh.."

The loose bow came undone with one lazy tug of Gato's fingers. As he let it slide from her neck to form a glossy heap on her lap, he felt her eyes intensify on his face for a moment. She blinked, looked down at the ribbon, the long bangs falling forward again and effectively hiding her face from view. Not that he needed to see it at the moment for the sake of her performance. Caressing the back of her head with the hand that had undone the bow, he let it follow the back of her neck to slip under her collar.

The girl shivered.

"I was d-daydreaming in class, Daddy."

"What about?"

"It was..." Head still turned downward, the girl trailed off. Her hands were folded in front of her, under the ribbon and on top of a sensitive part of his body that was very much enjoying the warmth her position was providing. But still, Gato pulled her closer, until her hands were forced to move onto his chest to keep her from losing balance. He kept one hand in her hair, sending the other to the front of the white shirt that was now straining to hold her breasts in. It was a size too small for the girl's bust, also by request. Catching a button between his thumb and index finger, he began twisting it gently as he prompted her, "Go on."

She shuddered as his fingers popped the button out of its slit.


He moved on to the next one, twisting it as well.

"Me, sweetheart?"

The second button gave way as easily as the first. The slits cut into the shirt were much larger than the buttons, which allowed them to come undone more easily than a real school uniform would allow. But Gato was more than willing to ignore that piece of minor information. He let his hand slither inside the opening, hearing the girl whimper feebly as her head turned to look at the wall. Her bangs were able to cover the majority of her face again. He frowned at that. There was nothing about avoiding eye contact in his fantasy.

He put one hand on her chin and forced it around, warning her by way of his tone as he chided in tune with his character, if not the script, "It's rude not to answer a question."

He almost had the pale girl's head turned toward him, but just as he was finishing his sentence, she pulled her chin out of his grasp. Glaring, he was about to snap at her for the insolent straying from her character, when her hips rocked forward suddenly. Hard. She repeated the movement, hands curling and uncurling on his chest every time her body passed over the erection pointing up toward her. He knew that she was trying to keep him for scolding her...and it worked. Especially with the two topmost buttons still open from only a few seconds ago and her cleavage heaving with her movements.

...He decided he could let her slip slide... though docking her pay seemed like a fair option for later in the evening.

Her fingers fisted in the extra fabric of his jacket, trying to find a decent hold and failing because of the thickness of the material. Head still down, she tried to stay in character by repeating her last line, "Daddy..."

The hand that had been on her chin was still hovering in the air, only a few inches from her face. It made to settle on her shoulder when one of hers darted out and captured it. After a second of gripping it in a disturbingly vicious grip, she brought it to the opening in her blouse, guiding it back to where it had originally been behind her neck. She let it rest there for a moment before skipping ahead in the script. She dragged Gato's hand slowly over her body, moving it down between her breasts, over her stomach, then across her hip and onto her thigh.

When he took control from her and moved his hands over her again on his own, she rubbed against him again deliberately, either by impulse or because she wanted to make up for her mistake earlier. Gato considered making the girl nervous by telling her flatly that he was taking at least fifty percent of her pay for her stray from the script, but decided to wait until later. He wanted to get back to the scene. He only said, "You've been acting rude much more than usual lately."

His only answer was a weak murmuring, something that sounded close to, "I'm sorry, Tou-san..."

He rewarded the girl with a smile, confident that the warning note in his voice had been caught and that the girl wouldn't cause anymore disturbances in his fantasy. To prove his control to himself as well as the girl, he reached out to hook a finger under her chin, lifting it to give himself a head-on view of the girl's face. Half-lidded dark eyes looked back at him.

His fingers began rubbing slow circles in tune with one another on her jaw and thigh. Occasionally, he let the one on her thigh travel further inward, coaxing the lithe body straddling him to raise itself up a little higher to provide better access. The girl obediently complied and responded to every touch as she was supposed to. Once again he pushed her forward so that she had to lay her hands flat against his chest for support. Following the shift in weight, the chair's back fell farther down on its own.

"Daddy..." she breathed.

"Is there something you want, sweetheart?"

"H-Hai, Taa-san, j-just..." she trailed off, a moan coming out of her instead as he began pushing the collar of her shirt aside to reveal one pale shoulder, "please..."

"What is it?"

Gato felt the girl's hands moving, crawling their way up from his chest to grip tightly at his own shirt collar. At the same time, his hand was moving under her leg again, stroking farther upward.

"You won't like it, Daddy."

"What's that?" he asked. Like before, an undertone slipped into his voice, one that made it much more clear that his patience with improve was thin. She was straying from his script again, when he had clearly said he wanted his night to go smoothly before when he talked with the girl's manager.

His hand was still working according to the old routine, dragging his fingers slowly along the length of her inner thigh as they went upward again. There was a damp, unprotected area there that he saw the girl's eyes widen when he traced with the tip of one finger. Well, at least she was still in character.

One hand grabbed onto his ear suddenly, while another wrapped around the back of his neck, fingers digging in almost painfully. He was surprised that a girl of her frame could have such a hard grip, but didn't linger on the thought. The girl let her head go down again. Gato could hear the sound of her panting as she began moving her hips again.

Gato decided to forget about the dialogue, apparently the girl wasn't that good of an actress after all. Wrapping one arm around her waist to keep her from pulling away, Gato stilled the girl's movements and unceremoniously shoved an impatient finger inside her.

She stiffened. He felt her hand on the back of his neck twitch and clench uncomfortably for a moment. He couldn't see her expression, and scowled at over the top of her head at the time it took her to adjust. He wanted to continue with his fantasy, regardless of whether she was "ready" or not. When girl's upper body finally leaned willingly onto his chest, the angle of her body suggested that she was deliberately trying to lifted herself ever so slightly away from him, despite the arm on her shoulder meant to keep her in place.

Her hair brushed against the underside of his jaw as she squirmed. He sent another finger inside her and began his exploration of the inner folds. He ignored the groan he heard from her, whether it was from distaste or pleasure. Her hand tightened on his ear, but in turn, he moved his other arm down to her waist and held on more firmly.

"Tou-san..." the girl's head brushed insistently against his neck, "please...I..."

Gato smirked to himself at the girl's hoarse tone. For a professional, she was very poor at customer service, it seemed. He pushed her down against his fingers and heard her suck in a breath against his throat. "Please what, sweetheart?"

Arms stiff, the girl pushed herself away from him just enough so that she was able to raise her head. Her eyes were closed, though her forehead was wrinkled in strain. "Daddy..."

Gato repositioned his fingers and twisted them, enjoying himself as her saw her expression changing.

Until her eyes opened.

He couldn't remember the exact color of the girl's eyes when she had come into his room. It was such a small detail...but he was sure, beyond all doubt, that he would have noticed a pair of bright red eyes earlier. Even if they were on a common whore. Both of the hands on Gato's head clutched him in a deathly tight grip, keeping him from turning away or pushing her off of him. The odd black spots in her eyes started spinning, even while a voice in the back of his head dully said that that was impossible. One's irises weren't capable of...

In a voice that was suddenly too deep to belong to a female, the girl reestablished her hold on him and deadpanned, "For the next twenty-four hours, you're going to be castrated by twelve year old girls, Daddy."


Itachi cringed when the face in front of him contorted first in panic, then pain as his Sharingan's instructions took effect. He didn't feel guilty for causing the pitiful expression on the grubby little man; he had used his special ability on countless people before without as much justification for relish. Itachi cringed because, as Gato's body spasmed before falling limp, he felt the unnerving sensation of fingers cruelly clawing inside him for a brief moment before they too, became limp.

He pulled himself off of the smaller body, ignoring the feeling of fat fingers sliding out of him. There was a mirror hanging on the wall directly across from where Itachi was standing, so that he couldn't help seeing his own disguised reflection before letting the henge go and switching back to his natural gender. Though, since the clothing wasn't included in the jutsu, the mirror tauntingly showed him a reflection of himself in his proper gender, still clad in the schoolgirl uniform that he and Kisame had taken from the original hooker.

For the life of him, Itachi couldn't remember why he agreed to this plan.

He waited a moment, watching the man lying on the recliner next to him twitch. Of course, he knew that the man wouldn't be waking up right away, having used his Sharingan multiple times before in his line of work, but he couldn't help wanting to see the man's eyes fly open so that he could throw a punch to knock him out again. He was known among their comrades and enemies for his apathetic mannerisms, but somehow feeling the man's grubby hands on him had managed to hit a disgusted note in him. He'd felt his Sharingan flair to life ahead of plan twice during his performance. Not that killing Gato would have been difficult, it might have actually even been the slightest bit pleasurable for the Uchiha, but unfortunately, he had to restrain himself. Kisame needed time to take care of the bodyguards stationed throughout the hotel floors, elevator, and as they discovered on their way here, several of the surrounding street corners.

Apparently, this Gato was a very paranoid man.

Looking up at the mirror again, Itachi fought the urge to tug at the short skirt. He took a step forward, and then fought the urge to cringe as the garment moved against him. Not that he cared, but the fabric was swaying and caressing him in a way that was ever so slightly distracting from his mission, not to mention unspeakably irritating. The suppressed, more compulsive part of his personality was telling him to rip the uniform off, set it on fire, and then run to the nearest bathroom and ruthlessly scrub himself until he lost at least two layers of skin.

But naturally, he couldn't do that. For one thing, it would be very difficult explaining to Kisame what happened to his clothes.

Though, depending on the shark ninja's reaction...

Itachi stopped that train of thought before it could progress. He was on duty.

The air felt strange, though not completely uncomfortable, against Itachi's legs as he strode across the room. He was wasting time thinking when there was still a mission to carry out. Kisame was likely finished with the nearest guards, but there was still a chance that they could be spotted by others before escaping from the hotel.

Gato was a secondary concern in Itachi and Kisame's mission. They needed information that had not been offered to them by the Akatsuki's client beforehand – instead Kisame and Itachi had been given a name and told to go get the needed data themselves. And though methods had not been discussed, Itachi had a feeling that at some point while either reading or listening to Kisame's report, the Leader was going to be snickering at the extent of their undercover work.

The first place Itachi wanted to search for information was the desk. An obvious place, but from what he knew, Gato hadn't been aware that he was being watched by Akatsuki agents.

Itachi took two steps toward the designated furniture piece, before noticing a small, expensive looking frame propped up on the corner of the desk. The photograph it held showed the old man behind him with a pair of little girls, twins. Schoolgirls. The resemblances between the eight year old girls and Gato was strong enough to suggest a family relation, though the idea of any woman copulating with the man sprawled out on the recliner was sickening in itself. After several seconds of staring (a long time by his standards), he looked away from the picture in disgust, trying to focus on his mission again.

Itachi decided to turn to the shelf above the fireplace first instead. Purely because it was closer and would take less time, and not because the photograph combined with the memory of the old man's "script" was too disturbing to think about at once. So he flipped through the books that were stacked there, looking between the pages for any loose papers that might have held the information he needed. But it seemed there was nothing concerning his mission to be found there.

Turning around, he spotted a fully stocked bookcase on the opposite side of the room, but even the subconscious unease brought on by the experience of three minutes ago with Gato couldn't override the common sense of checking the desk first. As was already stated, the chances of Gato expecting a search on his room were slim at best. And checking the bookcase would take too long. If Itachi came to going through every volume on the bookcase, he would probably have to drag Kisame in and have him assist in the search, anyway.

The skirt mockingly caressed the uppermost areas on Itachi's legs as he approached the desk. It was a reminder to the fact that he was still made up as a schoolgirl-hooker. Though, on the positive side of that, if any remaining guards saw him dragging Kisame into a hotel room, they would think it was for entirely different reasons.

Itachi opened the top drawer of the desk and began sifting through the items inside. Unfortunately, the drawer was mostly empty, as most hotel furnishings were. There was a book for some religious group or another, a notepad (blank, he checked), and a few pens with the hotel's logo on them. Then in the second, there was nothing but a folder containing blueprints and reports on the progress of a bridge being built somewhere in the Wave Country, and another paper at the back that had multiple figures written on it for prices and sums that didn't affect his mission in the least. Itachi didn't bother looking at either too closely. Instead, he put the papers back in the order that he had found them and closed the drawer.

It was important that Gato did not notice anything out of place. Otherwise there was a chance that if he discovered the presence of outside shinobi, he would make the rest of the mission difficult. Not impossible, Itachi and Kisame were professionals after all, but Gato's tendency to hire whatever psychotic creature capable of slitting a human throat could make completing their mission considerably more bothersome.

There were only so many places that one could hide papers inside the hotel room. The bookshelf was still there, glaring at him from the corner, but there were other places to look first.

He turned around and went over to a trunk sitting at the foot of Gato's bed. He had spotted it when he first came in. There were very few bags in the room, because of which Itachi guessed that there was probably another location where Gato was supposed to be staying that night. But for some reason this trunk had been left in clear view of anyone who came in. Kneeling in front of it, Itachi quickly picked the lock on the lid and pushed it open.

The trunk's contents weren't dull, routine travel effects as he had expected in a worse case a way, it was just as disappointing as a spare pair of shoes and shirts, if not the slightest bit disturbing. Inside the trunk there were obnoxiously brightly colored clothes, like a neon pink wild west styled shirt, electric blue chaps, spurs, and a yellow cowboy hat with matching studded boots.

There was a half-conscious thought in the back of Itachi's mind that mused that he had never see yellow studded cowboy boots before, but then Itachi's eyes fell on the coiled whip resting neatly on the bedside table for easy and quick access, and promptly decided that he didn't want to waste time musing or thumbing through the rest of the trunk's contents. Obviously, the document he was looking for was not kept in there.

Standing up and turning away from the trunk, Itachi looked over the room one more time. The bookcase was the only other piece of furniture, but just as he started to walk toward it, something occurred to Itachi. This man had guards outside his hotel room. That was a clear sign of paranoia. So maybe he would be crazy enough to carry papers on...?

Turning to the old man, Itachi saw that Gato was still twitching a little. It was rare for people not to fall directly into a death-like unconsciousness after entering their mental trauma, and even rarer for the occasional exception to last this long. Walking towards him, Itachi looked the short man over. His Sharingan had never failed him yet, and he didn't think that it would do so for the first time with this grubby little business man instead of a powerful ninja. Even if he hadn't attacked the little man with his usual intentions to destroy the working capabilities of his mind, the chances of him waking up weren't even considerable at this point.

When he was standing over Gato's body, he quickly located the pockets on the man's suit. With one hand he flicked the jacket open, face impassive as he pulled the folds aside and saw the bulk of the man's fat rolls being pushed up and out by the snug fit of his trousers. There was a vest worn underneath, adding two more pockets to his assumption, and then the possibility of another on the dress shirt underneath. Itachi almost glared at the garments. But he leaned over the smaller man's chest nevertheless, and laid his palms flat over either of the breast pockets. He didn't feel the tell-tale crinkle of paper, and after applying a little more pressure, assured himself that there likely wasn't anything in the pocket underneath.

Because of how often the man had insisted on having Itachi lean on his chest, he already knew that there were pockets on the inside of the jacket; he had felt solid objects that he highly doubted were parts of the doughy man's chest. The flaps of the jacket were laid out on either armrest, waiting for Itachi's inspection. The right hand pocket, the one farther away from where Itachi was standing, held nothing but an empty, leather-bound glasses case. Why the man wore sunglasses this late at night, indoors, and with incredibly dim lighting conditions, was another thing that he didn't spend much time wondering about.

He turned out the left pocket and found another leather case of sorts. But despite looking promising, when Itachi opened it he found only a vast amount of the Wave Country's currency. Had they actually been in the Wave Country, Itachi might have considered taking it, helping along his disguise as a common, dishonest whore, but since they weren't, he replaced it inside Gato's jacket.

Itachi glanced southward on Gato's body. There were no other pockets on the upper portion, and he was going to have to check all of Gato's person...

And then there was still the bookcase...

Pushing back on the chair, Itachi forced the recliner to hold Gato's body in a lying position. It would make searching him easier. The older man groaned in his sleep, making Itachi mentally debate the sense of just breaking his neck and getting the job done with faster. But no, he was Uchiha Itachi, and that meant being a little more professional than that.

He moved his hands up and down Gato's legs once, fingers branching out and feeling for any unusual stitches in places that could have held a folded piece of paper.

Gato made another noise.

Itachi sent up a glare at the unconscious form.

Straightening, the Uchiha tugged the edges of the jacket a little farther out of his way before bending over the man again. He dipped a hand into one of the front trouser pockets, noting with only the slightest tone of irritation that they really did go deep for such a short pair of pants. His arm slipped in halfway to his elbow before his finally touched the bottom of the pocket with his finger tip and pulled out. The other front pocket was just as deep, and just as empty save for an old candy wrapper and a clump of pocket lint.

That left two more. Rolling the man over, Itachi heard another, louder groan, and wondered if there was a chance that his touches were being warped by Gato's subconscious in his "dream." Itachi shoved the man absently in the side of his thigh as he pondered the possibility, noting the hiss that accompanied the movement before he had to get back to his search. He shoved aside the hem of Gato's jacket. The man whimpered loudly when Itachi laid his hand over one back pocket, pressing down as firmly as he had on the vest, feeling nothing inside it. He thought his felt the cheeks clench in discomfort. Itachi suppressed a shudder as he repeated his groping on the remaining pocket, which also made him inwardly twitch when he felt an object inside and pulled out a foil wrapped packet that he recognized after only a second of studying. He dropped it to the floor immediately after reading the words "Banana Flavored."

Itachi scowled to himself and was tempted to give the bastard's ass a hard slap just to hear the sound he made when it was translated into his nightmare by a random, murderous school girl. Now he only had one place left to search, but as his head turned to look at the dastardly bookcase, his eyes flickered over the mirror again, and his current, female attire. He decided that he was going to make good on his earlier promise to drag Kisame in to help him. As far as he was concerned, the shark nin had gotten the better job.

It was cold out in the hallway, but thankfully empty. Itachi had reinstated his earlier henge before leaving the room to be safe, but even when he technically was not walking around as a drag queen, he resented the idea of having his legs free for gawking by anything owning a cock that just happened to walk by. In his personal opinion, he got enough stares from all the wrong people walking down the street as a fully dressed male.

Locating Kisame was relatively easy, even with his chakra hidden. For one thing, most people in the hotel were asleep at the current time, or at least participating in whatever late night activates they favored in their rooms. And also, Kisame was patrolling the halls to make sure that anyone who had seen the schoolgirl go into Gato's room would not be around to see "her" come out. Itachi only needed to walk to the end of the hall and start to turn the corner when he heard an amused voice behind him.

"Do I want to know what took you?"

Turning around, Itachi glared at his partner, telling him silently that the suggestive tone was not appreciated in the least.

Kisame was grinning at him, the same cheeky grin that he had blatantly used the moment he saw Itachi slip into the plaited skirt. Anyone else who knew Itachi would have immediately sobered. But, Kisame spent too much time around him for the clearly displeased look he was receiving to take effect. Chuckling and forcing his attention up to Itachi's face, he said, "So did you find it?"

"No." Itachi shifted his weight, watching Kisame's face. Unlike Gato, Kisame's eyes didn't dart downward to drool over the exposed skin. When Kisame looked over his body, he was reveling in the novelty of seeing his frigid partner dressed as a corrupt school teacher's wet dream.

Itachi glared at the observation. Without a word he started walking down the hall, tugging on his partner's cloak when he walked by to let him know that he wanted to be followed. Kisame was probably the only male with working eyes that didn't watch the backs of his legs as he led him back into the hotel room.

Kisame was standing by the door when he turned around. Itachi started to motion toward the bookcase, but stopped when he noticed that Kisame was standing directly next to the old pair of sandals that he had been wearing when he came into the hotel room. And the lacy panties draped carelessly over them. They had belonged to the hooker, of course... But Kisame only had to look down to see...

Snapping himself back, Itachi cleared his throat and said, "The bookcase is the only place left to look."

"You brought me in here to search a bookcase?"

"Hn." Itachi sent his partner another glare, which might have come out a little less fierce than his earlier one by the fact that he was inwardly begging the shark nin not to look down. Really, next time Kisame could be the schoolgirl...

Kisame shook his head, and looked over Itachi once more. His mouth pulled into a grin despite the death glare that was already angled at him when he walked across the room to where the bookcase stood against the wall. Itachi stood next to him, waiting for Kisame to step aside so that he could start looking through the books as well. However, Itachi's mild annoyance turned to pure irritation when the first, randomly chosen book his partner picked off the shelf, after Itachi had searched the desk, the trunk, and even the grubby little man's person, dislodged a double folded piece of paper that someone had clearly shoved between the books for safe keeping. It fluttered to the ground, landing between them with a barely audible pat.

Kisame smiled superiorly.

Itachi still wanted to kill the old man out of spite.


Kisame and Itachi stopped only once before leaving for their next destination. Itachi, now dressed in his proper Akatsuki uniform and slowly adding the night's earlier events to the darkened corner of his mind to reside with other memories that would never be relived, paused to toss the schoolgirl uniform into a rusted trash bin on the outskirts of the village. When they started moving again, Kisame turned a playful grin in his direction and asked, "You sure you don't want to keep that?"

Itachi sent him a glare, though his partner couldn't see it in the darkness as they left civilization.

Afterwards, there was very little spoken between them as they made their way toward the Wave Country. Which, of course, was normal for Itachi. But Kisame was an entirely different story. Itachi snuck coveted glances at his partner during their walk, half expecting to be caught staring and half unsurprised to see the shark nin staring mutely ahead every time. Usually Kisame was more than willing to talk to the point where Itachi wondered if the shark shinobi wasn't trying to attract ambushes out of boredom. And despite the fact that right now they were in hurry to get out of Gato's village, the silence was still unusual. Distracting, even. It almost made Itachi want to ask if something had happened, but of course he wasn't going to. For one thing, Itachi knew for a fact that nothing unusual had happened to his partner during their last vacation, and for another, Itachi starting a conversation would have only made his comrade concerned for him instead. So, the lack of conversation endured.

The information they had gotten from Gato gave them specific dates and locations for their real target, and also brought with it the sudden discovery that the best opportunity to carry out their mission was in less than five hours. Luckily, the journey wasn't an unreasonably long one. Gato must have been on his way to the Wave Country when they were tracking him, because the village he had chosen to indulge himself in was very close to the country's coastline. The most difficult part of their trip was getting a boat to take them out to the islands that made up the country, and then trying to stay alert through the mostly uneventful voyage.

After docking, the tracking of their target had been only slightly less easy than Itachi had originally thought it would be. The island's residents were for the most part still asleep by the time they arrived, the sky still being dark enough to be considered night by civilians that did not own clocks. And, knowing that even in a pitifully poverty ridden village it was not good to be seen by locals, which included the pack of old fishermen starved to the point of delirium that slept along the docks, they slipped into the surrounding wooded area as quickly as possible.

Kisame and Itachi split up, just enough so that they couldn't be seen together while scouting out the forestland. They stayed within hearing distance, though, roughly. The island was small enough to permit it.

But their searching didn't last long. Sharingan activated and enhancing his eyesight, Itachi spotted a movement up in the trees within the first hour. Though it was more by turning his head at just the right time than actually sensing his target's presence, Itachi was able to track the other ninja's movements. He pretend not to have seen anything, casually walking around the outskirts of the village and knowing that the boy was watching him curiously from where he was hiding. He waited for him to come close, like an animal one encounters in the middle of nowhere, before attacking.

It was when he actually attempted an attack on his target that the mission lost its simplicity. Itachi had used his eyes to stick targets plenty of times before...but he was abruptly brought into the knowledge that Akatsuki, out of all mercenary ninja, had been asked to hunt down this boy for a reason. The kid was fast. No sooner had Itachi snapped his head around to pin the boy with the same Sharingan technique he used on Gato, the boy had already jumped out of range.

The trees ruffled a little, indicating that his target had been at least startled before moving. Itachi had to go in after him, despite thinking that the idea of chasing another nin in general was pointless. Why do it if they were just going to have to fight again after uselessly expending energy?

Three minutes into the chase, another factor came to his attention when his target darted sharply to one side, forming a large U. Another three minutes going in the new direction, the turn repeated itself. The boy was staying in the same basic area, running back and forth around the outer edges of the island town as if he had something to wait for. After that observation became known, Itachi knew that he could control his target's direction if he began subtly herding him, and possibly force him into a location where Itachi would have the advantage. But a moment after making his discovery, Itachi discovered that he might not have bothered. His target reached the end of his boundary again, and made to curve back around to lead Itachi back around. But as he darted sideways, between heavily laden tree branches, he ran directly into the path of Itachi's shark-like partner.

The boy came up short for a moment, and behind him Itachi slowed down, sensing the careful mask that had been put over his partner's extensive chakra signature. He was on the rise uphill from where Itachi and the boy were standing, the light making Kisame's form into a dark silhouette, and after only a split second pause, their target ran straight for it.

"Za..." The boy started to say what Itachi was sure was the beginning of someone's name, but it was cut off when the disillusioned boy came close enough to see that whoever he had hoped to see, Kisame was clearly not him.

But their target found out too late. The boy started to turn, saw Itachi right behind him, and hesitated to change directions a moment too long. Kisame's fist made solid contact with the place directly between the boy's neck and shoulder, knocking him unconscious instantly. Of course, since the boy was masked, Itachi couldn't see if the attack had worked until he saw their target's small body fall limply forward.

Kisame shot him another teasing smile as he bent forward and gathered their target into his arms.

Itachi grunted in annoyance. Apparently despite being put on edge because of their mission, Kisame was still executing his part of their job perfectly.

By now it was too late for them to leave the island. Dressed the way they were, there was no way that they would not attract attention if they went into town, even if they weren't carrying an unconscious teenager with them. But staying on the island brought a different threat to their mission: their target had a partner. They had been duly warned about a largely built swordsman before they left to follow Gato. Though, since he hadn't come to help his partner during the chase, it was unlikely that he was anywhere nearby.

Kisame and Itachi decided that it was best to move farther away from the village in case of surprise attacks from the before mentioned partner. They had captured their target. The only thing that could spoil their mission now was unwanted attention coming their way between now and when they slipped back into the village to bribe another half-starved fisherman into taking them back to the mainland after nightfall.

They bound the boy's hands behind him as an extra measure of protection in case the boy awakened before then. When they decided on a place that seemed remotely safe, Kisame unceremoniously deposited the unconscious body on the leaf strewn ground and knelt beside him. The boy was rolled onto his stomach, a quiet groan emerging as he went.

Itachi turned around and leaned his back leisurely against a tree to watch as his partner's hands began roving over their target's body, feeling along the boy's sides and down the backs of his legs for odd points. It was a normal procedure, checking their captive's body for any weapons that could be used in an escape attempt. Still, Itachi's eyes stayed focused on the blue hands as they trailed along the fifteen year old's arms and back, removing freakishly large needles as he found them. At one point, Kisame lifted the boy up and held him off the ground, almost cradling him to keep the bound white hands from being crushed under the body's weight as he checked the other side.

Under the abundant sleeves of his Akatsuki cloak, another white set of hands twitched, unseen by Kisame as he raked his over their target's chest for any unusual bumps or stitches, simpler to how Itachi had searched Gato earlier. Only Kisame had to repeat the procedure again due to the multiple layers of loose clothing their target was wearing, feeling and stroking every hollow and curve of the unconscious boy's body.

When Kisame glanced up at him, possibly feeling the other's eyes on him, he didn't think anything was out of the ordinary. Itachi's expression was murderous half of the time anyway, when it wasn't blank.

The needles seemed to have been the boy's only weapon. Like the partner, Kisame and Itachi had been warned about needle attacks during the briefing before accepting the mission, though neither had expected them to be the boy's only weapons. How could someone be a shinobi using a weapon with such a low fatality rate? Perhaps the boy's partner carried other weapons for the both of them, though that method seemed ridiculous. Especially if they were going to be separated from each other long enough for the masked boy to be captured by hunter nins, or in this case, Akatsuki agents.

Though, Itachi thought to himself as his eyes stayed focused on the other missing nin, Kisame was probably relieved that the boy had been alone on the island. Before leaving home base, the shark nin had bluntly stated that he did not want any confrontations with the boy's partner if it could be avoided. Personally, Itachi was sure that with the boy unable to fight and both Kisame and Itachi present, the unwanted party wouldn't have been able to cause any problems. But for some reason, Kisame made it clear that he wanted to do their job as quietly as possible. He didn't give any details why, and pressing for them simply wasn't something that Itachi did.

From what they had been told before accepting the mission, the boy had been a missing nin for years before someone finally noticed him, and even then an exact identity hadn't been uncovered. He pretended to be a hunter nin, capturing and re-capturing the same man over the last four years while pretending to be a member of the Mist's extinguishing squad. That had been how he was eventually discovered. Rumors eventually reached the Mist's council about the death of an exiled ninja, without a report being handed in, or a head brought back as proof. Someone on the council had finally figured it out: the exiled Mist nin was in league with a false member of the extinguishing squad. Which was what brought them to hiring Akatsuki to hunt down the hunter nin impersonator. Though, considering the Mist's tendency to kill their exiled shinobi at any opportunity and Kisame's membership of the organization, Itachi guessed that it was a private request made by only one member of the council rather than an official decision to hire notorious missing nin to take care of their problem.

The mission was only to bring back the impersonator. The boy's partner was still an exiled nin, and one that the Water Country was aware of and insisted it could hunt down without help, whereas the boy pretending to be a hunter nin was a mystery that they wanted solved as quickly and as quietly as possible. All the same, the Akatsuki were also told that if the boy's partner got in the way, killing him could be over looked. Though, their idea of "looked over" included doubling their pay.

Itachi didn't care either way. But then there was Kisame, insisting that they could get the job done just fine without so much as glancing at Momochi Zabuza.

Kisame finally lowered their target's body to the ground, weapon check complete. There was a surprisingly large pile of needles on the forest floor beside the shark nin, which he made sure to move out of the unmoving body's reach in case the boy woke up sooner than expected. Then Kisame stood up and carefully unstrapped the Samheda, leaning it against a tree as he asked over his shoulder, "Are you alright with taking the first watch?"

Itachi blinked, bringing himself out of staring at his partner and renewing his interest in his ears. He shrugged indifferently in response, despite the fact that he hadn't slept himself in two days. He watched Kisame make himself comfortable on the forest floor. Their target, disarmed and still masked, was lying curled up just a short arm's distance away.

There were five minutes of silence afterward, only broken by the sound of birds waking up in the trees overhead. It was normally difficult for any ninja to fall asleep outside. After all, one was far more likely to be discovered by enemy ninja while he was unconscious and out in the open than inside a cheap hotel room. But Itachi noted that his partner was sleeping peacefully after a minute or two had passed. Itachi had noticed a change in his partner's sleeping habits since accepting the retrieval mission. The reason that Kisame was able to fall asleep so easily now could likely be credited to their target's capture, and the assurance that their mission would be over in a matter of hours, once they left the Wave Country behind them and started back toward the Akatsuki base with their captive. In the meantime, Kisame was likely exhausted.

There was a twinge in the back of Itachi's mind that told him he should have been a bit more concerned about his partner's health, but it was overridden quickly. Sure, Kisame was from the same village as their targets, but it wasn't the first time that their work had required them to hunt down Mist nins. And if Kisame knew someone, he usually said so, even without Itachi asking. It helped to have personal information about a target beforehand.

Itachi pushed all thoughts about their mission to the side as his eyes focused on the space between his partner and their captive. A short, almost non-existent space. Eyes narrowing, he took a step toward the sleeping shark-like shinobi. He walked carefully, so not to break a single dried leaf as he went to crouch down next to the larger missing nin.

Their target's deep breathing assured him that the boy was still as dead to the world around him as Kisame himself. Itachi's ears became more alert as he listened once more for any sounds of approaching ninja or civilians. They were alone...It was at time like this, that his obsession managed to override him.


Sometime around when Itachi began growing his hair out and looking at different kinds of skin lotion, he discovered that a very important part of his upbringing had been skipped over.

As a child, he had been exceptionally bright. Enough so that he was quickly whisked through school and pitched head first into the ninja world before reaching the age of seven. And as it happened, he was taken out of his graduating level Academy class, after already being a six year old working among twelve year olds, exactly three weeks before the teachers separated the girls and the boys into different classrooms to explain the wonders of their genders. Though considering Itachi's age, the educators might have decided not to have put him in the boy's group anyway. But by the time that he was twelve and considered physically, as well as mentally old enough for "the talk," he was already at a status as a ninja that a full grown man might spend his entire career working to achieve. And his father, as well as all other older males in Itachi's life, conveniently failed to notice the fact that he wasn't a fully grown man. So Itachi had to find out about the wonders and horrors of teenage hormones by, for lack of a better term, stumbling blindly in the dark. Literally.

Itachi had already undergone hearing his voice change and seeing hair begin growing in new places before he left the Leaf, thus helping his family to excuse the fact that no one had bothered to warn him about the other part of "becoming a man" before they were all killed. The exact night that Itachi learned what no one else had thought to tell him, he had been on a mission in the Lightning Country with his older partner. And befitting the country's name, a thunderstorm had started up before they rented a room in the most inconspicuous hotel they could find. Kisame went to bed immediately, tired from the rush to find accommodations before the rain caught them. But Itachi, after spending two nights in a row trekking through the countryside, wanted a shower. And his luck would just so have it that after he turned off the walk and was about to get out of the shower stall, a particularly close rumble of lighting sounded, which was quickly followed by the sudden shutting down of the bathroom lights.

He had stood there, one hand still reaching in and holding onto the water nozzle, with nothing but a towel around his shoulders. He couldn't see where he had left his clothes. For a minute, he thought that maybe the lights would come back on, but he became impatient after noting from the dropping temperature that the heater must have given out along with the electricity. The cold air seeped into his damp, uncovered skin as he decided that trying to walk out onto the tile floor, after he had already been standing still and letting water drip off of his own body, was ridiculous. Even the most idiotic of ninjas wouldn't be stupid enough to wander around in the dark on a wet tile floor (though he might have changed his mind if he were to look into the future and meet his little brother's future blonde haired teammate, but that's not a part of this story at all). So after a brief moment of debate, Itachi decided that it would be better to forget about his clothes. Kisame might snicker when he noticed his partner was naked in the morning, but it wasn't anything usual.

Thus thinking, the surprisingly naive fourteen year old killer wrapped his towel snuggly around his waist and turned to leave. By feeling along the wall, he was able to locate the door within a matter of minutes, and opened it to go out into the bedroom. Unfortunately, the only thing that told him when he had passed into the other room was the change from tile to carpet under his feet. The bedroom's lighting was just as dark as in the bathroom. Pushing away from the wall, he squinted stubbornly into the darkness despite the fact that there was no light to begin with and thus nothing for his eyes to adjust to. He tried to picture the layout of the room from memory, determined to find his own bed without stumbling or crashing into anything in a way that would leave him with uncomfortable bruises to travel with the next day.

He was out in the darkness for nearly fifteen minutes, taking painfully small steps with his arms set out in front of him so that he would know about any sudden large, blunt objects in his path. When his outstretched fingers finally brushed against a soft surface, he felt along the top of it to make sure that it was indeed the blankets covering his bed and not a tablecloth, before climbing onto it. He crawled to the head of the bed, quickly pulling back the covers and sinking contentedly into the mattress, damp towel and all. After spending the past few days traveling through rather difficult landscapes, drowsiness overtook him quickly, coaxing his eyelids to close...Then he felt it.

His eyes snapped back open immediately, hand clenching under the pillow, and inwardly cursing when he remembered that there wasn't a kunai there for him to take out. The one that he usually kept with him was in the bathroom, sitting on the counter beside his clothes. The infamous it had been a very obvious shift on the bed, and it had definitely not been made by him.

Despite what others may or may not have thought, Uchiha Itachi was very capable of panic when he was a fourteen year old boy, naked and unarmed, in the same bed as a possible hunter nin or ANBU member that had finally managed to track either him or his partner down for their native villages. Itachi's eyes opened a little wider as a thought came to him: what if Kisame had already been killed? The Mist had a tendency to kill their targets on the spot, and though less brutal, Itachi knew the Leaf certainly wouldn't have hesitated to slaughter a missing nin from a different village in his sleep.

Itachi felt another shift, a little closer to where he was laying. If he kicked back his leg, he might have been able to hit the stranger in the calf, or maybe higher and startle them. Itachi's Sharingan was useless if his attacker couldn't even see it, but maybe if he turned around now he could catch his attacker by surprise, or...

Itachi's whole body jerked at once when he felt another shift in the mattress. He heard a murmur from somewhere behind him, followed by yet another shift, bringing the stranger close enough for the warmth of his body to radiate into Itachi's skin. The Uchiha's body tensed for the attack he knew would be coming, fist clenching under his pillow again, prepared to lash out at the first chance. He was just weighing the chances of strangling the possible hunter nin if he turned around now, when he felt a warm weight snake around his midsection from behind.

Itachi froze in mid thought. His hands shot to the arm on impulse, intending the to rip it away from him, possibly even break his attacker's wrist if possible. But then he felt the warm, familiar roughness to the skin's texture.

He knew who that unusual kind of skin belonged to.

"Kisame?" Itachi was pleased to hear that his voice came out in its normal, if not slightly annoyed, tone. If it gave away even the tiniest hint of how nervous he had been a second ago, the shark nin would have felt the fist under Itachi's pillow make contact with his body in a physical expression of the aforementioned annoyance. He knew from the route that they were forced to take around the normal road that they were going to be traveling on foot for a long time with nothing to keep the former Mist nin entertained but teasing. And Itachi preferred not to provide material for it.

There was no sound in response his partner's name, save for what came from rain hitting against the windowpane outside, and the steady breathing of the other shinobi. Kisame was asleep. Itachi's hand relaxed a bit on his partner's. He must have just walked into the wrong bed when he came out of the bathroom. Not that it would have been hard to do. It was dark, after all.

He lay there in his partner's arms for a moment, thinking. He should have gotten up immediately to follow the wall to find the other bed, but just as Itachi was telling his muscles to move, he stopped. It had been three months since the first night off, when he had followed Kisame around the civilian city. He still had a clear memory of sniffing through the second nameless, black haired man's apartment until he heard the sound of footsteps from inside the bedroom, and had to run as if his life depended on it to find Kisame's apartment and dive into the bed to be there before his partner came home. Though, Itachi ended up falling asleep while watching the red numbers on the shark nin's alarm clock before that happened. Kisame must have gone to see another one of his friends on the way back to his apartment. So now, lying in bed with his partner more or less holding him, the fourteen year old couldn't help but wonder...What exactly did Kisame do at the people's houses? Was this it? Itachi began to frown as his mind followed the train of thought. Sure, he and Kisame lost sleep on some of their missions, but he found it hard to believe that it would make Kisame want to sleep with so many people during the night. Especially if he was going to try to sleep with two or three before finally going back to his own apartment and sleeping by himself almost throughout the entire next day. Then start the routine over again the next ni...

Itachi stopped in mid thought again for the same reason as before. He felt another shift on the bed. He laid perfectly still, waiting for it to pass, while Kisame's arm wrapped itself more firmly around him, pulling their bodies more closely together. With a sudden shiver, Itachi noticed Kisame's head come up directly behind his. He could feel the ex-Mist nin's exhales ghosting over the back of his neck as his nose burrowed unabashedly into his hair. A moment later, Itachi gave up trying to think of a reason why his arms were suddenly breaking out with goose bumps at the feeling. It was just Kisame, breathing on a part of his body that was normally covered and therefore unused to contact with anything other than the occasional scratch from his own hand. Rooting that explanation in his head, Itachi went about trying to disentangle himself. One hand going down to keep his towel in place and the other bracing itself against the mattress to lift him up, he started to move away from his partner's sleeping form. Until a second arm darted forward through the gap that formed between his neck and the mattress, and wrapped itself firmly around his shoulders. Itachi had barely moved more than an inch. And now he was trapped with his partner's chest rising and falling against his back.

The possibility of Kisame actually being awake crossed Itachi's mind as he lay, unresisting, in his partner's arms. But just as he was trying to pull himself away to check, the arm on his waist tightened, pulling him back down. Kisame murmured something sleepily into his neck, lips almost brushing against Itachi's skin, and forcing another involuntary shiver to break out.

"Kisame?" Itachi said more loudly than before. He was rapidly coming to the decision that he wanted to get up, now. He could still hear the rain pounding down at full force, but he was getting uncomfortably warm. Kisame must have left too many blankets on the bed, and then he had Kisame's body heat seeping into his skin from behind. A very thin sheen of sweat was already forming on the Uchiha heir's delicate, pale forehead as he tried to force himself to relax under the heat and wait until his partner's grip loosened. But, damnit, Kisame didn't seem effected by it at all!

Itachi sent one of his hands behind him to Kisame's chest, intending to push away, forgetting the decision to stay put, but that only brought a sudden realization to Itachi's attention that he should have noticed sooner. Kisame was topless. Bare chested, Kisame was pressing himself into Itachi's equally unclothed back. Painfully aware of how his body was reacting to the situation, Itachi let his hand slide a little lower...just in case he didn't notice anything else missing...

Thankfully, Itachi's fingertips encountered a soft, loose material just above the other missing nin's hipbone. It was thin, but nevertheless, it was another layer separating him from Kisame other than the flimsy towel. Itachi almost breathed a sigh of relief.

Forcing his head to lie flat against the pillow, Itachi tried to tell himself again to relax. But, since his body wasn't used to the feeling of something warm and breathing pressed so closely behind him, it refused to obey his command. For the first time in his life, he was experiencing an urge to fidget, all the while thinking that maybe he had caught a fever of some kind while they were traveling, and that maybe that was why the sheets were sticking to his body. Kisame wasn't sweating at all, and his breathing was still coming out normally.

Kisame, even in sleep it seemed, was still good at picking up on Itachi's discomfort. And, even more horrifying to the younger missing nin, he was still extremely talented at increasing it. Kisame began stroking the hand on Itachi's stomach up and down in a sleepy, absent-minded rhythm. Up and down, up and down.

Itachi tried to back away from the unwelcome touch, but only succeeded in pressing himself more firmly against Kisame's chest. The hand followed him, trapping him there and causing warmth to coil in his stomach with its slow continued movements. Itachi heard himself smothering a whimper as the curious warmth grew under his partner's touch, crowding up his stomach and then having to move lower, into...

The fourteen year old Uchiha's eyes grew round.

Kisame's lips moved against the back of his neck again, murmuring something unintelligible and tightening his arms briefly, before settling back into a dead weight on the smaller frame.

Itachi was still staring wide eyed into the darkness. He felt...something... Itachi swallowed. No, he had to have been imagining things. There was no way...Well, he had definitely never heard of... Shaking slightly, Itachi's right and only free hand because of how Kisame was holding him, slid down to the front of the towel.

His eye size continued to grow when he felt solid proof that he wasn't hallucinating. With Kisame's head still buried in his hair, Itachi carefully moved the front of the towel aside, just to make sure...the instant sensation made him hiss loudly. If Kisame had been awake, he would have doubtlessly heard the sound. However he wasn't and Itachi's fingers felt wonderingly along the curiously sensitive flesh, teeth digging into his lower lip to muffle any sound. Maybe...maybe he had caught something when they were traveling.

His experimentation was cut short by Kisame's hand moving again. He must have felt the way Itachi's body jerked suddenly when his hand wrapped tightly around the swollen member on his body. The ensuing sensation wasn't what he was expecting. He let out a loud gasp, and then felt Kisame's hand move again, more slowly than before, but that didn't matter. Itachi thought he tasted blood on his tongue as he renewed the strength in his teeth, biting on his lip, even while his body responded to the platonic touch. His eyes became half lidded as his self control dwindled down and his hand began moving faster on his cock. Another whimper came out of his mouth as he began to feel a desperate ache begging to be sated.

His breathing picked up as his hips began jerking along with his hand. Vaguely, he was aware that he was hitting Kisame's stomach every time he rocked back, but his attention span was shrinking too quickly for him to care. It was getting uncomfortable, and the faster he tried to satisfy himself, the more the ache grew.

His towel had long since been pushed off his hips completely, either because of his movements or Kisame's hand accidentally pushing it aside. He didn't remember. At one point, Kisame's hand stopped its movements, and Itachi was just able to catch himself before ramming his elbow into the other missing nin's side to make him start again. If Kisame woke up, he might have made Itachi stop whatever it was he was doing.

Itachi's eyes squeezed shut as he made his grip harsher, moving forward repeatedly. He could faintly hear the sound of the springs under him creaking from his movements, and his own rapid breathing. The sweat on his body was making the sheet cling to him again. Wherever his towel had gone to, he didn't care. Whatever he was thinking about that made him so damn uncomfortable before was gone as his mind grew slower and his body's rhythm faster until...


Itachi's mind went blank, and for a moment he thought that the electricity had come back as behind his eyelids he saw a sudden, startling white. It was a moment before he realized that his hand had stopped moving, and that there was something other than sweat sticking to the sheets and his palm. He couldn't see his hand when it was directly in front of his face, but he tried sniffing the strange substance, and frowned at the foreign scent. He had smelled it before, or something similar to it. Once, when he was a very small child and crawled into his parents' bedroom in the middle of the night. Though, why would...?

Kisame's arms were still present around his person, as Itachi discovered when he tried to sit up. He was forced to admit that even when asleep, the shark nin still had the superior grip.

Frowning again, Itachi turned around in his partner's hold. Halfway through the act, he was reminded of the fact that he was now lying in his partner's arms, completely and totally naked. And that his partner was holding him very, very close. Itachi's breathing hitched as he turned around and felt warm, rough skin against his still sensitized body. The only movement against it was the simple rise and fall of the shark nin's breathing, but it was enough to make the organ twitch.

Itachi swallowed.

Placing his one free hand one Kisame's shoulder and shaking it lightly, Itachi hissed, "K...Kisame?"

There was no response, other than a slight shifting of weight, as Kisame's stomach moved, completely oblivious of his hormone-ridden partner, or the semi-hard cock that was being ever so slightly rubbed by the movements. The hand on the blue-skinned ninja tensed at the minor friction.

Kisame settled back into a death-like sleep.

"Kisame," Itachi made his voice a bit louder. Kisame's head was only a few inches away from his own, and only that way because Itachi had pulled himself as far back as the older shinobi's grip would allow. He tried shaking Kisame's shoulder again, thinking in the back of his mind that for a ninja, Kisame was a severely deep sleeper. But when he thought that he was going to be doomed to hopelessly rubbing against his blue-skinned partner until he finally woke up in the morning, the shark nin's body stiffened. Maybe the older ninja's subconscious finally registered the growing erection poking into his stomach area, because a moment later, Itachi felt his partner's grip abruptly loosen, and then heard Kisame mumble what sounded like, "...not now...headache..."

Itachi's eyes darted upward, in the general direction of his partner's face, but couldn't see anything because of the lack of light. A moment later the arm that had been lying across his waist moved as Kisame rolled over. Itachi stiffened one more time when a hand unknowingly caressed his naked hip as it moved away. Kisame moved onto his side without waking up. Or if he did, he pretended not to.

Itachi was left staring at the black shape in front of him that might have been his partner's back, sticky hand held off the bed because he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do with it, and the beginning of an unsatisfied hard on.

As if mocking him, there was a flash of thunder outside five minutes later, and the lights flickered back on inside the tiny hotel room.


Itachi decided that Kisame must have been exhausted the night before he woke up after Itachi's experience. The shark nin seemed more amused by the fact that his fourteen year old partner was curled up on the edge of his bed than the fact that the Uchiha was naked, and seemingly very agitated about something or other. Itachi had glared at every word that came out of the older shinobi's mouth and became inexplicably aware of the principles of personal space over the next few months following. Nevertheless, whenever they encountered a thunderstorm during their travels, Kisame grinned when he thought Itachi wasn't watching. Apparently, the idea of his younger partner being too terrified of lightning to stay in his own bed offered a boundless source of amusement for the former Mist shinobi.

Itachi didn't say anything against it when they woke up in the same bed, too grateful for the fact that the other missing nin was too busy snickering to notice any incriminating stains left on the sheets.

In the present, Itachi was much more aware of his partner's tendency to cuddle anything that radiated warmth. Which was precisely why, as he reached out to move the shark-like ninja, his eyes fell on the unmoving form of their young target in a steel edged almost glare. He brushed his partner's cloak aside gently, knowing that he could get a better hold on the shirt underneath while he rolled the larger man onto his back. The chances of Kisame reaching out and grabbing onto their target's unsuspecting body were fewer with the shark nin lying on his side facing the opposite direction, though since the Kisame was not sprawled out on a bed, it had been unlikely to begin with. A voice in the back of Itachi's head hissed that he was being uncharacteristically paranoid. It went unanswered.

Itachi had discovered soon after he discovered his favorite and only hobby that Kisame never stayed the night with his acquaintances. Ever. It was possible that no one else knew about the shark nin's habit, and he intended to insure that that fact remained so. Looking over the slightly enhanced space between his partner and their target, he considered moving the younger boy as well. Just in case he turned out to be a cuddler too.

His hand lay possessively on Kisame's chest while he glowered at the boy. Dead silence was all the he received in return, their captive still lying on his back with his masked face staring blankly at him. After a minute of childishly engaging in a staring match with the red and white design (it was a good thing no one was around to see), it occurred to Itachi that he should probably remove the mask. With it on, he wouldn't be able to see if the boy suddenly woke up. Though even as that thought went through his mind, another one unfolded with it...

Hadn't the boy been facing the other way before?

Abruptly, Itachi snatched his hand from Kisame's chest, eyes staying on their captive's face. He wondered for a moment whether it would be a good idea to wake Kisame up, but quickly excused it. He wasn't that paranoid yet, was he?

Reaching across his sleeping partner, Itachi decided that the easiest way to get around his discomfort would be to prove to himself that he was just thinking too much. That had never happened before, but it was possible. He had probably just gone too long without sleep.

He braced one arm next to Kisame's shoulder and leaned over, intent on getting the mask off the boy quickly. Masks worn by ANBU and other high rank shinobi were only held on by thin, clear threads that were barely visible to anyone who was not standing directly in front of the wearer. Why they were used was a mystery, especially since when tracking down and attacking an enemy, one hardly stopped to admire the straps holding their attacker's mask in place. They were also extremely frail when one deliberately tried to snap them. But as Itachi leaned across his partner to reach their captive, Kisame did exactly the same thing he had that night during the blackout in the Lightning Country: he rolled over. Right into Itachi's arm.

The Uchiha's upper body fell suddenly downward, crashing into Kisame's torso. His arm straightened against the ground as an added effect, shoving his hand roughly into the masked boy's face. Itachi heard a pained yelp, and knew that if the boy hadn't been awake a few minutes ago, he definitely was now. At the same time, a groan came up from Kisame at the sudden weight falling onto his chest.

Kisame was awake instantly with his younger partner sprawled across him; one hand flew impulsively to the back of Itachi's cloak, ready to pull him off in the split second of surprise before recognition set in. It was by far the most ungraceful move that Itachi had ever made. He pulled himself back into a sitting position, turning a look on the other missing nin that bluntly announced that if the next words out of his mouth sounded even faintly taunting, someone was going to die quickly, possibly with their last living memories being filled with murderous, blood-thirsty schoolgirls.

"Itachi...?" Kisame, still lying on the ground, raised an eyebrow when their eyes locked. Itachi knew from the extra heat he felt in his cheeks that his face was flushed. But of course, that was only because that's what happened when one's stomach slams into something solid very quickly.


"Where is Zabuza-san?"

The boy, by a random act of sympathy, or just plain coincidence, chose that moment to draw attention to himself. He was still lying on the ground, on his stomach, with his hands bound tightly behind his back while his chest and shoulders strained to lift themselves high enough off the ground to give him a decent view of his captors. Kisame likely didn't have a chance to remember that they had a captive, too busy trying to keep himself from grinning at the rare reddish tint to his partner's face. However, they both knew who did the talking in their partnership.

"Didn't he ever tell you not to name your partner in front of the enemy?"

Itachi released a breath that he hadn't been aware of holding when Kisame shifted into a sitting position beside to him and obligingly focused on the boy instead of on the matter of how he had been woken up.

Standing, Itachi dusted the bits of dried leaves off his clothing. Stalking away from his partner, Itachi went to stand with his back leaning against the same tree as before. He could hear the boy shifting on the ground behind him. Unusually polite for someone who had just woken up to find himself at the mercy of two clearly unfriendly strangers (the Akatsuki cloak wasn't exactly hard to recognize), he said, "Gomen. How about 'Am I still on the island?'"

Turning his head slightly to watch the exchange, Itachi saw the boy rolling himself to the side, trying to prop himself up on his elbow but failing. Instead he achieved a position that still granted him a better view of his surroundings, but made his body appear awkwardly twisted.

Shifting his weight, Itachi inwardly regretted not getting the boy's mask off. With Mist nin, there was usually an advantage to seeing how they reacted to Kisame's rather unusual facial features. The same could be said about a Leaf nin's reaction to Itachi. It told them how long they had been out of contact with their home villages, and whether that had affected their grasp of missing nin from their home country. Though, considering that they already knew that this particular missing nin had been gone from the Mist Village for a long time, now it was just interest.

After a moment of silence (neither Itachi or Kisame bothering to answer the last question, having learned early on that revealing how far a captive had been taken from his original location tended to encourage escape attempts), the boy's body visibly stiffened, whether from the strain of holding his balance, or because of the lack of an answer. Itachi couldn't tell if his eyes darted between Kisame and himself under the painted mask. The boy was just as polite as before when he broke the silence, "Please, I need to meet Zabuza-san."

Kisame snort. Itachi raised an eyebrow. "I think he can take care of himself."

Their masked captive didn't move, his body staying perfectly rigid. "He's expecting me."

Itachi let his body slid down the tree's trunk and sat down. Now that Kisame was awake, it was his turn to sleep. But unlike Kisame, Itachi preferred to sleep sitting up. He sacrificed some comfort, but the effect tended to make their captives wonder whether he were mediating rather than sleeping.

Across the clearing from him, Itachi could clearly hear Kisame. "Well, looks like he's going to be disappointed then."

"You don't understand," the boy went on, words strung more quickly than before, but the voice just as soft.

Kisame said back, "He'll be fine."

"No he won't," notably then. The boy made a low sound, barely audible, but Kisame was used to providing silences to pick up little indications of one's mood similar to that. "I've got to go meet him when he's expecting me. I'm..." there was a pause, during which Itachi assumed their target was trying to find a word. He settled on, "I'm his tool."

A few seconds passed without a word being spoken, and then Itachi opened his eyes when he heard the sound of dead leaves cracking. Kisame was leaning forward. Itachi frowned, uncertain what his partner was doing when he reached out with one hand a hooked a finger under their captive's chin, tilting it upward. Because of the differences in their positions, Itachi was only able to see his partner's back. Itachi thought about asking his partner what he thought he was doing, when Kisame reached out with his other hand and pushed the mask unceremoniously away from their captive's face.

The boy clenched his hands together, as uncertain about what the shark ninja was doing as Itachi. They didn't relax when his mask was displaced. The angle of Kisame's body hid the majority of their target's head from Itachi's line of sight. He was able to see a sliver of a white forehead over the former Mist nin's shoulder. Itachi did notice, however, when Kisame leaned in closer to their target.

"Son of a bitch…"

Hearing his partner hiss, Itachi pulled himself a little away from the tree, unconsciously moving closer to the other two missing nin. He debated getting up himself to see what was so disturbing about their target's face, but decided against it. Kisame had only been looking at their captive's face for a few seconds before he abruptly pulled back, jerking the painted mask back down as he did so. It was left half crooked on the smaller ninja's face, while Kisame stood up and went to where his sword was leaning against the tree from earlier. "Can you watch him for a few hours?" he asked, while he adjusted the Samheda's strap, pulling it over his head and shoulder.

Itachi frowned at his partner's back, but managed to have it hidden by the time his partner turned around.

"Where are you going?" The boy, mask still askew on his head, jerked himself up to stare at the shark like shinobi. Itachi hadn't had a chance to ask the question himself.

Kisame was already walking out of the clearing when the question reached him. But Itachi thought he heard a muttered response: "I'm going to kill Zabuza."


Itachi watched the boy's back as he in turn stared at the place where Kisame had disappeared into the surrounding trees. He didn't try to talk to Itachi about letting him go, perhaps he already understood by an unexplainable gift that the kinder of the group had just left. Instead, the boy started moving. Shrugging his shoulders down as far as they would go, he began rolling himself over, ignoring the inconvenience that his hands must have caused. Itachi was at least satisfied that the boy wasn't about to start trying to snap the ropes around his wrist like a simpleton; that would have been a waste of effort from the beginning. Twisting his body around, the boy rotated his position by throwing his weight forward and rolling, until he was sitting on his calves with upper body rounded back in an effort to make his tied hands reach lower. Itachi considered getting up and stopping the boy's ministrations, but decided against it. There were too many times in the past when one or both of them could have been killed by a talented target with a freakishly sharpened hairpin, despite Kisame being very thorough when searching for weapons on enemy ninja. And anyway, if the boy was planning to run, he reasoned with himself, the boy's hands were tied behind his back. Even if the boy were exceptionally fast, the disablement would at least make him more cautious when charging into the forest. He would be easy to track down.

And also, Itachi didn't mind watching something move rather than thinking about his partner's whereabouts. At least since partnering with him, Kisame had never run off during a mission before. The sudden change from the usual was not appreciated.

The boy's straining hands started to hook around his rear, the rope digging into his skin to the point where bruises would likely show up tomorrow on the boy's pale wrists. The boy didn't seem to remember that Itachi even was present. The only sound he made during his exertions was a low grunt of discomfort when he finally forced his hands around his backside by throwing himself backward, using the movement to help them along. The effect shot his hands to the backs of his thighs. The boy only had to roll himself backwards, draw his knees up to his chest, and work his hands around them. When he finally sat back up, the boy had his bound hands in front of him, fingers flexing to get blood back into them that might have been blocked off by the straining of the ropes.

The entire struggle had taken about five minutes. Not bad.

Still, it was only a minor achievement.

Unconsciously, Itachi straightened when the boy brought his hands up to his face, anticipating what he was planning to do. Itachi leaned to one side to get a better view, leaves crinkling under him but not seeming to draw the younger male's attention away from his task.

The boy's hands were slower than Kisame's, taking time to carefully grasp the side of the mask with one hand and taking time to stretch the translucent string around his head when he pulled it away. Then the Uchiha's mildly interested glance became an open stare.

The boy, still ignoring his audience, brought his wrists to his mouth and took one coil of the rope between his teeth. Like trying to snap the bonds, trying to chew them was also a wasted effort. Akatsuki was not stupid. The ropes were only ropes in appearance; underneath the disguising layer, there was a finger-thick, chakra-absorbing chain. Itachi could see the moment the boy's grinding teeth came into contact with the metal. His brown eyes widened and his mouth suddenly became still, Itachi's eyes all the while continuing to devour his face.

In the information given to them before taking the mission, there had been nothing about the boy's appearance. Kisame and Itachi had been told about the boy's weapons, his clothes, even a bit about how he hand at some point mastered the art of one-handed seals...but according to their client, no one had ever seen the hunter nin imposter without his mask. It was one of the reasons that it had been so difficult to detect him. In truth, even when Akatsuki had been given the assignment, Kisame and Itachi had had to rely on the assumed partnership with their target and track down Zabuza.

The boy tore his hands away from his mouth and stared at the chain in disbelief. When his head snapped back up after a moment, his large, beautiful eyes focused on Itachi. He started to beg again, pleading to be let go. Perhaps he knew that by removing the cushioning layer of rope material, even in only a small patch, the chains were able to absorb his chakra all the faster.

He was very polite for a missing nin, Itachi thought absently to himself, even as his eyes narrowed. He was already getting up from his place under the tree. It was one of the few times that he could remember having his common sense thoughtlessly glossed over. At least...while he was on duty. His comrades would think that someone had used a henge to impersonate him. But something was occurring to him that should have registered earlier: Why had Kisame been surprised by their target's face?

Instant dislike flooded Itachi's current thought, fueled by hazily veiled jealousy and frustration at not being able to demand answers from his currently absent partner, even as he knelt down in front of the boy.

The boy really didn't have to worry as much as he did. All chains have to have a clasp. Feeling along the rope, Itachi quickly located the slight lump under the deceiving rope layer and cut away the covering around it with a kunai from his weapons holster. It really was a wonder that the boy could be panicked enough not to notice that there was no knot on the ropes in the first place.

The boy tore his hands away the moment Itachi finished unhooking the clasp, jumping up to find where his weapons had been thrown during Kisame's search. When he found them, he turned around to leave, but caught Itachi's stare before he could disappear. For a second, Itachi thought that the look on his target's face became thoughtful as he looked him over carefully. He hesitated for a second, then timidly came back to where the Uchiha was and bent down to scoop up his mask. His dark eyes strayed to Itachi's face, and for a second it appeared that he was about to say something. But then a sound from behind - not a shinobi, Itachi knew right away, maybe a deer - startled the boy into moving. He disappeared into the forest quickly, faster than when they had been chasing him earlier.

Itachi didn't get up from where he was still kneeling in the dried leaves. He was aware of the direction that the boy had run off in, and he knew the exact location that he was running to. If he hurried, he might have been able to match the boy's intense speed and recapture him before Kisame returned.

But there was a solid fact in his mind keeping him from doing so: the simple, overwhelming feeling that he didn't want to. His brain was still digesting the fact that the mission briefing had failed to tell him one incredibly important fact. That with his large, chocolate eyes and the long, gleaming hair that he kept pinned up neatly, pale skin and petite stature, Haku was exactly Kisame's type.



In other stories, Gato has been used as a villain, a ghost, and even a pimp. But to my knowledge, no one has ever used him in a sex scene, and to tell you the truth, I'm not really to eager about being the first. I hope I didn't send anyone running away screaming for hot water to splash in their eyes.

Also...did anyone figure out who Itachi and Kisame's target was before I mentioned his name? I thought I would add it in anyway, just incase their are a few stupid people out there that needed it (no offence if you're one of 'em). But just so you all know, Haku's name certainly wouldn't have been in the information that Akatsuki received if they didn't even know what he looked like.

Anyway, that's the first chapter of the long awaited sequal. I'm sorry that I took so long writing it. But I put Itachi in a schoolgirl uniform. Does that compensate anything? ((puppy eyes)) Let me know what you think please. After all the time I spent hitting myself upside the head while writing this, I would like to know if it turned out okay. :)

And also...

Reveiw Responces for Early Bird Gets What?

Smoking Panda Thank you SO MUCH for agreeing to be my test reader. You'll never know how long I hit my head against the wall over whether I should post this story or not. And I'm thrilled that you liked my depiction of Itachi as a naive-but-still-a-little-less-than-pure-mindedteenager.

blisblop WOOT! I'm not the only one that thinks Itachi might actually have a personality under his cold, hands-off-if-you-want-to-keep-them attitude. I was worried that people were going to say that I was writing him out of character because I tried to add onto him a little.

sheero ((hands you a bottle of eyedrops)) I finally continued it. I hope that it stayed in key with EBGW, I wrote them kind of far apart. . But your reveiw on the first story really made me smile. I figured that I wouldn't hurt Itachi to be the emotional one for once, right?

Sisco ((dances)) Congratulations for joining the ranks of KisaIta fans! EMBRACE THE KISAITA!...Anyway, I hope that you like this sequal. Let me know if it takes at all away from the first, eh?

Satia (Satiaus?) Original? Me? ((bounces with joy))

Azamiko Well, I ended up deciding not to keep the story as a one shot, but I'd still really like your opinion on whether this chapter is suitable as a sequal.

Lady of Gryffindor Thank you for the compliment. XD

Blind Kunoichi ((hugs))

Kik-Zanuff Damn right KisaIta rocks! No one can justly deny it! Do you have a devionart page? I think I might have stumbled across it if you do.