Author's Note: Done on request from kill kirin.

If there was one thing more unpleasant than watching Rei-sama convince Itachi to meet with the Konoha representative, it was watching Itachi actually try and negotiate. Quite frankly, it felt like the mental equivalent of having your eyes carved out with a rusty kunai.

Itachi was probably the most skilled shinobi alive, but to say the least, he was something of an idiot savant. The world of assassination and war was something the Uchiha was born for, but politics… fish out of water. Worse, fish out of water in a frying pan, covered in olive oil.

It wasn't as bad as it could have been, Kisame supposed. The shinobi Konoha had chosen to represent them in this stage of the negotiations was no more suited for diplomacy than Itachi, which was saying something. Well, that didn't make it better, per se, but at least the whole fiasco that resulted wasn't entirely the Uchiha's fault.

As it turned out, the two shinobi representatives were similar in disposition, but their personalities still managed to clash. Badly. Though they had been told that negotiations with Konoha would be fierce, Kisame doubted that actual physical combat was supposed to be involved. It was with this doubt firmly in mind that Kisame locked his partner's arms behind his back and shoved him into a wall. If Itachi had been facing him, Kisame wouldn't have stood a chance, but Kisame had the edge in physical strength and was therefore able to hold the Uchiha still while Itachi struggled against his grip.

"Let go, Kisame."

The fact that Itachi had bothered to put any emphasis in his voice at all told Kisame just how far the situation had degenerated. The likelihood of the Sharingan currently being activated abruptly rose from ninety to one hundred percent.

"Itachi-san, no matter what the Leaf-nin said, I don't think it's a good idea to try and fry his brain."

After giving one last jerk on Kisame's hold in protest, Itachi relaxed, and Kisame released him. Across the way, the retainer of Konoha's ambassador wasn't having as much luck.

Standing in the way of the Hyuuga prodigy's glare, body coiled into a defensive position, Hyuuga Hinata was having some difficulty averting a war. "Neji-niisan, you have to relax!"

Hyuuga Neji's Byakuugan didn't recede. "He attacked me first, Hinata-sama. I cannot allow my opponent to leave unscathed after such a dishonor."

"Neji-niisan, you called him a whore."

"That's beside the point."

Hinata's face twisted into an uncharacteristic scowl. Stress did strange things to a person. "You're missing the point! We're trying to end a war, not start another one!"

Neji's glare remained, though he deactivated his Byakuugan. After sending one last sneer at Itachi, he turned on his heel and walked out the door of the conference room. Kisame turned to look at his partner. Though Itachi had similarly turned off his bloodline limit, his eyes remained frigid.


"I'm going for a walk."

Kisame watched as the Uchiha followed the Hyuuga out of the room, though he took the path opposite the Leaf-nin's, towards the forest as opposed to heading to town. All that left were the seconds of the supposed diplomats and an awkward silence.

It was Kisame who broke it. "I don't think that went well."

Hinata nodded, gaze focused on the floor in embarrassment. "Neji-niisan has never been very tactful."

Kisame shrugged. "Yeah, well, if it makes you feel better, Itachi-san's worse."

Some more silence followed. Hinata stopped scrutinizing the grain of the wood floor long enough to look Kisame in the eye. "Do you think this was supposed to happen?"

"Are you asking if our respective leaders wanted these supposed peace negotiations to fall apart?"

Hinata nodded. Kisame tilted his head to one side in thought, than gave the heir to the Hyuuga head clan a sharp grin. "Probably, though if that was really their intention, they shouldn't have sent us along to keep the hotheads in line."

Hinata returned the former Mist-nin's smile, her own slightly more subdued, but still genuine. "Well… Neji-niisan isn't likely to return to the hotel before dark, so I doubt we'll get any more work done today."

Kisame's grin turned slightly rueful. "We'll be lucky if Itachi-san gets back before dawn."

Hinata sent one last glance towards the door where her cousin had exited, than returned her gaze to Kisame. "Do you want to go get some tea while we wait? I've been to this village before. The local tea shop is quite good."

Kisame raised one eyebrow at the Hyuuga's suggestion, but soon shrugged in agreement as the unpleasant thought of spending half the day waiting at the hotel for his partner began to sink it. "Sure. It will be a good way to pass the time, at any rate."

If Neji had bothered to enter the tea shop later that afternoon instead of walking past it without a second look, he wouldn't have known what to make of what he saw there. Not that anyone would blame him. Watching the famed wielder of the Samehada and the heir to the Hyuuga head clan argue about the most effective trade routes between Konoha and the holdings of the Akatsuki organization over a pot of steaming chai tea would have bemused the most seasoned of diplomats, much less a Konoha jounin who didn't know exports from extortion.

Unsurprisingly, when the Uchiha and Hyuuga geniuses walked into the conference room the next day, tempers cooled but still mutually bitter, the first thing Hinata did was present each of them with a pen to sign the completed (and proofread) terms of peace between the village of Konoha and the Akatsuki. Neither prodigy put up much of a protest, as both of them were just happy to have escaped the drudgery of paperwork and shudder more negotiations.

Hinata, for her part, was glad that at least the signing had gone smoothly. With the peace negotiations out of the way, the Konoha and Akatsuki delegates had three days before they were expected back to report to their respective leaders, which left some time for a short vacation that just then she felt she desperately needed. Besides, she had promised to meet Kisame for tea in half an hour, and the last thing she wanted was to be late.