Eh... Not exactly my best work because I had a few ideas for it, and it'd veer to the left a little so I'd yank it back - that happened a few times... So, mea culpa. Still, it's not horrible, and if you break it up into scenes mentally than... yeah.

There may be some OOCness, but I tried to back up the charries behavior where I could. I think some or most of it is understandable.

Rated for some language, shounenai, mentions of child-molestation, beatingsand rape, and some sort-of violence.

Sorry this fic isn't exceptional. Damn you all, my muse was wavering.


Kiba was moping. Yay – just what Kankurou had been looking for. Gaara was out and Temari had been bitching at him so he went to hang out with Kiba, and what did he find? Moping.

"What's wrong now, Inuzuka?" He asked, sitting down with a plop on the bench next to Kiba and getting ready to pretend he was listening for a while. Sure, Kiba was generally a high-spirited guy, but when he got down in the dumps, he tended to stay that way a while. It annoyed the crap out of Kankurou.

"Nothing much…" Kiba said. Typical.

Kankurou snorted. "Like hell, dog-boy. Talk to me." At least once he got talking for a while, when he finished he'd be in a good mood again. Then they could do something fun, like spar or go catch a movie or something…

Kiba's eyes turned skyward. The clouds were nice, he reflected, stealing Shikamaru's line with a detached sense of amusement. It would have been funnier if he had his normal demeanor – as it was, he was imitating Shikamaru a little too closely for anyone's comfort.

"Have you ever dated anyone?" Kiba asked. He was only 15, but he felt like he should have started dating. Really, he didn't even have any interest, which was part of the problem. He'd had a short crush on Hinata, but she was just too quiet and sweet and pure for him, really. That is, she was cute, but they never would have lasted a week anyhow. Other than that, nothing really.

Kankurou was taken aback. "Are you kidding? Gaara kinda scared off my prospects in Suna, and the chicks in Konoha are annoying. Not too mention weak and foolish…" Kankurou cupped his hands behind his head in a sort of open contemplation.

Kiba nodded. "Yeah, I suppose going home to meet the family would have kind of made things difficult for you…"

Kankurou nodded, grumbling, "Especially with my father around…"

Kiba looked up in surprise. "What do you mean, your father? I thought Gaara was the problem – and besides, your father was the Kazekage, wasn't he? Wouldn't everyone already know him?"

Kankurou nearly stuttered, "Y-yeah, I meant Gaara. Although Father was kind of reclusive… The villagers didn't see much of him, which was probably for the better since he was an asshole…"

Kiba cocked his head inquisitively. "How so?" At least Kankurou had a father. Kiba still didn't know where his was, hadn't ever met him or seen him since he was just a child. His father was a nuka-nin – apparently he'd taken off to give the Inuzuka clan's secrets to another village. Whether he was dead or alive was anyone's guess, but clearly he wasn't much of a family man.

Kankurou dropped one arm, scratching the back of his head nervously. "He just was… y'know?" he said slowly, careful about his words.

"Oh…" Kiba snickered. "Now I see where you get it from – you take after-"

"Don't you DARE compare me to that bastard!" Kankurou exclaimed, jumping to his feet angrily.

Kiba's brows knit. "Why not? You're a real asshole too sometimes!" he argued.

"Not the way he was, Inuzuka. Just don't talk about that fucker!" Kankurou growled, looking as pissed at himself as at Kiba.

"Why? Just what the hell'd he do to you?" Kiba asked, hopping onto his feet too.

Kankurou's hands fisted. "Don't ask." he growled, looking at the ground.

Kiba didn't get it at first and was about to protest when realization dawned on him and his eyes widened. "No way… He didn't… not you!" he sputtered.

Kankurou locked eyes with him, and his glare was fierce as he said, whispered, really, "Shut UP, Inuzuka. I don't want to talk about my fucked up father."

"Kankurou-kun, I'm so-"

"I said SHUT UP! I'm gonna fuckin' beat the shit out of you if you don't change the subject!" God, looks like going to Inuzuka had been a bad idea – he wished he'd stayed at the apartment and let Temari badger him some more. Anything was better than talking like this to one of the few friends he had in Konoha, hell, one of the few friends he'd had ever.

Kiba glared, "You don't have the balls," he challenged. Maybe not the smartest thing to do, but it was changing the subject and maybe Kankurou would feel better if he beat the crap out of him.

"I hate you, Inuzuka!" Kankurou growled as he pulled back his fist to slug Kiba somethin' good. Oh by God he'd make Kiba regret his words, the little shit wouldn't talk for weeks after Kankurou broke his jaw and-!

"What the fuck!" Kankurou shouted – he couldn't move. Kiba looked surprised too – he'd been ready to take the hit dead on when Kankurou had frozen – Shikamaru.

"Oi… This is troublesome, but what's going on here?" No doubt about it – Shikamaru had seen Kankurou about to attack Kiba and had stepped in to stop him. "I thought you two were friends," he remarked, sounding irritated and maybe a little confused.

Kiba answered, "Nothing. Let him go, Shikamaru."

Shikamaru raised an eyebrow. Kankurou couldn't see, but he guessed when his rose of it's own accord, which Kiba found amusing and Kankurou found as annoying as all get out. Shikamaru folded his arms and so did the puppet-master-turned-puppet. "It doesn't look like nothing. Besides, I heard him yell he hated you – that's usually an indicator of something," Shikamaru reasoned.

Kankurou panicked a little, "What else did you hear?" he asked.

Shikamaru shrugged, which only irked Kankurou further. "Damnit, let me out of this damned Jutsu! I'm not a puppet!"

"Not till I get some answers. Why were you about to attack Kiba? Lover's quarrel?" Shikamaru asked testily.

Kiba snorted. "Yeah, that's it," he replied, draping himself over Kankurou. "He's upset because I been holding out on him," he joked.

"Get the hell off of me, dog-boy!" Kankurou growled.

Kiba was about to oblige when Shikamaru decided to join in on the joke with a devilish grin. After all, Kankurou was still his puppet. Shikamaru wrapped his arms around thin air, which translated to Kankurou wrapping his around Kiba's waist. "Now how can you do that to Kankurou? You know how much he loves his pet!" Shikamaru joked.

"STOP IT!" Kankurou yelled, fighting the technique and having minimal success.

Kiba tugged away after a moment. "Shikamaru, let him go!" Kiba added.

Shikamaru sighed and released the jutsu. "And it was just getting to the fun part!" he griped. "You two are so troublesome…" he complained. To think I was acting like him earlier today! Kiba thought. But then, he's acting a little off too… what's his deal?

Kankurou was crimson with a combination of rage and shame beneath his heavy kabuki makeup. His hands had snapped back into fists instantly. He'd been made a puppet of, made ashamed again! He'd thought things were finally starting to get better now that he was in Konoha and Gaara was acting sane and then things just had to fuck themselves over again!

"Ja ne," Shikamaru said, waving and going off elsewhere.

"Gomen nasai, Kankurou-kun," Kiba said. "I didn't mean for him to do that."

Kankurou stalked about angrily, like a caged animal, full of pent up emotion which needed to translate itself to energy and be expelled. "Yeah, well, people do a lot of things we don't mean for them to do…" Kankurou grumbled.

Kiba nodded slowly. "Go ahead, then, hit me."

"What?" Kankurou looked up at him in surprise.

"C'mon, hit me… or are you afraid, Sabaku no Kurou-chan?" Kiba asked, smirking and trying to insult Kankurou in every way he could think of, to light his fuse and let him vent some of that pent up energy.

Kankurou had been planning to ask 'why', but all thoughts flew from his head. "Don't! Fucking! Call me that!" he commanded, pounding Kiba into the bench

"Stop it!" Kankurou was frozen again.

"GOD DAMN YOU SHIKAMARU!" he yelled.

Kiba pulled himself up and flung a shuriken at Shikamaru. "Let him go! God damnit, Shikamaru, just because you're a chuunin doesn't mean you get to be the divine judge!"

"He's beating the crap out of you!" Shikamaru retorted, pointing at Kiba, causing Kankurou's finger to whack Kiba on the head. Shikamaru retracted his hand quickly. "Oops…" he muttered.

"So? Just let him go, he needs it, and I'm okay with it, so just LET HIM GO!" Kiba said.

"You're insane," Shikamaru said.

"No shit, now let him go!" Kiba yelled.

Shikamaru sighed and released the jutsu for the second time and left much more quickly, not wanting to hear them fighting and feel guilty about not coming to help Kiba.

This time, Kankurou shoved his hands in his pockets and stalked off, in the opposite direction of Shikamaru. He was heading for the border, to go into the woods to vent or relax or what have you.

"Come on, Kurou-kun, where are you going?" Kiba asked.

"Away," Kankurou said.

Kiba ran up and fell in step beside him. "I'll keep you company then."

Kankurou glared. "Leave me alone, Inuzuka. I'm in a shitty mood, if you didn't notice."

Kiba rolled his eyes. "Really? I wouldn't have guessed, since I usually get black eyes from talking to you."

"Do you ever shut up?" Kankurou moaned.

"Do you ever stop being a self-centered asshole?" Kiba retorted.

Kankurou glared and decided continuing the conversation would just encourage Kiba, so, for once, he decided to shut up.

Of course, Kiba was not easily discouraged, and he wasn't going to let Kankurou drop the whole thing. In his professional opinion, Kankurou needed to talk about whatever was bothering or work it out some other way, like through his fists. "So no wonder you're so fucked up…"

"What's that supposed to mean!" Kankurou argued, unable to stop himself.

"Well, I mean, if your own dad molested you…"

"Why do you keep bringing that up!" Kankurou asked, glaring death and wishing Inuzuka would take a hint and get lost.

"Because it happened and it's not your fault, but your obviously still ashamed of it," Kiba said without hesitation.

"You would too!" Kankurou growled. "Besides, I just don't want to think about it!"

"So how old were you?"

"I'm not telling you!"

"Did he touch you?"

"No shit he did!"

"Did he rape you, or just make you do him favors?"

"Why do you care? Tired of the same old porn to jerk off to every night? You think you'll spice things up with fantasies of me and my fuckin' father?" Kankurou was having difficulty holding back tears. They kept walking towards the border – luckily no one was out, since they were going a back way.

"It's not your fault."

"Oh gee, thanks for clearing that up, Inuzuka. If I'd just seen you when this all started I'd be fine now, wouldn't I?"

"No."

"DUH!"

Thank god, they were deeper into the woods now. Kiba could incite him and no one would interfere. "Yeah, he sounds like an asshole. Just like you, right? You turned out just like him, I bet."

"SHUT UP!"

"No wonder you refuse to use your family name, Kurou-chan, but I bet it fits you better than you'd like to thin-!"

Kankurou swung around and gave Kiba a hard jab to the jaw. "Why do you want to talk about this so much? Why do you want me to beat the shit out of you so bad? 'You got a death wish, Inuzuka?" Kankurou asked, glaring and red-faced.

Kiba regained his balance. No way was he answering yet, he need Kankurou to keep going. Then he'd feel better – after all, Kiba always felt better after he beat the shit out of something. He'd tell him later. "Death wish? With a punch like that? And you think the Konoha-nin are weak!" he urged.

Kankurou slammed him again. "I'm strong enough to take you down!"

"No wonder you let the puppets do your fighting; you're too pathetic to last in real combat without them!" Kiba retorted. He resisted the urge to do anything more than defend himself from being vitally wounded. Even so, a kick got around his guard. It missed his balls by inches, but it was hard enough and close enough… Kiba collapsed, his hands going instinctively to cover the damage.

Kankurou was too riled up and upset to notice. He kicked Kiba around a few more minutes before he let up. "Damnit… are you all right, Inuzuka?" he asked, walking away, unable to face what he'd done. Oh god, he was like his father. He was like his father, he was, he was just like his father…

Kiba winced and nodded, pulling himself into a sitting position, leaning against the tree one of Kankurou's kicks had slammed him into. "I'll be fine. What about you…?"

Kankurou groaned. "Of course I'm fine! You didn't do anything, you just sat there and took it!" He wiped his eyes, feeling pathetic.

"Nah, I mean do you feel any better?"

"I just beat up my only friend, so I'm gonna go with no!" Kankurou spat, turning and looking at Kiba sadly.

Kiba shifted a little, doubting he would feel any more comfortable but… "I'm sorry, I'd wanted you to feel better."

Kankurou sighed heavily, trying to calm down. "Yeah, well next time when I say I don't want to talk about it can we just stop and go catch a movie or something…?"

"Look, don't worry about it. Besides, I think I might be a masochist…" Kiba said, half-joking and trying to get Kankurou to lighten up.

"What...?" Kankurou said with considerable less interest than usual.

"Just come here and help me clean up…" Kiba said, digging into his ever-present shuriken pouch for his bandages and ointments. Kankurou did the same as he walked over and sat down next to Kiba.

"Sorry, Inuzuka…" Kankurou murmured, applying healing jutsu where he saw bruises forming. There really wasn't much there for bandages or ointment – ice would have been better.

"Don't worry. I wanted you to. It helps me, when I'm upset, to go beat something up. I thought it would help you. Guess not."

Kankurou shook his head. "No. It just made me more like him."

Kiba caught Kankurou's eyes. "You're not your father. You're not like him. You're an ass sometimes, but you're not like him." Kiba said solemnly.

Kankurou started tearing again. "Damnit, Inuzuka, you didn't even know my father. How can you be sure?"

Kiba grinned. "'Cuz. You feel bad about what you've done. That's more than I imagine your father ever did."

Kankurou was quiet a moment then nodded. "Thanks, Inuzuka."

"Yeah… no problem…" Kiba said, grinning.

"There's a river passing near by, isn't there? Let's go, the cold water will feel good," Kankurou said, clambering to his feet.

"Kay…" Kiba tried to get up but found he was having difficulty. "You're going to have to carry me."

Kankurou scooped him up bridal-style and Kiba grinned. "This is familiar."

Kankurou looked surprised. "How so?"

"Remember? When you carried me back from saving me from the Oto-nin before you moved to Konoha? I had to hold Akamaru so you carried me this way then, too," Kiba said, reminiscing. Who would have thought they'd end up being buddies – they'd fought like old married people. Kiba snickered – well, they still sort of did.

"Oh yeah, I did… I felt so awkward carrying this gangly little Konoha-nin and his mutt back home." Kankurou said, joking a little… although he had felt awkward.

"Oh, shut up," Kiba joked as the river could be heard flowing peacefully just a short distance away.

Kankurou set Kiba down on the banks and Kiba began pealing away layers of clothing. Kankurou looked away, whistling uncomfortably. "It's not like it's anything you haven't seen before. Besides, I need help with my pants," Kiba said, tugging on Kankurou.

Kankurou sighed. "But you're only fifteen!"

"You're only seventeen! Just give me a hand!" Kiba groaned, finding he still really couldn't get up which made getting rid of his pants difficult. And he wasn't going back to Konoha soaking wet!

Kankurou sighed and helped Kiba get his pants off. He was tempted to say "you owe me", but he figured under the circumstances he owed Kiba, if anything. With Kiba comfortably nude, Kankurou scooped him up again, this time definitely feeling awkward, and plopped him in the river. Kiba shivered. "Cooooooold…" he murmured, rubbing his hands over himself and splashing water on the sore spots by turns.

"Damn…" Kankurou murmured, noting the already livid bruising flaring up in Kiba's nether regions. "I got you good, didn't I?"

"What?" Kiba asked. Kankurou had gotten him good in several places.

"Y'know… between the legs," Kankurou huffed, really not liking where this was going.

"Oh, that…" Kiba rubbed the sensitive region tenderly, hissing a little in pain – at least the cold was doing the job. "Well, you missed the little soldiers so I'll forgive you provided you kiss my ass enough." Kiba laughed a little.

"Little nuthin'," Kankurou muttered. "Beast."

Kiba snorted outright. "Well, I try."

Kankurou raised an eyebrow. "If you have to try then something's wrong."

Kiba rolled his eyes. "You know what I mean." He shivered and took a deep breath, deciding to fully submerge for a moment – which is what he did, with quite a splash. Kankurou eyed him carefully, firmly focusing on his face, making sure he would be alright. A few moments later Kiba exploded from the water, gasping and shaking and coughing.

"Are you okay?" Kankurou asked.

Kiba nodded, wrapping his arms around himself. "I'll live. It doesn't hurt so bad – the cold water was a good idea… but I guess you'd know."

Kankurou stiffened. "Nah. I always showered off with hot water…" he decided not to add that that was after he began figuring out how wrong it was. How at first he didn't understand and all it meant was pain and his father's anger. "I used cold later. Once I figured out that it didn't matter how hot I made the water."

Kiba turned and looked up at him. "Why's that?"

Kankurou shrugged. "Doesn't matter how hot the water is. You can't wash away that feeling…" Kankurou shivered. He was beginning to feel anaesthetized. He knew later it would feel just as bad, but for now he could talk a little. With Kiba, now, here, it was all right. Now, he owed Kiba something, so he would talk…

"What feeling…?" Kiba asked quietly, guessing the answer but needing to hear it for some sick reason he couldn't guess at.

Kankurou shrugged again, and was silent a few moments. "Dirty. Unclean. Like… like," Kankurou thought a moment. "Like I'd never be me again… just his… sick little fuck toy. That's why I became a puppet-master, I guess – so that I could be in control of something…" An oddly insightful moment for Kankurou.

Kiba nodded, shaking more violently. "You should get out, or you might get sick…" Kankurou said. Kiba nodded, and clung to Kankurou as he picked Kiba up and laid him down in a grassy patch with extra sunlight. Kiba lay down, still shaking, waiting for the sunlight to dry him off and warm him, but it was a breezy day, and the wind swept along the path cleared by the river.

Kankurou tugged his shirt off and handed it to Kiba. "Dry off."

Kiba took it with some surprise and did so, quietly, tactfully avoiding the region between his knees and waist. Kiba tossed Kankurou his shirt back and the puppeteer set it aside to dry, as Kiba lay back down. For a while, they rested. Kiba's mind drifted, virtually thoughtless, wishing he knew a way to make Kankurou feel better and noting with faint amusement that Kankurou was a lot more 'ripped' than the Konoha-nin, who focused less on taijutsu and more on genjutsu and ninjutsu, with a few exceptions like Lee and Kiba. Plus, he hadn't realized the designs painted on Kankurou's face continued down his chest. His eyes lazily traced the lines and dots, which didn't appear to be a permanent tattoo, but looked like they'd last longer than make-up… which was smearing, badly, coincidentally…

Kankurou's thoughts were busier than Kiba's. To most, Kankurou appeared a simple guy; one who always spoke whatever was on his mind – blunt, maybe not terribly bright, uncomplicated. But there was more to him than most saw – of course, that should be a given, among the shinobi. After all, 'underneath the underneath', and all that bull… It was true Kankurou spoke whatever was on his mind, but that was just the shallowest layer. And he was blunt, and not overly educated, but he was smarter than people gave him credit for, and knew how to be diplomatic when he needed.

So there were more things going on in his thoughts than most people would have guessed. He was remembering his past and the things his damned father had done to him, and thinking about Konoha and how different it was compared to Suna, and how weird it was sitting around next to a naked, fifteen-year-old boy whose hair was a lot like his…

"Hand me my clothes, would you?… Oi! Kankurou!"

"Huh?" Kankurou snapped out of his thoughts abruptly, which was just as well because he'd been about to take another side trip down memory lane.

"My clothes, please?" Kiba said patiently, pointing.

"Oh, sure," Kankurou said, clambering up and fetching the discarded articles. "Here."

Kiba started putting them on, finding he could stand now, if somewhat shakily. "Thanks."

"No problem."

Kankurou scooped up his shirt and stood.

"Hey…"

"What, Inuzuka?"

"Those designs are on your back too…. Just how far do they go?" Kiba asked, tracing a line across one of Kankurou's clavicles curiously.

Kankurou shifted slightly, interrupting Kiba's path. "Everywhere."

"Really?'

"Yeah."

Kiba grinned. "I wanna see." He said, tugging at Kankurou's pants, more interested in the novelty of the idea than anything else. Besides, Kankurou had seen him naked, right?

Kankurou pushed his hands away. "No."

Kiba pouted. "So how do you get them on your back and stuff?" he asked.

"Temari helps me."

"Kinky. Sand-cest." Kiba said, coining the term on the spot.

Kankurou punched him gently. "Shut up. Temari and I aren't like that." He said. Currently.

Kiba shook his head. "Whatever. It's hot – I can't believe you don't have a girlfriend."

Kankurou looked surprised. "Really?"

"Yeah. You're pretty good looking. And you're better built than most of the guys here… too much stress on ninjutsu and genjutsu, and not enough taijutsu…" Kiba grinned, poking Kankurou square (and rather hard) on the nipple. His hands were still quite cold.

"Ouch!" Kankurou protested.

Kiba's eyes widened and he laughed. "Hey, your nipple got hard!"

Kankurou bristled, "It's not my fault you're still cold as ice!"

Kiba shrugged. Actually, it kind of was but he decided to let that slide. "Maybe that's why you don't have a girlfriend – do you play for the other side, Kurou-kun?" Kiba asked, joking.

"Like hell!"

"Oh really?"

"Yeah!"

Kiba leaned in, stood up on his tip toes and planted a kiss on Kankurou's lips. Kankurou was in shock, and a mental image of Kiba naked again came unbidden to the forefront of his thoughts. "Ahhh! You sicko! I hate you, Inuzuka!"

Kiba laughed. "You liked it, you homo!"

Kankurou growled, "No, but I think you did, you dirty dog! I guess animals don't know any better, huh, Inuzuka!"

Kiba shrugged. "So what if I did? So what if you did?" he grinned. "In fact…" He leaned in and planted another, longer one, grabbing a hold of Kankurou before he backed away. Now Kiba was the one fully clothed, and Kankurou was the one shirtless. Kiba slipped his hand up Kankurou's spine and the puppet-master shivered – Kiba was freezing.

Kiba pulled back, smirking like a devil. Kankurou looked at him in shock. "Why did it have to be you I saved back then? Why couldn't I have saved that Lee kid Gaara always hangs out with, or Neji – they're closer to my age, anyway. Or Shikamaru or anyone else but a freak like you!" he moaned.

"'Cuz… We were destined to meet. Besides – I saw the way you stared at me while I was naked earlier!"

"I was worried! I was looking at the bruises, not at you!" Kankurou argued, frustrated. Why did Kiba always get him so flustered? The little Konoha-nin was so… out there, always doing something different to surprise him. And why did he keep hanging out with Kiba?

"Y'know, if you're not going to get a girlfriend, maybe we should…" Kiba grinned wolfishly.

Kankurou pushed him away.

"Please! I wanna' see the rest of your tattoos!"

"Some other time, Inuzuka."

Kiba grinned. "I'm holding you to that! By the way, your makeup is really smeared. You should wash it off and redo it later…" Kiba licked his thumb and began wiping away at the smeared makeup, trying to make it a bit neater, in case Kankurou decided not to get rid of it.

Kankurou pushed his hand away. "It is? Shit! My make-up never smears!" Kankurou said, dashing over to the river to look at his reflection. "Wah, it is!" Kankurou stared sullenly down at his reflection. Did he wipe it away, or leave it till he could redo it…? "I don't suppose you happen to have face paint with you, in any color…"

Kiba shook his head, then, realizing the affect would be lost on Kankurou, whose eyes were not on him, he spoke up, "No, nothing… why's it matter so much?"

Kankurou sighed. "Why do you ask so many hard questions?"

Kiba sat down next to Kankurou. "It's that important do you?"

Kankurou nodded. "Yeah, I guess it is. It's like Gaara's sand, or Temari's fan… My make-up and my puppets are the only things I have… the only things that are really constant…" He shrugged. The make-up wasn't as big a deal… it was just…

"Y'know… that's not really true anymore. I mean, things are different in Konoha than in Suna. And you can count on me." Kiba grabbed Kankurou's hand instinctively.

Kankurou grinned weakly. "Yeah, but for what? I don't get you, Inuzuka… You're too confusing… too surprising. Especially now…" He shook his head, and squeezed Kiba's hand anyway; glad there was someone around for him, even if it was a crazy son-of-a-bitch.

Kiba grinned. "That's just 'cuz – I can't believe I'm saying this – you think too much, Kurou-kun. Just chill out."

Kankurou shrugged. "I try. But then you do something, like try and get me talking about my father, and I can't calm down anymore…"

"Well, Kurou-kun, why don't you now and then? Especially now, with no one around to judge you. You should get that off your chest…"

"God damnit… If you're not going to let me alone until I tell you, then fine…" Kankurou sighed. "But you're an asshole for making me."

Kiba was quiet, listening to Kankurou attentively, watching him. Kankurou scrubbed away the face paint. "You still want to know when it started?"

Kiba nodded, Kankurou ascertained the motion with a minimal glance, staring at his reflection. "I think I was seven…" Kiba tried not to show his surprise – Kankurou might stop. "At first… I didn't get it. I didn't understand what was going on, or that it was wrong. He was my father, after all… I'd idolized him – he was everything I wanted to be. Of course, now, he's everything I can't escape… But that's not what you want to hear, is it?"

Kiba shook his head. "It's not like I want to hear any of it. I just want to hear the truth… and I really think it will help you to talk about it, whether you like it or not. And I wish it could have been another way..."

Kankurou snickered. "I've seen other ways. I'm not saying I'd rather this but… anyhow, I didn't really get it. It didn't always hurt, at first… But it wasn't long before he started beating the shit out of me. Then he'd have a little fun; he'd rape me and he was gone. Then he didn't say anything about it; he didn't pay any attention to me unless he was sticking his penis in my ass and so I figured out that it was wrong and started fighting. I figured out what it meant when he molested me and I felt… felt just nasty… just disgusting and ugly." Kankurou shuddered, running his hands over his arms, remembering the way his father had done so and trying for the billionth time to wipe that touch away.

"I guess that's when I started wearing make-up, maybe nine… I found out about puppeteering and it fit. I had control of something, I had an excuse for the long, black clothes and the make-up, and my father hated it." Kankurou smirked. "He beat the shit out of me when he first heard, and he did it every time he caught me trying to learn a new jutsu or something. Said they were just toys, and it would be a disgrace if his oldest son went around wearing make up and playing with dolls…"

"If you look, you can still sort of see… Some of the scars, and discoloration… that's why I sort of… dye, I guess, my skin lighter, so it's harder to tell. The designs, though, I do all sorts of things with." Kankurou shrugged once more.

Kiba looked more closely at Kankurou's chest. Suddenly, the designs beneath the designs jumped out at him, and he wondered how he missed them before. "Oh wow…" Kiba murmured sadly, tracing a scar over Kankurou's bicep with his free hand. "Kankurou…"

"Yeah?" Kankurou asked, wiping away at his face self-consciously.

"I just wanted to remind you… No one's going to do that to you anymore. You're safe in Konoha." Kiba squeezed his hand again.

"Yeah. I know. But it really doesn't change much."

"Kankurou-kun… I wish…" Kiba really didn't know what to say…

Kankurou shrugged for what seemed to be the millionth time. "Wishes don't fix anything. He's dead now, and I'm gone… I just want to seal up that chapter and lock it away and never look at it again. Okay?"

"I don't know if that's healthy…"

"I don't want to be healthy! I just want move on, Inuzuka!"

Kiba rubbed his thumb over Kankurou's fingers in his hands. "Then let me help you start a new chapter…" Kiba said, getting up onto his knees. He leaned in and turned Kankurou's face up to him. "Please…" It suddenly hit Kiba that the reason he had not attraction to any females was because he'd decided on Kankurou long ago, he just hadn't realized it yet. He leaned down and kissed Kankurou as softly as he could.

Kankurou let him for a moment before gently pressing him away. "You're so weird, Inuzuka…" He muttered, wrapping his arms around Kiba.

Kiba hugged him back. "Then…"

"Whatever, I don't care… I'm fucked up enough, I might as well have a boyfriend," Kankurou muttered into Kiba's shoulders.

Kiba grinned a little. He knew that was just how Kankurou had to fix it for himself. Kankurou had been through too much for Kiba to badger him now. "I swear though, if you're just doing this to try and 'fix' me, I swear I'll fuckin' kill you!" Kankurou grumbled.

Kiba snickered. "You're past the point of being fixed, Kankurou. I'll just have to try and contain the damage…"

"You're a douche, you know that?"

Kiba smirked, "Whatever you say… Doesn't matter 'cuz I got a sexy Sand-nin now!" he laughed.

"You're luckier than me. I just get a crazy, dumbass Leaf-nin," Kankurou grumbled.

"Screw you! You know you want me!" Kiba joked.

"Pfft. Like hell, dog-boy. I just want you to leave me alone," Kankurou said, pulling away and leaning back, propping himself up casually on his hands.

"That's not what your nipples say!" Kiba teased in a sing song voice, leaning forward and toying with Kankurou's chest.

"You're cold as hell!" Kankurou sang right back, swiping Kiba's hands away.

Kiba stuck his tongue out. "Bite me," he muttered.

"Will do," Kankurou replied, grabbing Kiba's hand and chomping down on his arm.

"Fuck, not so hard!"

Kankurou let him go and spat. "You taste like shit!"

Kiba glared. "Well, you're not exactly my idea of fine cuisine, either," he pointed out.

Kankurou snorted. "I hope not! Besides, it's not my fault my sister's a crappy cook."