Flip Flop and Fly
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the obvious, the rest belongs to Masashi Kishimoto.
Author's Note: I started another story. I must be mad. This is an idea which has been floating around in my head for ages now, and it just wouldn't leave me alone. Anyways, please enjoy and review at the end.
Thanks to my good friend and beta, Paladin Steelbreaker.Chapter One
Itachi smirked and placed his cards on the table. He had won the game once again, and the other players groaned and sighed in exasperation, but there was a definite note of fondness in their mannerisms.
"I swear, one day I'm going to figure out how you manage to cheat so well, Itachi," Rodriguez promised as he watched the younger man pick up his winnings.
"Simple mathematics and nothing else," Itachi replied smugly and looked around the table. "Anyone up for round two?" he asked and held up the deck of cards, ready to shuffle.
"Forget it," Garcia muttered. "I want to keep some of my hard-earned wages."
"You're only going to spend them as soon as you get home," Rodriguez pointed out with a grin.
"For your information, I'm going to be spending my entire week-long, long-deserved vacation lazing about at home, not moving a single inch." Garcia replied and stuck out her tongue. She turned to look at another man sitting further away. "Now I understand why you didn't want to join the game, Parker. You knew this little genius here would win, didn't you?"
Parker didn't even look up from the book he was reading. "Of course I did."
"You could have warned us!" Leigh muttered.
"That wouldn't have been half as fun," Parker replied, casting the four card-players an amused look.
Rodriguez sighed. "Regardless, I am going to win against you, Itachi!"
Henson and Collins chuckled and looked up from their game of chess. "You know you will never achieve that." Henson said. "Itachi here is far too smart for you."
"And that says a lot when you remember that Itachi is only 17, and you're 35." Collins added.
Itachi watched all this bickering, and couldn't help but smile. These people were his friends and equals despite the large difference in age. They joked together, they teased each other, they helped each other, and they worked together. Rodriguez, Garcia and Henson were wonderful people, and were always ready to do their share of the work and more. Collins was responsible for the press, and Leigh was the computer whiz of the group. Lastly there was Parker. He was the leader of the group and also the oldest one. It was he who had discovered Itachi and brought him to the group despite his young age. They were the best Criminal Behaviour Analysis unit the FBI had, and they were proud of it!
Itachi Kishimoto truly was a real genius. He had shot through the school-system almost faster than one could blink, and therefore he had graduated a heck of a lot earlier than anyone had ever expected. After deciding at a young age that he wanted to become a profiler, he had worked hard for that goal, and here he was, amongst these wonderful people, and on his way home from their latest case.
"So, how are you going to spend the vacation, Itachi?" Rodriguez asked.
The teenager blinked himself out of his thoughts, and replied. "I'm going back home. It's been almost six months since I last saw grandpa and grandma. I miss them."
"Don't tell me you're going to spend all the time reading again. You know more stuff than the entire group!" Collins said.
"No, I'm going to follow Garcia's example and relax." Itachi answered. "Perhaps I'll take out my old guitar even."
"You know everything about the job, you are one of the best sharpshooters in the unit, you play the guitar, you know how to dance, and you can cheat at poker! Is there anything you can't or don't know, Itachi?" Garcia sighed.
"Martial arts," Itachi deadpanned. "My grandpa runs a dojo, and he always wanted me to take over, but I never did get any good at it. The only thing I learned was to duck out of the way."
"That's a valuable skill as well," Parker said and turned a new page in his book.
Everyone laughed or chuckled, and then settled down for the rest of the trip back to the FBI HQs in Washington D.C.
It was raining heavily, yet still the streets of Chinatown, New York, weren't completely deserted. People were running hurriedly to and fro in an attempt to get home before they were completely soaked. Vendors were gathering their wares, and shops were closing down seeing as few sane people would be out in this weather, though they would open up later on when the rain was over. Itachi was almost squirming as the cab drove through the streets. He was finally back home, and he planned to stay here for the entire week. Gods, how he had missed this place, and he had missed his home and family even more. Said building was now coming up, and the cabby started to slow down, and finally pulled over.
"There ya go, Kishimoto's Dojo." The driver said, then rattled off the price.
"Thanks, and keep the change." The teenager handed the driver the money, got his bag from the trunk, then hurried up the steps, and into the house. He discarded his coat and bag by the door, took off his shoes, then proceeded through the Japanese-styled house, looking for either of his adoptive grandparents. Yes, adoptive. Itachi was adopted by the Kishimoto pair sixteen years ago. The people at the orphanage didn't know where Itachi came from, nor who his parents were, they had simply found him on their doorstep. One of the workers, a half-Japanese woman, had named him when she saw the weasel sown in on a corner of the blanked Itachi had been found wrapped in.
"I'm home! Hello! Grandma? Grandpa?" he called out, but got no reply. The house was completely silent. Usually his grandfather would've attacked him by now, only to sail by when Itachi avoided the attack. Then his grandmother would appear and scold her husband, before she turned her attention to Itachi and smothered him with kisses and hugs.
Something on the floor caught his attention. It was a trail of coloured paper which led him to the doorway leading into the living room. There were two reasons for this, as far as he could see. One: his grandparents were going to throw a surprise party for him, or two: someone had interrupted them right in the middle of preparing for said surprise party. The former was more likely than the latter, Itachi thought, but still he slowly reached into his holster and pulled out his gun. It was better to be safe than sorry.
With the gun in his hand, he walked into the dark living room but kept close to the entrance in case he needed to make a quick getaway. "Hello? Anyone here?" he called.
Suddenly the lights went on, and several people shouted: "Welcome home, Itachi!"
Itachi relaxed, and discretely put away the weapon. He grinned at the gathered people. "You shouldn't have!"
An elderly Japanese woman stepped forwards, and pushed him into the closest chair. "Of course we should! You're my grandson, and you deserve it! An FBI agent at such a young age! Here, have some dango!" she pushed the sweet into his hands.
"Thanks, grandma. Hello Misao!"
"We've been following your career closely, Itachi-kun. You're very good at what you do!" Misao said with a grin. She was one of the few friends Itachi had in his early childhood that hadn't at all been scared away by his superior intellect. She held out a neatly-wrapped box. "Here you go. It's not much, but I think you'll enjoy it."
Itachi accepted it, took off the wrapping, then jumped up and hugged Misao when he saw what it was. "You're a saving angel, Misao-chan!"
"Yeah, well, I remember you telling me that you never had any time to get any whilst on work and how much you missed it, so…" she trailed off, and watched with a grin as Itachi eagerly devoured her present. "I've heard of people being hooked on drugs, but you're the only one I know who's hooked on pocky."
Itachi looked up at her, one of the sticks half-way to his mouth. "Pocky is god's gift to men." He declared and continued munching, the dango nearly forgotten. But it wasn't completely forgotten, and small hands reached up to grab the treat. Itachi looked down at the perpetrator. "I thought you were too old to sneak around like that, Shinta?"
The boy stuck out his tongue. "Not when it comes to dango. And you're only seven years older than me, and look at how you act around pocky! So nyah!"
"Respect your elders, brat!" Itachi laughed and playfully tried to keep the dango out of the boy's reach.
"LOOK WHO'S TALKING!" A new voice shouted, and it was followed by the appearance of an elderly man. Said elderly man then promptly tried to punch Itachi, but the teenager easily avoided the hit. "When are you going to take over the dojo?"
"Wrong answer! Attack!"
Itachi avoided the attack, and sighed in exasperation, though there was a smile on his face. "Why can't someone else in the family take over? I mean, Kaoru-nee-san has a son, and Yuriko-nee-san has two! Why me?"
The elderly Mr Kishimoto stopped up. "Because I say so?" he said, though it sounded more like a question.
"Idiot." Mrs Kishimoto muttered fondly. "Sit down at the dinner table everyone, and I will start bringing out the food."
"I'll help, mother." Yuriko and Kaoru volunteered whilst their husbands, kids and everyone else went to find their places at the table.
"Itachi, how long are you staying?" Misao said from beside him.
"For a week." He replied. "How have you all been whilst I've been gone?"
"Pretty good. Old Chang-san is still running her teashop, Wu-san is still complaining about the government, and your grandfather's dojo is getting pretty popular."
Itachi nodded as he listened to what Misao said, and also observed the people around the table. It felt wonderful to be home. Sure, he liked his work, and he liked the people he worked with, but only when he was here could he truly relax. There were no dead bodies, no reports, no crime scene photos, nothing but his own family. This was his little safe haven, and he hoped it would always stay that way.
The next day dawned bright and without a cloud in the sky. People opened their shops, children hurried to school, and cars filled the streets almost to bursting. Itachi was not aware of this as he was still comfortably snuggled up in his blankets, and had no plan to leave them until dinner time. This was his first chance in God knew how long to sleep in, and he wouldn't have many others once he returned to work, so he was going to make this count. Once he did get up he ate some cereal for breakfast, and headed out of the house. Today he was planning to simply walk around, and see what had been changed since he was last here. Along the way he was sure to meet a lot of people he knew, and those were certain to stop him for a chat, so he estimated that he would be lucky if he got back in time for dinner.
'It's good to be back!' Itachi thought happily as he greeted yet another person. "Good day to you, Mrs Chang!"
"Itachi! Wonderful to see you! How long are you staying?" the old woman smiled.
"Be sure to drop by whilst you're here, alright?"
"Of course." Itachi replied and waved to her as he went on his way. A little further down the street he was bowled over by a young boy, and he groaned from his position on the ground. He had hoped to avoid any bruises this week seeing as he somehow always managed to receive one or two whilst at work. "Watch where you're going, brat."
The kid in question started apologising in rapid Japanese. "-I'm sorry! I wasn't watching where I was going! Sorry!-"
Itachi sighed. Although he had learned Japanese due to the Kishimotos – and even a good deal of Chinese – he hadn't spoken it in ages, but now he dragged it up from his memory. "-It's alright. Just watch where you're going next time, alright?-"
"-Hai!-" the kid nodded eagerly and accepted Itachi's help to get up.
Although the kid's hand was small, the grip was stronger than Itachi had expected, and he could feel calluses although he couldn't see any once he released the other's hand. "-Why were you running like a headless chicken, anyway?-"
"-I was trying to find the Kishimoto Dojo! We're new in the area, and a neighbour said that there was a dojo nearby, but the directions weren't the best.-"
"-Why are you searching for the dojo?-"
"-I want to join!-" the boy said eagerly. "-I've always wanted to, but there weren't any close to us while we were living in Japan, and now that I have the chance to I want to see what it's like!-"
Itachi blinked in surprise. Judging by the calluses on the boy's palms, he'd say the boy had been doing some form of martial arts his entire life. "-Er, right. to get to the dojo you have to walk down this street, take the second street to the right, and it's just around the block. You can't miss it.-" The seventeen-year-old pointed as he explained.
"-Thank you, onii-san!-" the boy shouted, did a short bow, then ran off again.
Itachi stared after him for a moment. For a second he could've sworn he saw the kid flicker and a shadow of a grown up man appear in his place, but he disregarded it. 'I must be hallucinating. Little sleep and stress will do that to a person. Either that, or Leigh's been showing me too many of those damn sci-fi movies he always brings to work.'
With a stretch and a last look in the direction the boy had taken, Itachi shook his head and continued on his way. He was fully determined to enjoy what was left of the day, and he'd be damned if he let some stupid hallucination get in the way of that.
For some strange reason Itachi couldn't shake off the feeling that someone was watching him.
Hours later Itachi found himself returning home to the dojo. It was getting dark now, but there were still lots of people out on the street, and Itachi felt relaxed. Especially since he had been munching on differently-flavoured pocky all day long.
Humming a silly little tune, he opened the door and went inside. "I'm home!" he yelled, but just like yesterday there was no reply. Itachi sighed and grumbled. "Not again."
He took off his shoes, then proceeded through the house. He left the box of pocky on the kitchen counter, and noted that the stove was still on and the dinner was getting burned. It was unlike Mrs Kishimoto to let the stove stay unattended, especially if something was cooking. Hastily turning it off, he looked around a little more cautious than before. He suddenly got a very bad feeling about this entire situation. The same kind of feeling he got when the Criminal Behaviour Analysis unit was working on a tough case, especially when the case had a short time limit. Without much thought he brought out his trusty pocket-knife– and cursed himself for leaving his gun locked away in his room – before he continued to search through the house.
There were a couple of broken things littering the hallway, one of those was a vase that Itachi had bought with his very first pay check and had given Mrs Kishimoto. Several pictures had been disturbed, and there were dents in the walls which signified that there had been a serious fight.
The clues led him towards the dark living room, and Itachi suddenly had a bad sense of déjà vu.
"Grandma? Grandpa? Come on, people, we had the surprise party yesterday. There's no need to repeat that experience every day for the entire week. Hello?" it was probably very stupid of him to announce his presence like this, but he had already called out once before, and the perpetrator – or perpetrators if there was more than one – would most likely get suspicious if he hadn't. This way he hoped to have a small chance at surprising the bad guys, and getting the upper hand.
'Too bad that the phone's in the living room.' Itachi thought to himself as he got closer, though he stuck to the wall as much as he could. 'And why the hell did my mobile have to die on me just today? Next time I'm taking Parker's advice to make sure the damn thing has enough power.'
Just to be sure he called out once more before he reached the entrance to the living room. "Grandma, you left the oven on. And grandpa, if this is one of your stupid ideas, I swear I'll-" he cut himself off with a surprised yelp as something tripped him up, causing him to fall to the floor. He had barely landed before several pairs of hands rolled him over, grabbed his pocket-knife, and tied his hands and legs securely with what seemed like very thin steel wire, though he wasn't too sure about it. Either way, Itachi was bound and defenceless faster than one could say 'pocky', and he couldn't do anything but blink the dots out of his eyes as the lights were suddenly turned on.
"What the hell?" the teenager muttered from his position on the floor.
There were five of the perpetrators in the room, three of these had been the ones to trip him and tie him up. All of them were wearing a weird black, short sleeved, long-necked uniform and almost shoulder-long, fingerless gloves in the same colour. Over this they wore white armour and wrist-guards, and each had a katana strapped to their backs, a pouch or two strapped to their belts, and a holder for something – probably a knife or two – strapped to their thighs. Not only that but every single one of them wore a white mask with red markings, and all of the masks represented different animals from what Itachi could figure out.
"Itachi! Itachi, are you alright!" the voice of Mrs Kishimoto called, and brought the teens attention to the elderly couple. They were both tied up and sitting comfortably on the couch, though Mr Kishimoto was knocked out and had a lovely bruise forming on his forehead. Neither of the two were seriously hurt, and it calmed Itachi to see them both so unharmed.
"Itachi!" Mrs Kishimoto called again, a slight note of panic entering her voice.
"Yes, I'm fine. Nothing to worry about, grandma." Itachi told her, then he focused on the animal-masked people in the room. "What the hell is going on here?"
"-So they named you Itachi, did they?-" a voice spoke up in Japanese, and a sixth man stepped forwards from the shadows. He was dressed differently than the animal-masked ones. His uniform was dark blue, and he had a green flak jacket on. There was a symbol on the shoulder of the uniform, a four-pointed star with some sort of white-and-red fan in the middle. The man also had approximately shoulder-long, dark brown hair, and a face which said that he frowned more than he smiled.
"-It's a good, worthy name.-" The man added.
"-Who are you people? What do you want with us, and why the hell are you here?-" Itachi asked, staring the man straight into the eyes without fear. As an FBI agent he put his family in danger, but all agents were very careful about their personal information, so the only way people could get said information was if they hacked into the database. And that would be anything but easy seeing as the database was protected with all the latest systems and whatnot. 'They have to be very good if they managed to hack into the database without getting caught. They're definitely professionals.'
The man stared down at Itachi for a minute, before he answered. "-The elderly couple are free to go as they please, it's you we're interested in, Itachi.-"
"-That still leaves the other two questions: who are you, and why are you here?-"
"-Patience, patience, boy, do not talk back to your elders. It's disrespectful.-"
Itachi growled. "-Answer the questions!-"
"-I am Uchiha Fugaku,-" the man said. "-I am your biological father, and I am here to bring you back to where you belong, Uchiha Itachi.-"
There, please tell me what you think.
I know this first chapter was kinda slow, and I sincerely hope I didn't get anything wrong when it comes to the FBI stuff. That part was influenced by the TV-series 'Criminal Minds', other than that it has no connection to it. The speed will pick up next chapter if enough people want it.
Fellow author in crime,
The Red Dragons Order