A/N: Oh God, if you go into this thinking I was at all in my right mind then I might as well go into hiding now, because the angry stoning on the event horizon will be too thick and bitter for me to bear. Remember, the premise is: Kisame makes a really hot abusive boyfriend, but only if his "girlfriend" were also this incredible slut.
The small stairwell leading up to their hovel of a bedroom has thirty-seven steps. Kisame climbs them everyday, and today isn't the first time he finds Itachi lounging in bed long after his waking hour, his clothing a fetching disarray on the filthy floor and a challenging, particularly well-fucked look in his vacant eyes.
It's truly a wretched state of affairs, Kisame reflects, and he wishes that if Itachi had to be difficult, he would have the decency to stage his act-out hissy fit later in the day, when it would be socially acceptable to drink.
"Smoking in bed again?" he says dully. "We can't really afford another place if you burn this one down on our current budget."
In response, Itachi just removes the black tip of the long cigarette holder from between his lips and dips it over the side of the bed, once, twice, letting a pinch of ash drop to the floor. It's a marvel that it makes any difference to the general state of the room.
Kisame shuts the door behind him and rolls up the sleeves of his yukata as he walks, hoping to god that for once, just once, the idiot would take the hint.
"Who did you go with last night?" he asks tightly, canting his hips against the bedpost.
"Nobody," Itachi says, surprisingly light. "A client."
Kisame grits his teeth loud enough to be heard in the stale air, as Itachi slinks off the bed and pulls his night robe closer around his shoulders, padding across the room to stand in a puddle of sunshine pooling in near the window. He passes Kisame a glance but says nothing. Kisame is forced to admit in spite of his mood that in a dark satin robe and rumpled hair sans the high heels and make-up, Itachi looks unforeseeably sexy -- disheveled and unvarnished -- which he supposes is part of the problem.
He'd better get this out before he loses anymore brain cells to his dick. "A client?"
"Yes," Itachi says smoothly. "He gave us work."
Kisame blinks and in that same hairtrigger second -- it doesn't matter how many times he tells himself that he can't, he won't – he's crossed the room, shoving chairs out of the way and knocking them over, and clenched his fingers around one of Itachi's wrists, twisting, hard enough to hurt, hurt a lot even, maybe enough to leave a ring of purple on that white, white skin.
He knows, somewhere in his head, that he's punishing himself, too.
"You sure he didn't give you anything else?"
The look on Itachi's face is unreadable, not even a trace of pain. The loose robe slips off his shoulder, revealing another bruise on his collarbone, this one two weeks old, rimmed green and yellow and ugly. "What do you think?"
It's stupid to think Itachi would try to lie to him, because he has no reason to. Kisame can feel the black rage burning agonizingly behind his eyes, twisting around his spine like a snake. His mouth has gone dry and any moment now he might…
"I don't think anything."
Itachi's mouth curves into a cold smirk. "Then there is no reason we should be having this discussion, is there?"
Kisame spares a dull thought that they really might burn down the house this time when the cigarette holder clatters to the ground, showering the floor with embers. The blood on Itachi's lips is red and profuse, but he hasn't stopped smirking.
The first time they fucked, there were Itachi's mouth and Kisame's hands, rubbed slick and hot and skin to skin, kissing and fumbling and falling just over the edge of awkward, but there was also the thrill of crossing boundaries and distances.
When Kisame slid inside, slow and deep, Itachi didn't wince but it was a near thing given the way his body stiffened, and Kisame tensed up in return and said, "You're a virgin."
Itachi's smirk was small and hard. "Not anymore," he said, curling his fingers into the hair at the back of Kisame's neck and yanking him forward.
It gave Kisame enough guts to curl his own fingers around Itachi's thin, rich boy wrists and bend his hands over the headboard of the bed, pushing Itachi's knees into his chest and rocking them together, slow and languorous like the white boats bobbing in the blue of the bay that he knew so well, a sure, sea-steady rhythm that had traced the veins of his life, every single day of it leading up to that summer and the white-clapboard vacation house, the room on the east wing with the open window, facing the sea.
Itachi said that he was eighteen but was obviously lying. The first time they met on the wide and endless beach Kisame knew right off the bat the boy was too young for him, but that didn't stop him from scaling up the goddamn rose trellises that night and nearly slicing his thumb open on a rogue nail hanging from Itachi's window ledge, the only upside being that afterwards he got to fuck Itachi deep into the cool, white sheet of his bed while his family snored just down the hall from them and every sound they made was a stifled gasp, muffled into skin and collarbones.
In an ideal world, Kisame thought, Itachi would have been an orphan. He had the mindset of one and seemed deserving of the distance and distinction that orphans got, all except for the fact that he had parents. Two, even, and a little brother that followed him around and worshipped him like the sun in his sky and the moon in his night.
Itachi, however, was ready to be an orphan, to embark on a life as a person with no people. His family wouldn't let him go, and so, when Itachi talked about disposing of them, methodical, matter-of-fact, in a voice so chilling and detached he probably used it to recite classical poetry at whatever highbrow boarding school he attended outside the realm of summer and ocean breeze, Kisame didn't find it difficult to believe him at all.
After the third time he fucked Itachi, Kisame told him about sailing in industrial steamboats, about how much he loved it. He talked about the ocean off the coasts of the last ladyfingers of the Japanese archipelago, green and unbroken and graceful in its vastness, an infinity well within reach from the deck of a sleek white boat cutting its way through the water, the wind off the curling waves icy and sharp with brine. He talked about running your hand over the helm and feeling the vessel vibrate under your skin, the ocean rising up to meet you, and lifted his arm to show Itachi his anchor tattoo, small and a darker shade of blue against the pale skin of his inner wrist.
And at some point, drowsy and half-crazed, he started talking about sailing all the great oceans of the world, running the palm of his hand over the small of Itachi's back as though charting the routes of future voyages into his skin, and in the middle of this accidental cartography, Itachi looked at him and asked, "You're not falling in love with me, are you?"
Kisame jerked his hand away like he'd been burned, and scowled. "Yes, that's exactly it," he said, skittering with sarcasm, "I'm madly in love with you," and turned to face the wall.
But the thing is…
The thing is, and this Kisame knows, he hasn't seen the ocean in a very long time, and somewhere along the line they've picked up an enviable arsenal of sharp, lethal objects to compliment the cleaving knives they used to butcher Itachi's family, and after that they've managed to get pretty good at killing other people with them too.
Kisame has always been generous with his strength, which comes in handy when he's struggling against malfunctioning fishing equipment or bashing open the skulls of people whose deaths would pay their next meal, but neither of this is the same thing as fisting his hands into the front of Itachi's night robe and slamming his lover so hard against the wall he can hear the wood paneling splintering beneath him.
That'll leave a bruise too, he thinks distantly, maybe a welt the color of Itachi's eyes, cutting a line of pain into his back that won't fade for days and days. He thinks of running his fingers carefully over it, later, like drawing a map, but touching like that isn't allowed -- not anymore.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, there is the knowledge that he has lost his temper with Itachi a sum total of thirty-seven times. Kisame knows this figure with exact certainty because everything single time it happens there is also the hollow fear that he might go too far this time. Because what he also knows with perfect certainty is that Itachi keeps a knife in his garterbelt -- what he lacks in brute force he makes up for by being quick as a cat, and if Kisame doesn't stop focusing on the wrong things all the time he's going to end up with that blade driven through the base of his skull, one of these days.
But the truth is that Itachi made a choice, and Kisame is just now reacting to it, as well as he can.
He ends up shoving his face next to Itachi's neck and hissing in his ears, "Don't make me decide you're more trouble than you're worth. I won't do this again." He'd do it again in a heartbeat.
And the only answer he gets is, "Is that right?"
Suddenly he's very sick of that smart fucking mouth -- made for sucking cocks, he's always known -- and so he sticks two fingers into it before turning Itachi to face the wall.
At that moment, the territories he's always thought clearly marked in his mind are very fluid. Kisame thinks of cartography and oceans, how he's always been at home in the water, which rises up to meet him, lapping against the hard edges of his body in warm sympathy. The sea is cruel and treacherous but she loves him, wants him, and there's not an ocean he hasn't been able to sail, charted or no. But land is hard for him, and so is Itachi, whom Kisame used to think of as an undiscovered ocean, an elegant mystery that he wanted to map, to figure out, to go the length of. It figures he'd be wrong about that too.
In the midst of the jagged rhythm of their hips, he hears Itachi whisper, very softly, almost sad, "You act like you have a fight to pick with the entire world, Kisame. But you won't win."
There is nothing more to be said after that.
Kisame sits slumped against the wall long after Itachi has shrugged on his clothes and started applying his make-up in front of the chipped vanity mirror. The cold seeps into his skin through the fabric of his stained yukata, and he feels it to his fingertips. Once, what seems like a lifetime ago, he was lying in the sultry darkness of a summer night, waiting for dawn and the sound of ships coming into the harbor, signals that it was time to crawl back out the window and leave the way he came. He slides his eyes shut, reaching for the memory.
"We have work to do tonight," Itachi is saying somewhere above him, voice even and cool as you please. "Do be professional."
Kisame barely resists the urge to snort. He slouches against the wall and feels every inch of the woodwork against his back, the splinters biting into the palms of his hands. There is not a sound in the room, and he's glad he can't see Itachi's face.
The cold, clinical click of heels on wood breaks the silence, and when Kisame slits his eyes open, he catches only the sight of Itachi's retreating back, a slim silhouette supported on pencil-thin heels disappearing into the dishwater light beyond the door. The tail of his silk kimono drapes after him, a poison secret, but Kisame knows he's just reaching for metaphors.
Be professional, he thinks with a bitter sneer. Once upon a time, he really believed that was all it took, and even now, with a little money set aside and barring any foreseeable disaster on the event horizon, there is still a part of him that denies the obvious, a part that likes to think it can still all work out, somehow…
But Kisame is a practical man. He knows something's over far before it actually is. One day, the rest of it will catch up with them, maybe the laws or Itachi's wealthy and well-connected relatives. Or maybe it won't even come to that, and instead, one of these sunny mornings, those pencil-thin heels will walk out the door and down those thirty-seven steps and out of Kisame's life forever, and he won't be surprised because it'll only fitting that Itachi will leave the way he came, like a sullen submarine breaking the smooth green surface of the ocean. Maybe the in-between leagues are already more than they were ever supposed to have.
It's nothing big, just widening water.
He can't hear the sound of ships coming into the harbor anymore. He throws himself onto the bed and stares at the ceiling, flecked with golden light. The room stinks of semen and smoke and cheap perfume. There's a bottle of scotch on the bedside table, but he doesn't have the strength to reach for it and take another shot. Instead, he puts a pillow over his face and laughs himself sick.