"…You're really pathetic, huh?"

A single, pale finger stabbed upwards, trembling only slightly; for those who don't know, it was quite a good sign that her sanity still had some regime.

"Silence, bastard." It was muffled against the floor she had tripped over absolutely nothing to land face down against.

And yet, he felt utterly insulted.

"Oh, shut the hell up, bitch. At least I can stay standing…"

"Meeehhhhhhhhhhhh…" she growled, and he watched almost intently as her fingers curled, nails digging into the carpet.

Somewhat satisfied, Suigetsu pushed a foot under her belly and roughly rolled her over.

He blinked.

Crimson eyes gave bleary, slow blinks, their depths absolutely glazed…finally, they found him, and narrowed into a weak, half lidded glare as one twitched.

It hit him, softly yet soundly as her bitter look.

"Ha…you're wasted off your ass," he snorted.

"Go away and ddddddddiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeee…" She dragged the exasperated whine out as long as she could, her arm flinging up to drape over her eyes.

His foot landed roughly on her stomach, and she jerked with an irritated sound of sheer protest.

"I, Suigetsu-Sama herby claim this drunken bitch," he beamed savagely.

No, he didn't really want her.

Who would?

But still…this was fun.

"Getoff…" she slurred her arm unmoving despite the fist its hand was tightening into.

Chest puffing out, he gave a small bark of laughter.

"Make me."

If he declared, she bit.

"You look like a bloated toad when you do that—"

He cut off her tired snort by crushing his shoe into her gut.

Well damn any sound that would invoke pity. Damn it to hell.

Her whimper hit him, and his scowl faltered quite a bit.

Her limb had moved to reveal that her lids had fallen shut, her face contorted into a pained and helpless look…

He moved his leg away before crouching besides her.

"Stop being a wimp," he growled.

His teasingly glare paused.

Because her facial features had suddenly fallen limp and blank, her breath seemingly deepening.

Had she passed out--?

"Don't touch me, sonofabitch…"

No. Just annoyed the hell out of him.

"Jeez, there's something missing up here," he muttered, poking where he knew a heart lay pulsing in her chest.

Even if it be completely void to him.

"Ow…" she moaned, brow narrowing as she slapped his appendage away.

His peripheral vision caught something dark red, almost umber, amongst the shadows…too dark and far down to be her hair.

"You're bleeding." Casually, he took a long sip from his thermos's straw, his fingers barely brushing against the damp part of her shirt.

"Thanks to you and your damn foot…obvious asshole…"

Eyes rolling, he fell backwards into a sit.

"Hey, I only pushed on it a little—even though it's hard for you, you shouldn't be brainless around bar idiots and kunai."

"He was asking for it..." she bit out. Something in her tone told him she was expressing a lot less pain than she was feeling.

"God, you're stupid."

His hand had barely reached her zipper when her red irises bore into him, a death like grip painfully close to disconnecting his wrist. Che…I'm so used to her having glasses that I can't even notice when she isn't wearing them.

"Back off, I'm just going to see," he snarled dully, liquefying from her grasp. Her hand dropped limply, but her harsh gaze refused to leave him, making the task only more difficult.

Refusing the urge to look in any upward direction, he parted her unzipped jacket slightly; it wasn't deep, but a slash none the less.

"Did you kill the guy for this, cuz you nearly tear my head off if I even glance at you?"

To his surprise, she gave a soft laugh.

"Nah—but he's not going to be walking for a while."

"Peh—that Leaf Nin's rubbing off on you; killing's too fun to pass up."

She winced as his palm skimmed the wound, his water cleaning away the dry and fresh blood.

But then his ear perked, hardly catching the murmured sentence drifting to no one in particular.

"One of these days, they're all going to come back…" He blinked before finding her face; distant and hurt looking, as if she wasn't there at all, her eyes the coldest he had ever seen.

And despite what he would have usually labeled "drunken blabble…"

It all had an eerie sense that made him want to shudder, which was such a rarity that he hardly fought the unexpected urge off.

"And you'll see their dead faces…what you did to them…and you'll feel so damn bad…like you don't deserve to live…"

She broke off, her eyelids slowly coming together.

And he would've denied the small feeling of empathy with a vicious jab about how stupid she sounded.

If he hadn't of seen the small trickle escape down her cheek, the other lashes trapping another tear.

Almost immediately, he knew she was confessing her own agony, her own guilt. The experiments she was to perform, the living mistakes she was to kill.

He would have never guessed any of it had ever fazed her this badly.

It was something that both shocked and perplexed him that someone he hated so much could possibly have feelings beneath all the cruelty they threw at another.

It made him want to piss her off and comfort her at the same time.

"…Hey…those were Orochimaru's orders. You obeyed, I obeyed, we all did. The point is," he paused to watch her head turn to his direction, eyes remaining closed, "is that the mother fucker's dead. It's survival of the fittest. Kill the weak for all I care."

Slowly, those scarlet orbs appeared, half lidded and even more tired than before.

"If you have the single stupidest way of saying things…how come they always make a little sense…?"

A complement? Damn—she really was hammered.

"Heh—if I'm stupid, then that must make you below retarded."

"Blah...I'm not staying here all night just to hear you lie about yourself…" she retorted, the alcohol watering down what could've been a better snap.

And suddenly, the thought of her forging her way upstairs without glasses, her front half exposed, intoxicated, and completely uncaring about the three wasn't as hilarious as he had expected.

In fact, he was a little astonished that he felt a pang of sheer "this ain't right."

That's why random acts of kindness are so random—they surprise both sides.

The second she raised to a shaky stand, his arm was under her knees, around her back, and she was slumped against his upper torso, cheek pressing to his shoulder.

And just like that, he was moving up the small flight, grumbling about how he should've let her sleep where she had fallen.

Why should he care about her? They were always bickering, always snapping and tearing at each other. In fact, he down right hated her.

And yet here they were, her conscious slowly limping back.


"Oh shut up. You're so useless that I even felt like being a little--"

He was so forgetful sometimes. All the motion had caused her jacket to part even further, till it draped over her sides.

He stared down at the pale skin of her lean stomach, the slight curves of her waist as it joined her hips. Suddenly, the cut there annoyed him.

Despite his almost instant denial, it was ruining something.

Up her neck, the column of smooth looking cream shattered by jagged bits of cherry hair.

To her face, lips slightly parted, eyes just barely ajar, but looking so far away.

And then to the bandages wrapped tightly around her chest, the one that was slowly rising and falling to her breath…

"…nice…" he hardly finished the sentence, almost choking on a rough swallow.

And too suddenly, all the darkened hues were thrown back as the cloud covering the sliver of moon finally shattered.

Even with her senses fogged, Karin jumped a little at the sudden light, her attention joining the Mist Nin's as it snapped to the large window in to the left of them.

"Weird…how the darkest state of night's… the prettiest…"

That comment snapped a nerve—it was far too close to what he had been just…observing.

Had she noticed that he had stopped? Had she somehow felt his intense gaze weighing down?

So of course, he had to do something annoying; it was the perfection of defense.

He gave the loudest and most obnoxious slurp he could on his thermos's straw.

"How can you see without your glasses, four eyes?"

How he even got the damn thing to his mouth, how he even sounded normally laidback was beyond him, but he counted it as a stroke of luck. No—a stroke of genius.

"Ugh…when I hava hangover tomorrow, you're gonna get it bad" the girl croaked quietly, and her head dipped into his chest again, unwillingly relenting to the tides of fatigue.

Just for that, he leapt up the last steps, jolting her painfully.

"Gah! I hate you!"

"Wouldn't have it any other way," he shot back, but much more quietly.

Juugo was on this level.

Juugo was asleep.

When Juugo is awakened, bad things happen.

Luckily, such bad things happen that even the worst of drunkards would sew their lips up just to avoid making a single hiccup, so the girl in his arms quelled her insult.

It probably would have sounded too slurred to be decipherable anyway.

Quickly opening the door was easy; stepping into the temporary room was even more so.

But laying her down was the most ridiculously awkward thing.

He lowered slowly, adjusting her light weight to the mattress as he struggled to ignore her breasts pushing into him, the brush of skin on his as he leaned down.

Oh, how simple it could have been. To just throw her on the bed, leave, and go to sleep without thinking about anything at all.

But no…she had to go and throw him into all of that crap of staying up till the bits of dawn were crawling down, and the almighty dark dictator for life had slipped his head through the door to tell him it's time to move out.

It occurred to him that as he began to drift back up that her arms had woven around his neck—it was a reminder of the lack of distrust and distance between the two, which made everything even more ironic.

Because when he went to pull away, she impulsively drew him back down, the sake in her system and the disbelief that he wouldn't pull something cruel at the last minute instantly giving the effect that he was dropping her to the floor.

The result?

His mouth came a breath away from touching hers.

Something very close to shock overwhelmingly dominated the disgust he should have felt.

It would've been so god damn simple, now that he reran the scene through his head for the umpteenth time, to have jerked back.

So why the hell…

…did he move forward?

Her chin dug back into her neck, recoiling slightly from the tiny brush, and it should've snapped him out of it.

But then her arms tightened, as if she was stuck between wanting and pushing away…

He followed the pull, giving another tentative stroke of lips.

And then after one last pause, a full both sided kiss bloomed.

Warm, and soft…something so close that it merely crumbled every thought and feeling against it.

Maybe it was what had occurred in the middle of the stairs.

Maybe it was the little bit of herself that she had always held from him given freely.

Whatever it was…

He suddenly couldn't remember anything but the way she looked with her shirt practically falling off.

Couldn't recall anything but the feeling of small acceptance of this person he usually despised when she gave that hidden self.

And he wanted more of it.

Before his mind could register it, his arms were gripping her sides, his legs against the bed as his chest pushed down on her frame, mouths moving deeply but getting closer to insistently.

Her fingers were twisting into his hair and shirt and she parted her lips even further to mix his name to the shared hot breath and tongue.

His heart gave its first thrash, and a hand unthinkingly dragged down her skin, feeling the muscles beneath straining, listening to the hitch of her breath from sliding over the forgotten cut, curling where her shorts began.

Though he would have probably never said it, he had never experienced anything like this before…

The rush of indescribable bittersweet emotions, something similar to adrenaline, frustration, and needing all overwhelmingly coming at once.

The fact that he was pretty sure she hadn't either, that he was the first to make her like this wasn't helping.

His stomach was now fully pressed to hers as she pulled at him, and it made him wonder what it would feel like without his shirt between them.

Without anything between them.

The single thought made his twisting insides clench so heatedly that his hips slipped over hers without him even realizing they had, and the desperation to be—if it was even possible—closer was sudden and crushing.

She was intoxicating to taste, but it finally struck him as he longingly did…

He was tasting sake as well.

And he pulled away far enough to still be in her grip, but far from touching elsewhere.

The next thing he knew, he was here, in his bed, staring at the ceiling, his mind painfully numb from gnawing on the whole thing for hours.

Now, at four in the freaking morning, he had found a single conclusion:

He was fighting off both tempted and unwanted thoughts.

To Suigetsu's utter surprise, the unwanted thoughts were filled with forgetting it all, denying it all...

And the tempting was brimmed of going back.