A/N: Extreme thanks to my beta, Stratagem Blue, for beta-ing this. Please, enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, and I'm not making any money off this

Ratings: R

Genre: Angst

Warnings: Yaoi, language, adult situations

Main Characters: Kisame and Itachi (of course this is KisaXIta!)

Additional Notes: Err. . . Not sure where this came from. Well, actually. . . Nope. No idea.


Anesthetic

Those fingers trailed languidly down the skin of his side, the movement listless, sending a shudder down his spine that was nothing to do with passion. Kisame did not dare to look down at Itachi, though the other man was sprawled across his stomach, curled against his side, his pale cheek resting on his chest. Itachi's fingers continued their journey, though becoming slower the further they went. The room was dim, dank, the deeper shadows playing across the cracked ceiling as Kisame watched, willing his mind to nothingness. The hand twitched and the elder nin flinched mentally, cringing at what he knew would inevitably come. It was always the same when the Uchiha got like this. Time passed and the pressure against his chest shifted and he knew the wait was over—it had been shorter than it had once been. . . He struggled in vain not to look down at the crimson eyes that were now fixed up at him. He knew all too well what he would see. Distance. Listlessness. Emptiness. He hated the look.

"Kisame." The name was slurred on that tongue that had once spoken with such perfection and poise. Kisame swallowed. It hurts. . . The other hand brushed his cheek, the touch cold and numbing. "Kisame."

He grunted, moving slightly to allow his head to tilt further back, pressing into the ratty mattress. He could not help but run from those eyes and the knowledge of what had caused them. "What?" His voice was impatient, resigned and irritated—defeated. Things it had never been before.

He could feel those frozen lips upon his neck, the contact dispassionate, wholly apathetic in the end. Another twitch, a hitch in the breath against his neck. "More."

In that moment he felt that he could cry, the hopelessness was so great. It filled his lungs like sludge and choked him until he could feel the heat behind his eyelids, salty and stinging. His breath was tight and forced when he finally drew it. "Itachi-san. . ."

The only response was a somewhat renewed effort as Itachi nipped the tender flesh just below his earlobe, sending small flares of pain through his frame: a warning. Kisame merely turned away. Fingers moved then as eyes narrowed, some warped deviation of anger spawned from raw need faint in their depths; nails dug cruelly into his scalp as the younger nin forced the answer from his lips with his own. "More!"

A lump had formed now in his throat, his eyes closed and his frame rigid. He sighed, pushing the smaller body from him and onto the mattress as he sat up. He couldn't do this. It had gone too far. "No," he whispered, his head bowed in borrowed shame. "Not this time." He could not bring himself to look at the man beside him.

Shocked silence followed his words, but soon incensed resentment came. "Why ever not?" he demanded, those fingers—both delicate and deadly at once—twisting in the dirty sheets. "It has never been a problem before."

He winced at the sneer in that voice. "No, Itachi-san. Besides . . . haven't you had enough?"

A dead laugh from that pale throat, so perfect in contrast to the veins of his arms, barred to the world in his exposure. "I'll decide when it's enough—and that time hasn't yet come."

Bitterness exploded in him then, and his nails bit into his palms as his hands fisted on his knees. "And when will it be enough?" he snapped, biting out the words in harsh gasps. "When you're dead, perhaps, Itachi-san? Will it be enough then?"

Itachi snorted, and Kisame felt his blood boil. "That won't happen, Kisame—" A dismissing flick of a fragile wrist, arms snaking around his shoulders, a whisper in his ear— "Give me more."

He felt nothing but the anger as he pushed the body from him, as his hand connected with that flawless face. His hands found those thin shoulders—so much thinner than they should ever have been—and gripped them in an iron hold that drew a small cry and a weak struggle. "You bastard! Can you be that blind?" He was yelling now, shaking that small body so roughly. He didn't care. He couldn't do this anymore. He lashed out and the smaller, frail man hit the wall with a sickening thud; he was on his feet, was shaking from more than rage. "You're killing yourself with this! Can't you see that?" Itachi didn't move from his place against the wall, face pressed against the scratchy fabric of the mattress, fists on either side of his head. The only signs of life were the slight movements of breath and the barest whimper. Kisame swallowed, looking to the dusty floor. "Why?" There was no answer; he closed his eyes, clenching his fists. "Why do you do this?"

The room grew dead, the darkness seeming darker and the silence thicker. Kisame could not shake the feeling that was curling around his gut, up his throat, around the back of his skull—cold numbness and something else, something deadly. Fear. He was afraid—so afraid—that the weak man would be gone, would leave him. And besides, he hated funerals. The very implication quickened his breath turned his thoughts black. He couldn't do this. His eyes darted around the shabby, run-down room, pausing for longer than necessary on Itachi's thin body but still frantic despite it. He had to get out—he couldn't stay anymore, he decided. He simply could not stand to be there for one second longer. Grabbing his cloak, he left the younger nin where he was without a word.

He stalked down the deserted streets, restless and writhing in his skin. He kept his boushi low on his head, hiding his face from prying eyes as he eyed the nearest bar. His mouth was no more than a grim slash as he opened the door and pick out a stool. The wooden stool was hard and uncomfortable but Kisame figured it would as good as any, considering he likely wouldn't feel it soon enough. He gestured for a shot—he didn't care what kind. The bartender nodded, and so it began. They were hurried at first, continuous to the point that the bartender feared for his health, but after nearly a half hour they slowed to a much more reasonable pace. The hour passed slowly and Kisame willed the alcohol to steal his senses, even a little. He willed himself to forget—to forget the beginning, to forget what he had allowed to happen. His grip on the mug tightened and his knuckles turned white, his teeth grinding in his skull.

Recreation. The word that had started it. Itachi had wanted recreation. Purely physical, Kisame had not really cared. At first. However, it had not been long before he had started to notice things, little things, about the Uchiha that he had never noticed, not in three years of partnership. The way that Itachi grew tired more easily than he had before, the way he had become restless and somewhat listless—even then it had begun. He began to long for the younger nin's touch, his taste. He found that Uchiha Itachi was far more intoxicating than any other thing he had ever come into contact with. This, however, was not true of Itachi.

It had merely been to make the experience more "interesting." Kisame had never meant for the result he had left in the hotel room. It had merely started with one dose; Kisame had never really been one for such things himself, but he had heard things in his time as a Kiri-ANBU. Besides, he had always had a "once can't hurt" attitude. He was wrong, apparently. He regretted it now, his suggestion that they try it for themselves. Itachi hadn't been too keen, but the first hit had quickly changed his mind, and Kisame had never seen his younger partner ever look that free and . . . happy. Perhaps, he mused as he looked back, that was why he had not stopped it immediately when it had become apparent. So many things had gone so wrong. . . Itachi's addiction was the result, and Kisame was well aware he would have to face his mistakes soon. For Itachi's sake, if not his own. Three hours had passed; he thanked the bartender and left more than enough currency to cover his tab on the counter before stepping out into the cold night.

The meandering walk back seemed somehow shorter than it had been before and Kisame growled in annoyance, weaving slightly with the effects of the drinks. He didn't wish to arrive at his destination—he wasn't ready yet for the inevitable confrontation and wasn't sure that he ever would be. Another five minutes of walking as slow as possible brought him to the hotel room door and he sighed, eyes finding the floor. The doorknob felt like ice against the palm of his hand and seemed somehow a portent of things to come. He felt his stomach twist painfully and he closed his eyes for a moment to collect what little of his wits his inebriated mind could before finally opening to the door.

It was darker than before, he noticed. As his eyes scanned the space, he also noted that Itachi had moved from where he'd fallen. He was now sitting on the edge of the bed, and Kisame could see his profile in the dimness, hunched over something and turned to one side as he faced the wall—Kisame had a bad feeling about the sight. The younger nin did not react if he heard his partner, though by the small glass bottle Kisame soon spotted, it was a very real possibility that he hadn't heard a thing. Kisame wasn't sure how long he stood in the doorway staring at the Uchiha, and in retrospect he found it didn't matter, nor did he really care. The alcohol he had previously ingested did not dull the pain attached to the sight, as he had foolishly, naively hoped—making it all the more stark instead. All he could feel was the black disgust that had wormed its way into him from that goddamned needle, replacing what could once have been hesitantly called "love," if such a thing truly existed for people such as themselves.

"You found where I hid it, I see," he muttered, finally entering and closing the door quietly behind him.

Itachi did not look at him. "Of course. It wasn't difficult."

Amber eyes found the floor, narrowed and angry—regretful. "Of course," he agreed quietly. His strike was quick. Itachi had no time to defend and found himself on the floor, Kisame's weight on the small of his back, the larger man's knee immobilizing his spine. Itachi hissed, his eyes narrowed, before lying still; he knew better than to fight back. Kisame captured the small glass bottle and held it down in front of that perfect, white face beneath him. "You're killing yourself!" His voice was loud, harsh, and Itachi could smell the alcohol on his partner's breath. The pressure on his spine increased as Kisame leaned forward and he bit back a cry as Kisame began to yell. "I'm not going to do this anymore! I won't!" The sound of breaking glass was jarring to Itachi's ears and those crimson eyes widened in shock as he stared at the shattered bottle, its contents soaking into the carpet, in front of his face. "It's me," growled Kisame, "Or that. Your choice—but I can't do this anymore. I can't." A strangled sound followed the ultimatum, and the pressure was lifted as Kisame stood, staggering to the mattress.

Itachi's eyes remained fixed on the broken shards and the urge to lap up the liquid from the stain was strong. It was crawling through his veins, slithering and twisting and burning and god, he needed it. That intoxication that wasn't anything else he'd known. It was the sweetest poison beneath his skin. It was the only time he could forget, the only time he didn't feel alone. He reached out to the wreckage and glass, to the liquid that had pooled on a curved shard with a gleaming edge. His fingers were shaking and all he managed to do was spill what little was left and slice open his fingers. He hissed, panting, as he stared at the drops of blood. Blue. Strong blue hands, gently wrapping a stark white bandage around his arm, that deep baritone voice chastising him for a foolish move—he was not alone.

"Kisame, you worry too much."

There had been a pause, and the genial voice had dropped in volume. "Of course I do. I always will, Itachi-san."

He glanced at the blue man's legs; the pant legs were rolled up and he could see similar bandages covering both of them, far worse than his own injuries. "You should have left me."

"I will never leave you, Itachi-san."

He was shaking now and suddenly he realized—it had gone too far. Already he could feel the symptoms of withdrawal. It felt as though his veins were twisting, writhing, tearing, burning and he knew it was only the beginning. Still, he did not move. When had this submission to a liquid begun? Since when would he stoop to licking dirt and grit from the floorboards, simply to taste the poison? Now he understood. He had lost everything, hadn't he? How had it come to this?

In the corner of his eye—blue. "I will never leave you, Itachi-san."

Kisame? Have . . . have I driven him away? So many times—blue, always there—Kisame's blue. He swallowed thickly and held his breath, feeling the tears burn his dried eyes. "K-Kisame. . ."

The older nin did not move, nor speak. Have I lost everything?

A ragged sob escaped his throat. "Kisame!" He curled into himself on the floor, shivering. "You! I choose you!" A moment's hesitation had Kisame at his side, cradling him as he cried. "Help me. . . Kisame, please. . ."

Kisame's tears mixed with his own as he rested his head on top of the Uchiha's. He was shaking as well, though from what, Itachi couldn't guess. "Of course. Of course. . . I'm here."


Owari


A/N: Well! That's done! Remember kids, drugs are bad! Please, review!