Crack Whims

By: firefly

Characters: Kisame, Itachi

Prompt: This one was taken from the "three times" meme at the Naruto Meme community at Livejournal. The prompt is exactly as follows:

Three times Kisame broke Itachi's nose.

1. Kisame gripped the tree root near his head, sweating bullets and grinding his teeth when Itachi ripped open his cloak and tried to staunch the bleeding.

The Mist nin had collapsed fifteen minutes after taking a hit to the stomach, falling to the forest floor outside Kusagakure as they fled the village shinobi and their barrage of poisoned weapons.

The pain between his ribs was excruciating and the burning sensation that seemed to radiate over the expanse of his chest made him realise the venom was spreading.

"Take it out," Kisame said through gritted teeth, feeling the tree root splinter in his hand as Itachi touched the hilt of the weapon. "Do it quick."

Itachi spoke after a moment's exploration of the wound, his voice grim. "It's barbed. If we remove it, we will have to return to headquarters immediately."

"I don't care," Kisame ground out, deciding he'd deal with Pain's wrath later. "Just do it."

Without preamble, the Uchiha gripped the hilt of the weapon and yanked. In the instinctive urge to double over and clutch his stomach, Kisame sat up so fast his forehead collided directly with Itachi's face.

Itachi reared back, clutching his nose, and Kisame shook away the daze before looking up at him.

"Oh," he said, realising what he'd done. "Is it broken?"

"Yes," Itachi said thickly, blood seeping through his fingers.

Kisame had the decency to look abashed. "Look, I'm—"

Itachi shook his head and stood up, swaying slightly before continuing onwards towards River Country. "I'll live."

2. It was no secret Itachi was going blind, but he went about handling his disability with such dignity and poise that sometimes Kisame forgot how vulnerable his partner got after a round or two of using his mangekyou sharingan.

They hadn't slept in two days and even Kisame was starting to feel his chakra reserves running low, so they decided to spend the night in a motel in Iwa.

Jinchuuriki-hunting was hard work, Kisame realised with a groan as he sank onto his lumpy mattress, especially when the pay was poor enough to only afford the most basic of amenities.

The motel was three stories tall and the elevator was broken when they got there. The only available room was on the third floor and Kisame found himself ready to collapse after climbing the three long flights of rickety stairs.

Itachi stood in the doorway, furtively rubbing his eyes before he peered down the long staircase near their room. "I will go check the perimeter."

Kisame grunted in response and closed his eyes.

There was a pause. "How many steps are there?"

"Twenty-one," Kisame mumbled.

Itachi said nothing and stepped outside, closing the door behind him. Through the cheap wooden door, he could hear Itachi slowly descending the steps.

…17, 18, 19, 20—

Then there was a stumbling noise and something that sounded suspiciously like someone face-planting into the wall. A few unsteady, heavy footfalls followed. Then they slowly climbed back up the stairs.

Kisame looked up when the door opened, wincing when Itachi walked in with his head down and his fingers pinching his nose to stem the blood flow.

He didn't even look at Kisame and headed straight for the bathroom. "There were twenty."

3. They didn't kill civilians as often as popular opinion held, as it was a good way of attracting unwanted attention. It was much easier just avoiding them in the first place. But when they made a short stop in a small fishing village near peaceful Wave Country, some teenage girl made a pass at Itachi and screamed "pervert!" as revenge for his polite dismissal.

Suddenly there were a bunch of fishermen chasing them with pitchforks and the two were too tired to run all the way to the next village when they had planned to spend the night there, anyway.

So they led the mob to the edge of the village, hoping with a degree of pessimism that the villagers would give up the chase. But the men were either overreacting or were just looking to beat them for a lark, because they didn't give up and followed them all the way to the outskirts.

There was only one old house left near the path leading out of the village and Itachi came to an abrupt stop when he neared it. Kisame stopped next to him, rolling his eyes at the sound of the angry mob in pursuit before looking at Itachi questioningly.

His partner stood there and seemed to be considering something. At last, Itachi turned and looked resignedly at Kisame. "Hit me."

Kisame blinked. "What?"

Itachi's voice was as toneless as ever but there was a dull sort of acceptance there that Kisame couldn't help but laugh at. "Do it."

Kisame shrugged, balled his fist, and clocked the Uchiha one in the face.

Naturally he tried to restrain himself, but it was hard to gauge his own strength and Itachi took an ungainly step backwards, wobbling and clutching his nose.

When he removed his hand, the entirety of his upper lip and chin were covered in blood. He turned towards the house. Catching on, Kisame accompanied him to the door and knocked, bringing his hand up to rest on Itachi's shoulder.

The door opened and a wrinkled old lady gasped at the sight of them.

"Sorry to disturb you," Kisame said with a grin, patting Itachi on the back. "But my friend here had a little accident. Could you perhaps spare us a tissue?"

The old woman dragged them both inside, hauling Itachi over to the kitchen chair to fuss over his face as Kisame peered through the window at the mob rushing by.

"You boys shouldn't play so rough!" she admonished. Kisame turned around in time to see her tilt Itachi's head back over the top of the chair and press a bag of crushed ice to his nose. "Now look at what's happened to this handsome young man. It would be a shame if he ruined his nose."

"A real shame," Kisame agreed, sitting across from him and grinning. "We'll try not to let it happen again."