A/N: Why is it that no one likes mpreg? Honestly!

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

Ratings: PG-13

Genre: Angst/Drama

Warnings: Yaoi and mpreg (some slight spoilers for later in the manga)

Main Characters: Kisame and Itachi

Additional Notes: . . .Well, I have another KisaIta mpreg in the works, but it's taking too long, so I thought I toss out this one too. The two have no connection, either. Completely different storylines. I'm not sure if this is really up to my normal par, but please—have fun with it anyway.

Kuro Houseki

It's cold. . . Kisame grunted, frowning with his eyes still closed tightly in sleep, hand searching the mattress beside him for the familiar presence. He snapped out of his half-awareness when he could find nothing—only a slight indent on the mattress told that there had been someone there. Kisame sat up slowly, breathing gradually to keep down the minor panic that was building at the edge of his mind, the whispering voices that said horrible things. Swallowing, he fumbled for the light, wincing as the switch caught and the light flared white and empty; he blinked, squinting into the blinding white. Nothing. Beside him, the sheets were pushed back and the bed empty. Nor was there anyone else in the small yet somehow cozy room which served as the bedroom. His trained eyes caught no signs of forced entry or struggle, no aura of pain or illness either. Where is he? Carefully, quietly, he got to his feet, not bothering with the slippers he knew were nearby—there was no point in them, anyway; he let his bare feet slap softly against the hard wood of the floor.

Worried though he was, Kisame refused to panic—not yet. He took some comfort in knowing that there was no sign of forced entry, and besides it was unlikely that anyone would come for them, as only a select few knew where they were. He ran through the list quickly, tallying up the possibilities: Leader-san wouldn't kill us—he needs Itachi-san's sharingan, and Konan-san does whatever Leader-san says, so neither would she. Tobi . . . is, well, Tobi. Hidan and Kakuzu—they couldn't care less, I'm sure, and we would've heard them coming a mile away. Zetsu . . . I'm not sure about him, but I don't think he'd do it without Leader-san's approval, and I doubt he'd get that. . . Orochimaru? Possible. . . He'd be the only one capable, and the only one who would bother at this point. . . Dammit, where are you, Itachi-san! He grit his teeth and began methodically checking the rooms—one by one. First the kitchen, which was empty, save for a few dirty dishes in the sink. He made his way to what served as the sitting room and found it bare as well. As was the small bathroom. And spare room, and weapons room. Itachi was no where to be found; it was getting all the more difficult not to panic.

"Kisame?" He spun on the spot to see Itachi standing in the doorway to the engawa, watching him with a blank expression. "What are you doing?"

He found that he was too relieved to be angry and merely sighed, running a trembling hand through his hair. "Looking for you, Itachi-san. You know you're not supposed to be out of bed in your condition."

Itachi said nothing, merely turning and shuffling back out to the night air. Amber eyes followed his progress for a moment longer before following after. The night was cool, inky black beyond the dim light of the doorway, melting away to nothing. All around, there was darkness and Itachi stood at the edge of it, staring out at it with equally black eyes, his face the perfect paradigm of a porcelain doll—all smooth lines and curved planes, unmarred by time and countless fights. Flawless. He seemed older—lifetimes older than his eighteen years—and Kisame was fascinated by him as much as he was infatuated. Itachi was a beautiful enigma that he doubted he would ever fully understand. But he was Kisame's, and that was enough for the older man. Itachi did not acknowledge him as he drew closer behind him, hesitantly pulling the smaller man closer in a loose embrace as he too stared out at the obscurity.

There was a beat, and then—"Kisame?" Itachi's voice was quiet and low, like fragile glass the width of a thread, easily fractured, easily shattered.

"What is it, Itachi-san?"

A hiatus, hesitance that put the Kiri-nin on edge. Itachi sighed, leaning back into the warmth of Kisame's chest, his hands going to the bulge of his abdomen. "What will happen after . . . after this child is born?" he whispered. "What will we do then?"

The question gave Kisame pause. It was true, he hadn't thought much of the future—such things were best left to themselves in his line of work—but he supposed he ought to. It was a valid question, after all. He hummed softly, his own hands finding their way to rest over Itachi's on the swell. A child—they were going to have a child. For as strong he was, Kisame could admit when he was scared. Hell, he was downright terrified of this. Of course, it had really never occurred to him that Itachi was. He glanced down, to see a crimson eye focused on his over that thin shoulder, waiting. He cracked a half-cocked smirk—a familiar relief from the worried frown. "The truth? I really don't know, Itachi-san."

Itachi looked away. Eyes closed, he pulled away, one hand still on his stomach; he passed Kisame on hobbled feet which carried a weight they weren't meant to bear and stopped in the doorway, a slender hand on the door jamb. He did not look back. "It's black. . . This was a mistake," he whispered, and then he was gone, and all Kisame could hear where those shuffling steps like a dying heartbeat.

A mistake? His eyes turned away. No . . . it was a miracle. In all honesty, however, it was a fluke. Itachi had used the oiroke no jutsu simply to make things "more interesting." Kisame hadn't minded—it didn't matter to him what form his Itachi-san decided to take. To him, Itachi was ethereal, amorphous, and entirely unchained by constraints; but Itachi had always been a curious creature, always testing limits and restrictions, pushing at every barrier until it was weathered away to nothing. No, he hadn't minded—and it had been an interesting change, to a point. Then Itachi had become ill in the following weeks. They had thought little of it at first—nothing more than a stomach bug, a flu or cold that would pass soon enough and leave them in peace. Of course, after the third week, worry had worked its way into their minds—dread, as well. The village doctor had been surprised, to say the least. Itachi had taken the news in silence, dead, withered silence that would stretch for two days following. Kisame hadn't known what to feel; he was shocked and so many different emotional possibilities were coursing through his mind and in his veins and they were all bundled and straining, all bursting at the seams and electric. A nervous smile had eventually manifested itself on his lips, as he turned to his young lover. One glance at the Uchiha erased it.

The cravings had started soon after. The full truth of the matter of Itachi's condition hadn't hit Kisame until the morning he walked into the kitchen to find the Uchiha heir eating peanut butter, pickles, and ketchup on an apple slice. Of course, there had been the mood-swings as well. Itachi had always had emotion, contrary to the popular belief held by nearly everyone who came in contact with him. Kisame knew better. He, and only he, could catch the glimpses, the flashes into Itachi's private world. He could see emotion in those few seconds, such strong emotion that his breath escaped him in a rush and refused to return, tinting his lips the color of old ice. Those eyes became ingresses that pulled him in, swirling vortexes of red and black and brilliance—insanity and genius, the thread constantly fraying and repairing, always on the edge of eternity, the pinnacle. Then the doors closed and he would be hurled back into himself and felt all the more empty for the loss of such raw intensity. Now, the hormones of pregnancy had skewed those flashes and the emotion was unchained and volatile, surging and ebbing with no rhythm. The Uchiha was a treacherous ocean now, and there was nothing to predict his next action.

There were no more words spoken between them that night, even as Kisame returned to the bed they shared, slipping in beside his younger lover. Itachi was curled on his side, his back to the Kiri-nin; he gave no acknowledgment of Kisame's return, though he was certainly still awake. Kisame sighed quietly to himself, drifting slowly off to sleep—thankfully not deep enough to be touched by the red and black dreams he hated so. When he dreamed now, it was always in monochrome black and red—all red, horrid crimson and dripping. Inescapable. In his dreams he was always alone with corpses, amongst them as though they were flowers in a garden, and he—the gardener. On the nights they came, he would wake in cold sweat—the dreams were terrible, but Itachi would soothe him with soft kisses and feather-light touches that lingered on his skin. Now, however, Itachi was angry and there would be no comfort for any dreams he might have.

The morning was quiet, soft and golden, light filtering in through the shades. It was peaceful—it was always peaceful here, despite the moods of its occupants. Kisame stretched cautiously, careful not to wake the Uchiha, still curled beneath the sheets. He made his way to the kitchen, mechanically going through the motions of fixing a small breakfast for two, his mind entirely elsewhere. His thoughts turned to the child and Itachi, as it frequently did these days. The child had kicked—two weeks ago now. He smiled at the memory and the panic that had seized him then; it seemed such a foolish worry in hindsight. They had been resting comfortably on the bed when Itachi had flinched suddenly. Kisame had instantly panicked at the all the possible implications of the action before Itachi could reassure him. Itachi however, was too awed to speak for a moment and merely endured Kisame's momentary hysteria with distant eyes. Then the slow, wondering smile had curled his lips and Kisame had stopped just long enough to ask of it. They had spent the rest of the afternoon feeling the child's small kicks and basking in the wonderment of it. In that moment, Kisame knew perfection, contentment—a slow, warm feeling he had never dared to hope for. Kisame had thought they were happy.

He was just setting the plates of food on the table when Itachi finally shuffled in; he'd been sleeping later and later recently and Kisame was sure it was fatigue from the pregnancy. He wisely chose to say nothing of it. Those Sharingan eyes took in the food with a steady gaze, but he said nothing as he took a seat. It was a silent affair, their small meal, and the Kiri-nin shifted in his seat—uncomfortable for the first time in his lover's presence. Unspoken worry had claimed him and though it was childish, Kisame only wanted to hear Itachi say that everything would be all right. No such words of comfort came from the Uchiha, and the silence was becoming deafening. Itachi finished what he could of his meal, Kisame watching his lacquered chopsticks dip down and back to those perfect lips. He ate over half before he sighed and quietly excused himself. Kisame couldn't take it.

"Itachi-san," he started, getting to his own feet. "Please—we need to talk. . ."

Crimson eyes locked on his. "About what? There's nothing to talk about."

It was a slap to the face, the comment. "Nothing to. . . Itachi-san! There's plenty!" Itachi said nothing, turning away and shuffling toward the door. "What are you so afraid of?"

Itachi stopped, glaring over his shoulder. "Afraid of? What am I afraid of? Do I honestly have to name it for you? Are you that dense, Kisame?"

"I'm not dense, Itachi-san," whispered the older man. "But I want to hear you say it—perhaps you need to hear it said as well."

He was furious—that much was obvious to any casual observer at this point, but only Kisame could see the fear lurking beneath the carefully constructed, now-crumbling walls of the Uchiha's defense. "What do you want me to say?" he demanded, his normally quiet voice getting ever louder with each syllable that was spat at the Kiri-nin. "That I'm scared? Because it's true—I'm terrified! Are you happy now? Are you?" He had started to shake and Kisame could see the outcome clearly and immediately softened his demeanor, worry claiming his face.

He reached out and pulled Itachi to him, wrapping him securely in his arms, burying his face in that raven hair. "Hush, now," he murmured, rocking the younger man. "It's okay—it's all right. I'm here."

The shaking only grew worse; Itachi's thin hands twisted in his shirt as he pressed closer. "I. . . I'm so scared," he whispered, trembling and nearly going limp in Kisame's arms. "What if. . . Oh God, what if something goes wrong? What if—" He was cut off by a choke as a sob tore loose. "I'm scared!"

"It's all right. We'll get through it," said Kisame, rubbing circles on the smaller man's back in an attempt to calm him. "I'm here, and we'll get through it. Just calm down, eh? You're okay—I'm here." They stayed that way for at least an hour but Kisame said nothing of it. At last he sighed; Itachi's trembling had slowly tapered off. The Kiri-nin pulled back a bit only to be stopped by Itachi's death-grip on his arm. "Itachi-san?"

The younger nin shook his head, eyes not meeting amber. "Don't go. . . Just . . . stay here, for a while longer."

Kisame relaxed. "Of course, Itachi-san."

The next few days were still tense, but soon enough they fell back into their routine. Though he tried to hide it, Kisame could see that Itachi was still nervous, utterly anxious. Weeks dragged slowly by, and the bulge of Itachi's stomach become all the more pronounced, as did the Uchiha's discomfort. Winter had come to their hidden cabin and Itachi's worry reached new heights and little Kisame said would calm him. Nearly a month had passed from Itachi's confession and snow now covered the ground. It had had piled up during the morning and now it rested in heavy drifts against the sides and windows of the little house, nearly five feet high, and Kisame frowned worriedly at all the white as he struggled through it with the firewood dragging in his wake. Damn this snow, he thought. It was certainly not a favorable occurrence. With only days left in Itachi's pregnancy, it was very possible they would need to stay in the village for the last week, to be closer to a qualified medic. Kisame shuddered and forced his thoughts away from Itachi's approaching labor—there were too many things to worry him, and recently Itachi had been worrying enough for the both of them. The Kiri-nin knew one of them had to keep a level head and situation had dictated that it be him. His frown turned to a scowl before he sighed, slipping back into the house.

"Kisame?" He glanced over to see Itachi, curled beneath a blanket on the couch in front of the small fireplace, eyes fixed on him with worry. "Is it bad?"

Lies had always seemed rather pointless to Kisame, and he saw no reason to start now. "Yeah. It's a bit of a whiteout and it's not showing any signs of stopping soon."

Itachi shuddered beneath the thick blanket. "Then we're stuck here."

"Seems that way," agreed the Kiri-nin. "Hopefully it'll clear up in a few days, and then we can go down to the village." There was no answer from the Uchiha—which wasn't odd—but the silence didn't feel right this time. "Itachi-san? Is something wrong?"

It was a moment before the younger man answered, and Kisame left the wood where it was to go to him. Itachi was fiddling with the hem of his blanket, one hand feeling his swollen stomach. "I don't know," he finally whispered. "I feel . . . restless . . . and I have a bad feeling."

Kisame offered a reassuring smile. "I'm sure everything will turn out all right . . . and I'm right here if anything does happen."

Itachi nodded absently. "I think I'll turn in early," he said after a moment and Kisame helped him up, steadying him as he made his way to the room they shared. He didn't need Kisame to help him—they both knew it—but the Kiri-nin liked to feel useful and Itachi liked the excuse to be close to his lover (not that he needed an excuse).

Though Kisame didn't stay, Itachi knew he was only in the next room, tending the fire and watching the white climb ever higher through the window. The Kiri-nin stared out the window for hours, his mind so full of worry and yet somehow blank simultaneously. It was a very unnerving feeling that left him anxious. He finally slipped into the bed nearly three hours after Itachi. The younger man was asleep—his dream must have been unpleasant, judging by his wince and the grimace that had marred his face. Kisame sighed, kissing him lightly on the forehead. "It's all right," he whispered, fingers lacing with the younger man's. "I'm here."

It was cold when Kisame woke some hours later. He groaned; it was too early to be up, and he distantly wondered what had woken him. Then he felt someone shake his shoulder, a voice calling his name. He sighed, batting at the offending hand. It was far too early. . . But the hand was persistent and the voice was becoming all the more desperate. Then something clicked: he and Itachi were alone, snowed in—it was Itachi that was trying to rouse him. He groaned, cracking open an eyes to darkness.

"Itachi-san? What is it?"

His eyes adjusted slowly but soon enough he could make out the shape of the younger man hovering at the edge of the bad. He seemed to be half-pacing in agitation as he shot fearful glances at nothing in particular in the dark room, one hand clutching at his stomach. His eyes flicked to Kisame and he ran a shaking hand through his hair. "We have to go. We have to leave and get to the village," he said, rushing and tumbling over the syllables. "We can't stay. Oh God, I knew something would happen—and in such foul weather! Typical. But we have to go and get to the village as quickly as possible. Hurry and get dressed Kisame—nevermind—just go as you are; it's only a mile to the clinic and we don't have time to waste." During his babbling, Itachi had begun to move about the room, grabbing random items and shoving them into a small traveling bag; Kisame sat up slowly, utterly perplexed at his lover's odd behavior. "It's cold, but if we—" Itachi broke off mid-sentence, doubling over with one arm around his waist while the other hand clutched the dresser, his face twisted in pain. Then it clicked in Kisame's sleep-fogged brain and he was wide-awake.

"Itachi-san!" he yelped, scrambling to his young lover's side. "Is it—are you in labor?"

The answer was hissed out between clinched teeth: "Yes, you idiot—that's what I've been trying to—ah!" He was cut off as the contraction worsened.

Kisame cursed under his breath, sparing a glance at the window only to see a mound of white for his trouble. "We're snowed in," he muttered. "Are you sure this is the real thing, Itachi-san?"

"Of course I'm sure!" growled Itachi. After a moment he sighed, relaxing as the contraction passed. "I wasn't at first," he muttered. "I thought it was a false alarm—but it hasn't stopped. If anything, it's gotten worse."

God, but Itachi was frazzled, his composure completely lost. Not good. . . Kisame sighed, flicking on the lamp resting on the nearby bedside table to see more clearly. Itachi's face was white, his eyes wide and frantic. He was shaking. "Calm down, Itachi-san—breathe. It's not good for the baby if you panic."

It took a moment, but after a few minutes of shaky, deep breaths Itachi managed to calm himself and straighten slightly, running a hand through his hair once more. "Y-yeah. . . You're right. S-sorry. . ."

"It's all right," soothed the older nin. "How long have you been having contractions?" Suddenly Kisame was thankful he had decided, out of sheer boredom, to read the pregnancy book cover to cover. . .

Itachi was trembling as he moved slowly towards the bed. "For about thirty minutes. Give or take." He took a deep breath, though it was shaky. "Oh God—it's really happening, isn't it?" he asked quietly, staring at nothing as he sat on the bed's edge. "It's really—God—it's—"

"What did I say about panicking?" snapped Kisame lightly, sighing. Itachi gulped and nodded sheepishly. "All right." The Kiri-nin turned away, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. "Well, we obviously can't get to the village—it's a whiteout out there—so we're just gonna have to have the baby here." He heard Itachi take a deep breath and knew well enough by now that another panic attack would come if he didn't head it off first. "All right. That's it then. Let's make the best of it, eh? I've read that book all the way through—so Itachi-san, you need to use the jutsu now, so your water can break when it's time."

When he looked back over his shoulder, Itachi was staring at him with wide eyes. "B-break . . .?"

A groan. "It's normal. It's a good thing." As Itachi preformed the seals for the jutsu, Kisame went through a mental check-list of the stages of birth—everything he had read about it—and took stock. "All right," he muttered, looking back to see a feminine Itachi. "You've got two choices, Itachi-san. We can do this two ways." Itachi looked up questioningly and Kisame ticked them off his fingers: "Dry, or wet." At the confused look, the Kiri-nin continued. "In Kirigakure—I remember from this one time, one of the women in the village—water-births were the preferred method. I don't know much about Konohagakure, but my guess would be dry births—no water."

"I . . . I don't understand. . ."

"Well, the woman sits in the bathtub, or some big tub of water—something like that—and gives birth there. It's supposed to help. . ."

Itachi seemed to think about it for a moment before shaking his head. "No, no water. I won't sit in a tub of my own filth." Kisame shrugged. Itachi opened his mouth to add something but it was lost as another contraction hit and he doubled over clutching his knees, jaw clinching. Kisame shifted uncomfortably. Five minutes passed and the pains subsided. Itachi hissed as he righted himself somewhat. "How long is this supposed to last?"

Kisame cringed, knowing the Uchiha was not going to like the answer; he stalled. "About nine hours, for a first timer. Sometimes longer, sometimes shorter." Itachi whimpered. "Just think of it . . . as a challenge. . ."

"Just shut up! Shut up and help me—ah!" Itachi gasped a bit as a new contraction hit—the time between was slowly becoming less. Kisame sat next to the younger man, wrapping his arms around him and pressing down on his lower back, messaging the tense muscles there. Itachi whimpered, clinging to him with his face pressed against the larger man's neck. Kisame winced as Itachi's fingers dug into his back but made no sound. Soon enough, Itachi gasped, relaxing slightly. It had passed.

"Itachi-san," murmured Kisame, breathing lightly on that pale neck. "You need to take off your pants now . . . put on a robe or something. . . You'll be more comfortable."

Slowly, Itachi pushed away, sighing as he started to get up. He winced and Kisame held out a hand; the Uchiha took it gratefully. He helped the younger man to his feet and to the bureau, grabbing a robe from the back, eyes carefully avoiding the black and red cloaks—their future was not a pleasant one to contemplate, as Itachi had pointed out before. He shook the thought from his head and turned to see that Itachi had stripped of his pants and was shifting nervously now, waiting. Kisame offered a small smile and helped Itachi slip his arms through the sleeves. They were quiet for a moment and those crimson eyes met Kisame's and held.

"Kisame. . ." He swallowed. "I—" He hissed, wincing as another pain eclipsed his words for the third time. Kisame waited patiently until it ended, gently rubbing Itachi's back as his muscles tensed. Itachi swallowed shakily when it had passed. "I wanted to . . . thank you, for being here."

The Kiri-nin blinked. "Where did you think I'd be?"

Itachi laughed weakly, arms wrapping tightly around himself, eyes flicking to the fading scar on the Kiri-nin's cheek. "You could have left me—when I told you. You could have killed me!" He sniffed, swallowing back a sob. "Why? You could have saved yourself all the trouble. . . When they—"

"Stop it, Itachi-san!"

Kisame had never looked so angry with his partner save for one other time; Itachi closed his eyes. A dark shadowy room floated beyond his vision and a glare on worried eyes. Leader-sama listened quietly, and the more Itachi said, explained to his humiliation, the more fury he could feel radiating from Pein's shadowed figure. He shuddered, alone in the center of the stone cavern of their meeting place. He could feel all eyes on him, from Sasori's cold gaze to Deidara's appalled one. Zetsu seemed as though he couldn't care less, Hidan was glaring, and next to him Kakuzu was cursing under his breath about wasted funds. Konan was impassive as ever and Tobi seemed lost. There was one member, however, that Itachi refused to look at, and avoided. The father—Kisame. He flinched at the name in his mind. His eyes found Pein once more as he finished.

Those gray ringed eyes of the Rin'ningan narrowed; it took most of Itachi's willpower not to flinch beneath that gaze. "How could you be so foolish, Itachi?" His pierced nose wrinkled in disgust. "You're useless now, to the organization." The Uchiha tensed at the dark tone in his leader's voice. "You've put me in a terrible position, Itachi. I have not only lost my genjutsu master but am now forced to dispose of a liability." His eyes widened. Dispose . . . ? "I can't take the chance that you'll betray me." Itachi's mouth went suddenly dry and the urge to run became unbearable.

"You'll have to go through me, first." Itachi's eyes snapped to the right to see Kisame stepping beside him in the center, Samehada free of its sheath. "I won't let you hurt him."

Pein's eyes narrowed further, his mouth a grim slash across his face. "Kisame? Step aside, or I may just 'go through you' as well."

"Kisame," whispered the Uchiha, dazed and confused at his partner's move. Kisame merely grunted, his face twisted in a feral snarl directed solely at the leader.

"This child is mine too!" roared the Kiri-nin, swinging Samehada down in front of Itachi and himself, his eyes flashing with barely suppressed rage.

It was a moment before Pein spoke quietly, though his tone was deadly. "Give me one good reason I shouldn't kill him to protect our secrets."

Itachi could think of nothing, his mind too scattered and stretched thin in shock to form a coherent thought. He's going to kill me. . . "It will only be for a year, Leader-sama," reasoned Kisame with a growl. "And the child will be an Uchiha heir—another sharingan-wielder. An asset to this organization, if he is trained right." Itachi frowned; why hadn't he thought of that argument? "In a little less than six years the child will be ready to be trained, and with members of the Akatsuki as trainers there isn't any reason the kid shouldn't get strong quick. Besides, Itachi and I can still help with sealings."

An anxious eternity seemed to pass before anyone spoke. It was Konan that broke the dead silence. "Leader-sama, perhaps Kisame has a point," she said in her soft tone. "After all, you will gain a strong shinobi in the process."

Pein seemed to consider the words for a moment; Itachi held his breath, making a conscious effort to keep himself still. The Akatsuki leader nodded then, turning back to the partners. "Very well. You can keep it—you have six years." He turned away—five steps before he stopped, speaking over his shoulder: "Oh, and Kisame?" The Kiri-nin frowned. There was a sudden movement and flash of silver steel and crimson and Kisame staggered, clutching his face and hunched in pain. Pein walked past without a second glance. "Do not challenge me again, or it'll cost you more than a scar and some blood." Then he was gone. Itachi shuddered, turning his face away.

Rough hands forced him to look up once more, his eyes opening in surprise. Kisame's eyes were blazing, though the anger had faded to the background. "Don't you ever think for even a second that I would abandon you, or turn on you. This child is mine, too, you know. I'm not going anywhere."

Itachi closed his eyes, leaning into the warmth. "Thank you Kisame."

The older man grunted, placing a firm, but gentle kiss on the younger's temple. He felt Itachi shiver, hands fisting in Kisame's fishnet shirt. The Kiri-nin dropped his hand to the bulge again. Itachi whimpered as another contraction hit; Kisame winced sympathetically, feeling the muscles through the skin. "Ssh," he whispered, rocking the Uchiha soothingly. "I'm here."

A shudder wracked Itachi's frame, his eyes still closed. "I know."

Time seemed to move slower than ever for the pair and Kisame could not have felt worse for his lover. The pains continued, the space between becoming less and less, the contractions lasting longer and longer over the next four hours. Kisame left Itachi's side only once, at the end of the four hours, to fill the tub to make three water clones—he would need extra hands, he was sure. He had just completed the last hand seal when he heard Itachi yelp and gasp; when he reached Itachi, the newly made clones following a moment later with reflected worry on their faces, the younger man was flustered and definitely panicking, despite the earlier warnings. It was a moment before Kisame noticed why—the floor around the Uchiha's feet was wet with discolored liquid. His expression turned serious.

Jet eyes found gold and Itachi whined. "Kisame." The Kiri-nin had never seen him look so pitiful. "What's happening to me?"

He sighed, going to his lover and flashing a quick, tired grin. "Now, the real fun starts," he muttered.

Itachi's labor began to move faster after that, the contractions becoming longer and closer together, and Kisame could barely stand it. Though the Uchiha did his best, he couldn't hold back all the moans. They were muted, low and wavering, pain filled and raw and Kisame wasn't sure he could take it. Itachi had tried sitting in the rocking chair, but had become too uncomfortable after an hour or so and he began to fidget. He rested, sleeping as best he could, for short periods—but it never lasted. The Uchiha had always been strong—on all fronts—but over the past nine months, Kisame had been helpless as he watched every one of them fall apart. He wasn't sure if Itachi could hold out for the entirety of the birth. The smaller man was already exhausted simply from the labor.

"Kisame," murmured Itachi from where he lay on the bed, beckoning the older man tiredly. "Kisame, it hurts."

It had already been nearly six hours from the beginning; Itachi had laid down nearly two hours ago. Kisame sighed, smoothing back those black tresses. "I know; I'm sorry. It'll just be a bit longer. . . You're almost ready to push, and then that'll be it, okay?" Itachi let out a quiet keening noise as another contraction hit but he nodded. The Kiri-nin watched for another moment before deciding he hated the sight. "Itachi-san, let's try walking—it might help."

Itachi groaned but allowed Kisame to help him up. The older man supported him, walking backwards with his big hands on the Uchiha's small waist while Itachi gripped his biceps as they shuffled about the small room. It was awkward and painful, but it seemed that Kisame had been right. The pains got stronger until Itachi gasped, his grip on Kisame's arms tightening. "Ah—Kisame!" He was panting, curling slightly until his forehead rested on the Kiri-nin's chest. "It's moving; I can feel it. . ."

Kisame nearly laughed with relief. Finally! "That's good—I think it's about time. Let's get you back to the bed, so you can get ready."

It seemed that Itachi's anxiety filled the room and Kisame could feel him shaking. "Time? R-ready?" God, but he looked so lost as he allowed himself to be led back to the bed he had vacated a little over an hour before.

"It's all right, Itachi-san. It's going to be fine—I'm right here." Itachi swallowed but nodded, tightening his grip further. Soon enough, he was lying in the bed, hands gripping his abdomen as he curled, a soft cry escaping his white lips. The pain passed and he fell back on the bed, panting lightly, quickly. Kisame was thankful, for once, that their bed was long and Itachi was so short as it allowed him enough room to kneel just below Itachi on the mattress; he gently squeezed the younger man's knee. "Itachi-san," he murmured. "You need to spread your legs—it's time to finish this."

Itachi squeaked in the most undignified way as his lover's blue hands pried his legs apart at the knee, spreading them wide. "K-Kisame!" Kisame almost laughed at the blush on the Uchiha's cheeks. Two of the clones flanked him, one on either side, and held Itachi's feet up. The third went to Itachi's side, slipping its hand into Itachi's and squeezing.

"Next contraction, I want you to push—it sounds like you already feel the urge to." The smaller man shuddered, nodding. Itachi moaned with the next pain, curling again. "Push! Push Itachi-san! Bear down and push!" Itachi did as he was told, though Kisame doubted he really knew what was going on through the pain—he screamed as he pushed and Kisame knew this wouldn't be easy by any means. After ten minutes of the same, the repeated process, he fell back to the sheets, moaning.

"No more," he breathed, his panting harsher than before. He whimpered. "No more!"

A frown tugged the Kiri-nin's lips. "You have to Itachi-san. It's just a bit more. You can do this."

Itachi was choking, sobbing now, shaking his head weakly. "I can't—no more. . ."

Golden eyes hardened and Kisame climbed up to brace himself over the younger man. "Stop it," he growled, roughly grabbing Itachi's chin to force those eyes to look at him. "You can do this. I know you can. You have to." The tears didn't stop, but Itachi closed his eyes and nodded weakly, cowed by the Kiri-nin's harsh tone; Kisame sighed, bending to kiss away the tears. "It's going to be all right—you can do this."

Kisame moved back to his former position and the next pain came soon after; Itachi curled again, one of the clones helping him with a supporting hand behind his head and on his back. It went on for what seemed like another six hours, though it was closer to thirty minutes. The screams were the worst part for the Kiri-nin—the blood he was used to, but Itachi's screams. . . His training as a shinobi had taught him many things, but he was not so cold that he could block out the cries of his lover. However, eventually he could see the child's head—it was almost over.

"All right Itachi-san—I can see it! You're almost done!' Itachi didn't answer as another pain hit. Two more pushes and Kisame could barely believe that he was holding his child in his hands. He stared for a moment at the small infant before shaking himself and cleaning it best he could—it began to wail. Kisame felt numb—somewhere in the back of his mind, he was sure he was in some sort of shock. He looked up to see Itachi's jet eyes looking at him questioningly, utterly exhausted.

"Kisame . . .?"

He shook himself and grinned, moving to his lover's side. "It's over Itachi-san," he whispered, carefully handing the child to the Uchiha. "It's a boy."

Itachi's eyes never left the child's face, tears running down his own—both of pain and relief. Happiness was a given, but Kisame knew, looking at the Uchiha's face, it was more than that. The child was no longer a mistake to the other man; Kisame grinned his familiar lopsided grin as he took in the child—his child. Blackish-blue hair and red skin that he somehow knew would lighten to a pale white-blue, though the blue would be almost unnoticeable. Black eyes. The child was perfect to him.

"What's his name?" asked Kisame after a moment, sending a curious look to his lover.

Itachi laughed dryly, head falling back to the pillow and looking up at the Kiri-nin. "Houseki—his name's Houseki."

Kisame's grin only widened as he bent to capture those lips, his assumption having been proven correct. Houseki—jewel. He pulled back slightly, his forehead against Itachi's. "Yea, our little black jewel."


A/N; Finally! Wow. . . Okay. There it is. The third KisaIta mpreg on FF. Amazing, really. . . Anyway. I just got bored. . . I made a fanart for it, and you can find that here: http:// kurai-himitsu . deviantart . com /art /Houseki-no-Tanjoubi-75567186