AN- This came about after reading the chapters up to and including 403 of the Naruto manga. I wasn't quite sure what genres to put it under; they don't really have an "irony" tag here.

This isn't really an ItaKisa, but if you want to read into it, I don't deny that it's there beneath the surface. It's intended to be more of a ... comradier sense of understanding without actually knowing ..well, anything beyond what everyone else already knows, really. But, the fact remains, lots of comrades that have that have the potential. So, look at it as you will.

Without further adeu,

I present-

Dirt Road

Maybe you fell apart a long time ago, and you aren't composed so much as there's nothing to compose anymore.

Well, at least you still have irony.

It was when Itachi slowed his pace that Kisame finally had the sense to pause, looking back at the elder Uchiha; as he did, so did his companion, and the knowledge that something was definitely wrong was out in the open.

Watching closely now, he could see the strain, see the fraction of movement that was slight shaking; perhaps shivering. He wondered how long it had been occuring, and how long it had taken him to finally notice it.

Minutes ticked by, and there was a slight jerk. Kisame's eyes widened as slowly, the willpower alone failed, and the mighty Uchiha Itachi sank to his knees with only the lightest of hisses.

After a long, deafening silence with only slightly ragged breathing periodically breaking it, the shaking was more than minute. It took him some time to realize it was silent laughter, growing with the passing moments until it could be heard, where it remained quieter than early morning in a graveyard.

Perhaps him associating it with anything about a graveyard was clue enough.

Perhaps not.

"Itachi?" Kisame asked at last, blinking as the laughter stopped.

When he wasn't answered, he crouched down awkwardly, attempting to see more of his partner's face.

Typically, he would be callously asking what was wrong. Typically, he wouldn't give a damn anyways, and would only ask to satisfy curiosity. Typically was anything but right then, where the ever-controlled, ever-perfect Uchiha Itachi was on his knees and laughing in a manner that was decidedly demented.

His browline lowered in a slight frown as no answer, no movement, no anything was given in response.

It was then that Itachi raised his head no more than three inches, still staring at the ground.

The motion didn't reveal much, but it certainly allowed him to see the tiny smile Itachi allowed to creep upon his face.

"I'm sick." He said, as if it were the funniest thing in the world.

Maybe it was.

"Oh." Kisame responded simply, not quite certain what else there was to say at all.

Maybe there wasn't.

He knew nothing of Itachi's life, and Itachi knew nothing of Kisame's, aside from the facts that anyone who knew anything would know. Neither of them would claim to know anything of each other, and that was fine with the two of them.

No one was born with a choice in the matter of how their lives would begin, and choices that changed it afterwards were few and far between for the ones that held luck... be it good or bad.

Some choices were made wisely, others not, and some choices were much harder than others; much harder than they should be, upon occasion.

They knew that, at least, and it would be enough knowledge to last them the entirety of the time they happened to spend not exactly witheach other, but as something akin to allies nonetheless.

He had seen the man express a thing or two here, nothing or something there, and while it gave him a rough outline he never expected anything.

But the smile he had seen, was seeing, was the one thing about Itachi that surprised him the least.

There would be no admitting, no offer for help and certainly no help itself while both of them were aware of it.

But when Itachi's eyes slid closed at last and he crumpled to the dusty, dirt-packed road, Kisame didn't hesitate to pick the man up and continue on their way.