First Shave

Rating: Semi-R?

Charecters: Just the one blue guy. Plus some dead men.

Summary: Just a bit of back round for Kisame.

Many thanks to Nezuko, who always makes me look much better, and ChibiNecco for the love.

***

His mentor was dead.

The blood had tasted...

It'd been everywhere. In his nose, overwhelming his olfactory abilities. Putting him into an instant mild state of shock.

It wasn't that he didn't know death, hadn't seen it, it was just that the man had been in mid-sentence and now he was dead, gutted dead, nasty dead, not an illusion--illusions never had taste to them like this, so specific he could almost feel the grease from the man's Last Meal and the slight burn of his last cup of sake laced into the coppery mess--dead.

Forward momentum carried his opponent down the road. The assassin--it was a man: broad shoulders, flat chest...

The ANBU assassin clothed in black, with a white mask--not a local mask, not one he knew--flicked blood (grease and sake) from his blade onto the grass, and turned and paused.

The assassin had only expected his mentor. Somewhere between disbelief, hope and annoyance suddenly vying for his attention (he let them, because it was better than terror, and terror was trying to burble up over the rest, but it wasn't going to fucking win--he'd lived through worse after all... have you really?) Somewhere he realized: the assassin wasn't using the same attack twice.

The ANBU was looking at him--he could feel it--and considering, because of course an assassin could consider he was a nobody. A smart assassin would just killed the dangerous one, the one with his face in all the books, and next to his mentor... Well, it was a good idea not to be in those bingo pages after all, and he'd just started traveling with Renjiro a month ago. It was to be his final evaluation before a mask of his own--back and blue, or blue and bleached bone white.

The air smelled like ozone and chakra.

That must have been a hell of a move, logic dictated.

Maybe the ANBU was tired.

Although that just meant he wouldn't see anything new besides fast steel and whatever happened next.

He could try, of course, but there had to be more of them. If Renjiro was the target, there were more of them. Or maybe not. Maybe the object Renjiro had carried was the target. The object that was their mission. But the object was secondary to the matters of the moment. He couldn't really take the time to look for other white faced spooks.

Now was a bad time to think about what happened next. What happened next was either death (there had to be a god who was a sucker for last minute converts) or getting caught and taken back to the assassin's village where there would be new scientists with new tests and less need to keep him alive.

Flash of light. He knelt by his former mentor, an act of grief, in part, but also to reach out, in... Hot, steaming, some bits still twitching because the brain had forgotten to tell those organs they were dead before the lights went out. His fingers closed over a split stomach, acid stinging where he'd chewed off a hangnail that morning, gripping the small round ball of wax around the... The whatever it was. The object. It didn't matter, it was the mission.

The ANBU didn't try to stop him when he shoved it into his own mouth, like Renjiro had just a few hours ago, at lunch. He just laughed.

His jaw worked at the thing twice, then it was sliding down his throat, unpleasant. His teeth snapped and locked as he gagged a little but he swore he could her the splash as it hit his own stomach. Bile taste in his mouth, more blood.

There. Now he'd have to be gutted too.

The ANBU was amused.

And not moving. Just watching.

Probably smirking. Of course. The assassin had the drop, utterly. If the fucker had friends, the friends had the drop, too.

He shut his mentors eye's with one hand, leaving bloody stripes.

His eyes fell to the sword hilt.

It'd kill him before the ANBU did, if he was stupid about it.

But it'd be his own death.

That was something, right? Maybe? He wasn't sure. The idea was nebulous and refused to come sit down and be considered until the situation meant it'd have a good three hours of his time.

He looked at his hand, still on the corpse's face, paint being smeared by the blood. Incognito melting into a sort of flesh-red-purple rainbow.

I don't feel like dying today, if you care, he thought to himself, looking at the dead mans face. The voice in his head was clinical. It'll take your arm to the shoulder, the voice continued. Better a lost limb than...

Yeah. Retired at 12. More like put in a jar with his failed siblings. The formaldehyde scent of that storage room had made him sneeze.

It was amazing how fast he was thinking. Or perhaps that ANBU was really slow. There was a name for this. Just before you died, right? Everything slowed? No, this wasn't that; he wasn't getting the grand recap of his life so far.

Maybe both. Another ANBU seemed to melt out of the edges of his too-bright vision. There was no sound anymore. None. Two ANBU. He was only jounin. Jounin with potential, yes but there was a gap between potential in theory and potential realized that was about six feet deep and as wide across as eternity.

They were starting to move, fast, silent--or was that just him, the silence--and so fucking smugly.

He grabbed the sword.

It didn't budge. At first. They actually started to pause, probably to stare at the tall, still-gangly person they'd assumed was a teenager try to lift something that didn't want to move.

He strained, felt the sword wake up in his hand, like yanking hard at the tail of a snake while it slept and knowing any second it was going to be shoving venom into your neck. It felt hot and dry like sun-warmed cast iron, but it was stinging.

No, please, let me get one swing in, please, he silently pleaded with it, using his other hand, trying not to touch it, just wrapping his fingers around his already doomed fist. He could feel teeth sinking into his palm, tearing, shaving into him. The teeth of the sword sunk into his hands, ruffled on its blade, shredded the body of it's former wielder as it popped up like the ropes had been cut.

And it hurt. The teeth were flipping, back, catching both of his hands--and later inspection of the footprints at the battle site would show that at this point the ANBU both took a few steps back in case the sword blew up.

They'd heard stories.

It hurt. Teeth catching his hands, swallowing his arms.

Red and shining, alive.

Move your legs before it eats them survival instinct said, starting to panic.

The teeth were ripping into him now, he could feel the vibration of a low growl down his spine, but still, no noise. He raised it, swung it back, and it was light, light as a feather, like a thought.

He was going to loose his arms.

Probably his life. Blood loss. He was already in shock.

Two down, then. And two that need to go.

He couldn't even tell which of the men had been the killer.

He didn't care.

He attacked blindly, a huge and wild swing, and light seemed to get out of the way. Steel was showing as the teeth migrated back, towards him.

The core of Samehada was exposed. Glittering dark and hungry, almost pulsing. The ANBU dodged easily, and one spun, graceful, elegant, everything that he'd never be, and a stream of molten glass like globs came at his exposed back.

He wrenched the sword out of its trajectory, back, knowing that those things would splash, burn him. He'd seen one like it, one with boiling water, and even if he had his hands free to summon the water to stop the hot glass there would still be senbon in the center--needly death, or maybe kunai . Samehada was getting thinner all the time, and he couldn't block a swarm.

Fiery glass glob death here I come

Not the best last thought, as last thoughts went.

He tried to block anyway.

And succeeded, completely.

The white hot of the glass left blue trails in his eyes, but that was because they were gone now.

The kunai (nasty ones, not local, maybe. Grass? Fuck Grass.) were embedded into the teeth of Samehada.

It felt like the claws of a panther, raking down his arms from shoulders to fingertips, but the teeth were moving. The sword burbling down his bones as it greedily drank in the jutsu and demanded more.

"That thing just ate it!" an ANBU blurted. Or maybe he imagined it. Maybe he thought it. There was no other noise.

"Samehada does not eat," he said, shifting his stance.

His arms were sore, but the blade was light.

"Samehada does not cut," his voice was calm.

It was, purring in his hands like a kitten.

"Samehada does not cleave,"

A kitten on a level playing field. He wondered if they were specialist in speed jutsu.

It didn't matter. He let his chakra unfold, fill his veins.

"Samehada shaves."

*****

He slept in a cold, wet ditch that night, arms wrapped around his new partner like a lover.