Mind Gardens
Chapter Two

God had constructed Itachi as an object of cruelty. This, Shisui had realized quite a long time ago, but it had taken him a long time to word it properly. They were the perfect words, really; rather, that one word, "cruel." It described the exact, sharp downward angle of Itachi's eyes. It described the thin brushstroke of his mouth. It described the intoxicating perfection of his body. It described his intellect. It described his personality. Itachi was a cruel beauty, a cruel mind, a cruel tongue. And most cruel, of course, was the aloof, inadvertent way of him; the cruelest thing was that he was this way not on purpose, but by design. Itachi was an object of feverish amour to the point of intense loathing.

His exhibition was on a Tuesday in mid-May, a week, as he'd said, after he successfully initiated Itachi's entry into what was basically adulthood (he hoped), or at the very least, the sexual realm with himself as head and sole proprietor. And as his bruise turned from black to a putrid, rotting sort of greenish brown, he became more and more certain of the fact that he had a bit cheated over the course of the whole thing. I mean, honestly. Itachi had gotten to beat the shit out of him and cum in his mouth? And he even swallowed. Surely that was worth something. He had behaved himself admirably - yes, been nothing short of saintly, and his baby cousin hadn't even bothered to call him afterwards.

He thought it was about time he did something about that.

Step 1: Bait/lure.
Step 2: Redemption.
Step 3: ?
Step 4: Profit.

And why not work on getting some, while he was at it? Surely there was no law against that.

There was a law against sex with minors. But hell, what kind of person was both interesting and law-abiding? And, Shisui thought, he was certainly the former.

Quite certainly.

He'd been working steadily for several days, locked up in his room and transforming whatever space could be spared into studio space. His roommate, whatever his name was, hadn't been pleased with the development, but had been far too frightened of him to dare tell him what he thought about the ordeal. Thus, Shisui's room now smelled like concentrated turpentine, the shower - which he'd used for splattering - was now stained in every color imaginable, the windows were covered with paintings hung up to dry, and everything had a stain somewhere. Really, he didn't need to be working so hard - he was only a Painting I student - but he thoroughly enjoyed playing with colors. Learning how to paint inevitably forced him to learn how to see color, and now he was seeing things in ways he'd never before. It was liberating.

So, relatively speaking, Shisui was happy.

And, for that matter, prepared.

The day of the exhibition arrived without complication right around the time when it seemed What's-His-Kun might be preparing to formally voice his opposition, and several of his prettier female classmates (whom Shisui suspected had been part of a biker gang in their past life) helped him carry out his pieces in their low-slung paint spattered jeans and their sexy makeup. The set up was in a well-attended wing of one of the science buildings on the main campus, a place with cherrywood hardwood flooring that gleamed and white walls and lighting fixtures that he supposed were designed to have a minimalist modern sort of chiq look to them. They didn't, but he supposed that was the initial intention of them.

Set-up took about an hour; the trick was to make the organization of the pieces aesthetically intuitive while not being too overwhelming, or focusing too much on just one artist. There were twenty students in the department, after all, who had been asked to show, and that meant a gravity of what was, for the most part, excellent pieces of amateur art. There was one set he didn't like, where the artist claimed to be abstract but was really just a photorealist with a sense of spacing and proportion that was so sloppy, Shisui wondered if he had ever actually seen a human being in his entire life.

He wore a cocktail dress for no other reason than to wear one, a flimsy little red thing that hugged his barely-curves obscenely and made him look even more effeminate than usual, and when his roommate had inquired - mouth hung open in shock - what the hell he was doing, Shisui had shrugged as he laced up his Chuck Taylor's and said: "Going to my exhibition, you nosy brat", in that cruel way of his that made Takano-Takeshi's eyes widen in discomfort and a chill envelop his nerve. It should be said that relatively speaking, Shisui looked pretty good. The kinds of people he associated with (excepting Itachi, of course) were all strange enough to not see anything about him strange at all, and Shisui was far too comfortable with his sexuality (that is, he liked women but loved Itachi) to see anything gay about being a guy and wearing a skirt.

He was simply an island of himself, moated in disregard and home to the surrealistic jellyfish and sea turtles of his toxic waste ocean.

He skewered a Swedish meatball, which a friend of another exhibitee had been kind enough to provide as refreshment (along with a bowl of punch), and plopped it into his mouth, watching the clock. His cousin wasn't the type to show up late, fashionably or otherwise.

Rather, he was early. Not so much that he mingled with Shisui's associates, but early enough to be one of the first people let into the exhibition. He was, per usual, dressed immaculately, in a way that revealed absolutely nothing about his body except that dark colors became him. He wore a soft blue pinstriped button-down and a dark dinner jacket, left open, and he milled dutifully around, sliding out of Shisui's sight so furtively that it was as if he'd planned it each time.

Shisui finally caught him by one of his favorite pieces.


The eldest of them smiled in that dazzingly sickening way, sipping his drink and leaning into him just barely, but more than enough to get his attention. Itachi shied from him, if barely, wearing a familiar expression of vague disdain. He took a moment, as he always did when something was amiss, and Shisui smiled a bit wider despite himself as his eyes strayed with unnecessary length to his dress.

"...is there a reason," Itachi said, finally, "for you to be wearing that."

"Why of course. I look delectable."

"I hardly find that particular descriptor appropriate."


"I dislike the innuendo implied by your segue."

"..........would you like to consume a delicious Swedish Meatball provided by a wholesome culinary major for this equally wholesome spectacle."

"I'm not hungry."

Shisui sighed, expression flat. "You would. How do you like the work?"

Itachi watched him for a moment, before turning back to the piece in front of him. He seemed to take a moment to formulate a response.

"...technically," he said, "I am able to appreciate it's complexity. But..." He hummed softly behind closed lips, mind whirring so loudly, Shisui could almost hear it working through his skull. "...I am admittedly somewhat amateur in regards to my abilities to appreciate much more than that. I feel very little of it elicits any sort of emotional reaction.

"...not that that should surprise you."

Shisui scoffed, the most he could do to retort the vague sense of disgust and even more vague sense of hurt at his response. Hardly the sort of reaction he'd desired, but anything more or less wouldn't be Itachi, and he knew that. "It's a still life, you fool. No emotional reaction is meant to be elicited."

"Is it impossible to have an emotional reaction elicited by the message intended by a wooden bowl of fruit?" Itachi looked over at him, almost curiously.

Shisui sighed dismissively. "Don't ask that question. Ask why's not is's."

"...you're offended." It was a statement.

"I know not what that word even means."

"You are offended by what I have said."

Shisui smiled disarmingly, placing a hand on his hip. "Flitter about the rest of the exhibit, won't you. The mass of the people will make themselves present within the next thirty minutes, and I want you to look at everything before you leave in a mess of social phobia and bad temper."

"...as you wish," Itachi said slowly, still examining him as if he would like to take a sample of his skin under a microscope, if only to make better sense of him. It took a second before he detached from that area of the floor and went gliding slowly off.

Shisui remained awkwardly quiet for the rest of the evening, whatever sense of confidence that he usually carried himself with now absent and replaced with an unusually heavy dressing of self doubt about his aura. He was the self assured type, always had been and seemed lackluster without such qualities, and in the wake of watching his cousin's halo of black hair occasionally peaking between people, Shisui found himself unable to hang around any longer. For that awkward, nervous feeling he felt unaccustomed to was not going to overcome Uchiha Shisui, no sir, not even slightly. He'd jogged back to his dormitory, changed into clothes he was more comfortable in (that being a pair of stained jeans and a v-neck), and jogged back, hair up in a ponytail, only returning for the purpose of greeting those who'd decided to show and indeed quite surprised to see Itachi still there.

It was more to his character to leave rather than loiter.

He flushed, just barely, with a bit of embarrassment, hooking a thumb in his beltloop and meeting his eyes. "Cara mia."

Itachi tipped his back away, but the movement seemed subtle, almost involuntary, almost as much as the blush that streaked down his face to pool around his neck.

"...why did you leave."

Shisui grinned foxishly, brown eyes almost gold underneath the street lamp and leaning closer to him, inhaling softly. "It was uncomfortable to wear."

"That's a lie."

"Now, now. Don't be so quick to assume that because I'm the one saying it."

"Statistically speaking it is not unwise to do so. And besides that..." Itachi surveyed him, not wanting to tear away from his fingers, but really not liking to be quite so close to him, considering...recent events. Did he have to ooze like that, really. (He did. He really did.)

".......it wasn't my intention," Itachi said, after a significant pause. Shisui surveyed him right back before smiling a coy little smile that only served to suit his face perfectly, reaching out to toy languidly with a lock of Itachi's hair and letting out a little sigh. "I'm coming home with you tonight."

He expected token resistance.

Itachi provided none.

"Fine," he said.


They arrived at Itachi's home around an hour later; the maze of trains and the short stop Shisui made back at his dorm for a toothbrush and change of underwear in and of themselves didn't take such a long time, but getting take out for dinner did. They'd ordered from one of the little holes in the wall that looked like an ideal place for drug deals, and as always, were given far too much food that took an annoyingly long time to cook. Only occasionally did Shisui ever touch him, these little flitters of contact so sweet and so simple they could nearly be considered chaste, bare little touches that made the hair at the back of Itachi's neck stand completely on end and made his spine crawl with cold reaction without fail. Whatever it meant to feel so tossingly negative each time, he was unaware.

"Uwa, have I informed you before you that you are a spoiled little brat and that your home is the bane of my existence?"

"Seems a rather unfortunate bane seeing that I live there, and that it is an inanimate place of residence that can neither reciprocate nor cower in the wake of your feelings." Itachi let them inside with his key and looked away as he held the door open, listening for something before deciding that the coast was clear enough. Their steps echoed along the marble in the entryway, and Itachi changed out of his shoes automatically, even though there was no need.

"Not so unfortunate, seeing how every time I am here, you are here. Up we go."

He pattered along to the elevator, which had been installed by the previous owner, who spent the last few years of his life bound to a wheelchair. It was a nasty little affair, but the man hadn't died here, so everyone operated on the idea that if ghosts did exist, the house was somehow exempt from the rule. He pressed the button and immediately, the doors opened, and they crossed inside, and although it took all of his self control to not drop the takeout they'd waited nearly half an hour for and ravish him right there, Shisui was in a but of a mood by the time they were on Itachi's floor. It was hard to notice, only in that he wasn't vocalizing it, but perhaps the fact that he wasn't vocalizing it only made it more evident. He flopped on Itachi's bed, crossing his legs and pulling his styrofoam box from the plastic bag, popping it open and starting in on the chicken and curry.

Itachi swatted him off his bed because he was an anal-retentive little miscreant who was quite loathe to find anything but cotton fiber between his sheets, and sat himself on the floor; they rarely ate in his room, and it was small, and the strong, damp smell of the food soon filled it up to the window, so that Itachi was obliged to go and open it. The air out side was still, but invasively cold, and it sunk into the room like an ill-mannered guest. They ate in relative silence for a very short while, Itachi picking birdlike at his food and making a small dent in his sticky rice while Shisui watched him.

"...must you stare," Itachi said, interrupting him.

"It's hard not to, I cannot lie. You're gorgeous like a colorless, odorless, tasteless poison."

"...you're completely nonsensical."

Shisui smiled and prodded him in the forehead, swallowing a mouthful of curry that was supposed to be spicy, but food cooked by the Japanese was never spicy enough, and thus it was always only halfway satisfying. He uncapped his waterbottle and washed down the food he'd eaten too fast, which was going to start hurting his stomach within the half hour, and let his eyes drift back to him as he started in on the fried rice and soba. "That may be so. But then again. How is sense unlike a crystal? Madness on the outside, but delicate, perfectly-honed little structures that are as exact as ducks in a row or soldiers at attention?" He slurped a noodle noisily, chewing briefly before swallowing and letting out a contented sigh. "I believe that all things which are truly, defenselessly sane must wear masks of great and deliberate insanity so as to take a place in this cosmos. Because, my love. Crazy people are so much easier to deal with."

"You are incorrect to a point that I assume tapers into pure self-delusion," Itachi said, rubbing at his forehead and wearing a frown. A prawn was balanced between the chopsticks he held in his opposite hand. Shisui only laughed softly, taking a bite of bread and chewing it slowly, legs crossed meditation style and letting out a satisfied little sigh. "Would you like me if I were at all like you?"

"You are like me," Itachi said, dully.

"In what way."

"In nearly every way," Itachi said, setting the prawn down at the side of his styrofoam container, untouched. "In manner of intelligence. In manner of philosophical belief. In manner of heredity and genetics. In manner of collective promise and investment. We are not so dissimilar, either in appearance or in mannerism. ...perhaps in fortune. And, perhaps most of all, in our interactions with other individuals of our race.

"But scientifically speaking, we are very much alike."

Shisui sighed, watching him quiet and, perhaps more strangely, with content. "I disagree. But that is to be expected." And for whatever reason, the conversation made him think of his first kiss. Perhaps it was because he was staring at Itachi's mouth, which would be a pretty sight if it weren't always pressed together in a thin line that meant he was in trouble, but it drew him back to when he was thirteen. His first real kiss, it should be specified, not the little naive kisses because he'd had plenty of those from the time he was four, as he'd been born to be a ladykiller, it seemed. No, the one he had at thirteen was with a girl named Pak Eunmi, who had - in retrospect - looked just like Itachi and had been underdeveloped enough to feel a lot like him too. It had been an awkward kiss, but nobody - including he - could ever forget their first kiss.

He smiled softly, sipping at his water.

When Itachi looked up and caught him staring, again, he did not shift his eyes.

"...what are you thinking of."

"Sucking you off."

Shisui lied so much it could be considered compulsive. Not that Itachi's face didn't make it worth it. Blood shot through his cheeks like rose ink.

"Don't be crude."

Shisui grinned, putting down his food and shutting its lid. "Stay still. I want to try something."

"No." Itachi moved sharply away from him, in a movement so automatic and fluid that it was insulting, but Shisui just laughed. Being told his artwork evoked no emotion, that had been insulting, not because he couldn't take criticism, but because he couldn't take Itachi's criticism when the child showed so little emotion himself that he could be deemed a sociopath. That had been an insult. Itachi jerking away from him, afraid of touch, afraid of him? That wasn't insulting. Shisui laughed in his face, because this person, this perfect little wrath that was a breathing, biotic artwork and an island of himself in ways endearingly similar to the way Shisui was, he was afraid of contact.

Of something so inherently normal.

As natural as nudity.

Shisui grinned and leaned forward, nuzzling his cheek. "It won't hurt and you won't have to take anything off."

Itachi slapped his face away not forcibly; he passed it away from himself by the back of his hand, as if refusing a serving of tea.


"Why not."

"Because I refused you."

"But why did you refuse me."

"Because I found your proposition unappealing."

Shisui sighed. He was so agitating. Itachi had the ability to give very simple, straightforward answers, in fact, he was. He simply wasn't choosing to actually answer his question, and he hated that about him. He took his left hand in his own, lacing his fingers like it was something curious and obscenely unique, pausing quietly before taking the other and exhaling a small breath. "Nothing to it." Itachi seemed to falter in his certainty. A moment passed before he jerked away, and not nearly violent enough; his hand lingered in its same position before it closed, seeming lonely but reserved, small in it's closed, finite shape. His eyes rested too long on Shisui's hand, so welcoming and innocent in stillness.

"...please," he said, without realizing he said it.

And with that, without warning but with all the affection he could muster, Shisui leaned forward and pecked his lips in a kiss that was so chaste it might as well have been the first one they ever shared. Itachi's breath went sweeping out of him, like birds from the rafters of a Gothic church. His motionlessness felt heavy, but Shisui only smiled that awkward smile of his, the one that reflected his maturity and distance in whatever form it tended to take, and kissed him again, another naive little brush of the lips as he took his hand again and relaced their fingers.

Itachi let him, longer than it seemed he meant, and until the kiss had lengthened almost into something else entirely, and Shisui's body had positioned itself close enough to his that he could feel the heat from his skin, and his breath as it wafted along his upper lift, and he turned away sharply.

Shisui let out a severely disappointed whine, nuzzling his neck and hands moving to his sharp hips. "Itachiiiii."

Itachi moved out from under him as much as his position would allow, skittish and deeply uncomfortable. He refused to look at him, which seemed only to serve to further undermine his pride and make him cross.

"Cousin, what are you doing. Really."

"...why do you pursue physical intimacy with me."

"Because it would be highly beneficial to both of us."

"In what way."

Shisui let out an oh-what-a-bonekiller-you-are-

sweet-love sort of sigh, clapping his hands on either side of his face and leaning forward, pressing all of his weight in and kissing him firm but in a slow, adoring sort of kiss. It was a comfortable he was expecting to end far quicker than necessary, the way their lips moved together adorably warm and languid, no part of him constrained or in pain because none of his clothes were skin tight, everything so natural about it, like they'd been dating forever. And in some manner or another, they had. Shisui pursued intimacy with Itachi because Itachi was in love with him and in severe denial. How could he not be; how could they not be. Even when he sat there like a block of wood, Shisui could feel the tilt to his head, not quizzical or conscious, but so perfect. And the way his lips shivered like that. Ah, so cute.

He sighed, almost wanton, arms wrapping around his neck as he traced his tongue in slow, coy swipes along his lips, fingers digging lazily through the hair at the back of his skull. It vibrated quietly whenever his jaw moved, whenever his vocal chords vibrated like he was going to speak but never did, and Shisui held him close, if not maternally, nuzzling him softly.

No one broke it -- it tapered, naturally, in lieu of breath, and a warm, close proximity. Itachi's eyes weren't closed but they were so glazed that Shisui could see himself even in the whites of them. He scooted a little closer and kissed him twice, the first chaste and closed mouthed, like he was asking for some kind of permission, and the second more intimate, longer and more pressing, holding him in place by his hair but not roughly or harsh.

Itachi didn't fight him - though, for a moment, he sensed might (there was an undue tension in his jaw that he could feel through his mouth). The hair was such a nice trick, in the end. A predictable fetish. Itachi stayed motionless, as if he was waiting for something. But Shisui only swiped at his lips softly, little invasive gestures, hands moving down to his hips to wrap around them and pull him closer into him. (Itachi reminded of things he usually tried not to think about. Like the idea that what went up must come down. That the breakable must always be fixable, that what went around would eventually come back, and that every action had an equal and opposite reaction. Itachi made him believe that these solid, genuine laws weren't true. That he could do something and it could be sent into the oblivion of space and time, that it could genuinely mean nothing and that would be that. That if a tree fell in a forest and when no one was around to hear it, it genuinely did not make a sound.

The empty.


Like a child dying of thirst daring to cry.)

Itachi unhinged them like gears and inhaled sharply through his mouth, although he tried to keep it quiet so that Shisui would not construe it as a gasp (though it was). He blinked, seeming to return to himself, disoriented and dizzy, as if Shisui had been holding him underwater. He backed away, hands pressing at his chest.


He ducked into him, kissing him softly, three times over.


A thin, sharp hand pressed into his throat, and Itachi pushed him away, turning his head as if coming back to himself.

"...stop. Stop."

Shisui sighed sadly.


Itachi eyed him suspiciously, seeming to examine him like an egg for cracks.

"................ but why, I love kissing you."

He shuddered in what seemed like revulsion.

"...do not use that word."

"Why do I repulse you."

"...you do not repulse me. Your actions repulse me."

"No, they don't. You enjoy them and we are both aware of that. Some societal standard that we can't be together makes me repulsive to you. And that is disgusting. You have no reason to submit to that, you're not a part of normal society. You're better than that. You've got the third highest tested IQ of anyone alive, what the fuck does it matter what anyone thinks. It's just you and me against the entire world, and believe it or not, you're going to need me. Despite my apparently being the last thing you want."

Itachi stared at him for what felt like a very long time before reaching out and slapping him half-heartedly across the face.

"...are you. Delusional."

He paused to let his question dangle but continued, as if he did not necessarily want it answered. "Are you daft, what about my actions have portrayed unto you any degree of umbrage taken with the quality of your character. Even when you repeatedly force affections onto me that I have tried my best to communicate are unwelcome, I return to you. I eat with you. I allow you into my home. I attend events I would otherwise not attend. Which of these actions has communicated the contempt you claim?"

"The action involving you being deeply in love with me but still rejecting me."

Itachi balked slightly, making a face like he could spit. "Do not use that word, I will not tell you. Again."

"Why. What's wrong with it."

"...do you understand that-- No." Itachi shook his head vaguely and lowered his voice with his eyes, speaking more to himself. "Evidently, you have failed to deduce from my actions the degree to which I dislike being apart from and ignored by you."

He seemed to mull over this, and then looked up. "I have no understanding of love. None whatsoever. My understanding of the majority of emotions, most especially as pertains to relationships between individuals. But I am very aware of what I do and do not like.

"Do you have even the remotest understanding-- Shisui." He was near hissing between his teeth. "Whose house do I live in."

"That's not a valid arguement!" Shisui's voice was equally quiet, barely above a whisper, but still, the anger in it was unmistakable. Anger and hurt and flurries of emotions that fluttered in the cushioned sky of his consciousness. "Because you hate me to touch you no matter where we are. It's not about fear of your mother and father because no matter how far away from them we are, you still feign paranoia. But it's not about that and if you knew yourself in any fraction of the way that I know you, you would understand that." His white, straight teeth were gritted together, and his fists were clenched, physical reactions to isolate himself from Itachi's words that blatantly contradicted everything he did.

"I hate anyone to touch me," Itachi said, his logic seeming to taper into something frigid. "I have always hated anyone to touch me, you unrepentant fool, and still you insist, endlessly, you insist, and now you insist upon doing things that are socially unacceptable to a degree that may lead to our prolonged separation and so I refuse you that you might get ahold of yourself, you repugnant imbecile."

Shisui blinked as if he'd been struck.

Itachi did not take his eyes from him.

"I cannot make you see through violence. I cannot make you see through peaceable dialogue, or through consistency. What need I do, Shisui. To bludgeon through your thick. Skull."

The eldest said nothing, still just staring back at him, eyes a little wider than usual and hissing all kinds of rage, all kinds of hurt. It was a distance Itachi wasn't used to, couldn't be used to, for all of the cruel flickers in his face that screamed traitor. That screamed How Dare You, because how dare he. Shisui was an emotional creature, a passionate little thing, and Itachi knew that. And was taking advantage of it. It generated a thick unease in Itachi but he managed, to his credit, not to flinch or recoil from him. Shisui was a storm, dark clouds brewing in a thick maelstrom of anger and betrayal that he knew neither how to reason with, nor how to defuse. It made him deeply uncomfortable, and so he schooled himself in preparation for a fight, thinking that this only proved his point, things would be so much easier, so much simpler, if Shisui would just relinquish all of this ridiculousness. There was nothing appealing about this situation, about the arguments, about the abstract complete lack of interest he had in any kind of intimate relationship with anyone, and why did Shisui need this sort of thing of him anyway, why couldn't they return to their simple... But was friendship really the word for it. And didn't this sort of thing indicate that if it was a friendship, Shisui was dissatisfied with its nature. And hadn't he professed to want this all along.

Itachi knew not, and either way the prospect did not interest him at all. He blocked the possibility from his mind because it was an inaccessible area of unexplored blackness that did not draw his curiosity or interest, but rather his avoidance. No, he would rather not think about that at all.

He hardly realized when the beats of silence turned to rhythm of heavy footsteps at the end of the hall.

In a second, Itachi seemed to extinguish entirely.

Shisui backed away from him too fast, drawing back into himself but that unimaginable emotion still coiling in his eyes, picking up his Styrofoam box and returning to his food, eating it in thick mouthfuls without stopping for water as the inevitable knock came to the door. Itachi's forced-calm 'come in', and the knob turned, and he felt Fugaku's looming presence behind him, watching him with the same condescending disgust that his son had stared him down with only seconds before. The prospect only succeeded to piss him off even more, and as he chewed, he felt an unbearable, sudden pain that had him blinking tears as his teeth almost tore through his tongue, every one of his muscles going tense as his nerves alighted with fire and the spices in his mouth collided furiously with the open wound.

"You're here, Shisui?"

He stood up, trying to control the natural reaction to that much sudden pain, fists clenched and holding the box.

"I was just leaving."

In his peripheral vision, he saw Itachi's head whip around, his face painted in an expression of surprise, dismay, and brewing discontent. Shisui did not look at him.

Fugaku did, however. "Itachi. Get dressed. You're to accompany me to the office."

"Now," he added, irritably, when his eldest son remained motionless.

"...of course," Itachi said, so quietly it was remarkable Fugaku heard him.


The weekend passed quietly, but on the following Monday, Shisui came across him eating lunch at the cafeteria and gave him an all too kind smile, shifting his portfolio into the other arm (it contained all of the artworks from the previous exhibition) and sitting down with him. Smiling confused people. It was disarming in ways that a deep frown or eyes brimming with tears and content could never hope to be; it hid things. Because it lit up the face naturally, with joy that may or may not have been there. Shisui pretended nothing happened, and for all intents and purposes, nothing had as he sat down and took Itachi's water bottle from his tray, uncapping it and swallowing a mouthful.

"Good afternoon, cousin."

Itachi stared at him. He had the telltale haggard look of someone who had not slept well in several weeks.

"...what do you want. Shisui."

"To eat. Since you're not." He glanced at the untouched plate of food in front of him.

"Forgive me my appetite."

"I'll do my best."

Itachi's eyes narrowed.

Shisui's only rolled in agitation. "If you're going to be like that, I can ignore you until next semester."

Itachi's hands snapped into sharp fists and then tried to make as if they hadn't. He didn't seem to know how to say what he wanted without giving away too much. "...I wonder if you understand how irritating you are," he said, at last, voice grating. Shisui's smile widened another half inch up his face as he took a pair of chopsticks from the table and swiped a mouthful of noodles from Itachi's tray, chewing it slowly and shrugging his backpack off his shoulders. The gesture was an anchor-dropping of sorts, and he crossed his legs loosely. "I likely do not. You see, I find myself quite adorable, and I'm afraid I'm not the only one~"

"If you would like to break out into a song and dance routine, there are more appropriate audiences." Itachi eyed his backpack before looking back at him, seeming not to care at all about the quickly disappearing food that Shisui spirited off his plate.

"... I was extremely tempted the moment you said that and you should be aware that despite all of the temptations, I resisted it."

"I will make a note in the official record."

Shisui laughed, scooping up another bunch of noodles and holding it front of Itachi's lips. "Eat it. You're skeletal."

Itachi studied him before turning his head. "I'm not hungry."

"Eat it."

"Do not order me."

"You're so humorless."

Itachi stared at him blankly until he withdrew the noodles from his face, which Shisui opted to eat because not bothering would obviously be a waste of already wasted effort. "I declared my major on Saturday. Painting." He didn't really have a reason to tell him, other than that he couldn't think of anything else to say, but the strangeness of it really couldn't be overstated. That an Uchiha would not only dare to use a college education studying something besides business, but in not studying business (acceptable alternatives could be political science, pre-law, pre-med, and various forms of applied sciences) - he was studying something that wouldn't contribute to the corporation. The only form of art that could possibly be useful would be design work for advertisements and marketing, but no. Shisui hated design. It was too simply, too clean, too pointless in all of the ways the strict family he'd been born into believe that painting was pointless.

Fugaku, oh, he didn't need to imagine, he knew what Fugaku would say. Nothing, as it were. Nothing and with that same god damned condescending face, as if he were the presiding judge of all things significant and useful. He would make that same face he made whenever he caught sight of him; as if he were something hideously dead and rotting.

Not that he particularly cared. No, Fugaku's face did not particularly weigh on his conscience but for the fact that he knew that face could be broadcast in Itachi's features. That, he cared about. Somewhat. Perhaps more than somewhat. So much that it rent his insides and made him angry enough to cry.

But Itachi did not make That Face and he did not recoil and he did not look about to betray or judge him.

"I think I might take classes over the breaks as well. I have nowhere to go either way; spending the summer in a rental apartment again would be a waste of time and money, and I doubt I could give a decent excuse for another trip abroad."

"...we have a guest room, you know."

Shisui blinked. He assumed - and quite rightfully so - that Itachi was still mad at him for whatever it was he was always doing wrong, which he was sure was nothing because after all, there was no sin in knowing what you want and going after it. A person like Shisui, who pursued Itachi blindly regardless of whatever rejection or obstacle existed, was the kind of guy that typically existed only in romance novels. Because in real life, there was a little thing that started with an r and rhymed with estraining order. He stared into Itachi's eyes for a moment before smiling strangely.

"Don't offer something you don't want me to take you up on, cara mia."

Itachi's facial muscles didn't move. "It is an invitation to nothing but a roof over your head. Shisui."

"Accepted: no take-backs."

Itachi nodded, vaguely, eyes drifting elsewhere as he milled through the whirlwind of thought moving through his brain.


Shisui came across him a few days later on the way back from a large superstore, struggling to carry several bulky bags (groceries, light bulbs, razors, trash bags, disposable dishware, and a bag of chopsticks) all the way from said superstore to his dormitory without getting something of value stolen. The sun had been nearly down by that point - it was quite late, later than it should be and Shisui had a tendency to spend extremely long amounts of time in a store looking for the cheapest thing that passed his muster because he was so stingy - and so with the appropriate quiet that went along with a sunset, Shisui's discomfort was loud enough to attract plenty of unnecessary attention. To be technical, Itachi had spotted the ridiculous fool on the way into his dorm without being spotted himself, and had opted not to move from his bench, only - to his surprise - for his cousin to come back out of the building only twenty minutes later and nearly immediately see him.

"Darling brat cousin!"

"Was that prefix entirely necessary." Itachi shut his book (a paperback edition of The Sound and the Fury) and looked up at him.

".... but you are darling."

"...is that so." Itachi didn't sound at all convinced.

"Of course. You remind me of cats. Did you know that the house cat is the only animals that self domesticated? A house cat can literally become feral at will."

"That seems unlikely."

"No, apparently self-domestication is a phenomena that has been going on for some time. It started in the Near-East, which I suppose means Mesopotamia. Anyway, according to what I read, the proof that backs it up is because there's no real difference between a domestic house cat and a feral cat, and there never has. There's no evolutionary paper trail, not like with most other domesticated animals. It's interesting." Shisui took in Itachi's blank expression and laughed. "To me, anyway."

When it came to their genius, Itachi really got the better end. Itachi remembered things that were important, sometimes interesting, and would probably grow up to cure cancer. Shisui remembered things he considered interesting. Granted, if he were in the same classes Itachi took, he would always be second, and occasionally surpass him when problems involved the creative and abstract thinking Itachi found difficult. But Shisui hated the kinds of classes Itachi took, and wished classes existed that were full of completely pointless information because pointless information tended to be interesting, while advanced physics tended to not.

"...you think that this information relates to me metaphorically," Itachi said, staring at him.

Shisui blinked. "...perhaps?"

Itachi sighed. "What do you want."

"I'm glad you asked. You see, there's a strong chance my roommate is going to lose his virginity tonight to some ignorant slut, and when I moved in with him, I told him if I was banging somebody, he had to go. And he responded with, well, if that applies to me, than if I have a lady over, you have to go. And I, pretty much under the assumption that that would never happen, agreed. And now he's got a date and I need a bed tonight."

Itachi stared at him as if he had just colorfully described a nightmare the two had shared, but seemed to shake it off with admirable precision and opened the fastening on his leather book bag to slide his novel inside. "Fine," he said, and he got up without looking at him or reaching for his phone, which was strange, because Shisui was well aware that regardless of where she was, hierarchy decreed that overnight guests permissions were to be approved by his Aunt Mikoto. But he didn't bother to argue or make voice of it. Itachi was too logical a creature for him to do anything without purpose.


It was late when Shisui crawled out of bed. To be exact, it was 1:09 AM, and in his defense, it had not been his fault: he'd been having a dream and it stirred him out of his comfortable unconscious, a dream which set him on such a thought train that he couldn't pull himself out of it long enough to fall asleep again. In the dream, he'd been walking barefoot over something that had the feel of a desert, but after a few steps, he'd realized it simply couldn't be a desert. It was desolate, devoid of life and all lush greens, but the ground was dark, and the sky was red. As his vision came into focus, a voice in the back of his head told him he was at a nuclear test site. The conclusion was backed up by the sudden change of scenery: he was no longer walking on destroyed desert rock, but a destroyed, fake suburb. Complete with burning mannequins and houses reduced to skeletons.

He'd felt the urge to walk down the street because apparently, he had to deliver a letter to someone, when all of the sudden he came across an infant. The infant was unharmed, but the logical part of Shisui's unconscious mind had told him to take the child to safety, because it was in grave danger of all kinds of radiation burns and long term poisonings. So he, the baby, and the letter were all going to the town hall when the child turned into a bed of three-headed snakes in his arms. It was about 12:38AM at this point as his eyes snapped open in horror, the little ghost dream sensations of several hundred snakes wriggling in his arms disturbing him so much he had to rip the bedclothes off to make sure they weren't there.

And thirty minutes later, he begrudgingly got out of bed, stretched, and headed down the hall to Itachi's room.

There was no light under Itachi's door -- a rare occurrence, especially given the hour and circumstances. There was no sound to be heard from within but he could hardly believe he was asleep, and he wasn't, not really; Itachi rarely really slept. If he did, it was never deep enough that he failed to wake at the sound of pin drop, and he had always been that way. It was his mind, really, it failed ever to stop working long enough for Itachi to lose consciousness, and besides that, he was predisposed to night terrors and sleepwalking, something which he had told no one about and claimed certainly not to fear, but Shisui knew about it, and he thought that if he was not afraid, he was certainly wary, and, thinking back to his own dream, he didn't entirely blame him.

He was most likely dozing, Shisui garnered from the sound, and a quick peek proved him right; Itachi lay still but noticeably restless on his side on his bed, facing away from the door. His room was immaculately clean and dark.

And although it occurred to him that bothering him at this hour would make the child unbearably grumpy, Shisui did not like the after effects of nightmares and did not have anyone but Itachi to complain to them about. It made a lot of sense, truly, that Itachi would be a good person to talk to because of simply saying that it wasn't real, Itachi would say something like 'dreams are the results of electrical firings in the brain when it's not being used. There's no point in dissecting them,' likely followed by a small thesis paper as to why, and by the time he would be done talking, Shisui would not only thoroughly believe him, but be so tired from listening to things he only cared about for the first five minutes in a melodically dull tone that he would walk straight back to his room and go to sleep.

Or so was the plan if he didn't merely jump him.

He opened the door and pushed Itachi's computer chair next to his bed, sitting in it and watching him blandly. They'd been friends too long. And Shisui was the one who always acted like a child, but acting was always the key word. Itachi was more of a child than Shisui could ever dream to be. "Itachi." In a hiss. "Itachi, wake up."

Itachi's body twitched - he saw it in his shoulders - and there were a few moments of musty, pertinent silence before he replied as if he had been awake the whole time:

"...what is it, Shisui."

"I had a bad dream."

Itachi sighed and rolled over, sitting up. His head ached, hanging heavy on his neck, and looked over in the direction of Shisui's voice, practiced at finding the unfocused blur of him in the darkness. "Just now."


"It frightened you."

"That's what I said."

Itachi sighed again. "Hand me my glasses."

Shisui picked them up off the bedside table, sitting atop the same book he'd been reading earlier, and pushed them blindly into his hands, a deep frown implemented on his features. Itachi slid them over his ears and pushed them habitually up his nose, although they had already settled in the same place on the bridge, and looked up at him cryptically. His brow was slightly creased.

"Shisui. It was only a dream. There's no need for distress."

If it bothered him to feel stupid, if he had the kind of pride the other Uchihas had, he would never be caught dead talking to his much younger cousin about nightmares. But Shisui wasn't bothered with the prospect of feeling stupid, he knew he wasn't and tested ridiculously high on his last IQ exam, and he wasn't nearly as prideful about the same sorts of things his family were. The same things Fugaku was, who was downstairs in his office, typing away in neat, manufactured clicks that rung with whatever he was writing. There was always something to be done.

"There were snakes."

Itachi shuddered noticeably at the word before schooling his expression and looking back at him. He was far too level-headed for this time of morning. "Your subconscious mind was preying upon your instinctual and well-justified fear thereof."

"Mutated snakes with lots of heads. All wriggling together, hundreds of them. In a baby blanket. Which I was holding."

"...Shisui. It wasn't real. It was a generation of your own imagination."

"At a nuclear test site. With all of these fake people with their fake houses and fake lives being burned and melted into nothing."



"It was. A figment."

Shisui exhaled a somewhat dramatic sigh, pulling his legs up into the chair so his knees bumped his chin and he could lace his toes with his fingers. "I know that." And the more he was watching him, the less he was feeling like this had a point at all. Just seeing Itachi, looking that version of tired where it would be impossible to sleep, still half crumpled in his bedding and eyeglasses sliding bit by bit down the bridge of his nose, just looking at him seemed to suck the creativity and imagination straight out of him. He watched him for a few moments before letting out a smaller, more subdued sigh. Well it was too late now.

Itachi's face softened, somewhat, the edges folding in so that they didn't look quite as sharp. He reached out a hand and rested it on one of Shisui's kneecaps; initiating touch, however subtle, which he never did. He felt strongly reminded of his baby brother and it sucked the harshness out of him and left an unwilling fondness behind.

"...you're whole. As you can see. You are in no physical distress. You are exactly the same as when you fell asleep with the small exception that you have now had a thought you did not intend to, and it bothers you."

There was a short pause before Shisui looked up, leaned forward, and pecked his lips.

"That is true."

(And braced for whatever overzealously negative response was to come.)

But Itachi did not move. He remained as he had been, and except for the slightest blush, which Shisui could barely make out in the dark, he did nothing.

"What is real, Shisui."

"I'm unsure, Itachi-kun. Am I a man in Japan, dreaming he is in Nevada. Or am I a man in Nevada, dreaming he is in Japan."

Itachi studied him for a moment, seeming to take the question into deep consideration.

"Assuming that you have affected my reality," he said after a second, "and that which I percieve to be real, and assuming you are real in and of yourself, rather than a figment of my own imagination, evidence would seem to be indicative of the former scenario."

"And if I was a figment?"

"I doubt my own creative faculties have such ability to create something so far-fetched as you, Shisui."

"If I was a figment, it wouldn't matter if I kissed you. You would agree."

"Do we assess the possibility of figmentation based upon that supposed figmentation's degree of agreeability? Because in that case...well, supposing that you find me to be, the majority of the time, disagreeable, and that you find the landscape of what we are assuming to be your dreams disagreeable, wouldn't that suggest that nothing is real at all, for you?"

Shisui scooted forward and kissed him again, holding him still with a hand at the back of his neck, digging into his mussed hair. "If nothing is real for me, that makes my plane of existence a blank slot, a figment in and of itself, which gardens the thought of what makes you and I so different so that one of us may not exist but one of does." He tilted Itachi's head back and sucked chastely at his bottom lip, eyes open and seeming abnormally large and frighteningly bright for an Uchiha. "And the answer to that inquiry is what, my sweetest love?"

Itachi's chest flooded with a warmth that tangled badly with his instinctive avoidance thereof, pulling his face back abruptly so that the unfamiliar tug at his mouth intensified before it stopped. It tingled with hot electricity long after, and he reached up to rub at it, self-conscious in a way that seemed sudden. He eyed him, suspiciousness sinking back into him, seeming to assess how dangerously close he had allowed him to get.

"...cogito ergo sum," he said, after a moment. "Je pense donc je suis."

Shisui nodded and kissed his swelling lip.

"Correct. I think, therefore I am."

"Don't kiss me."

"I can't promise that."


"No, I can't promise that." He spoke with a more serious, almost earnest tone, slipping off of the chair completely and onto his bed with him. "And don't make me, it's a cruelty and injustice both to you and to me."

"There is nothing cruel or unjust about it."

He let out a frustrated sigh, reaching out to rub at Itachi's browline and temple with his thumbs. "It is. It's to me because I very much want to kiss you and you're deliberately and without remorse keeping me from the thing that I want most, and it's such a little thing. And it's an injustice to you because you want it very much, almost as much as I do, but you've brainwashed yourself into believing that you, in fact, don't want it. And that this is all, in fact, completely nonconsensual. When you want to touch me and like it when I touch you. You tell yourself that you hate it because you know your father would." He rubbed slowly into the crease between each of his eyebrows. "But you like it. And so I wish you would let me. Because it would simplify everything."

Itachi's brow creased softly beneath the pad of his thumb.

"That's preposterous. Simplify, this sort of behavior begets the exact opposite. How do you suppose this for even a moment simplifies our relationship?" He was calmer, though; not irate so much as beleaguered. His voice remained quiet and even, although Shisui could tell by his eyes he was attempting to mentally dissect him, his actions and his motives. "There is nothing about this that inspires simplicity -- and for that matter, I don't see what--" He paused, then, his brow creasing further.

"...do you truly believe that my preferences are in any way linked to my father."

"I know they are."

"You're wrong." Itachi was giving him the strangest look. "And I have no idea what elicited such a thought-- Would you please examine my life. Shisui. My father hates any number of things, primarily because he is an emotional infant obsessed with maintaining the illusion of dominance and control over his presumed domain and everything therein. You. For instance, are someone whom my father hates. You, with whom I have been friends for the vast majority of my life. Psychology. For instance, is something my father hates. My social inabilities are an example. My lack of interest in women is a growing irritation of his.

"And what do I care about any of that. It should be quite obvious that I indulge him only on the pretense of remaining where I can do the most good. Shisui. I am not a product of indoctrination."

"Yet you refuse to let me kiss you because he's in the house."

"I refuse to let you kiss me because I dislike it."

"Is that so."

"It is," Itachi said, slowly, examining him.


"How many times must I say it."

"At least once more."

"I suppose this is where you kiss me dramatically and change my mind."

"How did you know?"

But it wasn't that dramatic; Shisui leaned forward, calm as if he'd invented kissing, the hands that had been massaging his skull moving into his hair and brushing over his lips slowly, not quite testingly but to get him used to the idea. Itachi shuddered, mouth parting without his meaning it, pulses of electricity moving down his scalp. It was adorably stereotypical, but Shisui purred in delight, sucking his lower lip but trying not to press him too much or rush him into anything he actually might not want. He was hating this, having to convince him of everything; A, it made him feel like a sexual predator when he knew he wasn't, B, it made him doubt everything he did which was not a feeling he was familiar with, and C, he hated rejection. Everyone did.

Even Itachi.

Shisui kissed him slowly back into the wall, so that his back sloped, shoulderblades pressing into the cool surface, hands hanging uselessly at his sides. His hair, which had still been tied back, since Itachi disliked having it in his face, came loose under Shisui's fingers, and settled along his neck and shoulders in inky, salacious tendrils. He shuddered with delight, the room painfully silent except with the soft 'pop's of clinging skin being pulled apart, and for a moment, Shisui nearly understood Itachi's fear. Fear of what was wrong, because Itachi was buying into that, despite genuinely believing he wasn't. That incest was wrong, and likely homosexuality, and fear of the unknown is asking for a knife in the chest. Shisui understood him for a moment, just one, before he shook off the empathy syndrome and rubbed him thumbs over his cheekbones, in the tension underneath his eyes, seated loosely between his legs and running his tongue so-so slowly into his mouth.

He felt Itachi twitch, hand flying out to settle against his collarbone, as if to press him back, but it was obvious he was too late to think enough to stop him and there was no strength in his hands. His mouth pulsed slightly, teeth skimming the edge of his tongue.

Shisui shivered delightedly, sucking his lips and moving his hands slowly down his back, trying not to disturb him to the point of immediate rejection, but with Itachi, anything was a catalyst as long as he was given enough time to think. He ran his tongue under the points of his teeth, the muscle never cutting but the sensation - in and of itself - wholly unusual. He let his hand rest at his (extremely) narrow, nonexistent waste, the other still holding him still at the back of his skull, watching him silently and grinding into his hips. Itachi jolted softly beneath him, the tendonsof his fingers tightening at Shisui's neck, a small, sharp noise running between their mouths.

It was too strange -- Itachi felt, distinctly, that he was about to lose himself, that his consciousness was hovering at the end of a great abyss and being tugged by an uncouth summer's breeze, dragged hither and to by something he could not see or control. Their tongues brushed and his stomach twisted to the point of pain.

Shisui rolled his thumb over the point of tension between his eyebrows, rolling into his hips again but still, so slow and never too pushy or too much. Most of this was about conditioning. If he proved to him that they could make out without Fugaku bursting it, make out and have Itachi like it, then Itachi would do it again later. Their tongues twined slowly, the gap enough so Shisui could breathe evenly (though Itachi was rushing it and close to asphyxiating), and he let out a low purr as his cousin returned it. Awkward and uneven, but he did.

It was only a few moments before he began to come into it naturally; always the prodigy, Shisui thought, just as Itachi somehow bent his tongue to guide him into a pocket in his mouth he had not known existed, nestled right along his teeth and the heated inside of his cheek. He moved slowly, lips shivering like a babe's, body silvery and still, seeming like unfamiliar territory beneath Shisui's touch. He thought, perhaps that his best line of defense might be a good offense - an approach in order to best initiate escape, but he could hardly think, hardly breathe, and there was no way for him to process how he might manage to do so.

He knew that to avoid startling him, he should talk him through it. But Shisui didn't, he didn't have the patience for it, an let the hand at his waist fall between his legs, gripping him thickly through the thin material of his pajama pants. (Mou, Itachi-kun. You're darling.)

He started badly, his whole body flinching, his eyes cranking wide open as his fingers tightened to the makings of bruises on his collarbone.


Shisui rolled his hips and pumped the fist around him, trying to wind him down, kissing him a bit more earnestly, if not distractingly. He mewled into his mouth, so attracted to him that it was starting to get painful, reveling in the quiet of it all, how naive it was. Kissing blindly in the dark, never talking, only breaking for breath, and every breath taken a deep inhale of air before it was lips again. Never overwhelming, never strangling, never too much. Shisui ran his tongue through his mouth, and every time Itachi reacted, every time he kissed him back, let alone initiated contact, Shisui's hand moved faster.

Itachi's breathing hitched, the center of his chest seeming to give inward, bending in at the ribs. His kisses went weak, mouth filling with soft, involuntary noise. His hips jumped, as if to dislodge him, but there was no doing it. Shisui let go of his hair and worked the material down off his hips just enough so that he wasn't getting him off through the fabric (exactly the kind of thing that would irritate Itachi to no end), but he slowed down, kissing him pressingly, waiting for him to respond but his stomach panging with want against the little noise he emitted.

Itachi jumped, the cold on the bare skin of his legs hitting him like water in the face. He spooked, badly, mouth breaking from Shisui's.

The eldest watched him.

"If you tell me to stop, I will not."

Itachi shot him a look, body splayed and lewd, shivering in the dark.

"So please do not tell me to stop."

Shisui leaned forward and kissed him again, slow and closed mouthed, resuming to stroke him slowly and hike his body temperature up again. Back to his comfort level.

Itachi roiled beneath him, body rolling to the side in a vain, half-hearted attempt at escape, hands pressing against Shisui's chest. He relented to his persistent tongue, mouth opening softly to him. His cock twitched in his hand, legs shaking. And for a moment, Shisui stopped - not out of guilt, but to just look at him, to focus his (bad) eyesight in the dark and just watch him. And the only thought that crossed his mind was how unbearably cute he was, and how excruciatingly painful it was going to be to not have sex with him now. But he wasn't. He wasn't going to rush him and psychologically traumatize him, nor was he going to rush him and make him sexually frigid. He shuddered, so wanton, hand moving faster as Itachi's mouth opened and twining his tongue slowly, grinding into him and letting his thumb trace deep circles over the head.

His throat tickled and hummed as Itachi exhaled a moan into his mouth, unwilling, and promptly blushed a deep, swarthy red that drifted as low as his chest, pajama top hanging open, and Shisui squirmed, arousal shaking him to the core, hand pumping him faster just to hear him groan like that again and precum soaking his fist, between his fingers. Itachi writhed, seeming unable to control the movements of his limbs as they spasmed. His breath scattered and he couldn't recollect it for all his efforts, hands pressing at his shoulders and his collarbone, breaking from him with a gasp.

"Shi-- mm..."

Shisui's teeth closed around a path of skin just below his right ear, grinding into him thicker, hand moving faster, well aware that Itachi was getting there because his thighs were shaking so hard they seemed completely independent from the rest of him and he was losing his ability to control. Itachi hated loss of control. Itachi, along with every other human on the planet, liked orgasm. This was conditioning at its absolute finest.

Pavlovian. Almost.

Itachi clenched his legs shut in a vain attempt to deter him and Shisui knocked them open again, soliciting a whine from between his lips and making him pulse with red. He kissed him sweepingly, inadvertently thick but never too much, never more dominating than Itachi wanted, never more than he could handle, tightening his fist and pumping him so thick and so fast he knew Itachi couldn't take much more of it.

He quaked, body shaking and eyes aflutter. His whole self felt alight with something akin to a surreal force, like something lifting him up, heating his face and his skin. Something lit upon his mind and he tore his mouth away, fighting him for a bare moment before he came, terribly soft and quiet between them, eyes rolling back into his head. Shisui pumped him through it, until he was absolutely finished before pulling his hand away, sticky wet with semen that he wiped away onto the sheets, watching him with ox eyes. Itachi's entire figure was shaking slowly in a forced silence, lips pressed together and eyes dazedly closed, and Shisui snorted softly, kissing his forehead.

Itachi's skin jumped, but he lay motionless, brain buzzing with shock and white noise.

Shisui pecked his lips, letting go of him entirely and sitting back to exhale. There was a little halo of sweat at his forehead and his arm was sore, which was a bit of a pain because he would have to go back to his room and jerk off if he was ever going to sleep again. He couldn't even imagine sleeping, regardless, and couldn't stop rolling the fluid over between his fingers. Itachi's. He let out a soft sigh and stood up, kissing him again, closed-mouthed and so chaste.

"...goodnight. Cara mia."


Good God this is huge. Yaaaaay porn. I don't even know how we (Lamb and myself) can write so much when most of the time, not a lot is happening. Buttt hopefully the conversation can be used to get a grasp on their relationship man idek? See you next chapter! And btw this was almost completely unbeta'd. If the grammar's off or whatever, don't mention it 'cuz I don't care.