Meeting With Mini-Itachi

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Note: So I don't care if 'blonde' is usually used for girls. I can't stand the word 'blond' so I will use 'blonde' and as such I do not need a quick etymology lesson.

Also, I WAS going to write another Dragon Age one-shot today but then someone decided to send me a ton of reviews for my Naruto chapter story so I decided to do this instead.

Sasuke was waiting around impatiently for his only semi-living family member – that he knew of at least although since he didn't know Madara was still around he could be wrong – when he was approached by one of the more annoying people that he knew. Not the most annoying as that spot was still reserved for Naruto despite the fact he'd only seen him once since leaving Konoha but some people really got under his skin and Naruto was one of them.

"Greeting, Mini-Itachi," Kisame said with wave. "Did I hear this right? You've followed in your brother's footsteps and joined up with us?"

Sasuke ignored the question in favor of glowering at him. "Don't call me that."

Kisame frowned. "Don't call you what, Mini-Itachi?" he asked innocently.

"Mini-Itachi," Sasuke repeated the hated appellation with a shudder.

"Well what else am I supposed to call you, then?" Kisame asked, sounding strangely reasonable given how absurd the question was.

"Sasuke," Sasuke emphasized.

"Why would I do that?" Kisame inquired, cocking his head to one side.

"Because it's my name!" Sasuke burst out.

Kisame shrugged disinterestedly. "Mini-Itachi is easier to remember. Besides, you look just like him."

Sasuke flinched automatically before he remembered that he didn't hate his brother anymore. Still… "No I don't!"

"You kind of do," Kisame disagreed. "I mean, you had the same complexion, the same hair color, the same eye color, the same Mangekyou Sharingan you don't appear to remember how to fight without and even that looks similar."

"But he had two lines under his eyes and I don't," Sasuke pointed out, crossing his arms defiantly.

Kisame rolled his eyes, looking for all the world like he already regretted starting this conversation. "Yes, and he had long hair and yours looks like a duck's butt. I didn't call you an Itachi-clone, which is actually too bad as your brother was a lot more awesome than you seem to be, Mini-Itachi."

"It's cute how you think your opinion matters to me," Sasuke said patronizingly.

Kisame snorted. "Please. I hung out with Itachi for eight years. I am well used to saying things the people I'm with don't care about. In fact, I am officially apathetic about your apathy." He paused as something odd occurred to him. "But you seem to be taking this comparison to your brother rather well."

"Really?" Sasuke asked uncertainly. It wasn't often that he was told he took something well.

"Yeah, the last time I saw you you were rather set on killing him and flew into a rage at the mere thought of him," Kisame reminded him, "but you seem much calmer now."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Sasuke sniffed.

"Oh, so you went into a mindless rampage," Kisame decided. "Not surprising, I guess."

"I refuse to admit to wanting my brother dead and most certainly won't admit to killing him," Sasuke declared boldly.

"Your grasp on reality isn't really the best, is it?" Kisame asked, sounding amused. "But don't worry: I know that you didn't kill Itachi."

Sasuke narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "You do?"

Kisame nodded firmly. "Oh yes. I've seen you fight before and I've seen Itachi fight. I may not have seen the fight you two had but there's no way that you could have beaten him even if you cheated."

"So what do you think happened?" Sasuke asked, curious despite himself.

"He obviously killed himself during the battle," Kisame replied as if it were obvious. "Admittedly, I'm not sure why but knowing Itachi, he must have had not only a good reason but a good half a dozen."

"Yes, that's exactly what happened," Sasuke deadpanned, wondering how he knew. If it were really that obvious that the battle had ended in such an embarrassing way then he'd need to be aware of that so he could change it. He would never live it down if people found out that he ran away from Konoha to kill someone who was dying anyway and who had ultimately killed himself. Not that he cared what they thought or anything. In fact, he was planning on destroying it.

"But you never did answer my question," Kisame remembered.

"What question?" Sasuke asked, drawing a blank.

"You've joined up with Akatsuki?" Kisame asked again.

"What gave me away? My voluntary presence here or the Akatsuki cloak my followers and I are wearing?" Sasuke asked sarcastically.

"I don't really know. It's just this strange feeling that I'm getting…" Kisame said thoughtfully, rubbing his chin.

Sasuke just stared at him for a moment, wondering if he was for real. "You're oh so very perceptive."

Kisame smiled brightly, a sight that deeply disturbed Sasuke. "I think so. Itachi would probably be annoyed if he saw this because he always used to complain that you never thought for yourself. Me, though? I think it's kind of cute."

"I still don't care about your opinion," Sasuke said sourly, trying to ignore the fact that his brother's former partner was probably right. Though not because he couldn't think for himself. Honestly, he did that just fine. Just because people didn't always approve of his choices – not that he cared – didn't mean he was constantly being manipulated.

"And I am still fine with that," Kisame assured him. "Word of advice, though: Now that you've got that cloak on, never ever under any circumstances ever take it off in the middle of a battle or it will get you killed. That's how we lost everyone else."

Sasuke gave him a strange look. "Did Itachi know about that little theory of yours?"

"Did he know about it?" Kisame repeated, laughing. "Hell, he came up with it!"

Sasuke looked disturbed. "But he took it off during our fight…" he murmured.

"Hence my belief he killed himself," Kisame said easily, pleased to have support for his theory. "And I thought you didn't try to kill him?"

"We were sparring," Sasuke claimed. "It got out of hand."

"Definitely not very well connected to reality…" Kisame muttered.

Sasuke gave a put-upon sigh. "I shouldn't have to put up with this. Where's Madara?"

"What, you'd rather hang out with him than stay here with me?" Kisame complained. "Harsh, Mini-Itachi. Itachi never ditched me for Tobi, you know. He didn't even seem very interested in him."

"Again with the Mini-Itachi," Sasuke grumbled, rubbing his forehead in exasperation. "What did you call him?"

"Itachi, of course," Kisame answered promptly.

"What?" Sasuke asked indignantly. "Why?"

"Because that was his name," Kisame explained slowly as if talking to a small child.

"So 'Itachi' is easier to remember than 'Sasuke'?" Sasuke demanded.

"Clearly. Besides, I started off calling him 'kid' but after he warned me not to do that and I did it anyway, he trapped me in a room with a moose for weeks," Kisame said, looking distant.

Sasuke was unimpressed. "He did what? That sounds kind of lame."

"It was horrible!" Kisame insisted.

"I'm sure," Sasuke said skeptically.

"But why would you even be interested in joining the Akatsuki in the first place?" Kisame asked loudly, pointedly changing the subject. "Weren't you friends with that blonde kid we're after?"

"That was a long time ago and I no longer need to kill him so that's hardly my problem," Sasuke declared.

Kisame shook his head sadly. "Poor blonde kid…"

"Oh, like you care," Sasuke snapped.

"What is it with Uchiha and killing their best friends?" Kisame wondered aloud. "That's why I insisted on being Itachi's second-best friend."

"I never thought I would say this but you're honestly making me miss Naruto," Sasuke said, a little bothered by this new development.

"Blonde kid? You stay with Akatsuki, you should see him again pretty soon. There's only the eight and nine-tails left, you know," Kisame told him.

"So now I'm supposed to be hunting him as he's chasing me? God, I'm never going to be free of him, am I?" Sasuke said, sounding almost desperate.

"Look on the bright side: if he's looking for you then locating him should be no problem," Kisame said optimistically.

"But I don't want to see him," Sasuke insisted. "He'll give me a friendship speech or something and then someone will profess their undying love and it will all get far too touchy-feely for my tastes."

"Well I hate to break it to you but as a member of Akatsuki you really can't avoid seeing him at some point," Kisame said bluntly, "although with any luck he'll be dead soon enough and then you won't have to worry about it."

"Yes, but it's before then that's a problem," Sasuke replied tiredly. "You know, I'm starting to think that joining an organization that's dedicated to killing my ex-best friend who I'm avoiding might not be the best idea I've ever had…"

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