This story has some of Masashi Kishimoto's characters from Naruto in a universe of my own devising. I do not own Naruto. I do not make any money from these writings.
Warning: This story features male/male relationships. If you are uncomfortable reading about gay male relationships do not read this story.
Scenes considered too graphic have been replaced by oo******oo
Chapter two: Kisame's miracle
This chapter begins four divs after the start of 'Partners in the dance'.
Haku's feet were frozen to the spot. He had never been so frightened. He had faced slavers and pirates. He had been in battles. He had been raped and shot at. He had even been killed. Never had he even so wanted to be anywhere else than where he was.
Itachi squeezed his hand. "For Kisame," he whispered. "We don't have to win, Haku-chan, we just have to dance."
That was true; they had made the final; the first novices to do so in eleven standards. No one expected them to come anywhere but twenty-first.
Haku was extremely grateful that Itachi was fearless.
Most of their family was out there. The venue had boxes for the rich and powerful, six of which had been booked by Shikamaru through various of his virtual companies and then all but two sold on. Many among the dancers and a goodly proportion of the audience knew of their connection to Uchiha. They had been watching the boxes in hopeful anticipation.
The roar of appreciation when Sasuke and Naruto had appeared had been deafening.
At least they did not have the floor to themselves, three couples danced at a time, and they had been lucky in that they had been given their first choice of dance, the tango.
The music began. They danced. It was exhilarating; Itachi was beyond his best and Haku responded.
Crazily, he was sorry when it was over.
There was seating set aside for contestants who had danced. He sat close to Itachi and watched the other couples. They were all excellent. Half way through the groups of competitors there was an exhibition dance by a pair of hybrid dancers. Haku was glad that he had the chance to watch them. They were amazing.
When the next three competing couples came to join the audience the hybrid dancers came with them. The woman asked the couple sitting next to Haku if they would be kind enough to move places so that she could converse with Haku-san.
Haku looked at her. He wondered what species her non-human genes came from. Judging by her hair, her whiskers and her eyes it was a mammal, maybe some species of cat. Her partner had even fewer non-human features. He had dark orange-red hair.
"I am Yugito," the woman told him without any apology for imposing on him. "This is my partner Roshi. We have met very few functional hybrids. We understand you are close to Kisame, the sharkman, and to Naruto, the fox-human hybrid. We would like to meet them."
Itachi leaned forward and across Haku towards the woman. "I am Itachi. You will address me rather than Haku-san. I will tell Kisame-san and Naruto-san your names and give them your message. You will send a communication to Uchiha and it will be up to each of them whether they reply."
The woman looked to her partner, who nodded. "Thank you," she replied. "Itachi-san, Haku-san," she added.
Itachi bowed very slightly. "Yugito-san, Roshi-san," he acknowledged.
They had come ninth.
Haku was not convinced that they deserved to come ninth. He wondered if Sasuke and Naruto's appearance had dazzled the judges. Some of the other dancers said it was because of the raw sexuality of their dancing, which was entirely appropriate for the tango and which few purebred couples ever managed to achieve.
Kisame and the others would be ecstatic; some of the bets they had placed between them registering and them dancing in the preliminaries had been on them coming in the top ten.
He clutched the plaque confirming their ninth place, leaving Itachi holding the rather tacky trophy proclaiming them best novices. The floor was seething with competitors, well-wishers and fans. Itachi had one arm firmly around Haku's waist.
Sasuke and Naruto had slipped away before the end of the competition. The plan was for a celebratory meal at home.
Then Kisame was walking towards them. The crowd parted before him.
He smiled at them. Haku felt rather than saw the people about them melting away. He took the trophy from Itachi.
"Very fine," he pronounced with amusement in his eyes. His eyes went to where the hybrid dancers where standing staring at him. "What do they want?" he asked.
"To meet you and Naruto-san," Itachi replied. "Their names are Yugito and Roshi. I have told them to send a communication to Uchiha."
Kisame shrugged. "Naruto-san may wish to meet them. I do not." He hugged Haku to him. "Do you wish to stay here for longer or for us to make our way home?"
"Home," Haku confirmed.
There was no problem leaving the floor with Kisame as their escort.
The celebration was in the hall so that they could sing and dance after eating. Gaara, Lee and C-san had been invited; C-san had been at the competition in the second box. It transpired that C-san played a small harp and sang beautifully. Haku guessed he could also dance but, given the way Gaara-san's eyes were riveted on him, perhaps it was wise decision to insist on being part of the band.
"Thank you, Haku-san," he said as Haku brought a tray full of long, cold drinks for the musicians. He took one of the cups. "This is most enjoyable. It is such an honour to be allowed to participate in a family occasion." He took a few swallows. "I have not had a chance to congratulate you and Itachi-san. You were so exciting to watch." He looked to where Sasuke was being kissed by Naruto. "And Sasuke-sama is such an amazing musician. A truly unexpected joy."
Haku could see C-san's genuine enjoyment. "I am very lucky," he admitted.
C-san was studying him. "You must come to tea, Haku-san."
Haku found himself vacillating between kimonos, wondering which to wear to tea with C-san. In the end he picked his current everyday favourite but spent a little extra time on his hair and hands. He knew the fighters almost always took flowers and that C-san's apartment must be overflowing with them. Instead he had asked Choza for time in the kitchen and baked thin, melt-in-the-mouth biscuits.
There were two halves to C-san's apartment; the rooms in which he entertained his clients and his living space. He showed Haku into his private sitting room, which was elegant but homely. There were, as he had suspected, a lot of flowers.
"I think this contract is perfect for me," C-san admitted after they had been conversing for some time. "I assume that you know far more about my background than is in my public profile."
Haku had been expecting the conversation to turn that way. "Yes, Shikamaru-san did a complete background check. He is very thorough." He decided to push the conversation forward. "A few of us know that you are from the Borders and that you are a qualified Therapist specialising in sex therapy."
C-san smiled. "I discovered that I could achieve far more under the guise of a courtesan," he replied. "Also that life as a courtesan in Tarrasade is much more enjoyable than that as a sex Therapist on Palance." He looked directly into Haku's eyes. "You have done a wonderful job with them, Haku-san. You are very gifted. I am honoured that you should trust me with them."
Haku found himself nervous but he remained resolute. He needed C-san's assistance. "It was not my idea but Itachi-san's," he confessed.
C-san understood immediately. "You wonder as to Itachi-san's motives," he deduced. "At the simplest level, I am sure he wanted to relieve some of the pressure on you, Haku-san." He searched Haku's expression. "Do you think you can help him when you are so deeply involved?"
"I can help him but not as a Therapist," Haku admitted. "I do not know if he will accept therapy. I do not know if he needs conventional therapy or sex therapy or both. I do know that knowing your background made him more determined to persuade you to take the contract. However, that could have been for the sake of the others rather than him thinking about himself."
"Has he been assessed?" C-san asked.
"Yes, by Citizen Scientist Oyone. There is a report. A number of us have seen it because Sasuke-sama had to decide if he should live or die."
"Because of the massacre," C-san suggested.
"And the people he murdered in the eight standards that followed," Haku told him. "He remembers none of it. He lost too many memories when his brain was damaged and then regenerated. However, living with the guilt of what he did is only one small aspect of the problem." He managed a very small smile. "I think he may be the case of a lifetime."
C-san's eyes were sympathetic. "Why don't you ask him if he would let me read the report? It would be a first step."
"What do you want?" C-san asked Itachi at the beginning of their first session.
"I want Kisame to be happy," Itachi responded immediately. "Haku and I share that aim. Before Haku all I ever did was ruin Kisame's life. Now I do whatever Haku decides and Kisame is the happiest he has ever been."
"So you are here in therapy," C-san observed.
"So I am here in therapy," Itachi confirmed.
"Nothing drives you other than Kisame-san's happiness?" C-san queried.
Itachi considered. "I would die for Sasuke. Any or all of us would."
C-san nodded his understanding. "What would make Kisame even happier?" he asked.
Itachi took a deep breath and shut his eyes. "If he could fuck me and I could enjoy it," he admitted. "Almost as good would be him and me fucking Haku and the three of us enjoying it." He opened his eyes. "That is Haku's stated aim."
"That would be easier to achieve than you enjoying Kisame fucking you," C-san agreed. "How do you feel about the memory loss, Itachi-san?"
"As if it were a gift," Itachi confessed. "Even though I know of some of the terrible things I did, I do not have to live with the memory of doing them. Also, knowing that Haku and Sasuke have decided to give me another chance, despite what I did to them, is a source of strength."
"Not Kisame-san?" C-san asked.
"Kisame never gave up on me. No matter what I did to him or to others, he never turned away from me," Itachi explained. He took another deep breath. "Kisame says he wished for a miracle and that this is it. That is now my purpose in life, to be Kisame's miracle. The memory loss makes that possible. Without it, Sasuke would have had no choice but to kill me. Without it, I could not have lived with the memories of what I had done. Without it, Haku would still loathe me for what I did to him."
"Without it, I would probably have had no hope of helping you," C-san admitted.
"You can help me? Itachi asked.
"Yes, Itachi-san, I can help you," C-san assured him.
"I think you are ready to risk a first step," C-san told him four divs later.
Itachi had visited C-san every four days throughout that time, with the exception of ten days when he had been on a mission; this was his thirty-third session. He had been pushing for over a div for them to give Kisame even a fraction of what he desired. Even so, he could feel sweat on his forehead and his palms.
"What do you have in mind?" he asked, managing to keep his voice from breaking or shaking.
C-san smiled gently. "I think we have worked hard to establish what is likely to be successful. You, Kisame and Haku but with only you and Haku fucking. No kissing on the mouth. No suggestion of anyone penetrating you, orally or anally, with anything."
"I can't fuck Haku," Itachi insisted. "It might remind him of what I did to him." He had already changed his mind. He was not ready. It was a minefield and even C-san had no hope of finding a path.
"It will be fine, Itachi-san," C-san reassured him. "Haku-san will ride you. This is how he and Kisame usually fuck."
Itachi imagined it. It did not excite him but it did not repel him or frighten him. "That might work," he admitted. He risked allowing his imagination to roam slightly. "I do not want him to put his mouth on my penis," he said. This time his voice shook. He hated it when he could not control himself. Even breaking down repeatedly in front of C-san had not made him any more comfortable with showing such appalling weakness.
"I shall make sure that Haku knows that," C-san assured him. "Now, do you want to go over the details with Haku beforehand?"
Itachi considered. "Yes. No. Could you tell me or could he write them down?"
"I shall ask him to write it down," C-san decided. "I am sure the three of you would like to keep the details private." He leaned forward slightly. "Itachi-san, I want you to take a relaxant that does not affect sexual performance."
Itachi frowned. He was wary of drugs. Rin had told him that it had been the drugs that almost killed him.
"If you panic or lash out it will put the three of you back divs, possibly standards," C-san reminded him.
"Is the drug on Rin-san's approved list?" he asked.
"Yes, it is one I use regularly," C-san assured him.
He nodded. "When?" he asked.
"This evening," C-san told him.
Itachi could see the sense in that; there would be less time for him to brood or change his mind. He could fill the time between with training and meditation.
Kisame read, re-read and memorised the instructions that Haku had left for him. He went to the bathroom that Haku had booked for him and washed himself. He added the contents of the bottle to the bathwater before soaking for thirty minutes.
As he dressed in the clothes Haku had laid out for him he realised that the fabric no longer caught on his skin. He stroked his forearm. It was smooth in one direction, as always, but no longer so rough in the other; there was still texture but it no longer resembled sandpaper.
Kisame knew the effect was only temporary; a coating for his scales. Rin had warned them that he should only use it occasionally and insisted that it be formulated so that it could be removed by the standard cleanser. Even so, Kisame imagined Haku's hands on him and smiled.
At the appointed time he made his way to one of the apartments in the guest quarters. Haku answered his knock. Instead of the ornate kimono Kisame had expected he was wearing a simple, white, silk robe that moulded itself to his body, clearly announcing that he was naked beneath. His hair was down and tied loosely back from his face. His feet were bare.
Kisame wanted him. If it had not been for the instructions he would have carried him into a bedroom and ravished him. Instead he shed his sandals and long jacket, so that he was clad only in the loose silk pyjama pants and matching short kimono that Haku had chosen. Haku took the jacket from him and hung it in a closet. He indicated that Kisame should precede him into the next room.
Itachi was there. It was entirely unexpected. Kisame felt momentarily giddy.
He was kneeling on the floor with his hands loosely in his lap. He was clothed as Kisame but in dark red rather than dove grey. His hair had been gathered together and tied a hand's breadth from the ends but as his head was bowed it still obscured his face.
Kisame went to the chair as per his instructions. He sat.
Itachi lifted his head. Kisame's gut clenched. For Kisame, no one, not even Haku, would ever be as beautiful as Itachi. The pupils of his eyes were huge, the deep red-brown of his irises reduced to a narrow rim. Kisame suspected he had taken something but he told himself that it would be on C-san's advice and with Rin's consent.
He stood in one, fluid, graceful movement and glided across the space between them. Kisame uttered the smallest of groans as Itachi settled into his lap and leaned against his shoulder. Itachi slid his hand under the lapel of Kisame's kimono and stroked the bare skin of his chest, first down in the usual direction and then upwards with the very tips of his fingers.
"This is nice," he whispered. "Less rough." He repeated the action.
Kisame held him a little more tightly. "Ita-chan?" he queried.
Itachi lifted his head and looked into his eyes. "I needed something," he admitted. "Maybe not in the future, but now."
Kisame kissed his forehead. "That is fine, Ita-chan."
Itachi, reassured, rested his head back on Kisame's shoulder.
A movement caught Kisame's attention. Haku was moving a screen. Behind it was a bed draped in crimson silk. Kisame remembered his instructions. He had assumed that they referred to Haku but he now realised that he was meant to lay Itachi on the bed.
He would trust Haku. Trusting Haku had brought them a long, long way.
Haku sat on the far side, waiting.
Kisame lifted Itachi, carried him and placed him on the bed. Itachi clung for a moment, so Kisame did not move away. Haku leaned across and removed the tie from Itachi's hair.
Between them they gently removed Itachi's clothes. Haku then shrugged off his robe and slid Kisame's kimono from his shoulders.
Haku arranged Itachi on the bed; one small pillow under his hips and a larger one under his head. He spread Itachi's hair across the crimson silk.
Kisame wrapped Itachi in the crimson silk and held until he slept. Haku had reclaimed his white robe and snuggled close beside them. Once Itachi was sound asleep, Kisame carried him through to the bedroom where Haku had prepared a bed large enough for the three of them.
Haku folded back the covers. Kisame placed Itachi in the centre of the bed. They carefully untangled him from the silk. He did not murmur, never mind wake. Haku covered him gently.
They did the small things they normally did before they slept.
Kisame hesitated about taking off his pants but Haku persuaded him with a small frown and a nod. Haku shucked his robe and slid under the covers. Kisame took the opposite side.
"You did not come," Kisame whispered.
"Neither did you," Haku replied with a smile.
It did not matter to either of them.
Kisame waited until Haku's breathing confirmed that he was sleeping. Then he propped himself up on one elbow and studied them.
His miracle and his angel.