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Scenes considered too graphic have been replaced by oo******oo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 three: First steps

This chapter begins after chapter 13 of 'Iteration'

Itachi knew that C-san could and would outwait him. He would wait for a reply to his question, "Is there anything in particular bothering you, Itachi-san?"

Itachi could lie and say no. He could say yes and then lie by saying that he did not want to talk about it. The other alternative was to face up to the issue and talk it through.

"Haku wants us to try role-playing," he admitted.

C-san did not smile, which Itachi appreciated. "Role-play can be a very successful way of loosening sexual inhibitions," he replied. "Do you have a problem with role-playing?"

Itachi was not sure of the answer. "Yes," he decided.

"Why?" C-san asked.

Itachi knew the answer. Itachi Uchiha would have never, not in one thousand standards, dressed up as a table dancer. The problem was that he was no longer Itachi Uchiha and he had promised himself that he would do whatever Haku thought best.

This was what Haku thought was best.

"The role Haku wants me to play is out of my comfort zone," he said finally. That sounded neutral enough.

"May I ask what it is?" C-san asked.

Itachi felt his jaw tense. "A table dancer," he managed, through gritted teeth.

C-san nodded. "Very clever," he observed. "Members of the audience are never allowed to touch a table dancer. The table dancer is always in control of the situation."

Itachi had not appreciated that the role was so carefully chosen.

"May I offer advice, Itachi-san?" C-san asked.

C-san very rarely offered unsolicited advice. Itachi nodded.

"Firstly, why not ask Haku for more details of what he has planned? Perhaps you could discuss how to make the role more acceptable to you. Second, what about another layer of role-play? Perhaps if you thought of yourself as a spy trying to extract information from a target?"

They were both good ideas. Itachi sighed.

Haku knew best.

"You could wear a sack and Kisame would still think you were the most beautiful creature in known space," Haku told Itachi.

Itachi found himself flushing, which was embarrassing. He had always been careful not to think about the way Kisame saw him.

They were in the closet considering outfits. Itachi glanced at the door for the second or third time.

"It is locked," Haku assured him. "I said I would lock it, so it is locked," he added tartly.

"I apologise, Hime-chan," Itachi replied promptly. The situation would not be improved if Haku was irritated.

Haku sniffed. "Apology accepted. I know you will not want to cross-dress."

That was an enormous relief.

"Not that you wouldn't look good," Haku added but went swiftly on. "And I am guessing that slutty isn't really your thing."

"Kisame would not like slutty," Itachi insisted and found himself flushing again.

Haku smiled. "Indeed. Kisame would not like slutty."

Itachi looked at his image in the mirror. He looked dangerous and sexy. Going for dark brown leather rather than black had made a surprising difference; the black had looked like a cheap costume but the brown worked. The makeup made him look unlike himself, which he understood was important. The higher than normal heels on the boots would get a little getting used to.

"There are a lot of knives," he observed.

"Your knife-throwing skills are excellent," Haku reminded him. "I shall put up a board behind where Kisame will be sitting." He pushed Itachi down onto one of the chairs and pulled his hair into a high pony tail, a style Itachi never wore, and then plaited it with practiced fingers. "You should think about when you should loosen the braid and when you should let down your hair."

Itachi noticed that they had moved from 'if' to 'when' as soon as Haku had seen his response to his reflection.

"I stay on the table and dance," he began uncertainly.

"And other stuff. Combat moves. Throw knives. Take clothes off," Haku encouraged.

Itachi scowled at him. "So Kisame gets excited. What happens next?" he asked.

Haku turned away slightly. He began folding or hanging the clothes they had rejected. "I will give him a blowjob from under the table. His table, not the one you are dancing on."

Itachi frowned. That was not right. Even if he had not realised that for himself, Haku's body language would have told him. "No. He will be thinking about me."

Haku briefly, too briefly, turned sad brown eyes to him. "Itachi, he thinks about you most of the times he and I fuck. It's been like that ever since Jewel. I lost him when Kabuto kidnapped you."

Itachi was glad he was sitting down. His mind was whirling. There was so much he had refused to think about. How much was Haku willing to sacrifice to have even a small part of Kisame? Then there was Mai. She might be a tadpole in a bag now, but she would be a baby soon; their baby.

"So, when it comes to fucking, I have his mind but you have his body," he said cautiously.

Haku was still folding clothes. "Something like that," he replied.

"It would be much better if we both shared his mind and his body," Itachi continued.

Haku put the clothes down and sat on the other chair. "Yes, but you can't. No one understands better than Kisame that you can't."

Itachi took a deep breath. He had never been a coward. He could take the next step. "I think I could... I never did that when..." his voice trailed away as his throat closed. The memories were there, fresh and horrific.

Haku was in his lap, his arms about his neck, cooing in his ear. "Shh, shh, Ita-san, come back. It was long ago. He is gone."

Itachi hated that he was so weak. He hugged Haku and gave himself a few moments to recover. "I mean it. It's not like I can't fuck people. I can do that because it is... ..different. We can think of things for me to do with Kisame that are different."

"I do not think you fucking Kisame is a solution," Haku said with a smile.

Itachi's mind froze at the thought of it; of the thought of anyone fucking Kisame.

"Not that he wouldn't let you if you asked," Haku added.

Itachi managed a shake of the head. It would not take them anywhere they wished to go.

"Fingers," Haku suggested. "Maybe hair."

"Fingers and hair," Itachi confirmed. He had grown his hair so long to spite his father. It had been a symbol of his defiance, like painting his nails. He imagined the scene and it was fine. "You will be there?" he asked anxiously.

Haku kissed his cheek. "I will be there," he confirmed.

Itachi lounged on a chair that Haku had placed on the table. He made a show of examining his black painted nails as Haku, dressed in a pretty kimono, conducted Kisame to his place on one of the many floor cushions. Kisame looked towards the sake on one small, low table and the lube on the other before sinking down and fixing his gaze on Itachi.

Haku bowed towards Itachi. "We have a guest, Ita-san," he said in an uncertain voice.

Itachi made an exasperated exclamation, stood up and pushed the chair with his foot towards the edge of the table. Haku caught it and placed it gently on the floor.

It was not in Itachi to do anything badly. He had decided to think of it as being in training and practiced for days in front of the mirror. He started almost carelessly but every move and gesture was calculated to draw and direct the eye.

Haku took his cue perfectly, rustling his silk kimono so that Kisame would look away. The first of Itachi's throwing knives thudded into the small table only a hand's span from Kisame's right hand.

Kisame's eye flicked back to the source of the danger.

Itachi hissed and turned his back, only to move sinuously in a way that ensured that Kisame's eye travelled to his leather-clad butt. He swayed his slim hips, which were encircled with a studded belt.

A small groan issued from Kisame's lips.

"I will not dance for a man who cannot be bothered to pay attention," Itachi complained.

"Please, Ita-san," Haku begged. "It was my fault, not Kisame-san's."

Itachi sniffed but unbuckled his belt and slowly pulled it from the loops holding it. He tossed it in Kisame's general direction.

Kisame extended a hand and deftly caught it.

Then Haku produced a small drum and Itachi began dancing to the rhythm he set. At irregular times, but always with the beat, a knife, an accessory or, occasionally, a garment would be launched in Kisame's direction until, by the time the dance had finished with a final stomp, Itachi was wearing only the skin tight leather pants and his boots while the board behind Kisame was peppered with knives.

Kisame whistled and applauded; Itachi stood near the edge of the table and glared.

Haku moved forward to remove Itachi's boots only to be pre-empted by Kisame.

"Allow me Ita-san," he asked.

Itachi appeared to consider and then jumped from his table to the side table at Kisame's left. Once there he allowed Kisame undo the fastenings on his boots and then stepped out of them one by one. With the ghost of a smile he leapt back to his own table, leaving Kisame with his footwear.

Once barefoot, Itachi began a very different type of dance, lithe and flowing. After a few moves he stopped, crouched, at the edge of the table and extended a hand to Haku.

Haku looked at him in surprise but came closer, took Itachi's hand and stepped up onto the table.

Slowly, carefully, Itachi removed Haku's obi and then his kimono.

In response, Haku loosened Itachi's braid and let down his hair.

When Haku was stripped to his undergarments, they danced; woven together, their movements restricted by the size of the table.

Then Haku led Itachi down from the table and towards Kisame.

Haku removed Kisame's shirt and knelt behind him. He pulled Kisame toward him so that his back was against Haku's thighs and his head resting on Haku's abdomen.

"I am going to hold your hands," he whispered. He took Kisame's huge hands in his small ones.

Itachi watched Haku move behind Kisame and take his hands, Haku's gaze then moved to Itachi, willing him to come closer. He crouched down, placed a hand on each of Kisame's ankles and hesitantly spread his legs. Then he moved forward so that he was kneeling between Kisame's calves.


Itachi studied Kisame's and Haku's faces anxiously.

Haku was beaming at him, like when they had danced well at the competition.

Kisame looked stunned but in a good way.

Haku released Kisame's left hand and reached for a small towel. Kisame's hand immediately went to Itachi's hair, gently stroking.

"Ita-chan," he said softly. "Thank you."

Itachi was overwhelmed by the need for a cuddle. Normally, when the urge was this strong, he would have asked Kisame if he could sit in his lap. Instead he moved to lie at his right side with his shoulder in Kisame's armpit and his head on his shoulder.

Haku released Kisame's other hand so that Kisame could hold Itachi to him.

Itachi watched as Haku wiped away the cum. Once it was done, he snaked an arm about Kisame's chest and snuggled closer, even hooking his right leg over Kisame's.

"Lie beside me, Hime-chan," Kisame asked.

There was some movement as Haku arranged cushions under Kisame's back and head. Itachi ignored it and clung. Finally Haku snuggled under Kisame's left arm, mirroring Itachi's position.

It was nice; Itachi knew that Kisame had love enough for both of them and for Mai.

Haku snuggled against Kisame. He had a sudden desire to stroke Itachi's hair and he decided to indulge it. Itachi had done so well; Haku understood enough to know it had been an enormous step forward for him. That Itachi had done it for him, because it hurt Haku to have to substitute for Itachi, was remarkable.

Finally Haku truly believed that this Itachi was not that Itachi.

Kisame was floating in a warm sea of slightly confused contentment. It had been both fabulous and terrible; fabulous because it had been Itachi and terrible because Kisame had been terrified at every moment that he would scare Itachi.

Only it had not happened. Itachi had been like a little boy with a new toy; at no point had there been any hint that he was thinking about his past.

His arms tightened around the men on either side of him. He adored Itachi, he had always adored Itachi, but Haku had his own place Kisame's heart. Haku loved Kisame so much that he had set aside his hatred of Itachi and he had managed to cajole Itachi from his personal hell to this tiny slice of heaven.

Haku was creating a place for them; for Kisame, Itachi, Haku and Mai.

Itachi nestled closer and the last of Kisame's confusion evaporated. He hugged Haku. Haku's brown eyes looked up at him questioningly. Kisame kissed his forehead and mouthed, "Thank you."

Haku smiled at him.

Kisame smiled back.

It was Haku's family and Kisame was grateful that he and Itachi could be a part of it.