A/N-Hello there. This is just a fun little one-shot to say Thank You to all you people who review my stories. This story has no tie-ins to any of my other ones—just so you know. It is not the full Akatsuki here—this is a Sakura/Itachi/Kisame story.
Before you ask later—Sequel? Well, maybe, but I kinda doubt it. One-shots don't get many reviews and I'm not putting up a sequel unless it does, because I have other stories to work on. Hell yeah, I like reviews, who doesn't?
And to the very few people who complain about my using a few Japanese words in my Japanese-based fanfictions—you'll just have to get over it—I've always done it and I always will. If it bothers you that much go to the bottom of the chapters first and look up the Things you probably already know section. Some of you probably already do this—good thinking.
I'll tell you something funny. The last person who complained (quite rudely too) about that to me actually had fics up of her own with Japanese words right in the summary lines…wtf—and that's all I have to say about that.
Take your time and enjoy the story.
Thanks for editing goes to Sakura's Indecision and also to Rivenmist for a final proofread.
Wasted Days and Wasted Nights
Kaze and Kiba
It had been one helluva long week and still it wasn't over yet.
The pink-haired kunoichi looked up at the sky that was starting to spit rain down on her. She still had two days left until she reached the border of Fire and, from the looks of those clouds, it promised to be one heck of a big, wet storm.
Lightning flashed, chasing her thoughts—she looked forward in the brilliant light and gave a happy sigh to see the small village on the horizon. Grass Country was a nice place to visit, she supposed, but she would much rather be in a nation full of trees. Sakura hot-footed it over the low ridge to the village and spied one of the local inns—it's warm, yellow light inviting her, along with the piano music and occasional cheer from some raucous men.
With a small grin, she entered the hearty establishment and went straight to the bar. She didn't fail to notice the piano had stopped playing and the cheers had gone silent as a good dozen men turned curiously to watch her pass.
"Do you have a room for the night?" she asked putting a few coins on the bar. "I'll take dinner and a bottle of sake, if you have it, too."
"Ere now, missy. Thare's a church down'ta otta side of ta village." The barkeep squinted at the pretty, little thing. "If yurs a smart one, yu'll get outta here and over thar on ta double. Or do's ya have yur man wit you outside?"
She pushed the money across the counter and added another 500 yen on top. "I think I'll take my chances. Thanks all the same."
The bartender's eyes lit up. "Yur call, sweetie. Don't be specting no chivalry's here, doh." He eagerly took the money and pocketed it. He looked behind her and yelled at the others, "What ya lookin at? Go back to yur games."
Sakura took the key he offered and the warning about the poor door lock. When he placed a large bowl in front of her, she was glad she had stayed. The stew was delicious and the sake was more than passing good. She sighed, happy she had decided to stay out of the rain.
"Hey there, miss."
A couple of somewhat clean-looking young men sidled up to either side of her.
"Did ya come here for a date? Cos me and my cousin, Jin here, we could show you a real good time."
"Was that you arm wrestling when I came in?" Sakura asked innocently.
"Yeah, that was me," the chatty one spoke again, all puffed up now. "Would you like to see my muscles up close?"
A small smile graced her lips. "I think I'd like to try that arm wrestling sometime. I bet I'd be pretty good at it."
"Sure thing, pretty lady. I'll arm wrestle you. But if I win, you gotta go on a date with us."
"Ok," she agreed. "But if I win you have to buy me another bottle of sake…each. How's that sound—fair?"
Sakura waved over the bartender to ask, "Loser has to pay if the table breaks. Right, sir?"
"Yessum, little lady." The bartender assured her, his indulgent smile missing more than a few teeth. "Don' ya git too hurt, now."
Sakura nodded her thanks and stepped back from the bar and over to the table. She daintily took her seat among the catcalls, whistles and hollers from the inebriated men. She took the young man's hand and smiled generously at him. "No hard feelings, right?"
"I'll go easy on ya, darling," he assured her.
Famous last words.
The count of three and a go later, the man was lying on the floor amid the remains of the busted table. Sakura stood up to go to the bar to collect her winnings. She thought she might just take the sake to her room and enjoy it there.
The other men weren't having it, though. Amid the teasing and mockery, the humiliated man she beat claimed he let her win and others were now stepping forward to challenge her and demand she take them on.
What the hell? She looked at them, and then over to the barkeep. She had to admit, she was having fun. "Why not? Say, bartender. Can these guys cover their losses if I hand them their asses?"
"Oh, yessum," he chuckled. "They's jus come back from furry'in, ya know. Sellin da furs they trapped all winter. They'sa loaded right now."
"And you don't mind having to purchase new tables?" she added with one eyebrow raised.
He laughed out loud, "Why no, miss! If'n they'sa wants ta buy new ones—these'ns a gitten kinda old."
"You hear that, boys? I'll take you on—one at a time. One bottle of sake per round. Loser pays for broken tables and, if you win, I'll pay double." She grinned impishly. "Plus a kiss."
Well, they lined up and, in no time, twelve men had turned to more than twenty. Sakura did her best not to break all the tables, but by the time they were done, everyone was in roaring good spirits and, in the end, none of them minded losing to the 'Little Ox.'
Sakura sat at the bar enjoying her sake when they were all finished. She'd won so many times, the barkeep had to line up every bottle he had in the bar for her, but his pockets were fuller then they had been in years. In return, he offered everyone else a free beer in honor of the Little Ox. Sakura bought them all a round, too. Then she sat drinking her sake and listening to them sing and make fun of each other's loss to her.
A little down the rain-sopped road at a much quieter inn, sat two men—one nursing his tea, and the other restlessly drinking a bottle of sake straight from the rim.
"Come on, Itachi. Let's go see if there's a noisier crowd in this dumpy, little town. This place has way too many doilies for me," the man grumbled.
Itachi ignored him in favor of watching another man stumble in from the street. He was singing a raucous tune and he walked sloppily over to Kisame.
"Oh, yeah. You'll do just fine." The drunkard slapped the large Mist nin on the shoulder. "Put that Little Ox right in her place, you will."
"What's that, shorty?" Kisame glared at him, scaring the intoxicated man.
"I, ah, see you like sake, good sir," he said nervously. "Down the road at the Come On Inn, there's a pretty, little girlie who's offering to buy two bottles of sake and give a kiss to whoever can beat her in an arm wrestle. You look like you could take her, but I warn you, she's a strong one, that girlie. She put eight guys right through the goddamn tables."
"Free sake, eh? Let's go, 'Tachi." He grinned. "I'm gonna get us free drinks and a little sugar tonight!"
Kisame did not see the other man roll his eyes before he silently followed him out of the quiet inn. He should have known this place would be a little too quiet for Hoshigaki. If he didn't let him blow off a little steam now and then, he became altogether too violent on some missions when more delicacy was called for.
"Come on, honey-pie," the drunkard Sakura had lovingly named The Germ coaxed. "Give us a little kiss." He put his hand on her seated rump and gave it a squeeze.
'He's got guts, this guy. That's the third time tonight,' Sakura thought and pulled back her finger to her thumb and let go, hitting The Germ square in the forehead.
When the Akatsuki partners arrived at the inn, it was quite noisy indeed. Many men, and even a few women, were drinking happily and singing along with the jaunty piano man. No one seemed at all upset by the extraordinary amount of broken furniture, not even the man behind the bar cleaning glasses. To their surprise, a man came flying through the air, smashing into the wall next to them as they closed the swinging doors.
"Now this is my kind of place," the shark-nin grinned widely. "You know, Uchiha, if you keep doing that with your eyes, one day they'll stick up in your head like that and your Sharingan will be useless."
The two Akatsuki made their way further into the lively bar.
"Sake, please," Kisame ordered the barkeep. "And your best tea for my friend here."
"I kin brew ya up some nice tea, but t'aint n'more sake being sold here tonight unless ya's git it from dat un." The bartender pointed down the long line of sake bottles to the little pink-haired kunoichi sitting and drinking quietly and watching the crowd.
"All these belong to her?"
"Yep, bought n paid fer, jus like a lady should. If'n yu'll scuse me, gentlemen, I'll brew up dat tea now."
The black and red cloaked men turned to look at each other before turning back to the woman now turned toward the bar and smiling into her sake cup.
Itachi sighed and the shark grinned.
A confrontation was inevitable.
"Hey there, little lady," Kisame spoke from behind Sakura.
She turned slowly on her stool.
She turned back and poured herself another shot.
"That's got to be a hallucination." Sakura stayed turned away from them. She was already pretty drunk and the more she drank, the more her more brash Inner personality came thunderously forth.
"I hear you are making bets here—open to all."
"Nope," she spoke confidently without looking at either of them. "I specifically said no assholes."
Kisame's face darkened at the insult. "Listen here, missy. I want some sake," he growled from over her shoulder.
"Then take a bottle, asswipe, and get outta my face."
"One?" There had to be nearly thirty bottles lined up along the bar. "You are gonna drink all these?"
"Maybe. It's really none of your business," she said, looking over her shoulder, "is it, Fishface?"
"I only came here to wet my whistle, Pinky. You're the one hogging up all the sake."
"You can whistle?" she snorted. "With all those teeth?"
"You gonna arm wrestle me or do you just give up, little girl?"
"I don't need to arm wrestle you, bakayaro. I already won all the sake in this joint."
"I bet I can out-drink you in ten minutes."
"Fat chance, Fishface." Her Shishou had shown her how to do more than just kick ass.
"I'll bet my cloak I can drink you into oblivion."
"Who would want that shitty, old thing?" Sakura scoffed. Then her eyes lit on something infinitely more interesting. "How about, if I win, I get that big tongue depressor you're dragging around?"
'This little snit has some kinda balls,' Kisame thought. "Alright. And when I win, I get you—one night, anything I want."
"Eww, I don't procreate with fisshhh," she sneered. "Fuck that. I'm not a spawner." Oh yes. Sakura had gone beyond simply drunk into that much stupider than thou drunk territory. "What else?"
"Aw, what's a matter? You scared, little Cherry-chan? That must be it. I can't blame you for wetting your little panties at the thought of a big, strong man like me popping your cherry."
Sakura's temper flared right along with her face and her normal good sense flew right out the window. "Alright, you freakin' tuna! When I win I get your tongue depressor sword and—" she pointed at Itachi "—your girlfriend's ugly housecoat."
"Is this really necessary?" Itachi drawled, clearly nonplussed with the bluster being passed back and forth.
"Tell you what, Itachi," Kisame nudged his less-than-interested partner. "When I win, I'll let you have her for the first half of the night, then I'll take her the rest."
"Wait! That wasn't the deal. I don't want nothing to do with him." She stuck her finger right in front of Itachi's nose, not seeing his raised eyebrow. "He's your girlfriend!"
"Deal was I get you the whole night, whatever I want. Are you a chicken? All talk. You can't drink your way out of a paper bag, can you? You know, if I wanted, I could just overpower you now and take you with me. I think I'm being pretty damn generous."
She looked angrily between the stoic older brother of her MIA teammate and the pompous ass Mist nin challenging her and quickly made up her mind. "Fine. I'm not scared of you, but first, I'm going to the restroom." She got up to leave.
"I'll just stand outside the stall to make sure you don't leave, little missy."
Sakura put her hands on her hips. "No way you're coming with me, asshole."
"I don't trust you not to do some jutsu. Itachi, you go with her in the bathroom to make sure she doesn't cheat."
"Screw you, you jerk!" She poked him in the chest with one finger. "I'm not gonna cheat!"
"Itachi here is going to make sure of that. He'll behave like a gentleman. You made a bet and you're gonna honor it. Now get moving."
She stomped back to the bathrooms and into the ladies. If she didn't have to pee so bad, she would have waited till later. She was flabbergasted when the Uchiha actually followed her into the ladies room.
"You're not really coming in here with me, are you?"
"You shouldn't make bets you can't cover, kunoichi. If you want to run away I will let you go out the window and make excuses for you. Kisame will be comforted by the sake left behind."
"Damn Uchiha! You're just as arrogant as your stupid, little brother! I already paid for the lodging, that's my sake, and I don't make bets that I can't cover!"
"Very well." He stood waiting.
"Bastard!" She went into the first stall and, for a few minutes, there was silence.
"Um, Uchiha-san, can you cover your ears?"
"…I can't go if I know you're listening."
She swore she heard him chuckle softly at her before he finally spoke. "I'll wait outside, but I'll monitor your chakra to make sure you don't cheat."
"Bastard!" she hissed.
When she left the bathroom, she stalked back to the bar and sat upon her stool before looking at the large, blue man. "You have to pay me for your half the sake we drink, Fishface."
"I'm gonna make you suck my-"
"Kisame-san," Itachi interrupted his filthy comment, "She did not perform any jutsu."
"Fine. I'll pay for what I drink, since I'm getting laid later for free."
"You disgusting pig!" Sakura scowled. "You are so gonna lose."
Six bottles each later, the insults were flowing easily as the ninja and kunoichi sat across from each other at one of the few remaining tables. Itachi sat watching from the bar behind them. The girl was not only keeping up with the large man, she matched him insult for insult with language colorful enough to make a sailor blush.
"Ooh, what's the fishie man gonna do without his big sword. You know, I hear men carry large weapons to make up for a lack of…" She looked down and he growled. "The bigger the sword the smaller the…well, let's just say that's quite a big sword."
Itachi had to cover his mouth to keep his drink from spurting out—this little kunoichi either had a lot of guts or was completely suicidal. He cleared his throat and took another sip of tea.
"More sake, now" Kisame roared. "I'm gonna permanently bow your legs, little girl!"
She laughed out loud. "Oh, don't flatter yourself. I am a doctor, you idiot. I know the limitations of your, ahem, package. I tell you what, I'm feeling generous. I'm so nice that I'll make sure and get you a room when you pass out so the winos don't molest you, Sharkie." Sakura wanted to anger the Mist nin. If she could get his blood pressure up, the alcohol would affect him that much faster.
She heard a deep voice bark quick laughter behind her but ignored it.
"The only one who's gonna pass out here, Rosebud, is you when I stick my big, fat-"
"Shut up and drink, Fishface. You're falling behind." Sakura picked up her ninth bottle and sipped from the rim.
"I thought only working girls dyed their hair that color. Are you sure you're a ninja, Cherry-chan?"
"Fuck you, you blue bastard. I'm gonna use your sword to cut down trees all the way home." She turned to Itachi and said in her best little girl's voice, "You know, nii-tan, they don't allow pets in this place without a leash. How did you get away with it?"
"You don't look like much of a hooker to me, Pinky-chan, but you can hold your liquor pretty well for such a little girl. Are you up past your bedtime? Won't Daddy be miffed?"
"If you drink as sadly as you insult, you won't last another hour against me, chum breath." She slid an eleventh bottle of sake at the man seated across from her. "I bet I could drink you under the table and still dance on said table, afterwards."
"You'll be dancing for me later tonight, sweet-cheeks. Dancing all over my-"
"Don't talk your penis up too much, Tuna-brain, I won't be able to keep the look of disappointment off my face later."
'Ho, baby,' she thought, looking at his face and trying not to giggle. 'That one got to him!'
"Why you little-"
"See? Don't you feel better telling the truth about your penis?"
"I find, in my profession, that the more a man tells me about his package, the less there is when I finally see it," she said seriously. Oh, man was she drunk. She would probably pass out right here at this table if she didn't take this guy out soon.
She decided to go for the balls on the next one.
Kisame's fist slammed down on the table tilting the empty bottles and making them fall over. She ignored him.
"Don't act so surprised, Ita-chan." She had seen his eyebrow raise from the corner of her eye. "You must know what I'm talking about since you two are so close."
She had their complete attention now.
"I wondered at first, why are there so many men in Akatsuki? And why are there only teams of two?" She tapped her forehead pointedly. "Then I realized—well, I don't have to tell you two, now do I?"
"You know, I did meet the pretty, blond boy and his master. With that artsy type, it's so easy to tell—especially when one plays with clay and the other with dolls. Sasori told me about his relationship with the Snake Sannin before I killed him. And, of course, everyone knows that old Oro likes the young boys. And then I thought, New Dawn…it didn't take me long to grasp after all that."
Kisame's mouth opened and closed in shock.
"Now you look just like my pet goldfish, Fishface. His name is Sushi. I think I'm gonna call you Sushi from now on."
She didn't know that blue skin could blush so well.
"You're falling behind again, Fishface." She pushed another bottle across the table and then refilled her cup.
On and on it went.
Sakura opened her eyes slowly and gazed sleepily at the unfamiliar wall, trying to remember exactly where she was and how she got there. She realized from the light coming in the window that it was already well past noon. Her head felt like it was stuffed with cotton and her temples were throbbing. She raised one hand to send some healing chakra to sooth the ache in her brain and sighed in relief as it began to take effect.
She froze and her eyes widened in shock when she realized the throbbing she'd heard was not merely in her head—there was a strong heart beating directly under her ear.
"Kami-sama!" she murmured anxiously.
The arm around her shoulder tightened and a deep voice chuckled.
Sakura searched her memories for how on earth she could've ended up in a stranger's arms then she remembered the arm wrestling and the drinking and the challenge from the large, blue-
"Akatsuki." She turned her head to look at the hand on her shoulder and saw the gold ring with the blood-red stone on one long, pale, black-nailed finger.
'Oh, shit!' she thought and attempted to get up only to be pulled back down by strong arms as he twisted around so he was now on top of her.
"Leaving so soon?" His warm tenor gave her chills. "Is this the thanks I get for letting you use me as a pillow all night?"
"There's no rush. The room's been rented for another night." Untied, his long, silky hair fell in a dark curtain around them and deep gray eyes glimmered mischievously. He flashed a devastating smirk at her and if she had been standing, she knew her knees would not hold her weight.
"I, uh…Uchiha-san, I-"
"Why so formal, Sakura-chan? After all the pet names you gave me last night, I thought you'd come up with something more original."
"Like nii-tan and Ita-chan and don't forget girlfriend."
"G-g-girlfriend? Gomen nasai, Uchiha-san. Sometimes when I drink too much, my mouth runs before my brain can catch up."
"Really? And does it make bets you can't cover?"
"Bets?" Now she remembered what had gone down between her and Hoshigaki. It was no wonder she'd forgotten—the two of them had sucked down more than twenty bottles of sake between them. It was a miracle she didn't have alcohol poisoning. She must have been unconsciously using chakra to clean her liver while she slept, like Tsunade had taught her.
He leaned down on top of her, the weight of his very male body pressed her down into the soft mattress as his mouth brushed her ear, sending shivers down her spine. "Shall I show you just how far away from a girlfriend I really am, Sa-ku-ra?"
"The bet," Sakura said nervously, hoping to distract him. "Who won the bet?"
He pulled his head back slightly to look into her eyes. "You mean you don't know, Sakura-chan?"
Her face flushed with embarrassment because she couldn't answer truthfully.
"I must say, I was surprised that an innocent, little virgin like you had the guts to lay a wager on something so precious. Weren't you planning on giving that gift to someone special?"
"I never said I was a virgin!" she squeaked.
He chuckled and she could feel his laugh rumble through her own chest. "A woman who is unable to use the facilities within hearing distance of a man surely has not been intimate with one."
She closed her eyes in mortification. "Please, just kill me now."
"Where's the fun in that? I'm having more fun watching you turn so many interesting shades that compliment your hair."
Sakura's temper snapped a little at his teasing. "Did I really lose to that Fishface?"
"What's the matter?" His finger traced her jaw and then lingered at her pulse. "Are you worried? Don't you want to spend the afternoon in bed becoming a woman?" That finger continued down her collarbone and over the top of her breast then down her side, where his hand settled at her hip and his thumb massaged small circles into her bare skin where her shirt had pulled up from sleeping. "I rather think you would enjoy it."
She gaped at him and he could not keep the amusement from his face.
"Do you want to know who won, Sakura-chan?"
Her mouth moved, but no sound came out. She cleared her throat worriedly and tried again.
"Please…tell me who won?" The question mark at the end of her sentence had him chuckling again. She swallowed dryly.
There was a loud knock at the door.
Itachi pressed his full weight back onto her and ground his hard body into her. Her heart was racing and her Inner self was salivating when he took her chin in his hand and raised it to make her look in his eyes.
"I could be your first, Sakura. You were saving it for my little brother, weren't you? I bet you're lonely with Sasuke so far away. I could break you in for him."
Eyes impossibly wide, she shook her head at the man above her.
The knock, sounding more impatient this time, sounded at the door again.
"Come in," Itachi said.
The door opened and a large shadow blocked the light from the hall.
"Good afternoon, kiddies," a voice graveled from too much drink greeted them. "If you two are done playing honeymoon, do you mind telling me who won the bet so I can collect my winnings?
Sakura looked tensely from one Akatsuki nin to the other. Kisame didn't know who won either? That meant her fate lay in the hands of none other than Uchiha Itachi.
She was so screwed!
Literally, she lamented.
She looked up at Itachi imploringly.
Itachi smiled a heart-stoppingly gorgeous smile at her and her stomach sank.
"Haruno-san won. Go get the sword."
"Damn it all to hell!"
Kisame left to retrieve sword.
Itachi rose and pulled her with him off the bed.
Her eyes were watering with relief when Itachi took her into his arms again.
"I hope you've learned a lesson here, little one." He wrapped his Akatsuki robe around her. "Don't be so quick to throw away something so precious." He smirked at her, fingering his well-crafted cloak. "Now I have a reason to come find you, Sakura-chan. Next time, I won't be honor-bound not to do as I please." He pulled the lapel of his cloak forward and her with it and kissed her lips softly. "I find you…interesting, kunoichi," he told her, laying his forehead against hers. "It will definitely be worth my time," he promised.
Kisame came in, talking to his sword, promising Samehada that he would get him back soon. "He won't bite you, kunoichi, but he's heavy. How you gonna carry him? Samehada's a little big for you."
She shakily stepped away from Itachi, who had finally released her. "That's ok. I can handle it, Hoshigaki-san." She simply lifted the sword as if it weighed nothing, putting it over her shoulder and walking, still a bit unsteady, out of the room, the inn, and back toward Fire Country while they watched in admiration.
"Damn, she's hot," Kisame moaned watching the little minx walk off with his favorite weapon and Itachi's cloak, now thrown over her shoulder. Samehada had been eager to go with the kunoichi, too. The sword was pissed that Kisame had pawned him off as a prize in a drinking game.
Itachi silently agreed. It had been awhile since something this interesting had come along.
Things you probably already know: