Title: My Momma Told me…

Pairing: Kisame/Itachi (I'm finally writing this pairing!)

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of its characters.


My Momma Told Me…

When Kisame was old enough to understand why he didn't have friends at school, his momma held him tight and said that he was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen. He didn't believe her at the time, not at all, because his skin was so pale that it was blue, and his teeth were sharp and scary looking. Still his momma held him and kissed his head. He wished he could see what she saw.

A little bit later, when the other boys at school thought that Superman and Batman made their world, he started having friends. They liked to play. One would be Superman, one would be Batman or Spiderman, and he would be the villain. He didn't mind, because it was fun to run around and pretend to be mean. The other boys were bossy, always wanting to win, even though Kisame knew that not all the good guys won. Still he didn't mind, because fun was fun, and boys will be boys.

In high school, he started growing so fast that he thought he'd never stop. He grew and grew and grew, until it was he who had to get things from high cupboards for his momma, not the other way around. Just like when he started school for the first time, Kisame was friendless. His friends, Superman and Batman, abandoned him when superheroes became lame and childish, and he went from being villain to freak. He thought he'd be used to the treatment by then, he was wrong, because he still cried himself to sleep when his Momma was deeply asleep in her room.

When he was sixteen, everything bad that happened to him was all but forgotten when Kana, the prettiest thing he'd ever seen, approached him. She was small and petite and stirred this urge within him to hold her tight and protect her in his big arms. When he went home and told his Momma what happened, she told him, with a small frown marring her face that he should be careful, and make sure Kana really liked him. In his teenage wisdom, Kisame dismissed her words and went out with Kana the next day after school.

Things got strange when, after only two dates that ended with Kana asleep, they ended up going way beyond just making out. When Kana was shirtless and fast getting rid of her skirt, Kisame stopped her and said they weren't ready. She called him old fashion and continued anyway. He went with it, because there was no denying the desire he felt for her. When they were both naked, and Kana's eyes slid down south, she muttered under her breath, "I knew it!" Kisame felt self-conscious, and tried to pry Kana's eyes from his private by continuing what they were doing. Just before it happened, before they had sex and Kana really felt his size, she hesitated. Kisame ignored her hesitation just as she had ignored his. They had sex, and in the end Kisame thought that it could have gone much better, that he was missing that supposed bliss that came after such an intimate event.

The next day at school, all of Kana's girl-friends attached themselves to his arms, their eyes hungrily trailer down south. He didn't need to see anymore before he realised he should have listened to his Momma. Hasn't she always been right about things like these? It only confirmed what he already knew when he found Kana orally attached to another boy from the locker next to his. He didn't even try to confront her, because truth be told, he really didn't like Kana. It was rude to fall asleep on dates, and even ruder to ignore someone's hesitancy during sex. He wasn't upset, he told himself.

And if he started hitting the gym to vent, then that didn't really mean that he was upset, just meant that he was too thin for someone of his height.

By the time the last year of high school came to be, Kisame once again found himself centre of attention. Girls, and occasionally guys, found their eyes taking him in. At first he felt smug and sometimes flexed his arms and pecs in the changing room. In the end, he found he enjoyed the guys' attention more than the girls'.

He gave things another chance when shy little Hiroaki approached him and said he had a spare ticket to a poetry recital concert, small and quiet, in the public library. See, by then, Kisame had this reputation. 'The Lone Shark,' they called him. Perhaps it was because of him constantly being alone, or perhaps it was his shark like appearance that became more and more apparent with age. He quietly declined Hiroaki's offer, instead leaning down and offering the cute boy another offer. "Let's meet somewhere even quieter," he said, "somewhere private."

If he appeared confident and husky, it was artificial, because inside Kisame had been ecstatic and hopeful. He thought perhaps Hiroaki would be much more different than Kana, someone more honest and loving. He told his Momma. She told him, 'That boy falls in love so easily. I know it seems like he loves you, honey, but someone else might come and snatch him just as easily.' She tried to sound gentle, but because he liked Hiroaki so much, to Kisame it sounded like she was saying what all the other kids said about him. "He's so ugly! What's with the gills? Are they real? Tattoo?" Of course he knew his Momma didn't mean it like that, but he was desperate. Apart from his Momma, he couldn't, for the life of him, name another person who liked him, really liked him.

In the end, when he devastatingly watched as Hiroaki easily fell for another man, he thought, 'this is it. My Momma's words are law.' He couldn't even be angry at Hiroaki, because when the boy loved, he loved with all his heart, like Kisame. But he was easily distracted. Hiroaki didn't even realise he was falling for someone else until Kisame point it out and said, "Let's break up." Kisame felt sorry for the poor bastard that was going to be with Hiroaki next.

He didn't date or see anyone for anything other than one night stands after that. He figured, if there was someone out there for him, they'd come to him. He was done looking. A man could only handle heartbreak so many times.

He went through college, nothing but average, because he knew at least one thing was right about what they said about him. He was really more of the bronze than the brain. He wasn't stupid, but he figured there were already plenty of people out there who were smarter than him; they were the ones who studied and analysed. They'd use their knowledge to change the world. Him? He just wanted what he wanted.

He moved from his house to Konoha with his Momma's parting advice. 'Be careful Kisa, there are beautiful people out there. Beautiful people don't mix with people like us.'

And he'd told her in return, "That's okay Momma. I doubt they'd even look twice at me," and he flashed her his large, toothy grin. His Momma didn't flinch at the display of teeth, and that was all that mattered.

He went around in Konoha, around and around not knowing what to do, and met Uchiha Itachi when he was hired to be the bodyguard of his brat younger brother, Sasuke.

Itachi was beautiful, in a way that left Kisame breathless and dizzy, and he was filthy rich. Way out of Kisame's league. It was wrong of him to be thinking of these things about Itachi, because God knows he's not going anywhere near him. But Itachi loved his younger brother, and he spent days evaluating Kisame's skills.

Itachi was just as cold and distant as he was beautiful. And he was a tease too, even though Kisame knew Itachi didn't do it on purpose. Every day he reminded himself that it wasn't a good idea to get any closer to Itachi, and every day he wanted to more and more. He couldn't stay away, simple as that. He didn't even feel guilty when he used Sasuke to get closer, because he was doing it again. He was falling fast and hard.

Itachi responded to his every move, it seemed, and the younger man was confused about it. On the weekends, when Sasuke stayed home and was safe in the boundary of their massive mansion, Kisame spent his time with Itachi. Sometimes they just sat beside the pool, silent. Other times they teased each other with feather-light touches and brush ups. Kisame's favourites had to be when they just sat, watching a movie, when Kisame was allowed to lay his head on Itachi's laps. It was different from when he did it to his Momma, and it made him forget the reason why he was so shunned. Itachi didn't care for his looks; actually, he seemed to like the blue skin, the gill-like tattoos. Occasionally Kisame caught his hands wandering along his muscles, full of wonder and curiosity. Somehow, Kisame just knew that Itachi had been as lonely as he had been.

And when things got more intense, like when they leaned too far into each other's space just to talk, Kisame quoted his Momma's words in his head. "Too beautiful, too lethal. Back off!"

That didn't stop him from leaning down and catching Itachi's coral-coloured lips with his own.

It was slow and intimate, gently and soft. His heart got excited in a way that never happened with Kana or Hiroaki. His whole body responded in kind, not just his crotch. When Itachi leaned further into him for more, Kisame took him in his arms and held him up. If it were possible, he'd really like to become one with Itachi, just so they wouldn't have to ever separate. Also, his back ached when the kiss lasted too long and he had to stay bent down. Itachi wasn't too small, but he was tiny when compared to Kisame's bulk. It didn't matter, because that was when Kisame discovered that he had this kink for manhandling his partner.

When they separated, Itachi traced his lips with nimble fingers. "This had better not affect your ability doing your job." Kisame should have known that Sasuke would always come first, but that was okay too, because the brat wasn't so bad after all. And he'd really rather have Sasuke as Itachi's first priority, because if he wasn't, then Itachi wouldn't be a good brother. And to Kisame, Itachi was perfect in every way.

"It won't," he said, dipping in once more for a kiss.

It happened so fast, he thought. Perhaps he should question Itachi's feelings for him in return, but he couldn't get any further than that. When he looked at Itachi, the younger man had this look on his face, like Kisame was the brightest star he'd ever seen, something new and magnificent, and he couldn't look away. When Kisame saw this, he smiled and planted a soft kiss under Itachi's jaw.

"Go on a date with me," he said.

He kind of expected Itachi to say yes, only the younger man tensed and stepped back from him. That was probably when things got cold.

He called up his Momma after a week of not catching even a glimpse of Itachi. He told her everything, because she deserved to know; this amazing woman who raised and loved him. At the end of his telling he said, "Sorry Momma, I did it again. But it's different this time, I know it is. And I know I said I'd be careful, but I don't think I can't with Itachi. I can't help myself."

"Oh I know baby, I know. But if you think you really could have something with Itachi, then I can't help you. You have to do this yourself."

He knew she'd say that. She was a great mum; and only great mums know when to back off.

Another week of no Itachi, and Kisame was almost afraid that he'd moved away or something. He was panicky and all, but then smacked himself in the head for his stupidity. If he wanted to know where Itachi wanted so badly, all he had to do was ask Sasuke. The boy told him his older brother's whereabouts, he did; only he took his time doing it. Kisame was just ready to strangle Sasuke by the time he told him.

Sasuke told him "Look, my brother's not a bad guy, you just gotta work your way in." Then he huffed, rolled his eyes at the drama Kisame had caused and told him he could find Itachi at an elite club in town.

Kisame set out right away, because as he'd told his Momma, Itachi was different. He was beautiful –oh, so beautiful- and he was rich, but he was kind and loved his family and treated everyone equally –except his brother, he doted on his brother. He wasn't giving up on them yet, not like he did after one blow from Kana and Hiroaki. He was seeing this through til the end, and if Itachi turned out to be a beautiful person like his mother had warned him about, well… then Kisame's love life must be doomed.

The badge that he got as being Sasuke's bodyguard allowed him into the club without trouble, and Kisame got another glimpse of the life that wealthy people lived in Konoha. These people really knew how to live. The club didn't have eardrum bursting music and sweaty bodies grinding against each other. No, instead it had wealth, luxury. The music was soft, but beautiful, seemingly coming out of nowhere. The people were beautiful, dressed beautifully, and wore beautiful smirks. Some were alone and sat at the glorious bar, silently drinking. Some were in groups and sat on plush couches, laughing and speaking. The whole club had an air of mystery, and a tinge of sexual tension.

All in all, it reminded Kisame of a promotional poster he once saw, advertising the series premiere of a vampire TV show; all red and silk, blood and sex, beauty and mystery, everything Kisame was not.

This was why all eyes turned to him as soon as Kisame stepped foot in; him in his cheap suit and his blue tinged skin and gill marks. Luckily, Kisame had grown up with these stares, and so he had no trouble ignoring them and walking deeper into the club, seeking only one person.

Kisame did find Itachi, and he was so love struck and happy that he did, that he didn't even notice the man all over Itachi until he nearly stepped over him. The man had yelled, furious that someone as big as Kisame had nearly ran him over and broken him in half. And Kisame? Well, nobody could blame him if he barely acknowledged the stranger. He was too busy taking in Itachi, who was exactly in his environment in this club. In fact, if this really had been the vampire club that Kisame secretly thought it was, then Itachi might as well be the king.

The thing that finally made him notice the man was the fact that his hand was on the edge of his Itachi's shirt, barely caressing the smooth skin underneath. The sight drew up dark thoughts in his head, and he almost crumbled under the weight of the anger, the possessiveness, and the hurt. The hurt, because there was no way that that hand was there against Itachi's will. Itachi would never let anything like that happen, if he didn't want it himself. And the taunting smirk that the beautiful man directed at Kisame told him all that he needed to know.

Itachi and the stranger man were both slouched on the couch, very much tangled up in each other. At a closer inspection, the man with Itachi wore a very obvious erection, and he wasn't trying to hide it.

Disgust closely followed the possessiveness.

His Momma had been right once again, and Kisame had never wanted her to be more wrong in his life. Itachi was beautiful, but only on the outside.

Kisame ran out of the club, then more than ever feeling the weight of the world that would never see past his strange looks.

He thought about quitting his job, but it wasn't that easy. He signed a contract, and he really didn't want to put Sasuke's life in the hands of someone else. The boy was annoying, and he could defend himself, but his father happened to be a wealthy business overlord. People were trying to kill him just for that. Kisame couldn't quit, and he didn't. He became Sasuke's shadow. And because Sasuke and Itachi were such close brothers, he crossed path with said man more than he felt comfortable with. Still, no matter how often he saw Itachi, the pain never lessened.

Itachi was cold, as he always was. This made it nearly impossible for Kisame to remember that once upon a time he'd kissed and held the man, that underneath he was somewhat soft. Whenever he saw Kisame, he was cold. Not a thought could be read by his expression. It made Kisame hate-love him that much more… and then there were those rare days when he thought Itachi's eyes were more watery than usual, or that he looked like he was in pain. Those days Kisame convinced himself he was delusional.

The breaking point came randomly and it happened in the kitchen.

Kisame was getting popcorn. Itachi was accessing his secret stash of rainbow strips; the sweetest, most sour thing ever. Painful as it was, it was also very awkward.

And for no reason at all, seeing Itachi crouched half in and half out of the cupboard reminded Kisame of all his failed attempts at love. He had many, but Kana and Hiroaki, and now Itachi, had stood out the most, in a painful, heart wrenching way.

He scoffed at Itachi, who had finally stood up straight.

"What?" Itachi had asked him, cool as ever.

"Nothing," Kisame had replied. His voice was hard, but flat. It couldn't be more obvious that Kisame was hurt and angry.

And Itachi, the man who hated emotional confrontations that he was, had tried to walk out of the kitchen.

This was the type of situation that Kisame's momma's voice would usually surface, saying 'My boy, be careful. Not everyone is as big as you, you might unintentionally hurt them.' She said this when he was fourteen, and was two inches taller than her. She'd made him a bacon and egg pie after school, and he'd been so happy –and hungry- he had gathered her up in his arms and hugged her tight. She'd gasped and wriggled her way out, gently telling him what she had. It had been a moment in his life when Kisame knew he had to be a man, had to protect his momma because all of a sudden she seemed so small, fragile. It would have been a proud moment too, if the whole thing hadn't led to a talk about the birds and the bees –which he already knew all about thank you very much!

He hurt Itachi. He hurt him when he grabbed him by the arm and swung him right around. It had happened too fast. Itachi was turned around, alarm clear in his eyes, and the giant glass bowl meant for the popcorn in Kisame's one hand had slipped. Luckily it was empty and didn't make a mess. It also didn't break, but this was because it had landed painfully on Itachi's exposed, vulnerable left foot. There was a thud, followed by a curse from Itachi.

The bowl rolled away a little, and they both looked down. The pinkie of Itachi's foot was bleeding, crushed, and almost the whole of his foot was red, no doubt bruising.

Kisame completely earned the glare that Itachi sent him.

"Shit," Kisame cursed. "Sorry." Still angry and hurt by Itachi –but now also very worried and sorry- Kisame scooped the smaller man easily into his big arms and headed up to said man's bedroom. It was lucky –and also strange- that Uchiha Mikoto had made sure there was a first aid kit in every bedroom in the mansion. Very strange.

Kisame set Itachi down and retrieved the kit, coming back and finding Itachi making himself confortable. It was obvious that he expected Kisame to clean up the bloody mess, and for a moment Kisame had thought about dumping the kit and leaving him to his own bloody pinkie toe. Then again, it really was Kisame's fault.

"You deserve it," he mumbled as he started to clean up the pale, small foot. Itachi didn't make one sound of pain, and Kisame was bitterly proud of him. "If you hadn't wanted a date, you could have just said so, not go and avoid my ugly mug completely."

"You're not ugly!" The outburst surprised them both, and the silence that followed made Kisame very aware of his wildly beating heart. Great, there it went again, being all hopeful and in love. "And I didn't want a date, not with you."

Through gritted teeth, Kisame spat out, "Gee, I hope that wasn't because of my not-ugly-mug. What the hell, Itachi? Everything was great, and then I ask for a date and you dump me. I thought you wanted me. Heck, I wanted you, did you notice that?"

"I want you," Itachi said softly. He sounded confuse, and Kisame got confused by it –he also did not find it adorable, no sir he did not.

"Then why not go on a date with me. If this is going anywhere, and god I hope it does, then I want to do things properly."

An ugly, sour expression marred Itachi's beautiful face. "There you go again. You said you wanted me. Why are you bothering with this?"

See… here's where it became very obvious to them that there was a major misunderstanding.

Kisame bandaged the tiny toe pinkie and gently moved Itachi's foot about, making sure nothing else was wrong.

Once done, he looked up and met dark obsidian eyes. "Okay, be very honest. Why don't you want to go on a date?"

"Because, all the others before want dates." At Kisame's questioning gaze, he went on. "We'd meet, and I'd find them interesting, and the found me interesting, and we got closer. Then they'd ask me on a date, and expect it to be okay to… They said they wanted to do things properly, dates and all, and that they were serious about being with me. As if going on dates would prove to me that they loved me. But it's never about that. In the end it's a job working for my father they want, or the money, the fame, or just that one day living my life. That's why I don't want to go on a date with you. I thought... I thought you were serious, and then you sprung that question and ruined everything."

For an idiotic moment, Kisame wondered what Itachi's reaction would be if he asked him to marry him. That… would be interesting.

"Okay…" he muttered. He got up from the floor, and sat beside Itachi on his bed. "What about that guy I saw you with? I'm guessing he didn't want a date?"

Finally Itachi looked guilty. "I was upset, and I found him at the club. I wanted to get my thoughts off you, and he only wanted a one night thing. We were honest. We both wanted just one night, no strings attached, no dates, no lies. It was honest."

"Che," Kisame sneered. "Did you do it?"

"No, you interrupted, remember?"

"I left though, didn't I?"

"You didn't leave my head."

"… I can't believe you can be cute at a time like this. This is serious, Itachi. I am serious about you, and if you don't want dates, fine. Don't go on a date with me… just think of it as a field trip with lots of candy and maybe a movie."

Kisame got an unbelieving look in return.

"You'll stick around?" And damn if Itachi didn't sound so small and hopeful. Usually it was Kisame being the hopeful one; always hoping for some love. "Even… even when your contract is up?"

"Yeah, I'm sticking around… If you want me, that is."

"Of course I do."

They sat silently together for a long time that night, just the two of them. Itachi's bed was big and soft, and it lulled them both to sleep. In the morning, Kisame woke first and spent a good half an hour taking in all that was Itachi. Unlike Kisame's, Itachi's skin was smooth and soft, and while Kisame was big and bulky and 6'6, Itachi was lithe and 5'10… maybe even 5'11? Itachi preferred everything sweet and drank tea, while Kisame liked them salty and preferred soft drinks. Itachi did paperwork and barely ever entered a gym, somehow maintaining his lithely muscled form. Kisame almost lived in one.

It made him wonder, from past experiences…

"You don't think I'm ugly?" He asked his love when he woke up.

It wasn't Itachi's "No," that made him smile. It was the expression in his eyes before he answered. He got that look; one where he looked confused, as if he was wondering how anyone could see Kisame as anything other than perfection. Itachi was delusional, and Kisame loved him fiercely.

When everything settled down and they both got an eye roll each from Sasuke for all the drama –but what drama? Nobody in the mansion even noticed- Kisame called his mother.

He told her everything, emphasising on him almost ruining Itachi's foot because he knew it'd make him momma laugh. And it did. She laughed, and laughed and laughed. The she said, "You know it is true love when one of you either get knocked out or get a bruised up foot." When he asked her what she meant, she said "Well, didn't I ever tell you? I knocked your daddy out when I threw a rock at his window, trying to get his attention. I didn't know the window was already open and he was standing right behind the curtain."

His father passed on when Kisame was a young boy, but apparently he looked almost identical to him.

He laughed along with his momma.

"Is he beautiful?" She asked after a long talk, her tone soft and wistful.

"He is," Kisame said, meaning it. "He's beautiful inside and out, momma." Because Itachi had been hurt just as much as Kisame had, but worse, because he never really had a reason for it. Kisame's looks earned him looks and stares, whispers and harsh words right to his face. Itachi was beautiful, but wanted everyone to see past it. He had everything, but people hurt him for it. "I found him, momma. I'm not letting go. You gotta meat him."

And Kisame was a happy man, happy that his love life wasn't doomed after all. He was happy that he found that one person who could caress his face and kiss him silly, and not flinch or cringe in horror. He found that one person who jumped him at first sight –in private, mind you. Itachi was a prideful man with a reputation to uphold- that one person who snuggled up to him to steal popcorn.

When Kisame was old enough to understand and find true love, he also finally believed his Momma's words from all those years ago.

"Baby, you're the most beautiful thing I've ever laid eyes on."

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