This is a sorta-kinda KisaIta drabble I came up with. I hope you like it, but it's really not my best writing... please review anyway :D
Sometimes, Kisame can't help but worry about the boy.
(Though worry is a feeling he isn't used to having.)
He knew Itachi wanted to take care of himself. He knew how angry Itachi would be if he ever voiced his concern. He also knew that it was strange that he should even care.
And yet…there are times when Kisame finds himself worrying about the boy's welfare.
(Itachi talks in his sleep. Half-coherent ramblings, apologies to no one in particular.)
The deep, bruised circles under Itachi's eyes give testimony to how elusive sleep truly is. His ghost white skin bleeds too easily, blue veins all too visible in places. Whenever Kisame happens to catch a glimpse of Itachi dressing, he can see his hips and collarbone jutting out painfully. He can see the defined curve of every rib, the ridges of his spine.
(Itachi was something beautiful once. Something strong, graceful, and pleasant to look at. Illness stole that beauty from him with every hacking cough.)
Kisame had tried to voice his concerns once.
("Um…Itachi-san? Have you ever thought of going to a doctor for that cough of yours?")
Itachi had silenced him with a hateful glare, making it clear that he didn't appreciate being fussed over.
(Kisame didn't bring it up after that.
After Itachi gets worse, though, he wishes he'd been more stubborn.)
When he found the medication (there must have been half a dozen bottles of the stuff), Kisame pretended not to notice, for Itachi's sake. When Itachi lay awake at night, or paced the room, restless and in pain, Kisame merely feigned sleep. When Itachi cried out in the night, begging for forgiveness, for death, Kisame merely listened, afraid to comfort him, and not knowing how.
When he sees the scars that line Itachi's wrists and arms, Kisame looks away and pretends he doesn't see. He says nothing, for fear of angering his partner.
(Despite appearances, Itachi has a fearsome temper.)
Tonight, though, is different. Itachi's cries are different. They are more desperate, more pleading.
(Itachi insists on dealing with problems on his own. But Kisame can't stand seeing him like this.)
"Mother!" Itachi whimpers, seeming more like a frightened child than the heartless partner Kisame knows.
"Mother…forgive me…Father, please!"
His voice borders on hysteria, cracking and rising half an octave. He thrashes beneath the covers, arms outstretched, reaching for someone who wasn't there.
Kisame can't stand it anymore. He stands up and crosses the room in two strides. (The hotel room is small, anyway.)
Tears are falling down his fever-flushed face. His whines, groans and pleas are so pathetic and pitiful; they melt Kisame's long hardened heart.
He strokes Itachi's hair in a soothing way, running his fingers through the thinning black locks.
(Itachi's hair started falling out recently. If Itachi were anyone else, Kisame would have laughed when he saw him stressing over it. He may have laughed, had he known Itachi was a vain person. But Itachi isn't vain.)
Itachi's cries cease. His bloodshot eyes open halfway, gazing sleepily up at Kisame.
Kisame stammers, struggling to find words. Itachi, however, isn't angry. On the contrary, he sat up and threw his arms around Kisame's shoulders, sobbing.
Kisame freezes in place. Just as he is about to ask what he should do, Itachi answers him.
With unsteady, unsure motions, Kisame wraps his arms around Itachi's thin, frail body.
(They both know that they will not speak of this later.)
Itachi is stoic in the light of day, keeping up appearances and what this shallow world thinks makes one strong. But now, in the cover of night, of darkness, he can let it all go.
Because Kisame will not see him as 'weak' if he cries just this once.
(Even though he had promised himself he would never cry again.)
Kisame doesn't know how he is supposed to comfort his crying partner. So, he goes along with Itachi's simple request.
Kisame still worries about Itachi. But as much as he does, he knows that Itachi will never let this happen again.
(Because that would make him look weak.)
Kisame wraps Itachi's too-thin body in his blanket, taking hold of one of his bony hands. In the moonlight that trickles in, Kisame can see the veins in his fragile hand. (So easy to break if he used enough force.)
A barely audible "thank you" escapes Itachi's thin lips before he falls back to sleep, cradled in Kisame's awkward, yet strong grip.
Kisame still worries about Itachi.
But he holds him while he's able to.