[Author's Note]

This fic is being written using information given in the chapters leading up to and including manga chapter 627. I am presuming that Suigetsu, Chojuro, Mei, etc. survived the war. Ao is dead, which makes me kinda sad, but oh well.
Also, YAY! I wrote the first chapter. It's a full length chapter for me, meaning it's between 1,000 and 2,000 words.
And thank you, Kossyluv, for taking the time to review the prologue. Every review counts, guys! It's thanks to that review that this chapter is already written.
So on that note, proceed to Chapter One!

Please read and review! (^ ω ^)~

Lifting the Moon Out of Water
Chapter 1

Things didn't go the way he planned. Not remotely. He had expected a "Welcome home, Suigetsu!" or maybe a "Hey, it's you!", or at the very least, a wave. He had worried that they wouldn't want him back, but he never expected that he'd be put inside a jail cell.

But there he was!

Man, he must've been such a sucker. He walked right in and was arrested as soon as he said "hi" to the gate guards. He hadn't even tried to hide from the authorities.

Suigetsu hated himself for being a dumbfuck.

The teen slumped in the corner of the cell, sighing. He could escape, but the guards had been clear that his next hold would be a fish tank if he tried melting out.

He shuddered. He hated fish tanks.

Regardless, the shinobi couldn't help but feel bitter about his situation. He had no way of knowing that this would be the way he'd be treated. He wasn't a goddamn criminal! Sure, he had helped Sasuke try and capture the Eight Tails, but he didn't have a choice! Sasuke saved him from that fish tank, he had to help him.

Suigetsu crossed his arms and nodded. That was right. He had to do it.

But even if he had done it deliberately, that all should have been amended when he fought in the war with them. If it wasn't for his ability to liquefy his body, he would have died —the teen stopped to count on his fingers— what, eight times? At least eight. He would have died at least eight times.

And if the grounds for his arrest had been the Eight Tails thing, or even the Kage Summit incident, he could at least understand where Kiri was coming from, but that wasn't the case. He wasn't arrested for those things; that wasn't what the guard wrote for the "grounds of arrest" the form.

What did he write? Capture of a Rogue Shinobi.

That's what they thought he was. That's what he was considered in the years that he'd been gone. A rogue ninja. A piece of lowlife scum that says "FUCK THIS," and deserts his own village. They thought that he had done that.

Suigetsu drew his legs up and pouted slightly. He hadn't deserted Kirigakure. Why would he do that? It'd be a real pain to try and reform the Swordsmen with actual Swordsmen hunting him down, so of course he didn't leave. He had been kidnapped. Orochimaru had kidnapped him for his clan's ability. He captured him, tested on him, kept samples of him in jars...Orochimaru probably had enough of him to fill a room. He charted out his genetic code, kept him in a fucking fish tank...

Goddamn, he hated fish tanks.

"This is bullshit." he muttered.

"What is?" a voice asked. It sounded mild and timid, almost absent-minded. Suigetsu's head snapped up.

"Wha?" he blurted, looking around for the voice. He found it in a boy that was filing papers on the other side of the room. The boy wore a blue-gray hunter-nin sweater with Kirigakure camo pants. Shuriken holsters attached to either leg. His Mist insignia was affixed to a sort of harness on his chest, and his eyes were shielded by black-rimmed lenses. His hair was the muted blue color of the Kirigakure sky.

Suigetsu thought he looked rather familiar.

"Who are you?" he asked

The boy didn't look up from the papers.
"Chojuro." he said absently.

Suigetsu's brows furrowed. That really sounded familiar.

"Do I know you?" he asked. The boy tapped a stack of papers against a table to straighten them.

"I don't know." he said plainly. "So what's bullshit?"

Suigetsu gestured broadly at the cell walls, his pointed teeth showing through his irritated expression.

"Look at this! I'm in jail! I was kidnapped and experimented on for YEARS and this is how I'm treated!"

Chojuro slipped the papers into the drawer of the filing cabinet.

"This is how we treat criminals in the Mist under the Fifth's regime. Would you prefer it be the Fourth's?"

Suigetsu grit his teeth at the comment. He knew of the atrocities that were common in the days of the Bloody Mist. Those days were rough on regular citizens; he didn't want to think about how it might have been on criminals. But still, he didn't deserve this.

"That's the point!" he shouted, throwing his arms in the air. "I'm not a criminal! This is a misunderstanding!" he paused and lowered his arms back to his lap, breathing deeply. Sighing, he let his head thump against the cement wall.
"How am I supposed to reform the Seven Swordsmen like this?"

A small smile tugged at Chojuro's mouth and he chuckled lightly before turning around to pick up more papers. Suigetsu looked over at him, ready to yell at him for laughing.

At this point, the Hozuki noticed the giant sword that was strapped on Chojuro's back.

"Hey!" he started, jumping up and walking to the cell bars. He reached through them and pointed at the sword. "That's Hiramekarei!"

Chojuro nodded and Suigetsu slid through the bars, reforming about a foot away from the boy.

"Now I remember you!" he said. "You were at the Kage Summit! You're the last Swordsman!"

The boy's face seemed awkward as it shifted into a wide frown, looking uncomfortable with the situation.

"Ehehe... Please get back in your cell...please...they'll think I released you..." he stammered, palms spread in front of him. Suigetsu shook his head, still grinning.

"No way! You have to help me! Together we can reform the Swordsmen!"
He eyed Hiramekarei jealously.

"Please get back in your cell..."

"Can I touch it?"

"No, please—"

Suigetsu reached toward the sword and Chojuro drew it on reflex, sending his chakra through the handle and shaping it into a webbed net, swiftly casting it on the teen. The Hozuki struggled and tried to melt, but it was no use.

"Hey!" he shouted. "Lemme out of here!"

The swordsman didn't respond, propping Hiramekarei on his shoulder while his other hand fetched a scroll from a drawer. Using his teeth to break the scroll's seal and cut his thumb, Chojuro spread his blood across the paper and formed a one-handed seal. Almost immediately, a large tank full of water appeared in the vacant cell.

"Sorry, Suigetsu-san..." he muttered, pulling the lid aside. He swung his sword above the tank and released his chakra, dropping the teen inside. Without hesitation, he replaced the lid.

"I'm really sorry." he repeated, forcing a smile as Suigetsu pounded on the glass. "I really am."

With that, Chojuro exited the room, and Suigetsu was alone again, alone in a fish tank.

He really hated fish tanks.