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Kisame: footnotes.


It’s strange to think that a six-foot-three man with blue skin and spiky blue hair could be overlooked, but somehow that often proves to be the case with Hoshigaki Kisame.

At the library it’s Itachi the Reclusive Genius who gets most of the attention, or else it’s Deidara with his flashy good looks, or Sasori with his contemptuous attitude, or even Kakuzu with his knife’s-edge volatile temper. Kisame’s personality is pleasant, his behaviour always polite, which apparently manages to negate the effect of his filed shark’s teeth, his facial tattoos, and his unusual colouring, leaving him thoroughly forgettable.

Kisame hadn’t thought much of Itachi when they’d first been introduced, though he hadn’t disliked the kid, either. He did his work quickly, quietly, and efficiently, even if he did leave the majority of the telephone calls to Kisame. They worked well together, the big man soon discovered, which wasn’t to say they didn’t (or still don’t) have minor disagreements or that their opinions on certain matters were always comparable. Kisame thinks Itachi needs to loosen up, and he says as much every so often; Itachi doesn’t even bother making any sort of reply, though he doesn’t seem at all irritated by the comment either, simply filing the opinion away with the same impartial attitude he turns on everything else.

Kisame doesn’t bring this up too often, however: there’s something about Itachi that really is just a little scary, and in a way unlike anyone else the big man has encountered. It’s a subtle thing, something that reflects eerily from his coworker’s flat black eyes, a cold-blooded, unfeeling sort of beneath-the-surface almost-threat that demands respect, or at least a decent amount of caution coupled with a constant and wary regard for the Uchiha’s personal space. Kisame had run with some pretty bad crowds in his day, and he has the scars and tattoos to prove it, but he’s never encountered anyone—anything—like Uchiha Itachi. He looks as though he could kill someone, (anyone, his own mother even), without the barest flicker of realisation, much less guilt, surfacing in those dark, dead eyes. Kisame wonders if he ever has, and resolves to ask about it sometime, just to see if it throws him off-balance for once, not that he expects it to.

But for all that understated malevolence and the dull politeness smoothed over top of it, there’s something about him that doesn’t ring true in the big man’s opinion…perhaps because Kisame has seen the way the older brother views the younger, has caught that split-second lightning flash of warm emotion and the dark (forced?) scowl that clouds his face afterwards. He resolves to ask about that too, when the time is right.

They have shared an apartment for nearly three years now--one day, perhaps a month after Itachi had begun work at the library, he’d turned to look Kisame straight in the eye and asked if he was looking for a roommate. The big man was almost more surprised by the fact that Itachi was talking than he was by the question itself, but he just grinned and said sure. He hadn’t had a roommate for a while, but it might be nice. Itachi hadn’t said anything else, and Kisame had been too preoccupied with a number of demanding phone calls to follow up on the issue, but he assumed they’d talk about it again later if Itachi decided he wanted to move in after all. He certainly hadn’t been expecting to wake up the next morning to find Itachi sitting at his kitchen table, silently reading a book, a pair of small duffel bags at his feet--he hadn’t given him a key, hadn’t even told him where he lived--but there he was, and Kisame just shrugged and chuckled and fell to making a double portion of strawberry crepes.

The division of labour had come about naturally as well, and just like everything else, there were never any issues with it. Kisame did all the cooking, which worked well because he’d always had an interest in that sort of thing; in return, Itachi kept the place clean, and did most of the laundry as well. (He does an excellent job of it, too, though Kisame has never actually seen him doing any of the work.) Kisame was especially pleased to discover Itachi’s sweet tooth--baking was his own secret guilty pleasure, but he’d never really had anyone he wanted to share all those home-made goodies with, and while he liked a snack every so often, sweets weren’t really his favourite thing. Itachi, on the other hand, could put away at least two dozen cookies in a single sitting, though you’d never know it to look at his almost-too-slim, spare-but-muscular frame; a remarkable metabolism must be part and parcel of the genetic lottery he’d apparently won several times over.

All things considered, many (most?) people would find Itachi annoying to be around--Deidara certainly does, and makes no effort in disguising that fact either, while Sasori and Kakuzu simply return the Uchiha’s dispassionate disregard--but Kisame is special in that respect. He’s always been good at feeling people out, sensing their emotions; Itachi is interesting, because while Kisame can’t read specific emotions, somehow he can still get a feel on what Itachi is thinking, at least most of the time. Itachi is a tightly coiled loop of thoughts and sensations hidden beneath a blank expression, always thinking, always restless beneath his calm exterior. Kisame knows when he’s agitated, when he’s introspective, and when he actually is just blank judging by the level of anxiety radiating off him; Kisame can sense it as easily as a shark can sense blood in the water.

They do make a good team, really--even a perfect team. Kisame is content to let Itachi be the focus, the one that most people see, because he knows that Itachi relies on him. Itachi recognises this, his own emotional dependence on the larger man, and never fails to treat Kisame with a respect that is so thorough, it approaches out and out kindness. This is especially true on days when Itachi is acknowledged in some way, by winning some librarian’s award or receiving some sort of invitation to a fancy dinner with a hidden job offer waiting afterward. Kisame doesn’t get anything of the sort; he lives quietly, slipping under the world’s radar despite his own unique and considerable set of skills.

But that’s all right, because Kisame isn’t looking for a place in the spotlight. He just likes to have someone appreciate him, to have someone see him and depend on him, even if he knows that when it really comes down to it, Uchiha Itachi does not really need anyone. Still, the simple fact that he’s chosen to need Kisame as much as he does now is, in the big blue man’s eyes, one of the highest honours that anyone could be awarded; and he’d take that small almost-smile Itachi displays when greeted with Kisame’s special-recipe lemon coffee cake and hot, sweet tea over all the job offers in the world.


( 7 were shushed — Whisper? )
Dec. 7th, 2009 06:20 am (UTC)
can I eat some?

Dec. 7th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
He looks as though he could kill someone, (anyone, his own mother even), without the barest flicker of realisation, much less guilt, surfacing in those dark, dead eyes. Kisame wonders if he ever has,


Also, I love the idea of Itachi's secret sweet tooth. I guess he did eat dango in the canon, didn't he? It seems so fantastically incongruous, and that makes it awesome. XD
Dec. 7th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)
Ohoho~ Though in this AU, he actually doesn't kill them. :3 It's actually sort of the reverse--they (read: Fugaku) prettymuch disown him, so he's dead to them. Which is why he had to move out.

But I'm getting ahead of myself again. |D
Dec. 7th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
Yes, but it was still an entertaining idea on Kisame's part. It's like, there might be an alternate universe somewhere where he did. Or something. o_o

It's nice to know (but not surprising) that Fugaku is always an asshole.
Dec. 7th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
Well, I toyed with the idea of the whole clan ending up "mysteriously dead", or pulling a Punisher or smth, but I decided reversing the situation would be more interesting AND make more IRL sense.

...He really sort of is, even in canon. >| I mean, I understand fathers being stiff around children in that sort of culture and not knowing what to do or whatever, but is it REALLY so hard to pay attention to your kid sometimes, and to show them that you love them and aren't disappointed in them? >\
Jan. 29th, 2013 06:22 pm (UTC)
I realize it's been a long time, and I should probably consider this fic dead, but is there any chance you had another chapter written and just didn't post it? Please?
Feb. 1st, 2013 10:38 pm (UTC)
...I'm really surprised and flattered to get this request, and the answer to that question is actually yes....sort of. I have about three more chapters that are very nearly done, and just hadn't finished them due (partly) to perceived lack of interest. But...I might just have to go back and finish at least one or two of them now. :]

And just fyi, if I do they'll be posted here!

Thank you for your interest! It was very unexpected, and all the more pleasant for that.
( 7 were shushed — Whisper? )