Meanwhile, as the girls had their suspiciously quiet meeting with the principal…
Sasuke, holding a tissue to his nose, stuck his head into the room. Kakashi-sensei had gone, likely taking Naruto home, and the girls were in the office with the principal. That left only Shizune and Itachi in the outer office.
Carefully, the younger Uchiha tiptoed across the room, and was about two feet from his brother when Itachi spoke.
“He broke your nose.”
“I’ve had worse. Hell, you’ve done worse,” Sasuke replied, quickly giving up on sneaking. He sat next to his brother, one seat between them, and set his shoulder bag down on the floor. “He blinded you.”
“Temporarily,” Itachi said dismissively. And then when he got his sight back, if Naruto ever tried that stunt again…
There was a shuffle at the hall door, then a squeak, and then quite suddenly Sasuke stiffened. He slowly turned his head, and saw two girls duck out of view.
“Shizune-san, is there a lock on that door?”
Shizune snorted. “Nope.”
“Chairs,” Itachi said blandly. The handle of the hall door was a lever type. If a chair was shoved up beneath the handle, the door could be kept closed.
Shizune gave them both an exasperated look. “Are the big bad Uchiha’s afraid of a few girls?” she asked.
While Itachi declined to answer that, Sasuke cleared his throat. “Shizune-san? You’ve been to the zoo, right?” At her cautious nod, he went on. “Have you ever seen the caretakers feeding… say… a snake?”
“Once,” she admitted, confused. What did this have to do with the girls?
“What did it do?”
She thought back to the occasion, brow wrinkled. The snake in question had been a boa, and had—“Oh.” Pause. “Oh.”
“It’s a similar reaction if you put bleeding Sasuke and blind Itachi out for the ‘few girls’’ viewing pleasure.” He clapped his hands. “Snap. In seconds.” He stopped, continued. “Like a shark and a bleeding victim—”
“I get it, Sasuke-kun,” she said with a grimace.
Itachi reached out and somehow, someway, poked Sasuke-kun in the dead center of the forehead. “The door, Sasuke.”
There were more shuffling noises out in the hallway and instead of squeaks, there were now furious whispers. That seemed to fill the hall.
Sasuke needed no further encouragement, and quickly scurried across the room with his own chair. He blocked the door and pulled the blinds, then sighed in relief. The door rattled.
“Hey, I didn’t know it could lock…” someone said on the other side.
The older teenager sighed as Shizune laughed weakly in disbelief. “We may be in here for a while,” Itachi observed, and settled back into his chair.
Sasuke shook his head and returned to his brother, sitting in the chair right next to him. “… so…” He nodded vaguely and drummed on his knee with the hand not holding the tissue. … He should get a new one. Black eyes focused on a box of them on Shizune’s desk and he snagged one, tossing the other away.
He sat back down. “Uh… It hurt?”
“Hnn.” Hurt was a good word for it. Humiliating would be another. A complete hindrance to all efforts to move from one spot to another, yes. Annoying as fuck, oh definitely.
Itachi shook his head and added. “Both of us, Sasuke. He injured both of us.” How could he have allowed this to happen?
Sasuke nodded. “Yeah. I noticed.” He bit his lip. “But it’ll heal. And it’s not like he— well…” He stopped, then went on. “He’s a pain, and whiney, and my best friend.”
“You should pick better friends,” Itachi said flatly. Sure, Kisame had drawn blood before. Hell, they had a good fight on a bimonthly basis that ended with them tenderized and sprained for weeks. However, his best friend didn’t … Okay, maybe Kisame had. Once. A few times. He sighed.
“You too,” Sasuke replied, straight-faced. “Don’t murder him please?”
Itachi snorted, and then remembered a stupid movie he had seen a preview for years ago. “‘You’d be surprised what you can live through’.”
Oh no… “Itachi… niisan… don’t go psychotic on my idiot,” Sasuke said, just shy of pleading.
A stiff backed Itachi turned woodenly in his chair to face his younger brother. Scowling, Itachi slowly slid open his eyelids. “Ask me that again when these heal.”
His eyes were red. The whites couldn’t be called whites, the capillaries were irritated or burst in splotches. Thankfully, the pupils and iris were still inky black, though the surfaces was not as smooth as they should have been.
He closed his eyes again and settled into the chair. Damned younger brother and his pleading, and the fact that really, this was all just laughable. And pathetic. And that stunt stung!
Sasuke gritted his teeth, forcing himself not to immediately blow his top. He could understand it. Itachi was in pain. So was Sasuke. And—
… well… “Fine, whatever. At least you will have Sakura fussing over you,” he muttered, a little irritably. If he played it right, he could escape that… “What with her dumb flowers, and her stupid nurse aunt…” He shuddered. “She gets damn mother-hen like. It’s annoying as all hell.”
Itachi tilted his head and thought about what Sasuke had said. Sakura would be fussing over him. Mother-hen behavior meant she would be spending much of her time around him. He wasn’t sure about the aunt, but he had a vivid image of Sakura walking around in a nurse outfit… He began to smirk.
Fussing over a friend and fussing over a boyfriend, could mean two entirely different things. It was his eyes that were damaged, not the rest of his body. Already he knew that by stripping away his ability to see, he was appreciating all his other senses. The water fight by the beach had been done in almost complete darkness and Sakura’s wet skin had felt like…
Sasuke coughed at the look on his brother’s face, and abruptly slid his chair away. “… I’m not going to ask,” he declared firmly, and jumped when the door to Sarutobi’s office opened.
Ino perked when she saw him. “Sasuke-kun! Oh, geez, he sure as hell did a number on you. We should take you home and get you some of Uchiha-dono’s riceballs. They make life seem so much more worth living…”
He choked. ‘We’?
Sakura walked past Ino and stopped in front of the two brothers. “Itachi-kun? It’s time to go.” She placed a hand on his wrist and watched as he rotated his forearm so that his hand clasped hers. She nearly stumbled though when instead of rising from the chair, he pulled her close.
“We?” he asked.
“Oh…” She flushed. “Well… I actually… um…” The look on his face told her that he knew she was preparing to lie. “Can we… go somewhere else to talk about it? Please?”
Sasuke’s eyes had narrowed. What were these two up to?
“Oh c’mon!” Ino wailed before Itachi could answer. “You guys can be all romantic and whatever later. I want to escape this place. Immediately. Meaning now.” She nodded her head pointedly toward the door.
Sakura saw that the other two had already moved towards the exit and quickly placed a hand on Itachi’s cheek. “I’ll tell you later. At your house. In private. Okay?” she pleaded.
“Hnn.” He nodded and allowed her to pull him up and away from the chair.
As she led him through the office entrance, he stopped and pulled her against his chest. Leaning down he nuzzled her ear. “You just want the keys to Shiori,” he teased.
The girl in his arms let out a half-hysterical giggle, then impulsively turned and hugged him. “Yes, that’s exactly it!” she murmured into his chest.
“Uhg, you two!” Ino called back, halfway down the hall.
Sasuke made a face. They didn’t clash. Why was he not surprised?
Sakura grinned and pulled away from her… ah, dating guy? She grabbed his hand and tugged him along, careful to keep him walking in the middle of the hallway.
Not everyone knew that private driveways had no speed limits. However, it seemed to Kisame, whoever owned the scrap yard definitely knew about that little bonus.
The dirt road was wide and flat, with walls of rusty chain-link fence and arcing barbed wire. He slowed down at the entrance of the compound, reached out to the metal post and hit the buzzer. The intercom crackled to life.
“Yo! Is the drive clear?” Kisame yelled into the mike.
The speaker spit static for a second and Hidan’s voice cut in and out. “Cra—Fucker…. Yeah.”
That was all the blue boy needed to know. He withdrew his arm back through the window, shifted gears, adjusted his grip on the wheel, and gunned the engine.
He loved testing his truck.
Dust plumed up behind him as the spinning wheels dug for purchase and then the patchwork, thrumming mass of auto-engineering surged forward and thundered down the long curved stretch of bare packed earth.
Deidara—getting a soda from the vending machine outside the office—dove out of the way and screamed about insanity when Kisame rounded the corner. As Kisame parked and shut off the engine, Deidara climbed to his feet and disappeared inside.
Enraged screaming quickly followed.
Deidara, hands wrapped around Hidan’s throat, shook the albino roughly, and that’s what Kisame walked in on. Kakuzu, off to the side, ignored them.
Smirking at Deidara’s hissy fit, Kisame whistled cheerfully, and slumped into an armchair near the window. Closing his eyes, he let his head fall back into the worn brown cushion and grinned.
“Aah… I love this place,” his sighed blissfully.
Hidan, bored with Deidara, kicked the blond in the stomach, sending him stumbling back into a folding chair next to the card table. “Aah, fuck off. I just fucking forgot, you idiot.”
“I’m fucking killing you next time, un,” Deidara growled, rubbing his stomach.
Kakuzu glanced up from his book long enough to make sure there was no property damage, then went back to ignoring them… and the fact that Hidan kept sending spit wads his way.
…well, mostly ignored. After about two minutes, Kakuzu put down his book, picked up a plastic binder, and smacked Hidan upside the head. Hard. Hidan fell out of his chair and Kakuzu went back to reading.
Kisame laughed as Hidan surged back to his feet. Deidara looked a little appeased by Kakuzu’s love tap.
“You fucking piece of shit!” Hidan roared, one hand holding his ear. Despite how pissed he sounded, though… he wasn’t even tense. Just standing around like normal.
Nobody was surprised. Deidara picked up a paperclip and flicked it at Hidan, who flipped him off and sat back down. Kakuzu hadn’t reacted at all, and that meant he was in one of his moods… which meant Hidan shouldn’t bother him too much.
“Pansy,” Deidara hissed, still slightly pissed about Hidan not warning him about Kisame. Which reminded him… The blond suddenly whirled on Kisame. “And you!” He sounded so much like a girl that Hidan fell out of his chair laughing. “You fucking ass! I coulda got run over, un!”
The teenager who was still boneless in the armchair snorted. “You were standing next to the fucking brick of a can dispenser. I always clear that thing by a good two feet.”
Deidara’s face got red and he opened his mouth, lifting a hand—on the palm, there appeared to be the doodle of a mouth—as if to reach out or something, and then–
Kakuzu threw the folder at him, causing a pained yelp.
“Fucking—! OW, YOU JACKASS!!!” Deidara shrieked.
Hidan flicked the paperclip back at the blond. “Chill the fuck out, or do we need to have Itachi put a leash on you?”
“Speaking of,” Kisame spoke. “Where is that bastard?” Usually, Itachi had impeccable timing and he appeared shortly after Kisame.
He waited a beat, and then concluded that no one had heard him. Kakuzu had retreated back to his book and Deidara was back to screaming at Hidan.
“Oi! Bitch!” Kisame heaved himself out of the armchair and took the two steps over to Deidara’s back.
The blond whipped around and came nose to chest with blue boy.
The bulky teen didn’t give him a chance to open his mouth. He shoved a hand onto Deidara’s face and pushed until the slighter male backpedaled into the wall, thudding into the thin plaster wall alongside Hidan.
“Holy fuck, man!” Kisame growled. “Where the hell are your freakin’ meds?”
“I fucking ran out!” Deidara retorted, reaching up and grabbing Kisame’s wrist, then tugged down with enough force to remove it. He didn’t try to fight the big teen; blue boy would kick his ass. The blond just bared his teeth, looking pissed off.
“Guess it’s that time of the month,” Hidan quipped.
That didn’t help Deidara’s current temper problem. At all. The blond surged forward at Hidan, only to be suddenly heaved into the air.
Kakuzu had gotten tired of the racket. He walked out of the office and disappeared around a pile of metal scraps.
Hidan stood there, wide-eyed and pale, watching them go. “Oh shit.”
Snorting, Kisame let his arm drop. He levelled a cool gaze on Hidan. “Fan-fucking-tastic.”
Sharky turned around and threw himself back into the chair, then pointed at the albino. “Dei is going to hole himself up in his ‘artist’ cave for a bloody fucking week,” Kisame smirked and laughed, “and I’m telling Itachi it’s all your fault.”
Hidan sputtered. “Wh-what?! How the hell is it my fucking fault!?” he demanded. “I can’t help it that he’s been all mooney and shit since—” He clapped his hands over his mouth. Oooh, Deidara was going to kill him.
Kisame didn’t move. Then he smiled. Swear to god, he had filed teeth too. “It’s your fault because you kept poking the bitch,” he said smoothly. “I had him pinned to the wall and you had to open your mouth,” he added.
He watched Hidan blink at him. Then as the other man lowered his hands, Kisame continued. “So why is Dei so ‘mooney’?”
Hidan cringed. “That guy is gonna fucking blow me up, Kisame. There’s no coming back from that, you fucking know that. He’ll fucking blow my tattlin’ ass up.”
Kisame’s grin inched wider.
Hidan groaned. “Aw, fuck.” He sat down in the wheeled office chair he used, and scowled at Kisame. “Okay, you know how Dei and I’ve lived like a fucking block apart since like…” He paused, thinking back. “Like, fucking middle school or some shit, right?”
The smirking ass nodded and settled further back into the armchair. “Yeah, sure. So?”
“Well, that fucking bitchy-ass blond was kicking cans down the goddamn street at three in the fucking morning last night. So, I went out, beat on his ass, and then told him to get his ass home. And he fucking pouted at me.” He sneered. “Pansy ass.
“And then he confided in me, and I wanted to fucking throw up! Supposedly, that ass is going through fucking withdrawal. ‘It was gorgeous, un. So beautiful, un. You know the last time I blew up a building was, un?’” He made a show of gagging.
Kisame blinked. His eyebrows rose and he brought a hand up to cover his eyes. “Wow,” was all he said before he began to snicker. He had rolled out of the chair, laughing all the way to the floor and was nearly crying by the time the snitch reacted.
Hidan grinned. “It’s fucking pathetic. I thought he was gonna start spouting shit about Pinky, but no, it’s a fucking building!” He cackled.
Oh god, his ribs hurt. Sharky gasped for air and flopped onto his back, still hooting and holding his sides. “Aw, fuck man, that’s hilarious,” he agreed between wheezing breaths. “But I’m still telling Itachi.”
Hidan picked up the discarded folder and heaved it at the guy. It bounced off Kisame’s chest harmlessly, and he scoffed. “Where the fuck is Itachi?” he demanded, glancing out the half-open door.
Chest heaving, Kisame didn’t bother lifting his head. “How the fuck should I know?” he asked the over-head light. “He should have been here already.”
“Go find ‘im, then, fucktard,” Hidan retorted. “He’s your best goddamn friend.”
“But I’m comfortable!” he protested from the bare poured-concrete floor. “And I just got here.”
“You want me to send fucking Kakuzu?” Hidan said pointedly, and Deidara—in the state he was in—was obviously not an option.
Kisame lifted his head, eyes bright and grin wide. “I’d like to see how much you would have to pay the fucker to even consider it!”
“I have my ways,” Hidan said, trying (and failing) to make it sound mysterious. “Anyway, just fucking find out where the hell that bitch is. It’ll calm the fuck down around here, and fucking Kakuzu’s gonna fucking kill someone.” This was punctuated by a scream from Deidara, and Hidan lifted a brow. “See, asshole?”
The prone male snorted. “Sure Kakuzu is scary now, but what if I go out, find Itachi, and walk in on him fucking Pinky?” He thudded his head back down and gestured to the ceiling. “I’ll be dead. Itachi will be pissed. Sakura will be pissed. And you will be all alone to deal with these two bastards.”
Kisame lifted his head again to smirk at Hidan. “With that in mind, I’m happy to leave Dei to Kakuzu.”
Another scream immediately followed this remark.
Hidan actually paused a beat to consider this. “… fucking text him, then,” he concluded. “Or don’t you know how to do that shit anymore?”
Kisame lugged the binder at Hidan’s head.
Hidan, not bothering to dodge, toppled backward out of the chair, taking the chair with him. The sound of his skull cracking on the ground followed. “Fuck.”
Sighing, Sharky let his own head thud down onto the concrete. He dug into one pocket and pulled out his cell phone. Texting took half a minute: ‘whr fuck r u.’
He shuffled around on the floor, pivoting on his tail bone, until his legs reached the chair Hidan’s legs were draped over. He kicked it.
“You want me to text for a medic as well, you retard?” he asked the sprawled albino.
“Fuck you,” Hidan replied, as if commenting on the weather. “I’ll go after work; I ain’t got fucking medical leave, asshole.”
Kisame shrugged. Then his phone buzzed, glancing at the screen he blinked. That… was fast. Usually, Itachi ignored his phone until he was done doing whatever. Even when he wasn’t doing anything, he’d leave it for at least a few minutes. Kisame had seen him do that.
‘I’m busy at home with Sakura-chan. Sorry, I couldn’t make it out tonight! Tell the others? Thanx!’
What the fuck? Kisame almost laughed. Itachi had had his phone stolen by a girl!
“That Itachi? Where the fuck is he?” Hidan demanded from his spot on the floor. Out in the junkyard proper, Deidara had fallen silent.
Ah hell with it. Fuck his ribs and strained lungs. Blue boy started to snicker again. “Fucktard,” he wheezed, “got his fucking phone lifted!”
Hidan scrambled to a sitting position, mouth open, and closed his mouth again as he swayed. “Shit… Ow…” He made a sound that was half whimper, half moan and clutched his head. “… who the fuck?” he managed through the sensations.
“Dunno,” Kisame replied cheerfully. He looked at Hidan from the floor. He had curled up on his side and was carefully regulating his breathing. Shit—who knew laughter could hurt so much? “Whoever it is, she knows about Sakura, cuz she’s mentioned. Maybe that blonde chick.”
“What blonde… ooohh, gods…” Hidan whimpered, unable to finish his sentence.
Kakuzu chose that moment to walk through the door, sans Deidara. He quirked a brow at the two on the floor, and scowled at Hidan. “What have you done to yourself this time?”
Hidan moaned in reply.
Kisame pulled in a small breath and, grunting, levered himself into a sitting position. The rush of blood made him close his eyes and sway. “Oh, vertigo sucks balls.”
He put out a hand and leaned forward, unconsciously mimicking Hidan’s slouch. Complete with head holding.
Kakuzu sneered. “You two are morons. Do I need to call an ambulance?”
“Fuck… no,” Hidan whimpered. “M’good. Gods… fuuuuuccckk.”
As the last sounded closer to an aroused moan, Kakuzu sat down and debated getting a bottle of water from the vending machine. He looked at Kisame. “Do you know where Itachi is?”
“I’m not his fuckin’ day planner,” Kisame muttered to his own crotch. He hadn’t bothered to look up. “Think he got his phone lifted.”
Kakuzu perked at this and curiously stole Hidan’s phone from the desk (he had a free minutes plan). “Hmmm…” He sent a text and got a reply near immediately. He smirked. “Interesting.”
His simple ‘Itachi?’ had been replied to with: ‘I told Kisame to tell you guys I’m *busy*. With Sakura-chan. So *buzz off now*.’
That was when Hidan passed out.
Kisame saw the albino hit the floor from the corner of his eye. “Oops,” he said and snickered. “Oooooo,” he groaned.