A/N: So this is the rewrite of Haruno by Name, Hoshigaki by Blood.
Unbeknownst to everyone, Hoshigaki Kisame had more than once considered having a child of is own. Maybe it was the curiosity that stemmed from never having parents of his own and wondering what would happen if a kid was raised under proper love and care, unlike what happened with him. Maybe it was the insurance of having his bloodline continue—it would certainly scare the locals if another sharp-toothed menace wandered the streets with a sword on their back and blood on their hands.
But maybe he wanted one because he was tired of being alone.
When he was a part of his village, he never had many acquaintances or anything remotely close to a relationship with another living, breathing human being. They were too much trouble sometimes, and what was the point of keeping someone close if they were just going to die on a mission sooner or later? It wasn't practical.
Besides, it wasn't like he minded being alone, but that didn't mean he had to be content with it for the rest of his life. At fourteen, he decided that one day he'd be a father.
In fifth year of apprenticeship under Suikazan Fuguki, a member of the Seven Swordsman of the Mist, Kisame was assigned as a guard to the Cypher Division to protect the codes they carried. He was only fifteen when he killed six of his own village under the command of his superior, one of them who showed him the utmost kindness and extended a hand towards him when no one else did.
When he killed her, he wasn't sorry.
What did it mean if he didn't feel remorse at the death of the innocent?
But it was a job—a job, he soon found out, that was buried under lies and ruses and subterfuge. His master had drilled it into him how important it was to keep those codes safe and out of Konoha's hands, but Fuguki himself had been leaking Kirgakure's valuable information to enemies all around.
What did it mean to be "good"?
Kisame killed him for his betrayals and took Samehada for himself, unintentionally becoming a member of the Seven Swordsman and defecting from his village with the information of his master's deceit hidden beneath his tongue.
He earned the title of a monster then and took refuge in Amegakure as he thought of what he could do next.
What did it mean to take the fall for a traitor?
Amegakure was the safe haven of all criminals alike. It didn't matter the death count of treasonous activities tucked under one's belt. As long as they didn't stir up trouble in the village, they were allowed to stay. After two week of staying in a small motel with nowhere to go, Kisame moved into the apartments towards the outskirts of the southern district.
He'd have to find something to do eventually and catch some mercenary work where he could if he wanted to keep on his toes, he thought as he lowered himself on the dingy couch of his cramped living room. There was no doubt in his mind that his face was appearing in more and more bingo books the more he stayed low and out of trouble, and it was only a matter of time before hunter-nin would be on his tail.
Killing them wouldn't be problem.
Blood was never a problem.
He stood and opened the door when his doorbell emitted a broken caw. Kisame blinked and stared at the petite red-haired woman that greeted at him in the hallway. Undeterred by his appearance, she smiled brightly and held out a plate of slightly burned white chocolate chip cookies.
"Hello!" she greeted. "My name's Otsuka Saki and I'm your next door neighbor! Well, right across the hall neighbor and, er, I mean, it's nice to meet you!"
Kisame stared at her for a few moments before shutting the door in her face and trying to go back to the couch to return to his thinking. He managed to get in about two minutes through the persistent knocking on his door before he sighed and heaved himself back up to swing it open.
"Did you just slam the door in my face?!" she demanded, an angry tinge to her pale face. He cocked an eyebrow.
"Yeah," he said. "And I'll do it again."
He stepped back into his apartment, but Saki kept the door open with her free hand and pushed it enough to stick the plate through the gap.
"Take the cookies!"
He sighed again.
"I don't want—"
Kisame pressed a couple of fingers to his temple as he reluctantly took the plate and fully shut the door. He heard a fuming 'you're welcome!' from outside before the slam of another door. The cookies stared up at him and, for lack of his better judgement like checking for poison or razor blades, he picked one up and took a bite.
Crunchy. Bitter. Burnt.
Maybe she tried to kill him with her horrible baking skills.
Later he learned Otsuka Saki really didn't have a clue who he was and worked as a civilian nurse at Amegakure General Hospital. She gave him a good earful when he returned an empty plate to her and told her that one cookie could've probably killed an entire army. Her temper, as amusing as it was, consisted of her turning as red as her hair as she smacked his arm repeatedly and yelled at how ungrateful he was that she actually welcomed him to the building.
For the first time in a long while, he laughed.
What did it mean to love someone?
Kisame married her when he was sixteen.
"Akatsuki?" Kisame repeated. He sat at the dinner table as a woman cloaked in red and black stood by the window, staring out into the rain and offering the barest of nods.
"Yes. You've interested our leader, Hoshigaki-san, and he'd like for you to surrender your services over to him," she informed. Her voice was like the ocean that washed along sandy beaches—quiet but aware. "We'll give you some time to consider our offer."
The woman opened the window and left in a flutter of origami swans, leaving Kisame to sit and think like he did when he first moved into his first apartment.
What did it mean to surrender your soul to a demon?
A hand took his shoulder and gave it a light squeeze.
"That was the Angel," Saki whispered, her mint green eyes wide with fear. He placed his hand on top of hers. "No one ever refuses her because she works for God. She... you... She's not giving you a choice."
She placed her other hand over her stomach and held it protectively.
Kisame saw the action and looked away.
What did it mean to go back to who you once were?
He never liked the hospital. The white halls were too bright and the sterile smell burned his nose and reminded him it was only there to cover the blood he never grew tired of seeing. The plastic chairs were uncomfortable and could barely accommodate for his bulk.
Kisame waited three hours before the doctor came in, somber and gray-faced.
"I'm sorry," the doctor told him genuinely. "Saki, she... she wasn't strong enough to give birth so we decided to give her a cesarean section to try and alleviate the stress, but it was too much for her to take."
He slowly digested the information, hiding the bubble of sadness in his chest and regarding the doctor blankly.
The doctor nodded.
"Yes. I'm sorry. If you would like to see her one last time..."
Kisame followed the doctor to the room Saki had passed and was left to grieve for ten minutes before the body had to be taken to the hospital morgue to be processed. He saw the strands of red hair beneath the white sheet the laid over her. In Kirigakure, he had to kill his classmate to earn the title of genin. Until he was fifteen and he defected, he earned himself the highest kill streak amongst his peers.
Now, at seventeen and an Akatsuki, he killed enough people to fill a sea. But he couldn't bring himself to bring the sheet down to take one last look at his wife's face.
What did it mean to be alone again?
But then he remembered why they were at the hospital in the first place, and he slipped out of the room, though not casting the still body one last longing glance.
"Thank you," he murmured. Kisame closed the door behind him and didn't look back. He took the stairs one more floor up to the nursery and approached the receptionist, uncaring of the fearful reaction he received when the man at the desk raised his head to see a monster of a man with blue skin and sharpened teeth.
"Sir," the receptionist gulped. "Y-You're here fo-for...?"
"My daughter. Hoshigaki."
The receptionist nodded shakily and motioned for a nurse to lead him to the room full of newborns. At the window of the actual nursing room, his line of sight was directed to a small girl swathed in pink, wrinkling her nose and holding her fisted hands close to her chest.
The bubble in Kisame's chest disappeared.
"Your wife decided to name her Sakura before she passed," the nurse informed. "If you would like to change it, you still can."
His baby had pink hair. His baby was beautiful.
"Sakura's fine," he replied faintly, eyes still transfixed on his daughter. "When can she leave?"
"Since she was born through cesarean, she'd have to stay here for about a week to make sure she doesn't have any health issues and that's she strong enough to be taken home," the nurse informed. By now, Kisame zoned out and stared at his little baby in both wonder and melancholy.
He could finally be a father like he always wanted.
But what did it mean to raise a child when their father was a man the world wanted dead?