The Land of Sound, Orochimaru's Office, One Week After Alvarcus' Departure

"Sasuke, good. Come in, come in." Orochimaru quickly opens the door wide and ushers in his next body. Such a shame that things have progressed they way they have, he'd much rather already have the flesh suit instead of doing what he's about to. "We have a problem."

"What did Alvarcus do this time?" Sasuke sighs out in resignation and regally sits down across Orochimaru. Orochimaru himself doesn't sit, he starts pacing back and forth in front of the huge map on his wall. "I swear we never got into too much trouble when it was the two of us, but now that he's got this 'going solo' streak in him I really start to worry."

"It's… bad." Orochimaru winces as he comes to an abrupt stop, staring at a spot on the map he'd gladly see go up in ironic flames.

"You're calling it bad?" Sasuke raises a perfect eyebrow. "The man who fought against Tsunade, Kakashi, Gai, Asuma, and Kurenai - the best of Konoha - and seemed only mildly off put by how bad it was going? The man who had part of his soul swallowed by the Shinigami of all things and still managed to murder his target? The man who casually infiltrates Hidden Villages on a whim? The man who has hundreds if not thousands of 'test subjects' hidden away simply because you can't be bothered to go out and kidnap someone in the heat of the moment? And you say it's bad?"

"Yes." The Snake Sannin monotonously replies.

"Should I go get a shovel to help dig the idiot out of the mountain of shit he's under?" Sasuke groans in resignation as idle thoughts swim through his mind. Just what did Alvarcus do this time?

"You certainly seem to grasp the severity of this situation." Orochimaru swivels to focus his attention back on Sasuke once more. "I'm glad to see you're committed. The plan with the highest chance of success comes at a great cost. It's something only you and I can do. Tell me Sasuke, how far are you willing to go to save Alvarcus?"

"He means more to me than anything or anyone else." Sasuke dramatically leans forward, his eyes bleed red, and he smiles borderline sadistically. "I'll do whatever it takes. What is the plan?"

"I need to get in contact with an old acquaintance."

The Past

"Temari!" I bark out as I step out of the cave, dusting the soot of a S-rank missing nin off my hands. I had to dig around in the little of him that was left for his ring. I'm not sure if it's important, but I don't want to risk it. So I'm taking it with me, that makes two of them. "I need you to take this. It's very important."

I whip out a small scroll and launch it at her. Like the good kunoichi she is, she reflexively catches it.

"And what's this? Sasori's head?" Temari eyes the scroll suspiciously.

"I roasted him in an oven." I inform both of the women. It was a hell of a way to go, especially for my first S-rank kill. But a kill is a kill, no matter how you get it. "There isn't a head left."

"You… you what?" Chiyo's jaw drops open as she stares at me in horror. "You melted my grandson to death?!"

"Got a problem with that?" I boldly stare at the old woman. "Need I remind you that you were sent on this mission to kill him? One that you would have probably failed if I hadn't shown up."

"You are one of the most infuriating people I have ever met." Chiyo growls out at me. "Just because I was sent to handle him does not mean I can't grieve over him, or be mad at the man who did it."

"As long as you don't try to kill me, I don't really care how you think of me." Not like she has long to live anyways, that is if things progress accordingly. "Now, might I suggest heading after the other two? For either reinforcements or to help with their wounds?"

The Present

"So you decided to go assist the other half of the rescue team." There is an infuriating click of a pen and the soft scratch of it on paper. "How did that go over?"

"About as well as you're imagining." I grunt out. This idiot is trying my patience. Though I loathe to admit it, that damn pen is fucking good at getting me unnerved. "How do you think a masked, foreign shinobi suddenly appearing next to the body of a Kage goes over? It's a miracle no one died."

"I also hear that wasn't the only miracle that happened there." He states in a thinly veiled attempt to get me to speak more. "Gaara still breathes despite having his biju removed."

"Yep. Ask Chiyo about that one. Oh wait." I smirk to myself. Don't get me wrong, it was a very impressive and honorable thing to do. I'm not making light of that. I'm making light of the fact that my interrogator will never get to ask her about what happened.

"No need, Kakashi was more than forthcoming with information. Amazing what an activated Sharingan can accomplish. Oh wait," I can just feel him returning my smirk here, "you'd know all about that already."

"Okay, you win that round Sir Pancake the Seventh." I concede defeat in my own backhanded way.

"I have one more question for today's session." He ignores the new title - maybe he adjusted already? Damn, that would suck - and I hear the rustle of his clothing as he leans forward. "Why didn't you let him die?"

The Past

The surprisingly large number of shinobi that came to save Gaara took a bit to warm up to me. It definitely helped that Temari, Chiyo, Kakashi and Naruto all seemed to be at ease in my presence. I just want to go home, but I need to make sure that I orchestrate one more thing before I depart.

"Temari, may I have a word?" I ask the blonde as everyone is openly marveling at the re-alive Kazekage. Is that the right way to describe that? Re-alive? Or does undead apply here? He's not a rotting corpse, so maybe not. Wait, am I technically undead? Ew, gross. I really need to look up a definition of that later. Okay, okay I'm distracted. Back on topic. "It's about the scroll."

She stares at me hard for a few seconds, weighing something in her head, before giving in and leading me to an out of the way area. "Speak."

Well isn't that incredibly friendly.

"I just want you to wait until you're back with your brothers to open the scroll." I placatingly say. "It's a gift for the three of you."

She visibly winces at that and her eyes dart guiltily to her brother.

"Temari?" There's confusion in my voice. "Gaara's fine, there's only one drawback to the jutsu Chiyo used. It costs the user's life to restore anothers. There's no need to worry about him."

"It's… Kankuro." She softly admits. Her eyes never leave Gaara, as if she's assuring herself that he's still there. "He got hit with Sasori's poison. I'm still losing a brother today, now it's not both of them."

"That's what I missed." I harshly whisper. How did I miss that? It was a huge thing in the original plot, Sakura and Chiyo battled against Sasori and won. Sakura made the antidote to Sasori's poison. Sakura was the one who saved Kankuro. She's not here to do it. Fuck. "Temari! Listen to me, I might be able to save him. Where is he?"

"Suna's General Hospital." Gotta love shinobi and kunoichi, they never bother with things like 'what? Why? There's no point.' They just answer the question. "What do you plan on doing?"

Okay, maybe I spoke too soon.

"The world's only benelevent kidnapping." With that last sentence, I take off for Suna.

"Wait. WHAT?" Temari shouts after me.

Suna's General Hospital

"Kankuro, buddy, you look like shit." I friendly say to the bedridden shinobi. "No wonder you wear so much makeup."

"Warpaint." He wheezes out as he cracks one eye to look at the speaker. "I look like shit? You look like shit. Get into a fight with a blender and lose?"

I look down at myself. He's not wrong either, my once pristine outfit is ruined. Not only is the arm gone from where Sasori pinned me, but it's been turned into long strips that are barely clinging together. It looks like I let a five year old go crazy with a pair of scissors.

"I'd like to see you non-lethally fight your way through a shinobi village." I scoff out at him. "If I still bleed then I'd have died from blood loss a long time ago. I just tanked all the shit your village threw at me and made liberal use of my daggers. There shouldn't be too much damage, but you never know. Dosuke's poisons are finicy at best. Thankfully anyone who is worth a shit is over with Gaara, so that's about the only reason I made it here."

"So he's okay?" Kakuro croaks out. "Good. I was worried about my little brother."

"Yeah, he's fine." I reach down and pick up Kankuro piggy back style. "Now it's time to save you. Hope you don't mind a bumpy ride, I'll be as gentle as possible."

"Okay." He's surprisingly together considering everything that's happening. "Who are you again? The docs have me on some good shit."

Or he's high as a kite. Whatever works.

"I'm the ice cream man." I snort to myself in amusement. Let's see him try to logic out if this is real or not if he lives. When he lives. "By the way, how do you feel about needles?"

"Needles? Don't like them much. Why?"

"I'm going to be giving you a continuous blood transfusion the entire ride to your savior. I don't know how Sasori's poison works, but I don't think fresh blood will hurt anything."

"Alright here." He sticks his arm straight out, offering me full access. "Do your worst, vile needle man."

"If you insist."

A very, very manly scream echos down the hallways of the hospital. It definitely wasn't high pitched, or ridiculously long, or reminiscent of a young girl at all. No, definitely not. It was as manly as it could possibly be.

In his defence, having a few hundred needle like threads stab you in chest would make just about anyone scream like a bitch.

"You said do your worst."

~Alvarcus, this is a terrible idea.~

"You mean like taking my mask off so we didn't get attacked on sight?"

~Yes! You forsook anonymity for a much larger force coming for you! Why would you do that?~

"Because they would attack an unknown on sight, but me? They'd wait for back up and just keep a very close eye on me."

~This is still a terrible idea.~

"Yeah but I don't have any other ideas to save Kankuro. Do you?"

~No, but that doesn't mean this is a good idea.~

"You're right. It means it's our best idea."


"I'm waiting for alternatives."

~It's too late, we're committed. We've passed the point of no return half an hour ago. And it's almost over.~

"Oh good." I continue my merry run towards my destination and call out to the people who have me surrounded. "Just let me drop him off then I'll be ready for you all! No need to cause a scene! I'll give you all a fair shot at me! I'll even willingly go to a training ground or something so there's no civilian casualties! See how nice I am!"

~Was that wise? Offering them a chance to attack later?~

"Probably not, but this way I don't have to dodge with all this dead weight on my back." My eyes bounce around all of the ANBU members that's keeping pace with me. "Besides, the further in I go the more twitchy they'll get."

~He still breathes. He's not dead weight.~

"You know what I mean." I round a corner, weave between a throng of civilians, and start the final stretch of a full day of mad dashing. "Oh, look at that. The finish line is closer than expected."

Four whole teams of ANBU - technically five since one is tailing/surrounding me - are standing in my way. All those civvies I just dashed through draw weapons that were hidden on their persons, so they're not civvies. That makes six ANBU teams. That settles it, I'm fucking awesome. But it's not them my eyes settle on, it's the pair of people leading them.

"Hey! Long time no see!" I skid to a stop about ten meters away from them. "How ya been? Oh wait, I brought you a present! He needs some medical attention, but I figure you of all people could sort that out. After all, you are the world's best medic nin and it would look absolutely terrible if the Hokage allowed the Kazekage's brother to die."

"Alvarcus Mar." Tsunade Senju, the Fifth Hokage, growls out menacingly at me. "Unhand the Kazekage's brother."

"You want me to cut his hands off?" My brow furrows in confusion. "Is this some new technique to remove poison from someone's system? I know he got poisoned by Sasori of the Red Sands so only you probably know how to fix him, but damn does that seems a little extreme. Man, if Konoha's medical procedures have changed this much I really have been gone a long time. Tell ya what, I'll just give him to you then you do it. Your hands are a lot steadier than mine."

I chuck Kankuro at her. Thankfully he's unconscious so he's missing all of this and very easy to throw. Tsunade experly catches the rag doll body and immediately hands him off to Shizune. She flies into dozens of diagnostic jutsu to assess what the hell is going on.

If I had to guess, Shizune is thankful for the distraction. She alone appeared to be conflicted upon seeing me. Obviously the ANBU are wearing masks and are the best of the best at keeping emotions hidden. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them are ROOT too. Even more emotionless. Tsunade herself seems unbelievably pissed off and ready to pummel me into the ground. Repeatedly. Or she's livid because she can't publicly execute me, it'd look bad on Konoha. Either way I'll find out soon.

Now I'm standing in little better than rags, surrounded by the best that Konoha has to offer times twenty or more, the Hokage, Shizune, and probably soon to be more. At least I somehow managed to beat Kakashi and Naruto back, boy would that be something.

~I told you bringing Kankuro here was a terrible idea. I don't care how good of a healer the Hokage is, this is A TERRIBLE IDEA! How do you plan on getting out of this one?~

I've got one idea, but I know we're both going to hate it. Sadly, it's the best one we've got.

~It's another terrible idea, isn't it?~

"No need to stab me!" I cheekily shout out to everyone as I hold my hands up. "I surrender!"

~Yep. Another terrible idea.~

The Present

"You mean was saving Kankuro and then surrendering to my original village that has put a generous bounty on my head worth it?" I rhetorically ask my interrogator. "Probably not. It was the only idea I had at the time. Oh, did you know I'm the only one who is triple the reward if returned alive? Guess you all really did miss me."

"Then why would you do it? Why save him at the cost of your freedom?" Asks my interrogator. "You could have stayed a free shinobi for a while longer. You could have easily just gone back to the hole you and Orochimaru call home. You just had to let one young man die. It would have been easy. Like adding a drop to a bucket of water. You've killed so many people already, what's one more?"

"It wouldn't have been the right thing to do." I casually admit and shrug one more time. "And I felt strangely responsible."

Considering that it is directly my fault for Kankuro not receiving the cure that Sakura would have gone on to make if I didn't exist, I am responsible for his condition. I know it's a ridiculously high standard to hold myself to and wasn't even close to a logical choice but it was something I needed to do. It's only one life, but it's one I saved instead of ruined.

"The right thing to do?" There's a tinge of emotion in the Interrogator's voice now. Very, very little, but it's there regardless. Just a spark of anger. How interesting. "You talk as if you consider yourself a good person."

"Are you prompting me for an ethical debate about what constitutes good and evil?" Unseen by him due to the blindfold, I furrow my brow in mild confusion. "Don't get me wrong, I'm willing to. I rather enjoy those kind of talks to be frank. I find that I usually have a different view than most others."

I pause for a moment to let him reply. He doesn't. He doesn't even click his pen, or write something down. Whatever, I'll just keep going then.

"I suppose we should start by defining what good and evil is." I tilt my head to the left. I don't know why, I just find that I think better that way. Weird right? Or weird left in this case. Right? Whatever. "Or better, in what context? Is it for the good of humanity as a whole? Using me as an example, do we weigh all my actions and their intents and see how they have steered humanity? Is it for the better or worse? If that's the context we use, then I'd wager I'm one of the most good people out there."

"Impossible." He scoffs out, with more anger bleeding into his words. It's still very small, but it's growing. "You're evil. Plain and simple."

"Am I?" I question him. "Am I really? Let me ask you a question. How many people did Orochimaru abduct and experiment on before I went to him? No need to answer, just keep that number in your head. Now, how many has he after I went to him? Considerably less, right? Think about how many lives I've saved simply by existing."

"And how many you have damned simply by leaving Konoha!" He snaps and raises his voice at me. "You've kill hundreds of people and ruined countless more people's lives!"

"I liberated an entire country." I counter him, a smirk in plain sight. Who would have guessed that it would be this that got him to break? "I freed thousands of people from hell. See, I'm a good person."

"I refuse to believe that!" He snarls at me. "You openly admitted to murdering people and enjoying it! That's not actions of a good man!"

"Now that's a very good point." I concede to him with a small nod. "Shall we discuss? I could sight heat of the moment or mob psychology for a few of those, but if I'm being honest none of that ever really applied to me. But let's take a look at those I did murder. Damn near every single one of them were also murderers like me. Or did you forget what a shinobi is?"

"Shinobi are protectors!" He insists.

"We're paid to lie, cheat and steal. I've taken numerous sums of money in exchange for someone's head. We literally have a multiple country wide system that is dedicated to advertising a hit list. On top of all that, I bet you work for T&I. You aren't only paid to lie, cheat, steal and kill. You're paid to torture information out of people."

"I do no such thing." He scoffs out. "I'm not Ibiki."

"Even worse, you're a Yamanaka. Fucking mindwalkers." Oh, wait. Could it be? Nah, there's no way. But what if it is? Can I really pass up this opportunity? "Wait, I understand now! I get why you're so mad about me thinking I'm a good person!"

There's only silence once more. He must have spent the next few moments attempting to compose himself after I pointed out his emotions beginning to bleed through. Too bad I'm about to shatter the last shreds of control he has.

"You simply can't fathom how I think I'm a good person because of the present I gave your daughter!" The sound of a pen being snapped in two echos through my cell. "How is Ino? I'd go ask her myself but… you understand."

"You…" I hear a chair scrape across the ground as he stands up. "Are an evil person. You're enjoying this. You are trapped in Konoha's most secure prison, under seals designed by Jiraiya specifically meant to restrain you should we ever capture you, strapped to a cold wall with chains that sap your chakra, blindfolded to the world around you, and you've endured this for two weeks and not cracked once despite Ibiki working you over! You even critiqued his methods as he was flaying you! Despite all that, despite everything you've endured, you have the sheer gall to attempt to make light of the seal you branded my only child with! And you claim to be a good person!"

"I don't claim to be a good person." I smile broadly at him. I know it unnerves him more even though I can't see him. "I am a good person. There's a very distinct difference."

"Then prove it." He snarls at me, his cool calm demeanor completely abandoned. "Prove to me, hell, to everyone that you're a good person."

"And how do you propose I do that? One hundred hours of community service?" I chuckle softly as I rattle the chains wrapped around my limbs. "Can't really do community service if I'm stuck to a wall."

"Remove the seal from Ino." He demands as he takes an aggressive step forwards. I assume it's aggressive, I can't tell for sure but it was audible. That's basically stomping for shinobi. "Take it off her and you'll prove yourself. It's a start to redemption."

"Remove her seal? After all that work I went to make sure she got it? You do realize that I intended it to be a punishment for her, right?" I heave out a resigned and heavy sigh. "You can't possibly have expected that to work, right?"

"Oh no, I fully intended it to fail." All traces of anger in Inoichi's voice are gone. He's gone back to cool and frigid indifference. "But it's much easier to find thoughts if they're in the forefront of the mind and I don't feel like spending too much time in your head. I hear there's adverse effects."

A warm hand rests on top of my head, pressing down on my scalp firmly.

"Now, let's see the secrets you're keeping locked away in here. I even made a list of things to search for, isn't that nice?"

Alvarcus' Mind

"In hindsight, I really should have expected that. It's the natural progression should physical manipulation fail." In the black void of my mind I step next to Inoichi. How are we walking? How are we standing? Or conversing? I really don't know, we just are. "Welcome to my head. If I would have known I'd have company I would have cleaned up for you."

"So she was right." Inoichi look around and sees nothing at all besides me. "You have a frightful mental fortitude to be able to so easily manifest alongside me. Not only that, your mind is just an expanse. There's no… anything. Not a childhood home, not a training ground, not even a room. Just nothing. How very strange."

"Has anyone ever called you a dick before? Because you are." I sigh as I roll my eyes at him. I've hear this all before. Yadda, yadda, yadda. "You played me to bait your anger so I'd get caught up in the moment. Stupid mental manipulations. I didn't even consider you'd attempt a mindwalk with me. Surely Ino told you about Sureddo? We'll only be here for a few moments."

"Is that what you call the Jiongu?" Inoichi turns to me for the first time. His pale eyes rake over my mental avatar and catalogue it. "Fascinating. I've never walked in a shared mind before, just read about it."

"Huh. I always thought I was a unique case." Speaking of Sureddo, I thought for sure he'd make an appearance by now. I casually look around the expanse of black, almost expecting a garbled mess of threads to suddenly appear. Even though Sureddo has never made an appearance in my mind before.

"You're not special." He scoffs out. "In fact, my clan has specific jutsu used to segregate multiple personalities. I tweaked it a bit and isolated the Jiongu. Ino was very forthcoming with information about your mind before you branded her. I've shut it out, it's just you and me. Your defense is gone, now I'm free to walk as I please without fear."

Holy shit that's possible? The Yamanaka can isolate joined minds? What kind of madness is that? Why didn't Ino learn this? If she was asking about this exact kind of thing surely she would have come across this technique.

Unless it's a forbidden technique. If it was, then there's inherent danger to using this jutsu and Inoichi wouldn't have taught his daughter it. Oh man, is this going to liquify my brain? I hope not, I like my brain the way it is! Or, my Jiongu-brain? Will it liquify that? Gross, I don't want to clean that up! Wait, more pressing issues! I have an intruder in my head that needs to be shown the door.

"Do you really think that I'm just going to let you wander around my head?" I sharply ask him as I take an aggressive step forward. He raises an eyebrow at me. Oh right, our bodies aren't real.

"You have no choice. You can't stop me from calling upon a memory." Inoichi turns away from me and holds both hands out. "Let's start with my daughter. How do I remove it?"

He swings his hands and the inky black void of my mindscape bursts into colors and sounds.

"Oh, that's a terrible choice of words."

The Memory

"Alvarcus." Ino softly moans as I trail kisses down her neck. There's a sweet spot right where the shoulder meets the neck that I pay extra attention to. She can't help but shudder under my touch. As I run my hands up her back she arches into me, trying to deepen our embrace. I gladly comply and wrap one arm around her waist to pull her tighter to me. The heat of our skin, the soft mewls of pleasure she can't stop from escaping, the feeling of her nails lightly digging into my bare back. It's intoxicating.

But I want more.

My other hand rises higher until I feel her smooth skin change to a soft strip of fabric. I grope around blindly as I playfully nip at that sweet spot on her neck.

"Alvarcus!" She breathily exclaims right into my ear as her nails dig just a little more into my back. One of her legs wraps around mine to pull us even closer together. It's exhilarating, knowing I can get her like this with so little. Imagine what else I can do.

God, I love being in control.

But there's one pesky thing stopping me from my goal and I won't let it win. With a tender parting kiss, I pull back from her sweet spot and whisper into her ear as I playfully tug on her bra strap.

"How do I remove it?"

"The clasp is in the front."

Alvarcus' Mindscape

"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!" Inoichi roars at me as he abruptly pulls out of the memory. He grabs a fistful of my shirt and glares at me with hatred. "EXPLAIN! WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY DAUGHTER!"

"Absolutely nothing." I smirk as his grip tightens on my shirt. I've got him caught off-guard, he's acting like this is the real world. Good. "It's really such a shame that the Jiongu ruins any chance of genjutsu. I would have made a terrifying genjutsu specialist."

"What does that have to do with you… you… with that!" He shouts into my face. I'm even sprayed with some spittle as he yells from less than an arm length away.

"I have such a creative mind and I'm a stickler for detail. Did you notice that the patterns of lace on her panties matched the ones on her bra? Spider web themed. I've really got to give credit to the Weavers, they do such good work that their talents invade my fantasies."

"Fantasies?" Inoichi stares gobsmacked at me and his fist loosens. He takes a hesitant step backwards and a deep breath. "That was just a fantasy? You have fantasies of my daughter?"

"Of course, have you seen her? I know you're her father, but even you can't deny she's hot." I snicker at my torturer. Oh, how the tables have turned. "You said how do I remove it. I couldn't help but draw up that memory of my fantasy of a hot and heavy make out session with your daughter that ended with us fu-"

"Stop!" Inoichi shouts out to get me to cease my train of thought. "Just… stop."

"Well alright." I shrug. "It's not my fault that you caused me to remember that instead of what you wanted. Any good psychiatrist would attempt to analyze why there were no masks on my back in the fantasy. Is it suppressed anger at the Jiongu for deforming me so much? Or maybe I'm subconsciously rejecting my Father so deeply that I push away everything he's given me? Perhaps I have lingering PTSD from when I got it, could that be it? Nah, I think it's because I like the scratches she leaves on my back as I make her scream in ecstacy."

"Will you stop!" Inoichi growls at me. "I'm here for a reason, and it's not to relive your fantasies of my daughter."

"I guarantee they're way more entertaining than what you're looking for." I cheekily promise him. "There's always a happy ending. Usually many. Limitless stamina really comes in handy."

"Did you know that I can make your brain leak out of your ears?" Inoichi asks with a glare.

"Alvarcus one, Inoichi zero." I laugh, deeply and heartily. "Go ahead, call up another memory. I can't wait to see how this plays out."

He pauses for five seconds before speaking out to the expanse of my mind.

"How do I free Ino?" He calls out.

"Pfft!" I double over laughing. "You're terrible at this!"

The Memory

"Oh no." I frantically toss a pair of pants across my room. I'm not even sure whose pants they were, but they didn't have what I'm looking for.

"What do you mean, oh no?" Ino asks from the bed. I can hear the sharpness to her words.

"It's nothing!" I hurriedly blurt out as I quickly stand up and make my way over to my dresser. I yank open a drawer and search its contents. "It's not here."

"What's not here?" The sharpness is even less veiled this time. Oh boy, I'm about to get it. And not in the fun way.

"Nothing to worry about!" I basically sprint over to my nightstand. "Oh come on they're not here either!"

"Alvarcus Mar what is going on!" Ino snarls at me. I bet she would be throttling my neck if she could but fortunately- and unfortunately - she's still handcuffed to the bed.

"How do I free Ino if I don't have the keys!"

"You're a shinobi!" She shouts at me. "They taught us how to pick locks in the Academy!"

"Oh, right." I sheepishly make my way back to her. "My bad."

Alvarcus' Mindscape

"AGAIN?" Inoichi shouts out to the void of my mind.

"Yes, yes, do it again!" I wheeze out between laughs. "Alvarcus two, Inoichi zero! Can he go three - wheeze - for three?"

"How do I remove the seal that's stopping Ino from talking!" Inoichi asks once more.


The Memory

"Sorry!" I wince in sympathy for Ino. She's glaring at me with her arms crossed. "I'm sorry. You didn't mind when I was pulling your hair a few minutes ago-"


"Right, I deserved that one." I don't bother rubbing my reddening cheek, I barely registered it. Besides, it wasn't meant to cause pain. She just doesn't have another way of communicating. "Wait, here we go!"

I fiddle with the strap on the back of her head and the entire contraption goes slack.

"That's how you remove a ball gag!"

Alvarcus' Mindscape

"Three for three! Oh you should see your face!" I don't remain standing, I crumble to the ground in laughter.

"You are insufferable." Inoichi growls out as he crosses his arms.

"But I'm good at it! Look, I even got the arm crossing right! Like father like daughter!" I point at Inoichi who is crossing his arms exactly how Ino did in my fantasy. "Can't say I don't pay attention to your daughter now!"

"Let's see you worm your way out of this one!" Inoichi turns to the void once more. "Show me a memory of Alvarcus figuring out how to undo the seal he placed on Ino!"

"Being specific won't help you! It'll only make it worse!"

The Memory

"Should you really be splitting your attention like this?" Ino asks from her reclined position. She's laying down on a bed and her head is resting in my lap. Her sparkling blue eyes stare up into mine as I slowly play with her long hair. "I know you like playing with my hair, but aren't you supposed to be focused on the seal?"

"Sush, let him work." I softly say as I run my hands through the blonde strands. "He needs silence. I'm supposed to get you to relax. As much as you say you only let me play with your hair because I enjoy it, I also know you really like it too. I'd give you a full body massage but that would get in his way of working on the seal. So relax, let me play with your hair, and let him get this seal off of you."

"I really do need that silence though." I chime in, interrupting the conversation between myself and Ino. I'm straddling Ino's thighs so I can stare down at the seal that spans across her stomach. I delicately trace the intricate lines with a finger, leaving goosebumps behind. "I'm trying to undo a very difficult seal here and I really don't need to be reminded that I'm missing out on playing with your hair."

"Sucks to be you!" While playing with Ino's hair I stick my tongue out at me. Ino giggles at my childish actions and then gasps as I place a cold brush loaded with ink on her stomach.

"You are me, idiot." I scoff out as I begin designing a counter seal to safely remove the one on Ino's stomach. It's going to have two parts, one on her and one on me. "I summoned you to relax Ino, not pester me."

I turn my attention back to the intricate seal on Ino. I can't believe she was so reckless, letting that enemy shinobi get close enough to touch her. Maybe I should have a talk with Shikamaru and Choji? I'm pretty sure their team dynamic has her in the backline, so obviously they were slacking. What's this? No, there's simply no way.

"Is this a five elements seal?" I mutter to myself as I lightly trace the beautiful lines with my finger again. Ino shivers under my touch and attempts to squirm away from me and my new project. Instead of tracing the seal even more, both my hands dart to her hips and firmly stop her from squirming. "Stay."

"Sorry." She mumbles out as her cheeks turn pink. A soft chuckle of amusement comes from the me playing with her hair as he grins down at her. "I couldn't help myself."

"It doesn't seem like it's the five elements seal." I don't reply to her, instead I talk aloud to myself. My hands release her hips and they go back to exploring the seal. "The array has five sub seals that work together but it's not to seal away chakra. At least not in the same manner as the - I said stay."

I growl out the final three words as I pin Ino back into her place. She started squirming again as I tried to figure out this damn seal. I tear my eyes away from the seal with a heated glare and lock eyes with Ino. She's breathing heavy and her eyes are slightly unfocused.

"Do you want this seal off?" I ask Ino from above her.

"Be nice, she can't help it." I say as I scratch her scalp. "Besides, it's honestly a compliment."

"It's not a compliment." I pin myself in a glare. "It's distracting. You know how delicate seals are."

"Sorry." Ino mumbles out again, her eyes still slightly unfocused. "It's just so… nevermind. I'll stay still."

"Good." I lean over and grab my brush and ink before turning it on my own hand. "Stillness is very important, I'm going to be placing another seal on you that will break the first. A master could do it with a touch, unfortunately I have to do it with ink. Actually I think only Jiraiya can do it with a touch, I need a better base than just pure chakra forming. That guy is a fucking legend. Fair warning, this is going to be cold."

I place my newly adorned hand just a few centimeters above Ino's stomach. It's rapidly rising and falling, like she just finished a sprint. Her eyes are closed and she's biting her bottom lip. The rest of her body is completely rigid as she focuses all of her attention on staying still.

"We're almost done." I say to her as I channel chakra through my fingers into the seal I placed on them.

"Oh thank god." Ino mutters. "I'm not sure how much more of this I could take. With two of you focusing on me - you said it would be cold!"

Ino's whole body rolls as I dig my fingers into her stomach. Her hips buck up first, before her back arches almost like she's trying to get even more contact with my fingers.

"Is it not cold?" I ask in confusion as I study the seals. They're mixing and vanishing, a job well done.

"No!" Ino shouts - or was that a moan? I'm too focused on the seal - while her body rolls one more time. Her hands lunge up and grab my wrist in a feeble attempt to remove the fingers from her stomach. I simply push down firmer to keep contact, the seals aren't quite gone yet. "It feels like hot wax!"

"Suffer through it for a few more moments." I tell her as the last traces of the seal are washing away.

"She's not suffering through anything." I cheekily tell myself. I've stopped playing with her hair and am instead massaging her scalp in a way I know she really likes.

"You!" Ino pants out as she squirms under our ministrations. "Monsters!"

"All done." I calmly say as I pull my hand away from her stomach. "Consider yourself seal free."

"We're not done yet!" In an impressive feat of flexibility, strength, and a moment of surprise, Ino flips us both over so she's on top. She's straddling me this time and has a wild look in her eyes. "It's time for you to finish what you started."

"What are you - oh." I look up at Ino, who is panting above me and barely restraining herself from crashing our lips together. My eyes dart away from her for a moment, locking with my clone who is shooting me a thumbs up. "Just a moment, let me dismiss him."

"No." She purrs out as she looks up at him as well. "You both need to finish what you started."

"Is one of me not enough? You have to have two?" I smirk up at her and let my hands begin to wander.

"You naughty girl." The other me chuckles one final time before making his way towards us.

"You know you like it."

Alvarcus' Mindscape

"You really suck at this." I choke out between tears. "You haven't figured it out yet have you?"

Inoichi doesn't respond. He turns his back to me and I can hear the sound of teeth being ground together. His whole body is tense and he's barely restraining himself from lashing out at me, either verbally or physically. Though I don't think he could physically lash out at me here.

"Did you know that I'm making these fantasies up as we go?" I laugh even harder as Inoichi's hand reflexively twitches towards his hip pouch. I've really gotten to him, I wonder if I can do it even more?

"Oh wait! Let me guess!" I giddily call out to his back. "Does this special mindwalk have a time limit? No that can't be it. I bet it's a viewing limit!"

Inoichi gnashes his teeth together so hard there's an audible snap of something breaking. Bingo!

"You only have one left don't you?" I ask my interrogator. "Only five memories and you've wasted four of them on watching me and your daughter get busy! Oh I bet that burns something fierce!"

"It is true I can only view five memories." Inoichi growls out. "But that is only a daily limit due to the stress that this jutsu exerts on the minds. Anything more could cause damages to everyone involved."

"And we wouldn't want Konoha to lose it's best mindwalker or her most valuable prisoner, now would we?" I straighten up and walk around Inoichi. If he won't face me, then I'll just make him face me. "So, you've only got one left. What's it going to be? Another feeble attempt to figure out how to remove the seal? Or will it be another one of my fantasies about her? Better choose wisely!"

"What is your most vulnerable moment?"

The Memory

With tears in her eyes, I hear her say "We always loved you."

The blade falls.

Her head thuds to the ground.

The world stops.

Alvarcus' Mindscape

It's frigid silence that greets the both of us as we pull out of the shortest memory yet. I school my face into a mask of nothingness, similar to the void of my mind, and walk away from Inoichi.

"I didn't… It wasn't my intention…" Inoichi stumbles over what he wants to say.

"Four to one. Congratulations, you've done something very few people have ever done. You've gotten under my skin." I turn to look over my shoulder at Inoichi. "How did it feel? The sheer despair as I had to watch the blade fall towards my Mother? As I tried to do anything and everything to simply move faster and save her? How did it feel, the sudden emotional separation as the blade struck true? Was it jarring, knowing that for a fleeting instant I was empty? What kind of a person just shuts down his emotions when confronted with the death of someone treasured to them? Or even better, how did the murderous rage feel? I bet in some sick sense of twisted logic, you're happy I felt that murderous rage. After all, it would validate your opinion of me. Alvarcus Mar, the bad guy."

With a lurch my vision goes dark and I feel a warm sweaty palm on my head. Inoichi has pulled us back out to the real world. It doesn't phase me much, I easily pick up on the conversation right where I left off.

"It took a long time to come to terms with that." I tilt my head up towards where I think his face is. "I have many people to thank for helping me through it. Ironically, your daughter is one of them. Do you want to know why I think that's my most vulnerable moment?"

Inoichi doesn't respond, he removes his hand and steps away from me.

"That's the first time I ever hated someone." I softly whisper to him. "I thought I hated Orochimaru back when he gave me the Jiongu and played with my team. But even then, I wanted to stop Orochimaru. That Suna shinobi? I wanted him dead. In that moment, I evolved from a killer to a murderer. I wanted him to suffer grievously for what he did."

"He did." Inoichi speaks, equally softly as I am. "Very much, so I am told."

"Oh yes. Very, very much." I darkly smile out to the man. "Remember this, Inoichi. I may act like a docile kitten some of the time. I may act like I don't have a care in the world. But it's an act. I am a shinobi of the highest calibre, subjected to years of tutelage under Orochimaru. Tell me, have you ever scene a fierce animal that you were sure wouldn't bite? Because I haven't."

Inoichi turns and makes his way to the door. It softly opens, but before he can close it behind him I call out with a final remark.

"Same time tomorrow? You know animals like me enjoy being fed on a schedule."

Hokage's Office

"For the last time, I can't turn him over to you!" Tsunade huffs out. She's only said this twenty times, you'd think the brat would understand her by now. "He's a Konoha missing nin. I don't care what Suna thinks he's done for them. We're not releasing him into your custody."

"He is one of the reasons I still breathe." Gaara, in his sandy voice, pleads with the Hokage once more. "He is one of the reasons my brother still breathes. He is the reason my sister did not become another one of Sasori's countless puppets. He has done much to earn our forgiveness."

"He's done more to earn our scorn!" Tsunade growls out and lightly slams her fist into her desk. The desk cracks under her light touch, if she was trying it would be dust. "You're asking me to free one of the most notorious missing nin Konoha has ever produced? The only ones who are more well known are Itachi, Orochimaru and maybe Sasuke."

"I am asking you to free a good man." Gaara calmly counters. He's completely unphased by the desk being broken. "Is that such a bad thing?"

"He's a murderer." Tsunade snaps back at him and rips the bottom drawer out of her desk. She places the entire thing on top and pulls out a bottle and a glass.

"Aren't we all?" Gaara counters once more. "I have killed more of my own people than anyone else alive today. Then I met some wonderful Konoha shinobi who changed my entire outlook on life, so much that the people once terrified of me made me their Kage. They forgave me. It's a debt that I will never be able to pay."

"Not everyone is as noble as you, Kazekage." Tsunade snorts out as she discards the glass and pops the bottle open. "Alvarcus Mar is staying where he is, and that's final. He's lucky to be alive still."

"Would you have him killed?" Gaara asks. "I thought you liked him."

"Liked. Past tense." Tsunade takes a massive gulp from the bottle before continuing. "He was rapidly becoming one of the best assets Konoha had. Then he changed. The only reason he's still alive is because he knows too much about Orochimaru and Sasuke to be killed. He has too much vital information. Not to mention I have it on good authority that he knows more about the Akatsuki than anyone."

"And who is the one extracting this information?" Gaara's interest becomes piqued once more. He never would have guessed that Alvarcus would know more about the Akatsuki, he assumed that Alvarcus simply came to help save him. "You understand why I'm invested in this."

"Our best." Tsunade downs another massive gulp from the bottle. "We'll keep you informed."

There's a soft knock on the door moments before it opens. Shizune pokes her head in, taking in the broken desk, the open bottle and the strangely civil Kages.

"Your four o'clock appointment is here." Shizune informs Tsunade. "Should we reschedule?"

"No need." Tsunade pointedly looks at Gaara. "The Kazekage was just saying his goodbyes."

"Of course." Gaara smoothly stands and makes for the door. "Same time tomorrow?"

"I'd rather you quit pestering me. I have more important things to do." Tsunade sighs. She knows it's a hopeless cause, but she really wants him to leave her alone. She's tired of talking about Alvarcus.

"I shall see you tomorrow." The Kazekage gives Shizune a nod before leaving. He passes an old man hobbling on a cane covered in bandages on his way out.

"Tsunade-sama, how are you today?" Danzo Shimura politely asks as he takes the recently vacated seat. He's ignoring the broken desk, honestly it's become commonplace. She's made some woodworkers very happy with all the business.

"Cut to it." Tsunade barks out. "I don't have time to do the niceties, the Kazekage keeps taking up my time."

"I was hoping to get an update on our newest prisoner." Danzo delicately says. He knows that despite his meddling Tsunade still attempts to shield Alvarcus from him. The gall of this woman, if he had his way Konoha would know everything Alvarcus had to offer already. Although, he should thank the boy. He inadvertently got Danzo a very nice present. Perhaps it can be leveraged against the boy?

"We're getting nowhere." Tsunade bluntly admits. "Ibiki tried, but that went about as well as you imagine. Once you're worked over by Orochimaru, what else can Ibiki do? We've recently sent Inoichi after him but… it didn't end well."

Danzo doesn't reply to her. He calmly keeps staring at her with his one exposed eye. He's employing an old psychological trick, when confronted with silence people tend to fill it. Usually by elaborating on the subject they were just talking about. It works on everyone, from peasants to Kages.

"Alvarcus twisted things around and just made Inoichi mad." Tsunade takes another swig. "Something about his daughter, unfortunately she's the man's only weak spot. Alvarcus exploited it viciously. Inoichi only learned that Alvarcus has a very imaginative mind. I could have told the idiot before he went in there!"

"Such a shame that nothing has come of his interrogation in weeks." Danzo comments. Now for the delicate part. "Perhaps… I could attempt? My methods are unlike anyone else's. If no one else has had any luck I can dust off my old, rusty skills."

"Old and rusty?" Tsunade narrows her eyes at the old man in front of her. "I'm not stupid, you'd do well to remember that. You're lucky I allow your 'club' to exist."

"And I am forever grateful." Danzo dips his head in false subservience. "But the problem remains. Alvarcus has not broken. I may be able to do it. Will you allow me?"

"You can try tomorrow." Tsunade relents. Regrettably, Danzo is right. They're getting nothing out of Alvarcus and that has to change. "Depending on how the next session goes, you'll have your shot."

"You're sending in someone else first?" Danzo asks. Who could the Hokage send down next? If both Ibiki and Inoichi have failed, who could succeed? "Who are they?"

The Cell

"The road of life is full of pitfalls and traps." A lazy drawl calls out to me. "Never did I say prison cells."

"But isn't it the greatest trap of them all? The one you're not supposed to escape." I can't help but smile at the familiar voice. "Hey Kakashi."

"Yo." Kakashi replies and the blindfold falls off my face. My sensei is casually sprawled out on the singular chair in the room with his ever present book in front of his face. I never even heard him enter, let alone feel him undo the knot on my blindfold. We take a moment to study one another. He looks like his usual self. In other words a mess. It's so Kakashi that it would be a shock to see him any other way.

"Sorry about the cloak and dagger before." I apologize while looking at his book. I've already read it. Hell, he probably has too.

"No need to apologize." He waves me off with a flick of the wrist. "Everyone would have freaked out if they knew it was you. Naruto may have even punched you."

"Haha, I thought he might do that anyways!" I chuckle and inadvertently rattle the chains. "Did you see his face when I said I'd take on Itachi solo? It was gold."

"Did you see my face when you said that?" Kakashi fixes me in a one eyed stare. "He's not someone to take lightly."

"I've never seen your face." I bluntly reply. "I don't think anyone has. Besides, you let me fight Itachi anyways. You trusted me."

"Don't get all sappy on me now." Kakashi lazily looks up from his book. "That's what I have these for."

"They aren't even that sappy and you know it. What is that, the third copy of that book you've gone through?" I eye the orange book, trying to spot any signs of use. It looks suspiciously new.

"... The fourth actually." Kakashi sheepishly admits. "I take great care of them, but I can't exactly be gentle to them as I'm doing shinobi things. It's close, but my life is more important than these books. If only because I'm the only one who truly appreciates them. Besides, if I went and died who knows how many I'd miss out on reading because they're not released yet?"

"Kakashi, never change." I can't help the warm smile that takes over my face. But it falls after only a few moments. "She sent you to interrogate me, didn't she?"

"Yep." Kakashi turns back to his loveable book and flips to the next page. "Something about abusing our previous relationship to weasle information out of you. She figured you'd let your guard down around me and maybe something would slip. Or that I'd know what to say to get you to open up. To quote her exactly 'Do whatever you have to to get that squirt to talk! I don't care how, just get me some results!'"

"That… was surprisingly forthcoming of you." I narrow my eyes. "Surely you know better than thinking it'll actually work. Right? I mean, you did have a hand in training me."

"Oh, I completely agree." Kakashi flips another page. "You're too good to let me sneak something out of you in this kind of situation. You know it's coming so there's no way you'll let something slip. So I'm not even going to try, instead I figured I'd use this time to catch up and then let them try something else tomorrow. I know a lost cause when I see one."

"Really?" I tilt my head in confusion.

"Really." Kakashi snaps his book shut and leans even further back into the chair. "So how's things? Ibiki wouldn't shut up about how mad he was that he couldn't break you. You are okay, right?"

I pointedly look at the chains, the seals, even the blindfold that fell to the ground before turning back to Kakashi.

"I've been better?" I weakly attempt humor. I don't think it worked. "To be frank, Ibiki has nothing on Orochimaru. Inoichi, well, that was just fun until the end. It left a sour taste in my mouth. The most annoying thing is I've got a bitch of an itch on my back that I can't get at. Actually, I'm not half bad all things considered. Just working on an exit strategy."

"Working on an exit strategy?" Kakashi actually leans forward at that, his interest in piqued. "Do you think you can?"

"Do you think I can?" I ask him his own question. Let's see how he likes that!

"You have a good chance at it. A lot of our elite have a soft spot for you, at the very least they won't go for the kill right off the start." Kakashi easily reveals to me. It's a bit shocking that he thinks so highly of me. "And I know you're crazy enough to try, that's for sure. I'm more concerned with how you'll go about doing it than if you'll even try. Though, the restraints on you are nothing to scoff at. Tsunade got Jiraiya to design all the seal work. Getting out of the cell is going to be the hard part."

"Even after all these years, you know me so well." I let out a small laugh. "I've missed you, you know that right?"

"Of course." Kakashi sends me a bright eye smile. I still have no idea how he does that. "I've missed you too. Though I have to insist we stop meeting under such… unique circumstances."

"Yeah, I'm totally on board for that." I don't even bother to attempt to suppress the shudder that courses through my body. "Any ideas? You know, besides meeting on the job. Half the time it's on opposing sides too!"

"Perhaps a dinner sometime?" Kakashi suggests. "Has to be better than suddenly popping up out of nowhere and then dealing with mission drama."

"Are… are you asking me out on a date?" I nervously ask my sensei. "I'm flattered, but think of the horrible rumors that would spread. A well respected jonin shinobi stooping so low that he goes after one of his students? Not only that, the student is a well respected jonin in his own right but is of an enemy village. How scandalous!"

"Hilarious." Kakashi flatly replies to my joke.

"O Kakashi, Kakashi. Wherefore art thou Kakashi?" I softly and mournfully recite a famous author with a little tweaking. "Deny thy Kage and refuse thy Village."

"Are you quoting poetry at me?"

"Not exactly, but close enough." I gladly stop quoting, plus that's all that I can remember off the top of my head. "What's new in Konoha? Anything juicy?"

"Hmm…" Kakashi drawls out as he considers what to share. "Neji made Jonin."

"Good for him, he's earned it." Glad to see that some things go as they should.

"Tora is still giving genin teams hell." Kakashi supplies once more.

"Glad to hear it." I can't help but fondly smile on memories of that cat. "Always liked that cat."

"It only ever liked you." Kakashi bluntly points out. Eh, whatever. It's not my problem no one else connected with her. "Oh, I blame you for this one. We've got a recent spider infestation."

"Really?" My brow furrows in confusion. I didn't tell them to do that. Is this Shirokumo and the Spiders trying to look out for me? Aw, that's really sweet of them! "Weird."

"It has the Aburame Clan up in arms. Their hives are constantly freaking out, it has them on edge all the time."

"So no real change then?" I cheekily sass Kakashi.

"No real change." He begrudgingly admits. Kakashi heaves out a large sigh before standing up. "Well, that's all the time I was given."

"Aw, I just got comfortable too." I rattle my chains as I stretch my back. Man, thank god for Sureddo. Otherwise my joints would feel like hell! Probably all of me would feel like hell. "Do you think you'll be sent back? You're my favorite interrogator so far."

"Probably not." Kakashi lazily shrugs his shoulders. "I really doubt that Tsunade is going to like that I'm only reporting that I think you are planning an escape. Any idiot who knows you could tell her that, she doesn't need me to. It's one of those unspoken things."

"On a completely unrelated topic, what's your favorite time of the week?" I plaster my best innocent smile on my face and try to look as trusting as possible. While chained to a wall. "You know, for stalking around without being disturbed or found by anyone?"

"Nice try, but no."


The Next Day

"Fuu. Torune." An old raspy voice speaks from outside my cell. "Wait outside."

I hear a soft repeating pattern.

Scrape, scrape, click.

It repeats over, and over, and over again before whoever is walking stops outside my door. I stare at the closed piece of metal with a feeling of foreboding washing over me. I know who that is, I can feel it, but I can't place it in the moment.

After a few seconds, the door swings open to reveal an old man with dark hair. He's hunched horribly, leaning heavily on a cane. One of his arms is heavily wrapped in bandages and they cover half of his face. I was right, I do know who this is.

"Danzo Shimura." I neutrally greet the old, dangerous man. "We're finally meeting face to face. Or half of it anyways."

"You may make all the jokes you want, but I know it is a facade you hide behind." The old man hobbles into the room before almost falling into the lone chair. He's really up playing the frail old man routine. "My presence here unnerves you."

"Well no shit." I snort out. "I'm a young boy strapped to a wall. You're an old haggard man whose hobby is collecting impressionable children. I couldn't find a better set up for a pedophile joke if you gave me five years."

"Amusing." He flatly replies to me through his heavily squinted eye. His words are dripping sarcasm.

"I try." I dip my head towards him in acknowledgement of a compliment that he didn't give. "So what brings your wrinkled old ass down here? Want another picture? Or perhaps the name of the guy who made that glitter bomb?"

"You will act with proper decorum in my presence." Danzo glares at me with only half of his face. Kakashi does it way better with even less. "Show proper respect and I will be lenient."

"Respect?" I snap at him, both with words and with my teeth. "You think being old automatically grants you my respect? You think that because you run ROOT that you have my respect? You think that because I'm chained to a wall you have my respect? You have done nothing to earn my respect. Your actions have cause grievous damages across the world, wounds so deep and infected that only a miracle will heal them. You shall never have my respect."

"I am going to greatly enjoy breaking you." Danzo slightly straightens in the chair. "Tsunade has given me permission to extract all information from you in any way I see fit."

Danzo rises from the chair and shuffles closer to me. He's standing well within arms reach of me, well within personal space.

"I think I'm going to break you so utterly and completely that you'll be begging to complete my every whim." Danzo lifts his cane and taps the hilt of it into my chest. "I'm going to ground down everything that you are, rip away your emotions, scatter your memories, I'm going to destroy the person Alvarcus Mar. Then, I will build you back up. I will turn you into the perfect puppet, one so loyal and dedicated that Sasori would have been impressed. I'll use techniques so depraved that Orochimaru would be frothing at the mouth to study. I'll place seals on you so complex and detailed that even Jiraiya wouldn't be able to understand them. You will be my perfect slave."

"Anyone can talk a big game if their opponent is chained to a wall." I wish he was just a little bit closer. Then I could bite his fucking nose off. "Do you really think that just because I'm restrained means I'm not willing to play your game? You can threaten me all you want, you'll never break me."

"I believe I will break you. Quite thoroughly at that." Danzo steps back, making his way towards the door. "And it is cute that you think we are still playing the game. The game concluded long before you realized we were playing."

"Oh really?" I snarkily snap at him. "It's good to see the elderly still have such confidence. I hear you start to have problems in old age."

Danzo ignores my jab at him as he opens the door. He stops halfway through for a final jab of his own. He starts fishing around in the deep recesses of his bandages before slowly pulling out an item.

"Poor, little, ignorant Alvarcus." Danzo slowly holds up the item he pulled out and I can't tear my eyes away from it. "To many you seem infallible, but you have one easily exploitable weakness. Infact, it's not even your weakness that must be exploited. Did you know that your Father, Orochimaru, loves you more than anything?"

He holds his prize even higher in the air. My eyes track it like they're the most important thing in the world. And to me, they very well could be.

"He loves you so much that he gave me these. Orochimaru approached me with them, practically begging on his knees to free you from Konoha. He pleaded like a whipped puppy all for you. But, I don't think I will free you. However, I won't kill you. You've been too kind to me for death, you deserve more. But I said I will break you, and so broken you will become."

He slowly rotates the jar fill with a viscous liquid. Two crimson adorned spheres stare back at me.

"Thank you, very much, for these lovely Sharingan." Danzo Shimura broadly smiles as he holds Sasuke's eyes in a jar. "I'll be sure to put them to good use."