Arachnophobia

Heya all! Orpheus here!

So, I'm re-uploading this story (after some reworking) and I'll hopefully find a way to continue it. I'm in the process of doing this with some of my other older stories as well, but I decided to start with this one. So, here's the redux of Arachnophobia, condensed down to this prologue and the first chapter (which should also be up today). Let me know what you guys think and if I should actually take the time to continue this.

Prologue

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. I do not claim to own Naruto. I will not use this story for any purposes that earn me any money and only use it for private purposes protected by Fair Use policy. Is that good enough, lawyers who happen to be reading fanfiction with your spare time?

"My, my... I don't recall something like this falling under legal or ethical actions allowable within Konohagakure. Kukuku." Naruto heard the voice, his already immense fear being fed to terror at the silky voice. He shrunk further into the alley's brick wall, cerulean eyes watching the crowd before him. They were the immediate threat, not the disembodied voice.

"Who's there?" One drunkard dared question without fear. The speaker allowed himself a grin, though not yet did he step from his still hidden position. "Don't you try to stop us, hear me?" Assuming himself as leader, the drunkard held a broken sake bottle in hand and there was very little question what he planned to do with it. Even the four year old at the back of the alley understood just exactly what would happen if he was taken ahold of by the man.

"Kukuku... Truly you folk are amusing. Civilians presuming themselves in a position to doubt or intervene in shinobi affairs. The Shinobi Academy is provided free of charge to those of age. Your chance to be involved in these events was given up when your choice to remain without chakra and ninjutsu was made."

"Just come out and face us then!" The leader spoke, pointing his bottle around as he searched for where the voice came from. "Be a man and show your face!" The speaker couldn't help but lick his lips as he allowed his eyes to come to visibility just behind the blonde child whom these men had planned to harm in a drunken haze. Those bright, amber orbs with slit pupils stared at the mob they had gathered, freezing those who made contact to their very core.

In the village of Konohagakure there were certain eyes that everyone down to the lowliest wretch knew. Of course, the fabled Sharingan of the Uchiha and Byakugan of the Hyuuga were famous across all the Elemental Nations, but locally there were a few non-doujutsu which demanded respect and even fear because of their owners. Yuuhi Kurenai was immediately one who came to mind with her glowing, red eyes. Another was the azure orbs shared by the Yondaime Hokage and the Kyuubi no Jinchuuriki, an obvious trick by the demon to gain their trust. Every civilian just knew it.

There was one set of eyes that immediately struck absolute terror into anyone who crossed them, however. His clan was of minor significance before the Third Shinobi War, but this man had done such great, and terrible, things with his genius ability that the clan was easily ascending higher in the Game of Houses within the strongest village. At one time, he was even a candidate for the Yondaime Hokage, though Namikaze Minato had proved far more loved and respected due to his legendary battle in Tsuchi no Kuni.

"O-o-o-orochimaru-sama!" The leader quivered in fear as he somehow found the strength to stutter the name of one of the strongest ninja ever to come out of Konoha. Stepping completely from the shadows, the Sannin gave his signature half-smirk, licking his thin lips with that infamously long tongue of his. As the moonlight hit his pale complexion, his eyes could be seen filled with amusement.

Naruto was quite unsure of who they were talking about, however. He turned around and spotted a man who he immediately associated with snakes for some odd reason. The man was dressed in a rather strange attire. He wore a pair of black pants and a tan tunic, a very large, purple rope tied in a bow behind his back was a sort of belt, Naruto assumed.

"I will forgive this transgression and not inform my sensei if you simply leave and never speak of this night to anyone." Orochimaru stated with that silky smirk, gaining immediate nods from the men who knew the Sannin could easily kill them. They each turned tail and ran off very quickly, leaving the Snake and Fox to themselves in the dark alley. No witnesses, just as Orochimaru preferred.

"Wh-who are you?" Naruto asked hesitantly with a touch of innocent curiosity.

"It is good etiquette to introduce yourself first." Orochimaru replied with light amusement, watching as the young boy nodded.

"I'm Uzumaki Naruto!" He said, holding out his hand with newfound injury, the recent events temporarily forgotten. Orochimaru noted the state of the boy and found it entertaining that the orphanage would allow the Hokage's favorite to live in such a state in which his clothing was as rags. By the boy's unnaturally pale skin, Orochimaru had to assume he was kept in the lowest levels of the orphanage and assumed under the boy's shirt ribs could likely be seen protruding.

Without hesitation, Orochimaru took the boy's much smaller hand and shook it. "I am Hebi Orochimaru, one of the Sannin, head of the Hebi Clan and one of the Sandaime's students." Naruto's eyes immediately lit up at the mention of the Hokage.

"You're one of jiji's students?" The young Uzumaki furrowed his brow in thought a moment before grinning. "Now I remember! He told me about you! You're the one who's a loner genius with no friends except the pervert and the drunk, right?" For the first time in quite a while, Orochimaru felt his smirk become forced. Regaining his emotions, Orochimaru looked at the blonde.

"Would you like to live somewhere better than that orphanage and become a great ninja?" Orochimaru asked, knowing just enough about this boy. Naruto widened his eyes and nodded immediately, naïve trust in the man who was taught by his jiji. Orochimaru smiled. "Come with me then, I'll help you. You'll attain power beyond your wildest dreams, all you need to do is come with me and I'll make you great."

"Sure thing, Orochimaru-sensei!" Naruto exclaimed loudly. "Where are we going though?" He asked.

"Oh, Sarutobi-sensei has allowed me the chance to leave this village for a time after being shown the work I've been researching in private. We'll leave Konoha together and by the time you come back, no one will be able to recognize you as the same weak child you were. Whenever I return here finally... I will bring about a grand change to the village like no one else has before.

"That sounds like fun! I bet everyone will be happy." Naruto naïvely stated, not grasping the full meaning hidden in those words. Orochimaru grinned regardless.

"Fun... yes, it will be very amusing to say the least. And as for happy... they'll be so happy they might just... die. Kukuku..." Sensei is a weird guy... Naruto thought but grinned. He's going to teach me how to be a great ninja though, so I don't care! I'll show them all I'm not a demon and that I can be an awesome ninja! Just you watch, jiji! I'll become even stronger than you!

And that's it!

Orpheus out! Ja ne!