A/N: Orochimaru/Jiraiya drabble. Set before the sennin became the sennin- think mid-to-late teens- and space_machine's fault. I kind of feel as if I should have expanded on this more, but I'm only just starting to get a grasp on Orochimaru's persona. Current mental image: "I hate my life, no one acknowledges me, nothing I am is good enough. I hate the place I am, I hate my elders, and I'm only happy when everyone else is as miserable as I am." Basically, he's an overgrown teenager, which is why I like writing him at that age. Probably it's also why I like the fights with him a lot more than those with Itachi, who only seems to be around to make Sasuke's life suck.

. . . not that Orochimaru isn't doing the same thing, mind. ^_^;; And Gai was kicking ass against Itachi . . . XD

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"How To Be Normal"

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Piano-thin fingers in bushy white hair, and Orochimaru, for a moment, isn't angry at the world and doesn't hate everything about this village and every minute he's lived here. For a moment, he feels like he always thought a normal person would.

Then Tsunade shifts and blocks the sun that was in his eyes, and he remembers that the fingers in Jiraiya's hair are hers, and that they are pulling with anger.

And then he feels ugly, awkward, and vulnerable and wishes he knew how to be normal. Or at least how to talk to Jiraiya as if he were.

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. : i am another youthful failure : .