Warning: The rating is M for a reason. Read at your own risk. SasuOro (yaoi)

Credit goes toEveilae, for the idea of describing someone as a broken China doll (used in her 'Kunoichi one: LEATHER' fanfiction), and to Caspian1 for writing 'Paint', an inspiration for this, which I highly recommend you read.

Theme - Ice, by Sarah McLachlan. Actually, it was during one of the final edits this song came on my player and I knew this was what was missing from the fic. The song (from the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy album) is absolutely haunting, and was written back when her music was still good.

I have no rights to Naruto, but all the words here, except for Sarah's (in bold), belong to me.


They say curiosity killed the cat…

(His eyes were dark and his reflection was laughing. Still, he persisted, for what else could he do?)

-(this is what you made yourself; this is what you have become)-


Like a Child


A young boy crouched down on the ground, bracing himself with one arm against a support of the back porch of the old style Japanese house. His dark hair hung in his even darker eyes, and his pale skin against that gave him the appearance of a China doll someone had forgotten out in the garden, a smudge of dirt on his cheek and a scrape on his knee, nails bitten down to near-bloody stumps.

Sasuke stared intently at a spot beneath the porch overgrown with weeds, eyes widening in fascination-curiosity-excitement as a small, flat head poked out, two golden eyes

staring straight back at him, almost glowing in the dim light provided by the open window. A smile - so clever, so graceful, so I-know-something-you-want-to - spread across the lean face, causing Sasuke to curl his fingers into a fist. He felt his fingernails (raw and pink from biting, the black nail polish chipped and wearing thin) dig into his palm as he squeezed tighter, trying to ignore that look he was being given.

(The ice is thin,
come on, dive in;
underneath my lucid skin.
The cold is lost, forgotten…)

His eyes darted upwards as a hand

reached out cautiously towards the little garden snake. It was still hindered by baby fat, but calloused and knowledgeable in a way most children's hands aren't. Sasuke felt himself trembling slightly, from both the strain of being still and the anticipation building. His fingers were taken by cool shadow as he ventured a little closer, the snake watching him still. His heartbeat skippedslidstumbled as the snake flicked out its tongue,

wet and long against his lips, his neck, the small dip where his skinny collarbones came together. His fists were still clenched, arms at his sides and his lips held firm, not refusing but not quite consenting either. He felt a cold, damp mouth upon his (again), pressing and insisting. And there was that tongue again, pushing (little pig, little pig, won't you please let me in?) into his mouth, causing Sasuke to

gasp as the snake moved just a little bit towards him, unable to take his eyes from the serpent. Its dark scales glinted lustrous in the heavy summer sunlight that peaked through the cracks in the floorboard to leave narrow streaks in the shade created by the porch. He was tempted to crawl beneath with it and take a nap in the cool grass and soil, but knew he would be strongly reprimanded by Father if he were to do such a thing.

He nearly started as he heard a door

shut firmly behind him as he was pushed into not quite roomy the bedroom Orochimaru had given him, stumbling backwards. Fingers attached to hands roamed his body, clutching his clothed shoulders, his thin waist, sneaking beneath the material of his shirt and traveling upwards. Tugging, tugging at the hemlines - not asking but telling him.

Hoarse breath came loudly beside his right ear, and he could feel his own respiration begin to speed up marginally along with his pulse; pounding, pounding inside his head. He wondered for a moment why he was not trying to pull away from the sensation that was entirely bigger than himself, but knew that even if he tried, he couldn't. This was what he (you did this to me, Nii-san, you made me this, what have you done, Nii-san, Nii-san, Nii-san what have you-) made himself, and he couldn't back out now that he was getting so damn close it was beginning to hurt.

(Tied down to this bed of shame,
you tried to move around the pain,
but oh,
your soul is anchored)

He felt those fingers that were attached to those hands tugging at the waistband of his pants, shivers running all through him, back arching, head tilting back. The hands followed the line of his jutting hipbones down and down and…

"Sasuke…

dear, what are you doing?"

The young boy put a finger to his lips, glancing up at his mother quickly. She was peering over the railing at him, a laundry basket held against her hip and a bemused expression on her face.

"A snake," he whispered, praying his discovery would not be alarmed by his mother's presence and flee. Fortunately, it stayed, though it looked slightly alarmed.

"Well, be careful," Mikoto told him, smiling.

The child ignored her, or rather, was too captivated by what he was doing to pay her much attention as she headed quietly (if only to humour him) down the steps and over to the clothesline strung across their yard. She took but one look back at her youngest son, just to be sure, before reaching down to grab a handful of clothespins and pick up one of the sheets

tangled and twisted around them, damp with sweat (among other things). Sasuke's bangs stuck to his forehead, eyes heavy-lidded and half-open. The man above him was still wearing the smilesmirkgrin but nothing else, and Sasuke even less. Everything he tried to be had been stripped away, and he could feel himself trembling (afraid). His legs were forced apart and he gave way (weak), as his shoulders were pinned down against the mattress (weak), and he could feel Orochimaru's erection against his thighs (weak!). He could hear something, just softly, though it was mostly muffled by the lustfulFILTHYpleasurable moan that he was unable to stop from escaping his throat, making him want to vomit. Ignoring it, he abandoned himself in the stifling heat

that second week of August had brought. Sasuke was finding it hard to stay still, as a dryness had developed in is mouth and the back of his neck felt as if it had been scorched. Despite this, he kept his position, telling himself the usual 'Nii-san would be able to…' or 'Well, I bet Nii-san would tell me…' and so on, even though he knew his Father would just scoff (as he always did). And Itachi, of course, would pretend as if any words he had granted Sasuke were entirely soundless (a bad habit, his quiet).

The snake had begun to get bored with him, however, and was slithering away through the overgrown grass and weeds. Sasuke watched after it for a moment, before he reached out and (with courage that both surprised and pleased him) was able to grab hold of it. It wriggled, tail whacking his arm, and he latched onto it with his other hand as well, yelping

quietly as Orochimaru entered him, pain shooting straight up his arched spine. He might have screamed, if a pillow was not half smothering him and his lungs were not already aching.

And again it came, harder, deeper.

(The only comfort is the moving of the river)

He bit down on his bottom lip, hard enough to taste a small bit of blood mixed in with his phlegm.

And again. And again.

(You enter into me, a lie upon your lips)

From above him, he could hear panting flavoured with soft, guttural moans.

And again. And again.

(Offer what you can, I'll take all that I can get)

Sasuke heard his name, a mumbled slur amidst the crescendo, and winced.

(this is what you have made me)

And again!

(this is what you have forced me to become)

Finally, a violent shudder ran through Orochimaru and the serpentine man collapsed - satiated - upon Sasuke, still inside. He wrapped his arms around Sasuke, holding the limp boy (barely more than that) close to him like a doll, a plaything.

(Only a fool's here to stay…)

Sasuke, breathless and half-there, could hear him laughing and whispering, but couldn't quite understand

why he was so fascinated by the creature still writhing in his hands, and why he could not bring himself to let go. It black eyes stared at him accusingly, as it attempted to curl around his wrist.

"Be careful!" he heard his mother calling, "Sasuke, honey, put it down! What if it bites you?"

"It won't…"

"You father won't be pleased, you know!"

Sasuke frowned, watching as the snake (he would have to find a name for it, he decided) calmed down slightly, though its body still squirmed against him.

Why his Mother was so paranoid, Sasuke could not understand either. He did not understand quite a lot of things, actually.

He did not understand why Mother always-always-always agreed with Father, or why Father tended to ignore him, or why Itachi had begun speaking less and less to all of them. He wanted to know why he was not as good as Itachi, even though he tried very hard, or why Father always got mad at him when he made mistakes. He wanted to sneak out of his bed at night and listen to the vehement sounds coming from the room over – Nii-san and Father's voices again - and he wanted to ask Itachi what he meant by those whispered pretty-but-nonsensical words he would sometimes give Sasuke. The list just went on and on and on…

Sighing, he lowered his hands to the ground and released the snake into a clump of tall dandelions, watching it quickly disappear from sight. Where before he had felt curious

(Sasuke, that's what you are. So curious. Just like a child.

You want.

You're greedy and selfish and naive. You're weak, and you use others to shape and define yourself.

You expect far too much of yourself.

You expect your brother of yourself.

And he knew that.

There's an infantile curiosity in you that you can't seem to rid yourself. You can't take your eyes off those pretty things you want, you can't say no to the offer, you can't pull away, can't tear yourself from that child you once were.

It's risible, honestly, what you're doing to yourself. You silly little boy.

But children have to grow up sometime, don't they?)

The snake was gone, along with his light-hearted fascination of it, though he could still hear its stomach gliding against the grass and liked the sound. His mother had returned to her laundry, humming softly under her breath, and he knew he should probably run off and train (be more like Nii-san, stupid!) but he remained where he was for a while.

Tomorrow, Sasuke.

He saw his brother's subtly amused eyes in the back of his mind, bit his lip and pulled his dirtied self to his feet.

Raising a hand to brush his bangs back from his vision, he wrinkled his noise at the pungent smell the snake had left on his hands

and even though he scrubbed at them furiously, the smell just wouldn't leave. His skin was beginning to turn pink from how hard he had scrubbed at it, his hair wet and hanging in lifeless strings.

It was bad enough waking up naked and alone in your more than messy bed, your body aching (especially when you try to walk). It was made awful by the bruises on his back and stomach, the red marks on his neck and chest and down there, and the dried cum on his thighs.

But worst of all were the pictures on his eyelids, skin and sweat and long black hair (always black hair), accented by the masochistic laughter in his ears, and the moaning he knew was his. He turned the knob on the shower down to cold, letting the water run down his face and drip from his nose and lips, to rush down his back and arms. Part of him wondered why he was still there at all, though the answer was an obvious.

(Only a fool's here to stay…)

Other memories pushed their way to the surface. There were cut up pictures of his brother, and blurry (half-repressed) ones of his parents. Snapshots of Naruto, some with Sakura and Kakashi, but he couldn't keep them for long before they capsized once again, barely seeming real at all. Oddly, he felt himself wanting them to remain, despite how the corners of them were worn, the faces blurred by fingerprints and colour beginning to fade.

No, no! part of him protested. I want to keep them!

"Mama, I'm gonna go train now."

"Alright, just don't be too long," she said, picking up the now empty laundry basket. "Itachi is coming home from his mission tonight, remember? Your Father will be angry if you're not there on time."

"Yeah, I know…"

Mikoto smiled, her comforting eyes

closed, mouth just a slit, ears covered by rushing water, Sasuke felt his body shaking. Those muscles, those black-painted fingernails still bitten down to almost nothing, that mark on his neck, and those marks all over him seemed to belong to someone else.

(this is what I have become)

He told himself all about how Itachi did this to him, and how everything Naruto had told him had been wrong, and how he was making a big deal out of nothing and should concentrate on becoming stronger, but it just wasn't working anymore. He felt dirty and wrong and sick to himself.

(They say 'Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back', and 'Whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger')

Reaching upwards for the knob on the shower that would turn it off, knowing he had probably missed breakfast and Kabuto would soon come to get him if he didn't show up.

(Oh God, I hope they were right)

His fingers found the cold metal and pushed it inwards, the pipes gurgling as the water stopped.

(Oh God, I hope it was worth it!)

Sasuke smiled hesitantly back at his mother before heading off, the afternoon sun still teasing him. He wiped his hands on his shirt, hoping the smell of the snake would fade. In the back of his mind, he wondered if his brother had ever liked to play in the garden or try to catch snakes when he was just little. Somehow, even if it seemed unlikely, he liked that thought and slipped it into one of the pockets he saved for memories he would look at when night fell and he was too scared to sleep.

He was getting better though. He was no longer afraid of the dark, and hardly ever complained. Just like he was supposed to. Just like he wanted himself to.

His stomach churned at the thought of seeing Orochimaru again, of that piercing gaze undressing him and of that smile taunting him, daring him, because he knew it would be oh so hard to refuse. And as much as the Uchiha hated to admit it, he had enjoyed it. He had wanted it (or at least he had thought he had).

Placing blame on anyone else had lost its appeal.

Naruto was right, so right, he thought, and resisted the urge to laugh, because at the same time he knew Naruto was so, so wrong. As was Kakashi. As was Sakura. As was he.

(Only a fool's here…)

There were puddles on the floor of the washroom, and the mirror was clouded with steam, in which he was just a blurry figure. And with that hand, all black bitten nails and scars and veins coursing blood, he wiped it away.

(this is what I have made myself, and there's no looking back)