Two By Two
Rating: R / M, for graphic violence.
Pairing: Orochimaru/Kabuto; Kabuto/OC. (I had to, Kabuto's past is so mysterious. :O No Mary Sues though, promise.)
Warnings: Violence, morbidity, teacher/student relationships, Kabuto's POV (so you know it's got to be vaguely strange).
Notes: Just in case it's important, I'm working with the assumption that Kabuto is twenty two/three years old in current canon. Since this is set in the past, obviously he's younger and living in Konoha. Also, ffnet seems to eat my spacing, so apologies in advance if I've missed correcting any.
He moves with deliberate slowness. To any bystander it would seem that he is hesitating, maybe panicking, desperately and silently, unable to think in the presence of all this mess. Perfect, he thinks, and presses his hand to the wound in her stomach.
It wasn't a fatal blow when it landed. Kabuto saw it from beneath, crouching on the ground while their weapons met in the air. Blood had dripped down onto him when the blow landed, like rainwater; it had been cool and strange on his upturned face, and it smears his lenses even now.
"Hurry," she whispers, voice ragged, and Kabuto suddenly thinks: I love her. It is a wild, desperate thought, sudden, though it is not this that causes the shaking of his hands. He loves her, his Hiromi-sensei, past thinking. He is seventeen and still somehow naïve, he knows, but he feels it like another body part. It presses close as he works.
"Sensei," Kabuto hisses, forcing guilt into his voice. "I can't… can't judge the depth of your injury."
Her eyes widen, and his narrow as though in concentration. He is wrist-deep in her stomach, and though the wind bites down to the nerves, Kabuto's fingers feel comfortable deep in her guts. Realistically, there is no need for him to bury himself so deep -- Kabuto has more than enough skill to knit her skin back together without a touch. She was lucky enough to have her intestines left intact; though he could heal even that now, without missing a beat.
But she has no idea how far his talents extend, and he is not going to show her just yet.
She grips his elbow, and looks anywhere but at the wet mist rising from her stomach. "Concentrate," she tells him, pulling in her thoughts to that one point: lend him courage, give him strength, he'll do his best and it will be enough.
Kabuto has been taught well, but not by her. Orochimaru-sama has given him all the strength he can bear, and he has had so much fun pushing himself with it. This is just one more test he has set himself, one more eventuality in a long line of secret successes.
The smile creeps in before he can stop it, and Hiromi's face contorts into a twisted sort of horror. "You--" she begins, on the cusp of an accusation; then she chokes on the lump in her throat. "Kabuto? Kabuto-kun… please."
It would take him very little effort to save her. In fact, it will take more to kill her; but Kabuto has never been afraid of a little hard work, and Orochimaru-sama would be so disappointed if he returned empty-handed.
"I'm sorry," he tells her, sliding his hands free, though she is not stupid enough even now to believe it. Kabuto sharpens his chakra to a point in his palm, and presses it through her chest. Past the skin, past the bone, to the contracting muscle beneath. Kabuto removes her heart with the cleanest cuts possible.
As the blood begins to fill the cavity of her chest, Hiromi's lips quirk -- it is her last act before she dies, and Kabuto respects that it took strength to achieve it. Most likely, she was trying to curse him: a monster, a ghoul, a soulless creature that had wound into her life and suddenly squeezed her out. With a sigh, Kabuto leans forward and presses his lips to the corner of hers.
It is his first kiss, and Kabuto will never forget it.
Later, when he returns to Orochimaru-sama, the gore is still on Kabuto's hands and the blood still on his glasses. "For you," he says with a lopsided smile, and Orochimaru's face lights up at the sight of the fresh, warm heart.
Kabuto loves her, his Hiromi-sensei. But now he has another heart to give, and the volume of the gesture is not lost on Orochimaru either.
Notes: I was really tempted to title this 'Harvester of Hearts', but I thought that that may be pushing it, even for me. XD This title fits better, I think. I'm not sure if it makes sense to anybody else; all my titles have meanings, even though they're not always obvious.
I have a lot of love for Kabuto, even if he is creepy and frightening. (Okay, okay, because he's creepy and frightening.) I love interesting characters, and Kabuto is definitely interesting. I have a lot of theories about him, too,though most of them are utterly daft and don't get to leave my head, haha. XD
There's another scene to this that I wrote and then cut, so it's sitting dormant on my harddrive. Really though, it's no great loss: I didn't think that it needed adding, necessarily -- it was just a bit of clarification on why killing his teacher doesn't get Kabuto sent straight to the execution chambers. Like I said, it was unnecessary -- I'm sure you're all aware of just how devious the little bastard is. ;D He would worm his way out of trouble.
Um, wow. That's a lot of nonsense. (Sorry, sorry!) Congratulations if you made it this far. :x