Orochimaru smiles when Sasuke hardly flinches at his name. It seems Kabuto's been doing a good job, as was expected.


Pale arms are draped over the boy's shoulders, thin dark tongue lightly grazing his cheek. Orochimaru's smile widens when he feels Sasuke barely tense up. Yes, Kabuto really has out done himself.

"You're such a lovely boy…"

A light tremor racks Sasuke's body as their lips meet, but nothing more. When he opens his eyes, Orochimaru can see them shine with fear. Orochimaru's smile turns sinister. Perfect.

Footsteps, purposefully loud, echo down the outside hallway. Both their eyes unconsciously snap to the doorway; nothing happens for a few moments. Orochimaru feels a growl build in his throat; he hates it when he's interrupted. Kabuto walks past, looks in, sends a smile, and before Orochimaru can kindly ask him to leave, Sasuke's lips are forcefully pressed against his own, eyes scrunched shut.

Kabuto walks past, still smiling, and Orochimaru feels his lips curl into a smirk.

Sometimes he just doesn't give Kabuto enough credit.

- - -

Sasuke doesn't cry.

He doesn't cry when Orochimaru touches him. He doesn't cry when Kabuto touches him. He doesn't remember if he cried when Itachi killed everyone. He doesn't like thinking about the Forest of Death.

Sasuke's strong, Sasuke's strong, Sasuke's strong, and the strong don't cry.

He feels the bed shift as Orochimaru gets up and hears the door click as he leaves, not even saying a word.

The strong don't cry.

The sheets are messy and dirty and disarrayed, but he wraps them around himself anyways. He feels exposed even though no one's in the room.

The strong don't cry.

He curls up into a little ball, feeling like he's five again. He really misses his mother sometimes.

He curls up into a tighter ball.

The strong don't cry.

The tears hit his pillow before he can do anything to stop them.

Sasuke's not as strong as he thinks.