Warnings: Cursing, OOC, mentions of alcohol use, some slightly implied yaoi, and more wangst than an emo kid's goth blog.

Disclaimer: Naruto and it's characters are property of Masashi Kishimoto.


Sasuke had settled into a light doze as he sat in a stiff-backed chair, still wearing his blood and dirt-covered day clothes. Never mind how uncomfortable the chair was, or that this room, like every other one in Orochimaru's inner sanctum, was freezing cold; Training had been unusually exhausting today, and the Uchiha boy would have slept on a bed of hot coals if it were the closest thing within reach. But before long, a husky voice was clawing into his consciusness and tearing him from sleep.

"Sasuke-kun..." the voice whispered, accompanied by warm breath on the back of his neck. Still mostly asleep, he merely groaned and turned his head, dismissing it as a fragment of a dream. Suddenly, a hand grasped his shoulder and roughly jostled him awake.

"Sasuke-kun, wake up," the voice said, impatient this time. Sasuke's eyes snapped open as he looked over his shoulder to see Kabuto standing behind him, leaning forward with both elbows propped atop the chair. The medic nin looked a far cry from his normally clean-cut appearance; His skin was a sickly pale, save for blotches of rouge red fanning across his nose and cheeks. White hair hung lank and unkempt around his face, loosened from it's usual ponytail, and his glassy, bloodshot eyes met the wall in front of him with an unwavering gaze. He looks like hell, thought Sasuke. I don't know what his problem is, but it must have been something serious...For him, at least.

"Oh, it's just you," Sasuke said apathetically. "What do you want?"

"I was thinking," replied Kabuto, propping his chin on his arms and continuing to stare at the wall.

"Good for you," muttered Sasuke, smirking derisively. "There's always a first time for everything, I suppose." To his suprise, Kabuto began to laugh, though it sounded hollow and somehow dismal in the silence. Smiling vacantly after the laughter subsided, he leaned in close as if to impart a great secret and murmured, "I was thinking about us...We're not so different, you and I." Sasuke shook his head, smirk fading into a look of suprise and contempt.

"You must be more drunk than I thought. I'm nothing like you," he said scornfully.

"Of course you're like me," Kabuto contradicted. "Just think about it, Sasuke-kun...Didn't we grow up the same? After all, we both saw our parents die right in front of us, and had to live knowing that there wasn't a thing we could've done to save them. Not only that, but we knew that whoever killed them was still out there, alive and well. We had to live with ourselves when we should have died..." This clearly struck a nerve; Sasuke looked like he had just gotten an old wound ripped open.

"Shut up," he hissed, clenching his teeth. "You don't know what you're talking about."

"But I do." Kabuto said, a hint of sadness in his smile and voice now. "Of all people, I think you could understand. You're brilliant, just like me, and it's gotten both of us nowhere. In the end, we're throwing our lives away for nothing...Mine for Orochimaru-sama and his causes, and your's for the sake of revenge." A split second after he had said this, Sasuke was on his feet with rage in his eyes, clutching Kabuto by the collar of his shirt. He had crossed the line.

"Who the hell do you think you are?" Sasuke snarled, shaking his shoulders for emphasis. "It's strange that you're mocking my ambitions when you've given up on your own. I really wouldn't be talking, you bastard!" At this he shoved him away, sending him back against the wall by the doorframe. Sitting back down, he clutched the armrests of the chair with white knuckles as his pulse gradually slowed, with eyes connecting with Kabuto's for a brief second. Unfazed, the older boy opened the door and slowly stepped outside.

"Good night, Sasuke-kun," he said, offering one last sideways glance before crawling back into whatever dark corner he had emerged from. The look said, You know I'm right, and that's why you're angry; Because it's all true. You're never going to forget this.

"I'm sure I will," Sasuke told the empty room, suddenly much larger than before.

He was right; Eventually, all memory of it slipped away not only for him, but for Kabuto as well.