OK! New chapter time! Sorry for the delay, but I got really into working on another fanfiction, one I'm really excited about! It's called…


If you're a fan of horror or just an interesting story, go to my profile and check it out. Don't worry; I'm still working on this story too.

With that said, let me thank everyone who reviewed the last chapter! Chrosis, SaiyanWarrior200, Specter Von Baren, Xeno the Hedgehog, Lexa1990, Aisuma, Insanity rise, Samuel L. Mothafuggin Frollo, Crystal Inferno, Arashi-chan23, Ryoga's best friend, doryishness, Ralf Jones, The Check Mark, and t-fly!

This is just a thank you for reading and to let you know I deeply appreciate you taking the time to review.

Enough waiting, onward to the story!

Note: re-loaded chapter with corrections made by Specter Von Baren.

Chapter 4:

Where we Stand; Tension among the Sound Trio!

So there they were again in Dr. Ikagawas waiting room, waiting for the nurse to come with word on Zaku's operation.

Kin sat on the couch with a magazine for women. She didn't really have an interest in that sort of thing, but it was the only thing keeping her from launching a shuriken into that damn clock and its incessant ticking!

She looked up at the clock sitting on the wall above Dosu, the little hands moving slowly around its face to the sound of that damn ticking.

They had been sitting there for two hours waiting for word on Zaku and hadn't heard so much as a peep. It wouldn't have been too terrible if her company was a bit more talkative.

Kin looked over at Dosu, who sat completely still in the chair across from her. His eye was gently closed and she could hardly hear him breath, so she assumed he was meditating or some crap like that.

Kin let out a sigh. She was still getting used to the idea of being on the run, and even more so accepting who she would be traveling with. Back at the Village of Sound she had only worked a few times with Dosu and Zaku, and while they could function well as a team, they were far from being real teammates.

Kin tried to focus her attention back on her magazine. She turned the page and started reading an article on how long hair was out this season.

A moment later the clock had a shuriken embedded in its face.

Dosu heard the shattering of glass and opened his eye, looking up to see the clock was no longer working. "Was that really necessary?"

"Feh," Kin blew it off, leaning back in her seat and crossing her arms. "How long is this thing supposed to take anyway? It feels like we've been waiting forever!"

"The doctor said it would take a few hours." Dosu noticed the crumpled magazine lying by Kins feet, the most likely culprit for her sudden temper.

Kin huffed and looked up at the broken clock, wishing she had thought that through a bit more. "Can't believe were going through all this trouble just to fix Zaku's arms."

"We were lucky to find a doctor willing to work so cheaply," Dosu told her as he closed his eye again. "If we hadn't, we would have been forced to kill him."

Kins eyes widened a bit in surprise. "You're kidding right?"

Dosu cracked his eye open to look at her. "No. We can't waste our time carrying dead weight around."

She could almost feel Dosu's stare boring into her, watching her for any sign of hesitation. Kin looked off to the side to avoid it. "No, we can't"

Dosu nodded and closed his eye, once again resuming his meditation. They did not speak again for the remainder of their wait.

"You may see your friend now."

The nurse ushered Kin and Dosu out of the waiting room and into one of the recovery rooms. They found Zaku lying unconscious on a bed, his body covered with a blanket except for his arms, and an I.V hooked up to him. From the looks of it the operation took a lot out of him.

"The operation was a complete success," Dr. Ikagawa said from behind them. "In about a week his arms should be completely functional again, although he will carry some nasty looking scars for awhile.""

Dosu looked over Zaku, taking note of the bandages that now covered his arms. "What of his 'enhancements,' doctor?"

Dr. Ikagawa rubbed his chin, a proud smirk on his face. "Now that was tricky. The tubes running through his arms were some kind of organic construct similar to bone, but more flexible. It would have been impossible to remove them given how deeply they were integrated into his system, and even if I could have it's unlikely he would have been able to lift his arms again."

"Get to the point," Dosu told him.

Ikagawa coughed nervously, "Yes, of course. Anyway I was able to fix them to a degree, although they still have various weak points along their frame. He will be able to use his attacks again, but he must be careful not to put too much power into his attacks less he wants to rip his arms apart."

Dosu nodded, "That is acceptable."

The doctor gazed down at Zaku's arm, "Whoever designed them was a genius. I would very much like to meet him."

"No, you wouldn't," Dosu told him.

The doctor shrugged. "Now I'll expect you out of here in the morning, otherwise I'll have to start charging. Come nurse." With a wave goodbye he turned to leave, his female companion following close behind.

Kin sneered at the doctors back. "Lousy cheapskate," she muttered to her self.

Kin walked closer to Zaku's sleeping form and looked him over. "Damn," she said, "he looks like crap."

"If he can fight then that's good enough," Dosu told her.

Kin rolled her eyes. "Yeah I guess." A smirk grew on her face and she looked at Dosu, "What do you think he'll say when he sees the scars under the bandages?"

Dosu shrugged, not really giving a damn. Looking around he gave the room a quick once over before turning to leave. "You stay with Zaku, I'm going out."

"Hey, what makes you think you can just leave me here?" Kin snapped at him. "And just where are you running off too?"

Dosu didn't look back at her, "Where I go is my own business. And I'm not forcing you to stay. Do what you want, I don't care." With that Dosus back disappeared out the door.

Kin let out a growl and ran after him. "Get back here!"

Dosu didn't slow down for Kin as she ran after him. In fact it seemed he was doing his best to ignore her. Of course Kin wasn't one to be ignored.

Coming up behind him she reached out for his shoulder, trying to get him to stop. The reaction was instantaneous; Dosu jerked away from her and would have smashed her across the face with his melody arm if she hadn't jumped back in time.

They stood like that for a minute, Dosu's eye burning a hole through Kin. "Touch me again, and I'll kill you."

Kin wanted to snap at him for that but held her tongue, knowing fully well that he meant it. "We need to talk."

"Then talk," Dosu told her.

Kin took in a deep breath, preparing herself. "Look, I know we're not exactly friends or anything…"

Dosu chuckled at that.

"…but," Kin continued, "I think if we're to survive on our own there need s to be some level of trust between us." She gestured towards the room where Zaku slept, "Zaku was nearly killed because of that stunt you pulled! You can't just pull crap like that if were going to be working together!"

Dosu stared at her, his eye unreadable as always. "So you want us all to play nice Kin? Three friends traveling together, against the world?"

Kin rolled her eyes, "That's not what I meant. All I'm saying is…"

Suddenly Dosu pulled out his melody arm and rushed forward, slamming his fist into the wall next to Kins head. A crater formed around Dosu's fist and Kin felt the sound waves rush past her, missing her only by the will of Dosu.

"Allow me to enlighten you," he whispered to her, "Trust, loyalty, friendship, these things are meaningless in the real world." He pulled away from the wall letting pieces of plaster fall to the ground. "In the end, the only person we can count on is ourselves. Any alliances people make they make for their own benefit and no one else's."

Kin found herself frozen to the spot, too afraid to move. All she could do was watch as Dosu turned away from her.

"We are a team only because it benefits us," Dosu told her, "as soon as we no longer need each other any relationship we had is over."

With that he turned around and began to walk away, pausing only to give her one last piece of advice. "Letting a person get close to you only gives them more room to stab you in the back. If anything, Orochimaru should have taught you that."

Kin stood there, unable to move as she listened to Dosu's footsteps fade away. As they grew quieter her face contorted in rage and her fists grew tighter. A single tear rolled down her cheek as she looked down at her fist, and with a sudden scream of rage punched the wall as hard as she could, ignoring the pain.

"Hmm…what the…?"

Zaku slowly opened his eyes and was greeted by a white ceiling. He turned his head to the side and looked around, trying to figure out where the hell he was. It wasn't until he noticed the lack of pain in his arms that it came back to him.

"The surgery!" He sat up in his bed and looked at his arms, a large grin growing on his face at what he saw.

They were perfect. The doctor had preformed a miracle and had healed his arms back to their original state! He held up his hand and flexed it, feeling the strength returning to him. He was so happy he could have laughed.

"Nice to know you're feeling better Zaku."

Zaku's blood froze.

"It's so good to find ones pupils are doing well."

Zaku looked up and stared in fear at the man standing at the foot of his bed. It couldn't be…he...he couldn't have found him this fast…

Orochimaru smiled, "What's wrong? No kind words for your master Zaku?"

Zaku eyes widened in fear at the sight of Orochimaru, his mind filling with images of what the snake sannin could do to him. He tried to speak, tried to explain himself, but found the words dieing in his throat.

"I wasn't pleased that you abandoned me Zaku," Orochimaru told him, his yellow eyes piercing his soul.

The sound of hissing echoed in Zaku's ears and he felt something wrap around his arms. He looked down and saw twin snake wrapping themselves tightly around his limbs. They looked up at Zaku each with a similar smile as their master's, revealing long white fangs.

"You never should have left me Zaku," Orochimaru told him.

Zaku screamed in terror as the snakes lashed out, sinking their fangs deep into his arms as Orochimaru laughed.

Zaku screamed and bolted upright in his bed, breathing heavily and covered in a cold sweat. The sudden movement caused at sharp pain in his arms and he hissed, feeling like Kin had jabbed thousands of needles into them.

As the memories came flooding back he looked around the room in panic, searching for any signs of his former master.

When he saw there wasn't any he looked down at himself. He was wearing a hospital gown and his arms were now covered in bandages. His right arm had some kind of IV attached to it pumping god knows what into his system. His arms hurt like a bitch too.

He let out a sigh of relief. "Just a dream," he thought as he let his head hit the pillow and stared up at the ceiling.

He was still in the hospital bed, apparently having been asleep for several hours seeing as it was nighttime now and darkness enveloped the room. Zaku turned his head to the side and looked out the window, seeing the full moon staring back at him. The pain in his arms had been reduced to a dull ache, and he wondered if the surgery had done anything for them

"What the hell's wrong with you?"

Zaku looked to his right and saw Kin standing in the doorway, her arms crossed and looking severely pissed about something.

"Well?" She asked him.

Zaku shrugged her off and looked back up at the ceiling. "Nothing," he told her, "what are you doing here?"

Kin scoffed, "Someone had to stand guard for your sorry ass." She walked into the room and stood next to his bed, staring at the bandages wrapped around his arms. "So? How do they feel?"

"Like you used them for target practice," he told her, hissing in pain as she punched him in the shoulder. "What the hell was that for?!"

"For being an asshole," she answered, "Can't believe I tried to defend this bastard."

Zaku glared at her and turned his head back towards the window, staring off into the night sky.

Kin watched her teammate look away from her, getting the message that she was no longer wanted. "Fine, I can take a hint," she thought as she turned to leave.

Zaku heard Kin's footsteps heading out the door and sat up to look at her, "Wait," he called out, much to Kins surprise.

"What?" She asked sharply, not really in the mood to get into another fight today.

Zaku gritted his teeth, he really didn't like this. Being in a position of weakness where you had to depend on others for help. Reminded him too much of his younger days.

"What…what did the doctor say?" He asked reluctantly, trying not to seem too worried.

Kin looked back at Zaku, a bit taken aback with the tone he used. He didn't sound like the Zaku she knew at all, the one who was always brash and full of himself. He sounded more like, more like…

More like someone who was genuinely scared about something.

Kin let out a sigh before answering, "He said you'd have your arms working by the end of the week, and as long as you were careful not to overdue it you should still be able to use your wind attacks."

Zaku's face relaxed in relief and he fell back onto his pillow, feeling like a tremendous weight was lifted off his shoulders.

"Is that all?" Kin asked him, "Cause if it is I'm going back to the waiting room to sleep."

Zaku let out a grunt of acknowledgement, and Kin turned away and walked out the doorway. Zaku closed his eyes and a small smile grew on his face. He'd be back soon, and after that no one would mess around with him again.

"Hey Zaku."

The sound of Kin's voice returning took him by surprise, and he looked back up to see her standing in the doorway, a strange look on her face.

"There's a vending machine out here, you want a soda or something?" She asked him.

Zaku looked at her strangely, not really understanding where this was coming from. Seeing her grow more impatient with his silent treatment he simple nodded his head.

Kin nodded, "Alright, be back in a second."

"That was weird," Zaku thought to himself as he listened to the sound of change being placed into the soda machine outside.

The night air was cold, but that didn't bother Dosu. He had spent most of his life in the cold.

He carefully wrapped a fresh layer of bandages around his face, being careful to position them in a way that they wouldn't fall from his face when he talked or moved. His hands worked quickly as he finished wrapping the top of his head and moved on to his jaw. He had done this so many times he could have finished ten minutes ago, but tonight he took his time as he had some things on his mind.

He was sitting perfectly balanced in a tree next to Dr. Ikagawa's facility, watching Zaku through his window. He watched as Kin entered with two sodas in hand and listened as she and Zaku had an argument over how he was supposed to drink it without using his hands, ending with Kin throwing the soda on his bed and storming out in anger.

Dosu reached into his pouch for another roll of bandages. Who did Kin think she was kidding?

Out of the three of them, she was the weakest. That was a fact. Her worthless talk of trust and camaraderie were just survival tactics, ways of trying to get others to keep her alive. Yes, Kin was well aware she had little chance of surviving on her own with the likes of Orochimaru after her.

Dosu looked back at the window and was surprised to see Kin reenter the room carrying a straw in her hand. His eye twitched as he watched her pick up the soda can, open it, drop the straw in, and place the can on the table next to Zakus bed so he could lean over and take a sip.

Dosu heard something rip in his hands and looked down to find he had torn a bandage he had been holding, apparently having twisted it too tight while he had been watching.

He cursed himself and put the bandages away, giving a finale glare towards his teammates before he leapt from the tree and ran off into the night in search of another spot where he could be by himself.

They couldn't trust each other, this he knew. They needed each other to survive, but this was only a temporary situation. The moment it was most convenient either one of them would turn his back on the others, himself included. Kin would learn that soon, and if she dared to bring the issue up with him again…

…well, maybe he would just kill her.

In fact, it would probably be best to kill both of them when they were no longer useful, get rid of any loose ends…

Dosu came to a stop, realizing who he just sounded like.

Dosu pushed those thoughts away, deciding it was best to focus on the present. He still needed those two, and would probably still need them for some time in the future so it was no use making plans for anything just yet.

His mind made up Dosu ran along the rooftops of the village, leaving Kin and Zaku to argue between themselves until morning.

Short chapter I know, but I think chapter 5 is already going to be pretty long so I felt it best to separate the two.

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