Curse of the Snake

By: Sapphire

Sasuke walked down the dark hall, between Orochimaru and Kabuto. He was somewhat proud that he'd managed to glare at both of them, not showing any weakness, as if their power wasn't good enough. He kept his scowl on as Kabuto leaned down and whispered in his ear, "Sasuke-kun, you may not realize it, but that's Orochimaru-sama in front of you." Sasuke didn't care.

"Get the hell out of my face", he hissed back, not caring if Orochimaru heard it.

Orochimaru entered another dark room and stopped, not turning around. Sasuke, keeping a safe distance away, stopped as well. "Sasuke-kun, why did you come to me? What is it you want from me?"

Sasuke glared at the floor. "You know why. I want enough power to murder Itachi."

Orochimaru laughed softly, still not turning around. "But, Sasuke-kun, you already have that power." Suddenly, on cue, Kabuto stepped forward and grabbed Sasuke, one arm pinning his arms, the other across his neck. Sasuke struggled as Orochimaru whipped around, his eyes excited and dangerous. "You simply can't control it."

With a smirk, Orochimaru's eyes widened, the pupils turning to slits as the room became darker and two snakes appeared out of absolutely nowhere, wrapping themselves around Sasuke's arms as he struggled violently. Orochimaru took a step toward him, saying in a dark voice, "Because you can't control it, Sasuke-kun. IT controls YOU."

THROB

"KAAGH!" Sasuke winced as the curse mark awakened, fighting off Kakashi's Fuja Hoin. He struggled against Kabuto and the snakes, but he was effectively stuck hanging in spread-eagle. He glared up at Orochimaru as he advanced. "Sasuke-kun, you of all people should know that, in order to gain something, you must lose a lot. Lose your freedom, and gain the memory of your brother's murder. Lose Kakashi's seal, and you will gain power."

Sasuke had no choice. He knew before he came that this would happen. Kabuto released him, and he fell to his knees, limp, held up only by the snakes. He thought of Naruto and Sakura. The dobe and the useless kunoichi. He thought of his brother's deadly eyes with anger. Orochimaru was right; he had to give up his friends to murder his brother. There was no other way. Itachi had to die. No matter what happened to himself on the way.

Orochimaru smirked. He could feel the boy's spirit break. He closed his yellow eyes, focusing on Sasuke-kun's familiar mark. He found it and commanded it to break free of Kakashi's seal.

THROB

Sasuke's eyes flew open as he gasped. The curse mark burned, spreading its flames towards Kakashi's seal, destroying it and spreading across his neck. He cringed as they moved further. He saw a fleeting memory of how much blood Kakashi had put into that seal.

"This is what you wanted, isn't it, Sasuke-kun?" Orochimaru said softly. The black flames had covered Sasuke's torso, but this time, they kept going, further than he'd ever allowed it to spread himself. Clenching his fists, Sasuke tried to block out Orochimaru's voice, trying to hold his pride, his strength. The marks had covered his body like fiery spots. He groaned, barely able to feel whether he was still pulling against the snakes holding his arms.

Orochimaru walked up as Sasuke tensed and tried to draw back, still glaring. He knelt at Sasuke's eye level and said, "You're more like me than you'll ever know, Sasuke-kun. Holding a potential that no one ever bothers with, wanting a vengeance that no one else agrees with. We share the same destiny, Sasuke-kun." With that, he opened his piercing yellow eyes, staring straight into Sasuke's, seeing beyond them, into his soul, into his mind. Another forbidden jutsu he'd created himself.

Sasuke gasped, not being able to move. He couldn't fight it; it was not like any genjutsu he'd ever been trapped in. Not even like his brother's damn Tsukuyomi. It was like looking into a snake's eyes, a demon's eyes. He shuddered and turned his head away, not knowing what Orochimaru could see.

Orochimaru was amazed at the anger Sasuke felt within. It was so much like the anger that he had felt himself as a child, the anger that fueled his goal, the hatred that made it so easy to kill people. Finally, someone who felt the same as he once did. Without opening his eyes, he filled his hand with his enhanced chakra and grabbed Sasuke's neck with it, his nails sinking into the curse mark.

THROB

"KAAAAHHHH!!!" Sasuke seized up, screaming as the curse mark reacted and began spreading a second time. But this time, it wasn't just marking his skin; it was spreading within.

Orochimaru smirked and used his free hand to push against Sasuke's chest, pushing him backwards, while the snakes around his arms pulled forward, keeping him from thrashing away. Sasuke threw his head back in agony, feeling the curse mark's flames spread within, wrapping around his chakra veins like thorns, poisoning them with the dark power. His muscles reacted and he seized up painfully against Orochimaru's hands and the snakes with a gasp.

Orochimaru's eyes shone with eagerness as he released the child and stepped back. If the child's chest wasn't restrained, he probably would have hyperventilated like the other nine victims of the Cursed Seal of Heaven had - before they died from the massive seizure that followed. Anko had passed out before that happened, as did Sasuke-kun. But she had never awakened it afterwards. Another reason Sasuke-kun was so valuable. Once the dark power took over his chakra, he would be forever bound to his plans, ready to become the supreme piece in the sannin's game.

Sasuke barely noticed, all he could feel was the pain from the seal as it took over his chakra, shooting pain throughout his body. He cried out as the dark marks reached his spinal cord, wrapping around the chakra veins there tightly. He began to convulse painfully as the muscles around his spine reacted, jerking his limbs hard against the snakes that were holding them back.

Kabuto quietly backed out of the room as Orochimaru watched Sasuke in fascination. "Pain is merely weakness leaving the body, Sasuke-kun. With this power, you will never be weak again."

It was getting too much for Sasuke, as he screamed again, too weak to try struggling against the snakes. His chakra veins were out of control, franticly mixing with the dark power, and he barely had enough energy left to scream. Eyes shut tight, teeth clenched, his head slumped forward as Orochimaru leaned down to whisper in his ear. "Vengeance is our destiny, Sasuke-kun." Sasuke shuddered and blacked out, his wrists slipping as the snakes let go, letting him fall to the floor at Orochimaru's feet, soft laughter echoing around the room.

---------E---------K---------U---------S---------A---------S---------

Sasuke awoke dizzy, sore, and alone. With dread, he remembered where he was; that he had no free will, and that his fate was in Orochimaru's hands. His damn curse seal was throbbing faintly, but not as strong, almost in time with his heartbeat. It felt different, like it was distributed across his whole body. Heck, for all he knew, it was Orochimaru's way of controlling his every footstep.

Uninterested, he glanced around his room. It was dreary and dark, with a simple bed with a hard pillow, clearly showing that he was getting no prince treatment here, he was just another one of Orochimaru's subordinates, if not lower. The only decoration was a small cloth on the wall, with one black symbol on it. It looked slightly familiar. "It's the symbol on Orochimaru's earrings", he realized. Those earrings must be a key of some sort.

He didn't bother giving the door a second glance. It was definitely locked. He hadn't been locked up many times before. He allowed himself a small grin at the memory of Naruto managing to tie him up on their first day as a team, but he'd only allowed himself to be tied up so that he could see exactly what the idiot had in mind.

His shoulders relaxed as he realized he wouldn't have many fond, bright memories for a long time, if he survived Orochimaru at all. "I don't care what happens to me, as long as I get revenge on Itachi. If I have the chance, I hope I can kill him with a sword, as well."

As the familiar anger rose up again, he looked to the ceiling, wondering, "What have I gotten myself into?"

Chapter End

Author's note: Well, there's my first fanfic ever. My friend, Ayla, wrote all the other stories on this account, I just tagged along till I found a good fandom. As for this chapter, I'm pretty sure Orochimaru probably can't really do most of that stuff, but I wanted to explore that ruthlessness hinted in the anime.

The eye contact part- Orochimaru feeling someone's emotions- was based on what happened to young Kimimaro in episode 126. And I put that Orochimaru felt hatred as a teen as well, because his family's never shown, and people don't just become like him without feeling some kind of intense anger in their lives. Please review, constructive criticism, or anything, just no flames please, first fic.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto; anime, manga, or anything else.

-Sapphire