The Only One to Shed Tears

Kabuto wept at Kimimaro's death. He didn't know why, he had no reason to, but still in the middle of cleaning the lab where Kimimaro had once laid, he collapsed to the floor and began sobbing.

All five of the sound nin were dead. And all five of them had annoyed him to no end in their life. Kimimaro he had especially hated. Kimimaro had been Orochimaru-sama's favorite, far above him and he had resented that fact incredibly. For all the incredible loyalty he had given his master, for everything he had sacrificed Orochimaru still favored some child to whom serving Orochimaru was a blessing and a salvation.

Kabuto had held a passionate hatred of Kimimaro, always hating that he could take devotion one step further than him. Because Kabuto wanted to live. Where Kimimaro would die for Orochimaru he wanted to live and serve him and stand beside him for as long as possible...all for the selfish reason that he could not stand the idea of being away from his great master.

Despite all this, he shed tears. Not for Tayuya, Sakon and Ukon, Kidomaru or Jirobo, the loss of them meant nothing to him, but for Kimimaro.

It had hit him like gale, suddenly, in that room. As Kimimaro died there was something missing from him that he had not realized he so terribly needed. He had never spoken to Kimimaro, except when absolutely necessary, and only looked at him to make sure he was away from Orochimaru-sama. Despite that, he was suddenly missing a considerable chunk of his heart, and all the left over pieces mourned so heavily over that loss that it overwhelmed every other part of his body and he shook and moaned with the grief of it.

After a long time he laid still, arms folded on the bed and his face hidden in them, his forearms soaked from saltwater. The door slid open and he heard the soft, pitying chuckled of his dearly beloved.

Orochimaru slithered over to him and placed his hand on Kabuto's shoulder.

"Why do you cry Kabuto-kun?" Orochimaru asked. "Did you enjoy hating him so much that you miss him now?"

For the first time Kabuto felt guilt over his hatred, as Orochimaru so coolly brought up the fact, and he felt fresh tears coming when he had thought he had surely worn himself dry.

Orochimaru said nothing, merely observed Kabuto's mourning ritual, for sometime as the medic nin clutched the sterilized sheets and his sobs became almost screams of regret. There was so much missed…and he didn't even know what, but he knew that it was something he should have never passed up. Something Kimimaro had not deserved having ignored. As he calmed again, groaning softly into the wet bed Orochimaru said, with something like amusement dancing in his voice:

"He was in love with you, you know."

And finally he went numb. He sat staring at the bed-clothes, the words falling into a mind that could hardly comprehend them. He had spent so much time…so much time…loving Orochimaru, giving his love to extreme ends, he had not even realized that he had been loved, nor how much that had done for him, without him even realizing it.

"Ah well…" Orochimaru sighed. "Such is life."

He stood and left, and Kabuto trembled again. Kimimaro was truly the most unlucky and cursed creature the ever walked the world. That he should have been borne into a childhood of icy cruelty, raised by a father who could only command and not care, and love a man so blinded by jealousy that he returned that with equally passionate hatred…Kabuto's heart broke for him. He could have made that life bearable. If not to love him, at least to be a companion that might show him some of the kindness the world was supposed to show its children.

But he had not. He had been one more horrible misfortune in a life of hell. He had taken and absorbed all the ardor of Kimimaro's love and returned none of it. The only service he could offer him now was to mourn…


A/N: this is a companion to "Foolish Games". These two are tributes to Kimi/Kabu because it's a beautiful coupling and makes for wonderful hopeless romance. I almost cried writing this just because I'm such a sucker for this coupling and sad romance.

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Much love

Angel Lucifel