AuthorsNote: Oops, it's been a while! ; Man I learned my lesson about doing requests for ungrateful people though... Also... I spilled pop on my laptop!! Anyone know how to safely unstick keys?? D8

Chapter 3: Dawn

Night had already fallen on Konoha several hours ago, blanketing the many buildings in the pitch blackness of the new moon. Darker then anywhere else were the cells where the prisoners were held. However, what semblance did night and day have to the windowless cells in the below-ground holding kept for only the most dangerous or important of prisoners? No light that was natural reached here, only the dim electric ones, or the light given by the fires that lit the brands and boiled the water.

Many things had been learned this night, by many people. The arrogant Gakyu was without a job, and his boss Ibiki was distraught over his fight with his lover, his duties, and where to draw the line. The Jounin, Kakashi, was feeling foolish and guilty, and had withdrawn somewhere where he could think alone for a while. Anywhere as far from the horrible interrogation quarters as he could get.

And Kabuto... Kabuto, he was wide awake now. Exhaustion had faded enough for him to wake, and now he was stuck somewhere in between pain and blissful blackness. Too tired to move, and in too much pain to sleep any more. Oh, he needed to shift positions so badly, but his legs refused to move and his arms weren't of much use either, having been tied up for so long that every flex made him want to whimper in pain. He panted, fingers gripping at the chains weakly, legs flexing as he tried to draw them up closer to his body. Teeth clenched as he let a high, quiet whine escape from his split lips, his body trembling. The chains rattled as he let them go, a twinge in his lower back causing his legs to give way as if they were useless—and they were. Damn it!

"Hah...Nnn..." He panted, and his tongue felt thick as he licked his dry, cracked lips. He hadn't had water in days, beyond what they had doused him with to wake him. Dark eyes were half-closed, one of them swollen slightly. The cut on his cheek was throbbing, gods, he could practically feel the infection eating away at his skin. All of his brave words and stubborn pride, this is what it all boiled down to. Nothing but pain and suffering, and a slow, slow death. It didn't matter that he didn't have the chakara to heal—he suspected that they would be bringing in another medic soon to heal him. After all, they couldn't just let him perish this soon, could they?

Shit. He couldn't feel his fingertips. Sitting up a bit straighter with another whimper he grabbed the chains again. He had to keep a hold of them, or his hands were going to lose blood from the weight of his arms hanging on the thick iron cuffs. Never in his life had he imagined such suffering... He had always made sure that his subjects died as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Soft beds and warm skin felt far away, though something seemed to have brought the image back to him. Someone had been here while he was asleep... There was a familiar feeling in the air, but he couldn't place it. Ah, but then, perhaps he had been dreaming... or perhaps he was losing it at last, hallucinating. Wouldn't that be wonderful, to lose his mind now? He bit his lip as not to laugh. Oh, please... He fought the tears, his dark lashes wet as he shut his eyes. Please, please... I... don't want to die... Not like this...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Everything was quiet now, in the place of pain and deep, dark secrets... All of the prisoners were resting "peacefully" in their dark, cramped cells. Interrogation had stopped for the day, and only a few guards remained. One such guard looked up as someone approached, squinting in the darkness. He blinked when the person came into the lit part of the hall, saluting.

"Ibiki-taichou... I thought you went home..." He said, and the other gave a tired smirk.

"Well, you know... I had some things to think about. Let me in. I'm going to try something new..." He said, his voice low. The guard nodded, unlocking the door and unsealing it as well.

"Hatake-san came by earlier... He just looked at him and left." He flinched at the look that his captain gave him.


"Yes, sir. I'm sorry, I know you said... but I thought you had left, and he was rather demanding about it." The guard apologized, hanging his head. Ibiki snorted, passing him. With a small jutsu he lit the single torch in the room, shedding light onto the shuddering, blinking one in the corner.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Kabuto winced as soon as the door opened. They couldn't be serious! They really were going to kill him at this rate! There was a muffled sound outside, and he thought he heard a grunt. However, the figure in the door was no mere minion come to fetch him for his cruel captain, but the man of pain himself. He glared at Ibiki's form, but grimaced when the light was born, his sensitive eyes suddenly attacked by it. He took several deep, slow breaths as he tried to become accustomed to it, blinking his still wet eyes. Ibiki seemed to wait for him to come around as the door closed with a heavy sound, only seeking to farther confuse the medic. When his eyesight had adjusted enough he set his dark eyes on the tall and imposing man. Ibiki smirked,

"Still in once piece, I see..." He said slowly, and Kabuto glared.

"No thanks to you." He said acidly, but then smiled. "Ahh, I get it... You're alone this time. Maybe you didn't get enough of me back there... Maybe, you want more, all to yourself?" The medic shifted, calling on all of his reserves this time. He gripped the chains, lifting himself enough to pull his legs under him enough to sit on his knees, legs spread. He was panting by the time that he was done, feeling sweat running down his face and back, stinging every cut and burn along the way. "Hah...hnnn... W-well?" he breathed, his body trembling faintly. "A-afraid... I won't be as tight as before, but... Nnn... you're welcome to give me a try." He tried to purr, but it came out as more of a pained hiss.

Ibiki's expression was interesting. It was blank for a moment, and then... The torture master's eyes roamed his body so slowly that you would think he had not just put every mark that he lingered over there. Perhaps the sick bastard was merely admiring his handy work? What game was he playing at! For once, Kabuto didn't know.

"Teh. You'd go that far..."

"This far? For what, Morino-san? That is what you came in here alone for, right? To get another taste..." Kabuto licked his lips, "You know I won't talk... So have your fun while you can, right?"


"Hahaha" Kabuto responded, a grin on his split lips. "Call it what you want. Loyalty, stubbornness, idiocy, pride... it's all the same. It's just my choice."

"And if I say you have many more days like this ahead of you?"

"Bring them. I'll bite off my own tongue before I even speak his name to you."

"..." Ibiki looked... surprised? "Idiot." He snapped, and he began to stride towards the medic with heavy footsteps. Kabuto tried not to flinch, he really did. When Ibiki knelt in front of him, one hand moving to his bruised and cut thigh, the other seizing his chin with iron fingers, he shuddered, letting out a shaky breath.

"You bas—!" He was cut off by those thick, warm, smooth lips pressed over his. He felt the tongue probing at his sore lips and he opened his mouth out of instinct. Idiot! How dare he be so bold! Just as his jaw tensed to bite down, he froze. There was something... hard? A pill.

A pill?! He took it with his tongue, tasting it. Poison? A mercy killing? No... He knew this taste well. A soldier pill. The kiss broke and Ibiki leaned back—Only that was not Ibiki. Kabuto's tears rose, slipping down his cheeks to sting his cut like hell—leaving streaks of clean skin behind. No...

Golden eyes stared back at him, framed by those violet markings he knew so well. Pale face framed by long raven hair, all clean and perfect. The hand on his chin was gentle, as was the voice that spoke. Low and rough with age, but still smooth and soothing at the same time. "Bite it." He ordered, and Kabuto felt the pill crack under pressure from his teeth. He froze again, and the Sannin smiled. "Now swallow." He said, and Kabuto tried to shake his head. He would not be tricked! Orochimaru only shook his head in return, leaning forward to lick at the cut on the medic's cheek, reopening it with his tongue. Kabuto whimpered, eyes closed tightly as he felt the wound cleaned so ... animalsticly. The tongue, that long and talented thing, it continued upwards, cleaning his tears away, and his lips were pressed to Kabuto's ear. A voice that was soft and so familiar spoke again, "Swallow..."

"N-No..." He moved to spit it out but a white hand clapped over his mouth swiftly.

"Kabuto." He spoke sharply. "You do that and you'll regret it. I can't get you out of here like this."

"You're not..." The silver-haired one protested, and Orochimaru sighed.

"...The things I do for you." He reached up, undoing the cuffs with a thin pick. Kabuto cried out as his arms fell, stiff and sore from being uplifted so long. "Look at me, boy." Orochimaru reached into a bag at his side, pulling out a pair of glasses and setting them on his nose. It took the medic a moment to adjust to being able to see without straining his eyes but he soon realized, in shock, that the Sannin had dropped his genjutsu. Short and thick wavy blond hair, with peach, soft skin. Only his eyes were the same. There was no way that Konoha would know what his master's real body looked like right now. Kabuto swallowed the pill, and Orochimaru smiled. "Good boy." He said quietly, as he recalled his jutsu.

"Oh... Oh gods... what did I...?" Kabuto felt his face grow hot with embarrassment. "The things I just said... and did..." He murmured. Orochimaru only smiled.

"I was flattered. What about the others?"

"Dead. I killed them. How did you...?" Kabuto asked, as he felt the pill working, though on his starved and abused body, it was minimal. His master handed him a large canteen and he took it, opening the cap to tilt his head back, drinking in large gulps.

"Just as easy as I did at the Chuunin Exams. But enough questions, I need you to change..." He pulled out a pair of black pants and a shirt, handing them to his medic. Kabuto set the canteen aside, changing as quickly as he could. He still lacked the chakara to heal himself and do any amount of running, so he left his wounds intact for now. This meant that each and every swish of the cloth was agony for the silver-haired youth, but he managed it somehow. He stood with help of his master's hands on his arm, but even with that his breath was coming fast.

"Orochimaru...sama... I can't..."

"I won't hear it. I didn't come all the way here just to leave you."

"Then... kill me. It's alright, if it's you...agh!" He cried out as he was shoved back against the wall, one pale hand fisted into the front of his shirt.

"Foolish boy, don't you understand? Haven't I told you before? You're not so easily replaced!" He snapped, and Kabuto forgot about the pain in his back for a moment. He flushed slightly, only managing to give a small nod. When he was released his legs felt weak and he wavered, but he held his ground, his back throbbing anew.

"The guards..." He worried, but the Sannin shook his head, opening the door to reveal the dead body of the guard, slumped down against the wall as if asleep, but the pool of blood was growing under him. "Ah..." So that was the sound that he had heard when he door had been opened...

"Can you henge?" His master asked,

"Only for about a minute." Kabuto replied with a wince. The Sannin frowned,

"That will have to be enough." He said grudgingly. That night, the only ones seen leaving from the building would be Ibiki and the guard that had been at his room. They slipped silently across dark alleys and shadowed rooftops swiftly. Well, about as swiftly as Kabuto could manage to go, with was rather lagging at the moment. When the wall was in sight the Sannin put out his hand to still the medic.

"I will go first to make sure none block our way... In a fight, I don't want to take any chances." He said firmly, but Kabuto winced.

"You mean you don't need dead weight." He said sourly, and the Sannin's face remained passive. "But Orochimaru-sama... it's enough that you came all this way. Your body... Aren't you in pain as well?" Kabuto asked, forgetting for a moment his master's hate of comfort or worry. Orochimaru smirked,

"And just who do you think will be fixing the both of us medicine when we return home, Kabuto?" He asked, and his medic opened his mouth, but thought better of the wisdom of angering his master right now. He had said that he couldn't be replaced, right? So he nodded instead, trying to take some solace in his master's assurance and confidence. At this point, Kabuto was afraid to hope he would ever see home again... But his master had come for him. That was all he really needed, wasn't it?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

At the moment, Kakashi was cursing all of the gods in the sky, and the ones in Hell while he was at it. It had taken him a moment to fully understand what he was looking at, at first. The figure huddled behind a water tower on the rooftop could most certainly not be who he thought it was, because that person was currently locked away tight and secure. A flash of glasses on a distant street light and a shock of silver hair confirmed it however, and he felt as if a cold stone had been dropped right into the pit of his stomach.

Kabuto... Kabuto had escaped. But how? It was... Well, nothing was impossible with ninja... But it was highly improbable! He'd seen many S rank ninja held by those prison walls over the years, and never had there been one successful escape! Kabuto may not be a normal youth, and maybe not even a normal genius, but even Kakashi didn't think that he would be able to escape the prison so easily—and in that condition!

You see, sharing a bed with someone led to great advantages over each other in battle. In bed, one unconsciously revealed each and every secret of their body. To someone like Kakashi, who happened to love remembering details about lovers in bed, this was the easiest thing to exploit. Move right, move left, bend and duck, they all held specific patterns that one could easily deduct even without something like a Sharingan. And Kakashi just happened to have a Sharingan, and he hated to wear his headband in bed. Better to see all of the person writhing under him.

Kabuto favored his right leg more than his left, and his left wrist was swollen badly, probably ruling out that arm for a decent threat. He wore his glasses somehow but he likely had a headache the size of this village right now getting used to being able to see clearly again. All and all, he held no chance. Kakashi watched him press his wounded back against the water tower as he slid around the side of it, as if ready to dash. Damn the gods and the devils... Why, why did he have to be the one to see him?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Kabuto head the low whistle at last, and he took a few slow breaths as he slid around to the side of the tower that he had been ducking behind. He gathered the strength to move at all with more slow, heavy breaths. Already his body was damp with sweat, all though the night was cold and slightly breezy. Finally, he leapt from the rooftop—And the air was suddenly forced from his lungs as something solid slammed into his ribs, knocking him roughly to the black-top once again. He rolled twice before something seized him, grabbing his injured wrist and squeezing it as something cold and sharp was pressed to the side of his neck. He cried out shortly, glasses having flown off, clattering to the rooftop. He coughed, and a familiar voice spoke lowly,

"Damn it, Kabuto... Just a moment later, and I would have been gone..."

"Ka...Kakashi?" He asked, squinting his eyes in the almost perfect blackness of the new moon's night. Kakashi's expression was tired, but firm.

"...I have to take you back, Kabuto." He said grimly, but Kabuto shook his head.

"No, you have to let go. Let go, Kakashi!" He protested, grabbing the Jounin's wrist that held the kunai with his good hand. Kakashi frowned.

"You know I can't do that..."

"No, you don't understand! You have to let go, quickly!" He almost shouted, but still the Copy-nin did not understand. All things considered, Kabuto should not have cared at all. And he didn't, really—he just... Kakashi had not directly harmed him. He had only done his job, just as Kabuto would have done... He took no part in any of his pain here. Gods, damn you... Enemy or not, Kakashi had never done him any harm. He saw movement and he winced. Reaching up with his good hand, he grabbed the back of Kakashi's neck and pulled him down as he moved up. Their lips pressed together tightly, through the soft, warm mask, closing his dark eyes. Oh, why was it Kakashi...?

He felt the Jounin's body grow rigid and hard suddenly, and he opened his eyes to see the kunai at his neck the cause. His master stood behind the Jounin, leaning partway over him, and his hand was steady. His own dark eyes half-closed, moving back to the masked ninja above him. I tried to warn you... His expression said. But then his master spoke,

"Good job, Kabuto." His silky, low voice said. As simple as that. Kakashi's dark eye narrowed, and the medic could see every bit of anger and betrayal in it. No! It hadn't been like that, not at all! Perhaps he thought his master would kill the Jounin, but it wasn't a distraction! This was all wrong... Orochimaru's hand tightened in the kunai, and Kakashi was not pressing his own any harder. "I cannot afford to lose him here, and I don't think I can convince you to back off so easily... It's a shame, but it looks as if I'll have to finish you this time, young Kakashi..." The Sannin spoke, as if he were not about to kill the infamous Copy-nin, but demote him. A drop of blood fell, sinking into the blackness of Kabuto's shirt.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The kiss had shocked the Jounin, who expected some sort of resistance. He almost pulled back form it before he realized that he was wearing his mask. Whatever the medic was going to do, it didn't have to do with skin contact. The hand at the back of his neck was gentle, and it would have been impossible for him to make the signs of a jutsu. When Kakashi felt the kunai, he knew he had been fooled. Breaking the chaste kiss off, he frowned down at the medic, who seemed a little surprised as well. However, when the Sannin spoke, his shock and confusion turned to anger.

How could he do this? What the two had shared may have been nothing but blind and foolish physical pleasure, but it was honest. To use something like this to distract him... He heard Orochimaru talking, and his hand shook, but he couldn't find it in himself to cut the throat of the man who had been under willingly him so many times. The one who had already suffered so much at the hands of his village for his blind loyalty... Enemy or not, such stubborn endurance deserved praise. He felt the kunai cutting into his neck, and his mind was surprisingly clear...

"STOP!" The loud, clear voice cut through his haze of thoughts, bringing him back to his present situation. The kunai had frozen. He looked down into the medic's wet, dark eyes. "S-Stop, Orochimaru-sama... please..." Kabuto whispered, his hand over the Sannin's that was holding the deadly weapon, and it was trembling. Those eyes turned to his, and he swallowed.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Orochimaru was shocked at his medic's outburst, stilling the instant that the hand touched his. Was Kakashi pressing his as well? A quick glance told him that this wasn't so. There was no blood on Kabuto's pale neck, other than the angry bruises and marks from the torture that he had endured in his master's name. He frowned, but one look at Kabuto's gaze told him what he wanted to know. His eyes were firmly on the Jounin, and in such a state... He put things together slowly, and his golden eyes narrowed in a mix of anger, and a tight knot in his chest reserved for some sort of betrayal. With one swift movement he hit the back of the Jounin's head with the rounded hilt of the kunai.

Kabuto grunted as the older man's weight was pressed to his chest, shoving him off slowly. He sat up, panting, his eyes anywhere but his master's face. He cleared his throat at last, speaking up softly, "I'm sor—"

"This isn't the place." Orochimaru hissed, seizing the medic's arm and hauling to his uneasy feet. What a way to find out that your most loyal had been sleeping with the enemy. "They'll be all over us with the way that you shouted like that. Let's go. You can explain to me, completely, when we're home." He said coolly, and Kabuto merely nodded.

"Yes, Orochimaru-sama..." He said quietly. The Sannin sighed, his eyes on the wall ahead of them.

"Don't think this means I've forgotten what you've just been through for me. But this is another subject entirely... This is personal."

"I know. I'm so—"

"Hush. Not a word until we're home." He snapped, and Kabuto swallowed. Slowly, he nodded. "Very well. Let's move."

By the time the Kakashi awake with a splitting headache and three Anbu around him, the two Otonin were long gone.

Miles away, for the first time in several hellish days, Kabuto saw the light of day breaking through a pitch black night.

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PS: Now... Shall I make a sequel? If I don't hear from you, I won't. No use writing if no one's going to read it... D8