A/N: I'm back! :) This is my first Naruto fanfiction, and reviews would be greatly appreciated (as always).
This story is a lot of fun to write, and I hope that you enjoy reading it! Also, keep in mind that this was written for National Novel Writing Month, so it's a bit long, but I promise that things get interesting, so if it seems to be slowing down; just keep reading! Love, Bre

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto; but I do own the plot of this story, and whatever random characters of my own invention that show up.
Remember in 2012 to vote Orochimaru/Sasuke for President/Vice!

Snow fell in swirling streams of white. It had been quiet day, the sort of day when all you wanted to do was sit in the silence and reflect. For Orochimaru, it was a day to get out in the frozen air, and lose himself inside the workings of various plots, and schemes. He sighed, and watched as his breath came out as vapor. The sun was going down, and the world was succumbing to the dully-lit world of twilight. Striding into a heavily curtained stand, the great ninja sat down on a stool, and waited for his order to be taken.

"What can I do for you?" the owner of the place asked.

"I would like a bowl of vegetable ramen, with a cup of green tea." Orochimaru said in his quiet, yet harsh voice.

"Sure thing!" the owner answered, walking off to make the order.

Orochimaru looked spitefully at the other costumers; he saw families, a sensei, and her students, and a handful of loners. He decided to watch the master, and her pupils. They were laughing, and chatting about various subjects as they ate.

"Sensei," one of the students asked. "Why do people turn to evil?"

The sensei leaned back, and thought for a moment before answering, "Different reasons; but you know, those who are evil, do not think they are evil. They may know that what they're doing isn't quite right, but something in them, some piece of their psychological puzzle, makes them believe that they are correct in their actions."

"How though? I don't quite understand." the student asked again, her dark brows furrowing.

"To be honest, Yuki, there isn't a clear answer. It depends on the person really, and you'd have to be really in tune with them to truly understand." the sensei replied, a serious looking had befallen her previously smiling face.

"Ah, I see." Yuki replied, though the look in her eyes told Orochimaru that she didn't fully understand.

"Master," another student said; this one was the exact opposite of the other. Instead of being dark haired, his hair was pure white.

"Yes, Daisuke?" the sensei answered.

"Those that were evil, but convert to good; do you think that evil tempts them more than it does the rest of us? What I mean to say is; are they like recovered alcoholics are with sake? Whereas a person who hadn't been addicted to it, wouldn't be tempted to drink too much, would a person who has been drowned in evil once, would they be very much tempted to be so again?" he asked; pushing stray strands of hair out of his eyes as he finished speaking.

"Hmm…" the sensei closed her eyes in thought. "Perhaps, but as I told Yuki, there's no sure way to know, for I have never tread that path myself. But," she said, raising a finger. "Know this: Everyone at many points in their lives is tempted to do evil. No one is flawless."

"Yes, sensei!" Yuki and Daisuke answered.

Orochimaru flicked his gaze towards the third, and final student. She hadn't said a single world the entire time; instead she had studied the scene going on around her. She was a balance of the other two; she had fiery red hair that fell just past her chin. Her eyes drank everything in, whereas Daisuke's ignored everything, he seemed to think that his knowledge was limitless, and Yuki, her eyes were wide, and expressive, the height of naiveté.

Orochimaru scoffed, and turned away from the happy, little scene.

As he swiveled around, he caught sight of the owner coming his way.

"Here you are, sir," the man said, setting down the requested bowl of ramen, a cup, and a steaming pot of green tea.

Orochimaru nodded in acknowledgement, and passed the man his compensation for the meal.

"Thank you! Enjoy your meal!" the owner called, hurriedly walking to the next costumer.

Orochimaru slowly poured some tea into the cup; he smiled as he watched it flow out. It flowed just as the life force of the mortal did, but his would never fade. He would live forever, and watch history build itself throughout the centuries. He sat the teapot down, and picked up the warm cup of tea. He blew on it gently, and breathed in the steam wafting from it. Deciding that it was cool enough, he took a sip, and sighed happily. Green tea was always able to relax him.

He smirked to himself, laughing at some private joke. Setting the tea down, he eyed his ramen, and wondered if it was cool enough yet. Gracefully grasping his set of chopsticks in his left hand, he scooped up some noodles, and blew on them. Inspecting them carefully as he blew, he didn't see any steam rising from them, and quickly put them into his mouth. He chewed, the smirking smile was still on his face; places like this always reminded him of the past. Back when he had been a student, like those brats he'd been watching. Some would have said that in those days, Orochimaru had been as innocent as a newborn child. Among those, were his former sensei, Sarutobi; a kind man that had cared for his students as if they were his own children. Which in turn, was truly ironic, seeing as how the "Three Great Shinobi," had all became orphans in time. Orochimaru frowned as he looked out at the snow; his mother had loved this type of weather. He sighed sadly, and went back to eating his ramen. His face was thoughtful as he ate, and he thought over what his moves in the nearby future should be. There was that boy, Itachi Uchiha, to take care of. He wanted the power of Sharingan, and Itachi's body was strong, very strong; not to mention that the boy was a genius rarely seen. Orochimaru smiled; who knew what powers he possessed?

Anticipation gnawed at him, but he knew that he couldn't rush things; it was best to let Itachi grow, to gain power, strength…and amass jutsus.

He sipped some green tea to calm himself; there would be enough time for excitement later. Today, he had promised himself that he would take time to be calm, and relax; for Orochimaru, days like today were meditation. At last, he finished his meal, and rising from his seat, he left the warm booth, and went out into the cold, dark world.