Orochimaru emerged from the earth, the chthonic shinobi wearing a dangerous scowl. Dangerous, at least, for those in his immediate presence.

Hearing of Itachi's death at the hands of Naruto had reached the snake, and when it did-following a tenebrous repast in which Kabuto attempted badinage-Orochimaru had been fit to be tied.

Ever since his attempted invasion many years prior, the Uzumaki brat had been a thorn in his side. Ruining his machinations at every turn-first by posing as a twelve-year old obsessed with orange, and ending with the murder of his nemesis-had put Orochimaru in countless tight spots he was not inclined to occupy again.

He remembered it as if it were yesterday-his attack upon team seven in the forest of death, the orange-loving brat heralding an appearance of Kyuubi with his anger-yet was vexed by one thing. The delinquent was different when his attempted assassination of the Third went awry due to said nuisance.

Not only different in terms of attitude, he seemed to grow a foot and several odd inches in the months time before the final exam. Was it all an illusion, one of Naruto's now infamous Kitsune-Genshou?

The snake was inclined to give credence to the latter, meaning Naruto had the upper hand from the beginning-a fact that proved to be a tough pill to swallow for such a prideful man as Orochimaru.

No longer, Orochimaru decided. It would end-his continued humiliation and sullied pride-with this. The possession of Uchiha Sasuke.

He found himself in front of his specialized compound, the one where the Uchiha was kept in isolation. When Orochimaru escorted Sasuke to this place at first, the Uchiha had refused to be kept in such "demeaning quarters". On a mordant reply from Orochimaru, Sasuke, with a sour expression painted upon his visage, had accepted.

In truth, since Sasuke's "incarceration" as Kabuto had jokingly put it, the snake had fed a subtle, untraceable gas throughout the compound. It was made from a combination of his blood and a sedative of Kabuto's composition.

It functioned as a gradual, mind-numbing tranquilizer to which Orochimaru was immune-it being made from his own blood. Sasuke, due to his calculations, should be at about half of his capacity having stayed in this compound for over a year. If he were fighting Sasuke, Kakashi would find him hardly a threat.

To be cautious-Orochimaru hadn't gotten where he was by relying on just one plan of action-he pulled a large purple pill from his pocket. It was a soldier pill of his design. It had been created, and implemented after watching the Akimichi's secret soldier pills in action.

It would effectively multiply his chakra to the level of a mid-bijuu, but would only last for a period of ten minutes, enough to enforce his Fushi Tensei, and subdue Sasuke completely before the violent crash attributed to the pill hit him.

He pocketed the pill-such measures were only necessary if the situation merited it. It was possible that Sasuke would be a complete pushover, but once again, he wasn't taking chances.

As his feet took him through the entrance, he paused at a slight hum-barely audible-that permeated the air.

The snake smirked.

The game was on.

Orochimaru bent over backwards as an ethereal Uchiha Sasuke passed over his contorted body, Chidori already fizzing out. The inbred ninja twisted in midair, his right leg seeking refuge within Orochimaru's sternum. The snake caught the limb, and rising while ripping his arm down, slammed the Uchiha into the ground, the earth rippling and fracturing like a bullet through plaster.

The ninja in the crater dissipated into snakes, which promptly dissolved as if allergic to sunlight.

Orochimaru rose fully, saying, "Why are you fighting, Sasuke-kun? You could never reach Itachi without me. Are you really willing to harm the only thing between you and humiliation in a pointless melee?"

The snake-nin was answered promptly, via katana through the chest. Sasuke stood behind his current mentor, hand gripping tightly to his imitation Kusanagi.

"I realized a year ago that you don't have my best interests at heart."

Orochimaru smirked cruelly, "How'd you like it? My best concoction to date."

The retort was quick in coming, "No more threatening then a lone ant in the face of the Sharingan. Your blood had minute amounts of chakra still in it, which I was able to detect in the form of a black cloud that permeated almost every room in the complex. Easily solved by a Fuuton jutsu, dobe," Sasuke smirked arrogantly, "Even Naruto could see through it."

Orochimaru's smile turned from cruel to insane with the susurrus whispering of the last sentence. How great life was, "That's the thing with staying in hiding for extensive amounts of time. You miss out on the world's most important events."

Sasuke's expression went from mocking to guarded in an instant, "What do you mean by that?" he asked cautiously.

"Your brother's dead," Orochimaru was grinning like a Cheshire cat by now, "Killed by your dobe of a team-mate, even! Imagine that! Uchiha Sasuke being outdone. The world must be ending!" The snake's cruel laughter echoed the halls of the compound.

"Lies," Sasuke hissed, his eyes concealed from the snake briefly, "that's not possible."

"Were you even listening? I just told you that your brother is de-"

"SHUT UP!" Sasuke screamed, his voice a collection of pain, hate, and ill-concealed jealousy. He wrenched his blade downward, cutting through the snake's groin and looked Orochimaru in the eye, transporting him to the realm of Tsukuyomi.

The serpent was immediately bound to a cross and stabbed through his midsection.

Upon no noise uttered from the snake, Sasuke lifted the head up by his hair, noticing that his eyes were solid grey with no pupil to speak of.

The mud-clone dissolved, and with it, Tsukuyomi.

Not even a second had passed in the real world, but it was enough time for Orochimaru to prepare a technique.

A gigantic snake that took up most of the hallway with its girth sped forward at an unreal speed towards the Uchiha. Sasuke raised his sword, and an instant later, a spear of lightning ran the serpent through from snout to tail, almost piercing Orochimaru. Another twist of Sasuke's wrist saw the blade of lightning about to bisect the snake-nin. Orochimaru did an aerial-his hand darting down with wind chakra coating it, effectively diffusing the lightning like snuffing out bothersome embers.

About to make land, the serpent-nin threw his hand out, a snake shooting out from his sleeve. The reptile opened its maw; a sword sliding out of its throat-venom heavily coated the blade.

Sasuke's lightning blade was rapidly receding, but not fast enough that he would be able to block the incoming snake. He resorted to a move he saw Kakashi use once against the former earth-nin and current Akatsuki member Deidara: Kamui.

Reality distorted obscenely, the room becoming a mad artist's pipedream as Sasuke's newly created, and localized black-hole swallowed the summoned snake. It disappeared along with half of the hallway. Sasuke's sword had not been spared, half of it being caught within the vortex, leaving the blade irreparable.

The evanescent distortion in reality gone, Orochimaru swept in with the practiced grace of a veteran in his field. The first punch was blocked feebly-Sasuke, still drained from using two Mangekyo Sharingan techniques in quick-succesion could barely keep his hands from shaking as his eyes seeped blood.

A roundhouse kick to the temple, followed by a brutal, right handed haymaker sent Sasuke stumbling back, clutching his now broken nose. "It is pointless to resist, Sasuke-kun. Your curse seal is rendered useless in my presence. You have nothing left- give up." The sannin sounded strangely apathetic.

"Not yet, I have something left. You just can't see it in your limited, human perspective." Sasuke uttered spitefully, placing specific emphasis on human. He was desperate now.

"Your efforts to entice me to do something rash-something an Uchiha like yourself would resort to-amuse me. At best, a feeble effort. One who can do nothing can appreciate nothing, immature insect. Know your place in this world, insolent whelp and appreciate pain, for it is kinder than I.

"My solace turned me into what you see before you-the comfort in grief, so unattainable in this cultural zeitgeist." The snake giggled madly, and Sasuke had a brief glimpse into what his body would be part of if he gave up.


The word was ersatz, yet fulfilling and ultimately satisfying-briefly giving the Uchiha the illusion that he could fight back against this monster connected to the world of humans by flesh alone; as puerile as Orochimaru had declared.

Orochimaru spat something dark and nebulous onto the floor, which rapidly rose into a towering figure made of pure white snakes.

The beast's triple jaw was a mockery of Orochimaru's original form.

"You're insane." Sasuke said with an anxious edge to it.

"Insanity is a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world," the snake cackled gleefully. "Now, you die."

The Sannin's jaw opened insanely wide and swallowed Sasuke whole.

Sasuke stood atop a floor of fleshy, vaguely organic material. Orochimaru emerged from the ground, covered in the slime, laughing.

"What is this," Sasuke asked, his guard up, "disgusting place?"

"A realm inside of my body that I created for the application of my Fushi Tensei." Orochimaru cackled again, his one visible eye was bloodshot.

From his side, a hand emerged from the fleshy mass, clutching something. It was the large purple pill. Sasuke's voice rung clear, "Whatever you're attempting, my Sharingan will see through it. The greatest genius in the world comes off as barely average before the Uchiha."

"Big words from such a small man," Orochimaru taunted, "Perhaps if you were such a genius you would have killed your brother already."

Sasuke bristled, "An antediluvian wretch such as you already knows defeat from such a man," his face contorted into a sneer. "Avarice led you to attempt to get hold of my brother's body, and in turn, you were defeated just like all others."

"I tire of this childish banter. I shall take your body. Your eyes shall become my own." Orochimaru popped the pill into his mouth and started chewing.

"Goodbye, Uchiha."

The effects were immediate. Sasuke was rooted to the spot by a malevolent chakra that dwarfed the Ichibi several-fold. Gigantic manifestations of flesh enveloped Sasuke, burying him, covering his eyes, but leaving his face exposed.

Tendrils several feet wide flew from Orochimaru to Sasuke, pulling hard, and bringing the masses of fleshy material together. Briefly, upon the floor of tissue, Orochimaru's former hosts could be seen. The woman he had first occupied, the blue haired man, and finally, Ebisu who had, coincidentally stumbled upon his compound in northern Rice Country and had been promptly been used by a desperate Orochimaru.

Sasuke, in a final, agonizing, child-like scream-a last reflection of the lonely eight year old who stumbled upon his parent's bodies all those years ago-was absorbed by the inexorable serpent.

It was an hour later when Orochimaru stumbled into Kabuto's quarters.

What had transpired was left unsaid.

The medic wordlessly bandaged Orochimaru's body, repairing damage and cleaning dirt from the snake's new Uchiha body.

The snake left when Kabuto was finished. Nothing was said-nothing needed to be.

Kabuto was loyal to the snake due to one simple detail: They both had something the other wanted-Orochimaru for his need of medical ninjutsu, and Kabuto for his yen of company.

Jinchuriki were such lonely creatures after all.

How many of you expected THAT? If you don't get what I mean, read the last two paragraphs for clarification. See ya.