This chapter's pretty long, & has a good twist in it. I do love plot twists, lol.

HinataBlueXox, yes there's PeinxItachi! Such a good couple that you don't see enough of. Can I post my poems here or do I have to post on fictionpress? I will here for now I guess but I'll move it if it's a problem. & yes, Orochimaru's involved.

DemonUchiha17, haha yes, Orochimaru does always have to be involved. Most likely because of his unhealthy obsession with Sasuke, lol.

Ani, your on the right track. Sort of.

Pigfish, haha this chapter long enough for you? God, it was such a good distraction from the lab practical. & you're right, Itachi & Pein are going out.

Yumemi, sorry but you don't find out to Sasuke for a little while! Haha, I'm sure your brother did. Do you want me to keep calling you Yumemi, or R K Kruus, since that's your account name?

4

Madara was…well, shocked was an understatement but what other word was there to describe the unexpectedness of it all? He'd expected Orochimaru to be an off-the-wall character, call it a hunch. But to own a strip club? How did Sasuke know this guy?

Orochimaru owned a strip club called Tenshi no Kusari. (Angel's Chains.) It was some kind of 'safe' BDSM club scene. Madara wasn't sure that the words safe and BDSM belonged in the same sentence, but that was only his opinion… The club was apparently toned down for 'high-schooler's night', not as much dom and sub stuff and no shows. A place like this allowed to have a high-schooler's night… Scary. Madara was surprised that no one had gotten hurt before, what with what those kind of people got off on.

Not much information was given on Orochimaru. Just that he'd owned the club for a number of years and hadn't had any problems so far with the police or anyone. On the record anyway. Off the record was probably a whole different story. Only, maybe that was just him being paranoid.

He sighed, knowing that he was going to end up going down there and checking it out for himself. Maybe try and meet this Orochimaru.

XX

Tsunadae was leaning back in her chair, trying to have a conversation with a silent Sasuke. Frankly she was surprised that the boy hadn't gotten up and walked away, but maybe his mother had taught him better manners than that.

"Sasuke." She called his name gently.

He looked at her, avoiding eye contact, still looking far too much like a spooked rabbit for her taste.

"Sasuke-kun, you're on SP. Do you know what that means?" She asked.

He shook his head, glancing up to her eyes, then quickly back down to his hands folded on the table's shiny surface.

"SP stands for suicide precaution, honey. It means that you have to be within one of the staff's line of vision at all times. Do you understand?" Tsunadae spoke in an unhurried, soothing tone, trying to put the poor boy at ease as much as she could. Although she doubted he'd relax anytime soon.

He frowned but nodded. It wasn't uncommon for patients to retreat inside their head, no matter what the diagnosis.

"Are you hearing any voices now, Sasuke-kun?"

He jerked, looking her full in the eyes for the first time and holding her gaze, dark eyes wide.

"It's alright; we're trying to help you get better. But we can't do that unless you tell us what's going on in your head. Ok?"

He opened his mouth, seemed to listen for a second, then shuttered and shook his head.

"You don't have to talk if you don't want to, honey. But when you're ready, I'll listen." She offered, resigning herself to a very quiet afternoon. The boy wouldn't even speak to his parents.

"Ka-kangoshi?" (N-nurse?) Sasuke whispered, clenching his hands upon the table so hard his knuckles turned white.

Tsunadae smiled, happy beyond belief that he'd said something. Progress! "Hai?"

"…Watashi wa…doku…desuka?" (Where…am…I?) He spoke haltingly and so quietly, as if afraid he'd be overheard saying something about someone behind their back.

"Kore wa Sinteki no Byooin, a psychiatric hospital. You're on our adolescent floor, which is a locked unit." (This is Shinteki no Byooin.)

"L-locked?" Fear flooded his eyes, made his voice an octave higher even though he was still whispering.

"Yes. But this is a hospital, Sasuke; this is a safe place." She explained patiently.

But he shook his head vigorously, muttering in distress, "Byooin ga kirai desuyo." (I assure you I don't like hospitals.)

"You're parents are coming to visit you later." Tsunadae said, trying to keep the conversation going. Sasuke had lapsed back into silence however, and wouldn't say another word.

XX

Madara sat in Orochimaru's office, waiting for the man to finish…whatever it was he was doing. Someone named Kabuto had ushered him into the office, promising he wouldn't have long to wait. He didn't mind waiting; the office was full of interesting things.

There was an old-fashioned oriental lantern sitting on the red maple desk; Madara had only ever seen them in pictures. Papers were piled on the desk, looking like they'd been neglected for a few days. Hanging on the wall above the desk was a beautiful painting done in Sumi-e style but with color. A cherry blossom tree was leaning over the water, a few pink blossoms caught in the wind. Pretty red and green flowers grew among the tree's knotted roots, next to the flowing river. A colorful bird was depicted swooping from the tree, suspended in that moment of time forever.

A bronze, folding fan was sitting on top of a glass display case, which held an array of traditional katanas, their handles wrapped in every color. Other than that there was the traditional fake vegetation, yadda, yadda.

This definitely wasn't what he expected a strip club's office to look like! But before he could inspect further the door opened and a strange man entered. 'Strange' was the only word that Madara could think to describe him in that moment, with his snake-like eyes and pale, pale skin. And what he was wearing…well, Madara supposed if he owned the club he'd probable dress like that too.

"Hajimashite. Orochimaru desu. I'm the owner of Tenshi no Kusari. Doozo Yorushiku." (I'm Orochimaru. Angel's Chains… Pleased to meet you.) He held out his hand.

Madara shook his hand, surprised at the man's politeness. He really had to stop stereotyping people. "Hajimashite. Madara desu. I'm a psychiatrist, here on business. Doozo yorushiku." (I'm Madara. Nice to meet you.)

"Business, hm?" Orochimaru sat in his red, office chair, leaning back as if he didn't have a care in the world. He draped his arms over the armrests and looked at Madara. "What kind of business?"

Madara frowned. "I came here to ask if you know one of my patients."

Orochimaru smirked. "Ah, that kind of business. I was hoping for a little more…on the side business."

Hm. So maybe he was right about stereotyping people. "Sorry, not my thing."

Orochimaru's smirk widened. "Oh, that's what they all say in the beginning. That they're only curious or 'not interested'. But they come around." He paused, "So, who is this patient of yours?"

Madara was distinctly uncomfortable with Orochimaru's way of speaking; it seemed far too intimate the way he insinuated things and the way he was looking at him. Who in god's name would come to this guy's club? But he didn't show it. Instead he calmly crossed his arms, letting his body language protest against further flirtations.

"Uchiha Sasuke. Remember him by any chance?" He asked coolly.

"Itachi's brother? I think he came in here once…"

"How do you know Itachi?" Madara asked, confused.

Orochimaru paused, as if he were wondering if he'd said something out of place. "We're old friends. I haven't seen him much since he went away to college, only once or twice."

Now Madara was really confused. Who was lying? "Itachi said he didn't know you and as far as I know since he left for college he hasn't been back here. At all."

Orochimaru sighed, smirking like he knew some great secret no one else did. "Well, Itachi has his reasons for…keeping things quiet."

"He didn't come back here. Fugaku said-"

Orochimaru interrupted. "Come on, isha. I thought you knew better than to believe people's lies. Isn't the family set up odd? Itachi stayed with me when he came to visit. He asked me not to tell his parents." (Doctor.)

"Why would he come back and not tell his parents? Why should I believe you?" Madara asked.

I can't tell you that. He called me after you called him and asked me not to tell."

"But-! Are you…dating?"

Orochimaru laughed, the sound sliding over his skin in an odd, but not unpleasant way. "Pein would kill me if I so much as looked at him."

"…Right." There was way too much he didn't know! He really should have called Kakashi first like he'd planned…

"So what did you want to know about Sasuke-kun?" Orochimaru asked.

XX

"Sasuke? Are you ok here?" Mikoto asked, reaching out to hug her son. She bit her lip when he drew back, looking at her with empty, haunted eyes. What had happened to give a sixteen-year-old eyes like that? Why hadn't she been able to keep it from happening to her little boy?

She blinked away her tears, reaching into her purse. She didn't want to cry in front of Sasuke; it might make him feel worse. She had to be strong for him or, at least, in front of him. "I brought you some cookies; I thought you might like them."

It took a while, but Sasuke finally reached out and took the cookies, nodding at his okaasan. (Mother.)

"Have you made any friends?" She tried again to talk to him.

"We made some progress earlier when he talked to me a little bit about being here." Tsunadae was saying to Fugaku. "But when we got to hospitals he just said he didn't like them and wouldn't talk anymore. The doctor's going to be in early tomorrow and I was wondering if Sasuke's had any bad experiences with hospitals that I can put in his chart? It might help the doctor."

Fugaku looked puzzled. "No. He's never even been in one before."

XX

The hajimashite & doozo yorushiku both roughly translate to nice to meet you. The Japanese are a very polite people, so they have a way to say pleased to meet you at the beginning of your introduction & at the end. They also don't shake hands; they bow. So I modified that part a bit in the story. Madara would also never be able to tell Orochimaru his patient's name, because then he could be sued for it. But Orochimaru plays a major part in this fic so that's why I broke that rule, to get him into the story. For those of you interested Sumi-e is the traditional Japanese art style, where you grind the ink & use the brushes to paint on rice paper.

Anyway, please check for updates and review! The next chapter will be out Sunday.