Arms wrap around her from behind and a head rests on her shoulder. She stiffens.

"Guess who?" a voice hisses into her ear.

She pretends to think about this for a moment. No one she knows would be stupid enough to greet a jounin like this which can only mean that...
Her hand is seized abruptly from where it had been inching towards her weapons pouch. She looks down at the one holding it and gasps. The only hints of colour in the skin are faint dark lines that form a scale-like pattern. The person's identity is no longer a mystery.

"Kabuto, let go of me."

She's proud of how steady her voice is.

"Ah, but I don't want to, Shizune."

That voice isn't his. It sounds very like it but there's something off about it. She suddenly remembers the Eight-Man Squad reporting back and what Yamato'd mentioned about their encounter with him.

"I don't want to look at you, do I?"

He laughs and it sends shivers down her spine.

"Why? Afraid of the new me?"

She doesn't shudder, she tells herself.



At that, he lets go and spins her round to face him. The reality of his new appearance is not something that a second-hand description could fully prepare her for.

The skin around his left eye is wrinkled and pale. The eye itself is completely Orochimaru's, even down to the marking around it. She has a feeling that a closer look at his other eye would reveal golden flecks in it. The skin of the hand on her shoulder looks like it should belong to a snake rather than a man.

She takes all this in wordlessly.

"The new generation absorbs the old as they step out of their shadow," he responds to the unvoiced question cryptically.

There's a shocked expression on her face and he laughs again before stopping abruptly. His face darkens and she tries to step away from him only to find that the hand on her shoulder is preventing her from doing so.

"So what do you think of Kabuto-kun now?"

His voice has changed further and she knows that it's really not him this time. She looks at his face and does shudder now. His right eye is golden as well and the pupil has shrunk. If she squints, the hand on her shoulder is definitely paler and a barely visible scaled pattern has appeared.
She doesn't answer and he moves closer to her.

"You know, Kabuto-kun has been interested in doing this for a while."

And then he kisses her. It's not sweet and gentle, it's rough and demanding. His tongue forces its way into her mouth and she can tell that it's much longer than normal.

There's footsteps in the distance and he vanishes suddenly.

Genma rounds the corner and she's never been so glad to see him in her life. He glances at her, concerned.

"Are you all right, Shizune?"

She nods. She's probably pale and trembling but she doesn't care.

When she gets home, she changes all her locks.

Inspired by a picture on dA. See my profile for the link.