Author's note: At last, I have a new Oro fic! This one is a work in progress, so keep checking in. New chapters will be added soon. There will be at least ten memories. Some of the chapters will contain more than one memory, due to length. There will be memories featuring OroxTsunade, OroxAnko, and OroxKimimaro, so you won't want to miss it! It was originally going to be non-lemon, but I've changed my mind. Memory Five will have non-con lemon and Six will feaure some yaoi lime (which is pretty much the only yaoi I'll ever write). There will be plenty of emotional entanglement, though! As for this chapter, it's rather creepy. Read with caution!


There was something shiny within the fallen leaves where his errant shuriken had landed. He recognized it after a moment. It was the same snake he'd seen only the day before. The creature's scales were ghostly white. It stood out in Orochimaru's mind as matching his own skin colour and that of his mother's.

"Mother," he thought, "when will you and Father return from your mission? It's been so long since you left."

This peaceful spot in the woods was where he always came to practise throwing shuriken. Perhaps the pale serpent enjoyed the stillness of the area as much as he did. The thing was quite still, itself. Orochimaru knelt down to pick up his fallen weapon and have a closer look.

It was then he could see that the snake was dead. The eyes were glazed over and there was a gash in its belly. He jumped back, shuddering.

"I saw it slithering up the tree only yesterday. Right before that man showed up with pictures of Mother and Father. Could that stranger have killed this poor snake?" Orochimaru suddenly felt sick to his stomach. He started running away as fast as he could, not wanting to spend another second alone in the forest. The silence had become eerie and oppressive. All the peacefulness had been shattered.

Orochimaru headed straight for home. It was just as well for it was getting dark. The old woman who lived down the road would be around to check on him once the sun had set. His parents had arranged for her to do so whenever they were gone on one of their missions.

Once inside, he was perplexed to find that the lamp he had left on was now turned off. Had the bulb burnt out? The shadows heightened his fear. He groped about for the switch, but couldn't find it. His chest grew tight.

In the dim light, he could make out two human shapes lying on the tatami mat. Orochimaru stooped over to inspect them. They were his parents. The strange sight made his skin crawl. He couldn't understand it. Why would they be back and sleeping there instead of in their bed?

His mother's gray kimono had black markings that weren't normally there. He reached out to touch one of the spots and discovered it was wet. Orochimaru held his hand up to the faint light seeping in from the window. The liquid on his fingertips was not black. It was red. "Mother, are you are hurt?"

His little voice was trembling. He seized her shoulders and attempted to shake her back into consciousness. As he pulled her up, something fell and landed on the tatami with a soft thud. His mother's head rolled a few inches and came to rest against his knee. Her eyes were glassy, just like the snakes'.

They were both dead. Orochimaru started screaming so loudly that he felt like he would soon burst his own eardrums. He crawled back outside as fast as he could. Vomit came up his throat like a crashing wave, stifling his shrieks of horror and splattering on the ground before him.

When it was finally all out, he noticed that a scroll had been tossed on the porch. It was addressed to the Leaf Village. His hands could barely stop shaking long enough to open it. The message inside made him want to scream again, only now his voice had disappeared.

"Your two shinobi were such pitiful and idiotic spies, we thought dissecting them for secrets would surely turn up nothing. Their equally stupid son blew their cover, identifying them for us. Is this the best the Leaf Village has to offer? It seems that the Hokage is looking to start a war he has no chance of winning. Consider this a warning."

He sat there crying and shivering. The residue of bile stung his lips. It was all his fault. The stranger he had met showed him photographs, asking if he knew the people in them. Orochimaru had explained that they were his parents, currently away on a mission in another land. "How could I have done that? How could I be so stupid? Mother, Father, I killed you!"

His screams must have attracted attention, as a crowd began to form. It included the old woman from down the road, as well as several members of ANBU. He knew about them. His mother had told him they were special shinobi who dealt with the most dangerous situations. One was wearing a mask shaped like a bird's face. She picked up the scroll and read it, then ordered the other ANBU members to search the house. One quickly returned, saying they had found two bodies.

Any hope that this was all just a nightmare was crushed. Orochimaru could feel accusing eyes bearing down on him. They were asking him all sorts of questions, but he couldn't answer. He was too afraid, too swamped with guilt. The world was collapsing in on him. He wasn't sure if he would ever speak again.