That scent. The wrenching smell of blood was everywhere, but he was so accustomed to it that he couldn't tell it apart from other smells, such as good things like warm bread or ladies perfume. He could never shake the feel away. There wasn't a thing on earth that was as warm and sticky as blood as it stained the lines of your hands.

That blood, with its scent and undying feeling, was all around him now; in his skin, on his partner's clothes, and flowing from the man that they had shot.

Kabuto Yakushi, a trained assassin for almost three years now, let his gun hang down loosely at his side. His partner Orochimaru was already loading his again; that sick man never got sick of blowing the brains out of someone.

"There are still four more upstairs." He announced as if Kabuto didn't already know. "Now that papa rat is out of the way, it just leaves a woman and kids to take out."

Kabuto stared at him with a mixture of boredom and exhaustion. "Let's go then."

The two crept up the stairs, their guns poised to shoot at the slightest sound. Through the silent, a sound of some sort was heard from one of the rooms in the hallway, and Orochimaru motioned for Kabuto to stay put while he went to check it out.

Kabuto watched him snake to the each bedroom, standing at attention by the doorway before jumping into the room. He heard no shots, so it was clear that the rest of the family was not there. He let his guard down long enough to clean the specks of blood of his glasses. He was almost happy that this was the last time he'd have to clean this substance off of him. He was retiring from the whole bloody mess after this, after slaughtering a family whose last's names were a blur to him but whose first names he didn't want to know.

His mind wandered to the people he was thinking of. How old were the kids he was supposed to shoot in the head? Were they close, or did the feud like normal children? Did the parents love them enough to throw themselves in front of a gun? Were they all girls or boys or both? What color was their blood? How thick was it? How long would they bleed before they finally died?

A woman's scream brought him out of his horrific thoughts. The scream followed three gun shots and then a loud thud and then silence.

Kabuto pulled out his gun and sped to the room his partner and the now dead woman were in. He looked inside to see Orochimaru, bathed in moonlight, standing over a twisted corpse, with long shimmering hair, the mother no doubt. Behind her were two shaky children, holding each other. He couldn't tell if they were girls or boys; all children's sobs sounded the same at their age.

One, the tallest, was staring at the woman with wide, angry eyes, a protective grip around the child beside him. The other was clinging to him, crying in his older sibling's shirt. With a broken wail, the oldest jumped up and ran to Orochimaru and tackled him with amazing strenth. The poor fool was screaming sobs out at him and punching him with its fists.

Kabuto pointed his gun at the child's head. Two shots brought it to the puddle blood that circled its mother's head.

The room was quiet then, with exception of the remaining family member's sobs.

Kabuto walked up to the remaining child slowly. It must have been a boy for his hair was shorter than what most girls wore. But crying was crying and fear was fear, no matter what gender a child was.

Kabuto was glad he couldn't see the boys eyes, it might actually pain him to see death in those that were too young to see it. He raised the gun so that he'd get a clean shot in the boys head; he wouldn't suffer, nor would he know he was dying.

The gun went off and the little one fell at his older sibling's feet.

"Well that was a headache." Orochimaru stated as he lurched himself to his feet and brushed himself off.

Kabuto released a fake, mocking smirk. "Thanks for all the help. And by the way, did you enjoy your little play-date?"

Orochimaru shrugged and re-loaded his gun. "Well I was so comfortable on the floor and you seemed to be handling things so well, I just didn't see any reason to jump in a mess you up."

Kabuto sighed with irritation. "Whatever." He watched Orochimaru's focus on the corpses with an interest that he had never shown. He didn't know too much about his partners past, but he knew that he had taken out more people than he could kill in his entire life. He was a dark man, but had a surprisingly warm sense of humor. He was sadistic at times, but even he was able to find a positive point in his dreary existence. He was a bitter pleasure to be around.

"They were both boys," Orochimaru observed, nudging the one that had been killed first. "I guessing they were barely teenagers."

Kabuto twitched. "It's such a waste, killing kids. I hardly doubt that they were involved with their fathers operation to take out our organization."

Orochimaru shrugged. "They would have gotten involved either way, it was best to get them out of the way as soon as possible."

Kabuto looked away from the bloody scene. "At least we're done now." He was about to head for the exit but Orochimaru grabbed his shoulder.

"Not yet." He smiled, the sick monster actually liked this. "There's still one left one left." He nodded to his right where a closet door existed.

Kabuto looked almost sickened, but he knew what had to be done. He didn't bother to be careful, he just wanted to shoot the kid and get out of their before his vomit became a piece of evidence. He pulled the door open and paused.

The kid below him was no doubt a girl, but she looked just a bit older than her…brothers? Her wide eyes didn't look up at him, they remained ahead, at the boys who lied dead just mere feet from her.

Kabuto leveled his gun at her, wanting to make her death quick. He hesitated though, for even though he was twenty-five, he couldn't help the dark thought that the girl was actually somewhat good looking despite her apparent young age. Her hips were wide and flat since she was straddling the floor. Kabuto couldn't really see her chest because of the baggy shirt she wore, but he was sure something amazing was under there.

Sadly though, he wasn't the kind of hit man to rape his victims before slaughtering them.

"Sorry kid." He whispered before pulling the trigger.


His eyes widened at the fact that there was no bullet in the girls head. He pulled the trigger again and received only a loud pop. He growled and checked the cylinder; it was empty.

"I'm out." He said to his partner. "Do you want to do it or…"

Orochimaru didn't answer him. He too had his eyes on the nameless girl. Suddenly, he knelt down; blocking the girl's view of the woman that was most likely her mother. He watched her eyes as he snapped his fingers in front of her face.

"She's out of it." Orochimaru theorized. "She'll probably suffer from amnesia once all of this is over with."

Kabuto watched the girl and then his partner. Was he also hesitating to kill a girl who's they didn't even know? He was answered when Orochimaru reached out to stroke the girl's cheek; for once she shuddered, showing that she was still partly there.

Orochimaru smirked darkly and leaned in to whisper in her ear: "If you tell, I'll come back to kill you." A sob broke from the girl's throat, but she remained completely still.

Orochimaru stood after that. "Now we're finished."

Kabuto let his partner pass by first. The moon now lit the rest of the room and he could watch the crystal beads slowly run down her cheeks. This girl, who ever she was, was all alone now.

He went outside a few moments later; Orochimaru was waiting for him with the car keys dangling by one finger. "Your turn to drive." He said, tossing him the clinking metal.

Kabuto smirked before getting into the driver's seat and turning the car on; he didn't bother with a seat belt, it was a minor law that wasn't worth following.

As they sped down the road, two police cars and an ambulance zoomed past them.

"I wonder where they're going." Orochimaru snickered.

Kabuto gripped the wheel tightly. He felt empty inside and just wanted to go home and sleep all of it off. He looked at the rearview mirror to see the emergency cars turning into the driveway of the family they had slaughtered.

"Who were they." He said, trying to hide the frog his throat.

"Their last names were Uchiha." Orochimaru stated. "The man was the one I was told was planning the over-ride of the Akatsuki mob." He had already sensed the uncertainty in Kabuto's voice and tried to reassure him. "He's been causing a lot of deaths with his attacks, so in a way, his death will be rejoiced by all."

Kabuto shrugged. "I still don't think those kids had to die."

"Technically," Orochimaru began, "One of them wasn't really their kid."

Kabuto looked at him. "What?"

"Eyes on the road!" Orochimaru warned as Kabuto swerved slightly off the road. After getting back on track, he continued. "I wasn't given the details, but one of the children was supposedly adopted. Rumor has it that the Uchiha's, the two we met, adopted the girl so that she could help out with the attacks; they were training her to become a killer."

Kabuto's mind started to unwind again. Why didn't the Uchiha's use one of their own kids? Why did they have to get innocent blood mixed up in all of that?

Kabuto kept his eyes on the road after that. What would happen to that girl now that her parents and siblings were dead? What if she remembered them and they got caught? He took a deep breath; he was worrying too much on the subject. Orochimaru had said the girl was petrified, and it was rare Orochimaru was wrong about anything.

He'd be fine, and he'd wake up in a blur the next morning.

"Stop here." Orochimaru spoke up suddenly.

Kabuto slowed down and pulled onto a streetlamp lite area. "This isn't your place."

Orochimaru nodded and opened the door. "I want to grab a drink before I head home. You go ahead; I'll run down a cab."

Kabuto stared worriedly at the splotches of blood on his clothing but decided not to point them out. Orochimaru was a great liar and would find an excellent excuse for why they were there.

"All right then. Take care."

Orochimaru waved him off before turning to the alley leading to the closest bar.

Kabuto sighed, thankful that he'd be able to get home early.


There was nothing in the morning newspaper about the shooting or the girl. Kabuto was relieved about this and was able to go out to breakfast without paranoia.

As he took in his second cup of coffee, he saw a woman and a little boy coming in his direction. The woman had on a nurse uniform and had her hair pulled into a spikey ponytail. The boy had long, dark blond hair that was neatly tucked behind his ears and was dressed the way a normal child should be. There was no blood on his clothes.

Kabuto stood and approached them. "Good morning. How are you?"

The woman looked at him and smiled politely. "I'm fine. Thanks for asking."

That's how it began between them. Every day, she and that boy walked by the café, and every day he greeted them with a heart-felt smile. He wasn't sure if it was necessarily love that drew him to them, but for once in his life, he felt a great sense of want and peace. If he didn't have a reason to change his ways once, he sure did now.

Besides, there was no blood on their clothes and no horror in their eyes. He loved them immediately.