Title: Braceface
Author: Rot-chan
Genre: Humor/Crack
Characters: Sasuke, Orochimaru, Kabuto
Rating: K

Summary: Sasuke asked incredulously, "Braces?" Kabuto smiled. "Don't worry Sasuke-kun - it's nothing we can't fix. After all, a growing boy must look his best." Sasuke was near certain that wasn't quite how the phrase went...

Notes: Written for Bullwinkle's Lady. I love your crack. You're inspirational.


Sasuke had noticed it a few months before he departed for Sound.

It was two of his bottom teeth. They'd looked...different, somehow. At the time, he'd been too preoccupied to really give it a second thought. He'd gone on with things, completely unaware of what the future held for him -

"Braces?" Sasuke asked incredulously.

"That's correct, Sasuke." Kabuto was cleaning up the instruments on the dental tray. It helped that Kabuto knew a thing or two about teeth - he was basically the live-in dentist.

"You have a slight crowding in your bottom teeth," Kabuto said professionally. "Nothing we can't take care of."

In response to Sasuke's silence, Kabuto turned and smiled a little eerie smile. "Don't worrySasuke-kun, it won't hurt a bit. After all, a growing boy must look his best." Sasuke stared. He was near certain that wasn't quite how the phrase went...

Sasuke sat up in the examination chair, still in disbelief. Crowding in his teeth? Uchihas didn't...crowd. Whatever Kabuto was actually referring to. Sasuke reached for his mouth self-consciously, before letting his hand drop and closing it.

"We'll begin putting them in next week," Kabuto said, as if this wasn't anything to be concerned about - even though it so obviously was.

Sasuke tried to remember anything about braces, orthodontia - not many people he'd ever known had them. Well - there was his cousin Shisui. Sasuke remembered him coming over a few times after getting them, going on and on about 'the excruciating pain' and getting a gummy bear stuck in his two front teeth teeth. And if Sasuke did remember it correctly, his own father had used something like a senbonto pick it out.

(Oh, God.)

Next week, after getting a few x-rays - and inevitably mulling over the possibilities of what it would all lead up to - Sasuke walked into the examination room to have his teeth poked, prodded, and riddled with wires.

It was hardly pleasant; but he was Uchiha Sasuke, after all. Not a whiner, unlike that infantile cousin of his or anyone else for the matter. He wouldn't be bothered by the pain -

Except he gave a small yelp when an archwire was tugged incredibly hard through the brackets on his teeth.

"Are you all right, Sasuke-kun?" Kabuto asked, his voice almost mocking. Sasuke gave his best death glare - it was all he could do to retaliate without the use of his mouth - before Kabuto continued.

When Sasuke sat up in the chair about an hour later, he was slightly horrified.

Although he'd never been shallow or idiotic enough to care about his looks, seeing as enough people did already for him, Sasuke immediately found he had great contempt for the wires and metal that seemed to have taken over his mouth.

Swallowing, Sasuke asked weakly, "When will..." He trailed off.

Kabuto answered, "You'll have them off in a year at the most." Was that satisfactionin his voice?

"By the way, here's some aspirin. You're going to need it." Kabuto smirked at Sasuke's sour look of distaste when he took the cup of pills.

:::::::::

That evening, Sasuke found it very difficult to brush his teeth and absolutely impossible to floss; and being very meticulous about hygienic matters, his frustration only grew.

And the next morning at breakfast when he reached for a grapefruit, seeing as it was obviously filled with essential vitamins to boost strength, Kabuto snatched it out of his hand and gave him oatmeal.

But the worst was the spit.

During training with Orochimaru Sasuke tried to say, "I want to test a new jutsu," but it came out sounding a bit like "testh a new juftsu"... and with a good deal of sprayed saliva. (Ew!)

After about seven and a half days of torture, Sasuke kicked the door in to Orochimaru's room one day and demanded they be taken off.

Orochimaru looked up from his morning paper curiously, seemingly unbothered by the door now groaning on its hinges. "Why Sasuke-kun, what-"

Sasuke took a menacing step forward. He appeared agitated, and rather...haggard. Were those bags beneath his eyes? "The braces. Take them off."

Orochimaru set down the paper, frowning deeply (and perhaps wishing for a good mimosa). "Sasuke, you only got them...seven and a quarter-"

"Seven and a half."

"...Seven and a half days ago. I do think you should wait a bit longer, try to adjust? Really, Sasuke-kun, I'm surprised you gave in to the discomfort so easily," Orochimaru chided as he picked up the entertainment section.

Sasuke glowered. He balled his fists silently, ground his teeth - then winced when an ache of pain shot through his jaw. (Could he do anything in character with these wretched things?)

Sasuke muttered something along the lines of "I loathe you" as he left the room.

Orochimaru stared at where Sasuke had been standing just a moment ago, trying to decide what to do. "Kabuto-ooo!" He called at last, ringing a little dinner bell.

Kabuto entered the room and asked measuredly, "Yes, Lord Orochimaru?"

Orochimaru smiled, "Invite Sasuke-kun for dinner with us this evening. I've decided perhaps we've been a bit too hard on the boy. You know how sensitive adolescents can be today."

"...He said he hated you again, didn't he."

Orochimaru pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. "How everdid you guess..."

Kabtuo said disgustedly, "Don't worry, I'll make sure to tell him." He left the room, grumbling about 'picking favorites' and so forth while Orochimaru sighed, leaned back into his mountain of pillows and immersed himself in the new musical releases to ease the pain of rejection.

:::::::::

That night, before dinnertime Sasuke got a request from Kabuto, who sounded more than slightly annoyed, to join them both for a meal in Orochimaru's private dining quarters.

Sasuke, having been in Sound for only five months, had only been inside it just once. So he wasn't expecting to see about two dozen candelabras lit on the walls, an assortment of wines and food set out on the table almost the entire length of the spacious room, and a newly installed portrait of Orochimaru himself that hung chillingly over his place.

Sasuke wordlessly took his place a few seats away from Orochimaru; sadly, Kabuto had been pushed back ten chairs down the line. They ate in silence for a few moments, Sasuke picking at some asparagus and tomatoes while Orochimaru helped himself to all the carnivorous (and bloody) dishes around him.

"Well Sasuke-kun," Orochimaru began almost sympathetically, "It appears that the orthodontia is giving you a most AWFUL time. I do pity for you, VERY much."

Sasuke looked up from his vegetables. "So, I'm sure Kabuto can take the braces off, whip up a corrective jutsu and have you...repaired in a matter of an hour," Orochimaru said quickly and offhandedly over his very rare filet.

Sasuke slowly set down his fork (although not his knife). "Do you mean," he spoke as articulately as possible...although there was still a lisp from the wires, "that I could have had my teeth fixed, without - any of this," he pointed coldly to his mouth.

Orochimaru said with a pleading smile, "Oh Sasuke-kun - don't you want to be like the other normalchildren?"

"No."

"..."

"Shut up and let me go to my room."

Orochimaru blinked. He frowned dejectedly. "Very well then." Sasuke stomped off to his chamber in silent fury.

Kabuto stared as Orochimaru continued to pick at his filet. "How doyou put up with him?" Kabuto asked his lord with a withering look.

Orochimaru shrugged and said in a tone that implied it was plainly obvious, "He just has a certain charmabout him, I suppose. Do clean my dishes for me, would you Kabuto?" And with that Orochimaru got up from the table, leaving Kabuto by himself with an untouched plate of cold peas.

"YES, lord Orochimaru, I'll certainly take your plates for you, and I'll fix your PRECIOUS Sasuke's teeth," Kabuto growled as he stacked the dirty plates and headed towards the kitchen, dreading having to wear that ridiculous apron again. "Or perhaps I'll knock out a few while I'm at it..."

:::End:::


[A/N: As some do know I actually have braces but they're the non-traditional Invisalign. And haha, Kabuto was secretly thrilled that he was going to have the chance to make his lord's 'precious Sasuke' look ugly for once, but he sadly failed. Comments are appreciated! Thanks to those who read.]