This is my first story on this site, so please be kind :D

He didn't think he remembered anything beyond the darkness of the room. It was a soft, comforting thing, the darkness; it kept him from seeing how his own filth and waste which had accumulated on the dirt floor. It kept him from seeing the pus-seeping cuts, the lice that half-hid in his straw-cot. His clothes-the pajamas he had worn for as long as he could remember-were torn and hung limply off of his skeletal frame, not that he noticed. Because he liked the dark, because the dark meant that he was safe. When he saw the light, it meant that Master was there. Sometimes, Master would slap him, tell him he was trash. He would hit him hard; kick him in his most sensitive areas. If he tried to cover himself, to curl into a little ball, Master would grab his arms until he felt that they would break. Sometimes, Master would do other things that weren't as bad as the beatings. Sometimes, Master would stroke his long hands through his hair; tell him that it would soon be alright, that they had to fix him. He liked those visits. He would lean into Master's touch, would sometimes wrap his arms around Master's waist and nuzzle into his warm chest. He liked to listen to Master's heartbeat. It was better than the darkness. But the darkness meant that he was safe from Master's beatings. He was confused.

He didn't like the nightmares, of the light streaming in and another man, a man who was not Master, come in. This man would laugh, would make him sleepy. Then he would wake up with a dull ache throughout his weak body.

Orochimaru liked to watch him sleep using the night-vision that fed the televions that lined his room. The boy was losing weight rapidly. He was sleeping more, almost thirteen hours a day. His hours awake were usually spent eating the slop Kabuto sent down. Sometimes, he would huddle in the corner, thin arms wrapped around his chest. He would cry or giggle uncontrollably, depending on whether or not his "Master" had been cruel or kind and loving.

At the moment, Sasuke was laying semi-conscious on his straw bedding, his body shaking with fever.

"Momma…?" his arms swaying over his head, reaching for an invisible care-giver who was just barely out of reach. "Momma…Momma, come back!" His voice was cracking under the strain of the sickness and continued abuse. "Momma," his hands gasping and pulling, "Momma, make it stop…" he whimpered.

Orochimaru didn't like this new development. As cruel and mean as he was, watching Sasuke so desperately call for his mother was perhaps a bit too much. Of course, it also meant that Kabuto's mind-wiping jutsu was not up to par. And, he thought as the boy curled onto his side, he needed him in some recoverable condition. It wouldn't do if he was permanently damaged.

He saw the light, then Master and the man who wasn't Master. This confused him; he never saw them together. He lifted his arm, tried to get Master's attention. He groaned at the pain the simple action brought him. But Master smiled, and gently took his hand, rubbing it lightly. This made him happy, because it meant that even with the other man there, Master would give him a nice visit. He would hold him, would caress him, and would make everything better.

"Shh, Sasuke, let Kabuto make everything better."

The other man lifted his shirt and massaged his chest, a soft glow emitting from his hands. It felt so warm and nice. When he was done, he turned to Master. He didn't understand what either man said, only that he felt Master wrap his arms around his shoulders and legs and pick him up. He rested his head on Master's chest, tried not to listen Master's harsh voice, tried not to think about how Master's grip hurt. He focused on the heart beat that always lulled him to sleep. He closed his eyes, he just wanted the darkness. The yelling, the swaying of Master's arms, set off a heavy throb behind his eyes; he nuzzled into Master's chest, breathing in his scent. It would all be okay soon, Master would make everything better. He felt so tired and cold, so weak; he just wanted Momma to come back.

This last thought brought him around a little. Where was Momma? Hadn't she just been with him? Master was talking loudly; his gripped on the boy's body was painful. The light hurt his eyes…Momma would come, she always came…

Kabuto made sure to keep four feet behind Orochimaru as they made their way to the examination room they kept free for Sasuke and his needs. Sasuke himself gazed up into Orochimaru's face, with his right hand gripping onto the older man's thin shirt. Orochimaru said very little. None of this was going his way. The justu, originally meant to keep Sasuke in line and quiet during the three year gap, had done a too good a job, it seemed. And so they had kept him locked in a small little room where they occasionally gave him some small amount of attention. They hadn't meant to ignore him so perfectly, but it was an easy thing to do given the boy's condition. He smelled, he whined like a baby, he did nothing but sleep and eat and shit himself. He was a baby, an annoying, broken baby who was now no use to anyone.

It was a struggle to just get him onto the table. He wasn't usually awake when they gave him his "check-ups". He was usually in a peaceful, drug induced slumber. It was much easier then. But now he clung to Orochimaru, looked pitifully up to the man who fooled him, who gave him comfort and who beat him when he cried too loud at night. When he shit himself, when he asked for his dead mother, when he begged for a glass of water to soothe his sore throat, when he screamed for a blanket because it was too cold…

"Get on the table, Sasuke," Orochimaru dropped him onto the cold metal, but the boy still hung on to his shirt. The boy shook his head and tried to hide his face in the man's chest. The bright light from the light above hurt, he felt dizzy. He felt cold, Master was warm. "Cold!" he whinned. But Master simply shoved him onto the cold metal, where the man who wasn't Master strapped him down by his wrists and ankles.

"There," Master gently stroked a few stray strands of hair out of the boy's face. Suddenly, the boy began to cough, spewing yellow and brown phlegm over the man's white face. This earned him a hard slap to the cheek.

"What do you think, Kabuto?" Master's voice was smooth, soft. The boy didn't know enough to know to be afraid of that voice. Kabuto did. He was quiet for a moment, but busied himself by looking for a tool or two for the examination. Before he could answer, however, Orochimaru turned back to Sasuke. "What do you think, Sasuke?" he looked to Kabuto's back, which tensed at the hiss. But Sasuke didn't know to tense. "It's cold," the boy said, tears beginning to creep up into his eyes. "Where's Momma?"

At this, the light in Orochimaru's eyes lit up bright as a star in winter. "Yes, Kabuto, where is Momma?"

Hope everyone liked it! I hope to update it again soon! Reviews are loved! And suggestions are loved as well :)