Pairings: Orochimaru/Kimimaro if you squint. ;)
Genre: gen, mild angst
Warnings: implied character death
A/N: Written for naruto100's drabble contest.
Challenge: First and Last
Bonuses: heat, hair, happinness
Kimimaro was a ragged child with a powerful bloodline limit. A new test subject, an experiment. Orochimaru took him in, like he did with all the rejects he found along his path.
Kimimaro's genius set him apart from the rest. His eyes were endless, full of secrets that only Orochimaru could unveil; there was wisdom in his silence, never a wasted word. His smiles, when they came, seemed like accidents, nature's work: like the first rays of sunrise.
The child flushed when Orochimaru's hands brushed through his silky hair, his cheeks coloring with a heat that made Orochimaru's fingers tingle. There was a connection Orochimaru had never felt. He would call it happiness, if he had to give it a name.
This child was not expendable. Kimimaro-kun was his chosen one, his new container.
But Kimimaro fell ill.
In his last days, he was a wraith of coughed up blood and bluish veins showing through too-pale skin. It was a pity. Such a waste of talent, a perfect jewel tarnished and ruined. And Orochimaru found himself averting his eyes from Kimimaro's face. Kimimaro was Death, Orochimaru's most despised enemy, the only one he truly feared.
When Kabuto informed him that Kimimaro had gone to pursue Sasuke, Orochimaru wasn't surprised. Kimimaro's blind devotion had been part of his allure. The sannin watched the sunset, the last rays sinking on the horizon until there were no traces of light left.
No traces of Kimimaro's smile.
Kimimaro would not return, but Orochimaru's heart did not break.
There was a new container on the way.
- Fin -