Title: For The Best
Summary: In a world up-ended there are absolutes. There is Orochimaru who refuses forgiveness. And there is Naruto who is unable to forgive. [AU; OroJira friendship yayyy.]
Rated: PG for almost-violence.
Author's Notes: Did I mention aradiantsun and I are totally rewriting Naruto after killing off it's creator? This is a small scene from that universe - through circumstances I won't reveal for suspense purposes, Orochimaru (instead of dying in an untimely manner) has allied with Konoha's forces in the fight against Akatsuki.
A wind like a whipping. Orochimaru catches Naruto’s fist smoothly before it drives into the side of his face. When he smiles – as serene and serpentine as ever – the bile curls and turns a deeper black in the bottom of Naruto’s stomach.
He only bothers opening his eyes after the fact; golden lanterns rimmed in a solid night on the surface of the moon.
“So hostile, Uzumaki-kun. Are we not supposed to be acting as comrades?”
Naruto tightens his mouth and the muscles of the fist and says nothing. Orochimaru’s smile is less of a smile and more of a mannerism—a habit. It fades into his pale face and the slick, dark hair that hangs lank and thin along his high, vivid cheekbones. His pallor is one that Naruto has never stopped wanting to mar with bruises.
He takes his fist back forcefully. Orochimaru watches him as mildly as a cobra.
“Did I frighten you then?”
He steps away from the tree trunk he’d leaned against. “How blasé.”
“You didn’t frighten me,” Naruto says, as evenly as he can. His throat constricts every time Orochimaru comes this close. There is a restless, building need in him to rip this man apart; if not on Sasuke’s behalf then on the behalf of the man whose grave lies directly behind him.
The sannin slides carefully around him, each movement as fluid as if he were hardly moving at all. Naruto does not turn his body or take his eyes from him for a single moment. In fact, he speaks again. More loudly. “What are you doing here?”
Orochimaru is quiet for a moment – instead of speaking, he takes a small bottle from the thickly patterned fabric of his obi, uncapping it after a moment and upending it over the swollen mound of soil beneath the gravemarker. The pungent tang of alcohol catches hold of Naruto’s nostrils and his eyes water slightly.
“He was born a fool,” Orochimaru says, smoothly, “and he died a fool.
“As you will.”
“I’d rather be a fool than a creep like you,” Naruto replies, eyes as blue as oceans and as hard as stones.
Orochimaru smiles to himself.
“Perhaps,” he says, "that is for the best."
this little black lamb.
- For The Best [Oro+Naru!gen]