“Sasuke, where are we going?” The two of you had been walking for a couple days and so far, you hadn’t prodded the Uchiha too much. You figured he’d tell you when he was ready, but you were starting to wonder if he was going to tell you at all.
“You’ll see.” Was his emotionless response.
You stopped walking. Already you were admitting to yourself that it was odd enough you had agreed to leave with him when you barely knew him, but now he was keeping you oblivious and you were starting to doubt yourself. His arm jerked from your lack of motion as the two of you were holding hands so he could direct you, but you let go once he stopped with you. “You can’t just leave me in the dark, Sasuke…”
You heard his disgruntled sigh, “If I tell you--” he stopped mid-sentence, sounding peeved, “…you’ll just think I’m crazy.”
You didn’t say anything and merely gave him an unamused stare. At least, you hoped that you were.
“Don’t look at me like that.” Sasuke said a moment later, offering you confirmation.
“I’ll go back if you’re not going to tell me anything.”
“You don’t even know how to get back.”
“I’ll find a way. I’m resourceful, you know.”
“I know…” It was barely a whisper but you heard him say it. His acknowledgement made you feel a little taller, if only in the moment of trying to one up him because he was being stubborn. “We’re going to see Orochimaru.”
That knocked you back down to your original size. “Orochimaru…?” There was a certain foreboding in the mere mention of the Snake’s name. You felt a chill run up your spine from it.
“I need to get stronger… so I can kill my brother.”
You knew of Sasuke’s tragic back story, the massacre of his entire clan by his own brother, Itachi Uchiha, but you never truly understood the hatred Sasuke had towards him because of it. However, hearing his words now seemed to shed some light on just how far that rabbit hole went. You weren’t sure if you wanted to explore those dark depths, but you wanted him to be forthcoming with you.
Sasuke showed you his curse mark, well more like told you about it and where it was, then explained what happened at the Chunin Exams, “He can help me.” You weren’t so convinced.
You reached for Sasuke’s hand, he abided, “I don’t understand, but I believe you believe you need this.”
It would be a long trek to find the Snake, you had no idea where he might be, but Sasuke assured you that he just knew where it was--even though he couldn’t tell you. It was like a sixth sense to him, like he felt he was being guided, but you didn’t really comprehend. You followed him, nonetheless, feeling the same pull he was feeling--that there was just something about not being around each other that made the both of you feel incomplete. Neither of you really knew what it was. But you both agreed you wanted to stay together.
“This is it, I know it!” Sasuke exclaimed as the two of you halted walking. You had no idea where you were. The air smelled different, the wind felt odd, and there was just an aura of misguidance around you that made you feel uncomfortable. You wondered, silently, if Sasuke was seeing some grand entryway made of serpents and overhead was a sign that spelled ′Orochimaru’s Hideout’.
How ridiculous a thought.
“What is it?” You asked.
“There are some stairs here, they lead down into the ground and there’s a door at the bottom.” You didn’t like the sound of that at all. “Come one, I’ll help you.” And Sasuke began pulling your hand so you would follow him. “Watch your step, the first step is right here.”
You slowly inched your foot until you felt the first step, beginning your decent into darkness with Sasuke. There were quite a few steps before he told you that you were at the bottom. Then the two of you passed through the door in front of you. You couldn’t explain it but, even though you were blind, you could swear everything just got a little bit darker. You just felt it. Something was very wrong with this place.
Orochimaru definitely lived here.