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Sleeping Rose by SerpentatSunset

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Title: Ghost of a Rose
Author: Fenikkusu Ai
Rating: T
Fandom: Naruto
Characters: Kabuto, Orochimaru, Sasuke, OC
Words: 1,810
Genre: Angst/Hurt/Comfort
Summary: What had Misaki done to be locked away? The man with the glasses wouldn't tell her, the sullen youth doesn't want to get involved, and the man with the sweep of dark hair sent chills down her spine. Amnesia. Kabuto x OC x Orochimaru.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.





The air tasted of herbs and rain drops as the sun filtered through the leaves. Feelings of comfort and safety wrapped around Misaki. She never wanted to leave her hiding place. In her secret spot, the world became magical.

Languishing in the depths of the green forest, she watched the golden dust motes shimmer in the air. Her footprints had disappeared in the intricacies of the grass with only the wind as her witness. The breeze stirred her hair, and as soon as she closed her eyes; she at once found that she was at peace. The early dawn mist shrouded her presence so that she was a hidden lady of the mist.

Suddenly, there was a harsh snap of a twig. Her eyes snapped open in wide alarm.

Under the mighty pines, she had been discovered. Of course. He had been searching for her. Hunting her. It was in his nature after all.

She started to tremble and her breath came in ragged gulps.

Though, it would be fine as long as she remained where she and didn't move a muscle. The foliage would protect her.

Wouldn't it?

She denied her situation even as the shadow materialized in front of her and cut off any hope of escape, and Misaki knew who it was even before she saw his face.

Crouching in the weeds, she shook her head. No. Nothing bad would ever happen here. Not in her world...



---



"If a tree falls in the forest, then does it make a sound?"

The innocent question yanked her out of her whimsical dream and jerked her back to the chilling reality that she couldn't escape from.

The gray-haired man-no- boy known as Kabuto leaned towards her with an almost satisfied smirk. She could just imagine the quizzical expression that shifted over her face and imagined how stupid she appeared. Misaki could almost hear his thoughts echoing in her head.

Dumb girl. Poor unfortunate girl.

The girl gazed at the floor to pause for thought; she needed to consider her answer even at the risk of appearing dull. However, too much hesitation could be met with consequences; consequences that Misaki had been trying to avoid.

Had thinking always been this hard? If it had, she had no memory of it. The only memory she had was of this place and what was locked inside her head. Neither comforted her.

Indeed, her mental faculties was getting slower and slower. She could only wonder if she was being if her condition was getting worse the longer that she was forced to stay here, and there was no way to remedy it. Pleading was out of the question. She didn't want them to laugh at her.

Still, it was an admittedly difficult question. One that she was being being tricked into answering.

Then, there was the sound of a clearing throat that reminded her about maintaining proper eye contact; a modicum she often failed at. She was as focused a branch swaying in the wind. Yakushi Kabuto was waiting after all. The man who decided her immediate fate even though that they were around the same age. Misaki wondered how he had come to be here at all.

Though the medical ninja was admirably gifted with patience, she had seen that it could wear thin.

Misaki looked up into intent obsidian eyes and forced herself to steady her gaze. She was appropriately meek as she sat there with her legs together as modicum called for it. As a lady should.

At times like these, she yearned for friends. Freedom. The life that could have been taken from her. At times, she despaired if anyone was looking for her or if anyone would bother remembering her.

"Yes," she squeaked.

Of course, no explanation was given. Misaki couldn't find the words to elucidate it anyway.

A creak squealed from the chair as Kabuto leaned forward "But if no one is around can one be sure if it makes a sound, how can it be scientifically be proven that it never happened at all?"

So. It had been a trap after all. Yet, it was a fair question.

As Kabuto studied her, Misaki's pulse beat wildly in the hollow of her throat. She wondered if he could hear it. Of course, he already knew how her heart rate was 94 at rest and escalated to 121 when she was frightened. Kabuto told her about all her readings. What her blood type was, what genetic diseases she was predisposed, and her blood sugar. Minor details that made her head muddled and didn't help her situation at all.

If a girl cries in a cell, does anyone acknowledge it?

Misaki already knew the answer to that question.

If she were bolder, she would taunt those very words back at him, but Misaki wondered if he would grow violent with her should she voice her complaint. Misaki could understand how deep the pit she found herself in was. The depth of it was unfathomable. Just like her future.

At the moment, these men held fast to the control of her life, and there was nothing to do except go limp in their grip in the hopes that she would not be crushed by their ambitions.

Helplessly, she shrugged. "It just does. When something heavy falls, there's a sound."

Kabuto blinked. His frown deepened.

She wondered if this was just common knowledge. Then again, she had never taken proper philosophy. Kabuto perpetually reminded her that she had room for improvement. She truly didn't know if that was a compliment any more.

"But, what if the tree never fell at all? What if there what if there no credible witnesses?"

Misaki absently rubbed her arm and wished that she could look out the window or even go outside to get away from the circumstances that sapped her spirit and strength. She idly wondered if the forest she kept dreaming about ever existed. What if she was just dreaming to cope? Fantasies wouldn't help her here. No, they would be used against her.

Yet, Misaki was aware that she needed more education. She supposed Kabuto was a teacher of sorts; a cold teacher that she didn't understand.

Was just an experiment? Had she always been so? Maybe that's why she didn't have any memories. They had taken them.

Again, Misaki reminded herself that if she cooperated they might eventually let her go or get bored of her, but sometimes, she got tired of hoping.

If she ceased being interesting, she could be the next one on the operating table. Misaki couldn't help wondering if they considered her important. Was there something that she needed to know about herself? Something important?

All she wanted to do was go back there was used to where silence was an old friend. A place where she didn't need to confess anything her thoughts could take form clouds in a wind gust. But, her jailer was one of the few traces of human contact that she received, and she should try to appreciate it more.

However, as time passed, she knew that she would become washed out and faded just like her dreams. Dust coating an abandoned room. She would shrivel up and waste away as a petal thrown to the mercy of the wind.

She wanted something beyond the sticky white rice she was forced to eat and the stained cotton bed sheets she was forced to cower under. And, she slowly felt herself drawing further and further away from it. Misaki was running out of time. What happened when she ran out of time was uncertain.

A pang of anxiety struck her She wanted to get out of here. The white was blinding her eyes and searing her mind. Although an unproductive urge, she desired to return to the darkness of her room It was so much more soothing and inviting where she could retire as a seedling under the earth would. Misaki too easily become secure in her solitude.

Kabuto gazed at the clock. "Well, our appointment is done for the day anyway."

He sounded vaguely relieved and echoed her sentiments.

Misaki bit her lips and they both knew that she would say no more. After all this time, she still couldn't read him.

Misaki allowed the air to exhale from her lungs as she mutely watched the ninja's elegant penmanship flow against the paper. She wondered when she had last held a pen or did anything that required any actual effort. She was becoming rather useless-not a good thing to be in her situation through it was by no choice of her own.

The truth was that she didn't remember anything about a life before this. Strangely enough, they didn't ask Misaki much about it. She supposed that it wasn't important.

Yet, Misaki wondered what information the clipboard revealed. Could the notes being put down on paper help her?

At least Misaki could experience the relief not to be scrutinized any more.

Moments later, she was promptly led down the corridor to her quarters. Her legs nearly sang as they stretched. Inertia was causing them to become numb and soft. She did not question Kabuto nor did she struggle. It was just like every other time.

Her muscles whispered that it had not always been like this. A secret desire burned within to be active again. To run, leap, and crawl. Those instincts still existed in her bones. She hoped that she wasn't too damaged so that she might have the opportunity to use them again. Maybe if she answered enough questions they would let her go so that she could escape back into her forest. The memories might return.

It was the only clue she had.

Until then, there was nothing else for Misaki to do except remember slowly one piece at at at a time. So far, she had been totally unsuccessful in the attempt. But, Kabuto promised to help her. Better him than the other one.

Something about the pale Shinobi with the sweep of dark hair made her break out in shivers.



---



"Has she recovered her memory yet?"

Kabuto shook his head. "No. She is still far too withdrawn and there is a huge deficiency in her logical thinking. I assume you want her to remain alive?"

Orochimaru nodded.

Seemingly lost in thought, Kabuto directed his attention to a distant corner of the room. "Such a pity I can't re more forceful," Kabuto ventured.

Silence rushed in around them both. Orochimaru watched the boy out of the corners of his eyes.

"Are you seeking permission...Kabuto-kun?"

"It could be a worthwhile experiment. It's getting boring being her psychiatrist." Kabuto was on the verge of complaining.

The older crosses his arms and chuckled. "I suppose we could see how this one plays out. We could use a break from the usual routine."
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