/Disclaimer:/ I do not own Naruto, the Ring or the picture that inspired this story.
Note: This takes place sometime during the three-year gap; after Sasuke left Konoha. There are some spoilers from the Ring, so if you haven't seen it yet, I suggest you watch it first.
It was a very abnormal day in Orochimaru's lair.
Normally, there were the sounds of training coming from the dojo in the east wing, and minions keeping watch in case some poor sap mistakenly located the secret hideout. It had been a very close call when three Konoha Shinobi had gone to the Rice Country on their trail, but fortunately one Yakushi Kabuto had managed to distract them, and security had been raised in case of another incident.
One couldn't be too careful - especially missing-nin's; especially Orochimaru.
But today was a very abnormal day. Why? Simply because Orochimaru had deemed this day a day of rest; where no one had to train or do anything else outside guard the perimeter.
Needless to say, Uchiha Sasuke was brilliantly pissed about the decision.
He'd left Konoha because the village was a peaceful place; not much life-or-death fighting over there; under the Sandame's leadership, it had grown quite soft. It wasn't that the young Uchiha Prodigy disliked the Sandame Hokage - quite the opposite. But he had to face facts; it was proving difficult to obtain the power in order to avenge the death of his clan.
But when he'd been promised the power he required, he had willingly gone with the Sound Four - much to the dismay of his former Konoha allies. He'd even risked death in order to upgrade the curse seal on his left shoulder near the nape of his neck to acquire it.
But now, Orochimaru was doing what Konoha had done for years.
It was very understandable why the Uchiha was displeased.
He'd tried to train by himself, but that hadn't worked out to his favour; he needed to learn new techniques. He'd even tried what he always did; telling Orochimaru - rather than asking - to meet him in the dojo in order to get started. The Sannin had told him some bullshit theory that rest was also a part of training.
The Snake Sannin was currently in the shower.
So then Kabuto had somehow managed to con the young shinobi into watching a movie with him. He still couldn't wrap his mind around it, even as he was sitting on one end of the couch, staring blanking at the screen that was depicting a movie known as 'The Ring'. He didn't exactly know what this thing was - something about it being made in some far western country or something like that -whatever it was they were watching was exceptionally boring.
He leaned against the armrest of the couch - he didn't know why they had a couch in the hideout in the first place - and continued to watch as some little girl was sitting in a chair being questioned by some kind of police force. It reminded him of the same kind of force his own family had run before Itachi had decided to 'test his capability'. He squashed the memory with some difficulty; even thinking about it made his blood boil.
Time passed, and eventually the main character - some blonde with an attitude kind of like Yamanaka Ino only slightly smarter - fell into a well and found the dead body of the girl before laying her to rest. Sasuke stifled a yawn - man was this movie boring or was it just him?
What a crappy movie, he thought to himself. It's not even scary. The Ring? What a crappy title.
A few minutes later, they were watching a man sitting in his house - it looked a lot like his old home in Konoha - and he jumped back as the same dead girl climbed out from the screen of the contraption - similar but newer looking than they one they were using now. Instead of trying to fight it off using jitsu or weapons, the guy just continued to crawl away. It was almost like he didn't know how to even draw out chakra, let alone utilize it.
And now the ghost girl comes out of the contraption. What kind of lame idea is that? It would have been better if it had appeared on his back or something.
He felt the couch start to shake and couldn't believe it when he turned around to see Kabuto shaking like a leaf. Being held by both hands was a bowl of some kind of western treat - he recalled it was called 'Popcorn'. The Med-Nin was shaking so hard that some of the popcorn was falling out of the bowl. Sasuke stared at him with his patinent 'WTF' stare - one raised eyebrow, with a half-annoyed, half-surprised expression on his face.
What the fuck's Kabuto's problem anyways? Scaredy Cat.
As soon as the thought crossed his mind, he remembered the time he'd fought off the demon brothers on his first C rank mission (actually it was a B rank mission, but that wasn't really the point). For all his bravado, Uzumaki Naruto had frozen as soon as they'd attempted to kill him. If he hadn't stepped in when he had, he wouldn't have survived.
The look on his face when he asked him if he was alright was priceless. It was even better when he'd taunted him by calling him the exact same thing he saw Kabuto as at the moment.
The difference between the two was that Kabuto had no right to act like one; he was a Med-Ninja working for one of the Sannin. While Sasuke didn't treat him with respect, he had to admit the Snake Sannin was pretty strong; he'd been scared shitless when he first fought him. There was something creepy about Orochimaru; he just couldn't put his finger on it.
Had he not been absorbed in his thoughts, nor Kabuto in the movie and his trembling, they both would have noticed a shadow sneaking up on them. But he was knocked out of his thoughts when he realized he felt wet water dripping on his knee -he was still wearing the same outfit he wore when he left Konoha - blue shirt with a white collar and a pair of white shorts.
He stared at the water drips apathetically until he heard a voice from nearby. He caught Kabuto jumping slightly from the familiar voice, but when they both turned around to see what it was the Snake Sannin wanted now, the questions got caught in their throats. Kabuto immediately flung the popcorn up into the air screaming for all he was worth. Sasuke on the other hand was more composed - but not by much. He moved as close to the arm of the couch as possible, white in the face with a classic half-startled half freaked-the-fuck-out expression.
Hanging over the edge of the couch was a soaking wet Orochimaru, his hair all in his face like it normally was, but the water dripping onto the couch gave him the illusion that he'd just climbed out from a well.
Precisely the well that the ghost girl came from.
"Hey, what are you watching?"
"Holy Crap!" Sasuke shouted before promptly falling off the couch. Kabuto drew in al ung full of breath and screamed even louder. He seemed to be frozen in place- he didn't even try to move from where he was sitting.
Orochimaru looked from one to the other before speaking, one eye revealed out of the long dark hair in his face. "What's wrong?" he asked. "You look like you've seen aghost."
Kabuto finally stopped screaming - he'd actually fainted, but Sasuke didn't stick around. Immediately, he rose to his feet, pretending as though nothing happened and announced that he was going to the dojo to train. After all, none of this would have happened if he'd been able to train in the first place.
It took three days for Kabuto to awaken from his self-induced coma, but to this very day Sasuke will not watch a horror movie again.
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