Devotional by babaca
Written as a belated birthday gift to DaMoyre. Kabuto wrestles with his jealousy as he treats Kimimaro.
Disclaimer: Naruto and the characters therein are copywritten by Masashi Kishimoto, TV Tokyo, Viz and others. But not me. This is written for entertainment purposes only and definitely no money is being made anywhere.
Kabuto sighed as he made his way through the underground tunnels to his patient. He mentally cringed at the thought of Kimimaro as his patient. Kimimaro to him was a nuisance. Sure he had a kekkai genkai ability (a creepy one at that, although the concept of bones as a weapon did appeal to the medically curious part of him), but the sheer adoration the boy would show to Orochimaru was stomach-churning. He knew he should feel sorry for the kid. His condition was proof positive that having a bloodline limit was a double edged sword, that what made him special was also killing him. The calcium in the body was depleting the red blood cells every time he would use his bones in combat. There was nothing that could be done. Blood transfusions would work for a short time, but it was merely a stop gap measure for the inevitable.
He approached the room he had come to loathe over the months. He didn't bother knocking.
Kimimaro looked over to the door expectantly. The shimmer of hope dimmed when he realized that it wasn't Orochimaru who had come to visit. Kabuto smiled politely at the boy although this smile hid the amusement of the disappointed reaction.
"I'm here to check on you. I thought I told you that sparring with Tayuya and the others was not good for you," Kabuto rebuked. Personally he didn't care, but he knew that Orochimaru was concerned.
Kimimaro shrugged before turning away. "I was bored."
"Well you will hardly be a good candidate to carry on Orochimaru sama's legacy if you are making your body worse," Kabuto retorted. He knew this was a sore point for the boy because of his failing health.
Kimimaro turned back to glare. "We both know I am unable to do that for him. Why bring it up at all?"
Kabuto moved over to start looking over his patient, saying what he knew would bolster the boy's spirits, although he was loathe to do it, "Orochimaru sama cares about you regardless of your health. Knowing you are doing things to hasten your departure would not please him in the least."
A bit of spark lit in aqua colored eyes. "You could just not tell him."
"I could, but then I would get in trouble if the others mention in passing what you've been up to. I don't like getting into trouble," Kabuto said. He made some hand signals watching as the chakra flowed green in both his hands. He slowly moved his hands over Kimimaro checking for any hidden injuries.
Kabuto mentally warred with himself, with these hands it would be just as easy to harm the runt as it was to heal him. But he also knew he spoke truth about displeasing Orochimaru. Any punishment he would get at the hands of his master would be brutal. He detected a mild elevation of white blood cells. With a reproving grunt, he reached into his bag, pulling out a small bottle.
"Drink all of this, and rest for a while," Kabuto said.
Kimimaro had the look of someone ready to argue the remedy. He knew the taste of the medicine was horrible and it made him too sleepy. He also knew that Orochimaru promised to stop by and see him this evening. The last thing he wanted to do was 'rest'. However, he knew this was his fate from now on, so with little resistance he did as he was told.
Kabuto smiled and said his farewells for the evening. He started down a corridor when he heard Orochimaru approach from a different hallway to Kimimaro's room. He stayed behind, hidden so he could listen in.
"Kimimaro," Orochimaru said tenderly. It was a tenderness that Kabuto hated because he was never spoken to in such a manner.
"Orochimaru sama," Kimimaro responded, "I'm sorry. I went against your wishes and sparred today. Kabuto has given me some medicine. Are you mad at me?"
"I could never be mad at you," Orochimaru purred. "I can come visit another time."
"Please stay?" Kimimaro asked. "Just keep me company until I fall asleep. Please?"
"You never have to ask. Move over and I will lie with you."
"Thank you, Orochimaru sama."
Kabuto had heard enough. He stormed back to his room. He knew Orochimaru would send out the Sound Four to capture Sasuke soon. It couldn't happen fast enough for Kabuto. He knew he would take great pleasure in telling Kimimaro of his replacement in Orochimaru's heart. He knew he should be ashamed of being jealous of a dying kid, but he wouldn't. Not as long as Orochimaru treated the boy like a precious jewel, while he was treated like a servant. Being treated as 'almost but not quite' an equal grated on Kabuto's nerves even more than the cloying adoration displayed by the two he just left. 'Was getting a bit of respect that hard?' he wondered.
Kabuto shook his head and walked over to the cabinet that held varying plants and medicines. Orochimaru would probably run out of medicine soon for his arms. Kabuto began to prepare a fresh batch. He would never admit this to his master, but he was secretly impressed that someone as old as the Hokage could still manage to hurt Orochimaru. He didn't wish Orochimaru harm, but you did have to admire the cunning that living a long life could afford. A long life spent in just one body, not hopping from host to host like a parasite. Learning all jutsu was an admirable goal, but wouldn't living forever get boring after a while? Especially since everyone you would ever know would die on you. He shrugged off the thoughts as he prepared the medicine. The hardest part was figuring out what the minimum amount of painkiller he could get away with and still have Orochimaru functioning. His master complained of the pain often, but if he were to put the actual amount of painkillers needed to ease that pain completely he would be in a coma like state for days or even months.
Ah well, as Orochimaru sama had said to him more than once, 'Life is pain.'