Disclaimer/claimer : Kishimoto owns. I do not.
Summary: He hadn't expected it to hurt this much.
He didn’t expect it to hurt this much.
For some strange, romantic reason, he had expected the strength of his will to do more than propel him lightly to his feet and move his limbs in fluid, graceful strides. He had expected the pain to melt away under the nobility of his cause, the depth of his love for his master overriding silly human concerns like agony and distress and the way his feet felt like they were balanced on the point of knives with every step.
Kimimaro hadn’t expected this kind of pain, but he accepted it, and shouldered it, and refused to let it interfere with his task. And really, it wasn’t unbearable, unlike what he’d felt before Orochimaru found him…what he was feeling now, now that he’d become useless and irrelevant.
At least this pain had a purpose, a goal Kimimaro felt he could accomplish before his body gave out entirely. Something that would make him worthy again.
That’s why Kimimaro smiled when the boy finally emerged from the capsule—fully marked with the seal—alive and powerful and eager to go to Orochimaru’s side. His task was almost finished. Sasuke-sama’s had barely begun.
This is why, he thought, silently drawing a sharpened bone out from his shoulder, this is why you cannot defeat me. It is because Orochimaru-sama is counting on me, and he has already won.
Pain in every step, so sharp and deep and constant that he began to pull it close, like shield around him. By the time he activated the seal it was like he could feel himself shattering against the sand and stone that was being flung at him.
Unlike normal shinobi children, Kimimaro had never experienced a broken bone before. It was a strange sensation, so similar to the shifting and grinding his bones usually made beneath his skin as he used his bloodline limit, and yet this time something was wrong.
The jagged edges weren’t smoothing over, weren’t lining up neatly. Kimimaro felt like a stringed puppet that had been clumsily put back together. His insides rattled when he walked.
--You always make me experience new things-- The thought was accompanied by a flash of bitterness that Kimimaro sickened at. He was grateful wasn’t he?
He was, and that Sand brat was wrong, so very wrong.
Orochimaru was the only one…the only one who ever saw him as more than just…
I’m lucky to have found you, Kimimaro-kun.
In the last few seconds before the darkness swallows him, Kimimaro feels that the pain is still with him. Except it’s not pain anymore, and that’s not the name he’s given it.
Orochimaru’s fingers slide through his hair and Kimimaro sighs past the blood in his throat.
“I knew you wouldn’t leave me alone…”