Sometimes, someone prompts me with a little nugget, and that nugget turns out to be gold. And then my muses are suddenly Nifflers, and I cannot stop them.

Say hello to the Naruto-KHR cross that resulted from Selene Dreamwalker.

O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~O~

If there was one thing that Orochimaru had learned from the Uchiha brat calling himself Tobi, it was that no one suspected the bumbling, energetic fool.

So, when he found himself reborn, memories intact, even though his chakra was gone- replaced with a foreign energy, he plotted. He wasn't sure how this world worked, and so he presented a certain image to the world. He had learned better than to reveal his genius to the masses the last time, chased out and looked down on.

And when he found himself coming across the Mafia he laughed. This was a world he was familiar with. This he could manipulate and flourish in. He'd rule the place before anyone even knew to stop him. But he'd not reveal that, no. He'd let the fools bask in their fake freedoms, in their illusions.

Let them all think him the fool. He had all the strings in the end.

O~O~O~

Orochimaru sneered at the Arcobaleno.

This was the word's supposed best?

They didn't even suspect he was more than his 'Skull' persona! Not even the one who prided herself on being the Information Broker, nor the one who called himself the 'strongest' of the Arcobaleno. The scientist missed it, the military folk were blinded by his 'civilian' status. The only two who seemed to suspect something more were the tiny seer, and the Asian martial artist.

Even then they didn't seem to realize what.

How disappointing.

He'd have to find his own entertainment with them it appeared.

He enjoyed the secondary energy source he had found in that regard. He had a primary source of what this world called Cloud Flames, but his secondary was infinitely useful as well, especially when used in time with his Cloud Flames.

Mist Flames were a boon, especially with his previous life's knowledge of the illusion arts. He could make them believe they hit him when they lashed out, that he bruised, that he was a bigger fool then they thought him to be.

It was so easy.

O~O~O~

Orochimaru did not do 'affection' and 'attachment' at the drop of a hat. It took a persistent kind of work, and constant exposure for him to form those bonds.

Before Naruto Uzumaki, Oroachimaru wouldn't have even given 'bonds' the light of day. It had been proven to him however, that 'friends' were a beneficial thing, and that they could be a source of strength if used properly.

Still, he had not expected to grow attached to the Arcobaleno at all.

Then that Not-Future happened, and Orochimaru had memories of years more exposure, and the way he'd revealed his genius to find a cure to the poison in the air with Verde.

That changed things quite a bit.

Especially when Byakuran went after them.

Orochimaru knew the instincts that went with his Flames were a very powerful and dangerous thing to behold, but he had never actually lost control of them before.

Not until the Sky had threatened the mansion in which his team resided.

He'd snarled, his Flames spiking dangerously, Mist and Cloud swelling like a Water Dragon Jutsu, and stormed for the door.

He was known as one of the Legendary Three Ninja. The Genius, the Professor's star student, feared across the Nations in his past life. He was the Cloud Arcobaleno, one of the World's Strongest Seven. The strongest though he had never shown it before like this.

He had abandoned his team once before, and he would not do it again. Not for those in that mansion that accepted his genius when it was revealed, that worked so well with him, that not only thought his experiments interesting, but would help him with them.

Byakuran and his little army would not touch his home while he lived. He'd held entire armies back on his own before, this would be no different.

O~O~O~

Orochimaru stepped onto the battlefield, his form flickering between 'Skull' and his old life's self as his Mist Flames twisted the world to his whims. Many of Byakuran's army found themselves pinned in place be amethyst slit eyes that bled to gold and back. Every person that met his eyes saw a flash of their death, much as he had once done to a young team seven in the Forest of Death.

The woods that surrounded the mansion felt like home, like Konoha, and Orochimaru found it soothing to fight on such familiar ground.

His form wavered in front of the army, and then appeared to dissolve into leaves and be blown away.

Before anyone could react to the sudden disappearance and the obvious use of Mist Flames, the screams started.

O~O~O~

No one could stop him.

Orochimaru carved his way through the army that had come for his team, and he did so with relish and all his war experience.

He'd lived through more than one Shinobi World War. These were babes in comparison, even with their active Flames.

None could have stopped him as he decimated the army of Byakuran.

No, what eventually brought Orochimaru down, was multiple sniper shots aimed for his head. He'd dodged the first two bullets, but when all three snipers had aimed for him, he hadn't quite managed the same.

What an unexpected twist of events. And to think- it had begun with Orochimaru playing the fool.