Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. All rights belong to Kishimoto Masashi.

A/N: Somehow, Duchess managed to pull me into this insanity that is Tobirama's week. Happy Birthday, you sulking softie. XD

Tobirama stared at the motionless mass of feathers and blood pinned on his target board. Its beady eyes stared back at him, glassy with the shadow of death. The nightingale was…dead. Mito's pet nightingale was dead. His lids closed; his brows creased. A groan vibrated in his throat, heavy and laden with frustration. He hadn't meant to kill the damn bird. It had just happened to fly by as he was throwing his kunai. A most unfortunate turn of events if there ever was one.

Should I…bury it? Roast it? Boil it? Thought after thought, each one more ridiculous than the previous, raced through his mind.

"Tobirama!" The groan he'd been suppressing whooshed out of his lungs. Hashirama was the last person he wanted to see right now. Or be seen by.

"Did you finish the report I –" His brother's voice faltered when Hashirama's gaze pinpointed the reason for Tobirama's despair. "Please tell me that's not what I think it is."

Denial was useless. Everything was useless. Tobirama clicked his tongue, scowling.

"No, it's a bloody pheasant. What do you think it is, anija?"

"I think it's Mito's beloved Suzume," Hashirama deadpanned.

The fact that Mito had named the nightingale after the common sparrow's name was ludicrous in and of itself but not as ludicrous as the situation Tobirama currently found himself in. His brother's wife was quite eccentric in some ways, and quite scary in others as Hashirama promptly thought it wise to remind him.

"She'd better not see this. Mito loves that bird. Of all the nightingales in Konoha, did you really have to kill that one?"

"It was an accident." Tobirama more mumbled than spoke, cheeks slightly flushed.

"You better fix this. Now." Hashirama slashed him with a rare glare when Tobirama made to protest. "I don't care how you'll do it or whatever means you have to use, but she must never learn of this."

Head hung low, lips thinned, Tobirama had no choice but to surrender to his fate – or face Mito's wrath.

"I do believe there's something different about Suzume." Mito's voice was full of concern, her gaze troubled.

Hashirama laughed nervously. "It's just your imagination, Mito."

"But his eyes…" she insisted.

Tobirama cleared his throat, shifting with discomfort and muttering under his breath. "They were always black and red. You just hadn't noticed up until now. It's, uh, a genetic anomaly."

Mito huffed but didn't pursue the matter, and both brothers exhaled in relief.

Later that day, Tobirama pulled his brother aside, eyes grim, voice grimmer.

"Don't ever tell a soul how this technique was developed."