Warnings: Superhero!AU, crack, off-screen violence, referenced beating, humor, secret identities!fail (mostly on purpose this time), references to drunk sex, vaguely codependent friendships, etc.
Word Count: ~6600 (complete)
Pairings: Tōka/Izuna, Madara/Tobirama, Mito/Hashirama
Summary: Tōka is not some reckless vigilante wannabe. She is an IT girl. Mito and Tobirama can keep bouncing across rooftops and knocking out criminals if they want. Tōka is a reasonable, responsible adult with bills to pay and—and a best friend who's probably playing punching bag for the mob right now. Damn it.
Notes: Because marinasilvus on Tumblr did absolutely gorgeous art for this 'verse, and after the way they drew Tōka, I had to write this. Oops?
(The title is still from Hedley's Anything, because as far as superhero songs go that's a pretty good one.)
Wear my heart on my fist
Tōka has a headache.
One more minute of staring at a computer screen and she's pretty sure she's going to hurt someone—likely her boss, but there are equal chances it will be the next idiot to call her shrieking about a computer being completely nonfunctional before they check that the damn thing is plugged in.
With a low groan, she pushes her chair back from her desk and reaches up to knead at her forehead, closing her eyes to block out the blinding fluorescent lights. Lines of code are starting to blur into meaninglessness, and she's tempted to toss the whole computer right out the window. She probably would if there was a window anywhere nearby, but her office, while blessedly private, is also entirely devoid of natural light, and it itches at her.
This whole damn city itches at her, sometimes.
The clock is just barely on twelve, but even so, Tōka decides that one more minute of sitting will be the end of her and pushes to her feet, snatching up her messenger bag and slinging it across her chest as she hits the door. There's no one in the hallway, but she minds her steps even so until she reaches the stairs. She and her coworkers have a relationship of reluctant need and mutual loathing, so it's probably best not to let them see her bending the rules.
Taking the stairs down to the main lobby feels like escaping, and the breath of city-choked air whirling past the main doors manages to taste like freedom even if it reeks of exhaust fumes. Tōka breathes a sigh of relief—
Strangling a groan, she turns back, offering a halfhearted wave to her boss, who's hanging over the railing and looking down. "Yes?" she asks as politely as possible.
Shikaku Nara snorts softly. "The Chronicle just called. Some moron managed to delete half their files, and they're panicking. Take your lunch and then go fix it."
Knowing Shikaku the way she does… "You told them we'd be over immediately, didn't you?" she asks, amused.
Shikaku smirks at her, pushing away from the balcony's edge. "Don't exaggerate. I said 'as soon as possible'. Maybe this will teach them not to let interns muck around in perfectly good systems."
That at least makes her laugh, and feeling a little lighter, she heads for the street. The sidewalk is crowded, but as she pushes through to the stream of foot traffic heading towards the newspaper's building, she digs out her phone and pulls up the app she created. Compiled information from police scanners and social media slides across the screen, and barely twenty seconds later she has a decent map of Sharingan and Shodai's movements across Konoha. At the very top is an alert in large letters. There's been a robbery at the First Independent Bank seven blocks over, and traffic is backed up in several directions.
With a soft huff, Tōka turns off the main street and heads for a slightly more circuitous route that will avoid the hubbub. Superheroes are a pain in the ass on good days, no matter how grateful she is that there's someone to keep the metahuman criminals in check. Especially given that Konoha on the whole seems more than content to bury its head in the sand and ignore the fact that the water supply was successfully laced with a mutating agent. Not that Tōka really blames people; she's more than capable of bench-pressing a car, but it's not something she talks about.
She's about a block and a half from her favorite café when her phone burbles, and she stops in surprise, pulling it back out of her pocket as she steps sideways into the overhang of a shop's awning. There's another alert from her tracking program in bright, eye-catching red, cheerfully declaring Tempest and Hellcat moving west on 65th Street, currently in pursuit.
Well. Someone's expanding their territory, it seems. Tōka had thought they were sticking to the shadier parts of Konoha and thumbing their noses at Sharingan and Shodai from the safety of the shadows. Out in broad daylight like this? They must be chasing someone important.
Or, Tōka thinks a little wryly, they've stepped up their attempts to make Konoha's main superheroes pull all of their long, pretty hair right out of their heads. They've had a pretty good run of it so far. Tōka's a little impressed with the pair's results; for two new vigilantes without any apparent powers, they've been heckling Shodai and Sharingan with few repercussions and lots of opportunity for superhero-mocking in the general populace.
Still, it's not her concern. Hashirama and his jerk-ass Siamese twin might be ready to pop a vein over Hellcat and Tempest's actions, talking about drawing in villains and exacerbating violent crime, but Tōka is just glad that there's someone keeping an eye on her little cousin's neighborhood. God knows Sharingan and Shodai haven't made many attempts.
Tucking the mobile away again, Tōka picks up her pace, heading for the side-street that cuts across to the more populated streets. The Chronicle's building is two blocks down, but she doesn't so much as glance at it, breezing into the café and ordering herself a sandwich. It's been a long day already, and she's not about to face the frantic newspaper staff on an empty stomach. In all likelihood she'll end up making half of them cry, and they'll complain to Shikaku. Then Shikaku will call her into his office and laugh at her. Tōka hates it when he does that.
Of course, given the way the morning's going, she's just gotten her meal and is about to take her first bite when a familiar voice calls, "Senju!"
With a sigh, she sets it back down on her plate, glancing up, and—
"Fuck, Uchiha," she hisses, pushing quickly to her feet. "What the hell happened to you?"
Izuna gives her a cheerful smile, seemingly unaware that his left arm is in a sling and the skin around his eye is about the same shade as Tōka's deep plum lipstick. "Nice to see you too, Senju. Everyone on my floor is in the wailing and moaning stage of grief over our files, so I volunteered to wander down this way and convince you to walk faster." Catching sight of her expression, he grins. "No, no, finish your sandwich. I'll grab myself a coffee. They can assume I had to trek all the way over to your office and pick you up in person, if you want."
"Lifesaver," Tōka sighs, sinking back down. Izuna winks and heads for the counter, greeting the barista by name, and she shakes her head as she starts eating. How Izuna is related to Madara she can't even fathom. Izuna is cute and sweet; Madara is a walking train wreck with the temper of barracuda suffering a toothache.
"I hope you know you're not getting out of telling me what happened," she threatens when Izuna takes the seat across from her, moving gingerly. "Does that brother of yours know?"
Izuna snorts. "Did you know you wrinkle your nose when you talk about him, like you're smelling garbage? It's cute." When Tōka doesn't waver, simply raises a brow as she eats, he rolls his eyes and leans back. "I'm writing an expose on Councilman Gato. Apparently three heavies from down by the docks took umbrage with my 'snooping.' I'm fine, it's just bruises."
Worry twists at Tōka's gut, and she frowns at him. "A councilman? Izuna—"
"Fine," Izuna insists. "Really. There's absolutely no need for Madara to ever know." Something sharp and angry flickers across his face, and he looks down, fiddling with the cardboard sleeve on his drink. "Besides, Gato's scum, and I'm going to prove it. He's not going to get away with what he's been doing any longer."
"Then report it to Sharingan or Shodai," Tōka insists. "Izuna, next time you're not going to get away with bruises. They'll dump your body in the harbor or something. Let it go."
"This is my story," he says stubbornly, and Tōka recognizes that set to his mouth, the angle of his chin. He's not going to waver, damn it.
"You're an idiot, Uchiha," she tells him flatly, tearing the crust off the edge of sandwich left and throwing it at him. "Whatever happens to you, you deserve it."
"How come you only call me by my first name when you're mad at me?" Izuna protests, holding up a hand to keep the bread from hitting his face. "Can't you drop the last name and go back to Izuna? We've known each other since college."
"And you've been a pain in my ass since day one." Tōka ignores his protest, swallowing the last of her coffee and rising to her feet. "Come on, let's go see what your little group of technophobes managed to screw up today."
"I am not personally responsible for every intern they allow free rein in the computer system. In fact, I would gladly hang all of them out the window by their ankles and leave Shodai to rescue them. They're the real pain in the ass."
Tōka laughs, and as thanks for the much-needed dose of humor she doesn't even kick Izuna when he holds the door for her on their way out.
Following the theme of the day, the problem takes almost seven hours to fix, and by the time Tōka drags herself out of the Chronicle, the sun is setting. Izuna is long gone, probably doing more ill-advised snooping somewhere disreputable, and Tōka debates, just for a moment, finding Madara's number somewhere and letting him know. She and Izuna are simply friends—she's not his type, she thinks, and it sits sour and resigned in her gut—but Madara hates her as if she'd taken advantage of his little brother and stolen his virtue.
For the record, that was something he'd lost long before they crashed into each other on the local university campus, Izuna hurrying to his writing class and Tōka to the computer labs to fix a system-wide bug. They'd mixed up their notebooks and had to find each other later, and Tōka smiles a little at the memory, even as she fingers her phone.
Izuna's an idiot. He can take care of himself most of the time, but consistently puts himself in situations where he's in over his head. Surely Madara, being the strapping police detective he is, would want to know about Izuna's newest story obsession, even if it comes from someone he loathes.
Then again, she likes Izuna a hell of a lot more than Madara, and if she mentions anything to his brother, Izuna won't talk to her again until sometime around next Christmas. With a grimace, she lets it go, pushing a few stray strands of hair back towards her tight bun.
She won't tell Madara. That doesn't mean she can't casually cross paths with Sharingan or Shodai and let the information slip. Dropping Gato's name will probably be enough, if he's as crooked as Izuna thinks.
That decided, Tōka pulls up her program, checking the alerts, and her faint smirk slips into a frown at what she sees. Sharingan and Shodai are currently out of sight, but Hellcat and Tempest have stayed within fifteen blocks of the Chronicle all day, even after making several catches. That's definitely—
Twin shadows fall across her phone, one from either side, and Tōka snorts softly, not needing to look up to know who it is, though she does anyway. "Wonder Twins. Aren't you wandering a little far from home?"
Mito gives her a cat-smug smile, makeup exceptional, looking—like always—as if she just stepped out of a college student fashion shoot. Her ever-present bag—roughly large enough to hold a dead body, and full of things Tōka has never asked about or contemplated too deeply—is slung over one shoulder, and her other hand is full of plastic bags from one of the best Chinese restaurants in the area. "We were in the neighborhood," she says brightly. "Mr. Nara said you were out on a job, so we thought we'd come meet you and see if you wanted to share our ill-gotten gains."
Mito is ridiculous. Tōka can never tell if the cheerful airhead is who she actually is, or if it's a show put on for everyone but Tobirama. And, with that in mind, she glances over at her cousin, arching a brow.
Tobirama, as ever, catches the request for translation and rolls his eyes a little. "We picked up an extra job and have some spare cash, so we wanted to treat you to take-out," he tells her.
In return for all the times you've done the same for us, is what he doesn't say, but Tōka can read it in his voice all the same. Tobirama and Mito are both proud, after all; they'd hardly allow charity towards them, even from a relative. Not that they'd outright call this payback, either. Tōka gets it, and she rolls her eyes right back at the white-haired brat.
"What if I have plans?" she points out, since Tobirama is weighted down with plastic bags as well.
Mito and Tobirama trade one of those looks that drive Tōka insane, because people should be old and married before they can have a conversation like that, but these two apparently came out of the womb—and separate wombs, at that, which rather boggles Tōka's mind at times—with a telepathic connection already in place.
(She remembers, sometimes, being twelve and watching her youngest cousin drag himself home from school, grim-faced, because white hair and red eyes—even as a result of a city-wide mutating agent that affected pretty much everyone—didn't exactly make school life easy for a six-year-old. And then one day, he'd come home with a girl next to him, purple-eyed and red-haired and all but spitting nails, so fiercely, impossibly defensive of a boy she'd just met. Butsuma, Tōka's guardian, had never been home to care, and Tōka certainly hadn't been about to say anything to the man, so Mito had stayed more often than not, to the point where it was almost strange to see Tobirama without her, or her without him.
Tōka's always rather wondered what that must be like, having someone so close. Some days she wishes she knew. Others, she's glad she doesn't.)
"You haven't had plans since Samui," Tobirama finally says, and his eyes narrow faintly in an expression Tōka is more than familiar with. She huffs and whacks him over the head, and glares right back when he scowls at her.
"Brat," she informs him, because him being protective stopped being cute when he outgrew her. "Samui is military—she couldn't help that she was transferred. Let it go, and you'd better hope you've got dim sum in that bag."
"Of course," Mito cuts in before Tobirama can protest. "We wouldn't dream of buying you dinner without it, Tōka."
Well. In that case, and since Sharingan and Shodai both appear to be off the radar for the moment, Tōka supposes she can spare some time for dinner from her favorite restaurant. "My apartment is a disaster zone," she warns, one last attempt to scare them off, because she's seen the nearly-sterile rat-trap they call an apartment. She'd always thought college students were naturally messy, and then she'd helped them carry furniture up. Whatever dust bunny that dares show its face in their apartment is quickly and ruthlessly executed.
Tōka worries about them, really. That kind of neatness can't be healthy.
Mito laughs, lighthearted and dreamy and probably about forty percent theatrical production and sixty percent actual humor. "We'll survive," she assures Tōka, whirling in the street like she's dancing. Her long, layered skirts flare around her, showing a flash of black tights beneath, and her mass of red hair is like a blood-red cloud around her, for once loose from its buns. She's definitely one of the most beautiful women Tōka has ever seen.
Someday, Tōka tells herself with an inward sigh. Someday Hashirama will pull his head out of his ass and see what's been right in front of him since goddamn puberty. She is so sick of the pining on both sides.
Madara and Tobirama—well, they can wait. Hopefully in the meantime Tobirama will finally realize that Madara has all the social grace of a chainsaw with anger management issues and beat a retreat while he still can. Not that she's holding onto all that much hope. Tobirama is weird, and his crushes are weirder.
"Everything quiet over by you?" she asks her cousin, and snorts when he narrows his eyes at her. "Oh, save it for Hashirama. You know I don't give a damn where you live as long as you've got some sort of roof over your head and you don't mind it. I was just asking."
Apparently appeased, Tobirama inclines his head. "It's been peaceful," he confirms. "A few minor disturbances, but crime seems to have dropped sharply." He looks savagely satisfied with that, and Tōka frowns a little, studying his expression. That's…interesting.
"I heard about those two new vigilantes," she says, testing, as she leads them up the stairs to her apartment. She's on the seventh floor, but the elevator is usually occupied by that one crazy old lady who likes to pretend she's a lift operator and always tries to set Tōka up with her granddaughter. Better to take the stairs. At least Tobirama and Mito are fit enough not to mind it.
Madara always complains, the few times he's visited with Hashirama. But then, Tōka doesn't exactly need more evidence to prove that Madara is an asshole. She's got a plethora already.
Mito is grinning, when she glances back. Not so much cat-smug now as tiger-smug, and it makes Tōka arch a brow in surprise. That's not quite the reaction she was expecting. "Have you?" the redhead asks, her tone innocent, and just smiles when Tōka eyes her warily. Tobirama glances at his best friend, then at her, and adds his own faint smirk, clearly self-satisfied.
They've got a secret, then, and they don't even care to be particularly subtle about it.
For a moment, Tōka considers pushing, but if they want to hint themselves around to actually telling her, that's fine too. She has patience. She practically raised both of them, after all, and Hashirama as well. If she didn't have that, she'd have pulled her hair out years ago.
They never quite tell Tōka directly, not over cartons of Chinese—all her favorites, Tōka notices, and tries not to be touched—and not over popcorn and a movie afterwards—not her favorite, this time, but then Izuna has long insisted that gory slasher movies aren't actually funny and that she's just twisted.
Even so, as Tobirama is putting his shoes on, Mito pulls a package wrapped in plain brown paper out of her bag and presses it into Tōka's hands. "Here," she says with a warm, slightly secretive smile. "I made this for you."
Tōka blinks at her, then down at the bundle. She knows just how much effort and time Mito puts into everything she creates, and how little time she has between school, work, and her own projects. "I—thank you, Mito," she says, surprised and pleased in equal measure. "What is it?"
"Halloween costume," Mito says brightly, as if that makes any sort of sense when it's barely June. Before Tōka can even open her mouth, though, Mito waves and darts through the door as Tobirama opens it, grabbing him by the hand and dragging him along as she scoops up her shoes. They're both gone in an instant, Mito leaping lightly down the stairs in her stockinged feet and Tobirama trailing after her. He at least offers a wave, and Tōka can't help but chuckle as she waves back, then shoves her door shut, jiggles the sticky lock into place, and heads for her bedroom.
The fire escape outside her bedroom window is one of the reasons Tōka picked this apartment in the first place. Hashirama always fusses at her about not having bars, but Tōka is more than capable of protecting herself, and the view from here looks out over the lower building next door and gives a picture-perfect view of the parkway, with the city on one side and the green of the park on the other. Tōka slides out through the open window, then sinks down on the edge of the landing, letting her legs dangle over the side. She takes in the orange-gold edge of the sunset that's visible through the distant skyscrapers of the business district for a moment, then turns her attention to Mito's gift. A few tugs undo the neat brown twine and the wrapping falls away, revealing a soft, dark grey, accented with her favorite shade of deep plum.
There's an envelope on top, standard letter size, but bulkier than if it just contained paper. Tōka frowns, picking it up, and weighs it in her hand for a moment before she slits open the flap with a fingernail and—
A mask tumbles out onto her lap. Blood-purple, her favorite shade, and large enough to cover her face from under her cheekbones to her hairline.
It's also suspiciously familiar.
Frown deepening, Tōka pulls up the browser on her phone. It's the work of a minute to find a shot of Hellcat and Tempest flirt-heckling Shodai and Sharingan—watching the four of them go at it is Konoha's favorite form of entertainment at the moment—and Tōka blows a sharp breath out through her nose, holding the purple mask up to compare it to the ones Tempest (who has white hair, and god, how did she not notice the familiarity of his build, his hair, the way he moves?) and Hellcat (redheaded, petite, wearing black tights under her sleek red armor—and damn it, weren't Hellcat and Tempest hanging around the Chronicle while Tōka was there, and weren't Tobirama and Mito conveniently close?) are wearing.
Halloween costume. Yeah, sure. Tōka believes that. She's also a billionaire and the queen of Fire Country.
"Fuck," she mutters to herself, rubbing a hand over her pulled-back hair. A breath, and then—because why not see just how far this insanity goes?—she picks up the envelope again. There's a piece of folded notepaper inside, and she easily recognizes Tobirama's jagged-sharp slanting hand in the deep blue letters.
To mankind's impious counsels ever nigh, fateful, and fierce to punish these you, the Erinyes, fly. Revenge and sorrows dire to you belong, hid in a savage vest, severe and strong… The boundless tribe of mortals you descry, and justly rule with Dike's impartial eye.
Tōka is not Tobirama. In other words, she is not a massive nerd who took every literature class available in college, and so it takes another search of Google to find just what the hell that's supposed to mean. Tōka has to click through a few less than helpful links, but she finally figures out that it's an excerpt from Orphic Hymn 69 to the Erinyes. Dike is the goddess of vengeance, and the Erinyes are the three Furies.
"Fury, huh?" Tōka mutters, eyeing the suit. She doesn't need this part spelled out for her, at least. She unfolds the costume, not quite able to help herself, and can't suppress an appreciative whistle. It obviously took Mito a lot of effort to make something this lovely. The body of it is all deep grey, with elbow-length reinforced gloves folded into a pocket, plum-colored to match the wide, armored sash that looks like cloth and bends easily, but resists even Tōka's strength when she pushes a finger against it.
The whole thing is lovely. Tōka isn't ever going to wear it, but—
She's not. She isn't. She won't.
Tōka is not some reckless vigilante wannabe. She is an IT girl. Mito and Tobirama can keep bouncing across rooftops and knocking out criminals if they want. Tōka is sane and a reasonable, responsible adult with bills to pay and…
And a best friend who's probably playing punching bag for the mob right now, okay, fuck but that is an unhappy thought.
No, Tōka tells herself firmly, even as her fingers curl more tightly into the grey fabric. This is exactly what overreacting looks like. She is not going to get dressed up like some sort of superhero and rush off on a quest to rescue the unrequited love of her life. And she doesn't even know that he is—they got drunk, fell into bed, and haven't talked about it since. Tōka's just being emotional. And lonely. That's a thing that happens fairly frequently. Less so since Izuna—
With an effort, she reins her thoughts in, mutters, "Come on, Senju, be a little fucking sensible," and reaches for her phone. It's almost midnight. Izuna is probably at home, safely tucked in his bed and dreaming about Pulitzer Prizes. Running around the docks in a skintight cat-suit while he's not even there is the best way Tōka's ever heard to make a fool of herself.
Three rings. Five rings. Seven rings. Eight—
Someone hits ignore.
Tōka's eyes narrow. Izuna always wakes up to the sound of his phone, and he never fails to answer it. It's not off, and he didn't just let it go to voicemail. He deliberately refused her call.
Or someone else did it for him, a little voice in the back of her head whispers.
She takes a breath, holds it, lets it out. There are sirens in the distance, and an alert lights up the screen of her phone. Fire on West 47th, Sharingan and Shodai on the scene. Attempted robbery at the Konoha Museum of Art, Hellcat and Tempest arriving now.
That's what decides her, in the end. If she can't call on Konoha's main superheroes for help, she's just going to have to pull Izuna's ass out of danger by herself. It's not as if she can't. The mask and suit—they're just an excuse to do it in the first place.
Sliding back into her bedroom, Tōka closes the window, draws the blinds, and strips quickly. The suit fits perfectly, not that she expected anything different, and the mask settles easily over her face, held on with a few dabs of spirit gum. She pulls on the gloves, rubbing a fond finger over the brass plating on the knuckles, and spares a glance for the soft, molded shoes at the very bottom of Mito's gift.
Hell no. She's not about to go leaping across rooftops, so those are definitely not her style.
A moment of rummaging through the depths of her closet produces a pair of steel-toed black boots, knee-high and tightly laced, that she left behind with her punk phase. They have a heavy tread, and more than one asshole has gotten his teeth kicked out by them. Tōka has a feeling tonight is going to see that number rise sharply.
The last touch is to unravel the tight knot she keeps her hair in, and it uncoils by itself, tumbling down to fall around her hips. She runs her fingers through it, contemplating a braid or something else to keep it out of her way, but…it's a good disguise. Almost better than the mask, really. A lot of people forget she has long hair at all, and Tobirama is probably the only one who sees it down with any regularity. And given that he's got a secret of his own to keep, and that he and Mito are the reason she's having this hare-brained idea in the first place, she's not too worried about him giving her away.
There aren't any weapons in her apartment beyond the rarely-used kitchen knives —she's not a knife nut like Mito or a sword freak like her little cousin, or even a detective like Hashirama or Madara—but with her strength, Tōka's fairly sure she won't need one. She's gotten into plenty of back-alley fights over the years, since she's never been afraid of sharing her opinion with anyone it might concern, and she hasn't gotten so much as a papercut since puberty happened and her strength kicked in. Part of the package, probably, though she's never actually tested it.
Nothing like a trial by fire, Tōka thinks with wry amusement, opening her door and leaning out to check that the hall is clear. It is, and so are the stairs, so Tōka takes them down. The lock on the maintenance door at the back of the building is broken, something she takes advantage of whenever she forgets her keys, and she uses it now, slipping out onto the quiet side street behind her building.
It's probably not vigilant style to hail a taxi, so Tōka dismisses the idea with a sigh, checks her phone once more, and lengthens her stride. It's about twenty minutes on foot to get to the docks from here if she takes a few shortcuts, and she gets the feeling that Izuna needs her as soon as she can possibly get there.
Tōka is definitely going to jail for hacking a councilman's business records, but then again, vigilantism is illegal too, so she's equally screwed either way if she gets caught. Best to just…not, in that case. She's not sure she could pull off the orange jumpsuit, and she'd certainly never hear the end of it from Hashirama. Or, worse, Madara.
Still, the listings give her addresses for three buildings owned by Gato down here, and the first two are echoingly empty of journalist snoops, so Tōka slips into the third through a broken window, torn between hoping that Izuna is here and hoping he's somewhere else—somewhere safe. She wouldn't mind this being a pointless trip, just as long as Izuna isn't in trouble.
The rumble of angry voices kills her vague hopes pretty damn quickly.
As quietly as she can in her ass-kicking boots, Tōka slides along the wall, towards the row of offices at the back. Only one has a light on, painfully bright against the surrounding darkness where it spills through the half-open door, and Tōka pauses at the corner, looking for anyone standing watch. She can't see anyone, so she holds her breath and slips closer, trying to make out words.
"—goddamn sneak!" a man spits, and Tōka holds back a groan. A hundred bucks says it's Izuna he's referring to, and if she's right he's treating her to a mani-pedi at the salon of her choosing. Damn it, doesn't he ever listen?
"I'm not a cop!" Izuna snaps, proving that he very much doesn't. "Look, I'm a journalist, if you'd just look up my fucking name—"
No. Bad idea, Izuna, Tōka thinks furiously. Your brother is a well-known detective, you empty-headed little idiot!
"You look like a cop to me," another man says, sounding like he's already made up his mind. "You know what we do to cops who stick their noses where it doesn't concern them?"
Tōka doesn't wait around to hear more. She kicks the door all the way open, slamming it into one of the looming men, and catches it as it rebounds. Spin, duck, kick, and a second man scream and collapses, clutching his nuts. Tōka laughs, viciously amused, and dives behind a heavy oak desk to block the spray of bullets that come flying at her. A quick check puts Izuna on her left, tied to a chair and staring with wide eyes, so Tōka grabs the legs of the desk with both hands, braces her feet, and stands, heaving the massive thing right at the horrified knot of men in front of her. They scream as it hits, all but flattened by the sudden weight, and Tōka bolts across the room, snaps the ropes holding Izuna, and tosses him over her shoulder as she races for the door.
There's a shout behind them, but three steps outside the door and Tōka has all the advantage she needs. She spins, dumping Izuna in a loud, indignant heap off to the side, and throws a hard punch at the first man out the door. He flies sideways with a crunch of bone, and Tōka trips a second man, hits a third in the kidneys, and body-slams a fourth into the second as he staggers to his feet. When no more appear, and the ones in front of her seem more interested in groaning than getting up to fight, Tōka snorts, grabs Izuna by the wrist, and takes off again.
"You're an idiot," she snaps, and when the wide loading doors loom in front of them, she lets go long enough to dig her fingers in, brace herself, and tear them apart with a grunt of effort.
"Tōka?" Izuna demands, even as she hauls him forward again. He sounds somewhere between incredulous and dazed.
There's a buzzing light at the far corner of the next building over, and since there's no sound of pursuit, Tōka assumes they're safe enough to stop under it for a moment. She turns, opening her mouth to snap out a retort, and loses all of her breath on a hiss of pure rage.
Instead of just his eye being blackened, Izuna's entire face is a mass of angry color. He's cradling his previously bruised arm to his chest, hunched slightly in a way that speaks of protecting aching ribs, and he's limping a little as he comes to a stop. But his eyes are bright, what Tōka can see of them through the swelling, and he's staring at her with something strangely close to awe.
"Tōka?" he repeats, softer this time.
Tōka huffs, shoving her hair back behind her ear. "Who else would come save your sorry carcass from becoming fish bait?" she demands. "The mob, Izuna?"
"You're angry at me again," Izuna concludes.
"Oh, really? How can you tell?"
"The first name thing," Izuna reminds her, and he doesn't look the slightest bit repentant. Not even faintly sheepish. Tōka is going to string him up by his pubic hairs and leave him for Sharingan to rescue. Before she can tell him that, though, he reaches into the pocket of his button-down and pulls out a small black rectangle. Smirking, he waves it in front of her nose like it's a golden ticket or something. "I got it, Tōka. They called Gato, addressed him by name, and asked him what to do with me. That's more than enough to start them investigating him, and my story will put so much heat on him not even his connections will be able to sweep this one under the rug."
Tōka stares at him, utterly incredulous. "You were recording them and they didn't notice? Izuna, I know the mob doesn't exactly recruit for intelligence, but—"
With a shimmer of red and black sparks, the recorder vanishes completely. Izuna flicks the air where it used to be with a fingernail, and it sounds like he's hitting plastic, but Tōka can't see anything. She narrows her eyes, and this time Izuna looks a little apologetic. "I can make people see things. Pretty much anything I want them to." A moment, and then the dogged edge of interest comes back into his eyes. "Not that you told me everything, either. You have super-strength? What's your vigilante name?"
"Fury," Tōka admits reluctantly, because as far as names go, she could do a lot worse. Tobirama is still a nerd, though. She crosses her arms over her chest, attempting to glare Izuna down, and threatens, "Try this again without at least bringing backup and you will find out exactly why, Izuna."
The grin that gets her is anything but reassuring. "Oh, no worries. I've got my very own superhero on speed dial now, so—"
With a wordless sound of rage and frustration, Tōka grabs Izuna by his messy collar, jerks him forward, and shuts him up. With her mouth, because it seems like a good at the time.
There's a second of perfect stillness as Izuna freezes, but just as Tōka is about to pull back and apologize, he grabs her elbows, pulling her in closer and deepening the kiss. It's slow and intense and Tōka feels her head spin just a little, breathing in the night-air scent of him, dragging her fingers through his ridiculously pretty long hair, cupping the arches of the high cheekbones she's wanted to trace so many times.
"I thought you didn't—" she manages when they break apart.
"I thought you didn't," Izuna counters, eyes wide. Well, as wide as they can get when they're in the process of swelling shut. "You just left."
Because she'd panicked, sleeping with her best friend. Had never tried to seeing him as anything else before then, and he'd been asleep, and they'd both been drunk, and—
"Idiots," Tōka mutters, directed at both of them equally, and backs Izuna into the building to kiss him again.
Izuna laughs against her mouth, wraps his arms around her, and kisses her back.
Talking can wait for later.