I'm not going to say anything about this fic, save for the fact that:
I'm not doing a lemon
This is the first complete Gen/Rai fic I've written, so be nice. Juunin RnR doesn't count as one because it was a threesome …
I got this written ages ago, but never really got around posting it …
Raidou was never the type to feel inferior to a fellow colleague. While some may not have liked the folds of burnt skin on his cheek because it somehow gave him the image of a nightmarish-monster-that-stalked-kids-when-they-sleep, others found it rather charming, like some sort of stand out feature. Hey, some had moles on their faces the size of a pachinko ball, so what's wrong with burnt skin? Bottom line, the scar was not really much of a bother to anyone; especially in a village of shinobis. He wasn't bad looking at all – short brown hair that spiked naturally with his forehead protector on, dark eyes, tall, a good built and had that intriguing serious aura radiating about him. Raidou was cool about everything. He didn't mind if the female race of the village got all giggly with the stuff they get giggly on nor did he mind the curious little ninjas that aimed to be the best in the village. He didn't mind his nosy/loud/smoking/dramatic fellow colleagues because he was a firm believer of a person having character – be it extravagant or perverted. His own character was labeled as 'cool and serious' by some that he knew and truth be told, Raidou sort of liked it.
Raidou liked many things. For example, he happened to like iguanas. He actually owned one as a child before it died horrendously by falling in to a bucket of hot water that he prepared with some herbal oils to soak his aching feet after a mission. The poor thing was left all limp and floating amidst steamy water surface and Raidou still blamed himself for leaving that bucket beside his table where Iggy-chan was prancing about. He was a beautiful iguana that was about six to seven inches long. Raidou loved him to bits and then it fell in to the bucket. He mourned Iggy-chan's death and buried him in the yard of his parents' house. To this day, he still missed his dead pet.
Raidou liked watching the moon and he was aware of the fact that a person like him and moon watching just didn't really go hand in hand (in the mind of others at least). But yes, he loved watching the moon. He adored its soft white light that can sometimes cast a violet or blue sheen on a cool winter night. He could stay up all night, just watching and thinking of nothing important and still call it a good night. He wasn't very hard to please. Raidou liked small and humble things and actions – an invitation to tea or coffee, a good conversation that didn't involve missions, studying new techniques or arts, reading a good book, helping over-worked shinobis (candidates usually were either Iruka, Kotetsu or Izumo) and of course, most of all, being in the companionship of his colleague and best friend, Shiranui Genma.
Raidou and Genma have been friends before they even joined the Ninja Academy. It all started with the pet iguana. When Raidou was about six years old, the year he bought Iggy-chan, he met – well, found – Genma poking at something in a grassy moor next to a lake somewhere in the outskirts of the village. Raidou had spent the day letting Iggy-chan sit on a tree and get in touch with nature for a bit and was on his way home when he spotted Genma. On normal occasions, he wouldn't have really cared if the skinny brat down the lake were a lunatic who liked to poke at soil with a twig. But it had been the fifth day he's seen the same kid poke at the same soil and curiosity was getting the better of him.
"Why are you poking the earth?" Raidou asked, blinking large black eyes at Genma.
"Because I heard that this was a good place to get tarantulas." Genma answered.
"Tarantulas are boring." Raidou said, and took out Iggy-chan from his small belt bag and held it out to Genma. "I've got an iguana. Wanna see?"
They hit it off from that point. Genma had been so excited about the iguana that they began to meet every day by the lake to watch Iggy-chan move in nature and react to the surroundings. Little meetings turned in to sharing of lunch boxes and books when they joined the Academy and soon they were spending their times together, all the way to the war efforts and fights to the paperwork they shared to the current day.
So Raidou liked many things. He also had many hobbies like fishing and helping out at the local pet store during his free time because the old man who runs it was suffering from Parkinson's disease and couldn't handle the pets properly. He was particularly fond of the lovely glass case filled with crawfish because they were just adorable when they were going for each other's pincers. Raidou also loved to eat. He loved all foods and found cooking as an art that needed to be in utmost perfection to achieve that perfect taste and savory feeling. He had an appetite of three men and adored everything from rice cakes to grilled salmons and stuffed turkeys. Raidou was a firm believer that food had the power of healing the mind and body if one ate the right things, so even if he actually loved eating ice cream and sweet, sweet dumplings, he held back because he liked to stay healthy. Once in a while, he'd indulge himself in such delicacies and that was usually when he was done with paperwork (which was a rare thing since he's an active Jounin).
It was on an autumn afternoon when he was just heading for the administrative office to tackle some paperwork when he overheard a conversation between Genma, Kakashi, Gai and apparently Asuma. They were laughing and talking happily about the 'beautiful race of Konoha'. Raidou heard Jiraiya's name and few replies of 'no comment' coming from all. Just before he entered, he heard his name.
"What about Raidou?" Asuma's voice.
"Raidou?" Genma's questioning tone.
"Raidou is too serious." Kakashi's answer.
"Raidou is PHAT." Genma said, sounding cool, nonchalant and completely normal.
Raidou merely blanched, taking a few steps away from the door and looking at himself. Genma thinks I'm fat? I'm FAT? Genma's answer seemed to have triggered a series of hoots and whistles. He thinks I'm FAT?
Another thing about Raidou was that he was a very sensitive man behind the entire 'cool and serious' look. He takes insults personally and hence wasn't a very good person to throw jokes at. While this may have been a slight disadvantage to his social life, it proved to be a very good advantage when it came to giving support to those in need – be it on the field or outside the field because he was one of the most sensitive men in the entire village.
Seriously? I'm fat? But – But I'm NOT!
Raidou could not stop the hurt from crawling in to his chest, so he did the next best thing. He headed for the mission room to ask for a mission instead of continuing paperwork with Genma.
Raidou handed in his C-rank mission report, approximately seven hours later. He was tired, he was sleepy and he really wanted to get something to eat. At the thought of food, Raidou quickly and automatically kicked the idea of eating away. He was not thinking of warm soup and sweet and sour shrimp sticks. He was not thinking of having that lovely orange sherbet that bar next to the diners that served those fattening shrimp sticks made. He was not thinking of that carton of ice cream stashed at the back of his freezer for tired nights like these, because that flavor happened to be strawberry double cheesecake and strawberry double cheesecake was fattening.
Raidou's stomach growled.
"Oh man." Raidou winced, rubbing his empty stomach, trying to ease the hunger. Last thing he had was a sausage roll during breakfast. He actually did manage to eat a donut somewhere between paper work break and hearing Genma calling him fat. But really, how is a donut and a sausage roll supposed to keep an active Jounin like him functioning properly through out the day?
Raidou's stomach growled. Again.
Hands pressed against the food-demanding organ harder, rubbing it to offer some sort of soothing effect. Raidou's love for nice and warm food was not helping his current situation because really, his stomach was killing him.
Footsteps and chakra beats came from the end of the hallway. Raidou attempted to look normal, but kept a hand on his stomach, looking casual. It was hard because he was really, really, really hungry. Just his luck that it was Gai who rounded the corner, who also flashed him that good-guy smile of his and approached him. No, Raidou did not mind Gai's dramatic and flashy ways because he liked people with character. They made them more real rather than empty beings who kill for the village's safety. Gai was only laughing with all the others when Genma called him fat. It was nothing really, because it was quite humorous.
Raidou was not a happy person and it damn well showed. His brows creased more than normal and there was that glint – yes, that glint – of light shining on the surface of his dark eyes, giving him the look that basically made his enemies scram for life. He really had nothing against Gai and on normal days, he wouldn't have minded the good-guy smile and pose. But as it was, the day was not really normal on Raidou's scale. Genma called him fat, others laughed, he was tired from a mission he should have never taken in the first place, he was starving and damnit, he only ate one sausage roll and one donut for the whole day and it was already nine the evening.
"Raidou! I'm glad I've spotted you for I wish to tell you that Genma has been looking for you since this afternoon." Gai flashed that ridiculous shiny-teeth smile of his. Raidou didn't really blame the vein that throbbed on his temple. No, it wasn't really Gai's fault. That was his character and Raidou reminded himself that he liked people with character.
Just as long as they don't laugh when people call me fat. He laughed! Raidou's mind spat.
"Where is he?" Raidou managed to say diplomatically. It won't do well for Raidou to blow steam off at Gai. If there was a person he wanted to blow steam at, it would be one bandana-wearing man. When the thought crossed Raidou's mind, only then did it occur to him that he was acting completely irrational and unfair towards his best friend. Who knows? Maybe he really needs to loose a few pounds? At the thought, Raidou began to grit his teeth and it damn well showed because Gai blinked and took a very uncharacteristic step back.
"Last time I saw him, he was in the office lounge. He might still be there." Gai said, shrugging and giving off a short laugh. "Go see him. It sounded rather important. I shall be going! Good night, my fellow comrade!" A poof later and Gai was gone.
Raidou made a face and stomped towards the office lounge and found Asuma slouching on one chair, an arm draped on one armrest, smoking what had to be his fourth packet of cigarettes for the day. Again, Raidou did not mind Asuma's love for cigarettes because that built his image and truth be told, it was not bad at all. Raidou wasn't sour at Asuma or anything like that because the man didn't do anything to him. He only laughed, just like Gai, when Genma called him fat. It was something small and completely irrelevant. If Asuma did something like – oh, say stab Raidou in the back with a kunai for no reason or betrayed him and sold him out to some evil organization – then Raidou would be really, really, really pissed. But Asuma only laughed. It was no big deal.
Raidou growled at the sight of Asuma.
"Where's Genma? Gai said he was here." Raidou said, sounding slightly nice and his normal self, but the glint – yes, that glint – was now flashing so intensely that the cigarette in between Asuma's lips nearly fell.
Asuma coughed a bit. "He was here. He left an hour ago to get something to eat because he was so hungry."
Raidou threw a mental tantrum. Genma was eating? Genma was eating while he was starving? Eating? That selfish, unfeeling, cruel, calling-people-fat son of a – AUGH!
"I see. Fine." Raidou turned around, shoved his hands in to his pockets and headed for the door. "Good night."
Asuma nodded rather dumbly behind him, about to reply but Raidou was already gone.
Raidou sighed in to the night air once he was outside the building. On the spot, the decision of going on a strict veggie-diet hit him along with the idea of waking up extra early in the morning to get a lot of exercise. Raidou promised himself that he would get fit and trim, so that nobody would ever call him fat again. He'd go for long runs at four AM, maybe circle the village twice or something, then meditate for a few minutes, practice some katas and spar – as in, really, really hardcore type of sparring – with a clone or maybe a tree until the bark falls off or something. He considered lifting weights, but decided that too much muscle would make him look fat and bulky, so he stomped the thought of lifting weights immediately. He'd eat less, practice more patience with his appetite and stop having those energy drinks and sweet bars he adored. It was a great sacrifice, but as long as he'd never be called fat again, Raidou would gladly pay the price. First, he had to get himself a supply of multi-vitamins and some veggies.
Nodding to himself, Raidou headed for local pharmacy before going off to buy some vegetables.
Raidou woke up the next morning feeling like he was run over by a herd of cows. His abdomen area was clenched so tight from the few hundred (just about six hundred) stomach crunches he did before going to bed. The fact that he only ate a celery stick the other night after a tiring mission also helped with the 'ran over by cows' feeling. Raidou shook his head, determined to get somewhere. He was smoldered by determination to actually loose a few pounds as soon as possible that he ignore that clenching, biting and burning feeling his stomach area made and padded for the bathroom to refresh himself. While washing his face, Raidou realized that his limbs were sore and heavy like lead. But he stubbornly ignored these feelings, telling himself that this was just an excuse to lie down some more along with getting something to eat. This, Raidou's mind stressed, is a feeling of an unfit, fat, and lazy Jounin.
Raidou grumbled to himself, cursing his stomach for the deserving pampering it demanded and his love for warm and delicious food. He began to curse loudly, nearly stabbing his toothpaste tube to death and ending up squeezing a lot of white sticky fluoride in the process. Raidou slapped the bathroom sink, kicked the toilet seat before grabbing his toothbrush and attempting to strangle it. He realized that he was acting like a man on crack so he counted one to ten and as civilized as he can, began the task of brushing his teeth. Raidou ran wet fingers through his hair and scrubbed at his face with soap and water. He dressed up in training clothes and headed off for his run, stomach still growling.
Raidou was determined to go around the whole village twice. He set a steady pace, all the while ticking off things to do to Genma once he was 'fit'. Just as Raidou passed by the butcher, the thought of kicking Genma on his buttocks crossed his mind. He played with the idea, while running, thinking that perhaps getting his nin-sandal print on those two mounds of flesh can teach Genma a lesson in calling people fat because people have feelings too. When Raidou passed by the burial parlor on the other side of town, he twiddled with the idea of personally strangling Genma. At that, a wicked grin appeared on Raidou's face that people in turn gave him strange looks as he jogged by. Raidou decided that maybe he can figure out new ways to strangle. Knee joints could work if he got Genma in the right angle, along with elbow joints. Toes came to mind, but Raidou shook his head, reminding himself that toes can only be used if he kicked Genma correctly to crush his windpipe. Then of course, there was the classical way of ending it all, fingers a'la strangle special.
"That's boring." Raidou mumbled, rounding off another corner and passing by the bakery. The whiff of vanilla and cinnamon baking made him stop for a while to stare at the delicious pastries with syrup and cream fillings. Raidou always had a week knee for blackberry pie and just his luck, the baker came out from the kitchen carrying his day's bake of the said pie. Raidou unconsciously started drooling and wiped the trickle of saliva off his chin with the back of his hand.
Fattening. Fattening. Blackberry pie equals fattening. Raidou eating blackberry pie equals Raidou putting on more pounds. Putting on more pounds means Raidou is fat and that Genma wins! Genma must not win!
Raidou shook his head, slapped himself once and turned away abruptly, continuing his run. His stomach mourned and begged to have something – anything – from that bakery. Raidou mentally scolded his stomach for being a traitor. If anything, once he's lost a few pounds, he decided to stuff Genma with sweets, either the other man was willing or not. Then, Raidou cackled mentally, he'd call Genma fat at his face.
"Oh I am going to murder you. Just you wait." Raidou began to think of ways to kill Genma with the use of fruit tarts. Poisoning it was one thing, but that was the boring way out. He could shove a chunk down Genma's throat and tickle the living day lights out of him. Raidou got a mental image of Genma tied on a chair, bare feet with a big piece of fruit tart in his mouth while Raidou tickled his feet with a feather. Raidou nodded to himself as he passed by his apartment building an hour later. He decided that the chair-tying-tickle-feet technique was good and that he was going to keep it.
Feeling happy at his train of thoughts, Raidou continued his second lap, practiced katas and beat the hell out of a tree in the forest before heading off for work.
The process repeated for the next three days. While Raidou went through his crash-diet, he also avoided Genma as much as possible. How he managed to pull that off was still a miracle.
Genma found Raidou slumped on a desk, grumbling to himself after a solo mission. Apparently, Raidou just returned from a mission about an hour ago that required delivering messages to the Fire's Daimyo. Genma grinned and sat himself opposite Raidou.
"Raidou-chan!" Genma teased, since the room was empty. He and Raidou can act like complete babies in front of each other only. To be quite frank, Genma hasn't seen Raidou for almost four days since they last did paperwork together. "I've been looking all over for you."
"I heard." Raidou moaned out, head still down.
Genma tilted his head to one side in curiosity. "Are you avoiding me, Raidou-chan?"
"No." Raidou lied, the answer coming out a muffle because he still kept his head down.
Genma scooted over next to Raidou, poking him in the ribs. In response, Raidou moaned in pain and moved away a bit, head still down. "Raidou?"
"What?" Raidou grumbled.
Genma turned serious. "Look at me, man."
"Why should I?" Raidou asked, coughing a bit then sniffing.
"Did you catch a cold?" Genma blinked, shaking Raidou's shoulder. Raidou shook his head. "Then?"
"I'm just sleepy." Raidou replied. The truth was he was starving, his abdomen ached from all the stomach crunches he's been crazily doing and he had one hell of a pounding headache. Genma was right that he caught a cold because he fell asleep on his bed one evening, drenched in sweat after a run and he forgot to close his window. The fact that Genma was now poking his arm that then moved to his shoulder was already irritating the hell out of Raidou. Bad enough his limb feels like it's being hit by a mallet, but Raidou seriously felt that if Genma didn't stop soon, he was going to have to try that chair-tying-tickle-feet technique. "Stop it."
"What?" Genma asked, still poking Raidou's shoulder.
"Stop poking me." Raidou growled.
Genma blinked and stopped briefly. He was just playing around. "Raidou, you've been avoiding me, and this is the first time I've seen you in almost four days. Why can't I poke you?" Genma resumed poking Raidou's shoulder.
"Because I'm going to tie you up on a chair and strangle the living daylights out of you if continue to poke me." Raidou threatened – well, as much as he can sound with his dry throat. He decided that the fingers a'la strangle special was a lot better than the feet tickling. Whoever said that laughing too much can kill you? It's an absolute lie.
Genma sighed and stopped poking. "I checked by the pet store at the market square and I heard you haven't dropped by for a few days." Raidou gave a grunt in response. "Can you please tell me what's bothering you? Are you really avoiding me?"
"Shut up Genma. I have a headache and I'm seriously going to hurt you, if you don't quit." Raidou grumbled again, his head still down.
Genma blinked at stared at Raidou quietly, brows drawing together in a frown. "You really are avoiding me, aren't you?"
"One more word and I'll kick you in the balls."
Genma looked at Raidou before wrapping arms around Raidou's middle and resting his head on Raidou's shoulder. "Sorry." He mumbled. "Look, whatever it is you're mad at me for, I'm sorry. I don't even know what it is, but I'm sorry anyway. I'm going to do go do some scouting routine. I'll treat you to fried noodles and shrimp sticks. The one you really like. I'll wait for you in front of the restaurant." Raidou refused to respond to that. Genma reached up and rubbed Raidou's arms slowly. "Don't be mad at me." Genma whispered. "Please?" Footsteps approached the hallway towards their office. "I'll be waiting tonight." Genma whispered, and ruffled Raidou's hair affectionately before undraping himself off Raidou and leaving the room.
Raidou found himself staring sadly at the fibers of his turtleneck sleeve. Genma was speaking to him in whispers. That means that Genma was sad and hurt by his treatment. Raidou started to feel very bad to what he was doing. He realized that he's been acting completely childish (and noted that this was not the first time he realized that he was indeed acting childish). Genma wasn't a lowly person that he wouldn't understand if Raidou told him about the problem. Maybe Genma was joking around that day. Raidou felt that perhaps it was unfair on Genma's side because Genma was just being the friend that he was. The man had been looking for him everyday and trying to catch him for the past few days. Raidou avoided him like a plague and Genma was someone not easy to avoid especially when Genma was the one doing the hunting – looking.
"He didn't even call me chan anymore." Raidou mumbled, noticing how Genma dropped the chan towards the end of the conversation.
The door slid open and Kakashi walked in to set a folder on one of the tables. "Eh? Raidou? Got dumped or something?" Raidou raised a hand and stuck his middle finger at Kakashi lazily. Kakashi only grinned. "Oh yeah. You're on patrol list today in the north west region."
"Yeah, yeah." Raidou said, waving his raised hand. "Now shut up. I've got a headache."
Kakashi shrugged and left. "See ya'."
Raidou gave out a strange sound before lifting his head up to look around the empty room. He still had about twenty minutes before he should begin security-patrolling. His stomach gave out a loud growl just as he stood up. Sighing and rubbing the aching and begging muscles, Raidou pulled out a celery stick from one of the many pockets of his uniform. On normal occasions, Raidou wouldn't have minded celery for it was healthy and light and did good things to one's body system. But after eating it continuously for a few days, Raidou felt more than imagined like he had a pair of rabbit's ears on his head and a fluffy tail on his buttocks. Raidou never, ever, ever disses food, but now the damn celery stick was mocking him, giving off vibes that if he took one more bite, he'd turn in to the Human Bunny of Doom. The persistent growling of his stomach made Raidou forget about turning in to a rabbit and took a huge bite out of the celery stick. As he continued eating, lead-like feet dragged him to his assigned area for patrolling. It was already an hour before dinner time and Raidou prayed to the heavens that he wouldn't collapse in the middle of his patrolling.
Let's just say I couldn't stop giggling when I re-read this to check for mistakes – to which I might've missed some.