A/N: Well, I am feeling quite sheepish. I have ignored Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru for far too long. In fact, the only reason that I finished this chapter was that I felt guilty. I mean, I love Jiraiya, and Tsunade's great.
Orochimaru: What about me?
antilogicgirl: --rolls eyes--Look, snake-boy, you better just be glad that I'm having an entire chapter focusing on you. So, put on your make-up, and be happy, because it ain't happening again. 'Kay?
antilogicgirl: What was that?
Orochimaru: I said make with the chapter. (in a mumbling tone) It's all about me...--opens make-up case--
antilogicgirl: --twitch-- Freak. --sigh-- Fine. Just don't interrupt my Author's Note again. It makes it look all choppy.
Orochimaru: Yes, ma'am.
Ahem. As I was saying, yeah, I've been ignoring them for far too long, and now there's this chapter, which is far too short for my taste, but writing Orochimaru is difficult. He's a sick, sick man, and it is very hard for me to concentrate on just him, so I didn't. Warnings? Um, yeah. Orochimaru's evil. That should just about cover it, except for the somewhat-pseudo-sorta-limey-ish-ness at the end. It disturbed me to write it, so I thought you should at least be warned. Of course, any of you who know me will also know that not much disturbs me. But if you're worried that I'm going to kill off any of the Sannin, you need not worry your pretty little heads about that. I am trying to keep this as much to the general story as possible (outside their personal interactions, that is).
Legal Stuffiness: I do not own Naruto, or any of the charaters therein. Kishimoto Masashi, sole proprietor.
You Give Me A Headache
Chapter 3: Sake and Deception
There was a knock on the door. He ignored it. The knock came again. Only a slight twinge of annoyance crossed over his face at that. Again, he ignored it. Continuing his research, he leaned back on his couch, scroll in hand. There was that knock again. Insistent, aren't we? Sighing slightly, he got fluidly to his feet, and re-rolled the scroll as he went to the door. When it was open, he found Tsunade standing there. "What do you want?"
She seemed nervous. He knew full well that he made her uncomfortable. It was only natural. There were times when he made himself ill at ease. She looked at him with an expression of concern on her face. "Orochimaru, I was just coming to see how you were. You seemed a little strained after our last mission." Why was she worried? He had never made any indication that he felt friendly toward her, ever.
Orochimaru's head tilted slightly to one side. "I'm fine, Tsunade. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have research to do." At his words, her frown deepened. As he began to swing the door shut, she caught it with her forearm. Annoyed, he pulled the door open again. What did she think she was doing? No amount of concern for him was worth invading his privacy.
In a tone that told of her concern and disapproval, she said, "You work too hard, Orochimaru. Find something to relax yourself, ok?" Then, she did something he had never expected. She smiled at him. He blinked. He nodded, and she seemed to relax. "I'm going to be going to the bar later. Would you like to join me?" When his eyebrows shot up, her lips curled in a wry smile. "When is the last time you actually had a drink?"
"I don't know."
"Exactly my point. I'll expect you around seven." With that, she turned away and walked back up the street, Orochimaru blinking after her. What in the name of the Hokage had just happened? Had she just bullied him into a date? No, that couldn't be it. He snorted. It wasn't as if he was going to go. He would just sit in his apartment and look over the collection of scrolls he had gotten from the library. That was infinitely more interesting than watching a big-breasted woman getting drunk.
One hour later, 6:30 pm…
He examined a scroll on the study of how chakra was produced. It was all very elementary, and he threw it aside. His concentration was suffering, anyway. Why? Because he was still wondering what the hell Tsunade was up to, that why. She couldn't possibly think that he actually wanted to be around her. He'd never liked her, or their other teammate, for that matter. Jiraiya, now blissfully secluded in the mountains, was a pain in the neck, a loser, and a moron. How he became a jounin, Orochimaru had still not figured out. And how the idiot did it on the same day he had was simply beyond him. Finally giving up in his research, he padded to the back of his apartment to shower and change. If he was going to find out what she wanted, he needed to look as presentable as possible.
When he entered the bar, he pushed the noren aside, and his nose twitched. He'd never really liked the smell of cigarettes, but he supposed he could deal with it. For a little while. Catching a glimpse of himself in a full-length mirror near the coat-stand, he frowned a little. Orochimaru had changed his jounin uniform for a long-sleeved black shirt and loose-fitting pants of the same color. It made him look dead. He really was far too pale, and with the purple tattoos around his eyes, the effect was only heightened. He shrugged. He'd looked worse.
He looked around, and soon found Tsunade, sitting in a corner booth. Before he could stop himself, he raised an eyebrow. She was wearing a dress. Well, it was more of a stylized kimono that was loosely draped around her shoulders, but…she looked different. The medic-nin didn't wear that sort of thing very often, especially now that she was a jounin, and almost constantly on missions. Being a man who likes legs on a woman, he eyed hers for a moment before walking through the smoky bar. They were, to say the least, not bad, and he got a healthy dose of them from the length (or lack thereof) of her skirt.
There were several other people casting glances in Tsunade's direction, and not all of them were male. She was rather hard to miss, and being that she was dressed that way, he had to wonder if the ensemble was calculated to attract attention. That was exactly what Orochimaru did not want. The last thing he needed was to be noticed and recognized in a place like this. But, he walked forward, for lack of knowing what else to do. The woman soon spotted him, and gave a small wave. She was drinking sake, as he had seen her do many times. As he sat, she raised an eyebrow. "I thought you weren't going to show up."
Orochimaru shrugged. "I got bored." She Tsunade rolled her eyes at him.
"Liar. You needed a break. You look like death, Orochimaru. How long has it been since you just took a day to rest?" Her eyes looked on him with something like concern, and he waved a dismissive hand.
"I can handle myself just fine."
"There's a difference between being able to handle yourself and being healthy. I thought you were smart enough to know that." Taking another sip of her sake, she tilted her head to one side. "How often do you go outside when you aren't on missions, anyway? If you got some Vitamin D into your system, it would work wonders for your health. And sun is good for the mind, too." She bit her lip, her expression turning almost nervous, and looked away from him. "Sorry. I told myself I wasn't going to treat you like I was examining you, and here I am, doing just that." Orochimaru kept his surprise to himself. Tsunade really seemed concerned for him. Had he really been acting so differently around people?
He had his public face: studied courtesy, politeness, and icily defiant indifference toward anyone who came within fifty meters of him with the intention of being antagonistic or idiotic. His private self was…darker. Shaking off that thought, he watched her finish her cup of sake. "Thanks for your concern, but really, I'm fine. I've just been doing a lot of research. I can't just pack up a bag of scrolls and sit on top of the Hokage Monument to study them."
"Why not? That actually sounds like it would be a good idea. What the hell could you possibly be researching that you feel the need to stay inside so often? I really don't think that anything could be worth making yourself sick over it." She said this with a tone that indicated her extreme displeasure over his behavior, but not really expressing any real interest in his research. That was fine with him, because he wasn't going to discuss it with her. When he did not respond, she rolled her eyes. "Have a drink and relax, Orochimaru. You need it." She poured a cup of sake and pushed it toward him. He stared down at the faintly yellowish liquid in the tiny ceramic cup.
He really couldn't remember when the last time he drank was. Taking a deep breath, he picked up the cup, holding it beneath his nose. The acrid smell of the sake assaulted his senses, in a pleasant way. Taking a small sip, he let the sharp taste of it soak into his mouth, and trickle down his throat. As the slight warmth of the drink settled into his chest, he thought that it might not have been such a bad idea to come here.
Just when he was thinking that, he saw her pouring herself more sake, and wondered when she was going to stop. "Tsunade? Do you do this often?" She nodded, eyeing her cup happily. She might be bordering on the alcoholic side. Not that he really cared. As a team member, she was proficient, and as a medic, exceptional. Tsunade served her purpose. That was all he needed or wanted of her. Now, he looked at her face, where there was a pinkish tint staining her cheeks, and wondered if she had another motive.
The thought that Tsunade might want to seduce him was actually frightening. He knew that she was very strong, and that she had no lover at the moment. The combination of strength and repressed sexual frustration might be lethal. "Orochimaru, can I ask you something?" He nodded. "How old were you, when you first killed someone?" Her face wasn't so happy now. Orochimaru could tell that she was thinking of something that clearly upset her.
"I think that I was twelve. Maybe eleven. I don't really remember at the moment."
"I was fourteen. It was a young boy from the Cloud. I crushed him. I…" Her voice trailed off, and he could see tears forming in her eyes. She did not often cry, and he wasn't really sure that he wanted to see it. "How do you stand it? I became a medic so that I wouldn't need to kill. So that I could save people. But I still have to kill sometimes. It hasn't gotten any easier. Has it gotten easier for you?" There was a turmoil in her eyes that he did not understand. If he killed, it was out of necessity. He killed in battle, and for some other reasons he found needful, but he did not let it get to him. He studied her face. She looked like she was going to fall apart. There was a part of him that wanted to tell her that she should just suck it up, because that's what it was to be a ninja. It was their job to kill.
Another part of him was whispering at him that he could tell her things, nice things, to soothe her. Soothe her and make her trust him. She seemed to need it. If she trusted him, it would get her off of his back, but also, he might get a little bit of something else out of it, too. So he did something he never had done before in his life. He smiled comfortingly at her. "Killing is something done because we have to, Tsunade. We are tools. I know that it is difficult, to stay impartial about it. But we have to try. Do you understand?" He was trying not to sound heartless about it, but he wasn't entirely sure that he was succeeding. Well, he didn't really care, per se, but if he could use her to his advantage, all the better for him.
Watching from a dark and smoky corner of the bar-room, Hatake Sakumo smoked his pipe. Tsunade was laying on thick, waterworks, cleavage and all. Not to mention those legs. If he were an evil bastard like Orochimaru, he would definitely be laying it on thick, as well. And from the tiny smile he saw on the man's snake-like face, this was thick for him. He almost shivered. Almost. Orochimaru gave him the creeps, and really, it took a hell of a lot for that to happen.
When Tsunade had approached him, he had thought she was coming on to him. Well, she was wearing an extremely low-cut shirt at the time, but she had a man with her, as well, so it couldn't be that. The man in question happened to be Jiraiya, and he knew better than to mess with her when the white-haired pervert was in the room. He'd always seemed to have the hots for that big-breasted woman…Shaking his thoughts away, he continued to observe the tow of them.
Tsunade was talking about death, and how much it upset her. Sakumo was very glad he could read lips. Orochimaru was…comforting her. That was interesting. He made a mental note of it, and kept processing the conversation for further study. After about three more bottles of sake, and an hour later, Orochimaru was helping Tsunade out of the door. Sakumo vanished instantly from his seat, a mere flicker of color as he sped after them, out of the side door. Following them was not a problem, since Tsunade was making enough noise to wake the dead as she tripped on her spike heels and giggled loudly.
He could almost hear Orochimaru's eyes rolling. The man's raspy voice echoed through the alleyway. "Tsunade…should I get you some tea? Coffee?"
The woman was, Sakumo knew, much more aware of her situation than she was letting on. He'd seen her drink three times that much, and still be able to hurl a kunai with deadly accuracy. So, it came as no surprise when she answered the question in a slurred voice, perfectly imitating what a drunken bimbo would sound like. "Nope…I'm fine. Why is it so dark?"
At this, Sakumo suppressed a snort. Orochimaru chuckled, just a bit. "Because it's night. Come on. I'll take you home." Sakumo knew that letting the two of them walk into Tsunade's apartment while Jiraiya was sitting on the couch would be a very bad idea. If they really did end up doing that, he could just pop in and tell the man, and they could both be gone before the pair arrived.
"Oookay. Just, make sure I can get the key in the lock, please?" It was funny what one thought of when they were completely and utterly intoxicated. Though she wasn't, Sakumo suspected that if she had been, that was the sort of thing she would worry about. The two of them continued walking down the street, and Tsunade suddenly cursed violently, "Dammit! My heel broke!" The young jounin watched from a patch of shadow as the woman yanked both of the four-inch heeled shoes from her feet. "Screw my apartment. Can we just go to yours? I think it's closer from here."
"Fine." Orochimaru said. Sakumo was actually a tiny bit surprised about the ease with which the man relented. She was correct, it seemed, because his place was no more than a block from where they were standing. This was not exactly a good turn of events. If the dark-haired jounin was planning anything, he would be on his own turf, which gave him a distinct advantage. In the shadows, Sakumo slipped a black cloth mask over his face. Damn, but this was going to get ugly if things kept on the way they were going.
Golden sun streamed into the room, and Tsunade suddenly realized that she had a hangover. How had that happened? She'd only had three bottles of sake! Had she really been that drunk? She certainly remembered everything, much to her dismay, which was why she was frowning as she opened her eyes slowly to find herself exactly where she expected herself to be. The room had walls painted a dark shade of purple, and the futon was hard as a rock. The blankets fell off of her as she sat up, and it was cold.
Holding her head in her hands, she groaned. Laying next to her on the futon, naked as the day he was born, and pasty as any of the Uchiha, was Orochimaru. She wanted to slap herself. Getting close to him did not require sleeping with him. Well, if it hadn't required it, then the operative question would certainly be WHY had she done it! The other jounin stirred, and rolled over onto his back. He pushed sheets of black hair from his golden eyes, and peered up at her. He saw the look on her face, and smirked.
"It wasn't that bad, now, was it?" Correction. She wanted to slap herself, then him. His voice was so…smug…that she wanted to see if a good slap would adjust it for him. But that wouldn't help matters, so she just continued to look at him in feigned horror, until he said, "You don't remember?" Tsunade shook her head wordlessly. A sly smile crossed the pale man's features. "Well, that's what you get for drinking so much, now, isn't it?" For a moment, they just looked at each other, and then she conceded the point.
"Stop me, next time. My head is killing me." Her hands ran smoothly through a simple jutsu and as it sank into her head, the pain dulled. "Ah. That is so much better." She then turned to him and said, "Was it at least worth my headache?"
Orochimaru seemed to think for a moment as to how he would answer that question. He was, by nature, a bitchy little smart-ass, and she had known that from day one. So when he answered her, his tone sarcastic, it didn't surprise her in the least. "I would say…yes. If you like, I can refresh your memory." It took all she had not to jump up from the futon and run from the room. But since she started this, she was going to have to finish it.
His hands were cold. How could human hands, living hands, be so icy? She shivered when he touched her. Why was she letting him touch her this way? Again? Her mind kept telling her to think of pleasant things. Think of good things, like sunshine and rainbows, puppies and kittens…but none of that really helped. Then, her mind latched onto the last happy thing that had happened to her. Jiraiya. She thought of him, and the other night, how it had felt…
Warm. It had been warm. He had been warm. Large hands, clumsy in their caresses, but still heart-felt and wonderful. It was a happy memory. If she thought of that, she could block out the way Orochimaru's hands froze her...his lips felt like frostbite...and how his breath on her skin made her tremble for reasons that she didn't want to think of. Thoughts of warm, scented water overrode the present smells of raw sex and old dust, which seemed to pervade Orochimaru's apartment, those thoughts taking her back to her bathroom, where she had been with Jiraiya. Clinging to those thoughts like a lifeline, she could also cling to clammy shoulders as her body betrayed her mind. It gave in to the cold, going numb and being set on fire at once.
Remembering the earnest tone of Jiraiya's voice when he had tried to stop her, the breathless whispers they shared, this allowed her to drive from her ears the sound of Orochimaru's breathing, his groans, and finally, her own voice. Moans, whimpers, and eventually screams...She didn't want to react that way. But her body had betrayed her long since, and she clung to her memories of Jiraiya, thoughts of warmth and how it felt to really be loved. But then, she lost her thoughts, her happy memories, as a pale face appeared before hers. Then, she was entirely in this moment. She was with this man, a man she had seen kill men without a thought. A man who was looking at her now with the only light of feeling she had ever seen in his eyes. Panic started to rise in her chest, and suddenly, unexpectedly, something happened that she had never intended, never wanted. It had not happened the night before.
Tsunade found her vision shaded by a curtain of dark hair, honey-colored eyes growing larger as he leaned down to her. Purple markings that surrounded those golden snake-like eyes seemed to mesmerize her, and he kissed her. It wasn't gentle by any estimation, and she only found herself responding to it out of sheer instinct. Finally, she found a part of him that was warm. His lips might freeze her to death, but his tongue was warm, and it found its way into her mouth, giving her warmth just when she was sure that she would never feel any such thing again.
When he pulled away from her, there was a strange look in his eyes that she wasn't sure she could identify, but it scared her. He wasn't smug anymore. That was what scared her. The fact that she knew he was human, and always had known, had no bearing on their relationship. She had seen him do inhuman things many times. This was the only real proof she had. Orochimaru was human. He was only a man. And he was looking at her the way a man would. That scared her.
A/N: Ah, the icky, icky thought of Orochimaru having sex. He is rather icky just by himself. Now that Sakumo is in the picture, I'm actually getting fresh ideas. So if you're good little boys and girls, and review, I'm sure I can come up with something much quicker than the last update!
Orochimaru: Um...Sakumo wasn't watching that, was he? And I am not pasty!
Sakumo: Nope. That's just a little too kinky, even for me. Snake-boy, you're white as a sheet. Don't try to deny it...
Tsunade: Are all men sickos?
antilogicgirl: No, some of them are just open perverts...
Jiraiya: or Super-Perverts, like me!
antilogicgirl: --giggles--Oh, I'd almost forgotten about you. Not sure how. --winks at Jiraiya--
Jiraiya: --rubs hands together, takes out little notebook-- Time for that interview you promised me!
antilogicgirl: Not in front of the others. Later, darling.
In any event, hope you enjoyed the chapter in spite of the twitch-worthy idea of Orochimaru seducing Tsunade. --twitch, twitch...double-twitch--