This chapter is rewritten! Well, some parts are. Anyway, I hope this story will be liked. I am sure to install drama, but also comedy and other things! Looking forward to reviews! Thank you!
Chapter 1: Making the Bet
It was high noon in Konoha. A few clouds marred the sky, and a chilly autumn wind swept through the large village. Still, a light warmth could be felt from the bright sun. It was the only comfort Tsunade could find from the outside as she pulled her green jacket tight around her. It was only a few nights ago a certain "snake" found his way into her bedroom. Of course, he wouldn't leave till he was heard out. Tsunade let her former teammate state his business with her. She was shocked to learn he wished to make some compromises with her! However, she would have to meet him and be alone in order for these negotiations to proceed. Reluctantly, the new Fifth Hokage agreed. Tsunade-hime, I am putting the offer of a ceasefire on the table as a "card" of mine...and I am serious about it. Akatsuki are advancing too much and worrying me. They're a threat to BOTH of our countries...that's why a ceasefire may be in play. Should she have believed his honeyed words and come here to these desolate skirts of Konoha? What he had stated about the Akatsuki did make perfect sense when analyzed. Still, trusting a man like Orochimaru...
The blonde woman spun around to meet the raven haired snake sannin. That creepy smirk crept into his lips. Maybe once, when they were young she may have found that grin attractive, but after all the events, all his betrayal...it only sent a chill up her spine. Tsunade glared at him angrily, it her only act of retaliation against the look on his face. And whatever you do, Tsunade-hime...do NOT tell Jiraiya about this. She wished she had of. Tsunade looked around, expecting to see bodyguards or that sneaky brat Kabuto. However, he seemed to have come alone.
"You...came into enemy lands alone?"
"Well, I had told you to meet me and not to bring anyone. It is only fair I do the same, am I right?"
It was, but being in a lone place on the outskirts alone with someone like him? It wasn't a comforting thought. Orochimaru reached out and grabbed Tsunade's wrist and nearly dragged her along, forcing her to follow. They went into surrounding forest area, and down a narrow dirt path. The Hokage hadn't the slightest idea where he was dragging her to, but it made her nervous he did. For him to know secret areas around Konoha, ones of which she didn't know of, was slightly unsettling. After being pulled through foliage and stumbling through dirt, they came to an old, abandoned shack. Orochimaru let her wrist go, earning an angry growl from the slug sannin. He looked down to see he had left a slight bruise on her wrist. Well, it was not as if he snapped it, right?
He entered the small shack, expecting her to follow. Tsunade walked towards it. The small building was so weak and clumsy looking, she was afraid it might collapse with them inside. What had this little shack been and why was it here in the middle of the woods? What she saw when she stepped into the hideout was somewhat surprising. For such a creaky, fragile looking place, the inside was a bit homely. A large, tattered tatami mat stretched across the floor. In the middle of the room was a old, wooden table with the lacquer coming off after so much use. A few old blankets had been tossed to the side, but looked fairly usable. Orochimaru sat there on the right side of the table. Tsunade sighed and let the hinged door swing shut after entering. She knelt, settling into a sitting position and sat across from the freakish Orochimaru. Something struck her odd. In front of her were dice and a round cup. She knew what they were...
"This is what we'll do, Tsunade-hime. We make some compromises of who wants what, make a bet and whoever wins..."
"You dirty snake! You said a ceasefire!"
"Ah, ah. I did and I promise it is definitely included. But in order to have this from me, you have to give up some things...all the arts of compromise."
Tsunade couldn't believe she fell for his tricks! She gave an animalistic growl, but settled herself down, letting him start.
"Well, state what is it you want."
"Ladies first, my dear Hokage."
"...Well then, go."
Orochimaru's smirk disappeared from his pale face as he glared daggers at the blonde. Tsunade felt she won some kind of personal victory of her enemy, but it would only be short-lived. Both had their own views, their own goals. She was all about saving the village from him. He was all about accomplishing a nearly impossible goal. Both were selfish about these responsibilities. And more than anything, both were accustomed to getting anything they wanted.
"Fine. You already know what I want, Orochimaru...you to keep your damned face out of Konoha and all of the Fire country and to never come here again. Also, we would like you to return Sasuke-kun. I'd also like to ask you to turn yourself in...but I know that is impossible to ask of you."
" You are asking far too much, Tsunade-hime. I may be asking of you an alliance and truce, but I am not going to come out of this without no advantage for myself."
"Then tell me what the hell you want!"
The pale Sannin couldn't resist from laughing at her. Though it proved he was weakened by even considering such a thing as this with his number one enemy, it also showed that Konoha has a weakness. If she was willing to make an alliance with one of her enemies to defeat another, it clearly stated that there was not enough forces in the village to handle two strong enemies.
"Fine. Open borders for one. I can come to Konoha whenever my heart desires to, and in return you may come to my country if you feel you should. Second, I keep Sasuke-kun. Third, my name gets erased from the bingo books, and I earn a clean slate. In return, I will aid you in any way possible to defeat Akatsuki. Be it the aid of my ninja I have, or aid from myself directly. This alliance doesn't have no time limit either. It will last as long as it takes to eradicate those in the Akatsuki. And I know you want this...it is better to have me assist you than be the second thorn in your side, yes? Besides...both of us know the Akatsuki will not leave Konoha alone until they get the Kyuubi."
Tsunade hated to admit Orochimaru was right. Still, she felt he was asking for far too much in return for simple assistance and compliance. As Hokage, she still had an obligation to rescue Sasuke. Naruto and Sakura were still so heart set on getting their friend back. But to have his name taken from the bingo books? After all he did, how could he even dare to ask for such a thing!
" You name will be taken from the books...if you return Sasuke. If you do not, your name shall remain in them."
"Harsh. However, my statement will remain the same. It's up to you know to state what you want and for us to gamble on who's way will be taken."
A death glare shot from her hazel eyes at the serpent before her. Either way, a truce will occur. That she had to be thankful for. But now what will she make her terms? It was irritating she did have to give compromises and grant some leniency since Orochimaru was doing something honorable...for once.
"My terms are the same. Open borders will be granted. But either you give up Sasuke or give up hope of having your name yanked out of the books."
Either or. It was the only route Tsunade saw. She watched as Orochimaru picked up the polished dice and shook them in a loose fist.
" And is that all for your terms...? Nothing else?"
No...there is something else. It'll never happen though. Can't. Won't. The woman refrained, biting on her lip to keep the words in. One thing she had been wanting for so long is just to be with her team again. The three of them doing missions together, or lounging together talking. Orochimaru may agree to aiding her, but he would never let his guard down so low as to spend time with her and Jiraiya for old time's sake. He'd be distant and only lend a hand. After all...this whole alliance was temporary. He'll only be an enemy again after the Akatsuki is dealt with. It didn't mean he would be buddy-buddy with them.
"There is, isn't there? Out with it."
"There IS nothing else! I was just...trying to rule out if this is a good idea or not...the council may kill me for making a deal with someone like you...what else can I want but the best for Konoha?"
" To want something for yourself, a personal wish maybe."
Damn perceptive snake. Tsunade bared her teeth and clenched her fists, fighting the rising urge to attack him, or at the least, give him a good slap.
"Add it to your terms. the roll of the dice will determine what we do anyway. I actually figured this was the best way of "negotiation" since we are both too stubborn to settle on compromises. don't you think? Now add the last term..."
" I...can't! It's not worth it."
It was getting on the snake Sannin's nerves to see Tsunade restraining her wishes. With her luck, she was going to lose anyhow. Orochimaru was not afraid of anything she would add. What was the worst that could happen?
"I just...keep thinking back to the three of us being a team again. I want us to...spend time together again, as friends. But...for us to...Jiraiya would find it hard to forgive you, and forgive me for this deal. And-"
"I'll do it. Odds or evens?"
The woman was startled by the quick response. Just like that, he agreed to let her have that term? When Tsunade looked at the circumstances, she saw why. Orochimaru knew about her gambling problems and her foul luck of always losing. He'd agree to anything as long as the confidence in her losing is prominent. This angered her. He had such little faith in her winning he was going to say yes to anything!
Cause she felt her odds were going to be good this time. A confident smirk snuck into her face. Orochimaru threw the dice into the shallow cup and overturned it, slamming it onto the table. The fate rested on the dice. Tsunade thought about many things before the dice were revealed. Would Orochimaru just betray her like he did many others? Or for once stay true to his word? If the dice favored her, would he simply attack her right here? She gave a gulp and noticeably shook. As childish as it was, she crossed her fingers, praying as hard as she could for an odd amount. Orochimaru's pale hand began to lift the cup, impatient to see the results as much as she. What was revealed was truly remarkable. Both of the sannin stared at the dice, in total disbelief.
"...I...don't believe it...it..it's..."
The snake sannin sat there wide eyed, utterly at a loss of words. All he could do was stare at his elated former teammate and begin to wonder just what kind of mess he'd gotten himself into.