Lot of shit that happened! One, I quit my job. Too much stress with commission and trying to find time to do my college projects. I am going to fail on my first few cause of my work's demanding for hours. So now! I got more time to do my projects and maybe write. But no income of money...I despise having to depend on others. I may go job hunting again, but for something that is willing to comply to my hours and respect I need time to do projects.

Besides that, chapter 21! I know it took a while to update and I am sorry for that. It may be a bit short, but it does show some light on what may or may not happen. And thanks to those who read and review for me! It's one thing that cheers me up.

Chapter 21: Jealousy and Jiraiya's Suspicion

When night strolled close, Kakashi decided to take Naruto and Sakura out to train. It'd been a while since he seen what they could do, and wanted to see their improvements. Besides, the wise Jonin felt that the sannin needed their space away from unfamiliar eyes. Though Kakashi was known by the three, he wasn't in their circle of confliction or problems. What the problem was stayed between them and though Kakashi had a hard time swallowing the truth...it was that he didn't have business in saying anything regarding their decisions. Personally, Kakashi felt Tsunade should sever any ties made with Orochimaru and try an assassination since she was the only one he let close enough.

-Hot Springs-

Tsunade felt a nice night in the hot springs would help alleviate some of her pressure. The hot water washed over the naked form, the opportunity to be away from everyone and have her own time just so blissful. It also gave her time to make her own decisions without outer influences. First issue at hand was concerning Orochimaru. Should she continue on trusting him, or break the alliance and go on dealing with both enemies? With the recent events, it was more likely a good idea to end this before anything started. How could she bring Orochimaru into Konoha and tell the council she made a bet with him and compromised Konoha's safety?

"What a sucker I really am...I should have turned him down..."

-Hotel room-

Jiraiya lay in his bed, trying to figure out a plan as to taking care of Orochimaru. Even he had been fooled by Orochimaru's clever acting. But now, since everything was made so clear...the option was to rid the world of this dangerous snake. All it took was convincing Tsunade this was the best solution not just for them, but for other countries. How would Konoha look to the other Kages if they were found making deals with a known enemy? These deep thoughts faded when the toad sennin felt something different in the air. Eyes slid closed, feinting sleep until whoever it was showed themselves. The door opened and someone had indeed stepped into the room. The chakra levels were enough to match his own, and now no doubt was in Jiraiya's mind this was Orochimaru.


The tone was more disappointment than shock. If he was not searching for himself, then he had to be searching for Tsunade. Jiraiya sat up quickly, launching a kunai blade. The blade zipped a path before Orochimaru, making the sannin stop and turn to face the other male. A string had been tied into the kunai's loop to bar the snake from walking past.

"This doesn't concern you, Jiraiya. Let me leave here."

"You're searching for Tsunade."

"...So what if I am? It still doesn't concern you what our business is."

It did concern him. All three were sannin, grew up together as comrades. So whatever that bastard had planned to do to Tsunade, she was his friend and would not let any harm come her way. Jiraiya pulled the kunai violently from the wall at a diagonal, swiping it across the other's cheek and cutting it. Orochimaru had let him, let the faint lines of blood slowly creep down his pale cheek. For Jiraiya to do that, he just gave invitation to start a intense level fight.

" You love her, don't you, Jiraiya?"

The inquiry stunned Jiraiya. It was true of course, but...for Orochimaru to so blatantly ask that. This hesitance was all Orochimaru needed to verify an answer. A sick grin invaded the soft, pale lips and his purple accent eyes gleaming with brilliance.

" So it is true you do. But I bet she hasn't moaned for you. She did for me this morning when I visited her. When I touched her."

The confidence in his confession, the element of boasting not bluffed. Did she really engage in such acts with him of all people? The very thought made Jiraiya bare his teeth and in anger, rush at Orochimaru. This was rich to Orochimaru. Still wearing the confident grin, he stepped to the side and brought down a fist against the back of the man's neck, knocking him down to the floor in pain. But he didn't stop there. Snakes slithered out of the sleeves, wrapping tightly around the injured neck. Jiraiya desperately pulled at the entrapping animals, which bit ferociously into his hands. Orochimaru pulled on the snakes, whipping Jiraiya across the room and out the patio doors. He had enough of the man and this fight...

Jiraiya planted his feet against a tree and pushed against with chakra, jumping right at the following Orochimaru. A fist slammed into the pale cheek, sending him against the wall of the hotel. Jiraiya landed on the ground, a foot away from the sitting Orochimaru who was growing and spitting the blood from his mouth.

" Did you really do that! Did you...touch her!"

"...(chuckling) Yes...intimately, but not sexually. She...likes me. Though she isn't willing to admit it."

"You don't deserve her. You don't even deserve the deal she made with you!"

"...I know that, Jiraiya."

Orochimaru stood up, wiping the rest of the blood from his mouth and glaring at Jiraiya. Orochimaru knew well he didn't deserve what Tsunade was giving him, and most her attention. Still, if someone was going to give him something...who was he to refuse it if it benefited him? The men stared at one another angrily in silence, their initial anger over the woman simmering. Jiraiya knew his love for Tsunade was clear and true, but...him? No one could ever say whether or not his affections could be true or just another brilliant act.

"I need to talk to her. and I will kill you if you dare get in my way, Jiraiya. I am going to talk to her as the Hokage, not Tsunade. So back off."

Orochimaru brushed past Jiraiya, bumping into him purposely. He let the other sannin go, curling fingers into fists. His trust in Tsunade was busted. If she indeed really liked him...he could manipulate her. And not just Tsunade herself, as Hokage. In short...he would rule over Konoha through Tsunade! Was this...his plan?

-Hot springs-

Tsunade was trying best to ignore the rambunctious girls at the other end of the hot spring. Their laughter and splashing was immature and in most onsen, would be considered dishonorable. Then finally, their shouting and play seemed to stop, their attention focused elsewhere. Tsunade had closed her eyes to enjoy the silence, not noticing that their reason for the sudden hush was cause of the man walking across along the springs to the shack for towels. Orochimaru grinned when he spotted the lone Tsunade. Just my luck...