Hello. It would seem as though you've stumbled onto my fic. Hope you enjoy it. This is my first Naruto fic, so don't murder me, kay? The point of view switches each chapter, alternating between Jiraiya and the Oro-kun. So yeah. Hope that's not too confusing. Enjoy.
Teamwork -part 1-
"I can't believe I got stuck with you for a mission…" Orochimaru muttered coldly, as he readjusted the pack on his back.
"Hey, don't blame me, I don't want to be with you either," I huffed, indignant. "Blame Sensei, he's the one who paired us together for this."
"I already have. He should know better than to send a burden with me."
"Burden?! Yeah right! By the end of this mission, I bet you'll be glad you had me around."
"Yes, and if that's the case, then I'm sure we can go ice-skating in hell when we're done."
"Just you wait and see…"
"You can't be serious. I can do this on my own," I insisted.
"You two never get along, so I'm hoping that if it's just the two of you, some kind of bond will form. It's for the good of the team, trust me."
I sighed heavily, "You know how he is…he'll exclude me as much as possible. The mission would get done faster if only one of us went."
"I realize that, and hopefully, one of you will be the bigger person, and set your differences aside for once. Who knows, maybe his attitude towards you will be different when it's just the two of you. Now then, the two of you are leaving at sunset, so I suggest you go gather your things, understand?"
"Yes, Sensei," I muttered, trying to put as much contempt into the title as possible before walking away.
"It's time we stop for the night," he stated, stopping abruptly. Just as I had guessed, after our short-lived fight, we remained silent for the rest of the journey up to that point. So much for "bonding". What kind of crap was that anyway…?
After I set out my stuff for the night, I noticed that he was leaving the clearing. "Oi! Where the hell are you going?"
"There's a river nearby," he replied without so much as a look back. Well, wasn't that the epic response. What does he need a river for? I decided to investigate. After about fifteen minutes passed, I followed him.
As I got closer to the river, there were fewer trees, so I was forced to the ground, but luckily there were plenty of bushes to hide me. In fact, it was on one of them that I found his discarded robe.
Okay. That's a little weird for someone who constantly wears long-sleeved, high-collared shirts, even in the middle of summer. Now I'm really curious.
I crept to the edge of the bushes and peeked out around them, not sure what I would see.
I spotted him easily enough, – who could miss that stark contrast of black hair against white skin? – his back was to me and he was mostly underwater, from the looks of things. I went closer, holding my breath, but he didn't move.
As I got closer, I realized he must have fallen asleep. Careless of someone who's always so arrogant. There must have been clouds overhead, because suddenly we were bathed in moonlight.
The entire scene changed after that.
I'm not sure why the moonlight had such an effect on how I viewed him, but nevertheless, he suddenly seemed ethereal. His milky white skin seemed to almost glow and his hair reminded me of a bolt of black silk that someone had dropped.
Wait a freaking minute! Did I honestly just think that crap? …Damn…
Anyway…the hell was he doing sleeping here, of all places? Especially since it was obvious he wasn't aware of his surrounds. I was only a few feet away from him, and he had yet to even flinch at my presence. I wasn't even using my concealment jutsu…
"Idiot. You're staring," he said suddenly, bringing me out of my thoughts.
Kay. So. I was wrong. Whatever.
I looked almost immediately away, deciding to lay my eyes on the moon overhead. "Yeah, and you take forever to do whatever it is you're doing in the water. Must be your hair, huh?" I mocked, making a quick recovery.
"For your information, which you don't in the least bit deserve, I was trying to relax, but for some reason, a white haired oaf just won't leave me alone long enough to do so," he shot back, glaring at me out of the corner of his eye. It seemed as though he refused to turn around completely to look at me.
"How could anyone relax in water that's probably cold?"
"It's warmer than it appears," he replied simply, turning his head away from me. I decided to see if he was lying…after all, it was fall, how could it stay warm this long after sunset?
As I approached the water's edge, he finally flinched and moved farther away, a small army of bubbles following him.
I'm not the one who bites, what does he have to worry about?
I dipped my finger under the surface, surprised to find that it was as he had said. I scowled slightly, finally remembering the heat wave we'd had for last few days.
"I told you so," he said. I whipped around. When the hell did he get out of the water, dry off, and get dressed?
Freaky snake bastard.
"I'm heading back to try and get some sleep. Please refrain from depriving me of that as well?" he muttered, walking away.
"You're the one depriving me of sleep," I insisted, catching up to him.
"Oh? Do explain, moron."
"I'm not about to go to sleep when a teammate is off somewhere else." He slowed for a split second, but I still caught it. So if someone's worried about him, it does affect him. Good thing to know.
"I would've been fine, you should know that."
"Except you didn't know I was near you until I could've easily killed you."
"I knew full well you were there, I just enjoy surprising you, is all," he smirked, getting under the sheet of his bed roll.
"Yeah, yeah, just don't go taking any more midnight rendezvous', okay?"
"Not that I should need your permission, but I won't."
"Good," I said, turning on my side to fall asleep. It came well enough, but I had some of the strangest dreams that night, all of which included my reclusive teammate. Why the hell was I dreaming about him anyway? It's not as if anything bad happened, which is normally the cause of weird dreams involving people…
The dreams were all pretty similar, and seemed frighteningly realistic. The one that had the most detail and lasted the longest was almost a replay of the scene we had just gone through before we came back to our camp, with one distinct difference. Orochimaru had actually fallen asleep on the river's bank and didn't sense me approach. I can't honestly recall a time when I've seen him in a deep sleep – he's not exactly the type to ever let his guard down, no matter the time or place – but he definitely was in the dream. The whole slow, steady breaths, completely relaxed form…etc, etc.
Not going to go into any more detail of the dream… - as it got really weird - but I definitely am not going any where near him today. I don't need that crap creeping into my rest again tonight.
Unfortunately, that hope was shattered the moment I woke, as I woke to his prodding. I guess it could've been worse, he could've kicked me. I was half expecting that after he told me get my lazy ass up. Quite strange the way it worked out. Insult, then gentle nudging.
The fuck's up with that?
What ever it was, I got up immediately. I think I surprised him. Goodie. Payback for last night. Yeah… Anyway, I packed up my things fairly fast and ate just as quickly. I actually had to wait for him.
There's a first.
He seemed a little annoyed by it, but didn't say anything and so we started out that day in silence. Big surprise. At least we would reach our destination by nightfall if everything went as planned. I had to admit, the mission did worry me slightly. I hadn't ever been assigned to an undercover information gathering mission before. Maybe there was more to our going together than just the "bonding" experience.
Ch- I hope so. As the only bonding going on between us is the literary connection of lightning from eye to eye. It could change…maybe more like how it was in…
I definitely don't want that. God no.
Let's just say that in that dream, our faces came closer together than either of us would ever allow. I'm surprised I wasn't that grossed out by it. Freaked out, but not grossed out.
"You're being surprisingly quiet, you aren't feeling ill by chance?" Orochimaru asked, glancing over at me with a questioning look.
This trip is just getting stranger. Orochimaru starting a conversation? Maybe we will go ice skating in hell.
"Well?" he pressed.
"I'm fine, just thinking," I replied, avoiding his heavy golden gaze.
"There's a dangerous action, though, judging you, it's probably something explicit," he remarked, his usual attitude returning.
"Yeah, you wish that was all it was," I shot back before I realized I had said it.
"Is that a threat, Jiraiya?" he asked, his voice perilously cool.
"No, no! Don't get the wrong idea… I'm not plotting anything malicious, I just have stuff on my mind that I normally don't."
"Care to share what that abnormality is with me?" he asked, skeptical.
"I think I have a right to know if it's distracting someone who's supposed to help me on a mission," he pointed out. Damn him for always being so clever! It's just not fair.
"I had a weird dream, is all."
"What was it about?"
"Why do you care?"
"For the same reason as I explain before, idiot. I could careless otherwise," he reassured in that annoying superior tone of his.
"All right fine, I dreamt that we made out and went a little too far," I blurted. Shit. I did NOT want him to know that. Especially when I didn't even understand it yet. I don't need him nosily picking it apart, every part more degrading than the last.
"Jiraiya, please refrain from your sick jokes and tell me the truth," he sighed, shaking his head. Funny how that managed to hide his face with that long hair of his…hmm…interesting. At least he didn't believe the real truth. Phew.
"Okay…I dreamt that you, Tsunade and Sensei got wounded really badly because of something I did…and its kind of bugging me," I supplied, surprising myself with the ability to come up with something believable so quickly.
"Oh… Well, it didn't happen, so don't worry about it. You need to be focused on this mission, or what you dreamt may come true, got it?"
"Yeah, but who put you in charge?"
"I have experience with these kinds of missions, you do not. Seniority, Jiraiya."
"I'm curious…what gave you the idea for that ridiculous fake dream? Quite disturbing."
"That was the point," I said, putting on a fake grin.
"Or perhaps," he started, that irritating smirk of his coming on, "that your level of perversion is so high that it has caused you to cross the line of hetero to homo, hmm?" he mocked, cold mirth in his eyes.
"And you call me stupid…" I muttered, fighting off an unwelcome blush. Why was I doing that for anyway? It was obviously not light-hearted teasing, it was cruel mockery. Why should that make me feel fluttery? I'm screwed up…
"Yes, yes I do. Are you implying that I'm the same by making that remark?"
"Oh, language. Have I hit a nerve?"
"Just shut up and go back to being freakily quiet, please?"
He shrugged, a triumphant smug look painted on his face. How I'd love to wipe that off with blood…the bastard. What did I ever do to him to get this kind of treatment all the fucking time?
At least he obliged to my request and remained silent until we reached the outskirts of our destination. We made a short stop to get all of our things straightened out; making sure nothing would give away our true intent. This meant nothing that could connect us to being any kind of ninja could show. Not much of problem, but it had to be addressed.
"I think we should find somewhere to stay first, as it is already getting late," Orochimaru suggested, glancing off towards the horizon where the sun was approaching at a steady rate. I nodded in agreement, still a little peeved by his earlier remarks. I don't usually keep grudges, but he did go rather far that time.
We fell back into step and entered the town with ease. After visiting a few hotels, we found one with an opening, except there was a catch.
"We do have one room, but I'm afraid it only has one bed. Will that be a problem?" the lady behind the counter asked, looking up from the registry.
"Thank you, but no, we'll keep-" Orochimaru started, but I cut him off.
"We'll take it." He glared at me. The lady smiled, handing me the key.
"It's on the second floor, three doors to the left. Enjoy your stay."
Once inside, I got the third degree…maybe fourth? It was pretty harsh.
"What the hell were you thinking?" he demanded, livid.
"Hey, we've already been to the nicer hotels in this town, and they had no openings. It was either this, or something sketchy or no where at all. If it's such a problem, my prince, I'll sleep on the floor," I shot back. "Besides, it's cheaper if there's only one bed."
He sighed, realizing he couldn't deny the points I had made. Ha.
"At least it's a large bed," he considered quietly, setting his things down.
"So you won't force me to sleep like a dog?" I asked.
"I guess its kind of late to start our mission for today, so you can do what you want," he said, glancing out the darkening window. "Just don't do anything stupid," he added as I reached the door.
"Yes mother, I'll be a good boy," I remarked, closing the door behind me.
I fought the urge to bolt out of there and into the night life – the town looked like it would be fun at night, what 19 year old could resist? – but I kept my cool as I left.
Yeah, 19, I know, somewhat pathetic to not have had an undercover mission yet, but I'm not going to deny I can be loud when I want to. I'll prove that I'm overdue for something like this. In fact…maybe I should get a head start over Mr. Seniority and gather some info tonight…
As I wandered the streets, I eavesdropped as much as possible. I got a few bits that were rather interesting, even if they weren't exactly what I was looking for, but I figure I'd get something worthwhile eventually. After all, the shady crowd comes out late, don't they?
A few times a girl would take a second glance at me. That definitely helped after the last day and a half with snake-boy. They were actually pretty cute girls…maybe I'd catch up with them tomorrow…
But that would have to wait, I finally got the lead I was looking for. Stepping into an alley, making sure I was completely in shadow, I initiated my concealment jutsu and followed after the guys that had let a little info drop. I grinned to myself, so much for seniority…I knew I didn't need his "help".