Teamwork –part 2 of 11–

As we prepared for leaving, I could already tell that telling him had been a bad idea. I should have just suggested that he might be promoted, not that he actually was. I tried to remain unaffected by his excitement, but it was quickly wearing down my nerves to the point of snapping. I didn't completely lose it until he crowed, for the third time, that he was going to be a jounin and I had nothing to hold over him anymore.

So instead of marring the face I'd grown fond of, I stormed off into the cabin where it was mostly quiet, aside from the gentle lapping of the ocean against the boat's sides.

I could not believe how obnoxious one tiny piece of information made him. I guess I should have been glad he hadn't been that way when I admitted I liked him. I shuddered at the thought, unable to not imagine him strutting around me in a circle repeating in an almost mocking tone: Orochi's got the hots for me! I sighed. Yes, it could definitely be worse.

I hadn't been paying attention to time –who honestly does when they're that upset?—but it apparently had been long enough to cause concern. The gentle tapping on the door caused my head to snap up before I let out an annoyed sigh, loudly. I rose to my feet and unlocked the door, opening it to face him.

"Did you come to crow in my face again?" I demanded. If he was, I would simply slam the door in his face. I still had seniority over him, if nothing else. But the look on his face erased any thoughts of closing the door.

"Not exactly," he murmured, his dark eyes heated. I froze for a split second; so he was trying to seduce me now…? "Mind if I come in…?"

I ignored the fact that I was more than likely blushing like a schoolgirl as I stepped aside to let him in. Even when I was angry with him, he still managed to disarm me so easily. Must be nice.

"Would you like me to warm you up?" he asked as I went to close the door. Stupid chilly sea air was blowing in. I glanced over my shoulder as I shut it before turning to face him.

"Depends. What does 'warming up' entail?" I asked slowly, crossing my arms over my chest. I wasn't about to be caught off-guard by his expertise again. He stepped closer slowly and gently brought his arms around me. I didn't budge, leaving my arms across my chest as he replied.

"Easy… I'm sure a few caresses and a nice heated kiss or two will raise your body temperature to a nice toasty level," he explained calmly, leaning in to brush his lips against my jaw.

Try as I may, that caused my locked muscles to loosen slightly. Disarming again. Bastard. Why was he so good at this?

I fought to keep my heart from beating too quickly and tilted my head to look at him better, "No funny stuff?" I warned. I wasn't sure if my expression contradicted my words, but it probably did. He nodded regardless, clearly not wanting to aggravate me again.

"I'll play nice," he promised kissing my throat just below the ear. My breath caught, much to my annoyance. He must know of every little spot that felt irresistibly good to be kissed. I guess that meant anything serious would be quite enjoyable, but I was still a little jealous. I didn't protest as he brought his mouth to meet mine. In fact, I was playing nice as well now. I dropped my arms to relocate them securely around his neck. I let my eyes close as his hands smoothly ran the course of my back. I was a little disappointed when he pulled away.

I grudgingly reopened my eyes to see what he was up to, "I thought you said a kiss or two to raise my body temperature," I pointed out stubbornly. He snickered.

"Give me a second to catch my breath, I don't have the lung capacity you have," he explained in a low voice –one that raised more goosebumps on my skin. Not that he could see any of them. I let my hands explore his hair as he kissed me again. Not as rough as I had been expecting…though it could use a little help. I didn't fail to notice that he wasn't doing anything special so I urged him on a little, snaking my tongue out to run it across his lower lip. He let me in easily enough –for which I was glad, I was still learning these tricks.

I wouldn't have minded dragging it out a little longer, but my lungs started to protest for fresh oxygen so my hands grudgingly found his face to gently ease it away from mine.

"Mm, yes, definitely warmer now," I murmured, letting out a low laugh. He didn't let me go, not that I wanted to leave the extra warmth of his chest quite yet anyway. My hands returned to his hair; it still puzzled me. How could white be natural…and so spiky?

"Are you sure you haven't done this with anyone before…?" he suddenly asked, doubt written all over his face. Well that was unexpected. I thought I was making a fool of myself when we were more…intimate.

"Yep. I'm just a quick learner," I assured with a smirk. I slipped out of his hold, walking a few paces away, "And might I suggest some conditioner? Your hair felt a little rough," I added. He sighed in obvious irritation, so as I sat down, I kept my eyes on him. "Though it was very nice to play with, the way it defies gravity always intrigued me," I commented, tilting my head to the side when he didn't reply. "I didn't offend you, did I?"

Another sigh escaped him as he plopped down beside me. "No. I'm just surprised, is all."

"By how I'm able to pick things up so quickly?" I supplied gently. Apparently I had offended him, or worse, damaged his ego. The only way I could fix that was to boost it again. That wouldn't be too difficult. I sighed leaning forward to rest my face in my hands, my elbows propped on my knees. "I can assure you once it's past pg-13 I'm clueless. So you'll have your dominant fun…at least the first time through," I tacked on at the end. It only seemed fair to add it.

"Right…except that you're forgetting who is overall physically stronger, not to mention taller," he pointed out. My expression fell into a scowl; it was true, after all. Hmm.

"Well I'm not just going to lie there. I will fight. Just not the first time. I have to learn before I can practice," I commented looking back him before straightening up completely again.

"We'll see snake-boy."

"I know. I'm just warning you so that I don't wound your ego later by surprising you again," I shrugged. I was still surprised I had in the first place. All I was doing was mirroring things he had done, right? I don't get why he got so salty about it.

"Ch-, for a virgin, you sure are cocky."

I laughed, "I try. Since this is frustrating you, were you expecting me to be a swooning weak-willed push-over? Surely you could've guessed I would be my same cocky self? I did warn you in that cottage, didn't I?"

He sighed, "I guess that's true. I still can't shake the feeling you're all talk," he insisted. Well at least he has a good sixth sense.

I shrugged again, trying to keep things cool between us. "Like you said, we'll just have to wait and see. And don't be so pitiful. The first time will be yours to work your manly magic and woo me past any of my senses," I reminded as I stood up. It was a strange sensation, dreading how I was going to react, yet wanting it to feel that good so I did react in that way…

Deciding my thoughts were headed for a dark gutter, I stepped outside, hoping the brisk ocean air would clear my head. It did and I quickly wrapped my arms securely around my chest, trying not to shiver. I guess I had forgotten where we were. It must have been early evening as the west sky was changing colors, taking the sun with it. I sighed, resting against the rail, letting my thoughts wander; I gazed out at the water.

I remained motionless for a long time; the sun had sunk behind the horizon a while ago by now. I guess I hadn't noticed, but the gentle rocking from the waves was making me drowsier than I had been earlier. Stifling a yawn, I went to prepare things properly for the night before returning to the cabin.

As I walked in, I found out why Jiraiya hadn't come back out; he was fast asleep and taking up most of the bed. I managed to reposition him so he was lying on his own part of the bed. Pulling the sheets and blankets out from under him, I draped them over both of us before lying down. I was almost asleep when I felt his arm wrap around waist. I felt a small smile tug at the corners of my mouth as I gently nudged back so my back was touching his chest. In no time, I was out cold.

I slept soundly well into the morning. I didn't wake until I felt his hand brush lightly across my face. I was in the process of opening my eyes when his tongue ran the length of my mouth. My body flooded with heat as he closed the remaining gap. I couldn't help but let out a low moan, he wasn't playing fair but I could hardly complain at the moment.

When he pulled back, I kept my eyes closed for a moment, my half asleep haze causing the usually pleasant experience to be almost otherworldly. I slowly opened my eyes and looked up at him, a little disappointed that he had pulled back so quickly.

"'Morning sunshine," he purred causing the already present heat to burn hotter through my body. I let out a groan in protest, curling over onto my side. How embarrassing.

"Cheater," I mumbled, closing my eyes again, willing my body to cool.

"We're almost home," he added. I managed to keep from letting out an irritated sigh as I slowly sat up.

"How far?" I asked, running a hand through my hair. I tossed it back over my shoulder. It was stupid to not have remembered to bring a brush. Oh well.

"Not very, the coast is in easy sight, so we'll probably get to the dock in about fifteen minutes or so," he explained. Yawning, I slid to the other side of the bed and got to my feet.

"I guess I went farther last night than I thought. I don't know how I managed to stay up as late as I did…" I murmured making my way towards the door. The breeze was cool and refreshing as I walked outside. I went to my usual spot on the rail, looking towards the shore. It was rather close. "We can afford a short trip to our places before visiting Sensei, right?" I asked, glancing over my shoulder at him.

He nodded, "I don't think he'd mind."

"Of course he wouldn't, I was wondering about you. I thought you might want sprint in a dead out run to his office the minute we landed." I had already pictured it a few times in my head; it seemed very much like something he'd do.

"Ha ha. I'm not that eager. Besides, I'd rather show up presentable to receive my promotion," he declared, looking rather pompous. I snorted at his act. What a moron. "What? You obviously want to go home to freshen up too."

"I do, it's just you sound ridiculous sometimes," I corrected, chuckling. He scowled before wandering off to begin the docking task. I followed after him helping him along to get it done as fast as possible.

After everything was wrapped up with the boat, we began our way back to the village. I nearly had to jog to keep up with his long fast strides. Stupid tall bastard. It just wasn't fair sometimes. Due to our speed, we reached the gate in probably record time. He had paused at the entrance but I had continued to walk. Turning back I asked, "When do you want to meet? Ten, fifteen minutes from now?"

"Fifteen should be good," he answered. I simply nodded and continued on my way. It was horribly tempting to look back to see if he'd started running yet, but I resisted. When I reached my apartment, I dropped my things by the door like I had before, but the thought of burning the bag's contents were not on my mind the way they had been the other time.

I shrugged out of my clothes as I walked, leaving them where they fell on my way to the shower. I'd pick them up later, but at the moment, I doubted I had a moment to spare. I took one of the fastest showers and even then I was forced to leave my hair mostly damp to arrive on time.

I decided to hide, noticing that the streets were void of people. That meant I could have some fun without making our new…relationship apparent. It was still a little odd to think of it in those terms. Not that I minded being in said relationship, it was just very strange to me.

In a matter of a minute or so, he showed up, perfectly on time. I smiled a little to myself; he certainly was getting better at things. I snuck up behind him, slipping my arms under his to grasp him around the chest. "Looking for someone…?" I purred.

"Yeah, he has long dark hair, pale while skin, and the most amazing golden eyes…" My, such flattery. I wonder if he knew I was a sucker for it. I chuckled lightly, releasing him.

"I think I saw him earlier," I smirked lightly, "c'mon."

We walked the stairs, finding the door to our teacher's office wide open. Jiraiya knocked lightly on the frame of the door to get his attention. He looked up, a smile coming to his face.

"Ah, I see you two have come back again. And judging by your grin, Jiraiya, Orochimaru figured it out and told you his guess?" he stated. Ch- it was hardly a guess. It was blatantly obvious.

"You could say that, yes," Jiraiya answered. I rolled my eyes. Hadn't I told him it was obvious as well? Oh well.

Our teacher cleared his throat before continuing, "Well then, I suppose you'll get the formal version now." He paused again for dramatic effect. Honestly. I don't remember him being so presumptuous when I was promoted. "After reviewing your work as a shinobi of Konohagakure, it is easy to see you have reached the level of a jounin ranked individual. As of today, you will be ranked as such, and as a result, given mission assigned to your level of achievement. Congrats, Jiraiya," he added at the end making it sound less like a recording.

"Thank you Hokage-sama, I'm honored," he bowed. I wonder if our teacher noticed that it was tainted by sarcasm.

"Well then, I suppose that's all. The Anbu should be able to tell me enough, so I won't need a report from you two. You may go." I was glad to go, as I wasn't able to shake the strange twinge of jealousy. Sarutobi had seemed full of pride as he said those words to my teammate. He'd seemed almost bored when he told them to me. I began to wonder if there was a reason for that.

I pushed the darker thoughts aside, knowing it would be quite rude to dampen his day with them. So I forced myself to start a conversation. "So Mr. Jounin, how are you feeling?" I asked, unable to keep some satire out of my tone.

"Amazing," he stated smugly. I rolled my eyes. Maybe I wouldn't be able to keep this act up after all. His new found arrogance was already beginning to wear on my nerves.

"Well I should probably head home…" I murmured, slowing down.

"All right…I suppose I should get some research done anyway…" he said loftily. My eye twitched in annoyance. So that's how it was going to be; the minute I wasn't with him, he'd go back to his pervy ways as if I didn't exist. I stopped abruptly.

"Have fun," I snapped before disappearing. The nerve! Apparently I wasn't enough for him after all. Doesn't that just make me feel oh so amazing? Bastard.

It was about then that inspiration struck. I'm sure any of the women bathing would love to know of the unseen pervert. A smirk tugged at the corners of my mouth. Oh how lovely it could be to be witness to his disgrace – and beating, no doubt – when they found him. It was far too tempting to pass up.

I went back waiting for him to leave for the springs. I nearly forgot to mask my presence as I tagged along after him. Not that he'd notice anyway, he was probably already imagining them in their perfect luscious forms. Whatever. Anger fueled my stealth and my cover didn't slip the rest of the way.

I couldn't wait to make him pay. Bastard should've known it would insult me.