A/N: Thanks for the reviews!! I hope everyone likes this chapter. Enjoy!
There were no words for the guilt Shizune felt. None.
"Don't chicken out." She had said to Tsunade. "He loves you too."
Oh, how very wrong she had been. Jiraiya didn't love her. The filthy rotten pervert just wanted sex. That's why he was with that slutty little brunette. How could he choose that little whore over Tsunade?
Somewhere, deep in the back of her mind, Shizune knew that those accusations were unfair. She didn't really know that all Jiraiya wanted was sex. Maybe he actually loved this girl. And maybe she wasn't even a whore. Maybe she was a nice, pleasant person.
Naruto and Sakura turned to look at her. The disbelief of what they had all just realized was still fresh in their minds, and still written all over their faces.
"Poor Tsunade-sama." Sakura muttered, looking into the Hokage's office. Then she looked at Shizune. "Maybe you should go see her. You are way closer to her than Naruto or I am."
Shizune bit her lip. She hated the thought that Tsunade was in her office crying, but she hated the thought of being punched through a wall even more. Why did she have to suck at giving advice?
"I don't know…," Shizune mumbled.
"Just think about it for a minute, Shizune." Sakura pressed. "You're the only one she has."
Shizune stared at Sakura, and she knew that it was true. The only other person Tsunade cared deeply for in the village was Naruto…and let's face it; Naruto just isn't that great of a comforter. But then again…
Shizune's gaze flickered to his face, and then away. She did a double take. Naruto looked ready to kill. His face was scrunched up and there was visible hatred in his eyes. His hands were clenched into fists.
Sakura followed Shizune's stare and gasped when she saw Naruto.
"Naruto, what's wrong?"
"How could he do that?" Naruto growled. "When I was away training with him, he would talk about Tsunade constantly. Something would remind him of the good ol' days and he would start reminiscing. Then I would be stuck listening to him talk about Tsunade, over and over and over again. I may not notice who people have crushes on and all that junk, but I'm not so stupid as to not notice how much that old lecher loved Tsunade. And now, he suddenly changes his mind?"
Sakura stared at him. He was completely right.
Suddenly, Naruto stood up from the tree branch he was sitting on. "I'm going after him. I want to know what the hell he's thinking."
Shizune copied Naruto and stood up. "And I'm going to see Tsunade-sama. Sakura, you're right. She needs me."
Sakura, who didn't feel like being left out, also stood up. "Naruto, I'm coming with you."
Naruto nodded to show that he understood. Then he jumped from the tree branch with Sakura following him. Shizune followed, and set off walking towards the Hokage Tower.
Sakura had to nearly run to keep pace with Naruto. She had never seen him this angry or determined before. It was like a whole new Naruto.
"If I was a pervert, where would I go?" Naruto mumbled under his breath. He looked straight towards the hot springs.
"Remember, Naruto." Sakura piped up. "He's with that girl. He wouldn't be peeping right now…at least I don't think he would."
Naruto nodded. She did have a point. But where else could he be?
As if reading his thoughts, Sakura spoke. "Maybe we could try Ichiraku ramen?"
Naruto nodded once more. "Yeah. Let's go."
Shizune hurried through the streets of Konoha, towards the Hokage Tower. Sure, she could have jumped on the rooftops and made her entrance through the window in Tsunade's office, but she didn't think that now was the time to be sneaking up on the Hokage.
Plus, she wanted time to prepare what she was going to say when she entered the office. She honestly wasn't going to be surprised if Tsunade decided to yell, scream, throw her out a window, or anything else extremely painful. And she deserved it! Tsunade was the only person Shizune had had, since her parents were killed in the war along with her uncle. Tsunade didn't have to take little Shizune with her when she left, but she did. Shizune would always be grateful for that.
But what did she turn around and do? Give crappy advice. There weren't even words to describe what kind of horrible person Shizune felt that she was.
Horrible, disgusting, cruel, evil, satanic, demonic, sickening…None of them were bad enough for Shizune.
Shizune was only brought out of her trance when she felt herself collide with someone. She stumbled backwards as the person she ran into fell to the ground.
"Oh, I'm so sorry!" Shizune exclaimed. She offered the frazzled woman a hand.
The woman took it and stood up, dusting herself off. She looked like she was in her thirties. "Oh, no, it's my fault. I wasn't watching where I was going. I'm new to the village and I got lost." She smiled sheepishly.
"I wasn't paying attention to where I was going." Shizune told her. "And maybe I could help you. Where are you trying to go?"
"Ichiraku Ramen." The woman said. "I was with my fiancé and I wanted to stop in a shop and look around for a bit, and he didn't. So we were going to meet at Ichiraku but I can't find the place. I swear I've been around this village three times already!"
Fiancé? A sudden thought struck Shizune. Was this Jiraiya's fiancé? She did have the same dark brown hair. Shizune ran her eyes down the woman's body quickly. She definitely didn't look like any type of slut or hooker. She was pretty nice, too, judging by the way she spoke to Shizune.
But…wasn't the girl that she, Naruto, and Sakura had seen just Jiraiya's girlfriend? Maybe there was more to this than they had thought.
And maybe Jiraiya really had found true love with this girl? Who knew?
The woman seemed to be getting uncomfortable as Shizune stared at her. Shizune quickly snapped back into the present.
"Oh, Ichiraku you said?" The woman nodded. "Just follow this road, make two lefts, and then you should see it." Shizune gestured with her hands.
"Oh, alright. Thank you so much."
"No problem." Shizune smiled. "I'm Shizune, by the way."
"Kaede," Kaede said. "I'm pleased to have met you, Shizune. You probably just saved me from having to walk around the village five more times." She laughed.
Shizune laughed too, although her laugh was slightly forced. "You're welcome, then."
"I really have to be going. I don't want my fiancé to know I got lost. This will be our little secret."
"My lips are sealed." Shizune said. "See you around."
"Bye, and thank you." Kaede turned and began walking in the direction Shizune had pointed out to her.
Shizune was stunned, to say the least. If that woman was actually Jiraiya's fiancé, then he had good taste. Who knew?
But Tsunade was still ten times better.
"Aha! Good thinking, Sakura!" Naruto cheered as he ran towards Ichiraku ramen and the familiar white bush of hair.
Sakura didn't reply, but just followed Naruto. She had no idea what he was planning to do, and she didn't want him to cause a scene. But then again, this was Naruto.
"Hey, Pervy Sage." Naruto called, stopping behind Jiraiya. Surprisingly, the woman was no where in sight.
Jiraiya turned around at the familiar nickname. He scowled. "Don't call me that!"
Naruto glared at him. Jiraiya looked at Sakura, who had an expression nearly identical to Naruto's.
"Whoa…what put you guys in such bad moods?" He questioned.
"You." Sakura said, surprising herself. Her plan had been to be quiet while Naruto did the talking.
"What did I do? I just got back to the village!" Jiraiya exclaimed. He had a feeling that he knew what this was about…but he didn't know how they had found out about him and Tsunade that quickly.
"Who's the girl?" Naruto asked.
"The…," Jiraiya trailed off. "My fiancé?"
"FIANCE!?" Sakura and Naruto both exclaimed. They had been under the impression that the mystery woman they had seen him with was his girlfriend.
"You're engaged?" Sakura was in shock. Naruto seemed frozen beside her.
Jiraiya sighed. "Alright you two, look. Just listen to me for a second, no interruptions, to yelling, no nothing. Just listen. Can you do that?" Jiraiya waited until they both nodded. "Good. When I left it wasn't like I planned to come back engaged. I always thought that he only person I could ever love would be Tsunade. Well, I was wrong. When I first saw Kaede—,"
"I bet it was at a hot spring." Naruto growled.
Jiraiya glared at him. "I thought I said no interruptions? And for your information, no, it was not. I met her when she dropped her groceries and I, being the gentleman that I am, offered to help. Now! Unless you have anything else to say, can I continue?" Naruto nodded and Jiraiya continued. "Anyway, when I first saw Kaede…I can't explain it. But I knew then that she could be the one. So, I got to know her…and she's perfect."
"And you just forgot about Tsunade?" Naruto growled. He felt like Tsunade was his family. She played a huge role in his life, and he hated it when someone hurt her. Yeah, it was true, Jiraiya was like family to him too…but in this case, Jiraiya was the one doing the hurting. So he was siding with Tsunade.
"Of course I didn't!" Jiraiya looked disgusted that Naruto could even suggest something like that. "I love her, too."
Sakura clenched her fist. "You can't love two people at once! It's not…it doesn't…you can't…it's just not right! It's not fair to either of them!"
Jiraiya sighed. "I know. But you two are too young to understand. I've cared for Tsunade all of my life, and never has she shown one ounce of interest. Mostly she told me to get lost or else she'd beat me up. And then I meet Kaede, and it's an instant connection. But then what happens when I come back to the village? Tsunade finally tells me that she loves me! I can't just leave Kaede like that. I may be a pervert, but I'm not a jerk. Even if I would rather be with Tsunade."
After he finished saying it, Jiraiya couldn't believe what he had said. He was confessing this to two teenagers who he could bet were going to run off and tell Shizune or Tsunade.
Sakura's eyes softened. He seemed to be in quite a dilemma.
Naruto didn't say anything, he just stared at Jiraiya.
"Now, are you two satisfied?" He asked. They both nodded. "Good. Now get lost. I'm supposed to meet Kaede and I don't need you two hanging around."
Sakura and Naruto turned and left, walking slowly down the street. Neither of them spoke.
"So…he would rather be with Granny Tsunade." Naruto spoke first, breaking the silence.
Sakura stopped in her tracks. Naruto continued walking before he noticed she wasn't beside him. "Huh? Sakura?" He turned to look at her.
"You know what this means, don't you?" She asked. She had a mischievous glint in her eye.
"Baka. It means we have to get rid of this Kaede woman! Think about it. Jiraiya wants to be with Tsunade, and Tsunade wants to be with him. All we have to do is convince Kaede that Jiraiya's nothing but a pervert and that he'll be unfaithful to her so she would never want to marry him. And then she'll leave, and Tsunade and Jiraiya can be together! It's a foolproof plan!"
"Except how will we convince Kaede? We can't just walk up to her and tell her!"
"Duh. We'll take pictures of him peeping and…and…and I don't know what else yet! But this is going to work, I know it will! And Shizune will help us. It's ingenious!" Sakura was smiling now.
Naruto thought about it. "Okay. Let's do it!"
Shizune took a deep breath, and then knocked on the door to the Hokage's office. She didn't expect Tsunade to answer, but she did.
Shizune pushed the door open slowly, and then shut it behind her. She looked up at the blonde Hokage. Tsunade was sitting behind her desk, doing paperwork. Not at all the scene Shizune had been expecting to find.
"Uh…Tsunade-sama?" Shizune walked forward.
Tsunade looked up at her. "What is it, Shizune?" Her voice sounded tired and sad.
Shizune searched Tsunade's face for signs of anger, or sadness. The Hokage's eyes were red from crying, but other than that there didn't seem to be anything. Tsunade's expression was blank.
"I was just wondering…how you're feeling?" Shizune knew how lame that sounded, but she didn't want to come right out and tell Tsunade that she had been spying.
A flash of emotion flickered across Tsunade's face. It disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared. "You know…how do you know already?"
Shizune gave Tsunade a tiny, guilty smile. "I was spying." So much for not coming right out and telling Tsunade.
Tsunade didn't say anything, and that was what really scared Shizune. If there was one thing that Tsunade hated as much as she hated perverts, it was being spied on. But now she didn't seem to care.
"Tsunade-sama, I'm so sorry. If I knew I…well I don't know, but still. I'm so sorry." Shizune burst out. "Is there anything I can do? Anything at all?"
Tsunade stared at the younger woman. "I'm fine, Shizune."
That was obviously a lie. Shizune bit her bottom lip. She wanted to do something, anything, to help Tsunade.
"Please, Tsunade-sama." Shizune made her voice gentle. "No one would hold it against you if you cried. It's perfectly understandable."
Tsunade's eyes seemed to get glassy with unshed tears, but when she spoke her voice was confident. "Shizune, I'm fine. I have to be fine, whether I want to be or not. I'm the Hokage. I can't cry over things like this. I'm fine." Tsunade was trying to reassure herself more than she was Shizune.
Shizune looked at Tsunade sadly. "I'm here for you, Tsunade-sama. Just don't forget that, okay?"
Tsunade gave a feeble attempt to smile. "I know. And I'm thankful for that, Shizune. But I'm okay. I really am. Now, I have some work to do."
"Okay." Shizune said. She took the hint and left the office.
Sure, Tsunade acted like she was fine, but Shizune knew she wasn't. She was suppressing all of the pain. It hurt Shizune to see Tsunade so upset. She had to do something about it.
She just didn't know what.
A/N: Thanks for reading. I hoped you liked it!