His team-mates were once again fighting like children from the Academy. Orochimaru rolled his eyes at the pair of them. Tsunade wasn't so bad, but Jiraiya made his toes curl. Why can't she ignore him, he thought. Why must she stoop to his level?

"And you're ugly!" Jiraiya cried. "You're so ugly, Tsunade! Orochimaru's prettier than you!"

She screamed back in response. "Shut up, you brat! I'm not ugly!"

Jiraiya turned to him, as if he expected Orochimaru to agree. When he saw that his team-mate didn't care to be involved, he started up again. "You're the pretty one here, aren't you, Orochimaru? All the boys like you, right? That's why Tsunade can't get a boyfriend. That, plus she has no breasts."

"Stop it!" Orochimaru hissed. His all-too-thin lips were curved in a frown.

"But you have such sexy hair." Jiraiya followed this taunt with kissing sounds. "Mmm, I just love your sexy hair. And I bet your breasts are twice as big as Tsunade's!"

"What makes you think you have the right to talk about me? You're such a child, Jiraiya!" With that, Orochimaru stomped off, leaving his fellow Genin to squabble amongst themselves on the training field. He was already sensitive about his appearance. He didn't need some idiot like Jiraiya teasing him. It was all he could take.

Orochimaru sat down at the base of a tree. It was deep enough in the woods that his team-mates' screams would be out of earshot. He remained there, in intense contemplation, for some time. Only the sound of someone approaching roused him from his thoughts.

"I'm sorry about what Jiraiya said. He's a complete brat. He shouldn't have dragged you into our fight." It was Tsunade's voice gently cooing to him. She had knelt down beside him there among the bulging tree roots.

Her words were greeted by silence. He glanced over his shoulder at her briefly to see if it was really her. For a moment, he thought it might have been Jiraiya using a disguise jutsu. No, he's hopeless at genjutsu. This is the real Tsunade. Yet despite his certainty that this wasn't a trick, Orochimaru remained quiet. He merely examined his fingernails.

Finally he sighed, staring down at a patch of grass beside him. "Do you think I'm ugly?" he groaned.

"No. You're not ugly," she said softly. The sympathy she felt for him showed in the glimmer of her eyes.

He turned to face her. "What do you think of my hair?"

"I think you have nice hair." Tsunade managed a weak smile as she moved to sit closer to him.

"Would you touch my hair?"

"Um, all right..." She inched her hand up and gave the crown of his head a quick pat.

"No, comb your fingers through it."

She bit her lip as if she might object, but didn't. Tsunade began running her trembling fingers through his long, black hair. Somewhat afraid to upset him, she kept at it, her hesitancy slowly dissolving as she did so.

"Do you think my lips are too thin?"

Normally, she would've been taken aback by such a question. Jiraiya hadn't said anything to Orochimaru about his lips. But Tsunade's mind was too focused on the sleek texture of his hair to give it much thought.

"No," she murmured, shaking her head.

"Then kiss me. Kiss me, Tsunade-chan." His voice was a gentle hiss.

Tsunade closed her eyes half-way as she drew nearer to his mouth. After an initial nervous peck, she kissed him a little longer. Her hand was still buried in his hair, though she ceased moving it. She brought her other hand up to his shoulder and held onto him.

Orochimaru slid his hands up her back until he reached her head. Breaking their kiss, he looked into her eyes. He untied her hair and held up a good portion, at which point he brushed his cheek against the blonde tress and kissed it. Then he started kissing her neck and ear. "Tell me you love me," he breathed against her skin.

Her eyelids sunk shut when she felt his mouth on her neck. "I love you," she moaned.

"Say it again. I want to hear you say it over and over."

"I love you, Orochimaru-san!"

"Tell me again!" This time, he was pleading like a desperate child. He grabbed her sides and pulled her closer, kissing her mouth roughly before moving to her neck again.

"I love you, but... Aren't you going to say you love me?"

"Isn't this proof enough?" He was panting against her throat, intent on giving her a love bite.

She squirmed in his arms and winced when his love bite turned into a real bite. It had gone far enough and she knew she ought to stop him. Tsunade pulled back, rubbing the teeth marks he'd left. Yet when she saw him licking his lips and gazing at her with his eyelids half shut, her resolve was vanquished. They started kissing with reckless abandon, oblivious to what was going on around them.

There was a sudden screech of anger. "I can't believe you like him!" Jiraiya had caught them. His face was red and he was gritting his teeth.

Tsunade tried to move away, but Orochimaru kept his arms firmly around her waist. He flashed a smug grin. Gloating over Jiraiya was always sweet, but this was the sweetest yet. He knew Jiraiya liked Tsunade and only teased her to cover it up. Now she was his and there was nothing Jiraiya could do about it. Orochimaru taunted him further by snaking out his tongue and licking her ear.

She was so embarrassed and flustered that she was unable to respond. Only the beginnings of several different words managed to escape her lips. Perhaps it was for the best. Tsunade wasn't sure if she should be scolding Jiraiya for spying on them or clarifying her feelings for Orochimaru. Whatever those feelings were. She wasn't quite sure. Was it really love? It was certainly hard to say no while he had his tongue in her ear.

Jiraiya was positively growling by now. "Why don't you two just smooch some more? Let him give you another hickey! I don't care! I'm leaving!" Yet it was obvious that Jiraiya did care, and quite a bit at that. He was tense, his brow furrowed. Turning on one heel, he sped away from them.

I suppose he's going off to cry, Orochimaru mused to himself. The thought made him chortle. When it passed, he grabbed Tsunade's chin and turned her head to face him once more. "Where were we before that rude interruption? Oh yes, I believe it was here..." He resumed kissing her, nearly gagging her with his tongue.

Pulling away under the pretense of needing air, Tsunade panted a question. "You know that I'm not doing this simply to get back at Jiraiya, don't you?"

"Neither am I, but it is an added benefit." Having formulated a new plan, he moved back down to her throat. He intended that the next time Jiraiya saw them, Tsunade's neck would be covered in lovely bruises from his mouth.