Disclaimer: If I owned Naruto, I'd make him do my homework so I wouldn't sit here going stir crazy because I don't have time to pursue my bigger ideas.
Title: Timeless Devotion
Summary Notes: Inspired by the 50 Themes: 1 Sentence challenge. It probably doesn't follow all the rules, but I more wrote it to keep myself healthy while I've been bogged down with schoolwork and unable to pursue my bigger projects. I noticed though, that I seem to like digging into the underbelly of my favorite characters and exposing the soft bits...must be a morbidist of some kind, I guess. It's probably not brilliant but I lay all the blame on senior year frying my brain dead. Oh, and I dedicate No. 14 to Lovesrainscent, who's story In Your Wildest Dreams coined the idea there. Hope you enjoy. =]
Warning: These are in no set timeline; they're all scattershot.
She'd rather ingest cyanide than admit his presence is her biggest comfort and soother no matter what and where (and whatever he mood may be), but the fact remains that it is.
Tsunade's kisses are treasures in themselves, the soft pressure of lips against forehead; he often wishes he were special enough to recieve that honour - what he doesn't know though, was that he has recieved that honour, more than once...he's just too beat up from whatever mission he's been on to remember it at the time, and she's too afraid and stubborn to enlighten him on it.
Her eyes are like ice gold - unforgiving and unrelenting and cynical - yet for him, they soften just a little and let him witness the feisty yet warm-hearted girl she once was.
She admits to him that pain is an understatement in describing how she felt giving up Minato and keeping it a secret from him for so long; he rubs her back and tells her that he merely wishes he'd been there to help her through the agony.
Her tone is low and gruff as she checks him over, yet the gentleness of her hands as she checks his injured shoulder and the way her bangs ever so slightly shadow her eyes make him smile, because it tells him that she's worried about him.
She thought it was nothing more than a whismical notion of his, a concotion in that perverted mind that would fade with age, yet when she lies there with him in her bedroom atop Hokage Tower thirty years after he first asked her out, the aching, almost relieved tenderness in his eyes makes her reconsider.
She's so wasted that he has to carry her home and put her to bed, yet her amber eyes are oddly clear when she asks him to stay with her so she doesn't have to be alone on the anniversary of her brother's death.
As aged shinobi, true happiness is a foreign concept, yet with him, the contentment she feels comes pretty damn close.
They are on the brink of perhaps the greatest war in the history of the five nations, yet as she watches him leave for Amegakure, all she can think about is the war between her head and heart.
It was an old, childish act, yet the way he gently and teasingly tugged her earlobe reassured her of his well being more than words ever could.
He's stood before the darkest torture without flinching, yet it is the way she whispers his name in the afterglow of their lovemaking that manages to bring him trembling to his knees.
For a loud, boisterous baka, there is something about the way he moves and watches the world (especially her) with those dark eyes that sends shivers down her spine, and once again, she finds herself wondering just what those eyes would look like smoldering with passion and need (for her, even if she won't admit it).
He threatened to kill her if she ever betrayed their village, yet what he didn't say was that if he did kill her, he'd follow her into the abyss, figuratively and literally.
Her ability to drop kick Orochimaru from a stand still like that was highly impressive, yet all he could think about at the time was the thought of plotting ways to discover just how flexible she was.
Her first seduction mission had not gone well, and it hurt her best friend more badly than he cared to admit when she flinched from his touch afterwards.
She finally crumbled, calling herself cowardly and worthless as a kunoichi for letting it so badly affect her; he had told more firmly than he'd ever spoken to her before to shut up about it, yet his words were belied by the way he gently rubbed her back when she cried into his chest afterwards.
When they were young, she had believed in soul mates and forever friendship, whereas he had believed that once you hit a certain age, different gender friendships were impossible; somehow, they'd still managed to work well together.
For a big guy, he sure could move fast, whether it's in the heat of battle, or running like hell from her when she catches him peeping, or pouncing on her when she's pretending disinterest while actually trying to get that exact reaction from him.
"You'll get bad wind if you keep eating like that," Tsunade retorted, rolling her eyes as the sunshiney blonde merely shrugged, yet she couldn't quite quell the pang in her heart at how much he reminded her of his father...and his grandfather.
She'd thought breaking her ties with Konoha would grant her ultimate freedom, yet her heart felt oddly constrained every time she thought of him, and that binding only increased when she saw him again with the brat.
They both need each other at their back, and not just as comrades; she needs him to simply provide her with stability, he needs her simply as a reason to keep on trying.
She tried to be furious with him for being so distant and resentful of her relationship with Dan, yet the look of betrayal in those dark eyes nearly broke her heart, even as the sight of him chatting up some random girl later that night enraged her and made her feel like the worst hypocrite.
She complained about how cold his hands were when he cuddled up beside her, yet the sleepy half-smile told him that despite her barbed words, she was relieved that he was home safely from the recent mission she'd assigned him.
He never really liked coffee, yet he thinks tasting it on her lips could very well convince him otherwise.
Nobody can really comprehend why he would still be so loyal to her after thirty something years, yet he is, and though she never comments on it, her silent gratitude is more than enough.
Forever is an illusive notion in their profession, yet Jiraiya can't help but think wistfully that they could very well have been 'forever' if they'd tried...in another time, in another place, in another life.
She didn't fear the crimson liquid like she once had, yet the sight of it on her best friend in any way was enough to make her want to freeze, throw up, curse and hyperventilate, all at the same time.
"And you call me a baka," he mutters, yet his rough hands are gentler than even the best medic's as he checks to see if her fever (courtesy of overexhaustion and too much work) has dropped.
When she bolts into the jounin meeting that started twenty minutes ago with mussed hair and flushed cheeks, Anko proceeds to sing the bawdiest and most out of tune love ballad ever invented, and though she threatens the snake mistress with D-rank missions in revenge, no one misses the small yet satisfied grin on the Hokage's face as an equally dishevelled (but very smug looking) Toad Sage wanders in even later.
The daimyo's daughter is meant to be the main focus of the party they're assigned to guard, yet in that brief moment when she catches him staring dazedly at her (even as she attempts to walk into the room without tripping over her pretty kimono), she can't help but feel like the brightest star in the room.
He confesses that Konoha just wasn't home for him when she wasn't there; she laughs and taunts him and calls him a sap, even if his admittance brought the smallest of warm glows that would assist in melting the ice shards she'd kept around her heart for all those years.
She called him stupid and idiotic when he didn't understand what sensei was telling them, yet secretly, she always found his confused expression to be rather adorable.
Tsunade honestly isn't sure what she's more afraid of - opening her heart for him and risking the agony of another loss, or missing out on what could be with him by keeping it locked up.
"You stupid dummy," she whispers brokenly for the ninth time that night, shivering at the ominous rumble outside; she almost expects him to just turn up like it was nothing but a cruel game of hide and seek and wrap her in a comforting embrace, yet as the lightning flashes and the frozen tears tremble on her cheeks, she knows he'll never do that again.
They fight, squabble and argue like two emotionally immature genin, yet no one can deny the unspoken devotion (even as friends) between them when they stand side by side.
There are quite a few sordid rumours about them that make her blood boil (not a difficult feat anyway), yet she can't help but smirk later on when he comments on how nobody will touch her desk because of said rumours.
"I am Hokage and nobody will make me change my mind once it is made!" she snaps at the elders, yet underneath the intimidating, assured leader, she finds herself drawn to a familiar pair of solemn dark eyes, and reluctantly conceeds otherwise, if only to herself.
It isn't so much the hugs and bantering rather than the fact that she trusts him enough to let him do that that is a gift in itself.
Considering he's one of the only people that can get a genuine grin and a giggle out of her, he thinks he's got damn good reason to be just a little smug.
As far as she is concerned, the more innocent Jiraiya's expression is, the more trouble he's going to get into.
He wrote and seduced to escape the reality of that half emptiness in him; he realised he could stop writing and seducing the day he no longer had to yearn for the completion that drove away the emptiness.
42. Clouds and 43. Sky
There had always been something incredibly soothing about sitting beside each other on Hokage mountain, leaning companiably against one another and doing nothing more than sip sake and watch as the clouds flared bright pink and the sky slowly darkened to a depthless blue with the passing of another day.
Only his breath in her ear as he leant over the back of her chair and pointed out mission routes could make her heart skip a few beats and her thoughts turn as ridiculous as a female genin's.
He'll never tell her, but he loves those rare moments when he catches her off her guard after a long night - the slight wrinkles that are normally so skillfully hidden by her genjutsu are loved by him as much as her natural beauty in her youth was, because it tells him that she is human, and she does care.
As much as she berated herself for it, Tsunade found her eyes scanning the lightening horizon evey morning when she awoke, searching for the tell tale shadows that would tell her that her baka and the brat were home.
He was far less conventional and noble than most shinobi, yet when she thought about it, Jiraiya was the most gallant, brave idiot out of the whole lot...and she loved him for it.
The glint in those mischievous amber eyes is a far cry from the innocent maidens in his stories, yet he finds that he loves her for it, if not even more so.
She never had thought it possible for someone to actually be stabbed by hair, yet kissing Jiraiya before he brushes his snowy mop in the morning has convinced her otherwise.
She was once afraid of dying, yet as she lies there, the prospect of seeing him (and Orochimaru) again makes it seem more of a victorious surrender than a bitter defeat.