Disclaimer: Bite me, Kishi. I still despise you six ways from Sunday.

Title: Sweet Irony

Summary Notes: OH EM GEE. I am officially a school GRADUATE. Now I shall run away on a defence force ship and pretend to be the IRL equivalent of a shinobi. And carry a little notebook with me so that I may continue to write...hopefully things that aren't this weird. Mind you, different writing style. I like it, FTW. And the little poetic piece. I like it even more. So enjoy the results of my brain matter and its imagination and creation post-senior-exams/mega-stress-from-everything-else/graduation.

And don't ask me why my first foray into Jiraiya's mind (I realised I've been mainly writing Tsunade) turned out so deep and mournful, when the Man clearly tries to make it clear to the world that he's everything but. (I love you, baka-chan, I so do. Your epic last battle in anime form was beyond epic. So. Damn. Fitting.)

As the moon shines
I am jealous of my own shadow.
As my shadow melts together with your
shadow on the snow
I watch it dejectedly.

As a writer, you are a conneisseur of pretty words and thought-inspiring imagery, the more provocative, the better. You are, by definition, a found of knowledge on all things written and all it entails, from characterisation to genre (even if your choices on such matters tends to leave something to be desired).

As a man, you are fond of those opposing yet oft meshed genres known as romance and tragedy. Of all the genres you could be fond of, it is those two you find yourself drawn to. You're not entirely sure why you are, though you do know that if anyone found out that you, the large, strong, perverted Toad Sage, had a true soft spot for bittersweet romance, they would likely laugh until they were comatose, or in the least, be left so shocked they wouldn't be capable of laughter.

It's the only explanation you can think of at this moment, though. This moment, so oft repeated over the years that it is like the twisted steps of a well known dance. With her. Perfect, tragic, delightful, torturous, beautiful, wicked goddess, spun from sunlight and caramel and butterscotch, yet as cold and painful to look at, let alone touch, as the frozen snow around you both, the brightness of it marred only by your shadows as they dance and mingle in a most intimate embrace. Almost as if they are taunting you, both of you, with what could be, if only you would both take that final step.

The shadows taunt you with every hurt and failure you've ever felt, leaving you with a sense of utter dejection and hatred for them, for yourself, for her, even as you smile your lecherous smile and fool about with an exuberance that is far, far too young to witness on such an old countenance. And yet you still love her, utterly and completely. You know she loves you too; she would be at your back before your heart could even beat another beat if you were in trouble. And yet...

And yet it could never be.

Because life, you have learnt, is really one big tragedy full of yearnings and what's and what if's. Perhaps that is why you are so fond of romantic tragedy, though you never let a soul in on your fondness. You have a distinct feeling that she knows of it, though she doesn't press the issue. She doesn't have enough evidence to really do so, and if there's one good thing about your princess, it's that she tries her hardest to avoid getting into situations without knowing as much as she possibly can. She never used to, but age has that effect. Still, now and then in those unguarded moments that are almost sweet (just sweet, not bittersweet), you catch her watching you with an odd, bemused smile, as if she's not quite sure whether she should go with the notion.

Hell, you yourself can hardly believe it sometimes, and that's likely part of the reason you play the part of the strong, perverted sage, why you forcibly quash those less than manly notions when they arise, stamping them down and suffocating them with a figurative pillow every morning when you wake up. You are human in the end, after all, and if humans are experts at anything, it is the ability to posture and lie.

Because in the end, isn't your life just a great, fat lie anyway? An untruth perpetuated over and over when you awaken every morning? A fib that reasserts itself with steadfast vigour with every failure you've endured? A fallacy that makes itself soul-breakingly known every time you see her? Touch her with fleeting caresses that are gentle, yet as hesitant and restrained as the words that need to be said, yet are never said?

"Then just say it...say it...say it and I won't go, hime."

You remember those words as clearly as if you spoke them not five seconds ago, and you remember the way your shadows melted together in the chilly breeze and the setting sun along with those words. Taunting and teasing you in that one moment where you weren't a coward, when you lay your cards bare and waited for her to restack them how she wished. Yes, when you weren't a coward, you, the infamously perverted, gallant sage.

As a writer, you love irony. You are also well versed in the ways of irony, thus, you know to keep it at arm's length. You know failure to acknowledge it only invites disaster. After all, it is that failure to acknowledge irony that often results in the endings of those so called romantic tragedies.

You idiot.

She never did say it. She still doesn't say it, even if you both know she feels as you do. You're both incredibly alike in that way, in so many ways. Maybe that's why you'll never truly be. Maybe that's why you've never been.

Maybe that's why you'll both spend forever watching your shadows dance and tease, melted together in a forever embrace of what could have been.