Setting a Good Example
Disclaimer: I do notown Naruto.
Note: Because Myobu-Uzumaki asked for another Tobirama story when I was trying to decide what to do next.
Little Senju Tsunade pushed open the door to the Hokage's office with the intent of speaking to her grandfather. Hashirama wasn't there but her great-uncle was.
"Why are you in Grandpa's office, Uncle Tobirama?" Tsunade asked curiously, closing the door and stepping fully into the room.
"I'm hiding from my students right now," Tobirama explained. "And this is the last place they'll think to look for me."
"Oh," Tsunade said. "Why are you hiding from your students? Do you not want to teach them or something?"
"It's not that," Tobirama insisted. "Although that has been known to happen. No, this time it is because they have discovered the wonders of the 'love triangle' and I want nothing to do with it."
"What's a love triangle?" Tsunade asked innocently.
Tobirama shuddered. "It is a horrible, horrible state of affairs where two people – often teenagers or especially immature adults – fall in love with the same person but the object of their affections cannot make up their damn mind about who they like and so encourage both of their pursuers. It has been cropping up quite a bit among teammates recently as the teams generally run two boys and one girl."
Tsunade's nose crinkled adorably. "That's just silly. Just because three people are on the same team doesn't mean they have to fall in love with each other."
Tobirama nodded sagely. "Tell me about it. Then again, I've never been on a genin team. Or been a genin, for that matter."
"Well, I will be when I graduate and I will never, ever, under any circumstances ever date a teammate," Tsunade declared passionately. "We're on teams to be ninja and not die, not because we can't look for people we want to marry elsewhere."
"Oh, you just started at the Academy, didn't you?" Tobirama suddenly remembered. "I think your parents showed me pictures of the ceremony."
"Uh-huh," Tsunade confirmed. "Just last week. My teacher said that next month they're going to start splitting the girls and boys up for specialized training."
Tobirama forced a smile. "That's…great, Tsunade."
Tsunade blinked, confused. "It doesn't SOUND like you think it's great," she accused shrewdly. "What's that even mean anyway? They said they'll explain it when we get there."
"I do think it's great, really," Tobirama lied unconvincingly. Resisting the urge to confuse an impressionable child was harder than it looked.
Tsunade crossed his arms and pouted. "Uncle Tobirama! Tell me what you really think!"
Tobirama sighed. "Do bear in mind that I've never attended the Academy. I have stopped by there, of course, and I've spoken to Koharu about it. I just feel that if I were a girl in the Academy I would ditch the Kunoichi classes and defect to the guy side."
Tsunade tilted her head. "I'm not sure that's possible. But assuming you did it anyway…how come?"
"Do you know how long they'll spend making you learn all about flowers? Who cares about flowers?" Tobirama demanded. "I mean, they may look or smell nice, I guess, but what does it matter what they mean or knowing what they're called?"
"Why would they make you do that?" Tsunade asked, more confused now than before she'd asked.
"Apparently it's because civilian women know a lot about flowers," Tobirama told her. "But that still doesn't answer the question of why in the world those people care about flowers."
"That can't be all the girls do," Tsunade said, sounding desperate. "After all, the classes start a month into the Academy and go through graduation. How much can there possibly be to know about flowers?"
"You'd be surprised," Tobirama muttered. "They apparently introduce the subject of seduction skills, although what they actually teach you small, impressionable children is beyond me and, in all honestly, I don't want to know. I would never do a seduction mission personally as sleeping with another guy is just below 'having a long drawn-out conversation with Madara' on my list of things to never, ever do."
"I'm sure sometimes they have girls to sleep with, too," Tsunade claimed.
"No, they really don't," Tobirama assured her.
"And how does sleeping next to someone get them to tell you anything anyway?" Tsunade asked innocently. "Do you just have to hope they talk in their sleep?"
Tobirama paled. "Oh, we are so not having this conversation. If nothing else, my brother would kill me."
"But-" Tsunade started to protest.
"They'll also teach you all those civilian homemaking skills," Tobirama interrupted loudly. "Supposedly it's in case you're ever undercover but I have a theory that it's actually because most of the kids suck and will never graduate and they don't want them to be completely unprepared for civilian life."
"So isn't it a good thing I'll be learning life skills in case this whole ninja thing doesn't work out?" Tsunade asked uncertainly, allowing the subject change. "I mean, I think I'm doing well but it's only been a week."
Tobirama snorted. "You're our esteemed Hokage's only grandchild; frankly you could not be allowed to walk around unassisted and you'd still graduate. Granted, you might not get to do anything or you'd quickly get yourself killed, but you'd still graduate."
"Thank you, Uncle Tobirama. You always know just what to say to make me feel better," Tsunade said dryly.
"It's a gift," Tobirama replied airily.
"And I don't want to get by because of how powerful my relatives are!" Tsunade insisted. "I want to do well because I'm awesome."
"Then don't suck," Tobirama advised her. "That's an admirable sentiment, kid, and I'm sure that one day you'll prove yourself to the world but in the meantime, be glad that nepotism is working in your favor unlike, say, with the Uchiha."
"The Uchiha?" Tsunade repeated. "They were the other founding clan, right?"
Tobirama nodded, pleased that she knew that much about Konoha's founding. "Yes. You may have also noticed that people regularly go around calling them evil."
"I may have heard a rumor about that," Tsunade admitted.
"Your grandfather insists this is mostly my fault, but I refuse to believe that," Tobirama declared.
"So the Uchiha are evil?" Tsunade asked, confused.
Tobirama had a difficult decision to make here. He could either encourage the rumors, which was always fun, or he could do what some – such as his brother – called the 'responsible' thing. "No, they're really not," he said finally, looking as if the words pained him. "But their doujutsu means that they, like the Hyuuga, have an easier time identifying relatives and since their clan has so many members they tend to keep to themselves. Another reason for the rumor is the fact that their former leader, Madara, has been trying to kill your grandfather since they first met, long before Konoha was founded. Still, the Uchiha did fire Madara so all is forgiven in my book. But never tell anyone I told you that, okay?"
"Okay," Tsunade agreed easily. "I didn't know you could fire a clan head."
"Normally you can't," Tobirama responded. "However…he was really, really crazy. And evil. Even the other Uchiha thought so and clans are notorious for putting up with a lot of evil craziness from their leaders. Did you know that Madara stole his brother's eyes and then made poor Izuna try and convince people that he was sane?"
Tsunade's eyes grew huge. "Really? Why?"
Tobirama shrugged and waved the question off. "Oh, who even knows? And naturally, he blamed us for that."
"He blamed our family because he stole his brother's eyes?" Tsunade was incredulous. "How?"
"He said if he hadn't started an epic rivalry with your grandfather, he wouldn't have had to." Tobirama's answer might have been more convincing if it weren't so clear he didn't believe a word of it.
"That makes no sense," Tsunade said bluntly.
"Tell me about it," Tobirama agreed. "But make sure you don't blame the Uchiha for that."
"Why are you so concerned that I not hate the Uchiha?" Tsunade asked curiously. "I mean, I don't but you seem really concerned. No matter if you really are to blame for the fact that half the town thinks that they are evil, you never seemed to care what people thought of them before."
"True," Tobirama acknowledged, "but you're five and my brother's only granddaughter. He promised to make me suffer before he killed me and handed my body over to the Uchiha if I inadvertently managed to convince any of his descendents that any citizen or clan of Konoha is evil. That's why I was never left alone with your dad until he was sixteen. Your grandfather's a big believer in self-fulfilling prophecies, you know. According to him, if we act like the Uchiha are going to snap and murder us in our beds, they may decide to prove us right."
Tsunade only had one thing to say to that. "Inadvertently?"
"If I do not necessarily believe that Uchiha and the words sane or loyal are mutually exclusive and am mostly over my issues with them due to our being allies for so long, why would I purposely convince people that the Uchiha were evil?" Tobirama asked rhetorically.
"Grandpa says you just like making his life difficult and expect everyone to know that you don't really mean anything you say," Tsunade reported.
"I do mean some things!" Tobirama protested. "And what do you think, dear great-niece?"
Tsunade thought about it for a minute. "I don't know," she said slowly. "You haven't manage to convince me the Uchiha are evil – inadvertently or otherwise – so Grandpa doesn't have to kill you."
"Although if he did I wouldn't have to be Nidaime in the future so maybe there's something to that," Tobirama mused.
Tsunade stared disbelieving at her great-uncle. "You're saying you'd rather die than be Hokage? What's wrong with being Hokage? It comes with a nice outfit and a funny hat."
"That it does," Tobirama conceded. "Izuna did nice work. But I never wanted the job in the first place. Your grandfather's making me take over after him."
"Grandpa never seems to mind being Hokage," Tsunade pointed out.
Tobirama rolled his eyes. "That's because after he and Madara had such a fierce competition for the title he really can't say anything against it and your grandfather is probably the most responsible person in the world. As for me and my reluctance to be Hokage? One word: Paperwork."
"There can't be that much," Tsunade said reasonably. "Grandpa gets it all done."
"There is!" Tobirama insisted. "Forget the Mokuton, I honestly think his real Kekkei genkai is the ability to wade through all that in a timely manner. I mean, I suppose if you could create several Kage Buushin it wouldn't be so bad, but otherwise…" he trailed off ominously.
"Just how much paperwork are we talking?" Tsunade demanded, suddenly serious.
"Every single bit of paperwork that is done in the entire village ends up across the Hokage's desk," Tobirama replied easily. "Why?"
Tsunade's horrified face assured him she would never willingly assume the mantle of Hokage.
Approximately a year later, Tobirama was minding his own business reading through some old scrolls when the Shodai burst into his house.
"Tobirama," he growled, his eyes flashing dangerously.
This in and of itself wasn't uncommon so Tobirama merely put down the scroll in his hand and rose to greet his brother. "Yes, Hashirama?"
"Is there a reason that my granddaughter has elected to be a Shinobi instead of a Kunoichi and is trying to talk her new genin teammates Orochimaru and Jiraiya into becoming Hokage and training a future Hokage respectively?" Hashirama demanded.
"I'm sure there is," Tobirama said serenely. He'd actually forgotten about that. Who would have thought that conversation would have taken a year to get back to his brother? "Have you tried asking her? And did it work?"
"Sadly, she did manage to convince them," Hashirama confirmed. "And Tsunade said she came up with the idea by herself, but I know she had a private conversation with you a little while ago."
"That was a year ago!" Tobirama defended.
"And according to her teachers a year ago was when she refused to go with the other girls for the Kunoichi classes," Hashirama informed him.
"At least she knows the Uchiha aren't evil," Tobirama reminded his irate brother.
"But she refused to be a Kunoichi even though the definition is 'female ninja'," Hashirama countered. "And now she's got some sort of Hokage complex."
"Seriously, what do you want from me?" Tobirama asked.
Hashirama sighed heavily. "You are SO no longer allowed to be around impressionable young children unsupervised. Especially my relatives."
"Works for me," Tobirama said cheerfully. "Besides, I am sure this Orochimaru guy or that Jiraiya's student will come through for her…"