A/N: Hey. Wrote this during a slow day at work. Posted it too. I had the idea after reading a few of my fav stories about these two on here. Kinda sappy...but oh well.
Some language and adult mentionins, be warned...
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
He Said it All the Time
There are two things that the attendants, ANBU, and staff of the Hokage tower fear above all others. The first is when Godaime-sama is drinking. The second is when Godaime-sama is productive. These two conditions have led to more dismissals, threats of life-long D-Rank missions, and even the terrible 'Chakra Castration' once or twice against these heroic individuals. The drinking is obvious.
But being productive is rare and terrifying for less obvious reasons.
Sitting in her high back chair, the Hokage hat resting on a mannequin in the corner, Tsunade of the Sannin sipped a small glass of green tea. She eyed the massive stack of paperwork that she had just defeated quite easily. Normally Tsunade worked from damn until dusk, and she had an extra hour or two to spare since her recent streak of initiative had yet to sputter out of steam.
She hated the tedious paperwork of her position. But, like when she drank, it clouded her mind and blocked her from thinking beyond the wall of ink and parchment that was her working day.
Now, drinking and sitting, she looked over Konoha and felt a misty layer form in her eyes.
"Irony…it makes every story so much better," she whispered, a quote from her best friend. Now gone. Jiraiya had revealed one or two small story tips to her in an effort to encourage her small bout with writing novellas as a younger woman, but soon enough training and ninja life took over.
"The way you splash ink across this paper is an insult to my sensibilities, every time I read this dribble I feel like chucking it away and setting something on fire."
"Then stop reading it!" Tsunade hissed her eyes showing the barest hint of tears.
Jiraiya smiled at her, causing her to eye him oddly, "I can't put this down now! I don't know what happens yet." He grinned giving her his best 'Gotcha' face. She hammered him straight in the chest and stormed away mumbling about his stupid jokes.
One memory brought on another and another and another. Before long the tired old woman was reliving things she had not thought on in decades. All the times he would smile and laugh at her, every joke and prank he pulled to get her to break her 'princess' façade she put on around the team when she was younger. Even something as small as when they first really met nearly had tears rolling down her eyes.
"Man why did I get saddled with you two spoiled brats!" a young Jiraiya moaned. "A guy with perfect grades and a cute girl who's more beauty than brains."
"Well sorry that we don't measure up to Great Gallant Jiraya!" Tsunade catcalled while Orochimaru sighed, paying attention to their sensei.
"Speaking of not measuring up," Jiraiya said as he suddenly disappeared and reappeared behind her. Groping her chest he ran his hands over her smooth bust eliciting a shriek, "How can you call yourself Sakujou-sama's daughter without being even a B cup?"
"YOU FUCKING PERVERT!"
Tsunade laughed out loud when she looked down at her bust. The massive mounds seemed to have not stopped growing since that day. She looked at her hands and remembered how she had punched Jiraya every time she would take and find out she needed to get a new sized bra.
"So you're going to that lingerie store eh? Well it seems that Flat Chested Tsunade is finally gotten her inheritance. I'll call you Tsunade-hime from now on!"
"Just call me Tsunade, Jiraiya! You don't have to be so annoying with those little nicknames of yours!" She yelled back to her shadow who had been hounding her ever since she had let him in on why his face now sported a massive welt. Of course she didn't turn back so he wouldn't see the blush that crept across her cheeks at being called a princess.
Tsunade stood and collected her bet jacket. Pulling it on she left her office and flicked the lights off with one dainty finger.
The streets of her city warmed her heart as she made a silent path toward the lake's isolated gazebo, a favored drinking spot. The small jug of sake, freshly chilled, swung idly in her hands. She noticed a distant glimmer of illumination, colored red and felt a blush return to her cheeks.
The land of Tea, known for its many brothels, was a poor choice for a short cut, Tsunade decided after the fourth detour. Jiraiya, horny beast he was, had somehow convinced both her and Orochimaru towards this particular route. Little did they know he had received a correspondence from an old acquaintance who had offered him a drastic discount for the help their team gave her in their earlier ninja years.
The pale male had a distinct blush on his features as he followed his rowdy teammate towards a pair of lovely young women. "LADIES! GOOD TO SEE YOU!" Jiraiya crowed, his arm around Orochimaru's shoulders.
"We are pleased to be able to serve you and your friends again Jiraiya-sama," they said bowed showing off cleavage Tsunade noted was comparable to her own.
The 'old friend' was the matron of the brothel a woman Tsunade would never admit, to anyone but herself, was intensely jealous of. It didn't help thirty years to the day a certain Hokage would copy her style of dress and make up.
What pissed Tsunade off most was not Jiraiya's corruption of Orochimaru, who looked like he was going to have a conniption with so many women wanting to touch him. What pissed Tsunade off was not how several woman were approaching her as well. What pissed Tsunade off the most was how Jiraiya, now missing along with the matron, had talked about this woman like she was the goddess Ameratsu!
Tsunade chuckled as she remembered the walk home from what Orochimaru would describe until he defected as 'The night that will never be remembered or forgotten.' She, leading the way, was almost yelling about how debasing to women the prostitutes were, not to mention she decided to add insult to injury by listing, in graphic detail, every sexually transmitted disease she knew along with their effects on the human body.
Orochimaru demanded a checkup then and there. While the rare chance to beat up her proper thinking teammate for perversion was funny it was over shadowed by what Jiraiya said.
"I could not imagine selling my body! Even if I did the gall of giving someone like you," she threw both venomous eyes and words at Jiraiya, "a discount! The body of someone like me would be more than a dumbass like you," again at Jiraiya, "could ever afford!"
She heard a chuckle, "Well it's a good thing you're the only woman I would never pay for eh? I mean why try to buy something you couldn't have? Flat Chested Tsunade?"
She looked at her knuckles. That bruise had lasted two weeks. She frowned as she remembered that day. Jiraiya had said so many things like that.
"Why would anyone want to date such a loud mouth angry woman? They'd have to be a complete dumbass to put up with your bull crap! If it wasn't for being so awesome myself I would have died by now!" Jiraiya languished after she revealed her newest man, Dan, to him.
Tsunade's face turned bright crimson in embarrassment as her fear came true. She had hoped to introduce her boyfriend to her teammates. Orochimaru had acted as if it was beneath his notice, like so much they used to do together, and now Jiraiya was insulting her to the couple's faces!
"I'm sorry that this dumbass wasted your time then Jiraiya-san," Dan said softly.
Jiraiya grunted at the returned insult, "Just watch out man," the toad hermit catcalled as Tsunade stormed off, "I hope you don't break him Tsunade not all guys are as sturdy as I am!"
It had hurt so much when he had tried to console her after Dan's death, especially after what he had said. The fact Tsunade had been unable to save him weighed even heavier on both of them. She threw what he had said right back into his face. She called him every insult and name she had against him just to see him flinch, frown, or look hurt. She wanted him to know how much pain she felt. And hurt he did look when it was over. His arms held out slightly forward as if to embrace her, he did not though. She held her body as if he meant to attack. While he had an idea of her newest pain he could never understand.
The fool had women after him left and right. As the Toad Sage he travelled the world, sending her letters with images of far off places and beautiful women. Tsunade looked at one photo she kept with her. The three of them with Sarutobi sitting in a line eating Dango and drinking tea, snapped by Tsunade's grandmother.
Orochimaru sat emulating their master's sitting stance and mannerisms perfectly while Jiraiya gaped at a bountiful brunette walking by. Tsunade smiled wanly as she noticed she was stealing one of his dango sticks right out of his lap.
A drop of water hit her hand. She looked up from her perch on the gazebo and watched as another hit her forehead and slid down her pert nose.
She gaped at him. "What did you say?" A drop of water from a leaky pipe hit her head.
Jiraiya ignored her as he strapped his second arm guard on, "Orochimaru's responsible. I'm going after him."
Tsunade's brow furrowed, "Why?"
He stilled, his face becoming slack, "He's my friend. He's my teammate. I'll bring him back."
Jiraiya hadn't been in ANBU for years. He had been trying to teach a group of brats, one of which wouldn't stop pestering her little cousin Kushina no matter how many times both Uzumaki related females knocked him into next week. To see Jiraya like this made her heart grow cold. The face he had on was one she normally associated with his many close calls.
"Don't." He looked at her, his face displaying that somewhat moronic look of disbelief. "Don't go. He'll kill you. You're no match for him."
Jiraiya slowly smiled sadly, his face miming the sad smile's of her grandfather. "Man you just keep hitting me hard Tsunade-hime. I'm sturdy, but one day I may not get back up y'know?"
She stepped forward and pushed him causing him to fall against the locker, "THIS ISN'T A GAME JIRAIYA!" she screeched. "Orochimaru was always the most deadly out of the three of us! If he killed women and children he'll kill you! He said he would so many times before!"
He stared blankly at her and put a hand on her shoulder, "Move Tsunade, I have to go. He has a head start."
She smacked him. Shock played across his features minutely. She had broken his bones before, but she had never slapped him. It was 'too tame' as she had explained one day he landed on top of the monument. She saw a momentary flash of hurt across his face from the blow, but it passed so quickly she wasn't sure. A drop of water hit her outstretched hand.
Her shoulders hitched, "I just lost Dan…I've been counting Orochimaru as lost for years. I won't lose someone else. Not like that…not you too." She looked shyly up at him tears threatening to fall, "I'll be with you tonight Jiraiya!" She said causing another flash of shock. "I'll do and be with you however you want! Please! Come with me instead. Just don't go. I'll…"
Jiraiya once more turned to her as she offered herself, one lock of his infinitely unruly hair falling across the wounded cheek. He smiled again, looking into her eyes deeply. Reaching down he took hold of and examined her hand and laughed, pointing to the redness forming in her palm. Without a word he wrapped it in his headband's strap and moved past her.
He stopped by the door, his hand on the lintel, "Orochimaru may be deadly. But he doesn't hit as hard as you Tsunade-hime. And I appreciate the offer, but it's frogs that turn into princes when kissed. I'm just the fool toad who's been trying to catch up a genius and a princess." He let his hand drop and walked on, his back slowly growing smaller.
"Jiraiya come back! If you leave I won't be waiting for you! JIRAYA!"
He didn't stop. He vanished from her. He left her in that darkened locker room, only the cool fabric of his headband to remind her he was ever there in the first place.
Tsunade didn't see him again for almost, "Kami-sama…twenty years…He walked away following that fool for twenty years."
She scoffed when she realized she wasn't much better.
"Tsunade-baachan?" a small voice asked. Turning from her musing she looked up to see Naruto. His bright blue eyes dark, his hair and clothes drenched. "I uh…"
She smiled at the boy and beckoned him. He sat down next to her, only to be drawn into a huge. She pulled his head to her shoulder. "It's okay. I can't cry either gaki," she whispered lovingly to him.
The blonde boy's voice hitched in his throat. "I never got to tell him, how much I…I never said thanks."
Tsunade stroked his hair, "You did. I remember. You thanked him all the time," she said as she took a small drink.
Naruto shook his head, his hair tickling the exposed part of her skin, "No. I said 'thanks for the jutsu Ero-Sannin,' I said 'Thanks for taking my money bum.' But I never said 'thanks for spending time with me.' I never said thanks for remembering my birthday, I never-"
She cut him off and shushed him, "You never had to Naruto. Besides, it's what I didn't say that was worse." He lifted his head to regard him, "I did love Dan…but I, I only really started dating him because I was jealous that Jiraiya always seemed to have someone. He would introduce me to all these beautiful girls and women he met on his travels."
Naruto's brow creased as he saw tears form at the corners of her eyes.
"It hurt more when he would admonish me. It made me happy when he congratulated me. He always remembered my birthday…except all of the gifts were perverted," she snorted, remembering when he sent her a full lingerie set that was 5% lace and 95% air. "I tried to hurt him once or twice, more than with the punches. Because I was hurt he never would have said those words to me that I wanted to say to them. I was hurt when he went after Orochimaru…because I wanted him to stay for me."
Naruto blinked, "What are you talking about?"
Despite her slight buzz when she looked at Naruto she saw he was dead serious, "What?"
Naruto pulled free and sat up on his own. "He said it all the time. Whenever he got drunk with women they'd leave because he'd keep talking about you."
Tsunade smiled and shook her head, "That old fool loved talking about those glory days we had. He would ramble for hours about old missions and the war in Amegakure, so Naruto you don't hav-"
"No Tsunade," he said causing her to pay attention. "Not when you guys were a team, you." Naruto stood, his eyes down at his feet. "Tsunade-baachan…I think we both had a problem listening when he talked." With those enigmatic words that would have made the Toad Sage proud he left her.
Sitting by herself once more Tsunade realized Naruto had soaked her. She shivered and began to warm herself by rubbing her arms. Tears came freely now as she remembered what he said, and realized, after such a long, long time what he meant.
"I can't put this down now! I don't know what happens yet."
It's good, I'm just teasing you because you're worried.
She bit her lower lip as she remembered how he edited the manuscript and left in her mailbox the next day. She never had the nerve to send it in, but she kept it and would read over his scribble notes and suggestions.
"…call you Tsunade-hime from now on!"
Because you're my personal princess!
She always called him the 'Great Gallant Jiraiya' to mock him for calling her a princess. She wondered if how often he wanted it to be true, Jiraiya the brave heroic shinobi saving her little (well not really little) princess Tsunade from danger.
"I mean why try to buy something you couldn't have? Flat Chested Tsunade?"
You're too good for a loser like me
There were times she thought that she the granddaughter of the first and the greatest medic ninja of the village fell below what he wanted. A chuckle left her throat.
"I hope you don't break him Tsunade-hime you gotta remember not all guys are as sturdy as I am!"
I'm only strong because of you. No one else needs your support like me.
No one ever would get up after one of her blows except for him. He would take them, time and again, even after she nearly killed him he still kept up his antics around her, daring her to try again.
"And I appreciate the offer, but it's frogs that turn into princess when kissed…"
You'd regret it…and I'd rather die than make you regret.
His eyes always held how much he cared. Whenever she felt down he would make the one joke that got her going. She worked harder than any other when he picked on her for being weak. He never wanted her to live in the past, he always wanted her to live.
"…I'm just the fool toad who's been trying to catch up a genius and a princess."
I'm not leaving, I'll always be behind you.
Even when she turned her back on him to leave the village she would sometimes feel his presence. A few closecalls and she could have sworn a flicker of light, a swift movement, a voice on the wind. She could have sworn...
"Hey Tsunade! Look my book got published! You may have been able to resist the scrub from our class but how can you resist a best selling author?"
I'm trying my best for you…because…
Was all he ever wanted for her to say three little words? Maybe when they were young. Maybe...
"You can't fool me Jiraiya! I know that book sold didn't sell! You can't trick me just because this is the first time we've gotten together for a drink in a decade old man! The only thing you could write that would sell would be porn!"
You never had to try to hard you fool…because…
Tsunade took the last few sips of her sake and watched as a small toad sat on a stone. A drop of water struck its head. With a slow methodical blink it leapt into the water and darted off. As if to the retreating a back one she longed to have at her side, his great presence her one eternal boon, never faltering, never failing, forever with her, she whispered the words she now knew would have stopped him all those years ago. The small words that despite her strength, confidence, and heritage, were impossible to say.
Because you made me weak with that stupid smile...Jiraiya...
"…I love you…"
A/N: Awww...Yeah I'm a sappy hopeless romantic at heart.
Review and have a good day.