Hiruzen poured himself more sake, watching as the clear liquid dripped its way into his cup. He picked the cup up, gingerly pressing it to his lips, taking in the liquor before placing it back down onto the table with a small 'tak!'
"Ahhh, it's so nice to get together like this!" The young Sarutobi beamed at the Nidaime who sat across him and was also pouring himself a cup of sake.
"Yeah it is." Tobirama smiled at his student, now a young man, and slowly sipped on his sake. "Especially since we don't see each other as much anymore. You're active on missions and I'm stuck with… Paperwork."
Hiruzen had noticed his Sensei's face had grown dark and he's now glaring at his sake cup as if he was expecting it to disintegrate under his gaze. His hand reached for the sake bottle and poured it out into his cup.
"So… How are your teammates coming along?" Tobirama asked, now smiling at Hiruzen fondly.
"Well, Homura's active on missions as usual. Koharu's been off duty after that last mission she had… But she's recovering just fine! In fact she told me when I came to visit today that she'll be released by the end of the week." The Sarutobi smiled. Tobirama shook his head and sighed, taking another swig of the sake.
"You know what's funny?" He starts. "Whenever I hear from a report that you guys messed up somehow, I still feel like it's my responsibility to go after you guys and remind you to be careful!"
"We are careful, Sensei!" Hiruzen pouted feeling defensive. "And plus, you sound like you don't trust us at all!"
"Oh, but I do trust you. It's just that I remember those times when you were all just reckless wannabe ninjas. Whenever you three would squabble, I took one long look and had a feeling that sometime in the near future, Konoha would collapse." Tobirama shrugged taking another drink.
"Well, take another look sensei! 10 years have passed and Konoha's still standing!" Hiruzen smirked. "And we don't 'squabble'!"
"Suuure you don't…." The Hokage smirked back at his student.
"Anyway… How's Tsunade-chan?" Hiruzen questioned, but right after he said it, he wanted to take it back since his sensei had choked on his sake and was now coughing all over the place.
"Oh don't even get me started!" Tobirama wailed as soon as his coughing fit was over. "The little demon comes into my office, asking me to go play tea party with her. I say 'No, Uncle's busy right now, we'll play later' her response? She TRASHES the ENTIRE office."
The future 3rd Hokage bit his lip, trying so hard not to snicker at the picture forming in his mind: His sensei in a frilly pink dress, with a tiara, drinking tea with Tsunade with one pinky up.
"And recently, she found the case of Sake I keep under my desk! She tried to drink one bottle full! ONE BOTTLE! Thankfully I snatched it from her before she could finish it."
"I have a feeling when Tsu-chan grows up, she'll be a heavy drinker." Hiruzen pointed out.
"She WON'T be a heavy drinker." Tobirama said determinedly, even pushing away his sake cup for effect. "And one drink does not make you a heavy drinker… She didn't even finish a third of the bottle, so it's all good!"
Hiruzen rolled his eyes, crossing his arms in front of his chest. "Sure sensei, but from my experience whenever you say 'So it's all good' it's usually… not." He smirked.
"Name one time." The Nidaime pouted, clearly not liking where his student is heading.
"Well, there was that one time with the explosive tags… And the other time when we went camping in the Forest of death, and that other time when we posted pictures of Hashirama-sama on Madara's-"
"Ok! Ok! I get it!" The white haired man said, cutting off Hiruzen right there and then. He did not want to remember what happened that fair day. When Madara found out it was his doing, he hunted him down for a week and was SO hellbent on killing him, Hashirama had to send him to Tanazuka Gai for his own safety. "I can be wrong sometimes, but hey! I'm only human."
Hiruzen closed his eyes and shook his head.
"GRAN-KA*!" A loud piercing wail suddenly shot through the air as both teacher and student cringed and almost everybody in the bar turned to look at the entrance. The brown haired teen looked at his sensei, only to find out he was staring at the entrance in horror.
"Oh no, please no… please no, Kami-sama, please NO!" Tobirama muttered under his breath until a blonde hurricane came bursting through the entrance of the bar and soon, Tsunade was clinging on to his leg, a big innocent smile on her face.
"Gran-ka…" She smiled, looking up at her granduncle with big brown eyes.
"Tsu-chan…" Tobirama smiled nervously, as if the child clinging to him was a nuclear bomb about to explode. He shot a panicked glance at Hiruzen, begging him to distract Tsunade to get her away from him.
"Umm… Hey there, Tsu-chan!" Hiruzen waved at the 3 year old, attempting to get her attention as Tobirama discreetly tried to pry her tiny hands off of his leg. Unfortunately for him, the kid had an iron grip.
Tsunade blinked, looking at Hiruzen. She suddenly burst into a fit of giggles before pointing out a tiny finger at him. "Monkey!" She cried happily. "Monkey, Monkey, Monkey!"
"Yes, It's Monkey Nii-San, now let go of Gran-ka's leg…" He said, trying to pry her off too.
"Tsunade, let go of your granduncle!" A stern voice came, coming from Mito who was standing at the entrance. Tsunade blinked at her direction before immediately letting go and ran to her grandmother.
"Gran-muff." She mumbled into her grandma's kimono. Mito's look softened as she picked up her granddaughter, loving the gentle glint in her soft brown eyes, which were so much like her grandfather's.
"Can you please tell me what you two are doing here anyway?" Tobirama asked, looking at his sister-in-law. "I thought you two were going to go to the Yamanaka's flower shop or something."
"Well, Tsu-chan got bored there." She said, sounding more proud than disappointed. "So we went to go watch some kids train in the academy and she was enjoying it! She has a fighter-side, you know? And then we went back home, until she began looking for you that is."
"Gran-ka!" Tsunade beamed, reaching out for him. Tobirama eventually gave in and took his niece from Mito, keeping her a safe distance from his hair, which she finds fun to pull and play with.
"Oh… And, Tobi…" Mito said, that dangerous glint in her eye appearing, making the Hokage gulp.
"I need to talk to you about something… concerning Tsunde-chan and that case of Sake under your desk…" The glint was still in her eyes as he stepped back. Nothing beats an angry Mito, so he turned to his student for help. Hiruzen shrugged, not wanting to be involved with an angry jinchuuriki.
"I assure you I keep that away from Tsu-chan at all costs!" He said defensively as Tsunade innocently tugged on his silver hair.
"Uh-huh. Will you please explain to me then why her breath smelt like Sake the other day? And also why she seemed a bit… tipsy." Mito asked, one eyebrow arched.
"She must've eaten something weird…"Tobirama said innocently, prying little Tsunade's fingers open to free his hair before they went into her mouth. "And c'mon, I bet she doesn't even know what sake means, so it's all good."
"Sake?" Tsunade asked, looking up at him with shining eyes. On the inside, he mentally kicked himself for saying 'so it's all good'. And from the corner of his eye, he could see Hiruzen mouthing 'I told you so'.
"Sake?" The blonde child asked again, spotting the wine bottle on the table. She leaned forward and began to reach for the table. "Saaaakeeee! Mine Sake!" She whined, determined to reach the wine.
"Hehe…" Her granduncle laughed nervously as he held Tsunade at bay. "Oh look, Tsu-chan can read now…"
"Tobirama…" Mito sighed. "I suggest you find a new hiding spot for your Sake before Tsu-chan gets the habit of drinking. I don't want her to grow up a drinker."
"I don't want her to grow up a drinker too…" He said, defensively, hugging his blonde niece protectively. "I want the best for Tsu-chan too, you know?"
"I didn't mean it that way, Tobi…" Mito's look softened. She knew Tobirama, even though he might appear highly terrified of the 3-year old princess, loved Tsunade more than anything, seeing that she was his brother's grandchild. "I know you love Tsu-chan, very much. I'm just saying that you need to keep your liquor away from her, she's too young to be drinking…"
"I will, I will…" Tobi waved dismissively. "I'll keep it somewhere out of her reach." He grinned.
"Ok…" Mito smiled back. "And, I'm terribly sorry for interrupting your meeting with Saru-kun!"
"No, No! It's ok!" Hiruzen waved at Mito, a big smile on her face. "Tsu-chan comes first, she is Konoha's little princess afterall." He said and gave the blonde girl a wink.
"Well, then we'll go home so that you two can carry on…" Mito smiled apologetically as she held her hands out for Tsunade to come. "Come now, Tsu-chan!"
"Gran-ka…" Tsunade whimpered, clinging to Tobirama's shirt.
Mito gently took her away and pets her back gently. "You'll see Gran-ka later when he gets home…" She whispered to her ear.
"Play?" She asked, eyes shimmering with delight.
"Yeah, yeah, We'll play. I owe you a tea party anyway…" He smiled at his niece, ruffling her cream yellow hair fondly.
"YAY!" Tsunade yelped and waved goodbye as Mito and her went out of the bar. Tobirama sat back down, a warm smile lighting up his face.
"You know, Tsu-chan's quite fond of you…" The Sarutobi teased. "She might end up choosing a white-haired guy as her boyfriend!"
"Boyfriend?" Tobirama echoed, feeling that protective feeling crawl up him again.
"Well, yeah. She's going to have to marry someday, that is if you want to keep the direct line of Senju descendants going…" Hiruzen shrugged.
"Well, I'm going to have to make sure this 'boy' has good qualities, honourable, respectable, and will take care of little Tsunade-hime." The Hokage nodded, as if agreeing to his own ideas. "Since Nii-san's gone, it's my responsibility and when I'm gone, it'll be YOUR responsibility!"
"What! Why me!" Hiruzen exclaimed, clearly not liking the idea.
"Because you're my successor, that's why." Tobirama deadpanned and smirked. "Unless you want me to give Dan the position instead…"
The Sarutobi blinked, trying to process what his sensei said. "Who's Dan?"
"You know… That other kid on the other team with the Akimichi and the Uchiha? Guy with spiky hair and x-scar on his chin..?" The silver-haired Kage described.
"I think you mean Danzo…" Hiruzen corrected, not believing that after all these years, his master still got his friend's name wrong.
"Well anyway, I can't watch Tsu-chan 24/7. I'll be busy with other stuff!" Hiruzen tried to reason with his teacher.
"Then I'll place her on your genin team!" Tobirama shrugged as if it was the simplest answer in the world. "That way you can watch her often!"
"But you can't do that!" The student flailed. "What are you gonna do? Write it on your will!"
"Maaaaaaybee…." Tobirama gave him a smirk. The one Hiruzen recognized as the infamous: "I'm-going-to-do-something-crazy-and-insane-and-I-have-a-plan-how-to-do-it" smirk. He poured himself a cupful of Sake again, suddenly not feeling very excited about his future anymore.