#29 Nightmare

Jiraiya never thought the day would come when he had to fight Orochimaru for Tsunade's hand in marriage. The two had always fought over her. Whether it was to get her to smile or laugh, or just trying to get her attention, they competed for her.

As the two faced each other, the single spectator couldn't help but compare them. Jiraiya's long spiky white hair was a sharp contrast to Orochimaru's long silky black locks that floated slightly with the wind. Jiraiya had a far bigger build, thanks to his broad shoulders, while Orochimaru's sickly pale look made it look like Jiraiya was the stronger of the two.

Sarutobi knew better to think that. Despite appearances, the two's strength were near to even. Jiraiya exceeded Orochimaru when it came to brute strength and stamina, but the snake man could master almost any jutsu thrown at him. Neither was exceptional in genjutsu, as they couldn't cast a true one, but detecting and shutting down them were skills the two mastered early.

As their sensei, Sarutobi knew this fight would be intense. He had stopped their glaring earlier to relocate the fight to a deep part of the forest. It was his duty, as Hokage to protect the village from the disaster he knew would ensue. He also knew that the fight was inevitable.

"Alright boys, this is a free form fight. You may do anything to one another. You may not kill the other. I will step in to the stop the fight at that point," he yelled to them from his safe position in a tree above them.

Tsunade leaned against the railing of her room in the Hokage mansion. Sarutobi-sensei had allowed her to keep her room when he became Hokage. The blue crystal necklace hung low around her neck. She stared at the sunset as she tried to figure out who to choose: Orochimaru or Jiraiya?

"Tsunade, is something wrong?" Orochimaru asked as he entered the classroom one morning. She shook her head to hide her voice from shaking. "You know, I'll always be there for you."

She choked back a sob as he pulled her into a warm embrace. "Oji-sama was killed last night," she sobbed into his shoulder. "He named the new Hokage, and now I have to leave my home."

Jiraiya suddenly exploded into the room. The second he saw tears in her eyes, he quieted and silently made his way over to his friends. He gently placed a hand on her shoulder. As if on instinct, she curled up into his arms.

"Everything will be alright; we'll get through this together," Jiraiya whispered into her ear. She nodded into his chest before pulling away to wipe the tears away.

The three were forced to separate as their teacher came in and began announcing their Genin teams. "Finally, Team 7 under Sarutobi, Hiruzen: Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru." They braked for lunch and the three went to celebrate getting on the same team.

Ever since war started, the three had been separated. Each was stationed in different corners of Ame. However, now the three were together to fight the "final boss" as they put it. Hanzo stood proudly before them. This was going to be long battle.

Jiraiya and Orochimaru came up to flank him as she charged down the middle. With an earth shattering punch to the ground, rocks came up, trapping Hanzo for a moment. Orochimaru summoned his snakes to wrap around him to restrict his movements. But before Jiraiya could come in and deliver the finishing blow, Hanzo broke free. He grabbed Jiraiya's outstretched wrist and spun it around to shatter the bone. He then kicked him into the ground.

Tsunade could only stare at the hole in the ground where Jiraiya lay motionless. She prayed he'd get up. Suddenly, an attack from above made her focus her attention to the battle instead of her fallen teammate. She blocked the kick with her forearm. He barraged her with attack after attack.

In one second, the attacks stopped. Hanzo's attention had been drawn to a figure moving to his side. "Leave her alone. If anyone, attack me, just leave her alone," Jiraiya said as he struggled to stand up.

Blood ran down the side of the face as Hanzo removed his hand from her hair. "Well, doesn't somebody have spunk," he replied. He yanked her hair, and she involuntarily let out a yelp.

With a flash, Jiraiya appeared behind Hanzo. "I said. Leave her alone."

"So Tsunade, are you having a good time?" Orochimaru asked as they walked through the park one night during the week Jiraiya was in the hospital.

"It's definitely an improvement over war. I'd gladly do this every night as long as I didn't have to go back there," she replied as they came to the lake.

The couple sat on the dock and stared at the moonlight. "Tomorrow, I'm leading Nawaki's team on a scouting mission. There's no real threat to any of our lives, but with war blaring on our border, the potential risk is really high," he spoke to break the silence. As much as she hated that her brother had to go on missions, she knew that it was only the Genin left to protect the village.

After a long period, she replied, "Just be careful. Nawaki is the only one I have left."

She shared her first kiss with Orochimaru that night. Early the next morning, she kissed Nawaki's forehead and gave him her necklace. She never thought she would regret doing that.

Tsunade was visiting Jiraiya, when the remaining few medics rushed past the room with a gurney. Briefly, she caught sight of Nawaki's spiky hair. The two raced after Tsunade determined to help.

"Let me help. I can help," she cried but was held back by Orochimaru.

"You'll only get in their way. Let them save your brother," she ordered. She closed her mouth and held back the tears that were threatened her eyes. She knew he was right. They were allowed to stand outside and wait while watching through the window.

For two hours, Tsunade stared and stood unyielding through the window into the operating room. Finally, a white sheet was placed over the body. Instantly, Jiraiya was there as she began to cry.

"Remember that you still have us. We'll always be there for you. No matter what," he said as he held her tightly once again.

"I can't believe that I agreed to this," she said as she removed the towel over her body to reveal a blue bikini-swimming suit.

"Tsunade, I promise you. I won't try anything. Besides, I don't expect to get further than holding hands and hugging. I'll try to be the perfect gentleman," he replied removing his shirt to reveal a well-toned chest and arms.

"Just don't stare," she said grabbing his hand and pulling him after her as she ran into the water of the ocean. He laughed as he ran ahead of her, diving into the water as soon as it reached his thighs.

War had ended some months ago, and after going through all that, Jiraiya finally got up the courage to ask Tsunade out on a date. Of course, at first she didn't know whether or not to agree, so she consulted Sarutobi first. Let's just say, he wasn't much help, so she confronted his student. You can guess what he said.

Now the two were on their first date to the beach. Afterwards, the two were going to stop at a casual restaurant.

Tsunade surveyed the beach once she got out into the water. She spotted her old friend Uruchi riding atop the shoulders of Teyaki Uchiha. Luckily, Teyaki was one of those calm and nice Uchihas that were one in a million, so Tsunade approved. The two had been forced to elope because of the war.

Suddenly, Jiraiya dunked her underwater. She burst to the surface with a gasp and instantly focused a glare in his directing. He instinctively turned to run, but caught himself when he felt water splash him. "Oh, it's on," he said splashing her back. And thus the fight began.

Tsunade had to say she had an amazing time. He was immature to an extent, but acted like a gentleman. She never expected that from him of all people.

"This is it Jiraiya, you lose and Tsunade is mine. Don't you dare come between us," Orochimaru said raising his sword over his head. He aimed it at Jiraiya who was struggling to stand from his burn marks. He stabbed downward.

Jiraiya managed to roll out of the way of the sword. He still couldn't stand from the burns and the broken leg. He did manage to summon a small toad, but it was too late. Orochimaru had managed to get to him and pierced his chest with the sword. It was at that point Sarutobi intervened.

"Orochimaru, he's your teammate. Were you trying to kill him?" Sarutobi demanded. Orochimaru didn't answer. He just stared uncaringly at his fallen teammate with such a hate, Sarutobi called the ANBU to watch over him.

As the medics came to treat Jiraiya, who had lost consciousness, he sent for Tsunade. This fight had been over her, so she deserved to know what happened.

"Jiraiya!" Sarutobi heard Tsunade yell as she rushed to his side. She ignored the blood covering his body, and stared at his face.

The medics rushed him away, and she was forced to stay with her sensei and Orochimaru. "Tsunade, the reason Jiraiya is hurt is because he and Orochimaru got in a fight," Sarutobi started. "… Over you." Her eyes widened.

"And because I won, Jiraiya has agreed to back off and let you be mine," Orochimaru said getting closer to her to pull her into a hug.

"Get away from me. If you wanted me to focus on you, you could've asked. Orochimaru, the way you hurt Jiraiya is unforgivable," she yelled at him. "Besides, I had already made my choice. And it's not you!"

With that, she raced to the hospital to see Jiraiya. A medic exited his room as she arrived. "Tsunade, I have bad news."

Tsunade was scared awake by a sudden sound in her bedroom. Sweat beaded her forehead as she got up to investigate. The clock on the side of the bed said 1:24am. Turns out, it was just something falling off her shelf.

She was about to go to bed, when she noticed the other side of the bed empty. Where was her husband? She also noticed the quiet of the house, which was unusual. She ventured out of her room and into the living room and the kitchen.

The TV was on, showing the end of the football game. It was the only light on in the room. The only other light was the moon and the stars that were in the night sky. When she looked to her couch, she found her missing husband. She leaned against the doorframe of the room, and just watched his sleeping form

Lying fast asleep on the couch was Jiraiya. His white hair was sprayed out around him. On his bare chest, curled up and asleep, their baby girl was sucking on her thumb. The other hand was clutched tightly onto the little bit of hair that was still on his chest. She had a tuft of white hair on her chest, and Tsunade could picture her blue eyes.

Yume was a few months old now, and she definitely loved her daddy as much as he loved her. Yume was going to be a beautiful girl when she grew up. No matter how long she stared at the scene, she couldn't believe that this was not a dream, just as Yume was named after.

"Thank god, it was just a nightmare," she said and went back to crawl into bed. She'll let the two sleep.

Hey guys, I hope you liked it. I started this yesterday, finished it today, and I'm super proud of it. I finally got back into the feel of doing my school work as well as this, so you can expect more in the coming weeks. BTW: Yume means dream.

~Ja Mata Ne