A/N: Hey fanfiction readers! :) This story idea has been driving me insane for about a week or so, and when I finally got around to writing it I couldn't stop. The next chapter is already written and I'm in the process of writing the third. I hope you guys are interested. :) Also, I'm warning you now: this is a love story. I'm a sucker for chick flicks and romances, what can I say. Haha. I apologize for any blatant OOCness or major errors. Thanks for reading and please review! :)

This is set sometime at the beginning of Shippuuden, after Jiraiya and Naruto come back to Konoha but before all of the Akatsuki stuff.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto because if I did then Tsunade would be featured in every chapter/episode. :)


Just a Gamble

"YOU IDIOT!"

The Hokage's yell reverberated through the hospital, bouncing off the walls and seeming to shake the very foundations of the building. The hallway had long since cleared of medic-nin. No one with any self-preservation instinct would try to get in the way of the Hokage and her target.

Jiraiya, clothes soaked with rain and blood, leaned heavily against the wall in front of the blonde. Her yelling barely even phased him anymore. Gingerly pulling at the sticks and mud tangled in his long white hair, the Sannin just sighed. Tsunade jabbed a finger into his face, making him grimace.

"He could've died, Jiraiya! What were you thinking? And what about yourself, you damn stupid old fool!" She snarled. Each word was emphasized with a harsh poke to his chest. "You aren't immortal! Next time you might not be so damn lucky!"

"Calm down—,"

"DON'T TELL ME TO CALM DOWN!" She yelled.

"Tsunade—,"

"I can't believe you would be that irresponsible! I can't believe you!" She stepped back away from him, fists balled in anger. Jiraiya could tell that she was barely restraining herself from sending him flying through the wall. Good thing, because he didn't know if he could survive a Tsunade punch on top of the other injuries she'd recently healed.

He'd only gotten back to the village a little over an hour ago, bruised and bloodied with an unconscious Naruto tossed over his shoulder. The two had been out of the village training when a mini version of Katsuyu had shown up, giving them a message from the Hokage. There were dangerous S-rank missing-nin in the same area as they were and she wanted them to get out of there as soon as possible.

But what would a few missing-nin be in comparison to a Sannin and his student? The two had decided to ignore Tsunade's warning and try and take the enemies out. It proved to be a bad decision; there were six of them, total, and they'd sprung at Naruto all at once. A poison dart sunk into Jiraiya's skin before he even had a chance to react.

Naruto took on two of them while Jiraiya went up against the other four. They were fierce competition, especially because the poison in his system caused Jiraiya's vision to blur so badly that he could barely focus on one of the nin, let alone four. He was able to take out three of them, regardless, before the fourth caught him off guard and lunged around him to go after Naruto. The blond boy ended up with a kunai through his chest, a poison dart in his neck, and a broken leg.

Naruto managed to pull a rasengan and kill the other two anyway, before passing out and landing in the mud. Jiraiya let the last ninja run off; his vision was swimming already and he knew he had to get Naruto some medical help before the teenager died.

That's how the two of them had shown up in Konoha. Shizune had been leaving the hospital – it was nearly midnight, after all — when Jiraiya stumbled in, and she immediately sent word to Tsunade. The dark-haired medic was able to remove the poison from their systems and was in the midst of healing Naruto's broken leg when Tsunade had shown up. She stayed quiet and let Jiraiya explain to her what had happened while she healed some of his fractured bones, then told him to wait outside of Naruto's room for her. He'd done as she asked and ended up getting screamed at and poked in the chest.

"Look, we didn't die, and we'll both be fine." Then, as an afterthought, he added, "Why are you so upset anyway? Shinobi die from battles like this all the time and you of all people know that."

A flash of hurt crossed her expression, but it disappeared just as quickly. "Because you deliberately ignored my warning to get out of there! As the Hokage I have authority over every mission you go on and I did not say that—,"

"Well what do you want me to say, hime?" He exclaimed, exasperated. "I'm sorry we ignored you, but we thought it would be best for everyone if we just—,"

"No," She spat. "You didn't think, Jiraiya!"

With that said, the fierce woman spun on her heel and stormed out of the hospital.

*TsuJir*TsuJir*TsuJir*

Jiraiya groaned as he pulled himself out of bed the next morning. His injuries were healed, but he still had some bruises and sore spots that caused him an ache here and there. He showered, dressed slowly, and took his time making himself some breakfast.

When he finished eating, he decided his first stop of the day would be the hospital to check on the brat. He knew Naruto was fine. With Tsunade, Shizune, and probably Sakura all watching over him, the kid would come out of the hospital in better shape than he'd been before the fight with the missing-nin. Even though Jiraiya knew all of this, he still wanted to see the brat with his own eyes. Just to make sure.

So that's what he did. He made his way to the hospital, down the familiar hallways, and was about to open the door to Naruto's room when he heard bickering. The corners of his mouth turning up in a small smile, he knew exactly who was in there. He pushed the door open anyway, making himself known.

"—and I need to get back to training if I want to master the—"

"No, you need to shut up and lay back down before I break your other leg just to make sure you can't walk!"

"But Granny—,"

"WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT CALLING ME GRANNY?"

"I COULD CALL YOU OLD HAG!"

"NARUTO, I'M GOING TO—,"

"Uh, is this a bad time?" Both of the blonde's turned to look at Jiraiya, who just chuckled. Tsunade's temple throbbed in irritation and Naruto grinned at his teacher.

"Pervy Sage! Make Granny Tsunade let me out of this stupid hospital!"

Tsunade growled, crossing her arms across her chest. "That fool couldn't make me do anything. Don't get your hopes up, gaki."

"Ouch, hime, you wound me." Jiraiya muttered, then turned his attention to Naruto. "She does have a point though. It's a lesson you should learn now." He took the appearance of a teacher, raising his finger and closing his eyes as he lectured Naruto. "Women. Gorgeous, yes, but equally as crazy. They may be pleasant to look at but under all of those curves is a tangled web of insanity that no sane man would ever succumb to. My point is, when a woman like Tsunade decides something, you let her have her way. Trying to change her mind will only get your body and ego injured. Trust me."

"She already healed me." Naruto grumbled. "Why can't I leave?"

"I already told you that you'll be released in a few hours." Tsunade snapped. She reached out a hand and pushed Naruto back down onto the bed. "If I catch you leaving this hospital before Shizune releases you, I can assure you that you'll be assigned D-rank missions until you're in your thirties. And that's not a threat, Naruto. It's a promise."

"But—,"

"I'd just give in on this one, kid." Jiraiya said wisely. He cast a look at the only woman in the room. "You know how she gets."

Tsunade turned on him, her expression livid. "What the hell does that mean?"

"Nothing, I—," He backed up a few steps, recognizing the expression on her face and feeling a twinge of fear in his gut.

"Maybe if I didn't have to deal with idiots like you on a daily basis, I would be in a better mood." She hissed. "Think about that next time you decide to deliberately ignore my orders. Especially in a life or death situation."

She pushed him out of her way and left the room, the door slamming in her wake.

"She's mad." Naruto cringed.

"Really? What was your first clue?"

"Granny Tsunade's usually not that happy, but now she's acting like she did when I first met her." Naruto sat up in the bed. "What did you do?"

"What did I do?" Jiraiya turned on him, exasperated. "Don't you try to pin this on me, kid. You wanted to take out those missing-nin just as much as I did."

"Yeah, but you're the mature one." Naruto smiled innocently. "I'm only fifteen. What do I know?"

"Brat." Jiraiya grumbled.

"Maybe you should apologize to her." The blond shrugged. "That usually works when I make her mad."

"That's because she loves you like her brother." Jiraiya spat. "But I suppose it's worth a shot. Maybe I'll take her some sake…"

*TsuJir*TsuJir*TsuJir*

Jiraiya gave the Hokage a few hours to cool off before he decided to stop in and see her. Easily slipping past Shizune, he knocked on the door to her office and politely waited for her to tell him to come in before he pushed the door open. When she looked up from her papers and saw him standing there, the annoyance was plain on her face.

"Get out." She said simply.

"I brought sake." He smiled at her and held up the bottle in his hand.

She looked at the bottle, then at him, then back at the bottle before sighing. "Leave the sake and I'll give you one minute."

Grinning, Jiraiya handed her the bottle and plopped himself down in the chair in front of her desk. "I'm here to offer you my most sincere apologies, Tsunade-hime. I shouldn't have gone after the missing-nin and ignored your warning. It was an immature decision and I'm honestly sorry."

Tsunade took a drink straight from the sake bottle and considered his words. "Sorry doesn't change the fact that you put yourself and Naruto in danger for no reason. You know what kind of situation the village is in right now. We can't afford to lose two of our best shinobi."

Jiraiya leaned back in his chair. "Then let me do something to prove that I'm sorry and that it won't happen again."

"You want to make it up to me?" The Hokage snorted. "You wouldn't even know how to start."

Jiraiya's eyes lit up. "Oh really?" He leaned forward, hands on his knees and his grin widening. "Then would you care to make a gamble of it, Hokage-sama?"

Tsunade lifted her eyes to meet his. He knew he'd caught her attention as soon as he said the word gamble. Situations like this made her curse her addiction. "What kind of bet are we talking?"

"Let me treat you to a night out on the town." When he saw Tsunade begin to object, he held up his hand. "Let me finish, woman! I'll take you out, show you a good time, and if you haven't forgiven me by the end of the night, I'll do whatever you want."

Tsunade thought it over, then raised her eyebrows. "Whatever I want?"

Jiraiya winked and wiggled his eyebrows. "Yes, hime, even that. Gladly."

She grabbed a pen off of her desk and chucked it at him. The pervert easily dodged it. When the pen hit the back of Tsunade's closed office door and embedded itself into the wood, Jiraiya was especially glad he had. Sometimes he forgot about her monstrous strength.

"So?" He prompted. "What do you say? Is it a bet?" He held out his hand.

Tsunade took another drink of the sake he'd brought her, then sighed. Why the hell not? "It's a bet." She grasped his hand and they shook on it.

Jiraiya stood up, beaming. "I'll pick you up here at seven."

Tsunade watched his retreating form cross her office before a sudden thought struck her. "Wait!" She called. Jiraiya paused, turning to look at her. "If I win then you do whatever I want, but what do you get if you win?"

Jiraiya thought for a moment.

"I get to go on a date with the most breath-taking woman in Konoha tonight." He smiled. "That's enough of a prize for me."

Tsunade felt her cheeks heat up, but this time it wasn't from the alcohol.


A/N: Alright, I'm fully aware that Jiraiya and Naruto could take out some S-Class missing-nin without any problems but I needed some type of situation to piss Tsunade off, and it was that or bringing in the Akatsuki...and I just didn't want to go there. So I'm calling it artistic freedom.

Love it? Hate it? Is it worth continuing? I'd love to hear your thoughts! :)