Behold, the magic of the Naruto universe, my imagination, and a warped timeline!

OH! NOTE: Their daughter has a name! Kori. (= ice)

Fullbuster somewhat influenced me...thanks Gray. (chuckle)

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, because if what I wrote was real, I'd be Hiraishingiri'd within the span of three seconds. And yes, Minato, you and Tobirama have something in common. No, it is not Obitopede. Actually, maybe it is...

The evils of procrastination and homework have spurred this to my imagination...


Chapter 39: Paperwork

Paperwork.

If there existed something worse than vengeful Uchihas awakening their Sharingan eyes via devastating issues with their love lives, it might as well have been paperwork. Even the Hyuuga head had to complain once in a while about the numerous documents that passed his desk. Tobirama, for one, never quite understood his brother's complaints until he himself sat in that seat and stared down the ominous tower of papers that loomed before him. The pile – which, standing alone on the ground, would have towered over Mariko – seemed to leer at him mockingly.

You can't finish me.

Tobirama glared at the paperwork, then glanced at Danzo, who was standing at attention before the Hokage's desk, waiting for orders. The poor boy had been standing still for a few minutes, wondering why in the world the Hokage was not saying a word. Tobirama's eyes flickered from Danzo, to the paperwork, to his desk, then back to the paperwork. Danzo vaguely wondered if the white-haired Senju was having a debate with himself – to do paperwork, or not to do paperwork?

"Danzo," Tobirama finally said, slowly and deliberately. The name came out gratingly, and for some reason made the lanky teenager wince. It was as if he was being pushed through a cheese grater (at least, his name was), and then rolling out in smooth, flat little chunks in a bowl. Perhaps he would have felt better if the grater had been grating, say, a cucumber. Crisp and sharp. Then again, he grimaced at this thought too.

"Yes, sir," replied the boy.

"I have assigned you…" Tobirama trailed off, because he seemed to be again in deep thought. Danzo had a sudden consideration: What if the Hokage was sick? This was rather uncharacteristic of Tobirama, to be so distracted and off-task. Perhaps it was due to a cold or flu that was creating a hazy fog in his mind, thus hindering his ability to concentrate. Maybe he was hallucinating. What if he thought the pack of papers was an enemy ninja trying to camouflage himself? Things might start popping out at him, and Tobirama might leap on his desk and fend off an invisible enemy.

But Danzo got carried away often with suspicions. So he kept quiet.

You have assigned me…? Danzo wondered to himself.

"An A-rank…" Tobirama didn't even say the word mission; he'd turned to the papers again. "Mariko."

Mariko? An A-rank Mariko? Danzo knew that the Senju was trying to link together something about his wife – most likely he wanted Danzo to summon her before he left – but was too jumbled to end his first thought and start his second separately. This simply supported Danzo's theory that the Hokage was too tired and a little bit sick; maybe he should have his temperature checked? Tobirama was usually stoic, strict, and succinct, a man of action who didn't delay. Obviously, that man was a little lost, because his mind was wandering quite aimlessly around the room. So lost was the Hokage that Danzo had this little feeling that irked him, the feeling that a presence was meandering around the office. Tobirama's mind was nowhere near Danzo's assignment, and Danzo was too humble to point it out.

Tobirama gestured, opened his mouth, and then closed it again. He was trying to think of something to say?

"Hokage-sama. My A-rank mission?" Danzo supplied softly. Tobirama simply pushed a scroll his way, and he picked it up. Sighing, Danzo apprehensively suspected that this would not be his mission, and his suspicions were proved correct when he unraveled a grocery list about five miles long. "Hokage-sama. This is your grocery list."

Tobirama frowned and swore softly under his breath.

"Sorry, Danzo, it must be this one."

The next scroll was clearly marked Mission and even had Danzo's name on it. Danzo accepted the assignment and read over it briefly, before turning back to Tobirama. While he read, another thought irked him – Tobirama didn't simply apologize so easily. Now he was seriously concerned that their Hokage was not feeling well.

"Hokage-sama," Danzo said. "Would you like me to call your wife to your office?"

"Yes…" Tobirama looked a bit bemused, before shaking his head and continuing. "Yes, Danzo. Tell her it is urgent."

At this, Danzo dipped his head in respect, and then sped out the door. He had a notion that was in need of transfer – he needed to tell the blue-haired woman that her husband was ill. Just slightly.


If Hiruzen had to learn how to cook, he would learn how to cook at the Senju complex. Of course, he'd started these cooking lessons at the age of ten, but he was still so bad that he required help years and years afterwards. He was lucky that Biwako was a good cook.

Nonetheless, he was now unsuccessfully sautéing a piece of Madara-knows-what, with a rather amused Mito watching alongside him. She'd watched him fail so many times that she already knew what to expect, what to avoid, and what to correct without even thinking. Seeing as Hiruzen was capable of burning an unburnable frying pan, teaching him how to cook was a rather dangerous activity. Mito still kept a careful eye on the boy when he cracked eggs – one might not know if a shinobi might use egg yolks to blind someone. It was definitely possible.

"So…what are we trying to make?" Mariko asked. She was sitting at the dining room table, watching Hiruzen awkwardly manage the stove through the doorway.

"Fried rice…I think," Mito replied. Hiruzen nearly jumped three feet in the air when the oil on his pan started sizzling. What had happened to the sautéed piece of whatever it was, anyway? Mariko sincerely hoped that this was not another case of ninja-food – food that disappeared. She called anything suspicious a ninja. The one hair tie, the big ribbon one, was a ninja ribbon because she could never find it. Tobirama's old Senju face guard was also a ninja hitai-ate (which probably needed to be called a double ninja hitai-ate.) Why she needed that, no one really knew — besides Takeshi wanting to wear it — but she looked for it nonetheless.

Ninja food was a type of food that simply disappeared…by mouth, mouse, or even blue-haired baby's chubby little hands. Or maybe the cat took a bite and slunk away without anyone knowing…

"Wait, I think I just added sugar…" Hiruzen glanced apprehensively at his steaming pan of rice.

"No, you're fine," Mito said absently, waving the boy on as he clumsily handled some seasonings from the cabinet. Just as Hiruzen was able to find the herbs he wanted to spice up the rice with, another figure came bursting through the door.

"Excuse me!"

Hiruzen leapt three feet in the air, made a horrendous noise along the lines of a yowling cat and a screeching eagle hybrid, and flipped the pan backward. The pan would have hit Mariko, but a miraculous seal let itself be known upon the pan's contact with its chakra barrier. Mito made a face, but was rather relieved that her safety precautions had come into handy for once. Though, now she was wondering why in the world Danzo was panting so hard, and what in the world did he want in such a state.

"Danzo," said the Uzumaki calmly. "What's wrong?" Mito turned to Hiruzen. "Clean that up, honey. It's all right." Her voice was hushed, like she was trying to comfort a child. Indeed, Hiruzen looked rather devastated.

"The Hokage-sama…requests…" panted Danzo, "Mariko-san. It's…urgent…he says."

"Urgent?"

"Yes. OH." Danzo leapt to attention when Mariko began to exit. "I think… he's sort of…sick. He seemed…really off."

"Off?"

"Yes."

With that, the small blunette slipped out the door and was on her way to the Hokage office. Meanwhile, Hiruzen grieved the loss of a good amount of basil that he'd dumped unceremoniously into his rice — something Mito clicked her tongue at critically — along with a dented frying pan (the fourth one he'd broken in the last two months). Danzo kneeled by his friend, trying to piece out what exactly had happened there. Hiruzen made a sound that was pitifully like a kitten's wail.

"Great seas, Hiruzen," sighed Mito. "Biwako will like whatever you make, even if its horrendous."

This was said with no tact whatsoever, for the redhead was being as blunt as possible, and thus it did Hiruzen no good. In fact, he curled up and buried his face in his knees. Danzo awkwardly patted his friend's shoulder, and wondered if everyone was a little ill today. Or, perhaps, everyone except him had gone insane.


"Tobirama?" A blue head poked into the Hokage's office, green eyes wide and concerned. Mariko found herself staring at a very tired, very asleep Senju, with a sea of papers sprawled across his desk under this arms. She trotted up to him and poked his arm. When he didn't react, she poked him again. When she had poked him a few times, satisfied that he was actually asleep — he usually snapped alert after poke number three, simply because it was annoying — Mariko observed the grand stack of documents next to his desk.

I have defeated him.

Mariko jumped. Did someone just say something? No, it was impossible. Besides that, the paperwork was a towering tower of…paperwork. It was taller than Mariko — only by a page or two, she claimed — and it leaned precariously by the window. A grocery list Mito had written the day before unraveled itself from underneath Tobirama's desk, and had rolled around for quite some time before it had exhausted its length and was rumpled out across the office.

"Shorty," mumbled the white-haired Senju in his chair.

"Blob," replied Mariko. Because Tobirama was, in fact, a white-haired blob made up of Senju DNA, slumped in his swivel chair with his blob face buried in his blob arms. That, and every time Tobirama lazily lounged anywhere, Takeshi had the tendency to call his father a blob.

"Daddy blob!" he would say. "Blob no jutsu!"

Bizarre, but quite normal for a child who claimed that "slap no jutsu" and "flower bomb no jutsu" were techniques capable of taking down the entirety of Konoha. Whether the village liked it or not.

"Tobirama the blob," she said, sidling behind the desk and wrapping her arms around the Senju's shoulders, rocking him back from his slouch over the desk. Moaning, Tobirama fell back in the chair and continued his nap. "Hey," insisted the blunette. "WAKE UP."

"Mmph."

"TOBIRAMA."

"Hn."

The Second Hokage, when tired or lacking interest, answered with noises that could not even be considered words. Mito called them caveman grunts; noises that got the point across, but were not sufficient for proper communication.

"You sick?"

Tobirama shook his head. He stopped so that his cheek fell against Mariko's arm, her hand resting on his shoulder.

"Danzo said you were off."

He looked pathetic, she thought. But, knowing her weaknesses, Tobirama pulled a Takeshi and gave her an innocent puppy look, extending his arms.

I have transformed him into a useless puppet!

Mariko leapt back, startling Tobirama.

"Shorty?"

"I swear I just heard a voice."

Tobirama snorted, and then sneered, "Who's the ill one now?"

"Seriously!"

But Tobirama didn't answer, only got to his feet, a tad more awake than he was moments before. He scooped up as much paperwork as he thought might fit in Mariko's arms, dumped them in her face promptly, and then turned back to gather as much that he could. He gestured to the door — a closed barrier that he had not considered before, unfortunately — and they somehow made it back to the Senju complex with armfuls of paperwork.

Dumped in Tobirama's room, it looked to Mariko as if her husband was going to pull an all-nighter at home that day. It was evening, and no one had had dinner yet due to Hiruzen's catastrophic occupation of the kitchen. If a crazy Kiri nin were to infiltrate the Senju complex, he would not have held a candle to Hiruzen's destructive sautéing. In addition, should a vengeful Uchiha Izuna appear from out of nowhere and decide to blow up the Senju complex, his bomb would have been a teeny blip in comparison to Sarutobi Hiruzen's atomic bomb of garlic doom.

Takeshi started crying in his room — Mommy and Daddy were too loud.

Mariko zoomed out of their room like a chicken on fire, and within moments, Takeshi was quieted. Tobirama heard a gurgled one-year-old laugh, and then the calmness of spirit that occurred when one was asleep. Mariko was now an expert at cooing her baby to sleep — and that was a good thing, because soon she'd have to coo two of them to sleep at the same time. As if Takeshi's advanced vocabulary wasn't enough already, he had a tendency to magically teleport from his crib and crawl the Senju hallways on a personal mission, or just cry until Momma rocked him to sleep. ("Cry no jutsu" was added to the list of most destructive techniques in Konoha's history.)

"Shorty, help me do these." Tobirama patted a stack of papers, and his wife sighed. "Unless you want to do something else, that is."

Mariko glared at him. The tone of his voice implied that he was completely fine with baby-making instead of document-sorting. The twitch in his smirk and his raised brows indicated that should she show any sign of agreement, he might knock over his papers and pounce on her.

"Papers sound great," Mariko said, smiling deviously, for she was not quite in the mood for being pounced on. It was tempting, but Mariko firmed up her resolve and folded her arms in an imitation of him. Tobirama glowered.

As Tobirama would have it, Mariko ended up writing any required written portions — he liked her neat, meticulous handwriting — with Tobirama watching over her shoulder. By "watching over her shoulder", he was observing in the form of cuddling in bed with his arms wrapped around her, watching the blunette scribble her loopy letters on a clipboard. At some point, he fell asleep again — that poor, tired Hokage — with his head tucked between the pillow and her chest (two very comfortable pillows, he would say).

"Tobirama."

If he started snoring, Mariko swore she would kick him off the bed with the strength of ten elephants. And if she didn't have that strength, she would call Mito over and have both the Uzumaki and nine elephant summons beckoned to the room to shove him off the bed and maybe into the wall. Tobirama might as well knock over that stack of paperwork, too.

"Mmph."

"Tobirama," she hissed more forcefully. At the sound of her voice, his grip tightened around her waist. Mariko recalled a time when he'd wrapped his arms so tight around her that she feared being squashed into an unfortunate, little blue pumpkin some mischievous and impossibly strong child had chucked into a wall. (Mariko tended to have a strange imagination, somewhat along the line of Danzo's.) "Why am I doing all your paperwork?"

"Blob," replied the white-haired man, mumbling into the pillow as he fingered the edge of her nightshirt.

"Blob what?" Mariko took the stack of papers and swiftly smacked his forehead with them.

"We're blobs together," he burbled, in a Takeshi-like manner. Mariko now took Danzo's worries into consideration – Tobirama was not, most likely, in his right mind at the moment. Perhaps he had a fever? Mariko touched the back of her hand to his forehead. Sure, he was warm, but he wasn't burning up or sweating madly. Maybe he was sleepy? That seemed highly likely, seeing as he was muttering away in a dreamy state.

I have stolen his soul.

Mariko would have pulled out a knife, if she'd had one. The voice chafed at her ears, like fingernails on chalk. Just thinking about it made her shiver with disgust. What was that?

Tobirama sat up then, rubbing his eyes.

"Shorty," he said.

"What?"

"Help me do this paperwork." He crawled out of bed, completely ignored the stack that Mariko was already working on, and dove into another mountain of paperwork. He seemed almost possessed to do this paperwork, filing through them rapidly with his slanted scrawl. "Honey, do you have anything for me to sign?"

He rarely called her "Honey". And when he did, he was either trying to tease her, or he was just tired. Tired to the point where "Shorty" became more of a task to say than "Honey" – a discrepancy Mariko failed to understand.

"No, not now. Tobirama?"

"Yes?"

"What are you doing?"

He was shuffling through the papers frantically, as if he'd lost something.

"I don't really know."

"You know what," Mariko said after a pause. "Why don't we just go to bed?"

"I'm not sleepy."

Mariko glared at him. Not sleepy. Oh really? She swung her legs from under the covers and slid out of bed, stalking over to his crouched position by the second stack of papers. Deciding that she could not yank him up by his shirt, like ninjas do when they threaten people – she would have looked ridiculous trying and failing – she grabbed his hand and pulled. The Senju, being far bigger and heavier, sort of just stared at her blankly. Then he arched a brow, as if to ask her what in the world she was trying to pull. Literally.

"Let's go," she hissed.

"Go where? Do the paperwork, Shorts."

Now he was calling her "Shorts", too? Sure, Tobirama had a variety of nicknames or fond ways of addressing his wife, but he usually stuck to the one that suited his tastes at the current moment. And here he was, switching between all her names because he was horribly confused. On top of that, his voice was airy and absentminded, sort of floating away at the end of his sentences. It was also higher than usual. Where had her curt, snarky Tobirama gone?

"Get up." She fisted her hands on her hips and stared him down. Scarlet eyes met her green ones, cloudy but unfaltering. Then, his gaze hardened and he nodded at the papers.

"Sit down," he replied firmly. "Do the paperwork."

"It's two in the morning," she snapped.

"Exactly." Tobirama reached over to a pile of clothes he'd littered carelessly on the floor – Mariko kept a mental note to scold him for that later – and for some reason unknown plucked out his coat with the fanciful fur collar and put it on. Mariko had always liked him with a fur collar, whether it meant donning his lined armor or throwing on that navy jacket. It made him look like a fluffy arctic wolf, or maybe a big Husky. He just needed ears. And then she could ruffle his hair and made pigeon choir noises at him. She had once considered getting a dog, but apparently Takeshi was deathly afraid of dogs and preferred cats, just as he preferred Danzo to Hiruzen.

"We," Mariko said forcefully, "are sleeping. Now."

"We are doing paperwork," emphasized her husband.

"Are you okay?" She poked his arm. No reaction. Tobirama was not okay if he didn't react to a shoulder poke. He hated being poked, so much so that one that time he'd thrown an omelet her way, and then created a water wall just to prove his point. Nonetheless, Mariko had taken no notice and continued poking him to no end. "You're kind of loopy."

"I'm loopy? You're loopy," he declared.

He was not getting up, and she was determined not to sit down and comply to his orders. It was two in the morning, she was tired, and she wanted to sleep. She tried to plop back down in bed, but he simply caught her arm and reeled her back in, insistent that she do the paperwork. Mariko, more than peeved, snapped at him.

"Why do we have to do the paperwork?!"

He shrugged.

Because I order you to.

"Okay, Tobirama, what is this?" Mariko was now delving through the papers, because there was something fishy about those documents. "Something is talking to me."

"I told you that you were loopy," Tobirama muttered.

And then she found it. A little paper from the Wave Country, tagged with an additional letter by the Second Mizukage. It had a caricature of his face on it, wispy mustache plus lack of brows and all, animated on the paper. The face came to life, cackling and writhing in its inked glory.

Hello, Princess! Are you enjoying the genjutsu I have attached to this paper? New jutsu discoveries are great, aren't they?

Genjutsu via letter? Mariko scowled at the little figure; the Mizukage's face grinned.

Just kidding! It's not a genjutsu, it's just one of those seals that gets opened and curses you. Forever.

"My brother's navy can crush yours," she said simply.

Oh I know that. But this is fun!

Of course he thought it was fun. He also thought battling to the death with the Tsuchikage and blowing up national landmarks with his steam imp was fun. It seemed as if all ninja were a tad insane, some more than others. Madara was moodier than a woman, Hashirama was a ditz at times, Tobirama was paranoid, Muu was antisocial, the Second Mizukage was loopier than Mariko and Tobirama combined, and Hiruzen had the ability to burn unburnable frying pans. Mariko marveled at the wonders of the shinobi world.

It's related to a seal. We learned it from the Uzumaki. This is just a message, haha!

"A message?"

Meanwhile, Tobirama was staring blankly at the pile of papers, blinking rapidly as if he was trying to clear something from his vision.

Yep. The Wave Country would like to make a political alliance with Kiri and Konoha. Your thoughts?

"I'm not the Hokage."

Oh, but we're including Hurricane, too.

"I'm not the King."

Oh, but it's fun to poke fun at you.

"Your head might get chopped off one day."

Fantastic! Now, m'lady, tell me. Has my little mind-mist technique imbued in the chakra of this ink worn off yet?

"The what?"

See, I told you it was fun to make fun of you.

If Kinkaku and Ginkaku were to seal this man with his most used words, that word would be "fun" at the current moment. Mariko detested his pleasure in her lack of shinobi knowledge. What the heck was chakra-ink?

So it did work! Fantastic! How fun. Anyway, now that you've found me, the chakra will probably wear off, and your Hokage will be back to normal.

"And then he'll kill you."

Most likely. But I think I'd rather fight the Tsuchikage to the death. It's more interesting.

"You're just afraid Tobirama will pop your steam imp without even trying, and then you'll lose."

You sound like you've seen this battle!

She had.

Don't remind me, m'lady.

"And I won't remind you of the time you tried flirting with Mito, either."

You're terrible, you know that? How fun.

She could hear the smile in his voice, even though the little ink man on the envelope was dancing to an inaudible tune and grinning madly at her. The caricature had a body, but it had quickly shrunk and was disintegrating fast, leaving mostly its face leering at the blunette.

Did you know that Kirigakure doesn't have dango?

"If I crush this envelope, will you die?"

No. Would you like that?

"What do you think?" Mariko glowered at the paper, then glanced at Tobirama. He was staring wide-eyed at the papers, almost bewildered, frowning and trying to piece together what had just occurred. He seemed to realize that a fog had been hazed over his mind, and was pushing and prodding it out of his way.

Oh boy, he's up.

"Are you actually talking to me, or is this just the ink?"

Oh yeah, I'm up at two in the morning messing with the Hokage. Definitely. It works like a kage bunshin.

Mariko waited patiently for the Mizukage (or was it just the little ink face?) to realize that she had no clue whatsoever what he was talking about. A shadow clone? While she understood the concept of this jutsu, she did not comprehend the inner workings of its style. Did he mean to say that he had made a mini ink clone of himself and stamped it onto an envelope to torment Konoha? If so, that could very likely be classified as a crazy Kiri nin trying to infiltrate Konoha.

Ah. My apologies, m'lady. This jutsu works like kage bunshin – when it is dispelled, the information and memories are sent and returned to the original. Meaning, when the chakra in this little fella runs out, all he has done translates back to me. The Mizukage in bed at two in the morning because he has dutifully finished all his paperwork.

"Can I slap you? Will it hurt?"

M'lady, I am merely a picture on paper.

"How come I can hear you?"

I can pick and choose who listens and who doesn't.

"So do I sound crazy talking to a piece of paper?"

Most likely. Fun, isn't it?

"How about if I rip you? Will that hurt?"

I don't know. Sounds—

The little ink man's eyes went wide. His chin and ears were disappearing, and his wispy mustache faded to nothing.

Time's up. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. Tell your hubby to take a look at that alliance-conference whatever it was for me, will you? Buh-bye, Princess.

With that, the little face faded away with the hint of a grin on its disintegrating image. At the moment he fully disappeared, Tobirama came like lightning out of nowhere, snatching the paper from her hands. He was livid.

"What. Was. That." Tobirama demanded, staring fiercely at the paper and studying it. He seemed frustrated; no hints of chakra were left on the paper, denying him any trace of the Mizukage's amusing little trick. Certainly, if this jutsu worked like kage bunshin, a remainder of chakra instilled in the ink would somehow float back to Kiri, would it not?

Mariko, on the other hand, was greatly relieved to see her terse, slightly moody husband back to normal. His floating, ice cream sundae voice was gone, and had returned to his lower, slightly gruff tones.

"You're back!" she exclaimed, grabbing his hand and popping up to kiss him on the cheek. Well, it was more like she stood on tiptoe and pressed her lips to his jaw awkwardly. Tobirama no longer found this a strange gesture – a kiss to the jaw – because for one, it was the highest she could reach without jumping and banging her head on his chin by accident, and secondly, it was awfully cute.

"Did I go somewhere?"

"Yes. Lala-land."

"I don't go to Lala-land."

"You went to Uchiha-land."

"Don't say that," he told her curtly. "If you're going to say I went anywhere, say Senju-land."

"You went to paperwork land."

Tobirama looked confused again, as if he was still trying to piece together this unsolvable mystery. Mariko explained to him, the best she could, the Mizukage's prank. Tobirama understood this much, but only vaguely recalled what had occurred in his absent stupor. That is, until the entire day's worth of memories slammed back into his head after five minutes and he made a noise of disgust. To be honest, Mariko thought he sounded like an incredulous horse, snorting and shaking his head. He then stared at the envelope the Mizukage had been dancing on about twenty minutes ago, grimacing. The white-haired Senju muttered an ugly swear under his breath, prompting Mariko to slap his shoulder. Then she poked his ribs.

"Shorty!" he barked, swatting her hand away. Satisfied that he was better, Mariko stopped poking him.

"We're not doing more paperwork, are we?" she asked.

"No," said Tobirama, tired and slightly disgusted with paperwork. He could not bear the shame of being influenced by a prank of all things, induced into a childlike daze of confusion and lack of comprehension. Then, a small spark of light in his eyes. "Only on one condition."

Suspicious, Mariko asked, "And what is that?"

Then, she wished she hadn't, because he smirked.

"Tobirama," she said, warning him as she inched away. "No."

"Want to make another baby?"

If anyone was to decide what time would be a good time to play tag – and not with Tsunade – Tobirama apparently was that person. He figured that leaping over the bed in pursuit of Mariko was the best thing to at two in the morning. Mariko, later, would moodily complain that he was too forceful, and that pillow fights were not supposed to be so difficult.

And after that, she would also complain that he'd chosen a bad night to make a baby, because their daughter turned out to be just as sharp, if not wittier and snarkier, than her father on a bad day.


"You guys are SO funny."

Mito, who sat calmly at the table, did not say a word to the Mizukage. On the other hand, Mariko tried to keep Tobirama from throwing a dinner knife at the Mizukage – for any opposing him would be executed – and calming in down. But, interestingly enough, Mariko snatched the knife and attempted to stab the Mizukage on her own.

When everyone was settled, Mito made a mental note that without Hashirama, political dinners were recipes for disaster. Complete chaos. Especially when Hiruzen exploded into the room with his head aflame and a frying pan melting in his hand, with a frantic Koharu and Hiruzen on his heels. The poor lord representative from the Wave was probably scarred for life, and most likely traumatized. The scrawny man would probably return to his island and experience some unfortunate form of ninja stress disorder, proving their meeting's uselessness. The Mizukage simply had too much fun poking fun at Konoha.

"So, do you have blue-haired kids? Or are they white-haired? How about the next one?"

This was a gesture made at a rather pregnant Mariko, who threatened to castrate him with a hairpin (a statement Mito approved of inwardly, but clicked her tongue at for show). Tobirama chuckled at this until Mariko turned on him and he went paler than he already was.

"Blue-haired," Tobirama supplied. "Our boy has blue hair."

This entire conversation took place while Mito ignored Hiruzen, who zoomed around the table and nearly set the Wave representative on fire. He then launched himself at Tobirama, who promptly dumped a decently sized puddle on Hiruzen's head. The monkey tripped on himself, spluttering through the water, and fell on his face. Koharu tripped over Hiruzen, and Homura tripped over Koharu. This was followed by frantic screeching from an annoyed girl, the rolling away of armadillo-Homura, and the cowering of a little chimp.

"LEAVE," Tobirama ordered. His team scuttled out of sight, smuggling a number of bread rolls under their sleeves in the process. It took Tobirama a few seconds to process this action — Koharu, as far as he knew, avoided carbohydrates — and then froze in place.

Mariko somehow pulled off a shinobi-like move and miraculously teleported to the door so fast that Obitopede would have had a run for his money. With her small stature, she did not block the door well, but she got in the way of Team Tobirama just fine.

"You are not giving my son bread for dinner," she hissed.

"Um," said Hiruzen.

"He needs to eat those vegetables."

Takeshi was known to slip veggies to the horses — "Katrina likes carrots more than I do, and they're good for her eyesight. Don't want her turning Uchiha, would we?" he would continue saying once he got older — when he could, and downing only bread and butter to fill himself. That boy had a thing for grains. Pasta, bread, cake, cookies, rice…

"He doesn't like vegetables."

"I know he doesn't." Mariko glared at Hiruzen, as if to mentally channel to him that her baby would eat the mushy baby vegetable mix unless a crazy Kiri nin blockaded their supply of it or an Uchiha gone nuts stole his eyes. Both of which would result in apocalyptic consequences. "I'm his mother."

"Um," Hiruzen repeated, attempting to slip Koharu a bread roll.

"I will tell Kagami," Mariko exclaimed, "everything."

At this, Koharu went ghostly white and shoved the bread roll back at Hiruzen, who now had an entire armful because his third teammate had also been calmly depositing his few bread rolls into the arms of the monkey. What Mariko meant by the last statement was a complete mystery to everyone else in the room, but it was effective enough to intimidate Koharu. So, Koharu backed out because of that threat, Homura simply didn't want to get involved, and Hiruzen remained with an armful of bread.

"OHOHO, YOU HAVE FUN STUDENTS!" said the Mizukage too loudly. He fingered his wispy facial hair enthusiastically, taking his mustache between thumb and forefinger. "Konoha is fun, very fun!"

"Would you just shut up?" Tobirama stated bluntly.

"Tobirama!" scolded Mito.

"Will you please shut up?"

Mito glared at her brother-in-law.

"Oh Hokage-dono, you're just so amusing." The Mizukage grinned and plunked his elbows on the table, leaning forward and watching the following exchange with pure amusement.

Hiruzen made a run for it. He smacked promptly into a person — poor Danzo — and a flurry of papers flew into his face. The monkey was lucky he did not leave the predicament with a face full of paper cuts. Bread went flying, rolls rolled away in an effort for baked liberty, only to rumble to an unceremonious stop. An unfortunate loaf of sourdough declared his escape from the totalitarianism of hungry mouths —with their blue baby dictator— only to be snatched up by Hiruzen in a final effort to dodge out of the room.

Hiruzen ran straight into Danzo again, who had picked up a pile of papers he'd dropped. They were documents meant for the leaders and representatives in the dining room, but that stupid friend-rival of his was impeding his progress. Danzo felt like a snail; a snail with some burning salt being poured on him because Tobirama and Mito were glaring daggers at them.

"MOVE!" Hiruzen wailed. He did not achieve his goal, because he was halted by a second person — Biwako.

Biwako incredulously held up the half-melted frying pan.

"Did you just throw this out the window?" she asked, gesturing to the open window of the room. Everyone turned in surprise to the open window — when did it open? When did Hiruzen throw his pan out the window? (The Second Mizukage would vaguely recall the young shinobi tripping on himself and chucking it sideways upon the impact of a Suiton wall.)

"Paperwork," Danzo said promptly, ignoring everything behind him. Everything behind him meant Mariko grabbing the deformed frying pan and chasing a terrified Hiruzen out the door, followed by his teammates and a confused Biwako. When the blunette returned, the Mizukage was doodling on a napkin and the Wave man was scared into a somewhat comatose state.

"Well that was fun!" exclaimed mustache man. "Guys wanna see my new jutsu? I call it chakra ink!"

He held up his little doodle proudly. It was a picture of himself, dancing preposterously across the napkin. All at once, Mariko and Tobirama hollered:

"NO!"

"Aw man, you guys ruin the party," sighed the Mizukage, setting his napkin down. "Now, about that alliance…"


"STOP."

"Stop what?"

"Eating all the bread!"

If Mito could get her nephew and niece to stop fighting, she would. But this particular argument was over bread, of all things, and she simply stared at them bickering over the basket of freshly baked goods.

"Kori, you're so mean," Takeshi whined.

"Deal with it! I wanted some bread too!" she exclaimed, white hair falling across her face. She slapped her older brother's tentative hand away from the bread, the charm on her wrist jangling its beads together. Mito remembered that item — Tobirama used to wear it.

Meanwhile, Takeshi huddled deeper in his fur collar and looked like a blue-haired Husky. His adorable pout would be perfected with a pair of ears and a wagging tail.

"Kori, we've got plenty of bread," sighed Mito. The two children mumbled closings to their arguments, before Kori claimed she wasn't hungry and needed to get Uncle Hiruzen some paperwork. At the Sarutobi's name, Takeshi made a face and snatched another piece of bread, tearing off a chunk and popping it in his mouth grumpily. Even in a sour mood, Takeshi's round eyes — his mother's face — were innocent and adorable. The only thing that was Tobirama was his sly smile (a rare sight) and the color of his irises. On the other hand, Kori had long white hair and the narrow, vulpine features of her father, with high Senju cheekbones and rosy lips. It was as if Mariko and Tobirama had traded colors; Kori had the emerald eyes of Hurricane's royal family.

At the office, Hiruzen's eyes widened at the stack of paperwork that came in. The amount of papers he had now were enough to tower of Tsunade stacked upon herself three times over.

"I hate paperwork," he simpered negatively.

"Welcome to the Hokage life," sighed Danzo, plunking more documents down on the monkey's desk. Hiruzen marveled at how the desk had not cracked under the pressure of so many papers. If Hashirama's dunking of his forehead on the surface and Tobirama's angry pounding had not been able to break the table, then Hiruzen wondered what sort of force it would take to break a Senju-made mahogany desk. The Nine-tails? No, even Mito could not break this desk.

I'll break it.

Hiruzen whipped around in his swivel chair.

Or would you like me to unleash a sea monster on your desk instead? Oh wait — you already have a sea monster. Mito. Haha. Hahahahaha.

Hiruzen stood, glancing around warily.

Hokage-dono, I'm old. Care to tell a story? While you do paperwork, that is.

Hiruzen clocked himself firmly in the head. He was not going insane, he was not going insane, he was not going—

Be careful, Hokage-dono. Anyway. Do you happen to have any info on Muu? I'd like to hear a story about Iwagakure.

"The paperwork is not talking to me," Hiruzen whined. Danzo's eyes widened, for his best friend was displaying the symptoms of Hokage fatigue. Perhaps he should fetch Mito for her professional advice.

Two for two, cackled the paperwork. Boy, with the scar. Get me the blue boy, I want to talk to him.

At that moment, both Hiruzen and Danzo sped from the Hokage Tower faster than Tobirama's Flying Thunder God Slash. They escaped the horror that was the Mizukage toying with Konoha once again so fast that one could not say "Hiraishingiri!" in the time that they were out in the streets running for their lives.

If the ramen shop owner suspected anything of the aged, wispy-mustache man in his shop, he said nothing.


I enjoyed Tobirama's confusion. /evil Izuna-like laugh

Come to think of it, we don't even know Izuna and Madara's voices.

Oh well.

Izuna might as well have Sasuke's voice. /shot