Is it just me, or was chapter 628 kind of disappointing? The best part of Madara's face...omg. lol.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, because RtN Japanese audio isn't out yet, and this week's chapter was... yeah.

NOTE: MARIKO HAS AN ASK ACCOUNT! GO ASK HER STUFF! Make a deviantART if you don't have one! Link is on my profile page.

Note 2: To the kind guests and anons - I love your reviews. I love everyone's reviews! Thank you thank you :)

Note 3: To the anon who asked when they would have sex - the answer: They have plenty of it...you just have to look harder...

That, and this chapter...I don't really know what happened, lol... Dear anon, your question is answered...

Note 3.5: Oh my Obito, my health teacher...ffff. So, I'm in a mandatory health class, yeah? And they're teaching sex ed, and my teacher...he's the funny teacher, but the jokes...oh my gosh the jokes.

ALL I THOUGHT WAS DEIDARA, CURSE YOU PHOENIX.

Anyway.

Note 4: Anyone else waiting for Road to Ninja Japanese audio?

Onto the story...


Chapter 43: Gifts, or something like that.


"I hate studying. I hate studying. I hate studying. I HATE—"

"Oh shut up, Hiruzen."

"Koharu's mean."

"Suck it up."

"Uwahhh!"

"You're pissing me off!"

"DEAL WITH IT." Hiruzen stuck his tongue out at his teammate, who deftly picked up an incredibly large volume of A History of Western Shinobi Society one-handed and chucked it at his head. The monkey quickly dodged, ducking fearfully under the table and crawling over to Homura's seat. Homura wanted to kick him, but he refrained from doing so.

"Remember the last time you didn't do your work?" hissed Koharu angrily.

"All I remember is a librarian not recognizing Mariko-san," Hiruzen said, face completely straight as he peered over the edge of the table.

"You idiot!" Koharu went for another book. Homura wisely nudged his own texts out of the way, tucking them under his backpack so that Koharu wouldn't attempt to throw them at their third teammate.

"Quiet, in the library," hissed the librarian, "and please – no throwing of valuable textbooks."

Koharu sheepishly put down the book and went to retrieve A History of Western Shinobi Society from the far corner of their study area. Hiruzen deemed it safe to crawl back into his seat and open his binder, despite the fact that he wanted nothing to do with it. Why, he asked to no one in particular, did they have to study if they were already chuunin and had no affiliation with the Academy anymore? Why was it that textbooks would always come back to haunt him? For one, Hiruzen cared nothing for the Shinobi International Peace Conferences during who-knows-what-year, and two – didn't they fail, anyway? What was the point of learning about something that failed?

"Because it's recent news," said Homura simply.

Did I just say that aloud?

"Yeah. Yeah, you did," grumbled Koharu, flipping through her folders.

"Oh." Hiruzen went quiet. Well, it was true that this wasn't old news – the founding of Konoha and the creation of many more shinobi village-nation alliances was within the era of their own families and teachers. Hiruzen's father had been their age when the Sarutobi allied with the already existing (though newly formed) Senju-Uchiha pact. Then Danzo's family came, and then some others, and some others, and—

Hiruzen realized that he was acknowledging history.

He shook his head vehemently.

"Wait, so was the Tajima Plan an economic welfare program for his clan, or was it some sort of alliance with another clan?" asked Koharu.

"It was to promote nationalism amongst the Uchiha and their allies," Homura replied plainly. Hiruzen had once wondered if Homura was a human calculator – now, it seemed, the bespectacled member of Team Tobirama was also a living textbook.

"So basically, it was Go out and kill all the Senju, and then we'll all be happy!" deadpanned Hiruzen.

"Correct," interjected a familiar voice, looming over them. "How far are you guys?"

"Not far, sensei," sighed Koharu, pointing an accusatory finger at Hiruzen, "because of him."

Hiruzen whined. "Why are we even taking this?"

"Taking what?" Tobirama folded his arms.

"Well, Kagami told us that—no. No, no, no." Hiruzen's face morphed into an expression of half rage and half shame. "He tricked us!"

"No," replied Tobirama. "I told him to tell you to study."

"Why?!"

"Because you'll need it. I'm testing you on this stuff."

"Then why did you ask what we were taking?"

"Saru, you all right? You seem to believe that I'm giving you a test." Tobirama reached over and untied Hiruzen's hitai-ate, laying the back of his hand along the boy's forehead. If Hiruzen was turning red, it was simply because he was angry and wanted Tobirama to stop messing with him. He'd known the man since he was four, and he sometimes just wanted a bit of peace from the white-haired Senju.

"I'm fine," snapped Hiruzen, brushing Tobirama's hand away.

"Quiet, in the library," hissed the librarian again.

"My apologies, ma'am," Tobirama called. The librarian's eyes widened, and she shuffled away hurriedly at the sight of the Second Hokage.

"Wait a minute, what are you even doing here?" asked Koharu.

"Homura, how far are you?" said Tobirama, ignoring the girl completely. This put Koharu on Hiruzen's side, and the both of them were glowering at their sensei with death glares. (Inwardly, Tobirama proudly patted himself on the back for teaching them such a powerful expression.)

"I'm on the political marriages," Homura said simply.

"You're far," replied his teacher, nodding in approval. "See, you guys should follow Homura. He's your study role model."

"Right," growled Hiruzen.

"Sensei, shouldn't you be working?" Koharu made a face at their teacher. "Hokage-sama," she mocked, turning up her nose. "Oh Hokage-sama, you are needed in the Hokage Tower."

Tobirama rolled his eyes. He was glad he didn't deal with these three full time anymore. Homura he could deal with, because the quiet boy was never much a hassle and very obedient. Hiruzen, on the other hand, was a rowdy crowd of twenty in the body of one boy, and Koharu was a ball of hormonal teenage fury. Occasionally, he was not sure whether Koharu's rath or Mito's rath would be more terrifying. He was wise enough to stay out of a woman's path when an evident ball of PMS fire – described by poor Kagami as the Katon: Female Fireball of Fury no jutsu – threatened to blast the immediate surroundings to bits and pieces.

"Not at the moment, no," mused Tobirama, nodding.


Somewhere else.

"Um. Takeshi-kun, I don't think you're supposed to—"

"Is this a papaya?!" Takeshi grabbed a watermelon from the fridge.

Why was there a fridge in the Hokage's office?!

Well, it was a small fridge. Kagami somehow coaxed the child into returning the poor, harassed watermelon into the refrigerator, convincing the child that it was not a papaya, and should not be placed in his father's blue armor. Takeshi complained that he wanted to eat it. Kagami firmly told him that "no, until Danzo-nii-chan comes back, then we can all share", because if Takeshi ate the entire thing himself – and dear Hashirama, could he eat – then he'd inevitably get sick and leave the frantic Uchiha boy in a mess of another kind.

"Kagami-kun, where's Takeshi?" asked the boy's mother, peering in the door.

"He's right here." The Uchiha hefted the blue-headed child into his arms.

"Oh, okay." Mariko smiled. "And Tobirama?"

"I have no clue." Kagami shrugged, ignoring the fact that Takeshi was pulling his hair very painfully. He'd learned, the hard way, that Takeshi had a penchant for messing with people's faces. He either pulled hair, patted cheeks, or punched noses with his stubby little hands. If a clapping noise was heard throughout the village, it was probably Takeshi slapping his father's face guard with far too much intensity and glee than he should have.

Mariko's face almost scared Kagami, which said a lot because Mariko was not scary. Not at all. She was so not-scary that if one put her in full-out armor and gave her a sword, she would've looked like a bunny trying to pick up a knife. Unsuccessfully.

But no, her face flashed murder for a second, and Kagami checked to see if he was under a genjutsu. No. Mariko couldn't use ninjutsu, and thus she must have made that face.

He feared for the Hokage's life.

(Though he had no idea what happened.)


"No running in the library! Young lady, no runnin—"

Sometimes, one must pity this unfortunate librarian who happened to live during this time period. Well, then again, the library was doomed to a plague of rowdy shinobi, from blonde gamblers to vicious red habaneros to clumsy goggled Uchihas to orange fox clowns, and, most recently, grandsons of Hokages that tripped over their extremely long scarves.

Anyway.

"TOBIRAMA!"

"Quiet in the library…please…" The librarian vaguely recognized the girl, mostly from her sapphire-blue hair. She also acknowledged the fact that the girl bowled over the Second Hokage without much hesitation, unceremoniously knocking him to the floor with a painful thump. The librarian sighed, recalling who this girl was, but at the same time wondering what the heck was going on here.

"What are you doing?!" snapped Tobirama, rolling onto his back and observing the blunette sprawled across him.

"What are you doing?!" replied Mariko, glaring at him.

Team Tobirama felt immensely awkward, still sitting at the table and watching without a word.

"I'm currently being crushed by you," deadpanned the Senju, glaring.

"Aren't you forgetting something?" his wife barked back at him, whilst remaining sprawled across his chest in a very casual manner. Team Tobirama uncomfortably turned back to their textbooks.

"Forgetting what?"

Mariko waited a few seconds.

"Well?" she prompted. He gave her a look that shouted you're heavy before realizing what she wanted. Of course, Tobirama was a man, and thus prone to his wife's complaints, but this was something he practically refused to forget.

"You're annoying, you know that?" he sighed, pulling a carefully wrapped gift box from his back pocket. "Can't you just wait till I give it to you?"

But Mariko squealed with delight and snatched the box, leaping off of Tobirama's chest and skipping around a few bookshelves before returning with an impossibly wide grin. She wrapped her arms around Tobirama, who had just staggered to his feet, somewhat in a daze.

"You remembered!" she squeaked, burying her face into his shirt. He fondly set a hand on her shoulder and sighed again.

"Of course I remembered," he rumbled, somewhat tired.

"Remembered what?" whispered Hiruzen. He turned to Homura, but for once, Homura had no clue what was going on. Actually, Homura was usually out of the loop by preference, but usually he was able to pick up based on context clues.

The bespectacled boy shrugged.

"It's their anniversary," Koharu whispered back. The two boys nodded, and Hiruzen made a wide "o" shape with his mouth, nodding in understanding.

"Aww, that's sweet," he continued whispering, paying heed to the harried librarian scuttling in the background. Wow, Hiruzen being thoughtful? Koharu thought to herself, amused.

Mariko flipped open the box and found a lovely little necklace in the shape of a silver horse inside. She pulled out the entire length and found that the back of the horse pendant was encrusted with small green and blue gems. She smiled.

"You're so sweet," she gushed, causing Tobirama to flip his mildly tender expression into a disgusted glower. She went to hug him again, but he sidled away. "Hey," she protested. When he didn't answer, she added, "Don't you want your gift?"

He glanced at her skeptically – she grabbed his hand and led him out of the library.

Team Tobirama stared after them, probably more confused now.

"Well." Hiruzen slapped his hands on the table to emphasize the conclusion of this strange meeting.

"SHHHH," hushed the librarian. The poor woman.

"Wait, wait, wait," Koharu said, "back up for a minute."

"What? What happened?"

"What was the Tajima Plan again?"

"It was," said Homura simply, "an attempt to wipe monkeys off the face of the earth…or so we thought."

The boy blinked owlishly, eyes glinting behind his glasses.

Hiruzen and Koharu stared at him – they didn't reply.


"You're telling me he ate the entire watermelon?" Danzo said, observing the situation with far too much effort than required. At the moment, he was currently trying to clean up the Hokage's office with a number of seals learned from Mito, but they proved inadequate for job.

"Yes," replied Kagami, looking rather distressed. "When I wasn't looking."

Danzo began to wonder how a one-year-old had demolished a solid watermelon in the matter of seconds. First of all, the watermelon had not even been cut open, and secondly, the watermelon itself was almost as big as the child. Nonetheless, the remains of a watermelon and a very bloated little boy were clear of Danzo.

"He ate it in three seconds?"

"Yes."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."

"How did he open it?"

At this, Kagami just shook his head and looked terrified. They both turned back to the little boy, who was currently sitting on the Hokage's chair, appearing somewhat ill.

"Danzo-nii-chan?" called the blue-haired child. "I don't feel so good."

"That's because you ate the entire watermelon," explained the older boy, scooping the child into his arms. Seriously, this child was gaining weight – and fast. Danzo would soon have to stop holding the child because he was getting so heavy.

"I thought it was a papaya," pouted Takeshi. I like papaya!

Kagami winced.


"Did you actually get me anything?"

"Maybe."

"You didn't." Tobirama sighed.

"You didn't ask for anything," she pouted, hands on her hips.

"Yes, yes I did."

"No, you did not—" Mariko paused, and raced through her memories. Had he asked for anything? Maybe he had asked her for… "Oh." She smiled up at him demurely. "Okay."

A smirk flickered across his lips as she peeked into the Hokage's office and called – "Kagami-kun, can you look after…" she paused, seeing the destroyed watermelon remains (and ignoring them), "…Takeshi for a little while longer?"

"S-sure," replied the Uchiha, holding the baby. Danzo said nothing, only attempted to vacuum.

"Thanks!"

She popped back out of the doorway, grabbed Tobirama's hand, and they half ran half giggled – no, that wasn't quite right, Tobirama didn't giggle – back to the Senju complex. Mariko promptly pulled Tobirama down to her level and smashed her lips against his, and he wrapped his arms around her.

She led him to the bedroom.


"HE DID NOT JUST DO THAT."

Danzo never raised his voice. Never. At the sound of Danzo yelling, Team Tobirama sprinted up the long flight of stairs – textbooks and all weighing them down – and burst into the office as fast as possible. Danzo, the picture of calmness, sat at the Hokage's desk, looking as if nothing had happened.

"Wait…" Hiruzen pointed at Danzo. "Were you yelling just now?"

"Yes."

But Danzo looked so…serene?

"At Kagami," he added, jerking a thumb towards the poor Uchiha.

"I didn't mean to," whispered the poor boy, cowering. He cradled Takeshi to his chest – the baby had somehow digested the watermelon in record time, and then proceeded to swallow chunks of papaya like a madman...mad-baby.

"You bought the papaya!" shouted Danzo.

This completely and utterly confused Hiruzen, because while his best friend was shouting, the facial expressions and the words didn't quite match up. Danzo continued to scold Kagami, but the Shimura's face was completely neutral. The power this young man had over his face was terrifying – to Hiruzen, at least.

"So, what did Takeshi just not do?" asked Hiruzen.

"That question made no sense," Koharu hissed under her breath.

"He just ate a watermelon," Kagami explained, pointing at the watermelon rinds he'd been too distracted to clean up (while Danzo assessed he situation without much success), "and now he just ate this papaya that I bought him."

"Why did you buy the papaya in the first place?" deadpanned Homura, pushing his glasses up his nose.

"I DON'T KNOW," wailed Kagami.

"That's what I was asking," Danzo sighed, resuming his vacuum duties; Koharu failed to see how vacuuming the Hokage's ugly rug (it was a Senju momma heirloom, Hashirama had claimed) was going to help clean up the mushy watermelon-papaya hurricane disaster in the middle of the room. Then again, she supposed it was befitting for the son of a Hurricane heiress, albeit a short, rather mild bunny heiress.

"Where is Tobirama-sensei anyway?" asked Hiruzen.

"Please don't ask me that question," whimpered Kagami. "I don't want to die. Not yet."

"Your own nephew would kill you," hissed Koharu. "You're too sweet."

Everyone stared at Koharu for a few moments.

"Soft," she corrected. "I meant you're too soft for a ninja."

"Sure," drawled Hiruzen, a smirk lighting up his face. Koharu attempted to punch him, but it didn't connect successfully.

"No, but seriously," Hiruzen insisted. "Where is he?"

"Pillow-time," replied Danzo, with the utmost seriousness one could muster. Koharu wasn't sure if she should hide her face – was she blushing? No, she wasn't…hopefully – or just hit Danzo, because Danzo was never so skewed.

Hiruzen burst out laughing.

"I don't want to die," repeated Kagami, grabbing Takeshi and hiding in the corner. "You and I wanna live, right?"

Takeshi giggled.

"I wanna," he babbled.

Kagami vaguely wondered if the boy simply chose to speak in babble-sentences when he felt like it; he was certainly capable of stringing together more complex, completed phrases.

"I wanna papaya gooses," continued the boy.

Kagami huddled under the Hokage's desk, cradling the boy to his chest.

"You're adorable, you know that?" The Uchiha smiled. "Okay, we're gonna hide here till the storm's over, okay?"

"Rain?"

"Yeah, rain." Kagami didn't mind that Takeshi tugged at his hair, and then his ear, and then at his nose.

"Gagami-nii-chan?"

"What's up, buddy?"

At this point, the rest of the young shinobi were arguing over what the heck "pillow-time" was supposed to mean, but now there was an awkward moment of complete silence where no one could come up with any sort of valid argument to refute the other side. And thus, they listened to Kagami's baby-talk conversation with the blunet boy.

"Takeshi wants a baby sister."

Kagami paled, just a little, before laughing nervously.

Hiruzen yelled:

"PILLOW-TIME!"


"Saru-nii-chan, I don't think that really makes sense."

"But you see, Takeshi, it makes a lot of sense." Hiruzen, toting a small Tsunade, wiggled his eyebrows at the young man. Takeshi, now about thirteen, glanced at the monkey skeptically.

"I'm not so sure…"

"Well. I am. I was there." Hiruzen smiled at the boy, ruffled his hair – Takeshi attempted to dodge away from this attack on his blue shagginess – and walked away, still toting Tsunade.

"Takeshi," came a voice. "You there?"


"Yeah, Kori. Coming."

"Mom says you have to do the dishes tonight."

Takeshi ignored this part of the conversation and trailed after his sister, meandering towards the Senju complex slowly. Just as his hair was a shiny, sapphire blue, hers was an icy white mountaintop. It was quite interesting, the dynamic of colors between these two siblings. Neither carried on their mother's green eyes, but one of them had her hair. Kori just looked like Tobirama, mostly, though she had a softness – one that she usually hid behind a mask of impatience – that resembled Mariko.

"Hey, Takeshi, you listening?"

"Uh huh."

"What did I just say?" Kori turned her scarlet eyes on him, and looked fearsomely similar to their father. On a bad day. Takeshi responded with a Mariko-like pout, round eyes begging for forgiveness.

"Um. We have papaya in the fridge?"

Kori was not sure if she should smack her brother or just sigh.

"Sure, Takeshi. We have papaya." She rolled her eyes.

He grinned.


The Papaya has joined the ranks with Obitopede and Tobi's eyehole...

(Obitopede's got a run for its money...)

Congrats! You have surpassed the ranks of chocolate penguins and...I don't even know.

Tell me whatchu thinkkkk.

...What is writing, lol.