The Last Senju
By: June Gilbert
Chapter One: Jubis and Booze
I yawned tiredly, rubbing my eyes. Jubi was keeping me awake again. I had gotten fairly drunk, but whenever Jubi came up to talk to me I had to become annoyingly sober. It was part of that damn seal Grandfather had placed on me as a kid. I squinted my brown eyes as I grumpily stared at the wall. Laying on your bed, drunk, pissed off and still awake was really annoying. This stupid demon could get incredibly annoying. I was almost glad that when I died, this thing would die with me. Only problem was that I couldn't commit suicide. The only thing really keeping me from doing just that were three particular people, one pig and a whole village that depended solely on me for direction. Also, the seal prevented it. I had to live out all my cursed years as the last of my line.
Yeah. No pressure to the fifty four year old woman who was already the container to the Jubi's spawn.
Shut up Jubi. I'm not letting you out. Especially not this late. I'm not so soused as to let you out, dumb demon.
… At least punch something… Come on! You haven't let me out for weeks! Not even the damn punching… What's up with you? You are ALWAYS punching something… At least you were until you became the bloody Hokage of this stupid little place… Let me out already!
I said I'm not letting you out! And that's that! Now shut up! I want to sleep…
I want OUT!
I swear, if you don't shut up, I'll look up Grandfather's old seal book and figure out myself how to seal you deeper within me…
Yeesh… Gimme a break… I haven't let off power all weeeeek….
Stop whining and go to sleep.
*mumble grumble* …
I was relieved when Jubi finally had the sense to shut up. I had been dealing with this sort of commentary ever since I was little, since Jubi couldn't be sealed completely within my head. Of course, Jubi didn't know that yet. I had managed to keep it fairly ignorant for many years of anything important. It knew an awful lot about medical techniques, however. I smiled faintly as I picked up the sake bottle lying next to my bed. Alcohol could successfully drive the little beast into the rem cycle for hours, but I ended up drunk into the bargain. Luckily for me, Jubi wasn't very talkative around people. Or else I think I might have been found out by many more people. Currently, all the people who knew this specific secret of mine were dead.
I immediately regretted it when I threw the frustratingly empty sake bottle. It was out of pure habit, but it would wake up Shizune. I glanced at the clock with bleary eyes, wincing at the bright red digital numbers. Two am. Wonderful. Let's hope she didn't hear that crash or I'll be hearing about this one until next year… I need a new stash soon. I think I've only got one bottle of sake left besides the one I just emptied…
I loved Shizune dearly, but she could really be a mother hen sometimes. I had some idea why she acted like that, which was why I kept attempting to set her up with guys she showed the slightest interest in. I was starting to wonder if Shizune played for the other team, because she had willfully resisted every attempt I had made of the sort. I sighed softly, snuggling back under the blessedly thick covers. I would clean up the damned sake bottle in the morning. I was just not in the mood tonight.
No! Not him! Ugh… My head hurts too much for this… How did he get past the guards anyway?
Jiraiya let himself in through the window. No matter how many times I changed the locks on that damn thing, he seemed to have a key. He was lucky I didn't sleep in the nude, or he would be out of here faster than a bird flying. I growled quietly, glaring at him over the edge of the comforter. As usual, Jiraiya went completely unperturbed by the glare. He just gave that goofy grin and produced what I assumed was his reason for being here: a large sake bottle. Oooo. He knows how to get to me… Rats.
I sighed, "So where to this time?"
Jiraiya pulled this occasionally, and I only humored him because I knew he'd be pestering me FOREVER if I didn't let him take me somewhere. Jiraiya could be odd like that. It was still NOT a date, even though we had gone on several of these sake binges/ moonlit trips since I had come back to Konoha. It was just two old (emphasis on the old, however much I would rather it not be) friends spending time together over a drink. Jiraiya, being the romantic that he is, probably saw it differently. I hated the possibility that I was leading him on, but these little trips de-stressed me and, well, it was just comforting to see someone who still knew the real me to be alive. I was always completely myself around Jiraiya, but I had never told him about Jubi. I had always surmised if I did, he'd believe me crazy. Despite his strong, stubborn belief in the old legends of the shinobi world, Jiraiya could be rational.
When he felt like it. Besides me, the old man in front of me was the most stubborn person in all of Konohagakure Village.
Jiraiya swished the bottle invitingly, "Tsunade? Want to come with me to the Hokage Monument?"
I sighed resignedly, "Fine. Otherwise you'll pester me until the crack of dawn. Actually, more like the crack of doom… Anyway, let's go."
"Yep," Jiraiya said, that goofy monkey grin of his and the slight flush to his cheeks telling me he had had to get fairly drunk before he came here and asked. Well, I had no room to talk. I had been drinking for hours yesterday, only to be woken by Jubi's incessant whining. I stood up somewhat creakily, ignoring the fact that I was in a ratty old t-shirt and faded blue pajama pants. I made a grab for the bottle from Jiraiya, missing because of screwed up aim, before slipping out the way he came in.
He, still smiling, followed behind me, sake swishing in the bottle behind me. Otherwise, he was completely silent. Well, he ought to be after over forty years of shinobi training, I thought as I landed on the ground in the shaded avenue outside my manse. The manse had been kind of a package deal with the Hokage job, which was why I couldn't ditch it. At least it had a few convenient roofs to let a woman slip out when she wanted to be naughty with a friend.
My feet traced the well-worn path to the Monument, trying to ignore the fact that I had, on automatic, forgotten my heels. The path detritus poked into my feet, making them feel even more sore than normal. Ugh. Going without shoes is sooo pestilential… What I was concentrating on was the reward of sake in the end. Blissful numbness for a few hours. And it had looked like a damn fine vintage, if my eyes weren't that blurry with earlier drinking. I yawned as we climbed the stairs. Oh, NOW you're sleepy… Not a good idea to fall asleep in front of a super-pervert… Not when you have tits like mine. Argh. He knows if he takes advantage, he will be kicked to and from the moon… Oooo. It's better that you just don't tempt fate… Don't fall asleep!
I yawned against my will as I plunked down on the First's head. Ironic, considering he was my grandfather. Jiraiya plopped down next to me, his bodily warmth a siren call for one very tired Godaime Hokage. I blinked tiredly as he slid out two sake cups, chipped around the edges. I smirked slightly as I realized they were the ones I had given him for his eighteenth birthday.
"Getting nostalgic, Jiraiya?"
All I got was, "Mmmm. Maybe."
I sighed. I hated when he didn't rise to the bait. He had matured some over the years. Notice I said some. Not much. He could still be one of the most childish people I had ever met, but even I had to admit he had his moments. I scooted closer as he poured out the sake for me. I snagged the bottle and poured for him, setting the bottle down afterwards. Picking up my cup, I sipped at the alcohol languidly. I turned my gaze toward the moon, round and full in the skies, where Jiraiya was currently looking.
I couldn't resist darting glances at Jiraiya. He was almost-well, hell, who am I kidding?- was handsome outlined by the full moon's light. He hadn't always had this impressive of a profile, I mused. When did he grow from annoying pervert to handsome old friend? When did it happen? I smiled faintly and quaffed the rest of the sake in my cup. That had to be the booze in my system talking.
I didn't deserve him, even as a friend.
A large amount of sake and a few hours later
I sleepily yawned widely, flopping into Jiraiya's lap without really knowing what I was doing. Some logical shred of my mind was muttering You are SO going to regret this in the morning… He chuckled drunkenly, staring down at my breasts with undisguised excitement. I sighed, burrowing into his warmth, trying to ignore the erection I noticed, even through all his layers of clothing. I was starting to get cold, and his body was practically a space heater. Not that I would normally need it on a warm summer night in Konoha, but the sake had gotten me into an abnormally cuddly mood. I wrapped my arms around his chest, clutching myself to him. I growled softly at the impairment my breasts proved to snuggling. He chuckled faintly, hardening as I squirmed.
I pouted up at him, "Stop laughin. 'M cold…"
"Alright then" Jiraiya wrapped his arms around me as he said this. I sighed in relief as his heat blanketed me on all sides. Mmmm. Feels so good to be warm… I yawned again, my eyes fluttering. I faintly felt his hands start combing through my hair- he was obviously not as drunk as he'd appeared to be. Somehow, that didn't bother me. I was safe and warm in his arms. I knew he wouldn't take advantage of me, no matter how drunk he got. Jiraiya probably still felt the repercussions of the one and only time he had peeked on me. I buried my face in his chest, luxuriating in the warm, exotic scents that came off the v of bare skin visible to me when he had all his clothes on. His breathing hitched slightly, and he hiccupped.
That set off a set of quiet giggles from me. It was always so funny when he hiccupped!
Then again, that could have been the sake talking.
"Tsu-Hime… Missed doin' this wih you during last mission…"
"Shut up and cuddle Jiraiya."
As usual, when I was that blunt anyway, Jiraiya got my drift. He leaned back, taking me with him. I was too sleepy to care much that I was lying on top of one of the most oversexed shinobi to ever come out of Konoha. Tonight, he was just my old teammate. Who I happened to like sleeping on. Yeah, yeah that doesn't make a lot of sense. I mean, what smart woman like me would be cuddling with a man like this?
However, nobody is particularly smart under the influence of booze.
I yawned again, my eyes fluttering wearily. I felt vibrations under me, and I realized Jiraiya was humming. Some nonsensical love song, I bet. However, before I could ask, I conked out. The booze had done its job.
I hiccupped again, noticing Tsunade was passed out. Wow. This had been as cuddly as she had ever gotten with me. Granted, it was probably the sake that loosened her up. I carefully stood, maneuvering her into my arms. Against my taller frame, she looked so doll-like. Tsunade's breathing was soft and even, her breasts rising and falling slightly. I smiled, probably more drunk than I realized as I weavingly made my way down the Hokage Monument's stairs with the Godaime in my arms. I had missed doing this during our travels. Even though nine times out of ten, I passed out before she did when we went boozing, there was the odd time I got to carry her home. Or, more likely, ride home with her in a taxi. Every bartender in Konoha knew us, and who to call to get us home safely in one piece.
Using both arms to hold her, I couldn't caress her like I wanted to. She wouldn't allow it if she were awake, and I never really wanted to go against her will. Knowing the woman you loved only thought of you as a best friend was the most painful kind of love imaginable…
I sighed past the lump forming in my throat. I should be used to the pain of it by now. It would be a disservice to her to ask her to "dishonor" her first lover's memory by being with me. Especially now that we both were so old. Yes, I admit it. Both of us were getting on in years; it had been a miracle we had survived this long. Well, maybe me. Tsunade always had the years of both a Senju and an Uzumaki still in the future for her. I hated the idea of leaving her alone, but a ninja never knew when a mission would come up that would be their last one. Sometimes you just knew that your number was up, but more often, even a ninja could never see death coming. Look what happened to Nawaki…
I squeezed her a little tighter as I carefully unlocked the door of Tsunade's apartment. I had bribed the guard at the door to take a few hours off, and he was just returning to his post. Assuming he would lock up, I let the door close without locking. I headed up the stairs to the second floor of the richly done house. Tsunade's bedroom was up here. I turned into the familiar door, freezing when I felt Tsunade stirring.
Wait, she's dreaming of me? The idea brought a pleasant sensation to my stomach. At least I knew I occupied a corner of her heart, especially if she was dreaming about me. I entered her room, smiling slightly at the almost Spartan décor. Nothing very womanly about this p[lace.
There was a desk near the large window, scuffed from years of use; a dresser drawer, looking fairly new even with a broken knob (probably broken by Tsunade at some point); also a plain bed, the white comforter reminding me of new-fallen snow and the mint-green sheets under it peeking out from the rumpled mess on the bed. I tried to ignore some of the less noble thoughts drifting into my head when I saw the bed (thoughts I won't repeat in print). I leaned down with a soft grunt, sweeping the comforter off the bed and re-arranging the sheets so Tsunade could lie comfortably on them. As this was difficult to do one-handed, it took a while.
I gently laid Tsunade down, smiling faintly when she made and irritated noise and refused to let go of my neck. She looked like a child who was having her favorite toy taken away, even when she was asleep. Uncomfortable with the comparison, I gently detached her fingers from the back of my neck and eased her arms onto the bed. She made a grouchy noise, making me smile a bit wider. It's nice to know you care Hime. I moved away from the bed a little, bending to get the comforter. Tucking it securely around her, I was a little surprised when she grabbed my hands. Slightly edgy, I checked to see if she was waking up.
Nope. Her eyes were still closed, but her soft pink mouth was frowning. Her slender hand clutched mine as if I was the only thing keeping her from falling into a nightmare. I winced. I hated it when Tsunade was haunted with those. It only made the wounds she was still nursing, even after all these years, even worse. Like rubbing salt in a cut, I thought sadly, letting her hold my hand for a minute or two. I couldn't help it. Some days, I just couldn't refuse my Hime anything. Still holding on to her hand, I leaned over and pressed my lips to the lavender diamond on Tsunade's forehead briefly. She made a soft, almost cooing noise and the frown disappeared, replaced by a smile.
I smiled in spite of myself. When Tsunade was happy, I was usually either happy for her or… well, in pain from one of her beatings. I couldn't help it; I softly let my lips brush over hers. Okay, enough torturing yourself. Time to go. I stood up, gently detaching her slender hand from mine. I looked down at her longingly; she looked even more doll like and fragile against the too-big bed. Tsunade's chest rose and fell as she slipped deeper into sleep. Taking and releasing a deep breath, I turned away.
No point in thinking about what-ifs. We're friends. That's likely all we'll ever be…
The thought bothered me quite a bit as I slipped out the window. Walking through the short forest path that led from her home to the Hokage tower, I mulled over her cuddling. Did that mean she's softening towards me? Arrrrgh… I'm going to make my hangover in the morning way worse than it has to be if I keep going like this… I shook my head to clear it. I looked up to see the full moon, shining as it always did on the path, dappling through the tree boughs. I smiled, feeling a bittersweet bite in my chest as I thought of the times Tsunade's eyes had looked similar to an amber harvest full moon. I saw her everywhere, actually… Sometimes, I had to wonder if they were hallucinations brought on by old age. I would see her running by as a little girl, scolding someone as a teenager, and just walking with that world-weary expression, maybe all in the same day.
I shook my head. Foolish old man. She'll never love you. Her Prince Charming is already dead in her eyes. I'm just the toad that's left. The only one left. My head bowed at the depressing thought. What if she only cares because I'm the only one left? Growling, I shook my head and sped up, popping out of the tree cover and speeding for my home. I didn't need to think about this. Later. Some other time. Not now.
Savor the memories you can when you can. You never know if those memories will be your last ones of the people you love.
Hey all! :) I posted this for a freind of mine, himesenju. I liked the story idea that she gave me, so I started it last night. If you notice any typos or misspellings, please tell me in a review.
What do you think of my portrayal of Tsunade and Jiraiya's relationship? Do you like how I portrayed the Juubi's offspring Jubi? I promise, this will get more romantic and less freindship. I will also be including other pairings besides JiraiyaXTsunade, but these two are my favorite ^^ And I'll leave you to figure out the pairings on your own. Can't have spoilers can we?
Lots of hugs and virtual cookies to anyone who will review this fic,