Tokkuri and Two Ochoko for Sake

by:  Lovesrainscent


Author disclaimer:  I do not own any of the Naruto characters below,
and stand to make no profit on this story.

Tsunade sat alone at her desk, filling the ochoko with sake from the tokkuri. She shook her head for no particular reason. There was no one in the room to see the gesture.

She sighed. Drinking sake alone. It really shouldn’t be done.

Holding the ochoko up, pausing, and looking bleary-eyed across its rim the blonde woman surveyed her office.

Her office.

The Hokage’s office.

She was Hokage.

She should be proud that she occupied that position, served her village, represented them, protected them. She was upholding a responsibility and tradition that her family, her grandfather had established. It was a privilege and tradition that had allowed her…to send her best friend off to die.

And now she was drinking sake alone.

Bringing the ochoko a little closer to her lips allowed just the tiniest drop to pass and rest on her tongue. A bit of warmth in her mouth mellowed and evaporated almost before she could swallow. Just a sip.

She tipped the cup up, draining it and swallowing hard, feeling heat spread down her throat, through her body.

No. One should not drink sake alone. It was meant to be shared, a drink between companions, partners. She set the cup back down a little too hard on the desk, hearing it rattle, steadying its wobble with one hand while she poured from the tokkuri with the other.

You weren’t even supposed to pour it one-handed. She should use both hands.

Draining the cup, she tried to set it down a little more steadily this time. Lifting the tokkuri and cradling it in both hands she gently filled the ochoko again.

She set the flask down and sighed. That wasn’t much better.

You were supposed to pour for a friend. You were supposed to offer the tokkuri with both hands, while your friend accepted, holding his ochoko in one, steadying its bottom with the other.

No. You should never drink sake alone.

She raised the ochoko to her mouth one more time, again pausing to look over the rim But this time her gaze did not take in the office, rather her memories took her back to other times, seeing him looking back at her across their cups as they drank together.

Hesitating, she pressed the cup to her lips, feeling the smooth rim of the pottery against her own mouth. She knew now why she hadn’t bothered to savor the sake, to fully appreciate the aroma and the complexities of the taste.

If she had taken the time to contemplate it she would have remembered the taste of the last sake she had shared with him, the scent of it on his breath and the sound of his laughter as he’d roared out loud at some bawdy joke she’d told.

Instead of appreciating the craftsmanship of the ochoko currently in her hand, she would have felt the shape and the finish of the ones they had used last time. Sake should always be paired with pottery produced in the same region. Form and function, they were meant to be…together.

And instead of the heat from the sake she would have remembered the heat from his eyes as he looked into hers, daring her, as he had done for as long as she could remember.

There was no use appreciating the sake or the earthenware or the ritual if you were drinking it alone.

She tipped the ochoko back demanding the heat fill her mouth, fill her throat, fill her head as she swallowed hard. Holding the empty cup in front of her she gripped it tightly, hating that there were things in this world you just could not hold on to. She applied a breath more pressure around the cup, wincing as it broke into pieces, one fragment catching in the heel of her hand as the rest fell with a clatter to the ground.

Holding her hand in front of her face she stared at the bit that had broken her skin. Blood welled up there. Oddly, she didn’t feel the cut itself, but the sting as the drops of sake that had been remaining in the cup seeped into the tiny gash to mingle with her blood.

She looked at the rest of the pottery shards on the floor. Fragments. Her life was a path littered with fragments of broken things and false starts.

Taking in the tokkuri standing on her desk, the broken ochoko on the floor she remembered that the serving set had been his gift to her, a simple flask and two cups.

But now there was only one.


~ by lovesrainscent on February 1, 2009.

22 Responses to “Fragments”

  1. YAY!! BONO!!!!!!!

  2. a first AND a second right after another for reflex?? YES!!!
    lol im done now

  3. good story loverainscent…. love the details
    amazingly, this story seems fairly long but its actually short – lol as long as we dont see the kabuto story ibiki mentioned and stick with this, im good 😀

  4. wow…the first paragraph/lines made me wanna just comment on how well its already sounding…now let me finish this article…

  5. does it count as being first if you comment three times…if no then im SECOND!!!!or fourth and fifth…(still top 5 hehehe) anyways loverainscent this was good… i could picture tsunade sitting down talking to herself at a small resturatant thinking of jiraiya…now i miss jiraiya

  6. Wow this was so good…

    I can’t wait for the second chapter!

  7. good as always!

  8. Best part:

    “She was upholding a responsibility and tradition that her family, her grandfather had established. It was a privilege and tradition that had allowed her…to send her best friend off to die.”

    Damn 😦

    You have some great writing skills and you bring excellent emotional depth to your character(s). Loved the story and looking forward to the rest and other works from you.

  9. Hi all,

    Thanks for the welcome, glad to be here. Thanks for taking the time to read a bit about my take on Tsunade and her teammates. Just wanted to clarify that the five bits Ibiki’s outlined aren’t 5 chapters of a single story. They will be five separate bits, but each Tsunade-centric and each set at a little earlier point in her life. So, yeah, enjoy. 🙂

  10. So sad. Beautifully written. Remind me to thank Ibiki for liking your stuff enough to introduce you to us.

    Anyway, i read alot of fanfiction, and if there’s one thing i can’t stand it’s when it’s written by a retard. Someone who can’t get to the deeper stuff, just telling a story is boring, telling someone how the characters react to te story is much better. I hate people who present it badly as well, it can really ruin a good story.

    However, you seem to have the boxes ticked. Extremely well written, the whole thing flowed nicely with a consistent theme and a potent metaphor to finish. Very well done. All Tsunade did was drink two Ochokos full of sake and then break one. And i still got one of the deepest looks into Tsunade’s life and emotions and mind that i have ever seen.

    Lovesrainscent, I salue you.

  11. Sorry, i can get a bit overzealous when i review stuff, it tens to drag on and i may slip into a mode where i act a little too professional. However, i do mean every word i say, so take it to heart, and hurry up with the rest, i can’t wait to read them.

  12. excellent, i feel ashamed i didn’t read more of your stuff over at ibi’s site…

    great job, welcome, and way to make an entrance!

  13. Very cool…

    so are the other parts going to connect to this or are they all seperate? Either way is cool, just curious.


  14. Damn super strength … gets her in trouble every time *L*

    Seriously, though, this is a great start ^_^ I’ve never put too much thought into the relationship Tsunade had with Jiraiya, so I loved the way you showed her feelings for him, bittersweet though they were. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  15. @Jeremiah: The stories were all written independently and were intended to stand on their own. However, I saw a pattern and was intlerably bossy in requesting this particular set in this particular order. Be sure to thank loves for her tolerance and patience with my badgering. ^.^

  16. WOW this is really good. Keep up the good work!!!

  17. very awsomeness i love it and i cant wait for more
    ps. sorry everyone for not being round the blog much im mega busy

  18. thats really good ^_^ but im kinda depressed now haha very sad thoughts running through her head.

  19. Cool….
    I haven’t read it yet, but cool lol.

  20. @ /_) I/ /_) – lol

  21. That was really great and quite descriptive. Thank. In the manga all we seen from her regarding his death was her calling him a dummy and crying it reminded me of that. So shes used up all her tears but the emotion gauntlet must be traveled. Remorse, blame, anger, despair and finally acceptance we seen it all here. Good job.

  22. this is more like a poem to me……i can see u in a poetry club on stage telling light on u ….everybody with their coffee…snapping their fingers….i liked it…reminded me very much of a def jam poetry night

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