author’s disclaimer: I do not own these Naruto characters, nor do I stand to make any profit on this story.
“Tsunade, you lost,” Orochimaru said matter of factly, ignoring her pleading look.
“Jiraiya,” she whined turning her head to look at her other teammate. “What about you, aren’t you named after a gallant folk hero or something?”
“Tsunade, you lost, fair and square,” he chuckled. “Man up, you’re sleeping on the floor.” He flopped down on the rickety couch in the room and tried to get comfortable.
Orochimaru lay back on the bed and closed his eyes as well. Tsunade looked around the cheap hotel room in a mixture of dismay and disgust. They had been on their way back from a mission when a terrible thunderstorm came upon them. Normally, they wouldn’t have minded sleeping outside while traveling to and from missions, but this was a torrential downpour of epic proportions. They’d hurried as fast as they could to the nearest shelter.
Tsunade was thinking they may have been better off to take their chances in the storm. This place lowered the bar in terms of flea-bitten motels. She scratched her arm subconsciously, then realizing what she was doing, shivered. *Ugh* This place probably was crawling with fleas…among other things.
First she’d lost at drawing cards for the bed. Orochimaru won that. Then she lost to Jiraiya at jan-ken-pon for the couch. She sighed heavily and slumped to the bathroom to change out of her wet clothes.
“Oh, no!” she exclaimed from the small room.
“Whassa matter?” Jiraiya mumbled. Orochimaru just sighed and turned over, pulling one pillow over his ears.
“My spare clothes in my bag are all wet!” She whined.
“Won’t bother me if you sleep naked, Hime,” Jiraiya chuckled. “Besides, I told you that pretty little bag you bought would leak.”
“Ji-Rai-Ya!” she threatened.
“Fine, fine, there’s a spare shirt in my bag. You can wear that.” The white haired sannin replied.
She huffed back out in her still soaking clothes and yanked the spare shirt out of his bag.
Then she stomped back into the bathroom to change. It felt good to get into the oversized shirt, soft and thankfully warm and dry. She looked around to find a place to hang up her wet clothes to dry. Orochimaru’s clothes hung neatly over the entire shower curtain rod. Jiraiya’s were piled in a heap in the floor. She shoved Orochimaru’s aside to make room for her own, kicked Jiraiya’s for good measure and huffed back into the bedroom.
She stood with hands on her hips, chest heaving. She was so …angry…at this whole mess. Her teammates were such jerks. She looked around the room. Orochimaru appeared to be sleeping peacefully in the bed. Jiraiya was leaning with his head over one arm of the couch and his feet hanging over the other end. He had one arm sprawled across the back of the sofa, the other trailing on the floor, and a ratty blanket half on, half off his lower body. Well, she thought to herself, at least Jiraiya looks uncomfortable.
Wait a minute, where did he get the blanket? She stalked over to him and leaned over. “Jiriaya,” she hissed, “Where’d you get the blanket?”
“Orochimaru gave it to me. Said he didn’t need it on the bed, it was too hot.”
“Well, where’s my blanket?” She asked loudly, turning her threatening gaze toward her other partner. She had to agree with Jiraiya on the hot part, though. This place was an oven, hot and muggy. The thunderstorm outside wasn’t even doing much to cool things off. She didn’t want a blanket ON her so much as UNDER her on that nasty floor.
“Tsunade, there are usually spare linens in the closets. Did you look?” Orochimaru answered her rather calmly.
She gritted her teeth. Damn him, he was using that oily-sweet-calm voice of his just to irritate her.
She nearly yanked the closet door off its hinges. She rummaged around and found a couple of sheets but no blanket and more importantly no pillow.
“There’s no pillow!” she announced loudly to the room.
“Hey, I don’t have a pillow, and you don’t hear me complaining,” Jiraiya answered her.
Her eyes narrowed to slits and she looked at the bed. “Orochimaru, you have two pillows!” she exclaimed.
“Yes, and I need them both,” he replied, trying to burrow even deeper between them.
“Why do you need two pillows?” she demanded.
“If you’re going to talk all night long then I need them both to cover my ears!” he snapped, sitting up and clutching the two pillows possessively.
“Give me a pillow!”
“Give. Me. A. Pillow!” She said through gritted teeth.
“Better give her one, Orochimaru,” Jiraiya chuckled, “or she’ll rip them apart trying to take them from you.” With a sigh, he closed his eyes and tried to picture that: She and Orochimaru, black and blond hair flying wildly as they lock in mortal combat over a pillow. The pillow would be ripped savagely in two, feathers fluttering madly in the air. As the pillow gave way, the two combatants would fall into each others’ arms at that very moment realizing the passion that was flaring between them…. Jiraiya closed his eyes, a blissful smile on his lips.
“Fine!” Orochimaru relented, handing her one. “Just shut up, will you.”
“Fine!” she hissed back at him, snatching the pillow out of his hands.
Tsunade did the best she could with the ratty, nasty sheet she had pulled from the closet. It was only marginally better than the nasty carpet itself. She knew the carpet had never been cleaned. At least she could pretend that the sheets had been washed once or twice in their mournful existence, but *ugh* she was pretty sure it hadn’t been recently.
Two of the three legendary sannin slumbered peacefully. The third tossed miserably on the floor. Tsunade’s hair clung, sweaty to the back of her neck. She felt gross beneath the grimy sheets. Jiraiya’s snoring irritated her no end. Orochimaru’s peaceful, even breathing was more bothersome to her still. She huffed. She puffed. She sighed. She turned this way and that, twisting in the sheet.
Had she just imagined it or had something … scurried… past her?
She thought she heard something… a scritch scritch scritch sort of sound.
There was something on the floor with her! Crawling around her!
It might actually crawl…on her.
It might actually get in her hair.
It scritch-scritch-scritched again.
Tsunade held her breath, eyes wide in the dark. Oh dear God where was it? What was it?
Orochimaru breathed peacefully.
The creature scritch-scritch-scritched and darted across her legs.
Tsunade screamed and in one quick leap she was on Jiraiya, scrambling to get on top of the back of the couch.
With an ‘oomph’ Jiraiya set up quickly, rubbing his eyes and knocking Tsunade to the floor. She clawed her way back on top of him.
“Sheesh, Tsunade, all you ever had to do was ask,” he said sleepily.
“Shut up!” Orochimaru snapped switching on the light and sitting up in bed. “What is wrong with you people!”
“There’s something on the floor,” Tsunade rasped out in a hoarse whisper, chest heaving. She pointed a trembling finger to the corner. “It’s over there.”
Orochimaru rolled his eyes. “Tsunade, did I not just see you take out an entire squad of the enemy’s equivalent of ANBU by yourself on this mission? Do you not summon slugs, woman!?”
“Don’t worry, Tsunade, we’ll get it,” Jiraiya said soothingly then added, “Orochimaru, get it.”
Orochimaru sighed in exasperation. Jiraiya had Tsunade on his lap, one hand around her waist. The t-shirt was bunched up around her hips. Orochimaru imagined the boy’s other hand sliding up under the shirt onto what was undoubtedly warm smooth skin beneath, up, up, up higher still…
Tsunade’s chest continued to heave in a most fetching manner. Damn toad brat had all the luck he grumbled to himself.
Orochimaru kicked off the thin, thread-bare sheet and stood up mumbling, “If it will get you two to shut up…”
He stood stock still and listened. Listened to Tsunade’s gasps, listened to Jiraiya’s warm murmurings soothing her. Listened until he heard it… scritch scritch scritch.
In one slippery smooth, lightning fast motion he had snatched the mouse up by its tail.
Jiraiya was impressed, he loved to see Orochimaru move like that. It was so damn… sensual. Aw hell, it was just plain sexy. Almost made him wonder… what would it be like to…
“Is this what’s bothering you, Tsunade-chan?” Orochimaru taunted, approaching her and holding the dangling rodent by its tail.
“Get it away, get it away, get it away…” Tsunade whimpered, turning toward Jiraiya, burying her face in his hair.
Jiraiya patted her shoulder. “Tsunade, Orochimaru is right. You summon slugs. Frogs and snakes don’t seem to bother you either. Why does this bother you so much?”
“Frogs and snakes and slugs don’t have little claws and twitchy little whiskers and pointy noses and beady little eyes,” she mumbled, her face still buried against his shoulder. “Get rid of it,” she pleaded.
“Fine,” Orochimaru shrugged, “guess I’ll just eat it then.”
Tsunade’s head snapped up. “You will not! Just put the poor little thing outside.”
Orochimaru leaned his head back, raising the rodent higher.
“Jiriaya, make him stop. Don’t let him do it.”
“Come on, Orochimaru, just put it outside will you?” Jiraiya said, reaching up. His hand completely encircled Orochimaru’s wrist.
Orochimaru froze, eyes blazing at Jiriaya. Tsunade felt Jiraiya’s whole body stiffen, his arm around her waist tighten just a fraction. For the very briefest instant the tension between the two of them was palpable, electric in a most deliciously, unmistakably male kind of way. She licked her bottom lip and swallowed hard. It was…exciting.
“Come on Orochimaru,” she whispered hoarsely, “just put it outside.”
“Sure. Fine. Whatever,” he said flippantly walking to the window and putting the mouse outside.
Orochimaru went back to bed. Tsunade looked forlornly at the rumpled sheet on the floor then up at her partner. “Orochimaru, please,” she whispered softly, bottom lip trembling, making her best puppy-dog eyes at him.
“Oh, all right,” he huffed, sliding over in the bed and raising the sheet, offering her sanctuary. She scampered over, snatching up her pillow off the floor and jumped on the bed beside him. She clambered over him, keeping his body between her and the side of the room where the mouse had been found. Orochimaru smirked at Jiraiya and turned out the light.
Two of the three legendary sannin slumbered peacefully on the bed. Jiraiya twisted and turned on the couch, unable any longer to get comfortable. Damn, he had a crick in his neck. He flopped on one side. Now his back hurt. He sighed and turned over on the other side. Now his…
Now his head was lower than his feet because the legs on that end of the couch had broken. “Crap! Tsunade, you broke the couch,” he cried out.
“Sorry,” she whispered and giggled. He swore he heard Orochimaru giggle too.
Jiraiya stood up to survey the damage. He grumbled to himself about the fact that if women were going to go around breaking the furniture that he was sleeping on there ought to be a little bit more fun involved first. He sighed. There would be no fixing this tonight.
He stomped around to the side of the bed where Tsunade was sleeping. “Move over,” he groused.
“Jiraiya, there isn’t enough room in this bed for the three of us,” Orochimaru said over Tsunade’s head.
“There is if you spoon up,” Jiraiya answered, pulling up the sheet and slipping under it beside Tsunade.
“I don’t want to ‘spoon’ up to anybody in this heat,” Orochimaru snapped. He grudgingly slid to the edge of the bed on his side. Tsunade wiggled over. Orochimaru had to grab her to keep from falling off the bed. She giggled and turned herself so that her back was to him, in effect spooning herself up against him. He’d grabbed her around the waist to keep from falling and as she turned on her side, she shifted so that his hand was now on her hip.
There seemed to be some sort of silent negotiation going on between Tsunade and Jiraiya Eventually he ended up with the pillow and she ended up using him as a teddy bear, one arm thrown around his waist, head nestled against his chest. In a short time the two of them were breathing softly and evenly.
Two of the three legendary sannin slumbered peacefully on the bed. Orochimaru lay for long minutes with his eyes open, thinking. This wasn’t exactly comfortable but it was …comforting.
Tsunade was warm and pleasant beside him. She spooned, as Jiraiya called it, nicely up against his body, his chest against her back, their hips close together, legs tucked and touching each other’s their whole length. He let his hand slide from her hip, up beneath the bunched t-shirt to the dip of her waist. It was a marvelous curve, almost as if it had been made just for him to hold her there. She sighed softly. That was better, that was more comfortable he thought to himself as he let the flat of his palm rest against her belly.
Orochimaru’s eyes were getting heavy now. He tucked his head down against Tsunade’s smelling sweet jasmine in her hair. But it wasn’t just jasmine he smelled, there was a pine and forest fragrance too. Dimly he recognized this as Jiraiya’s scent.
Jiraiya shifted and Orochimaru realized that when he had moved his head nearer Tsunade’s he must have lain it on Jiraiya’s hand. He raised his head a fraction and in sleep his friend lifted his hand and let it come to rest on Orochimaru’s hair. Orochimaru found this both comfortable and comforting.
His eyes were very heavy now. He yawned once and closed them, quite comfortable.
And the three legendary sannin slumbered peacefully.