“Tsunade-hime! What are you doing here?” The newly appointed Yondaime Hokage greeted his sensei’s old teammate. Beside him on a bar stool, the Toad Sage was slumped over and softly snoring. He’d been out just long enough for a small pool of drool to start forming under his gaping mouth. It was relatively disgusting. The Yondaime was careful to keep the sleeve of his flame-trimmed coat from touching the slobbery mess.
“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” She quipped, while taking a slightly unsteady seat on the other side of the unconscious sennin. She casually tossed her long blonde ponytails over her shoulders. “After all, this dump is nearly a day’s travel from Konoha. Don’t you have a village to run?” She quickly snatched what was left of the bottle of sake Jiraiya’d been working on when he passed out – rescuing it before it could be tainted by the growing puddle.
“Eh, heh,” Minato scratched the back of his head in slight embarrassment, “well, the old man’s got it covered for now. Ero-Sensei thought we should go out and celebrate my appointment to Yondaime, and wouldn’t stop badgering me about it even though he knows I don’t drink. I finally had to agree on the condition that if he was going to get drunk and make me look bad, we do it where no one we know will see us.”
A sheepish grin spread across his face, a sweep of his hand taking in the water glass in front of him and the multitude of empty bottles surrounding his mentor like tiny cylindrical soldiers guarding his drunken sleep. “I’m kind of a role-model or something now, you know. On the upside, he agreed to lay off the peeping for the next few weeks if I came along and had at least one cup of sake. This way I’ll have one less nuisance to deal with while I settle into the job.”
Tsunade’s grin slipped a bit as she offered him the now slightly more empty bottle from which she’d just poured herself a drink, “Well it doesn’t look like you’ve held up your end of the bargain very well, Minato-kun. Don’t you feel like celebrating the achievement of your dream?”
He blinked in confusion for a minute, thrown off a bit by the odd note of grief in her voice, before realizing her comment was in regards to the lack of a sake saucer in front of him. “Oh, well – It’s a little embarrassing, but I really can’t hold my liquor.” He blushed a bit, then continued, “I figured I’d just let him drink himself stupid, and he’d never know if I’d actually had any or not.”
His sheepish grin reminded her of Dan - Dan and her brother both, whom she had loved, and who wanted to become Hokage, but their dream had died with them, and Minato had achieved it instead.
“You know, a man should never go back on his words,” was all she could think to say around the growing lump in her throat. Her grief was still as sharp now as it had been when she’d left the village. She hadn’t really thought about how she might feel seeing someone else given the title of Yondaime when the two she’d loved and supported so much would never be the leaders or protectors of anything again.
Minato stared on in unmitigated horror as the lower lip of the usually ridiculously strong, drunken woman beside him began to tremble and her eyes got big and damp. If there was one thing that really disturbed the Yondaime, it was a ninja – especially a kunoichi (or a kitten, but that’s an entirely different story) in emotional distress. He could take down whole armies of rock ninja single-handedly, but tears he just could not deal with. His usually sharp and strategic mind always short-circuited at the first signs of watery eyes, and then he’d begin to babble whatever random crap came into his head. This frequently made the situation worse instead of better, as the words weren’t going through his brain for proper vetting, and Namikaze Minato wasn’t naturally the most tactful person in the world.
On top of that, crying things made his insides wibble, and a man’s insides should never go wibbily. It wasn’t manly. If Stone or any of the other Hidden Villages ever learned of his ultimate weakness, all of Konoha would be doomed. When he’d talked it over with Sarutobi-sama (he couldn’t, in good conscience, let himself be named Hokage with such a huge and easily exploited Achilles heel without disclosing it to the Old Man first), he’d seemed to think it wouldn’t affect his ability to function as the village’s leader.
Unfortunately, while diplomats and enemies on a battle field weren’t likely to turn into sobbing, emotional wrecks in front of him, it seemed as though his sensei’s former teammate – at least when she was heavily inebriated, which was pretty frequently now - had no compunctions about it. She’d begun to sniffle alarmingly on top of the trembling lip and doe eyes. Immediately his mind turned off in self-defense, and his mouth started emergency tactics to try and curb the impending emotional Armageddon.
To his future woe, he had no idea why his unwillingness to drink alcohol had made her so upset, so he had to do the only thing he could think of to alleviate his perceived reason for her sudden mood shift. He immediately accepted the bottle she was still offering. Before he could think about it any further, he found himself quickly downing it while alternately sputtering in distaste, babbling about how he’d never go back on his word ever again, and waving his free hand desperately in a fending-off sort of gesture.
Completely forgetting her troubles at the strange sight before her, Tsunade immediately broke into drunken giggles. “Slow down boy-o! You’re going to choke. I thought you didn’t drink?”
“Er, but you said-!” Minato blinked at the now empty bottle in his hand and shook it a little in bewilderment as his brain kicked back in. “Whew! Crisis averted!’ “I don’t, but-“ he cut himself off again with a slightly confused frown, the previous few moments having been blanked from his memory to reduce the trauma to his psyche.
Tsunade’s grin turned a bit predatory, “Don’t worry about it Minato-kun. Here, have some more. Maybe that will jog your memory.” She ordered another round and poured for him before he could really think of a good protest. “Now, how about some cards?”
“Cards, huh? I don’t think you want to do that.” Yondaime said, talking around the sake cup he hadn’t taken from his lips since he’d picked it back up – it was easier to sip that way, after all. “I have completely weird luck with cards.”
“Weird luck huh?” She frowned a bit jealously. How good could it be? She’d just have to get him good and soused before broaching the topic again. “Well – I know! Let’s play a drinking game instead!”
Alarms immediately went off in his head, but unfortunately, he couldn’t hear them over the happy humming of the “I love sake” song he’d just made up. Tsunade’s grin turned a bit shark-like when her cute, blond new drinking buddy nodded happily, the most adorable alcohol flush spreading over his nose to kiss his cheeks.
Several bottles later, Tsunade decided Minato–kun looked awfully cute in the particularly seedy bar’s dingy lighting, and he’d had the same dream as her other precious people, AND he was already Hokage so he couldn’t be hit by the curse if she got just a little close to him…right?
Minato got progressively more and more Jiraiya like as he drank. He hadn’t been lying about his tolerance level – the alcohol hit his system like a small, underfed, little girl from the poorest regions of Mist Country instead of like the manly warrior he was. He thought Tsunade-chan had awfully nice breasts and certainly didn’t look anywhere near 40 with that awesome genjutsu of hers. Luckily, his words were so slurred by that point that she couldn’t tell what he was saying so his skull remained intact.
An hour later, they left Jiraiya completely passed out at the bar and went back to Minato’s room. In the morning, they both freaked out and agreed never to speak of, or even think about it again, as anything more specific than “The Incident” just in case someone developed some weird mind reading jutsu and decided to try it out on two of the strongest ninja of the era.
That might have been the end of it if Tsunade hadn’t shown up a little over a month later in the village she vowed never to step foot in again and immediately knocked Konoha’s newest Hokage through two walls and a convenient stack of empty crates. There’s always a stack of crates when you need one. It’s a law of the shinobi universe.
Sandaime blinked and looked back and forth between the new holes in Hokage Tower and his wayward student. Fires of unholy rage were burning around her form and licking away at the ceiling. Shizune-chan was begging her to calm down and tugging ineffectually at her sleeve to keep her from following the Yondaime’s trajectory to lay down more Wrath of the Heavens on his poor confused head.
He looked across his desk at Jiraiya, but the Toad Sage seemed even more baffled than his mentor was. Probably because he couldn’t believe he wasn’t the target of Tsunade’s violence for once. “Tsunade-chan, as happy as we are to see you back in the village, maybe you should explain what you are so angry about before you go after Minato-kun again. The ANBU get very nervous when the Hokage gets beaten up. They are supposed to be protecting him, you know.”
Minato had impeccable timing. His abused successor climbed back in through the wreckage his body had made of the tower, while holding his ribs as if they pained him quite a bit. His unruly hair was even more ruffled than usual and his coat had torn in several places on the crates that had broken his fall. It was pretty clear he had no idea why he’d just been Convenient Crate no jutsu-ed.
Unfortunately for him, it was obvious by her single-minded focus on the subject of her rage that Tsunade hadn’t even heard her mentor. “YOU! You complete and utter BASTARD!!” Her hands shot out in terrible claws ready to strangle the poor fool who looked just as confused as the rest of them.
Shizune managed to slow the advance of her master enough to let Jiraiya interpose himself between his teammate and his student. Jiraiya was never one of his brightest pupils. Sandaime sighed.
“Hey, calm down and tell us what’s going on! I don’t know what you think Minato did to you, but I really think he’s got to be innocent – he’s been here the whole time and—“
“Here the whole time, EXCEPT for the NIGHT he spent at that shitty bar and even shittier inn with ME! The bar and inn YOU dragged him to!” The medic-nin verbally plowed over the top of Jiraiya in her rage, “-the night he got me PREGNANT!”
The heavy silence that fell over the five of them was perhaps only slightly lighter than the weight of the entire tower. Sandaime blinked. ‘Well…this is surreal.’
“…” Even Jiraiya had nothing to say to that, his jaw hitting the floor just like the other men in the room until, “I guess I should have known you liked younger men. There had to be a reason you never seemed to fall for my manly charms.”
Sarutobi smacked his palm to his face – partly out of embarrassment and partly so he wouldn’t have to see the dismemberment of someone he considered something like a son.
“Y-you can’t mean-” Minato stuttered, “The Incident? I-we-there’s no way-“
“Tell that to my UTERUS you complete and utter BASTARD!!”
Minato spared a small part of his mind to feel sorry for his sensei as Tsunade continued to take her anger out on the resident super pervert while she screamed at him.
“Tsu-Tsunade-sama, please calm down. All this stress can’t be good for the baby.” Shizune begged.
Surprisingly, it seemed to get through to her understandably violent mentor who made a monumental effort to try and control herself, her fist clenched and white knuckled, held trembling before her chest.
Minato looked ready to faint and slowly lowered himself to the floor against the ruined wall of his office. “A-are you sure? I mean-well, of course you’re sure, you’re a medic-nin, but how-I mean, well, of course I know HOW technically, but don’t you have-er-do, or…well-By all that’s holy, what are we going to do?!”
Tsunade’s hard won sliver of control seemed to be quickly evaporating, “You’d better not be thinking beyond, ‘who’s it going to live with’ and ‘how are we going to explain it to the council?’ because if you’re thinking I’m going to get rid of it-!”
“NO! No, of course not!” she seemed a little soothed by his quick and vehement reply.
‘Minato-kun is an orphan after all,’ Sandaime thought, ‘and so he places a high value on family.’ He’d frequently talked about it, though the old man rather thought he’d been planning to start it off with that hot red-headed ANBU from Whirlpool rather than the hot tempered blonde Sannin looming over him like holy retribution. Tsunade, herself, had lost every family member she’d ever had, baring Shizune who would have been her sister-in-law if Dan had lived. She wanted family like people trapped in the Suna desert wanted water, but her fear of loss and overwhelming grief wouldn’t normally let her get close to people anymore. That was probably the only thing that had saved Minato his membership card in the male club. She and Dan had planned to have kids right away, both really wanting children, and she’d probably thought that chance lost to her along with her lover.
The old man grinned. While this certainly threw a wrench in the works of both of their plans for the future, it just might prove to be a really good thing for both of them. On top of that, what kind of children would two power-house-shinobi like them produce? They’d be little monsters! Sandaime had visions of dandling amazingly strong warriors with god-like chakra control on his knees. He hid his growing smile behind his hand.
This time the silence was thoughtful. Minato was smart enough not to suggest Tsunade move back to the village right away, and for him, leaving was out of the question. Tsunade was no doubt dealing with warring emotions. She’d probably wanted him to say she could have the kid, no strings attached, but the growing brightness Sandaime saw in the young man’s eyes wouldn’t have gone unnoticed by the expectant mother even if she’d managed to overlook his reputation as the most honest and responsible man alive. Her child was going to have a loving father if Minato had any say in the matter, and if he knew her at all, she wouldn’t be able to bring herself to be resentful of that – regardless of the circumstances of their child’s conception.
Finally, the old man cleared his throat, breaking the tableau, and drawing the attention of everyone in the room, “Well, you’ve got over seven months to think it over. You don’t have to make a decision today. Why don’t you all go and think about it a little more? Give the news time to settle in and the shock to fade a bit.”
Tsunade frowned. Sarutobi knew that look. It was her ridiculously stubborn one. “I’m not staying in this Cursed Village one minute longer than necessary!” she spat. “I’ll be at Grandfather’s retreat on the border, but don’t think this lets you off the hook, Bastard!” The two current Hokage watched her step on the slowly rousing Jiraiya on her way out.
Shizune winced and hurried to follow her mentor, scooping TonTon up so the little pig didn’t fall behind.
“Wow, I just had the most bizarre dream! You’d had a torrid one-night affair with Tsunade for some reason and managed to accidentally knock her up!” The Toad Sage exclaimed, sitting up and rubbing at the large and painful lump on his head. “Wow, Minato, those ribs look bad, maybe you should get them looked at.”
Sarutobi sighed again. It was a good thing his pupil had an amazingly thick skull, or he’d have been killed ages ago; after all, it was hard to dodge monstrously strong punches and thrown pieces of rubble the size of one’s head while simultaneously trying to yank your own foot out of your mouth.