Jiraiya swears that he'll be the first one to walk on the trees, and then on water. [Sannin]
Jiraiya puts his foot down, mocking Tsunade doing it, of course, and declares, "Gravity is optional." Tsunade aims for his head, gets his arm instead, and counters with a snort.
Jiraiya swears that he'll be the first one to walk on the trees, and then on water. He ignores Orochimaru, who is perched on the tree, looking out of place. The kunai marks on the tree are sparse and following each other as they are supposed to. Jiraiya's tree is slashed erratically, deeper, shallower, and a few almost-misses. Orochimaru says in a whispery, sort of teasing voice that he feels sorry for it.
He remembers not to kick the tree this time. Tsunade and Orochimaru laugh, and Jiraiya scuffs the ground, glaring at his two buddy-buddy teammates. It's break-time anyhow, he figures.
Jiraiya catches Sarutobi-sensei at the local hotsprings, and sensei shrugs. For the first time, he hears what will be the best phrase of his life: It's for research.
"You idiot. They can't understand you if you talk like that. Shinobi have to adapt to the environment-that means that you have to match your level with the opposing forces."
"Well then, I guess you'll just have to use words for stupid people when you talk to me, Orochimaru!"
Dart in, circle, run.
Orochimaru stands aside and watches as Jiraiya shoves his kunai into the other man's thigh, as far as it can go, and drags it out sideways. That ends the business meeting.
"See! It didn't matter. He was a bastard, wasn't he, just like I said!" Hair swinging, Jiraiya jumps over the writhing man (the original mission had been to put some pressure on the owner, since he's suspected of dealing with neighboring yukuza) and calls the nearest person to grab an ambulance. Responsibility sucks when busy-body teammates are sniveling down his throat.
Tsunade and Sarutobi-sensei are disapproving when they see Jiraiya with bloody kunai still in hand and Orochimaru carefully pacing beside him. Jiraiya just shrugs when Sarutobi questions him and Orochimaru doesn't even reply. Tsunade wishes they would get along for once, without sensei's scolding.
"We're going to be sannin and the most looked-to in Konoha, you know. You could act better, Jiraiya," she scolds, stopping as sensei shoots her a look: It's not your place.
"Like Orochimaru? Maybe I want to spend more time on missions than on stupid experiments!"
"Tsunade..." says Sarutobi. Jiraiya is already running, turning a corner, and Orochimaru just stares after him, yellow eyes half shut.
Orochimaru studies the sensei's scrolls far too much for Jiraiya's liking. Jiraiya stares at his thin, white nape and back while he reads; he's unaware of Jiraiya, is what Jiraiya wants to believe.
"Not worth it," he mumbles. "I can do better." Ooh, a hard passage, eh? Jiraiya backs out slowly; Orochimaru might turn and throw a book at him if he's been around Tsunade for as much as Jiraiya thinks he has. He giggles once he's out. That guy's pretty funny when he's not trying to kill people or blow things up, Jiraiya thinks.
Orochimaru knows that when he finds Kusanagi, he will know it had been made for him, that smooth bronzed hilt, straight and magical as its legends.
Tsunade sighs and agrees to help Jiraiya with his chakra-on-water exercises because Orochimaru had said no after Jiraiya had finally nipped his pride and asked. (His being drunk is a bit shameful, but if it's the only way to get there, Tsunade will take it for now.)
Jiraiya gets it without her help, and is glee-ridden to find running is easier than standing.
"Princess, I love you like crazy!" Jiraiya snorts and looks up at the sky, back straight and voice curling. Tsunade laughs and Orochimaru smiles at him. Maybe it is just the beer talking, but Jiraiya thinks he loves the world, because there's nothing better than a good run.
He is almost deterred from the whole business of being a shinobi when Tsunade gets involved with that Dan person, but they all come together when he dies. She hadn't taken it very well, which does not matter to Jiraiya. Opinions are never taken well at times, and passing the problem aside was easier most of the time. It solves most of them if he leaves them alone for long enough, he figures. Orochimaru's probably the same, except his yellow eyes got creepy in battle. Jiraiya figures none of it really matters, as long as goals are met and he gets some attention in the end.
The fastest, and in his opinion, the most attractive moves are the most inventive, so one day, he's going to have to check out sensei's scrolls and see what they're all about. Jiraiya always, always has the most explosive attacks, and can't bear to be stood up, unless it's by Orochimaru, because that guy's just too smart.
Although Jiraiya's always the first one to get close to the target if it's an inside job, and the last one to find where his blade's supposed to go, it's alright, because that's what a team is, right? Lately, it seems as though Orochimaru's the only one covering his back, and Tsunade's finally getting along on her own. Sarutobi-sensei looks pleased sometimes, but mostly a bit shocked and disapproving of his behavior. Jiraiya argues: it's for research, his damn knee is on my throat, and so forth; Orochimaru is usually the culprit, when he sees him anyways.
Sarutobi prays that they won't kill each other every time his team goes on a mission, and they don't, so it's okay.
Jiraiya loves to hang upside down and feel his hair tousle into spikes. It's been years since he's had such a long period of free time. He tears up the grass next to his head. He wants to trust the earth not to change and defeat someone who is worthwhile for anyone, not just him, to beat. Jiraiya doesn't want sensei to say he isn't worth talking about and Orochimaru is, especially now.
Jiraiya flicks a ladybug on grass into the air, and watches its short wings. He'll be someone Konoha wants to look at, and savour in its mouth. It isn't like those bastards care, anyways, Jiraiya laughs, drunk and pinwheeling down, down, and still. And if they do, he'll give them something to think about tomorrow.