“You took over Iwa?” Jiriaya demands, strangled.
Orochimaru inspects his nails, already tired of this conversation. “They were planning another war. And I was bored.”
Jiraiya flails wordlessly, face shading towards puce, and Orochimaru actually leaves off cleaning the dried blood from under his fingernails to watch him, somewhere between amused and nostalgic. He’d forgotten just how entertaining it was to be Jiraiya’s teammate rather than his enemy.
With a sound like a dying cow, Jiriaya rounds on their other teammate. “Tsunade! He’s being even creepier than normal! Make him stop!”
Tsunade rolls her eyes, but her expression is closer to calculating than anything else. “Tsuchikage?” she asks thoughtfully.
Orochimaru smirks at her. “Kumo is three days from here,” he points out, “if we move quickly. And you would look ravishing in yellow.”
“NO,” Jiraiya tells them both loudly. “No, we are not taking over any more countries. Hime, get that look off your face, it’s a terrible idea - “
“Sakumo is willing to take Kiri,” Orochimaru says over the top of him. “And I believe Dan would make a splendid Kazekage.”
“Keep Jiraiya as your concubine and we have a deal,” Tsunade says, grinning, and cracks her knuckles. “Ending a war before it starts? I think my grandfather would approve.”
Well. Likely not of their methods, but Orochimaru is sure Tsunade knows that as well as anyone. He casts a glance over Jiraiya, mostly for show, and then arches a brow. “I could be content with those terms.”
Jiraiya throws up his hands. “Sensei is going to kill us. You realize this, right? We come back from this mission and we’re dead.”
“Not if we come back as Kage,” Tsunade points out. “Last chance to be a concubine.”
“I hate you both, why do you always make my life harder,” Jiraiya bemoans, but he stalks over to Orochimaru’s side and throws himself down next to him. “Fine. I will be the prettiest, most successful concubine ever. I will knock your damned socks off with how good I am. But you’d better keep me supplied with writing materials, got it?”
The warmth of him is strange and foreign but also deeply familiar, Orochimaru thinks, leaning into his bulk with a faint smile. He can feel the sigh Jiraiya heaves, but the arm that circles his back is gentle, fond.
“When the hell did you start wearing your hair in a bun, anyway, Orochi-teme?” Jiraiya huffs, fingers skimming the nape of Orochimaru’s neck.
“Do you like it?” Orochimaru asks whimsically, putting a hand up to touch the loose knot. “I just woke up one day feeling rather like I was…a new me.”
There’s a pause, and then Jiraiya leans in to press a kiss to his temple. “You’re creepier than ever and I mean that,” he says. “But…I guess I like this new you a hell of a lot.”
“I think I rather like it too,” Orochimaru agrees, and smiles as he curls his fingers through Jiraiya’s.