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Bind me tight

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Kagami was, maybe, just maybe, freaking out a little. It was perfectly understandable in context, okay! No one expects to be ambushed by Senju freakin’ Tobirama in the hinterlands between Clan territories.

Not that it was much of an ambush; Kagami was already in the midst of losing pursuers and had hidden in the most defensible location he could find, chakra pressed low and humming, traps primed and ready. He’d last seen them a couple miles back, two days ago. It seemed the false trail he planted did its job and shook them off but good. Nevertheless, he was prepared for their return.

He was not prepared for this.

Coincidence could excuse another shinobi travelling a similar route and thinking his, admittedly premium hiding spot, would also make a good spot for them too.

Coincidence could also excuse that he’d run low on cord and wire and had to resort to the silk, bright red bridal rope every Uchiha of age carried with them to prime his trap.

Coincidence could not excuse his trap actually working as intended and sending his surprise vistor crashing down to the forest floor below, nicely trussed.

Surely, this was a trick of the gods. It must be.

He did not just successfully tie up one the scariest Senju to ever live with bridal rope. Madara was going to kill him. Wait, no, Izuna would kill him first from sheer disgust then Madara would set him on fire. Yeah, yeah that sounds right.

Kagami stiffened, stunned out of his panicked contemplation of his inevitable gruesome death at the hands of his trusted leaders by the sudden realization that he’s left the scourge of Uchiha nightmares unattended with only a flimsy silk rope to hold him.

Oh shit.

He scrambled to the edge of his hiding spot, a place up where the trunk had split in a bowl-like shape with the aid of lightning, practically invisible from below, to peer frantically for the Senju who was… lying unconscious on the ground? He blinked, sharingan lending perfectly clarity. He traced the bloody spot in the Senju’s hair to a knot on a branch that the trap was supposed to push its quarry into with the force of its momentum. He...forgot it did that in the midst of his...worry.

But no.

Oh no.

No, no, no, this meant he had to go down there and retrieve his bridal rope and hope like hell he can skedaddle before the Senju comes to his senses. Battle-marriage didn’t count as long as one participant was unconscious. Cousin Setsuo wouldn’t lie to him about that, right?

Right.

Delicately, mincingly, Kagami made his way down the tree, anxiously freezing and waiting with bated breath every time the Senju twitched. “Don’t panic,” he told himself sternly, whispered it over and over under his breath like a litany, like a hopeless prayer to capricious gods. Finally he made it to the ground, one hand reaching out for the nearest red loop—

Tobirama’s eyes fluttered open.

Kagami felt ice form in his stomach.

His eyes fluttered shut again and his head lolled.

Kagami backed away and. Dithered. Calmly.

What was he going to do!?

He tugged fretfully at his curls. Okay, okay, he could do this. Break it down into steps to make it more manageable, just like kaa-san always said. He took a deep breath.

Okay. One terrifying Senju trussed in bridal rope? Check.

One necessary solution? Check.

One plan of action for accomplishing it?

Kagami peeked at his surprise captive. Not so check.

Wow, this really wasn’t working. It was, in fact, doing the opposite of working; it was just highlighting how godsdamn surreal this whole situation was. I mean, really. Who expected to be so accidentally stealthy you accidentally take out a veritable titan? By accident!

Kagami glanced around nervously. He was still expecting those bloodline hunters to show up any day now. Could he just leave the Senju here and move to a new hiding spot? He bit his lip. Except that wouldn’t be right because bridal rope. You didn’t leave your new spouse to bloodline hunters, that was two steps from being a kinslayer!

Except the Senju wasn’t conscious so it didn’t count.

Still, it went against the grain to leave anyone behind to bloodline hunters.

Mind made up, Kagami hooked his hands under the Senju’s shoulders and hauled him into a sitting position, grunting a bit because the man was all muscle. If it was on the appreciative side then, well, that was his secret alone. Again, the man was all muscle.

‘Course, now that he had his hands on him he could feel the bandages under his shirt, which explains how he took him out in the first place. Kagami knew for a fact that Senju Tobirama had reflexes like pure lightning and all the preternatural reaction time of a natural Sensor. No way his dinky, improvised rope trap could have taken him by surprise without a hell of a handicap on his side.

Kagami shook his head and berated himself for woolgathering; now was not the time. He dragged the limp Senju towards the tree and began the laborious process of hauling him up. It was an actual wonder the Senju remained unconscious the whole time because Kagami was definitely not graceful about it.

And because the gods were laughing at him today he’d no sooner set the Senju down before he was springing up, fully awake, no sign of his definite concussion slowing him down. On the one hand, the Senju had escaped the rope so yay, marriage proposal voided! On the other hand he was now in close quarters with a likely pissed off Senju Tobirama and oh.

Oh, this was bad.

Kagami pivoted, ducking under the Senju’s attempt to grab his collar and leaping over the edge of the tree-bowl. Or he would have if the Senju hadn’t snapped the rope through the air like a whip, and really there was definitely chakra involved in that little trick because silk rope didn’t work like that, and caught him around the middle, yanking him back. Oh fuck, he was about to be mincemeat.

Not that the ability to turn someone into mincemeat wasn’t a desirable quality in an Uchiha spouse because it very much was and— focus. Upstairs brain only until further notice.

In short order Kagami found himself face down, tied up with his own bridal rope, screaming internally. Senju Tobirama just reciprocated his accidental marriage proposal what did he do what did he do what did he do—

“You panic very loudly,” Tobirama said flatly, tightening the rope until his captive squeaked.

Ohmygodswe’remarried!” Kagami blurted in a frantic rush, which what? He hadn’t meant to say that at all! Oh gods. Oh gods. Death was looming closer by the second. Possibly Jashin since there was no way this wasn’t going to be agonisingly embarrassing on his part. Or just agonising. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

Tobirama paused, nimble fingers stilling halfway through a knot. “I beg your pardon?” His inflection alone conveyed his firm disbelief. Kagami really wished he’d at least get off him because the thighs bracketing his hips were conveying his firm...everything else.

It was very distracting.

Ahem.

He meant distressing. Yeah.

“We’re married,” Kagami groaned and let his forehead hit the bark with a thump. “I thought you were unconscious, it doesn’t count if you’re unconscious but nooo. You were faking it!” He turned a glare on the Senju that was probably less baleful and more beseeching. “You were conscious, and you let me remove you to location of my choosing. Now it counts!

“That’s ridiculous,” Tobirama said, still flat but the furrow in his brow said concern. Either that or he was wondering if Kagami thought he was really that gullible, which, ha. If only this was a bluff.

“And then you reciprocated!” Kagami was on a roll now, nothing could stop the rant. It was the Uchiha Clan’s other kekkei genkai. “You tied me up with my own bridal rope. After I took you to a location of my choosing! If you’d just escaped while we were still on the ground this wouldn’t be happening!” An aggrieved groan built up in his throat. “Why is this my life now? I’m going to be disowned for marrying a Senju. By accident.”

“Why were you arming traps with— what did you call it? Bridal rope? —if you didn’t want to be married?” Praise be, Tobirama finally moved off him. Kagami tugged at his bonds and stifled an embarrassing noise; Tobirama was really good at tying people up, there was hardly an inch of give.

Kagami mumbled a bit.

“Speak up,” Tobirama said impatiently.

“I ran low on supplies, okay?” Kagami wriggled onto his side, trying to keep the Senju in his sight because hello, ancient feuding enemies. “It was the only thing I had on hand.”

Judging by the blank expression Tobirama was supremely unimpressed. He was gingerly feeling around the bloodied lump on his skull, his pupils slightly different sizes. Kagami mentally checked it off the list of symptoms for a concussion.

“You do know there are bloodline hunters in the area, right.” He said it like a statement, like of course Kagami ought to know, which he did, and of course Kagami was an idiot for using it anyway, which he kind of was. He couldn’t say he appreciated it being pointed out.

“Wait, how did you know that?” He was pretty certain Tobirama had come from the opposite direction.

“I killed one earlier today,” Tobirama pulled up a sleeve, showing the bandages underneath.

Kagami mulled that over. “Did he have a scar across his forehead? Favored paralytics?”

“And partnered with Kakuzu of Taki,” Tobirama confirmed with a short nod. “Kakuzu’s left the area. I don’t think he’ll be back.”

“Oh, that’s a relief,” Kagami sighed. Relief would be short lived as the Senju leaned forward and rolled Kagami onto his back, forcing him into an arch lest he crush his hands. Scratch that, still relieved. The awkward position hid him working furiously at the knots.

“Now to figure out what to do with you,” Tobirama murmured, seemingly not addressing Kagami at all.

“Uh,” Kagami gave a nervous laugh. “Do? Why do we need to do anything? I mean, this whole thing was completely unintentional. Um. You wouldn’t widow yourself so soon, would you?”

“I don’t think I believe you about this marriage thing,” Tobirama stated. “I’ve never heard of this custom.”

“Why would you have?” Kagami blinked earnestly. “We don’t bride-nap— battle-marry,” he hastily corrected himself, “we don’t battle-marry Senju. It’s frowned on.” Then his eyes went wide as a hand fisted in his collar and the Senju pinned him with his body again, expression extremely displeased.

Bride-napped?” And oh. Oh, why did he have to be so pretty when he was snarling mad? Kagami’s life would be infinitely easier if that wasn’t so. At the very least he wouldn’t be concerned about hiding inappropriate reactions.

“Uh, is it too late to ask you to forget that?” Kagami attempted a winning smile.

“Yes. It is,” Tobirama said grimly. One hand went for a kunai and oops, time to go!

Kagami planted his feet and bucked, twisting to the side. He pulled an arm from the loose rope and caught the Senju’s wrist and with the other grabbed his collar and twisted them completely over. Kagami may not be of the caliber of Senju Tobirama but he was a dab hand at taijutsu and the weight of a full grown man, strategically applied, could still pin a warrior just as effectively.

Unfair, Kagami cried mentally. Tobirama also looked pretty spread out on his back, hair wild and arms pinned above his head. Why did he have to be a Senju? Why couldn’t he have been a Hatake, or, or a Hagoromo? At least those would have been acceptable to bring home.

“I really think we ought to talk about this more,” Kagami said imploringly.

“I’m done talking,” Tobirama said through gritted teeth. Oops, right, concussion, sudden movements were bad.

“Oh, do you need to throw up?” Kagami shifted back a bit. “I can, uh,” he glanced at the short hair and the face guard holding it back, “rub your back? I mean, if you want.”

Tobirama stared at him with an indecipherable expression. “If I throw up,” he said slowly, “it’ll be on you.”

“Well that’s...not how I pictured my wedding day going,” Kagami blinked at the sudden blast of killing intent in his face. “Admittedly, I did picture that.”

“Whatever you’re thinking of doing—”

“Whoa, hey, none of that!” Kagami cut him off quickly. “Definitely none of that! Consent is sexy! Preferably unconcussed too!”

The snarl faded back into neutral wariness. Kagami supposed that was better than the alternative. Also, slightly insulted because that kind of shit was low, and Kagami would sooner gut himself. But whatever, longtime enemies. Misconceptions were to be expected.

“Fine,” Tobirama huffed. “Say I believe you. How do you expect this to go, realistically? Our Clans won’t accept this union. I daresay their responses will go far beyond unaccepting. It’s better if we divorce.”

This at least was familiar grounds; convincing the new spouse not to head for the hills and gut everyone on the way. Typically it happened during the courting process leading up to the bride-napping— battle marriage, but Kagami was nothing if not adaptable.

Also, he doesn’t want the Senju Clan to put a bounty out for him if he somehow survives failing to convince his lovely new spouse of his merits.

If, you know, his own Clan didn’t beat them to the punch.

Tobirama shifted under him and Kagami shifted with. It wasn’t easy to keep someone near your size pinned down with bodyweight alone; they shifted, you shifted, certain positions couldn’t be held for too long, grips could weaken as your muscles spasmed and cramped from too much sustained tension. Any shinobi worth their salt knew that.

And Tobirama was like a salt mine unto himself.

Speaking of, he jerked one of his distractingly long legs out of Kagami’s hold and planted his foot, trying to roll them. It didn’t work on account of a sudden surge of dizziness, managing only  a weak buck of his hips. Kagami watched, slightly fascinated, as his pupils contracted unevenly.

“Tell you what, why don’t we put this on hold until you’re of sounder mind and body again.” Kagami said, opting to be the voice of reason here. Or the voice of dodging repeated assassination attempts. Either, or. “You’re not exactly in any condition to kill me, and I don’t want to kill you. If I wanted to, I could just leave you here and make you spend however long it takes for you to find me again to discuss divorce proceedings.”

“There is nowhere you can go that I won’t find you,” Tobirama said, calm and implacable and dangerous as fuck, oh my gods! Kagami had the shivers. “I still don’t believe you.”

Kagami tried not to gulp to audibly, “You might not, but my Clan will. And more importantly, your brother might.” Tobirama froze under him, eyes wide. “So can we agree to wait until further notice? Please?”

After a tense minute wherein Tobirama’s hard stare bored right into his soul, Tobirama went limp with a groan. “Will you at least stop sitting on me if I say yes? Your knee is digging into a stab wound.”

Kagami leapt off him with a frantic ‘eep!’


All in all, Tobirama had to be the surliest patient Kagami ever had the misfortune to share close quarters with. And he once shared a sick room with Madara-sama himself! Kagami pushed that memory away with a slight shiver; flu season was particularly nasty that year and no one got out unscathed. No one.

It wasn’t that he complained a lot, in fact he was disconcertingly quiet. It was that he exuded such a deadly air of fuck off it gave Kagami the shivers. And not entirely fearful shivers at that,  curse those Uchiha tendencies. Now that he let himself consider Tobirama as a potential mate he couldn’t seem to make himself stop.

Not that he hadn’t noticed how attractive the man was, um hello, he had eyes, it was just...personality, yeah. He was finally getting a handle on the man’s personality and surprise, surprise, it was all spikes. Yay him, what a blessing the gods laid at his feet. Can’t you see him jumping for joy?

Tobirama curled an arm under his head and buried his face in the crook of his elbow, letting out a quiet exhale. Kagami manfully resisted the urge to offer a pillow. It had taken two whole hours before the exhaustion and pain had driven the man to finally rest, trying to make friendly overtures would just set them back again.

But that’s alright, he mused; the spikiest fruits tend to have the softest centers. It was all a matter of finding the right seam to crack. And Uchiha were nothing if not keen sighted when it came to details.

“I can hear you plotting,” Tobirama said, slightly muffled by his elbow.

“What?” Kagami startled, hastily looking away so it didn’t seem like he was staring. Then he panicked about taking his eyes off someone who (probably, definitely) wanted to kill him and looked back, accidentally catching the Senju’s gaze. “I wasn’t plotting!”

Tobirama sighed through his nose, irritation loud as noon day sun.

“Whatever plans you’re making to ‘convince’ me of marriage; forget them. I’m not interested,” he said flatly.

“I—was not,” Kagami said weakly. Actually, the light of inspiration was shining on him now, a direct contrast to all the other times he was put on the spot and had only confused gesturing to aid him. “I was just wondering if the nearby towns allowed for divorces without requiring prior paperwork.”

Tobirama slowly lifted his head, intrigued.

“That would depend on how much shinobi traffic they get.” He pointed out. And that was a true kicker.

A town with high shinobi traffic would of course have a reputation among certain circles for discreet legal procedures having to do with marriages, divorces and those oh so messy inheritance laws that for one reason or another couldn’t be done ‘in-clan’ as it were. On the flip side, such towns were marked on certain hush-hush maps unique to each clan for the occasional ‘can I find blackmail here?’ intelligence run. They were usually a lot of fun when they weren’t about your clan.

Kagami would really, really, really, prefer for his family to not find out about this escapade through a blackmail and gossip trawl.

He’d never hear the end of it, for one.

“Ishimura two days west sees enough shinobi to justify such amenities,” Kagami offered. It was technically in neutral territory yet was also close enough to Uchiha territory that Kagami could discreetly swipe the paperwork if need be.

It also gave him two days to charm his new spouse into changing his mind or cementing his decision to divorce forever.

Tobirama’s gaze was fuzzy in the manner of one who couldn’t quite see right but it was no less sharp.

“Fine.”

 

Chapter Text

So the part where he said Ishimura was two days away? Yeah, screw that. It was at least twice that distance with Tobirama in the state he was in. Five minutes and a mere twenty yards from the tree and he was already braced against a different tree, miserably heaving his guts out. Should he avert his eyes from this? Were they still in that phase of the relationship where they were embarrassed to be gross in front of each other?

Hmm, there was no feasible way Kagami could reassure Tobirama without really jumping the kunai on this. Damn.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to rub your back?” Kagami asked from just out of swiping range because he is not, despite recent evidence, actually an idiot. “We don’t have to go to Ishimura right away, you know, we can wait until you’re feeling better. I’m not sure being upright is good for you in this condition anyway. Do you want some water? Something to settle your stomach maybe? I think I have some rice cakes in my pack, those ought to be inoffensive enough—

Please,” Tobirama moaned in pain, “shut up.”

“Sorry!” Kagami whispered, shoulders hunching in chagrin. Sometimes he just couldn’t help himself. Babbling like a nervous brook when the uncertainty had no obvious objective to be channeled into.

Wow, he really was making a poor showing off himself in front of his ailing spouse, wasn’t he? He was raised better than this!

Tobirama gagged again, spitting up empty bile with a tight, pained noise. With a quick prayer, Kagami took his life into his own hands and edged close enough to grab Tobirama by the elbow and steer him to a different tree where he wasn’t getting a faceful of stinking acid. Kagami knew for a fact that sometimes it was the smell that kept you heaving, rather than any further desire to vomit.

Tobirama let himself be led willingly enough, staggering and grey faced, to sit on a nice moss patch or at least Kagami hoped it was a nice moss patch. It might be Fire Moss, the kind that burned like acid and left little burrs in your skin that caused painful flare ups for weeks after and was unmercifully identical to regular moss because plants were the actual most hateful things in existence.

Kagami loved Fire country forests.

No, really.

He was going to take the lack of screaming and thrashing as indication he got the right moss this time. An extreme relief to be sure; he has a niggling suspicion Izuna has yet to forgive him. Kinda like he won’t forgive him for marrying his sworn rival, but eh. Kagami was trying not to think about it too hard.

He did want to be able to sleep at some point, after all.

Kagami untied his water bottle from his belt and offered it with what he hoped was a helpful expression. At Tobirama’s dubious yet fuzzy glare he took a sip to prove it was untampered, or at least unpoisoned which is the important bit here. Proving himself trustworthy.

Without a single change in expression, Tobirama pulled out his own water bottle to rinse his mouth out with.

“The lack of faith you have in your husband is just hurtful,” Kagami said, because that’s the kind of thing that needs saying in a marriage. Honesty and clear communication, as his mother says. And she’s on her third husband so she would know, right? Right.

Tobirama looked torn between exasperation and offense, luckily for Kagami’s future of breathing in general exasperation won out. Probably because taking offense would also take more energy than he was capable of right now. The man snorted loudly, then curled in pain, cradling his forehead, “Don’t make me laugh, Uchiha, we’re barely more than strangers.”

“So we do the get to know each other thing.” Kagami shuffled closer, bending so Tobirama can see him and smiling winsomely. “I don’t think we ever actually introduced ourselves. I’m Kagami, and you are?”

“Perfectly aware you already know who I am,” Tobirama said, dry as dust, easing himself back against the trunk.

Well, yes, so did every other shinobi in Fire country with a working brain and a bingo book, Kagami pouted inwardly, that wasn’t the point! The point was to make an equal effort! Okay, okay, be cool Kagami, he told himself, gotta remember he doesn’t know the steps like you do. Running for the hills and gutting, avoid at all costs.

Well, maybe just most costs, he amended. People who actually meant at all costs generally didn’t have anything left to lose and that was a dangerous position for an Uchiha to be in. It tended to result in fire and screaming. Indiscriminately.

“Explain how it is we’re married.” Tobirama demanded sternly, or, well, he tried at least. Kagami would give him points. “Because I still don’t understand how you came to that ridiculous conclusion.”

Oh,” Kagami sat back on his heels, conflicted. “Um.”

Welp. He had to ask the hard one.

Uh oh, those brows were starting to furrow dangerously.

“Uh, I can explain!” Kagami hurried to assure, smiling nervously. “It’s just— we don’t really— there are some things— I can’t tell you if we’re getting divorced!” He slapped his hands over his mouth, eyes panicked.

What.”

Wow, where did the amicable mood go? Kagami stifled hysterical laughter. This was, not going as intended. At all.

“I mean—” He pulled his hands down. “I mean, we’re not supposed to tell Senju these things. Ever.” Kagami widened his eyes for emphasis. “It’s different if we’re married, but if you insist on a divorce then I can’t tell you. It’s the law. Clan law, I mean. Obviously.”

“You can’t tell me.” Tobirama repeated flatly. Kagami winced. Tobirama put his head back in his hands.

“Um, are you—?” Kagami trailed off awkwardly. Should he pat him on the shoulder? Would he get to keep all of his fingers if he tried? Would dithering bite him in the ass again? Wait, stupid question, it absolutely would.

“Gods damn my curiosity,” Tobirama growled and shoved himself to his feet. Kagami scrambled out of the way with a noise that most certainly wasn’t anything like a squeak as Tobirama lurched, dizzy, but managed to keep his feet. “Let’s go, Uchiha, I don’t have all week.”

Oh, the sweet, sweet sensation of dodging a kunai.

“Is that you agreeing to this marriage or are you shelving this conversation for later?” Kagami called after him.

Tobirama snorted derisively, “What conversation? I don’t even remember what we were talking about.”

“...Oh my gods, how badly are you concussed?!"


 Night fell quickly around these parts and Kagami insisted they stop to break camp. Well, he says insisted, it was more like he loudly admired potential campsites for the last half hour until Tobirama’s headache outweighed his spite. Kagami wanted to think that was purely his own skill but he knew, deep down in his heart of hearts he knew, he had a head start.

In revenge, Tobirama demanded Kagami set up camp by himself since he was seeing double thanks to him.

Which, fair. That was his fault. Ish.

He was even conscientious enough of his poor ailing spouse to set up his bedroll first before moving to secure the perimeter and build a discreet fire. Kagami was such a good husband. He had this married thing on lock. Look at him go, being one half of a unit.

Tobirama sat stiffly on the bedroll, face scrunched, suspicious and pained, and at first Kagami thought it was at him until he moved and Tobirama’s gaze didn’t, fingers digging into the earth. Sensing, he realized. Then he was concerned as the frown lines on Tobirama’s face deepened.

He briefly considered asking if the concussion was interfering but ultimately deemed that a doomed venture. It was too early to be so straightforward, Kagami had to pick his way delicately. Like luring a stray cat close.

“That armor can’t be comfortable to sleep in,” is what he does say. Immediately, he wants to smack himself. What? Just what. What happened to picking his way delicately?!

“Don’t you start.” Tobirama pointed warningly at him, or well, Kagami assumed it was at him. Tobirama was pointing a little off-center. Rest assured, Kagami’s hallucinatory double was well warned.

He knew better than to say that outloud though. You didn’t need pinpoint accuracy when you could throw tidal waves.

“Come on, you’ll be arched over the back all night and wake up even more sore,” Kagami coaxed, resisting the urge to shift closer. Might as well commit, it was better than giving awkward silence a chance to settle. “I can’t even imagine trying to sleep on your side in it.”

“You have a very poor imagination then,” Tobirama retorted, but reached for the laces on his armor gamely enough, tugging the knots loose.

Do not make a dirty joke about imagination and taking his armor off, do not make a dirty joke about imagination and taking his armor off. Kagami hastily returned to poking at the campfire, hoping his face wasn’t broadcasting his sure to get him killed dirty thoughts. And reminded himself that he liked being among the living, and not in pain. Not just theoretically, but factually.

Tobirama made a noise like a stifled groan just as a sturdy breastplate was dropped in the corner of Kagami’s vision, and he looked up to find the Senju sprawled on the bedroll, gingerly massaging his forehead. Kagami opened his mouth to say something when his gaze was abruptly caught by something else and his voice died a swift death in his throat.

There, in the orange light of the fire, was a strip of pale skin where Tobirama’s shirt had ridden up.

Oh no. Kagami was so fucked.

It was just, such a tantalizing peek. The light caught the fine, pale hair of his happy trail and cast blue shadows like the ghost of a lover’s kiss, a path of benediction that made Kagami’s mouth water to think of tracing. The puckered edge of a scar, pearlescent with age, peeked out from under his pants, beguiling with the mystery of how far down it went—

“Why the hell is your sharingan on?” Tobirama asked flatly, hands pressed to his eyes.

Kagami flushed, and yelped “No, it isn’t!” a bit too high pitched to be believable. He flushed harder and blinked away the crystal clarity. The world fuzzed back to normality, taking those mouthwateringly lovely details with.

Then he checked his chin for drool for good measure.

Oh, thank the gods. He didn’t.

“I can detect the minute fluctuations of an active sharingan in my sleep,” Tobirama dryly informed him. The implied you moron somehow managed to be equally dry, which was kind of impressive.

“Wow, really?” Because if so, that was really cool— “Wait a sec, how lightly do you sleep?” Now that was critical information.

Tobirama lifted a hand to stare heavily at him out of the corner of his eye, “I guess you’ll find out.”

Okay, he kind of walked in to that one, Kagami thought with a wince. And hey! It was only a little mocking! Progress. And in the name of said progress Kagami graciously ceded the last word to him and busied himself with his own bedroll. Did this count as going to bed angry at your spouse? He didn’t think so.

Oh well, if he woke up in the middle of the night to Tobirama trying to stab him in his sleep or some such at least he can trust that his vision was wonky enough to make him miss his vitals on the first try. Presuming Tobirama wasn’t playing up the severity of his symptoms to get Kagami to let his guard down, of course. They were both mature shinobi here, a little duplicitousness was to be expected.

Speaking of symptoms…

“Hey, Tobirama, do you need me to wake you up every hour or something?” Because as much as the guy looked like he needed a solid eight hours, Kagami would rather he didn’t slip into a coma or something.

Tobirama sighed softly, finally lowering his arms entirely. “It should be long enough since the initial injury to be fine. Blacking out at the time was worrisome, but as it was only for a few seconds I shouldn’t need such measures right now.”

A few seconds. A few. Wow. And here he was hoping Tobirama hadn’t had a front row seat to his finest panicking. Kagami winced.

“It’s too bad neither of us know iryo-jutsu,” Kagami lamented, collapsing on his bedroll with a huff. “That would sure come in handy right now.”

“I do,” Tobirama grunted.

“Do what?” Kagami said blankly, before realization occurred. “Oh. You do? Then why haven’t you…? Oh wait, brain injury. Is there some kind of rule against using iryo-jutsu on your own brain when you're  the one concussed?”

Was Kagami dreaming or did he detect a hint of a smirk?

“Not quite,” Tobirama huffed. “It depends on the severity and level of skill. A skilled healer can revert themselves back to baseline, as it were, if the injury is mild enough. It’s just, not my area of expertise.”

Kagami nodded knowingly, “You’re more of an emergency service kind of guy then. Making sure people stay alive long enough to get to a medic. I see.”

“I imagine there’s little you don’t see,” Tobirama said dryly, and it took a second to click that he was… Holy shit, was that a joke?

Kagami almost sat bolt upright from the shock of it. Holy shit, there was a sense of humor in there after all! He knew it! He buried his face in his collar so his elated grin wouldn’t freak the Senju out. Half certain that if he made any kind of production over this he’ll never see it again.

“Was that a compliment?” he asked when he was sure he was no longer grinning like a fool.

Tobirama snorted, softly but no less derisively, “If I was going to compliment you, it wouldn’t be for something as banal and obvious as your ability to see. That’s so dull.”

Kagami made a mental note to show off as much as he possibly could without getting caught. It would be tricky with someone as canny as Senju Tobirama but time was of the essence. He was going to need every advantage he could get in this race.

“What a shame,” Kagami lamented, rolling onto his back. “I have such pretty eyes.” To complete the picture he even threw his arm over his forehead. He felt a surge of triumph as Tobirama made a stifled noise, like he couldn’t decide if it was humorous or ridiculous but either way it warranted a laugh.

“Does that line actually work for you?” Tobirama asked incredulously, carefully turning his head to see him better.

“It made you laugh,” Kagami pointed out, a slight grin tugging at his mouth. “So I guess it does.”

“You’re ridiculous,” Tobirama said, still edged with incredulity. “I shouldn’t be surprised, this whole situation is ridiculous. But you, you are the most ridiculous part of it.”

“I can safely say I’ve never been accused of taking myself too seriously,” Kagami laughed softly, mindful of being too loud. Honestly, when you live in this era there was laughing and there was crying, both were cathartic but only one was appropriate around strangers. And he wasn’t particularly interested in sharing his tears carelessly.

“I never would have guessed,” Tobirama said dryly.

“It’s all part of my charm.”

“You think you’re charming? I might have some dire news for you…”

“I’m very charming, excuse you. I’m not dead yet, after all.”

“That’s just because it seemed a little sad to hit someone in the middle of their last prayers.”

“Hey! Rude!” Kagami rolled over properly to give him a miffed scowl. “I wasn’t panicking that much.”

Tobirama eyed him back, politely skeptical. “You were begging the gods to not let Jashin near you, or rather, your soul. Which, I suppose is roughly equivalent to begging for higher mercy…”

Okay, there may have been some of that. Maybe. But only a little a bit! Bringing it up was totally uncalled for! There were extenuating circumstances involved; it’s not Kagami’s fault Tobirama was nominally so terrifying as to necessitate his own drinking game.

Not, not that Kagami would happen to know anything about them.

“I don’t see what that has to do with anything,” Kagami grumbled, burying his face in his high collar.

“Oh, you don’t?” Tobirama smirked and settled back on his bedroll with a slight wince. “So much for your pretty eyes.”

Oh fuck.

A backwards roundabout agreement that he had pretty eyes.

Kagami felt he had much in common with a puddle as of this moment, melted by the burn on his face that he was so, so thankful Tobirama couldn’t see. This was probably his entire imagination at work but screw it, what solace did he have but his imagination in these trying times?

“The fire’s getting low.”

“Oh? Oh, yeah.”

Kagami propped himself up on his elbow and fed another branch to the fire, carefully prodding it back to glowing life. He built it small, more for light than for warmth. August was still hot enough that even the comparatively cooler nights were still warm enough to warrant no more than a travel blanket.

“What’s this Ishimura like anyway?” Tobirama asked.

“It’s a fortress town,” Kagami said, slurring around a yawn. “Well, it was a fortress town. A lot of the original stone was repurposed into smaller buildings, hence the name.”

“Very nice, now what about politically?”

“Um, fairly neutral with good relations with my Clan?” Kagami said, shifting a bit to ease the weight on his elbow. “It’s not like Tanzaku-Gai where it’s entirely Hyuga territory, if that’s what you’re asking. You won’t be run out with pitchforks as soon as we’re divorced, I promise.”

Tobirama huffed, “I’m holding you to that.”

Kagami valiantly resisted the urge to joke about holding him in other ways.

“Consider me held.” Oops, looks like some slipped out anyway. At least it was better than the alternative. Comparatively.

Tobirama shot him an odd look but seemed content to ignore the comment.

“Just so we’re clear then.”

 

Chapter Text

A quiet whine woke Kagami, tight and pained.

It sent him jolting upwards, startled, casting about for the disturbance only to land on Tobirama, trying to sit up. He was curled over on his elbow, cradling his forehead, face scrunched unhappily.

Exhaling quietly, Kagami glanced up at the overcast sky. It was difficult to determine with the heavy cloud cover but his keen eyes found traces of dawn’s aftermath, a suggestion of color on grey and white where ordinary eyes would see only heavy monochrome. In short, it was still abominably early. With a concerned frown he rolled onto all fours and shuffled over to his ailing spouse’s side, reaching out to touch his shoulder only to be intercepted by a hand blindly, clumsily, grabbing at his wrist. Tobirama kept his eyes clenched shut, mouth tight with pain.

Kagami swallowed around a twinge of guilt that was only half-rational. Shuffling around so he was sitting at a better angle, Kagami reached out his other hand and cradled the back of Tobirama’s head, sliding a thumb up his jaw, massaging his fingers through his hair, feeling tension release as he takes the weight into his hand.

Tobirama lolls as much as his palm allows with a quiet moan of relief.

“Hey, hey,” Kagami murmured, “let’s just take this easy now.” Tobirama went easily with his guidance, settling limply back on the bedroll. Kagami was… kinda worried at how harshly he was breathing through his nose, if determinedly evenly. Kagami laid down with him, gently pulling his captured wrist out of Tobirama slack grip and winding that arm around his shoulders, rubbing between the shoulderblades. “There’s no rush. We can take our time.”

The hand on Tobirama’s back slowly slid up his spine, easing over knots from a night spent on the hard ground, in pain. Bedrolls came equipped with a spongy pad in place of a pillow but they were hardly the most adequate replacement, just better than no support at all.

Kagami dug fingertips into a particularly dense one under Tobirama’s nape and Tobirama jerked, gasping, the muscles of his back slowly releasing awful tension that really could not have been helping his headache, Kagami thought with a wince. Note to self; check hydration and hunger too.

“Better?” He asked, mindful to whisper.

“Marginally,” Tobirama murmured back.

And perhaps it was Kagami’s wishful thinking but it did seem like the lines around Tobirama’s eyes had softened.

Then hands were fisted in his tunic and hauling him closer and oh shit! That’s a really red glare boring into his soul right there. Is this what rabbits feel before hawks? Kagami attempted a smile that was meant to be conciliatory but he’s pretty sure it’s just nervous and shaky.

Shit, shit, shit, using the sharingan would just make the situation that much worse, wouldn’t it? Kagami firmly told the anticipatory prickling to take a hike, he needed a different strategy.

Did he have one that wasn’t lethal at this range? Or undignified?

Welp, he had a good run.

So long cruel world. At least death was unfairly attractive.

And he got to put his hands on that. That was a bonus.

“Why are you so set on us being married?” Tobirama hissed, perfectly terrifying despite the shaking hands and vibrating pupils. “This is utter madness, do you realize? Our Clans would skin us alive as an example.”

A knot of unease formed in Kagami’s stomach. They’d made light of memory problems yesterday but Kagami hadn’t forgotten the possibility was all too real. And the look on Tobirama’s face said all too eloquently, I have forgotten several crucial things we agreed on already and also I will kill you.

The I will kill you part wasn’t blatant. Kagami was just assuming it was there by default.

Thank small mercies he didn’t forget they were married, that would be awkward to explain. Again.

“I think we both know that isn’t quite true,” Kagami said with more calm than he actually felt. Then he wanted to hit himself because what the actual fuck, did he want to die?! He hurriedly added, “Your brother would welcome it, for one,” before the spike of incensed chakra finished forming.

Please not the face, Kagami silently begged the gods who dictate his misfortune, that’s my money-maker.

“You know nothing of my brother,” Tobirama said in a deadly whisper that raised gooseflesh all down Kagami’s spine. And not entirely out of fear, damn Uchiha genetics. Shoving that aside for later, if there was a later, he grabbed for the fortifying response.

His temper.

“Well it’s not like his offers of peace are a secret,” Kagami retorted. “Whether the Clan believes the sincerity of his intentions is up in the air, but we’ve all heard his claims. We’ve all his heard his promises.”

“If you think you can take advantage of his goodwill—”

“I think we both know the problem is that no one has taken advantage of his good will!” Kagami snapped.

Tobirama fell gratifyingly silent.

“Would you like to know why that is?” Kagami continued, “Would you like to know why we’re all so tired and grief-maddened and still we don’t stop?” He dragged Tobirama closer by the grip he had on him, practically nose to nose, whispering hoarsely, “Because it looks like a trap.”

“It’s not—” Tobirama tried but Kagami cut him off ruthlessly.

He wasn’t panicking anymore.

“Our greatest and oldest enemy offering a ceasefire? Suspicious. A Senju Clan Head offering us peace without having been assassinated by his own Clan for the audacity? Literally unheard of. It looks too good to not be a trap waiting to spring. How could we not be suspicious? You would be too.

Tobirama’s grip on his tunic tightened, the harsh suspicion of his own giving way to begrudging agreement. Because it is unheard of.

“And no one wants to be the idiot who got his Clan slaughtered by being too trusting,” Kagami concluded fiercely.

“Ah, of course,” Tobirama scoffed, just as tired and bitter as Kagami felt about the matter. “And are you among that number? Because if so, I can’t imagine why you aren’t more vehement about us divorcing.”

Kagami hesitated, unsure how to… how to phrase this right. He’s not even sure he can phrase it right to himself. He remembers when, just a month ago, his neighbor’s adorable three year old girl had her dolls taken away in lieu of training kunai. He remembers the crying most of all, awful and heartfelt and bewildered by the loss of such precious things.

He remembers thinking at the time, ah, so it begins, and then was abruptly struck by the awful normalcy of it. How normal it was to hear a child crying for lost innocence and dismissing it as expected.

It was horrifying.

It’s hardly the only incidence he can think of but that one… That one hit hardest, somehow.

While Kagami was hardly one to be seditious, well, he’s not one to ignore opportunity when it came in such a pretty package either. What were foot soldiers for if not to make the mistakes their Clan Head’s couldn’t afford? And Kagami was an excellent foot soldier.

“I think,” Kagami tried, tasting each word before he let them drop like pebbles in a too still pond, like secrets. “I think, as we are now, that our Clans are locked in an untenable stalemate, and to let it sort itself out would lead to disaster. Of the unmitigated kind, mind. I think...” and here, a spectacularly awful, yet potentially amazing idea began to bloom. “I think if we want this stalemate to end favorably we need to be a little...more... proactive.” Kagami finished with a sly grin.

“What do you mean?” Tobirama asked cautiously, and aww, was that wariness? So confident even with a lightning user touching his spine and yet a little benevolent plotting put him on guard? Kagami could just coo. “I don’t like that look on your face. Stop it. I want no part in this.”

“Come on oh Suiton master, you know stagnancy is death,” and yep, that was definitely a coo. Wariness was shifting into disturbed was shifting into the nascent urge to scoot away. That wouldn’t do at all.

Kagami rolled on top, arms still wrapped around his pretty, prickly spouse, and any other time he’d have a been gleeful about getting so close, the way the lines of their bodies fit together. But now called for a different sort of glee. “You know I’m right,” he sing-songed, grinning wider at Tobirama’s cornered expression. “If we want the cycle to change we have to change the rules. Shove a stick in the wheel spoke, throw a rock in the pond, so on and so forth. The point is, we have to act. Come on, Tobirama,” Kagami was practically nuzzling their noses they were so close, “stir the waters with me.”

And in the next instant he was being flipped over, landing on his back with a breathless wheeze.

That could have gone better.

“You are disturbing!” Tobirama yelped, hauling himself to sit at the opposite end of his bedroll, pale from moving so quick. “Are you seriously suggesting this, this mess is beneficial for peace? What is wrong with you?!

“Ow,” Kagami wheezed in reply. His shoulders were feeling the wrench. Also, was that a rock his hip just landed on? Fantastic.

Tobirama surged to his feet, staggering at what was no doubt a sudden surge of vertigo and nearly falling back down. The bedroll was snatched, viciously rolled up, and shoved back into a storage scroll, the Senju fuming angrily all the while.

Well fuck.

“Wait,” Kagami rolled to his feet as well, nearly freezing at the utterly vicious glare shot his way. Double fuck. “Wait, Tobirama, please. Just, hear me out for a sec!”

“I am done listening to you,” Tobirama snarled, and okay, that was only mildly uncalled for.

You and your brother are going about this all wrong!

There was a long, tense moment as Tobirama visibly wrestled with his temper.

“What.”

“Uh, I just think…” Well, there went the surge of confidence. It was nice while it lasted. “You’re so busy telling us what we already know that it’s like you haven’t considered why we’re digging our heels in,” is what he settles on, because that at least is a truth.

“Explain,” Tobirama demanded.

“I mean, aside from the ‘it’s too good to be true, it must be a trap’ thing, you’re brother is an awful salesman,” Kagami stated. He had the extreme pleasure of seeing Tobirama actually do a double take. “Yeah, he’s charismatic and from what I hear from others pretty likable but he’s also—” Kagami made a noise of frustration, tugging at his curls. “It’s like he’s trying to sell you tea leaves before he’s convinced you to buy the tea pot!”

What.”

“Think about it,” Kagami urged, stepping closer. “How’s this village idea supposed to work if we don’t even have a token adjustment period first? That’s dumb.” And it really, really was in Kagami’s humble opinion.

Force people to live side by side before you’ve even given them a chance to get used to a ceasefire? Without the benefit of distance? Or time to heal? Sounded like a recipe for digging into old wounds to him, no one would heal right under that circumstance. It’d be a ticking time-bomb of repressed issues.

Kagami knows his people. That would be a disaster.

Tobirama hesitates, snarls in frustration, and looks away, and Kagami knows he has him.

“Don’t be so smug,” Tobirama chides him wearily. “Just because you’ve supplied one logical statement doesn’t mean you’ve won me over with this madness.”

“Excuse you, there were two logical statements,” Kagami huffed, taking another step.

Tobirama was looking less like a skittish murderous deer so that was probably a good sign. He was also choosing to interpret the considering askance look Tobirama was giving him as an even better sign.

“Ah yes, your suggestion we sow chaos via matrimony. Where was the logic in that again?” Tobirama rolled his eyes, crouching down to grab his armor.

“If you want to change someone’s mind sometimes that means you have to redirect their attention,” Kagami said sagely. “What’s more distracting than eloping with the enemy?”

Tobirama muttered something that sounded suspiciously like you’re a distraction and ignored him in favor of lacing up his armor.

Kagami silently lamented the way the breastplate hid how clingy the undershirt was.

Truly, a tragedy.

He takes the last step towards Tobirama’s side and bends down to murmur in his ear, “Would you at least consider what I’ve said?”

His pretty Senju spouse sighed, settling back on his heels to stare blankly at nothing in particular. Kagami was aware he was asking a lot from a man already struggling from a head injury, but hey. He’s a shinobi. With another sigh, more thoughtful this time, Tobirama nodded, once.

Victory! He cheered internally, trying not to be too smug as he offered a hand. Judging by the scowl he was less than successful in that venture, but oh well.

He was halfway to persuading his lovely spouse to stay married, what could possibly go wrong?

And because his life was actually ruled by capricious laughing gods the overcast heavens immediately opened with a boom of thunder, rain quickly following to drench them both.

Tobirama curled forward with a whimper, first from the noise, then from the constant pressure of water striking his aching skull. Kagami cursed, he grabbed for his spouse’s elbows and hauled him under the nearest dense tree, out of the worst of the downpour. Fuck, summer storms were the worst.

Tobirama clutched at him, fingers digging in hard enough to bruise, face buried in his shoulder as he tried to breathe through the abrupt resurgence of pain. Kagami cupped the back of his neck, having the presence of mind not to make soothing sounds, sound was counterproductive right now. He just focused on rubbing tension out of neck and shoulders, and, daringly, the base of his skull. It was probably doing shit all for the actual problem but Kagami knew better than to underestimate the importance of soothing touch.

Still, he doesn’t like there being thunder. Only fools and Raiton masters hung out under trees during storms when there’s thunder.

And Raiton masters were in short supply in Fire country.

“Come on now, let go. I gotta pack up camp.” He squirmed out of Tobirama’s grip with some regret. As nice as it was to just hold the man, their stuff was being soaked and he really couldn’t ignore it.

Fuck, I gotta get him to a medic, stat, Kagami thought worriedly, it just wasn’t natural to have Senju Tobirama reduced to such a pitiful state, wan and shaking and flinching at every too loud noise and too bright flash of light. This concussion was turning out to be way worse than he thought.

After hastily covering up the fire pit and rescuing his bedroll, and Tobirama’s surprisingly soft fur mantle, Kagami pulled Tobirama’s arm over his shoulder and helped him stagger away from the tree.

“And here I was hoping to beat the weather home,” Tobirama joked weakly.

“Yeah, so much for that,” Kagami chuckled, amused despite the situation. “At least it’ll be over soon?”

“At least,” Tobirama agreed, then cringed when thunder sounded in the distance.

Yeah, it couldn’t be over soon enough.

“On the bright side, we shouldn’t be far from town,” Kagami offered. “I think I recognize that snarly oak. I don’t usually see it from this angle, but I recognize it.”

Granted, ‘shouldn’t be far’ in this case translated to ‘we won’t be there until well after nightfall but probably before midnight if we’re lucky’. Key word here being: if.

Mud quickly accumulating underfoot made stepping an exercise in quick-thinking balance, hiding loose stones and dips and roots. Sucking at feet first, and then slipping. Not quite liquid enough for water walking to aid and yet too slick to be a solid surface. A source of much heartfelt cursing. If Kagami didn’t regret giving Tobirama a debilitating head injury before, he certainly was now.

As summer storms were wont to do however it passed quickly enough given twenty minutes and a whole lot of knifing wind to escort it on its way. They were both soaked to the bone, chilled, and sore by the end of it though the emerging warmth of the sun was a balm on their shivering. The light in Tobirama’s eyes not so much, no.

“So what are your thoughts on peace?” Kagami asked after the noise had died down, having graduated from mere support to full on seeing-eye Uchiha what with his spouse being so photosensitive as to be blinded. “Like, are you in it to support your brother, your Clan Head, or do you actually believe in it yourself?”

“You assume much if you think I separate my brother from my Clan Head,” Tobirama grunted.

Okay, disturbing. Kagami mentally shoved that aside for later. “So? Thoughts?”

A tight, aggravated sigh through a nose. “It’s the logical course of action.”

“Oh?” Kagami said after a too long pause in which it became evident Tobirama wouldn’t say more without prompting.

“Tell me something, Uchiha,” Tobirama squinted one eye open to shoot him a quick assessing look. “What do your histories say about the origin of our feud?”

Um…?

“Not a lot,” Kagami admitted, “but it’s been a thousand years. I imagine there’s been removals and revisions as suited the ideals of the day. We certainly wouldn’t have kept anything as incriminating as suggestions of fault that didn’t point to the Senju around.”

“Precisely,” Tobirama nodded, then winced. “There’s no telling how much of our early history has been doctored; whether by human hands or the simple ravages of times, all of it is suspect. I am a scholar, when my sources are suspect I verify their truth or I discard them. This feud is suspect and so I must—”

“Discard it,” Kagami finished quietly. Pensively.

“Precisely,” Tobirama said again. “At this point we’re just killing each other to kill each other. There’s no point. We’re just out hurt each other for the sake of the blood already spilled.”

“It is a not insignificant amount,” Kagami pointed out, not incorrectly.

“Doing something over and over again expecting a different result fits the definition of three things,” Tobirama said heavily. “Practice. Experimentation. And insanity.”

Oh, that didn’t say anything good.

After a thousand years no one could say they weren’t well practiced at their craft. Or that they hadn’t been tested to bone and sinew by hardships aplenty.

So what was left for them?

Well, Kagami thought ruefully, marriage will be interesting.

 

Chapter Text

Kagami could have cried when they exited the forest. And by could have, he meant did. A little bit. Maybe. Whatever, he wasn’t ashamed of normal bodily reactions. Who knows, he might have been preemptively clearing his eyes to deal with a problem later. Like, potentially escaping his sadly soon to be ex-spouse as soon as trying to kill him wouldn’t make Tobirama a black widower.

Ishimura was just a short field away, and even from here he could see the streets were dotted here and there with lit lanterns, illuminating the restaurants and shops and late night hangouts still open to evening traffic. Which, Kagami is so, so glad they made it before it got too late into the evening, thank the gods. You know, just in case.

They may be capricious, cruel gods but he wasn’t taking any chances, no thank you. He’s seen Madara’s karma in action and that is some serious cringe-worthy bullshit.

Worse. Madara knows he’s seen it.

“Do you happen know where the clerk’s office is?” Tobirama managed, leaning heavily on Kagami’s shoulder. He’d been listing badly all day, only pure determination and Kagami had kept him on his feet for so long and now it was catching up to him.

But ha! As if Kagami didn’t know where to find a hotspot of potential gossip; please, he’s an Uchiha. Half the pros of a sharingan was memorizing incriminating and/or embarrassing things for fun and profit! Not— not that Tobirama needed to know that before a first date.

“Are you sure you don’t want to rest first?” Kagami asked, though he’s pretty sure he already knows the answer. Still, worth a shot. And maybe a dose of common sense. As the only one not brain damaged it was his responsibility to be sensible.

The squinty glare said no, Tobirama did not want to rest first and if Kagami didn’t get a move on he was divorcing him in other, more painful ways that may or may not include gutting him and staggering for the hills. Or so Kagami translated it as. The glare was kind of weak, maybe it was just the headache.

“Uh, I think it’s over that way,” Kagami pointed with his best cheery smile; statistically unlikely to actually get him out of trouble but sure to give anyone pause.

Tobirama just stared expectantly, as if to say well? What are you waiting for? The night is young but not that young.

“Right, right, going,” Kagami muttered, hitching his spouse’s arm more comfortably. He couldn’t help but be dismayed. Two days turned out to not be nearly enough time to woo his reluctant Senju.

He really might have overestimated himself there.

Having been to the clerk’s office before, albeit much more, uh, clandestinely, Kagami knew it was between the liquor store and a female-oriented clinic. Because never let it be said the office didn’t know its own demographic. It was charmingly blunt like that, much like the rest of Ishimura.

Thankfully, it wasn’t so late in the evening that it was closed. A gruff looking man with a drooping belly of one gone to seed in middle age could be seen at the desk through the window, shuffling papers, and sipping from a mug. Kagami would feel bad for imposing on him at what was admittedly an unreasonable hour for a civilian, but hey, he was the one with the ‘Open’ sign still up.

The door opened with a jingle and Kagami winced in tandem with Tobirama; even to his ears that was a loud bell. Why do people even have those things, they were the worst sort of obnoxious to shinobi. There were other ways to alert employees to one’s presence without announcing it to all and sundry. And speaking of; the clerk took one look at them and scowled, leaving Kagami wondering what the problem is now.

“Sorry, boys, but no.” The clerk, whose name tag read Sugiwara and nothing else, put his hands on his hips and treated them to the most paternally disapproving frown Kagami had been subjected to in years.

“Excuse me?” Kagami asked, honestly baffled.

“Listen, boys, you can do the ceremony drunk, but you can’t do the paperwork drunk,” Sugiwara explained with an exasperated sigh, shaking a finger for emphasis. “It’s a matter of legality. I don’t care how madly in love you are, it can wait until you’ve slept off the hangover.”

“We’re not drunk,” Kagami protested, shifting Tobirama to be more upright. “We’re just—”

“Sure, son, say that when your fella’ can walk unassisted.” Sugiwara gave him a disbelieving look that invited him to pull the other one, he didn’t hear that particular excuse twenty times a day. “Now, you two need to leave and come back when I’m not closing up, you hear?”

“He’s telling the truth, I’m just concussed—” Tobirama tried only to be steamrolled over himself by gruff exasperation. “Of sound mind and body is more than just a pretty phrase, boys,” Sugiwara tutted. “Go on and get. To the clinic or your beds, I don’t much mind which. And drink some water; you do know dehydration makes a hangover worse, don’cha?”

In very short order they were herded back outside and the ‘Open’ sign reversed to say ‘Closed’ with utter finality.

“Um,” Kagami blinked at the night sky. “That didn’t go to plan.”

“Nothing about the last few days went to plan,” Tobirama retorted, then he chuckled tiredly. Kagami was riveted— mildly interested! He was mildly interested—! Oh, who was he kidding, he was riveted.

“Something funny?” He inquired lightly, shoving the urge to admire in a corner in favor of trying to remember where the general clinic was. The town was old enough it’d be by the temple wouldn’t it? Or connected, if it was older. Either or.

“Mm, I’ll tell you later, maybe,” Tobirama said with unexpected lightness. “I haven’t finished turning it over yet.”

“If you say so,” Kagami responded automatically, getting up on tiptoe to look for the temple roof and cursing his — not shortness, extremely average height-ness. “Can you see the temple? I think it has a shachihoko on the top, it’s pretty distinctive.”

“No, my vision’s compromised,” Tobirama said, startlingly honest. “But I think I saw something that might be it from a distance on the east side.”

“Sounds about right.” Kagami shrugged. “Clinic, then sleep? I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted. I think I tripped over every rock between here and our campsite.”

Tobirama snorted softly, nodding in agreement. “As good a plan as any.”

The general clinic was indeed by the temple, and, at this hour of the evening, staffed full of people running on caffeine and disapproval of others’ life choices that led them to the clinic at this hour of the evening. It was refreshingly apathetic.

A healer met them at the door; comfortably middle aged, an armband declaring she was temple trained and certified. Her name tag said Inoue. She cast a bland eye over their travel-stained clothes and dusty feet, then down at the clean floor, then back up at them. Kagami fought not to blush. “Trouble out on the road?” Inoue asked blandly.

Then she did a double take at Tobirama, glanced over Kagami’s face, looked back at Tobirama, and her eyes widened. A stone sank in Kagami’s stomach.

“You could say that,” Tobirama grunted, having covered his eyes and curled over Kagami’s shoulder to block out the light. Either not noticing or not caring about the alarmed healer about to announce their liaison to all and sundry contrary to every expressed desire he’d made before.

And Kagami couldn’t afford to err on the side of ‘didn’t notice’ which… He’d think about later.

“Aren’t you—” She pointed at...well, they’re general improbable closeness without trying to kill each other.

Kagami really should have thought of the downside of being an obvious Uchiha in a town close enough to Uchiha territory to know them by sight, in the company of someone with the Senju crest emblazoned on his forehead! Who even did that in this day and age, that was just— so gauche. So prone to getting perfectly innocent Uchiha implicated in small town scandal that might make it to the ears of his near and dear where he will never live it down.

Clearly, marriage was a mistake.

“No!” he yelps, “I mean, uh, no. No, we aren’t drunk,” he emphasized hurriedly, “we just...look like it. ‘Cause we’re tired and concussed. Speaking of which, I should just, sit him down over here. On this bench.”

“Kagami—” Tobirama starts, voice flat.

“Don’t you want to get off your feet?” Kagami dragged him into the room, away from the healer, more than a little desperately. He dumped Tobirama on a bench gracelessly, reaching for the happuri only to have his hands slapped away.

“Kagami, it’s fine!” Tobirama snapped.

“Um, it is not fine. You complained the whole way here about how not fine it is and now you’re alright with people knowing?” Kagami planted his fists on his hips. “Make up your mind already!”

“I am!” Tobirama snapped back, eyes squinting at the rising noise level.

“Yeah, it really is fine,” Inoue added dryly. “I’m not paid enough to care beyond patching you up.”

Kagami sighed, “Can we do that then?”


Finding an inn for the night thankfully involved a good deal less staggering now that one of them could walk more then ten feet without vertigo. Kagami is mightily relieved; he may appreciate that Tobirama is tall and muscular but it makes him damn heavy to cart about, however nice it was to have been pressed against each other.

The colorful, red roof and plethora of paper lanterns fit in well with rest of the district, bright and bustling with early nightlife. From the foyer, Kagami can hear the dull roar of conversation and the clink of dishes from the adjoined restaurant, the smell of spices and garlic creeping out to the front door to entice passerby inside.

The innkeeper manning the front desk gives them a far too perky smile for the hour of the evening, already thumbing through her ledger for a blank space. “Good evening! One room or two, gentlemen?”

Kagami barely gets his mouth open to say, “Two—” when Tobirama cuts him off with a terse, “One room is fine.”

“Uh,” Kagami said, because what do you say to that. I’m not going to run off on you, do I look like a deadbeat?

“Great!” She pulls out a handful of keys, the room tags clacking loudly in the awkward atmosphere. Or at least Kagami felt it should be awkward so he wasn’t the only one suffering. “Separate beds, or single?”

Kagami opens his mouth to give the sane answer — separate beds, of course — only for Tobirama to cut him off again.

“Single.” Tobirama makes a face that was probably intended to be happy but just comes off as grimly amused instead. “We are newlyweds after all.”

Kagami feels his soul leave his body for a moment. What in the name of every mirror Amaterasu ever owned was the Senju playing at!? Unwillingly, Kagami feels a kernel of hope that he tries not to look at as the innkeeper’s gaze darts from his face to the Senju-marked happuri dangling from Tobirama’s hip like she’s only just now noticing the absolute scandal checking in for the night.

Welp, this juicy piece of gossip will be all over town by morning.

Goodbye, Dignity, he’d only ever had a strained acquaintance with them but it was nice while it lasted.

“Okay,” the innkeeper draws out carefully, sifting through the keys. The one she pulls out, Kagami notes, would take them to a room furthest from the front desk. He’d be mildly offended if he didn't agree. Instead, he’s mildly chagrined.

“I’m sorry?” Kagami directed to the baffling Senju now towing him down the hall, taking care to keep his voice low. “We were just planning to get a divorce. Now you want to brandish our relationship around a town that gets enough shinobi traffic to know how scandalous it is?”

Tobirama huffed. “You said to make up my mind.”

“Because you were being weirdly back and forth on this at the last minute!” Kagami screeched softly, catching himself on the doorway of their room and refusing to budge. “I’ve a delicate constitution; I can’t be left on tenterhooks like this!”

Tobirama frowns impatiently but doesn’t try to tug. Free of lines from stress and pain, he looks— younger, Kagami notes with some surprise; lovely still, but less the beauty of a bared blade and more that of fresh snow, still soft and unmarred and inviting. It’s a good look on him.

When Kagami doesn’t back down, he sighs, letting his hand trail down from Kagami’s elbow to catch his hand in a gesture that Kagami might interpret as sweet under different circumstances. “After giving the matter some thought, I find I’m convinced of your reasoning to continue this union, however unorthodox.”

“Say what.

That wasn’t what it sounded like...was it?

Tobirama sighs again, louder. Kagami goes easily with his tug when he moves to draw Kagami into the room, absently shutting the door behind him to secure their privacy. None of the lamps have been lit in the room, all the light coming from the yellow glow of street lanterns through the window, casting them in an intimate twilight.

“I said,” Tobirama waved his free hand frustratedly, “it’s a good idea. This marriage,” he clarified. Kagami’s breath caught in his throat. “You’re right. We’re so caught up in our ancient patterns, we’re stuck in a rut and not one of us wants to be the first one to leave the comfort of familiarity. Our clans won’t get anywhere stalemated like we are.”

Kagami was aware he’s gaping but that’s rather a secondary issue. He stepped into the Senju’s space, free hand coming up to grab the front of his armor. “You want this marriage.”

“I just said that.”

“With me,” Kagami said, that tiny kernel of hoping swelling.

“That is implied.” The furrow of his brow definitely conveyed he thought Kagami was being unreasonably slow to get it.

Kagami let his head fall forward onto his spouse’s shoulder, taking a deep breath before tilting his head back to catch Tobirama’s gaze. “I hate to jinx myself, really I do, but— have you considered this while you aren’t brain damaged?”

“I’ve had adequate time to, yes,” came the droll reply.

If by adequate time his pretty spouse meant all of ten minutes, then by all means, he’s had adequate time. Kagami wasn’t going to be the one to point that out though, he’s not going to question Tobirama’s change of heart that much. Not when his hope and elation were swelling to full blossom in his chest, stealing his breath in the best of ways.

So happy was he, in fact, that mere closeness couldn’t suffice to express it.

Kagami stepped closer, one arm winding around Tobirama’s shoulders. Tobirama bent his head, expression curious, only to startle when Kagami planted a foot on the side of his knee, hauled his weight onto the arm wrapped around the Senju’s shoulders, and wrapped his free leg around his hips all in the space of a breath. Kagami dug his heel into the back of his spouse’s knee, since it was so conveniently in the area anyway, and sent the man staggering back to collide with the low footboard and topple back onto the bed.

Kagami has only a handful of seconds to savor the cuddle for in the next breath, Tobirama rolled them over and shoved a kunai against the soft skin under his chin, leaking killing intent. Tobirama blinked, annoyed and bewildered and annoyed about being bewildered. “Were you trying to give me another concussion?” He demanded.

Kagami just sighed dreamily — because he can do that now — in response. “It’s so hot when you do that.”

Tobirama groaned and discarded the kunai, sitting up with a thoroughly disgruntled look. One of Kagami’s thighs was caught between his own. Kagami tried not to make an undignified noise. “I question a great deal about your sanity. And my own for agreeing to stay hitched with you.”

Kagami can’t help a giggle. “What’s to question? If it’s deadly, it’s a yes. If it’s deadly and pretty, it’s a hell yes. And you, sir,” at this Kagami leers openly, “you are a hell fucking yes.” Much to his astonishment, and no little glee, Tobirama flushed pink.

“Shameless,” Tobirama chided half-heartedly, like he wasn’t the one all but straddling Kagami’s thigh. “We’re discussing a serious matter here. We’ll have to stagger our letters home if we want them to arrive around the same time, for maximum effect. I don’t know about your leaders, but I don’t want my brother blubbering about the happy occasion after they’ve had a chance to calm down and dig their heels in. Better to get all the screaming and carrying on out of the way all at once, I think.”

“That might backfire on us if they feed off each other’s freak outs,” Kagami pointed out, not unreasonably to his mind. Why calm down when you can springboard off someone else’s panic into greater heights of ridiculousness? His clan did so love to be unreasonably competitive.

“Do you have a better idea?” Tobirama asked, arching a cool brow.

“Besides entertaining futile daydreams of fleeing the continent? No, no not really,” Kagami replied. “I just want it noted that unaccounted for levels of frothing may be reached in reaction, and we should be prepared for that.”

“Noted and catalogued,” Tobirama said dryly. “Are we agreed then?”

Kagami gave it a minute’s thought. Did he have any more outstanding concerns that should be addressed? He frowned, absently ticking a mental list of his fingers; he survived braining the Senju Tobirama over the head and dragging his gracelessly into matrimony, he successfully convinced the deadliest (and hottest) Senju that isn’t Hashirama — the deadly part, not the hot part — that being married to him was a rational decision that would further peace efforts between their clans, said deadly spouse was also no longer suffering the effects of being brained… What was left?

Oh yes!

Kagami sat up, laying his hands on his lovely spouse’s lovely biceps both to balance himself and also because he couldn’t resist touching them. He smiled, wide and soft and charming. “May I kiss you?”

Tobirama stilled. Good sign or bad sign, Kagami didn’t know enough to tell yet. “I beg your pardon?”

“May I?” Kagami asked again. “You don’t have to if you don’t want, but if you’re willing, I’d very, very much like to.”

Tobirama peers hard at him for half a moment before huffing, the lines of his face softening into something like amusement. “I suppose it’s not quite a proper wedding without an ‘I do’ kiss, is it?”

“Oh, if you want a proper wedding I can get the rope out,” Kagami leered playfully, only for Tobirama to make an intrigued noise.

“There’s more to it then merely tying someone up?”

“There’s that too, it’s just sexier.”

But first, Kagami wanted that kiss.

 

Chapter Text

Tobirama’s mouth is yielding under Kagami’s. Not hesitant, no, Tobirama doesn’t know the meaning of the word. But content to go at whatever pace Kagami sets. It’s deliciously heady, like the first warm flush of good spirits.

They part slowly, the atmosphere heavy.

“So,” Tobirama said softly, “you were finally going to explain the marriage customs? I admit, I’ve been burning with curiosity for the last two days now.”

Kagami bit his lip, mouth curling into a grin.

“Let me help you out of your armor first.” He said, even as his fingers plucked at fastenings and knots on the breastplate, finding them easily despite the darkness. “We should be comfortable for this.”

He can’t help the delight when Tobirama lets him.

Tobirama eyes him with an indiscernible emotion as he produces the bridal rope, bright red silk coiled in his hands. Kagami grins wider. He goes for reassuring, “It’s a fairly simple ritual, really easy to pick up and follow along. Kind of had to be after so many generations.”

“And the reason I’ve never heard of it before?”

“Remember the part when I said Uchiha don’t battle-marry Senju as a rule?” Kagami shrugged, a bit sheepish. “And it, uh, doesn’t count as any kind of alliance if we seduce other clans’ members away from them. In fact, you might say it made other clans more determined to make off with an Uchiha for their own in retaliation. But never mind that! That’s a heavier topic for a later day.”

Tobirama settled further back on his heels, head tilting. “I see.” He said heavily in a way that implied he actually really didn’t. That’s okay! Kagami will probably have time to explain better latter. Tobirama gestured to the rope. “The first step?”

In response, Kagami loops the rope around the Senju’s right wrist, smiling winsomely, and weaves it down the forearm before tying it off.

“The proposal,” he explains, “is as much a statement of admiration as it is a test of skill. Look, it says, see how much you’ve captivated me that I’ve learned to weave with you in order to weave on you. It does presuppose that the pair in question have known each other a while though,” he admitted with an awkward shrug. “But Granny was always telling me that every courtship is different so, screw the rules I guess.”

“Indeed,” Tobirama said dryly, but the quirk of his mouth said amused so Kagami would take it. Then he frowned. “What would happen if I rejected the rope?”

“Then the proposal is considered rejected and trying again would be creepy unless you make an overture indicating you’ve changed your mind,” Kagami replied. He tugged lightly on the Senju’s arm, tracing a finger in between curls of rope. Muscle tensed under his touch, then relaxed, almost going limp. “If you accept the proposal then the next step is to let me move you to a location if my choosing. Traditionally, that’s just to remove the pair from the battlefield, for obvious reasons.”

“It’s not considered dereliction to leave the battlefield before it’s called?” Tobirama curled the hand of his rope-wrapped arm around Kagami’s wrist in turn, halting his motions. Tobirama readjusted his grip so he was properly holding Kagami’s hand, thumb sweeping over the knuckles.

Kagami shivered.

“Only if you failed to make arrangements with whoever’s the leader before hand.”

“Ah, sensible.” Tobirama tilted his head. “In that case, how do you want me?”

Kagami’s mouth went dry. He swallowed. Well, the long answer involved some creative and athletic sex positions neither were equipped or prepped for. The short answer was— “Come around to the head of bed. Please.”

Kagami lamented the lack of pretty spouse on his lap but the headboard offered way more back support than the footboard did, that’s for sure. Plus, pillows. Kagami was a great believer of pillows and all uses thereof.

Because they were still holding on to each other, Kagami ended up swiveling in place as Tobirama slid off and rounded the bed, settling cross legged and pushing the pillow upright so he wouldn’t be trying to dig the curve of his spine into the wooden headboard. Lamplight from the window gilded his features with a delicate gold, casting half in soft shadow. Kagami had a slightly silly urge to cup his cheeks to see if the shadowed half still felt as solid.

“And now?” Tobirama asked, soft, hushed, like he too was sinking into the intimacy of the moment.

“Now,” Kagami matches his softness, breathless with anticipation, “you reciprocate.” He proffered the end of the bridal rope.

The beat of his heart seemed too loud when Tobirama gently accepts it, running the silk of it over his palm before he wraps it around Kagami’s right wrist, tying their hands so close together that clasping them feels natural, the next logical step to brushing knuckles and palms against each other. Kagami shivered as Tobirama’s other hand rested on his hip, broad-palmed and hot to the touch, thumb rubbing right up under the hem of his shirt to brush bare skin in a tantalizing caress, coaxing him closer, into his lap.

“Oh,” Kagami breathed, “I like this.” And saying such canted his hips into Tobirama’s, enjoying the firmness of a warm body between his thighs.

Tobirama drew in a ragged gasp, almost a laugh, shifting to meet him. “Always so damn bold,” he said.

“You think so?” Kagami asked.

The glint in Tobirama’s gaze was fierce, but the curl of his mouth was undeniably fond. “I do. You never back down. Not once since I’ve met you.”

Heat suffused Kagami’s face. “Was your concussion so bad as to blind you to my constant state of panic up until recently? It wasn’t exactly graceful.”

“You panicked, yes, but you never once backed down.” Tobirama lifted their clasped hands, pressing a kiss to the back of Kagami’s palm in a move that left him a little stunned. “Oh, sometimes you backed off, but only to try again from a different angle. You’re not the type to let fear rule you, are you?”

If his face got any redder it would catch on fire, Kagami felt. Tobirama hadn’t been kidding about putting more effort into praise than merely calling someone pretty.

Tobirama, Kagami thought faintly, was going to be the absolute death of him, marriage or no marriage. The man was all but incapacitated by a vicious concussion, how the hell did he still notice all that? Not— not that he’s complaining about his virtues being admired, of which he has many, thank you.

Since he has no real response that wouldn’t end in weak sputtering, Kagami puts a halt to any further stunningly perceptive, and sweet, words by occupying Tobirama’s mouth with his own.

It’s an excellent decision.

Kagami swept a thumb over a tattooed cheek, and Tobirama leaned into his palm, free hand tangling in Kagami’s curls, tugging him to a better angle. He shifted closer on Tobirama’s lap, breath hitching at the welcome friction of fabric on his cock. It felt so good he did it again, and again until Tobirama was groaning into their kiss and arching under him, the prettiest shade of red flushing his skin.

Kagami wanted to see more of it.

His hand trailed down that sharp jaw, feeling the beat of Tobirama’s pulse under his palm, before dropping his hand to tug at the hem of Tobirama’s shirt, delighting in finally getting to touch. Smooth muscle and the faint ridge of scars under his fingertips, the soft hair under his navel that had intrigued Kagami so much yesterday. Tobirama made a soft noise of encouragement, and Kagami traced higher, shifting the shirt up—

Kagami encountered a bandage wrapped around Tobirama’s sternum and jerked back as if burned, staring aghast. “Oh my gods, I forgot you had other injuries! I’m so sorry!”

A sense memory of feeling bandages under a shirt as he hauled Tobirama up a tree helpfully worked its way to the forefront.

“Oh for—!” Tobirama rolled his eyes and yanked him back by the shirt. Kagami squeaked. “It’s fine! Between me and Inoue, it’s just about healed up. I was going to take the bandages off before bed even, I just got a bit— distracted.”

“If you’re sure...” Kagami pressed a kiss to the back of Tobirama’s bound hand. “We don’t have to do this tonight.”

“I am very sure. Don’t you dare stop now, you’ve gotten me all worked up.” Tobirama huffs, irritation mellowing. “I...appreciate the concern, nonetheless.” The corner of his mouth ticked up in a slight smile. “Just be gentle with me, Uchiha.”

Kagami flushed bright red. “Oh my gods, who says things like that in bed outside of bad erotica?”

“Someone judging your taste,” Tobirama deadpanned, right before shutting Kagami up with another kiss. And, well, that was a way better idea so Kagami went with it, melting into it with a pleased purr, hand going back to cradling Tobirama’s jaw. This time he went up instead of down, marveling at the softness of Tobirama’s hair, giving little tugs just to hear Tobirama’s breath hitch.

Tobirama’s hand dropped to Kagami’s hip, and Kagami let himself be coaxed back into a rocking rhythm on Tobirama’s lap.. He’s hard, the tightness of his pants an as yet deliciously sharp pressure on his cock. Tobirama’s hard under him. Hard and hot and so good to press into, to meet Tobirama move for move. Kagami would gladly do this all night, build the heat slow and steady, like a smelting furnace, draw out the pleasure until they were breathless with it.

This time, it’s Tobirama who paused.

Kagami made a plaintive noise. “What’s wrong?”

“Ah,” a hint of sheepishness flitted across his pretty spouse’s face. “It just occurred to me that we should probably locate lube before we take this any further. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t pack nearly enough clothes to just come in my pants.”

“Oh.” Kagami blinked, processing that no matter how hot and ego-stroking making Senju Tobirama come in his pants would be, it would mean not getting to touch. Oh. Yes. That. Erm, check the side table?” Tobirama being the one with a free hand on that side.

It took some shifting, made awkward by how they’re tied together, so Tobirama could lean down far enough to rummage in the side table.

“Anything?” Kagami asked, trying not to squirm and unbalance himself. The further Tobirama leaned the more his thigh pressed up against Kagami’s erection, sending delightful little frissons of heat coiling in his stomach.

Tobirama paused, glanced at him, looked back down, and made a considering noise, “Maybe in the bottom drawer?”

He leaned further, and Kagami squeaked, hastily drawing up on his knees to alleviate the pressure riding just this side of too much. A fine tell-tale tremor skipped across Tobirama’s shoulders. “You jerk!” Kagami accused, fight back his own laugh, “You did that on purpose!”

Tobirama glanced over his shoulder with a slight smile, “Guilty.” He held up a little bottle. “And triumphant.”

Kagami eagerly pulled him back, peppering his cheeks with kisses until Tobirama pushed him away with a huff that didn’t quite manage to cover his pleased blush.

“Stop distracting me,” Tobirama scolded, before sticking the bottle between their clasped hands and tugging Kagami properly into his lap. “This is important. Lube is important.”

“I’m only a little sorry.” Kagami smiled, a little helpless from how giddy he felt. He’s married! To someone strong, and smart, and willing to entertain his admittedly wild ideas. And, most importantly, tall. “Your face is just so kissable!”

“Kiss me later,” Tobirama said, exasperated. “Just get your pants off.”

Kagami laughed but gamely reached to tug his pant laces loose, shimmying it down enough to free his cock, knuckles bumping Tobirama’s as he does the same. It’s easy as anything to just— bat that pale hand away to press their cocks together, to watch Tobirama shudder, eyes fluttering, as Kagami lightly traces the pad of his thumb over the soft head, smearing pre-cum. Making his husband make pretty noises was about to be Kagami’s new favorite hobby, he could just tell.

But his pretty husband had a point so Kagami reluctantly stopped distracting him so he could go about the business of lubing them up properly.

Eyeing their clasped hands, Kagami was struck by an idea.

And he’d need a free hand, wouldn’t he?

“Here, let go of my hand a bit— yes, just like that.” And lo and behold, there was enough slack in the rope to fit their cocks between their bound hands.

Admiring the contrast of red rope, slick rosy flesh, and pale hands, the shadows they cast in the lamplight, Kagami couldn’t help but feel this was one of his better ideas.

“Is this even allowed?” Tobirama asked, amused.

“It’s my bridal rope. Who’s going to tell me otherwise?” Kagami shrugged. “Now kiss me. It’s later already.”

Tobirama’s mouth is still delightfully yielding. His hand is warm and obliging, moving in tandem with his own. Kagami drinks in his pretty noises and offers his own in turn, a mutual benediction. They chase each other up the precipice of pleasure, clutching shoulders, napes, hips, digging fingers into hair, where ever they can reach.

Tobirama breaks the kiss to trail more down Kagami’s throat. He gasps out a breathy sound when Tobirama nips under his jaw, worrying at the patch of skin with lips and teeth until Kagami’s sure it’ll leave a livid mark in the morning.

Right above the collar too, how scandalous, he thinks with distant amusement. I should return the favor. But the thought is stolen by a thumb tracing over his glans, and he lets it go gladly.

The hot coil low in his stomach winds tighter and tighter, ready to snap. All of him is drawn tight ready to snap; he’s shaking with it. Shook, and buried his face in his husband’s shoulder. It’s solid and warm and sturdy, and he can’t really resist the urge to sink his teeth into it. Doesn’t think about resisting at all.

Tobirama jerks under him, gasping sharply, grip spasming around his cock and it’s enough to send Kagami over the edge, shuddering apart with a cry. Tobirama’s still hard, still trembling on the edge, so Kagami nuzzled closer, buried his nose in the soft hair at Tobirama’s temple, rocks his hips and moans at the bright-sharp sting of sensitive nerves alight. And it doesn’t take more than a few to make his pretty husband come for him, to leave him slack and shivery under him and for him.

Kagami is content to slump there and enjoy feeling like his bones have been replaced with liquid warmth.

But the position isn’t the most comfortable for either of them now that they aren’t distracted, sadly.

Tobirama made a soft noise that wanted to be irritated, and would if he weren’t so relaxed. “We’ll have to untie to clean up.”

Kagami grunted against Tobirama’s shoulder, wrinkling his nose. He’d just gotten his pretty husband trussed the way he wanted him, did they have to untie so soon? That seemed so unfair.

“Yes, yes, the very height of unfairness,” Tobirama drawled, the tone of his voice suggesting he was rolling his eyes, hard.

Kagami flushed. Oops, he must have said that outloud.

Clearing his throat, Kagami eased off Tobirama’s lap, getting a good look at the traces of pink still fading from his cheeks. I did that, he thought, giddy all over again. I tied him, I wedded him, I bedded him. I’m the reason he wanted to.

Truly, he’s the luckiest.

With that thought bolstering him, Kagami offers a smile instead of pout as he and his pretty husband unwind the bridal rope from each other. Presses yet another kiss to Tobirama’s mouth before he lets him up off the bed even.

There’s a small bathroom adjoining their room, the electric light sudden and harsh and intrusive on the lamp-lit twilight when Tobirama flicks it on. Kagami winced, except the allure of washing his hands was stronger. And rinsing his shirt since he’d forgotten to take that off, and now he’s regretting it.

Well, good thing he has a spare, he considered ruefully. They probably have enough time to make use of the inn’s laundry too.

Giving the rope a quick rinse too, an idea occurs to him...

Then Tobirama pecked his temple as he brushed past, finished, so Kagami stuck that thought on a backburner for later. It can wait until morning. For now, there’s a soft bed, and his husband, and Kagami was rather more eager about getting to cuddle said husband to sleep than he was to go looking for red cord at this time of night.

Tobirama would look so lovely with red cord winding around wrist and forearm for the whole world to see.

There’s an awkward moment once they actually get under the covers, staring at each other in the quiet realization that cuddling probably won’t happen comfortably until they learn each other’s sleeping patterns.

“We have time,” Kagami said, drawing the blanket higher.

“Time,” Tobirama echoed. “Yes. Until our clans know.”

“Don’t say that, I want to sleep tonight!” Kagami pleaded, covering his husband’s mouth before he could say anything else. “Are you trying to give me nightmares?”

Tobirama smiled. “Goodnight, Kagami.”