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Experiments, Ego, and Expectations

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Tobirama’s day so far has been really quite good. He got to pet a total of three different cats on his way to the tower this morning, received two hugs from probably the most adorable kids ever, and he only had one new pile of paperwork on his desk when he walked in.

All in all, a magnificent Monday morning.

Even when Hashirama finally decides to show up—“No, Anija, you can’t keep using Mito as an excuse to come in later on Mondays”—his Monday is still magnificent.

Even Madara cannot muddle his morning.

(Ever since there’s been peace, Madara’s seemed to mellow out, if only a little bit. Tobirama’s not entirely sure what’s changed his mind about Tobirama being the scourge of all mankind for almost killing Izuna, but he concedes that it’s probably something he shouldn’t ask about.)

So Tobirama carries on cheerfully until after lunch, when the sharp, crackling chakra of Izuna suddenly veers towards his office. He holds in a sigh with great effort as his former rival walks in.

“Izuna, is there something I can help you with?” Tobirama even puts his brush down, to show that yes, he really is actively listening to Izuna.

“There’s nothing you want to say to me?” Incredulity coats Izuna’s words and Tobirama quickly reminds himself of the date—not Izuna’s birthday, nor any significant holiday—

“Really, are you blind, or are you just stupid?”

Tobirama senses a trap here, but can’t quite place a finger on why. “I am blind, clearly.”

There’s a pause.

“Go on, Senju, that’s a good start to your apology. I’m still listening.”

“What? That’s not an apology.” Nevermind that Anija specifically ordered him to stop apologizing for being blind before. Several times. In fact, the only reason Tobirama had stopped apologizing was because he learned tricks to compensate.

Izuna laughs, and his chakra pops along with it.

Tobirama just waits.

“Oh, shit”—there it is—“You’re serious? For how long? WHAT!”

“For nearly as long as I can remember—”

“NO FUCKING WONDER!”

Now it’s Tobirama’s turn to not understand.

“Ohoho~ that means I just need to change my approach.”

Tobirama tenses at that, casting out his senses to catch whatever it is Izuna is planning—oh. Oh. Quickly, he reels back his chakra because he’s never had someone intentionally rub their own against his. (Anija’s is always pressing against his own, heavy like a security blanket. Not at all like this.) His face feels hot because not only does Tobirama feel slightly violated, the emotions he skimmed off the chakra definitely point towards more, ah, intimate intentions.

“Heh, felt that, did you now?”

“I wasn’t aware you felt that way.” Tobirama’s Monday is now is complete disarray, and he feels terribly, terribly off-balance.

“Okay, yes, good, now that we’ve established that I do, in fact, feel this way, what do you say?”

“What do I say?”

“For fuck’s sake, Tobirama! I’m asking you out! As in, courting, dating, hopefully-more sort of thing!”

Oh.

“You don’t . . . mind?”

“What, that you’re blind? Not really, no. I mean, a fuckton of things make sense now and it’s rather unfortunate for my ego that you’ve been fighting me blind and I never realized—but I suppose I can let you feel my good looks instead~”

Tobirama blinks. That’s . . . probably the best reaction he’s ever gotten. Granted, everyone else who knows asides from Anija and Touka met the sharpened edge of his sword, but still, it’s the thought that counts.

(How many tears has Anija spilled—continues to spill? How many angry tears has Touka shed, when his lack of sight gets brought up again in the face of a beautiful landscape?)

Anger, regret, sadness. He’s associated those feelings with his condition for years from his family.

(Condescending, almost malicious glee from those few enemies that learned the truth.)

But near apathy? Unheard of. Yet Izuna’s chakra doesn’t lie; he feels chagrined at having missed the fact (it doesn’t even feel directed towards him). Izuna truly doesn’t care. The thought almost makes him giddy.

“Alright, Izuna.”

“HAH! TAKE THAT, ANIKI!” Izuna’s off like a shuriken, and Tobirama huffs a quiet laugh before shaking his head.

A small smile grows on his face as he hears Izuna screeching (“I TOLD YOU THAT THIS TOP BRINGS OUT MY BETTER QUALITIES!”) just down the hall, accompanied with Izuna’s wispy-crackling-sparking happy feeling chakra.