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I've invented a momentum that'll never slow me down

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The first time is, nominally, a complete accident.

It starts with a scream. Tobirama and Mito are on their way back to their apartment after a late night at the gym, and the sound of it startles both of them so badly that they jump and spin to put their backs together. This portion of Konoha borders on destitute, and the superheroes who frequent the rest of Konoha only come here rarely, so the only streetlight is at the far end of the block and gives barely any light regardless. Light pollution blocks out the stars, and the gloom is as thick and heavy as a woolen blanket, but another terrified cry cuts through it easily.

Tobirama doesn’t have to look at Mito; he bolts, Mito right on his heels, and throws himself around the corner.

The situation comes clear in an instant: three girls, barely out of their teens, and six men around them. There's a teenage boy on the ground, blood stark against his skin, unmoving even as the girls are dragged backwards by rough hands.

Mito makes a sound of pure, concentrated fury and throws herself past Tobirama in a flash of lilac exercise clothes and long red hair. With an automatic curse, Tobirama dives after her, slamming his gym bag into one thug’s stomach as he lunges for Mito, then kicking him in the balls and shoving him into a second man. They both go down hard, and Tobirama is just in time to catch Mito by the shoulders as she’s thrown backwards.

It is, of course, not nearly enough to make her hesitate. She snaps, “Senju, go high!” and immediately ducks low, aiming for her attacker’s hamstrings.

Tobirama has been following Mito's orders since he was three feet tall and needed her to save him from playground bullies. Before he can even think to protest, he gathers himself and lunges, slamming an elbow towards the man’s nose. He pulls the feint at the last moment, ducking sideways and kicking a fourth thug in the face as he tries to grab Mito.

“Run!” Mito orders the three girls. “Get to the light and call the cops!”

The tallest girl hesitates, eyes darting to the unconscious boy, but before she can protest her friends grab her arms and yank her along with them, bolting back towards the more crowded cross streets. Tobirama spares them only the briefest glance to be sure there are no more thugs waiting, then ducks around a punch and comes up with three of his own, hitting kidney, throat, and temple in rapid succession. The man chokes and stumbles back, and Mito lays him out with a sweep of one leg, even as she bounces back to her feet and plants a knee in the gut of the last man standing. He grunts and staggers, and Tobirama shifts into a blindingly fast high kick, knocking him out completely.

There's a long moment of silence, and Tobirama makes a slow sweep of their surroundings. Six bodies on the ground, one injured boy still unconscious, sirens in the distance. Mito is fine, and he hardly has to look to know it; she’s on her feet, fists clenched at her sides, chin at that particular angle that says she’s pissed and the whole world should be wary. If she were injured, she’d be cursing.

“This,” Tobirama says crossly, collecting his gym bag, “is your fault.”

Mito huffs, folding her arms over her chest. “Excuse me?” she asks mildly, in the particular tone she uses when she wants to convince people she’s a sweet, slightly silly debutante who can't be worried about anything direr than the newest fashions.

Because Tobirama is not fooled at all, he levels a dark look at his best friend, slings his bag over his shoulder, and says, “A distraction would have been more than enough to let the victims escape.”

She gives him her sweetest smile. “But Tobirama, this was a distraction. They look very distracted to me. Don’t you think so too?”

In other words, he can agree or Mito will hold it against him until they are octogenarians. Still, because Tobirama has never backed down from an argument before in his life—there's a reason he’s pre-law—he meets her smile with a flat stare and reminds her, “If our names even get near a police report, Hashirama is going to find out.”

There are fates worse than death, and then there's Hashirama in a state. Especially when those involved in whatever he deems dangerous are his little brother and the girl he’s been madly in love with since the first time she dumped him on his ass in elementary school. Hashirama is just about the furthest thing Tobirama can imagine from composed, and whatever little bits of restraint he’s managed to hoard are going to be utterly shattered after learning Mito and Tobirama took on six thugs in a dark alley.

With some satisfaction, Tobirama watches all the color drain out of Mito's face. She stares at him in abject horror, even as the first strobe of red-blue light sweeps down the street. Then she stiffens, her eyes meeting Tobirama’s, and it’s another moment of complete and wordless agreement.

They turn around and bolt for home as fast as their feet can carry them.



It’s a little over a week later when Mito slides into the seat across from Tobirama in his favorite coffee shop, just far enough from campus that it’s mostly empty in the early afternoon.

“Tiger,” she greets cheerfully, and then drops a copy of the university newspaper directly on top of his chemistry notes.

Aggrieved, Tobirama raises his head and narrows his eyes at his best friend, but she just smiles back at him with picture-perfect innocence. Tobirama holds the stare for a long moment, even though it’s making absolutely no impact whatsoever, before he reluctantly picks up the paper and unfolds it carefully, wary of just about anything from bombs to paint-filled balloons. After all, when Mito smiles like that it’s never a good sign where Tobirama’s sanity is concerned.

Still, what he sees is just about the last thing he expects.

KONOHA’S NEWEST SUPERHEROES? UNKNOWN VIGILANTES STEP IN WHEN SHARINGAN AND SHODAI FAIL TO APPEAR, the headline screams, and Tobirama promptly snaps the rag closed. He doesn’t need almost twenty solid years of living attached at the hip with Mito to know exactly what's going through her mind right now.

“No,” he says flatly.

Mito has the audacity to pout. “Tobirama—”

Fuck no.”

“But we could be Batman,” she protests, because beneath the fashion designer and self-defense instructor exterior Mito is at heart a massive nerd. Not that Tobirama really has a leg to stand on, flinging accusations like that around.

“No,” Tobirama says again, though he already has a sneaking, sinking suspicion that he’s going to lose this argument, as he does the vast majority of his arguments with Mito. Then, because sometimes the only way to undermine Mito's crazy is to match it, he adds, “If one of us is Batman, the other has to be Robin, and I look terrible in pixie boots.”

“You do,” Mito agrees judiciously. And unnecessarily, in Tobirama’s opinion. She regards him across the table for a long moment, looking pretty and defeated and demure, but Tobirama knows to be wary of that expression. Mito is thinking, and that’s another thing that never ends well for him. “Hawk and Dove?” is her next suggestion.

It takes effort for Tobirama not to roll his eyes. “Yes, because we’re both such restrained and nonviolent people, and one of us definitely fits the type of the non-confrontational pacifist.”

Mito's lip starts jutting. Just a little, but enough to be a warning. “Iron Man and Captain America?”

Tobirama scoffs. “Are you asking for us to break our friendship and end up at each other’s throats?”

“Picky, picky.” Mito sinks back in her chair, crossing her arms and frowning at him. “Midnighter and Apollo?”

She’s a sneaky wretch, using the classics against him. Tobirama frowns right back. “Neither of us is gay for the other, and we’re not married. Nor are we about to take over the country as semi-benevolent dictators.”

“Rictor and Shatterstar?”

Tobirama levels a glare at her, tapping an impatient finger against his notes.

“Black Canary and Starling?”

“I don’t think I'm quite ready to rock a corset in public, Mito. And you're not blonde.”

With a huff of irritation, Mito leans forward to brace her hands on the table, looks him in the eye, and plays her trump card. “Red Hood and Red Robin.”

That’s not fair. It’s also ridiculously irresistible, given that the vast majority of Tobirama’s precious and well-hidden comic collection features Jason Todd and Timothy Drake. “Witch,” he growls, narrowing his eyes at her, and then pointedly looks away. “Neither of us is wearing a cape, and if we end up with borderline incestual obsessions with a much older father figure, I'm checking us into therapy immediately.”

“Deal,” Mito says promptly, and beams. “I'm so glad you see it my way, Tobirama. It’s about time that asshole Sharingan had some competition.”

This time Tobirama doesn’t bother hiding his snort. “You just hate him because he yelled at you for taking out three attackers during that bank robbery.”

With all the poise of a queen, Mito tips her chin up and says precisely, “I don’t hate him because he yelled at me. I hate him because he was a misogynistic asshole unable to accept help even when it was desperately needed because of his fragile ego and overactive temper. And his costume is ridiculous.” At that, she brightens slightly, and drags her massive art bag off the ground. “And on that note, ours won't be. I have these concept sketches that I wanted to get your opinion on.”

There was never a chance that Mito would have let him say no. With a low groan, Tobirama snatches his espresso out of the way of the sudden spill of sketchbooks and tosses it back, futilely wishing it was something stronger.



Maybe a sudden turn to vigilantism isn’t the standard reaction to jumping in on a fight in a darkened street, but in this, as in most other things, Tobirama and Mito are hardly normal. Konoha has always had vigilantes, some more successful than most—the main ones at the moment are moderately competent, but also undeniably fools, though Tobirama will admit that they’ve gotten much better since they first started several years ago. And…Tobirama will also admit that it’s always been a little appealing, the thought of helping people like that.

Sharingan and his partner Shodai have powers. Big, overwhelming, flashy abilities that make them logical choices as superheroes. In a city brimming with various flavors of metahumans, they're among the strongest.

Tobirama and Mito aren’t entirely without powers—most people aren’t, in Konoha. But they're not strong, not the way Sharingan and Shodai are.

That’s all right, Tobirama thinks, seated on the very edge of one of Konoha's old cathedrals with nothing but empty air beneath his feet. Strength isn’t everything. After all, there's a vast amount of evidence in favor of the idea that Sharingan and Shodai are idiots, and not just for the way they bicker as they work. Mito and Tobirama are both smart. They’ve been training themselves for a very long time, trying to be anything but victims, and they're not. Not anymore, and never again.

(Once upon a time, Tobirama had a mother, a father, and two younger brothers. But Konoha is a dark and dangerous place for happy people, and now he only has Hashirama left.

Once upon a time, Mito was a bright, cheerful girl, the daughter of a politician. But no one came to rescue her when she needed it, no one cared enough to try, and now Mito will never allow herself to be rescued again. Now she’s strong enough to do the rescuing.

Once upon a time, they were whole and unbroken and happy. But the thing about fairy tales is no one ever wants to hear the happy ones where nothing changes. There always has to be a bit of darkness to keep the interest. And in Konoha, in a city as widespread and shadowed and grimly undying as Konoha manages to be, there's more than enough darkness to go around.)

Soft, nearly soundless footsteps pad across the arch of the roof above him, and a moment later Mito vaults over the rain gutter and lands lightly on the buttress to his left. Her long red hair is like a spill of blood in the weak moonlight, pulled back from her face in an intricate net of braids and loose locks that spill down the back of her black and red suit. No capes, as Tobirama requested, but the costumes are both definitely skintight and just as definitely recognizable.

“It’s not so bad,” Mito says, crossing her legs under her. “Right? No pixie boots.”

Tobirama will admit that Mito is very, very good at whatever she puts her mind to. His suit is dark blue, accented with white, and she managed to work in the body armor that was his contribution to their outfits, leaving them both sleek instead of the bulky he expected. Not that he’s surprised—Mito is amazing at practically everything. If things had turned out differently, he suspects she’d be a rising star in the city’s politics, soon to be the next mayor.

But things didn’t turn out differently, and Mito is a student just like Tobirama. They have a cupboard full of instant ramen because making this month’s rent was hard, backstories that might be considered tragic in the right light, and a shared case of chronic insomnia. And now they're perching on rooftops in spandex and body armor, waiting to start their first patrol as vigilantes.

“I still think larger masks would have been a good idea,” Tobirama says, fingering the domino that covers from his hairline to the bridge of his nose. “Maybe hoods. Our hair colors are not subtle. And if anyone we know sees us, I don’t think they're going to be fooled by the fact that we’re covering our cheekbones.”

Mito laughs, tugging her gloves up a little and then leaning back on her hands. “Because the two of us are exactly the kind of people that most would peg as vigilantes,” she counters.

This, Tobirama has to admit, is entirely true. He knows how he comes off, even to people fairly familiar with him: cold, aloof, down to earth, and fully devoted to being the next District Attorney. And Mito has perfected the façade of a dreamy, slightly vapid fashion student, usually lost in her own world and never without a sketchbook or three. Nothing even close to how they appear right now.

“We’re going to need names,” Tobirama offers, surrendering the point. “Codenames for each other, if nothing else.”

Mito hums thoughtfully. “You could be Tiger,” she suggests. Tobirama makes a face at the hated nickname, and she laughs at him. “Thing 1 and Thing 2?”

He can see where this is heading. “We’re not calling each other Red and Blue.” When Mito frowns, verging on another pout, he sighs and suggests, “Hellcat. For you.”

There's a pause as Mito considers. Then she grins, as sharp as the knives she’s carrying, and says, “That will do. And…how do you feel about Tempest?”

“‘Hell is empty and all the devils are here’,” Tobirama quotes, and smiles a little, inclining his head. She knows his weakness for Shakespeare, and The Tempest is one of his favorites.

And, as if on cue, someone below them screams.

Mito twists, gathering her feet under her, and then pushes off the buttress in a surge of sleek muscle and deadly grace. She flips in the air, kicks off the edge of a window, slingshots herself around the edge of the cathedral, and vanishes into the gloom below.

Well. This is probably going to end in disaster, but…Tobirama’s invested. He has been since the moment they stepped in on their first fight, regardless of what front he put up with Mito. And, as ever, she saw right through it.

Maybe they're not Shodai and Sharingan, capable of conjuring plants and reflecting an enemy’s attacks right back at their opponents. Maybe they’ll have to make do with a little more grace and agility than the average person, an affinity for malice and fire on Mito's part and water and death on Tobirama’s, but it will be enough. They're not out to save the world, after all, just whoever they can manage.

Tobirama lets himself fall forward off the ledge, kicking off at the last moment and aiming for the sound of a fight on the ground. The building has just enough handholds to redirect his momentum, and when he slams down feet-first on top of one of Mito's opponents, the only one getting hurt is the would-be mugger.



Sunday evening means dinner with Hashirama and his roommate. It is, as ever, unspeakably awkward, because Hashirama loves Mito, who is always distracted when they're over because she mostly just hates Madara, who is always distracted by the fact that he hates her right back. Tobirama, of course, has been halfway to in love with Madara for years, making it fairly strange to see his hostility with Mito, but watching his older brother pine for his best friend is very uncomfortable. Since Tobirama’s discomfort tends to manifest as snappishness, and Hashirama is just naturally aggravating anyway, things between them usually fracture about twenty minutes into the meal. Battle lines are always quickly drawn, and it’s a rare night that doesn’t end without a shouting match of some sort.

“Pass the rice, please,” Mito says with a sweet smile at Madara. The fuck you, asshole is only implied, but somehow deafening all the same.

“Certainly,” Madara answers, baring his teeth in what is possibly a smile. His you goddamn bitch is equally strident, even if it’s unspoken.

Tobirama sighs and takes the bowl from him, shoving it into Mito's hands. “Work is fine?” he asks his brother, because if someone doesn’t get the conversation back on track Mito and Madara will likely go for each other’s throats, and not just verbally.

“Busy,” Hashirama confirms cheerfully, picking the carrots out of his stir-fry and not-so-subtly dumping them on Tobirama’s plate. “Apparently there's a new pair of vigilantes in the lower west side, and they've been terrorizing anyone involved in the street crime there. We’ve gotten a lot of new arrests since they started, but they're…a little more violent than most.”

Tobirama very carefully has no reaction at all. “New vigilantes?”

Madara harrumphs, crossing his arms over his chest with a scowl. He’s still wearing his detective’s badge—seems to make a point of keeping it on around Mito, usually. Tobirama assumes it’s a continuation of their you're-just-an-art-student-well-you're-just-a-paper-pusher argument. Thankfully nonverbal now, since he’s heard it enough times to be able to quote it in his sleep. “Yes,” he says curtly. “Amateur idiots who don’t even have any powers, but think they have the right to go out and beat up criminals regardless. The last group we brought in had knife wounds. These two are dangerous and crazy and I won't have them in my city.”

Mito's hands are fisted in her lap, and Tobirama could use her spine as a plumb level. “Well,” she murmurs, and it’s not quite frosty, but it’s close. “I suppose if the well-being of criminals is more important than stopping them—”

Deliberately, Tobirama stomps on her foot. “I'm sure you’ll catch them,” he says evenly, even though he’s thinking no way in hell. But—he understands it. Hashirama reacted to their family’s death by becoming a detective, doing what he can from inside the law. Tobirama is doing the same thing, just…a little outside of it.

(To be fair, perhaps letting Mito go to town on the serial rapists they tracked down the other night was overkill, but after one look at the drugged and battered victim, Tobirama wasn’t inclined to feel merciful. Honestly, if Mito hadn’t gotten to the men first, Tobirama would have gladly switched out his escrima sticks for the sword he’s taken to carrying on his back. Some people are simply scum, and should be treated as such.)

“We will,” Hashirama agrees, smiling. He’s unsubtly watching Mito, and the expression on his face could be politely summed up as smitten. “But you two should be careful. The pair has been active in your neighborhood, and I don’t want you taking risks.”

It takes effort not to snort, because they’ve had this conversation before. “We’re not moving,” he says flatly, putting his fork down. “The apartment is cheap, and we’re close to both the university and the gym. Change the topic.”

Hashirama frowns, fixing him with wide, wounded doe eyes. “I'm just worried about you,” he protests. “It’s not the best area. You know, Madara and I would be happy to help you look for something—”

Tobirama glares. He wants to say you can't protect me from everything, but even he isn’t quite that cruel. Though if Hashirama keeps pushing, he’s not entirely certain what will come out of his mouth. “Change. The. Subject,” he bites out, and ignores the way Hashirama deflates with a pitiful sound. When he looks away, Madara is watching him, mouth drawn into a tight line.

“The moron is right,” he says, and there's an edge of temper in his voice. “The smart thing to do would be find a new apartment. Izuna works at the newspaper and gets first access to the classifieds, I'm sure he’d be able to get you a copy.”

“We,” Mito retorts primly, in the way that means heads are about to roll, “are self-defense instructors and also adults. Thank you for your concern, Uchiha, but I think we’ll be fine.”

The worry in Hashirama’s expression doesn’t abate, but he shares a long look with Madara and then lets the subject drop.



“Well, that was a nice warm-up,” Mito says happily, stretching out her arms where she’s seated on top of two unconscious gang members. “Anything else coming up on the scanner, Tempest?”

Tobirama glances at the readout on his phone—a burner, because he’s not an idiot, no matter what Madara likes to call him. “Not yet,” he answers, then checks that the fools they took down are all still out of it. They’ll need to start carrying more zip-ties if the nights are going to be this productive; Tobirama just about wiped out his supply for this group. “Let’s call it in and then head north. There's been a string of pawn shop robberies near Tanzaku Avenue.”

“Works for me.” Mito slides to her feet, snatching up one of her fallen throwing knives and tucking it back into her boot. A second one gets a quick wipe-down on a gang member’s shirt before it disappears, too.

In the same moment, a pair of shadows pass over them, and she spins, grabbing for her escrima sticks. Tobirama already has his own out and in hand, and twists to put their backs together.

With a whirl of dark capes, Sharingan and Shodai touch down at either end of the deserted parking lot. Sharingan is in his usual deep blue, Shodai in green and brown, and Tobirama is willing to admit that Mito is absolutely right about their costumes. They look terrible and entirely unflattering. Also, capes are stupid.

“Hellcat,” he says tersely, and it’s an entire conversation in one word. If we’re going to fight them we need an advantage. Are we really going to do this? How about we distract them and get away?

Mito makes a small, wordless sound—wait and see, Tobirama reads, and twists one of the escrima sticks around in his hand. Sharingan’s cowled head turns in his direction, and Tobirama is grateful for the voice modifier on the collar of his suit. He has no idea how advanced Sharingan and Shodai’s operation is, but in case they're able to run voice recognition or something of the sort, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Especially when sorry will get them Sharingan dropping into the middle of their civilian lives. The man is an ass with a chronically short fuse, but he’s capable of being intimidating when he needs to.

“Come to check out the competition, boys?” Mito asks, pitching her voice into something teasing and throaty, even with the vocal modulator.

Sharingan harrumphs, crossing his arms with a scowl, and—

Tobirama goes very, very still. Because he saw that body language. He knows it—witnessed it just last night, even. And maybe it’s just because he’s been watching Madara for so long now, an unconscious manifestation of the vague sort of draw he feels to the older man, but—well. Tobirama’s watched him enough to know that it would be hard for any two people to use exactly the same gesture. Combined with the spiky black hair emerging from under the hero’s cowl, and there's little question who it is behind that mask.

And if Madara is Sharingan, Shodai has to be—

Well. The vague thoughts Tobirama has had about Shodai nicely filling out his spandex are suddenly several hundred orders of magnitude more creepy.

Ever so subtly, Tobirama presses back, tapping Mito's shoulder with his own. Go with it, in other words. She doesn’t react, but she doesn’t need to. He’s certain she got the message.

Sliding both of his escrima sticks into their holster on his thigh, Tobirama steps forward, putting a deliberate slink into his steps. Sharingan stiffens, shifting into a defensive stance, but Tobirama raises his hands and says, in as close to a flirty tone as he can manage, “Easy, easy. We’ve had a few thoughts about…checking out the competition as well. Care to do a turn for me?”

Sharingan—Madara—makes a sound like he’s choking on his tongue.

Out of the corner of his eye, Tobirama sees Mito's shoulders tremble with hastily suppressed laughter. She showily flips her hair over one shoulder, deliberately ignoring the way it spills over her chest on the other side, and matches Tobirama, sauntering towards Shodai with a graceful sway of her hips. “It’s not that we object,” she purrs, reaching out to chuck Shodai—Hashirama—under the chin with a coy smile. “But if I’d known you were coming I would have powdered my nose. I've yet to find a brand of mascara that can…keep up with me.” The fingers of her gloves trace down Hashirama’s spandex-covered chest with intent.

With an entirely unmanly squeak, Hashirama catches her wrist. “Hellcat, was it?” he asks, several octaves higher than normal, and Tobirama can see him desperately keeping his gaze on Mito's face. It’s amusing, watching his brother flail—especially because Mito usually keeps the top of her suit zipped all the way up, but the night is warm enough that the zipper is currently pulled down enough to show some cleavage.

“And you are?” Madara demands, taking a deliberate step back from Tobirama. “Little Boy Blue?”

“Tempest,” Tobirama corrects, slipping around to circle Madara. The man turns, keeping his narrowed eyes on Tobirama. “No need for introductions, though. We know who you are.” He reaches out, mimicking Mito, and skims his gloved fingers over Madara's sternum. It’s heady and amusing, flirting like this, all body language and innuendos. He’d never do it as himself, but that’s the point, isn’t it? “Still, if you’re interested in getting to know each other better…”

Madara makes a wordless, furious sound, rather like a teakettle boiling over, and swats Tobirama’s hand away. “No!” he snaps. “No knowing, biblical or otherwise! You're going to go home, hang up your masks, and stop making messes in this neighborhood!”

Mito flicks a half-glance over her shoulder, violet eyes narrowing, and Tobirama can see the moment the pieces start to connect. The sharp edge of a smirk tugs at one corner of her mouth, and with a new will she returns to attempting to drape herself artfully over a very flustered Hashirama.

Tobirama snorts softly, then abandons subtlety, steps forward, and rests his arms over Madara's shoulders before the other man can step away. He leans in, knocks away one of Madara's hands with an elbow when it comes up to grab him, and murmurs right in Madara's ear, “But we don’t want to, Uchiha.”

Madara goes stiff and startled, and in one smooth movement Tobirama shifts back, sweeps Madara's legs out from under him, and dumps him on his ass. A bright, wicked laugh heralds Mito's answering move, and Tobirama leaps back just in time to see her climb Hashirama like a tree, wrap her legs around his torso, and then throw all of her weight backwards. Her hands hit the cement, even as Hashirama goes hurtling over her to face-plant in the wall, and she cartwheels neatly back to her feet, takes three running steps, and then jumps. Tobirama, already on the first landing of the fire escape above, catches her hand and drags her up, and they both bolt for the rooftops.

There's a flurry of curses from the empty lot, but no pursuit, and Mito takes the lead, heading for their usual perch on the cathedral across from their apartment, almost half the neighborhood away. It should be safe, as long as Hashirama and Madara don’t immediately come looking for them.

“That was—” she says in disbelief as they finally slow.

“It was,” Tobirama confirms.

“But I didn’t even know they had—”

“Powers,” he finishes, mouth tightening in irritation. And—that’s a big thing to miss, even if he hasn’t lived with his brother since he was seventeen. Which is just about the time when Sharingan and Shodai started being active, now that he thinks about it. And abilities on the scale that Sharingan and Shodai have them—well. At least Tobirama doesn’t feel so bad about keeping his own a secret anymore.

“Bastards,” Mito mutters, alighting on her buttress and dropping down to sit with her legs crossed. “All this time? How did those idiots manage to keep it from us?”

“They're detectives,” Tobirama reminds her. “Unusual hours are normal. We just didn’t realize they weren’t spending all of them at work.”

With a sound of disgruntled agreement, Mito strips off her gloves and cracks her knuckles. “Well, I hope they don’t think that little show intimidated us enough to make us stop.”

Since both Hashirama and Madara ended up on their asses, Tobirama is going to assume not. Which means they’ll likely try again. He hums in contemplation, and then says, “If we’re going to expand operations, we’ll need help.”

Mito laughs, sweet and bright. “Tōka’s good with computers, right?” she suggests. “Having eyes and ears around the city would be helpful, and she’s not the type to make us stop. And I bet, if we tell Izuna, he’d be annoyed enough at his brother keeping this from him that he’d help us, too.”

Tōka’s more likely to suit up and join them on the streets, Tobirama thinks, amused. It’s just a shame that they're not actually villains, because being Madara and Hashirama’s nemesis would be both amusing and satisfying.

“Too bad we’re on the side of the angels,” Mito laments, clearly thinking along the same lines. “Did you see their faces? I’d love to make them look like that all the time.”

The term strikes a chord in Tobirama’s memory, and he thinks back to his high school literature class. “‘You are sharks, for certain, but if you govern the shark in you, why then you be angels; for all angels are nothing more than a shark well-governed.’”

Moby Dick?” Mito asks, amused but thoughtful. She pulls the pins from her long hair, letting it tumble down around her in a fiery cloud, and tips her head back to look up at the light-strangled stars. “Well. I've always been a fan of angels with teeth.”

Seeing as Mito is one herself, Tobirama isn’t surprised. He smiles a little, leaning back on his hands, and lets the silence linger. He remembers Madara's expression with Tobirama’s face so close to his, remembers the wide red-and-black eyes Sharingan is famous for, and snorts.

“So next time we go out—”

“Of course we’re going to mess with them. What do you take me for? No one sane would ever pass up this opportunity.”

Tobirama smirks, thinking of sharks and angels. He’s aware that they probably won't be able to keep up their ruse forever, but until they have to break it, they might as well have some fun while they're saving people.

After keeping secrets like this from them, Hashirama and Madara entirely deserve it.