Tsunade raised the hat off her head and carefully set it on a small pedestal. Outside the office Konoha was quiet, anticipating important news from the ceremony that the S class shinobi of the village were conducting.
The Godaime Hokage took four steps backwards, standing equidistant to everyone else in the room in relation to the symbol of the highest office. A solemn quiet fell over the room.
“Not it-Not it!”
Jiraiya and Tsunade’s words tumbled over each other. They shared a rare smug smile with the self assurance of people who could use their senior’s discount cards in an argument as to why they should not be saddled with supreme executive power.
Kakashi rubbed at the back of his neck, bristling away from the hokage’s hat. He seemed concerned that it might bite. “I don’t think so.”
Aiko looked at Naruto.
Naruto looked at Sasuke.
Sasuke looked at his nails. After a few seconds, he favored his mentor’s draped hat with a considering frown. He shook his head. “I think I have enough on my plate,” Sasuke drawled. “If I’m going to be head of the hospital by 26.”
There was a quiet moment where everyone wondered if Sasuke was planning on killing the head of the hospital, or if he simply knew something that they didn’t. Then the twins looked at each other, the only people in the room who had yet to bow out.
Naruto wouldn’t be bad. He’d matured quite a bit. His genin loved him, at least. Or Chuunin, Aiko internally corrected. They were all three Chuunin now.
That didn’t mean she wanted to give the title up to him. Hokage was nothing to sniff at, after all.
“I look really good in hats,” Naruto broke the silence.
Aiko narrowed her eyes. “It runs in the family,” she countered grimly.
A muscle twitched in her twin’s jaw, but he smiled pleasantly and gestured
to the hat. “Age before beauty,” Naruto sing-songed.
“I’m sure Sasuke is flattered, but wisdom comes before both,” Aiko retorted.
They eyed each other.
Tsunade looked at her watch. She rolled her eyes.
Aiko was the one to break the silence this time. “Rock, paper, scissors for it?” she offered.
“Yeah.” Naruto shook out his shoulders, settlings into a ready stance. “On three.”