It starts with a chūnin in a sandy village trying desperately to not die of boredom. It starts with a beautiful blond leaning up against a wall, dressed in casual clothing and watching the night life as it bustles around them. It starts with a drunk jōnin swaggering over and pinching the other’s ass, earning a yelp from the blond. “Very nice ass, sugar,” he slurs out and leans in to try and get a kiss, only to receive a fist to his face. He staggers back, dropping his bottle and reaching up to clutch at his now freely bleeding nose. His friends immediately leap to his aid, coming up in a defensive formation.
“How dare you,” the blond hisses and the hitai-ate with a leaf engraved on it gleams in the moonlight. Through his drunken haze, the jōnin staggers forward and raids the pouch on his thigh for a kunai, raising it high. Pale, white light glints off of the blade and the blond rolls his eyes.
“That is quite enough. I do believe I’ve warned you before, Eiji.” A redhead lands gracefully on the ground, lips drawn into a thin, unimpressed line. There’s a large gourd on his back and what looks like gold sand is spilling out from the opening at the top. “Consider yourself in quite a bit of trouble.” The blond shivers slightly, enjoying the glide of the redhead’s voice as it forms each word. Opposing village or not, it’s a silky smooth tone that he, if he was being completely honest with himself, wouldn’t mind murmuring filthy things into his ear.
Eiji snarls and takes a step forward, spitting out, “Look here, you—” but his friends quickly drag him into the nearest shadows and the redhead turns to the blond.
“You are well, no?” the redhead asks. “Perhaps you shouldn’t venture into things that you can’t handle.” Never mind. He wants to spike the other in the face. Preferably with the nearest, heaviest, sharpest object he can find.
The blond twitches slightly, the vein in his jaw spasming. “I,” he begins and it’s perfectly polite, a thin undertone of agitation gliding just underneath the surface, “am perfectly capable of taking care of myself.” The unspoken ‘asshole’ does not go unheard.
“Well then,” redhead says and the amusement in the tone makes the blond want to murder him right then and there, “I shall let you take care of yourself, then.” And with that, he’s gone, the sand below him swallowing up his form.
“You absolute asshole,” the blond spits, scowling at the now empty spot.
“Hey, kiddo!” The blond spins on his heel and turns the vicious glare on the now approaching male.
“Yes?” he grinds out through clenched teeth.
Jiraiya raises his hands in the universal sign of surrender and smiles like he isn’t facing a pissy blond. “You ready for the exams?”
Minato’s scowl morphs into a sharp smile that’s little more than teeth. “Oh, yes.”
And that was the end of their first meeting.
Their second meeting kinda goes like this:
Minato actually does get around to punching the redhead in the face.
“That wasn’t nice,” the redhead slurs and his voice is still amazing, even with a severely bleeding nose. It’s not quite as smooth as usual, just slightly rough due to him pinching his nose to stop the blood from getting all over his jōnin vest, but it’s still enough to make Minato shiver with need.
He’s only a newly minted jōnin himself, but the blond is certain that with both the Hiraishin and his Rasengen, he can take on the world. Maybe.
“Yes, well,” he returns, coolly, “maybe you shouldn’t startle me while I am making seals.”
The redhead rolls his eyes and curls healing chakra around his nose, snapping it back into place with a rather sickening crack.
Minato’s lips twitch up just slightly. He had actually broken the other’s nose with the force of his punch. That had been one of the most satisfying things he’s done in quite a while. “I do apologize,” redhead drawls, sounding anything but apologetic and Minato barely resists the urge to leap to his feet and punch him again.
“Liar,” he mutters under his breath, mentally cursing his weakness for smooth voices.
The other still hears him. “I’m hurt, pretty.”
He raises his fist and shakes it just slightly. “Call me pretty again….” Minato hisses and trails off, blue eyes gleaming with promised death.
“Very well.” the redhead says, raising his hands in surrender. “I shall see you later….pretty.” And then he’s gone, leaping over the rooftops before the blond can retaliate.
“You son of a bitch!” Minato bellows after him, fury painting every single word. He sinks back down to the ground and picks up his brush, mentally vowing to make the other pay.
He still doesn’t know the redhead’s name.
That was the end of their second meeting.
Their third meeting goes a little like this:
Minato’s smile is like death, all thin and evil with his lips pulled back to reveal far more teeth than psychically possible. The redhead in front of him shivers slightly and takes a step back, understandably wary. “Good evening,” the blond says, smile widening even further.
“Ah, uh, good evening, pretty?” It’s definitely phrased like a question and Minato’s eyes slide closed into little ‘U’s when the redhead takes a step back. The other shinobi in Konoha’s bathhouse, the ones who know about Minato’s vicious temper, carefully sidle out of the blond’s line of sight. They have no interest in being caught up in the explosion.
“Duck,” Minato purrs out. The redhead blinks confusedly at him for a moment and then yelps when the blond punches him in the face, again, as hard as he can.
“The fuck was that for?” he slurs out, clutching at his freely gushing nose.
“I did warn you about calling me 'pretty’,” the blond says easily, dropping his towel and sliding into the water.
“Honestly,” a third voice complains and Minato glances up when Orochimaru steps into the hot spring. A dark glare is all that’s needed to clear the entire place out, leaving just the three of them in the water and the Sannin relaxes with a sigh. An evil smirk flickers over their lips. “I hope you realize, Namikaze, that I will not be explaining to sensei if this becomes an international incident.”
Minato’s smirk is just as sinister. “Well then, Orochimaru-sama,” he says sweetly, “if you won’t say anything, then I won’t tell sensei about you spending lots of, ah, time with Hatake-sama.” He grins innocently when Orochimaru slips underneath the water, surfacing with a loud splutter. “Oops, was that supposed to be a secret? So sorry,” the blond coos, not sounding the least bit sorry.
“You!” the Sannin splutters, coughing as they spit out a mouthful of water.
“Should I come back later?” the redhead asks, looking like he wants to be anywhere but here at this exact moment. There’s a crack as he snaps his nose back into place for the second time in a row.
“I will string you up by your balls and feed you your own liver if you so much as twitch,” Minato says, a blue eye flickering to glance at the other.
The redhead scowls. “I don’t even know your name,” he complains.
“Oh? So sorry. I should give it to you, then.”
Minato shrugs. “I don’t know yours.”
Orochimaru heaves a ragged sigh and drops their head into their hands. “You punched a Suna jōnin without ever learning their name. Great. Just fucking great. And here I was hoping Jiraiya hadn’t managed to infect you.”
A beaming smile is his answer and the blond leans back against the edge of the pool, basking in the warmth of the water and the sunlight. “Sensei has been nothing but a perfect role model,” he says, the very picture of innocence.
“That’s…that’s what I was afraid of,” the Sannin breathes weakly, looking very much like they wish they had access to alcohol at this very moment. They sigh and drag a hand over their face, shoving dark hair out of golden eyes.
The redhead takes the chance to bolt for the entrance; he abandons his clothing and escapes wearing nothing but a towel, yes, but at least he makes it out alive and in one piece. Konoha shinobi, he thinks, shivering at the howl of rage that echoes behind him, are insane.
And that was the end of their third meeting.
Their fourth meeting is explosive:
Rasa’s in the middle of speaking with two other jōnin sensei about the final part of Konoha’s chūnin exams when what feels like a bucket of water is dumped over his head. A quick swipe of his fingers in the substance reveals purple paint. Purple glittery paint. The vein above one of his eyes twitches, and he can already see his comrades causally backing away from his seething form. Laughter echoes above him and Rasa spins on the ball of his foot, gold dust already writhing as it escapes from the gourd on his back.
There. On the roof. It’s that damn blond from before; the one who broke his nose twice already.
On a better day, Rasa wouldn’t even consider trying to murder an allied shinobi. On a better day, he might even laugh at the prank, then go take a shower. On a better day, he wouldn’t be brandishing a kunai and trying to rip someone’s throat out. Today…today is not one of those days, and Rasa snarls furiously, lunging forward before he can even get a grip on his temper. The blond dodges to the side, flipping gracefully onto another roof and covers his mouth again, smirking between his fingers. Rasa sees red.
“I,” he hisses, so close to actually committing murder, “am going to rip your throat out.”
“Kinky,” the blond calls back and his smile widens further at Rasa’s snarl of rage. “But you’re going to have to catch me first.” His form flickers once, then vanishes in a burst of yellow; he reappears further down the road, waves a hand, and then vanishes again.
Rasa screams in fury, his comrades snicker, and he immediately leaps to give chase. He’s going to drown the other in their own blood.
He still has no clue to their name, other than their last.
That’s the end of their fourth meeting.
Their fifth meeting is even worse:
Murder is not an appropriate way to deal with frustrating coworkers.
Murder is not an appropriate way to deal with frustrating coworkers.
Murder is not an approp— Rasa cuts his thoughts off halfway through the sentence and growls at one of his fellow shinobi. Not even three hours after he had attempted to hunt down and murder the blond—He failed, pretty miserably too—and his coworkers are already smirking at him.
“Quite the spitfire, ah?” one says, pushing brown hair over her shoulders, lips quirked up in that infuriating smirk Rasa has come to hate.
“I will drown you in your own blood,” he hisses, partially because he’s furious and partially because he can’t leave that response unanswered. She puts her hands up in the universal sign of surrender, but the smirk on her face doesn’t change. Rasa narrows his eyes at her, darkens his glare, and hopes that nothing else can go wrong.
The universe, as always, likes to prove him wrong, and then laugh at his misery.
With a flash of bright yellow light, the blond reappears on the rooftop. He doesn’t even look tired, and there’s a massive grin on his lips. “Wow,” he says, looking pleased with himself, “only three hours before giving up? That’s sad.” He shakes his head slowly, almost like he’s disappointed. “Not a lot of fun with a chase. Peaks really quickly without touch and absolutely no stamina at all.”
Beside Rasa the brunet chokes, then starts laughing hysterically, mouthing 'No stamina’ like it’s a prayer from Kami itself. On her left, the ginger begins cackling and slumps against a wall in an attempt to stay upright. Rasa fumes, and because he’s petty like that, pops the cork on his gold dust just so he can flood the area with sand.
Glancing around when the dust has settled somewhat, Rasa’s already feeling smug at the sight of the ginger and brunet cursing his name as they spit the grit out of their mouths. His gaze flickers upwards, and the redhead is already preparing for the sight of the blond in the same situation, when he actually gets a look.
That fucking bastard is wind affinity and running a Kami-damned slipstream, the sand-filled air shifting around him, never once touching the Konoha jōnin uniform. Rasa would be impressed if he wasn’t in the middle of contemplating murder.
Just before he can actually use his chakra to fill the other with spears made of sand, he laughs, bows, and vanishes in a burst of yellow. The veins in Rasa’s jaw jump.
And that was the end of their fifth meeting.
Their sixth meeting is simultaneously worse and better:
“I would like to introduce my successor, Namikaze Minato,” Sandaime Hokage Sarutobi Hiruzen says, gesturing towards the doors of the Halls of the Kage Council. Namikaze, Rasa thinks with a slight twitch, sounds awfully familiar. He glances up just as the doors open and snarls when a horribly familiar blond practically skips through.
“YOU!” Rasa bellows and slams a hand down on the table hard enough to spread minute cracks along the surface. The other Kages jerk at his volume, but the redhead is too furious to care.
“I wasn’t aware that you two knew each other, Rasa,” Sarutobi says, looking like he’s half an inch away from pinching the bridge of his nose.
“He broke my nose,” Rasa seethes. “Twice.” White eyebrows shoot up and Sarutobi actually reaches to pinch the bridge of his nose, an exasperated sigh escaping his mouth.
Namikaze smiles sunnily at him. “You startled me while I was working on my seals.”
“You punched me because I called you pretty,” the Kazekage informs him flatly.
“Yes, well, that too,” the blond says with a careless shrug, and Rasa makes a sound like a boiling teakettle. Namikaze merely beams in his direction and takes a seat. “Now, where were we?”
Murder is not an appropriate response to annoying Kage, Rasa thinks, sinking into his own seat with a mute sort of fury, but I sure wish it was.