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Your Guardian Cat

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“Ack!”

 

The -he would deny to his dying day that it was a squeal- manly exclamation of shock escaped Hashirama's lips upon waking up to an unfamiliar weight on his chest.

 

The thing had the oddest hair color -pink? How is that genetically possible?- and a slender body that was all creamy skin and luscious curves. He could feel every slope and swell of her through the thin jinbei he wore to sleep last night.

 

A woman. How did a woman make her way into his room? Naked, at that? Was she crazy?

 

A million thoughts raced through his mind as he tried to comprehend his current, embarrassing situation. To make matters worse, the woman was curling very intimately into him, and her -very well endowed- chest was rumbling with a strange sound that both shocked and relaxed him.

 

Was she… Purring?

 

His body was frozen from shock and awkwardness. He wanted to move her, but it was highly improper for a man to touch a woman so blatantly. But a naked woman sleeping on top of an unknowing man was downright scandalous, he justified, and with that in mind, attempted to shove her off.

 

Her reaction was instantaneous. She woke up the second he made to push her off, and her fingers dug painfully into his ribs, like trying to remove a cat from their favourite scratchpost. She had tensed up, eyes wide and wild and unfathomably green, lips pulled back to hiss violently at the disturbance. Her muscles were strong and wiry under his touch.

 

Hashirama's eyes widened, too shocked to register the pain from her fingers -claws?- digging into his skin. His hands were still on her rounded hips, unsure whether to push again or leave her be. In any case, it seemed like she didn't appreciate being moved.

 

“Who are you?” Hashirama managed to ask, rather shakily, when he finally gathered the courage. The woman stopped hissing, but her stance was still guarded and coiled to strike. She eyed him with intelligent, gleaming emerald eyes. “You brought me home last night. Don't you remember?” She said slowly, roughly, like she rarely spoke. Her voice was scratchy yet melodious. It was confusing.

 

The Senju furrowed his brow. He did not make it a habit to indulge in a woman's warmth or bring them home. In fact, he was even abstaining from any sort of sexual relation so that he could focus on getting Konoha off its feet. Women were a distraction, and he had to pay utmost attention to his dream coming true.

 

“I do not remember bringing a woman home last night, miss. I'm afraid you're mistaken.” He explained slowly. He watched her expression, and detected confusion in her green eyes. A blink, then understanding dawned in them. A smile bloomed on her face, and he noted with dread and fascination how beautiful she was.

 

Women are distractions. Women are distractions. Women are distractions. The chanting didn't help.

 

“Oh, sorry,” she said, sounding very smug and very unapologetic. Her hands had loosened their grip, leaving deep indents on his skin. “I forget sometimes that I change form overnight. You did bring me home, Hashirama. Remember carefully.”

 

He frowned. He hadn't been drunk last night. In fact, he had stayed completely sober for a meeting with the clan heads. Once the meeting was finished, he remembered rain pouring down. He remembered cursing as he tried to run through the rain as quickly as possible, before pausing when he heard a very pitiful-sounding meow. It had belonged to a sopping wet cat with white fur and green eyes, which he had brought home thanks to his bleeding heart.

 

A cat. With green eyes. The same shade of green as the woman currently grinning at his realization.

 

He groaned as she laughed.

 

“Yes, you saved me, Hashirama Senju.” She stated cheerfully. “I am now indebted to you with my life. For that, I will serve you,” her eyes darkened as a teasing smile replaced the cheerful grin from earlier. “However you wish.”

 

Hashirama cursed inwardly. Him and his morals. He really shouldn't have listened to his stupid conscience.

 

Outwardly, he could only manage a meek smile in response to her rather wolfish expression, along with a half-assed “you really don't have to”.

 

X

Chapter Text

At his insistence, because he was too much of a gentleman to let her roam around naked in his home, the woman turned back into a cat. Her feline form had beautiful, long white fur, a very small but lithe frame, and retained the stunning green eyes that stood out like a beacon among all the white of her body. She looked like a regular cat, albeit a very well taken care of cat, and observed him with intelligence and mischief that doesn't befit her appearance. Cats are cunning creatures, but even they don't look as calculating.

 

He sat at his work desk in his room, warily returning her stare with his own. Her tail swung idly to her side, a mass of fluffy white fur that was a stark contrast to his dark wooden floors. She was situated on the other side of his room, looking like she owned the place with her posture. He did not like that.

 

“What's your name?” He piped up suddenly. He couldn't call her ‘the woman’ when she seemed to be making herself a permanent fixture in his life. It would get very repetitive. The cat blinked slowly, then yawned before flicking her tail in dismissal.

 

A bit miffed that a cat had waved his presence away like it was nothing, even if it was a magical cat that can turn into a human, he bristled. “I order you to tell me your name, as your master.” He said firmly. He may be carefree and jolly most of the time, but this cat woman’s presence put him on edge. She may have claimed to be under his command, but she was a stranger. Strangers could not be trusted until they give reason to be.

 

He wondered how his brother and Madara would react if they caught wind of this… Occurrence.

 

The white cat raised its head, tilted it, then sat up fully. “Sakura.” She said. He blinked when he realized that she was still in her cat form. “I'm Haruno Sakura.”

 

“You can talk?” He blurted. The cat narrowed her eyes, her fur raising slightly in agitation. “Of course I can!” She said haughtily. “I'm not an ordinary cat, you know.” Her tail flicked violently before she turned away with a huff.

 

Hashirama scratched his head. Women are confusing. He swore that she was friendly -overly friendly- with him yesterday, and yet she was acting very distant with him in her cat form.

 

He was brought out of his thoughts as a lithe, furry white body hopped onto his table. Her tail swung impatiently. 

 

"I'm hungry. Feed me." She ordered. "I want umeboshi onigiri and dango." She paused. "Make that mitarashi dango. For three."

 

He cried at the thought of his wallet's suffering.

Chapter Text

Sakura's very small frame allowed her to ride on his broad shoulders when he went out. She attracted a lot of inquisitive eyes. Most wondered when and where the extremely busy Senju clan head got the cat, much less care for it enough to achieve such a pristine appearance. Some awed at her beauty, while most cooed at the cute sight.

They made quite the picture. Hashirama, although far from intimidating, was still a respected figure in society, and the sight of him with a fluffy white cat poking out from underneath all his hair would undoubtedly turn heads.

The first person to ask about his supposed 'pet' was poor, unsuspecting Madara who was swiped in the face by an angry Sakura when he mentioned the p word.

"Sakura's not my pet, Madara," Hashirama chastised as if it was general knowledge. "She's my friend. I saved her last night, when she was caught in the rain."

Madara was still holding his injured cheek, eyeing the glowering cat distrustfully. It narrowed too-intelligent green eyes at him before turning away. "You sure it's not someone's missing cat?" He pressed, tone laced with suspicion. "She looks too pretty to be some street cat."

The cat, vain little thing it was, straightened up and preened at being called pretty, tail swishing smugly from its spot on Hashirama's shoulder. It caught in his hair, but the brunette paid it no mind in favor of answering Madara's question.

"Of course I'm sure. I've been walking around all day and no one had claimed her yet." Hashirama said confidently, his hands absently making they way to untangle his hair from Sakura's active tail.

The Uchiha Clan Head gave him a disbelieving look. "Right." He glared at the cat, and was hissed at in return along with a warning swipe that made him step back slightly. "Stupid beast." He muttered. The cat hissed again but made no other move than curling tighter on Hashirama's shoulders, as if deciding he wasn't worth the effort.

Condescending little-

"Well, I'll see you around, Madara," Hashirama waved hastily, noticing the tense atmosphere between man and 'beast', and took off before Madara got into a brawl with his cat.

Once they were far enough away, Hashirama bopped her on the nose. She mewled pitifully.
He frowned. "Don't agitate my friend. He's done nothing wrong."

Sakura huffed. "Still a jerk."

She was bopped on the nose once more, and she flicked her tail in his face as revenge.

Chapter Text

“Do you ever wonder if chickens would find themselves delicious?” Sakura asked suddenly. Her chopsticks were raised halfway to her mouth  but she had paused to stare at the chunk of chicken meat she picked up. It was tender and juicy, dripping in the sauce she had procured earlier. She salivated silently as she fantasised about the taste. Hashirama chewed his onigiri thoughtfully. “Maybe. But aren't they herbivores?”

 

“Like, if they did, then we'd have cannibalistic chickens in our yard and they all slaughter each other every day.” Sakura continued, seemingly in a daze as her mind supplied her with various literal and very bloody chicken fights that would take place if an anomaly of a chicken decides to go cannibal.

 

“Wouldn't that be something.”

 

Konoha, land of the cannibalistic chickens, Hashirama joked inwardly.

Chapter Text

“Whatever you do, do not look them in the eye.” She hissed quietly to him, subtly shoving him behind her back. Hashirama frowned, about to retort but was silenced by her icy glare.

 

“I know that you can protect yourself,” she said. “But, here, only I can protect you.” Before he had a chance to protest, she dragged him out of the crevice they hid in, into the throng of magical people.

 

Hashirama shrunk when he noticed people eyeing him rather appreciatively. What did he look like to them? A slab of meat?

 

“Quiet. Not a word.” Sakura reminded under her breath, pulling him closer to her. She glared at the onlookers fiercely, adding a possessive growl for good measure. They quickly got the message and turned away, not daring to get a second look at the newcomer.

 

Hashirama watched on, confused and lost about the culture of this magical world, and stuck as physically close to his cat as he could.

 

“Stay on guard, we're almost there.” She didn't bother to clarify where ‘there’ was, so he took it as cue to not ask until they were somewhat safe.

 

Their brisk power walk lead them to a pair of huge, matte white gates. At Sakura's command, they opened slowly, like a huge beast's mouth waiting to swallow them up. Hashirama gulped silently, and skittered quickly behind the pink-haired woman as she made her way inside.

 

The gates lead them down a stone path that depicted cat head motifs, in varying shades of black and grey. At the very end, the cat head was white in color, and had two large emeralds in place of the cat's eyes. He noted that it distinctly resembled Sakura's cat form.

 

Sakura stopped in front of the motif. Her eyes glowed eerily before the ground underneath them rumbled and groaned. Hashirama could only gape as a gigantic tree thrice as broad as he was tall sprouted from the ground in an eerie imitation of his Mokuton, but on a more impressive scale.

 

The tree had a large wooden structure expertly built into its labyrinthine branches. Small planks of wood circled the tree in an ascending manner to act as stairs, which they both took to. Sakura was nimble in her maneuvering, while Hashirama tried to not look down for fear of losing faith in himself. He was never one to fear heights, but this tree completely dwarfed Konoha’s giants like an adult to a newborn.

 

“Quickly,” she urged, looking back only once to make sure he caught up, and he was both offended and comforted by the simple gesture. Did she think he would fall?

 

Sakura, as a testament to the less human side of her, skipped the last few feet of stairs and jumped to the wooden structure directly with all the grace and flexibility of a cat. Hashirama lamented his inability to do as she did and resigned himself to a twenty or so more steps in favor of not becoming a splatter on the ground hundreds of feet below him.

 

Dear lord, how did this tree grow so unnaturally huge? Although, considering the magical environment he was currently in, it wasn't too surprising. Magic made anything possible, he supposed, including making a tree grow to to unbelievable proportions.

 

Sakura's tense shoulders had relaxed as she surveyed what seemed to be familiar ground for her. She delighted in the thinner air above ground, of the wind caressing her cheeks so high in the atmosphere. Hashirama could only bask in her joy, never having seen her so at ease before.

 

After a while, Sakura gradually calmed herself down and sat on the hammock that bridged the gap between two sturdy branches, a little below the wooden platform the structure had been based on. Hashirama deduced it to be some sort of complex treehouse, though it looked like someone had plucked a regular house and put it on top of a tree.

 

“So, I assume you have questions,” she looked him in the eye, completely relaxed as she swayed with the motion of her hammock. She gestured to the opposing hammock in front of her that daunted him with the sheer height from the ground and its deceptively flimsy appearance. He gulped.

 

“Better make yourself comfortable, because this is gonna take a while.” Sakura admonished, shrugging casually. “Don't worry, the hammock's stronger than it looks. And even if you did fall I'll always be there to catch you.” She winked playfully. “A dead master is no good, after all.”

 

Slowly, Hashirama lowered himself into the hammock, surprised at how comfortable it was. It shifted and swung as he adjusted his weight, and when he was finally situated comfortably, he turned to face her with a serious expression. “Explain.”

 

Sakura smirked. “I'm gonna need something more specific than that, master,” she teased. Hashirama pouted, serious expression dropping. “But there's so many things I want to ask! I can't possibly find one to start with.”

 

The woman eyes him with a fond look in her eyes that made him redden inexplicably. “Just ask the first thing that comes to mind, then”

 

“For starters, what are you? A summon?” He asked. Sakura shook her head, scowling. “No. My kind doesn't make contracts. But we do bind ourselves to humans if we want to. What was the term?” She closed her eyes in thought, before snapping them open in remembrance. “Familiar! Yes, that's it.”

 

“The main difference between summons and familiars are the way we are bonded. Summons, as you may know, create contracts that allow the user to summon them whenever they wish using a simple jutsu and a sample of blood once they have signed the contract.” As Sakura explained, Hashirama nodded, already knowing. Sakura continued. “Familiars require a deeper bond than that. The bonds can be achieved many ways, on differing levels of intimacy, and for various lengths of time. Some bonds last only as needed, while others stretch to the end of their lifespan. What's more, familiars do not disperse once their purpose is met. They will constantly be around their master, and the bond can only be broken by either party, or by death.” She relaxed back into her hammock as she finished.

 

Hashirama appeared to be thinking over her words, or formulating another question to ask her. She was not disappointed. “Are there any side effects of having familiars?”

 

Sakura hummed slowly before answering. “Not that I know of. Though…” She paused. “Familiars do drain some energy -chakra, as you may know it- from their masters to sustain their life force. It's not wholly parasitic, because they would actually be sharing their energy levels instead of one mooching off the other. For instance, if you ever find yourself low on chakra, I can always give you mine, and vice versa. However, if you completely run out of chakra, you would suck my reserves dry to sustain your own, and worst case scenario I would die. Usually, the bond just breaks. But with deeper bonds, the familiar dies, often by choice, to save their master.” her voice trailed off at the end, and Hashirama had to wonder if she knew by experience. Her melancholic expression disappeared as soon as it made an appearance, to be replaced by her usual serenity. “Any more questions?”

 

“What are your abilities?”

 

“I'm mostly a healer, but I am by no means defenseless. I have enhanced strength, proficiency in illusions, elemental magic and a hand at nature.” Her last statement was spoken with mischief, and it caused him to chuckle in bemusement. “Care to clarify that particular hand of yours?”

 

She grinned. “It's a surprise. I rarely ever use it in battle, though.” Her expression told him that she wouldn't be divulging any more than she did, so he chose to leave the matter alone.

 

“Tell me about your people.” He was very curious with Sakura's kind. Here, they seemed to have little to no concept of personal space, judging by how he was received in the crowds earlier, and he wondered if it was part of the culture.

 

“Well, as you know, we're shape-shifters. Specific ones.” She clarified. “We can only turn into cats or humans, but my kind has the ability to change gender appearances for the sake of disguises. A bit like your Henge, but we can't change our hair or eye color, only how masculine or feminine we look.” A naughty smile played at her lips as she eyed him suggestively. “So if you ever get bored with my female body, we can always switch things up if you want.”

 

Hashirama looked at her blankly for a moment before he reddened to the color of Madara's Sharingan and spluttered. “You- we- I don't-”

 

She threw her head back and guffawed. “Hashirama,” she wheezed, her smile still naughty. “It's fine to admit if you ever wanted to experiment with the other gender.” She giggled, before leveling him with a faux serious look. “But for your information, I've only ever topped in my male form before.”

 

His indignant shriek was music to her ears as she cackled into the night.

Chapter Text

Hashirama was comforted by Sakura's familiar purring reverberating on his shoulders. She was half-asleep but still alert, judging by her swinging tail. They had been tree hopping for over an hour already, but they had yet to make it to the rendezvous point to hammer out a treaty with the Mist village representative. Madara was a silent presence behind him, and he instinctively knew that he had his Sharingan on.

 

Suddenly, Sakura tensed up and hopped off his shoulder, making him pause abruptly. Madara nearly crashed into his back at the sudden stop.

 

Sakura had landed on a branch just ahead, feline ears tilting this way and that for something only she could hear.

 

Her eyes widened when she faced the left, fur bristling in agitation.

 

Hashirama only had a second to be embarrassed by her turning into a naked woman in front of him and hearing Madara’s squeak in embarrassment until she pushed them both out of the way as the bark under them exploded.

Chapter Text

“I do not understand.”

 

Hashirama's happy grin didn't falter at his younger brother's droll look. “What is it that you don't get?” He chirped, that damned white cat still in his hold.

 

It was hissing at him in a blatant display of hostility, yet his brother still insisted for him to take the damned beast along on his patrol. Tobirama frowned. The dislike was mutual. “Why must I take that furball of yours-”

 

“Her name's Sakura!” Hashirama huffed.

 

“-on my patrol? I've done this many times before. What difference does this time make?” Tobirama valiantly ignored his brother's obnoxious pout, opting to cross his arms to give himself something to do other than face-palm. The cat was leveling Hashirama with the same unimpressed look, so he supposed it was at least not stupid.

 

“This will be the first time you're patrolling village borders, not Senju borders, brother.” Hashirama stressed on the ‘village’ part of his sentence. “Of course you'll need some back up!” He held up his cat like it was Simba from the Lion King, an adoring look in his eyes. Tobirama gave him a dry stare.

 

“A cat is what you'll give as backup.” It was more a statement than a question. Hashirama nodded, forcing the protesting feline into his reluctant hold. The white ball of fur and spite hissed and spat at him like he was the biggest annoyance in the world. ‘Likewise,’ he retorted inwardly, not very kindly. He ignored the cat's claws digging into his forearms.

 

“Fine. But if I lose it, it's not my fault.” He scowled. Hashirama gaped, aghast, but he was gone before the elder could say another word.

 

The cat would not be of much use other than a neck warmer, anyway. He'd just throw it into a river or something.

Chapter Text

The forests around Konoha were silent.

 

Well, almost, save for Sakura's muted, ferocious growling. Her tiny chest that he could wrap his hand around was rumbling in displeasure, the sound rough and hostile compared to her usual purring.

 

Tobirama led his squad of four at a brisk pace, occasionally splitting up to cover wider areas in shorter time. He remained at the front, where he held Sakura in his hand like how one would hold a purse or bottle. She apparently loathed being carried like that.

 

“You can at least not carry me like this, you know,” the cat spat disdainfully, green eyes narrowed to slits. Tobirama eyed her in quiet surprise. “You can talk?”

 

The cat snorted, for a lack of better word. “Oh, no I can't. This is me not talking, definitely.” She snapped. The white-haired Senju frowned at her sass. “Watch what you say, cat,” he warned, scowling, “I can crush you easily with just my hands.”

 

He bristled when he saw her looking at him challengingly. “I'd like to see you try.”

 

Just as he was about to prove his earlier threat true, she jumped nimbly out of his hold, hopped onto the shoulder plates of his armor and used it as leverage to jump on his head. Then, her eyes glowed eerily, just in time to catch three enemy ninja in a cocoon of energy.

 

Tobirama's eyes widened. “What-” How did he not sense them before?

 

“Questions, later!” Sakura hissed. “There's more of them coming. Get ready!” She slammed the two nins into a nearby tree, knocking them out. The white cat straightened her form, keen eyes scanning her surroundings.

 

“Five more incoming, two o’clock!”

 

.

 

Apparently, they were rogue ninja. Bounty hunters who thought that they could make good money with Senju Tobirama's head.

 

Sakura preened herself as she sat on her well-earned throne consisting of Tobirama's broad, muscled shoulders. It was surprisingly comfy, especially with the white fur lining of his armor.

 

Tobirama was silent, his expression contemplative and distant, but his stance guarded as always. Sakura increased the magnitude of her purrs just to distract him, and earned a reprimanding flick on the ear. She flattened her ears to her head and whined. “That hurt!”

 

The Senju huffed an amused laugh. “You can take being slammed with a boulder but you complain with a mere flick?” He asked. His tone was teasing, but to the regular observer it sounded condescending.

 

Sakura had the gall to look offended. Well, as offended as a cat can look. “My ears are very sensitive, okay?”

 

Tobirama smirked in reply, before his face smoothed over into the usual indifference. They were almost home.

 

Silence reigned for a few beats.

 

“Thank you, for earlier.” He spoke very lowly, so as not to let his squad members hear. Sakura's ears flicked, and her feline eyes twinkled in happiness. He looked back quickly to make sure the others weren't watching, before moving to give her head an affectionate rub. “You saved our lives.”

 

She purred in delight. One green eye poked open, her tail deliberately smacking his cheek. “You're still gonna throw me in a river or something after this?” She teased, making him scowl and flick her ears again. “Hey! I told you they were sensitive, bastard!”

 

When they arrived at the Hokage Tower to report about their patrol, Sakura was quickly snatched out of Tobirama's shoulders into Hashirama's hold. “Sakura!” He cried, hugging the cat to his chest. “You're alive! I thought Tobi would really drown you!” He glared at his younger brother accusingly. Tobirama gave him a dry stare.

 

Sakura squirmed out of her master's grip, growling at the unwanted confines of his arms. “Let me go! I have something to do!” Hashirama apologized and quickly released her. She dropped to the floor soundlessly, looking ruffled with her pristine fur sticking up at odd angles. She shook herself before she climbed up Tobirama's body.

 

He caught her in his arms and waited curiously for what she would do. To his surprise, she put her tiny paws onto his chest, raised her body upright, and bumped their foreheads together. As soon as she was done, she scurried out of the room almost like she was… Embarrassed?

 

Tobirama could only look on in confusion while Hashirama gaped in shock. He turned to his brother, questions on the tip of his tongue, but Hashirama beat him to it.

 

“She hugged you before me? What is this witchcraft?!” He wailed in despair.

Chapter Text

The Uchiha were known to hold cats in high regard. It was a tradition that dated back to the clan's founding, in which their ancestor Indra Otsutsuki signed a contract with the proud cats, and miraculously had the contract maintained for the following millennia as his clan thrived.

 

Madara, like any normal Uchiha, loved cats. He adored them, even with their snobbish attitudes and ungratefulness.

 

However, there was one cat that he couldn't bring himself to tolerate. (Cat woman, to be exact.)

 

And that cat was currently sprawled in his best friend's lap, bushy tail swinging languidly as she judged him with her intelligent eyes. He suppressed a scowl at her dismissive huff, and instead refocused his attention to his friend.

 

"-so I had just received a reply from the Uzumaki clan this morning," Madara couldn't help but frown at Hashirama's gushing, for a lack of better word, and eyed him with polite interest to avoid glaring at his damned pet. "They agreed to survey our foundations and see for themselves what they can do for us to help us get off our feet."

 

His grin was annoyingly bright, but Madara's heart betrayed him by warming just the slightest bit at the brunette's happiness.

 

(He was getting soft from the lack of fighting, okay.)

 

His ears reddened at the knowing smirk (?) that 'Sakura' gave him, and bit back the extremely immature response of sticking out his tongue. That stupid cat brought out the worst in him, he swore.

 

Hashirama continued talking, mostly about how thrilled he was at the recent developments, and his ideas to bring in more clans and civilians. Madara halfheartedly listened, the other half of his attention going to the cat which had gotten up from her throne of Hashirama's lap, and hopped down to shake out her fur.

 

The mass of white gleamed in the bright afternoon sun, hurting his eyes a bit. He squinted to see past the brightness and refocused his vision on his friend instead.

 

Hashirama had stopped talking, currently having some sort of nonverbal communication with his cat before his eyes widened and he hurried to shrug off his haori. Madara raised a brow, about to question him on his odd behaviour until a bright glow emitted from the cat.

 

The cat slowly grew bigger, shifting short forelimbs into humanoid arms and hands, her figure swelling and sloping into that of a well-developed woman's. Before the glow receded, Hashirama efficiently slid his haori over her shoulders and drew it closed. Sakura stopped glowing, now taking on the youthful appearance of a beautiful woman with pink hair and striking green eyes.

 

She shook out her hair, uncaring as her ill-fitted garment slid open and revealed things that should not have been in public, and sighed in relief as she stretched languorously.

 

Madara, raised as the perfect gentleman by his kaa-san, averted his eyes and kept his gaze from straying to inappropriate places. Hashirama held no such reservations, apparently used to her antics, and fussed over her by trying to keep her decent.

 

Sakura groaned and shoved him away, letting the haori swoosh this way and that without a care in the world. "Hashirama, stop. I'm used to this. You humans are so conservative, I swear." She muttered the second part of her dialogue under her breath, but the two men heard anyway. Only the Uchiha looked confused and offended. Confended? Offused?

 

She rolled her eyes fondly. "So, the Uzumaki are coming?" She started. The Senju nodded with a happy smile. "Yes. They'll arrive by next week, if all things go according to plan." Sakura nodded in acknowledgement.

 

"I'll be greeting them with you. In my human form." She grinned mischievously at Hashirama's panicked emergency smile. It was less a request and more a statement. Her green eyes twinkled.

 

"Oh, come on Hashi. I know the Uzumaki. My best friend is half-Uzumaki, you know. His dad married an Uzumaki woman named Kushina. She's a firecracker." The woman drawled. "I know my Uzumaki, don't worry. Mito is a good friend of mine."

 

She seemed to reconsider her words. "Though, 'friend' is putting it lightly..."

 

Hashirama smartly decided to not ask how well-acquianted they were, but Madara unfortunately didn't have that knowledge. "How close are you two?"

 

"Hmm..." She grinned ferally. "I do things to her." She leaned in to whisper conspiratorially in his ear. "Unmentionable things."

At his horrified face and the following embarrassed squeak, she laughed outright, uncaring of the odd looks sent her way.

Chapter Text

Hashirama slept very lightly. It was an ingrained habit from war times, since he had grown up in chaos and bloodshed. Thankfully, those times were over, but he could never bring himself to wake up any later than the ass-crack of dawn.

 

(And sometimes he hated his body clock for that.)

 

However, today, he was not jolted awake by the weak rays of light at a godawful time in the morning. He was woken by a giggle, of all things.

 

A giggle.

 

And he had an inkling as to whom it belonged to. Curiously, though, the voice was not as feminine and familiar as it used to be. It somewhat held traces of his companion's voice, but was different in some way.

 

Deeper. Male, almost.

 

"Hashi~" the voice crooned. He grimaced at the accompanying poke in the ribs. Definitely Sakura. Even if these fingers were thicker than usual. Only she would be comfortable enough to bother him in his sleep.

 

"Hashi, wake up!" The voice whisper-shouted, frustration lacing its tone. Hashirama groaned into his pillow before rolling onto his back, spread eagle on his futon. Bleary eyes glared reproachfully at the newcomer.

 

"Whddya want?" He grouched. The figure, bathed in shadows as the sun hadn't fully risen yet, was distinctly male. A chuckle answered his question. "This is the God of Shinobi?" To which he countered with a grumpy "shut up".

 

After a bit of blinking and letting his eyes adjust to the poor lighting, Hashirama finally managed to glimpse a hint of pink. "Sakura?" He tried.

 

"Eh," the figure shrugged its too-broad-to-be-Sakura's shoulders. "I prefer Satoshi in this form."

 

The Senju's brows furrowed. "...in this form?"

 

Satoshi, as the figure deemed himself, crossed his arms in an unimpressed manner. "Really. I'm starting to regret taking a liking to you."

 

Only then did Hashirama register that yes, it was Sakura, but a male version of her. The Sakura he was seeing now was tall, almost as tall as him, with bulging muscles, shorter and messier pink hair, sharper green eyes, a strong jaw and a confusingly handsome smirk. "Like what you see?"

 

"Uh-huh." He replied in a daze. A split second later, his eyes bulged and he slapped himself. "Wait no I'm not awake yet-"

 

Male Sakura, or Satoshi as he would have it, threw his head back and laughed, and Hashirama cursed himself for finding the strong lines of his throat and jaw attractive.

 

(The thought of sinking his teeth into Satoshi's very tempting skin made him want to gouge his traitorous eyes and brain out.)

 

Satoshi recovered from his laughing fit a few minutes later, his pale skin illuminated by the steadily brightening sunlight flushed a soft pink, lighter than his hair. He grinned easily and crouched down so that they were eye level. "Anyway, sorry for the early wake up call, but you gotta get up early today." He said with twinkling jade eyes, and damn it Hashirama keep yourself together, he's a guy, however outrageously pretty he is, and Hashirama's own tanned complexion reddened as his thoughts once more betrayed him.

 

"Wha- what about today?" He managed to choke out, inwardly cursing his involuntary stutter. He was brought out of his thoughts by Satoshi's disbelieving snort. "The Uzumaki arrive today. How could you forget about them?"

 

Hashirama gasped and jackknifed upright, staring into thin air. "Of course! I'm such an idiot!" Ignoring Satoshi's snarky "wow, I just noticed", he wrestled free from the confines of his blanket and stumbled his way out of his room and down the corridor, forgetting to take a towel with him. Satoshi snickered to himself.

 

"What an airhead. And they call that their leader."

 

X

 

The Uzumaki were an easygoing and amicable bunch, easily spotted with their fiery red hair and natural charisma. There were carts loaded with what seemed like paper tags, barrels, cloth-covered packages and other miscellaneous objects, towed by mighty beasts of burden. A beautifully decorated and gilded carriage was located in the midst of it all, no doubt carrying the clan head and his heiress. Though shinobi, it was not to be forgotten that the Uzumaki were nobles in their own right.

 

Hashirama hoped they didn't see his sweating palms and fidgeting fingers. Satoshi cleared his throat, silently communicating for him to keep his cool. Tobirama was at his other side, eyeing the now male Sakura apprehensively, but kept a relaxed stance.

 

Finally, when the Uzumaki were nearing the village gates, Hashirama closed the distance and greeted them as warmly as he could in his nervousness. Thankfully, that was still more than the average person's, so none of his guests took offense.

 

"Welcome, cousins!" He boomed, temporarily getting over his nerves as his Hokage persona took over, and the bumbling fool was no more. The elaborate carriage bearing the Uzumaki swirls and seals of various types slowed to a halt.

 

Two Uzumaki, dressed in distiguished garments marking them as the Main Family's guards, stepped forward to open the door and help the passengers down, revealing the forms of Uzumaki Ashina and his daughter, Mito.

 

Ashina, even in his old age, had a jovial smile playing at his wrinkled lips, his white hair and beard immaculate as always. "Hashirama! And Tobirama too!" He called, extending an arm for a firm handshake. He waved jovially to the younger brother, who smiled slightly in recognition and bowed respectfully. "You've grown well, my boys. Who would've thought that you of all people would end this hundred years blood feud in these parts," the elderly Uzumaki head commented with a proud smile.

 

Hashirama returned his smile and bowed his head modestly. "Ah. The Senju could not have achieved this without the support of the Uchiha. Which reminds me," he frowned apologetically. "Madara was not able to greet you as he is currently out on a mission. He sends his regards, nonetheless, before he was off."

 

Ashina waved him off. "It's quite alright. Just seeing you in conditions other that what we used to is more than enough for me." He said gently, patting his shoulder in a grandfatherly manner. Hashirama nodded, agreeing wordlessly, before turning to greet the Uzumaki Princess.

 

-only to find that her attention was focused elsewhere, cheeks stained red in a pleased blush, and eyes sparkling as she failed to hide her excited smile. Hashirama raised his brow and turned his head.

 

Satoshi was in the middle of blowing a kiss towards the Uzumaki Princess, before he noticed another pair of eyes on him and redirected it to Hashirama instead, who sputtered indignantly and swerved his face forward, cheeks ablaze. Mito turned to him and glared, making him smile nervously.

 

He bowed his head in deference, tempted to fidget under her suddenly hostile gaze. "Mito-hime, it is a pleasure to meet you. I am Senju Hashirama, head of the Senju Clan." He forced out, before taking her hand and kissing it lightly.

 

Mito eyed him calculatingly, pretty eyes narrowed into threatening slits. She finally opened her mouth.

 

"What are you to Sakura-sama?"

 

Hashirama blinked, taken aback by her acidic tone. "Uh, excuse me-"

 

"Do you not realize that she is out of your league, worm?"

 

"Um-"

 

"Why should she need you when she has me? I can give her everything she could ever want. What can a mere boy like you give?"

 

"Hold on-"

 

"She's mine, so you keep your filthy," she took a step forward, causing him to retreat one step, "grubby," another step, "undeserving hands to yourself," she got up in his face, her face set in a terrifying smile, "weak-willed buffoon."

 

Hashirama wilted. Tobirama had the sense to catch him as he fought to regain his footing. Satisfied with herself, Mito returned to her former position, as her clansmen including her father watched on in amusement.

 

"Ara, Mito-tan," Satoshi sighed, but his lips were still quirked in mirth. "Still as possessive as ever, I see."

 

Mito snapped open her fan, embellished with her clan's insignia and containing many, many hidden, poisoned knives, and hid the lower half of her face. Satoshi could see her vicious smirk all the same.

 

"Only for you, Sakura-sama."

Chapter Text

Hashirama loved the Uzumaki. They were friendly, loved sake as much as he did, and were very passionate about what they loved. Unfortunately, he had to go and make an enemy of one.


Namely, one irate clan heiress, also known as Uzumaki Mito who was as beautiful as she was deadly.


She seemed to be of the opinion that he was trying to monopolize Sakura for himself and steal her away with his undeserving hands.


He begged to differ. It was the complete opposite.


Mito was the one hogging Sakura to herself.

 

These days, he could count himself lucky to be able to meet her once a day. Almost all the time, Mito clung to her like she would disappear without a trace if she let go. Not that he was jealous or anything... (He totally was.)

 

It wasn't fair! Sakura was with him first!

 

So, he sat at his desk, silently fuming with a bad case of Sakura-withdrawal. His paperwork piled in a heap on the left side of his already cluttered desk, long since abandoned.

 

"Stupid Uzumaki. Stupid Mito." He grumbled inaudibly, attempting to burn a hole in thin air with his scathing glare, which should have been directed to Mito, but nooo, she was off gallivanting with Sakura like she always seemed to be.

 

(He ignored the implications of saying such undiplomatic words about their honored guests and the repercussions if someone heard him. He was too upset to care.)

 

That selfish, spoiled princess brat.

 

His glare softened as his severe expression turned into a petulant pout which would receive no judgement in the privacy of his office. Or so he thought.

 

"Don't pout. It's not attractive." Sang a voice from his window.

 

Hashirama snapped upright from his gloomy slouch and peered excitedly at the windowpane, his smile splitting his face as he recognized the small white cat that hopped off the window and onto the dark floor of his office, shaking herself to rid any dirt or leaves on her pristine coat.

 

"Sakura!" He chirped, uncharacteristically happy to see her, where usually he would greet her with exasperated fondness after a prank or some other mischief she had been up to. Sakura blinked in surprise, feline eyes conveying her emotions as clear as day.

 

"Uh, hi." She replied, launching herself gracefully onto his desk with a perfectly calculated jump. Hashirama brazenly pushed off some of the papers off his desk to make room for her to sit, before putting his chin in his hands, a goofy grin playing on his lips.

 

Sakura sat back on her haunches, her expression somehow portraying apprehension even as a cat. "Are you okay?" Triangular ears flicked at the lightest noise, as her fluffy tail swung to the erratic pulse of his heart. She looked ready to run.

 

Hashirama hummed, smile not faltering. "Ah, nothing, nothing. It's good to see you. I assume you managed to get away from the Uzumaki brat?" His eyes twinkled gleefully at the thought of Sakura turning up her nose to Mito's company, causing he to fall to her knees dramatically and cry as she watched Sakura saunter into his arms, betrayal clear on he face-

 

"-shirama. Hashirama!"

He blinked, trying to not make it apparent that he was having a ridiculous daydream, and smiled sheepishly. "Sorry. What were you saying?" He chuckled, remembering the unlikely scenario that his mind conjured up as a response to his Sakura-withdrawal.

 

The cat somehow managed to look exasperated, but at least her tail wasn't swinging as violently as before. She was calm now, meaning he was also calm. "I was just saying that Mito-tan actually sent me here to ask you to meet her at Training Ground 5 in five minutes." Sakura yawned, tiny fangs glinting in the midmorning light.

 

Hashirama felt an inexplicable shiver run through his body as his mind oh-so-helpfully supplied Mito's terrifying glare and the ease in which she crushed his self-worth. She was a force to be reckoned with, and half of him regretted ever crossing her.

 

The other half, the stubborn half, the one that couldn't back down from challenges, and was often suppressed by Hashirama when making decisions because it was so rash and impulsive, rashly and impulsively screamed at him to whoop Mito's ass and sweep Sakura off her feet to rub in his victory.

 

Just this once, he complied.

 

"Alright then. Take me to her." He said easily, getting up from his chair. Sakura looked at him oddly, wondering if he had a death wish to go against Mito, who was a renowned genius in applying her seals. Even Sakura was wary in taking her on, and she was decades older than these mortals were.

 

Shrugging, she simply deduced that Hashirama was his own kind of stupid, and let him learn the lesson to never challenge Mito on his own. She also desperately needed some entertainment, so it was in her best interest to watch Hashirama get mowed over by her Mito-tan.

 

She grinned secretly to herself.

 

"Okay, follow me." She got up and made her way to the window. Her body glowed and before she knew it, a haori was tossed at her. In her human form, Sakura giggled and let it land on her head, purposefully flaunting her body just to fluster him. She shrugged the haori on, laughing at his red face, before tying it closed.

 

"You know you're not getting this back right?" She commented slyly. "It's mine now." She smirked in amusement at his dry look.

 

"I know for a fact that I will never get anything including my privacy back when I decided to keep you." He huffed. Sakura groaned. "No, you don't get to decide anything." She clarified haughtily. "I was the one who decided to stay and improve your chances of survival in this world of yours." Her expression turned contemplative. "Though, it seems that my efforts will be going to waste since you'll be squaring up against Mito-tan in a spar." She plastered on a hopeful smile.

 

"When you die, leave all the fish crackers and your bonsai collection to me. I demand my part of the will!" She crossed her arms, looking proud of herself.

 

Hashirama face-palmed.

 

X

 

Mito stood regally in the northern end of the training grounds, her expression blank, save for a flicker of fondness at the sight of Sakura. She regarded him calculatingly, trying to deduce his strengths and weaknesses from the way he walked and how he held himself, and seeming to succeed.

 

Her lips were pursed in a line that didn't give anything away, and she was in battle gear. It was a complete change from the dolled up Mito in an elaborate Kimono he had seen earlier. She looked like a warrior. Hashirama gulped, feeling a small amount of fear.

 

"Today," Mito called out, loud and clear, and Hashirama felt his demise near. "We will battle for Sakura-sama's affections. Whoever wins will get to determine who spends how much time with her, and will be acknowledged as the better suitor until another challenge is issued." She spoke determinedly. Her navy eyes burned with a challenge.

 

Hashirama stepped forward, so that he would enter the circle that had been outlined to determine the area of battle. He sent a brief prayer up to the heavens, praying that he would get out of this in one piece. "I accept."

 

Mito eyed him sharply before she spoke again. "Anything is allowed. Stepping out of the circle will disqualify. This is direct combat; there will be no opportunities to hide in any natural means, but genjutsu or elemental jutsu that can alter the surroundings are allowed." She said, her posture straight even in battle.

 

Hashirama nodded. "I accept." He repeated, getting into a battle stance.

 

Mito followed suit. "The one to yield first will lose." She spoke warningly, eyes narrowed into focused slits. "Go."

 

The battle began.

 

X

 

It ended in a draw, with Mito having bound Hashirama's limbs with an advanced but experimental seal, and having a kunai at his neck, but he also had a kunai at hers.

 

Her shoulder was dislocated, her hair was in disarray, some of her ribs were broken from his trees, and she had a broken nose from an expertly aimed uppercut.

 

Hashirama had expertly sealed chakra pathways, a fried network system in his arm from touching a lightning imbued seal, and a concussion from getting slammed to the ground with chakra chains.

 

He could safely say that Mito was more than powerful enough to terrify him, if all she needed to subdue him was a secretly placed seal that blocked all his vital chakra pathways and render him useless without his special Mokuton. His taijutsu needed more work, and he had to brush up on his evasion and speed if he wanted to avoid her lightning fast attacks.

 

"Draw!" Sakura announced, before making her way over to them, green eyes assessing their injuries. Mito released the kunai, and he did the same. She rolled off him, panting heavily. Her head turned to the side, and she glared. "You got lucky this time, Senju," she bit out. "Next time, I'll go all out on you." She smiled darkly, and he inched away from her with a nervous laugh.

 

"Aha...ha...ha..." His eyes flickered to Sakura's nearing form, hoping that she would arrive before Mito decided to finish him off in his vulnerability. Due to his chakra being sealed, its naturally potent healing qualities couldn't help him now. "S-same goes for you, Mito-hime." He gulped.

 

Mito gave him another manic smile and this time, he blatantly rolled away from her. She watched his retreat with a satisfied, vicious smirk.

 

Sakura tutted as she neared them. Mito gave her puppy eyes, and Hashirama noted with disbelief how quickly she changed from a psychopathic girl out for his blood to a meek little lamb in Sakura's presence. Sakura awed and knelt by her, quickly getting to healing her as Mito smirked in victory at him.

 

He fumed silently, unable to do anything as his hands and legs were bound and his chakra flow was stopped.

 

"You two were amazing back there," she started suddenly, her eyes focused on relocating Mito's shoulder. Mito showed no outward signs of pain as it popped back into place, except for the tightening of her face.

 

"Thanks, Sakura." "Thank you, Sakura-sama."

 

They looked at each other and glared, though Mito looked away as Sakura started to pour in her soothing, warm energy to heal Mito's wounds.

 

She hummed in pleasure, eyes closing in complete trust at the woman, and Hashirama had to wonder just what they had gone through together to have a seasoned shinobi like Mito close her eyes in a show of how strong their bonds were to trust the other not to attack, even though Sakura had her most vulnerable points within reach.

 

Just how did they get to know each other?

 

He couldn't help but fear that their bond was stronger than his with Sakura, and how insecure that made him feel

Chapter Text

Hashirama woke up to Satoshi's naked chest in his face.

 

Not that he didn't enjoy it , but. Well. He had to at least feign having a shred of dignity intact.

 

"What are you doing." He grunted, trying very very hard to will his blush down. Satoshi's skin smelt like milk and honey, and he wanted to lick it.

Wait, no. No he didn't. Stop that, brain.

He snapped out of his reverie when strong, muscular arms wrapped around his waist and he could practically hear Satoshi's smile as he exuberantly chirped, "Today's Men's Shirtless Day! Don't you guys celebrate it?"

Hashirama blinked once, twice, before he exhaled a sigh that erupted goosebumps over the other man's skin. "No, we do not." He said wryly. "As ninja, we very much prefer to have everything covered. Attacks come anytime, anywhere, and it's best to not expose yourself."

 

Satoshi's grin was palpable when he next spoke. "Then I'm starting a new tradition!" He declared. "From this day onwards, Men's Shirtless Day will be recognized as an official holiday!"

 

With that, he dragged the poor Senju up to his feet and made quick work of stripping him of his shirt. Once it was out of the way, Satoshi whistled appreciatively as he ran a pale finger down his sternum to his happy trail. He grinned wolfishly. "Mind if I do a little examination here too?" His suggestive jab at his pelvic area made him flush hotly.

 

Hashirama yelped and slapped his hand away, shaking his head viciously as he blushed down to his chest. "No, no no no no, I'm fine. I'm very much fine, thank you."

 

The pink haired man winked. "I can assure you that you are very fine." He laughed at the brunette's even redder face, and gave him a quick slap on the bum before ambling out leisurely. "Make sure to be out in five minutes. Don't make me come looking," he looked back and smirked. "You might like what I'll do to you too much."

 

His boisterous laughs echoed down the hallway once he caught sight of Hashirama looking like he was on the brink of fainting from the blood rushing to his head.

 

X

 

Hashirama was having an amazing day.

 

Mito, for once, was not out of his blood since Satoshi's bare upper half served as a great distraction. (The whole village -including him, even if he didn't want to admit it; is Madara drooling? Wait, Tobi too? Damn it- thought so too.)

 

He was currently enjoying a jug of honey wine along with Satoshi at a nearby bar until his companion abruptly stood up, his cheeks slightly pink from the alcohol. Hashirama eyed him suspiciously.

 

"This better not ruin my reputation," he warned halfheartedly, knowing full well that it certainly, without a doubt would, and Satoshi laughed a deep, belly laugh, which drew attention to his drool-worthy abs and- damn it, focus Hashirama.

 

"Attention to all men!" The pink-haired shapeshifter called out, and everyone stopped in their tracks while a few wiped some drool from their faces. Satoshi smiled to himself, proud to get everyone listening so quickly.

 

"I have a special announcement today," he continued, almost hearing Hashirama's despair.

 

"I hereby announce that today is Men's Shirtless Day!"

 

His words were replied with an approving roar from the majority of the males in the crowd as they quickly reached to take their shirts off.

 

"Stop!"

 

Everyone stopped, and turned to glare at the objector.

 

"This is ridiculous. Don't do anything foolish, you will leave yourself open to attacks." Madara Uchiha stood with a scowl, daring anyone to oppose his words. The villagers all complied with grumbles of discontent, but none dared to disobey him.

 

Satoshi pouted at him. "Ah Madara, you're no fun at all!" He whined loudly, stomping his feet like a petulant child.

 

Madara had an expression that said if he wasn't an Uchiha, he would totally be flipping his fabulous hair and saying "so what", but because he was an Uchiha, nothing of that sort happened. He settled for an unamused frown. "You can go parading around shirtless whenever you want, but don't drag other people into your stupidity. Their safety could be at stake."

 

Satoshi approached him with cat like grace before sidling up to him sensually, a sultry smile playing at his lips. (Until the day he died, Madara would vehemently deny blushing or stuttering at the close proximity.)

 

"If you wanted to have me shirtless privately for you, all you had to do was ask," he crooned, as Mito screeched in outrage from the other side of the market. Her 'competition-for-Sakura's-heart' senses were tingling, her princess title be damned.

 

Before he could rebuff her claim, Madara soon found himself getting chased down by a fire-spitting, seal throwing, screaming Mito. He really didn't know how she managed to do all three at once, but she did.

 

Hell hath no fury like a woman (namely Uzumaki Mito) scorned.

 

Especially if a pink haired shapeshifter named Sakura was involved.

 

X

 

Omygod.

 

-facepalm- 

 

This 

Was

So

Random

Forgive

Me