Some days Tobirama despairs of his Anija. The Land of Water is bloodthirsty on a good day and downright savage, drenched in battle lust on a bad day.
It’s bad enough when they fight their rival clan on the main island, which they share with several other clans. When Hashirama grows fantastically energetic forests while the Uchiha burn them down until no one can see for the smoke and the steam. Not that smog has ever been a detriment to suiton, but black water is just not his preferred aesthetic.
But this growing of reefs every time Madara and Hashirama meet while out on errands, ok missions but still errands, so they have a solid place to fight on while Hashirama grows trees on top of it and kelp that snakes out of the water to snag unwary ankles, while Madara burns whatever he can set fire to is just… He has no words for it.
First of all, if Anija keeps growing reefs at this rate, no ship will be able to get to Water for trade without having a catastrophic wreck in the trying. The only good point in the debacle is that reefs resent being force grown and inevitably some sections of them will entirely collapse after Hashirama moves on, taking his pushy growth power with him. A ridiculous amount of corals always washes ashore somewhere a few months after one of these reef fights.
Fortunately, a few trees or skeletons thereof tend to survive the fights long enough for captains to map out the newest nautical hazard. Unfortunately, kelp reacts very strongly to Hashirama’s power and it is never safe to dive around the reefs he’s grown because the kelp continues to act semi-sentient for years afterwards, dragging down any diver reckless enough to approach (except Hashirama or Tobirama, of course, because even half sentient kelp isn’t stupid enough to try drowning someone who can grow parasitic plants on them at an accelerated rate and end their unnatural lifespan and well, no kelp tries again after the first time Tobirama rips all the water out of them, mostly because even the brief amount of time that works for is fatal to the sea weeds). Not to mention that even the less than wary fools who think cakewalking on top of the reefs is a good idea can get hauled off to drown. Granted, he has no idea why it’s called cakewalking, but that’s an entirely different matter that he does not feel like addressing at this point in time.
It’s gotten so bad that the Hoshigaki and several of the other clans with water summons have taken to demanding remuneration for damages done to their unsuspecting partners when reefs appear without warning. Even their daimyo has threatened to sue them twice if blockages of shipping lanes to the main ports weren’t restored with haste. Tobirama and Toka usually get tasked with this unwanted chore. Himself to rip all the water out of the offending reef and surrounding kelp and Toka to use doton to blast the corpses apart. Not like he couldn’t do both himself, of course, but there’s no reason to not halve the misery by sharing the misery. It’s not like they get paid for removing obstacles, not when Anija put them there himself! At this point, they just preemptively do the demolition if the fight overlaps a shipping lane. There’s far less hassle that way and he can guilt the fuck out of Hashirama by giving him judgmental looks while they do so. Toka agrees that guilting Hashirama is a nice bonus that almost makes up for the extra work, so she gives him alternating looks of Judgement and Imminent Murder, though she claims it’s only to give Tobirama moral support. As if.
At any rate, the Homicidal Reefs of Doom have taken out three separate invasions by Lightning clans, so at least there’s that in their favor. At some point Water is going to be absolutely impregnable, and not because it’s home to clans that like blood in their soup, so to speak. Although Water clans are delightfully vicious. (Granted, he’s sure that everyone is glad that the child killing has stopped, but…) All they’ll have to do is trap the fuck out of the shipping lanes and no one will be able to get in without losing most of their fleet and at least half of their ninjas getting through the Vindictive Reefs of Doom. Has he mentioned that about half of them to date have developed a species of coral that is decidedly not natural and grows in long, razor sharp blades tough enough to gouge steel? Because they have. And at least two have developed a vampiric species that grows along the top surface of the reefs. No, don’t ask, he hasn’t been able to determine why. Though, since he can, he blames it on the Uchiha, because it would be just like them to think bloodsucking coral is groovy.
Can he just say here that Lightning slang is pernicious and horribly contagious and the Lightning nin who introduced ‘groovy’ to the Uchiha deserves to burn alive? Incidentally, that is on his List of Things to Do, if rather at the bottom of the list because there’s always far more important matters demanding his attention that keep piling up at the top.
All this to say that he cannot imagine why his Anija thinks a beat down, of his best friend/worst enemy atop this particular Utterly Outrageously Overgrown Reef of Doom in hopes of convincing the Always Extra Uchiha that the Pursuit of Peace should overweigh Centuries of Ill Will, is a Good Idea. The very fact that Tobirama has begun to think in capitals about the Insanity of This Idea should be all the warning anyone needs to see that it is, in fact, a Terrible Idea.
Admittedly, the battles have been easier since Izuna tripped over a Rogue Starfish last month and sliced his hands to the bone on Most Likely Vampiric Coral and has demonstrated a certain Phobia Concerning Random Reefs of Doom. Regrettably this has resulted in the steady deterioration of Tobirama’s patience in the face of Lacking Something to Do. Tobirama would also like to note that thinking in Capitals is beginning to Weigh Heavily on his Already Too Thin Patience and he would Like to Kill Something Now, please and thank you. Besides a reef, that is. Reefs are just boring as foes. Far too easily overcome.
Unlike Izuna who had noped off at full speed water shunshin at first sight of Hashirama. The Coward. Izuna is his rival! How dare Anija take his toys away and not notice? Unacceptable.
Almost as unacceptable as That Uchiha, thoroughly coral scraped and half drowned, demanding that Anija kill himself or Tobirama to Prove His Sincerity! Though not nearly as unacceptable as Anija Accepting That Ridiculous Term. It is Official. Anija has Clearly Spent Too Much Time Communing with Kelp and Coral and his intelligence has been Adversely Affected.
He almost lets Overly Bold and Optimistic Kelp douse him ignominiously out of Sheer Shock when Madara stops Anija from suiciding and agrees to peace. What. The. Fuck. All these years and all that pleading and all it took was beating Madara half to death via coral cuts!? Why had they Not Thought of This Sooner!? It’s lowering. Diminishing. Nigh on degradating. Yes, he knows that’s not a word. Degrading just doesn’t quite cut it for impact in this instance.
Tobirama would think this a Humiliating Hallucination of Sharingan Induced Genjutsu if he did not know for a fact that no Uchiha suspects him of being the least bit on board with Hashirama’s Plans for Peace. Which he is not. But he’s not exactly against them either, so there’s that.
Pointedly ignoring the stunned Uchiha and Senju alike, Tobirama starts counting on his fingers. He’s still counting approximately three minutes later when Izuna sidles over warily and asks curiously, “What are you doing?”
It takes him a long moment to answer, because he needed to finish counting, but then he looks up and says, “271. Two hundred and seventy one! That’s how many Reefs of Doom the Land of Water would lack if we had only Settled This the First Time! Why didn’t you tell me that your brother has Uzumaki Blood and Requires Being Beat Into Submission in Order to Listen!?”
Izuna blinks at him like he’s perturbed by the question. “Should I be worried that the question has hearable capitals? Because I kind of think I should be.”
“Yes. You Absolutely Should!” Tobirama informs him. “Do you know how much Stress We Could Have Skipped if your brother wasn’t clearly a throwback to his Uzumaki Ancestor!? We wouldn’t have Vampiric Coral and Unknowable Kelp! We wouldn’t even have the Many Bladed Coral of Unspeakable Death!”
“But I like Sword Coral.”
Tobirama understandably and promptly suitons him off the Reef of Doom number 272. “I like it too! But you’re Deliberately Missing the Point!”
“How is that missing the point?” Izuna demands, wringing out his hair with a bemused expression. “Peace talks are always messy. And didn’t the reefs impress the Uzumaki so much that they proposed marriage to Hashirama? Also, there is no Uzumaki ancestor in our bloodline.”
“I’m not sure I want to know how you know that.” He points out, then eyes Izuna suspiciously before crossing his arms and saying oppressively, “No Uzumaki ancestor that you know of.”
Izuna rolls his eyes. “Fine. No Uzumaki ancestor that we know of. And we’d know, because we have records that stretch back over 300yrs. Unless someone lied, which is a crime among the Uchiha and just admitting to it would be so much less of an issue.”
“Point.” Tobirama considers for a long moment. “How many of your records do you think are forg-?”
“Otouto?” Hashirama interrupts.
“You do realize that if you keep this up there will be more Reefs of Doom?”
Tobirama blinks a few times and realizes that for once his Anija is utterly correct. Unnerving. Very unnerving. “Shutting up now.”