"Kotetsu," Tsunade yawned from the desk, leaning her head against her hand, "Kotetsu, I need those papers to be signed by the Hyuuga. Kotetsu?"
The door to the room opened quietly, then closed just as quietly, depositing a ninja in the room. Tsunade's eyes widened, lips puckering in confusion.
"Tsunade-sama," Iruka said, shuffling forward, papers in his hands. He flipped through the papers as he approached her desk, looking over them carefully, avoiding her gaze.
"Iruka, where's Kotetsu?" Tsunade asked. Iruka glanced up, tilted his head to the side, and smiled.
"He's off for lunch, Tsunade-sama." He turned the papers and set them in front of her, tapping a line near the bottom. "If you could sign here, please?"
She grabbed a pen, scrawled across the line, then looked up at him again. "Then why are you here? Shouldn't you be at the mission's room?"
Iruka leaned forward across the desk, hip jutting against the edge. He lowered his head until his mouth was next to hers, and when he spoke, his breath pushed her hair, his lips brushed against her cheek.
"I'll be wherever you want me to be, Hokage-sama."
"Can you sing?"
Kabuto groaned, choking on his blood. His fingers skittered across the stone slabs, trying to find purchase, something to cling to as his muscles screamed. A foot came down almost gently on his hand, weight increasing until the bones were snapping, the fingernails tearing off. Kabuto screamed, head twisting and turning and pulling back. The sandel left his hand and he pulled the bloody mess to his chest, cradling it as sob after sob tore through a throat too damaged to plead.
Orochimaru knelt next to him, laid a small hand on the back of the boy's neck, and combed fingers through the silver hair.
"Can you sing, Kabuto-kun?"
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