The izakaya is the definition of a total dive, not unlike many a stop Jiraiya has made over the course of his travels. It is the just the right place for any traveling nin in search of cheap food, abundant alcohol, and the possibility of company. This one has the reputation of being a hotbed of information, so it is only natural that he stop here for the night. His proximity to Rice Paddy country and a confident whisper regarding Orochimaru’s whereabouts has nothing to do with it.
Or so he tells himself.
When a dark haired woman approaches him late in the night and offers him another round of his choice of drink, Jiraiya cannot find it in himself to say no. Not when the delicacy of her features is so like his lost teammate and once-lover, and he’s weary of the loneliness that hangs over him day after day. Then she laughs, and the lavender and rose scenting her hair triggers a sense memory so strong he knows she is hiding secrets. What is another one-night stand? He does have a reputation to keep. So when she suggests they go back to the room he’s rented, he cannot find it in himself to say no.
They come together in a rush of lust, and Jiraiya is struck with the realization that something is not quite as it seems. Abrasive chakra flashes for a split second when he drives her to climax and he calls upon every ounce of willpower within him not to let her know he knows the truth. Orochimaru was always very good at realistic henge. Too good, apparently.
Before Orochimaru leaves, Jiraiya grabs his arm, unable to contain the impulse as it comes. It’s been far too long, and if he lets him go now, it might as well be forever.
"I know it's you." he says softly, as alarmed golden eyes lock onto his.
As easily as breathing, Orochimaru lets the henge fall. "Why did you let me stay if you knew it was me?"
"Because I've missed you, and I think you wanted me to know. You still smell the same."
"You let me approach you, flirt with me, keep you company, and have sex because you missed me and thought I missed you?" Orochimaru asks with a disbelieving look.
"I could ask the same of you, unless you meant to kill me, but the fact that you were trying to leave leads me to think you wanted this. Why do you think I have been looking for you for so long?"
"For your duty as a Konoha-nin." The snake Sannin gives a light sneer, and Jiraiya winces.
"If that were the case, I think we'd be in very different positions right now, don't you? Why did you approach me, then?"
"Curiosity." he deflects. "Who knows what you could say when distracted?"
"You know secrets don't slip. I'm good at what I do. The truth now." Jiraiya sidles closer, hand still tight on Orochimaru’s upper arm.
"The same reason as always."
"Say it, teme."
He leans into the touch unbidden. "Because."
Jiraiya pulls him closer. "Say it. Orochimaru...just say it."
"You're - you were - my only friend. Company."
"It's more than that, and you know it."
"Yes." The word is drawn out, quiet, and he hides behind the dark veil of his hair until Jiraiya lifts a hand to tenderly brush back the heavy locks.
“More than that for the both of us." he says softly.
"But what about Konoha?" Orochimaru whispers. "I refuse to go back."
"I know there was more to everything than anyone would say...Oro, you could come back, blow the lid off the whole thing..." Jiraiya looks pleadingly into brilliantly golden eyes he's missed, that he's loved since before he was old enough to know how it felt. "I’ve missed you...gods, you have to know that."
"And then what? I go back to being ostracised and reviled? To always have other Jounin - my so-called comrades - doubting my story and that I framed everyone else, or deeming it propaganda put about by the council?"
"We could turn it around, together, Oro."
"And I would still be alone."
"Not alone if we're together."
"You can't stay in one place; you always travel."
"I have traveled the known world looking for you." Jiraiya lifts his hands to cup Oro's face, taking liberties, marvelling again at the softness of his skin. "Please, Oro."
"And then what?"
"We take one step at a time. Or...I go with you, and you tell me everything. No more lies."
Orochimaru’s heart nearly stops. "You..."
It's as if his ears are ringing, he couldn't have heard that, "You would leave Konoha to follow me? Permanently. For the truth?"
"For the truth. And for you by my side." Jiraiya holds his gaze, certain and steady.
"I don't know which one I want." he whispers, bound by Jiraiya's burning eyes and fervent words.
"We could go home again. Together. Make things right. See certain people brought down for what they've done. I won't go back without you though. Nor will I force you."
"I will be imprisoned. People will claim you're under a genjutsu."
"Easy to dispel and easier to affirm truth with the help of a Yamanaka. Any imprisonment would be brief. They know you can't be held unless you willed it so."
"I will never permit myself imprisoned again by words, deeds or walls!" Orochimaru snaps.
"Then I stay with you… or you kill me."
"If you're so damned persistent about returning to Konoha, then prove it without me. I can tell you what I know, but you need to find the evidence."
"And If I do?"
"Then I return to Konoha a fully pardoned semi-tragic hero."
Jiraiya kisses him without warning or preamble, just hot breath and arms closing tight around the true form of the person he's loved so long.
"I'll do whatever it takes," he breathes.
Orochimaru is dazed and lost in the kiss, but at Jiraiya's vow a half-vicious smile slides across his face. "Then so be it."
And he tells his former teammate everything. Everything learnt from Danzo as the 'shadow to the Hokage', everything extrapolated from hints. Every dirty secret. Every stolen child or mysterious child. ROOT. Strange coincidences about Nawaki, Dan, Hatake Sakumo, his wife, and how all their names, Minato's, his own and Jiraiya's were on files. How it was statistically unlikely that all who showed such promise should fall in one way or another.
Jiraiya listens, stony-faced, clearly filing all information into his memory, and some written in code in a notebook he seemingly pulls out of nowhere. There is a new resolve in his eyes, a certainty, a menacing edge that Oro recognizes all too well.
He stops, drained, yet with a lighter weight on his shoulder and a pale spark of hope flickering to life inside. "These are my facts. These are my suppositions. Now prove them true."
"I will." Jiraiya says simply. "I've worked on far less information. It will be a joy to bring this to light."
"You already know where half of the offices are and the seals. I'd be surprised if you couldn't prove some of it."
"Underestimating me already?"
"Consider it a challenge," he purrs. "If you think the reward is great enough."
"The reward is worth my life and more."
Orochimaru leans against the wall, angling himself to catch the dim light. "And what exactly would you do with your reward?"
Jiraiya is pressed close to Oro in the space of a breath. "Endless possibilities both carnal and mundane.”
His lips find the curve of Oro's neck, one hand in his hair. His voice is thick and husky, whispering temptation into the serpent’s ear. “Exploration... discovery... claiming as my own in every way I can."
Orochimaru hisses sharply, tensing reflexively before he melts into Jiraiya’s grasp. "Oh? What would you do? How would you... claim... me?" his lips linger over the words. "After all, you've fucked me as a woman and as a man now."
"And yet I've never had your sweet mouth before. Or tasted every inch of your skin, marking it slowly and deliberately."
The snake user shivers and his eyes slide partially shut, "Oh? How would you have me?"
"Pinned writhing beneath me. Or bound in silk rope, testing the limits of your incredible flexibility. I’d have you on your knees begging. I’d take you bent over your desk and make love to you up against a wall. Every. Single. Way. I can." Jiraiya growls, teeth nipping the tendon where Orochimaru’s neck meets his shoulder.
Orochimaru leans into Jiraiya's heated bulk with a quiet moan, wrapping his arms around his broad shoulders. It's been far, far too long since he touched anyone barring those in his care for practical reasons, and it’s been even longer since he’s had a kind touch from anyone.
"You feel so good against me, lover." Jiraiya purrs, sucking and biting sensitive skin, one hand resting at the small of Oro's back, angling him so their hips meet. "Even better than you did earlier."
"Surprising given that I don't have breasts any more." The sensual way in which Orochimaru rocks against Jiraiya's hardness contradicts the sharpness of his words.
"But you're even more sensitive this way, perfect and utterly gorgeous." Jiraiya's hand slips down his hip to grope his buttocks and drag him against the front of his body. "You're you, and that’s exactly what I want."
A strangled groan passes between his lips and he arches back, still practically starving for touch. "Exactly what you want?"
"Exactly what I want. You, Orochimaru, as you are." Jiraiya presses him against the wall and yanks the front of his kimono open, mouth hungrily tasting silken skin.
A frenzy of need crashes upon Orochimaru and he rips off Jiraiya's barely there sleep shirt to grip his shoulders tight and wrap his legs around the toad sage’s waist. Jiraiya groans, hips hitching up into Orochimaru's body, hands lifting him up closer as he stoops to take one nipple between his teeth.
Vicious brightness drags a sharp cry from Orochimaru’s throat and he stiffens up, clawing at Jiraiya.
"What is it, lover? What do you want?" Jiraiya growls.
Jiraiya hoists him up easily and spins to walk them towards the bed, letting his lover's kimono fall and the shreds of his shirt slide down off of his shoulders. He sits on the bed with Orochimaru straddling his lap. "Touch all you want, my Oro."
His own hands grope Orochimaru's slender hips and the rounded curve of his toned buttocks. The panties he'd worn earlier are in shreds on the floor from their first encounter. His skin seems somehow even silkier now, and Jiraiya's hands hold him securely, unwilling to let go.
Manically, Orochimaru skims and scrapes and presses his hands over every inch of his lover's skin he can reach, and goosebumps pepper every place he touches. Jiraiya bites his lip, pulling Orochimaru’s hips closer as he writhes and thrusts upwards, craving more. Jiraiya slips one hand between them, fingers closing around the heat of Oro's erection, stroking delicate skin and pressing it against his own, all breath rushing from his lungs. The last time they were together like this he hurt Oro badly, but oh how he wants to be inside him again, to be one with him again.
He kisses Orochimaru desperately, drunk on his presence, gasping at the pleasure. The smaller man rolls his hips upward again and again, rubbing his cock against Jiraiya's firm grasp, but he's incomplete. He pours his all into a second kiss.
"Jiraiya." he gasps, then guides Jiraiya's free hand to his arse.
"Yes, Oro..." Jiraiya kisses him as he slips his fingers to press gently between Oro's buttocks, free hand reaching blindly for the oil on the bedside table
He grabs it and has it open in an instant, dripping oil over his fingers and pressing one gentle fingertip just barely to the first knuckle. Orochimaru bites his lip and squirms against the welcome, unfamiliar intrusion.
"Don't...want to hurt you...not again."
Jiraiya presses deeper into hot, maddening tightness, working him gently with more oil and eventually a second finger, garnering a sigh as Orochimaru presses into the contact, driving him deeper. Jiraiya quirks his fingers slightly, seeking out his prostate, eager to bring him pleasure even now.
"Oh but I want you, my Oro." Jiraiya sighs, kissing him again.
Orochimaru slips a hand between them and works his lover's cock steadily. "I want you too."
He groans, slipping his fingers from Orochimaru's body and kisses him gently. In a breath, Jiraiya pulls Orochimaru’s hand away and spreads more oil over his length before setting it aside.
"When you're sure you're ready."
The snake summoner draws his heels up, quelling the creeping memories of long ago - of tearing, bloody pain, but he hikes his hips up nonetheless. He draws Jiraiya into a sure kiss.
"I'm ready.” he whispers.
Jiraiya rolls them over and guides himself against Orochimaru, pressing the head of his cock slowly inside, eyes locked on his lover’s, carefully waiting for signs of discomfort. When he meets little resistance, he continues, groaning at the heat and pressure encasing his length bit by bit.
A drawn-out shudder wracks Orochimaru’s body as Jiraiya's lengthy cock presses into his hole; it shouldn't be possible. He's so wide and he's pushing in inexorably.
"Relax, love. I'm not going to hurt you, I swear it." Jiraiya gasps against his cheek, dropping soft kisses. He presses forward until their hips meet and he exhales a shaky breath, waiting. "You feel so good, like you're meant for me..."
"I know. You're so big." he murmurs. His chest heaves with bound up tension and need.
Each small movement is enough to steal his breath as Jiraiya draws back a scant inch and slides gently back in, setting an easy rhythm. He keeps his eyes trained on Orochimaru's face as he moves, each press of flesh remaining slow and careful until it is clear that his lover wants more.
Orochimaru’s eyes roll back in his head, and he shifts down further when Jiraiya's cock skims over something that runs electricity and brightness through his nerves, sending sparks throughout his brain. Jiraiya quickly slips an arm beneath his hips and repeats the action, pulling back further and driving deep in firm, sure strokes. Louder cries spill from Orochimaru’s lips as his passage widens with each steady thrust, taking his lover completely in perfect pleasure.
Finally, Jiraiya shifts them again so that the smaller man is astride him and in full control. When he sits up so that his lover can brace against him completely, the position is so intimate that Jiraiya can scarcely hold back the rush of emotion that follows.
At long last, they are together.
And it is so, so good.
Wavering as they shift, Orochimaru takes a moment to steady himself before working himself up on down on Jiraiya's shaft, making the larger man groan, his lips finding Orochimaru's throat, hand guiding his hips, letting him lead. Their dance feels endless, perfect, chakra almost melding...as if they might slip their skin and truly become one.
For the first time, there is nothing missing. No hopeless yearning for what could have been, just the certainty that this is what he wants.
Orochimaru drags Jiraiya into a sharp, deep kiss and the toad sage can’t help but lose himself in it. The warmth, the taste of his lover against his lips, the feel of him in his arms, surrounding him in every way triggers desire and need that roar through him like never before. The pleasure spirals through his body, urging him toward completion, but he holds back, desperate to meet it with his lover.
Movements become urgent and graceless as Orochimaru shifts his legs beneath himself and rises up until only the very tip of Jiraiya's cock is breaching his hole and he is achingly empty. Hastily, he sinks down in a single move and howls as the stimulation pushes him over the edge into a violent climax which is all the more intense after having been celibate as a male for decades.
Jiraiya's eyes flash open, memorizing the sight of it, and he is suddenly shoved headlong into his own crisis, hands gripping hard enough to bruise Orochimaru’s hips as his body erupts in a flash of heat deep within his lover's tightening passage. He cries out, holding Oro close, pleasure bursting through him, cresting even higher at the sticky-wet heat splashing over their bellies.
"Gods, Oro...so perfect..." Jiraiya whispers, lips brushing sweaty skin in adoration as Orochimaru brushes kisses over his neck and shoulder.
"Be mine, Orochimaru. Please." he begs, suddenly serious. "I will do all I promised, I swear it."
"How yours? In friendship? In partnership? In love? In what?"
"In love and friendship and partnership. In everything. Be my mate." he says desperately, knowing the depth of what that word means to his lover.
The world stops.
A shiver pebbles Orochimaru’s skin as all sweet, heady lassitude fades. He stares at Jiraiya. "Your mate? I will not commit lightly. You mean this and we never part. We effectively own each other in marriage and life."
Jiraiya's eyes are sincere and utterly resolute. "I know what it means. I want it all." He squeezes Oro’s fingers gently, "I want you, all of you. For as long as I have breath and beyond."
"Yes." Orochimaru says, eyes ardent.
Jiraiya's heart nearly stops, and a bright smile finds its way across his lips, one that has been absent for far too long. "My heart has been yours for most of my life."
"As has mine." Orochimaru’s words are laced with a poignant air he cannot withhold. "I have only loved two."
"As have I." Jiraiya’s eyes drop with a hint of sadness he quickly forces away. He kisses Oro's hand and cheek, then shifts to find his pants, pulling something from a pocket. It is a length of red ribbon, heavy silk, with ceremonial bells and charms. An Akamine symbol of favor.
"Someday you might wear this in your hair, for me?"
Orochimaru takes the ribbon, pulls his hair it into a high tail and braids it through, tying it off with a complex Shimenawa knot. "I have nothing for you..."
Jiraiya grins. "It's okay, I was the one to propose, after all."
"Prove to the world who has fault in Konoha, your gift will be ready then, regardless."
"It will be done, my love. You have my most solemn promise." Jiraiya cups his cheek and kisses him gently.
"I know." Orochimaru smiles at the small tinkling sound of the bells, knowing that Jiraiya already has a plan in mind.
It will be done. Orochimaru does not mention that he also has plans about tracking down Tsunade and siccing her on Danzo. She should have her chance at justice as well, and they are more than overdue a reunion, even if it is a difficult one.
He settles against Jiraiya’s chest, and the bells tinkle as they sway with his hair, a clear crystalline sound. He frowns. "I hope you don't mind if I dull those when I need to."
Jiraiya smiles. "Activate the seal on the charm and they will be silent."
With a spark of chakra, the bells fall silent, and Jiraiya’s grin only grows wider in full knowledge that Orochimaru was not expecting such a thing to be accounted for.
And they curl up in bed together, Oro's thick hair a more than ample cushion against the belled ribbon he doesn't want to take off just yet. If ever.
New beginnings are afoot.