Location: 2 forgotten and uncared for graves in a quiet and unvisited section of the cemetery
Time: sometime shortly after midnight
Recap: It's an anniversary of an event she wishes never happened but at the same time, another one she's very grateful of. Tsunade celebrates... and mourns... the lives of those precious to her.
Warnings: just an angsty little monologue
It was late as she lay there in the cold, damp grass, watching the moon as it finally rose up above the far mountains to the east. The luminescent orange sphere seemed to be remembering that night as well, having donned the colors it surely wore as the sky was filled with fire. In her rational mind she knew it wasn't really such a color... that it was mearly a trick caused by the curve of the atmosphere near the horizon. But as drunk as she was at the moment, her mind was far from rational.
Sitting there amongst the graves that carried the same date, this very one in fact only 16 years earlier then present, she could almost swear she could hear the spirits trapped in that epic struggle. Women and children crying, frantic orders being shouted, shinobi screaming a final battle cry. If she closed her eyes she could almost smell it, blood and smoke, sulfur and death. She hadn't been here for it, having left long before that infamous attack. But that didn't mean she didn't know. It seemed in the life of a ninja, all the great battles were the same, only the enemy changed.
Closing her eyes, Tsunade fought to push those thoughts out of her addled mind. At the same time cursing Jiraiya for getting to drunk to fast. He was supposed to have come with her, having missed the last three years. But he didn't need to be here to commune with the spirits. He was doing just fine on the bar stool she's left him on.
Pushing herself upright, the blonde woman stared at the two stones before her, reading their names over and over, as if to remind herself they were indeed gone. It didn't seem to make a difference, as she soon let out a weary sigh and began speaking as if they were there, warm and soft and alive, instead of buried deep beneath those cold, hard marble slabs.
"Has it really been 16 years? Some days I look back and it seems like only yesterday you were... and yet other times..." another sigh "I feel too old. Why is it that the good die so young, seeming to go before their time? While others hang around and never seem to make much of a difference?"
She grew quiet again, thinking about them, how happy they'd been in life. How loved they'd been. And yet, in the end, after everything they'd done, the village had repaid them with cruelty and neglect of the only thing they'd left behind, the only thing they'd after asked of anyone else, as if that one request had just been too much.
"I am sorry, old friends, that I wasn't here when you needed me... when he needed me... he needed anyone really. I had buried myself in my own pain and selfishness, and ran away from what life had left to offer. I wonder what the difference would have been, if I had been here... if he would have turned into the same amazing boy... young man... that he is today. Perhaps it was better this way... sadder... but better."
Tsunade started to rise, knowing that still wasn't acceptable. Even if it all made him a better person in the end, it still made her angry. Standing there on wobbly legs, she made the same promise that she made every year on this night... at least... every year since she'd met him... since he'd saved her from herself.
"I know... I know that I can't change the past. But... I can still make a difference, even if it's only to one person. Perhaps it's time I did." She moved forward, touching them each in farewell. "Excuse me my friends but... your son needs me."
With that she turned, leaving the spirits to their rest, turning her thoughts to the boy she would never admit to anyone how much she really cared about. Perhaps, if she was still drunk enough later on, she just might let him try on her robes today. Just for a little bit. After all it was something she knew he really wanted, and who was she to deny the birthday boy?