They’ve come out a bit worse for wear; Kotetsu will be sporting a few new razor-thin scars on his forearms that will fade beyond recognition soon enough, and Izumo’s right thigh is dominated by a sickly-looking purple bruise. Otherwise, they are unharmed, and they are both aware of just how much worse it could have been.
The road stretches out lazily before them into the distance. Konoha is still days away, but at least they have finally crossed their country’s border and into relative safety. Izumo frets at the thought of the paperwork waiting on their desks for them, knowing from experience that Tsunade wouldn’t touch the forms and files of her own volition. Kotetsu shrugs and thinks instead of a comfortable bed and Izumo’s cooking, still delicious in the field but even better in their tiny kitchen, at the secondhand table wedged beside the stove.
They stop to rest when they reach the top of the hill, exhausted. Izumo leans against a tree and remarks on the view, the sweep of field and forest almost dreamlike in the summer haze. “You can see the same kind of thing near the village, I suppose, but you never really notice when you’re there.”
He’s not surprised when Kotetsu leans in to kiss him, but he enjoys it nonetheless, loves the casual way they can show affection here in the middle of nowhere.
Suddenly, neither of them is in a hurry to get back.