"You..." Rei and Konan stopped in their tracks as the small seven years old girl timidly walked out of the woods.
"What are you doing here?" Konan coldly asked, her eyes narrowing.
The girl just looked to the ground as she clenched her old battered plushie to her chest.
"I couldn't sleep so I went on a walk."
Rei raised his eyebrow.
"And do your parents know you 'went on a walk'?"
The girl blushed and shook her head, making Rei chuckle.
He came closer and patted her on the head, neither he nor the girl noticing the murderous glare Konan gave the girl.
"What's your name?" He smiled at the girl.
"Ah, Rena-chan, is it?"
Konan's glare intensified as her eyes narrowed.
"So, Rena-chan, we are helping your village but for the magic to hold, you will have to keep this secret. Can you do that?" Rei squatted in front of the girl and looked directly into her eyes.
"Un." Rena timidly nodded.
"Ah, pinky promise?" Rey reached his pinky to her.
"Pinky promise!" Rena happily hooked her pinky around his.
"It will be our little secret, then."
He stood up and patted her again.
Rei's body instantly stiffened as he felt the minuscule amount of killing intent from behind him. He slowly turned around and saw Konan with an impassive expression, only her eyebrow slightly twitching as her eyes were dangerously set on the girl.
"Ahahaha!" He rubbed the back of his head awkwardly. "Konan, let's go and take this girl home, shall we?"
Konan finally tore her eyes from the girl and looked at Rei with a pout but nodded.
Later that night, they were in their room as Konan still sulked. Rei approached her and put his hand on her head, ruffling her hair.
"You should know that I intend to have more women. I already told you." He gently told her.
"I know." Konan hugged his torso. "It's just... I won't allow you to take any useless girl!"
"Useless?" Rei tilted his head.
"Ah, now you are just trying to be cute."
Konan blushed and buried her face into his stomach as he laughed.
"If you want another woman, it will be Kunoichi. A strong kunoichi or someone with potential." Konan mumbled.
"May I know why?" Rei asked as he stroked her hair.
"Because I want to be special." Konan ashamedly whispered.
"Yes. I want to be the only civilian girl you took under your care and nurtured from the scratch. I want to be special." Konan said with determination burning in her eyes.
"So, let me get this straight," Rei groaned. "you don't mind I will make a harem as long as you are the only girl who joined it as a civilian? Seriously?"
"It's dumb, I know." Konan bit her lower lip cutely. "But it is my reason."
"You will be always special to me, Konan." Rei told her softly.
"I know. The connection through the seal is iron-clad." Konan nodded. "You don't even know how many times I wanted to have sex with you."
She put her finger to Rei's lips, preventing him from interrupting.
"I can hold myself until we are at least thirteen. Three more years." She said it with such longing and need, Rei almost faltered but his mouth spoke on instinct.
Konan pouted but gave a whiny reluctant nod before she continued.
"But I know we won't be able to separate anymore. You gave me something that day. And I was insufficient. That much I know. I stopped seeing other males as something desirable. They are but strangers. Just thought of kissing one of them disgusts me."
"I didn't know, Konan." Rei told her and got a weak smile in return.
"I know you don't feel that way. My soul... it was too small compared to yours. I took what I could take. Those... talents as you called them. And in exchange, I gave you the entirety of what I am. However insufficient it was compared to what I received from your soul." Konan looked to the ground. "I am not complaining. I love it. I love you. I know you love me. That you will always love me. It is kind of freeing, really. Not having to doubt it since we are bound... even beyond death."
Konan softly sighed but then her eyes went hard.
"But if you want another girl, she WILL join us in this bond. She WILL be a strong kunoichi. And due to my pettiness, she WON'T be a civilian. If you want a civilian to join, make her into kunoichi first and then, fine." Konan strongly told him. "But in exchange, you have to agree that you are my master!" She blushed and whispered quietly. "Danna-sama."
Rei rubbed his forehead in frustration.
"Shit. I knew telling you the story about Grayfia Lucifuge was a bad idea..." He mumbled to himself, making Konan snicker.
"FINE." He sighed in exasperation but then chuckled, bemused. "Guess, these are acceptable terms, Konan-chan~."
Rei started patting Konan's head and saw her closing her eyes in delight as she put her head on his lap and enjoyed the care.
"Good girl." He whispered to her, making her shudder.
He sat there for a few minutes, just enjoying Konan's silky hair, thinking about what he just heard. Yes, he had his suspicions. The small changes in their relationship after the mishap with the link seal were a big tell. Especially since both vividly remembered what happened. He never thought it seemed like that to Konan. He knew they were linked. But he didn't know his soul took so much from Konan's. But it made sense. His soul was older and had even these talents. Hers? It had only itself.
The most I could do... is to make her as happy as possible.
He thought as he watched his almost purring girl.
"Why did you let the girl walk away?" Konan suddenly asked, her eyes still closed.
"The girl. She saw our Mokuton." Konan's ambers softly opened and peered to Rei's emeralds.
"Ah... she is small." He moved his hand dismissively. "Even if she started screaming about people growing trees... Civilians mostly do not know about Senju unless it is in a capital city or some very wealthy and knowledgeable merchant. Even then, nobody would believe her. There is also no proof as the tree would need a Senju or Sage to be in close proximity to verify it. It would take either a very hopeful and determined person or a complete idiot to believe her."
"I see, you basically let her see important information without any danger to us even if she babbled. She is a child... I see. True. Nobody is as delusional as to believe another Mokuton user emerged. Much less two..."
And with that, Konan tackled Rei to the bed, cuddling with him as they both fell asleep.
It will be only years later when the small girl, Rena, finally breaks her promise for the first time. Coincidentally it will be, as Rei put it, a very hopeful and determined person. A very hopeful and determined person who was on the verge of despair as for years she taped in the darkness, having no clue about the spike of nature energy she felt in Ame.
That person will come to the tree, and her determination will grow exponentially as she will break down crying due to receiving the first clue in years. That person will be able to fully feel the overpowering life force permeating from the tree to the ground because that person will be Senju and since she felt the spike of nature energy, her feeling for nature energy started slowly growing. She will feel finally at home, feeling the chakra in that tree. And she will be completely aware of what kind of a powerful Mokuton technique this was as the nature energy will engulf her senses. And as Konan put it, she will be delusional enough to believe two Mokuton users emerged. And Tsunade Senju will be damned to not find them!
Without their knowledge, this small act of kindness toward the village will mark Rei and Konan as a target, no, an obsession for a very determined kunoichi who won't stop at anything to find them. Even if she had to turn the Elemental Nations upside down, rock by rock.
For, the sensitivity of Senju works in both directions. As she could somewhat feel the nature energy. The nature energy could feel her too. While not sentient, it could carry intent. Tsunade was too close to the linking and the intent clearly connected. It made her soul tremble as it felt the connection that was made. Even Tsunade didn't know why, but she wanted it. She craved it. And, unknown to her, a minuscule part of her soul... was already not hers.