Date: January 17, 2017
"What If? Kage for a Day - Gohkage the Hokage"
As he rounded the corner after exiting his house, Goh's cloak billowed dramatically in the cool breeze. With the words 'THIRD HOKAGE' newly printed onto the back, the tall figure walked with an air of purpose. Not quite with swagger, but with confidence. This wasn't quite his first day on the job, but h was still his first week. He knew the routine. And he knew how to do it.
"Gohkage-sammaaaa!" The pickler flinched. He had never taken to that nickname. It had been given to him by his partner in jest at the inauguration. And sure enough, just like all good nicknames, it had stuck. With Senju Daisuke stepping down after a reasonably successful stint as the Second, Goh was keen to transition he leadership seamlessly. Getting into a pickle about such a nickname seemed fruitless. Even if he didn't care for it.
Fortunately for him, the nickname was mostly used by small children. On this case, by a young girl named Violet. She typified why the Leaf was such a grand place for one such as Goh. She was an orphan, having lost her parents to a shinobi raid in the Land of Fire. And through the goodwill and processes that the Village had in place, she now resided here. She could well likely be Goh's number one fan.
After all, it had been Goh that had found her and brought her back to the Village to begin with.
"What is it, Violet?" The Third asks, crouching on a knee so he can look at the youngster square in the eyes.
"You said you'd get me a present if I behaved, you dunderhead!"
Goh winced. He may have said something like that. With an exasperated expression, the pickler looks about himself. He pats at his pockets, hoping to miraculously find an object in them that he knew for a fact was not there. Then, through sheer happenstance, he glances to the side. On the pathway next to them, in arms reach, was a growth of wild flowers.
With a smile, Goh reaches out and plucks a single flower. Naturally, much to his luck, the petals were various shades of violet. "Here."
With a shrill cry of delight, the flower is snapped up by the young lass. Planting a kiss on the Hokage's cheek, Violet turns to skip away in victory. "Thank-youuuu. Good luck today, Gohkage-sammaaaa!"
Sighing in relief while rubbing his cheek, Goh stands. "Good luck to me today indeed."
"Hokage … Lord Third!"
Goh snaps back to attention when his title is so loudly boomed. He had been looking at such a wondrous cloud. Shaped like a lion's head, it was drifting through the blue sky with nary a care in the world.
"Sorry," The Third replies, raising a hand off the table from which both rest. "Can you repeat the question?"
Meetings like this were easily the most difficult part about the job. Even when they were situated in nice coffee shops outside of the offices, Goh found it hard to stay focussed.
With a hard look, Goh's guest for today, an emissary from Iwagakure, squared him up. "I've asked you twice now, Lord Third. We need to secure a valid trade route between our Villages. Ideally with the help of the respective Damiyo, too. Can you get into contact with the Land of Fire leaders and escalate this for me?"
It seemed like such a trivial thing to Goh. He understood the benefits that such a route could provide, of course. But the urgency in which it was presented to him did leave him just a touch confused.
"Of course." He answers with a confident smile, trying to stay polite under the hard gaze from his guest. "I'll make contact by tonight."
"Pheewwwwww…!" With a light squeak of his chair, the Third rests back to relax. With his desk stacked with papers, there wasn't much room for his lunch. But he had managed. Somehow.
Bringing his vision from the ceiling to the table, his lips curve into a slow smile as he brings his attention to the pickled carrot that lays before him. "Kukukukuku…" He chuckles almost fiendishly, snapping open some chopsticks. This was the first time he had been alone all day. And he was going to enjoy it the only way he knew how: by devouring his delectable wares.
Raising a piece of pickled carrot with his chopsticks, Goh hovers the serve to his mouth. His mouth opens in anticipation, lips wet with readiness. Lost in the moment. And then?
"HOKAGE-SAMAAA! Urgent business you must attend to! Please come with me!"
The Hokage nearly falls off his chair at the sudden entrance of one of his aides. And in doing so, he drops his chopsticks to the floor. Along with the carrot he was just about to eat. Looking at the food as if it were a fallen soldier, the Hokage sighs. "Be right there."
The warm day was beginning to wrap up. It had been mostly cloudless, Goh had observed. Save for that one which looked like the head of a big cat. Even now, as he stands atop the Lookout, there isn't much to tarnish the navy blue sky, lined at the horizon with deep crimson tones. It would be night very soon.
As if by clockwork, two shinobi appear before him with a flicker of movement. They are dressed in dark clothing, with equally dark plates covering their shins, forearms, chest and shoulders. Bright white masks cover their faces, each being the representative of a different animal. On Goh's right was some sort of bird. To his left was the head of a wolf.
Both shinobi appear crouched, bowing in service to their Leader.
With a hand raising to his hip, Goh looks down at them. Much like his nickname, this was something he was still adjusting to. He doesn't like being bowed to. He never did. But, as he was told over and over, it was a necessary part of the chain of command.
"Do you have what we discussed?" He asks.
The bird faced man answers with an affirmative sounding noise. Outstretching his hand, he offers forth a scroll to the Hokage. Taking it, Goh unravels the document to scan the contents. For a moment he thinks. The quietness of the rapidly fading twilight falls down around him, as the two ANBU operatives remain completely silent. "Very well," The Hokage finally speaks. "Go with a tight a-grade type-two formation. And take Squad Seventeen with you. The Inuzuka there will be very handy in this situation."
The two ANBU members nod in understanding, before disappearing as quickly as they arrived. Goh rubs his eyebrows with his thumb and index finger. At the very least he can hope that he has not just sent men and women to their deaths.
Somehow, through no fault of his or his aides, some crucial paperwork had been missed. As a result he was forced to postpone the dinner date he had lined up with his significant other and instead file out reports on the latest S-Rank mission findings.
"What am I doing here?" Goh asks himself quietly, standing up from his chair and rotating his right hand about. Through so much scribbling it had become painful.
Wandering over to his large windows, the pickler takes in the views from his office. His eyes scan down and around, tracing from the village gates to the Hokage stone faces. His own face had yet to be started.
Perhaps through chance or some greater work of fate, his glance spots a familiar face treading on the path below. It's Violet, wielding a colossal sized ball of cotton candy in her right hand. Her left hand is gripped to her current guardian, the pair likely returning home from a dinner out.
Through the soft red lights of the lamps that light the path in which they walk, Goh squints to make out a shape tucked behind her ear. A flower. Picked roughly from someone's garden, the stem sits tucked behind her ear to balance it out nicely. The violet tones of it match nicely with the girls thick red hair.
His trademark smile returns.
Suddenly, it all seemed worth it.