Author's Note: Welcome to "Son of the Sannin" dear reader! You're about to embark on an amazing journey following how Naruto's life would have been if he had been raised by everybody's favorite pervert and his friend the blond gambler. Though then again, there will be changes to the Naruto Universe that have nothing to do with this event. You'll see as the story unfolds. But I promise that said changes won't be too big, and it will be mostly to cover plot holes and make for a better reading experience.
Now, as for pairing, as you can see, the main pairings will be Naruto/Hinata and Jiraiya/Tsunade, though there will be more pairings out there, such as Sasuke/Sakura or Shikamaru/Temari. But with the exception of NxH and JxT, nothing's written in stone.
Also, I'd like to thank Hektols, whose amazing story "New Chance" gave me the inspiration to write this work (among other stories) as well as for providing with some ideas to make this story much better. Seriously, if you like Naruhina, go to read his story.
DISCLAIMER: Okay, I'm going to put this here because I got a lot of reviews bitching about the issue. Despite being a story about Naruto being raised by Jiraiya and Tsunade, NARUTO ISN'T GOING TO BE OP. He will be stronger and smarter than he was in canon, and he will learn most of his canon abilities earlier, but he won't be a Gary Stu with 400 bloodline limits and a harem. Hinata is going to be his equal, not some arm candy. You have been warned.
Also, this story is an ENSEMBLE PIECE. What does it mean? That it has a lot (and I mean A LOT) of characters, and while Naruto will remain the main character through and through, many times the focus will be on other character or group of characters.
Anyway, enough ramblings and disclaimers, let's get this story started!
An Unconventional Family
Foxes, Toads and Slugs
Jiraiya stood in front of the gates of Konoha, contemplating the place that it had been his home for such a long time. That's it, until Orochimaru's betrayal and Tsunade's self-imposed exile made it unbearable for the Toad Sage to continue living there. He never had a permanent home from that moment onwards, hopping from one town to another, doing his "research" and having one night stands with beautiful and easy to charm women. He only returned sporadically to pay a visit to his student and friend, Minato Namikaze.
It has been three months since the latest, and now last, of those visits. They talked about Jiraiya's failed book, The Tale of the Gutsy Ninja, and how Minato wanted to name his firstborn son after the main character of said book, Naruto. In the meantime, Jiraiya wrote his first erotic novel, Icha Icha Paradise, which became a bestseller in no time, engorging his already large bank account. He had been planning to drop by once the kid was born in order to give the newborn some nice gift.
In fact, he was on his way to Konoha when a courier ninja arrived and told him about the tragic news, and that his presence was required in the village. Upon reading the letter with all the details, at first he thought it was some sort of tasteless joke, but the letter he was carrying had the stamp of the Hokage's office.
And now, just as he stood in front of the gates, he realized it wasn't a joke as he had secretly hoped. Even from the outside, Jiraiya could tell that Konoha had been victim of a devastating attack recently, which was confirmed the moment the Toad Sage walked into the village.
The streets were nearly empty. Destroyed buildings left and right. Trails of smoke coming everywhere. The gray sky appeared to reflect the somber and depressing mood the village seemed to be in. Jiraiya hurried towards the Hokage's Tower.
Hiruzen Sarutobi was in his former, soon to be his once again, office as he absent-mindedly looked through the window, lamenting the current state Konoha was in. An ANBU appeared behind him.
"Hokage-sama, Jiraiya-sama is here as you requested," the ANBU announced.
The Third turned around, and sighed. "Tell him to come in, please."
"As you say," the ANBU said before disappearing in a cloud of smoke.
A few second later, the white haired Sannin walked into the office. Hiruzen couldn't help but smile a little upon seeing his old student.
"Hello, Jiraiya, it's good to see you again, even if it's under such awful circumstances. How was your trip here?" Hiruzen said as he sat down on his chair.
"Not to be rude, but that matters very little now. It's that true, sensei? Are Minato and Kushina truly dead?" Jiraiya asked, trying to suppress the anguish of his voice.
Jiraiya averted Sarutobi's gaze, sighed, and whispered a profanity. He looked at his former sensei once again and asked: "May I...see the bodies?"
"You may, but not now. There are urgent matters we must attend first before you can pay your respects to your student and his wife," Hiruzen gravely said. "Matters that concern their son."
"Their son? Where is Naruto now? Is he okay?" Jiraiya asked worriedly.
"Naruto is fine. He's possibly one of the few people how came out of this unscathed," Hiruzen said.
"I don't know if I'd call having a demon sealed inside him 'unscathed', sensei," Jiraiya pointed out. "Not to mention that that kid just lost his parents."
"True. Excuse my lack of tact. And to answer your first question, he's downstairs, on the lower floor. A couple medical ninjas are taking care of him. Now, Naruto was the reason I called you here."
"Because I'm his godfather."
"Exactly. According to Minato and Kushina's will, they left everything to Naruto; all their physical assets, such their house and other properties, as well as all their liquid assets, which will be managed by his legal guardian until Naruto comes of age. And according to their will, this person is you."
An uncomfortable silence followed Jiraiya's laconic answer.
"So...do I suppose that you're up to become Naruto's legal guardian and raise him until he's eighteen? Regardless of Minato's will, we can assign another legal guardian if you refuse."
Jiraiya found the offer tempting. He had decided a long time ago that he would never settle down. That he would throw himself to the pleasures of life, to wander the world and enjoy it as much as possible. Taking care of a baby would made such thing impossible. He'd need to stay at a permanent place –more than likely Konoha, since neither sensei nor the elders would allow the Kyubi out of the village for other nations to take it– and had to prioritize Naruto's needs and well being over everything else. No, the perspective of becoming a single father was everything but alluring.
But then again, if he didn't take care of Naruto, who will? Almost nobody in the village would want to be near Naruto after the Kyubi's rampage out of fear, and he knew that other people would try to turn him into a weapon, depriving him of a normal childhood. No, he had a moral responsibility towards Naruto. Nobody else would want to take care of Naruto and raise him like a normal child but him.
Jiraiya soon would learn how wrong he was. He was about to give his sensei an answer when shouts from outside the office drew both men's attention.
"Miss, I'm sorry but Hokage-sama is in a meeting. You can't disturb him now," a male voice said, which Jiraiya vaguely recognized as the ANBU he has been talking to.
"Do you know who I am? I'm sure that sensei will make time for one of his old students!" a female voice angrily replied, a voice Jiraiya knew too well.
"Oh my, I didn't expect her to come here so soon. Or to come at all," Sarutobi said, visibly worried.
"What is she doing here?" Jiraiya asked, equally worried.
"You see, Hokage-sama's guest is also another one of his old students and-"
"WHAT!? GET OUT OF MY WAY!"
Jiraiya and Sarutobi winced, and they both hoped that the poor ANBU wasn't too hurt.
The office's door slammer open, and a big breasted blonde burst in. She fixed her eyes on Jiraiya, and snarled. She then looked at Sarutobi with rage in her eyes.
"Oh Kami, I knew it! You're going to do it!"
"Tsunade, harming my ANBU and breaking into my office like that is not an appropriate thing to do," Hiruzen said calmly.
"Oh can it, sensei! I came here to stop you from making a huge mistake!" Tsunade said angrily.
"And that mistake would be...?"
"Leaving a child under the care of this...this...maniac!" Tsunade said, pointing at Jiraiya.
"I'm fine, Tsunade-hime, thanks for asking," the Toad Sage said in a deadpan tone, earning another glare from his former teammate.
"I see. I suppose that you have a better candidate in mind?" Sarutobi asked, intrigued.
"You are damn right! I myself would make a much better caretaker than this smut writer!"
"That's fine, but you don't have any legal base for claiming Naruto's guardianship. I am his godfather and Minato left Naruto under my care should something happened to him and Kushina," Jiraiya retorted.
"Yes I have. Naruto's my family."
"Yeah, sure. And I am the grandnephew of the Sage of the Six Paths."
"It's true, you moron! Kushina was an Uzumaki, just like Mito, my grandmother. I am Naruto's only family, and thus I have a greater claim to be his guardian."
"While I admit I am no expert when it comes to parenthood, I'm pretty sure that taking care of a baby costs money. Lots and lots of money. And last time I checked, you were hounded by quite a few creditors."
"I'm aware that Minato had quite some money on his bank account. I can use that to cover Naruto's expenses."
"Yeah, if you don't blow up on a casino again!" Jiraiya angrily said, and turned to his former master. "Sensei, you can't seriously leave Naruto under this compulsive gambler!"
"I do have experience raising children! I've been raising Shizune since she was a little girl, and she turned out fine!" Tsunade said before Sarutobi could answer. "Even with my flaws, there's no way I can't be worse than Jiraiya!"
"Alright, I heard enough!" Hiruzen said, raising his voice and slamming his hands on the desk to make his former students to shut up. "Both of you have good points, and I'm sure we can reach a compromise."
"What kind of compromise?" asked Tsunade. "Shared custody?"
"Not exactly. It's obvious that you want what's best for Naruto, so why don't you raise him together? You can cover each other's weaknesses, and I'm sure that Naruto will benefit better if he has both of you taking care of him instead of just one of you."
"But...that means that we'll have to live together..." Jiraiya said. He didn't like where this was going.
"Yes, of course."
"But we're not a couple! What the hell are we supposed to do, pretend that we're a happy marriage for Naruto's sake?" Tsunade protested.
"You don't have to pretend anything. If it put your mind at ease, think of each other as being roommates with a couple common interests. Or teammates fulfilling a long term mission," Hiruzen said, hoping his solution would appease both Sannin.
"I don't know if this little meeting didn't made it obvious enough, but Tsunade-hime and I aren't exactly on friendly terms," Jiraiya mentioned.
"Yeah, I saw. But there was a time in which you'd take a kunai to the gut for the other. I have faith you'll mend your relationship, at least for Naruto's sake," Sarutobi said.
"It's not that easy, sensei," Tsunade said.
Hiruzen sighed heavily. "I never said it was easy. Listen, I've been aware of the lives you have been living after you left Konoha, and frankly you had me worried. From what I could see, all what you did is try to run away from your personal demons, indulging in superficial pleasures for shallow comfort. But I can tell that neither of you have been happy, regardless of how much you might try to deny it.
"We all have lost somebody dear to us. I myself lost my beloved wife and many old friends to the Kyubi a few days ago, yet here I am, taking the mantle of the Hokage once again. I'm not saying that we're all the same or that you shouldn't deal with grief, but...how long has it been since both of you left? Six years? Maybe more? I think it's about time you two start to move on.
"You can think of this as an opportunity. A new, fresh start. A chance to do something great. Don't you think it's about time to stop wandering around the world aimlessly wasting your lives in vain pleasures, and start doing something productive with your lives again? Both of you want to take care of Naruto. If that's the case, show me that you're worth him. Show me that you're able to not let your demons to get in the way of rekindling your friendship. Show me that the great and powerful Sannin, the ninjas I helped to shape are still there, instead of the gambler and the pervert before me."
A deafening silence followed Sarutobi's speech. Both Sannin wanted to reply, but they just were unable to. They couldn't find the right words. Any words. They glanced at each other, hoping that the other would have a clever reply that would get them out of admitting that their sensei was right, but there was none.
Jiraiya sighed in defeat. There was no way out of here. "Okay...I'm...I'm willing to raise Naruto together. What do you say, Hime?"
Tsunade had calmed down a bit, and looked just as pensive as Jiraiya. "Alright, if this is what I have to do so I can be with my only family...but don't dare to get any ideas! Understood!?" Tsunade said, pointing an accusatory finger at him.
Jiraiya raised his hands in defense. "Hey, I didn't say anything! And you'll see that I can be a perfect gentleman."
"You better be."
"Then it's settled," Sarutobi said, visibly satisfied, as he stood up from his desk. "Now, would you like to see Naruto?"
They didn't need to answer. Sarutobi guided his two former students to a room in the lower floor, in which a teen girl was being instructed by one of the medic ninjas how to hold baby Naruto. At the girl's feet there was a small pig wearing a maroon jacket and a pearl necklace.
"I see that you're getting to know Naruto, Shizune," Tsunade said when she saw her apprentice.
"Oh, Tsunade-sama! Did you get Naruto's custody?" Shizune said, smiling at her.
"Er...yeah, more or less," Tsunade replied.
"More or less? What does that mean?"
"I got joint custody with Jiraiya over here," Tsunade said as he motioned to her fellow Sanin. "We...we'll be living together from now onwards."
"Oh, you're Jiraiya-sama?" the teen girl asked. "I'm so glad to meet you! Tsunade-sama told me a lot about you!"
"Shizune!" Tsunade shouted.
"Really? That's nice to hear. And exactly what did she say about me?" Jiraiya asked with a perverted grin.
"Wipe that grin from your face, you pervert! The first thing we're going to do once we settle is to establish a series of rules to make sure we have a...tolerable coexistence. You got that?"
"Of course, Hime. You know I'd hate to do something to get on your bad side."
"That's good to hear. So, shall we move to Minato's old house already?"
"Actually, I don't think that's a good idea," Hiruzen intervened.
"You see, Minato had a lot of enemies that would love to get revenge on him through his son, so I believe that we should keep Naruto's existence, as well as his parentage and his condition as a Jinchuriki a secret outside Konoha's walls. That's why I think we should sell all of Minato and Kushina's properties, and use that money to buy a new house for the four of you to live in. Also, I think that we should give Naruto his mother's last name instead."
"But sensei, Naruto has the right to know who his parents are. We'd make a disservice to Minato and Kushina's memory," Jiraiya calmly protested.
"I guess you got a point there, Jiraiya. Alright, for the time being, you can tell Naruto that his parents were powerful ninja who died the night the Kyubi attacked, but keep their names a secret for the time being. Same goes with the Kyubi."
"Sorry sensei, but I have to disagree there as well. You simply can't keep such a thing a secret from him, especially since the rest of the village knows about it already," Jiraiya protested once again.
"It's for his own protection."
"How being ignorant to the incredibly dangerous being inside him is going to protect him exactly?" Jiraiya didn't bother to hide his skepticism.
"Listen, I want Naruto to have a normal life. That's what his parents would have wanted. Naruto carries a heavy burden on his shoulders, but he shouldn't be aware of it yet. That's why I'm going to enact a law in order to forbid the Kyubi from being even mentioned by either ninja or civilians, under penalty of immediate execution."
"Let me tell you why that's an monumentally stupid idea," Jiraiya replied. Sarutobi couldn't help but feel outraged at Jiraiya's bluntness. "Your solution amounts to ignore the Kyubi. We can ignore it, but that won't make the Kyubi disappear, and everybody else knows that. Forbidding people from talking about the Kyubi might protect Naruto to some extent, but it won't make people forget that the Kyubi is still inside him, nor stopping them from seeing Naruto as a bomb ready to go off at any moment."
"Even if that's true, how can Naruto have a normal life then?"
"Let's face the facts: such thing is impossible. Naruto won't have a normal life," Tsunade interceded. Both Jiraiya and Sarutobi turned at her in surprise. "Not that that's a bad thing, though. Normal doesn't have to mean happy. Jiraiya and I will ensure that Naruto's childhood is as fulfilling as possible."
"Thanks for backing me up, Hime," Jiraiya said, smiling at her.
"I'm just stating the truth."
"But if his generation grows up knowing that Naruto carries the Demon Fox, it might alter their perception of him and will judge him unfairly. It will be nearly impossible for him to make friends," Sarutobi interjected once again.
"Tell me, sensei, do you think anybody would let their children near Naruto knowing what he's holding inside? At the very least, with all the facts, the children will be able to judge Naruto by themselves. And if they're unable to differentiate between the prisoner and its jailer, then they aren't worth his time," Jiraiya said.
"You seem very sure of yourself, Jiraiya. Are you sure this won't backfire?"
"I would be lying if I said I was one hundred percent sure, but I do believe that it is the best option. Let's have faith that the new generation will accept Naruto and won't judge him unfairly. You always drilled into our heads the importance of protecting the next generation. If we protect them, then we can place some trust in them, right?"
Sarutobi spent a few moments silent, pondering Jiraiya's words. A smile slowly crept his wrinkled face, and soon the old ninja was laughing, much to his students' bemusement.
"To think that I just had one of my teachings used against me...yeah, guess that you proved your point, Jiraiya. There will be no special laws regarding Naruto. You two will be tasked with his protection and well being, and we'll have faith that Naruto will be accepted among his peers, regardless of his burden," Sarutobi said. "There's one more thing I'd like to talk about. Even if I can guess your answer, it's there a chance that you may rejoin Konoha's ninja ranks again?"
Besides getting back two of the most powerful ninja Konoha ever produced, Hiruzen was hoping that the return of the Sannin would help boost the incredibly low morale of Konoha's citizens.
"Sorry, but no. I came back here to take care of my only blood family left, not to be a killer and relive painful memories," Tsunade firmly stated.
"I'm with her. I left the ninja life behind. I'm a writer now. We will get involved with Naruto's training once he's old enough."
He was about to add "should Naruto choose to become a ninja", but for somebody like Naruto, that wasn't a choice. He'd have to be a ninja for his own sake. Both Sannin hoped they could convince him to take that path.
"But think in all the good you could do! Konoha's in its darkest hour. I'll ask you to reconsider," Sarutobi said, almost begging. He knew that if he passed this opportunity, he'd never had the chance to convince them to go back to being ninjas again.
"Here's my counterproposal: I'll take a job at the Konoha Hospital, and I'm willing to even train future medic nins. But I'm never going back to a battlefield," Tsunade said.
Hiruzen seemed to agree with her terms. He then turned to Jiraiya. Now that Tsunade made a concession, he'll have to do one as well.
"If there's a mission that absolutely nobody else can do, you can call me," was the Toad Sage's offer. "Also, my spy network is at your service."
"Good to see that I can count on both of you, even if it's on such terms. Even if it was tragic circumstances that made you return, I'm glad to have you two back on Konoha," Sarutobi said in a heartfelt manner.
"Then it's all settled. When do we move in?" Tsuande asked, impatient.
Three Weeks Later
Neither Jiraiya nor Tsunade had much luggage, due to both of them being wanderers, and hoped that they could move to a house to begin their new life. However, it took Naruto's new family some time before they could be settled in. With Minato's money, they bought and remodeled a two story house with a yard, that had been damaged during the Kyubi attack. It needed a lot of work before they could live on it, such as giving the front a paint job, replace broken glasses, fix the plumbing and the electricity, and move out the previous occupants' possessions (who had sadly died during the Kyubi attack, and were given to their closest relatives).
While they worked on the house, they were forced to live on an improvised shelter for other people who also lost their homes to the Kyubi.
Still, after weeks of hard work, they were ready to move in. Jiraiya had called dibs on setting up Naruto's bedroom. Despite Tsunade's very loud protests, in the end she had relented, and allowed the Toad Sage to have his way. The fact that he locked the door and didn't allow anybody to enter until he was done was enough to raise an alarm on the blonde's head.
As Jiraiya was getting ready to show Tsunade and Shizune Naruto's room, Tsunade couldn't help but have a feeling of overwhelming regret.
"Alright, here it is!" Jiraiya said as he opened the door. Tsunade braced herself for the worst. "What do you think?"
Tsunade had to admit that it wasn't as bad as she had expected. The originally white walls were decorated with murals of beautiful forests and mountains with smiling toads on them. There was a toad-shaped crib on a corner with a few stuffed toads on it, a desk, and an empty wardrobe with toads carved on its doors.
"While I find the amount of toads excessive, at the very least you had enough taste not to put any poster of a half naked girl," Tsunade said in approval.
"Oh, those will come when he gets older," Jiraiya said, and he was suddenly hit by a wave of killing intent coming from Tsunade and her ward." Err...I mean, of course not! I know I can be a pervert, but I do know that there are some things not appropriated for children."
"Good to hear."
They had to spend the rest of the day buying food, clothes (especially for Naruto), diapers, and other baby items. By the time they were finished, it was nighttime, and the three of them were exhausted. Tsunade placed Naruto on his crib, and went to sleep alongside Jiraiya and Shizune.
While it took no time for Tsunade and Shizune to fall asleep, Jiraiya remained awake. His head asked the same question time after time.
Would have been any different if I was in the village when the Kyubi attacked?
Based on the details Sarutobi had been willing to share of that tragic night, Jiraiya's mind went over and over with the possible scenarios of how that night could have ended if he was there. He spent an hour torturing himself by wondering if he could have been able to save at least one of Naruto's parents.
"Stop doing that, Jiraiya. You couldn't know something like that would happen. The only thing you can do now is take care of Naruto to the best of your ability," the Sannin told himself.
He then got up, and quietly went to Naruto's bedroom, making sure he didn't make any noise that could awake the other three people living under that roof. Jiraiya leaned on the crib, and looked at the infant laying there.
"Hey there little guy, how are you doing?" Jiraiya said in a whisper. Naruto shifted in his sleeping seat. "Don't worry, I know that you had to go through a lot, but the nightmare is already over. Tsunade-hime and I are here to take care of you, and we will make sure that everything will be fine."
Jiraiya continued to look at the sleeping baby.
"Can I tell you a secret? Don't tell Tsunade or Shizune, because they would get really mad if they knew. But I have plans for you. Great plans. Once I'm done with you, you will be the biggest pervert Konoha has ever seen, hahaha! I will teach you everything I know so no girl will be able to resist your charms! You will be a legend only second to yours truly!
"Oh yeah, and you'll be a great ninja too. I guess that's important as well."
Author's note: So here's the first chapter. What do you think? Yeah, I know that nothing too exciting happened, but hey, it's the first chapter! I promise things will get better as the story progresses.
Anyway, don't forget to review if you liked this chapter! Reviews makes me very, very happy!