I personally think Jiraiya can never kill Orochimaru. I adore the old pervert, but I don't think he can ever do it. Maybe Kishimoto will prove me wrong one day, but maybe not.

This will not be continued by me.

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Conviction

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Naruto still believes in Sasuke.

Jiraiya tells him not to, knows firsthand what is going to happen, but he also knows that his words inspire only defiance in the young teenager. He knows that if Naruto ever loses faith in his teammate, it probably won't be when Jiraiya is alive to see it. He knows this, because he can remember the exact moment when he gave up on Orochimaru, and it was long after the snake-summoner abandoned Konoha.

Naruto is like Jiraiya in too many ways. He's never been one for listening to other people, except for Sakura, and he learns from his mistakes and nothing else. He didn't let it get him down (much) when he didn't have a single friendly companion his own age, and he kept grinning broadly. But Naruto is not Jiraiya. He's never been nearly as perverted, for one thing.

Besides that, he's loyal like a dog, and he'd probably have done great in the Inuzuka clan—he already looks and acts like Kiba, and the claws and slit-pupil eyes are nothing new to him. But Naruto is not an Inuzuka. He did not grow up in that close-knit clan with rough and tumble affection and sleeping in dog-tired piles at the end of a long day. Naruto grew up alone and shunned because of the creature inside of him that was not a dog.

Foxes are fickle animals. They are capricious and creatures of desire, and such loyalty is alien to them. But Naruto is not the fox, merely its cage, and so he has fidelity that lasts a lifetime.

Jiraiya can remember the moment he gave up on Orochimaru. It was not when the pale, black-haired man was discovered to be responsible for the kidnappings, experimenting on many of the missing people even while they were still alive. It was not when he caught up to Orochimaru, who was fleeing the village, and fought with him and knew in his head but not in his heart that the other man was gone forever.

Nor was it when he saw the third Hokage's corpse, old and broken and killed by Orochimaru the traitor. Even when he saw Orochimaru bring the blade down on Tsunade from shoulder to hip in what was intended to be a fatal blow, he had not lost that idiotic faith in his old teammate.

Jiraiya gave up on Orochimaru when he saw Naruto in the hospital, drained in every way though his body was completely healed, as a result of Sasuke's actions.

Jiraiya does not look forward to the day when Naruto will give up on Sasuke. Sometimes he's even glad that in all probability he'll be dead by then. It was painful enough to have that belief shatter inside himself; he selfishly doesn't want to see it break in Naruto.

So he agrees to train Naruto anyway, even when the boy says he will still save Sasuke.

(Because Naruto is not Jiraiya, and Sasuke is not Orochimaru—for one thing, they're a lot younger than Jiraiya and Orochimaru were when Orochimaru finally betrayed Konoha. There are a lot of differences, but there are a lot of similarities, too, and Jiraiya refuses to let the differences give him any sort of hope for his student.)

Nobody could have gotten Jiraiya to give up on Orochimaru, and it's stupid to think he could make Naruto succeed where he failed. Jiraiya knows he can't make Naruto lose faith in Sasuke any more than he can make himself kill Orochimaru.

But he's going to try anyway. He's got three years, after all.

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(il n'y a pas de fin.)