This is a Naruto/Jiraiya father-son one-shot request for bomber68.
I don't usually make shots like this, but I'll make an exception here. Besides, I enjoyed writing this.
So, take your time reading this, guys, and enjoy. Also, don't forget the review.
NOTE: Spoiler to anyone who hasn't read past Chapter 372 or so. Hinted JiraTsuna. And the real genres this story is under are Family/Hurt and Comfort/Drama. Okay?
Another NOTE: This is pretty short, so, forgive me.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
They say the saddest farewells are the ones that lacked a decent goodbye.
All his life, Naruto had experienced friends and family leave him behind and not even one of them managed to bid him goodbye at all. He never saw how his parents had tried everything to protect him. He couldn't even guide Sasuke out of Konoha. Now, Jiraiya was gone.
The news came to him earlier in the Hokage Tower and it wasn't exactly the kind of news that's worth hearing.
Beneath the imperceptible tears he sheds now, Naruto held a straight face as he walked through the dim streets of Konoha. Sakura walked beside him, peering at him from the corner of her eyes every now and then to check up on him.
When the news about Jiraiya reached Naruto, he didn't know what was the right thing to do…
As he sat there on the couch facing the Hokage inside her office, he wondered what Tsunade wanted to tell him so badly that she woke him up in the middle of the night. Whatever it was, it had better be good.
Scattered throughout Tsunade's office are used pieces of tissue and bottles of sake, both empty and half-empty. Shizune wasn't at her desk and Tonton was still and hushed, behaved at one corner of Shizune's desk.
The fifth Hokage leaned forward to pat his shoulder in comfort, silently telling him that things would be all right. From what Naruto saw, Tsunade-sama has also been crying lately. She looked wearier than ever.
"Naruto," Tsunade whispered, her lip curved downwards as she firmly grasped his shoulder, "I have something important to tell you. It's about… Jiraiya."
Hearing this, his blue eyes widened and with much anticipation, he exclaimed, "W-What is it? Did something happen to Jiraiya-sama?"
Too many questions overwhelmed him inside and no answers arrived right away.
The sound of Jiraiya's name was enough to make the Hokage shed another small tear as she looked at Naruto with much sympathy. She bit her lip and mumbled, "I don't know how to tell you this, but Jiraiya died the other day."
'He what?' It was hard to believe. For anyone, it was. One of the Legendary Sannins died. That makes Tsunade the last among the three.
"He went to seek the Akatsuki leader in the Rain Village," Tsunade explained with her gaze fixed on the wall beyond Naruto. Somehow, she can see Jiraiya's blank stare from just looking at it. She missed him that much, "And his mission was a failure."
Naruto found himself staring back at the Hokage with tears rolling down his cheeks quietly. For the two mourners, there was no bawling, no angry screams or thoughts of revenge. When you lose a softhearted man like Jiraiya, you feel the compassion within.
With that, Tsunade took her hand away from Naruto's shoulder and grabbed the nearest bottle of sake, which was empty. After three more bottles, she finally found one with some liquid left in it and she downed it all in front of Naruto.
After wiping her lip with the back of her hand, Tsunade started hiccupping softly and sobbing simultaneously. But her lips were carved into a drunken semi-grin. It wasn't a grin meant for happiness but a grin meant for a time when you wish you were filled with glee.
"Has Jiraiya ever told you that you reminded him so much of your father?" Tsunade said, hanging her head back as she just looked at the ceiling without much thought, "Oh gawd, usually, he'd go about telling me how much he loved and missed your father…
He keeps telling me that he's like the son he never had. And I just reply to him, saying, 'Damn it, Jiraiya, I'm working here. Bother someone else.'"
Listening to her made Naruto nod his head involuntarily. But Tsunade went on, "Then, one day, when you two came back from your two year training, he finally stopped saying that… but, really, he started saying something new and something truer."
Her hazel eyes welled with tears and she kept her head back to stop them from streaking her cheeks as she spoke…
"Yeah. He said he may never have Minato, but he has you. And he said that's more than enough."
Then and there, Naruto couldn't help but let more tears run down his cheeks as his lip quivered and as he cried for his late mentor. And with one last drop of sake, Tsunade lifted her head, showing her tear-streaked face, and muttered to Jiraiya's pupil…
"Good old Pervy Sage will be missed."
With those words, Naruto lifted his gaze onto Tsunade and he muttered back with a coarse voice, "Right. He will be. Believe it."
Tsunade nodded loosely, holding the sake bottle by the neck as she sat there with her legs crossed. Naruto, on the other hand, had his head hung low with his hands folded together as if in prayer. Wasn't it too much to bear?
For once, Naruto was calm and still, letting Tsunade do all the reminiscing and drinking in his presence. "I know it's hard, Naruto," Tsunade said, looking at him with her squinted eyes, "But that's life. I've lost enough people and you did, too, I guess."
It was true enough to be spoken of. "And I really have this hunch," she went on, "that Jiraiya was thinking of you when he died. Bet on it. Meh, I know how my bets turn out, but this is one heck of a bet that's sure to be right."
Once again, the Fifth finished another bottle of sake as Naruto just sat there in sorrow. He wasn't one to drown his miserable soul in alcohol like Tsunade or the kind to smoke away the fading memory of a lost loved one like Shikamaru, but he didn't know what he was supposed to do.
A rampage was going on inside, but he'd much rather be at peace first. He wouldn't want the Demon Fox to engulf him again despite the anger. No one would want that… Jiraiya wouldn't want that.
Limply, the empty bottle clinked against the table between the two as Tsunade jadedly let the alcohol drown her with the simple loss of Jiraiya. "Oh, gawd," she whispered before she closed her eyes to fall into sleep, "How I loved Jiraiya…"
And with those last words, Tsunade was already drifting past reality into a world of dreams. Naruto knew that it was time to go.
Effortlessly, Naruto flipped the light switch to turn the light on. Soon, there was light shed on every corner of his room. And as soon as he could, Naruto fell onto his bunk, resting his head on his pillow.
After heaving a heavy sigh, Naruto gently closed his eyes and let the tiny teardrops fall from the corners of his eyes. It really is something someone like him can't accept easily.
One of the people who have always pushed him to do better and even risked their own life just to train him properly had gone off. No one was left to guide him. His role model was gone. And he never even got a chance to say goodbye.
Without much to it, Naruto sat up from his bunk and got off, walking towards his full-body mirror across the room.
There, he stood before the reflective glass, looking back at his somnolent and depressed self. His expression remains saddened and the more he sees himself, the more dejected he feels.
Has he always been alone like that kid on the mirror? How long has he been so? And has he always been meant to be so? The Naruto he sees stands alone.
But, soon, a thin and tiny grin is made out of his lips. He felt a warm and consoling presence nearby and he knew it was Jiraiya.
Looking back at the reflection, Naruto saw his mentor, the Ero-Sannin, Jiraiya stand behind him with a certain blond man beside him. Both had a smile on their faces and as they held Naruto's shoulders proudly, Naruto swears he heard both of them whisper happily…
"I'm so proud of you, my son."
And with one tear down, Naruto couldn't help but grin back at the reflection and mumble back, "Thanks, Dad."
As if it was just his imagination, Jiraiya and Minato's features faded away, into the glossy surface of the mirror. With a nip of the lip and a quick clench of a fist, Naruto closed his eyes and broke down, falling onto his knees as he wept for Jiraiya.
He knew Jiraiya was his mentor. Aside from the jutsus and ninja training, Jiraiya taught Naruto that in this world, one is never alone. No matter how many times you stood alone, there will always be that one person who'll stand beside you, holding your ground.
Jiraiya was his friend. Through the difficult training and occasional Kyuubi attacks in between, Jiraiya never gave up on Naruto and he even shared some good times with him, together.
Jiraiya was someone like a father. While Naruto never knew his real father, Jiraiya was there to portray him somehow and look after Naruto like how Minato wanted the village to. When he was supposed to be a hero, he became an outcast. But Jiraiya did what he could to bring him back…
…to bring him home and to make him welcome in the place where he belongs.
Jiraiya portrayed the part of the father Naruto never knew.
In Memory of bomber68's father.
Can I get something straight with the last line? Yeah, uh, when I wrote that, I didn't want to say that Jiraiya was Naruto's father! Gawd, people, it's totally clear that Minato and Kushina are Naruto's parents so please. A little common sense never hurt.
All I wanted to say when I wrote the last line was that Jiraiya did a lot of things for Naruto and because of that, Jiraiya was like a father to Naruto. Got me? Good! Thanks!
Thank you for reading this and please be nice. Leave a review of what you think of this shot.