Sarutobi rubbed his temples irritably as the council continued to argue over the boy, who was being sentenced to demise, despite the fact that he was barely a day old, and had sacrificed himself to save their miserable carcasses from death.
Staring at each member of the supposed "honourable" council members, Sarutobi felt his heart ache as he saw nothing more than power hungry men, damning a child to its grave. The old kage couldn't believe that he had grown up and watched these individuals before him, mature into what they were today.
"Sarutobi, you are making a very foolish decision," Danzo stated from his seat, beside the third's old team-mates.
"Danzo, I have already addressed your proposal numerous times, and again, my answer is still no. Naruto will not be turned into a living weapon of this village, he will have a normal life of his choosing and that's final!" Sarutobi said with a nerve-jangling tone, sending shivers down most of the council's spines.
The old cripple's eyes narrowed as Sarutobi completely disregarded his proposal, further proving the fact that his long time rival has lost his edge; the one thing that had made him the ideal candidate for Hokage. His hardened shinobi heart had softened to the point where his emotions interfered with his logic.
Danzo leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms as he planned. He would not address the issue concerning the Jinchūriki again, no something as simple as this could wait for a later date. Now, he had an entire different idea in mind, a plan so dangerous if it was discovered he would be executed immediately, no trial, and no excuses.
Even as Konohagakure's elite continued to bicker around him, Danzo's mind was furiously working, while also taking into account every suggestion and statement made by his fellow council members.
Even though the fate of a small child no longer mattered to him, it was always a good idea to at least know the entire discussion in case someone called for advice. Danzo's eyes stayed fixed on his Hokage's face as he, in a rare moment of weakness, revealed how weary, tired, and frail he truly had become over the years.
Without a doubt in his mind, Danzo knew what had to be done, for the survival and rebirth of his beloved village, Sarutobi Hiruzen had to be removed from his position as the leader of the Village Hidden in the Leaves.
"He's a threat to the entire village! I demand we deal with the demon now, and prevent the bastard from ever re-emerging!" Fugaku Uchiha's voice rose above the roar of outrage in the council chamber.
Danzo's eyebrows rose at the blatant statement from the Uchiha clan head. It was one thing for him to demand the child be used to further the village's prosperity, but the Jōnin was playing with fire now. To just come out and make a decree that the child, the Hokage himself put under his protection, needed to be killed, was like slapping Sarutobi in the face and challenging him to a duel to the death.
"This is ludicrous he is nothing but a small child, he did not ask for this burden! I was trusted upon him by his father and the previous leader of this village," Sarutobi's voice was stern as he smothered the room with his killing intent.
"Are you all blinded by rage and loss of your loved ones that you cannot see the truth right before you. Naruto is not the Kyūbi reborn, he is the jailor who guards the prison and keeps the beast behind bars," Sarutobi said his voice beginning to crack, sadness evident in his eyes.
"For now he is Hokage-sama, but mark my words, when he is old enough he will be taken over by the demon," Fugaku stated, gaining the attention of everyone within the room.
"The seal, locking the Kyūbi within his belly was created by Minato himself, you doubt his seal will hold?" Sarutobi spat at the smug man.
Fugaku kept his smugness even in the face of the "Professor's" withering glare. While keeping his calm and collected facade, he addressed the entire council.
"We are all aware that our beloved Yondaime was taught by a seal master and became one master himself. But the fact remains, the fourth was only human... we are talking about a demon, no man could ever hope to defeat on his own," Fugaku finished while grinning on the inside, as he noticed the approving nods from some members.
"Yes, you are correct in that assumption Fugaku," Sarutobi said bitterly. "So you think murdering an innocent child in his sleep will forever rid us of the nine-tails?" It was addressed to Fugaku but it was answered by another council member.
"If I may, Hokage-sama?" Koharu asked politely. Sarutobi gave a small nod inclining her to speak. "For the safety of our beloved home, I ask you to re-consider. As long as the Kyūbi is allowed to remain alive, sealed or not. He is a danger to this village. No one can predict what will happen, or if the seal will be able to hold a being as powerful as the Kyūbi. So please Sarutobi, see the true threat this child presents to our home."
"You will condemn this boy to death out of fear of the unknown then?" A few nods were the reply to the third's question.
"Tell me honoured council, how do you know the Kyūbi will not be released by killing his vessel." Hiruzen smirked at the stunned faces that graced his blunt statement.
'Nice move Sarutobi, but even if you manage to sway the council to your side, you will still lose!' Danzo thought angrily.
"Ha!" Came the mocking laughter of Fugaku Uchiha. "How do we know that the demon has not already manipulated you Hokage-sama?" He asked smugly.
"We don't!" Fugaku answered without pause. "The seal right now is fully intact and holding the demon at bay. If we wait, the seal could weaken and the demon will gain control over this poor soul," Fugaku said with a saddened expression as he motioned to the sleeping boy with his hand. On the inside however the Sharingan wielder had a devilish smirk. All it would take was his next few words and then the demon wouldn't be a hindrance to his plans.
Sarutobi glared at the Uchiha clan head, it was no secret that half the Uchiha's had been wiped out by the fox, so Fugaku's animosity towards the child was to be expected.
"Listen to me my fellow council members! We can save this child from the demons clutches, by ending his life. Uzumaki Naruto can find peace and solace, or will you all stand by and watch as his soul is devoured by the Kyūbi, like our fallen friends and family?" Fugaku's smug grin was back as he looked all around him, seeing his fellow members digesting his words.
"Regardless to your personal feelings on the matter Fugaku, I am still Hokage, and as such, I have already stated no harm will ever come to this child. Do I make myself clear?" Sarutobi shot back, making Fugaku cringe at the kage's frosty tone.
Satisfied with his words the wizened shinobi walked away from the council, and turned his attention to the infant laying in a crib in the middle of the room.
Fugaku seeing no other option to remove the child, discreetly drew the kunai he had hidden within his robe's sleeve.
Danzo sighed as he caught the silver glint from the weapon the foolish clan head subtly drew from his robes. "Foolish," He muttered, but said or did nothing else to stop the proceedings.
Fugaku was preparing to deliver the killing blow when a hand grabbed his wrist twisting it, forcing him to release his hold on the kunai. Sarutobi turned around to see his personal ANBU guard stationed around Fugaku, their weapons drawn and being held against the Uchiha clan head.
Sarutobi glanced around the council chambers to judge all the different expressions on the council member's faces.
"Fugaku your personal hate for this child, and the act of treason you committed is unforgivable." Sarutobi stated heatedly. "Therefore you shall be imprisoned until a suitable punishment for your actions has been decided." With a quick hand gesture, two ANBU members grabbed Fugaku and escorted him out of the room. He followed along quietly muttering curses under his breath.
An eerie silence permitted throughout the room, everyone still shocked by the Uchiha clan head's action.
Sarutobi held Naruto protectively against his chest and deliberately walked closer to the remaining council members. "Is there any other objections, concerning young Uzumaki Naruto's fate?" Silence was the Sandaime's reply as he nodded his head.
"Very well, this meeting is adjourned."
Hiruzen fell into a chair, his back smacking against the wooden furniture. After pacing for numerous hours trying to come to a decision of what his next move should be, he came up with only a few options.
It was obvious to him that it would be a long night. Two ANBU squads were situated around the tower preventing anyone from entering. Still, he wasn't foolish enough to believe that he could rest peacefully on this night.
It was clear that many wanted nothing more than the Kyūbi's vessel to die, believing him to be nothing but the demon's very reincarnation. Which to him was a ridiculous thought; he was a hero, not a monster.
A cry startled him, and Sarutobi found himself engrossed in the most magnificent sapphire eyes he had ever seen. His hands lifted the bundle off the wooden surface, and he wrapped his aged arms around the crying child.
Sarutobi felt a pang in his chest and tears slid down his face; he knew the hero of the village would be seen as nothing but a demon.
Darkness blanketed Konoha as thousands of souls rested; hoping that tomorrow would never come. For the Village Hidden in the Leaves would be reminded of its terrible tragedy and loss of their loved ones.
A silhouette moved swiftly across the silent village, slipping past patrols by hiding in the shadows cast by the towering buildings.
After disarming a few traps and slipping by a few more patrols, the shinobi found himself just outside the Hokage's office doors.
As efficient as only the most professional ninjas could muster, the man opened the door and made his way into the Sandaime's office without a sound.
He stood over the sleeping form of the aged leader, resting peacefully in his leather chair. A kunai slid from his sleeves and placed a mere inch from the slumbering mans neck.
"Forgive me Hokage-sama," He whispered, as he slid the blade across, slicing Sarutobi's throat, blood spilling out. The man eye's widened in terror before glazing over and becoming lifeless.
The murderer offered a quick bow and silent prayer to the dead leader. He turned to leave when the air around him shifted and he found himself sprawling across the office floor. Bile and blood filled his mouth, and before he could make a noise a hand gripped his neck and a blade was driven into his side.
Sarutobi immediately spotted the Konoha headband and recognised the man from his mask as a member of ANBU, he showed no surprise or emotion in discovering one of his own men had tried to kill him. He watched with apathy as he removed the shinobi's mask, the ANBU immediately coughed up blood.
"Who sent you?" He demanded, weakening his grip around the ninja's throat so he could answer.
The man groaned and gurgled on his own blood, before smiling. "Forgive me Hokage-sama, my actions were of my own choice. I am ashamed to say it was by my decision that I attempted to assassinate you."
Sarutobi blinked and stepped back as if he had been slapped in the face. After a moment his shock at the man's response wore off. He glared at the ANBU officer and snapped the ninjas arm.
To the man's credit he did not cry out at the sounds of his own bones snapping echoed off the walls of the room. He stared back unflinchingly even as the Sandaime levelled some of his potent killer intent, smothering him in it.
"Do not try to lie to me boy. Now who sent you?" Sarutobi's voice was stern, promising retribution if the incorrect answer was given.
The man smiled again, Sarutobi noticed that his eyes were filled with sorrow, and pleading him for forgiveness.
"Why have you done this?"
The ANBU officer's smile turned grim at the disappointment in his leader's words.
"For the village sir," The shinobi stated weakly, his opinion without even the slightest hesitation.
"Under your rule the demon will destroy us all. You cannot see the truth Hokage-sama, for the demon has already sunk its claws into you," Hiruzen found tears sliding down his cheeks as he listened to the young man in his grasp
"Tell me, are you the only one who believes this?" Sarutobi asked sadly unable to keep his oppressive and powerful appearance anymore.
"No, Hokage-sama," He said without missing a beat. Sarutobi's eyes darkened.
"Very well," With a quick chop to the neck, the man fell unconscious.
The aged shinobi carefully laid the body down gently and slowly began walking towards his desk. Biting down on the tip of his index finger, the Hokage slid the bloody digit across the side of the wooden desk. A glowing seal appeared before vanishing in a flash of light, replaced by a small button sticking out.
Sarutobi pressed the button without hesitation and watched as the wall to his left slid open, revealing a hidden room.
He stepped into the room with a small sac hanging from his hands. Quickly, he grabbed many of the hidden scrolls aligning the room's walls.
When he sealed all of the different scrolls into a sealing scroll, he placed it in the bag, along with a few other items and a couple bottles of milk.
A small bundle in the corner of the sealed room started shifting as if it were alive. Sarutobi picked the bundle up and smiled happily at the blond haired child with whiskered scars adorning his cheeks, wrestling with the blanket wrapped around his tiny form.
"Uzumaki Naruto, I swear to you on this night, I will protect you with all my strength. Until I breathe my last breath, I will be your guardian and teacher. Most importantly, I will love and care for you as my own child." Sarutobi whispered, before placing his finger to the baby's forehead, a green light emitting from his finger. Naruto blinked a few times before yawning and falling asleep.
Sarutobi placed the sealed note at the bottom of the memorial stone and covered it in some leaves and grass. He stared out over his village and with a final sigh, vanished in a swirl of leaves.
I have a new beta for this story, so all of the chapters are being re-done. Everyone thank my new beta King of the Frozen Tundra. So if there is any mistakes at all he's to blame...not me.