The Tale of the Two Great Shinobi

Disclaimer: i don't own Naruto, seems hard to forget that, but I damn well did.

When Jiraiya dies, believing that his story is over, he remembers that the best writers never publish their first draft. Time Travel and AU, Jiraiya for a change

The white-haired toad sage, one of the Sannin, famous womanizer, author of the infamous Icha Icha series, Jiraiya was all of them. But when it came down to the very end, with a collapsed throat, a missing arm, dozens of chakra spikes driven into his body, he was nothing more than an aging Konoha Shinobi on a mission. As the platform he lay dying on exploded, sending him into the freezing waters, he couldn't help but find it ironic that he would willingly give up his ridiculous kabuki-esque introduction for something similar the simplest description of himself. I am Jiraiya, Shinobi of Konohagakure… That has such a nice ring to it… Maybe I could write a book about it.

With his quickly darkening senses, Jiraiya hit the water. There… That ending… was a little better. He felt the bubbles passing across his body, but the sensation stopped abruptly when his brain's sense of touch shut down. The frog at the bottom of the well… drifts off into the great ocean. Hehehe… Yep… Pretty honorable… pretty darn honorable. Something started happening to the sage's chakra, the remnants of his sage chakra molding in unknown patterns, but the part of Jiraiya's mind that controlled it was halfway dead already, and he didn't seem to care. I guess… it's time to put down my pen. Oops… Right… I need a title for the next book… Let's see…

Jiraiya's mind was already gone. The blinding light and power created by the still-molding chakra was unknown to him, the sweet but burning warmth around him was unfelt. Ah… Got it…

"AHHHHH!!" Jiraiya awoke in a freezing cold sweat, leaping from his bed and almost crying. He was statuesque in a sitting position on his bed, hands dug hard into the covers and sheets and still causing sharp pain from where his fingernails almost dug past the fabrics, for almost ten minutes. An alarm startled him out of his terror-induced stupor, and also informed him that it was 7:30 in the morning.

Almost on auto-pilot, he got dressed. He even managed to shove some food in his stomach, never noticing that the cloths were obviously for a child, or that they were from his own childhood.

When Jiraiya went outside, he was greeted by the faces of people he could barely remember, some of them he was sure must have died ages ago. I guess I was just dreaming that battle… But it was so… real. I wonder… When he left the realm of his thoughts, and came back to what he was doing at the moment, he discovered he was at Training Ground 3, the famous wooden posts giving it away. Strange, I wonder why I would wander out here.

What he saw next froze his heart mid-beat. The Sandaime, Sarutobi Hiruzen, was standing in front of him, alive and well, and young! "S-s-sandaime!?" This earned Jiraiya a surprised look from Sarutobi, as well as a sarcastic laugh from the other two newcomers, Orochimaru and Tsunade.

"Oh please! You sound like a woman, coming up with a premonition like that!" Jiraiya half-expected to see Orochimaru on the ground after a remark like that, especially right in front of Tsunade, but Tsunade… HAS NO BREASTS?! "WHAT THE HELL, TSUNADE-HIME?! What happened to your breasts?!" Wrong choice of words!

Jiraiya woke up for the second time in a single day, courtesy of Tsunade. "…you killed him, I think." "Good, the little pervert deserves it after saying something like that to a lady!" The white-haired sage gingerly rubbed his head as he sat up, "Damnit. That hurt." Alright Jiraiya, take stock of the situation. You had a dream that you… died… fighting Pain. Then you woke up, came to training ground three, saw a dead hokage, a child hokage, and a child traitor. And… I feel so dull, so blunt. The world around me feels so bland and unknown… Plus… I feel tiny.

He heard Sarutobi's voice again. It was starting to send a chill down his spine. "Alright, now that all three of you are here, and awake… I'll get down to business. Just because you graduated from the academy doesn't mean that you're shinobi. First, you have to pass your sensei's test, otherwise, you'll get sent back to the academy for another year!" This earned a worried gasp from the young princess, a raised eyebrow from the snake, and Jiraiya could only gawk in amazement at what was happening before him.

Maybe I really did fight, maybe I'm just seeing my life flash before my eyes! No… Then I wouldn't have said that… I said something different that got me punched the first time this happened… What's going on? Did I have a dream of my entire life? Has the Shinigami given me some cruel joke for a hell? Is this really… the past? "You have to acquire one of these two bells from me before noon. The one that doesn't will fail this test, and will be tied to one of these posts until nightfall." Jiraiya's mind was foggy, partly from the punch, but also from the discovery that he was in some alternate world, or the past, or hell, he couldn't decide which.

"You say that like all three of us stand a chance at getting a bell. What if only one person can get it?" Jiraiya turned to face Orochimaru, the snake. Just like him to think that only he could get a bell, even as subtly as he masked the idea. "Then anyone that can't get a bell will also be tied up. Enough talk, time to begin! START!"

The other two launched off into the trees, hiding immediately. Jiraiya was still standing where he was when he woke up from Tsunade's punch, unmoving, looking at himself and at Sarutobi as though he had never seen either before in his life. Sarutobi seemed confused, this boy was supposed to be something of a genius, if a stupid genius, but this was terrible strategy, and it was somewhat creepy. "Jiraiya-kun, did you get your hands on opiates before you showed up to train?" The half-joke, half-concerned question snapped the now-young boy from his daydreams, and he did the first thing that came to mind.

Sarutobi was surprised. Jiraiya had managed to almost nick him back there with that punch. He hadn't expected for the child to be so fast, nor did the data suggest it. The only other way he could have done that was with a chakra augmentation, which wasn't marked on the datasheets when he skimmed over them earlier. Had he been holding back in the academy? Time to contemplate was short, as the boy launched a barrage of kicks and punches, all augmented with chakra, all done perfectly, with no wasted energy, and maximized to the safest maximum amount that his reserves of chakra would allow. This child, he's like a veteran chuunin or jounin! This is far above what I expected, I'll have to go all out here!

Meanwhile, in the trees, Orochimaru and Tsunade were planning their duo attack, having already decided the idiot orphan boy wasn't the one they wanted to team up with. Much to their surprise, then, that the idiot orphan was suddenly engaged in a high-speed taijutsu battle with their sensei-to-be, and he was holding his own! Orochimaru looked on with interest, and Tsunade with surprise. Tsunade was the first to make a comment. "He wasn't this good yesterday…" Orochimaru agreed, "That's true, and look, they're moving up to ninjutsu!"

He was right, Sarutobi had already performed his Kawarami to dodge the katon jutsu that Jiraiya had just fired off in his direction. This was almost distressing to the Professor, since there was no way that a child like Jiraiya could have gotten his hands on such a technique, much less use it. The thought that Jiraiya had been replaced with a spy briefly crossed his mind, but the taijutsu battle would have canceled a henge, even a perfect one.

Jiraiya was fighting with no real aim, he didn't even know what he was doing. He was just stalling for time to figure out how he would deal with his situation, and he finally decided. Something had affected his chakra when the spikes were driven into him during the battle with Pain, and he ended up in the past. Being a master of seals, and having studied his own Sage Mode briefly, he conceded it's obvious possibility. After all, stranger things have happened.

Jiraiya came at his sensei once again, aiming to make a kick at the older man's right side, only to be countered and pushed back. Hehehe… I guess… Jiraiya formed the handseals for his Hari Jizo, causing the Sandaime to recoil from his most recent attack. A true writer can never put down his pen. Hiruzen threw a couple of shuriken, only to have one of them caught and the rest dodged. Oops… That's right… If this is going to be my revision, then it'll have to have a whole new title. Jiraiya, in a display of ability that proved he was beyond a mere genin, tossed the shuriken back at his sensei directly, and used the Shunshin no Jutsu to keep him from running. His past and future sensei ducked away, but the grip that Jiraiya had, strengthened by chakra, only let him get so far as to let the shuriken cut the bells from the sensei's belt. Let's see…

The toad-orphan grabbed the bells, letting go of the Professor and causing both of his teammates, and the Professor himself, to gasp in shock and awe. With a wide grin and a victory sign, he held the bells out for all to see. Ah… Got it… "The Tale of the Two Great Shinobi."


This is my first story, as I'm sure a few of you noticed. I was too lazy to decide on a beta, and I'm sure they have better things to do than handle some newbie writer's work, so this is both written and revised by me.

I can't really decide if I should continue this, since I seem to have such terrible trouble writing it, or writing anything at all for that matter. I guess if a few good people write their comments and, can't stress enough, constructive criticism, I'll try my hand at more.