Dawn: The Three are Born
The Tale of the Two Konoha Shinobi
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto…
When Jiraiya dies, believing that his story is over, he remembers that the best writers never publish their first draft.
Hiruzen is distressed at Jiraiya's display of advanced techniques, and turns to his own sensei, Senju Tobirama, for advice. The two begin planning for the worst, but Jiraiya suspects nothing.
"You will not investigate the child." The voice of a newcomer echoed from the door.
"!" The two conspirators exchanged glances as the woman entered the room. "S-sister-in-law! You were listening in on us?"
From the doorway, the aging widow of the Shodai, Uzumaki Mito, approached the Hokage's desk. She took her position formally, wearing the customary kimono that denoted her position, as well as special sealing marks both tattooed on her, and attached via tags. Her position in the village was less administrative and more matriarchal, but, in moments like this one, she knew how to throw around the title "Mother of Konoha" as needed. "I said, you will not investigate the child."
Hiruzen dared not speak, even in his position as heir apparent to the Hokage seat, to her, he was no more than a child, and should he open his mouth, he would be scolded like one. Considering everything, it would be terribly embarrassing.
Tobirama was much luckier. Even though he was the Nidaime, he was in the same position as Mito and Hashirama, when the man was alive. Most of the council members feared the day that Tobirama died, as the Uzumaki Mistress would easily be able to make any whim a reality with her popularity and political force. "Why not, sister? He has displayed great changes since only days earlier! There could be an imminent threat to the village, and with the war, that could be disastrous!" Tobirama protested.
The woman shook her head solemnly. "You will not investigate him. Trust in my judgement, brother. I have not endangered my children yet, and it is not my plan to do so now."
'I know something you do not, Tobirama.' He picked up the silent speech between the lines. His brother had once hinted that she had somehow gained the power of foresight after sealing the Kyuubi into her body, and he whole-heartedly believed it. "I... understand, sister. Hiruzen!"
Sarutobi looked exclusively to his Hokage, a stray glance likely to earn him a disappointed look from Mito. That was easily equal to a scolding. "Yes, Hokage-sama?"
"Treat the incident as normal, teach each child as you see fit. Consider the events that occurred in this office... nonexistent." Tobirama had set his elbows on the table, hands folded just under his chin. He couldn't shake his gut feeling that something was off, however.
Mito stood stoically until Hiruzen left, then seated herself across from her brother-in-law. "Oh Tobi-kun, that was wonderful! I've not had that much fun in quite some time. I must say, this meeting I've walked in on was actually a surprise to me."
Tobirama leaned back, suddenly much more relaxed than before, but no less fearful. "Please, Mito, I've always had a problem with that name, why can't you just use my full one?"
The Uzumaki mistress giggled softly and shot the Hokage a sly glance. "Ahh, alas, it will not be so, Tobi-kun."
Tobirama sighed, staring off at through the ceiling into space. "I'm not sure how you know these things, Mito. Only days ago this boy was merely above average. In a span of hours he's transformed into a chuunin, at the least. You'll understand if I'm suspicious of him, but... what do you see in him?"
Mito crossed her legs and let her hands rest on the top knee, smirking as she did. "Oh, wouldn't you like to know?"
The Hokage groaned in annoyance. His sister-in-law always seemed to be a step ahead of everything, as if she could truly see it coming. At times like this, he wished she would just use this prescience for the village. Of course, there was little he could actually do to make her. "If you give your word that leaving the boy as is will not harm my people..."
The Uzumaki giggled again, and her smile faded a little. She stood up and stepped around the desk, lifting the Hokage's chin to look at his face. "You needn't worry about the boy, Tobi-kun, but just this once, I'll give you some advice," She released him and began to leave, "Now would be a good time to select your successor."
Tobirama froze more solidly than ice as Mito swayed casually out of the room. From her, the idle comment was no threat. He cursed his shortening life as he donned his war armor, fully intent on squeezing every last bit of power from his body before he saw her again.
Tsunade felt sufficiently cowed. Actually, she couldn't remember feeling that bad since she got grandmother Mito upset with her for breaking a china doll. Why didn't he ever say anything? "I didn't know he was... an orphan kid."
Natsumi shook her head. "I didn't think you didn't know, Tsunade. I just assumed... and then you started getting angry at his behavior all of a sudden. My, if you hadn't said anything, I'd have just assumed that you knew."
Tsunade felt disappointed in herself. Her grandfather and granduncle always went on about how important team work was. In fact, they created the Konoha team dynamic after their own little group of friends. The two brothers and the older brother's wife, two boys, one girl. How couldn't she have known that one team mate had no parents, when she could recite the exact chemical terminology for the poison in the father of the other's spine? I should apologize... and then hit him for not telling me, jerk. "I... I've gotta go for a minute."
Orochimaru sat happily in his room, a bed, a bookshelf, a desk, and a door his only company. Both of his parents were weak, old-fashioned. Just because their family was once steeped in tradition deeper than the Hyuuga, his father still believed that he held a position of authority. The fool would often make requests to be included in clan council business, which was utterly embarrassing, as he'd have his only two relatives with him every single time. The clan was long dead and was only famous for, at most, three exceptionally creative and intelligent shinobi, himself included, of course.
None of that mattered anymore, however, and that was why Orochimaru was so happy. As a fully-fledged shinobi as of tomorrow, he had the right to leave his parental home and find somewhere to live alone. I will finally cut off this dead and rotting appendage, this weakness, so that I can grow to become more powerful! And someday, I'll be the Hokage, just like the founding brothers!
Jiraiya yawned sleepily. He had everything figured out. He'd pull back on the reigns a little bit for now, and let his friends catch up. Then, they'd be the three sannin again. Just like old times, man how I miss those. The hardest part, though, was convincing Orochimaru not to want power for the sake of power. He had to share his Will of Fire with his best friend, so that they could have what he always wanted. A friend he wouldn't have to chase after, wouldn't have to promise to find. He wouldn't have to let Naruto write a sad, eerily similar sequel to his own life. The thought brought a tear to his eye.
Tsunade saw the tear and thought differently, and almost broke into a full blown pity cry because of it. "It's really true, isn't it, Jiraiya. You're alone..."
The white-haired kid looked over to his open window, seeing Tsunade hanging expertly on the thin ledge with balance and chakra.
"No family? Yeah." He said, leaning back to stare at the ceiling in the failing light.
Tsunade sucked back some tears, and stepped inside. "Why didn't you ever tell me?"
Jiraiya let himself respond naturally, knowing that he couldn't think of the answers she wanted. "Why should I? Tell you, I mean."
The Senju opened her mouth to speak, but was struck by the question he gave her in return. After a moment, she realized she didn't have a good answer. Why would she know, she barely looked at him more than she laid a fist in his face. She stepped up to him, seeing him laying in his bed, above the covers, and smacked him. "Pervert."
She disappeared immediately after, leaving the ailing time-traveller to nurse his red cheek. "Maybe I should have just shut up and cried. Girls like sensitive guys."
Crap I wanna say: yo, this story's back, too. I write as I please now, since I know I can't hold my own deadlines. Be vigilant, and the updates will come. And a damn good thing I waited so long, too. I kind of wrote myself into a corner without a character like Mito! Whew!