There's Faith and then There's THAT
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Note: I don't know if Jiraiya was in town for the Kyuubi attack, but for the sake of the story, he was not. Also, try and keep in mind that the while possibilities Jiraiya suggests for Naruto's childhood if people find out about the Kyuubi, that does not mean that they do or do not happen in canon. We don't know much of Naruto's childhood and Jiaiya isn't psychic; he just thinks letting everyone know is a bad idea and so is running some worst-case scenarios.
The Sandaime Hokage and his Council were arguing in his office when Jiraiya burst into the room.
"I came as soon as I heard" he announced grandly. "Where is it?"
Sarutobi shot him a reproving look. "It is a boy and his name is Naruto."
Jiraiya looked confused. "Cute kid," he said dismissively. "I meant the Kyuubi. Where is it?"
"Your timing is impeccable as always Jiraiya," Homura said dryly. "The Yondaime sealed him yesterday."
Jiraiya looked deflated. "Oh. Well, I guess I came all this way for nothing then…" He quickly rallied. "Where's Minato? I might as well congratulate him before I go."
Sarutobi coughed awkwardly. "Well, you see…" he trailed off, unable to continue.
"He's dead," Koharu said bluntly. "He sacrificed his soul to a shinigami to seal the Kyuubi in Naruto."
"Oh…" Jiraiya said quietly, looking devastated. He examined the child close. "Hey…this is Minato's kid isn't it?" He smiled softly. "He named him Naruto, huh? That's just like the character in my book, you know."
"Yes, that's an amazing coincidence," Homura concurred.
"He's a Jinchuriki then? Good thing Minato's dead, huh, or Kushina would castrate him…" the Sannin said wistfully.
There was more awkward silence and Koharu was, once again, the one to break it. "She's dead, too. They had to induce labor because the Kyuubi needed to be stopped immediately."
"Naruto's your godson, you know, and the life of a Jinchuriki is never easy. Are you interested in taking him in?" the Sandaime asked bluntly.
Jiraiya paled, looking trapped. "Sorry, I'm busy," he said quickly. "Orochimaru won't stalk himself, you know. Plus, he's recently joined some sort of flowery cloak organization. It could be dangerous."
"Oh no, the flowery cloaked assassins will kill us all," Homura deadpanned.
"It could happen" Jiraiya insisted defensively. "Besides, I'm sure there are loads of people more qualified and less perverted than me willing to take in Minato's kid."
Sarutobi shook his head. "If you'll be too busy to take him in, he can't possibly go by Namikaze Naruto; Minato had many dangerous enemies."
"Why can't you take him in?" Jiraiya challenged.
Sarutobi sighed heavily. "Tsunade has gone into hiding recently and since you won't take the job until she does, I've been forced to come out of retirement."
"We warned you, didn't we?" Jiraiya said, a knowing look in his eye. "That job will kill you." He paused. "How the hell did Tsunade hear about Minato dying so quickly? It happened yesterday!"
"Ever since Orochimaru left the Village and Tsunade realizes she would be next in line for the title of Hokage, Tsunade's been very careful to keep up on Konoha gossip. Mostly, I think, so she can avoid getting summoned back without actually refusing a summon," Sarutobi explained.
Jiraiya nodded. "I see…Wait, so what ARE you going to call him?"
The Sandaime looked sad. "Uzumaki Naruto. He might not be able to use his father's name, but at least he can have his mother's."
Jiraiya stared at him. "…Everyone knows they were shacking up. They weren't exactly subtle about it…Plus he looks just like Minato People are going to notice."
"They will not notice a thing," Komura said, sounding certain. "They will be too blinded by their hatred of the Jinchuriki."
Jiraiya looked puzzled. "How will they know? Minato was the best damn seal master I've ever seen; he can't possible have messed up the seal!"
Sarutobi looked distinctly uncomfortable. "No, the seal's fine, but-"
"Hiruzen wishes to announce to the entire village that this orphan who just tragically lost both of his parents and has no one to raise him due to our shocking lack of orphan provisions is to blame for all the death and destruction of the last week," Homura interrupted.
"Minato wanted him to be seen as a hero. Would you deny a dead man his final request? The man who just saved us?" The Sandaime demanded.
"To keep a very dangerous, very powerful child that you won't let become a weapon from hating the village? Absolutely," Komura nodded.
"I hope you have better luck talking some sense into him than we had," Homura told Jiraiya as he and his fellow Council Member took their leave.
"I'm going to respect Minato's wishes," Sarutobi said firmly.
"I agree that Naruto should be seen as a hero, but telling the world isn't exactly the best way to do it," Jiraiya disagreed.
"You need to have more faith in people," Sarutobi said reprovingly.
"And you need to open your eyes!" Jiraiya shot back. "Jinchuriki are created for one reason and one reason alone: to be used as weapons!"
"Not here, not this time he won't be," Sarutobi vowed, his eyes blazing.
"I respect that and I agree. Minato's son deserves better," Jiraiya said solemnly. "The Kyuubi…I just got here, but from what I can tell, the losses were terrible. Not to mention the property damage…People will want a scapegoat. They'll need it. They'll look at that sweet, innocent little boy and see a demon."
"He's NOT a demon," Sarutobi growled.
Jiraiya held up his hands placating. "You don't need to tell me that. I know how seals work. Everyone who has lived in fear these past few days or has lost a loved one…they will not be so open-minded."
"Naruto is not the Kyuubi," Sarutobi said stubbornly. "He is just the vessel."
"Think about it from their perspective," Jiraiya implored. "Especially the civilians. What do they know of seals? Saying 'Oh, the Kyuubi is gone because it's in this kid now' won't go over very well. I mean, what does that even mean? He was just born yesterday and since we're not revealing his origins it will look like he just came out of nowhere. Maybe he's the Kyuubi in human form. Maybe the Kyuubi is secretly influencing him. Maybe it even took him over. They might hurt him or even kill him if they get scared or angry enough and if you won't see him become a weapon then there is no way you will stand for that."
"I will, of course, have ANBU watch him," Sarutobi allowed. "This will also allay some fears. I admit there may be some reservations in the beginning, but-"
"Reservations?" Jiraiya interrupted. "Sensei, if there are laws protecting Naruto physically, there will be nothing protecting him psychologically. He will be refused service and overcharged in stores, he will be spat on or ignored by everyone, people will hate him, and unless you're willing to break character completely and actually tell him about the Kyuubi, he won't know why."
"No," the Sandaime shook his head. "No one should have to be burdened with that so young. Maybe when he graduates the Academy, I'll consider it, but definitely not before then. Besides, you're right; who knows what that kind of burden would do to his psyche growing up?"
"You're worried about his psyche?" Jiraiya asked dubiously. "How about this: Naruto will be neglected growing up at best because no one will really want anything to do with the Kyuubi container. What do neglected kids do? They act out. They get violent or they play pranks. The Kyuubi is a fox. That will only further serve to convince everyone that Naruto and the kitsune are one and the same."
"He'll prove them wrong," Sarutobi said determinedly. "I have faith in him."
"That's great," Jiraiya said dismissively. "But he'll be a walking target his entire life. If other Villages find out we have a Jinchuriki and we're not even 'using' him, you know they'll try and claim him for their own."
"We won't tell other Villages, we'll just keep it a secret. I can make it an S-Class secret to tell anyone who is not there for the official announcement about Naruto. Well," the Sandaime paused reflectively, "I can tell who needs to know and Naruto can tell anyone he sees fit as well, since this concerns him. This should help him making friends as children are easily influenced and would probably be scared if they knew about the Kyuubi."
"Good but not good enough," Jiraiya insisted. "You know how kids are! They'll listen to anything their parents say. They don't have to say anything about the Kyuubi, they can just tell their kids to stay away from Naruto because he's 'bad' and no one will go near him!"
"Well, what would you have me do?" Sarutobi was getting frustrated and it showed. "I can't force people to like Naruto."
"You wouldn't have to if you would just leave well enough alone and not tell anyone how the Kyuubi was defeated. Just say that Minato gave his life to 'banish' the Kyuubi and that he won't be coming back anytime soon. It's true enough and everyone knows you can't just kill a Bijuu anyway, so why go into specifics? Hell you can say you don't know any specifics," Jiraiya pointed out.
"I love the people of Konoha and what's more, I believe in them," Sarutobi said firmly. "I know that in time they will do the right thing and they deserve to-"
"They deserve NOTHING," Jiraiya interrupted fiercely. "They aren't the ones who have to deal with the Kyuubi every day, Naruto is. The villagers will, quite frankly, be a lot happier not knowing and Naruto will be happier without the hatred, too. This isn't about them this is about Naruto and what's best for him and you cannot honestly tell me that having everyone know the details of his life before even he does sounds like a viable plan to you?"
"What about when Naruto graduates the Academy?" Sarutobi demanded. "He'll become a ninja, of course, it's in his blood, he'll need to protect himself, and there aren't really many other options open to orphans with no past. Sooner or later he will draw on the Kyuubi chakra and what then? People will notice."
"So some people will have to know," Jiraiya appeared unconcerned. "His genin instructor for one. I say you go with Kakashi. He's young, but he should be more than old enough to take on a team by the time Naruto's ready and if he knows about the connection to Minato, he won't let anything happen to the kid."
"I can understand your caution," Sarutobi said gently. "But I still believe that the good people of Konoha can be trusted to-"
Jiraiya heard a noise outside the door. Their conversation would not permeate the jutsu used to keep the office sound-proof, but they could hear the sounds from outside the room. "Hold that thought," he said, stalking towards the door and throwing it open.
The various Jounin and Chuunin who were milling around outside stopped and looked at the Sannin expectantly.
"Hey everyone," Jiraiya greeted. "I'm trying to guess how the Yondaime got rid of the Kyuubi but I'm not having much luck so far. "What do you guys think of 'he made a Jinchuriki'? And how would that even go over, anyway? I mean, I've seen it done in other villages…it's not pleasant, usually. Well, except for Kumo, but they've always been a strange bunch."
"A Jinchuriki?" one of the Jounin laughed. "The Yondaime would never do such a despicable thing!"
"We would definitely need to make it a weapon," a Chuunin threw out.
"That might be too dangerous; remember what just happened," another Jounin pointed out. "I say we kill it."
"Anyone opting for 'treating it like it's any other member of society'?" Jiraiya asked.
Blank stares were all the answer he needed.
"And those were the ninja…" Sarutobi was murmuring to himself, looking shocked.
"I would keep going, but I think that's sort of overkill at this point," Jiraiya said smugly.
The Sandaime shot him a withering glare. "Fine, have it your way. This will stay between you, the Council, and I for now."
Note: Okay, so I couldn't actually bring myself to end it with the Hokage being stubborn and telling people anyway because it just seems so stupid! Did they really have to know? I can't imagine why they would and everyone's really a lot happier NOT knowing so…