sorry for the long wait. do not own naruto

Ch 2: The Great Healer

Jiraiya knew this would happen someday. His little blond was walking. All day Naruto would follow Jiraiya everywhere. To the bedroom, to the kitchen even once or twice the bathroom. It was cute at to have a little shadow everywhere you went. He even used it to his advantage. Well it is Jiraiya I'm talking about here.

"Aww what a cute little boy you have!" A brunette woman exclaimed to Jiraiya one day when he and Naruto were out getting ramen. Naruto smiled shyly at the tall lady. He held on to Jiraiya's hand every time they went out on walks. He didn't want to get lost.

Jiraiya smiled softly at Naruto before sighing. "I know. They grow up so quickly too. It's sad for me you know? One day I'm holding him in my arms the next he's walking on his own, already wanting to explore the world around him" The girl smiled sadly at him before walking closer to Jiraiya "that's so sweet of you to say." He looked at her and saw how close she was getting. 'Yes' he thought. 'Thank you for being so adorable Naruto!'

Just then a cup smashed into Jiraiya's head making him fall over. Naruto yelped in surprise before turning his head to see a tall, blond woman with a cocky smile on her face. He let go of Jiraiya's hand and walked over to the lady, who looked down at him with a warm smile. She crouched down to his eye level before brushing some hair out of his face.

"What a cutie you are. No wonder that pervert used you for his wicked deeds." She told Naruto in a sweet voice. Naruto just frowned and pointed to Jiraiya. "You hurt Jiraiya." The lady laughed at Naruto before standing back up. "Look kid, it takes more then a blow to the head to harm that pervert." She pointed to Jiraiya who was already starting to get back up. "See, he's good as new."

Naruto smiled and walked back over to Jiraiya who was now glaring at the lady. "Was that really needed Princess?" The lady nodded and walked over to the two men. "Well it was either the cup or my fist." The brunette had already left the area making Jiraiya pout. 'And I was sooo close too.' He thought to himself sadly. Naruto looked up to Jiraiya "What's a pervert?" He asked so innocently that the two adults blushed slightly. "Oops, I should've used something else to describe what you were doing." The blond lady told Jiraiya sheepishly.

"Umm…Well Naruto it's…" Jiraiya was torn between telling the little guy the truth, or lying to him flat out. The first one could scar him for life, the other could cause Naruto to not trust him as soon as he learned the truth. So he did the only thing a loving guardian could do in that situation. "I'll tell you when your older."

Naruto frowned slightly at this answer but shook it off. If Jiraiya thought it was unimportant, then he could care less. He looked back over at the blond who was whispering to Jiraiya about something. He pulled softly at her pant leg and looked up at her face. The lady looked sown at him with a warm smile. "Whatcha' need Naruto?" She asked him.

"Who are you?" Naruto asked her point blank. He hated it when people took forever to ask Jiraiya a simple yes or no question, so he always was quick about it. The lady frowned at Jiraiya before lightly smacking him. "Jerk you forgot to introduce me to the little tyke." Jiraiya rubbed his arm before quickly spitting his tongue out at the lady.

"Whatever. Naruto this is Tusnade, one of my oldest, ouch I didn't say YOU were old I meant we've know each other for a long time, friend." Tusnade glared at Jiraiya before looking back at Naruto. "I came into town after I heard this-um I mean- Jiraiya had taken you into his custody." Tusnade smiled after explaining this to the young blond. He smiled back at her and decided that she was a nice, yet violent, lady.

All three of them walked back to Jiraiya's house and had a small dinner before Naruto went to bed. Tusnade and Jiraiya watched him quickly fall asleep before going back to the living room. Jiraiya opened up a locked cabinet filled with sake and pulled a bottle and two cups out of it. Tusnade watched him poor the drinks with a small frown on er face.

"So how long has that kid been with you?" She asked him with a tone of curiosity in her voice. Jairaya walked over to her and gave her a glass before sitting down on the other side of her. "About a year now. We celebrated his birthday three months ago, I gave him a stuffed frog and he seemed to like it." Tusnade nodded and looked out the window at the sun set. "Naruto looks just like his dad." She stated out of the blue. Jiraiya looked out the window now and smiled softly. "Yah, he does." He told her softly.