To anyone who enjoyed my other Naruto fic 'Naruto's Kit', rest assured I have not deserted the promised sequel and it will be posted on time. I still need to create more characters, jutsus, situations and other things before I get started and posting regularly. Until then, this fic popped up in my head and I felt it was worth posting too.
This is an AU fic, so expect some OOCness in certain contexts. At the beginning of the story, Orochimaru has not yet left the village or started his experiments, but the idea has crossed his mind. When a new factor is thrown into his life, how will it affect him? And how will it affect those close to him? Or Konoha? This is rated mostly for language and maybe some ugly scenes, no lemons or limes are planned yet but that may change later on.
Ch. 1 Responsibilties
Today was October 11th, the day after the Kyuubi no Kitsune attacked Konohagakure, and things weren't going well for those inside the village. Especially for the formerly-retired newly-reappointed village leader, Hiruzen Sarutobi, who was sequestered in his regained office with an upset blonde infant boy resting in a basket with a blanket.
"I can't believe it. Do they really have that little faith in Minato's skill or humanity?"
"Is something wrong Sensei?" An almost eerie but not unconcerned voice asked from behind him.
"Ah Orochimaru, it's good you came by." The elder hokage said as he opened the window and let his pale student inside, who was dressed as a normal jounin. "And yes, something is indeed wrong. But first, do you think you can reach Jiraiya or Tsunade really soon?"
Orochimaru shook his head. "Sorry. You know Jiraiya is too wrapped up in his spy network to just come here all of a sudden. And need I say anything about Tsunade?"
"At least try. Tell them they've got a new responsibility that requires they return here ASAP."
The snake sannin sighed. "I can try, but forgive me if I don't have the best confidence in what my teammates will do about it. But before I even try to, tell me what the new responsibility is first."
Sarutobi nodded, knowing it would be pointless for Orochimaru to explain something to the others he himself didn't know anything about. "Alright. You see that young boy?" He pointed to the sleeping infant. Orochimaru nodded. "That's Minato's son, Naruto."
"Hmm... Naruto Namikaze. I'm assuming it means 'maelstrom' not 'fish paste cake' right?"
"Correct, but he won't be called Namikaze. He'll have his mother's maiden name Uzumaki instead."
Orochimaru blinked. "What for?"
"Well, in the last war, Minato killed off a large number of Iwa ninja as if it was nothing. And they're very angry at the humiliation they've received for it. If Iwa knew Minato had a living relative, they may seek out his blood and go to extreme measures for it. We can't afford to risk such an attack now or in the foreseeable future, so if his name is different neither him or the village will be in trouble for it."
"Sounds good on the surface, but are you gonna keep this a secret from everyone in Konoha too?"
Sarutobi nodded. "Yes. People can't reveal a secret they don't know. So until he's the proper age, he and everyone else must remain ignorant of his heritage."
"Him too? Why?" Orochimaru asked, not seeing the logic.
"Kids tend to brag about themselves or their families to sound important amongst other kids. If he's ignorant too then he can't draw too much attention to himself." Sarutobi explained.
"So Minato's son will have to live like a normal person? Who's going to raise him?"
"Minato and Kushina listed Jiraiya and Tsunade as the child's godparents."
Orochimaru looked surprised. "Really? Why?"
"Because they both knew and trusted your teammates Orochimaru. It wasn't personal."
"Oh I know that. And I already have a godchild. Remember Daisuke Mitarashi?" Orochimaru asked. Sarutobi nodded, having seen the pale sannin being friends with the named jounin and his family. "Sadly he and his wife died yesterday, but they entrusted me with caring for their daughter in such an event."
"That's good, and Minato thought Jiraiya and Tsunade would be good for Naruto. If you can ask them to come here that would be best."
Orochimaru sighed. "I can try Sensei, but remember, I don't have confidence they'll cooperate. I'll be as quick as I can, but while I'm gone, can you watch over Anko-chan for me please?" Sarutobi nodded, not seeing a problem with supervising a six year old for a bit. He could make some ninjas watch over her as a D-rank mission if he needed to focus elsewhere.
Orochimaru then left the building and then the village to find his teammates. They were good at hiding from those looking for them, but since he was their teammate, he would have an easier time than others. But that didn't guarantee anything.
Three days later Orochimaru returned to the hokage tower, empty-handed and alone. The first thing he saw when he answered were a bunch of irritated civilians and even a few ninjas too. One of them, a ninja wearing his hitai-ate over his left eye, approached him. "Ah. One of the sannin is here. Perhaps you could make Hokage-sama sensible again."
"Sensible?" Orochimaru asked, beyond confused. If there was one thing the so-called Professor wasn't, it was insensible.
"Yeah, he's been hiding up in his office for over a day and being foolish by preventing us from doing our duty."
Orochimaru didn't like any of this, and even less when murmurs from the gathered people said things like 'kill' and 'demon'. As far as he knew the kyuubi had already been taken care of, so what was all the commotion about? He didn't say anything, just walked pass them. The group let him pass with pleasure, figuring he was going to take care of the problem himself.
Orochimaru stopped in front of the door, well aware there had to be a seal to prevent entry. So he summoned a snake and had it slip into the vents that led into the room.
"Come in Orochimaru. I'm glad you're back." Sarutobi called out after three minutes, knowing only one person would gain his attention with a snake that knew not to attack.
The seal briefly gave out and Orochimaru entered, closing the door quickly so the seal could reactivate before anyone took the opportunity to barge in. As soon as he entered, a young girl with long loose purple hair barreled into him. "Orochi-jisan! Thank Kami you're back!" She was clearly crying.
"What's wrong Anko-chan?" He asked the sobbing child. He noticed the crib next to the desk and the infant inside was asleep but didn't look comfortable. And now he could see whisker marks on the boy's face.
"So many bad people were here, trying to hurt the baby. They said so many bad things about him. They tried to hurt me too."
Orochimaru's eyes widened and he gave his old teacher a look that said 'please tell me this is not true'. Sarutobi's sigh and closing his eyes did nothing to comfort his student. "I'm afraid it's true. Once the council learned what had transpired with Naruto they ordered his immediate execution. The civilians took the bait almost completely and even some of the shinobi have too."
"Why the fuck would they order that?" Orochimaru all but shouted, momentarily forgetting he had a child beside him.
"Well, Minato got rid of the kyuubi by sealing it away inside Naruto, at the cost of his life. I told them this so they'd know not to be afraid of a repeat attack by the beast and that the child should be considered a hero for bearing such a burden, but right away they craved his blood. Apparently they either believe the infant is simply the fox turned into a helpless child, or Minato did this specifically so the child could be killed thus killing the fox with it."
Orochimaru wanted to throw up. Once in a while he had curious thoughts that others could consider vile, but this was barbaric. "So the council that has always worked with Minato actually believes that he would wish a newborn to die just to solve a problem? And if not that, that he was powerful enough to change the great fox demon into a human but not strong enough to actually kill it? With all due respect Sensei, my snakes have eaten things smarter than that!"
"I've tried telling them the same, but they just can't see any other possibility. A few ninja have already tried to kill him at their beckoning, one being Minato's own student, claiming that's what Minato would have done if the demon hadn't killed him. If this keeps up my hair's going to go grey faster. I've kept him here since then, and Anko-chan's been adamant about protecting him too since she's been here." For the first time, Sarutobi smiled. "You should be proud of her. She took a kunai to the shoulder to protect him."
Orochimaru looked down at his godchild again and saw her tenderly touch her right shoulder. With the shirt in the way, he couldn't see the bandage around it, but didn't need to. He bent down and hugged his friend's daughter. "Good girl, Anko-chan. And at least you didn't get hurt worse."
"Orochimaru, any news regarding Jiraiya and Tsunade?" Sarutobi asked.
The snake sannin tore himself away from the little girl. "Sadly no, Sensei. I couldn't locate either. I checked all the nearest hot spring resorts, casinos and bars, but got nothing. I might have searched more, but my gut told me to get back here. And I'm glad I did."
Sarutobi took a puff from his pipe. "This is bad. If we can't get at least one of those two back here soon, Naruto might not last much longer."
"Then I'll take him in for now."
Sarutobi blinked but didn't look surprised or objected. "But don't you already have Anko-chan to watch over? And you were never officially declared a possible guardian for Naruto."
"If two sannins aren't available, then who better than the one that is?"
"Good point." The Sandaime agreed. "But still, won't having two children interfere with your work?" Orochimaru tended to work with the Ninja R&D division like the Naras and Akimichis when he wasn't on missions, hoping to find ways to give their shinobi advantages over others. By now some rather unscrupulous ideas and theories had come to mind for him and he was half-willing to try them out to see if they could work.
"No more than one would. Besides, it won't be permanent. Tsunade may decide she's gone off on her own long enough soon and decide to settle down back here. And sooner or later Jiraiya has to come back to tell you the results of his snooping. I can watch him in the meantime. After all, I don't see anyone else volunteering that you know won't try to kill him."
Sarutobi couldn't argue that point. "Very well, Orochimaru. I'll allow you to be Naruto's guardian and caretaker until such time that his designated godparents can do the job instead. Also, I'm creating a few laws for Naruto's protection. No one will be allowed to talk about sealing away the kyuubi or Naruto's connection to it. So none of the younger generation will be taught anything except that the kyuubi was beaten by the Yondaime, with the exception of Anko-chan here for obvious reasons. This way, maybe he can live a normal life among his peers."
"That requires a lot of faith in the people of this village sensei. And if what I saw outside is any sign, this boy's still going to have a hard time fitting in. Especially if the parents tell their children to stay away from him." Orochimaru commented.
"We'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it and hope he can gain some friends that'll see him for him." Sarutobi said, not sounding as confident as he wanted to, which Orochimaru easily noticed.
With nothing else to say, Orochimaru thanked his teacher, grabbed Naruto and Anko, and left the building thru the window. No way he was going to walk thru that crowd again holding the whiskered infant.
He took the two to his small modest home and set up a futon and crib in his guest room. "Sorry but you two will have to share a room for a little bit."
Anko nodded. "That's okay Orochi-jisan. I've been sleeping in the office with him and the old man since you left. You... aren't going away again so soon are you?"
Orochimaru shook his head. "No, not until things here get settled for you two. I need to see just how many are going to try to hurt him, and you just because you know him. Again, protecting him was a very good thing to do."
Anko smiled. "He's cute, especially with those whiskers."
"I guess he is. I hope that's not the only reason you helped him."
Anko shook her head. "Nope. I thought he might be able to be that little brother I always wanted. And if he's staying here with me, he really is."
Orochimaru smiled. "I guess you're right. And as the big sister, you need to be there to keep him safe if someone tries that again. Try not to get yourself killed though, and get me if things get ugly."
'I sure hope this works out until those two get here.' Orochimaru thought.