Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any characters in this fan fiction. I do not make money from this fan fiction.
This is my first attempt at a Naruto fan fiction and just an introductory chapter, please review and give constructive criticism please!!!
Jiraiya's Choice Chapter 1
The village of Konohagakure was silent, not the quiet of early morning as would be normal, but the quiet of an entire people in mourning. The nine-tail demon had finally been defeated and with him many lives had been lost but also their beloved fourth hokage. The people mourned their dead and comforted their friends and family at their loss, but within the Hokage tower a single light could be seen from the office of the Hokage.
A scattering of candles lit the room which contained four men of various ages. The third Hokage stood looked out at the village from the window. The three ninja behind him were the only ones privy to this meeting, Hiashi Hyuuga, the leader of the Hyuuga clan and Minato's former teammate, rival, and best friend, Kakashi Hatake, his former pupil, and his sensei Jiraiya. On the table before them was a small child, an infant newly born, and just as newly orphaned.
The room held a somber mood within it, as if the four walls, even the tour, felt unprepared and unable to bear the burden of the decision before the four men. Each was bore the grief in their heart and the weight of their responsibility on their shoulders. Sarutobi Hiruzen, known as the Professor by the world and Konoha's third Hokage looked at the village beneath the tower, smoke gliding softly from his pipe. He breathed deeply, his thoughts jumbled with his emotions, each vying for control as the weight of the decision of the fourth Hokage and his sacrifice fully hit him.
"Minato has sealed the demon in the body of his son, he has sacrificed himself for this village." The others nodded, they already knew what had been done, Lord Hiruzen had attempted to present the child as hero to the village only to be met with the angry cries of grief by the villagers. "The village has already called for his death, they are swayed by their anger at the Kyūbi no Yōko and it has caused them and they would see an innocent child bear the burden of their grief."
The anger and remorse held in Hiashi's eyes told of his grief, many of his clan had perished in the battle with the nine-tailed demon and their deaths weighed heavily upon his shoulders. Though he had been Minato's friend and rival he secretly agreed with the villagers, the child before him could be the greatest threat the village ever faced and he spoke quietly before responding to Lord Hiruzen, "Are we so sure they aren't correct Lord Hiruzen?"
His question made the other three look at Hiashi with more than a bit of surprise, "You would see a young child punished and killed because of something out of his control on the very day of his birth? He is Minato's son, I know you two were rivals but I would have thought you'd at least give his son the chance at life." The third hokage understood Hiashi's feelings, the weight of the deaths on his shoulders and the grief he must be dealing with.
"Minato was too optimistic, he thought the village would accept his son as a hero for carrying the Kyubi no Yoko within him, but then, that's one of the things which made him Minato. The decision we have before us is simple, what is to be done with the child? I will not see him harmed, I ask you three because you were the closest to Minato, his student, his best friend, and his master, what do you believe should come of his son?"
The three men stood, they avoided the gaze of the quiet child before him, the swirling sealing mark over his belly, the azure blue eyes which cut their very souls with its purity. Hiashi shook his head and spoke first, his feelings already made clear, "If you will not see him harmed, then let him loose, he is a danger to everyone and if he will not be killed them see him kept caged or sealed somewhere, he is a child now but one day he will grow up and should the demon ever escape it will finish what it started. This child's life for the safety of the village, we must accept that while the child is innocent, Minato made a mistake and his mistake could cost the village its entire existence, we must take precautions and see to it that it cannot happen."
Hiashi's eyes blazed with the fire of his beliefs, he truly could not believe his old friend would place such a demon within his own child. Minato, he thought, how could you do this to your son? Will you force me to kill the only remaining part of you Konoha has left? Kakashi was next to speak, "Lord Third, while I do not disagree that the child could be a danger one day, he has done nothing wrong and maybe we should wait, let him grow, if the gears of lord Hiashi and the village look to become valid we can always take the precautions then."
Jiraiya crossed his arms, he closed his eyes and sighed refraining from speaking. He was still unsure how he felt, he had just come home to do some more "research" and visit with his former pupil and congratulate him on his new position when this had happened. The silence stretched on and with each passing moment Hiashi grew to believe more and more he was right in his belief the child would need to be destroyed one day. But it was not he, nor was it the third hokage who spoke, it was Kakashi with his arms behind his head and, if it was possible, looking rather apprehensive, "Minato spoke with me before he left to seal the demon. He asked me to take his son in and care for him, see him grow and trained. I'm sorry lord third, but I simply cannot do that. It's not like I don't like Minato's kid, seems nice enough, but really, I'm too young and it would alert every enemy in the 5 great nations whose child it had to be if I took him in." That and I can't stand changing diapers! Kakashi thought to himself.
The third hokage took another puff on his pipe, its smoke gliding before him to obscure the view of the village. He knew that Hiashi would never take the child and Kakashi had already made his reasons, which had weight, for not taking the child. He certainly couldn't take the child for the same reason and more, his responsibilities would keep him much too busy and he was much too old to care for such an infant. The third hokage turned around and looked at his former pupil Jiraiya standing there with his arms crossed, his eyes closed.
As if sensing his former teacher was looking at him Jiraiya opened his eyes and took a hesitant step backward bringing his arms up. "Hey! Don't look at me Professor! I won't be staying in Konoha more than a day or two after this. Besides, I travel too much and he would be a big drag on my time doing "research" after all!" The third hokage raised an eyebrow at his student who, in his attempt to avoid his masters gaze looked down at the child and realization began to hit him.
Jiraiya saw the child's future before him, the taunts by others, how he would be ostracized by the village, the jeers at him and how his life would be lonely and devoid of happiness save for what he made for himself. If I don't take him in my students son his life will be as no life at all." Jiraiya sighed to the men around him. His teacher had turned his back to them again to look out the window when he heard his pupil sigh, "But then again, it does get rather lonely on the road and I guess the kid couldn't be too much trouble as long as he gets a place here so I can go on my own from time to time."
Kakashi raised an eyebrow and even Hiashi was more than a bit surprised as the statement by the Sannin. Kakashi wasn't entirely sure that anyone was comfortable with what the old ninja might teacher the child, but he admitted, at least the child would be protected and have a chance to learn from the same man who had helped teach Minato. The third hokage turned around, a bit of concern tugged at his senses, he wasn't entire sure that Jiraiya would be the best person knowing of his students more, perverse, nature. But he nodded at the same.
Jiraiya picked up the young Naruto holding him awkwardly, "Well boy, guess we're going to be spending some time together. First rule: When the girls come around, act cute so I get more "research" done, got it?" All three other men fell down and groaned wondering what would become of the child they had entrusted to the old toad sage. The child in Jiraiya's arms looked quizzically at the old man and gave a miniscule sigh of his own, unnoticed by any but the third hokage who gave a slight smile.
The following morning
The sun was shining on Konoha, the village was busy with repairs from the damage caused by the demon attack and the burials were being scheduled. There was, however, an atmosphere of cautious optimism amongst the people. They had won a great victory at a terrible cost, and while it would be debated later and for many years if the cost of the victory had been worth the sacrifice by the village for now, they knew they were safe and at peace.
At the northern exist to the village Jiraiya walked past many waving good-bye. Strapped to his back was his the toad contract and next to it lay little Naruto. As Jiraiya walked out of the north gate leaving Konoha behind the eyes of the third hokage looked upon watching. He knew Naruto would have a hard time, Jiraiya was many things but his parenting skills would leave much to be desired. As the smoke drifted from his pipe the third hokage smiled as he sensed the duo leave. Yes, Naruto would be in good hands and well protected, and long as Jiraiya was away there would be a chance for the village to heal without the constant reminder in their midst of the demons attack.
As Jiraiya left the village he noticed Kakashi and waved to him to come over. "Kakashi, I have something for you, it's a gift, my first novel! I have no doubt you'll love it! One day I will be a famous author and change the world with me books!" Kakashi gave Jiraiya a quizzical look but took the book from the older ninja. Jiraiya laughed and wished the younger ninja good-bye as he proceeded on his way. He noticed quickly that Naruto seemed enthralled by the large scroll next to him on his back and kept attempting to grab it was it swing back and forth. Jiraiya chuckled, You'll learn of the toads soon enough Naruto, after all, there is no better babysitter!.