Naruto: Sage of Konoha
After a powerful Nine Tailed Demon Fox is sealed within the baby Naruto, the legendary Sage Jiraiya adopts the child and raises him among the Toads as his son. Fearing for the child's life, Jiraiya trains him. Watch as Naruto grows to become the next great Sage of Konoha! What awaits father and son in the future? Booze? Women? Battles? Or something darker perhaps? Only time will tell! (There are no set pairings.)
Jiraiya of the Sannin gazed out over the destruction bordering the walls of his beloved home village. His spiky white hair moved with the ominous breeze around him, his horned forehead protector, engraved with the kanji for oil, seemed to glow as the moon's light reflected against it. He took a deep breath and wiped his with his sleeves as if he had been crying, but no tears were present on his face. He turned around to look at the Ritual Altar, where his god son lay sleeping, unaware of the seal on his stomach, or the corpses of his parents, locked in a silent embrace, hovering over him as if protecting him.
Jiraiya had gotten there just as Kushina Uzumaki erected the barrier that would keep the beast from escaping while her husband, the Yondaime Hokage Minato Namikaze sealed it within their newborn son. A beast which was said to topple mountains and create Tsunamis with but a swipe of its tail: The Nine Tailed Demon Fox.
Jiraiya looked up at the moon again, not looking as his sensei and several other ninjas made the scene. Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Sandaime Hokage, with a heavy heart and the ghost of tears in his eyes picked up the child, wrapping him in a blanket and walked slowly to Jiraiya, his armor and helmet still damaged heavily from the battle.
"Jiraiya," said Sarutobi quietly, the Toad Sage not looking at him or giving any indication that he'd heard. "I know this is hard for you, but I need you to come to the tower with me. We must discuss what is to be done about the village. My ANBU will take care of Minato and Kushina."
Jiraiya was about to respond to Sarutobi, when out of the corner of his eye he saw a flash and the sound of many shuriken flying through the air rang in his ears.
" Shuriken Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!"
"NEEDLE JIZO!" Jiraiya practically screamed as He grabbed his sensei and the infant, his spiky white hair bursting from its ponytail and wrapping around the three of them protectively. The blanket of hair petrified into the density of steel. Just as his hair enclosed around them thousands of Shiuriken came flying from the trees, embedding themselves in the shell of needle like hair. Many of the shuriken passed over them and struck down surrounding ANBU. As soon as the shuriken clones vanished in a puff of smoke, Jiraiya released Sarutobi and Minato's child.
"I'll meet you at the tower," said Jiraiya. Sarutobi nodded and sped off in the direction of the village, followed closely by his security detail.
Jiraiya spotted the attacker in the trees, moving quickly to intercept the Third. Jiraiya got there first however and blocked the assailant's path. Jiraiya glared at his foe, taking a wide stance.
"Do not get in my way Sage," said the attacker, his face hidden by a black hood and a white mask with a black flame pattern and a single hole for his eye. Jiraiya glared back at his opponent. He could sense a massive killing intent from this man. This was no normal Shinobi.
"You are the one behind all of this I presume," he said, not moving from his stance. "The area reeks of your fighting aura. You fought Minato."
"Yes, and I nearly had him too," replied the masked man. "Now move, so I may retrieve what belongs to me."
"If you mean the fox, you can forget it."
"Unfortunately, I cannot forget it. If you insist on dying, I will accommodate you."
"Then let's get this over with!" Jiraiya shouted, his hands flying into the hand seals for Snake, Ram, Monkey, Boar, Horse and Tiger. "Katon: Endan!"
A burst of fire flew from the Sages lips and struck the masked man. Jiraiya nearly dropped his stance in surprise as he saw his enemy make no attempt to avoid it. He gasped and jumped out of the way as a Kunai nearly sliced through his neck. He looked at his enemy and saw a flash of red from the hole in his mask.
"A… Sharingan?" he thought to himself. So his enemy was an Uchiha. Things had just gotten more interesting for the Toad Sage.
Jiraiya landed about ten feet away and took his stance again. The masked man clutched his chest and growled in pain and irritation.
"That damned Fourth Hokage," He said, looking at the corpse of his fallen enemy. "His seal is disrupting my chakra. That move nearly took it all out of me."
"So you avoided my attack with a Jutsu?" Jiraiya said, catching the man's attention. The man stood at his full height.
"It seems that I will have to come back later," the man spat with venom. "I will return, Sage. And with that, I must bid you farewell."
His Sharingan lit up and his entire body seemed to shrink into the hole as if being sucked in. His body and the air around it distorted in a spiral pattern. It swirled around the hole until nothing was left but the Sharingan eye, and it too vanished seconds later.
Jiraiya spit on the ground and looked at his dead student, a content smile etched onto Minato's face. Jiraiya didn't know exactly what Minato had gone through to battle that man, but it had Jiraiya scared, not for himself, but for Minato's son. He put his hand in the Ram seal and vanished in a puff of smoke and leaves.
"I know what I saw Sensei," said Jiraiya. "He definitely had a Sharingan eye. And we both know that the Uchiha were absolutely no help in repelling that damned fox. Where the hell were they?"
Jiraiya sat on the windowsill of the Hokage's office, his back against the frame. Sarutobi was smoking his pipe from his spot behind Minato's desk.
"What evidence to we have that the Uchiha clan had anything to do with the attack?"
"Madara Uchiha could control it with his Sharingan. I think this places them as our prime suspects."
Sarutobi sat silently for a time, puffing absently on his pipe. His eyes scanned slowly across the room to the basket at his side, the small infant laying quietly, staring up at the former Hokage with big, sea blue orbs. He looked just like his father, aside from the whisker marks on his cheeks.
"I will discuss what you found with the council," he said, putting out his pipe for the sake of the baby's lungs. "But for now, with the crisis averted, we should discuss what to do with Minato's son."
"Naruto," said Jiraiya quietly, gazing down at the baby.
"Minato and Kushina named him Naruto."
"Isn't that the name of the protagonist of your first book? Tale of the Gutsy Ninja. I quite enjoyed it."
"Yeah," Jiraiya chuckled warmly. "Too bad it didn't sell, but Minato seemed to love it."
"I have to say I liked your new book even more," Sarutobi pulled out his copy of Icha Icha Paradise and tapped the cover. "It would make a killing as a series."
"You keep a copy of it in your desk?" asked Jiraiya with a lewd smirk. The Third Hokage coughed and tried to hide the faint redness in his cheeks.
"Back to the matter at hand," he growled threateningly, eliciting a laugh from the pervy sage. "I'll be keeping young Naruto here at the hospital until he is fit enough to live in the orphanage."
"The orphanage?" asked Jiraiya. "Are you nuts? People will surely target him in there. People are morons; you know how things are for a Jinchuuriki."
"Exactly," said a new voice, deep and cold, slow and calculating. "Which is why I must object to your idea Sarutobi."
Jiraiya's face darkened, as did the Third's when they spied Shimura Danzo, the bandaged and crippled war hawk stepping across the room with his cane in hand.
"What do you want, you old fart?" Asked Jiraiya, but Sarutobi held up a hand to silence him.
"What I want, is to use the child for what he is meant to be," said Danzo coldly, staring down at Naruto with a hungry gleam in his eye.
"He is not a weapon Shimura," said Sarutobi hotly. "He is an infant and a citizen of Konoha."
"He is a monster," spat Danzo. "And everyone knows it. People are whispering Hiruzen. The rumors are spreading that this… thing is the Nine Tailed Fox in human form. They are afraid. Imagine who else we could scare with this kind of power. Iwagakure? Kumogakure? The possibilities—"
"Will not happen," said Sarutobi, taking a paper from his personal stationary and scribbling on it, marking his signature on the bottom furiously before stamping it with his personal seal. "From this moment on, the knowledge of Naruto's condition is an S-ranked secret. Anyone, be they Shinobi or citizen, to discuss it outside of my office and in Naruto-kun's presence will be executed. Do I make myself clear?"
"You are making a mistake Saru," hissed Danzo. Sarutobi shot out of his chair, the killing intent washing off of him making Naruto cry, Jiraiya jump and Danzo sweat.
"If you question my authority as Hokage, the mistake will be yours to pay for," growled Sarutobi.
"You are not Hokage anymore—"
"As of this moment," Said Hiruzen with a deep laced venom. "I am enacting my authority as former Hokage of the Leaf. I will request that the citizen council allow me to return to my position. Now get out of this office."
Danzo stared at Hiruzen for what seemed like, to Jiraiya, an eternity. The only sound was Naruto's wails reverberating against the walls. Danzo shot a look at the baby and sneered.
"Shut that creature up," he said, backing out of the office and slamming the door behind him. Sarutobi collapsed into his chair and heaved a sigh. He went to pick up Naruto, but saw the baby was already being held and consoled, albeit unsuccessfully, by Jiraiya.
"I never expected you to be the fatherly type," said Sarutobi.
"I'm not," said Jiraiya. "But as his godfather, I want to be there for him."
"I can't let you take him Jiraiya," said Sarutobi, looking at Jiraiya darkly from the corner of his eye. "I need your spy network now more than ever."
"But if we just leave him to the citizens, who knows what will happen?" Jiraiya sat down at his spot at the window with Naruto in his arms. The baby had stopped crying and was gripping a lock of the Sage's white hair. "You heard Danzo. I can't just let him be alone."
"What do you want me to do?" snapped Sarutobi. "Just let you take him into the field? You are the Toad Sage, one of our greatest assets! You are in no position to start a family!"
Jiraiya was about to shoot back at him when he suddenly stopped and went wide eyed.
"I don't have a human family," he said with a small smile. "But I do have a Ma and Pa out there."
"W-what?" Sarutobi looked at Jiraiya with shock. "You cannot be serious!"
"Just hear me out Sensei," Jiraiya said with a grin that told that he found his idea to be both brilliant and hilarious. "If Naruto stays with Ma and Pa, he'll be well taken care of in one of the safest places in the world. No one will ever know he is there and I can check up on him all the time."
"I'd rather he just lived with Tsunade," Sarutobi grumbled.
Jiraiya grinned. Tsunade was one of his oldest friends, and in the old days he'd held quite a candle for the legendary kunoichi. With her ageless blonde hair and massive bust size, she was considered the most beautiful woman in the Land of Fire. Despite her position as the world's greatest medic, her bedside manner left a lot to be desired. Get caught looking down her shirt, and you would be in the hospital for an additional six months thanks to her monstrous strength and demonic temperament. Jiraiya learned that one the hard way.
Her alcoholism and gambling habits were as legendary as her strength and medical skills. Sarutobi was being sarcastic as she was the furthest thing from motherly when it came down to it. Aside from her apprentice, Shizune, she loved no one.
"I could ask her."
Sarutobi looked up at him with a deadpanned expression.
"Are you really this dead set on not allowing him to live in the orphanage?"
"I just want him to be safe, and to have a family, even if they aren't human," Jiraiya said quietly, looking down at his god son with a pained expression. Sarutobi siged and stood up, looking out his window.
"I'll tell you what," he said. "If you can convince Tsunade to come back and raise Naruto, I'd welcome her with open arms. But I can't condone him living with—"
"It's not like he'll be living off of a diet of bugs. They have real food there too you know."
Sarutobi did not look at Jiraiya, telling the Sage that that was exactly what he was worried about. Sarutobi sighed and looked at Jiraiya sadly.
"Talk to Tsunade first. Then we will discuss Mount Myoboku."
"Let me take the boy with me."
"I think I'd have an easier time convincing her than I would without Naruto. Just give me bottles and milk and such and I'll be good to go."
"Are you an idiot Jiraiya? Do you know what it would look like if people saw Jiraiya of the Sannin wandering with a baby?"
Jiraiya responded by performing a henge into a version of himself with no face paint, shorter hair and a different outfit. Sarutobi sighed and looked back out the window.
"I won't let you go alone."
"This is something I have to do alone," said Jiraiya with a dark expression.
"Why? Why do you insist on becoming this child's guardian?"
"Because I've already lost four students and I refuse to lose this."
Sarutobi stood silently as Jiraiya did his best to keep a straight face, despite the emotional pain he was obviously experiencing.
"One week to prove to me that you can raise a child. That means diapers, feeding, burping, all of it. Prepare for one week of no sleep, hours of crying and days of anguish."
"Is it really that bad sensei?"
"I raised three. I know the horrors of war."
One week later, Jiraiya stepped out of the hotel room he'd been living in with Naruto. He had bags under his eyes and could not help but yawn every few seconds. Sarutobi was right, it had been a week of hell, but the Toad Sage had triumphed again.
The first day consisted of Sarutobi teaching Jiraiya the basics, changing diapers, feeding and the like, as well as how to play with Naruto and keep him entertained. He learned the hard way –meaning a slap on the back of the head- that teaching an infant to use a kunai was a definite no-no. They spent the night in the Hokage Mansion with Sarutobi.
The second day was only harder. Naruto had kept waking up throughout the night, crying for food, changing and for what seemed like no reason at all. Sarutobi reasoned that it was the lack of a mother figure, but Jiraiya reasoned that it was just the baby being a little smartass. He also learned the hard way that calling a crying infant a "bratty little shit" was also a no-no. They spent two more agonizing days with the Hokage, who was mostly too wrapped up in his work to mind them, and left Jiraiya on his own with his godson. Eventually Jiraiya got into the swing of things and Sarutobi decided to test their mettle by having them stay on their own in a hotel for the remainder of the week. Jiraiya was put in an impressively bad mood due to the fact that Naruto had completely eaten up his time for personal research at the bath houses. Don't think he didn't try, but Naruto's crying only served to get him caught by some Military Police officers and scolded by the Hokage.
He used toad summons to monitor his spy network as well, but juggling the two was running him ragged.
After the week was up, Jiraiya went to the Hokage's office, Naruto placed in a harness kept strapped to his back next to his summoning scroll. Naruto babbled to himself as they walked through the village square, citizens shooting glares at Jiraiya's back as they walked. He had Naruto dressed in an orange tee shirt and dark blue pants with sandals just his size. Normally he would just body flicker, but due to the fact that infants are so fragile, it was not an option. Jiraiya walked up the steps to the Hokage's office and stepped up to the lovely receptionist.
"Greetings Jiraiya-sama," she said cheerily. "How is Naruto-kun today?"
"He's fine, despite being a complete brat. That thing they say about babies helping single men pick up chicks is dead wrong."
She giggled at him, which got him to grin lecherously. Perhaps he was wrong.
"Hokage-sama is a bit swamped, but I'll let you through."
"Thank you Miss," he said, nodding at her as he opened the door to see Sarutobi scribbling furiously at a stack of papers and smoking his pipe. "So Sensei, do I pass?"
Sarutobi looked up at his former student and set down his pen with a smile.
"I must admit Jiraiya," said the reinstated Third Hokage. "Your instinct as a parent has caught me off guard. You have my permission to leave with Naruto on the B-ranked mission to find Tsunade Senju and inform her of the attack by the Nine-tailed fox."
"Thanks Sensei," he said. "But what about the council? Shouldn't they be fighting you tooth and nail about this?"
"Surprisingly, that isn't the case," said Sarutobi, taking a puff from his pipe. "Danzo fought me of course, but the rest of them want Naruto gone. Good riddance they said. Homura even suggested that taking care of a baby would be a good way of grooming you to become a Hokage yourself. He said it would make you think about the responsibilities of a leader."
Jiraiya grimaced at the idea but didn't feel like arguing. He was too tired.
"I do have one condition on you leaving, and I won't take no for an answer," Hiruzen said.
"What is it Sensei?"
"Be careful. You know that Tsunade loved Kushina. Let her know carefully."
Jiraiya nodded and adjusted Naruto, who was cooing quietly and pulling on Jiraiya's hair.
"We'll be going then. If I don't find her within the next two weeks, I'll be back."
"Do you have everything you need? Bottles? Milk? Diapers?"
"In sealing scrolls Sensei."
"What about blankets? It gets cold at night and I don't want him getting sick."
"I have those too Sensei, as well as medicine, toys and such. Stop being such a worry wart."
"I'm sorry," said Sarutobi with a sad smile. "It's just that I have not had the opportunity to call myself grandpa yet and I'm getting worried that my sons will not be sowing the seeds of Sarutobi any time soon."
Jiraiya smiled at his sensei, who grinned back. Jiraiya walked out of the door for the first time in his career as a ninja and took the stairs to the ground floor.
When Jiraiya reached the gate leading out of the village he felt a familiar presence behind him and turned to see his old teammate Orochimaru leaning against the village wall with his trademarked serpentine grin plastered on his porcelain face. Orochimaru was in his shinobi gear as usual with his black hair tied in a neat ponytail.
Orochimaru and Jiraiya went back a long way. They had been in service together for almost thirty years. They'd trained together, fought together, laughed together and cried together. But in recent years, with Tsunade's departure and Minato's place as the Fourth Hokage, the two sages had grown apart. It wasn't easy for Jiraiya, and Orochimaru's frustration with Sarutobi for naming Minato Namikaze his successor only increased the rift between the two friends. Now they barely spoke, and when they did, it was always short and hostile.
"Hey Orochimaru, what's up?" Jiraiya said with an uneasy smile. He never saw Orochimaru anymore, and if what he'd heard about possible experiments on human subjects were true, he didn't want to.
"So the dead last is a daddy?" Orochimaru said slyly. "Who did you knock up?"
Jiraiya glared at Orochimaru and scoffed.
"This is my godson Orochimaru," he said, moving in closer. "I think you know whose child it is."
Orochimaru dropped his smile.
"I also know that Danzo wants what's inside of it. Watch yourself Jiraiya," the Snake Sannin grinned cruelly. "I might come and take him first to run a few tests."
Jiraiya's expression changed from one of disapproval to one of restrained anger. Orochimaru's tongue flicked out of his mouth before he turned and walked away.
Jiraiya took a few steps backwards before leaving at an upsetting pace. The ninja guarding the gates looked at eachother, not having heard the exchange and shrugged.
That was the last time Jiraiya and Orochimaru would speak to each other on anything resembling civil terms.
So begins the tale of Naruto the Sage. Jiraiya knows that there is a rogue Uchiha on the loose, and with Danzo and Orochimaru looking over his shoulders, he must protect Naruto at all costs. Even from the Hokage's wishes. Will Jiraiya get what he wants? Or will the woman named Tsunade provide for the infant? Only time will tell.