Does Naruto remember anything?” a question erupted from Jiraiya’s pale, chapped lips.
It seemed as though he had had as much sleep as the blonde woman sitting across from him. The dark circles underneath his solemn brown eyes told a story of sleepless nights beside an almost grandchild’s bedside.
“Jiraiya, he hasn’t woken up in days and I wouldn’t have asked him anything even if he had. There are other things he needs to think about right now,” she told him in a voice soaked with sympathy and annoyance.
“I know but if Naruto remembers it’ll kill him. Sasuke meant so much to him and especially after that fight with-” Jiraiya protested hurriedly but Tsunade’s intense amber gaze silenced him immediately.
She began quietly, “You can’t protect Naruto all the time, Jiraiya. You can’t make up for Minato by insisting you hold Naruto’s hand every waking second. Naruto is not Minato and you have to realize-”
“I know they’re two different people, damn it,” Jiraiya snapped, his already crumbling self control shattering with the reality of her words.
Tsunade retorted heatedly, “I don’t think you do, Jiraiya. You’ve replaced Minato with Naruto and he deserves so much better than that-”
“I haven’t replaced anyone, Tsunade! Why do you always presume you know everything when you don’t?” he argued and her eyes flashed.
Her voice steadily began to rise, “Why do you always ignore everyone? If somebody says something you don’t want to hear even if they’re right, you’ll block them out and if things become too hard to bear you’ll run away from them.”
He scoffed at her and said sarcastically, “This is coming from the woman who ran away from Konoha because she couldn’t save her fiancé.”
“Dan has nothing to do with this,” She hissed at him, her chair shrieking as she stood up abruptly.
“Neither does Minato,” he retorted, brown eyes flashing angrily.
She snapped at him, “Minato has everything to do with this, Jiraiya. You should know that better than everyone else, after the fight between Orochimaru and Naruto. Naruto isn’t so stupid he won’t figure out what really happened and what if he still remembers anyways? He’ll have to know sometime.”
Something in Jiraiya’s eyes changed. “I don’t want Naruto to know about Minato because-”
“Because what? Because you’re scared he’ll realize that he did have a family at some point? Because he’s not old enough? Well, wake up all fucking ready, you aren’t Naruto’s dad and he’s old enough to face the facts!” Tsunade shouted.
“I don’t want him to know because I’m scared he’ll follow in Minato’s footsteps!” Jiraiya yelled at her.
It filled the room with unvoiced regrets and surfacing fears. It made Jiraiya collapse into a chair and drop his head of white hair into his rough hands and Tsunade’s hazel eyes widen with the knowledge that she had pushed him too far.
Then she realized Jiraiya was right. She didn’t know everything.