A/N: Another chapter Done in time. Wanted to post this early so I can get my stuff primed for the Eclipse coming.

Blood Red Moon... So many Naruto and Avatar/Legend of Korra References there. XD

This is shorter than the previous one, but as straight to the point as possible.

Enjoy~


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From The Ashes

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"A bridge of silver wings stretches from the dead ashes of an unforgiving nightmare
to the jeweled vision of a life started anew."
― Aberjahni.


Two Years Ago…

Republic City

"Naruto-chan, have you finished the books I gave you?"

"Hai Sona-nee!" a four year old boy smiled and gave the most dazzling smile he had.

The former caretaker of the orphanage merely giggled at the boy's enthusiasm, before slowly patting his hair. She was a beautiful young woman in her mid-twenties, she had brown hair which was let free behind her back, and excellent blue eyes, as was a noticeable trait of Water Tribe citizens.

"That's good Naruto-kun, I'll keep my promise, you can have Ramen this night."

"Yay! Ramen!"

The woman simply giggled as she shook her head "Just this once Naruto-chan, you can't eat Ramen all the time, otherwise you'll never grow big and strong like you need to."

"But its Ramen~" he whined as he pouted his lips.

"No buts Naru-chan, you do want to grow big and strong right?"

"Hai! I'll be the biggest and strongest person ever!"

"Oh, and what will you do once you're all grown up like me?" She had paused from the boiling water on the stove as she glanced at the boy who had suddenly become quiet.

"I'll do my best to protect everyone Sona-nee!" the woman smiled as she moved closer to the five year old, patting his head as he gazed at her with childlike determination.

"That's a nice dream Naru-chan,-"

"But most of all…" he continued as though he hadn't heard her, gazing into the eyes of the woman "I'll do my best to protect you Sona-neechan! No matter what!"

The woman was slightly taken aback by the declaration before she gave an amused grin "And why would you do that Naru-chan?"

He gazed at her, at a loss to why she would ask such a question "Because Sona-neechan is the nicest person ever! You helped me when I was living in a dumpster behind the ramen joint! You took me here and gave me everything even when I stole from you…" he muttered that part out silently, before shaking his head and continuing.

"You've given me everything Sona-neechan, even when I did nothing but cause trouble for you…"

Silence filled the room, as the only sound that could be heard was that of the kettle's whistle.

"That's why… that's why… I'll protect you no matter what! Even if it costs me my life, I'll do it! Because… because… I really love you Sona-neechan!"

The woman gaze became teary as she pulled him into a hug "Naruto… you're no longer alone… but you don't have to say you love me to make me happy…"

He defiantly escaped her grasp and placed his hands on her shoulders, gazing into her eyes with all the intensity a five year old could possess.

"I'm not sayin' it to make you happy you dummy neechan!" he shook his head "I'm saying it cause I mean it! And one day when I'm big and strong, I'll prove it by making you my wife!"

Sona couldn't help but giggle slightly as she wiped the tears away from her eyes, the bold declaration from a five year old had both amused her and touched her.

"But I'll be too old for you then Naruto, the age gap is quite a lot."

Cobalt blue eyes matched the fanged fox-like grin on the boy's face "I wouldn't care even if the gap was by a hundred years!" the woman's eyes twitched slightly.

"I'll make you my wife one day! That's my word, and I never go down from it!"

With a thumbs up and laugh that would out do the Chesire Cat, he glanced at her and gave her two simple words that emphasized his words.

"Believe it!"


Current Day...

Republic City...

Sato Residence…

Silence.

The word had been personified in with the sudden appearance of a masked figure that strode through the burning rubble of the house with ease.

Thunder clouds gathered in the sky above, heavy booming and clapping of thunder followed closely.

Shock.

That word was filled and brought to life in the air where four figures lay.

The first was thrown in shock at the sight of the lightning bolt that had struck her mother.

The second lay in shock at the audacity of the man who had dared to touch her daughter, and even more reeled in once they had an unexpected savior.

The third, baffled by the constant pests and interruptions that had taken place, and the hooded figure that was haunted and appraised as a dark spirit.

The last, thrown in shock and the befuddling scene that lay before him, and then his surprise intensified once he identified one of the figures.

The boom of thunder added to the serene silence, however before it, a bolt of lightning, the hammer of the heavens, illuminated the night sky in a single flash.

The visage of everyone in the room became visible, just for a split second, as the lone Firebender in the room suddenly had reason to fear once he noticed the figure that stood in the flames.

"You…" a voice came from the cloaked person. It had an edge to it, the single syllable of that one word dripping in enough malice to fill the room.

In a nanosecond, another lightning bolt flashed through the sky.

And the full force of an unknown energy came crashing down on the grown man's shoulders, snapping him instantly out of the insane sexual lust and blood-lust that had taken control of him earlier..

He suddenly felt himself break out into a cold sweat, as though he was in the presence of a natural predator, shivers ran down his spine to relay to his brain the Goosebumps that traveled on his skin.

Another bang of thunder followed, the smell of burning wood and various materials wafted through the room, flames danced in the gusts of winds that followed, casting eerie shadows of the cloaked figure in the room.

The pressure doubled.

The Agni Kai Triad member suddenly found it much more difficult to breath, his instincts all but screaming at him to run, self-preservation was telling him that no amount of money was worth his life.

He let out an air of false bravado, trying to seem as nonchalant and as ignorant of the danger as possible.

He failed.

"Eh? W-well if it isn't the Phantom Thief? What does a spirit want from little ol' me eh?"

He sported two orange fireballs in his hand as he moved into a defensive stance, his fight or flight responses and signals in his brain finally settled on fight.

He was a known Serial Killer and serial rapist, he hadn't received such 'titles' as he called them, by being weak-willed or weak minded.

"I want…" the venom in his voice hadn't dropped by a single decibel, and if anything, it had doubled.

Silence and tension was eminent, broken only by a single strand of lightning and the boom of thunder that cut through the night sky like a hot knife through butter.

The clouds became heavier as they surrounded the city, their thick darkness obscuring the beautiful moonlight.

With a final crash of thunder…

"…your life."

the floodgates of the heavens were set loose.

Thousands of droplets of water falling as one served as the unspoken signal between the two, the cloaked figure dashing forward so fast that to untrained eyes, he had literally vanished and reappeared in front of the fire bender, his left hand pulled back for a debilitating punch.

Instinct and instinct alone saved Jaaku, his head snapping back at the last minute, the swing missing his face by mere millimeters.

The Firebender shot out a blast of hot flames from his hands, hoping to do some close range damage.

The agile figure was however much faster.

The cloaked attacker redirected the man's hands to the sky, forcing him to release his attack through the ceiling.

Following up, the figure barreled his fist into the man's stomach, taking in with glee as it sunk in with ease, the man coughing out slight blood and spittle from the damage as he folded in half like a bench.

The hit sent him staggering a few centimeters backwards, before the hooded figure followed it up.

A sandal-ed foot smashed into the side of the man's face, snapping his neck to the side as an imprint was left visible. Teeth, blood and spittle flew out this time around, and the man began seeing black spots in his vision.

'No... way… This… this… must really be a spirit! No way can a fucking human move that fast!'

Doubt and worry began to fill his mind as he hastily erected a large spinning shield of fire to protect him from further attacks.

The hooded figure barreled through the flames as though they were non-existent.

Swinging his head back, the veiled assailant prepared enough momentum and leverage, before smashing his head forward as fast as he could, his forehead breaking through the bone and cartilage of Jaaku's nose with little difficulty.

"FUCK! You piece of-" he never completed the statement, a hand barreled its way directly to his mouth in a perfect straight hook, smashing his lips against his teeth, and accidentally causing the man to bite down on his own tongue.

Jaaku was delirious now, he was getting beaten up like a worthless little boy, and it was beginning to peeve him.

Of course, his assailant moved like the bloody wind and didn't give him a second of reprieve.

It seemed that he was going to make good on the promise to end his life.

"Enuf!" of course he had tried to say 'enough' but with several loose teeth and bloody/swollen lips, it didn't come out as expected.

To create a second of reprieve, he erected a large dome of fire outwards in a single burst, successfully repelling his assailant for the first time that night.

What he saw made his blood boil.

The hood had flown off due to the attack, and revealed spiky golden and red hair that was caked with mud, dirt and grime.

Most importantly, it showed two cobalt blue eyes that stared at him with enough malice to freeze lava.

"A kid? A boody kid?!"

Rage filled within him as the shame of being attacked and nearly beaten to death by a child of all things, was over-riding his common sense.

"I'll kill you!" he charged after him, shooting fireball after fireball with reckless abandon, the blonde child had to keep moving and reacting to avoid being hit by the attack which were targeted at him in a wild frenzy.

Dodging a particularly hot fireball, the blonde slid on his knees, dipped his hands in his pockets to find what he was looking for, before sliding between the man's legs, snapping what he had grabbed on them as he pulled the larger man down.

Jaaku tripped forward, using his hands to cushion his fall, before he felt something trap his legs.

Glancing at them, he noticed that they had been handcuffed to each other.

"What in Agni…?" undeterred the man shot out a stream of fire from his feet, forcing the blonde to dodge once again lest his head be shot off by the blast.

'Now…!' the blonde thought as he pounced on the man, driving his knees into the man's chest as he delivered a punch that sent the man's head flying back.

Lightning flashed once more, as the two Satos watched in awe and horror of the brutality of the blonde boy. Kio was bleeding profusely from his mouth, his nose, his face was bruised heavily, and his breathing was labored heavily.

Yet, the blonde didn't stop.

He delivered another attack, his fist pounding against the man's face as he unleashed years of fury and pain.

"Run Naruto! They're here!"

"Who are here?"

The blonde smashed his bloodied fist into the man's face once more, the only sound in the room being that of his fists, and that of the rain which mourned for the loss of innocence.

Naruto hid under the cupboard, watching as several men charged into the house and began ransacking and searching the place.

"I told you, I've already paid all my dues!"

He watched as Sona was backhanded across the kitchen floor, the man standing above her with his fedora gave out a malicious sneer.

"I'm the one who decides what's been paid, and no one else says otherwise."

Naruto drew in a sharp intake of breath as he began laughing, insane, megalomaniacal, and senseless laughter.

He laughed each time his fist crashed into the man's face, ignoring how bloodied his hands were, he began to repeatedly head-butt the man who was most likely unconscious, laughing louder each time.

"I told you… I don't have anything left… please… just leave…"

"You have something that I want…" the man with his pompous sneer and arrogant face ordered his two goons to each side of her, they held her down and pinned her to the ground.

"No… please no… anything but that! NO!"

Police sirens sung in the air around the building, the younger Sato having lost consciousness the not long after Naruto had appeared, her wounded and dying mother, cradling her body as tears rolled forth from her eyes, as she watched the insanity of the boy before her.

Naruto's laughter didn't stop, didn't end, as he smashed his fist endlessly and tirelessly at the man's face, his eyes glazed over, lost, deep, deep within the abyss.

"Get away from her!" Naruto dashed forward from his hiding place, kicking, biting and screaming, doing his best to stop the assailants.

"No Naruto! Stop!"

The strength of a five year old paled in comparison to the strength of three full grown men, and without much effort, he was captured in the men's grasps.

"What's this? You've been keeping a brat hidden here all this while? And you've been paying the money for only one person all this time? How sad."

The man gazed into Naruto's blonde eyes with his gray orbs. And without respite, the blonde spat in his face.

Wiping away the spit with a handkerchief, he glared darkly "It seems you'd both need a lesson. And since you can't compensate us monetarily, I'll have to take something else."

"Tie the boy to the chair, the metal one, let him watch and let's see how long before he breaks."

"NO!"

Naruto's insane laughter didn't stop, but the speed at which he senselessly pounded at the man doubled, tripled, and he himself didn't realize one thing.

He didn't realize when the tears had started flooding down his eyes.

"STOP IT! STOP HURTING HER! STOP IT!"

He didn't listen, the sound of sick groans of disgusting pleasure echoed in the room, and the sound of muffled screams and cries accompanied it.

Naruto rocked the metal chair as hard as he could, forcing himself to try and break through the metal chains that bound him, but he had gotten nowhere, all he had done was knock himself down, his eyes fright with horror as he heard Sona scream.

"PLEASE! KILL ME INSTEAD! JUST STOP IT!"

He couldn't take it anymore, he lost his lunch, throwing up his ramen on the floor, as he forced himself to look away.

He couldn't, as the two goons that stood by the side roughly made him watch as they opened his eyes and kept his head in that direction.

He could not describe it.

"STOP IT!"

Naruto slumped backwards, still laughing in delirium as the engulfing salty tears flowed into his mouth, as he ignored the saline taste, his mind and body having stopped responding to his commands for hours now.

"Ah… that was the most fun I had in days" Jaaku stated sickly, before glancing to the shivering boy whose eyes where open, but blank as he stared straight into nothingness.

Had it not been for the heaving and falling of his chest, he would have thought him dead.

"Tsk… this was a bit messy. Boys, set fire to everything, leave nothing unburned. I want this house reduced to ashes."

He glanced to the boy who was blankly staring at him, creeping him out, and to the naked girl at the side.

"Along with everything in it."

The three men had left, leaving a single mind-shattered boy and a tragic assault victim left in the room.

The house was set ablaze, the roof collapsing, the foundation breaking, as the flames neared the two.

Forcing whatever willpower he had left, the boy crawled with his chin, the chains still bounding him to the metal chair, he slammed his chin into the floor and used it to force himself closer, closer to her with every second.

It had been a slow arduous process, but he succeeded.

And then he wished he hadn't.

Her bright blue orbs which were usually shining with glee, joy, happiness, or a teasing glint, where now empty and soulless.

"Sona-nee! Sona-neechan! Answer me Sona-nee!"

An expression of recognition lit up in her eyes, before they glanced at him, finally being able to notice him.

"Naruto… for what its worth… I'm sorry you were forced to watch all that… I never imagined this being how we'd go…"

He grit his teeth in anger and frustration "Stop saying that Sona-nee! You don't have to apologize! It wasn't your fault! I should be the one apologizing! We'll make it true together Sona-nee."

She smiled at him, but it was hollow, unlike her usual ones.

"That's what I like about you Naruto, defiant to the very end." She chuckled, a mirthless empty chuckle.

"Stop speaking as though you're going to die damnnit! We'll pull this through! All I need is for you to try and loosen these chains, then I'd carry you out! The door path is on fire so we'd have to take the window but I think-"

"Naruto…" she cut him off prematurely, before giving him a smile, one of her true smiles that always made his heart leap.

"Thank you… for everything… and for loving, a lonely woman like me."

Dread welled up in his stomach.

"Why are you saying such things Sona-nee, it isn't funny!"

"Sona-nee? Sona-nee answer me?"

"Nononononono! Sona-nee! It isn't funny! Sona-nee!"

He was answered by the pregnant silence of the burning house, debris fell from the roof, smoke had filled up his lungs as he coughed relentlessly.

"SONA-NEECHAN!"

His last glance of the woman was her looking with her eyes closed, and a feature that would haunt Naruto for years to come.

Despite all odds, the woman known as Sona, had died with a smile on her lips.

The thick smoke had encompassed the building, the ceiling crashed, and then his vision had gone black.

Naruto glanced through the hole in the roof as the rain had ended, the clouds parted, and he enjoyed the stars position in the sky. His laughter had ended, his vengeance delivered, and a burden on his soul departed.

As the moon shone down on him, Naruto was finally able to relax, as he calmly cried himself to sleep, neither caring nor bothering about the several police officers and other people who stormed into the room.

For the first time in what felt like eons, Naruto smiled genuinely.

...And a huge part of what used to be his soul, had been moulded into something else entirely.

Something that would change the world as they knew it.

If only they had known...


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From The Ashes

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A/N: And that's a wrap folks! Off to prepare my one thousand and one cameras.

Don't forget to leave your thoughts, messages reviews.

And also, for fun, I left several "easter eggs" last chapter, - if you can call it that - which are references either to some popular shows, movies, or series you've heard or seen before.

Try to find them all for a special reward!

Anyways...

R&R...

Illusionary Reality, out.