I Don't Own Naruto or Percy Jackson and the Olympians!
The Young God – Chapter 6
On occasion, when he had nothing else to do, Naruto would listen in on his brothers' conversations. They were usually pretty boring since the boy didn't understand what the older Gods were saying, but sometimes he would catch some odd phrases or lessons. From Hermes, Naruto learned that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission; from Apollo he learned that if something doesn't fit, never force it; and from Hephaestus he learned that mortal women were like mechanical problems – nothing some grease won't fix. But so far, none of those lessons had proved useful or even remotely correct.
"Stop following us!" ordered the older daughter of Bellona with near perfect English.
"Please, listen to me." Naruto had his hands up and looked as innocent as possible, "Your mother sent me here to help you."
Hylla threw a rock at Naruto, but a gust of wind blew it to the side. "I said stay away from us! Come on, Reyna, let's go." The older girl held onto her little sister's hand and pulled her away, not noticing Reyna staring at Naruto. "And don't you dare follow us!"
As the girls disappeared into the alleyways, Naruto sighed and scratched the back of his head. He didn't expect the girls to be afraid of him – no one had been afraid of him before. As the God of Family and Fatherhood, many lesser gods and goddesses had mentioned that he radiated the same warmth and loving aura as his Aunt Hestia, so he really had no idea why Hylla and Reyna kept running away from him.
"Give them some time, Naru," spoke Hermes through the earpiece, "They saw you slice up that Hellhound close up, so they're probably scared of you. Not many humans or demigods will ever see something like that, especially when you tear up the street." Naruto looked at the large and stretching scar on the pavement and sighed again, "But don't worry, you'll get through to them sooner or later."
"Okay, Hermy." Brushing the dust of his clothes, the god stretched his arms from side to side, "I'll just trail them and see where they live. If there's any danger from monsters or from their father, at least I can be there to stop it."
"Okay, lil' bro." Hermes ignored Apollo's grunt at him for using the Sun God's usual nickname for Naruto, "We're here if you need help."
"Alright," the boy muttered as he took off to the sky, his eyes locked on to his two nieces down below. "Let's see where they're going."
Unknown to the sons of Zeus, their wise sister had been monitoring everything since Naruto first arrived in Hephaestus' Forge. Much like she did with her children, Athena placed a small symbol on Naruto so she could track him down no matter where he was in the world – to protect him, of course. She wouldn't usually watch where her baby brother was going everyday – it was more a safety measure – but once she noticed that Naruto split half of his essence first thing in the morning, she'd known something was amiss. But even with Athena's unlimited intellect, she was still surprised when she found out about where her brother was going.
'That roman wench!' cursed Athena inwardly as she flickered with anger, 'How dare she send my brother to do her errands!'
It had been a long time, but Athena was seriously considering paying Bellona a visit and teaching her a lesson. That third-rate War Goddess couldn't even hold a candle in her presence, let alone order her brother to do her bidding in her witness. It shouldn't be Naruto's problem if her daughters were having problems, even if he was the God of Fatherhood. If Naruto had to bend the rules to help a sister, it should be to help her and not the traitorous roman shrew.
The Goddess of Wisdom calmed herself instantly and removed her glasses – her means of monitoring everything that mattered – and turned to see the other Goddesses returning from Poseidon's Palace. She had almost forgotten that she was sitting by the main hearth and had been waiting for the others to come back, so she shoved the thoughts of Bellona away – she could teach her a lesson at any time.
"Good afternoon," she replied, perfectly calm. "How was your day?"
Demeter giggled along with Hestia, both sitting down around the hearth. Hera, with Naruto in her arms, smiled at her sisters, all of them looking back at Artemis, who was busying glaring at Aphrodite as she whispered something into her ear. Athena arched her brows with intrigue and looked at her sister, who was still tinted with a golden hue. She also noticed some looks all the other Goddesses were looking at Artemis and sometimes grinning at Naruto.
"What's going on?"
Demeter giggled again, "Nothing much, we're just discussing something really cute!"
Naruto jumped out of his mother's arms and smiled at Athena, "Hey Thena!"
The Goddess of Wisdom smiled at her brother, not feeling a hint of anger at the boy for helping the roman. "Naruto." Perhaps it was the boy's innocence, but she couldn't see a hint of nervousness in his eyes. Naruto wasn't a good liar if his excuses of trying to escape class were of any indication. Athena safely deduced that it was because her brother felt righteous at his personal mission to help Bellona – oh, how that annoyed Athena to no end. "Did you have fun today?"
The boy's grin widened, "Yep! I didn't get to see Triton or Uncle Poseidon, though. They were busy doing something." Athena almost scoffed – her brother's opinion of the Barnacle Beard was highly overrated. "Oh, oh!" Naruto hopped up and down in remembrance, "What does betrothed mean?" Hera and the others giggled as Athena arched a brow, "Mommy and Auntie Demeter keep saying it and they won't tell me what it means!"
Hestia patted Naruto's head after she giggled at Artemis' golden face, "You'll understand when you're older, Naruto."
Athena seemed to connect the dots, "Yes, it is not a word you need concern yourself with, little brother." She glanced at Artemis, who looked very uncomfortable, "Although I must say, I didn't expect to see it used under such circumstances."
Hera smirked, "You've had a long day, Naruto, go take a bath. Dinner is in a little while."
Naruto pouted at his mother, "Fine, don't tell me. I'll just ask Niichan later!" With that, the Wind God flew back to his parents' temple, his pout not leaving his face.
"So…" started Athena as Naruto left earshot, "Anything you want to tell me, Artemis?"
"No!" replied Artemis sternly, a little annoyed that her favorite sister caught on so quickly. "And enough of this already! Yes, I love Naruto, but as a sister! No, I will not come to love him romantically; I do not plan to love anyone romantically!"
"You can't plan to love someone, Artemis." Aphrodite shook her head at the immature Goddess, "Love is perhaps the most spontaneous and irrational emotion. It preys on the unknowing and forbidden. And it cannot be controlled, especially you since you've never experienced anything remotely close to love." Artemis frowned as the Love Goddess scoffed at the thought of the Huntress thinking what she had with Orion was love – that wasn't even close! "Trust me, I am not lying."
Hestia sighed, "We're only teasing you, Artemis. But as a fellow Virgin Goddess, I must say that I would not be against you forsaking your vow." Demeter nodded along with her sister. "Unlike Athena and myself, your reasons for becoming a virgin goddess may be a little premature. Not all men are bad or will take advantage of women, and if the opportunity presents itself to you, I would encourage you to take it." Artemis looked up at her favorite aunt, who was smiling warmly at her. "I'm not saying Naruto specifically; I just want you to give it a thought. Who knows? Maybe the Goddess of Childbirth and Maidens will want a family of her own – maybe a husband and perhaps a little daughter."
"I have often wondered about you, sister." Athena was quite surprised at how deep Hestia felt about Artemis and her words made the Wisdom Goddess want to add in. "I don't marry because I don't feel any need for romantic bonding. And since I can have children through the meeting of the minds, I don't have a problem. But you've always had very strong maternal instincts – your hunters are clear indications." Artemis turned away, still flushed. "I think if you find the right man, you will be very happy."
"Wow, this sure turned serious very quickly," muttered Demeter as she played with her dress.
"Yes, but I totally agree." Aphrodite smiled sweetly at her rival, "Artemis, I know you don't believe in falling in love or any girly stuff that you think I love, but you do want to be happy, don't you? We're immortals, and I don't need to tell you how boring it can become after thousands of years. Don't you think starting something new and fresh may liven up your life a bit? I'm sure you won't like playing around with some men like I do, but finding one cute guy to have a relationship with wouldn't be so bad." Aphrodite winked at her, "And don't worry about your hunters. They all don't like men because they've all met bad men – the scum of the earth. We're all sure that Naruto would never become like that."
Hera smiled and nodded, "My son will be faithful to his wife – I can guarantee it."
Artemis sighed, "I understand what you're all saying, but you have to understand that I don't love Naruto that way. He's my little brother, not a potential lover." She shook her head as she looked over at Hera, "I know it happened for you and Dad, but it's not going to happen to Naruto and me."
Aphrodite smirked, "We'll just have to wait and see, don't we?"
"Do you want some Ambrosias or Nectar, Naru?"
The young god shook his head and pressed a finger against the earbud, "No thanks, Hermy. I'm not hungry yet." It had been three hours since Naruto had followed the girls to their home, and he had spent the whole time sitting on their roof. "You guys don't have to be here, you know. I know how to fly back home later."
"Fine, we need to get ready for our jobs anyway. Be sure to keep the earbud on and call us if you need any help."
"Yeah," interrupted Apollo. "Remember, even though Hermes is the God of Speed, I am the God of Light and I can still run faster than him! So if you need help, I'm the big bro you call!" Hermes gave his brother a dry look and shook his head, "And make sure to not stay out too late. If Lady Hera finds out, you'll never be able to sneak out again."
Naruto smiled at his sunny brother's words, "I know, Niichan. I'll be back before Arty's chariot leaves." He looked up at the sky and winked, "Thank you for coming with me, guys."
"You're welcome, lil' bro." Hermes smiled at his baby brother as he started his engine, "Tell me if anything good happens to you and the girls." Apollo snickered at the wording, actually hoping for something. "See you at home!"
Naruto had to admit that divine intervention was much more boring than he had thought. He heard all the stories about the Trojan War and how his siblings manipulated each side of the war. From Artemis ceasing the winds to halt the Greek Fleets, to Athena planting the idea of the Trojan Horse into Odysseus' mind, to Apollo guiding Paris' arrow to pierce Achilles' heel – they were all so exciting and intricate. Naruto wasn't hoping for wars or anything like that, but he did expect more than sitting on a roof alone.
'This sucks!' grunted the god inwardly as he played with some sparks in his hands. He snapped his fingers and sent a discharge into the air as a small torrent of wind lifted up some dried leaves. They contorted around his hands and danced around each other like a ballet. The god grunted in annoyance and pushed his arms up, sending the leaves up into the sky. Lying on his back against the red tiles, Naruto waved his hands from side to side, making the clouds above sway to his movements – it was fun to see the puffy white clouds move around and break down into smaller clouds.
"How are you doing that?"
The sudden voice startled Naruto and he jolted up in surprise, causing him to blast the clouds away, leaving a clear blue and orange sky. "H-Huh?" He looked to his side and grew more surprised at little Reyna looking at him. The girl, already in her pajamas, skillfully maneuvered herself on the steep red tiles and sat down next to the god who was her age. "How did you get up here?"
Reyna tilted her head to the side, "This is my spot. There is a loose tile above my room and I usually climb up here to look at the sky." She smiled giddily, "But I've never seen the clouds move like that before! How did you do that?"
"Well, I have some powers over wind and I use it sometimes to have fun." He smiled at the girl, "Check this out." The God swirled his hands around as he looked up at the sky, and Reyna watched in amazement as the clouds churned like a vortex in the sky, bathed in blue and orange.
"Wow, that's so cool!"
Naruto smiled at the girl's excitement, but looked around to see if Hylla was around. "Are you allowed to come out here? I thought your sister told you to stay away from me."
Reyna looked sheepish and scratched her cheek, "She did, but its fine. I don't think you're dangerous." She smiled at the boy who was barely taller than her, "You're a kid, just like me. How dangerous can you be?" The Roman Demigoddess looked awfully relaxed and leaned back to stare up at the sky, "And you saved us from that weird dog, didn't you?"
"Well," muttered the blond as he scratched the back of his head, "How much of that did you really see?"
"I didn't really see anything." Reyna giggled and shrugged, "I was looking at the dog and a second later, it turned into a pile of dust." The god chuckled and was a little relieved, "Hylla was really scared, though. She kept muttering something I couldn't understand and kept pulling me away. I wanted to see how you managed to turn the monster to dust!" She turned to Naruto with gleaming eyes, "So how did you do it?"
"I think you're still too young to know."
"Hey!" cried the girl loudly, "You look the same age as me! You might be a little shorter than me too!"
"No, I'm not!" Naruto almost pouted; he hated being called short. "I am half an inch taller than you! And I may not look like it, but I am still older than you and know things that you shouldn't know for a long while!"
Reyna pouted, "You're mean!"
"Don't be such a child," scolded the god as he poked the girl on the forehead.
"You poked me?!" the girl muttered angrily, "I hate it when people poke me!"
"Well, then you sh-" Naruto was cut off as Reyna poked him back and added an extra flick to the forehead. "Hey!"
Reyna stuck her tongue out at Naruto and grinned, "That's what you get! It doesn't feel so good, does it?"
"Reyna!" called out a sudden voice that made the girl jump in shock. "What are you doing out here with him!"
The young god looked behind Reyna and saw Hylla stepping onto the roof, towering over her sister with her arms crossed. For such a young girl, she looked oddly intimidating and very much like Bellona. Unlike Reyna, she didn't have that childish flare or spark of innocence that children her age should have. As the God of Fatherhood, Naruto couldn't help but wonder how exactly had Hylla's life been like. In retrospect – now that he had calmed from his excitement at the prospect of his first divine intervention – for Bellona to ask him such a favor, the girls must be in a serious situation.
Reyna almost whimpered, "N-Nothing. We were just talking."
"Didn't I tell you to stay away from him?!" Hylla glared at her sister and shook her head, "Now come back inside!"
"No, I don't want to," Reyna whispered with a frown, "Let's just stay out here…he's not out here."
The elder sister bit her lower lip, "He's locked himself inside the den again, so don't worry about him."
"Are you talking about your dad?" asked Naruto, but nearly flinched when Hylla sent him a scathing glare. "It is, isn't it? There is something wrong with you dad." Reyna looked back at Naruto and managed a small nod before Hylla pulled her close, "I know – I can sense these things." He stood tall and stepped a little closer to the sisters, "Trust me, Hylla. Your mother sent me here to help the two of you."
"Bellona sent you here?" asked Hylla as Reyna looked confused.
"You know about your mom?"
Reyna looked hopeful and stared up at her sister with her big round eyes, making Hylla turn away. "Yes, my father told me about her last year. But it doesn't matter. I don't care anymore; it's not as if she helped us when we really needed it." Naruto caught sight of some scars along Hylla's arms and shoulder from the sleeveless she was wearing, and they looked like claw marks from some sort of monster. "Just leave us alone!"
Naruto's eyes softened, "You don't have to so this alone." His voice instantly made Reyna feel warm and cozy, "Bellona is my sister," he said, making Hylla's eyes widen in shock and step back. "That means you two are my nieces. She may not have been here for you, but I can say that she loves the two of you. She sent me here to help you because she wants you to be safe…and happy."
Reyna tugged on her sister's hand, "Maybe we should listen to him, Hyll."
Some rumbling could be heard inside the house and made Hylla tense up, "Fine, but let's talk somewhere else."
Naruto nodded before his eyes trailed down to the house. If he ever found out that his nieces' father hurt them, he might try his hand at smiting…
On Mount Olympus, the other half of Naruto's essence struggled to enter Morpheus' domain. Until he merged back with his other half, he would have no idea what was happening to the girls in Puerto Rico. It had been bothering him all day. Even when he was in Atlantis, he kept staring at the water maps, trying to find where Puerto Rico is. If the location he found on the map was correct, and if his other half managed to convince Hermes to take him there, it would take no longer than a few seconds to get there. If it was taking so long, his other half must have found the girls and something must be going on.
'Oh, this is so frustrating!'
A series of knocking on his door broke the god out of his stupor. He sat up on his bed, the silk sheets feeling slippery against his silk pajamas, and rubbed his eyes. His room, which was around the size of one of those Basketball Courts his Niichan had taken him to, was still dark and the only light came from Arty's Chariot that was reaching the peak of its nightly journey and the yellow light behind his closed door.
"Come in," he said, wondering if his mother had found him out.
"Still awake, I see." Naruto was surprised to see Athena walk into his room, her black hair loose and cascading down her back. "Is something keeping you up?"
"What are you doing here so late, Thena?" asked the boy as he swung his legs to the side of his bed, turning to face his sister.
Even in the dark, Athena seemed to glow with radiance and her grey eyes sparkled like small diamonds. Normally, Naruto would have thought his sister looked very pretty, but tonight she felt a little scary. She had the same expression as when she found out Hermes helped him cheat on his homework or when she caught him replacing Ares' shampoo with Aphrodite's perfume, making the God of War smell like a flower garden for weeks.
Athena raised an eyebrow and looked down at her brother, "I taught you how to reason out a situation. I think you know why I'm here." She gave Naruto a pointed stare that was known to make people lose control of their bladders, "Why did you split half of your essence and send it to Puerto Rico?"
Naruto's mind immediately tried to recall all the lying techniques he overheard Hermes and Apollo discussing and how they had guaranteed each other that they'd work on anyone in any situation. "Ummm, I was chasing a piece of tail and lost track of time?" Athena's eyes twitched and failed to give a response, making Naruto even more nervous. "I was fanning an old flame? But they don't mean anything to me!" The young god scratched his head and tried to remember what else his brothers had said, "Ooh, I-I went out with the guys?"
"…I am going to castrate you, Apollo."
The boy sighed and reached for Athena's hand, "I'm sorry, Thena. I went to help two of my nieces; they are in trouble with their father and something really bad might happen if I don't help." Athena didn't relent and kept staring down at Naruto, "…And they are Bell's daughters."
The Goddess of Wisdom grunted at Naruto's nickname for the roman wench. "You are indeed the God of Fatherhood, but it is still against the rules to directly interact with demigods."
"Don't be mad at me, Thena," whispered Naruto with a pout. "Please…"
Athena sighed and sat down next to her baby brother, "I'm not mad at you, Naru. But why are you helping Bellona?" Her Roman sister had already taken her title from her and her believers had taken her statue. Athena would sooner destroy Bellona than to let her squirm into her little brother's heart. "You shouldn't help her. She's a traitorous, pathetic goddess."
Naruto frowned, "She's my sister too, Thena." The Goddess of Wisdom couldn't help but feel a sting of pain in her heart at his words and looked away, "I'm helping her because I care for my family and I don't want to see any of them get hurt – that includes the demigods and demigoddess down in the human world. My helping Bellona doesn't mean that I like her over you, Thena." The boy had his head down and pulled on his sister's sleeve, "You and Arty are my favorite sisters – you know that. I love you, Thena."
The daughter of Zeus relented and ruffled Naruto's hair, "I know," she said before she pulled the boy into a hug, kissing his head. "I love you too, Naru."
Naruto sensed something in his sister, something he felt when he spoke with Bellona. "Is something wrong, Thena?" His electric blue eyes sometimes extracted answers better than Athena's dark grey, "Is it one of your children? I can sense something wrong."
After a brief silence, Athena nodded. "It's Annabeth. She's run away from home."
The Goddess sighed, "She's gotten tired of her family ignoring her problems and in some cases blaming her for things that are not her fault." Athena's eyes flickered with power as she thought about Annabeth's father and stepmother, "Damn those two mortals to Hades. I have a half a mind to smite that woman for treating my daughter this way." Naruto frowned and patted his sister's shoulder, "Annabeth is only seven years old. Even with my guidance, she'd never make it to Camp Half-Blood without any prior training."
"I'll go help her!" Naruto stood and smiled at his sister, "I'm already helping Reyna and Hylla anyway. If I'm going to break the rules, might as well break them at the same time." The boy had thought about asking his father for permission, but just as his brothers said, it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. "Annabeth is my niece and the daughter of one of my two favorite sisters, so I have to help her!"
Athena was disgusted by her own hypocrisy, but she loved Annabeth. "Thank you, Naruto. I'll help you along the way."
Naruto grinned and pecked Athena on the cheek, "No problem, sis!"
"So," started Hylla as she stared at Naruto, "You're a god?"
Naruto cringed at the uncensored question and the head that turned because of it. While he understood Hylla's reasoning to not have this conversation within her father's earshot, talking about being a God right in the middle of a park wasn't much better. The evening wind may have left the park scarce of people, but the common commuters around the streets could still hear them, especially if Hylla continued to speak so loudly.
Naruto hushed her, "Not so loud, please."
Reyna tilted her head, "You're our uncle?" She arched her brows, "You're no older than me!"
The god sighed, "I told you, gods have to grow up too. But that's not important!" He looked at Hylla, who still appeared apprehensive. "Tell me what is going on with your father."
And so the tale began. According to Hylla, her father hadn't always been like this. In her earliest memories, he was kind, warm and loving and everything she wanted in a father. But as the years went by and her father came back from the Iraq War, he developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and became increasingly paranoid. He bought weapons of all kinds from around the world. Their home, instead of normal furniture, was filled with guns of all shapes and sizes and all sorts of swords and spears made with different types of special metals. Even after Reyna was born, her father didn't change; instead, he was even worse. He started to lock Hylla and Reyna into their room to protect them against his enemies. He didn't work and spent all his money on his weapons. He didn't eat, and didn't feed his daughters. And recently, he was even starting to think his daughters were trying to harm him.
Reyna had tears welling in her eyes as she hugged her big sister's arm, "He scares me a lot."
Hylla held Reyna close and sighed, "He told me about mother last year. He says that we should have powers and we need to learn how to use them. So recently, he's been teaching me how to use his weapons. But he's getting worse – I can tell."
Naruto scooted closer to his nieces, "Did he ever hurt you?"
"No," replied Hylla with a frown, "His weapons actually saved us against some monsters. This dog still clawed me on the arm, but I managed to kill it with one of dad's swords." She bit her lip and fought to remain tough, "His teachings actually saved us, but eventually, he'd snap. That I know for sure."
"If you want, I can bring the two of you to a safe place right now." The girls looked up at Naruto, "It's far away from this place. It's a camp designed for people like you. There you will train to control and hone the powers you received from your mother. And I can guarantee that you will be safe there."
Hylla looked intrigued, but Reyna spoke up, "What about dad?" She stared at Naruto, "We can't just leave him here. You're a god, right? Can't you just heal my dad?"
Naruto looked sheepish and scratched the back of his head, "Well, no. My brother Apollo is the God of Healing and Medicine, so he probably can, but this is kind of against the rules. Your mother can't directly associate with you without breaking the ancient laws, and I can only technically do this, so there's no way I can get Niichan to do this."
Reyna tugged on her sister's sleeve, "We can't leave dad here." Hylla pursed her lips and gave a nod, one that Naruto saw as forced. "We'll stay here for now, but we have to leave if this gets worse. Above all, I have to protect you, Rey."
"Here, take this." Naruto snapped his fingers and conjured two small hairclips. "These are charmed and when you wear them, you will be able to communicate with me. I will look over the situation, but if I'm not actually, contact me and I will come here right away."
Hylla bit her lip, "T-Thank you."
"Yeah!" chirped Reyna with a grin, "You're cool, Uncle Naruto!"
The boy smiled and patted Reyna's head. "Now, let me make you something to eat!"
This is the sixth installment of Young God, and I hope you all liked it.
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