I do not own Naruto.

Chapter 18: Healing

Madara was extremely pleased with himself. He looked over his shoulder at the cowering, bruised heap that had once been a goddess. She'd started out enjoying the pain he'd inflicted on her, which had annoyed him. He liked seeing fear and pain in their eyes, not enjoyment. But when she'd realized that she wouldn't be able to heal her body after their romp, which had actually been numerous encounters that escalated in violence, she'd wept and fought him to keep from being hurt.

He noticed with a hint of pleasure that blood stained the sheets. He'd ruthlessly entered her without preparation or warning and used her in ways he was sure she'd never been used before. Now, she was nearly unconscious in the bed, occasionally shaking when a sob managed to escape her raw throat. She'd screamed and thrashed about until he was certain she'd break something. That had been when he'd begun to choke her slightly. She'd aroused him greatly with the utter terror in her eyes. It was like she finally realized her newfound mortality.

With a scoff, he stood and pulled on his pants. He'd had human women that had lasted longer than her, though he'd never been this rough with his human partners. A cruel smile turned the corners of his lips up. The King of Whiddon had instructed him to find the woman that had plagued the young king's dreams. The king never told him not to enjoy her before handing her over to him. Now, if he could just figure out who she was.

There was a knock on his door and he looked up just in time to see a figure slip into his room, immediately finding the shadows. A frown twisted his mouth at the sight of the creature. It was no longer the man he'd taken over, but something more snakelike. In order to use the man to get close to the Harunos, he'd had to infuse the DNA of snakes and various demons. The youngest Haruno child had done a number on his body.

The creature regarded him through narrowed eyes. "Having fun, massssssster?" Arching a brow, he turned his back on the creature.

"I was. But it seems my toy is broken. I have no further use for it. If you want, you can have it." He noticed the creature consider before laughing in that low hiss and shaking its head.

"No thankssssssss. Battered women aren't my type." His eyes narrowed on the creature then. To his knowledge, this being didn't have a type. He did what he was told and nothing more. Casting that aside, he looked out his window.

"Any luck with Itachi?" He noticed the creature shake its head in denial.

"From what I could tell, he'sssssss dead." Madara cursed under his breath. Itachi had been a very valuable ally. Irritated, he decided to retreat to his hidden chamber to try and spy a little on the happenings in the world.

Naruto's blue eyes were wide and shocked. Aere hadn't been joking when he said his mother was well up in her age. She looked nearly 300 years old! She was lying on a small bed in the homeless shelter they'd gone to until they could find who they were looking for. When Aere came and collected them, Naruto had been slightly appalled at the shape they were in. Even Hinata had winced at their slightly dirty, haggard appearances.

They'd immediately taken the small family back to Naruto's house and allowed them to clean up. They'd been amazed by the running water and the instant food. Naruto had kept the child busy while Hinata had talked to the elderly woman and the wife of the man named Maltave. They'd learned he was a General in the Whiddon King's military, but he did it only to protect his family from being discovered and executed for serving the old gods.

Keegan and Aine had made a short appearance to thank the family and to bestow gifts, as well as giving them valuable goods to sell for money to help them survive in this world. The elderly mother was blessed with the gift of seeing Aine's child and she had been content with that. She'd gone into the room Naruto had prepared for her and quietly gone to bed.

When the two gods had gone home, their daughter in tow, Aere, Marrissa, and Hymanie (Hi-muh-nee) went with Hinata into the living room to join Naruto with young Jaxton. Marrissa had explained that her brothers, Aere and Maltave, had worked to the bone to provide, but with the king demanding higher and higher taxes to wage his war in the other realm, they didn't have enough to eat. That had left herself and Hymanie to work in the fields while the brothers found more profitable jobs.

After Maltave had joined the military and made his way through the ranks, they'd been eased a bit, but they weren't the only ones suffering. It had broken Hinata's heart to hear the suffering that the people went through under their harsh rule of their king. They'd agreed wholeheartedly to help them fight. But their biggest concern at the moment was where Sakura was and if she was alright.

Gaara growled as his hips arched up and slammed firmly against Sakura's. He was fairly certain that she would not be able to walk after this encounter. The thought made a small part of him feel a sense of satisfaction and a smug smile nearly curved his lips. However, pleasure shot through him and instead of a smile, his mouth dropped open and he roared. He was fairly certain that if they kept going, he'd lose his mind. They'd already mated seven times and neither one showed signs of stopping anytime soon.

The first time she'd been on top, but he'd also gotten his own time on top. However, there was something inside him wanting to bend her over and take her hard from behind…to make her helpless against him. Just the thought was enough to stir him and he noticed her eyes widen as he growled and turned them over so that she was beneath him once more. He heard her gasp when he pulled out of her, quickly yet gently, and then rolled her over onto her stomach.

She looked at him over her shoulder and he purred in satisfaction as he rubbed his face against her back. He ran his hands up and down her back, along her hips and down to her ass…he gripped the cheeks of her ass and gently pushed it into the air. He heard her gasp and squirm and he suddenly bit into her shoulder, making her submit to him. She yelped and gripped at the floor beneath her as he did as he pleased. She groaned when he pushed into her from behind, his teeth still in her shoulder as he moaned against her shoulder erotically.

She made little whimpering noises, which he responded to with deep purrs. She moaned at the feel of his mouth, his purrs, and his thrusts. It was all too much for her and she screamed in pleasure as she was pushed over the edge again and into complete oblivion. Gaara could feel her body pulling at him, wanting him in her deeper. So he pushed as far into her as he could and just hissed as his body released again. He was pretty sure that he was completely spent and wouldn't be moving for hours after this.

As he collapsed on top of her, he rolled to his side and pulled her to him, holding her tightly and nuzzling his face into her hair. Still inside her, he settled them down to sleep off the exhaustion of their intense mating.

Maltave was sitting on his horse as the strain came into sight. It's large, deep navy glow was both enchanting and terrifying. He knew he had to do this to stop his king from bringing an army through, but it didn't make his job any easier. The thought of that man invading a world used to peace and tranquility made him queasy. He could only hope that his family was safe, because when he made his move, the king would surely lash out.

Sighing, he decided to call it for tonight and ordered that camp be set up. His soldiers, tired and not at all eager to go through the strain, heartily obeyed. As they set up camp, Maltave debated what he should do. He knew most of his men felt the same as he did. They'd rather their king not invade this new world. New worlds meant new dangers and possibly hundreds upon thousands of deaths.

Maltave was still thinking about it that night when he lay down to go to sleep. But instead of thoughts of war, his dreams were plagued with visions of a young woman. She had long fair colored hair, greenish eyes, and an arrogant smile. She had her hands on her hips and was laughing at something. Just as the image began to sharpen, he was awakened by one of his men.

"Sir, we have a problem." Maltave dressed and walked out the door to find hundreds of villagers lined up between their camp and the strain. He grimaced and looked around before heading towards the villagers. Several people walked out to meet him and he acknowledged them.

"Please, don't make us fight. We're just doing what the king has ordered us." Maltave said softly. The villagers seemed sympathetic, but would not move.

"We cannot allow you through the Strain. Visions have plagued us these last few weeks. We know what will happen if the King gets through to the other world." Maltave ran his hands over his face and stepped even closer to the man and whispered.

"I have been ordered by the goddess Aine and her imperial husband Keegan themselves to do this. Please do not interfere with the wills of the gods." The man's eyes widened before he stepped back and told his people to do the same. They noticed the older man's reverence and backed off, allowing Maltave's encampment a bit of peace before they were to march towards the Strain once more.

Aiko wasn't all that sure if she was in the right place or not. These people were staring at her oddly and they acted like they had no idea who she was. Perhaps that was because Sasuke was clinging to her and growling whenever someone came too close for his liking. Even the demon's Matriarch seemed a bit miffed about this.

Like the others of her kind, she'd tried to attack Sasuke as soon as she'd scented him. Aiko had protected him and, after much explaining, they'd all come to an agreement that no one would attack Sasuke. Now here they were, drinking tea and talking about the years since Aiko's 'mysterious disappearance'. They'd assumed that she'd died along with her twin since neither body had ever been found. Aiko told them in a quiet voice that Taro had taken them both and had taken them to the 'Tween'. He'd killed Yukio there by stabbing him and letting him bleed out, since in 'Tween' wounds tended to be fatal.

When Taro had tried to kill her, she'd made a premature jump from 'Tween' to whatever dimension would be safe for her. She'd never been trained nor had she learned from someone with experience. She'd done it off of instinct alone. That's how she'd ended up nearly drowned in the Earth plain. She'd used all her energy on jumping and when she'd come out, it had been in mid air. She'd impacted with the water, hitting bottom in the shallow lake, and lost all her memories.

Her parents also apologized to her for not taking her feelings into account back then and that if they had, she'd have never been put into the position she'd been in. It had worried them and they'd felt guilty. She'd said nothing to this, but she wasn't at all happy with her parents. When they'd asked if she was coming home, she'd stiffly replied that this was not her home and that she could never come here without feeling the pain of loss at the death of her twin. Her parents had understood, though they'd been very heartbroken at the thought she would not stay. She'd assured them she would visit and then she'd gathered her things and gone off in search of Sakura. Sasuke had not been far behind.