I don't own Naruto or X-Men.
Professor Xavier was bound to a prison chair in the lowest levels of Apocalypses' dungeon. Suddenly the door creaked and was blown off the hinges toward the hallway and a figure stepped inside. "Well Charles, you sure got yourself into a fine mess this time, my old friend."
Xavier looked up and said, "Erik, what are you doing here?"
Magneto said, "Simple. Your X-Men and my Brotherhood have a common foe this time. When you were captured, we joined forces. Apocalypse just jumped back out of the time stream again for who knows how long this time. Bishop helped us get here. Now let me take that damn helmet off your head."
Charles said, "No don't." stopping Erik.
Erik saw the look on his one-time friends' face. "Why?"
Charles said, "There is someone else down here in pain, extreme pain, I don't know what Apocalypse was doing to him but he had blown through all my mental barriers with his cries for help. We must find him first. This helmet is the only thing stopping him from destroying my mind."
Erik nodded and put the hover chair in front of Charles, helping him into it. "Very well. I will help you until we leave here. Then our truce is over."
Charles nods, agreeing. "Thank you." he said. They both leave the room looking for the other person.
Around 20 minutes later they come upon a steel door with the words "Next Evolution" written on it. Magneto uses his power of magnetism to pull the door open and both enter the room and gasp.
There, in a tank filled with liquid was a blond boy who looked maybe 4 years old. Xavier goes over to the tank and puts his hand on it and quickly pulled it away, saying "My God, what has he done??" His voice filled with terror and anger at the same time.
Magneto asked "What is it, Charles?"
The Professor said, "This boy.. he is the source of the pain. He… he's been altered genetically."
Magneto frowned. "What do you mean by altered genetically." His eyes narrow as he rubs his arm where the concentration camp number was tattooed into his skin.
Xavier replied "This boy has had countless things done to him. Tell me, what do you feel inside of him. Is it the same as..."
Magneto moves closer, touching the tank with the boy inside. A moment passes as his power reads the boy and goes wide eyed and shakes his head and says "Yes, Adamantium bonded. I guess Apocalypse was wanting to make a clone of Wolverine."
Xavier goes to the computer and starts looking at files, hacking into the system with skill and finesse. "Not just him, I'm afraid. It looks like he used you, me, Iceman, Storm, Rogue, Gambit, Nightcrawler, Mystique and Pyro. He must have wanted to turn this boy into an ultimate soldier, and then clone him. He's only had him for 6 months, and has already added all of those genetic materials to the boy. What is even more miraculous is that they have been accepted into his body!"
Magneto spoke with mild shock in his voice, "But how is that possible? Sure one or two could be expected. I mean, Rogues' ability could make it happen, but only for a little while. And with her, she has to kill the other person to 'keep' that power, causing mental backlash. How can this child have survived them all?"
Xavier had continued to read, scanning files and documents. "My God, you bastard! This is low, even for you Apocalypse!"
Magneto leaned closer, trying to read what his friend had. "What?"
Xavier typed something and a monitor screen came to life on the wall. It showed Apocalypse at work, doing the bonding of the various DNA's to the boys'. As he worked he spoke, recording the procedure for future viewings. "This is it! After all my years of research, I have finally found a way to make the perfect mutant. I just had to use one of my earlier projects on a parallel world, where mutant DNA took a different evolution. It became what they call bloodlines and I have bonded it with a non-bloodline human infant. Yes, the village leader was an idiot sacrificing his own life as well of his own sons' to put that creature into his body. By doing that, it made it acceptable to most mutant DNA. Unfortunately, I have not found a way to manipulate it to the point where I can safely have it take Cyclops' optic power.. yet. But given time, it should work. The only thing I do not like is the boys mind. After I gave him the psychic power from Charles Xavier, he was able to destroy my little 'pet' inside of him. By doing so, it caused the creature to be absorbed by the boy. He has also had an adverse reaction to Rogues' DNA, but for now I will leave it be.. since he is still coming along so nicely. Oh well, I can always recreate the project known as 'Kyuubi' and send it back to that world. In the mean time, I can keep adding more DNAs' and working on this prototype. Hahahaha." The screen faded to black, showing reflections of their shocked faces.
Magneto said shakily, "That's low Charles. Even They were not that low. This boy, does he have a name?"
Charles typed some more, looking for the data and the screen came to life again. This time it showed the village of Konoha and Apocalypses' voice said, "This is the village Konoha, coordinates 240x154y89z. Test subject: Kyuubi, known to the humans as Naruto Uzumaki aka Namikaze was born on October 10. Subject shows signs of advanced healing as viewed on these occasions." The visual of the peaceful village changed to a scene of several mob attacks on the boy. Each time he was saved by the same man and a few others wearing masks. "Subject was taken on his 3rd birthday after and attack on his life. He had already formed an emotional bond to one known as the Sandaime Hokage or as the subject refers to him as 'JiJi'. Decision to take child now was so he could be mentally conditioned after the initial tests were complete and have him dedicated to MY agendas."
After that, the screen went blank again. Both men looked at each other and then to the child. They were still staring at the boy when Wolverine, Cyclops and Rogue ran in. Cyclops asked "Are you OK, Professor?"
Charles looked at Naruto and shook his head angrily. "No, I'm pissed. Wolverine.. cut the boy out of there, but don't touch him. For now, Rogue will have to."
Rogue nodded, but looked at the Professor with mild doubt. "But Professor, you know I can't touch him."
Charles spoke softly. "Rogue, for now I think you might be the only one who can touch him. Cyclops, have Forge and Bishop go through this computer and get me everything they can from it. I want to find out what else that bastard has done to this boy."
Wolverine thrust out his claws and said "Lets get cutting!" ,and he made a single slash with each arm against the glass forming an 'x'. With sharp cracking sounds, it shattered and Rogue walked carefully over after the fluid drained away and picked up the shivering boy. Dazed blue eyes looked up at her green ones and he gently touched her face. Rouge felt stunned when he touched her face and…. Nothing happened. She looked at everyone and said gasped. "He's… he's not effected!"
Charles asked gently. "Is he draining you of your power?"
She shakes her head no and Wolverine looks at the boy and narrowed his eyes. The boys hand falls back to his chest, shaking with cold, and Wolverine reaches out and places the small hand in his own. Again, nothing happened.
The Professor raised an eyebrow and sat back in his hover chair. "Interesting."
Cyclops finished speaking on the com-link to the other X-Men. "They're on their way Professor. Who is the boy, Sir?"
Charles looked at Magneto who shared a look between them. Then Magneto spoke. "It would probably be best if he went with you. He's too unstable, and none of my Brotherhood could train him or help with the mental abilities he may have. I do have one stipulation, though."
Charles nods in agreement, and for him to continue. "If you can, help the boy and make him stable. I will train him to be able to use my powers, however; should he become unstable and a threat to us.. you must kill him. Is that acceptable?"
Charles asked "Why would you want to train him in your powers?"
Magneto snorted. "Apocalypse is a fool, if this boy is trained right, becomes stable and sides with our side against him; then we may have a way to kill him once and for all. Also, I don't want to see another child go through what we saw earlier..."
Charles looked back at the blank screen and shudders at the images passing through his mind. "Agreed, Erik."
Erik nods and leaves, nodding to Bishop and Forge who eye the room and the young boy. Forge looks hungrily at the computers but goes to the Professor first, and asks him what they are to do.
Two weeks later in Konoha, the Sandaime Hokage, Sarutobi Hiruzen sighed as he did some paperwork when a voice said, "Hello Hokage-sama." causing the Third to look up and see a bald man in a weird chair with a boy who's skin was bluish-black and almost looked like fur. As the boy smiled, he noticed a tail swishing behind him. The sight made him pale, but he narrowed his eyes and glared at the intruders. The Third asked "Who are you and how did you get in here?"
The bald man said "My name is Charles Xavier and this is one of my students, Nightcrawler. As for how we got here.. that is one of Nightcrawlers' special abilities. The ability to appear anywhere he has been before or can see."
The Third nodded warily and asked. "Well why have you come here like this?" He wanted to prepare to attack if it was necessary, but he found he could not move.
Xavier held his hands up, indicating he was there for peaceful reasons. "Does the name Naruto Namikaze mean anything to you?"
This made the Third wide eyed for a moment, and he asked, "Perhaps, why?"
Xavier nods his head to Nightcrawler, and he held out a folder that was under his arm to the Hokage. Warily, he took it and opened it slowly. When he saw the photo that was inside, he gasped and asked shakily. "What have you done to him?!"
"That was done by someone else. We recently rescued him but because of what had happened to him, he will need training by me and my students in his new abilities. He is also.. mentally unstable thanks to all the torture he felt. By not only the man who did that to him but also this village." Charles said with a touch of scorn at the word 'village'.
The Third scowled, angry that this stranger thought so little of his village. "Who did this and where is he? I want to see Naruto."
Charles tossed a watch onto the desk and said "That is a special watch. It allows a user to travel from one place to another.. in time or in this case dimensions. Push the red button and you will enter the time stream. From there, you can anyplace you want. And when you're ready to return home, you just push the green button. If you want to see him then you must come." Holding out his hand, he gently takes back the folder that was held limply in the Thirds' hand.
Nightcrawler and Charles both push the green buttons on their wrists and vanish, leaving the Hokage to think about just what he was going to do. Slowly, he picked up the watch and fingered the red button, deciding what to do.
A few hours later the Third Hokage appeared on a strange walkway with nothing but multicolored clouds streaking by. Floating in front of him is a beautiful woman with firey red hair and a green body suit with a gold sash around her waist. A familiar symbol is on her chest and holding the sash at her hip. It's a fabled phoenix, a mystical bird that is reborn from it's own ashes. She smiles gently at him and speaks in a low melodic voice. "Welcome Hokage-sama. I am Jean Grey. The Professor asked me to wait for you and lead you to where Naruto is."
The Third said "What is this place?
Jean was quiet a moment and spoke carefully. "This is the time stream. It allows people to travel from one point in time to another. It was also where we rescued Naruto from."
"Rescued him from who or what?", he asked, moving closer to the beautiful woman.
Jean said "I am sorry but you will have to ask the Professor about that. One rule about messing with different times and dimensions is.. we try not to change too much, or give too much information if possible. Technology from one time or place could destroy another entire dimension, if used even once there."
The Third said "Very well. I can see where that could be true. But.. until I see Naruto and I am sure he is OK, I won't trust you."
Jean smiled and said "Understandable." As they appeared at an end of a walkway, Jean held up a small device and a circular white portal appeared. She stepped through and the Third followed her carefully.
The Third blinked as he came out into bright sunshine and looked around and saw himself outside of a strange building. The design was unfamiliar and he saw a sign in a language he couldn't understand. Pointing to it, he asked "What does that say?"
Jean said "Oh, forgive me! You see that watch the professor gave you? It allows you to understand English, which is the language spoken in this location of the world. In your world, I believe it is Japanese. Now all you have to do is press the white button on the watch and point it at any sign and it will translate it into Japanese for you to read."
The third looked at the device and pressed the white button and a small beam scanned the sign and he read softly. "Xavier's School For The Gifted."
Jean nods and said "Now come, I need to get back to checking up on Naruto." As she lead the Sandaime into the building.
A few minutes later, after riding an elevator which made the third hold his stomach and mutter about 'jutsu', they stepped out and walked down a corridor and came to a room with the word "ER LAB" written on it. Jean put her hand on the door and it slid open with a soft hiss, showing the Third the small boy he'd come to see. Naruto was on a metal table, his normally sun-kissed skin as pale as the sheet covering him. He ran over to Naruto but a man with a unusual yellow suit and a skin-tight mask covering his eyes moved to stand in front of him. The Third pulled up short and glared at the man. "Why are you stopping me??"
Xavier hovered in and said "Wolverine, enough." Wolverine stepped back, but gave a soft snarl at the aging Hokage. Xavier said "Sorry about that, but we have to warn you about some of the things that have been done to him. Some of those things could kill you, so give us a few moments, please."
The Third nodded slowly and Xavier said "When we recently rescued Naruto here, we got several data recordings of information showing what was done to him. If you would like to watch them with me, I can answer any questions you have.. if I can. Then we will try and awaken him so you can talk to him."
The Sandaime sighed heavily, realizing he really had no choice if he wanted to know what had happened to the boy and said, "Very well."
The Third and the Professor both sat in front of a monitor as it came to life, and they watched as Apocalypse told about how he sent Kyuubi into the other dimension and how he kidnapped Naruto. They watched as the Adamantium bonding was done to the boy as well as other unmentionable things. When it was over, the Sandaime said "I see, that...thing, that did this all, who was he?"
Xavier said "He goes by the name Apocalypse. As best as we can tell, he is thousands of years old. He believes that he can control the evolution of mankind, and he wants to be revered as a god. We believe he was actually one of the first mutants but can't tell for sure."
Sarutobi asked "What is a mutant?"
Xavier frowned a moment, trying to word it so the man would understand and said "The best way I can explain it to you is this. In your world, you have what is called bloodlines, correct?"
The Third nods and Xavier said "Well, those bloodlines are created when humans carry an extra genetic sequence in their DNA. However, that sequence is constantly repeated from parent to child. In this world, the extra sequence appears randomly, meaning that sometimes parents have it, and children don't or vise versa. It is random and what it does also is random. In our history, when mutants used to appear, they were hunted down and killed for being different. But, in the last 100 years nearly one-fifth of the world population suddenly got the extra DNA sequence, so we are not sure of what the long term implications this will be. It is possible that the extra sequence will stabilize and become bloodlines for our world, but its' to early to tell. We also don't know what effect it will have on Naruto since your worlds DNA is more set."
The Third nods, getting most of it because two of his students had worked with DNA before, and he knew of the extra sequence as well as some of the terminology. He then asked "That metal that is inside of him, what is it?"
Wolverine popped out his claws and said "Adamantium. It is the hardest known metal in the world. Once it is heated and molded to a frame it is impossible to break."
Nodding in understanding, the Third asked, "Are yours natural or were they made like what happened to Naruto?"
Wolverine said "I was born with an advanced healing ability similar to what the kid has. A scientist in another country captured me, and did that to me also but when he did it, it wiped out most of my memories except for the last year before that day."
"OK, I can understand the metal now, and the healing ability since he had that before his kidnapping thanks to the Kyuubi. What other things can he do?"
Xavier used his powers and mentally linked to the Third. "He now has my power and I have the ability to read peoples minds. Right now, though, he is unstable and can't control it. And it could kill him unless he's trained or he could kill others by accident."
The Thirds eyes were wide and said "I see. Anything else?"
Xavier said "Well, a student of mine whose code name is Rogue, has a very deadly power which makes it impossible for her to touch another person without stealing their life force. I believe in your world its called chakra, but its not just chakra. She can also steal bloodlines as well. Naruto was given some of her DNA also, but he can touch Rogue and Wolverine both and not drain them of anything. But since your body is different then ours we are not sure if that power would activate and it might draw out your chakra. It was one of the main reasons I wanted you to understand things before we tried to wake him up. As for what else has happened to him… We will have to wait until we begin testing and training him to use his powers to know for sure. Since all but three of the powers he was given came from the DNA of most of my students, it won't be hard to train him. And as for the other three...well they will help also."
The Sandaime nods slowly and said "This is a lot to take in. What would happen if he is not trained to use these.. powers?"
Xavier said "I won't lie to you about this. Right now, Naruto is both mentally and physically unstable because of what has happened to him. His powers could either fade away or all go haywire at once and kill him, and everyone around him. I honestly believe the best thing for him right now, is for you to let us work with him. To understand these powers; and learn to use them correctly. We also have more knowledge of what mutant genes do to the bodies they inhabit, and if something life-threatening happens to him, we have the best chance to save him."
The Sandaime closed his eyes and asked "If his powers are really as unstable as you claim, what would happen if he becomes a risk?"
Xavier said "We have ways to neutralize the DNA of mutants in this world. As I told you, people fear what is different from them and some scientists have found ways to strip mutants of any and all powers. But usually it is with a slave collar. I detest this but it would be better then the alternative."
The Sandaime asked "What is the alternative."
Xavier looked at the doorway and said "Would you like to tell him Erik?"
The Third looked over to the door at a man with red armor on and a red helmet. The man said "If the boy were to truly become a risk.. where we are unable to stop him and save his life..we would have no choice but to end it."
The Sandaime said "I wont allow it!", getting up into a defensive position.
Magneto held his hand up and a bedpan flew and hit Sarutobi in the back of the head. Magneto said "There is nothing you could do to stop it. If it gets to that point, then the chances are thousand to millions of people would be dying. Would you honestly not give the life of one boy, for the lives of your entire village? From what I saw of the video, his father would."
Sarutobi looked down and said "I hate to admit it, but your right. It's just that... I promised his father I would protect him. The day he disappeared, I felt like I failed both of them. And then you show up with this information on him… I felt like I could finally honor that wish."
Xavier said "I understand and we won't harm him unless absolutely necessary. Now as for the boy.. I think its time to wake him."
Jean walked over to Naruto and gave him a shot. She then placed her hand on his head and after a few moments, she took it away and stepped back and said "That should do it, Professor."
Xavier said "Thank you Jean."
As everyone looked at Naruto, he slowly opened his eyes and looked around sleepily at first, then frantically as he didn't recognize where he was. The Sandaime ran over to Naruto and said "Naruto, its me.. can you hear me?"
Naruto locked eyes on the Sandaime and slowly shook his head as he closed his eyes trying to tell if it was real.
Sarutobi frowned and asked "What is wrong with him?"
Xavier said "It's like I told you. He has had a lot of mental damage from this experience. He thinks you're part of his imagination right now."
The Sandaime put his hand on Naruto's head and said "I'm so sorry Naruto. It is really me." as he looked sadly at Naruto.
Naruto looked at him and slowly raised his hand up and touched the Sandaime with one finger and then two. Then he started to cry as he grabbed hold of the robes the Sandaime wore, holding on for dear life and he whispered weakly "Jiji."
The Sandaime smiled a small smile and said "Yes Naruto, it's me."
Naruto brought his other hand over and screamed "JIJI." as he pulled himself tight to the older man as he cried.
After several minutes, Naruto pulled away and looked around and saw everyone and thought "who are these people?"
Xavier said "We were the ones who rescued you, Naruto, and brought your Jiji here to see you."
Naruto nods and asked "..who are..." as he tried to get his mouth to move.
Xavier said "I am Professor Charles Xavier, this is Magneto, a friend. Wolverine and Phoenix, both students of mine." pointing to each person.
The Sandaime said "I thought your name was Jean?"
Jean said "It is. I told you my real name as a sign of trust. Unless you are a trusted friend, we usually go by our code names. Naruto here does not trust us yet, so until he does we will go by our code names."
The Sandaime nodded and said "Our ANBU are similar in that matter. I take it this School for the Gifted is a school for mutants to learn to control their powers and fight?"
Xavier said "Yes and no. We teach our students to control their powers, but we are working toward a world where humans and mutants can live side by side in harmony. Magneto and I are friends, and we both work for the same goal, but we go about it differently. I have created the X-Men and he created the Brotherhood. Sometimes we are allies and other times not. When it comes to Apocalypse though, we both realize the dangers he creates and work together to stop him."
The Sandaime nods and Naruto asked "Where were you, Jiji?" The Sandaime wanted to break down right there but stayed strong for Naruto and said "You were kidnapped and I did not know where you were taken. These people here saved you."
Naruto looked at everyone and said in a quiet voice "Thank you."
Wolverine walked toward Naruto and glared at him and quickly launched his claws out and acted like he was going to cut Naruto and Naruto put out his hand to block it and 1 blade shot out of his hand and he cried out holding his hand and Wolverine said "Look at me kid."
Naruto was looking at his hand that was hurting where the blade was sticking out and Wolverine spoke again with force. "KID, look at me now."
Naruto flinched and looked at Wolverine who said a little gentler. "Don't look at your hand. Ignore the pain and relax it. When you relax your hand twist your wrist towards your thumb and the blade should go back inside you skin."
Naruto nodded and tried to calm himself down. After taking a relaxing breath, he twisted his wrist and the blade went back in. The itchy burn that followed made him look and he could see the skin healing. He looked closer at the wound and saw the wound completely seal up. Wolverine said "That is one of many things that has happened to you. Do you want to learn how to use it right, so it won't hurt you?"
Naruto looked at the Sandaime who was looking at Naruto with sad eyes. He had not wanted to believe it, but now he saw the truth. Naruto would have to learn to control these powers because, quite simply, no one in Konoha could teach him.
Naruto asked "Jiji?"
The Sandaime said "Naruto, I don't like it, but I have to agree with Xavier. These people here are the only ones who can help you now. If you come back to Konoha, you could hurt yourself or others really badly. Do you want that?"
Naruto looked down and the Third asked to Xavier. "How long will it take to train him?"
Xavier said "It depends, really. Normally I would say around seven years, but with what has happened to him, I would have to say.. ten or eleven."
Sarutobi nodded and said "If you train Naruto, will he be able to come back to his home world?"
Xavier said "Yes."
The Sandaime said "Narutos' father.. he wanted him to be a ninja. And I would also like for him to be one. Now, normally, ninja graduate at the age of 14 in our village, but one more year won't matter much. Not if it is going to help him. I want Naruto to return when he is 15, though, to be a ninja for his home. Do you agree?"
Naruto thought "But..."
Xavier said "Very well. But we will need some way to teach him your ninja arts as well. So any information you can give us would be appreciated."
The Sandaime nodded and said "I can have everything he will need to know.. from the history of our world, to chakra molding and other things. We don't put our children in the academy until they are seven, so if you could have someone come in say.. three years?" At this, Xavier nods. "Yes, three years to get the information he will need, I can have it all ready."
Xavier smiles and says "That's acceptable."
The Sandaime said "Then we are in agreement."
Xavier says softly. "Since the Kyuubi is now dead, and Naruto has these powers, the name he had before is dead. He will go by his real name and will most likely have a code name as well. If you would tell everyone that Naruto Uzumaki is dead.. unless.. he has some family left. Then let only them know."
The Sandaime nods and says "Agreed."
Xavier looks at the clock on the medical bays' wall. "Well, it should be time for you to go, because your presence will be most likely missed by now."
The Sandaime sighed and looked at Naruto and said "Naruto, I want you to listen to these people and trust them. I hope I can come see you sometime in the future, but I want you to grow up strong. And.. know that I love you, and I am proud of you."
Naruto smiled a small smile and hugged the Sandaime. The Third sighed deeply as he released the boy and was lead away by Jean.
Once he was gone, Naruto felt an overwhelming sadness hit him. He closed his eyes and screamed in his head; a cry that was felt all across the world, and even in the time stream by everyone
It has been nearly 11 years since that day. Naruto has grown up with the X-Men and now goes by the codename: ECHO. Reason being, his personality often reflected off of another person. He would mimic a persons' speech, thoughts, fighting style, appearance, and even their habits perfectly. His normal way of dressing is in a pair of black pants made out of some kind on ultra-technological fiber Forge had created, with the help of Beast and Bishop. He had a leather jacket with the words 'I AM ALL NOISE AND SILENCE' printed on the back. He doesn't wear a shirt, but has a silver vest made out of nanotech fibers, which can self-repair in seconds. Wearing a utility holster on his left thigh, and a chakra based pistol on his right, they attached with slick black belts around his waist. Covering his eyes, he has a pair of blue mirrored, wraparound sunglasses that make it impossible to see his eyes. The pistol would not kill someone, unless you hit the heart or the head; but it hurt like hell.
After Forge, Bishop and Beast read the scrolls on chakra to help Naruto learn, they ventured into making weapons for him to use. Their discoveries led to all new weapons for the X-Men. Naruto, of course, got first dibs on most of them since he had the highest level of chakra out of all the X-Men. After him, Cyclops and Gambit came in a close second in their capacity. Besides the pistol, Naruto also had a chakra based staff that looked like a foot long metal cylinder with openings on either end. (Think a double bladed light saber with chakra instead of energy crystals.) Naruto also had a black glove on his left hand, with a seal design on the back of the hand in silver.
Naruto stood now on top of the mansion at the school grounds and looked over the field and said softly to himself. "It's funny. I wanted nothing more than to go back and see Jiji all those years ago when he left me here. I thought he abandoned me.. but I realize that if he hadn't.. I would not be who I am today."
A new voice called out. "The way things are in life are hardly ever as we expect them to be. You know you have to return, but you shouldn't worry. Everyone here knows that no matter what.. you will always be an X-Man."
Naruto smiled. "I know, Mom. I just wish things could stay like this forever. But I know now I have to return. I must stop the madness."
A pair of arms slipped around him from behind and said "Remember.. we are waiting for your signal to come."
Naruto nodded. "I know. The funny thing is, I almost want to tell him thank you. Had he not done what he did, I would never had met any of you."
The woman smiled and said "True. And then we would never get a chance like we have now."
Naruto eyes glossed over a moment, and lightning danced in the bright blue orbs, as a bolt of lightning struck a tree at the edge of the grounds. Two men jumped out of the tree and took off running, and Naruto let his eyes return to normal. "Damn reporters. Why won't they leave me alone?"
The woman laughed lightly. "It's your own fault. You just had to go and save that girl."
Naruto chuckled. "Your right, but how was I suppose to know she was the Presidents' daughter??"
A second voice spoke up. "Or that she would have made you into a world hero the very next day? That's quite an accomplishment for one such as us Naruto. You have successfully done something that Charles and I have worked nearly 40 years on."
Naruto looked to his right and smiled. "Hello Erik, I see you're still doing well."
Magneto smiled ruefully. "Besides Charles, you're the only one who can call me that and live. How are you, Rogue?"
Rogue smiled as she held Naruto. "I'm just hugging my son, while I still can."
Magneto nodded. "So.. are you ready?"
Naruto frowned. "Yeah. This is a once in a lifetime shot for us. Cable came from the future and told us that Apocalypse would be dormant for the next ten years. And he is hiding in my home world! I have that long to track him down and then give the co-ordinates so the Brotherhood and the X-Men can come and help to defeat him once and for all. If we miss this shot? We wont get another for who-knows-how long; if ever. Thankfully, with a unified world for both human and mutant-kind here, in this world? We can focus on him."
Magneto looked at the sky. "You are a very special person, Naruto. You have a natural power in you that makes all of ours look like cheap tricks. You can change people for the better, by just being yourself."
Naruto smiled and joked. "I know, I'm just awesome that way."
The response to his jest was a quick slap upside the head from Rogue and he laughed. "Sorry, Mom."
Rogue smiled ran her hand over his hair gently. "So.. are you ready to go?"
Naruto nodded, leaning into her touch. "No, but I have to. I'm the only one who can get the lay of the land quick enough to find him in time. If we send a larger force to find him, he could have automatic systems that might hide him even harder. Or wake him up so he can go to some other world or time."
Rogue hugged him tightly one last time. "Go, the others are waiting."
Naruto kissed her on the cheek and flew off of the building, landing softly on the ground below. High above, Magneto said to Rouge, "He will be all right. After all, he is an Omega level mutant."
Rogue glared. "Go.. before I test out the strength of my fist on your face."
Magneto nodded his head in rueful memory of past hits from her. "Farewell Naruto.", he called, as he flew into the air and away from the mansion.
Rogue sat down and started to cry softly to herself. Watching as the sun rose in the east, a Cajun accented voice said, "Relax cher, he gonna be fine."
She turned and pulled Gambit into a hug. "Oh Gambit, I'm going to miss him. After all that we've gone through, I don't want to lose him."
Gambit hugged her back tighter. "It's gonna to be all righ', cher. He's a good kid."
Rogue leaned up and kissed him fiercely on the mouth. "I know. I raised him after all.", she said smugly.
Gambit laughed and smiled. "Oh, yes.. and you make a fine mother. After this is all over, we can start as a family again."
Rogue sighed and smiled. "I hope so, Cajun. I truly hope so."
Gambit smiled and thought of the blond boy who'd just left. "..you gave her the greatest gift possible, kid. You gave her the ability to touch again when she wants to. Good luck."
He held onto Rogue as the sun rose higher into the sky, showing it was going to be a beautiful day despite the grim occasion.
When Naruto got to the training floor he saw all the X-Men and the students, along with several members of the Brotherhood. They were all waiting for him in a long line and he smiled as he walked by each one. Every single one of them they patted him on the back or gave him words of thanks or luck.
When he got to the end, he saw Professor Xavier sitting in his hover chair, and he said, "Naruto, eleven years ago, when we were at our weakest point.. a beacon of hope appeared in the most unusual way. You were that beacon. You came to our world and with a pure heart and a warriors' spirit, you created a world that all of us are able to finally live in peace with. For this, I want to say.. thank you."
Naruto grinned shyly. "Take care of everyone for me, will you?"
Xavier said "Of course, Echo.. or should I say, Naruto Namikaze?"
"Well, I remember when I first came here that I was told our code names were given and only our trusted friends could call us our real names.", Naruto said. "To me, each of you are not my friends." At this pause, some of the assembled frowned or shifted on their feet uneasily. "You're my family. And so, with that I say this: Don't forget to wash after every meal, and don't forget to turn off the lights!"
Everyone in the room looked at him in disbelief or blankly, before people started to snicker. Then everyone burst out laughing at him for going from a real serious speech to a comic relief joke like that.
As everyone tried to control themselves, they looked where Naruto was and the laughter slowly stopped because… Naruto was gone. In his place was a poster board with the words in a bubble above it saying Hello...Hel.o...He..o...H...o...o. (If you cant figure it out think of an Echo the farther it gets the harder it is to tell what is said)
Slowly, everyone left. Each thinking over how the strange boy, now their friend was gone. And the impact he'd had in their lives.
Xavier thought back to a specific day, two years ago.
Suzzy Que Bamba, the daughter of the newly elected President of the United States was at a summer camp for girls when her camp had been taken over by a group of terrorists. They were holding her and the other girls hostage with a new deadly, genetically created virus called Silc. It killed within an hour and there was no known cure.
Suzzy looked at the man who held her captive and he said "Now, little girl, your father is going to turn over to us the complete operation manifests of the Sentinel programs. Along with all the blueprints and archived data.. or we will kill you and the others here."
Suzzy sneered at the terrorist. "My father will never bow to the likes of you!"
The man smirked as he stepped back and punched Suzzy in the stomach, making her gasp and cough up blood. "Yes, he will or he and everyone else in the world will watch as you slowly die! As the blood bursts from your skin! As it is eaten away from the inside out!" He looked at the camera spoke as if he was talking to the President himself. "You have heard my threats and demands, Mr. President. Give us what we want in two hours or watch as your daughter dies on national television!! "
Two hours later the man walked in front of the camera again and spoke almost sadly; mockingly. "You have tried my patience, Mr. President. You could have saved her if you would have just given me the Sentinel program like I asked for. Now this girl will die." He quickly pulled out a needle and stabbed it into Suzzy arm and screamed. "Now die, bitch!" As calmly as he walked in front of the camera, he began to walk away from the fallen girl.
Just then, a boy with blond hair appeared on the edge of the screen, wearing clothes not typical to a summer camp attendee. "Hey, jackass! What the hell do you want the Sentinel program for?"
The man turned and looked at the boy and said in astonishment. "Who the hell are you?" Wasn't this a summer camp for girls? Where had this boy come from?!
The boy said "My name is Echo, and I asked you 'what do you want the Sentinel program for?'"
The terrorist frowned. "Simple boy, I plan to use it to wipe out every mutant on the planet. Then I plan on taking over the world, since only mutants can stand up to me."
Echo tilted his head curiously, the glasses reflecting a warped image of himself back at the terrorist. "Then I guess you're to stupid to realize that your plan won't work.. because you will die here today."
The man laughed and said, "Oh really, and whose going to stop me? You?" He questioned as he pulled out a gun and fired a shot at the boy.
Echo held up his hand and the bullet stopped in mid air. "Your gun is useless against me."
The man narrowed his eyes. "You a mutant. A damned mutant!"
Echo said "I'm a human, jackass. Mutant or not, I am still human."
The man sneered. "Well, you can stop bullets.. but lets see you handle this!" He quickly pulled out a needle and charged at Echo, stabbing him in the chest and smirking at the child.
Echo looked at him and lightly touched the needle still jammed into his chest. "Is that the same thing you gave the girl just a moment ago?"
The man laughed evilly. "Yeah, you will die shortly, you damn mutant."
Echo reached up and pulled out the needle, his gaze moving up and down the syringe.
"Well, thanks to you, we now have an antidote to the poison." This made the man freeze. "What?", he said flatly.
Echo said "You see, I wasn't born a mutant. Some sick, twisted, psycho decided to experiment on a child. He gave me all kinds of powers from different mutants, but one of them is advanced healing. I just need to come in contact with any virus once, and my body will create an antibody for it. So now, as soon as I take care of you, then all I have to do is give this girl some of my antibodies, and she will be fine! But you know, you can do all you want to me, because I don't care since your an idiot. But, if you pick on the helpless.. like you did this girl here? Then I have no choice but to see you pay. I was going to kill you, but I'm not your judge or jury. So.. I will let the courts take care of you. Until then, you're under citizens arrest." Echo put his hand on the man and covered him with ice, freezing him in place.
Echo walked over to Suzzy and untied her quickly from her restraints. "Well, lets take care of that virus, shall we?" He then reached into a pouch and pulled out a scroll. Unrolling it, he looked it up and down for several moments. "Ah, here we go! Thank you Hank McCoy, for teaching me chemistry and how to make medicines.", he muttered softly as he sent a small chakra burst to the scroll. After a small cloud of smoke appeared, a small chem lab popped out. Echo rapidly began to work, deftly drawing some of his blood out and mixing it with various other ingredients. After about 15 minutes, he smiled and held up a test tube with a clear fluid. "Well, here we go."
He prepared a syringe with some of the clear liquid and said, "If you don't mind, I need to give you this shot, Miss.. to stop you from dying."
Suzzy was beginning to feel ill. Her stomach was cramping and she was sweating, but ice cold. "How can I trust you? You're a mutant?"
Echo sighed tiredly. "Like I told the idiot over there, I am also human. And I hate to see people suffer when they can be saved. So.. I leave the choice up to you. You can put away your hate and fear of mutants for two whole minutes, and allow another human to save your life. Or, you can let all of mankind, know that your life could have been saved if you would have just showed a little faith in someone who is different."
Suzzy looked abashed at that, remembering the lessons her father had tried to teach her about tolerance, sharing, and even acting nice to other people. She looked up at him and said, "Alright, I trust you."
Echo nodded and gave her the shot. Then he turned and made up another needle and capped the rest into the test tube. "Well, since you will be fine, would you answer me a question? What made you so special that the idiot behind me thought the President of the United States would give away military information to him?"
The girl blinked, astonished that he hadn't recognized her. Amazed that he wasn't part of some group hired to protect her. "You mean, you don't know who I am?"
Echo shook his head. "Nah, I've been on a camping trip in the woods with a friend of mine for the last four months. When I heard gunshots, I just came to investigate. I got here just in time to hear him say that the President could save you if he would have just given him the Sentinel program."
The girl snorted, and a moment later started to laugh. "He thought the President would do it because I'm the Presidents' daughter."
Echo blinked and sat back, almost speechless. "Well, that's surprising. Um, since you're the Presidents' daughter, would you mind giving him this? It's the antibodies for whatever the hell he shot you and I up with. My friend is probably worried, so I better get back to my camp. Do you need to call anyone for help or anything?"
Suzzy immediately thought of her father and mother, probably wanting more than anything to hear for themselves that she was okay. "Yeah."
Echo nodded and pulled out a cell phone and pressed it into her hands gently. "Go ahead and keep it. It's prepaid and only has an hour left on it, but that should be enough. The police are probably almost here to get you." He quickly pointed back at the self-named 'idiot' and said, "The ice will hold him prisoner for about twenty-four hours. C'ya."
She panicked at the thought of being alone, but called out to him instead. "Wait, what's your name??"
Echo turned and flashed a grin and a small wave. "I go by Echo." ,he said as he left.
Xavier smiled and thought "That one moment of kindness gave the world a chance to see us, not as a threat but as humans. Naruto changed the world that day. Unfortunately he forgot to erase the numbers from that phone, and the Secret Service traced the numbers here and then the President came and offered Naruto his thanks. Naruto said he just wanted peace and a chance to hang out with his friends and loved ones without fear. The President took that simple request to heart, then motioned for the UN to recognize mutants as a race, and give them equal rights as anyone else."