Howdy peoples. As you all know, I have taken a little vacation from putting out stories. I have not however taken one from writing. I think those of you who have remained loyal got the point. It's not about reviews; it's about me being ignored, which I can't stand. So, I'm calling off my strike for now, as I have some new things to publish such as this story that are taking up too much room on my flash drive. I just need to put them on so I can get rid of them. I hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Code Lyoko

"Hey, Einstein, what's up?" Jeremie Belpois turned around to see the yellow and purple-haired friend of his, Odd Della Robbia, enter his room.

"Not much" he replied. "There's something up with the supercomputer. An alert was triggered this morning and now it's showing some sort of countdown. I have no idea to what though."

"XANA attack?" asked Ulrich Stern, who walked in with Yumi Ishiyama and Aelita, the girl they removed from the virtual world of Lyoko.

"No, the super-scan hasn't detected any activated towers. I know, because I've had it running since I got the alert this morning. Hey, this is new…" said the blonde genius.

"What is, Jeremie?" asked Aelita.

"It's a new file in Franz Hopper's diary. It's encoded pretty well too. It looks like it needs some sort of password or something" he replied.

"Do you think it has something to do with the countdown?" asked Yumi.

"Possibly. It's labeled "Project: Maelstrom." Wonder what that could be…"

"Well, whatever it is, we'll probably find out when the countdown's up, right?" asked Ulrich.

"Maybe. Let's head to the factory after class. The timer is set to go off at five this afternoon" said Jeremie, shutting his laptop.

"Yeah. Who knows? It might be something really cool" said Odd, before the group left the room to head to their classes. Aelita seemed to be walking funny though. Something Yumi was quick to point out.

"I don't know, I think I may be coming down with something. My body aches all over lately" said Aelita.

"Maybe you should go to the infirmary" suggested Ulrich.

"No, I'm fine. Let's just head to class" she replied.

At the old abandoned factory, deep below it actually, nothing but a few mice moved. They scurried along, looking for food. One mouse crawled across a strange pod with a glowing blue light shining from one side, and a red light coming from the other. It was suddenly blown back by a pulse of energy that escaped the pod, mostly traveling down the many cords and wires connected to it. This was the power source. Not for the supercomputer, no. This pod, or more accurately, the blonde teenager slumbering inside it, powered different functions of the supercomputer. Special ones that no ordinary power source could handle. Flashing across the pod's screen was a countdown, directly in sync with the one on Jeremie's computer. And it was nearing its end. If anyone were in that room, they would have seen the boy inside, twitch.

"So, any idea of what's causing the countdown?" asked Ulrich, Jeremie hard at work trying to hack the video diary of Franz Hopper. He was partially successful. Suddenly, a video file began playing. It looked to be shot from the angle of a security camera. It showed the very room the group was currently in, with a younger looking Franz Hopper than they had seen before, working diligently. Then, something caught the Lyoko Gang's collective eyes. A purple spark. Then a red one, then a blue one. They seemed to appear out of thin air. As Franz got up to take a look, it appeared as though he were blown away by a gale force wind.

A ball of light had appeared from nowhere, two silhouettes inside the glowing orb. The ball suddenly faded, revealing a blonde haired boy slightly older than Yumi falling to the floor, blood leaking over the floor not ten feet from where they were watching the video. The other boy, who seemed to be about the same age as the other, was absolutely hideous looking yet they couldn't stop looking at him. He had gray skin, long white hair, a black four pointed star over the bridge of his nose, and red eyes. He had huge wings growing from his back, and his clawed hands seemed to be sparking with black lightning.

He said something, and only Yumi seemed to comprehend what was being said.

"They're speaking Japanese" she said.

"I know" replied Jeremie, before running a translator program.

The boy turned to Franz Hopper and this time they could all understand him.

"You. Where am I" he said.

"You're in France, where are you…supposed to be?" asked Franz, apparently in perfect Japanese, as he appeared to understand what the boy said, and the boy seemed to understand him.

"You're just as useless as he is. Can you get me back to the Elemental Nations or NOT!" said the boy in an icy tone, lightning once more flowing from his hand.

"Ye-yes. If you go down that elevator to a room with three vertical columns, I can guide you from there" replied Franz, apparently programming the elevator to head to the scanner room.

It cut to some more footage of the boy entering one of the scanners. A feat in itself considering his massive wings.

"Now, just step in and I'll send you home" said Franz over the intercom.

"You had better," the boy replied darkly before the scanner closed and the process began.

As soon as he activated the Scanner process, Franz went to help the blonde boy. Turning him over, he realized that as bloody as the boy was, there wasn't a scratch on him. He seemed to be in a comatose state however.

The group listened and heard Hopper say, "I don't know who that boy was or what he did to you my friend, but I don't think he'll be doing it to anyone else after that one way ticket into the digital sea." The Lyoko gang's eyes widened at that. Hopper had dropped the kid into the digital sea. They didn't know much about it, but they knew it was bad news. A trip there meant permanent virtualization.

Their video cut off suddenly, as a new screen popped up, showing a glowing pod with the same countdown. Jeremie counted down the seconds.

"Five…Four…Three…Two…One…" Zero. The Pod suddenly opened, releasing a lot of smoke.

"Guys, that thing is four levels down. I think we should go check it out" said Jeremie.

"No way Einstein. I don't want to know what's in that thing" said Odd.

"Too bad" said Ulrich, and Yumi simultaneously, grabbing Odd's arms and dragging Odd into the elevator with the rest of them.

"Naruto…Naruto, wake up my love" Naruto opened his eyes to find himself sitting outside of Kyuubi's cage. Or what used to be her cage. To get enough power to stabilize two humans traveling through the void between worlds took a true demon's power. And so, she convinced Naruto to break the seal. Normally that would kill him, however, she didn't leave because the seal was gone. She stayed. And she used her power to do something no other Clan Boss, Demon, or Kitsune had ever done. She transferred all of her power into the boy which, over time, had transformed his body. He looked nearly the same, but he now sported slitted pupils in his eyes, elongated fox ears on top of his head, and nine flowing tails that matched hers protruded from his tailbone. His hands were shaped into claws, and his whisker marks became darker and more defined.

"What's going on?" he asked, before feeling the embrace of Kyuubi's human form. She took the form of a beautiful redhead, with the same animalistic features that he now sported. She also had slitted pupils, but her eyes were red in contrast to his blue ones. She also had magnificent…assets. She seemed to be the same age as him, though she was nearly 5,000 years old.

"Naruto" Kyuubi said, before burying her face in his chest. "You've been asleep for a long time my love."

"What do you mean? What happened in the fight." He asked, before he kissed her deeply.

"Naruto, that was years ago outside. You've been in a coma. I couldn't wake you up. You finally managed to do it on your own. I've been waiting for ages for you to come to."

"What?" said Naruto.

"I'm afraid so love. I've been waiting for you to wake for a long time. I'm not sure what's been happening outside. All I know is that you're alive, and I'm so happy that you're alive" she said, once more burying her face in his chest.

"While I really don't want to leave, I've got to go outside and see the situation" said Naruto, kissing her on the forehead. "I'll be back shortly love." With that, he disappeared from within his mindscape.

He took a moment to take a step from the pod he was in. The room seemed to be very high tech. Suddenly, he heard a hissing sound and looked over to see a door sliding open. Quickly, he jumped up and stuck to the ceiling, out of sight of anyone coming in. What he didn't expect was to see five teens slightly younger than himself enter the room. Each one oddly dressed and speaking a strange language. Naruto suddenly felt a tingle in the base of his skull as information was flooded to it, courtesy of his lover.

Dropping down behind them, the group didn't even notice him. He seemed to examine the pod with them. Once they turned around however, they all screamed in fright and backed up.

"It's all right. I don't mean to harm anyone. I just need some information. But first, who here do you think has the best grasp of the language you're speaking?" Apparently, only the dark haired girl understood him.

"That would be Jeremie. But why do you want-"She was cut off when Naruto seemingly disappeared and reappeared, holding Jeremie up by his shirt. The gang was too shocked to move. Suddenly, the boy's eyes glowed red for a moment before Jeremie's did the same. As quickly as it began, it ended, and Jeremy was put back down.

They watched the older boy's eyes roll into the back of his head and his eyelids twitch. Suddenly, he spoke.

"Is this any better?" he asked, much to the shock of the Lyoko gang.

"I'll take that as a yes" said Naruto, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly.

"Just hold on for a moment" said Naruto. He suddenly hunched over and was overtaken by a bright red light. The others in the room were forced to look away. When they looked back, they saw the blonde's ears had become animal like and relocated to the top of his head. Nine tails extended from his tailbone, the whiskers on his face became more defined, and his hands had become claws.

"That's better" he sighed, relaxing a bit.

"What…are you?" asked Aelita.

"Allow me to introduce myself," said Naruto. "I'm Naruto Uzumaki, former Shinobi of the Hidden Leaf, New Kyuubi no Kitsune, Lord of the Summon World and King of the Fox clans."

"Whoa whoa whoa, let me get this straight. You're saying you're the Kyuubi. The Nine Tailed Fox from Japanese folklore?" asked Yumi.

"I don't know, maybe. You might be thinking of Kyuu, the Kyuubi before me. I'm actually fairly new to this." The kids in front of him looked at him like he was crazy.

"Here, maybe this will help. Jeremie, could you come here again please?" he said. Jeremie cautiously got up to Naruto, and the two once again made eye contact. As they did, Naruto's tails sprang to life and touched each of the gang on the forehead. The each felt an odd pulling sensation and found themselves standing in what looked like a cross between a sewer and a dungeon passageway.

"Where are we?" asked Aelita.

"You're in my mind" rang the voice of the blonde boy, before the wall next to them morphed into another passageway, a light at the end of the tunnel. The group looked at each other before heading down the passage. When they reached the end, they found themselves in a giant room, a giant cage totally destroyed on one end. Standing over by the destroyed cage was the blonde from before, along with a redhead who bore similar features as he did. They were standing waiting for them, the blonde with his arm around the redhead.

"It's not much, but it's home" said the redhead. "You can call me Kyuu."

"I'm Aelita, this is Jeremie, that's Yumi, and that's Odd and Ulrich" said Aelita. She seemed confused about something.

"I don't know what it is, but you seem really familiar" she said.

Kyuu eyed her carefully. "Well," she said, "I can assure you we've never met before."

"Why not?" asked Yumi.

"Naruto has been in a coma since arriving in your world. And I've been in here waiting for him to wake up." replied Kyuu simply.

"Anyway" said Naruto, let's get down to business, shall we…"

Timeskip

"So let me get this straight. You're an all powerful fox spirit that used to be human. You got in a fight with some traitor to your village, who turned into that freaky thing from the video, and your attacks ripped a hole between your world and ours?" questioned Ulrich.

"Yep. That about sums it up" replied Naruto.

"So, how did you two get together? It sounds to me like she ruined your life" said Odd. Kyuu blushed furiously.

"Well, see, the thing is, we hated each other the first time we met" said Naruto, "But you find that when you just talk for a while, you can get past a lot of things. The first time we met was when my teacher pushed me off a cliff."

"Your teacher pushed you off a cliff?" asked Odd. "Remind me never to complain about Ms. Hertz being tough on us ever again." The others all nodded in agreement.

Suddenly, the room shifted and they once more found themselves in the lab. What was odd was that this time, Kyuu was with them.

"Well" said Naruto, "I've been asleep for over two decades I'd wager, so I have just one thing to say…I really need something to eat."

"Oh Kami, here we go" said Kyuu, face-palming.

"What is it?" asked Jeremie.

"When this mate of mine is only feeling mildly hungry, he can put away nearly ten bowls of ramen. I can only imagine what he might eat when he's starving" she replied, causing Naruto to face-plant.

"Shut up, I need the energy that the food provides" said Naruto, getting a look from Kyuu.

"You have the energy to destroy the world three times over and you're telling me you need more?" Naruto once more face-planted at this.

"Ok, Ok, I enjoy food a little too much. At least it's not like I'm an Akimichi. Though that Human Boulder technique is pretty awesome" said Naruto. He took a look at the others and saw they were looking at him like he was insane.

"You eat that much and you look like this?" said Odd.

"Yeah, whatever I eat tends to burn off rather quickly" replied Naruto as the group entered the elevator.

"So what are you going to do now? If you plan on blending into society, we can always create fake documents for you" said Aelita.

"Maybe later" said Naruto. "Right now, it's getting late, and I wanna see what this Hopper guy was using me for."

"Can you even operate a computer?" asked Jeremie.

"Well, I'll admit I'm not tech-savvy, but I'm kinda borrowing your genius. I looked in your mind remember? I know how to operate the supercomputer as much as you do now. We'll be fine" said Naruto, getting off the elevator with Kyuu.

"Well, Ok. We'll probably see you two tomorrow" said Jeremie, before the elevator once more closed, leaving Naruto and Kyuu alone in the lab.

"Now," said Naruto, sitting down in the chair, "Let's see just what secrets you hold."

He tried to access the file that was locked, and was once more asked for the password. Six slots, but what to put? After an hour of trying, Naruto, got up to pace. What the hell could be the password?

"Well," said Kyuu. "You are supposed to be Project: Maelstrom, so it only makes sense that you should be able to get the password to the file. Maelstrom is your name after all." Naruto contemplated her words for a moment, before his eyes suddenly widened in realization.

He ran over and kissed her deeply. "Kyuu," he said, "You're a genius."

"Well that's great," replied Kyuu. "Now would you mind telling me why I'm a genius? Not that I mind being called one. Nor would I mind another kiss." Naruto leaned in and kissed her again, before heading back and sitting before the computer.

"There's no way the name of this thing matching the meaning of my name is coincidence. Let's see…Project: Maelstrom…Six digits…let's see, N…A…R…U…T…O." As soon as he entered the new password, the file opened, showing more information than Naruto could possibly have asked for. One file caught his eye, labeled "Watch Me."

Kyuu came over as Naruto opened the file and Franz Hopper appeared.

"Hello Naruto" the recorded man said, in perfect Japanese. "If you're watching this, then you've woken up. There are many things I have to tell you. First things first, the boy you traveled here with has been disposed of and is no longer a danger." Naruto already knew this, having seen Jeremie's memory of the video.

"As you were asleep, I apologize, but I used your…abundant energy, to power certain things around my laboratory. You put off more energy than any generator, near the levels of a nuclear reaction. I've just taken it and converted it to electricity. Among the functions you power, are my time reversion program, allowing for a short rewind of time, and you also operate the scanners to send real world people and items to Lyoko and back again. By the time you awake, these functions will have stored enough power to operate without you."

"Now, on to some more pressing matters, ones that you need to hear." Suddenly, a picture of Aelita appeared on the screen, though she was only a very small girl in the picture. "This is my daughter Aelita. Well, legally she is my daughter." Naruto's eyes narrowed at this. What did Aelita have to do with him?

"Unfortunately, an accident in my youth has left me…unable to have children. And my wife and I so wanted a child. And that's where you come in. For reasons I do not yet understand, your DNA is, for lack of a better term, perfect. So, I took a sample of your sperm, and my wife and I used them to produce a child. Simply put, I may be Aelita's father legally, you are her father biologically."

Naruto's eyes widened at this. Kyuu seemed just as shocked. But for completely different reasons.

"Any more information you may require is stored in this file. I had hoped that in the event you ever woke up, we could talk in person. But the very fact that you are watching this video means I am in fact no longer able to speak to you. My only hope is that your daughter is." The video cut out there. Naruto was silent. This man had used him to power his toys, and give him a daughter. He had a daughter that knew nothing about him.

"This is bad, very very bad" said Kyuu.

"Well, it's surprising, but I wouldn't call it bad" replied Naruto, not looking at her.

"No, not that" she said. "Aelita is the cross of a human and a kitsune. Eventually, the Kitsune in her DNA will override everything else." Naruto still didn't seem to understand.

"In other words, that nice girl, at any minute, could sprout ears and a tail." Naruto's eyes widened at that.

"We need to keep watch on her. If something happens we'll need to get her away fast and teach her how to shape-shift" finished Kyuu, heading for the elevator.

"I'll come with" said Naruto, getting up.

"No, you stay and look through those files. They may come in handy later" said Kyuu as the elevator door closed, leaving Naruto with his thoughts. She was right. Naruto only knew what Kyuu taught him. She really was the master. Naruto just stared off into space, remembering when he and Kyuu actually met. Not when he had demanded her youki to save him, no. He had attempted meditating, an exercise Jiraiya had taught him. He found himself pulled into his mindscape, and there she was, in all her glory.

Flashback

"All right Fox, what do you want!" shouted an irate Naruto.

"Insolent child! I am the Queen of the Fox clans, Ruler of Demons and Summons alike! I will not be spoken too in such a manner!"

"Yeah, well I jus-…Queen?"

"Yes, Queen, you idiot. You don't think a female can be as powerful as I am?" The Kyuubi's voice became more human-like and the horrible face disappeared, before a beautiful girl walked up to the cage bars. When he saw her, Naruto could only think of one word to describe her.

"Angel." Kyuubi blushed profusely. She had been called a lot of things while in human form, but never an angel. Most of the time, even though her human form was that of a teenager, she was called more…provocative things. She quickly shook the thoughts from her head, remembering where she was and who was talking to her.

"Flattered though I am, I am a Queen, and will be spoken to as such" she said.

"If those bars weren't there, would you attack me?" Kyuubi nearly tripped at that question.

"No…Why?" she asked, now immensely curious of her jailor.

"I have your word?"

"Yes, you have my word of honor that I would not attack you if the bars were absent" she replied. Suddenly, the bars began to fade away, a pair of manacles appearing on her wrist, the kanji for "Seal" on them.

"I don't know how well I can sustain this when I'm not in here, but a lady shouldn't have to deal with these conditions" said Naruto as the water on the floor pooled into a lake and the entirety of the mindscape became an outdoor paradise, with a nice house next to the lake. "Shall we go inside and talk?"

Kyuubi once more blushed. She was beginning to like this boy. The mere fact that he knew she was a she made him give her this, for as long as he was there. The boy had a respect for women at least. She slowly nodded, before she and Naruto went inside to discuss their situation.

Flashback End

Naruto was snapped out of his thoughts by an alert coming up. He knew from the information he stripped from Jeremie's mind that this meant XANA had activated a tower. So, he did the only thing he could do. He contacted the others.

They all arrived as a group, headed by Jeremie, Kyuu bringing up the rear. They were still questioning why she had been "spying" on them. From what he gathered, she hadn't told them what they learned from the video.

"Get down to the scanners" said Jeremie, taking control from Naruto. Ulrich, Yumi, Odd, and Aelita nodded and went in, leaving Naruto, Kyuu, and Jeremie in the lab.

"Did you unlock the file" asked Jeremie, trying to start a conversation.

"Yeah, but you are not gonna believe what was in it" replied Naruto. Jeremie just looked at him funny, before virtualizing Odd, Yumi, and Aelita onto Lyoko. Ulrich followed suit shortly afterward.

The four arrived in the Desert Sector. "Guys, the activated tower is directly ahead of you. You had better go fast, company's coming" rang the voice of Jeremie.

"You got it Einstein, could you bring up the vehicles?" said Odd, before the Overboard virtualized in front of him. The Overbike then appeared before Ulrich and the Overwing next to Yumi.

"Thanks Jeremie" said Ulrich, before taking off. Aelita grabbed a hold of Odd and they sped off, and Yumi brought up the rear.

"Just watch out for XANA's monsters" replied Jeremie.

"Too late" said Naruto, who was looking at the screen over Jeremie's shoulder. Sure enough, the screen showed several Tarantulas heading their way. A group of Hornets was already coming up on the gang's rear.

On Lyoko, the group was quite aware of the monsters, both in front of them, and behind them. It wasn't long before Yumi's Overwing was destroyed, causing her to go crashing to the ground. It was then that the unusual happened. All the monsters stopped their pursuit and instead all targeted Yumi. She pulled her fans out to block the oncoming hail of fire. She didn't last long under the onslaught however, soon taking a hit to the leg, before taking a direct hit to the chest, devirtualizing her.

"Guys" said Jeremie, "It looks like XANA has changed tactics. He's trying to take you out one at a time"

"Really Einstein? Hadn't noticed" replied Odd, as he swerved to dodge fire from the Tarantulas. Ulrich quickly rushed the Tarantulas, jumping off the overbike, causing it to crash into two tarantulas, knocking them off the edge of the cliff. As he came down, he unsheathed his swords, taking out another of the tarantulas, but was quickly overwhelmed by the rest, along with the hornets. He was soon devirtualized like Yumi.

"Odd, you and Aelita are all alone out there, be careful" said Jeremie.

"Read you loud and clear Einstein" said Odd. Not two seconds later, the Overboard was hit and devirtualized, causing both Odd and Aelita to fall to the ground below. As soon as Odd was hit, he too came under the attacks of XANA's monsters.

"What's happening on Lyoko?" asked Yumi, as she exited the elevator, carrying an unconscious Ulrich on her shoulder.

"Odd and Aelita are the only ones left, and Odd isn't doing too good. He just lost another 15 life points. He's only got 10 left" replied Jeremie, almost frantic.

"Send me." The group looked to see Naruto already heading for the elevator.

"Is that such a good idea?" asked Yumi.

"Right now it's our only option. Get down to the scanners and I'll start the virtualzation process" replied Jeremie, making the necessary preparations.

On Lyoko, Odd was pinned down, hiding behind a rock outcropping. It wouldn't hold for long however. And he was wasting all of his laser arrows on the hornets that flew over the rock to attack him. Aelita was having problems of her own, as she was completely surrounded by tarantulas. A moment later, they parted to allow the Scyphozoa to pass through. She attempted to back away, but was stopped by the barricade of tarantulas. She was trapped. The Scyphozoa used its tentacles to hoist Aelita into the air and began the process of taking her memory.

"Hurry up Naruto" said Jeremie, silently praying that he would get to Aelita in time.

Back on Lyoko, a bolt of blue fire shot from the sky, hitting the Scyphozoa, causing it to release Aelita. As the girl came to, she looked into the sky. Flying in the sky, with incredible angelic wings, at least with a twenty foot wingspan, was Naruto. He wore a blood red wrap around his bottom half, and no shirt, revealing many tattoos that covered his entire right side. He also kept his nine tails and fox ears. It was an awe inspiring sight.

He held out his hand, and a glowing light formed, taking the shape of a bow of some kind. He acted as if he was pulling back, and an arrow of blue flames formed, before he released, hitting the Scyphozoa dead on the eye. It shrieked before flying away, not being destroyed.

"Aelita, go! I'll cover you!" shouted Naruto, who landed and his wings disappeared. The light bow in his hand suddenly turned into a sword hilt, blue flames flowing up, forming a very ornate sword.

The pink-haired girl merely nodded, before running for the activated tower, about a hundred yards away. As the creatures began to attack Naruto, he merely took half down with a slash in the air, sending a wave of light flying at the monsters. He was almost attacked from behind, but the hornet was destroyed by a laser arrow from Odd. Naruto turned toward the boy as he smiled and gave a thumbs up. It didn't last however, as the smiling blonde and purple-haired boy was hit by a remaining hornet, devirtualizing him. Naruto proceeded to take out every monster around him. Jeremie found it amazing. Naruto would regenerate life points as fast as he could lose them.

He finally relaxed once Aelita safely got to the tower. As the tower deactivated, Jeremie rematerialized Naruto and Aelita. The best part was that since XANA hadn't actually launched an attack on the real world, they didn't have to use a return trip. As Naruto and Aelita came out of the elevator, Naruto was actually applauded by Odd, and the rest of the group gave him high fives.

"Man, you were awesome. Those arrows, the sword, and those huge wings!" exclaimed Odd.

"Yeah, you really saved me back there Naruto, thank you" said Aelita.

"Well, what was I gonna do. After all, you are my only link to this world apparently" he replied, getting confused looks from all present except Kyuu.

"What do you mean?" asked Ulrich.

"Bring up the video file I unlocked called Watch Me, and you'll find out" Naruto replied, sitting down against the wall.

Jeremie did so and the whole group saw what Naruto and Kyuu had seen earlier. Jeremie was astounded at the energy levels that Naruto put off, but even that feeling was dwarfed when Hopper brought up the subject of Aelita.

"So, you are-" said Aelita.

"Your father apparently" finished Naruto for her.

"This is a lot to process" said Aelita, sliding down the wall, ending up sitting next to Naruto.

"You're telling me" replied Naruto. "I didn't think I would have kids under normal circumstances."

"That actually brings up the subject of my spying on you tonight Aelita" said Kyuu, gaining everyone's attention.

"Have you been feeling alright lately?" she asked.

"Actually, I've been really sore. I don't know what's wrong with me" the pink-haired girl replied.

"I do. He's a Kitsune, meaning you're part Kitsune. That part of your DNA is taking precedence over the other. It could be any minute now, it could be weeks. It could be fast, or incredibly slow. The fact of the matter is that eventually, you're gonna look like your father and I" said Kyuu, indicating her animalistic features.

"You mean she's going to have tails, ears, whiskers and claws?" asked Odd.

"That about sums it up, yes" replied Naruto.

"But how am I going to go to school like that?" asked Aelita. "I can't show myself like that…no offense to either of you."

"Don't worry about that. If it happens at school, we can get you out fast and make everybody forget what they saw. As for looking like this all the time, that's not an issue" said Naruto, suddenly morphing into Jeremie. "Kitsune are natural shapeshifters" he said in Jeremie's voice, before shifting into Yumi's form.

"You're a kitsune, and as a kitsune, you also have the incredibly handy ability to shapeshift" he continued, his voice becoming that of Yumi.

"Ok, that's pretty cool" said Ulrich, Odd nodding in agreement.

"Hey, so if you're her dad, does she have to treat you like it?" asked Odd. "And what does that make her?" he finished, indicating Kyuu.

"In order," said Naruto, "She can if she likes, but I would prefer if she didn't. And I believe that in the current position we're in, that makes Kyuu Aelita's step-mother."

"Why would you prefer me not to act like I'm your daughter? As far as I'm concerned you're the only family I've got" said Aelita, confused.

"Ah, that's the problem. Kid, look, we're related by blood. But that makes us relatives, not family. Trust me when I say, these four are probably closer family than I am where your concerned" said Naruto, his face darkening. "Take it from a guy who never had relatives, and for the first seven years of his life had no real family to speak of" he finished before entering the elevator and leaving the Lyoko gang and Kyuu to their individual thoughts.

It was Ulrich who eventually broke the silence. "Ok, just what was that all about?"

"Both of Naruto's parents died the night of my attack on his village" said Kyuu. "He had no relatives to take him in and was sent to an orphanage. He lived there for five years, being abused and neglected by the staff. When he turned five, he was kicked out of the orphanage and lived on the street for two years, before the village leader finally got some sense and gave Naruto an apartment of his own. Even the good people there disgust me. That traitor that Franz Hopper dropped in the digital sea was once Naruto's best friend. He betrayed their village and attempted to kill Naruto. Now, I'm all he's got" she finished, a slight quiver in her voice.

"Not that isn't a horrible and touching story, but there's something I can't figure out?" said Jeremie, gaining the attention of those present.

"What's that Jeremie?" asked Aelita.

"Xana had you surrounded for quite a while before the Scyphozoa was sent in, and he didn't make an attack on the real world. Notice, that the scyphozoan only went for you the second Naruto was virtualized. If you ask me, it seems like he was waiting for Naruto, but I can't figure out why" replied the blonde genius.

"Are you sure you're not just looking for something that isn't there?" asked Yumi.

"Yeah Einstein, what would Xana possibly want with Naruto. Maybe the squid was just slow to get there" added Odd.

"I don't think so. I'd be willing to bet that Xana was aware of Naruto's awakening and wanted to test his ability. I don't know how, but I think Naruto and Xana might have other connections besides Aelita and Franz Hopper" said Jeremie.

Naruto sat on the roof of the factory, thinking about what he had said. For a moment, he contemplated the idea that he may have been too harsh, but realized he had only spoken the truth. He wasn't there for the girl. Not once in her life was he ever there. He was in a coma, and she had no idea that he even existed. He didn't deserve the title of father.

"Um, hi." Naruto turned around to see Aelita come from the roof access door.

"How did you know where I was?" asked Naruto, genuinely confused as the pink-haired girl sat down next to him.

"Something in my gut told me where you were. I think I can sense you" she replied.

"Look" said Naruto, "I'm sorry for…back there. Not for what I said, it was the truth. I'm sorry for how I said it."

"No" said Aelita, "You were right. Blood doesn't make us family. But then we just have to find the thing that does. From what I've gathered from you and Kyuu, you don't have anybody. I can be a daughter to you, just like I know that you can be a father to me."

"It's gonna take some work" said Naruto.

"Then we just need to work on it together" replied Aelita before giving Naruto a smile.

"It's a deal" said Naruto before they shook hands. As Aelita took Naruto's hand, she felt a pulling sensation, a rush of wind and they were suddenly standing on the bridge in front of the factory.

"So cool." They both turned to see the rest of the group watching them, Odd looking like his eyes were going to bug out of his head at Naruto and Aelita seemingly teleporting. Naruto lost it then and there, nearly falling to the floor laughing.

Chapter End.

No notes, which doesn't matter because the majority of you don't read them anyway.

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