Naruto: Between Two Worlds
Plot: A seven year-old Uzumaki Naruto is kidnapped by Sinister; an experience that intertwines his life with that of the X-men who save him and connects the hidden world of the Shinobi to the volatile world of mutants and superhumans. Mokuton! Naruto
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Xavier Institute six days ago...
Naruto sat nervously on the couch in Xavier's office as Jean and the Professor looked at one another. The boy guessed (correctly) they were talking with their thoughts, he hoped he wasn't in trouble. He had given some thought to pulling a few pranks after Dr. McCoy had removed his cast a few hours ago. Mostly involving Wolverine who amused himself by irking the boy, "Wait Xavier-sensei and Jean-sensei can read minds they must already know I was thinking about pranking Logan-san!"
"No Mr Uzumaki that was not what we called you here for but since we're on the subject I would strongly advise against that. Logan has a rather poor sense of humor," At this point Xavier projected an image of Wolverine, claws out, chasing a blue-furred, pointy-eared, man with a tail through the halls of the manor. Naruto paled a little, Charles allowed himself a small smile,
"Okay Xavier-sensei," He thought glumly,"So what did you bring me here for?"
"Were going to help you learn English. I know your not comfortable with communicating in this manner." Naruto looked embarrassed but Xavier gave him a comforting smile, "You have nothing to be ashamed of, most non psychics are unnerved by telepathy. Truth be told you've adapted to this better then most." Naruto smiled brightly at the praise,
"So how are you going to teach me English?"
"Jean and myself will use our telepathic abilities to implant a basic knowledge of the English language into your mind." Naruto blinked a few times trying understand what the older man had just told him.
"Okay." He thought back, "So you're going to just dump it in my brain?" Jean smiled and Xavier sighed,
"Yes... that is one way of putting it. Now I need you to close your eyes and open your mind." Naruto did as he was told and drifted off into unconsciousness.
Xavier was in the process of implanting knowledge while Jean was tasked with investigating something the professor had sensed within the boy, "A sewer?" Jean asked as she surveyed her surroundings; Naruto's mindscape appeared to be a labyrinth of partially flooded tunnels. She then noticed the pipes and wiring along the walls, "Maybe it's a power plant of some kind?" Her musings were a welcome distraction from the murderous presence that hung in the air.
At first Jean hadn't been able to sense anything on the surface but once she got into Naruto's subconscious it hit her like a ton of bricks. The telepath was certainly no stranger to ancient beings of great power. Having once been host to the Phoenix Deity she instant recognized Naruto as being in the same boat as she had once been, "No it's worse," she said as she got closer and closer to it.
For everything else the Phoenix at it's core was not evil, but rather a force of passion and rebirth that had been corrupted by the manipulations of the Hellfire Club. This thing however was malice incarnate at least it didn't feel as powerful as the Phoenix. She did acknowledge that it was closer then anything else the X-Men had come across though.
"What's this?" The creature said when Jean entered it's lair, the redheaded telepath froze when she saw it. Behind iron bars that looked far too flimsy for her comfort was a huge monstrous-looking reddish-orange fox. It stared at her with one slitted red eye open as it rested it's head on it's paws, "Yet another medium visits me in my prison."
"Another?" Jean asked, her curiosity caused her to take a few steps closer. The Fox grinned revealing a mouth full of razor sharp teeth.
"The one called Sinister, he was amusing," It's grin got ever wider, "But not as amusing as the Jinchuriki of the Phoenix could be." The emotional self control that Jean required to keep her abilities under control kept her from giving any outward reaction at the mention of the entity that had possessed her and led to her death. What she felt on the inside was quite likely another story.
"Jinchuriki? I assume that means host or vessel, do you require one to survive or have you possessed him for some purpose?"
"Do I look like I'm here of my free will you overweight whore! This worthless sack of flesh is my prison just as his retched mother was before him!" The demon growled thrashing against the prison and lashed at her, it's claws stopped inches away from her face. The bars of the prison were stronger then they appeared "This abominable seal prevents me from escaping and slowly siphons off my power and gives it to the brat." The psychic made a mental note of that fact,
"The Phoenix claimed to be a deity, is that what you are? What is your connection to it?" The Fox looked the redhead in the eye who managed not to flinch;
"Your courage amuses me, I should not be surprised since the Phoenix choose you to be it's host. I am the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, a remnant of the one that opposed the Phoenix. We were once like the sun and moon, life and death, yin and yang," The Demon explained, "Throughout the ages demon and deity balanced each other out, one brought destruction while the other signaled rebirth."
"What upset this balance?" Jean asked fascinated at the prospect of learning more about the Phoenix. The Fox's grin widened,
"What could disrupt a cycle that was vital to the balance of this world since time immemorial? A misguided human, of your misbegotten breed in fact."
"A mutant?" The fox blinked,
"Is that what your ilk call yourselves in this era? Yes he was a "mutant"; one even more powerful then En Sabah Nur of old" Jean froze at the mention of Apocalypse and the thought that a mutant more powerful then him once walked the Earth,"but the Sage was rather soft of heart and hoped to spare the humans of his era the fate of Atlantis and Hyboria. I now tire of the history lesson, leave me." The demon said in a dismissive tone and began bathing itself in rather rude place. Jean left to tell Xavier what she had found out and to forget what she just saw.
"Naruto," A familiar voice said, "Are ya okay?" the young Jinchuriki opened his eyes to see Rogue sitting next to him on his bed. Instead of her uniform she wore a pair of black denim jeans and an emerald turtleneck.
"I'm alright Ms. Rogue." Naruto answered in English, the boy looked around and realized he was in his room. His eyes widened when he realized he was speaking another language,"Wait I can understand you! No more brain talking!" The boy exclaimed and began jumping with joy. The boy suddenly stopped and looked at Rogue who grinned at his antics, "How did I wind up here?"
"Ya needed some rest after the Professor was done so Jean brought ya up here." She explained, "I wanted to check up on ya and to let ya know dinner's gonna be ready soon. Why don't ya come on down there's some folks I want ya to meet before we eat." She suggested,
"Okay Ms. Rogue," The blonde said as he bounced out of bed, "Who are they?"
"Meh brother Kurt, his family." The X-Woman explained as she took Naruto's hand and led him into the hallway, "You'll like Kurt in fact ya and him are a lot alike, he's a bit of prankster too." Rogue knew though they both had a lot more in common that "Including how ya'll got treated badly on account of things ya'll couldn't help." She thought sadly to herself as she thought about what Jean had revealed to her earlier. If anyone could understand what Naruto had endured it was Kurt. Though how anyone could look at Naruto and see something other then a lonely child was beyond her.
"Ms. Rogue?" Naruto said quietly shaking the Southerner out of her musings. The boy was looking up at her with moist eyes,
"Is somethin' wrong sugah?" She asked,
"There's something I've been wanting to tell you: thank you," he said with a soft smile, "for saving me Ms. Rogue and for being so nice to me. I th-thought I was going to die...that no one was going to come save me." Naruto started tearing up, the older woman got down one knee to comfort him.
"Oh sugah if you start crying I'm gonna start sobbin' too. Cheer up little guy tonight's gonna be a fun night for ya." She said with a wink, "Now let's dry them tears and get you downstairs handsome okay?" Naruto grinned and nodded,
"Oh Ms. Rogue if I'm really careful can I have a hug?" He asked, Kitty had explained to him about her powers the other day. Rogue bit her lip as Naruto looked up at her with his deep blue eyes,
"How am Ah suppose to say no to face like that?" She gave an exaggerated sigh and hugged the blonde tightly. The boy rested his head happily on her shoulder, he had never felt so safe and happy before. When the hug ended she ruffled his hair affectionately, "Are ya happy now ya' little scamp?" Rogue asked, Naruto flashed his signature grin and nodded, "That's one dazzling smile ya got there boy, between that and them eyes of yours you'll have the girls chasin after ya in a few years." Rogue's own grin widened as Naruto turned beet red.
"Th-h-ank you Ms. Rogue," he sputtered and scratched the back of his head. His warm, sapphire eyes met her emerald ones, "I think your one of the nicest, most beautiful girls in the whole world." Rogue's cheeks warmed, somehow not even Remy at his most flattering could compare to that.
"Thanks sugah, you know Ah've already got a boyfriend though," She took his hand again and led him downstairs,
"I know Ms. Rogue," The boy answered, "Be careful though I think Remy might be perverted." He whispered to her causing Rogue to let out a startled laugh.
Jaws were dropped and eyes were bugged out as Jean finished explaining the details of what she had learned earlier, "A mutant more powerful zhen Apocalypse?" Kurt gasped, his blue fur was standing on end at the thought.
"That's what the fox said," Jean replied,
"At least this sage was a good guy if he saved the world from a super demon." A teen with parted brown hair and blue eyes said with great relief. His name was Robert "Bobby" Drake aka Iceman, "It seems to be rule of thumb that the really powerful mutants are either really crazy, really evil, or both."
"Remy's noticed that pattern as well." Gambit said somberly, the others nodded in agreement, "So long story short Naruto's got a demon that used to be as powerful as da Phoenix inside em?"
"Yes, it's probably the reason why he was treated the way he was if the villagers were aware of his...status." Jean's countenance darkened as she thought about the isolation and loneliness the boy had experienced, "It doesn't appear to be influencing or hurting him in any way but the Professor and I are going to start building some psychic barriers in his mind just to be safe."
A moment later Rogue walked into the room with Naruto in tow. The blonde glanced at all the people in the room and found himself feeling more then a little nervous. Rogue noticed this, "Naruto sugah," She said gently,"how about I introduce ya' to everyone one at a time so ya don't feel so crowded?"
"Okay Ms. Rogue." Naruto said shyly, he recognized the first person that walked up from the memory Xavier had shown him earlier. The others got nervous uncertain of how Naruto would react to his appearance,
"Hello Naruto, I'm Kurt Wagner." The devil-like mutant knelt down and held out a three fingered hand. To everyone's pleasant surprise Naruto smiled and shook Kurt's hand,
"You're Ms. Rogue's brother? It's really nice to meet you Mr. Kurt." Kurt grinned and ruffled the boy's hair. A woman with waist-length chestnut brown locks, soft blue eyes, and wearing a scarlet-colored, no non sense business suite came up next and stood beside Kurt.
"Same here mien friend, allow me to introduce mien lovely vife: Vanda" She gave him a friendly smile,
"How old are you Naruto?"
"Seven." he answered shyly
"Wow seven ? I have two boys around your age would you like to meet them?" Naruto blinked in surprise, normally parents kept their children away from him. Maybe he would finally have friends his own age.
"Okay." The boy answered happily,
"Thomas, William," Wanda called out, "There's someone I want you to meet." Two nervous-looking boys around Naruto's age walked in. They were exactly alike except for their hair, one had neatly parted snow white and the other had messy raven colored hair. Their mother seemed to notice the looks on their faces "What did you do?"
"Billy broke it!" The white-haired one shouted and pointed at his twin,
"No Tommy broke it!" Billy countered and pointed right back at his brother.
"What did you break?" Wanda demanded and put her hands on her hips. Under the scrutiny of their mother's glare the twins broke,
"A statue of Professor Xavier's head." Tommy answered pitifully,
"In one of the hallways." Billy added, then both boys looked up at their mother with big puppy dog eyes, "It was an accident."
"We're both very sorry mom." Wanda rolled her eyes as Naruto stared at them in confusion.
"We are guests in Professor Xavier's home and as such I expect both of you to be on your best behavior! I'm still mad at the two of you for blowing up our last apartment! You two were lucky Mr. Stark and your Uncle Pietro were there or you could've both been killed!" Billy tried to say something but his white haired twin elbowed him in the ribs,
"We'll be good mommy." Thomas assured her,
"We promise." Billy added, Wanda gave them one last glare before turning back around to face the blonde-haired boy, "Naruto Uzumaki I'd like you to meet my sons Thomas and William."
"How did you guys blow up your apartment?" He asked in confusion,
"Prank gone out of control." Tommy said quickly, Naruto frowned and blinked,
"I pull pranks all the time and I never blew my apartment up." Wanda raised an eyebrow, Jean had mentioned the boy had resorted to pranks and practical jokes to attract attention. While her heart went out to the poor boy she certainly hoped he didn't give her sons any ideals.
"We were playing with fireworks."
"Your not supposed to play with fireworks inside." Naruto said in scolding tone of voice that sounded both strange and amusing coming from someone his age,"Your supposed to play with them outside where there's lots of space in case it blows up."
"And your supposed to have adult supervision." Wanda added noticing the looks on her boy's faces,
"I didn't have anyone watching me, I wish someone had been though," Naruto said rubbing his arm,
"What happened?" Wanda asked, a child who wanted adult supervision?
"I sat myself on fire," He held up the arm he had been rubbing, the twins and the adults who were listening widened their eyes, "I had really bad burns on my arms but they went away after a few days." Wanda and Rogue looked horrified.
"Ya could've been killed!" Rogue gasped, "Under no circumstances are ya to go near anything that can blow up, burn you, or cut you without some kind of adult supervision, ya understand me?" Naruto had been lectured many times by the Hokage, Konoha's Uchiha-run Military Police, and the ANBU Black Ops. None of them though held the boy's undivided attention like the two women standing over him, "I don't want anything bad to happen to ya okay?" She pleaded Naruto's eyes widened, guilt flooded him at the thought of worrying Ms. Rogue.
"Yes Ms. Rogue I'll be good," he answered pitifully, "Thank you for worrying about me."
"Just be good little guy now why y'all don't you run off and play. We'll call ya when dinner's ready."
"Yes Auntie Rogue," Tommy said and then with a speed that most children (outside a shinobi village unknown those present) weren't capable poked his brother on his head and shouted, "Your it!" and bolted off,
"Great Quicksilver 2.0." Wolverine grumbled and downed another beer. Wanda put her hands on her hips and fixed Logan with a menacing stare. Naruto was more focused on the glum-looking Billy Maximoff,
"Aren't you going to chase us?" he asked,
"I never catch him, actually I never catch anyone." Billy's expression became downcast, Naruto held his hand out,
"Tag me Billy, I'll catch him!" The blonde said with a determined grin, the raven-haired boy's countenance brightened considerably,
"R-really? Thanks Naruto!"
"What a kind boy." Wanda Maximoff Wagner said softly to her sister-in-law as the other two chased after Thomas.
"I know, he's a sweet heart." Rogue replied, "He's got a bit of mischievous side to 'im though." She said thinking back to his comment about Remy.
"How bad vas his...upbringing?" Kurt asked hesitantly,
"Ah don't think anything violent was done, least not till that bastard Sinister got 'im anyways. Accordin' to Jean they treated the boy like a leper and pretty much tried to ignore him. I don't think he's ever gotten to play with kids his own age till today." Rogue explained her anger building with every word. Kurt placed a comforting hand on his foster sister's arm,
"Anger vill not help him, only love and friendship." He said kindly, Rogue exhaled and unclenched her fists, she gave her brother a grateful smile. He was pretty much the only person who could calm her down. Which given her inhuman strength made Kurt's presence all the more appreciated, by Gambit and Iceman especially. He had left the team after marrying Wanda to raise his stepsons and his daughter Talia. She was truly happy for her brother even though she missed having him around.
"Your right Kurt," Rogue said, "I hope Naruto doesn't get his hopes to high on catching Tommy. The boy already moves faster than greased lightning, he'll be as fast as Pietro when his mutation kicks in."
An Hour Later...
Tommy staggered in looking worn out and miserable, Billy came in behind him behind equally fatigued but grinning. Finally Naruto bounced in with barely even a sweat and the biggest grin of them all. Wanda, Kurt, and Rogue were waiting for them when they came in, "Did ya'll have fun?"
"Yeah Naruto tagged Tommy twice!" Billy said, the adult's eyes widened in surprise. While not yet superhuman the white-haired Maximoff was considerably faster then the average seven year old.
"I had lots of fun Ms. Rogue!" Naruto shouted happily, "Can we play more after dinner?"
"I'm too tired,"Tommy said oblivious to his mother and stepfather's looks of surprise, "He never stopped chasing me! He tagged me when I stopped to catch my breath." All three adults stared at Naruto as what the future speedster told them sank in: he had worn Tommy out, essentially victory by attrition. Naruto seemed only slightly winded by the whole affair.
The whisker faced boy was getting nervous due to the stares the grown ups were giving him, "D-did I do something wrong?" he asked looking worried,
"No Naruto it's just no one's eveh worn out Thomas before." Rogue assured him, "Ya don't tire out easily do ya?" Naruto grinned mischievously,
"Nope I don't tire out and I don't give up! Back in Konoha the police chased me for three hours straight because I took all the dirty underwear from their lockers and scattered them all over the main square." He said with pride, the boy's expression quickly soured though, "When they caught me I had to do their laundry for a month."
"Actions have consequences Naruto." Wanda admonished softly,
"I know gramps told me the same thing, he makes me clean up after all my pranks."
"Your grandpa?" Rogue asked in confusion, she had been under the impression the boy was an orphan.
"He's not really my grandpa I just call him that because it makes his eye do this funny twitching thing. He's our village leader and he would visit me every week to go shopping since he knows when the shops are open and then we go out to old man Ichiraku's for all the ramen I can eat!" His cheer and enthusiasm certainly brightened everyone's mood, "Hey are we having ramen for dinner?"
"No sugah," Rogue answered, she had learned of the boy's love of all thing noodle related earlier when he devoured ten packs of instant ramen for lunch, "You can't just eat ramen Naruto, you've got to eat a lotta different things if you want to be big and strong."
"I also like red bean broth but I don't like green stuff." He said
"Naruto vegetables are really healthy for ya. Were gonna work on getting you to try different thangs and were also gonna work on your table manners." The boy blinked in confusion,
"What's wrong with the way I eat?" Rogue sighed trying to think of a tactful way of putting it.
"Cause Remmy's never seen anyone with worse table manner then Logan till you came along." Gambit interjected, Naruto glared at the Cajun thief, "Nothin' da ladies like mo' then a gentleman." Remmy said as he handed Rogue a single red rose and kissed her gloved hand. The southern belle rolled her eyes at her boyfriend's dramatics,
"Makes me wonder why Ah put up wit' ya?" Rogue said trying not to smile,
"You wound me, mon chere! You don't think I'm a gentleman?" The southern belle Naruto muttered something in Japanese under his breath. Since he could now speak English the adults guessed it was certainly not a compliment, "Come now everyone Remy's made his world famous gumbo."
"It's meh favorite dish Naruto," Rogue explained, "It's a seafood soup served with rice. Will ya give it a try, for me?" Naruto looked up at her smiling face and couldn't bring himself to argue,
"Yes Ms. Rogue."
Naruto was sitting in between Rogue and Wanda, both women took turns gently correcting his table etiquette. He made an admirable effort to improve himself by the time Remy had served him up a large bowl of his homemade seafood gumbo. Naruto enjoyed some rolls before trying the gumbo, "It it tastes...different." The blonde said thoughtfully after a full minute of chewing the spoonful of shrimp.
"Well Mr. Uzumaki I suspect your palate is accustomed the cuisine of your native land and has yet to adjust itself to western tastes." Beast explained as he enjoyed some soup himself. Naruto blinked in confusion and looked at Xavier,
"I thought you said I'd be able to understand people now!" Naruto said accusingly, McCoy groaned as everyone laughed.
"He sayin you ain't used food from this part of the world." Logan said when he got himself under control,
"Oh" he said before returning to his meal with a puzzled look on his face. He was fairly familiar with the seasonings that went into ramen and couldn't place the array of seasonings dancing across his taste buds, "What kind of spices are in this? I can tell there's some kind of pepper but that's it."
"The recipe's a secret mon ami." Gambit answered, "I'm guessin though the herb and spices we have in Louisiana aren't real common in da Land o' da Rising Sun. So wha' do ya think?" Remy asked, the LeBou's took a great deal of pride in their skills as thieves, that was well known in certain circles. What wasn't well known was their passion the culinary arts, if this boy disparaged his cooking he would forever earn Remmy's enmity.
"It's pretty tasty!" Naruto said, "I still miss old man Ichiraku's ramen though."
"You sayin' some old man's instant noodles is better then this?" Rogue grimaced knowing how serious her boyfriend took cooking. Naruto though shook his head in confusion,
"Old man Ichiraku doesn't make instant ramen!" Naruto said sounding almost...scandalized, "He runs a restaurant and makes everything himself even the broth, the noodles, and all the other wonderful things that go into the glorious gift from the Gods known as ramen!" Naruto said with a fervor that Kurt knew for a fact most ministers couldn't muster.
"This kid really needs to switch to decaf." Bobby Drake aka Iceman said dryly,
"I don't drink coffee at all." Naruto said in confusion,
"He's a sweet boy," Rogue thought to herself and sighed, "He really is but Lord is he dense."
"He vas joke mien friend." Kurt said, he had been waiting for a chance to speak to the boy, "I'm given to understand you are quite ze accomplished joker in your hometown."
"Yep I'm Konohagakure's number one loud mouth prankster!" He declared proudly not noticing that Logan had started choking on his food.
"This is why ya don't shout at the dinna table Naruto." Rogue scolded,
"It's not that Rogue," Logan said after swallowing down the food and looking at Naruto in disbelief "Where'd you say you from kid?"
"Konohagakure, it means "Village Hidden in the-"
"Leaves." Logan finished, "Sinister kidnapped a kid from a fucking shinobi village!" He said slowly in a tone that sounded almost...frightened,
"Logan language!" Wanda shouted trying to cover her children's ears,
"Vhat's a shinobi?" Kurt asked to his surprise it was Naruto who supplied the answer,
"It's another word for ninja." He explained in between bites of food,
"Your a ninja?" Thomas asked with both awe and envy,
"Not yet, I was supposed to start at the academy this fall that's where the kids who can become shinobi are taught."
"Logan is he serious?" Rogue asked, she was really hoping that this was the boy's sense of humor at work. The thought of the innocent child next to her being sent to a place where he'd be taught to kill horrified her. Logan's reaction aside Naruto may have been a prankster but was honest to a fault.
"I didn't know how there training regime worked but I've had a few run ins with Konoha shinobi over the years," Logan said, "They have an array of supernatural powers the varies from ninja to ninja." He glanced at Hank, "I'm guessing that's where the energy manipulation kicks in, it ain't exactly like the magic Doc Strange and Wanda do but it's close." Naruto glanced at everyone as they all stared with various expressions. Most of them were having thoughts similar to Rogue,
"What did I do?" Naruto asked, he wondered if they didn't like ninja. Maybe they wouldn't want him around anymore, "What if Ms. Rogue doesn't want to be my friend anymore." That thought was like a knife to his heart. Jean picked up on his thoughts and tried to calm him down,
"Nothing Naruto, it's just that with exception of Logan none of us have ever met a ninja." Jean explained, "It took us by surprise that's all."
"That's actually pretty cool man," Bobby said, "Know any cool ninja stories?"
"I don't know a lot of history, umm...how about the story of the Yodamie Hokage? It means the Fourth Fire Shadow." he explained seeing most of the people giving him a confused look, switching between languages was becoming a little less awkward for him, "The Hokage is the leader our village and our protector." he said with rare reverence, "The Yodamie was the greatest of them of all. During the last Shinobi War he once defeated 200 enemy ninja all by himself that was why he was named Hokage." Naruto's expression grew strangely somber, "There was no ninja who could defeat him and he loved our village more then anything, he even died for the village."
"I thought you said no ninja could beat him." Billy said, many of the adults were wondering the same thing. Naruto shook his head,
"It wasn't a ninja, it was a monster...the Kyubi no Yoko, the Nine Demon Fox." The adults were mostly able to keep themselves composed this time around. Billy and Thomas were wide eyed, "Seven years ago it just appeared out of nowhere and started destroying everything...a lot of people were killed by that monster. It could breath fire and it's tails could create winds strong enough to flatten mountains." The Maximoff twins paled, "The Yodamie Hokage tried to fight with everything he had but it was too powerful to defeat with normal ninjutsu so instead he used a kinjutsu, a forbidden art, to destroy it at the cost of his life."
"Oh my Gawd, he really doesn't know!" All of the adults were having similar thoughts,
"That's not a very happy ending." Thomas said quietly,
"The village survived thanks to him, every October Tenth they have a festival in his honor. Everyone loved him," he said quietly, "everyone respected and admired him. I've...I've never told anyone this...not even gramps but I have a dream." Everyone was paying rapt attention now, a little bit of true anger showed through, "A lot of people in my village don't like me, they treat me like dirt...like I'm nothing." His bitter expression gave way to cautious hope, "But one day I'll be a great ninja, the best ever and I'll become Hokage and then every one will respect just like they do the Fourth! Uzumaki Naruto legendary ninja!"
"It vould seem even before he vas a mutant he had zhe spirit of an X-Man." Kurt mused,
For the rest of the meal Naruto wowed the little Maximoffs with tales some of more elaborate pranks. Kurt and Bobby joined in the conversation, the ninja boy's exploits put theirs to shame. The others were fairly quiet trying to process everything they had learned from the boy.
Rogue and Wanda stepped into the Professor private study where most of the adults were gathered, "Hey where's Kurt?" Bobby asked, the two women smiled and rolled their eyes,
"The big kid decided to amuse the little kids with his collection of Looney Tunes cartoons." Rogue explained, Bobby's eyes went wide with envy.
"The boxed DVD set! Ah man I've been wanting to watch that forever!"
"This is why Kitty won't go out wit' ya." Rogue groaned, "Ya never take anything seriously. So Professor what do ya think?"
"I believe young Uzumaki has unwittingly provided us with the answers we've been looking for regarding his origins." Xavier said as he enjoyed a warm cup of tea in front the fireplace,
"Actually I'm not clear on all details." Bobby said holding up a hand in embarrassment
"Neither am I truth be told." Wanda added having only been told the barest details regarding Naruto.
"Naruto appears to hail from an insular village of ninja, he grew up around the supernatural which may explain why he's not frightened by our abilities. It would seem though that even prior to being abducted by Sinister he had been a victim of neglect and at the very least emotional abuse at the hands of the villagers. This treatment stems partly from being the vessel of a demonic creature that laid waste to the village and partly from the grief at the death of this Fourth Hokage."
"Remy gets the first part but not the second." Gambit admitted, Iceman seconded that,
"This man was clearly beloved by his people, so much so that even one such as Naruto who seems to have little regard for authority can't help but speak his name with reverence." Xavier sighed, "For all intents and purposes the demon's attack was akin to a natural disaster. A seemingly random event that inflicted horrific casualties, add to that the loss of their leader must have left the people of Konoha with an incomprehensible amount of grief and anger. The boy offered an outlet for that anger, I'm simply explaining their behavior not condoning it."
"Christ did they chase him with torches and pitchforks?" Bobby said lacking his usual humor, he knew Kurt had actually gone through that in Germany,
"As far as I can tell nothing like that occurred, they instead choose ignore him. Which was arguably even worse. Children not only crave but need attention and affection, I am honestly surprised nothing violent was done to the boy though."
"Gramps," Rogue said causing everyone to look at her strangely, "That's what Naruto calls the village leader, he must the new Fire Shadow. From the way the boy was going he's pretty close to the guy." Xavier nodded,
"He must have given Naruto some kind of protected status, I can only imagine laws in such a village are enforced at knife point."
"So they can't hurt the kid physically without signing their own death warrants so they resort to civil disobedience to emiserate a kid, nice." Wolverine mused in a morbid tone,
"Indeed, we also know that according to the demon Naruto's mother was the previous, on a side note that means we now know more then Naruto knows on the matter of his parentage," He said sadly and sighed "I'm wondering if there's some genetic trait that makes his family ideal vessels for the demon's power." He glanced Hank wondering if he had a theory. Beast glanced through notes before speaking
"I'm not entirely certain if it's relevant but upon closer analysis it would appear that the boy has an inhuman amount of life force energy. It may very well the source of his near limitless energy and stamina."
"Maybe a large amount of life force energy is needed to be a Jinchuriki," Several people gave Jean questioning looks, "It's term the demon used for host or vessel."
"Jinchuriki doesn't mean host or vessel," Logan interjected grimly as he took a few sips of beer, "It means human sacrifice, more or less." The temperature dropped a few degrees as Wolverine's words sank in,
"A sacrifice!" Rogue said in horror, Xavier held up a hand to calm her,
"Sacrifice may refer to the burden that such an individual would carry. According to the demon the boy's mother was the previous host, perhaps there's some genetic trait in their family that makes them ideal vessels for containing the demon's power." Xavier glanced at Beast sensing he had a theory on the subject,
"Well reviewing my data it would appear the boy posses inhumanly potent reserves of life force energy. I believe it's the source of his near boundless energy and endurance, though when it comes to the supernatural I somewhat useless." McCoy admitted,
"I've heard of using magic to seal demons away in artifacts or in other dimensions but never a living thing." Wanda said in disgust, "Such seals have to be maintained or the magics wane and you run the risk of the demon escaping. I'm guessing they'd have to perform a ritual of sorts to keep it functioning though in the absence of memory modification how the boy wouldn't be aware of it escapes me." The Scarlet Witch crossed her arms and began pacing lost in thought. A moment later a look of horror crossed her's and McCoy's face at the same time. The only sign of distress Xavier showed was his brow creased.
"Wanda is it possible?" The professor asked her,
"It's not a branch of magic I've devoted a lot of time to, Stephen or Agatha would know more then me."
"I know it's a lot to ask but since neither of those two are the easiest to reach could you stay the night and perhaps tomorrow examine the boy?"
"Of course Professor," Wanda answered "I'll need to make a few phone calls and I'll need someone to go to my place and pick up Kitty and Talia." Xavier nodded,
"What's goin' on professor?" Rogue asked not liking the looks on their faces, "Ya'll were talking about some kind of ritual, is that what ya'll are going to do tomorrow?" Beast grimaced,
"If our theory is correct such a ritual isn't needed. The seal may simply use the boy's own considerable life energy to maintain it's self."
"Wouldn't it eventually ki-"
"Wait a minute," Jean said when she remembered what the fox had told her about the seal, "The seal drains the fox's power and gives it to Naruto."
"Perhaps it all balances it?" Beast suggested hopefully, "We'll find out tomorrow, any questions?"
"How are we going to explain this to Naruto?" Bobby asked,
"He's to young," Wanda said quickly, "This could really damage him."
"I have to agree with Mrs. Wagner." Xavier said, "Will explain try things to him when he's older. For now will make sure the seal is functioning properly and observe the situation."
"Didn't you try that with the Phoenix and well...didn't it literally blow up in our faces." Bobby noticed the murderous look Scott was giving him, "Not trying to be an ass just pointing it out." Iceman said apolitically, "Now we don't have all the facts but it looks like the assholes in Naruto's home town treated him like dirt and didn't even have the stones to tell him why. He deserves to know."
"Mehby yer right but he's been through so much. Ya weren't there when Ah found him in Sinister's lab." Rogue's eyes watered, "Ah'd never thought anyone much less a child could look so...broken. Yet despite everythin' he went through he's so kind and so full of life. Ah don't want to see that destroyed," Rogue let out a heartfelt sigh, "But I can't stomach the ideal of lyin' Naruto either, ah don't know." She couldn't help but think of all Mystique's lies, secrets, and manipulations. These days she often wondered if her foster mother ever really cared for her at all.
"The kids tougher then he looks, I say we tell him. Pride would say the same thing if she were here." Drake nodded in agreement with Logan's statement.
"Maybe it would be best to decide tomorrow after we have more information." Xavier suggested and then looked at Rogue "Would you mind staying for a few moments? Jean and I would like to speak with you." Everyone took the hint and left,
"What's this about Proffessah?"
"I believe Naruto has some potentially profound issues stemming from his upbringing. I fear though his encounter with Sinister has exasperated these problems. Getting him to open up is important, something he seems to be able to do better around you." Emerald eyes widened,
"You saved him." Jean said simply, "In what was probably the darkest hour of his already difficult life you showed him unconditional kindness, possibly one of the few, if not the only time he ever experienced such a thing. The professor and myself can help him professionally, but he looks up to you, your approval means the world to him. You could be a very positive influence in his life Rogue. Even something as small as coming to his counseling session could help him immensely." Jean then smiled warmly her professional side gone, "You're already quite fond of him." Rogue gave the redhead a sad smile,
"He's such a sweetheart, how...how could anyone not like him. One thang's for sure he ain't goin back to Konoha, Ah don't care if they send ninjas ridin in on Godzilla."
"Of course not," Xavier said, "Sending him back to such an abusive environment would be the worst thing for him."
Konohagakure, Japan, present...
Uchiha Itachi was knelt before the Hokage garbed in full ANBU uniform. A cold wind blew across the roof of the Hokage's Tower as if the weather was reflection of Sarutobi's mood, "Do you understand your mission?"
"Hai, Hokage-sama, I am to hunt down and if necessary eliminate the genetic terrorist group know as the Marauders, their leader "Sinister" in particular. I am also to extract from him regarding how he learned of our village by what ever means." His tone was devoid of any emotion,
"Correct, SHIELD has pledged there full support and you have been provided with a list of contacts who can help you."
"That was very generous of them." Itachi said with a touch of dry humor; the Third made a sarcastic noise,
"Since they've been unable to effectively deal the various "post human" problems that cropped up over the past decade they've been trying to curry favor with the five major Shinobi Villages." The Hokage explained,
"Is it true that they must rely upon vigilantes to maintain order in the United States?" Itachi asked in the same tone one might use to discuss bowel problems.
"That's what I've been told, though the group known as the Avengers does operate under SHIELD and cooperates with other law enforcement groups when possible." Itachi's expression gave away nothing that might be going through his mind at the moment.
"It would be an excellent source of extra income for us Hokage-sama. Plus stabilizing the west would be a good way of preventing the chaos from spreading to our own backyard."
"Perhaps," The Hokage said, "Minato believed the world was heading towards a genetic war, from what little I know I think he was right. I suspect he would've taken SHIELD up their offer to prevent it from happening." The old man sighed and took a puff of his pipe, "Itachi on a personal note if you find any information on Naruto, no matter how grim please tell me." SHIELD was analyzing the data from Sinister's lab at moment as were his own top people. It couldn't to have someone else keeping an eye on things.
Author's Notes: Sorry about the long wait folks I hope this makes up for it. The X-Men aspect of this is a blend of stuff from the comics and the various TV shows tailored to be a little more compatible with Naruto. Tommy and Billy are the Scarlet Witch's children from Young Avengers, known as Speed and Wicca respectively.If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask and please let me what I'm doing right and how I can improve.