XEvo: Creating Legends
Disclaimer: Don't own Naruto or Marvel's XMen.
Thoughts (Personal or Psychic)
AN/ For the record, it's difficult enough at times finding time to read fanfics after a long...long...day at work. It's something else to find the energy to write. As much as I love writing out my thoughts, I also like reading others. Luckily, Holiday hours are ending, so my days won't be as busy. Here's hoping for more time. And I'm actually feeling that writing buzz again! I wanted to write this piece for a lomg time simply due to what can come afterward.
Don't know if this is rushed or not. Wrote the latter half tonight in one go.
Chapter 6: Hexed and Loving It
It had been two months, give or take a week, since he'd started coming to see Wanda. There wasn't much to the visits, at least as far as he understood. He'd stop in once or twice a week, more or less. He'd once come four times in a week because she was teaching him a sort of word game. Scrabble, or something. She had the distinct advantage over him, too. She'd been "locked up" as she liked to call it, but they'd still provided her with books and things. Rage had been her favored flavor for the longest time, but it was boredom had gotten her nose into those books. And he'd soon found out that Xavier was keen to provide textbooks aplenty. Apparently, she'd actually gotten that bored at times.
He couldn't help it that he'd never been the reader back in his former home. Though that might've been different if the village librarian hadn't tried to beat him to death with an encyclopedia that one time when he was six. Even these days, unless it was for leisure it was usually his clones that did the heavy page turning.
Mostly, the pair of teens lounged around, talked, and pulled tricks with their powers. One visit, all they did was watch as Naruto clones popped into existence, taking up the appearances and general attitudes of people he'd met in his life as a ninja. It was really funny hearing Sasuke, all scowls, call himself an asswipe with delusions of sucking off anyone who could give him power. Word for word. He actually roused a snicker from Wanda for that one.
There'd been a distinct change in her as they spent more and more time together. He'd noticed that her hair had become less wild, and she wasn't as standoffish as she had been on day one.
She'd recently managed enough control to turn the electronics in her room on or off with a flick of a finger. It may've been a snap for her, but it was still something he couldn't do, and it awed him. Since then, he'd been trying to teach her how to levitate. He sucked at it, but it was still cool. And she could use it to continue to refine her wild powers as well.
Last week, he'd actually come in to see her and found her sitting on her bed, reading while idly turning pages with a small finger-pulse of power.
With the door wide open.
With her dramatically decreased outbursts, the doctors had come to her and allowed her roaming rights with the rest of the patients. They'd still spent most of the time in her room though.
Renegade that he was, he'd taken it upon himself to improve her situation whenever he could. Don't ask him how, but he'd actually snuck a large, wheeled leather chair in. It was with a casual indifference that he told her it belonged to the principal at the local school. Sneaking in food was a piece of cake. In fact, he'd proved that recently by sneaking in a cake for her birthday.
All courtesy of the small storage seal on his forearm. A gift from Jiraiya during the last year of his training trip. One of the only things he knew how to do in that particular art.
That same day, bringing out the chair and then the cake…things got rather…complicated. The moment her eyes had set on the small cake, he could see the emotions warring to the surface before tears finally started to brim. He hadn't been able to stand too much more. The very second her shoulders started to shake, he'd taken the cake away and sat down next to her, wrapping her up in a hug.
He knew exactly what she was feeling. He hadn't expected it, but he recognized it.
It was the same way he'd felt when, that first time, the Sandaime had given him a birthday present, enrollment into the academy.
How long had it been for her since she'd last had a birthday to celebrate?
They'd stayed that way, her clinging to him, sobbing for what felt like the longest time. Nothing held in reserve, the dam broke. It made him feel a unique combination of shame at being partially responsible for bringing this out, and a burning desire to beat the shit out of her dad. The cake largely forgotten, she'd held onto him for dear life.
Somewhere in that hour-long span, she'd calmed down and the two found themselves on her bed with their backs against the stone wall. Nothing said, they sat there, surprisingly close to one another, Wanda's head lolling against his shoulder, her knees to her chest.
"Hey, c'mon," he murmured, trying to ease her away from the sad thoughts. "There's a birthday cake with your name on it. Well, not literally…" Feeling like anything else would sound stupid, he cut to the chase and lifted the cake from the bedside table where he'd put it.
Palming her eyes free of tears with the long sleeve of her shirt, she looked again to the proffered cake. It had a solitary candle sticking out of its center. "If you would do the honors," inviting her.
Smiling, albeit tiredly courtesy of her emotional burnout, an arm leaving her knees, she raised a delicate finger to the candle's wick, a small spark of energy bursting forth to set it aflame.
Looking thoughtful for a moment into the flickering, glowing flame, she blew out the lone candle.
"I hear it's some kind of tradition, so what did you wish for?"
Her lips twitched into a soft smile that really showed the beauty behind her usual indifference. "It's also a part of that tradition that you're not supposed to say what you wished for or else it won't come true."
"Well…that doesn't mean you can't hint," he reasoned, grinning puckishly.
"I didn't wish for anything," she said simply, her beatific smile turning wistful as she looked at him…into him. "I already have what I want." The meaning hit him when she leaned in and rested her head against his shoulder, sighing contentedly.
Hell, she hadn't even wished for her dad's head in a vice?
For Naruto it was surprising, not to mention awkward, but not unwanted. He liked Wanda. He liked Wanda a lot. He just didn't know where to go from there let alone how.
Though, if what he'd gleaned from watching Scott and Jean flail around in their own relationships was anything to go by…
"Hey." Getting a content hum from Wanda, he nudged her head a little with his shoulder. Looking a little put out at being pushed away from her comfy place, she prepared to send him an annoyed glare. Half-hearted, no real bite to it, but still annoyed. But it died the moment she saw the look he was giving her. It was something of a small, warm smile that spread to his eyes, the blue pools seeming particularly vivid right then. Her breath hitched when he leaned in.
Cheeks aflame, she received her first kiss.
And she liked it. She loved it. She drank in the contact.
It wasn't wild and frenzied, the way he'd heard about on those "soap operas" that Jean and Kitty enjoyed, but there was no lacking in the passion department for either of them. The lights flickered brightly, but that was it.
After ages, they separated, the need for air trumping the desire to keep going.
There they sat, together, their practically nose to nose, staring into one another in silence.
"The fact you're not blasting my head off my shoulders… Does this mean-" She stifled him by covering his mouth with her hand, a knowing, almost flirtatious smile across her lips.
Things had certainly taken a turn since then. Telepathy aside, there was no knowing if the professor knew about their new connection to one another. Naruto wasn't about to say anything, and if the psychic knew he wasn't either.
"Soooo, I met your dad." That got her attention. "And I gotta say he's a real dick."
The lights sparked, the few electric bits around her cell/room sparking and sputtering. The radio let loose a burst of squeals and static during her sudden blast of rage and power. It was really a far cry from when she used to cut loose with her anger. If he'd said that to the Wanda of then, he was certain the radio at least would've caught flame.
All the same, he wasn't all that surprised of her reaction, having heard her stories of the man and meeting him in person. Calling him a dick was putting it lightly.
"It was a few days ago," he continued. "He tried to corral us all into joining his cause." He grinned viciously. "It didn't go so well for him." That at least got a look of smug satisfaction out of her. She wasn't the one kicking his butt, but at least it was getting kicked.
"What'd he do?" she grumbled, slouching in her grand leather chair, arms across her chest.
"Tried to control people with these magic stones." She arched a brow at his summary. "No fooling. He said they were gems belonging to some demon." He smirked. "Idiot. I played along and went through the machine. Drained the suckers." He laughed harshly. "There's no-one can purify demonic energies like me."
He would never learn that there had still been enough juice in the rocks to alter Mystique's own powers, advancing her.
"We burned down his playhouse. I say burned… Blew up is more like it."
Snickering to herself, she pushed out of the chair to cross the room and plop down next to him on the floor, backs against the bed frame. Leaning over, she planted a kiss on him.
A little surprised, "What was that for?"
"For all the happy stories of dearest daddy's failings."
"Ahh." Explosively violent she was no longer, in comparison to earlier days, but she still got a dark pleasure at hearing about her father getting handled. After a moment of comfortable silence between the two, "I've been talking to the professor. The way I see it you're more than ready to break out of here, but he wants to check in on you a little more." She was a bit stunned by the former, but not the latter. Xavier was like that. Safety of his students and all that.
Yeah, there was also some deep-seated resentment towards him, too.
"Yay. Maybe if I act like a good little girl, he'll let me in his school where I can be just like all the rest of the good kiddies."
"Eh, none taken. The prof. has his moments, I'll give you that." The headmaster still hadn't called him on the frequency of his visits. Since…then…for the last week, he came by every afternoon, leaving sturdy clones at the X-Mansion to handle anything needed, like homework or hanging out. Thankfully, all the training was in the morning during the weekdays, so there was nothing to bring him back to the mansion early.
"Though I can see some advantages to it," hugging his arm. Grinning, he kissed the crown of her head.
"So does that make me the bronze ring?"
"Mm…Silver ring. He know about…this?"
Naruto shrugged. "He's psychic, so, not sure. Not like my hard head would make it easy for him in the first place. He's not asking, and the way I see it it's not his business so I'm not telling. Probably figures I'm just coaching you in meditation and leaving it at that." A thought coming to mind, "Y'know, you never asked me to bust you outta here."
She liked that about him. He was a good guy, but there was that anti-hero side to him, too. "I didn't want to put you in that position," she excused. "Besides, things are working out just fine anyway."
"Yeah, well, he'd better let you out or I might make that decision for myself."
"Aww, that's so sweet. My big, stupid boyfriend." Loaded with sarcasm. Positively dripping with it. But playful, no real malice.
Scowling at her jesting, he reached over and picked her up. Picked her right up, and deposited her in his lap and met her surprised eyes with his own serious blue ones. "Not really kidding here. Your powers are mostly under control, and you don't talk about decapitating your dad all that much. So what the heck are you still doing here?"
Okay, now that was just cheating. No fair playing the devoted boyfriend. She'd never considered this kind of result when she'd first met him. And he'd really taken to the role of boyfriend.
It was just too bad that this moment had to end, and that things would not go according to plan.
The next few days were hectic for the residents of the X-Mansion. All because of one thing. While the professor had been out of town, something about repairing his brother's cell at Stokes, not likely to return for at least a day or two, Ororo and Logan out, the more impetuous students had taken it upon themselves to have some fun.
No adult supervision.
One word: Party.
Scott and Jean had tried to maintain some order, but they'd been completely overpowered, figuratively speaking. Coming back from an afternoon of school, followed by a few hours with Wanda, he'd gotten wind of the coming storm…well, of something…and locked himself in his room for the night.
Study, sleep…and ignore anything that he could.
He hadn't any idea how bad things had gotten until an alarm went off in his room, alerting that the mansion's security systems had been activated. He'd never seen it before, but he'd been prompted by the Professor. He'd been in the middle of his math homework when the embedded electronics around his room started flashing red.
What followed was a grade A pain in the ass.
Even if he wasn't a "bad guy", Naruto was a hair's breadth from smacking around the gamer who'd subjected them all to running the mansion's gauntlet for his own amusement, even if he didn't know it was real.
He really didn't like that kid.
Who gets that deep into video games?
Okay, so maybe he wasn't exactly unbiased. He hadn't played any and, from what he'd seen of other people playing them, didn't really feel a need to do so.
It would be some time later that the Professor would come to realize that several files had been copied from the Mansion's computer system. Files that included his time spent counseling Wanda. Unfortunately, he wouldn't learn of this, or even guess to look for it, until after things came to a head and subsequently calmed back down.
Xavier had noted readily that his monthly sessions with Wanda began to go a little easier as the blonde came to visit her regularly once a week, and later more so. In the beginning, the two would talk about their lives, preferring to mainly discuss the good, what little there was. There were hours of recordings of him describing his world to her. Of course, Xavier had the orderlies give him the tapes for safe keeping with a little mental prodding.
He wasn't sure how safe that information was for the public.
He'd even noted the relationship forming between the two, and its mutually healing effects. He had actually spoken with Logan and Ororo on how to handle that particular development. It was unexpected, but there was nothing he could see as wrong or potentially dangerous between the two.
Excluding the possibility of Magnus learning that the young man who'd personally destroyed his "evolution chamber" was in a relationship with his estranged daughter.
In the end, he came to agree with the two senior X-Men, that the two should be allowed the chance, so long as nothing untoward developed as a result. Any recordings of meetings between them were promptly deleted, and he swore to himself that he would pry unless he noted any changes that needed looking into.
(Saturday Night, 7PM)
"What do you mean "she's gone"?" Naruto growled, his face liked carved stone. Xavier sighed at the reaction the blonde was having, but had expected it. Truly, the two teens had been growing close, evidenced openly now by the boy's less than pleasant attitude. Perhaps he had underestimated just how close.
"I'm sorry, Naruto, but somehow Wanda was spirited away," the man explained. The news had just about the result he expected: worry and anger. "I called to confirm our appointment for tomorrow morning, and the receptionist felt the need to remind me that I'd already been by…today. Apparently, while there, I recommended to the doctors that she be put back into isolation. Then, she somehow escaped this afternoon."
Growling, the blonde walked out of the room before anything more could be said, radiating hostility. "Well, that went well," spoke Logan sarcastically. It really had, considering the lack of explosion. The kid was a cucumber, but he knew the type. When he went off…and it'd likely be something close to the heart that did it…it would be big.
He knew the Professor wasn't to blame.
He knew, for a fact, that it wasn't the Professor.
That didn't stop him from storming out of the mansion. At first it was just to get some distance and a little air, for all the anger he'd been holding in check. Some of it even against himself. He could have pressed the issue and gone to see her earlier. Then, maybe, he could been there to help her sort out this…this crap.
He didn't stick around. Picking the best direction…in front of him…he just walked. At the rate he burned over the distance, he'd already made it into Bayville before his mind started to clear back up.
Stopping on a sidewalk, he leaned heavily against the side of a brick building. "Crap. What happened, Wanda?" The whole reason for the Prof.'s visit the next day was because he'd talked to the man about how she'd calmed down so much. He was certain that she was gonna be walking out of that place. And if not…he'd actually considered packing his bags in preparation for a little Plan B. He held that particular thought so deep in his mind, he doubted the Professor would've noticed it unless he forced his way in.
He liked the Prof. for his lofty outlook and goals, and he liked the others, too, but he'd also learned something else. Victory of a noble cause is hollow without someone to share it with. He'd rather be with Wanda and on the run than stay and leave her to rot. If it had come to it, he'd apologize to Xavier and disappear.
"Hey! No loitering!" Head snapping to the side, he sent a dispassionate scowl at the man, likely the owner of the small restaurant he was standing against.
"Sorry," he apologized, not really feeling it. Pushing off, he shoved his hands into his pockets and took to continuing his walk.
Now though…he considered other options. Options that his addled mind had overlooked. He knew Wanda, knew her life force. So well that he could very likely track her down. If she was in range. With Sage Mode, his distance was about ten miles. Kyubi mode doubled that. And Ashura mode…he didn't actually know. The downside of the latter two was that they would light him up like a road flare. There's be no hiding if he pulled those out.
So he'd go with Sage Mode first, hoping that he could gather enough nature energy and that Wanda was within Bayville limits. If that didn't work, he'd have to find someplace out of sight to fire up his last resorts.
Checking around him, subtly eyeballing the near-empty streets, he vanished into the dark of the next alley he came across. For Sage mode, a rooftop would do. In the dark no-one would be able to see his face, recognizing him or that he had odd orange facial marks.
He prayed that his luck held in this endeavor.
Flipping over the edge of the roof, he sat nestled among the thankfully quiet air conditioning unit atop the bank he'd apparently chosen. Unceremoniously dropping into a seated position, his two fists came to his knees.
Whereas back "home" he'd be able to gather the appropriate energy after a minute, maybe two, here he had to struggle for five minutes to gather enough just to reach Sage-hood and have enough power to enhance his sensing capabilities.
The world opened up before him.
All around, he could feel the town falling to sleep as businesses closed down, their people leaving, either returning to homes or to masses of life that he guessed to be apartment buildings. Long streaks identified the roads.
It struck him as odd though… The mall, on the very edges of his ability to sense, it was usually long closed by now on Sundays. So why were his friends and comrades within it? More to the point, there were others that he recognized as well, simply by feel. Mystique's little club.
He'd know that burst of energy anywhere...the anger coming off of it.
Standing up like a shot, his delicate hold on Sage mode shattering like thin glass, he pulled up the hood to his hoodie and started running. He stuck to the shadows and kept his face concealed, but he was definitely in a rush.
"Man…I don't envy the guy who's gotta clean this up," mentally whistling at the mall-wide mess. Xavier taught a certain level of restraint towards the environment, making it easier to avoid collateral damage, and none of Mystique's gang had the ability for this kind of low-level carnage.
So…Wanda. And not happy.
Dropping through the wrecked skylight, flipping around at the rim to catch the ceiling underfoot, he crept along, upside down, taking in the battle below. Okay, so battle was giving it a lot of credit. Maybe he was just used to much more…serious…fighting. The Brotherhood was winning, but only because of Wanda, who he could see on the second floor, powers flaring wildly. She was manipulating the powers of the X-students, bending them against their will. On a side-note…he was proud with her learned control, having had a hand in it…but that control was shaky, faltering with her anger.
It worried him, seeing the rage in her face again.
Though his comrades had been getting their butts handed to them, Naruto had to smile. At the very most, all that they were getting were bruises. This was a fight of ego, not blood.
They could handle themselves; he had business of his own right now.
Cutting the flow of chakra to his feet, he fell from the ceiling. Twisting in the air on the way down, he landed with cat-like silence less than a dozen meters away from her. "Found you," his words cutting the air like a knife, but with the softness of velvet.
Wanda's eyes widened in brief surprise, narrowing into a dangerous glare, before spinning on heel and using her power to swing a promotional car at him. Flaring his own power, he caught the vehicle in a large chakra-hand and gently laid it down. He then started dodging as she fired energy blasts at him. "Missed me….Ooops, missed me again… Oh, so close!" Zipping around, dodging her attacks.
He highly doubted that she could injure him to any real effect, but it wasn't as if he intended to just let her tag him though.
Seemingly growing bored though, he flickered out of existence in a burst of speed. "Why the hostility?" he asked from behind her again, a genuine look of confusion on his face.
She power-punched him into the fountain. Hard.
"You weren't there," she answered darkly. "You weren't there!" Every time she'd had an appointment with Xavier, he would step in on his own and they'd…they'd spend time together. Not only had he not been there, in principal alone, he hadn't been there to defend her when she'd been told that she was being condemned to further time in the institute.
Shaking off a lot of the water, he slogged out of the grand bathtub. At the same time, realization crept into his mind. "I'm sorry I couldn't make time for a visit, but I got pulled into driving-"
She just growled at him in anger and used her power to form a telekinetic whip that wrapped around him, and threw him into the floor. When the dust cleared…there was nothing there. "I'm sorry," he whispered from behind her and placed a hand on her shoulder in attempts to comfort her, not willing to hug her just yet and risk being eviscerated. "I didn't mean to hurt you." She turned to deliver a powered-up fist to his face only for him to catch said punch neatly in the palm of his hand. It likely hurt like Hell, but his focus was her. She came face to face with him, and saw the sadness in his eyes. "I'm sorry," he repeated in a whisper. Over and over again. Through all the anger that she felt, his voice was like wind that carried away the fog, letting her see clearer. Her anger faded, only to be replaced by sadness at having attacked him. The others were meaningless, but he… She tried to pull away, but he refused to release her hand.
"Let go," she whispered.
"Let. GO!" she insisted, tearing up.
"…No," he finally answered, resolute. Holding tightly to her hand, he wrapped his free arm around her, pulling her into a tight embrace.
She struggled for a moment before the effects of holding one another began to take hold. He was the only one she would let hug her, that was how much his time with her meant to her.
She felt so comfortable here with him, despite the fighting. He was so warm, and her defenses were crumbling.
As the two were embracing, the distant fight quickly began to wane without her aid. The X-Men were beaten soundly, but the assault via the Scarlet Witch was over. The students of Xavier's wouldn't yet know that the blonde was the reason the fight ended as they returned to the institute with their heads held low.
He gently hummed to her as she leaned into him. After feeling nothing but hatred and anger for over a decade, it had been a relief to let it go and feel only peace. Taking it up again had been easy, though she'd felt deep-rooted doubts towards his betrayal of her. And with him again, she felt the anger lift like fog. This was one of those moments people talked about where they wished time would stop, she was sure of it.
"Hey, get yer hands off my sister!" yelled Pietro, bolting at them at super speed.
Wanda flicked a finger at him…rocketing him clear across the mall, before sending warning glares to her other "teammates" as well.
Looking up, she met his once-more mirthful eyes. Eyes that she had memorized over the last few months, taking in their joy and warmth. They spoke of wisdom, of pain, of happiness, and so many things. Slowly, she reached her arms around his neck, pulling his head forward. Inch by inch, the distance close between them, neither really in control of their emotions at the moment, or caring that they weren't. And after an eternity, their lips met. A wave of power exploded off them, whipping around them like a small tornado, sparks of electricity filling the air, as the intensity of their feelings took hold, showing through their powers.
Sparking red around her, and flaming orange-gold around him.
From the shadows, a pair of golden yellow eyes narrowed, watching, calculating, planning.
Wanda, at his side, had his arm entangled with her own. After their…moment…the pair had discreetly made their getaway, putting distance from the mall before slowing down, taking the remainder of the distance walking. It was a relief that nobody drove by the teens to see them in their rather ostentatious state of dress. Naruto could cover himself with a henge, but doing it for someone else, a combination transformation, was decidedly more difficult. He momentarily wondered if she could learn to do that…
"I figured that since your dad wasn't stupid enough to break you out, it had to be Mystique," he said quietly to the girl next to him, their footsteps making little more than small crunching noises against the roadside.
"So are you going to tell Xavier?"
"That's what I can't figure, Wanda." He scratched at the back of his head with his free hand. "The prof. was at the mansion all day. I always leave a small bunch of clones around to do…y'know, whatever. He never left. Don't know who you were talking to…but it wasn't him."
Wanda fell into silence for a moment, and they walked in the stillness like that for a minute or two. Until, "…What you're not saying…is you think it was Mystique."
Brow knitting in contemplation, "I didn't want to say anything…but I wouldn't put it passed her. That's one lady who plays her cards close to her chest. Though, seeing how she hates your dad, too, it's not too much of a reach. Good luck getting her to admit to it. I just didn't want to look like I was trying to turn you on your new friends."
"They're not my friends," she scoffed. "I'd been told I wasn't getting out. She offered me my freedom and the chance to take down my father. I was so pissed off, I took it." Huffing at the resurgence of those emotions at the memory, she leant against him, favoring the contact and using it to push away the negative feelings. She had no friends. She didn't even have a brother. Now that brought some serious negativity. She really had only one person…and that was all she needed. "So…are you going to tell him?"
"He probably already knows. I haven't felt him trying to contact me, but he's pretty intuitive. I disappeared a few hours ago. By now, he might've figured out I'd met up with you. Never really knew if he knew about, well, you know."
The trees ending, the road turned off about fifty or so meters ahead, leading up a drive to a large house…that'd obviously seen better days.
Much better days.
The house was in a bit of disrepair, and it had been that way since Mystique had fallen off the map some months ago. Now that she was back though…he didn't doubt the shape shifter would put her foot down…hard.
"So this is the secret lair of the Brotherhood," Naruto mumbled in playful sarcasm. "What? Were the subterranean caves and abandoned warehouses all booked?" Her lips pulled into a smile, but she said nothing.
Leaving the paved road, gravel sounding crisp underfoot, "Though…I guess this does kinda lead me to wonder…" She turned to look at him for the incomplete question. "-What now? Are you gonna stay here? I know you've got issues with Xavier. All I can say is the rooms are pretty good at the mansion."
She understood the argument. They'd had it before. "…I'll give him a chance to defend himself," she offered. "If I don't get a bad vibe, I'll stick around," finally relenting. "Though, I think you're selling the deal short." He cocked his head to the side in innocent confusion, and she couldn't help but smile at how cute the "dumbfounded" look was on him. "There's something in the deal you forgot to mention."
"Eh?" He had nothing.
Shaking her head at him, she elected to let actions speak for themselves and stepped into him, reaching up to pull his face down to hers. "And I thought it was pretty obvious," laughing lightly before kissing him deeply.
"Ahem." They didn't know how long they'd been lost in each other's embrace, only that it had been sufficient time for someone else to invade their privacy. Naruto had all of a moment to crack an eye open, mid-pucker, before they abruptly separated. Standing at the door of the ramshackle residence was a rather…well… He was idly reminded of that old bat Koharu from the Council back in Konoha. He just hoped this one wasn't as much of a bitch.
He didn't want to sound condescending, and his idea of this world's sense of style was still iffy at best, but… Those clothes looked pretty damn out of date, even to him.
That aside, waiting patiently for their attention, was a rather well-preserved woman of some years.
And, age not a factor, the elderly woman held an aura of concealed power, and wisdom he'd wager.
"I do hope the two of you are quite finished," she supplied curtly, hands resting atop her cane as she scrutinized the pair. "There is no reason to let your hormones run rampant."
Naruto felt like smacking himself.
And maybe the old lady, too. He was a gentleman, by his standards, but he felt people deserved privacy.
"Mrs. Harkness," Wanda greeted just as curtly, albeit with more respect than she showed most any other authority figure. She had only met the woman for a few hours, but had gained a modicum of respect for her. Enough so that she didn't outright show her disrespect.
"A bit foolish, walking into enemy territory like this," snorted Mystique, stepping from the shadows, all melodrama and intrigue.
"Well, this is a surprise," Naruto murmured dryly to Wanda at the sight of the two women in front of them. Mystique, arms crossed, glaring at full power.
Wanda sent a chilling glare at the woman, only to have it ignored. Whether Mystique had deceived her or not, she didn't like the tone towards her love interest.
"It's only foolish if I didn't have an escape plan," Naruto countered quickly, a cocky grin across his face. "Besides, you and I both know…I'm stronger than you are, Raven," needling her a little with her actual first name.
The blue skinned woman growled angrily back at him through clenched teeth.
Pointedly ignoring her, Naruto switched his attention back to the eldest woman among them. "And may I ask who you are, ma'am? I mean, since you're here I'd have to assume you're a mutant as well, but still…formalities."
Nodding slightly, "Indeed. My name is Agatha Harkness, young man. And, unless I am mistaken, you are the one who has been teaching Miss Maximoff to control her powers."
"Here and there. The effort's all hers. Naruto Uzumaki."
Wanda inwardly blushed at the praise.
Studying him for a moment, Agatha nodded. "Indeed." Falling into slow, measured steps, she walked around them, cane clacking against the concrete sidewalk as she circled, eyeing them up and down. Him, specifically. "Hmm… There is a great deal of power within you," she mused. Coming to a stop where she had been moments before, she nodded once again. "Very well, I believe I can agree with your choice, Wanda. You have chosen well indeed."
"…Why do I feel like a piece of meat?" the suddenly very uncomfortable former shinobi muttered to his girlfriend. Wanda opted to hold her tongue.
AN/ The end of another chapter. Wanted to stress the connection between Naruto and Wanda, and also bring her into the fold outside of the asylum.