Disclaimer: I don't own anything out of this.
From the minds of Myevltwin and TheHumanWiki.
Naruto stared up at the ceiling and blinked twice before looking down at the resting form of Ty Lee as she lay on his chest. Naked, covered in sweat, and breathing heavily, right now she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Of course there were those few exceptions when she wore something other than her birthday suit or something new that he hadn't ever seen her in, but those were far and few between. And even after two and half-weeks of constant missions to take down potential threats to the Avatar, things were finally settling down enough so that they could actually start to regain some stability inside their own village.
For the most part their missions had been easy ones. Run in and kill a political leader that didn't like the idea of handing back the territory that the Fire Nation had captured and root out any unrest before it could turn into a wildfire and start up the war again. Those missions had been pretty simple and for the first week Naruto had been on the run to keep up. Even after making his max number of clones he was behind. But now he was caught up, had nothing to do but think and relax, and was enjoying almost every minute of it.
Ty Lee stirred and looked up at him with her big eyes. She was rather beautiful no matter how he chose to look at it.
"When did you wake up?" Ty Lee asked. She sat up on him and Naruto could feel himself twitch inside her. They had been having sex and she had actually not got off of him. So he simply stayed where he was inside of her. "Or did you never go to sleep at all?" She smiled and wiggled her butt just enough to arouse him.
Judging by the smile on her face she had expected this to be the case and was simply opting to smile at him. Naruto didn't know if she was the reason he was still hard as a rock inside her or if it was something that Zentrai had given him without his knowledge. Last night they did have a wild party to celebrate their arrival and for Zentrai's reunion with his children and lovers.
"Actually, I never went to sleep." Naruto sighed loudly while answering. "Whatever I ate or drink last night must have had a stimulant in it that kept me aroused and awake. Not that I'm saying I didn't enjoy our little session last night, I'm just really tired and need to sleep."
Ty Lee shrugged and rolled off of him. Naruto sighed and wished that he didn't have to deal with this. It was bad enough that he had found out from Rehka that the two girls he had slept with were pregnant with his child and were intending to keep it, but walking around fully hard for God only knows how long was worse.
Ty Lee began getting dressed and tossed Naruto his pants. The former Jinchuuriki slowly began to put them only to pause and think about the life he was about to start leading. Would things be the same now that Zentrai was leaving the Assassins? Or would they actually stay the same? He didn't know. He just wished his friend was settling down. They were supposed to start at the same time because they wanted to see who could have a child first with whoever they found that they truly loved. Or at least that had been the plan some two years ago.
Once he got his pants and a plain white shirt on they moved into the main hallway and found a half-naked girl walking out with an evil aura about her. She stormed off muttering something about destroying the mute. Zentrai stuck his head and shook his head.
"It's not my fault. I just don't trust anything that bleeds for seven days and doesn't die."
Naruto palmed his head while Ty Lee was left blinking. Wasn't that a double negative?
"Zentrai, sometimes you really need to learn to keep your mouth shut."
The mute was about reply when Naruto dropped to his knees clutching his head. "Daddy totally stabbed that woman! Why did he do that, I wonder? Why is it so wrong to not trust something that bleeds for seven days and doesn't die? I want something to drink. I wonder if mommy will get me something when she wakes up. I bet daddy will get me something to drink if I ask him really nicely."
The thoughts continued to pour on until Zentrai silenced them. Once free Naruto was on his feet again and staring into the room. He could see two young women inside the room on the bed, one of them he recognized as a Kyoshi Warrior that Zentrai had slept with a long time ago and the other someone he didn't know. But his eyes latched onto the child that was sitting in a chair reading a scroll and kicking his little legs as they hung over the edge of the chair.
"Your child seems a little… easy going."
Zentrai laughed softly and looked back at the child. He was truly proud to be a father of this child and the others that he had from the other women he had slept with. The oldest one that Naruto had found was nearly three years old, but she didn't have any of his abilities. She did, however, have an interesting mouth on that she got from her mother. She did have Zentrai's appearance, though, and that made her Zentrai's child in his eyes.
Ty Lee glanced at the child and peered at his aura in the process. He was overly happy and seemed to show signs of sadness.
"He's sad because of how long it took me to come home," Zentrai answered for her. Ty Lee kept looking at the child. "He has no control and I have to act as a buffer for him to shield his thoughts from others. To be honest I'm actually still learning how to do even that. He actually knows a bit more than I thought considering his age."
Naruto decided to admit that he was ignoring his friend and Zentrai shrugged as a result. He understood what his friend wanted and decided to leave him alone.
The two retreated to the beachhead and sat in silence while listening to the wave's crash against the white sands. They sat just at the edge of the water and looked at the sky to watch the clouds go by.
A few Kyoshi Warriors stopped by to speak with them before leaving. They wanted to know where Suki was. Naruto knew and told them. Once they were gone he thought more on the subject. Suki had gone with Sokka to train with Piandao and finish up. Blindside, thankfully, would not be there for this little moment. Or at least Naruto hoped he wouldn't be. Blindside was a cruel person and if he was there he would most certainly make efforts to kick his ass or kill him.
Sokka had agreed almost instantly and had left shortly after confirming that Ba Sing Se was taken back and that Azula was taken away by the Assassins. With the major threats out of the way he had decided to finish his training and Suki came along with the ride.
Katara had been fearful of her brother going back but had soon realized that her only option was to let him go. She had traveled with Aang and Toph to finish fixing the world. From what he had been told in the last time he asked about the three they were somewhere in the Earth Kingdom taking back Fire Nation Colonies. They were doing something of a good job it would seem.
Mai had returned with Zuko to the Fire Nation after receiving the official cure to her poison and had told Zentrai she would not be inviting him to her marriage in the coming months. Zentrai laughed it off and told her that he'd be there without her knowledge. She had doubted him but no one was willing to argue that he wouldn't find some way of being there without her knowledge. He was a sneaky bastard at times.
Ty Lee had received the cure as well but was under heavy surveillance since she was Naruto's girlfriend. It was a standard procedure because most of the time people were stupid and never thought twice about whom they were dating. Ty Lee wasn't part of their ranks, but the fact that she was in a relationship with Naruto did bring that subject into question numerous times. Naruto didn't want her in their ranks but she was to follow him around, much to his annoyance. She was to avoid as much interaction as she could with the Assassins for her own safety due to her dating Naruto.
The Assassins weren't left out of the picture of change. With all the deaths that had come through the major battles they had a few new changes in their ranks. Lyra was no longer the Rank Three Assassin. She was dropped down to Rank Five while Blindside took her spot. Reaper, for failing to follow orders, was dropped down to Rank Seven while Inferno took the spot of Rank Four. No one thought reason to argue these changes, but Lyra seemed upset over the change. She accepted it for what it was, but she had gone into the shadow of the mountain that overlooked their village to train. She knew that she had been out of shape for a long time since the loss of her arm and had never truly got a feel for things. Now she was being given a chance to relearn how to fight.
Rehka, once word got to her about what was going on, had simply shrugged things off. Naruto took that as a bad sign. She never did like being duped. But the fact that she was so willingly stepping down was a bad sign to him.
"What's going to happen now?"
Ty Lee looked at her boyfriend and closed her eyes. He was lost at the moment. His aura showed pain and sorrow as he reflected on the past. She wouldn't doubt that he lost a lot of great people that were friends, but he did have chances to stop and think about them.
"Not sure," Ty Lee answered in return. "But I know I'll be with you every step of the way to make sure that you don't fall down or anything." Naruto smiled at her and collapsed onto his back. "So are you going to retire soon? Settle down with me and raise a family somewhere with a large house?"
"You can't retire from the Assassins. You only go into the Reserves. Zentrai will be put on that list and be used only when he's needed. If I do decide to retire I'll be put on the list as well. But I think I'll retire when I feel that the world is safe enough for me to not be needed for a while. Why? Are you eager to have a family?" Naruto reached over and touched her stomach. "I never really thought much about being a father. I wonder if I'll be a good father. I never really had a role model."
Her hand came down and slowly began to intertwine with his. "I'm sure you'd be a great father, Naruto. And to answer your question: I do want to have a family. But I'm willing to wait for a few years. It's not like I'm ready to become a mother either. I want to see this world enter a time of true peace. I think we both know that just because Ozai is dead and Azula has been captured and probably thrown in some dark dungeon somewhere that it will end. People will still rise up and try and finish what Ozai stood for."
Ty Lee looked back at the clouds and watched one of them pass overhead.
"What you told me… It seems so farfetched that it's not possible. The story seemed just that; a story. And yet…"
"What I told you must never been told to anyone else. I've trusted you with my deepest of secrets, Ty Lee. And if you break your promise I promise I'll kill you. If anyone else ever learned about what I once was they would try to take my power or create someone like me. I know that I will be the last of my kind even if I have children. They will never have my power."
"That's probably for the best."
Naruto nodded mutely and stood up. He had other things to take care of before he met this giant turtle. For some reason the idea of meeting this turtle seemed wrong and something he would never be able to live down. Was it really worth it to meet something that had spoken about his energy to Aang?
Naruto dusted his pants off and walked back to the village for breakfast.
Calamity looked down at the batch of new recruits that were about to be handpicked by adequate Masters to continue their training. He had no doubt in his mind that a few of them would soon replace others that were probably going to leave soon. People like Ghost and Reaper would stick around until they were most likely sentenced to death for just going out on their own and killing innocent people. He was giving them about two months after the war was officially over before they lost their minds and started doing stupid things.
Calamity thought that it was strange how quickly the world was moving in the desire for peace. Peace after a hundred years of fighting wasn't something that could happen as if by slight of hands. No one would forget this. He knew that they would try to let the peace cover them in its grand arms but it would never last. They would fall before the power of their hatred and revenge consumes them. And when that happened they would be back to square one.
"They're impressive," Calamity spoke softly. He placed his hands on the railing and looked to his right. Rehka was at his side and looking clearly happy with what was happening. He knew that was a bad sign. "Of all the new recruits, which do you think will be able to survive this coming era?"
Rehka inhaled deeply before speaking. "All of them." Calamity reached up and removed his mask. Rehka was already avoiding his gaze so his usual trick didn't work. "I know that they will survive this new age. Because they will be with you. And even if war does come again we will rise again and our enemies will never win. They have lived to tell their stories, so I doubt that they will die just through this little set back."
Calamity laughed and looked down at two of the new students. They were said to be the strongest of all the new recruits. Their profiles proved that to be accurate. One of them was a Waterbender that had been brought into the war with his mother and abandoned after a Fire Nation raid. He had made it his goal to destroy his enemies and pushed himself to the point of peek perfection. The other had survived every major battle that happened in her village with the Fire Nation, and although a Non-Bender, she was very skilled in the art of Swordsmanship and Archery.
It was clear that the others were also very great but they were people that came for no reason other than that they had nowhere else to go and were lost.
"You didn't come here to comment on the recruits," Calamity spoke slowly. "So why are you here?"
"Do you remember Tsubaki?" Calamity nodded and turned to face her fully. She kept her gaze looked on the children below. "She had a child not but a few weeks ago. While you were away in Ba Sing Se. She had her child. It's a girl."
"I don't see how this has anything to do with me."
"I'm a hundred percent certain that the child is yours." Calamity chuckled. "Did you think I didn't know that you two slept together? I am their mother. I notice these things like any other mother would."
"And what proof do you have that the child is mine. I will admit that Tsubaki was always my favorite and I slept with her on a normal basis, but she slept with other men while we were together until she was brought her six months ago."
"It's simple." Rehka looked him squarely in the as she said; "No one can look the little girl in the eye." She turned and walked off after handing a scroll to him that she brought out from her robes. "She's keeping it and wants nothing to do with you. So stay away from my daughter."
"I will use them as I see fit, Rehka. As my advisor I would advise you to remember I make the rules." He opened the scroll. He skimmed it over and closed his eyes. So I was right in the end. He looked back down at the recruits and nodded to the guards that he was leaving.
Let's see what ghosts I drag up as I do what must be done.
Katara stared intently into the distance with Aang resting beside her. She wasn't sure what his deal was but he was pretty confused about something. In their time traveling together since the end of the war he had been very quiet and when he did talk he didn't seem to have anything that really stood out as his normal self. He was depressed over his actions, and even though he had never told her what he had done to the Fire Lord it was clear that it was something he couldn't get over so easily.
Katara tried to not think about what was happening in the world but she was worried for the future. When Aang had suggested that they come here she hadn't understood his intentions and simply agreed. But after coming her she had a basic understanding of why. This Lion Turtle, a creature that was so old and wise was also something a holy place. The entire creature had turned into an island of sorts and the mystical energy he had was felt by even her.
"Is this the world you desired?" It had asked her when she spoke to it for the first time.
She hadn't answered and still wasn't sure. From what she had seen the world was changing quickly and aggressively. She had no idea if she liked it yet as it was still happening. But what she had seen and heard so far seemed promising.
Aang stirred and she looked down at him with a smile.
"You know you didn't have to come with me, Katara."
"I know. I just wanted to be here for you in case you needed me."
Aang decided it wasn't worth an argument and simply stood up while clutching the side of his head. He had tried to put it out of his head what he had done but it never would leave him. He didn't want to believe that this was as easily as it was coming along, but it was happening.
"This is our destiny," Calamity told him when they met for the first time. Aang had been fearful of meeting the man but he had done so in order to meet with Naruto and tell him about the Lion Turtle that wanted to meet him. "People knew where they heading when they chose to walk this path. Justice and faith. Ignorance and escapism. They never learn. They never listen. We have reached the end of that path. There is no way to prevent it now."
Aang opened his eyes and walked towards the head of the Lion Turtle.
Katara watched him go and looked back at the sky. With a single sigh she rose to her feet and started rummaging around for small twigs to start a fire. It took her a few minutes to get a fire going in a spot that wouldn't burn the forest and get dinner started. She had tried to put it out of her mind, but she just couldn't. Her brother wasn't here. He was off training with Piandao and spending time with Suki. She was here, alone, with Aang. Her father had returned to the village and was finally helping to restore it to its former glory. She had heard that he had started seeing someone. She didn't approve, naturally, but she did secretly approve because she knew he deserved happiness.
She cooked rice for dinner and paused when Toph came to mind. Toph had remained back in the Earth Kingdom and started traveling alone. When she had offered the idea of returning home, Toph had immediately knocked the idea out of the sky. She didn't want to return home just yet.
"Dinner's done," she called. Aang appeared and smiled at her. She smiled back and offered the rice. "So why does this Lion Turtle want to meet Naruto?"
Aang took a bite of his food before answering. "He never told me."
Katara shrugged. That sounded like something the Assassins would say or have someone say about them. She took a bite of her food before she gave Aang a puzzled look. "How can you be so sure that this Lion Turtle is a guy? Just because it has a deep voice doesn't mean it's a boy."
Aang shrugged. Katara bought that and continued eating.
They ate in silence and once finished began moving towards the head of the Lion Turtle again to see how much longer it would be before they reached Kyoshi Island. To their amazement they didn't have much longer to wait. They could already see the island.
"Time to go," Aang declared.
He used his whistle and Appa appeared with a large tree branch in his mouth. They jumped on Appa and flew off.
It didn't take them long to find Naruto on the island. When they found him he was sitting in the kitchen eating a sandwich and looking at his book with a look of concern in his eyes. He seemed to be in deep thought.
"The Lion Turtle is here now, Naruto." Katara said softly. He nodded mutely and slowly closed his book. "Do you have any idea on why he would want to see you?"
"No idea." Naruto stood up and pocketed his book.
Finishing his sandwich he walked out and got on Appa. Appa lifted off and took him to the large Lion Turtle. He could already see him long before Appa lifted off and took flight for the massive creature. As per the instructions no doubt left behind by Aang, Appa left shortly after dropping him off. The Lion Turtle turned and started swimming away with the teen resting on his outstretched hand.
"I'm here. So what did you want?"
The Lion Turtle waited until Kyoshi Island had turned into a tiny speck in the distance before speaking. "I can't believe my eyes." Naruto rolled his eyes as a result. "A living Jinchuuriki. From what my predecessor said you were all killed off."
"Predecessor? How do you know what I was?"
"That should be obvious."
Naruto was about to argue with him some more when a shadow appeared overhead. He glanced up and looked at the source. A large tail was blocking the view of the sun. He snorted then gasped. It was one tail that was blocking the sun. There were three-tails blocking the sun.
"Sanbi no Isonade. But how? I thought you were captured." Naruto paused and then snarled at him. "Why aren't you destroying everything in sight? For that matter; why did you want to talk with me?"
The Sanbi shook his head. "Didn't I already tell you? I'm his next incarnation. He is my predecessor."
"You really expect me to believe that?"
"Not really. No."
Naruto blinked and then laughed. "You're nothing like the Kyuubi. He hated me. To be honest, though, the feeling was mutual. He ruined my life, but I think it was worth it. If I hadn't had him I might not have had to struggle to gain what I wanted. I might have had things easier and would have been given everything I ever wanted, but it wouldn't have been through hard work and determination. Chances are having the Kyuubi in me had given me a better chance at life than I ever would have had without him."
The Lion Turtle nodded slowly.
"So what did you want to talk to me about? I highly doubt you wanted to speak to me just to relive the good old days."
"I wanted to see you. But a part of you seems damaged. I am curious, though. How did you end up here? The last battle in the Elemental Nations was well over a thousand years ago."
Naruto laughed and shook his head. "Damn," he muttered. "Zentrai was right. I did come from a different time zone. Not that I'm surprised, really. I don't have much of a memory up until was captured. Everything after that is kind of a blur. It's not that I've forgotten, but rather, it's like I've suppressed it and don't want to remember it."
"That sounds accurate enough. Shall I tell you about the end of the war?"
Naruto sat down and looked at the sky. To know what had happened to him was something he always dreamed of. But now that he was given a chance to know, would it really be worth it? The problem with knowing and not knowing was so simple. For years he had fought and charged headfirst into battle without a hint of fear. But knowing what had happened did scare him.
The Lion Turtle sighed as if he were having trouble remembering but soon started. "After you were captured a war was started. It was a brutal era of fighting, but things didn't go quite according to plan with the Akatsuki. They were forced to revive the fallen Jinchuuriki that they had captured to aid them in their efforts but it fell through with the death of Madara and a man going by the name of Tobi. When you were captured there was an unforeseen turn of events that gave way to the rising threat. You escaped, but no one knew how. The only thing that was known was that a lot of the Akatsuki died when a large explosion that destroyed most of the land. And with only the Hachibi for the Alliance Forces they were able to win, but not without cost. Iwa was obliterated. Years of not having a military had weakened them and they were destroyed."
Naruto sat down. He remembered some of the stuff. He was captured, but that was all he remembered. He did remember speaking with his father and mother, but he couldn't remember their faces too clearly. He just remembered that he saw them once and that was it.
"No one knows what happened to you, but they never gave up hope in finding you."
Naruto blinked and then cut him off. "How is it you're here now? They were all sealed away last I checked."
"The Hachibi and Kyuubi were the only two never officially sealed. You escaped through some sort of means that no one ever figured out. It was as if some Divine being had swooped in and saved you from their hands. There was a story concerning your departure and a lot of people saw you as a hero for whatever it was you did to escape them and prevent the capture of the Kyuubi."
"That answers nothing. Just tell me if we won."
"The Alliance Forces won, but I don't know how. There were a dozen revived warriors running around slaying everything in sight. I don't have the greatest of memory over these events, but I do remember that the Akatsuki was stopped and destroyed."
"That's all great and all." Naruto pinched the bridge of his nose. "But what about the other Bijuu? What happened to them? No offense, but I think I would have spotted a large beast with multiple tails simply lying around."
The large turtle huffed in annoyance. "For your information we can hide rather well when we want to. Why do you think my predecessor remained hidden for so long after he escaped from his host? Surely you didn't think it was because everyone knew where he was and just wanted to leave him alone? Even if we wanted to be found we were still hard to find."
Naruto snorted at the choice of words by the beast.
"But as to why I am still here, that is very simple. I chose not to leave like the others did. I have never been too fond of leaving this please because I love the oceans. Unlike them I actually love this place. It is free of the pollution of chakra that you have. I admit I do not enjoy the taste of their smoke from their metal shops, but I feel that I will grow use to it."
"I highly doubt that things will stay the same much longer. There is no war to be fought now. At least… not now anyways. So I highly doubt that the world will stay the same as you know it. In fact, it will probably get worse."
"I have no doubt about that. My predecessor watched your race grow from simple minded monsters into intelligent monsters. No matter what you learn or gain you only use it to destroy. So I know that this is far from over."
"I'm not here for a debate on the state of humanity. If you want to argue your point with anyone on that matter, speak with Calamity. I'm sure he'd be happy to share your thoughts on the matter."
"I suppose you are correct. Though I don't know who that is, I feel that I must get to the point now." With a loud sigh the ancient creature began to turn around for the island. "If people learned of your existence and what you are they would want to be just like you."
"That's garbage. No one would want my life."
"I suppose. Your life was probably pure hell. The normal thoughts of a human have always been the basics of what they desire. But for a Jinchuuriki it was more, wasn't it. You were always worried about who when another hateful attack might happen or what would happen if you fail a mission. Do not think it ever escaped me that a Jinchuuriki was primarily used as a weapon. I might not have been around during that time, but it doesn't escape me what the Bijuu once were."
The former Jinchuuriki sat down. "So in the end the world was destroyed by our actions?" The Sanbi closed its eyes. "I remember one thing about what had happened back then. I wanted to live. And the Kyuubi didn't want to be a slave to Madara. So we came to agreement. He gave me his chakra and then nothing. I never remembered anything from that point."
"It was probably for the best. The war was brutal but without the usage of Chakra it didn't last nearly as long as it probably would have. And with the release of the previous Bijuu it never lasted beyond a few years."
Naruto was quiet as he looked down at the spot between his feet. How many of his friends had he killed with his choice to try and survive? Or had they survived and fought in the war? He decided to think that his actions hadn't killed his friends and that they were among the few to live a long life without problems. That seemed better than tormenting himself trying to think about what had happened to them.
"If there's nothing else you want to say to me, take me back to the island. I highly doubt Appa will return for me no matter what."
The Lion Turtle nodded and slowly began to move back to the island.
Naruto started up at the sky in thought until the Lion Turtle was close enough to the island for him to walk the rest of the way. Once he was back on the island and back with his friends he smiled at them. "I owe you some gold, Zentrai. You were right, in the end." Zentrai nodded slowly and sympathetically as he patted Naruto's shoulder. "I think… I'm going to go find Ty Lee, and see if she's actually up for some cuddling. Because I really just want to lie down and go to sleep right now."
He slinked off and soon found his bed. Ty Lee arrived a moment later and jumped in bed with him. He was already asleep and she simply cuddled up against him.
Sokka stared up at the night sky in wonder with Piandao and Suki. Fat was off inside brewing some tea for them to drink while watching the stars appear. It was a chance for Sokka. So much of it remained the same as when he was back home, but Sokka believed it wasn't the end. This wasn't a chance for peace. It was a chance for a regroup. Or at the very least that was how he was seeing it.
When he had met with Calamity he had been so certain that peace was now going to consume them. But Calamity believed that wasn't going to happen. He believed this was just a chance for regrouping and waiting. But what military faction would be the first? Calamity hadn't answered. That unnerved him greatly.
"Who do you think will make the first move?"
Piandao took a sip of his tea before sighing. "You came here to train. I know I wanted you to return to finish your training, but I feel that you have a greater reason than wanting to finish up. So why are you wanting to finish your training? What's your real reason?"
Sokka looked straight ahead towards the night sky. It was so peaceful. He never one to truly believe in the idea of peace, but right now it was, for lake of a better word, very peaceful.
"In the likely event that the war isn't over I want to be stronger so I can protect everyone I care for." Sokka looked over at Suki and nodded as if he were having a quiet conversation. "If you'll excuse me… I'd like to go to bed." Suki got up and departed with her boyfriend.
Piandao watched them go. A smile formed on his lips. Things were slowly returning to normal and what better way was there than to spend time with your loved ones and help in rebuilding your tribe?
"So what did you guys do over the time we've been gone?"
Katara wanted to punch the mute for his sudden question this early in the morning. She didn't want to deal with him either. She was tired. After traveling around for a year fighting and spending the last three weeks constantly trying to uproot the Fire Nation out of captured territories, she didn't really have it in her to deal with him or anyone else that wasn't Aang or her family.
She put on a smile and forced herself to look at him.
"We went to other parts of the Earth Kingdom to take back the captured villages. We also helped Zuko sign a treaty with Kuei and gave him some money to make repairs on the city. And before we got a chance to come back here, we had to go-"
"Bored now! Reading your mind!"
Katara grimaced as Zentrai put his hand on her. She felt him in her head. She found it hard not to think about what she had done in a last three weeks. Katara grimaced as she felt Zentrai dig deep into her thoughts and then pull out.
"Did you just read my mind?"
"You did the reverse psychology on me to make me think about what we've done as of lately."
"So when did you learn about this trick?"
"Same time I learned about your Muffin Button."
"What's a Muffin Button?" She glared at him. She yelped in surprise. Katara grabbed his hand as she felt his finger pressed against her clit. She removed his hand and glared at him with all the hate she could muster. He just smiled. "And why was your hand in my pants?"
She opened her mouth but soon shut it when she looked into his eyes. Katara stared at him strangely before one hand came to her stomach.
"Yes. You have one in the oven. And it's mine."
Katara blinked then passed out as Aang stepped out of the house they were staying in. When he saw Katara on the ground he ran to her and held her in his arms while glaring up at the older teen.
"I didn't hurt her. I only told her that she's pregnant with Sokka's child." Aang fell backwards and Zentrai was left laughing. Good luck Sokka. Chances are you're going to need it. Zentrai walked into his home where his two oldest None-Bender children were playing with their mother. He needed to deal with a few more things before they'd leave for their mission.
Congratulations, though, Katara. You should be proud to hold the child of the Avatar.
Mumei stepped into the light and glanced to his right. His red eyed helper. He stood carefully in the shadows so that only his bizarre crimson eyes were noticed. His orders were to be seen and not heard. Simple enough for him.
"We've lost control of the Fire Nation, Your Excellency. It is too dangerous to try and assassinate Zuko. He is being watched by the Assassins and members of the Order of the White Lotus. As I'm sure you are already aware, we are in a better situation to move freely with the Fire Nation now under new management. Zuko may be the crowned prince and worthy of the title of Fire Lord, but he is untrained in running a nation."
Chocolate brown eyes opened up and stared intently into Mumei before shaking his head. "I despise your fake name, Mumei." He growled out. Mumei rolled his eyes and stared intently at the man before him. He couldn't see him but he knew he was right there in the darkened throne. "And why can't you take out Zuko? I don't appreciate failure."
"Your Excellency, you must understand that he is under lock and key by the strongest of his loyal Firebenders. The Avatar is also very close to him and the Assassins are watching. With the combined forces of the Order of the White Lotus and the Assassins watching him they will know if we make a move on him. We're ready to start moving, but we have to move slowly."
The chocolate brown eyed man grunted.
"But we lack the resources needed to continue a war or even start one."
"Why start one when you can merely pick it up where it left off?"
Mumei nodded silently.
"Have your Black Ops Branch leave the Fire Nation. We're returning to the island for the time being."
"Are you referring to the Island of Red Grass?"
Mumei couldn't see it, but he knew his Excellency was smiling. "No. We're going to head somewhere more appropriate for the time being." The eyes vanished and Mumei and his helper were left alone.
Mumei gave a wary look around before departing. He had no intention of being late of his other appointments. At least not yet anyways. He could afford them later but not right now. They were set back for the moment.
Still, he thought while passing into the light, it was good to get out of the Fire Nation. I truly did despise that place. No sense of culture or future planning. What good will it do you to conquer the world if you don't have a plan for the aftermath?
He stepped into carriage that waited for him and took a calming breath before speaking again. "Head for the docks, please. And do hurry along. I don't have time to waste."
Their mission was a simple recon work. It was easy to get to the place. Finding Lyra, however, hadn't been so simple. Finding where she was had been easy. Finding her had been a chore. Coming up with a good reason for her to go with them before being forced to use the authority of a higher rank had been a major drag. All in all, their mission was easy, find their teammate, hardest thing they had ever done it seemed. When Lyra didn't want to be found, she at least did that part of job shockingly well.
"I truly despise the both of you." She huffed.
Being demoted hurt her pride a bit. And it didn't help any that it was Rehka who had the final say in the demotion. It was something that she had actually done before Calamity could put it into effect. The only change to their ranks that Calamity had over Rehka was that Rehka had wanted to raise Kar, but Calamity shot that down almost as quickly as he did her plans for returning to the frontline with her girls. The only difference in all of this was that Lyra wasn't happy, Rehka was okay, and Calamity and Zentrai were as happy as two pees in a pod.
Naruto ignored her as he took point.
The mission was simple, had already been finished, but they didn't want to stop. This wasn't actually part of their mission. Recon work was for grunts, but no one was complaining about being ordered to do it. Not even Zentrai complained. He understood that he was leaving in a somewhat critical time. Things were going to get hectic for everyone and he was going to finally go into retirement. He was trying to drag Naruto along for the ride though. So a simple recon mission as a final mission for him, the former Rank One Assassin, was nothing but a walk in the park.
Lyra continued to gripe about the mission even after it was finished. Neither of the two listened to her. Recon work was for training purposes, and this mission qualified on a whole other level. So she had a real reason to moan over it.
"At least we didn't have to kill anyone," Naruto said when she started ranting about how boring this was and that she would have rather been left to continue training. "What I don't understand is why he sent us all the way out here? There was never any fighting out in these parts."
"There was never anything of value."
Naruto rolled his eyes. Value or not, this was place was beyond beautiful. It was almost like a dream place with lush forests, tall green fields, and hills as far as the eye could see when you escaped the tree line. It had a peaceful sense to it that was missed in most of the inner areas of the Earth Kingdom. The only reason this place saw no real conflict during the war was because of the lack of people that lived out this way. Those the Earth Kingdom territory was huge and its occupants many, they never wanted to form villages far away from larger villages for food, water, and other resources needed to survive. In other words; this place was a real wild west where you had to survive off the land entirely.
It was a good week back into town if you simply walked. And taking an animal was even longer since you had to go all the way around the forest to get to the main road. All in all, the Fire Nation saw this place as a red zone and simple left it alone. No one lived here, had no real resources of value, and it was totally in the middle of nowhere. Why even bother coming out here?
Zentrai shoved a small tree branch out of his path and stared intently at the reason they had come through the forest. A single gravestone in the middle of a clearing stood as if it were some holy place. For Zentrai, it was a holy place. The first woman he ever truly loved was buried beneath the earth here.
Naruto knelt down beside him and looked at the grave. Years of rain, wind, and other harsh forces of nature had ruined the stone. It was no longer a sleek and shiny piece of earth that reflected the light of the sun. Now it was dingy, scarred, and near broken. The name wasn't even visible anymore.
Naruto had honestly forgotten her name. Zentrai didn't mind that. Names weren't truly important when you lived with your real name hidden away. It wasn't like he could blame him either. It had been years since he came to this grave and Naruto had only seen her a few times. He came around during the time they were finally starting to settle down before she died one night. He couldn't remember how long Naruto had even been around before she died.
Lyra stood off in the back as if the idea of going near the grave would be a bad omen. For her it probably would be. Every time she got neat a grave something did, and for no reason at all, happen to her. When she went to Gen Fu's grave seeking advice on what to do, she got her arm cut off so that they could fake her death. When she had gone to her parents' grave, she had gotten sick the very next morning. And the last time she went near a grave she got demoted. So if anyone had a reason to not go near one, she had one.
"I have respect for the dead."
Naruto and Zentrai both nodded mutely. They knew she did. It was a just a matter of not wanting to be jinxed again.
They two males sat in silence around the grave. True to the promise of never invading their thoughts around places like these, Naruto was able to think clearly about the girl. He didn't have many memories about her. All he knew was that she was someone that was far closer to Zentrai than anyone had ever been.
"Who are you?"
Naruto's eyes snapped forward and he glared at Zentrai. Zentrai, for once, seemed confused. Even he had seemed shocked to hear a voice in his head. Not only that, but a female voice.
"What do you mean you've never heard a female's voice in your head?"
The smaller trees were brushed aside as a girl, no older than six years old. Long black hair fell down past her shoulder with bangs that nearly covered up her chocolate brown eyes. With black and gold robes, sandals, and a slight scar under her left eye, she was rather cute in a little child sort of way.
Naruto looked to Zentrai before glancing back at Lyra. What memories Naruto did have of Zentrai's former lover weren't great. He could hardly remember what she looked like. But Zentrai, no doubt, remember just as clearly as though it were yesterday.
"Who are you? And why are you here?"
Zentrai took a step back. Lyra began backing up almost immediately. The girl bore a striking resemblance to-
"How do you know what my mother looks like?" The girl withdrew a chain-sickle and pointed it at Lyra. "Of course I'm her daughter? My name is Mana, named after my grandmother. And don't disrespect my mother with your dirty thoughts!"
Zentrai heard enough and took a step towards her. "You're a Magnetism-Bender, aren't you?" She nodded with a fierce glare. He'd only seen one woman that could give a glare like that. "How old are you?"
"What's it to you?"
"And your mother?"
Zentrai took a deep breath and searched Naruto and Lyra's mind. Lyra's thoughts betrayed her while Naruto was left in his own little world trying to figure out who she looked like. Zentrai was quickly turning to attack.
Naruto kept his eyes locked with the little girl. For the life of him he couldn't truly place her. She did sort of look like the girl Zentrai had dated a long time ago, but he couldn't truly picture her anymore. She was lost to him. How long had it been since he'd seen her anyways? He'd been here for about five years now, running closely to six. Naruto truly couldn't picture that woman because of how little he had seen of her.
"You lied to me!"
Lyra panicked and turned towards Naruto. He was still staring at the girl with interest. She was a small little thing and nothing like the image of her mother than Lyra still held in her minds' eye. But why was Naruto so calm?
"Naruto, he knows." She failed at sounding calm. He shrugged as a result as if the threat of death meant nothing to him. Maybe it really didn't mean anything to him. "He's going to kill us!"
Zentrai scanned Naruto's mind again and it came back as if he didn't know what was going on. He was more curious about the girl and her possible connection to the girl whose name he forgot. But before Zentrai could take one step towards Lyra, Naruto stood up, dusted his pants off, and said, "Are you related to Masuyo? I think that's her name. Zentrai, was your previous girlfriends' name Masuyo?"
"Yes, Naruto, it was. Did you know that you guys faked her death?"
Zentrai turned his attention fully to his friend. "I'm going to hurt you."
"Good luck finding me."
"Naruto" puffed into a ball of smoke, leaving Lyra with a gapping mouth and Zentrai staring blankly at the spot where his friend once stood.
"I'm going to kill him." Lyra turned and tried to run but Zentrai was on her long before she could even process the idea of running and began laying a beating on her that she would never forget.
Three Months Later
Naruto's eyes focused on the ceiling and he blinked his dry eyes a few times before he was finally able to recognize the ceiling. It was white. Straight white. Nothing out of the ordinary.
"So you finally decided to return to the land of the living."
Naruto blinked and turned his head just enough to see Lyra laying a bed next to him. Her arm was clearly broken, though he had no idea on why, and when he squinted he could see that at least one leg was broken. He couldn't see the other leg but considering that she was annoyed it meant that she was probably bedridden and had been for quite a while.
"Where are we?"
Lyra stared at him.
"Zentrai beat us up."
Lyra made a strange face that he couldn't place before she answered. "He found out that we faked Masuyo's death. As a result, he kicked our asses."
"Yep." She made a funny face and tried to find a way to scratch her nose before finally turning her head and rubbing it out on the pillow. "He beat you up three times. You owe your life to Katara and a few dozen Waterbenders for healing you after each beating you took." Naruto blinked. "What's the last thing you remember?"
"Heading out to capture Azula."
Lyra crackled a laugh as her eyes went wide with laughter. "Are you serious? Because if you are; you need more than just physical medical attention then. And that ain't a good thing."
"Why don't you feel me in then." Naruto ordered while reaching to rub his head.
Lyra rolled her eyes, took a deep breath, and began the story of the worst beating the two had ever taken from a comrade.
Lyra was carried by Den into the main house on Kyoshi Island. After taking the beating of her life not more than three days ago, the first thing she had been determined to do was find Naruto. She wanted to find him before Zentrai found him. Naruto had vanished, but in a stupid way. She actually didn't know if it was even worth it to make the attempt to kick his ass when he had so stupidly come here of all place to hide out. It was pathetic.
She managed to limp her way to the main house and look for the leader or someone of great political power here to clear everyone out before Zentrai made it ashore.
Aang was on the porch steps with Katara at his side when she arrived. The two had jumped to their feet and called for Sokka and Suki. They were out long before they were called for and Suki, being the nicer of the two females, ran straight towards her friend.
"You have to get everyone out of here."
Suki ignored her and was in the middle of relocating her arm into place while talking. "What happened to you? Don't tell me the Fire Nation's coming back."
"We don't have time for this. You have to evacuate everyone from the village. Get them out to the ocean and tell them to remain away for an hour." She thought about that and then nodded. "That should be good."
Aang licked his lips. "Why?"
"Zentrai is on his way." Den spoke up finally. "He's on a warpath for Naruto. Don't even bother trying to hide him, Ty Lee. We know he's here." His eyes turned to the young acrobat that hid in the shadow of the home. "He's come for him. He won't kill him, but he might hurt him pretty badly. And he aims to destroy anyone that gets in his way. We've got Rehka coming over to try and stop him along with Masuyo."
Sokka waved that off and pointed his sword at Lyra. "What did you do?"
"Does it really matter?" She snapped. "Zentrai is coming here and he's not going to spare anyone that tries to stop him. So, for the sake of everyone here, get them off the island before Zentrai arrives."
"Tell us what he did. And also, what happened to you." Aang demanded.
"We did some stuff long ago. Stupid things, really. And those stupid things were covered up. And now those stupid things are coming back to bite us in the ass."
Den rolled his eyes. "I've just noticed that you three did a lot of stupid things in the past."
"When this is over, I'm going to make sure your wife kicks your ass." Lyra declared. Den shrugged. "Are you going to get moving or do you intend to let everyone die?"
"Are you going to tell us what happened to you? It's pretty clear that something bad happened to you. And from the looks of things, I'd say you had this coming." Katara snorted out.
"Katara, she's in bad shape and we don't need you trying to make things worse." Aang said quietly. "So maybe you should go heal her."
She hesitated for a full ten seconds before jumping to her feet and slowly make her way over to the older female. "Alright, fine," she conceded. "But I want answers."
Lyra licked her lips and winced as pain tore through her side again. She was slipping out of consciousness. She could feel it tugging at the side of her vision. She wanted to give in but she couldn't. Not what when a lot of people were counting on her. Even Zentrai, God forbid, was counting on her to make sure his public image wasn't ruined here on Kyoshi Island. These people saw Zentrai, along with her and Naruto, as ideals. And if Zentrai showed up on a warpath for practically no reason it would be ruined.
"Years ago Zentrai feel in love with a girl that loved with all his heart."
"I call bullshit." Katara cut in.
"If Zentrai heard you say that, no one would find your body." Lyra declared with venom in her voice. Katara went quiet and Lyra continued. "It was before Zentrai officially joined the Assassins. Master Gen Fu realized that we needed him in the war and decided to fake the death of his girlfriend so that he would stay in the war. He was fearful that if he settled down with her he wouldn't fight in the war."
The younger teens stared at her with blinking eyes.
"That," Sokka said slowly, "is the dumbest thing I have ever heard you guys do."
"So is that why you're in that state?" Aang asked.
"Yes. And he will destroy everything in his path to get to Naruto. That's why we have to move everyone out of here before he arrives."
Everyone jumped into action. Den remained with Lyra to hold her up. She was in no condition to do anything but lie down. But of course her pride and her sense of reason for wanting to protect her family and friends always outweighed anything she was supposed to do. And right now she had to protect her friends, even if one of them was the reason she was in this condition.
The island was soon evacuated with only Ty Lee and Naruto remaining behind. Lyra tried to reason with Ty Lee, but she wouldn't budge. She wanted to remain on the island to protect Naruto and possibly talk reason into Zentrai. Lyra left her after a brief moment as she had no intention of being in his path at the moment.
When Ty Lee was certain that Lyra was gone she sought out Naruto and stared down at him. He was stupidly hiding in the closet behind the clothes as if they would shelter and hide him from whatever was trying to find him. It was rather easy to find him since he was hiding in the closet that had only a few pieces of clothing that were meant to only fit a small child. All of this meant that he wasn't truly hiding behind the clothes, but rather letting them sit on his head.
"Zentrai's on his way."
Naruto looked at her with fear in his eyes and jumped to his feet. "I've gotta get out of here!"
"Then you better start swimming. All the boats were already taken out to sea. That was Lyra's idea so you know. If you wanna blame anyone, blame her. But I am curious about why you're trying to hide from him. I mean, what's the worst that could happen?"
"Zentrai might kill me. That's the problem." Naruto ran a hand through his hair in frustration to what was going on. "Why are you still here, anyways? You should be moving right now."
"If I leave, he'll be able to get you without a fight. But I'm curious, why are you so afraid of him. Aren't you as strong as him?"
"When he has control over his powers, yes, I am just as strong as him, if not stronger depending on how far I push myself. But Zentrai is also stronger than me. When he loses control like he is now, his emotions are in more control of his bending than anything else. His emotions are the critical part to his bending that makes him as strong as he is. It's because of these emotions that can make a simple move become something greater than what any normal bender could do. He could easily tear a ship apart with a thought if he lost complete control. You saw what he did back at the fort with me and Lyra. What do you think a wild and untamed bender with an extremely large amount of power can do?"
Ty Lee stared down at her lover and finally sighed. "And you came to a densely populated area because…?"
Naruto hung his head in shame. "I couldn't get anywhere else the normal way or the stupid way. I thought that he would check everywhere else before coming here. How'd he find me?"
"Lyra didn't see. She had Den with her. Maybe they just knew how you thought."
Naruto touched the side of his head. "No. Calamity must have told him. He's the only person smart enough to know where I'd run off to in order to clear my head or hide. This is the only logical location." Naruto glanced out the window and sighed. "I never had anything to do with what happened, really. It wasn't in my hands, but I allowed it to happen. I spoke out against tricking Zentrai because it was wrong. Back then I didn't think we'd get involved in the war. Master Gen Fu came up with the idea and Masuyo agreed with him. She was in pain when they made the call and told me that everything would be alright."
Ty Lee looked dubious to but accepted it. Even if she wasn't checking his aura she could tell he was telling the truth.
"You should get going. I don't want you here when Zentrai shows up."
Ty Lee nodded in understanding and departed. She found Zentrai on the shore and slowly making his way towards the heart of the village. She checked his aura and felt pity for Naruto. Part of her did see that he was honest, but he had never told his friend about what he had done. So he did deserve this, but not as badly as it probably would be.
"Naruto. Location. Now."
Ty Lee checked his aura again. She was slightly afraid of him, but his aura showed something she hadn't seen in him before. Beneath all of his hatred that was on the surface was sorrow and confusion. He was confused about why this had to happen, but the piece of the aura that represented that was small, meaning it didn't really exist in his thoughts. His sorrow was stronger than anything short of his hatred, but it made sense really. He had been lied to and was now looking for… what? Revenge? An answer? Or was he simply lashing out?
Ty Lee pointed in the direction of the house where Naruto was located.
Zentrai was able to get ahold of Naruto even after he took off his pouches, belt, and whatever metal objects he still wore. Before he could remove the final metal object from his belt he was yanked backwards and away from the ocean. Zentrai could feel his thoughts and growled as the Assassin worried about how he was getting caught and why this was happening. He didn't care and he wasn't about to listen to whatever thoughts his friend was having. So to keep him from talking he broke his jaw with a hard punch. Naruto was knocked to the ground and tried to scream when Zentrai brought one leg down on Naruto's ankle.
Naruto blacked out at certain parts and awoke only when Zentrai started working a different body part. He slipped out at one part when Zentrai was slowly working on his right arm after breaking his left arm. He blacked out again and came too when Zentrai was about to go to work on his ribs. Naruto went out again and repeated the process a near dozen times before he awoke to find Zentrai confined in a prison of earth, ice, wind, and fire. Aang was behind the angry mute with Rehka reasoning with him. Naruto blacked out one last time only to awake when Zentrai nudged his side to wake him up and drop down on him with an elbow drop to his ribs.
"And that was pretty much what happened." Lyra took a calming breath as Naruto gave her a confused look. He seemed sort of shocked to know that Zentrai had done this to him. "The only way to make him stop was to have him wait until you had recovered enough for another beating. He was told your position on the matter. Masuyo spoke kindly towards you during that last meeting we had with her. He still wasn't happy with you for running away and for never telling him. He did, however, understand your reason for not telling him, though."
Naruto leaned closer into the pillow. He was lost in his thoughts until Zentrai walked in pushing a wheelchair. A woman with long black hair, onyx eyes, and wearing a form robe of gold, white, and blue sat in it and smiled happily at him. Zentrai was out of his normal clothing and wearing brown pants, a brown vest, and some gloves. He looked more like a farmer now than an Assassin.
"It's good to see you again, Naruto." The woman spoke softly. She coughed and Zentrai was quickly at her side, kneeling so that he was at eye level with her. "I'm sorry, dear. My chest has been hurting all day. But I'm fine now. Really."
Zentrai didn't seem convinced, but wasn't about to ruin the moment by over worrying about something he could do nothing about.
Before anyone could say anything a small blur darted between the couple and jumped on Naruto. The blond screamed loudly and tried to reach up to remove the girl that was now punching him in the ribs. Naruto tried to focus on her and then finally stopped screaming long enough for her to read his mind clearly.
"My name is Mana! And I'm not a little girl! I just turned six years old, you family ruining bastard!"
"Well get off! My hurts hurt and I think they're growing hurts of their own."
"Mana, dear, that's enough." The little girl growled and decked Naruto one more time before jumping off him. "So, Naruto, how do you feel?"
"Who are you?" Lyra growled and glared at her friend. "And for that matter; Lyra, how did you know about the things you weren't there for? That didn't make any sense. And how long have I been out?"
"He's got no memory of the beating you gave us, Zentrai."
"That's probably for the best." He laughed.
"So that's why he didn't remember me." Mana declared. "But that doesn't explain why he doesn't remember mommy."
"Who's your mother? And who are you?"
"I'm Mana. My mother is Masuyo."
"Oh. Zentrai, did I tell you that your ex-wife is still alive while I was at the grave site?"
Lyra gawked while Zentrai started laughing. "Yes, Naruto. You told me she was alive. And I'm very thankful for it."
"Did you take it well?"
"About as well it could have gone."
"Good. Now can someone explain to me my why I'm in a hospital bed?"
"Were you even listening to me?" Lyra shouted.
"When did you tell me about what happened?"
Lyra screamed while everyone else with the exception of Mana laughed. Naruto was left in a clueless state and Zentrai never saw a reason to let him know that he had beaten his friend up. He had been true to his intentions. Before the arrival of Mana he had been meaning to tell him, but had been trying to find the right words to tell him when she arrived. And when Ty Lee arrived she tried to reassure Naruto that he was okay and was left clueless to the fake that Naruto was having memory issues. Zentrai didn't have the heart to tell her.
"Naruto, I'm happy you're awake. I need you to be the Best Man at my wedding in the coming week. I hope you're up to it."
Naruto laughed and scratched the back of his head while Ty Lee started laughing. Naruto had no idea on what he was getting into and his aura showed he didn't care. He was just happy to be around his friends and to know that the war was over. That was more than enough for him to be happy.
I want to let everyone know that this story is officially over. This story is finished with this long epilogue that I'm sure makes no sense to anyone but us. We're the writers so we know what was going on during it. Now the Muffin Button joke actually lands around a few sayings along with other jokes we've done along the way. I live in a part of the United States that really has a few bad sayings for pregnancy. We've got sayings like "One in the Shute" or "One in the Oven" which is actually where the joke comes from. Katara is pregnant and Zentrai was pressing the "Muffin Button" per say. I suppose that might not make sense, but it actually also goes back to me never understanding a few things like Breakfast, Dinner, Supper. For me it's Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Along with Refrigerator and Freezer, not Ice Box.