Sup? Well, I'm back with another chapter. I have to say that I almost feel bad for Ares and Zeus. You guys wanted to pretty brutal stuff. But I think that SonOfHades and LoverOfArtemis takes the cake. Dude, I don't even think that many rasenshurikens would fit. But we might as well find out. *grins evily*
But aside from torturing certain gods I appreciate all your reviews and hope that you keep writing them. Now just like last chapter a lot happens in this and all of you that were complaining about the lack of babies should be pleasantly surprised. Now there is a steamy bit in this chapter but I don't think you can call it a lemon. It's not even close. So that's why you wont't see a big bold 'LEMON WARNING' in front of it. It's pretty easy to avoid if you don't wanna read it.
Naruto sat stunned for a few moments before leaping up and following Aella out of his apartment. He ran towards the elevator and sighed when he saw the call button destroyed. He rushed down the stairs and looked around frantically for her. When he could find her he growled loudly and a shadow clone poofed into existence. The shadow clone almost instantly shifted form into that of Sasuke. The clone Sasuke was wearing the same infuriating smirk that he had wore when he put his hand through Hinata's chest. Naruto formed a swirling blue ball of chakra in his and drove it into the clone's sternum.
The ball grinded and drilled into Sasuke's chest as bits of flesh and droplets of blood turned Naruto's hand red. A sickening squelch was heard as the Rasengan broke through the clone's chest cavity and burst out of its back. The clone slumped forward onto Naruto before dispersing into smoke. Naruto frowned. It wasn't the same as the real thing.
The blonde back away from the stairs and slumped against the cold stone wall of the hallway. He slid down slowly and tilted his head up. He didn't usually cry. He had shed too many tears as it was. But for the first time in awhile he felt truly alone. He might have just ruined it with the girl he was started to like. Tears slowly slid down his face.
"Mom? Dad? What do I do? I feel like an animal that is the last of his species. What do you do when you're the only one? How do I fix it? I wanna go home."
Naruto slowly rose from his spot on the floor and started walking back up the stairs slowly. Tears still dropped from his face. When he finally got up to his apartment he walked to the storage room and went back to the scroll he got the hoodie out of earlier. He found another set of kanji and put his chakra into the seal. In an instant a lavender jacket with white sleeves was sitting in his lap. Hinata wasn't wearing it when she died. He got up and walked into his bedroom before lying down his bed. He clutched the jacket to his chest and blinked up at the ceiling.
"I miss you, Hime."
Aella sat shivering in the stairwell, unmoving. She heard his words echo in his ears, and wondered whether or not he had said them to guilt her into setting her feelings aside.
A little voice whispered, "He would never do that. He knows what pain and isolation feels like." The voice got quieter, and grumbled, "Probably even more after that little outburst."
A louder voice shouted the quiet one down, "He hurt her! What kind of questions were those?! You can't make that not hurt - no matter how slowly you take it!"
The quiet voice murmured. "He isn't Ares. She likes it when she touches her. He isn't Zeus either."
"He could be a whole new definition of cruel."
Aella shivered, and separated her consciousness from the voices. She turned to face the concrete wall, and turned her thoughts to what he had said. '...last of his species...the only one...' She rubbed her wrists and cast her eyes down, looking in the dusty corner. Maybe she should go upstairs and make it up to him. She hadn't meant...
The loud voice returned, snarling at her. "You did too! You wanted him to feel like scum! How dare he make you that uncomfortable! How dare he mention his name!"
She flinched away, reaching into a concealed pocket and rubbing her fingers against an obsidian rock in the shape of a sickle. Than needed to take her back to her apartment. Soon. Before she did something she regretted. Before she did something she knew she had to. She rubbed the sickle harder, telling him to pick her up as soon as he could.
She looked up the stairs, and held herself back. There had been a spark between the two of them. Between the two shreds of soul left, maybe... Maybe...
The quiet voice intruded on her thoughts. "Maybe he's the one. Maybe he's that 'other half' Mother was always talking about."
The loud voice growled. "He's dangerous!"
Aella looked up the stairs, and began to walk up them, then realized that one of her stilettos had snapped. She found the heel on the second floor landing. She picked up the piece of plastic and spun it in her fingers. She took her shoes off and carried them in her hands, then heard the unmistakable horn of Than's car as he parked in front of the apartment complex. She felt herself torn between fear and concern, unable to decide which one to bend to. The car horn, getting steadily louder and longer influenced the decision. She huffed back down the stairs and kicked open the front doors, hiking up her dress with one hand, her shoes clutched tightly in the other. She could see him through the tinted windows, just leaning on the horn, sighing with impatience.
He rolled his eyes when he saw her and rolled down the passenger side window. "Rough night?"
She tossed her shoes through the window with a resigned sigh. "Cut the crap and just take me home."
Than's eyes narrowed and he got out of the car, walking around to her side. "Did he hurt you? I'll go Grim Reaper on his ass if he touched you, Aella! I'll kill him!"
She looked away. "Than - please. You don't need to, I promise."
"Look at me when you make promises, Aella." It was a command, one she obeyed as she made the promise again. He snarled. "You're a terrible liar." She could see his wings rolling beneath his sweater.
"Don't get your feathers ruffled. Not over me."
He rolled his eyes. "Stop with the self-pity and get in the car." She put her hand on the car door handle and easily identified the windows to Naruto's apartment. She sighed, and heard Than start to growl. He knew her weaknesses, and wasn't afraid to exploit them. His voice turned angry and commanding, and she felt orange eyes on her, scanning her broken body and soul. "Get in the car, bitch."
Naruto woke up the next morning to hear someone knocking on his door. He groaned and meandered his way through his home to the door. He opened it groggily and was surprised to see the face of Akila.
"You look terrible Naruto," the blonde woman stated. And he did. His eyes were red and puffy and had bags under his eyes.
Naruto was taken aback by the statement but responded sadly, "I had a rough night."
Akila sighed and ducked under Naruto's arm and pulled him gently inside. She closed the door and led him to the dining room table before sitting him down.
She went to his coffee machine and started brewing a pot. And then she raided his fridge and started cooking some eggs and sausage. Naruto was about to say something but then he had a weird flashback and instead of seeing Akila standing over the stove he saw Tsunade. It made him feel warm inside and he relaxed into his chair.
About fifteen minutes later Naruto found himself eating quietly across from Akila who was doing the same. They sat and ate in silence before Naruto finally gave into his curiosity.
"How do you know where I live? Did Freddie tell you?"
Akila chuckled and took a sip of her coffee, "Naruto you forget that Frederick's building is less than five blocks away. But no, he did not. I just know things. I know a lot of things."
Naruto narrowed his eyes and pointed his fork at her, "What kind of things?"
"Get your elbow off the table. It's bad manners," Akila stated.
Naruto blushed and removed his elbow from the tabletop but tried to be a smart ass anyway, "Yes, Mom."
Akila just took it in stride and said seriously, "Thank you, dear." Naruto fell silent after that and they finished eating. Akila gathered the dirty dishes and put them in the dishwasher before gesturing Naruto to join her in his living room. She sat on the loveseat and he slouched down on the couch.
Naruto looked at her with curiosity, "So. Why did you stop by today?"
Akila's face became concerned, like a mother, "We need to talk. But first I need to ask you a question."
Naruto gestured for her to continue.
Akila sighed, "If I were to tell you that I was pregnant with Frederick's child. What would you say?"
Naruto nearly jumped out of his skin, "Well I'd say congratulations!"
"Oh! Well thats go-"
Naruto cut her off and his face became a mixture between sad and angry, "But I would also have to tell you that Freddie isn't ready for a kid. He *sigh* he just isn't Akila."
Akila seemed surprised by this information, "Why not? He seems responsible. He has a decent job."
Naruto made a rumbling sound is his chest, "It isn't a matter of responsibility, Akila. Frederick is perfectly capable of taking care of a child. It's a matter of wanting to. He would feel trapped and held down. He would be resentful. I just don't think he'd make a good dad. At least right now at this stage of his life."
Akila sunk down into her seat, "What makes you say that, Naruto."
"He told me those same words a few months ago when I asked him if he would ever want kids. It was just a random conversation."
Akila seemed troubled by his words before she looked at Naruto with a new fire in her eyes, "Look Naruto. I know you aren't normal. I know that you are skilled and that you are powerful. But I do not know if you are honorable."
Naruto tried to say something because he didn't like where this was going, but she didn't give him the chance.
"If I gave Frederick a child and he did not show a proper desire to care for it, would you take it in and raise it as your own?"
Naruto started to freak out. That was a loaded question. He spoke frantically, "Listen Akila, I would, but I don't know if I'm the best choice. I have issues. I'm sure there are plenty of families out there who would adopt. Where would you be anyway?"
Akila got up and started pacing, "I am not normal, Naruto. You know this. No matter how much I may regret it. I will not be able to stay and care for a child like a proper mother. And no normal person would be able to care for a child of mine. Now answer me. Would you or would you not take in our child?"
"Yes, Akila! But-"
"Promise me, Naruto Uzumaki!"
"No! Swear it on the River Styx."
Naruto froze. The River Styx? Oh, dear Kami. He was in deep. Akila snapped her eyes to him when he fell silent but she looked desperate. Pleading even. He sighed and said the words that he would probably regret later, "I swear on the River Styx that, if Freddie should end being a shitty dad, I will take care of your kid." Thunder rumbled in the sky even though there were no clouds.
Akila sighed and sat back down, "Thank you."
Akila cut him off with a gray eyed glare so fierce that it shook him to the bone, "But know this Naruto Uzumaki, former shinobi of Konoha, if you should back out of this promise or fail to uphold it. Your life is forfeit."
Naruto gulped but then growled, "Don't question me, Akila. I never break my promises. I'd rather die first."
Akila smirked, "That is good. A fine thing to live by."
Naruto nodded and then he became serious, "Now, since you obviously know who I am. Who or what exactly are you? I think I deserve to know at this point."
Akila sighed and leaned back to get comfortable, "Ok. I suppose that is true. So tell me, Naruto. How much do you know about Greek mythology?"
Aella was having a good day. That just meant thousands of other people were not. She sat smiling in the jewel gardens, her eyes closed as she encouraged volcanic eruptions that made houses burn and roads melt. Tidal waves turned into rogue ones, flipping boats and getting sunbathers wet. The soft breeze blowing over tropical islands suddenly turned into a hurricane that would ravage the west coast of the United States in a few hours. She frowned, then focused, making it just a LOT bigger. Her focused turned to war and she hesitated before laughing. Whatever they were planning was laced with chaos already.
She inhaled sharply, and got up to take a walk. Everything that happened last night boiled down to Akila. She was sure of it. She wouldn't have been so ready to explode at Naruto if Akila hadn't made her erupt in the first place. She found herself wandering from the gardens and out over the sharp gravel toward the edges of the Underworld. She wandered the edges of Lake Acheron, staring at Tantalus on his island in the middle. She smiled at him and waved. He raised a hand and resolutely waved back before trying to pick up a bunch of grapes that turned into dust in his hands. She could practically hear his sigh echo across the water.
The mouth of a cave loomed out of the grey fog, the stalagmites and stalactites looking for all the world like teeth, extended far back into some terrible creatures throat. Without pause, she descended a series of worn stone steps concealed in the shadows. A large, red door loomed in front of her and she opened it angrily with a cry for her friend. "Nemesis!"
A voice behind her growled, "What?"
"You've been smoking again." The blue smoke hung at the ceiling of the dark room and clung to her friend like a second skin. "You told me you were going to give it up."
Nemesis trailed her fingers over Aella's shoulders and laughed. "It's not like I can get addicted to it."
"You clearly are."
Nemesis rolled her dark eyes and ran her fingers through her short black hair so it stood on end. "It adds to the bad girl image. Motorcycle, red leather jacket, thigh high leather boots - you know." She tapped another out of the little white box they came in and lit up. Blowing the smoke in Aella's face, she asked with a sneer. "Can you make this quick? I've got company."
Said company was nowhere to be found. "Male company?"
Nemesis smiled and took a step backward into the smoke filled room, where a dark figure wrapped an arm around her friend's waist and pulled her close. They stepped forward and Aella felt her eyes narrow.
Nemesis' choice of male company was...interesting. His hair was long in the front, and stuck up in the back, dark like anyone else who tended to lean away from the light. His clothing was negligible, what really caught her attention was his eyes. They were red, with a darker circle in the middle of the iris, on which three yang symbols were suspended.
She recoiled with a snarl. "And where are you from?"
His eyes darted to her, fixing her in a red gaze. "Around. That's all you need to know."
Aella bared her teeth. Thanks to those dumb -she now thanked him for writing- books Naruto had written, she could recognize those eyes from a mile away. "Is it really?" It was his turn to frown at her as she turned to Nemesis. "What's he doing here?"
She smiled. "Eris, this is-"
"I know who he is! WHY IS HE HERE?!"
Nemesis frowned, "To repay a debt."
Aella frowned. "I'll be leaving you two to that then." She turned to walk away.
Nemesis snarled. "I'll do what you want because you whooped Athena's ass last night. It was enjoying to watch." Aella nodded her thanks. Nemesis continued, "The answers you're looking for lie with a girl named Hinata. She's in Elysium."
Her male companion stiffened slightly at the name and Aella was glad for it. Rotten two-faced son of a bitch. "Make sure to send your companion back to where he came from, Nemesis. There is no place for him on Demeter's green earth. Or under it, for that matter." Aella walked away, pretending she hadn't absorbed that bit of information as she hurried up the stairs, feeling sharingan red burn into the small of her back.
She found herself knocking on a door with brass numbers, her hands folded behind her back. She held herself tall and proud, trying to mask her fear. Coming across as a thief or...
The door opened, answered by a beautiful woman with dark hair and pale violet eyes. Aella jumped when she realized they had no pupils. The woman smiled, wearing the clothes assigned to Elysium, a white shirt and dark colored pants or jeans.
"Hinata. My name is..."
"Come in. Please." She pointed with her thumb over her shoulder. "I have lemonade if you like."
"No thank you." Aella entered, carefully placing her shoes by the door. Hinata poured two glasses of lemonade and set them on a low table, where she sat cross-legged. She smiled as Aella copied her, trying to be polite.
Hinata said softly, "I know why you're here, Aella."
Aella chuckled softly. "A lot of people have told me that today."
"You're trying really hard to understand - aren't you?"
"I don't want to come across as trying to steal him... He should always remember you. And what you did for him."
Hinata took a long drink of lemonade, looking thoughtful. Her eyes fixed on Aella and scanned her. "All I ever wanted was for him to be happy. If you can do that - than you can."
She shook her head. "Not hard enough."
Aella frowned, "I beg your pardon?"
Hinata rolled her eyes. "Put your attitude away and just listen. It's evident in the way you sit you have problems." Aella stiffened and started to protest, her eyes flashing. Hinata sighed and put her head in her hand. "There is your problem."
Hinata pushed the lemonade into her hands. "You can't listen. If you can't listen - then you can't understand what he's trying so hard to tell you." Aella was silent now. Hinata smiled. "I'm dangling a carrot in front of your nose. I can tell that makes you angry. But I can also tell that you're angry because of what happened to you." Her eyes narrowed. "But this isn't about you. This is about him. He likes you - or at least he did. But you can't put aside your own self-pity to care for someone who has been through a lot more shit than you."
Aella snarled. "You can't talk to me that way!"
Hinata said calmly. "I can - and I will. You came here for my help. I'm helping you." Aella was quiet again. Hinata spoke, "As a ninja - you have to be able to see underneath what's underneath. We know what he is on the outside. He's a bit of a smart-ass who can kick major butt when he wants to. But what's beneath that?"
"Kurama." Aella said without hesitation.
"You're being too literal."
Aella thought carefully. "He's lonely."
Hinata nodded. "And beneath that? You don't know do you?" Aella shook her head, looking away. "He's scared. He's just a scared little boy who never knew his family and has had nearly everything taken from him. But you can't see that can you? You can only see you. And are too immersed in trying to help yourself than to make a difference. He deserves you. But you don't deserve him. He would give you the world on a silver platter if you wanted it. What could you give him? What does he like? What does he want out of life? Listen to him. And put away your past. Lock it up and put it on a high shelf - don't wear it like armour. Because underneath all those layers of chaos and strife and hatred - you're scared too."
Aella got up and looked away, tears in her eyes. Hinata opened the door for her, and closed it behind her when she left. Aella disappeared in a puff of silver smoke, tears in her eyes.
She had work to do; Listening, understanding, and trying. She had to try harder.
Naruto was amazed. No. He was fascinated.
"So you're Athena, huh?"
Akila smiled and nodded.
Naruto grinned and before chuckling, "Why is that I suddenly feel very stupid?"
Akila laughed, "You aren't stupid. I just have more knowledge than you. Now, Naruto, I would suggest getting a book about babies. Just in case." Right after she said that one of Naruto's clone's walked through the door with his face stuck in a book and bag in his hand. He sat down on the other side of the couch.
Akila's eyes widened, "That technique is extremely useful. The possibilities it could open up..."
Naruto smirked and took a bite of the burger his clone brought him, "Yeah, I know. It's totally awesome."
Naruto's clone raised an eyebrow, "Hmmmm. This book is about regular babies. Is there anything we should know about demigod babies?"
Akila started to inspect the clone when he asked the question, "Wow. And they are completely independent and can think for themselves? That's amazing. And should be impossible."
The real Naruto sighed in exasperation, "Akila. Focus."
Said blonde woman blushed and sat down between the two Naruto's so she could still study the clone, "Ah yes. Well they often have ADHD and Dyslexia. This is mostly because of their Greek blood. Their brains are hardwired for Ancient Greek not anything else. So they might have trouble reading at first. And they won't be able to stay still for long. But a child of mine should have an easier job with that."
Naruto nodded and stored that away, "Anything else?"
Akila nodded, "This is where your shinobi skills come in handy. Those monsters that were in the myths are real. Just like us. And they REALLY don't like demigods. So you will run into them and you will have to kill them. So that's why I've replaced your kunai and shuriken with celestial bronze kunai and shuriken."
Naruto nodded but then he jumped up and went into his storage room before he came back out with Asuma's trench knives.
"You see these? These are made of a chakra conductive metal. It lets me channel my chakra through them and do cool stuff. I probably won't be able to do the same things with celestial bronze. Do you think you could help me out?" Naruto asked while holding the blades out to his godly friend.
Akila took the blades and inspected them before smirking, "I think I know someone who could help out. Now I must go. Here take this. If I need to talk to you, you'll hear it." She handed him a necklace with an owl pendant. He nodded and pulled it over his head.
She smiled one last time before disappearing through his front door.
Naruto sighed and looked at his clone, "Keep reading. I need to get back in shape." With that he disappeared in a flash of orange light. He was going to the redwood forest.
Aella knocked on the apartment door, having climbed the flight of stairs she couldn't last night. "Naruto?" She knocked again, a little louder, and waited. When no one replied, she tried the doorknob, and found it unlocked. A great sense of unease washed over her, and she stepped into the apartment, hearing the storm rolling in from the west, still a while away. Something was off. The scent of coffee and paper was predominant, but there was something off about the place. The spare room door was open, and she walked over to it, her eyes curious and shifting. Laying on the floor in meticulously neat rows was dozens of sharp things she recognized as shruriken and kunai, as well as others that were oddly shaped, jagged blades, twisted into impossible shapes. She frowned, looking at a lighter space on the carpet where something had been for a while. She knelt down and ran her fingers along the impressions in the carpet, frowning.
She flipped on the light switch and was dazzled by the amount of celestial bronze in the room, watching the light dance off the angles of the knives and variety of stars. She recoiled from them, and turned the light off again. She returned to the living room and smelt the remains of a late breakfast, coffee and eggs and sausage. A book was out of place on the table and her suspicions rose again. It was a dual book, "What to expect when you're expecting" and "The Early Years". Baby books. Why the in the Hell did he have baby books? She let herself become the little white fox, and padded softly around the apartment, finding a peculiar scent on the loveseat and in the spare room. It smelt... Young... She inhaled again, and what she got as the fox right away was baby bird or young mouse. But the scent on top of that was the smell of a musty old library, the smell she associated with knowledge, with wisdom...
Her fox's nose continued to sniff, discovering what had happened. Athena felt fear. Naruto was angry and apprehensive, and then was scared. She had threatened him, making him swear... On the Styx. Freddie wasn't ready - but Athena thought Naruto was. For a child? She couldn't say if he was, yet something else she didn't know about him. Her eyes turned sad, then angry. Athena was pregnant with a 'thought child' she couldn't guarantee parents for? Sounds like another Olympian she knew.
Her head started to ring, blood pounding furiously behind her eyes, in her temples. It was a summons from Olympus, and her father's voice echoed from his platinum throne, all the way across the country. "All gods, large and small are to report to Olympus." She wailed, and toppled, straight into the rows of weaponry, scratching herself in a thousand places. She thrashed as her true godly form was forced on her, her hand wrapping around the blade of a kunai, cutting deep into her skin. There was a noise like a gunshot and a flash of white light, and all that betrayed her presence had ever been in the apartment was a small burn mark in the carpet and the shuriken scattered everywhere, glittering gold on burnished bronze.
"Arise and be accounted, Eris, daughter of Hera." Her tail swished impatiently as she stood, ears pointed flat back against her skull as she stood, robed in a chiton of black and silver. She did not bow, but she never did. The council grumbled, gathered in a loose circle of multicolored thrones. She sat at the throne of her uncles throne, a visitor throne of thundercloud, curled up against her 'consort'. When she had first returned to a council, she returned holding the hand of her fellow ward of the Underworld, Thanatos. She was the only one it seemed, who was not afraid to touch him. His true form was a cowled figure with bony hands and no eyes. She wasn't showing her affection, she was leading him along, but the accepted opinion was that they were together.
Zeus stood, his hands raised for silence, a presence that pressed heavily on her mind. Her nephews hand tightened in her own, her other hand curled around the bronze kunai hidden by her chiton. She growled, as her father began to speak. "Brothers, sisters, son and daughters, nieces and nephews, my immediate family has an announcement to make."
Eris snarled with distaste, "Another demigod? Great news!"
Thanatos growled in her ear. "Not now."
Zeus narrowed his eyes at his youngest daughter, but continued. "My daughter, Athena has provided this family with a great blessing. She has found a mortal worthy enough to bring me another grandchild." Scattered applause burst through the hall, mostly from the major gods, standing at over twenty five feet tall, but not from Eris, or some of the other minor gods. They stood at about fifteen feet tall.
Athena stood gingerly and walked to her father's side, taking his arm. She smiled prettily. The applause died away, but Eris began, everything clicking into place for her. She started laughing, gathering her skirts so she could stand. Thanatos let out a small whimper as he became blind, and sat very still. She smiled up at Athena. "Are you afraid, sister? Afraid the father will cast you away? Afraid you'll need a surrogate?"
She wrinkled her nose in distaste. "I have no need to fear a broken minor goddess who can't control her temper."
Thunder rumbled, and not by Zeus' doing. Eris smiled, and bronze glittered in her palm. "Be afraid, sister, be very afraid." The kunai buried itself blade first into Athena's shoulder, snapping off at the hilt as it grew to god-threatening proportions. She couldn't catch it in time and she tumbled from the force of the blow. Black smoke began to billow around Eris in a tightening spiral that began at her feet. "I curse you, Athena, Hera's daughter! For knowing of what our brother did to me and not acting on it - I curse you and the child in your belly! May the father never accept her! May she never know maternal or paternal love! As I have! May she be resentful of you to the end of her days!" Her palm was extended, a glowing ball of many colors pulsing between her fingers, and Zeus turned frantically to Nemesis, who shrugged.
"My deal was cut. The die is cast. Her fate is sealed." The ball flew from Aella's fingers and struck Athena in the chest, knocking the woman flat on her back.
Zeus roared, "Seize her!"
Ares stood, snarling with menace in his eyes, hunger suppressed beneath that. "Gladly, sir." He approached her and she stood tall and strong, trying not to shake. She was not scared. She was not scared. The smoke swirled faster around her ankles, reaching her knees. She was not scared.
"Don't touch her." Thanatos had stood, his raven wings spread for balance. He found her hand and rapidly squeezed it several times. He was telling her to go. She squeezed once, long and hard. A yes. He spread his wings in a challenge, his bony hand balled into fists. Ares snorted and drew a blade from one of the many at his belt.
By the time the God of War worked up enough nerve to attack the God of Death, Eris was gone.
Zeus roared. "Find her!"
He jumped high into a tree the second she touched his arm. He had a blade in his hand and she screamed. "Power down and listen to me! We need to get out of here!"
He snarled. "What do you mean?"
"I mean that unless you've got half a million of those celestial bronze shruriken on you - my brother about to descend from Mount Olympus and do some serious damage!"
His eyes turned hard and darted to a clearing he could see through the trees, where something strange began to shine and dance. There was the clink of bronze on bronze and Aella turned frantic, her hands clutching at her clothes, scared. She was scared. Dear Gods, she was SO scared...
The blonde went to jump down to meet the man who was making all the noise and he felt some latch onto to his arm. He turned to look at Aella and saw the fear in her eyes. He sighed and pried her hand off. He jumped down and started walking towards the man who had now entered his field of vision. He was a hulking man that was taller than Naruto, who stood at 6'3", and he was bound in muscle. This was a fact that made Naruto smirk. He might be strong. But Naruto was strong AND fast. The man carried a spear and a bronze Spartan shield. Naruto sighed in disappointment.
Naruto waited until the man was about ten yards in front of him before he spoke, "What brings someone like you down to my neck of the woods. You aren't lost are you?"
"Where is she?!"
Naruto chuckled, "Straight to point, eh? I like that." He started to gather Kurama's chakra inside of himself. Man this guy was getting a beatdown.
Ares snarled, "Yes. Now I ask again, Mortal. Where is she?! Do not make me kill you."
Ares was surprised when the blonde insect in front of him started to giggle. He was even more surprised when those giggles turned into full blown laughter. This made his blood boil.
"Silence mortal! What is so funny?!"
Naruto's laughter died down and his face hardened, "What's funny? The fact that you think you can kill me. I may be mortal but I have something you don't. An inner demon."
After he spoke those words power exploded out from him in a shockwave that made Ares stumble backwards. His body became engulfed in a shroud of flaming yellow chakra. A trench coat appeared on his form and strange black markings spread all over his body and clothes.
Naruto blurred from sight and Ares froze in surprise. That hesitation lost him the entire fight. The blonde reappeared in front of the god with his leg extended in a side kick that crumpled Ares' breastplate and sent him crashing through an entire redwood. Again the blonde blurred from existence before appearing behind the war god's flying form. He lashed out with another side kick that caught the man in the back which created a sickening crunch and a gasp of pain. Ares found himself hurtling through the air again except this time he was traveling in the direction he came from.
Naruto laughed madly before teleporting in front of the god and snapping his leg straight up into his chin, launching Ares into the air and shattering his jaw. He quickly joined his enemy in the air wearing a demented grin on his face. He clasped his hands together and brought them down on the War God's cranium. This action redirected Ares's path of motion straight towards the ground where he landed with a crash on his stomach.
While he was still in the air Naruto made a clone that launched the original towards the ground in a blur. A split second before impact Naruto flipped and slammed down onto the god's back feet first. The collision sent up a plume of dust and dirt. When the dust cleared Naruto stood at the rim of a decent sized crater which at bottom lay Ares; broken and defeated.
Naruto sniffed in disdain, "What a pussy."
Aella couldn't decide whether to be impressed, terrified or confused. Ares was down, Naruto staring at her brother crumpled and beat up at the bottom of a crater. She called from the edge of the clearing. "There'll be more. And he could re-spawn at any time." She walked up to edge of the crater, trembling at the orange eyes that were blank with unconsciousness. "We need to get you out of here."
He looked at her with an eyebrow raised. "I can take them."
"Maybe the first time. Maybe if you got lucky." She snarled him down, "If they happened to go godly on you - you'd be incinerated until not even ashes remained. And then Kurama would be my problem - free to roam as he pleases killing millions of people on a whim."
He snarled at her, "I've taken down armies more powerful than this little-"
She grabbed him by the collar and pulled him down to eye level, thrusting her hand into his face, a teeny tiny spark glowing in her palm, brighter and hotter than any beach in California. He shut his eyes and turned his face away from the heat as his skin began to turn red. He had a hand on her wrist, trying to push her away, but she moved closer to him with every word. "Don't. Get. Cocky." She moved without effort, against him and all the chakra he was willing to use on her, until the little ball of light was nearly up his nose. She closed her hand and growled. "Naruto Uzumaki - welcome to the Big Leagues. You don't understand the rules of the game and you're still trying to play. This isn't Street Fighter or Super Mario. You only get one life as you may as well use it to do something right."
He snarled and she growled him down, eyes turning ice blue, her pupils becoming slitted. "Come on. I'm your cheat code." She smiled cheekily, listening to the storm she had created that morning begin to rip through the coastline. "Use me to your advantage."
Naruto sighed and the chakra shroud disappeared from around him. He his face became one that a person in thought would use.
Finally, he spoke and it was in a serious voice, "You need to go back to wherever you stay for the time being. I'll go back to my apartment. Meet me there when you think it's safe."
Aella's eyes became worried, "No! You need to come with me. We'd be safer together. They'd find you in heartbeat and you won't be as lucky when they do."
Naruto laughed, "I'll be fine. My apartment is plenty safe for me. Trust me. I have insurance. They can't touch me. Not unless I directly challenge them."
Aella growled, "What makes you so sure?" He was being cocky again.
Naruto scratched at his shirt where Athena's pendant was tucked under his shirt, "Just trust me. I'll be fine." He disappeared in an orange flash and then reappeared moments later with an odd tri-pronged kunai in his hand.
He held it out to her, "Here. Take this. If you need me just throw it into the ground near you and I'll be there in a flash."
Aella took it skeptically, "I don't think it will work where I'm going."
Naruto chuckled, "Trust me. It will. I see you later." He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek before disappearing back to his apartment. Aella blushed and disappeared in a mist.
Naruto sighed tiredly and down cross legged on his bed. He had just taken a shower and he was tired. His hands folded in his lap and he closed his eyes. Almost in an instant he was transported into his mindscape. He walked through the bars of the gate and up to his friend. He sighed and tapped on the nose of the giant fox.
"It's time to wake up, buddy."
Kurama's red eyes opened slowly before they focused on Naruto. His maw opened wide and he yawned loudly, "Why do you wake me, Naruto. Who is it that we must fight? Sasuke is dead, isn't he?"
Naruto nodded and jumped onto his friend's snout and crouched down so he could look him in the eyes, "Yes, but a lot has happened since then." And he went into the long, weird, story of how he got into this new world and what had happened since he had. They were talking for countless hours.
Finally, Naruto fell silently and Kurama finally spoke, "That is a lot to take in, Naruto, but I agree with your deal with the Wisdom goddess. Very honorable, if a little foolish."
Naruto nodded but then frowned, "But we aren't biggest kids in the schoolyard anymore, Kurama. At least not as we are now. We need to start working together again. No more sleeping."
Kurama huffed, "Yes, that is very true. But do not count us out. They have never dealt with us before. They obviously don't know what they are dealing with if your fight with that bastard war god is anything to go by. I wonder if they can even be killed."
Naruto laughed, "I made Ares bleed. If he can bleed then he can die. I hope it doesn't come to that though." Kurama chuckled.
Naruto sighed and stood up, "Well, I've rested for long enough. It should be morning if not noon by now. I'll loosen the seal." Kurama nodded and stretched. This was going to be interesting. Naruto faded from his mindscape and opened his eyes in the real world.
He stood up and lifted his shirt to expose the seal. The finger on his right hand glowed with blue chakra and he pressed them into the seal on his stomach before twisting it loose a decent amount. He sighed and felt his chakra and Kurama's meld together. It was a pleasant feeling even if it was a little weird. He sighed and walked into the living room before sitting on the couch. He picked up the baby book and continued from where his clone left off.
"You still don't know the rules of the game, do ya, kid?"
Hades smirked, watching the kid jump, throwing the baby book down on the table and pulling something sharp out of his pocket.
"Who are you? How'd you get in here?!"
"Name is Hades, Lord of the Dead. Hi, how you doin'?" The blonde looked confused.
"You're the man that took Aella in. You're her surrogate."
He frowned, green eyes flashing. "Well... I hate to tell you this, bucco... But you see, my priorities have shifted recently, and instead of having a beautiful daughter - I got these." He locked eyes with the blonde, unafraid. Between his fingers ran a river of tiny cut gems that glittered in the sunlight, sapphires, rubies, diamonds and emeralds.
The blonde growled. "You traded her for jewelry?"
"Not just jewelry. A wonderful little toy that makes a certain idiotic shinobi appear wherever I need him to." He threw the three pronged kunai into the floor and wound up. Naruto disappeared, then opened up into an uppercut he was not prepared for. This happened twice more until the ninja got a hold of the dark man's arm and twisted it behind his back in a powerful hold. Hades sighed. "And she thought you were Big League material..."
There was a shock wave that Naruto didn't just see and feel, but tasted as he slammed through the wall, drywall crumbling into his hair. He coughed, the taste of iron heavy on his tongue.
A voice from his past called through the dust, grumbling. "Stay out of my way. Loser."
At the mention of loser, there were a thousand voices pressing on his mind, echoing the word and choice others, laughing. Laughing. Laughing at him. Naruto looked around at the bronze weaponry, selecting a katana and smoothly sliding it from its wooden sheath, a snarl on his face.
"Loser!" "Freak!" "Loser!" The laughter, the constant laughter. He launched through the dust, howling a challenge and found... A whole lotta nothing.
No voices, no creepy dark man, nothing. He frowned, and turned to the balcony, pulling open the curtains.
"Miss me?" Hades growled as his hiding place was revealed. He didn't flinch as the katana swung at his head, and watched as the weapon passed right through him, several times, much to the confusion of the blonde. He laughed. "Hard to kill when we're immortal. Ain't we?"
Hades seized the blonde by the front of the jacket and pulled him close. "This apartment is heavily guarded. She cannot come to you here. Go to her instead." His eyes turned kind. "Listen now and listen well. She's fine. But the rules only get more complicated. You'll last longer with a teammate at your side." He pressed the three pronged kunai into Naruto's hands. "Not hundreds of miles below ground."
"Are you my ally?"
Hades chuckled. "The way she talks about you - I'd like to think so." The dark man dropped his voice, "Go to her apartment. You'll be safer there - for now." He vanished into a shadow of smoke that sunk into the ground.
Aella pestered him with questions. "Does he get it? Did you hurt him?"
Hades rolled his eyes, sipping nectar from a tall glass. "I can never be sure, Aella. I can never be sure."
Naruto sighed and started to pack clothes and sharp things into a large duffle bag. The last thing he put in was Hinata's jacket. He smiled and held it to his nose for a moment before placing it in the bag. He slung the bag over his shoulders and walked into the living room. He picked up the baby book people kept keeping him from reading.
He grabbed his car keys and walked out of his apartment.
About twenty minutes later Naruto was staring at the door to Aella's apartment. He debated whether or not he should knock. He could just pick the lock. But wanted to know if she was at the apartment or not so he stood perfectly still so he could gather natural chakra. While he was doing this he was reaching out to see whether there was anything alive in the apartment. There wasn't. So he picked the lock and walked in.
He didn't even begin to look around the apartment. Instead he he just found her living room and sat on the couch. Just as he was about to start reading again, he heard a voice in his head. A voice that wasn't Kurama's.
"Naruto? Are you alive? If you are think your response back to me."
"Oh, good. Where are you right now?"
Naruto smirked. She sounded worried.
"I'm at Aella's apartment."
Akila grumbled with distaste inside his mind, "I still don't know what you see in that woman. But that is beside the point. Thanks to Aella you are most likely going to be receiving a daughter soon."
Naruto's eyes widened. He had been hoping that Freddie would see the light. What had Aella done to assure that he didn't?
"What happened?" He asked in a quiet tone. Akila then retold the events that took place at the meeting.
Naruto sighed. He felt that he was ready. As long those pesky gods left him alone. Monsters he could handle. Gods? Not yet.
"Will you tell me when she appears? Or if Freddie rejects her?" Naruto asked suddenly.
"Yes." And with that said Akila fell silent.
Naruto rubbed his temples and groaned. But then his eyes lit up and he started reading with renewed enthusiasm.
As the day turned dark and the city began to die, Aella put her book down and began to collect things for her visitor's bed. She threw pillows and sheets into an ever growing pile in the hall as she pawed through the closet in her bedroom. He was so absorbed in learning about babies, he didn't notice until she pulled the lever on the back of the futon that suddenly had him sprawled on his back, frowning up at her.
"Can I help you?"
She jacked her thumb over her shoulder to the bathroom. "Your bag is in there. Go have a shower. I'll make your bed."
"I'm busy. I'm learning stuff."
"You are also stinking up my apartment." She snatched the book from him. "Go on. If you need anything, holler for me." She left his book on the coffee table. She picked up a sheet and began to unfold it, snapping it several times to get the creases out of it.
He was standing right behind her, and she jumped. "What?!"
He smiled. "Can I have my book?"
She picked the book off the table, and walked up to him, smiling back. She presented it with both hands. He reached out to take it and she frowned, and started to batter him madly over the head and shoulders with it. He bolted into the bathroom and locked the door. She pounded on it furiously then shouted through it. "I win!"
She thought she heard a chuckle come through the door, but wasn't sure, and she left the book by the door as she went back to making his bed. when finished plumping the pillows and tucking the dark blue comforter into place, she pressed her ear against the door of the bathroom, listening for the sounds of running water. She heard them, and ducked quickly into her bedroom to retrieve a long black box from beneath her bed. She pulled the lid off and smiled at what greeted her, a black blade with silver grips, which she removed gently from the box. She carried it blade down into her living room, and clearing space by moving the coffee table out of the way, took up a defensive stance, with her body crouched low, blade protecting her chest and neck. She sighed, clearing her mind.
She sprang forward, pivoting on her right foot and flinging the blade down with both hands and a sharp exhalation. She inhaled again, and the blade swung through the air, singing with speed, until she arched it in a C that was meant to get beneath armour and tear it away. Then pulling a dagger from her pocket, she brought both blades down together, smashing her opponent in the head, before kicking him over. She then growled, facing another with a mace. He swung it in both hands, coming at her with bloodlust in his eyes. He swung for her head and she bent backward, springing onto her hands as she kicked him in the chin, sending him reeling. She landed on her feet, and stepped forward, the tip of her blade tearing him open from navel to chest. She imagined his guts spilling out of his abdomen. It made her smile, then when his mace dropped and he curled up in pain, presenting the back of his neck like a criminal on the executioner's block. She took the opportunity to sever his head from his shoulders, smiling as his make believe blood spattered her face. She kept going, defeating a spearman by knocking the spear aside, pivoting inwards on her left foot and driving the blade up into his heart. She was about to finish her routine when a bronze blade came singing through the air in her peripheral vision. She parried, sparks flying and dodged away.
She ended up crouched on the coffee table, staring at Naruto, who wore nothing but a towel, a katana clutched in his hands. He grinned, "Pretty impressive, for a girl."
She felt her nose wrinkle as she bared her teeth. "You get points for first blood and for winning. You also get points for blocking a blade and attacking instead of dodging." She hefted her blade in both hands, smirking. "If I win - you owe me a cup of coffee. If you win..."
He smiled. "I get a favor from you."
"Deal." They shook on it, and retreated to opposite sides of the room, where both took up defensive stances. She cleared her throat and took a deep breath. They eyed each other for a long time, assessing one another. Then Naruto snarled, taking matters into his own hands and charged her. She smiled, remaining perfectly still until he was nearly upon her, before thrusting her blade forward suddenly, causing him to stop, otherwise risk getting impaled. She batted the katana aside when he attacked and spun inward on herself, blade held close. When he lunged forward again, swinging with both hands, she shoved him aside, and her blade nicked him from his left armpit to the middle of his back.
He snarled at the burning sensation, and he suddenly got fast. Not arrow fast, but bullet fast, resulting in nearly five minutes of her dodging around him in a frantic dance until she didn't bend backward quite fast enough to avoid his blade coming at her right hip, where it scratched her lightly, blood beading on her skin.
She did some mental math and frowned. He was winning. He grinned down on her and continued to attack her, and she managed to draw blood on his chest, with a diagonal cut that started at his collarbone. Both of them had started to sweat, and he snarled. "I just took a shower!"
"Get over yourself, pretty boy!" She slashed violently and he recoiled, stumbling on the rug. She drove him backward until his knees hit the table, and she abandoned her sword, and tackled him, flipping him over. When they landed, she was quick to put all of her weight in the small of his back and took his wrist in hand, beating it against the floor until he released the katana, which she tossed over her shoulder and heard it stick in the wood of the floor. She grabbed a handful of his hair and wrenched back, pressing her dagger to his throat. He grumbled something and she whispered in his ear. "I didn't catch that, sweetie."
"You win. I'll buy you coffee."
She shook her head. He flinched as her breath tickled his ear. "You have more points for all the dodging you made me do. You win." She kissed the space just beneath his earlobe, on his neck, and he shivered. She got up carefully then helped him up.
When both of them had settled into bed, weapons tucked away, wounds cleaned, and reading, a storm came in from the Pacific. Aella just tuned it out and fell asleep, curled up in layers of satin and fine pillows. She did not dream, thankfully.
A loud clap of thunder startled her from sleep around one thirty. She rolled over, frowning upon the fact she had been disturbed, and saw something strange. There was light seeping through the bottom of her door. She got up and walked out to where Naruto was sleeping. She sighed and saw the blankets shift. He was probably asleep. She flinched as another loud peal of thunder rolled from the clouds. The blankets shifted again. She turned out the light and he screamed.
"Turn it back on! Turn it on!"
She did, confused. When the light came up, she saw him sitting bolt upright, clutching at a light lavender sweater, his eyes red. He was shaking with fear as he buried his face in the fabric, trembling. He pulled the blankets over his head and started to rock back and forth, crying. She walked toward him, and when she sat beside him and put her hand on his shoulder, he grabbed her wrist, and looked at her with the eyes of a trapped animal, frantic, alone, and terrified.
Naruto kept looking at her with those eyes until he winced and held his head. Aella looked at him with concern.
He smiled and the look faded from his eyes, "Yeah. The fox snapped me out of it." Still. The name calling wasn't necessary.
Aella frowned, "What was that about?"
Naruto sighed and rubbed his shoulder, "The dark gives me flashbacks sometimes. Those days that I wrote about were pretty terrifying even if I wouldn't admit it to myself. War isn't pretty, something I'm sure you know already."
Aella just nodded before smiling, "Let's play the question game again. We never finished. And I do believe it's my turn."
Naruto just grinned and gestured for her to ask her question.
"Ummmm. Ah! Okay. So you seem pretty interested in reading about babies. Would you be ready for a kid?"
Naruto scratched his chin but nodded, "Yep. I've always wanted a family of my own. Comrades and friends are close but it's not the same. I know it would be hard at first but I believe I would be a good dad."
Aella smiled. He was so happy when he was talking about it.
Naruto looked at her, "So. What about you? Would you ever have kids?" He needed to know this answer.
Aella seemed startled by the question, "I don't know. I'm pretty messed up. I don't really think I'd make a good mom. I'd be too overprotective."
Naruto smirked at her and laid back down on the futon. Aella followed his movement and snuggled into his side. He looked down at her and grinned, "Being overprotective wouldn't make you a bad mom. It just means you care." Aella shrugged in response.
Aella looked up at him, "What exactly did you promise to Akila? I saw the pendant and I know what it means."
Naruto raised his eyebrow in slight surprise, "You saw that, huh? Well, I promised that I would take care of her and Freddie's kid if he didn't feel inclined to."
Aella huffed, "I guess I kinda made that a certain thing, didn't I?" Damn, she had basically helped Athena out with that curse. Her kid would get a better father anyway.
Naruto chuckled, "I don't know whether to thank you or scold you for doing something so utterly insensitive."
Aella grumbled, "Insensitive? How?"
Naruto flicked her in the ear which got a surprised yelp out of her, "Because you almost forced a horrible thing on an innocent child. I don't care how much you don't like Athena, going that low over a vendetta is never ok." Aella thought about it and lowered her eyes in shame. He was right.
"I suppose that was kinda harsh of me. I should apologize."
Naruto laughed, "You make an apology? That doesn't seem likely."
Aella smirked, "Yeah, you're right. I'll think of something. Maybe I'll get her nice owl down pillow. As a peace offering." Naruto chuckled before closing his eyes. Her silence lulled him to sleep.
Aella thought of another question, "If I told you that I could talk to Hinata. What would you say?" She frowned when he didn't say anything.
She looked up and saw him sleeping peacefully. She smiled. It was probably for the best that he hadn't heard her. Just as she wasn't about to go back to her own bed Naruto's arm wrapped around her waist and pulled her closer to him. She panicked at first but then realized that he wasn't holding her there. He had just moved her. She bit her lower lip and debated in her mind before finally she hesitantly laid her head down on his chest and snuggled down. She sighed in contentment and let his heartbeat send her back to sleep.
Aella blinked awake on a particular day she hated. She closed her eyes, and willed the world to go back to sleep and forget this day all together. When the pink and red hearts flew in the wind like leaves. When everyone either felt massive amounts of love or felt like the crying potato. She sighed and buried her face in her pillow, feeling a little resistance from Naruto's arm wrapped around her waist. He grumbled and pulled her back to him, his body spooned gently around hers. She sighed and closed her eyes with a soft smile. It had been a few months since their incident with the thunder and the dark, but having him beside her felt...
He murmured her name softly and grinned. "Aella..." He made tiny motions like he was shaking his head. "Aella."
She grinned and closed her eyes. It felt right. He inhaled sharply, and she knew he was waking up. He let go of her to stretch, then returned, kissing her cheek and shaking her shoulder gently. "Aella. Aella, time to get up." She didn't respond, wondering what he would do next in an attempt to 'wake' her. He gently ran his fingers along her spine several times, pausing once to gently push her sweats down about half an inch so he could trace the shape of the tattoo just where a bundle of nerve endings were close to the skin. He did this several times, raising goosebumps on her skin until she started to tremble. He then let her roll onto her back and he saw her eyes, which were genuinely weirded out. He laughed at her, and she frowned at him.
"That wasn't funny."
He stifled his laughter long enough to speak. "You're the colour of a beet, Aella."
At that, she felt the heat of the blood rushing through her face. "Shut up."
"Come on..." He frowned, "You forgot, didn't you?"
She paled. "Holy Hera, I forgot." This spawned another round of laughter from him as she turned frantic, hunting through the apartment for her skiing equipment. While she got a bag together, he made a light breakfast, coffee once again letting its scent drift through her apartment. She threw her stuff by the door, a duffle bag and a suitcase, along with her equipment. He was sitting at the kitchen table finishing what was probably his third or fourth cup. She picked up a magazine, rolled it tightly and thwacked him on the head, making him sputter. "Thanks for the help."
He coughed, smiling. "You're welcome."
Once they managed to cram all they needed for a weekend in the mountains into his car, they were off, the road winding before them, radio cranked up and windows rolled down. After about fifteen quiet minutes on the Interstate, he offered her his hand. She smiled and took it, fingers lacing.
They stumbled into a log cabin far from the main road, clutching at each other and shivering. Both of their suits were covered in snow and they were soaked to the bone, having been on the hills for nearly six hours without a break. They looked at each other and laughed.
"Dibs on the tub." Aella smirked, knowing about the huge soaker tub in the washroom.
Naruto frowned, "Fine." But there was a cheeky sparkle in his eyes that Aella didn't like.
She stripped down to her long johns and hung everything else by the fire, which Naruto lit with ease. She bolted into the bathroom and immediately turned on the hot water, filling the room with clouds of steam, sighing with delight she unwrapped the complimentary bar of soap, which smelt of green tea and honey. She sighed, and found candles along the edge of the tub, which she lit with excitement as she adjusted the tap water to the perfect temperature. The clouds of steam made her feel like the bathroom was floating as she stepped over the edge of the soaker and sat in the deepwater, feeling the blood return to her extremities, and the candles started to give off more of the green tea scent.
The lights in the bathroom suddenly went out. The door opened, then closed. There was the sound of cloth sliding over skin and she froze, a bunch of shampoo in her hand. There was a soft splash and Naruto whispered. "I'm cold too."
She sat very, very still as the shampoo leaked through her fingers. His hand gently found hers beneath the water and asked softly. "May I?" She nodded, and he picked up the shampoo in one hand and started to massage it into her scalp, tilting her chin up to keep it out of her eyes. She whimpered, leaning back into his shoulder, amazed at how good it felt. He was so gentle, but so sure in his movements, his breath slow and even. He helped her rinse the soap out of her hair, then handed her the shampoo.
"Now, you help me." He gently caressed her cheek, bringing her eyes to his. "Trust me?"
She nodded, and began to do as he did to her, but stopped when he growled softly under his breath. She stopped and backed away with a whimpered apology. "I didn't mean... I'm sorry I hurt you..."
He shook his head, tilting his head back to look at her upside down. "It wasn't that kind of growl, Aella."
She frowned. "There is the angry growl, the scared growl... The hurt growl..."
He whispered tenderly. "The 'that feels good, don't stop' growl." He rinsed the soap out of his own hair and moved to Aella slowly, his blue eyes focused on her intently. She was hypnotized by his movement, and when he sat beside her and nuzzled at her neck and jaw, she gave him what she wanted without even thinking about it. He began to kiss her throat sending shivers up and down her spine as he worked his way slowly across her jaw to her lips, gently teasing her, his hands sliding up and down her arms until he held her hands gently, lifting them so her hands were clasped behind her neck and they got much closer. She felt a tingle run through her body and as she began to participate more eagerly, he growled again. He moved back to her neck, growling softly the entire time, and she felt her hands travel through his wet hair and pull on the strands. His back arched and on her neck, he stopped moving suddenly and sucked, hard.
He pulled away, eyes flashing with something like pride.
She gently touched the spot on her neck and her face flushed. It was tender and it felt hot to her touch. A hickey. He'd given her a hickey in the bathtub.
He moved toward her again and whispered. "Don't look away. Look at me." He began to caress her, his eyes watching her face. He moved slowly, so not to startle her, and kissed her again, gently parting her lips and exploring her with his teeth, his lips, his tongue. When she returned his attentions, her hands wrapping around his neck of their own accord, her body straining to meet his. He placed a hand on her belly, between her hips. She froze at the pressure, and noticed what her body was doing. She blushed and meant to cast her face away, lowering her eyes but he whispered, "No."
She trembled and looked at him as he began to pet her, gently at first, making her arch into his hand, then a little more roughly, silencing her cries with his words, his lips. She began to tremble as he spoke to her softly, his voice husky with hunger.
"Aella. Look at me. Don't look away. Look at me."
Her back arched, her jaw locked, her fists balled tightly by her sides, and she screamed. When she looked away, she began to mutter. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry... I should have asked for permission... I'm sorry..."
Naruto gently touched her face, and she looked back. He had such tenderness in his eyes. Such passion, focused on her, and her alone. "You're beautiful. So beautiful. You'll never need to ask permission. Never again." He hugged her, and his eyes began to burn with hunger. "You know I would never hurt you."
She nodded. They towel dried each other, and he picked her up bridal style and carried her to bed, watching her the whole time. Both partners were ready and accepting, and as he lowered her to the mattress, she did not shiver with fear. She knew what he wanted from her, but this time, she was a willing partner, not to be pinned down or tied up. Instead of mounting her, like she expected, he propped up several pillows and leaned back against them, pulling her onto him, giving her control. She kissed him thankfully, and accepted him with a startled gasp as he pulled her down on him, exerting the little bit of control he could as his eyes glassed over with pleasure.
She allowed him to enjoy the heat and pressure before rocking backward. He groaned and kept trying to sit up to hold her, but she pushed him down every time. He seemed to not get the message and kept trying to sit up, the pair of them as close as they could get as humans. They came close to the edge together, and when she melted into a puddle of goo, he managed to sit up and he rolled them so he had the leverage, and began to thrust for his turn to melt. She encouraged him from the edges of her daze, and when he collapsed on her, thrusting madly, she held him tight. It was a hot, sticky, and wonderful union.
When she pushed him off, he rolled to one side, but opened his arm for her, eyes clouded. She curled up next to him and drifted off immediately, his fingers caressing the darkened skin in the small of her back.
Naruto was the first to awake in the morning and he knew something was off when he couldn't sit up. His eyes popped opened and he noticed that his entirely chest was covered in really dark brown hair. A few stray strands would rise up every time Aella breathed. He smiled and started to trace patterns on her bare back.
"So it actually happened last night?" Naruto asked himself in a whisper. He to admit that part of him believed that it was dream. And another part of him was sad that it happened. And this was because their actions in the night sealed his fate. He was absolutely sure that he was now totally in love with the woman on his chest. And he knew that she wouldn't be able to stay. Athena said that was against the rules. Plus she was immortal. She would outlive him anyway. He sighed sadly but then smiled. Meh. He would take what he could get. Why couldn't he enjoy the time they had now? Fuck, Zeus.
So he slowly shook her awake with a smile, "C'mon Beautiful. Wake up."
He watched her slowly lift her head from his chest where he could clearly see a little puddle of drool. Which was gross but cute in a weird way. She reached up and moved the hair out of her face before she locked eyes with him. He smirked, "Did you sleep well?"
She didn't answer but instead looked around their sleeping space. The sheets and comforters were ruffled badly and neither one of them were wearing clothes. No clothes?! Oh, dear gods. They had sex didn't they? Oh, gods...
Naruto found her facial expressions amusing. It went from 'I just woke up', to 'Dear Kami, where are my clothes?', then to 'I better not have', and finally to 'Oh Kami I did. Didn't I?!'
Aella made a familiar 'eep!' sound and her face turned as red as a fire hydrant before she jumped off the bed and made a beeline for the bathroom, giving Naruto a very nice view in the process.
Naruto laughed at how much seemed like Hinata just then. He smiled and put on some sweats before going to the bathroom and walking in.
Aella wouldn't meet his eyes and she appeared to be embarrassed.
He sat down next to her and took her hand, "Aella talk to me. What's wrong?"
She still wouldn't meet his eyes but she seemed insecure, "Was I bad? I was bad wasn't I? I didn't do anything right. I didn't ask permission or-"
Naruto leaned around and cut her off with a kiss, "Shush. You were great. More than great. You are beautiful and there aren't any rules to love."
Aella's eyes widened. Did he just say that? She had been wanting to hear that for so long but was too scared to accept it. She smiled slightly to herself.
Naruto smirked, proud that he had gotten through to her. He grinned, "So how was I? I'm surprised that you can still walk."
Aella looked at him and mirrored his smirk, "You were, ok. For a mortal anyway. But don't get cocky. I'm not weak in the knees or anything." Naruto frowned before he grinned deviously. He stood up and swept her into his arms and walked back to the bedroom.
"Oh. So you're pulling the mortal card, huh. You're going to be eating those words in a few hours."
Aella looked nervous at first before she laughed mockingly, "A few hours? I bet you could barely last a few minutes."
Naruto raised an eyebrow, "Do you forget what's sealed inside of me? I'm like a battery that can recharge itself."
Aella's eyes widened, "Now wait, Narut-" She didn't get to finish. Naruto had already sealed her mouth with his own.
There had been many weekends like that one. She had many experiences like that one he had promised her, hours and hours. But her training came in handy, because she hadn't just been trained, she had been taught. And now, she was the teacher, introducing fellatio, little things that vibrated, and her wide collection of lingerie that he enjoyed every time.
But in May, something incredible happened. They had been cuddling together on an early Sunday morning after a long, hot and heavy run, when he sat up, looking frantic. He shook her shoulder. "Aella. Quickly. We're going to need baby stuff. Diapers. Food."
She asked angrily, "You didn't think of this ahead of time?!"
"I thought I had nine months!"
She rolled her eyes. "With Athena it's almost instantaneous. You're going to be getting a kid nearly five months old."
He whimpered and threw on his clothes, stopping to kiss her on his way by.
When he returned about an hour later, Aella was in their room, putting together an IKEA crib with a good mattress. She frowned, and then smiled as she screwed the last part into place. She began to put it together in a soft green colour decorated with ladybugs. She despised pink.
He shouldered his way through the door, eyes wet. "She's sick..." He set a small bundle, not nearly the size of a four or five month old baby in the center of the bed and ran for the bookshelf, eyes frantic. He began to flip through the book, looking for something useful while Aella picked up the tiny child and unwrapped her. Her belly was swollen and her mouth was dry. She looked at Aella with grey eyes and started to cry, her head covered with fine, downy blonde hair.
Naruto still flipped through his book. Aella growled at him, "She isn't sick. She's starving. Go heat up some formula for her. It's in the cupboard over the microwave - but don't you dare microwave it!" He hurried to do as she asked, heating the formula in a pot of water over the stove. Aella called, "Put it in a bowl - I don't know if she's strong enough to suck it out of a bottle." He made a small sound and did as she asked.
He put the bowl next to Aella, who, taking a few drops of lukewarm formula on her finger, smeared the liquid on the girls lips with a tender hand. A teeny pink tongue flicked out and licked it away. Aella repeated this several times before taking a facecloth from the bathroom and soaking it in the formula, putting the corner into the little girls mouth. She sucked feebly, and Aella rewarded her by squeezing a little of the formula into her mouth. Aella looked at Naruto who was hovering at her elbow. "Understand?"
He nodded and took over, as Aella continued to set up the corner nursery, finishing it with a small mobile that played, "Claire de la Lune" furnished with seven small silver owls that chased each other around a harvest moon.
By then, Naruto had her cradled on his shoulder, burping her gently. The bowl was empty and he asked softly, "How did you know?"
Aella looked at the small bundle and shook her head. "I... I don't."
When she was burped and laid down for a nap, Aella watched from the door, ashamed of herself. What had that helpless little child done to deserve a curse like the one she had put on her? She sighed and turned away, when Naruto touched her hand. He gestured for her to look at the sleeping bundle. He whispered, putting an arm around her waist. "Her name is Annabeth." His eyes were tender. "She's mine no-" he broke off, then tilted Aella's chin up to look at him. "She's ours now."
Now, it was nearly July, and Annabeth had grown considerably. She learned quickly, and Aella had been telling her stories every night in a different language. When Naruto asked why, Aella responded with a mysterious, "It keeps her brain active."
Naruto was sitting on the floor one day, typing out his latest plot bunny while keeping an eye on Annabeth. To his surprise, she sat up, and tossed her rattle out of reach. She whimpered and pointed at it, wanting it back. When he continued typing, intent on finishing his sentence, she wailed. "Paaa..." He looked up with a startled jump as Aella laughed at his meek retrieval of the rattle.
That night, when Aella put Annabeth down, Naruto was in the shower. Aella looked at Annabeth, and turned on the owls, and began to whisper to her in English, "There once was a small boy named Andrew. Now he was a very poor boy, and lived all by himself in a cabin in the woods, with only his mice friends for company..."
"The mice people were very kind to Andrew, and wanted the best for him. So, when they got word from a wizard who could talk to the mice people, that an evil king was running the land with an iron fist, they were very scared. They told Andrew right away, not wanting him to get hurt. The evil kings armies were not very far away, the wizard had said, and they were preparing to attack the forests."
She heard the water shut off, but continued.
"That night, a great fire ravaged the forests, burning the homes of all who lived there, even Andrew's. when the mice people perked out of their holes in the morning, all they found was silver ashes scattered everywhere, and Andrew laying on his bed, which had been crushed by the ceiling, moaning and groaning. His back was broken, and there was nothing the mice people could do to fix it."
The sink began to run, cutting Aella off. Annabeth whimpered, her grey eyes pleading in her small face.
"The wizard appeared then, and told Andrew to get up. He was scared, telling Andrew that he was the only one who could defeat the evil king. Andrew groaned at the wizard, telling him that he couldn't move. His back hurt him so much, and how could any poor boy who lived in the woods have any hope of defeating an evil king? The wizard presented Andrew with a magic suit of fine clothes and an enchanted sword that glittered bright blue. If wizard said that if Andrew used them, he would become a good prince that would defeat the evil king. The mice people took the clothes from the wizard and helped Andrew into them, and the magic woven into the fine silk healed his spine, forever. The good prince Andrew took his sword from the wizard, and promised to avenge the forest he had lived in for so long, as well as everything that had lived in it with him and his friends, the mice people."
Annabeth was out cold now, sleeping happily beneath her owls, but Aella's tale was not done. She heard the bathroom door creak, but made nothing of it.
"The good prince marched the head of the evil king's army, full of goblins and ghouls and spiders. The king looked like Hephaestus' nightmare, wrought of iron that glowed on the edges and smoking orange eyes that burned straight to his soul. But the good prince was not afraid of the evil king. He took up his magic sword and fought the king to the death. Just as all hope was lost and the good prince about to meet his end, the mice people rode in knocked over the evil king, stealing his weapon from his grasp, and leaving him defenseless. Once again, the good prince took up his enchanted sword and put the tip, into the evil king's chin, and said..."
Naruto took her hand and smiled. "And said?"'
"Something very forgettable." She smiled cheekily. He kissed her, and lead her out into the living room where they sat on the couch. Before he could turn on the television, Aella whispered. "Naruto..."
He looked at her and frowned. "What's wrong?"
She inhaled sharply. "If I told you that I can control to conceive right here, right now... What would you do? Would you want...?" She looked away, flushing with embarrassment. "Would you want me to carry our child?"
He inhaled slowly, and she prepared herself for the worst. When he answered, it was a nod, a soft, spoken word, and a kiss to seal the deal as he helped her out of her clothes, and she helped him out of his.
The next four months were hectic for Naruto. He had expected that Aella's pregnancy would be hectic and abnormal but he wasn't ready for the hormones or how quickly things escalated. She grew a baby bump very quickly and she would get cravings. Those were the most consistent symptoms. The growing and the eating. But then she would randomly get morning sickness and be sick in bed the entire day and the next she would be healthy enough to go on a warpath.
Naruto mainly just kept his mouth shut and played with Annabeth, who had continued to grow and learn. She could crawl and climb things but she had yet to master the art of walking independently. He was quickly surprised at how much she was starting to look like him. It was almost scary. He secretly wondered if Athena had done that on purpose.
But one of the most amusing things that Naruto found was Aella's irrational love for ramen. He had introduced it to her one day when he wanted something different for dinner. He had learned how to make it from his favorite ramen stand after the war. But Aella had taken to it like a fish to water even though Naruto constantly reminded her that it wasn't very nutritious or healthy.
His only saving grace was that Annabeth was a good baby. She normally slept all night and rarely cried. So he was able to get the sleep he needed to deal with the pregnant Goddess.
It was mid-November and Naruto was rocking Annabeth in his arms, trying to get her to sleep. He had already fed, burped, and changed her. He sighed and spoke softly to her, "You're a beautiful, do you know that?" She yawned cutely and closed her eyes. Naruto smiled and nuzzled his cheek against hers. He loved her so much that it hurt sometimes. He wondered if that was just part of being a parent.
Finally, she slipped into sleep and he set her down in the crib. He had renovated his storage room and turned it into a baby room. Half the room was decorated with silver owls and blue walls. Aella was working on the other side of the room. She had hung a tarp the separated Annabeth's side from the other. He wasn't allowed behind the tarp, something he constantly complained about. Then he heard a shout that made him jump out of his skin.
"NARUTO! My water just broke!"
His eyes widened and he looked towards the shout frantically, "What?! Right now?! The hell?!"
"Don't ask questions! Just get in here, you blond asshole!" He sighed. He was gonna need coffee. Lots of it.
Labor was long and hard. Naruto, if not hovering anxiously, was hiding with Annabeth in the baby room. When her cervix began to dilate, stretching to accommodate the child's head, he started to freak out on the inside, even though his exterior was strangely calm. Holding her hand, he sat beside her with his other hand on her rounded belly and his eyes on the clock. The contractions were getting stronger and were only about ten minutes apart. It had been almost ten hours since her water broke, and he was getting nervous about her energy levels. She could only draw on so much in her mortal form...
She grabbed his wrist and muttered something incoherent. He ran his fingers through her dark hair. She growled at him again. "Than... Parking lot. Help..."
He bolted from the room with the speed of lightning, and was gone. She rolled onto her stomach, squeezing her eyes shut against another contraction, gritting her teeth. Mortal births, she was told, were usually pretty easy. Immortal births didn't require carrying or delivery, only a wish between two partners to conceive. TADA! Baby. But these cross-species babies were hard to carry and often lost in the birthing process. Not to mention this was her first time carrying. "Only time carrying..." She vowed to herself. Her mind fought against her body as she felt an overwhelming desire to push.
She bit down on her lip until she tasted blood, then was caught by surprise when there was a loud thump and Annabeth crawled into the room, her grey eyes wide. She grabbed the edge of the bed and used it to pull herself up, hands reaching for Aella. She didn't say anything, but teetered dangerously before failing backward onto her well cushioned, diaper bum. Aella scooped the child up, hugging her tight, burying her face in her sweet-smelling hair for comfort. She tensed, and whimpered as a second contraction rolled through her, wishing Naruto would hurry the heck up.
Annabeth asked, "Where Pa?"
"Downstairs, honeybee. Why?"
She made a kissing sound and pointed at her elbow, where she had bumped into the leg of the table playing tag with Naruto. He had made it better with a kiss and a tickle, Aella had watched him. "Pa do. Pa do." She put a little warm hand on her surrogate mothers belly. Her little mouth fumbled on the next word, trying several times to make the right sound before giving up and saying, "Edó." Here. Annabeth hugged Aella tenderly.
Than burst through the door and Annabeth frowned. Aella began to cry with relief and enfolded him close to her, whimpering, "Make it stop... Make it stop..." He gently kissed her cheek, trying to comfort her, when Aella felt him being pushed away.
Annabeth said. "No. No Pa." She made her kissing sound and shook her head. "No." She pointed at Than. "No Pa."
Naruto stood laughing quietly in the doorway. He held several things in his hands, prepared at last.
Aella growled at him. "Quit laughing at me you fucktard. You try carrying someone else's spawn for nearly six months."
His eyes flared red with anger, but then quickly turned sober and humble. He left his supplies at the foot of the bed and pushed Than out of the way to kiss her. Annabeth giggled and covered her eyes, and Than feigned interest in Naruto's books.
He gently moved her down the edge of the bed, placing a pad not unsimilar to the ones on Annabeth's changing table under her bum and moved to wipe the sweat from her forehead with a damp cloth. "Trust me?" She nodded wearily. "We're gonna deliver a baby. You and me. Together."
She was leaning back on Than, his shoulders and chest a rather hard and bony, but useful, stack of pillows. Naruto was gently examining her, poking and prodding in ways that made her shiver happily. He smiled up at her cheekily and winked. He took her hand and whispered softly, "You're going to push on the next contraction. Long and hard. We'll count to ten." She nodded, not really caring anymore. She just wanted it to be over. She pushed and excruciating pain rocketed up her spine.
She screamed, crushing Naruto's hand in her own and squeezing Than's thigh with all her remaining strength. She ended that contraction panting. She whimpered, "How many more?"
He was silent, eyes wide with fear. "Erm..."
"Naruto! Answer me!"
He whispered softly. "She's come feet first." Annabeth poked her head out from behind Than's wings, her hands full of feathers.
Than whispered. "It's going to hurt a Hell of alot more, Aella."
She slumped, eyes full of tears. Annabeth disappeared again, playing in her tiny room filled with soft feathers.
The next half hour was filled with her screaming, Than making her move her hand as she got terrifyingly close to his no-no zone, and Naruto supporting a tiny body with no head to be seen. His hands were bloody. Her vision was blurring, and she was on the verge of unconsciousness. She felt the contraction come again and pushed as hard as she could, convinced she was going to die.
There was a great release of pressure and everyone fell silent. Then, rising and falling in the early morning, was the cry of a newborn. Aella started to cry with relief as the child was folded into her arms, and immediately began to suckle. Than moved away, letting Naruto take his spot so Aella and the baby could lean against him, as he watched with huge, protective eyes. Than tied off the umbilical cord and let Naruto cut it. He then walked out the door and closed it behind him.
Aella's eyes focused on the little girl when she stopped feeding and almost immediately after being burped, fell asleep. They couldn't be sure of eye colour for a few weeks, but Aella wanted her to have her father's blue eyes. Her hair was a light pinkish color, but would darken to a beautiful red when she got older.
Naruto whispered, his voice tentative, almost afraid. "Can I hold her?"
Aella hesitated before tucking the girl into Naruto's arms, with a soft reminder to mind her head.
He nodded. "I know." Then he turned and looked at the little girl tucked preciously into the crook of his elbow.
Naruto looked down with wonder at his new daughter, "Oh wow. Look at you." He felt his eyes begin to water and he smiled. Normally he would try to hold back tears but these were the good kind so he figured it was okay. Then he suddenly felt very calm and he felt a weight press in on his side. He looked to his right and saw the smiling face of his mother looking back up at him before she looked at the baby in his arms.
"She's beautiful, Naruto," Kushina said before she stretched up to kiss his cheek, "Good luck. I love you." And with that the image of his mother faded away and he was left feeling confused but happy. He looked at Aella to see if she saw it but she was asleep. She and the bed were clean and she was tucked neatly under the covers.
"Ah. Than must have done that," Naruto said quietly to himself before looking back at his daughter.
Naruto smiled down at her, "You need a name. Hmmm. How about Lucy? Yeah. I like Lucy. We'll see what your mother says though." And then he noticed something off about the baby that he didn't notice before. She had whisker marks! They weren't as dark as his but they were definitely visible.
Naruto looked on in confusion, "I thought that those were birthmarks caused by Kurama's chakra." And they were. The fox confirmed that himself. Naruto's eyes narrowed. That meant Lucy had a chakra system. And Kurama's chakra must have been so fused with him that some of it was passed onto her. He hadn't prepared for this outcome. He assumed that Aella's godliness would overpower his own DNA. Apparently not. And he didn't know what effect it would have on his child. Damn, he wished Tsunade was here.
He sighed and went to get Annabeth. He found her in her in her side of the baby room blinking furiously trying to stay awake. He grinned before walking over to her and picking her up. She didn't fight and instead fell asleep on his shoulder almost immediately. He set her down in the crib and tucked her in.
He headed back out to the living room and laid down on the couch with Lucy in his arms. He was sure that she be up and hungry in few hours so decided to get all the sleep he could. He sighed and slipped into blissful unconsciousness.
YAY! The babies are here!
But a lot of other things happened. Ares got his ass beat. I hope that appeases some of you. And I know it was short but that was because Naruto caught him off guard. It won't happen like that again. The next fight will be longer.
And I think I need to explain how Hinata and Sasuke were in the Underworld. The way I see it is that Naruto's world and Percy's world are almost completely separate. Think of them like the continents North America and Africa. They are very different and separated. The only thing connecting the two is the Atlantic ocean. To me, the Underworld is the Atlantic ocean. It is so big and it basically has to be infinite. And if you really pay attention to the books you will understand that the Underworld isn't just a place for just the Greeks. IT's for everyone.
I mean think about how it is split up. You have the Fields of Punishment, The Fields of Asphodel, and Elysium. That's just for the Greeks. Now think about it from let's say a Christian's POV.
Fields of Punishment=Hell
Fields of Asphodel=Purgatory
Now the books don't actually hint at this but if you read into it's easy to see. And I don't really know if the people in Naruto have a certain religion. I've certainly never directly noticed one sans Hidan. But I figured that if a person or ninja in Naruto fights for their village and they uphold their duty correctly they get access to Elysium.
However, if they are bad people like Madara or Sasuke in this story then they get the Fields of Punishment. And you guys better remember that thing with Sasuke and Nemesis. It will be coming back to haunt Naruto.
Now onto how Naruto knows how to deliver babies. Well, that should be obvious. All ninja must know how to correctly deliver a baby. Because we all that when Kunoichi give birth SHIT GOES DOWN! And things usually explode so not just any doctor would do.
But in all honesty I mentioned that Naruto spent a lot of time around Tsunade and I'm sure she delivered her fair number of babies. DON'T QUESTION IT! ACCEPT IT!