New chapter, hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: don't own Naruto or Percy Jackson, just this storyline.
Naruto whistled a jaunty tune as he sat upon the roof of the Big House.
It was nearly sunset; the last rays from the glowing orb were vanishing over the hills. Already, shadows were lengthening across the valley of Camp Half-Blood, covering most of it with darkness. To most other beings, this would probably somewhat scary, but not for him. He'd always been comfortable in the dark.
He looked up at the twinkling pinpricks of light in the sky and closed his eyes. He could feel everything; the sweat on the brow of some unfortunate Ares camper as he tried to scale the climbing wall, the hairs rising on the back of an undetermined camper's neck as he heard an eerie sound from the woods, the microscopic ripples of water as a naiad drifted through the lake.
He could feel everything. He always felt everything.
"Having fun?" came a female voice, and he leaned back to see Artemis standing above him.
"Always. Are they ready?"
They were talking about the others, gods and demi-gods alike, who were planning to come with him to Crater Lake. Suddenly, Naruto let out a laugh, causing Artemis to look at him strangely.
"What's so funny?"
"I'm just happy," he said. The moon goddess gazed at him oddly, and she did notice that he was smiling softly, looking out at the horizon. His purple rippled eyes seemed to glow as he let go of the breath he was holding. He seemed so... peaceful.
Feeling her attentive gaze on him, he glanced over.
"What? Is there something on my face?"
Artemis blushed as she realized that she'd been caught staring, and shook her head.
"No, there isn't."
"Really? Because you can tell me! Is it a spider? Is it a fly?" He said it in such a scared voice that she rolled her eyes.
"More powerful than Zeus, and he's scared of a fly..."
"What? Flies are terrifying!"
"It's an insect! Act your age, why don't you?"
"That got boring a long time ago."
Resisting the urge to strangle the blond, Artemis settled for shaking her head.
"Are you two having fun?"
They both turned to see Aphrodite smirking at them, standing with her arms crossed.
"Don't know what you mean," Artemis said coolly. The goddess of love raised an eyebrow.
"Oh, really?" she asked. They were interrupted as Naruto lay down with a pout, his arms stretched out.
"When are they gonna be ready? I'm bored."
"You seem to get bored a lot."
"Do I? I shouldn't be bored. Why am I bored?"
"Only boring people get bored."
"I'm not boring! Everything about me absolutely oozes 'not boring!'"
"Then why are you bored?"
For the first time in a long, long time, Naruto was speechless, as he realized that Artemis had won the verbal argument.
"Well... that's not... I..." he stuttered as he tried to come up with a response. The moon goddess smirked slightly, then raised an eyebrow when Naruto muttered something that was almost too quiet for her to hear.
"Annoying little bacterium, aren't you?" he grumbled. Then he immediately smacked himself across the face. "Shut up! That's rude!"
"Um, are you alright?" Aphrodite asked.
"Fine. Well, sort of."
"What's the matter?"
"Shinju is being annoying," he said, then winced as a sharp headache struck him. "Ow! Dammit, shut up! You totally are, you asshole! OW! Fuck, I don't even know how I stand you!"
As Naruto was having his private conversation, the campers who were coming with them gathered at the foot of the Big House.
"Mom! We're here!" Silena yelled up at them.
"We'll be just a second!" Aphrodite replied, staring at the blond, who was now punching himself in the stomach violently.
"Ow, ow, ow! Damn it, now you've made me hurt my hand, Pasta-Tails!" A short pause. "What the hell do you mean, it's my own damn fault?"
"Um, excuse me?" the love goddess interrupted, causing Naruto to look over at her. "Are you finished, or do you need some alone time?" The blond blinked.
"No, I'm fine," he said, paused, then sighed. "Yes, moron, I know she's hot, but don't think that I'm letting you out. Remember last time?"
Aphrodite blushed at the blond's comment, even as he kept talking.
"What? No, that was totally your fault! Now stow your crap, before I put you back in your cage! Oh, 'Destroyer of Worlds' my ass, I can still kick the crap out of you. I've done it before, haven't I? And yes, I still think your tails look like pasta. Now shut up, I'm trying to concentrate here!"
He huffed as the annoying creature in stomach fell silent, then jumped off the roof of the Big House, landing in front of several campers, who drew back involuntarily as the ground cracked under his feet.
"So, is this everyone?" he asked, looking around at the small group, which consisted of Silena, Clarisse, Thalia, Percy, Annabeth and Nico. They all nodded.
"Where are we going again?" Percy asked, scratching his head.
"Crater Lake, Seaweed Brain," Annabeth replied, punching him on the shoulder affectionately. Most of the others smiled as Percy rubbed his arm, struggling but not quite succeeding to look angry.
"Alright, everyone, listen up," Naruto said. Everyone stood a little straighter as he eyed them, taking in their nervous expressions. "What? I'm not going to disintegrate you. Relax."
Of course, this had the opposite effect of what he hoped, as they stood even more stiffly.
Naruto frowned for a second, then sighed. "Alright, this clearly isn't going to work. Everyone sit down."
All of the demigods blinked.
"Um... where?" Thalia asked. Naruto merely smiled, then snapped his fingers.
Everyone in the group was suddenly pushed off their feet to land on comfortable wooden chairs that grew out of the ground beneath them.
"Geez, a little warning next time?" Aphrodite said irritably
"Sorry," he replied, not sounding apologetic at all, and sat down in his own chair. "Alright, if this little group is gonna work, we need to get to know each other."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean name or title, likes, dislikes, dreams, abilities. If we're going to be a team, we should start acting like it."
Most of the people around blinked in surprise.
"We're going to be a team?" Annabeth asked, surprised.
"Well, yeah. If I'm going to make a plan of attack, I need to know what I have to attack with," he said, then shrugged. "Basic strategy."
Both Annabeth and Athena stirred a little with interest at his words. Honestly, they were used to being the strategists for their own communities, and to see someone else do so was interesting, to say the least.
"Anyway, who'd like to go first?" he asked. Most of the group blinked, before Annabeth raised her hand timidly. "You're kidding me with that, right?"
She hurriedly put it down, and asked "Well, why don't you give us an example?"
Naruto blinked, then scratched his head thoughtfully.
"Why does this seem so familiar?" he asked, then shrugged. "Alright, I guess I'll go first. My name is Naruto. I have a bunch of very long, very boring titles. I like ramen, running, traveling, hunting, reading, carving, forging and watching the stars."
The group stirred with interest as the blond began speaking. They'd all been curious about this mysterious person who'd possibly saved all their lives.
"I dislike arrogant people, those who judge books by the cover," here, he gave a small sidelong glance at Artemis, who huffed and turned away. "-and the..." he paused for a second, struggling to get the words out "fucking time it takes for ramen to heat up! My dreams, well, probably to get free in the next twenty-four hours. Other than that, I don't know. As for my abilities... well, with my main body I can pretty much do anything. With this weaker one though... I have better senses than any animal, I'm stronger than an elephant and faster than a racecar. So basically, I'm awesome."
The group blinked at Naruto's assessment of his own skills, and Artemis, predictably, snorted with contempt.
"Of course you do. Should we not bow before your greatness, oh mighty one?"
"No way!" he said vehemently, surprising everyone. "That's the one thing I don't want! No one should ever bow to me!"
Everyone blinked. The demigods were stunned that a guy who claimed to be more powerful than any god didn't want to be shown respect.
"And why not, might I ask?"
"It makes me feel old."
Artemis gave him a flat look. "You are old."
"And you're ugly."
"Anyway, who's next?" He looked around at the group, ignoring her furious glare.
They all seemed collectively disinterested in being looked at.
Slowly, Athena raised her hand.
"Alright, your turn, Athena," Naruto said, putting both hands behind his head.
"Um, alright," the goddess replied, taking a second to collect herself. This was surprising for the other goddesses, though they didn't let it show. She'd had always been calm and composed, but now, she seemed almost... flustered."My name is Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and Battle. I like reading, writing, art, music and weaving. I dislike spiders and those who take knowledge for granted. My dream... I'm not sure. As for my abilities, I am a master strategist and I wield a spear, sword and shield. I am confident in my own skills."
She looked around, taking in many expression, ranging from admiration to interest. When she finally arrived at Naruto, she was surprised to see that he was looking at her with a big smile on his face.
"Awesome! Sounds like you kick ass!" he said, and Athena blinked in surprise at the complement. "Anyway, who's next?"
"I'll go!" Aphrodite said cheerfully. "My name is Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. I like shopping, music, trying on clothes, visiting beautiful places, and sex." Here she was interrupted as every male in the group except one simultaneously blushed scarlet. The other demi-gods and goddesses all facepalmed.
"Mom!" Silena said, scandalized.
"Oh gods..." Artemis muttered, her cheeks slightly pink from the image in her head. Naruto meanwhile, merely pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed.
"Doesn't even try to hide it..."
"But anyway, I dislike people who don't appreciate beauty, prudes, and my husband."
She was interrupted again as Naruto raised a hand and ran it through his hair, muttering with his eyes closed. "Oh, for crying out loud..."
The goddess of love looked over at him, eyebrow raised, as the rest of the group looked between the two awkwardly. Aphrodite's lack of marital relations with her husband were legendary on Olympus, as was her frequent trysts with mortals. She looked at him, a confused expression on her beautiful face.
"What's the matter?"
"Okay... well, anyway, my dream is... probably to find someone who can satisfy me."
"What do you mean?"
"Someone who can fuck my brains out."
"HAVE YOU NO SHAME?"
"Anyway, I can charm anyone with my voice, and I'm fairly handy with knives."
As she paused her speech, she finally looked around at the gathering, before realizing that everyone was a shade of red that was pressing the limits of good health, and blinked slowly.
"Is something the matter?"
"That's the second time you've said that."
"I happened to notice, thank you."
She peered at Naruto oddly, though he just massaged his temples and sighed.
"Next person?" he asked, and Hestia slowly raised her hand. "You go ahead."
"My name is Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth. I enjoy reading, quiet places and tending my fire. I don't like it when my siblings argue. My dream... I'll keep that private. I have moderate control over fire and use an iron staff in combat."
"Sound's good, who's next? How 'bout some demigods?" He gave a pointed look at Percy, who blanched a little at the attention.
"Um, okay, well, my name is Percy Jackson, Son of Poseidon, God of the Sea. I like swimming, canoeing, capture the flag, gum, basketball and..." here he blushed bright red, as he took a fleeting look at Annabeth, who's cheeks flushed slightly as well.
"You like what?" Athena asked, a stern look on her face. "I didn't hear you."
"Don't bully the poor kids," Naruto said with amusement. "I think they're cute together." The Goddess of Wisdom looked at him with a hint of anger, while her daughter looked surprised.
"How did you know we were..." she began, but, seeing a very nasty light in her mother's eyes, didn't finish the sentence. Naruto merely gave a chuckle. "Please, I've been doing this a lot longer than any of you. I know how to spot two people who are hopelessly in love with each other."
Cue two red-faced children and one furious mother.
"Don't look so upset, Athena," Naruto chided. "You can't control how people feel. But we're getting off topic." He looked back at Percy. "Keep going, kid."
"Right," he said, coughing at the evil eye Athena was giving him. "I don't like dry places, storms or flying. My dream is... I don't know, probably some peace and quiet, and for gods not to kill me if I look at them wrong." He blushed as he realized that he'd said that out loud, and a quick glance at most of the gods present told him they weren't exactly pleased to hear him say that either. Naruto, of course, just looked amused. "Er, anyway, I can control water pretty well, am good with a sword, and I'm currently mostly invulnerable."
"Curse of Achilles, huh?" Naruto asked, and everyone looked at him sharply, wondering how he knew. "What? I know stuff. Unlike what some people thing, I'm not a complete moron." He made a point of not looking at Artemis as he said that. "Next?"
"I'll go," Thalia said with a grin. "My name's Thalia, daughter of Zeus, God of the Sky and currently a Hunter of Artemis. I like killing monsters, camping, my sisters and my friends. I don't like water, small spaces, or heights." Here, Percy and Naruto both let out small snickers, and she glared at them balefully. "And I particularly dislike annoying boys. My dream is to continue to serve my Lady Artemis. I can control electricity and use my spear and shield in a fight."
Naruto smiled. "Girl who can kick any boy's ass, huh?"
"Good for you," he said and Thalia looked at him, surprised, but he'd already turned to the group. "Next?"
"I'll go," Nico muttered. "My name is Nico di Angelo, son of Hades, God of the Underworld. I like reading, collecting stones, finding ancient bones and putting spirits to rest. I don't like obnoxious ghosts, people who don't pay respect to the dead and I also don't particularly like my stepmother-" He was interrupted as every flower around his feet simultaneously leapt up and tried to strangle him with their stems.
Naruto just sighed and snapped his fingers. The flowers fell back to the ground, unmoving. "Please continue."
Stunned at how easily Naruto had overpowered another god, even a minor one, the group just gaped for a few seconds, before Nico managed to close his mouth.
"U-um, well, I'm not sure what my dream is, but I use my sword and power over the dead in battle."
"Ooh, that would be useful!" Naruto said excitedly. "Can you choose who you bring back?"
"No, unfortunately. My father can, but my reach doesn't extend that far. I can only choose people of a class, like U.S. Army or Spartan warriors. Things like that."
"Still useful. Anyway, who's next?"
"I'll go," Annabeth said excitedly. "My name is Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena, Goddess of-"
"Yes, we know who I am, dear. I already introduced myself, remember?"
Blushing, the girl stuttered for a minute before managing to get over her embarrassment. Naruto, Thalia and Nico looking like they was about to burst out laughing didn't help, though Percy wisely kept his amusement hidden.
"Well, I like architecture, books and inventing. I don't like small spaces and I hate spiders," she said, shuddering. "My dream is to finish my work on the architecture of Olympus. I use my knife in combat and I'm pretty good with strategy."
While Athena looked at her daughter with pride and Percy with affection, Naruto just smiled. "I look forward to seeing what you come up with."
"Me too," Percy said dreamily, though he blushed when Naruto burst out laughing.
"If your quite done," Artemis said balefully to Naruto who was still chuckling. "I believe it's my turn."
Finished laughing, he simply nodded. "Right, sorry. Continue, please."
Raising an eyebrow at his sudden contriteness, she simply gave an unladylike snort. "Very well. My name is Artemis, Goddess of the Moon and the Hunt. I enjoy training with my Hunters, killing monsters and wood carving. I dislike corrupted girls and arrogant men." Predictably, she gave a glare to a certain blond as she said this, who merely stuck his tongue out at her. "My dream is private. I use my bow and hunting knives in combat."
Naruto gave a small smile and stood up. "Alright, now that the storytelling's done, let's go."
He snapped his fingers, and they all fell on their butts as they suddenly appeared in the middle of a forest, absent the wooden chairs they'd been sitting on.
"Geez, a little warning next time?" Percy groused.
"Don't get snippy with me, moron," Naruto replied. "If you can think of a faster way to travel, let me know."
"Where are we?" Annabeth asked, looking around.
"Utah," Naruto answered and their eyes boggled at him.
"B-but not even shadow travel is that fast!" Nico said.
"The gods' top speed isn't that fast," Hestia muttered.
Naruto sighed. "And that's another problem with you guys. You have the power, just lack the imagination," he said.
"To do what?" Athena asked, intrigued.
"Punch a hole through space to get to where you want quickly," he said calmly. "Allows for instantaneous travel. My great-grand uncle figured it out years before I was born. Then my mom rediscovered it, and was kind enough to share the technique with my dad. He was made famous for it."
"B-but you said you were thousands of years old! No civilization on Earth has ever had that kind of knowledge!" Annabeth said, freaking out. "No human has ever discovered how to do that!"
She was stopped from having a total panic attack when Naruto laughed and patted her shoulder. "My dear Annabeth," he said with a grin. "Whatever gave you the impression that I was human?"
Walking away from the shocked group, he looked around slightly. "Was it this way?"
"What are you looking for?" Hestia asked, not really surprised. No regular human could challenge the gods, no matter how powerful they were.
"Wondering where Crater Lake is," he said. "We're about an hour away, I made sure of it. But I may have, uh, messed up a little."
She raised an eyebrow. "Messed up?"
He rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "Eheh, yeah, I may have gotten the coordinates wrong, so I don't really remember which side of Crater Lake we're on."
"Couldn't you just look for the source of your power?"
He blinked a few times, then a disarmingly bright smile stretched over his face as he swept up the startled goddess in a hug. "Haha, you're brilliant!" he laughed, dancing around for a little, before Hestia finally knocked him over the head with her staff.
Getting up from the ground just as cheerfully as he'd gone down, he started walking. "Still say you're brilliant!" Hestia blushed and followed along with a frown.
"Why are we out here? Why didn't you just transport us directly to Crater Lake?" Aphrodite asked.
He grinned. "Well, I figured that you'd have some questions. Feel free to ask."
Immediately, Annabeth hopped forward and started bombarding Naruto with questions. "How powerful are you? Where did you come from? What did you mean when you said you recreated Earth? Why-"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" Naruto said, holding up his hands. "Geez, give me a little room to answer if your gonna ask!"
The daughter of Athena looked crestfallen, and nodded hurriedly as she realized that what she'd done might be considered disrespectful.
Naruto's eyes narrowed as he looked at the play of emotions on her face, and sighed. "Oh, don't look so worried. I'm not like Biggus Dickus up there who'll kill you for snoring too loud. Say whatever you like about me, I don't give a crap."
Percy had to suppress a snort at Naruto's unofficial nickname for Zeus, while Annabeth gave a half-hearted smile.
"I might have to take you up on that," Percy said with narrowed eyes. "After all, what kind of a moron would throw a kid off a six-hundred story mountain the sky?"
"You're still angry about that?" the blond asked. "Geez, I'd forgotten that'd even happened."
"Forgotten?" Percy said faintly, his eyebrow twitching. "You idiot, I could have been killed! You could have killed me!"
"Meh, you seem fine."
"Fine!? You scared the crap out of me! If I hadn't landed in the East River-"
"Ah, but I seem to recall you did! You landed exactly where I threw you, so why are you complaining?"
"Doesn't make you any less of an asshole!"
"Does too, you jerk! I know all about your affinity for water and that you'd survive if I threw you down to a river!"
"And what if you'd missed? I could've died!"
"And yet here you stand! Don't be upset that you're still alive!"
"SHUT IT!" Annabeth shouted, causing them both to swivel in surprise. "We still have to get to Crater Lake, you idiots! So stop arguing and start walking!"
Percy and Naruto stood at attention and snapped off salutes. "Sir, yes sir!"
They sped off and the group looked back at Annabeth with surprise and a hint of admiration.
"Well done, dear," Athena said with a smile, causing her daughter to blush.
Naruto's annoyed voice sounded from the trees. "Come on, people, don't have all day! We have an awesome guy to save!"
Artemis sighed tiredly. "Why in Hades did I agree to this again?"
FINALLY, fourth chapter done. Hope everyone enjoys!