A/N: I'm afraid I have some bad news for you all. Remember my health woes from a way back? Well, I thought they were in the clear. Turns out they aren't. At all. My latest appointment with my doctor...didn't end well. Apparently, in addition to my heart condition, I might be needing open-heart surgery. Several, in fact. And if I don't get it...well, the result won't be pleasant. Taking them aside, the last one really messed me up, so I realized that my luck with this latest surgery just might run out.
So I just wanted to say...its been really nice, writing on this site. Authoring each of these stories, feeling the words flow through me and onto the screen, reading wonderful reviews, listening to the occassional critic-and bettering myself with each story. Which is why you may be wondering about this one.
Well, I swore that if I ever found myself in dire straits, and with this surgery that is a very real possibility, I would pour myself into one final story. I've sworn never to go pass 340 and I intend to keep that promise. And with that..
...onto my latest (and hopefully not last) creation! Avatar of the Gods! I humbly hope you enjoy it! Sorry if its short!
"By the gods, what did I get myself into this time...
Avatar of the Gods
Immortality is a funny thing; some might think it a gift from the Gods themselves. Wouldn't it be wonderful to live forever? To never age? Never die? Would not one call that a blessing? Ha!
More like a curse.
For what else can this be? To watch your friends grow old, while you yourself remain young? Letting them move on with their lives, start families of their own grow old. To stand there-helpless-as they wither and die, as you lay those flowers upon each their graves knowing, knowing you were powerless to defeat time itself?
The one enemy even I could not hope to defeat. But I digress. I'm sure you're wondering who I am.
I have seen and done much in my time; and I'm not neccessarily proud of it all. I have helped nations rise and fall. Civilzations have crumbled in less than an hour-at my hand. Fought the war to end all wars. Witnessed the end of the shinobi. Traveled to distant lands. I have loved and I have lost; outliving each and every one of my wives and children, helpless to do anything but weep. My tales are many, and my exploits great. I have carved my name into the Elemental Nations as they were once known a hundredfold, and still...I am unsatisfied.
I am the last of the dying breed, doomed to reincarnate time and time again until I've fufilled my purpose. I cannot age...but I can die. If one wishes to know the pain of a spear through their heart, or the painful end of decapitation, you need only ask me. My deaths are many, my lives, seemingly infinite. Now, as this century old war rages in this land, once again, I feel compelled to act, if not for myself, then for the needs of others. I swear, I'm such a masochist, always throwing myself into the fire for others. What irony! Immortality is indeed a funny and fickle thing, ain't it folks?
Which is how I come to find myself here, in this distant place, in the oddest of situations.
My name is Uzumaki Naruto, Avatar of the Gods...
...and this is my story.
Naruto was not, a fan of water in general. Oh, he drank the stuff of course. Even swam, whenever the whims struck him. But he did not, by any means, enjoy being doused from head to toe. Especially not this early in the morning. Certainly not when he'd elected to accompany two rambunctious children out here in pursuit of fish. It didn't help when one of said children didn't want his help. But their grandmother had been unusuallly adamant this morning. So here he was, the tribe's last remaining man, babysitting.
Honestly, he was getting too old for this. He might be physically trapped at the age of sixteen, yet that didn't make it any less ridiculous. These people had taken him in, offered him food and shelter-starvation was one of the worse ways to off himself-not to mention furs when there were virtually none to be found. Perhaps that was why he stayed. He felt he owed these people. And by definition, their children. Including, much to their occasional consternation-as well as his own-Sokka and Katara.
A moment ago he'd been laughing when she'd accidentally doused her brother with water in an attempt to catch a fish. Then she had gone and gotten him wet. Now, Naruto was no stranger to the cold, but, he was not enjoying the sensation. Not in the least! His sole satisfaction was that he'd managed to catch said fish before it could escape back into the seat. He made for quite a sight, his crystal blue eyes shadowed by sopping wet bangs, his lips quirked downward in a slight frown, gloved mitten clenching tight their hard-earned dinner.
"Oh, you will be." Naruto grinned and shook himself like a wet dog, spattering her with droplets. "Take this!"
His grin grew another inch.
"One good turn deserves another-oi!" He nimbly dodged aside when she flung a small wave at him in retaliation, thus dousing Sokka even further; the small torrent violently tore the boy's spear from his grasp just before he could successfully skewer his first fish-sending his precious weapon arcing end over end before finally sinking to the water below. Within seconds it was gone, plummeting to the depths and out of sight. A small cry of surprise left his lips; that gobsmached expression was simply too good to pass up, both teens burst into laughter.
"Will the two of you please stop playing your little water games?!"
"They're not games, Sokka." Katara admonished. "They're-
"Right right, an ancient art indigenous to our tribe-
Naruto began to tune their bickering out as the canoe drifted through the ice pack.
Southern Water Tribe or not, the girl had a remarkable amount of spirit. Admirable. She would've made a fine shinobi, back in the Elemental Nations. The whole bending concept was entirely beyond him; but that didn't mean he was lacking in understanding. These people utilized their chi in the same way he wielded chakra. Bending wasn't all that uncommon, neither was it rare, either. He'd been utterly amazed by the sheer ingenuity of some benders when he'd first come here...perhaps amazed hadn't been quite the right word.
His first visit since his arrival a century before had been to the Fire Nation; he'd marveled at their destructive art of the inferno; reminding him so much of the Uchiha with their self-righteous arrogance. Then, the Earth Kingdom with their grand, yet stoic simplicity, and the reclusive yet light-heared Air Nomads, he'd spent many months creating new jutsu just by witnesseing their uncanny manipulation of air currents. Finally, it was to the Water Tribe which he'd found himself drawn. The war had broken out shortly thereafter. He'd been in the proccess of evactuating civilians when the Fire Nation killed him. It had taken an entire armada and nearly a thousand men to do the deed. He'd only been reborn about a handful of years ago in the same place he'd perished. Cold. Naked. Alone.
Yup, reincarnation was a bitch and a half.
And apparently he wasn't the only one trapped in this wretched cycle of rebirth. There was this supposed figure. The Avatar. A master of all four elements, mea ntto preserve peace between the four nations. If so, then where the devil was he? Naruto had never met the man, but anyone doomed to be reborn over and over again had to be one hell of a cynic. He'd only died a handful of times, and each time had been more painful than the last. If the avatar had gone through the same thing, then he might meet a man
Surely the man hadn't just been hiding out for the last century...had he? No. Of course not. No one was that much of a coward. Not even him.
Nevertheless, a certain degree of caution had to be exercised whenever utilizing his own abilities. Couldn't have everyone thinking he was the Avatar now, could he? Even waterwalking, as he was doing now, drew a fair amount of attention from those not acquainted with it. If he were to bust out his dojutsu or any of the techniques he'd gained from absorbing the Juubi during in the war, he'd probably have half the nation trying to kiss his feet, or worse, if the Fire Nation found out. Not that all of them were bad, there was that Iroh fellow, but regardless, he wasn't exactly eager to be hunted down again. He might not be an Avatar of the Elements, but he was certainly an Avatar of something else...
The blonde jerked his head upwards, drawn from his reverie just in time to witness the inexplicable; for all intensive purposes, appeared to be an iceburg rising from the depths of the ocean in their path. And they were hurtling towards it! A subtle exertion of Shinra Tensei prevented Sokka and Katara from dashing their canoe against this great glaicier but only just; they were still flung from the boat before he could think to stop them sent sprawling head over heels in a hilarious tumble of arms and legs.
"You kids okay?"
Katara mumbled something; Sokka's exclamation was a great deal less reserved.
Naruto eyed it warily, this frozen sphere that stood before them. Was that...a kid in there? Unthinking, he chopped down. Hard.
The icy cage split in twine before the savage chop, releasing a great geyser of steam. And light. Did he mention light. Scarce had his gloved hand touched the eerie orb than a beam of light burst into existence, hurtling upward and into the heavens. A frightening sonicboom shook their surroundings, shattering the fragile canoe shattering beneath the sudden onslaught of air and sound. Naruto hissed. Not out of fear or awe, or even his own sense of self-preservation; but the knowledge that anyone for miles around would be able to see this. Anyone. Including any Fire Nation vessels.
Leagues away, Prince Zuko saw it. And how could he not?
Rocketing into the heavens like an arrow loosed from a bow, the great pillar of light dominated his vision, demanding his awe, his attention. His everything. He could feel it calling out to him like a clarion call; the return of his honor merely a few miles to the north. A single thought dominaited his mind, turning his scarred face intent with fury. It did not matter to him when it cut off abruptly, he already knew his heading. Knew what did await him there, not just the fight of his life, but the chance to finally, at long last, return home.
'At long last, I've found him.'
That which his father, grandfather, and even his great grandfather had been unable to find.
With a brisk stride he stalked past his guards and into the bowels of the ship, dutifully ignoring his uncle when he asked to join him for tea. Zuko did not have time for tea. Not when his destiny awaited. Perhaps had he lingered he might have noticed Iroh's slight smile in passing. Might've heard his words. But as it stood Zuko did not listen, instead, he stormed into the cabin and issued a fateful order that would forever reshape his life in ways he had yet to foresee. Unknowing of this, he still gave the order:
"Helmsman, head for the light!"
"Naruto, what are you doing?!" exclaimed Sokka as the blond extricated his palm from what had, mere moments before, been a sphere of ice. No longer. The second that beam of light had gone up, the former shinobi'd all but attacked the sphere, shredding it to pieces with his bare hands until the light finally dissipated. Now that it had, he'd slowed his assault. Katara could see that his gloves were gone, burned away by the intensities of his strikes, reduced now to little more than rags wrapping his hands.
"Getting him out." the blond shook his still-numbed hands in a vain affort to warm them. "Ain't that obvious-ara, it looks like we've been beaten to the punch." Both boys turned their attention to the melted glacier-now aware of Katara cradling its occupant. Laying there amidst the ice and snow, his body still glowing ever so slightly, was a boy. But not just any boy. An airbender. The Last Airbender.
Yes, that was the day everything changed. The day we uncovered...
A/N: And there you have it! A seemingly immortal Naruto who is cursed to be reborn over and over again until he fufill his mysterious purpose. Doubtlessly this was caused by absorbing the Jubi and all its ungodly chakra...but why does Naruto keep reincarnating...as the same person, and with his memories intanct? What might that purpose be? Its anyone's guess! It could be something quite simple, such as securing peace for the entire world, or something more complex. In any case, expect the Avatar universe to be filled with hilarity!
Anywho, I worked extremely hard on this one, so I hope to hear what you think! Pairing is up in the air! YOU DECIDE!
So...in the immortal words of Atlas...
...Review, Would You Kindly? And of course, enjoy the preview!
Naruto laughed as Zuko's fist swung harmlessly over his head. The blast of fire that came with the strike was batted aside so effortlessly it may as well not have existed at all. Was this what amounted to taijutsu these days? Pitiful! Absurd! An errant gust of wind chakra was all it took to keep the boy off balance and summarly off his back; he simply couldn't make any progress against the headwind.
"Ha! Your great grandfather was better than this!"
The prince snarled.
"Fight me like a man, Avatar!"
"Look," The blond drawled as he battled the boy backwards, "How many times do I have to tell you...I'M NOT THE AVATAR!"
His words ended in a resounding whoosh as he summoned forth a great geyser of water from deep within his stomach, spewing the violent wave forward. Extinguishing the firey blast and bowling the prince head over heels. But the young firebender simply would not go down. Scarce had he fallen than he was up again, flinging himself at the former jinchuuriki in furious fashion.
"Stop lying! Only the avatar could manipulate the elements like that!"
Naruto's deadpan was barely concealed.
"Oh for the love of...
Hope you enjoyed! R&R! =D