I Don't Own Naruto or Percy Jackson & The Olympians
A Father's Love – Chapter 28
"You are just so cute!" chirped Lacy as she hugged the squirming Toothless close, "You're the world's cutest itty-bitty little dragon. Yes, you are! Yes, you are!" She giggled as the dragon licked her nose, his bright green eyes staring up at her in wonder. "I'm going to keep you forever and ever! We're going to be best friends forever and ever! I'm going to love you forever and ever!"
"Lacy, baby," called Aphrodite softly, "Do you understand what we're trying to tell you?"
"You're way too cute! Yes, you are! Yes, you are!" Lacy laughed as she dropped to the floor, rolling around as she hugged her dragon close, squishing the small Ichibi in her arms. "Are you hungry? What do you want to eat? Do you want any fish?"
"Yeah, she's not even listening," relented Aphrodite, "Let's give her some time."
Naruto smiled, "Well, I guess we should have expected this." He reached for Dite's hand and kissed her knuckles before pulling her down on his lap. "She's been obsessed with that dragon cartoon since she was a toddler – she must have seen it at least a hundred times." He wrapped his arms around Dite's waist and held her close, kissing her cheek. "I've seen that cartoon peripherally at least a hundred times, too. I know so much about Toothless, I must have subconsciously made the Ichibi look exactly like him."
Aphrodite giggled and kissed Naruto softly, nibbling on his lips, "You just gave our baby girl the best possible present. She'll really love that dragon forever, and she'll have a powerful guardian in return." She rested her forehead against Naruto's, "Now if only we can get her attention. I don't think she'll be listening to us any time soon."
He kissed her nose, caressing her soft waist, "It's fine." He smiled as he looked over to the other side of the living room, "We already have our hands full with our other little princess."
Off to the side, Athena was busy with her own daughter.
"Take your time with this new information, Annabeth." The Goddess of Wisdom gently held onto her little girl's hands, "There are wide and stretching implications with this change, and it is a lot to process, but it should answer most if not all of the questions in your mind."
Annabeth stared into her mother's grey eyes, her hands still absentmindedly petting Fluffy's three heads. "This means…" Her eyes widened as they blanked in deep thought, "This would mean…"
"Yes, honey." Athena kissed her daughter's head, lovingly combing her fingers through her princess curls. "It's all real. There is a world beyond human understanding that lies just under the surface of reality. It is hidden from view, protected from human ignorance and arrogance. It belongs to the divine, which is what you are. You are not a human girl, my love. You are an immortal goddess, and you have potential that far exceeds even mine."
"So," Annabeth whispered, "You're actually…the Goddess Athena, Mama?"
Annabeth turned to her other parents, and Naruto and Aphrodite quickly joined her side, gently holding the little girl close. "Mommy…" she whispered to Dite, "You're the real Goddess Aphrodite?"
Dite nodded, "I am, honey."
"Dad?" Annabeth looked up at Naruto, "Are you a god, too?"
"Yes, kind of?" he answered, making her frown. "I'm someone you would call a Primordial." Naruto gently kissed his princess' hair, pulling her warmly into his arms, "Like your mothers, I am also immortal, but I started out as human. Through a lot of time and hardships, I became immortal. Then I met your mothers, and you and Lacy were born. Because of us, both you and Lacy are also immortal goddesses."
"But…" murmured Annabeth as she hugged her father close, "How is this possible? I-I don't feel any different. I'm just like my friends at school! I don't have magical powers or anything like that!"
"Not yet," answered Naruto, "For the longest time, my powers were sealed away, which means yours and Lacy's were slumbering all this time. You were a demigod, but now that I've regained all my powers, my blood running in your veins will activate, and you will soon be able to use the power you've inherited from me and your mother."
"What power is that?" she asked softly.
"The ability to use chakra," he answered, "The manifestation of physical and spiritual energy – a power that came from the Primordial of the Earth herself." He kissed her scared frown away, hugging her close. "I can already sense a small spark of power within you and Lacy. I don't know when exactly, but you will soon be able to activate it, and when you do, I'll be right here to teach you." Naruto kissed his little girl's hair repeatedly, gently soothing her, "You don't have anything to worry about, princess."
"Okay," whispered Annabeth as she slowly pulled away from her father, looking around at her mothers. "But this also means…"
Dite ruffled Annabeth's princess curls, "Nothing is going to change, honey. We'll still be living here at home, and you can still go to school and play with your friends."
"Just think of this as another subject you'll have to learn." Athena kissed her baby's forehead, gently running her thumb over her cheek, "We'll all be here to teach you how to properly control your power."
"No, I get that." Annabeth frowned, "But…this would mean…"
Naruto reached for her hand, "What is it, princess?"
"Please tell us if something is bothering you," gently said Aphrodite.
"You can ask us anything, honey," added Athena.
"If this is all true," Annabeth whispered as her eyes widened, "Then that means almost everything I've learned so far in school is wrong!" She jolted to her feet, angrily stomping on the ground as she circled around the room, "Everything about science, history, and religion is wrong! I wasted so much time learning and memorizing about lies! This is so stupid!"
"Huh?" exclaimed Dite as Naruto and Athena just stared at their daughter.
"No wonder some of my teachers are so dumb!" she cried, oblivious to her parents' stares. "They ramble on and on, repeating whatever is written in the textbook as if we can't read! I knew there was something fishy about science class! I should have known when the teacher couldn't answer any of my questions! Of course, they couldn't! It's all fake!" She looked at her parents expectantly, but continued, "Don't get me started about history class! Or religious studies! Oh, great, now I have to forget everything I spent years trying to memorize! This sucks!"
Naruto watched his princess mutter angrily to herself with a smile.
"You know, we should have expected this," muttered Athena, happily leaning against Naruto.
Dite sighed with a smile, "Yes, we should have."
All the while, Lacy was ignoring her big sister, happily rolling on the ground, tightly hugging her new dragon to her chest.
"Do I even go to school again?!" Annabeth grabbed at her hair, pulling on her golden princess curls. "No! I should burn all those wrong books! How can I be so stupid?!" She stomped on the ground, "I'm never going back to school again!"
"So, you're never going to see Percy again?" randomly added Lacy, still not looking up at her erratic sister.
Naruto looked at his youngest princess, surprised she was even following along, but chuckled at her words. Clearly, just like her mother, Lacy was much smarter than she appeared, and despite her seeming distracted, she was always listening.
"Lace, don't you get what this means?!"
"Yes, it means Toothless is real and I get to keep him!" Lacy grinned as she sat up, kissing Toothless repeatedly on his squirming face, "I'm going to keep him forever, and I'm going to love him forever and ever and ever and ever!"
"AHHH!" cried Annabeth, "NO, THAT'S NOT WHAT IT MEANS!"
Naruto tried to pull Annabeth into a hug, but she kept circling the room. "Princess, please calm down and slowly think this through."
"I should have known!" cried the girl loudly, "I mean, Mama is named Athena and Mommy is named Aphrodite! Those aren't normal names people would use!" She stomped on the ground, but suddenly stopped, turning to her parents with widened eyes. "Wait…Auntie Arty, Auntie Hestia, Auntie Demeter," She trailed off as her eyes kept widening, "Grandma Hera, Great-Grandma Rhea, Grandpa Zeus!"
"Yes, princess," whispered Naruto gently as he nodded.
"HOW CAN I BE SO STUPID?!"
Athena smiled and pulled Annabeth in her arms, "You're not stupid, honey." She kissed her daughter's temple, "You're analytical and logical. For all intents and purposes, our world is perfectly hidden from the human world, so it is only natural for you to be oblivious to it. You were lacking vital information to deduce the situation, so don't think yourself stupid."
Annabeth calmed a little, "But still!"
"Take your time and think everything through slowly and thoroughly." Athena smiled, "There is no rush. You literally have all the time in the world to think this through."
"Maybe you'll have an easier time understanding everything after tonight," said Aphrodite, edging closer to Athena to kiss her daughter's head, "We'll be visiting your grandparents tonight. You can officially see Olympus and meet everyone in their real form. Everything should be clearer then."
Annabeth looked at her mothers, "We're visiting them tonight?"
"WE'RE VISITING GRANDPA?!" Lacy suddenly jumped into Aphrodite's arms, still holding onto a very confused Toothless. "Why didn't you tell me?" the girl happily asked. "I miss Grandpa!"
Aphrodite giggled, "We only decided this yesterday, baby."
"Can I bring Toothless with me?!" yelled Lacy as she hopped to her feet, "I want to show Grandpa! Is Auntie Arty going to be there? I want to show her, too!"
"Yes, honey, they'll all be there," answered Athena with a smile, kissing the small girl's hair. "You'll get to meet all your uncles, too. Well, maybe all of them. You'll meet the important ones."
"But we're going to the real Mount Olympus?" muttered Annabeth, "Actual Olympus? It actually exists?"
"Yes, it does," answered Athena, "It's our home."
"B-But how are we going to go to Greece in such little time?!"
Aphrodite giggled and pulled Annabeth into her arms, holding her close to Lacy. "Sweetie, Olympus moves with Western Civilization. It hovers above wherever the capital of our civilization is, so right now, it's floating above the Empire State Building."
Annabeth's eyes widened, "No way…"
Athena edged closer to Dite, kissing her daughter's head, "There are many things you'll have to learn, but our world will start to make more sense."
"As I said, take as much time as you need and make sure to ask all the questions you have." Naruto wrapped his arms around his family, pulling them all as close as possible, "I know this is all very sudden, but we promise that everything will be okay. Don't think of this as visiting the heavens but think of it as a simple trip to visit your grandparents."
Annabeth sighed, "I'll try."
The Empire State Building was Annabeth's favorite tourist destination in New York City, and as a gift for her good grades, Naruto had brought his darling princess to the iconic building many times in the past. It wasn't the most exciting location for a day trip for local kids, especially not for the less-than-enthusiastic Lacy who had to follow along, but for Annabeth, it was a marvel. For days, she went on and on with fun facts about the building, and by the end, Naruto found himself somewhat of an expert.
But seeing the building again now, it felt unfamiliar and overwhelming.
Naruto held onto Athena and Aphrodite's hands and walked into the building, occasionally glancing at his daughters sitting comfortably in their mothers' arms. They looked excited and happy, but Naruto could see a small amount of nervousness coming from his eldest. He relented to let his princess handle herself and walked into the building, passing through the busy lobby still filled with wandering tourists and rushing salarymen until they reached the elevators.
Athena briskly swiped a golden card through the VIP elevator, and they opened immediately.
Stepping into the small space, it looked no different than the usual elevator. Naruto was expecting some sort of magical display or dramatic flourish, but it looked no different. The only extraordinary clue in it was the button for the top floor – the 600th floor.
Aphrodite smiled as she lifted Lacy higher, letting the excited girl press the button. Immediately, the room rocketed skyward at incredible speeds but was somehow still quiet and stable.
"I've never used these elevators before," chirped Dite as she bounced Lacy in her arms, "Have you?"
"Never," answered Athena with a chuckle, "I think only very minor gods or visiting heroes use these. I don't see the point of ever using these again after today."
"I will have so many questions after tonight," mumbled Annabeth as she stared at the 600th-floor button. "This all changes so much."
Athena kissed her daughter's cheek, "And I'll answer every question you have, sweetheart."
Naruto stared at the closed doors, wondering if he was ready to meet the family of his loves. For millennia, he had steered clear of the immortals, opting to roam the mortal earth by himself. Peripherally, he had seen the Egyptians, the Norse, and more than once had his children fought against the Romans, but he had never directly interacted with any of them. But now as the Primordial of Power, he was about to marry into the Greek Pantheon, and he wondered if all of them were waiting for him behind those doors.
Aphrodite squeezed his hand, and he looked to see her loving smile. "Try to relax, my love." She winked at him, making his heart flutter in delight, "This is nothing more than a casual family gathering. It's not as cozy as Mother Rhea's home, but it's basically the same group of people."
Naruto kissed the back of Dite's hand and smiled back at her, "Thank you, honey."
"The celebration will happen at the Main Hearth, which is just one large, open space. You'll see plenty of people there, but most minor gods will mingle among themselves. The Olympians will gather closer to the hearth and Aunt Hestia will be there to watch over everyone." Athena smiled and comfortably squeezed his hand, "Just stay close to us and you'll be fine. And remember, this is a celebration in your honor, my love."
Naruto pulled Athena closer and kissed the side of her head, "I'll be sure to stay close to you both for protection," he whispered with a smirk.
"We weren't kidding about those minor goddesses, Naruto." Dite huffed and leaned against her lover, "If you see Hecate or Khione, just ignore them. Don't even speak to them." She glared at the door ahead, "They are notorious for fighting over the newest god or handsome hero." She leaned close to him, whispering, "They'll be almost as bad as I was when I first met you."
Naruto gulped, "I'll stay close. I promise."
"Are we there yet?" asked Lacy.
Like clockwork, the elevator door opened.
Once again, Naruto found himself standing at the base of Mount Olympus, the cradle of Western Civilization. Unlike the last time he visited with Mother Rhea, he had the time to take in the splendor. The mountain hovered over the twilight, above the clouds, and shone with the light of hundreds of sparking stars. A stretching flight of white marble stairs started at the base of the mountain and led up to the first giant temple, lined with flicker torchlights.
He glanced back to see the awed shock of his daughters, both looking around in wonder and fascination. He gave each of them a gentle kiss on the head before moving forward, taking the first step closer to his new family. Athena and Aphrodite gently caressed his hands as they walked, and Naruto felt his heart thump hard against his chest as he approached the summit.
"Oh, my gods," whispered Annabeth.
Standing by the entrance gate to Olympus, the home of the gods was revealed. Dozens of smaller temples lined various sides of the mountain, each carved with fine white marble and chisels to perfection. Small stone roads connected each beautiful temple, all lined with divine torches that illuminated the golden grass and flower fields that covered every opened space.
Hundreds of minor gods mingled through the busy streets with even more nymphs and dryads carrying around trays of nectar and ambrosia, skillfully weaving through the obviously inebriated crowd of immortals. They were singing and chanting to dozens of different tunes, all out of place, but through the chaos, the Nine Muses stood on the highest stage, and they sang the most beautiful song Naruto had ever heard in a language he didn't understand.
It was captivating, and he only moved when Athena and Aphrodite pulled him along.
As they made their way through the crowd, Naruto found countless lingering stares and hushed whispers, but the party didn't stop. In the frivolities, the family of five walked on, the two Olympians parting the shuffling crowd of immortals with their presence alone. With one glare, Athena silenced everyone on the left, and they all bowed to her and the curious Annabeth. Likewise, Aphrodite flared her power, forcing everyone on the right into submission, bowing to her and Lacy.
Neither protective Olympians wanted their young daughters exposed to the immortals' drunken displays of affection nor their slurred declaration of peace, and Naruto found himself awkwardly pulled along, nodding his head back to each lowly bowing immortal. He couldn't help but return the glances of the minor gods and working dryads – sensing all of their trepidation, curiosity, and some jealousy of him so affectionately holding two Olympian Goddesses.
Regardless of their thoughts, Naruto allowed his loves to drag him along, quickly leaving the bustling streets of Olympus and towards the Main Heart. From a distance below, he could already see the smoking cinders of Hestia's power, illuminating the dark twilight in a homey, orange hue, and Naruto stared at the growing flames as they got closer, feeling the warm flames and letting them soothe his anxious heart.
But soon, they arrived and stood by the edge of the Main Hearth, welcomed by the sight of nearly every Olympian.
Naruto saw Hestia first, tending to the hearth by the ground, and she gave him a warm and loving smile that calmed his heart. Smiling back, he looked around, seeing the same group of people who had held the barrier for him in the desert. He saw Artemis standing by the gigantic table of food, silently observing her family, and Apollo stood next to her, happily holding a glass of ambrosia.
Hera and Demeter sat near the back, chatting to each other between glasses and plates, and Naruto wondered if it was about his upcoming wedding. Next to them was their brother, Poseidon, and even from a distance, Naruto saw the resemblance between the Lord of the Seas and little Percy. The god was chatting with his sisters, looking much more mellow and cheerful than Naruto would have expected the Earthshaker to be.
Off to the side were the rest of the Olympians, namely Hermes and Dionysus. The former was obviously drunk, swaying from side to side in his seat, laughing loudly at his brother. Surprisingly, the God of Wine looked sober and miserable, staring harshly at Hermes as he downed glass after glass.
Naruto wondered if the rest of the younger Olympians were around, and much to his relief, they weren't. He was not looking forward to meeting Ares again, and he couldn't help but feel awkward with Hephestus. He could easily deal with the God of War – a simple glance would subdue him – but the God of Smiths was another matter entirely. If anything, Naruto felt sorry for the god – not for anything else but for the loss of Aphrodite. Naruto knew he'd have to face them one day, but at the very least he could enjoy himself for now.
"Alas, the star arrives!" Zeus' voice thundered throughout Olympus as he welcomed the small family of five, "Now the celebration can truly begin!"
The God King stood at the front and center of the large hall, illuminated by the fiery hearth from behind. He was no longer dressed in his armor but was once again in a tailored, three-piece suit that made him look more like a CEO than a god. He stood at a towering ten feet, his eyes flickering with untamed lightning as he looked at Naruto, but his lips did betray a small smile.
"Come join the festivities!"
Bracing himself, Naruto made his way into the grand hall, Athena and Aphrodite in tow. They both squeezed his hands for comfort, both easily seeing through his brave façade, and he gently squeezed back. But despite their care and concern, the many burning stares from every immortal around him made him feel uneasy. Regardless, he forged on, not stopping until he stood close to the King, letting his loves and daughters trail behind.
"Thank you for your hospitality, Lord Zeus." He gave the King a confident smile, looking directly into his eyes. "I'm happy to be back under much better circumstances."
The King gave a small chuckle, "Make yourself at home, Naruto." Zeus smiled at Athena and Aphrodite, "You will soon be a part of our family. You are always welcomed on Olympus."
"Thank you," Naruto replied, feeling a little easier.
"And don't forget," added the King, "Tonight is a celebration for you. This is to mark your victory over Gaea, to etch this momentous event into our history." Zeus smiled and smacked the side of Naruto's arm, "So do try to relax and have some fun."
Naruto chuckled, "I will, sir."
"I trust Athena and Aphrodite will introduce you to everyone you've yet to meet," said the King as he looked behind Naruto to his daughter and adopted daughter. "And if you're hungry, we've prepared a lot-"
"Grandpa!" Lacy cried from her mother's arms, having seen her beloved grandfather. "Grandpa, I'm over here!"
Zeus bellowed a laugh and ran to take Lacy into his arms, "My darling little Lacy!" He hugged the small girl close, her small arms wrapped around his neck as she giggled into his ear. "Grandpa has missed you!" He was quick to see Annabeth as well and his eyes sparkled with joy, "And Annabeth, grandpa missed you, too!"
Annabeth giggled as she was plucked from her mother's arms and into her grandfather's embrace, "I missed you, too, Grandpa!"
Zeus held his granddaughters in one arm each, happily cradling them close, "You two are just the cutest little goddesses I've ever seen!" He bounced them lithely in his arms, chuckling as they leaned against his face, "You make Olympus brighter just with your smiles!"
Annabeth smiled, "I still can't believe all this is real!"
"You're really a King, Grandpa?" asked Lacy.
"Of course, I am!" Zeus' voice boomed joyfully, puffing out his chest, "Which makes the two of you little princesses here on Olympus!"
"It does?" asked Annabeth incredulously.
Lacy's eyes sparkled, "Yay, I'm a princess!"
Soon, you'll each have your own temples and servants! I still have to talk to your parents, but we'll also need to give you each of your own domains. There's also plenty of shopping and decorating to do, and Grandpa will get you anything you want!"
"Really?" asked Lacy as Naruto's eyes widened.
"Anything you want!" exclaimed the King, lovingly kissing Lacy's hair.
Lacy's eyes sparkled, "Can I get a bigger doll house? I need more room!"
"Grandpa will get you the biggest doll house ever made!"
"Can I get my own library card?" asked Annabeth with her big puppy eyes, "Dad says I'm not old enough and it's dangerous, but I'm almost eleven!"
Zeus chuckled and kissed Annabeth's forehead, "I'll get you your own library!"
Naruto wanted to interrupt, but the King was already walking away. "But before all that, let's get you both some food! Are you hungry? Your great-aunt Hestia made us a lot of food! Your grandma also made her famous chocolate cake! I'm sure you'll love them!"
"Yay, I want cake!"
"Did Aunt Hestia make her cookies?"
"Yes, she did!" Zeus laughed as he walked over to the food, "Chocolate chip cookies and her famous red velvet cookies. You can have as much as you want!" The King laughed with the girls as he carried them to the table, "Out of the way, Apollo!"
Naruto watched as the Sun God jumped out of the way, almost spilling his own plate of food, and couldn't help but chuckle. His little girls were already very attached to their grandfather, and he wondered if he and Zeus were really alike, at least as fathers. The God King wasn't nearly as heartless or tyrannical as his stories would suggest. Perhaps over the millennia, Zeus had become tamer – Naruto couldn't be sure, but he felt he could trust the King with his princesses.
"Well, that was easier than expected," murmured Aphrodite as she hugged Naruto's arm, "I was expecting way more awkward small talk."
"I'd be happy if it was only small talk," added Athena, holding Naruto's other arm, "I was honestly worried about the new power dynamic and Father's usual paranoia." She gave a small sigh of relief as she looked over at her father and daughters, "This is the absolute best-case scenario. It shows that Father trusts you and is willing to fully accept you into the family."
Naruto felt his shoulders relax, "Well, that's a huge relief." He had no illusions about his own power – he knew he could easily defeat anyone who stood in his way, but he could never do that to Athena.
"Our girls can charm anyone, even the King of the Gods," whispered Dite, giggling at the sight of the almighty Zeus being fed cookies and cake by his granddaughters. "We're looking at the two newest princesses of Olympus. They already have the King wrapped around their fingers."
Athena softly smiled, "If it's anything like the way he treated me and Artemis, we'll have to be prepared to receive a lot, I mean a lot of gifts."
"As long as we don't spoil the girls too much, I don't mind her grandparents spoiling them." Naruto smiled at the sight of his giggling girls, "I've always wanted them to have a big family, and now they've actually got one." He looked down at his loves, "And by the way we're going, our family will grow year after year."
"I already have one on the way," chirped Dite slyly before nudging Athena, "So someone is going to have to catch up."
Athena flushed golden, glancing around, "Not here," she whispered, "I don't need more gossip around here."
"Gossip?" asked the Goddess of Love incredulously, "We've announced our engagement already! It's not gossip at this point." She crossed her arms and smirked, "Unless everyone thinks you're going to stay a virgin goddess after marriage, they'll know you'll eventually get pregnant."
Athena glared at Dite, "I know, but I still don't need you announcing it to the world!"
Naruto raised his hands, trying to calm his loves, but was promptly ignored.
"Wouldn't you rather control the gossip around here rather than letting it fester out of control?" Dite turned away but glanced back at Athena, "Imagine what they're all thinking when they see the three of us. Do you think they're saying we stay in different rooms, or can they guess that we all share one room?" Dite's grin grew at the sight of Athena's glowing face, "Do you think they know we share the same bed? I wonder what they think will happen on our wedding night."
"Honestly, I don't think anyone here knows you as we do." Dite hugged Naruto's arm to her chest as she smirked at Athena, "No one will ever expect the great and divine Goddess of Wisdom to ever be so adventurous – they probably think you're as demure as an old maid." Athena hid her face with Naruto's arm, avoiding Dite's teasing eyes, "They have no idea that I'll also have my way with you on our wedding night."
Naruto gulped as his heart pounded with excitement.
"You will not," muttered Athena through gritted teeth, "Now stop talking and just shut up!"
"Fine, stay in denial." Dite smiled and winked at her, "But I'm the Goddess of Love – I know and sense everything."
Stuck in the middle, Naruto could only kiss his loves' heads, gently calming them down.
"Dear Order above," muttered a voice, and they looked over to see a drunken Hermes looking at them with widened eyes. "It's actually true. I can't believe it, but it's true." He rubbed his eyes as he walked closer, stumbling as he did, "If I'm not seeing this with my own eyes, I'd never believe it."
Dite giggled at the sight, "Are you okay, Hermes?"
Athena sighed, "Go home, brother. You're drunk."
Hermes stared at Naruto, looking him up and down, "Man, I don't know if I should envy you or be scared for you." He shivered, "I know you're supposed to be a primordial and all, but still! I won't be breaking up any fights between these two crazy goddesses even if I'm invincible."
Naruto smiled, "I'm sure I'll be fine." He offered a hand to the Messenger God, "I'm Naruto, by the way. Thanks for your help yesterday and it's nice to meet you."
"Hermes," replied the god, drunkenly shaking Naruto's hand, "I guess I'm one of your many, many, brothers-in-law. Sorry, Father has a lot of children, and us immortal ones don't go away."
Naruto couldn't help but laugh, "It's fine. I've always wanted a big family."
"Well, you're about to marry into the biggest family ever." He yawned, but then smiled, "We're all a bit weird and twisted, but I'm sure you'll get used to us."
"Speak for yourself!" cried Apollo, appearing next to the group in a flash of light, "Don't taint our image to our new brother-in-law."
Athena sighed again, "You're both weird and twisted."
Dite smiled at her male best friend before hugging Naruto's arm tighter, "These two are a little eccentric, but they're definitely the two nicest Olympian gods." Apollo and Hermes both grinned and nodded. "Apollo can heal any wound and Hermes can deliver packages faster than anybody in the world. If our baby is ever sick or needs emergency diapers, they're who we should call."
"Right, congratulations!" exclaimed Apollo with a very bright grin, "Another baby on the way!"
"Really?" asked Hermes, "Is it going to be a god or goddess?"
Naruto smiled and shook his head, "We have no idea yet, but we're fine with either."
"So, Athena is going to be a stepmother," muttered Hermes with a shiver, "That sounds terrifying."
"What do you mean by that?" muttered Athena back with a dangerous edge.
Dite giggled as she snuck behind Athena, quickly linking their arms together, "No, she'll be Mama. Our children will have one father and two mothers. Neither of us will ever be stepmothers to each other's children." She smiled up at the golden Athena, "Right?"
Ignoring her brother's sly stares, she sighed and nodded, "Right."
"Oh, I never thought I'd see the day!" cried Hermes through a few hiccups, "Athena actually getting married, along with Aphrodite no less! Life sure has a way to keep things interesting for us immortals. This is the best gossip we've gotten in the last millennia." Hermes winced, "Oh, no wonder I don't see Ares or Heph here."
Athena and Dite looked stoic, but Naruto shrugged, "I know I'll meet them sooner or later, but I am glad there won't be any awkward introductions tonight. This is already crazy enough for me."
"You'll be fine," muttered Apollo as he sipped on his ambrosia, "Heph is a chill god and he's not the most sociable person anyway. He won't seek you out or do anything against you. When you meet him, just keep conversations short and brief." The Sun God winced, "Ares, though, I haven't seen him in a while. He's locked himself in his temple and not even the old man could order him to come out."
Hermes shrugged, "I guess he's taking it harder than we expected."
Naruto sighed, "I'll confront him if the time comes, but I can't say I'm disappointed about this. If he wants to keep his distance, that's fine with me." He smiled at his loves, and they held his arms tighter, "I'm here to stay, so I'm sure over the next few centuries, I'll at least have a few encounters with him."
"Just as long as you keep the peace, I'm sure everything will be fine." A familiar voice came from behind the group, and Naruto looked back with a smile, welcoming the warm sight of Mother Rhea. "We've had enough infighting in our family over the years, so going forward, I'm sure we've learned to be better." Rhea welcomed the trio into her arms, warmly embracing the small family. "With the three of you, I'm sure you'll set a nice example for the rest."
"Thank you, Lady Rhea." Naruto was relieved to see such a calming presence. "For everything."
"I should be the one to thank you, my dear." She smiled lovingly at him, "And you're about to marry my granddaughter and adopted granddaughter, so I think it's time you start calling me grandmother, Naruto."
Naruto gave her a true and happy smile, "I'd be honored, grandmother."
"This is nice," said Apollo with a smile, "I haven't had any visions about this, but I like this." They all smiled at him, "In fact, I feel a haiku coming." Most of those smiles vanished – only a polite Naruto listened on.
"Please don't, you idiot." Artemis appeared next to her twin, "Just leave us one night of peace."
Apollo pouted at his twin, "Must you ruin everything for me?"
"Artemis," greeted Naruto with a smile, "Thank you for your help yesterday. Without all of you, I don't know how much damage I would have done beyond the desert."
"It was the least we could do," replied the Huntress with a small smile, "In the end, you dealt with the threat of Gaea and defeated her, and that is above and beyond what we expected of you. Going forward, we only need to worry about the Giants and Titans, and that is all thanks to you." She smiled at her sisters, "Not to mention that you've added two new goddesses to our family with another on the way. With their potential, I'm sure we'll have no problems dealing with our enemies."
Naruto nodded, "Yes, but I'll deal with the threats before my girls do."
"Give me a few weeks with them in my hunt," suggested Artemis, "I'm sure I can train them to become mighty warriors."
"Annabeth is still too young, sister," answered Athena with a smile, "Perhaps when she's a little older."
"And there is no way I am letting my baby girl sniff deer poop with your man-haters!" exclaimed Dite, glaring at a glaring Artemis, "No way! Absolutely not!"
Artemis angrily approached Aphrodite but was stopped when a blonde blur crashed into her.
"Auntie Arty!" cried an ecstatic Lacy, "You're here! I was looking for you!"
Artemis ignored Aphrodite's glare and simply melted at the little girl's puppy-dog eyes, giddily lifting her niece into her arms. "Awe, did you miss me, Lacy?" She kissed Lacy's cheek, smiling at her adorable giggle, "Did you miss your Auntie Arty?"
Grandma Rhea!" cried Annabeth as she joined her family, happily reaching for Rhea's hand with a wide grin. "You're here, too! I was looking all over for you!" She jumped into Rhea's opened arms, happily wrapping her small arms around her grandmother's neck.
Rhea cooed at her great-granddaughter, "I was looking for you, too, baby!"
Naruto smiled at his giddy daughters still with cookie crumbs on their lips, and simply watched as they latched onto Rhea and Artemis. Athena and Aphrodite quickly joined in, smiling as they quickly wiped the crumbs from their daughters' faces, giggling as they snuggled against their aunt and grandmother. From the side, Naruto felt at peace just watching them, barely noticing when Zeus joined his side, also watching along.
"As I said before," muttered Zeus softly, "It has been a long time since we've had such joy in this family." The King smiled as he crossed his arms, gently staring at the sight. "Children really are bundles of joy, and your little goddesses have made our immortal lives better."
"They are my pride and joy," replied Naruto, "And I'm glad they have so many relatives who love and care for them now."
Zeus nodded, "They will be forever cherished by Olympus," added the King, "I can promise you that." The King turned to glance at Naruto, "With that being said, are you planning to activate your blood inside them soon? I can sense that they are still half-human but also have huge amounts of dormant power sleeping inside them. I'm assuming you have a plan of when to activate their immortality."
Naruto nodded, "I do, but I'm trying to preserve their childhood as they know it as much as possible." He smiled at his baby girls, "As much as they love this, they also have the life they've always known. They have friends at school and human dreams to fulfill. For now, I want to let them continue to grow as they've always had, and when they are fully matured and ready, I will activate the chakra inside them."
"Very well," muttered the King with another nod, "All the better – I still need time to figure out what domains to attribute to them."
Naruto chuckled, "Yes, please take your time with that."
"Daddy!" cried Lacy as she bounced in Artemis' arms, waving over at him with an excited grin. "Can I please show Auntie Arty!"
"I want to show Grandma Rhea, too!" cried Annabeth, her grin mirroring his own.
"Sure," replied Naruto before glancing at the King. "I was planning to show everyone here anyway."
A golden aura briefly flared from Naruto's body, shaking the foundations of Olympus. Every god and goddess was alerted, and all chatter seized, all looking over at the golden pillar of light. Zeus was joined by Hera as they observed the scene, Poseidon, Demeter, and Hestia standing behind them. The younger Olympians took a few steps back, with Apollo standing in front of Artemis for protection. Dionysus and Hermes staggered back, falling back onto the couch they shared, but everyone was looking at the surging power.
Soon, nine golden orbs surrounded Naruto and the light faded away.
Zeus' eyes widened, "You separated the Beast?"
"I did," Naruto answered with a soft smile, "These are the new nine beasts I created, each with their own soul and mind." The first orb of light shattered to reveal Kurama, a small nine-tailed fox that landed on Naruto's head. He immediately curled around Naruto's hair and nestled against him, yawning into a nap. "This is Kurama, my personal symbol and companion. He's still very young, so he still sleeps a lot."
The other orbs of light also hatched, and a few of them immediately searched for their bonded family member. Amor, the five-winged dove gently glided to Aphrodite, landing in the goddess' arms, nesting warmly against her. Sophia, the seven-tailed owl perched herself on Athena's shoulder, proudly looking around her new home. Fluffy, the three-headed hound stumbled around on the ground for a bit but jumped into Annabeth's waiting arms and licked her giggling mouth. And Toothless, the one-tailed dragon barreled into Lacy's opened arms, squirming in her arms until he curled into a comfortable rest.
"As you can see, most have already been bonded with their own companion." Naruto smiled and scratched the top of Kurama's head, "But there is a couple I would like to offer Olympus."
Zeus was still a little shocked, "What do you mean?"
Naruto smiled, "This is the Six-Horned Elk," he said looking at Artemis, "He hasn't been bonded to anyone yet and he still needs a name." He gently lifted the calf and held him out for Artemis, "But I think he'll do well in your care, Artemis."
The Goddess of Hunt's eyes widened, "Are you sure?"
Naruto nodded, "I am. I trust you'll take good care of him in your camp."
Artemis gently placed Lacy on the ground before reaching out for the calf, very calmly cradling him in her arms. He had a brilliant coat of golden hide dotted with white spots and looked up at her with his innocent, big, round, brown eyes. He gently touched his nose to hers, and Artemis smiled brighter than Naruto had ever seen, holding the small calf as close as possible.
"I promise to honor your gift with great care, Naruto." Artemis smiled at him and nodded, "I will treasure him as my companion and offer him a place in my hunt."
"Thank you." Naruto smiled as he turned to Mother Rhea, "And for you, grandmother." Rhea's eyes widened as a small lion cub with two tails hovered over to her, placing Annabeth gently on the ground. "This is the Two-Tailed Lion. He also hasn't bonded with anyone and still needs a name." Rhea gently held the cub in her arms, "I can think of no one better to take care of him than you, grandmother."
Rhea looked down at the cub in her arms and he stared back up at her with curious blue eyes, his golden coat glimmering in the twilight. "He's absolutely beautiful," she whispered with a smile. "Thank you, Naruto." She looked back at her grandson-in-law, "I will take good care of him."
"I know you will, grandmother."
Zeus nodded along, "Beautiful gifts indeed."
"The two remaining beasts I will keep in my home for now." Naruto telekinetically lifted the Four-Tailed Bull and the Eight-Headed Hydra, two of the most fearsome and powerful beasts. "Both will be reserved for our future children. I'm sure they will quickly bond with the beasts once they are born."
"You've already given six of these beasts to six goddesses of Olympus, and I am grateful." Zeus gave him a small smile, "They will be fine additions to Olympus and will be fine protection against our future enemies." The King patted the heads of Annabeth and Lacy, "Most importantly, they will also ensure the safety of my granddaughters."
Naruto smiled, "Indeed."
"Auntie Arty, look!" cried Lacy as she held onto her baby dragon, "Toothless is real!"
Artemis could barely look away from her new companion, but still smiled at her niece, "Yes, I see. He's very cute."
"This is Fluffy, Grandma Rhea!" Annabeth held her puppy up to her great-grandmother, "Isn't he just adorable?! He's much cuter than the Cerberus I read about!"
Rhea giggled, "He is, but the real Cerberus is quite cute, too."
"Really?" asked Annabeth with widened eyes.
"Yes, his name is Spot." Rhea giggled at the excited girl, "I'll introduce you to him sometimes. Fluffy and Spot can play together."
Demeter appeared behind Athena and Aphrodite, linking their arms together. "Girls, I love your new symbols of power and companions, but there is a lot we need to talk about!" She grinned and pulled the two younger goddesses back, "Hera and I did a lot of planning for your wedding, but we need your opinion! Come join us over here!"
Hera smiled as she linked her arms with Hestia, "Demeter wants to serve cream of wheat at the reception, so please tell her no."
Hestia smiled at her middle sister, "That's not a good choice for a wedding, sister."
Naruto watched as the group scattered, with his loves being pulled away by their aunts, his daughters chatting away with their aunt and great-grandmother, and the younger gods returning to their drinks and food. Everywhere he sensed, he felt happiness, hope, and optimism. For a large group of immortals, the Olympians were much more laidback and relaxed than Naruto had expected them to be.
But there was a slight hint of anxiety, and it was standing right next to him,
Naruto smiled, "Hello, Lord Poseidon."
The God of the Seas was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and Birkenstocks, hardly looking like the god from the legends. He wore a small smile and handed Naruto a tall glass of ambrosia. "Just Poseidon is fine," he said surprisingly calmly, "You're a primordial, remember?"
"Then please call me Naruto." He smiled, "I've never been one for titles or formalities."
"Very well, Naruto."
"Are you okay, Poseidon?" he asked, feeling the god's anxiety increase along with a hint of worry. "If I may, I assure you, I will keep little Percy a secret."
Poseidon looked around to make sure they were alone before nodding at Naruto, "Thank you, Naruto." The god sighed and finished his drink, "I must admit that I wasn't sure if your ascension will expose the existence of my son. He is quite close with your daughter, after all."
Naruto smiled, "You've been watching over him?"
"Every day since he was born." Poseidon looked down at the clouds with a small smile, "He's strong, and he looked a lot like me."
Naruto nodded, "Indeed, he does." He chuckled, "He grows taller every time I see him. He is a polite and well-mannered boy, and of all my daughters' friends, he's by far my favorite." Poseidon chuckled and nodded. "Sally is also a very good mother. She takes very good care of her son."
"She does," whispered Poseidon as Naruto felt a hint of anger from him. "She goes as far as to be with that stain of a human to protect Percy from harm."
Naruto frowned, "I have heard rumors from my other employees about Sally's personal life." He looked down at the clouds as well, "I don't know much about it, but as her employer and friend, I can help. Now that I have regained my powers, I can stop any attack from any monster that goes after my daughters' friends."
Poseidon glance at him, "Will you do that?"
"I will," he answered immediately, "As much as dread it and as much as I hate to admit it, my little girl may have a crush on your son." Poseidon chuckled and nodded along. "Sooner or later, he may become my son-in-law, and I will never let anything happen to him."
"You have my deepest gratitude, Naruto." Poseidon breathed a sigh of relief, "If you ever need anything from me, please do not hesitate to ask."
"Maybe just a few season-passes to SeaWorld," he muttered with a smile, "I'm sure my daughters will love to go."
Done!" replied Poseidon with a loud laugh.
"You two seem to get along well," came the sudden voice of Zeus, and Naruto immediately felt Poseidon's anxiety increase. "Surprising, given the millennia-long feud my brother has with your fiancé." Zeus smiled as he joined Naruto's other side, "I was expecting the two of you just ignore each other."
"We were just regaling old stories," said Naruto with a smile, "I think my son in the past would have fought against your forces time and time again." Zeus and Poseidon raised their brows, "I remember seeing Genghis Khan's army sink into the seas when they tried to invade Japan. The Japanese called that even the Kamikaze – the God Wind." He smiled at the two Kings, "I wonder if one of you had anything to do with it."
Zeus smirked, "You can be sure Poseidon did that."
The Sea God shrugged, "I honestly don't remember, but now that you mention it, I completely forgot Genghis Khan was your son. I remember hearing about it back then." He chuckled, "Attila was also your son! No wonder Athena is marrying you! Your son basically ended the Romans!"
Naruto sighed, "Yeah, I still need to learn more than that."
Zeus shivered, "I'm sure you will."
"Wear a helmet when you do," suggested Poseidon with a smirk.
"Anyway," added the King with a stern stare at his brother before looking back at Naruto, "Have you decided on your own domain yet? You're already immortal, so all we need now is a domain and a title."
Naruto nodded and looked up at his father-in-law, "I have decided, and with your blessing, I'd like to watch over this domain."
"What is it?"
"I want to be the God of Fatherhood and Family." He smiled as he looked down at the clouds, "There are a lot of children out there that need help, and I want nothing more than to help them." He glanced at a smiling Poseidon, "I think that is something I can spend the rest of my immortal life doing."
Poseidon raised his glass, "Very noble choice."
Zeus smiled and nodded, "Very well, then." The King raised his glass also, and Naruto cheered them both. "From henceforth, Naruto, you will be the God of Fatherhood and Family, and the new Primordial of the Earth. I will see to it that your presence is announced to all our people, and your own temple be raised in our lands." The King finished his drink, "We'll also announce the news of your marriage to the world. Be ready to receive your own sacrifices."
Naruto smiled, "I'll never be ready for this, but I'll do my best."
Poseidon gave him a strong pat on the back, "There is no one better for this job."
He smiled again, "Thank you."
Chapter 28 – End
The next chapter will finally introduce Camp Halfblood and the other demigods! Naruto will get to meet the other children of Athena and Aphrodite as the God of Fatherhood!
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I have started a pay-tree-on exclusive story that is a substory of A Father's Love. It is a lemon story that explores the slowly evolving nightlife of Naruto, Athena, and Aphrodite. It has all the scenes that I only describe between the lines in the main story. It mainly is a story of how Athena slowly becomes accustomed to being physical with Naruto and Aphrodite. Only one chapter has been posted so far, but there are a lot more to come!
Either way, I hope you all liked this chapter.
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