I Don't Own Naruto or Percy Jackson and the Olympians!
Reading: A Father's Love – Chapter 12
Sparing a fleeting glance at her counterpart and her husband, Athena returned to attention to the book, allowing a silent sigh to pass her lips. It felt heavy, weighing on her mind like an anchor, stalling her thoughts with interest and trepidation. Not unlike peeking through the looking-glass, Athena pushed forward and continued to read.
The weapons had vanished, and all was silent, but the tension was no less palpable. The wind felt hot and seemed to become stronger by the second; it sent chills down Aphrodite's spine as she stared at the man in front of her. The truth of the situation was slowly dawning on her and the Hokage appeared oddly frightening to her.
Naruto pursed his lips and tightened his grasp on Dite's hand, looking at her as she squeezed back.
"Don't worry, honey," she whispered, giving him a dazzling smile. "It turns me on." She laughed as he immediately sunk into his seat, lowering his head as blood flooded his cheeks again. Leaning against him, she kissed his shoulder, "Maybe not everyday, but I wouldn't mind seeing it that side of you more often."
Thea sighed and rubbed her temples, "Please, just keep quiet. This is an important part of our story, so let's just let them read on."
Dite scoffed and haughtily flicked her hair over her shoulder, "Shut up. You love it when he gets like that." Determined to not get riled up, Thea just sighed again and continued to massage her head. "It's no mystery why every time the two of you spar, you end up in bed or the shower… or the hot tub, or the car, or my closet."
Feeling the stares of her family, Thea closed her eyes and tried to ignore Dite and her own golden face. She didn't see who catcalled, but it didn't matter. Zeus was more than happy to launch a few lightning bolts at his bumbling sons for laughing at his worst nightmare.
"Why even call it sparring?" Dite pushed down a laugh at the sight of the burning faces of Naruto and Thea. "I mean, at this point it's just foreplay." Naruto thanked Order and Chaos that his daughters were still wearing their earmuffs as Dite continued. "Very effective foreplay! The harder you fight the rough you fuc-"
Naruto could no longer take it and clamped his hand over his wife's mouth, "Please honey, stop talking!"
Thea shook with rage as she shakily rubbed her temples, still trying to act calm. "Please continue," she said to her counterpart.
Athena stared at her what-if scenario and shook her head, "As you wish."
Naruto was not a regular human – not even close – he was something older, something ancient. The Age of Bronze Men was a very long time ago, so long that she'd barely remember it – she was only a young Goddess at the time. She had never met a man from that era, and she never thought she would. All the men from the Bronze Age had been known to be extinct.
"Athena, w-what does this mean?" muttered Aphrodite softly.
Many leaned forward to pay close attention and Athena quickly read on.
Athena crossed her arms, her eyes never once straying from Naruto. "This is certainly very surprising. I never thought I would meet someone from the ancient times in such a strange manner." She analyzed the Hokage's body language and saw no fear – he was completely calm. "The Bronze Men are supposed to be all dead; Father had searched the land before he started the creation of the Iron Men."
Zeus nodded, "Yes, just as I did in our world." He looked at Naruto, "But somehow my other self overlooked you." It made the King wonder if anyone had slipped under his nose as well.
"Don't worry," replied Thea, sensing her father's counterpart's thoughts. "My father didn't actually overlook my husband. He merely ignored him for the most part."
"Why would he do that?" asked Hera for her husband.
"You'll find out as the book progresses."
"Are all of the Bronze Men supposed to have this kind of power?" Aphrodite was no stranger to battles, and she knew that the skill Naruto displayed during his brief fight with Athena wasn't something a mortal human should have.
"Definitely not," replied Athena seriously. "The Bronze Men were designed to house more power compared to modern men, but not this much. They were more physically gifted and had much more stamina and strength, but in no case were the supposed to rival the gods." The Wisdom Goddess glanced at Aphrodite, "But this one is much stronger than intended."
"Oh, you can just see the desire in her eyes." Dite giggled and glanced at Thea, "She discovered her fetish that day."
Thea did not spare Dite a glance but couldn't ignore Naruto's raised brow and just sighed. "No, I don't have any inclinations toward warriors." She closed her eyes again and crossed her arms over her chest, "It's just you."
Naruto's heart fluttered and gave his wife a shy smile.
Athena gave no one a chance to tease her and quickly read on.
"It's because of that chakra thing, right?"
"Yes, chakra is the source of these men's power. It is the manifestation of physical energy mixed with spiritual power, and it is originated from the earth itself." Athena sighed, "It is said that Mother Gaea is the origin of this sort of power, and the gods merely mixed within a tiny portion of this power when they created the humans."
"He seems to have more than a tiny portion…"
Athena nodded, "Yes, there shouldn't be a Bronze Man with such power; I am quite surprised as well."
"While all this is very interesting and definitely helps with my boredom, but can you please explain to me the situation?" The Hokage's long Haori flapped in the wind as he stared down at the two immortals, his eyes back to being cold and calculative. "Who are you and why are you here?"
"I could see why this Naruto would appeal to Athena," muttered Demeter with interest, "He even sounds a little like our War Muffin."
"He does not appeal to me," replied a stony Thea, "The only reasoning behind my interest and patience with him is because he is a part of my husband. Nothing more." She absentmindedly leaned closer to Naruto, "An insignificant and fleeting part of my husband, but my husband nonetheless."
Hera smiled, "Such a devoted wife. I'm proud of you, Athena."
"My name is Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, Battle Strategy and Warfare, and one of the Twelve Olympians." Naruto's eyes narrowed at the introduction but remained silent. "From what I deduced, you somehow remained hidden from the gods as time went by and created a new life for yourself after your memory was destroyed." Aphrodite stepped closer to Athena with a frown, "And the one thing I am sure of is that you have somehow harnessed much more chakra than any of your people and managed to become an immortal."
"Thank you!" exclaimed Demeter, "So he is immortal."
Dite smiled and nodded, "Yep, our immortal husband through and through!"
"He can't," whispered the Love Goddess, "I've seen Naruto bleed; he has red blood."
"His power must have somehow been suppressed; that explains his amnesia and how our powers couldn't penetrate his mind." Athena bit her lip, "I think his memories are directly tied to his powers; this also explains why Naruto can defeat monsters and see through the Mist." The Goddess could only imagine how it was possible for one mortal man to have so much more. If he could clash against her with most of his powers suppressed, then he would be a match for Apollo or maybe even her Father. That shouldn't be possible, and she didn't want to believe it, but all the evidence suggested that fact.
Athena gave a slight pause, musing at the fact that her counterpart's husband should actually be stronger than her father, if his stopping the Masterbolt was of any indication.
"Lord Zeus will kill him without question." Aphrodite bit her lip and fidgeted nervously, "You know how paranoid they all are!"
Thea pursed her lips, "He did try." That all but confirmed Athena's own thoughts. "He had to get it out of his system, but reasoning came through afterwards."
Zeus frowned, "What do you mean?"
Dite giggled, "Well, you took Naruto and the girls out for Chinese food just last weekend, so I'd say you two get along pretty well."
"What?" asked Apollo for his stunned father.
Thea smiled and nodded, "Yes, my father adores Annabeth and Lacy." Zeus looked down at the small girls with their ears still covered, raising in intrigued brow at their immediate smiles at the sight of him. "They sense that you're not the same grandpa they love but seeing how they're not the slightest bit scared of you should explain plenty."
"We're still opening the presents you sent." Dite laughed as she hugged Lace close, "You went way overboard with their birthday gifts." Zeus didn't know how to react and just listened. "Model buildings and teddy bears made sense, but you ran out of ideas pretty quickly."
"You said you wanted to make up for missing their first few birthdays," added a happy Naruto, for once not blushing at the story. "You basically sent Annabeth a model of every famous building in the world and Lacy's bedroom is filled to the brim teddy bears and barbie dolls. But when you couldn't think of anything else, you gave Annabeth a building on Park Avenue." The other Olympians gave their King a flat stare as the demigods just gave looks of stunned surprise. "When we said that was too much, you had that building demolished and gave her the plot of land, saying that she could design the new building."
Zeus gave a small shrug, "Not a bad gift for our architect."
"You watched Disney's Hercules with Lacy," added Dite, ignoring the scowl on Hera's face. "She said the baby Pegasus was cute, and you made her one in our living room." Artemis hid a smile; she still had her own cloud Pegasus in her camp. "It was raining on her birthday and it almost ruined her outdoor birthday party, so you threatened to banish the Four Winds and almost attacked Aeolus for authorizing the storm."
The King crossed his arms, "They should know better."
Rhea smiled happily, "Aw, Zeus is being a fluffy grandpa!"
"Mother," the King said with a frown before looking back at Thea, "It's hard to believe my counterpart would show such blatant favor to two demigoddesses."
"Well," started Thea with a small smile, immediately alerting Athena and Zeus. "Naruto isn't human. He's an immortal. The girls aren't demigoddesses."
Nearly everyone from Camp Halfblood were stunned at the news, but none as much as Annabeth and Lacy. The older girls stared at their counterparts who looked identical to them and wondered how one small change make so much difference.
Thalia gave Percy a chuckle, "So I guess the other you must take that offer of immortality."
"I guess so," answered the Hero of Olympus.
Annabeth smiled at her oblivious counterpart before giving her boyfriend a smirk, "This means the other me will be stronger than the other you." Ignoring the subtle laughter, Percy shook his head, but his girlfriend only laughed.
Thea scoffed, "My daughter's potential is far beyond those of any demigod." She smiled down at her little girl, "Beyond those of my own."
Zeus could only sigh, "Let's just continue."
"That is why we need to take care of this problem ourselves." Athena sighed, "We need to figure out how powerful he really is and monitor the progress before the others find out about him. Regardless of him being a Bronze Man, Annabeth and Lacy still need him." 'I need him as well.'
"You need him, alright." Dite bit her lip with a giggle, "Every night."
Thea took deep breaths, trying to get through the chapter one word at a time.
"What are you talking about?" muttered the Hokage, his patience wearing thin.
"You are a man of the old age," spoke Athena stoically with the composure of a General, "Your time had long since passed. It is safe to say that you are aware of this, but because of your loss of memory, you just can't remember. All I can say for certain at the moment is that you have somehow lost your memories, and you split into two blank slates. The internal slate – you – retained only your instincts and small amounts of memory. The Naruto I know is the outer state, and he is a normal man who thinks himself a victim of amnesia, not some sort of ancient warrior." The Hokage crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes but didn't comment. "The outer Naruto continued to live and made a new life for himself, but since you are trapped within his deepest level of mind, you cannot perceive it."
Athena paused to look at your counterpart, "Interesting. I assume the man before us now is the combination of the inner and outer identities?"
She stared at Naruto, who couldn't help but shiver at the lack of emotions in her gaze and tone. She looked identical to his wife but held none of her affection or love. It was understandable, but deeply upsetting. Even during their earliest times together, Athena didn't look or act so distant. He couldn't help but wonder if the cold persona was an act, to protect herself from potential vulnerability. He pushed down the urge to comfort her, reminding himself that she was not his wife and did not want his help.
"Close enough," answered Thea, "Though you will have a more thorough explanation as the story goes."
"So, what should we do?!" exclaimed a frustrated Aphrodite.
"I'm not sure…"
Silence reigned for a brief while as the two Goddesses pondered over the situation, but their attention was quickly drawn to Naruto when he sighed and turned away. His Haori flapped in the wind as he stepped up to the railing and rested his arms on the steel, his eyes staring out at his village tirelessly. Being such an empathic being, Aphrodite could feel the man's loneliness and confusion, and couldn't help but feel a pang of pain in her heart – seeing Naruto in such a light was gut-wrenching.
Naruto held Dite's waist and pulled her close, smiling as she rested against him, ignoring the blazing glare of Ares from the corner of his eyes.
"So…I am just a relic of the past, a man without time." Athena remained stoic as the Hokage gave a small chuckle and shook his head, "I shouldn't be too surprised. Not only have I forgotten my time, my time has forgotten about me." Naruto sighed and he looked down at the village, "But nonetheless, I feel like I still love this place, this…home. This is where I belong, no matter how empty and isolated it is. I will just have to take solace in the fact that I am all the proof I need to prove the existence of my time."
"I haven't seen such peculiar structures in many years," said Athena as she walked up next to the man. "I've admired the architecture of the Bronze Age; it is much more militaristic than even the most hostile countries nowadays, but it still had its own identity."
Aphrodite stepped up to Athena and tugged her arm, "Is there any way we can fix this?"
"Naruto," said Athena firmly, though it did feel odd calling this stranger the same name as her love, "If I ask for your trust, will you give it to me?"
"You asked that quite often now, just not about trust."
Naruto gulped as he sat up, blocking the view between his wives, hoping they don't start fighting.
The Hokage chuckled, "While I think of myself as a careful person, I hardly have anything to lose now."
The Goddess gave a curt nod, "Alright then." Athena gently placed a hand on Naruto's forehead before looking at Aphrodite, which made the Love Goddess place her hand on Naruto as well. "As the Goddess of Warfare, I am capable of dwelling into one's mind and harness any shred of memory connected to my domain. Right now, the two of us will search your mind, and I think unlike the outer Naruto, it will have much more dormant memories."
"I will search for any feelings of love you had for anyone back in your old life, and hopefully they will fill some of the emptiness in your mind." Aphrodite looked over at Athena and gave her a nod, signally that she was ready.
"I understand," muttered Naruto.
It all happened in an instant. The small area surrounding the goddesses and the Hokage remained the same, but Naruto's entire mindscape started to shake violently. The man gritted his teeth and shut his eyes as the goddesses' power penetrated into his mind. Shocking and stinging sensations were all that he could feel as his body twitched uncontrollably. Hundreds or thousands of mental images flashed into his mind like shattered pieces of a completed puzzle, all incoherent data that fell unceremoniously into his memory.
Athena narrowed her eyes at the vast difference compared to the time she tried to penetrate outer Naruto's mind. This man had an extremely vast amount of memories stored inside his mind – thousands of years' worth of memories. But something was still amiss; all the information was scattered and random, as if something was preventing her from fully extracting the data. Though now Athena could explain why Naruto did so well in her classes; she extracted a huge amount of random memories from his mind and all of them was about war, as expected of a man from the Bronze Age.
"Naruto, you are actually older than Athena?" asked Hestia.
Naruto smiled at his aunt-in-law, "We're actually around the same age, Lady Hestia."
"I can pluck certain memories out, but none of them make sense or have any concise order," called out Athena as she looked over at Aphrodite. "Are you getting anything?"
In strict contrast to war, love was much simpler when remembered. When regarded to feelings and memories, love can only be one of two things – happiness and pain. And unlike the Naruto Aphrodite knew and loved, the Hokage had much experience in love. Ever since she placed her hand on his head, she could feel his pain and his love – it was abundant. From the confines of his mind only two stray images came out, and they were very clear and constant: the face of one pink haired woman with green eyes and the face of a black-haired woman with white eyes. They may appear in different frames and may look slightly different each time, but they remained constant. Every time Aphrodite detected pain and love in Naruto's mind, those two faces would emerge without error.
"Ah, past loves." For the first time in a while, Aphrodite spoke, smiling at her counterpart. "I sense some tasty drama incoming."
"Kind of," answered Dite, "But not as much as you'd like."
"Aphrodite!" exclaimed the Wisdom Goddess, trying to get the other goddess to answer.
Aphrodite nodded as she looked at Naruto's painful expression, "Yes, there are two women constantly present in his mind, one pink haired and one black haired." She frowned and pulled her hand away with a sigh, "And I think this is enough for now."
Athena agreed and retracted her hand as well, "Alright."
The shaking around the village ceased and settled down, and all was silent besides Naruto's panting. The Hokage rested against the railing as he fought to catch his breath, beads of sweat rolling down the sides of his face. His blue eyes were intense and looked very troubled, as if his confusion had increased even more than before and he couldn't stop his hand from shaking as he brushed his hair back. For the first time since the two Goddesses had met this Naruto, he looked disorientated and staggered.
Aphrodite frowned as she looked over at the Hokage, "You just saw everything we saw, right?"
Naruto merely nodded, remaining silent otherwise.
"I only caught glimpses of your memories and all of them were scattered and arbitrary; I couldn't find any discernable patterns." Athena crossed her arms and sighed, "Though there is one thing I am sure of: you have been through many years of war."
Flashes of carnage of the battlefield appeared in his mind and left just as quickly, making the Hokage cringe at the numbing sensation. "I'm quite aware of that now, though I still can't really recollect any specific times."
"I don't expect you to; you only regained mere fragments of your memories, and it will take much more time before you can fully remember everything." Athena internally noted Naruto's hopeful expression at her words, "What we proved today is that it is possible to reach your memories with our powers, and I am confident that we can fully restore them in time. War and Love encompass the bulk of humanity, especially in the Bronze Age, we are fully equipped."
"This ability of ours to infiltrate Naruto's mind and emotions is perhaps the single most useful advantage we have." Thea gave her counterpart a look, "Keep that in mind for now."
"Thank you," muttered Naruto, looking grateful and relieved, "I really appreciate your help."
"Make no mistake; we are doing this to find out more about how a man who should be mortal managed to live for so long." Athena narrowed her eyes at the lack of reaction from the warrior, "Your existence is quite disconcerting for us." 'Not to mention that I love the other you and don't want anything bad to happen to him.'
"Aw," cooed Rhea as Demeter joined in. "I absolutely adore how deeply in love you are with your husband." Thea flushed golden again as her family stared at her. "I thought I'd never get to see you like this. You've made grandmommy so happy!"
"Yes, my grandmother from our world reminds me everything we visit."
Rhea sighed wistfully, "I really have to work on finding the Naruto in our world. I need to make this happen in our world as well!"
Thea gave her a genuine smile, "Yes, I hope you find him as well," she said, mindful of the stoic faces of Aphrodite and Athena.
"We should leave soon," spoke Aphrodite, making Athena raise an eyebrow to her stoic tone, "I can feel this place fading; Naruto is waking up."
The Hokage frowned, "Will you two come back?"
Athena nodded, "Yes, we will see this to the end."
Aphrodite gave the Shinobi a weak smile and placed a hand on his shoulder, "You're welcome. We will be back soon, but until then, try to clear your mind and not focus too much on the fragments. We will uncover more memories soon, and you focusing too much of these small memories might make you even more confused."
The Hokage nodded, "I understand; thank you, Aphrodite."
The Goddess nodded before turning to look at Athena, "Let us go."
Athena nodded; she gave one last nod to the man before she and Aphrodite vanished silently, fading away as if they were made of mist, leaving Naruto alone in his village.
Thea nodded, "That was informative."
'Oh! My! Gods!'
"Ahhhhhhh!" screamed Naruto into his hands.
Dite laughed and moved away to properly observe Naruto and Thea.
Thea started to flush, clearly remember when exactly this was. She sunk in her seat, bringing her bored and half-asleep daughter close, almost hiding behind her child's hair.
"Oh, this is going to be amazing," muttered Demeter as she sat on the edge of her throne.
Rhea nodded along excitedly, "Remember to take notes, Apollo. I want this included in the sitcom!"
"You got it, grandma!"
Athena braced herself, stoning her expression and coldly continued.
Naruto was sure that he went to bed alone. The girls were tucked into their beds, sleeping peacefully, and he was sure that they were no longer afraid to sleep alone in their rooms. He had half expected his lover to show up in the middle of the night, but there was no sign of her either – not her usual vanilla perfume or her silky nightie against his skin. Naruto was confused at first; he could feel someone sleeping next to him, but instead of being on his right – Aphrodite's usual place – it was on his left; instead of the flimsy silk, it was thicker and was clearly a nightgown; then there was the scent – the lavender perfume. He knew exactly who wore that scent – he had spent two years taking her classes in University.
"Why were you smelling your professor, honey?" asked Dite, barely containing herself at the sight of her tomato red husband. "That's almost creepy. I guess you were always crazy about Athena, huh. You couldn't help but want to smell her." She giggled, "I'm almost jealous!"
Intense gray opened to meet azure blue.
"Good morning, Athena," whispered Naruto with widened eyes.
Thea looked away, honestly wishing for the ground to swallow her whole.
The most brilliant mind on Olympus had overheated. In an instant, Athena realized her situation and the close proximity to the man she fell in love with, the Naruto she knew and taught. She also registered the fact that Aphrodite had somehow vanished from the room before she even woke up, but she became much more concern when she started registering her position on the bed.
Despite feeling very warm and comfortable, Athena almost turned into her divine form when she noticed that she was still using Naruto as a pillow, but instead of his arm, she had moved closer to his shoulder. Naruto had also somehow shifted to his side in the middle of the night, and now had his other arm resting on her waist; his chest was also pressed tightly against her breasts, and she could feel herself pressing harder against him as she breathed. Then, of course, Athena was witness to one of men's most involuntary and widely known morning phenomenon, and it was pressed right up against her.
"Ahhhhhhh!" Naruto wilding shook his head, hiding behind his hands.
The laughter of the gods filled the room. Apollo and Hermes nearly fell from their thrones at the sight. Even Hera cracked a small smile, clearly amused at the sight of her usually stoic and distant stepdaughter acting so brazen.
"Oh, she's feeling it." Dite bounced in her seat as she giggled at her lovers, "First time being so close to a man, and one so fine, too. Millennia of sexual tension threatening to burst to the surface, with only the thin night clothes between them blocking direct contact."
Athena have Dite a stony stare, "Can you please refrain from commentating?"
"Why?" she asked, "Am I stirring up something?"
"I would like to read uninterrupted. This has gone on far too long."
Dite shook her head, "I thought I never had to deal with the boring Athena anymore." She looked over at Rhea, "I really hope you find the Naruto of this world. She's so much more fun in my world."
Thea, through her golden light bulb of a head managed, "Please just let her read."
Dite scoffed at Athena before smiling at Thea, "Fine, but that's just because I love you."
Many choked on their breaths at the claim, but Athena immediately read on, her face betraying no emotions.
At that moment, Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, Battle Strategy and Warfare, let out a high-pitched scream and almost gave Naruto a heart-attack.
Aphrodite burst into laughter, "Yes, I can see why she's more fun in your world."
"There is no one I like to tease more than her," chirped Dite, "She's so cute."
Naruto, out of pure reflex, untangled himself from the mother of his child and jumped out of the bed. He almost tripped when the bedding caught onto his leg, but he managed to kick them away and stumbled back against the wall, resting his whole back onto it. His heart was pounding through his chest and his breath was quick; his eyes stared at the Goddess on his bed as his life – his ten year life – flashed before him.
But as many men could understand, fear doesn't necessarily take away erections.
"Oh, honey, stop screaming!" Dite ruffled Naruto's hair, feeling his burning scalp. "It's natural and heathy!"
Athena, while hugging the blanket over her chest, stared at Naruto, who only had on a pair of boxers. She couldn't help but take in the sight of his muscular – perfect – physique as he stood against the wall, but she almost fainted when she saw the large tent that his boxers resembled.
Blindfolds returned to Annie and Lace's eyes before the scene could be shown, making Naruto thank every deity in existence for Hestia's help. But the Goddess did not do the same for Annabeth and Lacy, who both got eyefuls of their counterpart's father's raging manhood.
"Oh, Gods," groaned Annabeth as she looked away, "I do not need to see that!"
Lacy hid away in her mother's arms, shivering at the sight, "I need some blindfolds, too!"
Aphrodite rubbed her chin, "Not bad." She bit her lip, giving her counterpart and her husband a sly smile, "Not bad at all."
"Stop screaming!" Dite crossed her arms with a smile, "It's something to be proud of, honey."
Looking over at the audience, Dite saw that most Goddesses and Demigoddesses were staring at the screen. With the exception of Lacy and Annabeth, Hestia, Artemis, and most of her hunters, most had no qualms admiring human perfection. The Demigoddesses were easy and understandable, all blushing and turning away before looking back to steal more glances, even Thalia, the apparent hunter had to resist a few looks.
Demeter kept giving Athena and Thea knowing smirks before looking back at admire the tall tent. Likewise, Rhea gave looks of intrigue, perhaps wondering how her granddaughter would manage something of that calibre as an age-old virgin. Even Hera gave a few side glances, easily ignoring the grumbling of Zeus.
"Hey, looking is fine, but no touching!" Dite smirked, having more fun than anyone else, "Well, I'll make an exception for Athena and Aphrodite, but no touching for anyone else!"
"Really?" asked an intrigued Aphrodite.
Dite shrugged, "You're me, so I'm fine with it."
"We've been interrupted enough," Athena was as stony as ever, "Please let me proceed."
"I-I'm sorry!" cried Naruto as he frantically hid little Naruto behind his hands.
"It's not that little, babe," whispered Dite, licking her lips.
Athena now looked like a tomato and adverted her eyes, "I-It's fine, that's a natural reaction…" The Goddess bit her lip and couldn't help but curse Aphrodite inwardly; she had forgotten about sleeping in such a compromising position after such serious discussions with the other Naruto.
Naruto gulped, "W-Why are you here, Athena?"
Athena felt a little hurt at his tone and looked back at him, "You don't have to sound so scared, Naruto. I won't hurt you." She frowned after thinking that Aphrodite wouldn't make him feel so frightened, "I was just surprised."
"Aw, that's cute," added Rhea, "I never thought she'd act so innocently."
The blond frowned after he realized his tone and slowly walked over to the bed, "Hey, I was also just surprised." He grabbed his robe from the side of his bed and quickly placed it on before he edged closer to Athena. "I know you wouldn't hurt me."
Athena lightly reached for Naruto's hand, "It pains me that you are so much more comfortable with Aphrodite."
Dite could only giggle as she stared at Naruto and Thea, both still struggling to stay conscious.
"I'm comfortable with you, too, Ms. Olympia." Naruto smiled and tugged on Athena's hand, "You're my favorite teacher, the one that I had a crush on for the longest time." Athena blushed as Naruto moved closer to her, "You're also the mother of my child."
"I'm glad…" whispered Athena as she stared into Naruto's innocent blue eyes. 'This Naruto is nothing like the other one; this one is pure and sweet and loving. He's the one who…who can make my heart beat so quickly and flutter.' The Hokage may intrigue her and was a fierce warrior, but she loved this Naruto like no other; he was the first man she had fallen in love with and will be the last. She may be concerned about the implications of a Bronze Man being still alive, but in the end, she wanted to help her love more. 'I still want to get closer to this man; if everything works out, I will still marry him. One Bronze Man existing shouldn't be too big of a problem.'
"You know," started Naruto, breaking Athena from her thoughts, "I didn't think I'd see you again after that day." Athena frowned and squeezed back when Naruto tightened his hand around hers, "That kiss felt like a goodbye kiss."
"Oh, but what a kiss that was."
Athena blushed at the reminder of her first kiss, "I had thought so too."
"But I'm happy that I get to see you again." Naruto's happy tone made Athena look up at him, "I…I…well, my life is better with you in it."
"Aww, that's really sweet." Demeter cooed at her niece, "No wonder Athena loves you so much. You're so romantic!"
"Yeah," added Dite as she rested against the barely functioning Naruto, "You never told me that. Is your life not better with me in it?"
Naruto gave Dite an almost pitiful look, "O-Of course it's better with you in it."
Dite giggled, "I know."
"Really?" whispered the Goddess, looking as if her heart was melting.
"Yeah," replied Naruto with his own blush, "I love you."
"He said it!" Demeter bounced on her throne, "I love this so much!"
"Oh, Apollo," started Rhea as she looked over at her grandson, "You better not mess up the sitcom. I really look forward to it."
Naruto felt guilty about saying that to Athena when he was committed to Aphrodite, but he had to tell her.
"Oh, I'm fine with all of this." Dite rested her chin on Naruto's shoulder, smiling against his ear, "She makes things to much more interesting."
Athena was the first woman he could remember loving. She was who directed him back into society when he was still lost because of his amnesia. Not only was Athena the mother of Annabeth, she was the one who changed his life and showed him that there was a world beyond ignorant human understanding.
Athena felt as if all her blood rushed to her face and the Master Bolt ran down her spine; her heart was thumping against her chest and her fingertips felt numb. She desperately wanted to say I love you too, but she was concerned that her voice wouldn't quite work, so she did the next best thing.
Naruto was swiftly cut off from his rambling and was shocked to feel Athena's sweet lips on his.
"Wooo!" Demeter cheered along with Rhea, "Go get him, Athena!"
Ignoring the simmering rage of Zeus, Dite relished in the smiles of Hera, Hestia, and Artemis. It seems that even in this dimension, their girls were still cheering for them.
Thea gave a near silent whimper that only Naruto heard, but he was afraid to reach out for her. It might make everything even worst.
The Goddess moved right up to him and sat onto his lap, her arms wrapped around his neck, pulling him deeper into the kiss. She tasted just as sweet as he remembered, and her tongue exhilarated him as it wrestled against his own. He couldn't help but wrap his arms around her waist and pulled her closer against his chest; he pressed his lips harder against hers and fought his way into her mouth; feeling her fingers running through his hair only encourage him to do more.
'I love you, too!'
"Yeah, scream it, Athena!"
Rhea laughed at Demeter's cry as she added, "I'm so proud!"
Athena did her best to convey that silent message to Naruto as she kissed him; it was hard for her to actually say it when her heart was trying to jump out of her chest. She felt comfortable and warm in Naruto's arms, so she wasn't about to end the kiss anytime soon.
For the first time since Athena and Artemis came down looking for Aphrodite, she was alone with Naruto. There were no more distractions – Artemis, Aphrodite, Annabeth and Lacy, and Mother Rhea and Hestia were all out of the picture – there were only Athena and Naruto. She finally had a chance to act upon her feelings for Naruto and show him and she loved him just as much as Aphrodite.
'I love you, Naruto.'
Naruto was gasping for breath when he gently pulled away, his eyes never breaking contact with Athena's. He kept her close and rested his forehead against hers while gently brushing their noses together, smiling at her adorable blush. That kiss was far better than their first one – mainly because it didn't feel like a goodbye kiss. He gently cupped Athena's face and caressed her soft cheek, briefly but tenderly kissing her lips again.
"Now that's a happy couple if I've ever seen one!" Dite giggled as she looked over at the others, "Sometimes I like to watch them." Many blushed at her claim, "Only sometimes when they're making love, but mostly when they're like this. It's so cute and sweet!"
Aphrodite asked, "It doesn't bother you? The previous chapters showed that you're quite possessive of him."
"Oh, I am, but not anymore with Athena." She smiled, "As the Goddess of Love, I know love when I see it. It's even better when I love them both as well." She winked at Aphrodite, "And more often than not, I join in, so there's no problem."
'Lucky bastard!' yelled most of the audience in their minds.
"You're not going to turn me into an owl, right?" he asked with a chuckle.
Athena couldn't help but giggle, "No, definitely not." She leaned in and kissed him again, "Sometimes I prefer snakes."
"I'd rather be an owl," he whispered, kissing her again.
The Goddess ran her hands along his neck and sighed as she broke away from the kiss, "I love you, too, Naruto." She could finally say it without hesitation or nervousness, "I love you, and I'm not turning you into an owl or a snake."
Rhea proudly nodded at Thea, "My little girl is all grown up."
Naruto mirrored the happy smile on Athena's face and nodded. "Do you want to have breakfast with the girls?"
Athena gently shook her head with a smile, "I'm afraid it would have to be lunch; I should get back and see what the others are doing."
"That's fine." Naruto raised an eyebrow, "What prompted you to come here last night anyway?"
The Goddess gave a smile, "I just wanted to come see you and have a moment with you." She couldn't possibly let Naruto know of his past or the fact that he was most likely immortal, "Aphrodite isn't the only one who can act like this, you know?" Naruto chuckled and nodded, "I'm going to be back soon." She kissed him once more on the lips before she slipped out of the bed, "Bye."
"Bye," he said with a smile as Athena vanished with a gust of wind.
Being alone in his room, Naruto couldn't help but feel guilty as he touched his lips. He shouldn't have kissed Athena when he should be committed to Aphrodite. He knew he shouldn't act like an irresponsible playboy.
'What is wrong with me? I already have Aphrodite.'
Dite kissed Naruto's head, "It's alright, honey. She makes things more fun."
But in the end, Naruto felt that Athena and Aphrodite shouldn't antagonize each other; it wasn't as if either one of them could ever replace the other.
Dite smiled at Thea, who could barely look from her hands, still glowing gold.
"Look who decided to join us," said Rhea with a smile, "Out two nights in a row like a big girl."
"Oh, it's me again!" Rhea shook her head, "I'm so jealous of my other self."
"Who knows," added Demeter with a smile, "This could still happen for us in our world."
"I hope so."
Athena blushed and just sat down at the dinner table, staring at the plateful of food that magically appeared in front of her. She could feel the smirk on her grandmother's face, and the stares of Hestia and Artemis. The Goddess had expected such reactions from her family and was quite pleased that they didn't start asking her questions, but she was starting to become concerned about the lack of Aphrodite. It wasn't like the Love Goddess to storm away from her lover's bed so quickly and Athena would never imagine Aphrodite willingly allowing her and Naruto to be alone in bed. Something was definitely wrong with the lovesick goddess.
"Didn't you hear?" asked Dite as she winked at Naruto and Thea, "I like to watch!"
Thea shakily glared at Dite; her grin widening with every passing second. "I hate you."
"You know you love me, too."
"So," started Rhea, "Where were you last night?"
Athena's hopes of not being interrogated had shattered with that, "I was watching Aphrodite. I do not trust her with Naruto and I was there to stop them from doing anything inappropriate." She could feel her lips tingling as she said that, as if the Fates were mocking her hypocrisy seeing how she made-out with Naruto – a term she would often hear from Apollo. "I do not want Aphrodite touching Naruto nor do I want the girls to see or hear anything obscene."
"So there are still three Virgin Goddesses?"
Athena gave her grandmother a look, "Yes, definitely."
"Not for long~"
Demeter bounced on her throne again, "When is the sex scene? We've been teased enough!"
"Be patient," teased Dite, "It'll happen soon enough."
Looking at her simmering brother, covered fully in electricity, Hestia sighed, "It might not be a good idea to read or show such private things so publicly."
Dite shrugged, "If it's like before, it'll be censored. And we're all family here."
"Yeah, don't take this away from me!" cried Demeter.
"We were a little worried, Athena," spoke Hestia with a sheepish smile. "This is your second night staying over at Naruto's place and that is a little disconcerting. It is obvious that you care for Naruto much more than you have any man before, but we don't want you to rush or make any rash decisions."
Artemis crossed her arms at Athena's annoyed expression, "I was about to go over there as see if that man was doing anything to you."
"That the fates I didn't."
'Thank the Fates she didn't,' thought Athena as she stood from her seat. "I am the Goddess of Wisdom, so you don't have to worry about me being foolish. I can take care of myself and make my own decisions."
"Just don't let Father find out yet," muttered the Goddess of the Moon as she sliced her pancakes, knowing that her sister heard her perfectly. "He is going to freak out."
"Yep, he's freaking out now." Demeter gave her brother a smile, "But don't worry, apparently you will eventually really like him."
"…silence!" ordered Zeus.
Ignoring the nods of Rhea and Hestia, Athena focused on Aphrodite's signature and walked up the series of stairs. Apparently, Aphrodite was just in her room. In the eons the two Goddesses had known each other, the last few days were perhaps the most they've ever been in each other's company. Athena couldn't remember the last time she sought out Aphrodite, but she was seriously concerned about her. She was certain that Aphrodite would try to tease her the moment the woke up; she was even a little nervous about Aphrodite potentially doing something embarrassing with Naruto in front of her, but she never expected her to just leave.
With several knocks on the pink wooden door, Athena stepped inside.
To her surprised, Aphrodite simple sat on her bed, hugging her knees to her chest, her violet eyes deep in thought. She was still dressed in her silk nightie that revealed a huge amount of skin, but it was a little crinkled. Not to mention the several strands of hair that looked messy on her head – that alone should be a red flag.
"Whoa, what's with you?" asked Aphrodite.
"Just something stupid. I'll get over it soon."
Athena frowned and sat on the edge of the bed, "Hey, are you alright?"
"In the fragments of the inner Naruto's memories," started Aphrodite suddenly and without looking up at Athena, "Did you ever see glimpse of the two girls I mentioned, the pink haired one and the one with the white eyes?"
"Ah, I see," Aphrodite said, nodding in understanding.
Searching through her memories, the goddess shook her head, "Nothing stood out; there were thousands of people in those memories. They might have been one of them, but there wasn't anybody who appeared more significant than the rest."
Aphrodite sighed and looked up at Athena, "When we fully restore Naruto's memories, will he lose the memories he has now, or will they mix together?"
"They will mix together," said Athena positively, "No matter how many memories he has stored inside his mind, he will retain his most recent memories, which should still be more prominent after because it is so close." The Wisdom Goddess sat closer to her rival and crossed her arms, "What is it? What is bothering you so much?"
"It's those two girls, Athena."
"The pink haired one and the white eyed one?"
Aphrodite nodded, "Yeah." She hugged her knees and sighed, "They were in every single frame of his memories associated with love – every single frame. There were maybe several other girls over the centuries, but these two girls would always be there. This means that even after so many years he still loves them and hasn't forgotten about them." Athena was starting to understand the problem and bit her lower-lip, "I can sense inner Naruto's love for them, and it might even be stronger than the love he has for us."
Naruto shook his head, managing to speak. "No, it's not even close."
Dite smiled, "I know that now."
"So, were they his wives or something?" Athena asked with a steely tone, "Men of the Bronze Age did practice polygamy at times."
"I guess," muttered Aphrodite. "They are really important to him, practically everything to him."
"So…" Athena trailed off as she thought about the situation.
"I don't want to restore his memories." Aphrodite glared down at her fists and shook her head, "Even though his memories will be mixed I don't want the two other women to take his attention and love away from me! They are two mortals who died thousands of years ago and should just stay that way: dead!"
"I didn't know you felt like this," whispered Naruto.
Dite shook her head, "It was just a small moment of weakness."
"Aphrodite, if both one of us wants to make Naruto our Immortal Husband and I know both of us do, we will have to restore his memories." Athena frowned and closed her eyes in thought, "The others will find out about his past sooner or later, especially Apollo. We need to figure out what we are dealing with before letting the others know. If we can solve this whole thing ourselves; we don't have to worry about the others being paranoid about Naruto." Aphrodite just sighed, but Athena continued, "His feelings for the other two girls may have lasted for a long time, but the love he has for us isn't weak either. Not only are we much more recent, we are also Goddesses. I am quite confident that he will forget about them soon."
"You don't know love like I do." The Love Goddess ran her nails along her blanket with a frown, "If he hasn't forgotten about them in twenty-thousand years, he wouldn't forget about them now. I can suppress his feelings for them with my powers, but not erase. The best we can do is to try to win over his heart, make him love us more than them."
"You're saying that we need to work together?"
Aphrodite nodded, "Yeah, I want to make sure that we get his heart – 100%."
"I had no idea the two of you discussed this." Naruto frowned, "You didn't need to hide it from me."
"We had to play it safe."
Thea nodded, finally able to speak. "There was no room of failure, so we went with the easiest route."
Athena sighed, "As much as I want to claim Naruto as my husband, I guess I can work with you for a short while. But make no mistakes, Naruto is still in might sights and I will have him for myself later on."
"You wish," Aphrodite said with a smile, "If I can get rid of those two girls, Naruto is all mine!"
For the first time in forever, Love and War were working together, and that was a power that could reshape the earth on its own.
"So, I guess you're both still working together now?" asked Rhea.
Thea managed a nod, "Yes, we are."
"Hey, it's more than that!" Dite pouted at Thea, "We're more than just partners, babe."
"Don't call me that!"
"You didn't mind last night!" Dite held onto Naruto's arm as she leaned over to Thea, "You heard her, Naruto. What did she say?"
"Shut up!" Thea flared gold again, trying to ignore the blushes and sly grins all directed at her, "Stop talking!"
Athena sighed, "The chapter is over."
Naruto slumped down in exhaustion, "Finally…"
The End of Chapter 12!
Sorry that took so long! These aren't exactly easy for me to write, and I'm trying to finish the original story before gunning for this one, so it does take me a while.
I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. It does contain some hints for the original story!
PLEASE LEAVE ME A REVIEW!