Happy Easter everyone. Sorry for the long delay.
Hope you all enjoy the latest chapter.
Naruto/Percy Jackson Crossover
Dining With Divinity
Of course, he was the last one to arrive, but then again, Kurama was never the most punctual of the Bijuu. Ground shaking as he moved and tail's narrowly avoiding mountains as he lumbered towards their meeting location, Naruto tilted his head up at his old partner. He looked the same as he always did, wearing his usual bored expression that could have given Shikamaru a run for his money. Those two would have been good friends if his role as a jinchuriki had been reversed with the Nara. Granted, nothing would ever get done with the pair staring at clouds all day, but still.
When the fox finally came to a halt, he let out a loud yawn, strong enough to sweep away nearby clouds into oblivion and scratch the back of his head.
"It's about time you stopped by, brat." Kurama's voice was deep, hitting a low octave that would send shivers down the backs of those without their courage.
"I'm nearly 6000 years old. I don't think I can be classed as a 'brat', anymore. If anything, I'm an old man." The blonde shrugged and held out his fist towards the strongest member of the nine, "Then again, you're even older than I am. If I'm an old man, what does that make you?"
"Irritated, because you woke me up from my nap earlier. Message ahead, next time." Kurama moved his neck from side to side, loud cracks, reminiscent of thunder echoing across the land.
"You know I can't talk to you in our shared mindscape when we're in two different worlds." The mountain-sized fox snorted but lifted his fist and met Naruto's in the middle, their bond reconnecting after decades apart, "Good to see you again, buddy."
"You too." Kurama replied, a rare tone of sincerity in his voice before asking, "You're here to prevent that idiot from going too far?"
"Yeah," Naruto sighed, rubbing the back of his neck, "I got word from Gunilla that Shukaku has been pushing his luck recently. He's taken over Utgard-Loki's palace? When did this happen?"
Kurama shrugged, "About a fortnight ago. Shukaku kicked him and his cronies out and they came running to Son for help. As far as I heard, Son couldn't convince the idiot to leave and let the Jotunns be."
Naruto turned and looked at the enormous form of the Four-Tailed Beast, his crimson hair displaying a sheen curtesy of the Jotumheim sun, "Is that true, Son?"
The great bijuu blinked and turned his head to look down at Naruto, pausing his conversation with Gunilla, "Hmm? What's that?"
"Kurama said you tried to talk Shukaku out of Utgard-Loki's palace. Is that true? "
Son hummed, nodding his head, "That's right. I did what I could but Shukaku refused. He's grown bored in the last century and regularly tries to pick fights with the Jotunns. Most won't go near him, though, a rare few try their luck with little success." His enormous hand scratched beneath his chin, "Utgard-Loki has been less than pleased by the disruption. He may try to make a move against Shukaku, though, I doubt it would do much good."
"What a pain in the ass," Naruto muttered. Shukaku had never been the easiest Tailed Beast to get along with. The enormous calamity of chakra and sand loved pushing people's buttons and goading them into a fight. In a way, he was a battle maniac, but it was only ever to sate his boredom. It was no wonder Sunagakure had so many problems with him back in the day. Things got better once the Fourth War Ended and he and Gaara struck up their unlikely friendship, but there was always a fear Shukaku might resort back to his old ways. He would have to talk with Shukaku and get him to leave Utgard-Loki's palace peacefully.
Above them, the once blue sky of Jotunheim was beginning to darken, colours of red, orange and yellow washing over as night began to rear its head. It wouldn't be long until the stars were out. Unlike Earth, where light pollution from humanity had obscured the stars, making them impossible to see, it was not the same for Jotunheim. Thousands of tiny silver dots would be visible, like tiny lights on a black canvass forming different shapes and patterns.
"We'll go talk to him tomorrow. Hopefully, we can coax him out." Naruto told the two, "Where are Utgard-Loki and the other giants residing at the moment?"
"In the forest just outside the palace. I think they're hoping Shukaku will get bored and leave on his own volition." Son replied, with Kurama snorting in amusement, "Clearly, they don't know our brother the same way we do."
"Probably need to see him first then." Naruto put his hands in his pockets and felt a chill run over him as he felt the temperature begin to decline, "Best you guys come with me in the morning. I can handle Shukaku but I'd rather have company. Strength in numbers and all that. I don't want to take any chances with Thalia around."
Speaking of said girl...
"You're so warm and fluffy! I could stay like this forever." Thalia voiced. The front part of her body was resting against the paw of the Two Tails, arms spread wide and putting her whole body weight against the flamed fur. Said Tailed Beast didn't appear to mind. Rather, she seemed highly amused by the actions of the daughter of Zeus, watching curiously as Thalia's face nuzzled against her, "I could stay like this forever!"
"You are a most peculiar human. Even Gunilla was not as overly friendly and familiar when she first met us."
"She wasn't?" Thalia's big blue eyes stared up at the mismatched pair of Matatabi's. Despite the giant cat's body being made of blue fire, the flames didn't hurt her at all. She had a hard time believing it when Matatabi sat down next to her, towering over her like a mountain. It took some convincing and a brief demonstration by Gunilla after the valkyrie put her hand on the enormous paw for Thalia to give it a try herself.
"Oh, no. She was so defiant." The Two Tails explained, "She would puff out her chest and announce to everyone that she was the daughter of thunder and that she would bring out heads to her father as tribute." The cat laughed, "Her face would go all red and she'd stomp her feet around in a tantrum when we ignored her. She tried to come across as threatening, but all it did for her was appear cute."
Gunilla, who was in earshot of the conversation, blushed from embarrassment, "That was hundreds of years ago. A lot has changed since then!"
"I remember once she challenged Saiken to a dual and in response, Saiken created a bubble around her and left her to float away through the sky. It was hours by the time she came down and returned to land." A deep laugh escaped the Bijuu. The picture in Thalia's head that formed made the little girl laugh voraciously. It was hard to picture Gunilla, this large, beautiful and strong person once being tiny and being trapped in a bubble of all things.
"We could recreate the moment." The voice of Saiken joined in the conversation, his two beady eyes staring down at Gunilla with a tilt to them, "It would take only a moment."
"N-No thank you!"
Saiken shrugged, his tails swishing in the air and causing the forest behind him to tilt back and forth like a pendulum, "I could try with you?" He looked directly at Thalia, who nervously shook her head and buried her face into the Matatabi's paw, "Did I say something wrong?"
"Thalia has a fear of heights," Gunilla revealed, watching as the enormous head of Matatabi lowered down to nuzzle against the young daughter of Zeus, seemingly making any fear she had from ending up in a bubble many feet off the ground melt away. The Bijuu that were listening all appeared surprised, "I know. It's ironic given she's a daughter of the Greek God of the Sky."
"Irony sure can be a bastard when it wants to be," Gyukki added, shuffling over beside his siblings, only to find his face momentarily engulfed in bluish flames. Shaking his head as the flames quickly dissipated, though a stinging sensation remained, he found his sister looking at him with annoyance on her feline face, "What was that for?"
"Mind your language! Don't curse with her around. She doesn't need to hear that kind of vulgar talk." Mismatched eyes bore a hole into Gyuki, "The last thing anyone needs is for her to start swearing like Shukaku. I won't have it!"
"Someone's a little protective, already," Saiken muttered to Chomei. The seven-tails merely nodded his head.
"Ignore those fools, Thalia. You just stay innocent and sweet." Matatabi encouraged, appearing delighted as Thalia nodded her head and snuggled closer to the large feline. She was growing rather fond of the little demigod. Even quicker than the time she'd met the daughter of Thor.
New York City
This wasn't her bed. That was the first thing she'd thought about when her eyes finally opened from an exhausting night of falling in and out of sleep. She wasn't sure when her sister had moved her from the front of the house after turning up as a sobbing mess, but Hestia had somehow worked her out of her soaked chiton and into a pair of comfortable pyjamas. Normally, her choice of attire for bed was a nightdress of varying lengths, but she'd only worn those out of the request for her husband.
Nimble fingers running across the top of the covers, the brown eyes of the Goddess of Marriage stared aimlessly at the ceiling. Arms and legs spread out like a starfish, one foot hung over the side of the bed, hair swept down one side in a mess of ringlets and frizz. She didn't dare look at herself in the mirror. With her blotchy red eyes and messy hair, she must have looked a mess. Far from the perfect Queen she always tried to present herself to be.
"I'm not a Queen anymore, though," She thought to herself. It was a realisation she hadn't had until that morning. Five thousand years as Queen, down the drain.
The events of the day before were fresh in her memory. The day started as well as any other, spending the morning in her gardens tending to the plants and the animals she allowed to call their home. Roses were some of her favourites and at the back of the garden was a beautiful bush of peach-coloured roses she continued to fawn over even after all these centuries. They'd been a gift from Zeus and one she treasured. Any gift from her husband she treasured and held close to her heart. His gifts over the years had been numerous. Beyond the capability of counting but the roses were one of her favourites. She took special care of them.
When she thought her day would continue to grow better and better, Aphrodite had skipped into her garden and whispered some gossip she'd heard from the nymphs that routinely tended to her. A rumour she heard one too often and ended up coming true. Her blood froze and her joy turn into an ice-cold fury. How quickly a good day could turn into a bad one.
Zeus had fathered another demigod a mortal woman.
Zeus had fathered another demigod with the same mortal woman from last time.
She and Zeus had fought many times before but rarely had they come to blows. If she was blunt, it took a major fuck-up for such a thing to happen, but for the first time in a very long time, Hera could say she truly lost it. All the anger, the frustration, the pain, the sorrow. It all came out and once the pressure valve on that container was released, there was no way it was being sealed until the contents were gone. Zeus was in the wrong and he took her blows, all the while the weather across New York spiralled into a storm of epic proportions.
It was hours later after she screamed until her voice became hoarse and her throat began to sting, that she'd thrown the final blow his way. This one wasn't physical, but verbal, and it did the most damage.
'We're done! Our marriage is over!'
After that, she teleported away in bright golden light. The last image of her husband was his body sinking to its knees, his face stunned in a way she'd never seen before. An expression that would forever be cemented in her mind. Afterwards, she tried to find her mother, but in typical Rhea fashion, she was nowhere to be found. So, she went to the next best person and under the roof of the one place, Zeus would never think to look for her.
'Hello World, there's a song that we're singing!'
Hera blinked and readily pushed herself up into a sitting position as the sound of music from the floor beneath her started playing. Looking to the side and towards the alarm clock stationed on the bedside cabinet, it read 09:04 am. That was a lie in for the Goddess, who usually got up around the crack of dawn to enjoy the sunrise and get a start on her day. Hestia had most likely been up for a while and left her to sleep in. The music was undoubtedly her attempt at telling her younger sister that she'd slept enough and now it was time to get up.
Not wanting to be scolded by the elder goddess, Hera threw the duvet off her body and steadily stood up and grabbed the fluffy purple nightrobe hanging from the door. Next to her bed, a pair of slippers were sitting with Hera soundlessly slipping her feet inside before making her way out of the bedroom.
Walking down the staircase, Hera couldn't help but stop every few steps. The wall on the left was filled with framed photographs of all shapes and sizes. Many looked modern with her sister present in most of them. Three people were usually present, each with a young-looking blonde man who she assumed was the one known as 'Naruto', and Zeus's mortal daughter. One look at the girl and she could see her husband on her face. It wasn't just the blue eyes but the shape of them too, as well as the nose. One picture was of the three of them sitting on the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, a cone of ice cream in their hands and smiling at the camera. The one next to it was the same trio but Thalia was being held in one of the blonde's arms. Her face indicated she was half asleep and Hestia had one hand resting on her back and forehead gently pressed against her niece's. She spied one with Naruto and Thalia sitting next to a Christmas Tree, presents and wrapping paper everywhere. There were even a few with only Hestia and Thalia, the most prominent being the one where both goddess and demigod had their backs to the camera and were stood over the kitchen counter. A large mixing bowl was between them with Hestia's hands working whatever ingredients were inside, while Thalia, standing on a kitchen stool, was looking up at her in wonder.
Hera wasn't sure how long she was standing there. A couple of minutes at the most, if the song in the background changing was a telling sign, but she simply couldn't bring herself to look away. Her eyes gained a familiar sheen to them.
'They look like a family.' She thought and felt a lump begin to appear in her throat.
Her sister, the one that swore to never marry nor have any children, had a version of exactly that. Sure, the blonde man wasn't her husband nor were they romantically involved, but the way they appeared in the photos didn't portray that. The photo's portrayed a husband and wife showering their daughter with love. It was the perfect little family unit.
She didn't want to feel bitter or jealous.
But the feeling wove its way in there anyway.
"Which one are you looking at?"
She snapped out of her thoughts and looked towards the bottom of the stairs. Hestia stood there with one hand on the bannister, dressed in similar attire to herself with her long hair swept down one side in a ponytail.
Thinking quickly, she pointed to a picture, though didn't know which one. Hestia climbed the stairs and stopped on the step next to her and smiled when she saw the photograph. The picture featured Naruto and a six-year-old Thalia sitting on the beach, a bucket and spade in Naruto's hand as they attempted to build a sandcastle. A look of concentration was worn on the little girl's face, while the blonde was smiling.
Hestia hummed contently, "I remember that day well." Her mouth widened and turned into a smile, "That was a good day." One of her hands gently gasped Hera's elbow, "Come on. Let's go have some breakfast."
Hera didn't say anything, though she did nod and allowed her sister to gently guide her down the stairs. She looked over her shoulder and took one last look at the pictures on the wall before they disappeared from view.
Hestia had prepared a full spread for them, laid out across the table with care and precision. She spied toast, bacon, scrambled eggs, numerous condiments, pancakes, waffles and even a plate of hashbrowns. One would think Hestia had cooked for a small army or the men of their family. Taking a seat, she wordlessly looked across the table and started putting a little bit of everything on her plate.
"How did you sleep?" Hestia asked, taking the seat opposite her sister and copying her actions, "The bed was to your liking?"
"The bed was fine. I slept as much as I could, given the circumstances." Plate full, she picked up her fork and plucked away at the food, taking a little bit at a time. As expected, it was delicious.
Hestia nodded and poured herself a glass of orange juice, "That's good." Deciding not to beat around the bush, Hestia had to ask the glaring question, "So? What's the plan now?"
Hestia gave her sister a look, "Hera. Don't play dumb. It doesn't suit you."
Hera swallowed a bite of her scrambled egg before answering, "The plan. I-I don't know. I don't have one." Rhea briefly appeared in her mind, "My initial goal after leaving Olympus was to find mother, but she's gone off the map again. I don't know where she's gone, so I came here." Beneath the table, one of her legs jittered and her foot tapped against the floor, "I didn't know where else to go. I couldn't go back to Olympus. Then, I remembered you spend most of your time here." A thought crossed her mind, "Is it just you? Where is that Naruto person and-," She paused as she tried to say the girl's name out loud.
"Thalia." Hestia reminded her, giving her sister a look, "Her name is Thalia."
Hera made a face before it returned to being neutral and unsure "Yes, Thalia." She clicked her tongue, "Speaking of, where is the girl. I haven't seen or heard a peep from her or this Naruto since I've been here."
"Naruto and Thalia are currently away for the weekend. They should be back either later today or tomorrow." Hestia levelled a concerning look towards Hera, "If they were here, I'm not sure I would have allowed you to come in. Your emotional state was a mess when you arrived."
Hera knew she should have been offended, but her sister was wrong. She wouldn't openly harm the girl, despite how much she loathed the fact she existed, but her emotional state from the night before had left her hanging by a thread. If she had seen the girl, who knew what might have happened.
"Do you want me to leave?"
"No." Hestia replied with sparsely a moment between the question and the answer, "You are my sister and I love you. I will support you and help you in whatever way that I can. You can stay here, but I don't know for how long. If it was just Naruto and I living here, it wouldn't be a problem. He would welcome you regardless."
"Buts it's not just the two of you living here."
"No, it's not. This is Thalia's home and I won't put her at risk."
"You don't trust me?"
"When it comes to my niece? No, I don't." Hestia levelled a look at her sister, "Your record with the children of Zeus isn't stellar, Hera. You have to understand that you've done some terrible things to children who had no control over their birth and who sired them." Hestia brought her glass to her lips, "You can wait until Naruto returns or you can make your way before. It's up to you, but you know what my stance on the matter is."
Hera nodded, "Fair enough." A hand reached from across the table and patted the top of her own, her elder sister smiling at her.
"I will help you through this, sister. I promise."
Warmth spread through her body and the former Queen of Olympus couldn't help but close her eyes and smile.
"I know you will. Thank you, Hestia."
The two settled into their breakfast, the younger goddess enjoying the fruits of Hestia's morning labour.
"By the way, Demeter will be coming over shortly."
Cutlery clanged against the table and a groan escaped the Goddess of Marriage.
"I don't care what you have to do. Just get him out of my palace and as far away from my lands as possible!" The voice of Utgard-Loki was leaving little room to argue as the blonde shinobi felt the giant's gaze leer down at him. Normally, the giant was fairly laid back and confident, but having been kicked out of his home by Shukaku for over a week, his patience was beginning to fray. It was understandable. He wouldn't like it if he was kicked out of his home either, "I'm Utgard-Loki! I shouldn't have to deal with this shit!"
A deep hiss came from behind Naruto that made Utgard-Loki flinch, resonating from the mouth of the Matatabi, "Language!" She glared at Utgard-Loki, not wishing for Thalia to hear such language coming from his mouth. Said girl was resting next to one of Matatabi's paws, her last sandwich that her aunt had packed for her in her hands. The demigod/bijuu pair had stuck close together since their meeting, with Matatabi taking it upon herself to keep an eye on the young girl while Naruto dealt with her wayward brother.
The blonde shinobi put his hands up and placated the giant, "I will get him out of your place. I give you my word."
"You'd better. None of this would be happening if you didn't send these damn creatures to Jotunheim. Damn you and damn Odin for allowing it."
A short distance away from Naruto and Utgard-Loki, Kurama opened one eye as he lazily sat on his side, "Keep talking. See where it lands you." As if to prove his point, he showed off his pearly white teeth, each one as big as a person, "One less giant around here might make it more peaceful."
The most powerful sorcerer native to Jotunheim gave Naruto a look, before stalking off to join a small band of giants, who clustered together in a group a sizable distance away from the gathered Tailed Beasts. The Giants and Tailed Beasts preferred to keep separate company, which was of little concern to the Nine. Initially, upon their arrival to Jotunheim, some of the more presumptuous and egotistical Jotuns thought it would be a good idea to try and bend the Bijuu to their whims and desires. Utgard-Loki had been at the forefront of that movement. Naturally, things didn't go as planned when they realised how powerful said Beasts were and the Jotuns were sent running with their tails between their legs. Some still tried it, but the result was always the same.
After their early years of having the likes of Hashirama and Madara to contend with, the Jotuns of Jotunheim were of little concern.
"Boy, he sure hasn't changed his tune after all these years, has he?" Naruto commented, watching as Utgard-Loki joined his fellow giants and sent a collective glare his way.
"They've never enjoyed our presence here, but they wouldn't dare go against Odin." Kurama told them, "It's a love-hate relationship at best between the Bijuu and Jotuns. No doubt they'd like to see the back of us."
"Let's see how this meeting with Shukaku goes and maybe that won't be a reality." Naruto took a deep breath and looked over his shoulder, "Matatabi, please look after Thalia for me. This shouldn't take long."
"Alright, let's get this show on the road." He looked to Kurama and Son, "Let's head in."
The palace of Uthard-Loki didn't look like much of a palace. In truth, on the outside, it resembled a wooden shack with the key difference being its sheer size. It ran so high in the air it dwarfed even the Bijuu, who was off a height with the front door. To Naruto, he must have resembled an ant walking through the door of a human home.
The inside, however, was completely different. With Kurama pushing the door wide open, the inside resembled a supersized bowling alley that stretched on for miles. Couchs and lazy boy chairs dotted the landscape, each one the size of a New York apartment complex. Chips the size of cars dotted the floor with streaks of old melted cheese and jalapeños scattered everywhere. It looked like Utgard-Loki had been having a boy's party when Shukaku knocked on the door and kicked them out.
Son wrinkled his nose as they made their way through, "It smells awful in here." His red fur bristled as his hand rubbed his nostrils.
"Well, Jotunn's aren't known for their hygiene. At least, not the ones I've met."
"WOOHOO BABY! STRIKE!"
"I know that voice," Naruto replied, looking off in the direction the voice came from. Pushing chakra into his feet, he jumped high into the air and dashed across the top of the couch and tables until he found himself standing at the opening of Utgard-Loki's Bowling alley. Stood in front of one of the mile-long alleys with bus-sized pins toppled on their sides was none other than the One-Tailed Tanuki he was looking for. Like the rest of the nine, he didn't look any different than the last time he'd seen him. A large bowl of nachos was grasped in his long tail, and every so often was dipped into by the Bijuu, "Shukaku! Shukaku, what are you doing!"
Mid-swing, Shukaku turned around and groaned when he saw his two elder brothers and the jinchuriki that once housed all of them, "No! Why are you here! Don't spoil my fun. Go away!"
"Stop acting like a child, Shukaku. You should have known Naruto would be summonsed here eventually." Son told him, shaking his head disapprovingly, "Give the Jotuns their home back!"
"No! Why should I!? It's not my fault they couldn't hold onto it. It's their fault for being too weak!"
"We agreed to give each other space and not poke our nose into the other side's business. I have no desire to relocate because of your nonsense."
"But I'm bored all the time!"
"That's not our fault!" Son roared back, causing Naruto to sigh and shake his head. Shukaku, out of all of the bijuu, could be notoriously difficult to reason with. Not to mention, he grew bored far too easily. He was like a child in a sense. You give him a new toy, he'd play with it for a few days and then look elsewhere for something else to play with.
Jotunheim had been the best option for the Tailed Beasts, and initially, none of them had any issues with calling the realm their new home. All nine had their section of the world that was there's and used it how they saw fit. However, over time, the only one who began to grow restless was Shukaku. As great as the peaceful setting was, it could be sourly boring for someone such as the One-Tail and spend the next few centuries poking and prodding the locals.
"Shukaku, you have to give them their home back." Naruto reiterated what Son said.
"But I'm sooooo bored!" Shukaku groaned, dropping the enormous bowling ball in his hand and letting it roll across the ground, "You have no idea! It's been torture!"
Kurama let out a snort, causing Shukaku to whip his head in his direction with a scowl on his face.
"You got something you want to say, Furball?!"
The ruby eyes of the Nine-Tailed Fox narrowed, "I was merely thinking how you're still a whiny Neanderthal after all these millennia." Kurama let out a long drawn out exhale, "Once a whiny bitch, always a whiny bitch."
"You take that back!"
"I'd rather eat stones."
"That can be arranged!"
Naruto sighed and palmed his face. Maybe bringing Kurama with him wasn't the best laid out plan. Nine and One were known to openly antagonise each other, with Shukaku acting out something that Kurama labelled as stupid. They were like oil and water. Chalk and cheese. Poking fun at the other was like breathing for them. Shukaku would get wound up and Kurama would merely act like he doesn't care.
"Shukaku!" Naruto shouted, drawing the Bijuu's attention to him, "I know you don't have much patience and you're easily distracted, but you can't barge into someone's home and kick them out. You have to leave, otherwise, there's going to be serious repercussions. Odin may decide it's time for you to leave and go elsewhere."
A loud humph escape Shukaku and crossed his arms, "Then I'll go. Anything's better than this boring world." His tail swung back and forth, "Maybe send me to that fire world or the one made of ice. I'll have fun fighting the idiots that live there."
Naruto palmed his face.
"That's the last thing we need."
"Stop trying to pick fights, you fool!" Son spoke once again, marching up to his brother and getting in his face, "Can't you see reason for once? You're not a child anymore!"
"He hasn't been a child for millennia," Kurama added. He didn't bother looking in the direction of Shukaku. The bloated sand tanuki was an eyesore. Instead, he stared at the ugly decor that covered the walls of the interior of Utgard-Loki's home. Were all the Jotun's homes this ugly?
"I will drag you out of here if I have to."
"I'd like to see you try! Go pick your damn fleas!"
Hearing enough, Naruto took his bag off his back and unzipped the top. Reaching inside, he pulled out a moderately sized tea kettle and held it out in the palm of his hand.
Coughing, he drew Shukaku's attention and watched as the Bijuu went bug-eyed at the small device.
"Why do you have that with you?!"
"If you don't leave here willingly, I'll be forced to open the lid and seal you back inside." The shining told him, giving him a look that told Shukaku he wasn't bluffing.
"You wanna bet?"
"You don't have the stones to put me in there."
"You don't know me very well."
Shukaku puffed out his chest, "You fools won't let me have any fun! You'll have to take me kicking and screaming!" He grabbed another bowling ball with his tail and threw it in their direction, only for Kurama to catch it with one of his own.
"Shut him up already, before I make him. His voice is beginning to grate on my nerves." Kurama told him, receiving a nod from his old partner.
Naruto jangled the teapot in front of Shukaku and have him one final warning, "Well? What's it going to be." The reply he got was the bijuu blowing a raspberry in his direction, "Fine. You asked for this." He removed the lid of the teapot and watched as Shukaku instantly began to regret his decision.
Five minutes later, the group of bijuu and demigods watched as the door to Utgard-Loki's home swung back open and noticed Naruto, Kurama and Son making their way back over to them. At first, the group of eight tilted their heads in confusion when they noticed a certain tanuki was missing from their group.
The silence didn't last long though, as a loud laugh from Gyuki caught them off guard and watched as he pointed towards the blonde shinobi. As soon as the other bijuu realised what had happened, they started laughing as well.
"Huh?" Thalia asked, frowning and looking towards Gunilla for an answer, "Why are they laughing?"
"You'll understand in a moment," The older demigoddess answered before looking at her approaching mentor, "You had to use the tea kettle?"
Naruto nodded, "He wasn't leaving me with a choice. He was extremely stubborn. The last thing I wanted to happen was Shukaku scrapping it out with another member of the Nine. That just leads to unnecessary destruction." He ushered Thalia forward, "Thalia, there's someone I'd like you to meet."
The daughter of Zeus watched as Naruto placed the tea kettle on the ground and gave the top of the lid a few taps, "Come out and say hello, Shukaku."
A low rumble came from inside the kettle as Thalia knelt in front of it. She didn't have to wait long as a small beige coloured head appeared beneath the lid, soon followed by a pair of tiny arms and legs and finally, a long tail. The smaller version of Shukaku looked significantly cartoonish compared to his titanic state, barely reaching up to the blonde's knees. He didn't appear pleased by his current situation and looked one thread away from losing his mind as his siblings laughed around him.
"I hate this so much."
Naruto shrugged, "You've only got yourself to blame. I did warn you." Shukaku's pride would always be his downfall, "Shukaku, this is Thalia. Thalia this is Shukaku, the reason we came to Jotunheim."
Shukaku looked up at the little girl, who was staring wonders at him and then looked back at Naruto, "Who the fucks this?"
Naruto was about to answer but found the gigantic face of Matatabi suddenly appearing next to him, giving Shukaku a look that promised death, "Cuss in front of her again, I'll end you."
Shukaku's face contorted, "You can't tell me what to do!" His tail poked upwards towards his sister, "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!"
Naruto shook his head while Thalia laughed, her giggles causing Shukaku to turn around and face her.
"He's funny, Uncle."
Shukaku blinked, mildly surprised that the young girl found his cussing amusing, "Funny, huh? I could work with that. You wanna learn some cool words? I got a lot more stored up you'll love." His mouth turned into a grin, while Matatabi's looked downright horrified, "Here's a good one to know. Someone messes with you, you just call them a cu-"
"And that's enough out of you." The lid to the kettle slammed back down, causing the tiny bijuu's head to disappear along with the rest of his limbs, 'Hestia finds out about this, I'll be a dead man.'
He stood back up and made his way over to the Utgard Loki and his giants, "Shukaku has been removed. I'm returning your home to you."
A grunt left the Giant King, though, no words left his lips. He merely looked down at Naruto, then to the tea kettle and then back to Naruto. After a short stare down, Utgard-Loki merely turned, followed after his fellow giants and disappeared back into the house, slamming the door shut behind him. The blonde sighed, thankful the Jotun King didn't decide to take things physical. It wouldn't have ended well for the Jotuns.
Now, he had to figure out what to do with Shukaku.
"My poor baby sister. Come to big sister. Let her push away whatever negative feelings you have." An exaggerated voice echoed through the Uzumaki household. The neutral face of the Goddess of Marriage could do little, as the side of her face found itself resting against the bountiful chest of her sister.
A few steps away, Hestia leaned against the wall, staring in amusement as the Goddess of Agriculture fussed over their younger sister. The best way to describe her sister was a combination of Aphrodite and Athena. One minute meant she could be a cool and collected goddess who was all business. The next minute, she'd be all smiles and acting like the perfect Mom and trying to mother everyone. Of the three of them, she was by far the most free-spirited, enjoying the splendours of life and not above lying with mortals. She loved her sister, but she could be too much sometimes.
"Please, let go of me," Hera muttered, trying to fight against her sister's grip.
"I couldn't believe it when I heard. I never thought you'd find the gojones to leave that bum, but look at you! You did just that." Demeter sighed, "I love our brother, but he's not what I'd call husband material. I did warn you all those millennia ago what would happen." Demeter released Hera from her grip, "Hestia too if I remember right."
"I don't think now is the time to be saying such things sister," Hestia replied, giving her middle sister a look when she nonchalantly kicked her shoes off to the side.
"Yes, yes, of course." Demeter waved off before putting her arm around Hera's shoulders, "Jokes aside, are you alright?" A concerned expression appeared on the Goddess's face, "I tried to find you, but it's pretty hard when you cloak yourself. I wouldn't have found you if Hestia didn't inform me you were with her, here of all places."
Hera shrugged, "As well as someone can be after separating from their husband of five millennia. I don't know how to describe it, other than feeling numb all over." Hera pursed her lips, "It's like, I put all this effort into making our marriage work and finally having the realisation that it was all for nothing. I had this moment of clarity when I was screaming at him that years of being faithful and loving were all going nowhere."
Demeter gripped her shoulder tighter. "Well, I hate to say I told you so," She got a glare in response from her younger sister, "But I won't. I'm surprised to see you out of bed though. You're taking this way better than Zeus is."
"You've seen him?"
Demeter shrugged as Hestia led them all into the living room, where a silver tray sat waiting for them with a freshly boiled pot of tea ready.
"How is he?"
"Not great. Spent the rest of the night moping around his temple. This morning he was just lying in his bed despondent. I think Apollo and Hermes tried to rouse him but got bolts of lightning thrown their way."
Hestia poured the tea, "It might be best to leave him be for a while, while you," She looked at Hera, "Keep a low profile."
"I know. I've already decided I'll be staying clear of Olympus for a little while." Hera pursed her lips, "Once Mother lifts her circle of privacy, I'll go and stay with her. Until then..."
She turned to look at Hestia, which in turn, was copied by Demeter.
"Oh? You're going to be staying with Hestia and her boy toy?"
"He's not my boy toy, and he's older than I am."
"Still," Demeter leaned over with one hand resting against the cushions of the couch, "I've seen him from afar and he's such a hunky dish. It's no wonder Aphrodite has been pining after him." Demeter's hair shimmered in soft waves, "Maybe I should take a crack at him. I'd warmly welcome him to my bedroom."
"Can we please not talk about who you'd welcome to your bed." Hestia replied, "You've been spending too much time with Aphrodite. She's rubbing off on you."
"Hey! We're all women here. Men aren't the only ones who have needs." She looked at Hera, "Who knows. Maybe now that you're not married, you should take a shot." Hera gave her a look, "What? You're single now. You're not breaking any vows. Live a little and show some lucky mortal the goods your hiding behind those clothes." She pinched the fabric of Hera's gown, only to get swatted away by the said goddess.
"I'll pass. I'm not looking to jump from one marriage to another." Hera fell back, her shoulders engulfed by the couch as she sank into its warm embrace, "Right now, all I want is something to cheer me up and not think about my failure of a marriage with Zeus." She gave her sister a dry look, "Any ideas? Or did you just come here to make fun of me at my expense?"
"Oh, I have a few ideas."
An hour later
"I have to admit, I was rather dubious of this idea," Hera said. Her mug of tea was long gone and in its place was a long cocktail with a pineapple wedge hanging from the rim. A pink straw rested inside connecting to the goddess's mouth, "But this does make me feel better."
"I told you." Demeter said smugly, holding her cocktail in her hand, before she leaned forward, "Don't believe him, honey! He's only gonna bed you and leave you high and dry!"
At the other end of the couch, Hestia could only release another sigh. It felt like all she'd been doing was sighing today, "I can't believe I let you talk me into this."
The three goddesses were all sitting on the couch, ankles crossed and resting against the coffee table with cocktails in their hands, all the while, dressed in wedding gowns. Each had gone with a separate design, from the more conservative Hestia to openly flaunting her curves in Demeter. Hera, meanwhile, favour a more classy kind which toed the line between the two. On the television was one of those trashy reality shows Aphrodite was obsessed with.
"Don't deny it, sister. You're enjoying this." Demeter replied, giving her sister a look. Hestia's facade lasted a moment before a look of acceptance appeared.
"I'm enjoying the company."
"Sure! Whatever you say." Demeter's mouth turned into a smirk, "You know, you look good in a wedding dress, sister."
Hera silenced them both before Hestia could say anything, "Ssshhh, he's making a move."
Minutes later, all three were shouting at the television, all the while leaning back in the seats and taking a long swig of the cocktails. There was little more the Goddess of Marriage could ask for, than quality time with her sisters to help her through the most challenging time in her life for many millennia.
Thanks for reading everyone
Stay safe and see you all next time.