A/N: Shorter than I'd like, but my hands are killing me. Sorry T_T
DOUBLE UPDATE DAY AHOY~!
We're updating this and "Chef of Beacon" Hope you enjoy!
Been a bit, hasn't it? I'll understand if some of you need to catch up.
The month of June was AWFUL for my update schedule, sorry. Hopefully this gets a good bit of feedback. June was a disaster for my update schedule; I'm hoping July will be better. Although the fourth is nearly upon."Breath of Fresh Air" and "Berserker" need a bit more time in the oven. Slifer's working hard on "No Strings on Me" and I'm at my wits end with other stories
My health has been...better. Between back and breathing problems I'm feeling the pains of being old. I still refuse to take those bloody muscle relaxers. Not a chance.
With my fifteen year anniversary on this site finally here, I find myself reflecting on the little things in life. What was once a lazy pastime meant for me and a few friends really grew and evolved over time. There are days when I look back on the last fifteen years here and I wonder if anyone will remember me; if I made an impact, despite never making a single cent on any of these stories. Some days were happier than others, and some stories I enjoyed writing WAY too much; to the point where I'd stay up all night working on them.
And of course, there are times when I look to the future and wonder what will become of things when I'm gone.
Of course, I try not to dwell on the latter overmuch; I'm still alive and still writing. In an ideal world, I'd like to keep doing so for as long as I can. But old age is catching up to me and these days, the world is filled with so much madness and death. Feels like everyone's lost their minds sometimes. Even before that, so many friends and fellow writers I once knew are gone, now. Will I still be here in twenty years? Ten? Five? Its a chilling thought. But for now, I'm still here, still writing. We'll have a brief Q&A this time, because its necessary:
Q: Isn't Kakashi a little nerfed in this?
A: Not at all. As stated, he still has the dregs of Obito's chakra/eyes, which recovers dreadfully slowly over time, but recovers nonetheless. Still, it lets him do some pretty incredible things.
I'm sure you all remember just what those "things" are, no?
Q: GIVE US THE REUNION ALREADY!
A: As you wish.
Q: When will the kiddos meet!
A: *whistles innocently*
So here we go. The fate of this story depends on you, the reader. Your feedback determines the fate of this tale, and many others.
I'm just a humble author trying to make his way in this wild world, one word at a time.
Time and feedback will determine if this remains a story. Simple as that.
In other words...its up to YOU, the reader. Do let me know~!
"Funny thing about ninja. You never know what to expect from them.
Case in point, you didn't see this coming, did you? Of course not.
No one did. There's beauty in simplicity."
Reasons to Meet
Taiyang considered himself a lucky lad.
Lucky, and maybe a little cursed, given the strange twists and turns life had thrown at him as of late.
Rags to riches, that was his story. He'd gone from a no-name-boy running letters to living in a palace for crying out loud! A simple servant, thrust into the lap of luxury. Yup. That was him. It sounded grand on paper and it probably was, but his new "position" came with several...caveats.
For one, he was expected to look after and mind three very energetic girls, when he was little more than a boy himself. He was also expected to be on his best behavior at all times and ever watchful. Bribes were not to be accepted under absolute any circumstance, no matter what. More than a few had tried, seeking to win his favor and when that failed, usurp his position outright. Taiyang dutifully remembered both their names and faces when told Naruto of them. Needless to say, they were never heard from again.
All in all, it was a good life.
He got to fight and eat every day, had a roof over his head, and warm blankets to sleep in. Better yet, he was growing strong. Granted, he wasn't entirely sure about this whole god business, but that Naruto fella could do stuff Huntsmen couldn't. What was that if not godly? He'd done right by him, so he'd repay the favor.
What the Boss says, goes. His word was law. Simple as. He'd spend the rest of his life repaying this debt, if that was what it took.
And besides, Summer was nice. Pretty, too. She seemed to like him, too.
That was a good thing...wasn't it?
He wasn't rightly sure how he felt about Tock and Glynda, he didn't know them well enough, but he felt they could at least be friends.
Now at long last, Atlas had come to call upon Vale; as such he'd been told to keep the three of them indoors. That had been a bit of a struggle at first -especially with Tock!- but in the end, he'd managed to convince them of the necessity. It just wasn't safe out there, not with all those battleships. The media was covering it diligently enough; they'd have to be patient and watch everything unfold on the television.
So far, so good.
Likewise, life was good.
Very good indeed, He was happy, healthy and wealthy.
What more could a boy waaaaaatinblazeswasthaaaaaaaaaat?!
Atlas arrived with no small amount of fanfare.
Battleships aside, they'd certainly brought no small amount of soldiers to their gates; hundreds of men and women marching in unison, flanked by musicians on the ground, glorious ships soaring in the sky, all the better speak of their military might with the eyes of the world upon them. Naruto could hear them even all the way up here. They wanted to make a scene, no, they wanted to be SEEN and today's display would ensure that they were.
They loved their parades, it seemed. Or maybe they just liked the attention.
Naruto couldn't even bring himself to begrudge them that; each kingdom had their pride and eccentricities after all. Far be it from him to judge. From his perch atop Vale's great wall, he watched the column creep closer, inch by inch, mile by mile, until they were all but on their doorstep. It was certainly a sight to see; this day would be remembered for years to come, regardless of the outcome.
They didn't dare enter the city of course, not with tensions at an all time high, and not with him watching them like a hawk.
Still, they were getting awfully close.
Salem tutted, idly running a hand through her golden hair. "And they call me arrogant...
Perhaps they were. The world would change after today. It fell to him and Kakashi to determine that change.
Maria nudged him with an elbow. He looked her way just in time to see the brunette wink his way and tug down her mask.
Naruto blew out a quick breath. "No time like the present, then. Time to face our adoring public."
So speaking, he stepped out into open air and let gravity sink its claws into him.
Mercifully, the fall proved a swift one, even from this height.
He dropped down, hit the ground like a meteor and alighted in a pointed crouch, one fist punching the dirt as he bent his knee. Classic superhero landing. That would look good on the camera if nothing else. Little Summer and the rest might get a hoot out of it if nothing else. Cameras clicked behind him, but in a rare show of decorum, not a soul dared to speak, even when he rose. Good. Paparazzi were a blight on his existence. Good to see they knew when to hold their tongues.
"Did you have to land like that?" Kurama grumbled sourly in his head as they finished climbed to their feet. "Always hell on the knees...
Maria alighted more nimbly on his left, while Salem drifted down on a gentle pulse of magic at his right.
He spared a quick glance their way and started forward.
Maria gave Salem a quelling look.
"What? Can I not be honest? They're a pack of frightened mice."
One of the smaller vessels saw them and landed well ahead of the troops to cut them off.
Naruto tensed despite himself. It wasn't an act of war by any means, but it left the city anxious nonetheless...
...right up to the moment the largest vessel touched down and opened its ramp.
Naruto heard weapons click behind him. He waved them down.
Because spied a familiar shock of gray hair within. Its owner strode down gangway at a sedate pace.
Looked around now. Saw him.
An arm rose and waved his way.
'Of course you'd do that. Telegraph your presence, why don't you...
A snort slipped free from him. It was such a Kakashi thing to do. He very nearly broke character then and there.
He could feel the energy in the air, the anxious anticipation of what might -or might not!- transpire in the next few minutes. He confessed a certain curiosity himself; he was good friends with Kakashi but the world didn't know that, didn't know him. Just as Vale distrusted Kakashi, so too was Atlas wary of him. Could they achieve peace? Not just between him and Atlas, but the world as a whole? Time would tell.
They strode toward one another.
All the world held its breath.
Naruto smiled softly.
Unbeknownst to the others, they'd agreed to this beforehand, him and Kakashi both, shortly before the latter dispelled his shadow clone. Now was their moment. If these people were so determined to declare them gods, if they refused to believe otherwise, if they truly wanted a show...
...Naruto cracked his knuckles. "Let's give 'em a show."
Maria and Salem wisely fell back. And not a moment too soon.
Golden chakra engulfed him head to toe as he walked, growing larger with each passing moment. Startled soldiers shuffled as Kurama manifest, towering over them in all his golden glory. Cries of shock and awe went up from the assembled Atlas contingent, mirrored in kind by his own followers.
Because he wasn't a lone.
Only a few yards away, Kakashi had closed his eyes and pressed his palms together. As they looked on aghast, a swathe of blue chakra engulfed his body, conjuring a blazing azure Susanoo to match him. Naruto didn't bother to hide his smile within Kurama; no one could possibly see it up here. His old mentor still had plenty of Obito's chakra left in him, and while it was slow to replenish itself, replenish it did.
Brought back memories.
He knew how they must look to the outside world, to the countless cameras trained upon them, to the footage being broadcast across the world. A mighty golden fox and a blue warrior armed and armored to the teeth. Giants. Titans straight out of myth. Two monsters staring one another down, preparing for battle.
They lumbered forward, slowly, the better to give their allies time to scamper out the way. Wouldn't do to crush anyone underfoot, after all.
It barely took three steps to bring themselves within striking distance of one another. Less, to hear one another.
Kakashi beat him to the punch, as he always did. "Think they're satisfied?"
Naruto spared a glance toward the stricken, teeming massing below. "I'd think so." He looked back to his mentor with a rueful smile. "I'm surprised you can still do that."
"Truth be told, so am I?" Kakashi rubbed the back of his head within his Susanoo. "It takes a lot out of me. Lets get on with it, shall we? It's been a long flight."
Now it was his turn to smile. "Kids driving you that crazy?"
Kakashi groaned. "You have no idea. Shall we?"
He offered his hand first, Kurama mirrored him ponderously with a massive golden limb. Kakashi paused just long enough to appear considerate, then reached out with his Susanoo and clasped his forearm tightly. Master and student shared a wry smile. If the people of Remnant wanted a battle, they'd be sorely disappointed. Together, they shook hands and raised their free fists to the sky, piercing the very heavens themselves. On a whim he raised his voice in a wordlessl shout. Kakashi did the same, no doubt laughing himself silly on the inside.
The act paid off. Far below them someone cried out. Naruto never knew who.
"Long live the Gods!"
Soon enough it was echoed by another.
Others took it up, shouting slogans of their own.
"Long live Vale!"
"Long live Atlas!"
"Long live the Alliance!"
A great rousing roar went up from the crowd.
Many would call it the dawn of a new era; the start of an empire. For the two of them?
It was just another Tuesday.
Sasuke regarded the screen with a rueful smile.
"Bastards." he chuckled softly. "The absolute bastards...well, I can't stay quiet after that now, can I?
"Ha!" Sakura pitched backward onto the couch with a merry giggle, clutching her heavily pregnant belly, legs kicking at the air. "Told you they'd do that!"
Ozpin leaned back from the television, eyes bulging.
Complete, utter madness.
They'd all lost their minds, the lot of them.
Not him, though. He was perfectly sane.
Nay, he would not be taken in by this.
He would not be fooled.
A/N: Aaaand scene.
Hopefully it lived up to your expectations.
As ever, the Embers rule remains in effect hencefort;
If folks don't enjoy this story...well, that'll make me sad, but I'll not continue it. So by all means, speak up! Every bit of feedback matters here! Truly, it does! That's no joke! I really don't have much time to write these days and feedback is the wind beneath my wings. Silence is a lead weight that just drags me down.
As ever, reviews/feedback keep me writing them. Without them, I lose all hope, creativity and imagination.
Next time: Reasons to Rebel. Nope. Not ominous at all...
So...in the Immortal Words of Atlas...
...Review...Would You Kindly!
SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER!
PLOT DETAILS AHOY!
YE BE WARNED!
(POTENTIAL PREVIEWS. Be sure and vote for what you want to see~!)
"Ha! Ours is bigger!
Naruto thumped Tock on the back of the head.
Willow and Cinder regarded them warily. For their part Summer and Glynda were utterly at their ease.
The children stared one another down.
Summer tilted her head. "Who're you?"
Cinder stomped a little foot. "I asked you first!"
"Honesty, both of you!
Willow took Cinder aside, while Glynda, Tock and Tai did the same to Summer.
Maria plonked down beside him. "Children are hell."
"This from the woman who chose to teach?"
One more word and I will BITE you."
"Don't concern yourself with him..."
Her hand found his throat, squeezing tight.
"You have much greater things to worry about."
And that, my boy, is why you never, EVER anger a pregnant Sakura.
Naruto slapped a hand to his forehead. "I can't take you anywhere nice."
Salem regarded the smoldering crater with a wince. "To be fair, I wasn't trying to do that. I meant to turn them into a dog."
"Why a dog?!"
Long live Ozma! Lord of Vacuo!
"You're right on one account. It does make things more difficult...
"Ha! I knew it! Hear that, boys? He's scared!"
...to decide if any of you live."
"Traitor, you said?" he walked through the flames. "Me? The same as you?" A hand cupped his face, unscathed by fire. "Ha!" He threw his head back and cackled. "I can't stop laughing at your words! You're callin' me a traitor 'cuz I didn't live up to the ideal you set for me? That's hilarious!
"You intend to battle me, then?"
"Battle you, beat you, and spit on your grave."
STAY TUNED! R&R! =D