Hey everyone, here it is the chapter 2 that you've all been waiting for. Was surprised by the amount of positive feedback I got for a single chapter, so instead of working on the HP/Buffy/Nightside fic I started a while back, I figured I'd give the second chapter a shot.
Thanks go out to stranger109 for his idea. Might use it in the near future, but it's the fact that you gave an idea that counts, sparked a few of my own.
Oh, and –Legendary-Titan- I'll try to give an idea of the basics of Kaze no Stigma fire wielding in this chapter.
Thanks also to all of you who reviewed so quickly. It makes a writer know he's appreciated and adds a little incentive to work harder on that next chapter. Really, you guys rock.
Disclaimer: I own nothing! Nothing!
Azula sighed as she walked out of the audience chambers after reporting on her firebending lessons to her father. She had seen his scowl (A scowl! When a twitch of his lips could mean death to a lesser court member!) as she had glanced up at him from her place before him.
As she reached her room, she closed the heavy bronze doors with a thud and plopped back onto her bed. She shivered as she thought of what would be the result should she not live up to her father's expectations. It had been exhausting, trying to keep up with all the training he had been piling on her. But it was showing results, and that was what mattered. As long as she showed decent progress, she wouldn't have to worry about suffering her father's displeasure.
Like Zuko did just the other day. She shivered at the memory; it had been the first time she had seen her father ever fight, even if it had been ridiculously one-sided. She almost pitied Zuko.
She snorted. The keyword being 'almost'. It's hard to pity someone who does something as stupid as speak against a general in the Fire Lords War Room. You'd think being a prince he'd know better, but nnooo, mommy's precious little Zuko can't be bothered to know the rules, and then he wonders why father favors me over him. Idiot.
Putting her brother's foolishness out of her mind, she held out her hand and snapped her fingers, a flickering ball of flame the size of a large pebble appearing in her hand. She smirked as she watched it, burning there with nothing more than her will and the air around her. She done it by accident a week ago and still couldn't get over it. There wasn't a firebender around who she knew of that could so easily access the fire within. I wonder if this is skill, or an effect of the deal I made with that spirit.
"A little of both my dear."
She yelped, extinguishing the bit of fire in her hand as she fell of the bed in a heap, taking the covers with her. Struggling out of them, she quickly got into a defensive position, ready to attack whoever had intruded upon her privacy so easily. She gaped, however, when she saw it was him! The spirit who had formed the deal with her two months past, that fiery spirit from deep within Roku's volcano. She gaped as she saw he was sitting three feet off the floor, in thin air! She blushed, though, when she noticed he had a blood red evening robe, with a pair of the same color slippers and a long pipe in hand, but not much else, allowing her to see that clearly defined chest…hhmmh.
She shook her head furiously. No! No, no, no, no! Bad thoughts! She bowed to him, quickly remembering her manners. "H-Hello Kyuubi-sama, for what reason have you come to visit me?" She was proud she managed to get through that with little stuttering. Being surprised by anyone in one's own room was bad enough, but to be surprised by such a powerful entity was shocking. She didn't know how she could have missed the waves of power rolling off him, seeming to almost thicken the very air itself, like a heat shimmer on the stone walls of the palace.
He stretched himself out before lowering his feet to the floor and walking over to her. "No need to be so formal, my little firefly. Just call me Naruto-sempai, or sama if you must. I don't stand on ceremony, especially not with the first contractor I've had in millennia." He smiled down at her. "After all, it's not every day someone as interesting as you comes along and allows me disrupt the plans of the other spirits, bunch of dodgy old blighters that they are. Now as I was saying, part of your new found ability is indeed because of the contract we formed," he clapped his hands together and fiery lettering appeared in midair. "This, my dear, is the terms of said contract, basically saying that you must respect me, so no rudeness ya hear, and to shun all other spirits intervention in your life unless I approve." He paused for a moment. "Oh, and when you die, you come with me to a new world, and serve me there, instead of staying here and being reborn or lingering in the spirit world like some sort of spiritual bum like so many others. In return, I grant you the ability to wield fire to an extent unheard of in this world, and your ability with said power varies depending on you and the effort you put into it." He grinned at her. "Remember what happened to your brother for his impertinence?" She nodded, as she had just been thinking of it. "That cannot happen to you, and by cannot, I mean it's impossible. Any fire will recognize the power within you from the signing of our contract, and as such will welcome you like a mother would a child to her embrace.
Azula grimaced at this, remembering her own mother, till she felt a poke to her forehead. Looking up, she resisted the urge to scowl at Naruto-sama till she saw the serious look in his eyes.
"None of that now my dear," he said in a lightly reproving tone. "Be upset about your departed mothers favoritism of your brother is all well and good, as it is indeed normal, but I will not have you brooding." He smirked all of a sudden. "After all, your brother is the one who seems to be brooding nowadays, and wouldn't it be so annoying to have a chipper big sister around bothering him?"
She smirked and nodded.
"Now, back to you," he said, poking his smoking pipe in her direction. "You, my dear, are starting to experience the benefits of being under my wing, or tail actually." He frowned then shrugged at the last. "From the moment you became mine, fire could no longer hurt you. Hot liquid magma? Yes. Fire? No."
"Why magma?" she blurted, before blanching at the realization that she had interrupted her patron.
Naruto smirked at the look on her face. "Calm down girl, I don't mind an interruption here or there, nor do I mind a relaxed attitude. What I do mind is blatant disrespect, and I'll let you know when you've done something like that. Now, to answer that, magma is not fire, inasmuch as it is an effect of fire. Magma or lava when it would be on the surface to hit you in the first place, is molten rock, made so by intense heat or fire. Therefore while the heat wouldn't bother you as much, it could still kill or maim you if you got a direct hit from it, so be careful with the Avatar if you cross him or her, as they can wield magma. Don't want to lose my Contractor to that little busybody."
Azula looked up at him quizzically. "You sound like you don't like the Avatar. I thought all spirits were on decent terms with him or her, he is their connection to the world of the living after all."
The blonde spirit sighed and took a few puffs from his pipe. "The problem with an assumption, my dear, is it can come back to bite you in your pretty little ass." He smirked at this, as she blushed then pouted, glaring at him all the while. "You see, my dear, the reason so many assume that the Avatar can talk to all the spirits in the Spirit World is because most people assume that said spirits want to talk to him or her. In actuality, if the Avatar tried to, for instance forcibly come talk to me, or force his or her presence upon me, well, he or she would be in for the surprise of a lifetime." He smirked evilly. "I wouldn't actually do anything too bad to the little bugger, but I would express my displeasure in very satisfactory manner indeed, oh yes. Now, the problem is, dear one, that lower spirits cannot do as I do, and therefore must be subjected to said
Avatar's presence. So you see, it's more of a spirit to spirit basis on who can say shoo to the Avatar."
Azula stared, looking like she might just have brain aneurysm at the inflow of information. Naruto smirked before continuing on, adopting a comically righteous pose midair. "Besides which, everyone knows fire is the greatest of the four elements, the fire that burns deep within the breast, the burning passion, ambition, rage, THE BURNING FLAMES OF YOUTH!"(insert comical Maito Gai pose).
He blinked, looking down to see Azula rolling on the ground.
"My eyes, they'll never be clean again," she wailed.
"Note to self," Naruto muttered, adopting a thoughtful pose, chin in hand, "no more Gai impressions. Fun, but potentially harmful to viewers."
After Azula had repressed certain memories, they continued, Naruto adopting a more serious expression. "Now my dear, we were talking about the benefits that you receive from this contract. The immunity to fire, the ease of access to your own internal fires, these are but the tips of the iceberg for a creative Contractor. But, I shall assuage your curiosity later, for now, walk with me."
Azula started in surprise, then jumped off the bed to follow him as he walked through the doors.
"Naruto –sama," she whispered hastily, "Where are we going, if the guards see a stranger walking around the palace with me, it's going to mean a lot of trouble!"
He glanced at her, cocking an eyebrow amusedly. "My dearest little firefly, what in the world makes you think that these people can even see me?" Her eyes almost boggled out of her head. "No, quite contrary to what it may seem my dear, at this time, I have one foot in this world, and one foot in the Spirit World. The only reason you can see me is because you are my Contractor, and are therefore above such restrictions." He raised his pipe to his mouth, inhaled, and then let loose a cloud of smoke. "Wonderful leaf this," he commented absently.
They finally reached the entrance to a hidden terrace, with a good view of the setting sun. As they stared out at the setting sun, side by side, Azula noticed that her earlier depression had been gone for quite some time. 'Of course I would have forgotten all about father and the problems he causes', she thought smugly. 'I have a Great Spirit as a patron; my life has endless possibilities now.'
"Do you see it, firefly?" he asked of her suddenly. "The fiery beauty of the setting sun is great, like a fire on the horizon." She nodded. "Ah," he chuckled, "not, perhaps, yet, at least not entirely. But one day, when you do, you and I shall go on a splendid journey all our own, neh?"
As sun was just about to slip under the horizon, Naruto turned to her, a fiery finger outstretched. "And this, my firefly, shall be the last time you see me for quite some time." He started to burn her shoulder, moving his finger in a slow circling pattern. "But worry not, for see me again, you will. And remember, grow strong, firefly, for you never know where your next challenge may come from." And with that, he finished, leaving a tattoo of a spiral burned onto her left shoulder. He bit his thumb, and smeared blood over the spiral. "Remember, grow strong, and reach for that fire that burns deep inside."
So, what do ya all think? Might rework this later, wasn't really satisfied with it. Review please!