Fire is Red
"What is the meaning of this?"
Ace froze when he heard her voice. How did she...
The marines that were guarding him all whipped around in her direction but could only stare. Even the admirals were gaping rather unattractively.
Ace slowly turned his head from where he had been watching the all-out war between pirates and marines and met a pair of stormy cerulean blue eyes framed by locks of blonde hair.
"I haven't seen you in months and when I do, you are shackled to this execution stand?!" Her voice rose to a shriek at the end.
"Na-Naruto..." He could only look at her in shock.
"What are you all doing? Arrest her!" Sengoku had recovered and was barking orders at his subordinates. Naruto quickly slapped a seal on the ground, preventing anyone from getting closer.
By now, some of the fightings had stopped as a glowing red barrier caught their attention, separating Ace and the mysterious girl from everyone else.
Naruto was taking a break after working on her garden, she slowly stretched her back and sighed in relief when it gave a pop. She glanced around her yard before giving a deeper sigh this time.
Six months. She has not seen that idiot for six long months and she was so teaching Ace a lesson using Kaasan's Bloody Habanero style! She really wanted to share the news with him too. Well technically it was old news by now but since Ace hasn't heard it yet, it could still be considered new news.
'Kurama, I'm bored.'
'Don't look at me, kid. Go take a nap or something.'
'But I already did that today. Twice!'
Naruto pouted. It's been thirteen years since she was tossed into this world with Kurama. She still remembered being on the verge of death, her chakra was all but exhausted. She didn't have any regrets. Madara and Kaguya were gone forever. Her friends were safe. All the villages were safe. She never got to be Hokage but that was fine, as long as everyone was alive. The old fox refused to accept that however, and pushed all his remaining chakra into her as she was taking what would have probably been her last breath. When she opened her eyes again, Naruto was shocked to find herself shrunk to the age of five and in an unfamiliar place. Kurama had gone into a deep sleep, so for a whole year and a half, she was alone.
Apparently that was the price of coming back from the brink of death. Shinigami-san wouldn't have let it happen in the first place if it weren't for everyone. Kaasan...Tousan...Ero-sennin...Jiji...Neji...they all asked for this one boon, to allow her to live her life.
After the Fourth Shinobi War, Ero-sennin's dream for peace was finally going to happen but instead she got shoved into a world with constant fighting between marines, pirates, bandits, and just general idiots.
Luckily for Naruto, there was a remote island nearby so she didn't have to deal with anybody yet. Especially since she just finished a war, she probably would have gone crazy if she had to immediately interact with people who had no idea what she'd lived through.
So for the first couple of months, Naruto lived off of the island. She ate the animals that she hunted—there were really weird animals too—and the fruits she gathered—Kakashi-sensei and Baa-chan would have been proud that she was finally eating her vegetables. She would also think about her friends too, if they were doing well, if they wondered what happened to her and what the hell Sasuke had wanted to talk to her about after the war.
Naruto snapped out of this state after she dreamt about her parents. Kaasan and Tousan would not have wanted her to continue like this! They wanted her to live so that is what she set out to do. Besides she wasn't completely alone, she could still feel Kurama in her but in some sort of comatose state.
She started by claiming the island as her home. Naruto slapped Fuinjutsu seals all over the island to make it disappear from view, so no one but her would be able to find the island. She also set up barriers so even if someone ended finding out about it, they wouldn't be able to get in without her permission. If they tried to force their way in, it would electrocute and send them flying for a couple of miles. And just because she could, Naruto spammed her Hiraishin seals all over the island, for moments when she did not feel like walking from one end of the island to the other. Even she had her bouts of laziness, so if she wanted to pull a Shikamaru by dammit she will!
With each seal she did, Naruto couldn't help but feel grateful to Ero-sennin for teaching her Fuinjutsu. Even after he was killed by Pain, she still continued to learn until Kakashi-sensei mentioned that Naruto might have even surpassed the Fourth Hokage in sealing knowledge.
But even with having a whole island to herself, she still needed money from this world, and with that in mind, Naruto opened up a ramen stand. Of course she henged herself into an older fellow because no one would let a five-year-old open a shop. They wouldn't be able to tell since she was the only chakra user here.
Naruto terribly missed Teuchi-ossan's cooking and nearly passed out when she realized that she wouldn't be able to have Ichiraku Ramen again, so she immediately set out to rectify that problem by recreating it.
Well, actually she already knew the first half to ramen-making since she had walked in when Teuchi-ossan was preparing and he invited her to sit. Naruto knew he particularly considered her as a second daughter but she was surprised that he was willing to part his secret recipe to her.
However, Naruto excused herself halfway through because she didn't want to ruin the mystery behind the delicious ramen for herself. She wanted to be able to still stroll in and order ramen and wonder how Teuchi-ossan made it so good. When ossan heard that, he just laughed and told her to come back later for a free bowl of ramen.
Thanks to ossan's recipe, her ramen stand was a huge hit—so much that she had to close her stand and open a restaurant in order to accommodate her increasing number of customers. Naruto didn't even need to spend money to hire workers, she just created Kage Bunshins and had them henge into faces from her past. Sasuke-teme is as popular here as he was back in Konoha.
By the time Kurama woke up, the restaurant had expanded to the second and third floor and was considered one of the best—if not the best—ramen in East Blue. Gossip was such an amazing thing.
Truthfully she sent out clones to spread the word but the people who came became regulars so the details were really just details.
Naruto had fallen into a mundane routine. She was content with her life, she wasn't overjoyed or dying to great each day with a smile, but she was satisfied. People were happy from eating at her restaurant, some would come and chat with her. She had acquaintances, but no one she could call a friend. Well there was Kurama, but he wasn't one who you can talk about feelings with. Naruto was happy, but there was loneliness as well.
This feeling stayed for another year or two until three brats tried to do an eat and run at her restaurant.
No way in hell that was happening.
She remembered going after them through the window they crashed through. Naruto probably shocked a lot of people that day, seeing someone chase after three kids. Especially when they thought that someone was an old man.
Naruto let them run ahead of her but once they reached the forest, she pumped chakra into her legs and leaped in front of them.
"Where do you three think you're going without paying?"
"Who the hell are you old man?" The one with freckles practically demanded.
"The owner of the restaurant you ran away from."
"I meant what are you Jiji! How did you catch us?"
"You guys are just slow, and I don't appreciate being called Jiji!" She whacked all three on the head.
"IT HURTS! Why did you hit us too? We didn't say anything!"
"Because you guys didn't stop him! If you're his friend, share the responsibility!"
"We're brothers!" The shorty was shrieking at her now. She noticed how the other two had positioned themselves in a way that was easy to defend if she decided to strike the shorty again.
Ah, so the one with the straw hat was probably the youngest.
She felt her heart clench when she heard them refer to themselves at brothers. It was obvious they weren't related. Perhaps the two black haired ones, but the blonde one definitely wasn't. They probably clung onto the connections they made themselves.
Sakura and Kakashi-sensei jumped to mind. After Sasuke defected, the remaining of Team Seven became practically glued to each other, fearing that another one might leave. Sakura became a sister to her and Kakashi-sensei was like an older brother.
A perverted one.
But still an older brother.
"Anyways you're coming back with me to pay for the ramen you ate. If you don't have money then I'll put you to work."
She didn't know why she offered that. It wasn't like Naruto needed the money since she never had to pay any workers since they were clones.
It was just...
Naruto felt wistful when she saw their relationship. It made her think of what she had with Sakura and Kakashi-sensei and what she wished she had with Sasuke.
"Hmph, I don't care. It's not like you can make us."
A vein popped into existence on her forehead.
Oooh...Freckles was acting pretty daring. She'll teach him.
It was an instant knockout.
For all three of them.
Then the other two when they jumped in.
"Oi! Your miso ramen."
The patron was quaking at the sight of the kid who was practically glaring holes at him.
Naruto's fist came crashing down on Ace's head.
"You idiot! Don't be rude to the customers! And don't slam down the food!"
"Hah? I wasn't being rude!"
"Ahaha Ace got scolded!"
"Shut up! You shouldn't be laughing Luffy! Don't think I didn't see you eating the customers' food!"
Naruto paused when she stepped in something wet, she looked down at the mess of noodle and broth and the path that led to...
"Sabo...quit spilling with every step. There's no point in serving a half-empty bowl!"
She was frustrated.
"Nevermind. Just go to the back and wash the dishes instead."
"What are you boys doing?! How many plates did you break already?!"
"All of 'em!"
"Don't sound so proud of that! Are you idiots? Did your parents not teach you anything?"
"Shut up! We don't have parents!"
"Then all the more reason for you to have learned this!"
"Don't talk as if you know anything!"
"I do know since I didn't have parents either!"
Naruto opened her eyes when she received silence. The three of them were staring wide-eyed at her.
She coughed and said roughly, "Anyways, my supplier should be here so just go help unload and take them to the stockroom."
They just nodded and rushed by her to the back door.
She didn't mean to lose her temper. Then she shrugged, it wasn't like they would come again after today.
"Hey! We're here!"
A couple of weeks had passed since they worked off their debt, but the kids kept coming back and she had no idea why. After that day, she was so sure she wouldn't see them again but they would pop in at random times.
Sure, she would give them ramen as long as they helped out. And it's not like it was out of her way to cook whatever beastie they brought her, she got to eat some of it too. Plus, it was no problem on her savings when she made extra-extra-large portions for them during mealtime.
Okay, maybe she did know why they kept coming back. As a kid, she probably would have also gotten attached to anyone who gave her food, like she did to Teuchi-ossan.
But even she didn't try to follow Ossan home like the brats were trying to do every day!
She would usually lose them by reverting back to her original appearance before she even stepped foot off this island and crossed the water to her island, but after the eighth time, she let them take a boat and follow her. Naruto even took a boat herself since she didn't want them knowing about her ability to water-walk.
They followed her at a distance up until she disappeared from view behind the barrier. She got a rather amusing view since the barrier worked rather like a one-way mirror—the three had rushed up to where she had disappeared and tried to cross.
It sent them flying.
And apparently Luffy was a Devil Fruit user.
"Hey hey hey! How did you disappear all of sudden?"
"Teach me how to do that!"
She was beyond annoyed and gave them the same answer every time they asked.
"I'd tell you but then I would have to kill you."
And that was that.
"Give me a bottle of sake."
Naruto looked down at Ace. "Why?"
"None of your business."
"Fine. Need any cups?"
Three cups? That answer gave away more than Ace probably thought it did. She still remembered when Oyabun wanted to exchange sake to seal the boss and underling status between them. Come to think of it, she never did. Anyways there was no way those three were going to do a boss-underling thing, so that meant they wanted to finalize their brotherly status.
"Here's some snacks to share with the other two, Ace-chan."
"Don't call me that!"
Luffy came bursting into her office.
"Hey hey listen! We are going to be pirates!"
The other two followed closely behind.
"Really? Is that why you have that stash of money in the cave?"
"Yea!" Luffy answered without thinking.
"WAIT! How did you know that?!" It seems like Ace caught her intentional slip.
"Secret." Naruto smirked. "Do you boys plan on going together or separately?"
"Doesn't matter! As long as we are free! Besides, we have a bond that cannot be broken!"
"Ahh, you mean the sworn brother thing that you guys exchange sake over? The sake that Ace-chan asked from me to be exact."
"WHA—?! HOW DID YOU—?"
She just smiled.
"Why do you guys keep coming back?"
"We like you."
"I'm flattered. Really I am, but you know I'm an old man right?"
"AHH! NOT LIKE THAT!" Sabo's and Ace's expression were one of disgust.
Naruto couldn't help but laugh. Luffy was still too innocent to understand why Ace and Sabo looked horrified.
Ace spoke up, "It's because you don't laugh at us."
"I'm pretty sure I just did."
"That's not what I meant. All the other adults think we're nuisances, but you always let us come back! You don't try to get rid of us. And you don't laugh or get mad at our dream!"
Well, of course she didn't. Naruto remembered when everyone use to jeer and laugh at her dream of becoming Hokage. When the civilians never let her come into their shop, when they sneered and whispered things behind her back.
Her feelings were all over the place. Ace's words made her think of painful things. Naruto had already long forgiven everyone but being suddenly reminded of her childhood made her want to cry.
But on the outside, she just gave a bland, "Hmm...I see."
Naruto whistled as she began the walk back to her home. She decided to leave the rest of the day to her clones since the boys didn't seem like they would be showing up today. Plus Kurama wanted to get out of the seal for a few hours.
Ace and Luffy were shouting at someone. Someone who had a hold of Sabo. She started running.
Naruto skid to a stop when a large group of men came into view. She scanned the group quickly and growled when she caught sight of Ace and Luffy on the ground.
"Don't do it, Sabo!" Ace was shouting desperately.
"I'll live as you want, so please don't hurt these two!" Sabo pleaded to what looked like a snotty man from the way he was holding a handkerchief to his nose. "I'm begging you. They are my important brothers."
"Let's go home, Sabo." Oh gross! That man is Sabo's father?
Sabo started to walk away but hesitated when Ace shouted again, "Don't go! Don't worry about us and just run!"
Should she interfere now or wait? Naruto was in the middle of making a decision when it was made for her as Sabo began crying.
Well then. Naruto took off her henge—since she didn't want them coming after her restaurant—and stepped in.
Ace was desperate.
Sabo was going back to his family in order to protect him and Luffy.
If only he was stronger!
"Are you sure that's what you want? Sabo-chan?" A blonde girl with eyes as blue as the sea and a set of whisker-like marking on each cheek strolled forward.
Only the ramen-Jiji added a 'chan' to their names and that wasn't the owner. Who was she?
And is she an idiot?! These people wouldn't care if she was a girl or not!
Ace could only look on in horror as he began imagining possible scenarios, all of them ending with the girl dead.
"Get out of here! It's no—"
"Shush Ace-chan, I'm asking Sabo-chan something right now."
Seriously, who was she?
"Ahahaha! What's this little girl doing here?" Bluejam laughed.
"Shut up dumbass. I wasn't talking to you either."
"Hah? Hey little girl, don't you know I'm a pirate? I'm captain!" He pulled out his pistol and cocked it at her head. "I can kill you right now."
The girl had a death wish. She was ignoring the pistol aimed at her and continued to stare at Sabo.
"Did you not want to become a pirate? Was it not your dream to be free?"
"No! I'm asking the questions, not you. Just answer."
"Of course I do! But if I don't, they'll kill my brothers!" Sabo began to cry openly.
"Don't worry about that. I definitely won't let that happen."
"You think you can stop me? I'll kill yo—!" Bluejam's words were cut off when, in a move too fast for Ace to see, the girl knocked him down, took the gun and was now standing on his back, holding him at gunpoint.
There was a stunned silence before, "Shoot her!"
Gunshots rang but not a single one found its mark. The blonde was moving too fast for them to aim properly. One by one, the pirates and the weirdos in suits, were knocked down.
Only Sabo's dad was left but instead of having him join the rest, she walked over, placed a hand on his head, made a sign with her other hand and closed her eyes.
After a couple of minutes, she opened her eyes and gave a frightening smile.
"Let's talk, shall we?"
"Don't touch me with your filthy hands, you trash!"
"Outlook the Third...if you're looking for a painful death, keep talking." Her voice suddenly went deeper, the whiskers on her face became more prominent, and the blue of her eyes bled to red.
Sabo's dad was sweating bullets.
"You're getting smarter."
Sabo came over and helped him and Luffy up.
"Do you guys know her?"
They both denied this.
"Hmm...so you have a wife and an adopted son back at home don't you?" Outlook nodded once. "By the way Sabo-chan, your brother is ugly as fuck."
"I don't know her either, but I'm starting to like her." Sabo grinned.
"I'm sure they'll need you alive if they wish to continue living in High Town. Won't they?"
Outlook confirmed this with another nod.
"Well then, we wouldn't want you suddenly dying on us now...right?"
He was frantically nodding now.
"Then we agree that you'll leave Sabo-chan alone?"
"Ace-chan and Luffy-chan too?"
"That's good then! I was afraid you wouldn't see it my way. Because if you didn't agree, I would have no choice but to..." She leaned down and began whispering in Outlook's ear.
At least what would have been a whisper if it weren't for that evil, creepy voice she was using.
She was describing in detail on how she would first ruin his reputation, then it was the gruesome details on how she'd take him apart piece by piece.
Starting with his manhood.
The old man pissed himself.
Ace suddenly felt heavy, as if something was pushing him down. He wasn't sure what it was, only that the girl was the cause of it.
And that it affected the old man more than it did them.
The old fart had shat himself.
The girl gave one last chilling smile at Outlook before sending a punch straight to his face, rendering him unconscious.
Ace didn't know who she was, but he might have fallen in love a bit.
Naruto silently thanked Kurama for lending her a bit of his chakra before allowing it to dispel.
She looked over and saw them staring at her.
Hmm. Now how to deal with this. She scratched her head and motioned them to follow her.
"Come on then. Let's go somewhere else before you start asking questions."
Naruto led them to where she knew their hideout was, their frantic whisperings amusing her to no end. Making herself comfortable on the ground, she faced them, "Soooo...any questions?"
"How are you so strong?"
"How do you move that fast? Teach me!"
"Who are you? How do you know our names?"
They blurted their questions all at once, but the one she was looking for was the last question, Ace's.
"Let's see, how to answer that..." Naruto leaned back on her hands and glanced up at the trees. "My name's Naruto but you guys know me in my other form." With that, she turned herself into her alter ego.
"YO-YOU'RE THAT OLD MAN?!"
"YOU TURN YOURSELF INTO A LITTLE GIRL?! PERVERT!"
Naruto immediately turned back and yelled, "IDIOT! This is my real body! The old man is the fake one!"
Shouting was heard from Luffy as yet another of his attacks failed to hit anyone but himself.
Why was she here again?
After telling them the whole I-died-once-and-I'm-not-from-this-world did nothing to deter them. The I-was-a-ninja-so-I've-killed-before didn't help either.
If anything, it just made them even more excited and that was what led to her current situation.
Apparently things could get worse than before. Now instead of coming to visit her, they would come and drag her out with them.
What has she done to deserve this? Was it because of all those pranks she did when she was younger? Or maybe because she kept calling Ero-sennin Ero-sennin? Or Baa-chan as Baa-chan?
Her restaurant was now completely run by clones, she just hoped they didn't pull another protest like they did a couple of years ago.
Now it was just a repeat of watching them fight day after day, either with each other or with crazy large animals.
"Naruto! You're really strong right? You try fighting Ace!" Luffy was now trying to drag her into their shenanigans.
"No, it'll be a totally one-sided match..." Ace started to grin in a cocky manner. "...for me. While physically I am the same age as Luffy-chan, I have more than a decade of experience on Ace-chan. I won't even have to use chakra."
"What did you say? Fight me, if you lose you have to take that back!"
"There. You lost."
Ace picked himself up from where he had been thrown headfirst into a tree. "You cheated! Sabo didn't even say start yet!"
"Don't think it would have made a difference but if you insist. Whenever you're ready."
Sabo raised his hand and waited for both of them to be ready before pulling it down sharply. "Start!"
Ace and Naruto stared at each other, waiting for the other to make the first move. Suddenly Naruto disappeared in a flash of yellow.
"Where did she go?" Ace whipped his head from side to side, looking for her.
"Thousand Years of Pain!"
Sabo turned towards the scoreboard and marked a win for Naruto.
"Naruto! Show us where you live!" Luffy was nagging her again.
"Come on. We couldn't get in when we tried to follow you."
"Yea that was fun. Feel free to try again."
"Why should I?"
"Because we are friends!"
Ace and Luffy challenged her to a fight again. This time, it was both of them at once against her.
"You can use that pukaura to do super cool moves right?"
"It's called chakra."
"Why won't you use it?"
"Because I don't need to. If you want to see me use it, get stronger first. Strong enough to force me to use it."
"Grrrr! I definitely will! I am going to be the King of Pirates one day! I will definitely beat you! Right Ace?"
Ace just gritted his teeth and nodded.
Naruto strode over to where Ace was huddled in the cave.
"Why'd you punch that guy?"
Ace gave a 'hmph' and turned his head from her.
"He was talking about Gol D. Roger. Did you know him?"
He refused to answer.
"If you don't tell me what's wrong I won't know."
Still a stubborn silence.
Naruto sat down next to Ace, leaning back against the cave wall.
"We're actually quite similar ya know? There are Tailed Beasts where I am from, basically giant living forms of chakra. Everyone thought they were demons manifested from hatred because all they caused was death and destruction."
"I mentioned that my parents were killed the day I was born, right? That day the Nine-Tailed was released and it attacked our village. My dad was the leader at the time, so to protect the village he sealed it inside me."
Naruto could see Ace shifting closer.
"But the Kyuubi didn't want to be sealed away again so it tried to kill me to prevent that from happening. My parents tried to protect me and they were killed instead."
"There were a lot of deaths that day and everyone wanted—no...they needed to blame someone...so they hated me...because the Kyuubi was sealed in me. They believed that I was the demon himself, every day they would try to make my life as miserable as possible."
Ace's face had completely turned to face her by now.
"I didn't know why they hated me, it was kept a secret from me in order to protect me. The civilians refused to sell me anything fresh, it was all expired or what was about to go in the trash. Even then, I would be overcharged for them."
"It was hell for me being alone for the first half of my childhood, but because later I had those few important people who accepted me, I was fine. I could ignore everything else, everyone who hated me, as long as I had those special people."
Naruto fell silent, lost in her memories. She startled when she felt an arm wrap around her shoulders.
"I hate Gol D. Roger...it's all because of him that I have the blood of a demon inside me. Everyone says that a child of his must be a demon. That the child doesn't deserve to live. They don't even know that he had a child! Me! I'm the demon everyone keeps—"
Naruto slapped her hand over his mouth. "You aren't. You. Are. Not. A. Demon. Who your father was, does not define you."
Ace pulled her hand away. "Everyone says—!"
"Are you saying that I am a demon then? Since I have the Kyuubi sealed in me? That I don't deserve to live?"
"No! I didn't say that!"
"You're not the one with a demon sealed inside you, why would you call yourself that?"
"Because I have his blood!"
"Because you have his blood?"
"Do you hate him?"
"Of course! Don't you hate the Kyuubi too?"
"I actually wasn't aware of him until I was twelve, but even then I never hated him. Sure I didn't like him, just never outright hated him. I don't blame him for my parents' death either. Kurama is a precious friend now."
"You befriended him?"
"Of course I did! He's my nakama! He helped us win the war. Kurama is just a big grumpy old fox with nine fluffy tails." Naruto looked down and addressed her stomach, "Oh shush you, you know you are."
"That's...kind of a long story. Maybe some other time. Anyways you're going off topic here!"
"What were talking about again?"
She facepalmed. "Are you trying to copy Luffy now? We were talking about how you weren't a demon!"
"You have people you care about right?"
"You would do anything to keep them safe."
"I don't think a demon would do such a thing. You have people you care about, Sabo and Luffy. You call them your brothers don't you? They know about your father yet they never once called you a monster!"
"Still, their dads aren't considered—!"
"Sabo's dad is complete shithead! Are you saying that since Sabo-chan has the same blood as him, that Sabo will grow up to be like him?"
"And Luffy-chan's grandfather is a Navy Admiral! Are you going to turn against Luffy when you become a pirate?"
"Luffy isn't like that Jiji!"
"Then why are you setting these shitty rules that only applies to you?!"
He sat there, mouth moving, but no sound was made.
"Just because everyone else says something doesn't make it true. Don't let the nonsense they spew get to you. If you're a man, man up! The best way to get revenge on those idiots is to live life the way you want to, ignore anyone that tries to get you to do otherwise!"
Ace continued to hold onto her.
Naruto thought she heard Ace muttering something, but she ignored it in favor of gently patting his back.
"Jiji, I think I found one of my reasons to be born."
He fell asleep on her.
"Go out with me."
"I'm not sure if that was a question or not, but no."
"Be my girlfriend."
"Still a no. You're going to go off and a pirate. I'll be left alone if you die, I've had enough of people dying and leaving me behind."
"I promise, I definitely won't die! I already promised Sabo and Luffy I won't die, but I will swear it again. I won't die no matter what!"
"I'll think about it."
"So you're finally going."
Naruto watched as Ace struggled to shove as much food as possible into his bag.
"Of course! Sabo already set off a month ago. We're finally fulfilling our dreams."
She rushed over and slapped his hands away, "Stop stop! You're going to tear your bag like that." She retrieved a set of scrolls she made and specifically tweaked for Ace. "Here are sealing scrolls I made. It took me a while but I was able to get it to respond to your blood. No chakra necessary."
"Really? You're the best Naruto!" He swept her up in a hug and proceeded to rub his face against hers.
Naruto huffed but allowed him to do so, after all, she probably wouldn't see him again for a while.
"Yes, yes. Now go seal your mountain of food away. Remember, it'll stay fresh as long as it stays in the seal."
Ace happily took the scrolls and stored all the food he had been packing into it.
He then proceeded to Naruto's refrigerator and pantry and sealed away all the food from there too.
"Oi, are you trying to eat me out of my own home?"
"Heh heh, but you have a whole island of food at your disposal! And you still have your ramen business. Besides, I'll miss your cooking."
"...so you take all my food."
Sometimes she regretted letting Ace step foot onto her island.
She watched him bustle around the house, taking this and that from here and there. Most of the things he took was his, but some were hers. While Naruto pretended to be disgruntled about it, she didn't actually mind since she knew Ace was taking them as mementos of her.
"Naruto, can I take this hat?" He held up an orange hat with two smileys—one happy, one sad—that she had bought on a whim.
"Why that one?"
"It's your favorite color so it'll remind me of you."
Naruto just laughed. "To think, just a couple of years ago you were a rude brat who couldn't even greet someone properly, now you're spewing lines that'll make the ladies swoon."
A deep flush crept up his cheeks, "Th-that's only when I'm with you!"
"Oh ho? So I won't have to worry about your virtue when you're out there being a big bad pirate?"
"Hah? Of course not! We—...you definitely don't have to worry about that, especially not after this last month."
She hummed in satisfaction. Oh how she loved to tease Ace so, watching the blush travel up his neck and to his cheeks.
'The red really compliments his freckles.' She pulled him down for a nice long kiss.
Ace has really gotten better with his kisses, then again it was no surprise considering all the practice they've got in the past three years.
Pulling away slightly, she murmured against his lips, "Take it. I actually was going to give it to you anyways. I put a seal on it so you can contact me. Once again, its blood activated."
Naruto felt his lips curl into a smile.
"Oi-yah, do I worry you this much?"
"Yes, constantly." She deadpanned.
"Ouch...any other seals I should be aware of?" His bottom jutted out in a light mimic of a pout.
"As a matter of fact, yes." She turned her nose in the air and sniffed haughtily. "Your belt has my Hiraishin mark on it. So I can reach you instantly if you ever need something."
"I'm a lot stronger now. Luffy still hasn't beaten me yet." Oh he was definitely pouting now.
"True, but you still yet have to win against me."
"Not true! I can win half the time as long as you don't use chakra."
"That's not important."
"I think it is."
"Shut it with your disgusting mating call and get off this island kid." Kurama slunk in through the living room door.
'Nice save Kurama!' While his save was accidental, Naruto resolved to spoil him with a belly rub.
Whenever she was home, she always let Kurama out of the seal. He had been caged for years by her ancestors, and even before when he was free, people feared him and would attack him. This island was both her's and Kurama's safe haven.
All she requested from him was to take a smaller form so he wouldn't accidentally destroy everything just by strolling through.
Ace scowled. "I swear you interrupt us on purpose. The only time Naruto and I actually get time alone is when she sets up a barrier."
"Keh. You're the one that interfering. Hurry, begone."
She couldn't help it, she burst out laughing. It was always so amusing to see Ace and Kurama bickering over her, over food, over space, over anything really.
Kurama didn't really like Ace since having Ace around meant that there was less time for belly rubs, although he would never admit to it.
Naruto walked Ace to where a small boat was docked, Kurama following a few minutes later.
"You won't do anything stupid that'll get you killed, right?"
"Haha, I promised didn't I? I definitely will not die. Especially since you're my most important reason to stay alive."
"If you really do die on Naruto, I'll come desecrate your grave."
"Got it. Look after her while I'm gone will ya?"
"Tch, I don't need you telling me that."
"Hey! This 'her' you're talking about is right here! I'm not the one that needs looking after!"
Kurama just scoffed again and turned back towards the house, flicking his tails in what Naruto assumed to be a farewell.
"You two are secretly buddy-buddy behind my back aren't you?" She threw a half-hearted glare at Ace.
"Not at all. Call it a man-to-man promise." He flashed her a grin with a thumbs-up that reminded her too much of Gai and Lee.
All Ace was missing were the thick eyebrows, green jumpsuit, and orange leg warmers.
"Labeling it with a manlier term doesn't change what it is."
"Ahahaha! I'll definitely miss you when I'm out in the seas." He looped his arms around her shoulders, tucking her under his chin. "Are you sure you don't want to come with me?"
Naruto nodded against his chest. "I'm tired of meaningless fights and that's what pirates do ninety percent of the time."
"Very true. You'll stay safe?"
"Wha—me? I should be the one telling you that. I'll be safe here, even if danger did come, I'll beat its ass right back out."
"You do that. It took me a whole year to get you to agree to go out with me, I'd be disappointed if something happened to you now."
"Yes yes, then another five months for me to invite you to my home. Then another three months to introduce you to Kurama. Then six more months before I let you kiss me. Seven more months before it was sharing my bed. And lastly, another year before I let you in my pants."
"You remember it well."
"That's because you're always saying it, I could recite it in my sleep."
He bit her ear in retaliation.
Naruto was surprised to see Ace again after just three months.
An 'I missed you' was tossed at her before he came barreling into her.
When she felt Ace contacting her, she almost feared the worst but instead here he was...
"WHY THE HELL ARE YOU NAKED?!" She yelped when her hands came into contact with a naked bum.
Nevermind, scratch that. Ace wasn't completely naked, he still had the hat and belt on since she had placed seals against elements on them.
Whilst still holding on to her, he began an awkward shuffle towards the house.
"I accidentally set my clothes on fire."
She stared at him in disbelief.
"I ate the Mera Mera no Mi but I can't control it well yet."
Naruto wasn't sure if she should be exasperated or just laugh her ass off.
She chose the latter.
Ace pouted at her collapsed figure.
After getting the giggles out of her system, she stood up, took his hand and began leading him towards the bedroom.
"Well since you're already naked, let's put it to use."
It was Ace's turn to burst out into laughter.
As they laid together in bed, coming down from their high, Naruto commented, "Your body temperature is higher than before."
"Mmm...yea I think it's a thing after eating the Mera Mera no Mi."
She pressed closer against him, the sweat had cooled by now so Ace's new body temperature was a boon. "Feels nice..."
"So? What have you been up to these months?"
"Cookin' with Fuinjutsu, makin' Kurama, playin' new recipes, same ol' same ol'." She knew she was slurring but she was too tired to care.
Ace's chest rumbled as he chuckled under his breath, "I think you have some of those mixed up Naruto."
Naruto continued to mumble, "Kept thinkin' 'bout you too. Missed you."
She yelped when she was yanked out of her relaxed state by Ace rolling over onto her. He played her body until she all she could do was cling desperately onto his shoulders and beg for relief.
When Ace finally allowed his lover to orgasm, her body was wracked with spasms and her face wet with tears.
Her voice was hoarse when she complained, "Fire suits you a little too well you over-passionate casanova."
"I can't help myself when it comes to you." He was already trailing kisses down her neck.
Naruto moaned when he nipped at a particularly sensitive area on her neck, "We compliment each other, my main element is wind."
"See? I told you we were perfect for each other! Took you a whole year to agree with me though." He lifted his head to beam down at her.
"Go to sleep."
"No. You've tired me out, plus I'm sore."
She swore Ace was preening.
"You have a bounty?"
"No, well yeah there is that but that wasn't what I was talking about. I have a crew now! Spade Pirates!"
"Spade? Why Spade?"
"Well actually, at first, I couldn't decide from Ramen Pirates or Foxy Pirates, then I found out Foxy Pirates was already taken. But my crew strongly objected to Ramen Pirates, so we gambled for the right to name the crew. And...eh, we might have drunk too much and just decided on what sounded cooler...we kinda woke up with a pirate flag already made and it looked too nice to throw away..."
The confidence he started with had wandered off towards the second half of his explanation.
Naruto gifted Ace with a look that told him exactly what she thought this, but the twitching of her lips turned it into more of a look of endearment.
"Spades huh?" Something niggled at the back of her mind, something from her previous life. Baa-chan had taught her how to gamble once,—her luck was definitely better than Baa-chan's—there was something about the Ace of Spades...
"You know, the Ace of Spades is considered the highest card in a deck. You want to become the strongest don't you? To be recognized?"
"Ah hah! That sounds much more interesting! Okay, we're using that as the reason why from now on!"
She giggled softly at first before her worries got the better of her. "What troubles me is that the Ace of Spades is also called the death card. I'd prefer that to mean you'll bring death to others rather than bringing death upon yourself."
"Don't worry! Remember my promise? I definitely won't die."
"You better keep that promise or else I'll bring you back if only to lecture you back to death!"
"...you would do that."
"Here." He placed a piece of paper in her hand.
Naruto raised an eyebrow in question.
"It's called a Vivre Card. With it, no matter you are, we can always tell which direction the other is."
"Ehhh? Don't need it, I already have my Hiraishin mark on you, I could literally find you in a flash."
Ace pouted. "But I won't know where you're at."
"Here. Where else will I be?"
He just stuck out his bottom lip even further.
Naruto placed it on the counter as she walked by. "Come along, Kurama said he wanted another match with you the next time you came back."
Ace slipped out of bed quietly, Naruto was sleeping off the exhaustion of several rounds of sex.
He couldn't help it though! Every time he looked down into her eyes, he would lose himself. With her blue eyes, a shade that never failed to remind him of the sea, that always lit up when she saw him with such emotions that made him wonder what he did to be so lucky to have her in his life. As a friend. As a lover. He could set sail in her eyes and would gladly lose himself to her.
His eyes lingered on her naked form even as he was pulling on his pants. Sadly though, Ace had to leave, his crew needed their captain and he left them alone for long enough.
As he padded out the bedroom, he stopped by the kitchen counter to retrieve the Vivre Card. Ace was going to make her accept half of it no matter what.
When he found the card, he stared at it.
Was it just him or did it seem smaller?
Ace held it flat in his hand. The paper shifted slightly towards the bedroom.
He snickered, he really did love her.
Sitting sideways on his lap, she leaned against him, stroking the new tattoo on his arm.
"The Shichibukai? You were invited?" Finished tracing the 'A', she moved on to the 'C'.
"You refused didn't you."
"Of course! A pirate is all about being free. Plus that shitty Jiji is in the Navy."
"That's your main reason for not joining, isn't it?"
He really loved her subtle and not-so-subtle ways of showing that she cared.
"I saw your bounty the other day, increased quite a bit. People are going to try for your head."
He looked up, cheeks bulging with food. Naruto had prepared a feast to celebrate Ace's birthday. She knew he sometimes still had doubts about his right to live, so she liked to show that she appreciated him at every possible moment.
"Ah, some already tried, they were weak. They'll need someone a lot stronger before they even have a chance." He shoved an entire piece of meat into his mouth, bone included.
She believed him.
"Luffy-chan has been extremely bored recently, and you know how he gets when he's like that. He challenged me to a fight when I was in the restaurant working, I was still in my old man persona!"
Ace gave a garble of words through his mouthful, she didn't even bother scolding him, it was just another characteristic that made Ace, Ace. Just like his tendency to fall asleep at random times.
"He misses you and Sabo terribly. Oh, have you run into Sabo yet?"
He shook his head.
"Ah, but I met Shanks the other day."
"Shanks? That Yonko?"
"Yea, I wanted to thank him for saving Luffy all those years ago."
"It went well I hope?"
"Unh, we had a party to celebrate."
"Pirates...looking for any reason to break out the booze."
Ace flashed her a smile, lifted the dregs of his alcohol and chugged it.
"I still have food in the fridge, you can take it back to your crew and just tell them that you raided it from somewhere again."
"You're the best Naruto! You are definitely the better half!"
She went over to him and planted a kiss on his lips. "Thank you for being born Ace. I would never have found happiness without you."
He had a vulnerable look on his face.
"I love you."
She stared at the tattoo that took up his entire back.
"I haven't seen you in a while and now you've got this. What happened to the Spade Pirates?"
"Ahhh, I'm now one of Whitebeard's son. He took in my whole crew."
When Ace didn't show anything other than happiness at being considered a son, she relaxed and shared in his excitement.
"How'd that happen?"
He looked sheepish as he told her of his initial idea to kill Whitebeard, and how it was a total failure.
All one hundred and thirty-seven times.
At first he'd refused to join, but eventually it was the fact that Whitebeard saw all his crew as sons that convinced him.
Ace had even told Whitebeard that he was the son of one of his rival, Gol D. Roger, and yet he didn't care one whit about that.
Ace was now the Commander of the Second Division. He definitely had more people to care about and to care for him.
Naruto couldn't be any prouder for her Fire-Fist Ace.
"Luffy left two months ago."
"Look!" Ace held up a bounty, "He already got his first bounty!"
Naruto took the paper and couldn't help the curl of her lips when she saw the picture.
"His picture suits him perfectly, but there's probably a few out there who might think this is a fake."
"They'll learn the hard way then."
She looked up at Ace. "Does Sabo have a bounty yet?"
"Naw, not yet. I know he's somewhere out there, just dunno where."
"Isn't his bounty higher than your's when you first started?" Naruto was trying to remember exactly how much Ace's first bounty was.
"Yea! Isn't my little brother amazing?" Ace was oozing with pride.
"Yes yes, but it's due to my awesomeness that Luffy was able to be this good." She smirked.
Ace immediately put up a strong protest.
"Naruto! I need food!"
"There's some leftover the fridge!" She called back from the yard.
"No, I need food supplies to take back. Luffy lost all of it."
Naruto ambled in with a questioning look.
Ace nodded and started rummaging through the pantry.
Apparently he had run into Luffy and his crew and was traveling with them for a while.
But unfortunately, Luffy lost all their food supplies.
In a desert.
Luffy...outsmarted by birds...
She really shouldn't be surprised.
"So? What do you think of his crew?"
There was relief in his eyes, "I can leave him to them. They'll take care of him."
That was high praise coming from Ace. Well, that meant she could stop worrying about Luffy.
"Does Luffy's crew include a chef?"
"Yea, he used to work at that Baratie restaurant."
Okay, that meant she didn't have to prep the food. She could just pack raw food and leave the rest to the cook.
"Oi, make yourself useful. Go fill up those barrels with water from the well."
"Yes ma'am!" He saluted her and marched out the door.
'That idiot.' Naruto thought fondly.
Naruto was well aware of those three sworn brothers appetite. One alone could eat someone out of their house. Two could probably make a restaurant go out of business. Three would eat out an entire town.
She dreaded to think of their appetites now when they were all grown up.
And now two of those three brothers were traveling together, if the rest of the crew wanted to even eat something, then she better pile Ace high with food to take back.
Naruto even sealed some prepared food in a scroll for Ace when he parted with Luffy's crew.
When Ace sauntered in carrying two barrels, she had him place it with the food she packed.
"There, that should be enough even with the both your's and Luffy's bottomless pits."
He didn't deny it.
"Do you have to go back soon?"
"Naw, actually I got separated from the rest. I could stay a while longer, they could keep thinking that I'm lost."
"You were lost, weren't you." It wasn't even a question.
Ace chuckled but didn't correct her.
"Hnn...so...how long do you think you can stay lost?" Naruto splayed her fingers against his chest, peering up at him through her eyelashes.
One of his hand disappeared under her shirt whilst the other grabbed her bum, pressing her against his lower half.
"Maybe another couple of hours."
He gave a lewd smile before capturing her lips in a hungry kiss.
That was the last time Naruto saw him. It's been six months and if he didn't come to see her soon, she was going to take drastic measures.
Other than Kurama, they've never told anyone of their relationship. It wasn't like they were going out of their way to keep it a secret, they just didn't flaunt it to the world. If someone figured it out then good for them.
Actually while she was on that topic, Sabo probably knew. Now that she thought about it, Sabo used to give them looks and would usually distract Luffy so Ace and her could have some privacy.
Good for him.
Luffy though, was clueless as ever.
Even if the most beautiful woman in the world stripped down naked in front of him, Luffy'd still be oblivious and demanding for meat instead.
Naruto flinched when she felt a burning on her chest.
She reached inside her shirt and pulled out the piece of Vivre Card that she took from Ace two years ago.
It was burning.
'Kurama! We're going!'
'What about your condition?'
'I'll be fine.'
'Still, put a henge over yourself. You don't want people knowing.'
She did as Kurama suggested and immediately after, pulled at the mark that she placed on Ace's belt, disappearing in a flash of yellow.
When Naruto opened her eyes, she was greeted with the sight of battle.
She watched in horror.
What was going on here?
Naruto turned her head to the side and was met with the view of Ace in shackles.
She mentally slapped herself, now wasn't the time for those thoughts.
"What is the meaning of this?"
She could see Ace tensing before slowly turning to face her.
He gawked at her.
"I haven't seen you in months and when I do, you are shackled to this execution stand?!"
He was still giving her the impersonation of a fish.
One that uttered her name.
The nearby marines that she had shocked into a standstill seemed to have regained themselves. They were trying to capture her.
Can't they see that she was trying to have a conversation with her lover?
Naruto pulled out a seal and slapped it on the ground, pulsing her chakra into it as she did so. A red barrier appeared, stopping their attempts of advancing.
Too bad this barrier wasn't soundproof, she could still hear their persistent shouting.
Which really was getting more and more annoying by the second.
She made a mental note to play around some more with this seal when this was all over.
"Well? I'm waiting." Naruto tapped her foot as if to prove how impatient she really was at the moment.
Ace had lost the stunned fish look and was now staring at her with a devastated desperation.
While normally she loved having Ace's eyes on her, right now it wasn't giving her the answers she wanted.
So Naruto switched her attention to who she knew to be Luffy's grandfather.
"You're the one Ace calls 'shitty old man,' aren't you?"
"Shi-shitty?!" Garp growled before he gave a resigned sigh, "Who might you be, young lady?"
"Naruto." She jerked a thumb in Ace's direction, "His wife."
Which was true enough. She just hadn't informed Ace of the change in status.
She could see the exact moment when what she said had registered in their minds. Their eyes bulged out and mouths dropped open to the ground.
Everyone on the whole bloody battlefield heard and turned towards the scaffold.
At least, Ace wasn't correcting her.
He just nodded when Garp asked for confirmation.
"ARREST HER AT ONCE!"
Naruto glared at the man with the braided beard. All she wanted were answers! But because of him, everyone was now trying even harder to break down her barrier.
But tough luck. She had more than a decade to experiment with seals and her barrier could now withstand the attack of the Ten-Tails.
Theoretically at least.
It wasn't like she had the Jūbi at her disposal to test that theory.
"NAAAARUUUUTOOO!" She twisted her head to get a look at who was calling for her.
A boy in a yellow vest and red shorts was waving his arms at her.
"Luffy!" It was Ace's shout that proved her thoughts correct.
She pulled out a tri-pronged kunai and threw it at Luffy's feet.
Pointing a finger at Ace, she demanded, "Stay." And transported to Luffy.
"Luffy-chan! It's been awhile!" She pulled him into a hug but released him a few seconds later when she felt a killing intent from someone.
Considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world.
And she radiated a killing intent when Naruto was hugging Luffy.
Well, that was a story she would love to hear some time.
"What are you doing here?" Luffy tilted his head to the side in confusion.
"I'm here to save my stupid husband, your dear brother."
He blinked once.
He really was still the same as ever.
She whirled around when she felt an approaching attacker but someone took care of them before she could even fully form a Rasengan.
"Sabo-chan!" Naruto embraced her fellow blonde. "You're here too? Where've you been?"
Sabo winked, "I'll tell you everything later. Right now I'm here to save my stupid brother, your dear husband."
A grin threatened to split her face, she really missed having another blondie around.
She was distracted by the stampede of marines that were charging towards them.
"Step back a little." Orange had filled the area around her eyes which had turned golden with toad-like irides. Naruto quickly summoned two clones and began forming a Rasenshuriken, the familiar screech-like noise filled the air. She hurled it at the advancing marines which exploded upon impact.
Sabo whistled when it expanded to the size of a small mountain range. "You've never used that against us before."
"Of course I didn't, you guys were still kids back then. Unless you wanted irreversible nerve damage then you have my apologies, and we'll set to fixing that problem right now." They were both obviously ignoring Luffy's excited shouts in the background.
He laughed weakly, hands held up as if to ward her off. "No...I think I'm fine...but isn't that an overkill even towards the marines since you don't like fighting?"
She crossed her arms while scowling. "It's all because of them I have not had sex with Ace in six months. For six months I had to sleep in an empty bed all alone and now they have my husband on an execution stand? No. This is not an overkill. Not. At. All. More like underkill."
"While I am glad you are now officially part of the family, that was a bit too much information, dear sister-in-law." Sabo covered his ears as if to protect them from her uncouth words.
"Wait til you've sex withheld from you, you'll be singing a totally different tune."
Sabo's face remained scrunched up.
"C'mon, I left Ace back in the barrier." Naruto retrieved her Hiraishin kunai as her clones each grabbed onto Luffy's and Sabo's arm.
She stopped when a desperate "Wait-yoi!" was heard.
Her eyes lit up when she saw yet another blonde running towards her, immediately recognizing him from the stories Ace told.
"You must be Marco!" Naruto glomped this blonde as well. After all, blondes have to stick together.
He looked surprised, either at her knowing who he was or at her hug.
"How'd ya know?"
"Ace told me all about you guys! The hug is because you're a fellow comrade! Blondes are awesome. Now there's three of us! You, me, and Sabo-chan!" When she saw the perplexed look on his face, she just flapped as if to wave away his concerns. "Don't worry about me, my hormones are all over the place right now. Ah! We should go back to Ace, he's probably feeling lonely."
Naruto and her clones grabbed hold of all three of them and flashed back to Ace.
She skipped over to Ace and planted a kiss on his lips. Her clones followed suit before dispelling themselves.
Naruto heard Sabo muttering, "I don't know if Ace is lucky or not that Naruto can clone herself..."
'Who's the perverted one now?' she grumbled internally.
"Naruto! What are you doing here?! You shouldn't be here!" Ace was panicking.
She whirled around at him. "You're here, about to executed, and you telling me that?"
"The Marines didn't know about you! Now they'll put a bounty on your head! You won't be safe anymore!"
Naruto was feeling pissed. Did he not think that she could take care of herself? She had never been one of those damsels in distress! How dare he think that she needed saving! Ace was mad at her, but why? Was it...was it because he didn't want anyone knowing that she was his lover? Was he ashamed of her?
Ace, Sabo, Luffy, and Marco were all staring wide-eyed at her, watching her emotions run from anger to confusion to tears in a matter of seconds.
Tears were spilling down her face as she clasped onto Ace's shoulders and began shaking him.
"Whhhyyy? Whyyy? WHHYYYY?!"
Arms came around her waist. "Why what? What's wrong?" Ace was trying to get a view of her face to determine what was wrong.
She looked at those arms in confusion. When had his arms come free? Sabo was standing to the side with a pair of crushed shackles in hand.
Naruto began wailing even harder. "Why did you take those handcuffs off? You looked so hot in them!"
"What? You're crying because I'm not chained anymore?"
"Well now I am! But earlier was because you said you didn't want me anymore!"
Ace looked on bewilderment at all of his brothers. "When did—?"
"You did!" She cut him off. "You don't want me anymore because I'm fat now!"
Her not-quite-yet husband was sputtering now. "Na—what ar—how?"
"Don't lie to me. You're leaving us all alone. You don't want us!"
"Us? Who's us? You and Kurama?"
"No! Not Kurama! Us!"
"What are you talking about?"
"The kit! Kurama said we have a kit!"
"Kit? We have a cat now?"
"Wahh! No! See you're pretending not to know since you don't want us!" She began wiping her eyes and nose. "Our kit! Your's and mine's! Kurama said I'm with a kit now, I'm pregnant with your child you idiot! And you don't want us!" Naruto pushed away from Ace's embrace and into Sabo's arms, who immediately started to pat her gently in hopes of comforting her.
"Ahhh, so that's what she meant by 'her hormones all over the place.'" Marco nodded as if instilled with great knowledge. "Congrats Ace." He clapped Ace on the back, then he punched him. "That's for not telling us about your girl-yoi."
Ace stood frozen, eyes staring into empty air, arms still held up from when he was holding Naruto.
Luffy let out a big laugh and shouted, "Ace! You're a dad! Shishishishi!"
"...I'm...I'm a dad...?"
The marines outside the barrier were in the same state as Ace, frozen in shock.
Except for Akainu.
Naruto flinched when she felt a shock run through the barrier as a fist of magma came crashing down on it.
"Die. No blood of that wretched Gold Roger should exist. If you are with Fire-Fist Ace's child then you too must be killed!" Akainu sent another punch at the barrier.
"Hiken!" A column of fire came from Ace but Akainu easy dismissed it with Dai Funka.
However with the barrier still in place, none of Akainu's attack reached them. Instead they would hit the barrier and disperse. Ace's attack did pass through since Naruto had designed the barrier to allow passage from inside out but not from outside in.
Unless she let them.
And there was no way in hell she was letting them.
The idiot was taking a step forward with each attack and was nearly crossing the line.
Immediate anger flashed through her again. Sabo nearly got a whiplash at how swiftly her mood was changing.
With Kurama's chakra cloaking her, Naruto grabbed Ace and tossed him into Luffy. "You! Sit there quietly! You are not dying before we talk!"
With that said, she hurled another Rasenshuriken at the magma as Akainu attacked again.
It did something rather unexpected to his arms. When the compact ball of wind-chakra hit him, the magma cooled, hardening into a rock.
"What did you do?!" The Magu-Magu no Mi user was staring at his arms in rage. His arms were refusing to obey him. They stayed the same cooled gray rock no matter how he tried to turn them to magma.
"Err...well that was actually an accident." The Number 1 Unpredictable Ninja scratched her head sheepishly. "Sorry."
"Is your wife really apologizing to a marine Admiral that's trying to kill her?" Marco was whispering behind her back.
His comment made her recall her anger.
Naruto's eyes flashed to red and she pinned Akainu with a glare. "Shouldn't exist? Should die? Simply because they share blood?" Her voice had taken on the deep growls of Kurama. "It's dirtbags like you that continue the cycle of hatred." Flashing through hand seals, she slapped the ground with her palm.
The ground rose and pulled him down, burying him up to his neck.
"It's because of people like you that Ace hated himself during childhood!" Naruto stopped in front of where he was buried. "If you have children, you should be prepared to have people trying to kill them. After all, they have the same blood as you."
"That is different! The Marines are Absolute Justice!"
"Fuck your Absolute Justice. The Marines? So you could swear that no corrupt Marines exist?" She snorted disdainfully. "That every Marine out there is working for Absolute Justice?"
Naruto looked towards a tall lean man, black curly hair brushing against his neck, and stared.
"Arara...you're asking me?"
"Yes I am. As I am pregnant as fuck and not in the most pleasant of mood, don't even think about lying."
There was brief tensing, cold air gathering around his hand before it disappeared as the man sighed. "Not all Marines follow Absolute Justice."
He left his answer open to different interpretations.
But she'll take it.
Nodding a thanks, Naruto resumed her glowering at the head in front of her.
"Your bullshit's been called out. Got any other shit you wanna spout?"
She was being ignored.
She decided she didn't like that feeling.
A kunai hit the ground next to his head, nicking his ear.
"Listen here, I'm trying to hold a conversation with you here but I'm tiring pretty quickly, so if you don't mind, I'd like to hurry this up so I can take my husband home with me." Batting her eyelashes, she continued, "You wouldn't force a delicate maiden to continue standing while pregnant would you?"
There was a snort from behind. She didn't even bother to see who it was.
"Pirates are scum. They cause nothing but death with their senseless killing during raids. Anyone who associates with them is no good either."
"You're being biased. Not all pirates are bad just like how not all Marines are good. I'm sure Luffy and his crew aren't your typical pirates because that incident in Alabasta? I'm a hundred percent sure that the Marines didn't do any shit about it and I know for certain that Luffy was heading to Alabasta around that time."
Luffy piped up from behind, "Eh? How'd you know?"
"The food! Remember I said the town gave me food? I actually got it from Naruto." Ace replied for her.
"Ah. I see." Luffy nodded in understanding. "EHHH!?" Was his next outburst.
Everyone decided to ignore it.
"Moving on. Since you Marines didn't do anything for Alabasta, I'm sure there are some there who think the Marines are scum. After all, all the problems were caused by a Shichibukai and they have the backing of the Marines."
"The Shichibukai are scum as well! The Marines are Absolute Jus—"
Naruto, sick of his rambling, brought a fist down on him, giving her peace from his incessant monologue.
"Idiot. I told him to shut up if he had nothing to say."
"Uhh...you really didn't..." Sabo whispered carefully as if he felt that if he spoke any louder, he would incur her wrath.
She ignored him.
She was pregnant. She was allowed to claim senility.
"I also said if you kept your Absolute Justice shit up, I'd blow it up. I hope you won't miss your Headquarters much. I'm giving you fifteen minutes to clear out the Headquarters, after that I'm not holding back."
The unconscious head gave no reply.
"You. Go." Naruto pointed at Aokiji. "Fifteen minutes. Don't even bother trying to take me down before then. I'll wipe your ass with the floor and fifteen minutes later, you'll have people dead who you could have saved."
Without waiting to see if he followed her instruction or not, she stepped back into the barrier.
"Well gentlemen, we have fifteen minutes, you better start explaining." Naruto faced the others within the barrier with a dangerous glint in her eyes, one that promised pain if they didn't immediately obey her.
Ace, having learned the hard way over the years, instantly started talking.
It took the whole fifteen minutes plus some to explain.
This all came back to that backstabbing sonuvabitch.
She'll deal with him after this.
Maybe after she popped this baby out.
Depends on her mood.
But she WILL deal with him. No one harmed her family and got away clean.
She nodded to herself satisfied.
Naruto stood up, having sat down due to swollen ankles while Ace was talking.
"You and I are going to have a talk about you not trying to uphold your promise to me." Here she shot a pointed look at Ace who chuckled nervously. She then turned to Marco, "You should also start pulling back your friends. We're leaving after I teach them exactly why they shouldn't mess with an Uzumaki."
Marco seemed hesitant but when he caught sight of Ace frantically waving at him to do as she said, he agreed and flew off. Naruto couldn't help the quirk of her lips, it seemed like Ace still remembered the last time he didn't listen to her and obviously he didn't wish the same on Marco.
Now then...she'd given the Marines more than enough time to evacuate. While she didn't want to add to the number of unnecessary deaths, if they haven't cleared out by the amount of time she gave them, then they really needed to work on their evacuation drills.
Naruto ignored the questioning looks that her husband and his brothers were giving her. Most of the fighting had stopped since the marines had been in the process of evacuation, however there were still a couple no-brainers that were trying for the glory and recognition of taking down a big shot pirate.
'Kurama, you ready?'
'Finally gaki. You haven't let me out since coming to this world.'
'Liar! I let you out all the time!'
'Tch..I meant completely."
'Well duh. I live on an island! I would love to continue living there after one of your night strolls!'
She heard Kurama scoff.
'Let's get started already.' Awww...is that a pout Naruto heard in his voice? She was not going to let him live this down.
Large amounts of chakra began to pour off from her, slowly shaping and taking the form of a nine-tailed fox. Kurama turned to face the Marineford Headquarters before tilting his head back, gathering the necessary chakra then swallowed it.
She could hear Ace's strangled shout that conveyed his confusion and worry.
He needn't to worry because the next second, Kurama spat the Bijūdama at the headquarters, disintegrating everything.
Kurama and her faced the gaping marine admirals and their subordinates, borrowing Kurama's vocals, she snarled, "I won't be showing mercy the next time you condemn someone for their heritage. Don't test me." And with that last warning, she snatched up her husband and his sworn brothers into her shroud of chakra.
A cry for her to wait halted her movements.
"What?!" Naruto was getting annoyed now.
Scratch that. She was more than a bit annoyed that they were keeping her from just disappearing with her lover so she could jump him.
It was Luffy's grandfather that had cried out. "Where can I find you? I wish to properly meet the girl my grandson married and my great grandchild."
She exchanged looks with Ace, silently coming to an agreement.
"Keep Akainu away. Naruto and I'll find you when it's safe. Maybe." Ace gave a brief nod towards the vice Admiral.
Kurama jumped away from the marines and began making his way towards the ships, taking care not to crush anyone.
"Which one's yours?" Naruto prodded Ace.
"Ah, that one." He pointed towards the largest one, "Pops is probably gonna to let our allies leave first to make sure the marines don't try anything dirty."
She hummed in approval. Ace's captain had honor, she could appreciate a man like that, after all, those who abandon their comrades are worse than trash.
"Well, we're boarding first then. Grab hold." Naruto whipped out a Hirashin kunai and tossed it towards the ship when she felt their hands latch onto her, she let Kurama's chakra disappear and pulled at the marker.
Ace and her landed on their feet, the other two...not so lucky. She easily ignored Luffy's excited exclamations and the fact that Sabo was patting himself down as if to make sure he was in one piece.
Hmph. No trust.
Instead, she narrowed in on Ace.
"Ace..." Naruto saw his Adam's apple bob as he swallowed nervously. "Where's the kitchen?"
He jerked in surprise. "Wha—you're not going to—?"
She cut him off. "Oh, I will. But first our baby wants food."
"Yay! Food! I want lots of meat!" Luffy cheered and began salivating.
"Wait, you shouldn't be moving around so much when you're preee..." Sabo trailed off awkwardly when he was pinned with a glare and hurried to correct himself. "Nevermind, you could do whatever you want." He snapped a salute for good measure.
Ace mirrored Sabo's example before offering her his arm, she curled her hand around the crook and followed his lead.
Upon reaching the kitchen, Naruto made a beeline for the fridge and began pulling out ingredients. She considered making clones to lessen the workload but Kurama put a stopper on that.
'Making so many clones isn't good for the kit.'
'Eh? What do you mean?'
'Idiot. Shadow clones evenly distribute the chakra so your kit's chakra is also halved for every clone. The kit doesn't have the same absurd amount of chakra as you do right now.'
'Why didn't you tell me this earlier? I made clones!'
' Keh, that's why I'm stopping you now. The clones you made for the restaurant and the clones you made earlier...you're still some bit away from being even close to endangering it, but don't make any unnecessary clones.'
'Ah, thanks Kurama.'
He huffed before continuing in what suspiciously sounded like an embarrassed tone. 'You owe me.'
Naruto inwardly giggled. 'Yes yes, I'll give you a belly rub later.'
She continued after his content rumble, 'Calling both the baby and me 'kit' is going to get confusing.'
'I could go back to calling you brat.'
'OR you could call the baby 'grandkit'.'
There was a snort of disbelief followed by a groan.
'Get it? Grandkid, grandkit!'
Kurama groaned again. 'Stop it. Your idiocy has no limit.'
Naruto cackled before cutting off the connection. Her body had been moving in autopilot while talking to Kurama, so when she finally took note of what she was doing, the meat was already sizzling in one of the pans while the others held fish and vegetable, separately.
Whacking the hand with the spatula, she warned, "Don't you dare Luffy. I'm quite unhappy with Ace right now, don't do anything and make me take it out on the wrong person."
A loud gulp was heard.
She didn't need to turn around to know it was Ace, and that Sabo was now patting his shoulder in sympathy.
"Shishishi! She's mad at you Ace!" Luffy was cackling on the other hand.
Dishing the finished food onto four separate plates, taking care to give Ace, Sabo, and Luffy a larger serving than her's—because no matter how angry she is, he is still her lover and she loves him; plus he probably wasn't fed properly when he was held captive—before taking a seat across from Ace.
He positively wilted when she hadn't taken the seat next to him, but that didn't deter him from moving to the seat next to her.
Naruto ignored the shouts and thumps from the deck when the Whitebeard pirates came on board, she ignored Sabo and Luffy digging into the food across from her, she tried to ignore Ace but when he slipped food onto her plate, the traitorous tears welled up.
Food to Ace was even more sacrilegious than Chōji getting the last chip in the bag, especially since Ace had given her meat.
She gave 'ignoring Ace' up as a lost cause, dropped her utensils and flung her arms around his neck, crying openly.
"I could have lost you. You would have left me alone to raise the baby...you promised, you promised you wouldn't leave me, that you wouldn't die. How could you?"
Ace pulled her into his lap and buried his face into her neck. He held her just as tightly, keeping a constant stream of murmurs, "I'm sorry...I missed you...I love you...I'm sorry..."
She could feel the wetness growing at her neck.
They had been shooed out of the kitchen by the chefs after finishing their meal; she offered her help for the feast they were planning but the chefs shoved her into Ace's arms who then proceeded to carry her out.
Now she was standing in front of Ace's captain, surrounded by his crew.
"Pops! This is Naruto."
"Uzumaki Naruto. Nice to meet ya'" She sketched a short bow.
There was a brief pause of silent staring before Whitebeard spoke.
"Ace..why haven't you informed me that I had a daughter? I would think this to be bigger news than who your real father was."
Naruto had a foxy grin, "Yea Ace, why haven't you told my father-in-law about me?"
"Wha—no, that's not—I..." Ace was visibly floundering. She ended his flailing by drawing him into a quick kiss and answered in his stead.
"He probably didn't tell you in respect of my privacy. No one knew about me except these three." She jabbed her finger at Ace and the other two idiots that stood beside her. "I live alone on my island and when I do leave, I use a disguise."
She formed the hand seals and poof, a copy of Ace stood in her place.
Her old man persona.
Marco (just because she could).
She dispelled the transformation.
They all began shouting and pointing at her in varying degrees of shock. Even Ace was gobsmacked. Luffy's jaw had literally hit the ground.
With a quick peek at herself, she realized that she had dropped the henge that hid her protruding stomach.
"Ah...I forgot I had a henge on..." Then she immediately threw a glare. "What do you expect? I'm six months pregnant!"
Sabo pulled her into a one-arm hug, "I was wondering why your stomach was still flat."
Ace had paled though, "You came and fought when you were pregnant?!"
"I thought we already covered the pregnant part!"
"I didn't know you were this pregnant!"
"What is that supposed to mean? You should have worked it out that I was six months pregnant! That was the last time we saw each other and I wasn'tpregnant!"
"GURARARARARA!" Whitebeard had thrown his head back in a full out belly laugh. "Thank you for saving my son."
Naruto shrugged awkwardly, "Don't be, I was selfishly saving my husband."
Ace decided to cut in with a raised hand. "Question. When did we get married?"
"When I found out I was pregnant. It's not official but I want this child to carry your name. I'll just hyphenate mine's...Portgas-Uzumaki Naruto? Does that sound weird?"
His arms wound around her, careful not to apply pressure on her stomach. "Are...are you sure?"
"Yes, I'll let the baby and our future children decide if they want to add my name when they grow up."
"Yes, future children. I've always wanted a lot of kids, and I want them with you."
Naruto could see the overwhelming emotion in his eyes even as a sly smile formed, "I'll gladly offer my help for these future children."
She rolled her eyes, "Of course you would, you enjoyed the process of mak—" Ace kissed her in an attempt to silence any embarrassing details that he didn't want his brothers hearing.
They started wolf-whistling and cat-calling anyways.
Naruto pulled back with her nose scrunched up slightly, "When was the last time you brushed your teeth or showered?"
"Alright, we're going back home." She snatched up his hand and prepared to pull at a seal back home but another call of 'wait' stopped her.
A tick was forming at her temple.
What is with all these people telling her to wait?!
"Won't you stay for the feast? We want to celebrate Ace's return."
"And that he's a dad now."
She scowled heavily and darted a glance at Ace. He answered with a shrug.
"Fine, we'll shower here." Naruto began dragging him off in a random direction before Ace took charge and led them to his room.
The crew stared after them.
"Ah...what the chances we need to cover our ears?"
Her breath hitched when Ace hit hilt. His pace was slow but relentless. She cried out with the next thrust.
"Damn you Ace!" She hissed. Naruto was pretty sure this was part revenge for tying him up the first few times and part out of worry that he would hurt the baby.
They had left the Whitebeard crew a month ago after the feast, as soon as they arrived home, Kurama begged to be let out and took refuge at the opposite end of the island.
As promised, Naruto was milking Ace for all the sex she had been without while her hormones were wreaking havoc.
Now she was on her hands and knees, pleading with him to let her come. Naruto tried to push back against him, but the tightening on her hips and the nip on her shoulder put a stop to that.
She was close dammit! The heat pooling at her stomach was torture, tightening, begging for release. Likewise, Ace was nearing the edge as well, his breathing was erratic and his slow thrusts were uneven.
"Naruto..." His voice was strained.
A groan escaped when she finally got her release, shuddering as she felt Ace following soon after.
They laid in bed, her back to his chest, his arms once again wrapped around her, one hand rubbing her belly.
"How much longer?"
Pushing closer to his warmth, she sighed, "Three more months. Jinchuurikis have a ten-month pregnancy term rather than the usual nine." She giggled when the baby kicked at Ace's roaming hand. "To be honest, I half want this pregnancy to be over with, but I also want to savor the feeling of having another life inside me."
Rolling over to face him, she gently brushed the hair from his eyes before placing her hand on his cheek.
"We created this life...us two...the two lost idiots that questioned our own existence when we were young." Naruto could hear her voice quavering even as she wiped away the stray tear from Ace. "I'm so glad I met you...so glad I fell in love with you, that you were stubborn and never gave up on me. Thank you." She tilted her head to bring him into a kiss.
When she pulled back, he had a weak, tremulous at best, cocky grin that in no way lessened the emotions—the meaning—behind his words, "Of course. I told ya we were perfect for each other."
"Ace...it was so hard without you. My emotions were all over the place, I drove poor Kurama mad. I don't want you to leave again, but I don't want to take away your dreams either. I wanted you here when I found out about the baby...I wanted you when the baby first kicked...I wanted you the whole entire damn time because of my stupid hormones! But I especially wanted you when I went to bed alone every night."
Naruto was openly crying now.
"I want you to be here for the baby's first laugh...first time rolling over...first word...first steps...I want our child to know and recognize your face and not just hear stories. I don't want our child to want for anything...I don't want them to go through what we did."
Ace pressed his lips against her forehead, "They won't. I promise...we'll figure something out."
She couldn't help but believe the conviction in his words.
Naruto stilled when she felt water leaking from between her legs.
Did she just...?
Agh! She bit off a curse at the contractions.
Where the hell was he? If he had fallen into one of his bouts of narcolepsy, she swore she was going to—
He came running from the forest.
"It's happening...for real this time. We're leaving."
Ace was frozen at the doorway.
"Don't just stand there! Go get my stuff!"
He immediately flew into action, grabbing the bag from their bedroom then hurrying over to her.
She grasped his arm, taking them to the marker that she'd left behind on the Moby Dick all those months ago.
They appeared in his room. Ace carefully led her out while shouting for the nurses who immediately whisked her away to the infirmary.
If one was to ask her how childbirth was like, she would have answered honestly...
..she didn't remember much.
There was pain. A lot of pain. Naruto had always thought she had a high pain tolerance, but this was a whole different level and kind of pain.
Ace wasn't there with her after the nurses kicked him out for his useless panicking, though she vaguely remembered constantly cursing him out.
His shouts of reassurance and love on the other side of the door did little to reassure her.
But it was over now, she had her baby in her arm and Ace sitting beside her with his arms looped around them both. His crew opted to give them some time first before they descended upon them.
"She's perfect." Ace was whispering as he gently stroked the newborn's cheek.
"She's got your freckles too." Her fingertips danced over said freckles.
He chuckled lightly, muffling the sound by hiding his face in her hair, "What should we name her?"
Naruto drew a blank.
"Er..I actually haven't thought about that yet...Portgas D...question mark."
Ace laughed again, "What a pair of parents we are."
"Do you want to name her after someone? Or give her her own name?"
"Her own name."
She hummed in agreement, "She could build her own legend instead of living up to someone else's."
"Well she's got the best parts from the both of us...Hikaze?"
Her forehead wrinkled slightly in consideration as she tested the name, "Portgas D. Hikaze...fine, but I'm naming the next one."
Rubbing his nose against her cheek, he murmured, "Anything."
"Alright then, let's go introduce Hikaze to your Pops and brothers."
Naruto and Ace watched as one of the strongest pirate crews in the world were reduced to idiots cooing and awing over Hikaze.
"Oh she's so adorable!"
"She's got Naruto's eyes and whiskers."
"...got Ace's hair and freckles."
Naruto twisted in Ace's embrace to bury her face into his chest, "Hikaze definitely won't want for anything with all her uncles bending to her every whim."
"Ah...she'll be a spoiled one alright." He hunched slightly to draw her into a slow kiss.
She pulled back from it when Hikaze started wailing, "C'mon, let's go save our poor daughter and show her to her granddaddy before she tires." Naruto waltzed over to the crowd, plucked her daughter from someone's hands, and made her way towards Whitebeard's throne.
"Hello father, meet your granddaughter, Portgas D. Hikaze."
"Yea Ace named her."
"Gurararara." Whitebeard bent over with his hand extended, she gently placed her child on it, immediately dwarfing the baby even more.
Whitebeard's eyes softened considerably as he watched the little bundle, "A family...the greatest treasure is family."
Naruto grinned unabashedly, "Well don't kick the bucket yet and you'll get many more grandchildren. I'm making Ace give me as many children as possible!"
"Gurarararara. Portgas D. Hikaze...the Will of D has been passed on to a new generation. She'll bring a new wave of change to this era."
"Of course she will! She's mine and Ace's daughter after all." Naruto had told the Whitebeard pirates her story—not everything, just the gist of it—as the Child of Prophecy. Whitebeard had laughed and stated that she would have been a "D." if she was born in this world, that she still carried the Will of D. without the actual "D."
She said she was fine without it. Her name was awesome as it is.
Or Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto, if she wanted to add her dad's name in.
Wave-wind whirlpool maelstrom.
Well, actually it was now Portgas-Uzumaki Naruto since Portgas-Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto was too damn long and annoying.
Point is, her name already sounded destructive as it was, Naruto didn't need a "D." to prove that she could bring change. Now that she thought about it, Naruto was pretty certain that her appearance in this world was already a change.
But then...but then...she already fulfilled the prophecy...and she was pretty sure that prophecy only applied to her homeland...
Naruto had confused herself in her own thought process and decided to forget the whole self-argument that she had going on in the first place.
A peek at Hikaze told her the baby had fallen asleep on Whitebeard's hand.
"I'll take her to bed." She reached up and cradled the child in her arms, keeping her movements to a minimum as she moved towards Ace's room.
"Naruto." She looked back at Whitebeard. "Thank you for my first granddaughter."
Switching her hold on Hikaze onto one arm, she flapped the other, "I'm sure this isn't your first. With so many sons it's impossible for some of them to not have a whoops baby sommmrggh—!" The rest of her words were cut off as Ace slapped a hand over her mouth.
He quickly ushered her off as the several crew members blanch in understanding and realization.
Seriously...do these pirates not think things through?
Naruto stirred when Ace walked in, gently closing the door behind him.
"How is she?"
"Sleeping again. She woke up earlier for a diaper change and some milk." She replied just as softly.
He carefully stretched out on the other side of Hikaze, movements an exaggerated slowness to prevent the bed from creaking. "Really? I didn't hear her at all."
"Good to know my seals work as intended." She nodded towards the paper seal she'd placed on the door, "I didn't want her uncles to panic at her cries and come barging in."
Ace chuckled, "They would, wouldn't they?"
A moment of silence passed as they exchanged kisses over Hikaze's sleeping form, taking care not to disturb her.
"So? What did your dad say?"
"He agreed, said if there's nothing going on I could go home to you two every night, long as he can reach me in an emergency if something does happen. With your Hiraishin, there's literally no faster way to travel from one place to another." He pulled the sheets over himself, "Though Pops did say that he wanted us to spend some nights on the ship too."
"I have no problem with that. Hikaze should familiarize herself with all their faces, after all..." An impish smile appeared, "...with this many voluntary babysitters, we could get time to ourselves too."
His answering grin was just as naughty, "Some time just to ourselves?"
"You did promise me as many children as possible."
"Hmm...is the sky blue?"
"Well now you did."
Naruto pulled the sheets to hide her laugh, she really did love Ace's blushing face.
"I know you're laughing at me."
"ARREST HER AT ONCE!" Some geezer with a beard that looked like anal beads was shouting.
Now really wasn't the time for this.
But dammit, she was horny!
Naruto hasn't had sex for SIX MONTHS and it really was affecting her everyday life.
"This is all your fault!" She glared at her husband in accusation.
"Huh?" Was his intelligent reply.
Oohhh that bastard, trying to act all innocent. She didn't care if she had to wring it out of him, she was going to get her six months worth of sex from him no matter what! Plus interest!
But first, Naruto had to deal with those stupid marines.
"Whoa, Ace's wife got a bounty!" He waved said bounty in the air.
"Hmm...Youko. Dead or alive. 600,000,000 BELI?!"
"600,000,000?! For her first bounty?!"
"AHAHAHA! They must be mad that she destroyed their headquarters."
"Also, the power she showed...they probably want her gone as soon as possible by attracting attention to her head with such a large amount."
"Save that paper, we'll show it to Ace when they come back."
Naruto makes her way to the nursery, standing quietly outside the doorway as she listens in.
You have to journey the sky to its limits
The wind whispers in your ears
The passion to exist beyond time
Asou will always tell you
No matter how painful the times are
I will move forward without hesitation
Ace is singing.
And it wasn't any of the drinking songs either.
She tries desperately to stop the wide idiotic grin from growing by biting down on her lips but it breaks free.
Ace. Is. Singing.
He has a great voice too.
Cracking open the door when she no longer hears his voice, Naruto pokes her head in and watches as he freezes momentarily upon catching sight of her, before continuing to creep towards the door.
Naruto steps back to let him out of the room then proceeds to drag him down a different hallway as not to disturb Hikaze's sleep.
"Sooo...you never told me you could sing."
A pink hue begins to flush his cheeks.
"I—I don't." The denial stumbles from Ace's lips.
She couldn't stop the stupid smile from happening again, "Really? I'm pretty sure you were singing just now." Naruto then gives an exaggerated pout. "You never told me you had this talent, you have a great voice too. Why haven't you sung to me?"
"Hikaze wasn't settling down and you usually sing to her, so I just...tried it as well."
"Hmmmmmm." Naruto practically purrs her approval. "I love it. You should do it more often."
He turns a shade darker.
"So, any other talents you've been hiding from me?"
Ace breaks out a wicked smirk, "Why don't you follow me and find out?" He grabs hold of her hand.
Naruto follows his lead towards the bedroom, activating the secrecy seal to prevent any noise from escaping as she shuts the door.
Hope you enjoyed the omakes. They just kept popping into mind while writing. The last one was after I found out that the One Piece voice actors had their own song for their characters. I couldn't resist.
Hikaze - Fire wind
I chose a rather simple name for the baby because in my imagination, Ace is rather a simple idiot when it comes to naming things. Somewhat like Luffy, but if it was Luffy, he'd probably want to name the baby something like 'Gomu Gomu no Baby' or something equally stupid like that.
Please leave a comment on your thoughts. Thanks for reading!
Chapter 2: Drabble: Straw Hats
I am actually bloody terrified of posting this...I hope I don't disappoint.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Fire is Red
Uncle...Big Brother Luffy?
The shout caught the attention of the entire crew. Sanji, Brook and Robin emerged from the kitchen to join the others on deck as they looked to the approaching figure on a raft.
"Ohhh! Aceeee!" Luffy waved his arms in greeting as he recognized his brother.
Ace tied Striker to Thousand Sunny before leaping up to onto the railing. He nearly fell right back down when Luffy tackled him in a hug.
"Ace! I've gotten a lot stronger now! I'm sure I can beat you now!" Luffy had his usual 'shishishi' laugh as let go of Ace.
"As if Luffy!"
"Let's fight then!" Luffy hurled one of his arms back, stretching it, preparing to attack Ace.
Nami knocked him to the floor before it escalated any further. "Stop it! We're on Sunny right now!"
"We read about Marineford on the papers. Sorry we weren't there with our captain, but we're glad you're alright. Luffy probably would have lost himself otherwise." Sanji spoke up for all of them in regards to the battle two years ago.
"Ah thank you for your concerns. Please don't worry about it though, everything turned out alright in the end."
"Do you want to move the kitchen for some tea? You can sit and talk with Luffy there."
"Please, that would be great. But let me get someone first." Ace nicked his finger with his dagger before dragging it across the amulet that hung from his hat, there was flash of yellow and a woman appeared beside him. "This is my wife and daughter."
That was when they noticed the little girl clutching the woman's pants. Naruto bent down and picked her daughter up, letting the crew get a better look.
"Oh! She's adorable!"
"Hi! I'm Naruto and this is Hikaze. Sorry for dropping in out of the blue."
She smiled when they each introduced themselves in turn, although the green-head's eye scar did startle her since it reminded her a bit too much of Kakashi-sensei. The skeleton might have also teased at her fear of ghosts but she didn't let that show.
"Since when were you married?" Usopp turned to Ace in question. "Luffy never mentioned it."
"The papers didn't mention it? It was revealed at Marineford when Naruto came to save me."
Luffy's crew all shook their heads.
"I thought they would have put that in the papers for sure...did that shitty old man have something to do with it?" Ace muttered to himself in thought.
A shrill laughter cut through their musings and they turned to look at Naruto who was holding onto a squirming Hikaze as she laughed at Luffy pulling weird faces. Even Naruto was biting her lips, trying to keep her own giggles back.
Sanji started ushering them towards the kitchen, where they could have tea—or juice for the little girl—and snacks as they talked.
Once settled down at the table, Naruto spoke up. "We came to introduce Hikaze to her Uncle Luffy, but...I'm starting to think he's more of a silly older brother figure for her rather than an uncle..." Her eyes strayed to where Luffy was showing her daughter how much he can stretch by stuffing as many snacks into his mouth as possible. Nami, Sanji, Usopp, and Chopper all nodded dryly in agreement.
She could only hope that Hikaze didn't pick up any bad manners from him.
"What Devil Fruit ability was that you used earlier?" Robin sipped at her tea.
"I didn't eat a Devil Fruit, that was the Hiraishin earlier. It's a seal that lets me travel instantly to where the marker is at. That reminds me, Luffy, hand me your hat for a second." The fact that Luffy handed it over without question was a huge testament to how much he trusted her. She slipped her fingers under the red ribbon and let out a small amount of chakra, marking the straw hat with her seal. "I forgot to mark Luffy so Ace had to come find him first before calling me. Hikaze would have never lasted the trip otherwise." Naruto handed the hat back.
"Seal?" Robin looked at her in interest.
"Yes. It's one of the abilities of my people. The three main ones are ninjutsu, genjutsu, and taijutsu. Fuinjutsu is a lesser known branch since it's difficult to learn and understand."
Naruto sighed. "Luffy hasn't told any of you anything has he?"
They all shook their head at this.
She passed Hikaze to her husband as she prepared to go in depth on her explanation. "First off, I'm a kunoichi, a former ninja of Konoha. Second, I'm not from this world." Naruto paused here as their outbursts.
"I'm not going to go into detail on how it happened, but the short story is: I was dying after we won the war back at home, but a friend refused to let me die and I just somehow ended up here."
She nodded, "I can introduce him later." Naruto took a sip from her cup before continuing.
“I ended up on a deserted island in East Blue, de-aged and depressed.”
Naruto was once again interrupted.
“Yea, I was originally seventeen and was de-aged to five here. I’m the same age as Luffy now, so that makes me…uh…” Ticking her fingers as she tried to calculate her age. “Thirty…one?” She nodded firmly. “Mentally, I'm thirty-one.” Not a moment later, a cloud of gloom formed over her head as she processed that.
“Wow. You’re older than Robin!” Two smacks were heard immediately after. Usopp was now sporting two puffed cheeks from the hand that sprouted from his chest, courtesy of Robin.
Naruto was pulled out of her self-inflicted gloom when an arm looped around her shoulder and the puff of air near her ear. "Well I'm glad you ended up here." A soft smile tugged at her lips at Ace's whisper.
She turned and pressed a chaste kiss on Ace's lips which Hikaze caught sight of from where she was perched on Luffy's lap and immediately tried clambering over the table to claim her own kiss.
"Goodness, you've barely met your Uncle Luffy and you've already picked up on his bad habits." Plucking her daughter up before she overturned any cups, Naruto gave Hikaze the kiss she was demanding. "If you pick up manners from just being around someone, I should let you be around Sabo more."
Hikaze perked and twisted her head to look around the room, "Uncle Sabo is here?"
A hand reached over and ruffled her hair. "Sorry kit, Sabo's not here." Hikaze pouted fiercely at Ace—for both saying that Sabo wasn't here and messing with her hair.
Naruto's hand immediately reached out to turn his head away from their daughter's pout, preventing him from caving and going off to retrieve Sabo. Ace was still liable to occasionally falling for Hikaze's devastating puppy pout—better than as all his ship-brothers and father who would immediately cave—thus it was her responsibility to prevent it from happening.
"Sabo? From the Revolutionary Army?"
Naruto looked to Robin, "You know him?"
The archaeologist nodded, "I spent two years with them recently."
"Oh what a coincidence. Sabo's their brother."
The crew reacted with shock again. "Luffy has another brother?"
She gave an exasperated huff. Luffy really doesn't tell his crew anything.
Leave a review?