Crossover Fan Fiction / Crossover With Non-anime Series Fan Fiction / Naruto Fan Fiction ❯ NAvatarUTO ❯ A New Alliance! ( Chapter 4 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Chapter Three: An Uneasy Reunion

“Uncle!” Zuko whined. “I've had enough of your stupid games. We're almost to Wind Country and we need to start looking for the Avatar!”

Iroh sighed. “Zuko, that's what we have been doing for the past three years. Don't underestimate the power of an old man's gossip. A lot of information can be gathered by playing pai sho.”

Zuko sighed. “Fine, go play with your old friends. I'll be scoping out new information in the library.”

Finally Iroh was able to get some time away from his nephew. He made his way to the meeting place described in the message. He set up his board and began to meditate. Within half an hour, his eyebrows had lengthened and his nose had bulged as he entered dragon sage mode. Once he had collected enough natural energy, he was able to perform the senjutsu and notify him that he was ready. A staticy figure appeared before him.

“It's been a while, Iroh” Pain said.

Iroh glared at the figure. “Not long enough.” He said, gesturing at the board. “The guest has the first move.”

Pain pointed to where he wanted his piece to go and Iroh moved it for him. “You still insist on playing pai sho everytime we meet, do you?” Pain commented.

Iroh shrugged. “If I must assist in disrupting the harmony in the world by working for you, at least grant an old man the pleasure of creating harmony on the board game.”

“Harmony is a myth, Iroh,” Pain said. “Disruption of peace is the way of the ninja. There will never be harmony so long as shinobi exist in this world.”

Iroh shook his head. “A person like you, who has no hope, no faith in humanity, has no inner strength.” He said.

Pain took one of Iroh's pieces. “You've gotten soft, old man. Just like my old teacher Jiraya. You will never understand the ways of the Akatsuki.”

Iroh looked up from the bord, clenching his white lotus piece in his fist. “Then why do you insist on preventing me from leaving? You allowed that Orochimaru to go even though he hadn't fulfilled his offer to me. I want nothing to do with you and your organization.”

“You stupid old man.” Pain sighed. “I allowed Orochimaru to leave because his goals did not interfere with our own. You joined the Akatsuki of your own free will and you declined our offer that we were fully prepared to fulfill.”

Iroh closed his eyes. Back then he was a different man. Crushed by the death of his son Lu Ten in the siege of Ba Sing Se, he would've done anything to bring him back. Weeping in front of his son's grave, Iroh had heard a sound behind him. He whirled around spitting sparks. There stood a pale man with strangely snake like features wearing a black robe embroidered with red clouds.

“So it really is you,” The man mused, “The great dragon of the west.”

Iroh glared at the man. “Who are you and what do you want?” he demanded.

The man chuckled. “My name is Orochimaru and I am here on behalf of my organization to ask you to join the Akatsuki.”

Iroh sent a warning flash that set the ground below Orochimaru's feet to smoldering. “Touchy are we?” The snake man hissed.

“I have no interest in your club. How dare you approach a man in mourning with such a request!” Iroh yelled.

Orochimaru's evil smile never faltered. “I dare to approach you, your highness, because we need a bender among our ranks of S class ninja. The diversity would appeal to a larger range of clients. I guarantee you that if you join, you will mourn no longer.”

“HAH!” Iroh yelled as he threw a bolt of lightning at Orochimaru. The man crumpled only to crawl out of his own mouth like a snake shedding its skin.

“I can give you anything your heart desires.” Orochimaru hissed.

Iroh looked away. “No one can bring back the dead.” He said.

“Oh but I can.” Orochimaru loved seeing the look of shock on the general's face. “I can bring your dear Lu Ten back to life.”

Iroh had agreed. If only he'd known that it would mean sacrificing Zuko. But by then it was too late and he had already joined the Akatsuki.

“Your loyalty to your nephew is the only thing that keeps you a danger to us.” Pain said, bringing Iroh back to the present. “I could remove the boy and then your interests would not conflict with ours. You can be free of us whenever you wish Iroh.”

“Leave Zuko out of this!” Iroh barked.

Pain reminded Iroh that it was his turn to move. Iroh did so and Pain declared `Pai Sho'. He had won. “Your problem Iroh,” Pain said, “Is that you move with your heart and not with your head. You let your emotions cloud your judgment. The road to harmony is a strategic one.”

“What do you want me to do?” Iroh asked.

Pain nodded. Finally they had gotten down to business. “The Avatar is hiding out in the Leaf Village. Hitch a ride with the ninja from the Hidden Sand who are going there for the chunin exams. Your brother the Fire Lord has put the idea in their head that the leaf is a danger to them and must be eliminated. They will strike during the exams. Orochimaru plans to use the battle as an opportunity to kill the Hokage. During the chaos, I want you and Itachi Uchiha to abduct Naruto Uzumaki and talk to Avatar Aang.”