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Second Chances

Chapter Text

Destruction, chaos, debris, fire, it surrounds them everywhere.

Sasuke rolls away from explosions, a beat up Naruto securely in his arms. He hides them behind a huge boulder a bit of ways from all the screams and explosives. Their best option is to take cover right now anyway, at least with the state Naruto is in.

Speaking of which, Sasuke looks down at his partner and grimaces. Naruto has definitely seen better days, that's for sure. After 20 years of fighting since they were seventeen and Madara appeared, you would think the war would have been over by now. Everything was going fine, and Obito even joined their side after realizing he was manipulated into starting this war, just to bring Madara back. But–

Then everything changed the moment they realized they couldn't defeat Madara Uchiha.

He's too strong, obviously living up to his reputation. He wasn't a founder of the Leaf Village and quoted to be a legendary God-like ninja in the books at school for nothing. He's too powerful, and surprisingly, Naruto was the one who came to that realization first. Sasuke tried to argue years back about it, but even the great Sasuke Uchiha was no match for Madara.

Things really started to go to shit when Kaguya arrived on the battlefield. They barely managed to defeat Madara, but Kaguya? Madara is child's play compared to her.

They fought and fought hard. Naruto being the strong leader he naturally is with Sasuke and Sakura by his side at all times. But all that hope has been gone since they lost Sakura. She died protecting Naruto from one of Kaguya's assaults and had no time to heal herself, Kakashi carrying a screaming Naruto away so they wouldn't cause any more attention. Naruto hasn't been the same since, and just now the nine-tailed fox literally just got ripped out of his system. Luckily, just in case the Kyuubi did end up getting ripped out of him, Sakura placed a seal on Naruto just before she died so he could continue living without the demon.

Sasuke peeks out his head from their hiding place and cringes. Kurama is covered in chakra chains and howling in pain, actual tears in the fox demon's eyes as it cries out for help. A cough catches Sasuke's attention, and he averts his eyes to see Naruto sitting up. He must be waking up from hearing Kurama crying a far distance away from them.

Naruto blinks, slowly crawls out from Sasuke's arms, and pokes his head out to see Kurama fighting to break out of those chains. Almost as if Kurama senses him, Kurama looks straight in their direction and cries out at them.

Naruto feels his heart clench, immediately crawling back to sit next to Sasuke. He holds his heart through his shirt while it beats rapidly, almost like it is going to burst out of his chest.

Why did it all have to come to this?

Sasuke watches Naruto begin to cry, the only thing he can do at this point. The enemy has won, all their friends and family are dead, and they are all that is left. But without Kurama, Naruto's chakra supply is dangerously low. If he tries to go back out on the front lines, he will surely die. And Sasuke knows for sure if that happens, he will most likely kill himself. There is no way he can live in a world without Naruto.

Naruto grabs Sasuke and buries his head into his shoulder, his hands weaving around his neck, one into his raven locks. Sasuke holds Naruto close, seeing as their time is almost up. If they are going to die, they may as well die together in each other's arms. It is a promise they made to each other after all, if everything failed in the end.

"Sasuke...Im sorry, but this is the only way. If I go back, i'll just screw everything up. You were always smarter than me." Naruto whispers and Sasuke isn't really sure what he means by that.

The feeling of Naruto placing a seal on his neck register's too late, and he pushes Naruto away to look at him with a ludicrous stare.

"Naruto...You didn't do what I think you just did...I know the Sage gave you the power of reviving people but the power to turn back...no. No!" Naruto gives a sad smile, more tears streaming down his face. Of course Sasuke would catch on to what he was doing within seconds, his other half perceptive as ever.

"Im sorry Sasuke, but it had to be done." Naruto sits back and stares up at the smoky night time sky. "The Sage gave me the power to go back in time, time travel reversal is what he called it...I think? Anyways, I would have laced it on me, but I don't trust myself to go back. Im still Konoha's number one knuckleheaded ninja, and I would probably just mess things up again."

Sasuke shakes his head in disbelief, unknowingly allowing tears to run down his own face. Naruto reaches out, grabs Sasuke's face and has him look into his sea blue eyes. Sasuke wants to look away though, he feels like he is going to be sick. Those blue eyes used to hold so much hope, brighter than the ocean. Now they are dull, and he knows this is the last time he would be looking into them in this timeline.

"I know you rarely say these words back to me, but know I...I love you Sasuke, and I always will. But you have to be the one to go back and save everyone...Im sorry, but it's the o-only way." Naruto sniffs and leans in, Sasuke quickly following his movements until their lips meet.

Their kisses are usually urgent and quick, right before Naruto goes out into battle and Sasuke stays behind to form plans with Kakashi, Shikamaru and Gaara. But they are long dead, and now this kiss is going to be their last one. Their last one–

Oh God, this is going to be the last time he's able to see Naruto in this timeline, and...He suddenly feels lighter than usual. He looks at his hands and realizes his whole body is fading away.

"N-Naruto..." Naruto leans away, and even in such horrific times, still manages to give a heartwarming smile that breaks Sasuke's heart. This is the last time he is going to see Sasuke, and is glad his love is going to get a second chance to make everything right.

"And don't worry Sasuke, you're not the only one going back. The Sage gave me enough chakra to place the time reversal seal on someone else." Saskue blinks, and there's a flicker of hope in his eyes. "But it's not me. I didn't have time to place it on myself, but there's someone else who deserves a second chance more than anyone else I know...At least, anyone else I know that's alive, which is no one now..."

"But who Naruto?" The blonde idiot somehow manages to laugh, even during a situation like this.

"You'll see. Treat him well, alright? He's going to take this harder than you and might kill you when you guys get back." Him?

There's no more time now, and Naruto grabs Sasuke for one more kiss.

"Goodbye Sasuke...And next time, make sure I know you care for me. Don't hide your feelings and be an asshole until you confess you always loved me when im twenty-three, in the middle of a damn war." Naruto bites out, but in a playful manner.

"Right...Goodbye Naruto...I lo–" Sasuke doesn't even get to finish his sentence, completely gone now.

Naruto shakes his head and feels bitter, but in the end, he's prepared for this and knows this is the right thing to do. He shakily stands up and smirks when he hears a scream of rage in the distance. Holding his stomach, he peaks out at where Kurama use to be and see's Kaguya floating and yelling, frustration written all over her face.

At least Kurama is safe now as well.

With a deep breath, Naruto comes out of hiding and stands out in the open. Kaguya senses him and races over, a spear in her hand. Naruto knows he's about to die, but he stands proudly with a smile. The only two people that were still alive that he cared about were now safe, and he knew they would fix this mess before it even started.

"I love you guys." Are his final words.


A flash happens and Sasuke quickly sits up, head booming.

Sasuke blinks a couple times, rubbing his head because the headache he has right now feels like his brain is gonna explode out of his head. Speaking of his head, he feels a headband on it and a jolt of shock goes through his body. He snatches the headband off of him and looks in his hand to see a blue, unscratched Konoha ninja headband.

Wait–

Oh God, Sasuke thinks. Naruto sent him back in time and now the blonde idiot is all alone! All their friends died, and Naruto is by himself. Taking deep breaths like Orochimaru taught him years ago for therapy, Sasuke is trying hard to stay calm while thinking about what is happening to his Naruto. There's no one else to save, so what has he done? Did he give himself up, run away, or worse, kill himself? Maybe the suicidal idiot made Kaguya murder him just to be petty. Who knows, but they had promised each other through the years of war that they would die together.

How could Naruto be so selfish? How could he do this to him? They made a promise, a vow! To stick together no matter what. Naurto had told Sasuke that if Sasuke ended up dying before him, he would keep trying until he lost all hope and bury himself with him. In Sasuke's case, he told Naruto that if Naruto died before him, Sasuke would kill himself right then and there. A world without Naruto, the boy that became the love of his life and his childhood sweetheart. There is no meaning in living anymore without him by his side. Naruto had become his everything, and here he is, alone in the past forced to stop everything before it happens.

Why couldn't Sasuke get a break?

Unhurriedly, he takes his time to stand up and take a look at where he has landed. Immediately seeing the team seven picture and his old bedroom, he shuffles through the dark room to the calendar on the wall and wants to throw up.

The moonlight protruding through his window shines on that very spot, and the calendar marks the day that Sasuke, Naruto, and Sakura officially became team seven.

Taking several steps back, Sasuke's heart is racing and dizziness takes over. He trips over the carpet and falls in the middle of the room. So, he got sent back that far in time? Grabbing his head at the irony of it all, he needs to get some headache medicine if he is going to think all this through without messing up this timeline. There is so much to do, so many things to stop and so many people to fix.

Hold on.

Naruto said there is someone else that is going to travel back through time with him, but who and where are they?

A shuffle in the background is heard and Sasuke whips his head around when he hears growling in the hallway. A tall figure emerges from the darkness of his hallway and flings itself at him to pin Sasuke down completely on the ground. Sasuke's struggles to get up, and by the size of his hands and the date of where he got sent back in time, there's not a lot he can do to defend himself with his thirteen-year-old body.

Sasuke looks up to see piercing red eyes with cat-like slits angrily staring right back into his own black ones, their eyes rimmed with red and face dried of tear stains. They had long bright orange hair that split down from the middle of their head down to their back, tickling Sasuke's face, but he wouldn't dare sneeze. It slowly wraps a clawed around his neck and opens it's mouth, panic running through Sasuke when he sees the sharp fangs.

"You...damn...brat!" It lowly growls out, and with that one sentence, everything clicks in Sasuke's head. The second person Naruto placed the seal on–

He traveled back in time with the Kyuubi no Kitsune.

Chapter Text

It's been so many years of fighting that Kurama lost count after ten.

The war had gone on and on and in the back of his mind throughout the years, Kurama knew there was no chance of defeating Madara Uchiha. He was too powerful, too legendary, and the only person that could even stand a chance of defeating him was Hashirama, the first Hokage. As powerful as Naruto and even Sasuke had become after the Sage gave them their powers, there was no way they could beat Madara. And how would Kurama know this?

The Uchiha managed to capture and tame him: The Kyuubi no Kitsune.

They tried and they tried hard, and even when Naruto was down, Kurama would still give him false hope. Why? Because they became good friends at the very end, and Kurama had even learned to do something foreign that he never thought possible.

Love.

Yes, Kurama had learned to love Naruto over the years. He had fallen in love with this little hyperactive, emotional, blond-haired human that somehow snuck his way beneath all the hatred and maliciousness in his heart. Kurama had never known what love was himself, besides seeing the relationships between Mito and Hashirama, Kushina and Minato, and Naruto and Sasuke for the past century. All three completely different relationship's, yet each special in their own way. However, the most unique one of them all probably had to be either Naruto or Kushina's love life. Kurama had never witnessed more stubborn, yet beautiful people like those two before in his long life. They had some kind of special power that drew people in to love them. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending who's looking, Kurama was one of those people, or in his case beings.

A humans life was like a blink of an eye to Kurama, but with Naruto, the end was coming too quickly for the demon's liking. More and more of Naruto's comrade's and friends keep dying left and right each day it seemed, and the more they fell, the more Naruto had changed. The bright boy that was alway's full of sunshine was quickly fading away.

The brightness completely dimmed when Sakura was killed.

Naruto barely talked to anyone after that, except for Sasuke and Kakashi when he needed a shoulder to cry on about their female teammate. It didn't really hit Kurama how much Naruto had changed until Kakashi passed away due to saving Obito from getting killed. Then Obito died shortly after because of a stab to the head from Kaguya. The older Uchiha couldn't breathe after the loss of his best friend, wasn't paying attention and died right on top of Kakashi. Naruto had grown very close to Obito in the end, and to have both men he looked up to die together because of Kaguya, once again, completely tore Naruto's heart. Naruto himself had a panic attack while watching them die and passed out.

It's been a year since that happened, and now it was just Sasuke and Naruto on the battlefield. They had no one else but each other to save, and Kurama pitted them.

"Naruto..." The cage has been opened for Kurama for decades now, and slowly the huge demon emerges from the darkness until he is about a foot away from the blond man on his knees, staring down at the water with a blank look in his face. Kurama frowns and lowers his face down to nuzzle Naruto, who has grown up into such a fine man over the years. The fox barely feels it, but Naruto slowly wraps strong hands into his orange fur and begins to cry. Kurama closes his eyes and lets the man weep beneath him.

"Kurama...I can't do this anymore. I want to die." Kurama's frown deepens at the words.

"But what about Sasuke?" A soft sigh leaves the man's lips and he buries his face deeper into Kurama's fur.

"Im going to die anyway, and you know what Sasuke told me he would do if that happens? He'll kill himself so we can die together. And guess what? We're both going to end up dying Kurama. There's no hope left. Im just sorry I couldn't give you your freedom like I promised." Kurama hum's and doesn't say anything.

A ghostly figure approaches them in the sewer and Kurama begins to lift his head up and growl, until he actually looks at who it is and bows his head.

 Naruto detaches himself from Kurama's fur and looks at none other than the Sage of Six Paths, who he hasn't seen in a decade since the old man granted him the gift of life. A gift that Naruto stopped using a long time ago when too many people lost their lives, too many to count. So many people asked him to save their comrades lives, which honestly was so draining after doing so for hundreds of people daily. But after saving Gaara's life for the third time, Naruto decided it was best to stop using this power and let his friends naturally go one by one.

He came to a point to realize he couldn't save everyone.

"Kurama, Naruto, I have a proposition to make for both of you." Naruto and Kurama stare at the Sage, anxiously awaiting for what he has to say. "As it seems, most, if not everyone has passed and you can surely see there is no way to defeat Kaguya...in this timeline that is." Kurama and Naruto look at each other, then stare back at the Sage.

"What do you mean...?" Naruto quietly asks.

The Sage of Six Paths hums and smiles at the two. He floats to where Naruto is and holds out one of his hands for Naruto to take.

Naruto stares at the hand for a moment before taking it and standing up to be face to face with the Sage. He feels a power surge through his veins when their hands connect and gives a wide-eyed stare to the Sage before him. Naruto glows white for a second and Kurama looks at the two in awe. The power stops as soon as it's begun and Naruto glances down at his hands to see if anything new appeared on them.

"My dear boy, I just gave you the power of time travel. The forbbiden Time Travel Reversal jutsu. To active, place the seals on yourself and someone else, and from then on use the Tiger sign to active the seal and you'll be sent back into time. Hopefully, a second chance will fix this mess before it even starts. It's my last gift to you if you'll take it, Naruto."

A second chance? Time travel? Fixing everything before it started? All these things rush into the blond man's head, and Naruto feels his heart soar at the thought of another chance to have a better ending than this when it comes to life.

Many tears fall from his eyes and he surprises the Sage with a strong hug, then steps away to wipe his face and gain his composure.

"Thank you Sage, t-thank you so much..." Naruto can't thank him enough and get's down on his knees once more, bowing to the man.

"Use the power wisely my boy, but be aware with the seal only two of you can go back so you don't have to make the journey alone...Good luck to you both." The Sage gives the two one last nod and fades away, knowing this is the last time he would see them for now.

Kurama stands there, tails leisurely swinging back and forth while giant red eyes watch Naruto sit there for what feels like days. He dares not to bother the man while he is in deep thought and waits patiently for Naruto to speak out loud.

"Come here, Kurama." Naruto snap's his eyes open and stands up to face the giant fox. Kurama eagerly leans his head down and shivers from the power of the Sage when Naruto touches him.

Stiffing at the burn of a mark behind his neck, Kurama blinks and red eyes shift to look at the blonde human below who is smiling at him. It takes a moment for Kurama to register why Naruto isn't placing the mark on himself and on him, and fear suddenly takes over. He back's away from Naruto, into the darkness of the cage he's become so comfortable with.

"Naruto...What are you doing. Why aren't you placing the second seal on yourself? What have you done to me?!" The demon panic's, and growls dangerously at Naruto who laughs at him.

"Silly, you're not going back by yourself. Remember, Sage said I can place the seal on two people." Kurama doesn't understand and backs away further into the darkness.

"I...I love you Kurama, and if anybody deserves another chance, it's you. Don't worry, everything is going to be okay, but I can't go back with you. Someone else is though." Kurama shakes his head and for the first time in a very, very long time, the demon fox feels tears running down his cheeks.

Why would Naruto even send someone like him back in time anyway? No. Not again. Not to get manipulated and used again because of who he is. Kurama is a demon, and demon's like him don't deserve second chances.

"Naruto, I didn't agree to this. Don't make me do this!" Kurama hates to admit it, but to go back in time to face all those dangers by himself full of blood-thirsty, crazy Uchiha that want to kill him?

He's absolutely terrified.

"Don't make my decision harder than it needs to be fox. If I go back, i'll just screw everything up again. And don't worry, Sakura placed a seal on me before I died so that if we did get separated, I still could live."

"But Naruto, without me you'll..." Kurama whispers, hating that Naruto is doing this to him.

"I know Kurama, I know...But like I said, everything is going to be alright, and I never go back on my word. I know you'll do just fine, Kurama." Naruto comes forward into the cage and Kurama instantly leans his head down to nuzzle against Naruto for what probably is going to be the last time.

"But Nar–" He starts to protest, but Naruto shakes his head to silence him.

"Goodbye Kurama...I love you." Kurama let's out a low whimper and doesn't want Naruto to let go of him, ever.

"You really are a selfish brat in the end. I love you too Naru...Naruto!" The feeling of Kurama being extracted makes both man and demon flinch. Somehow Kaguya got ahold of Naruto and managed to break the seal to pull him out. What is going on outside, and where the hell is Sasuke?

"Kurama!" Naruto screams and reaches out for him, then disappears from their inner world.

The feeling of them being separated happens all too quickly and Kurama is soon in the outside world. Where dead bodies lay, and explosions and debris cover a red-colored smoky sky and a bloody battlefield.

Finally free, after a century of being captive by humans, Kurama muses.

The feeling doesn't last long, because Kaguya wraps him around in chakra chains to bind him and they burn. Oh, they burn so bad it makes Kurama scream, the smell of burning flesh and fur filling up in his nostrils. He cries out for help, knowing no one is going to save him and that Naruto probably just died. He can't form proper words because of the pain and let's out another heart-wrenching cry.

The feel of Naruto's chakra helps ease the pain Kurama thinks, and he looks in the direction of where he feels Naruto and Sasuke. But it doesn't stop the stinging and he gives out another cry because the burn of the chains holding him down is too much to bear.

Moments of torture and the pain suddenly stops. He looks up at Kaguya's confused face and is baffled himself since it doesn't seem like she did anything to make the chains feel better. His body feels lighter than usual and he looks down at his paws which seem to be fading away. By the tingle in his neck, Naruto must have activated the jutsu.

He glances over where Naruto and Sasuke are hiding and gives one last howl so Naruto knows he's saying goodbye. The last thing he hears is Kaguya screaming and is happy that in the end, Naruto still has Sasuke to die with.


Kurama see's nothing but white and a flash.

He lands on the ground hard, so hard he feels like he's been thrown into several mountains and is seeing stars. No, wait. He blinks once the dizziness fades away and realizes he's actually looking up at stars and the nighttime sky. Extreme confusion makes it's way onto his face and he brings a clawed hand up to remove a strand of hair from his mouth. He pauses. His face, hair, hands–

"Clawed human hands and hair? What the fuck is going on?" Kurama thinks to himself.

He quickly stands up–or at least he tries to. Sitting up, he glances down and is surprised to see he has legs. He's seen enough people walk and knows how to use them, but once you become a human yourself it's harder than it looks. After a couple of tries, he finally get's the hang of it and stands up on wobbly legs.

A soft breeze hit's him and makes him look down at himself to see he's completely naked, and he notes that his hair goes down to his ankles. Unhurriedly, the fox scratches his scalp and takes a strand of thick orange hair to inspect it in the moonlight.

The sound of crickets alert him to turn his head around and he's suddenly facing what look's like a huge abandoned house. Looking around, he's in a backyard of some sort and he uses his chakra to see if anyone is inside. He doesn't sense anyone in the manor and decides to walk in to see if he can find any clothes and figure out where the hell he is.

Opening the slide doors carefully, he enters a room and strangely, the scent of Sasuke enter's his nose. He gently closes the doors and there's a mirror in the corner of the room. He makes a B-line for it and blinks at himself when he sees what he looks like.

Kurama hesitantly brings his clawed hands to feel his beautiful face. There are two red eyes, a nose, a mouth, actual human ears, and his long orange hair reminds him of Kushina's. He lets out a quiet gasp because he doesn't have his trademark whisker's, and looks like an actual human. It's like a dream, who would have thought Kurama to be a pretty mortal. What type of power did the Sage give to Naruto that not only gave him the ability to go back in time, but look like a human of all things? Guess not to question the power of a Sage. Silently, Kurama admits that he makes a damn good-looking human if he does say so himself.

Glancing behind him, there's a bed that looks like it's been abandon for years, spider webs surrounding it and a small dried blood stain on the floor below it. He walks towards it and there's a picture on the bed stand that Kurama pick's up, but it's caked with dust and a cobweb on it. Without hesitation, Kurama blows the web and dust away and uses his hand to wipe the rest of the picture off so he can see the image clearly.

He stares with a blank look on his face at a picture of a young Sasuke, what probably was his mother and father and a young Itachi all standing together with smiles on their faces. He puts that picture down and grabs for another one, doing the same thing and getting rid of the dust on it. It's another picture of young Itachi with another Uchiha boy who looks slightly older than him. Itachi is frowning, but the boy next to him has a wide smile on his face and is wrapping a hand around Itachi's shoulders. Young Sasuke is at the bottom of the photo, barely, peeking his little head up at the two boys. They all look so happy, but Kurama has to wonder who the short-haired Uchiha boy is with the brothers. Maybe a family friend?

Like a light bulb turning on, it clicks in Kurama's head that he has ironically landed at the Uchiha estate, and is in Itachi Uchiha's old childhood bedroom.

Suddenly feeling self-conscious about himself being a house full of murder victims, a huge foxtail grows from his back and fans out into nine longer ones, covering his body so he isn't completely naked.

Kurama exits out of the room and into a dark hallway. He closes the doors behind him and decides to walk around, because he needs to find clues as to the how far he ended up back in time, without alerting the whole village that there's a human version of the Kyuubi no Kitsune sneaking around. Kurama's not stupid and he knows he has to play his cards right since he's back in the past.

He walk's to another pair of double doors that are down the hall and stops in front of them. He doesn't know what's beyond these doors, but he pushes them open anyway and gasps when he walks in.

Kurama suddenly wants to vomit at the stench of death and old blood in the air. Closing the doors behind him, he stops in the center of the room and a small chill runs down his spine.  There's cob webs filled in every corner of this room and it smells stale. He can tell this room has been abandon for a couple of years. Looking down at his feet, there's a huge dried blood stain on the floor and by the smell of a strong woman and man, Kurama assumes this is the room Sasuke's parents were killed in.

To be brutally murdered by your son for no reason. It makes Kurama sick to his stomach and gives him another reason to hate Itachi Uchiha with a burning passion.

Just thinking about him and that he's possibly still alive in this timeline makes him growl. If there is one thing Naruto would want him to stop, it's Itachi torturing and hurting Sasuke more than he already has. That is, if Kurama traveled far back enough to stop him, or if Orochimaru already sunk his claws into Sasuke. But he doesn't want to even think about Sasuke right now.

Naruto.

Tears fall from Kurama's human eyes and he uses some of his tails as cushions to sit down in the center of the room. Staring up at the moon, he shoves down the idea of finding more clues for the moment. The demon lets out a small cry, softly so no one nearby could hear. He doesn't want this, he doesn't want to be the one to come back. Naruto and Sasuke should have come back together and could have lived a happier life with one another if they did so. It makes no sense for Kurama to be here, alone, and figure out everything by himself.

At least Kurama got to tell him he loved him and goodbye before leaving, but it doesn't stop the bitter taste in his mouth that Naruto would do this to him. Why Kurama of all people. Why. Why. Why. It isn't far, Naruto deserved a second chance more than anybody else. Kurama just doesn't understand why he would send a demon like him back in time to fix everything. How is he suppose to stop Orochimaru, Kabuto, the Akatsuki, Danzo, Itachi, Obito, Madara, any Uchiha at that. Even though it is Naruto who is a Jinchūriki, when all is said and done everyone wants Kurama. This is a dangerous game Naruto is playing sending him of all people back in time.

How is he suppose to save anyone when he needs to save himself from getting killed first.

Kurama thinks back to the first time he physically met Naruto, and Naruto demanded the fox to save him from Jiraiya's test. He snorts at the memory, trying so hard to intimidate the child just to have everything backfire and Naruto intimidate him. And now, to their last memory of having to say goodbye to each other while he was ripped away from Naruto, literally. He felt his heart breaking into a million pieces and cursed humans for being so emotional. His new human body had to be the reason why he couldn't stop crying. It has to be.

Funny enough, it's not just Naruto that Kurama is crying over. The loss of his demon siblings hurts him badly too, and he chokes thinking back to when he watched Kaguya kill each of his weird family one by one through Naruto eyes. He wishes he could have done more to save them, and Naruto did try his best. But in the end, once again, he is the only one that survived. Maybe, just maybe, he can save all of them in this timeline if he isn't too late.

Another shaky cry breaks out and he covers his face with his hands, because Kurama can't help but mourn the loss of someone he learned to love so much. He's confused, hurt, angry, and most of all terrified. What better place to weep than in a house full of no one to hear him but ghost.

There's a loud thud, and Kurama's head perk's up. He uses a tail to wipe his face and quietly heads to where the sound came from. He sneakily walks through the halls of the Uchiha estate until he stops a couple of feet away from an open doorway. There's a figure sitting in the middle of the room and Kurama recognize's that hair any day.

It's Sasuke, and without thinking straight, he lunges at the Uchiha.

"You...damn...brat." He growls at the boy and slides a hand to his throat because Sasuke is the reason Naruto isn't here with him, and he feels like tearing something apart right now.

Chapter Text

 

Sasuke is struggling to breathe because the angry demon above him won't let him get the chance, a hot hand wrapped around his throat, suffocating him. For a moment he thinks to himself how he ends up in these kinds of situations, and all fingers always point back to Naruto. Even now when he isn't here with them physically, Naruto is always to blame. Why else would he be twenty years back into the past with a very upset humanoid version of the Kyuubi No Kitsune?

"K-Kurama...I can't...br...breathe.." At the weak sound of his name, Kurama immediately let's go of his neck and crawls back to stare at the coughing Uchiha, befuddled at how he knows his name. The demon pauses, not wanting to screw the timeline up majorly before he opens his mouth to say anything. Even though choking Sasuke 'from the past' isn't the first thing he should have done.

Sasuke sits up and holds his throat, taking deep, shaky breathes. Naruto had said that Kurama would be angry, but to try and kill him as soon as they land back in time? Well, at least Sasuke is thankful that the demon landed by his home. Hopefully, no one saw him before he attacked him in his bedroom. It wouldn't do them good to have the village running amuck while looking for a wild, naked, orange-haired man.

Once he's breathing regularly again, he coughs and stares at the wild demon. Giving his full attention to the demon, now human in front of him.

What in the world was Naruto thinking to send the Kyuubi back rather than himself? It's not like Sasuke can go back into the future to ask his reasoning, but he has a pretty good idea as to why. Still, it doesn't make sense, and really Sasuke feels bitter about it. He knew that Naruto promised Kurama freedom, but if anyone deserved another chance it was Naruto.

It's a shame he can't change what's happened, and by the red-rimmed eyes and tear stains on Kurama's tan face, the fox is a wreck right now just like he is.

Sasuke has never been one to give sympathy, but if they are going to work together and fix everything, he's going to have to at least try and get along with the Kyuubi. They have never really been the best of friends and only met a handful of times, but it helps to know they've worked together and at least know each other.

"Did anyone see you? Are you hurt?" Sasuke softly ask. Kurama doesn't respond, tail's swishing back and forth to cover his body while he stares at the boy.

Okay, take two. "Kurama, are you okay?" There goes the sound of his name again, making Kurama tilt his head and blink at the Uchiha who's slowly scooting closer to him. He doesn't move, and suddenly the kid is right in front of him, pity and anger in those black eyes of his. Kurama holds one of his tails and strokes it gently, wondering what the Uchiha's next move is going be.

Then it clicks in his head.

"No..." The word shakily comes out of his mouth and he chokes, realizing this Sasuke isn't the Sasuke from the past. It's his Naruto's Sasuke from the future. Meaning, Naruto, right now, is by himself and probably dead. He died alone, which is the one thing Kurama never wanted. At least if Naruto had fallen and no one else was there, Kurama would have been. And he would have happily died alongside Naruto without any regrets. But now his blond-haired idiot is gone and has probably been murdered, while Kurama himself gets to live another life, alive. It hit's home hard and fresh, hot tears start streaming down his face. He wants to blame his human body for the reason he's crying like a newborn again. The anger and sadness he feels is suffocating and it's like he can't breathe properly. He brings a hand to his throat and the other to his heart to help his airways flow properly.

It dawns on Sasuke that Kurama is showing typical signs of a panic attack and he rushes to the demon's side, careful not to move too fast in case Kurama attacked him again. He reaches out to touch Kurama's shoulder, but one of his tail's grab's Sasuke's wrist and flings it away from him. Sasuke wants to help, say comforting words, try and do something to ease Kurama's pain. But this type of hurt, it's something Sasuke knows all too well.

It's exactly how he felt after his final fight with Itachi.

He accidentally killed his brother, and after learning the truth about him, it hurt even more to think about what could have been if Itachi just sat down and talked with him. Rather than emotionally, mentally, and physically manipulating and torturing him for years, only to be a liar till the very end. Even when Itachi was reanimated and they fought with Kabuto to stop the dead from fighting the living, Itachi still couldn't tell him the truth and said 'sorry' before dying again. What a cop-out, Sasuke resentfully thinks. This isn't the time to dwell about Itachi though, at least not right now. Kurama is the top priority.

There's nothing he can say or do for him though. Pain like this is something that has to be healed with time, and even though it's been twenty years Sasuke is still grieving because of his brother and his whole family. Losing someone precious to you is never easy, but at least they had one thing in common right now.

They are both mourning over the same person, just handling the situation differently.

"Why did it have to be me? You and he could have been sent back together to fix everything, but he sent me instead. Told me this was his promise of giving me my freedom...But I would have rather died than...fuck, fuck, fuck!" Sasuke quietly sits next to the older creature, not daring enough to say anything. Kurama needs this, to rant and get his feelings out. Not venting about things use to hold Sasuke back, until Naruto helped him learn to open up about everything. It felt so much better to get everything out in the open, rather than piling it all up in his chest like it had for years. Besides the whole idiot persona, Naruto really was the best at giving advice to any and everyone. 

A true hero. Sasuke thinks fondly.

Seeing Kurama so sadden by Naruto's death is starting to hit Sasuke too, but he has to keep it together. For both of them. Out of all of team seven, Sasuke ended up being better at holding in his emotions than even Kakashi when they got older, which was a surprise to everyone.

Naruto strictly sent him back because he's suppose to be the smart one? On the outside he seems calm, when really Sasuke wants to cry and scream like a child right now. But what would that do to help the situation?

So, he waits patiently for Kurama's anxiety to die down before speaking again.

"Kurama," He clears his throat. "I know you're hurting right now, trust me, you're not the only one. You have every right to feel the way you do and im going to be blunt, what your feeling right now? It isn't going away anytime soon. I know how you feel first hand, but Naruto sent both of us back for a reaso–"

"You don't know a DAMNED THING!" Kurama snaps at him, baring his fangs at the startled Uchiha. "Naruto made a stupid decision Sauske. Sending you back? Perfect, you're nothing but brains and can probably fix the shit storm about to happen. But me? Im the damned Kyuubi No Kitsune, who literally everyone wants to kill and get a hold of. It's dangerous for me to be here right now, and Naruto sacrificed himself because of some promise he made to me? That boy...is a fool for sending me back here with you." Summing it up in his head, Sasuke takes a deep breath and exhales.

So Kurama is scared? Now that's another thing on top of a thousand things Naruto has put on his shoulders. Not only does he have to hide Kurama's identity at all cost, but protect him as well. Thinking about it, maybe it wasn't such a good idea on Naruto's part to have Kurama come back with him, but he can't rewind time. If making Kurama feel comfortable as a human and keep him safe is something Naruto wants him to do, then so be it. When all is said and done, Naruto wouldn't appreciate any of them dying after he made such a hard decision of sending them back.

"You think you're the only one that's upset? I just lost the love of my life...And now he's gone, and im here. So don't tell me I don't know anything when Naruto meant nothing but the world to me. I can't reverse time and make him change his mind, but I do know that he sent me back to change things, and I guarantee you that your freedom won't go to waste Kurama. Think of it as me carrying on Naruto's promise for you. I won't let you get caught or die. We didn't come back to get killed." Kurama blinks away the tears and sniffs. Using a tail to wipe his face, he peer's at Sasuke who's looking down at the floor, then glares at the boy.

"I didn't ask for your shitty protection since you did a fine job protecting Naruto." Sasuke's eyes flash red and Kurama flinches. He's not a weak, helpless demon, but if it's one thing that scares him more than anything, it's the sharingan. Those red eyes that are glaring into his make him freeze, and he wants to flee from Sasuke's room. Kurama has seen Sasuke get angry several times through Naruto's eyes, but dealing with him and seeing those red, angry eyes in person is a totally different experience.

"Take that back right now. I had nothing to do with Naruto and his decision and I protected him until the very end." Challenging him, Kurama's eyes glow blood red and soon it's like the two are having a staring contest, neither one backing down.

They are both angry at each other, neither one wanting to even come back without Naruto. What makes it worse is that Kurama is aware he is being irrational, and pointing the finger at Sasuke seems valid. Even with death approaching, Naruto was still thinking of everyone else before himself, and Kurama feels like crying again.

He can't handle Sasuke's eyes any longer and he get's up, averting his eyes anywhere else but where Sasuke is, and begins to leave the room.

"You can fuck right off Uchiha." Before he completely leaves, he turns his head and glares at Sasuke over his shoulder. "And next time you look at me with those eyes again, I will kill you. And that's not a threat, it's a promise, no matter how angry Naruto would be at me for murdering you." Cracking his knuckles loudly for emphasis, he exits out the room.

Sasuke wants punch Kurama in the face, anger seething through him. He just tried to comfort the demon, only for the said demon to insult him, threaten him and say something like that? Naruto's death and decision aren't his fault, he has nothing to do with them. He protected his loved one for years, vice verse, and has no regrets. How dare Kurama say he is responsible for killing Naruto. The thought itself makes Sasuke want to beat the shit out of the fox, but again, what good what it do? He doesn't know the Kyuubi well at all, so maybe this is Kurama's way of blowing off steam? If it is, Sasuke has a bigger storm coming than he realizes.

Naruto should have never sent a demon of fire and hatred back in time, but he himself is an angry mess right now and still isn't the best people person.

He realizes he's shaking and starts inhaling and exhaling. His eyes change back to black and he grabs for his pounding head.

He needs medicine and some inner peace right now.

There's so much to do and think about, and Kurama isn't making the situation any better. At least some tips about how to deal with the fox would have been useful from Naruto, but it looks like they're going to have to form a strong bond from scratch if they're going to accomplish anything.

Regret is starting to sink in because the only reason Kurama froze up like that and threatened him is because he lost it for a split second and brought out his sharingan–Wait.

Quickly, Sasuke stands up and rushes to the bathroom that's connected to his bedroom. Turning on the light, he mentally prepares himself and stares at the mirror above his sink. Activating his sharingan, he surprised to see three comas in his eyes. He blinks, then blinks again because how the hell is he suppose to hide this? There's no way reverse his eyes, and Kakashi is definitely going to be suspicious of him when he see's them. Curiosity irking him, he tries to see if he can active his mangekyou sharingan and what feels like a migraine makes him groan and quickly shut off his eyes. Maybe his young thirtheen-year-old boy can't handle the stress of a powerful jutsu like that right now.

There's a sudden burn on his left arm, and he takes his white armband off to see a weird, black squiggly mark on his forearm. Inspecting it, he has no idea what it could be and of course no one to go to about it. Well, maybe Kurama might know what it is, but it's not a good idea to bother the overly emotional creature at the moment. It is worth a try, but not until the morning. If Sasuke showed anyone else like the Hokage, he could get in serious trouble. Guess waiting until tomorrow is going to have to be the option for now. The demon is thousands of years old, so hopefully, he knows something.

Turning off the lights to his bathroom, he walks over to his bed and stares down at it.

Sasuke feels awful.

Taking his time to enter his covers and lay in bed, he stares at the ceiling with a blank look on his face. This is going to be one hell of a ride, and he's going to have to deal with everything all by himself.

"Why Naruto, why would you do this to me...I didn't even get to say I love you back." Sasuke thinks, and is prepared for a night of no sleep.

Chapter Text

 

Red eyes slowly blink open, the sun rays from outside the window shining on his face. A groan follows, and Kurama is thankful for the morning sun and birds being his wake up call rather than jonnin from Konoha surrounding him with a kunai to his throat.

There's something in his arms that strangely feels like another body, and when he sits up and looks down at what he's snuggled with horror is his first emotion. It's a pillow that he managed to curl up with in the middle of the night, but that's not why he's horrified. It's one of Itachi's pillows, and once again he somehow found his way back into the elder Uchiha's room last night. He was so angry at Sasuke and the whole situation that he wasn't paying attention and just locked himself up in a random room. Already it had been bad enough that Sasuke tried to intimidate him with the sharingan, and now to wake up in Itachi's bedroom and actually feel comfortable in here?

Kurama feels a headache coming on and sighs. Great. Just great. He hates Uchiha's as much as the next person and now it seems like his new life is going to be surrounded by them.

Fabulous.

Still, he can't help it and inhales the air around him, and the scent in the room this morning smells, delicious. He looks at the pillow in his arms and practically shoves his face in it, taking a big whiff. Yes, it smells stale, no one has slept on it for years, but underneath that smell the scent of Itachi sends him into overdrive and he rolls his eyes back. Itachi smells of blood, fresh rain, and surprisingly sweet candy. It's the smell of blood alone though that makes Kurama shiver. To a human the stench of blood would be nasty and uninteresting, but to Kurama it's a sign of power. And that is for sure something Kurama definitely knows Itachi has. He takes one more sniff before disgusts takes over and he throws the pillow across the room, the pillow silently hitting the wall.

There are so many things wrong with what he just did.

First of all, if he's remembering correctly, Sasuke is thirteen right now and Itachi is five years older than him. Meaning Itachi is like, nineteen right now. A little young for Kurama's taste, and then there's the fact that he's an Uchiha. Uchiha's are evil, manipulative, emotional abusers, minus Sasuke, that want to kill him in Kurama's mind.

Two major reason's to not feel comfortable in the bedroom of Itachi Uchiha. But where else is Kurama going to sleep? He definitely shoves off the idea of switching to Sasuke's dead parent's bedroom and–

Speaking of Sasuke.

"Fuck..." Kurama mutters, because after last night he really feels like an asshole for what he said.

He was upset, rightfully so, but so was Sasuke. They both loved Naruto, while Kurama's is platonic and Sasuke's being romantic, it is the same person they are grieving over. Pointing the finger at Sasuke just because of a decision Naruto made really sinks into the demon that it wasn't the right thing to do. And thinking it over, guilt sets in and Kurama doesn't blame Sasuke for losing his temper and letting the sharingan slip out. He knew Sasuke was trying to be helpful, for the both of them, and what does Kurama do? Blames Naruto's death on him and threatens to kill him. Fuck, being a human is hard and it hasn't even been twenty-four hours yet.

Best thing to do is at least apologize to him. If they are going to work as a team together and clean up this mess, starting off on a bad note like this isn't going to get them anywhere. While Sasuke is mentally thirty years old, he's still young in Kurama's eyes and someone is going to have to step down and be the bigger person in this situation.

Getting up and wrapping his tails around his naked body, he catches the scent of Sasuke in the middle of some room in the manor and walks there at a leisurely pace. He doesn't want to walk too fast in case he arrives and Sasuke thinks he's trying to attack him again. An angry Sasuke is something he mentally can't handle right now.

Minutes later, he enters a room that looks like a kitchen and sees Sasuke sitting at a table with his head in his hands. Leaning on the door frame, Kurama crosses his arms and coughs to get the young Uchiha's attention. Sasuke slowly brings his head up and rest his chin on his hands to acknowledge the demon.

Kurama looks at anywhere but Sasuke and says, "Hey, let's just forget about last night and start over. What I said was wrong and we're both feeling shitty over the same situation. I didn't mean to say what I said, I was just...upset. Naruto threw us both back in time and ended up sacrificing himself to do so. I also know that it hurts like hell to know someone you love is gone right before your eyes and...Look, Sasuke. If we're gonna do this we need to get it together and act like a team. So, im sorry." Kurama isn't one to ever give an apology, but it feels good to step his paw–well, foot down and own up to his mistake.

If Naruto were here he would be so proud of him, and he chuckles sadly at the thought.

Sasuke blinks, surprised and intrigued all at once. Did the Kyuubi No Kitsune just apologize to him? He was expecting the demon to still be furious and surprise attack him again, not this. But it's a start, Sasuke supposes.

"I know how you feel about the sharingan and I shouldn't have lost my cool like that. And you're right, being angry at each other is not the way to go about this. We have to work through this, together. You're forgiven, because im sorry too, Kurama." Kurama looks over at the younger Uchiha and gives him a small nod, then pushes himself off the doorway to sit across from him at the table.

"So," The fox starts off, "What now?" Three words, yet the entire question adds on to Sasuke's booming headache and he groans. That is the question of the day indeed, but Sasuke didn't wake up early and brainstorm in the kitchen for nothing. He had been too afraid to fall asleep, because he's partially terrified of the nightmares to come. Fortunetly, he caught a few hours of slumber so he could function properly and has been up since dawn just thinking.

He makes a face and sighs, "Right now, the best thing to do is to act normal and keep you hidden here until an opportunity strikes where you can make an appearance." At the rise of an orange eyebrow, Sasuke continues. "We need to find the perfect time for you to make yourself seem like, well, not a total stranger and possibly become a Konoha Leaf ninja." Kurama blinks, confusion all over his face.

"Come again?" He asks, because he's not really following Sasuke. Become a ninja for Konoha?

"You want to walk freely and see Naruto right?" Kurama nods. "Well, how else would you be able to do that? We need to find a way to make you seem innocent so we can bring you into Konoha without causing too much suspicion. Naruto gave you your freedom and didn't give you a human form for no reason. Use it wisely and become a member of the Leaf, Kurama." Black eyes stare into red ones.

"I've never thought about being tied down to a village, but if that's what it takes to see Naruto again i'll play along for now." Sasuke raises a brow at Kurama's choice of words, but let's them slide.

He stands up and ties his headband on the table around his head, then exhales, "I have to meet the team at the bridge, and showing up late might make Sakura skeptical. We'll finish this conversation when I get back home later." Kurama hums and stares at Sasuke.

"Are you gonna be okay with meeting the team right now after what just happened? It might be too soon for you." It's more of a fact than a question, and Sasuke shrugs. What else is he suppose to do? Tell his teammates he's sick when he was most likely perfectly healthy yesterday? He's going to have to face team seven sooner or later and not showing up would probably be a bad idea.

"I'll be fine, and while im gone don't do anything reckless." Kurama growls at the boy.

"Im not a child, and let's not forget how much older I am than you, boy." Sasuke looks back at Kurama and the smallest smirk falls on his lips.

"Right...don't cause too much trouble while im gone, grandpa." What was probably a kitchen knife is thrown at Sasuke's head, but he's already out the window and sprinting away before it can connect.

Kurama eyes the knife that hits the floor then frowns at nothing in particular. He won't admit it to Sasuke, but he's worried about him. He knows himself that when he sees Naruto again, he might break down. But Sasuke, seeing Sakura, Kakashi, and Naruto all at once? He wouldn't be surprised if Sasuke passes out from a heart attack.


Maybe it is too soon and Kurama's right, because the anxiety Sasuke feels while walking towards the meeting bridge is off the charts. And if he didn't know any better he would say he's sweating. His heart is racing, and he's trying to breathe regularly. All these people, so important to him and like his second family, died right in front of him. His teacher that became a second father. His old unrequited love, turned into female best friend and wingman. And lastly, his childhood crush that became his boyfriend, and at some point basically his husband.

Just beyond the edge of the bridge, he spots long pink hair and legs swinging back and forth on the edge of it. He suddenly wants to turn around and high tail it back home, but he's going to have to do this eventually. Inhaling deeply, he closes his eyes and when he opens them, he sees Sakura's huge emerald green ones staring at him.

She beings to blush and wave at him, and he starts to think back to the last moment he had with the girl.

He had been careless and would have almost died if she hadn't healed a really bad wound on his torso. His guts were literally spilling out of his body from an explosion and Sasuke was sure that he was going to die that day. Luckily, it was Kiba who surprisingly picked him up and rushed him back to camp on Akamaru's back. Sakura scolded him for going on a mission by himself while she healed him, and yelled at him that if he did pass away, who was she going to be the best man for if he died and Naruto and his pretend wedding got canceled. Sasuke just laughed at her.

"Sasuke-Kun, good morning!" She squeals, and Sasuke prepares himself to be tackled by her. He steps onto the bridge and she instantly attaches herself onto one of his arms.

He wants to push her away and internally screams because it took nine years for Sakura to stop loving him and realize he only had eyes for Naruto. But that was only because for a time Sasuke actually considered loving her back and they had romantic feelings for each other. Sakura had grown into such a fine woman and Naruto was growing very close to Hinata and Neji Hyuga. But when Sasuke found out it was only the Hyuga's that felt something for Naruto and not the other way around, that's when he made his move and laid everything down on the line when he confessed to Naruto on his twenty-third birthday.

This time, he knows he's really going to have to lay it down heavy to Sakura that he's not interested. No point in having her be a crazy fangirl when Sasuke knows her potential and worth. Sakura is an amazing friend, comrade, and he'll make sure she becomes the best damn medic in this timeline too. But he can worry about finding Tsunade later.

"Good morning Sakura." She blinks up at him and he mentally cringes, because he remembers that he never use to respond to her and probably just threw the girl completely off.

"Are you feeling alright Sasuke?" She asks innocently, and Sasuke slowly takes his arm away from her to bring it back to himself.

"I'm just...in a good mood this morning is all." She makes an 'O' shape and puts her hands behind her back, a twinkle in those green eyes of hers. And Sasuke knows that look all too well, unfortunately.

"So, Sasuke-kun," She starts, and this time Sasuke actually does cringe. "Since Naruto won't be here to interrupt us for a couple of minutes. I was wondering if, maybe we could go grab a quick bite to eat and–"

"Actually i've already eaten." He cuts her off, taking a few steps back.

She opens her mouth to say something else, but a loud "Naruto Uzumaki is on the scene" stops her from her train of thought and Sasuke's whole entire world goes blank.

He slowly looks to his left and it's like time stopped. His throat goes dry, his hands start shaking, and he's trying to stop himself from hyperventilating. Mentally he's screaming at himself to keep it together, however, that's not stopping him from wanting to tackle the blond boy in that ridiculous orange jumpsuit and kissing him until their lips were bruised and jaws hurt.

Fuck, this is going to be a lot harder than Sasuke thought.

It's almost like deja vu when Naruto, naturally, glares and completely walks pass him to flirt with Sakura. Which resulted in Sakura lightly punching him and Naruto on his knees apologizing. And what hurts the most about watching his two teammates interact is that he knows Naruto is acting like this just to get his attention. Naruto admitted that to him when they first started dating and it caught Sasuke off guard. Sure, Naruto did have a small crush on Sakura, but it was never as strong as Naruto had lead people to believe. If only he hadn't acted like a cold asshole to Naruto to gain his attention as well, it wouldn't have taken them so long to confess to each other.

When blue eyes connect with black, Sasuke chokes and Naruto blinks at the black-haired boy, confused and irritated at Sasuke staring at him. The last time he looked into those blue eyes, he hadn't even gotten the chance to fully say I love back before he disappeared, just to leave his Naruto to die alone. And now, brought back to the past to stare into the same big blue eyes he fell in love with–

"What are you looking at teme?" He ignores Naruto's rude question and doesn't reply, because the only words that want to come out his mouth are 'I love You' at the moment.

"Sorry im late everyone, I...Guess I just got lost on the path of life!" Kakashi pops up on top of the bridge and waves at the trio below, and of course Sakura and Naruto yell at him to call him out on his bullshit.

Oh, Sage no.

His mind wanders to what happened to Kakashi and how the man sacrificed himself for Obito, who Sasuke wasn't and still isn't the biggest fan of despite Obito switching sides to help them in the end. But what good was the man if he couldn't even finish what he started? Not to mention Obito killed Naruto's parents for no good reason, and Naruto forgave him because he said 'sorry'. Obito isn't to be trusted, but Sasuke doesn't even want to think about that man right now. When the time comes to deal with Obito, he'll handle it and protect Kurama, Kakashi, and Naruto from him, no matter what. 

Right now, calming himself down from having an anxiety attack is what's important, and it doesn't help that Kakashi is watching him.

It really sinks in that Sasuke is officially back in time and that this isn't a weird dream. He is back in the past and he going to have to start over with everyone–

"You alright Sasuke?" He faintly hears Kakashi question him and he doesn't answer because he physically can't.

He feels like crying.

Fortunately, he blinks the tears away because Uchihas don't cry. At least that's what his mother taught him, but he doesn't even have the chance to save her because the massacre has already happened. Shit, now he's thinking about his parents and his chest hurts so much, the pain becoming unbearable. If that's one major thing Sasuke would have wanted to stop, it would have been Itachi from murdering their whole family, literally. But he didn't get sent back that far in time and it's killing him because his mother was so important to him. Funny enough, the only person in the world that he admitted that to was Naruto.

He grabs for the fabric of his shirt around his heart, as if it will help it stop racing fast. And Sasuke is no doctor, but even he knows that a heart shouldn't be beating at an irregular rate like this. Yeah, Kurama definitely was right, Sasuke bit off more than he could chew trying to face too many people that were his family at once. He tries to breathe properly, but his breaths come out too shaky for his liking. And he isn't sure who's patting his back, but he swats them away and starts to sway on his feet, feeling extremely dizzy all of a sudden.

He can't take the strain on his heart anymore and passes out, the screams of his teammates the last things he hears.

Chapter Text

Black eyes begin to pry open and immediately are blinded by bright lights above them. Sasuke quickly covers his face to shield his eyes from the harsh lighting. He jolts up from the bed and holds his head, flashbacks of what happened earlier all coming back. He remembers seeing Sakura, then Naruto, and finally Kakashi, and memories of their previous death, plus the last moments he had with them came flooding back. Did he actually have a heart attack and pass out? How embarrassing.

"Wh...Where, am I?" Sasuke asks no one in particular, voice soft and dry.

He thought he could keep it together, but seeing everyone who's supposed to be dead that are family to him was too much. And now here he is, probably in Konoha's main hospital, looking like a fool. This probably won't change the timeline too badly, but his teammates would be watching him more closely, and that's an action Sasuke can't afford to have happen. There is too much to do, and having Sakura, Naruto, and Kakashi constantly keeping an eye on him could majorly fuck up things. Especially Kakashi, because finding a way to stop Obito is going to be difficult with Kakashi being nosey.

"You're at the hospital right now. Doc said something about you going into cardi something...Your heart stopped beating, which is why you passed out. Oh, here, Sakura told me to keep the water cold in case you woke up and needed some." Looking over at the chair on the right side of his bed, the person preoccupying it makes Sasuke take a sharp inhale.

Of course it has to be Naruto who's holding a cup of cold water for him to take.

After a moment of blue staring into black, Sasuke unhurriedly takes the water and thanks Naruto before sipping it down in small gulps.

Naruto watches the way those lips cling to the glass cup and finds his own throat suddenly becoming dry. He tries his best to hide the blush on his face, and when Sasuke glances at him he quickly turns his head away to look out the window.

When Sasuke had fallen unconscious, Naruto felt his own heart stop beating and Kakashi, with lightning speed, jumped off the bridge and checked if Sasuke had a fever. Sakura's screaming really didn't help the situation, which resulted in Naruto telling her to shut up and that everything would be okay. Kakashi checked on Sasuke's breathing and his eyes went wide when he felt he had no pulse. He quickly rushed Sasuke to the hospital, Sakura and Naruto on his heels.

Kakashi stayed for an hour or two after one of the nurses reported Sasuke had gone into cardiac arrest, then left to the Hokage tower to report to Sarutobi that team seven would be unable to finish any missions for the day. Sakura stayed behind for a couple more hours until the sky turned orange and she told Naruto her parents wanted her home for dinner. She begged Naruto to stay for the evening until Sasuke woke up, which Naruto agreed to do but not because of her.

He stayed because he's genuinely worried about Sasuke.

Sasuke watches Naruto blush and turn away, and it doesn't stop the small smile that makes it's way onto his face. Naruto really hasn't changed, and it makes Sasuke feel like an idiot for not noticing that all along, Naruto really did have feelings for him. The red face, nervous glances, the leg twitch Naruto does when he feels uncomfortable. The signs were there the whole time, yet Sasuke had been so hell-bent on revenge and being the stronger of the two he never noticed. When really, he should have taken the time to consider that Naruto liked him, rather than have a fake bitter rivalry that went on for years.

At least they had told each other how they felt before the future ended so horribly.

Hell, they were even supposed to get married after the war was over. Sakura was going to be the maid of honor and Gaara the best man. And because Gaara was dating Lee at the time, which wasn't as odd of a couple now that Sasuke thinks about it, who knew that Naruto and Lee would be such good wedding planners. Lee sometimes threw in his thoughts about his own royal wedding with Gaara in, and Sasuke can remember the times when him and Gaara would sit in the background while their loves would screech and get mushy about it. In the end he and Gaara definitely became close friends. It hurt deeply when Gaara died for the third time, which is when Naruto drew the line to bring back any more people from the dead with his power the Sage gave him.

Maybe in this timeline he could get Gaara and Lee back together. He wasn't there at the preliminary rounds of the Chunnin Exams for Gaara and Lee's fight, Kakashi sealing Orochimaru's curse mark, but from what Naruto told him, not leaving out a single detail, it's a mystery to the Uchiha why Lee even wanted to be with Gaara after the redhead almost killed him. Then again, he tried to kill Naruto multiple times so he isn't one to talk.

Putting the cup of water back on the table, he clears his throat to get Naruto's attention back to him.

"So, did Sakura make you stay here with me?" Naruto shrugs, not really wanting to look at Sasuke after he got caught staring.

"You think I would want to stay here a babysit you, asshole? No way, I should be training right now!" A black eyebrow rises.

"Then why aren't you?" It's a simple question really, but Naruto can't find any words to come out of his mouth, so instead he pouts and crosses his arms.

Getting out of bed, Sasuke is thankful the doctors haven't taken off any of his clothes and he stands up, dusting himself off. He glances over at Naruto who tilts his head at him and gives him a small smile.

Heading over to the window, he opens it and ushers for Naruto to follow him. Naruto looks back at the door, then at Sasuke and silently gets up to stand beside him.

"I thought your heart was messing up on you? Where are you going?" Naruto asks innocently, and Sasuke fights the urge to not kiss that adorable face of his. The evening sunrays shining on Naruto's face aren't helping Sasuke either, because he always thought Naruto looked gorgeous against the evening sun. He isn't sure if it's because of the blonde hair, the ocean blue eyes, or the sun-kissed skin, but something about the evening sun made Naruto's attractiveness rise tenfold in the Uchiha's mind. He loved taking walks with Naruto when they had free time during the afternoon while the war was happening.

"Hn, well im better now and doctors probably won't discharge me until tomorrow. So, you mind walking me home in case I pass out again, dobe?" Which is a valid excuse, because he really wants to get back home and check on Kurama, but also take a walk with Naruto.

Naruto rolls his eyes, "Yeah sure, I'll walk you home since you're so weak, and Sakura would kill me if I let you pass out again." Sasuke chuckles softly. Why is it that only now the silly excuses Naruto gave about spending time with him made sense?

Jumping out the window and into a tree, Naruto on his heels, they make their great escape past hospital staff lurking outside and stay in the shadows until there are no more trees left.

They jump off the last tree and onto the road where there's civilization, scaring a few common folk. Most villagers are used to ninja jumping out of nowhere and carry on with their evening, the few that got scared shaking off their fear and going back to what they were doing. Sasuke and Naruto look at each other, and the Uchiha shoots the Uzumaki an amused smirk, then starts to walk, hands in his pockets. Naruto watches Sasuke walk forward a bit before running up to walk next to him.

Their walk is silent, and they ignore the glares a few of the villagers give to Naruto when they pass by. Sasuke doesn't want to bring up the Kyuubi No Kitsune or Naruto's past right now, no. He simply just wants to enjoy his walk with the pretty blond boy that so happens to be his lover from the future and childhood crush.

Daringly, he cast a glance at the boy and his heart starts racing again, but he's not going to have a heart attack this time. His Naruto would be laughing at him so hard for that if he was still around, and just thinking about what happened again leaves a bitter taste in Sasuke's mouth.

But his Naruto is gone and now he's back in the past with him again, alive, for the second time in his life. And hopefully they can have a better relationship that doesn't take a decade and then some to happen and develop. Maybe they could actually get married in this timeline like they wanted to, but he's thinking too far ahead. At this very moment Naruto still thinks he hates him, but Sasuke will definitely change that.

"Why are you being so nice to me today? I thought you hated me." Sasuke blinks and Naruto is full on staring at him. The question leads Sasuke to come to a stop, and so does Naruto.

Well, guess now is a better time to start changing their relationship than later.

"I guess, it's because I want to." What a lame excuse. Naruto opens his mouth to say something, then closes it and glares at him, and Sasuke wants to slap his forehead at his stupidity.

"You only want to be nice to me when you want to be? Im not a toy Sasuke, I'm a human being just like you! You know what, im going home. I don't care if you pass out in the middle of the road...You're just like everyone else, bastard." Naruto turns and starts to walk in the other direction.

On impluse, Sasuke grabs Naruto's arm and spins him around to be face to face with him. "No, that's not what I meant. Im sorry Naruto, what I said came out wrong." Naruto blinks, because Sasuke never says sorry to him or anyone, ever. "I don't hate you, I...actually like you. I know i've been an ass to you and I regret it. And I think we should start over as friends, not rivals. We're both equally strong, and we should be sparring partners, without trying to kill each other all the time." He stares at Naruto and realizes just how close they are. He gulps, lets go of the boy's arm and takes a gentle step back to let Naruto process his words.

Naruto peers down at his feet for a moment, the anticipation itching Sasuke's nerves.

"Do you promise? Are you really telling the truth that you wa–want to be friends, Sasuke?" Naruto asks in a hushed tone, and the question breaks Sasuke's heart because it only dawns on him how much of an asshole he really use to be to Naruto. It's already bad enough that most of the adults in the village and the kids at school treat him horribly, and he and Sakura only added on to the pain Naruto previously felt with the rest of the village. Kakashi is to blame as well because he barely ever spent time with Naruto, and doesn't until the blonde is older and the Akatsuki are after him.

Team Seven really was a terrible team to Naruto in the beginning.

"Yeah, I do, Naruto." Sasuke softly answers.

"Alright then, lets do it teme! I always thought you had this strong hatred for me like everyone else, but I guess I was wrong. Yeah, I think we should be friends instead of rivals too." He glances back up at Sasuke and grins at him.

"Good, I was getting tired of pretending like we hated each other for no reason, dobe." Sasuke smirks and continues back with his walking, noting that Naruto is closer to him while they walk side by side back to the Uchiha estate.


The moment Sasuke enters the living room of his house, the sight of Kurama lounging around on the couch in unfamiliar clothes makes him blink twice. And the glass of wine in his clawed hands confuses the Uchiha even more because he's not old enough to even purchase it, and he never drunk when he was this young, still didn't when he got older. Drinking was more of Naruto's thing, so where in the world did the demon get liquor and clothes from?

"Hey brat, heard you passed out today. Told you, you were biting off more than you could chew." He walks and stands in front of Kurama, arms crossed.

"Where the hell did you get wine and clothes from?" Sasuke deflects Kurama's question because he doesn't want to entertain the grinning fox. But wait–

"How do you know about that?" What is going on?

"You passing out? The whole village was talking about it today. Headline news, the Uchiha prince we put on a pedestal passes out! It was hilarious to watch the village panic because of you, and you told me not to make a scene, ha!" The fox chuckles and Sasuke narrows his eyes at him.

"And as for the...Oh, these old things?" Kurama grabs a piece of fabric from his shirt with his free hand, then takes a sip of his drink. "I stole them from one of your village's famous fashion boutique's, from the back of the store. Got a couple of really nice outfits actually, who knew poofy pants and sweatpants could be this comfy. Oh! And the wine I stole too from a random guys liquor shop when he wasn't looking." Sasuke goes wide-eyed and before he can say anything, Kurama quiets him.

"Hmmm, before you say anything like 'How the fuck did you get away with sneaking around the village', Itachi has a bunch of blank scrolls in his room. I took a couple of them and used a sealing jutsu on the scrolls so I could store stuff like clothes in them for me. As much as I like walking around naked, I realize that im going to need clothes at some point."

"Wait, but how did you get around without getting caught. Kurama, you're supposed to be discreet. Im surprised there's not a bounty picture of you hanging around in the streets saying, 'wild, naked, orange-haired man on the loose.'" Sasuke sighs out, because he just had a really, somewhat, good ending to his day and ANBU out for Kurama's arrest for theft is certainly going to ruin it.

"Why Naruto, why the Kyuubi No Kitsune and me?" Sasuke thinks, his head beginning to hurt again.

"Glad you asked, look what I can do!" Kurama puts his drink down, snaps his fingers and there's a poof sound and smoke, and when the smoke disappears Kurama isn't in sight anymore. Okay, now Sasuke is totally confused.

"Down here, brat." Looking down, Sasuke is at a lost for words.

There's a small orange fox on the floor with huge ears and red eyes staring back at him, one very fluffy orange tail swaying back and forth.

"Neat right? The Sage gave me the power to shapeshift, which is how I got around the village today. Im still playing around with this power, but I can turn back into my regular, normal self on command if I wanted to. I don't have to stay a human, but for now being a human is fine. Wouldn't want to walk around in my true form and have the village go crazy." Smoke fills up the area again, and Kurama is back in his human form, smirking down at Sasuke.

Sasuke doesn't have much to say and nods his head, then takes a seat on the couch.

The sting on his left arm reminds him to ask Kurama about it, so he takes off his armband and presents the limb to Kurama. "Hey, do you have any idea what this marking is?" He questions and Kurama takes his arm to inspect it. He turns the arm upside down, his red eyes catching every detail of the squiggly black marking on Sasuke's forearm.

"It's a sealing mark, the Sage must have let Naruto seal it on you while placing you under the time travel jutsu. It's suppressing your adult form, but you can change back whenever. Just use the tiger seal sign, followed by the horse, and then the dragon sign and concentrate hard on the arm the seal is on." Sasuke looks down at his arm and heads for the nearest bathroom, Kurama slowly following.

Sasuke flips on the light and stares at himself in the bathroom mirror for a while, holding his arm closely to his chest. He stares back at Kurama who's watching him, and forms the seals to the perform the jutsu.

Kurama watches smoke fill the bathroom and gasp at the sight of Sasuke in his adult form. Just like he remembers him, tall, lean yet still very muscular, and hair down to his mid-back, almost touching his butt. Sasuke likes short hair, but when Naruto secretly admitted that he liked him with long hair, he grew it out for him. Half of it is pulled up into a bun, the rest falling down his back. He also has some hair covering the right side of his face to hide the rinnegan from the enemies and other allies that didn't know about that power. 

Yes, Sasuke grew up to be quite handsome, Kurama muses.

Stepping completely into the bathroom, Kurama walks up close to Sasuke and gently swipes the bangs away to uncover his right eye, revealing the legendary rinnegan the Sage gave to Sasuke. He stares at the Uchiha's face for a moment, noting that they are the same height now, and Sasuke stares back at the beautiful demon. He is aware that the only reason the fox is so close is because the sharigan in his left eye isn't activated currently, and is thankful Kurama is comfortable to be this close to him.

"You know, for a brat and it being only two days I forgot how pretty you grew up to be." Sasuke raises an eyebrow at the fox.

"Are you trying to say I was ugly before?" Kurama snorts and steps back from the Uchiha, leaving the question unanswered on purpose, because Sasuke is and never will be ugly. Except for his old personality, but that's been left behind for years now since he fell in love with Naruto.

Sasuke looks down at his hand, the moon symbol still present, and brings another hand up to touch his neck. The curse mark that Orochimaru gave him is still there as well. There were plenty of ways to remove it, and at some point Orochimaru himself offered to get rid of it if it bothered him, but Sasuke refused. Getting rid of the curse mark would mean erasing the sacrifices he made to become stronger and he had learned how to tame it. Plus he didn't want to get rid of the one thing that connected him to Orochimaru. The snake had become somewhat of a parental figure to him, like Kakashi, and he will never forget that Orochimaru is the reason why he's so strong to this day. Without his snake-like mother? Father? Without Orochimaru, he wouldn't be who he is today.

"You gonna kill him in this timeline?" It doesn't hurt to asks, Kurama thinks, and Sasuke shakes his head as his answer.

"No, if there's a way to hinder Orochimaru from destroying the village and getting him on our side again, then i'll stop him. He became too important to me and I don't want to kill him." A frown grows on Kurama's face.

"But he's the reason everyone came back to life, that's how the damn war started." Sasuke turns around to face the demon who's glaring at him.

"Wrong. Kabuto is the reason." Kurama scoffs and pokes a clawed finger into Sasuke's bare chest.

"So then lets kill him too, no reason to keep them alive. Or at least let's kill four eyes if you want to keep Orochimaru alive that badly. I understand they became the good guys in the end and helped us, but it would be really fucked up if we let Kabuto walk free, knowing what he's plotting." Sasuke actually thinks it over, but shakes his head again.

"No, Orochimaru and Kabuto stay alive. Besides, the only reason Kabuto became the way he did is because Orochimaru died. He respect's Orochimaru a lot and because he's alive, Kabuto won't be making any moves. Trust me on that. The moment Kabuto starts injecting himself with other peoples blood samples, Orochimaru will be on him instantly and shut him down." Kurama throws his hands in the air, rolling his eyes.

"Dammit, fine! I don't care as long as you have it figured out when it comes to those two. We can't afford to fuck up in the timeline, so I hope you know what you're doing Uchih–" The demon suddenly looks down and blinks, redness tinting his cheeks. "I...Well, well, I've only seen it through Naruto's eyes when you guys had sex, but I didn't know you were that damn huge in person." He let's out a low whistle.

Sasuke blinks then looks down at where Kurama's looking and it occurs to him that he's completely naked. He looks back up, his face red now too, and Kurama grinning at him makes him choke.

"Okay, I think that's enough of me in my adult form for now." He goes and starts to push Kurama out of the bathroom.

"What! The show just started and we're already at the encore? And wait, you're not even erect yet and that big? No wonder Naruto became such a screamer when you started to top." Sasuke slams the door in Kurama's face, and he can hear his laughter from outside the hallway. He groans, hands covering his flushed face.

This is going to be an interesting partnership.

Chapter Text

 

"Kurama...Kurama...You silly fox, wake up!"

There's a soft voice calling his name, but Kurama isn't sure who it is or where he is.

The room is dark, and he can't see anything except a glowing white light right in front of him that strangely is outlined like a door. He cautiously walks towards it and looks around, confirming there is nowhere else to go in this dark room except through this door.

After a moment of thinking it over, he enters.

He shields his eyes with the sleeve of his shirt from the bright light, and when he puts his arm down he's faced with what looks like a plain grassy field and a bright blue sky. There's mountain's in the distance and birds flying in the sky, but they are the only form of life Kurama can sense in the area beside fish in the stream that he can smell nearby. All in all it's a beautiful place, but Kurama has never been here before and can't point his clawed finger on how he even ended up here in the first place.

"Kurama...almost here, come on!" The voice calls out again.

Whoever is calling out to him sounds close by, and faintly he can hear them humming and follows the sound. Their voice sounds familiar, but it's strange he can't recognize them right away as he continues to make his way over towards the source.

Finally after minutes of walking around this field, he stumbles upon a hill and almost falls off because he isn't paying attention. He looks down and gasps,

Down below sitting Indian style is Naruto, his Naruto.

All common sense leaves him and he's running as fast as he can, ignoring the rocks and sticks he's stepping on because having human feet and wanting to be barefoot at the same time is difficult. He's losing his breath and his heart feels like it's going to burst out of his chest, simply because he's so overwhelmed with emotions from seeing the boy that became like a son to him.

His Naruto, his baby, his kit.

The moment he makes it down there he opens his arms and flies at the man, only for him to disappear as soon as he touches him and falls flat on his face into the ground. Lifting up his head, he spits out the dirt he's swallowed and the beautiful world he was just in is now covered in flames. The birds start to fall out the sky one by one, dead animals now surrounding Kurama, and the once soft green grass he was stepping on is now dry and dead. He stands and looks up at the sky that's turned red, the clouds black, and everything is on fire, smoke coming from every corner.

But how did this happen, where did his Naruto go?

"Kurama, it's been a long time my pet. You look very beautiful as a human if I do say so myself." Kurama knows this voice all too well and a chill runs down his spine. He clenches his fist, and when he turns around he's face to face with the person he never thought he would ever see again. The reason he hates humans and the very reason why he will always hate Uchiha's for the rest of his very long life.

Madara Uchiha.

Kurama wants to jet away, but he isn't sure if it's fear that is holding him still or the pressure of Madara's chakra focused on him. He goes with the latter, mainly because he hates Madara with every fiber of his being and can't accept the fact that he's afraid. Especially when Madara starts to stroke his face and more chills run through his entire body.

The urge to bite that damn hand off of his face is tempting, but he settles with a growl and a fiery glare instead, ignoring the wide grin on the older Uchiha's cocky face.

"Have you missed me, it's been a while. You've always been such a beautiful creature, but you're even more stunning as a human. Who knew, have you been hiding this form from me?" Kurama let's out a warning growl, baring his fangs at the man he wants to kill so badly.

"It's none of your fucking business and where is Naruto?" He's surprised he said this much, proud of himself for not sounding the least bit scared on the outside like he is on the inside.

"Your kit? He'll be dead just like the rest of the world, and soon it will just be you and I again to rule it. I really couldn't have done it without you that time we fought Hashirama. I would have been killed." Red eyes narrow at the statement.

Kurama slaps Madara's lurking hand away and growls out, "What's the point of ruling a world if everyone in it is dead you piece of shit. Don't forget, even with me Hashirama still defeated you, and I know he would do it again if he were still alive."

"Awww, you wound me. I think we made a splendid duo, and the only reason Hashirama defeated me is because he was lucky, despite us being evenly matched." The demon rolls his eyes.

"Don't kid yourself Madara. Oh, and trust me when I say, if the first Hokage asked for my help to defeat you for good, I wouldn't hesitate to oblige and kill you alongside him so you don't ever come back. And that's saying a lot knowing how much I hate mortals." Madara actually laughs, and it catches Kurama off guard.

"And then what? Have the world see you as some kind of hero? You're nothing but a beast, my dear Kurama, and that's how the world will always see you, no matter what form you take. You are a savage monster that everyone is afraid of, especially since my apprentice used you as well and you destroyed the Hidden Leaf Village. You think you'll succeed this time around by coming back into the past and trying to stop me? It's time to face facts my dear and know that nobody ever loved you and they never will. However, im interested to see what you, as a human no less with a changed heart, will do to prevent me from coming back to life this time..." 

Every word Madara just said, it's all true and that's why Kurama looks like a gapping fish at the moment. He wants to fight back, say something, anything, but he can't because he knows Madara is right and tears leak from his eyes. He doesn't have the strength to wipe them away. Madara chuckles and seizes the moment with more brutal words, continuing his speech.

"Oh don't cry, it's alright. I forget even horrible creatures like you have hearts. I didn't mean to upset you, but you know im not one to hold back the truth. You are nothing but a toy for me to play with and use when I need to, and you should continue the role of playing as my pet like you're supposed to. See? Silent and obedient, what a good boy you are Kurama." Kurama doesn't even realize that there are more tears furiusly streaming down his cheeks like a river at this point. He doesn't say anything to Madara, he literally can't because he's too choked up.

Madara uses his hands to wipe the tears away and cup the sides of Kurama's face, smirking at the demon.

"Trying to fix mistakes...It's all humans ever want to do in life, but can you handle reality, Kurama?"


He can't stop the small scream he let's out and bolts up from the bed, drenched in sweat. The  room is spinning and Kurama pulls out the kunai he found in Itachi's room hidden under the pillow, growling at absolutely nothing in the room. It takes him a couple of seconds to realize it was only a dream turned into a nightmare and puts the kunai down. He starts taking deep breaths so his heart rate can beat normally again, and it's helping him stop shaking from the anxiety kicking through him.

Everything seemed too real, but Kurama is just glad Madara only appears in his dreams.

The nightmares started three days ago, but this is the worst one he's ever had in a long time and before he can stop, he's crying. He doesn't care and covers his head in his hands, thankful that Sasuke is out with team seven right now trying to face his own demons. How is Sasuke able to see everyone and not have a breakdown again, Kurama isn't sure. Sasuke is such a trooper, besides fainting the other day from an anxiety attack, and Kurama wonders if he will be able to keep it together when he can finally hold Naruto in his arms again too.

This is so hard being cooped up in the Uchiha manor and not being able to roam free, but he and Sasuke already have enough problems on their shoulders currently. No matter how badly he wants to see his kit again, he has to be patient. What Madara said is wrong, and Kurama isn't letting Madara's words get to him because Naruto loved him more than anything. He wouldn't be here in the past with a human body if Naruto didn't, and even Sasuke has shown small signs he partially cares for him as well. Two humans, one his kit, and the other an Uchiha that actually gives a damn about him. Those two are clarification enough for Kurama to know that he is cared for and that Madara is a petty individual who's just sad and lonely.

He is loved.

Sniffing, he wipes his face with the blanket he's tangled up in and sighs, looking up at the room and grateful to see the sun shining and the sky blue through the window. He slowly tries to get up from the bed, but his foot accidentally catches onto the sheets and he trips and falls off of it, his head hitting the dresser beside the bed.

"Oww, damn it!" He curses, holding his poor head, luckily nothing punctured or bleeding.

Unwrapping himself from the sheets, he glares at the dresser as if it planned on making him hit his head on it and notices something in the wall behind it. He moves the dresser and sees that there's a book hidden within the flap of the wall. Grabbing it, he places the dresser back into place and sits back down on the bed, leaving the messy sheets on the floor for now because he's more interested in what he just found.

Opening the book, he reads a couple of pages and it dawn's on him that it's not Itachi's own handwriting. On the front page, it's titled "To Itachi: From Shisui" and the more Kurama flips through pages and skims over the writing, the more he blushes at the intimate words that have been written.

This really isn't something Kurama should be reading and he should put the book back where he found it, but he's already seven pages in and can't stop his eyes from reading every word that's been jotted down.

He stops reading when his eyes catch what looks like a bookmark halfway through the book. Curiosity killing him, he pulls the bookmark that's actually a picture out and blinks at it, redness tinting his cheeks.

On it is a tall boy with short, black spiky hair and he's holding Itachi by the waist kissing him on the neck. It shock's Kurama that Itachi is actually smiling, a blush on his young face. They look to be at a festival of some sort, dressed in yukata's and a devil mask hanging around the neck of other boy who Kurama assumes is Shisui. The picture was taken late at night, but the question is who took the picture, and just who is Shisui? The demon begins to wonder.

Funny, even the legendary, famous, cold-hearted Itachi Uchiha was capable of loving someone.


"Damn, you got me again!?" Naruto whines.

Sasuke pins Naruto down for the third time in a row within the span of five minutes, and gives a small closed mouth smile at the frustrated boy beneath him. Just like old times, it's still hilarious to watch Naruto get riled up when he bested him.

It has been three days since he met with team seven and passed out on the bridge, and things are slowly but surely getting better between him and Naruto in terms of their relationship.

"You done yet, Uzumaki?" Which was now his substitute nickname instead of calling him an idiot.

Naruto grins and catches Sasuke off guard when he flips them over. "Now who's the top dog, Uchiha?" Naruto goads, but there's no maliciousness in his voice and Sasuke has to hand it to Naruto for surprising him just now. Naruto stands up and reaches a hand out for Sasuke to take, which he does and thanks Naruto.

He ignores the blush on Naruto's face when he says you're welcome and dust himself off, trying to hide his own blush. Why? Because Naruto blushing is a big turn on to Sasuke and he's trying to calm himself down right now. He smoothly turns away and thinks about Might Guy being naked, something Neji surprisingly taught him. Yeah, boner instantly gone. But seeing those tanned cheeks dusted with pink became a huge green light to Sasuke when they got older, and to this day he can't explain why.

"Alright you two, that's enough sparring for tonight. Good work. I have to go and report our mission today, so i'll see you kiddos later!" Kakashi says, and poofs away.

Already prepared for it, Sakura makes her way to Sasuke and puts her hands behind her back, those green eyes blinking up at him. Sasuke catches the look of jealousness on Naruto's face, but it's not aimed at him. Naruto is glaring holes into Sakura, and that's something that never happened when they were genin. Or at least, it probably was and Sasuke just wasn't paying attention because he use to be an asshole.

"So Sasuke-Kun, I was wondering if you wanted to go on a date today? Maybe we could get some dinner, just the two of us?" With a sigh, Sasuke looks down at the girl with a scowl.

"Sakura, you did nothing today except gawk over me, sit next to Kakashi and make fun of Naruto for every little mistake he made. No, I do not want to go out on a date with you. Instead, next time spare with us and put your skills to use. You didn't become a ninja and graduate from the academy for nothing. Learn to do what you went to school for and focus on being a kunoichi instead of a fangirl." He really didn't mean to sound as harsh and pretends he didn't just see her jaw drop at his words.

Unforetently it's what the girl needs to hear, and he cringes at the sight of her watery eyes and pouty face he sees from the corner of his eye.

"S–Sorry, I actually just remember I need to do something." She mutters an excuse, then practically runs away from the training grounds. Sasuke softly groans and puts his hands in his pockets, tilting his head to look at Naruto who walks up next to him.

"Wasn't that a bit harsh Sasuke?" The Uchiha shrugs, turning fully to face the other boy.

"It's what she has to hear, the truth. Sakura is a smart, strong girl who has potential, but she's going about being a kunoichi all the wrong way. Fangirling over me while on a mission could distract her and then boom, she's dead because she wasn't paying attention. You have to think about it logically Naruto." Naruto opens his mouth to say something then closes it. Maybe Sasuke is right, he starts to think.

"Hey, it's getting late. You...wanna walk me home again?" Naruto blinks at the question.

"But you're fine, why do you want me to walk you home?" Shit, Sasuke doesn't want to make it too obvious that he is completely lovesick over the boy and has to think up something fast.

"Is it wrong to want to have some company to walk home with? Company that isn't crazy fangirls that is." He gives himself a mental cookie for the recovery.

"Sure, I was just gonna turn in for the night after training all day. Im beat!" The blond yawns out. Sasuke let's out a smirk, why is Naruto so damn cute?

They head back to the village and use rooftops to avoid glares from the villagers this time. It's a pretty sunset and the sky is almost dark blue, stars twinkling, so not a lot of town folk are out to glare anyway since curfew is a thing for underage villagers. However, it's the adults Naruto has to really worry about, which besides just wanting to spend more time with the boy is why Sasuke asked Naruto to escort him home again.

Luckily Naruto lives close by, so if anything happened to him, Sasuke would sense it and immediately rush over to save him.

Naruto glances over at Sasuke and asks, "So, why is it that you treat Sakura the way you do? She really likes you, she's cute...I just don't understand why you turn her away all the time." Sasuke almost trips at the question and stops on the middle of a rooftop just so he doesn't fall and embarrass himself. It's not like he can just say 'Oh, it's because im actually in love with you' and then they could live happily ever after.

"Well, it's the same reason Sakura turns you down when you ask her on a date. I don't like her, but I know we all could be great friends if her crush for me would go away. She gives her hopes up too easily and acts like a fool when im around, and the things she says to you are horrible. Just because I rather spend time with you than her doesn't give her the right to act the way she does. She could be a great ninja if she just put her mind to it." Naruto goes to scratch the back of his head and gulps at the next question he wants to ask.

"So uh...If that's the case..." Sasuke watches Naruto's feet shift and remembers that's a sign when Naruto is nervous. "Well um, is there someone that, I don't know, someone that you maybe like that's not Sakura?" Looking up, Naruto freezes and chokes. "N-Not that you have to tell me, but since we're friends and all I just, ya know, wanted to...uh...ask...You know what forget it, let's just keep going." Naruto speeds past Sasuke and jumps onto the next roof.

Sasuke smiles and follows the blond.

"You know," He starts, looking over at Naruto who looks like a tomato under the moonlight, above the purple twilight sky. "There is someone I like, but he just doesn't know it yet." Blinking twice, Naruto stares at Sasuke with wide eyes.

"Im sorry, come again? Did you just say that you like a guy?" The Uchiha looks straight into blue eyes and nods his head.

"Is there a problem with that?" Sasuke gently questions, and quickly Naruto shakes his head.

"No, no, sorry I didn't mean to offend you Sasuke! No not at all, I don't care about what or who people like ...You love who you love. But I...Well, I thought you wanted to rebuild the Uchiha clan and, you know, you need a woman so that you guys can have babies and stuff like that. Um." Naruto is definitely red like an apple now, still so young and innocent to the aspect of sex.

"Not if the guy I want can transform into a woman. The guy I like is special, kind of a dork and can be an idiot at times. But he's sweet, a bit on the hyper side too. And really cute, more beautiful than Sakura actually. I just haven't told him that im into him yet, but im sure soon enough he'll figure it out. He may act stupid, but he's one of the smartest guys I know." Again, Naruto is frozen, looking like a deer in headlights and Sasuke wants to laugh.

"You okay, Naruto? Cat got your tongue–"

"I need to go." In a flash, Naruto is gone and Sasuke is left alone, the only remains of Naruto are the dust cloud fading in front of him.

Okay, maybe he laid it on too heavy, but for now he'd give Naruto some time to think instead of chasing him down. He is risking a lot telling Naruto he is gay so early on in the timeline, but Naruto never cared about gender and sexualities like that. Things would be okay in the end, but hinting to Naruto that it is him Sasuke might have a crush on? Hopefully he didn't shock the boy that badly.

Running away is Naruto's thing after all. Which is a good sign he took it well, Sasuke muses and stares up at the sky.


Sasuke enters his house and strangely enough, he goes into the kitchen to find Kurama sitting Indian style and reading a book on top of the kitchen table. His hair is damp and combed back, and there's a half-eaten apple by his leg. Sasuke guesses that Kurama just got out of the shower not too long ago and got hungry, but why is he sitting on top of the kitchen table reading a book?

Best not to question the moody demon.

"Good evening Kurama." Sasuke greets and walks past him to the fridge to heat up the leftovers he brought for him and the fox last night. Lifting up the carry out, he almost misses the apple that is thrown at the back of his head and glares at the demon when he catches and throws it in the trash. Kurama is staring at him with a strange look, the book he was reading now laying flat on the table.

"Is there something you nee–"

"Who is Shisui?" The question startles Sasuke so much that he almost drops his and Kurama's food.

"What did you just ask?" Kurama hums and thinks over his next question before saying it out loud.

"I asked who is Shisui Uchiha. I saw a picture of you, Itachi, and him together when you guys were younger in Itachi's room and im curious, I guess." Setting the food down, Sasuke leans on the counter and goes to cross his arms.

"Shisui was a great ninja and a prodigy of the Uchiha clan before his sudden death. Itachi didn't talk much about what happened to me, but Shisui ended up committing suicide and we don't know why. He was awesome and like a big brother to me, but to Itachi, I was too young to understand that they were more than just best friends at the time. I never really asked Itachi if they were in an actual relationship, but putting two and two together now that im older, people always suspected Itachi had a secret lover. A girlfriend, but my brother was never one for being in the norm and liked anyone who he thought was pretty. However, I think im the only person besides my mother that knew Itachi and Shisui were dating. If you want more details about Shisui, I would ask Itachi. But im not really sure it's wise to ask my brother about him. It's a really sensitive topic and he almost killed the police when they accused him of killing Shisui." Kurama lets out a whistle and nods his head at the information, taking mental notes.

"Hey, can I ask, why are you in Itachi's room and going through his stuff? Not that I mind, but it's weird?" Kurama snorts, knowing this question would be asked sooner or later.

"Staying in your parent's room would be even weirder. And what else am I suppose to do while stuck in your house? It's not like im messing up anything and im not causing trouble. Your brother is kinda interesting, despite all the rumors about him." Sasuke hums in agreement.

"Itachi is an mysterious character for sure...Hell, I didn't even know my brother that well and still don't to this day. It take a miracle to pick through his brain." Sasuke looks at the ground, the floor suddenly more interesting than the topic of Itachi. Thinking about his brother is still a sore subject to talk about for him.

"Well anyway, how was your day?" The fox changes the subject, knowing even after all the years that have passed, the topic of Itachi is still a hard conversation for Sasuke to engage in.

"It was fine, teamwork was great and I told Naruto I liked him." Sasuke goes to heat up the leftovers in the microwave and sets two plates down on the table. Kurama lifts his head back and stares Sasuke down, blinking at how casually the Uchiha just said he confessed to Naruto so early on.

"You what." Black eyes glance at the fox on the table, then back to the microwave and the boy smirks at the surprised fox.

"I didn't exactly tell him outright it was him I liked, but I know what im doing with Naruto, don't worry." Jealously sparks in Kurama that Sasuke gets to see Naruto before him and he averts his eyes down at his hands, growing quiet so he doesn't say anything offensive.

Sasuke frowns and walks over to the table to sit in front of Kurama. It's only natural for Kurama to be upset, and fortunately Sasuke has a plan that would brighten Kurama's night.

"Hey, Kurama, I think I know the perfect opportunity for you to come into play." Kurama flickers his eyes up to look at the boy in front of him, both ignoring the microwave beeping in the background. "Do you remember Haku and Zabuza, the mission we did when you first lent Naruto your power? In the Land of Waves?" Kurama's red eyes suddenly light up.

He remembers the drunk old man name Tazuna that is getting ready to show up in about a day or two to ask team seven to escort them to his home in the Land of Waves.

But wait–

They would be near Water Country and his brother Isobu is still alive inside of the fourth Mizukage, Yagura. Who, ironically, is being controlled by an Uchiha. But Obito doesn't know he has a full-grown Sasuke with the rinnegan that can break the jutsu easily like it's child's play.

Two days is certainly enough time to plan for Kurama and Sasuke to save the fourth Mizukage, along with his brother Isobu and see Naruto again. Maybe he could rescue and collect Saiken too, because last time Kurama checked he is sealed within a cute boy named Utakata that also lives in the Land of Water. Yes, saving his two brothers will probably change the timeline drastically, but he'll be damn if he let's Uchiha's get away with killing his family a second time.

"Do go on Sasuke, im listening because I have some thoughts about a plan all of my own. We need to work through the kinks if we're gonna pull it off though."

Sasuke and Kurama stare at each other, both set on planning for the next two days.

 

Chapter Text

Okay, so maybe Sasuke really messed things up because Naruto has been ignoring him since last night and it's eating him alive. It was only one little confession, and Sasuke is hoping, praying, that he didn't completely screw up the timeline and his and Naruto's relationship, just because he jumped the gun and told Naruto his feelings for him about ten years too early.

But Naruto has had feelings for him too since the beginning, so why is he avoiding him like the plague?

When he and Naruto finally admitted to each other how they felt on Naruto's twenty-third birthday during the war, that night had ended with a steamy kiss, followed by some really passionate lovemaking. One of the only times Sasuke can even remember them having some nice, slow and meaningful sex, rather than quickies and then having to go back out on the battlefield.

Shit, just thinking about it hurt's Sasuke's heart and there's a tight pain in his chest. But at this point, he knows to dwell on what happened might cause him another panic attack, yet, thinking about what's going on at this moment might lead him to have one too. It is a lose-lose situation, and he curses the Sage as to why Naruto always has to give him so much anxiety, whether it's the future or the past he's in.

"Trouble in paradise, Sasuke?" A voice sneaks up behind him, and he looks past his shoulder to see Kakashi walking up to him, a glint in his visible ebony eye.

Turning to face him fully, Sasuke shrugs, "What are you talking about?" He decides to play innocent, but Kakashi wasn't born yesterday.

"I can see it in the way you look at him and the way you two have been bonding over the past week now. You two have grown awfully close since the day you passed out on the bridge, and now putting two and two together, I understand your rivalry. It was never Sakura or surpassing each other in strength. It's just two boy's who can't sort out their feelings, and instead of talking about it, they rather cover them up and fight. Am I wrong?" Sasuke ponders if he should even let Kakashi in on what's going on, but the man is too nosy for his own good and Sasuke doesn't see any harm in telling him.

"You hit the nail right on the head, I like him." Kakashi blinks, not expecting Sasuke to respond and actually admit to him being right.

Looking in Sasuke's direct field of vision, he sees Naruto and Sakura yelling at each other about who is going to save Tora the cat from a tree this time. Sasuke retrieved the old animal last and it is one of their turns now.

Naruto notices both Kakashi and Sasuke staring at him and Sasuke feels his heart begin to skip a beat when their eyes meet. Naruto glares and begins to climb the tree, forcibly bringing Tora down and practically throwing the angry cat in Sakura's arms before dashing off somewhere. Ignoring Sakura and the cat trying to scratch her face off, Sasuke glances up at a confused Kakashi.

"What should I do? I kinda gave him hints the other night that I liked him while he was walking me home. He froze up and ran away halfway through our walk, and since then he's been giving me the silent treatment." When in doubt, it is always a good idea to ask Kakashi for advice, no matter what the circumstances. Kakashi has saved his ass plenty of times with his wisdom whenever he and Naruto got into a fight during the war.

Even though Kakashi has not been in a relationship for the past decade in this timeline himself, maybe, just maybe, Sasuke could hook him up with someone. He knows Kakashi is facing some pretty heavy demons with Minato, Kushina, Rin, Obito, his father, and a bit of romance could cure all that if he can find Kakashi the right woman, or man, to help the old copycat escape from the guilt of his past.

"Hmmm," Kakashi starts, "Well, your past relationship hasn't been the best, to put lightly. Naruto has never had any real friends, let alone someone that like like's him, as you kids say. You're now all that in one package, and I believe Naruto doesn't know how to deal with that, mainly because he's never had a bond with someone like you before. His trust factor is very low, as it should be given his situation, which im pretty sure you're fully aware of. I know you've heard the rumors, you're a smart kid. Just give him some time and try again later today. If im guessing correctly, I would say Naruto is more embarrassed at the situation than angry at you. Give it a couple of hours, he'll be fine. Just remember, talk to him and don't ignore him either. I know how you are Sasuke, just take it slow and ease into things. Don't force him to talk, give him time to understand." Yeah, Kakashi always is and will be the best person to seek advice from.

"Thank you, Kakashi. I'll take your word for it and wait later to talk to him." The copycat ninja blinks at him.

"What happened to sensei?" Shit. Sasuke freeze's up for a moment, and goes to look up at the sky which seems more interesting.

"I guess you'll actually have to teach me something before I can call you that, Kakashi." Sasuke challenges and gives himself a mental thumbs up for the smooth recovery.

"And you don't think me teaching you the value of teamwork is enough to give me the title?" Kakashi muses, and Sasuke side-eyes him before walking away.

He has an Uzumaki to win over after all, and all thoughts shift over to thinking about how he is going to make Naruto not uncomfortable around him. Maybe he needs to be more direct with his feelings and just risk it all? No, that wouldn't do, Kakashi is right. Give it time and take things slow. He knows Naruto likes him back, so he's not too worried.

But damn, the urge to hold Naruto and kiss him until they run out of breath is strong.


 

Kakashi has taken team seven out to eat, the sky orange after a long day of doing missions. He is really proud of his kids and their progress since becoming team seven, but there are definitely a few kinks to work out. Looking over at his students discreetly in the ramen shop, he cringes.

Naruto is sitting beside him, barely touching his ramen, which Iruka told him isn't a good sign.

Sasuke is on the far end of the both, deep in thought.

And Sakura, well, he's seen the girl on better days and is surprised she hasn't even touched her food or flirted with Sasuke yet. She's just as uncomfortable as he is around all the tension in the shop. Even the ramen shop owner and his daughter haven't said a word in the background.

Two love birds and one hopeless romantic, why are young teenagers the way they are? Kakashi wonders with a sigh.

He coughs to break the tension, "Sakura, didn't you say you had to get back home to your parent's? You don't have to stick around if you're not hungry." She silently thanks him and makes her escape, not wanting to be around her teammates any longer. Because honestly, the tension has been killing her vibe all day, and she hopes whatever is going on between Sasuke and Naruto stops soon. Having savage cat's thrown at her face is not the way she wanted to spend today.

Looking at Naruto sitting next to him, then Sasuke two seats away, Kakashi exhales and leans back in his seat.

Someone is going to have to be the middleman for them, and he's the adult. Plus he's actually very curious to see where this relationship between the two boy's will go. Never in his wildest dreams did he think Naruto and Sasuke would actually feel something for each other that wasn't a bitter rivalry, but at the same time, he's not too surprised either. They've had a connection with each other since they were little, so he's not too shocked by the sudden change.

"Sasuke, you're so far away, come sit next to your sensei, hmm?" He pats the seat beside him. Sasuke says nothing, aware that Kakashi has a plan, and moves to sit next to the man.

Looking over at Naruto, Kakashi slings an arm over his shoulder, "Maa, it's such a pretty evening, you should be enjoying it instead of brooding over nothing Naruto. Enjoy the moment while you can, because when you become an elite ninja, especially Hokage, you won't get to enjoy moments like these every day." Naruto shrugs, taking a bite of his ramen.

"Im not brooding Kaka Sensei, don't mistake me for an emotionless bastard like someone else we all know." He shoots a glare at Sasuke, then takes another bite.

"Hmmm, it sounds to me like you're angry Naruto. What seems to be the problem? It's not like you to, well, not be happy and a ball of sunshine." The boy huffs and crosses his arms.

"Well, I would be if people stopped playing with my feelings. It sucks when you think someone likes you, but then they end up liking someone else and string you along for no reason." Sasuke blinks and glances at the boy.

Did Naruto really not get it and thinks he was talking about someone else? He can't tell if Naruto is just playing dumb and wants attention, or if he's actually jealous and thinks Sasuke is describing somebody different. It's really hard to tell when it comes to Naruto, no matter what timeline he's in ironically.

"Oh I see...So you like someone, but you think they like someone else and is playing you? Hmm, that's just unfair, really, it is. What I will say though, is this. Ignoring people will get you nowhere, im afraid. I did the same thing with my crush around your age actually. And because I was too shy and stubborn to admit how I felt, I never got the chance to tell them."

"What do you mean sensei? What happened?" Curious blue eyes state into one black one.

"I never got the chance to tell them and because I waited so long to say anything, they passed away before I could. But that's all in the past. Like I said before, enjoy what you have now and seize the moment while you can. You never know what's going to happen...But let me ask you this. Have you tried talking with this person and being direct with them?" Because Kakashi is looking over at Naruto, he doesn't see the sad face Sasuke is giving him.

It's Obito Kakashi is referring to, and it's gonna be one hell of a reunion when they have to face Tobi. And the reunion is probably going to be sooner rather than later with the plan Kurama has conjured up.

Naruto groans, "No, why when I know they're just stringing me along and are gonna hurt me...just like everyone else." Kakashi hums in thought and hands the money over to the ramen shop owner.

"Well, I just remembered I have an event to get to tonight. See you later boys!" Standing up, he winks at the two boys and gives a small wave before disappearing. Leaving Naruto and Sasuke to stare at each other awkwardly, alone.

That doesn't last for long, because Naruto sends him a narrowed eyed look and gets up to walk out the ramen shop.

Sasuke ponders for a minute if he should leave Naruto alone, but he can't stand being away from the boy too long and decides to rush after him.

Fortunately, Naruto hasn't gotten far and it takes eight rooftops until Sasuke finally catches up with Naruto. Grabbing for his hand, he turns Naruto around to face him is surprised to look into glossy blue eyes.

Why is Naruto so hurt?

"Naru–"

"Piss off, bastard!" Naruto growls out and goes to jump onto another roof, but he misses by a centimeter and suddenly he's falling.

He wants to get away from Sasuke so bad and prepares himself for the fall because he hadn't been paying attention. He closes his eyes ready for impact, however, a hand grabs his own and he looks up to see Sasuke staring down at him, a worried look in those black eyes. He blinks back up at the boy he's grown feelings for and let's Sasuke pull him up.

With a blush dusting his cheeks he quietly thanks Sasuke, and says nothing about the fact that the Uchiha is still holding his hand.

"Hey Naruto, can we talk please?" Naruto wants to protest, but something tells him Sasuke won't take no for an answer and silently nods his head. He doesn't really feel like talking right now anyway, afraid his voice will crack and Sasuke will make fun of him.

Quietly they sit together along the rooftop, the sky turning dark blue and the moon fully out.

"So, you wanna tell me why you've been ignoring me all day?" Sasuke asks, and Naruto tilts his head, tightening the hand that Sasuke's still holding.

Before he says anything, a cough is heard in the backround and the two boys turn their heads to see Choji eating a bag of chips and Shikamaru next to him staring at them with wide eyes. Both of them are sitting on a built-in bench on the rooftops together, and a wave of Deja Vu hits Sasuke.

ShikaInoCho.

What a great team the three had been, becoming the legendary trio after all three of their fathers were murdered during the war. Ino with her beauty, Shikamaru with the brains, and Choji the bronze. Sasuke and Shikamaru had actually become good friends, because besides Gaara and Kakashi, Shikamaru was one hell of a planner. And at some point, Ino and Choji became an item after her break up with Kiba, which was a surprise to everyone.

However their deaths were tragic, just like everyone else.

Choji had died taking a bomb for Ino, and Ino got murdered shortly after by the enemy while trying to heal Choji back to life. She had been so focused on saving him that the enemy snuck up behind her and stabbed her directly in the heart. Temari had died of an explosion also, seven months pregnant, and Shikamaru suffered under depression after that. He had grown skinny, too weak to physically keep up, and he couldn't dodge a kunai that connected with his brain. It all happened during the span of 2 weeks, and Sasuke feels a shiver go down his spine just thinking about it.

"H–How long have you two been sitting there?" Naruto's question brings Sasuke back to reality. He glances over at Naruto, then at the two boy's staring at them.

"The whole time. Choji and I finally got away from Asuma and Ino, being with them twenty-four seven is such a drag." Shikamaru sighs out and looks over at Choji who's stuffing his face with a bag of chips. "We came up here to have some breathing time, away from our sensei and, well, you guys know how Ino can be. Girls, their so fickle. I'll never understand 'em." Choji inclines his head towards Shikamaru.

"That's cause you haven't found the right girl yet Shikamaru. You'll learn to appreciate a lady when you finally get yourself one." Shikamaru groans at his best friend.

"Aww come on, stop it Choji. You sound like my dad, I don't need another lecture about appreciating women when I can't understand them at all. I just don't get the female species and I never will. As a matter of fact, I don't want to. Too much work." Sasuke inwardly smirks, because that mentality is going to change as soon as he meets Temari.

"Anyway," Shikamaru continues, "I've been meaning to ask how it's going with your team Naruto. Im sure Sakura is just as bad as Ino, but I wasn't expecting you and Sasuke to be so...close. Last time I checked, you guys hated each other." He leans back and stares at their hands, Choji nodding in agreement and grunting next to him.

Naruto peers at Sasuke, "Well, we did and now we don't. Does it matter? We're...friends." A black eyebrow raises in suspicion, because the scene he and Choji just witnessed a moment ago didn't look like just friendship. Shikamaru may be lazy, but he's nowhere near being dumb. He can tell there's a hint of something more that's bound to happen between the two.

"Well whatever, just glad you guys are acting mature for once and not trying to kill each other like you were in class. By the way Naruto, we need to get lunch together soon when we're both free and away from missions. Let me know when you wanna do it and i'll invite Kiba too. Maybe Shino as well since their teammates now." Shikamaru glances at Sasuke. "You can come too if you want, but I doubt you'll say yes since I don't peg you for the people person type. Then again, neither am I." Naruto stands and gives the boy a thumbs up.

"Oh yeah, im down for ramen and Sasuke will be there too. Believe it!" There goes that catchphrase Sasuke hasn't heard Naruto say in years, and it warms his heart to hear it again.

"Didn't you guys say you needed to talk? Don't let us stop you from whatever important conversation you were going to have." Choji chimes in, and it dawns on Naruto and Sasuke why they are on a roof in the first place.

"Oh right, we'll see you guys later." Naruto waves and jumps off onto the next roof, Sasuke giving them a nod and shortly following after him.

"You do think they're..." Choji begins to talk, but Shikamaru knows where the sentence is leading and shrugs his shoulders at his best friend.

"It's Naruto, who knows what's going on in that knucklehead's brain. As for Sasuke, your guess is as good as mine Choji. Guess time will tell between those two, because you and I both know that looked like more than friendship just now...Romance, it's too much work. I don't understand how people even do relationships."


 Stopping in front of Naruto's door, Sasuke jumps down next to the blond boy who's giggling at some joke Sasuke had just made.

"So..." Sasuke begins, the wind blowing in his face and the sky fully light up by the moon. "Are we okay now? Why exactly are you mad at me?" Naruto looks at his door, then the ground and at Sasuke, red dusting his whiskered cheeks.

"Uh...It's actually...well...don't worry about it, we're cool Sasuke. I was just acting stupid is all...By the way–" A black eyebrow raises at the blushing blond boy. "So uh, about the person you like. Are they here, in the village?" Sasuke pauses and can't help but smirk at the question.

So Naruto is jealous and that's why he's upset? Cute.

"They are and he's obnoxious, cocky, and is a bit on the lazy side when it comes to doing anything. But he works hard, and his hair, short and spiky. But it's probably really soft to touch and i'd like to run my hands through it sometime if he'd let me." Shoving his hands in his pockets, Sasuke walks up to Naruto until they're inches apart.

Naruto's mouth is gaping open like a fish, trying to find words to come out and when they do, it's not what Sasuke is expecting to hear.

"You like Shikamaru!?" Sasuke blinks.

The Uchiha is actually stunned silent because what the hell gave Naruto the impression it is Shikamaru? Then again, he literatlly just described the lazy genin. A slacker, spiky ponytail, stubborn. And at the sheer hilariousness of Naruto's conclusion, Sasuke lets out a soft laugh. Something he never use to do until he fell in love with Naruto and learned to live a little.

"No, it's not Shikamaru, Naruto. Here's one more hint, he's blond." Naruto feels his heart stop.

It's his turn to blink at the Uchiha, and his own heart starts pounding at just the closeness of standing in front of each other. The Uchiha's presence alone making him feel dizzy and out of breath.

"Well, see you later, Uzumaki." Stopping the urge to lean down and kiss Naruto and make things awkward, Sasuke backs away and jumps onto the building next to Naruto's apartment. He looks back at the star-struck boy, gives him a small nod and slowly walks back to his house.

The wind blows more and Naruto remembers to breathe again.

He watches Sasuke's retreating figure and a chesire cat-like grin grows on his face. Naruto isn't stupid, he's known all along Sasuke has been talking about him, but he just needed to make sure one hundred percent. That's why he acted the way he did today, and he feels giddy knowing it's him Sasuke has his eyes on. He's been tired of this stupid rivalry, and it shocked him the other day that Sasuke wanted to even be friends and start over with him.

Now he can stop acting like he's a lovesick fool for Sakura, because Sasuke is all he's going to be thinking about for a while.

Chapter Text

 

Jumping from tree to tree, it's officially nightfall and Kurama, being the powerful demon that he is, can say he's exhausted.

He snuck out of Konoha about a day ago and has been traveling to Wave since, stopping to rest here and there because having a human body is terrible. Really, to Kurama humans are weak and having a mortal body proves it. If he was in his true form it would have taken him less than half a day to make it to the Land of Waves.

Suddenly he's missing the feel of how he use to be able to roam free, his giant paws feeling so cushioned and soft against the earth ground. Now he's stuck with actual clawed human feet that gets scratched up easily just because of a simple stick or pebble. Still, he'd be damned if someone forced him to wear shoes. Clothes he'll do, because walking around naked with his dick hanging out wouldn't be modest, but fuck shoes.

"Shit," He mutters, crouching down on a high tree branch and leaning against the tree to catch his breath.

The plan for now is for Kurama to arrive in Wave before team seven. And then after the whole Gato and bridge situation, he and Sasuke plan to sneak to Kirigakure and save the Mizukage from Obito's jutsu. Which is easier said than done, because trying to save to Yagura and Isobu from being manipulated by the sharingan any longer and keeping Kakashi from the truth is going to be difficult. Then finding Utakata and Saiken is going to be a challenge too, since Kurama is pretty sure he can't just snatch up the boy. He's a jinchuriki of Water, so they're not going to hand over the boy to a stranger like Kurama that easily.

But he can try to communicate with his two siblings in a bit.

Right now he needs rest, because mortal bodies are horrible and he feels awful and irritable after only a day of sneaking, traveling, and no breaks to stop or eat. While he's a demon and may not need sleep or to eat like everyone else as often, he's still a living creature and resting is part of the process of getting the hang of being a human, unfortunately.

That, and team seven is supposed to arrive tomorrow, which gives Kurama enough time to prepare for his reunion with Naruto and find some decent lodging for the night. It's late and Kurama would really like a shower and an actual bed since he's been spoiled as a human in the Uchiha manor. Now that he knows how comfortable a bed can be, there's no turning back. And whoever created shower's and bathtubs is one of the few humans Kurama can appreciate that ever existed. It's one of the few inventions Kurama applauds humans for making.

After a few more minutes to pause and recollect himself he's about to stand up, but the sound of a branch snapping not too far from him catches his attention.

Turning his head left and thankful for the darkness of the night and trees covering him, he spots a figure dashing into the woods he's currently hiding in. A human kid that can't be any older than maybe sixteen wearing a mask, pops up from the shadows and on their heels are what looks to be four Mist ANBU with kunai's in their hands.

The fox frowns at the scene below him, and really, he should leave the situation alone and let the ANBU handle the child. Besides, they must have done something extremely wicked to have four ANBU on their ass. But Kurama freeze's and blinks, taking a good look at the masked kid and then it clicks.

That's Haku, the boy who sacrificed himself for Zabuza Momochi during team seven's first A rank mission in Wave.

The same boy Naruto got heartbroken over because of his and Zabuza's death. And same boy who Zabuza used as a tool, only to actually admit to having always loved him in the very end. That was Naruto's first time actually seeing death and learning what it means to sacrifice for someone you love. 

Kurama suddenly remembers Naruto, back when he was alive, had always been torn about this duo and what could have been. It affected him deeply, and if he could he always wished he could have turned back time to keep them alive.

Kurama groans, because looks like Naruto's wish will be coming true.

Crouching lowly and then jumping down to the forest floor, Haku passes Kurama and skids to a halt. The masked boy looks at the demon and Kurama looks back at him, a smirk on said demon's face. The four ANBU catch up to the two immediately and draw out their weapons, stepping closer to try and surround Kurama. But Kurama's smirk widens, feeling the least bit scared by some rowdy ANBU.

"You're stepping in official Water Country business. Stand down or be brought back into custody along with the child behind you." Kurama snorts, this would be too easy.

"And why are four grown men picking on one helpless boy? That sounds really unfair if you ask me." One of the ANBU steps forward, Kurama assuming he's the squad captain and draws out a sword.

"I have no choice, sir you'll have to come with us or we'll be forced to kill you." Oh, Kurama's eyes glow red and he can feel chakra pulsing through his fingertips. He hasn't had the chance to fight in this form yet, but they would be good target practice for him to figure out how to fight as a human. And no, he doesn't feel bad that he's about to kill four ANBU because Kurama was never a good or bad guy.

He is the fucking Kyuubi No Kitsune and can do as he pleases.

"Come and try it." He teases, and the four ANBU tense before attacking all at once.

He hasn't just been squatting at the Uchiha manor and laying in Itachi's room depressed for the past couple of days.

The first ANBU comes to attack from the left and Kurama flips up in the air, then sends a kicks down to connect with the man's midsection, possibly breaking his ribcage at the force of his kick to their stomach. He can hear the breath that's taken out of the man, and Kurama sends him flying into a tree knocking him unconscious.

A second ANBU comes from his right with a sword and Kurama chuckles at the stupidy of the man. Grabbing the sword like its plastic before it connects with his face, he ignores his now bloody hand and snatches the sword out of their hands. Quickly, he penetrates the sword through their chest and sends them flying with a kick into the other ANBU he's knocked out against the tree, breaking it in half by accident at the force.

He flinches at that because even though he doesn't mind killing these men, he doesn't want to cause a huge scene.

One comes from behind, but Kurama's prepared and dodges a punch, quickly flipping away before they could throw another. The ANBU comes forward and Kurama swift kicks them, knocking them off their feet. He punches them in the throat before they can get back up and attack him, and there's a crack sound, which Kurama is pretty sure he just broke the guy's neck. Bending down and checking their pulse, Kurama confirms their dead and sighs. So, he grabs them with one hand and slings the man around his shoulder like their as light as a feather, then looks at the last remaining ANBU and raises a mocking eyebrow.

"Here, you can join the rest of them." He throws the dead Mist ANBU over his shoulder like a baseball, and with lightning speed it collides with the last member, knocking the last unprepared man out.

Huffing, he takes both of them and places them with the other two by the broken tree. He stares down at the three, one dead, Mist ANBU and scratches the back of his head. If Naruto was still alive he would definitely scold him for this, but his Naruto is gone and Kurama doesn't feel like getting arrested in a foreign country he's not familiar with. The moment he stepped in front of Haku to protect him, he knew he was going to have to kill these four men. If Naruto hadn't been so depressed over Zabuza Momochi and Haku, Kurama wouldn't have even blinked an eye at the boy just now.

He yawns and summons hellfire to come to his hand. Without hesitation, he carefully distributes his chakra so he doesn't cause a huge forest fire, and sets the four men on fire. He doesn't feel guilty, pitty, or any remorse. Still, the stench of dead bodies makes his nose scrunch up, but hellfire burns quicker than regular fire, and within less than a minute the bodies have completely been incinerated and besides the broken tree, there are no signs that a fight occurred here. Flipping his hair to side, he smirks down at his handy work.

The sound of crunching is heard and Kurama slowly turns his head to look at Haku who he forgot is still standing there. And if the demon didn't know any better, without the mask, Haku probably looks like a deer in headlights right now. He unhurriedly makes his way to stand in front of Haku and gently lands a non-bloody hand on the boy's head to scruff up his black hair.

"You okay brat? I don't know what you did to have four ANBU on your ass, but you need to lay low for a bit and reevaluate your life choices if you're a criminal in your own country. And I bet under that mask you're a pretty kid, don't let foolish actions and following a rowdy crowd ruin you." Kurama's winks and walks away, putting his hands in his sleeves.

Okay, now he really needs a shower and wants to find a lake of some sort, because he feels sweaty and gross. And luckily he didn't get too much blood on his clothes so he wouldn't have to scrub at them. But still, a good rinse off before finding a hotel or someplace with a bed sounds nice. And the sooner he finds somewhere to sleep, the sooner he can rest and get in contact with his brother's.


It takes him around a half hour until he stumbles upon a large lake, and quickly he strips down from his clothes, leaving his scrolls on the shore hidden within a couple of rocks. Being in a strange land, he's very self-conscious about being in an area he isn't familiar with and summons his tails to cover the lower half of his body.

Grabbing his clothes first, he dunks them in the water and scrubs them for a bit before placing them on a couple of huge rocks to dry, then enters the lake himself.

He dips one toe in first and shivers, but then he blinks and remembers he a freaking fire demon and summons up some chakra to warm up the lake. Stepping into it fully, he holds is breath and submerges himself in the water. Looking around with his red eyes, there's fish swimming away from him and small pebbles and sand beneath him. He swims down lower and stares at the bottom for a moment, once again going over the plan in his head.

Save his family and reunite with Naruto.

Easier said then done if he's going to be honest with himself. His heart starts beating because of the anticipation, already wanting everything to be over with. There's so much to do, yet something tells Kurama that his and Sasuke's plan to stay hidden and keep their identities a secret isn't going to work out as well as they thought out. Especially with Kakashi, but at least for now Obito wouldn't be showing up anytime soon. Or at least Kurama hopes not, because once they break the jutsu on Yagura, all hell is probably going to break loose and Obito is going to be pissed. But Kurama doesn't give a damn about that man, he would kill him at all cost no matter what. Nothing is going to get in the way of stopping him from rescuing his siblings this time around.

However, getting to his brother's is going to be the challenging part that hopefully, he can succeed in doing. Saiken will be a lot easier to get in contact with out of all his siblings. Now that he thinks about it, Saiken is probably the most laid back of all of them, besides Chomei and Kokuo. Logically, he could flair his chakra to find them, but Sasuke made a point that it would probably be too risky, and the moment he does that, Obito would most likely be on their asses. They need to be as discreet as possible about this. Obito has Yagura so deep in his hooks, and Sasuke told him he would cause too much attention if he used his chakra to find them, because only Sage knows how often Obito pops up to mess with the Mizukage's brain.

Swimming back up to the surface, he comes up waist deep in the water, and combs his wet hair back and out of his face.

Taking a wavy orange strand, he eyes it and grimaces. His hair is way too long, but he doesn't want to cut it because he's grown very attach with how pretty he looks with long hair. And not to toot his own horn, but Kurama can't help but think he looks gorgeous as a human looking at his reflection in the water. Eventually, he's going to have to find a ponytail holder or something to tie his hair up, because it's annoying to accidentally step on it every five seconds. Okay, even tying it into a ponytail it would still be too long, so when he has the time he'll cut it until it reaches the end of his back instead of touching his ankles.

"Wow, you know Haku I thought you were exaggerating, but damn he's fucking beautiful." Blinking, Kurama knows that chakra and glances past his shoulder to find none other than Zabuza Momchi leaning against a tree, and a masked Haku peering behind him on the shore.

"You know, if you take a picture it will last longer." Raising an orange eyebrow in amusement, Kurama fully turns to them and crosses his arms.

"Hot as hell, funny, and knows how to murder all in one package? Just my type. So, you the guy that saved my boy?" Kurama shifts eyes over at Haku and gives the boy a cheeky smile, the masked boy giving him a small wave in return hiding behind Zabuza.

Haku is actually very excited to see Kurama for the second time tonight, his heart racing at the sight of the demon smiling at him. Haku could have escaped those men easily, but almost like a knight in shining armor, or a demon in a kimono, Kurama saved his life and he wanted to thank him personally. Of course he told Zabuza about what happened before searching around the area, but Zabuza didn't believe him at first. So now here the two of them are, and Haku glances over at Zabuza whose shockingly not swinging his sword like he usually does, but instead he's observing. A rare sight to see when it comes to the Demon of the Mist.

"And if I did, problem?" He looks over Zabuza for a second, then shifts his stare back to the masked boy again. "How are you brat? You and your dad just out for a night stroll, or did you come to find little old me?" Haku walks past from Zabuza and stops on the edge of the shore, little waves brushing up on his feet.

"I actually came to personally thank you for saving my life. I've never seen you here in this land before and wanted to thank you before you left and I never see you again. You didn't have to do that for me, but is there anything I can do for you in return?" Kurama shrugs and is about to tell the boy to go back home, but a thought hits him. Maybe he could stay with them for the night until team seven gets here tomorrow.

"Actually brat, if you wanna do something for me in return, how about a little lodging? I've been traveling for two days now and im tired as shit. Got a spare bed at your house?" He looks past Haku and can clearly see a smirk underneath of Zabuza's bandages.

"Of cour–" Haku starts, but a hand on his shoulder cuts him off.

"Wait a moment Haku. We don't even know where he's from and from what you told me he's dangerous, could be a trap." Kurama can hear the bluff in Zabuza's voice and rolls his eyes at the man.

"Look, you have my word I won't kill you two in the middle of the night, okay? Besides, I won't be here for much longer, im meeting up with a special person of mine tomorrow." He crosses his heart and looks down at his hands to see them wrinkled up. Gross, is this what happens to humans when they stay in water too long? Yeah, being mortal is definitely going to still take some getting used to.

Swimming to the shore, he begins to step out of the water, but before he gives Zabuza or Haku any type of show, he brings his tails out to cover the lower half of his body. He doesn't miss the gasps he hears that most likely came from Haku and looks over at the two with a sly smirk, mischief written in his glowing red eyes. He challenge's Zabuza's own lingering brown ones and puts his clawed hands on his hips, ignoring the water dripping down all over his tanned body.

Zabuza gives Kurama a look over and whistles, "You got a name, ginger? Only fair I know the name of my house guest tonight." Kurama raises a brow and softly snorts.

"What happened to me being a trap and dangerous a couple of seconds ago?" Zabuza blinks because the sight of a dripping wet and cheeky Kurama has him at a loss for words. It's been a while since somebody got his blood pumping, and not because of a battle or bloodshed.

"Guess I changed my mind." Kurama laughs at that and takes a strand of wet hair to twirl around his finger.

"Names Kurama Uzumaki. What about you? It's only fair that I know the names of my oh gracious host." The name makes Zabuza stare, but he doesn't comment or show any signs of attacking, which is a good thing.

"Zabuza, Zabuza Momochi. Kid's name is Haku, a pleasure to meet you." Kurama ignores the flirtatious tone in Zabuza's voice and looks at Haku, who looks like an excited kid at a candy store and winks at him.

"Well, your house isn't gonna show itself, lead the way gentleman." He offers and goes to grab his belongings.


Kurama, fully clothed and mostly dried minus his long thick hair, gives a low whistle, impressed at the house he just stepped in.

He expected two criminals on the run like them to have a dingy, probably smelly, disgusting hideout. Not really a huge tree house that had more than two rooms. Haku takes his hand and decides to give him a small house tour, showing his room, the bathroom, the kitchen, of course, a peek at Zabuza's room, then the main room which is the living room. Kurama is surprised that two missing nin like them managed to have a nice little house like this, but then again working for a man like Gato, he's not all that shocked they live this way.

Speaking of Gato, that is something he would let Zabuza, Haku, team seven and Kakashi handle. Kurama barely remembers the short man, and from what he had seen through Naruto's eyes, the man isn't even a huge threat to him. He could crush him with his paw if he wanted to, but he has bigger fish to fry.

Sitting on the couch, Kurama crosses his legs and doesn't mind when Haku comes to sit next to him. But Kurama is no fool, he knows how dangerous the boy really is and has his guard up, but he's relaxed for the most part. Besides, if Haku even tried anything, there's little to nothing the boy's ice could do against something as strong as hellfire. He would become a melted popsicle along with his jutsu, and killing Haku is something Kurama really doesn't want to do.

"So, you said you were meeting someone special tomorrow. Care to share details, ginger?" Kurama glares at Zabuza who's sitting on another couch across from them and has the urge to throw a kunai at his head. But he doesn't want to alarm Haku, so he settles with growling at the flirty Mist swordsman for now.

"I said my name is Kurama, not ginger you fucking mummy. And I don't see how that's any of damn your business." Zabuza takes no offense to Kurama's response and actually laughs at the nickname he's been given.

"Is this person someone special to you, Kurama?" The demon turns his head and curses at himself, he can't resist the softness in the masked boy's voice and pat's his head.

"Yes, they are very special to me Haku and I haven't seen them in a very long time." Haku nods and places his hands in his lap.

"What? The kid gets an answer but I don't? And Haku, take that damn mask off. We're inside now." Kurama flicker's his gaze at Zabuza and shrugs, then looks back at Haku who begins to reveal his face.

He uncovers his face from the mask and almost takes Kurama's breathe away. Long black hair, huge doe tan eyes, and a sweet smile that would falsely lead people to believe this boy isn't really a cold-hearted murderer. The thought makes Kurama frown and his hate for humans grows more, because children like this shouldn't be killers. Instead, they should be enjoying life, hanging out with their friends and playing games on the couch or whatever kids do in their spare time, Kurama angrily thinks.

"Is there something wrong?"  Kurama comes back to reality and feels bad at the look of worry in Haku's eyes.

"No, it's nothing. Just upset at the fact that a pretty face like yours is being wasted on being a criminal in your own country. You should be out exploring the world, not having a warrant out for your arrest at such a young age. You must be a talented kid if someone like Zabuza Momochi has you as an apprentice." The look in Haku's eyes makes Kurama look away. He isn't one for sympathy, and certainly not empathy. He is the Kyuubi No Kitsune, a being created to destroy and hate. Not to fall in love and want to adopt a child.

"Haku chose this life and he's my tool. I'll do whatever I want with him." Kurama scoffs at the ignorance laced in Zabuza's words. He is definitely going to have to do something about that 'Tool' mentality.

"Are you fucking kidding me? He's grown and can make his own decisions, but what we're not gonna do is sit here and make him believe that he's a tool. Such a beautiful, precious kid deserves more than that." He fights back just for Zabuza to chuckle at him, and that makes his blood boil even more.

"And? What are you, his new mom now? If I recall from earlier, you referred to me as dad. You wanna adopt Haku? By all means, be my guest, but you don't know him like I do. Hmm, I wouldn't mind you being mommy though, the boy could use a mother hen." Again, Kurama rolls his eyes, completely turned off by Zabuza who is obviously attracted to him.

Haku stays silent because knowing Zabuza for years and after tonight just seeing a glimpse of what Kurama can do, he decides to play it safe and not intervene in a fight between the two.

"I don't particularly want kids or do romance, and im certainly not the wife type. You're barking up the wrong tree mummy man." Zabuza hums, clearly amused.

"Shame, we'll see about that ginger." The man challenges and Kurama groans.

He's got a lot of work to do when it comes to these two, but for now he needs sleep. Naruto is coming to Wave tomorrow, and he needs to prepare for the emotional reunion to come. That, and Kakashi isn't just going to let him walk up and hug the boy. Kakashi will on his guard, and he's going to be the hardest part of this whole mission. Who knew Kakashi would be such an obstacle, then again, if he hadn't killed Rin by accident this whole war to come would have never started.

Kurama sighs, the saying of butterflies in his stomach growing stronger just thinking about it.

Chapter Text

Kurama yawns and sits up to stretch, the sound of birds chirping and sun seeping through the closed blinds making him frown. Scratching the back of his head, he glances down at the blankets he's wrapped up in and blinks twice, remembering why he's laying in Zabuza Momochi's bed in the first place. Something that he never thought would ever happen in his long life.

Last night after his mini fight with Zabuza they began to discuss sleeping arrangments, which resulted in Zabuza offering to have Kurama sleep with him and Haku holding Kurama back from beheading a flirtatious Zabuza. Kurama threatened him and told him he'd rather sleep on the dirt than with a human, which made Haku and Zabuza stare at him. Kurama just huffed, not too bothered by his slip up, and forced Zabuza to sleep on the couch in his own house like the demon owned the place. Zabuza gave him props, telling him no one has ever had the balls to tell him what to do and let the demon have his way for the night.

Getting out of bed and walking into the bathroom connected to the room, Kurama washes his face and mouth, then stares at himself in the mirror. Today is the day, finally, after a week of sitting in the Uchiha manor he can finally see Naruto again. No. He is going to see Naruto again.

He feels his heart start to beat fast, ready to hold Naruto in his arms because he's a human and that's something he can do now. But that won't stop him from unconsciously nuzzling the boy's face when he wants to show affection to his brat.

He sighs and collects everything he brought to Wave with him before heading out into the main room where Zabuza is, most likely awake. And just like he predicted, he steps into the other room and turns his head to Zabuza, who's sitting on the window sill with a cup of hot tea in his hands, staring outside at Sage knows what. But Kurama could care less at what has the man's attention and crosses his arms.

"You know, kid's gonna be devasted that you're leaving. It's rare to see Haku actually tolerate someone, and i've never seen him take a liking to anyone since me." Turning his head, he gives Kurama a slow look over. "Shame you have to leave, I didn't even get a chance to spar with you. If Haku talked you up like he did, you seem like a worthy opponent to swing my sword with." Kurama grins, but between the large sharp fangs and the red slit eyes he looks more like a threat to Zabuza, but he doesn't comment on it.

"Listen mummy man, you wouldn't last two minutes with me, no matter how hard you tried." Kurama knows he's talking about more than just sparring, and Zabuza blink's at the demon's boldness towards him.

"Hmmm, guess we won't know until we find out, huh?" Kurama flips his hair off his shoulder and softly laughs at the man.

"Maybe someday you'll get that fight, but right now I have a mission, and that's to see someone special again." Kurama leaves it at that, not wanting to give too much information to Zabuza.

Heading over to the window, Zabuza moves out the way for him and Kurama pauses before jumping out of it to stare up at the slightly taller man. Zabuza stares down and raises an eyebrow at the vicious vixen he met less than twelve hours ago, curious to what his next move is going to be and mentally prepares himself for anything.

"You know Momochi, you're not so bad. A little rough around the edges, but I can tell beyond the whole bloodlust demon crusade you put up, you love that boy like he's your own. And i've been alive for a long time to know that. Hell, i've been in the same boat as you before when it comes to my relationship with a boy that's basically my son too. You're not as horrible as you make yourself out to be mummy man." Zabuza snorts and sets his tea down on the table beside the window.

"And so you think you have me figured out?" Kurama shrugs, because Zabuza is the least of his worries right now and a project he'll work on later.

"Yeah, I do. Problem?" Kurama challenges, a twinkle in those red eyes of his.

Zabuza gaze lingers on the shorter, long-haired man for a moment. He decides to stay quiet because Kurama is cute and all, but a man that could read him like a book, clear as day, is truly a man to be feared. He has the sudden thought to kill Kurama, but he goes against the murderer in him because one, Haku would be devastated, and two, he's way too sexually attracted to the fox to want to actually kill him. He at least would like one round of sex before spilling his blood all over the place.

"Hopefully this won't be the last time we see each other in life. I'd like that spar one day, ginger." Kurama glares and swats away Zabuza's lingering hand because they really would be meeting sooner rather than later, and hopefully, Kakashi and team seven won't kill Zabuza before he himself comes into play with the team.

The thought reminds him of why he's even at Zabuza's house anyway and he looks out the window.

Hopping up onto the window sill, he spins his body to look back at Zabuza one more time and says, "Let Haku know I said goodbye and to take care of himself. And make sure he doesn't get himself killed because of you, 'cause if I find out that that's how he died, i'll personally come to kill you. And if you're already dead, i'll bring you back to life and kill you again. Are we clear?" Zabuza huffs at the threat and puts his hands up in a defensive gesture.

"Can't make any promises Uzumaki." Kurama raises an eyebrow at him and shakes his head.

"See you later Momochi, and thanks for the great hospitality." Kurama smirks and disappears into the trees of the forest.

"You like him don't you? I've never seen the famous Zabuza Momochi have it bad for someone and not kill them on the spot." Zabuza unhurriedly turns his body around and stares back at Haku, who's in a robe with his hair down leaning against the door frame, and groans at the boy.

"Piss off Haku, I could say the same about you." The boy shrugs and covers his mouth when a yawn comes out.

"Whatever Zabuza, but Kurama is cool and I hope I can meet him again someday. And it seems to me like you've finally met your match, am I wrong?" Zabuza gives the boy a grin and walks up to him to scruff his already messy morning bed hair.

"Mind you business boy and get ready, we have a bridge builder to murder today." He silently pouts and watches Zabuza walk away and back into his own room.


Sasuke walks cooley beside Naruto, behind Sakura and Kakashi, following the old man that is known as Tazuna at the front of the group.

Looking over at the unusually quiet blond, Sasuke's mouth turns downward and he wants to smack the old man ahead of them upside the head. Poor Naruto, Sasuke had forgotten how much of an asshole Tazuna was to Naruto when this mission started. But he's not going to say anything about it, not that defending Naruto from Tazuna will change the timeline drastically. Then again, one single word could change so many things, so who knows.

Sasuke looks over at Kakashi and see's the man stiffen for a second, before returning back to his normal self beside Sakura. Sasuke looks ahead of them, in the direction Kakashi's head had inclined to to see a puddle on the ground. Yep, just like Sasuke remembered. A random puddle in the middle of a dry, dirt path? And to top it all off, it's 80 degrees and sunny, so what the hell are Gato's ninja thinking? A bunch of dumbasses, Sasuke muses in his head.

Of course Kakashi knew all along when they were kids. Interesting, Kakashi is the best even in his prime.

He blinks and sees Kakashi staring at him, and discreetly Sasuke motions over to the puddle, trying not to alert the others. They lock eyes for a second until Kakashi gives him a crinkled eye smile and continues to walk beside Sakura with his hands in his pockets.

Sasuke raises an eyebrow at the older man and shrugs.

"Hey..." Naruto whispers to him and he looks over at Naruto who's twiddling his fingers.

"Everything okay?" Sasuke returns in a soft tone, a tone that makes Naruto look up at him with big, nervous blue eyes.

"I..." He starts, "Well, I don't know, I feel tingly. Like, you know how you have a bad feeling about something and you get butterflies in your stomach?" Sasuke nods and rests a hand gently on one of Naruto's arms.

"It's okay, I feel the same way right now. Just be on your guard Uzumaki." The nickname gains Sasuke a smile from his favorite idiot, and he returns it with a small one of his own.

They pass over the puddle and it's almost as if time slows down.

Just like Sasuke can recall, two ninja slowly emerge out of it once he and Naruto pass by the puddle. Everyone barely has time to blink when Kakashi turns around just as the two mist nin are about to attack them.

Kakashi steps in front of the boys and is taken by 'surprise' when both rouge nin come out of nowhere and wrap him in spiked covered chains. Sakura, Naruto and Tazuna gasp and cry out when Kakashi's body gets chopped and sliced, blood spilling all over the ground. Sasuke even looks taken back, before realizing it is just a shadow clone. But the scene still doesn't help his horrible anxiety when it comes to his closes ones dying on him again, even if he knows Kakashi just faked his death and these two ninja are child's play.

Coming out of his small two-second epiphany, he looks over and sees the chains from the ninja coming for Naruto next. Just like in the past, he flips up in the air, takes out some kunai out and stops their chains from attacking Natuo by pining the chain to a tree and breaking it.

But that doesn't stop them and one goes to attack Naruto while the other–

That's right, the other runs pass them and heads straight towards where Tazuna is, because he's actually their target in this whole mission. And somewhere along the way Naruto gets a scratch on his hand and poisoned, but Sasuke remembers Naruto being okay and goes to save Sakura next, who boldly jumps in front of Tazuna to protect him. Because if the bridge is complete, Gato has no power and everybody wins, minus Gato himself.

And in comes Kakashi to save the day, knocking both ninja out, one on each arm like they're as light as a feather.

"Naruto, I didn't mean for you to get hurt, sorry I didn't help you right away. I just didn't think you'd freeze up like that. Oh, and good job Sasuke, very smooth, you too Sakura." Kakashi tells them and sets the two rouge nin down against a tree to tie them to it.

When he's done, he walks over to Tazuna with his arms crossed, "Okay Tazuna, it looks like we need to have a chat. We were expecting to protect you from robbers and highwaymen, not other ninjas, because it's come to my attention that this wasn't just a regular ninja on ninja battle. They were after you. Do you want to tell us why that is? Because we ninja of the Hidden Leaf hate when someone lies to us. If we had known you were being hunted down by ninja you should have requested a B rank mission instead of C so we could have given you a proper team. In this case, you've caused nothing but trouble for me and my genin team." Tazuna looks like he's sweating bullets.

"A-And look at Naruto. He's all bloody, and the chains were probably laced with poison. We're only genin and should go back to the village to treat Naruto." Sakura explains, because truthfully she's scared and would rather argue with Ino then possibly get killed on a mission they're not supposed to be on.

Sasuke glances over at Naruto who shaking due to being angry and scared all at once and walks over to the boy, ignoring Sakura who wants to start flirting with him. Last time he called Naruto a loser and made fun of him for being scared. And he cringes to himself at what an asshole he really use to before he fell in love and is glad that's all in the past now. Well, future? The whole time travel thing and being back in his thirteen-year-old body is still taking some getting used to.

He walks over to Naruto and isn't surprised when the blond looks up and glares at him. Taking out a kunai, he cuts a small opening into Naruto's hand to let the poison seep out, then takes out some gaze from his pocket and begins to gently wrap the hand. It takes everything for him to not look up into those blue eyes, but when he's finished with his work, he risks a glance and catches Naruto staring at him anyway.

"Hey, you okay? It's normal that you froze up back there, so don't take that as being weak. Even the strongest of ninja get scared once in a while, so don't let getting scared make you seem like you're not strong." Naruto blushes and gives him a bright smile.

"Im fine. In all honesty, I thought you were gonna come over here to call me a loser or something, so sorry for glaring. But ya know Sasuke, I bet even old man Hokage get scared sometimes too, so thanks!" Sasuke gives Naruto's hand a firm squeeze and Naruto blinks, happy that he and Sasuke are good friends and more now.

Sakura looks over at the two who are practically holding hands but doesn't comment on it, still shaken up about what just happened. Kakashi, on the other hand, gives Sasuke a wink while Naruto isn't looking, and Sasuke roll his eyes at the older man.

"Well in any case..." Kakashi goes on and looks over at the two knocked out nin. "Now that that's over, im sorry Tazuna but we really should head back to the village. My team just isn't ready for a type of mission like this, I mean look at what just happened. Me and my team could have seriously gotten injured or killed just now. You should have requested this to be a B rank and not lie next time."

Tazuna wants to fight back, but he knows the Jonnin is right. However, he and his village can't afford a B rank mission, so what is he suppose to do now? He guesses begging is always an option. Just as he was about to open his mouth, Sasuke stops him and says,

"Kakashi sensei wait." All attention is on him.

He didn't intend to say anything, but Wave has to happen because not meeting Haku and Zabuza could really change the timeline, and his Naruto would want him to save those two if possible. That, and Kurama is already in the the Land of Waves trying to plan to save his brother's and the demon needs Sasuke's help. They are a two-man team, a dynamic time-traveling duo who's goal is to save the world and stop everything from happening. And thinking about the fox, Sasuke hopes he's been doing alright for the past two days since he's been on his own.

Who knows what trouble Kurama has gotten into.

"Those were both simple rouge chunnin, nothing that we as team seven can't handle, as you obviously just saw. And think about it, if Tazuna could have afforded a B rank mission don't you think he would have done so? Im sure he has his reasons why he requested this to be a C rank mission. And despite that he's a complete ass, well, at least towards Naruto for no reason, I think him and his village really need help if ninja are hunting him down. As a fellow Leaf shinobi, it's not in our nature to turn someone down for help. Don't you agree? We could head back to the village, or we could listen to the man's story and help him out. The choice is yours. Your decision is only how the Wave would look at the Hidden Leaf Village if we refuse to help. Could be something serious." Kakashi blinks at Sasuke's logic and ignores Tazuna's pleading stares.

The copy ninja glares and Sasuke smirks in victory, knowing that if they didn't complete this mission, it would look very bad on him and the Hidden Leaf village. He mentally curses out the cunning Uchiha, hating that his own student had turned his own words around and used them against him.

"Umm...right." Kakashi turns to Tazuna. "We'll help you, for now, Tazuna. Just until we get you safely to your house like you requested. Is that understood?" Tazuna wants to get down on his knees and thank Sasuke, not expecting that boy of all people to help him, but he isn't the type of man to stoop down that low. So instead he gives Sasuke a smile and gives the team his thanks.


The five are slowly rowing on a wooden boat in the fog below the bridge.

Kakashi and Sakura are sitting more towards the front with Tazuna, while Naruto and Sasuke decided to sit in the back together. The four listened to Tazuna's story about Gato and the whole mess he is in if he is assassinated, and why the village couldn't afford the mission any higher than C rank. Once he mentioned about his grandchild and daughter, and with a little more sly convincing from Sasuke, Kakashi decided that they would stay until the bridge is completely built. But it doesn't mean Kakashi isn't going to chew Sasuke out later for being so smug forcing logic and uniting lands into this. How did the Uchiha boy even know about all that stuff anyway?

Sasuke peers over at Naruto who looks like a kid seeing ice cream for the first time, and he has to bite his lip to stop a smile from coming out at how cute Naruto is right now. Naruto is so in awe of how huge the bridge is and becomes even more excited to finish this mission and help build it. Really, he is so blown away by everything that he begins to unconsciously lean over the boat to get a better look.

Almost half of his body is out of the boat and he realizes he is about to fall in the water and make a huge splash, but Sasuke is quick to act.

He closes his eyes and waits for impact, but it never comes. Instead, he looks over at Sasuke who is firmly holding his waist, keeping him in place from falling in the water.

"You need to be more careful Naruto. Wave looks pretty and all, but you could have fallen in the water and alerted someone about our position. Maybe we can explore later before we get home, just the two of us?" Naruto slowly sinks back down beside Sasuke, cheeks red and nods at the other boy. Realizing his mistake, he gives an apology and scratches the back of his head with a flushed face. When is he going to stop acting like a goofball in front of Sasuke? The answer, probably never. But Sasuke is okay with that, and so is Naruto.

"Ahhh, t-thanks Sasuke, and sure, i'd like that." Sasuke nods at him, casually leaning back and wrapping an arm around Naruto's shoulders to keep the anxious boy in place, and Naruto lets him, even leaning into Sasuke a bit.

Minutes later, they get off the boat after thanking the man for having them get on land safely and head into the forest to Tazuna's home.

The forest is quiet, too quiet, and Sasuke mentally prepares himself to see Zabuza and the big fight in a few minutes. From what he remembers Zabuza is a tough fellow, rivaling Kakashi, and being one of the seven swordsmen of the mist he is certainly one to be feared. He might be as strong as Kisame, but Sasuke never personally fought Kisame to know that. But he's not too worried about the man, because the only reason he dies is because he purposely lets himself get killed since he couldn't bear the death of his apprentice, who he admitted having loved before he died right next to him.

Haku is the one Sasuke is worried about though.

Haku, the sweet boy who almost killed him with his kekkai genkai. A precious boy, yet also one to be careful of. At best Haku is probably a chunnin, and if he plays his cards right maybe they could be friends if Sasuke can manage to keep both Mist nin alive this time. Haku seems like a lovely person from what he can recall, for the most part anyway.

He's so deep in thought he almost misses when Naruto, on instinct, brings out a kunai and throws it at the bushes. He spooks everyone, and just as Sakura is about to rip into him a white rabbit comes from out of the bushes with wide frightened eyes. Just like he remembers, Naruto starts to cry because he almost killed an innocent rabbit. He scoops the rabbit up in his arms with tears in his eyes and apologizes non stop to the animal.

Sakura shakes her head, Kakashi cringes, and Tazuna seems confused and takes a sip of his beer.

But wait, a white rabbit in the middle of summer? He was such a fool for not noticing this when it first happened, Sasuke thinks bitterly and bites his bottom lip at how naive he really was when he was younger.

"EVERYONE DUCK!" Kakashi shouts.

Luckily everyone ducks in time when a huge sword comes flying out of nowhere to cut their heads off. Sasuke is first one, besides Kakashi, to get up from the ground. He looks up into the trees and just like before, there in the flesh is Zabuza Momochi: a dark skin man wearing no shirt, bandages around his face and trousers, and a huge ego to go with his personality.

Through the bandages, Sasuke can tell the man is grinning and rolls his eyes, already wanting this to be over with. Haku will be easy, but getting Zabuza on their side and saving him from getting killed? Sasuke's got a lot of work cut out for him, no thanks to a certain blond he became smitten with that got him into this mess.

"Im Zabuza Momochi, Demon of the Hidden Mist...You must be Kakashi of the Sharingan! What an honor that you're my opponent." He chuckles, looking down at the group.

"Well, well, my opponent is Zabuza Momochi is it? I've heard about you and it's your lucky day. Not everyone gets to witness this and live..." Kakashi takes off his headband to reveal that legendary Sharingan in his now uncovered eye, and Kakashi notes that Sasuke doesn't even flinch at the reveal. Sasuke notices Kakashi staring at him, but it's too late to pretend like he's in shock and stares back up at Zabuza. Kakashi probably has a lot of questions for him, but he can worry about the curious copycat ninja later.

"Well, looks like I get to see the sharingan in action. It must be my lucky day indeed." He growls out, and Sasuke can practically feel the bloodlust radiating off of the man.

He ignores Zabuza and Kakashi's bantering, which suspiciously sounds like a lovers quarrel, not that it's Sasuke's business to say anything about it, and watches Zabuza fly off the tree. The rouge Mist nin lands on the water and starts building up chakra in the now fog covered forest, and Sasuke so badly wants to use his sharingan and help Kakashi fight. But if he did that he might kill Zabuza earlier than when the man originally died, and the goal is to not get him killed, because his Naruto would have given anything to keep him alive.

So he settles with forming a three-man team to protect Tazuna, while Kakashi's back turns to them to watch Zabuza, trying to comfort a trembling Naruto and Sakura. Sasuke sighs and being in the middle, he puts a hand on each of his shaken teammates shoulders and looks at them with a nod, which seems to do the trick because they both stop shaking, or at least Naruto does while Sakura tries to calm down her anxiety. Sasuke is surprised the girl hasn't passed out from just the tension alone around the forest.

Tazuna stands in between all three of them, trying to put on a tough guy act, but Sasuke can see right through him. Sasuke has dealt with his brother, Obito Uchiha, Madara Uchiha and those three by themselves make Zabuza look like child's play in his eyes. Not that Zabuza isn't a threat, he's still a strong ninja, but Sasuke has bigger fish to fry and doesn't even blink when Kakashi and Zabuza start going at it.

When Zabuza suddenly appears between his teammates and Tazuna, instead of jumping out of the way like everyone else, Sasuke jumps up and  boldly stands on the end Zabuza's sword. Zabuza growls at the smirking black-haired boy on his sword, and Sasuke brings out a kunai when Zabuza tries to punch him. Sasuke manages to skillfully stab his hand and Zabuza hisses, swinging his sword and forcing Sasuke off of it.

Well, at least he has the Demon of the Hidden Mist's attention on him rather than his teammates and Tazuna now, and prepares himself for another attack from the man.

Kakashi is stunned seeing Sasuke actually hold his own with Zabuza, but he isn't out of the woods yet. The real Zabuza is still lurking around, thanks to his canine nose. And just as he is about to go aid Sasuke, said Demon of the Mist pops out of thin air and stabs him in the back. Or so Zabuza thinks. He actually stabbed a clone of Kakashi that turns into a couple of logs, and get's stabbed by the real Kakashi. And this time it's Kakashi's turned to be surprised, Zabuza turning into water, and is stabbed again by Zabuza.

The two continue to stab each other's clone while Sasuke is actually fighting the real Zabuza.

Having enough of the brat avoiding his sword and getting some genuine hits in, the bandaged man switches it up and tricks Sasuke into thinking he is going to swing down again. Instead, he steps back, plants his sword into the ground and disappears, and Sasuke cursing at the Sage above that he can't use his sharingan right now because Kakashi will have too many questions for Sasuke that he can't answer. Zabuza reappears behind Naruto and kicks the boy, who flies in the air and skids into the water. Quicker than Sasuke anticipates, Zabuza rushes past Kakashi and into the water too. Naruto doesn't even have time to blink when Zabuza resurfaces behind him and makes several hand signs.

"Water Prison Jutsu!" And suddenly Naruto is trapped in a circled vortex of water.

"Naruto!" Kakashi yells and tries to make a B-line to Naruto, but is stopped by Zabuza's clone.

"Shit." Sasuke curses and prepares to risk everything to save Naruto and turn on his sharingan, but a familiar chakra a few feet away makes him pause and stop to look into the forest.

"On no, Naruto! Kakashi sensei, we have to save him!" Sakura yells at her sensei.

Unfortunately, Kakashi is too busy dealing with Zabuza's clone to hear her. So she looks over to Sasuke next and sees him deep in thought and staring out into the forest at something. She sighs, knowing it's useless to try and even talk to him while he's so focused on Naruto and whatever is out in the woods. All she can do is stay in position to protect Tazuna and put trust in the rest of her teammates.

Naruto glares at Zabuza, who grins at him. "Well kid, it's your lucky day. Not everyone is fortunate enough to witness my water prison jutsu and live to tell the tale. But a pretty little thing like yourself doesn't deserve such a death by something like this. I might just let you free if you behave well." He chuckles menacingly and goes back to watching Kakashi struggle with his clone.

"Do you even know who I am? Im Naruto Uzumaki and im gonna be the future Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village someday, believe it! You don't scare me!" Zabuza feels his throat go dry and blinks, taking a really good look at the boy he just kicked, probably bruised up, and trapped in one of his famous jutsus.

"Wait, those whiskers and those blue eyes of yours. And you're a blonde boy with whiskered cheeks from the Hidden Leaf village. Ahh fuck, Kurama is gonna–" It clicks in his head who the child really is and before Zabuza can even finish his sentence when realization hits him, it's too late.

What feels like a small ball of chakra connects with him and he's sent flying into trees, meters, hell, yards away, and the last thing he sees is a blob orange in the distance before he's knocked unconscious.

The wind is strong and Haku has to cover his face, the sheer force almost taking his mask off while Zabuza's body whips past him. The poor tree he had been sitting on while watching the fight below feels like it is going to break, but luckily it stays stable for him.

Looking down when the wind calms down, Haku also sees a blur of orange and immediately disappears to where Zabuza has flown to, grateful Kurama didn't actually kill him because Zabuza's body was intact when he whizzed in the air by him just now. When Zabuza is healed enough to manage on his own, however bad the damage is with, whatever the hell jutsu Kurama just used on him, he would go out to find Kurama and thank him once again for not killing his special person if he's still in the Land of Waves.

"Welp, this definitely isn't what is suppose happen."  Sasuke thinks with a gulp and watches Kurama come from the shadows, walking towards Naruto who ducked underwater to dodge Kurama's bijuu ball when Zabuza released his own jutsu, swimming to the surface.

Kurama lands on the water gracefully and flips his hair, thin-lipped at the whole situation that just occurred.

Zabuza should alright, because the bijuu ball he sent was only a small one that even a genin like Sakura could survive from. He's got great chakra control, so Zabuza will just need a day or two to rest before he's back up in action again. Hopefully he and Haku can understand why he did what he did. He is just starting to like those two and would hate to have ruined his relationship with them, but Naruto will always come first.

Speaking of, he turns his head left at the sound of someone swimming up to the surface of the water and it's almost like time freezes. Kurama feels all his breath leave his body at the sight of Naruto only a few feet away from him, and a hand slowly comes to his chest, grabbing the fabric of his kimono that's right above his pounding heart.

He blinks, and Naruto blinks back at him, staring back with huge surprised blue eyes.

It's not his Naruto anymore, but who cares. It's Naruto, and that's the only thing that matters. He has to stop himself from immediately running up and hugging the boy like he wants to, because he doesn't want to come off as a creep. But it's so hard to not be able to hold him in his arms and kiss those rosy whiskered cheeks. Now Kurama understands why Sasuke had a panic and heart attack all at once, passing out the other day.

Fuck, this is going to be a lot harder than he thought, but he'd be damned if he let the same thing that happened to Sasuke happen to him. So he forces himself to keep it together, for his and Naruto's sake.

He takes another shaky breath and walks over to Naruto, bends down, and offers a hand to the startled boy. He doesn't want to scare Naruto off and say anything too crazy like 'Oh hey, im the Kyuubi No Kitsune from the future and you're basically like my son that im going to adopt and raise because I love you more than life itself.' So he'll start with helping the boy up and introducing himself. Yeah, that will be a good way to start, he supposes.

"Hi Naruto, im Kurama Uzumaki, yo–" The sound of lighting and a thousand birds register's too late, and Kurama beings to cough up blood. He stares down to see a hand has penetrated through his chest and chuckles at the stupidity of himself for thinking that coming into contact with Naruto was going to be that easy. He manages a small laugh even though he just got stabbed in the chest by chidori.

Blood splatters on a frightened Naruto's face and Kurama takes the arm that has gone through his chest out of him with a groan and stands up, taking Kakashi with him.

Kakashi takes his arm away and out of the stranger's unusually strong grip, startled at the angry orange-haired man. He's very confused as to how someone is actually still alive and standing up after running chidori through them.

"Fucking ouch, this shit hurts..." Coughing up more blood, Kurama holds the open hole beside his heart and starts seeing black dots in his vision, Kakashi fading in and out. He's already starting to regenerate, but it seems that having a human body has it's downsides and unlike his original demon form, he isn't going to heal right away. He starts sinking into the water and takes one last breath before falling on his knees and slowly blacking out.

The last thing he see's is Naruto swimming over to him with a desperate look on his face and he smiles a the boy, happy to be able to have seen him again and is going to kill Kakashi when he wakes up.

Chapter Text

 

Most of the time Kakashi comes into a mission without fearing for his life. But this, unfortunately, isn't one of those times.

It hasn't even been a full twenty-four hours since their run-in with Zabuza Momochi and thankfully he's convinced the kids to stay outside and train or do something until the man they carried back to Tazuna's house wakes up.

Risking a glance at the sleeping, wild looking orange-haired man that's preoccupying the room that is suppose to be his guest room for the mission, he cringes thinking back to what happened after he passed out in front of his team.

He desperately tried to get Naruto away from the man who began to sink underwater, and fucking Sage Naruto put up quite the fight with him and even begged him, on his knees once they got to the shore, crying to save the man's life. He tried to reason with Naruto that he was only a kid and wouldn't understand but then Sakura, being heartbroken over seeing Naruto crying, rushed over to Naruto's side and tried to convince Kakashi too. Then what surprised him the most is when Sasuke came over and kneeled down on Naruto's other side to comfort the boy too. Sasuke reasoned that the man just saved them and that they owed him their very lives. That, and upon hearing the last name Uzumaki the Uchiha reasoned that they could potentially be long lost family to Naruto. That's when Tazuna ended up agreeing with the kids and gave Kakashi approval to bring the stranger back to his house to heal them.

In the end Kakashi was forced to retrieve the sinking stranger from the water, blood everywhere, and carried him back to Tazuna's house to save him because shockingly, the man still had a heartbeat and was alive.

What is even weirder is that when Kakashi redressed him and started putting bandages on his chest the wound had already healed, completely. As if Kakashi never used chidori through the man's chest, and it gave Kakashi chills.

He couldn't be a jinchuuriki, which would explain the claws and fangs, but only nine bijuu existed so he canceled that theory. So then Kakashi went through the man's belongings only to find scrolls that held clothes, simple weapons, but no food which wasn't that odd since ninja find what they can to be resourceful. When he didn't find anything that didn't make the man seem like a threat in his belongings he thought back to what they had said.

Their name is Kurama Uzumaki, but it doesn't add up with his appearance.

This man has long, thick, orange hair. And last time Kakashi checked the Uzumaki clan only inherited blood red hair. Yet, orange hair, gingers to be more precise, were originally referred to as red-heads. So maybe he has genes from an older generation of Uzumaki's, or he's like Naruto and is a mixed Uzumaki. Maybe, being the same as Naruto, his mother or father had an affair outside of the clan and that's why he has orange hair and red eyes from what he remembers. But it still doesn't explain the claws and fangs or why he can heal as fast as a jinchuricki. But it does make a passable excuse for the monstrous strength he displayed with whatever jutsu he used against Zabuza, blowing half the forest with it.

So either this man is a liar or he's somehow related to Kushina and is an Uzumaki like he says he is. Kakashi decides to go with the latter, because if he thinks about it any longer his brain might explode.

He is a ninja of the Leaf Village and Naruto isn't just valuable because he's the jinchuuriki of the most powerful demon on earth, but also his heritage. That's why they decided to give him his mother's last name because Namizake would have caused way too much trouble. And knowing that Naruto is the son of the fourth Hokage would lead the kidnapping rate in Konoha to skyrocket tenfold.

Because Kakashi was personally trained by Minato all of his childhood and saw Minato as his second father, he is one of the people who knows the secret about Naruto's parents. But he can't take the chance of strangers calming that their family as a diversion to either take or kill Naruto, no way in hell is he going to risk that. Besides, Sarutobi thinks of Naruto as his own grandson and will tear him apart if anything happens to the boy. Kakashi feels a shiver go down his spine just thinking about it. Sarutobi may be old, but he's not still Hokage for no reason and truly is a man to be feared by all.

So only thing to do now is wait for the man to wake up and–

He sees red eyes blink open at him and what happens next has Kakashi pinned to the ground and ready to use his sharingan.


On instinct Kurama wakes up and launches himself at Kakashi, because he's a demon and an animal that sees a threat. He tackles him so he's on top, wraps a hand around the man's throat and uses the other to form a small bijuu ball inches from Kakashi's face to blow him to bits. But when he blinks and sees that the man that he's pinned down and choking is Kakashi he imminently let's go of his throat, stops his bijuu ball from blowing Kakashi along with this house into nothing, and groans.

If Kakashi stopped him from seeing Naruto before, there's no chance he's going to see him now.

Kakashi, of course, has his sharingan out and it makes Kurama glare at him and he crosses his arms.

"If you weren't so important to Naruto I would have blown your brains out just now. Put that sharingan away, brat." When Kakashi doesn't say a word Kurama opens his mouth to say something and is taken by surprise when Kakashi flips them over, Kakashi now on top.

He looks up at Kakashi and let's out a low whistle, "Honestly I didn't take the famous copy cat ninja as a top, but here we are."

It's Kakashi's turn to stare, but he dismisses the lewd comment and takes a kunai out, using one hand to hold the stranger's wrists above their head and the other to press a kunai against their throat.

"Alright talk, who are you and what do you want with Naruto?" Kurama raises an orange eyebrow, slowly, because he's amused that Kakashi thinks he can keep someone like him pinned down. But he'll let Kakashi have his way, for now, at least so he doesn't scare the man any more than he already has.

"Well maybe you should have asked me that before you ran chidori through my chest, hmmm? You're not very good at interrogation, are you? I could have been dead by now you fucking asshole." Kurama gives Kakashi a blank stare, and for once he's not bothered by the sharingan because Kakashi isn't a true Uchiha. Kakashi isn't going to try to use it and manipulate him like true ones have in the past, but it still doesn't make Kurama any less terrified of the eye the man possesses.

Kakashi shrugs off the rude comment and presses the kunai closer against their throat.

"Talk or i'll kill you right here and now." Kurama scoffs and rolls his eyes.

"If chidori didn't kill me you think a kunai to the throat will? Whatever. Like I told you before, my name is Kurama Uzumaki and if you had let me finish my sentence before you rudely tried to kill me, im Naruto's uncle, Kushina Uzumaki's blood brother." It's quiet, but Kurama hears Kakashi let out a small gasp and hides his smirk.

Kakashi narrows his eyes at the man below, "That's impossible, Kushina didn't have a brother."

It was Sasuke that had came up with the idea for the last name. Sasuke knew that the name Uzumaki would throw Kakashi off, and Kurama looked close enough to be one for the name to not seem so strange. Gingers and redheads are in the same category anyway, and if asked, Kurama is to say that him and Kushina had the same father, but different mother's. The story to tell is that their father had an affair with another woman outside of the clan, which is why Kurama probably wasn't brought up by Kushina a lot. But it is true that Kushina had mentioned to Minato several times while Kurama was inside of her that she did have a friend outside of the clan that was like a brother to her before the clan got wiped out, so the story wouldn't be too far-fetched when Kurama told it. Kurama gave kudos to Sasuke for the idea and called him a genius for it.

"And how would you know that when you were only a child before Kushina died, because if im guessing right you're twenty-seven? You think she would have had a sit-down conversation with a kid about her family? I think not, and I can prove I'm an Uzumaki if you just give me the chance, and if you're still that worried let me talk to Sarutobi. Now will you get off of me so I can see my nephew?" Kakashi stares down out him and doesn't respond, and Kurama growls, wanting to gouge the man's eyes out of his head.

"Oh for the love of Sage, Kushina was an angel and I loved her more than the world itself. We had the same dad but different mothers. We were still family though. Our father had an affair with a woman outside of the clan and boom, here I am. After the clan was wiped out we got separated. Of course our father was killed, but I stayed with my mother until she passed away, and since then i've been on my own. But when I heard Kushina was pregnant and having a child, I was excited and was planning on going to the Leaf Village and paying her a visit. But by the time I got there her and her lover were already dead, killed in the Kyuubi attack. I wanted to adopt Naruto and take care of him, but of course, the village wasn't going to let a stranger come swoop him up and raise him." Kurama mentally gives himself props for being such an amazing actor.

"So why now, how did you know we were here?" Kakashi questions, and Kurama sighs.

"I just happened to be on my way to Wave, on a mission to save two friends of mine that are in serious trouble. I, honest to Sage, was passing through when I met Zabuza Momochi and he offered me some lodging for the night. He said he had a mission to kill some bridge builder and I left the next morning, not really caring about it. But curiosity killed the cat, and I happened to stumble upon the battle. And when I saw Naruto and heard him say Uzumaki, I had an adrenaline rush and went over to save him. I mean the blond hair, the blue eyes, those whiskered cheeks. No doubt about it that that was my nephew, Kushina's son." Kakashi takes the kunai off the man's neck and hums.

"So, it just happened to be a coincidence?" Kurama nods his head.

"Yes, I had no idea you'd be in Wave and had no intentions of following you guys, but when it's family, you save them no matter what the costs. And if you need more proof that im Kushina's brother, Kushina loved ramen more than life itself and told me if she ever had a baby, she would name him, or her, Naruto. And for more proof, when she gets mad she does this adorable twitch with her mouth and always goes for the ballsack if you're a guy that just pissed her off. If you were a woman, she'd go for the knees, then the stomach. She's always been like that since she was little. And she had dimples if you looked close enough when she smiled. We got that from our father who had extremely deep ones. I bet Naruto has dimples too when he smiles." Oh man, Kurama really hates being a human because thinking about Kushina and Naruto both being dead and stating true facts about them has a tear running down his cheek.

Kakashi slowly lets go of the man's wrists. He feels horrible for almost killing Kurama, because now there's no doubt in his mind that he's Kushina's brother. Only those close to Kushina knew she loved ramed so much that she would name her child after one of its features, or that she had dimples and her fighting style. Plus the way Kurama spoke about her so fondly and having different mothers, he has to be related to her.

And if he's lying, he's a damn good actor.

"Fine, i'll pass judgment, for now, Kurama Uzumaki. But if I see you make one false move, one mistake, one slip up that makes me think your intentions towards Naruto are harmful, and ill make sure you stay dead next time." Just to be petty, Kurama catches Kakashi off guard and flips them over once again, smirking down at the silver-haired man.

"You have my word that the boy really is my nephew and that I won't harm him. But fair warning, my temper is worse than Kushina's and if you ever threaten me like that again, it won't end well for you, Hatake." Kurama stands up and offers a hand to Kakashi, who takes it and dust himself off. Anxious, Kurama starts to exit the room, but a hand on his arm stops him. He tilts his head to glare at Kakashi, but of course, seeing Naruto still isn't going to be that easy. He's aware of how the village's work, and the Hokage would be so proud of how Kakashi is handling the situation.

But despite that, he growls out, "What else, do you need brat?" He knows Kakashi is just doing his job, but right now Kakashi is his least favorite human, besides any Uchiha that's not Sasuke that exists.

Meanwhile, Kakashi avoids looking at those intense red eyes, because he's going to pretend that the man in front of him isn't ten times stronger than he is for some reason.

"I will escort you to him. Just because I believe that you're family doesn't mean I trust you." The demons roll his eyes and shrugs.

"Fine, whatever floats your boat. Lead the way, Hatake." He steps aside and lets Kakashi walk in front of him, and Kurama slowly follows behind to show he's not a threat. The sooner he can properly see Naruto again, the better.

His heart is beating so fast, Kurama is afraid it might burst out his chest because this is it. He's finally going to see Naruto and nothing is going to interfere with him this time. Not the Akatsuki, not weird plants, not aliens, nothing. And while walking down the steps to the backyard, Kurama almost trips, but catches himself and ignores Kakashi looking back at him, because the only thing that's important right now is reuniting with Naruto.


Sasuke feels like a nervous wreck, pacing around outside, because why hasn't Kurama woken up yet? He's a powerful demon and is supposed to heal with lightning speed, so where is he and–

He senses the power of a bijuu ball, having fought with Kurama and Naruto multiple times for practice during the war to know that chakra build-up, and fears for Kakashi's life for a moment. But it seems that Kakashi is still in one piece because the tension inside of the house has died down and hopefully, Kurama and Kakashi are just talking now. Still, it wouldn't surprise the Uchiha if Kurama woke up with the intention to kill and choked Kakashi out, before realizing that if he killed Kakashi, the whole timeline would probably be so screwed up that there would be no redemption and held back his anger for the sake of Naruto.

Damn, the mission is suppose to be simple.

Save the three-tails and six-tails jinchuricki since the Land of Water is going the be their first stop, reunite with Naruto, then head back to the Leaf Village. But who are Sasuke and Kurama kidding, saving two Jinchuriki, one being the Mizukage, getting in contact with Naruto and doing all this without causing a scene? Maybe Kurama and Sasuke are a little in over their heads about this, nothing is ever that easy. Especially when you mix someone as level-headed as Sasuke with a demon that's powerful, yet temperamental like Kurama. An unlikely duo, but somehow, someway, they are going to get through this, together. And Kurama isn't an idiot, he's a being created of hatred, so there's no stopping that temper of his, unfortunately. But a little restraint would be nice, Sasuke concludes.

He hear's a soft laugh from behind him that comes from Sakura, and stares at his two teammates sitting by a tree together. After they managed the get Naruto to fall asleep in Sasuke's arms when they got back to Tazuna's house and Kakashi confirmed Kurama would be okay, Naruto has been unusually quiet for most of the day. But Sakura has surprisingly been very supportive and is currently talking with Naruto about their favorite things, comforting the boy while sky gazing.

Sasuke watches at his two teammates and goes over to join them, but stops when he hears the sliding door open and sees Kakashi come out, Kurama not too far behind. He quickly exchanges looks with Kurama, then turns his head over to Naruto and Sakura.

Naruto turns around and immediately stands up, Sakura following him.

Seeing those watery red eyes, Sasuke smiles, because finally, it's Kurama's turn to see Naruto.


Stepping in front of Kakashi like he's not even there, Kurama kneels downs and watches Naruto hesitantly make his way over to where he is. Kurama gives the softest smile he can manage and encourages Naruto to come over to him, swinging his arms out to invite Naruto in for a hug.

"Sorry about before, your sensei was being an overprotective asshole, as he should be. But it's nice to finally meet you Naruto. M...My name is Kurama Uzuamki, and im your mother's brother. Meaning, im your uncle." Naruto gasp and dry blue eyes start to become blurry because of wetness in them, and Kurama feels his heart ache to see such a sight.

"Y-You knew my mother?" Kurama nods and doesn't care that there are tears running down his own cheeks, because finally, he has Naruto back in his life again and he doesn't plan on going anywhere anytime soon. He puts his arms down and sighs, a smile still on his face.

"Yes I did, and she was a wonderful woman. I can tell you all about her if you want, but we can save that conversation for later." He sniffs and continues, "Im sorry I haven't introduced myself sooner, but im here now. And I can be whatever you want to me be, so long as I can stay in your life. I-If that's okay with you, Naruto–"

"Where have you been all this time!? Have you been alone...l-like me?" Naruto steps forward more towards the demon, but not too close because he doesn't want Kakashi to hurt this man again, and Kurama blinks at the question.

"I've been at our home, where our village use to be since the Uzumaki clan never originated from the Leaf Village. Uzushiogakure, the Land of Whirlpools." Kakashi makes a sound, and Kurama inclines his head towards the man.

"Problem?" Kurama manages without sounding too pissed off.

"That village is destroyed, it's impossible." Kurama scoffs at the ignorance of Kakashi's everything and turns his attention back around to Naruto in front of him.

"When the Hidden Leaf Village was destroyed, was every single house or building gone and turned to ashes dumbass? Think logically Hatake, some were still standing in Uzushiogakure." Well, Kurama's not half wrong. Kushina's parent's house was one of the few reaming standing after the village got destroyed and before she left to Konoha, so Kakashi can suck on that.

Fuck, what Kurama's about to say next is really going to hurt so bad, but he's tired of being such a selfish demon and Naruto's life and decisions will always come first before his own.

"Anyway, listen Naruto..I-I don't even know if you want me in your life, and I can leave if you'd like if this is all too weird for you. We can pretend like this never happened and I can go back to the way I was living before. Just know I won't be mad at you if you want to continue your life being the strong independent boy you are." There's a strong sting in his chest at giving Naruto such a suggestion, but honestly, this might be too much for the boy and he doesn't want to be self-seeking with his choices. If Naruto doesn't want him in his life, Kurama won't be angry and just be a background player when it comes to the Akatsuki and killing Obito, Danzo, Zetsu and whoever the hell else on the long list.

Naruto glances over at Kakashi, who nods at him, and practically goes flying into the stranger's open arms. Kurama is stunned for a moment, but it's Naruto, so of course the boy isn't going to turn him away. Too sweet, too pure for this world, and Kurama holds on tight like his life depends on it. Kurama's not just crying because he has Naruto back again, but because he's upset at himself that he, along with the village, treated the boy like shit before he came around and began to see Naruto like a son. Such a precious child, and it's going to be hard not to kill anyone that even glares at Naruto since the whole village hates him right now. Then again, he's not one to talk because he wanted Naruto to die so bad at first, just so he could take over his host for his freedom. What a horrible creature he used to be, truly living up to his name as the vicious and most feared demon that walks among earth, the Kyuubi No Kitsune.

Naruto leans back, hands tightening against the sleeves of Kurama's kimono sleeves and blue eyes stare into watery red ones.

"Of course I want you in my life, believe it! You knew my mom and you're family, and maybe...well...uh...you could come back to the village and live with me, if you want. I always wanted a roommate because it can kinda get lonely being by myself, ya know? And uh...Well, maybe I can convince Jiji to get me a bigger two-bedroom apartment because my room is small, but I can sleep on the couch! And..." Kurama lets a laugh at Naruto's rambling and brings the boy in for another tight hug.

"Naruto, I would love to come back to the village and live with you if that's what you truly wish for. You still have about five years on you before you're legal. If you want, let me be your guardian and protect you, it's what my best friend and your mother would have wanted. But it's only if you want that, no pressure kit." He let's go of Naruto and uses the sleeve of his kimono to wipe his tears away.

"But is that what you want Kurama? Oh, wait, can I call you 'Rama or Otosan instead since you're family?" Why, why is the little blond brat making him cry like a newborn baby just by being so cute? And despite all the crying, he manages another laugh and kisses one of Naruto's whiskered cheeks.

"I don't care what you call me by or where we go, because you are my heart and home Naruto. Whatever you want to do or wherever you want to go, i'll follow you, no matter what. The only problem is your sensei, so ask him." He points to the man behind him, and smirks because he's got Kakashi right where he wants him. He glances at Sasuke who shakes his head him, and smirks even more when he can literally sense Kakashi's nervousness floating around in the air.

"Kakashi-sensei, can Kurama come back to the village with us, pleaseeeee!" The boy looks at Kakashi, and Kakashi gulps at the sudden attention all on him, the pressure on.

"I don't know Naruto, I can't jus..." Oh fuck, Naruto is starting to cry again and Kakashi is glaring holes at the back of Kurama's head. He mentally curses Kurama out and can tell that he's probably smirking, because now Kakashi feels trapped and can't say no to Naruto.

"Alright, alright, enough of the waterworks Naruto. Fine, he can come back with us, but I can't promise you that he can immediately live with you. He's going to have to go through some trials since he's a total stranger. I hope you understand this Naru–Hey!" Kakashi is tackled to the forest floor by Naruto.

"Thank you sensei, thank you, thank you!" Kakashi is about to throw Naruto off him because children slobbering on his vest isn't something he would usually allow, hell, he doesn't even want to be a dad and detest children. But the intense glare from Kurama who's now standing up has him gulping and awkwardly, he pets Naruto's head and is thankful for the smile Kurama sends him.

Oh Sage, what the fuck did he just sign himself up for.

Chapter Text

 

"Alright kiddos, that's the basics of tree climbing. Now it's your turn to do what I just did!" Kakashi states enthusiastically and jumps down from the tree to land beside Kurama, who huffs when Kakashi dusts himself off next to him, a small smirk on his face. Naruto and Sakura groan in response while Sasuke stays quiet, up too early to start a lesson they've never done before.

Well, Sasuke has but the other two haven't.

An unusually chipper Kakashi woke them all up early this morning, and not because Kurama woke him up and threatened him to actually teach the kids something besides being nice to each other. No, Kakashi isn't scared of Kurama or feels fearful for his life every time he glances in the demon's direction...At least that's what he tried to convince himself after Kurama used a spoon to intimidate him in the kitchen this morning. A spoon. Kakashi sighs just thinking about it, he's getting too soft.

It's been two days since the Zabuza incident and now that the kids seem comfortable with Kurama, Kakashi thought it would be a good time to start training again. He made Sakura explain chakra control and the basics of tree climbing, too lazy to do so when she's a brainiac and knows the basics herself.

Now here they all are, standing in front of many trees ready to begin their lesson.

Sakura easily climbs a random tree while the two boys fall on their asses, Sasuke pretending for the sake of not arousing suspicion of course, and it's just what Kakashi expects. Still, Kurama can't help but chuckle at Sasuke and discreetly, Sasuke shoots the fox a glare, the fox winking back at him in return.

Sakura sticks her tongue out at the two below her and instantly regrets it when Kurama sends a sharp glare her way. Call it mother hen instincts, but Kurama isn't going to tolerate Sakura and her behavior this time around. At least since he's physically here now and cares enough to keep her in check when it comes to taunting Naruto, or just being an all around petty individual. This girl has so much potential, and it's such a shame no one ever really checked her until they got older and everyone grew a sense of mind.

"Sakura, don't tease the boys because of their chakra control, it's not cute. Chakra control and brains are the only things going for you right now when it comes to being a kunoichi anyway, so focus more on your strength rather than fangirling over Sasuke." Sakura squeaks and looks away, embarrassment written all over her face.

"S-Sorry, Kurama..." Kurama nods in her direction, then glances at Naruto who, once again, falls face first into the ground and gives the boy a smile.

"Naruto, are we having some trouble with a little chakra control?" Kurama softly asks, Kakashi silent next to the fox.

"Yes actually. I thought I put enough chakra in my feet but I guess it wasn't enough. But if I put too much chakra into my feet i'll cause the tree to explode and i'll never learn how to master chakra control!" Kurama hums and walks over to place a hand on top of Naruto's head, scruffing up his wild blond locks a bit.

"Hmmm? Tree climbing, huh? You're not a master at chakra control, no where near it, but I have a feeling that soon you have the potential to be extremely good at it. All you need is a bit of practice, you are an Uzumaki after all and we're good with this stuff. Let me give you some small advice though, okay?" Naruto nods his head, anxious to hear what Kurama has to say.

"Okay 'Rama, what should I do to master chakra control!?" The demon muses at how cute the boy his and steps back, then points to the huge tree in front of them.

"Well for starters your chakra is a bit unstable right now, and you're putting too much into your feet. See the holes you keep leaving in the tree, look at the deep indents in the bark. What I want you to do is focus solely on your feet and put in half the chakra you were using before. You want your feet to feel like a feather, then tell me how you feel when you do so." Naruto looks up and makes an 'O' shape with his mouth, taking mental notes, and goes to do what Kurama instructed.

The boy gasps. "Wow 'Rama, I didn't feel like this before. My feet feel like they're being tickled! He he, I...feel lighter than usual!" He looks down at his shoes, his feet feeling a tingly sensation, surrounded by his normal blue chakra.

"Good, good, now place just a bit more chakra in the center of your feet. That's where you're not putting enough chakra at. When you feel that everything is leveled in your feet, march up that bark and show these humans that you're not dead last and can climb a damn tree." Kurama finishes explaining with a smile, and Kakashi risks a glance at the other man, his choice of words strange to Kakashi.

Naruto starts to get halfway up the tree and almost surpasses Sakura, but he loses his balance and before anyone else can act, Kurama rushes towards the tree and catches Naruto. Naruto blinks up at the demon with a blush on his face, embarrassed that he made himself look like a fool in front of everyone. It's what he's used to doing anyway, but something about Kurama wants to make him succeed at everything, failure not an option.

"I-Im sorry Kurama, please don't be mad at me." Kurama stares at the boy in his arms like he's lost his mind.

"Why would I be mad at you kit? You tried your best and that's all that matters to me. I told you, you're not gonna master it at first and that's okay. But with some practice, you'll be a pro in no time." Unconsciously, he nuzzles one of Naruto's cheeks and Naruto wraps his hands around the back of Kurama's neck, giggling at Kurama's hair tickling half of his face.

Sasuke stares at the two, dusting himself off, and is happy that Kurama and Naruto are bonding. This is what Kurama needs, but it doesn't make the situation any less weird that the Kyuubi No Kitsune actually has the potential to be a good parent. And Sasuke isn't going say anything about Kurama being a mother hen, unless he wants an early death wish.

Kurama suddenly catches a whiff of a familiar scent and he knows that said person can't be seen right now. He glances down at Naruto and puts the boy back down on his feet, gently.

"Hey Naruto, take a small walk with me?" Naruto nods his head enthusiastically and takes the hand that Kurama has offered him, intertwining their fingers together.

"And where do you think you're going?" Of course, Kakashi questions him and Kurama rolls his eyes and flicks Kakashi off.

"I literally just want to take a small walk with my kit, will it kill you to sit back and chill out for once? You know im not going to do anything Hatake, we'll be back soon enough." Kakashi glares at the fox and Kurama flips some of his hair off of his shoulder, ignoring Kakashi once he and Naruto begin to walk away.

He's gotta go see what his second kit wants.


Now in the middle of Sage know's where of the forest, Kurama gets a strong whiff of Haku and his red eyes land on the figure sitting down in a clearing with their back turned. Haku is wearing a pink yukata and has his long, shiny black hair down, looking so cute and innocent, and not a murderer that will kill you in the blink of an eye. He smells of Zabuza, herbs, fresh flowers, and is that last scent lavender? Maybe it's roses, but Kurama isn't good at telling flowers apart. All flowers smell good to him.

"Um, Kurama, who is that?" Naruto whispers and Kurama looks down at him and offers a small smile.

"You'll see in a minute, hey kit! This where you've been hiding?" Haku lets out a gasp and blinks at Naruto and Kurama with big, beautiful, doe eyes once he fully turns towards them.

"Kurama, you're okay!?" Haku stands up and wants to give Kurama a hug, but stops himself and lets Kurama run his fingers through his black hair to scruff it up instead.

Naruto hides behind Kurama and inhales softly, not excepting the person in front of them to be so gorgeous. This girl has to be the most beautiful thing Naruto has ever laid eyes on in his life. Sakura who? Ino who? None of the girls in the village are remotely close to looking as good as this...this..this goddess in front of him. From the long black haired that split down from the middle of their head, casting down their shoulders, to their beautiful hazel colored eyes, this had to be Aphrodite in human form.

Kurama looks back at Naruto and steps aside, "Don't be shy Naruto, it's alright. This is Haku, a sweet individual who I saved the other night, so say hi to them." Using a hand to gently touch Naruto's back, he pushes him forward to meet Haku.

"H-Hi there, im Naruto Uzumaki." Naruto avoids direct eye contact because he's going to pass out if he turns anymore red.

"Well hello yourself Naruto, im Haku!" Haku responds and glances back up Kurama. "Kurama, im surprised you're still here. After I saw that man use that electric jutsu on you, well, I honestly thought you had died. I saw you start to sink underwater and there was blood everywhere. I wanted to come help or at least do something, but Zabuza comes first and I went to go tend to him. But who knew that the person you were looking to see happened to be the protectors of our target. I guess it really is fate that we are supposed to meet." That's fair, Haku still barely knows him but it warms his heart that Haku was that worried over his well-being.

"That's okay, how is mummy man by the way? I hope I didn't kill 'em." Haku snorts and looks up at a bird flying in the sky.

"Oh Zabuza is doing just fine, he used his sword to block whatever jutsu that was and has a few broken ribs, but he's okay for the most part. You've only made him more excited to spar with you in the future though." At the name of Zabuza Naruto makes a sound and Kurama and Haku turn their attention to him.

"You guys know that man?" Kurama smoothly kneels down to Naruto's level and places a hand on one of his shoulders.

"Listen kit, Zabuza Momochi actually isn't a bad guy, just in a really fucked up situation that im trying to help him get out of, if I can at least. And Haku isn't a bad guy either, in fact, I think you guys could be great friends. What do you say Naruto?" Naruto looks at Haku, then back at Kurama and nods his head.

"Well if you say they aren't bad guys, then I believe you 'Rama! And sure, i'd like to be friends with them, besides Haku is really cute and I wouldn't want to have you as my enemy." Haku raises an eyebrow at the boy and smirks.

"Oh, so you think im cute?" Haku taunts slyly.

Naruto's entire face goes red again and Kurama chuckles. " I-I-I mean you are really pretty, but I w-wasn't trying flirt and I...I um-" Haku half-heartedly laughs at Naruto's flushed face. The boy is too cute for his own good, and Haku bets he is quite the charmer back at the Village Hidden in the Leaf looking at his headband.

"Im just teasing Naruto, I would love to be friends with you! I haven't really had a true friend before, so it would be nice to have one." Naruto steps closer to Haku, and tilts his head to ask,

"Really? I've never had a real friend before either, besides Sasuke. I can be rough out here, but I thought someone like you would have a ton of friends!" Haku giggles and goes to shake his head.

"Hey Naruto, can I ask you something? I noticed that headband you're wearing. Are you really a ninja, or is that just a fashion statement?" Naruto points to his forehead.

"Oh you mean this?" Haku nods at the headband. "Oh, well only really cool ninja can wear these! Every day I train and I have to get stronger and stronger." Haku gives him a calculating gaze and Kurama wonders where this conversation is going.

"Oh." Haku starts, "And why do you have to get stronger Naruto? You seem strong now, shouldn't that be enough. Unless there's...someone important you're getting stronger for?" The black-haired boy is genuinely curious, and he wants to get to know Naruto as a person more if they're going to be friends now.

"Because I just have to, that's why! I only get stronger for me, myself, and I he he." Haku tilts his head and hums.

"Naruto, tell me. Why is it so important for you to get stronger?" He questions seriously.

"Because I have to be the strongest ninja, so everyone will respect me and I can become Hokage someday!" The boy responds cheerfully and Kurama gives his adoptive son a sad smile, running a clawed hand through his hair.

Haku ponders the boy's statement and thinks back to what Zabuza told him about what Naruto is a couple of days ago.

When they got back to their hideout, Zabuza explained that Naruto hosted one of the nine demons that were feared by the nation. Unfortunately for Naruto, he hosted the most vicious and dangerous one of them all. And just now, how the young boy wanted to become friends without any strings attached...Haku feels pity for Naruto and can only imagine how lonely and terrible his childhood must have been. Haku knows he didn't have the best childhood either after his parents got murdered, but he guesses Naruto had it ten times harder than he did. At least people didn't fear or hate Haku like he knows they probably do Naruto.

What hurts more is that the boy in front of him is as sweet as pie. Naruto seems like he wouldn't hurt a fly and has everyone's best interest in mind, no matter who or what they are. Haku would do anything for Zabuza, seeing as the older man is basically his other half. But at this moment, something in Haku's heart is telling him that Zabuza isn't going to be his only special person in his life anymore.

"Oh, I see." Looking up at the sky, Haku sees it's past noon and has to go back to the hideout where Zabuza is waiting for him, and keeping Zabuza waiting isn't always the best idea. The man gets moody too often, but so does Haku.

Not that Haku is afraid of him or anything, he just hates when Zabuza gets cranky, and then that makes him cranky. They both have horrible tempers, but out of the two, Haku knows how to contain his anger the best. Zabuza would make it known when he wanted to slice your body into pieces. Haku would assassinate in the blink of an eye without hesitation. And usually when both are angry and have arguments, it would end with Zabuza on the floor with a kunai to Haku's back, and Haku pinning him on top with two or three senbon, ready to stab Zabuza in the neck and knock him out. It isn't a pretty sight to walk into when those two go at it.

"Well, it looks like im going to have to depart. I enjoyed talking to you Naruto, we'll meet again soon im sure. Same to you Kurama, im sorry you had to come all this way out to see me and waste your time." Kurama rolls his eyes and moves a long strand of hair away and out of Haku's face to tuck behind his ear.

"Don't be ridiculous Haku, I wanted to come out here and make sure you were doing alright anyhow. And I was curious to see if the asshat was still alive. Come visit me and Naruto again soon okay? You know where we're staying." Haku nods and waves at the two, beginning to walk away.

"Uh, wait!" Naruto calls out and Haku stands still and slightly turns his head back to Naruto. "M-Maybe soon isn't soon enough. What are you doing tomorrow? I'd like to t-take you out and get to know you better if that's okay with you? Me and 'Rama won't be in Wave for long and you seem really cool to hang out with. Maybe you can come over and meet my teammates too!"

"Did I just ask her out on a date?! Me? Naruto Uzumaki asking someone like her out...Im way out of my league with someone as beautiful as her! What was I thinking?" Naruto internally panics, ignoring Kurama's quiet laughing in the background. And once again, the boy stuns Haku with his kindness, tan eyes widening. However in Naruto's eyes, it looks like he offended Haku and feels extremely guilty, so he quickly apologized for asking.

In Haku's case, he isn't offended at all, flattered in fact.

"There's no need to apologize Naruto. There's not much to do in the town, but I would love to get to know you more too. Is tomorrow at noon here good for you?" Naruto feels his face heat up for the thousandth time that day and nods his head. Did she just agree to go on a date with him? To Kurama and Haku's amusement Naruto actually starts pinching himself.

"Goodbye for now Naruto and Kurama, and i'll make sure to let Zabuza know you're still alive. He would have been devastated if you had actually been killed." Haku sends a wink Kurama's way, and Kurama shakes his head.

"Oh, and by the way Naruto, im a boy. I hope that doesn't change anything." And with that, Haku disappears into the forest. Leaving a completely shocked and now sexually confused Naruto to sit in the clearing with Kurama, who bust out laughing at the irony of it all. Oh man, even though him and Haku aren't related by blood, the boy can definitely pass for being Kurama's actual son. Smart, sassy, cunning, a vicious vixen like himself.

Oh yes.

Adopting Haku and Naruto is going to be a blast.


Kurama and Naruto return to Tazuna's house later that evening to find Sakura and Kakashi bickering with the bridge builder's young grandson, Inari. Since their stay here, Inari has been nothing but a total brat and a little shit towards team seven. They are trying to help his grandfather, yet he took their help for granted and said their presence here is useless. Didn't this little boy know they were all going to die team seven just left and didn't finish the bridge? The young boy is disrespectful, and with the way he is acting, he has no clue what is at stake for his grandfather if he didn't finish building the bridge.

The family stops arguing when Kurama shuts the door to signal his and Naruto's arrival.

Inari stands up and points at Naruto. "And where the hell have you been? From what I heard and have seen, you're the weakest of them all. You can't help so you should just go home!" Naruto isn't letting Inari's words get to him and sits down at the table to eat, because at the end of the day he's just an ignorant child. And Kurama gives his little kit props for being so mature about it.

Inari growls at him when he receives no response from Naruto and storms upstairs.

Sakura stops eating and shyly peers at Naruto "H-Hey Naruto. You've been gone all day...is everything alright?" She asks politely, wanting to make conversation with him, and Kurama pats her head from across the table at her efforts. She squeaks and blushes at the fox, and something tells Kurama she has a small crush on him but she'll get over eventually, he hopes.

Sakura suppose she should learn to respect Naruto more and try to be friends with him, at least if Kurama has anything to say about it. Naruto is her teammate after all, and they are going to have to learn to get along eventually. Since childhood, she knows she's always been an asshole to him, and it's mainly because of her crush for Sasuke. Like today, as soon as Naruto left she tried to help Sasuke with the climbing exercise, but he shooed her away. And maybe Kurama, Kakashi, and Sasuke himself are right. She should focus more on her skills than being a fangirl. But that doesn't stop her from having a crush on Sasuke and wanting to be with him.

Naruto blinks at her then sends a smile her way, "Im just fine Sakura, thanks for asking! I just went on a walk with 'Rama and practiced a bit, and after dinner, im gonna go practice some more! I also made a new friend who I can't wait to introduce you guys too." He finishes and begins to dig into his plate that Tazuna's daughter handed him.

"That's good Naruto!" She gives her own soft smile and goes to eat her food.

Kakashi exhales and closes his eye, Kurama watching him closely across the table. He is smiling inside of his mask, glad his team is getting along finally and has to thank Kurama for bringing the kids closer together. Maybe Kurama would be useful for something and isn't actually the bad guy like Kakashi has made him out to be. He'd have a talk with him later and give a proper apology soon enough to the pretty orange-haired man who probably hates his guts right now. And he doesn't blame Kurama, he did almost kill him with chidori and threatened to kill him again after he just woke up from a day coma.

Yeah, Kakashi sighs, because he has got to do better with interrogation.

"Hey Kurama, i'd like to have a talk with you after dinner, is that alright?" Kurama is caught off guard and blinks at the silver-haired man.

"Why, so you can try to murder me again?" Kakashi puts his hands up in defense and sends the fox a smile.

"No, no, just a guy wanting to get to know another guy is all." Kurama gives him a blank stare a raises an eyebrow.

"Are you flirting with me Hatake, because if you are you're barking up the wrong tree." Kakashi chokes and Kurama smirks, it's just too easy to get this man flustered and Sakura and Naruto shoot the choking man worried looks. "Im joking, sure, let's take a chat later." He chuckles, watching Sakura pat the mans back.

Teasing Kakashi is slowly becoming his new favorite thing.


Sasuke makes it back to Tazuna's house later that evening after sneaking away from helping to build the bridge after Naruto and Kurama left for the day. He had spent a few hours in his adult form to scout out if Obito has been in the area recently. Luckily the Uchiha hasn't stepped his foot in the Land of Water for over three weeks, which is a good thing if they're going to save the Three and Six tailed Bijuu.

Everyone but Naruto and Inari is seated at the table, and by the feel of chakra it seems like Kurama and Kakashi are sitting on the roof if the house together? Weird. Sasuke is aware Inari does't want to be around them, but it's dusk and the moon is beginning to pop out, so Sasuke assumes Naruto is still out training. But why are Kurama and Kakashi--Actually. best not to question their weird relationship.

Quickly, Sasuke finishes his plate before everyone else and takes a big gulp of water, then places his dishes in the sink to wash them. Then heads outside into the forest without question from anyone, a cold water bottle in his hands he got from Tazuna's fridge. He coolly put his hands in his pockets and looks up at the fast approaching night time sky.

By the time he reaches Naruto, he arrives just in time to see a sweaty, cut up and dirty blond Uzumaki fall on his ass panting heavily. Sasuke grabs the water he brought from his ninja pouch and walks over to him.

"Here," Sasuke offers quietly and Naruto gives a startled cry, caught off guard by another presence. Naruto actually does feel like he is about to pass and his vision blurs for a moment before reaching out and gulping down the water in seconds. "So, how's the tree climbing going Uzumaki? Getting any better." Naruto nods his head and uses the last bit of water to wash his face, and uses the back of his sleeve to dry himself off.

"Thanks Sasuke, and it's going okay, still need a ton of practice." He looks at Sasuke and gives the water bottle back. He hates to admit it, but he isn't going to get anywhere without some help, and yes, even though it hurt his pride, he is going to need some advice from his teammate. "Alright Sauske, how the hell do you do this? Have you mastered this yet 'casue I just don't get it, even with 'Rama's advice!" Sasuke let's a small closed mouth smile appear on his face.

"Here, let me show you instead of telling. Do you trust me?" Sasuke surprises Naruto by grabbing one of his hands to hold, and Naruto feels his cheeks heat up. He looks at the Uchiha, who looks back at him with a serious face and nods.

"Y-Yes." A black brow raises slowly, amusement written on Sasuke's face.

"Don't get excited, im just making sure you don't fall, now hold tight." Naruto isn't sure if Sasuke is flirting or being serious, but he goes along with it and lets the boy hold his hand for now. He is too exhausted to argue anyway. "Now then, place chakra into your feet once more, but make sure it's leveled and you have the same amount of chakra in every part of your feet. Kinda like how when you put a shoe on and everything feels flat and comfortable." Naruto blinks and follows to the Uchiha's orders.

Sasuke begins to climb the tree and makes sure he's climbing backward so he can watch Naruto. He pulls on Naruto's hand and slowly, the Uzumaki puts one foot in front of the other and walks up the tree with Sasuke, trying to calm down his anxiety while he does so.

Fuck, Naruto is so exhausted and their halfway up the tree at this point, but he suddenly gets a dizzy spell a little and Sasuke quickly reaches out to grab his other hand, panic rising at the feel of Naruto's grip loosening on him. Naruto blinks a couple of times and let out a shaky breath, trying to concentrate on his breathing and keep his chakra leveled in his feet so he won't almost fall again and look like an idiot.

"You alright Naruto?" Naruto nods and goes to give the Uchiha an encouraging smile, and squeezes Sasuke's hands for them to continue.

Sasuke, at his own pace so the other boy can keep up, steadily walks backward up the tree while looking into Naruto's eyes until they make it to the top of it, which took a couple of minutes due to Naruto's tiredness and anxiousness. And Naruto is so busy staring at Sasuke that he doesn't realize they've completely climbed it without falling and he takes a sharp inhale.

"You made it Uzumaki, look." Sasuke praises and lets go of Naruto's hands.

Naruto's heart feels like it's ready to beat out of his chest when Sasuke suddenly lets go of him, and he lets out a small scream. He quickly grabs onto a branch so he can have something to hold onto and steadies his chakra immediately, ignoring Sasuke's chuckles next to him. He looks up to see how much of the tree he has left to climb, only to look up at the starry blue sky instead. His gaze flickers over to Sasuke who's smiling at him, then back the sky.

"It's really beautiful up here, and if I didn't feel like I was gonna have a heart attack I would stay." Naruto shyly scratches the back of his head, because admitting he is scared to Sasuke isn't something that bothers him anymore.

"Do you think you can make it down now Naruto?" Naruto looks down at the ground, feeling dizzy just thinking about it and holds the branch tighter, "I'll take that as a no. You're completely drained after this, aren't you?" Naruto sticks his tongue out at him playfully and blushes.

"No, I can mak- Hey, PUT ME DOWN!" Naruto screeches, and he's not mad at Sasuke, just caught off guard. But glancing down, he wraps his hands around Sasuke's neck and buries his face in the crook of his shoulder, anxiety taking over.

"Hold tight." He grabs Naruto bridal style and walks down the tree at a snail's pace, enjoying the feel of Naruto in his arms.

This is probably what he misses the most. Holding Naruto became a thing for them, or piggyback rides when Naruto was feeling playful and Sasuke allowed them. Sasuke has never been one for affection, petting, cuddles or any sort of intimate touching. That is until Naruto came into his life and flipped everything upside down, which isn't a bad thing. He can actually laugh and smile without feeling like the whole world would be against him if he even shows the slightest emotion that isn't anger. Falling in love with Naruto really was and is the best thing that could have ever happened to him in life and wouldn't ask for another best friend or lover that isn't Naruto.

After a couple of minutes, they end up making it back to Tazuna's house and Sasuke puts Naruto back down on his feet before they arrive. Naruto wouldn't admit that he secretly liked being carried and gave Sasuke his thanks before rushing inside the house, tired and embarrassed. Sasuke watches him go and prepares to follow, climbing up the stairs of the porch, but a hand on his sleeve stops him.

He looks over and raises his eyebrows, just a bit taken by surprise to see it is Sakura who wants his attention. Damn, he really is a lovesick fool because he didn't even notice the girl on the porch.

"Is there something you need Sakura?" He gently takes her hand off his arm and stares at her blushing face.

"We-Well Sasuke, I was wondering..." Here we go again, she's gonna ask him on a date. "On our lunch break tomorrow, how about me and you go explore the village and go on a little date, to get to know each other more as teammates and all." Sasuke sighs because he's had it, and it's finally time he says something instead of letting Sakura weigh herself down in this little fantasy of her.

The truth can hurt, but it's better than if Sasuke continues to let the girl do this to herself, she has to know. So, he grabs her by both shoulders, looks her in the eyes and says,

"Sakura, im gay." And the next thing he knows the girl blinks once, twice, a third time, her face goes red and then bomb, she passes out.

Sasuke goes into panic mode and tries to fan the girl awake, because this, this is not what happened when he told her during the war. Sakura had actually walked in on Naruto and Sasuke having a make-out session in one of the private medical tents, and Sai had found them five minutes later to tell them half the forest was being recked by Sakura. They found her a minute later and she cussed both of them out, but her anger was mainly directed towards Naruto, unfortunately. She blamed Naruto for ruining her chances with Sasuke, because Naruto has known since childhood that she loved him and she was heartbroken.

That's when Sasuke had stepped in to defend Naruto's case and told her the only person that ruined her chances with him, was herself. After that, she hadn't talked to them for almost a week, but eventually, thanks to Ino, she came back around and apologized for her behavior. Naruto immediately forgave her and they hugged it out, but Sasuke didn't accept her apologize until she personally apologized to him hours later. Sasuke had then forgiven her and they were team seven once again, but it did take a couple of weeks for Sakura to accept their relationship until she became the best wingman and sister to them ever.

At the sound of laughter, Sasuke lifts his head up to see Kurama busting out laughing on top of the roof, rolling on his back and holding his stomach. Next to him Kakashi doesn't make it as obvious, but he can't stop his own chuckles and looks away, a hand covering his mouth to try and attempt to block the sound, but he's failing miserably. Kurama just full on doesn't care and continues to bark out laughing.

Sasuke glares at the two," Aren't you two suppose to be the adults? Help me out here." Kakashi clears his throat and Kurama sits up, wiping tears out of his eyes.

"S-Sorry brat, but that shit was just too funny." Kurama chuckles and thought he was done, but he looks down at the girl's unconscious body and starts laughing again.

Kakashi looks over at the laughing fox, then smiles down at Sasuke, "She'll be alright Sasuke, just give her some time when she wakes up. She's not going to be very happy Mr. Casinova." Kakashi muses and Sasuke rolls his eyes.

He goes to pick up the girl and takes her back to her guest room, ignoring the two adults on the roof who are still laughing. Even though the situation is hilarious, thankfully this time around Sakura wouldn't be destroying a whole forest with monstrous strength she doesn't have yet. But still, he mentally prepares himself for her anger when she wakes up and sighs.

Chapter Text

The tension in the room is so thick, a knife could cut into it.

It's early, too early in the morning actually because everyone in the room, minus Kurama who finds the current situation hilarious, is feeling awkward. Naruto slowly eats his cereal besides Sakura, who's glaring holes at Sasuke from across the table and even though she's only thirteen right now, Sakura's anger is still something to be feared. Sasuke feels like he's sweating bullets and ignores Kurama's chuckles from the head of the table. Kakashi pats Sasuke's back while he sips his coffee, and Tazuna's daughter continues to wash the dishes, deliberately turning her back away from the table and humming.

It started off as a nice, normal morning, but who is Sasuke kidding. Is anything ever normal when it comes to team seven? The Answer: No.

Sakura had been the last one to wake up and everyone was talking and chatting until she came downstairs and sat at the table. She didn't grab any food, despite her stomach growling in protest, and decided to cross her arms and just glare at Sasuke from across the table. And who could blame her? Her childhood crush, the love of her life just admitted to her that he's gay and that she has no chance with him ever.

She'll get over it eventually, but right now she is giving Sasuke a headache.

Kurama lightly laughs, "Kit, let's get out of here." Naruto sighs with relief and nods.

"Ummmm, yeah, sounds like a plan!" Naruto mutters quietly and he and Kurama slowly get up to slip out the room.

Naruto cant deal with the tension any longer and  puts his dish away, then leaves to go help with bridge building, Kurama of course following after him. Kakashi is still keeping a watchful eye out, but he trusts Kurama enough now to know that he isn't going to snatch up and flee with Naruto. And if he does, Kakashi has a fox to hunt. But for now, he stays beside Sasuke and clears his throat to say,

"Good morning Sakura, chipper this morning aren't we?" Sakura huffs and if looks could kill, Sasuke would be a dead man right now. "My, my, whatever could be the problem Sakura?" She glares at Kakashi and suddenly points at Sasuke, who blinks at her, confused.

"He is my problem right now!" Tears start streaming down her face, and Kakashi and Sasuke look at each other and gulp. "How could you do this to me Sasuke-Kun? All those smiles and letting me wrap my arm around yours, what was it all for? Were you lying about reviving your clan to give my hopes up too? How could you be so selfish?"

Wow.

He's the selfish one for telling her his sexuality and that he's not interested in her?

Sasuke almost lets his sharingan slip out, but he knows he has to keep his cool because Sakura is only thirteen and ignorant right now. Before he can retaliate, Kakashi puts a hand on his shoulder to silence him.

"Really, Sasuke is the selfish one here? Tell me Sakura, do you have something against gay people?" Sakura pauses and blinks at the question.

"I...N-No, I have no problem with them...But...But I–"

"You just have a problem because Sasuke is one of them, correct?" Slowly she nods her head and Kakashi hums. "Well if you ask me, and I hate to be harsh, but you need to accept reality Sakura. Sasuke has never expressed that he feels the same way for you mutually on a romantic level. And if he wants to be with men, then who are you to judge him and tell him what he can and can't do?" Sakura feels steam coming out of her ears and stands up, almost tipping the table over.

"It's not fair, reviving the clan was a lie, you can't do that without a woman. And now all of a sudden you like guys? What, am I not good enough for you?" She tries to blink her tears away, and suddenly Sasuke feels sympathy for the girl and sighs.

"Listen to me Sakura, I wasn't lying when I said I wanted to revive the Uchiha clan, still do actually. And I know you don't understand right now, but im just not attracted to women. I hope we can still be friends, but I will never learn to love you romantically. You need to realize that your crush for me has to end. If we're gonna be team seven, you have to accept that I don't and never will love you. Can you do that?" Sakura sniffs and takes a shaky breath, her worst nightmare actually coming true.

"I...I'll try Sasuke but I need some time." She covers her mouth so she doesn't sob too loudly and flies back upstairs.

Sasuke puts his face in his hands and groans, "This is gonna be tough when she finds out me and Naruto are a thing." Kakashi raises an eyebrow at the boy, putting a hand on Sasuke's back for moral support.

"So, you and Naruto are official, huh? I remember when I had my first boyfriend after I broke up Anko and let me tell you, the ladies of Konoha were not happy. I haven't dated anybody in years, but I remember it like it was yesterday..." Kakashi chuckles and Sasuke stays quiet, not wanting to amuse the man any further.


 Naruto has used his shadow clones all early morning to help with the progress of the bridge, which to Tazuna's surprise, Naruto got the bridge a quarter way done in just a day. Kurama on the other hand used his brute strength and surprised most of the workers by carrying a ton of metal with just one hand that would take at least five people to carry back and forth from the bridge. Rumors with the men started going around that Kurama isn't human which he finds amusing, but the gossip with the women that Kurama has overheard has him smirking.

He has quite the reputation in the Land of Waves apparently.

Tazuna sees Naruto panting while sitting on a ledge of the bridge, and decides to walk over to him. He sits down with Naruto and hands him a water bottle from his bag. Naruto gives Tazuna a nod and gulps down his water in one gulp.

Sasuke, Sakura, and Kakashi are on the other side of the bridge with some workers building as well.

Tazuna waves at a co-worker and looks over at Naruto,who for the first time ever he smiles at. He lays a gentle hand on his shoulder to say,

"You know Naruto my boy, I was wrong about you." Naruto gives the older man a quizzical gaze and Tazuna just laughs at the boy. "If it wasn't for you Naruto, the bridge's progress wouldn't be as complete if it wasn't for you and your clones and your team is amazing as well. Without Sasuke, you wouldn't even be here right now, and I thank you for all your courage and patience with me. You guys are the reason this little town has hope again." He pats Naruto on the head and walks away to leave the boy to his thoughts. Tazuna isn't good with the whole talking thing, but he's glad he thanked Naruto.

"You're welcome old man!" Naruto shouts and Tazuna waves back at him. Tazuna stops and almost walks into Kurama, and he blinks at the orange-haired man who standing in front of him with a blank look on their face.

"Tell Hatake i'll be out training Naruto for a bit, got it? I'll be going to spend some time with my kit now since he's done for the day." Tazuna doesn't say anything and nods his head.

Kurama walks over to where Naruto is and grabs for his hand, and Tazuna watches the two fondly, wishing him and Inari could have a relationship like them again. And it's only been a little more than a week since Kurama joined the crew. For him and Naruto to be so close, Tazuna is thankful that Naruto has someone to call family right now, given the backstory Kakashi gave him about Naruto's life.


 After almost ten minutes Kurama finally pin points and sniffs Haku out in the woods, ironically ending up back in the same clearing Haku met Naruto yesterday.

They find Haku waiting for them, sitting with his legs crossed on a random tree stump with his hair down, in a blue Yukata that has birds on it. Haku batts his lashes and sends Naruto and Kurama a charming smile, happy the two followed through to meet him here. Kurama also notices that Haku has on that same black choker from the other day. Maybe he has a scar on his neck or someone important gave that to him? Oh well, he can ask personal questions later.

"Hello Naruto, I was wondering if I had scared you off yesterday." Haku flips some of his hair to the side, and Kurama smirks down at a red Naruto.

"No, not really. I was a little taken back since you're so pretty for a boy and all, but it's not an issue!" Naruto nervously scratches the back of his head.

"Well good." Haku stands up to close the distance between him and Naruto. Haku is only a couple of inches taller than him, and it isn't just because Naruto is short for his age, but he could tell Haku is older than him. Maybe by two or three years, he isn't sure. The height difference nor age doesn't bother Naruto though, he's just extremely happy to be making a new friend.

"So Naruto, Kurama, what would you like to do today? Like I said before, there's not much to do in this village. But I could show you my favorite shop and maybe we could take a walk on the beach." A walk on the beach? Naruto blushes at the romantic idea and Kurama hums because the last time he went to a beach was over one hundred years ago when he was able to roam free and took a nap on the shore.

"Yeah, that sounds cool Haku! Is that okay 'Rama?" He looks up at Kurama with big blue eyes that melt the demon's heart.

"Of course, whatever you want to do my kits." Kurama stares at them and holds out his other hand for Haku to take. Haku is hesitant at first and stares at the clawed tanned hand for a moment before slowly letting Kurama take his own. Kurama gives his hand a gentle squeeze and Haku smiles up at him. Haku hasn't held hands with someone since his mother, and that was a long time ago, not including the times he's had to play the role of Zabuza's lover and hold his hand.

The three leave the forest and have been walking around the village for what feels like forever when it has really only been three hours, talking about their favorite foods and such. But really it's just Kurama and Naruto trying to get to know Haku, and what Kurama finds hilarious is that the villagers stared and some even think Naruto and Haku make a cute couple. An elderly man at a carrot stand commented on how cute the two looked together. Naruto, of course, blushed from head to toe and told the man they weren't a couple, and the old man responded that that is what he use to say back in the day when he and his wife weren't dating as children. Haku laughed at a defeated and red-faced Naruto and Kurama was highly amused.

Haku stares at Naruto and Kurama who are currently playing a balloon dart game and he smiles. Haku already knows he adores Kurama, but Naruto is delightful to be around as well. He is smart, charming, and although he played the fool he is smarter than the average person, giving him an advantage in battle. Naruto is a wise shinobi, and Haku has no doubt he would, no, will make a spectacular Hokage someday. He also noticed that Naruto avoids talking about his life in the village, but doesn't mind gushing about how beautiful of a place Konoha is itself.

It actually sounds really nice to Haku, and if things were different he would love to live there with Naruto and Kurama and become a shinobi in Leaf. He's honestly so tired of playing a pitiful rogue ninja in this awful land.

At the sound of a bell and Naruto's cheer, Haku comes out of his daze and see's Kurama and Naruto walking back over to him, a medium-sized teddy bear in Naruto's hands. He blinks when Naruto present's the bear to him and Naruto smiles.

"Here Haku, I won this for you! O–Only if you want it though." Haku stares at the bear for a second before he takes it out of Naruto hands, then bends down slightly to give Naruto a kiss on the cheek.

"Thank you Naruto, I love it." Naruto chokes and Kurama laughs, using a hand to pat Naruto's back.

Naruto on the other hand can't get enough of Haku and almost forgets he's a murderer and a rogue ninja they are supposed to kill, since he works with Zabuza. Haku is precious, kind, caring, and all the above put into one big package.

If Haku was a girl, he would make the perfect mom. However, he can still make a perfect father, and it actually makes Naruto happy that Haku told him and Kurama he wanted kids of his own one day, twins in fact. Haku had told them that he was supposed to have a younger brother, but his mother had a miscarriage and they never spoke of his younger brother again. Haku quickly changed the subject and began to talk about how he loves flowers and collecting them to make medical potions and what not.

Kurama has no doubt that if Haku comes back to the village with them, he and Yamanaka girl would be great friends.

The foxes thoughts shift on bringing the two back to the village with them and their relationship.

All day Haku kept mentioning something about having a special someone. He's fully aware that Haku is talking about Zabuza since his scent is all over him. But the real question in Kurama's mind now is: do Haku and Zabuza have a romantic or platonic relationship? He scoffs and chooses the latter since Haku hasn't mentioned anything about having a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Or maybe just a boyfriend, because earlier Haku had said something along the lines of dating women in the past being too awkward because of how pretty he is. He'd rather be friends with girls than date them, and that is completely fine.

After getting a quick bite to eat from a very small ramen shop, of course Naruto explaining his love for ramen to Haku who listened to him rant every second, enjoying his company, they ended up at Haku's favorite shop. Which is a tiny place that sells origami figures and colored lanterns. And because evening is approaching and the sun is beginning to set, the lanterns gave a pretty glow to the shop. The shop owner acknowledged Haku and began to ask the three how their day was going before going into detail about some new item that had been sent to his shop that customers loved.

All in all, it's been a lovely day spent.

Kurama's listening to Naruto who is in mid-sentence talking about a prank he pulled the other week when he hear's the cry of a child.

Mother instincts kicking in, Kurama runs towards an alleyway to see three thugs and two dirty children, one boy and the other a smaller girl from the looks of it. One of the thugs has the small boy by the shirt and is choking him, while the other two thugs are disgustingly laughing at the sight. The second child is poorly hiding behind a dumpster crying while her brother is getting strangled and Kurama pitties her.

He glares murderously, and the sound of knuckles cracking loudly has the thugs look back at Kurama with a frown.

"Put the kid down." He growls out.

The thug that is holding the boy smirks. "This little punk stole some coins from us and bought food with it. Now he has to pay, but what are you gonna do about it, pretty boy? Go scram to your mother, if you have one in this pathetic town." He and the other men laugh.

"Im gonna ask you one more time, put him down." Kurama tries to reason because he doesn't want to kill just for the fun of it like he did those ANBU. These men are really testing him, but on the other hand there are too many kids around and Kurama doesn't want to shed blood everywhere.

Naruto and Haku catch up seconds later and are disgusted by what they see. Haku goes to take sebon out his kimono pocket but a hand on his chest stops him. He looks at Naruto then at Kurama and straightens himself up.

"Make me." The guy challenge's and Kurama snaps.

Before anyone could blink, Kurama knocks each man out and catches the younger boy that was being strangled before he hits the ground. The younger boy looks up at Kurama with tears in his eye and he sets the boy down and sighs, surprised with himself that he didn't kill those humans and held back. The young girl comes from hiding to hug her older brother, and Kurama's usually cold heart beats at the sight.

"T-Thank you, sir. You saved my younger brother! I don't know how to thank you..." Kurama manages to give the kids a warm smile and kneels down to pat their heads softly.

"You don't have to thank me, but," Kurama reaches in the sleeves of his kimono and gives the kids a bag of coins. "Take this and buy yourself some food alright? And if you're gonna steal, a wise shinobi doesn't get caught. Be careful little ones." To his shock, the children give him a hug and say their thanks before scurrying off into the alleyway.

The only person that has ever given him a hug before was his Naruto, and he's a bit stunned that kids giving him a hug isn't something he hates, in fact, them giving him a hug felt nice. Hugs are definitely something he's going to have to get used to though.

"Sorry about that, but I couldn't just let grown men handle kids that can't defend themselves like that." He stands up again and looks back at his own two adopted children.

" 'Rama that was awesome!" Naruto praises him and it makes Kurama's heart skip a beat again.

"It's quite alright Kurama. What you did back there was the right thing to do but...Do you know who those thugs belong to?" Kurama looks back at the unconscious men on the ground, then back to Haku and shrugs.

"No, but I can take a pretty good guess." Haku lets out a tired sigh and looks down at the ground.

"Those are Gato's thugs. Gato is a horrible man who wants to take control over this little place. He sends his goons here to pick on children or anybody that they deem weak and can get their hands on to scrape up any little money out of said poor citizen's. It's a horrible life and Gato needs to be stopped. He's a terrible man and I...Nevermind, I should head back to Zabuza now." Haku sadly looks away and walks out of the alleyway.

A frown makes it's way on Kurama's face and he reaches out to gently grab Haku's shoulder, spinning the boy around to face him. "Haku, just a moment. You that I know you're not really the bad guy and neither is Zabuza. And the way you talked about Gato also gave you away just now. You hate the man and don't really like working for him, right?" Haku exhales and nods his head, seeing no use of lying to Kurama who's done nothing but defend and save his life.

"Hmmm, knowing that you and Zabuza are working for someone like him must mean he's a good cover, and he's paying you something good. Or one of those two, even though I don't really care. But I do know that you don't deserve to live a life like this, and no amount of money is worth your and Zabuza's lives. You and Zabuza don't have to die Haku."

"If only it were that easy Kurama. You have to understand, me and Zabuza are criminals and unfortunately, this is the life we have to live." Kurama's frown deepens, "The moment Zabuza found me when I was little, I knew the life I was destined to live if I traveled with him. I didn't care at the time though. Someone wanted me to be in their life and that's all that mattered. From then on, since Zabuza saved me from a lonely childhood that I would have died from if I didn't follow him, I've always vowed to protect him. He means the world to me, and if that means we have to die together then so be it. I wish things could have been better for us, but this is the life I...we've chosen. Zabuza thinks we'll make it out alive like we always do, but he and I both know that's just wishful thinking. Time for us was eventually going to run out, and something about working for Gato is telling me that time is coming up for us shortly." A single tear slips from one of Haku's eyes and Kurama goes to wipe it away with his sleeve.

"But what if this isn't the end for you two, Haku?" Naruto suddenly says and Haku allows him to hold one of his hands, Kurama glancing at Naruto who's blue eyes are shining. "You could come back to the village with us and live your life as shinobi in Konoha. You two could redeem yourselves there." Haku gives Naruto a calculating gaze and Kurama blinks, shocked at Naruto before smiling down at him.

"And how are you so sure that I and Zabuza could just waltz in and become registered shinobi of Konoha? We are wanted criminals in the bingo book Naruto." Naruto slowly grins.

"Well Haku, this is the part where I tell you that the Hokage right now is like family to me. He's like my grandpa, and I can put in a good word for you two. It's going to be tricky with the council, but from what jiji has told me, the council will take anyone with a strong Kekkei Genkai like yourself in since you told me about your ice abilities. You would be really great in the medical field too since you study herbs and make really awesome remedies, and having someone as powerful as Zabuza will strengthen the military, same with you too! They won't hesitate to take you two in, I promise and I don't go back on my word." Haku glances down at the ground beneath them for a minute, thinking everything over.

This opportunity is too good to pass up, but would Zabuza accept? Damn that man for being as stubborn as a fox, but wait-

"Naruto, can you guarantee me and Zabuza will have a safe life in your village? Can you promise me we'll be okay?" He hesitantly looks up into Naruto's blue eyes with his own watery hazel ones, and Naruto gives the boy a nod.

"Yes." That is all Haku needs to hear.

"Alright then, will you two come with me to talk to someone?" Kurama knows what Haku is trying to do and rolls his eyes.

"You want us the talk to mummy man and convince him, don't you? Fuck, is the man that stubborn?" Kurama crosses his arms and Haku snickers.

"Unfortunately yes, and I know it's a lot to ask of you but will you Kurama. Please? Surely if he wont listen to me he'll definitely listen to you." Kurama ignores those big tan eyes and eyebrow wiggle at the suggestion, throwing his hands up in the air in frustration.

"Alright, alright, fuck i'll do it, but if he makes any moves im going to kill him. Lead the way brat." Kurama grumpily replies and Haku thanks him, glad Kurama and Naruto are doing so much for his sake.


 Nightfall approaches and after hours of laying low and making it back towards the middle of Sage knows where in the forest, Naruto looks up to see a huge tree house before them and looks up at Kurama.

Kurama stares down at him with glowing red eyes and uses a clawed hand to caress his cheek to let him know it's alright. Naruto lets out a small smile and goes to grab the sleeve of Kurama's jacket.

Expertly, Haku jumps along treetops to reach the secret door of their hideout, the two Uzumaki following him closely. Haku glances back at them, nods and opens the door, quietly stepping into a dark room. Kurama senses Haku's anxiety and squeezes his hand to let him know it would be okay too, and wants to throw up at how soft he's becoming over his two boys who he didn't sign up to adopt.

Haku closes the window in his bedroom and looks back at the two before opening the door to his living room.

To his surprise when he opens the door fully, Zabuza is on the kitchen counter, cooly leaning against it with his sword on the other side of the room.

"Don't look so surprised Haku. You think you can just sneak a piece of ass like Kurama in this house without me knowing? And who's the little brat you have with you tonig–" Zabuza chokes at the sight of Naruto and looks back up at Kurama who smirks at him, mischief dancing around in those red eyes of his.

"Zabuza, meet the special person I was talking about. My nephew, Naruto Uzumaki. Naruto, meet Zabuza Momochi." Zabuza stares and gulps under the intense gaze Kurama is sending him. Naruto on the other hand just awkwardly waves, partially hiding behind Kurama.

Haku walks in the middle of the room and goes to stand beside Zabuza, then says, "Listen, I brought Kurama and Naruto here for a reason tonight, and it's not for you to fight Kurama because I swear Zabuza if you lay a finger on him it won't be pretty. They've offered us a proposal we can't refuse, and I for one am all for it. However, I didn't think my word would be enough, so I brought them here to tell you the offer themselves." Zabuza raises his eyebrow and Haku wraps his arms around one muscular arm, the sight making Kurama raise an thin orange brow, but he doesn't comment on it.

"My, my, protective of them aren't we Haku? And what is this offer that's so big, you brought the boy and Kurama of all people to come see me in person?" Zabuza slowly stands up to his full height, easily towering over Haku. The older man's height never intimidated Haku in the least, so Haku peers up at him with a look that Zabuza has never seen in his apprentice's eyes before.

Determination.

"Zabuza, do you like working for Gato? Because Haku certainly doesn't and I assume you don't either." Kurama blurts out and the two mist nin stare at him.

"I hate him and we plan on killing him in fact. Im not the most humble man, but that man is the lowest of the low. Someone needs to get rid of him. But enough about me, what about this offer, Ginger?" Kurama glares and prepares to fire back, but becomes quiet when Naruto steps forward and towards the middle of the room.

He scratches the back of his head and offers, "After getting to know Haku and how his life with you has been, I wanted to make an offer that you guys couldn't refuse. Working for someone like Gato is a joke and I know you guys can do better. I would like to know if you would like the chance to leave this awful land and come back with us to the Village Hidden in the Leaf. To be protected, paid well, and to live in the land of fire as registered shinobi of Konoha. We'd work out the rest of the details once we got there. And the reason im so confident that you two will be okay in the end is because I know the third Hokage personally. He's like a grandfather to me, and he's one of the best leaders to ever exists. Plus, the council wouldn't miss the opportunity to have someone as powerful as you and Haku to strengthen the village security and look good for upcoming wars and missions. So, what do ya say?"

Kurama is thoroughly impressed by Naruto and it's such a shame he always plays the fool just so the villagers don't try to hurt him more than they already do. He's such a talented, intelligent being, and damn the village for forcing him to play the role of a idiot out of fear of getting completely unaccepted or worse, killed.

"Fight me." Zabuza responds.

Okay, not exactly the response Naruto nor Kurama were expecting.

"You want me to what!?" Naruto shrieks and Kurama bares his teeth at the man, coming forward to stand beside Naruto.

"Zabuza..." Haku warns, tightening his grip on Zabuza's arm. As much as he cares for Zabuza he knows the man to be brash and will knock him out if he fucks up such a good opportunity for them.

"Relax Haku, I just want to fight him. Listen kid, if you can beat me in a sparring match, i'll go with you to your village." He grins and risks a glance towards Naruto, deliberately avoiding Kurama who's glaring at him.

"And if I lose?" Naruto narrows his eyes and gives Zabuza a grin of his own.

"Hmmmm, I get to have Kurama for a night." Kurama blinks and opens his mouth, appalled.

"Excuse m–"

"Deal. But just know im not going to lose to you so easily, Demon of the Mist!" Naruto can see Zabuza's grin widening through his bandages and feels a rush of excitement go through him.

"What the fu–" Kurama tries to interject again.

"Same to you, host of the nine-tailed fox. Now let's take this outside." Haku releases the hold he has on Zabuza and watches the man venture outside, Naruto right behind him.

Haku walks over to Kurama who looks like a gaping fish and places a hand on one of his arms. "For your sake and ours, please don't let Naruto go easy on him. However just know either way, if he should lose or win, I saw the look on Zabuza's face and know him better than most. He's going to accept that offer no matter what." Kurama stares at Haku like he's lost his mind and says,

"Did my kit just make a deal to whore me out for a night if he lost?" Haku chuckles and jumps out the window, Kurama shortly following after with a concerned look on his face.

All four step outside and a highly confused Kurama watches closely on the sidelines once Naruto and Zabuza begin their fight.

He has to admit for Naruto's age, he's holding up pretty well against Zabuza. But Kurama and Haku can tell that Zabuza is lazily swinging his sword around, not taking this fight seriously.

It isn't everyday that someone who is basically the grandson of the third Hokage from Konoha offers two missing nin like them a safe life and a roof over their heads. Zabuza would have to be an idiot to refuse something like this, and Haku knows Zabuza is just as tired as him living the life they're living. It's hard having to hide and find a new place to live as often as they have to, while also making money and being discreet at the same time. Most times Haku has had to play the role of Zabuza's wife, lover, girlfriend, whore and more several times in his lifetime. Being an actor every day of your life gets tiring, and Haku is ready for a fresh start.

Haku is thrilled that he and Zabuza are going to have new chances to redeem themselves, and finally, live a life where they didn't have to run and disappear from society every two seconds. A life where there is time for friends and maybe romance with an actual love interest.

Living life in Konoha would change both those things. Unfortunately Haku has never had a real friend before, besides Zabuza, so he is excited to go to Konoha and become friends with all of Naruto's friends there. As for romance...Well, from what he has seen and heard, Haku couldn't wait to arrive and scope out all of the fine men of Konoha. The Land of Fire has always been known for their reputation of good-looking men.

"Damn it!" Haku comes back from daydreaming after hearing Naruto yell.

"Come back here you little shit!" Zabuza swings his sword once more, and Naruto almost doesn't dodge in time and gets a scratch on his arm.

Kurama's instincts are telling him to tear Zabuza apart and collect Naruto, but he holds back and Haku notices the fast foot tapping Kurama is doing.

Naruto scowls at his now ripped jacket and Kurama growls at Zabuza, who has a predatory look in his eyes when he peers at Kurama. Kurama can't tell if it's because of lust since Zabuza is attracted to him, or he is just bloodthirsty. Maybe both. Actually, the thought of a horny and murderous Zabuza all at once sounds like a nice night, but Kurama has other things to think about. And just how the hell does Haku put up with such a flirtatious, yet dangerous man all the time? Then again Haku isn't much different, just more innocent looking.

He is basically mini Zabuza after all.

"Hey ginger, you just gonna stand there and stare at me? Not that I mind...I am an attractive man." Zabuza practically purrs, and Kurama scoffs at him.

Naruto uses the opportunity of Zabuza being distracted and goes to get a hit in, and Zabuza meets him head-on, putting his sword down to throw a punch as well. Naruto is prepared to jump in the air to dodge, but his instincts kick in and instead he skids to the ground to knock Zabuza off balance. He successfully kicks one of his legs and sends the man on the ground.

"Nicely done kit." Kurama comments and Naruto looks up at him with a smile.

Before Naruto can fully get up, Zabuza grabs one of Naruto's legs and pulls him onto his lap. "Hey, that's cheating, I was caught off guard!" Naruto argues and Zabuza raises an eyebrow at him.

"So, you change from punching to kicking me, send my ass on the ground...And me grabbing one of your legs to pull you into my lap is cheating? You're one for weird, you know that?" Naruto blushes at the comment and yelps when Kurama gently grabs him by the back of his jacket to pull him up.

"I think that's enough sparring for one night Naruto, don't you?" Naruto whines and points at Zabuza, who stands up and dust himself off.

"But Kurama I didn't win, he's still conscious." Kurama barks out laughing and has to hold his stomach at that.

"K-Kit, oh fuck you're so funny." He contains his laughter for the moment and goes to scruff up Naruto's hair. "The fact that you're still alive and held your own is enough for me. And no, you didn't knock him unconscious but let's call it a tie for now. It's getting late and I need to get you back before Kakashi starts bitching at me." He looks at the orange sky that's almost blue and sighs, because he honestly doesn't want to go back to Tazuna's to deal with a bitchy Kakashi.

Kurama watches Haku walk over to Zabuza and raises an orange brow at the two, "Well, so what's your answer. You gonna turn over a new Leaf and come back to Konoha with us or what?"

"Listen Kurama, there's something we should ask you first." Haku peers up at Zabuza who nods at him, then glances back at Kurama, "Gato and a lot of his goons plan on attacking the bridge tomorrow. Originally, me and Zabuza were supposed to meet with your team and kill all of you on the bridge tomorrow morning, but instead, we want to help you in destroying Gato and anything that has to do with him. Will you let us?" Kurama blinks, surprised at Haku's honesty and slowly nods his head.

Zabuza sighs, "We both despise Gato and planned on taking him out tomorrow, but that also meant killing all of you so our cover wouldn't have been blown. But If Haku wants to start a new life in Konoha, then who am I to stop 'em? Besides, the offer doesn't sound too bad. Maybe I could actually get that sparring match and more coming back with you, Kurama." He finishes and Kurama shakes his head at him, amused that Zabuza is trying so hard to have one night with him.

Who knew it would be this easy to have the Demon of the Mist wrapped around his clawed finger.

"So will you meet up with us at the bridge tomorrow before Gato shows up? Let's put our differences aside and defeat Gato together." Kurama finally says and steadies his gaze on Zabuza because he already knows Haku will say yes.

"Of course i'll be there for you, Kurama! Me and Zabuza. And I can not wait to meet the rest of your teammates Naruto." Haku looks up at Zabuza who looks down at him, and Haku manages to give to most dramatic puppy dog eyes Zabuza has ever seen. Zabuza has the urge to slap the back of Haku's head lightly, but something tells him that Kurama would rip him in two if he did, so he lets out a groan instead.

"Fine, we'll be there. But I guarantee no promises that if Copy Cat gets in me and Haku's way, I'll slice 'em in half." Kurama laughs and waves his hand carelessly.

"By all means go for it." He hears Naruto gasp and lays a hand on the boy's shoulder, "Kidding Naruto, im just joking. On a serious note, Kakashi has every right to attack you if he sees fit and if you guys can't get along, it's out of my hands. Now come on Naruto, let's get back before Kakashi chew's me out for having you gone so long." Naruto nods and takes the hand Kurama offers him to hold.

"Alright, see you tomorrow Haku! And uh..." Naruto still isn't sure how to feel about Zabuza yet and gulps at the intense gaze the mist nin is giving him.

Kurama snickers and roughs up Naruto's hair, "Goodnight you two, we'll see you tomorrow and try to tame yourself Zabuza." Zabuza huffs and Kurama can tell he's grinning underneath his bandages.

"Remember, I made no such promises." Kurama rolls his eyes at the man and he and Naruto fly away back to Tazuna's house.

Zabuza stares at them as they disappear into the trees and Haku walks up to stand beside him, arms behind his back and a devious smirk plastered on his face. He glances up at Zabuza and says,

"So, all those times you said you'd never be a dad, huh? Looks like Kurama just changed your mind and you adopted a little one, and you don't even realize it. Kurama has you hooked." Zabuza grunts and heads back into the tree house, not wanting to amuse Haku even more with a response.

Haku gives him a soft laugh because he too is hooked by Kurama and is glad they met. Kurama is certainly becoming a parental figure in his life, and he hopes that doesn't change anytime soon. Going back to Konoha with Naruto and Kurama and living with them would be a dream, seeing as this would be Haku's first real family since his own parent's death.

Chapter Text

 

Something about today seems like it's going to be crazy, Kakashi tiredly thinks while he watches Kurama sit with one leg over the other. He's biting one of his clawed nails gently and it's almost as if he's waiting for something, but what?

Meanwhile Naruto is missing, probably still at Tazuna's house sleeping, while Sasuke and Sakura help Tazuna with the bridge. But lately, Sasuke has been acting funny too. Ever since Kurama joined them things have been becoming strange, and not in a good way, but not necessarily a bad way either.

"Is everything alright, Kurama? You seem a bit, anxious today." Kakashi asks, peeking up from Ichi Ichi paradise to stare at the fox.

Said anxious fox spares him a glance and says, "Yeah, just peachy. Mind your business Hatake." He flips his hair and goes back to bitting his nail. Kakashi just shrugs and continues reading.

And then it happens.

Mist suddenly appears and Kurama scoffs and rolls his eyes because Zabuza just has to make a dramatic entrance. That or he's trying to impress Kurama and it's annoying the demon even more.

And in comes Zabuza from the smoke, Haku and Naruto behind him. Kakashi stands up, ready to take off his headband and reveal his Sharingan once again, but a clawed hand on his chest stops him and he looks at Kurama like he's gone crazy.

"Kurama, what in Sage's name are you doing? They are the enemy and have Nar–" A sharp red-eyed glare shuts Kakashi up and Kurama silently walks over to Zabuza and an extremely happy Haku, who's waving at him. Kurama waves back and greets an excited Haku and Naruto who runs up to hug him.

" 'Rama, we stopped some bad guys just now and it was so awesome, you should have been there!" An orange eyebrow raises.

"Oh you did huh? Well, good job kits." He goes to run a clawed hand through blond hair and another through black hair.

Kakashi just stares, entirely confused.

But not completely shocked since Kurama had said something about staying at Zabuza's as a house guest for a night. So they've known each other previously. But it's the way Zabuza and Kurama interact that has Kakashi at a loss, because are they flirting? No, it looks like Zabuza is the only one doing the flirting and Kurama is rolling his eyes. But then Zabuza steps closer to Kurama and is leering at him. Leering. And then Zabuza goes to slide a hand down Kurama's waist and the demon threatens to break his hand, but didn't Kurama almost kill Zabuza a couple of days ago?

Kakashi's head feels like it's about to explode and he's definitely going out to the new underground 21 + club to drink with some of his fellow colleges. Anko's right, he could use a breather once in a while.

"Hatake," A voice calls and he looks over at Kurama who's smirking at him and holding Naruto and the other boy's hand like he's their mother or something.

"I want to reintroduce you to Zabuza Momochi, and the brat to my left is his apprentice, Haku. Also known as my second kit, so if you touch him I will kill you." Kurama growls out because if he sees one spark of lighting aimed at Haku, Kakashi is going to lose his entire arm.

Kakashi looks down at the brown-eyed, black-haired boy who waves at him, then up at Zabuza and everything in his body is telling him to attack. But he holds off for now, because Zabuza's demeanor is very calm for the moment, and something tells Kakashi it has to do with the fact that Kurama is standing in between them with kids in his hand.

If they tried to fight each other Kurama would kill them both.

"Well, to what do I owe this visit if it's not to kill me and my team, Zabuza Momochi?" Kakashi questions and looks back at a frightened Sakura and laid back Sasuke standing in front of Tazuna.

Zabuza snorts and points to Kurama, "You can thank him, he and the little blond squirt gave us an offer me and Haku can't refuse. And by the way ginger, those two goons that were gonna kill the bridgebuilder's daughter and grandchild, Haku and Naruto took care of 'em." Kakashi and Kurama stare at each for a moment, then Kakashi glances back at Zabuza, slowly looking back and forth between the two.

"And...that offer would be?" Kakashi is afraid to ask if he's going to be honest with himself.

"To come back to Konoha with us since they're the good guys now. 'Rama says it's okay, so can we please Kaka-Sensei, pleaseeee?" Kakashi feels all blood drain out of his system and he wants to pass out.

Yes, he certainly is overdue for a drink, and Anko is paying when he gets back to the village.

Of course he can't say no to Naruto, because Kurama will murder him if he makes Naruto cry, but damn it all. Eventually, he's going to have to put his foot down. Bringing two criminals from another Land and a lost Uzumaki back to the village? Sarutobi is certainly going to have his head for this, but Kurama has proven himself trustworthy enough and Kakashi trusts his judgment, for now. Still, Kakashi doesn't have a good feeling about this and is going to be on his guard until they step into the gates of Konoha.

"An Uzumaki and two fugitives huh? Well, can't say the third Hokage isn't going to chew me out for this. But why, why now do you want to play the good guys? You tried to kill us the other day." Zabuza gives Kakashi a calculating gaze before answering,

"Like I said, you can thank ginger here. We're tired of running around and switching from new home to home. Something stable would be nice for once, and me and Haku never liked Gato. In fact, we planned to kill him anyway and run with whatever money he had. I may be awful, but that man is a disgusting piece of shit and I just want to tear his little body to ribbons. So, what do you say Kakashi, truce? " Haku hums in agreeance and Kakashi stares at the two, then blinks twice.

"I don't even care anymore, go for it. You wanna redeem yourselves? Sure, have at it. But I won't hesitate to kill either of you if I find your motive suspicious." Kakashi sighs out and Zabuza's eyes glance downward and at the book sitting behind Kakashi. He grins and goes to pick it up, Kakashi's eye going wide. If there's one thing that matters more than life itself to him, it's his porn.

"What are you reading here copy cat?" Zabuza brings the book towards his face and skims over the explicit scene Kakashi is currently reading. He lets out a low whistle, "Wow, I didn't know you were into this kind of stuff. Can a woman even stretch like that? I haven't finished volume 2 myself, but Katra really is a great female protagonist." Kakashi gives Zabuza a blank stare for a minute before he blinks and comes out of his daze.

"P-Probably, never attempted that position with anyone to be honest...You read Ichi Ichi Paradise?" Zabuza shrugs and goes to turn the next page.

"I've only read volume one. I have volume two, but I haven't managed to read it yet." He looks up at Kakashi and smirks, "When you're a criminal on the road you really don't have time to read a book filled with raunchy sex scenes like this." Kakashi blushes underneath his mask and coughs, ignoring Zabuza chuckles beside him.

Kurama looks at the two and snorts, "Great, stuck with two crazy closet perverts now." He feels Naruto let go of his hand and smiles at him, Naruto giving him a grin of his own.

Naruto grabs Haku's hand and leads him to where everyone else is standing.

"Guys, I want you to officially meet Haku. Haku, these are my teammates, Sakura Haruno, and Sasuke Uchiha. Haku and Zabuza are coming back to the Hidden Leaf Village to start a new life and become certified ninja there!" Sakura gasps, surprised and shocked all at once.

"Really?" She questions and Hakus blushes and nods his head.

"Yes, I tire of playing the villain, along with Zabuza. I would like to...become something more than a rogue ninja, and I want to help Naruto in his dream to become hokage." Naruto squeezes Haku's hand and smiles up at him.

This causes Sasuke to look away from Zabuza who is casually chatting, maybe flirting with Kakashi? Then to Haku holding hands with Naruto, and he narrows his eyes at the sight. He doesn't mean to, but honestly seeing Naruto hold hands with someone else that isn't himself bothers him. It always has, even when they officially became a couple during the war. But holding hands with someone is just a Naruto thing, and he does it in a platonic way when he's excited about something. Still, with someone as pretty as Haku it slightly concerns Sasuke, but he's not going to say anything about it.

And, oh wow.

Sasuke never noticed Haku before because by the time Haku's mask was shattered and he was murdered by Kakashi, Sasuke had been unconscious. Then they went to bury them, so he hadn't really got to get a good look at Haku until now, back in the past of twenty years.

But now, oh Sage Haku is one of the most beautiful males he has ever laid his eyes on besides Naruto. Long black hair, big doe-eyed tan eyes, long lashes, a pretty smile. He's a really cute boy, and he can't stop himself from looking away when Haku looks back at him with a blush on his cheeks.

Sakura watches their interaction and glares at Sasuke.

Haku catches Sakura's heated stare and gives the young girl a smirk, "Is something wrong, girl?" Haku asks in a sickly sweetly tone, and there's a smile on his face, but his eyes scream murder. It makes Sasuke shiver with fear and averts her gaze to the ground. There is something about Haku that doesn't sit right with her, and she has a feeling if she says anything Haku might slice her throat. But she's Sakura Haruno, and when she has an opinion about something she's going to speak her mind, no matter what.

She gulps and says, "Actually yeah. You two tried to kill us the other day, and a week later you expect us to believe you're the good guys now?" She turns her glare to Naruto. "And you're an even bigger idiot for becoming friends with the enemy Naruto. But of course, you of all people would be dumb enough to do something like this." This makes Haku let go of Naruto's hand and he slowly moves his feet until he is face to face with her.

Zabuza, Kurama, and Kakashi stop talking to watch the scene between the two unfold.

And poor Tazuna is still confused by everything, so he takes a sip of his sake.

"Im going to make something very clear to you girl so listen close, because im only going to say this once. I would never betray Naruto or Kurama. They mean the world to me now and are giving me a second chance to live a happy, normal life as I should. You wouldn't understand the life of a rogue ninja, so you don't know how much this opportunity means to me. You couldn't possibly understand how much I care for them because of this, and I will protect Naruto with my life. He has told me about you, Sakura, and honestly I don't like you. In fact, you're my least favorite teammate he has talked about, and I wish someone would knock some damn sense into you to not treat him like he is nothing. Naruto is amazing and if you keep calling him names, I can't promise that I won't knock you out cold and put you in your place, little girl. Are we clear?" She chokes under the vicious glare Haku is sending down to her, since Haku is bit taller, and slowly shakes her head.

"Y-Yes Haku, im sorry." She bows her head and Haku sighs. Sakura won't admit it, but the older boy intimates her and she's already embarrassed herself enough for one day. She walks away to sit by herself from the rest of the group, and damn his mother instincts, but Kurama leaves the two perverts to go sit down beside her.

He sits and puts a hand on her back, "You okay brat?" She exhales shakily and puts her face in her hands.

"No," She looks up at him with watery eyes. "I really should learn to keep my big mouth shut, shouldn't I?" Kurama gives her a small smile and goes to scruff up her pink hair.

"Yeah, you should, but it'll all come in due time when you grow and learn to accept things. For example, eventually you'll have to get over the fact that Sasuke likes men or that bad guys can turn into good guys. But for now, I understand your frustration with Haku and Zabuza, but trust me, they won't harm you. Everything is going to be alright, okay cherry blossom?" Sakura hums and Kurama freezes when she leans into him.

"Yeah, thanks 'Rama. F-For coming over here to check on me that is." Awkwardly he looks down at her and pats her head.

"You're welcome...kit." Adoptive child number three? Oh boy.

Haku turns back around to Naruto who is as red as a cherry and winks after seeing that Sakura is alright.

"My apologies about that, but she's an asshole. And um," Haku looks up and stares at Sasuke, "Im sorry I haven't introduced myself, im Haku, pleasure to meet you." He extends his hand out, and Sasuke takes it without hesitation, trying to ignore the underlying tone in Haku's voice.

"My name is Sasuke Uchiha, pleasure is all mine."

"Oh. Maybe when we get back to the village you could show me a thing or two, around the village I mean." Haku bats his eyelashes innocently and Sasuke smirks because who knew that boy would be this saucy.

Like pupil like master, Sasuke muses.

"I'd be more than happy to do that, and show you around the village too." Haku's eyes widen at the response and he narrows his eyes at Sasuke, definitely interested in the young Uchiha in front of him.

Oh, if Sasuke wasn't physically thirteen with the mentality of a thirty-year-old sent back into the past to fix everything.

If Haku had stayed alive and went back to the village with them, maybe something would have sparked between the two. He only has eyes for Naruto, but that doesn't stop the tension that's forming around him and Haku, and poor Naruto is smiling, too oblivious to notice.

The smoke clears, and everyone turns their attention to Gato, who arrives with what looks like hundreds of thugs behind him. He claps his tiny hands, a grin on his face.

"Well, well, Zabuza. You and your little girlfriend betraying me huh? I knew you two dirty pieces of shit were no good to me. I feed you, covered for you and gave you a home. And now you do this? You and your bitch are good for nothin' criminals that I should have never hired." Haku feels the sudden urge to murder and Zabuza cracks his knuckles, Kakashi ready beside him with his headband off, sharingan out.

Team seven goes to stand in front of Tazuna to protect him and just as Sasuke and Kurama remember it, the village comes from the other side of the bridge with torches and other weapons. Inari is leading in the front and all hell breaks loose.

There's blood and screams everywhere, and Kakashi, Kurama, and Zabuza make sure no civilian gets hurt while fighting off Gato's thugs.

In the end, Gato and his goons are defeated and Zabuza and Haku have the satisfaction of ripping Gato's head off, letting the rest of the village put it on a stake and celebrate. Not exactly how Sasuke and Kurama expected things to turn it, but it's better than what originally happens. And not seeing Zabuza laid down beside Haku's corpse to die besdies him, snow falling while surrounding their dead bodies is a lot better.


It has been a week since they defeated Gato.

The bridge is finally complete, thanks to the extra added help of Zabuza and Haku. The little town is the happiest team seven has ever seen it since they came to Wave, and it makes Sasuke feel good knowing that he is the one that convinced Kakashi to let team seven finish this mission this time around. And Tsunami, Tazuna's daughter, has made dinner for everyone every single night as a reward for saving everybody. It's still weird having Zabuza and Haku around at the table, but after two days everyone got use to them.

Surprisingly, Sakura and Haku have gotten along better than Sasuke and Kurama expected. Whether it's because of Haku's feminine looks and that Sakura looks up to him as a role model, or that because she's a girl and Haku relates with them easily, Sasuke and Kurama are glad the two are hitting it off. And because of how intimidating Haku is to her, they barely hear Sakura correct Naruto or call him names of any sort when Haku is around. Even though with Kurama around Sakura stopped most of her nonsense already.

The biggest surprise to them though is Zabuza and Kakashi.

The two are acting like they've been friends for years, and they found out they're both huge closet perverts to Kurama's amusement and horror. It's not shocking to them either that Kakashi has a backup volume two of Ichi Ichi Paradise and he and Zabuza are reading it together, talking about scenes, characters and whatnot. It's also interesting to know that Zabuza actually likes to read, and Haku confirmed this fact the other day when Kurama teased Zabuza for it. Haku admitted he liked to pick flowers and Zabuza liked to read during their spare time if they weren't running away or murdering someone. Kurama thought it to be cute and Zabuza just shrugged him off.

There's a party going on tonight in town to celebrate team seven's last day here in the Land of Waves, and all is going well. Zabuza and Kakashi are laughing amongst themselves, a few drinks in their systems, and there are townfolk dancing everywhere. Sakura and Haku are mingling with other people that Tazuna's daughter has introduced them to, and Sasuke finds himself sitting and chatting with Naruto, cuddled closely by his side by one of the fireplaces set up around the village.

"I can't believe we did it. And it's all thanks to you for convincing Kakashi to let us complete this mission Sasuke, because if you hadn't said anything I surely would have. And I feel like we've gotten a bit closer...on this mission...um, so thanks." Naruto blushes and his eyes go wide when Sasuke lays a hand on top of his on his lap. He looks up at Sasuke and smiles because this is the bond they should have had from the start.

"You're welcome Uzumaki." Speaking of Uzuamki, where the hell is Kurama?

Haku and Sakura are calling them over from a few feet away and Sasuke and Naruto go to get up. Naruto pulls on Sasuke's hand, but Sasuke stops him and Naruto looks back at the boy.

"Is something wrong Sasuke?" Sasuke blinks.

"Yeah...If Kakashi asks, tell him I went back to Tazuna's house. Im not feeling too good, but Kakashi is so drunk right now he probably won't even notice." Naruto cocks his head to the side.

"But you were feeling fine a second ago?" Damn, Sasuke needs to come up with something quick.

"Must have been something I ate. I uh, need to take care of business if you know what I mean." Naruto makes an 'O' shape with his mouth and lets go of Sasuke's hand giggling.

"He he alright, feel better Sasuke. I'll see you in the morning?" Sasuke nods his head.

"Yeah, see you in the morning." He smiles and Naruto waves, walking away towards Haku and Sakura.

Discreetly he looks around to see if anyone is watching, and goes to hide and run into the darkness of the forest where he senses Kurama.


The party is nice and all, but Kurama can't stand the flirting going on between a slightly tipsy Zabuza and Kakashi, and some men and women of the village who want a go at him as well.

So he goes off to go get a drink. He'll never understand the concept of romance and will never have sex with a human. Gross.

That's when a wave of dizziness hits him after taking a sip of his drink, and he mutters an excuse that he feels sick. He sneaks away from the party and into a secluded area of the forest.

He looks at his surroundings first before sitting Indian style and focuses on his chakra to go into his inner world that he is connected to his siblings with.

He closes his eyes and enters a world surrounded by darkness.

He keeps walking until a familiar chakra hits him and a moment later he gasps, a bit taken back at the being in front of him.

"Hiya Kurama, long time no see brother! But what the heck happen to ya? You're a human!" Kurama blinks at the six-tailed slimy snail-like creature in front of him, Saiken.

If any of his siblings are easy going and not a total nutcase, it's Saiken and Matatabi. And really, this is a complete surprise to him because he figured he would have trouble entering their mental linked world connection because two of him exist now. He still is a bijuu though, so it's not too shocking he can enter into the link so easily. 

He can worry about that later, Saiken found him instead and that's all that matters.

"Hey brat, been a long time. And as for the human thing, long story. Too long and a tale to tell for another time. Also don't ever become a human, it's fucking gross and im still getting used to having feet." Kurama smirks when Saiken laughs at him, happy to hear such a cute bubbly voice again that he hasn't heard in a long time.

"Trust me, I like being the way that I am but I do admit you look very pretty Kurama. Anyway, what are you doing so close to the Land of Water? Mission with your host?" Kurama grunts at his sibling.

"Yes, we had a small mission to do for the bridge builder from Wave but that's not really why I'm here. Look Saiken, i'll get to the point. How is Isobu?" The bubbly air around the slug suddenly fades and Kurama frowns, because when bubbles stop forming around Saiken that's not a good sign, at all.

"He's...I don't know Kurama, it's like he's being mind controlled or something. I can't get a connection with him at all, and when I do it's nothing but growls and the sound of pain and agony. Kinda like how you were thirteen years ago when you attacked the Hidden Leaf Village, or the time Madara Uchiha forced you the fight the first Hokage. Tell me 'Rama, does another Uchiha have something to do with this? Are me and my host in danger as well?" Kurama goes to cross his arms and sighs.

"Yeah Saiken, you and your host are in danger and im here to save you and Isobu. I need to find a way to break the damn genjutsu he's under before I leave the Land of Waves soon, and also it's not safe for you and your host to be there in the Land of Water." Saiken hums and bubbles start to form around him again.

"Utakata really doesn't like being isolated by the village and usually finds a quiet place so me and him can talk all day long. He doesn't really have any friends and humans can be so cruel. Would he be able to come back to Konoha with you? Will you look after him there?" Kurama blinks at the suggestion and goes think about it for a moment.

"I...Actually yes, he can come back with me. In fact, that would be even better so I can protect both him and Naruto. What do you say Saiken, will you entrust your boy to my care?"

Kurama hopes this works out.

"The Uzumaki boy that's your host?" Saiken asks and Kurama goes to nod his head. "Then yes, I will inform Utakata of the plan and have him sneak out of the village with you before you leave tomorrow. Utakata is a sweet boy and you should get along with him just fine, a handsome lad too." Kurama snorts.

"Thanks Saiken, I can always count on you and i'll explain everything else later. For now, I need to find a good time to save Isobu." Saiken makes a sound and Kurama looks up at him. "What's wrong?"

"If you're going to break the spell, I suggest you head over tonight where Isobu is then because that Uchiha will be back sometime tomorrow." Kurama stares into space for a second before blinking twice.

"Come again?"

"Well, that strange Uchiha that is controlling Isobu comes back every four weeks, and im always afraid he'll come after me and Utakata next. Even though I say the village is isolated from us, we can't escape because they still have a close watch on us. I hate to say it, but my protection might not be enough for Utakata and im scared Kurama." Kurama feels his heart stops and he growls, because damn these Uchihas.

"Okay, bring your boy to me tonight as fast as you can and we'll figure something out. I promise i'll keep you both safe, okay?" Saiken sends what looks like a smile down at Kurama.

"Before I let you go Kurama, why the new leaf all of a sudden? I didn't think you would really care and ignore my calls to you tonight." The statement makes Kurama cringe because of what a complete asshole he use to be. How could he have ignored his sibling's pleas for help when he was so close and could have saved them the first time around?

Oh well, that's all in the past...future? Time travel is weird.

"Because I found someone to love who taught me to lo...care for others." Saiken likes the answer and lets Kurama go, waving goodbye and the world starts to fade black again.

Kurama opens his eyes, the sounds of the night forest life coming back to him. A hand is about to touch his shoulder and on instinct, he grabs the wrist and flips the person on their back. He jumps on top of them and blinks down at Sasuke, who's surprisingly in his adult form with a black cloak over him. He sits back on his heels and mutters an apology to Sasuke.

"What the fuck are you doing here Sasuke? And make noise next time...I could have killed you just now." Sasuke shrugs and sits up, not minding Kurama on top of him but annoyed that the fox won't move. 

"Well, I noticed you weren't at the party and came to look for you, plus we haven't had a moment together this whole mission. Im very proud of you by the way. You may not like being a human, but thanks to you team seven's bond has grown tremendously and we managed to save Haku and Zabuza this time around." Sasuke notices Kurama's frown and goes to grab one of the foxes shoulders.

"Is everything alright Kurama. What happened?" Kurama sighs and takes a shaky breath.

"I just got back in contact with one of my brother's, Saiken to be exact, and he told me some shitty news." Sasuke tilts his head.

"The six-tailed bijuu?" Kurama nods his head.

"Yes. The reason why you haven't been able to find Obito around is because he has a set few weeks he comes around to see if he cans till play puppeteer with the three-tailed beast." Sasuke hums.

"And what did Saiken say that has you shaken up?" Kurama looks down at Sasuke's lap for a minute, then stares back up into ebony eyes and says,

"That Obito comes back tomorrow and we have to save Isobu and the Mizukage tonight."

Chapter Text

 

"What did you just say Kurama?" Sasuke manages to say, appalled by the information Kurama has given him.

Well, now they certainly don't have much time or choice if they're going to save the Mizukage. All this time, Sasuke has been going back and forth in his adult form at night to search for any clues or information he could find on Obito's whereabouts near the Land of Water. And now the reason he couldn't find anything on Obito makes sense. They've been in Wave for just about a month, so by the time team seven had arrived Obito must have just left.

Damn.

"Well, it looks like we don't have any choice. We'll just have to head over to Kirigakure tonight then." Sasuke concludes and Kurama scoffs and goes to stand up.

"But what about Kakashi? Im sure we can get there by tonight if we travel fast enough...But to get back to Wave, the battle that is going to happen between us and getting Isobu back in control? We're gonna need to buy some time, at least two days." He dusts himself off and offers a hand to Sasuke, who gently takes it and says his thanks when he stands up.

"Before I left to find you, I told Naruto to tell Kakashi I felt sick." Without any hand signs, Sasuke makes a perfect clone of his thirteen-year-old self. They nod at each other before his younger clone flies back to where Tazuna's house is. Kurama watches the clone disappear and looks back at Sasuke with a raised eyebrow.

"The rinnegan sure is something, you're sure that clone will hold up until we get back?" Sasuke is confident in his abilities and nods his head.

"It's going to have to, and i'll know the moment my clone starts acting funny and handle him. We'll be fine to travel and have some time to not be sloppy and slip up." Kurama stares up at the starry sky and sighs.

"That's fine and all, but how the fuck are we gonna sneak into the Village Hidden in the Mist? We can't just waltz and say 'oh hey, we're here to do charity work and save the Mizukage!' we'll be arrested and taken in for questioning on the spot. Plus, you and Naruto know nothing about the Land of Water. Not like you guys had any reason to go to that country anyway. Fuck, this is so frustrating, I wish we could just go in there and kill everyone that gets in our way. Can we just do that?" Sasuke shakes his head at the demon who's grinning at him.

"We can't just go killing random people Kurama. Only people we know that are too dangerous and might start a worldwide war, like Obito and the Akatsuki. I know your kind just murder's without thinking but I–" A sharp glare from Kurama cuts him off, Sasuke instantly regretting his choice of words.

"My kind? What the fuck is that suppose to mean." Kurama angrily spits out.

"I just mean that you demo...Nevermind, what I meant to say is that we can't just kill people because they are minor inconveniences. We have to be smart and play our cards right. But you are right about one thing, I don't know anything about Kirigakure, me and Naruto never spent much time there. And at this point of the timeline, I have no associates or allies from there that could help us." Kurama looks behind Sasuke when he catches the whiff of a familiar scent and smirks,

"You may not, but I do. Keep quiet and let me do the talking, don't want anybody knowing you are you." On queue, Haku jumps down from the trees, Zabuza grumpily following behind him. "Hello boys, you come looking for me?" Sasuke turns around and is thankful that his bangs cover half of his face in his adult form, mostly to hide the rinnegan in his other eye. Still, it doesn't stop Haku from starting at him and Sasuke purposely looks away and at Kurama.

"You can thank this brat, he made me sober and now we're here." Zabuza points at Haku who sticks his tongue out at him in return.

"You were about to sleep with three women who could easily kill you, you're still a criminal Zabuza. And you need to stay hydrated, which is why I tricked you into thinking that big clear glass was sake and not water. Wouldn't want you getting killed, then i'd have to murder and bloodshed would be everywhere." Zabuza growls from under his bandages.

"You're just mad because I was about to have se–"

"Not likely, I could have any man I want without your help." Kurama blinks at the two while Sasuke just stares because he never got to see Haku and Zabuza interact with each in the past and is actually amused.

Kurama raises an eyebrow, "Is this suppose to be a lover's quarrel and you need me to be a mediator? Or were you actually needing something?" Haku clears his throat and walks up to Kurama with a smile on his face.

"Actually, I was just making sure you were alright before me and Zabuza head back home. You left the party and I was concerned...Who's this?" Kurama can't tell if Haku's voice is laced with curiosity or jealousy, but he shrugs and points to Sasuke beside him.

"This is my friend Hawk, and we were just heading out on a mission that maybe you two could help us with."

"And what would that be 'Rama?" Haku tilts his head and Zabuza mumbles a what from under his breath.

Kurama prepares himself and says, "Could you two help us sneak in Kirigakure so we can get to the kage tower and save the Mizukage? We don't know our left from right how the village is set up and could use your help." Haku blinks, totally stunned by the question, Zabuza's jaw drops and Sasuke goes to slap his forehead. Kurama isn't one to hold back, but to be so blunt with their plan? What in Sage is he thinking? Sasuke screams internally and wants to pull his hair out, cursing whatever is above that he has to have Kurama, 'Mr. blunt I'm gonna kill and be reckless' as his partner in crime to save the world.

And what surprises Sasuke even more next is when Haku responds with,

"Yes." It's Kurama's turn to blink.

"Really?" Haku nods his head and looks back at Zabuza who's still in shock, then back up to Kurama.

"You've done so much for us Kurama, and it's only fair we do something like this for you in return. It will be dangerous and we won't be able to go into the actual village with you, be we can at least show you and your friend the way, right Zabu?" All eyes are on Zabuza now and said man huffs and lazily leans against a tree.

"Ginger, you're hot and I actually like you, and it takes a lot for me to actually be attracted to someone and not kill them on sight. But im not risking Haku and I's life for some rescue mission you've come up with. You're cute and all, but your ass isn't worth something as suicidal as your request. Come on Haku, let's go back, my head hurts."

"Zabuza, after everything he's done for us? You can't be serious..." Haku starts to argue with Zabuza and Sasuke and Kurama stare at each other while the two bicker.

Kurama opens his mouth ready to fight back, but a different plan that makes him cringe pops up in his head. He hates to resort to what he's about to do and groans. Even if Haku sneaks away to help them, Zabuza knows the terrain better and has no choice. Seduction was more Kushina's thing. Mito had been loyal till the very end when married to Hashirama, and Naruto only had eyes for Sasuke before being thrown into a bloody war. But Kurama has watched through Kushina's eyes for years and has witnessed many times the way she carried herself through seduction missions. Minato didn't mind her going on them, the loyalty and bond of their relationship strong.

Sasuke watches Kurama let his kimono slip off one of his shoulders a bit, and Haku and Zabuza immediately stop arguing to watch him slowly make his way over to them. Passing Haku, Kurama gently places one hand on Zabuza's chest, the other on his neck and he blinks up at him, long orange lashes and slanted red eyes batting up into narrowed brown eyes.

Kicking his voice up a couple notches, in a sensual voice, he whispers in Zabuza's ear "You said it takes a lot for you like someone and you're attracted to me right?" Zabuza looks down at the demon and slides a hand up to rest on one of Kurama's hips.

"I might have said that." Kurama smirks and Sasuke can't hear what Kurama says from where he's standing, but whatever he's saying makes Haku's face turn apple red and Zabuza choke, starting at Kurama with eyes wide like saucers. Sasuke doesn't even want to know what Kurama just said, however seeing the Kyuubi no Kitsune seducing Zabuza Momochi is something that he really wasn't expecting to happen, ever.

"Can you even stretch like that?" Kurama shrugs and lifts his sleeve back up to his shoulder.

"Im not like these other human women you've been with and you like me because im not ordinary. You get what you want, and i'll get what I want, deal?"

"You do that to me and you can have whatever you want." Easily, Kurama teleports from Zabuza's hold to poof back right next to Sasuke. He gives Sasuke a 'you don't want to know' look and Sasuke thanks him for not sharing any details.

"Then why are we wasting time boys, let's get this show on the road. Hawk and I don't have much time, we'll explain everything on the way." Sasuke puts a hand on Kurama's shoulder, and Kurama stares back at him with a raised brow.

"And just how do you suppose we get to the Village Hidden in the Mist? We can walk on water, but we're going to need a boat Kurama." Sasuke tries to reason and before Kurama responds, Zabuza clears his throat and both Uchiha and demon turn their attention towards him.

"I think I know a guy that can get us there in seven hours tops." Sasuke and Kurama stare at each other then back at Zabuza.

"Seven hours? Zabuza what type of fucking connections do you have." Kurama questions and the swordsman responds with a grin, Haku smiling beside him.

"Even though im a criminal, when you're the only one of the seven swordsman that's still alive, there's still people out there that respect you. I still have plenty of connections in Kiri. Trust me."


"You know, when you said you had connections I didn't think you were going to threaten the boat guy, knock him out and high jack a fucking speedboat." The demon flips his hair and stares Zabuza down and the swordsman shrugs at him.

"Like I said, im a criminal so what did you expect." Kurama scoffs and shakes his head, sitting beside Sasuke and Haku while Zabuza directed the boat to land. Just like Zabuza said, they have been traveling for seven hours and at the speed they are going, Zabuza informed them that they would make it to Kiri in a few minutes. It was a quiet boat ride since they didn't want to attract too much attention and Kurama's nerves are getting the best of him. He isn't sure who was the first person to invent a boat, but it's another invention made by mortals that fascinates him.

A few minutes later they land on a strange island and Zabuza parks the boat below some trees, before he gets out and extends a hand for Kurama to take. The boat is rocky, so Kurama accepts it and immediately goes to help Haku out the boat next to avoid Zabuza's flirting, then Sasuke who thanks him. Zabuza gives them a nod before silently flying into the trees and headed to the village through a path only Haku and Zabuza knew to go.

Everything is going fine and they almost make it to the village, until a figure literally collides into Haku, sending him flying down the trees and tumbling to the ground.

Being less than an hour away from Kiri, Zabuza pulls out his weapon and is ready to slash whoever in half until he hears laughter, recognizing who is tangled up with Haku on the forest floor.

Kurama jumps down from the trees, instantly recognizing the familiar chakra coming from the brown-haired, golden-eyed boy who's dusting himself off.

Said boy grabs Haku's hands and they both stand up, Haku gently taking out a twig from Utakata's hair and blushing up at him. Utakata apologizes and mutters a thank you, then looks at Kurama and blinks.

Kurama stares at the two boys and asks, "You two know each other?" Utakata and Haku look at each other before nodding.

"Uh huh! Me and Utakata are friends and have met up a few times before me and Zabu fled Kiri." Utakata hums and averts his eyes towards Haku again and smiles.

"Yes, when you're a jinchuriki that isolates themselves from people and a criminal on the run, you eventually meet up a couple of times while running away. I saved Haku from a couple of thieves when he was little, and we've known each other since we were both young. Same to Zabuza, it's been a long time swordsman. I hope you two have faired well." Utakata bows formally and Zabuza scratches the back of his head.

"Boy, been a while. Would have taken you away all those years ago too, but I don't think the village would fancy me stealing their precious tailed beast along with someone like Haku and his rare abilities. ANBU would be on my ass twice as hard, and im not a babysitter." Kurama pokes at Zabuza and gives him an amused smirk.

"Could have fooled me." He taunts and Zabuza glares at him, which makes Kurama laugh further.

"Fuck off ginger." Kurama dismisses him and reaches out to put a hand on Utakata's head a gives him a small pat.

"Welcome to the pack kit and you know? Saiken made it seem like you were a small boy, you look like you're twenty." Utakata blinks up at him, a narrowed golden-eye gaze at first, but then a look of understanding followed by a small closed-mouth smile.

"Twenty-two to be exact, and I don't fancy being here in Mist anymore. Kurama," The fox blinks at the seriousness in the boy's voice, "Saiken has told me much about you, although we both have questions as to why you are like this. We can save those questions for later though. I would like to say my thanks and that I trust myself in your care, if you will allow me to come back to Konoha with you that is."

It's really difficult to not collect sweet abandon children, but something tells Kurama he should just accept his faith in becoming a mother hen and he doesn't care that Utakata is over twenty years of age. He is an old ass shit demon, so even someone like Jiraiya is a child to him in his eyes. And the scary thing about all this is that he doesn't even mind being a motherly figure to these kids since they've never had parents of their own. At least Haku knew his parents but was too young when they died.

"Of course brat, that's why I agreed and had Saiken lead you to me so I could sneak you out of this hell hole." Utakata hums with a hopeful look in his glowing golden eyes.

"Will I be able to meet Naruto?" Kurama manages a small smile and nods his head.

"Yes, as soon as we can get Isobu back under control and leave here, i'll introduce you to Naruto when we get back to Wave." Bowning once more for Kurama, Utakata gives his thanks and is happy he even snuck away to get outside of the village to meet him. However, it is strange that security isn't as tight as it usually is in Kirigakure.

The feel of fire chakra and a flash of orange are all Kurama needs before grabbing Haku and Utakata and yelling 'duck' in time for Sasuke and Zabuza to avoid the balls of lava that fly above their heads. Everyone, including Kurama and Sasuke, don't need to look up to see who it is. Especially Sasuke since he's fought said woman first hand when he went crazy after finding out the truth about Itachi. Thinking about it now, he chuckles at the irony of thinking that he could take on the five Kage, just because of a situation one man that isn't even a Kage put his brother through.

"Just as feisty as ever, aren't you Terumi." Zabuza purrs, and the figure coming out of the smoke chuckles at him, the voice soft and feminine.

The lava that's melting on the grass and some trees slightly light up the dark forest, and walking out of the smoke comes out a beautiful brown-haired woman with green eyes that scream danger, a smirk on the woman's face who's wearing a blue Kimono with her hair completely down. She wipes lava off her lips and looks at each male one by one until her eyes land on Kurama and Sasuke, two men she knows aren't from this country, and she blushes.

"Zabuza, you brought company that's hot and not jailbait to me? Well, maybe when im the Mizukage officially I just might erase your name from the bingo book if you keep this up." Zabuza stands up and goes to cross his arms.

"Still as thirsty and desperate for a man I see, when's the last time you had a good fuck Mei?" The woman scoffs and throws a kunai at Zabuza who easily catches it, but it doesn't stop the burn on his hand, because the kunai has a bit of her acid on it. He throws two more back at her and she catches them with a wicked grin on her face.

"I think you should mind your business Momochi, and honestly I should be asking you the same question. You seem tense and you're slower than usual. Either you're getting sloppy or your mind is preoccupied with someone on the brain. It can't be the latter because you never get attached to anyone romantically. Then again, it's been a couple of years since i've seen you." He groans and flicks her off.

"Stay out of my brain Mei and fuck off." Kurama intervenes with a snarl and all eyes are on him, Sasuke staying quiet beside him.

"Listen, im not here to watch your built up sexual tension with each other. Did you say something about being the Mizukage?" Kurama is hoping she's just a candidate and that they're not too late to save Yagura. He can still feel him connected with Isobu, so he's not panicking that much.

She sighs and crosses her arms against her chest. "Im the next Mizkage in line and in training at the moment. The current one, well–"

"Is under a genjutsu and being manipulated by an Uchiha?" Kurama finishes for her and Mei gasps, opening her mouth.

"How did you know?" Kurama shrugs and walks up to her until their face to face.

"I can literatlly smell old and fresh tears from you, and a pretty face like that shouldn't have tears running down it. Me and my partner are here to help, think of it as a rescue call if you will. My name is Kurama Uzumaki besides me is my partner Hawk." She shakes her head, why would two strangers want to help save the Mizukage? Plus they don't even have any headbands. Despite how gorgeous the two men in front of her are, she is going to be the Mizukage soon if Yagura doesn't get his shit together. She can't just trust these men, but at the same time, she doesn't have another choice. She can feel Yagura's time about to be up soon if no one saves him, and she doesn't want to lose him.

"Mei, what do you think? You've been with Yagura longer than I have, I haven't seen him in years. Is he that fucked up?" Just by the sad look in her eyes, Zabuza can see this mission is going to be a lot harder than they all thought.

"I don't know Zabuza I...I can't really say, Yagura hasn't been the same since that day." Zabuza, Kurama, and Sasuke all look at each other before Kurama ask her,

"What day? What happened Mei, and don't skip out on a single detail. We need to know in order to properly plan out something." With a shaky exhale, Mei looks at the three men and two boys, her eyes feeling heavy and watery, but she's a strong woman and isn't going to cry tonight.

"I'll tell you, but for now Zabuza, Utakata, and Haku have to leave. It's too dangerous for you three to be here near the village, you've done enough for Kurama and Hawk by getting them to Kiri." She looks into Kurama's red eyes with watery green ones and says, "Im Yagura's second in command and will personally take you to him. Your cloaks will keep you hidden and no one will suspect a thing since you're with me. Im next to be the Mizukage and Yagura's best friend, so you'll be safe for the time being." She turns to Haku and smiles at the boy.

"My, you've certainly grown up into a fine young man. Zabuza, take Haku and Utakata to the training ground me and you use to train at together as teenagers and go to the underground base. I'll come to collect you three when the shit show is over." The swordsman looks taken back.

"I thought that was destroyed after I left the village and the Blood War started?" The future Mizukage shakes her head and she lays a hand on his shoulder.

"Nah trust me, it's still there. I went the other day and hid there to find some inner peace. With Yagura acting crazy and the state the village is in, I need to find somewhere to get away." She flips her hair and stares at Sasuke, who's been awfully quiet but says nothing. And it doesn't stop a blush from appearing on her cheeks.

Quiet and handsome, just her type.

"Kurama, Hawk, follow me and hold my hands. The village is used to me bringing random men into the village and into my house." She hears Zabuza snicker in the background and rolls her eyes.

"Whore." He whispers and she gives him a sharp look.

"Asshole." She banters back playfully. "Now follow me, the elders are in a meeting with Yagura so getting to him won't take long. You can explain your story at my house and i'll tell you my side there."

Chapter Text

 

"And so, that's the story." Mei finishes and takes a sip of the hot tea she made earlier from her cup, staring at Sasuke and Kurama from across the room with a calculating gaze. After she was sure Zabuza remembered the way to the training grounds with Haku and Utakata, she led Sasuke and Kurama, hand in hand, through the village and to her house. Luckily there was no suspicion from any villager's since everyone is used to Mei having men around her.

And does she care if people judge her for it? No. She's one of the top two candidates to be the next Mizukage if the council ends up picking her, and she can do whatever she pleases. Regardless of her reputation she's still respected and feared by most, which is a good thing for becoming one of the five Kage.

"Wow, that's really fucked up. And you saw all this happen from a distance?" Kurama questions and crosses one leg on top of the other, immersed in hearing every single detail. Sasuke is silently baffled next to him, shocked at how Obito managed to even get Yagura alone to place the genjutsu so easily.

"It all happened so fast, and by the time I realized what had happened, it was too late. One minute Yagura says he going off to have a meeting with someone named Tobi, and the next minute I see him fall on his knees, then rise back up with a blank look on his face. He doesn't smile anymore or give hugs like he used to. Yagura was a playful little fool and we use to bicker all the time about the silliest things. My flings with men and his shortness are what we would argue about most of the time but...those days are gone." She sighs and stares up at her ceiling, blinking her tears away. She wouldn't look weak in front of these men, but thinking about her best friend and that day, it aches her heart.

"Mei, can I ask you a few more questions?" Sasuke speaks up, and she nods her head at him.

"Did Yagura say why he was going to meet 'Tobi' and was this 'Tobi' character by himself? What did he look like?" Remembering it like it was yesterday, Mei hums and takes another sip of her drink before answering.

"Yagura didn't say actually. We were playing a game of chess since it was one of his non-productive days, and suddenly he said he remembered he had a meeting to go to. Usually he tells me who he's meeting and where he's going, but he looked nervous and spared me the details. I didn't like the way he was acting and shortly after he left in a hurry. So naturally, I followed him. I ended up tailing him from a distance to a grassy field on the outskirts of town that not a lot of folks would come to, minus Utakata to relax and get away from people. He met with a strong man who was wearing an orange mask that had an eye hole on the upper right side to see out of I guess. There was a purple haired woman and an orange-haired guy with him too, both had piercings and black and red cloaks." Sasuke and Kurama glance at each other.

No doubt about it, Pein and Konan were in on it too.

"Damn." Kurama mutters, because if Pein and Konan are involved as well this could be tricky.

"Kurama," Sasuke quietly comforts and places a hand on the demon's shoulder, "It's going to be alright. Something tells me it's only Obito who comes back to make sure Yagura is under his jutsu." This statement causes Mei to raise an eyebrow at the two.

"Obito...?" She sounds out, and Sasuke looks over at her to nod his head.

"Yes, he is the 'Tobi' you've been referring to. He's an Uchiha like me and a dangerous one, but im only trusting you with this information because of your close relationship with the current Mizukage." Mei blinks, utterly confused by this information.

"That doesn't make sense, the whole entire Uchiha clan was wiped out by the infamous Itachi Uchiha. The only one that still exists is his little brother, Sasuke Uchiha, if im not mistaken...And I'm not following, how would you know this man's true identity? This all isn't adding up, what's going on." So many questions are going through her head, who are these people?

Kurama's coughs to attract her attention back to them. "Let's just say one Uchiha minus Sasuke Uchiha, the younger brother of Itachi, got away. Which would be my partner here, Hawk." Mei glances over at Hawk but says nothing, "As for Obito Uchiha, who is presumed dead in the Village Hidden in the Leaf, is a dangerous man. He plans to collect all the bijuu and kill their human host along with them to...well, harvest enough power to make this huge weird statue come to life and bring back an enemy none of us would be able to stop. No human or demon alike would be able to stop this foe if he isn't stopped and collects everyone, hence why he's playing puppeteer with the Mizukage."

"And Obito," Sasuke starts, "comes from an organization called the Akatsuki full of S rank ninja. Those two other people you saw with Obito are named Konan and Pein. You yourself are probably stronger than Konan, but i've never fought her myself to know. She's someone you could probably take down if you ever had to fight her." He obviously leaves out the part where he fought her in the past at the Kage summit when he was sixteen and reckless. She almost killed him, just because he didn't know how to handle his emotions when it came to learning the truth about Itachi. Mei seems like a woman who can handle herself though, she's certainly strong.

"And how many people are in this organization?" She questions.

"Nine." Kurama says and she gulps. Mei opens her mouth to say something, then closes it because she's at a complete loss for words. What is she suppose to say? There are nine more people like the ones that put Yagura under this spell.

"Kisame Hoshigaki ring a bell? He's one of those people in the Akatsuki right now." Mei's head snaps towards Kurama's direction and it looks like she's about to burst into tears. She takes a deep breath, putting her head in her hands.

"Shit, what is happening to everyone. Kisame is a world known criminal, S rank. Then Yagura is going to die soon if you guys don't break that jutsu. All the seven swordsmen that were my friends have died, minus Zabuza. He's...He's the only person that I still truly care about I have left if you guys don't figure out a way to help Yagura.I...s-shit..." A hand on her shoulder makes her glance up and surprisingly it's Sasuke who's kneeled down in front of her.

"Mei, we will save him tonight, I promise. All we ask is for your help to lead him to an abandoned area with room for us to hold him still and reverse the jutsu. Can you do that?" Mei nods her head and rests her hand above his.

"Yes, I can. But if you two show any signs of killing him, I melt you so hard into the ground until your nothing." Fiesty just like how he remembered, and it makes Sasuke smile somewhat.

"You have our word Mei. So here's the plan..." Easier said than done, Kurama thinks to himself while watching the two humans across the room.


 

Standing against the mountain top edge, Kurama stares down at the forest clearing below that Mei is bringing Yagura to with a frown on his face. Sasuke looks over at him and places a hand on the demon's back. It's a gentle reminder to let Kurama know he's not in this alone, and Kurama is grateful to have Sasuke here with him. He glances over at the Uchiha and gives him a small smile, which quickly goes away when he catches the whiff of a familiar scent heading towards them at top speed.

Unhurriedly turning around, both Sasuke and Kurama come face to face with Utakata who lands down in front of them.

Kurama raises an eyebrow and says, "Kid, what the hell are you doing here? It's dangerous, you don't want to be on the battlefield, believe me. Saiken trust you in my care, and im not gonna let a crazy mind-controlled Isobu kill you by accident." Utakata stares at him with golden eyes and bites his lower lip, reaching inside of his kimono. He takes out a pipe and holds it close to his chest.

"Kurama, I trust you and all but Saiken told me to sneak here anyway and help you as back up. He's really afraid for Isobu, but he's also afraid for you too. He doesn't want to see you kill each other, and I know how Yagura works. He was one of my only friends in the village. We could relate to each other because of what we are, and I want to help in saving him if I can. I'll stay in the background, but Saiken and I will jump in if you need us." He finishes and Kurama slaps his forehead.

"Fuck it, you're already here now so you can stay. I know you're grown and can make your own decisions, but if I tell you to stay back you do as I say. I can not lose you and Saiken, okay?" Utakata blinks at how caring Kurama sounds and bows his head as a sign of respect, which makes Kurama cringe. "Oh, kid don't bow to me. It's...weird." Utakata lifts his head up and chuckles lowly at the fox.

"My apologies, Kurama." Looking back down, Kurama makes an 'o' shape with his mouth and turns back to the brown-haired boy.

"You know what, maybe there is something you can do. Mei will be coming along and im sure you know of her relationship with Yagura. She'll try to jump in and fight too, but I can't risk getting her killed either. Please protect her at all cost, we can't have the future Mizukage dying." Sasuke glares at the fox for a split second, but lets his choice of words slide since Mei is the second candidate to be the next Mizikage. He is going to have a talk with Kurama later about what he says in front of other people though.

"Look, here they come." Sasuke get's their attention and all three look down to watch Yagura and Mei walk soundlessly next to each other as if taking a casual night stroll.

She looks up and gives the signal, making a signal with her hand.

Before Utakata can make any movements, Kurama puts a hand on his chest. "Stay up here unless I yell for you, okay kid?" Utakata gives him a thumbs up, then he and Sasuke silently jump down across from the pair in the clearing.

To their surprise Yagura starts smirking at them. Glancing up at Mei, he points his staff at her and laughs.

"An ambush from two rogue ninja not of this land? Mei, what's the meaning of this?..." He demands and she freezes up at the chilling tone of his voice. "You know you'll have to be punished for being a traitor right?" By the evil, dull look alone and Yagura's wide smirk, Mei is completely frozen in fear when he raises his cane and prepares to hit her. Something he would have never done before he was manipulated, and Kurama and Sasuke can feel chakra building up withing Yagura.

He's planning to kill her.

Before he can connect with her Utakata comes from nowhere and grabs her bridal style, then jumps away near Kurama and Sasuke with Mei in his arms. The four watch in horror as Yagura's cane connects with the ground and makes a decent sized crater.

Tears swell up within Mei's eyes at the sight and her heart literally hurts, it's aching so bad. The old Yagura would have never raised his hand to her, no matter what the circumstance.

"You...Ya...Yagura..." Her voice is broken and all he can do is laugh at her. A soft sob escapes from her and Kurama stands in front of her protectively, growling because he's pissed.

"You fucking brat, why don't you wake up already? Im sure you and Isobu are tired of being controlled, and your attitude is getting old. A child should know his place when it comes to playing with the adults." Yagura shifts then glares at Kurama, staff slamming against the ground.

"How dare you? You come to my village and dare to insult me? I am not a child." Kurama chuckles because something tells him this is the real Yagura speaking to him and is highly amused.

"Could have fooled me squirt," He ignores how Yagura's pink eyes start to glow in the moonlight and continues, "besides, this isn't your village. It's basically Obito's now. So wake up already, you stupid ass turtle. I know you're in there Isobu, wake up already!" This time he shouts out and it makes Yagura freeze all of a sudden.

Yagura lets out a pained sound and drops to his knees, holding the sides of his head. Mei goes to rush to his side, but Utakata holds her back. She looks at him with a fiery green gaze, tears leaking out her eyes, but he shakes his head at her.

Thank Sage for Utakata.

"Kurama..." Sasuke whispers next to him, and Kurama nods his head.

Sasuke easily summons up chakra and is surrounded by purple fire. Activating his Susanoo, a gigantic bone hand shoots out at Yagura and grabs him. Bringing the hand in front of him, Sasuke uncovers his eyes and activates his sharingan, preparing to break the jutsu. Yagura is struggling and spits at him, but something isn't right.

Kurama looks and all four watch as Yagura body turns into water. Sasuke deactivates his susanoo for moment, shocked that that clone felt so real.

"A water clone, damn." Kurama bites out, seems like Utakata is right. Catching the Mizukage is gonna be a lot harder than they anticipated.

"Look out!" Mei and Utakata yell, but it's not enough time and Sasuke get's kicked hard in his back, breath taken from his lungs as he's thrown across the forest.

Kurama is quicker than Yagura, rolls to dodge a kick from him and grabs his staff that swings down at him with one of his nine tails. Almost like a tug of war match, Kurama smirks and let's go of the staff, sending Yagura on his ass. He jumps on top of him and pins him down.

"Stay still you little brat, Sa...Hawk, now!" The purple hand shoots out again and Kurama jumps out the way so Sasuke can properly grab Yagura, only for Yagura's body to turn into water again.

"Damnit!" This is going to be a long night, and they have to be quick before any guards show up. Which at this rate they would get here before they could save Yagura if they're not quick.


 

Kakashi stumbles into his room, trying to sober up from the party and leans on the dresser to hold himself up. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to drink so much, but this mission has been a shitshow from start to finish, so Kakashi thought a drink or two would be nice. However after Zabuza challenged him to see how many shots the other could handle, Kakashi is now regretting his decision of saying yes.

He glances to his left and is thankful for Tazuna's daughter for leaving him a pitcher of ice-cold water in his room. He slowly reaches for the cup next to it, pours it in the cup and pulls his mask down. Taking big gulps, he looks out the window and by the position of the moon, it's probably maybe three or four in the morning. Damn, it's been a while since he's stayed out this late to mingle. Usually, he'd rather spend the night cozy in his sheets reading Ichi Ichi Paradise.

He sighs after drinking some more water and pulls his mask back up. Raising his arms up high in the air he stretches like a cat and lets out a big yawn. He supposes he should retire for the night, but then a sudden thought occurs to him.

Where is Kurama?

But wait, Zabuza left earlier too, and it's obvious there's a thing going on between the swordsman and Kurama. Question answered about Kurama's whereabouts. Most likely he's spending the night with Zabuza since it's their last night in Wave.

Damn, Kurama is fucking gorgeous, Kakashi thinks. If he hadn't tried to kill him before all this, he wouldn't be so afraid to ask Kurama out on a date. When is the last time he even dated anyone?

Kakashi shrugs and heads over to the boy's room to check on them, dismissing thoughts about how sexually deprived he is and the last time he can remember when he went on a date.

Silently opening the door to Sasuke's room, he smiles underneath his mask at the sight of Naruto and Sasuke cuddled up together. They are sleeping peacefully, and thankfully Sasuke's stomach has calmed down. Naruto had informed him earlier that Sasuke left the gathering earlier due to a stomach ache. Who know's what that boy ate, but it seems like he's okay for now.

Thank sage they went on this mission. It definitely had it's up's and downs and Kurama for sure has flipped his world upside down, but for the better. Team seven's bond has grown a lot and the kids seem to love Kurama. He's beautiful, quirky, and he's a good ally and fighter. Although Kakashi would never want to have a full scale on battle with Kurama. Something tells him Kurama has more power then he's letting on.

Quietly Kakashi leaves and goes to shut the door, but then his eye catches something.

Maybe he's still a bit drunk but did Sasuke's body just flicker?


"Why won't you stay still, Isobu I know you're in there!" Kurama cries out and jumps up and away when one of Yagura's tails try to smash him into the ground.

It's been almost an hour trying to catch Yagura now, and no one said catching a jinchuuriki would be easy. They all looked scratched up and covered in dirt and blood, mainly Kurama and Sasuke since they didn't want Mei and Utakata getting involved or hurt. Yagura halfway through the battle has managed to transform into his full 3-tailed beast mode, and it's making this harder than it should be.

Why won't his brother just wake up?

"Kurama!" He hears Sasuke shout from across the battlefield. He's thinking so much he doesn't even see Yagura coming from behind and prepares to block himself from the attack, only to have Sasuke jump in front of him and roll them away from Yagura.

An explosion sounds off in the distance and there's dust everywhere, Yagura's roars heard in the background.

Kurama slowly sits up and notices there's blood dripping all on his shoulder and down his kimono sleeve, but it's not his own. Looking up in horror, the left side of Sasuke's head is bleeding. A small gasp escape's Kurama and he sits on his knees to face Sasuke who's trying to brush off the pain. Softly, he rips a piece of his kimono sleeve off and goes to wipe the blood away.

Sasuke visibly flinches and looks at Kurama who looks focused on trying to stop the bleeding. At some point just now while trying to move Kurama out the way, one of Yagura's tails hit him upside the head and it hurts more than he would like. He thanks the fox for making sure he's okay, because never in a million years would he think the Kyuubi Kitsune would be trying to stop a wound from bleeding and trying to save the future alongside him.

For a moment they stare at each other until a loud, vicious growl breaks both of their thoughts.

When the dust clears Yagura is crouched and hissing at the two, daring them to make a move. Sasuke prepares to get up, but Kurama pulls on his cloak and he looks at the fox. Kurama is glaring at Yagura, but it looks like he has a plan so Sasuke stays put for now and focuses his attention back towards the demon before them.

"Sasuke, at this rate we're never going to catch Yagura unless one of us goes in as bait to hold him down. Obviously that someone has to be me since im the strongest here and only a bijuu can fight a bijuu. That and I don't want to risk Utakata getting hurt, I have to protect him. Throw me at him." It sounds crazy, however Sasuke knows Kurama is right and nods his head.

"Are you sure about this?"

"Yes." The demon silently demands and he and Sasuke slowly stand up.

Yagura hisses at them again and starts to charge over towards them. Sasuke grabs Kurama's hand and flings the fox head on towards the Mizukage.

Bracing himself for the impact, Kurama tackles Yagura to the grounds and uses some of his nine-tails to grab Yagura's own three.

"Do it now!" In a flash, Sasuke speeds over and activates both of his eyes, preparing to break the jutsu.

Finally, the fight is going to be over.

That is until Kurama freaks when he looks up at Sasuke, because something about seeing the sharingan makes him panic and he rips himself from Yagura to tackle Sasuke to the ground. Yagura breaks free and starts to scream again.

"What are you doing?!" Sasuke flips them over and Kurama takes a couple of deep breathes and shakes his head because what is he doing?

"I-I don't know I panicked! I saw the sharingan and I just..." Kurama can see the disbelief written on Sasuke's face and growls at him. They ignore Yagura roaring in the background and let Utakata jump for a moment to battle while they glare at each other. "It was instinct, and im not sorry. I don't trust the sharingan, that's why Isobu is like that in the first place, so fuck off!" Sasuke inhales because he honestly can't be angry at Kurama's reasoning. But right now is not the time for Kurama to be afraid.

"Kurama, do you trust me?" Sasuke suddenly asks and the question makes Kurama's blink and stare up at him.

"W-What...?" Sasuke watches Utakata dodge an attack from Yagura and blow bubbles at him before staring back down at Kurama, a calm look on his face.

"I understand your fear of the sharingan, you have every right to be afraid of it. But right now is not the time to have second thoughts, it's almost morning and who knows when Obito will show up. It's me Kurama, Sasuke Uchiha, I won't hurt you or any of your siblings. I promise Kurama, we'll save him but you have to trust me. So please, will you let me save him?" Fuck, Kurama feels like an idiot.

He may be scared of the sharingan, but it's Sasuke. He definitely shouldn't be terrified, because it's his Naruto's Sasuke, and the younger Uchiha will never betray him. He's proven his loyalty to him ever since they came back to the past, and now is more of a time than ever to put faith in him. And for Naruto's sake, he needs to trust Sasuke.

"Sasuke I," He pauses, then sits up, Sasuke allowing him to, and red demonic eyes stare up at Sasuke. "I do trust you, it's just hard...I do but it's just going to take some time to realize there's one sharingan user that isn't going to manipulate me again or take advantage of my siblings. So, let's give this a try one more time?" Sasuke likes his answer and stands up, offering a hand to the fox, who gladly takes it.

He squeezes Sasuke's hand and shouts for Utakata and Mei to move out the way. Sasuke flips Kurama in the air and flings him to meet Yagura head on once more. Kurama grabs Yagura's arms and restrains his three tails, holding him in a sitting position. Mei and Utakata stand beside him, Mei's lava seeping from her mouth and Utakata's pipe out, ready if Yagura escapes again. Yagura screams and struggles in Kurama's strong grip and both Utakata and Kurama feel chakra forming from his mouth. They both stare at each other in fear knowing Yagura is summoning up a bijuu ball, and Kurama's yells for Sasuke to hurry.

Sasuke senses it too and his eyes widen. He rushes over them and looks into Yagura's eyes, breaking the jutsu like it's child's play. The Mizukage screams suddenly go quiet after a moment. He goes limp in Kurama's arms and a second later his bijuu cloak disappears and he's back to his regular human form, scratched up, bloody and bruised a bit, but Isobu would heal him.

"Yagura!" Mei sobs and Kurama passes the limp body for her to hold, fresh tears running down her face.

"Did you do it? Isobu sounds calmer again, but I want to make sure." Utakata asks, kneeling down beside Kurama.

"Yeah, I think we di–" The air suddenly drops from warm to ice cold, and not a moment later comes Zabuza and Haku who fly out from the woods.

"Kurama, we stopped most of the guards from coming, but you all need to leave now. There's more on the way to see all the commotion." Haku panics and looks back at Zabuza who knocks out three more ANBU.

"Right, we'll head back to the training grounds and wait for Yagura to wake up there. Follow me, we don't have much time and need to go underground." Mei ushers and the three stand up, Yagura securely in her arms, and follow her into the darkness of the forest.

Chapter Text

 

Kurama has lost track of how many hours it's been since they've hidden themselves underground.

Looking around the room, he glances over at Zabuza who's sitting on a couch with his eyes closed and head leaned back, Haku right next to him sleeping against his shoulder. Shifting his stare to the right, he looks at Mei's who also asleep on a bed, dry tear stains on her face. Yagura is still unconscious and she's holding him tightly in her lap. Utakata is resting below the bed sitting Indian style, but something tells Kurama that's he's not fully asleep.

To the left of him sitting down against the other couch, Sasuke is the only one he knows is awake. He watches the Uchiha just breathe for a moment, eyes closed and he looks at peace. The room is dark, minus some candles lit up around it. However, the candlelight around Sasuke makes him look otherworldly, and Kurama's suddenly thinks about how lucky Naruto is to have someone so beautiful as a soul mate.

"You alright Kurama?" Sasuke lightly whisper's and his voice startles Kurama. Sasuke doesn't have to open his eyes to know the demon is staring, but he doesn't mind or call him out on it.

"Im fine," Kurama pauses for a second, then a chuckle escapes from him, "except for the fact that having a human body sucks. I feel completely disgusting and drained of energy. If I were in my normal form, I wouldn't even be breaking a sweat right now. Being mortal is something I wouldn't even wish on my worst enemy and fuck shoes." A soft snort comes from Sasuke and it makes Kurama smirk at the Uchiha.

A sudden pulse that comes from Yagura that he can feel through their mental connection hits Kurama, and the fox averts his eyes over towards Yagura's body. Is Isobu summoning him?

Closing his eyes, Kurama takes a deep breath and enters their mental world connection, surrounded by darkness.

He takes a sharp inhale because the air is very thick, but it doesn't stop him from moving forward into the darkness. A low growl stops him, and he knows that Isobu calling for him, so he follows the voice until he stops and is greeted by the said monstrous turtle beast.

Isobu huffs, smoke coming from him, and lowers his head. Kurama walks forward until he stops right in front of the humongous spiked turtle head and blinks up at him, reaching out a hand to touch the side of his brother's cheek and stroke it. The turtle demon lets out a low grumble and opens it's red and yellow eye to stare down at Kurama. Kurama looks up into that gigantic eye of his with an expressionless face.

"Hey Isobu, you okay now?" More smoke blows out from the other demon's nose, and he gives Kurama a slow look over before responding.

"Why." It's only one word, but a huge question that makes Kurama's heart clench. However, he's not here to dwell about the past, saving his siblings is what he's focused on now.

"Because, as stupid and corny as it sounds, ive had a change of heart. That, and there's an enemy bigger than all of us right now that I have to stop. But stopping them involves saving all of you. You were under the genjutsu of a rouge Uchiha who's more dangerous than anybody we've ever faced. Your jinchuuriki's village is a mess, everyone is afraid of Yagura and it's probably going to take a while before people warm back up to him. But besides him, how are you feeling personally?" Isobu thinks over everything Kurama has said to him for a moment, and he lets out a sigh.

"Pissed, I can't believe I let that happen to Yagura. But by the time he was hit with the genjutsu I couldn't come out to save him and no matter how much I screamed at him to snap out of it...eventually I was caught up in the genjutsu as well. We've been trapped for years, like being in the shell of someone else. It was frustrating and I never want to experience it again. It's been hell Kurama." He frowns and leans his head a bit for Kurama to pet him again, which Kurama does without hesitation.

"Don't worry, I plan on killing the asshole who did this to you and Yagura, but you're safe now. And if that Uchiha ever comes back, he'll never be able to place you under a genjutsu again. I made sure my partner placed a jutsu so that no other crazy Uchiha could play puppeteer with you two for a second time. You should be safe for now, but you still need to be careful." Isobu hums.

"I'll wake my human up now, im sure he wants to know everything that has happened since he hasn't been himself, and all his wounds are healed. Goodbye for now Kurama, and before you go." Kurama raises an eyebrow at the turtle who grins at him. "You look good as a human, but you've grown soft. Since when would you have given a damn about me and even go as far as to pet me?" Kurama rolls his eyes and walks away, ignoring the sea beast's smugness.

"Can't a fox just be happy to see his brother not be a puppet anymore. Wake Yagura up and fuck off so I can go back home....I miss sleeping in an actual bed." He mumbles and leave's their world.

Blinking when he comes back to reality, he see's everyone crowded around the bed, the light's flickered on, and sits up to walk over toward the commotion. Utakata glances at him and steps out the way so Kurama could come forward more. Kurama nods at him and Yagura grunt's, pink eyes trying to adjust to the lights. Said pink eyes make contact with red ones and suddenly Yagura comes to sit at the edge of the bed and bows his head to Kurama.

"Uh...what?" Kurama let's out, and Yagura looks up at him with a gracious smile on his face.

"You saved me. You and your partner and for that I will always be grateful. Isobu has told me much about you, and for you to take the time to break me out of that spell, I will always be thankful. Although, that bastard will pay for what he's done to me. How could..." A cough from behind him stops him from continuing and he sees Mei glaring at him with her arms crossed.

"M-Mei..."

"What the hell is wrong with you Yagura? How could you do this to us, to me? Why didn't you tell me where you were going? I could have helped you, you little asshole!" Yagura flinches, but he supposes he should tell her the truth.

He takes a deep breath and says, "Because you're the reason why I went." Before she could open her mouth, he holds a hand up to silence her. "The 'Tobi guy' the one with the orange mask and eye hole. He sent me a letter which I burned minutes later so no one could find it. The contents in it told me where to meet him, but he didn't say why. However, if I didn't meet with him he threatened to take the very life of my best friend, which is you. I knew if I told you you would have still stopped me from going, but I couldn't risk your life Mei. And for that, im sorry for causing you so much pain. Can you forgive me?" He looks up and isn't surprised to see anger mixed with sadness in her eyes.

"You still could have told me, asshole!" It all happens so fast, and suddenly Yagura finds him suffocating in a death grip from Mei. Zabuza and Utakata laugh at the sight, Yagura struggling to breathe while being held by an emotional Mei. Sasuke and Kurama are taken back by how attached Mei and Yagura are. They both don't really know Mei, so it's not as shocking to see how attached she is to the previous Mizukage.

"Hey...I-I can't breathe Mei." Yagura manages to get out and Mei suddenly let's him go before glaring at him again.

"Well, because of your stupid mistake of not telling anyone, the village is a mess right now. But you're back so we can fix it, together." Preparing himself for the bed news the Mizukage holds his head, feeling a pounding headache coming on.

"How bad is bad?" He dares to ask.

"Oh nothing really," She starts sarcastically, "Except for the fact that the council doesn't trust you anymore and they've chosen me to be the next Mizukage." Yagura's jaw drops and he stares at her in disbelief.

"You're joking right? You." There's silence in the room until Yagura barks out laughing. "That's the funniest jokes i've ever hea—" He looks to his left and eyes Zabuza and Utakata. "What the...Utakata I thought you left the village, and Zabuza, you're still alive? There's much to be discussed, im so behind on everything." Kurama coughs to gain Yagura's attention.

"Look Yagura, let me get straight to the point. The man who did this to you isn't named 'Tobi'. His actual name is Obito Uchiha, who is presumed dead in the Village Hidden in the Leaf. He plans to collect all the jinchuuriki to harvest enough power to make this huge weird statue come to life. He's the leader of an organization called the Akatsuki with nine other members. Moral of the story, if you see anymore people with those red and black cloaks on again do not fight. Run."

"Also," Sasuke chips in, "I think for now it's best if you stepped down from being the Mizukage and lay low for a while until things calm down. It's not safe for you to be in the front headlines right now until we've brought down our enemy."

Yagura looks distraught and responds, "Mei, if you're not joking you're more than welcome to take my spot right now. Realistically, I think you can get Kiri back on track again, there's no one else I would trust to do the job. I honestly would like a break from everything right now, and I need to breathe again. This whole situation is a mess."

"Well, the show's over," Kurama concludes, ready to be back at Sasuke's house and in Itachi's room. "We need to head back to Wave and get back to the Village Hidden in the Leaf. There's going to be a lot of explaining to do when we show back up with two criminals from another country and a jinchuuriki." Yagura watches Mei get up from the bed and walk until she inches away from Kurama and Sasuke.

"The chunin exams start soon in your village don't they?" Sasuke and Kurama stare at each other and nod their heads at the woman. "Until then, we have a village to clean up. But except for a visit from us soon, I haven't had a chance to properly thank you both yet." She quickly purrs out. Zabuza laughs in the backround, Yagura gags, and Utakata shakes his head, chuckling. Mei turns her head sharply and sends the boys a vicious glare that shuts all three up.

"Good luck Terumi, i've tried but ginger here is high maintenance." Zabuza says and Mei goes and crosses her arms.

"Well good thing im a cleaned up building that's also high maintenance. So what are you bringing to the table?" She challenges with a smirk and he glares at her.

"Fuck you." He bitterly spits out.

"You tried years ago and I refused you, so what now." Haku holds one of Zabuza's arms, because he looks like he ready to pounce and Mei is ready for the challenge. One of her favorite things about Zabuza is how easy he is to rile up.

"Hey, there's enough of me to go around," Kurama interrupts. "Anyway, Hawk here already has a boyfriend, but I wouldn't mind a special reward from the future Mizukage." Kurama suggest and Msi's face turns beet red surprised Kurama is actually flirting with her back, meanwhile Zabuza's jaw drops.

"Eww, gross, no flirting in my presence, please. I've dealt with this on a daily basis with Mei and Zabuza since we were kids and I don't need to see her and Zabuza flirting with you all." Mei scoffs and puts her hands on her hips.

"What the hell is that suppose to mean?" Yagura holds his hands up defensively and gives her a sheepish smile.

"Anyway, we'll see you soon, Hawk and Kurama. As for these three," He stares at Haku, Zabuza and Utakata. "Take good care of Utakata, I hope he likes the Leaf. And you have my permission to make Zabuza and his apprentice official members of the Leaf as well. Seeing as they had a hand in my return, you two will no longer be criminals in the bingo book...So long as you behave, Zabuza." He shoots the swordsman a glare and Zabuza crosses his heart with a hand.

"I make no promises, but glad to see you back in action again, shrimp." He laughs when Yagura actually grabs a pillow and chucks it at him, hitting him upside the head.

"Oww!" Yagura's aim is sharp, and he isn't the Mizkage for no reason Zabuza's thinks holding his head, Haku giggling up at him.

"Don't call me that! And before you go Kurama, let me write a letter to give to Sarutobi that im trusting you to deliver to him. Mei, get me some pen and paper please. There's much to be done."

After Yagura writes his letter and they all said their goodbyes to Mei and him, they sneak back on the boat and start back to Wave quietly. It's a tense boat ride, since Sasuke is sure Kakashi might have caught onto his clone by now, and Kurama keeps going over in his head how and why Utakata is coming back to the Leaf village with them. 

It's getting harder and harder to keep the truth hidden from Kakashi, if he hasn't already sort of figured it out.


 

Sasuke stops outside the door of his and Kurama's hotel room and stares at the room number.

Not at Wave just yet, they ended up stopping at a small residential town to clean up, eat, change clothes and rest until tomorrow. Zabuza, Utakata and Haku are sharing a room together and catching up next door, but Kurama wanted to be alone, so Sasuke decided to grab them food among other things while he left the fox to his thoughts.

Opening the door, he sets the food down on the table and stares at Kurama who's sitting on the windowsill and staring up at the night sky. He walks over to join him and rest his arms on the windowsill. Kurama glances down at him for a second before returning his gaze up towards the moon.

"How are you doing?" Sasuke decides to ask, because Naruto appreciated when he would ask about his well being at times like this when things are so tense.

"Sasuke, we just....changed history." Kurama blurts out, surprising Sasuke. "Yagura should be dead, but we saved him and Utakata is coming back to the village with us. Zabuza and Haku shouldn't be alive either, but we saved them too. This could change so much in the timeline, and what if it was a mistake to leave Yagura. We should have forced him to come with us. What if—"

"Kurama, it's going to be okay." Placing a hand on his back to calm down Kurama's anxiety is a common thing between the duo now, and it helps Kurama breathe a bit better. "I understand change can be frightening, but this is what Naruto would have wanted, and you also want to save your siblings. But we couldn't have just taken Yagura back with us. He's been under Obito's control for years, and now that he's broken out of it he has a whole village to fix up and apologize to. That, and he and Mei are coming to the chunnin exams which is only a month away and enough time to get Kiri back on track. I know you want to save every jinchuuriki, but we have to understand that they have lives too before you go snatching them up." Kurama scoffs.

"Im aware of that Sasuke, but right now they won't have a life to live while the Akatsuki is still lurking around and manages to capture them. Hopefully, after Yagura deals with his village, he'll relax and stay in Konoha for a bit until this shit show is over while Mei takes control. I know Obito can't control him again thanks to you, but knowing that that Uchiha is still alive and kicking, out there hiding and plotting in the shadows...I don't have a very good feeling." He unconsciously scoots himself closer to Sasuke, who continues to stroke his back.

"It will work out and we will save them Kurama." Rolling his eyes, Kurama leans back on one hand and flips his hair with the other, turning himself around to fully look at Sasuke.

"After this, Gaara for sure comes next. But with how crazy Shukaku is this part of the timeline it's going to be tricky." Sasuke raises a black eyebrow and stands up straight, leaning against the window frame.

"Well first we need to get Utakata back to the Leaf and make sure he has a home before you adopt any more demon kids." Kurama narrows his eyes at the snarky Uchiha.

"I am not adopting any kids, do I look like a mom to you?" Sasuke shrugs and dodges a swipe from Kurama's claws.

"Momma Kurama...Kurmomma? Has a ring to it, don't you think?" He jokes and ducks when Kurama runs across the room to throw a pillow at him. He throws the pillow right back and soon they find themselves having a small pillow war.

After everything, this is what Kurama needs and when he manages to make the fox laugh after throwing a pillow at his face, he smiles and hopes somehow, someway, his Naruto could see that Kurama's freedom isn't going to waste. In a way, when it comes to his freedom, he knows Naruto sent him back because he would know how to tame Kurama a bit. And for being a demon of hatred, Kurama can be a sweetheart when he wants to be, even if he doesn't want to admit it. Naruto's influence has definitely given the fox a soft spot for those he cares about.


They arrive at Wave the next afternoon, the sun falling and sky a bright orange and yellow color. And the first thing they do is have Zabuza return the boat back to it's owner, Kurama forcing him to. Then they make their way into the forest and start to head back towards Tazuna's house.

Zabuza and Haku stop and stare at the demon, demon host and the elder Uchiha and Zabuza says,

"Me and Haku have to grab some things from our house, but we'll meet up with you soon." He slowly steps up to Kurama and grabs his chin gently. "Besides, we have a deal to keep and I expect you to fulfill your end when we get to fire country," he growls out and Kurama smirks up at him.

"Yeah, we'll see how im feeling Momochi, not sure if im stretchy enough right now to do all that." He teases and Zabuza stares at him in shock.

"Wha—" Zabuza starts and Kurama chuckles, swatting Zabuza's hand away and jumping into the trees of the forest. Sasuke and Utakata glance at one another before joining Kurama and catching up to him minutes later.

"Well, I would call that a mission success?" Utakata mutters once he's right next to Kurama, who shrugs.

"Something like that, we got lucky. But let's not give our hopes up, there's still six of us I need to find and save before Obito gets his hands on them." At this moment, Kurama glances over at Sasuke who's been unusually quiet and realizes something is wrong with the Uchiha.

Before he can say anything, a wave of nauseous hits the Uchiha like a truck and Sasuke stops on a branch and doubles over. Kurama instantly rushes over to his side and pats his back,  mimicking what Sasuke does when he's having an anxiety attack or feeling overwhelmed. Kurama has watched how humans work and interact for the past decade, and he hopes this simple motion soothes Sasuke somewhat.

Utakata watches from a safe distance to watch out for enemies or any lurking ninja.

Something inside of Sasuke shifts and suddenly he feels like he's on fire. He doesn't understand, he was perfectly healthy yesterday night before they fought Yagura, so why now after almost two days does he feel so horrible. It can't be because of something he's eaten, and he doesn't have any horrible health conditions so why now? It doesn't make sense, it almost feels like his body is rejecting him?

All thoughts are stopped when he goes to throw up again and is thankful Kurama is holding him up. He gestures for the demon to give him some water and Kurama takes out a water bottle for him to sip from. Sasuke greedily drinks every last drop and shakily stands up.

"Come on, w-we have to get back. I need to get back to Naruto..." He says and ignores Kurama's worried gaze. Naruto is waiting on him to fully wake up since he's been sick, and he wants to be back in his younger form so he can hold him again. It's only been two nights, but the feeling of not having Naruto in his arms is worse than this sickness he gained out of nowhere.

The three are almost back to Tazuna's house, until Sasuke starts to feel that burning heat again. Kurama looks over and there's a puff of smoke, Sasuke's body falling towards the ground. Instincts kick in and he catches Sasuke before he hits the forest floor, then he gasps at the oversized cloak that bunches up against Sasuke's younger form.

Sasuke blinks and stares at his hands, and then up at Kurama. What the hell just—

"So, you thought you could just pretend you're a clone, sneak off and think I wouldn't figure it out." All three turn around and Kakashi steps out from the many trees of the forest, all his ninja hounds ready to attack and Sharingan out, kunai in hand.

"So, talk. Who are you?"

Chapter Text

 

"Shit, he's onto us." Kurama whispers and holds Sasuke's body closer to him. He looks down at Sasuke who's sweating and feels unusually hot for a human, probably has a fever. He spares a glance toward Utakata who stands behind them, ready to pull his flute out and protect them from Kakashi if need be.

But Kurama pauses and shakes his head at Utakata, telling the boy to stand down. Kakashi isn't someone they want to kill, but damn they were so close to making it back to the house. Then again, even if they made their way back and snuck in without Kakashi noticing, there's the problem of explaining why Utakata showed up all of a sudden. He sighs, they've finally bitten off more than they can chew when it comes to Kakashi, and nothing else to do now than try to tell him the truth since killing isn't an option, Kurama thinks bitterly.

Honestly it would just be easier to kill Kakashi, but Sage knows how many problems that would bring, and Kakashi is a key player in saving the world anyhow so killing is out the question.

"Stop stalling and talk, who are you and what are you doing with Sasuke and the six-tailed jinchuuriki. You're not just an ordinary ninja, are you?" Kurama blinks, actually surprised that Kakashi knows exactly who Utakata even is.

"No im no–" A cough stops him mid-sentence and Sasuke starts to sit up.

Sasuke knew this might happen, but right now of all times is not the way he pictured Kakashi finding out about them. He struggles to sit up, but with the help of Kurama he fully stands up and stares at Kakashi. His body feels like it's on fire and his head is booming, however something tells him Kurama knows why he suddenly can't maintain his adult form anymore, but right now he notes to save that question for later because they have a bigger problem standing in front of them. Literally.

Kakashi signs for three of his dogs to step forward and they start sniffing the air, and one of them howls then barks at Kakashi. Kakashi studies Sasuke for a few seconds before speaking again.

"Well, i'll give you kudos for managing to make a clone that good. My nose couldn't even sense it was a fake and because you were sick and barely got up to do anything, I hardly noticed. My ninja hounds confirm that your Sasuke, but something isn't right about you. The Sasuke I know is brash, quick-tempered, yet cool as a cat at the same time. But this whole mission you've been unusually tame and you're usually weary around strangers. But you warmed up around Kurama a little too quickly, and then your relationship with Naruto suddenly changes drastically? You bring him down and taunt him the majority of the time. Two and two don't add up Sasuke." The dogs around Kakashi start growling viciously and Sasuke sighs.

No use in hiding the truth anymore, but he doesn't have to tell Kakashi everything for now. A half-truth is a start.

"If I told you we're from the future would you believe me?" Kurama stares down at the boy, surprised at Sasuke bluntness and Utakata stares in disbelief, everything coming together now.

Kakashi blinks twice, registering that whole sentence and some of his hounds start to laugh. Kakashi even lets out a small chuckle and his chidori flares up, "Cute, but you expect me to believe you're time travelers. Do you think im du–"

"The sharingan in your left eye was given to you by your dead best friend, Obito Uchiha. You and Rin escaped the cave, but the rocks came tumbling down and crushed Obito's body while you, Rin, and Minato escaped. And the reason why I know is because you told me, Kakashi. I am Sasuke Uchiha, but im from the future." Without a second thought, Sasuke forces himself to transform into his older form and stumbles for a second before collecting himself.

Kakashi tenses when Sasuke starts to walk over to him, but he doesn't call for his dogs to attack and Sasuke stands only a foot away from him, one black eye starting into ebony and red. Kakashi and Sasuke study each other for a moment, and the electricity around Kakashi's hand dissipates slowly.

Kakashi heavily sighs and goes to cross his arms, he only told certain people that story.

"How did I tell you that information then? What else do you know." Sasuke frowns and takes out a headband from his cloak pocket. He presents it in front of Kakashi and Kakashi shakes his head. It's an old, beat up navy blue leaf headband but on the back of it is a blood stain and Rin's named signed on it in cursive writing. There's no mistake, this is his ninja headband. Rin signed it when they first became a genin team, and it's impossible to have a replica like it now that she's dead and has distinctive handwriting.

He grabs the headband to inspect it more, then stares up at Sasuke and says, "No one knows that Rin signed the back of this, and judging by the stale smell, blood and roughed up look...What happened to me?" Sasuke looks away for a moment and down at the ninja hounds that start to surround his feet and sniff him, one even standing on it's hind legs to lick Sasuke's hand. Sasuke pets the dog and exhales, the memory of Kakashi's death still haunting him.

"I can't tell you everything right now, but you died a brutal death trying to save your comrade, and friendship means the world to you after your father passed away because he committed suicide. You admitted all this to me one night when me and you were scouting and staring up at the stars talking about life. You trusted me enough to tell your full life story before you were killed." Kakashi squeeze's the headband in his hand, because now there's no doubt in his mind that this is actually Sasuke, from the future no less.

"I–I believe you but, I just need time to process everything. There's no doubt you're my student though, and look at you. You turned into a strong shinobi from the looks of it. Was...Was I a good teacher before I died at least?"

"The best Sensei." Sasuke puts a hand on Kakashi's shoulder, a silent thank you for taking the time to listen to him.

A shuffle from the background makes the two look back at Kurama who's standing protectively in front of Utakata. Kakashi steps around Sasuke and he walks up to Kurama, his dogs and Sasuke quietly following behind him.

"So, he's who he says he is. Who are you?" Kurama growl's and averts his attention to the dogs sniffing him and Utakata now.

"First of all, call off your dogs. Second, if you take us back to Sarutobi i'll tell you everything you need to know. An eye for an eye if you will." Kurama smirks at him and Kakashi looks back at Sasuke who shrugs.

"Fine, you've done nothing but help us this mission so i'll take you back with me to Konoha in the morning. We'll wait for Zabuza and Haku and head to the Leaf but...Damn the third Hokage is gonna kill me. To bring back all these people, criminal's, time travelers, more jinchuuriki. I'll be surprised if I still have my head after this one." Sasuke bows down on one knee as a sign of respect and his thanks to Kakashi and Kakashi tiredly looks down at his student.

"Thank you Kakashi, we'll explain everything to you and the third tomorrow when we get to him." Sasuke coughs and poofs back into his child form right before Kakashi's eyes. He looks up at a hand and gives a small smile to Kakashi, taking his hand and thanking the man for helping him stand up.

They can finally move forward now since hiding everything from Kakashi was one of their biggest problems in the first place.


 Sarutobi sighs and lets out the smoke he's inhaling from his pipe, realizing he isn't the young spring chicken he use to be.

He only wanted to send Naruto on a simple mission, since he knew his adoptive, blonde, hyperactive grandson wanted something more challenging.

What he expected when team seven got back was a simple report. Something nice, short and sweet. Maybe small progress on the development of Naruto and Sasuke's horrible relationship in a more serious mission, and Naruto's development with his whole team in general.

What he wasn't expecting was for a 'C' rank mission to quickly turn into an 'A' rank one, nor Naruto convincing his team to bring back two wanted rouge nin, a second jinchuuriki, a rouge Uzumaki and a thank you letter from the Mizukage.

Hiruzen certainly has his work cut out for him, but couldn't deny Naruto's grade A convincing and request once he explained his side of the story to him personally. The elderly man has fought all day with the council, and after hours of arguing and debating, Haku and Zabuza got approval to stay in the village along with Kurama and Utakata thanks to the Mizukage's letter.

Haku, and thank kami he is still young, has to stay slightly under watch and, if he chooses since Sasuke and Naruto obliged, will live with Naruto or Sasuke for the time being until Sarutobi finds him a more suitable home. The beautiful young man could have easily ranked ANBU, but the council wants to see what more Haku can really do with his Kekkei Genkai, so they decided to rank him a chunin, until the jonin exams come around later in the year.

With Zabuza, the council agreed to keep his rank as a jonin. But he is to be interrogated by Ibiki Morino, and has to swear to never raise his sword on a fellow ninja or civilian of the Hidden Leaf Village, unless for training purposes. And luckily for him, a fellow jonnin that lived next to Kakashi had moved out, so now he is to be under surveillance 24/7 while living with Kakashi for the next couple of months. And Utakata will also be under supervision as well, but Sarutobi welcomed him with open arms and he is free to stay in the village in his own apartment thanks to the Mizukage.

As for Kurama he still isn't sure what to do with him, which is why he, Kakashi and surprisingly Sasuke for some reason are standing in front of his desk this afternoon.

"We would like to talk to you, but you need to get rid of your goons first." Kurama growls out and points to the four...no, five hidden ANBU in the room. Impressed, Sarutobi lets out a low whistle and snaps his fingers, the five Anbu coming out from the shadows and forming a straight line in front of him. He politely dismisses them and carefully looks Kurama up and down, no one should be that good as to spot the fifth hidden ANBU of his room.

Sarutobi definitely labels Kurama as one to be feared and extremely dangerous.

"Alright, you have my attention. What could you three need, Hatake, a rouge Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha." An odd trio he thinks after saying their names out loud.

Maybe he shouldn't have kicked Orochimaru out the village. But at this point, his star student wouldn't even know how to properly look after a village as big as this with how corrupted his mind is with immortality and insanity. Jiraiya is definitely out the question. The toad sage will never want a job like this. Perhaps if he finds Tsunade again soon, he would give her the offer? Hell, even his son, Asuma Sarutobi, would be a good enough candidate. Asuma isn't the strongest ninja, a bit on the lazy side actually, and probably would refuse the job like Jiraiya would. But naturally since he is his blood son, should he die, the elders would look into Asuma being the next Hokage.

"We came to talk to you about some events that are going to come if we don't find a way to solve them, such as your death by the hands of Orochimaru." Sasuke says and Sarutobi looks taken by, blinking once, then twice.

He inhales and exhales more smoke, scratch that idea about Orochimaru.

"I...excuse me? How would you know of this? Orochimaru doesn't even have a big enough army to attack the village. Unless you're allied with him, there's no way you could know something like this." Taking a deep breath, Sasuke poofs into his adult form and Sarutobi almost has a heart attack. Kakashi side eyes Sasuke and Kurama looks from the Uchiha to the old man, then settles his gaze on his clawed hands, noting they would need to be trimmed a bit soon. This whole mission has been crazy from start to finish, and all Kurama wants to do is take a nice shower then lay down in Itachi's bed and sleep.

"What in the devil." Sarutobi whisper's and puts his pipe down, seeing the conversation is going to turn serious.

"I am Sasuke Uchiha, but not from this time. Im twenty years from the future, but im back in my thirteen-year-old form. This is who I really am, however I can't stay in my adult form too long so i'll make this quick." Just to amuse the idea, Sarutobi takes a long pause and watches Sasuke for a few moments while thinking of a response to this.

"Tell me boy, how is it that you came back and why?" Kurama and Sasuke glance at each other, and Kurama looks away, too tired to explain himself. Sasuke shrugs and looks back at the Hokage.

"The Sage of six paths is why Kurama and I are back. We were battling during the fourth shinobi war that has yet to come and have been fighting for more than ten years. But then everything changed when an enemy greater than Madara Uchiha was brought back from the dead and everyone basically died until it was just me and Naruto. So the Sage decided to send me back in time, as it was also Naruto's final wish for me to come back and save everyone from what's to come. And in doing so, here I am with Kurama and our plan is to save all the Jinchuuriki before a group called the Akatsuki get their hands on them. Hence why you received a long letter from the Mizukage which he will explain when he comes here in a couple of weeks and why we brought Utakata back with us." Sasuke doesn't say anything further, because Sarutboi and even Kakashi need to process the tale.

When Sarutobi is the first to find words to say, he looks over at Kurama and ask, "So then if Sasuke says you both came back, who exactly are you if Naruto from your time has passed im assuming?" Kurama flinches at the last part of the sentence and glances at Sasuke, who nods his head at him. Kurama stares at Sarutobi with the most serious look and can muster and exhales slowly.

"Call me Kurama for short since that's my actual name. But for centuries legend calls me the Kyuubi no Kitsune."

And suddenly Kakashi feels like he's going to pass out and hits the ground with a thud, while Sarutobi freeze's in his seat. Kurama feels chills go through him and is prepared to attack since all the sudden tension has him on edge, but a hand on his back reminds him that Sasuke is there and nothing will happen to him.

"Fascinating, tell me, how did you get sent back and as a human no less?" Kurama stares at Kakashi on the ground for a second before flipping his hair and settling his gaze back on Sarutobi.

"The last moment before I was ripped out of Naruto, the damn Sage gave Naruto the power to send two people back in time. Of course I thought he and Sasuke were going to go back together, but instead, he gave me the power to go back, along with the power to shape shift. If you need more proof, here." Kurama cooly brings out one huge tail that slowly divides into nine long ones and his eyes begin to glow bright red staring into the tan ones of the third Hokage's.

Sasuke watches their interaction and Kakashi comes back from his small coma, only to feel like he's about to go into cardiac arrest at the sight of Kurama.

The whole time Kakashi was laughing, threatening, flirting and ran chidori through the Kyuubi No Kitsune. The abnormal strength, the claws, sharp fangs, the fact that Kurama barley slept or ate and could carry Naruto or the kids for hours without breaking a sweat. He was faster than the average ninja and it all adds up now. Oh God, no wonder Kurama is so playful when it comes to him, he could have been killed by the demon fox at any time. Kurama has been toying with him the whole time and little did he know what or who Kurama actually is.

Kakashi feels like he's going to be sick.

The third Hokage hums and reaches for his pipe again, inhaling. "So, Sasuke Uchiha and the Kyuubi No Kitsune. I see, I believe you both, but what of my death. Is that what you have come to tell me? How do I died?" He let's out the smoke trying to calm his nerves. Smoking always helped him and his anxiety ever since he was a teenager. Unfortunately his son Asuma has developed his bad habit too, but Asuma is a grown man so no stopping him now.

"Well it's not just you, but Orochimaru plans on murdering the Kazekage as well. In a few weeks, during the chunin exam final rounds is when he murders you, but your death is mostly because of your old age and that you can't keep up with him." Kurama stops his eyes from glowing, his tails leisurely swishing about.

"That and apparently you saw Orochimaru as a son and couldn't bring yourself to kill him right away, or at least that's what he told me." Sarutobi blinks at Sasuke.

"How–"

"During the chunin exams, or I should say pre the exams Orochimaru is going to kill the Kazekage and pretend to be him. The Sand is going to be in on it as well, since they're going to believe Orochimaru is the actually Kazekage, but they plan to destroy the Leaf. The Sound village is going to be allied with the Sand and Orochimaru is going to be running the whole thing as both himself and the dead Kazekage. If we don't stop him, many people will die including you and half of the Leaf village is going to be destroyed." A frown grows on Sarutobi's face.

"Tell me, my boy, why do you know so much about Orochimaru?"

"Because he became something important to me during my teen and adult years and he's taught me everything I know. The reason he plans to come to the Leaf is not just because he wants to destroy the village, but also because he wants me. He wants me to be his next sacrifice and is obsessed with having the sharingan. Itachi is too strong for him at this point, so he's coming to target me." Sasuke walks closer to the third and brings down his shirt collar, revealing the marking that's no doubt Orochimaru's curse mark on his neck.

Sarutobi inspects it with wide eyes and says,

"Just like Anko's...Oh my, we have much planning to do if you say you're from the future and here to help. Sage help us all get through this if this isn't even the worse to come."

Chapter Text


"Naruto, where are we going?" Haku shyly asks, walking between Naruto and Utakata in the streets of Konoha.

"To see Iruka sensei who's like an uncle to me!"

It's been an extremely long morning, and Haku and Utakata had mentioned that they were beginning to grow hungry. So, after their report to the third Hokage and waiting for the response as to what to do with Haku, Utakata and Zabuza all morning, he grabbed for Utakata and Haku's hand practically flew them towards the ramen stand. Naruto had remembered he was supposed to get lunch with Iruka today anyway, and he didn't want to wait for Sasuke since he was going to be in a long meeting with the thrid Hokage. Both ex Mist nin happily go along with Naruto, while at the same time casually sightseeing all the buildings they pass.

Konoha is really a beautiful place.

When they arrive, he let's go of their hands and practically jumps up into Iruka's welcoming arms.

"Iruka sensei!" Iruka is caught off gaurd and quickly turns away from talking to the ramen shop owner to catch Naruto.

"Naruto, you scared me half to death! I..." He gives his favorite former student a smile, then stops when he see's two figures peeking out at them from the corner of the ramen stand. Even the ramen shop owner and his daughter incline their heads to see the new figures that are hiding and stop cooking for a moment.

Almost like a scene from Lady and the Tramp, from Iruka's point of view at least, Naruto looks back and usher's the pretty, shy boy known as Haku and the handsome gentlemen that is Utakata to come into the shop. Iruka, the ramen shop owner and his daughter drop their jaws at the two.

Utakata hears the ramen shop owner's daughter whisper to her father that all men from the Land of Water must be gorgeous and a small smirk grows on his face.

Utakata and Haku introduce themselves and the four sit down and order their bowls of ramen, Iruka mentioning that he would also pay for their tabs. They give their thanks before Naruto starts explaining the whole mission from start to finish. And after almost an hour of talking, Iruka's mind feels fuzzy from all this information.

"And so we saved the village, built the bridge and now Haku is here and he is living with me until him and Zabuza are off of probation! And Utakata here will get his own apartment near the Jonin complex? I think that's what Kakashi called the area." Naruto explains and goes for another bite of his fourth bowl of ramen.

Iruka blinks, thinking the steam from the ramen stand was messing with his hearing, then stares at Haku who gives him a sweet smile and another blush. His gaze turns to Utakata who also gives him a smile and Iruka chokes.

"I..." Iruka doesn't really know what to say, but only Naruto could bring elite rogue ninja back to the village and change them for the better. "Naruto you're something else, you know that?" He gives his former student a pat on the head.

"He he, yeah! Well I know you wanted to meet up real quick and this is their first day in the village, so im going to show them around a bit!" Iruka gives the blond child a grin, glad he is making new friends along the way.

It wasn't too long ago that no one wanted to be near Naruto. He's loud, obnoxious, full of energy and a troublemaker. But the reality is that he is all those things because he wants attention, attention that no one will give him because of who he is. The host of the nine-tailed fox is destined to be feared by most, but if people took the time to get to know the actual boy that is the host of such a vicious demon...Iruka shakes off the idea, only certain people would take their time to do that. And only those certain individuals are worthy of Naruto's time.

"Well, im glad that you made it back safely Naruto. You're still a knucklehead," He playfully nudges Naruto. "And you could have gotten yourself killed getting so close to the enemy. But, I think in the long run it worked out for you this time. And welcome to the Village Hidden in the Leaf." Haku almost chokes on his ramen at that statement.

The fact that he is now an official ninja of the Village Hidden in the Leaf and sitting here eating ramen with Naruto's favorite sensei is still kicking in. One of his hands goes to his forehead to feel the new, black, Konoha headband protector that's wrapped around it. He'll still keep his old Wave headband in his pocket, just as a reminder of his past, but he loves his new headband. It feels so soft to have around his head and is new and shiny; symbolizing a brand new start to his life in Konoha.

Haku let's out a soft sigh, then gives Iruka a wink. "Thank you Iruka, it is an honor to be welcomed here in Naruto's village." He quietly goes back to finishing his bowl of sweet ramen.

"No problem Haku, oh and Utakata, let me know if you need a tour guide at anytime. I usually show new people around the village when im not busy being a teacher among other things." Utakata finsihes his own bowl of ramen and tilts his head in Iruka's direction.

"Yes, thank you for your kindness Iruka."

After another couple minutes of talking, Iruka dismisses himself and pays for the food. He tells the three he has to go back to the academy to fill out some papers, and waves goodbye to them. They say their farewells to the man as well, then Naruto garbs for Utakata and Haku's hands again and begins to show them around his favorite spots of the village.

The stares they get from the villagers throughout the day are interesting to Haku, but nothing new to Utakata.

Haku was expecting nothing but dirty glares and sneers all around, but this? Most stares from what he figures are either  jealousy or in awe seeing the three holding hands and walking around the village. They had even walked past a dango shop, and as Naruto was ranting about some of his favorite restaurants that allowed him in them, Haku overheard the dango shop owner and his wife whispering how someone so beautiful could be holding hands with such a monster. Haku sent the two an icy glare, and they both turned their heads up towards the sky, pretending they weren't just looking at them. Another villager even spat in their direction and Utakata had to hold Haku back from skinning them alive, the black haired boy startling the villager into retreating quickly.

It actually bothers Haku that there are so many people who hate someone like Naruto. He had heard the stories, but that didn't stop him from being so angry towards the hate coming their way as they walked. Didn't they understand Naruto wasn't the demon that destroyed their village? Yes it lives inside of him, but Naruto himself isn't the demon.

He feels Naruto squeeze his hand, and looks down at him.

"Don't worry, I get comments and reactions like those and more all the time. It's no big deal." Naruto is walking with a calm look on his face, and it breaks Haku's heart knowing he is so use to such treatment.

"Unfortunately this is the life us jinchuricki's live with. That's why when we were little you and Zabuza only ever encountered me in the forest or on the outskirt's of town where there was barely any civilization. Human's are cruel creatures, more horrible then the demons inside of use. For example, Saiken would never hurt a fly, yet they sealed him inside of a human host because a sweet gigantic slug roaming around is scary." Utakata sighs and pats Naruto on the back.

These villagers are just as trash as the ones in the Land of Water, but Haku lets it go and continues to walk by Naruto while he goes on about the village.

Haku sums up that people are assholes wherever you are.

"TO THE POWER OF YOUTH! MOVE IT OR LOSE IT KIDDOS!" Some people scream and start to panic, civilians scrambling around everywhere.

Naruto, Utakata and Haku immediately look back and jump out of the way, two green blurs speeding past them, and a Huyga boy with long brown hair is not too far behind. The Hyuga boy stops and looks back at the trio, then a kunoichi with two buns in her hair, a pink shirt and blue pants, flips off a building and stops right where Naruto is, panting heavily.

"Hey, you okay sis? I just refilled my water pouch not too long ago with fresh water if you want some." Naruto offers and takes out his full water pouch that is filled with cold water.

She takes it and practically chugs the whole thing down. Taking a couple more breaths, she hands Naruto back his water and stands up straighter, wiping the sweat off her face. She looks at the three and gives them a toothy smile.

"Thanks Naruto, I needed that." The blond boy raises an eyebrow.

"You know my name?" The bunned girl nods enthusiastically.

"Yep! You're one of the people on Gai sensei's rival's team. Naruto Uzumaki of Kakashi Hatake's squad right? There's no one else with blond hair like you, so that's how I know. Oh, im Tenten by the way, and my teammate behind me is Neji Hyuga. Rookie from last year!" She blushes when she looks at Utakata and Haku, avoiding the fact that Neji is behind her groaning impatiently so they can catch up to Gai and Lee.

"Well of course you know me! Naruto Uzumaki will be known by all someday! This is Haku and Utakata by the way, they're from the Land of Water and here to make new friends." Utakata hesitantly extended his hand out and Tenten quickly takes it, blushing like crazy.

If she thought Neji was cute, the two ex Mist nin in front of her are gorgeous and Neji for sure has some competition now.

Haku notices the way Neji is specifically looking at him and smirks. He takes Tenten's hands and gives it a small kiss. "My name is Haku, the pleasure is all mine Tenten." He gives a sickly sweet smile. And like Haku predicts, Neji starts fuming. So he has a crush on the cute little brunette? Cute. 

Utakata just watches it all happen and decides to remian silent, highly amused by the spunky teenagers of this village.

"Ni-Nice to meet you guys. I'd love to be friends with you! Maybe the four of us could go out to get a bite sometime or something when we're all free?" She can't stop the blush from spreading on her face and wants to punch herself for feeling like such a fangirl right now.

"That sounds great Tenten!" Naruto agrees happily.

A cough is heard, and the four look to see Neji with his arms crossed, tapping his foot on the ground.

"May I remind you Tenten, that Gai sensei will make us do five hundred more push-ups if we don't catch up. I'd like to get home and not be sore this time." Neji sourly reminds her. Tenten gives a dramatic sigh and walks back to her teammate.

"See you guys, hope we can hang out in the future!" She waves and her and Neji disappear in a flash.

"Well, that team is weird, huh Haku. Haku?"

Suddenly Haku's nose smells the beautiful scent of flowers and his eyes land on a flower shop. Naruto noticed where Haku's gaze lands and him and Utakata glance at each other before following the black-haired boy into the shop.

"Oh yeah, that's where Sakura's ex best friend works at. The Yamanaka flower shop! Do you wanna go in? I think Ino works today, but she can be a bit...loud and annoying. And she might try to flirt with you, but she's a cute girl with a really social personality." Haku nods his head and they head into the flower shop.

Just like Naruto said, a girl with blue eyes and long blond hair is sitting behind the desk, 'Ino' on her name tag.

She has a bored look on her face and was arranging some white and blue roses for a special arrangement for a customer. Her blue eyes begin to sparkle when they land on the two newcomers and she puts the flower arrangement to the side. She gives a glance over to Naruto, then looks at Utakata and Haku and gives them a long, slow look over. She smirks and practically throws herself over the counter. She has heard rumors from customers all day that Naruto had been walking with beautiful strangers from another village.

"Naruto! It's been a while since i've seen you, Sasuke-kun and billboard brow...But forgot about her, who is this! Im Ino Yamanaka, one of the owner's of this shop." Ino winks and extends her hand out for them to shake.

Utakata gives her a charming smile and grabs her hand to shake it. Once they did he puts his hand back in his sleeve and turns his attention to the beautiful flowers of the store, ignoring the blond girl and her flirty eyes. Haku just gives her a smile and compliments how beautiful the shop is. Not that he doesn't want to shake her hand, but he wants her to get the picture that he's not interested.

"These are my friends Utakata and Haku! Utakata is a Jonnin and Haku is staying with me until further notice. He loves flowers, and I thought since I was showing him around the village to take him to the most famous flower shop in Konoha. Well er...it was more like coincidence since were are on this side of town and spotted it, hehe!" Ino looks down at their conjoined hands, then puts together the fact that they are living together and they are both boys...The thoughts going on in her head are enough to almost give her a nosebleed.

Wait. Haku is a male. And he is prettier than her.

Her brain feels so boggled by this that she doesn't realize Naruto is waving a hand in her face, now concerned about her since her face is getting redder by the minute.

She blinks, then gently swats Naruto's hand from her face. "What? Oh, that's right, you're new here. From the Land of Water right? You guys are the talk of the town right now." Haku gives her a ludicrous stare.

"Really? But we only arrived this morning?" Ino gives a shrug.

"Well, when more than two hot rouge ninja enter the village, that's kind of to be expected. And most girls in this village like bad boys, so you and whoever else came with are definitely going to get most of the women and some men's attention in the village. Like the new shiny toy at the toy store for a while." Naruto scoffs.

"Speak for yourself Ino, since you're one of the fangirls who love the shiny new bad boy toys." Ino huffs and crosses her arms.

"And what of it? You're just jealous because Sasuke is better than you!" She expects Naruto to snap at her for that statement, but instead he gives her a laugh and Haku follows along with a low chuckle. She wonders if there is something on her face, and unconsciously checks to feel if there's anything on it. When she feels nothing, she starts to think if it was something she said.

"Im guessing all the girls here are head over heels for the Uchiha boy? Can't say I blame them since im basically one of them, he is an attractive boy after all." Ino looks up at Haku and nods her head in agreement, not even fazed that that fact alone lets her know Haku is gay. Then she grabs a strand of blond hair from her ponytail and looks at Haku's silky black hair that's tied up nicely in a high bun.

Rumor has it that Sasuke loves girls with long hair....She isn't sure if it's Haku's hair, his smooth skin or those hazel eyes, but she knows he's competition if she finds out he has a crush on Sasuke. Does Sasuke even swing that way? Well, Ino is the queen of gossip so she will find out one way or another.

"Well anyway, im showing them around town and introducing them to new people. If you're ever free Ino, you should show Haku around town too and to the shopping boutiques. He likes wearing kimonos and all that stuff. Im not really good with shopping for clothes, let alone girl ones." He grins and scratches the back of his head shyly. Ino looks at Haku and notices his pretty green and white kimono. She smirks and grabs for one of Haku's hands, happy that Haku had a feminine touch to him and could go shopping with her.

"Are you guys busy tomorrow? Im off and could take Haku shopping and show Utakata around too!" Ino offers excitedly, enthusiastic about spending time with such new, pretty potential boy toys in her mind.

"Well, im actually gonna be stuck on missions for the next couple of days and Utakata is gonna be with Kakashi tomorrow for Jonnin stuff. But Haku and you could go shopping with the money the third gave you, right Haku?" Ino squeals and grabs for Haku's other hand, determination written in her eyes.

"I would love to Ino." Haku responds.

"Yes! You can trust in me Naruto, I will make sure Haku's gets nothing but the best and cutest outfits! Just come to the shop tomorrow and drop Haku off before your missions whenever." Naruto nods and gives Ino his thanks before him, a happy Haku, and a curious Utakata leaves the store.


 After dinner Kakashi came swooping into the restaurant they met up with Sakura in to collect Utakata and show him to his new apartment. Utakata departed from the two, and all in all, today has been exhausting and Naruto wants to retire for the night. Kakashi wants him up early in the morning for a small mission, and Haku is gonna need all the energy he can get when shopping with Ino. 

Naruto takes a deep breath and hesitates as he opens the door to his house.

Haku follows after him and he closes the door, watching Haku take in his little apartment and every detail in it. Naruto is nervous, now slightly regretting bringing Haku here. He even cleaned up a bit before his mission to Wave, but that still doesn't change the fact that there is expired milk on the table, his bed isn't completely made, and a ramen packet is on the floor from rushing to pack his bag before the mission to Wave.

Fuck.

Where is Haku even supposed to sleep? Naruto looks at his bed and knows that if both sleep on it, they would have to basically huddle up and become one person. Naruto blushes but dismisses the idea since he wants Haku to be comfortable. He looks at his couch and remembers he has a spare blanket in his closet. He would just sleep on it and let Haku take his bed.

As if reading his thoughts, Haku coughs gently to gain his attention.

"This is a lovely apartment you have Naruto. And I don't mind sleeping on the couch, it looks comfy." Naruto looks over at the couch again, then at Haku and sighs.

He scratches the back of his head. "Sorry Haku, I wish I could provide for you better. It's just been me on my own for so long, that i've never thought that someone would be living with me an–" A kiss on the cheek cuts him off, and he reaches for the spot on his cheek that was just kissed.

Haku grabs for his hand and gives him a small smile. "I don't need to live in luxury. This is just fine the way it is, and just sleeping on the couch is enough. Thank you Naruto, would you mind if I take a shower by the way? I prefer night showers than day ones and I feel gross." Haku confesses with a tint of pink on his cheeks.

Naruto nods his head and Haku sets off to go learn how the bathroom works. But before that, Haku grabs the bag of clothes that Kakashi left in Naruto's apartment for him so Haku wouldn't be walking around in Naruto's house naked.

But if it was the Uchiha's house on the other hand...Haku smirks at his lewd mindset and shakes his head, entering the bathroom. If only Sasuke was older.

After a couple of minutes, Naruto hears the shower going and lets out a deep breath. He goes to the closet and sets out to make a makeshift bed for Haku. He gently lays down a blanket on the couch then goes to get a spare pillow out of his room for Haku to lay his head on.

The window opening startles him, but it's only Sasuke that slides into his bedroom and he's relieved of his panic attack.

The moon is already lighting up the room, but something about Naruto's smile when he sees Sasuke lights it up even more. Putting his hands in his pockets and leaning against the window frame, Naruto walks up to him until their face to face and grins.

"Hey Sasuke! So how did everything go with the third, is everything okay?" Sasuke stares into Naruto's blue eyes for a moment before drifting his gaze towards his lips. He gulps, resisting the urge and stares back into sea blue eyes.

"Something like that, I had to get some personal Uchiha stuff sorted out with him is all. Everything is fine now, but I wanted to come over and check up on you. How's Haku and Utakata?" Naruto makes an 'o' shape with his mouth and inclines his head for Sasuke to follow him into the living room. Sasuke shrugs and of course travels behind to catch up to the blond.

"I know we both said it didn't matter who's house he stays at, but you were still in your meeting after dinner so he's gonna stay the night here tonight. I told him he could have my bed, but he told me he's more than grateful so he's gonna sleep on the couch for now. But to be honest...I prefer he stays with you. You have guest bedrooms at your house right? He can have an actual room at your house." Naruto finishes the makeshift bed on the couch and turns to Sasuke.

Sasuke blinks and says, "Yeah, that's fine, I'll show him my house tomorrow night."

They both stare at each other and walk closer until their inches away, and Sasuke's heart feels like it's going to jump out of his chest. He's still not over what happened to his Naruto, but now he has a second chance at their relationship again. Returning to the past and fixing everything, but also starting something new. This is what they should have had since day one. All that fighting and bickering, the built-up tension, all because he was a stubborn asshole who didn't know how to deal with his feelings properly.

Shakily, Sasuke goes to place one hand on Naruto's hip to bring him closer, and the other one grabs one of Naruto's hands to intertwine them. The heat rushes to Naruto's face and Sasuke smirks at him, but Naruto doesn't feel embarrassed because Sasuke is blushing too. The closeness is enough to make Naruto feel dizzy, but Sasuke's holding his waist to keep him standing.

Funny enough, Naruto was fine whenever they had sex. But whenever it came to fluffy stuff like holding hands or hugging, Naruto always caught dizzy spells. And Sasuke's amused to know that Naruto has always been like this. Even now, Sasuke can see Naruto's pupils dilating and he wants to laugh but suppresses it because he doesn't want to ruin the moment.

Naruto slowly leans up and Sasuke leans down to meet him halfway for a kiss, but a door opening makes them freeze up.

Haku stares at the two with wide eyes, "Im sorry, was I interrupting something? Don't mind me i'll just go back in the bathroom..." Haku awkwardly starts to close the door to the bathroom and Naruto breaks out of Sasuke's hold.

"N-No Haku it's not what you think! Well I mean, it is but you can come out. I just..ahh..." Naruto covers his entire face with his hands, completely red and Haku comes out of the bathroom with a small smile on his face.

"Hello Sasuke, were you coming to visit?" Sasuke blinks twice before dusting himself off and acting like nothing just happened.

"No actually, I was just leaving. I wanted to see how you were accommodating though, tomorrow you can move into my place or stay here. The choice is yours, as long as you're comfortable." Naruto comes to stand beside Haku, still blushing like a fool.

"Y-Yeah, you can have a whole room and closet at Sasuke's and I told him i'd rather you stay there since you'll have your own room. The couch is nice, but you deserve better and this apartment is really meant for one person." Haku stares at the two and then to their surprise, he bows to them.

"You two have done more than enough. I'll let you know in the morning Sasuke, goodnight." Naruto helps Haku stand up and Sasuke nods, making his way to the door.

"See you both in the morning, night." He looks over his shoulder to see Naruto waving at him and he waves back, then exits into the night.

Heading back to his house, his thoughts begin to drift to one thing,

How Kurama is going to manage in Sand by himself since that's where he's headed right now.

Chapter Text

Kurama has travelled many places, seen many lands, and there's only one conclusion he can come up with at this moment about the Land of Wind.

Fuck sand.

What should have been a four-day journey for a human only took Kurama two days to reach Suna. He has to say, he has sand in places where the sun doesn't shine but at least walking on hot sand feels really good on his bare feet. But that is the only pro to this whole situation, and Kurama doesn't understand how anyone could live here or why they would even want to. The weather condition became too much for the demon, so for the past day since he's arrived he's been in his mini fox form, which made it easier to sneak around anyway.

And why is he in Suna? To stop Orochimaru from killing the Kazekage.

Kurama can honestly care less about the Kazekage. However, for Gaara's sake and collecting all his siblings until the Akatsuki is defeated and they've stopped Obito, it's best to keep the current Kazekage alive. For now. Gaara was the first person the Akatsuki successfully managed to kidnap and kill, and remembering the turmoil and sadness Naruto had gone through while trying to save his second best friend, it made Kurama's heart clench. He never wants Naruto to feel like that again, and if saving a dick like the Kazekage is what it takes, so be it.

Sneaking past a sleepy guard, Kurama jumps on top of the roof of the watchtower and looks up at the sky, laying his head on his two front paws.

The stars are out and the constellations are shining brightly tonight, a twinkle in the sky from a certain star catching his eye. His nine tails swish leisurely and he lets out a heavy exhale, the soft wind blowing through his fur. If his Naruto could see him now, would he be proud or would he be laughing at him at how pathetic he looks, being a human and becoming a mother hen he never intended to be.

Kurama and Sasuke's journey feels like it's only begun, and there's still so much to do and so many people to save. Would they get to all the Bijuu in time, would they be able to rescue everyone, will they be able to defeat Obito? So many questions that have multiple answers, good and bad, that keep running through Kurama's head. Obito is bound to have already found out that Yagura is no longer under his control, and it doesn't stop the gut feeling Kurama has about Obito.

If the Uchiha knows Yagura is no longer in his control, and most likely knows it's because of him and Sasuke, why hasn't he made any moves to come after them yet? Well, Obito probably knows what they look like, except for the fact that Sasuke has two forms and is mainly in his younger form majority of the time. But Kurama, an orange-haired Uzamaki with a feisty attitude and short temper? He's not hard to miss.

A change in wind from below makes Kurama's ear twitch, and he looks down into the village to see three...no, five ninjas sneaking about.

Ears perked up and mood shifting into curiosity, he follows them until they enter an abandoned build near the Kazkage tower. For a minute he debates on going in, and when he smells them on the middle floor of the building he skilfully climbs the brick wall until his paws lands a window seal, then wiggles his way into a broken window on the top floor. Cancelling out his chakra and presence, he sits on the high staircase from above and peeks out his head.

Blinking he sees the five ninja, all from Suna, bowing down to a pale man with green eyes, white hair, a white kimono and red markings under his eyes and on his forehead. He's not wearing a headband, but the thick purple rope on his waist looks like something Orochimaru would wear and Kurama can't put his fing...er..paw on who exactly this guy is.

"Lord Kimimaro, we've prepared everything for you for tomorrow morning for the assassination." Ah there it is, without the name Kurama wouldn't have recognized him and barely remembers this kid. He fought with Naruto for two seconds until Lee showed up, and then Gaara took over and killed him. His meeting with Naruto was so brief, Naruto probably wouldn't even remember him, the demon thinks amusedly.

Wait, prepare what for tomorrow?

"Are you sure?" Kimimaro asks, voice dry and cold like him.

"Yes, the Kazekage won't suspect a thing, and i'll be one of his two guards escorting him to the Leaf tomorrow." The white-haired boy nods his head and raises his hand, the five Suna Ninja coming to stand up at the signal.

"Good, Lord Orochimaru will be pleased with all of you. Go and make sure the final preparations are set, I want no mistakes and to leave this village as soon as possible. My master is waiting on me and counting on all of you." They all nod and disappear into the night, leaving Kimimaro alone to his thoughts.

Well, at least this makes things easier for Kurama.

"Then if you hate Sand so much, why don't you just leave now and forget about this whole thing." Kimimaro actually looks startled and a long bone shoots out of his left hand.

Kurama slowly comes down from the staircase and smoothly transforms into his human form, long orange hair cascading down his body and a smirk plastered on his face as he makes his way to the bottom. Kimimaro watches him cooley with emerald green eyes as he makes his way over to him and begins walking circles around him. Kurama's not stupid, he may not know the full extent of this boy's power, but he knows with his bone kekkei genkai and being one of Orochimaru's most loyal henchman, Kimimaro is dangerous.

"Why are you here? Why did Orochimaru send you to kill the Kazekage on your own, and at such a young age. Where is he?" Kurama pokes and stops right in front of Kimimaro, demonic glowing red eyes boring into cold green ones.  Those green, young innocent looking eyes are definitely ones of a killer, and they remind him of his own which makes him grin. He may have a soft spot for kids, but he's still a psychotic demon and a being of fire, hatred, and evil.

"Who are you?" He dodges the question and Kurama has to give him kudos for not cowering under his gaze. He isn't sure what it is, but Kimimaro feels something he hasn't felt in years since his village was destroyed and his clan was slaughtered looking at Kurama.

Fear.

"My name doesn't matter, you didn't answer my question boy." He growls out and Kimimaro would have attacked by now, but all his instincts are telling him to stay put. The power level he can feel within this stranger, it's stronger than Orochimaru's and the evil aura that's wrapping around him makes him want to pass out. This strange man is only staring at im, but his red eyes, that crazy grin, this man is more powerful than his own master and his chakra is alarming.

He can't be one of the legendary Sannin, Tsunade is a woman and Jiraiya has white hair like him. He's never heard or seen this man before, let alone seen anybody with orange hair, and glancing down his claws look sharp, along with his teeth. Is this guy even human?

"Since you surely overheard the conversation, im here to assassinate the Kazekage under Lord Orochimaru's orders and even you can't stop me." Kurama hums and steps back to give Kimimaro some space, not wanting to scare off the boy. He needs answers after all.

"Cute, your loyalty to Orochimaru is touching but tell me, why? Why are you so attached to him?" He's genuinely intrigued because how can someone be so loyal to a man like that?

"Because he saved me when no one else would. My clan was slaughtered and I was the only one left with my abilities. Orochimaru saved me, gave me a home and a purpose. I will forever stay by his side and do whatever he wants, he's everything to me." Kurama wants to gag at the sentimental words and stops the urge to rolls his eyes.

"That's fine and all, but you say he's your everything like he's some parental figure. Well riddle me this, would a parent send their child to kill a Kage because they don't want to personally get their hands dirty? Would a parent do multiple tests on their child and use them as a sacrifice in the later years of their life for their own selfish needs? That doesn't sound like something a parent would do to a child they supposedly love to me. Orochimaru's got you so hooked in his claws kid." There's a slight shift in Kimimaro's body language, and Kurama is prepared to guard and kill if need be, but he really doesn't feel like murdering a kid.

"You don't know a damned thing about him, so what if he's not here. He trusts me to do this on my own." Bingo, Kurama's got all the answer's he needs now. So Orochimaru and Kabuto were never here to assassinate the Kazekage in the first place. They put their trust in a child, not to say Kimimaro isn't strong but he's a kid and that fact alone irks Kurama.

"Tch, I really don't want to kill you brat and as much as I despise the Kazekage, I need him alive." No more words come from Kimimaro and he moves, the bone from his left hand piercing into Kurama's chest, just barely missing his heart.

Kimimaro looks up and the shock on his face almost makes Kurama laugh. "You're fast kid, i'll give you that, but you're messing with the wrong person." Kimimaro being in such closer range makes more bones quickly come out to penetrate Kurama's body, but nine furry tails stop him and one of Kurama's tails goes to break his fibula clean in half. He screams and hits the ground, all bones shifting back into place in his body.

Kurama bends down, ignoring the blood coming down his chest, his wound already healed, and places and hand on Kimimaro's shoulder. It may be his kekkei genkai, but those are still his bones, apart of his body, and he isn't sure if he can repair himself.

"I won't say this again brat, I don't want to fight you and you're going to dig yourself your own grave trying to take me on. Go back to Orochimaru and forget about this whole thing–"

"I can't, he'll kill me if I go back without killing the Kazegake and I can't risk that chance. After everything he's done for me, I want to be his next sacrifice, I want to-ahhh!" Kimimaro suddenly feels his lungs lock up and he starts coughing up blood, using a hand to cover his mouth. He's shaking and Kurama watches him, no sympathy in his eyes and gently goes to rub the boy's back.

"You honestly think Orochimaru is going to want you as his next sacrifice? Just look at you, you're a mess. And I can tell just by looking at you that you have some kind of internal disease that he nor four eyes can even cure and they're just using you. Why do you think Orochimaru is so hellbent on going to the Leaf? It's not just to destroy the village, but he has another motive." Kimimaro shakily looks up at Kurama and glares.

"I know he wants Uchiha." He grits out and Kurama chuckles.

"And do you know exactly why he wants Uchiha?" His silence lets Kurama know he doesn't and he grins even wider. "He wants Sasuke Uchiha to be his next sacrafice." The white-haired boy shakes his head in disbelief.

"No, he wants me, that's my only purpose in life. He, he loves me like im his own, it's all I live for!" Another round of coughing starts and Kurama actually rolls his eyes this time.

"Kid, stop getting so worked up over someone that doesn't care about you. Besides, I just broke your leg, he really wouldn't want you now on top of your diseases." Standing up, Kurama walks towards the other side of the room and puts his hands on his hips, an idea in his head.

"Let's make a deal kid, come back to the Village Hidden in the Leaf with me. I don't even care about the Kazekage anymore, without you Orochimaru can't defeat him anyway. Let me heal you there and give you a temporary home. Then you'll really see if Orochimaru cares about you. And he won't know you're with me. And if he does he won't kill you because i'll protect you from him. Then after this is all over you can join back up with him. What do you say?"

"Why...Why would you go so far for me and you don't even know me?" Trying to stand up, Kurama scoffs and walks over to him and offers him a clawed hand.

"Because you remind me of a boy who's basically my son and what he could have turned out to be if he didn't get the proper help that he did. This offer is going once, the choice is yours kid." Kurama offers.

Kimimaro has been so sure of his life until now, and all because of some simple words from a demon he just met, he's starting to reevaluate his life choices. So, after a few moments thinking it over, he grabs the hand offered to him and Kurama couldn't be happier.

"Good, make one false move or any sign of killing anyone when I bring you back and i'll cut your head off. Now hurry and wrap your leg up, you're a bloody mess. I have one more brat to seek out before we leave."


"Where are we?" Kimimaro questions and looks at Kurama who's crouched down on a ledge of a rooftop.

"Trying to find my bat shit crazy brother, that's who. I told you to stop asking question's, you'll see when we find him." He jumps onto another rooftop, Kimimaro not too far behind with his broken leg.

It's almost as if Shukaku knows he's here in the village and is hiding, making it more difficult for Kurama to find Gaara. On top of that, he needs to make sure Kimimaro is keeping up with him as well since he's not doing so hot in his condition right now. He isn't really planning on taking Gaara back to the village with him like he is with the white-haired boy, but since he's already here in Sand a talk with him wouldn't hurt.

Minutes and more rooftop jumping later, Kurama hears screams in the distance and places a hand in front of Kimimaro, telling him to stay put. "Let me deal with this, i'll come get you afterwards because I don't want you getting hurt again. Stay put and don't break your promise, remain on this rooftop until i've returned." Kimimaro blinks and nods his head, not understanding the man's worry for him.

"You still haven't told me your name." Sighing Kurama turns to him and says,

"Kurama Uzumaki." Then heads off to where the screams are coming from, leaving Kimimaro hidden until he gets back.

Kurama walks down into the quiet streets of Sand and the sight before him makes even a demon like himself cringe. One man is penetrated on a blinking street light, another man's body twisted like a croissant and another man's body bent backwards, his head rolling off his neck.

Glancing up at building, he see's the culprit and isn't shocked when his eyes land on Garra who's perched up on a stature glaring at him with cold teal eyes.

"Go away, or i'll kill you too." Kurama shrugs and looks down at the sand that's swirling around his body, curling around him.

Kurama growls and his eyes glow red, "Knock it off Shukaku. Yes it's me you fucking batshit crazy tanuki." The sand immediately backs off and Gaara's eyes grow wide, the sand demon inside of him screaming with rage, but he blocks that sound out and focuses on the orange-haired man below him.

"Who are you?" He whispers out and Kurama cracks his neck, then jumps up on the statue to sit right next to Gaara, who flinches and instantly scoots away.

"Im sure Shukaku is throwing a rampage in his cage now," He daringly places a hand on Gaara's head and gently rubs the poorly done seal on his forehead. "What a sloppy job the humans did, no wonder Shukaku can easily take control of you. My name is Kurama, and you are the unfortunate soul who has my brother sealed within you. Now, Shukaku I know you're screaming in there, so shut the fuck up will you?" The soothing chakra Kurama is distributing in Gaara's seal calms the sand demon down a bit, and Gaara is thankful since he hates having headaches, on top of not being able to sleep.

"I don't understand, what are you?" Kurama stares at the boy for a moment and contemplates on telling Gaara the truth, placing his hands back in his lap.

"Im someone you can trust, that's who I am."

"But how did you already know what I am? Are you the same as me?" He tilts his head, and Kurama wants to squeal at how cute this little murder machine is. What a shame Shukaku and his own village did to taint this sweet boy.

"Something like that. Look, I know this may sound weird, but there are people out their that want to kill you, besides your evil father. Im trying to save all nine jinchuriki, including yourself since they'll be coming after you soon enough. There's already two like you in the Village Hidden in the Leaf and there's one particular boy I want you to meet that I know you'll get along with. His name is Naruto Uzumaki and he's basically my son." Gaara stares at Kurama like he's nuts, and the demon beside him laughs and ruffles up his short red hair.

"I know you probably think im crazy, and I am, but when you come to the village for the Chunnin Exams in a couple of days i'll come to seek you out and have you meet Naruto...if you already haven't run into him."

"What's this Naruto boy like, is he the same age as me? Who else is there that's like me?" Gaara is actually excited to meet more people like him, but also what if they reject him? Would anyone ever want to be his friend and be able to care for him? He left that dream a long time ago, but Kurama is starting to give him hope again that he could actually have a genuine friend.

"Naruto? Where do I even begin? He's funny, full of energy, the sweetest boy ever to exist...But you'll find out soon enough, just be on the lookout for a blond boy in an orange jumpsuit. Trust me, he's not hard to miss. And Utakata has the six-trailed beast in him, but he's also sweet. You'll get along with them just fine." Gaara nods and stares down at the crime scene below him with empty eyes, and Kurama looks down with him, a frown on his face.

Soon enough Gaara won't have to deal with this bullshit anymore.

"Unforetantly, I have to go and im not going to force you to come to the village with me since you'll already be there soon because of the exams. I just wanted to introduce myself to you before I leave." Kurama stands up to go collect Kimimaro, but a tug on his kimono sleeve stops him and he looks down into confused aqua blue eyes.

"My...My name is Gaara by the way." Kurama lets a small smile grace his lips and he gives Gaara a pat on the head.

"That's a start, see you soon brat."

Chapter Text

"Oh, Haku would look amazing in this one!"

"Hmm...I think purple is more of your color Ino. He would look good with this red one for sure." Tenten pulls out a red kimono from the clothing rack and presents it to Ino, who puts a hand under her chin and looks at the item up and down in thought.

Haku looks at the two girls and smiles.

Kakashi has had Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura out training and doing different kinds of missions nonstop for the past several days now. It had been sort of lonely the first day, but Naruto walked Haku back to the flower shop the second day to meet up with Ino before his mission's started. Haku has been in Ino's company for the past three days, learning all the gossip about the citizens and the men of Konoha. He even met her team briefly and just like everyone else, they were shocked he was a boy.

He learned that Ino really was a gossip queen, and because everyone and their mothers were always at the flower shop, Ino had nothing but high quality, A class gossip to share with Haku. It really surprised him how well Ino secretly listened to every single detail of the juicy conversations customers would have in the shop. She definitely has a lot of potential to be a great killer kunoichi in the future with her clan trait, beauty, and her gossip/listening skills alone.

If Haku wasn't into men, he definitely would have considered having Ino as a girlfriend in a heartbeat.

While walking through some shopping district today, the two ran into Tenten who just happened to be passing by. She had just got done from training with her team for the day, since her teammate Rock Lee pushed himself too hard and almost passed out. She said her other teammate, Neji Hyuga, took him home and their sensei told them to rest for the day. And now here she was helping them shop for Haku, who needed some new clothes. Tenten was another girl Haku would have considered to date if he was straight. She was cute, outgoing, and had a great personality. He was sure from the other day that if that Neji boy didn't get off his high horse and ask Tenten on a date, she would get snatched up by another man quickly when she was older.

Personally, it's great to know that Tenten and her team are around Haku's age. He learned her sensei held back their team for a year to enhance their skills before they could take the Chunnin exams. And from what Tenten has told him, her team is going to be a challenge for team seven.

Haku knew teamwork is what team seven lacked the most in the beginning, but at least Sakura is sort of getting better from what he has seen.

"What do you think Haku?" He hears Ino ask, pulling him back to reality.

"Huh?" Tenten and Ino give him a laugh.

Tenten cocks her head to the side, "We were asking what you thought of this one...You know, you tend to zone out a lot Haku." She says, handing Haku the red kimono. Haku lifts it up to observe it and can't help but blush at how beautiful it is.

"That's because he's thinking about Naruto...or Sasuke." Ino smirks at the red blush forming on Haku's face.

Tenten gives a gasp and covers her mouth. "Oh yeah, aren't you living with Naruto now? Is he a good roommate...Or are you guys more than just that? I didn't peg you as the type to like younger men Haku!" Haku had informed her that he is gay and it upset Tenten for a second, but she got over it quickly. She is smitten with a Hyuga after all, so she takes rejection well. Not to say all Hyuga's are assholes, but her Neji can certainly be an ass sometimes. But when it's just the two of them hanging out together he is as sweet as pie.

Haku folds the kimono and looks at the girls with a small smile. " Yes, I do live with Naruto now but we're just roommates. Naruto and Sasuke mean the world to me and saved my life, along with Zabuza's. I owe them my life and would do anything for them." Ino and Tenten blink.

"So, you do like one of them?!" They say in unison and Haku just shrugs to amuse the girls, because at the end of the day Haku likes older men and Naruto and Sasuke are becoming like little brothers to him.

"Wow, i'll arrange the flowers when the wedding comes!" Ino grins, fanning herself and dramatically falling into Tenten's open arms.

"And i'll be the best man." Ino looks up at her from her position in Tenten's arms.

"Tenten, you can't be the best man. You're not a man."

"I can be."

The trio become silent, then they all look at one another and laugh. Haku is blessed to have found these two and become good friends with them in the span of three days. He never had female friends he could casually hang out with and chat, or go out shopping and get lunch with anytime he wanted to. This is what he longed for and dreamed about. And there are so many shopping bags in his hands now, he can't wait to go back to Sasuke's house and unload all of this in his new closest in one of the guest rooms of the Uchiha manor when he switches from Naruto's house to Sasuke's.

Sasuke watches the scene as he walks up to the girls and Haku in the store with his hands in his pockets. Ino freezes and Tenten smiles and waves at the boy, and not a moment later, Naruto walks in with Sakura right next to him.

Haku smiles at the trio and notices Sakura looking extremely nervous. Ino had mentioned a snippet earlier today of her strained relationship with Sakura and Haku stares at the two, observing them as they glanced at each other with blushes on their faces. Maybe there's more tension beyond a strained friendship that meets the eye, but Haku knows both girls are still too young to understand if he tried to explain to them that it's not Sasuke who they like, but each other.

"Hey billboard brow, what are you guys doing here? Aren't you guys suppose to be on a mission right now." Ino sticks out her tongue and goes to wrap her hands around Sasuke's neck.

Sakura glares and shouts, "We were and unlike you, we're improving skills as a team, Ino Pig!" Sasuke groans, hating that he's in the middle of a cat fight right now.

Haku gives him an envious look and Tenten has to cover her mouth from laughing, Sakura and Ino have a very interesting relationship, to say the least.

Between their arguing, Sasuke manages to slip out of Ino's grasp and is surprised when Naruto grabs his hand to pull him next to him. Sasuke looks down to see Naruto smiling at him and Sasuke's heart starts to race at the sight. Why is Naruto literatlly the most beautiful human being on earth? It's like the rest of the world just fades away and all he can focus on is the blond boy in front of him, the rest of his surroundings blurred out.

"Hey, I was thinking since we're gonna meet up with Kakashi for dinner soon, we should bring Haku and Tenten along with us since Shikamaru mentioned something about his team having a group dinner tonight too. Also since we finished our last mission today, I was wondering if...maybe I could come over and help Haku move in too? Not to be pushy or anything since it's your house and all." Sasuke lets out a snort and inches closer to the boy.

"You don't need permission to come over to my house Naruto. Stop by anytime you like, trust me, I don't mind." There's an unfamiliar look in Sasuke's eyes that makes Naruto blush, and he nods his head.

The feel of Kurama halfway across town makes Sasuke perk up and he let's go of Naruto hand.

"Naruto i'll be back. I might be late for dinner but I do agree and think you should invite those two. Also, for now, would you mind if Haku stayed at your place for another day or two? I Just...wanna make sure my house is completely clean before he moves in." Naruto makes an 'O' shape with his mouth and gives Sasuke a thumbs up.

"Y-Yeah sure...so...i'll see you later then?"

"Yeah, I'll see you in a bit."


Sasuke walks into his house and for the moment, things seem calm.

That is until Kurama comes flying into the living room with a strange boy Sasuke has never seen before, and immediately Kurama locks the door. He silently tries to catch his breath and goes to sit on the couch.

Sasuke stares at the white-haired boy for two seconds before rushing into the kitchen to get Kurama a glass of water. He returns and Kurama thanks him before gulping the whole thing down, ice and all. He wipes his face with the sleeve of his kimono shirt and after catching his breath, he glances at Kimimaro, then looks at Sasuke who goes to sit down right next to him. 

"Kurama are you alright, what happened?" Kurama ignores him and flips his hair to the side.

"Look im fine Sasuke, it's just hard sneaking someone else back in the village in broad daylight and im exhausted. Anyway, you probably never met him but this is Kimimaro, one of Orochimaru's pawns and the boy who would have been repsonsible for killing the Kazekage before I stopped him. Kimimaro," The white-haired boy tenses at the sound of his name and gives Kurama his full attention. "This is Sasuke Uchiha and for now this is where you'll be staying until we go see Sarutobi and figure out what he wants to do with you." Sasuke opens his mouth to say something but closes it when he sees how tired and worn out Kurama looks and groans.

Is Kurama just going to adopt more children without even consulting him, let alone dangerous kids that have been raised by Orochimaru now?

"So are you going to explain to me what happened while you were in Sand?" Kurama scoffs at the Uchiha.

"We'll talk more after I take a shower and wake up, my body is so sore and I haven't slept in more than a week since we got back from Wave and I immediately went to Sand. Fuck, I hate being mortal..." Kurama mumbles bitterly and heads to the back of the house where the bathrooms and Itachi's room is.

Kurama leaves the awkwardly silent boy with Sasuke, and if Sasuke were his actual thirteen-year-old self he wouldn't know what to say or how to comfort the boy. But years of also basically being raised by Orochimaru has thaught Sasuke that any upbringing with that man is gonna be fucked up. So, he stands up and keeps a couple of feet away from the boy in case he attacks, and offers him a drink.

"Would you...like some juice or water as well?" Kimimaro makes no move to respond and Sasuke feels awkward from the silent rejection.

Sasuke had never personally meet Kimimaro before and doesn't remember him since by the time Kimimaro had joined up with the sound four, he broke out of his temporary death state and ran towards the Valley of the End to go fight and almost kill Naruto.

"I'll take that as a no, are you hungry?" 

"...." Kimimaro blinks and doesn't say anything.

"Do you need new clothes or anything? I have some spare clothes that might fit if you wanna take a shower and change."

"...."

"Are you...going to answer any of my questions?"

"......."

Okay, this is getting ridiculous and Sasuke really isn't one for small talk.

"Listen, Im not sure how Kurama found you or why you decided to come with him, but you're welcome to stay here and we can talk more to Kurama when he wakes up. Im sure you're still...very attached to Orochimaru, and he's probably pissed you suddenly disappeared and now they'll probably come after you for not killing the Kazekage. But just know you're safe here and if anything happens, me and Kurama will protect you." Kimimaro just stares at him and Sasuke averts his gaze to the floor.

"Kurama-sama said the same thing." Kimimaro finally speaks up and black eyes stare into emerald ones.

"Did he?"

"Yes, he stopped me from killing the Kazekage and broke my leg in the process, but with my kekkai genkai my bone ended up healing itself after a day and I can walk normally again. But for the time being, Kurama-sama has convinced me to join with you all and see if Orochimaru still cares for me now that I won't be in the main headlines for the Konoha Crush Invasion, as he calls it." Sasuke tilts his head and goes to cross his arms.

"Why do you make it sound as if the Invasion will still happen now that the Kazekage won't be assassinated?" Kimimaro blinks, confusion riddled on his face.

"Because the Kazekage was in on it even before I was going to kill him." Sasuke stares at the boy with wide eyes.

Well shit.


Kurama tosses and turns, and he feels extremely hot in his human body all of a sudden. The night is cool and the A/C is on in the house, so Kurama isn't sure why it would be blazing hot right now. Even though he's a fire demon, and a powerful one, he still feels like he's burning up and has a fever, a light coat of sweat covering his body. He has been sleeping since this morning, so he supposes he should wake up and at least get a glass of water and a snack, then go back to sleep.

But he doesn't want to get out of bed and turns to this left, snuggling more into the comfortable pillow.

After a few more minutes of being awake but with his eyes closed, he finally opens them and stills at the sight of the figure in the middle of the room.

His vision is blurred from just waking up after sleeping for several hours and maybe he's just dreaming because the figure doesn't seem like a threat. And it may just be because he's sleep deprived after not getting any proper sleep for more than a week, but the scent around the room is intoxicating.

He leans up on his arms and the figure walks closer, daring to kneel down until they are face to face. The room is dark and Kurama takes a small sniff, and when he inhales the scent of this person it sends him into overdrive. His eyes roll back and for a moment he's sent to a state of euphoria, never having smelled something so delicious before. He just wants to take a bite, and he imagines this is what humans feel like when they're drunk or high.

The figure leans closer and Kurama closes his eyes, taking a deep inhale once more of the room, the air suffocating and his body feeling like it's on fire. Then figure then stands up and looks back at Kurama, and like that the room goes back to normal and the figure is gone.

Kurama fully sits up now and rubs his eyes, his vision becoming clearer.

He grabs his hair and fists his locks while his other arm supports his weight as he sits up. What the fuck just happened to him? Looking around the room, it's empty and there's no trace of anyone being in there with him, so he must have been dreaming.

But wait.

Something catches his eyes and the door to the backyard of Itachi's room is open. Quickly he rushes and pushes the door wide open, his demon eyes immediately catching the movement of the red tree in the backyard.

A large crow comes soaring out of the tree and Kurama gives a sigh of relief, but then he remembers something.

He never left the back door open in the first place, and the thought makes him pause.

Plus the scent of Itachi has grown stronger around the room and even though he was only half awake, the scent is unmistakable. He slides down against the wall and a horrible realization occurs to the demon.

Was Itachi Uchiha watching him sleep just now?

The door to the hall slides open and he looks up to see it's Sasuke. The young Uchiha walks until he's right in from of him and kneels down to place a gentle hand on one of Kurama's shoulders.

"Is everything alright? I heard you slam the door and you're sweating, do you have a fever?" Sasuke goes to feel his head and Kurama slaps his hand away. The demon opens his mouth to tell him about Itachi, but he closes it and bites his lower lip.

He debates on telling him and after a minute of silence decides against letting Sasuke know that his older psychotic brother was here and watching him sleep. There's plenty of things Kurama doesn't mind sharing with Sasuke, but when it comes to Itachi Kurama knows that's dangerous territory, and they already have enough problems as it is. So for now, he'll keep quiet, and Itachi didn't seem like a threat just now. In fact, the Uchiha might have just been curious as to why a grown man is sleeping in his bedroom all of a sudden.

Kurama would be too if he was in Itachi's shoes.

"It's...I had a bad dream and I open the door for some fresh air is all, nothing to worry about." Kurama watches Sasuke's facial expression change to a worried one and he grins. "Really it's fine, I just saw a ghost in my dreams is all. I was gonna get some water and a snack, then head back to bed. Im still really fucking tired is all." Sasuke offers a hand and Kurama takes it to stand up.

"Thanks...by the way, how is Kimimaro adjusting?" Kurama asks and Sasuke follows him into the kitchen.

"He's a very reserved, quiet kid, but I think he likes the guest bedroom my aunt use to stay in all the time. She never took her flower paintings down before she died, and I think he likes those. He seems tired though and is genuinely sleeping right now." Kurama goes over to the sink a pours himself a glass of water. Sasuke watches him and crosses his arms, leaning against the kitchen table.

"You sure you're okay Kurama...You seem as if something startled you and nothing ever frightens you." Kurama takes one big gulp and snorts.

"That's where you're wrong Sasuke. There's one thing in the world that will always frighten me." He pauses to refill his cup in the skin before fully turning to look at Sasuke. "You."

Sasuke looks taken back and Kurama holds a hand up to silence Sasuke so he can explain.

"It's not necessarily you that im afraid of, but's it's the sharingan that will always be my biggest fear...that and losing Naruto again is my second. I know you personally will never hurt me, Sasuke. But there's still two other Uchiha alive out there that I definitely don't trust. Your older brother would have nothing to gain by taking advantage of me and Obito...Well, we know he would do anything to get his hands on me. I hate admitting it Sasuke, but im scared and as long as Uchihas exists I will always have something to fear." Sasuke is surprised Kurama is letting his walls down with him and isn't here to smile or give kudos that he shared something so personal. But he will always be supportive to the demon because it's what Naruto would have wanted, and he's honestly grown attached to having the fox around himself.

He's not just going to stand there and say nothing so,

"Kurama, thank you for sharing that with me, but we've talked about this already. I promised I wouldn't let anything bad happen to you, no matter what. We'll defeat Obito together and fix this whole mess." Kurama watches the moon shift and almost hesitates to ask his next question.

"And Itachi?" He watches Sasuke still, then relax all in under five seconds.

"When the time is right we'll deal with him. For now we need to focus on the Chunnin Exams and figure out a way to stop the Kazekage and Orochimaru."

"What?" Kurama asks, confused by Sasuke's wording and the Uchiha grimaces.

"It wasn't just the Orochimaru running the whole show Kurama. The Kazekage knew about the coup the whole time, Orochimaru just wanted more power which is why he wanted to kill him. We have to stop them both now." Kurama feels like ripping his hair out.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck...I should have just left Sand alone and let Kimimaro kill him...Shit." He curses and Sasuke gives him a sympathetic look.

"Look, I know you stopped the assassination because you want to save Gaara and keep him here until we defeat Obito, and that can't happen if Sand needs him as the Kazekage. However, not everything is going to turn out perfect. We just have to make sure the changes aren't too drastic. It will be okay Kurama." Kurama frowns, his appetite suddenly gone and he dumps his cup in the sink after taking one more sip of his drink.

"Im gonna turn in for the night, we'll talk more in the morning, im...I wanna go back to sleep." Sasuke watches Kurama walk away and knows Kurama probably feels like shit now, but if he can just convince Orochimaru not to attack the Leaf Village without killing him...

He has a plan and hopefully, Orochimaru will listen to reason before Kurama decides he wants a snake skinned pelt.


A huge black crow swoops down in the foliage of the trees and suddenly morphs into a human man wearing black cloak named Itachi Uchiha as soon as he touches the ground.

For the first time in a while Itachi's heart is racing and he's glad to be away from the village. Itachi is a master manipulator, went into ANBU at twelve and became a captain a year later. Hell, he's still in his prime and knows he's one of strongest ninja to exist right now. Everyone fears his name alone, and not many people survive once they meet his gaze. He's never missed a target and always kills his mark.

But tonight.

He almost got caught by the gorgeous orange-haired man in his bedroom because he wanted to get a closer look at the sleeping figure. Kurama Uzumaki is getting quite the reputation and he came out of nowhere. Last time Itachi checked, the last Uzumaki to exists was Naruto, but then again he never did do his research on the Uzumaki clan. Maybe there are still some hidden on Whirlpool Island, or maybe Kurama and Naruto are the last ones alive and Kurama has been in hiding this whole time.

Still, Itachi was close to getting caught tonight and it's bothering him.

Kisame glances up from the fire at the sound of a branch snapping and grins at the figure coming from the shadows of the woods.

"The hell have you been? You tell me to go get us firewood for our campsite of the night then just up and leave? Very unlike you to be sneaking around, Itachi." Itachi resists the urge to roll his eyes at his partner, who is sitting on the other side of the campfire with his arms crossed.

"Kisame, stop the melodramatics. I've only been gone for an hour at best." He ignores Kisame and sits on the other log beside the fire, unzipping his jacket a bit to let the fire warm up his cold body.

Kisame studies Itachi for a moment and the grin on his face spreads wider, "You know we're close to that old home town of yours, Konoha was it? Tell me, you didn't go sneak off in there to reminisce did you?" Itachi sends a black-eyed glare his way, hoping Kisame would get the hint to fuck off.

"That's a bold assumption of you Kisame, that place means nothing to me now and there's nothing of interest there." Itachi knows he's lying through his teeth, but he doesn't want to entertain Kisame tonight.

Smoothly he takes off his hairband, scruffing up loose his hair so it cascades down his shoulders. He has a headache due to using his sharingan today on one of the men Pein sent them to get entail on for some financial business for the Akatsuki. Taking a long, black strand, he eyeballs his hair which is now past his mid back, almost at his butt. When's the last time he cut it? He doesn't remember himself, but his hair is the least of his concerns right now.

"Tch you're right. Anyway, did you find any traces of the Nine-Tailed brat? Im sure he can't be that hard to find, despite the village being huge." Itachi blinks.

Right. That's the whole reason why they're so close to Konoha in the first place and because of a man named Kurama Uzumaki, he forgot. And Itachi never gets sidetracked. That's why he became a Chunnin at five years old and an ANBU captain at thirteen. He's good at what he does, and Kurama Uzumaki made him get sloppy and forget why he even snuck in Konoha to begin with.

That's not good.

"I actually didn't get a chance to see him, he was surrounded by too many Jonnin and Sarutobi has tightened security around the boy." Well, that is half true. From what the new guy that suddenly appeared named Tobi saw while out with Zetsu, Kurama managed to break the jutsu that was controlling the Mizukage and bring Kiri back to it's peaceful self again all in one night. And now two jinchuriki are roaming around Konoha, with the exception of the Mizukage who seems like he's retiring now in his relatively young age.

Kurama Uzumaki is one to be weary of.

"I think it's troublesome that Leader-sama put you and I in charge of kidnapping the nine tails. Then again, you and I are the strongest duo in Akatsuki, and with your sharingan, should the beast go on a rampage before the extraction, you could tame 'em. But I have to admit, hunting the beast is pretty exciting." Itachi could practically see the bloodlust oozing out of Kisame, and this time he actually does roll his eyes.

"Only you would get excited about the thought of killing someone. No, you, Hidan, and Deidara are all guilty of that." Kisame laughs.

"Well, well now, don't exclude out Kakuzu. He'll kill anyone for money, even one us if Leader told him to. And Sasori gets excited at turning anyone strong into his art...I guess in the end, we all get excited at the thought of killing eh?" A thin black eyebrow raises at the shark-like man.

"I only mentioned you three because you love to kill just to kill. Kakuzu and Sasori actually have a purpose, no matter how stupid they may be." Kisame blinks at Itachi from across the fire.

"You sure are talkative tonight. You only become social when something interesting in your life happens." On the outside, Itachi has on an expressionless face, giving no emotion. On the inside, he's cursing at himself for still managing to entertain Kisame after all tonight. After years of being partners, of course Kisame would catch on to the little things about him no one else knows.

"Hn." Kisame actually whines at the lack of response.

"Ohhh, did I ruin it? Ha ha, I like that side of you Itachi, you should learn to be more social." No further words are spoken between the duo. They enjoy each other's company in silence, the only sounds being wild, nocturnal animals and the fire crackling. And that is fine, Itachi needs silence anyway to further plan ahead.

He stares into the fire with a frown, thoughts shifting all over the place about who exactly is Kurama and why was he in his bedroom sleeping there?

Chapter Text

This is the part of the timeline Sasuke knew he was going to hate the most and he suppresses a groan when he hears Sakura scream because a whole beehive is chasing her in the backround.

It's been a week since their mission in the Land of Waves and since Kurama came back from Sand. However, they are back to doing baby missions like walking dogs, picking weeds and babysitting. It doesn't bother Sasuke this time around though because instead of fighting and having a bitter rivalry, (mainly due to him, but he can admit that now) him and Naruto are working together and their relationship has grown tenfold.

Speaking of which, Sasuke turns around at the sound of Naruto screaming now and see's Sakura and Naruto are both running away from bees. Why did the third send them on a mission to destroy a huge beehive in the first place? Sasuke dismisses the thought and lazy summons a fireball jutsu, destroying the hive and the colony all together without scorching his teammate's hair in the process.

Both his teammates blink at him and he holds back a smirk.

"Come on, Kakashi is waiting for us in the village, we should get going." Naruto happily thanks Sasuke and rushes to walk right next to him.

Sasuke tilts his head when he notices Sakura behind them slowly following in silence while Naruto rants to him about how hungry he is for ramen after today's mission.

A few minutes later and they finally meet up with Kakashi to report their mission, the Jonin listening while leaning against the wooden fence and reading his book. Sasuke will never understand how a man can read so much porn and in public no less without any shame. Kakashi is a weird man, but a good-hearted one Sasuke will always respect.

The sound of a bird in the sky makes Kakashi and Sasuke look up and they both exchange glances with each other, knowing what's to come soon.

Kakashi lets out a sigh and straightens himself back up. "Well I have to make a report, so we can continue this later. Oh! By the way, Zabuza is done with his interrogation today and is in our conjoined apartment with some fellow Jonin helping him move in. If you want, you and Haku could stop by later tonight Naruto. Im sure Haku really misses Zabuza, and vice versa." Naruto smiles and throws himself at Kakashi to give him a hug.

"I'd love to Kakashi sensei. Me and Haku will be over as soon as we can tonight!" Kakashi awkwardly gives Naruto a hug back, knowing Kurama will kill him if he doesn't. He casts another looks towards Sasuke again, who nods at him, then disappears with a poof of smoke following behind him.

Sasuke turns to Naruto to ask him about going out to eat, but Naruto's gaze is suddenly focused on Sakura who's walking away without a word.

"Why do girls have to be so difficult?" Sasuke thinks.

If he is going to get Sakura to become the best damn medic nin that surpasses Tsunade and his and Naruto's best friend, he is eventually going to have to say something to the girl.

Naruto gives Sakura a sympathetic gaze and considers just leaving her there and going back home so he can spend time with Haku and train a bit more with Sasuke, but Sakura looks devastated. She is his teammate after all and he hates seeing girls cry, despite that it's her own fault for thinking Sasuke would ever want to be with her. Secretly, Naruto takes pride in knowing the Uchiha likes him and only him in that way though.

"Hey, I have to go somewhere, ill meet up with you in a bit." Sasuke says and before Naruto can respond he disappears. 

Softly groaning, Naruto gives in and walks over to the sad girl.

This is honestly the perfect time for Naruto and Sakura to talk anyway until he decides to talk to Sakura one on one as well. For now, Naruto and Sakura's relationship is more important than his and Sakura's. They both need each other, and Sakura will come around to Sasuke eventually once she fully gets over him.

Sighing, he turns himself into a black cat and secretly follows the two in the trees above.

Naruto hurriedly rushes up to Sakura and gently puts a hand on her shoulder, surprising her, "Hey Sakura, do you want to go get something to eat with me and talk it out as friends? I know you're used to me asking you out on dates, but I'm not really into you anymore. I'd rather just stay friends and work on our teamwork if that's alright?"

Sakura looks up and she wants to snap at Naruto. She is so use to him asking her out on a date after Sasuke rejects her, then taking her anger out and rejecting Naruto. But she pauses and really looks at Naruto, replaying the words he just spoke in her head. He never just asked to hang out because he wanted to build up their relationship as friends.

She wipes her oncoming tears away and gives a sniffle. "You really mean it Naruto? You don't want a date?" Naruto shakes his head.

"Nope. I was gonna get some lunch then go find Haku, but you're welcome to join me if you want. I respect if you wanna go home and relax for the rest of the day though." Sakura does want to go home and cry about Sasuke, but the low rumble of her stomach is telling her to do otherwise. Besides, it's a nice day and it would be such a waste to spend it all day crying over a boy she knew didn't like her back.

"Sure Naruto, lunch sounds good right about now."

"Alright, let's go get some ramen!" Naruto unconsciously takes her hand and starts to walk towards the part of the village where he knows Ichiraku ramen is.

Sakura blushes at the fact that they are holding hands and has to admit that it's a pretty nice feeling. The feeling is different than when her mom and dad held her hands when she was little, more comforting than that. She softly squeezes Naruto's hand in return and squeaks when he squeezes hers back. If this is why couples held hands all the time, she now understands why.

For a minute, she tries to imagine that it's Sasuke walking ahead of her holding her hand. She wants it to be Sasuke so badly, but his image quickly vanishes and reality comes crashing down on her when she realizes it's Naruto that she is walking with hand in hand.

At this moment, it makes her realize that maybe it is finally time to move on from Sasuke. 

She longed for her old Sasuke back, but how could she long for something she didn't truly know? Sakura came to the conclusion that she really didn't know who Sasuke was a couple of days ago. Yes, she knew of his clan, that he gained top rookie in their class, smart, fast, and that he's pretty. But that's about it. And every time Sasuke rejects her, Naruto always asks her if she's okay and tries to make her feel better by asking her out. What does she do in return? Refuses him and puts him down like Sasuke does to her. She is no better than Sasuke and now is the perfect time to give herself a reality check.

"Im sorry Naruto." She blurts out.

He slightly cocks his head to indicate that he's listing. "About what?" He asks and she gulps, feeling her throat go dry.

"About..." She goes over the small speech in her head and gives a shaky breath. "About everything. For the way i've treated you in the past and rejected you like Sasuke did to me. I shouldn't let my feelings for him make me treat you like crap too. You're not a bad person and im upset with myself for that."

Sakura is starting to get nervous because minutes have passed and Naruto hasn't said a word.

And then,

"You should be sorry." He says calmly.

She suddenly wants to withdraw her hand from his and hit him upside the head, "But, I forgive you Sakura, so long as you promise to not do it so often. I use to really like you and see you as a potential girlfriend. But I don't think we would work out and would fight a lot he he!" He laughs half heatedly, "But I would like to start over and be friends if you want to." He takes his hand away from hers and stares her down. "What do you say Sakura, wanna be friends?" He gives her a fox-like grin and scratches the back of his head.

Without hesitation, she responds, "Yeah Naruto, i'd like that." They both smile at each other.

Naruto opens his eyes and notices a box painted to look like fake rocks is following behind them.

"Fake rocks? What are you, two years old. Come on out Konohamaru!" Naruto can sniff that it's his young fanboy from a mile away. And just like he predicted, Konohamaru and two other kids pop out from the box and introduce themselves, after their done hacking up the gunpowder that exploded in their faces.

"Im Moegi, the sassiest kunoichi in preschool. Check me out!"

"I love algebra, call me Udon!"

"And im the number one ninja in the village, Konohamaru! And when we're all together, we're the Konohamaru ninja squad!" They all finish together.

Naruto notices the goggles their wearing like he use to wear, and smiles.

"Hey, nice goggles you got on there guys." The three kids grin.

The brown-haired child scoffs and says, "Oh, you're just now noticing boss? They're what you use to wear! Now stop playing around and give us what we want!" Naruto raises a brow.

"And what would that be?" Naruto responds and Moegi comes up to him and pouts.

"You know what we want Naruto, we wanna play ninja!" Sakura snickers at this.

"A ninja playing ninja? That is so lame!" She says without thinking, and now has three kids glaring at her.

"Hey, just because you're Naruto's girlfriend doesn't mean you can call us lame!" Konohamaru points an accusing finger at her.

"I'm his what?" Sakura blinks at the accusation, feeling stumped and even Naruto has to take a pause.

Normally a comment like that would make him blush and grin like a fool, but it dawns on him that there really is no spark left for Sakura. No butterflies in his stomach or anything. He looks over at her and gulps, because it's not the girl that's standing next to him that's making his heart race, but the thought of Sasuke's beautiful face smiling at him.

His face turns beat red and Konohamaru smirks. "We saw you holding hand boss, so there's no fooling us! We know she's your girlfriend." Konohamaru nudges Naruto. "But she's kinda ugly and her forehead is huge." He whispers, but his voice is still loud enough for everyone to hear and Naruto's eyes go wide.

If that's one thing he knows will trigger Sakura, it's saying anything negative about her forehead or that she is unattractive. He can't stop the punch Konohamaru gets on the head. And when the boy calls her ugly out loud again, all common sense leaves Sakura and she starts chasing after the three kids that make fun of her at full speed down the street. Naruto laughs at the scene, since it Konohamru's own fault for pissing off Sakura.

"Hey." A voice calls to him.

Naruto spins around to see Sasuke walking cooley towards him, hands in his pockets and a small smirk on his face.

It seems Naruto and Sakura are going to be good friends in this timeline, and he couldn't be happier.

"H-Hey Sasuke, I thought you had to go do something?" Sasuke shrugs and stops until he inches away from Naruto face, and the intense black gaze Sasuke is giving Naruto makes his mouth suddenly go dry. He goes to lick his lips and Sasuke follows the motion, not missing the way Naruo wet his lips and proud in the fact that he's the only one that can make Naruto nervous like this.

"AHHHH!" They both turn their heads when they hear a scream from down the street.

Naruto looks at Sasuke before running down to see the commotion, recognizing Konohomaru's voice. Sasuke quickly follows behind, already knowing what's ahead.

The scene they walk up to makes Naruto furious and Sasuke rolls his eyes. Ah yes, he forgot about how the Sand Siblings were assholes before the Chunin Exams, however, Sasuke isn't going to worry about Gaara too much because Kurama said he would deal with the boy, just like Kurama is going to let Sasuke deal with Orochimaru. Still, it doesn't stop him from being cautious about Gaara because right now he's in his prime and the most dangerous. Shukaku is still unstable and until they fix Gaara's seal Sasuke refuses to leave Naruto alone with the boy.

"Put him down Kankuro, or you're gonna be sorry." A blonde girl with green eyes lazily pleads in a bored tone.

"Oh come on Temari. He won't be here for a bit, and these punks look fun to play with." A boy with purple markings on his face tells her, choking Konohamaru even more. Sasuke glances over at Naruto who looks like he's about to explode and puts a hand over his chest, shaking his head. Naruto takes a deep breath and heeds Sasuke's command to back down for the moment.

"Put him down." Sasuke interjects calmly and all eyes turn to him.

"Oh, more feisty little punks for me to punish? Cool." He strangles Konohamaru further.

Sasuke scoffs and cooley takes out a kunai with speed no one expected him to have. He quickly throws the kunai and slash's Kankuro's arm with it, shredding the older boy's sleeve and skin. Kankuro screams and throws Konohamaru back at his friends, his good arm hurriedly grabbing the now injured bloody one. He glares at Sasuke who glares right back at him with a vicious look, and for a moment the Uchiha reminds him of Gaara.

He's now sweating bullets and instinctively starts to pull out his puppet.

"What?! Are you gonna use the crow for something like this?" Temari's eyes go wide and she rubs her temples, not understanding why her brother would even want to pull out that thing for something so minuscule like this.

"Shut it Temari!" He barks at her, before turning his attention back to Sasuke. "Im gonna kill you, you brat." Sasuke raises a thin eyebrow, not really entertained by the boy's boldness.

"Do whatever you want Kankuro, im not involved in any of thi..." Temari senses another presence and pulls her huge fan out just in time to deflect needles aimed at her and her brother. She looks up into the trees, and a stunning boy with black hair and hazel eyes smoothly lands next to Sasuke and Naruto with senbon in his hand. There's a dangerous look in this new boy's eyes, and Temari and Kankuro start to regret messing with these kids.

"Who the hell are you, and what makes you think you can throw poisonous needles at me and my brother you bitch?" Temari counters defensively, even though she's fully aware this whole confrontation is her and Kankuro's fault.

Haku huffs, amusement written all over his face. "Me a bitch? Funny. You come into our village, attack the grandson of the Third Hokage, and have the audacity to call me a bitch for protecting the honorable grandson from both of you?" The temperature suddenly drops and everyone shivers from how cold the area has become.

Sasuke and Naruto exchanges looks and continue to let Haku talk.

"State your business here in the Village Hidden in the Leaf. Or else i'll take you both out and drag you to the Third Hokage for investigation and questioning." Temari and Kankuro freeze up at the statement, knowing their own father would be extremely pissed if he found out they were bullying the Lord Hokage's grandchild. The penalty makes Kankuro almost piss his pants and Temari goes white.

Temari opens up her mouth to say something, but a cold voice stops her.

"Temari, Kankuro, that's enough. You're both an embarrassment to our village." Everyone looks up at the trees in front of them to find a redheaded boy with green eyes glaring down at his two siblings.

The new boy turns to sand and teleports down to where his brother and sister are.

"Temari put your fan away. And Kankuro if you mess with them any further, it will be more than just your arm that's bleeding." They both look terrified and immediately apologize to him.

Haku exhales and puts his senbon away after seeing the danger is over, then walks over and bends down to check Konohamaru for any injuries.

Sasuke and Gaara watch each other for a moment until Gaara breaks his gaze away from him to look over at Naruto.

Naruto stares at the redhead boy and blinks.

Almost as if looking into this boy's soul, Naruto can see sand everywhere. But crawling among the sand from what Naruto can spot is a huge raccoon demon with black and gold eyes glaring at him and growling loudly. And the huge amount of chakra filled with murderous intent that dwells within the boy is making Naruto nervous.

The bloodlust coming from that demon is enough to make the calmest man go crazy, if that boy it's being held within already isn't.

"You three, who are you?" Gaara questions and glances over at Haku, the smallest blush on his face before looking back at Naruto and Sasuke.

Naruto realizes the boy is talking to him grabs for Sasuke's hand for support for a second before dropping it.

"My name is Naruto Uzumaki, and this is Haku and Sasuke Uchiha. Who are you?" Gaara raises an eyebrow at the interaction between the two, but doesn't comment on it and cooly crosses his arm.

And then the name Uzumaki pops back in his mind and he blinks at the blonde boy. "I am Gaara of the Desert. Will you to be participating in the Chunnin exams? Im curious about you all."

"Not Haku, he's already a Chunnin. I will be though, with my team." He motions to Sasuke, then Sakura comes to stand beside him.

"I see, then we shall meet again soon, Naruto Uzumaki. I apologize for any injuries my reckless siblings caused. Also, tell Kurama I look forward to meeting him again." He and his siblings start to walk away in silence.

Naruto blinks, "You now 'Rama?" Gaara tilts his head in his direction and silently nods, then disappears leaving some sand behind.

"Naruto!" Konohamaru whines and Naruto rushes over towards him.

"Hey, you okay kid?" He asks, gently putting a hand on the boy's shoulder.

Konohamaru sniffs, then gives Naruto a thumbs up along with a smile. "That was so cool boss! The way you stood up to them-and you!" He points to Haku, who blushes at the sudden attention on him. "You were amazing! The way you came in with your sebon was awesome, and you showed no fear. Are you by chance the bosses girlfriend? You sure are a beautiful woman." This makes Naruto blush, and Haku knows the young boy doesn't know any better and let's out a small laugh.

"Konohamaru, you can't just assume everyone I know is my girlfriend." Naruto panics and looks back at Sasuke then back to Konohamaru.

Haku lays a gentle hand on Konohamaru's head and smiles.

"No, i'm not Naruto's girlfriend. Besides, im actually a boy." Konohamaru blinks and chokes on his spit.

Naruto starts laughing uncontrollably, hands on his stomach. Sakura groans at the sight of Haku gently patting Konohamaru's back to help the boy breathe again, his friends beside him giving him support. And Sasuke takes all this in with a small smile on his face that only Naruto catches. Naruto smiles back at him and wipe's his tears away, getting out some leftover giggles in his system.

The small boy regains his breath again and takes one of Haku's hands in his, "Well, if you're not Naruto's boyfriend you can be mine, because I don't care if you're a boy. You're the most beautiful person i've ever seen!" He proclaims, his two friends humming in agreement with him.

"Maybe in about ten or so years when you're older, right now you're a bit too young for my taste." Haku rejects gently and the boy starts crosses a hand over his heart.

"Then wait for me my love, ten years it is then!" Konohamaru proclaims and the group laughs.

The scene is the complete opposite that happened back in the past, but Sasuke supposes that it's okay. In the end, probably from his previous meeting with Kurama when the demon snuck into Sand, Gaara seems more sane towards Naruto. But he's still going to keep an eye on the one-tailed host. Gaara is an unstable mental mess right now, and until they figure out how to approach helping him, Sasuke isn't going to let Naruto out of his sight.


"So...You guys think this is a good idea? The fact that we decided to put all the rookie babies into the exams?" Kurenai ask, carefully taking a sip of her wine.

Kurenai, Asuma, Kakashi, Anko and a couple other Jonin's are in the lounge right now discussing the topic of the Chunin Exams, now finished with their meeting with the Hokage.

"Well, I think it would be a good way to test their skills. Choji, Shikamaru, and Ino need this, and I had consent from their parents before I recommend them today." Asuma leans back and wraps his arm around Kurenai's shoulders on the love seat. She smiles and lays her head on his shoulder, Kakashi eyeing the two before going back to his book.

"As did I from Hinata, Kiba, and Shino's parents. We all know how dangerous the Exams can be...What about you, Kakashi?" Kakashi looks up from his book and hums.

"Ohhh, I think they'll be just fine. Besides what's the worst that could happen?"

"Death." Anko cheerfully replies, her mouth full of Dango sitting on the window seal, legs swinging back and forth. That earns her a glare from Kurenai and Raidou who's across the room in the kitchen.

"That too." Kakashi coolly agrees with her, but he knows his team will be fine.

"You know I have to agree with what Iruka said earlier to you Kakashi, they are just babies after all. Even Gai held his team back for a year." Genma says as he strolls in and takes a seat next to Kakashi on one of the couches.

Kakashi gives Genma his famous side eye. "Genma, I become and Chunin when I was six." He flat out states and Genma holds his hands up in defense.

"Yeah, but im just saying. By the way, I came in here for a reason since it's been so hard to find you recently. I wanted to ask about that new cute little Chunnin that's staying with one of your pups, Haku was it? When am I going to get to meet him? I heard he's quite the sight to behold and I wanna see for myself since everyone keeps talking about him."

"He's sixteen." Genma gives Kakashi his famous 'I don't give a fuck' look and shrugs.

"I just want to meet him is all, I didn't say I wanted to get into his pants." They both hear Kurenai scoff on the love couch and turn their attention towards her.

"Well knowing your reputation Genma, that is exactly what you want to do." Asama looks at her, then at Genma with a raised eyebrow. Everyone who is a Jonin knows Genma is a bit of a playboy, but now that Asuma thinks about it Haku hasn't been the only talk of the town lately.

"Hey! I still have my dignity and morals." He tries to defend and Kakashi raises a silver eyebrow.

Anko chuckles, chewing her Dango stick slowly and says, "You only have one of those."

And then laughter burst out into the room.

"What th–Speak for yourself you damned crazy snake woman. Raidou, back me up here!" He looks back at his partner who's sipping his tea and talking the Aoba in the kitchen area. Raidou glares at him and continues to sip his drink. "Awww come on princess, you still mad about earlier when I said I didn't like your cookies? I liked them, I just hate raisins okay?" Raidou stalks out the room, Genma quickly following after him.

"Ahhh, the mother hen lovebirds have left the building! Speaking of which, when am I going to see that hunk of a rouge Jonin Kakashi? Word on the street is that he lives you now!" Anko jumps off from the window and takes the empty seat next to the silver-haired Jonin. Kakashi glances at her, then goes back to reading his book, making her pout.

"I don't know where you got that information from, but I don't know where he is Anko..." He ignores the kunai that is suddenly at his throat and flips to the next page in his book.

"You listen and you listen good Hatake. I don't know if you're hiding him from me because you want him all to yourself, but if I find out he lives with you and you didn't tell me. You're a dead man, always keeping the hot men to yourself." Kakashi inclines his head to her.

"What would give you the implication that im gay?" Anko puts her kunai back in her pouch and cracks her knuckles.

"There's been a pot going around for seven years now since no one has ever seen you with a woman. And no one simply reads as much porn, in public, like you do." Kakashi gave her a ludicrous look and peers over at the couple on the love couch.

"I don't see what my reading has to do wi–Ausma, Kurenai, did you know about this pot!?" Asuma blushes and coughs into his hand, meanwhile, Kurenai too has a blush on her face and looks out the window, commenting how lovely a day it is. The other Jonin around the room began to whistle and pretend like they didn't just hear what Anko said, ignoring Kakashi talking to them.

"You know what, Im going to retire for the day." Kakashi sighs and begins to stand up, ignoring some of the snickers from his fellow Jonin.

Kakashi stops in his tracks at the sight of Kurama in the doorway and blinks.

Naturally all gossip around the room stops and all eyes on the fox demon. Hell, even Genma and Raidou somehow managed to make their way back and peek their heads out from the hallway.

Kurama makes eye contact with everyone before settling his gaze on Kakashi. He lets out a small smile and goes to say, "Kakashi, Sarutobi has requested me and you to see him as soon as possible. I hope I wasn't interrupting anything important here." He tries not to snicker, because the conversation he just listened into was fucking hilarious. A pot about Kakashi being gay, why is he not surprised.

"Y-Yeah sure, lets go then." He quickly leaves the room with the demon.

Anko actually drops her dango on the floor, jaw dropped. "Who the fuck was that?" She questions no one in particular.

"I don't know...but what I do know is Kakashi has a lot of explaining to do and needs to introduce us to his new friend." Genma's states as he and Raidou watch the two vanish down the hallway to the Hokage's office.

Kakashi warily glances over at Kurama and notices a few jonin they come across in the hallway jaws drop at demon, one even tripping on his own feet taking a double look back at Kurama. He watches the demon hide smirk under is kimono sleeve and clears his throat, Kurama's eyes locking onto his one eye. It makes him start to sweat, knowing that this is the nine-tailed fox that's looking at him with such an intense gaze.

He straightens up and says, "So, any reason why you're making yourself known to the public?" Kurama grins at him and links their arms together.

"Maybe I just wanted to get you alone because it's fucking hilarious to tease you when I know you're scared of me." Kakashi rolls his eye at the fox.

"I thought you weren't into humans?" Kurama shrugs.

"Im not, but it's still fun to make you scared. But really, Sasuke and me have talked about it and if im going to be able to freely walk around and see Naruto whenever I want, I need to let the people know I exist." Kakashi blinks.

"And that's why you came to get me?"

"Yes. With all the big threats to come, people like Orochimaru and the leader of the Akatsuki need to know they can't just waltz into the village and destroy it because of Sasuke and Naruto. They need to know im a threat." Kakashi raises and eyebrow at the logic as they round the corner.

"From what you told me, Orochimaru is someone we can handle. But the leader of the Akatsuki who you haven't gone into detail about, what then?" Kurama averts his gaze from Kakashi on purpose because now is not the time to tell him about Obito.

"We'll deal with that when it happens, for now we need to focus on the Chunin Exams and keeping Orochimaru in check so the village doesn't get destroyed. And hopefully I haven't screwed the timeline up too much, because Jiraiya should be showing up soon and I need to have a small chat with Naruto's Godfather."


Kabuto scowls at the last subject he has to check on in the cage, and glares at it when it tries to touch him. He kicks it, causing whatever the hell it is to whimper before locking the cell, then unhurriedly he makes his way up the stairs and back into the dim, candle lite hallway. Locking the basement door where most of Orochimaru's experiments are, he sighs before making his way down the hallway and through a secret passageway only he knows about, other than his master.

Heading up more secret stairs to the room that leads to none other than the notorious snake villain himself, Sannin Orochimaru, he prepares himself when he hears something else shatter.

Kabuto opens the door and immediately ducks his head when a kunai flies past it, cutting off some of his dead ends. He closes the door and adjusts his glasses, his eyes focusing on Orochimaru who has his legs crossed, sitting in his throne-like chair with narrowed snake eyes and a deep frown on his face in the dim candle lite room.

Kabuto stares at him with a blank face before bowing down, showing his respect and loyalty towards the snake-like man.

"Lord Orochimaru." He shivers as Orochimaru's chuckle echoes around the room and into his ears, sending chills down his spine.

"Kabuto, my precious dear boy, I told you to call me by name and not by that unnecessary title. You know you're more special than all the others and are given permission to do so." Kabuto cheeks heat up slightly, but luckily it's dark enough in the room so his master can't see him, or so he thinks. "So my dear Kabuto, what have you came to me for?" Kabuto silently gulps before answering.

"Yes Lo–...Orochimaru. My apologies for popping in so suddenly but I came to inform you that the Sound Four cannot find any traces of Kimimaro. It's like he went to Sand and suddenly vanished, all traces of him gone." Orochimaru's smile disappears and he starts to hiss in frustration, letting some of his chakra seep out. The candles in the room begin flickering and Kabuto's throat grows dry at the tension because one thing's for sure.

Orochimaru is livid.

First Kimimaro suddenly goes missing, fucking up his plans to kill the Kazekage. And now apparently the Leaf Village has Zabuza Momochi, one of the Seven swordsmen and his apprentice with a special kekkei genkai as allies, along with Water Country itself. So now his plan to destroy the Leaf might not even go well and killing Sarutobi is going to be even more difficult.

It's not even the fact that Orochimaru cares about Kimimaro. The boy is too sick for Kabuto to treat anymore and he has no use for him anymore since he can't even be his next vessel. But without him, his Konoha Crush plan is looking like it's going to fail the more he tries to re-plan everything in his head. Kimimaro is strong and to lose him all of a sudden means failure in his plans to destroy Konoha. Meaning he is now two steps back from getting what he truly wants.

Sasuke Uchiha.

"Oh, and just one more thing." Kabuto's voice cuts through the thick air.

"Hmm, what is it?" Orochimaru snaps at him, suppressing his chakra so he doesn't suffocate Kabuto.

"There's been reports about someone else new in the village. We don't have much entail on him, but he's extremely dangerous and goes by the name Kurama Uzumaki," Orochimaru's eyes widen at the name and he sits back, eyes focused on nothing in particular.

"Go on," He urges Kabuto.

Kabuto collects himself before continuing  now that he doesn't feel like he's suffocating anymore.

"Supposedly he's the long lost uncle of the nine-tailed host, Naruto Uzumaki. That's all the information we have on him so far since we can't get close enough to him. It seems like he's staying in the shadows of Konoha at the moment and we don't know where he came from or what he even looks like, minus having orange hair which is unusual for an Uzumaki. All pure breed Uzumaki have blood red hair from the legends and clan scrolls i've read, but then again Naruto is mixed with Namizake, so maybe Kurama is from two different clans as well."

"Im aware, anything else?" Orochimaru leans forward and Kabuto blinks.

"Well, the last little fact we know about him...He's known as dangerous and we don't know the full extent of his powers yet, but it's rumored he could be on par with you, hell, even the Akatsuki."

"Kurama Uzumaki." The name slips off of Orochimaru's tongue.

The name itself and little facts about the strange man are unsettling and Orochimaru hums. He's going to have to do some intense investigating since last time he checked, all Uzumaki's beside Naruto are extinct.

Chapter Text

"So Haku, I want you to know that I do not care if you are a boy! Gai Sensei says that is another part of youth that is wonderful to enjoy, so I am asking...Haku, will you be my boyfriend?!" Haku blinks twice, seeing the boy clad in a green leotard on his knees and orange knee warmers confessing to him and handing him a rose he picked from the fields.

Tenten sighs and puts a hand on her forehead to rub out her oncoming headache.

"Lee, you just met Haku and you're already proposing to him like some lovesick puppy dog?!" Tenten slaps Lee gently upside the head and he whimpers.

Haku just wants to see Zabuza, but he's moving in the last of his things and in a meeting today. So, Tenten had stopped by Naruto's house and invited him to hang out with her today while she did some training with her teammate, Lee. Her other teammate, Neji, is apparently going to join them later while their sensei is out at an official Jonin meeting right now.

But Lee, oh Kami, poor Lee. As soon as he gave Haku a good head to toe look he was smitten, just as every other guy that came across Haku. He dashed off when the two arrived at the training fields and came back five minutes later with a shiny fresh rose in his hand. He bent down and then confessed his 'undying love' for Haku. That's when Tenten felt a headache coming on. Lee always did this when he saw a pretty girl, but this was a first for him to confess to a guy. Then again, he did think Haku was a girl at first, but even after Tenten explained Haku was just a gorgeous guy Lee didn't care and that kind of shocked the bunned girl to say the least.

Haku sends the boy with a bowl cut hairstyle a sweet smile and accepts the rose.

"While im flattered Lee, you haven't even offered to take me out on a date yet. Plus, unfortunately, im not into younger men." Lee looks crushed, and if one could hear the sound of a heart being broken Lee feels his heart go into tiny little pieces being shattered.

"O-Oh, my apologies for coming on strong." He bows his head in defeat and Tenten puts her hands on her hips.

"Yeah, besides Haku lives with Naruto and Sasuke so it be weird anyway." Now there was a fire in Lee's eyes, and he takes Haku's hands into his, Haku accidentally dropping the rose.

"Are these Naruto and Sasuke guys entering in the Chunin Exams by any chance?" Tenten and Haku glance at each other cautiously before nodding their heads.

"THEN I SHALL CHALLENGE THEM FOR YOUR LOVE HAKU...I-If that is alright with you of course!" Haku gives him a light peck on the cheek and nods his head.

"Whatever you like Lee. But for now if you want to get to know someone, how about asking them out on a date? Or at least getting to know five facts about them before confessing. It'll be easier that way so you don't get heartbroken when you are rejected. You seem like a very sweet boy and if I liked younger guys I would consider dating you." Lee blushes and takes mental notes of Haku's advice. Now thinking about it he should get to know someone before proclaiming his love for them. What if they're crazy or worse...

"Well then Haku, I shall take what you said into consideration of how to approach people I like better! Thank you." Lee smiles at the pretty boy and Haku offers a hand to help him up. Lee glady takes it,

"No problem Le--"

"What is he doing here?" The trio turn around to see the third teammate of Team Gai, Neji. And needless to say, he looks pissed.

Neji looks at Tenten, then at Haku and Lee who are holding hands, and is Lee blushing? Just what the hell is this boy doing that made Tenten and Lee fall for his charm. Neji isn't a fool, Haku is pretty, but he's a national criminal from another country and is not to be trusted. From what he has heard from eavesdropping on fellow Jonins, Haku is a vicious vixen known for seducing men and women, while his partner Zabuza Momochi went in for the kill. They were a notorious duo and he couldn't understand why they were accepted into the village so easily.

And now one of them is wooing not one, but both of his teammates, and watching them while they trained? Oh no, no, no, this would not do. At least, not while Neji Hyuga is around, he is not gonna let that shit fly.

"Sorry, but when we train we do it in private, no visitors allowed. Especially you. You need to leave the premises immediately." Haku slowly raises an eyebrow at the bitter sounding boy.

"Hey Neji, chill out. Im the one that invited Haku to hang out with us in the first place!" Neji scowls at Tenten.

"Then I suggest you reconsider and take him back to where you found him for the day." Okay, this guy is an asshole.

"Im am not a dog, Hyuga." Neji focuses his attention on Haku and crosses his arms.

"Well, from your history you seem like one. Doing whatever you can just to pick up scraps to eat for the night like some stray hound. Killing and seducing, what a cheap trick." Tenten walks up to Neji and places her hands on his chest as he stalks forward to where Haku is. This is getting way out of hand and could get messy if she doesn't stop Neji. He is quick to get angry and jump to conclusions after all.

"Woah, Neji that was not cool. I am so sorry Haku-Kun." Lee apologizes and pats the pretty boy on the shoulder while glaring at his teammate.

 "Neji, you need to apologize. Why would you say something like tha-"

"No, it's alright Tenten, Lee. Let the asshole think what he wants." Haku, with a witty look on his face, walks up to Neji. Tenten moves so they could be face to face, knowing Haku can defend himself. Haku was declared a Chunin after all, and he has a special ability no one else in the world has anymore. He can handle himself against a bratty Hyuga.

"So, seducing is a cheap trick huh? Well then, I challenge you to a fight Hyuga." Neji smirks, this would be a piece of cake.

"Fine, but I won't go easy on you stary." Lee and Tenten back away to watch from the sidelines, while Neji and Haku get in their positions for their fighting stances.

"One strike of my gentle fist and you're done for. Let me show you your place when talking to someone of my caliber!" Neji rushes forward and immediately strikes Haku in his heart, making Lee and Tenten gasps at his speed and accuracy. He doesn't even need to activate his Byakugan for this, what a joke.

However, Neji's blood runs cold when he realizes 'Haku' is smirking back at him, but it's too late. Haku's body shatters into ice and Neji feels a prick in his left arm. He immediately snatches the sebon out and looks up to see Haku wink at him in the trees above them, sitting up there with his legs crossed and waving hi to Lee who is cheering him on. Neji growls and grabs his arm, feeling it immediately go limp.

Haku, with a speed far greater than Neji's, jumps from the tree's and aims to punch Neji in the face, but Neji easily dodges him and kicks Haku hard in the stomach, sending the boy across the field.

"Haku!" Lee and Tenten scream out.

Haku coughs and shakily tried to stand himself up. Neji, with a limp arm, walks over to Haku with a victorious look on his face. He knew Haku was all bark and no bite. "So, how does it feel to be on your knees where you belong, scum." He prepares to kick Haku once more, that is, until Haku looks up at him.

And then Neji suddenly freezes.

Something in him makes him pause, not letting him move and his heart starts racing fast. What the hell, what is going on with him? What is it about those inviting tan colored orbs, those plump peach lips, long lashes, or that cute blush on the other boy's cheeks, that's making him feel like this? He has never felt this way when fighting someone before, so why is this boy making his face heat up?

"So, seduction is a cheap trick you said." Haku turns into ice one again and Neji curses when he finds himself pinned down on the ground in under ten seconds. One of Haku's arms holding both his writs above his head, while the other had a kunai dangerously close to Neji's neck.

Haku easily flips off of a shocked Neji and huffs, "So, here I am with no scratches or a speck of dirt on me, while you, on the other hand, have a limp arm and a few specks of mud and scratches on yourself. Now who looks like a stray now? You should learn to be careful and respect your superiors more, Huyga. Sorry, Tenten and Lee, I would love to stay but I feel a bit unwelcomed. Come and get me when you would like some proper company and not one of a disrespectful brat." Haku sends Neji a wink and walks away.

"Bye Haku!" Tenten waves goodbye, meanwhile, Lee knew he was definitely smitten while watching Haku walk away.

"That dirty little tram--" 

"Easy, you were rude to begin with and started the whole situation." Tenten helps Neji up and dust the dirt off of his clothes, and he ignores her glare. "Seriously Neji, Haku is older than you and he's a Chunin. You shouldn't have disrespected him like that. He's really cool once you get to know him, so you should just give him a chance." Neji rudely swats Tenten's hands away and narrowed his eyes in the direction Haku disappeared into.

"Never. I don't trust him and you two should know better. He is not to be trusted, nor around when you know I am going to be in the same area. Do I make myself clear?" Tenten sighs and decides arguing with an embarrassed Neji would be futile.

"Crystal Neji..." Both of them look over at Lee, who is quietly singing to himself with heart eyes.

"Oh boy, it's official. Lee is in love and Naruto and Sasuke have a new rival im sure." Neji raises an eyebrow at her.

"Naruto and Sasuke...weren't they the boy's Haku was with the other day when we ran into them while running laps around the village? You were practically drooling when you first meet them." Neji asks in disgust.

"Yeah, they live together after all." Neji nods at the information given to him.

Given the circumstances, Naruto and Sasuke are on Gai sensei's rival's team, Kakashi Hatake. They are genin and will most likely be entering the Chunin exams...With that being said, it looks like they are not going to have one, but two rivals from Gai sensei's team. If Neji couldn't get a scratch on Haku, why not go for weaker opponents he knows the boy cares about. If he couldn't hurt him physically, why not hurt his ego?

Oh yes, let the plotting begin. The Chunin Exams are going to be quite fun this year.


 

Today is the last day before the Chunin Exams and Sasuke dreads what's to come.

Tomorrow is the day he finally has to face Orochimaru, and at this part of the timeline, the snake man is unpredictable. That and if he can't convince Orochimaru to be on their side, he's promised Kurama he would kill him along with Kabuto for good measure. But without Orochimaru Sasuke admits to himself that he would feel at a loss.

Orochimaru may have been a creepy psychopath at first and Sasuke was only using him for power so he could get revenge against Itachi, but that's all in his past now. He's a better man and Orochimaru and his relationship grew over the years before Orochimaru was murdered by Kaguya herself. Orochimaru sacrificed himself so he and Naruto could sneak back to base camp where Obito and Kakashi had been waiting for them.

It was hard for Sasuke to watch Orochimaru do something so humble for his sake in the end. When they got back to camp Sasuke felt defeated and that whole night Naruto just sat down and held hands with him. He vented about all the good things Orochimaru had done for him and how he became somewhat of a parental figure. Then Naruto started to cry and ended up venting about Jiraiya and they both sat in silence, comforted by each other while reminiscing about their mentors who were also like fathers to them.

"Sasuke...Sasuke?" Sasuke snaps his head up from where he's resting against a tree and see's Naruto leaning down, staring at him with concerned blue eyes.

Oh right, Sasuke looks around to see Sakura talking with Kakashi about something and remembers they were training for tomorrow. Looking up at the sky, it's afternoon now and he watches as a bird flies solo in the sky. The bird stops, then chirps and looks back into the trees. Another bird that's brightly colored but of the same species comes out of the trees and calls back to it. The two birds swirl around each other and start to fly off into the sunset together.

An idea suddenly comes to Sasuke and he lets out a tiny smile.

"Naruto, do you want to go out on a date tonight before the exams tomorrow?" Naruto blinks and his whole face turns bright red.

Unfortunately, because of the war and the perfect timing Sasuke decided to confess his feelings for Naruto, they never got to go out on a proper date. And it always bugged Sasuke that even though Naruto considered gazing up at the stars on top of the tallest tree they could find a date, it still irks Sasuke to this day that they never went on a legit one. As nice as looking up at the stars is, he never got the chance to take Naruto out to dinner or a nice hotel afterward and treat his soulmate like he wanted to. Naruto deserves the world and all the finer things in life, and a sudden pain aches in his chest that he will never get to take his Naruto on one, because he's dead.

But now he has a second chance, so he's going to take full advantage right now.

Naruto chokes and leans up, nervously scratching the back of his head. "A d-date? Really, with me? Are you sure?" Naruto mumbles and Sasuke stands up so he can dusts himself off. He takes one of Naruto's hands in his and smirks, Naruto is too adorable for his own good.

"Yeah, I was thinking we go get some ramen, then maybe take a walk and just talk. If you want to that is, no pressure." Naruto looks down at their hands and takes a deep breath.

Never in his life did he think anyone would ever ask him out on a date, let alone like him in a romantic way, hell even like him as a friend. This is all so new to him, a world he never thought he would be able to venture in because no one has ever shown signs of wanting to be around him, romantically or platonically. If he's not including Kiba, Choji or Shikamaru. Now all of a sudden Sasuke has turned a new leaf and wants to be more than friends.

Looking directly at the black-haired boy Naruto studies him for a moment, wind blowing between them and the chilling air of the evening making him shiver. It still doesn't make sense to him why Sasuke wants his company, they've been rivals for years. And deep inside he knew Sasuke never actually hated him like everyone else, so to see this side of the Uchiha is comforting. And Naruto's not complaining either since it's actually pretty hilarious to see the villagers stare in jealousy that when he's walking or holding hands with him.

The prized possession of the village with the monster of the said village will probably never settle with the townsfolk. But Naruto and Sasuke don't care about anyone else's opinion so it doesn't matter.

"Yeah, I'd love to Sasuke!" He smiles, and it's one of the most beautiful sight's Sasuke has ever seen.


"Oh yeah, and then Iruka got so mad at me and chased me around the village for like...twenty minutes. He never found me, but he chewed my ass the next day." Naruto laughs and Sasuke shakes his head.

Fuck, Sasuke can't believe this is what he was missing the first time around. They had just finished dinner, ramen obviously, and all they are doing is holding hands and enjoying each other's company, but it's enough for Sasuke. It's really the little things in life that matter, and this makes Sasuke start to regret everything up until he came clean to Naruto. All the bickering and fighting, almost killing Naruto multiple times because he went insane over the truth and getting revenge on his older brother.

He should have never let Itachi cloud his mind when deep down he always wanted this with Naruto, and now coming back in time to save the world, this right here, it's everything he needs. Kakashi had suggested several therapists for Sasuke to seek out during the war, but Kakashi soon realized that Naruto was his therapy and left it at that when Sasuke had asked him why he stopped bugging him about the question to seek help.

Glancing over at Naruto who's pointing over at some colorful lanterns at a shop ahead, he lets Naruto lead the way over to the empty stand and squeezes their hands together. He will not let the same mistake happen and no matter what, he is going to protect Naruto from his brother and the Akatsuki. Really, Pein is the only one that came close besides Obito to killing Naruto and after the Chunin exams that's all he and Kurama plan on focusing on. Besides finding Tsunade to be the next Hokage, because even Hiruzen admitted that he is getting too old to be the Hokage with opponents like the Akatsuki lurking in the shadows.

Naruto reaches up to touch some of the lantern's and turns to find Sasuke staring intently at him. He gulps and wants to ask Sasuke if there's something on his face, but Naruto know's Sasuke would have told him if there was by now.

"Sasuke..." His name slips past his lips and before he can stop himself, he's leaning up. Naruto has seen many couples kiss before, and with Sasuke, he wants to take his time with the boy because he still doesn't know the Uchiha that well yet. But it's not stopping him from wanting to get to know Sasuke better, and right now at this very moment, he wants to kiss him.

Sasuke blinks, shock being his first initial reaction because he's having a severe case of deja vu. He curses himself that now out of all times his PTSD from the war and losing Naruto wants to kick up, but he pushes the feeling back down and takes a silent shaky breath. He starts to calm his nerves and pushes them away as quickly as they came in only a matter of seconds. Slowly he wraps an arm around Naruto's waist and Naruto narrow's his eyes, arms limp and heart racing like crazy.

"Um...If it's okay w-with you, I kinda wanna...k..kiss you right now." Naruto admits and wants to back out, but Sasuke tightens his grip on his waist.

"Then shut up and do it, Usuratonkachi." Naruto's eyes light up and next thing he knows, their lips are connected.

It's soft, gentle, and there's no need of urgency like Sasuke is use to. No sloppiness and roughness because they never knew when they would be attacked or summoned into the plotting room. No blood or bitting because Naruto practically always devoured Sasuke and wanted everything he had to offer. But Sasuke was never complaining about their kisses. He loved every single one of them, but something about this first kiss made Sasuke's cheeks heat up and a rush of dizziness overwhelmed him for a few seconds before he pushed the feeling back down.

This definitely isn't how their first kiss went originally, and they're especially not going to have rough sex afterward because Naruto is thirteen in this timeline and he wants their relationship to form properly. That will all come later when Naruto is older, but he's too innocent right now and his Naruto would kick his ass if he tried anything with his younger self, not that Sasuke wants to anyway. Being around him like this is more than enough for him. Besides, Naruto was the more touchy one between the two of them, however Sasuke never obliged when Naruto wanted him.

Sasuke feels like an idiot for being so in love, but he'd rather be a lovesick fool than a psychopath out to kill the whole world.

Never again.

This is what their first kiss should have been, slow and meaningful, even though Sasuke didn't mind the messy ones. In fact, secretly those were his favorites and Naruto was and surprisingly is an excellent kisser. Sasuke is not someone who likes physical contact, even to this day, unless you're Naruto or with the exception of Kurama. But it's something about the way Naruto wanted him and only him, and it was never for his money, looks, or the fact that he is an Uchiha but because Sasuke is Sasuke. And that's how Sasuke's attraction for Naruto started, but the physical part of their relationship was the hottest thing to Sasuke and, partially thanks to the sharingan because Naruto liked sex with him when it was activated, Sasuke has never forgotten a single time when they simply fucked or made love.

To any bystanders, it just looks like a couple of teenager's making out, but it is so much more than that. And when Naruto shakily leans a hand up to gently fists Sasuke's shirt, reality hits Sasuke and he blinks open his eyes.

He just kissed Naruto and Naruto kissed him back because he wanted to.

"Hey, you okay Sasuke? You seemed, er, not here for a sec." Naruto asks, because he's curious if he just pushed his boundaries since he has never seen Sasuke hug or touch anyone before. Except when he caught what looked like Sasuke's older brother giving him piggyback rides. But that's beside the point, Naruto wonders if Sasuke even likes kissing.

Little does he know.

Sasuke pauses, then looks down and pulls the Uzumaki boy closer to him. "Im fine, I just wasn't expecting our first kiss to be that nice is all." Well he's kind of telling the truth while covering up his minor anxiety attack.

Naruto just smiles at him, "Good because for a second I thought you regretted it. Nice to know the great Uchiha likes kissing he he." He jokes and Sasuke smirks at him. He wishes he could hold him like this for a few more minutes, but it's probably past midnight by the way the moon is positioned and they have to get up early for the exams. Even though Sasuke probably won't get any sleep tonight, Naruto still needs his rest.

"We should get going with the exams and all tomorrow." Naruto makes an 'o' shape with his mouth and loosen's his grip on Sasuke's shirt to take his hand instead.

"Right, let's go then." They jump on top of the roofs and head back to Naruto's house first, unaware they are being watched.

Kabuto pushes his glasses up and curses underneath his breath from the corner of the alleyway he's hidden in. Orochimaru is going to be extremely angry because now it's going to be even harder to detach Sasuke from the village if he is in love with Konoha's monster. He feels a migraine about to come on and disappear's into the shadows, trying to prepare himself for Orochimaru's reaction to this new information.

Chapter Text

 

Kurama stretches, letting the evening air of Konoha flow through his lungs and appreciating being able to breathe fresh air and not the murky air when he was sealed up and locked in a cage for over one hundred years. Haku smiles beside him, a basket of food in his hands. Naruto had informed Haku of his date with Sasuke and that he would have the house to himself. And of course, Kurama had come over and playfully threaten to kill Sasuke if anything happened to Naruto. After that Kurama decided he would spend time with his second adoptive son, which is why he and Haku are taking an evening stroll.

That and Haku misses Zabuza, so they're heading over to Kakashi's house where he lives now in a conjoined apartment. Well, at least their trying to but they don't know where the jonnin lives. Kurama could just sniff Kakashi out, but he didn't want to stand out more than he already has today.

As if on queue, Haku recognizes Ino's sensei walking with a beautiful black-haired woman that has red eyes walking out of a stand. Haku briefly met team ten the other day when Ino was introducing him to everyone while they were out for lunch.

Kurama glances over towards where Haku's looking and instantly remember's Sarutobi's son and his mate. He smirks because they will know exactly where the porn reading man lives.

"Asuma!" Haku calls out and Asuma stops in his tracks to wave hi at him and approaches the duo.

"Well, well, enjoying the village so far Haku? Ino seems to have really taken a liking to you know." Haku blushes at the statement.

"Really? That's good, she's nice and has been really good to me. And it's been well Asuma, thank you for asking." He politely replies.

Asuma shifts his gaze to give Kurama a look over, then grins at him. "Hey you must be Kurama Uzumaki, Naruto's uncle from what im told. I've been hearing a lot about you recently so nice to finally meet you. Im Asuma Sarutobi, squad leader of Ino, Shikamaru, and Choji. Welcome to Konoha." He greets and holds out his hand. Kurama blinks at the gesture and squeezes Asama's hand to the point where Asuma's squeaks and Kurama retracts his hand, smirking at him.

"Nice to meet you too Asuma Sarutobi and sorry about that, sometimes I don't know my own strength." Asuma chokes and his face is flushed, holding his hand as he tells Kurama not to worry about it, sweat dripping down his face.

Kurama slides his gaze over to the beautiful woman looking up at him besides Asuma and gently grabs her hand, giving the top of it a kiss. Kurenai blinks and hides her blush with her hand so Asuma can't see, but it's too late and Asuma crosses his arms, pouting. Asuma knows he's a handsome guy, but someone as beautiful as Kurama could whisk Kurenai away at any moment and honestly, he wouldn't even be upset. He's not gay, but Kurama is a gorgeous man and one to be feared just from looks alone.

"W-Well hello there, Im Kurenai Yuhi, leader of squad eight. Nice to finally meet you too Haku and...Uzum–"

"Kurama, my dear." He corrects her and she takes a sharp inhale, her face red and Asuma groaning at the competition.

"Asuma, Kurenai!" The four turn around to see two Chunnin out of breath running towards them.

Asuma raises an eyebrow. "Whoa boys, slow down...Izumo, Kotetsu, what's up? You boys look rough." Kurenai gives Asuma a small glare then sighs.

"It's about Anko isn't it?" She tiredly asks. The two Chunin look shocked at first, then slowly nod their heads. "Oh for crying out–" Kurenai wants to pull her hair out and Asuma looks at her, concerned.

"What's up with Anko now?" He asks because he genuinely wants to know what could possibly be up with their crazy snake loving friend this time.

"Are you serious?" Kurenai is giving him a look that makes Asuma sweat drop for asking. "It obvious Anko has been fiending to meet the new 'crazy hot Demon of the Mist' as she quoted to me earlier. He's a new Jonnin that is now becoming a ninja of the Hidden Leaf Village to redeem himself, but you just came back from a personal mission...So i'll cut you some slack for not knowing this time." She playfully flicks his nose.

"Well excuse me for not knowin–...Wait, Demon of the Mist? You mean Zabuza Momochi is becoming a Jonin of the Leaf?" Asuma has wide eyes and Kurenai nods her head.

"You really are out of the loop Asuma." She turns her attention back to the two Chunnin. "Don't worry about it boys, Anko is having one of her phases. She is probably running amuck on the other side of town. Bless Kakashi's soul if she finds him since he and that Jonnin live together now."

"Kakashi is living with Zabuza Momochi?" Kurenai wants to smack Asuma upside the head now.

Hearing all this talk about Zabuza and a crazy lady named Anko out for him, fuels Haku to know where Kakashi lives even more. He's becoming restless now and Kurama is truly amused by these humans.

Haku clears his throat and speaks up. "I don't mean to interrupt you four, but could you kindly tell us where Kakashi lives? He invited me so I could visit Zabuza, but he didn't exactly tell me where he lives." Kurenai remembers hearing about Zabuza Momochi having a young prodigy and guessed it was Haku, judging the description and how pretty the boy is.

She coughs, "Of course, I can take you guys there if you want. Asuma was just about to walk me back to my house for the night."

Kurama catches the way Asuma blushes at her words and grins at his red face when Kurenai reaches to grab his hand. So they were a thing already at this part of the timeline? Cute.

"Izumo, Kotetsu, take care of yourselves. If you see Anko again and she starts to interrogate you on Kakashi's whereabouts, hide." Kurenai instructed. The two gulp and scurry away back to their post now that they have informed Kurenai.

Most of the Jonin and Chunin that grew up together knows Kurenai is one of Anko's best friend's, so if Anko is ever causing trouble, they would tell Kurenai. Kurenai would scold Anko when they were mere children, but now as adults, there was only so much Kurenai could do to stop her female best friend when she was on the prowl. Meanwhile, Kurenai has her own love problems with Asuma. What the hell are they anyway? She knows they are more than friends, but she isn't sure if they are at the stage of boyfriend and girlfriend yet. They've gone on a date here and there, but when is the next step?

"Come, we'll take you to Kakashi's but you'll have to be quick because we don't want to run into Anko."

A couple of minutes of walking and the four finally make it to Kakashi's apartment. Kurenai leads them inside the apartment building and takes them up to Kakashi's doorstep, then knocks softly.

"Kakashi, it's me and Asuma." No answer.

"Kurama and Haku are with us too, can we come in?" Still, no answer and Kurenai takes a deep breath. Kurama debates on just kicking the door open but goes against it because this whole situation is fucking hilarious.

"You don't have to fear, Anko thinks you're cross the village right now from what Genma and Raidou told me twenty minutes ago." Bingo.

Kurenai hears the door click and mentally does a happy cheer. The door slowly opens and a gloved hand quickly ushers them in. Kakashi shuts and locks the door immediately when they all enter.

Haku's eyes immediately scan for Zabuza, who's peeking his head out the curtains for any traces of what he assumes to be this mysterious Anko woman.

"Zabuza!" Haku rushes over and practically jumps on top of the older man to give him a hug.

"Hey brat." He surprisingly hugs back to Kurama's surprise. Even big, grumpy sadistic men like Zabuza have their soft spot.

Kurama stares up at Kakashi and cringes at his disheveled attire, from his messy hair to his wrinkled clothes. "The hell is going on, you look like shit?"

The three Leaf Jonin look at each other and sigh.

Kakashi let out a tired sounding cough, "Our friend Anko...She more or less found out that Zabuza is done from interrogation and wants to meet him. She wasn't there for the investigation because she was out on a mission for a couple of weeks and just got back today. Anko can be a bit...impulsive and doesn't really know when to quit when she wants something. Thus, here you are finding me looking like this because i've been trying to hide me and Zabuza all day."

Said man of the hour turns around and gives Haku a grin.

"What do you think of the new look? Enough to finally get you to hold up your end of the deal we made back in Wave?" He wiggles his eyebrow's and Kurama scoffs and rolls his eyes. He's wearing the basic Jonin outfit, had absolutely no bandages wrapped around him, and sported a Leaf headband on the side of his head now. And Kurama isn't afraid to admit to himself that Zabuza is a handsome man without his bandages.

"Not really, still tired and trying to adjust living here, as should you." Kurama playful banters and Zabuza actually huffs to his amusement.

"Tch, yeah right. Anyway, im gonna have to get used to not wearing a shirt and no bandages now..." Zabuza stops to take one look at the two new arrivals and locks eyes with Kurenai, who's looking back at him. Despite that the room is dim since the curtains are shut with the lights turned off, some evening sunray's are hitting her face and Zabuza lets out w low whistle.

Slowly, he confidently walks up to her and takes one of her hands in his.

"Ya know, when they said the woman of Konoha were cute, I didn't think they, such as yourself, would be jaw-droppingly gorgeous. The name's Zabuza Momochi sweetheart, and you are?" Kurenai blushes at his forwardness and Haku shakes his head. Of course Zabuza would immediately start flirting with Kurenai, and from the shocked look turned annoyed on Asuma's face, the poor man might have some future competition for Kurenai's affection. Leave it to Zabuza to come to a new village and start messing with people's relationships.

"O-Oh, Im Kurenai Yuhi. I've heard a lot about you Zabuza Momochi."

"Hmmm, the pleasure is mine Kurenai." He practically growls her name out and gives her hand that he holding a kiss.

Asuma gently goes to pry the hand holding Kurenai's off to shake it, giving a confused Zabuza a fake smile. "And im Asuma Sarutobi, pleasure is all mine." Zabuza looks at him, then at Kurenai and snorts once Asuma releases his hand from that awkward handshake.

Kakashi looks between Asuma to Zabuza and sweat drops at the tension.

"Well, it's been a long day. Shall we get going Kurenai? Im hungry and love when you cook for me." Zabuza looks somewhat amused at Asuma and gives him props for his boldness.

Asuma wants to take out a cigarette, but he knows better than to smoke in front of Kurenai and holds off from his coping method for stress at the moment.

"Yeah sure. It was nice meeting you Zabuza." She gives him a smile and lets Asuma grab her hand to make their exit out the door. She turns her head just in time to see Zabuza give her a wink and gives him a small wave goodbye before closing the door.

Kakashi goes to lock it again and raises a brow at Zabuza, catching that last interaction between him and Kurenai.

"Well i'll let it pass this time since you're new here, but they're sort of a thing." Of course Zabuza looks like he didn't give two shits and laughs.

"Sure they are. She was sweating bullets the moment I kissed her hand...surprised her panties didn't drop." Kakashi blinks, startled because he doesn't want anyone to have bad blood with Zabuza and he just started his redemption journey.

"Listen, Kurenai and Asuma are good childhood friends of mine and have been inseparable since we've been kids. I don't even think the great Demon of the Mist could break them up." Zabuza grins at the challenge.

"Hmm...we'll see. Anyway," He turns to Haku who walks up to him, excitement written all over his face. "You wanna see the room Haku?" Haku nods and lets Zabuza lead him to the room next door. "You can join too Kurama." Zabuza eagerly invites him once they enter the other conjoined room.

"I would but three's a crowd." He hears Zabuza and Haku begin to bust out laughing at that.

"What a long day." Kakashi walks over and plops down on his couch, fixing his hair and taking off his green vest.

Kurama watches Kakashi for a moment, then decides to join him and lazily places himself down beside him on the couch with a blank face.

Before he speaks, Kurama places an anti hearing jutsu in the room he learned from Mito Uzumaki. She had performed this jutsu many times since many people, aka Madara Uchiha, were out for her and Hashirama's heads when they got married. Now would be a good time to confront Kakashi about something he's been wanting to talk about for a while.

"So much for relaxing completely..." Kakashi thinks.

It's still weird trying to process that Kurama is the Kyuubi No Kitsune from the future that is sitting right next to him and wasn't just looking at him, but leering at him. He wants to pinch himself. This has to be a dream. There is no way the demon fox that destroyed the village is sitting next to him and–

Kurama slowly puts a hand on one of his thighs? Kakashi gulps and hesitantly turns his head to see Kurama has shifted closer, gently touching his thigh, caressing it smoothly in an up and down motion.

"What's wrong Kakashi, you seem nervous? I'm shocked you've never had sex with a demon before, or maybe you have and you're still shocked I have a human form and your star student is actually grown and from the future like me?"

"I-I can't recall any time i've had sex with another otherworldy being so..." Kakashi bites his tongue, not knowing what else to say.

"What? You scared of me? I won't bite...that hard." Kurama makes a daring move and positions himself in Kakashi's lap.

Kakashi is sweating bullets now.

Kurama gives a sly smirk, placing either hand on the sides of Kakashi's face. "Tch you're so fucking gullible, I told you im not interested in humans and you're fun to play with. Naruto would probably scold me if he was here." He smiles before his face turns blank again. "However, there is something I want to talk to you about." Kakashi notices the sun is setting form his blinds, the room getting darker. And somehow the Kyuubi's eyes are now glowing and staring into his own.

Those eyes feel like they are piercing into his soul and make his throat grow dry.

"I appreciate you finally stepping up and becoming the teacher Naruto finally deserves, but why wait so long? What was holding you back before?" Kakashi flinches at that, Kurama pointing a clawed finger into his chest. "And that's what I want to talk with you about. How the hell could you abandon Naruto as a child like that for all those fucking years? What in Sage's name is wrong with you!? When he needed someone the most, where were you? And don't give me that bullshit about being too busy as an ANBU or Jonnin. You wanted to avoid the responsibility huh?" Kurama pulls back to glare at Kakashi.

A smile spreads on his face when he smells fear spike up from Kakashi.

"I already hate humans, and after Kushina passed and I got sealed for the third time I hated you all for good. But that boy...fuck, Naruto has a soft spot in my heart and I will protect him with my life. But, i'll give you a break since you've started to care now." He crosses his arms, and it's Kakashi's turn to glare at him now. How dare the monster that killed Minato, Kushina, and destroyed the village twelve years ago tell him about his life.

"And just how do you know what I was going through? You know nothing about my life–"

"Oh but I do." Kurama cuts him off.

"After Obito and your father died, and you killed Rin, you relayed on Kushina and Minato for support." Kurama catches the way Kakashi gasps and continues. "They cared for you like you were their own son after everything happened, but what did you do for their son when they passed away? Nothing. You did absolutely nothing for Naruto and if it wasn't for the Third he would be dead." Deep guilt sets in, and Kakashi doesn't know how to respond except lowering his head down in shame.

Kurama is absolutely right.

He is a coward, just like Obito said on that day.

Kurama, even a being of hate, actually feels a bit of sympathy for Kakashi. He certainly hasn't had it easy, but someone needed to set him straight eventually. So, he softly brings the man's face up to stare back at him again. He forgets how fragile humans can be, but doesn't regret what he has said. And seeing all the emotions in Kakashi's sharp grey eye makes even Kurama slightly cringe. Sadness, anger, sorrow, and more are all swimming in that grey pool of an eye.

"I'm not taking back anything I said. I'm just glad Naruto has some people he can rely on now, didn't mean to bring up your past to traumatize you again. Just stating facts." Kakashi tiredly huffs, what a long day it's been.

"No, you're right. I...I should have been there for him, but I was too afraid to get attached again. Let alone become a father that early and take care of a child." The demon fox frowns.

"So you thought abandoning him was the best option? Do you honestly think Minato and Kushina wanted you to abandon their child?"

"And do you think they wanted you to murder them?" Kakashi challenges, despite knowing this is the Kyuubi No Kitsune sitting on his lap with his clawed hands too close to his face.

If Kurama looked terrifying before, he is actually showing teeth now and Kakashi's tempted to pull out his Sharingan in case things go south.

"You don't know a damned thing about what really happened that night." Kurama bites out before he can stop himself. He didn't really care much for Minato, but Sage, Kushina was like a little angel to him. If only he could tell Kakashi what really happened that night, but he would tell Sarutobi and Naruto the real truth before anyone else.

"And what is that suppose to mean?" Kakashi presses, but the fox rolls his eyes and releases Kakashi's face.

"Nevermind that. Anyway, thanks for finally giving a shit about Naruto. Now I can trust you to put Sakura in check when she's out of line with him. At least if Sasuke hasn't already since their dating now."

"You have to remember they're just kids, Kurama." Kakashi points out.

"Kids my ass. Children are little shits and I'm tempted to eat them half the time." Kakashi lets out a soft laugh until a terrifying thought comes to mind that makes him still.

"Have...you've never eaten a kid before, have you?" Kakashi asks to break the tension and Kurama scoffs.

"No you brat, I was being sarcastic!" Kakashi holds his hands up in defense and sighs in relief.

"You know Kurama, you're not so scary for a powerful fox demon of fire and hate." Kurama wants to retort but instead is risky enough to wrap his hands loosely around Kakashi's neck, and bends his head down to give it a small nip with his fangs. He can feel Kakashi's heart beating fast, his fangs right next to his pulse, and can't stop his mouth from curling up into a grin.

He slowly brings his face up from his neck and is close enough that he can feel Kakashi breathing against his lips.

"Not so scary? I could have bitten off your damn neck just now." He chuckles at the sound of Kakashi's quiet whimper and dispell's the anti-hearing jutsu since he's done talking to Kakashi.

"Alright, hands off what's mine Hatake. I called dibs first." Zabuza enters back into their room and Kurama slides off of Kakashi's lap with a frown on his face.

"First of all im not anyone's property asshole, and second I can do whatever I want with whomever. I don't do humans for the last time, don't any of you men fucking listen to me?"

Zabuza plants himself between Kakashi and Kurama on the couch and spreads his arms out.

"So Kakashi," He ignores the pouty demon next to him, "what's for dinner since we've been hiding all day? Im hungry as shit."

Ah yes, dinner. And with Anko out there they can't just casually walk out to a restaurant. Looks like they are having Naruto's favorite meal tonight, ramen.


Kurama turns off the water to the shower and steps out, not needing a towel to dry himself because he's his own heater and dryer. But his hair being so long takes forever to dry, so he places a towel over his shoulders and puts some pants and a rob on, leaving the rob open so his chest could dry. He turns off the lights and leaves the door open so steam could be let out. He likes his shower extremely hot, but stays mindful of his fragile human body.

When he enters Itachi's room after he shuts the door his instincts spike up and he stills, because excluding Kimimaro, he's not the only one in this house anymore. Kurama pauses and sniffs the air, and the strong scent around the room makes him feel intoxicated. He licks his lips and lets the scent flood through his system, drinking in the addictive smell around him.

He knew this meeting was coming, but tonight? 

"Itachi Uchiha." The name slips from his lips like honey, and he slowly cocks his head towards the human before completely turning around and coming face to face with the older Uchiha.

He should have known since he was one hundred percent sure he left the window closed before he took a shower. Now it's completely open, moonlight filling up the room and the sound of crickets invading the silence between the two.

Itachi's black eyes narrow as he watches droplets of water run down from Kurama's forehead to his neck, then down his chest to his abs and underneath his low riding pants to forbidden treasures unknown. His throat goes dry and his eyes unhurriedly and unconsciously admire Kurama's tanned body, before glancing back up into glowing red eyes. He notices Kurama is standing completely still and is intrigued, because when people usually look his way they are always scared shitless and crying, begging for mercy to not kill them.

But Kurama?

The orange-haired man doesn't show any signs of fear and not only that, but there are many emotions in his eyes and fear isn't one of them. No, Itachi has seen this look thrown his way many times and usually he is never in the mood to have sex, mind too focused on more important things, but the man in front of him? Well, when it comes to partners he's very picky, but he's not a fucking idiot to pass down the chance to spend a night with someone as beautiful as whoever the hell this person is in his old bedroom right now.

Wait.

Itachi blinks at his lewd mindset and comes back to reality, immediately catching a kunai with his fingers inches away from his face. He peers at Kurama who's twirling another kunai in his hands and glaring at him. He doesn't understand what he did to piss the other male off just now but he definitely had been ready to risk it all for him just a moment ago. No one has ever made him feel so unfocused before, not even Shisui and it's bothering him.

He throws the second kunai at Itachi who instantly catches it this time and groans. The demon takes a shaky breath because he's trying not to fly across the room, pin Itachi down and fuck him senseless because if the boy takes one step closer it's exactly what Kurama is going to do. So he covers his nose with his hand and takes a small step back to try and distance himself.

"Why are you here?" Itachi almost doesn't hear what Kurama ask and takes a small step closer to the center of the room where the fox is standing.

Kurama watches him but says nothing and runs a hand through his wet locks. Itachi follows the movements and more drops of water fall down Kurama's perfectly sculpted body, and suddenly he can't find any words to say.

Itachi finally gains his composure and raises an eyebrow, "Funny, I should be asking you that question, Kurama Uzumaki." Kurama isn't surprised that Itachi knows his name, but panic starts to run through his system when it dawns on him that the Akatsuki probably know of his existence now ever since the fiasco with the Mizukage.

Kurama cooley leans against the wall, "So you know my name? Still doesn't explain why you're here right now. What? Feel like actually being the older brother you should have always been and checking up on Sasuke before the exams?" Itachi blinks and looks taken back at the audacity of Kurama's question.

"You are the supposed uncle of Naruto Uzumaki, the fourth Hokage's prodigy, yet here you are in my bedroom living in the Uchiha estate. I am the one who should be questioning you honestly." Itachi states and Kurama shrugs his shoulders, trying to make the dizziness go away and not make it look like he's going to attack and pass out all at once.

He needs to get Itachi out of this room, now.

"Sasuke will be back at any moment, you should leave. Wouldn't do him any good if he saw you right before the Chunnin Exams. He needs to focus and if you want him to become more powerful you'll kindly fucking leave." Kurama isn't wrong, Sasuke still gets shaken up when Itachi is brought up in conversation and can worry about the elder Uchiha after the exams.

"Hn." Itachi steps closer and Kurama uses one hand to grab the fabric around his pants, scrunching it up with his strong grip. His other hand scrubs over his face and he covers the bottom half of it. Itachi takes another step and Kurama gently bites the inside of his hand taking slow and steady breaths but Itachi is watching him closely, which is making the whole situation even worse because Itachi smells amazing and Kurama narrows his eyes at him.

He pushes himself off the wall and makes his way over to the bed, ignoring the boy. He starts to take his towel off his shoulders, then takes his rob off and chills run down his spine at the feel of eyes on his muscular back, turning his head to see Itachi still in the room. He rolls his eyes and sits down on the bed, leaning back on his clawed hands and tilting his head to inspect the much younger human. Although Itachi is nineteen, still, any human is considered young to him no matter who he fucks because dating isn't his thing.

But Kurama isn't a blind fool, Itachi is extremely pretty. Every girl and secretly probably many guys in his class must have had the biggest crushes on Itachi. Not only did he have his looks, but he too is a child prodigy and most likely everyone wanted to be his partner, yet the book and pictures of Shisui pop into the demon's mind. But if he asked questions about him Itachi would never leave. Why is he even worried about Itachi's past flings anyway? It's none of his business and he could care less about the whole Uchiha clan, besides Sasuke.

Kurama takes a sharp inhale, "Is there anything else you needed tonight besides sneaking around and bothering me?" Kurama studies Itachi's blank face then scoffs and takes a strand of wet orange hair, averting his attention towards anywhere else but the human standing a few feet away from him.

"I don't know what you and my brother are up to, but you've piqued my curiosity, Kurama. Until we meet again."

"Fuck off Uchiha." He hears the sound of Itachi quietly chuckling and the air around the room goes back to normal.

Kurama takes a deep breath and exhales loudly, his high finally coming down. He grips the bedsheets with both of his hands and closes his eyes, trying to calm down his heart because it's racing and feels like it's going to jump out of his chest. The temptation, the anticipation, his anxiety all wrapped in one package is making him feel like what humans probably call a heart attack and he hates it. Why. Why and how is Itachi doing this to him?

He's felt like this before when Madara would control him and summon him to do his bidding, but this is different. Kurama is in complete control of himself and not once did Itachi activate his sharingan. So if that's the case, then why does Kurama feel a slight pull to the Uchiha and he wasn't using genjutsu? Kurama curses and tries to calm down, because he doesn't want to destroy the bed with his claws.

There's a knock at the door and Kurama takes one more deep breath before responding.

"Come in." He calls out and the door opens to reveal Kimimaro. Kurama stands up and blinks at the white-haired boy who's become one of his adoptive "children". He walks to the doorway and raises a clawed hand to rough up Kimimaro's white hair.

"Something wrong brat?" Kimimaro looks around the room silently then back up at Kurama and shrugs.

"I thought I heard something. Anyhow it's time...Lord Orochimaru has finally entered the village and plans to attack Sasuke Uchiha tomorrow." Kurama hums and leans against the door frame.

"Trust me, im aware but all will be handled. Get some sleep, tomorrow is gonna be a long day kid." Kurama frowns, because if they couldn't get Orochimaru on their side, Sasuke is going to have no other choice but to kill the snake.

Chapter Text

Hey guys, so not an actual chapter this time but I've been really....I don't want to say depressed but very stressed out and not feeling my best this whole month. Im transferring to a new job in two weeks since the place i've been working at for the past 9 months has sucked ass. Well, not really the job itself but my team. My lazy does nothing boss and my co workers are just horrible. I've been doubting myself a lot as of late and so I looked back at this work and i've read some nasty comments that i've deleted, and it makes me cringe. I don't want to delete this story entirely, but I feel like rewriting this with longer chapters, better grammar since I do my own editing now and making it even better than it already is. So my question to you all is, should I rewrite this or keep on going? Kudos to everyone that responds and give me feed back. Much love to you guys and to everyone who has stuck around and liked this story in general. Im not forcing people to comment, but feedback is much appreciated. Thanks!

Chapter Text

"That, fucking Uchiha..." Kurama growls to himself, upset that the older Uchiha is still lingering in his thoughts after last night.

He gracefully jumps from one building to another, making his way to the Hokage tower. It's early in the morning, the birds beginning to chirp and the morning patrol light. But Kurama never slept last night since he doesn't need sleep, but who is he kidding. The real reason Kurama didn't go to sleep is because he knew his dreams would be about Itachi. He lets out a frustrated sigh, upset with himself that he's letting Itachi Uchiha cloud his thoughts because he has bigger things to worry about right now. Yet, this is the second time Itachi has shown himself to him and he–

He lands in front of the Hokage tower and holds his head in his hands, taking a deep inhale and exhaling slowly. He can't let Itachi get to him like this, he's just another human he convinces himself and shakes the unnerving feeling he has off.

Kurama tilts his head up high and strides into the tower, making his way up to the top and walking through the halls like he owns the place. He flips his hair when he passes by a couple of working Jonin who have stacks of papers in their hands. They stare him in awe and Kurama smirks when he passes them, humans truly do amuse him.

He walks up to Sarutobi's doors and gently opens them to see Sarutobi anxiously looking for something in his desk. Sarutobi looks up and greets Kurama with a kind smile, then closes his draw and urges the demon to come in and sit down in the chair in front of his desk. Kurama silently walks in and immediately points to the three hidden ANBU in the room. Sarutobi dismisses them and Kurama cheers a silent victory when they walk past him and close the door. He makes his way to the chair and sits across from Sarutobi, crossing one leg on top of the other.

Sarutobi pours them both a cup of tea before speaking, "Im assuming you came here to warn me about Orochimaru this morning since it's the starting day of the Chunin Exams?" Kurama takes a sip of his drink before answering.

"Actually I came here to ask for a favor." Sarutobi raises an eyebrow and takes a sip of his own tea.

"Oh? I'll see what I can do, but depends on what you're asking." Kurama takes a strand of hair and tilts his head, observing the old man across from him.

"Well," He slowly starts. "Before you tell me it got destroyed, I looked for myself the other day and it's still standing. I appreciate that you and Iruka gave a damn about Naruto and made sure he was safe all these years. However, I think it's time for an upgrade from that shitty ran down apartment you've given him. You do know the owner plays around with the electricity and because of...well, me inside of him he hasn't frozen to death since the heat barely works. And that they cut off his water half the time so he has to go out into the forest and bathe in the river. Are you aware of this?" Kurama crosses his arms and watches Sarutobi take a sharp inhale.

"Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do about that. No matter where I move Naruto to, you know as well as I do he will have a hard time living anywhere until the people accept him." Kurama hums and switches his other leg on top of the other. He places a clawed hand on the wooden desk and leans forward a bit, challenging the elderly man in front of him.

"Humans are the most disgusting creatures I've ever meet and if it wasn't for Naruto, i'd kill everyone in this village that has done him wrong. Humans act more like monsters than me, and im the actual thing ironically. But that's beside the point, I was going to talk to Sasuke about this but he's been too busy with the team and thinking about stopping Orochimaru." Sarutobi pauses and hesitates to ask his next question.

"You're not planning to take Naruto out the village are you?" Kurama barks out a laugh, shaking his head.

"No, no im not going to kidnap and whisk him away, he loves the village too much and I don't understand why. But right above the Hokage monument is where I was last night and I was curious and surprised to see that Minato and Kushina's house is still standing. Naruto is obviously too young to own an actual house, but as his uncle and an Uzumaki, it's in my right for me to be the next owner of the house along with Naruto as the next owner when he's of age. I want both of us to move into the fourth Hokage's old house." Sarutobi blinks at the demon.

"That's a really bold request of you, but I don't see why not. I can arrange for the paperwork to be done and have you both move in as soon as possible. Im sure Naruto would be excited to live with you and be in an actual house where he doesn't have to worry about looking behind his back every fives seconds. Sometimes I don't even trust my own ANBU when I send them to secretly look after him while he sleeps."

"Yeah, and i'd be nice to have my own house and look after Naruto and the rest of my siblings all in one place rather than sneaking back and forth from Sasuke's Manor. It's going to get a little crowded there soon anyway and Minato and Kushina have plenty of guest rooms." Sarutobi stills at that statement and carefully studies the demon while taking a sip of his tea.

"When you say all of your siblings...Are you proposing collecting all nine Jinchuriki and bringing them here?" Kurama cooly smirks.

"Precisely. Problem? You think im going to let them roam out there with the Akatsuki looming over their heads ready to murder them? Until we kill every single Akatsuki member and destroy that damn statue, I need all nine jinchuriki together where I can see them. Im not letting the same thing happen twice Sarutobi, so if you have a problem with that let me know now."

"I actually don't have a problem and understand your reasoning. However what im concerned about is how the other village leaders would react having their jinchuriki flee and come to live here for the time being. I know the Raikage and Kazekage would be livid." Kurama scoffs.

"Fuck both of them, the Kazekage could care less about Gaara and has tried to kill his own son several times. However I don't know the relationship between the Raikage and Killer Bee, but I know the Raikage is annoying as hell and I don't really give a damn about him either. Let them be mad, but my family comes first and i'll protect them at all cost."

"Thank Sage you plan on finding Tsunade after these exams..." Sarutobi feels the heavy urge to have a nice smoke session right now.

There's a soft knock at the door and Sarutobi calls for the person to enter. Kurama turns around and Asuma awkwardly walks in, and peeking behind him is Kakashi. Kurama smirks and sends the silver-haired man a wink, then looks back and forth between Sarutobi and Asuma.

"Oh, am I interrupting son and father breakfast time?" Asuma shrugs and walks right behind the desk to stand beside his father.

"Kind of, was I interrupting your guy's conversation?" Kurama stands up and waves his hand.

"Nah, we're done talking and I was gonna greet the kids before they enter the exams today with Kakashi." Kurama says and exits the room with the silver-haired Jonin in toll.

Asuma looks from the closed-door then down at his father to see him reaching for something green and wrapped up from one of his draws. He huffs and crosses his arms at him.

"It's a little early to get high pops, you okay?" Sarutobi sighs and grins at his son.

"It's never too early and im getting too old for this job, join your old man?" Asuma rolls his eyes and grins back.

"Sure pops."


Sasuke feels strange and wakes up to see he's not in his room, in his house, hell he's not even in Konoha. He stares up at the ceiling that's not his own, but it's not a ceiling, it's the top of a large tent and he's laying down in a bed right now, white sheets covering the lower half of his body. Speaking of his body, he's in his adult form and he's completely naked.

"Sasuke." The voice is low, but he can hear someone approaching him and he slowly sits up, his long black hair cascading down his back and bangs covering half of his face. He looks over to his left and his eyes go wide, throat growing dry at the sight before him.

Standing six foot two, it's Naruto Uzumaki in the middle of the tent in all his half-naked glory. Golden-kissed skin, long hair tied into a low ponytail, sideburns hanging low on the sides of his face, a smile that could melt thousands of people and those fangs. Fuck, Naruto's fangs are some of the most attractive features on Naruto to Sasuke and he loves when he bites into his neck and leaves marks all over his body with them.

Sasuke lowers his gaze and the low riding pants Naruto's wearing aren't helping the situation, fuck, just everything about Naruto is driving Sasuke crazy and he wants the Uzumaki to come over and ravage him. His eyes linger up to the toned stomach, his mouth practically watering at the sight of the Kyuubi's seal and the abs beneath it. Damn, a man shouldn't look as fine as the Uzumaki in front of him, blessed with good genes, a killer dick and a nice personality to match, literatlly the whole package and Sasuke is lucky enough to have him as a soul mate.

Naruto smirks and sways his way over to the bed, never taking his eyes off of Sasuke as he slowly climbs the bed and right on top of the Uchiha's lap. Sasuke is quick to grab that defined waist before the Uzumaki can slip away from him and Naruto chuckles, weaving his clawed hands around Sasuke's neck and through his messy bed head. He uses one hand to massage Sasuke's scalp while his other hand draws small circles onto the back of Sasuke's neck, the sensation sending small chills down his spine. His neck is his most sensitive part of his body, something only Naruto knows and uses to his advantage.

"Naruto..." Sasuke whispers onto Naruto's lips, slowly rubbing up and down the blond man's hips and Naruto purrs. The blond bends his head down and presses his lips onto the other side of Sasuke's neck, planting small kisses on it. He wraps his hands tighter around Sasuke's neck and moves his hips so he can sit his ass down right on top of Sasuke's clothed erection. Sasuke hisses when Naruto slowly starts grinding back and forth on it and curses the thick blanket for being a barrier between his erection and the sweet ass of Naruto Uzumaki.

Naruto grins into Sasuke's neck and brings his head back up so he can look into Sasuke's eyes. Blue eyes brighter than the ocean and Sasuke can't help but always get lost in them every time they make eye contact like this. He scoots Naruto up closer, chest to chest, so close that both can feel their hearts beating rapidly just being together in each other's arms like this.

"Sasuke," Naruto starts and cups the Uchiha's face, "I've always wanted you, ever since we were kids I always knew you were the one for me no matter how stubborn your ass was. And even when you attempted to kill me, your heart was never in it–"

"I thought we moved past tha–"

"Let me finish asshole." Naruto playfully grins. "You've been my whole world this entire time and I wish we were in a relationship that wasn't during a stupid war like this, but better late than never I guess. Fuck, I love you so damn much it's ridiculous, I mean...I've gotten on my knees and begged the Kages not to hunt you down and kill you after you tried to kill them so you could get to Danzo for doing what he did to Itachi. You're a crazy, sadistic, psychopath, but you're my psychopath...Wait, that sounds crazy when I say it out loud." He laughs out loud and Sasukes smiles, shaking his head.

"And you're my number one knuckle-headed idiot." He says softly and if it was possible, Naruto would have hearts for eyes right now.

"I love you." Naruto says and Sasuke starts rubbing one hand up and down Naruto back, the other snaking his way down to the third feature of Naruto's he loves the most besides his eyes and his smile. He cuffs one cheek in his hand and gives it a squeeze, Naruto purring at the feel of Sasuke squeezing his ass. He knows the Uchiha is obsessed with it and he lifts it up, then gently sits back down and starts to grind on Sasuke again.

He hisses, "Naruto, stop or i'll remove these covers and fuck you." Sasuke groans and Naruto brings his mouth to Sasuke's ear, his long tongue coming out of his mouth and sensually licking the shell of it. He moans inside of Sasuke's ear when the Uchiha cuffs both of his butt cheeks and gives them a firm squeeze, sending Naruto in overdrive and he almost comes when Sasuke gives it a nice, firm slap, loud enough for the people walking outside of their tent to hear probably.

"That's exactly what I want you to do to me Sasuke." He whispers and kisses Sasuke's ear.

"Say no more." Sasuke goes to remove the covers and reveal hi–


Sasuke bolts up from his bed in cold sweat, chills running down his body. He looks out his window and birds are chirping right outside of it, telling him morning has finally arrived. He looks around and is definitely in his bedroom this time, in his younger body no less. He stares down at his pajamas and lazily picks at the fabric of the bedsheets.

Now is really not the best time to be having wet dreams, or more so dreams that are projected memories from the past that actually happened. He needs to focus on Orochimaru, not Naruto...but that's hard when one's the love of your life. He curses and gets up from the bed, immediately heading to the bathroom to rinse off his face with cold water and snap himself out of his daze.

Orochimaru. Orochimaru. Orochimaru. Oroch...Naruto.

Sasuke's breaths are getting heavier and he harshly grabs the bathroom sink, standing in the dark bathroom, the only light coming from the shower window above. His thoughts keep drifting to Naruto, his body, the way he teased him, his screams, the way he loved to scratch up his back with his claws, the way he sounded when he would flip him over and fuck him until the Uzumaki couldn't take it anymore. Oh, wow, Sasuke hisses in pain at the tent in his pants and takes off his clothes, immediately changing into his adult form.

Quickly he goes to turn on the shower as cold as possible and jumps in.

He lets the cold water hit him, shivering but also welcoming the coldness that hits his body, erection slowly fading away. The water hitting the tile is comforting and he lets his back hit the wall, leaning on it and staring up at the ceiling with a blank look on his face. Lazily, he grabs a strand of his long, damp wet hair and feels his heart clench.

His long hair was the feature Naruto loved the most, whether it was pulling it when he would top and Sasuke let him have his way with him, or just playing with it and braiding it when they had free time. Naruto had always joked that if they had kids that they would hopefully have Sasuke's long spiky hair since it was more tamed then his. Then Sasuke would remind him that he was an Uzumaki and they possibly would have his hair texture but in red, and it always drove Naruto crazy and immediately led to sex even though they couldn't physically have kids together being two males. That didn't stop the amazing sex every time Sasuke brought up that fact thought.

Shit, he really misses Naruto's touch and it's so hard to hold himself back, but this is Naruto from the past that he has to grow up with, again. This is so hard, but he's going to restrain himself for a few years because he is not fond of having sex with Naruto this young. Not at all. As a matter of fact, Sasuke thought of himself as Asexual because he literally has no sex drive unless it's Naruto. As Sakura, Kakashi and many other's joked, he's Narutosexual.

His Naruto is gone, but as long as he can hold hands with Naruto again in this timeline that's enough for him.

A few more minutes in the cold shower is all that Sasuke needs before jumping out and drying himself off. He's got to get his head in the game, there are no rooms for slip-ups. Orochimaru and Kabuto are a dangerous duo and he can't afford to be distracted while dealing with them, knowing how both of them work like the back of his hand.

He turns back into his younger form and gets dressed for the day before heading out into the village and runs to the building to start the test where Naruto and Sakura are waiting for him.


When he walks up to the building where they're supposed to meet Kakashi and start the exams, his eyes immediately lock on Naruto who's laughing with Sakura about something. Both of his teammates spot him and wave for him to come over, and he jogs a bit so he can catch up and be right in the middle of them. Oh, that's right–

He looks over at Sakura and unlike last time in the past, she's smiling and looks like she has confidence this time around. He acknowledges her and gives her a small smile, hands in his pockets.

"Hey Sakura, how are you feeling?" She blinks, surprised at his question but gives him a smile too, hands on her hips.

"Just fine and ready to kick some ass in these exams, you?" It's Sasuke's turn to blink at her.

"Same, im glad these exams aren't scaring you, they're gonna be tough from what I heard and I think we can all pass and be Chunin if we work hard enough and act accordingly as a team." She hums in agreement.

"Yeah, also Naruto told me about your guys date last night, try not to be too distracted." She jokes, but Sasuke can tell it's still hard for her to accept he's gay and that him and Naruto are a thing.

"Sakura!" Naruto turns to her and blushes, then darts his eyes over to Sasuke. "She asked me why I was late and I told her I had been out with you all night. She asked me if it was a date and I said yes, then she squealed and I...I...well see the thing is I told Haku too, and Kurama's gonna freak out when he founds out we kissed because he said he would kill anyone that touched me. And also..." Sakura watches the rare sight of Sasuke smiling, and his smile gets wider the more Naruto talks. This must be what being in love is like, she summarizes in her head.

The sound of a bird brings Sakura back to reality and she grabs both of her boy's hands, bringing them back as well.

"Come on guys, the exams are waiting for us and I don't wanna be a third wheel." She says half-heartedly and leads them inside the building.

They walk in and Sasuke remembers the genjutsu that's placed to make everyone think they're on the third floor when really they are all on the second. He contemplates on just heading straight to the third floor, but what if team 8 doesn't make it to the application room on time playing around on the second floor? Man he really doesn't feel like dealing with Lee, but he'll play along. Not that he has anything against Lee. He, Lee, Naruto, and Gaara had all became close friends in the future and did stupid double date shenanigans because of Lee and Naruto. Poor Gaara and Sasuke were always stuck doing random things outside of their comfort zone during their free time, but every second with their goofy, loud outgoing soul mates was worth it till the very end.

They walk up to the floor and are met with the sight of Tenten getting hit and pushed onto the floor.

"Tenten!" Naruto yells and quickly skids to catch her before she falls to the floor. All eyes are on Naruto now and Tenten looks up with a blush on her face.

"Oh boy this looks bad, and we might want to tell everyone this is the second floor, not the third." Sakura whispers to Sasuke and follows closely after Naruto. She extends her hand to the bunned girl and Tenten smiles, grabbing Sakura's hand to help her stand up. Sasuke lets out a low whistle, impressed that Sakura actually had seen past the genjutsu and hadn't said anything when this first happened. That's more like the Sakura he knows.

"You okay sis?" Naruto asks Tenten and she nods her head. Naruto stands up and protectively places himself in front of the girls, "What the heck are you two doing picking on a girl? I mean yeah, Tenten can defend herself just fine but what the hell!?" Kotetsu and Izumo glance at each other then back at Naruto.

"Get lost kid, the exams are only gonna get worse so get over it." Izumo banters.

"Hey, knock it off, and while you're at it reverse the genjutsu, we're clearly on the second floor and not the third. Even my teammate Sakura noticed it too and she's great at spotting gejutsu from a mile away." Sasuke cooly walks up to stand beside Naruto and gives the Chunin duo a glare. Sakura glances at him and gives a small smirk, nodding her head and glaring at them too.

The two feel the threat underneath Sasuke's gaze and immediately release the jutsu, kids groaning and leaving the floor to hurry to the third floor.

All that's left is team seven with team Gai and all six stare at each other. Sasuke looks at Lee and there's a fire in the green-leotard wearing boy's eyes, but he's surprised he hasn't made a move on Sakura like he did in the past. Lee had the hugest crush on Sakura for years, but then he and Gaara got close and then became inseparable. But Sasuke is pretty sure Lee hasn't even met Gaara yet, so what's the sudden change in behavior this timeline?

"Hey," Tenten speaks up breaking him out of his thoughts. "Thanks for saving our butts guys, those two kids were jerks."

While Sakura and Naruto start a conversation with Tenten, Sasuke slides his gaze to Neji who's giving him a look over and he glares at the Uchiha. Boldly he steps up to Sasuke until there inches apart and Sasuke blinks.

"You, you're the new top rookie Sasuke Uchiha." A black brow slowly raises.

He and Neji never really got along and he use to be competition for Naruto's love along with Hinata. The Hyuga's were troublesome for his love life and Neji and Naruto almost got together, but for some reason, Naruto rejected Neji when he confessed to him and immediately pulled Sasuke to the side to tell him of how the Hyuga tried to get with him, but that he had feelings for someone else. That's when Sasuke decided to lay it all on the line and tell Naruto right then and there that he loved him. Little did he know the person Naruto was talking about was himself.

"Yeah, problem?" Sasuke asks and if possible, steam would be coming from Neji's ears and nose. He doesn't have the energy to deal with an anxious Lee and bratty Hyuga right now.

So he walks past him and urges Naruto and Sakura to follow, but a voice from down the hall makes all six pause, and Sasuke turns his head to see Haku walking towards them, a ninja pouch in his hands.

It honestly should be illegal to be so pretty, Haku literatlly can walk into a room and stop all gossip and whatnot, all eyes on him because he's so damn beautiful. Hips swaying and hair let loose, split from the middle of his head and cascading down pass his back to his butt. He's wearing baggy white pants, a black crop top that is raised high enough to see that narrow little waist and those abs of his, and a black Konoha ninja headband wrapped loosely around his neck instead of his black choker.

He jogs right up to Naruto and hands him his ninja pouch, "You left it at home and I wanted to give it to you before you entered the exams. I know you had a busy night, but you need your weapon pouch." He wiggles his eyebrows and Naruto's chokes, blushing and hands grabbing his leg, realizing why he thought it felt lighter than usual this morning.

"I...Thanks Haku, also you forgot to do your hair. It looks nice let down! Haku blushes and grabs a strand of hair while Naruto adjusts his ninja pouch on his leg.

"I was going to put it up in my usual bun but instead decided to just brush it and leave it out for once. And I was in a hurry to get to you before you started to exams." He looks up and excitedly waves to team Gai. "Hi Tenten, Lee," Neji glares at him, offended by Haku for not even acknowledging him. "Good luck to you guys in the exams as well, I hope you all do well." By the imaginary hearts' Sasuke can see forming around Lee he understands why there's no affection for Sakura and he doesn't blame Lee, Haku is gorgeous.

"Thank you Haku....I WILL DO MY BEST AND MAKE YOU PROUD!" Lee shouts and Tenten rolls her eyes.

"Yeah, thanks Haku, and good luck to you guys!" Tenten waves as her team start to walk away.

"Oh," Haku turns his attention back to team seven. "Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke, mind if I walk with you guys to meet Kakashi? I need to talk to him anyway."

"Sure." Sasuke says and the trio plus Haku begin to walk to the next floor.

Minutes later they meet up with Kakashi who's standing in front of two double doors and surprisingly Kurama is there with him to Sasuke's surprise.

" 'Rama!" Naruto yells and jumps up and into his uncle's ready and open arms. Kurama spins him around and nuzzles his face, Naruto's giggling like music to Kurama's ears.

"Hey brat, ready to kick some ass in these exams?" Kurama asks and lets him down, which is hard because he could cradle Naruto all day long and never get tired of it.

"Yeah, are you gonna be there and watch me?" Kurama scoffs and roughs up his blonde locks.

"Of course, wouldn't miss it."

Kakashi raises an eyebrow at Haku, his lone eye taking in the pretty boy's new look and Haku stills, blushing and feeling butterflies in his stomach while watching Kakashi basically check him out. He cutely cocks his head at the silver-haired Jonin and while Kurama's distracted winks at him. Kakashi chokes, is Haku flirting with him? He too is glad Kurama is distracted by Naruto.

The Jonin coughs and averts his attention to his team, "You guys, im proud of all of you and good luck on the exams, you're going to need it....Um glad you guys made it here as a team." A pink eyebrow raises.

"What do you mean by that sensei?" Sakura innocently questions.

"Well I didn't mention it before but if you decided not to show up Sakura, Sasuke and Naruto wouldn't have been able to take the exams. You have to enter the exams as a three-man squad and I didn't want the boys to pressure you." Sasuke shoots Kakashi a look and Naruto peers at Sakura then back at Kakashi.

"Kaka sensei, even if Sakura wasn't ready we wouldn't have pressured her and waited until she was. Have more faith in us!" He slings an arm over the girl's shoulder and Sakura thanks him.

"Agreed." Sasuke replies and Kakashi couldn't be more proud of his team.

"Well, all I can say now is good luck and come back alive. Im rooting for you guys." Kakashi says and opens the door for them.

Kurama plants a sweet kiss to Naruto's cheek and winks at Sakura before they all excitedly step in, but before Sasuke completely walks in Kurama calls out to him.

"Sasuke, you know one of a foxes favorite meals is snake, right? Good luck." It's more of a threat than anything and knowing Kurama, Sasuke doesn't take it lightly. He gives a demon a blank look and nods his head, disappearing with the rest of the team in the other room.

Haku stares at Kurama, "What do foxes have anything to do with Sasuke?" Kurama shrugs his shoulders and takes a strand of Haku's hair before releasing it.

"Don't worry about it, something between me and him is all. You should wear your hair down more often...Anyway, what are you doing here? Not that im not glad to see you squirt." Haku glances at Kakashi then back at Kurama and gives him a sweet smile.

"Oh I just need to talk to Kakashi about something, but I could ask you the same thing."

"Actually I was just leaving, gotta sign some paperwork and find Utakata. I have some business to take care of and a family to get together. See ya brat." He doesn't say another word and jumps out the window, leaving the two alone by themselves in the hallway.

The two stare at each other in the empty, quiet hallway, but it's not an awkward silence.

"So..." Kakashi starts and Haku chuckles at the Jonin.

"So indeed, we need to have a chat Hatake. Walk in the park with me?"


Just like Sasuke remembers, they walk in and immediately he's glomped by Ino Yamanaka. Shikamaru and Choji walk over and all the boys except a fight to break out between Sakura and Ino, preparing themselves.

"Sasuke, i've missed those good looks of yours." She glances over at Sakura and sticks her tongue out. "Jealous I have my hands all over your man billboard brow?" Sakura huffs, smug as ever and crosses her arms at the blonde girl.

"Actually Ino-Pig, the one you should be asking that question to is Naruto." Her blond teammate beside her makes a small sound like he's dying and covers his face to hide his blush.

Ino detaches herself from Sasuke and looks back and forth between him and Naruto. "And why should I be asking Naruto th...Oh my Sage, is what Choji and Shika told me about you two on the rooftop a couple of weeks ago true?" She feels like she's going to have a nose bleed and is fangirling internally. Shikamaru and Choji shake their heads at their clueless teammate, but sage love Ino, the queen of gossip of rookie nine.

"What happened between you guys on a rooftop?" The voice of none other than Kiba Inuzuka asks, he and his team walking up to greet the rest of Rookie Nine. "Well it doesn't matter to me, all nine rookies are here and im gonna beat all of you." He grins and Naruto's still too embarrassed to counter back at him like he usually would.

Team eight.

Sasuke was never too close with team eight, but they were all good-hearted people and Naruto was very close to all three of them. Shino sometime throughout the war had gone missing along with Kiba on a scouting mission and a week later their bodies were found cut in half by some soldiers from Kaguya's army. Hinata was devastated when she found out the news her boys were dead and Naruto and Neji comforted her for days. A year later she died trying to stall so Sasuke and Naruto could escape the battlefield and head back to camp. She argued someone had to be bait because without them the war would never end and sacrificed herself for them. Sasuke may have not liked Hinata because she was a rival for his affection when it came to Naruto, but he respected her in the end and would always be thankful towards her.

"Careful not to be too overconfident Kiba." Shino says, stepping beside his teammate and Sasuke's eyes lock with Hinata's pale ones.

Hinata Hyuga. She's got the biggest crush on Naruto right now and she's also someone else who has worth, but instead of her being obsessed with a boy like Sakura, her weakness comes from her family bashing her for years. Especially Neji who will literatlly call her a failure to her face, and her little sister and her own father are no better either. Maybe Sasuke can do something to help her build up her confidence?

A finger snaps in his face and it's Kiba who's growling at him. "Hey, back off Uchiha. Since when did you start making googly eyes at Hinata, don't you like girls with long hair?" Ino slaps Kiba on the back of his head.

"Correction, he likes one boy with blond hair." Kiba shrieks and steps away from Sasuke like he's infected and Hinata and Shino's eyes go wide, staring from Naruto who's hiding behind Sakura back to Sasuke.

"Awww dude, all these years I made fun of girls flocking you but I didn't know you swung that way!" Kiba points.

"My fist also swing too if you have a problem with that Kiba." The dog boy puts his hands up in defense and grins at the Uchiha.

"Nah it's cool, just don't go flirting with me!" Sasuke scoffs at the boy.

"Trust me I wouldn't dream of it, dogs aren't really my type." He holds back a smirk at the offended look Kiba gives him.

"Hey, you guys might want to keep it down, you're making a scene." Welp, here comes Kabuto.

Secretly the most sinister person he knows besides Orochimaru, his brother, and Obito Uchiha. Purple outfit, cream slash, white hair tied neatly in a high ponytail, bangs framing his face and huge round glasses, looking like the most innocent genin here amongst the murder hungry crowd in the room. Of course his friendly charade isn't fooling Sasuke, knowing the boy all too well already.

"Who are you?" Ino rudely questions and Kabuto shyly scratches the back of his head.

"Sorry, don't mean to interrupt you guys. My name is Kabuto Yakushi and this is my seventh time taking the Chunin Exams! I saw you guys making a ruckus and want to remind you that this is the Chunin Exams and there's no time for play."

"Seventh time?" Shikamaru mutters under his breath and groans.

Sasuke's glare starts sending chills down Kabuto's spine the more he talks to rookie nine about how the exams work politically, explaining about the different lands and whatnot. Bringing out his ninja info cards, everyone but Sasuke is impressed and he has an idea in mind that Kurama came up with, just to fuck with Kabuto. Usually, the Uchiha never entertains Kurama's ideas, but this one is brilliant.

"Hey Kabuto, I have a genin in mind. Gaara of the Desert." Kabuto smirks and immediately pulls up information about Gaara in seconds, the rest of rookie nine shocked at Gaara's background.

"Tell me something Kabuto, how is it that you have so much information on a genin that's never set foot in the village before? Your cards are based on your knowledge and controlled by your chakra, yet you're a genin of the Leaf and never would have stepped foot in Sand. It takes four days for at least a skilled Chunin at best to get there, yet you know so much about a candidate from a completely different village." Shikamaru is the only one that peeps what Sasuke is trying to say and he and the Uchiha share a look.

"I find that odd too." Shikamaru adds in and Kabuto almost chokes and feels like he's sweating bullets, the two boys catching on quick to his facade.

Just in time to save Kabuto's ass, Ibiki pops in and the rowdy room goes silent.

"Alright you maggots, listen up and follow me. The first test is about to begin so get your pencils ready for the written test."

"WRITTEN TEST?!" Naruto finally yells after being so quiet for all to hear.

Chapter Text

 

"This place looks insane." Naruto comments, trying to look and see what's beyond the tall trees of the forest of death at their gate.

The written exam went exactly as Sasuke remembered, and only the exceptional ones that didn't fall under Ibiki's intimidation trap passed. Now here he stands with team seven at their assigned gate to enter the forest of death in just a few moments. And in all honesty, Sasuke still gets shivers from what happen to him back when he was just a teenager.

Yes, he may have the mind of a thirty-year-old and has been through so much bullshit, but the fear and pain he went through because of Orochimaru in this forest is something he will never forget. Sometimes when he would be scouting with Orochimaru he would get phantom pains in his neck, despite the fact that Itachi pulled Orochimaru from his curse mark at the ruined Uchiha compound back when he killed Itachi...or more like Itachi committed suicide since Sasuke knew he didn't actually kill his brother looking back at that fight.

Anko announced the ready signal and the gates opened, all teams flying through the forest with the need to kill and be the best.

"Just breathe and stay focused." Sasuke has to remind himself as they fly through the trees and when they land on the forest floor to plan, Naruto does exactly what he did last time.

"Uhh...guys, I kinda gotta, ya know...I gotta take a leak." Naruto announces and starts to undo his zipper, but Sakura squeaks and slaps him upside the head.

"Ewwww Naruto, gross! Don't do that in front of me, go in the bushes or somethin-"

"No, Naruto can you hold it just for a bit? Let's get somewhere safer first and not be out in the open with all these enemies." Naruto blushes and immediately complies with Saskue's command.

"Su...Sure Sasuke, what do you wanna do? You think we should get to higher ground?" Naruto ask and Sasuke stares at the ground calculating their next move as a team. Right now their not being watched but in about three minutes that one ninja will try to come and attack them and Orochimaru is gonna be on their asses in about five. Orochimaru knows this terrain like the back of his hand, so Sasuke needs to act fast. He has to get from out of the open and throw off their trail for the time being.

"Come." Is all he says and the two follow him to a part of the forest even Orochimaru wouldn't expect them to be in. Secretly Sasuke places a genjutsu so it looks like there's two duplicates of team seven and actives his sharingan.

He hears Sakura let out a low 'ow' and stops along with Naruto to see her hair caught on a tree branch and tangled in a huge spider web. "Here," He walks up to her and helps her untangle her hair. "Sakura, I understand you appreciate your hair but now isn't the time to show off how shiny the conditioner makes it. Do you have a ponytail holder? And maybe place your headband on your forehead like us so hair doesn't get in the way. This jungle is full of bugs and other things." She makes face and quickly takes out a ponytail holder, putting her hair in a long high ponytail. She hopes Ino doesn't see her like this so the blond-haired girl doesn't think Sakura is mocking her. She ties her headband to her forehead and gives the boys a nod to continue.

They follow Sasuke for a few minutes before stopping high above the trees. When Naruto and Sakura land next to each other and look down below them they squeal and instantly cling to each other. Below them is a black and purple looking thick, toxic swamp with trees surrounding them everywhere. It reeks of death and human and animal bones surround the whole entire swamp. They look at Sasuke like he's lost his mind and Sasuke shrugs.

"Trust me, no one is going to come here and I found out about this place because of Kakashi. He...told me about the map and terrain of the forest of death and I have it all memorized in my head. Now, we can set traps and plan out our next move carefully while we're here. Just don't fall off the trees and we should be fine, and Naruto you can use the bathroom now." Naruto gulps and stands up from his hold on Sakura, quickly going to the next branch to do his business while Sakura and Sasuke scout the area, giving him privacy but staying close.

"Okay Sasuke, think...Orochimaru is completely thrown off and nowhere near us, but..." He thinks to himself, and luckily for them the presence of another team stop just a few feet ahead of them and Sasuke signals for Sakura and Naruto to follow him.

They hide above the tall tree and see a random team lost and stupidly they have their weakest teammate guarding their earth scroll which is exactly what they need. Perfect, Sasuke muses.

"Okay, there's three guys and the weakest one by his chakra levels has the scroll in his hands. I'll take on the big guy while either you and Naruto can act as bait and take the others. Or I can act as bait, I don't care either way." Sakura narrows her eyes while looking down at the team and adjust her ponytail.

"I have a better idea since we can utilize this area as a trap. I'll steal the scroll and lure them here, then you guys can go in for the kill. All's fair in love and war in the ninja world after all and they're not going to expect a pink-haired girl to take down a six-foot guy with a sword. I got this, just watch my back since you guys are always watching mine." Sasuke smirks and Naruto gives her a thumbs up.

"You can do it Sakura!" Naruto cheers and she gives them a nod before sneaking down the trees and back into the forest. They watch her as she goes and Naruto turns his attention to Sasuke for a moment.

"Hey, you okay? You've been acting strange since we entered this forest. Like, besides the fact that we're surrounded by enemies we don't know you seem more tense than usual." Sasuke doesn't look away from Sakura but snakes his hand on top of Naruto's and intertwines their hands together. If he takes his eyes off of Sakura all his attention will be on Naruto and he doesn't want Sakura to get seriously injured.

"Wouldn't you be in an unknown forest full of enemies you don't know? But im okay right now, especially with you here by my side." He gasps silently and Naruto's heart flutters and he squeeze's Sasuke's hand in his, turning his head back down towards their female teammate.

They watch her sneak up on the largest teammate with a kunai and knocked him unconscious with a punch to the face, then she pounces on the weaker teammate and steals the scroll, making a run for it back to Sasuke and Naruto up in the trees. The middle male teammate looks at their strongest, then their weakest and chases after Sakura.

She almost makes it to Sasuke and Naruto, but looks back and gasps when her leg is pulled. She groans and quickly grabs onto a tree branch above, just a few feet away from her boys. With one hand on the scroll and the other holding the branch, she looks down at the angry teammate who's holding her leg for dear life and he grabs a kunai out of his pocket. Just below them is the bubbly toxic swamp and she wants to throw up at the stench of death. She thought she could do this by herself, but she still isn't strong enough and her fingers start slipping from the branch one by one since the guy is so heavy.

She closes her eyes and prepares for her leg to get stabbed through but a kunai is thrown into the guy's chest by Sasuke and Naruto teleports in front of her, quickly pulling her up on the branch to sit with him. All three watch the guy fall to his death and struggle to get out of the swamp, but it's too late and he sinks completely under.

"You did good Sakura." Sasuke praises and puts a hand on her lower back. She smiles at him and gives him the other scroll, then leans her head back to rest on Naruto's shoulder. Her heart is beating like crazy and she can't believe she just did that, but her mother would be proud and her boy's are proud of her, so that's all that matter.

"So I guess we head to the tower now. Hell, maybe we can even break the record for being the first team to make it to the tower so quickly!" Naruto leans his head gently on top of Sakura's and Sasuke looks up at the tower that would only take twenty minutes to get to if they're hasty. But then there's Orochimaru and he still hasn't sensed him yet...odd. Where is he?

Sakura huffs and grabs Sasuke's hand, giving it a light squeeze. "Well, I got us the second scroll so lead the way mr. memorization...Man, I wish Kakashi-sensei told me about the map too just in case we get lost, but I trust you so lets go." She stands up along with Naruto, ready to leave this place.

"Right..." They stand up and move to leave, back into the forest and towards the tower.


Kurama steps into the tub, the lights dimmed and bath full of hot steamy water and bubbles. Just like how Kurama likes it, because he's never personally taken a bubble bath and with the kids gone and the house to himself, he can finally relax and enjoy it for the very first time. There are candle's lite up around the bathroom and he moans when he stretches his arms to get the kink out of his back that's been bothering him for a week now. Fuck, having a human body sucks. He closes his eyes and sinks lower until only the upper half of his face, nose up, is above water and is thankful for the Uchiha's being so invested with money and having large bathrooms all around the house.

There's peace and quiet, just how he likes it since being isolated in a cage for over a century with no one to talk to is what he's used to. Well, at least until Naruto literatlly busted into his cage and changed his heart to love more than hate. But don't get Kurama wrong, he still hates human's with Naruto, Sasuke, children and he supposes Kakashi and Zabuza being his exceptions. His eyes blink open at that thought. He's starting to become attached to more people than he wants to, but this is what his Naruto would have wanted and honestly, Kurama likes interacting with everyone. Whether it's flirting, fighting, or just carrying a conversation, being around humans isn't so bad. Unless your an Uchiha, he will never become attached to one that's not Sasuke.

An image of Itachi in the moonlight flashes in his head and Kurama's hands break to the surface of the water to cover his head in his hands. Dammit, Itachi Uchiha is not good company to keep, but he can't stop thinking about him. His scent is incredible and the power and aura he radiates is so alluring and draws you in so easily. Well, that is if you're a demon with heighten senses and you've been locked up in a cage for over one hundred years and feeling frisky. Ew, Kurama wants to throw up. Did he really just entertain the thought of wanting sex with a human? Well, it might happen if he can't keep his hormones in check because lately Kurama has felt hornier than ever and he blames being human because he's never felt like this in his regular form.

Well, give or take when he could freely roam around the world and not worry about Uchihas manipulating him all he had to worry about was where he was going to sleep for the night without being bothered. It's something Kurama misses, but the more he's human the more he's getting used to having only two feet and dealing with all the bullshit that is an immune system and emotions.

Kurama gasps and suddenly he's mentally pulled into the dark inner world where he's met two of his siblings now. His body slams inside the darkness of the abyss and he sits up, immediately tails covering him for defense and feeling self-conscious. He looks around and it's completely silent, black surrounding him and not a sound to be heard aside from his breathing. Wait, so who summoned him?

There's a low growl to the left of him and he doesn't even have time to scream when a ruby red spiked furry tail snatches him up and into the air. It pulls him to the face of a gorilla and immediately looking at the other three tails swishing about, along with the huge tusk and smoke surrounding him, he's surprised to be being held by Son Goku, the four-tailed fire monkey.

Son Goku brings Kurama closer to his nose and gives him a sniff before he starts bursting out laughing and Kurama frowns, letting out a growl of his own.

"Will you put me down you damned monkey, you CRUSHING ME!" Son Goku loosens his grip in between laughs but doesn't completely let Kurama go and the fox rolls his eyes. Yeah, Shukaku is his least favorite sibling, but Son Goku makes a close second because of how loud and rowdy he is, plus he doesn't know what boundaries are and has always been one of his touchier siblings.

"KURAMA LOOK AT YOU, YOU'RE SO TINY!" He screams and Kurama is surprised he's not going death.

"Okay yes, thanks for stating obvious. Now can you put me down, im fragile." He coolly says and Son Goku brings Kurama closer to get one more good look at him before setting his human brother down to his feet.

Son Goku looks at him with a smile and Kurama crosses his arms, because he hasn't seen Son Goku in a long time but somehow the boisterous monkey's smile right now makes the smallest one appear on Kurama's own lips, glad to see his brother in one piece. Last he heard of Son Goku before he was killed was that Kisame and Itachi were sent to retrieve his Jinchuuriki and Kisame defeated him. But not again, Kurama will turn Kisame into sushi if he gets anywhere near his siblings.

"So, you got me. What do you want?" He asks and the monkey lowers one of his large hands and urges Kurama to climb on top of it. Kurama does so and Son Goku raises his hand to his face so he and Kurama can be eye level.

"Brother, why are you a human and what's going on with this Akatsuki group that's going to be coming after all of us? I was talking with Isobu the other day and he told me everything about you freeing him and what your plan is. His jinchuuriki and Saiken are already in the leaf with you, but what should I do? My Jinchuuricki is closest with Kokuo right now since our host are very close with each other friendship wise. Should I tell Roshi to met up with Han and come to you?" Kurama hums, that would be the best option if all of his siblings could come to him. But then again, the Akatsuki might be expecting that and intercept them since Gaara and Shukaku are with him now and that will be three Jinchuuriki in the Leaf.

"No, let me come to you two and take you back to the Leaf. It might be too dangerous for you two to make your way here from Stone im assuming since you both live there. You and Kokuo need to hurry and get together. Do not leave each other's side and stay low until I can get to you. I still need to collect the rest of our siblings too, but ill get in touch with them later. Im dealing with some loose ends right now here in the village and after the exams, I can come to get you both. But please, if you see men in red and black cloaks do not fight them. Run." Son Goku lets steam escape from his mouth and he dryly chuckles.

Kurama glares, "What's so funny?" The monkey shakes his large head and sighs.

"Nothing, it's just amazing how im so use to you being a grumpy joy kill, and now you've turned into someone completely different. I like this version of you a lot better. You actually have a heart now underneath all that fur and hatred!" Son Goku lets out a loud laugh and Kurama groans, but can't stop his small smile.

"Alright you idiot, im leaving now. Stay low and tell Kokuo I said hello until I get into contact with her." Kurama dismisses himself and goes back in the real world.

He opens his eyes and sounds of a fight right outside the bathroom makes him slowly turn his head. The door suddenly busts open and he watches Utakata tumble in with Kimimaro on top of him, one hand on Utakata's throat while the other hand has a bone coming out of his wrist. Utakata grabs the attacking arm to try and stop Kiminaro from stabbing him in the face and the scene makes Kurama snap back into the real world.

He lets out a loud sinister growl that resonates throughout the whole bathroom, and both boys stop fighting and quickly stand up, staring at the demon glaring at them in the bathtub.

"Mind telling me why you both just busted in here during my private bath time? And Kimimaro stop fighting Utakata, he's not a threat. I told him to come here. Besides, he's the six-tailed Jinchuuriki and with your sickness, I don't need you dying because a demon killed you. You're lucky Saiken is nice or anyone of us besides me would have killed you just now. You're strong but not strong enough to fight a demon." The bone sinks back into Kimimaro's wrist and he glares at Utakata before bowing to Kurama.

"My apologies Kurama, I thought he was an intruder and I knew you wanted time to yourself, I didn't mean to disturb you." Kurama sighs and sits up in the bubble bath.

"You don't need to protect me, but thank you anyhow Kimi'." Kimimaro blinks at the nickname and Utakata catches the slightest blush on his cheeks before it disappears. Utakata ignores Saiken chanting how cute Kimimaro is in his head and focuses his attention back to Kurama. He does admit to himself that the boy next to him is really gorgeous and exotic looking though.

"Anyway as I said this is Kimimaro, Kimimaro Utakata," He point's at both boys introducing them, "and you're going to be living with Utakata for the next few days at his apartment until I get back. The third is already aware you're on our side and with me, so you don't have to worry about Leaf ninja."

"But why do I need protection?" Kurama rolls his eyes at the white-haired boy.

"Look brat, as much as I trust you I don't want you by yourself knowing Orochimaru is in the village with his goons and what he'll do if he finds you. Collect your things and leave with Utakata in the next couple of minutes. And don't worry, he won't bite." Kurama teases and Utakata narrows his eyes, the fox watching his fourth adoptive son blushing.

"Are you sure Kurama? I can handle myself as wel–"

"Don't worry, you're in good hands with me." Utakata reassures him.

Kimimaro tenses at the feel of Utakata gently putting his hand on his shoulder. He goes to glare at Utakata until emerald green eyes level with tan ones, and suddenly the room stills. And this time Utakata doesn't mind the chanting from Saiken in his head, his heart starting to race just like Kimimaro's own. If Saiken could, he would be doing cartwheels at how giddy he is right now for his host. It's been a while since Utakata has had a crush.

Kurama slowly sinks back into the bathtub with a smirk on his face watching the two boys staring at each other, but the shift in angry to sexual tension in the room is making Kurama feels dizzy because of his own urges and he loudly coughs because he can't take it anymore. The two look at Kurama who's waving his hand dismissively at them, both in a partial trance from just looking at each other.

"Alright you two, take your sexual tension out of here and let me relax in PEACE!" He growls out and the two say their goodbyes then slowly close the door after picking up the trashcan and some other things that fell during their altercation.

Damn, why is being a human so hard? Curse his hormones, and hopefully Itachi doesn't show his face anytime soon because only Sage knows what will happen.


Ten minutes.

Ten minutes have passed now and with the route Sasuke is taking it will only be another ten minutes until they made it to the tower, but something is off. The forest is entirely too quiet for his liking and no animals have popped out. They at least should have encountered a squirrel or rabbit by now, but there's nothing and it has them all on edge except Sasuke who is more confused than anything.

Suddenly there's a rustle in the trees and surprisingly, or not to Sasuke, it's Kabuto who jumps out, looking beat up. His glasses are broken and he has a bruise on his cheek, blood dripping from his mouth and his torso looks wounded.

"Kabuto!" Naruto shouts but even Sakura can tell something is off and both her and Sasuke stand protectively in front of Naruto. Naruto looks at his teammates like their crazy. "Guys can't you see he's hurt! He-"

"Where's your teammates Kabuto?" Sakura glares and it makes Kabuto nervous, even though a small girl with pink hair shouldn't be. But something about her emerald hard stare and Sasuke's sharingan has him on edge.

"I-Im lost...and I was hoping you guys could help me out! You guys were so friendly before the written test and I ju-"

"Kabuto." Sasuke slowly cuts him off. "Tell me, how is it that you're lost? You said something about this being your seventh time taking the exams so im sure you know your way around the forest. However, you're still a genin, you shouldn't have made it so close to the tower so quickly. Where is the rest of your team?" Kabuto glares the Uchiha, challenging him.

"I...I don't know, I lost them. But I can say the same thing about your team and I...well," He puts on a fake smile that makes Sakura and Sasuke harden their glares even more. "I was hoping as fellow Leaf shinobi we coul..."

"No, leave now or we'll be forced to fight you." Sakura says, no mercy in her voice and Naruto and Sasuke blink at her.

"Im just, im really sorry. You're right, we are enemies after all. I shouldn't have bothered you and I...Oh, oh sage no not her again, no...NO!" He screams and runs away, but Sasuke can feel him having stopped a couple of feet away to watch and heal himself. No wonder he came out of the blue, Kabuto was stalling so Orochimaru could get to them and he was approaching fast.

Ah yes, there it is, what Sasuke has been waiting for.

He can't mistake that disgusting, powerful sinister aura and Naruto and Sakura immediately fall to there knees, shaking. He exhales and turns around to face none other than Orochimaru.

"Well, well, I didn't think I would catch you at all, my little sneaky pray." He teases, that long tongue swirling out of his mouth.

Sasuke cooly looks back at his teammates and places them under a powerful genjutsu to make them fall asleep. They fall lifelessly against the forest floor, but for now they're safe Sasuke stands in front of them protectively.

"Orochimaru...We need to talk. And while you're at it the face of that grass ninja doesn't suit you, take it off." Orochimaru blinks, baffled by Sasuke and his tongue goes back in his mouth.

He narrows his snake eyes and instantly summons a huge brown snake. Sasuke looks up at the large hissing snake that comes charging for him and Orochimaru watches in anticipation, but the snake suddenly stops right in front of Sasuke and softly lowers it's head for Sasuke to pet. Confused would be one of the many emotions running through Orochimaru's head and the snake looks back at Orochimaru and hisses at him.

"You can go back now, thank you." He pets the snake once more before it dismisses itself, and red eyes meet gold serpent ones. "Your summonings don't work on me, since most snakes are loyal to me. Like I said before, we need to talk Orochimaru." Orochimaru takes off the face of the grass ninja and reveals himself, anger turned more into curiosity and fascination.

"You stopped my snake summoning and immediately knew who I was...so who are you child? You can't be Sasuke Uchiha."

"But I am, I can't explain everything out in the forest like this, so we need to talk at the tower. There are too many ears out here and you can call off your dogs...or should I say snakes. You're lucky I didn't kill Kabuto just now." Orochimaru is impressed, but it's Orochimaru, so he elongates his neck and a sword come from his throat and out his mouth.

He rushes towards Sasuke to slash him in half, but Sasuke's quicker, biting his finger and shouting, "Summoning Jutsu!" A very large poof of smoke stops Orochimaru's attack. He retracts his head back to his body and looks up at a large blue snake with light-green eyes who calmly looks down at him. Orochimaru looks like a gapping fish now and the snake wraps it's body protectively around team seven before lowering it's head to Sasuke's level.

"It's been a long time Sasuke-sama, I almost thought you had died during the war. And I see Orochimaru-sama is here as well but...you look so small. And where is your mate, Naruto-sama?" There's a small pain in his chest, but it quickly goes away and he reaches out his hand to pet the extremely large blue snake.

"Aoda, i'll inform you of everything later so you can tell some of the others, but long story short we are back in time and Orochimaru isn't the same Orochimaru you're used to." The snake hums and studies Orochimaru.

"My, you have quite the tale to tell me then don't you Sasuke-sama?" The snake muses. Sasuke uses the opportunity of a stunned Orochimaru to quickly turn into his adult form and place him under his mangekyou sharingan under a temporary sleep jutsu. Orochimaru tries to fight it but his eyes roll into the back of his head, and he passes out.

Sasuke slowly walks towards the unconscious body to check Orochimaru's pulse. His heartbeat is steady so that's good, and taking out a radio he informs Sarutobi that he has Orochimaru and to open the secret back doors to the tower and cut off cameras. The clones he made of team seven will be arriving in the front in a few minutes while he and an unconscious Sakura, Naruto, Orochimaru and him snuck through the back.

"Help me take them to the tower Aoda." The snake nod and scoops Naruto and Sakura on top of his head, letting Sasuke jump on top with Orochimaru in his hands.

There's going to be a lot of explaining to do when the snake wakes up.


"So then me and Zabuza escaped and that's the story of how Zabu killed someone with a bottle of alcohol and literatlly shoved it up their ass." Kakashi bust out laughing and Haku smiles up at him, a chuckle escaping from his own mouth. They have been walking around and chatting for more than an hour, the park busy with kids, parents, ice cream vendors and more since it is the weekend.

The two surprisingly have been hitting it off well and it shocked both of them how well they click with each other. The only reason Haku wanted to hang out with Kakashi was not only because he didn't want to sit around all day, but he wanted to get to know the jonin more. Kakashi was handsome, funny, and a man that reads as much porn in public but has never shown any romantic interest in anyone has to be lonely. Not that it wouldn't be hard for Kakashi to find someone, but Kakashi is like a closed book that Haku wants to open up and read until the very end.

Plus he wants to see what's underneath that mask of his.

"So," Kakashi starts and Haku focuses all attention on the older man. "How many times have you two had to play the role of partners?" Haku hums and with as many missions as he and Zabuza have been on he's lost count.

"More times then I can remember, but they usually ended up with me seducing and maybe sex if was in the mood, then Zabuza would go in for the kill and we escaped. This world is cruel, but you gotta get by somehow when you're wanted criminals. Or at least we were until Kurama came into our lives and your team helped us get where we are. The life of a rouge ninja...it wasn't easy." There's a haunted look in Haku's eyes and Kakashi can tell the subject is starting to get uncomfortable for him.

"Well you're here now and that's all that matters. How do you like your life as a Leaf shinobi so far?" They both stop walking when a ball rolls towards them. Kakashi catches it with his foot and kicks it up in the air just enough to catch with his hand so he doesn't have to bend down. Three kids run over to him and the eldest boy stares up at Kakashi in awe.

"You, you're the famous copy cat ninja Kakashi! Can I have your autograph on my ball?!" Kakashi just so happens to have a pen and Haku watches him sign the ball and interact with the kids for a couple of minutes, shocked at how good Kakashi is with kids. It's as if Kakashi has done this several times, and when they run away back to play Kakashi looks back at Haku who's staring at him with wide eyes. He suddenly feels embarrassed and scratches the back of his head.

"You know, for someone who doesn't want kids you would make a good dad." Kakashi chokes at that statement and sweat drops.

"Ahhh nope, no kids for me! But anyway, you didn't answer my question from earlier." Haku flips his hair to one side and Kakashi glances at the exposed neck, dismissing any lewd thoughts in his head.

"It's fine not having to steal, seduce and watch your back every night if im going to be honest. Living the life I did is something I wouldn't wish upon anybody. But anyway." He mocks Kakashi, "Tell me really, do you not want kids Kakashi? You make a great jonin and the team adores you." He smiles and walks forward, Kakashi keeping a steady pace right next to him.

Kakashi shrugs, "Consider me the favorite uncle, but never a dad. I have absolutely no desire to have children." A black eyebrow lifts up.

"What a coincidence, me too. Kids would be nice, but im more interested in men. Older men to be specific." Kakashi catches Haku eyeing him up and down and he hums.

"Oh really? If you don't mind me asking, how many people have you dated out of curiosity." The question surprises Haku and he almost runs into a dog racing all across the park.

"I um...I've actually never been with anyone before. I've only had flings and i've had plenty of sex, so im not a virgin and know my way around making a man go crazy. But i've never had an actual boyfriend or someone to call my own. As sad as it is, I just didn't have the time to have a stable relationship with someone and just when I would start to become attached to anyone, Zabuza would scare them off. It's not that Zabuza never wanted me to be in a relationship, but everyone has always been so intimated by him and ended up running away with their tail between their legs. So I guess the answer is no one. What about you?" Kakashi rolls his shoulders and puts his hands in his pockets.

"Im kinda in the same boat, i've never had the time for a proper relationship but i've done...other things so to speak." He decides to keep his romance life brief, or lack of if he's being honest. "But wait, aren't you and Zabuza..." He drifts off, hoping Haku catches on to what he's trying to say.

"Me and Zabu? We've made out and have had to do a few other things since we've played the roles of girlfriend and boyfriend, husband and wife, and many more things. I love Zabuza and he means the world to me, but we've never pursued a relationship with each other because we never wanted to. We were more busy with protecting ourselves then jumping on each other, why so curious?" Haku smirks.

"Guess you could say I was confused about you guys and your relationship, so I didn't think it would hurt to ask. I wasn't sure if taken was the right word for you since we're on the subject."

"Oh I see, well maybe we'll have to fix–Woah!" As if in slow motion a frisbee flies in the air and the dog that's running around the park runs in between Haku's legs and makes him trip over air, ironically. Haku, not so gracefully, loses his footing and starts to fall backwards, closing his eyes and ready for the landing. He prepares for his butt to land on the grass, it wouldn't be the most painful fall he's ever had, but hands immediately grab his waist and he opens his eyes to see Kakashi's face right next to his. He gently wraps his arms around Kakashi's neck and the jonin slowly brings them back up to stand straight.

Haku's hands slide down to Kakashi's chest and he can feel the slightest thump of Kakashi's heartbeat through his vest. It's steady, but besides killing someone Haku has never held his hand above someone's heart before. In Kakashi's case if someone's hand was this close to his heart he would chidori them in an instant. But for some odd reason he feels comfortable around Haku and takes one hand from his waist to brush a wild strand of black hair out of Haku's face and tuck it behind his ear. Haku gasp and he stares up at Kakashi, his honey-colored tan eyes sending the jonin into a tempory trance. They ignore the owner of the dog in the background apologizing to them, lost in their own world for a moment.

Haku blinks and for just a second he glances at the Hokage monument and see's a man with a red and black cloak and orange mask staring down at them specifically. He blinks again and the man is suddenly gone, but didn't Kurama mention something about men in red and black cloaks being the bad guys? Maybe it was just his imagination, but he'll tell Kurama about it later.

"Ahhh, thanks Kakashi." He blushes and he and the jonin shyly step away from each other.

"Don't worry about it..." Kakashi softly coughs and as a habit takes out Ichi Ichi paradise. Haku shakes his head and softly giggles at the jonin as they continue with their walk.

But Haku can't shake off the feeling that their being watched.

Chapter Text

Hi everyone, so this season of fall has been really depressing and I've been feeling really low since August, but things are kinda picking back up. I dont want to go into many details but I'm happier now that winter is coming and Christmas is my favorite holiday because of snow, friends and family! Anywho I've thought it over and the nasty comments have gotten to me. I want to entirely rewrite this story. I'll still keep this one up as an old draft, so I wont delete it. But some major things have made me cringe while looking back at this.

1) I feel uncomfortable for making this SasuNaru when theres not much I can do to develop this ship since Naruto is twelve and while Sasuke is physically 12....the fact that hes actually 30 has bothered some people and me as well even though he's been changed physically. I could still keep it SasuNaru...but would people be comfortable with that?

2) Orignally this was suppose to be a Sasuke/Kurama story and I should have stuck with that instead of going crazy with the ships. Because let's be honest, Kurama cannonly hates any other Uchiha that's not Sasuke. He would murder Itachi on the spot.

And 3) I just want to rewrite it better and not be all over the place. I mean...it would have taken them almost 3 days to get to Kiri...not 3 hours from Wave. (Though at the time I wasn't familiar with the Naruto map)

So in conclusion, if you still love this story and wanna see a rewrite let me know. Thanks! :)