Tales in Tarrasade

BY : Mannah_Pierce
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Naruto/Sasuke
Dragon prints: 1698
Disclaimer: This story has some of Masashi Kishimoto's characters from Naruto in a universe of my own devising. I do not own Naruto. I do not make any money from these writings.

Thank you to those who take the time to write a review. I read every one carefully, whether they are from long-established readers or those who started reading my stories recently; they are the inspiration for me to continue writing this space saga.

Tales in Tarrasade continue the space saga that began with ‘In the cold of space you find the heat of suns’. The saga is also continued in ‘Iteration’. At the time of this posting (Sept 2010) chapters of ‘Iteration’ are being posted twice weekly. Additional ‘Tales’ are only posted erratically (usually when I have writer’s block with ‘Iteration’).

Remember, if you want to be emailed every time there is an update, you need to give me an email address. My email address is in my profile.

Thanks to Small Fox for being my beta.

Apologies if the characters have grown differently in their new environment.

This is posted in the Naruto/Sasuke section because it is part of a Naru/Sasu/Naru space saga. However, it does feature many other pairings (and a few threesomes). This episode is Dan/Rin.

This tale contains spoilers for ‘Iteration’ chapters 1-16. I recommend you read ‘Iteration’ 1-16 first.

Author’s note: I have written this because more than one reader has pointed out that Rin gets a raw deal in this space saga. I agree. It is because the main characters do not understand her. I tried writing something from her point of view but could not get it to work, because Rin does not really understand Rin either. So, instead, I decided to write something from the point of view of the character who loves her.

Tale Fourteen: Medico

This is set after the Silver Leaf returns from his mission to Natushiboshi (during ‘Iteration’ chapters 13-16)

Dan watched Rin work.

There was the way her brows were drawn together on the middle when she concentrated. There was the contrast between her purple medico’s tattoos and her spacer pale skin, the tension in her muscles like a fighter preparing for action and the way a few strands escaped the untidy bun into which she had scraped back her hair.

She would come up with a way of deactivating the kill-net in Ranmaru’s head, Dan was sure of it. Shikamaru would supply key pieces of information and Rin would work every available minute until she linked them together into a treatment.

It would be time for the evemeal soon. Dan moved his position so that he was within Rin’s peripheral vision. Then he sat in the way she found most difficult to ignore.

Over the last five standards he had refined moves like this one. Rin hated being interrupted, but it was important that she attended the evemeal. Left to herself she would tell Iruka-san she was too busy and he would send one of the cats with a tray. That increased her separation from the rest of the crew, which was already too great.

He pushed his hair behind one of his ears, flexing the muscles of his arm. Dan always wore sleeveless shirts, precisely for moments such as these.

The tip of Rin’s tongue brushed her top lip, indicating that she had seen.

He was about to move towards her when Shizune’s voice distracted him. “Are you and Rin-san heading for the crew room?”

“We’ll be a little while longer,” Dan answered. “You and Moegi-kun go ahead.”

When he looked back Rin’s little frown had deepened into a scowl and she was staring at the screen. Dan sighed. Now a more interventionist strategy would be required.

He glided over until he was directly behind her. She did not object, which was a good sign. When she put her hair up he could access her neck. Dan liked Rin’s neck. He liked every part of her but her neck was particularly attractive.

He breathed on the junction between her neck and her shoulder and was rewarded by Rin giving a small shiver. He pursed his lips and pressed them gently against the skin.

“Stop that,” Rin scolded.

So he stopped. He waited.

Sure enough she turned away from the screen and looked at him. She was still scowling.

“Shizune does not find me attractive,” he reminded her. “She likes me as a person but she does not find me attractive.”

Dan suspected that Shizune was female-only. She probably found Rin more attractive than she did Dan.

Rin turned back to the screen but it was only to bring what she was doing to a conclusion.

Dan waited patiently.

As soon as she was finished he pulled her towards him and gave her lovely neck the attention it deserved. To his surprise she relaxed into him instead of grumbling as she normally would.

Then he remembered that Shikamaru had visited the infirmary; he and Sasuke had been there to discuss the thing in Ranmaru’s head.

Being with Shikamaru always left Rin feeling vulnerable. Dan was not certain why. Rin had once told him that Shikamaru was terrifyingly clever, but it was more than that. She cared what Shikamaru thought of her and, while he respected her intellect and expertise, he did not think much of her as a person.

He did not understand her as Dan did.

Walking to the crew room alone meant that they could hold hands. Not that Dan would hesitate to hold Rin’s hand in front of others but it was one of the things Rin did not like doing.

Dan only insisted on things that truly mattered to him or to them as a couple.

He swung their linked arms, as if they were children. Rin smiled at him.

He stopped and, with a practiced twitch, pulled her into his arms. He kissed her thoroughly.

“I love you,” he reminded her when he finished.

After the kiss she was a delightful shade of pale pink and she flushed more at his declaration. She did not reply but she squeezed his hand when they resumed walking.

They only had time for a quick wash and brush up before going to the kitchen. Rin liked being a little early because it ensured they could sit in their usual places. Otherwise it could be difficult finding two places together that were far enough from Itachi.

Rin loathed Itachi. Dan doubted she would ever forgive Sasuke for making a place for him within Uchiha instead of slitting his throat.

It was one of those things Dan chose not to mention. Dan felt sorry for Itachi. He thought that Sasuke’s solution had shown amazing judgement for one so young.

Rin had never lived in Fugaku’s household. She could not understand that it was a miracle that Itachi was sane and that Sasuke had grown into who he was.

They took their usual places. When Kakashi entered the place next to Rin was still unoccupied. He took it.

Dan saw Rin pink with pleasure.

It was fine with Dan that Rin still had her adolescent crush. Over half the people in the room had suffered from such an obsession with Kakashi, Dan included. The difference was that Rin had clung to the remnants of hers for so long; it had been one of the ways she had survived during those standards when she had nothing but her work.

Dan studied Iruka, the man who had the prize so many had wanted. Iruka had earned Kakashi’s love rather than claiming it. Somehow that made it acceptable to them, even to Rin.

And Iruka had been Kakashi’s choice to fill the void Mikoto’s death had left in their lives, including in Sasuke’s. To Iruka’s credit, he tackled the impossible task well.

Kakashi was waving Inari into the place on the other side of him. Dan waited for Rin to remember he was there; for that moment when she realised that she had been basking in Kakashi’s attention with Dan sitting beside her. His smile had to come at exactly the right time. Too early and it would seem like a reprimand. Too late and it would appear that he was delaying his approval.

A perfectly timed smile would be reassuring.

Sasuke and Naruto arrived. Dan watched Rin drinking in Sasuke’s image. For her Naruto did not exist while Sasuke embodied the Uchiha to which she had hopelessly aspired for so long. In addition Sasuke had, without hesitation, made that goal possible for her. Rin, a female, was Chief Medico of Uchiha.

Rin’s attitude to Naruto had worried Dan when they had first met. Did she see him as less than human because he was a hybrid? If so, could Dan have a partner who thought like that?

The answer had been no, he could not have had a partner who thought like that. Happily, the other answer had also been no, Rin did not see Naruto as less than human.

She dismissed most purebreds in the same way.

It had taken Dan a while to understand it. He only fully understood once he had observed Rin treating Itachi. She had been exhausted by the tension between her loathing of him and her duty as a medico to do her best for him.

Dan’s hypothesis had been confirmed when Shikamaru had been hurt during Kabuto’s raid. She had cared enough that her hands had trembled as she had carried out the brain scans. The thought that he might have to live in the shadow of having lost that magnificent intellect had kept her awake at night.

It was easier on her if she had no relationship, good or bad, with the people she might treat. She could not afford to look at Ranmaru and see either a spy or a neglected boy. She saw a patient; a person with a kill-net in his head that had to be switched off for the good of Uchiha.

So Rin did not want to care for anyone and the list of the living who had breached her defences was short: Kakashi, Sasuke, Shikamaru, Dan and, maybe, Kisame. The others were kept at a safe distance. That way her hands would not tremble when she yielded her scalpel and she would not hesitate when the hard decisions had to be made.

She also tried not to hate. She managed not to hate Jiraiya. She did not manage not to hate Itachi.

Shikamaru and Neji were late. The meal had begun. Dan knew the reason for it; he could see the marks Shikamaru’s goggles left around his eyes. He felt Rin relax slightly. She was pleased that Shikamaru had begun looking for a solution to the problem. She had been annoyed when Sasuke had prioritised the children’s bedtime over researching the kill-net.

What Rin did not understand was that there would always be another urgent problem. She did not see that life had to go on, or there would be nothing left worth working for.

The children were the future of Uchiha. They needed to grow up as Sasukes and Obitos and Mikotos, not Itachis or Fugakus. To do that their parents had to put them to bed, sing them lullabies and tell them stories.

After the meal, he managed to persuade her that there was no point returning to the infirmary because she could make little progress without Shikamaru’s input.

“You will need to be on top form tomorrow when Shika-san turns up with the information you need,” he reminded her.

Her brown eyes were uncertain. “Do you think he will have found time to spend on it?” she asked.

He just looked at her. She flushed.

They played cards with Tenten, Ibiki and Suzume. Anko and Shino were looking after Akemi, Misora and Keitaro so that Asuma and Kurenai could have an evening and night to themselves. Moegi was visiting from the other crew room so that Shizune could go over some of the medical concepts the youngster was finding confusing.

Dan wondered if Moegi would be good with Shizune. Perhaps not, the youngster was still besotted with Inari.

Inari: the Kakashi of his generation.

The more Ibiki drank the more demonstrative he became. Suzume was embarrassed but happy; in the end they gave up on the cards so that she could drag him off to their room.

They tidied away the cards and the cups.

Dan raised one eyebrow and waggled it suggestively.

Rin hit him on the arm, but she was smiling.

Unlike the other fighters of the old Uchiha, Dan had insisted on giving up his room in Haku’s crew room when they had built the third crew room; he had wanted to emphasise that he saw his relationship with Rin as permanent.

Instead he and Rin had three rooms in the new crew room. Rin transferred her room from Iruka’s crew room. Dan began anew. He made a sleeping room and a sitting room for him and Rin to share. If Rin needed to sleep in her own room, Dan slept in the room they shared and waited for her return.

Usually Rin’s room was unoccupied.

They had their small, domestic routines. For Rin and Dan, who had lived almost all their lives alone, they were precious.

Rin showered first, then wrapped herself in a fluffy robe and sat in one of the two chairs in their sitting room, the one which was positioned so that she could see through the open doorway into the bedroom.

Dan showered next, then moved about the bedroom with only a towel around his waist.

He had a robe. He was careful not to wear it.

Rin watched him hungrily.

He judged the nature of her hunger.

First he sat on a small footstool and massaged her feet using her favourite peppermint lotion. Then his fingers ghosted up her inner thighs and she, blushing, leaned back and spread her knees.

Once she had climaxed once he carried her to bed. His towel was abandoned on the floor; her robe on the chair.

As always, he heard her get up, shower and go to breakfast. Dan could have gone with her but never did; breakfast was the one time that Rin might speak freely with Iruka and the others who had crewed with her on the Silver Leaf.

Later he passed through the kitchen and collected whatever was available that could be eaten on the move. He consumed it on the way to the infirmary. When he arrived Rin made him a cup of coffee.

He showed Moegi how to operate one of the scanners and then pottered. Shizune continued the stocktaking. Rin investigated possibilities for using nanobots to treat Ranmaru and waited for Shikamaru.

Considering that it was Shikamaru, he was laudably early. Dan heard Rin offer him a coffee and then the door was shut.

Dan saw his face when he left. Rin had said something to upset him. He wondered if she had realised.

She had not. Her mood was buoyant.

“He had to go to spend some time with Haru,” she told him. “But we have a plan. I will work on the details but we think it has a good chance of success.”

He listened carefully to the plan and asked questions. It was one of his roles to give her the opportunity to talk things through at her pace rather than one chosen by Shikamaru.

The thought that Ranmaru might not survive the process was horrendous; Dan understood why Rin could not afford to dwell on it.

“He really loves Haru,” she said suddenly when there was nothing else to say about deactivating the kill-net.

This was dangerous territory. “You met Shikamaru’s parents,” Dan reminded her. “He must have had a very happy childhood. It is good that he wants to create a similar happy childhood for Haru and the other children.”

Rin was silent. Dan knew that her childhood had been a desert of unreachable standards and emotional neglect. He had chosen not to speak about his childhood to her. She assumed that it had been awful, because he had ended up being given to Uchiha.

In truth it had been a golden time of love and comfort, brought to an unannounced end by a government official collecting Dan from school. He had been one of five boys chosen to seal an agreement between planetary officials and Uchiha.

“What if I wanted a child?” Rin asked, her voice trembling.

The conversation had never reached this point before.

This was one of the moments Dan could not afford to be kind.

“Only if you go to C-san and talk through your motives,” he told her.

She did not speak to him for two days. She hid in the infirmary, designing and testing the nanobots for Ranmaru’s treatment. She slept in her own room.

The evening before Ranmaru was due to receive the nanobots Dan waited for Shizune to leave and then walked into Rin’s office.

“Come with me to the evemeal,” he said.

“I am too busy,” she replied. At least she was speaking to him.

It was a lie; he knew it was a lie. Everything was ready for the next day.

He sighed. With Rin it was often necessary to accept defeat before victory became possible. “I had no right to tell you to see C-san,” he told her. “I have no right to say if you should or should not have a child. It is your business not mine.”

She stared at him. “Of course it is your business,” she retorted. “I don’t want my child. I want our child.” She looked away. “I know I will not make the ideal mother.”

It was the opening he needed. “Normally you are willing to work at the things you find difficult,” he reminded her. “That is what makes you such an exceptional medico.”

“You think seeing C-san is working on it?” she asked.

“I think seeing C-san would be a good starting point,” Dan admitted.

“C-san is very professional,” Rin conceded. “I shall think about it.”

After the evemeal, Tayuya started to play her flute in the other crew room, which led to Sasuke fetching his biwa and Tenten being invited to bring her drum. Dan and Rin ended up sitting with Anko and Shino at the table in the galley, the door to Iruka’s crew room open so that they could listen to the music. Once the singing started Shino and Anko moved into the crew room so that Shino could contribute.

After the singing, Dan and Rin retired to their sitting room. Neither of them mentioned that Rin had not been there for two days. They listened to music and read for a while before Rin said she was going to bed.

Dan waited and then followed. Rin was naked under the covers.

The next morning was hard. The idea had been to treat Ranmaru quickly, without fuss, and hope that the Lady decided to follow the probabilities.

But Konohamaru had worked out what was happening. Instead of Ranmaru not telling him making it better, because it was over before Konohamaru knew, it was worse, because Konohamaru had to wait knowing that he had been given no chance to say goodbye.

Every so often Dan would go to where he could watch him sitting, waiting, with Naruto and Sasuke on one side and Inari on the other.

Then, thankfully, it was over.

That evemeal was special. Ranmaru sat between Konohamaru and Tayuya. He was tired but happy. Konohamaru could not keep his eyes off him. Everyone had forgotten the small, everyday problems that vexed them and was focused on how good their lives had become.

Dan looked around the table. Haku was here because Rin had brought him back from the dead. Naruto was still in his prime because she had unlocked the secrets of hybrid gene expression and created the nanobots that kept the symptoms of aging at bay. Neji’s burden of scars, physical and mental, had been lightened by the treatments she had given him. Sumaru was able to function as one of the Chosen because Rin had worked for standards on the problems caused by his symbiote. Ranmaru’s kill-net had been deactivated by Rin and Shikamaru working together. Itachi was alive because Rin had fought to keep him so when Kisame first brought him home, even though she loathed him.

It was amazing that one small, fragile human could achieve so much.

He was so proud of the woman he loved. He squeezed her hand under the table and then took the risk of raising it to his lips.

For once she did not mind. She smiled at him, happy.

He smiled in return.

He was the luckiest of men.

You need to read up to chapter 43 of 'Iteration' before reading Tale 15 to avoild spoilers for 'Iteration'.

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