Tales in Tarrasade

BY : Mannah_Pierce
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Naruto/Sasuke
Dragon prints: 1719
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 for the kind reviews for the first four tales. Your feedback has inspired me to continue this space saga, which began with ‘In the cold of space you find the heat of suns’.

Thanks to Small Fox for beta-ing.

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 does not concentrate on any particular pairing.

You need to have read In the cold of space you find the heat of sun to fully appreciate this fic.

Tale Five: Kiba’s day off

The kits and the babies are twelve divs, which is one and one-fifth standard year, in age.

“You are sure?” Kiba asked for the umpteenth time.

“We will be fine,” Iruka told him yet again.

“But with Naruto and Sasuke-sama away...” Kiba queried again.

Iruka frowned at him. “It is yours and Choza’s day to be together. Choza is looking forward to it. He was telling me only yesterday about all the things he has planned.”

Kiba was distracted by the thought of Choza’s disappointment. Iruka took his opportunity and guided him towards the door. He pressed a purse of gold credits into Kiba’s hands.

“You have not asked to draw against your share,” he said. “You should have. You may wish to pay for something, or to buy Choza something. This is against your share. It is only a small fraction of what you are owed.”

Kiba took the purse and nodded. “Thank you, Iruka-san,” he acknowledged.

“It is yours,” Iruka repeated. “Now get along before Choza thinks you are going to let him down.”

Iruka watched him walk away down the corridor towards where Choza was waiting. He turned and looked at the door of the playroom. It would be fine. They were only babies. It was only the rest of the day; Kiba had already got them up, changed, dressed, fed and into the playroom.

He slid opened the door. Keizo, Yoshimi and Yasushi were at the thigh-high barrier making a concerted attempt to get out as Iruka stepped in. Iruka plucked Yoshimi off Yasushi’s back as he went past and slid the door closed.

“Sorry, Iruka-sensei,” Inari said from where he was on the floor with Hoshi and Yuki. “If I had realised the door was about to open I would have come over. They hear your footsteps and get ready to pounce.”

It was going to be a long day. Iruka was tempted to keep Inari with him but the cats were already covering for Choza. “It is fine, Inari-kun. It was good of you to volunteer to watch them. You get along. Please tell Kakashi-san that I am expecting to see him at some point during the morning.”

Inari managed to suppress a smile. “Yes, Iruka-sensei. I will do that.”

Iruka watched him battle through the kits and out the door.

The huge advantage of the playroom was that it had been designed and built to be kitproof. All surfaces were easy to clean. The floor was cushioned and rubberised. There were no edges or sharp corners.

It did, however, encourage the kits to believe that they could do almost anything without getting hurt. Iruka resisted the temptation to rescue Kazuki and Yuki from the top of the climbing frame where they were practicing walking along one of the struts without holding on.

He did a quick count and, for a heart-stopping moment, could not see Kuuya. Then a strawberry blond head poked out of one of the tunnels.

Iruka went to the toy chest to select some toys. Immediately Kazuki was climbing on his back and Yuki was clinging to his leg. Yoshimi and Yasushi were on the other side of the chest bouncing up and down in a manner that was endearingly like Naruto. Hikaru and Hoshi had toddled up and were asking for their current favourites.

He took his hand away from the lid of the chest and told Kazuki to get down. Kazuki slipped off his back and clung to his other leg. Iruka opened the lid.

Once the six of them were settled in the centre of the room with the toys, Iruka went to check on the others. Kuuya and Keizo were still playing in the tunnels.

Haru was in a corner doing something with one of the toys Shikamaru had given him. Iruka crouched down next to him.

“How are you this morning, Haru-chan?” he asked.

Haru considered. “Want Shi-chan,” he stated.

Iruka was surprised that it was Shikamaru he missed the most. “Shi-chan is with To-chan and Papa,” he told him.

Haru showed the toy to Iruka. Iruka looked at it helplessly. He did not know what it was or what it was meant to do. Knowing Shikamaru it was probably a puzzle.

“Have you worked it out?” he asked.

Haru scowled at him, put the toy in the basket on the wall labelled ‘Haru’ and sat facing the wall.

Iruka decided to leave him be and went back to the others. A little while later, Kazuki took one of the toys over to Haru. Iruka watched with some relief as Haru decided that playing with Kazuki was more interesting than whatever was bothering him.

They were just beginning to lose interest in those particular toys when the kits perked up and stampeded towards the door. Iruka watched as Yoshimi climbed Yasushi so that he was ready to jump over the barrier when the door opened.

The door slid open and Kakashi caught Yoshimi mid leap.

“They are getting more organised,” he observed as he stepped over the barrier. Kazuki was climbing his leading leg before it touched the ground. “Soon we are going to need a double door.” He put Yoshimi down, walked over to Iruka and kissed him.

When Iruka opened his eyes Kazuki was peering at him over Kakashi’s shoulder.

“How has it been?” Kakashi asked.

Iruka considered. “They have been remarkably well-behaved,” he admitted. “I am worried about Haru. He is missing Shika-kun.”

Kakashi nodded. “It is hard to substitute for someone when you haven’t the slightest clue what they do,” he admitted.

Iruka sat on the big cushion with those who wanted cuddles and a story while Kakashi roughhoused with Yoshimi, Yasushi, Kazuki and Hikaru. Iruka could see Haru at the side of the room, his back to everyone. After a while Hikaru went over to join him. Iruka was pleased; Hikaru and Haru usually showed little interest in each other.

Next thing Haru was crying. Iruka could see Kakashi on his way to find up what was wrong, but Kazuki was there before him and Hikaru was screaming because Kazuki had bitten him.

Iruka watched as Kakashi prioritised. Kazuki was scolded immediately because biting was considered the worst offence; the kits’ teeth were sharp and their fangs pierced flesh frighteningly easily. He knew he had done wrong; his ears were flat against his head and his tail was between his legs. Kakashi picked him up and put him in one of the isolation pens.

Then, instead of seeing to the bite, which was bleeding, he tried to work out what had happened. Haru was holding the toy he had been showing to Iruka earlier. It was now in two pieces rather than one. Haru had one piece in each hand. He was still crying.

Iruka saw to Hikaru while Kakashi tried to comfort Haru. Treating the bite was the easy job; he stuck one of the pre-prepared bite dressings over the wound and refused to be sympathetic. He then told Hikaru off for breaking Haru’s toy and put him into the isolation pen in the other corner of the room.

Haru was holding the two pieces of the toy out to Kakashi.

“Mend,” he pleaded. “Kaka-chan mend.”

Kakashi sat down next to him. “I can’t, Haru-chan. I don’t know how.”

Haru looked at him for a few moments and then started to cry in earnest. “Want Shi-chan,” he wailed. “Want To-chan,” he added.

Iruka stiffened. When one of the babies started asking for Naruto it reminded the other babies and the kits how much they missed him.

Kakashi stood and scooped Haru up. “I am going to take Haru on an outing,” he stated.

Iruka nodded and braced himself to ignore Kazuki’s screaming when he realised that Haru was leaving the room without him.

To his surprise it never came. He went over to the isolation pen. Kazuki was huddled in a small ball, crying. Iruka decided to release Hikaru before seeing to Kazuki.

Hikaru seemed remarkably unconcerned. Iruka watched him toddle over to Hoshi and join in with what she was doing.

Then he sat on the cushion and cuddled Kazuki. Kazuki was nuzzling his chest, as if looking for milk. Iruka stroked his back. He was such a skinny little thing. Iruka knew that Naruto worried he did not eat enough; he never stayed in his high chair for long during meals and he was by far the most active of the kits. After protracted negotiations Kiba had accepted that the occasional feed of milk was acceptable.

Iruka carried Kazuki over to the intercom and requested that someone come who was willing to take the kit and give him a feed.

To his amazement it was Itachi who opened the door.

“Kakashi suggested it,” Itachi admitted, “because Naruto-san says I smell like Sasuke.”

Iruka was not sure if it was a good or a bad idea but he was willing to give it a try. He handed Kazuki to Itachi and watched the kit snuggle into Itachi’s chest as he slid the door closed.

Itachi sat in the rocking chair in the nursery holding Kazuki while Haku persuaded the milk synthesiser to produce a bag of milk and placed it in a holder.

Kazuki fastened onto the teat and sucked strongly.

“Have you ever thought about having children?” Haku asked, watching him.

Itachi made himself stay relaxed because of the kit. “No,” he replied.

Haku cocked his head to one side. “That is a lie, Itachi-san,” he accused.

Itachi looked at the strange little creature on his lap. “When I was younger, I told myself that I would never treat my children the way my father treated me. Now I realise that we repeat our parents’ behaviour without conscious choice, so it is better that people like Sasuke have children and I do not.”

“You would never treat a child as your father treated you,” Haku assured him.

Itachi looked at him. “Haku-san, if there is one truth I know without doubt is that I am capable of anything. You are my constant reminder of that truth.”

Haku came over and touched him gently on the hair. “It is true of everyone, Itachi-san. The difference is that you know it.”

They may have said more but at that moment there was an unfamiliar sound and Kazuki looked at them with smug satisfaction. Haku smiled.

“That is babies for you, Itachi-san, purebred or not,” he observed. “You put in food at one end and you get poop out of the other. Good luck. I understand that changing a kit with a tail is particularly challenging.”

Iruka was pleased. The kits’ and babies’ midday meal had gone surprisingly well. Kazuki had been pleasantly calm after spending most of the morning with Itachi. He had even stayed in his high chair for a significant amount of time and eaten much of what Itachi offered him. Haru had not been happy but he was no longer miserable.

Now they were having a nap in the nursery and Iruka was in the kitchen drinking tea with half an eye on Tayuya and Sumaru, who had finished the tidying up and were preparing a slow-cooked stew for dinner.

Then Kunugi appeared in the doorway between the galley and Haku’s crew room. He was holding Hoshi.

“She was crawling across the shared area, Iruka-san,” he explained.

Iruka was up and beside Kunugi. He took Hoshi from him. “Thank you, Kunugi-san,” he said automatically. “Please can you ask anyone else you see to look out for kits and babies.”

The door between the nursery and the crew room was open just enough to allow a baby or a kit to exit. The nursery was empty. The microphone had been switched off.

Iruka’s first thought was that he must not panic. The second was that Kiba would never trust him again.

Tayuya was at the door of the nursery. “Can I help, Iruka-sensei?” she asked.

“Yes, please could you and Sumaru-kun and anyone else around here look for kits and babies.”

They found another three almost immediately: Hikaru, Keizo and Kuuya. It was Haku who returned Hikaru. He was squirming and complaining in Haku’s grasp.

Haku dumped him in the hover pen. He then leaned over and looked him directly in the eyes. “Stop it,” he ordered.

Hikaru stopped. Iruka blinked. He did not know what Haku had done but he wished he had the same knack.

“The door was open,” Iruka heard himself explaining. “The microphone was switched off.”

Haku shook his head. “I expect it was Haru,” he stated. “Are all the lights on your wristcom illuminated?”

Iruka had not thought of that. He looked at it. To his horror two of the lights, Kazuki’s and Haru, were off.

“Kazuki and Haru are out of range,” he admitted.

Haku nodded. He went to the intercom and depressed the button. “Attention all. Kazuki and Haru have escaped from the crew rooms. Please look out for them and report if there is a sighting.” He turned back to Iruka. “We should have thought of putting those anklets on them that Shino-san’s mother sent.”

Iruka was having problems keeping up. “Kiba and Naruto have never used them,” he explained.

Haku shook his head. “Kiba and Naruto can track them by their scent. We cannot.”

“Haru is barely walking,” Iruka said.

“Can they get the monitoring patches off?” Haku asked.

Iruka shook his head.

“Then he can obviously move when he wants to,” Haku observed. “Put the four we have in the pen and get someone to watch them. There are three within range. We will concentrate on retrieving them. I expect that Kakashi-san will be here within minutes and he can organise the search for Kazuki and Haru.”

He had barely finished speaking when Kakashi appeared at the door of the nursery.

“They turned off the microphone and opened the door,” Iruka told him.

“Haru,” Kakashi surmised.

“Haru and Kazuki are out of range of the wristcom,” Haku informed him.

“I will get Shino onto it,” Kakashi replied. “We will find them, Ir-chan,” he promised.

Sumaru and Tayuya arrived at the nursery with Yoshimi and Yasushi as Kakashi left. Tayuya agreed to watch the six they had retrieved while Sumaru, Iruka and Haku joined the search for Yuki.

The afternoon progressed. Shino programmed flyers to respond to the monitoring patches and used them to track down Haru and Kazuki. When Kakashi and Itachi entered the crew room carrying them, Haku turned to Iruka.

“Iruka-sensei, please may I deal with Haru-chan?” he asked.

Iruka hesitated and then remembered Hikaru’s reaction to Haku and nodded.

Haku took Haru from Kakashi. He sat him on the couch and knelt on the floor so their eyes were level.

“Do you know who I am, Haru-chan?” he asked.

Haru looked uncertain. “Haku-san,” he replied.

“You have been bad, Haru-chan,” Haku told him. “Very bad. You upset Iruka-san. You put your brothers and sister in danger.”

“Haku...” Iruka queried.

Haku silenced him with a look. “You ran away,” he continued to Haru. “You took Ka-chan. You let the others out. Yuki is still lost. He may be hurt. We do not know.”

“Yu-chan not hurt,” Haru told him.

Haku waited.

“Blue,” Haru said, pointing at Iruka’s wristcom. “Ka-chan find Yu-chan,” he suggested.

Haku considered. “Thank you, Haru-chan,” he admitted. “That is a good idea. Even so, you have been bad and you will be punished.”

Haru nodded. “Bad babies in bad pen.”

Haku paused for effect. “No. You have been very bad, Haru-chan. You will live with me for the rest of the day. You will not see Ka-chan. You will not see the others.” He waited again. “I am not nice, Haru-chan. I am not nice like Iruka-sensei. I am not nice like Kiba-san.”

“Kiba-san nice?” Haru queried.

Haku held his gaze. “Compared to me, Haru-chan, Kiba-san is very, very nice.”

While Itachi took Kazuki to look for Yuki, Haku carried Haru through to the nursery and sat him on the chair while he packed a bag of supplies.

“Haru-chan had been very bad,” he told the other babies and the kits, who were watching with large, blue eyes from the hover pen. “Haru-chan’s punishment is to live with me.” He looked at Haru. “If Haru-chan is very good I will bring him back tonight. If he is bad, he will stay with me until he is good.” He closed the bag. “No toys. Bad babies do not play with toys.”

Iruka clung to Kakashi’s arm as Haku walked away with Haru.

“He is being a bit harsh,” he whispered. “We don’t want Haru traumatised.”

Kakashi shrugged. “Perhaps it is for the best. He is terrifyingly clever and if he’s inherited Shikamaru’s attitude to rules then we are going to need sanctions. We should be grateful that Haku is willing to play the ogre.” He considered. “When did Haku become such an expert about babies?”

Iruka frowned slightly. “No idea. Perhaps he has studied it as part of his Therapist’s course.” He looked down the crew room. “Thank the Lady for that, here comes Itachi and Ka-chan with Yuki-chan.”

“Where was he?” Kakashi asked as Iruka took a sleepy Yuki from Itachi.

“In with the clothes Naruto-san and Sasuke had put to be cleaned when they left,” Itachi told them. “I think it was the place he could reach that smelt most strongly of Naruto-san.”

Iruka sat in the kitchen drinking tea. The babies and the kits, minus Haru, were napping in the nursery. Shino had fixed the microphone so it could not be switched off and they had latched the doors on the non-nursery sides.

He was surprised when Haku walked in carrying Haru. He spread a small blanket on the floor and placed Haru in the middle. “Do not move off the blanket,” he ordered. “Do you understand me, Haru-chan?”

Haru looked up at him; Naruto’s eyes in a baby version of Sasuke’s face. “Yes, Haku-san,” he answered.

Haku sat down at the table and poured himself a cup of tea. “Whose idea was it to let Shikamaru breed?” he murmured to Iruka.

Iruka smiled. “I believe it was Naruto’s,” he replied. “You seem experienced with babies, Haku-san,” he suggested, following up on Kakashi’s earlier remark.

Haku sniffed. “I had many brothers and sisters,” he replied.

“Many?” Iruka queried.

“Twelve,” Haku confessed. “Nine brothers, three sisters. I was third eldest.” He looked towards Haru, who was sitting up but falling asleep. “There were many large families in the colony. None had a child like that. Compared to him, the kits seem very normal.”

Iruka almost asked why Haku had been so reticent about helping with the kits and the babies but spacers did not pry into fellow spacers’ pasts.

Haku answered anyway. “Seeing them reminds me,” he admitted.

Iruka watched his eyes fill with very un-Haku-like tears.

“The slavers took them,” he whispered. “Even the babies. Lady knows what lives the survivors now lead.”

Iruka watched him, alert for any suggestion that comfort would be accepted. Instead the tears were blinked away and all trace of vulnerability was covered by Haku’s familiar veneer of perfection.

Haku finished his tea. He placed his cup where dirty crockery should be placed and reclaimed Haru and the blanket from the floor. The sleepy baby snuggled into his chest.

Iruka watched Haku hold Haru close and nuzzle the baby soft hair.

“They were good?” Kiba asked after he had taken an inventory of each kit or baby sleeping in the nursery and rejoined Iruka in the kitchen.

“Most of the time,” Iruka told him. “Hikaru broke one of Haru’s toys. Kazuki bit Hikaru.” He took a deep breath. “Haru turned off the microphone during nap time and organised the others to slide open the door to the crew room but there was no harm done. All three were suitably punished.”

Kiba shook his head. “How did you punish Haru?”

“We have a new punishment for Haru,” Iruka told him. “Haku took him.”

“Haku-san?” Kiba queried.

“I suggest you ask Haru about it tomorrow,” Iruka replied. “But wait until I am there. Please.”

Kiba waited until the kits and babies were in their high chairs and eating breakfast. He set Haru’s bowl aside and sat down so that their eyes were level.

“Was Haru good?” he asked.

Haru’s face fell. “Haru bad. Very bad,” he admitted. “Be good. Very good. Not go with Haku-san.”

Kiba exchanged looks with Iruka and smiled.

You need to be logged in to leave a review for this story.
Report Story