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 to those who take the time to write a review, whether long-established readers or newcomers. They are the inspiration for me to continue these tales.

Tales in Tarrasade continue the space saga that began with ‘In the cold of space you find the heat of suns’.

Thanks to Small Fox for being my beta.

There have been some queries about timelines, time measurement and ages. Please see the author’s note at the end and in my profile.

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 is episode is about Shikamaru, who is in a relationship with Neji.

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

If you haven’t...
...Sasuke’s crew live in a space station called Tarrasade when they are not travelling. Shikamaru is a type seven genius who escaped the confines of his home planet by becoming a spacer at the age of fourteen; he was recruited by Kakashi, Iruka and their crew. He is now twenty-three. Want to know more? Read ‘In the cold of space you find the heat of suns’.

Tale Eight: Honour your parents

This tale begins less than a div before the kits’ and babies’ second birth anniversary.

Shikamaru closed the message before he had even finished reading it. He was out of his seat, pacing between the door and his chair, caught between the desire to run away and the knowledge that it was pointless. Shino looked up from his workbench.

“Shika-san?” he queried. He connected the look on Shikamaru’s face with the fact he had been reviewing his correspondence. “Is it bad news?” he asked gently.

“The worst,” Shikamaru admitted. He sighed, settled back into his chair and reopened the message. He might as well familiarise himself with all the horrific details. “My mother is coming to Tarrasade.”

“How in known space can they afford it?” Kakashi complained when Shikamaru told him and Iruka. He took in the look on Shikamaru’s face. “Stupid question,” he acknowledged. “Shika-kun, didn’t it occur to you that if you sent them ever increasing amounts of credit in the end they would have paid for everything else and get around to deciding to come and see you?”

“No,” Shikamaru confessed. “I didn’t think anything would ever induce Ma to leave Darrenden. I thought I was safe.”

“You told her about Haru,” Iruka guessed.

Kakashi’s eye widened. “Tell me you aren’t that stupid. You are meant to be a genius.”

Shikamaru flushed.

“When are they due to arrive?” Iruka asked.

“The day after tomorrow,” Shikamaru confessed. “She says she wanted it to be a surprise so she’s been getting Pa to relay the messages back through Darrenden.”

Iruka was out of his chair and reaching for a tablet, swearing under his breath.

“Just how much credit have you been sending them if they can afford to do that?” Kakashi demanded. “I have to say, the woman knows you. Any more warning and you would have thought up some scheme to stop them.”

“How long are they expecting to stay?” Iruka asked.

Shikamaru cringed. “At least a div. Ma said that, having come all this way, they wanted to stay long enough to make it worthwhile.”

“We will survive it,” Neji said reassuringly.

Shikamaru was not so sure. True, they would still be alive but whether he and Neji would still be lovers was another matter. He decided that pre-warned was pre-armed.

“Ne-chan, you know you always say you cannot read me,” he began.

Neji was much better at reading his Shika than he had been two standards before but he nodded.

“Ma can. Like a book. And she knows what buttons to press.” He shivered. “It’s like being a puppet with her controlling the strings.”

Neji felt the first stirrings of anxiety. Shika was utterly convinced that the visit was going to be a disaster. “Surely she wants you to be happy,” he suggested, cautiously.

“Yes,” Shikamaru admitted, “but she is convinced that happy means being married to a girl and living on a planet and having a steady job.”

Neji could see that he would be the most obvious obstacle to Shikamaru’s mother’s version of success. “Yet she agreed to you becoming a spacer,” he observed.

Shikamaru flinched. “I told them that the authorities were closing in. Fourteen is the age of adult responsibility for crimes like fraud and identity theft on Darrenden; even betting is illegal.” He recalled the day he had launched his campaign to convince his mother that she should support his application to cat. The only option had been to show his father a subset of what he had been doing. He still remembered the way the blood had drained from his Pa’s face, leaving it a sickly off-white.

“You have never broken off contact with them,” Neji reminded him.

Shikamaru looked at him as if he was crazy. “I couldn’t. They are my parents. They brought me into the world and they raised me. I can never repay that debt.” He looked away. “It’s bad enough that I am such a disappointment to them.”

Neji studied the gorgeous, phenomenal, beloved young man who was openly acknowledged as Uchiha’s greatest asset and shook his head in disbelief.

Shikamaru waited in the shuttle. Gai was at the controls. Asuma was outside the airlock, in the docking bay of the passenger liner.

He heard his mother’s voice, which had lost none of its penetrative power. “I still do not understand. Why aren’t we disembarking with the other passengers?”

“Uchiha-sama has sent a shuttle, Yoshino-san,” a patient male voice answered. “It will take you to the Uchiha private dock.”

“Yoshino-san, Shikaku-san, my name is Asuma,” he heard Asuma say. “I am in charge of security for your transfer to the Uchiha compound.”

“Security?” his mother queried.

“Shikamaru-san is not allowed to leave the compound without at least two elite fighters to guard him,” Asuma informed her.

“Shikamaru-kun is here?” she asked.

Shikamaru braced himself.

She was shorter than him, which was a shock. He stood there, transfixed, while her piercing gaze appraised him.

“Ma,” he acknowledged.

She reached towards him. He did not move as her fingers pinched his cheek. “You are too pale,” she told him.

“All spacers are pale,” his father said soothingly.

“Pa,” Shikamaru said, making eye contact with his father over his mother’s shoulder.

“Son,” his father replied with a smile.

Shikamaru half-listened to his mother describing their journey while Asuma and his father moved their luggage from the liner’s hover platforms to theirs so that it could be loaded. There was a lot of it. It reminded him how long his mother was intending to stay.

“You need to sit down now, Ma,” he said, mildly, once the luggage had been loaded and secured. “Pa,” he added, indicating one of the seats.

“I will be in the cockpit with Gai-san,” Asuma told them. He bowed slightly. “Yoshino-san, Shikaku-san,” he acknowledged and went forward, sliding closed the door between the cockpit and the cabin behind him.

Yoshino shivered. “What a scary man,” she commented.

Shikamaru blinked. Asuma was the least intimidating of the elite fighters, with the possible exception of Dan.

“It is his job to look scary,” his father suggested.

“Why do you need a bodyguard?” his mother demanded.

Shikamaru was not sure how to answer. He went for what he hoped was the least controversial reply. “I am Sasuke-sama’s advisor, Ma. That means I know a lot of confidential information.”

“Haru’s other parent,” Yoshino observed.

Shikamaru took a deep breath. “I’ve explained before, Ma. Sasuke-sama and Naruto are Haru’s parents. They did me the honour of asking me to contribute my chromosomes because Naruto cannot parent a purebred. Then they did me the favour of allowing me to be part of Haru’s life.”

She sniffed. “You are his genetic parent,” she insisted. “He is our grandson.”

“Legally there is no relationship,” Shikamaru countered. “Sasuke-sama and Naruto will have to agree to you having access.”

She stared at him. “Are you saying we won’t be allowed to see him?” she asked.

“I am saying that it is a favour they grant us, Ma, not a right,” Shikamaru replied.

Yoshino turned away from him. “You and they are very young to be parents,” she challenged.

Shikamaru did not respond. There was silence. After a while his father asked about the technical specs of the shuttle and Shikamaru gratefully replied.

They had decided that Neji would be in the docking bay. To Shikamaru’s surprise Naruto was next to him holding Haru.

“Ma, Pa, this is my lover, Neji,” Shikamaru began.

“Yoshino-san, Shikaku-san,” Neji acknowledged with a polite bow.

Yoshino managed the briefest of replies. Her eyes were riveted on Haru.

“This is Naruto-san,” Shikamaru continued, “and this is Haru-chan.”

“It is an honour to meet you, Naruto-san,” Yoshino managed. “He is beautiful,” she breathed. She briefly turned to Shikamaru. “He looks nothing like you.”

“I look like Papa,” Haru announced, “but I have To-chan’s eyes.” He frowned at Shikaku. “You look like Shi-chan.”

Yoshino blinked but Shikaku laughed. He stepped forward. “It is an honour to meet you, Haru-chan. I am Shikaku. This is Yoshino. We are Shikamaru’s parents.”

Haru turned to Naruto. “Grown-ups have parents?” he asked.

“A few lucky grown-ups have parents,” Naruto told him. “What should you have said to Shikaku-san?”

Haru gave a little bow. “It is an honour to meet you, Shikaku-san, Yoshino-san.”

Naruto rewarded him with a kiss.

“He’s under two standards,” Yoshino murmured. “He’s talking in sentences with linked clauses.” She turned to Shikamaru. “He’s even more advanced than you were.”

Naruto smiled at her. “Ha-chan is very good at talking and at puzzles,” he acknowledged. “Haru and I will go back to the playroom now and give you and Shikaku-san the time you need to settle into your apartment. Wave goodbye, Haru-chan.”

They watched Naruto lope off down the corridor with Haru looking back over his shoulder, waving.

“He’s stunning,” Shikaku muttered and Shikamaru knew he did not mean Haru.

Meeting Haru seemed to have blunted Yoshino’s sharp tongue. She was distant to Neji, which was a great deal better than the full-front assault Shikamaru had feared. She was polite to Iruka, who showed them around the apartment that he and the cats had prepared at breakneck speed.

“We wish to thank you, Iruka-san,” Shikaku-san said as Iruka took his leave. “You said that we could trust you to look after him when he was fourteen. You have done far more than that. He has been happier with you than he could have ever been on Darrenden.”

Iruka smiled. “It is good of you to say so, Shikaku-san,” he replied.

Shikamaru watched Iruka leave in stunned silence. He could not believe that his father had said those words within his mother’s hearing. He risked a sideways glance at his Ma. Her lips were thin and pressed tightly together. It was a very bad sign. He suspected his father would be sleeping in the second bedroom for at least the first half of the visit.

Yoshino turned to Neji. “You must tell us about yourself, Neji-san,” she said with exaggerated sweetness.

He and Neji walked to the crew room in silence. Neji had, of course, handled his mother brilliantly.

“Shika, you shouldn’t have agreed to have breakfast with her without me,” Neji reprimanded him gently. “You will be much more vulnerable in the early morning and I will not be there to protect you.”

Shikamaru managed a small smile. “It’s easier just to give in to her,” he admitted. “In the end she wears herself out. Pa’s tactic works best. He only fights her about the really important things.”

Neji shook his head but said nothing.

“What did Naruto-san mean when he said that only a few lucky grown-ups have parents?” his mother asked him the next morning.

Shikamaru nursed his cup of real coffee; Iruka had made a small pot for him to bring with him. There was no sign of his father.

“Well, Naruto can’t remember a time when anyone cared for him and Sasuke’s parents are dead,” he began. “So are Neji’s and Iruka’s and Sumaru’s. All the elite fighters were given to Uchiha when they were babies or young children; they weren’t allowed to know the identity of their parents. Haku was stolen by slavers when he was a boy. Anko ran away from home at fourteen and has never been in contact with her mother since. Izumo’s and Kotetsu’s families disowned them when they realised they were lovers. I think Ibiki has a mother somewhere. Konohamaru has parents but he was fostered by his grandfather. Inari has a mother, we met her. I don’t know about Rin. Tayuya was raised in an orphanage. Kiba was an experimental model created in a laboratory.” He smiled hopefully. “Shino has a close relationship with his family including his mother and father.”

Yoshino looked stunned but she soon recovered. “Naruto-san used the word lucky. Do you think of yourself as lucky?” she asked.

Shikamaru met her gaze. “I know I am lucky. You and Pa made me the centre of your lives. You made huge sacrifices to have me and to raise me. You gave me security and you loved me. If anything, leaving home made me realise how much I had taken you for granted. Ma, you have no idea what some of the others’ lives were like when they were children.”

For once Yoshino said nothing.

Shikamaru ploughed on. “I wanted you to spend the credit I sent you on buying another licence and having another child. You can do that. That is why I declared myself a permanent exile, so you would qualify and could go on the waiting list.” He studied his mother but could not read her. “I shall recompense you for the cost of this trip. You will still have enough.”

She was on her feet. “I do not want another child,” she declared. She stalked away. He heard a door slam. No one could slam a sliding door better than his Ma.

He sipped his coffee.

Footsteps; his father sat down at the table. Shikamaru poured him a coffee. Shikaku took a sip.

“That is good,” he declared placing the cup back on the table. “We have been on the waiting list since the day we received notification that you were a legal exile,” his Pa told him. “I insisted. I said that we could always defer when we made it to the top.”

“Did you?” Shikamaru asked.

“We aren’t there yet,” Shikaku admitted.

Shikamaru flinched. He had filed for exile as soon as possible, when he had been gone from Darrenden for a full standard. “Over eight standards?” he queried. “The wait is that long?”

“It’s running at between nine and ten,” his father told him. He shrugged. “We have age retard. We had you young. Most people have their child in their fifties or sixties.” He drank some more coffee. “I am hoping that this trip, seeing Haru, will remind her how much she would love having another child.” He took another sip. “Can’t say it is going to plan. I didn’t think Haru would be so like you.”

Shikamaru’s heart fell; of course his mother would not want to risk having another child like him.

“Are the others so advanced?” his father was asking.

“It depends what in,” Shikamaru admitted. “Physically, the kits are astonishing.” He thought about it. “Maybe Ma could spend some time with Hoshi and Ayame.”

His father nodded. “Cute baby girls,” he agreed.

He had intended to ask Izumo and Naruto if he could borrow the girls but once he had finished the morning’s meetings Iruka was waiting with the news that his parents had already found their way to the playroom.

“Naru-kun said it was fine,” Iruka assured him.

“Kiba?” Shikamaru queried. “And what about Sasuke?”

Iruka shrugged. “They haven’t been thrown out yet, so I expect they are managing not to annoy Kiba. As for Sasu-kun, he has been in the same meetings as you. Do you want to tell him or shall I?”

“Please could you tell him, Iruka-sensei?” Shikamaru asked. “I think I ought to find out what is happening.”

Not one kit invaded the kit-lock, which was unusual. Shikamaru slid open the inner door and slipped inside.

His father was on the floor surrounded by a hugely augmented version of the wooden train set that Shikamaru had owned as a child, six fascinated kits and four intrigued children. He was gently reminding Keizo not to over wind one of the clockwork engines.

Shikamaru’s mind boggled at how much time his father must have invested to make every hand-carved piece.

Keizo carefully placed the engine on the track, Yoshimi linked it to the carriages and Kuuya lifted the lever that engaged the mechanism. The train started its progress around the track and six kits bounced up and down in unconscious imitation of Naruto.

“They love it,” Kiba whispered to him. “Look how focused they are.”

Shikamaru knew he meant the kits. None of the kits had ever shown much interest in toys; they preferred running, climbing and tussling.

There was a pull at his pant leg. It was Haru. Shikamaru picked him up. “Do you like the train set?” he asked.

“It was interesting,” Haru admitted. “Shikaku-san will show me how it works later.” He considered. “Ka-chan likes it,” he added.

“That’s good,” Shikamaru suggested.

Haru nodded. He pointed at a wooden chest. “Puzzles,” he said.

Shikamaru went over, put Haru down and opened the lid. The chest was filled with puzzles, like the ones he made Haru but much more beautifully made. He recognised some that he had designed when he was old enough to do so. He stopped Haru reaching for one of them and shut the lid.

“Not now, Haru-chan,” Shikamaru told him. “Now is time for you to watch the others enjoying the train set.”

Haru scowled, considering, and then nodded. He smiled. “I will sit in Yoshino-san’s lap,” he said. “I have a mission,” he whispered, “from Shikaku-san. I must remind Yoshino-san that she likes children.”

He watched Haru go over to where his mother was sitting on the large cushion. His mother smiled.

Shikamaru remembered that smile.

The rest of the div went remarkably painlessly. Shikamaru was grateful and touched how his family had rallied around him. Haku and C-san had adopted his mother, inviting her to tea and taking her shopping. Shino and Kiba had talked making with his father; Shikaku was particularly interested in flyer technology. Sasuke had spent forty minutes with them alone in his office, after which Yoshino asked him one question, “Did you really save a whole system from slavers?” and never again made a detrimental remark about his job. His Ma was even nice to Neji.

The kits and the babies were genuinely fond of them. Yoshino had struck up an odd but constructive special relationship with Kazuki that had the welcome side effect of persuading him to start talking. Shikaku had made it his mission to discover a toy that Hikaru actually liked. He investigated every construction toy that the Hunundau store had to offer and discovered a range of brightly coloured interlocking rubber bricks that Hikaru adored. Kiba watched Yoshino and Shikaku intently every moment they were in the playroom and admitted that he had learnt a huge amount about persuading children to learn. Yoshino said something to Haku that had a profound effect on him; he stopped avoiding the kits and the babies, even helping at meal times.

The kits’ and babies’ party for the second anniversary of their birth was something Shikamaru would remember for a long, long time. His mother had helped Naruto decorate the playroom and his father had entertained them with sleight of hand magic that had reduced even Haru to wide-eyed amazement.

Shikamaru was almost, but not quite, sorry when the day of their departure arrived.

“You will send regular messages,” his mother insisted in the shuttle.

“I always have, Ma,” he reminded her.

“I expect more images and some holovids,” she told him. “Remind Kiba-san he is welcome to correspond if he wishes.”

“I will, Ma,” Shikamaru promised.

Suddenly she was hugging him. “I don’t know if Neji is the one for you but I can see that there is something very deep between you,” she told him. “Whatever the future brings, I know that your family will look after you. You are very lucky, Shikamaru-kun, they love you very much. Look after Sasuke and Naruto.”

He hugged back. “I will, Ma,” he repeated. “You will come again?”

“One day,” she said evasively and Shikamaru knew it would not happen any time soon, if ever. “Or you could drop by our system in that monster ship of yours,” she suggested. “Provided you have the children with you.”

Shikamaru smiled.

“She’s agreed,” his father whispered when they embraced. “A girl.”

Shikamaru was pleased.

Then, at the very last minute, she hugged him again. “I am so very proud of you, Shikamaru,” she whispered and then walked swiftly away without looking back.

Shikamaru stared at her retreating back, stunned.

His father smiled at him. “She loves you very much, Son. We both do.”

Shikamaru found himself nodding. “I know, Pa. I love you both too.”

Neji was waiting for him in the docking bay.

“I am glad they came,” he said as they walked back to the crew room side by side. “Parts of it were enjoyable and I understand you better now.”

“I am glad they came,” Shikamaru agreed. He smiled. “I am also glad they have gone,” he admitted. He put a hand out and ruffled Neji’s hair.

“Shika!” Neji complained. Hair ruffling was definitely on the ‘how to annoy Neji within moments’ list along with messing up his room and making outrageous, unsubstantiated comments.

Shikamaru dived in for another attempt and then took off down the corridor with an apparently irritated Neji in pursuit. He could tell that Neji was not really annoyed because Neji could outrun Shikamaru anytime and anyplace. Instead they played chase until they ended up in Shikamaru’s room.

“Time for your punishment,” Neji told him, pinning him to the bed.

“Mercy, mercy,” Shikamaru begged and then smiled. “What can I do to persuade you I am sorry?”

A remarkably short time later he had ridden Neji to a climax and had come all over his chest. Some of it had ended up in Neji’s hair, which meant they had to have a shower together so that Shikamaru could wash it out. By the time they had finished, had combed each other’s hair and had found some clothes they were late for the midday meal.

“I see that Yoshino-san and Shikaku-san embarked as planned,” Kakashi observed, dryly, as they took their places.

Shikamaru blushed and Neji squeezed his hand under the table. “Yes,” Shikamaru replied. “Thank you to everyone for making their visit such a success. I was dreading it and you all made sure that it worked out fine.”

There was an outbreak of indulgent smiles and nods of acknowledgement around the table. “You are welcome, Shika-kun,” Iruka replied on everyone’s behalf.

Author’s note

‘Standard’ is shorthand for ‘standard year’. This is necessary because each planet has a different length year. For readers, a ‘standard year’ is one of our years, an Earth year, but in the story that fact has been lost in time, as has the location of Earth (if it still exists).

A ‘div’ is short for a ‘division’ and there are ten divs in a standard.

Minutes and seconds are, again, Earth minutes and seconds.

A ‘ship’s day’ is 1440 minutes (one of our days). Days on planets vary. Ship’s chronometers count seconds, minutes, ship’s days, divs and standards.

Hours are not used except on some planets to break up the local day.

OK, I have had a go at defining ages for some characters and some indication of a timeline. Here is where I have to confess that I did not do one before writing ‘In the cold of space you find the heat of suns’ so please do not be too fussy about small (or large) inconsistencies. It is in my author’s profile.

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