BY : Mannah_Pierce
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Naruto/Sasuke
Dragon prints: 1191
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.

Iteration’ is part of the space saga that began with ‘In the cold of space you find the heat of suns’ and continues in ‘Tales in Tarrasade’. There is also a one-shot ‘Silver Leaf Tales: Tying the knot’.

Thanks to Small Fox for being my beta. For this story he has also been my muse, suggesting a number of the ideas that have evolved to create this arc.

Thank you to those readers who have written a review and particular thanks to TanuKyle, v, richon, Aflyingmonkey123, disembodiedvoiceofthedying, SunaoTsuji, blugirlami21, unneeded, liby138, Dorkchic, angelj232000, YamanashiOchinashiIminashi, sadie237 and cynaga who reviewed after chapter 105 was posted.

Readers’ reviews and comments help me keep writing his story.

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

Chapter one hundred and six: Crippled

Naruto rolled his new racing buggy to the starting point of the modified running route. He listened intently, scented the air, and set off. After a few near misses and one accident, he had learned to check ahead before building up speed.

It had been almost a div since he had been detanked and everyone had contributed towards making his new life as active as possible. Konohamaru and Kamatari had organised modifications to the running route. Izumo and Kotetsu had designed and built a variety of buggies and chairs. Kiba had made countless small modifications around the household; adding handholds, lowering surfaces and placing hover platforms in strategic positions.

They had unpodded the triplets as soon as Kiba had completed the alterations. To Naruto’s delight, they were completely unfazed by their To-chan’s inability to walk or run.

The super-pants had arrived. They looked more like the lower half of a close-fitting combat suit than underwear. Naruto was particularly fond of today’s pair, which were bright orange with black stripes.

Shi-chan and Shino had modified the control interface; in the latest version he controlled the rigidity by contracting muscles in his torso, which left both arms and hands free to lift or propel his body.

He had reached a tricky part of the route, the curve where he had crashed when he had met Sumaru and Gai coming full speed in the opposite direction. He reduced speed only to decide it probably was not necessary; the new buggy was stronger, lighter and more robust.

He would go faster on the next circuit.

The next section required little or no conscious thought so Naruto occupied himself planning activities for the children. It stopped him thinking about other matters, like whether Rin, Shi-chan and Kotohime were making progress with persuading his body not to reject transplants, or whether he should accept implants.

Or how he could get Sasuke to see that he was still the same person he had always been.

He completed the second circuit, parked the racer and transferred to the smaller, more manoeuvrable buggy that he used about the household. Then he rolled, sweaty and satisfied, towards his and Sasuke’s bathroom.

The fighters had tried to persuade him to have the baths off the gym adapted but Naruto had refused. Despite his determination to remain positive, there were still some consequences of his paralysis that he preferred to face in private.

Strategically placed hanging handholds allowed him to get around the bathroom. Within a handful of seconds he was out of the buggy and on the seat in the shower. He set the super-pants to ‘excrete’ and began washing himself.

He probably could wear the same pair for days but he changed them each evening; it felt right to be wearing a clean pair when he was in bed with Sasuke.

Thinking about sharing a bed reminded him of their problem; the one Sasuke refused to even acknowledge existed. Tonight they would talk; Naruto would not back down or tolerate another of Sasuke’s evasions.

Like Haku said, sometimes love meant you had to be tough.

A quick blast from the blowers and he was back into the buggy and rolling into the bedroom to find clothes. Naruto had tried to get away with wearing his super-pants with just a top and maybe a jacket. Unfortunately what he thought looked good was what Iruka considered inappropriate, so he reluctantly covered them with a pair of his fabric pants.

He refused to wear shoes, so today his feet were defiantly orange.

He was ahead of schedule so he had time to spend in his office catching up on HDL business before heading for the playroom. Once there he transferred to his low level hovercart with its soft bumpers and minimum ride height; ideal for chasing toddlers. Naruto controlled its movement using his hands against the floor or any other nearby surface.

The triplets loved it. Teruko and Takara begged for rides while Tsuneo insisted on pushing the hovercart along, even though he had to push for a long time to build up any perceptible speed.

It was one of those mornings when all the children were in the playroom. With Naruto were the triplets, Mai, Shou, Naomi and Sumiko. The big litter, Ran, Ayame and Keitaro were with Kiba and Biwako.

Sumiko was either the oldest in one room or the youngest in the other. They had discovered that it worked best if Shikamaru gave her a choice.

Whichever she chose, every adult now implemented Haku’s strategy. It was working; the tantrums were fewer and less frequent. Shikamaru rarely had to resort to asking Haku to take her.

This morning Sumiko was with Naruto, showing Mai and Naomi how to play make-believe with dolls.

Shou was helping Tsuneo push the hovercart when Haku arrived. Sumiko immediately ran in the opposite direction; towards the older children’s playroom. Kiba caught Naruto’s eye through the doorway, seeking his permission to rescue her. He gave it; Sumiko had played nicely.

Haku did not miss Kiba lifting Sumiko over the baby gate into the other playroom. He sniffed but Naruto smiled at him and he decided not to comment.

Tsuneo abandoned pushing the hovercart and toddled towards Haku. He stopped short to admire Haku’s kimono; Naruto knew that he was fascinated by the shiny fabric and colourful designs.

Haku glided across the room, perched on a chair and patted his knee. Tsuneo was soon beside him with arms outstretched. Haku lifted him up onto his lap.

“You, Tsuneo-chan, are too cute for your own good,” he observed.

Tsuneo was too busy investigating the kimono to comment.

“Have they been good, Naruto-san?” he asked as he always did.

“Delightful,” Naruto replied, which was usually the case. Unless Mai was having a bad day, Haku’s two behaved immaculately.

“Good,” Haku acknowledged. “Can you keep Naomi until one of her parents comes for her?” he asked.

Naruto nodded. He knew that Haku thought Hamaki, Terai and Fu had become a little too accustomed to not having Naomi around while she was podded.

“And you, Naruto-san, how are you?” Haku asked.

The question was more than a nicety. Naruto knew that Haku, Neji and Iruka studied him and discussed him, alert for any sign that he was not coping with his change in circumstances. “I am fine, Haku-san,” he assured him.

“That is good,” Haku acknowledged. He lifted Tsuneo onto the floor and stood up. “Fetch your things, Mai-chan and Shou-chan, we are leaving.”

Naruto saw Naomi’s face fall. One small push sent the hovercart in her direction. He swept her up and tickled her tummy.

“What do you say, Naomi-chan?” he asked.

“Bye-bye,” Naomi managed, waving her arm.

Naruto gave her a hug and a smile, rewarding her for using a word appropriately.

Mai and Shou lined up beside Haku and performed neat bows. “Thank you for looking after us, Naruto-san,” Mai added, which won her an approving nod from Haku.

“You are welcome, Mai-chan, Shou-chan,” Naruto replied.

Tsuneo was sad for all of ten seconds when Shou left. Then he decided to tackle the climbing frame. Naruto checked Ta-chan and Te-chan, who were happy crawling about, and concentrated on playing talking games with Naomi.

Shortly before it was time for the midday meal, Fu arrived looking flustered. Naruto knew what that meant; he had gone to Haku expecting Naomi to be him and found a lecture instead.

Naruto gave Naomi a cuddle and told her to collect her things.

“Is she really behind with her speech?” Fu asked as Naomi went to fetch her dolls and her plushie.

“The other purebred babies talked more and sooner,” Naruto admitted. “The three of you should talk to Biwako-san about how you could encourage her to speak more.” He decided to push a little. “We do a lot more here than just look after them. If you stayed to observe you might pick up some tips.”

Fu opened his mouth and shut it again. Naruto guessed he had been about to give the excuse that they had duties but had tried that out on Haku and suffered the consequences. “We’ll talk about it,” he promised. “Come on, Naomi-chan.”

Naruto watched as Naomi stood properly and bowed as Haku always insisted. Fu did not even notice.

“What a lovely bow, Naomi-chan,” he pointed out. “Thank you.”

Fu flushed slightly. “Naruto-san,” he acknowledged and picked Naomi up. “Let’s go, pumpkin.”

Naruto watched them go. It wasn’t that Hamaki, Terai and Fu didn’t love Naomi, they did. They just underestimated the thought and attention that was required to raise a child.

He tidied up the room, checked diapers, changed Tsuneo and was ready for the midday meal before Shikamaru turned up looking for Sumiko.

“Haku was here,” Naruto told him.

Shikamaru nodded, went to the doorway to the other playroom and waved to Sumiko. Then he kept the babies entertained while Naruto transferred from the hovercart to his buggy.

Naruto did not like using the buggy around the babies; he worried about knocking into one of them or running over a small hand.

Then it was off to the kitchen with the triplets on board and the older children following. Naruto parked the buggy on the hover platform, locked the wheels into place and elevated the platform until he achieved a comfortable position for eating. Sasuke joined them, as planned, bringing Yuki; they had been having Papa-time.

Sasuke’s hair looked particularly glossy and unusually neat; Naruto imagined Yuki brushing it and smiled.

With Shikamaru joining them at the table, Kiba excused himself. He gave Choza a hug and promised to join him later for the midmeal before going to do whatever Kiba did to amuse himself.

Even after all this time, Naruto was not sure what that was; probably making something for one of the children.

After the midday meal it was cuddle-time in the snug, which was as much for Naruto’s sake as for the babies’ and the children’s. Today Shino and Anko were supervising the playroom, ready for children or babies who wished for something more active and freeing Biwako to spend time with Misora and Keitaro.

Naruto fell asleep with all his children on the bed and woke with only Haru. In addition there was Ran, who had crept in once all the others had gone.

He felt guilty for sleeping so long but only for a moment. He knew that Iruka was delighted that Ran felt comfortable with another adult. Perhaps it would bring forward the time when Ran was comfortable touching Kakashi.

He pulled himself into a sitting position and drew Haru into his lap. Haru, being Haru, did not wake. Ran did. He watched Naruto with Ranmaru’s eyes before drifting back into sleep.

Naruto studied Haru’s small, pale face. All the children looked small and fragile when they were sleeping; awake their personalities and energy made them seem larger and more robust.

Haru had suffered most while Naruto had been tanked. The differences he could see in the others were all positive. Hoshi was taking more of a leadership role, Ryuu was more confident and Hikaru was less determined to prove himself best. The kits had continued their physical and cognitive spurt.

Naruto wished he could control Haru’s world, like he did for his other children. He couldn’t because Haru also lived in his mind and, like Shi-chan’s, that mind had layers, depths and tunnels that Naruto could not imagine, never mind comprehend.

Perhaps Haru would not be a typed genius. Maybe he would be spared that burden. Naruto could only hope.

He spent the rest of the afternoon with the children while Kiba had the babies. Then it was the children’s evening meal.

They had changed the routine when the babies were depodded. After their evening meal, he and Sasuke put the babies to bed while the older children had a choice of being on their own, unsupervised, in their nursery or, by arrangement, with adults in other parts of the crew room. It had been a big step, one that Kiba had resisted, but Naruto had decided that it was time.

Today Sasuke was putting the babies to bed on his own while Naruto took Haru to visit the Zetsus. Haru walked beside his buggy, towing the hover platform that Naruto would use to negotiate the stairs. On the hover platform was a basket of goodies that Choza had asked them to deliver and a two pictures that Haru had drawn; one for In-san and one for En-san.

Naruto watched his son with the strange, two-part man and decided that the Zetsus’ company would be as good for Haru as it was for Shi-chan. Their needs were more important than punishing a vulnerable, fearful man for acts his protector had demanded of him.

He would work on Sasuke.

Once they were back it was bath time, bedtime and story time; Sasuke was reading them episodes from an adventure tale he had liked as a child.

Then they shared the evening meal with the rest of the family.

Finally they were alone in their room. Naruto did not give Sasuke time to think.

“Let’s have a bath,” he suggested and wheeled himself into the bathroom without waiting for a reply. He shed his clothes and swung himself from the buggy into the bath.

Kiba had fitted a moulded seat on the shelf that ran around the edge of the tub. Naruto relaxed the super-pants, pushed himself into the seat and re-tightened the pants. It was a neat trick that held him securely.

He waited. After some time he heard Sasuke stripping. Then, finally, he slid into the tub and sat at the other side.

Naruto took a few, deep breaths. He hated starting arguments but he had tried every other option with no success.

“Haku, Iruka and Neji were talking about whether we should look for another courtesan,” he began.

He watched Sasuke relax; talking about the crew’s or the children’s needs was safe territory, they did it all the time.

“I know it seems too soon, we were all so fond of C-san, but Tatsuji is so fragile and Gai is very lonely,” he continued.

Sasuke leaned back against the side of the tub. “Doing some research would not be so bad an idea,” he suggested. “Then we will be ready when the time is right.”

“They were talking about a female courtesan,” Naruto told him. “Partly to establish a real distinction between her and C-san and partly because, maybe, Asuma will need someone in the future. Tatsuji and Gai are bisexual. So is Asuma but he prefers women.”

Sasuke nodded, completely oblivious to what Naruto was about to do to him.

“Only I think the courtesan will have to be male, because you are definitely male-only,” he finished.

Sasuke took a moment or two to compute what Naruto had said. Then, despite the heat of the water, he went completely white. Naruto watched his hands tightening on the edge of the tub.

“It’s all right,” Naruto lied. “I understand why you don’t want me to touch you. It’s not like it was before. I understand that I am no longer capable of meeting your needs.”

There was a surge of water and Sasuke was on his feet. His eyes were flashing dangerously.

“I would never, ever touch anyone else,” he growled. “How dare you suggest I would fuck a whore.”

“A courtesan,” Naruto corrected calmly, although inside his heart was thumping. “I understand. You no longer find me attractive.”

“Who said I no longer find you attractive?” Sasuke yelled. “I never said anything like that. You are beautiful. I love you.”

Naruto looked directly into his eyes. “Then act like it,” he challenged.

Only instead of kissing him, as Naruto had imagined, Sasuke jumped from the tub and stormed out of the bathroom. Naruto could hear him dragging on clothes and pushing wet feet into boots.

Then he was gone from their bedroom, leaving only the sound of Naruto’s own breathing and the water lapping against the side of the tub.

Naruto felt sick. He had misjudged it. Sasuke might think him beautiful, he might love him, but he no longer desired him. What had been a ploy to provoke Sasuke into responding had turned out to be a statement of fact; a devastating truth that Naruto was going to have to accept.

He looked through the water at the orange super-pants with their jaunty black strips. He hated them; they had given him the illusion that he was more than a cripple.

For the first time since waking from the tank, he wept.

Sasuke did not know where he was going or what he was going to do when he got there.


He turned. It was Kakashi.

Kakashi grasped his upper arm, guided him into the nearest room and slid the door shut behind them. Sasuke was surprised to be touched but then realised what he must look like; wet from the bath and hastily dressed. Perhaps it was better if people did not see him in such a state.

“What’s wrong?” Kakashi asked.

It was so vast that Sasuke could not put it into words.

“Uchiha-sama!” Kakashi demanded.

Sasuke pulled himself together. “Naruto,” he croaked.

Kakashi paled. “What is wrong with Naruto? Is he hurt? Did he fall in the bath or shower? Why haven’t you called Rin?”

“He isn’t hurt,” Sasuke replied but, somehow, he knew that was not true. “He is not injured,” he clarified. “He said terrible things. He said I should use a courtesan.”

Kakashi scowled at him. “Why in known space would you need to do that?”

Sasuke stared at him. What did Kakashi expect him to say? He had never spoken to Kakashi about sex and he didn’t intend to start now.

Kakashi moved his hand to Sasuke’s shoulder and rested it there. “Like that is it? You have to be patient. Woo him. It’s natural that he will feel insecure. Make sure you make him feel as beautiful and as desirable as he did before. Show him how much you want him.”

Sasuke squirmed with embarrassment and felt himself blush. “It’s not that. He says he wants it, but how can he? He doesn’t feel anything. I’d just be...”

He didn’t get to finish the sentence because Kakashi had grabbed both his shoulders and was shaking him.

Sasuke stared at him in shock.

“You stupid, self-centred, adolescent jerk,” Kakashi accused. “Desire isn’t in your cock or balls. It’s in your mind. If he says he wants you he wants you. How do you think he feels when you reject him? By the Lady, I’d cut my own balls off with a dull knife rather than do that to Ir-chan.”

It had never occurred to Sasuke that Kakashi and Iruka were in a similar situation to him and Naruto. “You...?” he began before realising what he was about to ask and shutting his mouth with a snap.

Kakashi shook him once more. “You idiot. Yes, we fuck. Lots. I show him every day what looking at his gorgeous body does to me. I show him that he is, and always will be, the most beautiful and desirable person I could possible wish for. By the Lady, Sasuke, he’s Naruto. How could you?”

It was beginning to dawn on Sasuke how wrong he had been. His gut twisted. He imagined Naruto sitting abandoned in the bath.

“I have to get back to him,” he decided.

“That would be advisable,” Kakashi agreed. “Maybe, if you are very lucky, he will forgive you.”

Naruto heard Sasuke enter the bedroom. He pulled himself together; there was no point in indulging in self-pity. He splashed water on his face to wash away the tears.

He could hear Sasuke approaching. Naruto resolved to be sensible and realistic and understanding.

Sasuke vaulted over the side of the tub and landed, standing, in the middle of the tub. He was still fully clothed. Naruto had seen his boots as they passed over the edge of the tub and entered the water.

“I have it on good authority that I am a stupid, self-centred, adolescent jerk,” he announced. Then he leaned forward, balancing himself with one hand on the edge of the tub and tilting Naruto’s chin up with the other.

They kissed.

A second kiss followed and then a third. It felt good. Sasuke’s hand had moved from his chin down his neck to his shoulder. Now it slid down further; a thumb brushed Naruto’s nipple. It crinkled and peaked, demanding more attention.

Naruto moaned and pulled Sasuke closer by his shirt. Then his hand travelled down, through the water, to where Sasuke’s erection bulged within the constraints of his pants.

Sasuke wanted him. Being desired excited him. He gave the evidence a gentle squeeze and felt it grow. Sasuke made an interesting noise, half desire and half discomfort. Naruto squeezed again and was rewarded by hearing the noise again.

“Let him out,” Sasuke whispered into Naruto’s ear.

Instead Naruto slid both hands around to Sasuke’s back and down to his butt. He squeezed. Sasuke moaned. Then, in one smooth action, Naruto moved his hands to the backs of Sasuke’s thighs, lifted and pulled. Sasuke landed in his lap, his knees on the shelf on either side of Naruto’s seat.

Sasuke whimpered as the wet fabric of his pants was stretched across his erection. Naruto’s hands went back to his butt and squeezed.

“Let him out, please,” Sasuke pleaded.

“No,” Naruto replied and was rewarded by the sight of Sasuke arching his back in a futile effort to relieve the pressure. Naruto leaned forward and nipped the curved, pale neck.

“Please,” he repeated.

Naruto nuzzled Sasuke’s neck, nipped his earlobe and ran the sharp tips of his canines down his neck.

“Dobe!” Sasuke objected but Naruto could feel the heat radiating from his skin and smell his arousal. Perhaps Sasuke deserved some sweet torture for being such a teme.

He pushed his nails into back seam of Sasuke’s pants and pulled, popping the stitching. An exploratory finger confirmed what Naruto had already suspected; there was no second layer of fabric between him and his target.

“Naruto!” Sasuke objected as long, slender fingers explored his hole.

“What?” Naruto asked but his other arm snaked about Sasuke’s waist, holding him in place. He licked his neck, feeling the welts that his canines had raised. One fingertip pushed past Sasuke’s ring.

“You’re making it worse,” Sasuke complained, wriggling to try and find a more comfortable position and only succeeding on pushing himself further onto Naruto’s finger.

“Making what worse?” Naruto asked and nipped the junction between Sasuke’s neck and his shoulder. He ticked the edges of Sasuke’s hole with his other fingertips and enjoyed his reaction.

“Please!” Sasuke begged.

“More?” Naruto asked and probed deeper. He began massaging Sasuke’s perineum and was rewarded with an unmanly squeak.

Sasuke’s eyes flashed. “Let. Him. Out. Now,” he ordered in a dangerous voice.

Naruto smiled. “No need to get bossy, teme,” he complained. He let go of Sasuke’s waist, abandoned his hole and grasped the edges of his pants on either side of the opened seam.

One yank and the only thing holding the two parts together was the waistband. Sasuke sighed as his erection was freed.

Naruto’s hand was around it immediately. “Mine,” he insisted.

“Yours,” Sasuke agreed.

“Can you reach the lube?” Naruto asked.

Sasuke stretched out an arm. “Only if you let go,” he replied.

Naruto pumped him gently. “Not going to do that,” he admitted sliding his arm back around Sasuke’s waist and pulling him even closer. “You’ll think of something.”

It was sexy as well as fun watching Sasuke trying to concentrate on snagging the lube with his soaking wet shirt. Each time he was about to throw, Naruto would caress his knob, or tickle his balls, or slide an unexpected finger down his butt crack and past his ring.

Finally Sasuke gave up and resorted to eyelashes. “Please, dobe, I’ll be sore.”

Naruto relented, let go of Sasuke’s erection and easily reached the lube.

Sasuke thumped him on the chest. “Naruto!” he complained.

“It wasn’t close enough before,” Naruto insisted, which might have been true.

With fingers and palms well-coated, Naruto settled to the job of making his teme come. He wanted to remind Sasuke that climaxing in his lover’s hand was a thousand times better than solitary masturbation in the shower when he thought Naruto was sleeping.

He took Sasuke to the edge only to back away, again and again, until Sasuke was writhing with need. Then suddenly, without warning, Naruto pumped harder and was rewarded by Sasuke throwing back his head and screaming before collapsing onto his shoulder.

Naruto savoured the pulse of Sasuke’s ejaculation in his hand and nuzzled his neck. “Love you,” he whispered.

Sasuke was too out of it to respond.

It was a while before Sasuke could climb out of the tub. As he squelched across the bathroom, Naruto could not help but think he looked deliciously slutty wearing his boots and with his pants slit to display his butt.

The front view wasn’t too bad either.

He watched as Sasuke pulled his feet out of the boots and shed the ruined pants. Then he reached for one of the hanging handles.

“Let me carry you,” Sasuke asked. “Please.”

Naruto knew that Sasuke could lift him; he had often carried fluffy-soft-Naruto. It was just that Naruto was so keen to show that he could cope.

“This time,” he agreed. “You had better put towels on the bed.”

Sasuke grabbed a pile of towels, tossed then onto the seat of Naruto’s buggy and wheeled it into the bedroom. Naruto was touched that Sasuke had thought of parking the buggy next to the bed.

He relaxed the super-pants and pulled himself out of the seat. Then he floated; waiting.

Maybe part of him had died in the bombing. If Rin could not persuade his body to accept the transplants, fluffy-soft-Naruto and growling-possessive-Naruto were gone. No implants existed that could reverse his impotence.

He shut his eyes and remembered the way Sasuke had looked as he climaxed; it was more than enough.

“Dobe?” Sasuke asked anxiously, leaning over the tub.

Naruto opened his eyes and smiled. He pulled Sasuke closer for a kiss.

Sasuke laid him gently on the bed with its mound of towel-covered pillows. He took another towel from the pile and began wiping him and the super-pants dry.

“I should change them,” Naruto admitted.

“Do you have to?” Sasuke asked.

Naruto shook his head. “No, I just always do. Clean super-pants in bed. It’s part of the new routine.”

“Leave it this time,” Sasuke suggested. “I like these ones. They are very you.”

Naruto looked down at the bright orange pants with their jaunty black stripes. “Yes, they are,” he agreed with a smile.

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