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’.

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 chapter does include some Sasuke and Naruto action.

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

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 who have left a review, partiicularly disembodiedvoiceofthedying, Gaia77, meow-ku, v, SidonieStarr, Prism0467, sadie237 and cynaga who left one for chapter 40. I truly appreciate them.

Chapter forty-one: Presents

Life was, finally, returning to normal. The evacuees who had chosen not to remain in the Warren were on their way to either Kaze V or Haven, the new space station. The Oak was following a route that would take them via number of intermediate destinations, including Naruto’s Planet, back to Tarrasade. At this point they were in a system renowned for its ship fitters, restocking the Oak’s cargo holds and sorting out the levels that had been used as dormitories.

It was the evening of a blissfully uneventful day. The children were in bed and, after some time chatting to others in the shared area of the crew room, Naruto and Sasuke were taking their places for the evening meal. At each place was a thin, oblong package inscribed with the person’s name. Naruto watched as Sasuke picked his up and slit the outer layer open with a swipe of his knife. He slid a card from within, read the writing on it and then looked at Shikamaru.

Shikamaru merely smiled.

Naruto managed to get his card out. It was an invitation for him to come the next day to one of the lower levels for the midday meal and the afternoon that followed. The children were included.

“Is it formal?” Sasuke asked.

Naruto remembered the kamishimo he had worn to the children’s naming ceremony and shuddered.

“No,” Shikamaru replied. “Wear whatever you like wearing. Maybe your orange shirt, Na-chan,” he added.

Naruto liked that idea. He turned the card in his hands. “How does Sasuke know it is from you?” he asked.

Sasuke smiled. “It is my job to know about special days. Tomorrow is a special day for Shika-san.”

“Ten standards,” Shikamaru told him. “Tomorrow it is ten standards since the day Iruka-sensei and Kakashi-san came to speak with my parents about me catting on the Silver Leaf.”

Kiba had decided to tell the children it was an adventure, which made it easier to get them ready. When the time came, Kakashi brought the train around to the playroom and they piled in. Naruto and Sasuke walked behind, their fingers intertwined. Sasuke was wearing a white silk shirt, like the one Kakashi had refused to allow him to wear to the club in Tarrasade five standards before. Naruto’s shirt was an even more eye-watering shade of orange than the original.

Finally, after making their way down seven levels, they came to a pair of large, golden doors. As the train approached they slid open revealing a wonderland.

It took a few minutes for Naruto to realise that it was all real; Shikamaru had refitted an entire, double height level. They started to explore. In one area there were slender, white barked trees and the ground was covered in flowers. There was an onsen that was more luxurious than Naruto could possibly have imagined. In the centre was a large, open area to one side of which was a paddling pool and the most complex climbing frame he had ever seen. Next to the climbing frame was a child-sized playhouse built of real bricks with hinged windows and doors. Naruto watched Hikaru run towards the house.

“To-chan, To-chan,” he was shouting. “It is made of bricks, like the play bricks but real.”

Shikamaru materialised as if from nowhere with Inari beside him. “We left the outside wall for you to finish, Hi-chan,” he said, pointing to the foundations of a wall that ran around the garden and box of bricks. “One day you can build it,” he added.

Naruto blinked back tears as he watched Hikaru run to Shikamaru and hug him; Hikaru had always resented Shikamaru because of the bond between him and Haru.

“I’ll show you how to mix the mortar,” Inari promised. “That’s the stuff that holds the bricks together. My grandfather taught me.”

Hikaru left Shikamaru and ran to Naruto, who lifted him up so that they were face to face.

“Shika-san built the house out of bricks because I like bricks,” Hikaru informed him.

Naruto kissed him, delighted to see him so happy. Then he put him down and watched him tow Inari over to Ryuu.

“They will be fine,” Shikamaru told him. “I asked everyone else to arrive a little earlier. They are spread all over the level. They will watch the children.”

“It’s amazing, Shi-chan,” Naruto declared. He turned to Sasuke. “Did you know?”

“That he wanted a whole level of the ship, yes. That he would do this with it, no,” admitted Sasuke. “How much...?” he began.

Shikamaru interrupted him. “That is a forbidden question,” he insisted. “Uchiha would never do this. It is too frivolous and too tasteless. Far too indulgent.” He thrust his hands into his pockets. “We need this. Everywhere we go we have to worry about security. The only exception is Naruto’s planet and it is too wild for the children. Now we have our own retreat, our own place for days out.”

“It will stay like this?” Naruto asked.

“That is the idea,” Shikamaru admitted. “It is loaded with hidden technology to maintain it. We can alter it as the children get older or we decide we need a change.”

“And you and Neji get to fuck in woods,” Sasuke observed slyly.

Shikamaru grinned at him. “And in an onsen,” he added.

“Shi-chan did not do all this to give him and Neji new places to fuck,” Naruto complained once Shikamaru had gone to speak with other guests and they were walking over to where Iruka and Haku were helping Choza set out a picnic.

Sasuke stopped and waited until Naruto halted and turned to face him. “I know that, dobe. He does it for you. Last time you were too busy and too stressed he bought you a planet. This time he has done this.”

Naruto felt his skin flush. “I meant that he does it for the family,” he muttered.

“I am sure he was thinking about the family when he designed it,” Sasuke agreed amicably. He looked towards the woods. “Maybe the trees are for him. I hope so.” He took Naruto’s hand and squeezed it. “We have all been pushed hard recently, but Shika-san more than most. First one solution to an impossible problem and then another.”

Naruto knew that saving the hybrids had been close to miraculous.

“Neji says that he blames himself for Inoichi’s death,” Sasuke told him. “He thinks he should have anticipated the sabotage.”

Naruto’s mind went into a whirl. It would always be Shi-chan’s plan. They would always be in a situation of Shikamaru’s devising. He imagined how Shi-chan would be if it had been one of the youngsters rather than Inoichi. Then, in a moment of awful clarity, he saw how Shi-chan would be if it were him or Sasuke.

“Kakashi-sensei,” he decided.

Sasuke looked at him questioningly.

“I will tell Kakashi-sensei what Shi-chan is thinking,” Naruto told him. “He is the person to make Shi-chan see sense. I shall find him now and speak with him.”

“You are sure?” Sasuke queried.

“Quite sure,” Naruto assured him. “You check on the children. I shall speak with Kakashi-sensei.”

It was not hard to spot Kakashi. He was where he could watch Iruka. Naruto sat down beside him.

“Shi-chan,” he said without a preamble.

Kakashi looked at him with his single eye.

“Shi-chan blames himself for Inoichi’s death,” he began.

Kakashi’s eye went back to Iruka. “I know.”

“Which implies that he will blame himself for every death that happens when there is an operation,” Naruto continued.

Kakashi stiffened slightly. The eye came back to him. “You think I can do something?”

“Shikaku-san is not here to speak with him but you are,” Naruto observed. Then he began watching Sasuke, who had joined Iruka. He had Hoshi and Yuki with him. Kuuya, Keizo, Kazuki, Yoshimi, Yasushi, Ryuu and Hikaru were on the climbing frame; Kiba was watching them. He wondered where Haru had got to; perhaps he was with Shikamaru.

“By now I should know better than to underestimate you, Naruto-san,” Kakashi admitted.

Naruto stood up. “I leave it in your hands. I need to check on Haru.”

He followed his nose. Haru was in the onsen. He was not the only one. Shikamaru and Neji were taking advantage of the privacy they thought was afforded by one of the smaller, enclosed pools. Naruto crept up behind Haru, who had his eye fixed to a crack, and managed to bear him away before he had a chance to squeak or speak.

Naruto placed him on the ground once they were a suitable distance away. “What have we told you about spying?” he asked severely.

Haru did not flinch. “I went there to play with my tablet,” he explained. “Then they came in. I looked to see what they were doing. They were busy.”

Naruto sighed. Where to start? Haru was obsessed with the tablet. Shikamaru had hoped to distract him from plotting to access the data streams by giving him a standalone computer with carefully checked information in its memory. It had worked, but Haru spent far too long staring at the screen.

“Did Kiba-san say you could bring the tablet?” Naruto asked.

“He said we could bring our favourite toy,” Haru told him with confidence.

Naruto sighed. “Ha-chan, today is a day to be with other people, not a day to spend playing on your tablet. Shi-chan had built this wonderful place for us to share as a family.” There was something else not right. Haru was not usually so anti-social. “What happened before you decided to play with your tablet?”

Haru looked away; bullseye.

“Haru-chan?” Naruto asked.

“Hi-chan was boasting that the playhouse had been built for him. He kept asking what part Shi-chan had built for me,” Haru told him. “I left.” His blue eyes came back to hold Naruto’s gaze. “Papa says I should leave rather than say the things that come into my head.”

Naruto imagined spending the rest of the day with Haru getting to the bottom of why he had been spying in the onsen. “What type of things?”

“Things that are true but will make Hi-chan cross,” Haru admitted.

Naruto was not sure what to think. Was Sasuke right? Should Haru always back down?

“Papa is right,” Haru assured him, as if he had heard Naruto’s unspoken question. “Hi-chan wants to fight. I don’t. If I join in, he wins.”

Naruto decided to try a different tack. “What about putting your tablet away for now?” he asked.

Haru considered and then nodded. He slipped the tablet into the satchel he was wearing.

“And no more spying,” Naruto added, picking him up.

Haru smiled at him. “Does your pee-pee get big and hard? Does Papa suck it like a lollipop?”

Naruto took a deep breath and began the thankless task of explaining privacy to Shikamaru’s son.

Sometime later Sasuke was making neat work of demolishing one of Choza’s pies. His eyes were shining and, between bites, he smiled.

“It will be your turn next,” Naruto warned. “You know what he’s like once he starts asking about something.”

“I did babies,” Sasuke reminded him.

Naruto checked the whereabouts of the children “Fucking is a hundred times worse than babies.”

“We stick to what we decided,” Sasuke reminded him. “It is an adult thing, between adults who love each other.”

Naruto thought of some of the questions Haru had asked before Naruto had distracted him with ice cream. “Good luck with that,” he replied.

They helped tidy up the picnic, played with the children in the paddling pool and then, with help from Kiba, Choza, Konohamaru and Ranmaru, carried the tired children back to the playroom for a rest in the nests.

Naruto went towards one of the rocking chairs.

“You and Sasuke-sama go back to the party,” Kiba told him, settling into the other chair. “It is Shika-san’s special day and it won’t be the same for him if the two of you aren’t there.”

Naruto hesitated.

“Go on,” Kiba insisted. “Choza is going to sort a few things out in the galley and then he’ll join me here. We’ll be fine.” He scowled. “If you insist, you can pay me back another day.”

By the time they returned all the children and many of the adults had gone. Dotted about what had been the picnic area were some couples: Naruto saw Shino and Anko and Dan and Rin as well as Konohamaru and Ranmaru, who had returned before them. Craning his neck, he spotted Inari lying with his head in Tayuya’s lap. He nudged Sasuke.

“I see, dobe,” Sasuke retorted. “I wonder who Moegi is with, Kamatari or Sumaru?” he added.

Naruto almost stopped walking.

Sasuke chuckled. “Don’t go all wide-eyed on me. Apparently she prefers Sumaru but he has her on short rations, so she makes do with Kamatari.”

Naruto’s mind scrabbled about, trying to find purchase.

“Which is fine with Kamatari because he would fuck any female who would let him,” Sasuke added.

“Sumaru?” Naruto queried, deciding that was the weirdest part of what Sasuke had told him.

“He probably has it scheduled on a once per ten day cycle,” Sasuke suggested.

“Teme!” Naruto complained. “How do you know all this?” he asked.

“Neji. He keeps me up to date. He thinks it is important that I know.”

They walked towards where Neji and Iruka were sitting. Neither Kakashi nor Shikamaru were with them; Naruto hoped that meant that Kakashi-sensei was talking to Shi-chan. They stood up as Naruto and Sasuke approached.

“We were wondering about the communal onsen,” Iruka suggested.

“I think all the smaller pools are occupied by couples or trios,” Neji admitted.

“Sounds good,” Kakashi said, walking up behind Iruka. His one eye went to Naruto and he smiled. “Shika-san is watching the leaves move. He says it’s an inadequate substitute for watching clouds. Maybe you could go and tell him we’ll be in the onsen, Naru-kun.”

Shikamaru was lying on his back among the trees, his hands behind his head. Naruto lay down beside him.

“I picked birch trees because the leaves made a silvery noise when they move,” Shikamaru told him. “Then I had to make a breeze to move them.”

Naruto listened. The leaves did make a sound as they moved. He wondered if he heard the same sound as Shi-chan.

“Kakashi-san asked me if I blamed him for Inoichi’s death,” Shikamaru told him. “I said of course not and he asked why not, because he had picked me out and made me the voice in Sasuke Uchiha’s ear. He said that I would not be making any of the decisions, if it had not been for him. He said that, in that way, he was responsible for everything.”

Naruto turned his head and studied his friend’s profile. There was a track made by tears that had flowed from the corner of his eye.

“And, stupidly, it helped,” Shikamaru admitted.

“It was Inoichi’s choice,” Naruto reminded him. “It was a brave and good decision.”

Shikamaru turned his head and their eyes met. “I know,” Shikamaru admitted. “You had your microphone on when the bullets hit you,” he added. “The sound you made...” His voice trailed away and tears welled in his eyes.

Naruto had not known. In his mind’s eye he saw Shikamaru on the Sakura, at the mercy of his ferociously fertile imagination. He gathered Shikamaru to him and held him close. It was not something he did often. It reminded him how much he and Sasuke had grown and matured; Shikamaru felt fragile in comparison.

“Neji does not look after you well enough,” he complained.

“He tries,” Shikamaru replied, his voice muffled by Naruto’s shirt. “I can be very difficult, Na-chan. There are all these places in my head. That’s why I need you all so much.”

“We are a family,” Naruto insisted. He rubbed Shikamaru’s back, listening to his breathing and sampling his scent. Slowly both came to a better place. “The others have gone to the communal onsen,” Naruto told him. He pushed Shikamaru gently to arms’ length and smiled. “We could tell Kakashi-sensei and Neji about Sasuke’s meeting with Sakura-san,” he suggested.

“You didn’t have to make such a performance out of it,” Sasuke complained as they walked back up the levels later that evening.

Naruto ignored his scowl. “Shi-chan mimics you really well,” he observed.

“Your Sakura-san could have done with some work,” Sasuke countered.

“I thought it was rather fetching,” Naruto replied. He clasped his hands and fluttered his eyelashes. “Oh, Sasuke-sama, I can’t believe I am meeting you in person,” he squealed. “Oh, Sasuke-sama, your children are so cute, especially the ones that look just like you.”

Sasuke’s scowl deepened. “The children are cute,” he mumbled.

“Think of it as a present to Shi-chan. He needed cheering up.” Naruto took pity on him. “I’ll make it up to you,” he promised. He smiled seductively.

He had a plan. If he could turn berserk and stay in control, surely he could manage to fuck without turning into fluffy-soft-Naruto or growling-possessive-Naruto? It wasn’t that he disliked being either; he just wanted the option of a quick fuck.

Training had been the key to mastering berserker-Naruto, so Naruto’s plan involved lots of practice.

A remarkably short time later they were both naked and he had Sasuke flat on his back on their bed.

“You sure, sweetheart?” Sasuke asked as Naruto positioned his hole over Sasuke’s erection.

“Yes,” Naruto answered, impaling himself slowly but steadily. He watched the flow of emotions across Sasuke’s face and body: the way his hands clutched the bedcovers, the arch of his neck and the way he bit his lip. “You aren’t allowed to do anything.”

He started to move. It was a challenge. Too many hits on his button and he would become fluffy-soft-Naruto. Every time he felt himself close to the edge he changed the angle and, if that wasn’t enough, he would stroke his erection, sending himself towards growling-possessive-Naruto. After a while he felt he had the balance right and was managing to establish a rhythm. He could see that it was working. Sasuke was well on his way to his climax.

“Stop, dobe,” Sasuke said suddenly.

Naruto was not sure he had heard correctly.

“Naruto, sweetheart, stop,” Sasuke repeated. “Please.”

Naruto stopped moving. He felt Sasuke’s erection soften immediately.

Sasuke stroked his thighs. “Sweetheart, it doesn’t work for me if you aren’t enjoying it.”

Naruto felt a flush burst across his skin and tears prickled his eyes. “I am. I want to do this,” he insisted but Sasuke rolled him over, pulled out and lay down beside him, propped up on one elbow. His fingers combed through Naruto’s hair.

“Tell me what you are trying to achieve,” Sasuke suggested. “Maybe I can help.”

Naruto flushed again. It was times like this when he missed fluffy-soft-Naruto. Sasuke never expected fluffy-soft-Naruto to answer questions. “I want to be able to climax without switching,” he admitted.

Sasuke grimaced. “We both want that, dobe. Then you could have more than one orgasm in a day.”

Naruto sighed. “Then we could have a quickie, like normal couples,” he explained.

Sasuke smiled at him. “There is nothing normal about us, we are exceptional. Extraordinary.” He was suddenly serious. “You are the most amazing person in known space, Naruto.”

Naruto felt suddenly shy. “Only to you,” he whispered.

Sasuke kissed his nose. “Who else counts?” he asked.

“No one,” Naruto admitted.

Sasuke frowned, obviously thinking. “What about both?”

“Both what?” Naruto asked.

“I’ll fuck you and give you a hand job at the same time. You concentrate on not switching.”

Naruto remembered the few occasions when he had swung from fluffy-soft-Naruto to growling-possessive-Naruto, including the time he had hurt Sasuke so badly that Rin had been alerted.

“If you start growling, I’ll stop pulling you and we’ll go for fluffy-soft-Naruto,” Sasuke added. “Deal?”

Maybe it would be easier if he only had to think about the switching, rather than controlling the stimulus. “Deal,” Naruto agreed.

Within minutes Naruto did not care if it never worked. It was amazing. Sasuke was an expert at hitting his button and, once they had found a position that left his arm free, proved remarkably skilled at stroking him. It was as if he was across an arc of pleasure, pushed towards fluffy-soft-Naruto at one end and towards growling-possessive-Naruto at the other. He was writhing against the bedcovers giving little yips and pants. His hands were clutching at anything available; Sasuke was being careful to keep his hair well away.

For a moment Naruto was resentful that Sasuke could concentrate enough to worry about his hair. Then the thought was gone, fried by the intensity of his desire. It was as if the ends were being pulled further apart and, at the same time, the arc rose, stretching Naruto across its crest.

He almost panicked. If Sasuke stopped hitting his button that end would be released and he would shoot towards growling-possessive Naruto.

Only he didn’t. Neither did he stop fisting Naruto’s erection. The ends were secure and the crest was rising higher and higher, stretching Naruto further and thinner.

His sight went first, then his hearing and finally, his sense of smell. He saw stars, heard song and smelt... ...something.

He exploded. A tsunami of pleasure spread out from his groin through every iota of his being.

He was dimly aware of Sasuke’s orgasmic scream.

Sasuke was smiling at him. He looked smug. Naruto decided to forgive him. Maybe a little smugness was justified.

“That was nice,” Naruto told him.

Sasuke smug expression vanished. “Nice?” he queried.

Naruto smiled at him. “For a quickie,” he added.

Sasuke smiled back. “You are you,” he whispered, kissing Naruto on the lips. He lifted his hand, displaying the evidence. “You came but there isn’t a knot.”

Naruto checked. “We could do the knot-thing later,” he suggested. He curled around a pillow. “We could have a shower, or talk, or...”

“Cuddle,” Sasuke finished for him, pulling Naruto closer.

“Or cuddle,” Naruto agreed.

Cuddling with Sasuke was always good, whichever Naruto he happened to be.

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