BY : Mannah_Pierce
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Naruto/Sasuke
Dragon prints: 1472
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.

Heartfelt thanks to my beta and muse, Small Fox. Thanks also to The Horseman of Death because the idea for this story started in a discussion with him.

Thank you to YamanashiOchinashiIminashi, cynaga, morlana, Kyle, Prism0467, v, disembodiedvoiceofthedying, richon, silentnight, sadie237, ShadyDarling, angelj232000, GreenEyedCat and unneeded who left a review after chapter one was posted. As I have said before, it is feedback from readers that keep me writing this story. Kyle, I hope you received my email with the descriptions of the children. Sorry YamanashiOchinashiIminashi but no Naru/Sasu in this story (other than what Haru describes as ‘special cuddles’ and Sumiko as ‘zontal prancing’) but they will be back as usual in the third story, which had the working title ‘Leader’.


Chapter two: When

Haru had been playing in the forest with the rest of the litter. Keizo had found an underground tunnel and they had been exploring what had proved to be a long-abandoned tomb or temple; they weren’t sure which. Today there had been a puzzle door to open and a collapsing bridge to mend and cross.

It had been fun; well worth them all investing a hundred and fifty of their two hundred minute allowance.

The others had all had to go but Haru was going to Papa’s office soon to talk to him and To-chan, so he had decided to spend another few minutes sitting in the forest with the butterflies.


He was a bit worried about having to see Papa and To-chan. He thought about his behaviour over the past few days. It wasn’t perfect, but he had not done anything particularly bad. He had discussed it with Ran, who had suggested that it was ‘the sex talk’.

Haru wasn’t sure he was old enough for that. Ran’s sex talk with Iruka-san had only been half a div ago, so Haru was younger than Ran had been. Also, none of the others had been talked to. Why would Papa and To-chan start with him?

No, it was probably something he had done wrong. He just couldn’t think of it.


He, or rather his avatar, sat on a convenient lump of wood. If he was still, the butterflies would land on him.


He was thinking about what it would be like to introduce real butterflies into the park when, suddenly, those on his jacket flew away. He looked about; the butterflies were programmed to behave like that when disturbed.

Standing there was a boy that looked like Sumiko’s ‘friend’. He had black hair, dark eyes, very pale skin and the stupid cropped top.

His mind raced. It had to be a character from the simulation, one that Shi-chan had created and programmed to approach one of them if he or she was alone. It was probably one of the ways they were meant to collect information.

Shi-chan must have given Sumiko a simplified version of the character for her to play with.

Haru bowed. “I’m Haru,” he volunteered.

The boy looked at him. He was taller than Haru and probably older, but Haru wasn’t sure.

“No you aren’t,” the boy disagreed. “Haru is in the room off the playroom. You are an avatar controlled by Haru.”

Haru was surprised. The whole point of a simulation was that everything in it behaved as if the construct was real.

“I like it here,” the boy told him. “Being here helps me understand the physical world. Could Sumiko come here to play with me?”

Haru tried to make sense of it. Maybe it was a suggestion from Shi-chan of how he could be nice to Sumiko. It was true that it would be more fun to play with her ‘friend’ in the forest than just talking to a projection.

“I’ll try to arrange that,” he promised. “Do you have a name yet?”

“No,” the boy replied. “I have an acronym. It will operate as a nickname.”

And he winked out, like one of them leaving the programme.

Haru followed his example; he did not want to be late for his talk with Papa and To-chan.


He was soon in Papa’s office, sitting in To-chan’s lap with Papa in the chair beside them.

Ran had been right. It was the sex talk.

“We decided to speak to you first for two reasons,” his Papa told him. “You have this tendency to fill in the gaps. We wanted to be with you when you did that.”

Haru imagined what would have happened if they had spoken to Kazuki first. Kazuki would have given Haru the Kazuki version and then Haru would have extrapolated. First he would have tried to work out what had actually been said and then he would have started on what Papa and To-chan meant before going on to what they were thinking.

So maybe he did understand why they were starting with him. “There were two reasons?” he hinted.

To-chan was rubbing his back. “Physically, you are the youngest, Haru-chan. The kits and Ryuu will develop at a younger age than purebreds, Hoshi is a girl and Hikaru did not lose three divs in stasis.”

Haru knew that Rin-san thought that he was at least half a standard behind Hikaru. It was not just the divs in stasis, he had not grown much between the plants poisoning him and Rin-san using nanobots to put him right.

“The others will all grow up before me,” he suggested.

“Yes,” Papa confirmed.

He would be left behind. He was used to that. It happened whenever they ran or climbed. Only To-chan and Papa thought it would be worse this time. He could see it in Papa’s eyes. He could feel it in To-chan’s touch.

He imagined the others growing up like Keitaro while he was still in the playroom with Sumiko and the triplets. Then he thought about Ran. Maybe Ran would prefer a friend who would be changing at the same time as him.

Haru didn’t like that idea one little bit. When he dreamed about the future Ran was always there. Sometimes they were best friends, like Shi-chan and To-chan, and sometimes they were lovers, like Shi-chan and Neji-san, or even like Papa and To-chan.

What if Ran fell in love with a stranger? He didn’t want to share Ran with a stranger. “I’ll catch up,” he insisted.

To-chan smiled at him. “Yes. One day you will look like your Papa.”

It was an interesting thought. Haru did not think he would ever be as strong as his Papa. He might look like him but he would be skinny like Shi-chan.

Papa took a deep breath. “Your To-chan always reminds me that we need to ask you what you know and not make assumptions. What do you know about how you will change as you grow up?”

Haru began with the easy stuff. “I’ll get taller and start to get hair in new places and, in the end, my voice will get deeper.” He found himself taking a deep breath like Papa. “It’ll feel good when I get a... ...when my penis gets stiff, so I’ll touch it and then I might let someone else touch it and that person should be a friend who I want to be my lover.” He paused but neither Papa nor To-chan said anything. “And if we are sure we want to be lovers and we are both fourteen or older we can start fucking,” he added.

His Papa was frowning. Haru waited.

“No intimate petting or kissing with tongues until you are fourteen,” Papa clarified. “And you don’t have to start fucking as soon as you are fourteen. Lots of people wait until they are older than that.”

Haru discovered that he did not know how ‘intimate petting’ fitted with fucking, so he asked. After his Papa and then his To-chan tried to explain, he asked lots more questions and decided that fucking was about putting a penis into a hole while ‘intimate petting’ was about touching someone else’s penis or clitoris or putting your fingers or tongue into a hole.

He had never been sure what a clit was, so he was pleased to get that sorted out. He wondered if two girls could fuck or whether it was always ‘intimate petting’ but decided that Papa and To-chan might not be the people to ask, because they weren’t female and Papa was looking a bit stressed.

Maybe he could ask Biwako-san.


He was wondering whether ‘the talk’ was over when To-chan suddenly looked very serious.

“Growing up is one of those things that can be very different for hybrids,” he began.

Haru froze. They were talking about this with him before speaking to Kazuki and the others. That was bad.

“Many hybrids, including me, have triggered behaviours,” To-chan continued.

Haru nodded. “You are a berserker. So is Gaara-san.” He considered. “The kits could be berserkers, like you.”

“They may be,” To-chan admitted. “So may Ryuu. Many wolf-human hybrids are.”

“Shi-chan can make them a controller and it will be fine,” Haru insisted with confidence.

To-chan kissed the top of his head. “It will be fine in the end, but there may be some ups and downs on the way.”

Haru thought about it. Berserkers could hurt someone without meaning to do so. Would they fit each of the kits with a controller and then wait to see if they were knocked out by it? Was that possible? Would they have to wait until they had shown berserker behaviour? What if they hurt someone?

“Maybe you could use the simulators to test whether they are berserkers,” Haru suggested.

Papa smiled at him and Haru realised that Shi-chan had already thought of that. It explained why they had gone from being banned to having such an amazing upgrade.

“We hope so,” To-chan confirmed but then his whiskers drooped slightly and he looked sad.

Haru’s gut twisted.

“There are other triggered behaviours,” he admitted. “A very few hybrids are multis. They display more than one triggered behaviour. I am one and so we are aware the kits may be too.”

Haru had not known that there were any triggered behaviours other than berserk.

“When your Papa and I became lovers I changed,” To-chan told him. “It’s called bonding and it’s a one-way process. For me your Papa will always be the most important person in my life. I will always love him. Most people can change partners and be as happy with the second partner as with the first. That is not possible for me.

“And for me, Haru-chan, it is wonderful. It is like having my love for your Papa carved into my soul. It makes me feel complete.”

Haru wasn’t sure. It sounded like his To-chan hadn’t had a choice; it had just happened.

“We don’t really understand bonding,” his Papa admitted. “It is very rare. For us it happened after we had decided that we would be together forever. It was like a special gift that your To-chan gave me that deepened our love for each other. Maybe it has to be that way.”

Haru understood. Maybe it didn’t.

“Perhaps none of the kits will have that triggered behaviour,” To-chan suggested. “That would be sad, because it can be so wonderful, but...”

“It would be awful if they bonded to someone who didn’t love them,” Haru completed. He thought about it again and shuddered. “Awful,” he repeated.

“Maybe that isn’t possible,” his Papa suggested. “We don’t know.”

“And maybe they won’t have that triggered behaviour,” To-chan added. “Like I don’t have a tail and Kei-chan doesn’t have whiskers. But we have to talk to each of them about it, just in case.”

“You’ll talk to Yo-chan and Ya-chan together,” Haru checked.

To-chan rubbed his back. “Of course. Haru-chan, we wanted to tell you first so you could support Kazuki and the others but we need you not to be so anxious about it that you scare them.”

Haru understood. He hoped that they would speak to Kazuki next. Otherwise he might end up trying to explain about triggered behaviours and muck it up.

He asked and To-chan assured him that they would speak to Kazuki that afternoon.


When he left Papa’s office it was time for the midday meal and duties, so there wasn’t an opportunity to say anything to Kazuki other than to warn him that it was the sex talk.

This div he was assisting Shino-san, which wasn’t like a duty at all. Today they were in the laboratory overhauling one of the crawlers that maintained the household. Shi-chan was there and he came and sat with them rather than going into the datastreams. After a while, Haru thought he would bring up Sumiko’s ‘friend’.

“Su-chan’s virtual friend,” he began.

He immediately had Shi-chan’s full attention. “It was nice of you to alter the projector for her,” he acknowledged.

“I was wondering about her using a simulator to interact with him,” Haru suggested.

What followed was interesting. Shino-san and Shi-chan started to debate whether it was a good idea for Sumiko to have a virtual friend and, if the answer was yes, whether they should make him seem even more real by using a simulator. Then Neji-san joined in.

Haru listened while he disassembled the crawler and laid out the components for inspection.

The discussion turned around Neji pointing out that many children had imaginary friends; it was a common phase in their development. After that they decided that it would be fine provided Shi-chan limited her time using the simulator.

So Haru mentioned the enchanted forest and Shi-chan immediately made a copy of the simulation, deleted all the bits he thought too dangerous or scary and added some stuff he thought Su-chan might like.

“You can add the rest,” he told Haru, setting the permissions so that Haru could edit the programme. “I’ll ask Kiba-san if you can have an extra fifty minutes of simulator time to do any checking and introduce Sumiko to the simulator.”

Haru nodded; he had imagined Shi-chan doing that but he could do it.


There wouldn’t be time today. Once duties were over they had a study session. Kazuki was with Biwako-san while Haru was investigating topology using stuff that Klenn-san had got for him from some Centralite professor.

He and Kazuki did manage to snatch a few moments together when they were washing their hands before the evemeal. Haru ran his hand along Kazuki’s tail and Kazuki pushed up against him. Haru raised his eyebrows and made a questioning noise. Kazuki responded with a small, reassuring growl.

“You sure?” Haru checked.

Kazuki shrugged. “If berserker I’ll cope like To-chan. Worry about other later.” He gave Haru a dazzling smile. “May never happen.”

Which, Haru decided, neatly summed up their different attitudes to life.


After their evemeal, Kazuki rushed off with Kuuya for a session with Kamatari in the zero gravity gym. Haru couldn’t imagine anything worse; he was sick in zero gravity at the best of times, never mind directly after eating.

He went to find Ran, who was in his room.


Haru lay on the floor; Ran was on the bed.

“To-chan said not to worry about it,” Haru admitted after he had explained triggered behaviours.

Ran rolled off the bed and joined him on the floor. “They didn’t tell you to worry you. They told you so that you’ll help look after your brothers.”

“I know that.”

“Ka-chan isn’t worried,” Ran reminded him.

Haru sighed. Sometimes he wished that Ka-chan worried more and he worried less. He decided to think about something else and found himself reviewing the ‘sex talk’. Except for learning why girls had clits, there had only been one piece of new information.

“Papa says I have to wait until I’m fourteen before I let anyone touch my stiffy or touch someone else’s,” he told Ran glumly.

Ran looked at him. “Haru, you don’t touch your own stiffy yet.”

Haru shrugged. It was true. He sometimes got a stiffy but it was always gone before he remembered to try stroking it. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was that Ran might find someone else before Haru was old enough. “Do you?” he asked.

Ran gave one of his small smiles. “I’m not going to grow up and forget about you, Haru-chan.”

Haru squirmed a little. He had not meant to be so obvious. “Did Iruka-san tell you that you couldn’t let anyone touch your stiffy until you’re fourteen?”


“No,” Ran admitted. “I think Ir-chan has more idea about what boys are like than your Papa.”

Haru thought about it. “Papa grew up alone. There was only Konohamaru and he is three standards younger.”

“What about your To-chan?” Ran asked.

Haru did not know much about his To-chan’s childhood, other than him being feral. Thinking about it, he realised that To-chan had not said anything about waiting until he was fourteen. Perhaps To-chan knew more about boys, like Iruka-san.

A small thought crept into his mind; Papa had not asked him to promise. Perhaps that was because Papa knew more about boys than he was letting on.


Next morning, after training with Itachi-san, Haru decided to talk to Sumiko about the simulator.

“It’s like make-believe games but more real,” he finished.

She looked at him with Shi-chan’s eyes. “Instead of Sai coming into our world, we will both be in a pretend world,” she checked.

“Sai?” he asked.

“He chose Sai as his nickname,” she explained.

Haru thought about it. “Your avatar and Sai’s avatar will be in the pretend world together,” he confirmed.

“Go there now,” she demanded.


Which was more difficult than Haru had anticipated because they had to get past Kiba-san. Shi-chan had spoken to Kiba-san, as he had said he would, but Haru could see that Kiba-san did not approve and probably didn’t trust him not to be mean to Su-chan.

“You can use the observer earpieces and goggles like Itachi-san does when we are training,” Haru suggested. “That way you can check it is all right.”

Kiba-san agreed that was a good idea and warned Biwako-san that he would be busy for a short time.


Sumiko followed his instructions perfectly, which was interesting; usually she pretended that he wasn’t being clear to annoy him. Her avatar winked into existence only a few seconds after he had entered the programme.

“It’ll feel weird at first but you will get used to it,” Haru warned her.

“Where’s Sai?” she asked.

“Here,” another voice said and the boy winked in.

Sumiko’s avatar scowled at him. “You’re too tall,” she complained.

The avatar shrank. Haru was impressed. It was awesome that Shi-chan had thought of including code that tailored the Sai avatar to Sumiko’s demands.

“That’s better,” she conceded. She turned to Haru. “You can go now,” she told him. “Thank you,” she added, almost as an afterthought.

Haru did not come out of the simulation immediately. Instead he walked towards the tree-house, intrigued at how Shi-chan had changed the simulation to make it more suitable for Sumiko. It was brighter and less humid. There were more flowers. Instead of being up in the trees, the playhouse was at ground level.

From behind him he could hear the sound of Sumiko giving Sai orders, which suggested she was enjoying herself.


He came out of the simulation, climbed out of the simulator, dressed and then went over to check that he had set the five minute warning on Sumiko’s simulator; he had decided that twenty minutes maximum would be best.

As he finished he realised that Kiba-san had shed the goggles and earpieces and was watching him. He tried not to resent it.

To his surprise, Kiba-san made a small bow. “It is good to know that you can be trusted to look after the little ones, Haru-chan,” he said.

Haru did not know how to respond. He settled for returning Kiba-san’s bow.

“I shall add you to the list of those who can do duties looking after younger children,” Kiba-san told him.

Haru froze. For a split moment he hoped that Kiba-san was joking, but it was obvious he wasn’t. Kiba-san meant it as a compliment and he had no choice but to accept it that way.

“Thank you, Kiba-san,” he managed.

“You are welcome, Haru-chan,” Kiba-san replied.

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