A/N: Happy New Year!
Here's a gift to you all as we ring it in!
Be sure to read this Author's Note, its important.
Quick refresher for those who've forgotten.
At present Naruto has "winged" the following: Akitsu, Uzume, Karasuba, Yomi, Kusano, Yashima, Matsu, Tsukiumi, Homura, as well as Mina.
THAT'S TEN SEKIREI.
Waaaaaaay more than I intended when I first started this story!
Even with all that biju chakra housed within him, he has his limits. Extraordinarily high ones, but limits nonetheless. So, alas, he won't be getting many-IF ANY!-more Sekirei. One or two at the most, then that's bloody it! Any more than that and the girls won't get their well-deserved screentime. As things stand, a few of the girls might go their own way, travel the world, lead their own lives, or so on, come the epilogue. Ah, but that would be telling now, wouldn't it?
Now, to other matters.
Yeah, I was gone for awhile.
Now before you break out your torches and pitchforks, here me out. This story-among others-got flagged awhile back for having excessive M-Rated material awhile back. In short, I was told by the admins, moderators or what-have-you that I had to filter out the excess naughty bits-in a SEKIREI STORY OF ALL THINGS-or I couldn't keep this story up. Yeah. That's why the lemons are gone for this story, among others. They aren't coming back. I'm not allowed to repost them for this fic or those that were taken down. Now I know a LOT of stories that make my sex scenes look TAME by comparison, but for the sake of you the readers, I complied with their wishes.
I guess you could say it broke me.
Censoring my stories all but drained me of my inspiration because lets face it, I put a lot of hard work into said scenes and to take them away crushed me.
But there are rules and we've gotta follow them.
To top it all off the manga itself ended awhile ago in a way I didn't expect, and that left me flailing for answers as well.
But those of you dedicated to this story lifted me back up and restored my fighting spirit.
I've gotten this far and gosh darn it, I'm going to finish this!
We've only got a few chapters left!
And the epilogue, of course!
Major reveals abound!
Let's do this!
Also, to clarify, Minato hasn't dwelt in Maison Izumo for some time now. It was stated at the beginning of chapter ten; he and Musubi have since found a place of their own. Yet he still has a role to play in this story. Its also hinted that Minato has since managed to wing another Sekirei...
...now, I'm off to celebrate, so I'll see you guys and gals later~!
"What do you want from me?"
A Graceful Breeze
Kazehana exhaled aloud in a sharp satisfied sigh as she polished off the last of her bottle. One of many. The burning sensation of alcohol seared its way down her throat with a vengeance and yawning, the windy woman languidly stretched her body against the roof of Maison Izumo. Warmed by the gentle rays of the sun as much as the fresh sake coursing through her veins, the single-number reclined comfortably upon the tiles, content to watch the sun begin its slow descent into darkness. The day was late, that great fiery orb only just beginning to dip toward the horizon and she had nowhere else to be. Thus, she was quite content to let her mind wander where it may and the wind take her where it willed.
Nor did she have to fear an attack.
After all North-and by definition this humble inn-was one of the most secure places one could ask for these days.
Especially in light of Naruto and Miya's rampage.
When those two finally returned from their little falling-out Kazehana had sensed something was amiss-that things had changed between them. Irrevocably. She'd been right. That age-old tension fraught with mischief had vanished, replaced by a comfortable silence. It was then that she knew. Sensed it. The bond, almost visible in its intensity. Her old friend did not cling to him nor did she make any claims to him...or so she assumed before Miya had tossed Naruto into her room and sealed the door behind them.
Neither had emerged for the rest of the day.
Now they were planning to strike at three pillars that made up the very core of the Sekirei plan.
Mikogami Hayato, Ashikabi of the South.
Sanada Nishi, Ashikabi of the West.
Higa Izumi, Ashikabi of the East.
Kazehana could understand Naruto's enmity towards the latter, considering the man had actively impeded and otherwise attempted to threaten him in the past. Even Mikogami had otherwise been a thorn in the shinobi's side once upon a time. What she didn't understand was his sudden animosity towards Sanada. She'd met the man once upon a time and he seemed a decent enough sort, if a bit brutish. It seemed cruel to lump him in with those two solely for the sake of success.
Not that any of it was her concern.
After all, she wasn't particularly allied with them, was she?
There had been other talk of espionage and other ninja jargon that sailed straight over her head, but she knew enough from her days in the Disciplinary Squad to see what they were planning. A coordinated strike against the three major powers, not only to take them down, but to free the Sekirei some had winged by force. It was a bold plan and a noble one at that, if a touch heavy-handed. Karasuba was all for it of course, she delighted in such base acts, glorying in the potential for battle beside her destined one. Uzume and Homura had voiced token objections of their own in turn; a protest that was swiftly silenced when they were made to understand the depth of Hayato and Izumi's depravity. Inevitably Tsukiumi and the rest were pulled along by Naruto's sheer charisma on the matter.
Speaking of charisma...
"Matsu! What are you doing?! Unhand mine husband at once, knave!"
Naruto's exasperated voice answered her a heartbeat later.
"Oi now, what did I say about calling me that-HEY!"
"You'll have to catch me first, Tsukiumi-tan!"
"COME BACK HERE!"
A strangled squawk from the water-wielder in question drew a small smile to Kazehana's lips as she listened to their brief banter, as she heard their footsteps rapidly recede below. Good girl, that one. Bit uptight perhaps, but her heart was well in the right place. She'd find her way soon enough. Entertaining as it might be to climb down from the roof and join in their little squabble, she found she didn't have the heart to do so. Of course, I don't. I'm a coward. A tiny spark of self-loathing flickered to life in her chest and she seized her last bottle and slammed it against her lips, knocking it back in a savage motion.
Honestly, all this talk of Ashikabi and finding true love was enough to make a girl feel left out.
Still, it seemed Naruto hadn't decided to move against his enemies yet.
He seemed to be waiting for something.
But what exactly?
Ironically, it was this very silence that terrified the remaining players in Minaka's so-called game and seemed to prevent them from launching potential assaults of their own. Tale of the torment inflicted upon Kakizaki had already spread through the capital like wildfire and this recent incident had only added fuel to that fire. None dared to enter his territory, if only for fear of provoking his wrath and meeting a similar fate. Which meant she could get good and properly soused without any fear of repercussions and hopefully in doing so forget all about this awful feeling. In that regard alone, tonight was shaping up to be a very good evening indeed. Already, a most pleasant haze had descended over the wind-wielder's thoughts already.
And yet, she couldn't help but feel she was missing something.
Somewhere in the back of her mind, an itch needed-no, demanded-to be scratched. An urge that she couldn't quite stifle. Once little more than a whisper in the back of her mind, it had since grown to torment her. Even sake could only do so much to blunt it. If anything, it was making things even worse. Even now she could feel her heart pounding in her chest, head swimming, thoughts focused upon one individual and one alone. She'd experienced this sensation before, a bitter memory that turned her joy to ashes in her mouth.
Gritting her teeth against the painful memory Kazehana sat up, propping herself up on her elbows.
So much for watching the sun set.
To her annoyance she realized the fiery orb had long since sank beyond the horizon, leaving only the faint brilliance of the stars swaying in her vision against the black. A pale imitation of the sun's glory. For some reason the thought left a bitter taste on her tongue and she found herself wallowing, unwilling to leave. In the end, her own inebriated body turned against her. In short? She tripped.
With a soft hiccup, she crashed back to the ground.
"Well." she groused. "This isn't going to work."
Neither was feeling sorry for herself.
She might well be one of the few unwinged Sekirei in this so-called "game" that remained. Even Minato had managed to wing another from what she'd seen during her foray into the city. What was her name again...Yahan or some-such? That made two for him, including Musubi. Those three seemed to be getting along well enough. Even had a place of their own. No-she hadn't seen an unwinged Sekirei for quite some time now, which meant in all likelihood, she was the only one left. And she was reacting, at that.
Kazehana understood this of course, even dreaded it on some level.
She couldn't have chosen a worse person if she'd tried.
He had his flaws of course; no man was perfect. The years had inevitably taken their toll on him, as time does all things, even those who claim to be immune to her wiles. He had a temper. A roaring lust for battle that he often suppressed, yet remained ever present, lurking just beneath the surface. He could be cold. Though his passions ran deep indeed, he oftentimes stifled them, as though flicking a switch. And yet he was warm. Gentle. He liked to cook, savored sake as much as he did mischief. It lent him a roguish air, made him seem as wild and wanton as the wind when in reality he-oh dear.
A familiar pain blazed through her chest all at once, causing her to clutch at her bosom.
'No, no, no! Down girl!'
Nearly frantic, she willed the sensation to dissipate, but her heart only hammered even harder than before in stubborn defiance of the fact. Aghast, she tucked her legs against her chest and buried her head between them in a vain attempt to cool the raging torrent of emotion surging within her. She'd feared as much.
Not this again.
Was she doomed to repeat past mistakes?
To chase after someone whose heart was held by another-several!-to quietly pine away while-
"Aha! So this is where you were hiding."
As if summoned by that very thought, the object of her affections made an appearance.
Rather, his head did.
Kazehana yelped and frantically crab-walked backwards as Uzumaki Naruto's head inexplicably phased through the roof to appear beside her bare feet. Belatedly, she realized he hadn't simply appeared; rather a portion of the roof had folded back to expose an access hatch. As she looked on he snapped off a jaunty wave at her.
"Pretty neat, huh?"
...I didn't know the roof did that."
"Made some improvements." the blond smirked. "Mind if I join you?"
'YES! Wait, no! Gah!'
Masking her inner torment with a neutral smile, Kazehana arched a slender brow at the wayward warrior.
"I thought you were downstairs."
"I was." he beamed back, his grin taking on an air of mischief. "That clone's only going to distract the girls for so long."
For a moment, she considered refusing him outright.
In the end, she didn't have the heart.
Before she could think to stop herself Kazehana reached for him, taking his outstretched hand in hers to nimbly hoisting him out of the compartment. Mistake. Contact made her reaction all the worse, lighting her pulse up and sending her blood pounding in her ears. When his fingers briefly tightened around hers for purchase, she violently jerked her arm back, for fearing she might faint dead away. Damnit. What was wrong with her? All her courage seemed to have deserted her, leaving her heart more skittish than a newborn foal. All because she'd held his hand! No, she longed for more than that, she wanted...
"Thanks." utterly unaware of her plight Naruto flash her a heart-stopping grin. Those smoldering blue orbs held her gaze for all of a moment before turning skyward to the glittering expanse above. "Hmm. No clouds and plenty of stars. Not a bad way to end the day."
Spirits, it couldn't be that late already?!
"And here I am without any sake...
"Don't worry, I brought some of my own!
With that statement the blond withdrew a small scroll from his sleeve and slapped his palm over it. A plume of smoke rang out and as it cleared a large bottle of wine revealed itself within his hand in in place of the scroll including a pair of thin red dishes by which to drink. Ooh, and a rather nice vintage at that!
Resigned, she scooted aside for the prankster and allowed Naruto to fill her dish first.
She knocked it back immediately, grimacing as the sake seared her throat.
Only belatedly did she think to do the same for her companion.
While he remained distracted, she risked a glance at him.
Tonight he'd forsaken his signature orange and black attire for a pair of less conspicuous blue jeans and an orange tee, though admittedly some adjustments had been made to the latter. At this distance she could glimpse a hint of thin mesh lurking just beneath the collar, suggesting he'd armed himself accordingly in case of attack. An onyx-colored jacket hung over his shoulders to ward off the chill but within its confines Kazehana caught a glint of metal-those infamous kunai of his no doubt-further hinting weapons held well within arms reach. Even his jeans seemed to shimmer strangely in the moonlight, as though they were coated with a strange reflective substance.
It was times such as these that she remembered Naruto truly wasn't human; not in the conventional or moral sense.
He wasn't ordinary-no, the furthest thing from it.
A human couldn't shatter a skyscraper.
A human couldn't defeat a Sekirei.
A human couldn't woo her so.
This was a shinobi.
Now said shinobi was looking squarely at her.
"You're drinking from an empty dish."
Kazehana blinked. Ah, she was.
"Pour, then." she croaked.
Slamming the saucer back against her full lipsKazehana was momentarily struck by how different Naruto from that madman Minaka. Not just in terms of appearance or ability, though those were obvious factors. It was their personality. Naruto might be a tad eccentric at times and loud at others , but he cared. He saw the consequences of his actions and accepted them, rather than simply ignore them as her old flame had. He bore the weight of those whose lives he had slain, and moved ever forward, refusing to look back, to dwell on what he'd lost. It was both incredibly appealing and terribly sad at the same time. To live so long and bear such a burden for all those years...it was a miracle he hadn't been crushed by it yet.
She knew all too well what it was like to live with such hardship.
Perhaps that was why they understood one another.
Perhaps that was why she couldn't leave.
Perhaps that was why she loved him.
They knew the same pain.
"Something bothering you?"
'Yes, you! Why do you exist?!' Kazehana wanted to say as she poured him another, but with grim resolve she bit her tongue in the face of his inquiry. No, she decided. She wouldn't tell him. She refused to expose herself like that, if only because of her own cowardice and the bitter fear of rejection that came with it. Not again. Never again. Better to close off her heart and flee rather than face such a risk; she didn't know if her heart could bear the weight of rejection a second time and not shatter. Even so she longed to tell him, to confess, to speak, the pain such that her very soul threatened to burst.
Swooning she reeled back, covering her eyes.
"I'm feeling a little under the weather," she admitted hazily, turning her rosy face away from him. "Must've been something I drank."
Naruto shrugged and downed another shot.
"If you say so."
Something in his gaze told her he sensed her lie, but neither did he challenge her for it. So kind. For that at least, Kazehana found herself grateful. Yes, she told herself. This was better. Better to forgo love than be burned again. To avoid the bitter sting of heartbreak entirely. One last drink and then she'd leave, never to return-
"You're reacting to me, aren't you?"
The Sekirei went terribly still.
A stray breeze pushed itself between them, carrying the blond's accusation away on the wind.
Kazehana wanted to scream. She wanted to strike him. She wanted to run far, far away and pretend This infuriatingly handsome man who seemed to know her every move before she made it, her every thought. Damn it. Damn him. Damn him to hell for calling her out on this and forcing her hand! Now she couldn't avoid it! In her heart of hearts she knew it was pointless to procrastinate and push the matter off any longer. Yes or no. He'd either grant her the wings she so desired...or reject her. Shatter her completely. Already she felt the weight of Naruto's regard settling upon her, a quiet blanket of concern draping itself across her shoulders.
Defeated, she turned to face him at last.
"Is it that obvious?"
"Kinda." he sighed, gazing out at the stars in quiet contemplation. "I had a dream or two in the beginning. Besides, you've been avoiding me like the plague for awhile now. When did it start?"
Her silence proved telling.
"Well." Naruto palmed his face. "Fuck me."
A spark of anger ignited within Kazehana's breast.
"Is that all you have to say? What are you going to do about...
That spark guttered out when she finally beheld Naruto's expression.
"Why are you all drawn to me?" the blond muttered to himself, shaking his head. "I can only protect so many of you...!"
The intensity of the anger-the despair-in his eyes momentarily took her aback before she realized it wasn't focused on her, but directed inward. Upon himself. For a long moment those slitted orbs bored into the roof with frightening ferocity and she feared he might actually shatter it. His fist slammed against the shingled with enough forced to make her jump. Then he seized the rest of the bottle and took a long, hard drink from it. Having drank his fill he shoved it at her and wordlessly, Kazehana complied with his unspoken request. She wasn't anywhere near drunk enough to deal with this.
...you." she caught the tail end of his sentence as she back to herself.
"I won't force you to do this." When she met his gaze again those cross-shaped pupils were nowhere to be seen, replaced wholly by cerulean. "If you don't want me to wing you that is-HEY!"
He frowned as she tilted the last of the bottle back and drained it.
"Got any more?"
"No." Naruto deadpanned.
"How kind of you." she groaned. "So? Are we going to do this or not?"
The whiskered warrior watched her stumble upright with a decidedly blank expression, less so when she descended from the inn into the yard. After a moment's consideration he followed in her wake, likely to make sure she didn't tumble off the roof rather than anything foolish or untoward. His concern was touching, but it wasn't what Kazehana wanted. Her body burned for him in every way imaginable, leaving her weak-kneed and her thoughts in utter disarray. In her current state it was all she could do not to throw herself at him. A thorn of pride pricked her and held her back, however.
If she was to do this, it would be on her terms.
"Look," Naruto murmured, "I don't mean to pry, but...you're being awfully nonchalant about this all of a sudden."
"I'm tired." Kazehana sighed, her bountiful chest swaying slightly from the motion. "Tired of fighting. Tired of running...of everything."
Kazehana jerked back as if she'd been burned.
"It's an...old story." she murmured, hugging her arms close to herself. "I'd rather not speak of it."
"Right then," to her disbelief, the young man nodded in agreement. "I won't pry."
"Just like that?"
"Its just, gah...I...how do I put this?" the blond sighed, idly scratching his chin with a gloved finger. "Uzume and the girls...I didn't force them to do anything or tell me about themselves. For any of it. We kinda...just came together in the end. Its like they embody bits and pieces of me and my past, ya know? Funny how it turned out that way. Hey, don't give me that look." when Kazehana didn't immediately answer, he sighed and held up a hand, to her confusion. "Think of it like this. Aktisu's the loneliness I used to put myself through. Uzume practically embodies mischief. Karasuba's a raging fighter, that blood-lust I grapple with every day. Matsu...
Here his face actually colored a bit and despite herself, Kazehana caught herself smiling.
...is not going to be spoken of!" the blond finished, red-faced, noticing that smile at the mention of the perverted genius. "Then we have Ku. She's innocent. Like a daughter to me. Even if she weren't she's waaaaay too young so there's no way in hell I'd do anything to her. The situation with Yomi symbolized second chances and regret; in part because I deeply regret the choice I forced on her. I see Yashima as an adorable little sister. With a big fucking hammer, of course. Homura, well, I'd say she represents willpower. Tsukiumi, faithfulness. As to Mina and I...
Now it was Naruto's turn to laugh.
...I guess it just happened."
Touching as it was to hear what he thought of those darling girls, it wasn't what Kazehana wanted to hear.
She wanted to know what he thought of her.
"And?" she pressed, touching a hand to her chest. "What am I to you?"
"What do you want from me?" he countered.
The wind picked up again with gusto, carrying a distant whirl of sakura blossoms between them.
Kazehana's hair nearly ripped itself free from its bow, such was its strength.
None of it compared to her hammering heart.
'Happiness. A family. To be loved!' all these thoughts and more surged to the fore, hanging at the tip of her tongue, waiting to be spoken. She bit her tongue to keep them from escaping. For his part Naruto didn't move; his sole concession was to cross both arms and wait patiently for her reply. Her legs threatened to defy her and carry her forward. No one had ever asked her what she wanted. The realization that she was being given a choice in the matter was almost too much to bear.
"I," she began slowly, choosing her words with infinite care. "Would like your answer first."
"Emotion?" Those deep blue orbs bored into hers, and for a moment, they burned the color of amber. "Love. Pain. Joy? You're hard to read."
"That's not a very reassuring answer."
"I don't know." Naruto replied honestly. "I don't know you all that well, yet. But I'd like to."
"And here I thought you were against this."
"Maybe I'm tired of running from my problems, too." he shrugged. "Either way, I think we understand each other."
Forget the hammering, Kazehana's heart wanted to burst out of her chest!
This was more than just a mere reaction, this was something...more.
"I-Is that a proposal?" she stuttered.
"Well, I'll say it up front, I'm not the best guy in the world." Here, his smile did turn decidedly sheepish and he paused to scratch the back of his head. "I'm not particularly smart. Or sane. I can get really stubborn when I want to. Also, I'm a bit of a glutton. And a pervert. An idiot, too. But I'm honest, and I never go back on my word. if you'll have me...I'm yours."
Two little words.
How long had she longed to hear them?
Her vision was visibly swimming now, such that she could scarcely see straight, much less think coherently. If he didn't do something to satisfy he soon she was going to tear his clothes off and have her way with him right here in the open, where everyone might see. Hell, she still might!
"One last question. Earlier, you mentioned your past. Would you...change any of it? Go back, if you had the chance?"
Naruto lowered his head.
When he raised his gaze however, those azure eyes told her all she needed to know of his resolve.
That tore it.
Kazehana couldn't help herself.
Faced with such conviction, she guffawed.
"Y-You...you're impossible! Just what are you?!"
In disbelief she wrapped both arms around her waist in a vain attempt to contain herself. Needless to say, she failed. Shaking, she could only giggle helplessly. It wasn't long before she burst into full-throated laughter. In that instant her legs finally betrayed her and she crashed to the ground, rolling helplessly against the tiles. Her brief fit of mirth lasted a few moments more before she righted herself and moved to his side. If he was at all startled by her little outburst, Naruto did little to show it...thought she thought she caught the ghost of a smile lingering on his whiskered visage.
"You're reliable." she hummed, palming his face. "I never thought I'd meet a man more honest than you."
In a heartbeat, she crossed the distance between them and embraced him fully.
"Never betray me, Naruto-kun."
Throwing caution to the wind, Kazehana lurched up in his arms and kissed him fiercely, crushing her chest against his. Naruto yielded to her with a growl, relenting as she threw her arms around his neck. Light engulfed them. Months of tension drained from her body as her wings bloomed, six streamers of blinding violet light bursting from her crest to cascade down her back. Years of guilt and regret slowly melted away; in that instant she found she could truly forget her old love, all the pain of that long lost flame washed away with the wind.
"Ah." in the afterglow of her winging the third Sekirei sighed softly and buried her head against his neck, inhaling deeply. "So this is how it feels."
There could be no other word for complete and utter bliss that coursed through her, washing away all her pain. Within a heartbeat the deep emotional wound left by Minaka was little more than a faded and dull memory, the pain he once caused her now blunted by the chakra coursing through her, cocooning her in warmth. With that warmth came a new sensation, one she'd desperately fought to tamp down these last few days. Hiding it, for fear of what might happen should she lose control. Now, its pull could no longer be denied, nor did she want to.
Deepening the kiss with fervor, Kazehana whirled around and slammed Naruto into the nearest solid surface she could find. That said surface just happened to be a fence had nothing to do with it, she told herself. No. Of course not. Nor did she take the slightest bit of pleasure in the way her lover laughed at her sudden forcefulness. Her desire warped into surprise, then high euphoria as the blond hooked both hands beneath her legs and hoisted her upward through sheer strength of arms alone. Firm hands squeezed her rear through the thin fabric of her dress and what little restraint she possessed abandoned her.
"My, how bold."
Kazehana responded by locking her legs around her lover's waist and slamming him through the very fence they'd been resting against, thereby riding him to the ground.
A quiet grunt fled from his lips and broke the kiss, but the blond otherwise made no effort to arrest their movement. By contrast he took the fall without batting an eyelash and surged back up to meet her with his mouth, pausing only as her nimble fingertips danced across the length of his chest, seeking purchase in the fabric. It wasn't fair. He had so much clothing and she, only her dress. No, not far at all. When one of his hands closed around her breasts, Kazehana knew she couldn't bear it any longer.
She wanted him.
Skin to skin.
With quick, practiced movements she divested her Ashikabi of his heavy jacket and then moved to make quick work of the shirt and mesh beneath. His hands worked in tandem with her dress, skillfully divesting her off it without tearing the fabric, sending it pooling around her waist. Kazehana shivered slightly as she felt the cool breeze against her super-heated skin. She wasn't nearly so gentle with his clothes, instead ripping them aside, not caring a wit if they ripped or tore.
She'd expected to find taut muscles within her grasp, the body of a warrior.
She didn't anticipate the scars.
Not this many.
Not at all.
The sight of them momentarily stilled her desire, replacing it with shock. These wounds...they were monstrous. Kazehana nearly gasped at the cruel sight. No man should've survived them, even with immediate medical attention. Dozens of tiny pale lines told a tale of his injuries int he past, some more than others. There was a divot where his lungs should have been. A ragged tear of scar tissue, near his collarbone. Another brutal line just below the heart, as if someone had reached into his chest and tried to...to...!
A gentle kiss against her lips hauled Kazehana away from her horror and pulled her back to the present. She'd been hyperventilating, she realized. The myriad sounds of the night reached her ears as she came back to her senses, to herself at last. Though he'd yet to move from his place below her, Naruto's stoic expression captured her attention and put her heart at ease. It told her all she needed to know about his thoughts on the matter. To think, she'd nearly let such a thing rattle her! Shaking her head, she returned his affections, and felt her wings bloom once more, shrouding the night in light.
Rolling her hips, she tugged the last of her dress aside, baring her all to him.
When Naruto attempted to speak again however, Kazehana wasn't having any of it.
"Yes, I'm fine. I've waited years for this. Now, no more talking."
This time, Naruto didn't bother to hide his smile.
"Never took you for a cuddler."
"Shut up and fuck me."
A/N: HAPPY NEW YEAR! AAAAAAAAAAAAND Kazehana is winged. FINALLY HAPPENED! I had an absolute blast writing this chapter! Aaand there you have it! Sweet, fluffy cute, and all about the loooooove! Hope ya'll liked it! Two chapters left! Probably. Maybe. I mean, we need an epilogue, do we not...?
Sorry, but no full lemon this time. Gotta follow the rules.
I'll see what I can do about the next chapter.
So...in the immortal words of Atlas...
...Review, Would You Kindly? And of course, enjoy the previews!
We're nearly done!
"Ideas are bulletproof. People aren't. Funny how that works."
"Did...did you just make a-ACK?!"
"Don't underestimate Matsu."
Laughing darkly, he rattled off the approaching figures.
Tapping his headset, he rattled them off, one by one.
"Kaiha. Kujou. Toyotama. Ichiya. Kaie. Sai. Katsuragi. Shi. Eight of them in all. They're...actually attacking." Naruto guffawed. "At night, no less."
There was something decidedly feral in his smile.
"Oh man, that's ballsy!"
"I can pay you-
Higa could only gurgle in surprise as a gloved fist slammed into his throat, four taut fingers shattering his adam's apple and rendering him summarily mute. Choking on his own spit, the pharmaceutical heir toppled back over his desk, flailing madly. Panic consumed him, his once rational mind
A hand snaked out, seizing him by the tie and hauling him back from the brink.
"Oh, no, no, no." his tormentor growled. "You don't get to run."
"I want a baby."
Naruto felt his eyes roll back in his head.
...and with a dull thud, his body struck the floor.
...think very carefully before you speak to me again, Minato-kun."
Minato shrank backward, cringing beneath a piercing glare.
"C-C'mon now, we're friends aren't we-
"No." that lone word brought all of his hopes crashing down around him. What happened next shattered them like brittle glass. "I'm not your friend. Not anymore. You forfeited that right when you chose not to speak to me about your problems-no, before that. When your Sekirei went behind my back and hurt my girls. MY GIRLS. Where was our friendship then? You mistook my kindness for weakness, my generosity for naivete, and sought to use them against me. Which one was it? Musubi? No, it wasn't her. She'd never act so dishonorably. Nevermind. I don't care if you were threatened, blackmailed, whatever. You could've come to me! Idiot! I would've helped you!"
It was entirely the wrong thing to say.
"Sorry?" an icy hiss pervaded the space between them. "You think you can just say sorry and I'll forgive you? After what you've done?"
"I'll make it right, I swear! Y-You can have my jinki! You can ascend, whatever you want!"
"You think I've been playing god? No, its just the opposite. All this time...
A dark shadow loomed over his head.
...I've been playing human."
"So. It was you. You were behind it all. The one pulling the strings. Why am I not surprised?"
"...incredible. You win. Well done. Well done, indeed. When did you figure it out? What gave me away?"
"It's human nature not to realize the true value of something, unless they lose it. I believe those were your words."
"Hmm. Yes, I suppose they were, weren't they. And? What do you intend to do now that you've finally brought me into the light?"
"That depends entirely on you."
"On me, you say?"
"Entirely. You'll suffer if I don't like your answer."
"My, how terrifying you've become. I'm almost proud-URK!"
"Explain. Everything. Now."
Hope you enjoyed!