Hello folks. I promise I am working on the next part of Forest in the Desert Sand, but this little story wanted to be written. I think it's because exams are this week and it's that time of the semester when I begin doing anything and everything in my power to avoid studying. ^^;;;

Anyway, this particular story is more about Kizuko and Shinosuke, but never fear! Papa and Gaara are in here as well. (and dear lord are they frisky O_o;;;) As well as Ino and Shikamaru.

EDIT: To those following the Family of Demons universe. Go check out the LJ address on my bio page. That's where new stories will be cross posted and slightly naughty stories will only be posted. Thanks! ^_^

Disclaimer dance: Hey lookit! Gaara and Naruto and Ino and Shikamaru aren't mine. They are Kishimoto sensei's and I'm only playing in the sandbox. I'll put 'em back when I'm done. However, Kizuko and Shinosuke and Kaede and Aoi are mine. But I'm glad to share if you just kindly ask first. ^_^


She had seen it in the window of a store as the family passed on their way to Ichiraku one evening. It had been sitting by its self in a corner a little a part from the rest of the display and she had immediately fallen in love with it.

It was the rich blue of the sky in the moments just between sunset and nightfall. The obi was a pale leaf green with a red cord. The most unique thing about it was the silver-white pattern of the full moon with a laughing fox ducking in and out of the field grasses beneath it. The yukata seemed almost as if it had been created with her specifically in mind. She wanted it. She craved it. She wanted to run about the village with her hair done and the yukata flowing about her. 

Summer had come to Konoha, and with it the Summer Festival, which was less than two weeks away. She wanted to run through the festival stalls, eating shaved ice and yakisoba and takoyaki, playing games, watching the fireworks. And she wanted to do it while feeling very pretty in that yukata. She was 11 now, and looking pretty at the Summer Festival was a bit more important to her now that it had been in years past though she couldn't say why exactly. But, yukata were not cheap. And while the family was not poor, they were not wealthy either. So she stopped and stared at it for a while, and then caught back up to Papa and Gaara when called. But she never mentioned the yukata.

She would sneak out when running errands, or on her way home from the Academy and stare at the display longingly. What would it be like she wondered? To wear it to the Festival. She would have her hair up, perhaps Ino Obachan would help her put flowers in it, she would wear the yukata and proudly walk through the Festival streets.

"Why, look." The villagers would say. "There goes the Uzumaki girl, hasn't she grown to be a beauty?"

The other girls in her class would be so jealous of her because she would be prettier than any of them. They would tease her and look down on her, but she would just smile because she knew they were just jealous. And maybe, just maybe if she was really really lucky, Shinosuke would smile at her and take her hand. They would walk through the Festival together and he would win her a prize at one of the game stalls because Shinosuke was smart and strong like that and he was her best friend, after all. She wasn't very good at any of the things it took to win at the games.

She would then sigh longingly, give one last look at the yukata, and then go on her way. But she never mentioned it to Papa or Gaara.

Of course, that didn't mean that Papa and Gaara didn't know that something was up with their kitling.

Uzumaki Naruto knew his daughter far too well to not notice her prolonged pauses in front of a certain store window. And having seen what was in said store window he could take a good guess as to what his kitling was sighing over. It was a bit shocking at first. After all, Kizuko had never really asked for anything feminine before. The first six years of her life where spent in such complete seclusion that she really wouldn't have known the difference between boy and girl toys or clothing anyway. And later after they had returned to the Village she hadn't shown any interest in any of the normal girl things.

While the other village girls were giggling over each others hair for hours, Kizuko had been happy to scrape her blonde locks in their usual top pigtails with the bottom flowing free and run off to play.  The other girls had played with dolls and had pretend tea ceremonies. His little one had been happy dragging along Kon Kon and was most often found rolling in the dirt and grass with Shinosuke and some of the other boys. The only reason she had passed the mandatory for girls class in Ikebana at all was because of Ino's help. But now…she was being girly. It was a little shocking and saddening at the same time. Although it certainly was a very pretty yukata, and he was very certain she'd be the prettiest girl at the Festival wearing it, it was a situation. And one to be discussed between the adults of the family.

"She's growing up." He said with a sob one night.

"Well, yes. Children do that." Gaara sat cross legged on the bed next to him.

"But she's growing up. She wants a yukata. Next it'll be a wedding kimono!!"

"She's 11. I don't think she'll be running off asking for a wedding kimono and getting married any time soon. You've still got plenty of time to have her all to yourself."

"Fine. Ruin my melodramatic moments." Naruto pouted, crossing his arms and huffing.

Gaara reached over and pulled the blonde to him until their lips just barely met.

"Are you going to buy the thing for her or not?" he asked, their breath mingling.

"Yukata are exspensive…" The kitsune began.

"Just buy her the damned thing."  

A gentle tug and they were kissing. Nothing more was said about yukata or children growing up or in general anything really, for the rest of the night.


The Summer Festival was a day away and most of the other children in her class had already decided who they were going with or meeting up with once there. Kizuko hadn't really worried because she and Shinosuke had been going together ever since she had moved to Konoha. The Naras and the Uzumakis would generally meet up some where, the Inuzukas and the rest of the crew from the old days meeting up as well later on in the night. She figured this year would be the same. Papa and Gaara and Shikamaru Ojichan and Ino Obachan would go off and meet up with their friends, generally ending up with a couple of bottles of sake under the giant Oak  at the end of the stalls. Kizuko and Shinosuke would run around, eat, play games, and eventually return exhausted to the adults where they would curl up in their respective parents' laps and watch the fireworks.

It had been that way for the past six years and she had no reason to break tradition now. However she did want to find out what time they would be meeting and she hadn't gotten a chance to ask during class today.  Shinosuke would probably be in the yard behind the Academy watching clouds, so she headed that way to look for him. She caught sight of his dark head leaning against the wall of the yard as she had expected, and was heading in that direction when something made her stop.

A slight body with pale blue hair pulled into a long braid came sliding up next to him. Koorigawa Aoi. What did she want? Kizuko thought sourly. The little blonde paused next to the swing tree to watch the exchange between her best friend and the blue haired girl.

"Ne, Shinosuke-kun, are you going to the Summer Festival?" Aoi asked brightly.

Shinosuke nodded, not really looking at her. "Aa. We go every year, Kaasan and Oyaji generally just get trashed but they let me walk around."

The girl's smile, if anything, widened. "Ne, Shinosuke-kun, would you like to go to the Festival this year with me?"

Shinosuke blinked. "I don't think…I mean, every year I go with…"

"Well, let's try something different this year, ne?" Aoi grabbed his arm. "I'll meet you at your house at 5, okay? We'll have so much fun, Shinosuke-kun! I promise!" She smiled cutely and bounced up and down a little.

"What? But, Aoi,  I can't…"

"Oh, don't be silly of course you can! You already said you weren't going with anyone else, so now you're going with me! And no backing out of your promise!" The wattage on the cute smile turned up a little leaving Shinosuke stunned.

Kizuko was in shock. He was going with Aoi? But he couldn't go with Aoi!! He was her best friend, they always went together. She felt hot pricks behind her eyes and forced herself not to cry. Just then Aoi looked in her direction and the cute smile changed quickly to a smug smirk. Why that little…!! Oh, she had known that Kizuko and Shinosuke always went to the Festival together. And she had never ever liked Kizuko to begin with, always teasing her, calling her a demon and a freak…But Shinosuke had always stood by her and now…and now…Closing her eyes she ran in the opposite direction and into the empty classroom, where she promptly hid under Iruka-sensei's desk and cried.

Stupid Aoi.

Stupid, stupid Shinosuke.


Naruto heard the door to the apartment shut and then an emotionless voice call out "Tadaima."

Kizuko walked into the kitchen with blank green eyes and none of her usual cheerfulness as she sat down at the table. Still silent he sat a glass of juice and plate of senbei in front of her and then sat in the opposite chair.

"Bad day at school?"

She shrugged, nibbling on a cracker.

"Wanna talk about it?"

Blonde locks shook back and forth.

"Want to go train together later?"

Another shrug. Good thing fluency in body language was a necessary talent for being a parent.

"Gaara'll be back in a little while and I figured we could go out for yakiniku for dinner."

A slightly brighter nod, but still not much. Okay, time to haul out the big guns.

"I left some of your laundry on your bed, go put it up."

A sigh, the scooting back of a chair, and the sound of small footsteps down the hallway and into her room. He continued to sit at the table, his chin resting in his hand, and smirked, counting down in his head. Five…Four…Three…Two…One.

"AAAAEEEEEIIIII!!!!!" Small feet raced back into the kitchen and she threw her arms around his neck.

"Thank you so so much, Papa!! I love it! I love it! I love you! How did you know?"

The blonde pulled her into his lap and hugged her. "Hey, I'm Papa. I know all and see all."
"I thought that was Gaara." She blinked up at him.

"….I know all and see all when it comes to my kitling. And Gaara does not know all for you information."

"That's what you think." Came a voice from the door way.

"GAARA!!" Kizuko hopped down from Naruto's lap and ran towards the Sand nin, throwing her arms around his waist. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I love it and I love you and I love Papa!! And this is the best family ever!!!"

The redhead smiled briefly and returned the embrace. "I ran into Ino on the way home and she said to come by the flower shop before the Festival tomorrow and she would do your hair for you."

The smaller blonde's big green eyes got even bigger. "Really?"

Gaara nodded.

"Yes! This is going to be the best Summer Festival ever!"

Even without stupid Shinosuke. She thought.


Nara Ino called up the stairs to her son. "Shinosuke! Hurry up! Kizuko-chan will be here any minute!"

Shinosuke trudged down step by step, annoyed expression on his face. He did look so very much like his father, Ino mused. He reached the bottom and looked at her, still looking vaguely annoyed. She smiled brightly. "Well, that certainly took you long enough. I'm surprised Kizuko-chan isn't here by now."

"I'm not going with her." He said huffily.

"E…eh?" Ino's smile became a little confused. "Don't be silly, you always go with Kizuko-chan."

"Not this year. I'm going with…"

There was a knock at the door.

Ino walked over to answer, expecting a sweet little blonde with whisker marks on the other side. Instead she found a blue haired girl with silver eyes in an icy blue yukata smiling sweetly at her.

"Good evening, Nara-san."

"A…Aoi-chan, correct?"

"Hai!" the little girl answered cheerfully.

"What can I do for you?" Although Ino had a sinking feeling she already knew.

"She's here for me, Kaasan. We're going to the Festival."

"But…Shinosuke…what about…"

He ducked under her arm, still looking annoyed. "I'll find you and Ojayi before the fireworks."

Ino watched with worried eyes as the Koorigawa girl snuggled up to her son as they walked down the street to the Festival. She heard a small noise to her left and looked down to see Kizuko biting her lip and pointedly not looking in Shinosuke and Aoi's direction. She looked very pretty in her new yukata but the bit lip and the sadness in those green eyes some how ruined the picture. Ino sighed and placed a hand on the little blonde's shoulder. "Come on, sweetheart. Let's do something with that pretty hair of yours, shall we?"


Kizuko wandered through the stalls of the festival. Her hair had been simply dressed in two braids with tiny blue and white flowers woven in. She nibbled at the strawberry flavored shaved ice she had bought and looked thoughtfully at the water balloons, thinking back to the story Papa had told her about when he was learning the Rasengan. Maybe she should get one for him. He might like it.

She stood in front of the stall looking at the different selections, before finally deciding on a blue one with a red spiral pattern. For the Uzumaki spiral, she decided smiling and paying the vendor.  She paused again a few stalls down to watch the goldfish swim around in their tanks at a goldfish catching booth. She would have tried the game but she was no good at it, having neither the skill nor the patience to scoop one of the wiggly creatures up. Shinosuke could have done though. She sighed.

"Hey, it's Freazuko!" a voice called to her left.

Snarling, she turned to face the speaker. A group of girls from her year at school stood before her in colorful yukata, smirking and looking down at her. Figuratively and literally. Sometimes she really hated being the smallest in the Academy.

"What's up, demon girl? Trying to remember how to hunt for your dinner?"

"Hey, look. She managed to get a yukata this year! Did those demon fathers of yours finally remember you're a girl and not an animal?"

The gaggle of them broke out into peals of high pitched giggles. She glared and balled the sleeves of her yukata into her fists as the group surrounded her. One of them poked at flowers tucked in her braids. "I wouldn't be too sure about that Yuriko-chan. Look, she's been out rolling around in the forest. She's got weeds in her hair!"

More gales of laughter.

"Why, everyone! What are you doing?" A voice shot through the air and the group parted like a comb through hair, revealing Aoi who's hand was tightly clasped around a highly annoyed looking Shinosuke. The boy's blue eyes met Kizuko's furious green ones, but then she looked away to the side not saying a word to him, a curious sheen to her eyes. 

Yuriko-chan, a brunette near the edge of the group greeted Aoi cheerfully. "Hello, Aoi-chan! Why, we were just telling Kizuko-chan here how nice her yukata looks on her. Very fitting, don't you think?"

Aoi nodded. "Oh yes, Yuriko-chan. A fox pattern for the demon fox girl, very fitting indeed. And such pretty flowers." She ended with a slight sneer.

Shinosuke gave the girl attached to his arm a dirty look. "My mom did her hair for her."

"Oh. That explains why it's the best looking part. Anyway, come on Shinosuke-kun! You told me you'd win me a prize, ne? See you later, Kizuko-chan."

With that, Aoi pulled on Shinosuke's arm, dragging him away. The dark haired boy cast worried looks back towards his friend who still had her eyes fixed on the ground the right and was biting her lip. With the two gone, the group closed in again.

"Heh. Looks like you're not Shinosuke-kun's favorite any more, foxy."

The little blonde's head snapped up and she opened her mouth to say something but rage prevented this so she closed it again and repeated this act two more times.

"I thought you were a fox, not a fish."
"Look at her mouth, maybe she's a fox fish!"

"Yeah, a fox fish!"

"Well, its common sense that fish can't live out of the water. Maybe we should help her out, huh?"

Suddenly, many hands reached out and shoved her. She stumbled backwards, hitting her legs against something solid, lost her balance and tumbled backwards. Right into the very full tank of goldfish.

A loud splash and she was completely submerged, only her sandaled feet sticking out of the water. She could hear the girls chanting 'Fox fish! Fox fish!' above her. Whether the vendor was one of the villagers who didn't like her family just because of what they were or if he was completely oblivious as to what was happening she wasn't sure. All she was sure of was that she was on her own. Papa or Gaara weren't around, and Shinosuke, stupid stupid Shinosuke, had abandoned her for Aoi. She lifted her head out of the water, gasping and searching for a grip when she felt a hand dunk her head back down and hold her there.

And then the hand was gone from her head and transferred to her hand where it was helping to pull her out of the tank. Although this hand felt different, and there were no more calls of 'Fox fish' around either. Coughing and clearing the water from her lungs, she stood dripping in front of the booth for a few minutes before opening her eyes and looking up. 

There to Kizuko's great surprise stood Uchiha Kaede in all her glory. Her raven hair fanned out from beneath a blue kerchief with the Konoha hitae attached. She wore her usual white shorts but with a black shirt and the chuunin vest she had earned in the last exam.  She looked down upon the blonde with sharingan eyes, slightly narrowed in vague disgust.

"Why…" Kizuko coughed some more and placed a wiggling goldfish that was caught in her sleeve gently back in the tank.

"Because the only one allowed to kill you is me." The older girl answered.

Kizuko looked up, her green eyes wide.

Kaede shrugged. "One of these days, we're going to finish what we started 6 years ago. I'm just waiting for you to catch up and make it worth my wile. Don't get me wrong, Uzumaki. I don't like you. You're my enemy. But no one gets to hurt you but me."

"You're not my enemy."

Sharingan eyes widened slightly and then narrowed.

"You're my…" the blonde searched for the right word and then it came to her. "You're my rival. I don't like you, but you're not my enemy. Koorigawa Aoi is my mortal enemy, because I absolutely hate her. But you…you're my rival."

Kaede nodded and then reached over to pick off a goldfish caught in the twists of one of her braids. She then turned and walked off.

"Thank you." Kizuko said quietly after her.

A hand raised and waved it off lazily as she disappeared down the long row of stalls.


The flow of sake hadn't been quite as strong this year as it had been in years past, and Naruto was somewhat grateful. Something was nagging him and he wanted to stay sober long enough to figure out what it was. Apparently it wasn't just him though. Ino looked concerned as well, and kept glancing down the trail that Kizuko and Shinosuke usually came running down to join them. Neither of them had come yet.

There was a rather odd sound. A sort of thud squish thud squish. Looking up, he saw a thoroughly drenched Kizuko walking towards them with at dejected look on her face, her braids and sleeves dripping, …and was that a goldfish caught in her obi?

The happy chattering of the group fell silent at her approach and he could feel Gaara tense beside him.

"Kitling, what happened?" he asked as she walked towards him.

She silently walked towards her parents and curled up in Gaara's lap, burying her face in his chest since he was the closer of the two. The redhead immediately wrapped his arms around the little one, despite the fact that she was soaking wet. Reaching into her sleeve, she pulled out a water balloon and held it out to her Papa, never looking away from where her face was buried against the Sand nin's chest.

"Can we go home now?" she asked softly and sadly.

The blonde, at a loss, took the offered balloon and nodded. Gaara stood, still holding Kizuko, and began heading in the direction of the apartment. Naruto made their goodbyes quickly and apologized before hurrying along after his mate and their kit.

Ino's eyes narrowed at the sight and she yanked on her husband's arm before standing. "Come on. We've got a son to find."


By the Leaf, Aoi was annoying! 'Shinosuke-kun, win me this!' 'Shinosuke-kun, let's go do that!' Shinosuke-kun, Shinosuke-kun, Shinosuke-kun! All in Aoi's high pitched voice that made him wince when she laughed or called his name. Which she did a lot.

This was not how he wanted tonight to be. He was suppose to be running down to rows with Kizuko, laughing with her as she failed horribly on most of the games and then smiling slightly as she cheered when he won them easily. Instead, he was stuck here with…Aoi. He sighed again. Mendoukusai…

"Ne, Shinosuke-kun, let's go watch the fireworks together! It'll be romantic!" she tugged on his arm, looking up with a shy smile.

Did she just say 'romantic'? Shudder. "I can't. I always watch the fireworks with my parents."

She pouted at him. "But Shinosuke-kuuuuuuunnnnn…."

He winced as her voice hit a shrill high note. Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow…

"Nara Shinosuke! Young man, what have you been doing?"

He turned at the voice. "Kaasan?"

Ino stood, her hands on her hips, giving her son the Maternal Glare o' Doom. Shikamaru stood a little behind her, holding his 5 year old daughter and fearing slightly for his eldest offspring, but fearing more for himself. Ino was in a mood.

"Kaasan, I don't understand…I've been with Aoi…what are you talking about?" Shinosuke was honestly confused…and scared witless. His mother was in a mood.

"I suppose you have no idea why Kizuko-chan came plodding up drenched, her new yukata completely ruined, and looking like her heart had just been broken?"

"She what?" He was defiantly alert now. Someone did that to his Kizuko?!…er…his best friend?! "When did that happen? Is she okay?"

Ino, internally gleeful at this reaction, answered solemnly. "She left. They went home, and personally I don't blame them. She was a mess."

Shinosuke's blue eyes widened as far as possible and then narrowed as he felt Aoi shaking next to him. "What, is so funny?"

"Really? She was drenched? I bet that must have been a sight!! Oh, wow! If I had known Yuriko-chan was going to go that far I would have stuck around. Hehe! I bet she looked like a drowned rat…or fox! And then to go running off to Papa? I thought she was just a demon, not a wimp." The girl giggled, oblivious to Shinosuke's reaction.

At least until he yanked his arm out of her grasp.


"You knew they were planning something like that?"

"Come on, Shinosuke-kun! She's just demon so she deserves it right?"

"Don't you ever call her a demon again! She's my best friend and she's better than you'll ever be!" He yelled, leaving her speechless. Then turning, he looked at his parents. "Kaasan, Ojayji….I…"

Ino smiled. "Go on. But don't be too late, okay?"

He nodded and ran down the street towards the Uzumaki apartment.

Ino then turned very cold eyes onto the girl left in front of her. "Aoi-chan?" she said in her best Bitch Queen of Konoha voice. "I suggest you go home. Now."

The girl's eyes went wide as she nodded once and then all but fled in the opposite direction.

"Kaachan kowaii…"

Shikamaru numbly agreed with his daughter. "You said it, princess."


Shinosuke braced his hands on his knees and panted in front of the Uzumaki apartment, trying to catch his breath. Reaching up, he knocked lightly and went back to panting for breath. The door swung open, and a very formidable looking Gaara of the Desert stood in the doorway with his arms crossed and a rather annoyed expression on his face.

"Ga..Gaara-san …I…Kizuko…" he said still panting.

Gaara raised one non existent eyebrow at the boy. Sand crept along the walls of the doorway flowing towards him.


A tendril of sand snaked around one ankle and finally Shinosuke caught his breath.

"Is she alright? I wanted to kill Aoi when I found out."

The sand retreated and Gaara moved to the side. "She's in her room. Oh, and Shinosuke? Hurt her again and the sand doesn't retreat next time."

Shinosuke gulped. "Yes sir."

She sat on her bed in a pair of pajamas with hoping frogs on them and her hair in a fluffy hunter green towel. He could see the ragged form of Kon Kon hugged close to her, and Naruto-san sat on the bed next to her as she snuggled against him. Shinosuke stood in the doorway watching and then coughed softly.

Two blonde heads looked, Kizuko's green eyes becoming stricken as she saw him and Naruto's blue eyes narrowing. The elder Uzumaki rubbed her hair within the towel one last time to dry before removing it and slid off the bed, heading towards the door.

"I'll let you two talk."

He met the boy's pale eyes as he was passing through the doorway, his own eyes flashing crimson in warning. Shinosuke gulped. He was doing a lot of that lately. But then again, he was lucky that Naruto-san and Gaara-san hadn't killed him in various painful ways yet. He'd heard about the things that happened to people who hurt their only daughter.  But, apparently they thought well enough of him to give a chance to explain himself and make amends.

Now if he could just figure out how to start…

"Hey." He said lamely.

She didn't say anything, but just kept staring at him with those piercing green eyes full of hurt. Then she started biting her lip again.

"Don't do that!" The outburst seemed to startle him as much as it did her, but he was tired of seeing her abuse her poor bottom lip to the point of bleeding. He got the courage up to say as much. "You've been biting it all night, I can tell. And it's going to start bleeding in a few minutes and I don't like you being hurt, so…so…so don't do it anymore!"

Something flashed in those green eyes and he felt the need to take a step back, but through sheer force of will held his ground.

"You don't like me being hurt? That's funny since you've been doing a good job of making sure I am since yesterday!!"


"First you tell Aoi that you'll go with her to the Festival when you know we always go together! Then I have to see her dragging you around looking like she's the Queen of Konoha and insulting me to my face! And Then you leave!! You leave me behind and Yuriko-chan and the others said that you don't like me any more and they started calling me a 'fox fish' and they pushed me in the goldfish tank and kept me under and I was alone and you weren't there and….you left me alone…" Tears started running down her cheeks and those green eyes were filled with so very much anguish.

And it was all his fault.

He needed to stop those tears. Slowly he walked across the room, but Kizuko was sobbing with her face pressed into Kon Kon so she didn't even notice. At least not until two arms reached out and pulled her close. She blinked and looked up to see Shinosuke looking very serious.

"You're right. I left you alone. And I'm really really sorry about it. I didn't know they had anything planned or else I wouldn't have let you out of my sight. But…I won't leave you alone again. I promise. So…So stop crying, okay?"

She sniffled and hiccupped and scrubbed the tears from her cheeks before leaning into the embrace. "You promise?" she asked softly.

"Yeah." He smiled. "I promise. I was an idiot. I should have told Aoi to piss off because I was going with you. I wanted to go with you. I spent the entire night wishing I was with you instead of her, cuz she's all like 'Shinosuke-kun!!'" He broke out into high pitched falsetto.

Kizuko laughed and he smiled again. Shifting, Kizuko scooted over and made room for Shinosuke on the bed next to her. He sat, taking his arms from around her but tangling their fingers together as they sat facing each other.

"So, you really didn't want to go with Aoi?" The little blonde asked hesitantly. 

Shinosuke made a face. "No. I wanted to be with you. You're my best friend, after all. Besides…you looked a lot prettier than any of the rest of them." He blushed furiously.

"Eh?" Kizuko's eyes widened and she felt a deep blush crawl across her face.

"The other girls…Aoi….You looked a lot better in your yukata. At least I thought so." He clarified nervously.

"Shinosuke….I…Kizuko thinks…"she broke back into her old habit of referring to herself by name. A definite sign that something important was going on.

They stared at each other for long minute, neither saying a word. Slowly, they leaned towards each other, their faces almost touching. Something…Something defiantly important was about to happened. Kizuko closed her eyes, her gold lashes resting on tan cheeks. Shinosuke gulped and did the same, the blush across his face intensifying. They could feel their breath mingling, and then…

There came a rather pointed cough from the door way.

Shinosuke leapt off the bed and a good half way across the room with impressive speed. Impressive, that is, if you weren't a demon or a father. Unfortunately for him, the pair that stood in the doorway were both.

Naruto leaned against the side of the doorway, legs crossed in a lazy manner and hands idly playing with a very sharp kunai as he viewed the scene in front of him. Gaara looked a bit more foreboding with his patented glare complete with arms crossed and bits of sand swirling in the air surrounding him.


"Papa, Gaara….we were…umm…that is…"

"It's rather late, Shinosuke-kun. I think your parents might be getting worried, don't you?" the blonde drawled.  

"Err…yes. I…I think I'd better go now. Good night, Naruto-san, Gaara-san…Kizuko."

Kizuko gave him a bright smile and he smiled right back, a rather happy feeling rushing through him as he fled the apartment.

Back in her room, Kizuko still glowed happily. Naruto raised an eyebrow at her.

"Time for bed, Kitling."

A slight sigh, but then she curled under the covers, Kon Kon close at hand. Naruto walked over and gave her a kiss on the forehead and the customary 'good night' before quietly leaving the room and closing the door. He found Gaara in their room, as expected, and upon entering he glared and pointed an accusatory finger at the redhead. 

"What did I tell you? Huh? First the yukata…"

The Sand nin looked skeptical.

"Wedding Kimono!! I'm telling you!! Wedding kimono!!"

Rolling his eyes, Gaara reached out and pulled the blonde in for a kiss, effectively silencing him.

At least for a little while.


Yukata are the lighter cotton version of kimono. Girls tend to wear them with obi and other formal accessories at summer festivals. I've seen pictures of several very elaborately patterned ones so I'm sure a pattern like the one on Kizuko's wouldn't be that impossible. And yes, yukata can be expensive. I'm not exactly sure how expensive though. I do know that Kimono generally costs the same as a small car, so…

Ikebana is the traditional Japanese art of flower arranging. Sakura and Ino had to take a class in this in the manga flashback.

Koorigawa Aoi – Her name literally would translate to Blue Ice River. More suited for a Mist ninja probably, but hey, it's what she told me.

Senbei are rice crackers. The cheese ones are yummy. ^^

Yakiniku = barbeque. Very very yummy.

Mendoukusai  Shikamaru says this a lot and I'm sure Shinosuke gets it from him. It's a bit hard to translate. Something along the lines of  'pain in the ass'

Kowaii = scary. But I'm sure you all already knew that. ^_^

Thanks everyone for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. ^_^