AN:gasp: Is't possible? Doth mine eyes deceive me? Is our beloved (and very MIA and all kinds of AWOL) Iris BACK? Hells yeah she is, and she is here with a chapter for YOU, her wonderful, awesome, fantastic, supportive, fabulous, squee-tastic readers! Yeah, I totally threw a HUMONGOUS party when I saw that I topped 100 reviews. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

In other news, I seem to have lost my beta because I've been MIA for so long (and I won't bore you with the incredibly long sequence of events that kept me away from writing this chapter). So if anyone is interesting in taking up the now vacant beta position, private message me, email me, or leave a review, because I never had a beta before this and it is the most amazing thing ever, so now I am a sad Iris who would like a beta again.

I would also like to thank everyone—you know who you are, I'm not going to name names—who took the time to send me a message, email, or review to get off my butt and update. Thank you. I really do appreciate the motivation, and that you took the time to do it. It means a lot. Feel free to do it any time I take longer than 2 weeks to update.

AND! I know there is a growing list of reviews that I haven't replied to yet—unfortunately I've been swamped with writing my thirty-page undergraduate thesis, then finals, and then packing up my stuff, moving back home, then unpacking, then catching up on the girl's work who I took over for at my job, but now that this chapter has been posted, I will get to those ASAP. Okay, I lied, that was what kept me away from writing this chapter—that and an overdose of writer's block and chemistry research. Fun times. Except not.

And so ends my AN, which is probably longer than this chapter.

As always,

A block of italics is a flashback

:If the italics are surrounded by colons and get their own paragraph, it's from Inner Sakura:

And, last by not least, there be lemons ahead. Do not read this chapter unless you are 18 (or 17, if that's the age in your country) or over. You have been warned. That being said, it's nothing too explicit, but it's definitely walking the line between R and NC17. If anyone feels that it's too explicit, please let me know and I will edit it.

Chapter 12

"Your scent changed, and Kyuubi said that it means that you are ours."

I just stared at him. My first instinct was to punch him to the end of next week, but I was too surprised to get my muscles to move. It's not the first time I've heard something similar, or had it implied—well, since I matured, at any rate. But it's not something I'd expect to hear from Naruto. Possession…it sounds so dark…and Naruto is usually full of light and smiles. On the other hand, I did say that I'd suspected that part of it was a mask.

I looked at Naruto. He was standing, looking at me with a peculiar look on his face. I could see that his muscles were tense—he was poised to dodge a blow. Hm…now that's interesting. Normally he doesn't try to dodge. Of course, I don't usually have such a delayed reaction. But he's fast enough that he could dodge if he wanted to. The look on his face…I would almost say that it was assessing…but that sounds too cold and clinical for what I saw. I didn't know what to say, and the time to punch him for his impudence had passed, so I fell back on the next best option.

"Naruto," I tried to keep my tone as innocent as possible and widened my eyes to complete the look. "I'm not that hungry just yet. Do you want to do a little sparring before we eat?"

:Please say yes, please say yes. :

He looked taken aback, and then his smiling mask dropped into place—it's probably what Kakashi's own smiling facade looked like without the cloth covering the lower half of his head.

"Sure!" He said happily.

Perfect, I thought to myself as my lips curved into a sly smile.

:Your ass is mine! Possession goes both ways blondie. : Inner Sakura laughed evilly.

The clearing I wanted to "spar" at was only a hop, skip, and jump away—literally. I let my pack fall to the ground and stood facing Naruto. I reached behind my back for a kunai and twirled it around my index finger.

"Are you ready?" I asked. It had been a while since I last sparred with Naruto—although, admittedly, I was intending for this to be a punishment session rather than a sparring session. I felt my blood begin to rush through my veins, and the adrenaline begin to pump through my system. But I remained standing upright, with my weight on both legs, and one arm to my side, deceptively nonchalant.

Naruto crouched down. A position that could be used for offense or defense—but one he usually used for offense. I was proved right when he lunged forward towards me. I spun to the side, easily avoiding him.

:Yawn:

I was tempted to agree. Surely he thought better of me than that. Then a yellow flash caught my eye and I saw Naruto crouched where he originally had been. I whipped my head to the other side, my ponytail lashing my face, to see another Naruto mirroring the position. What—when had he—I didn't even feel him raise the chakra to form a clone! This also ruined my using any simple one-handed jutsus behind my back. I quickly flung my kunai at the Naruto then threw shuriken at the other. They both dematerialized into puffs of smoke.

:WHAT the HELL:

I stared in surprise. It couldn't have been a clone the entire time. But when—oh. When he followed me into the clearing and I turned my back on him for a minute. So the real Naruto was around here…somewhere.

:CHEATER! I'll kick his ass:

Focusing chakra, I called up the earth to surround me in a dome—Naruto would have to break through it if he wanted to get to me. Then I smiled, and with another jutsu, sank into the ground. In relatively little time I heard the crack of my dome being broken through, and the thud of someone landing above me.

"Huh?" Naruto's muffled voice reached me through the ground. "She's not here!" He called. I knew it, another clone.

"What do you mean she's not there?" I heard. The vibrations of his voice came from my right, and I turned and slowly, carefully moved towards the vibrations. I felt a step directly over my head, and with all the speed and strength I had, I punched my fist through the dirt and grabbed his ankle, pulling him down as I jumped up.

I heard the dispelling of the clone, but I was focused on the Naruto I had in my grasp. Taking advantage of his surprise, I twined my leg around one of his and pulled his arms back, lacing my fingers behind his neck. Naruto fell face-first onto the ground, with me on top of him.

"Admit it, you've been defeated," I said, feeling much better now that I'd come out on top. Naruto tried to fight my hold, but I was using chakra to strengthen my muscles. There was no way he was getting out of this without admitting that I'd kicked his butt.

:Hell yeah! Grind his face into the mud. :

"Oh, I don't think so," he said, turning his face to the side and looking at me.

I narrowed my eyes at him. "Excuse me? You're not going anywhere for a while, so unless you feel like wasting our entire afternoon just sitting on our—what the hell!"

It was slight, but I felt it. Something was crawling up my leg at a slow, steady pace. I was lying on the ground, and I'd just been under it. My body went rigid. It could only be one thing.

:BUGS! OH MY GOD! GET IT OFF! LET HIM GO SO YOU CAN ZAP IT:

I could take it; I was a hardened kunoichi.I had witnessed and taken part in countless gruesome deaths. It was crawling up my thigh. With a shriek I let Naruto's arms and leg go, and tried to jump up, but something around my leg held me down and I crashed back onto the ground. I looked down and saw something thick and red entwined around my ankle, disappearing into my uniform pants. It came from…well, it came from Naruto's ass.

:Speaking of which, this is a great view of it. Was it always that firm looking? Give it a poke, let's find out…damn, he moved. :

He rolled over, giving me a cocky smirk. As if the tail weren't a big enough clue, I noticed that his whisker markings were slightly more prominent, and the tip of a fang peeked over his lower lip. His eyes were still that amazing shade of electric blue, but they looked more feral. I allowed my gaze to trail to his hands, and noticed claws.

"Kyuubi?" I breathed.

"Look what I've got tangled in my tail," he rumbled, leaning forward and crawling towards me. I gulped and tried to scoot backward on my ass, but his tail tugged me forward. For every time he placed a hand near me, his tail would tug me forward. In a very short time we were nose to nose.

:Oh shit. :

Yeah, my sentiments exactly. I'd only ever dealt with this aspect of Naruto in battle, and once the battle was over, it wasn't an issue. I had no idea if Kyuubi saw me as a light snack or as a potential mate, and I hadn't really intended to find out.

"Um, you know," I stammered as he smiled toothily at me, "I really don't think that this situation warrants a tail. Or claws." He moved his head to nose at my neck. "Or fangs," I squeaked. "You definitely don't need those."

Kyuubi pulled back from my neck and I couldn't help relaxing slightly in relief.

"You don't need to fear us, Sakura, we would never harm you," he said, looking very seriously into my eyes.

"Us!" My voice reached new heights of shrillness. "Us who?"

"Kyuubi and me, silly," Kyuubi-who-was-apparently-also-Naruto purred, bumping my nose with his.

"But…you…it…he…what?"

"We're merging…somewhat…and this form represents that. We think that eventually this will become our primary form and we'll have to use a Henge like Tsunade to maintain the fully human form."

"Merging," I said in awe. How horrible. I wonder if he felt like he was losing his identity, or like he was going insane. And I had had no idea.

"Stop worrying, Sakura," Naruto-Kyuubi laughed. "I know what you're thinking. I know who I am—our thoughts are very distinct. The merger of personalities is on a more basic level. My senses are stronger, better, more accurate than a human's. I act more on instinct than I used to, and less on impulse. But I'm still me."

"So you talk to it…him…often?"

:Oh my God, it's the twilight zone! And dual personalities! Back away from him—er, them very, very slowly. :

"Mentally, yeah. More now than I used to, but that could just be because he's bored. Or he was bored. You've caught his interest."

Gee, I feel so flattered—not.

:Yeah, caught his interest as to whether he wants to eat us raw or cooked. :

"Wow, Naruto, that's something else," I said, edging backwards. "You know what, I just remembered I had an extremely urgent meeting with, um, Kakashi, so I'll see you in a little—UNH."

That's the sound I make when the air suddenly exits my body; Naruto (or Kyuubi-who-is-pretending-to-be-Naruto, or Kyuubi-who-is-merged-with-Naruto—you know, this could be getting really confusing, maybe I should invent some acronyms) pulled me back towards him with his tail of chakra. Right, the tail. It definitely can't be Naruto then, because he definitely doesn't have a tail. Although, since Kyuubi has always been a part of him, it could be argued that Naruto has always had a tail. Wow, the semantics and logistics of this argument could go on forever. But Naruto was saying something and I snapped to attention.

"Jiraiya is already aware; I'm sure Kakashi and Tsunade have been told."

"Oh." Well, I guess that takes care of that. And now I don't have a leg to stand on—well, not that I'm standing, because I'm laying down. I've noticed that when I'm nervous I have a tendency to ramble. And I guess you could say I'm nervous now because I'm definitely rambling.

"Calm down, Sakura, it's just me." Naruto crouched over me. I looked at his face, and saw the worried blue eyes of the boy I'd known for over half my life, not the crazed red of Kyuubi.

"Naruto," I murmured, raising a hand and gliding my fingers along one of his whisker markings, which were still standing out prominently. He turned his head and nuzzled my hand. I sighed as my fear and nervousness drained away. Truthfully, now that my panic was receding, I remembered hearing Tsunade making some noise about Naruto's seal—but whenever she noticed that I was listening, she'd stop talking. It's only logical—even the strongest seal will weaken over time—it's just a matter of when. I imagine if Naruto had a weaker personality then Kyuubi would be possessing him and slowly killing his soul. He must have been so afraid when he realized what was happening—and then to have me turn away from him when he revealed his secret—

I sat up and grabbed Naruto in a bone-crushing embrace. He stiffened, and it made me feel worse.

"I'm sorry," I breathed soggily into his neck, the compassion I felt making me tear up. "I know—I know you won't—wouldn't—hurt me. I trust you…with my life."

Naruto's arms slowly came up and slid around me loosely. I think he was afraid of breaking me. Or maybe he didn't think it was real—admittedly, I don't give out hugs frequently. We get taught in the Academy that you can end up with a knife in the back that way.

"You can squeeze harder, Naruto—I don't break easily." I pulled my head back to look at him. His eyes were hidden by his bangs. "And even if I did break," I smiled, "I could heal it in a sn—"

Suddenly I was looking at Naruto's cheekbone from a very, very close range. Wow, I didn't know he had such long eyelashes. I was almost jealous. Something soft brushed my lips, and I idly wondered if Naruto used lip balm or if Kyuubi's healing powers took care of that.

Naruto moved in for another gentle brush of the lips—but I was still too stunned. I don't know why—Naruto-as-Kyuubi had kissed me the day I found out about maturity, but Naruto…well, he seems so boyish most of the time. It was easy to just push the sexuality on Kyuubi, because, well, it's Naruto. I really don't see Naruto in a sexual light unless he's wearing this one pair of pants…or if he's shirtless…or there's this one look he gets on his face…or if he's moving his hands down my back, cupping my ass, and lifting me so that I'm straddling his lap, like he was doing right then. Okay, so it's possible that I might, on occasion, see Naruto in a sexual light.

:Yeah, like all the time. :

I hummed into his lips with approval. I loved Naruto's hands—this was something I had just realized. They were big and strong and when they were on my ass I felt small and feminine—no mean feat for a woman who uses chakra to increase her strength and can break a man in two in less than a second—if the man isn't a high-classed ninja. Naruto's lips parted and his tongue teased my upper lip before I parted mine and let him kiss me. He was tender and sweet, and I could feel myself turning to mush.

:Ugh…sap…please just get on with the sex already. :

One of his hands slid up my back and cupped the back of my head, and the other one squeezed my ass, which set off a chain of events. Startled by the flash of need and heat that took over my mind, I bucked my hips, grinding into him, and nipped his bottom lip, which made him tighten his hand in my hair. His mouth became more demanding, his tongue curled around mine in a show of dominance. I squeezed his hips with my thighs, and the next thing I knew, I was laying on the grass, with Naruto's mouth still exploring mine. A strange electric sensation moved up my left leg and I tore my mouth from his to look down. Naruto's chakra tail was spiraling up my leg. As it neared the juncture of my thighs, it tightened, and then pulled my pants leg away. I squeaked in indignation but Naruto chose that moment to bite down on my neck, causing eyes to roll back in my head. The movement was repeated on the other leg so that my jounin pants were reduced to shorts—although that might be generous. Hotpants would probably be a better term. I felt the tail again, trailing lightly up my leg. It reached my pelvis and I wondered if my shorts and underwear was going to be ripped away or if it was going to—

"Oh God!" Tail good. Tail very good. Tail friend. Did I have a problem with the tail before? I felt Naruto smile against my neck, and I dug my nails into his back. Oh, hello, when did he lose his shirt? I smoothed my hands along his back, feeling the dips that defined his muscles. I love muscles. I was a happy Sakura, and the thought came to me that I would be even happier if I could see Naruto's pectoral and abdominal muscles.

It took a little concentration, but I managed to flip him over so that I was on top. You know, I think I could get to like it here. I sat up and looked down at Naruto. I could see his tail wrapped around my waist, pulsing red, and I dragged my short nails down Naruto's chest and stomach. His muscles tightened and I smirked. Looking at his body, I really couldn't say that Naruto was a boy. No, Naruto had definitely grown up to be quite a man. I licked my lips, and leaned down to pay oral homage to his glorious golden body.

As I licked my way to one of Naruto's flat nipples, I wondered where my voice of reason, better known as my conscience, had run off to. Being aggressive sexually wasn't like me. Was I under a jutsu? All I could feel was the chakra pouring off the tail, which had resumed movement. I nibbled on Naruto's nipple, then soothed it with my tongue. In less than a second, my shirt and bandeau were in shreds courtesy of the tail, and Naruto's hands were around my waist, holding me up, and his mouth was copying my actions. I clenched my hands in the grass, and tried to move my hips downward for some desperately needed contact, but his hold remained firm. I felt Naruto's tail slip under my shorts and underwear, and I shrieked as the tingling feeling it gave off surrounded my clitoris. But it wasn't enough—the tail wasn't something that was actual tangible. Like swimming in a river—you can feel the current, but you can't hold onto the current. The vibrating sensations from the tail were keeping me on the edge of orgasm, and it was driving me insane. Naruto, however, was content to play with my breasts.

"Please, anything," I gasped. For whatever reason, it caught Naruto's attention.

"Anything," he growled, his eyes flashing red. But I was too far gone to care.

"Anything," I moaned. He pulled me down and kissed me.

"Give yourself to me," he said, his eyes red. I almost screamed, "Take me," but he stilled me with a kiss.

"Let me mark you," he hissed.

I was about to wholeheartedly agree with him when I saw his eyes turn blue, and the look on his face turn from one of deviousness to one of horror.

I was plucked out of his grasp in the next second. Naruto's tail vanished and he stood up, looking away from me.

"Take her somewhere safe," he said dully.

"Naruto, wait," I said, struggling with whoever was holding me while trying to keep my breasts covered.

"Keep her away from me!" he snarled before using a displacement jutsu.

I was shaking from sexual tension, and my mind was clouded with confusion and hurt. A jacket came over my shoulders and the interfering man crouched down to zip it up. I looked down and saw my own image reflected in dark sunglasses. My hair was messy, and I looked lost.

"Shino…I don't understand."

"I spoke with Kiba. There's something more that you need to know."

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

What's going on with Naruto? Why was Sakura so horny? Is Shino trying to take over Kakashi's position as official cockblocker?

Find out in Chapter 13!

Two last things before I go: I know I said I was going to post this story at my LJ…well, I'm not, because in my understanding the Naruto archive from AFF is nearly complete, so this will be updated and fixed up there. I'm currently using my LJ for Harry Potter one-shots, and, of course personal information, and as I've only had a couple of people going, "Hi, I'm here because I read your story on FF dot net" I'm going to assume that people just watch my profile and wait for author updates. As always, if this changes, you can look for it in my author notes and I'll bold it and make it obnoxious so you can't avoid reading it. :cackles: The other thing is that I'm not going to post Chapter 13 until I've written Chapter 14, so that I can get ahead on my story and, if I ever get a horrid case of writer's block again, I have something to post in the meantime. So…give me a couple of weeks…or something…see you next chapter!