The Fox Hunts
II. My Predator
"Sasuke. Sasuke, dear. Did you pass out while training again?" A soft, almost haunting voice calls to Sasuke. Something cool and moist presses gently against his forehead. "You can catch cold sleeping out here, my precious Sasuke." The boy leans into the touch. His eyes flutter open, taking in the blurred image of a pale woman with long, black hair.
"Mother?" He whispers hoarsely. A giggle is heard as a blurry pale hand moves to the woman's lips.
"Mother? While I wouldn't mind being one someday, I'm afraid I'm not your mother, Sasuke-sama." The image responds, coming into focus. The black eyes turn a lighter shade of brown as black bangs grow pass the woman's cheeks, stopping at her rather-flat-for-a-girl chest. Her youthful aura pulsed around her with an energetic calm unlike the more refined aura Sasuke would usually feel around his mother. He sits up and glares at the kneeling woman who dared touch him so intimately.
"Who are you?" He asks. His eyes dart to the side as an elaborate, ceramic vase catches his eye. He takes a minute to glance around the room, unable to recognize anything, from the potted tree thing on the dresser to the strangely marked wall scrolls. He turns back to the woman. "What is this place? Where am I?" His gaze wanders down, realizing his lack of attire. He presses the blanket against his bare stomach while his cheeks flush lightly. His facial expression remains as calm and stoic as possible as a naked man can be in front of a beautiful, young girl. "Where are my clothes?" An image of the demon fox flashes in his head. "Kyuubi? What happened to Kyuubi?" All hints of embarrassment vanish in a momentary state of forgetfulness.
"Please settle down, Sasuke-sama." The woman smiles. "I am Haku Momochi, loyal servant of Kyuubi-sama. This is Kyuubi-sama's palace."
"Kyuubi's palace?" I thought demons lived in caves and lakes and stuff like that. "What am I doing here? I should be dead."
"Hmmm…I wonder…" The woman says as she taps her chin while gazing up at the ceiling. She looks at Sasuke and smirks. "You'll just have to hear it from Kyuubi-sama. His meeting with the council should be over soon." Haku hands a folded pile of blue cloth to Sasuke. "You are to wear this, Sasuke-sama. Your clothes are in the wash at this time." Sasuke unfolds the pile and frowns at the cloth decorated with embroidered white water lilies.
"What the hell is this? I'm not wearing a bath robe!"
"This is a kimono made of the finest silk. It cost Kyuubi-sama quite a lot, Sasuke-sama."
"Then he can wear it." Sasuke tosses the fabric aside. Haku picks up the crumpled fabric on the floor and holds it out to Sasuke.
"Would you prefer to meet with Kyuubi-sama naked as you are, Sasuke-sama?" The servant grins. I'm certain that would please Kyuubi-sama greatly.
Sasuke scowls and practically yanks the fabric from the servant's grip. He looks through the rest of the pile, narrowing his eyes further as he extracts white, lacy panties from it. "This is a joke, right?"
"What do you mean, Sasuke-sama?" Haku says, blinking brown eyes in confusion.
"These are panties."
"I can see that, Sasuke-sama. However, I do not see the problem. I wear them all the time after all."
"I'm. Not. A. Girl." Sasuke says pointedly. Haku blinks and shrugs in response.
"Neither am I."
Sasuke stares in silence for a second or two. His pale face grows paler as those three words sink in through his skull to the synapses of his brain. You have got to be shitting me. His eye twitches as he looks away from the transvestite.
"It's bad enough that I have to wear a bath robe, but there's no fucking way I'm wearing these as well." I guess I should be thankful that I didn't find a bra in there, too.
"If that is your wish, Sasuke-sama." The she-male bows politely. His hand moves to the blanket covering Sasuke's lower regions.
"Hey! What the hell?!" Sasuke grabs the blanket just before Haku can pull it off. He glares heatedly at the smiling servant.
"I need to dress you before Kyuubi-sama arrives, Sasuke-sama." Haku says, watching Sasuke's glare harden further.
"I can dress myself, thank you." He says through gritted teeth.
"Are you certain, Sasuke-sama? A kimono can be-"
"Just get out!" Sasuke snarls. Fucking queer.
"Very well then, Sasuke-sama." Haku stands up and bows. He turns and walks through a full-length mirror situated in the corner of the room.
He can pass through mirrors? Oh shit! What if he peeps on me when I'm changing or worse, rapes me when I'm asleep?! Sasuke frets internally. He looks down at the pile of fabric and sighs. May as well get dressed. It's not like there's anything I can do about it. He moves the blanket aside, standing up while rubbing his sore back. Haven't these people heard of a bed? A pile of blankets hardly make a good mattress. Hell, sleeping outside in the forest is a lot more comfortable than the damn floor. He looks through the pile of cloth, separating it piece by piece as he does.
Why are there so many different styles of the exact same outfit here? Blue with water lilies. Blue with clouds. Blue with fish. Blue. Blue. Blue. Is this Kyuubi's favorite color or something? Ah, here we go! He holds up a solid white robe without any elaborate patterns on it. Finally, something that isn't embarrassing. He slips his arms into the sleeves. He fingers the lining of the robe and frowns at the lack of a zipper and buttons. He looks through the pile and finds a variety of sash-like belts and a wide yellow belt of some sort. He picks up a red sash.
This thing is definitely a bath robe. He overlaps one side of his robe over the other. He then ties the red sash around his middle, securing it tightly. He twists and turns, feeling the smooth silk rub against his skin. Ugh. This thing is so thin. I may as well be wearing one of my mother's nightgowns or something. At least it's not see-through. He notices the folds of fabric pooling at his feet. This thing would probably fit better on her. His eyebrow twitches in annoyance. His mother is still taller than him, while Itachi had already been a head taller than her at the exact same age. Itachi. Itachi. Itachi. He crosses his arms over his chest. He beats me at everything. But… His eyes light up. Maybe this is my chance to kill Kyuubi. Then again… His head droops. How am I supposed to kill him with my bare hands? He uncrosses his arms and looks at the wall.
I may as well try to find a way out. He places his hand against the wall. Soft, like paper. What kind of cell would have such delicate bars? He pulls his hand back, curling it into a fist. He punches the paper wall. A tingling sensation scrapes against his knuckles, snakes it's way up his arm and explodes in his chest. He falls on one knee as the pressure on his lungs makes him breathe heavily. A symbol glows on the wall and fades away almost as quickly as it came.What the hell?
The wall slides open revealing a short, red-haired boy with a gourd strapped on his back. "These walls are infused with barrier magic. Please refrain from hurting yourself further. Kyuubi-sama will see you soon, my lady."
Sasuke's eyebrow twitches. "My lady?! I'm a guy, asshole!" Sasuke glares at the redhead. The redhead looks him over.
But those clothes…Was she, he, actually going to go out in that? Humans…I don't think I'll ever understand them. He closes his eyes, bowing his head. "My mistake, Sasuke-sama. You can use the door next time you want to leave, but Kyuubi-sama has ordered that you remain here until he arrives."
I can leave? Just like that? Sasuke's eyes narrow into thin slits. Something's going on. "What is Kyuubi up to? Why did he bring me here?" The redhead opens his eyes studying Sasuke's. He can see the confusion and frustration hidden poorly within them.
He doesn't know? Well, that's for Naruto to work out. "Don't try to escape. There's nowhere you can run." The wall slides closed.
"Hey! Answer me, damn it!" Sasuke traces his finger against the wall, finding a groove within the wooden frame. He pulls to slide it open but it doesn't budge. I guess I have no choice. But what could Kyuubi possibly want with me?
Mikoto Uchiha had long ago come to the conclusion that the days of the annual Kyuubi hunt are the worst days of the year. Her father was killed in the hunt when she was ten. Her older brother when she was fourteen. Her younger brother when she was twenty. Shortly after marrying Fugaku, she had been so worried for him that she miscarried their first child. The year after, Itachi had been born shortly before the hunt, so she was able to distract herself by caring for him. Sixteen years later, Itachi had went on his first hunt with his father and her younger son, Sasuke, was nowhere to be found. Remembering how Sasuke had practically begged Itachi and his father to let him come along, Mikoto feared the worst.
But then, Itachi had come home with Sasuke unharmed and sleeping in his arms. It was the happiest she ever felt during the Kyuubi hunt. However, Sasuke had changed after that day. He trained much harder, far too much for a child. She had to treat his wounds constantly or distract him from training with chores and errands. And then there were the nightmares Sasuke would have when they were left alone in the house during the hunt. The sobs and screams that made her chest hurt from anxiety. The first few hunts he had let her hold him as he cried after he woke from his nightmares. After some time he stopped crying, but let her hold him. Then he started pushing her away and even locked her out of his room at night.
And now for the first time in ten years, she is once again all alone in the house with nothing to do but worry about her family's safety. She had already cleaned the whole house twice and the hunt has just started! How do these men expect her to not go insane after being stuck alone in the house with nothing to do for a month?
A loud, almost desperate banging on the front door disturbs her thoughts. "Mikoto! Mikoto!" She could hear a muffled voice from behind the door. She rushes to it and opens it wide, revealing one of her neighbors on the other side.
"The men have returned, Mikoto!" The older woman tells her.
"W-What? Already?! Did they kill Kyuubi?" Mikoto asks her. Hope swells in her chest. Maybe she wouldn't have to worry year after year anymore.
"No, Kyuubi has fled. Perhaps the men have chased him away for good!" The woman says excitedly.
For good? With that thought, Mikoto runs pass the woman with a quick "excuse me", heading for the main gate.
She easily spots Itachi and her husband sitting on their horses amidst the crowd of people gathered, like beacons of light in the darkness. Itachi is holding Sharingan's reins in one hand. The blood drains from her face when she notices the lack of a rider. Where's Sasuke? Please don't tell me he… She pushes her way through the crowd, silently pleading to her husband and son to tell her that Sasuke is not dead.
"A human will weaken the bloodline!"
"This infatuation will pass within a few decades. Think of the children!"
"At least consider a female! There are already many complications with demon male pregnancies. A human couldn't possibly handle it."
Those old geezers are like a broken record. Ten years of nothing but 'don't marry a human', 'you must be joking', and 'it's just an infatuation'. And of course the worst of them all… "No human could survive the trials. Spare yourself the grief and find a strong female demon."
The blond clenches his fists as he replays the words of the council in his head. His sandals clomp loudly on the wooden flooring, echoing throughout the quiet hall. Even the servants that walk by him don't make a sound. They'll see. Sasuke is going to be my mate, my bride, and he'll pass the trials without breaking a sweat. He'll bear lots and lots of strong and healthy kits. I guarantee it! He smiles widely when his best friend and one time bodyguard, Gaara, comes into view. "Gaara! How's Sasuke?"
"He appears healthy, Kyuubi-sama."
"Hey now, what did I tell you to call me when it's just the two of us?"
"That would be improper for my rank, Kyuubi-sama." Gaara responds automatically. The blond throws his arm around Gaara's shoulders.
"Loosen up, raccoon man! We've only been friends for what, eight, nine hundred years? It's just Naruto! Na. Ru. To! Got it?"
"Understood, Kyuubi-sama. By the way…"
"You're just doing that to piss me off aren't you?"
"…why did you give Sasuke-sama a maiden's kimono?"
"Well duh," the blond grins, "he's my bride!"
But that's just what humans call their mates, right? The redhead doesn't voice his thoughts. Instead, he opens the door behind him. The blond barely restrains himself from bouncing in. The fox lord does have an image to maintain. Good luck, Naruto. The redhead leans against the wall once more.
One step and a wide smile later, the blond's hand flies to his nose as blood drips out. No more than a few feet away from him is his long-pined for mate lying on the futon, dressed in nothing but his jammies. The large, white under-kimono had slipped revealing a pale shoulder and a glimpse of his toned chest. The boy's eyelids open slowly. His eyes lazily roll to the entrance. An eyebrow rises as he notices the blond. "Who are you supposed to be?"
"I'm Naruto Uzumaki, you know?"
"Naruto Uzumaki, huh? Well Mr. Uzumaki, tell Kyuubi to get his ass down here. I'm getting tired of waiting." He places his hands behind his head and closes his eyes. The smile on Naruto's face falters for a second.
He's such a tease, isn't he? Well, if it's Kyuubi he wants… Red tails peek out from under his red kimono decorated in orange flames. His ears grow long and pointed, while his whisker marks pop out into real whiskers. Red fur breaks out of his skin while his blond hair takes a redder tint, merging with his fur. His fingers melt together, becoming thick-padded paws with long, sharp claws. …It's Kyuubi he gets.
The vulpine gracefully slinks over to the unsuspecting boy, straddling him while being careful not to disturb him. He brushes his pink tongue against the boy's lips. The boy's eyes snap open and dilate as the fox's face is reflected within them.
"K-K-Kyu-Kyuubi." He whispers. The fox can hear the boy's heartbeat quicken as the scent of sweat fills his nostrils.
Don't look at me like that, Sasuke. The fox presses his belly against the paralyzed boy. His pink tongue licks up Sasuke's neck and over his jaw. "Don't you dare faint on me again, scaredy cat." Black eyes contract in faint recognition. They widen once more as the fox before him changes into the blond from before. "Surprised you, didn't I? But don't worry. I would never harm you, Sasuke." The fox-turned-blond places his lips near Sasuke's ear. "At least nothing deadly, that is."
Naruto presses his lips against Sasuke's, making the deathly pale boy even paler. Sasuke feels something wet and slimy, like a slug, slide between his lips, brushing against his teeth. In recoil, he pushes against the fox's shoulders, but the blond doesn't budge. The demon retaliates by nipping the boy's lip with his razor sharp teeth. Sasuke's teeth part as a soft yelp reverberates in his throat only to be silenced as the demon takes advantage of the brief opening. The feel of a thick, moist tongue probing his mouth and the metallic taste of blood nearly makes Sasuke gag.
I…AM…MAKING OUT WITH AN ANIMAL! Alarm bells ring inside Sasuke's head and he reacts instinctively by digging his knee into the demon's side with a desperate kick. Naruto snaps his head up with a loud hiss. His eyes narrow into a squint as he grins with a pair of canine tips sticking out.
Hehe. So you like it rough don't you, little bitch? His eyes contract into slits, while blue irises melt into red. Nine red tails snake out from under his kimono. Four of the tails ensnare one of Sasuke's limbs each. Sasuke flails futilely, never taking his eyes off Naruto once. Naruto places one hand on Sasuke's forehead, pressing him into the pillow. His fingers grab the mess of black locks, tugging back harshly to expose the boy's pale neck to him. His other hand traces Sasuke's jaw with a clawed finger, leaving a light pink trail behind. It travels down Sasuke's neck and stops when Naruto feels the pulse beating beneath the skin.
Naruto lowers his mouth to the pale expanse, taking the skin between his teeth, sucking and teething on it roughly. Sasuke stares at the mop of blond hair, paralyzed in shock. His mind barely acknowledges the distant, pleasant sensation coursing through his body as clawed hands slip under his kimono. The image of the tanned blond above him is displaced with the red fox for a second.
This thing isn't human. This thing is an animal. This thing is male. This thing is a male animal. I'm being molested by a male animal. Sasuke's mind races with similar thoughts leaving him more and more disgusted with his situation. To make matters worse, the said male animal is very well-endowed if the rock grinding against him is any indication, and if things are going to progress further…Oh HELL no! I am NO ONE's bitch!
"GET THE FUCK OFF ME!" He screams and resumes thrashing about. "I'M GOING TO CUT OFF YOUR DAMN BALLS AND SHOVE THEM STRAIGHT DOWN YOUR THROAT, YOU DISGUSTING, PERVERTED BEAST!"
"I'd like to see you try, Sasuke-chan." Naruto says with a smirk, unfazed by the outburst. He unties the belt around Sasuke's waist, pulling the kimono wide open.
Oh shit. Oh shit. OH SHIT. Sasuke shuts his eyes tight. This is a dream. A really fucked up dream. I'm going to wake up any second now. He feels a light brush on his backside, resting on his buttocks. ANY. SECOND. NOW! He feels something small and slender slip inside him. It twists and squirms ruthlessly in the tight area, making the Uchiha bite his lip. I'm not dreaming this, am I? I'm going to be fucked up the ass by a demon fox. The proud, strong, stoic Uchiha whimpers softly as the pain and realization nearly drive him to tears. He keeps his eyes shut, fighting against the moisture threatening to spill from them. A demon's fucking whore…I think I'd rather die.
"Shhh…Sasuke," Naruto's hot breath caresses the pale boy's cheek, "It'll only hurt for a few seconds. I promise." The boy whimpers in response. Long, white fingers clench the sheets of the futon tightly. His shoulders tremble almost unnoticeably. "Sasuke." Naruto says sternly to the Uchiha, who only whimpers once more. "Sasuke, open your eyes." The Uchiha ignores him. The demon growls in annoyance, slipping his free hand to the back of the boy's neck. He pinches the sensitive area, making the boy's eyes snap open, letting a droplet drip from the corner of each eye. The pink-tinted eyes staring back at him freeze Naruto's movements.
He's not playing around. He's scared out of his mind. Naruto's eyelids droop gloomily over blue irises as he removes his finger from the boy's rectal orifice. The red tails retract under his kimono. "I guess you're not ready, huh Sasuke?"
Ready? "So what? I'm just a damn whore, right?!" He yells, with his voice strained from anger and despair.
"Whore? What are you-" Naruto starts, but stops mid sentence as a thought strikes him. A thought that had been nagging him in the back of his mind ever since he heard the Uchiha speak, but refused to acknowledge. But he couldn't have… "Do you remember your first kiss?" Sasuke's eyes narrow at the change in topic.
"Yeah…" He says. What about it?
"When was it?"
"About two years ago." Sasuke raises an eyebrow as the blond frowns.
"With who?" The demon snarls at him, hiding his eyes behind messy blond bangs. Sasuke gulps loudly as he feels the killer intent stifling the air.
Oh fuck. Oh shit. Maybe he only likes untouched sex slaves. Sasuke tries to escape, but the demon's hands pin Sasuke's shoulders to the floor. Claws dig into his bare shoulders, making his teeth clench in order to keep him from screaming out.
"WHO WAS IT, SASUKE UCHIHA?!"
---10 Years Prior---
Uchiha? Like Itachi Uchiha? The younger version of Naruto reflects on the long-haired, stoic man who's name he picked up from the others in the man's team. "Is your big brother named Itachi by any chance?" The dark-haired boy's eyes light up as he smiles widely.
"Yeah! You know him?"
"Yep! Well, I saw some of his mad skills once. I don't 'know him' know him, you know?"
"I think so…" The boy scrunches his face in thought, making Naruto repress the urge to glomp the young boy for all his cuteness. Naruto coughs before his thoughts head down the wrong road.
He's just a kit for crying out loud! He shakes his head. "So, you really think Itachi will kill Kyuubi and come for you?" Sasuke smiles.
"Of course! Big brother is really strong and smart, but he never plays with me! He'll play with Daddy, but not me. Mommy plays with me sometimes, but she's a girl! She can't hold a sword or throw knives or anything!"
"Oh, so you can wield a sword then?" Naruto leans against the wall, placing his chin on his hand.
"Uh huh! But it's wood. Brother said I'll get one like his when I'm bigger."
The two children continue to chat as time passes and the sky turns red as the sun proceeds to set in the horizon. Their topics bounce from family stories, favorite foods, favorite colors, dislikes, and any other random things prepubescent children may talk about. At least until Naruto asks a question that would alter both of their seemingly planned futures.
"If you could be anything in the world what would it be?" The blond child asks, already knowing the dark-haired boy would answer something along the lines of 'a stronger hunter than big brother' or 'the strongest hunter in Konoha'. Instead, Sasuke looks away nervously. The blond sits up straight, clearly intrigued by the boy's reaction to the question. "Sasuke?"
"You'll laugh at me." Sasuke hides his face behind his knees.
"Oh? Why would I laugh, Sasuke?"
"Everybody else did."
"I won't laugh. It's your greatest wish isn't it?"
"Yeah…" Sasuke lifts his head from his knees, but still avoids the blond's eyes. He sucks in a deep breath and exhales loudly. He turns to Naruto with a determined and serious expression plastered on his face. "I want to be a bride." The blond blinks and doesn't respond. He's going to laugh now… Sasuke's shoulders sag slightly as he lowers his gaze to the ground.
"Umm…what's a bride?" The blond boy asks, placing a finger under his chin in thought. Sasuke looks at him, surprise evident in his eyes as well as a hint of relief.
"Um, well, you see…a bride is someone who marries someone and gives them lots and lots of children."
"Oh!" Naruto grins. "You mean a life-mate! That's what we call our 'brides' where I'm from. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be that."
"Really? My teacher said boys can't be brides…"
"Maybe not in your village, but we do it all the time in mine. But…" Naruto crosses his arms over his chest as he squints his eyes. "Why would you want to be a bride? Wouldn't you rather be Konoha's strongest hunter or something?"
"I wanna be that, too! But, well…I was helping Mommy in the kitchen when I asked her what the happiest day in her life was. She said it was when she was Daddy's bride cause she never would have had me and big brother if she wasn't. So," Sasuke smiles, emphasizing his dimples. "I want to have lots and lots of children, too!"
Good lineage, good looks, an eagerness to have children, a liking for battle and if he can fight like Itachi or Madara one day… "You know, Sasuke…" Naruto's lips curl, making his whisker marks twitch as if they were real whiskers. "I want to be a life-mate and have children, too. If you really want to, you can be my 'bride'."
"Really? I can be a bride?!"
"But only if you 'marry' me." That was what you called it, right?
"Yay! I'm gonna be a bride!" The dark-haired boy throws his hands up excitedly.
"Ah, but not right now." Naruto waves his index finger at him. "You, we, are kids. We have to be big, strong men first."
"Awww…But Daddy says I'm a man when I can hunt Kyuubi. That's…" Sasuke counts aloud with his fingers. He holds both of his hands up in front of his face. "10 years from now!" He pouts with his bottom lip jutting out.
"Patience." Naruto places his hand on Sasuke's head, ruffling the oddly-shaped hair. He grins in amusement when he notices none of the strands had been shaken loose from the gesture. "So, in 10 years on the day of the fox hunt, I'll take you to my home and we'll get 'married'. BUT, on one condition."
"Con-di-tion?" Sasuke rolls the unfamiliar word around with his tongue.
"Yes, you have to be really strong like your brother. I won't have a weak bride!" Naruto says, trying to make his tone serious, but not harsh enough to scare the boy. Sasuke glances at the ground nervously. He clenches his fists as he meets Naruto's eyes once more and nods.
"Okay, I'll become really strong. Then I can be your bride, right?"
"I promise. How about a kiss to seal the deal?" Naruto wiggles his eyebrows. Sasuke raises an eyebrow in silent question. Naruto responds by cupping the boy's face in his hands. Sasuke watches silently as the blond boy closes the distance between them. The blond gently crushes his lips against the other boy's. A mere second or so later, Naruto pulls back with a smirk.
"That's a kiss?" Sasuke places his fingers to his lips, rubbing at the tingling sensation lingering in them. "I sawed Mommy and Daddy do that before."
"Of course you have, they're life-mates! Only life-mates can kiss each other, you know? So, don't go kissing anyone else, you hear?" Naruto leans over, staring sternly into Sasuke's eyes, with his face only a breath away from Sasuke's. Sasuke can only nod as his cheeks burn.
Why do I feel so hot? Am I sick?
Authoress Note: Geez, this chapter is longer than I thought it would be, not to mention how I kept re-writing certain scenes. Anyways, to clear up a few things that may be asked. First off, I had the idea of making this a "West meets East" type of story, cause cultural misunderstandings are so much fun to write. My knowledge of Japan is fairly limited though, so I'm going to use a touch of license here and there. About the "many cloth" kimono, female royalty in the olden days were known to wear 12 layers of kimono. Sasuke doesn't know this obviously and ends up wearing only the "under-kimono" which is basically how Naruto describes it above.
Second, the kiddies aren't aware of the gender typing when it comes to "brides" and apparently no one had explained to Sasuke about "grooms" either. He was only six, after all. No need to marry your kid off that young at least.
Third, about the neck pinching. There's a spot in the back of the neck that hurts like HELL if you apply too much pressure to it. I've accidentally done so when I massage around there.
I'll try not to take too long with the next update. Ja ne!