A/N: First of all, this is a naruto x female kyuubi fic, so NO yaoi ("shudders")

I know what you're thinking right now, another project.
I know, I know, but it's just that I was overwhelmed by a massive horde of plotbunnies.
I can't really say what kind of influence this story will have on the rest of my projects, but I promise you, they will all continue (no worries).
As a matter of fact, Death's Dawn chapter 21 is about halfway done at the moment that I'm typing this.

In any case, enjoy, and expect a lot more from this fic in the future.
(just so you know, it'll be a romantic comedy, so not too many action scenes, though I do have some battles planned. A warning is in order though, as it is very possible that I'll be attempting to write my first lemon in this one, so those of you that don't really like it, too bad)

Nine-Tailed Romance

Chapter 1

The sun was standing high in a cloudless blue sky, casting down its rays onto the village hidden in the leaves. Life was going its usual, calm way. Well, as calm as living in a village dedicated to military operations can be. Still, except for the occasional infiltration attempt, kidnapping, stray exploding tag, jutsu gone haywire, invasion and general mayhem (courtesy of the Konohamaru Corps), everything was relatively quiet. This would soon change though.

The reason for this change was currently headed towards Konoha, in the form of two travellers walking side by side along the main road coming out of Fire Country's capital. Nothing but their muffled footsteps and rustle of their clothes broke the quiet between them.

"I am not letting you out of the seal you damned fox", the blonde member of the two suddenly shattered the silence.

"Kyuubi bothering you again kid?", his companion, an aging man with a huge mass of spiky grey hair asked, concern lining his voice.

"Yeah, damn fox won't leave me alone. Can't you use some sort of seal to make the bloody furball shut up or something Ero-Sennin?"

"I'm sorry Naruto, but I already told you that it would be a bad idea. The Fourth's seal is complex enough as it is. I can't even begin to predict the consequences of even altering it in the slightest", Jiraiya replied solemnly, causing Naruto to sigh deeply.

Ever since the battle at the Valley of the End, the Nine-tailed fox had managed to set up some sort of telepathic link into Naruto's mind, enabling it to speak directly to him. The demon had been nagging to be released almost constantly, almost driving Naruto to the brink of insanity at times.

"So what did he propose this time?", Jiraiya asked. It had become somewhat of a standard procedure for Kyuubi to propose something different every time it started nagging again.

"Promised me all you can eat ramen and a few new jutsu", Naruto replied, "Looks like the level of creativity is dropping if the fox is being forced to combine previous offers".

"True, but you have to give him credit though. He's been going at it for how long now?"

"Ero-Sennin, you're getting old. It's been about five years since we left on our trip. Something is seriously wrong with you if you're starting to forget things like that".

"Hey, can you blame me? I'm an old geezer of over fifty already. Combine that with the whole Akatsuki mess and you should understand why I'm starting to forget certain things".

The man did have a point though. The training trip, which had been planned to last for about two and a half years, had doubled in length when they had received word from Tsunade that Sasuke had returned to the village on his own, though the exact reasons remained unknown to the pair. This however had the benefit that they could extend the trip and thus prepare Naruto better for the inevitable confrontation with Akatsuki. It had been horrible when Naruto had received news that Akatsuki had attacked the Sand and taken Gaara. He'd gone on a rampage and it took every ounce of Jiraiya's strength to keep him from running all the way to Suna. Thankfully, a messenger bird came a few days later, stating that while Shukaku had been extracted, Gaara was fine, thanks to the selfless sacrifice of an old woman named Chiyo.

As time progressed, news of other Jinchuuriki falling to Akatsuki filtered through Jiraiya's network of spies and he stepped up Naruto's training schedule. The results were quite satisfying. Naruto was now able to use one handed rasengan and had even managed to advance to the next level with them, adding a wind element to the technique. Furthermore he had managed to master practically all of Jiraiya's entire jutsu collection.

Even so, a confrontation with Akatsuki would likely take everything both he and Jiraiya had.

"Remember Naruto, when we enter Konoha you can't let anyone know that you can communicate directly with the Kyuubi", Jiraiya said sternly, looking his semi-grandson straight in the eyes.

"Yeah I know, because if they find out they'll hate me even more than they do now", Naruto replied. They'd been over that so many times that it irritated him to no end, especially because it felt quite good to yell out loud at something the fox said.

"I see you still need some work on that. Thankfully we still have a few days before we reach the village, so try and learn to stay quiet before we do".

Naruto nodded before starting to mutter curses under his breath, sounding more like an indignant bullfrog than anything else. Jiraiya had no doubt the curses were aimed straight at Kyuubi. Even if it was a maliciously evil demon fox, some of the bribes had actually sounded good to Jiraiya. The massive harem for example sounded very good to him and he actually had to resist altering the seal for a moment, though reason soon won over his more perverted side. Of course, the ramen and jutsu would probably have more of an effect on Naruto.

It wasn't like Jiraiya hadn't tried to get Naruto hooked up to a few girls here and there, but it seemed useless. Even if the boy had grown to become a veritable babe magnet, few girls wanted to start something with a shinobi, even more so a foreign one. The few girls that did approach him were scared off by his unusual hyperactiveness or one of his sudden outbursts against Kyuubi. Given the fact that he couldn't exactly say why he had those fits, there was no hope in recovering anything that might have bloomed. As Kyuubi was driving Naruto to the brink of insanity at times, Naruto himself was driving the old hermit to insanity because of his lack of female companionship. He was in desperate need for some new inspiration for his literature. He only hoped that their return to Konoha would bring some excitement, especially if the Hyuuga heir still had a crush on the blonde. He couldn't wait for the possible sleaze he could find there.

"Ero-Sennin, can we stop here for the night?", Naruto suddenly spoke up.

"Sure, but why? It's still a bit early".

"I know, but I want to go and visit the fox so that I can teach him a lesson", came the reply.

Jiraiya sighed and pointed out a small clearing at the side of the road, indicating their place to sleep for the night.

"I'll just leave you to it while I go and find us some dinner", the toad hermit smiled as Naruto set down his backpack and started setting up the tent.

Jiraiya had been gone for a few minutes when the blonde shinobi finished his work on the campsite and sat down in lotus position and started meditating. It didn't take him long to move to the place he had dubbed 'the cage' and stood in front of the massive barred gates kept together by a thin slip of paper with the symbol for seal on it. It seemed ironic actually, that a single slip of paper was actually holding the most powerful demon of all at bay. One thin fragile looking piece of paper.

"Oh, so you decided to pay me a visit again?", a deep voice rumbled out of the darkness just before two glowing red eyes opened, staring straight at Naruto.

"Yeah I decided to do that, so I could make you shut up. It's getting really annoying Kyuubi, to hear you yammering on and on about wanting to be released from the seal. It's not going to happen, you hear me?"

"Well I certainly noticed that earthly riches can't exactly persuade you to tear that seal apart", the fox grumbled in reply, "but then again, nothing stops me from driving you insane with some non-stop whining".

"That's the reason I'm here".

"What, you want me to start singing while whining?".

"No you idiot fox, I want you to stop doing it, altogether".

"Then make me", Kyuubi grinned, revealing a set of massive teeth that glimmered in the faint light.

Grumbling, Naruto stepped right up to the steel bars and glared into Kyuubi's massive eyes, completely unafraid. He knew that nothing would happen to him as long as that slip of paper stayed in place.

It wasn't until he felt something hit him in the back of his head that he finally noticed that there was something wrong. He blacked out for a moment but awoke just as his head collided with the cold steel of the cage. A tearing sound snapped him back to attention and he placed his hands beneath him just in time to prevent himself from falling face first into the water covering the floor in his mind. A fluttering piece of white paper drew his attention and he snatched it out of the air. Quickly scanning it, he recognised it almost instantly. He looked up and saw what happened.

Only one thought ran through his head at that exact moment.


Right after that, he was blinded by a flash of light, right before everything turned dark.

After what seemed like an hour of floating in the darkness, Naruto felt himself gaining consciousness again. He groggily opened his eyes and tried to sit upright only to feel an agonising jolt of pain shoot through his stomach. The earlier events rushed back to him at that moment, causing terror to grip his heart as he waited for his eyes to adjust to the difference in brightness. As soon as it didn't hurt to open them anymore, he took a careful look at his environment and was shocked to find that nothing had changed.

"Ok, I don't think I dreamed that, but if it's reality, then where is the giant demon fox standing by to eat me, why isn't everything surrounding me destroyed?"

"I think I can answer that", a voice called out from behind him.

Naruto froze. Reason dictated that except for himself, the only one that could possibly be there was either Ero-Sennin or the Kyuubi. The problem was, neither of those had a voice even remotely like this one. First of all, it seemed almost angelic. Ringing through the campsite as clear as a bell. Second, it was the wrong gender. He whipped around to look at the owner of the voice and froze. Standing only a meter or two behind him was a beautiful girl, butt naked. His mind shut down for a moment as his eyes took in every curve and burned them into his memories, at least until he noticed that the girl in question had a few extra 'appendages' that were missing on normal humans. For instance, no human had fox ears on top of their heads and no one had nine fox tails swinging gently behind them. He looked up at her face, instantly recognising the slitted blood red eyes glimmering above a grin, accented by sharp fangs.

"Kyuubi", Naruto breathed.

"Oh, right in one", the girl said, playfully twisting a few strands of her waist long red hair around her fingers.

"But, but, ..."

"What, you weren't expecting me to look like this?", she interrupted the stammering shinobi.

"You're female??"

"What does it look like to you? You got a good eyeful a moment ago so you tell me".

Naruto blushed crimson at this. It was true though, but it was also virtually impossible to keep his eyes off her. She was without a doubt absolutely gorgeous.

"But I always thought".

"Let me guess", she interrupted him again, "you thought I was male. Why is it that all males think that someone with great power is also male. So narrow-minded".

She huffed at this and looked at Naruto again.

"So how long are you going to let me stand here and parade in front of you? It's freezing you know, and I don't exactly have a lot of fur to keep me warm in this form".

With another deep blush, the blonde quickly grabbed some of his clothes and threw them towards Kyuubi before turning around to give her some privacy. Things were absolutely not as he expected them to be.

"Alright, I'm decent", she announced and Naruto turned back towards her, eager to ask her some questions.

"Ok, before you go and do anything, I've got a few questions", he announced, only to have Kyuubi look sheepishly at him.

"Oh God, she already did something", he thought before voicing his concern, "Ok, what did you do?".

"Ask your questions first, I'll tell you what I did after that".

He grumbled again but decided to go along with her plan, for the moment.

"Ok then, first of all, how did you get out?"

"Isn't that obvious? I lured you near the cage and then used one of my tails to smack you into the seal, tearing it loose in the process".

"Oh, right, that is what happened".

"Not exactly one of your greatest moments right?"

"Shut up you damn fox. Second question, why are you still here, sitting still and talking to me".

"What else would I do?"

"Errr, destroy the world?"

"Been there, done that, no fun anymore".

"Then what are you planning to do now that you're free?"

"I thought it was obvious, stay with you of course".

Her answer stunned Naruto. He had been expecting her to tear him to pieces or do something horribly painful to him before unleashing her power onto the world again, but here she was, sitting in front of him, doing nothing. Well, almost nothing, but wagging your tails couldn't exactly be called threatening".

"But why?"

"Well, I'm the only one of my kind, so it gets kind of lonely after a while. And while I was sealed inside of you, I guess I fell in love with you, especially when you grew up".

"Ok, something here is not right", Naruto thought out loud before bringing his hands together, gathering his chakra and shouting, "Kai". Nothing changed though, confusing him even further.

Kyuubi simply raised an eyebrow as she watched the blonde's antics. She had been expecting some sort of reaction, but not really like this.

"Ok, Ero-Sennin, come out, this joke has gone on long enough", Naruto finally shouted.

"What joke kid?", Jiraiya's voice came out of the bushes just before the hermit emerged with a couple of rabbits held in his hands. The old man stopped dead in his tracks when he spotted the red headed beauty sitting opposite of Naruto, dressed in the clothes of said shinobi.

Before Jiraiya could notice, Kyuubi hid her tails behind her back and pushed her ears as flat against her head as she could, causing them to blend in quite well with her red hair.

"Ok, what has been going on kid, who is this girl you're with".

"You honestly didn't play a joke Ero-Sennin?", Naruto asked him again.

"Nope, I just went to grab some rabbits in the woods, what else would I be doing? There isn't a place for research for miles", he said seriously, starting to wonder about what exactly was going on, and where that girl came from.

"So you finally believe me Naru-kun?", Kyuubi smiled mischievously.

"I guess", he sighed, dropping his head in the process, "but you promise that you're serious about what you said right?".

He looked up to see her nod vigorously and decided to take her word for it. After all, she hadn't done anything threatening, yet.

"So who is she kid?", Jiraiya asked, not exactly trusting the girl. Something seemed off about her.

"Please don't overreact Ero-Sennin, but the girl you're looking at is actually the Kyuubi".

Jiraiya froze, the rabbits slipping out of his hand and dropping onto the grass with a muffled plop. It took five seconds for him to close his mouth and drop into a fighting stance, kunai in hand.

"Naruto, move away from her", he shouted, killing intent radiating off him.

It didn't last long though. In a flash, Kyuubi had shot upright, disarmed the toad sage and pinned him against a tree on the opposite side of the road. This time, it was her killing intent that permeated the area, causing the wildlife to flee and goosebumps to start forming on the skin of the two shinobi present.

"Kyuubi, let him go", Naruto shouted as he palmed a kunai himself.

"Don't worry Naru-kun, I won't hurt him", she smiled at the object of her affection before turning back towards the old man hanging helplessly in her grip.

"Listen you perverted old man. Since my Naru-chan considers you as one of his precious people, I'll be nice and give you a warning. If you ever get between us again, I'll castrate you in the most inhumanly painful way possible, and trust me, I've done it before. Oh, and just so you know, the same happens if you dare to peek at naked women again", the fox girl finished with a growl as she loosened her grip, letting Jiraiya go. She turned her back at him, tails waving from side to side as she calmly walked back towards Naruto.

"In return", she spoke up as she gestured towards him to put away the kunai and sit down, "I'll behave nicely and won't do anything unless Naru-kun here tells me I can".

She plopped down beside him and threw her arms around Naruto, before giving him a loving kiss on his cheek.

Jiraiya was still looking flabbergasted at the scene unfolding before him until her words finally permeated his thick skull and he regained some control over his thoughts.

"But how, why?", he exclaimed, still not believing Kyuubi.

"I already told Naru-kun and I'm not in the mood to go through it again, so I'll summarize it for you. Yes, I'm female. Yes, I'm in love with Naru-kun here, and yes, I'll behave. Do you understand or must I spell it out for you?"

Jiraiya simply nodded, but froze again as a small spike of killing intent again rose off of the red headed fury.

"And just so you know, I won't allow anyone to get in between us, understood?".

Meanwhile, Naruto was still sitting there in Kyuubi's embrace. Part of him was terrified, but another part of him was enjoying itself way too much. Sadly enough, the second part was winning. There was something about her that simply made his heart beat faster. This realisation however reminded him of the thing she admitted she had done before he had woken up.

"Say, Kyuubi", he said, looking at Kyuubi as he did, which proved to be a massive mistake. His heart skipped a few beats before nearly bursting out of his chest. Up close like this, she was even more beautiful than he could've ever imagined. Still, with considerable effort, he managed to ask his question, "what exactly was it that you did to me while I was unconscious?"

Kyuubi grinned mischievously at this. Without warning she ripped off Naruto's shirt and touched a spot between his neck and shoulder, almost the same spot where Sasuke's curse seal was.

"This was what I did".

Naruto looked at the spot she indicated and did a double-take. Right where she was pointing was a seal, about 5 centimetres in diameter, in the shape of a small fox sitting upright, surrounded by grass. A closer look revealed that the lines that made up the seal were actually composed of incredibly small writing, indicating the high level of the seal.

"What the hell is that?", he screamed as he jumped upright and started running circles around the clearing, trying furiously to wipe off the seal.

"It's a seal designed myself", she replied calmly, grabbing Naruto by the scruff of his neck and pulling him back into her embrace, "It's made so that no woman besides myself will ever have an effect on you. Of course, I have a version of the seal on myself so no one but you can have the same effect on me".

"Why did you do this?".

"Quite simple actually, it makes sure that neither of us is disloyal to the other, and it allows you to live forever. For as long as one of us lives, the other stays alive as well. Isn't that nice? Oh, and the seal can't be removed, modified or sealed over so don't even bother trying".

Naruto looked at Jiraiya, almost pleading him to try. The old man simply shook his head in response.

"I can see it from here kid, and I can tell with a glance that it does exactly what she said it would do. I really pity you, being bound to one woman for the rest of your life and unable to explore the world like I did".

"As if I would want to follow in your footsteps Ero-Sennin, I'd be happy to stay with her for the rest of my life", Naruto shouted angrily, realising too late exactly what he had said. This of course made Kyuubi so happy that she glomped Naruto mere milliseconds after the words had left his mouth, knocking him onto the ground. Her close presence however, combined with the fact that he could clearly feel that she wasn't wearing underwear (you can't exactly expect a pretty girl like herself to wear a male's underwear right), caused the seal to go in overdrive. Naruto felt dizzy as hormones raged through his system and he had to resist with all his might to stop himself from kissing the girl currently lying on top of him. She however, had some different ideas. Thankfully, Jiraiya tried to intervene before she could do anything, though an angry snarl coming Kyuubi stopped him dead in his tracks. This momentary pause gave Naruto the time he needed though, and he gently put his arms between them.

"Perhaps it's best we take this slowly, right Kyuu-chan?", he smiled at her. His mind however was having the exact same thoughts as Jiraiya's at that time.

"Where the hell did that Kyuu-chan come from?"

Kyuubi sighed as she sat upright again.

"I guess you're right Naru-kun. Even though we've known each other for your entire life, I'll admit we didn't really got off on the right foot. Not to mention the fact that you didn't expect me to be a female until a little while ago".

As Jiraiya watched Kyuubi calm down, he slowly started to move again before suggesting they go to sleep. The new 'couple' agreed, they both had to admit that it had been a rough evening, even for Kyuubi. Escaping from a high level seal really did a number on you, especially if you've been sitting still for the past eighteen years.

They cooked the rabbits caught by Jiraiya in silence, Naruto sharing half of his with Kyuubi who readily devoured the meat.

"Oh, I forgot to tell you Naru-kun", she spoke up as soon as they all finished eating, "the seal won't allow us to be apart for long periods of time, and it also limits the distance we can move from each other".

"What do you mean Kyuu-chan?"

"I mean that if you ever get separated from me for longer than a day or two, or if you go more than a mile away from me, we'll both begin to feel some side-effects. So it's best that you stay with me all the time".

Naruto sighed, but nodded. It wasn't that he really minded that part of the seal, it was just that it was that extra bit of information that he was being forced to account for in any plans he would make in the future. It was all just so much to take in. He was shaken from his thoughts though when he felt Kyuubi tugging on his arm. It took him a while to realise that she was slowly pulling him towards the tent, indicating that they should go to sleep.

"Hey, what about me?", Jiraiya whined as he noticed Kyuubi's intentions.

"You can sleep outside", she grinned at him, "you're a hermit right, you should be used to this kind of thing".

"But...", he didn't get any further though. A quick glare coming from Kyuubi's direction was more than enough to silence any and all protests. Muttering to himself the he sat down and tried to make himself as comfortable as possible against the trunk of a tree. Though he did keep his notebook close at hand, just in case something interesting would be happening during the night.

"At least now I understand about the whining from before, she's a female so it's natural", he muttered as he leaned back, ignoring the irregular bark pressing into his back. A kunai flying out of the tent made him move though.

"I heard that you old pervert", an angry voice growled from the tent as the kunai embedded itself into the tree, leaving just the ring of the handle sticking out. Jiraiya gulped visibly and made himself swear that he would never, ever, piss off the fox lady again.

"Why me", he sighed as he slumped back down, the kunai handle now adding to his discomfort.

Naruto on the other hand couldn't be in a more comfortable position. He was laying on his back as Kyuubi positioned herself at his side, using his right arm as a pillow while encircling his waist with her own right arm before abruptly falling asleep. They had both agreed that they would move slowly with their somewhat unusual relationship. Though he had to admit, it felt quite good to have a girl sleeping peacefully next to him. He could only hope that she truly meant what she was saying. If not, he realised, God help them all.

As the first rays of the sun shone through the leaves of the trees, several people in the clearing stirred. Jiraiya woke first, though his eyelids were struggling to stay open for more than a few seconds and his back was hurting as hell.

Inside the tent however, Naruto woke up to see a certain red haired beauty resting on his chest. He smiled and gently stroked her hair. He didn't even know why he did it, but he was almost sure it had a bit to do with the seal, though he didn't mind in the least. His gentle ministrations elicited a soft purring from Kyuubi as she gradually woke up under Naruto's touch. She sat upright and stretched, yawning widely and showing off some razor sharp fangs in the process. The blond however didn't feel threatened in the least. She had earned some of his trust after all. She had more than enough chances to kill both him and Jiraiya during the time she had been released from the seal, yet the only thing she had done was warn the pervert and sleep with Naruto. This however soon brought forth another precarious situation. While he was used to sleeping in nothing more than some baggy pants, he wasn't used to having an incredibly sexy girl sleeping on his bare chest wearing nothing more than his own shirt. The result, combined with the power of Kyuubi's seal, was staggering to say the least, especially when she stretched like that, causing the one piece of clothing she was wearing to crawl up a bit. He blushed as she laid back down at his side, a mischievous look on her face.

"Like what you see?", she smiled seductively.

"Yeah, but you know what I told you Kyuu-chan", he admitted.

"I know, I know", she sighed, "I understand that we need to take it slowly, but that doesn't mean I can't tease and seduce you a bit".

"Fair enough", Naruto couldn't help but grin at her suggestion. It wasn't that he really minded her trying to seduce him, actually, he had started to enjoy it, quite a bit too.

"You lovebirds awake yet?", Jiraiya's voice called from outside the tent, "we better start moving now if we want to stay on schedule".

"We'll be right out Ero-Sennin", Naruto replied, ignoring Kyuubi's disappointed look. It was clear that she wanted to snuggle some more, but Jiraiya was right, they had to start moving now if they wanted to reach Konoha on the planned date.

"You ready Kyuu-chan?", he smiled at her. She simply nodded in response.

It didn't take them long to get moving, and they were on their way to Konoha.