"Naruto-sama, due to the-," he was cut off before he could finish.
"Will you cut it out with that 'sama' crap?" Naruto's voice was exasperated. "You're the freaking Kazekage! I'm not even a damn ninja anymore, I don't deserve that respect." The blond couldn't hold back the edge of bitterness during his short rant.
"You have saved me from my madness, you deserve all the respect I can give. However, I will accede to your wishes. Naruto-san, due to the treaty Suna has with Konoha I am unable to grant shinobi status to any former Konoha-nin that isn't specified by the Hokage. Given the events of recent, I am unwilling to cause any more animosity between our already fragile alliance by requesting such permission. However, there is nothing that prohibits freelance mercenaries."
It had taken a little over a week of constant travel to reach Suna, it gave Naruto nothing but time to consider what he was going to do. It also allowed him time to come to terms with his most recent psychological blows. The blond teen still didn't have an idea of where to go with his life.
Taking an exhausted seat in the chair nearest to the Kage's desk, Naruto took a moment to collect his jumbled thoughts.
"I- I don't know what to do man. " The former ninja-turned civilian let out a depressing sigh as his shoulders slumped. "Our lives as Jinchuuriki are hard, I know that. But it was going good for me, far better than the loneliness from my childhood. They were railroading me into being a Genin forever, but I had other ways of making money so it wasn't a big deal.
"But Hana, Kami how could she do this to me?!" Naruto rubbed harshly at his moist eyes.
"Naruto-san, I may never have met Hana-san, but I do have knowledge of what you're going through.
"You are aware that I have been in a relationship with Matsuri-chan for over two years. What I have never spoken about, to anyone, is that she was originally assigned a mission to befriend me by my father." The redheaded shinobi spat out the word 'father' as though it were a curse. Naruto could understand a little bit, he also doubted he would ever have a loving relationship with the Yondaime Hokage.
"It was painful when she confessed this to me. More-so than any wound I had ever suffered. She asked me to hear her out before passing judgment, I was thankful that I did. She had always felt admiration towards me but only approached me after being given the mission. She grew emotionally attached and our relationship was able to survive the perceived betrayal.
"I am unsure whether Hana-san feels the same way, only you and she would be able to make that conclusion. I am asking, as a friend, that you stay with me at my home for at least a week before you make any decisions. This will give you time to process the recent events and go over your relationship with Hana-san and possibly infer her true feelings toward you."
Gaara turned slightly and grabbed a small stack of paperwork before proceeding to go through it. He knew it would take time for his first friend to reply.
Naruto slouched forward in the uncomfortable chair, placing his head in his hands while his mind drifted back to a memory.
A blond teen with handsome features and a soft smile wearing a pair of baggy shorts and a somewhat-tight short sleeved shirt gazed at the girl a few feet away. His body was relaxed, lying on its side with his left hand propping his head up to get a better view of his companion. The girl, a few years older than the boy, was lying on her back with her eyes closed. She was dressed casually and had her brunette colored hair tied back into a ponytail which was splayed near her resting head. Between them could be seen a few containers of half-eaten food.
"Kiba's being a pain in my ass again. My team was training, I was in the middle of sparring with Sakura when he comes at me and gets in my face. I tuned him out mostly, I think it was the same crap about 'stay away from my sister' and 'don't make me kick your butt.'"
"Do you want me to beat him up for you, Naru-chan? Defend your honor?"
Naruto ripped a handful of grass out of the ground and threw it in her direction as a response to the teasing.
"Seriously though, I'm just going to hit him one of these days. Then I'll have to deal with your mom. Kami, she's a scary lady at times. It's only gotten worse since we started doing stuff."
The girl turned her head and slowly opened her eyes.
"Doing stuff?" She could barely hold back the giggles at his phrasing. "Are you suggesting we should stop 'doing stuff?'"
"No!" The boy rolled to his hands and knees and began crawling toward the older girl. "If anything, you know, we should probably just be more discrete."
The teen reached his goal and began gently massaging the young girl's lips with his own. His right hand exploring her clothed stomach while it edged toward her side and began its descent. He quickly reached around her body and gave a firm squeeze to her butt, earning a squeak and a smile in response.
Pulling back with a large smile on his face he maneuvered so that he could mirror her rested form and use her stomach as a pillow. They settled like that, neither wanting to break the comfortable silence, for over ten minutes before Naruto worked up the courage to ask a question that had plagued him for a while.
"Hmm?" Her eyes still closed, too cozy to move.
"Why don't you ever take the Jounin Exams? You're definitely good enough. Hell, even without your dogs you're more than ready."
"That's easy, love. I just don't want to be a Jounin. The pay raise would be nice and all, but it would take me away from home too often and for too long. Heck, Genin often spend more time out of the village than most Chuunin because of their Jounin-sensei. Chuunin is nice money, gives me access to all the Medical Jutsu I need, allows me to see my family as much as I want and doesn't involve many really risky missions.
"The fact that it allows me to spend a ton of time with you, training and hanging out, is just a bonus."
"Oh." Naruto wasn't sure what to say to that. "Huh. I've never thought of it like that. The bastards probably won't ever let me become even a Chuunin, but if had the chance I'd take the Jounin Exams without even thinking about it. But after what you said; I dunno."
Hana reached down to playfully massage Naruto's scalp, she wanted to draw his attention away from the Council that was doing everything they could to prevent his advancement.
"Yeah, a lot of people just want to rise in the ranks without really giving it much thought. I've known most of what I wanted to do with my life for a while."
"Oh?" The Gennin raised his head to give her his entire attention. "Do you mind sharing it with me? I mean, if it's not too personal."
She opened her eyes and smiled softly at him.
"You know I work as a Vet a lot, but that's what I really want to do all the time for work. I want to open up a shop for civilians working with animals. Healing, breeding and selling them, making and selling little toys for them and stuff.
"I also want to buy a little house of my own. Not something big like the Clan house, but something more intimate. Raise a bunch of little brown-haired kids with blue eyes." Her eyes widened at her slip of the tongue. Crossing her fingers, hoping he wasn't too freaked by her previous statement. He was surprised, but not scared.
He rolled to his side and took her hand in his.
She nodded with a smile.
Naruto blinked the memory away. Hana was an amazing kunoichi and likely could have acted during her interaction with him. But she was a very loving girl and would never lie or joke about something as serious as starting a family - family was sacred to the Inuzuka girl. The blond was beginning to see some sunshine peak through his depressing thoughts of the last two weeks. Maybe he could find a way to contact her.
He stood and turned to address his Suna friend.
"I'll take you up on that offer. Think more about the situation with Hana, but you might be right. I'm gonna go take a shower and get some rest, it's been a stressful two weeks for me and I haven't gotten much sleep."
Gaara didn't stop sorting through the paperwork but did nod to acknowledge that he heard Naruto.
The blond paused at the door, a thought hitting him just as he was about to leave.
"Gaara, does Suna have any Summoning Contracts I could sign? I know those are pretty special and hard to get, but I've been having a bad feeling for a while and it hasn't gone away. My gut is never wrong. I thought it was this Council meeting at first, but I still get the feeling that something is about to happen. I'd like to be prepared for it and I think summoning could help." Naruto didn't bother to mention that summoning would make it easy to contact Hana if he chose to.
Gaara placed the writing instrument on the desk and raised his head to stare down the blond; making a decision on whether or not to confirm his friend's question. He eventually nodded.
"We have a few that are currently unused. My father, the former Kazekage, wanted to use them as barter material to either lure powerful ninjas to Suna or to trade for treaties with other countries. We have the Hummingbird, Butterfly and the Horned Lizard Contracts."
He paused to gather his thoughts on each one.
"The Hummingbirds are mainly intended for delivering packages or letters, however the larger ones are able to use their speed to assist the summoner in battle.
"The Butterflies are also adequate as carriers, but their main purpose is with Genjutsu. They are extremely skilled in the art and, if summoned beforehand, they are able to form a mental link with their summoner that allows them to break and cancel Genjutsu.
"The Horned Lizards are an all-around summon that, while not as powerful as the Toad contract of Konoha, are powerful in their own right."
Naruto didn't even have to think about his answer.
"The Butterfly. I'm still horrible at Genjutsu and I could use all the help I can get." Naruto was hoping that he got substantially better once the seal finishing its transference, but that was nearly three years away. "Can I sign the contract?"
"You can have it." Gaara held up his hand to stop any protests from his friend. "You are the reason I am the Kazekage, you are also the reason I can appreciate Matsumi-chan. This is the least I can do. Kankuro has his puppets, Temari has her summon and I don't need a contract. There is no-one else I would consider giving a contract to, or even allowing them to sign, at the moment. Consider the Butterfly Contract a gift showing my gratitude toward you."
The blond couldn't help but be touched by the gesture.
"I will retrieve it later and give it to you when I arrive home later."
"Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"
Naruto channeled as much chakra as he could into the jutsu. He wasn't sure how much was required, he would work that out later, but he wanted to be successful of summoning the most powerful butterfly on his first attempt.
The plume of smoke that appeared wasn't much larger than if he had created a Kage Bunshin. It was just as tall, but a decent amount wider. Naruto was visibly excited to see who he summoned and how their first meeting would go.
Naruto could barely hold back the gasp. The butterfly was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. Its head was only two feet off the ground, but the wings stood over three feet higher. The body of the butterfly was a vivid purple, the wings, lined with thin black lines, were mostly metallic red that faded into a lavender color as you got closer to the tips. The edges were sprinkled with bright blues and greens.
"Yo bitch, you fuckin' summon me?"
Naruto flinched back at the gruff, but feminine, voice.
"You fuckin' stupid or somethin'? I asked you a fuckin' question."
"Umm, sorry. Yeah, I'm the one that summoned you. May I ask your name?"
"'May I ask your name?'" The butterfly was not flattering in its imitation of the blond teen. "You some kinda pussy or somethin'? Who the fuck talks like that. Figures, I wait two decades for a new summoner and I get a pansy-ass bitch. Fuck my life."
"Hey! Who you calling a bitch! I'm not a pansy either. I'm just new to this and didn't want to mess up what might be my only chance to summon by insulting you."
"Yeah, whatever. The names' Seikou, I'm the boss of the butterflies. You make fun of the fact that my name means 'delicate', even once, and I'll lock your ass up in a Genjutsu where you get ass-raped for weeks. I shit you not." The butch female butterfly responded before she focused her eyes on his whisker marks.
"You a 'chuuriki?"
"Yeah, is that a problem?" Naruto was visibly surprised his summon could discern that information so quickly.
"Fuck nah that ain't a problem. So, which one are you?"
Naruto was glad he had the foresight to practice his summoning outside the walls of Suna.
"The Kyuubi no Kitsune."
"Fuck yeah!" Seikou was radiating excitement. "You gonna make the butterflies feared again. But if you turn out to be a tree-huggin' humanitarian or something' I'm gonna fuck yo mind up. I'll make you think you're a fuckin' dog-bitch in heat for the rest of yo life."
Seikou really knew how to scare the shit out of her summoners.
"Yeah, I got it. Don't have to worry about that." Naruto was quick to reassure Seikou, he wanted this meeting over as quickly as possible. He wasn't going to take too many chances and accidently anger the boss summon.
"So, do I have to go through a test or something?"
"Nah, you got the Kyuubi in you, so you gotta be powerful. We don't get many summoners for the butterflies, people think they're weak and girly. Why did you pick us to summon? And what's your name?"
"Uzumaki Naruto, and because of the Kyuubi, my Genjutsu and chakra control are terrible. It also makes it hard for me to break out of advanced illusions, I usually have to cut myself with a kunai to cancel high level Genjutsu. The person who gave me the contract mentioned a 'mind link' that could prevent illusions from affecting me."
"They're Genjutsus, not illusions. Illusions only affect the eyes, Genjutsus mess with all your senses. You have shit tons of chakra, right? From the Kyuubi." She paused long enough to get a nod from her summoner. "Then I'd just summon a weak ass butterfly and keep it out all the time. You got the chakra for it and with it out you won't get hit with Genjutsus.
"Gotta warn you though, there are some strong ass Genjutsus out there. Those guys with the red eyes with the commas in them can create some powerful ass stuff. If you have to fight one of those dudes, summon my ass out straight away.
"I'm gonna bounce. Summon up a little butterfly after I go. I'm out."
And with a puff of smoke Naruto felt himself relax. Something so breathtakingly beautiful shouldn't be so intimidating, but the teen didn't doubt for a second that Seikou could and would follow through on her threats.
Shaking away the freakish meeting he just had, he prepared to summon a much weaker butterfly. A splash of blood, a few handseals and an exclamation of Kuchiyose no Jutsu later while channeling as little chakra as he could manage led to a much, much smaller puff of smoke.
The butterfly summoned during his second attempt was only a few inches tall and was a mixture of black and golden yellow.
"Hello, I'm Naruto and I'm your new summoner. I just finished talking with Seikou and she told me to summon a smaller butterfly to establish a mind link." He was hoping to whatever deity was watching that this butterfly had a much more agreeable personality.
"Greetings Naruto-kun, I am the young and lovely Kiiro. You may call me Kiiro-hime. Am I not the most beautiful female you have ever seen?"
'Kami-sama, why do you hate me? First, that psychopath Seikou and now this conceited little annoyance.' Naruto sucked up his pride and dove into the genuflecting. At least this butterflies' voice was much more pleasant to listen to.
"Absolutely, Kiiro-hime. My hair is jealous of your golden yellow wings."
"So, you've met Seikou. I'm prettier than her, right?"
"Your beauty is second to none." He briefly paused before trying to steer this discussion back to his original reason for summoning. "The mind link; how does that work? And is there anything else we have to work out?"
"The mental bond is very easy to establish and maintain, all I need to do is be in contact with any part of your body. It has to be part of you, it can't be clothing or anything else like that. The hair is our best option. Once I've established a bond I'll be able to determine if there is anything more I can do."
The butterfly quickly landed near the right side of Naruto's bangs and proceeded to burrow herself into his hair. A few minutes passed where nothing happened, he was beginning to think something had gone wrong with Kiiro spoke up.
"Naruto-kun, your chakra system is by far the most out-of-control network I have encountered; why is that?"
Naruto sighed, if he had any phobia speaking about the Kyuubi before this day it was quickly being washed away.
"I'm the Jinchuuriki for the Kyuubi no Kitsune. The seal is converting it's chakra into my own constantly, the seal still had three more years before it's complete. That's the main reason I wanted the Butterfly Contract, to assist with breaking Genjutsu and the ability to cast them through you girls."
Kiiro seemed to think on that before responding.
"Well, I'm sorry to say there isn't more I can do other than the mental bond at the moment. If you were to correct these current issues I could assist your training in and detection of Genjutsu, but I can't do anything as it currently is."
"That's fine. I wasn't expecting you to be able to. Once the seal is finished I hope I can at least become decent with the art of Genjutsu, but I've resigned myself to being terrible for the short term." He wasn't disappointed, the mental link that allowed him to break Genjutsu was more than enough to satisfy him.
"Kiiro-hime, sit tight, I'm gonna head to where I'm staying. Don't want you falling off."
Naruto could smell food after walking into the Sabaku residence for the second time that day. It surprised him a bit, they didn't eat dinner in Konoha for a few more hours. 'Maybe it has something to do with the freezing nights here in the desert.'
While the dining room was huge, the table itself was very small and informal. Naruto imagined Gaara had changed it since his father had been killed.
"Hey Gaara, Temari," Naruto greeted them while taking a seat. He briefly looked around, "Where's Kankuro?"
Temari gave a slight wave while Gaara nodded.
"He's out playing with his dolls. He won't be in until later." Kankuro's sister didn't respect puppets as much as he did apparently. "So, how long you going to stay in Suna?"
"I'm not really sure," Naruto spoke in between bites of a rice ball. "I'll stick around for at least a week. It'll give me a chance to wrap my head around everything that's happened. By the way, thanks again Gaara for the contract."
"Which contract?" Temari questioned with furrowed brows.
"I gave him the Butterfly Contract as a gift."
"Wow, is that where you just came from?"
"Mhmm, summoned the boss and Kiiro-hime."
Temari appeared confused. "Who?"
"A small butterfly, she's currently buried in my hair somewhere. I think she's asleep."
"Ah… so, how was the boss?"
"Fucking crazy. She threatened me twice, both times with anal rape. Scariest conversation I've ever had. Even the Kyuubi was more pleasant and the meeting I had with the fox was bestial roars loaded with enough killer intent that caused me to pass out while I was already unconscious."
Temari couldn't hide the chuckles that escaped her mouth.
"Oh, laugh it up." Naruto was finishing up his plate of food. "I'm gonna get some sleep, maybe tomorrow I can get some training in with either of you. I'd like to work on my Fuuton jutsus and hopefully learn some new ones while I'm here."
"Nice! You have a wind affinity too?" The blond girl could barely hold back her excitement. "Do you have a weapon yet to channel it?"
"No, not yet." Naruto spoke while gathering his empty plate and utensils and standing. "There wasn't anything in Konoha that I liked, I want something short bladed. A dagger, knife, chokuto, something like that."
After dumping his dirty dishes in the sink he said his goodnights and headed to get changed for bed. He hadn't been able to get even a short nap earlier when he made an attempt, he knew he would be out like a light as soon as his head touched the pillow this time.
I. I hope Seikou was fun to read and wasn't too much, I think I need to change the rating just to be safe because of her language. I always like it when stories, which have original summons, do something off-the-wall with them. I remember Stormrune (I believe is the author) had a story where Naruto summoned owls. The owls were feminists which required lullabies as payment for summoning. Kiiro means yellow, by the way.
II. Next chapter should have at the very least training, maybe a fight scene. I'm not sure.
III. At some point, after I have a better grasp of characterization and my writing, I plan to come back to these chapters and polish them up. Right now I'm just mainly focused on creating a readable plot.