This story is set in the far, far future when humans have spread across galaxies and all historical contact with Earth and our history has been lost, although there is some cultural continuity. There is no pervasive religion. Cultural mores are set locally.
This is the first chapter in a series that is now complete. It is 366 chapters arranged in three long stories, one short, ten one-shots, one two-shot and one five-shot. It took four years to write and all of it is on this site (with any bits considered too adult for his site edited out). Enjoy!
This story has some of Masashi Kishimoto's characters from Naruto in a universe of my own devising. Apologies if the characters have grown differently in their new environment. I do not own Naruto. I do not make any money from these writings.
This story has already been published on the AFF dot net site.
Warning: This story features male/male relationships. If you are uncomfortable reading about gay male relationships do not read this story.
Warning: The views, standards, mores and morals of the different groups in this story are the product of a fictional future history. Many of the behaviours they consider acceptable we do not. In this story, 'spacers' consider youths of fourteen capable of giving informed consent and they consider a job description that includes providing sexual favours to others, including much older people, to be normal and acceptable. I understand if this makes this story unacceptable to you.
1. Intimacy issues
Kakashi walked beside Captain Tsunade through the corridors of the space station Tarrasade.
He had prepared for fourteen standards in anticipation of this day.
Fourteen standards ago he had been escorted to the main hall of the Uchiha household. Fugaku-kyou himself had been there. Kakashi had kneeled and pressed his forehead against the floor before requesting, yet again, that he be allowed to kill himself.
"No, Kakashi," Fugaku had said. "It was not your responsibility that Obito died. If it was I would kill you myself."
Kakashi had not cared. He had sworn to protect Obito with his life and Obito had died before him. Nothing else had mattered.
"I have a task for you, Kakashi." Fugaku had continued. He had beckoned and a woman had come forward with a newborn. "Kakashi, this is my son."
Kakashi had felt a tiny stirring of interest. The clan elders had constantly badgered Fugaku to have a second child: a spare.
"One day, Kakashi, Sasuke will join a crew as cat. I wish you to be there. I require you to stand in my place during those standards when he will be vulnerable. No one must know why you are there or your close connection to this clan."
Kakashi had known that Obito would have wanted him to accept: it was not the honour, although that was great, it was that this child would need him to survive. Kakashi had swore the oath, returned to spacing and begun.
"No one must know who the lad is." Tsunade was saying. "Not even Iruka," she added.
"I understand, Captain." Kakashi said. He knew, the Captain knew and, unknown to Tsunade, Jiraiya knew. Three people, plus a yet unknown number of outsiders, were considerably more than 'no one': too many for Kakashi's taste.
She scowled at him. "If it wasn't for you we would not be in this mess."
Kakashi shrugged. She did not know the truth she spoke. As far as she knew, Sasuke's guardian had looked for an established, discreet, tradition crew with a low tendency for violence and a strong enough fighter to defend against all challenges. Kakashi was that fighter and therefore, in Tsunade's eyes, he was the reason the Silver Leaf had been chosen over other, possibly more suitable, ships.
It hurt him that they were not heading for the Uchiha compound: that the household was now sealed and empty; that they all, like Obito, were dead; that Sasuke Uchiha had been raised for half his childhood in by another clan.
It was not unusual for a captain to be summoned to the offices of the Fire Shadow organisation, or even to see its head, Hiruzen Sarutobi. Kakashi hoped that Hiruzen-sama had been discrete and that the boy had a believable cover for being at his guardian's office.
Kakashi had braced himself to see an Uchiha, but his first thought was that the boy was incredibly beautiful and that the difficulty of his task had just increased a hundredfold. His shock and anxiety was mirrored in the Captain's face. She swore, which was acceptable as she was an outsider and a woman. Hiruzen-sama's reaction indicated that he felt guilty rather than insulted. There was the customary round of introductions, during which the boy behaved perfectly.
"I have tried to persuade Sasuke-kun that he has other options but he has always insisted on continuing on the path his father laid out for him. He has been very single-minded in preparing to join a crew." Hiruzen told them.
Kakashi watched the boy's face. Youngster's faces were usually so mobile, so expressive, but his was like a mask.
"We have prepared a standard application video, as you requested," Hiruzen-sama continued. "Do you anticipate any problems persuading your crew?"
Kakashi knew that one look at this boy in the flesh would set off every alarm in Iruka's head. "It may be wise to obtain the agreement of the crew before they meet Sasuke in person," Kakashi suggested. "Perhaps a cover story that he will have to travel a long distance to join us. Is there a far flung system with which you are familiar, Sasuke?"
There was silence as the boy considered. "I went to school on Elleton for a short time," he admitted.
"Excellent!" the Captain declared. "Now, Hiruzen-sama, do you have any business for us?"
Tsunade muttered obscenities all the way back to the ship. Kakashi sympathised.
The Captain gave Kakashi the task of persuading the rest of the crew. A swift look at the boy's application video confirmed that Iruka would be the only problem. With a word here and a suggestion there, Kakashi managed to derail Iruka's usually infallible instincts so that all he saw in the video was a boy hiding his insecurities. Genma was too busy drooling over the holo to ask questions. Ibiki was impressed by the boy's impeccable education. All Shikamaru had cared about was being promoted to crew so that he no longer had to suck Jiraiya's prick. The vote was seven to zero in favour.
A single division in space was enough to confirm Kakashi's worst fears. A cat was the lube that made living in the crew room bearable. A cat was someone for them to look after, to teach and to care for. A cat stopped tensions building by fulfilling their role as catamite.
None of these were easily compatible with a boy who behaved as if he was carved out of ice, even one with alabaster skin and eyelashes to die for.
They had settled into their usual cycle. The cat spent one evening and night with each crew member and had the eighth for himself. It was Sasuke's evening with the Captain, which was a relief because it meant Sasuke was in the Captain's cabin rather than in the crew room. Even Kakashi was looking forward to it, at least until he entered the crew room and realised that it was suspiciously full.
He tried escaping but Shikamaru had walked in behind him and was closing the door. Iruka's eyes bored into him, daring him to leave, so Kakashi smiled with his eye and continued into the room as if it had never occurred to him to flee. In future he would be more suspicious of Shikamaru's offers to play Go.
He flopped down next to Iruka who gave him a look and moved to an adjacent couch. Kakashi sighed. Everyone else was here, even Jiraiya. Genma sat high up, pretending disinterest, the ever-present metal needle projecting from the corner of his mouth. Ibiki was lying on his back, staring at nothing.
"That's everyone," Ibiki growled, "get on with it, Iruka."
"We have a problem." Iruka began.
"The Brat." Genma agreed.
"While in many ways Sasuke is an excellent cat," Iruka began.
"It's like fucking a block of ice." Genma interrupted. "You and Kakashi have each other. We don't have that luxury. I never thought I would say it, but I wish Shikamaru had never been promoted. At least my cock didn't feel like it was dipping in liquid nitrogen."
Iruka sighed, "Ibiki?" he asked.
"I have given up," the big man admitted, "masturbation is more enjoyable. Even so, Sasuke is an asset. He will be an outstanding crew member. There have always been some asexual spacers."
"Jiraiya?" Iruka asked.
The old man shrugged. "His technique is excellent. I shut my eyes and fantasise." He turned to Genma. "If you think of him as a sex doll rather than as human..."
"Jiraiya!" Iruka's voice was like a slap and Jiraiya stopped talking but shrugged. "Shikamaru," Iruka continued, "do you have anything to add?"
Shikamaru grimaced. "I tried sucking him, but it only made it worse."
Kakashi did not like the look in Iruka's eyes. He needed this discussion to end with Sasuke labelled as asexual. "It does not help that we get challenged every time we take him off the ship," he stated.
Having lobbed the firework into the fire Kakashi sat back and watched Genma and Iruka battle it out, waiting for Iruka to win outright or Genma to give up.
He moved to the table and placed the Go board on its surface, knowing that Shikamaru would appear opposite him within seconds. They settled into the game while Genma and Iruka traded insults.
"What did you mean, 'it only made it worse'?" Kakashi asked.
Shikamaru shuddered. "He froze up and when he started to get hard, he tensed up even more. I gave up. I thought he would start screaming."
Kakashi appeared to be concentrating on the board but inside his mind was racing. Sasuke was not asexual. He was bomb and Kakashi had no idea when and where he would explode.
Spacing is an almost exclusively male profession. Spacers have developed their own mores and traditions. The age of consent is fourteen (fourteen 'standards', as local years will vary). Although there may be temporary and permanent relationships within a crew, it is acceptable for any crew member to have sex with any other crew member. The youngest member of the crew, the cat, is expected to be available for sex to all crew members. It is utterly unacceptable for a crew member to have sex with someone outside a Traditional crew without the crew giving permission. Almost all spacers start out as cats.
One standard is the equivalent of one of our years. There are ten divs in one standard. Minutes and seconds are the same length as our minutes and seconds.