This story has some of Masashi Kishimoto's characters from Naruto in a universe of my own devising. I do not own Naruto. I do not make any money from these writings.

Warning: This story features male/male relationships. If you are uncomfortable reading about gay male relationships do not read this story.

This story is set in a very different world to ours. In 'known space', different societies and communities are often very isolated from each other and have very different histories. There is no common shared knowledge of Earth's history; in fact all knowledge of Earth as the home of mankind is lost. There is no shared law, no shared agreement of what what is 'right' and 'wrong', no pervasive religion.

Warning: The views, standards, mores and morals of the different groups in this story, including those of 'spacers', are not those of our world. They are the product of a fictional future history. Many of the behaviours they consider acceptable we do not; some of them are wrong by my definition in that they are damaging to one or more of the individuals involved and/or suggest that one individual has more intrinsic value than another.

I would like to thank the regular readers of 'In the cold of space you find the heat of suns' who left reviews or sent emails. This a series of short stories that bridge a 'time skip' to the major new arc.

Apologies if the characters have grown differently in their new environment.

You need to have read In the cold of space you find the heat of suns to fully appreciate, or possibly even follow, this fic but if you haven't...

...Sasuke's crew live in a space station called Tarrasade when they are not travelling. Choza used to be one of the elite warriors; now he is Cook. Kiba is a dog-human hybrid who looks after the children (the kits and the babies). Inoichi is an elite warrior. Most elite warriors sworn to Uchiha have one eye replaced by an implant that enhances their fighting abilities. I do not want to tell you more because I am hoping you will read 'In the cold of space you find the heat of suns' and find out for yourself.

Tale One: The Cook and the Nursemaid

A div and a half (54 days) after the naming ceremony for the kits and the babies

Choza was trapped between Inoichi's inert body and the wall.

He had discovered something worse than Inoichi fucking him, pulling his clothes back on and leaving. It was Inoichi falling asleep in Choza's bed and staying.

Inoichi flopped over. Choza tensed. Inoichi snored when he slept on his back. Choza waited, teeth gritted. Each breath was noisier than the last until one finally caught and created the first snore of what Choza knew would be many.

For a moment he contemplated shoving Inoichi out of the bed and onto the floor. Then he sighed. It was not in him to do it.

He worked the bedclothes free and edged his way down and out of the bed.

He pulled on some clothes and went to Asuma's room in the crew room. Asuma never slept there and Choza was sure he would not mind Choza using the bed. He slept in his clothes on top of the cover.

He woke early. There was no one in the bathroom. No one had booked it until later in the day.

Choza did all his crying silently in the bathroom or the shower. It was a habit he had learnt as a child.

Kiba felt good. The crazy project of raising a mixed litter was going well. Naruto was a fabulous parent, which made Kiba's job much easier. Sasuke-sama did far more than Kiba had expected. Kiba, like Naruto, resisted the urge to take over from him when he was taking ten times too long to do a task.

At least once a day, but never in the early morning, Shikamaru-san would help with a feed. He would sit in the rocking chair and feed Haru, which was useful because Haru did not feed well from the vest.

They had a routine. Kiba insisted on it and Naruto was content to comply. Kiba and Naruto woke early. Kiba prepared the first feed while Naruto breakfasted with Iruka-san in the kitchen. Then Naruto fed the kits and the babies, sometimes with Sasuke-sama's assistance, while Kiba had breakfast. Sometimes Naruto had finished changing them by the time Kiba returned to the nursery and other times Kiba would help him finish up.

Kiba did mornings. Naruto did afternoons. They shared the evenings but Naruto always did the last feed. Now, coming up for two divs, the babies and the kits were old enough to sleep through most nights.

The routine was about to change. The kits were ready for some solid food and Rin saw no reason that the babies could not be weaned as well, provided that they took it gradually.

Kiba knew that changing feeding times into meals was important. Humans had meals; animals fed.

He had built nine high chairs. The ones for the babies had strategically placed padding and straps to support them. The ones for the kits had padded straps to restrain them. Kiba had no illusions that getting the kits to sit in chairs while they ate was going to be easy. The earlier they started the better.

He would need to talk about baby food with Choza.

It was bad enough to have Inoichi in his bed. Now Choza could not get him out of his thoughts. The few highs and many lows they had shared across the last thirty standards wandered around and around his head.

When they had been young it had been Inoichi and Choza. They were the same age, they had both been given to Uchiha as toddlers and they had grown up together. They were sent to be cats in different crews at the same time and had been brought back to be fitted with implants within a div of each other.

Choza had been happy to cat. Inoichi had hated it. Once they were home, Inoichi had wanted to prove that he was a giver rather than a receiver. Choza had been delighted to oblige. He had thought that they were lovers.

Then they had been promoted. They had been given the credit and the freedom they required to visit whores.

Slowly Choza had realised that, to Inoichi, he was everyday food and the whores were a restaurant meal. Inoichi did not appreciate home cooking that much. Given the preference, he would always eat in restaurants.

Now Haku was Inoichi's meal out and the restaurant was closed.

It had hurt then. It hurt now.

As Kiba had hoped, Choza was more than helpful about the baby food. He had watched Kiba prepare two sample meals; a meaty one that might appeal to the kits and a vegetable puree that the babies were more likely to enjoy. They talked about the mechanics of feeding nine infants, the times of day it could happen and the number of people that would need to be involved.

Even though Choza was pleasant and friendly, Kiba could not but notice that he was miserable; his voice was too soft and his smiles were unconvincing.

He smelt different. There was someone else's scent on him. Thinking on it, Choza had smelt like this before. Kiba thought back; yes, there was a pattern. This scent, this man, was making Choza sad.

He checked during the next meal. As he had thought, the man was Inoichi.

Next morning Asuma-san came to the nursery bringing nine bibs that Kurenai had made and that could have been given to Kiba or Naruto at many other times and in many other places.

"Was there a reason you were scowling so fiercely at Inoichi during yesterday's evemeal, Kiba-san?" Asuma asked him.

Kiba had only a patchy understanding of Old Uchiha. He knew that Asuma had been leader when the pack had been divided; Choza and Inoichi had both been members of his pack. Kiba decided to be truthful. "Inoichi is making Choza-san sad," he answered.

Asuma nodded. "Choza is too kind. He and Inoichi are old friends and Inoichi takes advantage. I have told Inoichi to stay away from Choza but he will not listen to me."

Then the conversation was over, the bibs were delivered and Asuma-san was gone.

It took Kiba a few minutes to realise that 'takes advantage' meant 'fucks'. Once he had worked that out he was cross. Orochimaru had 'taken advantage' of Kabuto.

Choza looked at Iruka-san who looked back. They said nothing. They had put together what they had been sure was the best team for feeding the kits and the babies: Kiba, Naruto, Sasuke, Shikamaru, Kurenai, Asuma, Iruka, Shino and Choza. Despite having one person for every kit or baby, despite the careful planning, it had been an unmitigated disaster.

Even Yuki had hated being in his high chair. Kazuki had started wailing as soon as he realised his movement was restricted. One by one the other kits, even Kuuya, had started crying.

Kiba had insisted that they continue. He kept saying that they would become used to it in time. The kits had not settled. They had shown zero interest in the food. The noise level had been unbearable. Hoshi had started to cry, followed by Haru. Only Hikaru had seemed immune; he actually had eaten some of the vegetable puree that Sasuke-sama had offered him.

Then, despite Kiba's and Naruto's objections, Shikamaru had taken Haru from his high chair and carried him out of the kitchen.

Kazuki's wails had turned to screams. Choza had seen the top left light on Iruka's wristcom turn orange, followed by most of the lights in the top two rows.

Sasuke-sama had called it a day. Now the kits and the babies were back in the nursery being fed milk by Naruto and Sasuke. Iruka had made tea. The others had dispersed. Choza watched as Kiba dejectedly scraped the baby food into the recycler and cleaned the nine bowls.

"Would you like some tea, Kiba-san?" Iruka asked.

Kiba shook his head. Iruka mouthed, "You talk to him, Choza-san," and left.

Choza cast about for something to say. "Maybe we should have tried with one or two at a time," he suggested. "Maybe a baby and a kit together. Maybe they are too young for the chairs. Perhaps we should have had them in our laps this first time."

Kiba came and sat down at the table. He did not object when Choza poured him tea. "It is harder with so many," he admitted, "they set each other off."

Choza decided that it was not the right time to analyse what had gone wrong. He squeezed Kiba's arm.

Kiba turned grateful eyes to him.

Choza smiled.

Gaara was alone when Kiba visited him later that afternoon, which was unusual; Lee was training with Gai. Kiba was relieved. He would not have felt comfortable discussing the disaster with Lee there.

Only, to his surprise, Kiba found himself talking about Choza instead of the kits.

"I still do not understand why Choza-san does not refuse to let Inoichi-san fuck him," Gaara complained when he had listened carefully and asked a number of questions.

"They are friends," Kiba explained. "Choza thinks Inoichi being happy is more important than him being sad."

Gaara considered. "Inoichi is not acting as a friend should," he observed. "When Asuma-san spoke to you, was he suggesting you should stop Inoichi-san fucking Choza-san?" he asked.

Kiba considered. "I think so," he decided.

Gaara pondered the problem. "I expect Asuma-san has tried all the obvious things. What does he expect you to do that would be different?"

Kiba thought about it. What could he do that Asuma could not do? "I could claim Choza as my mate," he suggested.

"He's old and fat and only has one eye," Gaara retorted in horror.

Kiba scowled at him. "I like him," he warned.

Gaara stared at him for a few moments before speaking. "Then that is probably why Asuma spoke to you," he said, cautiously.

Worrying about Kiba and the kits had chased all thought of Inoichi out of Choza's head. The last thing he expected when he opened the door to his room was Inoichi sitting on his bed.

Which was weird, because that was what had been happening every few days since they had arrived in Tarrasade.

"Get out," he heard himself say.

Inoichi looked puzzled for a moment and then acted as if Choza had not spoken.

"Get out," Choza repeated from the threshold. "Or I will throw you out."

"Cho-chan," Inoichi said in the voice he used on the very rare occasions when Choza was difficult.

Choza activated his implant. That had always been his one advantage, the fact that he could use his implant within moments of switching it on.

He propelled Inoichi over the threshold. Inoichi stumbled across the shared area. Choza did not look to see if he was hurt. He slid the door closed and locked it.

Then he switched off his implant, lay down on his bed and waited for the pain. This was when he paid for his advantage; the aftermath was worse for him than for any of the others.

There was a knock on his door. Choza ignored it. It would be Inoichi.

"Choza, it's me, Dan," Dan's voice informed him.

Choza dragged himself up and opened the door. Dan helped him back to the bed and pressed a hypospray against his neck. After some time the pain receded. He opened his eye. Dan was sitting on the chair.

"Way to go, Choza," he said, grinning. "Where did the sudden backbone come from?"

"He's started to fall asleep and stay overnight," Choza replied, but he knew that was not the whole answer. "The relationship is too one sided," he admitted.

Dan laughed. "And it has taken twenty standards for you to realise it?" The grin softened into a smile. "Or is this something to do with a certain Guardian?"

Choza felt the heat in his face. "Kiba-san is young and handsome. He would not be interested in someone like me."

Dan was suddenly serious. "Age is relative. Like Naruto, he is already halfway through his life. Asuma and I think the two of you might suit each other rather well."

"Asuma?" Choza queried, faintly.

"Asuma," Dan assured him.

Kiba decided he should speak to Naruto. Naruto might not like the idea of the person who looked after the kits and the babies fucking the Cook.

But before he spoke to Naruto about Choza, they needed to clear the air about the disaster in the kitchen.

"I do not think what worked with a single pup will work with six kits and three babies," he admitted. "We will have to come up with another plan."

Kiba could smell Naruto's relief. "Shi-chan apologised for leaving with Haru," Naruto told him. "He did not realise that it would upset Kazuki so badly."

They both looked towards the basket, which had evolved from a simple dish-shape into something much larger and deeper with high, curved walls to stop the kits from rolling or wriggling or crawling out. In the centre were the babies, who still moved little other than waving their limbs. Kazuki was asleep pressed against Haru. Wherever they put Kazuki, he always ended up next to Haru.

"Would it be a problem if I liked someone?" Kiba asked as they were sorting clothes and making lists of what extra garments would soon be required.

Naruto's full attention was on him immediately. His whiskers twitched. "Is he crew?" he asked.

Kiba was lost for a moment before realising that Naruto was thinking of Gaara or Lee. "He is crew," he confirmed.

Naruto appeared relieved. "Is he available?"

"What is meant by 'available'?" Kiba inquired.

"Does he have a special person?" Naruto explained. "Like me and Sasuke, or Iruka and Kakashi, or Hamaki, Terai and Fu."

Kiba decided to put a stop to the questions. "It is Choza," he admitted.

"Isn't there something between him and Inoichi?" Naruto queried.

Kiba scowled at him. "Not a good something. Inoichi makes Choza sad. Asuma-san wants me to stop it. Is it allowed for me to fuck someone?" he asked.

Naruto smiled at him. "As long as he is crew and he wants it too, it is fine," he assured him.

Choza studied the box of sweetmeats that Inoichi had slid across the kitchen table. Yes, they were his favourites. No, they would not persuade him to let Inoichi back into his bed. He pushed them back towards Inoichi.

"You don't want them?" Inoichi asked, incredulously.

"I do not want them if you are giving them," Choza replied.

Inoichi stared at him. "But Cho-chan..."

Choza interrupted him. "There will be no more fucking between us, Inoichi-san, and there is nothing you can do to change it."

Inoichi scowled at him. "You are not being fair. One minute it is fine, the next you chuck me out of your room."

Choza lost it. "It has not been fine for eighteen standards. It has not been fine since you decided that you preferred fucking whores to fucking me. I will not be your emergency rations for use whenever there is no decent food available." He picked up the box of sweetmeats and threw it at Inoichi's head.

Inoichi ducked. The box flew past him and smashed against one of the cupboards. Inoichi was coming towards him with an infuriating grin on his face.

"I think I like it when you are angry," he said, taking hold of Choza's wrists and pinning his arms at his sides.

Choza knew that Inoichi was much stronger than him and with his arms held at his sides he could not activate his implant. Inoichi was leaning in, obviously intending to kiss him.

A groin attack was unlikely to be successful and there was no space to kick his kneecap. Choza had just decided to stamp on his instep when there was a growl.

Inoichi flew across the kitchen and slammed into the cupboards, like the sweetmeats before him but much, much louder.

Kiba was between him and Inoichi. Choza could only see his back but he could hear the growling and he could imagine the snarling.

Inoichi was stupid enough and angry enough to come back for more. The second time he flew out of the door and into the crew room.

Choza watched, amazed. Kiba threw Inoichi as if he weighed no more than a child. The only other person he knew who could throw a grown man like that was Kisame.

Then Kisame himself was in the doorway to the crew room.

"We will see to Inoichi, Kiba-san," he said, calmly. "You check to see if Choza-san is upset."

Kiba turned to face him. The anger, if it had been anger, was gone. His eyes were soft with concern. He pulled out a chair. "You sit down, Choza-san, I will make you some tea."

Choza sat down. He watched Kiba carefully making tea, obviously modelling his actions on Iruka-san. It was sweet.

Kisame had slid closed the door to their crew room. Choza caught a glimpse of Naruto's bright hair as the other door closed.

Kiba put the tea tray on the table. He carefully poured a cup of tea for Choza. He hoped he had handled the situation well. He had not snapped any of Inoichi's bones. He had made tea.

He had heard what Choza had said to Inoichi; they all had. If Choza and Inoichi were not fucking then Choza was definitely 'available'.

He was not sure how you were meant to ask someone to mate. He decided just to ask.

"May I fuck you, Choza-san?"

Choza put down his cup. "Kiba?" he queried.

"I would like to," Kiba explained. "I would like to make you happy by giving you sex, like you make me happy by giving me food." He reconsidered. "I have no experience, so my sex won't be as good as your food, but I could learn."

"No experience?" Choza echoed.

"I was not allowed," he explained. He straightened his shoulders and looked Choza directly in the eye. "Please think about my offer. I will try to make you happy."

Choza was taking deep breaths. "You are sure it is safe? You will not bond with the first person you fuck, like what happened with Naruto?" he asked.

"I was engineered with no triggered behaviours," Kiba assured him. A sudden thought occurred to him. "I will understand if being a hybrid means I am not a suitable partner for sex."

Choza's hand was immediately on his, giving a reassuring squeeze. "You are much more than suitable, Kiba-san."

Kiba was encouraged. Now that Choza was over the shock, he seemed interested. He even smelt interested. "Please think about it," he repeated.

Choza smiled at him. "I shall, Kiba-san. I promise."

It was two days before the gift-giving for Kotetsu, Izumo and Ayame. Choza was planning on introducing five new types of tasties alongside everyone's favourites. Kiba gravely sampled one of each of the twelve candidates. After much discussion Choza decided to introduce only four.

"Have you thought any more about my offer?" Kiba asked as he helped clear away so that they could prepare baby food. It had been three days since he had first asked.

Choza had thought about it almost constantly. He still struggled to understand why Kiba wanted him. He worried that Kiba would realise that Choza was fat and plain. He was anxious that it would not work and their easy everyday interaction would be damaged.

Dan and Asuma and Haku thought he should take the risk.

"Yes," he answered.

Kiba stopped what he was doing and looked at him. "Yes, you have thought about it, or yes, you will let me fuck you?"

Choza's heart was hammering. "Yes, I will let you fuck me," he whispered.

The kitchen was spinning. No, he was spinning. Kiba had picked him up by the waist and was whirling him about, a huge grin on his face. Choza planted his hands on Kiba's shoulders to steady himself and smiled back. It was liberating to feel feather-light in Kiba's grasp.

Then there was a hug, tight enough to squeeze the breath from him and so carefully measured, followed by a kiss that was inexpert and sloppy but heartfelt and well-meant.

Choza felt dizzy and young; attractive and wanted.

It was wonderful.

The End


The complete series

This is the order of the stories in this series

In the cold of space you find the heat of suns chapters 1-16

Can his spacer crew keep Sasuke alive and his identity secret so he survives to lead a new Uchiha? Will the fox-boy they acquire affect Kakashi's carefully laid plans?

Silver Leaf Tales: Tying the knot

Naruto and Sasuke were friends & rivals but now they are lovers. What does it mean to each of them? Will their differences stand between them?

In the cold of space you find the heat of suns chapters 17-91

Tales in Tarrasade 1 – The Cook and the Nursemaid

Can Choza break the bad habit of a lifetime and find someone who appreciates him?

Tales in Tarrasade 2 - Knives

Can Lee make himself extraordinary enough to counter Gaara's obsession with beautiful blonds?

Tales in Tarrasade 3 - Vacation

Shikamaru decides that Naruto needs cheering up.

Tales in Tarrasade 4 – Pas de Trois - Chapter 1 Partners in the dance

Can Haku circumvent all their problems and achieve his aim of melding him, Kisame and Itachi into a threesome?

Tales in Tarrasade 5 - Kiba's day off

Iruka persuades Kiba to have a day off while Sasuke and Naruto are away. Surely they can cope looking after Naruto's litter for a single day?

Tales in Tarrasade 6 - Friendship

Sometimes being friends is more important than being lovers. That's what Inari thinks but will Konohamaru agree?

Tales in Tarrasade 4 - Pas de Trois - Chapter 2 Kisame's miracle

Tales in Tarrasade 7 - Honour your parents

Shikamaru receives a message that sends him into a funk. Can the crew help him out?

Tales in Tarrasade 8 – Patron [2 chapters]

His relationship with The Last Uchiha has made Naruto the most famous hybrid in known space. Can he use his fame to help other hybrid?

Tales in Tarrasade 9 - Homeward bound

Gaara has decided to return to Kaze and Lee, of course, will go with him.

Tales in Tarrasade 10 - Opening the cage

Kakashi realises Iruka is depressed, but why?

Iteration Chapters 1-13

Continuing the space saga about Sasuke, Naruto, their children and their family. Enemies emerge as Uchiha thrives & Naruto champions other hybrids - a testing time for New Uchiha.

Tales in Tarrasade 4 – Pas de Trois - Chapter 3 First steps

Iteration Chapters 14-16

Tales in Tarrasade 11 - Medico

Rin through someone else's eyes.

Iteration Chapters 17-43

Tales in Tarrasade 4 – Pas de Trois – Chapter 4 Needing

Iteration Chapters 44-104

Tales in Tarrasade 4 – Pas de Trois - Chapter 5 Princess

Iteration Chapters 105 – 119

Real [11 chapters]

Set in Sasuke & Naruto's extended family. What makes someone real? Haru struggles with this and other issues as he begins to grow up.

Leader [107 chapters]

Follow Sasuke & Naruto's extended family. With Uchiha expanding, will opposition come from outside or within?