Ta-da! Chapter 11 much earlier than I had expected :)!

Some notes:

This is a loooooooong chapter. I actually first thought it would be SHORTER than I had expected but then nope! It ended up exactly as long as I expected. Over 11400 words :P. Wonder if the next chapter will be over 12000 lol.

This chapter is like chapter 8 in that it is done in a different style. You will see MANY different POVs. Naruto's, Kyuubi's, the other tailed beasts, and one more that you'll see at the end ;P. All in third person though. Not calling it an Intermission tho as that is misleading. Plot relevant things happen here.

I think there's more dialogue than thoughts here lol.

Tried my best to have personalities and to the same extent relationships show and shine. Fingers crossed!

And yeah that's it.

Anon review reply

Nami152- THANK YOUUU :)! Hehe the answer to that question is actually in this chapter ;P. The Uchihas unfortunately aren't in this chapter. But they'll make their return soon. You'll see why in this chapter. Thank you I definitely will :)!

Guest- Really glad you liked it :D! I do my best to avoid character bashing like the plague and keep characters in character and the Uchihas will be no exception! THANK YOUU for your review :)!

glykeria- Wait no longer hehe.

EDIT: Still unbeataed but I fixed some of the glaring typos...

Plllllllllease enjoy!


Thursday

Kitsune will accept any and every opportunity to have a drink. But tanuki SEARCHED for any and every opportunity to have a drink.

"So here's to the second day of you being here!"

"Here here!" Naruto shouted enthusiastically. This was an odd occasion to pop open a bottle too, but Naruto won't complain.

"Soooooooooooo. Let's get to the goodies. You. And Kyuubi. What's up?"

"Um...How about you go first!" Naruto tried. He knew this talk was coming but he didn't expect it to be the first thing to come out of the tanuki demon's mouth. It's not even something he wanted to talk about all that much even though it was the reason he was here in the first place.

"Oh you don't want to know the painful, gory story of us."

"I do! I do!"

"It's like hate. And love with a little bit more hate. A pinch of love but a lot more hate. Underestimating. And hate. Some love but a lot of the other two. Hate. And love. So how about you two?"

"Whoa wait what? Can you run that by me again but this time with more detail? Then I'll tell you what's going on." Naruto said. He didn't say he would say everything that was going on though.

Shukaku sighed. "No one can ever understand my poetry." That was what now? "It is what it is. Kyuubi and I, I mean, I and Kyuubi didn't get along a lot. We still don't sometimes but we are close."

"Why not?"

"BECAUSE HE KEEPS UNDERESTIMATING ME! AND MAKING FUN OF ME BECAUSE I'M A ONE TAILED BEAST! I'M LIKE 'FUCK YOU' ALL THE TIME BECAUSE HE ASKS 'WHAT CAN YOU DO ICHIBIIIII?' LIKE A BITCH AND I'M JUST...I'M JUST ANGRY!"

"Uh..."

"He's so obsessed with our tails and power. That's why calls us all by the number of our tails and not by our names. If I didn't know him so well I'd think I'm not a real person to him. But I know better. That's why we're still cllooose."

"Huh."

"And one day. I'm gonna kick his ass in something. Preferably fighting. Yeaaah one day his guard will be down and then POW!"

"Hmm," Naruto giggled a little at that statement.

"Now tell me about you guys."

"Kyuubi doesn't underestimate me. He actually estimates him perfectly if I recall. Yep he sticks by me in training and always tries to help. Sometimes he makes fun of me but only when I say I got something I actually don't have. I guess I do deserve it then sometimes but really-"

"Do you really think I came here to get drunk with you and hear this boring shit?" Shukaku flatly asked while scratching his potbelly.

"Huh?!" Naruto exclaimed. Shukaku took another swig and then stared straight into Naruto's eyes with a large smirk on his face. The Namikaze heir hesitantly put his guard up at the sight. Shukaku's eyes were yellow irises surrounded by black. It made his stare look threatening, even when he probably didn't mean it to be.

"I am talking about this," the tanuki demon gesture to Naruto's body.

"Me?"

"Kyuubi likes attractive things. They make him smile almost as much as they make Chomei smile."

"A-Attractive?!" Naruto stuttered with a blush on his cheeks.

"Yeeeeah! Don't you think you are? To him. I mean. Anyway?"

It...Made sense yeah, Naruto looked at the bar counter. He liked to flirt with Kyuubi and pretend that he sees him as undeniably and irresistibly attractive. Aside from doing so because of his promise, it was fun because there were little cues like glances and stares that made him wonder. He had admitted once that he wouldn't mind falling into bed with him too...

"So. Any answers."

But that didn't mean Naruto was going to talk on his behalf.

"H-How should I know? Why don't you ask him yourself?!"

Shukaku let out an even louder sigh and stood up. He ran his fingers through his tan-colored hair(which matched his skin blowing Naruto's mind. If it weren't with the little blue lines all over his skin, someone with really, really, really bad eye sight probably wouldn't be able to tell where one ended and the other began).

"Alright," he quipped. "I'll ask him. But if he pops me for it I'm bringing the blame back to you. You got that?"

"Why would he hit you for asking if I'm attractive?"

"My mouth and brain sometimes don't-"

"Who are you asking if Naruto's attractive?" Both Ichibi and Naruto looked towards the door and saw Kyuubi standing there with his arms crossed. He didn't look mad or anything but curious yet confident. Or maybe the confident look was being imagined by Naruto. For some reason. Anyway the blond smiled and was about to greet him when Shukaku opened his smile.

"I'm asking you, your ill-majesty if your ugly, WEAK ass mug finds this gorgeous-entirely-out-of-your-league specimen attractive and if his mind-blowing-you-will-never-attain attractiveness makes you happy...Shit."

Naruto suddenly understood why Shukaku would get hit now. He saw Kyuubi's eyebrow twitch twice before he disappeared and next thing Naruto knew, there was a loud crash and Shukaku was in the bar, his eyes swirling with a large bump on his head and a few missing teeth. Naruto let out a low whistle and turned to Kyuubi, who was standing with his arm out.

"That was nice," he smiled to show he was joking. Kyuubi scoffed and turned around.

"Tell whoever works here I'll pay for the damages later. And tell that lardass when he wakes up not to cross me anymore."

"Heehee kk! But uh, you gotta answer his question!"

"What question?"

"About my attractiveness! Does it drive you crazy?" Naruto tilted his head and did his best to copy Kyuubi's dazzling 'I-want-something' smile. To his inner joy, Kyuubi actually reddened. But then the red-haired fox demon faced away.

"Quit fishing for compliments! I already told you I think you're cute once! Sheesh!" And Naruto could feel and the anger and embarrassment coming off of Kyuubi as he stomped his way out of the room. Naruto didn't really know what to think of that. By now, his shy and embarrassed reactions to his flirting were habitual and kind of cute.

Also kind of telling...Especially with what almost happened last night.

Before Naruto could go deep into thought about that, his drinking buddy woke up.

"Ugggggh," Shukaku groaned. "I have another poem for you."

"What?" Naruto started carefully making his way over the broken wood and glass to help the one-tail up.

"Fault." Shukaku whispered. "Fault. Fault. Not mine. Yours."

Naruto blinked in confusion when the tanuki demon fainted once more. ...Well then. Now what?


Only two sounds were being made.

One was the drumming of Isobu's fingers on the wooden table.

The other was the small noises Naruto made, as he clearly wanted to say something but didn't know what. He also shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He'd take the gorilla's boisterous yelling over this. He and Isobu were in the game room but instead of playing any games Isobu told him immediately to sit down at the table.

Naruto did so because he thought they were going to talk and hey he liked talking. But not a word was spoken. The three-tailed turtle was just staring at him with his cold, zombie-looking red eye. Seriously his pupil was just a red dot surrounded by grey tissue and his other eye was just closed and Naruto was seriously freaking out a little.

He tried to focus on something else like his long grey bangs, but that didn't help because said bangs looked as sharp as fangs. Naruto wouldn't be surprised if the guy ever actually killed someone by stabbing them with his hair.

"Do you still think I'm insane?"

Naruto screamed and jumped a little when he spoke and reddened in embarrassment when he realized it was just an innocent question spoken in a soft, almost shy tone and not a war cry. Still he shouted out.

"YES! I do!"

"Why? I haven't attacked you yet have I?"

"No but you're sitting here staring at me and it's giving me the creeps! I feel like you're going to reach across this table and strangle me or suck my soul out or something." Naruto couldn't help it. If Isobu's intent wasn't to make him uncomfortable then he was doing a piss-poor job of it and he should know it.

"What did Kyuubi tell you about me exactly?"

"Oh uhhhh before I came in here? Well he told me not to offend you which doesn't help my opinion of you by the way." And neither does remembering everything Yagura has told him. That really doesn't help, Naruto thought imagining Isobu going full demon and trying to skin him with his tails...Naruto could feel his mouth quiver and his face turn blue.

Then to Naruto's confusion, the guy in front of him laughed. Like opened his mouth and exposed these sharp, teeth-like ridges that lined the top and bottom of his mouth and a grey tongue. Was it okay for Naruto to feel a little bit more scared now? Forget the power difference between them, this guy was scary times 10. Ears folding back, Naruto realized all that courage he had when they first met was gone and he'd feel much, much safer if Kyuubi were here...

"You're not supposed to offend any demon you want to impress! You are so hilarious!" Isobu said laughing some more.

"Ok," Naruto squeaked. Isobu abruptly stopped laughing.

"Are you less afraid now that you've seen my sense of humor?"

What? Naruto blinked. Isobu was leaning towards him and so he was leaning back, but the turtle demon didn't look so scary right now. He looked...innocently curious.

"Uh."

The three-tails let out an annoyed cry that made everything beneath Naruto's skin jump but the older demon wasn't attacking. In fact he leaned back and crossed his arms, his three tails waving behind him in agitation.

"What will make you less afraid!? I said I'd try and I'm trying!"

"R-Really?"

"Look I'm not as bad as Yagura says I am!"

"You're not?"

"NO! I only act psychotic to the little brat because I have to! Like he's my apprentice and you always fuck with your apprentice!"

"So the scars?"

"Well if he would just move a bit quicker and maybe not piss me off so much such things wouldn't happen! I warn him you know! I always warn people."

"Um..." Naruto whimpered because Isobu's mouth was getting bigger and that crazy spark in his eye that Yagura told him about once was there. Isobu then looked incredibly polite, clasping his hands in front of him on the desk. And his voice was the polite, soft tone he spoke with before.

"But I'm really not an angry person. I'm actually quite calm and relaxed once you get to know me. Maybe even a little shy heehee," and then the turtle blushed like a little girl and slightly tucked his head into his grey and red, turtle-neck shirt. What the fuck.

"If you want, you can direct me in a way that makes you most comfortable."

He was trying, Naruto thought gulping. Kyuubi told him to be nice. And he did want to make new friends. He promised himself before coming here at least. He just needed to stop thinking about Yagura and maybe he'll be less afraid. Naruto looked around and hesitantly pointed to the long shuffleboard table.

"I like shuffeboarding..."

Isobu turned around clapped his hands once. "I love gambling! Do you gamble often Naruto...-kun?"

"A little..."

"Well then let's play! I brought some money with me so I'll put that on the table. What will you bet? Your arm? Leg? Life?"

"UHHHH?!" Naruto exclaimed leaning further away. The guy looked totally serious!

"Heehee just kidding! I only would make you force those things up if we were playing Monopoly or Mario Kart! Shuffleboard isn't a game I worry over too much. Unless you cheat. And you don't cheat like Kyuubi does. Do you?"

He was breaking his personal bubble and eyeing him again in that creepy way. Naruto quickly shook his head rapidly. He actually doesn't cheat all that often. His dad always told him he was born with the kitsune's luck when it comes to gambling games. It explained why he always beat his friends and why Minato always allowed(sometimes forced) him to play as his teammate when gambling.

"Good! If you want, you can bet that cute robe you are wearing. And on that note forfeit replacing it with any clothes for the rest of the day."

"But then I'll be walking around in my underwear!"

Isobu smiled. "No one will mind. And I think it will make Kyuubi happy."

Kyuubi? Was this on purpose? Shukaku was trying to get him to talk about how attractive he thinks he is to Kyuubi and now Isobu wants him to try and be so?

"Come on! I am patient but we only have a few hours left to spend to together. If we don't play I'll assume victory and rip your robe off myself."

Oh Inari, Naruto thought getting up.

Kurama heellp!


"1,998. 1,999. 2,000!" Naruto counted. He then frowned. "Only 2000? Ugh Isobu lies he doesn't carry a lot of money on him at all!" He whined.

Next to him the tall, white-haired man shook his head.

"I think he was holding back on me. Course I wasn't about to ask him," Naruto paled a little. "He doesn't take losing well does he?"

Once again, Kokuo shook his head.

"Right so...what do you want to talk about?"

The five-tails only gestured towards Naruto, a clear invitation for him to speak.

"You serious? I'm warning you I may have a lot to say."

Gobi shrugged. Pushing his long pony tail behind his back, he pointed a clawed finger to his pointed ear and smiled.

"And you like to listen?" Naruto asked. Kokuo shrugged once more and nodded. He shifted into a more comfortable sitting position and waved his fan in his face. The white fan with silver lining matched his kimono and with his pale skin and ice blue eyes, Naruto found it easy to understand why this guy made his home in the icy tundra.

In fact, that's what he started talking about. He stated how lucky Gobi was to be able to stand the cold so easily and it snowballed from there. He said aloud everything that appeared in his thoughts from the weather at his home to the lunch they just had. Kokuo quietness allowed him to say everything without interruption. He may have repeated himself a few times or even forgot what he was saying, but he got it all out. He didn't think of any major problems he had, but all of the petty problems or the little things that annoyed him were off of his chest and he felt so much better now that he said them.

"You know, you're pretty easy to talk to. You have this calm air around you. I feel like I can rant to you for hours and hours!"

Naruto leaned back and closed his eyes. "But I don't want to put you in that position. I'm told I talk a lot and that annoys some people. I don't want to do that all the time. I'm a fox but I like making people happy."

"Kurama."

"What?" Naruto asked sitting up. It was the first thing he had ever heard the five tails say. The dolphin-horse demon lowered his fan so that Naruto could see he was smiling at him.

"Do you make Kurama happy?"

"Do I...I don't know. We get along so I guess he likes me a little."

"Do you want to make him happy?"

"What? I-" Naruto cut himself off by blushing heavily. What was with these guys and questioning about how he is to Kyuubi? Can't they ask him those questions? It's not like Naruto knows, he can't read his mind.

"Would you like to? Make him happy?"

"Well yeah I would! I like him you know and I like to make people I like happy."

Kokuo smile grew bigger and he closed his eyes and turned away. "I'm glad. Please try your best Naruto-kun. I'm sure he will make you happy too."


"Fu's right you're a bitch!" Naruto shouted once everyone had left the dining room except Nanabi and him. Her jaw dropped and she placed her hand over her chest.

"I didn't even say anything to you!"

"I just know you are!" Naruto replied. He was upset, probably irrationally so but she stepped on his toes when they first saw each other and Naruto has yet to let it go. Because it has yet to be addressed.

"Oh I see. The little fox is just upset because he thinks I might take his toy away from him. Like a child."

"Who's really the child here?!" A weak reply Naruto knew but damn it when he's upset his wit leaves him.

"Um excuse me? You do know that out of all us tailed beasts Kurama's the youngest right? We go down from Shukaku, so if you're younger than him then you shouldn't get upset when I call you what you really are."

Naruto gritted his teeth. He just didn't like her okay? Fu had some really nice things to say about her. Some girly stuff about shopping trips and pampering but fuck that! Naruto isn't a girl and he definitely does not appreciate this girl in front of him does.

"I should really call you a jealous child. Just so you know, NOT attractive okay?"

"I'm not jealous!" Naruto automatically shouted.

"Oh please. You're just mad because I hugged your little Kyuubi. Well just so you know he was my Kyuubi first! And he still is. Hmph!"

"You're not dating!"

"Of course not. But he's known me longer and he's loved me longer so hah! And you know he does because he lets me have the nice diamonds."

"Only children try and play a 'who's better contest'!" Naruto pointed out. And so what if Kyuubi gives her diamonds?! He bet if he asked, Kyuubi would give him diamonds too! Not that he would ask. Chomei grinned at him in a mocking way. She even put her hands on her hips and bent down as if highlighting the fact that she had several good inches on him. He still stood tall anyway.

"It's not about being 'better' kid. Although I certainly am," she bragged tilting her shoulder up so that her long dark blue hair spilled over her tan shoulder like a waterfall. Had they been other people, then maybe Naruto would actually think Chomei looked sexy in her off-the-shoulder dark blue top with a ribbon around her neck and white skirt that went to her mid thighs.

But he was Naruto and she was Chomei and she...she may think it's only because she hugged Kyuubi that he doesn't like her but seriously she also just rubs him the wrong way!

"It's about how Kurama likes to see me happy. And nothing gets me twirling like those glittery jewels," she did a little twirl and held her hands up to her cheeks. Her orange eyes certainly shined like diamonds.

"Yeah well he...makes my favorite food!" Naruto bragged puffing his chest out. Monetary value meant little it was the thought that counts. And Kyuubi was obviously thinking of his happiness when he slaved over a hot stove for him.

"And what do you do in return?" Chomei, to his displeasure, didn't look impressed. She leaned on her right leg with her hand on her hip and raised an eyebrow and a sardonic smile.

"If you are so intent on proving that Kurama cares about your happiness more than mine," she paused to giggle. "Then tell me how you make him happy in return. Then and only then will I believe that you actually have a leg in this race little boy."

"What do you do?" Naruto shot back because he didn't need to explain himself to her and definitely not first. Whatever she's done he's probably done better anyway. Chomei glared and crossed her arms.

"We aren't talking about me," she growled. And Naruto was a little stunned because she actually looked pretty angry.

"We're talking about you. You're the one by his side now. And if you want our blessing to stay by his side prove to us that you deserve to be there."

"We're just friends," Naruto feebly tried. He didn't like how his heart raced a bit. He wanted to blame it on the pressure Nanabi was clearly stating he was under, but he knew that with what happened last that was far from it.

Chomei burst into laughter. She pointed at him and laughed and laughed and even continued laughing when she turned around and started walking out of the dining room. She only abruptly stopped when she reached the door way.

"I don't know what kind of dance you and Kyuubi are tip-toeing, but I swear to you kid my loyalty lies with him. So figure it out and figure out what you do to make Kyuubi want you around or else I'll make sure you are."

She faced him and snapped her fingers. "Gone."

And with that she brought her wings out and flew off, leaving Naruto alone in the dining room with a lot to think about.

The first thought? Fu's right. Chomei is loyal. Still a greedy bitch though.


Friday

"Sooooo," the tall, odd-eyed cat demon purred leaning on the counter. Kyuubi was already on guard. Nibi only purred on happy occasions. As far as he was aware, nothing spectacular has been going on.

"Logically, today's weather is perfect for feelings of joy and happiness."

Kyuubi put down the lemonade he was drinking and eyed her suspiciously. "Yeah...?"

"The sun is actually shining through the clouds for once, and you know what sunlight means right? A release of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is the biological chemical that causes happiness you know."

"What is this school?" The fox grunted drinking his lemonade again. He was distracted when one of Nibi's tails flicked his nose.

"Careful! You could've summoned some undead shit or something!" He shouted dropping his now-empty cup onto the counter. Nibi only grinned a cat grin at him and continued what she was saying earlier.

"And what did you think of breakfast? It was such a delight right? The wheat was rich and the fruit just absolutely scrumptious! And a full meal of glucose and lactose, and all that sugar just kicked start my brain into a sweet overdrive. How's the lemonade by the way? Is it doing your taste buds any favors?"

"It's as good as always."

"Good food and drinks always have me feeling very happy," Matabi pointed out. Kyuubi already knew that. You wouldn't know it by looking at her, but Nibi had a bottomless pit for a stomach. She could shovel ten times her body weight into her mouth a day, and yet in human form she was tall and willowy with a tiny chest, something easily noticeable with the large lavender sweater she had on. Kyuubi quickly learned that mentioning her chest is a quick way to get her angry. Something that had its advantages.

"As much as I would like to sit here and hear you babble about food, can you get to the point? Beating around the bush isn't like you. And you suck at it."

Matabi's face went red with anger and her yellow and green eyes glowed beneath the heaps of mascara she put on. "Don't insult me like that Kyuubi! I'm smart enough to outwit you any day," she turned her nose up and meowed, flicking her shoulder-length blue hair.

"Today is not one of those days. What do you want?" Now that he figured her out, Nibi was all business. She crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes.

"What is it about that new blond tag-a-long of yours?"

"He's not a tag-a-long Nibi refer to him with more respect than that."

"Sorry, sorry," Nibi meowed once more. "Just a curious kitty trying to figure out what makes her boss happy. You've been in a bit of a depression recently you know?" Kyuubi flinched but she didn't notice. "I just want you to tell me the effect the little blond has on your amygdala. What emotional processing does even the sound of his name cause?"

She smirked showing a little of her fangs. Her ears twitched back and she purred out, "Naruto Namikaze."

He felt his insides tingle, but ignored any emotion that he felt so that he wouldn't have anything to tell her. This stupid woman set him up for that!

"Maybe you should stick with analyzing food. You know you don't get nearly the fat your chest deserves," Kyuubi smirked back eyeing the blue-haired woman's very flat sweater where her chest should be. As expected, the earlier subject was dropped.

"EXCUSE YOU?" Matabi hissed unleashing your claws. Kyuubi cackled as he ran out of the kitchen, Nibi hot on his heels. But it was an empty cackle, as her words of him being in a slump and what they implied, echoed in his mind. Completely and utterly, unwanted.


"Hup Haaaa HUWA!"

Kyuubi's ear twitched as Yonbi broke another log and the splinters went flying.

"Hup Haaaa HIYA!"

And now it twitched because a splinter got lodged in it. Great.

"Hey you dumb beast turn that around!" He shouted pulling the wood out of his ear. It smarted a little but quickly healed up.

"Excuuuuuuuuuuse me but I told you that I would be training in THIS direction! If you do not like how Son Goku trains, then you can remove yourself!"

Kyuubi rolled his eyes and muttered, "Fine". He stood up and started brushing the debris off of his outfit and when he looked up Yonbi was standing right in front of him with a huge and obviously nervous grin on his face. He even started wrapping a bit of his bright red handle-bar mustache around his large finger.

"Actually I think I'm done. How would you like to stay and talk for bit?" Weirded out by this change in behavior, Kyuubi almost just left anyway. But Yonbi forced him to sit down on the bench again(and because Son Goku was the largest muscle-wise, he had some arm strength on him, particularly when Kyuubi was not on guard) and sat down next to him.

"Kurama let's talk."

"Tch. When will you stop that and actually call me what I want to be called!?"

"Heh! I'm not talking to nine tails. Son Goku is talking to Kurama! My friend who can talk about anything he wants to me. Anything." Yonbi leaned towards him, his large white teeth practically glittering in the sun.

"Between you and Nibi I don't know who more set on creeping me out today," Kyuubi said leaning away.

"Did she upset you?"

"No we had a pleasant conversation about cat nip. Now leave me alone for a bit will ya?" No. He would not admit aloud that Nibi's words unsettled him.

"Pleasant? As in happy?"

"Yonbi-"

"SON GOKU!"

"Fuck...Son I know you're going to ask if we had a happy conversation about Naruto. Well you can save your breath because no more than two sentences were said on the matter. I insulted her chest just to get her off of my back." And boy did she get her claws on him when she reached him. If it wasn't for her terse, but genuine apology and his quick healing...

"Ah right little Naruto Namikaze," the gorilla nodded. Kyuubi glared at him.

"Don't make me have to piss you off too to get you to shut up."

He expected the gorilla to start shouting and getting all emotional about his little threat, but to Kyuubi's confusion Son Goku only sighed and looked at him with an almost somber expression. His yellow eyes filled with a sympathy and concern that made Kyuubi's skin crawl a bit.

Dear Juubi he knew where this was going. Suddenly, he was okay with talking about Naruto again.

"I know-" the Yonbi started to say but Kyuubi cut him off with a tug on four-tail's beard.

"Lighten up Son," he grinned. "Here I'll even admit to you that yeah, Naruto does kinda make me happy sometimes. Sometimes he's a little annoying and he doesn't always do what I say like you guys. But you know what? I call him my friend because that's what he is to me. That's what you all are to me." He stood up.

"And I know all of my friends are worried for no damn reason about me. Except him you know what that makes me happier than anything. Because as annoying as Naruto can be at times-"

"But-"

"He doesn't bother me!" Kyuubi practically roared.

Yonbi winced and shut his eyes. "Kurama you should stop and let us help because we can-"

"Don't care. Go back to training. We can 'talk' later about something else." Kyuubi said and his tone made it clear that Yonbi shouldn't argue about it anymore. The fox demon shoved his hands into his pockets and walked out of the training grounds without looking back at Son.

He heard the ape mumbling to himself but really, Kyuubi had nothing to feel bad about. He had told all of them before that he didn't want to talk about it.


"You mind if I sit with you?" Kyuubi asked plopping down on an armchair. The sleeping boy on the couch only had one response.

Snore.

"I just don't want to hear any opinions and as long as you are asleep I don't have to hear anything from you at least."

Snore.

"This is going to go exactly how I think it is isn't it?"

Snore.

"Yeah. I'll just shut up and sleep too."

And he did take a quick little fox nap. He woke up at the tail end of a dream and it was an incredibly pleasant dream. It was so pleasant, it had him feeling giddy and squealy when he opened his eyes. He remembered a beautiful song, a low melody hummed by an enchanting voice. He remembered that along with a pleasing image, golden rays and blue waters and an orange sun to top it all off. So pleasing and beautiful, that it filled him with an intense desire to draw out what he saw and see if that song actually exists.

And then he forgot it all. Just like that.

"FUCK!" He shouted. Rokubi slowly sat up with a yawn. He stretched and blinked his grey eyes open. Kyuubi was too busy grumbling to himself to even realize that he wasn't the only one awake anymore. It wasn't until Saiken said something that he stopped pouting over his failed memory.

"Feeling better now?"

"Holy shit why are you awake?"

"Looks like Nibi isn't the only one with the power to wake the dead. Your voice could probably revive my uncle."

"Hah...Listen I just had a really nice dream and I forgot all about it. Help me remember it." Rokubi's mastery over the sleeping world is actually just what he needed at the moment.

"Hmmm I could do that. Very easily actually. Piece of cake." Here it is, what Naruto didn't say when introducing Saiken. Whenever the slug was wide awake, he put Yonbi's boastfulness to shame. Truly, he and Nanabi were made for each other.

"But first I have to ask something of you. You haven't been talking to us as much as you used to. We're just concerned," Rokubi parroted with the same worriedness in his voice that Yonbi had. Ugh, Kyuubi slouched. Not again.

"Save it. Both Yonbi and Nibi have talked to me today you don't need to jump down my throat too."

"Uh yeah. Not doing that. I don't even need to. Just tell me honestly about how you are feeling and then I'll take your word for it. But you have to talk to me honestly Kyuubi."

Well listen to him. He wants honesty about how Kyuubi's feeling? That isn't so bad actually. He can tackle that demand honestly.

"Honestly? I'm feeling pretty shitty right now because I had a damn good dream and I can't remember any of it."

"Can I cheer you up?" Despite the eye roll and the fact that his voice was clearly dripping with sarcasm, Kyuubi responded as if Saiken had NOT given him any attitude.

"HELP ME REMEMBER!"

"Really pleasant dreams are not that big of a deal boss," Saiken smirked. "I am certain it will come back to you, the moment you see something that reminds you of it."

"But I don't remember any of it dumbass. Don't you get that?"

"If it was a really nice dream then all you have to do is go and see or hear or even hang out with the person who brings you the most happiness. It's really that simple."

His smug demeanor rubbed Kyuubi the wrong way. Mainly because he knew Saiken was talking about Naruto. Of fucking course.

"Never mind then," Kyuubi declared standing up. "I'll just have the dream again another night. It's not like you only have a dream once."

"Of course not. As long as you are as in denial as you obviously are, your brain will keep on subconsciously trying to remind you of what you are trying to deny. That's something you really should've learned as a kit Kyuubi. Honestly."

"Good thing I brought this fucking salt with me!" Kyuubi pulled out a table salt container out of his sleeve, brought just in case Saiken got mouthy like just now. Rokubi's eyes were as wide as dinner plates and his cheeks as pale as his grey-white hair.

"WAIT I'M ALLERGIC!" He screamed scrambling to get away. Kyuubi's grinned evilly and chased after the slug.

"I know."


"I'm going to win this time," Hachibi declared breathing heavily.

"In your dreams," Kyuubi growled. He was dedicated to winning this match and keeping his score ahead. It wasn't even about proving himself in front of an audience. This late at night only he and Hachibi were out as everyone else was either asleep or avoiding the inevitable 'say I'm better!' demands that follow a fight between Kyuubi and Hachibi.

No way was he going to lose a tie. He never went lower than a tie.

But he was more tired out than usual during one of their scuffles. Maybe he should've kept a closer eye on his dinner plate. He sat between Shukaku and Matabi after all. Speaking of them-

Kyuubi let out a gasp when he found himself in Hachibi's arms under crushing pressure.

"H-HEY!"

"Do you give?" Gyuki asked squeezing even tighter.

No way, Kyuubi thought. He tried to build up enough chakra to blast him away but every time he felt he got enough one of Hachibi's tails would wrap around him and the increase in pressure distracted him enough to lose his concentration. By the seventh tail he was finding it a bit hard to breathe.

Just as he was feeling like his head was going to explode, Hachibi let go of him. Kyuubi didn't realize how high he really was until he landed hard on his side and looked up to see Hachibi in full demon form.

"You were distracted. More so than usual. I could never sneak up on you like that before. And even when I did get you in a grip a chakra blast came instantly! I was expecting you to at least realize what I was doing and to turn as well," the ox said with his voice booming.

Kyuubi had very little energy to respond. It didn't strike him that he had lost this match until he was on his knees finally catching his breath. Once it him though, he punched the ground taking out a sizable amount of dirt. Hachibi morphed back to human form in front of him.

"Kyuubi? Are you crying?"

"Shut up and get away from me." No he wasn't crying but he was a bundle of crazy emotions and none of them were happy. He didn't even know why. He's seeing his friends again after a while and he did miss them. He wanted to blame their stupid jabbering about his state of happiness. Maybe if they hadn't been bothering him he could've been on top of his game tonight.

Kyuubi didn't even realize that he didn't truly want to be alone until Hachibi sat down next to him.

"Is it Naruto?"

"Hachibi you're pushing it." Didn't mean that he was going to make it easy for the ox demon.

"Just answer me this, he makes you happy right? I mean I noticed that you aren't usually frowning around him."

"..." Not him too.

"Kyuubi? Please just talk a little." Gyuki pleaded. Kyuubi took one glance at his pale silver eyes, sighed and turned away.

"Look this battle will be written off, not counted, if you just talk a little. Are you happy?"

"I know why you're asking that."

"Re-Really now?"

"Cut the crap. My dad put you up to this didn't he?"

"Well. I mean. Okay so then...Is it that obvious?"

"So obvious, that I question leaving you guys with secrets in the future."

"Come on be a little fair. It's not something that could easily be kept a secret. And besides I'm the only one your father talked to and I had to rope the others into helping. They did without fighting by the way. We're all just really worried about you, you know."

"...Why in the world is my romantic life any of your concern?"

"Huh?"

"Especially when I made it clear that I don't want a love life. The fact that my dad told you to make sure me and Naruto got along shouldn't be enough for you butt in."

"You think that..." Hachibi trailed off and then quickly picked up again. Scooting closer he said, "Okay okay let's stay with that thought. How do you feel about Naruto?"

"What we're you going to say?"

"I was going to say that you think that we are only doing this about of that? No no! We've all been pushing for you to get laid for...a while now..."

Kyuubi glared. "I have gotten laid."

"I know," Hachibi said innocently. "Now it's time for you to get laid by someone you like. So tell me about Naruto and how you really feel."

Suspicion never left Kyuubi's eyes. "I like him as a friend. He's good to me and has his uses."

"Oh. Sounds like good mate material."

"Don't fucking start. I'm not in the mood."

"Seriously Kyuubi why don't you want at least try to mate with this guy?"

"You know the answer to that."

"You don't think you're good enough? He might be good mate material for you but are you good for him?"

"I will rip your other horn off."

"Alright, alright sorry. You can do all the talking now."

And you know, Kyuubi felt like being honest for once. He may not be Itachi, but Gyuki really was the best he had right now. After all his own father practically disowned him for a short time when his first horn was torn off by a mere human. Things were much better between them now, but Hachibi still had a sympathetic nature and that's what he needed right now.

"Aside from the fact that I don't feel that way...It's not really Naruto so much as my father. I don't trust what he's doing."

"Why?"

"He's...I just don't know what he's thinking. And I don't like that. Whatever he's trying to get to do I don't want to do it because I don't know...anything really, about what's going on." And that was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to their problems.

"You're dad wants what's best for you I can tell you that."

"So did he. But I can't believe it." Not yet if ever.

"I see so you need some reassurance huh? In that case, I see what you are doing. It's good for you isn't it?"

"Sorta. I should be able to decide want I want and when I want it. I'm-" he was about to say 'scared' but at the last second decided not to. "Nervous when he makes the decisions."

"This really sounds like something you need to tell him."

"Like he'll listen."

"No I'm serious. You should be telling him this..." The strange emphasis on 'you' got his attention.

"Huh?"

Hachibi shook his head and stood up. "Sorry I have to go make a phone call. But for what it's worth I think you're right. And I think, or no, I know you get through to him one day."

"You're naive," Kyuubi smiled shaking his head. He even tugged on Gyuki's knee-length sandy blond hair for good measure.

"I'm optimistic! If my dad and I can patch things up you and Daitaru certainly will too."

"Blah."

"I'm serious. I am confident in you. You're going to become the very top of greatness right? And if you can do that..."

"I haven't done it yet."

"Patience. Sometimes progress for the things you want move at a snail's pace. But the best things come to those who wait...even if you don't realize it's something you want."

"Are you talking about Naruto?"

"How about you just take my advice and apply it to wherever in your life?" Gyuki coughed and bushed while Kyuubi laughed. It actually was a real one this time too. Maybe Gyuki realized that and that's why he patiently waited for Kyuubi to stop, even laughing just a little with him, before asking his final question of the night.

"The score's still tied right?"

"No. It's 47 to 48. You win this one but the next time you won't be so lucky."

"I haven't got a doubt about that..." Gyuki laughed nervously and rubbed his arm, as if he could picture what he will go through in their next spar."

"Sweet dreams Kyuubi."

"Night."

When he was alone, that's when Kyuubi got up and headed to his room. He felt a bit better, a bit lighter. There are times when their competiveness, clashing personalities, and even jealousy get ahead of them and litters their relationship(and occasionally their physical bodies) with bruises. But then moments like that happen and Kyuubi remembers why he thinks of Hachibi his not-by-blood brother.


Saturday

"Staying up late again?"

"Psh! It's only sunset! And I actually went to bed early last night!"

"I know I heard you this morning," Kyuubi chuckled. Laugh it off like a joke he decided. No need to freak out at noticing Naruto's every movement again. They were sitting in front of a small pond, kicking their feet lightly in the water. The sun was just at the horizon so the sky was a beautiful blend of dark blue, pink, and orange. The sight was too nice to miss and looking at it with Naruto was okay with him.

"You know what's funny?" He asked lying down. "My dad really did secretly recruit them to be spies and they did a terrible job at keeping it a secret. I guess they can't keep one after all."

"Yeah they kept talking to me about you. It was so obvious."

"Told ya."

"Heeey I figured it out too!" Naruto chuckled lying down next to Kyuubi. He could feel the heat coming off of the golden kitsune but that was again, okay with him. He already had his epiphany when it came to Naruto and these past few days have been relatively tame, which means Naruto has been doing a good job affirming his theory that whatever it was between them was simply friendship.

No matter what his friends tried to imply.

"Can you sing?"

"Tch. Hell no."

"Come onnnn. You're trying to become the perfect demon right? The perfect demon's gotta be able to do everything...perfectly," Naruto grins slyly and says 'perfectly' in a sly tone while rolling over to face Kyuubi. Kyuubi doesn't pick up the innuendo.

"I like music especially rock. But I don't sing. What about you? Can you sing?"

Naruto grins. "My friends all tell me I can't. Doesn't stop me!"

Kyuubi scoffs and laughs, "What, are you trying to become a professional singer?"

"Nope! I'm trying to become a legend. But singing is nice hobby. And it has many great uses. Entertainment, trains your voice...luring."

"Luring?"

"Yeah lurrring" Naruto purrs. Kyuubi looks at his companion to see Naruto tip his head forward with his eyes half-lidded.

"Have you ever seduced someone by song before? It's a lot of fun actually," he says in a low tone.

Kyuubi is staying cool. Staying super cool. Naruto is only doing this because he is 'trying' like he promised his father he would. And he is staying super super cool because he sees Naruto as a friend and friends don't...fall for seduction tricks. Kyuubi looked away.

"Tch. Who the hell have you seduced before by song?"

"Oh everybody. I get plenty of people chasing my tail the moment I open my mouth."

"I can believe that," Kyuubi said in a deadpan tone.

"Hey! Shush with the sarcasm! I got my first and only girl with my singing!"

"Oh...did you care about her?" His tone was casual. He was feeling completely okay with this new information. In fact better than okay. Much better.

"She was sweet. Kinda interesting because she literally never said a word. I don't think she knew how to speak. But in the end it didn't matter because she never met my dad and she left me like all of the other kitsune," Naruto shrugged. Kyuubi nearly sung praises because finally there was an opening for a subject change. And it was something he wanted to know too as an added bonus!

"Why is that anyway? You told me you don't get along with them and I can't see why. All you have to do is cause mischief and you're good at that at least."

"Well what about you huh? I see you have a ragtag bunch of not kitsune friends too!"

"Are you deflecting?"

"Yes. No. Yes. Do you really want to hear?"

"I really want to understand yes."

Naruto sat up and let out a loud sigh. He was quiet for a few moments before mumbling,

"You might not know this, but I can be a pretty arrogant guy at times."

"No really? You?"

"Hahahaha I hate your sarcasm. Stop it."

"You really set yourself up for that."

"Do you want to hear this or not?"

Kyuubi made the motion of zipping his lips and did his best to hide his laugh. An angry Naruto relieves the tension as always. Naruto sighed and lowered his ears. "It's my dad. I mean it's me wanting to be like my dad. Some of the things he can do, I try so hard and I can't do it. So I get frustrated when they can."

"An ugly side of you does come out in training."

"I deserve that. I don't know what's wrong me. Why I get so competitive. And then when I do try my hardest and succeed or fail and then they get mad at me telling me to chill out it just...I don't get it! Is it me that only gets this way? I thought all kitsunes strive to be the best."

"We do strive to be the very best we can be."

"And we get frustrated when we're stuck yet?"

"More or less."

"So when I get frustrated then why does that mean I get shunned?"

"It depends on how you take out your frustration. I for example do copious amounts of destruction. It calms me down to see things destroyed and burning, imagining them to be my problems is like therapy for me. What do you do?"

"What do you think I do?"

"Yell at others. Yell at me. Yell."

"Yeah that's...I mean..."

"So what is there not to get? Even us kitsunes don't want to be treated offensively. We then get offended and we get even. I guess the foxes in your area decided the best way to show you a lesson is to shun you."

"Well they did it in any case," Naruto said glumly. It made Kyuubi upset to see Naruto looking so sad. So he tries to comfort him.

"Remember what you said about being nice to those lesser than you? Well I guess we found something to help you with. I'm going to teach you how to let your anger out in a destructive but not socially destructive way. How's that sound?"

Naruto smiled at him still looking a little sad, but hopeful. "Magical. Like a really nice melody."

Kyuubi barked out a laugh. "A melody? Singing still on your brain?"

"I find the arts to be artful and fun. And besides I learned that my zodiac sign, the Libra, has a very artistic mind. I know you draw really well, can you sing too?"

"No one says anything about Aries and art and I only know how to draw."

"Come on...Please?" And Naruto stuck out his bottom lip in a way that had Kyuubi rolling onto his side to face the other direction. He didn't mean anything by it. Naruto always makes that face when he wants something. From him anyway. Naruto's begging was also sort of getting to him...It's what friends do. Sure he would never sing with his own crew unless otherwise mentally impaired by a certain substance, but Naruto deserved a little special treatment for helping him get out of their situation. There that's his rationalization.

"Fine," he mumbled. "Tell anyone here about this and I'll set you on fire."

Naruto only giggled in reply. Kyuubi opened his mouth and then Kyuubi stopped because he realized he had no idea what to sing.

"What the hell are we singing here?" Most of his favorite songs involved screaming which was a no-no at this place.

"Let's make up a song and sing about something fancy like our dreams."

"Really."

"I know what you want to beeeee!" Naruto sang in a little tune.

"I bet you're wrooooong!" Kyuubi sang back in that same tune. Naruto pouted and glared.

"Oh come on it's obvious. It's in your name even!"

"Haha I knew it! Shows how well you know me!"

"I thought I showed that last night?"

"Stop being smart. I mean being Kyuubi is hardly my dream. I aim to go even further."

"...Further?"

"My goal," Kyuubi said determinedly. "To become the next Juubi."

Naruto's eyes went wide. "Juubi? You want to become the legendary ten-tails?!"

"'A'," Kyuubi insisted. "I'll become my own 'the' thank you! But yeah that's what I want. More than anything really. And I know I can do it! I can feel in my bones all I have to do is keep trying to control my power. And soon I'll be a demon of legend!"

Naruto oddly looked thoughtful. "Hmm I feel like I've..."

Kyuubi blinked in confusion. Don't tell him someone else wants his dream too. He glared, well that person better dream on because there can only be one. Naruto shook his head.

"Never mind I can't remember. Anyways that's the most awesome goal I've ever heard," Naruto said smiling warmly at Kyuubi. He then grinned cheekily, "next to mine of course."

Kyuubi grinned back but he closed his eyes to avoid staring at Naruto's smile for too long. Something that shouldn't have that much of an effect on him in the first place. They were toeing the boundary line and the sooner they stepped back the better. He would rather avoid it all than feel something and spend hours or so denying it. Kyuubi opened his eyes again and frowned when Naruto teased him.

"But you know, nine tails is pretty spectacular too."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, how many young nine-tailed demons have there been?"

Kyuubi could answer that one easily. None. There have been young demons with no tails, demons with eight tails, and everything in between. But the world has yet to hear of a youthful nine-tailed demon as everyone reached nine tails in the last leg of their life. The ones alive now are ancient, several on the brink of death.

"I think it will be really cool once you make nine-tails."

"My father and I used to talk about it all the time," Kyuubi said wistfully. "We used to talk every day about me becoming the youngest nine-tails in existence. The day I finally surpassed him and got my eighth tail, we partied for eight weeks straight," Kyuubi chuckled a little as he remembered the happier, fun times and Naruto's blue eyes watched every bit of the Kitsune heir's face with a curious frown. Kyuubi barely noticed and paid it little mind.

"He was so proud of me…but then," Kyuubi scowled. "This stupid clan business came up. Suddenly it became less about how strong I get and more about how I need to find a mate."

"He's doesn't believe you can become Juubi anymore?"

"Hah! The thought had never even crossed his mind! He still believes I only want to become a Kyuubi and really, if he can't figure out that I want to become more than there's no need to correct him," he answered bitterly.

"Oh...well you know, Kyuubi isn't really a bad stopping point. Then you and your friends can be one through nine like, in a row. A gap would be so awkward wouldn't it?"

"Well fine how about you go for 9 tails and fill that gap yourself? I'm going for the very best!"

"M-Me? A nine-tailed fox?"

"You sound like that's not possible," Kyuubi pointed out raising an eyebrow. He then tilted his head with a knowing smile. "Or you don't think it's possible."

Naruto was staring at the ground when he answered. "I mean it's just...the thought of me being that powerful...wow..."

"I find it hard to believe this never occurred to you before. You're always so anxious in training, just where did you think your power would cut off?"

"I don't know...six-tails?"

Kyuubi burst out laughing. "You give yourself waaaaay too little credit!"

His eyes were closed so he didn't even notice Naruto's little smile.

"Kushina was an eight-tails too right? At least give yourself seven tails."

"Do you do this on purpose? Or do you just not notice how kind to me you are?"

Awkward feelings arising. "W-What?" Kyuubi stuttered with a blush. Naruto closed his eyes and smiled.

"Never mind. Don't want to scare you away this early."

"Hey! You don't scare me!"

"I don't huh?"

"Not at all. This..." Kyuubi gestured between the two of them. "thing or whatever may be weird but it doesn't mean anything. You're my friend and that's it! I'm nice to my friends you know! Sometimes."

"So if I...just...crawled on top of you, you wouldn't run away?"

"The hell kind of question is that?"

"I'm testing your limits."

"What kind of-"

"If it reeeeally isn't anything, then there shouldn't be anything wrong with me on top of you."

It was at this point that Kyuubi noticed how serious Naruto looked. And the awkward feelings became anxious feelings. Naruto was now stepping on the invisible boundary line and slowing inching his way over.

"Why are you asking about this now?"

Naruto sighed. "You can't deny it Kyuubi and neither can I. It's early so...let's just see if this is it. My cut off isn't at six-tails so maybe our cut off isn't at friendship."

"You're really talkative tonight," Kyuubi pointed out looking away. This was not what he wanted to hear. WAY too much for him deal with. His heart was pounding and it didn't feel good.

"My dad taught me to be open about myself. He said my mom wouldn't want me to grow up hiding my emotions all the time. So he said whenever I could, I should just let them out."

"Do you always think your dad is right? That kind of thinking could obviously be used against you."

"Boy scaredy-fox. Didn't think you were so afraid." The dig at his pride was it. That's right, if he had really had something to prove, that this was no more than friendship, then he shouldn't be so scared to prove it.

"OKAY! Okay...just do it now and get it over with," Kyuubi shouted. He faced the blond and leaned back onto his elbows, legs sprawled out in front of him.

What's worse is Kyuubi had no idea what Naruto was going to do. He was going to crawl on him and then what? What? Kiss him? Should that be the stopping point? And by that should Kyuubi stop him if he tries to go farther or-

Oh Juubi.

Naruto had taken a deep breath and what looked like a few seconds to gain confidence because it was obvious that Naruto was as nervous as he(which brought of the question of why the hell they were doing this in the first place. But neither would back down now that it has started).

And now he was touching his legs. In a crawling positing Naruto made his slow move onto Kyuubi and he was putting his hands on Kyuubi instead of the ground. Not light, feathery, nervous touches. Not even gripping the soft cloth of his pajama pants. Full on grabbing his legs.

Kyuubi could control himself. He let out a gulp but no more than that. He kept his ears still, his tails still, and his expression as neutral as possible while his eyes stayed on Naruto's face. The blond's expression was unreadable, but he looked like he was taking this seriously. With that thought in mind, Kyuubi wondered if Naruto was suddenly going to jump up and start giggling and shouting "GOTCHA!" at which Kyuubi will stand up too and punch him in the face. This is sooooo far from funny and sooooo not the time to pull a prank.

Which actually means it's the perfect time to pull a prank.

Is Naruto messing with him?

He was on his stomach now, his head hovering over his chest. His heavenly rain scent assaulted Kyuubi's nostrils. He could see each individual dark blond lash and he just now noticed that what he thought were all around blue eyes were actually blue eyes that were a lighter blue around the edges and darker in the middle. The fine whisker marks stood out against his tan cheeks.

If he was going to foil Naruto's potential prank, now was the time to do it. He tilted his head away a little.

It was on the fore front of his mind. The tip of his tongue.

"Okay Naruto stop."

But he didn't move another muscle and suddenly, Naruto wasn't moving either.

"Someone's watching us."


At the same time...

"Look at them. It's sickening," the seven-tailed beetle sneered at the sight of Kyuubi and Naruto lying down next to each other.

"Shut up Chomei! You're just jealous because you lost your big chance at Kyuubi's fortune!" Matabi snapped.

"Shut up!"

"No need to feel bitter about it. He technically dumped all of us. But cheer up! At least we're his friends!" Gyuki tried to reason but it was a fruitless effort as Chomei was on a tangent. And once she got on it took a while before she got off.

"Rich demons should not mate with other rich demons! They should only mate with poor demons to spread the wealth."

"Right cause what's love got to do with it?"

"You're not even poor."

Nanabi ignored the second statement. "Love means nothing when you both have nothing."

"Oh my gooooosh! Saiken wake up and hear this!" Shukaku flatly dared, immediately trying to wake up Nanabi's fiancé. The green-haired girl just grinned and stuck her tongue out at Shukaku.

"Don't bother him badger boy. He already knows how I feel and totally agrees with me! We are so meant for each other," she sighed dreamily.

"A 'snore' does not mean yes Nanabi."

"Shut up! It's only around you bores that Rokubi sleeps. Around me he's wide awake."

"I would be too to be honest."

"Are you implying something you dumb beast!?" Nanabi growled at Shukaku, her wings fluttering threateningly.

"Rokubi better watch out. Nanabi's ideal mate is a rich one."

"Be quiet!"

"He or she doesn't have to be anything more than a blob! A blob with A LOT OF MONEY!" Shukaku whispered loudly. Nanabi was going to hurt him so Hachibi stepped in before he had another mess to clean up.

"Did anyone see this coming? Who could've imagined it? Our leader mating with the ring leader of our bratty apprentices?"

Ever logical, Matabi could see exactly what Gyuki was trying to do and quickly helped. "True. When Yugito told me about that blond fox she always listened to I never thought it could mean Naruto."

"Looks like Daitaru actually hit the mark this time," Sanbi said. "The little blond fox actually has some skill to him when it comes to talking to Kyuubi." Chomei let out a huff but no one paid her any attention. "Wonder how happy he is about that?"

Hachibi flinched and then quickly answered.

"I-I think his happiness depends on how happy Kyuubi is with this thing or even things in general. Speaking of which did he seem happy to you guys?"

"I mean I couldn't tell anything was different. You know he's been a mood since...God how long has it been?"

"Well does he at least seem a little bit happier? Come on you all talked to him and I told you guys to look for that."

The lesser tailed beasts started thinking. The past few days they had to study Kyuubi, Naruto, and Kyuubi and Naruto together because Hachibi told them too. When they heard it was to keep an eye on their leader's happiness they agreed without a fight. They had been worried about the boy for about a year now. When they were little they called him Crybaby Kyuubi because he cried whenever he lost something(now if they call him that he'll make them cry). Yet they have not seen him shed one tear over his mother and so they started to wonder if he was getting any better.

It was hard to tell. He still didn't want to talk. Kyuubi, kitsunes in general, were always good at hiding that kind of stuff and putting up a mask so to speak. A kitsune mask. That they wished he would take off. One looked over at the two kitsunes.

"Oh wow it's not even mating night yet and they're going that far?"

"Ohhh okay we're going to stop this now guys! Let's go before this is embarrassing! We shouldn't be watching this..." said by Hachibi, who didn't look and didn't want to look.

"They aren't even kissing yet! Look Naruto is just on top of him stop acting all scandalous."


"Are they watching us?" Naruto asks. He didn't even look away from Kyuubi and the red fox knew why. He could smell them all huddled together just across the pond and in the bushes. Amateurs.

"Yeah. Probably just curious about us. I'll get rid of them."

"Okay." Naruto puts his hands on Kyuubi's shoulders but Kyuubi pushes him off first and immediately leaves.

A pinch of joy was felt when all of the tailed beasts were startled by his appearance. Then again, he did appear in front of them, looking as angry as anything.

"OUT!" He shouted. Within the next second his friends were gone.

And now what?

He turned around and got his answer.

Nothing.

Naruto was gone too.


Daitaru punched in a number he knew by heart. He held the phone up to his ear and it rang a few times before a sleep voice answered "he-he-hel-...do you want to talk?"*

"Sorry are you doing anything right now?"

"I was sleeping a moment ago."

"I mean is there anything important you are working on right now. In this time frame?"

"Of?"

"This next month or so."

"Oh...No not really. I've been able to get so much work done that I'm ahead and now I can just sleep. Why?"

"I had to send them to a friend of Kurama's. You know Gyuki right?"

"The eight-tailed ushi-oni? Not personally but I've heard of him. Mainly through one of Naruto's friends, that Bee kid. He sounds like a nice guy."

"He is...He helped a lot this past weekend. He and Kurama's other friends."

"Why'd you send him there?"

"Kurama needed a change of atmosphere and he needed to be with people I knew he would be completely honest to."

"Is something wrong Daitaru? How's Naruto?!"

"Naruto-kun is fine don't worry. The issue is mainly with me and my son. As is usual lately..."

"Sounds like things still aren't going well."

"Far from it. I asked Gyuki and his friends to keep an eye on Kurama and find out if he's happy or not. I asked them to watch over Naruto-kun too and see if things are going well with him too."

"So what happened?"

"Naruto-kun is alright it seems. But Kurama...," Daitaru heaved a heavy sigh. "It's all going horribly Minato. Nothing I do is right. I know I've made slip ups, especially lately, but I've been trying so hard to find someone who brings Kurama happiness and it looks like all he can focus on is how I...don't."

Minato made a sound that sounded unmistakably like pity. So Daitaru did not speak any more about the subject of his terrible relationship with his son.

"Please. Naruto-kun from what my blind eyes can see is doing a better job than anyone before at breaking Kurama's walls. I really, really think he's the one but from what I'm told Kurama isn't interested at all and I don't know how to figure out if that is true or if..." He trailed off, not wanting to admit that Kurama would sabotage his own relationships just because Daitaru was the one who set him up.

"You want me to watch over them?"

"If you could please."

"The time for me to meet Kurama is coming up anyway. Send them over here I'll watch them for about a month or so and we'll see what happens from there. I mean I got a letter from-"

"An Uchiha?"

"Yeah." Daitaru could hear the confusion in Minato's voice. "How'd you know?"

"I got one too earlier. But Kurama insisted that no move be made and I will respect his wishes." For once he imagined in his son's voice.

"Okay. I'll get this place set up and you can send them to me when you are ready."

"Thank you."

"My pleasure. Now get some rest you sound like you need it."

"Mm-hm." And then he hung up after hearing Minato do the same. He was already in bed and he really did need some rest. Maybe a glass of water too. And a rain storm would be nice. He should probably go talk to Nagato.

But he sat up, winced, and lied back down again. The pull was getting worse now. That damn woman. Half of him could only hope she felt what he was going through. The other half hoped she held out a little bit longer. His son wasn't happy yet. He was already doomed to hell anyway, but as long as he loved is son he needed to stay around long enough to make sure...to make sure...what he was doing was right.

In the end, Daitaru hoped it would all be okay but he could no longer take chances. He didn't have the time. So Minato was his last chance to make sure that Naruto-kun was what his son needed to be happy. His last chance to see Kurama find someone before he makes the same mistakes his foolish father did. It's always best to find them young. Always...

Of course. If only I could... Daitaru thought before sleep finally over took him.


And finished with this monster.

This is first time I've ever felt evil posting a chapter O_o! I bet you're all wondering why Naruto did that little disappearing act at the end huh? Don't worry it will be revealed in the next because there we return to our regularly scheduled hijinks and of course, Naruto's POV(1st person).

So a couple of things:

1)Each tailed beast scene had a purpose. I'm sure you can all figure out the over all purpose but there are little things I hope you caught. For example, Sanbi's scene with Naruto is to show how a lower tailed demon can get the upper hand on a higher tailed demon. It's not the power, it's the demon lol :). Nanabi's at least clarifies the age thing too. Etc.

2)About Kyuubi's scenes being a little more somber, yeah I put this under 'family' genre for a reason and well there it is. Kyuubi's issues with his parents is something that is going to be pretty big and I think you all can tell why. Kyuubi and Daitaru's main problem is that they clearly don't trust one another. But they do in fact care about each other. But will it be too late to patch things up? You'll see! Do note though that I am REALLY BAD with extended scenes/periods of angst. So no worries about Kyuubi becoming a sobbing mess for like...3 chapters or something lol. Still everything he's repressing will be addressed.

3)THE ACTION SCENE FUCK. It was short but action makes me nervous(not good because there is action in later chapters). Still it's a start. And on that note I did the same with the descriptions. I always think at first that I should leave that up to the readers' imaginations but I thought that the tailed beasts deserved some description at least.

4) Favorite part to write was a 5-way tie between Nanabi's scene, Hachibi's scene, Rokubi's scene, the spying scene, and of course Kyuubi and Naruto's scene. Honorable mention goes to Shukaku.

5) Little peak at the next chapter. Sunday morning good-byes(the tailed beasts might appear again but I don't know yet). Someone is really angry...he then gets really angry again...and that's all so far.

6) Minato's stuttering hello is because I heard once that foxes can't say moshi-moshi lol

About the other stories...well see profile. Having some writer's block with Little Terror but the others are fair game for updating. I might do ATCGW first, Seas next and then Salvation. But we'll see.

Hope you enjoyed the long(er) ass chapter! Please let me know what you thought of it :)!