Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto
Summary: One-shot in which Kurama asks Naruto some awkward questions about his love life and his future
Note: I don't go into pairings in this fic, because that's a minefield in this fandom. It took me awhile to think of another one, but I suddenly got some inspiration and this one was born! After re-reading the manga, I went back and made some small edits to the previous one-shots. My thanks to X59 for pointing out my 'Madara' mistakes. Thanks to all the reviewers and the people who put this series on their faves/alerts lists; I'm glad you like these little stories. :)
"Naruto." Kurama's voice called softly.
Naruto groaned, "Just five more minutes, Kurama."
He snuggled deeper into the Kyuubi's thick fur, feeling bone-tired and ready to sleep for a thousand years.
"It has been three hours." Kurama rumbled, "You must now prepare for the hunt."
"It doesn't feel like it's been three hours." Naruto muttered, scowling.
"Arise and prepare. Our enemies shall suffer the agony of death." Kurama promised with dark anticipation.
Naruto sat up and ran a hand through his hair, "I'd kill for some ramen right now."
"We shall kill on the battlefield." Kurama confirmed, poking Naruto's shoulder with the tip of one of his claws.
"Ouch!" Naruto exclaimed, rubbing his shoulder and glaring up at the beast, "But there won't be any ramen. Army rations are so dry and chewy..."
Suddenly, Naruto was jolted out of the Kyuubi's lair and back into the real world. It was dark and rain pounded heavily against the fabric of his tent.
"Rise and shine, Naruto." Called Kakashi as he pulled open the tent flap and ducked inside slightly, "It's sunset. Time to head back into battle."
"I'm getting up, Kaka-sensei." Naruto said with a taut smile.
Clearly recognising the signs of exhaustion on his student's face, Kakashi sighed, "Stay strong, Naruto. We need you out there."
"Don't worry about me," Naruto grinned, "I'm just missing my ramen."
"Ah, I see." Kakashi smiled, "Well, you're in luck."
Naruto eyes widened in disbelief as Kakashi produced a brightly coloured plastic cup from behind his back.
Naruto snatched the cup ramen from Kakashi's hand with astonishing speed, "Miso flavour! Kaka-sensei, you're the best!"
"They're boiling some water in the marquee. Get dressed and then you can eat." Kakashi said as he reached out to ruffle Naruto's scruffy blond hair.
"I'll be right there." Naruto chirped happily.
Kakashi stepped out of the tent and dropped the flap back into place.
Naruto placed the ramen aside and began looking around for the clothes that he'd thrown every which way before going to sleep.
'Whilst you were asleep, I saw fragments of your dream.' Kurama murmured as Naruto pulled on his black T-shirt.
Naruto bristled slightly, 'You can see my dreams now?'
'With my cage gone, I can see into your mind whenever I wish.' Kurama replied.
'You damn fox...' Naruto muttered.
'You dreamt of your fight with the Uchiha boy.' Kurama said.
Naruto froze, his shoulders stiff.
'It fills your dreams every time you sleep. Do you dream of nothing else?' Kurama asked.
'Of course I dream of other stuff!' Naruto snapped, 'Last week, I dreamed that I won a year's supply of ramen! And sometimes I dream about... Well, you know... Girls.'
'Your love life certainly leaves much to be desired.' Kurama remarked dryly.
Naruto growled, 'Don't go bringing up my first kiss again, Kurama. If you do, I swear I'll-'
'You are a foolish brat-' Kurama interjected.
'And what the hell is wrong with my love life, anyway?' Naruto demanded, feeling angry and a little embarrassed.
'Do you mean aside from your utter lack of one? Plenty.' Kurama stated.
'As if you're so wise about romance.' Naruto snarled, 'I bet you've never dated a girl either!'
'I am a being of chakra. I have no reproductive organs to speak of.' Kurama said.
'Then what makes you think you're so smart about girls?' Naruto asked as he zipped up his jacket.
'I was sealed inside Mito and Kushina for more years than you have lived. I can assure you, Naruto, I know more about women than you ever will.' Kurama said, his voice quite smug.
'I know loads about girls! They like sweets and flowers... They have long hair... and, uh, they can get pregnant...' Naruto trailed off, feeling rather pathetic.
He knelt and began rolling up his bedding in preparation for its storage inside Kakashi's sealing scroll.
'Do you wish to marry a woman and reproduce?' Kurama asked frankly.
Naruto's eyes bugged out, 'Don't say stupid things like that! I'm way too young to start a family. Besides... I need to fulfill my promise to Sasuke.'
'That boy is always first in your mind.' Kurama sneered.
'Look, I've got more important things to worry about right now than going on a date, Kurama.' Naruto muttered.
'You refuse to think of your own future.' Kurama said, his voice low and tainted with anger.
Naruto sighed as he secured the bedroll with a piece of string, 'That's because I have no future beyond my fight with Sasuke. I've told you this before-'
'You will not die! I will never allow it!' The Kyuubi roared furiously.
Naruto closed his eyes and appeared in the lair, standing before the Kyuubi.
"Sasuke and I are equals in power and experience. I saw this when we clashed. I don't believe in fate, but I know for certain that if we have to fight... We'll both die. Neither of us will give up. We're equals, Kurama. There's no other way it can end." Naruto explained, his expression serious.
"With my power on your side, you cannot die." Kurama said, "You will kill Sasuke, along with the rest of our enemies. Then you shall live and prosper in your village for many years to come."
Naruto tilted his head in curiosity, "So... What's this got to do with my love life?"
"Fool!" Kurama admonished, "I am attempting to make you think of a future beyond your fight with Sasuke. Do you not wish to be Hokage? Do you not wish for a family of your own?"
"Of course I want those things. It's all I've ever wanted!" Naruto growled, his hands tightening into fists.
"You shall achieve your dreams, Naruto. I will not allow anyone to steal your future. I will preserve your life with everything I have." Kurama promised, looking Naruto in the eye.
Naruto was silent for a long moment and then he smiled, "Thank you, Kurama."