Upon entering the main house, Team Hebi could hear the shower. They knew that it was Naruto. Sasuke took a seat on the couch. He put his feet up so that Karin had to sit on the other couch with Suigetsu. Jugo sat on the floor between the two couches. Suigetsu reached for the remote and turned on the TV. He kept flipping through the channels which made Karin so angry that she tackled him. It was then that laughter filled the living room. Team Hebi turned to see Naruto holding a hand over his mouth trying to stop himself from being too loud. But that was not the only thing Team Hebi noticed.
Naruto was standing with only a towel wrapped around his waist. Karin blushed and looked away. Jugo looked away as well, but he just wanted to continue watching TV. Suigetsu kept looking at Karin then Naruto then Sasuke then Naruto and so forth. Sasuke could not keep his eyes off of Naruto. Water was dripping from Naruto's hair onto his tanned chest and rolled down to his legs then feet. He used the towel in his other hand to dry his hair. When he laughed, his chest kept moving causing his muscled body to move with it. When he finally stopped laughing he looked at Karin and grinned.
"You're like Sakura," Naruto said. "She gets angry whenever I flip through the channels too."
"I'm not like that pink-haired girl!" Karin yelled, still blushing. "I'm much pretty and more womanly!"
"Well, you are pretty," Naruto smiled. "I like the red hair. My mom had red hair."
'His mother?' Sasuke thought. 'Since when did he know anything about her?'
Naruto noticed what Sasuke was thinking. "When I gained control over the Kyuubi, I met her. Her chakra was seal along with him so that when I went to gain control, I'd get her help. She was very pretty. She said I talk like her. Oh! and my father was the Fourth Hokage!" Naruto was smiling a smile that Sasuke could not remember ever seeing before.
"The Fourth?" Sasuke questioned then realization hit him. "Can't believe no one was able to tell. You look a lot like him."
"Yeah, I always was amazed that people here were just so stupid," Naruto chuckled. "It turns out that out of the Rookie Nine, only Shikamaru knew. He just didn't seem to care. Something about it being too troublesome to think about." Naruto looked at a clock. "Is it that time already? No wonder why I'm hungry!" He paused. "Oh! Sorry! I almost forgot."
"How could you forget?"
"I'm doing it now, so hold on." Team Hebi stared at each other in confusion since they had no idea who Naruto was talking to. Naruto did a few hand signs. Suddenly red chakra began to form in front of Naruto. It took on the shape of a nine-tailed fox. Naruto looked at the fox. "You should take on your human form and introduce yourself."
"And you should put on some clothes, Kit," the fox said.
"Right!" Naruto ran up the stairs leaving Team Hebi to stare at the fox.
"Hi humans," the fox said. He then shifted and began to transform. In the fox's place stood a brownish, red-haired man. He has red eyes and tanned skin just a shade darker than Naruto's. His hair was long and reached his waist. He was just as big as Jugo. He was wearing an open red shirt and black shorts. He was bare foot and he had claws on his hands as well as his feet. He reached a clawed hand towards his hair and moved a few stands from his face. He looked like he was in his 20's. He turned towards Sasuke and glared, folding his arms over his chest. "Uchiha." His voice was low and dark.
"Kurama!" Naruto yelled. "Don't scare them." Naruto was wearing a black shirt that almost covered the black shorts he was wearing. There was a red fox on the front of his shirt and red strips on the sides of his shorts. Naruto looked at the man who was glaring at Sasuke. "You know, every time I see your human form, I still can't believe how hot you are."
"Heh!" Kurama chuckled unfolding his arms. "Not bad yourself, Kit."
"Are you ever going to stop calling me that?" Naruto pouted.
"Never, Kit," Kurama leaned over and kissed Naruto on the forehead. Kurama was the only one that noticed that Sasuke was clutching his fist. Kurama smirked then lifted up Naruto's chin. "So Kit, I'm hungry." He then kissed Naruto on the lips. Sasuke was ready to punch Kurama when Naruto pushed Kurama back.
"If you are so hungry then why don't you help me make dinner," Naruto glared. "And stop kissing me every time I let you out." He headed for the kitchen. "I'm not a little kid anymore."
"You are to me, Kit," Kurama said following Naruto. Sasuke got up and followed Kurama. The rest of Team Hebi looked at each other and did the same.
"So," Naruto said filling a pot with water. "Sasuke, Karin, Jugo, Suigetsu, this is Kurama. He is the Kyuubi, the Nine-Tailed demon fox."
"Isn't he suppose to be sealed inside you?" Karin asked. "How'd he get out?"
"I used a jutsu I made to give him a body of his own," Naruto answered. He put the pot on the stove and put some chicken wings in it. "We still have a connection though. He can hear all of my thoughts, if he wants to anyway, and if I die, so does he." He said this as if he didn't really care about dying.
"And his thoughts are annoying so I shut them out," Kurama said taking out a few bags of rice from a cabinet. "'Oh man, now I have blood all over the outfit Sakura got me for my birthday.'" Kurama taunted. "That is not the worse though. 'Ah! Sai! Stop touching that!' Oh wait, you usually say that out loud." He smirked. He noticed that Sasuke was getting more angry, but at Sai this time.
"Kurama!" Naruto blushed. "It's not my fault Sai is a pervert! And he stopped doing that over a year ago!"
"Yeah, yeah," Kurama said. "Too bad almost everyone you know is taken. I'm surprised you haven't gone to a bar or something." He began to wash the rice
"You know I can't get drunk!" Naruto yelled. The chicken was already boiling. He moved the pot and put a pan on the flame. He then headed to the fridge and took out some peppers.
"At least you'd win every drinking contest," Kurama said taking out the rice cooker. He through the rice in with some water. "Unless it's against Gaara or Bee."
"I'd be afraid to see a drunk Bee," Naruto shivered. "Thank god he has the 8-Tails."
"His rapping would get annoying," Kurama nodded.
"Ah," Suigetsu finally spoke up. "Who's Gaara and Bee?"
"Oh," Naruto said. He had forgotten that Team Hebi was there. "Gaara is the vessel of the One-Tailed demon while Bee holds the 8-Tailed demon. Although Gaara died once, I was able to get the One-Tail back from the Akatsuki. I wonder it Shukaku and him are getting along."
"You taught Gaara how to let him out like you let me out, right?" Kurama said. "I bet they're fine. And Bee and Gyuki always got along."
"True," Naruto said frying up the peppers. "The Hachibi was the first one to get along with its host. You are the second one. It is hard to believe though that Shukaku wouldn't try to kill everyone in Suna."
"If you want, Kit, I can always try to talk to Shukaku," Kurama said. He began cutting up an onion.
"You said this Gaara died once?" Suigetsu asked. "How'd he come back to life?"
"Oh, this old lady, Lady Chiyo of Suna, used a jutsu that gave up her life for his," Naruto said. He finished the peppers and dupped them on a plate then took the onion slices from Kurama and began to cook them as well. "It was sad really. She said that everything she had done was wrong and that saving Gaara would be the one thing that was right."
"But why this Gaara person?" Suigetsu asked.
"Gaara is the Kazekage of Suna," Naruto said. Kurama grabbed the chicken and used a strainer to get rid of the water. He then took a knife and removed the chicken from the bone. Naruto took the now empty pot from Kurama, placed it back on the stove and put the peppers and onions in it. He took some soi-sause and poured it into the pot. Kurama mixed the chicken with everything in the pot as Naruto got out a bunch of plates and set the table. The rice cooker went off just as Kurama and Naruto finished what there were doing. "I hope you're hungry! It's not special, but it should taste good."
"Since when do you cook or eat anything besides ramen?" Sasuke could not stop himself from speaking his mind.
"Sakura started to force me to eat better," Naruto said. "Iruka taught me and said I had a knack for cooking."
"Plus, I told the Kit to stop eating ramen or I'd stop playing card games with him," Kurama said.
"Card games?" Suigetsu chuckled. "That's how you got him to eat better?"
"It gets boring when you have nothing to do!" Naruto pouted. "At least with Kurama here, I can have some fun."
"May be after dinner you could convince these guys to play a few games," Kurama said.
"Really?" Naruto's eyes lit up. He turned to Team Hebi. "Would you play some games with me?"
"I don't mind," Suigetsu said. For some reason he just couldn't say no.
"I'll play," Jugo said.
"Games are for children," Karin said. "Right Sasuke? Sasuke?"
Sasuke was thinking. "How about a deal then? We'll play one round of poker. If either of Team Hebi wins, you Naruto will join us."
"How is that fair?" Kurama asked. "4 against 2?" He liked playing poker but liked strip poker better.
"Suigetsu and Karin will sit out on that round," Sasuke said knowing that Karin and Suigetsu were bad at poker.
"What happens if I or Kurama win?" Naruto asked.
"I'll grant you one request as long as it does not interfere with my goal," Sasuke said.
Kurama smirked. "That sounds like fun. Oh, Uchiha, you are gonna regret it."
Naruto grinned. "You're on!" Team Hebi, Naruto, and Kurama quickly ate, though Naruto and Kurama had over 5 servings. Then Suigetsu shuffled and Karin handed out the cards. Jugo looked at his hand and frowned. He had two 5's, a 7, a 2, and a King. He discarded all but the 5's only to get a 6, a Jack, and another 5. He had a three of a kind. Kurama also frowned. He had an Ace, two 3's, a two 9's. But then he smiled as he discarded the Ace and got another 3. He had a full house. Sasuke had better luck. He had three 4's, a Queen, and an Ace. He got rid of the Queen and Ace and got a 4 and an 8. He had four of a kind. He knew the only way to beat it was a straight or royal flush. He smiled as he saw Naruto discard four of his five cards.
"Three of a kind," Jugo said showing his cards.
"Hah!" Kurama laughed. He slammed down his cards. "Full house."
Sasuke smirked as he placed his cards down. "Four of a kind."
Everyone turned to Naruto. They saw that he showed no expression. Sasuke smirked. 'Must have really bad cards.' Kurama moved over and looked at Naruto's cards. He frowned.
"Every single time!" Kurama yelled. "This is why I hate playing with you!"
Karin and Suigetsu moved to see why Kurama was so mad. They gasped. Suigetsu then picked up the four cards Naruto had discarded. It was a 2, a 6, a 7, and an 8. "Which one did you not discard?"
"The ten," Naruto said.
"Why not just the 2?" Karin asked. "What if you had gotten a 9?"
"Oh!" Naruto gasped. "Why didn't I think of that?"
"Well, it's a good thing you didn't," Kurama said.
"Show us the cards already, Dobe," Sasuke commanded. He was not happy with the looks Karin and Suigetsu had on their faces.
Naruto then placed his cards on the table. "Royal flush!" He grinned. Sasuke frowned. 'Has Naruto always been this lucky?'
"So, Kit, what are you gonna make the Uchiha do?" Kurama smirked.
"I don't know," Naruto said. "What were you gonna make him do?"
"I was gonna make him strip then jump you," Kurama said.
"Kurama!" Naruto yelled and blushed. "You pervert!"
"Huh?" Jugo asked.
"You were gonna make Sasuke sleep with Naruto?" Karin blushed angrily.
"Yup!" Kurama laughed darkly.
"You're sick!" Suigetsu laughed.
Jugo shook his head. "Weird thing to make him do."
Sasuke remained silent. His heart was pounding. 'He was gonna make me take Naruto?'
"That's not going to happen!" Naruto yelled. "Even if you had won, Sasuke is not perverted not stupid enough to do that! Can't you think of anything not duty?"
"The shower?" Kurama answered sarcastically. "Oh wait! Never mind! I guess I can't!"
"You and Kakashi should get together sometime," Naruto said sitting back down. He had jumped up when Kurama had announced what he wanted Sasuke to do.
"But if I did that, we'd have an unhappy Iruka on our hands," Kurama said. "Well, you can keep thinking about what you'll make Sasuke do. I'm going to the training ground." He got up and headed for the door.
"Don't destroy too much of it!" Naruto yelled out after him.
"I'll try not to," Kurama called back to him.
"Anyway," Naruto said turning back to Team Hebi. "How about a different game?"
"How about life?" Suigetsu asked.
"Yeah, I have that," Naruto said getting up. "I call the orange car!"
'At least he still likes orange,' Sasuke hid a smile. "Then the blue one is mine Dobe."
"And here I thought you'd pick the purple one," Naruto placed the box on the floor. "I bet Suigetsu wanted the blue one. It is light blue after all. Karin should have the red one and Jugo the green. If Kurama was playing, he'd have to fight Karin for the red one."
"Fine," Sasuke said. "I'll take the purple one." He glared at Suigetsu to make sure he said nothing.
"Ok," Naruto sat between Suigetsu and Jugo. Sasuke frowned since that ment he was next to Karin and Suigetsu. He knew the two would fight.
"Switch places with me Dobe," Sasuke said.
"Why?" Naruto asked.
"Jugo can get a little crazy," Sasuke hoped that would be enough.
"Huh?" Naruto looked at Jugo. "I like him though."
"You haven't seen him when he goes crazy!" Suigetsu said. "You really should switch with Sasuke. You don't want him to attack you."
"Why not just switch with Karin then Sasuke?" Naruto said. "Then you'd be next to Jugo."
"Not gonna happen," Suigetsu said. "I'm not sitting next to that woman."
"Shut up, freak!" Karin yelled.
"Ah! So that's why," Naruto grinned. "Ok Sasuke. I'll switch spots with you." He stood up and waited until Sasuke did the same. Then they sat back down. Karin blushed and pouted. She wanted to be next to Sasuke, but like being next to Naruto. His chakra aura was calming. "Whoever spins the highest number gets to go first. I hope I go last."
"That means I'd have to get the highest number," Suigetsu said. "I doubt that will happen." Suigetsu then spinned. Team Hebi's jaws dropped when it landed on a ten. "Ok, how did you do that?" Suigetsu looked at Naruto.
"You're the one who spinned," Naruto laughed. And since no one else could spin a ten, Suigetsu had to go first and Naruto last. Half way through the game, Sasuke had a wife and 6 kids, Naruto had one kid no wife, Suigetsu had a wife and a kid, and Karin had a husband. Jugo however, had no kids nor wife in his car. Sasuke then spinned only to land on the space saying that he had to get a grandchild. Naruto laughed since he knew that Sasuke had just got exactly what he wanted, his clan reborn. Too bad it was only a game. The funniest moment was when Karin had to switch her job. She was a stripper. Suigetsu laughed so hard that he coughed up water that hit Jugo in the face. it was then that Jugo lost his cool and lunged at Suigetsu. Sasuke was gonna intervene when he saw Jugo's eyes find Naruto's and somehow Jugo quietly sat back down and apologized. Luckily, Sasuke had memorized where everyone was and was able to fix the board. Suigetsu stared at Naruto.
"How did you do that?" Suigetsu asked.
"Do what?" Naruto tilted his head sideways.
"You calmed Jugo down just by looking into his eyes," Suigetsu said.
"Guess may be he likes my eyes?" Naruto questioned.
"It's your chakra," Karin spoke up. "It is calming. I think anyone who feels your chakra aura would feel calm."
"Chakra aura?" Naruto was confused.
"Yes," Karin said. "I have the ability to read chakra auras. For example, Sasuke's is strong and unyielding. Jugo's is unsteady. Suigetsu's is wavering between lazy and excited. When I saw Kurama's, it was the same a Sasuke's yet a bit darker. Yours however, is both calming and dark. There is a mystery to it that even I can't recognize."
"I think that is the most you have ever said that didn't involve trying to seduce Sasuke," Suigetsu said.
"Oh Shut up!" Karin yelled.
Naruto laughed. "You know, I'm starting to really like you guys. You two arguing reminds me of Sasuke and I when we were still part of Team 7."
"Oh? What was it like being on a team with Sasuke?" Suigetsu asked.
"It was..." Naruto began only to hear the door open.
"Hey Kit!" Kurama shouted. "Shouldn't you be going to bed?"
"Ah!" Naruto said as Kurama picked him up. "I was having fun!"
"You just got back from a two month-long mission and killing one hundred ninja," Kurama said. "It is time to rest."
"Kurama! I can walk on my own," Naruto complained.
"But I like carrying you Kit," Kurama laughed but put Naruto down on the first step.
"Well guys, it looks like the party is over," Naruto said. "May be we can play another game tomorrow." He turned to Kurama. "Since you seem to have so much energy, why don't you pick up the game." It was not a question but an order.
"Fine Kit," Kurama said. He walked over to Team Hebi. "You guys should be going to sleep now. You probably need your strength since you will probably be leaving tomorrow since the Kit is not going with you."
Sasuke want to argue that but he didn't. He was tired. He stood up and walked up the stairs. "There are enough bedrooms for everyone to get their own. If any of you come into my room..."
"We won't," Suigetsu said. "Right Karin?"
"Of course not!" Karin blush. Jugo nodded. The three went down the hall and separated. Sasuke headed for his old room.
Upon entering it, he found a blond getting into the bed. "Sasuke?" Naruto looked at the raven. "What is it?"
"Why are you in my bed?" Sasuke asked.
Naruto sighed. "This is my bed now, Sasuke. I have lived here for over a year now."
"But why my room?" Sasuke wanted his room back.
"I like this room the most," Naruto answered.
"Get out," Sasuke ordered.
"No." Naruto replied calming.
Sasuke walked over to Naruto and grabbed his arm and pulled. "I said get out of my bed!"
"Let go!" Naruto yelled. He kicked Sasuke in the stomach. Sasuke fell to the floor. "There are other places to stay in the Uzumaki Compound!"
"Uzumaki Compound?" Sasuke raised his voice. "This is my house! The Uchiha Compound!"
"Not any more," Naruto said. "About six years ago, the moment you left Konoha, it stopped being yours. The council only decided to sell it a year and a half ago. I'm the one who bought it and I'm the one who changed it. This is my place, my room, and my bed. If you have a problem with that, then leave!"
"Oh? So now you don't want me back?" Sasuke smirked.
"Actually, no, I don't," Naruto said. "When I heard that you killed Orochimaru, I thought you were coming back, but instead, you come back three months later only to ask if me to help you kill Itachi. No, you just want to use me as bait! Well, I'm not going to be used by you." He sat back down on the bed. Sasuke grabbed hit wrists and pulled Naruto towards him, standing him back up.
"Itachi killed my family!" Sasuke yelled. "If I have to use you then I will!"
"I am not your tool!" Naruto yelled back. "I do not belong to you in any way!"
"You will do as I say!"
"No I won't!" Naruto tried to kick Sasuke again but Sasuke kneed Naruto in the stomach first.
"You will!" Sasuke threw Naruto against a wall. "I'll make you!"
"How?" Naruto asked. "Are you gonna threaten to kill Sakura, or Kakashi or some other friend of mine?"
"If I have to."
"I won't let you hurt anyone!" Naruto lunged at Sasuke. The two started to throw punches and kicks. Finally, Sasuke punched Naruto into the headboard. The back of Naruto's head hit it hard. Naruto fell to the floor. "Dammit!" His vision became blurry. "Sa-suke." He fell unconscious.
Sasuke panted then went to Naruto's side. The bleeding had stopped and Naruto was already healing. Naruto was breathing softly. Sasuke then lifted up Naruto and placed him on the bed and covered him. "You're still a Dobe, Naruto." Sasuke whispered. He was not surprised to hear Kurama walk into the room.
"The Kit is different," Kurama said. "You changed him before. And you are doing it again."
"Why does he have such an influence on me?" Sasuke asked, catching his breath.
"Because you love him," Kurama smiled. There was no evil intent in his smile. He turned around and began to close the door behind him. "And he loves you." The door then fully closed and Kurama went back down stairs to finish cleaning up.
Sasuke stared at the door then looked at Naruto. 'Is he right? Do I love Naruto?' Sasuke got closer. His gaze fell upon Naruto's lips. 'Ok, so I want to kiss him. That doesn't mean I love him.' His eyes traced the path the water had when it rolled down Naruto's body earlier. 'Ok. So I want him. I want to make him mine.' He paused then looked away. He moved to the foot of the bed then sat down. 'I, Sasuke Uchiha, am madly and deeply in love with Naruto Uzumaki.' He then closed his eyes and for the first time in a long time, did not have a nightmare.