Aww, Kyuubi. u.u

Names, Redux

"But Naruto-chan really is kind of too long."

Kyuubi smothers a growl and flips around on his other side to glare at them through the open window. God, not again. That shit was settled.

Sitting cross-legged on the bed like a pair of chattering sisters, they totally ignore him on his balcony, like being out of the apartment proper means being out of earshot. "I mean, that's four syllables and only the last one's different. By the time you get there..."

"Yeah... Damn it, you're right. Argh. Okay, girl names, girl names... Uh, do you know any?"

They start throwing out names, voices running into each other at the edges so that Kyuubi wouldn't even know who speaks if he didn't look at them.

"Akiko? Ayako? Kimiko?"

"Man, I'd never remember to answer to any of that. It's too, I dunno, random, it's not really connected to me, you know?"

Kyuubi knows. Because Kyuubi isn't a name, it's a title. It's what he is. Who he is. No difference.


"What's with you and 'ko' anyway?"

"Well, it's a girl ending, isn't it?"

"... Well yeah, but it's still only the third syllable that's different, and it's still a -o."

They're ruining his sunbeam. Kyuubi tries to block it out, the series of meaningless tripping syllables, but then they start going into variations on Naruto -- Natoru, Toruna, and it's all so stupid...

"Kushina," he mutters without thinking, and then scowls at himself and gets up. He's not staying in earshot a second longer. They're contagious.

"Huh." The girl blinks and perks up, staring at him in surprise. Why the fuck is she smiling at him? "That sounds pretty nice."


The two blonds stare at him like witless calves and he growls.

"But you were the one who brought it up!"

Yeah, and he doesn't know what the heck he was thinking, save that when the girl has her hair down like this Kyuubi can see Kushina all over her. He steps through the window and thumps on the floor with obvious irritation. "Shut up. Vetoed."

"Aw, come on. You could help."

The boy muffles a snort in his hand, sneaks the girl a look. "You're asking Kyuubi for a name? Dude. He's gonna go with Meat, or b -- uh, bosom, or something like that."

Kyuubi was in fact vaguely considering something in that vicinity, because from his point of view they are rather over-vast and useless bags of flesh. Give him a round rump or a saucy, sleek tail any day. But the way they snicker in tandem and sneak looks at each other annoys him some more. Faint threat rumbling in his throat, he leans in between them and catches blond locks in each hand.

"She can be Pussy, and you can be Asshole, so you stay a matched pair."

"--Hey! And you can be Dickw--"

Kyuubi smiiiiirks.

"--ad -- what?"

A half-second later they realize that they're more or less agreeing that they're the holes and he's the cock, and he releases them in a hurry to avoid getting kicked in the stomach from both sides. He lands in the middle of the floor and growls down at them, skin prickling, rocking on the balls of his feet. Fight? Fight now? For a second he can feel his skin pull as ghost-ears prick up in anticipation, but they're just sense memory.

They're about to get into a fight when the breeze knocks loose that angry little man's notice from the drawers and both blonds deflate. (What the fuck is a landlord anyway? Konoha belongs to him. He's lord of the land. Fuck the humans, who cares.) With a grumble they sit back down and turn their faces away from him, leaving him alone and ignored in the middle of the room.

What the hell just happened. Just because he broke one thing, he doesn't get his fight?

"Ooh, I know!" The boy bends over the edge of the bed, rummages for a second, and brandishes a packet he had hidden under there, to illustrate. "We could name you after ramen ingredients too!"

"... oooOOOH. Like Miso? Nori?"


"I will," Kyuubi says very coldly, "eat your face."

The girl glares back and doesn't seem to feel one ounce of worry over his very serious threat that he truly does mean. "Well you're the one who gave Kushina and then took it back!"

"You can't have Kushina, it's taken already!"

But instead of getting angrier they stop and stare dumbfounded at him. He stares back at them and he ... for a second he...

.. what? What did he -- why?

They're making him stupid just by association, just by sitting there and making stupid monkey-noises, like a distinct scent isn't good enough for them and now he's--

"... Kyuubi?" Their scents go all weird and soft and they look at him like lost kits -- no, like he's a --

"Yin," he barks out, because no, words are useless things, useless and who cares, noise on the wind, gone in a second, and he can't let them talk now.


"You're Yin," he says, and turns his back on them and tries to unclench his shoulders. They're not going to fight and there's no need to be so battle-ready. (He'd tear them to shreds right now if they fought. He can't do that. He needs to keep them. But control is hard.)

There's silence and usually he'd be happy but he can feel their stares on his back. Maybe he should just beat them up on principle, so everyone forgets. (Forgets what? What happened? What did -- why is he ... angry?)

"Does," the boy starts, tentative enough to make Kyuubi grit his teeth, and then his voice firms, "Does that make you Yang? Y'know, matched pair?"

"... Hehe, sounds kinda like wang."

Kyuubi breathes out and relaxes, and then he grabs them by one ankle each and dangles them from the balcony.


In the end the girl decides on "Naruto, but Naru for short", which is basically deciding not to decide. Kyuubi puts it out of his mind as soon as possible and climbs on the roof to catch the last rays of sunset, since their voices have ruined his balcony.

(There's no use hating Kushina anymore, not a hot hate, active and waiting. She's been dead for years and years, she's the past, her scent has long since faded to nothing. The Yin girl can't have that name anyway, even though her own scent sometimes echoes a bit. Surface-deep she's Naruto, and chakra-deep she's him. Yin. He puts Kushina out of his mind too.)

(As a fox he never did get the appeal of colors (never got the appeal of names either) but he saw through her eyes when she was still his cage. As they swallow the dying sun the clouds go purple-red just like her hair.)