A/N. Own nothing but still would appreciate reviews :D

How could people meditate?

That was something Naruto has been wondering for a while now, because there must be some sort of secret that, the people that can, keep for themselves and didn't like to share. Perhaps they did it just to make them feel superior over others? Because, seriously, Naruto wasn't able to understand how someone could do it—Blank your mind? How? If he thought in only black, as Ero-sennin once suggested, well, he was technically thinking in the color, right? It was something. So how can—

"Stop frowning and concentrate, gaki."

There was a giggle accompanying the words. Naruto ignored it without opening his eyes. He did relax the muscles of his face though. "I'm concentrating."

"Of course you are," was the sarcastic retort. "Just focus in your chakra coils for the meantime until you calm."

"I'm calm," Naruto muttered but did as he was told.

Another giggle.

Naruto's eyebrow twitched. He ignored it, again, and kept focusing in the way his chakra traveled inside his body, traveling from one way to another, reaching its destiny in one specific coil and returning. It wasn't like the waves of a calm water moved, forming slow ripples. It felt like a torrent that could overwhelm him if Naruto focused too much in a specific part. Sometimes they reached his stomach, where his seal was, and some of his chakra lost itself there before what was left went through his body again in a breathtaking, familiar way, engulfing him until he couldn't breathe. He tried to calm them, make the flow fluid and he could feel some progress. He could almost touch his chakra calming, so close and—

One more giggle, this one accompanied with, "Oh, yes, I'm so good."

Naruto opened his eyes and stood up. "How am I going to concentrate if you keep giggling at your own damned books like a pervert, huh?!"

"Hey, no need to insult my books. It's not my fault you're a kid that can't see art even when you've it in front of you!"

"Art?! You're just a pervert that makes other perverts happy!"

Ero-sennin shook his head slowly in disappointment. "Oh, kid, I pity you. Can't you see when I write the books, I don't just enjoy them? I'm not just a pervert," he stopped in suspense, his smile growing as he did a pose, "I'm a super pervert!"

Naruto's whole face twitched. He was sure his expression was enough to tell what he felt about that, so he stood and walked towards the door. "I'm going for a walk." He closed the door and could only hear a "Don't let that fox out here!" before he jumped towards the trees.

Perhaps it was impulsive to leave in the middle of his training but he was really growing impatient with the lack of improvement, losing the time he could have spent in learning amazing jutsus! And Naruto knew Ero-sennin knew a lot. Even with all his weird quirks, he was known as someone powerful, after all. Jiraya was his sensei, damnit! Where were the cool jutsus and awesome movements? Naruto stopped on a tree branch and scratched his head in indignation before slumping in said spot.

He needed to burn some tension.

Making the usual hand seal he used for his clones, he made the Kyuubi appear. His annoyance made it hard to grasp a good amount of the Nine-Tail's chakra so the height of the biju in front of him was the smallest he had encountered so far. With a small snout and small eyes, and the puffiest tail ever, the Kyuubi stood proud, there in front of him.

He perhaps reached his knee now.

"Disobeying direct orders now?" was the first thing he said and Naruto knew he was ready to say more but he cut him off before it could happen.

"So cute!" Naruto moved his hands forwards, ready to pat the fox's head and scratch his fur, perhaps hug him tight against his chest. However, a small mouth trapped his hand before it could reach the orange fur.

Apparently, the Kyuubi's teeth were small but still deathly.

With a yelp he would always say it was manly, Naruto freed himself from the pointy, small teeth and pressed his hand against his chest, blood already staining his clothes. "I thought your grumpiness would have been reduced with your height but I guess not!"

The Kyuubi glared at him. "Fix my height. I cannot been seeing in this pitiful form."

"Huh? I can do that? How?" Forgetting about his hand, Naruto approached the small fox whom seemed less threatening now that Naruto had his curiosity piqued.

"It's a hypothesis," The Kyuubi smiled, "but try pouring more of my chakra in me."

Wanting to know what would happen, Naruto did it. Now calmer than previously, he concentrated in the red chakra inside him and pushed some into the fox. And then Naruto saw how he grew. From his really small height into the big one he had gotten used to.

With a roll of his shoulders, the Kyuubi went down to the floor and started walking. He no longer ran as soon as he was free and now seemed more relaxed. Not approachable because he still had the same malicious aura, but it was an improvement.

Naruto accompanied him and after almost an hour of prodding, he convinced the fox of going towards the city. It was hard but Naruto had practice annoying others and knowing the Kyuubi wouldn't kill him made him feel better about annoying him. Also, with his healing abilities, he cured faster, too. Thing the Kyuubi had said a lot whenever he caused him pain and wasn't afraid to exploit.

"I'm not a masochist or the perfect toy for you to munch, you know!"

You should feel grateful. I'm the one healing you.

"Your chakra heals me! Not you."

I'm chakra. It's the same.

Naruto huffed. It had passed almost a month since he was able to summon the Kyuubi and so far had done it almost every day, making their banter less filled with actual discussion. He liked it. It had been a while he had talked with someone like this, but for now, instead of continuing insulting the fuzzybutt, he silenced. They had entered the village and he had already discovered the Kyuubi tended to talk inside his head when they were with others, making it seem as if Naruto was talking to himself. Watching people giving him weird glances wasn't weird to him, having gotten used to it and all, but it was because of that that it took him long to notice that other people shouldn't glare him, after all, he wasn't in Konoha. No one knew him.

When he found out, it took him less than a second to turn around and yell at the fox for doing it on purpose. That, of course, didn't help others realize he was in fact sane. Actually, it made them more afraid. He had his Konoha hitai-ate on his forehead, making it obvious he was a ninja and powerful than mere civilians. He was lucky they had left that particular town a week ago.

So for the sake of not being glared at, Naruto shut up as soon as he saw people. Not wanting to give more entertainment to the fox. But this time it was different. He wasn't talking to the bastard fox, and yet, people were staring. Naruto looked down, to his clothes. Yes, there were some drops of blood courtesy of the Kyuubi but nothing more. He was dressed as always. And he hasn't eaten ramen yet, either, so they couldn't say anything about his bad manners, so why…

It's because we're in Fire country

Naruto glanced at his furry companion before turning to look with more intensity at the villagers. They weren't looking fearfully at him, but at the Kyuubi, he realized. It was true they were in Fire Country, and thus, people have heard about the feared Nine-Tailed biju that attacked Konoha fifteen years ago, but they didn't think the fox next to him was a summons like others had assumed in different countries?

I haven't seen any shinobi-only stores so far. They aren't accustomed with your lifestyle, it seems.

"But you just have one fluffy tail, doesn't that help?" he whispered to his companion, trying to be as subtle as he could.

The Kyuubi glared at him, some of his killing intent leaking on the ambient, making the others back off in fear. Perhaps you should have followed your guardian's warnings.

Naruto stuck his tongue out. "And what's up with you? Shouldn't you be jumping from one place to another at seeing people fearing you?"

I won't tolerate any disrespectful behavior. If they try to do anything towards my being, I'll answer accordingly.

"What, are you going to hurt them?" Naruto asked, surprised.

If they bother me. And should it happen, I know the chances of being freed again will be reduced, would they not? At this, the Kyuubi threw a knowing look at him.

"Wait. If you know that, why would you hurt them, then?"

I said only if they bother me.

"You've anger issues, you know that? But don't worry! I'm going to help you! You'll be free of being bite-happy in no time!" Naruto pointed at himself with a confident smile before moving his thumb off of his chest and signaling a less transited road. "Let's see if they've some good food over there. Ero-sennin didn't take my money so I've plenty to spare!"

They went towards the less concurred places. Naruto thinking to the first time he had bought a lot of food from different markets to make the fox try. At first it didn't work, but Naruto had his ways. Now he knew the Kyuubi liked spicy food and would accept some sweets once in a while. He still hasn't make him try ramen. Mostly because the first ramen the fox should try won't be an instant one and so far he hadn't encountered a place where they let the fox eat their food. But Naruto won't give up!

But for now, he was happy with just finding some place to eat lunch.

Of course, it didn't go that well. Most places went so far as to push Naruto out of their store. And Naruto was hungry. Really hungry. He was whining in no time, though the sound wasn't as loud as the one's his stomach was making, it was still loud. People were giving Kyuubi glances but now some of them were directed at him as well. Or more like, at his stomach.

"Damn, why did Ero-sennin had to make me train like a possessed again if after I was just going to be reading his perverted stuff?"

You still have my chakra inside you so it's understandable

"Eh? What do you mean with that?"

The Kyuubi glared at him. It was a 'how can you be this stupid' kind of glare. Naruto didn't take it so kindly, but he didn't complain because he was sure that if he did, the fox wouldn't tell him. He was a bastard but he liked the sound of his voice too much. So he waited. Luckily it wasn't much.

Remember the changes in your body the pervert sage told you about when you sprout a fourth tail?

Fourth tail? Naruto tilted his head as he frowned. He remembered Jiraya telling him about his skin peeling off, the blood pouring from his skin and burning with the red chakra to form a shroud. He couldn't picture it. It sounded too gruesome for someone to survive even if he did remember the pain afterwards. "Yeah, I remember," he said softly, his usual bravado gone.

Well, then you've a basic understanding of what my chakra does to you. The fox stopped, enough for him to smirk at him before continuing. It burns you. My chakra is filled with a malice thick enough to make it palpable and it strains your muscles, burns them.

"So if I don't have enough muscle mass…" Naruto trailed off, already picturing himself weak and barely being able to walk. He shuddered.

Exactly. The only way is for you to train your body. Unless you want to perish, only able to barely move.

The fox didn't actually snarl but Naruto could hear it anyway inside his mind as if it were a threat. Looking down at his hand, Naruto clenched it into a fist. He looked up at the smirking fox and answered with a smile of his own. "You've to admit that if I couldn't stand up anymore, you'd be bored. Besides, I could always eliminate that malice of you."

The Kyuubi huffed. Just keep on training.

"But I'm hungry! I'll train later, I promise!"

"Why are you yelling to yourself, kid?"

Naruto turned around at the voice. "Ero-se—" A punch on his head stopped him from finishing.

"I told you to not call me that in public!"

"Hey, you're the one calling himself super pervert, not me!" Naruto shouted, massaging the pain on his poor head away. The bastard merely laughed as he put another piece of dango in his mouth. And then another delicious dango in his mouth. And then another. It wasn't ramen, but it did look good. Really good.

"Hey, kid, stop drooling. You're making me look bad."

"Give me your dango then!"


"It's your fault I'm hungry, so give it!" Naruto moved forward, stretching his hand towards the dango in his mentor's hand, which of course didn't work. Jiraya moved to the side, pushing another ball into his mouth. Naruto went for the only ball left in the stick but it was thrown upwards. Naruto smiled. Ero-sennin made it easier for him to grab it. Before Jiraya could do anything, he grabbed the stick. "Ha, I've it! I finally win with… Hey! When you grabbed Gama-chan?!"

Naruto pushed his hand into his pocket where he was sure he had put Gama-chan inside, but it was now empty. He shouted in outrage, his lonely dango in a stick forgotten.

"Kid, you've a lot training to do if you want to win against me." Ero-sennin laughed as he grabbed another stick from the small plate positioned on his tight. However, when he moved the stick towards his mouth he found nothing to eat. Both pairs of eyes moved towards the plate which was before full of a dozen of dangos and now was full of empty spit covered sticks. Jiraya instantly glared at the Kyuubi who was happily swallowing.

"You little piece of-"

"See? Even Kyuu-chan is hun— Damn it! Stop biting me!"

Then stop. I, the Kyuubi no Kitsune, Demon Fox and—

Naruto again cradled his fist against his chest, ignoring him, but instead of cursing at the Kyuubi, he glared at Jiraya, who was now looking for someone to give him more dangos. Some young man approached, fidgeted on his feet once next to them. He shot a quick, frightened glance to the Kyuubi before leaning a bit towards Ero-sennin.

"I'm sorry, sir, but I must ask you to leave," he whispered softly, enough for Naruto's ears to catch. Ero-sennin didn't have such qualms though.

"Leave? This stupid fox has eaten my dangos and I want more!"

"I'm hungry, too!"

The man again threw a glance at the Kyuubi, but now it had a hint of curiosity in them. "Is not that fox the Kyuubi?"

"The Kyuubi?" Jiraya laughed. "This small fox? Can you see that this one only has one tail? He's just a fox my student here has taken as partner and nothing else."

The Kyuubi was now looking murderous but Naruto made sure to hide his expression with his body. The young man looked dubious, though he seemed to have relaxed thanks to Jiraya. Soon they had plates full with dango for themselves, next to a couple onigiris Naruto was sure would be bought with his money. Ero-sennin was cruel like that.

Naruto sighed contently. "It feels so good to have food inside me again," he said as he walked. They had just finished with all and were just sitting there, watching the people walk by. The Kyuubi since long had puffed out and he was able to walk again without stares. He still needed more control of the Kyuubi's chakra if he wanted the fox stay to last more.

"Take advantage of the time and rest, kid. When we're back at the room, you'll be go back to meditate and then, to your regular training," Jiraya said as he walked away from a store, popsicle in hand. Naruto immediately grinned in excitement. "And no complaining,"

Naruto thought about what the Kyuubi told him and nodded. "I won't complain! Not anymore, believe it!"

Ero-sennin chuckled as he ruffled his hair. "Let's hope. Now let's see who gets the big part."

He motioned Naruto to take a hold of the free stick of the popsicle and they counted to three before splitting it. "Huh?" Naruto looked down at his half of his ice cream and scowled as he bit a piece of it. "I can't believe I lost!"

Naruto looked up from his ice cream when he saw hadn't bit his own. "What's the matter? You're not going to gloat, right?"

Ero sennin hummed. "This is the first time I won the biggest part."

"Damn right! First and only time so don't get cocky."

"Naruto." Naruto stilled at the tone, his muscles ready to jump up and run. He knew that warning tone. "For the knucklehead you are, you've a great luck. You're unlike Tsunade, so keep it to heart that something must be really wrong if you lose in some kind of game like this, okay?"


"Now, we must go. We've stayed in this place for too long."

Naruto didn't understand but he trusted Ero-sennin. If he said they should leave, then they should.