Dreaming of S(erenity), a DoS remix drabble (2015-08-22)


So this is for all those GaaraxShikako shippers. Because god knows how amazing Chapter 95 was.

I’m not saying that I’m only a GaaraxShikako shipper or even mainly a GxS shipper, but in the race of all potential DoS ships? It’s definitely in the lead as of right now.


Shikako had been born with chakra hyper-sensitivity; had always been able to sense chakra, in people, in plants, in the very air. There’s an official diagnosis in her medical records–then again, there’s a lot of things in her medical records that aren’t exactly normal.

A person with chakra hyper-sensitivity shouldn’t have been able to become a shinobi. Then again, shinobi aren’t supposed to be able to fight without chakra, and it’s been years since she’s proved both of those wrong to pretty much the entire world. She’s fairly famous, one could say; or infamous, depending on which village’s bingo book is used.

Ninjutsu, taijutsu, genjutsu, fuinjutsu. Her skills are quite impressive, and yet never enough for her, the rare Nara born with motivation. Which is why she wants to add senjutsu to the mix.

One would think that, with the chakra hyper-sensitivity, she would already be halfway there. And from one angle, that would be true. She can already sense the natural chakra around her, the living energy in things that aren’t always considered alive, but that doesn’t mean she can use it.

Far from it, in fact.

This isn’t something that many people know, isn’t something considered critical, wouldn’t be mentioned in her biography if ninja were even the kind of people who let biographies be written about them. But it’s not a secret. Due to her chakra hyper-sensitivity, Shikako almost didn’t become a shinobi.

In order to do so, she had to control her sensor abilities, had to reign it back, had to numb herself. Before, chakra burned in her lungs, and even after she turned it down she still had perfect chakra control.

So opening herself up to try senjutsu? It was like blasting away not only the doors but the walls and windows, too. There was so much, too much. She felt helpless and vulnerable.

The Sand assignment was a blessing.

Shikako as the Konoha ambassador to Sand just made sense. Shikako more than anyone had the most faith in the Sand-Leaf alliance, because she already knew it would work. It could even be argued that she was the reason for the alliance, a moment of mercy becoming the foundation for friendship.

And, even though she was the only one who knew it, Akatsuki going after Gaara was the beginning of the end. Being in Sand meant she could make a difference early enough and immediately; or at least give her the opportunity to try. For Shikako, the Sand assignment really was ideal.

Don’t get her wrong, she’s a Konoha girl through and through; she’ll always feel safest surrounded by a forest. But forests mean trees and animals and so many people, so many chakra signatures blaring away at her senses, the air thick with moisture and energy and life.

In comparison, the desert is simpler. There’s life but it’s not cloying and heavy and suffocating. It’s not a flock of birds overhead and the Aburame kikai colonies and the Hashirama trees looming above everything. In the desert, life is parsed down and cleaner; easier to handle.

And on the rare occasions when even that gets too much? Well, then there’s Gaara.

The thing is, despite being Konoha’s ambassador to Sand, she doesn’t really interact very much with Gaara on a day to day basis. Frankly, she doesn’t have many responsibilities as an ambassador, certainly nothing that requires the Kazekage’s personal attention.

Anything that she does end up needing to do she actually just goes and talks to Kankurou–he’s the Kazekage’s brother, so he is important, but he’s not technically ranked all that high in the administrative structure, so she’s not interrupting anything vital. Which works out just fine for her.

Temari was sent as a show of trust and because she actually has the political clout to make decisions on the treaty. Shikako was sent as a show of strength… on paper–a recent special jounin who has already proven she could put up a decent fight against their Kazekage. But in practice? She’s a show of trust, too. And, to be honest, the assignment basically is a training trip and guard duty combined. Shikako always was more fond of multi-tasking than her teammates.

So Shikako spends her days hanging around Kankurou, trying not to melt in the desert heat while training, probably playing too much Igo with Ebizo-jiisama, and occasionally acting as the Konoha ambassador she’s actually meant to be.

At night is when she tries to make progress on senjutsu. And fails.

And that’s when she goes to Gaara.

Not every night, no, not even every time she fails. But sometimes. Sometimes when her nerves feel scraped raw, when her chakra coils feel jittery and close to snapping, and when it’s like she can hear the entire village breathing in her ears. That’s when she goes to him.

He doesn’t sleep, of course, but that doesn’t mean he spends his nights doing nothing. He’s the leader of an entire shinobi village–he has more than enough on his plate to keep him busy. But whether by coincidence or design, whenever she needs him there’s never anyone else there, he’s never too busy for her.

It makes it easier to go to him. To stand in the moonlight and say please. To let him engulf her in sand. To let herself sink into the quiet, into the dark.

It’s different than when she used to wake up from nightmares, retreating into herself and hiding. It’s not running away, it’s rejuvenation. When everything is too much, too overwhelming–the natural chakra and the future and her past and all the expectations she piles on herself–she knows she’s safe in the sand. It’s peaceful, a buffer between her and her troubles so she can breathe and think. 

And somehow, Gaara always knows just how long is long enough. Knows when to pull back his sand and set her back on her feet. He always looks surprised, but he always knows. And she smiles at him, soft and honest, because he is one of the few people she can still be soft and honest with.

Konoha doesn’t really have the best experience with ambassadors, so Shikako’s position is pretty much whatever she makes of it. So she makes it adaptable. She does spend most of her time in the Hidden Sand, but occasionally there will be requests for her to do a mission–the perils of having made a name for herself during her chuunin exam–and she’ll be called back.

She doesn’t practice senjutsu outside of Sand. And that’s okay. She always has something else to do, some next project to begin, to keep moving forward. There are friends to reconnect with, to spar against, to collaborate with. The missions are the usual, exciting for whoever her temporary squad mates are, but run of the mill for her–especially with Lucky Seven’s karma split into three, she hasn’t been ambushed by outranking missing-nin in ages–but they still take time.

By the time she’s done, when she returns to Hidden Sand, it’s been two months.

She doesn’t restart her senjutsu training right away, it was a long journey and she’s looking forward to a good night’s rest. So she’s not expecting to see Gaara until later in the week, in her official capacity as ambassador.

But that evening Gaara shows up at her door, hesitant, bearing a still steaming tea set as an offering.

“Oh,” she says inanely, then retrieves some scraps of politeness from wherever they hid, “Hello, Gaara… Would you like to come in?” She steps to the side, so he can pass through the doorway.

They both stand awkwardly in the lounge area of her inn room, staring at each other with wide-eyed confusion. The tea set is placed on the low table, a somewhat frivolous use of his sand, but Gaara’s sand has always been a part of him; it’s no different than him using his hands.

“So…” She begins uncertainly, pulling her braid forward to fiddle with the end. The tips of her hair has an unpleasant, crunchy sensation–split ends, she should trim them.

“Please,” Gaara says, and at first she is confused because that is all he says, but in slow obvious movements his sand approaches her and he repeats, “Please.”

She inhales sharply at the unspoken request.

Shikako had never thought that Gaara would need those moments just as much as she did. Had never considered what Gaara might get out of those nights. She went to him for silence and serenity and in return, all along, she had been showing him trust.

Who else would let a previously psychopathic demon container trap them in their greatest weapon? Who else would willingly do so, would ask to do so? Who else believed that he was more than just a crazed killer, believed that he would be not just great but also good and kind?

She nods.

Ever so gently the sand begins to engulf her, inching its way up from the ground, like a cat twining around her ankles. It covers her legs and begins to make it’s way up her arms, loosely held at her sides, but stops at her wrists.

“You’re scared,” Gaara says, brow furrowed, his own hands up as if to pull the sand away. No doubt sensing her hammering heartbeat and misinterpreting.

“No,” she contradicts, “I’m nervous,” she admits, “but not scared.” She stares at him, wills him to believe her, because she’s telling the truth.

After a full, weighty pause, he nods, and the sand resumes it’s trek upwards. When it reaches her shoulders, she says, apologetically, “I might fall asleep.” Because she is really very tired.

Gaara’s sand pauses once more.

“Just… if I fall asleep and you need to go do something else, just put me in my bed. It’s okay.” She jerks her head casually at the door separating the sleeping area from the lounge.

Something almost like bemusement curls along his lips, before she closes her eyes. Soon enough, all of her senses are smothered. Her heartbeat slows, her thoughts slow.

She is at peace.


A/N2: Hahaha, that’s right, it’s some nonsexual pseudo-D/s stuff. Because I am hella ace and they are teenagers and I cannot be moved to push further than that. But! There are awkward emotions being had and that’s really all I wanted to convey.

edit: changed chuunin to special jounin as per Chapter 98

edit2: sort of continued in Dreaming of S(alvation)

edit3: tweaked the title a bit so all of my DoS remix drabbles can be uniformly tagged as “Dreaming of S(omething)

edit4: DreamOfStories [and doesn’t that sound like a potential title] wrote a ficlet based off this! WOW, so cute! 😀

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