Hail To The Queen: Or, Some Ways Shikako Never Became The Hokage, 2/? (2016-04-19)

(two: she who ousts the traitor)

The three things any Konoha nin fears: an angry Aburame, a focused Inuzuka, and a motivated Nara. She may not be an Aburame or an Inuzuka, but she is plenty angry and focused, which maybe makes her a Nara to be triply feared.

She wakes up from the Tsukuyomi changed, yes. Traumatized? Definitely. Older and wiser? Perhaps. But mostly? She wakes up furious. It’s a driving, righteous anger that pushes her in a single direction: destroy those who have done this to her, who have violated her like this, who have twisted her home into something where an entire clan being killed is even considered much less enacted.

There are four people on that list, but three of them are in different countries entirely and S-rank Uchiha, besides. Danzo may be S-rank, too, may have the benefit of multiple stolen Sharingan and Mokuton cells and decades of experience fighting in wars, but his ultimate power is not in battle–it’s in politics.

Shikako has medical leave until she fully recovers from the Tsukuyomi, but she does not spend that time idly resting.

There is only one Uchiha in Konoha and as of his graduation from the Academy, he is a full-fledge adult, meaning Sasuke is technically the head of the Uchiha clan. For all that it is a clan of one, it is still one of Konoha’s founding clans and that means something.

“Sasuke,” she says, hand curled tight around his wrist. He doesn’t shake it away, though he probably could. Just like she doesn’t hiss at him ‘you owe me,’ “I need you to trust me,” she says instead.

“Of course I trust you,” he replies, unheedingly, but it will have to be enough.

“There is something rotten in Konoha,” she says, “And it is something that we have to get rid of before Tsunade-sama becomes the Hokage.”

“What is it?” He asks, on edge, as if enemies will spring out of nowhere to attack them both.

Shikako shakes her head, “I can’t tell you yet, but I need you to trust me,” she repeats.

Sasuke stares at her for a moment, the silence stretching taught and dangerous. “I trust you,” he doesn’t know the truth, she can’t tell him yet, but when he answers this time he really means it.

Convincing her father to believe her is far less difficult than stopping Shikamaru from trying to get involved.

Where one of the alliance goes, the other two clans follow. Inoichi and Chouza stand by her father not only because they’ve done so for most of their lives, but also because they know what she says about Danzo is true.

Ino is curious, but willing to watch and wait; Chouji is silently, patiently supportive.

This is the easy part.

She doesn’t know much about the Aburame clan–being friendly but not that close with Shino–but if anyone can understand the dangers of Danzo it would be them. Shibi lost a son to the man, and that is something no clan should ever forgive.

Shibi may not be clan head or even heir to the Aburame matriarch, but he is still her son and his daughter her heiress.

After a serious but amicable discussion, Shikako knows that she can depend on the Aburame.

There are no Inuzuka in ROOT because Danzo knows better than to poach recruits from the clan whose top two virtues are loyalty and honesty.

That’s good. It makes Tsume all the more appreciative of Shikako’s candor.

Although members of the Aburame, Inuzuka, and Hyuuga are frequently put together on teams, the clans themselves don’t have the same relationship to each other as the Ino-Shika-Cho do. It doesn’t matter if Shikako has convinced both the Aburame and Inuzuka matriarchs to her side, Hiashi Hyuuga is not beholden to an alliance that doesn’t exist.

The Hyuuga clan is the last amongst the Noble Clans that she has yet to talk to, and the most powerful besides. They are not as numerous as the Akimichi, but the Byakugan is the last true bloodline of Konoha given the Sharingan’s scarcity.

Perhaps that’s what she needs to play on. For if Danzo had wiped out the Uchiha for their Sharingan, what’s to say he won’t eventually turn on the other clan with a doujutsu. And she knows how strongly the Hyuuga feels about bloodline theft.

It’s an outrageous claim, or it would be if it weren’t both true and provable. No Hyuuga has ever had reason to activate their Byakugan near Danzo–but cloth and bandages are hardly barriers to their sight.

Multiple eyes in one arm and a face growing out of the other? Regardless of Danzo’s lack of intentions toward the Hyuuga clan, no such abomination should be allowed to exist.

There is only one Senju in Konoha and as of her return to Konoha, she is the best candidate for Godaime. But that does not make her Hokage yet and before that, for all that it is a clan of one, she is still technically the head of the Senju clan. Both roles are important in this situation.

“Tsunade-sama,” she says, bowing as much and as respectfully as she can from her seat in the chair. Tsunade has commandeered an examination room with attached office as her own from the Konoha Hospital, her base of operations for overhauling the entire healthcare system as she waits for her coronation.

Shikako pauses, uncertain. Not of her knowledge, or her quest, but in how best to phrase this to the woman. She’s glad that privacy seals are a matter of practice in such rooms as these, to protect medic-patient confidentiality.

“What is it girl? Spit it out. I know it’s not to do with that Tsukuyomi, gods know you haven’t been resting as ordered,” Tsunade says impatiently. If she doesn’t appreciate even that minor amount of subterfuge Shikako used to get an appointment with her then half of Shikako’s work has been done for her–she’ll hate what Danzo’s been up to.

“No, this isn’t about the Tsukuyomi. And, no, I haven’t been resting as ordered,” Shikako agrees because the end is in sight and that’s how she feels–agreeable, “This is about the future of Konoha.”

Shikako watches, satisfied, as the clans of Konoha band together and rip every trace of Danzo out from the village. Most members of ROOT have been imprisoned–to be rehabilitated back into the general forces if possible, or into society if not–and both the hospital and T&I (who do an awful lot less torture than their name would imply) have their work cut out for them. The Council members, those who had been under Danzo’s Mangekyo Sharingan thrall for years are highly encouraged to retire from their positions as advisors.

As for Danzo? He is utterly destroyed: Executed. His wealth used towards his primary victims, the brainwashed members of ROOT. And his reputation now and forever tarnished as the toxic, delusional sociopath he really was.

It doesn’t make everything right–not with three rogue S-class Uchiha on the loose in the world–but it is enough to make her rage abate.

This is the kind of Konoha she wants to live in. This is the kind of Konoha she wants Tsunade and, one day, Naruto to inherit.

Yes, she is satisfied.

Except that’s not how it goes.

Oh, the utter destruction of Danzo and his legacy happened, of course. But it’s not Tsunade who inherits the village, and it’s not Naruto either.

The first time all of the clans of Konoha banded together to do something, the village was created following Hashirama Senju’s lead, and so he became Shodaime.

It only makes sense that the second time has similar results.

~

A/N: I don’t actually know if Shino is clan heir… But I guess my brain figured they’d probably style their clan after insect colonies? So even if Shibi is the son of the Aburame matriarch I figured he wouldn’t be the next head after her since it’s a matrilineal role but if Shibi were her only son then Chiyako, as her granddaughter, would be next in line? So he and Shino are still, you know, an obvious part of that line.

Also… Danzo is the worst. THE WORST!

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