(one: she who kills the kingslayer)
There was a tradition, in a different land, from a different life, that he who killed the king would then become the king. For if one could kill the king, then hasn’t one already conquered the kingdom?
That is not the case in Konoha, not really. The Shodaime was founder, and the Nidaime his brother, the Sandaime their student, and the Yondaime a war hero. The hat–the crown–passed down amicably, if not peacefully.
But the logic remains, in its own way, and could easily be applied. For if the Hokage is the strongest shinobi of Konoha, then the one who kills him proves they are even stronger: and, by definition, ought to become the next Hokage.
So what does that mean, for the girl who kills the monster that killed the Sandaime Hokage?
On her way to the stadium, she observes that the adults are wary, tense and prepared, waiting for something to happen. They know about an impending attack, yes, but they don’t know the details. They know the enemy is Sound and Sand, they even know Orochimaru is involved, but they don’t know the full truth.
She steers her growing group closer to the Kage’s box, because even if she knows it’s mostly a product of the rigorous desensitization of the Academy, she is still a shinobi of Konoha, sworn to protect it’s leader.
And when the feathers fall, when everyone else is busy shaking off the genjutsu and dodging attacks from disguised Sound and Sand shinobi, Shikako looks up.
The Kazekage, no, Orochimaru has held the Sandaime hostage, has dragged him up to the roof of the stadium to start a battle that Shikako knows will lead to the Hokage’s death if he fights alone.
But the adults know, surely someone will be able react in time? Instead Sand shinobi, no, the Sound Four, rebuff their attempts long enough for the Sandaime to be isolated. Long enough for them to position themselves onto the four corners of the roof–Shikako knows that if they get the barrier up then it really will be all over for the Sandaime. She has to act now!
“Be ready to attack whoever comes here,” she says in a rush, hoping her friends hear her.
A barrier in the shape of a rectangular prism simply cannot exist if one of the four corners is switched out. And Shikako has practiced the Replacement Jutsu an awful lot recently.
The barrier fails and the shock of it is enough that some of the ANBU can engage the Sound Four–the Sound Three, right now–in their distraction while others rush the newly revealed Orochimaru.
But he summons the Shodaime and Nidaime and they were not Hokage for nothing and even the best trained ANBU can fall before legends.
The battle is above Shikako’s ability, truly, for she has grown stronger but not on par with this. But she can pull her chakra in, become invisible, strike when an opening arises.
Orochimaru still kills the Sandaime, despite the additional help, but the Shinigami also still takes away the use of his arms and that is opening enough. He is not expecting a mere genin to sneak behind him and tap the largest, most lethal touch blast she can think of onto his obi, and so that is what she does.
She is not fast enough to get completely outside the blast radius because she didn’t give herself time to do so–it would have given Orochimaru time to escape, somehow, too. And so, as the massive explosion detonates, an enormous fireball of light and heat scorching her eyes, she hopes that this will all be worth it.
Shikako wakes up in a hospital bed, one month later, to Tsunade Senju’s smirking face and is summarily informed that the Slug Sannin has not returned to Konoha to become the Godaime Hokage.
No, she has returned to heal the Godaime Hokage.
A/N: Hahahaha… haha… ha… uh. This was supposed to be hella shorter because this wasn’t supposed to actually become a series 😡 this was supposed to be a bunch of tiny drabbles all contained in one post but apparently my brain was like… nah. You gotta make it longer. You just gotta. Goddamnit, brain…
So this one is for you, anon who wanted to see Shikako as Hokage. The first of several ways she will never become Hokage.
Quest For The Queen, 1/6 (2016-04-26)
The funeral is a miserable thing, somber and serious and everyone wearing black and standing in neat rows. The sky is dark, clouds heavy like the weight on his shoulders, and if Naruto were ever to hate something it would be this.
He never wants to go to another funeral again.
He knows it’s stupid, but he wants to make it so that a funeral never happens again.
He knows death is part of life, he’s not that dumb. He knows that he can’t actually prevent death, but maybe he can become strong enough to prevent this kind of funeral from happening. He’d rather have gone to a funeral after Hokage-jiji died peacefully in his sleep, or from losing too much blood from a giant perverted nose bleed, or something like he ate too much and his stomach exploded.
He hates this helpless feeling, standing around quietly as his inability to protect his precious people is rubbed in his face:
Hokage-jiji and so many other Konoha shinobi dead.
Sasuke back in lockdown in case the curse seal takes advantage of his chakra exhaustion.
Shikako in a medically induced coma, put in the intensive care stasis room because her entire body is covered in third and fourth degree burn–he didn’t even know there was such a thing as fourth degree burns.
All Naruto has to show for the attack are some bandages on his face.
And then it starts raining.
“Why do people do it? Why do they risk their lives for other people?” He blurts out, the questions scratching away at his throat because he’s trying so hard not to cry.
Iruka-sensei answers him, something about people being tied together even after someone passes away. How the memory of that person will still live through their family and friends and loved ones. And if Naruto had been talking about Hokage-jiji it might have helped, but if anything it makes him feel worse because he’s not thinking about Hokage-jiji–he’s thinking about Shikako.
She might be the next funeral he goes to, the thought flickers so quickly through his mind that he can’t even squash it before it registers.
“So we do it because we have to. Sort of,” he says, because that at least makes sense. Shikako tried to save Hokage-jiji, even if that meant fighting the freaky snake bastard who had already beaten all three of them in the forest. She was willing to risk her life for that smallest possibility she could save him, “Still, I’m worried for her.”
Iruka-sensei looks confused for a moment before understanding dawns on his face. His eyes dart away, guilty, for not having interpreted Naruto’s question correctly.
Kakashi-sensei, who snuck in late but was stealthy enough to not make a disturbance, puts a careful hand on Naruto’s shoulder and squeezes. He’s worried, too. Too worried to say anything.
Which means that Naruto has to be the one to speak.
“But Shikako’s strong,” he says, because it’s true. He’s never known her to be anything but strong, “She’ll definitely recover,” he adds because maybe if he says it, that will also become true. “Believe it!” He says, even as he struggles to do the same.
The sun comes out and starts to shine, and Naruto hopes that it’s a sign that things really will be okay.
A/N: Okay so… Quest For The Queen will have six parts… I think…
I DUNNO! NARUTO’S VOICE IS SO DIFFICULT! THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING! @book14reader totally knows what I’m talking about.
But I just really want to address Naruto in this series so here’s his spin-off!