I’m just imagining, like, after the last body hits the floor in the Fourth Shinobi War, Shikako just … stops, for like, a month or two. Like, for the first time in her (second) life, the world /isn’t/ on a countdown to the end. And I imagine it’s a lot like falling into the black, but sort of in reverse, as everything she pushed aside because “there’s no time” comes back because now, for the first time, there’s time. And it’s a very clear scene in my head, but Shikako’s the only one in it?


(Probably not the same anon, but I saw these at the same time and so…)

Ooh, that does sound fantastic. I totally get what you’re saying, sort of like a montage with a lot of flashbacks to the last body hitting the ground interspersed with her mostly just staring off into space mid-action. To an outside POV, it probably looks like she has PTSD (and, maybe, she does) but what’s really bugging her is that she’s finally free and truly safe for the first time in her new life and she doesn’t know what that means anymore.


The last body hits the ground.

There’s a blank paper on the desk in front of her, waiting to be filled.

Her journals are bursting with ideas–seals she had to set aside for the higher priority things that would help keep her and her friends alive. Some are ways to translate technology from her old world into her current one, others are just interesting hypotheticals that came to her in kunoichi meetings or in class, and some, still, are the fanciful daydreams of a person realizing magic is, at least partially, real.

But it’s as if everything is just scribbles now. Words jotted down without the thoughts to give them context. She doesn’t know what she was trying to achieve, doesn’t know where certain trains of thought were leading. There’s a diagram–or a doodle if she’s going to be honest–that she can’t interpret at all.

She sits there, pen in hand, staring at the blank paper waiting to be filled.

The last body hits the ground, and the fighting is done.

“-kako? Shikako… Shikako!” Ino says, with just enough of the lieutenant’s edge in her voice, that Shikako jolts out of her reverie.

She blinks and her hand drops away from the bucket of dahlias, petals so bright and red. She turns to Ino, avoids meeting that inscrutable gaze, and tries to cover her mistake.

“Sorry, I must still be tired,” she says, skirting around the counter to put herself back on the customer side. She doesn’t know what she was thinking–or, well, she knows what she was thinking, she just doesn’t know why.

Ino stares at her for a moment longer, considering, before shrugging one shoulder, “Sure,” she agrees in a tone simultaneously disbelieving and nonjudgemental, “I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night–it’s wreaking havoc on my beauty sleep.”

Shikako smiles, grateful for the opt out, “As if you need beauty sleep.”

Ino smirks back, “Whoever said I needed beauty sleep? Just because I don’t need it, doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate an uninterrupted rest. A lesser woman would have bags under her eyes by now. Ew, can you imagine? I have standards to uphold,” she continues, and Shikako lets the soothing sounds of familiar chatter carry her away from whatever that was.

The last body hits the ground, and the fighting is done.

Something within Shikako stops.

The moon is full and somehow, despite everything that’s been done or threatened to be done with it, it’s still a beautiful sight.

Everything is so peaceful now. No dangers impending–overt or hidden–nothing for her to prepare for, nothing for her fear.

And yet.

Paranoia doesn’t just go away–it’s not a logical thing. She’s spent her entire life in this world hypervigilant and it worked, it was worth it, it saved her life and so many lives over and over again.

But it’s done now. The fighting, the war, the story that guided her so far. Everything is done now.

She knows what it must look like on the outside, a soldier adjusting poorly to peacetime–she wouldn’t be the first, and she won’t be the last–and maybe that’s what some of it is. But it doesn’t feel that way internally, not really.

She’s not a soldier coming home, seeing battlefields on everyday streets. She’s a prisoner finally released: she served her time, and she’s glad to be free, but she no longer knows what freedom means.

There’s a step behind her, familiar chakra, wind and sunshine and warmth and safety. She hasn’t dreamed in a long time, but she wants to so much it hurts.

The last body hits the ground, and the fighting is done.

Something within Shikako stops.

What does she do next?

edit: Now chapter one of Waking Up Starstruck on ao3 which will be the place I put all of my attempts to write NarutoxShikako. O_O Let’s see how this goes.

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