Shikako gets back to Konoha and feels like she’s drowning.
In comparison to Sand, Konoha is absolutely drenched, the humidity weighing down on her shoulders, in her lungs.
She wonders when that stopped feeling normal.
Home is not really home anymore, her bedroom long since handed down, and her things packed away into Hammerspace.
She still visits, of course, but visiting is not the same as inhabiting.
Home is where the heart is, and her family is only a part of it.
Shikamaru and Temari live in a different house, separate but not so far away–it will, after all, be the clan head’s home one day, and both the current and future houses are strategically in the center of the clan’s property.
She brings gifts, and news from Sand, an afternoon for Temari to soothe her homesickness.
She wonders if she’s looking at a reverse reflection, a mirror of her future.
“I’m happy for you,” Naruto says, when they meet up at Ichiraku’s for dinner.
She is mid-slurp, mouth full of noodles, and cannot respond.
“I’ll miss you,” he continues, blue eyes earnest and more observant than he’s given credit for, “But I’m glad that the both of you have each other.”
It’s not Sasuke that she speaks to, but ANBU Ram, ceramic mask, hooded cloak, and shroud of silence.
Emotions have never really been Sasuke’s strong suit, and if he needs the distance then she’ll let him have it.
Besides, the agitated flow of his chakra is easy enough for her to understand.
The Hokage doesn’t have normal working hours, on call at all times, but Kakashi-sensei was always more of a night owl: though it’s passed midnight, she knows he’s still in his office.
He smiles at her knowingly and almost proud, in a wistful way, as she explains to him her plans for the future.
“I’m pretty sure only a Daimyo or Kage has the authority to perform a marriage ceremony for another Kage,” he says to her, after, “I offer my services in case you do decide to make it official.”
Forest for desert, trees for sand.
It shouldn’t mean much–she’ll still be on the road for the most part, wandering between ruins of worlds long gone–but her lodestar has changed.
Home is where the heart is, and despite it all, her heart is only partially in Konoha.
A/N: For anonymous who wanted some Team Seven!POV of Shikako/Gaara… I cannot find the original prompt post for some reason?
My head is still in three sentence fic mode, so here’s another set of slice of life snippets…
I don’t think I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo properly, but I’d like to keep track of my word count to see if it’s comparable.
Post Word Count: 398, Running Total: 398.
It’s looking like no?