A/N1: Merry Christmas to you too! I’m grateful for your continued support and also your own wonderful artworks 🙂
I’m glad you like the snippet. Unfortunately, I can’t think of much else to do with that ‘verse that wouldn’t just be a remix of Dreaming of S(omething).
However there is an AU that I’ve kind of been wanting to play around with that I think would suit Temari/Shikako, so please enjoy:
Temari lets Kamatari roam free, only keeping half an eye on him as he darts beneath unsuspecting pedestrians. He’s smart enough to know not to go too far from her, and quick enough to avoid actually getting trampled.
And besides, as a manifestation of her magic, it’s not like he can even be seen by normal people.
She turns her attention back to the stall in front of her, perusing the little trinkets for sale. She knows what to get for Kankurou–an authentic Fire Country style puppet and, more importantly, the book on how to make them–but Gaara has always been more difficult to read.
Maybe a tooled leather wallet? But that seems kind of impersonal, especially for her baby brother. Well, no longer a baby. If he were still a baby–or even still a teenager–she’d get him a stuffed toy, but Gaara has been quite firm about being an adult lately and she doesn’t want to undermine that.
With a polite shake of the head, she disengages from the stall owner and continues her search.
The concept of an open air market isn’t unfamiliar to her, Suna’s bazaars are extensive and world famous, but Leaf’s night market is a seasonal thing, coinciding with their winter holidays, and it’s apparent. There’s a sense of cheer in the air–the twinkling lights and decorations, the sounds of music and the scent of sugary treats–as if this were a month long festival and not just a place of commerce.
Unfamiliar, but far from bad. One of many new experiences she can appreciate during her year abroad.
A frisson of excitement runs through her, stopping her in her tracks. Baffled, she glances around–only stall signs and the shoes of strangers.
Where is Kamatari?
Every year for the Konoha Holiday Night Market, the Nara clan run an unusually successful deer petting zoo and sleigh ride.
Unnaturally successful, some might even say, except there aren’t any detractors to the Nara deer display. There have never been any accidents and there’s something irresistibly delightful about having a normally skittish animal eat from your hands.
“… and make sure you keep your fingers flat,” Shikako finishes instructing, demonstrating for the group of kids eagerly waiting for their turn. Gemmei, one of the herds oldest and thus calmest members, is perfect for the excitable audience, delicately taking the apple slice into her mouth and chewing demurely.
With gasps of awe, the children circle around, each armed with apple slices or carrot sticks of their own. Shikako extracts herself, confident that Gemmei has the situation handled, before walking over to Heijomaru and leaning against him with a tired sigh.
He deigns to acknowledge her with a fond lipping to her hair, before resuming a majestic surveillance of his herd. It’s not likely there will be any incidents, even with little Nagaoka new to the display this year, but this is the one time a year that the herd can receive attention from non-magical people.
Heijomaru is old enough to remember when the general populace were not so kind to his herd–deer and humans both.
Still, even with the relative ease that comes from running a petting zoo with sentient deer, it’s still tiring. Draining, more precisely.
Her family and relatives are the ones doing most of the manual labor, but she’s the one whose magic is sustaining the herd’s presence.
Slouched over and near to hanging off Heijomaru’s ornamented saddle, Shikako is the first one to spot the sleek furry body of a weasel winding its way around the fence posts of the herd’s display.
Temari follows the connection between her and Kamatari, curious more than concerned. The ebbs of emotion from Kamatari aren’t nearly as potent as that first one, but they’re still giddy. Burbling as if he were still a young kit and not a hardened combat familiar.
Their bond leads her to the far end of the market, filled more with the activity and entertainment stalls that she had originally declined.
Perhaps that had been a mistake.
Approaching a penned off area filled with the scent of animal and straw, she watches as Kamatari clambers over the back of a massive deer. He leaps, flamboyantly, from deer to fence and back, as the large animal trots arounds patiently.
The most bewildering part is that, from the cheers and applause from the crowd of people around her, others can see him too.
A/N: Unsurprisingly influenced by the holiday. And again, more pre-shipping than actual shipping… But basically, modern witches with animal familiars! 😀