Kankurou’s arrival in Konoha is quiet, understated, and nearly overlooked.
“Which just figures,” he says with a shrug, straddling that line between self-deprecation and wry complaint. He’s nowhere near as loud a personality as either of his siblings and he knows it, but something would be terribly wrong if he let an opportunity to take a dig at Leaf pass him by.
He’s put under Shikako’s watch because supervising a friendly ally is the height of light duty and whenever he speaks, Tsunade frequently gets the urge to take him by the scruff and shake him like an unruly dog.
“That means she likes you,” Shikako assures him, well out of earshot of the Hokage.
Kankurou raises an eyebrow.
“Well, tolerates you,” she corrects, “She doesn’t want to punch you in the face full strength?”
Tsunade’s strength is an international legend. Kankurou shudders and accepts the compliment.
The two of them get looks as they walk down the street, not more than when she was with Sasuke or by herself, but there’s a different flavor to them. Kankurou is an oddity in the village, not an overt novelty anymore, but not outrightly familiar either. People are curious and surprised to see him, and in comparison they don’t much care about the Nara girl beside him.
Her shoulders are relaxed.
Sand is their ally, but Sand is recovering from internal strife and recession and their greatest strength is having a near unassailable defense. Kankurou’s presence is more than generous given the circumstances. Shikako, as a highly connected shinobi of Konoha, is very grateful.
Shikako, as a person, is even more so.
Kankurou doesn’t ask about the cane. He doesn’t ask about the light duty or the lack of armor or the way people look at her then refuse to meet her eye.
He doesn’t even ask about the way Sasuke checks in on her a few times a day, even though he’s no longer her bodyguard and must be far too busy to do so.
He does ask about explosions, though.
“Damn, Sparky, it’s been a whole week and not one thing blown up. This must be some kind of record for you,” Kankurou says, flipping a pen round and round his fingers.
She freezes, eyes staring almost desperately at the reports beneath her hands.
They’ve both been authorized to share a rough approximation of their respective villages’ forces and resources (not the exact or entire report, god no, alliance or not, that’s just unheard of) and to come up with inter-village strategies in case of certain situations. Shared border patrols and multi-village platoons, maintaining and protecting the trade routes between Wind and Fire, etc.
Now she’s just stalling.
It’s not his fault that explosions are kind of her specialty. How would he know it’s become a touchy subject for her?
Then again, this is Kankurou she’s talking about: no doubt he’s heard the rumors flying around and put the puzzle pieces together.
“I just. It’s not really the right atmosphere for it, you know? And I can’t really experiment with them safely, not so close to the village.”
Neither of them bring up the barren, rocky flatlands just two hours outside of Konoha.
Kankurou hums, “Well, whenever you want to try for some large scale bangs, you can come over to the desert. There’s nothing but fucking sand out there. Go wild.”
It’s probably the nicest thing she’s ever heard him say.
It’s also the most absurdly optimistic, given there’s an impending war, but maybe if they both survive and the offer’s still open she’ll take him up on that.
A world war turned international alliance against an S-rank organization of missing nin later–wounds and scars and even more and touchier subjects later–Shikako goes out to the desert and goes wild.
“First The Garden and now whatever this is,” Kankurou says, honestly admiring of what can only be called a canyon made of glass, “Sparky, you are great for Wind’s tourism industry.”
A/N: Normally, when I’m given a prompt that doesn’t specify DoS I like to expand to other series. But, anon, you asked for my FAVORITE platonic ship and I cannot deny the amazing BroTP of Kankurou and Shikako 😀
[If anyone else wants to do a softer world prompt that isn’t on the list, you can just send the page id number for the original comic instead.]