Never Lookin’ To Come Back + Meeting up with the Ino-Shika-Cho?

Okay, anon, thanks for waiting. This doesn’t quite fill the prompt but it is related so… author’s cut? Anyway, enjoy!

~

When you join the brown coats, your past doesn’t matter. Who you were–who you used to be–where you came from? That doesn’t mean anything.

Everyone has secrets from their past.

The only thing that matters when you wear that brown coat is what you believe.

///

Akimichi has two moons, Nara and Yamanaka, both as important to the Alliance as their planet.

Also like their planet, the moons are ruled by respective clans, though by title they are ministers not chancellors.

The current Nara minister has two sons.

No one mentions anything about a daughter.

///

They’re on the moon of Nohara–closer to the Core than either Kiba or the captain like, tension high in their shoulders, the slightest misstep enough to make Akamaru growl–when Shino comes back with a passenger.

It’s not unusual for Shino to bring back passengers–given how long the Teacher as been on the ship, he’s practically a crew member by this point, never mind that he pays them–but this passenger isn’t the same as the others.

She’s got a wicked smile on her face for one–instead of the typical serene blankness of other practitioners of the Will of Fire–and she even has a last name.

A worryingly recognizable last name.

“We already have the Hyuuga chancellor’s missing daughter and her asshole of a cousin, I don’t see how anyone could be a bigger risk than that,” Kiba grouses, voices contained to the engine room for that extra privacy.

TenTen wasn’t exactly happy at being kicked out of her domain, but she hadn’t argued at the look on the captain’s face.

“We don’t exactly need word of that getting around to the Core, now do we?” Shikako snipes back, but it’s a moot point. Whether or not they take Yamanaka as a passenger, her keen eyes have already spotted the telltale features of one Hyuuga who normally wouldn’t be caught dead on a bucket of rust and bolts like this.

Kiba bares his teeth, “Why are you lying to me?”

///

In the system, the captain’s name is Shikako Heijo; the same name she used to sign up with the brown coats.

Why would it be anything else?

///

Kiba and the captain stomp out of the engine room towards the cargo hold where Shino and their potential passenger are politely chatting as if they were having a tea party and not surrounded by graffitied crates of dubious content, instead.

“We’re not heading any closer to the Core than this,” Shikako says, practically throwing down a gauntlet for the Yamanaka minister’s daughter.

“What a coincidence,” she says, smile gleaming and sharp, “neither am I.”

Kiba doesn’t understand why that makes Shikako bristle something fierce, but he’s still pretty annoyed by all the sidestepping. She was never half as resistant to the Hyuuga bastard on their ship, and as far as he knows, Yamanaka is going to leave after one trip.

Or at least he hopes so, they’re flying a ship, not running a halfway house.

She turns to him, hackles raised, “Your passenger, your problem,” she says before stomping away again.

Kiba huffs in response, off balance and unwilling to show it. “So where are you heading to, then?” he asks, because if he’s going to get some cargo on this boat then he ought to know where they’re headed.

Yamanaka’s smile has dimmed, shrunk into something soft and sad, eyes following after the captain. “The Katou moon,” she answers, “I’m looking for someone.”

Kiba shrugs, “Hey, we don’t need to know why you’re going, we just have to get you there.”

///

As it turns out, knowing who Yamanaka was looking for would have been welcomed information.

After all, it’s hard to stay beneath the ROOT’s radar when you’re on the trail of the last Senju.

~

A/N: No Chouji or Shikamaru, sorry, but I figure Chouji wouldn’t really be able to leave planet Akimichi considering he is the heir and the whole twin meeting would be an entirely separate ordeal. And I more wanted to get into the set up of why the Ino-Shika-Cho aren’t on the ship.

Check out the Ask Box Author’s Cut event!

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