@hbkmzk says: Hey! Thanks for the response. I’m anything but a writer but I’ll try. I have to admit, I’m curious with the idea of Shikako being a god. Maybe her shadow contained a God of vengeance and after her first shadow-split, the god has slowly been trying to take over her? I choose god of vengeance because since after her first shadow-split her, Shikako has been more vengeful? Example, Shikamaru’s arm incident or the logistic sealing scroll nightmare. That being said, you are correct. I don’t really see her returning to the land of Hot Springs or having a mission at that area. However, what if her shadow controlled by this God of Vengeance flea to The Land of Hot Springs the next time she shadow-split. This will force Shikako to travel to the land of Hot Springs. The god of vengeance probably went to the land of Hot Springs because it wanted to see the damage done to the monk for what they did to Aoba.
I tried, lol. I don’t know how helpful this is. Hopefully it makes sense to you
Imagine a bird, young and not yet able to fly, feathers soft and downy.
Imagine this bird is part of a mighty flock, the youngest and smallest and least of its members, but still part of it nonetheless.
Now imagine that flock is decimated–struck down nearly to its entirety–all for that young, flightless, useless baby bird…
… and the one that killed the rest.
In the wild, the baby bird would do its best to avoid that which had orphaned it. Would fear the beating of wings and the sharp cries of fellow birds.
That baby bird would certainly never devote the rest of its life to growing strong enough to kill that which had destroyed its flock.
Vengeance is such a human concept.
In the rare moments she allows herself to sleep–mind too frazzled and paranoid and weighed down to do more than quick dozes–she dreams.
She dreams of the void, that which calls to every Nara. She dreams of the forest, her friends and the village. She dreams of the sun, Naruto so far away and the future drawing ever closer.
Sometimes she dreams of gray skies, razed ground, ash swirling on the wind.
She wakes to the taste of blood on her tongue.
Gelel is a young god comprised mainly of starlight, human ingenuity, and sacrifice. But even young gods can make their mark on the earth, life springing where once there was only death.
Imagine, then, what an old god might do.
I would kill anyone who hurts you, Shikako thinks, even as the silence stretches long and tense, I have killed those who have hurt you.
But that is not what Shikamaru wants to hear from her.
She doesn’t know how else to express her love.
The Cult of Jashin is old–older than the villages, older than the Sage of Six Paths, older even than the Empire of Gelel now ancient history, dust under the feet of the Elemental Nations.
But the cult itself is young, barely an eye blink, compared to the entity they revere, for Jashin is timeless. An elder god, ageless and unknowable.
But not undefeatable.
The blast radius where the Land of Hot Springs once was is a perfectly flat circle, there are no objects for the weakly filtered sunlight to cast shadows. And yet, at the center, where not even the bravest of shinobi have dared to tread, a shadow writhes and grows.
She couldn’t save Aoba, but at least she could do one thing for him.
Naruto is so forgiving. Too forgiving, she thinks sometimes, his ideals too impractical and too impossible.
But somehow he turns his enemies, those who would harm him, into allies–into friends–and so for him revenge is not only unwanted but also unnecessary.
Meanwhile Kakashi’s pain has always been a part of him, but the convoluted tangle of blame leaves no target for her.
Sasuke, though, is an entirely different story:
She interfered with his life not to stop him–she is more than happy to help him seek revenge–she just wants to make sure he does so carefully, correctly, and completely.
Nemesis, the inescapable. Goddess of revenge. She who enacts retribution against those guilty of hubris.
Vengeance is a very human concept and humans, in the grand scheme of things, are a new presence in the universe.
But gods transcend time.
Chaos and destruction and suffering may be older, but vengeance is more potent, more powerful…
… and she grows stronger with every victory.
Yes… maybe? Well…
My immediate thought was to make it related to this ficlet aka, post-canon Kankurou and Shikako hanging out and trying to be less traumatized together.
And like, it would be sort of… Shikako goes to hang out in Sand ostensibly to research the Gelel phenom (and blow up shit in the desert and make a glass canyon) and Kankurou hangs around and is a Theatre Nerd and then when she finally is more at peace with herself, the two of them go back to Konoha and stop by Land of Hot Springs on the way…
Except then I checked the Naruto world map and that makes no geographic sense for Kankurou and Shikako to stop by Land of Hot Springs on their way back from Sand because it is on the opposite side of Land of Fire so…
I mean, I guess they could just be traveling around together for funsies? Like… she’s also been researching other places and Kankurou probably produced an international hit and there’s some pyrotechnics in his show which he might as well have Sparky do anyway…
But that’s kinda… I mean, don’t get me wrong. A lot of my favorite DoS ficlets are the canon-ish semi-compliant chapter responses / future speculation but I think what I just described above is more about Shikako getting closure from the whole shinobi lifestyle as opposed to specifically the Land of Hot Springs (although that is, in its way, the first unstoppable horror).
So I think for something more Land of Hot Springs centric… OH!
So you brought up how Shikako’s existence has done more harm than good in the world and combined with just the whole celestial back and forth of Jashin vs little god that occurred during that arc and also the whole vibe of this asx box event, especially yesterday’s post about mobius stories, I guess what I’m leading into is:
What if Shikako were Jashin?
Or, maybe, not Jashin specifically, but a god of chaos/destruction/suffering. (Although, the thought of little baby Shikako being born with the mark of Jashin on her forehead and it fading as she grows such that she doesn’t know about it, is pretty fun. Because then there’s the cool opportunity of Shikaku RECOGNIZING the symbol when Tsunade brings him in on the situation and it’s kind of this balance in which Shikaku the father and Shikaku the jounin commander are at odds. I mean, of course his father side is going to win–but still. Internal conflict and outside POV for unknowing literal god Shikako is GREAT)
The main problem with Shikako returning to Land of Hot Springs is that I’m pretty certain that everyone with even the slightest inkling of her mission and the aftermath take great pains to ensure that she NEVER HAS TO GO BACK THERE. So either she’s going behind everyone’s back to do so which… hm… canon Shikako would not want to any time soon, but perhaps literal-god-of-chaos-destruction-and-suffering!Shikako feels compelled to do so (either as a Jashin version, to go with that mobius vibe, in which she returns to the beginning and the end or as a non-Jashin version in which the god within her surveys the place of her victory against an older god and also one of her “greatest” acts) or this is, again, a post-canon future fic where people aren’t guarding her against herself as much.
I… would very much like to write this, hbkmzk, but I think I need. Hm… if you’re interested in this ‘verse, please send in a follow up prompt of maybe three or four other outside POVs or maybe a few details you’d like to add to this ‘verse or even a cool title/quote? Or, like, just ask me a few questions about this ‘verse and me coming up with the answers should be able to do the same. It’s like… this fic is almost there but I just need a few more pieces for that final push.
A/N: Not quite what you want, but hopefully I’ve captured the vibe. Thanks for playing along with me 🙂