“Not bad, Sparky,” Kankurou says once the most devoted fans have left, giggling to themselves and satisfied. Some of them glance his way curiously, but most are too focused on the autographed paraphernalia clutched in their hands.
She blinks at him, overly polite and practiced smile still pasted on her face. Best actress of their generation his ass. “Would you like me to sign something for you, Kazekage-sama?” she asks, gesturing with the marker still in her hand. “There might be some posters left over if you didn’t bring anything with you.”
Kankurou raises a brow at her, “And would that be as Kako Heijo or Shikako Nara?”
Her smile drops, replaced with a displeased wrinkling of her nose. Finally a real emotion from her.
“What do you want?” she asks, finally leaving the roped off section at the theater’s back exit. A flimsy cage for one of the continent’s most powerful shinobi, but somehow the only one that she deigns to be contained within.
“I like to consider myself a patron of the arts,” he answers with a shrug, before walking into step beside her. There are a few paparazzi lingering at the end of the alleyway, ready to pounce, but one look at Kako Heijo’s current conversation partner makes them turn their cameras away.
Suna still has a harsh reputation, after all, no matter what attempts were made to ameliorate that. And it doesn’t help that Kankurou’s own ascension to the hat was particularly bloody. None of it by his hand or command, of course, but sometimes the truth can be the less believable explanation.
Sparky scoffs at his response, but doesn’t do anything to escape from his presence.
The silence as they go from theater to hotel isn’t comfortable by any means, but neither is it fraught or tense. The issues between them have long ago been settled, if unfortunately, and now there is nothing but the ruins of their shared ties.
If asked twenty years ago, he would not have guessed correctly on which of the two of them would be an internationally acclaimed performer and which would be a kage, but here they are.
Both of them trapped in roles neither of them wanted.
At the hotel, Sparky’s manager flutters in her direction, immediately jabbering about bodyguards and scheduling and exposure while carefully trying not to get too close to Kankurou. For that, he grins and enjoys the way the civilian flinches back.
“Don’t be a bully,” Sparky berates, distinctly ignoring all of her manager’s own admonishments.
“Leaf nin, always so soft hearted,” Kankurou responds, never mind that they both know it to be anything but true.
After all, shinobi and actors don’t deal in the truth.
A/N: … well this was a fucking weird return from my hiatus… uh… yeah.
I’ll be honest, some of my delay is the QAF show, but a lot of is was that I didn’t really know how to fill this and then… this happened?
Some kind of dark future fic in which, Kankurou ends up Kazekage and Shikako becomes world renowned actress Kako Heijo.
I have a sort of backstory for this world/how these roles came about if anyone’s interested?
Uh, sorry for the VERY BLEAK and VERY BELATED fill anon. Also sort of for that other anon who asked for theater kid Kankurou headcanons even though I’m not really doing a headcanon event at this time…
A LOT OF DEATH, BASICALLY. The timeline is as such:
Ebizo–because he is really really old and his sister has already died–passes. This isn’t a surprise and it doesn’t seem to be too much of an issue at first, but what this means is that there is no longer even the slightest bit of a leader amongst the council and that particular branch of the Suna government go, if not full dark, then shady.
Gaara somehow also dies/disappears under mysterious circumstances. It’s not too out there what with, I imagine, Gaara’s frequent trips to the Garden and the fact that no one really thinks anything can hurt him in the desert. I mean. Akatsuki is no longer a problem. And in a way I think Gaara’s trips through the desert and to the Garden are almost spiritual in nature (that boy would have made an excellent monk, I think)
Because of Gaara’s death/disappearance, the succession of Kazekage becomes an issue. The previously mentioned split/shady council basically go into civil war over which of the remaining siblings should become Kazekage. Temari is more suited, but she’s already married into the Nara clan of Konoha. Kankurou is considered “more loyal” but less suited.
Some enterprising council member decides to take matters into their own(?) hands and have Temari’s ties to Konoha severed… by having Shikamaru assassinated.
Unsurprisingly, this does not go as planned. Temari DEFINITELY does not want to go back to Suna for sure. That council member is found and arrested, and in the way of poltics/preventing war, offered to Konoha for them to punish as fit.
Naruto might already be Hokage by this point.
Naruto does not believe in capital punishment.
Many people, Temari and Shikako especially, object to this leniency.
But Temari has to think about Shikadai first (maybe?). Shikako doesn’t.
That council member does not get to live the rest of their life in prison as Naruto planned. That council member is found brutally murdered, in pieces, in front of the Hokage tower.
There is no proof as to who it was, but its a fairly open secret. Some people think Shikako went too far, some people think she has enacted the justice that Naruto failed to deliver. Because the Konoha Twelve are in position of power at this point in their life, this causes noticeable conflict within the village.
While Shikako still thinks Naruto was wrong about his handling of the Suna council member, she didn’t do this to overthrow him and so she removes herself from the picture entirely by pulling a more extreme Tsunade and renouncing her name entirely. Now she is the actress Kako Heijo (because Kinokawa Nara will be interim Nara clan head until Shikadai is grown).
… AND THAT’S THE BLEAK AND EXTENSIVE BACKSTORY FOR THIS BLEAK AND TINY FILL.