The first time is during a mission with Red Team, a lull in their stake out as they wait for their target to appear. It pops into her mind as soon as Towa mentions the best place to buy senbon, how nothing could compare to the feel of well-crafted steel under his fingers. Komachi retorts with the superiority of kunai, the best weapon. Even Hawk-taicho joins in, in support of shuriken of course.
Shikako wants very badly to say it. That the best thing in life isn’t weapons but what you do with them.
But the conversation has moved past the point where it would make even the slightest bit of sense, and even then maybe only Sasuke would find it amusing. Which is the problem, of course: to quote a fictional hero from another world is such a Shikako trait, not a Bat trait, that she has to resist.
But still, it’s tempting.
Another opportunity comes much later, weeks and months, the fleeting thought long forgotten. It happens while she and a chuunin from Intel on a simple dead drop retrieval in Land of Tea.
Somehow they get involved in the internal conflicts of the Wagurashi Family.
It’s not too bad, really, Shikako doesn’t know what her mission partner is so worried about. There aren’t any enemy nin involved. The Wasabi Family is even being respectfully uninvolved, even though this would be the best time for them to strike and establish themselves as the reigning Family. Annoyingly, this does mean it’s mostly diplomacy rather than any action, but she’s not so far gone that she’d rather start a civil war just to get out of talking to strangers.
The Wagurashi Family boss is old, deciding between her three successors, and it is during this series of tests that the moment arrives, an almost perfect.
But to say it out loud would be too aggressive during a time when she is representing Konoha’s stance of peace, and to say it quietly would be a waste because her chuunin partner already thinks she’s weird. Aoba wouldn’t have understood it, but he probably would have appreciated it.
Shikako lets the moment pass.
They are at war and it isn’t funny at all. It is too accurate and harsh to be funny.
She says nothing.
Shikako slouches languidly, legs stretched out, propped at such an angle that she can lean casually on the railing of the Academy rooftop.
The three tiny graduates in front of her fidget mostly with nerves–the one she’ll come to fondly call Stabby fidgets with impatience–and Shikako decides to put them out of their misery.
“What is best in life?” she asks.
This year’s top rookie, who she’ll later refer to as Punchy, tries to answer philosophically, as if this were an additional test. But that’s for tomorrow, of course.
Stabby waxes poetic about senbon and kunai and shuriken in an echo of a long ago conversation behind masks.
The third graduate, Bitey, babbles on about fuinjutsu in fits and bursts, a boy after her own heart, but in this particular moment he is incorrect. If Shikako is really going to take on a team of genin, they need to know what kind of jounin sensei they’re getting. Bizarre, unknowable references and all.
She shakes her head, “What’s best in life is…”
Sometimes the perfect moment comes and goes, but other times you can make your own opportunities.
A/N: I’ve actually never seen Conan the Barbarian, so I did have to look this up, but I did recognize the quote which just impresses how prevalent it is in culture.
I couldn’t seem to land on a tone–not entirely serious, but not entirely silly either–but I hope it isn’t too off-putting, anon. Also, now presenting Shikako’s adorable little genin: Punchy, Stabby, and Bitey. I may come up with more details for them at a later time if anyone’s interested.
Ask Box Advent Calendar is now open!
(EDIT: ahhhh, I meant to queue this for tomorrow, December 2! … oh well. DOUBLE POST TODAY!)