1243, Team 7 + Reasons To Keep Living AU

The sun is shining
and the birds are singing

and because today is the very last day
they will sing forever.
(listen while you can)

Something is strange about the town of Konoha, though you’re not sure what exactly. It niggles at the top of your head, a phantom thought that is there one moment and gone the next.

But you stay silent. Who are you to cast judgement on these people, on their lives? Especially when they’ve been so hospitable.

They will aid you as best they can, so long as you do not look too closely.

The stranger is the first of a wave, coincidentally, soon after follows a troop of hunters on orders from the emperor.

Eternal life in exchange for killing a god.

They just need a weapon strong enough to do so.

Your father is restless. Prowling around and making ominous statements more than usual, picking fights with the other clans and snapping his fangs at empty air.

You do not dare sneaking into the town while he’s like this, possessively paranoid, constantly on your tail.

You don’t understand what’s happening. You’ve never seen him like this before.

Something terrible is coming.

You’ve never seen him afraid.

The stranger is your responsibility, and she’s an interesting one at first–you’ve grown tired of the same people and the same rhythms. The stranger is a breath of fresh air in your stagnant life, and you appreciate the change.

But you notice, after the second day, that there is more to this duty your family has assigned you. You are more distraction than tour guide, and vice versa, it seems.

Your brother and your parents stop talking whenever you enter a room, stranger at your side or not.

They do not trust you.

Heijomaru was the one that brought you here, footsteps certain for a reason beyond your knowledge.

Still, you have faith.

The town does not have what you need, or if they do they aren’t saying.

To the forest you go, then.


A/N: it’s been a while since I watched Princess Mononoke, though it is one of my favorites…

If you’re still taking prompts… 969 for Hinata/Shikako?

People helping each other in the aftermath of tragedy,
is the only really convincing argument for people.
(Always in the shadow of a stronger argument against.)

There is beauty in kindness, even against cruelty.

Maybe especially against cruelty.

The strength to face adversity with grace, the wisdom to cease the perpetuation of hostility–it is honorable, admirable…

… entirely untenable.

Suffering needlessly isn’t her style. Eye for an eye might make the whole world blind, but against reality-bending dojutsu she’d easily make that trade.

For her, mercy is a luxury–spent sparingly and only on the rare occasions she can afford it–her main currencies are preparation and paranoia.


For a long time after The Incident, Cloud nin become the boogeyman for nearly all clan children.

Because they are shinobi, their parents do not use it so blatantly–they don’t use it consciously at all, too much tragedy surrounding it–it’s in the furrow of their brows, the tight, lingering hugs, the fearful hovering and grateful sighs of relief every time their children are back within their line of sights.

It is something not talked about but whispered, child to child: Cloud nin will come get you if you stray too far, if you don’t listen to your parents, if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It devolves, the way things do, rumors and degrees of separation and time muddling things. Cloud nin will kidnap you if you don’t finish your homework, if you don’t eat your vegetables, or don’t go to bed on time. Small, childish things.

Eventually, they all grow out of it…

… nearly all of them, that is.

It was never just a childhood boogeyman for Hinata.


Konoha goes to war.

They are peacetime children, yes, but shinobi all the same–in a way, they have been training for this their entire lives.

And yet, there is caution. The clan heirs held behind the safety of Konoha’s walls. They are powerful, yes, but still vulnerable. Once they are sent onto the battlefield, there is no turning back.

For a moment–for a few months at least–she has held that inevitability off. Where she goes, the others can follow, and this is one path she does not want to trail blaze for them.

But all children must face their fears someday.


A/N: … I guess this is more… pre-Hinata/Shikako… I’ll be honest, the prompt is a little bewildering. Like… I don’t even know if I’m interpreting it correctly? And then making it match a ship I’ve only had a couple hours to ponder on is a little… so I kinda just ended up grasping at threads that didn’t match…

:/ sorry, anon.

Walking Around (A Softer World), (2017-06-07)

on the paper, she had written “you”
and she told me “that’s a list of the people
who are standing too close.”
(I ain’t your pal.)

The strange thing about it isn’t that they’re opposites clashing–two conflicting ideologies or personalities at war–but rather that they’re so similar.

The children of famously powerful shinobi, both of them with the same potential for greatness, the new beginnings for clans that had been near to extinction. Beyond that, their keenness and desire to be stronger (even if it is outside of the Academy’s strict curriculum) ought to make them, if not friends, then friendly.

People had expected that, because their parents were legendary teammates, some tiny bit of that would trickle down.

At best they find each other mildly irritating.

(The first and only time the Academy teachers make them spar, they destroy the training hall. To this day, no one can say who won.)


If something seems too good to be true,

quick! put it in your mouth!
(before anything can go wrong!)

They are put on a team together.

It’s not the end of the world.

(But it sure feels like it.)

Still, if that’s the way Konoha wants to play it then fine. They can deal with it.

They only have to tolerate each other until they make chuunin and given that the next chuunin exams are hosted at home, that only means a few months at most.

But what a frustrating and bizarre few months they are.

Missions gone askew, far too many television appearances, new jutsu and kata and, briefly, a shared pet capybara.

They’re still not friends, but teammates? Well, that they can do.

(But it sure feels like it.)


Our love is like.

Our love is only like.
(I like you. I don’t LIKE like you)

Mitsuki is the first one to say it, eyes bright and smile sharp, the thinnest veneer of mockery on top so he can take it back if he needs to.

He does not need to.

Sakako is caught off guard but not terribly surprised–she feels the same way, too, only hadn’t thought to say it aloud. No one’s ever accused her of being particularly chatty, after all–and she returns the expression easily enough.

Boruto is stubborn, though. He flushes and sneers and storms off, shoulders hunched up around his reddening ears.

It takes another week before he admits it, grudging and gritted out between his teeth, and only because they ambush him with hugs and refuse to let him go.

It still counts.


I cannot help but notice we are sitting-in-a-tree.
So, you know, maybe we could think of something to do…
(I want us to gerund, essentially.)

“We are frequently sitting in trees,” Mitsuki says, skeptical yet concerned glance sent Boruto’s way, “We are in a forest.”

Boruto huffs an embarrassed, exasperated sigh, turning away pointedly.

“He wants to kiss you,” Sakako calls from her spot in the tree across the clearing, because while she may be oblivious to most things, not even she is that dense.

Konohamaru-sensei chokes on a laugh, quiet, but just loud enough to give away his position.

His students pounce.

The matter of the non-kiss is set aside for now, trying to find and beat their jounin sensei more pertinent at the moment, but it’s not quite forgotten.


I think you are beautiful and I would like to kiss you.
I can think up some clever lines, if you’d prefer.
But I wanted to say that, first.
(None of those lines seemed to be about you or me.)

She smiles, flattered and amused. She can’t say the idea doesn’t appeal to her and she can appreciate the straightforward and sweet delivery, but for now she just reaches out and takes Mitsuki’s hand.

He intertwines their fingers together, his skin pale against her own, accepting the affection easily after the years of knowing each other.

“We will,” Sakako says, answer and promise both, “but not yet.”

Mitsuki tilts his head, curious but not plaintive, and lets her guide them towards their team’s training grounds.

“I think this is a talk for all of us,” she finally says, including Boruto–who hears the statement, glances at their hands, and internally dies a little.

(It’s okay. It’s just a misunderstanding.)


I know your weakness.
It’s kisses.
You are doomed.
(Don’t worry. We’re all doomed eventually.)

A/N: Some Walking Around ‘verse with poly!next gen!Team Seven. I don’t know if this is the actual way I want to go with this ‘verse, but I saw a lot of the unused a softer world prompts and kept thinking–this would be perfect for them.

So… for those of you who might be fond Sakako and her ‘verse, and kinda in response to this anon who wanted more feels (though looking more for the angsty sort than this fluffy nonsense, probably… I don’t know why, I just want to do fluff with them, but maybe that’ll change in the future). Please enjoy. 🙂

I’d love to see anon’s idea about Down Every Road!Grass Chunin Exams, because enraged and emotional Sasuke is always a delight to see. As for other prompts… (Can I just list a bunch? Pick & choose as you please) Some insight on their interactions; maybe Ino/Naruto, or Itachi seeing their mutual desire to protect Sasuke? Or maybe an older Sasuke on a long mission and sending a hawk summon with a letter or sumthing to Shikako? Basically anything is gr8, because Shikasuke is consuming my soul ;o;

I love you the way a knife loves a heart
the way a bomb loves a crowd
the way your mother warned you about, essentially.
(the way a human loves another human)

“… you planned this,” Sasuke says, realization dawning on him far too late. For years, his life goal finally achieved–but what does that matter when it was never really his own? At the core of all his steely determination just crumbling ash.

The sword falls from his hand.

“You…” he retreats, half a step then another, aborted movements, stumbling. Graceless and confused. He can feel his eyes burning, searing the image into his mind forever. “You… why would you–I don’t…”

The sword falls from his hand, but it doesn’t go far. The blade trapped between muscles and ribs and vital organs.

“I love you,” he says, denial and desperation, “Why would you–why would I. I don’t understand. I love you. I–”

Shikako gives a wet, bloody cough, as red as his eyes.

Mangekyo Sharingan. Sasuke needs it if he’s ever going to survive.

“I know.”


She is the most dangerous thing in his life.

Of course she is.

How can she ever protect him from all the people that want to harm him if she isn’t powerful enough to stop them.

She is only so dangerous because she loves him.

(She worked hard for that role.)

Naruto is the hero, this she cannot, will not touch–she can help him, sharpen the edge, but she cannot change him

Sasuke, on the other hand, was meant to be the antihero. That, she took between her own two hands and ripped to pieces. He was hers to forge anew, molten metal reshaped and folded, impurities burned out, making something even stronger.

But what is a blade that will not cut?

What is a sword without it’s wielder?

What is a curse of ultimate power without the betrayal that makes it so?

(Itachi had the right idea, but failed at the execution)


In order for fire to thrive, something first must burn.



A/N: … I actually wrote this pseudo a softer world style poem in response to the actual a softer world self prompt which kinda dictated the direction this went in… so…


Oh, wow, anon. This is a lot! Okay… let me see if I can unpack this:

1) enraged/emotional/protective Sasuke (does it have to be Grass Chuunin Exams?)

2-4) Ino, Naruto, and Itachi’s POV of Shikasuke

Or, alternatively,

5) Ino, Naruto, Itachi and Shikako bonding over being part of the “protect Sasuke” squad

Or, even more alternatively,

6) Ino, Naruto, and Itachi bonding over being part of the “get Shikako and Sasuke together” squad

And then finally,

7) long distance relationship Shikasuke (via letter writing and unamused summons, no doubt)

Did I get everything? Well, these all sound like pretty good ideas, anon, though I may make first prompt outside of the Grass Chuunin Exam context, if that’s okay.

Thanks! 😀

i am the most dangerous thing in your life
of course I am
only because I love you so.
(i worked hard for that role)

… very dark… my bad… 

I’m terribly sorry, anon, that it’s taken me OVER A YEAR (?!!?!) to finally fill your prompt. And not even properly. And also not even all of them? This one is only number 5. :/ Sorry about that.

I think breaking it down into so many separate prompts made it far too intimidating for me and it’s been lurking at the tope of my unfilled prompts doc ever so ominously.

I hope you enjoy this VERY belated and terribly short and quite unrelated fill.

Well, we all know that Shikako is uninterested in romance but I think it’s worth considering Surprisingly!Smooth!Shikamaru? After all, Shikaku stealth romanced Yoshino pretty fiercely, according to the sidestories, and Shikamaru was the only one of the rookies to actually be shown *dating* in canon. (As far as I remember, anyway.) Uh, so prompting for contrast!twins in which Shikako is totally oblivious and Shikamaru is the master of the (lazy) date.


Hahahaha, I actually think Shikako comes off as a lot more charming/smooth to those who didn’t grow up with her (ie Team Ten and Sakura) but she doesn’t actually do it on purpose/know what to do with it. So Shikako accidentally-flirting-with-people-and-not-knowing/intending-to-follow-up is how I headcanon her properly in DoS, while Shikamaru is way suave in all aspects of dating in comparison.

It’s definitely a cool idea, but I’m not sure how I’d implement it. Like, does Shikako finally get asked out and she has no idea what to do so she turns to her brother for help and she’s over here planning it out like some kind of battle while he’s just like… no, Kako, that’s not how it works. Or is it Shikamaru’s POV of the trail of admirers his sister leaves behind–and possibly having to carefully screen through his own dates to make sure not to go out with someone who once had a crush on his sister because that would be weird?

But I’ll put it on the list, anon, and hopefully something will come to me. 🙂

my five year plan
is to maybe go out for ice cream
this afternoon?
(Live every day like the ice cream store is closing.)

He says this with the utmost respect and the deepest of loves:

When it comes to people’s opinions of her, his sister is unbelievably oblivious.

He is sitting guard by her bedside–chakra exhaustion, a gouged hand and forearm, and the usual scrapes and bruises that comes from their line of work–a lamp on behind him casting his shadow long across the room. Anyone who wants to come near her would have to enter his range.

A knock at the door, a curt if polite scuff of feet.

This must be the fifth visit his sister has gotten since he began his watch–he’s only been sitting here for a few hours.

“Come in,” he says, exhausted, the tone of someone who has fought beyond his limits, nearly lost his sister, and may very well still lose both of his teammates.

The Sand shinobi that enters is familiar and a recent field ally, but he also remembers that the first time they met Temari was on the opposite side of an invasion. And it was his sister that had decided the Sand Siblings’ fates when they were vulnerable.

His shadow roils, cautious.

Temari raises her hands in front of her, both of them open at first, before clasping them together–a practiced, almost casual motion meant to convey one is not concealing any weapons.

It doesn’t really mean anything–not with her talent in wind ninjutsu and the giant metal fan strapped to her back–but the intent behind the gesture is appreciated.

She’s still in range of his shadow anyway, and they both remember how their tournament fight ended.

“May I sit?” she asks, tilting her head towards the other visitor’s chair.

Shikamaru shrugs, which is permission enough.

The silence between them is far from comfortable, but at least it’s not charged with hostility.

“Your sister…”

Shikamaru, if he ever did relax, snaps back to attention.

“… she’s interesting,” Temari finishes, simply.

And maybe it’s the stress of the day, or just how much of an understatement that is, but Shikamaru knows it’s both compliment and question and so he just starts to laugh.

After a moment of surprise, Temari smiles at him.


A/N: Uh… not completely in line with either your prompt or my own a softer world self-prompt, but it’s been many moons of languishing on my giant list of prompts and I figured something is better than nothing?

And I know Shikamaru starts dating TenTen after the Sasuke Retrieval Arc–but this is more pre-Shikamaru/Temari than actual…

prompt(kinda): where Shikako’s mum stuffs her into a kimono with all the bells and whistles, while sasuke is looking on awe-struck and shika’s just in the bavkground giving him the suspiscious stink-eye



I’ll have to research some things, though. (Either that or make up some stuff–then again, this is fanfiction, is that not what I’m supposed to do?) And it wouldn’t be compatible with certain other ficlets of mine.

Excellent prompt, flamingosspace!

(I’m also a little bit drunk right now, so hopefully what I’m thinking will still look fantastic in the light of day)

I do not believe in love at first sight.
But god damn.

(Look at you.)

(Very Far Down Road One)

Sasuke keeps his face forward, barely breathing, trying not to meet the gaze of Shikamaru who would, if he could, set Sasuke on fire with the force of his glare or at the very least stab him a couple of times.

Sasuke also does not want to meet Shikaku-san’s eyes which, while not as sharp as his son’s, are probably far more intimidating.

The heads of the Akimichi and Yamanaka clans are no less formidable.

Really, he ought to just consider that half of the room off limits and focus on his half which are full of his family who are happy for him on this day and don’t want him to die a horrific, bloody death…

… and there’s Shisui making faces in an embarrassing and unconvincing attempt to hide his tears of joy; Aniki who is barely stifling his laughter into their mother’s similarly vibrating shoulder; and Father whose stalwart resistance to slapping his nephew upside the head is manifesting itself as a twitching eye and throbbing forehead vein.

Facing forward it is.

The strains of music begin, finally, the procession entering: priests in full garb, then the bridal party in their own colorful kimono. Naruto and Kakashi near to the end holding up paper parasols in front of then–finally, please–above…

Beautiful. Radiant. Mesmerizing.

If he was barely breathing before, then he’s definitely stopped now.

… Shikako. Stunning in her white wedding kimono, the hood and the makeup unable to hide her soft but honest smile.

He can feel the responding smile grow on his face, and he knows he must look like an absolute awestruck idiot, but he doesn’t care.

Today is not about looking cool or not getting killed by his in-laws or the continuing mortification he gets from his family. Today (finally finally finally) he’s marrying the woman he loves.


A/N: Uh, so… I’m doing some belated “spring cleaning” on my massive list of unfilled DoS prompts and decided to combine it with the a softer world prompts because they are very lovely and why not?

Here’s some cheesy wedding fic for you, flamingosspace (aka @blooming-stars? It’s been so long since you originally asked that your name has changed?!) apologies for the VERY LATE (and kinda short) response.

469 for never lookin’ to come back?

It was a sweet day when I realized
legal and illegal had nothing to do with
right and wrong.
(Smash the state? Nah. I’ll just ignore it and hope it ignores me.)

(Never Lookin’ To Come Back)

If asked, each of them would say that it was the other who started it.

The smuggling, that is.

Sure, Kiba was the one who “found” that first crate of rations–marked as heading towards ROOT training facilities (and if they needed it so badly, they should have kept better track of it.) He was just being a dutiful XO when he brought it to the captain.

What happened after that was entirely her decision.

“I couldn’t just let that town starve,” she argues, magnanimous for a fleeting moment before continuing with, “… and we needed to offload it somehow.”

Kiba laughs, no matter how many times he’s heard it and the fact that he was there for it. It’s the telling of the story that makes it great, not the event itself.


According to the system, Lee has violated his parole.

The fact that someone as good and kind as Lee could ever even be arrested shows how flawed the system really is. The citizens of the small moon Lee calls home would say, too strict.

They would not say corrupt.

(Lee was arrested for defending a young girl from the mayor’s unwanted attentions.)

Not out loud, anyway.

The people of his hometown loved him, loved him enough to pool together their meager money and send him far away in a ship that could use another hand and didn’t look too closely at one’s legal background.

One day, Lee will go back home and free them from tyranny–until then, he sends the townspeople money and always wears the ugly orange leg warmers they send back.


No one outside of the Organization is actually sure what they are.

(“I’m putting my money on fancy hookers,” Kiba says, grin sharp and toothy and itching for a fight.

Not even the blankness of his face can mask the sheer irritation in Sasuke’s eyes.

“You better hope so,” TenTen responds, shifting over on the bench where Shino has kindly enough made space, “because if you’re wrong, you’re really gonna get it.”)

They’re beautiful and well trained, always on the arm of influential people and frequently at the scene of major incidents. Twice, they’ve had to make a quick get away at Sasuke’s behest, hours before news broke of some scandal and a sudden death.

Shikako learns it’s better not to ask.

Still, he does have very good connections to various port authorities, and so long as he pays his rent on time, she doesn’t mind what he might get up to.


According to the system, Naruto doesn’t exist.

If they knew he did, they’d kill him immediately.

None of them know it yet, but the most illegal thing on their ship isn’t the Hyuuga chancellor’s missing daughter, or the crates and crates of contraband.

No, it’s the key to the Core’s greatest and worst secret: the conspiracy to end all conspiracies.

The truth behind the destruction of Uzushio–the would have been fifth member of the core planets.


A/N: Just little sprinkles of backstory–I didn’t think TenTen would be an outright criminal, and Shino works more outside the law than against it so…

Thanks for the prompt, anon! 😀

1, with platonic Shikako/Sasuke/Naruto

Our love is a forest fire
and we are the little things
that live in the trees.
(Today is the most exciting last day of our lives)

(Reasons To Keep Living)

The forests around the growing town of Konoha are haunted. At night, there are sounds and shapes and lights and movements that make their way out of the thick curtain of trees; it is eerie and fearsome and beautiful.

If a man goes into the forest, he is never heard from again–or so it is said.

Good thing you are no man.


The stranger has travelled from far away lands, dressed in strange clothes and riding a long horned deer.

She comes in search of a cure for her brother and she knows she is in the right place:

Either it will be found in the town at the forefront of progress, or it will be in the forest of magic and miracles.


All your life you have been told to stay away from the forest. There are dangerous things in there, beasts and monsters and horrors–a good son would not make his parents worry so, just look at your brother, what an upstanding young man.

But they are too enamored by him to notice you, and you are ever so curious about what secrets are within.

When you are told to act as the stranger’s guide, you see an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream.


You’ve been to the town before–it’s your best kept secret, because if your father knew, he’d eat you, just as he’s always said.

You love the forest, of course you do, it’s your home: the cave where you and your father curl up together for warmth, the rivers where the otter clan chatter and play their tricks, up in the treetops the monkey clan howl and down below the boar clan stampede.

You love your home, but you want to see the world outside of it.


The kodama come out at sunset, when the Shishigami walks the forest and begins to transform; they watch and click their curious little heads, observing a phenomena that has happened daily for centuries and yet is still so breathtaking.

Sometimes, the fox boy joins them, head tilting in unison, mesmerized.

Sometimes, from the very top of the town walls, the second son can see the top of the Night Walker’s head breaching the canopy.

They both wait, though they don’t know it, for the stranger to arrive.


A/N: Out of order sections–they were written as I thought of them, sorry, and it seemed weird every time I tried to put them in chronological order.

I don’t know about you, anon, but I got very strong Princess Mononoke vibes from the prompt? Or was that just me? Regardless, new AU! 😀

… I might have turned Naruto and Sasuke into Disney princesses what with the whole “wanting to see the world outside my forest/town/castle.”

4, Shikako/Sai ( if you have time )

i don’t know what the fuck true love even is
but i do want to hang out with you
for basically the rest of my life.
(let’s hang out – TO THE DEATH)

(Friendship Is A (Mutual) Con)

Shikako stares at Sai, the breath for her response caught in her throat, more confused than concerned, but a healthy amount of both.

Sai stares back, guileless.

“… we can work on that,” Shikako finally says, hesitantly. She is angry and horrified–but not at him, it’s not his fault–and it takes effort to keep it out of her voice.

“I’ve read many books on this subject, so I’m quite confident I’ve mastered the theory,” Sai responds, holding up his tablet which proudly displays the title: Love and Other Mysteries.

“… that’s…” this time there is no hiding her skepticism, “Well… think of it as needing field experience. Cooperation leads to teamwork, teamwork leads to friendship, and friendship is a great step towards love.”

Sai nods as if what she’s saying actually makes sense and isn’t something she’s just making up on the spot.

And it’s not like anyone else on the team–besides Sakura, that is–is emotionally competent enough to dispute that.


Shikako realizes she still has her comm on ten minutes after the screaming fight with her brother has already ended.

Mostly because Sai, showing his developing social acuity, quietly clears his throat before asking, “Did he not like your gift?”

She sighs, exasperated and embarrassed with herself and, maybe, a little unapologetically petty at Sai for eavesdropping–let him deal with the audio feedback–but if he had to wade through that awful argument then she does sort of owe him an explanation.

“No, he was grateful for it. It’ll speed up his recovery by months, if not years, and it’ll definitely make his PT easier…”

“That didn’t sound like gratitude.”

Shikako’s chuckle is more bitter than amused, “He’s worried about how I got it, instead of focusing on his own health which is what really matters…”

She sighs again, exhausted. It’s been months of this, she just wants that easiness that they used to have.

“… sometimes love is hard.”


This is their final heist as a team–or as this team, at least: Sakura returning to her previous team, Yamato clearing his name and getting reinstated, and Kakashi finally obtaining the peace that had eluded him for so long.

“Will you be staying?” Sai asks her as he packs up his rig–there is a strange lack of urgency and so he takes his time to stow everything away neatly instead of just shoving things in his bag as someone else drags him away.

“Yes,” she answers, swiftly, simply, no consideration needed. She tilts her head over at Naruto and Sasuke, who are both saying their goodbyes and trying (and failing) to be professional about it. “They need me, still.”

There is a pause as Sai continues to pack and Shikako watches, not wanting to interfere.

“And you?” She finally asks, as the last zipper is zipped.

He shoulders his bag, two hard shell cases in either hand as well, and answers–swiftly, simply–

“I haven’t finished my lessons, yet.”


A/N: I don’t know why this was so difficult for me, anon… it’s not the pairing that’s the problem. I think maybe because this prompt was already asked with a blank check platonic pair and I had to NOT do the same thing here…

Anyway, hope you enjoy!

46, platonic team 7+kakashi, that one fairy tale au with big bad wolf kakashi i think u talked about a while back

We are terrible for each other, and, yes, we are a disaster.
But tell me your heart doesn’t race for a hurricane or a burning building.
I’d rather die terrified than live forever.
(mistakes aren’t always regrets)


“My brother had magic,” Sasuke says, muted, staring into the campfire. Naruto and Shikako look at him, attentive and enraptured: Sasuke never talks about his past.

Kakashi looks away–he already knows this story.

“My parents. Our entire kingdom. They were so proud,” The words are stilted, as if dragged out of him, but he pushes through, “The first prince in generations to have magic…”

The silence is so long that for a moment they think he’s stopped, that’s all he will say on the matter.

“…it overwhelmed him, turned him mad. He cursed everyone.” Sasuke closes his eyes, clenches his fists, “That’s why I have to kill him.”

He stands up quickly–the sudden movement causing the other two to flinch back–and stalks off.

“Not too far,” Kakashi calls after him, getting only a dismissive grunt in return, but he does stay within shouting distance and returns to their campsite after an hour.

He is still silent, sullen. For the next two days, the three of them don’t hear another word from Sasuke, but at heart his mood isn’t regret.

It’s relief.


He doesn’t know it, but Naruto comes from a long line of legends: foresters who protected children who strayed off the path, knights who slew monsters, seventh sons who cured kings, princesses that outsmarted trickster demons, all the way to heroes whose names grew beyond any single act.

They were there whenever an injustice needed to be righted. They were on the front lines in wars against evil. They were wanderers who faced the worst the world had to offer and gave their all to make it better.

And then they gave some more.

Sometimes, fortune favors the bold.

Other times, fortune is feckless and all consuming, taking and taking and granting only rarely with the highest interest rate.

Kakashi knows, but will never tell him: on the day of Naruto’s birth, despite all the sacrifice that was made, that debt harshly grew.

He is the last of his line: any luck that falls his way will exact balance upon him…

… and on his precious people.


Shikako does not have a tragic background. Her lifestyle has always been, if not gentle, then fair and without strife.

She has enjoyed much from her station and she knows, one day, that she will have to take up the duties expected of her and return the privileges that have been afforded her.

But not yet.

“Please,” Shikako whispers, small hand clutching at the rough fabric of his cloak, “Not yet.”

He doesn’t know where the misunderstanding arose–Shikako intent on fleeing an unwanted arranged marriage, her father sending search parties and hiring an, if he’s going to be honest, overpriced hunter to make sure she hasn’t been taken against her will–but it’s both a hilarious and heartening situation that he thinks he’ll keep track of.

That is what he does, after all.

“The world can be a scary and overwhelming place for young highborn ladies,” he says, just to gauge her mettle. If she really can’t hack it, he’ll deliver her to the Nara stronghold himself.

The same hand that clung to his cloak for comfort now tugs sharply, jerking him down closer to her level. He bends with it, because why not?

“I may be a lady,” she responds, quiet but fierce; she brings her free hand between them, and in her palm blooms a small green flame “but I’m far from helpless.”


A/N: Are they a train crash waiting to happen? MAYBE?!

Sorry for the late response, sociallinkmax, I had the first part done and then got waaaaay swamped with RL… stuff.

I was debating whether or not Big Bad Wolf Kakashi was literal or figurative or a mix of both (like some kind of Ladyhawke situation?) so I just went the ambiguous route.

Number + Character/Ship + (optional) AU –> my ask box

[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.]