Who do you think would handle knowing the original timeline’s future best, not just in DoS, but in your other works, too? I say original timeline in large part because surely even someone who wouldn’t want to would still find themselves making changes, right?

I’m going to assume you mean Naruto canon when you say original timeline, because otherwise to go through all of my fandoms would be O_O

I think there’s a difference in handling the knowledge in an internal/emotional way vs handling the knowledge in an external/make-changes kind of way. The first largely depends on how a person finds out–whether it’s something that, in the case of DoS, Shikako tells them or, somehow they find out from, like, a vision from beyond or a canon character dimension travelling and exposition dumping from there–whereas the second depends on their resources (whether they even have the ability to make changes on a significant scale) and personality (whether they would even want to.

Like, I’ve mentioned previously that Shino would make a good confidante for Shikako, not because he would particularly make a lot of changes, but because he would, if not believe Shikako immediately, then at the very least accept the knowledge with a certain level of proof (which is easy enough considering the Aburame’s history with Danzo.) So he’d be the first type of “handling” the knowledge of canon.

All that being said… I kinda want to do both for all of them mostly because this prompt would help me further conceptualize characters in a way I hadn’t considered before. So, both Emotional Handling and Influential Handling for DoS, Externality, (In)Difference, and Counterpoise? Hm, if there’s another series you’re interesting in, lionhead, just let me know and I can add that later.

Dreaming of Sunshine:

Emotional Handling – I’m going to stick with Shino for this one, actually. Regardless of if he finds out from Shikako or from some other means. Second place I would say Ibiki, but I’m reluctant to do even that much because of my own fanon that Ibiki and Yoshino are BFFs so he probably would be second hand messed up by the changes of Yoshino’s family composition.

Influential Handling – I don’t know if there is a singular person I would say is best for this, but the ones I’m thinking of all have a certain… flavor to them. In no particular order: Iruka, Ibiki, Aoba, and Shizune. And the thing they all have in common is that they have influence within the village but not the combat prowess to handle S-rank nin by themselves. So they would have to make changes with a softer touch. Would Iruka emotionally handle canon knowledge well? NO WAY. But he is in the position to not only influence Naruto (and other former students) directly but also to affect administrative decisions. Also, Danzo would never think of Iruka as a threat.

Ibiki, Aoba, and Shizune would probably handle the knowledge with better grace than Iruka, but they don’t have that direct connection with the kids that Iruka does. And this could be a positive and a negative, but they’re all also better than Iruka combat wise so they may be tempted to make changes in person which may cause them to bite off more than they can chew.

Externality:

So the thing about Externality is that even I haven’t decided whether or not Tetsuki knows about canon, or how–was Naruto a manga in the KHR world or can she perceive the canon version of the world in her dreams?–so I’m going to exclude her for now.

Emotional Handling – Weirdly enough, I think Naruto would handle it best. Not because he would use it, but because he would be galvanized into doing better. Whether that means keeping Sasuke in Konoha or being a better teammate to Tetsuki and Komadori or making sure to protect the people he couldn’t save in canon. Although, I suppose it depends on WHEN he gets the knowledge. Like, if he gets it before the canon graduation time, then it’s unprovable and basically a really weird dream to him–why would he be on a team without Tetsuki and Komadori?–but if its after canon graduation time, that is, after a genin-for-a-year Naruto gets put on a team with recent graduates Sasuke and Sakura, then he might take it as a challenge.

Influential Handling – Ibiki, Aoba, and Shizune for the same reasons as in DoS–since Externality is in a similar vein of OC–but instead of Iruka, since he isn’t the teacher for Testuki, Komadori, and Team Gai’s year, I would add Anko to the list.

Specifically after Tetsuki has joined Intel/T&I. Well, I mean, Anko knowing about Orochimaru’s future movements is already pretty good influence-wise (although, I’m concerned that Konoha would be “concerned” about how she got that information) but if it’s after Tetsuki has joined Intel/T&I and become Anko’s kouhai then Anko will know that she can use Tetsuki to act on her behalf as well as passing Orochimaru’s future movements along to Ibiki and such.

And I guess, for similar reasons, Tsunade would be good but only after she’s already become Hokage. Because her hands are tied as far as throwing down directly with Akatsuki since she has a damn village to run, but she’ll know that Tetsuki is a piece on the board that she can use in a myriad of ways.

(In)Difference

Since Kiyoshi definitely knows about canon and is trying her utmost to not get involved during her first decade and a half, then doing an abrupt 180 and getting overly involved in specific people’s lives, I’m going to exclude her.

This probably won’t make much sense given I haven’t actually written enough of (In)Difference to have a firm timeline and, unlike Externality and Counterpoise, it doesn’t follow the usual stations of canon. Which brings up the main point: except for a few flashback type situations, most of canon happens decades in the future. Any changes, even minute, will have massive consequences. Additionally, in a way, it’s harder to prove but easier to stomach so… hm… let’s see…

Emotional Handling – When they’re younger, genin/chuunin age or so, Orochimaru would handle it best. Not because he really believes Kiyoshi (if it is, indeed, coming from Kiyoshi) but because on the unlikely chance that it is true then he is still capable of course-correcting. Also, if he was, as I suspect, Nawaki’s jounin-sensei (or captain, if we’re going with wartime terminology) then being able to prevent his death–which Kiyoshi somehow does–will help a lot in keeping him sane and not completely evil.

Team White Fang would also handle it okay but only as a team. I don’t know why I feel certain about this, but, I dunno, they’re 2/3 my characters so there.

Influential Handling – Actually, all of the above wouldn’t be too bad in terms of influencing things. Orochimaru, obviously, just has to not be a complete sociopath and never work with Danzo (or, even, just kill Danzo outright) and already he’ll make the future a better place. And Team White Fang is either A) Sakumo, father of Kakashi who is in line to affect ALL the things or B+C) a shape-shifter and genjutsu mistress. So, not too hard to make changes. But I think the BEST person to make changes might be Nawaki.

Because just him being alive would mean so much in terms of Senju presence. And even if he doesn’t have Wood Release (but which I’ve written that he does so…) what his continued existence means for Tsunade and Kushina personally (who can then influence Naruto directly or not). Or what his continued existence might mean for the Uchiha clan… I suppose it’s more a potential of influence than actual influence, I guess.

Counterpoise

Konran definitely doesn’t know about canon. Immediately I know she would emotionally handle it the worst, because basically it’s a world in which her twin brother isn’t even a twin or a brother. Here comes an existential crisis. Because she’d emotionally handle it the worst, I’d be reluctant to predict how she’d handle it influentially. Obviously she’s in position to influence Naruto most directly, but will she want to? Will she do so in a positive way? I don’t know.

Emotional Handling – Zakuro. Hands down. I considered Ringo, because of the two Ringo is the “calmer” one, but then I realized: he’s a medic. He’s a taijutsu using medic. He’s as pacifistic and selfless as a shinobi can be. If he did believe the canon knowledge, however he got it, he would view all the deaths in canon and try his best to prevent them and only destroy himself.

Zakuro, in contrast, is a genjutsu and trap specialist. He knows that perception is more important than reality and for all his brash personality, he can be patient. Traps don’t always get sprung–it’s about preparing for possibilities, not getting directly involved. Zakuro wouldn’t lose himself to the knowledge. He’d take it, absorb it, learn from it, adapt.

The only hitch in this is that he wouldn’t want to keep the knowledge a secret from his teammates, but given their personalities, he would have to. So it’s not the knowledge itself that he would have trouble handling.

But to be clear, Zakuro is ony best at emotional handling. He’s not really in a position to make significant enough changes, for all that he has the mindset to do it.

Influential Handling – … the three people who I think could best utilize the knowledge and make changes are also the three people (besides Konran and Naruto) who would emotionally handle the knowledge poorly. Ringo is one of them–because for all he is the same rank as Zakuro, he does have sort of bonds with both Obito, though he doesn’t really know it, and Kakashi, and if he can figure out how to leverage said bonds he can mitigate a lot of suffering on their and everyone’s parts.

The other two are Kakashi and Jiraiya. The reason why I didn’t bring them up in previous series is because the nature of canon vs Counterpoise is a missing Uzumaki child. Minato’s child. And yes, it’s true, that shouldn’t be such a big deal seeing as how they they ignored Naruto in canon. But I wonder how much of that was the Sandaime’s terribad “don’t discuss the Kyuubi even though everyone and their monkey summons know about it” and how much of that was the village plausibly denying Naruto’s heritage.

So DoS brings up how Naruto could have been named Uzumaki because of his jinchuuriki status not because he’s actually related to Kushina. Additionally I’ve read somewhere that some people thought Naruto took Minato’s appearance because the Kyuubi was being deliberately cruel and kitsune are all about shapeshifting (which is why Naruto’s specialty before kage bushin is henge). And also, while I don’t know how canonical this is, there’s the idea floating around that Minato and Kushina kept the pregnancy a secret so enemy villages couldn’t find out and such. So, like, the village could have just been handwaving the obvious connections between Naruto and his parents. And because Kakashi and Jiraiya don’t get involved with him, there’s nothing to contradict that.

But Konran doesn’t have the Kyuubi. Konran has bright red hair and goes by the name Uzumaki. Konran is so undeniably Kushina’s child that there is no handwaving this away. It’s for this reason that I’m kind of playing around with the idea that the Cloud ambassador tried to kidnap Konran in addition to/instead of Hinata (which also explains why Konran becomes so desperate to keep her hair hidden when she’s a genin).

Anyway. That incident and the lack of plausible deniability means that Kakashi and Jiraiya kind of have to get involved and canon knowledge would only help them if they would get off their asses and do something. Don’t get me wrong, love the characters. But they are capable of making great change, they just need a massive shove to do so.

~

A/N: Uh… that got long and rant-y towards the end. Hopefully this was what you were looking for, lionheadbookends, and if not feel free to send another ask my way 🙂

Ask Box Advent Calendar is now open!

Haha no, it was never my intention for my ask to sound loaded, and I’m not sure I understand why it would. I know the barebones of the naruto series, and that crow summons appeared at least once in the anime with Itachi in the scene? Either way, I don’t mean to upset anyone. Just saw the recent post of a crow over at the main blog for DoS and it reminded me of sakako’s abilities since it was so creepy with all the haunting eyes staring at the viewer. But yea, love the prompt fill! Thank you!

Oh no, not loaded as in conflicting but loaded as in… loaded with feels. Because the fanon (or is it actually canon?) is that Shisui Uchiha–who is a Discord favorite–had the crow summons and Aoba also (somehow?) was a crow summoner. Along with Itachi, of course, which is canon-ish.

The only upsetting is the good upsetting, no worries, anon!

And I’m glad you like both the picture and the fill 🙂

Sakako with crow summons feels like the perfect mix between shadows and her dad’s hawks!

A/N1: OMG, anon! I’ve been going through Sakako posts recently as well and I was thinking about doing something in that ‘verse so…

I’ve consulted the Holders of Fanon™ over at the Discord (ie Pepperdoken! and frolic/wafflelate) regarding the… lineage?… of crow summoners because your statement is very loaded and I’m not sure whether or not you know that… so… um… here are some feels which are only peripherally related to Sakako that I’ll attempt to disguise with drama/mystery?

Walking Around (Flying Together)

After the sixth time Sakako summons Hansha on a mission–in all fairness, five of those were legitimate emergencies–the hawk gives her and Dad an ultimatum:

“It was fine when she was still a chick, but now she flies.” Hansha says, wings lifting partially in an awkward imitation of a human shrug. As if she, too, disliked the situation but had no choice but to comply. “She must sign a contract with us or I can no longer fly with her.”

Sakako and Dad exchange a glance. She’s not entirely sure what expression is on her face, but it must be telling, because Dad responds to Hansha with a firm, “One week. I’ll talk to Garuda-sama personally, if need be, but give her one week to decide.”

Hansha bobs her head, another borrowed human gesture, before she leans forward. Sakako, obediently and somewhat sadly, does the same, bowing her head so that Hansha can  fondly preen through her hair even if it’ll mess up her braids.

It won’t be the last time, surely–even if Sakako doesn’t sign the hawk contract, surely Dad can summon Hansha to visit–but it feels so much like the end of something that Sakako can’t help but think she already misses this.

Sakako knows that when it comes to personal matters–emotions and goals and friendships–she’s fairly… slow. She likes taking her time to think things over, analyzing all of her options and pondering the differences. Surely such important life decisions deserve proper consideration?

Mum says it’s definitely her Nara side showing through–“though I’m sure Ino will say it skipped a generation with me”–while Dad says it’s something that the Uchiha clan could have used more of. Either way, it means that her parents are indulgent when she asks them questions about their own choice of summons.

Mum explains her logic: variety in combat abilities, clan tradition, the ever present drive to be stronger, a desperate need for someone she could trust unerringly.

Dad’s reasoning is shorter, but equally weighted: “Hawks eat snakes.”

Her parents are not the only one she asks.

“What about cats?” Itachi-oji suggests.

Sakako shrugs, mouth matching with a twist of uncertainty.

“The Uchiha clan had an alliance with the Neko-baa for generations.”

Sakako nods; she is the heiress, she should know her clan’s past.“I’ve been to Sora-ku,” she says, then considers the possibility. Denka and Hina are competent ninneko, they and their clowder would be reliable and trustworthy partners… but it’s not…

“It’s not what you want?” Itachi-oji asks. Sakako shakes her head.

Back to square one.

Understandably, the rest of the Uchiha clan ghosts aren’t keen on sharing space with the man who killed them.

Sakako has been helping them move on–a blend of her heiress and medium duties–and while some of them eagerly went on to the Pure Land without a second glance, others have elected to stay. Similar to Itachi-oji, but in separate areas of the compound.

Shisui-oji is one of them, but while he also avoids Itachi-oji’s ghost, he does so for an entirely different reason.

She’s been told that the Uchiha bloodline is prone to madness. Obsessive, possessive, consuming love that easily turns into insanity. But Sakako knows better–the most powerful Uchiha manifestation of love is not madness.

It’s guilt.

Mum’s career is long and storied. Literally. The amount of plays and movies inspired by some of her Mum’s adventures would be ridiculous if some of the more accurate and educational ones weren’t also occasionally shown at the Academy. Maybe that makes it even more ridiculous.

But there are some stories that aren’t shared with the public. Some that are just for her, Sakako falling asleep to the sound of Mum’s voice, quiet and somewhat scratchy and soothing despite the action of the tale.

There are a few that Mum holds back–with promises to tell her in the future when she’s older–but there’s one that doesn’t even get a mention.

In fact, the only reason that she knows it exists is because she stumbles on it by accident.

To Sakako, the majority of ghosts look like the living except for a slight translucence that wavers. When she was younger–before she could more clearly discern between them–it used to get her in trouble. She would look at a ghost or move around one and garner attention for her strange behavior. Thankfully she’d never been caught talking to one, but that has more to do with her reticent personality than luck.

The majority of ghosts.

There’s one in particular that looks different.

He glows, which is the biggest difference, a light so bright that she can’t actually make out his features. Just a vague, general shape. The only reason she knows it’s a ghost is because she’s the only one who can see him during the sporadic visits. He only shows up when Mum is around and given her traveling lifestyle, Sakako’s not sure how frequent he checks in with her.

Sakako can’t hear him, if he even is trying or capable of speaking, but she’s pretty sure he waved at her one time.

According to Kisuke-san, his name Aoba Yamashiro and he’s the First. The first what, he won’t elaborate, but the name alone is enough for her to work with.

He died before Sakako’s time, but he is far from forgotten. And besides, death is hardly an obstacle for her.

There’s a lot about the Uchiha which Sakako isn’t proud of–these are the histories which she learns nonetheless, because to forget them puts her fledgling clan in danger and already she will not stand for that–but there are others which are valuable. Tales that, like her Mum’s stories, are an important part of her heritage.

She will not sign a contract with the hawks or the deer, but her parents’ reasons applicable in their own way.

A balance of clan tradition and personal necessity. Flight and shadows, sharp eyes and sharper minds. Someone that she can trust.

Crow summoners may not have had the kindest of fates, but Sakako knows that fate is something that can be changed.

~

A/N2: I’m not terribly keen on the ending… but hopefully it’s still a fun read? Also, for all my pestering of the Holders of Fanon™ I only barely mentioned Shisui?! Ugh, I’m awful… a disgrace to the discord.

13 days until the show!

I meant that it wasn’t a “would you ever write” question, lol. :) And I meant “he” in reference to Ibiki. In my mind it went “Aoba talks to Kisuke, who reports to Ibiki, and because of that close interaction, Aoba has to deal with how scary Ibiki is as well as the various deities.”

Oh, okay. That makes sense. 🙂

I think there’d definitely be one point when Aoba is getting menaced by a deity and in his head he’s just like… Ibiki is way scarier than this. And then he’d be horrified by the thought of Ibiki being himself with additional ~CELESTIAL POWERS~ and that’s what makes him flinch.

It’s not really in theme with the ask box event, but I just re-read the Fear to Tread tag, and I wondered if Ibiki would scare Aoba in that because he was acting as the go-between between Kisuke and the real world, being in that department? But I’m not sure if ghost-ninja reports to anyone above the Hokage?

Oh, there’s no official theme of the ask box event, it’s just a pattern I noticed with ask box events–certain vibes happen and then compounds on itself, a little bit like ripples building up to a wave.

Fear to Tread is such a neat ‘verse isn’t it? We still get those delightfully angsty post Land of Hot Springs feels but we also still get to enjoy Aoba’s presence!

I’m not sure if I understand the question though… is the “he” acting as go-between for Kisuke and the real world meant to refer to Ibiki or Aoba?

I’m pretty sure Kisuke’s existence is an S-rank secret known only to Ibiki, Shizune, Tsunade, Sasuke, and Shikako? I don’t think they would have included another person even if it would mean less work for Ibiki.

Mostly I just mentioned Ibiki as being someone Aoba is afraid of because even if he is beyond death, he’ll probably always be scared of Ibiki a little bit. And part of it is hyperbole, a continuous exaggeration of Ibiki’s naturally intimidating presence, but some of it is legitimately respectful fear: Ibiki has been through shit and only come out stronger (and sadistic).

“Fear to Tread”. the archangel Aoba one?

ANON, I GET THIS REFERENCE! 😀

So the full quote is “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread” and it’s basically what it says on the tin–rash people attempt things that wise/more experienced people avoid. But if we take it literally (in the sense that post Land of Hot Springs!Aoba is now god in the making!Shikako’s first archangel) then this would be an Aoba afterlife shenanigans fic.

Or maybe not shenanigans. Maybe something honestly frightening for Archangel!Aoba to do. And, like, what would scare an archangel who has already died?

I have two very different answers to this.

The first is “the god that killed him,” AKA Jashin who HATES Shikako for denying him entry into the world and drowning it in pain and despair and thus hates Aoba by proximity. And this version of the fic would be some actual feels of Aoba overcoming this fear for the sake of being Shikako’s celestial ambassador/advocate and making sure they don’t smite her while she’s mortal.

The second is Ibiki.

And, well, that is funny. But at the same time could lead him to coming to terms with being dead. Peeking in on the world of the living and being sad at no longer being able to return, but also knowing that he has a purpose now and there is no going back now. Although, if he does make contact with Kisuke and get him to be Shikako’s second archangel that would be a method to get messages across…

But both of those ideas are important to the brainstorm, not really separate spinoffs. Frankly, anon, the archangel Aoba brainstorm doesn’t have a title so “Fear to Tread” would be good for the entire idea as a whole…

Sorry, I don’t really know what else to do with this. I mean, I have more ideas about the archangel!Aoba ‘verse than what was the original post, but most of that I passed along to @captainlibrarynerdstuff so I don’t know what they might or might not want to use…

Loved your Gardens!verse prompt! Just fyi, but waffle has also done a time traveling Aoba+Shikako series that’s AMAZING (from the Jashin clusterfuck back to Gelel). It was recently indexed, so you should be able to find the links to it pretty easily if you’re interested.

Thanks! I’ll try to check it out–I just linked the newer googledoc index page over @dosbysilverqueen but it appears to be requiring permission now? Or is my link wrong? It worked a few days ago… T_T