Dreaming One Shots — now on ao3!

jacksgreysays:

Combining all of my Dreaming of Sunshine recursive one shots into one collection called Dreaming One Shots on archiveofourown.

For now this includes:

  1. Becoming a Legend
  2. Stories of Ancient Gods
  3. Netsui/Shikako Three Sentence Fic
  4. Dropped Off Stitches (On The Loom Of Fate)

Check it out here!

Have also uploaded:

5.  Chances Gone By
6.  You and Me and Baby (Makes Fifteen)

Chances Gone By, a Toki/Shikako fic (2016-05-27)

Or, Five Conversations Toki Almost Had With Shikako

She is still running on the tumultuous rush of avenging her family and revealing her secret and endangering her life and killing a man and opening her lands to his people and the chanting of her name by her own people and the sudden ticking of the watch she thought forever broken and–

Toki is grateful for Shikako, an emotional port in the storm in the shape of a girl younger than herself with eyes that can be so warm and welcoming, but just as easily turn sharp like a steel blade. Toki feels safe around Shikako, a sensation she hasn’t had for such a long time–from even before Sagi was killed–and this is something she wants to have for as long as she can. Or, at least, bottle up to save for days when she can’t.

She thinks maybe–she wants this, she can have this, she deserves this–all she has to do is ask. But she is Daimyo now, truly, not just playacting in her brother’s place; she cannot be selfish anymore.

“You won’t stay will you?” Toki asks, even though she already knows the answer. It seems as if all good things leave her at one point or another.

Shikako smiles, and even though it is a small, slanted thing, Toki wants to see more of it. “To tell you the truth, I’m not really trained for this. I’m making it up as I go along.”

And Toki laughs, the first real and honestly happy laugh she’s had since… gods, such a long time. Toki wants to return the favor, “The secret is… so am I.”

It’s successful, to some extent: Shikako’s smile blooms full and bright, and though she doesn’t laugh, Toki feels the warm flush of victory.

After a comfortable silence, Toki picks up the thread of conversation again. “What kind of training would you need? To be qualified for this, that is,” she asks, and hopes the question sounds interested without being desperate.

Shikako doesn’t seem to suspect anything, pondering the question seriously, “Well to begin with, for a body guarding mission in general, I’d need to be at least a chuunin. Our original mission was to help Chishima-san investigate the ghost sightings, but our missions tend to go in unexpected directions,” she flashes another smile alongside the understatement.

“But a mission of this caliber? With your status and not to mention the matter of the Watari clan…”

Toki was hoping to put off thinking about that particular spontaneous decision until tomorrow at least.

“… Well, they’ll probably have at least a special jounin on the replacement team, if not higher.” Shikako shrugs, as if to say the matter is out of her hands. They settle back into a comfortable silence, and Toki finds herself drifting, soothed by the rhythm of Shikako’s breathing.

Toki understands, life doesn’t always work out so neatly or as immediately as hoped, but she can be patient. She can wait for Shikako to rise in rank.

On the day of Toki’s coronation, there are so many people fussing over her–her clothes, her hair, what she’ll say, where she’ll stand–that she finds she hardly has to worry about herself. Instead, she lets her eyes and thoughts rest on Shikako. She notices the way the younger girl, so confident against danger and battle, fidgets; fingers twisting with the end of her braid, hands alternately tugging and smoothing her clothes, eyes glancing over at her ruined sandals by the door.

“I have a kimono in your size, if you would like,” Toki offers. So many people fussing over Toki, Shikako deserves at least one person fussing over her.

The other girl looks up, a spill of pink spreading across her cheeks. Oh no, Toki didn’t intend to make her feel embarrassed.

“Come with me,” she says, and reaches out to hold one jittery hand in her own, “The palace has a bathhouse, and we both deserve more than just a quick wash after the days we’ve been through.”

Shikako laughs, a bright, brief giggle, before nodding, “That does sound amazing.”

Toki waves away the servants, and they obey, albeit anxiously. The two of them enjoy their baths, though they can’t linger for long: she does have a coronation to attend, after all. But it’s enough that Shikako relaxes, accepting the kimono without any protest and the aid of a servant to put it on. Toki’s own finery requires a team, but that is expected.

“Are you nervous?” Shikako asks, and while the servants working on Toki’s hair look at her with scandalized expressions, Toki herself is not offended. They have revealed greater truths to one another already.

“A little,” she admits, “but not as much as I thought I would be.”

When Toki is crowned daimyo of the Land of Birds–officially and as her true self–Shikako is standing, proud and protective, only a few steps away.

A few days later, more ninja from Konoha come, and Toki knows that means her ninja have to leave.

“This is Raido Namiashi,” Shikako introduces, “special jounin of Konoha.” Just like she predicted.

Toki is polite–she is the embodiment of her country now, she cannot be anything less–but she doesn’t want her last words in who knows how long to Shikako to be empty small talk. Shikako and her team are prepared to leave, but Toki calls out before they depart.

“Special jounin, right?”

The boys and Toki’s new bodyguard probably think she’s asking for confirmation of his rank, but Shikako nods answering a question that Toki hasn’t had the courage to ask out loud.

Shikako will be back one day, Toki knows, she just has to be patient.

Their reunion is actually far sooner than Toki expects, and all the more awkward for it. Standing between Raido and Hokuto at the Grass Chuunin Exams, she feels all too keenly the weight of her title, the distance between them.

Shikako, too, is with others. Her team–at least for the purposes of this exam–and another stand behind her, listening. They cannot be as intimate as they were before, but that does not mean Toki cannot be honest.

“You were a great help to me,” she says quietly, “So I’m glad that I can help you in turn, even with a small thing.” Toki draws the silver token given to her earlier from her sleeves, and holds it out to Shikako. “Good luck with your tests!”

The participants bow, Shikako included, and Toki wants so much to reach out, but she resists. They turn to leave, Toki lets them go.

“Toki,” Shikako calls back, “Chuunin first, then special jounin. You’ll see,” she smiles, and Toki would be lying if she said it hadn’t taken her breath away.

As daimyo, she is afforded an excellent seat during the tournament, even if her country is small. She watches, eagerly, and does not even pretend to be unbiased. But for all that she knows Shikako is a strong ninja, Toki only knows of her battle against other ninja second-hand–through Shikako and, later, Hokuto.

She knows Shikako is strong, doesn’t hold the first two fights against her even as the other audience members chatter in boredom. Her current bodyguards seem impressed, which means there is something about the fights that non-ninja cannot understand.

But everyone is blown away by her third fight.

“Chuunin, then special jounin,” Toki repeats to herself; maybe she won’t have to be so patient.

She has grown fond of Raido during his time as her bodyguard, he is a good shinobi and, more than that, a good man. Even his arguments with Hokuto, heated as they may be, are no longer as barbed as they were in the beginning. Konoha has sent her not only a bodyguard, but a skilled diplomat.

Regardless, he is not who Toki wants beside her. And Raido knows it.

Which is why, when Shikako is promoted to special jounin–not even a week after the Chuunin Exams–Raido is the one to bring the good news to Toki with an amused smile. But he also explains why Shikako cannot immediately return to Land of Birds–about special training and rotations in the Intelligence Division and, quietly, of preventing burn out.

Toki listens, understands. She was prepared to wait longer, before. She is only a little bit disappointed.

She is patient.

And it’s not as if she is just idly waiting: She has an entire country to run, a hidden village to build from the ground up alongside the Watari clan whose trust she is steadily gaining and vice versa. She is a daimyo going against tradition and the carefully crafted balance of the Elemental Nations. She is a busy woman, not just a girl waiting for a hero.

But she is still excited, a few months later, when Raido comes to her again, same amused smile, bringing news from Konoha.

Two days. It only takes two days for a ninja to travel from Konoha to the palace of Land of Birds.

When Shikako arrives, Toki is holding audiences with the public–a new monthly practice she’s implemented to better connect with her people. Like the others before her in line, Shikako goes to her knees and bows. When she rises, Toki can hear the murmurs–Shikako’s battle against the Kazekage during the Chuunin Exams put her on the map and, more specifically, she was an integral part of the Toki’s own rise to power. And the Watari clan’s settlement.

She is not an unfamiliar face, even before she introduces herself:

“Shikako Nara,” she says with a smile, “Special jounin of Konoha.”

(And One She Really Wanted To)

At night in Toki’s room, just the two of them, it feels like when they first met. It hasn’t even been a full year, and yet it might as well have been a different life. Toki, reeling from loss and anger, pretending to be someone else. Shikako, drifting and uncertain, injuring herself to survive enemies stronger than herself.

They are stronger and wiser and yet, in the darkness and silence, the same.

“I’m glad you’re here,” Toki says, low and soft.

In the moonlight, Shikako’s smile gleams. “So am I.”

~

A/N: WHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT UP!!!! I had to write this furtively as my family flitted in and out of my personal space, but HERE IT IS! For you, anonymous who wanted some Shikako/Toki. I hope you like it 😀

I will also add this to the Dreaming One Shots ao3, later.