Stars Also Dream, Santa, Things you said in the spur of the moment

Stars Also Dream, 56) things you said in the spur of the moment

“One day, I’m gonna fly,” he says, full of conviction, eyes trained upwards at a flock of birds soaring through the sky. He’s not there yet, but he will be.

Kyougi throws a piece of rubble at him, Santa yelps in over exaggerated pain. “Your feet are on the ground, which is where your eyes should be too. The faster we get this done, the better.”

Chinatsu, far more dutiful, gives a soft chuckle at her teammates’ antics nonetheless. The disapproving tongue click that their sensei gives is less fond.

Properly scolded, Santa turns his gaze downward, resuming his share of their D-rank. “One day, I’m gonna rescue a princess,” Santa mutters, as he sorts through the debris. If he can keep him and his team distracted maybe they won’t have to think about what they’re doing. He knows it’s not something he should be complaining about–rebuilding in the weeks after the Kyuubi Attack is important, sure, that doesn’t mean he can’t wish for a more exciting mission.

Or at least one that isn’t so depressing.

“As if,” Kyougi says, rolling her eyes, but still playing along, “We’re going to be stuck with smugglers or farmers all through our career.”

“Hey! Don’t besmirch farmers! Your clan head’s wife is a farmer!” he points out.

“No, Yoshino-sama is a shinobi. Her parents were farmers. As are a good percentage of all of our clans,” Kyougi argues, logically and methodically.

“Yeah! Exactly!” Santa agrees, before pausing, thinking, then, “Wait, what?”

“There aren’t a lot of princesses to be rescued,” Kyougi continues, “And I doubt we’ll ever be chosen to go on a mission to do the rescuing.”

“Not with that attitude,” Santa snipes back.

Tokumei-sensei clicks his tongue again, before pointing at a fallen wall, aiming them wordlessly as if they were simple beasts of burden. Still, he and Kyougi fall silent once more as they and Chinatsu head in that direction.

Chinatsu lifts up the wall while he and Kyougi reach underneath. Grimly, they pull the body out, another black ringed scroll to be sorted through later and returned to any next of kin.

They’re quiet for a while after. Miserable and quiet, which is probably what their sensei prefers.

Chinatsu is the one to break the silence, “I’d like to fly someday, too.“ 

~

A/N: A bit of a prologue to Stars Also Dream in which these three genin have no idea what’s in store for them. The spreadsheet of DoS timeline and OCs was very helpful–and given how long it took me to address this prompt even with such a short fill, I really needed as much help as I could get! O_O

Kyougi Nara is an SQ original. Chinatsu Akimichi is dona’s. And their awful Hyuuga sensei is Pepperdoken’s. 

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40, Kako and Kamaru, AU of (They Call It) Soulless in that a bunch of Shinobi have been in stasis in Konoha General since the Kyuubi attack

(They Call It) Soulless40) things you said when you met my parents

Kako says that a single action should, ideally, solve at least three problems simultaneously. “Power is one thing, but if you don’t apply it properly, efficiently, then it may cause more harm than good. And anyway,” she says with a smile, ruffling Kamaru’s hair, “if you only need one solution to multiple problems, then you have all the more time to be lazy.”

Kamaru understands this lesson immediately, but putting it into practice is slightly more difficult. He tries to look to Kako’s actions as an example and it only manages to bring up more questions.

Kako has been teaching him medical jutsu–another thing which Kamaru understands in theory, but struggles in application–whenever their free time overlaps, no matter how tired she is, so surely the problems it must be solving are either multitude or important. Probably both.

He thinks he’s figured out a couple of them: medical jutsu is a valuable skill, regardless of if he wants to be a field shinobi or not, and if he can reduce his medical costs then that will help with their financial situation. But what else?

Kamaru wouldn’t say he’s particularly rebellious or mischievous or anything like that. Yeah, sometimes he skips class with Chouji and Kiba and Naruto, but really it’s because lessons can be so boring and Iruka-sensei always gets angry when he naps. And anyway, Kako hardly ever minds; actually, it’s almost as if she approves, fondly asking after his friends and their chosen adventure of the day.

So Kamaru wouldn’t call himself a rule breaker, per se, but he can be–when the occasion calls for it–rather curious.

Kako never outrightly tells him not to go to Konoha General. She never speaks of Konoha General at all, really. Whenever either of them end up needing a fully trained medic, she brings them to the smaller Nohara clinic even if it’s on the other side of the village. As far as she’s concerned, Konoha General might as well not exist.

Kamaru doesn’t feel the need to borrow trouble, and so he stays away from Konoha General up until a genin runner interrupts class and gives a hushed but rushed message to Iruka-sensei… whose eyes dart directly to Kamaru.

Kamaru may want to avoid trouble, but apparently trouble has no problem going after his sister.

Kamaru knows that Kako keeps things from him. Not out of malice, of course, but because she doesn’t think he needs to know: she wants to protect him, thinks he’s not yet old enough. He trusts her, knows she only has his best interests at heart, but it can be frustrating.

It’s not a surprise, really, that the one who spills this particular secret isn’t Kako at all, but her weird senbon-obsessed senpai, Genma.

Kamaru thinks he should be angry at her–their parents are alive! Have been alive this whole time! Why didn’t she tell him sooner? Why didn’t she tell him at all–but she’s hurt and unconscious after taking on a third Soulless and she’s taking so long to wake up that any anger he does have dissipates in the face of his more overwhelming worry.

“It’s not a fair exchange,” Kamaru mutters to the door leading to the sealed off portion of the hospital–as close as visitors are allowed to get to those trapped in stasis, as close as Kamaru has been to their parents since the few weeks after he was born, “Knowing you’re here doesn’t mean anything. She needs to wake up,” he rubs at his chest, the fabric of his shirt suddenly rough against the patch of skin where his marks lay invisible, “I don’t care if you’re trapped here forever, as long as she’s okay.”

~

A/N: Ahahaha… haha… yeah, it’s not really “meeting” but uh… considering they went into stasis before Kamaru could talk, his first words to his parents are pretty harsh? O_O

Also, there’s only two prompts in my ask box for this event–I’ll list them under the cut so the anons who sent them in will know I am have received them. If you sent one in but neither of them are yours, then please resend them–tumblr probably ate them. Or, if you haven’t sent one in but you’d like to please go for it! I know I’ve been rather lax in the past few weeks (and will probably continue to be so for the next few what with it being May) but I do love getting prompts and I will get to them when I can. Thank you for sticking with me! 🙂

  1. anonymous: team 7 living together scenario, 22) things you said after it was over
  2. anonymous: trailblazers, 10YL, tetsuki+sasagawa sibs, 32) things you said I wouldn’t understand

Flip to the Last Page, Nara Twins, 32) Things you said I wouldn’t understand

donapoetrypassion:

jacksgreysays:

Flip to the Last Page, 32) things you said I wouldn’t understand

“I just need some time,” your sister says, eyes looking everywhere but at you. She’s packing, grabbing things at random, placing then removing then folding then replacing, anything to keep her hands busy.

“I just need to be alo–I just need some space,” she stammers, and you can’t hear anything in your head to refute that mostly because she’s slammed a wall on your connection, metal bars and concrete.

As the two of you grew, so did your control over your connection. No more the constant, unconscious flow of childhood–thoughts more often impressions than words–now you can utilize it strategically: plans and intel, Jounin Commander in the making. Or, rather, you would if your sister weren’t blocking you out.

“I just need to think,” she says, and this third time hits the worst because you know if she were letting her thoughts seep through, you’d hear the added “by myself.”

Futilely, you try to send your arguments through her barrier: why can’t you think here? You’re already cutting me off, obviously you’ve made space for yourself. Why won’t you stay?

If she hears anything, she doesn’t respond beyond the flattening of her mouth into a tight, tense line.

The two of you are supposed to be a team, siblings, friends, partners. She makes it seem as if your twin bond is nothing more than a prison. One with a life sentence at that.

That makes her soften, her furrowed brow transitioning from frustrated to contrite, but no less determined.

“I just… need to know that I’m not making things worse.”

~

A/N: VERY BELATED, VERY SHORT, VERY SORRY DONA! Apparently there’s a little bit more needed from me for Geek Show and also May is a hectic month for me in general. Also, FttLP is a massive mystery to me still despite it being something I wrote…

I feel sorry for this Shikamaru. He’s grown up around Shikako like a vine around a trellis.

I’m still trying to work how how different he is from DOS Shikamaru- he must be, at least in the “does not instinctually trust the village” sense.

…I don’t know if he even looks at his dad as a guide as much as he does his sister. He admires him, yes. But he wouldn’t instinctively go to him for things the way DOS Shikamaru would. And when he thinks about being Jounin Commander, it’s as a set. Even when he disagrees with Shikako, he’s responding to her. He’s not deciding things on his own.

I’m not sure he’d deal with losing her as well as Hiashi did. (To the extent that Hiashi was able to deal with it “well.”)

…I’m a little curious that Shikako might seek Hiashi out on this. She’s not gonna be able to go to anyone when she worries her existence will disrupt the future. But worries that she’s stunting her brothers growth as a person (and that Shika may be letting her)… maybe she can share that. I definitely got the feeling she was talking about both things when she said “making things worse.”

FttLP!Shikamaru is very different from DoS!Shikamaru (who is very different from canon!Shikamaru, of course). I wouldn’t say FttLP!Shika is more dependent than DoS!Shika–since I interpret a lot of DoS!Shika’s current frustration to be that he can no longer consider himself “Kako’s protector”–but there’s definitely a weird dynamic going on. Like, FttLP!Shika knew from the beginning that Shikako is a reincarnated adult and that she has knowledge that no one else does. While FttLP!Shikako had the same issues with chakra and some social anxiety like DoS!Shikako, which would prompt a similar protectiveness in FttLP!Shikamaru, there was still a sort of… he looked to her as the font of knowledge/experience whereas, as you said, DoS!Shikamaru would definitely go to their dad for instead.

The Nara twins would not be nearly as good at dealing with the other’s loss as Hiashi arguably was. Mostly because Nara are… not “designed,” per se, but trained? encouraged? to rely on strategic/critical thinking whereas the Hyuuga are more about full sight and reflexes… I probably ought to write more about the comparison/contrast of the different sets of twins…

Flip to the Last Page, Nara Twins, 32) Things you said I wouldn’t understand

Flip to the Last Page, 32) things you said I wouldn’t understand

“I just need some time,” your sister says, eyes looking everywhere but at you. She’s packing, grabbing things at random, placing then removing then folding then replacing, anything to keep her hands busy.

“I just need to be alo–I just need some space,” she stammers, and you can’t hear anything in your head to refute that mostly because she’s slammed a wall on your connection, metal bars and concrete.

As the two of you grew, so did your control over your connection. No more the constant, unconscious flow of childhood–thoughts more often impressions than words–now you can utilize it strategically: plans and intel, Jounin Commander in the making. Or, rather, you would if your sister weren’t blocking you out.

“I just need to think,” she says, and this third time hits the worst because you know if she were letting her thoughts seep through, you’d hear the added “by myself.”

Futilely, you try to send your arguments through her barrier: why can’t you think here? You’re already cutting me off, obviously you’ve made space for yourself. Why won’t you stay?

If she hears anything, she doesn’t respond beyond the flattening of her mouth into a tight, tense line.

The two of you are supposed to be a team, siblings, friends, partners. She makes it seem as if your twin bond is nothing more than a prison. One with a life sentence at that.

That makes her soften, her furrowed brow transitioning from frustrated to contrite, but no less determined.

“I just… need to know that I’m not making things worse.”

~

A/N: VERY BELATED, VERY SHORT, VERY SORRY DONA! Apparently there’s a little bit more needed from me for Geek Show and also May is a hectic month for me in general. Also, FttLP is a massive mystery to me still despite it being something I wrote…

(They Call It) Soulless, #8, Kamaru

(They Call It) Soulless,  8) things you said when you were crying

Kako says that the things he learns at the Academy are more like general suggestions than hard and fast rules. “The point of the Academy is to standardize everything so that shinobi who haven’t worked with each other before can function as a team if needed. Teamwork is Konoha’s forte, after all,” she says, “But even concepts that sound good have their faults.”

Kako says a lot of things like that, things that force Kamaru to reconsider what other people say. Look underneath the underneath. Mostly, it’s just to prompt him into critical thinking, but there are some Academy lessons that she outrightly dismisses, practically spitting on them.

“A shinobi must never show emotion?” Kako sneers, reading over Kamaru’s shoulder at his homework on the kitchen table, “How stupid.”

Kamaru blinks, looks up at his sister, surprised. More for her venomous tone than the opinion itself.

Kako sighs, softens, explains. She tries to find teaching moments in everything. Sometimes, Kamaru wonders what she’s preparing him for. “Of course, professionalism is important while on duty, and stoicism in the face of danger can be a shield of sorts, but to say never is overly restrictive and impossible to do. Also, emotions can be weapons of their own. Well. I don’t need to tell you that, you’ve met Gai-senpai.”

Kamaru shudders. Yes, he has met his sister’s zealously enthusiastic senpai.

“Not to mention things like killing intent or positive intent… And for all that we’re shinobi, we’re still human. Emotions and all.”

Kamaru nods, marks a bold line through rule #25 on his homework, and keeps going. But he doesn’t really consider the entirety of this conversation until later in the evening, after he’s gone to bed then woken back up, thirsty and blearily walking to the kitchen practically still asleep.

Kako is already there–mostly because their apartment is so small that the kitchen is also their dining and living room–standing in front of the framed picture of their parents, the small stone tablet with their names on the shelf beside it.

It’s the closest thing their parents have to a gravestone. After they died, the Nara had offered to bury their father in the clan graveyard with his family. But they hadn’t extended the offer to their mother.

Unsurprisingly, Kako had refused. “They would want to be together,” she had said. Kako hadn’t cried then.

She’s crying now.

“It’s harder than I thought it would be,” she says to the two dimensional faces of their parents.

Kamaru freezes in place, unable to move forward.

“But I’m going to keep doing it. Even if you wouldn’t approve. I have to protect him. I don’t know if you would have let me. Sometimes I think… it’s awful… but I know that a few weeks more and you would have followed procedure.”

Kamaru’s thoughts whirl. What procedure? He’s pretty sure that Kako is talking about him, but what is she referring to? Her next words send him retreating to his room.

“I can’t help but wonder if maybe it was for the better that you’re gone.”

oh mmyyyyyyy gooooodddddddneeeesssss. that latest shikako snippet? whoa! just whoa!! i’m a mess????

donapoetrypassion:

jacksgreysays:

😀 Yay! That’s what I was going for, anon.

it was an idea that snowballed–I went literal with the heart matter, then @donapoetrypassion added some spirituality to it (along with prompting the They Call It (Soulless) ficlet), so then I figured since we were escalating I might as well raise to divinity (or, rather, lower to devilry?)

One night -many years and many midnight bargains later- the man at the crossroads is Shikamaru Nara.

“You have a child,” what’s left of his sister says, frowning. “Why are you doing this?” Her voice is too flat. Her face is too young. It’s been that way for quite awhile.

He still loves her. Even the her she is without a heart.

And he does have a child. A little boy, Shikadai. Baby-powder sweet and gummy-smiled.

But this is about responsibility as much as love. Shikamaru’s little boy will grow up in this world. Shikamaru can’t let it be a worse one than his was, growing up.

(It’s about love, too. He’d looked in the photo albums, and found what he thought was Shikadai, giving another gummy smile while holding the hand of someone just out of the picture. But the picture was too old, and Shikamaru had never smiled like that as an infant. He’d looked at the picture of his sister, his baby boy’s aunt who shared his smile, and realized what he lost. What they all had.)

It was Temari, really, who gave him the idea. The notion that a siblings’ heart was something he could get back. It was Kankuro who gave him the stories of puppeteers losing too much of thrmselves, or just enough.

There’s risk in this. Maybe too much. But he did at least have the sense to talk this decision over with his wife, and she approved of him trying. (He’s glad he married Temari. He can’t imagine anyone else really… understanding. What it means to love someone who might not be in a place to return that. What it means to hope.)

Shikamaru Nara has to give up something. He has to give up something real, to even have a chance at his sister back.

But he won’t make his sister’s mistake. He won’t give up too much.

…This will work.

“I’m not giving up my heart, or my soul, or my life,” Shikamaru Nara says calmly. “I’m giving up my other arm.”

(Shikako cries. When she gets back. When they stagger home. When her parents hug her. When a wide-eyed teenage Kino treats her gently. She hates crying, but does it like she’s pouring out all the things she didn’t get to feel for years.

She is.

As for the grief, and self blame- and shameful gratitude- of Shikamaru getting her soul back (at the cost of his other arm, his last one, no, please, no)… she feels so much she doesn’t know what to do with it.

She comes back to a world where the war is over. Where her friends are figuring out how to be not just adults but parents, and she’s figuring out how not to be the Shikabane-hime.

No one says much, about her having a soul now. It’s not exactly public knowledge that she didn’t.

They notice that she ages properly now, for a given value of properly. Growing taller, face growing thinner, and one day, nearly a year later, Shikako notices a white streak in her hair. Tsunade tells her that her strange stop-start aging was likely a side-effect of losing all that life energy as a child. Her life span might be a decade shorter. Not more. (It won’t be longer. Not as long as she had feared. Shikako goes home and cries in relief, in her bed where no one else can see her. Then she gets up and goes back to her life).

AHHHHHHH! SHIKAMARU TAKING ON A DEVIL TO GET HIS SISTER BACK! And, like, why wouldn’t he? He already took on a god. (Never mind they were both sort of his sister also)

oh mmyyyyyyy gooooodddddddneeeesssss. that latest shikako snippet? whoa! just whoa!! i’m a mess????

😀 Yay! That’s what I was going for, anon.

it was an idea that snowballed–I went literal with the heart matter, then @donapoetrypassion added some spirituality to it (along with prompting the They Call It (Soulless) ficlet), so then I figured since we were escalating I might as well raise to divinity (or, rather, lower to devilry?)