Shikako / Sasuke – canonDOS – 3) things you said too quietly

Down Every Road (four: hunter and nukenin, the remix),
3) things you said too quietly

He couldn’t have stopped her.

He never could stop her from doing what she thought needed to be done. Never thought he would need to stop her, because as far as they’ve known each other–for as long as they’ve worked together, fought together, been together–she was always right about what needed to be done.

Or, at least, that’s what he had always thought.

“Shikako Nara attacked the Hokage,” says acting Hokage Councilor Shimura, “She is guilty of high treason and must be brought to justice.”

Behind him, Komachi and Towa make no noise, ANBU stealth and stoicism combined. Sasuke struggles to make Hawk do the same.

“Hunt her down,” Councilor Shimura continues, voice apathetic and so hateful to Sasuke’s ears, “Terminate her,” he finishes, eyeing Hawk specifically.

The three ANBU bow: dutiful, respectful, silent. If ANBU Hawk’s bow is a little belated, a little too shallow, then who is to say?

Red Team–short one member, of course, and now he wonders how long it will take Komachi and Towa to connect the dots, wonders at the wisdom and cruelty both of Councilor Shimura to send them on this mission, if the latter had been so important to him as to outweigh the former–has barely spent a minute at HQ before another bird masked ANBU approaches them.

“I have been temporarily assigned to Red Team to aid you on your current mission. I am codenamed Crow.“ 

Behind his own mask, Sasuke blinks, perplexed. He knows this is Sai. He just doesn’t know what the play is here. More cruelty, perhaps. He knows Sai is one of Councilor Shimura’s, so this could be extra insurance that Red Team does their job. But he also knows that, beyond all reason, Shikako trusted him anyway. That Sai had gone above and beyond to save Shikako from Councilor Shimura, to break her out from her own mind when no one else could.

Sasuke is looking at either a spy or a saboteur.

He’s not sure which he would prefer.

Red Team with Crow in tow depart from the village as soon as possible. Standard protocol for hunting missions.

Red Team isn’t designed for this–Red Team shouldn’t even be on this mission, for logistical and obvious, possible emotional compromising reasons–but that doesn’t mean they won’t at the very least appear to be completing their mission to the best of their abilities.

Everyone knows that the first seventy two hours are the most critical when it comes to hunting nukenin.

Hawk doesn’t have a moment of privacy to create a shadow clone and send it back until four hours later, and so by the time Sasuke is able to ask around the news has already been twisted around into rumors.

Shikako Nara has cracked under the pressure. Accelerated promotions getting to her, unable to handle her rank.

Shikako Nara has been turned. A sleeper agent from another country, she’s always been suspiciously friendly to foreign nin.

Shikako Nara is just like that snake. Didn’t you know? They encountered each other during the chunin exams.

Shikako Nara isn’t the villain here–it’s the jounin commander using his daughter, trying and failing to enact a coup.

None of it is right. All of it is useless.

The only pieces he finds to be true are that Shikako really did attack Tsunade-sama, who is even now still in the hospital, Shikaku-san is in T&I custody, and Councilor Shimura is acting Hokage.

But he already knew that.

He thinks maybe the worst part about all of this is that he doesn’t even know what the worst part is.

The first awful part of it is that he can’t figure out why. Why would Shikako attack Tsunade-sama?

Then there’s the terrible part in which he’s being sent to on a mission to kill her–which is both cruel and doesn’t make any sense to him, either.

And then there’s the whole disastrous situation with Sai and whether or not he’ll help or harm the mission… and whether or not Sasuke can convince the rest of Red Team to not fulfill their mission.

No, that’s a lie. He knows what the worst part is.

They catch up to Shikako in Land of Rivers.

No, Shikako lets them catch up to her.

Sasuke knows how easily it would be for her to stay ahead of them. Or to stay hidden from them. Or even to fight them, knock them out, and continue on her way.

She did this on purpose.

“Go home, Red Team” Shikako says, and if, somehow, Komachi and Towa didn’t already know the identity of Bat, then they know it now. “Tsunade-sama will need her best to protect her.”

“Protect her from what?” Komachi snipes back, quick temper flaring, “You’re the one who she needs protection from.”

Shikako shrugs, posture loose and casual and an utter lie. Then, bizarrely, she sticks her tongue out at them. No, at Crow. 

“Beware the strangling roots,” she says to them all, before melting into shadows. Red Team tries to pursue, but there is no further trail to follow.

The worst part is, she didn’t even ask him to go with her.

~

A/N: Belated fill is very belated and doesn’t really match the prompt, but hope you still enjoy, anon!

I know it says canonDoS, but my brain just really wanted to do a swapped roles version of Down Every Road two: hunter and nukenin, but obviously instead of Shikako being the hunter and Sasuke being the nukenin it’s the other way around. So it’s sort of canon compliant in an AU divergence kind of way? Or, like, I mean. It’s not been jossed yet so it’s not NOT canon? Uh…

Maybe I’ll go further down this road? I dunno, I have an idea for what probably happened, but since this is Sasuke’s POV I figure it’d be more in line if he just could not figure out what the hell was going on because… well… Sasuke.

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Would u ever write yoshino and sasuke interacting? Weather its canon dos or an au his ever so slow intergation into the nara fam is smth about alot

Yeeeeees. Yes I would.

I think really the only hesitation is that I’m not sure, as you mentioned, which ‘verse it should be in?

They have/would have a very interesting dynamic given that Sasuke deliberately curated his existence around his clan (or lack thereof) while Yoshino is a non-clan kunoichi married into one. It’s very different backgrounds. But they are united in their love/concern for Shikako which I imagine helps cross that bridge. And I think because of that, Yoshino helps Sasuke be himself as a person and not just the heir to a clan of madness and murder.

Which–that boy very much needs any help he can get.

That being said, here’s some small ficlets in various ‘verses because… funsies.

~

(DoS canon compliant)

Yoshino watches the boy, watches as he tries–so hesitant, so clumsy–to play along with her daughter’s whimsical mood. It is a bittersweet feeling, more bitter than sweet to be fair, that burbles up within her.

She smiles and tries to make sure there is no sadness on her face.

A part of her is ashamed. The Last Uchiha is not a person: the Last Uchiha is a symbol, an ideal, a risk in the making. The Last Uchiha certainly isn’t a child who doesn’t remember what it’s like to have family dinners. The Last Uchiha isn’t a younger brother who never learned to stand up for himself. The Last Uchiha couldn’t be this boy in her house so broken and scared but trying, trying so hard, in need of just one person to look beyond that title and see the truth.

There was no Last Uchiha, there was only Sasuke, struggling under the burden of his name.

Yoshino draws closer, places a hand on Shikako’s shoulder–a close yet not close enough proxy for the comforting hug she wants to give to her daughter’s teammate instead. Sasuke still startles at affection, though at least he no longer looks as hunted as used to in the beginning.

“Will you be staying over for dinner?” Yoshino asks, no pressure one way or the other. Still, he dithers, and so she has to add, “I bought some wonderful fresh tomatoes at the market.”

Neither her husband or any of her children have any strong feelings for tomatoes.

After another considering beat, Sasuke nods.

///

(Somewhere Down Road One)

Something about the situation still sits uneasily with Yoshino, even though she’s received assurances from everyone involved.

Fugaku and Mikoto are kinder than she had expected–than she had feared–polite nearly to the point of stiffness, but just as shocked by the proposal as she and Shikaku had been. Originally they were suspicious–perhaps they had heard about Shikako’s hypersensitivity–but soon enough they became not only accepting but excited… relieved?… at the idea.

Shikaku, she knows, only wants what is best for their daughter. He has no doubt run through all the possible outcomes and decided that if this is something Shikako wants–and it is, even after the tediousness of the discussions, something their daughter wants–then of course he will do his best to arrange this engagement.

Never mind their own rocky history with such things. Never mind that Shikako is still a child and yet devoted to this plan with a steely determination that has nothing to do with a newly blossoming crush.

Sasuke is a good boy, sweet and intelligent. He may one day be a good husband; Yoshino would understand her daughter having a crush on him. But Sasuke as a person barely seems to factor into the equation at all.

“Hello, Yoshino-san,” Sasuke greets her when she opens the door. She guides him inside and prepares some tea while he waits for Shikako. He is shy and a little nervous and halfway in love with her daughter already.

“Take care of your heart,” Yoshino says, warns, but does not ward off: she may be fond of Sasuke but Shikako is her daughter.

“Not Shikako’s?” Sasuke asks, innocently curious.

She shakes her head. No, it’s not her heart that Yoshino is worried about.

///

(Fire Fallow Cultivation)

“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” Yoshino-san says, and Sasuke glances up at her confused.

They are sitting at Shikako’s hospital bedside–a distressingly frequent settings for them–and until this moment Yoshino-san has been silent. Even during Tsunade-sama’s explanation, right before the Hokage left to deal with–in her words–literally any other patient.

“You don’t think they’re beautiful?” Yoshino-san asks, prompting Sasuke into responding lest he be considered rude.

“Think what is beautiful?”

Yoshino-san eyes him carefully and Sasuke has to remember to keep breathing: it’s far from hostile, but the assessing gaze is different than what he’s used to from Shikako. Similar to Shikamaru’s pointed analysis.

“Tsunade-sama’s wings, of course,” Yoshino-san says simply, as if she weren’t turning his world on its ear.

During his occasional research he was never able to find even a reference to the wings–for her to just casually mention them…

“You can see them, too?”

… he’s not alone.

~

Check out the Ask Box Would You Ever!

Haaha, I really enjoyed Very Far Down Road One!! (“WHISTLE” by BLACKPINK actually came on while I was rereading and that made it even more fun lolol)

😀

Thanks! It’s a very fun ‘verse to play in, mostly because instead of horrific tragedy of the century the Uchiha clan are a bunch of comedic dorks which Shikako is marrying into.

(And that song is pretty relevant, so nice choice!)

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…

jacksgreysays:

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.

Man, I could read about how Sasuke is g o n e for Shikako ALL DAY. I love the Road One snippets. Also, congrats for getting in to the writing workshop! I hope you have fun and learn something useful.

Thanks! (For both!) 😀

Regardless of whether or not they end up together, I just cannot unsee Sasuke being in love with Shikako so it’s not HARD to get into his head but its also a little embarrassing because… boy, please, a little restraint. (Nah, I’m just kidding. It’s way too amusing to interpret Sasuke as a lovestruck fool. And I mean that in the fondest of ways)

The writing workshop is very much for scripts–which I only have limited, unofficial experience in–as opposed to prose narrative which I do here and have developed more so it’ll definitely be a change of pace for me.

One of my many many “fantasies” is to write a podcast much in the style of Welcome to Nightvale, so this is a step in the right direction for sure.

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

jacksgreysays:

… OOooooOOOH!! I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH THIS! 😀

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.

42 + Sasuke and Shikako + Time Loop!AU

I would love you more
if you were someone who could love me.

(buy your love by playing make believe)

The first go around, Shikako doesn’t trust him. Not completely.

That’s fine–Sasuke doesn’t trust her completely either. (Not yet)

He wants power more than he wants her trust, and so he succumbs to the temptation. Takes the serpent’s offer. Follows the destined, straying path.

He becomes more powerful than he could ever dream.

The first go around, he hasn’t yet learned that Shikako’s trust will make him even more so.

///

The second go around, he’s in shock.

He must be.

That can be the only explanation for why he lets his family die.

It’s less about revenge and more about self-destruction when he follows that same, straying destiny.

///

The third go around is when he starts trying to change things. Hope, like poison, coursing through his veins.

But for all his suffering he doesn’t know enough (not yet) and so it’s all just empty flailing.

///

Fourth through sixth he starts to suspect that he’s not the only one who knows what’s going on.

Shikako reacts differently from everyone else, reacts the way someone whose expectations have gone unfulfilled.

Which means she has expectations.

Beyond the expectations for Sasuke Uchiha, youngest son of Fugaku and Mikoto Uchiha. Beyond the expectations for Sasuke Uchiha, Itachi Uchiha’s younger brother. Beyond the expectations for Sasuke Uchiha, best fighter, most popular boy, and second ranked student of his class.

She knows something.

And as he’s learned over and over again, knowledge is what he desperately needs.

///

The seventh, Shikako disappears.

He only speaks to her once: two children on a playground, not even at the Academy yet, no possible threat to anyone.

The official report is that Cloud ninja took her, but Sasuke isn’t that foolish boy he once was.

(It was Danzo, of course it was; he’s the only one Shikako ever truly feared. And for good reason.)

He never forgives himself for that one.

///

Eighth is about atonement.

(Aren’t they all about atonement?)

He focuses on his friends, on their happiness and their safety.

He is kind and he is loved and he is killed very early on.

(But not after Shikako, this he makes certain)

The world is not a peaceful place. (Not yet)

He has to make it so.

///

After a while, it becomes less about succeeding–whatever that might mean–and more about learning.

He learns, in depth, about the Uchiha clan politics (and later decides not to revive the system)

He learns, no matter how heartbreaking, about his brother’s internal struggles (after so many lives, he knows that Itachi was just a child torn in too many directions).

He learns, to his own surprise, about the ghosts of Kakashi’s past (the traumas as much a part of him as the Sharingan in his eye socket).

He learns, pieced together from crumbs and rubble, far more about Naruto’s heritage than he himself ever does (how much grief would they all be spared if Sasuke could actually travel through time instead of just loop).

But most of all, he learns about Shikako.

///

Power is nothing without wisdom.

~

A/N: … this was going to be a very different ficlet, anon, about Sasuke and Shikako’s relationship in different loops. Except then I realized that I have the Down Every Road series and a lot of the things I was coming up with would fit better there rather than in a specific ‘verse in which Sasuke was looping.

And also it’d get kinda skeezy after a while.

Erm. But it does kinda make this anticlimactic, I suppose…

:/

It was a lovely prompt, anon, I’m just sorry I couldn’t do it justice.

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.]