Foundation Of Yesterday Shikako/Gaara

I’m getting definite “future people!POV looking back at the past” vibes and whether that means canon future people looking back at Gaara and Shikako’s relationship as distorted through time and drama (as with Winter in the Fields) or a historical!AU via epistolary and archaeological narration or some kind of “summoned and reunited in the future by heroes in desperate need of help” is a little uncertain.

Well… although I’m always somewhat reluctant to reuse ideas… this would be a pretty good title for that reverse Stories of Ancient Gods, aka the one where DoS is the ancient past of FFVII (instead of the other way around) and Shikako is a strangely proactive and human Summon while the bijuu/jinchuuriki are the WEAPONs.

And given Gaara and Shukaku are the Ichibi, it makes sense for them to be the first WEAPON that AVALANCHE (+Shikako) encounter.

Sort of this idea where Shikako and the bijuu/jinchuuriki are the failsafe to stop Kaguya/Jenova and were dormant for millennia until AVALANCHE awaken them.

So while Cloud and Company’s quest is to stop Sephiroth and save Midgar, Shikako (and Gaara’s) quest is to defeat Kaguya/Jenova once and for all. They’re in a strange world surrounded by strangers, trying to find and awaken the people they do actually know.

Obviously this fic would start with a member of AVALANCHE happening upon the strange Summon Materia that is Shikako’s Gelel stone. Whether or not it’s one of the team’s family heirloom or just something they stumble upon during their travels, I’m not sure…

I had considered it being Cloud’s family heirloom–in that, Shikako’s Gelel stone was entrusted to Naruto’s descendants–but given that Naruto is already one of the WEAPONs and will make his own, independent cameo that seemed unfair… even though appearance and the village pariah and naming convention parallels so nicely. Meh, that’s what Unto The Climate is for)

And then I felt sad because even though your prompt asks for Shikako/Gaara only, to have Naruto and Shikako appear and not Sasuke gave me feels. Team Seven must be complete!

So then, what, is it Sasuke’s descendants who have Shikako’s Gelel stone? Or does the Sharingan somehow enable Sasuke to manifest millennia into the future also?

If we go with the former, I was thinking maybe Shikako’s Gelel stone is just one of the many materia that Yuffie has without knowing what, exactly, it is. After all, it’s not the normal color for Summon Materia and she probably doesn’t use all of the materia she ends up getting. Alternatively, Sasuke has become Chaos?

He (accidentally) combined the Sharingan and the Curse Seal in such a way as to achieve (unwanted) immortality that Orochimaru could have only dreamed of, but the mortal mind is not meant to experience such a long period of time. The jinchuuriki are fine because they were mostly asleep while their bijuu are themselves walking forces of nature. Shikako was dormant in her Gelel stone. But Chaos/Sasuke didn’t have that cover. So he’s a little… crazy. Poor Vincent.

Although, Vincent being the only one to survive being imbued with Chaos because he was the only genetic descendant of Sasuke is pretty good? For an arguable definition of good.

Actually, yeah, I like that Sasuke-as-Chaos idea with Vincent-as-Sasuke’s-descendant. Perhaps Yuffie is just a descendant of one of Shikako’s brother’s? So as to keep the Gelel stone within the family even if they weren’t entirely sure what it would do.

… yeah, I like that better.

So with that foundation in mind, and through the lens of Shikako/Gaara, it would be Shikako and AVALANCHE (and Gaara and Chaos/Sasuke through Vincent) traveling around the world to stop Sephiroth, find the other WEAPONs/jinchuuriki/bijuu, and defeat Kaguya/Jenova ~forever~

And meanwhile there’s a lot of AVALANCHE!POV of these ancient beings and their bizarre conversations and behaviors.

Did Shikako and Gaara have A Thing before being turned into dormant last defenses for the planet but they hadn’t quite resolved their issues so now they’re tiptoeing around each other and AVALANCHE are just like… wtf. Even Ancients and WEAPONs have romantic drama?

~I don’t knoooooooooow, anon~

“There’s Nothing in this World (I wouldn’t do)” — I’m feeling very sympathetic to Shikako’s depressed collapse on the couch after her fight with Shikamaru in front of Sasuke, right now. It’s the Depression. Although I’m not particularly picky in terms of ‘verse, I’m hoping you’d have something that fits that sort of theme? ((the title is a reference to Avicii’s “Hey Brother”))

I don’t know if it’s my brain enjoying making connections, me having so many different AUs, or me being lazy, but I’m getting a sort of Dreaming of S(hade) vibe from the post. But, like, specifically the situation, not the ‘verse.

So, to be clear, it’d be about a Shikako who, while in a desperate battle, tries to use the night itself as a shadow (being the opposite side of the planet as the sun) and disperses herself into the void. Like with going into the black but on such a massive scale that, for the most part, very few people expect her to be able to come back.

Shikamaru is one of those people.

Shikamaru will damn well make sure she comes back even if he has to fight a hundred gods to do this.

So instead of letting her recover slowly in Suna, as in Dreaming of S(hade), Shikamaru goes on a quest to find a cure for her. Or, well, I guess they’re not exactly incompatible? He could make sure she’s settled in Suna before going off on his quest.

Which turns the dynamic around. Because we know they’re protective of each other, and we know Shikamaru would throw down with anyone that looked at her the wrong way, but Shikamaru is very… sedentary. He’s very earthbound and dedicated to the clan, the village. Shikako isn’t the crowned heir–she learns some things, yes, but she’s not the one who had to say the oath–so she has the luxury to travel as she does and follow her own pursuits.

So what if it’s Shikamaru who has to travel? What if he’s the one who has to put his intellect to work not in logistics and leadership as he’s been trained, but in sleuthing and translating and cobbling together snippets of a long ago technique that might just be able to help his sister?

Or, consider, it doesn’t even need to be specifically a B-side to Dreaming of S(hade) it could be a canon divergence fic. Post Land of Hot Springs, Shikako in all but a coma, lost to the world. Her family’s greatest fears come to pass–she doesn’t wake up, doesn’t snap out of it. Nothing Kasuga can think of works, the Sharingan (Sasuke’s and Kakashi’s both) can’t get through her defenses, whatever buzz word Sai used to get her out of the hospital doesn’t work (or, rather, Danzo doesn’t try to kidnap her so Sai doesn’t sneak in and smuggle her out of the hospital), and so she’s just lost.

Now–during the war, with their father on the front lines and Shikamaru needed at home as acting head–nothing can be done. But afterwards? Well. When Shikaku gets back, he’d be hard pressed to keep his heir in Konoha. And, in part, would he want to? He knows tradition would say to keep his heir safe–make sure the succession is unbroken–but when has he ever adhered to tradition?

So it is sort of a coming of age story for Shikamaru as he travels to find a cure for his sister and figures out who he is outside of Nara, outside of Konoha.

Which is, frankly bizarre to read now that I’ve typed it. Because… like… who even IS Shikamaru outside of Nara and Konoha?

The reason why I did bring up Dreaming of S(hade) first, instead of doing the post Land of Hot Springs!canon divergence, was because if Shikako is dispersed into the night (as the literal shadow of the world) then there could be some scenes from Shikako’s POV? Or he sort of interacts with her at night? Something that isn’t so turtled into herself that no one can reach.

I suppose it’s not so much about depression as you’d asked for, anon…

Indelible, a Dreaming of S(oulmates) tangent (2017-08-27)

A/N1: So psych_girl commented on the ao3 version of Dreaming of S(oulmates) about expanding on the different soulmate AUs, and I gave permission to write double recursive ficlets based on them (hopefully I’ll be able to reblog/post links here), but it put my mind on the subject and I hope I’m not swooping a ficlet out from under them.

So this one in particular is based on the AU (two: inkblot skin).


Shinobi will try to weaponize anything, a subconscious mindset more than active strategy: the symbiotic relationship of Aburame and their kikaichu, Inuzuka and their ninken, are just two examples of such.

Fuinjutsu had originally been created to transport Uzushio’s limited, but varied resources across their islands.

Even something as innocuous as flowers–the Yamanaka as much feared for their poisonous arrangements as their mind jutsu.

Soul marks–the transfer of ink and scars and blood from one soulmate to the other–are not exempt either.


The main issues preventing soul marks from monopolizing intel communications is that they’re not comprehensive and they’re not immediate.

Sometimes, something as insignificant as scraped knees or absentminded grocery lists will transfer over, while death blows and I love you’s remain on only one half. There doesn’t seem to be any correlation in emotion or strength of bond to explain what gets send and what doesn’t. And so something as important as mission specs or front line movements could never be entrusted to soul marks.

On top of that, any of them may transfer in minutes, in hours, in days–the longest recorded gap being three weeks. Again, nothing explaining the inconsistency: not distance, or age, or emotion.

But still, that doesn’t mean that soul marks don’t have very real, very dire consequences.


When his children are almost four years old, they both begin to wear headbands and refuse to take them off in front of anyone.

It doesn’t take a Nara to figure out the why, but the what, exactly, he will later admit to being… hasty.

In his defense, soulmates tend to be born near each other and there’s only one forehead mark in Konoha that is regularly covered up. Given that Shikaku has heard about what ought to be an internal Hyuuga clan matter–the marking of Neji Hyuuga at an abnormally young age, cruel even for a clan that habitually enslaves their own members–it’s a fairly logical assumption to make.

What he does afterwards is less logical and more… fiercely protective.


The Byakugan may not have been as storied as the Sharingan, but the Hyuuga’s dojutsu was more dependable and with the decline of the Uchiha–in both numbers and reputation–the Hyuuga enjoyed a loftier, more lenient position than many other clans. Even the other noble clans.

In comparison to the Aburame–whose southern apiaries had been decimated during the Kyuubi attack–and the Akimichi, who spent as much time cultivating their financial and political enterprises as they did their martial prowess, the Hyuuga were more invaluable to Konoha.

But invaluable does not mean immune.


They meet, once, while they’re both still at the Academy.

It’s difficult. They’re in different years, which is part of it, but primarily it’s because all of Konoha is keenly aware of the political cold war happening between the clans and all of the teachers are taking measures to prevent any incidents from happening.

Further incidents, that is: a spar turned hostile in the graduating class, resulting in suspensions for the Akimichi and Hyuuga involved. Invisible lines drawn amongst the students from clans, rearranging friendships and even future genin team proposals.

As the pair at the heart of the problem, they are especially monitored. But just once, just for a short time, they manage to meet.

Neither of them will reveal what was said, but afterwards Neji goes without a headband: baring his cursed seal provocatively, almost incendiary.

Shikako becomes all the more paranoid about hers.


Eventually, it’s revealed that Shikamaru’s forehead is as blank as the day he was born but, one twin or both, that doesn’t alter the path Konoha is already on.

In contrast, the Uchiha clan, sensing the winds of change, circumvent their fate entirely: allying themselves with the enemy of their enemy and integrating back into, at least, half of the village. Hundreds of lives are spared, though only Danzo, thwarted, and Shikako know.

Not all is good, though: Hinata, already shy and secluded, is deliberately isolated. Where Ino leads, the other girls of the class follow; even though Shikako tries to mitigate the issue, Ino is ruthless in defending what she considers hers.

The mood of Konoha is fraught, tensions high enough for even the civilians to notice, streets of peace and prosperity now dangerous opportunities for public altercations.

Such a small action leading to such far reaching consequences.

Time marches on.


Konoha puts on a pleasant face for the Chuunin Exams, united only on the surface in front of foreign shinobi.

Team Seven meets the Sand siblings, Shikako sees the match to her soul mark.

She hesitates.


A/N2: I’m not very satisfied with the ending–I had the greater idea but not an actual plot, as you can see–so I kind of just… mreh?

I guess another reason for this ficlet is that I wanted to explore how even things that are supposed to be romantic–like soulmates and soul marks–have non-romantic consequences. So even if this is set in a Shikaara soulmate AU, this ficlet is gen.

I was actually considering some other repercussions of the misunderstanding: Hiashi possibly buckling under external and internal pressures and disavowing Hinata as his heir early on and marking her with the seal–which further splinters the already divided Hyuuga clan–but that seemed VERY CRUEL to Hinata who I already had shunned by everyone in class.

And also, would Sand and Sound still invade Konoha if the Uchiha clan isn’t killed? The Sand Siblings would still be at the Chuunin Exams, of course, but I don’t know if they’d be there as part of the invading force. Konoha isn’t as outwardly weakened, after all.

It seems more likely that if Orochimaru were to invade still, he’d probably have Danzo and ROOT make up the other part of the invading force, but even then if in this AU “I’m a pacifist” mass murdering kin-slayer Itachi is less of a giant hypocrite, I wouldn’t mind him being seriously considered for Hokage which would seriously deter both Orochimaru and Danzo, right?

I don’t know. They were vague thoughts at best.

4 with your favorite platonic ship

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)

Kankurou’s arrival in Konoha is quiet, understated, and nearly overlooked.

“Which just figures,” he says with a shrug, straddling that line between self-deprecation and wry complaint. He’s nowhere near as loud a personality as either of his siblings and he knows it, but something would be terribly wrong if he let an opportunity to take a dig at Leaf pass him by.

He’s put under Shikako’s watch because supervising a friendly ally is the height of light duty and whenever he speaks, Tsunade frequently gets the urge to take him by the scruff and shake him like an unruly dog.

“That means she likes you,” Shikako assures him, well out of earshot of the Hokage.

Kankurou raises an eyebrow.

“Well, tolerates you,” she corrects, “She doesn’t want to punch you in the face full strength?”

Tsunade’s strength is an international legend. Kankurou shudders and accepts the compliment.

The two of them get looks as they walk down the street, not more than when she was with Sasuke or by herself, but there’s a different flavor to them. Kankurou is an oddity in the village, not an overt novelty anymore, but not outrightly familiar either. People are curious and surprised to see him, and in comparison they don’t much care about the Nara girl beside him.

Her shoulders are relaxed.

Sand is their ally, but Sand is recovering from internal strife and recession and their greatest strength is having a near unassailable defense. Kankurou’s presence is more than generous given the circumstances. Shikako, as a highly connected shinobi of Konoha, is very grateful.

Shikako, as a person, is even more so.

Kankurou doesn’t ask about the cane. He doesn’t ask about the light duty or the lack of armor or the way people look at her then refuse to meet her eye.

He doesn’t even ask about the way Sasuke checks in on her a few times a day, even though he’s no longer her bodyguard and must be far too busy to do so.

He does ask about explosions, though.

“Damn, Sparky, it’s been a whole week and not one thing blown up. This must be some kind of record for you,” Kankurou says, flipping a pen round and round his fingers.

She freezes, eyes staring almost desperately at the reports beneath her hands.

They’ve both been authorized to share a rough approximation of their respective villages’ forces and resources (not the exact or entire report, god no, alliance or not, that’s just unheard of) and to come up with inter-village strategies in case of certain situations. Shared border patrols and multi-village platoons, maintaining and protecting the trade routes between Wind and Fire, etc.

Now she’s just stalling.


It’s not his fault that explosions are kind of her specialty. How would he know it’s become a touchy subject for her?

Kankurou waits.

Then again, this is Kankurou she’s talking about: no doubt he’s heard the rumors flying around and put the puzzle pieces together.

“I just. It’s not really the right atmosphere for it, you know? And I can’t really experiment with them safely, not so close to the village.”

Neither of them bring up the barren, rocky flatlands just two hours outside of Konoha.

Kankurou hums, “Well, whenever you want to try for some large scale bangs, you can come over to the desert. There’s nothing but fucking sand out there. Go wild.”

It’s probably the nicest thing she’s ever heard him say.

It’s also the most absurdly optimistic, given there’s an impending war, but maybe if they both survive and the offer’s still open she’ll take him up on that.

A world war turned international alliance against an S-rank organization of missing nin later–wounds and scars and even more and touchier subjects later–Shikako goes out to the desert and goes wild.

“First The Garden and now whatever this is,” Kankurou says, honestly admiring of what can only be called a canyon made of glass, “Sparky, you are great for Wind’s tourism industry.”


A/N: Normally, when I’m given a prompt that doesn’t specify DoS I like to expand to other series. But, anon, you asked for my FAVORITE platonic ship and I cannot deny the amazing BroTP of Kankurou and Shikako 😀

I guess this is sort of inspired by Dreaming of S(omething) and Chapter 134

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.]

Can I ask for Haku/Shikako/Gaara?

This one is the last of the Ask Box Advent Calendar Event (for 2016), and what an interesting way to end it, anon. 🙂

Let’s see… I guess a Haku/Shikako/Gaara could be done two different ways. A “canon DoS” version and… I have this AU idea but I don’t know if I’ll be able to articulate it well.

So the “canon DoS” version would probably just be me tweaking Dreaming of S(omething). Where Shikako is the ambassador from Konoha and Haku is the ambassador from Kiri, and together they’re two fish out of somewhat literal water.

Fabulously deadly and beautiful fish that Gaara just kind of cannot function around because. Okay. One pretty long-and-dark-haired badass who sees the good in a former weaponized jinchuuriki is just barely manageable, but two? O_O That poor boy.

Gaara is a very competent Kazekage, okay, capable of wrangling the council and proving himself to his people. He’s no longer a thing to be afraid of, but a person that loves his village and who his village loves in turn.

But it’s very obvious that when both of the ambassadors are around that he gets all tongue-tied and flustered and the shy, sweet child that he used to be becomes prevalent due to the extreme crush he has on both Haku and Shikako.

Kankurou has not gone a day without laughing to the point of tears.

Shikako’s mostly oblivious, but I feel like Haku is savvy enough to know what’s going on. I do, however, think he’s enough of a trickster to not react so that someone else will make the first move. He is flattered and interested and amused and quite patient enough to see how the other two parts of this potential triad proceed.

So not too different from Dreaming of S(omething), but there would be a slight shift in the dynamics between Shikako and Gaara to accommodate Haku. (*dreamy sigh* They’d make such a beautiful tableau, wouldn’t they?)

The AU idea that comes to mind is a little…

Basically, spies. Or rather undercover bodyguards? But also spies? Benevolent mercenaries?

I’ll admit, part of it is influenced by the way my family and I binge watched the Netflix series Travelers (which I… tentatively recommend. It has potential, but the series was definitely made with a second season in mind so there isn’t enough to say I love it.) But only very loosely influenced since this AU is minus the main gimmick of the show (the time traveling, body snatching aspects of it), and more about the badass agents being undercover and an ultimate authority telling them to protect a person without questioning the reason why.

And, probably, when that ultimate authority tells them to kill that person instead they rebel.

So Agent Yuki and Agent Nara have both met each other before, and though their respective countries had sent them on missions that were originally at cross-purposes, they got along quite well. This time, thankfully, they are both assigned to protect Wind Country’s Prime Minister’s youngest son while being undercover and it’s kind of just like… I know who you are and you know who I am so let’s just vouch for each other and we’ll protect him together.

And the dynamic is much the same despite the AU setting–Gaara is a blushing, awkward mess around these two beautiful badasses (though he doesn’t know the extent of their badassery) and Shikako is too focussed on the job to realize anyone’s emotions much less her own while Haku sees all and is amused.

Neither Agents Yuki or Nara think to wonder why they were assigned to protect the Wind Country’s Prime Minister’s youngest son until, a couple of months into the mission, they receive counter orders to kill him.

Then there’s some misunderstandings–in which Agents Yuki and Nara fight, thinking the other will follow through on their new orders, only to realize that neither of them want to kill Gaara. And some cover breaking–because there’s no way Shikako can have a subtle fight (and Haku is, for all his soft touch in social matters, an agent on par with her). And some sleuthing–as the trio try to figure out what the hell is going on. And some confessions of feelings because high energy action means emotions are just erupting everywhere.

I have the feeling that Gaara in this world is a primary school teacher. And that Kankurou, while not an Agent, is involved in “The Game” as possibly an analyst or an informant or something like that and is the one who got both Agents Yuki and Nara assigned to protect his brother.

What do you think, anon?

D’aww, your Dreaming of Soulmates was cute (and surprisingly suspenseful?) good job, thoroughly enjoyed!

Thanks! There’s something about soulmate AUs that make even innocuous sentences into multi-layered statements, isn’t there? Or like, a way to reinterpret a scene through the lens of soulmate AUs that adds more context to their first meeting.

In most soulmate AUs, you’re destined to meet your soulmate (first words and the countdown timer imply first meeting, the red thread can literally lead you to them) so the suspense is that it’s kind of “hey, I’ve been waiting for you even though I didn’t know it was you I was waiting for” … if that makes any sense?

Dreaming of S(oulmates), (2016-11-21)

one: red string of fate (ABTSF-15.2)

It’s a good thing soulmates are the only one who can see their shared string, Shikako thinks, staring blankly at the ethereal red thread tied around her pinky.

Otherwise, it’d be such a point of weakness for any shinobi.

“Soulmate,” says Gaara, voice raspy but still perfectly audible–of course, she sighs internally, ignoring the gasps around her, it only works if the soulmates keep quiet about it.

two: inkblot skin

Shikamaru is the first to see it–actually, for nearly a decade, he is the only one to see it–the dark ink on his sister’s face where before there was empty skin.

They are young, but not so young as to be naive.

From then on, both Nara twins wear headbands on their brows: one out of solidarity, one to hide love.

three: shared dreams

Perhaps they did, when they were children, but childhood dreams are easily forgotten after time and tragedy.

Gaara doesn’t sleep, and so he doesn’t dream.

For many years Shikako just assumes she doesn’t have a soulmate.

four: death clock

She chose the path of the ninja because there was no other choice–Shikako could never abandon her friends, her family, to the fate that loomed ahead.

(And also, maybe, because the timer on her arm only had a decade left; her soulmate had to be a ninja, too.)

Gaara’s timer had always been at zero.

five: shared injuries

Gaara knows pain: it’s followed him ever since he could remember, even if it’s never been firsthand. Rebellious chakra system to small scrapes and bruises, his soulmate’s medical history blossoming onto his own flesh.

Sasuke’s chidori breaks through the shell of sand; in the audience Shikako starts bleeding.

six: colorful eyes

Shikako can’t see shades of green.

Ino thinks she’s lucky, having a soulmate with such a beautiful eye color, but it’s pretty inconvenient considering they live in a forest.

… Almost as inconvenient as living in a desert and not being able to see shades of brown.

seven: first words

“It was just a misunderstanding. It was nice to meet you,” says the soul mark around Gaara’s bicep in hasty, slanted letters.

What mild words from the soulmate of a monster.

eight: polygraph skin

“I’m sorry for any trouble he caused,” an obvious lie, given Gaara’s complete lack of interest.

Elsewhere and elsewhen, Shikako would let it go, give a platitude of her own, and get the hell out of range–but here and now, his words are accompanied by a stinging sensation and the appearance of neat, blocky writing on the back of her hand.

“No you’re not,” she blurts out, less confrontational and more absolutely baffled.

nine: countdown to contact

The Nara twins grow up knowing that they’ll meet their soulmates within days of each other, probably when they’re genin.

The Sand Siblings grow up knowing the same.

Too bad they’re on opposite sides of an invasion when it happens.


A/N: Fill for this anon: three sentence fic with different Shikaara soulmate AUs! 

In case I wasn’t concise enough (though I hope I was) the AUs are the following:

1. soulmates are connected by an intangible red thread around their pinkies (visible only to the parties involved in this version)

2. whatever is written on one soulmate’s skin appears on the other

3. pretty self explanatory… presumably soulmates dream at the same time or dreamscape is outside of time–I liked this one better than the one dreams what the other sees while awake and vice versa

4. a timer on your body counting down to when your soulmate is going to die–luckily for Shikako, Gaara gets better. Luckily(?) for Gaara, Shikako’s a reincarnation and so technically already dead(?)… regardless, she gets better, too.

5. also self explanatory, I think… I feel like the Gaara of this world would be vastly different having grown up with Shikako’s pain, but I don’t know how

6. a person can’t see shades of whatever their soulmate’s eye color is until they actually meet. I’m a little unsure how this works with people who are soulmates with a Hyuuga, though…

7-9. Chapter Sixteen of DoS was very helpful. 7 is the “traditional” first words soulmates say to each other is their soul mark. 8 is less traditional, in that whenever soulmates lie to each other it shows up on their skin. 9 is also also self explanatory.

Post Word Count: 415, Running Word Count: 7304

Could we get more of the Shikaara soulmates au please?

Hi anon, thanks for the prompt. Unfortunately I’m no longer doing the Ask Box Three Sentence Meme–I may go back to it one day, but thats over with for now.

Then again, I may do a Dreaming of S(oulmates) installment for my Dreaming of S(omething) series, because that does sound absolutely awesome…

I’ll put it on the list, anon. 🙂

Dreaming of S(eparation), (2016-11-01)

Shikako gets back to Konoha and feels like she’s drowning.

In comparison to Sand, Konoha is absolutely drenched, the humidity weighing down on her shoulders, in her lungs.

She wonders when that stopped feeling normal.

Home is not really home anymore, her bedroom long since handed down, and her things packed away into Hammerspace.

She still visits, of course, but visiting is not the same as inhabiting.

Home is where the heart is, and her family is only a part of it.

Shikamaru and Temari live in a different house, separate but not so far away–it will, after all, be the clan head’s home one day, and both the current and future houses are strategically in the center of the clan’s property.

She brings gifts, and news from Sand, an afternoon for Temari to soothe her homesickness.

She wonders if she’s looking at a reverse reflection, a mirror of her future.

“I’m happy for you,” Naruto says, when they meet up at Ichiraku’s for dinner.

She is mid-slurp, mouth full of noodles, and cannot respond.

“I’ll miss you,” he continues, blue eyes earnest and more observant than he’s given credit for, “But I’m glad that the both of you have each other.”

It’s not Sasuke that she speaks to, but ANBU Ram, ceramic mask, hooded cloak, and shroud of silence.

Emotions have never really been Sasuke’s strong suit, and if he needs the distance then she’ll let him have it.

Besides, the agitated flow of his chakra is easy enough for her to understand.

The Hokage doesn’t have normal working hours, on call at all times, but Kakashi-sensei was always more of a night owl: though it’s passed midnight, she knows he’s still in his office.

He smiles at her knowingly and almost proud, in a wistful way, as she explains to him her plans for the future.

“I’m pretty sure only a Daimyo or Kage has the authority to perform a marriage ceremony for another Kage,” he says to her, after, “I offer my services in case you do decide to make it official.”

Forest for desert, trees for sand.

It shouldn’t mean much–she’ll still be on the road for the most part, wandering between ruins of worlds long gone–but her lodestar has changed.

Home is where the heart is, and despite it all, her heart is only partially in Konoha.


A/N: For anonymous who wanted some Team Seven!POV of Shikako/Gaara… I cannot find the original prompt post for some reason?

My head is still in three sentence fic mode, so here’s another set of slice of life snippets…

I don’t think I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo properly, but I’d like to keep track of my word count to see if it’s comparable.

Post Word Count: 398, Running Total: 398.

It’s looking like no?

Dreaming of S(atisfaction), (2016-10-31)

Without the sun, the desert is cold at night.

In the morning they’d wake with legs intertwined. Blankets twisted and tangled around them both, as if, in sleep, they try to tie themselves together.

Don’t leave, their limbs say, when their mouths stay closed.

But the sun brings light, and with it heat and work.

They unravel back into two, patiently waiting until the cold returns.

Tea is different in the Land of Wind, spicier and darker than what she grew up on.

In the Kazekage’s office, when she asks for it diluted, Jinzo admonishes, “Like a child.”

She blushes every time, embarrassment painted on her cheeks.

But at home, Gaara steeps her cup for less time than his, and includes a small creamer jug of milk though, no doubt, the practice must seem bizarre.

In exchange, she makes sure the snacks that accompany their tea aren’t all sweets.

It starts with a drawer, filled with some things. Extra sets of clothes, a journal, some pens she’s left behind.

Then a shelf for the knickknacks she’s picked up over time, a sparse collection bracketed by scrolls and books.

She has Hammerspace, but it just makes sense to leave some things out: an extra toothbrush and a small dish of stray hair pins in the bathroom, a sturdy cup that she liked the look and feel of in the kitchen, a blanket in familiar Nara green draped over the back of the couch.

She has more than just one drawer, now.

The market place is where most of the culture shock happens, though it’s hardly a bad thing.

The smallest things will catch her attention, and the merchants are more than willing to indulge questions. Surprisingly, it’s not even because those questions are almost always accompanied with purchase.

She has long since stopped being intruder, turned into guest. And maybe, one day, a resident.

When she comes to Sand, she doesn’t stay at an inn anymore.

It becomes a routine, to drop in on Gaara at the office at least once throughout the day, never mind that she doesn’t always have an official reason to be there.

Mostly, her visits are quick things, a couple minutes squeezed in between meetings, Jinzo eyeing her with scrutiny.

She knows he’s busy, doesn’t want to take up too much time, but she thinks he appreciates it when she shows up.

Gaara invites her to dinner, unusual but far from unwanted. Normally, she’d have an Akimichi’s suggestion on which restaurants are good, but that’s not really an option here.

Kankurou snorts when she tells him, rolls his eyes and mutters about oblivious Leaf nin; he doesn’t explain.

Oh, she thinks, a few hours later, seated across from Gaara and strenuously ignoring all the stares from the other patrons.

She would’ve preferred a heads up, but the evening isn’t entirely awkward after her realization.

Shikako looks at the Village Hidden in the Sand and thinks: It’s not home… 

… but it could be.


A/N: For anonymous who wanted some ‘the moment they realize their relationship is more than “just friends"’ and instead got some… whatever this is. Reverse order, slice of life, snapshots.