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 🙂

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Word Prompts (K5): Kiss

Edmundo leans back, away from their kiss. It is reluctant, yes, but still a retreat. Their faces are still close enough that they can share breaths, but the distance means no contact. No heat.

“You’re one of those heroes now,” he says in the scant space between them, near to a whisper, though it’s hardly needed. Beyond the thin walls of the office space, the garage is in operation, the sounds of machines and their mechanics echoing back and forth.

She shrugs in response, tips her hand back and forth. Hero-adjacent would be a pithy, but accurate, response; she’s just not sure it would come out right.

“It’s different than what you were doing before,” he says, leaning even further back which isn’t what she wants at all! But he takes her hands in his and that’s an okay consolation prize, she supposes. “Protecting your block from pendejos is one thing, but you’re on the news now. You’re in bright spandex and everything.”

She crinkles her nose in protest: she doesn’t wear spandex. She just wears normal clothes. It’s not her fault her powers manifests as flowing green lights.

“No, no, you’re right. I’m getting off track,” he says, smoothing his thumbs over the back of her hands. It’s rough and a patch of black smears across her skin, but it’s warm. She likes it.

From the way she thinks this conversation is going, she’s going to miss it.

“You’ll always have a home here,” Edmundo says, and when he leans in, he presses his forehead to hers in a deliberately chaste way, “But you’re outgrowing us, and I can’t keep you chained down.”

She can’t say he’s wrong.

She doesn’t try to kiss him again–they’ve already had their final goodbye kiss, even if she didn’t know it for what it was at the time. But if she tightens her return grip, hoping to press the shape of her hands into his, well. He doesn’t say anything about that, at least.

She kisses Maya because she loves her and, also, Tetsuki might very well never see her again–either because they will be separated on opposite sides of an inter planar barrier or Tetsuki will be dead.

Maya kisses back because she loves Tetsuki, too… but perhaps isn’t sure in what way she loves Tetsuki and thinks that kissing might help her figure it out. And also because, even though Tetsuki isn’t saying it out loud, Maya is more than aware that her best friend may very well die and she doesn’t want to be a last regret in any way.

It is a lot of emotions and concepts for their first, hesitant kiss to convey.

Luckily, it is not also a last and only kiss, and they greatly improve their communication via kisses in the future.

There is no kissing between them. For many reasons, really.

Mainly because intimacy and vulnerability are not luxuries either of them can afford.

Tetsuki has been experimenting with wearing hound-snake venom atop wax coated lips. Azula can literally breathe fire.

And depending on which timeline they’re in, they may be trying to kill each other.

So, no. No kissing for them.

The first kiss of Team Two actually happens between Naruto and Komadori.

Tetsuki does’t understand what’s so embarrassing about it but, then again, as mentioned, she wasn’t actually involved so…

She promises to talk about that mission only once a year at most.

Tetsuki is dripping with river water, mildly concussed, and high off the wave of endorphins that is surviving an apocalyptic, dystopian future when she kisses Kusakabe-senpai for the first time.

Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t scare him off.

~

A/N: A sort of reverse tag of this ficlet.

Externality 7b/? (2018-01-21)

She is none too gently herded into the classroom after the healing session, left to wait along with the rest of her classmates who have finished before her or who had minimal injuries.

In the light of day and the civilizing influence of four walls and a ceiling, the last few hours of the exam seems less like a thrilling midnight battle and more like a bunch of children causing a ruckus. A skirmish at best rather than the high stakes fight it had seemed at the time.

She can feel a different, embarrassed kind of fever flush across her face.

Tetsuki refuses to meet anyone’s gaze and goes to sit over in the corner that most everyone else seems to be avoiding. That it’s nowhere near her usual seat means nothing.

Naruto Uzumaki grins at her.

She gives a quick, sheepish smile in return.

But it’s a tense couple of minutes as more and more classmates are brought in–everyone silent and heavy and waiting for the other shoe to fall–before finally Yanagi-sensei and Hinoura-sensei enter with displeased and unimpressed expressions.

Well, Yanagi-sensei at least, especially as he begins lecturing them all. Hinoura-sensei instead looks somewhat amused.

Tetsuki glowers at him–if the situation was anyone’s fault, it was his!

She holds onto that righteous anger throughout Yanagi-sensei’s lecture, through the assessment of her classmates, lining up one by one and presenting their tokens or lack thereof…

… until he gets to the first student who ought to have had an armband and has nothing instead.

“Report,” Yanagi-sensei says, but instead of standing up at attention and dutifully relaying everything that happened in the past three days, that classmate faces the ground and mutters something unintelligible.

Even in the tense atmosphere, some of the other students laugh.

“Are you not a future shinobi of Konoha?” Yanagi-sensei asks. He is fond of rhetorical questions, giving a student just enough rope to hang themselves with.

There is more laughter, but with a distinctly nervous tinge.

“I said, report.”

“Rock Lee took it from me,” their classmate says finally, grit out through clenched teeth.

Yeah, Tetsuki thinks to herself, she wouldn’t want to admit getting beat up by the class dead last either.

Externality 7a/? (2018-01-19)

Tetsuki sits sullenly, drained and yet somehow simultaneously full of fury, while a member of Konoha’s Medic Corps attends to the absolute mess she’s made of herself.

In the spirit of synergy that the village loves to espouse, the different departments are intrinsically attuned and linked to each other. In this case, the Medic Corps practical healing lessons are scheduled for just after the Academy’s trimester exams.

The medic in front of her–still a boy himself, only a few years older than her at most–clicks his tongue in disapproval, “You couldn’t figure out a smarter way?”

Tetsuki would bristle at that, but the wash of cool healing chakra on her injuries is far too soothing. She says nothing instead.

“Well, at least you’re not the worst off we’ve had today,” he continues, and she wonders if this is part of Medic Corps training, bedside manner in way of gossip. When she makes a noise of curiosity, he elaborates–no, she wasn’t the worst off they’ve had today. She got away relatively easy in the mayhem of that last battle, a broken nose and a couple of bone bruises being the worst of her injuries.

They had to bring in a Hyuuga medic to undo the Jyuuken blocks on some of the students–but that was to be expected with Neji Hyuuga in their class. What was unusual was that they also had to bring in someone from the Genjutsu Squad.

“For what?” she asks, voice a little nasally sounding despite the healing.

“Rock Lee,” says the medic with a sigh in his tone, a shrug on his shoulders, “He’s as terrible at genjutsu as ever, can’t break them on his own,” he continues familiar and exasperated.

Her first reaction is a wordless wave of guilt.

The second is a realization: the medic is younger than she previously thought

The forehead protector and the Medic Corps uniform make him look older, closer to an adult than the year separating them should provide. He has a purpose, a place in the village beyond just being a mere student.

She wonders if she might also be the same when she graduates…

… if she graduates, that is.

~

A/N: Cameo of another OC for funsies

Externality 6e/? (2018-01-18)

In the orphanage, family is an impossible dream. Adoption an unheard of miracle, passed down as whispers from the older children to the younger in the dark of the night. The closest thing to bedtime stories they get.

But a team is more attainable and nearly as good–better, if you believe the propaganda. Good teammates will be in your thoughts and in your heart, have your back and your trust.

Together, the ideal team functions seamlessly, different parts of a greater whole. Together, the ideal team can easily defeat an army ten times their size.

They are not an ideal team.

They are not even a team.

Frankly, in all the chaos, it’s hard to tell if they’re on the same side.

Tetsuki jerks backward to avoid a hit, only to duck and get knee to the nose while avoiding a set of shuriken from the treetops. They embed themselves perfectly into her opponent’s calf–he howls in pain and she definitely takes the opportunity kick out at his other leg, bringing him down completely–but they could have easily stuck into her shoulder instead.

TenTen’s aim is perfect, but it doesn’t account for allies getting her way.

Naruto Uzumaki learned this the hard way, kunai sticking out of his shoulder until he pulled it out and used it for himself.

The both of them are absolutely filthy by this point: dirt and blood, a fair share of it their own, staining their clothes. Neji Hyuuga doesn’t have this problem–a neat pile of paralyzed bodies clustered at his feet.

There’s so much going on–so many people and weapons and other metallic knickknacks, zippers and buttons and jewelry–that Tetsuki can’t tell if any of them have tokens on them. She doesn’t have the time to more thoroughly search them, either, not when for every opponent she takes down another two pop up.

It’s no longer just the mob they’re fighting at this point–the ruckus of large scale battle attracting the more active and eager of their classmates. Only the light of the moon and the occasional flash bang illuminates the space, with clashing kunai and the scent of blood in the air, it really is like a true shinobi battle.

At this point, it barely has anything to do with the exam, hidden grudges bubbling up easily without adult supervision. Tetsuki herself is not entirely immune to the fever of battle:

“Hey you,” she says to the sensible son of a bitch Komadori. All the warning she provides before punching him right in his surprised face. But tit for tat is not the way of shinobi, grudges are not resolved by simply balancing the equation, and so what should have been a simple surprise hit becomes a prolonged fight.

This time Tetsuki uses everything she has, doesn’t limit herself or conserve energy for running away. Genjutsu falls over him in layers, shrouding his senses, but his memory and practiced motions pull him through, chakra flaring to throw off her efforts. She responds feral, brutal, and so does he.

They are still fighting when TenTen runs out of weapons, the clearing liberally sprinkled with her efforts, and she has to drop into the fray herself. They are still fighting when Naruto Uzumaki and Neji Hyuuga stumble into each other–the latter’s Byakugan deactivated for some reason–and are forced to literally fight back to back. They are still fighting when the sun rises, sky blazing orange, and the exam officially ends.

They are fighting up until Yanagi-sensei and Hinoura-sensei bodily pull them apart, well-rested adult selves easily lifting their exhausted child bodies, and it’s as if she suddenly wakes up.

Her entire body throbs furiously, painfully, adrenaline wearing off and leaving her with the consequences of her actions. She squirms in Yanagi-sensei’s hold to search for Naruto Uzumaki, to meet his eyes and apologize because–she forgot about the exam. Forgot about his objective and the token. Forgot about him.

Failed him.

Externality 6d/? (2018-01-17)

TenTen is somewhat skeptical, approaching with both hands on her kunai–Tetsuki doesn’t take it personally, she knows kunai are more akin to comfort objects than weapons to TenTen–until she reads the crumpled up objective cards:

At Tetsuki’s, she blinks curiously. At Naruto Uzumaki’s, her jaw tightens.

Tetsuki can’t help but to smile at that.

Even if they can’t convince Neji Hyuuga to help, she certainly wouldn’t mind having an expert in ranged weaponry on their side. And it’s nice knowing that TenTen is just as pissed off as she is–their personalities may be different, but their backgrounds may as well be identical.

On the streets, no one gets what they want. But that doesn’t mean they can’t get even.

“Assurance that we’re not here for your tokens,” Tetsuki says, gesturing to the pair of dark purple armbands still on the ground. “Not that we would have been able to get them anyway,” she adds after a slight pause, jerking her shoulder, her chakra-blocked arm swinging almost grotesquely.

“If your fate is to fight half the class then I’m not going to interfere,” Neji Hyuuga states, Byakugan deactivated no doubt due to how nonthreatening she and Naruto Uzumaki are compared to him.

TenTen shoots a glare at him, but stays silent.

Tetsuki can feel her heart crawl into her throat, though she doesn’t know why. This isn’t exactly a surprising outcome.

She doesn’t know what to say.

“You’ve interfered already, asshole,” Naruto Uzumaki says, lifting up Tetsuki’s right arm–so numb she didn’t even feel him grab it. “You could just say you’re too scared to fight. You think you’re great ‘cause you get shit just handed to you in your fancy clan and the teachers kiss your ass? We don’t need help from a stuck up coward like you!”

Tetsuki stares at him in open shock. In her peripheral vision, she can see TenTen do the same.

You can’t just say stuff like that to a clan member’s face!

But maybe having a last name gives him some kind understanding because instead of walking away, figurative bridge burned between them, Neji Hyuuga’s hands dart out in quick succession.

And suddenly Tetsuki can feel the grip of Naruto Uzumaki’s hand around her wrist… before a flood of static sweeps across her nerves, chakra rushing back into her arm without the Jyuuken blocks to hold it back. She hisses in pain.

“There’s not enough time for me to explain how wrong you are,” Neji Hyuuga says, briefly reaching up for the wraps around his forehead before deciding against it.

There is a story there, an open secret of Konoha–the Hyuuga clan is hiding something, but only the upper echelons know what. Even if Neji Hyuuga were the kind of person to share his burden with others, they are barely acquaintances, much less friends.

Maybe in the future.

Naruto Uzumaki twitches, head tilting one way then the other as if in confusion or–more likely, as Tetsuki picks up the sounds herself–in concentration.

Neji Hyuuga is right, there’s not enough time:

The mob is coming.

~

A/N: Whaaaaat? It’s back?

Trailblazers (2017-12-24)

Their romance is nothing like a fairy tale–too steeped in the violence of their work–but it’s real and true and everything Tetsuki wants.

She marries a good man, solid and stable, who makes her feel like she can be a good woman, too, if she just wills it.

Every kiss from Tetsuya makes her feel like the heroine of her very own story.

She loves Komadori, but not the way he hopes for–still, he is dear to her, and her to him, and it is difficult to be vulnerable in a world of war.

She reaches out, accepting his touch, and lets the intimacy speak for her.

He is a good man; it’s unfortunate Tetsuki isn’t the right woman.

Their’s is a lost connection, a hypothetical disaster in the making.

Azula would as soon kiss her as she would gouge her eyes out–they would surely destroy each other.

Maybe, in another life, Tetsuki would even let her try.

Love is soft and sweet again, no longer the clawing desperate creature, thread-like bonds gentle yet firm:

Tetsuki doesn’t need to say how important Maya is when her actions have already done so, words have never been how she communicates with Hiei, and it’s mostly a joke when she threatens to shave off the fox’s hair.

Tetsuki gets used to poison kisses, everything growing green around her; she’s lightheaded from giddiness as much as the toxins, luxuriating in the sensation.

Or maybe it’s the sound of machinery, oil streaked across her skin; or the view of the stars from outside the atmosphere, breathless but not suffocating.

Now she’s a heroine in more than just feeling.

~

A/N: Or, some quick three sentence fic about Tetsuki being in love?

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