Missed Post / Ask Box Event? / OC Dolls (2017-10-26)

… I need a push to do some writing! Let’s reprise one of the ask box events, shall we?

What do we think: a softer ask box OR ask box fake fic titles?

(And so it’s not a complete missed post, dollmaker pics of OCs under the cut)

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Konran (from Counterpoise), Tetsuki (from Externality), and Kiyoshi (from (In)Difference)–aka, my three kunoichi OCs.

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Lark, Oleander, and Vinn from various RPG campaigns

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Externality 6c/? (2017-09-29)

She’ll admit, later, that she probably developed tunnel vision trying to find Neji Hyuuga while also avoiding the angry mob. She gets into the rhythm of a task–even if this particular one is frenetic and stressful–and tends to forget her surroundings.

Luckily, Naruto Uzumaki is there to shove her out of the way of a barrage of kunai. They thunk into the tree beyond her.

As Tetsuki regains her bearings, she notices they’re in the perfect outline of her body.

TenTen?

A different blur, much larger and closer, drops down in her peripheral, and this time it’s her own hasty reflexes that have her dodge out of the way of a jab glowing with chakra.

Jyuuken.

Well, they found him…

… hooray?

Neji Hyuuga is not their year’s highest ranked student for no reason and for all that Tetsuki is fast, no one is as fast as him.

In short order her entire right arm is numb and absolutely useless, swinging around and throwing off her balance.

Any thoughts to negotiate a truce flies from her head. In the face of such overwhelming power only one concept remains: survive.

She tries to fight back, he defends easily. She tries to retreat, he follows unerringly. She tries to hold off his stupidly undefeatable attacks, she fails miserably.

And maybe if it were just Tetsuki by herself, that’d be it. But she’s not alone.

“Wait! Hold on you bastard,” Naruto Uzumaki says, brash and somehow endearing now, “We’re not here to fight you!” he says even as he throws a punch, trying to take the pressure off her.

He means well. She does appreciate the effort. Unfortunately, two against one when that one is Neji Hyuuga doesn’t make much of a difference.

But it jolts her out of her hindbrain panic, and she still has use of one of her hands: Tetsuki grabs the two purple armbands and throws them to the ground between them, almost like a gauntlet.

Neji Hyuuga doesn’t look down–Byakugan activated, he doesn’t need to–but he pauses for a moment, almost curious, which gives her and Naruto Uzumaki a moment to breathe.

“We don’t want your token,” Tetsuki says, slowly, still functional arm raised slightly to show no harm, “Or TenTen’s,” she adds, remembering the kunai.

Naruto Uzumaki makes an indignant noise, high in the back of his throat, and she shoots him a look. Tetsuki hasn’t forgotten he still needs another token, but they can’t get it from Neji Hyuuga and she’s not going to let him take it from TenTen (even if he could–he’s not as terrible as he seems in the classroom, but she’d put her nonexistent money on TenTen any day).

Speaking of TenTen, another figure peers out from the foliage, a brace of kunai at the ready between her fingers.

“… we’d like your help with something.”

Externality 6b/? (2017-09-21)

Tetsuki knows both less and more about Neji Hyuuga than she’d like:

Less because the Hyuuga clan isn’t exactly going around airing out their weaknesses for some random street urchin to hear.

More because, well, not even she’s so isolated from her classmates that she doesn’t pick up some of the rumors going around their resident prodigy. Unfortunately, it’s nothing particularly useful and more to do with… ugh… what kind of girl he may or may not like?

She’d much rather know his training regimen than his astrological sign and blood type and favorite food (Cancer, O, and herring soba respectively) but them’s the breaks.

Even without hearsay, Tetsuki knows that if a Hyuuga doesn’t want to be found–much less the best Byakugan user in generations–then they won’t.

That being said, she also knows that most Hyuuga are prideful, what with being the most powerful cardinal clan now, and that the prouder they are the more reckless they get when bored.

She imagines that, unlike her and Naruto Uzumaki’s experience, the past sixty odd hours or so have been excruciatingly boring for Neji Hyuuga. Especially if his objective is what she thinks it is.

“Give me your armband,” she hisses at Naruto Uzumaki, as they approach what must be Neji Hyuuga’s chosen space for the exam. It’s not an open clearing turned into a civilian level campsite, but it’s definitely not the overly paranoid and defended nook in some tree roots like theirs was.

Not that Neji Hyuuga would need much in the way of traps, no one would dare attack him.

Naruto Uzumaki pulls out the wrinkled and crumpled mass of cloth from his pouch, looking at her in blatant confusion.

“Your original one,” she clarifies, pulling out the dark purple armband she got from Rock Lee, “the one that looks just like this.”

Why not bring a little excitement Neji Hyuuga’s way?

Externality 6a/? (2017-09-15)

They’re running, frantic and more than just a little bit blind.

They abandon their camp, scavenging some of the traps for weapons and wire–that shit’s expensive–but not much. Their pockets and pouches stuffed with their stolen armbands and tokens, objective cards crumpled along with them.

The problem is, they’re running out of time. Then again that’s not really a problem, that’s just a fact of life, time marches forward and there’s nothing that can stop it.

If she had the full three days she would be more confident in this idea. Well, Tetsuki wouldn’t even be thinking about this if she had the full three days, now would she?

An uncomfortable amount of this plan relies on luck. Which. Um. Orphans.

Enough said.

Another good chunk of it then depends on how convincing she and Naruto Uzumaki can be without resorting to violence or genjutsu, and for the final dish of this impossibility feast: Neji Hyuuga has to be willing to put up with their plebeian selves until sunrise.

Or, at least, until the angry mob of their former victims gets scared off and accept failure.

Hm, listed out like that, Tetsuki’s not sure anyone could pull it off.

But Naruto Uzumaki seems optimistic enough to give it a shot, so why not?

First thing’s first: find the best Byakugan user in generations in a forest at night when, presumably, he doesn’t want to be found, before they get caught.

Externality, part 5e (2017-07-13)

Even with their frantic search during the remaining daylight hours, they don’t find a fifth token for Naruto Uzumaki.

Part of it is due to the fact that any token holder who has lasted to the third day knows what they’re doing–they’ve holed up and won’t be budged until the exam is finally over–the other part is because there’s a manhunt going on.

A mob, loud and angry and massive, almost a dozen strong and every time even a hint of it reaches her ears, Tetsuki makes the two of them hide.

Naruto Uzumaki bristles at her caution, but doesn’t break off on his own. The bruises on her face still ache. She wonders: if she healed as fast as he did, would she be reckless, too?

Then again, maybe because her objective is already completed, she’s not as determined. She doesn’t think so–she does want to help him still, if she didn’t, she’d have left him immediately after getting the copper token from Rock Lee–but it’s true she has less incentive. She’s less desperate.

Just as angry, though. Perhaps more so. It crackles and buzzes in her veins impotently, unable to be expressed.

Dusk of the past two days had been a quieting thing, everyone going to their separate camps and settling down for the evening. Tonight is completely different. Tonight, their classmates are energized: armband holders aggressive, the mob still out for their blood.

She’s tempted to just wait it out, let the gamut of traps take care of them and run out their time.

Those who don’t complete their objective in the next few hours will fail.

Naruto Uzumaki included.

She sighs–well, it’s not as if she was planning on sleeping tonight, anyway.

“I have another idea,” she admits, reluctantly, “but it’s going to be… tricky.”

If she’s learned anything about him in the past two days, that’s exactly what he wants to hear.

~

A/N: Taking a little break from Externality for now, even though I’ve written myself into this exam without resolving it and I’ve only gotten to five “chapters.” Not sure what to do now… thinking of maybe another ask box event? Hmm..

Externality, part 5d (2017-07-12)

Every teacher at the Academy has an assistant.

Peacetime glut, Hikari-san says with a self-deprecating tone–after all, her store, too, can only exist because there is no war. If there were, it’d be absorbed into Intel, resources to be parceled out by the quartermaster general.

But the role of Academy teaching assistant has multiple purposes: training new teachers, off-field positions for chuunin on medical leave, increasing protections around Konoha’s vulnerable future soldiers, and on and on it goes.

Yanagi-sensei’s assistant is a chuunin on floating rotations who has taken the year off to train and boost his chances for promotion. Hinoura-sensei doesn’t really seem to care much for the job, but he’s not dismissive of Yanagi-sensei and the other Academy teachers the way she’s heard other field chuunin be, the way Hikari-san sometimes gets before she checks herself.

He doesn’t like Naruto Uzumaki, but nobody seems to like Naruto Uzumaki.

Before the exam started, Yanagi-sensei was the one distributing armbands and tokens.

The objective cards are in Hinoura-sensei’s handwriting.

Rock Lee’s card has a two prong objective:

The first is to collect the token matching his deep purple armband.

The second is to protect his copper token.

Tetsuki is pretty sure she knows what Naruto Uzumaki’s objective should have been.

Regardless of curiosity and conspiracies, they are still in an exam and Rock Lee does have the token she needs. Their objectives are mutually exclusive: there is no compromise to be made here.

“Thanks,” she says to Rock Lee, whose eyes are already beginning to close, “and sorry about this.”

It’s not hard to deepen the genjutsu–especially against someone who can’t fight back–make it spread, her chakra overwhelming his senses, until he falls asleep. He crumples to the ground.

After a paranoid moment to make sure he isn’t just faking it, she frisks him for the copper token.

Naruto Uzumaki drops down to join her, approaching with a mixed expression on his face. Confused and relieved that they aren’t adding Rock Lee to their alliance–or that she’s not replacing him with Rock Lee. “What was all that about?” he asks.

“Just… figuring something out,” she says, somehow exhausted. It has nothing to do with the genjutsu.

Externality, part 5c (2017-07-11)

Unlike taijutsu, Tetsuki is pretty fond of genjutsu.

She’s a somewhat malnourished, preteen girl: she’ll never be able to physically overcome anyone. She’s quick, but not so much as to be untouchable. And as her aches and pains lingering from yesterday can attest to, endurance is not the same as recovery.

But none of that matters with genjutsu.

It’s intricate and delicate, requiring intense focus, and it’s true that very few people can sustain a career in genjutsu specialization–especially not without some kind of blood limit–but there’s something about it that appeals to her, nonetheless.

Being able to control the world around her, even just that little bit, even if it is just an illusion. It hurts less to be an outsider, if being inside means not knowing the truth.

And it’s a tool in her arsenal that doesn’t need extensive, supervised training. She has the basics, after that all she needs is her imagination and the right opportunity.

Rock Lee is notorious for his inability to use chakra. There will be no better opportunity.

Naruto Uzumaki is reluctant to enact her plan, but dutifully circles around the clearing to wait for her signal.

Part of it is that she might not signal him–it’s boring, yes, but if she can talk this out with Rock Lee then she won’t need him to attack from the flank. The other part is that maybe she won’t need him. He’s probably worried that she’ll leave him for Rock Lee which is just ludicrous.

She got punched in the face multiple times, Naruto Uzumaki is not getting rid of her that easily.

But she does think that she can do this on her own. Or, rather, that she should do this on her own.

She has a suspicion about what that familiar armband color might mean. About Rock Lee’s objective and her objective and that of Naruto Uzumaki.

Rock Lee is known to be, if not honorable–because such a thing is pretty impossible in a world of shinobi–then fair. For all that he’s literally asking to be attacked, he won’t attack her until she makes the first move.

Still, just in case, when she goes down to meet him she places a genjutsu on him. It’s a mild one and, under ordinary circumstances, easily breakable; just a small, quick illusion making her seem a meter away from where she actually is.

“I, Rock Lee, will fight anyone who thinks–” he shouts, again, the same speech on loop to the faceless forest of Training Ground 53. She wonders if anyone else has actually taken him on it.

“Hey,” she interrupts, after leaping down in front of him, “I have a question about your objective,” she says.

His gaze fixes on the nonexistent figure a meter away and the deep purple armband on its bicep.