Fake fic title: pro patria mori. From the Latin saying “it is sweet and honorable to die for one’s country.

So pro patria mori is only the “die for one’s country” part of that phrase which is a fairly important distinction from the full version. The implication then is that there is no sweetness or honor, which influences the story that would match this title.

And, since you did not specify a fandom I’m going to step away from DoS (anyway, they’re a militaristic society, that’s an easy choice) and go with…

I’m getting some very strong Harry Potter vibes–unsurprising, given the Latin–but I’m also getting some Kingdom Hearts vibes so…

I could do two separate brainstorms or one fusion brainstorm. Let’s see.

The thing is, for the Kingdom Hearts fic I know I’d want to do keyblade wielders who died in the war, but that would involve OCs and while I love the KH franchise, I love it because of the characters not the bewildering story so… unless I adapt characters from somewhere else as keyblade wielders.

Don’t get me wrong, I have many OCs and I love them but this fic would call for at least three of them in the KH world before the events of the games and that doesn’t sound appealing to either write or read. Like. I will stick an OC in the events of story that could use a shake up (and a dash of feminism), but that’s different from multiple OCs in the world but not plot of a story–at that point I might as well adapt it into original fiction.

Alternatively, it’d be multiple vignettes of the last moments of various Disney characters as their world fall into darkness (and as they possibly become summons as the last survivors/strong spirits). Which isn’t as unappealing but doesn’t exactly evoke much of a story/summary.

So Harry Potter it is, I guess.

Or, hey, you know what? Most of my Chronicles of Narnia stuff is “four kids in place of the Pevensies” because I love crossovers/fusions, but I do actually love the Pevensies and I especially love canon divergences in which Peter, Edmund, and Lucy don’t die and we get to find out what kind of badasses all the Pevensies grow up to be in the real world.

And timing wise that might match up with Tom Riddle’s own rise to power. The Pevensies aren’t magical, but they aren’t exactly normal muggles either, and I do love the idea of Pevensies battling the Death Eaters. But it’s so removed from the battles of Narnia that it’s not the same.

It’s not for glory or honor or for protecting their kingdom. It’s bloody and exhausting and horrific. For a good while I think they begin to doubt themselves, especially when the magical world (as ungrateful and useless as in canon) consider them invading muggles who need to obliviated and imprisoned in Azkaban.

And… I think they die. Or at least, three out of the four of them die, and Susan as in canon lives on and decides to live on. Away from the horrific tragedy that took her family from her. And arguably that could very well be compatible with HP canon seeing as how we don’t know all of the details of Voldemort’s first rise. Yeah?

Pro Patria Mori

Britain is still their home, for all that it’s not Narnia, and they’ve never been one to let evil freely reign. But they are not the kings and queens they once were:

There is no magnificence or gentleness, no justice or valiance–there is only war.

Hello again! For the Deer Summons and Christmas Fake fic’s title, I think that “An (Almost) Relaxing Day” would suit it ☺️

Christmas doesn’t quite jive with Naruto world’s culture, but there is an annual festival held in December in Nara, Japan, called the Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri which I think would be a suitable winter holiday substitution that the deer summons would be involved with.

Let’s see, the festival IRL is nearly a millennia old and was meant to offer prayers to eradicate an epidemic and ask for rich harvest. Which could easily be reimagined as how the Akimichi-Nara-Yamanaka alliance becomes solidified (or changes from servitude to friendship) when the three of them came together to stop a plague and pool resources.

Seeing as how Shikako is the first full summoner in a long time (canonically, Sembei-obaasan hasn’t been able to summon Heijomaru for a while) there’s probably a role that the deer summons used to have in the festival that has gone undone for several years, or modified to use regular deer (who, while no doubt smart and friendly to people, are not as capable as sentient ninken), or human stand-in for the summons (like a chosen person wearing a ceremonial deer mask).

So I guess it’d be a lot of clan lore, a lot of world building, a lot of Shikako being trolled by Sembei-obaa and all the other elderly clan members sending the youngins off on various errands. Team Ten is also greatly trolled by the respective clan elders.

Maybe also being trolled by Heijomaru? Shikako having to keep track of Nagaoka (because as the youngest member of the Sika Tribe, he plays an important role in the festival?) which as a very excitable fawn is extremely difficult.

Basically “backstage” mishaps for the festival featuring the deer summons and clan mythology. Maybe there’s a parade through Konoha with the deer summons at the front (which I’m sure Shikako is suuuuuper fond of) except Nagaoka is missing and Heijomaru and Sembei-obaa are just watching, amused, as the youngins run around trying to find the meaning of Christmas. I mean, the meaning of friendship?

An (Almost) Relaxing Day

‘Twas the day before festival, when all through the compound,
the young leader of the parade was nowhere to be found.
His summoner searched in the village displeased,
knowing the venture would not pass with ease…

… it did not.

(No, I would not write the entire thing in that format. Just this summary. Which, embarrassingly, took me a disgusting amount of time.)

“all you have to do is stay” – dos shikako-centric team 7 please?

… mrgh…

I can’t just do a wanderlust!Team Seven, or a wanderlust!Shikako with the rest of Team Seven kind of waiting patiently for her, because I already wrote those and it’s a little too on the nose, isn’t it? So a more abstract interpretation of the title…

I’ve also already done time travel (to different eras, and for different characters and AUs)…

You know for some reason this title reminds me of Watches ‘verse by bendingsignpost. (It’s a BBC Sherlock fic in which John Watson revolves through four different realities whenever he falls asleep. It makes more sense in the fic, and because it was written/finished before season 3 it’s great)

Because what’s better than Shikako stressed out by the oncoming dangerous future? Shikako stressed out by FOUR oncoming dangerous futures. 😀 (My heart’s beginning to beat faster just thinking of it because I’m so horrified by the thought but also, perversely, delighted).

So I guess I’d borrow a little from Reshuffle the Deck for alternative realities mostly because the only thing I can think of that would be Shikako’s most immediate/visible difference would be her genin team.

So one is canon DoS, in which Shikako is on Team Seven with Naruto and Sasuke. One is probably Team Medic!AU!AU, where she is on Team One with Youbirin Nohara and Jiro Watanabe (because this would be a good outsider/baseline/boring reality, I think).

One would probably be the “I’m going to interfere in everything early on” reality–the Cloud v Hyuuga issue, Danzo and the Uchiha massacre, going full on prodigy–to various degrees of success and would thus lead to the most nerve-wracking reality of being on a team with Kabuto.

And the last one would… well, in Watches ‘verse, John has two “calm” realities to offset the more exciting ones and one of them he doesn’t join the army, so I guess I can mirror that in which she doesn’t become a shinobi. Whether that means she goes to the civilian school or the Fire Temple is kind of up in the air. Hm… probably civilian school because that way she’d stay in Konoha? Then again, having the monks of the Fire Temple basically act as her therapists in an alternate reality (and also a surprisingly strong ally against Akatsuki with the heads up) is very satisfying, too. Danzo can’t touch her here. She’s safe.

So on top of being reincarnated from a different world, Shikako’s got another secret of rotating through different realities. On the one hand, quadruple the amount of things to keep track of, but on the other hand she can use the different realities to plan ahead. Ironically, I now realize that one of the repeated phrases in Watches ‘verse is that John “no longer dreams” and DoS is titled… well… Dreaming of Sunshine… so… O_O

Anyway, here’s the summary:

All You Have To Do (Is Stay)

She wakes up in a different reality, in a different body, in a different life. She goes to sleep thinking she is dreaming–or tries to, anyway.

She wakes up, and wakes up, and wakes up, and realizes she will never dream again.

fake fic title – the homework. may it involve iruka somehow.

I know I’ve already referenced The Hangover over in this fake fic title brainstorm but just the title alone for this one feels more Hangover-esque.

So I’m thinking pre-graduation for Team Ebisu (Konohamaru, Moegi, and Udon) and Team Hana (Hanabi, Chiyako, and Ranmaru) on a field trip / survival training / group project of sorts with Iruka-sensei as the bewildered chaperone.

And while they’re not on par with Team Seven, these six are a heady mixture ready to blow. So maybe it’s something like six soon to be genin are sent on a D-rank mission–considering rising tensions and potential war on the horizon, official genin are being used on more critical missions and students are being transitioned into proper mission etiquette, etc. etc.

Anyway, temporary Team Iruka shenanigans. On the one hand, Iruka is very responsible so he shouldn’t lose track of his team (like a certain elite jounin who will not be named), but on the other hand the six students he has on his temporary team are very… strong-willed. And powerful.

Poor Iruka. He probably thought he was done with the chaos when Konoha Twelve graduated. -_-

I’m not sure what D-rank is… I mean catching Tora the cat seems like the obvious choice, but with a Hyuuga and an Aburame and four other to-be-genin, it would be overkill wouldn’t it? Then again, that’s the only D-rank mission iconic enough to be shenanigans-filled so…

Yeah. I mean, its the Inuzuka that really make catching Tora a cakewalk, and since this is without Hana as jounin sensei, it would be enough of a challenge. It’s not as if the Hyuuga train to specifically tell different cats apart, and I feel like Chiyako’s hives are a little more combat specialized than tracking specialized. I mean, still some tracking because kikaichu, but not as good as Shino.

So catching Tora. This damn cat has gotten especially wily over the years and its not like Konoha bystanders are going to help temporary Team Iruka with it (its a right of passage, and no one else wants to touch that hell cat) no matter how fond of Iruka-sensei everyone is.

I don’t know what else specifically I want from this story. So here’s a summary to finish things off:

The Homework

Team Iruka receive the mission to find Tora the cat with the biggest stakes on the line:

No, not impressing the Fire Lady, passing the class!

(Or, Konohamaru accidentally spends a day with his uncle, Moegi fights her fears, Udon learns more about himself, Ranmaru makes a new friend, Hanabi loses some dignity, Chiyako takes a chance, and Iruka-sensei can’t catch a break.)

shikaara, “call on your angels”

Anon, this was one of the more difficult yet compelling prompts I have received during this event. It’s such a seemingly simple phrase and yet evokes such specific imagery that I could not figure out what to do for a good three days. Like a nice mental puzzle I could ponder on while things got slow at work.

Angels, anon. Angels! Unless you meant the Charlie’s Angels franchise, then there’s only really one other reference that could be. And it’s not all that compatible with the culture of the Naruto world, so I know the fake fic has to be either an AU of some sort and/or a metaphorical “angels.”

And the Shikaara aspect! I will be the first to admit I am a Shikaara shipper, anon, but it’s a surprisingly tangling part of this prompt. In order to stay… not in character, but accurately relative to each other… Shikako and Gaara have to be from different places. Whether that be countries as in canon or in various AUs–schools, teams, departments, etc–and in my head I’m just like:

Are they enemies that can summon and battle each other with angels? Is one of them the guardian angel of the other and gets frequently summoned to do battle on their behalf? Why am I thinking about battling angels? I mean, actual legit angels are frightening flaming wheels of millions of eyes so that might be cool and horrifying to watch do battle. Wait. What?

Then I thought, hm, what about that reverse/remix of Stories of Ancient Gods–aka, instead of Final Fantasy VII being the distant past of DoS, DoS is the distant past of FFVII. Shikako’s Gelel stone means she can be summoned in the future to help stop Sephiroth/Jenova, whereas the bijuu are the WEAPONs and the jinchuuriki their humanoid avatars. But then that kind of got away from me and it just didn’t sit right.

And then I considered something like the Inuyasha-esque fusion–fully aware of the irony–but with Gelel instead? Like canon!Suna people are in the Gelel Empire and Shikako travels back in time to that era while researching the Dead Wastes and it’s Shikako displaced in time. Which led me to a slightly tweaked version that became Atlantis: The Lost Empire featuring Milo!Shikako and Kida!Gaara–and the rest of Konoha Twelve as the crew of misfits.

So… yeah. An AtlantisxDoS fusion… Never mind that I’m pretty sure Uzushio is the Naruto world equivalent of Atlantis… anyway.

Call On Your Angels

Shikako and her crew of destructive but lovable misfits brave the Dead Wastes in search of the Lost Empire of Gelel.

Action! Adventure! Romance! Betrayal?

I think, instead of Shikako being conscripted onto the crew and being caught off guard when their mercenary ways are revealed, there’s a bit of Ocean’s Eleven mixed into it? Or Inception.

Like, Haido (Orochimaru?) drops major funds on Shikako’s research and she goes and recruits her friends because THIS IS A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY, GUYS, COME ON. And, well, even if it turns out to be looking at a bunch of rocks that is a lot of money and they could use  a distraction etc. etc.

Except, you know, instead of rocks it’s an entire slowly dying nation because the secret behind the Gelel stones have been forgotten.

Like in Atlantis, Haido/Orochimaru does also hire an entire division of soldiers (nameless thugs with either Temujin or Kabuto as second in command) who do the whole “seize the power crystals/princess and auction the livelihood of the nation off to the highest bidder” thing. But I mean. A bunch of nameless thugs versus Konoha Twelve? Come on.

Sorry anon, I know it doesn’t really match the title, but I just really love that movie and this fusion was the only thing that even vaguely satisfied the constant poking and prodding at your prompt.

Fake Fic: Bridge Over Troubled Water – Stars Also Dream

Hm… this has to be an alternate!POV of Stars Also Dream or a prequel of it. Outside!POV of young Jedi!Yoshino, probably back and forth between Bant and Obi-Wan.

I think maybe Bant’s reluctance/pickiness about her padawan has always been a point of contention between her and Obi-Wan. Especially since he almost aged out of padawan-hood, but also because he stepped up and took on Anakin even though he had only just recently become a knight himself.

There are other canonical points of contention in their friendship beside that (Obi-Wan possibly being indirectly responsible for her first master’s death) but I wonder how much Bant knew about the future that was coming.

Did she know that Anakin would lead to the downfall of the Jedi? Did she know that Obi-Wan would be indirectly responsible for an even greater tragedy than just Master Tahl? Did she know that, one day, far in the future Obi-Wan and Yoshino would be two of the last few Jedi in existence? That Obi-Wan would get to see her padawan as an adult, as a knight, as someone who had grown beyond Bant’s own reach while Bant herself only gets Yoshino for a few scant years. How unfair that Obi-Wan and Anakin get over a decade and ruin it for everyone else.

Alternatively, maybe Obi-Wan has visions about Yoshino. And because he can’t comprehend the context–of a Yoshino crash landed on a hidden planet post Order 66 and rise of Darth Vader–all he sees is Bant’s little, sweet faced padawan as an adult covered in blood and without a lightsaber.

Are both Bant and Obi-Wan suspicious of the others’ padawan?

And while Yoshino was starstruck by The Hero With No Fear, I wonder if Anakin might have also gotten Force feelings from Yoshino during their one meeting. She’s not going to be his downfall, but he can’t destroy her.

Which he shrugs off because, first of all, why would he even try to destroy this tiny padawan (ahahaha… haha… goddamnit Anakin), second of all, how could said tiny padawan possibly withstand the full power/ability of Anakin?

Basically, a bunch of criss-crossing suspicions in the not-really-but-kinda Jedi family of Bant and Obi-Wan as siblings and Yoshino and Anakin as cousins.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Bant stands on the edge of loss, looking down. Anakin takes, uncaring. Obi-Wan suspects the wrong people. And Yoshino doesn’t know yet that she can lose everything.

I don’t know how the timing of Ahsoka as Anakin’s padawan would match up in all this. Then again, she and Yoshino might have been initiates at the same time so… 

as for a title how about something like: You can only hold a smile for so long (after that it’s just teeth)

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Monster Smiles (blood in my teeth)

Loyalty, teamwork, and the Will of Fire–all just pretty words to hide the truth:

The foundation of Konoha’s strength is child soldiers.

And some children are stronger than others.

Mashing up your title offerings since they’re both kind of long but I did like their vibes. So for your prompt in which child genius shinobi reluctantly (or sarcastically?) say “I require an adult” I’m thinking an anthology of various adults of the Naruto world during their time as frighteningly deadly children.

And I know you suggested Kakashi, Itachi, and Tenzo, but technically–seeing as how average graduation age is twelve (in peacetime, nine(?) during war)–all shinobi were child soldiers at some point.

I’d definitely want a scene of basically the Worst Night of Young Shizune’s Life. Because even though she can kill or heal a person in over a dozen ways, life outside of Konoha with Tsunade has a lot less to do with fighting or healing and more to do with finding her shishou in sleazy bars or avoiding debt collectors. Which is made more difficult when, according to civilian standards, she is too young to enter either establishments.

I imagine there’s a lot of Tsunade drunken shenanigans and Shizune having to outmaneuver these DUMB CIVILIAN LAWS and she ends up maybe breaking up an illegal animal fighting ring? And she finds TonTon who was SUPPOSED to be the reward for two dogs (bears?) but is now Shizune’s pet. Basically, the story of why the honorable Godaime Hokage and her first apprentice are banned from one city in particular for eternity.

I would like a section for… aw, I’m already making myself sad… Aoba. Because can you imagine how much of a chatterbox Gossip King Aoba must have been as a child? Just. The most talkative child, so nosy and curious and NO AOBA DON’T TOUCH THAT. (He probably had a saint of a jounin sensei, let’s be real.)

I think maybe his path to Cryptography started early on. He’d play the part of lost child to infiltrate the place, memorize the layout and guard rotations of the place, and for all that he’s annoying he’s also weirdly endearing? Aaaaand then it turns out he’s the vanguard for the REAL mission which may or may not include burglary at the least all the way up to assassination.

Hm… who else would I want to do…

I have a vague horrific idea about Ibiki’s first encounter with torture. He is heartbreakingly young and the last living member of his team but he keeps quiet, keeps his village safe, and manages to gain some counterintelligence while escaping by the skin of his teeth. He crawls his way back to Konoha/the nearest war outpost (because this is probably wartime right?) and is just like. Super professional but bleeding out “I need to speak to the commanding officer,” aka an adult. And everyone’s trying to usher him to the healing tent and he’s just like, no way I have to give a report, my team died and I got tortured for a week, I can handle a few more hours of dying this information is important.

Uh. But yeah, that’d be it. Riding that line between childhood hijinks and the dawning horror of what shinobi childhoods are actually like. 😀

“You are blood and earth, not theory and chalk.” In reference to sealing in the naruto-verse (preferably dos)

blood and earth (not theory and chalk)

Once they dared to rewrite the universe, but their fires have long gone cold, their legacy turned to dust.

Shikako walks in the footsteps of titans and listens to their echoes.

Sorry, did you mean ALL of my Uzushio feelings?

I have so many Uzushio feelings, wildtabbykat, so many. And the barest traces of fuinjutsu is all we have left of Uzushio. An entire culture that thrived and believed in the impossible but got killed off so ignobly. T_T All my Uzushio feels.

Aaaaanyway, that’s what this is about. Because in my head the journey of fuinjutsu MUST include Uzushio. Either the beginning–when some enterprising Uzushio citizen first even fathomed the possibility of translating their sense of will and imagination into reality–or the climactic middle–Uzushio striving for sustainable peace or reaching too far (but how far can be too far considering the Uzumaki are canonically allied with the Shinigami?) and being struck down for their hubris.

And Konoha as it’s end: the sporadic existences of fuinjutsu masters impressive only when Uzushio has been forgotten (in Uzushio, seals were taught alongside letters and numbers, as vital to understanding the world as language and science. In Uzushio fuinjutsu mastery was as common and expected as fluency in the native language. [Maybe I am over-romanticizing Uzushio. But you can pry this unfounded love for a dead fictional civilization out of my weak, squishy, un-moisturized hands.])

Surprisingly, despite the fact that it’s completely feasible and canonically possible for Shikako to travel in time and see Uzushio in all its not destroyed glory, I think this would be a more traditional pilgrimage. Learning about Uzushio via epistolary and archaeological methods.

If they were aiming for sustainable peace decades before the rest of the world considered it, then I wonder if this would help with Shikako’s understandable PTSD. She originally goes as a research trip for fuinjutsu, obviously, but she learns more. About their way of life, their culture, their ideals and morals. How they soared and why they fell.

Closure for herself and Uzushio.

All my feels T_T

Seven Deadly Sins was AWESOME!!! I have a one word title for you, DoS Team seven or just Shikako please :) : “Insuperable”

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Listen, anons, I don’t mean to depreciate your separate prompts, but I saw these all and they just clicked together like some kind of beautiful triforce that turned into:

BATMAN!KAKO!!! 😀

And, okay, I know that Gotham!anon wanted Shikako as the James Gordon equivalent once she starts to emulate Ibiki, but why not just have Ibiki as James Gordon and Shikako as Batman? She CAN work within the system, but she prefers not to because it’s not as efficient.

And the way Ibiki tacitly covered for them during the Land of Tea arc–yes, mostly because of Idate, but still–very Commissioner Gordon plausible deniability, I think. Alternatively Shikaku could be a pretty good Commissioner Gordon for his daughter-the-vigilante.

And the gif, come on, the gif!

So, basically, superhero!AU with Shikako as Batman, Sasuke as Superman, and Naruto as Wonderwoman. Equivalents, of course. They need some tweaking to their respective backstories because Shikako’s the only one who isn’t an orphan, Sasuke is no boy scout, and as much as I love Naruto, he’s no Wonderwoman.

I suppose Shikako has a background more like Batgirl–the Barbara Gordon version, that is. Sasuke’s background might be more like Starfire’s (last loyal son of Uchiha, yeah, but maybe instead of genjutsu torture Itachi had him enslaved). And while Naruto is not Wonderwoman, per se, maybe Kushina was–Uzushio as Themyscira?–and so he’s the half human half Amazon son of Wonderwoman and super genius human Minato (who is basically Lex Luthor except, you know, not evil). Which I guess means he’s like Superboy–the Kon-El version, that is.

Anyway:

Insuperable

Konoha: city of crime, corruption, and misery–too much for one vigilante to handle.

But three? Well, they can certainly try.

Maybe they’re not heroes, but they’ll definitely be remembered.

I just realized, I think Kakashi is the Mayor or the DA and also all of their (platonic) Lois Lane. The number of plans targeting him is kind of ridiculous, but what’s even more ridiculous is the number of times he ends up being carried princess-style by one of the three vigilantes. Even though they’re all shorter than him. 🙂

There are separate arcs, of course–How Shikako’s family find out about her alter-ego. Itachi coming to Konoha and ruining everything (as he does) and Sasuke has to face his demons. Naruto finding out about Themyscira and having to decide between the home he knows and possible family–but the story would be mostly about how these three weirdoes first of all even become the heroes of Konoha, then how they rise to the level of the DC Trinity.

‘Freedom’s just another word’. Zabuza (and /or Haku :))

Gosh. Zabuza is such a difficult character. I mean, SQ points it out–from the outside he’s completely inconsistent: murders his entire class as a kid, adopts and raises an orphan, joins the Mist Rebellion(maybe only in DoS canon?), takes a mission to kill Tazuna but doesn’t go about it in the most efficient way despite being known for assassination etc etc

No doubt in his own POV his actions make sense, but still. What’s going on in that head of his? Canon (and DoS canon) Zabuza is so bewildering to me that I just… I’m probably gonna have to slap an AU on this, anon.

Or, actually…

For some reason I kind of want the ghosts of his classmates to haunt him? And, yeah, some of them are the typical “you killed me and now I’ll make you suffer” but some of them are just kind of assholes who bug the shit out of him until he does something.

Like. Become one of the Seven Swordsmen. I mean, he was going to be one of the strongest Mist shinobi anyway, but there’s something like prestige/honor (or, at least, there ought to be but we know SO DAMN LITTLE about them) in being a member that it doesn’t seem like Zabuza’s style. Being part of a group is very… orderly. And I’m pretty sure Zabuza is a Chaotic Neutral (DoS version, at least. Canon is probably Chaotic Evil, let’s be honest).

Oh. Maybe, like, in order for the ghosts of all of his classmates to pass on he has to fulfill one request. And, you know, they’re literally thirty different people and their requests are all over the place and that’s the reason why Zabuza’s actions don’t make any sense. Because he has thirty different motivations.

Also, I don’t actually think Zabuza killed all thirty. I think it’s more like–everyone was paired up to kill their partner as per tradition, so fifteen killed fifteen like usual. But Zabuza’s first kill aka his assigned partner’s request was for him to kill the other “winners.” Because, eh, if I just got murdered by my classmate my last request would be part spiteful part wild guessing.

I don’t know what tone would work for this fic, though. Because on the one hand, there has to be those beautiful crystalline moments in which a Yuki clan ghost spots Haku in the snow. And that ghost had been pretty quiet, one of the least annoying of Zabuza’s passengers, and hadn’t ever considered what their last request might be. Except then they see Haku and suddenly they know. “You have to take care of him,” they say, “Promise.”

And, shit, even if it weren’t going to help that ghost move on Zabuza’s grown reluctantly fond of that ghost in particular (he’s reluctantly fond of a lot more of them than he’ll admit) that he’d probably do it anyway. And it’s poignant because Zabuza keeps his promise but that means the Yuki clan ghost moves on and so there’s no way for Haku to even secondhand meet a clan member of his.

… and then on the other hand, I’m pretty sure there are some ghosts who are just like, “Hey dumbass, you just got outplayed by a twelve year old girl,” when Shikako catches him in her shadow. And just heckle the shit out of him no matter what he does:

“Why are you talking when the whole point is silent killing?” and

“Did you really buy Haku a pet rabbit–who knew the Demon of the Mist was such a softie?” and

“You know what would be cool? (*snorts*) Cow print leg and arm warmers and (*laughs*) striped pants (*would be dying with laughter if they weren’t ghosts and thus already dead*) and no shirt” – I bet at least one ghost decided to ‘sacrifice’ their last request just to put him in that walking fashion travesty.

Which is basically the kind of redemption arc I’d want to put Zabuza through: some poignant touching scenes interspersed with a lot of heckling and mocking from a bunch of assholes to King Asshole. And some sass from young Haku who may not be able to see or hear or even perceive the various ghosts haunting his guardian, but somehow learns from them how to make fun of Zabuza.

Straddling the line between horror and comedy, I guess, considering the reason why all these ghosts exist in the first place is because Mist actively encourages their children to kill each other (and one in particular went overboard).

Anyway, here’s the summary:

Freedom’s Just Another Word

Everyone who ever knew him from before is dead–so one would think that’d be enough to cut his ties to the past.

Too bad they won’t shut up.

(edit: oh, whoops. I meant to queue this… ah, well, I guess I’ll just have two posts for today then?)