So to stay compatible with those previous posts of dragon rider!AU, Team Seven is the crew of Pakkun–the Hatake clan’s middleweight dragon–and Gaara is the captain of a near-feral Shukaku who is Sand’s heavyweight.
Hrm… how do I get Shikaara from this set up?
It’s gotta be a Gelel thing, right?
Then again, minus Kakashi, Team Seven and Pakkun were canonically fighting Shukaku during the Konoha Chuunin Exam/Sand and Sound Invasion so it could be a situation in which middleweight Pakkun takes on heavyweight Shukaku without his captain, and… nah, that’s their first meeting how would I make that Shikaara? Unless it’s just an adaptation of canon Shikako and Gaara interactions into this dragon rider!AU, but that’s not very…
ARGH! I think I’ve been falling into a trap with these brainstorms of trying to stick too closely to canon or something I’ve already done, and that’s not fair at all!
So I’m going to disregard all that and go with what I would write in a sideways world without previous posts to hold me down:
find me where the wild things are
Beyond the forest,
over the mountains,
across the desert dry,
Is a land full of
adventure where both
humans and dragons fly.
Or, Shikako comes from a clan of ground walkers, but that’s not what will save her friends.
A little bit of the already established dragon rider!AU mixed with some fairy tale-esque vibes. I think this version of dragon rider!AU would draw more heavily from the How To Train Your Dragon mythos than Temeraire.
I like the idea that there is a different story going on between Naruto, Sasuke, the Kyuubi, and the Akatsuki madness which Shikako is trying to extricate them from but won’t actually be part of until, like, “book two” of this imaginary now-trilogy.
Book one is about Shikako traveling to Sand where she knows other dragon riders are in order to petition their help or something, and she meets Gaara not knowing he is both the prince and the rider of Sand’s strongest dragon until the time for her official royal audience which, because bureaucracy, is a few weeks away.
Possibly Gelel is a dragon that Shikako stumbles upon and bonds with–alternatively it’s some magical technique which can calm/heal/control dragons? Unsure. Whatever it is, she uses it on Shukaku to his and Sand’s benefit which bumps her up in the petition queue (understandably).
And then there’s the “reveal” when Gaara commits to helping her, and while she’s grateful for that she’s also somewhat hurt that he “lied” to her about his identity, etc. etc.