Flip to the Last Page, Nara Twins, 32) Things you said I wouldn’t understand

donapoetrypassion:

jacksgreysays:

Flip to the Last Page, 32) things you said I wouldn’t understand

“I just need some time,” your sister says, eyes looking everywhere but at you. She’s packing, grabbing things at random, placing then removing then folding then replacing, anything to keep her hands busy.

“I just need to be alo–I just need some space,” she stammers, and you can’t hear anything in your head to refute that mostly because she’s slammed a wall on your connection, metal bars and concrete.

As the two of you grew, so did your control over your connection. No more the constant, unconscious flow of childhood–thoughts more often impressions than words–now you can utilize it strategically: plans and intel, Jounin Commander in the making. Or, rather, you would if your sister weren’t blocking you out.

“I just need to think,” she says, and this third time hits the worst because you know if she were letting her thoughts seep through, you’d hear the added “by myself.”

Futilely, you try to send your arguments through her barrier: why can’t you think here? You’re already cutting me off, obviously you’ve made space for yourself. Why won’t you stay?

If she hears anything, she doesn’t respond beyond the flattening of her mouth into a tight, tense line.

The two of you are supposed to be a team, siblings, friends, partners. She makes it seem as if your twin bond is nothing more than a prison. One with a life sentence at that.

That makes her soften, her furrowed brow transitioning from frustrated to contrite, but no less determined.

“I just… need to know that I’m not making things worse.”

~

A/N: VERY BELATED, VERY SHORT, VERY SORRY DONA! Apparently there’s a little bit more needed from me for Geek Show and also May is a hectic month for me in general. Also, FttLP is a massive mystery to me still despite it being something I wrote…

I feel sorry for this Shikamaru. He’s grown up around Shikako like a vine around a trellis.

I’m still trying to work how how different he is from DOS Shikamaru- he must be, at least in the “does not instinctually trust the village” sense.

…I don’t know if he even looks at his dad as a guide as much as he does his sister. He admires him, yes. But he wouldn’t instinctively go to him for things the way DOS Shikamaru would. And when he thinks about being Jounin Commander, it’s as a set. Even when he disagrees with Shikako, he’s responding to her. He’s not deciding things on his own.

I’m not sure he’d deal with losing her as well as Hiashi did. (To the extent that Hiashi was able to deal with it “well.”)

…I’m a little curious that Shikako might seek Hiashi out on this. She’s not gonna be able to go to anyone when she worries her existence will disrupt the future. But worries that she’s stunting her brothers growth as a person (and that Shika may be letting her)… maybe she can share that. I definitely got the feeling she was talking about both things when she said “making things worse.”

FttLP!Shikamaru is very different from DoS!Shikamaru (who is very different from canon!Shikamaru, of course). I wouldn’t say FttLP!Shika is more dependent than DoS!Shika–since I interpret a lot of DoS!Shika’s current frustration to be that he can no longer consider himself “Kako’s protector”–but there’s definitely a weird dynamic going on. Like, FttLP!Shika knew from the beginning that Shikako is a reincarnated adult and that she has knowledge that no one else does. While FttLP!Shikako had the same issues with chakra and some social anxiety like DoS!Shikako, which would prompt a similar protectiveness in FttLP!Shikamaru, there was still a sort of… he looked to her as the font of knowledge/experience whereas, as you said, DoS!Shikamaru would definitely go to their dad for instead.

The Nara twins would not be nearly as good at dealing with the other’s loss as Hiashi arguably was. Mostly because Nara are… not “designed,” per se, but trained? encouraged? to rely on strategic/critical thinking whereas the Hyuuga are more about full sight and reflexes… I probably ought to write more about the comparison/contrast of the different sets of twins…

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Flip to the Last Page, Nara Twins, 32) Things you said I wouldn’t understand

Flip to the Last Page, 32) things you said I wouldn’t understand

“I just need some time,” your sister says, eyes looking everywhere but at you. She’s packing, grabbing things at random, placing then removing then folding then replacing, anything to keep her hands busy.

“I just need to be alo–I just need some space,” she stammers, and you can’t hear anything in your head to refute that mostly because she’s slammed a wall on your connection, metal bars and concrete.

As the two of you grew, so did your control over your connection. No more the constant, unconscious flow of childhood–thoughts more often impressions than words–now you can utilize it strategically: plans and intel, Jounin Commander in the making. Or, rather, you would if your sister weren’t blocking you out.

“I just need to think,” she says, and this third time hits the worst because you know if she were letting her thoughts seep through, you’d hear the added “by myself.”

Futilely, you try to send your arguments through her barrier: why can’t you think here? You’re already cutting me off, obviously you’ve made space for yourself. Why won’t you stay?

If she hears anything, she doesn’t respond beyond the flattening of her mouth into a tight, tense line.

The two of you are supposed to be a team, siblings, friends, partners. She makes it seem as if your twin bond is nothing more than a prison. One with a life sentence at that.

That makes her soften, her furrowed brow transitioning from frustrated to contrite, but no less determined.

“I just… need to know that I’m not making things worse.”

~

A/N: VERY BELATED, VERY SHORT, VERY SORRY DONA! Apparently there’s a little bit more needed from me for Geek Show and also May is a hectic month for me in general. Also, FttLP is a massive mystery to me still despite it being something I wrote…

Re dating in FttLP: ALSO consider the hilarity of Tsume teasing Shikako about Kiba making a good boyfriend and Shikamaru hearing. (Though I do think that as they age they would be able to shield their thoughts when they want to be separate, otherwise it would be functionally no different to a hive mind situation. Also, not all missions would need a twin at home for updated orders, so if nothing was going on, twins could still get assigned the same missions, surely).

Yeah, they can’t be hive mind otherwise that’d be no fun. I quite like the idea that even though the twins both “hear” the same thing, they react differently. So Tsume telling Shikako that Kiba would make a good boyfriend would cause confusion in ever-oblivious Shikako, whereas Shikamaru would hold a heretofore unseen grudge against Kiba for a while.

I suppose for the short term “find the ferret” mission, both twins being sent would make sense–they can cover a larger area faster and with instantaneous communication–and would be a good first command mission for new chuunin!Shikamaru and Naruto (although, given the bond, would that have pushed Shikako’s almost promotion due to strategizing into an actual promotion?) So that covers the Gelel arc.

But I don’t see why they would both be assigned to the longer-term semi-diplomatic mission to Land of Moon… Or, rather, that they would both be assigned, but only one of them would physically go while the other stays behind to act as Intel handler.

Three Way Street, Tenten & Shikamaru (& Shikako), Flip to the Last Page AU

… aaaAAAAAHHHH! I hadn’t considered this before because like… HOW DOES PRIVACY WORK WITH TWINS IN THIS WORLD?

Privacy is a thing of the past.

Literally.

Shikako only vaguely remembers what it was like not to have someone else in her head, listening in on her every thought and responding with their own.

Shikamaru has never known any different.

And, like, in theory that’s a compelling thought–BUT DATING?! PUBERTY?! HORMONES?! LIVING THEIR OWN SEPARATE LIVES?!

Uuuummm…

To be clear, though, they are definitely separate people. It’s not some kind of hive mind situation going on. It’s a two person wireless network, different distinct servers but connected.

So TenTen dating Shikamaru is definitely TenTen dating Shikamaru. She’s not dating both of them, even if Shikako is basically unwillingly eavesdropping on their dates.

… there has to be some way to shield thoughts to some extent.

Or maybe I’m overestimating the connection. Maybe they only share thoughts deliberately or while dreaming and experiencing extreme emotions/adrenaline?

Like a mental immune system of sorts? So when they’re younger it blends together a lot–to the point where they switch bodies accidentally–but as they grow older they get better at filtering out “unimportant” thoughts.

Which does kind of mirror the twins’ relationship in canon!DoS–that they are in sync when they’re younger and struggle to understand each other as they get older.

I’m getting away from the topic, I think.

Three Way Street would probably be from TenTen’s POV, just to differentiate how she witnesses the twins’ relationship versus from canon!DoS. And, like. It’s probably just small, somewhat bizarre things.

Like, while she and Shikako are working on their sealing lessons, Shikako looks up and is like “Oh, Shikamaru wants to know if you’re free tomorrow night for dinner? They’re coming back from their mission early.” And like… okay, convenient, but weird.

And then while she’s out with Shikamaru they’re in the middle of sparring date and he pauses and goes, “Shikako would like your opinion on X seal.” And, well, she does like collaborating with Shikako. She doesn’t really appreciate the spar being interrupted, but the seal idea is compelling enough that she doesn’t mind so much.

But then, well, does it get unnerving at some point? Like, while she’s with both of them there’s just complete silence and then they both react to something she can’t hear?

Or when they come back from the Land of the Moon it’s just so much bleed through of their strained relationship that whenever she hangs out with either of them it emanates out…

And now I have to get off topic again because, well, would the twins EVER be sent out on the same mission? That seems like the dumbest thing for mission’s desk to do. In which case, would the Gelel and Land of Moon missions even happen the same way?

AAAAAAAAGH, I did not think this through…

Flip to the Last Page- Jashin

I’m still not sure how much differs between canon!DoS and FttLP–because surely there should be some logistical consequences to telepathic Nara twins. But this ficlet pre-supposes that, except for the telepathy, everything has gone exactly the same… Hope you enjoy, dona, and thanks again for the prompt!

~

It was like nothing they had ever experienced before.

Shikako still remembers the Kyuubi with startling, crystal clarity–that dense, corrosive aura which haunts their nightmares to this day.

In the Land of Waves, she was the first to experience a jounin’s killing intent, freezing Shikamaru with fear while his team was painting a fence of all things.

Even though the ultimate victory had been won through compassion and not military might, it had been proof of concept: reinforcements assembled to dismantle Gatou’s empire. Something that was stress tested a worrying amount, with how frequently Shikako’s missions went awry.

But all of those, even the Kyuubi, were nothing compared to a god.

///

It wasn’t even like Gelel, really.

In the Dead Wastes of Wind Country, the differences between them were never more clear. Being told a song exists is not the same as hearing it for oneself.

And in those moments of heart-stopping panic it had hurt–had burned like staring directly in the sun–but he had gotten her back, if somewhat changed.

But that searing starlight had been incidental, the cost of interacting with beings with more power beyond comprehension: Gelel had been benign.

The same could never be said of Jashin.

///

The worst part, maybe, was that there was no warning.

Even with that damned Tsukuyomi–which had cut them off from each other, Shikamaru alone for the first time in his life knowing that the entire time his twin was being tortured and he could do nothing–there had been even the vaguest idea that it might happen.

One moment, he had been relieved that his sister’s S-ranked mission was simple intel gathering in a sleepy resort town, the next…

Death would have been a kindness.

///

When Shikaku Nara sees his daughter covered in blood and ash, slung over the back of her strongest deer summon, walking out of the razed and ruined remains of Land of Hot Springs, he knows he must go home even before the message comes from Konoha.

He doesn’t know what Shikako went through, but he knows both of his heirs are in dire straights.

Check out the Ask Box Author’s Cut event!

I think there’s a missing entry in Flip to the Last Page? The tag goes, 1, (anon question), 3, 4, 5 … and I don’t think you mean for the anon question to be 2, but it’s a little hard to tell.

Oh, whoops. There is a Flip To The Last Page 2/?, but I forgot to tag it with the series title. And, well, considering I didn’t follow up or reference this installment whatsoever I can see how that might be confusing.

It should be fixed now, though. Thanks for letting me know anon!

Flip To The Last Page, 5/? (2017-02-06)

The heart of the issue is that, in order to best utilize the bond between the Nara twins, they have to be separated.

Synchronized battle rhythms could be trained; compounded shadow jutsu, while impressive, cannot compare to the strategic value of instantaneous intel.

For the benefit of Konoha, the twins would have to be separated.

More than that, one of them would have to be on a frontline team.

The question is which one?

Their first two years at the Academy, very few adults think Shikako will make the cut.

She is certainly intelligent enough, unusual determination aside, and that’s not even including her bond with her brother. The problem, of course, is the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of her atypical chakra system.

Chakra exercises don’t come up until third year, but already the side affects are seen. Physically, she can’t match her classmates. Every so often, her coils burn or her levels drop worryingly low with no real predictable pattern.

Absences from classes aren’t a problem–twin bond keeping her up to date on lessons–but it’s a not a promising trait in a potential soldier. Unreliable and sickly and unable to keep up.

Perhaps its for the best, though, some of the teachers think, a future Jounin Commander who can be in two places at once–on the field and in the village both–relaying information and troop movements in real time.

A glorified messenger hawk.

Fortunately for Shikako, she has an epiphany on her chakra.

Unfortunately for Shikamaru, his sister has an epiphany on her chakra.

The twins are tested.

Or perhaps that is not the correct term.

They are assessed and observed accordingly to properly place them into teams.

Which is not to say the rest of their Academy class–or, at least, the elites of the class–do not also get the attention of the teachers. Genin team formations are not something to be taken lightly.

But for the twins, extra care is taken. Or perhaps extra criteria are considered.

Ino-Shika-Cho of course, but for which twin? And what to do with the other twin…

A support team or a heavy hitter combat team? Maybe a revival of the apprenticeship system: but with a jounin firmly grounded in the Intel Division or one who travels to foreign lands?

What should be done with the Nara twins?

~

A/N: Some more based on @donapoetrypassion’s response for what the adults think of the Nara twins’ genin team placement.

I don’t think I’ll stray too far from canon!DoS since… well… why would I? But I kind of like to bring up the possibilities of different avenues.

Can you imagine Shikako having a formal apprenticeship with Aoba (he is a jounin, after all)? Or, Shinigami forbid, Ibiki?

And, you know, it’d be pretty smart to keep one of the twins in the village at all times if they’re really going to lean into the twin bond. Either medic nin or intel nin could work for that…