(one: arranged marriage)
Shikaku’s daughter is a quiet creature. Content, but silent; solitary. She would rather read books or watch the grazing deer or follow in his and Yoshino’s footsteps than go outside and play with the other children.
It’s nothing to be worried about: Shikamaru is much the same, switching shogi for books and deer for clouds, though he, at least, has Chouji. Shikaku had been self-contained as a child, too, it is the way of most Nara children, he thinks, though he remembers, hazily, how Ikoma had been a little more active.
Eventually Shikako will come out of her shell–or perhaps she won’t, there is no rushing these things, pressure will only make the matter worse–Shikaku is prepared to be patient with his daughter.
Patience is not the problem.
“You want… what?” Shikaku asks, blindsided for the first time in three years–the last time had been when the ambassador from Cloud double crossed them and tried to kidnap the Hyuuga heiress–and by his own daughter no less.
His tiny, quiet daughter, who looks up at him, head tilted slightly, as if he’s the one acting oddly. “An engagement,” she says, with an odd twist to her mouth, as if the very word is bitter on her tongue, “to Sasuke Uchiha.”
He looks at Yoshino who also has an expression of bewilderment on her face.
“Shikako, sweetheart,” she says, stalling for time, trying to parse her thoughts, doing a better job than he is at the moment. “Just because you have a crush on this boy, it doesn’t mean you need to marry him. You can,” she pauses, glances at Shikaku, finding some sort of comfort from him, “Start small, honey, try being his friend first.”
It’s sound advice, truly; it probably would have ended the conversation if this were in fact a discussion about a girl with a crush on a boy.
It is not.
“I don’t have a crush on him,” Shikako says, entirely honest, no hint of embarrassed denial in her tone, “I don’t want this for me, I want this for…”
She drifts off. Neither he or Yoshino want to interrupt, and so they stay silent as she thinks. Searching for the right words.
“It’s the smart thing to do.”
[She is only a child, an untrained child, but what is the point of having this knowledge if not to save lives? She cannot stop this as a shinobi, not with her chakra hypersensitivity and her less than a year’s worth of training, not against S-class ninja who would sooner kill her than look at her.
But in this world she is not only a child. She is a Nara. The clan head’s only daughter, and that means something.
The Uchiha were isolated, seething and resentful, planning for a coup against a village that had already betrayed them. But what if she could change that? What if somehow, she could bring them back into the fold? The Uchiha were one of the founding clans of Konoha, and they just have to be reminded of this fact.
She is a Nara, and with her comes her clan. And where her clan goes, the Akimichi and the Yamanaka follow. And four clans is enough, has to be enough. Danzo cannot kill them all, not when the Akimichi are so deeply entrenched in the civilian sectors. Not when the Yamanaka pervade every branch of the shinobi forces. Not when her father is the Jounin Commander, as his father was before him, as, likely, his son will be after him.
She can do this. This isn’t something that requires chakra and jutsu and strength she doesn’t yet have and might never get. And, anyway, marriage is such a small thing to sacrifice to save so many lives and to prevent so much grief and hardship. It may not have to be a sacrifice at all. Sasuke, as she knows him from the past, was a product of his tragedy, twisted and angry and bitter but still with some moments of kindness and courage. Sasuke as she knows him now is just a little boy, but there is still kindness in him, and maybe some courage. More smiles, that’s for sure.
She will marry him and maybe they’ll become friends, maybe they’ll grow to love one another, maybe they’ll be happy together. But even if they don’t, even if they are cold to each other, civil colleagues forced to live together, then she’d still do it.
It’s the smart thing to do.]
A/N: Well… that was a quicker turn around time than I thought it would be. Also… I was supposed to go to sleep three hours ago but… oh well.
This is for you, anon, who wanted some Shikako/Sasuke. But that’s not all! As you can tell from the title I will be doing more installments of this in the future. Probably not as quickly–but it will definitely happen! Though, I’d definitely appreciate some Shikasuke-specific prompts to help with future installments
Title (or at least, the main title, not the subtitle) is from the song “The Only Dream” by Tyrone & Elina because it’s one of the few love songs in my favorites playlist and also it kind of works really well for the Shikasuke ship. Not this particular ficlet, but the general vibe I get of the ship from DoS.
Further Down Road One, (2016-04-15)
Someone is testing his patience–unfortunately, Danzo doesn’t know who.
His plan to destroy the Uchiha and steal their Sharingan–justified by preventing a coup, of course–has been thwarted by a single engagement. Which ought to point out the culprit as that upstart Nara clan head, especially given his tenacious tracking of supplies Danzo has appropriated for ROOT, except there is more:
The Merchant’s Guild, primarily a civilian organization, has begun making inquiries into some of Danzo’s less legitimate businesses–though they are several times removed from himself. The Intel Division, who aren’t worth the title shinobi, are enacting a stricter review over mission assignments and reports, restricting his soldiers’ movements.
The Uchiha Police Force–yet another reason to exterminate those overpowered menaces–have received anonymous tips, turning certain deaths from “accidental” to “potential foul play.” Most are easily avoided, but some lead directly to the younger recruits recently orphaned on his orders.
It is too many instances to be Shikaku Nara, beyond his scope as Nara clan head and Jounin Commander. And yet, the timing is far too suspicious to be merely coincidental.
Someone is testing his patience.
[She is still a Nara, no matter what she’s consigned herself to be in the future, and there are some parts of her heritage that she refuses to lose. Shogi may seem like such a small thing, but it is a connection she refuses to sever. She will remember these soft, lazy days with her parents and her brother fondly.
Also, the lessons are useful.
She has stepped into a shogi game spanning the entire village. Danzo has his political contacts, his wealth, and ROOT as his pieces. In opposition are her clans–present and future–their allies, and herself.
Danzo is paranoid, increasingly so, but not enough to correctly guess the identity of his opponent.
Shikako is piece and player, both.]
He is so busy straddling the line between clan heir and loyal ANBU that when news of his little brother’s engagement finally makes it’s way through the fog of stress and desperation, Itachi is completely blindsided.
Shisui is, too, so it’s not like he has any high ground to stand on. “Your little sister in law is very cute.”
“Future sister in law,” Itachi says back, just to be contrary, “Also, she’s six.”
“Yeah, which is why I said cute; smart, too, quiet, though,” he smirks, “She reminds me of you, actually,” he says pointedly enough that Itachi meets his eyes in curiosity.
There is danger in speaking out loud, unsure of who may hear, and so Itachi and Shisui have developed their own silent language.
Shisui can’t actually be thinking about bringing a six year old into their counter conspiracy, can he?
“She’s six,” Itachi repeats out loud.
“And what were you doing when you were six?” Shisui responds, dryly, “Anyway, I’m not saying we do anything until you actually talk to her.”
Itachi hums noncommittally.
“Ask her about the engagement,” Shisui suggests, “about whose idea it was.”
[She isn’t really expecting to make friends, doesn’t have the time to, what with the silent war she’s undertaken. She has her brother, she doesn’t really need anyone else. And anyway, allies are one thing, but friends? Not likely.]
Mikoto has always had a soft spot for Sasuke: he is her baby, after all, unlike Itachi who has the weight of Fugaku and the clan elder’s expectations. Which is why she keeps such a close eye on her daughter-in-law to be. Mikoto is not against the engagement–Shikako Nara is a good match for her youngest son, and a sweet girl from what she’s seen–but she’ll be damned if her baby ends up in a marriage that makes him miserable.
As it is, perhaps she is too busy expecting the worst, focusing on Shikako instead of Sasuke, because he seems to be quite content with the engagement. Happy, even. Maybe even in love–though they are both only twelve and it is too early to say–at the very least, on the path to it.
Sasuke is her baby, so she was planning to pass down her summoning contract to him, but it appears as if he has other ideas:
“It’s an Uchiha contract,” Fugaku denies, never mind that it’s not even his decision to make, trying to divert his youngest son from this notion with a cold tone of voice.
But Sasuke holds his head up, standing firm against his father, and easily says, “Shikako will be my wife. She will be an Uchiha.”
The confidence, the devotion, the clear, pure conviction that he is right, that he will do this for his bride-to-be, no matter what his father–who might as well have been his god–says. It doesn’t matter what Mikoto thinks of Shikako Nara, not really, because she knows enough about the girl from this single moment to know. Sasuke may not love her yet, but he’s definitely on the way: as far as Mikoto is concerned, if Shikako is worthy of that, then she can be worthy Mikoto’s other legacy.
[She knows there is a deer summons. Knows that, because of the engagement, she will never be allowed to sign it. She may be a Nara for now, but she will not be in the future, and and children she has will be Uchiha not Nara. The deer contract should remain in the clan, she knows that, it’s enough that she still gets to learn shadow jutsu.
It’s a minor thing, anyway, summoning. There are powerful shinobi who don’t have summoning contracts and it’s not like she was guaranteed to have the deer summons, anyway. It was just a spare thought. Something that would have been nice to have–not something she needs. She resigns herself, something she’s been doing a lot of, to never being a summoner.
Except Sasuke changes that. His mother has a contract, and while it was originally meant to be for him, he’s convinced her to offer it to Shikako. And that still doesn’t guarantee anything–maybe the cats won’t like her, maybe they’ll reject her as a summoner–but it’s far more than she was expecting.
Cats are not deer, and being an Uchiha bride is not the same as being a Nara daughter, but it’s more than what she was expecting. More than enough.]
A/N: @book14reader and I had a very lengthy discussion (transcript here) about the consequences of a Shikasuke engagement. Primarily? The Problem of Danzo. And while I still basically sidestepped the issue, I thought it was important enough to brush over. In a way, this AU’s ultimate Big Bad isn’t Akatsuki or Madara, it’s Danzo. So… there you go.
Also, the other two were just kind of cute thoughts… and two POVs who I probably wouldn’t be able to do otherwise? Given… the obvious.