So the thing is, OBVIOUSLY Haku would have a primarily Ice-type team, but the question is, WHICH Ice-types. We want them to be elegant, yes, to match his aesthetic, but also crazy huge and powerful because the idea of Haku surrounded by hulking Ice-types is also fantastic.
So I guess a compromise between the two would be best…
Glaceon – his first Pokemon, possibly inherited from his mother? Glaceon was the one that helped him survive early on, but Ice can’t keep a child warm in the winter.
Weavile – his second, honing himself as a weapon for Zabuza, but also that hint of underlying mischief
Aurorus – realizing there’s more to life than just dying for Zabuza. Also, look how pretty this Pokemon is!
Lapras – “off screen” of DoS, becoming an irreplaceable member of the Mist Rebellion and Mei’s go-to diplomat/the face of the new Mist
Avalugg – he took on Gaara. And yes, maybe most of that was for show, but he’s a force to be reckoned with in his own right.
maybe not necessarily in dos canon, but in your aus focusing on their relationships, it is easy to interpret their relationship as “more than friendship, but not less than romantic, just something different” (and there i would talk about alterous attraction but i haven’t really explored that term myself a lot more) (2/2)
Oh! I did not know about the term alterous, but I think that’s how I interpret Shikaara–as an ambiguous mix between platonic and romantic. Of course, not in canon but in a canon adjacent AU such as Dreaming of S(omething).
I think Naruto and Shikako are very platonic. Even in my post-series Waking Up Starstruck (which is my attempt to do a Narukako ship) it’s still not all that romantic. And not even because of my interpretation of Shikako as aro/demi, but because I cannot for the life of me understand Naruto’s character. He and I just are not simpatico. I love him but I do not understand him. I don’t know if they would even have a QPR or maintain their less intense friendship.
Naruto and Sasuke’s relationship is too steeped in canon for me to disentangle (SasuNaru was one of my “Baby’s First Ships”) so I don’t know if they would have a QPR or a romantic relationship… But I do think Naruto and Haku would have a fantastic QPR in a canon adjacent AU, so at least I know him that much, right?
Let’s see, who else…
As Ino’s co-spouses, Sakura and Sai are not romantic with each other, but they do develop a sweet QPR which is very nice for their triad marriage.
I imagine Team Gai are not romantically interested in each other, but they are the closest thing they all have to family which would easily translate to QPRs. Especially when they’re older and their personalities have matured.
Actually, yeah, if I’m not restricting myself to canon. Then in a canon adjacent AU, that Kiba+Shikako QPR would definitely exist.
Oh, in the Team Medic!AU (Team One with Sakura, Youbirin, and Jiro passed with a combat medic jounin sensei)–or, at least, the How To Adult Properly series based on it–Team One definitely have QPR because they have no boundaries with each other.
I don’t know who else, this is a big question. There are so many characters that’s like an infinite number of combinations so…
But I do appreciate your question, so thanks for asking, anon 🙂
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.
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?)
This one is the last of the Ask Box Advent Calendar Event (for 2016), and what an interesting way to end it, anon. 🙂
Let’s see… I guess a Haku/Shikako/Gaara could be done two different ways. A “canon DoS” version and… I have this AU idea but I don’t know if I’ll be able to articulate it well.
So the “canon DoS” version would probably just be me tweaking Dreaming of S(omething). Where Shikako is the ambassador from Konoha and Haku is the ambassador from Kiri, and together they’re two fish out of somewhat literal water.
Fabulously deadly and beautiful fish that Gaara just kind of cannot function around because. Okay. One pretty long-and-dark-haired badass who sees the good in a former weaponized jinchuuriki is just barely manageable, but two? O_O That poor boy.
Gaara is a very competent Kazekage, okay, capable of wrangling the council and proving himself to his people. He’s no longer a thing to be afraid of, but a person that loves his village and who his village loves in turn.
But it’s very obvious that when both of the ambassadors are around that he gets all tongue-tied and flustered and the shy, sweet child that he used to be becomes prevalent due to the extreme crush he has on both Haku and Shikako.
Kankurou has not gone a day without laughing to the point of tears.
Shikako’s mostly oblivious, but I feel like Haku is savvy enough to know what’s going on. I do, however, think he’s enough of a trickster to not react so that someone else will make the first move. He is flattered and interested and amused and quite patient enough to see how the other two parts of this potential triad proceed.
So not too different from Dreaming of S(omething), but there would be a slight shift in the dynamics between Shikako and Gaara to accommodate Haku. (*dreamy sigh* They’d make such a beautiful tableau, wouldn’t they?)
The AU idea that comes to mind is a little…
Basically, spies. Or rather undercover bodyguards? But also spies? Benevolent mercenaries?
I’ll admit, part of it is influenced by the way my family and I binge watched the Netflix series Travelers (which I… tentatively recommend. It has potential, but the series was definitely made with a second season in mind so there isn’t enough to say I love it.) But only very loosely influenced since this AU is minus the main gimmick of the show (the time traveling, body snatching aspects of it), and more about the badass agents being undercover and an ultimate authority telling them to protect a person without questioning the reason why.
And, probably, when that ultimate authority tells them to kill that person instead they rebel.
So Agent Yuki and Agent Nara have both met each other before, and though their respective countries had sent them on missions that were originally at cross-purposes, they got along quite well. This time, thankfully, they are both assigned to protect Wind Country’s Prime Minister’s youngest son while being undercover and it’s kind of just like… I know who you are and you know who I am so let’s just vouch for each other and we’ll protect him together.
And the dynamic is much the same despite the AU setting–Gaara is a blushing, awkward mess around these two beautiful badasses (though he doesn’t know the extent of their badassery) and Shikako is too focussed on the job to realize anyone’s emotions much less her own while Haku sees all and is amused.
Neither Agents Yuki or Nara think to wonder why they were assigned to protect the Wind Country’s Prime Minister’s youngest son until, a couple of months into the mission, they receive counter orders to kill him.
Then there’s some misunderstandings–in which Agents Yuki and Nara fight, thinking the other will follow through on their new orders, only to realize that neither of them want to kill Gaara. And some cover breaking–because there’s no way Shikako can have a subtle fight (and Haku is, for all his soft touch in social matters, an agent on par with her). And some sleuthing–as the trio try to figure out what the hell is going on. And some confessions of feelings because high energy action means emotions are just erupting everywhere.
I have the feeling that Gaara in this world is a primary school teacher. And that Kankurou, while not an Agent, is involved in “The Game” as possibly an analyst or an informant or something like that and is the one who got both Agents Yuki and Nara assigned to protect his brother.
A/N1: I see what you did there, anon. “Gold” indeed. ;D
Anyway, hope this sates the Haku/Shikako hunger for now, anons! (Again, being a SoCal child means I am as familiar with winter sports as I am with capybara… possibly less so seeing as how I’ve actually touched a capybara.)
–It’s said that love can push you to the greatest heights–
“Representing the Land of Water,” says Koyuki Kazahana, Land of Snow’s princess and this year’s guest commentator, “Haku Yuki, performing for his short program, ‘I Follow You’”
There’s a false hush over the crowd, house lights low and a single spotlight on the rink. Poised with statuesque stillness yet, with all the kinetic potential of a storm, the skater waits for the music to begin.
The audience knows this may very well be Haku Yuki’s most ambitious routine.
It’s success has yet to be seen.
–or the lowest lows–
Skeleton is an aptly named sport, as dangerous as it is thrilling. Rigorous and demanding an athlete’s full attention.
Shikako may not be as focussed as she ought to be.
Kakashi-sensei, ever observant, raps his knuckles against her helmet: fondly reprimanding and casually reassuring both.
“There will be recordings,” he says, “and you can trust Naruto to be a loud enough spectator for the both of you.”
Shikako smiles, more for the intended comfort than the words themselves. Though the idea of Naruto raucously cheering at a figure skating competition as if it were one of his hockey games is an amusing thought.
It’s a short lived smile, though less out of melancholy this time around and more out of determination:
She’s an Olympian about to go hurtling over 130 kilometers per hour (if she’s both lucky and unlucky) down an icy track with nothing but a helmet and a sled half her height. She can’t afford any distractions.
And plus, it’s not her fault that their events are scheduled at the same time.
–Passion is a fickle creature–
Timing is key to a routine.
The smallest of lags can throw off a jump. A missed landing can then escalate to a faltering mood. Low spirits can drag down an entire performance.
A poor performance can cost a skater their ranking. Their medal.
But Haku is, above anything else, an ice skater. In his blood and in his bones, inherited from a family he can barely remember, carved into him daily by Zabuza-sama.
Emotions are important–some other coaches may even argue that they’re vital–but they’re not everything. Haku has more discipline than to rely on the budding feelings of a new romance.
The first triple axel is easy as breathing, a move he mastered a decade ago. A decade ago, all he had was the ice and Zabuza-sama. The applause is loud, but expectant.
The combination jump is more difficult, but not actually challenging: a quad salchow into a triple toe-loop. The jolt of adrenaline as he sticks the exit, skates scraping against the ice. He hears the cheers, but sets them aside for now, preparing.
The entire rink seems to hush, too, in the steps leading up to his final jump.
It’s here and now that emotions come into play, for all that it makes Haku’s coach scowl.
If he can pull this off, he’ll be the first skater in history to successfully land a quadruple loop.
Before Shikako, he’d never have reached so high. He was already at the top, his competitors so far away. Before her, there was no point.
–but love can be the foundation for great things–
“Shikako Nara, representative from Land of Fire, has maintained her standing, setting, yet again, a new track record!” the skeleton commentator announces, after a tense and eagerly waiting silence for the time to be posted.
Shikako, sans helmet but plus blanket cocoon, shouts in excitement. It quickly turns into a shriek of delight as Kakashi-sensei, perhaps forgetting his blasé reputation, picks her up and swings her around.
“Her total time is three minutes and fifty one point nine six seconds, placing her at a record shattering two second lead!”
Cameras flashing and the noise of the spectators, Kakashi-sensei puts her down quickly, only for her to be scooped up once more by Sasuke then passed onto her brother without her feet touching the ground.
“First time Olympian, Shikako Nara, has won gold!”
In the crowd, still in his performance costume, she spots Haku cheering and waving. Unpatriotically, he’s holding one end of a Land of Fire flag, and around his neck is a gold medal of his own.
A/N: … please no more for this AU, or at least no more that need me to decipher the regulations for sports that are integral to the AU. I had a lot of help from @lazuliblade’s post here with some fudging about and also because only a few months ago Yuzuru Hanyu literally became the first skater in history to successfully land a quad loop and I don’t really know what that means, but I am impressed as hell.
I’ll be honest, I was a liiiiittle tempted for something to go horribly wrong with the skeleton event. Given… well… Lucky Sevens and all. But that seemed like unnecessary drama and also, why not let them have matching golds.
I also have no idea if skeleton has an area equivalent to ice skating’s kiss and cry but I know barely anything about winter sports in general so I feel like this is a minimal sin in comparison to everything else.
Coat and scarf and gloves, coffee thermos at the ready; it seems odd to be so dressed up indoors, to feel the chill of the ice but not see the open air of the track. This view isn’t so bad, though.
Not many people can say they’ve had a private show with four time gold medalist winner Haku Yuki.
At this time the rink is empty, everything silent but the scrape of blades against ice, lights dimmed low to the barest minimum. Haku’s practice clothes are dark and plain, but he still shines despite it all, enchanting.
Shikako knows how to skate but in comparison to her friends, Sasuke in speed skating and Naruto in ice hockey, she always figured it was simply a matter of needs must. Ice skating as a winter athlete was the same as knowing how to swim–functional, necessary. Nothing as beautiful as this.
During her musing, Haku’s routine has drifted closer to where she stands by the wall, coming to a sharp stop, snow spraying from the force of it.
He smiles at her, gives a little bow, and reaches for the thermos. Shikako, in turn, laughs, hands it over, and gives muffled applause, sound dulled by the fabric of her gloves.
It’s paltry compared to the kind of acclamation he’s received before, even in this very same rink–hundreds of his fans cheering his name and millions more watching him at home–and yet the smile he gives her is honest and appreciative.
“That was fantastic,” she says taking the thermos back, walking along side him as he skates toward the exit.
“It’ll look better with the music playing,” Haku says, extending an arm to gesture at the great expanse of ice that is his stage. “Zabuza-sama says my song choice is too sentimental, but he also says this is my best routine yet, so…” he drifts off, one hand at the wall, the other reaching out as he steps out of the rink.
Used to the way Naruto and Sasuke are when they come off the ice–as if having to remember how to walk instead of skate, the few seconds transition between ice and ground–she takes his hand, steadying him and supporting him through to the bleachers.
But even as he sits, he doesn’t let go, tugs lightly as if to say, sit next to me.
She does so, joined hands between them, looking at the rink where, in a few days time, Haku will win his fifth gold medal.
“Thank you, Shikako,” he says, and she knows he doesn’t mean just for this morning, this moment.
A/N: I have only ever been ice skating the once and it was over ten years ago so… winter sports are not really my thing (and while I am hyped up about Yuri on Ice I have yet to actually watch it). Hopefully this is acceptable.
“Well,” Shikako muses drunkenly, leaning against Sasuke who sighs and resigns himself to being a wall, “I’m not much one for or enforcering order… enfordering… law stuff… but I do like solving mysteries.”
“No, Shikako, we’ve got that side covered, I’m just asking you to take a look at some seals that were on the scene,” Sasuke says, futilely.
“I’m gonna be a consoli-date, consulate… consulting detective!” she declares, before bursting into giggles.
Sasuke, in the midst of cooking breakfast–which, considering the number of people living in the house, is no small feat–groans as if he’s been stabbed in the gut, but manfully keeps silent otherwise.
Kiba and, somehow, Akamaru both look incredulously at Shikako from the kitchen table, “How do you just lose track of the legendary Sword of the Thunder God?”
(4 – anonymous – Team Eight’s thoughts on Shikako)
Little lioness hiding her face, looks upon the doe with esteem.
Beetle, all-seeing, watches and waits for the queen of the forest.
Fangs sharp, wits sharper, dog and doe run together, a pack mate with hooves.
(5 – anonymous – even more 6.1, Shikako/Haku, Project Runway!AU, flustered!Shikako)
She can barely believe she’s at Fashion Week, much less presenting a show of her own original designs, but she’s made it and she can feel her lungs deflating like a popped balloon.
Everything is going impossibly smoothly, models strutting down the catwalk, Haku flawless with the finale, and suddenly he’s backstage and pulling her forward toward the audience.
A microphone is suddenly in her hands, all cameras and eyes and lights on her, she can barely breathe; a baffled wheeze escapes her mouth–way to go, Shikako, so suave.
A/N: I don’t think all of the Konoha Thirteen would be in a single polyamorous living situation, because–as I went into in depth with the Walking Around ‘verse–not everyone is poly… but I did also bring up how Sasuke would prefer Shikako’s other relationships to be with anyone but Gaara so…
(1 – anonymous – Shikako & Ibiki, partners in crime)
Shikako glances at the box in Ibiki’s hands, then to the still smoking pile of rubble in front of them, then back at the box.
“I mean, if you really get into the letter of the law, technically–”
“You’re twenty years too early to be lecturing me about technicalities,” Ibiki interrupts her, before doing the same glance between box and rubble, “… but, yes, this isn’t actually illegal.”
(2 – anonymous – even more 6.1, Shikako/Haku, Project Runway!AU, Haku comforting stressed out Shikako)
During the three months before Fashion Week, Haku visits Shikako’s home–it’s further south and thus hotter than his own, full of sprawling forests and rolling hills and bright sunshine. In a way, it explains a lot about his designer.
Haku enters Shikako’s work room and finds her flopped over onto a nest of fabric scraps, a line of coffee mugs standing guard: that explains the rest of his designer.
(3 – anonymous – Shikako’s alternate rise to stardom… Primadonna Girl (Says No Thank You)!AU?)
Shikako blinks away her tears, hiding her sorrow as her brother leaves, she tries to keep quiet but the sudden implacable thought hits her: this might be the last time she sees him alive.
She tries to shout, but her voice is twisted with utter dread–this is when a swell of music will be edited in to reinforce her feelings, she really hopes it’s not more My Heart Will Go On–on cue, she manages to choke out, “Shishimaru!”
(4 – anonymous – Team Seven, revolution against injustice)
The Jounin Commander ends up in a coma and she knows it doesn’t compare–he’s still alive, she still has her mother–but she goes to her team, desperate and shaken.
“We’re going after Danzo,” she says, doesn’t ask, doesn’t need to ask, certainly not after she explains everything he’s done.
She used to be concerned about plausible deniability–about subtlety and staying under the radar–but what’s the point of that now?
(5 – anonymous – Shikako/??, bodyguard!AU)
Shikako Nara is the Jounin Commander’s daughter, friends with the major clan heirs, and a burgeoning fuinjutsu master. Powerful, but vulnerable.
Danzo tasks Sai with her protection–and her recruitment–but it seems he has still somehow underestimated her.
A/N: I realize now that keeping track of word count while doing Three Sentence Fic is counterintuitive, because the point of NaNoWriMo is to hit 50,000 words, but the point of Three Sentence Fic is to be succinct…
I mean, I’ll still do it, but now I know not to be disappointed in myself for having such a low word count–I’m literally writing at cross purposes.