Ask Box Three Sentence Fic, 8/? (2016-11-02)

image

(1 – anonymous – Team Seven as dragon riders)

The Uchiha have always been people of fire, dragons passed down throughout the generations.

Naruto was born bonded to the strongest dragon in the world.

Shikako comes from a clan of ground walkers–a family satisfied with their forests and herds–but she’s always dreamed of flying.

image

(2 – anonymous – music Shikako has shared with her friends)

They are a crowd of colorful silks and beautiful patterns, a troupe of pretty musicians invited to perform for the daimyo: with Yakumo’s genjutsu, as far as the audience knows, all five performers are on stage even though two of them are sitting off to the side.

Further in the palace, kimono traded for stealthier outfits, the strains of music reach Ino and Shikako’s ears–familiar music, even.

Shikako murmurs with a smile, “Smooth Criminal, really?”

image

(3 – anonymous – more 6.3, Shikako/Gaara, youkai!AU / Inuyasha!AU)

For someone meant to be the reincarnation of a priestess, she finds herself empathizing with the demons more than those on their supposedly holy mission.

“Step aside, Shikabane, this demon is not worth your efforts,” the cloaked priest says, hand extended towards them.

She stays where she is, unwilling to move from her spot in front of Gaara’s prone form, “My name is Shikako, and I won’t let you hurt him.”

(4 – anonymous – even more 3.4, Shikako/Gaara, modern royalty!AU)

She fidgets, tries not to, keenly aware of how literally outclassed she is here; she knows she’s wrinkling her outfit and hopes that Ino won’t notice.

He keeps blinking, so tired but unable to sleep, insomnia combined with secondhand nerves and the duties of being one of Her Majesty’s younger brothers.

They bump into each other, an awkward clash of limbs and a flurry of stilted apologies–the photos instead capture a theatric tableau of love at first sight.

image

(5 – @captainlibrarynerdstuff – even more 6.1, Shikako/Haku, Project Runway!AU, outsider POV)

“It’s all luck,” Netsui snarls, leaning in close when the cameras are away, “You’d never have gotten this far without it.”

The other models observe, judging: it’s obvious which designs are at the bottom this week, and Netsui’s designer has never won a challenge.

Haku smiles, silent, and walks away.

~

A/N: No worries, still doing this, though I may start using prompts that’ve been languishing on my to-do list from before I started this three sentence fic meme. I hope those prompters don’t mind.

Post Word Count: 319, Running Word Count: 717

Ask Box Three Sentence Fic, 7/? (2016-10-30)

image

(1 – anonymous – more 6.1, Shikako/Haku, Project Runway!AU, Haku POV)

Being a model is stressful enough without being in a competition against and living together with a bunch of other stressed out models–but its worse when everything is being recorded.

“I’m fortunate to have such a talented designer,” Haku says, with a smile wide enough that everyone else in the house will think he’s being duplicitous and leave him alone when, in fact, he has never been more sincere in his life.

He really is lucky Shikako chose him and continues to choose him–she was always so creative and talented and driven and ever so careful to make sure he was comfortable with her designs–she’s so out of his league.

image

(2 – anonymous – Team Seven, idol!AU with rookies!genin, former-idol-turned-manager!Kakashi, and company-president!Tsunade)

“So we have a self-taught guitarist, a classically-trained cellist, and a drummer who was originally slated to be a pyro-technician,” Tsunade sums up, after reading through the three files handed to her by a grinning Kakashi.

“She can still be our pyro-technician, if she wants,” he says, completely unhelpful, as per usual.

“Well,” Tsunade says, considering, “This is either the worst thing you’ve ever tried to get approved or they’re going to be famous.”

image

(3 – anonymous – Shikako/Neji, taking the world by storm)

Like the moon pulls the sea,
waves and tides,
something compelling,
waxing and following.

Sight beyond,
both space and time,
and the flow of chakra,
burning.

The clarity to act,
the will to change,
drowning all in their path,
pages dissolving away.

(4 – anonymous – Shikako/Neji, taking the Hyuuga clan by storm)

Maybe, if she had been born to this world completely, she wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

Maybe, if she had less to prove and more to lose, she would have stopped and considered.

But they just took out an entire organization that used seals on children to control them–ROOT has been dealt with, the Caged Bird Seal is next.

image

(5 – anonymous – more 5.1, Shikako/Sasuke, cooking battle)

“On this episode of Beat Kakashi Hatake: two of my adorable sous chefs are going to duke it out using an ingredient of my choice to see who gets the honor of going up against their beloved sensei in culinary battle.”

Sasuke and Shikako’s matching expressions convey just how unimpressed with the spiel they are, but–given the cameras around, and the live studio audience cheering wildly–they gamely stay silent.

It doesn’t help that Naruto is practically laughing his head off at the judges’ table.

~

A/N: Did the Shikako/Neji one twice because…  because.

Ask Box Three Sentence Fic, 6/? (2016-10-29)

(1 – anonymous – Shikako/Haku, Project Runway!AU)

“I could dress him in garbage,” Shikako groans from where she’s mashed her face onto the table, “and the judges wouldn’t even notice because he’s so damn beautiful.”

Kiba stares at her, unaware or uncaring of the bright fuchsia sparkles smeared across his face, “You have, actually, dressed him in trash; you won that week’s challenge.”

Shikako sighs wistfully, remembering the distressed vintage-inspired wedding gown she made out of discarded coffee cups: gods, Haku had looked so good in it, and he was so kind about her last minute meltdown when the zipper broke and she had to practically hot glue him into the gown–he’s so out of her league.

(2 – anonymous – Shikako/Deidara, fanboy-ing over Touch Blast)

Sasori glances at his partner: the irritation is normal, the embarrassment is familiar, but the bewilderment? That’s new.

“She touched my face,” Deidara sighs almost dreamily; the seal sequence is inert–Deidara is an S-rank demolitions expert, if he doesn’t want something to explode it won’t–but he’s kept the pattern on his face as if it were an autograph.

(3 – anonymous – Shikako/Gaara, youkai!AU… Inuyasha!AU?)

“Gaara,” she says as calmly as possible, though she can hear the wavering in her voice, “You need to give me the Gelel shard, please, I haven’t purified it yet.”

His green eyes, normally so kind, are clouded over, the markings on his face more vibrant and lethal.

The moon is full tonight.

(4 – anonymous – Shikako/Sasuke, Hades and Persephone!AU)

“He just needs a place to lay low for a bit,” says Naruto, god of tricksters, wind, and the only deity who regularly visits her home.

The Underworld isn’t exactly a welcoming place, but it is the last place people would think to look for the god of summer’s little brother, and she could do with some company.

If Shikako had known it would lead to a six month long literal cold war and a semipermanent roommate she wouldn’t have–well, no, she’s fond of Sasuke, the half year long siege was worth it.

(5 – anonymous – Walking Around ‘verse Team Seven, What Would Sakako Do?)

When Shikako was younger and needed guidance–needed to be wilder or braver or kinder–she would ask herself: What Would Naruto Do?

Over twenty years later, she’d be pleased to know, his son does the same with her daughter.

What Would Sakako Do?

~

A/N: Should I post these on ao3? And if so, as a separate work or as chapter(s) on Dreaming One Shots…

Ask Box Three Sentence Fic, 4/? (2016-10-26)

image

(1 – anonymous – Shikako/Sasuke, battle prowess)

Every fight that Shikako has is a new one–she has a near endless list of abilities and the intelligence to utilize them.

But Sasuke has trained beside her even before they became a team, and he knows her more than anyone else.

She still takes his breath away.

image

(2 – anonymous – more 3.4, Shikako/Gaara, modern royalty!AU)

“The crown princess of Wind Country’s coronation is next month,” Dad says, blandly, as if he were talking about a particularly flavorless bowl of porridge.

For once in their lives, Shikamaru moves faster than she does, “Not it,” he says, finger to his nose, smug at the sound of his sister cursing.

It’s not exactly Once Upon A Time but, nevertheless, that’s how it starts.

image

(3 – anonymous – Haku/Shikako, post-canon wandering, home)

No one from Konoha really understands it, the need to keep moving, keep learning, keep growing–if she stops, she’s dead, no matter that all the threats have been dealt with.

But Haku was raised traveling with Zabuza, the wind in his hair and the road beneath his feet.

It’s not about running away from something, or running to someplace: it’s about running with someone.

image

(4 – anonymous – reincarnated as puppy… B*tch Please)

A bark and a whine and two pairs of puppy eyes staring beseechingly up at you.

The black puppy with white spots licks at your hand; the white puppy with black spots brazenly flips belly up, twitching his paws.

“Fine,” you huff, far less exasperated than you aim for, “But only this once,” you add in a tone that not even you really believe.

image

(5 – anonymous – more 3.4, Shikako/Gaara, modern royalty!AU, tabloids)

“It’s your portmanteau,” Sakura explains, carefully clipping out the newspaper article and handing it over to Ino who slides it into their scrapbook next to a pressed red camellia.

“My what?” Shikako asks, eyeing the floral cover dubiously.

Ino sighs, rolls her eyes, “Your shipping name, Shikako, honestly; your PR team has their work cut out for them.”

~

A/N: So for anonymous 4′s prompt… I actually already have a SI!OC-as-an-Inuzuka-ninken series–I don’t do much with it, but it seemed to make more sense to use that than to have it somehow be Shikako.

Anyway, in B*tch Please, Aomi is the littermate of Akamaru and also Kiba’s ninken (if Hana can have three, Kiba can easily have two). You can check out that tag if you’re interested in the few other ficlets I’ve done for the series.

Ask Box Three Sentence Fic, 3/? (2016-10-25)

image

(1 – anonymous – Shikako/Sasuke, arranged marriage fluff)

“Let’s paint the walls green,” Shikako says, hand brushing over the blank walls, “and plant trees in the backyard.”

Sasuke walks through the empty living room of their new home–a wedding gift from both their families.

“Whatever you want,” he says with a smile, stands beside his wife and lets her loop an arm through his.

image

(2 – anonymous – Itachi & Shikako, internal morality struggle)

“I didn’t save you to be kind,” the girl says, sitting calmly in the other armchair of the interrogation room.

Only so many Uchiha left in the world–twice as many as on record, but still less than a handful–and in this card game, the Sharingan are aces.

There’s a clock in Itachi’s cell that ticks away every second: no, it wasn’t kindness that saved him.

image

(3 – anonymous – Shikako/Haku, Olympics!AU)

Different countries, different sports, and hovering coaches choreographing and micromanaging their every breath.

No, Shikako and Haku really shouldn’t have anything to do with each other.

But things are different in the Olympic Village: here, the top seeded figure skater and the dark horse in skeleton can make a connection.

image

(4 – anonymous – Shikako/Gaara, modern royalty!AU)

He’s the third child of a dwindling monarchy of a country whose claim to fame is that it has the greatest area of desert per capita.

She’s the second born of a minor peerage more concerned with maintaining their herds and forested lands than playing politics.

Separately, they don’t even merit the status of celebrities; together, they’re apparently the fairy tale romance of the century.

image

(5 – @sphereshadow – Shikako/Neji, realization of feelings)

His first impression of her–the real one, not the pale memory of a girl two steps behind Uchiha–is dirt and blood and smoke in the air.

Power, skill, and the ruthless desperation to use both.

Every moment after that is softer, sweeter, but no less impressive.

~

A/N: Figure skating for Haku was obvious, but I wasn’t sure about Shikako until I looked up winter Olympic sports and found Skeleton which, not only is pretty on point naming wise for Shikabane-hime, but is basically luge but MORE DANGEROUS which… well, also is on point.

If it were summer sports, Shikako would be a gymnast (because Kakashi’s penchant for twirling things like a rhythmic gymnast is practically canon) and Haku would probably be… I don’t know… archery or steeple chase or sprint relays?  

River Running High, a Haku/Shikako ficlet (2016-08-27)

The girl from Leaf knocks him down and spares his life and all Haku can think to himself is,

Oh.

Later on he’ll come to the conclusion that this was the beginning.

It’s a cliche, he knows, but he thinks of people in terms of water. Zabuza-sama, for all that it’s Haku with the blood limit, is ice: sharp and deadly, but almost beautiful for it. Haku himself is more like snow–seemingly soft and corruptible, yet the cold and damp easily drawing the unwary into the gentle embrace of hypothermia.

The Leaf team, too, he thinks in water metaphors. The teacher a lake, placid on the surface but deep and teeming with secrets beneath. Naruto-kun the ocean, wide and encompassing and unstoppable. The other boy a waterfall, predictable yet powerful and compelling.

The girl a river, branching far and wide; life and movement and connections.

The girl from Leaf knocks him down and spares his life and then Gatou shows up and unsurprisingly betrays them, but that’s okay, Zabuza-sama didn’t like him anyway.

Haku doesn’t say I told you so, but he thinks it very quietly and doesn’t argue at all when Zabuza-sama decides to hang around the Leaf team and the bridge builder like stray cats once fed.

Now that they aren’t on opposing sides, Haku finds he likes the Leaf team–all of them, not just Naruto–likes what they represent.

He’ll never regret being Zabuza-sama’s tool–his apprentice, his friend or the closest thing he’ll allow himself to have–but seeing the Leaf team together makes him yearn. Makes him wish that Kiri were the kind of place where he could’ve had something like that, too. Wish it were the kind of place where survival wasn’t about being the meanest and toughest person around, where an existence wasn’t about survival so much as it was about living.

Having friends you would die for, and a teacher who acknowledges you and indulges in water fights of all things as if there were no dangers or hardships or sadness. Or as if to say yes, there are dangers and hardships and sadness in the world, but for now let us have safety and fun and happiness.

Haku wants that, too.

The girl from Leaf–Shikako–smiles at him and Haku thinks that maybe it’s not so impossible at all.

The bridge builder’s daughter really does treat them like stray cats once fed–which is a better reception than could be expected considering he and Zabuza-sama were hired to kill her father–and while she watches them warily, she doesn’t ask the team from Leaf to run them off.

Zabuza-sama and he have slept in worse places than in the quiet forest of a newly peaceful country.

Naruto-kun shakily carries them a tray from the bridge builder’s house, and dutifully relays that Tsunami-san told him to tell them that she had cooked extra and it would be a waste of food and that wouldn’t he be a dear and bring this to them?

Zabuza-sama scoffs at the blatant lie, but Haku has always been more practical than that. Isn’t too prideful to turn away even this minimal charity.

He wouldn’t be here with Zabuza-sama if he did.

Naruto and Shikako switch off on bringing out dinner–not that he and Zabuza-sama are actually dependent on the meals, but it’s nice and reminds him of that life he appreciates but doesn’t have–for obvious reasons. The other boy–Sasuke–is still recovering, for all that Haku’s attack wasn’t fatal, and it’s understandable that he wouldn’t want to be alone with the person who did that to him.

Not that Naruto and Shikako are alone, really, their teacher’s chakra not so much threatening as it is obviously present.

Naruto brings conversation along with the food: a continuous stream of chatter about training and the work on the bridge and the bridge builder’s grandson and tales of the Leaf village and nearly every little observation and thought that went through his mind in the day. Zabuza-sama finds it annoying, Haku thinks it’s hilarious.

Shikako brings secrets–not for charity, but for trade.

“In theory,” Shikako says one night, “if Hoshigaki Kisame were to  work with a partner–”

“Not likely,” Zaubza-sama scoffs, dismissive.

“Of course,” she says, agreeable veneer over her argument, “Just as you wouldn’t.”

Haku would never smile at Zabuza-sama getting put in his place by a girl practically half his height and a third his weight.

“Theoretically,” she resumes, “he’d have a partner just as strong as him, who specializes in opposing skills.”

Haku tilts his head, “Do you have a specific person in mind?”

Shikako smiles brightly at him, before going onto a complete non sequitur. “Sasuke is naturally skilled in genjutsu.” She frowns, then adds, “The Uchiha used to be one of our village’s strongest bloodlines. Now Sasuke is the only one left in Konoha.”

Uchiha Itachi

He exchanges glances with Zabuza-sama, who nods in understanding and proceeds to tell a completely unrelated story about how a particular fellow former swordsman once fought and nearly lost against a Cloud nin with the strange ability to magnetize his shuriken.

The hour turns late and the Leaf teacher’s chakra flares once–protective and admonishing both–calling Shikako back inside to the bridge builder’s house.

“Thank you for the story,” she says, smile on her face.

Zabuza-sama shrugs, looks away. Haku smiles back.

The bridge is finished and both groups are ready to depart. The Leaf team back to their village, he and Zabuza-sama to an undisclosed island which may or may not be the headquarters of a number of unaffiliated Kiri nin, no really.

For all that their mission to kill the bridge builder was a failure, the two of them will join with more money and resources–both still from Gatou–than promised. And valuable intel on top of all that.

Though how a girl from Leaf would know the reason behind the Yondaime Mizukage’s bizarre shift from decent leadership to reign of terror is beyond Haku’s guess.

But since Zabuza-sama doesn’t care, Haku doesn’t need to know and neither does the Rebellion.

Besides, she knocked him down and spared his life. All beginnings lead somewhere; eventually the snow will melt and join the river.

~

A/N: Long long ago, anonymous asked for Haku/Shikako with Zabuza and Kakashi chaperoning and I thought I had an idea for it but couldn’t articulate it and so here’s this hot mess instead.

This is more like pre-relationship than actual relationship (I mean, even more so than my usual) but I just couldn’t come up with something that wouldn’t have been a rehash of Chances Gone By or Dreaming of S(omething) but Mist Edition instead. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Title from Lykke Li’s song “Follow Rivers”

Can I ask for Haku/Shikako? With Zabuza and Kakashi chaperoning or spying really obviously?

Anon, I’d be lying if I said this prompt didn’t send me into a giggle fit at the idea of Zabuza and Kakashi being begrudgingly competitive chaperones for their students’ date.

Not sure exactly how I’ll go about actually writing it, but I’ll do my best! Thanks for the prompt 😄

Becoming a Legend: Or, How Fuinjutsu Helped TenTen Make Friends (2015-09-21)

A/N1: Just a heads up, this is a TenTen drabble based on the fanfiction Dreaming of Sunshine which isn’t all that different from the canon!Naruto world except for how it’s better. Seriously, go read it.

~

When Shikako asks TenTen if she has a moment, TenTen nods and goes along. She thinks that maybe they’ll spar, but instead Shikako wanders to one of the lesser used parks and sits at a table, gesturing for TenTen to do the same.

Shikako looks at her carefully, pauses as if scanning the area, then pulls up one of her sleeves. All along her arms are seals, and TenTen knows that she put seals on herself but it’s startling to see in person just how many. From what TenTen can tell, not all of it is only resistance seals.

Shikako gestures at a small mark, maybe the size of her thumb nail, a simple yet strange symbol–an uneven triangle with extending tails on the bottom right corner.

“This is a storage seal,” Shikako says, a polite gesture from a fuinjutsu expert who can blow up people’s heads with a single touch. With a little application of chakra, a small poof of smoke reveals an odd three-pronged kunai.

Tentatively, Shikako sets it on the picnic table between them, and when TenTen looks closer she can see that there are seals on the kunai.

“This is–” she gasps out, almost slapping her hand over the blade to keep it hidden. As if someone might see them, as if Shikako’s ever advancing sensor skills wouldn’t know if someone was nearby.

“I know that the advice I gave you before pushed you to be more lethal not less, and you’re looking for another way… I think this might help you with that. And, to be honest, you might have a better time with this.”

TenTen is too amazed by the existence of the Yondaime’s Hiraishin kunai in front of her very eyes to fully grasp what Shikako says, but there’s still something bugging her… Perhaps the confusion shows on her face because Shikako just smiles and says, “You should ask Haku how he met my team.”

TenTen wrinkles her nose, the Mist ambassador?

She remembers fighting against him in the second round of the Chuunin exams. It had been frustrating to fight someone who not only had throwing accuracy almost as good as she did but with an unmatchable bloodline and near impossible speed on top of that. He had been like a combination of her and her teammates rolled into one very polite and very pretty person.

“Or you could ask Sasuke about our first C-rank mission,” Shikako says wryly, smile somehow both a little sly and apologetic, knowing TenTen’s experience with him as a temporary teammate.

Mist ambassador it is.

While TenTen appreciates Shikako’s help, she thinks that they just really don’t understand each other very much at all. It’s not a bad thing, they like each other and they are friends, but it’s as if their thought processes are completely perpendicular to one another. It shows in their sealing, too.

Shikako’s approach to fuinjutsu is, frankly, completely baffling to TenTen. There are symbols that don’t make sense, which TenTen has never seen before, and even Shikako’s attempts to explain just don’t work. Similarly, TenTen’s attempts to teach her the Infinite Pocket (as she’s taken to calling the non-collapsing storage space she developed) have failed miserably.

“I guess Hammerspace just isn’t meant for me,” Shikako shrugs, honestly not upset with being unable to use something she had helped develop, “It suits your style more, anyway. Most of the things I use I only have one of.”

And maybe that’s why it’s TenTen who is the one to reverse engineer the Hiraishin, not Shikako. Because while Shikako circumvents normal thought processes–coming up with strange ideas or having epiphanies and working towards that–TenTen is the kind of person who gets inspired by those who have come before, eagerly learning as much as she can then… tweaking things until it suits her.

Not all of TenTen’s sealing ideas come from Shikako. Ino, during one of the kunoichi meetings which still occur even if not everyone can come, is the one that remarks– “That must be tiring”– after a spar has left a majority of TenTen’s arsenal scattered around the training field.

“It’s too bad there’s no way to just… summon them back to your pocket when you’re done fighting,” Ino says, even as she helps pick them up.

“Careful,” Sakura teases–and TenTen still kind of feels ambivalent towards her because, on the one hand, she’s very nice and knowledgeable and helpful, but on the other hand she is literally living TenTen’s childhood dream of being a kunoichi just like Tsunade-sama and that stings–“You’re starting to sound like Shikamaru,” she says which makes Ino flinch exaggeratedly.

“Being on a team with him is ruining me! Next thing you know I’ll be flopped over on the ground and wasting my time cloud watching!”

And even though the topic strays, it was a pretty good idea. So TenTen dabbles–some kind of summoning seal for her weapons. Something small that could easily be engraved on, but detailed enough to be effective.

Her first attempt goes… not disastrously, since no one was injured in the process… but that’s probably due more to Neji’s quick reflexes and Kaiten than any success of her own.

She does get it eventually, and in the end her Infinite Pocket really does match it’s name.

During one of their more typical meetings, less sparring, more discussion of medical techniques, Sakura brings up the seals in some of the more advanced hospital rooms and the fuinjutsu class which is plaguing her.

“It’s not the seals that are the problem,” she moans, hands fisted in her bright pink hair, “I have those memorized, but it’s a little frustrating because everything has to be so perfectly placed and it’s not like these can be used in the field and I want to be a field medic.”

Except, TenTen thinks, why not? The seals being field usable, that is.

The project that ensues, an attempt to make a surgery room on the field is… well… it works better at finally breaking the tension between her and Sakura–and she had always thought it was a one sided-thing, before, hadn’t realized that Sakura might be jealous of her being “a real kunoichi” and not just “a civilian who knows how to use chakra”–than the actual goal, but learning about medical seals and the things which hospitals need did open up some more options for her.

Like a sanitation seal tag–a modified flashbang tag that emits ultraviolet light instead–which doesn’t exactly sound impressive, but which Sakura assures her is actually extremely amazing and would significantly improve field medicine.

Or the anesthesia seals which function similarly to knock out tags without the necessity of skin contact–sure it’s slower and it requires multiple to work–but with TenTen’s expertise being a barrage of thrown weapons that is literally not a problem for her.

The collaboration with Sakura gets her thinking about other possibilities, and looking at the other two members of the study group, TenTen realizes she still has more to learn. Though, for Hinata and Yakumo, maybe she should be the one to take initiative for this.

~

A/N2: I wrote this last night in my continuously failing quest to sleep at a normal time. Uh… Yeah, as the ending implies, there is supposed to be some TenTen and Hinata interaction, as well as TenTen and Yakumo interaction, but I kind of just… stopped. So maybe I’ll come back to this or maybe I won’t. Also, maybe actually write the Haku and TenTen interaction as well? Who knows.

edit: Now on ao3 as part of the Dreaming One Shots collection here

HAVE SOME DRABBLE-SPECIFIC BRAINSTORMING/RANTING UNDER THE CUT.

So, SQ mentioned some facts/headcanons she has for TenTen in the forum, confirmed that Shikako is never going to learn the Hiraishin in Chapter 81, and in Chapter 94 had Shikako literally think “Maybe we had been trying to help TenTen the wrong way – suggesting ways to be more and more lethal. Maybe what she needed was a way to be less.”

And basically my brain is like… perfect precision but doesn’t want to be lethal. Who else in Naruto has perfect precision without having a dojutsu? HAKU. WHO IS ALIVE IN DOS. Hence, she should learn from him. But, he also has super epic speed. In a field of his own making. How can she replicate that? MOTHER-FREAKING HIRAISHIN!

But then I began to think more and even if that does seem like a perfect one to one match up, well, people are strange and complicated and they aren’t so easily interchangeable. So this is supposed to be TenTen sort of discovering her own style and self by befriending people.

Anyway, the interaction with Haku and TenTen wouldn’t be so much TenTen copying his style of non-lethal perfect precision take down (though maybe that’s what Shikako had in mind, in a sort of well-intended but ham-handed effort to help) so much as it is to get her to open up to other people and learn from them. He was, after all, the one who gave Naruto the whole “precious person” spiel, I’m sure he has other tidbits of wisdom floating about in his beautiful head.

In DoS, TenTen seems pretty settled with sticking only to her teammates, but she likes to be invited to things (sparring with Shikako, the kunoichi study group, Ino’s party). I figure she’s not necessarily anti-social as it is, she just doesn’t know how to reach out. Which, with Hinata and Yakumo, as previously said, she would have to be the one to do the reaching out.

I’m a little unsure how TenTen might collaborate with Hinata, exactly, considering she has Neji. But then again, Neji has only recently been less of a total tool so maybe TenTen figures if she wants to ask questions about the limits of the Byakugan or whatever Hinata would be the better bet. Or maybe… Hinata’s modified Heavenly Palm defense as TenTen taking a step towards barrier seals?

Then with Yakumo, I guess probably a connection between her painting genjutsu and seals. I’ve noticed recently that Shikako has been using genjutsu less–and with so much on her mind, the stray thought that she had of genjutsu-seals has likely fallen to the wayside. Simply put, in the face of the impending doom of Akatsuki, Danzo, Madara, and Kaguya, genjutsu-seals aren’t likely going to help. Maybe genjutsu-breaking seals but… I dunno, Shikako’s focused on getting herself to S-rank levels. So with TenTen… not that she’s stealing Shikako’s ideas–because I’m pretty sure Shikako never actually mentioned it out loud–but rather TenTen trying to engage with other girls her age in the only way she knows how.