as for a title how about something like: You can only hold a smile for so long (after that it’s just teeth)

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Monster Smiles (blood in my teeth)

Loyalty, teamwork, and the Will of Fire–all just pretty words to hide the truth:

The foundation of Konoha’s strength is child soldiers.

And some children are stronger than others.

Mashing up your title offerings since they’re both kind of long but I did like their vibes. So for your prompt in which child genius shinobi reluctantly (or sarcastically?) say “I require an adult” I’m thinking an anthology of various adults of the Naruto world during their time as frighteningly deadly children.

And I know you suggested Kakashi, Itachi, and Tenzo, but technically–seeing as how average graduation age is twelve (in peacetime, nine(?) during war)–all shinobi were child soldiers at some point.

I’d definitely want a scene of basically the Worst Night of Young Shizune’s Life. Because even though she can kill or heal a person in over a dozen ways, life outside of Konoha with Tsunade has a lot less to do with fighting or healing and more to do with finding her shishou in sleazy bars or avoiding debt collectors. Which is made more difficult when, according to civilian standards, she is too young to enter either establishments.

I imagine there’s a lot of Tsunade drunken shenanigans and Shizune having to outmaneuver these DUMB CIVILIAN LAWS and she ends up maybe breaking up an illegal animal fighting ring? And she finds TonTon who was SUPPOSED to be the reward for two dogs (bears?) but is now Shizune’s pet. Basically, the story of why the honorable Godaime Hokage and her first apprentice are banned from one city in particular for eternity.

I would like a section for… aw, I’m already making myself sad… Aoba. Because can you imagine how much of a chatterbox Gossip King Aoba must have been as a child? Just. The most talkative child, so nosy and curious and NO AOBA DON’T TOUCH THAT. (He probably had a saint of a jounin sensei, let’s be real.)

I think maybe his path to Cryptography started early on. He’d play the part of lost child to infiltrate the place, memorize the layout and guard rotations of the place, and for all that he’s annoying he’s also weirdly endearing? Aaaaand then it turns out he’s the vanguard for the REAL mission which may or may not include burglary at the least all the way up to assassination.

Hm… who else would I want to do…

I have a vague horrific idea about Ibiki’s first encounter with torture. He is heartbreakingly young and the last living member of his team but he keeps quiet, keeps his village safe, and manages to gain some counterintelligence while escaping by the skin of his teeth. He crawls his way back to Konoha/the nearest war outpost (because this is probably wartime right?) and is just like. Super professional but bleeding out “I need to speak to the commanding officer,” aka an adult. And everyone’s trying to usher him to the healing tent and he’s just like, no way I have to give a report, my team died and I got tortured for a week, I can handle a few more hours of dying this information is important.

Uh. But yeah, that’d be it. Riding that line between childhood hijinks and the dawning horror of what shinobi childhoods are actually like. 😀

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Seven Deadly Sins was AWESOME!!! I have a one word title for you, DoS Team seven or just Shikako please :) : “Insuperable”

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Listen, anons, I don’t mean to depreciate your separate prompts, but I saw these all and they just clicked together like some kind of beautiful triforce that turned into:

BATMAN!KAKO!!! 😀

And, okay, I know that Gotham!anon wanted Shikako as the James Gordon equivalent once she starts to emulate Ibiki, but why not just have Ibiki as James Gordon and Shikako as Batman? She CAN work within the system, but she prefers not to because it’s not as efficient.

And the way Ibiki tacitly covered for them during the Land of Tea arc–yes, mostly because of Idate, but still–very Commissioner Gordon plausible deniability, I think. Alternatively Shikaku could be a pretty good Commissioner Gordon for his daughter-the-vigilante.

And the gif, come on, the gif!

So, basically, superhero!AU with Shikako as Batman, Sasuke as Superman, and Naruto as Wonderwoman. Equivalents, of course. They need some tweaking to their respective backstories because Shikako’s the only one who isn’t an orphan, Sasuke is no boy scout, and as much as I love Naruto, he’s no Wonderwoman.

I suppose Shikako has a background more like Batgirl–the Barbara Gordon version, that is. Sasuke’s background might be more like Starfire’s (last loyal son of Uchiha, yeah, but maybe instead of genjutsu torture Itachi had him enslaved). And while Naruto is not Wonderwoman, per se, maybe Kushina was–Uzushio as Themyscira?–and so he’s the half human half Amazon son of Wonderwoman and super genius human Minato (who is basically Lex Luthor except, you know, not evil). Which I guess means he’s like Superboy–the Kon-El version, that is.

Anyway:

Insuperable

Konoha: city of crime, corruption, and misery–too much for one vigilante to handle.

But three? Well, they can certainly try.

Maybe they’re not heroes, but they’ll definitely be remembered.

I just realized, I think Kakashi is the Mayor or the DA and also all of their (platonic) Lois Lane. The number of plans targeting him is kind of ridiculous, but what’s even more ridiculous is the number of times he ends up being carried princess-style by one of the three vigilantes. Even though they’re all shorter than him. 🙂

There are separate arcs, of course–How Shikako’s family find out about her alter-ego. Itachi coming to Konoha and ruining everything (as he does) and Sasuke has to face his demons. Naruto finding out about Themyscira and having to decide between the home he knows and possible family–but the story would be mostly about how these three weirdoes first of all even become the heroes of Konoha, then how they rise to the level of the DC Trinity.

Ask Box Three Sentence Fic, 9/? (2016-11-03)

(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!”

“Cut!”

(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.

Post Word Count: 322, Running Word Count: 1039

Stars Also Dream, 8/? (2016-10-09)

There is something to be said about the man who can, without any enhancing blood limit, become the head of T&I for a hidden village as large and as prosperous as Konoha. Ibiki is impressive: he’s patient and smart and–as the horrific scars from literal weeks of torture will attest to–so damned loyal; you know you’re lucky that he’s your best friend

He’s also stubborn and secretly sassy and an occasional pain in the ass.

“No,” Ibiki says, simply, as if you were asking him if he had any plans for the weekend and not, in actuality, telling him that you’re requesting yourself for a solo mission off-planet. Honestly, as if you’re being difficult–he’s let you get away with much worse.

“I’m the only one who is qualified for this,” you argue because factually this is true. Who else has all the relevant information, abilities, and history for this?

(Your daughter, maybe, has two out of the three, but you’d rather die than put one of your precious miracles in the Empire’s crosshairs.)

“No,” he repeats, walking ahead of you through the hallway, the tail of his silly overcoat flapping with every step. On either side of you, intel nin stop and stare or hastily bow, as if Ibiki were the Hokage herself and not the dork who, at seventeen, cried from too spicy curry and still picks corn out from a dish before eating it.

“But-”

“No.”

You’d smack him, but this is his place of work and you wouldn’t want to undermine his authority. Also, he’d take it as a sign that he’s winning.

Instead, you circle around to the front and stop, facing him with a watery-eyed pout. You know what you look like, with your small frame and pink blouse and wide eyes, and while Ibiki is far too familiar with you to fall for it, that doesn’t mean the other intel nin won’t.

Ibiki’s eyes narrow, irritated but reluctantly impressed, because he knows that he’s been outmaneuvered. Intel nin are–when it doesn’t concern work–absolute gossips, and the Head of T&I bullying the Jounin Commander’s wife is something that will easily make rounds.

He doesn’t sigh–Ibiki is much too controlled for that–but his mouth twists for a brief moment before he says, “My office, then.”

Which, in this case, basically means yes.

A lot goes on in Konoha that the Jounin Commander doesn’t know about. It’s not a slight against your husband or his capabilities, but considering the sheer number of shinobi, not to mention the many departments and their functions, it’d be impossible to expect one person to know about everything.

Of course, the Hokage is expected to do just that, but she has a retinue of department heads and commanders and assistants at her beck and call–delegation is a fantastic thing. In most cases, the Hokage keeps a loose leash on her underlings, trusting them to do their jobs to the best of their ability. In fact, its only in rare cases–such as your daughter’s genin team–that she gets involved in the minutiae of the shinobi under her command.

The existence of life on other planets no longer counts as minutiae.

Ibiki can keep some things secret from your husband: careful interpretation of jurisdiction motivated by the somewhat muted panic thrumming under your skin– 

(He’s always been able to read you just as well as you read him)

–but he won’t keep secrets from the Hokage: that way lies corruption.

You know quite well what results when corruption poisons a government.

But you’re still wary when you and Ibiki enter the Hokage’s office–a place you’ve not so much avoided as tried not to intrude upon–a hold over from your paranoid teenage years, so keenly aware of your status as an illegal alien… literally. You’re lucky Ibiki is letting you in on the meeting, never mind that you are the expert in this case, but your nerves are still wound tight.

“Figures,” Tsunade-sama says with a sigh, dropping her chin into her hand with almost elegant exasperation, “I knew your daughter had to have come by it naturally, and Nara aren’t exactly known for being harbingers of chaos.”

A slight exaggeration, but not wrong–the similarities between you and your daughter are legion.

“Go on,” she says, lazy wave of her other hand, “Let’s see how the original holds up in terms of bizarreness.”

It’s too fond to be insulting, and in this influx of memories from the past, you’re almost grateful for it. Grateful that your family has endeared themselves to the Hokage. Grateful for the way Tsunade-sama listens, analyzing yet understanding. Grateful for the way Ibiki stands beside you, as supportive and solid as always.

Grateful for the reminder of your present: you are a wife and a mother, a soldier and a friend, a shinobi of Konoha and proud to be all these things.

Ibiki doesn’t understand why you want to keep your past a secret from your family, but he respects your choice and helps you do so. To the rest of Konoha–to your family–this is just a short one-week mission for T&I, a routine check on a low priority contact in Land of Tea. Nothing risky at all–why would he ever put the Jounin Commander’s wife on a dangerous mission?

That being said, his leniency only goes so far, and both he and the Hokage refuse to let you go alone.

Your repeated argument, “I’m the only one qualified for this,” is soundly rebuffed with Tsunade-sama’s almost lazy, “Which is why you’re team leader. Now choose your second.”

Ibiki smirks–it doesn’t matter that it’s Tsunade-sama doing the arguing for him, he’s still winning. You try not to scowl.

And, well, you’re willing to accede to some extent that they may be right. Rescuing a princess from an evil empire isn’t exactly C-rank material, no matter that you’re mostly acting as observer and support to a Jedi master once renowned throughout the galaxy. You’re lucky they’re letting you go at all, really, but a threat to the planet is still a threat to Konoha and it’s true that you are the only one qualified to take point on this.

At least Ibiki isn’t trying to insert himself on the team–it’d make an obvious lie out of the cover, and for all that you’ve never done anything to him, you know he’s not immune to Force tricks.

Any shinobi worth their headband can keep up with a jedi physically and mentally, but when it comes to intangible matters of Force versus chakra, there’s only one obvious choice for this mission.

“I’ll need a Yamanaka,” you say, which is as much assent as Ibiki needs to begin working his weird powers of bureaucracy.

The both of you are summarily kicked out of the Hokage’s office; within the hour you are back at T&I with a newly released ragtag group of aliens and a bewildered Yamanaka chuunin.

Poor Santa-kun.

~

A/N: Okay, so I know I’m late by thirty minutes, but this totally counts because I didn’t want to have a third missed post in a row.

Ibiki and Tsunade’s reactions for @donapoetrypassion (still keeping it a secret from the twins for now, so none for them, sorry).

Santa Yamanaka is a jounin post time-skip, so @book14reader and I figured that he could be a chuunin pre time-skip who accidentally mentioned he wanted more experience to become jounin in front of the wrong person (ie Ibiki or, possibly, Anko) and got recruited onto the WEIRDEST MISSION EVER. Also, even without the Force immunity I’ve given the Yamanaka clan, if you’re going to put the Nara clan head’s wife on a dangerous mission, the best people to put on her team would be a Nara, Akimichi, or Yamanaka anyway because they’ll do damn near anything to make sure she comes back safely.

Stars Also Dream, 6/? (2016-09-28)

Once, when you had been a padawan for only a few weeks, you met Anakin Skywalker.

Master Bant and Obi-Wan Kenobi had been friends during their initiate years–which, for Jedi, is the closest thing to siblings you will ever have. Or, at least, you always believed so.

And if Master Bant and Obi-Wan had been almost siblings, then in a way that made you and Anakin Skywalker cousins.

Back then, that had been something to be delighted by, to be proud of. You and the Hero With No Fear the same, almost, connected: like maybe one day you could be a Jedi just as great.

When you met him–them, really, the Negotiator and the Hero With No Fear always side by side–you had been shy. You could barely say a word, had all but hidden behind Master Bant’s robes, face aflame.

But they both had spoken to you–actually to you, not just an extension of your master–and had congratulated you on becoming a padawan.

And you thought, then, that maybe you were looking at a reflection of what you and Master Bant would be someday:

Heroes, together, saving the galaxy.

Of course, that’s not how it turned out.

Not for any of you.

The second time you meet Obi-Wan Kenobi, he is going by Ben and calmly sitting in one of T&I’s interrogation rooms.

He knows you’re there as soon you walk in, two way mirror hardly a barrier for the Force, but he politely continues his conversation and his tea with Seki Hijiri.

They didn’t call him The Negotiator for nothing.

You say as much to Ibiki. Also, “I thought he was dead.”

Ibiki would never do something as overt as raise an eyebrow at you, only because he knows you can read him as well as he can read you and you can sense his curiosity emanating the way others can feel his killing intent.

“He probably thought the same of me,” you add, because why just hand Ibiki the answer when it’s more fun to give him clues and let him work it out himself.

Ibiki hums, offers his own information, quid pro quo as per usual, “We found him with two odd metal puppets and three other… men.”

“You sound confused about that, Ibiki.”

Ibiki mutters, “Some kind of blood limit, probably.”

You pause, considering, “Big or small?”

“Big and… furred.”

Wookies? Konoha is out of its depth here.

“I should probably take point on this one.”

The second time you meet Obi-Wan Kenobi, he is an old sand-weathered man with a life of regrets and you are far from the child who hid behind her master’s robes.

But he is still a master Jedi, strong in the Force, and you’re beginning to remember how it feels not to be alone.

He is, after all, one of the closest things to family from your past you have left.

You only met Anakin Skywalker once.

But one day–you know this with a wave of dread and such utter certainty that it can only be true, a warning from the Force, a premonition–you’ll meet Darth Vader, too.

~

A/N: Small installment which took me a while because I wasn’t sure which route to take for this series and whether or not I wanted to derail Episodes IV-VI or move alongside them.

I guess I’m going with the derailing route.

Stars Also Dream, 4/? (2016-08-13)

First the massacre of the initiates in the Temple, then Order 66 being executed throughout the galaxy–an earthquake: a sudden jolt, escalating and devastating, before petering out into the stillness of ruins.

Or, perhaps, it was more akin to a volcano erupting. Bright and terrible and so overt, but the encroaching magma and smothering ash clouds no less destructive for their lingering pace. The thorough erasure of the Jedi was life changing, heart breaking, earth shattering.

Whatever just happened in the west? That’s a star going supernova.

You catch yourself before your knees actually hit the ground–shinobi training nothing to scoff at–but you are dizzy, disoriented, disastrous. You reach a hand out to steady yourself and find the solid dependability of Ibiki’s arm.

Ah, yes, sometimes you go grocery shopping together. Vegetables spill every which way–neither of you care. He doesn’t ask you if you’re alright, he knows you better than that.

(Before, when you were both newly minted chuunin, the Sensory Squad had sent you an invitation. But though the Force and chakra are related, they’re not the same; after your sporadic showing, they rescinded their offer.

That’s okay, Ibiki would rather have a partner who can tell when people are lying than one who can sense enemies at a distance–Ibiki’s enemies are usually close, anyway.)

“West,” you gasp, because that’s all you can tell him, “it was in the west.”

Your children are in the west. No, you’re being paranoid. They couldn’t possibly be near that, you think, the desperate hope of a worried mother.

Your daughter comes back with a heart full of stardust.

That’s not the first time you ever waver, wonder, worry, about your daughter. Shikamaru is very much his father’s son, a Nara through and through. But Shikako, you know, has more than just a touch of yourself.

The Force and chakra are related but not the same–but it’s hard to articulate how, exactly, words and concepts twisting together–like melody and rhythm, or flavor and scent. Everything has chakra, the Force is in everything. But using chakra can be taught, Force sensitivity cannot.

Your son is a being of chakra, that much is clear. But your daughter? If the Temple hadn’t fallen, she probably would have become an initiate.

(If the Temple hadn’t fallen, she wouldn’t even exist.)

A difference between chakra and the Force: Chakra has no Light side or Dark side, the Force does.

(Doesn’t it? It must, otherwise what have the Jedi been fighting for? Why do they exist? Why were they killed? Why was your life torn to shreds?)

Chakra is life-power-energy. It can be used for good or evil, but it’s not inherently Light or Dark.

You don’t think you’d ever have been comfortable around the Nara if that were the case. Certainly not enough to get to know Shikaku; definitely not enough to marry him or start a family with him.

He is calm and logical, but kind and charming in his honesty. It’s not that you forget that shadows and Nara are nearly synonyms in Konoha, it’s just that when you’re with him he’s just Shikaku–not the Nara clan head, the epitome of shadows.

Shadows aren’t Dark side, because chakra isn’t the Force. But that doesn’t matter at all when your daughter is dead.

She’s not dead, not really, she’s breathing and moving and talking and eating–just a training accident, your husband says, it’ll wear off by tomorrow–but it’s as if she is. In the Force, she is a void. In the Force, she is dead.

(A yawning emptiness where your bond with Master Bant used to be. That cold and empty and lonely place where all the other Jedi were before, a distant glow, comforting and familiar, suddenly and cruelly extinguished.)

You try to play along–Shikaku would never deliberately lie to you, certainly not about something as important as this–but it’s hard because as far as you can tell, as far as the Force is telling you, your daughter is dead and this is a droid everyone is trying to convince you is the little miracle you gave birth to.

Shikaku sees it on your face, hears it in your voice, has Shikamaru take that creature wearing your daughter’s body out of the house, but it doesn’t matter that she’s no longer in sight.

Your senses know: your daughter is dead.

(The next day is better, but not completely, your daughter no longer a void–no longer dead–but only the faintest presence in the Force. A mere candle seen from a far distance, not the comforting hearth of a familiar Force sensitive.

It’s only now that you realize how much you depended on that in a world full of strangers and strangeness)

~

A/N: For @donapoetrypassion because you always have the best follow up comments to my fic and I always feel a little guilty for not knowing how to respond, so this one is a relief to finally be able to do. Some Yoshino reactions to Gelel and the accident in clan training (plus bonus Ibiki). I hope you enjoy! 😀

Stars Also Dream 3/? (2016-08-07)

A/N1: *SCREAMING* okay, well, feel free to disregard this installment because I misread Ibiki’s age and thought it said 37 not 27 and then I wrote this and then went back to the narutowiki tab and realized my mistake but didn’t want to just delete this, god, why did i try researching at 3:30 in the morning I should’ve known it would just end in frustrated tears.

Anyway, if you do decide to read this despite my ranting, please keep in mind I honestly though Ibiki was 37 and thus within Yoshino’s age range.

~

After your crash onto this strange planet where no one has heard of the Force–much less the Jedi or the Republic or the Clone Wars–it takes you a while to trust people again.

In fact, the first person you trust–your first friend, really–is Morino Ibiki.

(Later he’ll admit that he was pretty sure you were a spy for the first three years of your acquaintance and he was mostly watching to make sure you didn’t do anything untoward to Konoha.

You’ll laugh, not because you think he’s joking, but because you know he’s telling the truth.)

It’s not that the Kinokawas are unkind. You only ever use the Force on them once, and that to make them forget about your crashed medical pod on their land. They don’t quite understand your desire to become a ninja, but they are supportive in their own way.

(You wish you could be a proper daughter for them, but you’ve never been a daughter before so you don’t quite know how.)

Navigating Konoha’s administration and joining the Genin Corps is really more of an exercise in diplomacy, while actually being part of the corps is half meticulous observation and half cautious mimicry.

(This is probably where Ibiki develops the misconception.)

You chatter easily with the other kunoichi, nod your head in the right places; smile and blush whenever the agreed upon cute boys pay you any attention. You can’t contribute to conversations about the Academy, but that’s okay, not everyone else can either. You’ll talk about the weather and food and the benefits of kunai versus senbon versus shuriken and that’s good enough.

(You don’t trust anyone.

Not yet.)

Morino Ibiki isn’t one of the cute boys–too stoic and stocky and solid–but he’s dependable and smart and a decent fighter. He’ll make chuunin one day for sure, which is, as the other members of the Genin Corps agree, very impressive.

It takes about three sentences into your first conversation with him that he tells you to cut the bullshit.

(No one knows yet that his main strength isn’t in fighting, but in watching.)

Because Ibiki doesn’t want politeness, would rather get punched in the face than smiled at, if that’s what a person really felt. He wants the truth–or acknowledgement of the truth–knows everyone keeps secrets and irritatedly wishes people would own up to them than pretend not to have any.

He never asks for your secrets, so you never tell him.

(To this day, he’s still one of your best friends.)

Which is why, when your head is near splitting open with the disturbance in the Force, he’s the one you go to first.

~

A/N2: I’m gonna be honest, did not see this one coming. I was trying to figure out who would be the least likely to be best friends with Yoshino “wears a pink apron and is secretly a Jedi from another planet” Nara and thought about Ibiki but then realized that might actually be a functional friendship.

edit: Also, I kinda needed some way for her to be off-planet without becoming a missing-nin but also sort of keeping it a secret from her family. But considering her husband is the Jounin Commander, there are many things that would be kept secret from him. Unless it’s, you know, Not His Division (as per Lestrade from BBC!Sherlock) such as it being an espionage/T&I thing. Hence, Ibiki.

Also, I wrote this before I podficced Chapter 100 of DoS, but I realized I remembered it pretty accurately and got him fairly spot on. So, like, maybe DoS!Ibiki is ten years older? Like… that just feeeels right from the vibe I get from him in canon and DoS.