Who do you think would handle knowing the original timeline’s future best, not just in DoS, but in your other works, too? I say original timeline in large part because surely even someone who wouldn’t want to would still find themselves making changes, right?

I’m going to assume you mean Naruto canon when you say original timeline, because otherwise to go through all of my fandoms would be O_O

I think there’s a difference in handling the knowledge in an internal/emotional way vs handling the knowledge in an external/make-changes kind of way. The first largely depends on how a person finds out–whether it’s something that, in the case of DoS, Shikako tells them or, somehow they find out from, like, a vision from beyond or a canon character dimension travelling and exposition dumping from there–whereas the second depends on their resources (whether they even have the ability to make changes on a significant scale) and personality (whether they would even want to.

Like, I’ve mentioned previously that Shino would make a good confidante for Shikako, not because he would particularly make a lot of changes, but because he would, if not believe Shikako immediately, then at the very least accept the knowledge with a certain level of proof (which is easy enough considering the Aburame’s history with Danzo.) So he’d be the first type of “handling” the knowledge of canon.

All that being said… I kinda want to do both for all of them mostly because this prompt would help me further conceptualize characters in a way I hadn’t considered before. So, both Emotional Handling and Influential Handling for DoS, Externality, (In)Difference, and Counterpoise? Hm, if there’s another series you’re interesting in, lionhead, just let me know and I can add that later.

Dreaming of Sunshine:

Emotional Handling – I’m going to stick with Shino for this one, actually. Regardless of if he finds out from Shikako or from some other means. Second place I would say Ibiki, but I’m reluctant to do even that much because of my own fanon that Ibiki and Yoshino are BFFs so he probably would be second hand messed up by the changes of Yoshino’s family composition.

Influential Handling – I don’t know if there is a singular person I would say is best for this, but the ones I’m thinking of all have a certain… flavor to them. In no particular order: Iruka, Ibiki, Aoba, and Shizune. And the thing they all have in common is that they have influence within the village but not the combat prowess to handle S-rank nin by themselves. So they would have to make changes with a softer touch. Would Iruka emotionally handle canon knowledge well? NO WAY. But he is in the position to not only influence Naruto (and other former students) directly but also to affect administrative decisions. Also, Danzo would never think of Iruka as a threat.

Ibiki, Aoba, and Shizune would probably handle the knowledge with better grace than Iruka, but they don’t have that direct connection with the kids that Iruka does. And this could be a positive and a negative, but they’re all also better than Iruka combat wise so they may be tempted to make changes in person which may cause them to bite off more than they can chew.

Externality:

So the thing about Externality is that even I haven’t decided whether or not Tetsuki knows about canon, or how–was Naruto a manga in the KHR world or can she perceive the canon version of the world in her dreams?–so I’m going to exclude her for now.

Emotional Handling – Weirdly enough, I think Naruto would handle it best. Not because he would use it, but because he would be galvanized into doing better. Whether that means keeping Sasuke in Konoha or being a better teammate to Tetsuki and Komadori or making sure to protect the people he couldn’t save in canon. Although, I suppose it depends on WHEN he gets the knowledge. Like, if he gets it before the canon graduation time, then it’s unprovable and basically a really weird dream to him–why would he be on a team without Tetsuki and Komadori?–but if its after canon graduation time, that is, after a genin-for-a-year Naruto gets put on a team with recent graduates Sasuke and Sakura, then he might take it as a challenge.

Influential Handling – Ibiki, Aoba, and Shizune for the same reasons as in DoS–since Externality is in a similar vein of OC–but instead of Iruka, since he isn’t the teacher for Testuki, Komadori, and Team Gai’s year, I would add Anko to the list.

Specifically after Tetsuki has joined Intel/T&I. Well, I mean, Anko knowing about Orochimaru’s future movements is already pretty good influence-wise (although, I’m concerned that Konoha would be “concerned” about how she got that information) but if it’s after Tetsuki has joined Intel/T&I and become Anko’s kouhai then Anko will know that she can use Tetsuki to act on her behalf as well as passing Orochimaru’s future movements along to Ibiki and such.

And I guess, for similar reasons, Tsunade would be good but only after she’s already become Hokage. Because her hands are tied as far as throwing down directly with Akatsuki since she has a damn village to run, but she’ll know that Tetsuki is a piece on the board that she can use in a myriad of ways.

(In)Difference

Since Kiyoshi definitely knows about canon and is trying her utmost to not get involved during her first decade and a half, then doing an abrupt 180 and getting overly involved in specific people’s lives, I’m going to exclude her.

This probably won’t make much sense given I haven’t actually written enough of (In)Difference to have a firm timeline and, unlike Externality and Counterpoise, it doesn’t follow the usual stations of canon. Which brings up the main point: except for a few flashback type situations, most of canon happens decades in the future. Any changes, even minute, will have massive consequences. Additionally, in a way, it’s harder to prove but easier to stomach so… hm… let’s see…

Emotional Handling – When they’re younger, genin/chuunin age or so, Orochimaru would handle it best. Not because he really believes Kiyoshi (if it is, indeed, coming from Kiyoshi) but because on the unlikely chance that it is true then he is still capable of course-correcting. Also, if he was, as I suspect, Nawaki’s jounin-sensei (or captain, if we’re going with wartime terminology) then being able to prevent his death–which Kiyoshi somehow does–will help a lot in keeping him sane and not completely evil.

Team White Fang would also handle it okay but only as a team. I don’t know why I feel certain about this, but, I dunno, they’re 2/3 my characters so there.

Influential Handling – Actually, all of the above wouldn’t be too bad in terms of influencing things. Orochimaru, obviously, just has to not be a complete sociopath and never work with Danzo (or, even, just kill Danzo outright) and already he’ll make the future a better place. And Team White Fang is either A) Sakumo, father of Kakashi who is in line to affect ALL the things or B+C) a shape-shifter and genjutsu mistress. So, not too hard to make changes. But I think the BEST person to make changes might be Nawaki.

Because just him being alive would mean so much in terms of Senju presence. And even if he doesn’t have Wood Release (but which I’ve written that he does so…) what his continued existence means for Tsunade and Kushina personally (who can then influence Naruto directly or not). Or what his continued existence might mean for the Uchiha clan… I suppose it’s more a potential of influence than actual influence, I guess.

Counterpoise

Konran definitely doesn’t know about canon. Immediately I know she would emotionally handle it the worst, because basically it’s a world in which her twin brother isn’t even a twin or a brother. Here comes an existential crisis. Because she’d emotionally handle it the worst, I’d be reluctant to predict how she’d handle it influentially. Obviously she’s in position to influence Naruto most directly, but will she want to? Will she do so in a positive way? I don’t know.

Emotional Handling – Zakuro. Hands down. I considered Ringo, because of the two Ringo is the “calmer” one, but then I realized: he’s a medic. He’s a taijutsu using medic. He’s as pacifistic and selfless as a shinobi can be. If he did believe the canon knowledge, however he got it, he would view all the deaths in canon and try his best to prevent them and only destroy himself.

Zakuro, in contrast, is a genjutsu and trap specialist. He knows that perception is more important than reality and for all his brash personality, he can be patient. Traps don’t always get sprung–it’s about preparing for possibilities, not getting directly involved. Zakuro wouldn’t lose himself to the knowledge. He’d take it, absorb it, learn from it, adapt.

The only hitch in this is that he wouldn’t want to keep the knowledge a secret from his teammates, but given their personalities, he would have to. So it’s not the knowledge itself that he would have trouble handling.

But to be clear, Zakuro is ony best at emotional handling. He’s not really in a position to make significant enough changes, for all that he has the mindset to do it.

Influential Handling – … the three people who I think could best utilize the knowledge and make changes are also the three people (besides Konran and Naruto) who would emotionally handle the knowledge poorly. Ringo is one of them–because for all he is the same rank as Zakuro, he does have sort of bonds with both Obito, though he doesn’t really know it, and Kakashi, and if he can figure out how to leverage said bonds he can mitigate a lot of suffering on their and everyone’s parts.

The other two are Kakashi and Jiraiya. The reason why I didn’t bring them up in previous series is because the nature of canon vs Counterpoise is a missing Uzumaki child. Minato’s child. And yes, it’s true, that shouldn’t be such a big deal seeing as how they they ignored Naruto in canon. But I wonder how much of that was the Sandaime’s terribad “don’t discuss the Kyuubi even though everyone and their monkey summons know about it” and how much of that was the village plausibly denying Naruto’s heritage.

So DoS brings up how Naruto could have been named Uzumaki because of his jinchuuriki status not because he’s actually related to Kushina. Additionally I’ve read somewhere that some people thought Naruto took Minato’s appearance because the Kyuubi was being deliberately cruel and kitsune are all about shapeshifting (which is why Naruto’s specialty before kage bushin is henge). And also, while I don’t know how canonical this is, there’s the idea floating around that Minato and Kushina kept the pregnancy a secret so enemy villages couldn’t find out and such. So, like, the village could have just been handwaving the obvious connections between Naruto and his parents. And because Kakashi and Jiraiya don’t get involved with him, there’s nothing to contradict that.

But Konran doesn’t have the Kyuubi. Konran has bright red hair and goes by the name Uzumaki. Konran is so undeniably Kushina’s child that there is no handwaving this away. It’s for this reason that I’m kind of playing around with the idea that the Cloud ambassador tried to kidnap Konran in addition to/instead of Hinata (which also explains why Konran becomes so desperate to keep her hair hidden when she’s a genin).

Anyway. That incident and the lack of plausible deniability means that Kakashi and Jiraiya kind of have to get involved and canon knowledge would only help them if they would get off their asses and do something. Don’t get me wrong, love the characters. But they are capable of making great change, they just need a massive shove to do so.

~

A/N: Uh… that got long and rant-y towards the end. Hopefully this was what you were looking for, lionheadbookends, and if not feel free to send another ask my way 🙂

Ask Box Advent Calendar is now open!

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Since you seem to like time travel and related tropes here’s a quote (that you could use as a prompt if you have the time) I found on an old drawing that I forgot the most of the context of: “You are not the man I love; and now you never will be.” I forget who is the time-traveler in that scenario; but good luck with your convention stuff!

A/N: Ooh, I do love time travel and sad things, anon, and this prompt is amazing… the problem is that my go-to gal for time travel and sad things, aka Leanne Peridot of Counterclockwise, is doomed to never be able to change anything so this wouldn’t work in that.

I do kind of have an idea to fill this prompt which I know is fairly bizarre and convoluted, but which I hope you enjoy anyway? Thank you for your patience!

(In)Difference Remix, Or: Kiyoshi Fixes Her Mistakes (and makes some new ones)

The Utsugi clan is small, barely worth the term “clan” all told. Their shinobi rarely rank higher than chuunin, never above special jounin, and they are more than satisfied with their niche role in the village.

Snipers.

No other bloodline or technique in Konoha is as talented at ultra long range assassination as the Utsugi clan, and for that they are regarded with mild distrust and disdain. For all that shinobi espouse hardening their hearts, cunning above valor, for the most part their warrior heritage runs strong.

There is no honor in the Utsugi clan’s abilities.

Honor does not get results.

That is what she needs now: more than honor, more than valor, more than the lingering, unbreakable ties of love, she needs results.

She needs to make things right.

///

Kiyoshi is not a fuinjutsu master–she knows the basics and just enough to tweak said basics–but one of her adorable genin is, with the chakra capacity to power even the most outlandish of seals.

“Sensei are you sure about this?” Kushina asks, even as she dutifully traces out the shapes onto the cave floor. Kiyoshi has sent Mikoto and Hizashi out to check the perimeter; with this team, that’s as close to a command for privacy as she can get, though given who is after them, it’s not entirely a throw away.

“Honestly?” Kiyoshi prompts, because for all that her students will always be adorable genin to her, they are adults now. Equals. She can be the confident jounin sensei or the honest fellow fugitive on the lam, but not both.

Kushina pauses, blinks her violet eyes up at her. For all that it’s her teammates with the doujutsu, Kiyoshi can feel that gaze pierce through her as sharp and thorough as one of her own arrows.

After a long pause, Kushina turns back to her work, answer received.

Kiyoshi, shamefully, is relieved.

///

The problem is Kakashi.

No, that’s not right. The problem is her.

The problem is that without her Kakashi wouldn’t exist–and he has to exist, he is so vital to success–but in order for her to restore the balance of the world, she can’t be involved.

As far as the story she knows is concerned, Kakashi doesn’t have a mother.

Or, no, that’s not right either. As far as the story she knows is concerned, Kakashi’s mother isn’t present.

That’s a very fine needle to thread, but she’s always had impeccable aim.

///

Sakumo is well protected, for all that he thinks he is the protector of his team. He is earnestly charming and charmingly earnest, but Atsumi and Hozue have always been more socially shrewd than him.

The first go around, Kiyoshi avoided him in a misguided and failed attempt to stay away from the thick of things.

This second go around, she seeks him out for one specific reason. It has nothing to do with love or affection–though that night, there is enough similarities to blur those lines–and everything to do with her using him.

The first go around, Atsumi and Hozue were amused by her. Fond and welcoming in their own way.

This second go around, they hate her guts. It certainly doesn’t help anything when, nine months later, she leaves her baby on the Hatake doorstep.

///

The man she loved, the man she married, eventually went on to become the Yondaime Hokage. The White Fang of Konoha who would guide the village through a world war and succumb to the poisonous whispers of hidden roots.

This man with the same name and the same face will never get that far. He is the scapegoat for the war, sacrificed on the altar of public perception, but no further. She will not allow it. She shouldn’t even be in the village now, she has far too much to do, but if there’s one thing she will allow herself it’s this:

The man she saves from himself is as much a copy of the man she loved as the gruesome corpse she left in the Hatake house. But there is something in his dull stare that belatedly flickers at the sight of her. Recognition, probably, but maybe something more.

///

They are not the same. They will never be the same. But that doesn’t mean that he won’t ever one day also hold a place in her heart.

~

A/N: … so… this is my Kakashi’s mom SIOC Kiyoshi Utsugi from (In)Difference who has already lived through a life in the Naruto world, witnessed the way her presence has made things terribad, then convinced Kushina, her student, to send her back in time so she can excise herself from the story. But she finds there’s a way to technically stick to canon without actually letting all those people die (basically, Kiyoshi builds her own secret society of canonically but not actually dead ninja)

I dunno. It’s convoluted. I think mostly I missed Kiyoshi and that almost cruelly knowing manipulation of the world around her.

Character Statistics: (In)Difference, Team Nobori

Genin

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Chuunin

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Jounin

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Mikoto

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Kushina

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Hizashi

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~

A/N: aka Team Pretty Longhaired Parents. Nobori = banner/flag or, alternatively, rising/ascending (completely different kanji, of course) which just feels right.

aka Team Kiyoshi for (in)Difference purposes, because the idea of Kiyoshi having to deal with these three as bratty preteens is hilarious to me.

For Konoha Team Designation purposes, I think they’re either a Team Two or a Team Nine (not for pun reasons, unfortunately). Neither Mikoto or Hizashi are “heavy-hitter” level, and while Kushina DEFINITELY is, I don’t think the village (at this point in time) wants to throw their only jinchuuriki/Uzumaki into the middle of battle. And besides I’m pretty sure Team Jiraiya (that is, the genin team that Minato was on) would have been the Team Seven of their generation?

I’ll admit I cheated a little bit by using each of their respective sons’ stats as a base and then tweaking as needed.

Also, not that this is really all that important, but I imagine these points in time being right at the beginning of their genin/chuunin/jounin careers. So, more accurately, the “Genin” stats are when they graduate from the Academy. “Chuunin” stats are when they first get promoted to chuunin, same with jounin. So the 29/29.5 of their “Jounin” stats are not their peak abilities.

Shikako Nara’s Guide To Delinquency and Military Insurrection, 2/? (2018-02-03)

(Rule Two: those who abandon their comrades are worse than trash)

Mikoto is checking the perimeter.

Checking the perimeter–ha! what an unnecessary thing to do with a Hyuuga on her team. The last time she actually checked the perimeter was probably during practice missions in the Academy, before she got assigned on a team with one of strongest Byakugan users and a chakra sensor whose range is only rivaled by her insane capacity.

Even with the near endless amount of ROOT teams after them, blank porcelain masks to match their blank emotionless faces, there’s no real reason for Mikoto to check the perimeter.

As if it weren’t just an excuse to get some space from her teammates, just a moment of manufactured solitude to breath and enjoy the cool, quiet night air and internally freak the fuck out over her life choices.

Defect from Konoha?! What the fuck was she thinking? She spent YEARS proving her worth to her assbackwards, misogynistic clan elders–clawing her way up to a jounin ranking despite their opinions about retiring at chuunin to bear children and contribute to the clan–and… well, actually, put like that it’s maybe more of a surprise that she didn’t defect earlier.

But she was willing to put up with all that bullshit because she did, despite the elders, love her clan and her village. She loved being a shinobi of Konoha.

But she loves her friends more.

Even when it’s been nearly a month on the run from Creepy Councilor Shimura’s hunter-nins trying to drag them back for, no doubt, imprisonment and torture and experimentation and, eventually, execution.

For her and Hizashi, at least. Konoha’s not going to execute their only Uzumaki and jinchuuriki.

But just because Konoha would never kill Kushina, doesn’t mean they would never hurt her. Or haven’t ever done so before.

And Hizashi may be one of the strongest Byakugan users in the village, one of the Hyuuga clan head’s sons even, but he’s not the right son. Not the one who lucked into the Main Family, free from a slavery seal that could and would be used against him. By his own clan.

By his own twin brother.

And of course, Kushina couldn’t leave that alone. And no one has ever built a seal that a trained Uzumaki didn’t consider absolute child’s play.

But every action has its consequences–it seems like these past few months have been nothing but dealing with consequences–and now they’re on the run from creepy Councilor Shimura’s minions in the middle of nowhere chasing some rumors about some other Uzumaki in the hopes that…

In the hopes of what?

This other Uzumaki will see Kushina and fall over themselves to welcome a long lost relative? Haven’t they just escaped from a village full of awful relatives?

And even if this other Uzumaki were the welcoming sort, whose to say they’d even be powerful enough to protect them from the full wrath of Konoha?

Mikoto loves her village, she does, even now, but Konoha–for all their reputation as the friendly one–is not one for mercy.

A part of her foolishly, futilely, wishes for their jounin sensei. Wishes that Kiyoshi-sensei were still alive to make everything better–to sweep in and make the problem go away with a few select whispers in certain ears and a convoluted exchange of favors amongst the village’s different departments.

But they are far from Konoha, further still from being those silly little genin trailing admiringly in their sensei’s wake, and anyway how selfish is she? She should be wishing that Kiyoshi-sensei were still alive for little Kakashi’s sake, not to cover up for their own grown-ass mistakes.

Although, if Mikoto is being honest, she’d probably do the same exact thing because  she does, actually, love her friends.

It’s a presence more than a sound that catches her attention, and her hypervigilance has her activating her Sharingan immediately.

The girl who steps into her line of sight is not a ROOT agent–or if she is, she’s a level higher than the rest–because her facial features shift into an actual human expression. Bizarrely, that expression is an almost sheepish resignation.

Mikoto spots Hizashi lurking in the trees behind their visitor ready to pounce while Kushina comes barreling in with all the subtlety and grace of a wounded water buffalo.

The girl just sighs as if she weren’t surrounded by three Konoha jounin.

Sorry, three former Konoha jounin.

“Okay…” the girl says, not bothered whatsoever, “I was supposed to be on my way to Wind Country right now, but the three of you seem to be in some kind of trouble…”

Mikoto catches the brief flicker of annoyance on Hizashi’s face before he shrugs and drops down to the ground, no use in hiding if she already knows he’s there.

“… and given that I just killed a team of ROOT flunkies who were headed in this direction, and all of your headbands have those super fashionable lines across the leaf, I’m pretty sure I know what the problem is, and I thought I should at the very least offer my services,” the girl rambles on, ignoring the surprised and confused glances Mikoto exchanges with her teammates.

“What are you even talking about?” Kushina asks, patience finally giving way to frustration.

Now it’s the girl’s turn to look surprised and confused. She looks at them like they should already know:

“The assassination of Danzo Shimura, of course.”

~

A/N: Shikako just barging and dropping cool one liners and breaking the minds of everyone around her. So hip.

Anyway, just a little personal headcanon for Team… uh… I dunno, Pretty Long-haired Parents. Specifically, Mikoto Uchiha, Hizashi Hyuuga, and Kushina Uzumaki. The timing probably doesn’t work–and Kushina was probably not on a team or Hizashi was on a different team or whatever whatever–but according to SQ “the timeline is made up and facts don’t matter” so I can do whatever I want.

I mean, not as much as Shikako can do whatever she wants, but still.

Speaking of, not that it much matters (I probably could have deleted that paragraph, tbh, but I just wanted it so much) but their jounin sensei is my (In)Difference OC Kiyoshi Utsugi who is also Kakashi’s mom–hence why I tagged it here even if it’s not canon for that either.

I dunno! I just wanted cool team combos!

I’ll probably do a Character Stats post for this bunch also.

Character Statistics: (In)Difference, Team White Fang

Genin

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Chuunin

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Jounin


Sakumo Hatake

Hozue Kedouin

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Atsumi Kurama

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~

A/N: So I wrote this thing about that mission that Sakumo went on that was doomed to fail and thus start a war and I had to make teammates for him, and I already headcanon-ed that his teammates on that doomed mission were also his genin teammates (which is why he was especially reluctant to let them die for the mission). And then I got very fond of the OCs I made for Sakumo’s teammates and what kind of people they must have been (and why they distanced themselves from him after he saved their lives). And while I haven’t written for (In)Difference recently, I figured it would be a good idea to make the teammates more concrete, hence these stats.

So, introducing Hozue Kedouin of an anime-only clan of face copiers/shape shifters and Atsumi Kurama of another anime-only clan of genjutsu specialists.

I thought it would be interesting if, part of the reason why Sakumo was so famous individually–along with him just being a VERY good shinobi, that is–was if both of his teammates just specialized in essentially being invisible. His role on the team is as the obvious tank-y heavy-hitter while his teammates are more behind the scenes and sneaky. Unsure if this makes them a Team Two or a Team Five, according to my list of Konoha Team Designations, but I quite liked the set up and I think I’m going to keep it as such until otherwise disproven by canon (and even then, I may just ignore canon).

I mean, he IS a consistently “better” shinobi than both of his teammates and (if you’ll compare to the character stat posts for the Sannin and Team TenChiKoku) others in his generation as per canon (he individually had a reputation as strong as the Sannin during the Second War) but mostly because he’s very well rounded. He doesn’t fall into the trap of “specializing” in any given direction and also he’s just very good physically.

Missed Post / Ask Box Event? / OC Dolls (2017-10-26)

… I need a push to do some writing! Let’s reprise one of the ask box events, shall we?

What do we think: a softer ask box OR ask box fake fic titles?

(And so it’s not a complete missed post, dollmaker pics of OCs under the cut)

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Konran (from Counterpoise), Tetsuki (from Externality), and Kiyoshi (from (In)Difference)–aka, my three kunoichi OCs.

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Lark, Oleander, and Vinn from various RPG campaigns

Konoha Team Designations (2017-05-23)

I went into this a little before on this post here, but I’d like to go into more detail just so I don’t keep making stuff up and then not writing it down anywhere and then forgetting.

So here’s the basic list for the teams again:

Team One – Medic

Team Two – Vanguard (Stealth/Speed)

Team Three – Defense (Genjutsu/Barriers/Traps)

Team Four – Automatic Fail (code for ANBU/assassination)

Team Five – “Retrieval”

Team Six – General Support

Team Seven – Heavy Hitter

Team Eight – Tracking/Hunting

Team Nine – Escort/Courier

Team Ten – Infiltration/Siege

And as I said before, the Academy does actually try to create genin teams that students would be well suited to, but it depends on the assigned jounin sensei and their standards if they actually pass (except for Team Four who really just are leftovers and pretty much auto fail into the Genin Corps).

Mostly the reason why I’m doing this is because I have three different Naruto fanfiction series–Counterpoise, Externality, and (In)Difference–featuring three very different OCs who end up on very different genin teams, and since I’ve been doing the Character Statistics I’ve had to really hammer down just what each character’s strengths and weaknesses are and resolve that with the other characters as a team.

Teams Seven, Eight, and Ten, obviously, are based on canon: Team Sevens are the traditional “heavy hitters,” the ones who become legends–the Sannin, Naruto-Sasuke-Sakura, even in Boruto that carries over (I think?). Team Eights–based simply on the Aburame-Hyuuga-Inuzuka formation–are most likely meant for tracking/hunting, though no doubt they can form this team without those three clans specifically, with other sensor types. Team Ten are, of course, Ino-Shika-Cho, though for the years there aren’t a set from those clans they can still use that number for teams who might have a similar set up or potential–very people based tactical abilities.

I don’t know where exactly I got this from, but I feel like Team Gai was fanonically made to be Team Nine? Or, at least, given the other teams it kind of make sense to have them fill in the blank and since their team set up is very different from the other three they’d have a different number. And their specialization of escort/courier fits quite nicely in a weird spectrum of tracking/hunting and infiltration/siege–if that makes any sense?

My Team One designation is based off an, admittedly, insignificant throw away line from Dreaming of Sunshine’s early chapters regarding Sakura’s placement given Shikako’s presence–which lead to @kuipernebula​ and I collaboratively brainstorming the simply named Team Medic ‘verse.

Which leaves Teams Two through Six.

Given the superstition about the number four, that team would just be dooming a group of kids for death. And it kind of makes sense in a ruthless kind of way that there would be some students who just… don’t have much potential at all, so Team Four–as an Academy proposal–is just an automatic fail into the Genin Corps. (But maybe that designation is used as a code for temporary teams doing assassinations or auditioning for ANBU).

Itachi was canonically stated to be placed on Team Two with a boy who basically called himself Tenma Lord of Speed and a girl who studied medicine in the Academy but, given the awful awful sexism in this series, got shunted into retiring to become a waitress for some reason?! which is a very distinctive team set up vastly different from the other teams we’ve already seen.

But that Team Two was stated to be “formed out of the best genin at that time and they were given the symbolic position of guarding the Fire Daimyo during his annual visit to Konoha.” Which would make an argument for them being a Team Nine–or, rather, making Team Gai who specialize in mobile guarding type missions a Team Two–but it’s specifically noted to be a symbolic position and more about showing off to the Fire Daimyo their shiny new Uchiha prodigy.

So what do you do with a team of the best genin from the class that aren’t heavy hitters? They aren’t specialized enough for a medic team or a tracking team, and they don’t quite have the same vibe as an infiltration/siege team. They might be a decent escort/courier team, but that wouldn’t really take full advantage of their potential. You have a fast kid, an Uchiha, and a medic–you can’t move faster than your client for escort missions, to fully utilize the Sharingan you want to pit them against other shinobi not just bandits, and escort/courier missions aren’t high enough risk to need a medic.

Thus, vanguard: a stealthier, speedier strike force who can handle themselves in dangerous times but are more subtle than the walking tanks and explosions of Team Seven.

So Three, Five, and Six are free game.

It made sense for there to be a general support team–because while a team of all medics is the easiest way to train combat medics and would make sense for large scale troop movements (when multiple medics would be needed for an entire battalion), it’s not practical for smaller scale battles–and I made them Team Six because I figured they’d be deployed alongside one of the other higher number teams. Teams One and Two wouldn’t need a general support team because it’d be redundant for One and slow down Two, whereas Seven and higher could use support for more variety if the mission calls for multiple teams.

With that mentality in mind, I figured Team Three ought to also be a specialty such that they also wouldn’t need a general support. Or, rather, to break down what general support team even means? I headcanon that Kabuto’s team were a Team Six–a medic with high genjutsu skill, a guy who can absorb chakra, and a guy who can stretch his limbs–which shook out to, besides the medic, genjutsu and close range non-destructive abilities. Hence, defense for Team Three.

And, finally, Team Five which I literally made up because I wanted a team of Leverage-esque thieves. I mean, I’ll justify it in a second, but I figured I ought to be honest about my motivation for all this ranting; I wanted practical problem solving ninja thieves.

Obviously the Academy isn’t going to make a team of assassins to be. While they are training child soldiers, it’s not as if they can tell which preteen is going to be better at assassination than another. And while there is Team Two who would be good at the straightforward get in, get the target, get out, that doesn’t leave much room for the other assassination requests of “make it look natural” or “frame this other person for it,” etc. etc.

So the best way to train toward that mentality would be missions for “retrieving” objects. This team would need to be not quite a support team, but neither an outrightly offensive team either–kind of like a smaller scale, less destructive version of Team Ten. It’s still very people based tactics, but more subtle (Yamanaka personalities may be all about nuance, but their ability is not so much. At the very least, I don’t think the person they possessed loses their memory of the possession? So it’d be very obvious afterwards what happened).

In Counterpoise the Team Five I created is “the genjutsu specialist with a fondness for traps, the medic with a talent in taijutsu, and the fuinjutsu user with chakra reserves four times the size a ninja twice her age”

In Externality, Tetuski accidentally helps Naruto graduate one year early, leading to the both of them and another OC becoming a Team Two under Kakashi. (I actually have what is probably an unpopular/unheard of headcanon that Team Minato was not a Team Seven but rather a Team Two)

In (In)Difference, Team TenChiKoku is a Team Ten that doesn’t directly mimic the Ino-Shika-Cho dynamic but would have a similar function in wartime.

Okay, that’s a weird thing to end on, but thanks for reading this far!