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!

Advertisements

Counterpoise Remix (2017-03-20)

Your first night in Konoha, you do not cry.

Still, you sit up and clutch at your face, desperately trying to stay quiet, so keenly aware of how close your bedroom is to that of the Namikazes’ and how thin the walls.

Despite having had a largely nomadic lifestyle, you are overcome with homesickness.

Iruka normally finds the hour before classes soothing. The warm sunlight streaming through the windows, preparing for the day’s lessons, and appreciating the calm before the storm that is a day of teaching preteens how to be soldiers.

Normally, he’s fond of the time before classes begin. Now the silence is dragging, suspenseful and ominous, and he both dreads and hopes for the clock to move faster.

The Uzumaki princess will be joining his class today.

He’s not starstruck or anything like that–almost half of his class are the clan heirs or seconds–one of his students is the Hokage’s son!

He has long since gotten used to instructing the children of the elite. It’s hard to be intimidated by their family name when you remember them as six year olds with snot running down their noses.

Which might explain why he’s nervous about the Uzumaki princess, though he knows that only contributes part of the reason.

His grandmother had been from Uzushio.

His dad frequently reminisces about childhood visits to Uzushio, family reunions dozens of members strong. Iruka would have grown up the same, had the islands not fallen before he was born. As it is, all he has are the stories that his parents pass down to this day.

Uzumaki Konran is princess of an intangible kingdom–memories and legacies–which makes her all the more intimidating.

On the back of every Konoha flak jacket is a spiral the same bright red of Uzumaki hair, an oath of alliance given form.

This is not a coincidence.

Konran’s first morning in Konoha went as thus:

Following silently, uncertainly, in the trail of the Hokage’s son. Watching the villagers turn to him, like flowers to the sun, smiling and calling out greetings that he easily returns: he grew up surrounded by so many people, loved; the village steeped with his presence, familiar places as much part of him as his very body.

This is his home, and she is a stranger.

At the Academy–and how strange, such formal education; she learned around a campfire, the road was her classroom–Naruto’s friends call him over. At first, he goes toward them, but his steps falter, he hesitates and looks back at her.

Her, the intruder in his life.

She waves him off, perhaps more dismissive than she intends, and steels herself. Umino-sensei has her introduce herself, she struggles to match the stares of thirty different faces. They have known each other for years, have developed friendships and histories all without her. She finds an empty seat close to the window.

An outsider looking in.

Uzumaki Konran meets Nohara Ringo and Yuuhi Zakuro entirely by accident. Hatake Kakashi meets her deliberately.

Her decision after graduation shouldn’t have been a surprise to any party involved.

And yet.

Dear reader, know this:

There is no fate, there are no soulmates, no guarantees or warrantees; but in this vast, infinite universe there may be something that ties us together.

Something like resonance.

I did not love her at first sight, nor second, nor third. I did not even like her immediately; though that is not to say that I disliked her immediately, either. She was interesting, and fascination became fondness became affection.

Once I loved her, I could not stop.

~

A/N: Okay, that should be it by now… thanks for being patient and humoring me, everyone 🙂

fake fic title – the homework. may it involve iruka somehow.

I know I’ve already referenced The Hangover over in this fake fic title brainstorm but just the title alone for this one feels more Hangover-esque.

So I’m thinking pre-graduation for Team Ebisu (Konohamaru, Moegi, and Udon) and Team Hana (Hanabi, Chiyako, and Ranmaru) on a field trip / survival training / group project of sorts with Iruka-sensei as the bewildered chaperone.

And while they’re not on par with Team Seven, these six are a heady mixture ready to blow. So maybe it’s something like six soon to be genin are sent on a D-rank mission–considering rising tensions and potential war on the horizon, official genin are being used on more critical missions and students are being transitioned into proper mission etiquette, etc. etc.

Anyway, temporary Team Iruka shenanigans. On the one hand, Iruka is very responsible so he shouldn’t lose track of his team (like a certain elite jounin who will not be named), but on the other hand the six students he has on his temporary team are very… strong-willed. And powerful.

Poor Iruka. He probably thought he was done with the chaos when Konoha Twelve graduated. -_-

I’m not sure what D-rank is… I mean catching Tora the cat seems like the obvious choice, but with a Hyuuga and an Aburame and four other to-be-genin, it would be overkill wouldn’t it? Then again, that’s the only D-rank mission iconic enough to be shenanigans-filled so…

Yeah. I mean, its the Inuzuka that really make catching Tora a cakewalk, and since this is without Hana as jounin sensei, it would be enough of a challenge. It’s not as if the Hyuuga train to specifically tell different cats apart, and I feel like Chiyako’s hives are a little more combat specialized than tracking specialized. I mean, still some tracking because kikaichu, but not as good as Shino.

So catching Tora. This damn cat has gotten especially wily over the years and its not like Konoha bystanders are going to help temporary Team Iruka with it (its a right of passage, and no one else wants to touch that hell cat) no matter how fond of Iruka-sensei everyone is.

I don’t know what else specifically I want from this story. So here’s a summary to finish things off:

The Homework

Team Iruka receive the mission to find Tora the cat with the biggest stakes on the line:

No, not impressing the Fire Lady, passing the class!

(Or, Konohamaru accidentally spends a day with his uncle, Moegi fights her fears, Udon learns more about himself, Ranmaru makes a new friend, Hanabi loses some dignity, Chiyako takes a chance, and Iruka-sensei can’t catch a break.)

!!!Color Time!!!! And of course Gai is the ultimate kunoichi. XD But also if Shikako is Indiana Jones and Naruto and Sai are kids TV … what’s Sasuke’s accidental Team7 fame?

😀

The easier one to come up with is Sakura–now the beautiful badass ingénue of the Naruto world’s equivalent of Grey’s Anatomy. She is both the hopeful optimist of the hospital drama and also the smoldering heartthrob (those muscles! those eyes! wooow! Other member of the Medic Corps swoon dreamily whenever she passes).

Kakashi as Hokage and the poor haggled administrative team headed by Iruka-sensei trying to wrangle him into respectability. A lot of The Office-like confessionals, crying in the supply closet, deadpan staring at the cameras.

Sasuke’s is very difficult, though…

OMFG, I KNOW WHAT TO DO.

If Sasuke rebuilds the Konoha Military Police with his ANBU training, I imagine there are a lot of… basically Cops meets Maury? A lot of censored faces, a lot of sordid shenanigans. His show started off as a sort of… the police wear body cameras less for the accountability (because I like to believe that fictional police are better than IRL police) and more for evidence collecting. But then he kept getting involved in really weird cases. Not even dangerous ones, but things like: this civilian is having an affair with four different shinobi but that’s not what he’s in trouble for. That civilian keeps drunkenly stealing apples? Just. Why? Why is he naked?

Or, he’s called into way too many three AM domestic disturbances. Thankfully no spousal abuse, but things like: a fight on whether or not one partner should be allowed to get a pet tarantula. Whose turn it is to wash the dishes. Except, considering they’re shinobi, it turns into this huge production.

Sasuke probably hoped for something respectable like a crime procedural shows–CSI or something like that. Lol, nope.

Fake Fic Summaries, 18/? the Sailor Shinobi edition (2017-01-14)

jacksgreysays:

jacksgreysays:

A/N: I had originally thought of a crack version of this after a frankly bizarre dream, but the more I thought about it the more it worked pretty well for a… less cracky version, so the “summary” as much as it can be called such is for the less cracky but I’ll talk about both.

~

Sailor Shinobi

Fighting evil by moonlight
Winning love by daylight
Never running from a real fight
She is the one named…
… Hyuuga Hinata?

Luna has been waiting a long time for the reincarnation of the moon princess, watching the village of warriors grow around the destined location of her rebirth.

Finally she’s found her–as well as the reincarnated guardians, fortunately enough. Now, if only they’d stop sending her back to the Fire Daimyo’s wife.

So cracky version: I was on the topic of Sailor Moon and Dreaming of Sunshine because, well, canonically mentioned. And for some reason my brain was like… is Sasuke Sailor Moon?

Because, see, the Uchiha are the ones connected with the Neko-baa. And Tsukuyomi is related to the moon. And Sailor Moon’s colors are the same as the Uchiha colors.

And you can’t tell me Naruto wouldn’t make a fabulous Sailor Venus in that orange seifuku. (With Shikako as Tuxedo Mask, of course, because of that one art by AngelsFallBeforeUs).

While the idea of Sasuke and Naruto in seifuku with Shikako in a caped tuxedo is absolutely fantastic, I couldn’t really figure out which of the other boys were which scout. And the more I thought about it the more I thought… wouldn’t it work better with Hinata as Sailor Moon?

The Otsutsuki subplot bewilders me, but from what I understand it’s a clan of moon aliens? And they have the Byakugan as well? And the idea of Hinata being timid out of costume and confident in costume just gives me very strong Miraculous Ladybug vibes that I greatly appreciate.

To be honest, picturing Hanabi as Mini Moon really solidified it for me even though I know Chibiusa is Usagi’s daughter from the future. As for the actual scouts there’s Sakura as Mercury, Ino as Venus, Shikako as Mars, and TenTen as Jupiter. Maaaybe Yakumo as Saturn, Anko as Uranus, Isaribi as Neptune, and Kurenai as Pluto??

I don’t know who would have the honor of Tuxedo Mask, though. Do any of the boys have the panache for it? I mean, I know for parallelism sake, it ought to be Naruto. But would Naruto really engage in the secret identity thing? I don’t think so.

As for the plot, well, the fake fic summary does have it concurrently with being shinobi in the DoS ‘verse–though that wouldn’t be very practical, seeing as how shinobi don’t exactly have normal bed times–as opposed to a more “real world” scenario… hm. Maybe Luna/Tora has some kind of teleporting ability? Which, yes, explains why she keeps escaping so damn often, but also maybe the evil things the Sailor Shinobi are supposed to fight are on the ruins of the moon kingdom as opposed to invading the “Earth.”

I dunno.

I do REALLY love the idea of the Sailor Shinobi throwing around sparkling beautiful attacks and smacking down the Akatsuki.

-_-

*intense sigh of embarrassment*

Picture under the cut.

Keep reading

I agree with you anon that Kakashi definitely has the mysterious and hands off vibe of Tuxedo Mask (and the whole show up, do nothing, and walk away pointedly is very Kakashi) but I’m not sure–and not even in a shipping way–if he has a strong enough relationship with ALL of the Sailor Shinobi, in particular Hinata, instead of just Shikako (and now, sort of, Sakura).

I suppose by that logic, Tuxedo Mask might be Iruka-sensei?

O_O

Ibiki?

Uh, no nevermind. Well, perhaps for the Sailor Shinobi, Tuxedo Masks need not apply 😛

Hail To The Queen: Or, Some Ways Shikako Never Became The Hokage, 1/? (2016-04-18)

jacksgreysays:

(one: she who kills the kingslayer)

There was a tradition, in a different land, from a different life, that he who killed the king would then become the king. For if one could kill the king, then hasn’t one already conquered the kingdom?

That is not the case in Konoha, not really. The Shodaime was founder, and the Nidaime his brother, the Sandaime their student, and the Yondaime a war hero. The hat–the crown–passed down amicably, if not peacefully.

But the logic remains, in its own way, and could easily be applied. For if the Hokage is the strongest shinobi of Konoha, then the one who kills him proves they are even stronger: and, by definition, ought to become the next Hokage.

So what does that mean, for the girl who kills the monster that killed the Sandaime Hokage?

On her way to the stadium, she observes that the adults are wary, tense and prepared, waiting for something to happen. They know about an impending attack, yes, but they don’t know the details. They know the enemy is Sound and Sand, they even know Orochimaru is involved, but they don’t know the full truth.

Shikako does.

She steers her growing group closer to the Kage’s box, because even if she knows it’s mostly a product of the rigorous desensitization of the Academy, she is still a shinobi of Konoha, sworn to protect it’s leader.

And when the feathers fall, when everyone else is busy shaking off the genjutsu and dodging attacks from disguised Sound and Sand shinobi, Shikako looks up.

The Kazekage, no, Orochimaru has held the Sandaime hostage, has dragged him up to the roof of the stadium to start a battle that Shikako knows will lead to the Hokage’s death if he fights alone.

But the adults know, surely someone will be able react in time? Instead Sand shinobi, no, the Sound Four, rebuff their attempts long enough for the Sandaime to be isolated. Long enough for them to position themselves onto the four corners of the roof–Shikako knows that if they get the barrier up then it really will be all over for the Sandaime. She has to act now!

“Be ready to attack whoever comes here,” she says in a rush, hoping her friends hear her.

A barrier in the shape of a rectangular prism simply cannot exist if one of the four corners is switched out. And Shikako has practiced the Replacement Jutsu an awful lot recently.

The barrier fails and the shock of it is enough that some of the ANBU can engage the Sound Four–the Sound Three, right now–in their distraction while others rush the newly revealed Orochimaru.

But he summons the Shodaime and Nidaime and they were not Hokage for nothing and even the best trained ANBU can fall before legends.

The battle is above Shikako’s ability, truly, for she has grown stronger but not on par with this. But she can pull her chakra in, become invisible, strike when an opening arises.

Orochimaru still kills the Sandaime, despite the additional help, but the Shinigami also still takes away the use of his arms and that is opening enough. He is not expecting a mere genin to sneak behind him and tap the largest, most lethal touch blast she can think of onto his obi, and so that is what she does.

She is not fast enough to get completely outside the blast radius because she didn’t give herself time to do so–it would have given Orochimaru time to escape, somehow, too. And so, as the massive explosion detonates, an enormous fireball of light and heat scorching her eyes, she hopes that this will all be worth it.

Shikako wakes up in a hospital bed, one month later, to Tsunade Senju’s smirking face and is summarily informed that the Slug Sannin has not returned to Konoha to become the Godaime Hokage.

No, she has returned to heal the Godaime Hokage.

~

A/N: Hahahaha… haha… ha… uh. This was supposed to be hella shorter because this wasn’t supposed to actually become a series 😡 this was supposed to be a bunch of tiny drabbles all contained in one post but apparently my brain was like… nah. You gotta make it longer. You just gotta. Goddamnit, brain…

So this one is for you, anon who wanted to see Shikako as Hokage. The first of several ways she will never become Hokage.

Quest For The Queen, 1/6 (2016-04-26)

(one: ending)

The funeral is a miserable thing, somber and serious and everyone wearing black and standing in neat rows. The sky is dark, clouds heavy like the weight on his shoulders, and if Naruto were ever to hate something it would be this.

He never wants to go to another funeral again.

He knows it’s stupid, but he wants to make it so that a funeral never happens again.

He knows death is part of life, he’s not that dumb. He knows that he can’t actually prevent death, but maybe he can become strong enough to prevent this kind of funeral from happening. He’d rather have gone to a funeral after Hokage-jiji died peacefully in his sleep, or from losing too much blood from a giant perverted nose bleed, or something like he ate too much and his stomach exploded.

He hates this helpless feeling, standing around quietly as his inability to protect his precious people is rubbed in his face:

Hokage-jiji and so many other Konoha shinobi dead.

Sasuke back in lockdown in case the curse seal takes advantage of his chakra exhaustion.

Shikako in a medically induced coma, put in the intensive care stasis room because her entire body is covered in third and fourth degree burn–he didn’t even know there was such a thing as fourth degree burns.

All Naruto has to show for the attack are some bandages on his face.

And then it starts raining.

“Why do people do it? Why do they risk their lives for other people?” He blurts out, the questions scratching away at his throat because he’s trying so hard not to cry.

Iruka-sensei answers him, something about people being tied together even after someone passes away. How the memory of that person will still live through their family and friends and loved ones. And if Naruto had been talking about Hokage-jiji it might have helped, but if anything it makes him feel worse because he’s not thinking about Hokage-jiji–he’s thinking about Shikako.

She might be the next funeral he goes to, the thought flickers so quickly through his mind that he can’t even squash it before it registers.

“So we do it because we have to. Sort of,” he says, because that at least makes sense. Shikako tried to save Hokage-jiji, even if that meant fighting the freaky snake bastard who had already beaten all three of them in the forest. She was willing to risk her life for that smallest possibility she could save him, “Still, I’m worried for her.”

Iruka-sensei looks confused for a moment before understanding dawns on his face. His eyes dart away, guilty, for not having interpreted Naruto’s question correctly.

Kakashi-sensei, who snuck in late but was stealthy enough to not make a disturbance, puts a careful hand on Naruto’s shoulder and squeezes. He’s worried, too. Too worried to say anything.

Which means that Naruto has to be the one to speak.

“But Shikako’s strong,” he says, because it’s true. He’s never known her to be anything but strong, “She’ll definitely recover,” he adds because maybe if he says it, that will also become true. “Believe it!” He says, even as he struggles to do the same.

The sun comes out and starts to shine, and Naruto hopes that it’s a sign that things really will be okay.

~

A/N: Okay so… Quest For The Queen will have six parts… I think…

I DUNNO! NARUTO’S VOICE IS SO DIFFICULT! THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING! @book14reader totally knows what I’m talking about.

But I just really want to address Naruto in this series so here’s his spin-off!

Don’t Hold Back, a DoS prompt response drabble (2015-11-27)

They were practically legends, despite their age. The Lucky Sevens’ infamy turning into something more like mythos, like the Sannin in their youth except, somehow, more. More faith, more impossibilities, more potential: the three Sages of Konoha–Uzumaki, Uchiha, and Nara; Toad, Hawk, and Deer.

Of course, to each other, they’re still just the same dorky kids who turned training into games and despite all efforts still had no idea what was under their sensei’s mask.

Which meant that, when Shikako–normally so unflappable–opted out of team Ichiraku that night, then started blushing when they asked why, it was like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Or a face mask in front of a group of curious teenagers.

Of course Naruto and Sasuke were going to snoop around.

Unfortunately for them, Shikako was much better at sneaking around than either of them.

Which meant they would need reinforcements.

Kakashi-sensei, being overly fond of messing with his cute little genin (despite none of them being genin anymore, or little) was all for joining them. But, being the Rokudaime Hokage in charge of the entire village, that meant that he couldn’t.

“But shouldn’t a Hokage be invested in the people of Konoha?” He asked, almost coyly, eyes curved in an unmistakeable smile.

“No,” Iruka-sensei responded implacably, setting yet another stack of scrolls on the desk.

And that was that.

Their next recruitment was a lot more successful. Not enthusiastically so, but that word never really could be applied to Shikamaru, even if it did have to do with his twin sister.

“And you’re sure it’s not anything official?” Shikamaru asked, just to confirm. It wouldn’t be the first time Team Seven dragged him into something which the paperwork ninja spoke of in horrified whispers.

“She said no to ramen! And she was blushing!” Naruto answered, in a rather unhelpful manner.

A quirk of Shikamaru’s eyebrow had Sasuke clarifying, “It was pretty unusual. She wouldn’t say what she was doing instead, just that she had already made plans with someone else.”

“Hm,” Shikamaru pondered, hands curved into his meditative gesture, “We’ll need someone with more intel.”

“Your dad?” Naruto asked, both thrilled and intimidated at asking the elder Nara for help.

“No way,” Shikamaru snorted, “We’ll need Ino.”

Given the fact that Ino is Shikako’s best friend, it stood to reason that she would know exactly what was going on with Shikako.

Then again, given that same fact, it also made sense that Ino wouldn’t share that information without Shikako’s consent. Even to her brother and teammates.

In this case, especially to her brother and teammates.

With a series very unsubtle facial and hand movements, Sasuke was convinced to use his charms on Ino to get her to talk.

She just laughed right in their faces.

“Oh, Sasuke-kun, you will always have a place in my heart,” she said, before patting his cheek the way one would a small child or a beloved pet, “But you really are not cut out for seduction missions.

"Although–just because I know it’ll be hilarious to see what you dumb boys do–I’ll tell you this,” she said, smile bright and devious, “It’s not a matter of what Shikako is doing, but rather a who.”

“What?” Naruto asked, confused.

“What.” Sasuke said, flatly.

“WHO?” Shikamaru practically seethed.

Instead of answering, Ino just laughed again, tossing her blonde hair and relishing in the triumph of knowing something someone else doesn’t.

~

A/N: A little late, but considering my sleep schedule is all messed up, not too bad? Also, a surprising short turn-around time on this one.

A response to this anonymous prompt. And though it doesn’t completely fill it, I thought this would be fun. Actually, I may continue this later so as to fill the rest of the prompt, but I quite liked this silly mystery set up. 

Anyway, I hope you and your friend enjoy, anon!

edit: now titled “Don’t Hold Back” as a little nod towards the Scooby Doo theme song. Having a title does mean I’m more likely to visit a series so… take that as you will…

edit2: added to Dreaming One Shots