Ask Box Three Sentence Fic, 5/? (2016-10-28)

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(1 – anonymous – any!DoS, reality TV)

“Sensei,” Chef Uchiha hisses quietly, but not quiet enough that the cameras don’t pick it up, “we’re fifteen minutes into cooking and you haven’t told us the menu yet.”

“Maa,” says Iron Chef Hatake, in the classic blasé attitude which makes him a fan favorite, “I’m sure you’ll come up with something; I have very dependable and cute sous chefs, after all.”

And, as always at least once per episode: Chef Uchiha seethes, Chef Uzumaki shouts, and Chef Nara sighs, looking straight at the camera.

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(2 – anonymous – Kakashi as their teacher, modern!AU, playing favorites)

Every year, Professor Hatake chooses four students to intern at his law firm: this year’s a little different–not even counting all the murder and media and madness–because this year, he chooses five.

“I didn’t think he even knew my name,” Sakura says, a little bit in shock, “he just calls me Pinky.”

Tenzo–Yamato?–Hatake’s associate lawyer looks them over and says, “I’d offer congratulations, but I don’t think you know what you’ve gotten yourselves into.”

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(3 – anonymous – Shikako/Lee, fighting together)

It’s not that they complete each other,
two halves of a whole,
his taijutsu and spirit
with her ninjutsu and cunning.

It’s that they both share a rhythm,
an unbeatable upward climb,
no chakra, no chance,
every obstacle thrown their way.

They don’t need balance,
no grounding, no anchors,
they propel each other,
further, faster, forward.

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(4 – anonymous – Walking Around ‘verse Team Seven)

The first time they hear Boruto laugh–a bitter, vicious thing–Sakako and Mitsuki realize that good men do not always make good fathers.

The first time they hear Sakako laugh, bubbling quietly like a stream, Mitsuki and Boruto share identical expressions of victory.

The first time they hear Mitsuki laugh, a surprise for all three of them, Boruto and Sakako join in moments later, happy to be alive.

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(5 – @byebyebriar – even more 3.4, Shikako/Gaara, modern royalty!AU and beleaguered PR person)

Jinzo fondly remembers the years when Gaara-sama’s need for public relations was minimal and manageable: unfortunately, his job has become infinitely more difficult since Her Royal Majesty’s coronation.

He has an entire team now, which is supposed to make things easier but in fact just means more idiot children to wrangle–not even including the recalcitrant Leaf girl who started this whole mess.

Jinzo presses a hand to the throbbing vein in his forehead and bites out, reluctantly, “What do you mean you can’t find His Highness?”

~

A/N: Some Iron Chef for anonymous 1 and some How To Get Away With Murder for anonymous 2. And I guess some pseudo-poetry for anonymous 3? Anonymous 4 may not have been prompting for three sentence fic, but they get it anyway, and @byebyebriar you are awesome as always! 😀

Dreaming of S(haring the World) 3/3, (2016-09-17)

Gaara isn’t often called in to deal with matters from the Engineering Department. Except for approving or vetoing certain village-sized projects, he doesn’t have much to do with them outside of paperwork.

Certainly not in person. Not anymore.

After the first incident–in which he was called in at three in the morning and all he did was stand around looking imposing as two engineers yelled, fought, cried on each other, then came to an agreement in the span of two hours. True, that first incident led to the village’s first successful hydroponics program, and later aquaponics program, but not as a result of anything Gaara himself did–he’s learned to use proxies since then.

But the young engineer standing in front of him looks like he won’t accept a proxy or no for an answer. Even if he’s nervously curling into himself.

Gaara doesn’t take offense. If he’s remembering correctly, this is one of the recent genin graduates. The one who had been slated for the Puppet Corps until Kankurou found out that he’d rather make puppets than fight with them, and so had shunted him into Engineering where he’d be happier surrounded by machines than people.

“Fukiya, correct?” Gaara asks, smiling to himself when the genin straightens at his name.

“Yes, Kazekage-sama!” Fukiya says, bows low, straightens back up, all in one enthusiastic movement.

“And you’re sure this isn’t just Yokume and Gosan arguing again?” He asks, just to confirm. He’s already standing away from his desk, gesturing for Fukiya to lead the way. Jinzo only raises his eyebrows instead of squinting angrily, so Gaara knows he’s not scheduled for anything else at the moment.

“Not this time, Kazekage-sama,” Fukiya says, sounding far less nervous the deeper into the building they go. The Engineering Department is underground. Deep underground.

“Was Baki unavailable?” It’s not that Gaara is trying to get out of it–he likes being involved in his village–but this is an unusual situation.

“We already called Baki-sama, Kazekage-sama, and he’s actually there now. But he said to go get you, Kazekage-sama.”

An unusual situation indeed.

They come to a stop outside a set of massive double doors. Fukiya glances around, looks sheepish when he catches Gaara’s eye, then enters a series of numbers into the keypad. A much smaller door opens up for them to enter through.

The first thing Gaara sees is Baki’s face, smirking. Then is Yokume and Gosan, eagerly shouting upwards. When he follows their line of sight, he sees a massive orb made of metal and glass…

… and what looks to be a small child inside it, happily fiddling with the wires of what he knows to be the Engineering Department’s ultimate pet project.

(Yodo doesn’t remember her biological parents and she doesn’t really care. As far as she’s concerned, they didn’t want her, so she doesn’t want them.

She doesn’t need them, either. She didn’t need them before, when she was just one of many Suna orphans running around the village, and she definitely doesn’t need them now that she has a family that loves her and actually wants her.

And plus, Father is the Kazekage and Mother is one of the most badass people in the world–Yodo’s not even exaggerating. Why would she care about some random strangers she’s never even met?)

The child is five years old, unbelievably smart, and–according to the engineers on the night shift–a stealth prodigy. Gaara will believe the first two, but given the way the little girl knows some of the engineers by name, he’s highly skeptical of the last one.

Both Yokume and Gosan are on the verge of tears, which isn’t an atypical state of being for them. But usually it’s over non-human matters.

“You can’t have a five year old working for the Engineering Department,” Gaara says, choosing to be the voice of reason here.

“Can she even read?” Baki asks, looking far too amused by the situation.

“I can hear just fine,” the little girl says, dangling from the catwalk, knees hooked around the railing.

She seems confident in her stability, but Gaara would rather not risk it. He sends a platform of sand up towards her and, after a couple of curious nudges, she switches perches.

“And I can read…” she continues, voice high and piping and offended.

“… most things,” she admits in a mutter after a moment’s silence, sand platform bringing her closer. “Math is easier, okay?”

Baki snorts.

Yokume and Gosan check on the orb, simultaneously gushing and arguing about the changes the child has made while Fukiya trails after them like an eager student.

“What’s your name?” Gaara asks, because for all that she knows the night shift engineer’s names, they don’t seem to know hers.

She seems to be content on the platform, even though it’s hovering close enough to the ground that she could disembark if she wanted to. She doesn’t answer for a moment, busy testing the pliability of the sand–it’s as pliable as he wills it to be. He lets her shape it as she wants and holds it still when she decides she’s satisfied with it. She appears to be building a model of Suna.

“The matron at the orphanage use to call me Yodo,” she says finally, possibly unused to someone patiently waiting for her to answer.

“Used to?”

Yodo wrinkles her nose in disgust, “I don’t go there anymore. Too many voices, it’s annoying. I come here instead.”

Gaara can feel his brow furrowing in confusion, hopes it doesn’t come off as irritated. His people are no longer scared of him, but he knows he’s still an intimidating figure. “For how long?”

Yodo huffs, as if she’s the one who should be annoyed by all these questions, “Almost four days,” she says.

Which isn’t as long as Gaara had feared, but definitely long enough that this should have been brought to someone’s attention earlier. Either as a missing child’s case or as an intruder in the Engineering Department–four days is too long.

“You’re not going to make me go back, are you?” Yodo asks him, blue eyes wide and staring into his.

Gaara doesn’t know what his face looks like now, but whatever it is, it makes Baki actually, audibly laugh.

(The Council talks about her as Father’s successor as if it’s a position she should be honored to have, instead of something they’re trying to force onto her.

She doesn’t know why they even think she’d want it–but then again, the only council member she’s ever spoken to is Councilor Odo who still thinks Mother is some kind of interloper or the most conspicuous spy ever.

She understands their reasoning, at least: Yodo may not be one by blood, but she’s still a scion of the desert. They don’t want her to end up like Temari-oba, married away in a different land and essentially lost to Suna.

No, Yodo doesn’t want to be Kazekage. But in this matter, she keeps quiet. As soon as she rejects it, they’ll turn to Shinki; and for all that he thinks he should be the next Kazekage, Yodo doesn’t think he actually wants to be, either.

Yodo can be a good sister.)

Yodo concedes to leave the Engineering workshop only when Gaara promises not to bring her back to the orphanage. She also demands dango, but after two years of raising a child, he knows better than to give her sweets without any substantial food to temper it.

They agree on takoyaki, which Yodo deems similar enough in shape to dango as to be acceptable, and which Gaara knows won’t lead to a sugar high and crash.

Between the Engineering Department and his office, Yodo sneaks her hand into his. He looks at her in surprise–it took Araya nearly a year to feel comfortable enough with him to do the same–and she begins to withdraw it, but he curls his fingers around hers and she smiles brightly up at him.

They pass by others at work. The administrative building is quite large, houses other departments besides Engineering, and someone must have sent word ahead because Jinzo is waiting for the two of them in Gaara’s office with a familiar looking set of forms.

“Another one?” he asks, almost as amused as Baki had been.

Gaara shrugs because he has no argument. Has nothing he’d want to argue against.

“Shall I have a runner go fetch Nara-san and Araya?” Jinzo asks, already flaring his chakra to summon one of the genin whose sole purpose is to do whatever he tells them apparently.

“And dango!” Yodo says, swinging their conjoined hands.

“Takoyaki,” Gaara corrects, considers for a moment, “And maybe some dango, too.”

Yodo cheers while Jinzo sends a second runner for the food and a third to prepare some drinks.

Gaara goes to sit at his desk. Rather than sit at the more comfortable couch, Yodo clambers onto the desk–taking care to avoid touching any of the paperwork, while she turns her head this way and that.

“Will this let me work in the Engineering Department?” Yodo asks, watching him write her name but not understanding the rest.

“One day, if you still want to, then you can,” Gaara answers, filling in the rest of the forms–his name, Shikako’s name, Yodo’s again. “This means that, if you want, you never have to go back to the orphanage.”

She looks up at him and in her eyes he sees maybe something like hope.

(Yodo thinks in terms of music. In tone and rhythm, tempo and frequency. She thinks of melodies and harmonies, instruments and voices fitting together into one cohesive song.

Machines are like that, too. Different components coming together to make something better and stronger than they are alone.

Sometimes there are problems–sometimes gears shift out of place and software doesn’t match up. Sometimes the drums go too fast and the strings screech instead of hum–but they can be troubleshot, they can be fixed. Music and creation and life are always open to additions and adjustments.

This is what family means to her.)

~

A/N: I really thought I’d be able to get this in before midnight :/ Ah, well, I guess this is just a very early post then.

I’ll post these three up on ao3 later

(Also, I don’t know if anyone noticed but Yodo is meant to be neuroatypical.)

Dreaming of S(ilence), a DoS remix drabble (2015-10-24)

It’s a week of tension and hesitance. A week of no senjutsu. A week of no nighttime sessions of calm and quiet and dark. The strange thing about fighting with Gaara–arguing, more like, given the lack of action. Though, given the lack of words, does arguing work either?–is the absence.

Shikako has never considered their relationship–whatever it might be–as something loud, something full and bursting with energy. It’s not butterflies in her belly or fire in her blood; not screaming and laughing and crying, noise and desperation and passion.

It’s trust and peace and contentment. It’s the feel of fingers gently running through her unbound hair, a line of warmth along her side matching shoulder to shoulder and knee to knee. It’s sharing breaths and sharing space and thinking, yes I like you here you can stay, because she never had to say it. (And maybe it’s just a little bit butterflies in her belly, too).

So yes, their relationship is more silence than not. But there are different kinds of silence and she hates whatever type this one is, this suffocating silence that’s been pressing down on her the past week.

“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” Kankurou mutters in disbelief when Shikako utterly fails to even retaliate during their spar. All she’s been doing is dodging which–okay, agility practice for Karasu was helpful the first few days, but by day nine it gets pretty boring–isn’t how he wants to spend the rest of their time. “You’re not even trying anymore!” He complains.

Her expression twists–somehow both indignant and apologetic at once–before she sighs, lungs and frustration deflating, leaving her looking kind of… wilted.

Kankurou gives a sigh of his own–exasperated, because this is ridiculous–before saying, “This has gone on for way too long, Sparky. Normally I want nothing to with whatever is between the two of you but something is obviously wrong.”

Rather than take the invitation, Shikako looks away, but Kankurou really can’t take it anymore. His sparring partner may as well be as lifeless as the puppet he wields.

“I can’t believe I have to be the one to tell a Leaf nin to talk about their feelings, but come on. If you don’t talk to me, then talk to someone. It doesn’t have to be Gaara, but I don’t know why you’d go to Ebizo-jiisama for advice on your love life.”

Shikako snorts, before smacking a hand over her face to ineffectively muffle the laughter that follows.

Kankurou smirks with success.

Shikako goes to Gaara’s office, sits on the very comfortable couch, and waits. She waits for a very long time. He knows she’s there, obviously, his pale green gaze glancing at her between the meetings Jinzo schedules for him, but he doesn’t acknowledge her otherwise.

Then again, he also doesn’t make her leave even when Councilor Odo bristles at her presence and demands he do so. Instead, Gaara stares blankly until the councilor remembers just who he’s addressing and stammers apologies. Oddly enough, Jinzo–who hates Odo only slightly less than the Hyuuga who shredded his chakra coils–is the one who comes to the rescue and redirects the conversation.

Anyway, he knows she’s waiting for him, but of course their relationship isn’t more important than the livelihood of his village, and so he continues with his duties as Kazekage. It’s fine. She has a notebook to keep her occupied, and when Jinzo brings refreshments for Gaara, he sets a second tray in front of her as well.

The hours march on in a different sort of silence–for all that he spends them talking to a multitude of people–until finally the meetings peter out and even Jinzo goes home for the night. It’s likely there will be an incident of some sort that requires the Kazekage, but until then, Gaara’s attention is hers.

~

A/N: So, okay, this was inspired by @byebyebriar’s prompt but it doesn’t actually fill it because the first part was supposed to lead in one direction but went in another so I guess this drabble is just a bonus… or more like the set up to the prompt. I WILL fill that prompt, byebyebriar, because it is a great one and I can picture what I want to do with it so perfectly, but until then I hope you enjoy this.

Also, Jinzo the Suna paperwork nin (and Councilor Odo?) is from witchbreaker’s fic, the aptly titled Paper Work.