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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Gambling Away the Past, 12!

Gambling Away The Past (part 10/?), 12) things you said when you thought I was asleep

Today is their last in the relative safety of Sangaku Outpost and, by unspoken agreement, all of Team Kakashi have decided to spend the day on separate ventures. Soon enough it’ll be back to being just their squad–best to get their fill of other company while they can.

Not that other company necessarily equates to better company, of course, especially given the way some of those stationed at the outpost still look at Kakashi with barbed, pointed glares, but there are a few people Shikako, at least, wouldn’t mind meeting with again in the future and she knows her teammates feel the same. At the very least, Kakashi certainly doesn’t mind the opportunity to summon his ninken in a more peaceful situation than he’d get to once they’re back on duty.

And so the team spends their last day at the outpost apart, helping out where they can or getting in some last minute training, before returning to their tent for the evening. They’ll leave at dawn, back to the camp that Ikoma-san runs and which Minato-san generally considers home base, before being sent out on their next mission.

And so Shikako isn’t surprised about being the first one back to the tent, late afternoon, nor does she feel at all bad about flopping onto her bedroll and immediately passing out. Exhausted after one last grueling training session for her and Wakakusa beneath Heijomaru’s steely hooves, Sembei-obaasan making less than helpful comments from the side.

A few hours later, she surfaces from the depths of unconsciousness at the proximity of other chakra signatures, but decides not to fully wake up when she recognizes her teammates. Still, their conversation filters down to her in her dozing state, words hushed but no less heated.

“–can’t believe you still think that! After everything she’s done?” Obito’s voice, the magma of his volcano bubbling ominously.

“Sensei thinks so, too,” Kakashi’s voice, a weak defense, barely any crackle in the ozone, “He said to watch her.”

“Because he thinks she’s some kind of secret fuinjutsu prodigy, not because she’s a spy!” retorts Obito.

Rin, as always, tries to break the tension, “Ikoma-san wouldn’t put her on our team if she were, and Minato-sensei approved it. He wouldn’t do that to us,” she reasons.

There is a moment of silence, Kakashi acknowledging and accepting her point, before he says, “Her story is inconsistent–what little of it she does tell us, anyway. How’d she end up near where our mission was? What happened to her previous team?”

The silence that follows this time is much longer.

Not because the answer is hard to think of, but because one particular answer comes to mind too quickly. Shikako can almost pinpoint the moment when each of her teammates stumble upon it: Obito’s volcano going dormant once more, temper doused immediately. Rin’s breath hitching, dual fire and water flickering and rippling in distress. Kakashi’s electricity flattening out the way it does when he knows he’s said something awful, but can’t apologize for it.

They are at war. There is one simple explanation for how a shinobi could end up all alone in enemy territory without any back up.

It’s morbid to think of as such, but how lucky for her that they’ve all come to the obvious, but wrong conclusion.

~

A/N: It takes significantly less time to break a good practice than to stop a bad one and that is no excuse. I’ll have to reform my daily writing behavior from scratch it seems :/

Sorry for the delay, @to-someplace-else!

19 for Team White Fang??

Team White Fang, 19) things you said when we were the happiest we ever were

“I’m going to ask Atsumi to marry me,” says an absolute stranger to Sakumo before sitting next to him on the park bench.

He doesn’t even blink, eyes fixated on the sight of Kakashi ever so seriously toddling after Tosa’s wagging tail, the rest of the pack lounging in a loose, protective circle. Sakumo is certain these are the kinds of moments he’ll want to remember forever, he almost wishes he has a Sharingan just so he could have the image literally seared into his brain.

“Hey,” says the strange man, jabbing two fingers into Sakumo’s bicep impatiently, “Are you listening to me?”

Reluctantly, Sakumo glances at the stranger, “Yeah, I heard you, Hozue.”

“Well?” Hozue says, expectant, “Don’t you have anything to say?”

Sakumo can feel his mouth twitch at the corners, a small curl of amusement making its way through the fog of exhausted satisfaction of being a single father of an overly intelligent toddler.

“It’s about time,” he responds, before turning back to watch Kakashi. His son has managed to get a pudgy hand on an indulgent Tosa’s tail and seems to be carefully contemplating his next plan of action.

Hozue doesn’t try to demand his attention again–never mind the effort she put into this latest identity–content to also watch the boy she’d happily call a nephew. But she does question, “What do you mean it’s about time?”

This time, the amusement bubbles up too quickly–Sakumo laughs, a huffing airy sound more suited to canine than human mouths, “I’m pretty sure you’ve been married to each other for years.”

The stranger’s face looks absolutely gormless shaped by Hozue’s stunned confusion. “What,” she utters.

“You live together, eat together, you’re each other’s emergency contacts, powers of attorney, and beneficiaries, you have sparring dates all the time, you have regular date night every week, every so often you’ll bring her flowers just because, you have three goldfish together that you call your children…” Sakumo lists, getting progressively sillier but no less factual as he goes on.

“Stop! Stop,” Hozue interrupts, blush bright on the stranger’s cheeks.

After a few moments of silence, Hozue murmurs, “Holy shit. Atsumi and I are fucking married.”

“Congratulations,” Sakumo finally adds, tone somewhat dry but no less sincere.

They let the silence resettle, warm and easy, watching as Kakashi somehow maneuvers himself onto Tosa’s broad back, the massive dog taking ginger, careful steps.

Sakumo knows that the future’s going to be bright.

~

A/N: Ahahahaha… so I don’t know if this is the HAPPIEST, but it’s definitely one of the happier moments before everything starts going to shit so… Sorry for no actual Atsumi presence!

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.

team 7 moving into a house together tho. and then kakashi comes over and sleeps on the couch.

I kiiiinda ranted about something similar/related to this earlier (pre-Kinokawa’s birth, but the concept could still hold easily I think). It’s pretty short but it was fun to reread nonetheless, so hopefully you also enjoy it, anon 🙂

Hey there. Would you ever write a story where Shikako has to travel to the Land of HotSprings and see the damage she’s caused and the amount of lives she helped took? cause, ya know, I like when Shikako is in despair lol. I love Shikako but it can be argued, she has done more bad than good, for, uh, existing. However, I won’t change anything about Shikako, flaws and all.

@hbkmzk says: Hey! Thanks for the response. I’m anything but a writer but I’ll try. I have to admit, I’m curious with the idea of Shikako being a god. Maybe her shadow contained a God of vengeance and after her first shadow-split, the god has slowly been trying to take over her? I choose god of vengeance because since after her first shadow-split her, Shikako has been more vengeful? Example, Shikamaru’s arm incident or the logistic sealing scroll nightmare. That being said, you are correct. I don’t really see her returning to the land of Hot Springs or having a mission at that area. However, what if her shadow controlled by this God of Vengeance flea to The Land of Hot Springs the next time she shadow-split. This will force Shikako to travel to the land of Hot Springs. The god of vengeance probably went to the land of Hot Springs because it wanted to see the damage done to the monk for what they did to Aoba.
I tried, lol. I don’t know how helpful this is. Hopefully it makes sense to you

~

Imagine a bird, young and not yet able to fly, feathers soft and downy.

Imagine this bird is part of a mighty flock, the youngest and smallest and least of its members, but still part of it nonetheless.

Now imagine that flock is decimated–struck down nearly to its entirety–all for that young, flightless, useless baby bird…

… and the one that killed the rest.

In the wild, the baby bird would do its best to avoid that which had orphaned it. Would fear the beating of wings and the sharp cries of fellow birds.

That baby bird would certainly never devote the rest of its life to growing strong enough to kill that which had destroyed its flock.

Vengeance is such a human concept.

~

Shikako dreams.

In the rare moments she allows herself to sleep–mind too frazzled and paranoid and weighed down to do more than quick dozes–she dreams.

She dreams of the void, that which calls to every Nara. She dreams of the forest, her friends and the village. She dreams of the sun, Naruto so far away and the future drawing ever closer.

Sometimes she dreams of gray skies, razed ground, ash swirling on the wind.

She wakes to the taste of blood on her tongue.

~

Gelel is a young god comprised mainly of starlight, human ingenuity, and sacrifice. But even young gods can make their mark on the earth, life springing where once there was only death.

Imagine, then, what an old god might do.

~

I would kill anyone who hurts you, Shikako thinks, even as the silence stretches long and tense, I have killed those who have hurt you.

But that is not what Shikamaru wants to hear from her.

She doesn’t know how else to express her love.

~

The Cult of Jashin is old–older than the villages, older than the Sage of Six Paths, older even than the Empire of Gelel now ancient history, dust under the feet of the Elemental Nations.

But the cult itself is young, barely an eye blink, compared to the entity they revere, for Jashin is timeless. An elder god, ageless and unknowable.

But not undefeatable.

The blast radius where the Land of Hot Springs once was is a perfectly flat circle, there are no objects for the weakly filtered sunlight to cast shadows. And yet, at the center, where not even the bravest of shinobi have dared to tread, a shadow writhes and grows.

~

She couldn’t save Aoba, but at least she could do one thing for him.

~

Naruto is so forgiving. Too forgiving, she thinks sometimes, his ideals too impractical and too impossible.

But somehow he turns his enemies, those who would harm him, into allies–into friends–and so for him revenge is not only unwanted but also unnecessary.

Meanwhile Kakashi’s pain has always been a part of him, but the convoluted tangle of blame leaves no target for her.

Sasuke, though, is an entirely different story:

She interfered with his life not to stop him–she is more than happy to help him seek revenge–she just wants to make sure he does so carefully, correctly, and completely.

~

Nemesis, the inescapable. Goddess of revenge. She who enacts retribution against those guilty of hubris.

~

Vengeance is a very human concept and humans, in the grand scheme of things, are a new presence in the universe.

But gods transcend time.

Chaos and destruction and suffering may be older, but vengeance is more potent, more powerful…

… and she grows stronger with every victory.

~

jacksgreysays:

Yes… maybe? Well…

My immediate thought was to make it related to this ficlet aka, post-canon Kankurou and Shikako hanging out and trying to be less traumatized together.

And like, it would be sort of… Shikako goes to hang out in Sand ostensibly to research the Gelel phenom (and blow up shit in the desert and make a glass canyon) and Kankurou hangs around and is a Theatre Nerd and then when she finally is more at peace with herself, the two of them go back to Konoha and stop by Land of Hot Springs on the way…

Except then I checked the Naruto world map and that makes no geographic sense for Kankurou and Shikako to stop by Land of Hot Springs on their way back from Sand because it is on the opposite side of Land of Fire so…

I mean, I guess they could just be traveling around together for funsies? Like… she’s also been researching other places and Kankurou probably produced an international hit and there’s some pyrotechnics in his show which he might as well have Sparky do anyway…

But that’s kinda… I mean, don’t get me wrong. A lot of my favorite DoS ficlets are the canon-ish semi-compliant chapter responses / future speculation but I think what I just described above is more about Shikako getting closure from the whole shinobi lifestyle as opposed to specifically the Land of Hot Springs (although that is, in its way, the first unstoppable horror).

So I think for something more Land of Hot Springs centric… OH!

So you brought up how Shikako’s existence has done more harm than good in the world and combined with just the whole celestial back and forth of Jashin vs little god that occurred during that arc and also the whole vibe of this asx box event, especially yesterday’s post about mobius stories, I guess what I’m leading into is:

What if Shikako were Jashin?

Or, maybe, not Jashin specifically, but a god of chaos/destruction/suffering. (Although, the thought of little baby Shikako being born with the mark of Jashin on her forehead and it fading as she grows such that she doesn’t know about it, is pretty fun. Because then there’s the cool opportunity of Shikaku RECOGNIZING the symbol when Tsunade brings him in on the situation and it’s kind of this balance in which Shikaku the father and Shikaku the jounin commander are at odds. I mean, of course his father side is going to win–but still. Internal conflict and outside POV for unknowing literal god Shikako is GREAT)

The main problem with Shikako returning to Land of Hot Springs is that I’m pretty certain that everyone with even the slightest inkling of her mission and the aftermath take great pains to ensure that she NEVER HAS TO GO BACK THERE. So either she’s going behind everyone’s back to do so which… hm… canon Shikako would not want to any time soon, but perhaps literal-god-of-chaos-destruction-and-suffering!Shikako feels compelled to do so (either as a Jashin version, to go with that mobius vibe, in which she returns to the beginning and the end or as a non-Jashin version in which the god within her surveys the place of her victory against an older god and also one of her “greatest” acts) or this is, again, a post-canon future fic where people aren’t guarding her against herself as much.

I… would very much like to write this, hbkmzk, but I think I need. Hm… if you’re interested in this ‘verse, please send in a follow up prompt of maybe three or four other outside POVs or maybe a few details you’d like to add to this ‘verse or even a cool title/quote? Or, like, just ask me a few questions about this ‘verse and me coming up with the answers should be able to do the same. It’s like… this fic is almost there but I just need a few more pieces for that final push.

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Help me out with this ficlet/check out the Ask Box Would You Ever!

A/N: Not quite what you want, but hopefully I’ve captured the vibe. Thanks for playing along with me 🙂

Check out the Ask Box Would You Ever!

Would you ever write that for better for worse/desperate endavours mash up u talked about during the for better for worse brainstorm?

((For Better For Worse brainstorm post))

Ooh, starting off with the hard ones, anon. Hm, to be honest? The heart says yes. The brain says no. And I think given that it shakes out to a maybe, I should at the very least do a brainstorm.

But here’s why the brain says no, first:

A) Ideally, in order to do a mash up of two fics, the two fics should probably be written before doing said mash up – but, I mean, that’s hand waved away because mostly that’s to get the necessary background/premise across and I suppose so long as someone reads the brainstorm first or I insert it into the mash up fic then I should be okay…

B) It’s Kakashi. DOUBLED.

And, okay, so. I love Kakashi. He is my favorite disaster string bean. And I definitely know that he’s internally always mourning and externally irreverently apathetic, but it’s somehow very difficult for me to capture his voice. I know what a good one sounds like when I read (definitely looking at wafflelate/frolic’s Kakashi voice which is phenomenal!) but I can’t quite seem to grasp it for myself.

I mean, those are the main two, really. I have a few more world-building issues… but those are less concerns and more puzzles that I’d happily sink my mental teeth into for a few minutes/hours (primarily how to structure the Tsukuyomi coherently).

Now as for a proper brainstorm for the mash up… hm… I don’t know what else would be in this that I haven’t already at least briefly mentioned in either the original FBFW and Desperate Endeavors brainstorms.

Maybe if I do more of an outline storyboard kind of thing?

First Scene: Kakashi, at the beginning of Tsukuyomi, the canon awful experience of being drawn up and stabbed a whole lot by Itachi. And given that this is Kakashi who is like, the worst at not antagonizing people with how casually dismissive he is, no doubt he’s not going to make a sound even if it’s ~LITERAL TORTURE~. That is, until the Itachis announce that they’re going to do it all over again. And at that point Kakashi probably says something like “I’d rather you not.” Or something to that effect, coughed out in bloody gasps but still dryly unimpressed.

Except it’s not just the one Kakashi that says this. It’s BOTH Kakashis. And so Kakashi, the Kakashi that we’ve been in the POV of, finally  notices that he’s not the only one getting tortured. End scene.

Second Scene: Flashback. Snippets of canon!Kakashi’s life as he Dreams of DoS!Kakashi’s life. And, like, for a good decade or so after the Dreams start they’re pretty much the same (because I’m gonna go off the idea that Dreams only start happening when an Anomaly, aka Shikako, exists to create a difference between worlds. Or, rather, it starts after the Kyuubi event which most people think is the cause but actually it’s the Shrödinger’s Shikako who died due to Kyuubi chakra exposure in one world but survived in the other because of SQ soul) since Kakashi never directly interacts with Shikako until graduation. But he does see differences between how happy Naruto is, or his occasional interactions with Shikaku vary a bit. And I think actually this first flashback “scene” would end after canon!Kakashi wakes up from Dreaming of his assigned team genin being VERY DIFFERENT.

Third Scene: Both Kakashis, now highly aware (and unimpressed) with each other, sort of plan how to escape. In a version of this torture in which they are by themselves, I don’t think they would bother, but I think being with another person (even if that other person is himself) would sort of spur on his “can’t let anyone else see how much I hate myself and think I deserve awful things” (because Gai once told him that that’s maybe not so good to air out in public and if GAI thinks something shouldn’t be screamed to the village en masse then it’s probably something to be suppressed violently). And at first they don’t quite understand what’s happening (but Kakashi is a very smart string bean) and as soon as one of them says something like–Itachi’s not going to be satisfied with just me. He’ll go after my adorable little genin. And canon!Kakashi would say something like, “Sasuke would throw himself headfirst into this situation.” And DoS!Kakashi responds with something like, “Not if Shikako beats him to it.” Boom. That’s the difference between the two of them.

Fourth Scene: Some more flashbacks from canon!Kakashi’s POV of living in canon but Dreaming of DoS and preferring the latter (because… oh canon… you had so much potential). And however someone with a better Kakashi voice would say he would express (or not) his envy at DoS!Kakashi. And he Dreams of how the Chuunin Exams shook out differently in DoS (although, he did Dream of the warning that Orochimaru was there, so in the month of preparing, he did pass along Shikako’s warning and such so the village does fare off better than actual!canon). And I think there’s definitely some canon Kakashi and Sasuke training where they both wake up from Dreaming out in the desert and stoically don’t mention how in their Dreams yesterday Shikako trained with them. Anyway, etc. etc. The morning before Itachi arrives to ruin everything, canon!Kakashi wakes up from a Dream and idly wishes that he could meet Shikako. He is about to get that wish.

Fifth Scene: The Kakashis, both being geniuses (genii?) even better than Itachi (also, these Itachis are weird pre-programmed automatons so they’re especially inferior) do manage to escape. Now they just have to find their adorable students. Canon!Kakashi tries not to passive aggressive too much about HOW DARE DOS!KAKASHI PUT SHIKAKO IN DANGER SHE’S PROBABLY THE BEST THING THAT’S HAPPENED TO HIM IN LITERAL DECADES, but DoS!Kakashi is just like. Hypocritical much? I don’t know. I’d use the word snark, but that seems too friendly for where they’re at right now. And arguing is a little too active. Sniping at each other, maybe? I dunno. But that segues straight into…

Sixth Scene: Shikako, seven years old, running away from an Itachi automaton.

(It’s at this point where I’m not sure if I would switch POVs to see what Shikako did to escape her torture bubble or stick to the canon!Kakashi POV since that’s what the past five scenes have been. But regardless of if it’s show via Shikako’s POV or tell to canon!Kakashi’s POV, it kind of is just that Shikako and Sasuke’s torture bubbles were near each other (since they were intended to be the same thing) and like with the Kakashis Shikako could hear Sasuke. Unfortunately, Sasuke–being the traumatized literal child that he is–couldn’t hear Shikako. So Shikako could “escape” her torture bubble, but when she tried to break Sasuke out of his, the Itachi automaton programmed to torture her wouldn’t let her. So she was tactically retreating to plan a better attack when she stumbled upon the Kakashis.)

Which then segues into…

Seventh Scene: Story time has delayed all of them and now the horde of Itachi automatons have caught up. At first they try to run, but eventually the Kakashis have to fight while tossing Shikako back and forth to each other because she is in the body of her 6/7 year old self and has very short legs. canon!Kakshi has a thought, something about how–even though he was berating his DoS self for not protecting her–now that he’s partially responsible for not getting Shikako killed he is absolutely terrified of fucking up. (Because… Kakashi) And a very powerful thought of “I can’t let her die.”

Eight Scene: Flashback. The day after what would have been the family dinner post Wave mission at the Nara household. canon!Kakashi doesn’t mean to loiter outside the Nara clan compound like the most awkward and sad string bean that he is, but he just Dreamt of the best night of his life. He was actually happy. And that hasn’t happened since… shit. Before Obito died? And the Nara guards (or watchers) vaguely understand because it’s no surprise that everyone in the Nara clan Dreams of what it would be like if the daughter had survived and know that Kakashi would have been her teacher, but they don’t exactly know why today he is loitering. Except Yoshino does. And she comes to the gate and invites Kakashi for tea in such a way that he can’t awkwardly run away from, as is his usual response, and so there’s the two of them. Staring at a camera that doesn’t have a picture of DoS Team Seven. It’s all very sad and very lovely.

Ninth Scene: Haha! Tricked you, I just didn’t want to write an entire fight scene. 😛 Anyway, the Kakashis successfully defeat this batch of Itachi automatons but being paranoid for good reason means they suspect that more are incoming. Shikako is a little nauseated from being thrown around like a hot potato during the fight, but she takes charge because otherwise the two Kakashis would get too caught up in their passive aggressive fight to get anything done. They have to figure out how to save Sasuke from his torture bubble.

… and then I would end it here because open endings are cool… and also it’s at this point that I have no idea what to do next. I mean do they save Sasuke immediately or do they have to outsmart the Itachi automatons because they’re all acting the way the immune system does.

Basically I’m trying to figure out whether or not they should have Sasuke with them while they go around on their information scavenger hunt. Would it be better to for Sasuke to know that Danzo ordered the Uchiha Massacre because they were planning a coup? Or is it something that canon!Kakashi has to decide whether or not to share? (Oh god, Kakashi is going to fuck this decision up real bad no matter what he chooses)

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A/N: Check out the Ask Box Would You Ever!