Dreaming One Shots — now on ao3!

jacksgreysays:

jacksgreysays:

jacksgreysays:

jacksgreysays:

jacksgreysays:

Combining all of my Dreaming of Sunshine recursive one shots into one collection called Dreaming One Shots on archiveofourown.

For now this includes:

  1. Becoming a Legend
  2. Stories of Ancient Gods
  3. Netsui/Shikako Three Sentence Fic
  4. Dropped Off Stitches (On The Loom Of Fate)

Check it out here!

Have also uploaded:

5.  Chances Gone By
6.  You and Me and Baby (Makes Fifteen)

Have also uploaded:

7.  Winter in the Fields
8.  Semi-Phenomenal, Nearly Cosmic

Have also uploaded:

9.  Reshuffle the Deck
10. Primadonna Girl (Says No Thank You)

Have also uploaded:

11. River Running High
12. Our Share of the World
13. Walking Around (Like Regular People) (+ outsider!POV omake)
14. Take A Step That Is New

Also uploaded:

15. Baby Grows Up
16. Breaking The Shackle
17. Friendship is a (Mutual) Con
18. Heathens Outside And Ready
19. Lies Beyond The Morning

Aaahhh!! So that’s what was happening, stupid undetectable genjutsu! Someone save Shikako! Or she can save herself, but, the point is Shikako needs to be saved. Hurrgh, suspense is not good for my heart.

@donapoetrypassion: Ooh- this is awesome! Is this the final one, or is there another after this? (I see how it CAN end here, but I’m so intrigued. Was she hit by Danzo’s undetectable mind-control genjutsu and has the ghost of Sai’s brother been helping her fight it? ‘Dark, then light,’ also sounds very much like a reaction similar to the one Shikako had in Yakumo’s genjutu, when Shikako just started splitting apart.) But mostly, I found the ‘killing all your friends’ imagery so creepy- whats she been doing in rl?

😀 Not to worry, Danzo does not win.

Lies Beyond The Morning is complete as is, but maybe I’ll come back to this universe? Or do a post-script type thing? Not sure of what, though, it’s just sort of my take on how Shikako might react to the Kotoamatsukami–especially given how much anti-Tsukuyomi techniques she/her family have developed (including, as you mentioned, her shadow splitting).

Thanks! I really aimed for creepy during the killing all her friends part 🙂 Luckily, what she does mentally is not reflected into reality. Actually, I’m pretty sure IRL Shikako and Danzo are just staring at each other awkwardly? Because time is wonky in mental space so probably all of the events takes place in a matter of seconds/minutes.

HOLY SHIT THAT IS SUPER CREEPY AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON BUT I LOVE IT

A/N1: Nyehehehehe…  Part Three! 😀

Also, now with title, “Lies Beyond The Morning”

~

Something is wrong.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Across the room stand three creatures, so colorful and defiant against the stark impossible room.

She doesn’t want to approach them.

They do not move and do not speak.

She doesn’t want to break them.

“What do I do now?” she asks, though she knows the not-Sai creature will not say anything.

He only smiles at her, sad and apologetic.

“Upwards and onwards,” she says, walking forward.

There is only one way to go.

If she has to spend an eternity in this strange place, she will not spend it waiting for nothing to happen.

She comes to a stop in front the three familiar creatures, not-Sai following behind her.

“I’m sorry,” she says to the creature that is not Ino, reaching out for its hands. The creature is neither warm nor cold, lifeless and empty like the room around them.

But as she pulls at its hands, its arms move. No longer is not-Ino covering its mouth.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Something has changed.

In not-Ino’s eyes pale blue eyes are a matching set of thin slit pupils.

She steps sideways, in front of the creature that is not her brother. Here, she hesitates.

Under her fingers, not-Shikamaru is lifeless and empty, neither warm nor cold. But at least he’s whole.

She doesn’t want to break him again.

Sensing her hesitation, not-Sai moves, walks around these fake Ino-Shika-Cho and stands opposite from her.

Sad and apologetic, he no longer smiles.

She pulls at not-Shikamaru’s hands, its arms moves. Not-Sai nods, silent.

No longer is the creature covering its eyes.

“I’m sorry,” she says, turning away, tears forming in her eyes.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Her cheeks are wet.

There is only one hand in her own.

Another step to the side, and not-Sai follows, an inky reflection defiant against the stark white room.

Between them stands not-Chouji, hands over its ears, face blank and empty and lifeless.

Nothing like the real Chouji.

She hasn’t broken him.

Not yet, anyway.

There is only one way to go. Upwards and onwards.

She takes its hands in hers and pulls until it is no longer covering its ears.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Nothing changes.

The silence spreads.

“I don’t understand,” she says, looking around.

There is nothing here. Not-Sai watches her, waiting.

“What do I do now?”

“Upwards and onwards,” a voice says.

Startled, Shikako springs away.

In this strange eternal place, there are only two sounds: the noise, like gears in a machine, and her own voice.

Something is happening.

“What?” she asks, glancing around. The fake Ino-Shika-Cho have not moved.

Neither has not-Sai, who stands and waits, watching.

This is different.

“Fight,” says not Chouji. But not the not-Chouji that is silent and lifeless and empty.

“Who–?” –are you–do I fight–have I forgotten–is doing this to me–

“That old fool,” the not-not-Chouji voice says, sad and apologetic.

“Fight,” it continues, as a noise, like gears in a machine, sounds off.

The doorway appears, and not-Sai walks toward it, waving her forward.

She follows. She remembers what happened in the room with not-Sakura.

But on that first starlight step, she looks back.

Ino-Shika-Cho, unmoving, broken.

“Upwards and onwards,” the voice finishes, as the doorway seals itself shut, impossible room lost to the eternal void.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Not-Sai walks ahead of her on stairs neither stone nor metal.

Something is happening. Something is wrong.

But it’s not her.

Above her the helix spirals forever, but in front they appear only a few steps ahead.

Starlight and the endless void of space.

Colorless, lifeless, silent.

It’s different, and yet…

“I’ve already been here,” she says out loud.

“This has happened to me before.”

Or near enough.

At the top step, not-Sai waits for her, sad and apologetic smile on his face.

“I understand,” she says out loud.

Not-Sai looks at her, startled.

“You’re not Sai,” she continues, catching up.

“You’re his brother.”

In front of her is an invisible wall where a doorway will appear. Beside her is a ghost.

Not-Sai… Sai’s brother fades, image changing as he does. Instead of the familiar ink dark features, she sees dimming starlight and a smile that is no longer sad or apologetic.

“Thank you,” she says as he dissipates, “Thank you for helping me this far.”

Sai’s brother nods, as kind in death as he must have been in life.

A noise, like gears in a machine.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

The doorway appears as well as the last impossible room.

She is not surprised by what she sees, the worst of it yet.

A tableau of her nightmares meant to break her and stop her and keep her trapped.

Across the room are two figures, frozen in time: mid battle, mid death blow. 

Sasuke as he might have been, Curse Seal fully bloomed across his skin. 

Naruto partially transformed, caustic red chakra cloaked around him.

Chidori against Rasengan.

These are not her teammates.

She walks toward them, neither move, as empty and lifeless as the room.

The corruption of natural chakra should claw at her skin, should burn in her lungs, but it does not.

Because none of this is real.

These empty creatures, this strange place. Impossible starlight and eternal voids. Ink and color like defiance.

Something is wrong.

Just not here. There is nothing for her here and so there is nothing here to be wrong.

Something is happening.

Out in the real world.

“Kotoamatsukami”

Shikako blinks. Light then dark.

Im the haunted house anon! THAT was super awesome & freaky, thank you!!! It had this gradual sense of loss, and it’s even more frightening b/c Shikako’s going through this madness blind. Like, it feels really ominous, aaaa. HOly cow, I can’t wait for part 2 * v *

A/N1: I’m glad you liked it anon! 😀 Freaky and ominous was what I was going for. I hope you enjoy part two as well 🙂

“Sai?”

Shikako looks around, the two of them standing on impossible stairs. Smooth not-stone not-metal steps.

Starlight against the void of space.

“What is happening?” she asks him, reaching out.

For some reason, she feels alone. She wants to confirm she isn’t.

But Sai steps back, away, silent. Shakes his head.

He gives her a smile, one far more emotionally eloquent than he’s usually capable:

A little apologetic, a lot sad.

He climbs the stairs and waves at her. Upwards and onwards, he doesn’t say.

She follows.

“You’re not Sai,” Shikako says, as they climb impossible starlight stairs.

“But you’re not like that not-Kiba,” she continues.

She doesn’t know where she is, or what is going on, but she’s exhausted.

She feels like she’s been here for a long time. An eternity.

Maybe she’s gone mad, maybe this is her breaking point.

“This isn’t real.”

The not-Sai ahead of her stops, looks at her. Shakes his head.

Confirmation or denial, and for which statement, she’s not sure. Doesn’t have the time to ask.

A noise, like gears in a machine, and a doorway opens in front of them.

A stark white room that goes on forever. Smooth floor neither stone or metal, and walls she can never reach.

Not-Sai’s dark hair and dark clothes stand out defiant, even his pale skin somehow contrasting.

He stands behind her, even as she walks as far as she can, forever.

Silence spreads.

Something is wrong.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Across the room, a riot of color. Pink and green and red and black.

Sakura. Not-Sakura.

Not the Sakura she’s come to know.

Pink hair cropped short, armored gloves but no medic’s uniform.

This is the Sakura she replaced.

But this creature with Sakura’s face doesn’t move, doesn’t attack.

Shikako steps forward. Not-Sai behind her.

Something is happening.

This is… different.

“Sakura?” she calls out, but the creature does not respond.

Behind her, the not-Sai figure stands his ground.

Silence.

Where is the doorway?

Maybe this is different for a reason.

Maybe there’s a reason why not-Sakura isn’t attacking her.

Not-Kiba did so immediately, as well as the previous encounters against [|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||]

… something was wrong, then.

Which means it is not wrong now?

“Come with us,” she tries, reaching out to touch not-Sakura, but stopping short of contact.

The creature’s face remains blank and empty.

A part of her is afraid. That as soon as she touches not-Sakura, it will spring to life, try to kill her.

And she will have to kill it instead. Just like [||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||]

… Shikako is exhausted.

She doesn’t want to fight anymore.

“Please,” she tries again, and this time commits, hand curving around not-Sakura’s arm.

Beneath her fingers, the creature is neither warm nor cold. As lifeless and empty as the room around them.

Not-Sakura doesn’t move.

But a noise sounds off, the only other noise here besides her own voice, and the doorway appears.

Not-Sai leaves his position and walks to the doorway, starlight stairs already assembling.

On the first step, upwards and onwards, he stops and waves toward her.

“Please, Sakura, come with us!” she tries one last time, tugging, futilely, as if against a statue.

A noise, like gears in a machine.

Something is wrong.

On the other side of the closing doorway, not-Sai waves at her impatiently, frantic.

Scared.

There is nothing for her here.

Shikako runs.

On starlight stairs in an endless void, Shikako stands.

Breathless.

Exhausted.

Crying.

A few steps ahead, not-Sai watches. Sad and apologetic.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Something is happening.

Her cheeks are wet, and she wipes the moisture away. Droplets falling into eternity.

She moves. Upwards and onwards, there is only one way to go.

Not-Sai watches her. Stopped ahead, waiting. Sad and apologetic for some reason.

She catches up. Then keeps going.

Not-Sai follows silently behind her.

On the top step, before the invisible wall and the noise and the doorway, Shikako turns to not-Sai.

“It’s going to be worse, isn’t it?” she asks, already dreading it.

Not-Sai nods, confirmation, ever sad and apologetic.

“Why can’t you speak?” she asks. Perhaps, if she were not so exhausted, she would be angry.

But she has been here for an eternity, and she just wants to hear something besides her own voice and that–

Not-Sai sticks his tongue out, black ink on pink flesh

–noise, like gears in a machine.

The doorway appears.

This is different.

The room is the same–an impossibility of stark endless white–but inside, immediately, it is not empty.

Across the room, like colorful statues, are three unmoving silent figures.

Ino-Shika-Cho

But not hers. Just like the not-Sakura from before wasn’t hers.

The creature that is not Chouji stands, hands over its ears, face blank and empty.

Not-Ino stands next to it, hands over its mouth, eyes a solid intact blue.

Between them is her brother. Or, rather, the creature that is not her brother, eyes covered by two hands.

This Ino-Shika-Cho is not hers, because hers are broken.

She was the one who broke them.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Nothing has changed.

She tries again. Dark then light.

Still no change.

She doesn’t want to do this.

She turns around to where not-Sai stands behind her. Surely because he followed her in, the doorway would still be there.

But behind him is an endless expanse, no stairs spiraling down and away.

No escape. There is only one way to go.

She’s exhausted.

Something is wrong.

“What do I do now?”

That something might be her.

~

A/N2: … I guess there will be a part three to finish this off?

I once had this weird dream, where Shikako & Co. are on a haunted house mission. Turns out there’s an actual ghost taking people away into a parallel space, so Shikako starts panicking when she starts feeling chakra signatures just disappearing, one by one. Haha, I really can’t remember further than that, but I’d love to see if this can be extended?

A/N: I’m a bit late for your prompt, anon, because I considered it for few days and slept on it as well–which seemed to be in the spirit of it–and this is what my own weird dream shook out, so I hope you enjoy!

~

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Three kunai headed her way, she darts to the side.

Where is she? What’s happening?

More kunai follow. Trace the flight path. Keep moving.

Across the way is a smudge of color against the stark white room. Pink and brown and red. TenTen?

Ah, a spar, that makes sense.

She should pay attention.

TenTen isn’t saying anything, but that makes sense. Neither of them are particularly chatty.

She unfurls a scroll–a serious spar then.

“Earth Style: Earth Wall!” she calls out, chakra flaring, but nothing happens. The strange smooth floor is unchanged.

Where are they? Something is happening.

Shikako makes the sign for a timeout, but TenTen keeps going. She tries again with a forfeit sign, “Stop!”

That fails, too.

TenTen releases her armory, Shikako drops her resistance seals and runs.

Something is wrong.

They aren’t sparring, they’re fighting.

To the death, apparently.

Shikako wins. TenTen loses.

Which means TenTen dies.

Except.

Something is happening.

Shikako rushes over because, despite the fight, they are friends and she is so confused. In her arms, TenTen–still so strangely silent–begins to disintegrate.

“I didn’t mean to,” she says as particles of TenTen fade away into the expanse of the room, “I don’t understand.”

Before the body disappears completely, Shikako has one last thought:

Something is wrong.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

She’s on her knees in an impossible room, so empty and endless.

What was she doing?

There is a noise, like gears in a machine, and a doorway opens in front of her. Stairs.

There’s nothing for her here, and so she leaves.

Behind her, that same noise, the impossible room seals itself shut. Gone to the void like it never existed.

Upwards, onwards.

The stairs are smooth, white, surrounded by a void. They spiral up and up, unconnected steps of not stone and not metal.

A few more steps and the stairs just stop, nothing ahead but more darkness.

She extends a hand forward, meets resistance, and a noise like gears in a machine opens a doorway in front of her.

Another impossible room.

She looks back, there’s nothing there.

She goes in.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Dodges out of the way of a chakra covered hand aimed at her heart.

“Neji?” She asks, startled, bewildered.

He doesn’t answer, but the silence makes sense. He isn’t particularly talkative.

But what is going on?

That was definitely a killing blow.

Of course he’d want to kill her, she thinks, she did just kill [||||||||||||||]

… what was she doing?

He makes another move–no doubt as lethal as the last–and somehow Shikako knows better than to try and reason with him.

Taijutsu is out of the question, she would surely lose (would surely die?) but she’s always been better at a distance.

This time (was there any other time?) Shikako watches silently as Neji dissipates. In comparison to the room, even his white clothes and pale skin stand out, the black of his hair a long tail of defiance.

Even then, the room wins out. And she watches in mute horror as he fades away.

Something is wrong.

She feels like she had that thought before.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

A noise. Then a doorway. Then a curving set of stairs.

Upwards, onwards. There is nothing for her here.

The stairs are continuous, spiraling for eternity. If she looks up, she can see the helix continue.

But if she looks ahead, there are only a few steps in front of her. A new one being added for each one she advances.

What a strange place. How did she get here?

The stairs come to a halt, impossibly, nothing in front of her.

And yet.

She reaches out. A noise. Then a doorway. Then an impossible room.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

She knows immediately that the creature in front of her is not Lee. Oh it looks like him, its green and orange outfit almost blinding in this stark emptiness, but it is not him.

Never mind that it is trying to kick her head off her shoulders, clearly trying to kill her. She knows this is not him because its face is blank and empty.

If this were a spar, Lee would be smiling. If this were a death match, he would be angry.

The real Lee would be furious at her for killing [|||||||] and [||||||||||||||]

… why does she think Lee should be angry at her?

No matter. This obviously isn’t Lee, which means that she has nothing stopping her from going all out.

It is faster than her, like the real Lee, but she has a few tricks up her sleeve still.

She doesn’t feel remorse as this not-Lee creature fades away. Particles and pigments disappearing as if it were never there.

If it were really him, then she would. She would be sick and horrified at herself.

But it is not him, she is sure of it.

Something is happening.

A certainty that has been building ever since she fought [||||||||||||||] and [|||||||], cemented further after her fight with [||||||]

… something is wrong.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

A doorway is open ahead of her, an impossible exit from an impossible space. Stairs leading upwards and onwards.

She stays put.

“I don’t understand,” she says, looking around, “This doesn’t make sense.”

Nothing changes.

“What’s happening?” she asks, instead.

Nothing changes.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

A doorway is open ahead of her, an impossible exit from an impossible place. Stairs leading upwards and onwards.

She leaves the room.

There is nothing here.

After an uncountable number of stairs, steps spiraling for an eternity upwards and yet never complete ahead of her, Shikako stops.

The steps appearing for every one she advances also stop.

“No,” she says.

“Something is wrong,” she says.

She stays put.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

She is on a set of stairs, smooth and pale and impossible like starlight. They spiral upwards and onwards in the void.

On the step in front of her is a little ink bird, black like defiance.

It hops about and flutters its wings but doesn’t make a noise.

She picks it up and sets it on her shoulder.

She begins climbing the stairs until she can no longer, the steps ending at an invisible wall.

She reaches out, meeting resistance, before a noise like gears in a machine sounds off.

A doorway opens.

Shikako walks through.

In this room empty of anything, with smooth floors that are not stone and stark walls she cannot perceive, only Shikako and the ink bird exist.

No matter how far she walks, there is no end. An impossible room.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Immediately rolls out of the way of a swarm of tiny creatures.

The ink bird remains on her shoulder, but it tugs on her hair, impatiently. Frantic.

Scared?

Something is wrong.

Across the room is Shino. Or a creature that looks like Shino. It hasn’t moved and it hasn’t spoken and maybe that isn’t unlike the real Shino, but she learned her lesson with [||||||]

… the swarm attacks her again, and she backs away, confused.

The swarm of creatures, dark against the starkness of the room, somehow feel strange. Wrong.

They are not like her ink bird, a different sort of defiance. They are not like real kikaichu either.

These aren’t kikaichu and that isn’t Shino.

Which means she won’t feel guilty when she destroys them all.

The room is immaculate despite the battle.

The creatures that were not Shino and his kikaichu disappear, as if they never existed.

The ink bird on her shoulder remains. Now that she has the time and space to give it attention, it has stopped its antics.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

A black blur whizzes past her face. Reflexively, she ducks to the side, but nothing follows.

Bizarrely, it didn’t come from behind her, it came from her shoulder.

An ink bird flies ahead of her, a single point of defiance in this impossible room.

It flutters its wings and hops about, as if waiting, impatiently.

A noise. A doorway. Stairs.

The bird flies ahead, upwards and onwards.

Shikako follows.

Upwards and onwards, Shikako follows the bird. Against the void, it is difficult to see, but there is only one direction for it to go.

After an eternity it stops, landing on a step made of starlight. Waiting impatiently.

When she reaches the top step, it flutters to her shoulder.

Together they watch as a doorway appears.

Together they walk through.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

The chakra covered hand aimed at her heart almost seems familiar. As does the movement to get out of the way.

A creature that looks like Hinata stares at her blankly, before moving to attack once more.

If it were really Hinata, Shikako would hesitate.

If it were really Hinata, they wouldn’t be fighting.

The ink bird on her shoulder tugs at her hair.

But none of them (none of who?) were really themselves.

In comparison to [||||||]

… no matter.

This creature that is not Hinata is trying to kill her.

There is no hesitation.

It is not Hinata, but Shikako still looks away as it dies silently.

Something is wrong.

She does not feel horror, nor remorse, but there is still a sense of familiarity.

Of exhaustion.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

She cannot remember how long she has been in this room, but it feels like a very long time.

A noise. A doorway. Stairs.

The ink bird on her shoulder flies ahead and she follows.

There is nothing good for her here.

The stairs are a helix continuing upwards and onwards.

Even with the little ink bird, it feels as if she is alone. A small, insignificant existence against the impossibility of this place.

Void and starlight and a spiral to eternity.

Where is she? How did she get here?

Something is happening.

What is happening?

Something wrong.

At the last step, the ink bird stops and waits for her.

It hops and flutters and, when she catches up, flies to perch on her shoulder.

A noise. A doorway. An impossible room.

She doesn’t enter.

The ink bird tugs at her hair.

As she steps through, she thinks:

Haven’t I done this before?

Next (after what?) is Kiba. Or not-Kiba as the case may be.

“You’ve gotten shoddy,” Shikako says to the creature that is not Kiba, as it swipes a clawed hand at her face.

“Where is Akamaru?” she asks, dodging and weaving away.

The ink bird on her shoulder tugs at her hair. Impatient and frantic and not-scared.

Probably.

If it were scared, it would fly away, wouldn’t it?

“You’re not even trying!” Shikako shouts at it. Something is wrong.

“You don’t even know how an Inuzuka fights!”

Without their ninken, Inuzuka are half of themselves. It’s part of the reason why they can’t be ANBU, too loyal and honest to a fault.

The creature that is not Kiba stops.

So does she.

A noise, like gears in a machine, and a doorway opens behind it.

The ink bird leaves her shoulder and flies past the not-Kiba creature. It remains still.

Shikako circles around it, confused, but follows after the ink bird to the stairs.

As she begins to climb, she looks back.

The doorway is closing, but she can still see the not-Kiba creature standing perfectly still in that impossible room.

“That’s not how that usually goes,” she calls ahead to the ink bird.

It stops and lands on a step, waiting for her to catch up.

“The other fights. Before not-Kiba. The ones I had with [|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||]

”… why did that happen? I remember Kiba. Because I didn’t kill the creature that looked like him?“

The ink bird hops and flutters.

“Why can’t you be more useful?” she shouts.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

She is on starlight stairs in an eternal void.

She is not alone.

“Sai?”

~

A/N2: This is longer than I thought it would be so here’s part one for now, and I should have part two up tomorrow.

But I suppose I ought to explain a little bit. I considered your prompt, anon, and I pondered the idea of the haunted house and I figured that DoS already covered it in a literal sense with the whole chameleon summons castle thing, and a more Scooby Doo interpretation with the Land of Birds. But I liked the idea of Shikako losing people and went a slightly more cerebral route a la Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories.

In part because my brain went Shikako & Co. is Konoha Thirteen… Organization Thirteen? And then, hey wait, Sai was with her on both the chameleon castle mission and the Land of Birds mission. Does that make Sai Namine? Yes, yes it does.