Walking Around (A Softer World), (2017-06-07)

on the paper, she had written “you”
and she told me “that’s a list of the people
who are standing too close.”
(I ain’t your pal.)

The strange thing about it isn’t that they’re opposites clashing–two conflicting ideologies or personalities at war–but rather that they’re so similar.

The children of famously powerful shinobi, both of them with the same potential for greatness, the new beginnings for clans that had been near to extinction. Beyond that, their keenness and desire to be stronger (even if it is outside of the Academy’s strict curriculum) ought to make them, if not friends, then friendly.

People had expected that, because their parents were legendary teammates, some tiny bit of that would trickle down.

At best they find each other mildly irritating.

(The first and only time the Academy teachers make them spar, they destroy the training hall. To this day, no one can say who won.)

///

If something seems too good to be true,

quick! put it in your mouth!
(before anything can go wrong!)

They are put on a team together.

It’s not the end of the world.

(But it sure feels like it.)

Still, if that’s the way Konoha wants to play it then fine. They can deal with it.

They only have to tolerate each other until they make chuunin and given that the next chuunin exams are hosted at home, that only means a few months at most.

But what a frustrating and bizarre few months they are.

Missions gone askew, far too many television appearances, new jutsu and kata and, briefly, a shared pet capybara.

They’re still not friends, but teammates? Well, that they can do.

(But it sure feels like it.)

///

Our love is like.

Our love is only like.
(I like you. I don’t LIKE like you)

Mitsuki is the first one to say it, eyes bright and smile sharp, the thinnest veneer of mockery on top so he can take it back if he needs to.

He does not need to.

Sakako is caught off guard but not terribly surprised–she feels the same way, too, only hadn’t thought to say it aloud. No one’s ever accused her of being particularly chatty, after all–and she returns the expression easily enough.

Boruto is stubborn, though. He flushes and sneers and storms off, shoulders hunched up around his reddening ears.

It takes another week before he admits it, grudging and gritted out between his teeth, and only because they ambush him with hugs and refuse to let him go.

It still counts.

///

I cannot help but notice we are sitting-in-a-tree.
So, you know, maybe we could think of something to do…
verb-wise.
(I want us to gerund, essentially.)

“We are frequently sitting in trees,” Mitsuki says, skeptical yet concerned glance sent Boruto’s way, “We are in a forest.”

Boruto huffs an embarrassed, exasperated sigh, turning away pointedly.

“He wants to kiss you,” Sakako calls from her spot in the tree across the clearing, because while she may be oblivious to most things, not even she is that dense.

Konohamaru-sensei chokes on a laugh, quiet, but just loud enough to give away his position.

His students pounce.

The matter of the non-kiss is set aside for now, trying to find and beat their jounin sensei more pertinent at the moment, but it’s not quite forgotten.

///

I think you are beautiful and I would like to kiss you.
I can think up some clever lines, if you’d prefer.
But I wanted to say that, first.
(None of those lines seemed to be about you or me.)

She smiles, flattered and amused. She can’t say the idea doesn’t appeal to her and she can appreciate the straightforward and sweet delivery, but for now she just reaches out and takes Mitsuki’s hand.

He intertwines their fingers together, his skin pale against her own, accepting the affection easily after the years of knowing each other.

“We will,” Sakako says, answer and promise both, “but not yet.”

Mitsuki tilts his head, curious but not plaintive, and lets her guide them towards their team’s training grounds.

“I think this is a talk for all of us,” she finally says, including Boruto–who hears the statement, glances at their hands, and internally dies a little.

(It’s okay. It’s just a misunderstanding.)

///

I know your weakness.
It’s kisses.
You are doomed.
(Don’t worry. We’re all doomed eventually.)

~
A/N: Some Walking Around ‘verse with poly!next gen!Team Seven. I don’t know if this is the actual way I want to go with this ‘verse, but I saw a lot of the unused a softer world prompts and kept thinking–this would be perfect for them.

So… for those of you who might be fond Sakako and her ‘verse, and kinda in response to this anon who wanted more feels (though looking more for the angsty sort than this fluffy nonsense, probably… I don’t know why, I just want to do fluff with them, but maybe that’ll change in the future). Please enjoy. 🙂

Walking Around (On Silent Feet), (2017-01-19)

Sakako wakes up to the soft slide of her bedroom window opening in the middle of the night. She keeps her breathing slow, steady, but reaches out with her still developing chakra sense.

No point in giving herself away, though given the lack of alarms and the unbroken defenses…

Just as a hand reaches for her, Sakako springs from her bed.

“Mum!” she cheers, hands around her neck, hugging her tight.

“Shh, shh,” Mum hisses, but she returns the embrace, easily handling her weight as if she were still a baby. After a moment, she sits on the bed, Sakako in her lap, adjusting the both of them comfortably, “Not so loud, dear heart, we wouldn’t want to wake up your dad.”

Sakako bites back the question–why not?–and luxuriates in the scent and warmth of her mum. The way she runs a hand through unbraided hair, maintains contact, close and cozy.

Dad hugs like he’s trying an unfamiliar jutsu, cautious and methodical. Mum hugs like she’s trying to speak without words.

Right now, Mum’s hug says–I missed you, your hair has gotten longer, how are you dear heart–this is a moment for just the two of them.

“I’m home,” Mum says out loud, simply, as if she had just come back from getting groceries instead of having returned a week ahead of schedule from a three month long mission.

Sakako doesn’t need to ask why for that either–the reason is obvious.

“Welcome home,” Sakako mumbles into Mum’s shoulder, feeling absurdly bashful yet pleased.

“Happy Birthday, Sakako.”

There are wolves in the woods.

A phrase meant to indicate that there are dangerous people far more suited and equipped to handle an already treacherous world.

But Sakako has grown up in the heart Fire Country’s forests. Has walked the streets of Konoha alongside creatures that both evolution and humanity has trained into tearing out throats with long, sharp teeth.

She’s not afraid of wolves or the woods, metaphorical or literal.

Bull, older and grayer, but no less formidable, gives her a fond, wet lick up the side of her face. She laughs and pets him in return, before leaving his side to go to the kunoichi club.

She only wipes off some of Bull’s drool.

After all, not every girl gets a personal escort from one of the Rokudaime’s summons.

Sakako’s on watch–the unenviable second shift–when she hears the rustling of one of her teammates.

Boruto had first watch, no need for him to already be moving, and despite his behavior Konohamari-sensei is actually a jounin and not a large man-child.

Mitsuki it is, then.

In the waxing moonlight, it’s easy to spot him, pale hair and skin illuminated. She gives a soft whistle so he can find her in the branches above their camp.

An effortless jump and he joins her, the pupils in his gold eyes nearly round with how dilated they are.

“Couldn’t sleep?” she murmurs, shifting over to make space.

“My optimal sleep time is less than yours,” he says. Because I’m genetically superior, he doesn’t add.

It took a couple of weeks for them to get him to stop saying that.

As far as she and Boruto are supposed to know, Mitsuki is a clanless orphan who is convinced he has superior genes but is nonetheless a fan of their parents and their heritage.

She’s sure Konohamaru-sensei knows the truth of his origins or, at the very least, her parents and Naruto-oji do, but she’s not going to pry.

“What are you looking at?” Mitsuki asks, after the silence has settled. She wonders what he used to do before they became a team, who he turned to after he had finished sleeping but night still reigned.

How lonely.

“The stars,” she says with a shrug, because it’s true enough. She can spot some of the constellations through the canopy of leaves overhead, the brightest and most persistent.

Mitsuki glances overhead as well, before turning to her skeptically, “We don’t need to navigate,” he says, “What’s so interesting about that?”

She almost snaps at him, instinctively affronted, before she bites it back. She loves stargazing because its something she links to her relationship with her parents–the love they share along with stories and memories in the middle of the night.

Who did Mitsuki talk to before they became a team?

Instead of snapping, she begins to speak in the familiar cadence of her mum. “There are stories,” she starts, gesturing overhead, “of the heroes and mythical creatures so great and terrible that they were painted in the night sky as constellations…”

The mornings after she sleeps at her grandparents’ house tend to follow this pattern:

At dawn she’s woken up by a brightly grinning and demanding Baa-chan, who drags both her and Kareru-nii (when he’s in village) to the backyard for morning stretches.

After several missteps of sleepy bumbling and Kareru-nii’s complaints of him being too old for this–citing his official age instead of his physical age–which Baa-chan counters easily enough, they’re joined by Jii-chan who sits on the veranda and watches them with a far too amused smile on his face.

When they’ve finished the stretches, they all go to kitchen to begin preparing breakfast. Though a few minutes of cramped quarters and the problem of too many chefs prompts Baa-chan to kick Sakako and Jii-chan outside to feed the deer.

She and Jii-chan then go out to where the herds have gathered, expectant. Sometimes they talk–about her team, the missions she goes on, the braver deer who eat straight out of her hands–but sometimes they don’t.

These mornings aren’t really silent, but they’re steady and settled. She likes these moments, too.

~

A/N: … I dunno, I had some Sakako feels? Not really a prompt fill, though I did want to make a point of including Mitsuki and Kareru since they haven’t shown up much in previous installments.

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! 😀