Externality 6d/? (2018-01-17)

TenTen is somewhat skeptical, approaching with both hands on her kunai–Tetsuki doesn’t take it personally, she knows kunai are more akin to comfort objects than weapons to TenTen–until she reads the crumpled up objective cards:

At Tetsuki’s, she blinks curiously. At Naruto Uzumaki’s, her jaw tightens.

Tetsuki can’t help but to smile at that.

Even if they can’t convince Neji Hyuuga to help, she certainly wouldn’t mind having an expert in ranged weaponry on their side. And it’s nice knowing that TenTen is just as pissed off as she is–their personalities may be different, but their backgrounds may as well be identical.

On the streets, no one gets what they want. But that doesn’t mean they can’t get even.

“Assurance that we’re not here for your tokens,” Tetsuki says, gesturing to the pair of dark purple armbands still on the ground. “Not that we would have been able to get them anyway,” she adds after a slight pause, jerking her shoulder, her chakra-blocked arm swinging almost grotesquely.

“If your fate is to fight half the class then I’m not going to interfere,” Neji Hyuuga states, Byakugan deactivated no doubt due to how nonthreatening she and Naruto Uzumaki are compared to him.

TenTen shoots a glare at him, but stays silent.

Tetsuki can feel her heart crawl into her throat, though she doesn’t know why. This isn’t exactly a surprising outcome.

She doesn’t know what to say.

“You’ve interfered already, asshole,” Naruto Uzumaki says, lifting up Tetsuki’s right arm–so numb she didn’t even feel him grab it. “You could just say you’re too scared to fight. You think you’re great ‘cause you get shit just handed to you in your fancy clan and the teachers kiss your ass? We don’t need help from a stuck up coward like you!”

Tetsuki stares at him in open shock. In her peripheral vision, she can see TenTen do the same.

You can’t just say stuff like that to a clan member’s face!

But maybe having a last name gives him some kind understanding because instead of walking away, figurative bridge burned between them, Neji Hyuuga’s hands dart out in quick succession.

And suddenly Tetsuki can feel the grip of Naruto Uzumaki’s hand around her wrist… before a flood of static sweeps across her nerves, chakra rushing back into her arm without the Jyuuken blocks to hold it back. She hisses in pain.

“There’s not enough time for me to explain how wrong you are,” Neji Hyuuga says, briefly reaching up for the wraps around his forehead before deciding against it.

There is a story there, an open secret of Konoha–the Hyuuga clan is hiding something, but only the upper echelons know what. Even if Neji Hyuuga were the kind of person to share his burden with others, they are barely acquaintances, much less friends.

Maybe in the future.

Naruto Uzumaki twitches, head tilting one way then the other as if in confusion or–more likely, as Tetsuki picks up the sounds herself–in concentration.

Neji Hyuuga is right, there’s not enough time:

The mob is coming.

~

A/N: Whaaaaat? It’s back?

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i would’ve thought that tenten definitely would have something from the aegislash line since they’re literally weapons (+ they’re ghost and steel type which is an awesome combination imo)

Anonymous said: I feel like Hitmontop fits TenTen more. It’s smaller and I can see it imitating its trainer spinning like a top and throwing weapons everywhere. I can also see Hitmonchan boxing with Neji as he practices his Hyuuga fists/palm attacks.

Anonymous said: I can totally see Sasuke with a Blaziken, or maybe Tenten has a Blaziken to help her forge weapons, since she does become something like a blacksmith in the future (even though I hate most of Boruto’s canon haha)

I was considering Aegislash for TenTen, but considering they’re specifically ghost swords and TenTen is more of a ranged weaponry (or, alternatively, giant spiky ball of death) I decided not to go in that direction. If I were to make a Pokemon team for Hayate Gekkou, then yes, ghost swords all the way–he is a kenjutsu user, after all.

I think my reasoning for Neji = Hitmontop had to do with the Kaiten? And how a lot of the Hyuuga taijutsu were very circular in nature.

Ooh, Blaziken, yeah… if Sasuke didn’t already have a Talonflame and a Hawlucha, I probably would have given him a Blaziken for sure…

And I do have a bit about TenTen working at a blacksmith in Externality (I get what you mean, anon, Boruto canon is kinda…) so I suppose I could have easily given her a Fire type too. Hm… I think mostly I wanted to lean in on that Steel type…

in the interest of rounding out the Pokémon headcanons… team gai Pokémon teams?? (aside from the tyrogue trio you mentioned before which is a great idea btw)

I think all of them have mostly Fighting types–given their jounin sensei is the master of taijutsu, and they themselves specialize in taijutsu–but each of them differ in their second types.

So Lee is mostly Fighting with some Normal (HARD WORK BEATS TYPE SPECIALIZING), Neji has Fighting and Psychic (which explains why he consistently beats Lee even though Lee is faster than god), and TenTen has Fighting and Steel.

As previously mentioned, all of them did get a Tyrogue from Gai (and each of them have a different evolved form). So while I’m not entirely sure what order each of them get these Pokemon, these are what I have in mind.

LEE

Hitmonlee

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Eevee

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Aipom

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Spinda

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Mienshao

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Passimian

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NEJI

Hitmontop

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Gallade

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Medicham

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Xatu

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Claydol

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Oranguru

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TENTEN

Hitmonchan

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Lucario

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Skarmory

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Mawile

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Excadrill

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Aggron

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Thanks for the prompt, anon, this was fun!

Happy New Year, everyone! 😀

“An Unbearable Weight” … ??? I have no idea, I just had this sort of feeling of something pressing down on the shoulders and I can’t place anything else with the title (almost spelled it tightle, lol).

A/N: So the first thing I thought of with that title, anon, is the show Leverage. I mean, true, it’s not exactly far from my thoughts, but specifically there’s a spiel about how the crew of criminals is the leverage that normal people need to remove the weight that evil rich people have put on them, etc…

And so my brain followed that train of thought to my Friendship is a (Mutual) Con ‘verse, of course. And then, well, with a title like that… this would be a season finale-esque fic within that ‘verse. But what would it specifically be about? Hm…

~

An Unbearable Weight

Even myths can grow complacent: when that happens, the world shakes.

I’ll be honest, my brain went originally to Atlas Shrugged–as an idea, not the novel itself–but that was very western of me and so I decided to research the equivalent. Namazu is a giant catfish that causes earthquakes, Kashima is the god who is meant to restrain him to prevent that. However, sometimes Kashima fails.

Which I quite liked the idea of, but that seemed a little too specific to be used by name in the summary, so I abstracted the concept enough that really it could be either the western or Japanese myth that I’m referring to!

Anyway, from that summary, I suppose this is later in Team Seven’s “career” when they’re at the top of their game–no con is impossible to them–and they’ve unwittingly created their own enemy. Someone who knows them so well, knows their weaknesses and exactly where to hit.

Part of me, because of the word “weight”–the BEST scene in Naruto will always be Lee taking off his leg weights and beating Gaara’s ass (though I do love him, also)–wants to include at the very least Gai and Lee if not also Neji and TenTen… I wonder if they’re law enforcement who are supposed to be tracking down the “ruthless band of criminals” but are actually quite friendly with Team Seven, not knowing that they are the same.

Like FBI Agents McSweeten and Taggert from Leverage but more competent.

And like in canon, Kakashi and Gai are BFFs which would mean that whoever the big bad in this “episode” would somehow reveal to Gai that Kakashi is the leader of the “dastardly crew of renegades” that he’s been trying to catch for years. Which would, of course, strain their relationship but ALSO impede Kakashi’s ability to act on behalf of his team.

All part of big bad’s plan.

It would all resolve itself in the end–of course–most likely with Team Gai acting as Team Seven’s Detective Bonanno equivalent. That is, Team Seven cons the bad guys and gets the evidence that Team Gai needs to convict them.

… yeah… I like this idea.

So probably Team Gai has shown up in “previous episodes” individually–Shikako is TenTen’s go-to for locksmithing and questions on vaults/security systems, Neji and Sasuke probably met as kids during the upper class soirees that Noble clans all attend, Lee probably had an absolute SNAFU of a case and Sakura was the one who found/healed him… and, of course, Kakashi and Gai are BFFs… but while each of them probably knew Team Gai were FBI (in a vague sort of sense for Sasuke, probably) none of them knew that they were on a task force together and especially not that said task force was assigned to track down/capture Team Seven.

Until, you know, one of Team Seven’s normal milk run cons suddenly gets infested with law enforcement. Familiar law enforcement.

Sakura probably has to fake flirt some information out of Lee, Sasuke and Neji probably have a snooty “Hyuuga” “Uchiha” exchange before hella pummeling each other into the dirt, and Shikako definitely ends up promising TenTen that she’ll tell Shikamaru what it is she actually does for work.

Kakashi mopes around guiltily like the saddest string bean he is, until Gai forgives him in a heartbeat and challenges him to a push up contest.

~

Ask Box Event Now Open!

Externality 6c/? (2017-09-29)

She’ll admit, later, that she probably developed tunnel vision trying to find Neji Hyuuga while also avoiding the angry mob. She gets into the rhythm of a task–even if this particular one is frenetic and stressful–and tends to forget her surroundings.

Luckily, Naruto Uzumaki is there to shove her out of the way of a barrage of kunai. They thunk into the tree beyond her.

As Tetsuki regains her bearings, she notices they’re in the perfect outline of her body.

TenTen?

A different blur, much larger and closer, drops down in her peripheral, and this time it’s her own hasty reflexes that have her dodge out of the way of a jab glowing with chakra.

Jyuuken.

Well, they found him…

… hooray?

Neji Hyuuga is not their year’s highest ranked student for no reason and for all that Tetsuki is fast, no one is as fast as him.

In short order her entire right arm is numb and absolutely useless, swinging around and throwing off her balance.

Any thoughts to negotiate a truce flies from her head. In the face of such overwhelming power only one concept remains: survive.

She tries to fight back, he defends easily. She tries to retreat, he follows unerringly. She tries to hold off his stupidly undefeatable attacks, she fails miserably.

And maybe if it were just Tetsuki by herself, that’d be it. But she’s not alone.

“Wait! Hold on you bastard,” Naruto Uzumaki says, brash and somehow endearing now, “We’re not here to fight you!” he says even as he throws a punch, trying to take the pressure off her.

He means well. She does appreciate the effort. Unfortunately, two against one when that one is Neji Hyuuga doesn’t make much of a difference.

But it jolts her out of her hindbrain panic, and she still has use of one of her hands: Tetsuki grabs the two purple armbands and throws them to the ground between them, almost like a gauntlet.

Neji Hyuuga doesn’t look down–Byakugan activated, he doesn’t need to–but he pauses for a moment, almost curious, which gives her and Naruto Uzumaki a moment to breathe.

“We don’t want your token,” Tetsuki says, slowly, still functional arm raised slightly to show no harm, “Or TenTen’s,” she adds, remembering the kunai.

Naruto Uzumaki makes an indignant noise, high in the back of his throat, and she shoots him a look. Tetsuki hasn’t forgotten he still needs another token, but they can’t get it from Neji Hyuuga and she’s not going to let him take it from TenTen (even if he could–he’s not as terrible as he seems in the classroom, but she’d put her nonexistent money on TenTen any day).

Speaking of TenTen, another figure peers out from the foliage, a brace of kunai at the ready between her fingers.

“… we’d like your help with something.”

Externality 6b/? (2017-09-21)

Tetsuki knows both less and more about Neji Hyuuga than she’d like:

Less because the Hyuuga clan isn’t exactly going around airing out their weaknesses for some random street urchin to hear.

More because, well, not even she’s so isolated from her classmates that she doesn’t pick up some of the rumors going around their resident prodigy. Unfortunately, it’s nothing particularly useful and more to do with… ugh… what kind of girl he may or may not like?

She’d much rather know his training regimen than his astrological sign and blood type and favorite food (Cancer, O, and herring soba respectively) but them’s the breaks.

Even without hearsay, Tetsuki knows that if a Hyuuga doesn’t want to be found–much less the best Byakugan user in generations–then they won’t.

That being said, she also knows that most Hyuuga are prideful, what with being the most powerful cardinal clan now, and that the prouder they are the more reckless they get when bored.

She imagines that, unlike her and Naruto Uzumaki’s experience, the past sixty odd hours or so have been excruciatingly boring for Neji Hyuuga. Especially if his objective is what she thinks it is.

“Give me your armband,” she hisses at Naruto Uzumaki, as they approach what must be Neji Hyuuga’s chosen space for the exam. It’s not an open clearing turned into a civilian level campsite, but it’s definitely not the overly paranoid and defended nook in some tree roots like theirs was.

Not that Neji Hyuuga would need much in the way of traps, no one would dare attack him.

Naruto Uzumaki pulls out the wrinkled and crumpled mass of cloth from his pouch, looking at her in blatant confusion.

“Your original one,” she clarifies, pulling out the dark purple armband she got from Rock Lee, “the one that looks just like this.”

Why not bring a little excitement Neji Hyuuga’s way?

Indelible, a Dreaming of S(oulmates) tangent (2017-08-27)

A/N1: So psych_girl commented on the ao3 version of Dreaming of S(oulmates) about expanding on the different soulmate AUs, and I gave permission to write double recursive ficlets based on them (hopefully I’ll be able to reblog/post links here), but it put my mind on the subject and I hope I’m not swooping a ficlet out from under them.

So this one in particular is based on the AU (two: inkblot skin).

~

Shinobi will try to weaponize anything, a subconscious mindset more than active strategy: the symbiotic relationship of Aburame and their kikaichu, Inuzuka and their ninken, are just two examples of such.

Fuinjutsu had originally been created to transport Uzushio’s limited, but varied resources across their islands.

Even something as innocuous as flowers–the Yamanaka as much feared for their poisonous arrangements as their mind jutsu.

Soul marks–the transfer of ink and scars and blood from one soulmate to the other–are not exempt either.

///

The main issues preventing soul marks from monopolizing intel communications is that they’re not comprehensive and they’re not immediate.

Sometimes, something as insignificant as scraped knees or absentminded grocery lists will transfer over, while death blows and I love you’s remain on only one half. There doesn’t seem to be any correlation in emotion or strength of bond to explain what gets send and what doesn’t. And so something as important as mission specs or front line movements could never be entrusted to soul marks.

On top of that, any of them may transfer in minutes, in hours, in days–the longest recorded gap being three weeks. Again, nothing explaining the inconsistency: not distance, or age, or emotion.

But still, that doesn’t mean that soul marks don’t have very real, very dire consequences.

///

When his children are almost four years old, they both begin to wear headbands and refuse to take them off in front of anyone.

It doesn’t take a Nara to figure out the why, but the what, exactly, he will later admit to being… hasty.

In his defense, soulmates tend to be born near each other and there’s only one forehead mark in Konoha that is regularly covered up. Given that Shikaku has heard about what ought to be an internal Hyuuga clan matter–the marking of Neji Hyuuga at an abnormally young age, cruel even for a clan that habitually enslaves their own members–it’s a fairly logical assumption to make.

What he does afterwards is less logical and more… fiercely protective.

///

The Byakugan may not have been as storied as the Sharingan, but the Hyuuga’s dojutsu was more dependable and with the decline of the Uchiha–in both numbers and reputation–the Hyuuga enjoyed a loftier, more lenient position than many other clans. Even the other noble clans.

In comparison to the Aburame–whose southern apiaries had been decimated during the Kyuubi attack–and the Akimichi, who spent as much time cultivating their financial and political enterprises as they did their martial prowess, the Hyuuga were more invaluable to Konoha.

But invaluable does not mean immune.

///

They meet, once, while they’re both still at the Academy.

It’s difficult. They’re in different years, which is part of it, but primarily it’s because all of Konoha is keenly aware of the political cold war happening between the clans and all of the teachers are taking measures to prevent any incidents from happening.

Further incidents, that is: a spar turned hostile in the graduating class, resulting in suspensions for the Akimichi and Hyuuga involved. Invisible lines drawn amongst the students from clans, rearranging friendships and even future genin team proposals.

As the pair at the heart of the problem, they are especially monitored. But just once, just for a short time, they manage to meet.

Neither of them will reveal what was said, but afterwards Neji goes without a headband: baring his cursed seal provocatively, almost incendiary.

Shikako becomes all the more paranoid about hers.

///

Eventually, it’s revealed that Shikamaru’s forehead is as blank as the day he was born but, one twin or both, that doesn’t alter the path Konoha is already on.

In contrast, the Uchiha clan, sensing the winds of change, circumvent their fate entirely: allying themselves with the enemy of their enemy and integrating back into, at least, half of the village. Hundreds of lives are spared, though only Danzo, thwarted, and Shikako know.

Not all is good, though: Hinata, already shy and secluded, is deliberately isolated. Where Ino leads, the other girls of the class follow; even though Shikako tries to mitigate the issue, Ino is ruthless in defending what she considers hers.

The mood of Konoha is fraught, tensions high enough for even the civilians to notice, streets of peace and prosperity now dangerous opportunities for public altercations.

Such a small action leading to such far reaching consequences.

Time marches on.

///

Konoha puts on a pleasant face for the Chuunin Exams, united only on the surface in front of foreign shinobi.

Team Seven meets the Sand siblings, Shikako sees the match to her soul mark.

She hesitates.

~

A/N2: I’m not very satisfied with the ending–I had the greater idea but not an actual plot, as you can see–so I kind of just… mreh?

I guess another reason for this ficlet is that I wanted to explore how even things that are supposed to be romantic–like soulmates and soul marks–have non-romantic consequences. So even if this is set in a Shikaara soulmate AU, this ficlet is gen.

I was actually considering some other repercussions of the misunderstanding: Hiashi possibly buckling under external and internal pressures and disavowing Hinata as his heir early on and marking her with the seal–which further splinters the already divided Hyuuga clan–but that seemed VERY CRUEL to Hinata who I already had shunned by everyone in class.

And also, would Sand and Sound still invade Konoha if the Uchiha clan isn’t killed? The Sand Siblings would still be at the Chuunin Exams, of course, but I don’t know if they’d be there as part of the invading force. Konoha isn’t as outwardly weakened, after all.

It seems more likely that if Orochimaru were to invade still, he’d probably have Danzo and ROOT make up the other part of the invading force, but even then if in this AU “I’m a pacifist” mass murdering kin-slayer Itachi is less of a giant hypocrite, I wouldn’t mind him being seriously considered for Hokage which would seriously deter both Orochimaru and Danzo, right?

I don’t know. They were vague thoughts at best.