Unto The Climate, part two (2017-03-22)

Fuyu Namikaze is a mystery. An impossibility. A trap?

Perhaps.

Orochimaru had always been simultaneously his most dramatic and most subtle student:

A full scale invasion in the middle of the the chuunin exams, using the reanimated former Hokages as puppets? As showy as ever.

But the months of preparation before that–an entirely new hidden village and not a peep on who the leader is, an alliance with one of the big five (never mind Sand’s fading glory)–all quiet, patient machinations.

Hiruzen knows he has not always been the best at judging those close to him, but he’s certain that it was honest surprise on Orochimaru’s face. Shock and no small amount of fear when the Shinigami reached for the last unopened coffin.

A life for a life, that is currency of gods. Hiruzen is old, far past his prime, has outlived his wife, a child, his successor, and now a student.

But his student was the one who had perverted the laws of nature; his student who the Shinigami had taken in exchange for Fuyu Namikaze.

Perhaps Fuyu Namikaze was a trap, meant to be a different blue eyed blonde resurrected, a psychological attack and indomitable puppet both. But Orochimaru had been too afraid of dying, would never have planned with that possibility in mind.

He hadn’t thought to take the Shinigami into account, and gods do not take well to human hubris.

The student who had wanted immortality was the first to die, the Shinigami leaving Hiruzen untouched once more along with the mysterious, impossible Fuyu Namikaze.

Inoichi is suspicious.

Then again, there is a lot going on for Inoichi to be suspicious of. An invasion from two different villages, Orochimaru’s return, and possible sleeper agents in Konoha’s own forces will do that.

Luckily, there are a few Sound and Sand shinobi who have survived long enough to be given over to T&I’s tender mercies, but Inoichi is retired and that’s not what he’s most suspicious of anyway.

He remembers Minato Namikaze. Remembers how that gentle expression hid the sharpest mind of their age. Remembers how a clanless orphan rose up from nothing and skyrocketed to the top loved and respected by the people.

Fuyu Namikaze is not him. Fuyu Namikaze is a stranger with familiar features and damning genetic similarity to a fallen hero. But like Minato, Fuyu Namikaze understands far more than she lets on, everything hidden behind a passive smile.

But Konoha could use a rallying point in these trying times, and the appearance of a relative (sister?) of their fallen, beloved Yondaime is a good opportunity.

Inoichi waits and watches for Fuyu Namikaze to be worthy.

Jiraiya stands in the wreckage of his home and knows that this is only the beginning.

~

A/N: So I guess this is an Orochimaru-is-dead!AU? Uh… my bad.

So, in Pokéani lore (not sure about the games), there’s Aura, and apparently that is what makes Pokémon moves work? Would Shikako be able to sense it, the way she can sense Natural Chakra (there’s a feeling that it’s there; she’s good at spotting trainers ahead of time, because of the refined nature of their teams’ aura, and she’s trying to figure out how it works basically without a teacher)?

image

Ooh, yeah. Aura powers! I know Lucario is the Aura Pokemon and that humans can have it too? (Or, at the very least, Ash has some) and it’s game canon that some people have psychic abilities which might be based on aura…

I like your idea, anon! From now on, the equivalent of natural chakra is aura! 😀

So obviously, Orochimaru is someone trying to experiment on people/Pokemon for aura. Which–and, I might be wrong on this, but is Ash supposedly the reincarnation of mythical aura user of the past?–kind of works with his original reason of wanting immortality to meet his parents’ reincarnations? Like, aura is linked with reincarnation somehow?

I don’t think Akatsuki have many natural chakra users, but the whole Kaguya/Zetsu thing definitely did. Ooh, maybe aura abilities was more common in the past but something sealed it away. Psychics now are kind of like the mutated version of aura that managed to sneak out of the seal–so Akatsuki is trying to break the seal but so as to keep all of the aura to themselves??

Shikako probably has the closest thing to real aura powers of any human alive now, whereas Naruto and Sasuke’s abilities are both activated because of Kyuubi or whatever Orochimaru’s Curse Seal equivalent is in this world.

Obviously, Team Seven is like the Ash of this world. Just split up that boy’s luck three ways. And, hey, you know what? A lot of Legendaries come in sets of three.

I was considering linking the Nara clan to Xerneas somehow, but that seems almost too grand for them? I mean maybe a looooooooooooong time ago to the point where it’s just a “oh, probably it was just a particularly powerful Sawsbuck and the story has been exaggerated over time” (lol, nope).

So maybe Shikako gets to meet or temporarily partner up with Xerneas, but no way does she actually ever catch it. And probably same thing with Sasuke and Yveltal. OR, maybe there’s a bit of a switch around where somehow Shikako ends up with Yveltal, Sasuke ends up with Zygarde, and Naruto ends up with Xerneas? Temporarily, of course.

Reshuffle the Deck: Or, Five Genin Teams Shikako Wasn’t On (2016-08-15)

Four of a Kind

(The Ino-Shika-Cho is a good combination, but it’s never good to let genin teams become predictable–it makes them vulnerable to enemy action, and considering who makes up the roster of this year’s new genin? Vulnerability is to be avoided at all cost.

The idea behind the trio is still sound, shouldn’t be abandoned completely, and so the Hokage and Academy teachers build the new teams with that in mind.

It’s not their fault that it completely throws off a good chunk of her foreknowledge.)

“This is…” Shikako says, words drifting off to look at her two teammates.

“Uh, sensei?” Ino picks up, immediately “I think you’ve gotten it wrong–it’s Ino-Shika-Cho, not Ino-Shika-Inu.”

Akamaru barks, Kiba does too. “What you’ve got a problem with dogs?” Smirk easily changeable into baring of teeth.

“Only the ones that haven’t bathed in three days,” Ino says, sharp smile of her own, “Aren’t you supposed to have a good sense of smell?”

Shikako cuts in, brings the tension down but adds to the teasing as well. “Not all of us can smell like a flower shop all the time, Ino.”

(With a steady jounin sensei and normal missions, they would have become strong, solid shinobi in a few years.

With Anko as their sensei, in a matter of months they become the first genin team with the bingo book orders Flee On Sight)

Full House [of Queens]

“They didn’t even try for subtle, did they?” Shikako asks Kurenai-sensei, mouth an opposite slant to her raised eyebrow.

Her jounin sensei shrugs, “You could argue that’s what this entire team is for–given the tenets of kunoichi and all that.”

“Don’t you think this will be fun, Shikako?” Sakura asks, stars in her eyes–the disappointment at not being on the same team as Sasuke quickly passing at the excitement of being on a team with her two best friends.

“And anyway,” Ino adds, “Who needs a bunch of boys messing up our missions?”

(Despite the tenets of kunoichi, their team does not maintain subtlety for too long. Oh, their missions succeed, no doubt about that, and they’re never actually caught; but rumors of a group of girls capable of slipping in unnoticed and completely destroying any opposition spreads.

They become known as the Three Beauties of Konoha, though mostly, all enemies can remember about them is the color of their hair and the scent of fresh flowers)

“Someone asked me to punch them today,” Sakura says to her teammates, bemused.

Although the three of them have long since been promoted from genin, they tend to team up with each other regardless. Why mess with success?

“Oh, yeah?” Shikako adds absentmindedly, writing in one of her eternally present journals even as Ino begins to pull it away, “Me, too, a couple of days ago.”

“Did you?” Sakura asks, watching in amusement as Ino and Shikako begin playing tug of war with the journal.

“Yeah, he wouldn’t leave me alone until I did and by that point he was being so annoying it was a relief to do it.”

“I made mine pay for it,” Ino says, to which both of her teammates look up at her smug face in confusion. Pulling the journal from Shikako’s slack hands is easy; her expression only becomes more pleased. “He clearly wanted it for some reason, and why do something for free when you can get paid for it?”

“And?” Sakura prompts, while Shikako bemoans her lack of initiative.

“It bought me a new dress,” Ino brags. And because she’s always a well of information, she explains to her teammates. “Apparently there’s some kind of superstition going around that if someone gets punched by all three of us they get good luck.”

Two Pair

(She pulls back too late. The teachers have already spotted her talent; genius, prodigy, legend-in-the-making they murmur to each other. She gets accelerated, graduates among students several years older than herself.

When her genin team is called, she swallows down bile.)

“Shikako-chan,” Kabuto says, mild smile on his face. All of his smiles are mild, she wants to punch him in the face.

“Yes?” She chirps back, slipping into her role of over-eager kouhai. She’ll admit he knows an awful lot of tricks that’ll be useful in the future.

Let him think he’s converting the Jounin Commander’s daughter, she’ll feed him lies and bleed him dry.

“You’re always so curious,” he says, ever so patronizing, “it’s a good thing to have in a student.”

“Well, you’re a good teacher,” she says back–always flattering, always sweet–she needs to appear as a book smart genius, not an actual threat.

“It’s not so much a virtue when it comes to espionage,” Kabuto amends, voice still pleasant but suddenly sharp and deadly.

She can feel the blood freeze in her veins. Literally.

“W-what are you talking about, Kabuto-senpai?” she chokes out through the clawing in her throat, her rapidly stiffening lungs.

“Don’t worry,” he says as her vision goes blurry, then dark, “It’s time for you to get a real teacher.”

(When she wakes up, she’s almost relieved to see Orochimaru’s face.

Better him than Danzo, she thinks even as the abomination of mutated natural chakra burns through her. The Curse Seal.

Kabuto won’t need to convert her if a piece of Orochimaru is literally looking over her shoulder.)

Straight

The night of graduation, Shikako faints while walking up the stairs.

It’s also the first time the Kyuubi’s malevolent chakra has been felt in over a decade.

The two events are not unrelated.

Needless to say, Shikaku will not be having his daughter on the same team as someone whose chakra can render her unconscious. He knows the Academy teachers think he is just pulling rank, getting his child off a team with That Monster, but Shikaku’s always been more practical than that: it’d be like having someone allergic to dogs on the same team as an Inuzuka, illogical and troublesome.

And anyway, he remembers Kushina and Mito-sama before that, neither of them were monsters. How could their legacy ever be one?

(Shikako looks at her teammates and feels nothing but conflicted, guilty relief.

A part of her had wanted to be on a more integral team, to better alter the course of future events. But another part of her had always been afraid of taking on such a daunting task.

Better to be on a team with these two–childhood bullies though they may be–than, god forbid, Naruto and Sasuke. She’d constantly be in the crossfire of powerhouses, pushed further and further to a breaking point that she doesn’t know where it will lead.

Jiro and Youbirin are blank slates as far as she’s concerned. She doesn’t need to worry about them, doesn’t need to watch over their destinies. They could die for all she knows, and plotwise it’d still lead to a good ending.)

“Fuck!” She shouts, turning to her fallen teammate who has crumpled to the forest floor. Youbirin gives a bloody cough in response, hands shakily going for the sword through his chest. “Jiro get over here!”

“I’m a little busy!” He shouts back, sending a bolt of lightning towards his opponent before retreating. They’re fighting Rock nin, with an Earth Pillar it becomes useless.

“I can’t heal this on my own,” Shikako says, hands futilely glowing green anyway. “Why would you do that? You could probably heal something like this.”

Youbirin gives another wet cough.

“Don’t die, please,” she begs, “You matter to me, don’t die, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it, don’t die, don’t die,” she chants, hoping and pushing herself to her limits.

That’s the problem with genin teammates–they’ll always be important, no matter who they are.

Royal Flush

(On the one hand, traveling through time to meet the Nidaime Hokage is pretty cool. Getting to compare fuinjutsu notes with him is practically a dream come true.

Somehow being stuck randomly appearing at various points in his life? She’d rather not.

But, well, there’s a silver lining to everything.

She just has to find this one.)

Team Tobirama is a seven person team.

Except for when it’s an eight person team.

Tobirama-sensei only briefly introduces the girl before they’re off on what will undoubtedly be a difficult mission.

Cloud shinobi. It won’t be anything but difficult.

She’s a stranger and it shows, their team falling into the familiar grouping–Kagami, Danzo, Torifu and Hiruzen, Homura, Koharu–while sensei single-handedly destroys his own opponents. It leaves her alone, and for a moment Kagami worries, before he realizes that she’s holding her own.

More than, even.

(The Kinkaku Force should have overpowered them, forced the genin to flee while their sensei sacrifices himself.

Eight instead of seven.

Nobody dies that day. The hat does not get passed on quite yet)

She’s not a permanent member of their team, which confuses Kagami because as far as he can tell she’s not on any other team either.

“I don’t recognize her,” Torifu says in a hush, which is especially worrying. It’s not an admission, it’s a clue: if Torifu can’t recognize someone wearing Nara sigils, something is going on.

“She keeps staring at me,” Danzo adds, before his face flushes with a sudden realization, “Not–not like that!” he says, embarrassed, while Kagami and Torifu share a smirk.

“She is rather pretty,” Kagami teases, Torifu nodding in solemn agreement, because an opportunity to fluster Danzo is always something to take advantage of. And besides, it’s not as if they don’t trust her–Tobirama-sensei trusts her, and more besides she’s risked her life alongside them–but this is a mystery that needs solving.

(They never do figure it out.)

~

A/N: A little late but still respectable, I think. Also it’s not really my fault since tumblr appears to be having technical trouble–is that everyone or is it just me? I do have somewhat sporadic wi-fi right now.

I’ll try to meet the midnight deadline properly tonight, anyway.

So the first two are from a conversation I had with @unfortunatehatlessness, the third one was just a haunting idea I had–though, highly influenced by @donapoetrypassion’s In Which Someone Attempts To Kidnap Shikamaru, Instead. Fourth is the anonymously prompted AU of @kuipernebula’s and mine Team Medic!AU (uh, sorry for the bleak ending on that one, it works out okay in the end?) And fifth is kiiinda a response to Linnypants’ comment on ao3 about Shikako’s POV of my Semi-Phenomenal, Nearly Cosmic ficlet.

Wow, okay, that’s a pretty impressive sweep if I do say so myself 😀 Also, happy belated birthday to myself.

I’ll post this to ao3 in a bit

Hail To The Queen: Or, Some Ways Shikako Never Became The Hokage, 1/? (2016-04-18)

(one: she who kills the kingslayer)

There was a tradition, in a different land, from a different life, that he who killed the king would then become the king. For if one could kill the king, then hasn’t one already conquered the kingdom?

That is not the case in Konoha, not really. The Shodaime was founder, and the Nidaime his brother, the Sandaime their student, and the Yondaime a war hero. The hat–the crown–passed down amicably, if not peacefully.

But the logic remains, in its own way, and could easily be applied. For if the Hokage is the strongest shinobi of Konoha, then the one who kills him proves they are even stronger: and, by definition, ought to become the next Hokage.

So what does that mean, for the girl who kills the monster that killed the Sandaime Hokage?

On her way to the stadium, she observes that the adults are wary, tense and prepared, waiting for something to happen. They know about an impending attack, yes, but they don’t know the details. They know the enemy is Sound and Sand, they even know Orochimaru is involved, but they don’t know the full truth.

Shikako does.

She steers her growing group closer to the Kage’s box, because even if she knows it’s mostly a product of the rigorous desensitization of the Academy, she is still a shinobi of Konoha, sworn to protect it’s leader.

And when the feathers fall, when everyone else is busy shaking off the genjutsu and dodging attacks from disguised Sound and Sand shinobi, Shikako looks up.

The Kazekage, no, Orochimaru has held the Sandaime hostage, has dragged him up to the roof of the stadium to start a battle that Shikako knows will lead to the Hokage’s death if he fights alone.

But the adults know, surely someone will be able react in time? Instead Sand shinobi, no, the Sound Four, rebuff their attempts long enough for the Sandaime to be isolated. Long enough for them to position themselves onto the four corners of the roof–Shikako knows that if they get the barrier up then it really will be all over for the Sandaime. She has to act now!

“Be ready to attack whoever comes here,” she says in a rush, hoping her friends hear her.

A barrier in the shape of a rectangular prism simply cannot exist if one of the four corners is switched out. And Shikako has practiced the Replacement Jutsu an awful lot recently.

The barrier fails and the shock of it is enough that some of the ANBU can engage the Sound Four–the Sound Three, right now–in their distraction while others rush the newly revealed Orochimaru.

But he summons the Shodaime and Nidaime and they were not Hokage for nothing and even the best trained ANBU can fall before legends.

The battle is above Shikako’s ability, truly, for she has grown stronger but not on par with this. But she can pull her chakra in, become invisible, strike when an opening arises.

Orochimaru still kills the Sandaime, despite the additional help, but the Shinigami also still takes away the use of his arms and that is opening enough. He is not expecting a mere genin to sneak behind him and tap the largest, most lethal touch blast she can think of onto his obi, and so that is what she does.

She is not fast enough to get completely outside the blast radius because she didn’t give herself time to do so–it would have given Orochimaru time to escape, somehow, too. And so, as the massive explosion detonates, an enormous fireball of light and heat scorching her eyes, she hopes that this will all be worth it.

Shikako wakes up in a hospital bed, one month later, to Tsunade Senju’s smirking face and is summarily informed that the Slug Sannin has not returned to Konoha to become the Godaime Hokage.

No, she has returned to heal the Godaime Hokage.

~

A/N: Hahahaha… haha… ha… uh. This was supposed to be hella shorter because this wasn’t supposed to actually become a series 😡 this was supposed to be a bunch of tiny drabbles all contained in one post but apparently my brain was like… nah. You gotta make it longer. You just gotta. Goddamnit, brain…

So this one is for you, anon who wanted to see Shikako as Hokage. The first of several ways she will never become Hokage.

Dreaming of S(erpents), a DoS remix drabble (2016-01-14)

After Jiraiya, Shikako is the closest thing Konoha has to a seal master. It’s not a surprise, really–this fact has been brought up before on multiple occasions–but she’s never felt it so keenly as she does in the moment.

“You want me to… what?” Shikako stammers, her shoulders tensing with apprehension.

Anko’s unusually solemn gaze does not waver–Shikako wonders if it’d be less unnerving if the older woman had her trademark smirk.

“I-I don’t think I can do that,” she tries, before reconsidering: technically, she might have the ability. She’s just not sure if she’s allowed, “I mean, I don’t see what I can do that Jiraiya-sama couldn’t. And I don’t know if–”

“Kid,” Anko interrupts, before scowling, “Shikako,” she tries again, “I’m not expecting you to pull a miracle out of your ass and get this damned thing off me.”

Shikako’s face freezes, uncertain on how to proceed.

Anko snorts, a rueful grin on her face, “I know a little about seals myself, okay? I just want you to take a look, see what you can learn. With your teammate marked up, too, I figure you’ve got a stake in this.”

And it’s no secret that Shikako’s been formally, officially banned from examining Sasuke’s cursed seal.

But no one said anything about Anko’s.

Shikako straightens out from her hunch–not relaxed, but focused–her body a few steps ahead of her brain. Verbally, she dithers, “I’m not sure…”

But Anko pounces on the hesitation, “I’m not asking you to somehow be better than Jiraiya and that damned bastard. I’m asking you to be different. Just look at it. Please, Shikako.”

It really is a good opportunity. And Anko has already stated she’s not expecting any solutions or modifications. If anything, this is more of a favor to Shikako–she’s been itching to get a closer look at the cursed seal and even a prototype is better than nothing.

“Okay,” Shikako agrees. And then, because she will always be a lucky seven at heart, “What’s the worst that can happen?”

This.

This is the worst that can happen.

Shikako, standing in an impossible void, water up to her ankles and a giant white snake with Orochimaru’s face on it.

A part of her–a very tiny part, the smallest bit that isn’t reeling in confusion and horror or preoccupied with the flurry of escape and combat plans flickering in an out–can only sigh. She should’ve known. Orochimaru is a crazy, evil psychopath but he’s a genius for a reason.

And it probably didn’t help that she jinxed herself. She just didn’t expect to be pulled into some kind of mental space like Naruto does whenever he talks to Kyuubi.

The seal is on a complete different person, though, how does this even work?

She can ponder that later, this is very obviously not the time.

“The little Nara on Sasuke’s team,” the giant Orochimaru-faced snake says, it’s body uncoiling and slithering towards her. He… it… continues, “So you’ve managed to–”

And then the explosion.

Good news–seals somehow work in this mental space even though it may be the inside of a seal. She’d been worried about structural instability, one of the basic tenets of sealing, but she’d still done it; touch blast is a staple of her fighting style, after all.

Bad news–she’s going to need a whole lot more than a single touch blast to take down this fragment of Orochimaru.

Also, she’s made him… it… angry.

Very angry.

Normally alliances are a good thing, especially the one between the Akimichi, Nara, and Yamanaka. In fact, given their compatibility and foundation of friendship, the clan alliance has literally never been anything but a good thing. Not like weak flimsy false alliances that break or fester and fail.

But in this very specific, extremely particular case, maybe it’s not such a good thing.

Because being allies with the Akimichi and Yamanaka means that each clan can comfortably stay in their niches and trust each other to focus on their own specializations.

And that means Shikako has absolutely no idea how to handle herself in a mental battle. How the hell does Ino do this all the time?

She had always thought that the Yamanaka mind jutsu were similar to genjutsu–overlaying their own will and personality onto a person with copious amounts of chakra and finesse. Emphasis on the finesse.

If she had known that it was more like a telepathic caged grudge match, well. She’s always had great respect for the Yamanaka clan, but now she also has extreme fear. Also, bewilderment–how are they not all batshit insane?

And they don’t even have the benefit of seals like she does. Jutsu doesn’t work here, which means that all the Yamanaka have are their own mental representation of themselves.

Then again, most of them are up against normal humans and not freaky giant snakes with human heads.

Ino survived; she just has to hold onto that thought. Shikako may not have the same training in the Yamanaka mind arts, but she has seals and she’s up against an earlier version as well. She can survive, too.

She doesn’t know how long she’s been here. There is no sun or moon or sky, just Shikako and the Orochimaru-snake and the void. If it weren’t for the cuts and bruises on herself and the huge missing chunks of flesh on the Orochimaru-snake, she’d think she was stuck completely. Frozen in some monstrous tableau–like some kind of fairytale, a lone human trying to take on a dragon.

As it is, she thinks maybe she’s been doing this for days–weeks, months, and eternity. And she can’t help the chilling thought that she’s trapped herself into an infinite hell of some kind (sometimes Tsukuyomi still haunts her, when the sun sits red and heavy in the sky).

But as she’s about to set off yet another round of explosions–there are only so many strategies involving touch blast she can implement–she’s suddenly yanked back and up and, thankfully, out.

Her mind is shoved back into her body, the abruptness causing her to gasp. Then cough as she chokes on air.

Lungs, why this again?

A hand covered in the green glow of medical chakra is pressed over Shikako’s chest, but another hand bats it away.

“It’s just her body being stupid, Sakura” Ino says, angrily, pointedly, “because only an idiot would try to do what she did without having any training in mind jutsu,” but Ino’s hand, curled around Shikako’s wrist, is gentle and warm. Her brow is furrowed not with irritation, but concern.

Shikako is lying on her back, the prickle of grass uncomfortable on her neck. Kneeling on one side of her is Sakura, ignoring Ino’s reprimand and using a diagnostic jutsu on her, and on the other is Ino. Standing above them, with an expression muddled with guilt and relief, is Anko. Shikako can sense some other bright points of chakra–members of the kunoichi group, the older ones at least–just beyond her line of sight.

“Did you call everyone?” Shikako coughs out, because it’s one thing to fail utterly. It’s another to fail utterly in front of an audience.

Anko raises an eyebrow, “Well it was either them or the Hokage.” Which, point. Shikako isn’t exactly looking to get yelled at by Tsunade-sama for blatantly flouting proper procedure. Again.

And given Ino’s experience and Sakura’s apprenticeship, they are basically the most equipped to handle the situation, besides the Hokage, that is.

“I’m pretty sure we still need to tell shishou about this,” Sakura says, apologetic but firm.

(“And that’s the real reason why I’m here,” Shikako says, with a not quite obnoxious grin on her face.

Kankurou squints at her, suspicion etched into the line of his jaw, the tilt of his head, “You fought a giant imaginary snake and got assigned as the Suna ambassador… You’re fucking with me.”

She just grins wider.)

~

A/N: I’m sorry anon, I’ve had so many starts and stops with this prompt of yours that when I finally wrote a thing that had a decent length to it, I just decided to keep it.

So probably not what you were looking for…