Dreaming of S(haring the World) 1/3, (2016-09-15)

Shikako doesn’t notice him at first. Just another face in the crowd of children that flock to her even here in the Ikioi-En; small and eager and easily pleased.

Though he is the smallest and youngest of the group; the most eager to try and help her even after her shadow puppet show is over and his peers drift away.

She doesn’t think he can read yet, much less understand the fuinjutsu of a long dead ancient civilization, but it helps to think aloud while analyzing the recovered chunks of Gelel shrine rubble and, unlike the Sand researcher assigned alongside her for this joint-village mission, he does honestly seem happy to just listen to her talk.

Then again, she treats him to dinner whenever she realizes hours have already passed, sky growing dark, and he has a soba addiction nearly as bad as Naruto’s obsession with ramen.

She should have realized there was more to it than that.

(He remembers his first Father a little bit: a large man with gentle hands who tried his best, despite the disease plaguing him. The illness making movement and speech and, eventually, thinking difficult.

It’s why they had moved to the Ikioi-En, hoping the healing springs would cure him. But it didn’t. Instead it left Araya alone, surrounded by strangers who didn’t care.

He doesn’t remember his first Mother at all.)

One day, her littlest fan doesn’t show up.

She notices immediately.

She doesn’t think it’s vanity when, after a few hours of distraction and concern, she goes to find him. She knows it’s not when the endeavor turns out to be more difficult than expected, worryingly so.

“His name is Araya, he’s four maybe five years old? Brown hair, green eyes. We eat here like, at least twice a week.” She says to the woman at the soba stand, whose interest waned as soon as it became clear that Shikako wasn’t planning on buying anything.

“Then shouldn’t you know where he is?” She asks, apathetic but not cruel.

Not wrong, either, but Shikako doesn’t appreciate the thought when she’s going out of her mind with worry.

Desperate, she unfurls her chakra sense as far as it can go, even though being so close to where the Gelel shrine used to be and the resulting healing springs is like trying to listen through white noise.

Araya is young, not much chakra to speak of, but familiar after so many weeks researching in the Ikioi-En. The smooth surface of porcelain and polished wood, subtle and beautiful.

She finds it, small and wavering and feverish, surrounded by other signatures which feel sickly, too. She runs, as fast as she can–uses shunshin when that proves to be too slow–and barely skids to a stop in front of a small clinic, one of many that have cropped up around the healing springs.

The medic startles, goes for a kunai–the Ikioi-En is almost an off-shoot of Sand, the healing springs and attached clinics shinobi-monitored if not outrightly controlled–but relaxes when he notices who she is. She’s the only Konoha shinobi here not on medical leave, and somewhat famous besides.

“Araya?” she asks, too keyed up to ask a proper question, honing in on his chakra flickering ever so precariously like a candle in the wind.

The medic rolls his eyes, beckons her to follow him to the back where, on one of the cots, Araya is curled up. Shikako drops to the floor next to it, hands glowing green with a diagnostic jutsu.

“It’s just a cold,” the medic says, “He probably caught it from one of our other patients. He’ll be fine in a few days.”

Her jutsu tells her the same, but she still keeps a hand on Araya’s hot and clammy forehead. He leans into it, no doubt seeking some relief against the fever.

“It’s gonna be annoying taking care of him, though,” the medic mutters, loud enough for Shikako to hear him and shoot a glare in his direction.

“Isn’t that your job?” she grits through her teeth.

He looks far less intimidated than she’d prefer. “No. I run a clinic, not an orphanage.”

Immediately the fight goes out of her–that answers her other question.

(Araya wears a mask, feels more comfortable with a barrier between him and the rest of the world. Likes knowing that something as basic as his appearance is a secret for him and his family.

He also likes how all it takes to disappear in the village is to remove it. Easily becoming just another face in the crowd, a stranger nobody can find.

Except for Mother.)

The next couple of days Shikako takes off from researching–she’s ranking leader on this mission, she’s allowed to do that; and even if she wasn’t allowed, she’d do it anyway–and spends it watching over Araya.

They’re kicked out of the clinic on the second day–the medic none too happy with her loitering. Thankfully, the inn that she’s been staying at provides an extra futon when she asks; the owner also allows Shikako use of the kitchen.

It takes four days for his fever to break, her journals and errant thoughts keeping her company until then. She plans then hesitates, writes letters that she doesn’t send.

Shikako has never thought of herself as particularly maternal. Taking care of people is a necessity not something that gives her enjoyment. But Araya is all alone in the world, and when has she ever let that stand?

When he’s awake and lucid, she asks him a very important question. He says yes–eager and easily pleased.

When he’s well enough to travel, they go to Sand to make it official.

(He’s been with Mother and Father for long enough that he barely thinks about his early years. It’s mostly a distant memory, but something he can remind himself of easily by simply looking in a mirror and unmasking himself.

Mother found some information about his first Father, and every year on the day he passed they light a stick of incense for him.

He’s no longer hungry and alone and constantly sad. There’s so much life around him now, noise and smiles and gentle touches. Araya is happy being a part of this family, and he thinks his first Father would be happy for him, too.)

~

A/N: *SCREAMING* Okay, so, I swear to god I was going to post all three of their parts together in one singular Dreaming of S(haring the World) but it is getting TOO LONG, so here’s Araya’s part so I can post something before midnight. I will definitely be posting at least one part tomorrow if not both Yodo’s and Shinki’s.

The feels weren’t as expansive as I thought it would be since apparently ~plotty things~ like how the NGSS got adopted in the first place wanted to be written instead. Even though feels would have been easier… :/

Wait. In your Sakako spinoff, Sakura still had Sarada. Via being a surrogate? I would imagine so, given how you stated that Sasuke was strictly mono. If that’s the case…what’s stopping Shikako from being a surrogate for Gaara? She knows that he makes a decent father (though he’s probably never dealt with infants), and Sasuke can’t have a problem with it if he has made use of surrogates himself… Perhaps she doesn’t want to give the meddling old men what they want?

I am. I’m what’s stopping them. >:)

But in all seriousness, anon, if I’m going to be frank, it took me a while to understand your ask in a way that didn’t make me cringe or side-eye it. I know there was no offense meant and that you’re sincerely curious about why Shikako and Gaara don’t have biological children in my weird DoS next gen spinoff, but something about the word choice or maybe just the subconscious assumption beneath the ask itself just kind of… I’ll do my best to answer you, but please keep in mind that my first reaction to this ask wasn’t exactly positive and I had to step away for a while before I could answer.

Okay so let’s go:

Yes, in the Walking Around ‘verse aka the Sakako Uchiha ‘verse, genetically-canon!Sarada does still exist. Sakura wanted a child, but is romantically involved with Ino (who is also romantically involved with Sai). While Sakura could have asked Sai to be sperm donor for her child, Konoha is already trying to establish an Uchiha repopulation program and Sakura, being part of the Medic Corps (and possibly in charge of the program?) would no doubt know of it. So the efficient thing was for Sakura to be a surrogate so she could both have a child and contribute to the Uchiha repopulation. Or perhaps “surrogate” is the wrong word choice since Sarada is HER child that just happens to be half Sasuke’s genes and a member of the fledgling Uchiha clan 2.0

Sakako might or might not be an artificially inseminated baby. My interpretation of Sasuke is demi-romantic bisexual, and Shikako as demi/bi-romantic demi/asexual. So the demi part for Shikako’s sexuality is a little up in the air. (And anyway, it’s not as if ace people can’t have or enjoy sex, they just don’t actively feel sexual desire). But the point is, Sakako’s existence isn’t as premeditated as Sarada’s is–Sakura PLANNED to have a child, and DECIDED to be part of the Uchiha repopulation program. SAKURA was the active party between her and Sasuke in Sarada’s origin.

In contrast, I’m not entirely sure if Sakako is “officially” part of the Uchiha repopulation program so much as she is someone who just happens to be born Uchiha. If that makes any sense. Whether Sakako is the result of a night of passion, or Shikako acknowledging that Sasuke wants biological children with her and agreeing to bear A child for him, it was mostly SASUKE who wanted Sakako to exist.

Keep in mind, if all five of Shikadai’s cousins exist like in Our Share of the World, then Team Seven (+friends) have already collectively raised Kareru to approximately Academy age. Maybe, parenting Kareru made Sasuke baby-crazed, and seeing as how it was Shikako and Naruto who helped him with this first child, he turned to them (who are his “one and done + exception” anyway) for another child. Hence Sakako’s existence, even if it’s not specifically the Uchiha repopulation program.

In summary, Sarada is Sakura’s child who just happens to be part of the Uchiha repopulation program, Sakako is Sasuke’s child with Shikako.

Now what’s stopping Shikako from being a surrogate for Gaara? Nothing. 

Nothing’s stopping them from having biological children through sexual intercourse, either (even if they were both asexual–again, asexual people can have and even enjoy sex–it’s just that they don’t feel the desire for sex)

It’s not that Shikako thinks Gaara would be a bad father or that she thinks any potential kid would inherit his bijuu-related madness; it’s not that she loves Sasuke more than she does Gaara, either. She already has children with Gaara. Three of them, in fact. They don’t need to be biologically related to her for her to be their Mother. (This is what Gaara, in the deepest recesses of his mind, fears. But it’s doubt brought along by his shaky self-esteem and knowledge that Sasuke low-key resents him, and thus not true at all).

This isn’t about Sasuke not being okay with it or about Sasuke being a hypocrite or about Sasuke not giving her permission or whatever. This isn’t about Sasuke at all. Shikako just doesn’t want another child–she already has five children. (FIVE CHILDREN IS A LOT, OKAY. That’s more than a standard shinobi team. (Though I should say that her not wanting more children doesn’t mean that she wouldn’t totally step up and love and parent any additional kids that come along, but she doesn’t actively want to get more children. She’s content with the number she has.))

If I had to put motivations behind it… Gaara just wants family–he doesn’t want more clan, doesn’t want to pass on his blood limit–actually, Gaara just wants love? And, obviously, family helps with that. But biological children aren’t more valid as family, they aren’t somehow intrinsically more lovable than adopted children.

In contrast, Sasuke “wants to revive his clan.” That’s specifically the Uchiha clan with the Sharingan bloodline. If he just wanted (sorry to be crass here) bodies in houses, he’d just go to an orphanage and adopt all the children and make them Uchiha. But the premise of the particular spinoff world that Walking Around ‘verse is in has an Uchiha repopulation program specifically for the Sharingan.

Different motivations, so different goals, so different solutions, so different family structures.

I think Shikako doesn’t want biological children. Or rather, she doesn’t have a preference for biological children over adopted children. A close enough version of her genes are going to be passed down to the next generation anyway via Shikamaru’s child(ren) and a slightly distant but still related version of her genes comprise an entire clan. Her bloodline is fine–there’s no endangered blood limit attached to it, and so there’s no necessity for her to have biological children. To be somewhat crass again, she’s not a baby-making machine (and she’s especially not going to be one for the Suna Council.)

Let’s see… as a more concrete example: you might have noticed in Walking Around (Sharing the World) that bit about the empty room. The one that both Sasuke and Shikako were keeping silent on the matter. The way I see it, that room can be filled in different ways. If Sasuke found an Uchiha baby in a sealing scroll and decided to adopt it Shikako would agree to be this baby’s Mum.

Or, if someone volunteered to be a surrogate for the Uchiha repopulation program but didn’t actually want to raise the baby (maybe they’re a kunoichi who had been injured and would need to take a year off and decided, hey, why not get paid to be pregnant since she’s not going to be able to do missions anyway), Shikako would agree to be this baby’s Mum. Or, hell, if Sasuke decided to adopt any kid and raise that kid as Sakako’s sibling–Uchiha genes or not–Shikako would totally be okay with being that kid’s Mum, too. But if Sasuke asked for another biological kid from Shikako? … I don’t think she’d say yes.

I mean, there’s in vitro… like if Shikako donated some eggs and Sasuke donated sperm and then the zygote was implanted into some other woman. But at that point… it’d be better for the Uchiha repopulation program and Sasuke’s dream to revive the Uchiha clan if that other woman just… became one of the mothers in the program. Especially so that, if a generation or two down the line, the plan is to have the descendants reproduce with each other. Far enough that their relation to Sasuke isn’t too recent and possibly resulting in genetic problems due to inbreeding, but not so diluted that the Sharingan is lost. If there are two Shikasuke kids then their descendants are invalid to reproduce with each other without additional generations separating them.

But that’s getting away from the heart of the matter which is… I hope I answered your questions?

If you’d like to write about biological Shikaara kids, don’t let me stop you. The reason why I didn’t was because I found the NGSS while researching and it just felt right to me that the NGSS are adopted–in canon or DoS future–and in a Shikaara world, Shikako is an active enough parent that they do acknowledge her as Mother (I dunno if anyone noticed, but I figure it’s a regional dialect thing that people in Suna use Mother/Father and people in Konoha use Mum and Dad).

Our interpretations of the characters are different, so our predictions for their future will probably be different. I mean, I can even interpret the characters differently leading to different predictions–I can see a possible future where Shikako and Kiba end up together and have no children but are wildly and hilariously happy together. I can see a possible future where Shikako and Neji end up together and take on the fucked up system of the Hyuuga Main vs Branch families with fuinjutsu and REVOLUTION. I can see a possible future where Shikako doesn’t end up with anyone and is happy with her life and revels in her freedom.

Biological Shikaara children can definitely exist in some possible future; but in the particular future that I’ve somehow developed in the Walking Around/Sakako ‘verse there aren’t any.

Our Share of the World, Sakako and Kareru Picture (2016-09-11)

A/N: This is just my vague idea of what Sakako and Kareru look like–it’s up to interpretation, of course, and the doll maker’s a bit limited in clothing choices–because @hereyougo-moretrash‘s fanart was fantastic and also I might as well post my procrastination in case someone else might enjoy it? Pic under the cut.

Sakako Uchiha and Kareru Uzumaki (wearing purple because Ino-nee is very persuasive)

who do you think will be on sakako’s genin team?

If you look closely at Sakako’s section in Our Share of the World and in the later part of Walking Around (Like Regular People) I mentioned that Sakako’s genin teammates were likely to be Boruto and Mitsuki since, like Shikako did with Sakura, Sakako would take Sarada’s place. (And the Academy teachers probably figure that since Boruto is Naruto’s son and Sakako is Shikako and Sasuke’s daughter, they’d minimize the next gen Lucky Seven effect and keep it as much to one team as possible. :P)

Unless that was a typo and you meant the Walking Around version of Sarada? In which case… I kind of briefly touched on it in this post, but now that I think more strongly on it… I’d think she’d end up on Team Chiyako (aka Shino’s little sister as their jounin sensei) wiiiiiith Sarada Haruno, as of yet unknown Inuzuka of this generation (whether Hana’s kid or Kiba’s kid or just some other Inuzuka), and a genjutsu user. Possibly of Yakumo’s clan or even Yakumo’s adopted child (I don’t think she’d want to have biological children and risk her condition being passed down). 

Or, if Chiyako has already ascended as Aburame matriarch and isn’t available to be a jounin sensei, then it’d be Team Ranmaru with Sarada, next gen Inuzuka, and next gen Aburame (Shino’s kid or some other Aburame).

Either way, they would be more a support type team (like my *fingers crossed* prediction for Team Anko composed of Sakura, Yakumo, and Isaribi) or a search and rescue type team (like I headcanon for Team Hana aka my prediction for what will happen to Hanabi, Chiyako, and Ranmaru that I made long long ago in Don’t Hold Back) instead of the POWERHOUSES of Team Sevens past.

(Ah, now I don’t know if I should tag Sarada posts as Sarada Haruno to differentiate her from canon Sarada. I mean, she’s still genetically canon Sarada. But her backstory is waaaaaay different and she’d actually go by Sarada Haruno instead of Sarada Uchiha.

Eh, what the hell, I’ll tag posts of her with both)

This whole Sakako thing is giving me a mini emotional breakdown for the children LMAO. I love the whole vibe between Sakako and Shinki honestly. Since we seem to be getting a lot of Sasuke’s pov, how does Gaara feel about the whole thing? PS: idk if you’d feel up for answering this, but if you are, how do you think mono/poly relationships would work out? I mostly ask bc I’m a mono and I don’t think I’d fare too well in such a relationship, but I’m somewhat interested in the topic c:

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~NEXT GEN FEEEEELS~

I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t that fond of them before because, well, basically Kishimoto somehow ruined his original characters and his new characters simultaneously in the span of one chapter? (I’m looking at you 700) But being able to reimagine next gen through the DoS lens has made me appreciate all of the characters more.

Like, now I want to figure out how the Konoha Twelve become adults and decide (or not) to become parents (or not). And, you know, sometimes they’ll mess up–they’re not going to be perfect at things–but I feel like, just like how the generation before them (or, at least Shikaku) said fuck traditions, I’m going to do what makes me happy and marry the woman I love, that their generation is going to do the same. Or at least try.

Let’s see… for Gaara’s feelings about the situation… He’s definitely less jealous than Sasuke but more… afraid almost? It has to do with his self worth and, you know, his continuous surprise that people love him.

The way I see it, he accepts the smallest bits of affection from people and doesn’t expect more and he’s devoted to them in return (ie his love for Suna even though most people are still scared of him probably). And seeing as how Shikako is the first person who believed in Gaara, she gets to experience that first hand. Not Naruto, not his siblings, Shikako. And in DoS we see that he’s constantly surprised by how much faith she has in him (oh god my Shikaara feels).

So he’s not exactly expecting her to leave him for Sasuke for good, but he thinks he wouldn’t be surprised. (He would be and also hurt, but since that’s not going to happen it’s a moot point). That uncertainty and nervousness that the NGSS have with Sakako, Gaara has in a different way with Sasuke. And it’s not like he holds it against their kids for not being biologically related to Shikako, but a part of him reluctantly keeps in mind that Sakako is biologically hers.

Okay, so, regarding mono/poly relationships:

It’s okay to ask your question–it wasn’t ignorant or rude or anything, and considering what I’ve been writing in my fic and A/N it’s totally relevant and not weird (I only took so long because I went to an event for five hours and I wanted my full attention when I answered this). So I would like to answer your question but I also am not exactly qualified, seeing as how I don’t have much experience with relationships personally and more besides I’m either demi/aro and ace.

That being said, I have witnessed a lot of different kinds of relationships and also somehow spent an entire year acting as some kind of romantic guru for a group of six women and their various respective partners and, trust me, there were a lot of situations coming up so… I’ll tell you what I know/think but I also warn you to take it with a grain of salt: I am no expert in this.

Different people obviously have different preferences and limits. And even then, those are general and occasionally there will be exceptions to rules. If we use Naruto characters then I’d say something like:

Sasuke is monogamous. Not even a serial monogamist (which is someone who only dates one person at a time, but has dated multiple people in succession) but–like I said in a previous post–a “one and done” monogamist. His “one and done” in DoS is Shikako, and his exception is Naruto. (Probably in canon, his “one and done” is Naruto and his exception is Sakura).

Which isn’t to say that he never feels attraction to people who aren’t Shikako (or Naruto) but it doesn’t really settle. It’s like noticing something on the side of the path, and you maybe stop and look at it, but you never actually go off the path or down a different path. Like, if Shikako (and Naruto) didn’t want to be with him romantically, he probably wouldn’t be with anyone romantically at all. That’s it–one and done (+ one exception).

… I don’t know why I chose that path metaphor, it doesn’t extend very well. Um… Keep in mind that mono vs poly doesn’t correlate with romantic or sexual orientation. So Sasuke is probably demiromantic bisexual, but since we’re talking about mono/poly that doesn’t really matter to this particular discussion. Also everything I say about characters’ orientations and preferences is REALLY just my interpretation and not in anyway canon for DoS (or… actual canon, but that’s just duh)

Shikako, in contrast, is poly. It’s not like Sasuke is her one and Gaara is her exception, it’s if she finds someone she likes, she’ll let them know. If they like her back, and they understand her limits then that’s it. If I didn’t headcanon Kiba as aro pansexual (and her as demi/bi-ro and demi/ace) she’d probably also be in a relationship with him–as it is their orientations don’t really match up so they’re just platonic bros.

Shikako’s dislike of marriage/being tied down is separate from her being poly. Take the Sai-Ino-Sakura trio. They are poly and about as close to three-way married as legislation will allow them. Ino is poly, Sai I’m not too sure about, and if Sakura is mono then she’s a different kind of mono than Sasuke. She’s more a prioritizing kind of mono (not an actual term as far as I know) in the sense that she kind of ranks who she likes and since Ino ranks above Sai that makes Ino her one. She’s probably at least romantically attracted if not sexually attracted to Sai as well, but not as much as she is with Ino.

And I’m not saying Sakura prefers Ino over Sai, or sides with Ino over Sai, or would drop Sai if Ino said so. But it’s like… for her, she and Ino are dating and Sai is their very close friend who happens to also be dating Ino. It’s totally fine with her, and maybe she’s even a little relieved (not just because Sai takes up more than his share of child rearing) but because she likes knowing that Ino is happy and loved and also appreciates someone else making her happy and loved. As a friend, she wants Sai to be happy and loved as well, but she feels no personal motivation/desire to BE the person who makes him happy and loved.

(I hope I’m getting across here, anon, it’s hard to articulate and I keep waving my arms in crazy gestures as if that will help at all)

If Ino didn’t want to be with Sakura, Sakura would probably move on to someone else, fall in love and be monogamous with them–she’s a serial monogamist, if you want an example of one here.

Gaara I am also not that sure about, mostly because I feel like even he doesn’t know? But if he is mono it’s definitely less like Sasuke’s one and done (+ one exception) and more like Sakura’s serial monogamist. But he might be poly–he definitely wouldn’t say no to having a concurrent relationship with Naruto (but again, that’s probably a bad example since Naruto seems to be a lot of people’s exceptions) while he’s with Shikako, but there’s really not that many people who I can imagine him with romantically so the designation is a little difficult.

Well, okay, I have written Dreaming of S(elfishness) and I feel like that has my subconscious headcanons there so I just need to unpack it? Hm… Gaara is mono or thinks he has to be mono or didn’t even know poly was an option, so when the engagement happened he didn’t even think to discuss the possibility with Shikako which is why she was upset. Because as far as she understood his actions, he got engaged and didn’t want to talk to her which she interpreted as him being mono and choosing Hokuto over her AND NOT TELLING HER ABOUT IT IN PERSON.

The problem with situation in the Walking Around series isn’t so much that Sasuke is mono and Shikako is poly, it’s that Sasuke is a  possessive bastard and expects everyone to be the same. If it were two Gaaras, they’d be more than okay with Shikako being with both of them some of the time. Okay, that sounds weird. If it were… If it were Toki and Gaara, (assuming Toki is mono which) they wouldn’t have the same festering expectations/feelings of abandonment that Sasuke has.

Okay, that’s not being fair. Another part of the problem is that Shikako’s chosen partners are in different country and she literally cannot be with both of them at the same time. So Sasuke also resents that his and Sakako’s time with Shikako is reduced so greatly. As I said before (in this previous post) if it were Kiba, Sasuke wouldn’t mind nearly so much. He’d probably even be willing to figure out a living situation that includes Kiba and the nonexistent Shikaba(?) children–massive house, two houses next to each other, etc etc.

Mono/poly relationships are situational like most other relationships. In the Sai-Ino-Sakura trio, it totally works because they’ve probably got very clear channels of communication and even if Sai and Sakura aren’t romantically together, they are friends and make it work. I have seen such a relationship work in the real world–the Ino and Sakura equivalents are getting married next year and the Sai equivalent is going to be maid of honor.

The Sasuke-Shikako-Gaara trio doesn’t work because it’s not really a proper trio. Sasuke and Gaara? Do not like each other at all. They are not friends. Shikako was probably explicit about not being married to Sasuke, about being poly, but Sasuke probably didn’t fully understand what he was agreeing to but isn’t willing to break up with Shikako because she’s his one. I’ve seen something almost like this and it… well… I kind of saw it failing from the beginning because of similar problems, but they wanted to try anyway. The Sasuke and Shikako equivalents were able to break up amiably–but the Sasuke equivalent wasn’t the one and done kind of mono like her fictional counterpart so she fared better than Sasuke would.

It does depend on your limits and preferences. More people in a relationship does mean more limits and preferences and emotions to juggle–it’s difficult to manage, it’s true, but for some people it’s worth it. If you don’t think you can handle a poly arrangement, then that’s nothing against you, that’s just outside of your limits. You and your partner have to be aware of that. If your partner is poly and you’re mono you both have to respect your differences: whether that means your partner stays monogamous even though they would prefer a poly relationship, or you accept their other partner–maybe you’ll become friends–or, maybe, you might just have to break up. Relationships are as much about function as they are about emotion. If you love each other but you’re not compatible, it’s better for both of you to not be together in that way.

And, you know, maybe you’ll be more like the Sakura kind of mono–in that you personally are mono but you are okay (or even more than okay) with your partner being poly and having another partner. Monogamy can also be emotionally taxing, if you are each others’ be all end all. If you are romantic partner and sexual partner and roommate and best friend and therapist and war advisor and financial partner all together and it’s a lot of pressure to be all of that for one person. Some people can do it. Some people can’t.

I personally would probably be more of the Sakura kind of mono because I’m always so relieved when the people I love have other people who love them too. And that’s even if I were mono–I don’t even know what I am, so it’s not weird to not know and be interested and wondering, still.

Love is hard and weird and relationships are complicated whether there’s two people or three people or more than that. So long as everyone’s clear on what they want and what their limits are and when they’re not happy. Because it’s okay to enter a relationship not really knowing your boundaries and realize while you’re in the relationship that, hey, you’re not keen on this. You and your partner(s) will have to work out a way to fix this problem. Sometimes the solution may mean breaking up, but at least you still have the memories of when you were happy and learn more about yourself.

I think that’s it. Wow that’s long. I hope I answered your questions, even if you said I didn’t have to. I did want to, really, it was just intense and I needed some time to wrangle the words.

(Speaking of, thanks! I’m glad you like my writing – and even maybe some of my brainstorms/recordings if you mean all of the content on here? 😀 )

Oooh!! Your Sakako ficlets gave me so many feels! Their family’s relationship just seems so real, and then Shinki! Poor guy. I can imagine him and Sakako becoming really close (same with Sakako and Kareru, their relationship would be too cute) if Sakako gets her Mangekyou, I’d imagine that it would be something happening to Shinki that would set it off

Gotta spread the feels, you know? 😀

I’m glad that you think it’s realistic–I didn’t want their situation to be perfect but I didn’t want it to be awful, so I was trying to keep to believability. Sakako is observant but she’s still a child and she doesn’t know everything–especially doesn’t pick up on certain nuances since this is the family she’s grown up with so she thinks this is normal–but I hope I was able to give enough clues that the readers can get a sense of the picture for themselves.

I don’t know why, but Shinki is my favorite of the NGSS to torment with feelings. Like, Yodo definitely suffers from occasional insecurities and self-doubt, but usually they pass. Araya–well, when I write Dreaming of S(haring the World) I’ll get into his dealio–but Shinki! He’s just going to have all these deeply running feelings. So many feelings.

Sakako is probably closest to Yodo–because they understand each other since they are both brilliant but isolated young girls–but I do think she and Shinki end up close as well. Definitely closer than Shinki and Shikadai end up, and possibly more than Shinki does with Yodo. Given the whole… passed over for Kazekage thing. (What if Araya is the one that ends up Kazekage? Wouldn’t that be great?)

I’m sorry about forgetting Kareru in Walking Around (Sharing the World) it wasn’t part of anon’s prompt so he just kinda slipped my mind. If I’m doing the math right, though–then again, Kishimoto is really bad at ages and timelines–the Konoha Twelve should be about mid/early thirties during the events of the Boruto movie so… Kareru is at least five years older than the next gen. He may also already be a chuunin, so he’s not around as much during the time when Walking Around (Sharing the World) happens. Which explains why Sakako feels alone more often than not.

But I do like to think that Sakako and Kareru are good for each other–even if I’m pretty sure Kareru is benignly haunted by a significant chunk of the Uzushio population. Uzumaki are good points of concentration for ghosts to haunt, I imagine.

I haven’t quite decided what sets off her Mangekyo, but I do think that of the NGSS it would be Shinki that is involved somehow.

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~FEEEEEEELS~

As I said above, I am planning on writing a Dreaming of S(haring the World) but it will be more about the Shikaara side of things and their POV of their parents and their roles in their family and the village etc etc–I’m not sure if I’ll touch on the matter of the Uchiha since, you know, I’m not really sure if this is the same universe or not. (From the responses I’ve been getting, though, it does look like people are totally on board for all of Shikadai’s cousins to exist in the same universe. So… ?)

And, well, I feel like Walking Around (Sharing the World) already has enough of the NGSS that readers can kind of get an idea of how the NGSS feel about Sakako and Sasuke? Like, they’re wary of Sasuke definitely, and a little nervous and uncertain around Sakako. Because even though it’s not the candidacy for Kazekage, this is still their Mother’s biological child and the father of said child–they don’t doubt Shikako loves them, but it’s this thing separating them still. It’s not like Shinki’s low-key resentment of Shikadai… it’s more an insecurity about where they stand, especially when they’re in Konoha and face to face with the Uchiha clan of two.

As for Sakako’s meeting with Gaara, I left that open ended for a reason. Namely, because I don’t know what I want to do with that exactly and also I figure it’ll happen during one of those international crises when she’s already a genin and I don’t really want to write that. As it is though, they’ll probably stumble into each other, fight side by side, get saved by Shikako and Shinki and then have a very reticent but amicable talk.

They both find the night sky soothing; there are so many more stars to see in the desert.

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Sakako is growing on me, too. I’m surprised by how much people like reading about her, actually, I did not expect this much excitement about her.

Yup, Sasuke is jealous of Gaara. Well, it’s a little… the way I understand their characters, Naruto is very free about loving people even if they don’t like him back. Shikako is a little more logical about it in a very basic sense that having more people that like each other is better than less people. Sasuke is very possessive about the people he likes. He only likes a few people and those he doesn’t like he’s just–get away don’t touch them *hiss*

In DoS the number of people he tolerates is much higher than in canon, but it’s still pretty small in comparison. Gaara is definitely not one of them in either iteration so… you know.

If it were Naruto that Shikako had another family with (not including Kareru who is the communal child of Team Seven/Konoha Twelve) Sasuke would be a lot less jealous even though he is staunchly monogamous. Er, maybe that’s a bad example since Naruto basically is his exception to the rule.

If it were Kiba, maybe? Yeah, as an example only, if it were Kiba–who Sasuke at the very least trusts in battle (which he never will with Gaara) and has friendly banter with–that Shikako had another family with, Sasuke wouldn’t mind nearly as much. It also doesn’t help that Gaara is Kage of a different village and Shikako splits her time between the two villages as well as her travels.  

That being said, his POV is difficult for me in normal fic, I don’t think I’m going to tackle a bitter and jealous Sasuke and especially not with him and Gaara interacting. Mostly because I think they take great pains never to do so? (I speak out loud when I type and my voice just went to high pitched and anxious I literally went outside of my range. And if you’ve ever heard me voice, you know that’s really fucking high)

Um, but I’m glad you like Walking Around (Sharing the World) it was… difficult but satisfying to write 🙂

Dreaming One Shots — now on ao3!

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

Walking Around (Sharing the World), a Sakako Uchiha spinoff ficlet (2016-09-09)

Once, when she was younger, Sakako had asked Dad,

“Are you lonely?”

He had frozen in his seat, chopsticks halfway to his mouth, eyes gone wide with surprise.

Sakako knows her family isn’t like other people’s families. And not even in the way that clans are different from non-clans; or how Ino-oba, Sakura-oba, and Sai-oji are different from families with one mum and one dad.

People–even those close to her parents, even Baa-chan and Jii-chan and Shikamaru-oji–used to look at her and Dad with indignation on their behalf. Then with pity. Then just muted, ongoing confusion.

Dad put his chopsticks down, breathed, then turned his hand over so she could place hers in his.

“Why would I be lonely,” he had responded, fingers gentle around her own, “when we have each other?”

It’s not until later that she’ll realize that he didn’t answer her question.

She doesn’t ask again.

Sarada both is and isn’t her sister–shared genetics, but not shared homes or heritage or lives. She’s not quite a stranger–their parents are friends, after all–but despite blood, they’re not quite family either.

Yodo both is and isn’t her sister in a different way.

Sakako has never been to Sand–for somewhat obvious reasons, Dad’s jaw clenching at even the thought of it though he never says anything against it out loud–but Mum is still a shinobi of Konoha and besides, Temari-oba is Yodo’s aunt as well. Again, in a different way.

Whenever her siblings-but-not visit from Sand, they stay at the Nara compound.

Some nights, Mum does, too.

Sakako joins them, when Dad works night shifts, and it’s like having a sleepover. It’s nice.

“Your hair is so long and soft,” Yodo says, as she brushes the damp and wavy strands. Sakako leans into the touch.

They’ve pulled their futons together into a makeshift large one, their blankets mussed and overlapping. Mum’s futon is a few meters away, made up and untouched–she’ll join them later, after debriefing at the Tower.

“It’s hard to have long hair in Suna,” Yodo continues, exchanging the hairbrush for fingers, beginning to re-braid Sakako’s hair, “The wind and sand and all, but Mother taught me how to do this on her hair and I don’t think I’m too bad.”

Yodo is one year younger than Sakako and already one of Sand’s experts in engineering. Braiding hair is easily within her capabilities, but she sounds uncharacteristically shy, unsure.

When her hands pull away, Sakako checks her work: a single braid is more Mum’s style than Sakako’s, and it’s slightly loose and lumpy in places, but… it’s nice.

“My turn now,” Sakako says, wielding the hairbrush and a smile. Yodo gives a hesitant and somewhat bewildered smile back.

Mum returns to find both of them singing and dancing along to Yodo’s music player, short blonde braids and long dark braid bouncing in time to the music.

Once, when they didn’t know she was listening, Sakako overheard her parents fighting.

Fighting as in arguing, not fighting as in sparring. They let her watch their spars, so long as she’s finished all of her schoolwork and she stays behind the barrier seal. Arguing is a different story.

“I told you–years ago–that I’m not going to promise anything I can’t keep.”

“The situation has changed since then, Shikako, things are different now!”

“Things are always different, Sasuke! It’s only because you’re expecting something that I never agreed to.”

“You’re always away and she misses you, our daughter misses you–”

“Don’t put words in her mouth!” Mum shouts, a flare of chakra like the heat of a Grand Fireball, like the roar of an exploding tag. Sharp and bright and crackling like a sword.

The argument stops then, silence settling like ashes.

Her parents are too skilled as shinobi to make sounds when they move, but she knows they must have stepped closer to each other because their voices are quieter now. Intimate.

“I miss you,” Dad says, low and apologetic, confessing.

“I do love you,” Mum responds, steady and emphatic.

Sakako will wonder about the extra word for weeks.

Sakako doesn’t need to see Araya’s face to know what he looks like. Which is good, since she’s never seen behind his mask.

“He looks like me,” the ghost hovering behind Araya’s shoulder says, intangible hand resting fondly on his head, “Though he has Tomoka’s eyes.”

This must be his biological father, then.

The porcelain mask tilts, an obvious expression of confusion.

“Yes,” Sakako answers belatedly, “I’ve been learning kenjutsu from Dad. Sorry,” she says, pulling her eyes away from the ghost, “I must still be tired.” It’s earlier in the day than she’s usually awake, especially after a night of stargazing, but her siblings-but-not from Sand tend to rise with the sun.

Araya tilts his head in the opposite direction, this time emanating incurious skepticism. He shrugs, straightens out, asks, “Do you want to spar? Kenjutsu only,” he adds.

She hesitates, looks around. The clearing in the Nara clan compound isn’t technically a training ground–it’s okay to practice shadow jutsu in, but not much else. Unfortunately, the actual training grounds in the village can only be reserved by ranked shinobi, and both of them are Academy students still–Araya a foreign Academy student at that.

Sakako considers her options, before channeling chakra to her wrist. Kisuke-san appears after a moment and Araya startles back, sword at the ready.

“It’s okay,” she says, hands out in a pacifying gesture, readying herself to reveal one of her secrets. She took one from him, even if he doesn’t know it–it’s only fair that she give one in return.

“This is Kisuke-san,” she introduces, and her mentor bows shallowly. After a beat, Araya does the same, albeit with far more caution. “He’s a shinobi of Konoha… and a ghost.”

Araya takes to the revelation much better once she explains that Kisuke-san can reserve a proper training ground for them and supervise their spar. Afterwards, they are both equally eager for his observations and advice, the other ghost watching serenely from the side–no longer hovering, but definitely not forgotten.

A few days later when Araya and Mum leave, Sakako sees them off at the gates, even though it means she’ll have to run to get to the Academy before classes start.

Sakako gets a hug from Mum, breathes in her scent as she holds on tightly.

She pulls away, looks at Araya. “Until next time?” she asks him, offering her hand, the same one with her summoning bracelet looped around.

His grip around hers is firm. “Until next time,” he agrees.

Before they depart, Araya lifts a hand to his mask’s mouth–a promise to keep her secret. She grins back.

Once, when Dad had a break from work and Mum had returned from researching in Uzushio, the three of them went on a trip to Sora-ku.

Technically, it was a C-rank mission–transporting supplies for the Neko-baa–but while her classmates were jealous of her for going on a mission before graduation, she knows it’s really just the Hokage letting her family go on a vacation. They’ve been given more than enough time; they’re planning to visit Otafuku Gai on their way back.

For such a large city, there’s hardly any living beings. No ghosts, either, which is more unnerving to Sakako. She’s not afraid, because her parents are with her, but she can’t help the way she looks around, desperately trying to find a ghost, any ghost.

Ghosts, even without speaking to her, tell her much about a person or a place. Fallen enemies versus lost family members haunting a person; the old Uchiha compound has dozens of her kin, though they’ve begun to move onwards to the Pure Land in groups.

No ghosts, no knowledge–she’s going in blind.

Her parents notice her unease, glance at each other and nod. Dad takes point, Mum steps back, Sakako ends up in the middle of a standard protective formation.

Nothing actually happens–well, there was the whole thing with the black marketeers and Mum kind of demolishing a building and Dad ended up having to send a hawk to Konoha’s Police Force telling them to send a follow up team–but nothing they couldn’t handle easily and nothing to do with ghosts or the lack thereof.

Sora-ku is still unnerving for her, but she got a neat kusarigama out of it and she got to spend time with both of her parents, which makes it a trip she’ll remember fondly.

Until Araya and Yodo graduate from the Academy, Shinki is a genin without a team. Two years is a long time to wait, so until then, he’s to be Mum’s apprentice–an unusual arrangement given that they’re shinobi registered to different villages, but the few words of protest don’t actually have any power to prevent it.

Three days after Shinki and Mum arrive in Konoha–three days of Sakako splitting her time between the Nara compound and home–Dad goes to meet with Mum during work.

Sakako doesn’t know about this until she gets out of class for the day, coming home to find Dad and Mum and Shinki sitting around the table. It’s not a tense silence exactly, but she can tell that her arrival makes things easier, makes the air lighter.

“Dad,” she greets, his hand smoothing over her hair in return, “Mum,” she adds, leaning in for a brief hug.

She smiles at Shinki, silent, never sure exactly how to address him–if she should call him big brother or not–especially not with Dad in earshot. Shinki gives a nod of acknowledgement, which is about as much as she’s ever received from him before.

“Sakako,” Mum asks, “Can you help Shinki with the guest room?”

She knows that it’s really just a way to get the both of them out of the room, but the obviousness takes out any malice.

“Sure,” she says, because right now Sakako is glad for the excuse, on her behalf and on Shinki’s whose spine is rigid and hands curled into fists, “It’s upstairs,” she beckons, and her brother-but-not stands to follow.

The empty room next to hers isn’t really a guest room–they don’t really get overnight guests, and the occasional times that Naruto-oji sleeps over, he ends up sprawled on the couch downstairs anyway–it’s just a room waiting to be used.

Sakako knows Dad is keeping it available for a maybe-one-day potential sibling, though as far as she knows he’s never said as much out loud. She thinks maybe Mum knows it, too, and has been purposefully keeping just as silent on the matter.

When they get there, Sakako begins pulling out the futon, and Shinki shakes out of his weird robot act to help her.

With his help, they’re done in a few minutes, and they sit in not entirely comfortable silence. Mostly because they’re both sitting seiza style which Sakako hardly ever does–generally only during kunoichi lessons–but something about Shinki inspires proper manners even with his dusty brown clothes and armor.

“How long are you in Konoha for?” she asks. Usually Baa-chan or Jii-chan will tell her since, usually, that’s where her siblings-but-not stay when they visit. This is a new development and she’s not quite sure how to act.

“Another week,” Shinki says, “Mo-… Shishou said that she needs to formalize my apprenticeship so that I can get credit for any missions we do even if its from Leaf.”

“You can call her Mother, you know. I don’t mind. She’s your Mum, too, isn’t she?”

Shinki’s eyes flick in the direction of the kitchen, then back up to her face quickly. Nervously.

“She’s your Mum, too,” Sakako repeats, no longer a question. Firm and sincere and willing him to understand.

He nods in agreement, which is as much as she’s ever received from him before, but this time she thinks she sees the tiniest hint of a smile.

One day, when she’s old enough and strong enough and she can be sure that Dad won’t see it as some kind of betrayal, Sakako wants to go to the Village Hidden in the Sand and meet the Kazekage.

~

A/N: THROWS FEELS AT YOU THEN RUNS AWAY. I HOPE YOU’RE CRYING, ANON, LOOK AT WHAT YOU MADE ME DO!

Hahahaha, no, so… I hope I didn’t make anyone into a villain here, that’s not what I was trying to do.

The way I figure it is that Sasuke is monogamous. Suuuper monogamous–like, one and done. Maaaaybe he’ll make an exception for Naruto, but basically Shikako is it for him.

In contrasat, Shikako is poly, obviously, but more than that she doesn’t like being tied down. Technically I don’t think Shikako is married to either Sasuke or Gaara and I don’t think she’s likely to ever marry anyone. She’s very pragmatic about these kinds of things–she’ll make a vow to serve Konoha and the Nara clan and protect her teammates etc. But she won’t make a vow to love someone forever because even if she does love someone for the rest of her life, she doesn’t want it to become something that’s an obligation, you know? Something that’ll turn bitter and grudging with constant exposure.

Sakako is more like Shikako in that way–in the sense that she’d rather have her Mum only around one week every month and concentrated time together, than four weeks every month and maybe seeing each other only at dinners if that. Basically: the opposite of canon Boruto and Naruto.

I also realize that I kinda didn’t mention Kareru at all here. And that some parts wouldn’t really make sense if he did exist so… I mean… maybe he is mostly raised by Yoshino and Shikaku? Or at the very least, that’s where he lives and then the age gap between him and Sakako explains the rest of the distance?

Uh… I might have to reorganize Dreaming One Shots if I write more next gen stuff… or make a separate next gen collection on ao3

Your writing for next gen sand sibs gave me so many feels; like the resentment they must all low-key feel for Shikadai, cause no matter how good they are, no matter that he’s from a foreign nation, no matter that they call the Kazekage father there will always be people who insist that Shikadai is the rightful heir by blood. On that note, I could see a lot of pressure for the Kazekage after one of the next gen sand sibs to marry a child of Shikadai, to restore the proper line in Suna.

Next Gen Sand Siblings (NGSS from now on) are so much more compelling if you interpret them as adopted; either canon or DoS. There’s just something fascinating about the idea that the position of Kazekage is restricted to a clan and yet the oldest child of the previous Kazekage has married into a clan of a different village entirely. It’s all the fun of aristocratic inheritance/successions but with ninja!

As I touched on in Our Share of the World, it’s probably Shinki that has the most resentment for Shikadai and even his is kind of tempered by the knowledge that his biggest competition is his younger sister. Yodo, I think, probably just doesn’t like Shikadai as a person–his possible claim on the position of Kazekage has nothing to do with it. Araya and Shikadai are friendliest by default.

I feel like, considering the Council favors Yodo over Shinki (even though, as I mentioned, he’s the one with the blood limit) that they’re not too focused on the matter of blood lines at this point. Especially since Shikadai has been raised as a Leaf shinobi. Though probably, earlier on when he was just born or even a little before then, there were negotiations to decide on that exactly.

They probably conceded to Shikadai being raised Nara because they figured that either Gaara or Kankurou would have biological children eventually (hahahahahaha, nope) and then by the time they began worrying, Gaara began adopting the NGSS and then a whole other round of debates were instigated on whether or not they were valid candidates and, if so, which would be the better one.

I can see them possibly considering an arranged marriage another generation down the line or some kind of Kazekage clan repopulation thing like what’s going on with the Uchiha repopulation in Walking Around (Like Regular People). But I also feel like, given the trend towards more liberal stances of marriages and families and that Temari has already no doubt flouted the Council’s authority and married Shikamaru despite their likely protests, an arranged marriage won’t hold up unless the NGSS that becomes Kazekage is just like, yeah okay why not.

(You may want to check out this post thread speculating how various Kages may be chosen in the Elemental Nations, which started with me wondering about Shikadai’s possible claim to the Kazekage position. This was before I discovered the NGSS existed, of course, but still relevant.)

Those Sakako snippets were up so fast! Thank you!

You’re welcome, anon!

With all the discussion going on about her, she was on my mind, so I thought it would be best to articulate all of my feels in a ficlet before I forgot what I wanted to establish for Sakako’s universe.

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I’m glad you enjoyed it, anon.

I do have a lot of other details about Sakako’s life that I didn’t get to, but not substantive enough to continue Walking Around (Like Regular People) quite yet. Mostly because I’d have to write about her team and I’m really really not impressed by Boruto. At all. Like… urgh, why did I write myself into that corner?

I mean, I’d probably alter everyone’s backstory a bit–or at least Konoha Twelve’s parenting skills because my god–and make it so that the motivations of next gen is less parent-based? Like, okay, Kishimoto I understand that you want to show continuity and how the next generation is built on the one before, but there’s a point where it’s just… illogical? Like, yes, people are shaped by their experience and their parents are a large part of that, but this generation is obsessed with it.

And yes, I acknowledge that good people don’t necessarily make good parents. Naruto probably wouldn’t be a good dad, especially if he’s also juggling the position of Nanadaime and likely depression, and Sasuke wandering around in semi-exile would understandably give a child abandonment issues–but it doesn’t make sense how much they take it out on their parents. Then again, I’m prone to sliding into apathy when I get disappointed/upset by people so maybe that’s just me.

But I digress. Sakako is arguably better off than canon Sarada because even though Shikako is off wandering around the continent similar to canon Sasuke, she makes frequent returns home. Definitely more often than once every couple of years (wth Sasuke)–and she’s pretty keen about spending time with Sakako when she is around. Also, Sakako has a lot of company in the form of ghosts… which maynot necessarily be a good thing mentally but probably emotionally. I dunno, it’s hard to make the call.

Sakako, in Our Share of the World, is mentioned having dark hair and braids, multiple, but that can be interpreted however you want.