(one: arranged marriage)
Shikaku’s daughter is a quiet creature. Content, but silent; solitary. She would rather read books or watch the grazing deer or follow in his and Yoshino’s footsteps than go outside and play with the other children.
It’s nothing to be worried about: Shikamaru is much the same, switching shogi for books and deer for clouds, though he, at least, has Chouji. Shikaku had been self-contained as a child, too, it is the way of most Nara children, he thinks, though he remembers, hazily, how Ikoma had been a little more active.
Eventually Shikako will come out of her shell–or perhaps she won’t, there is no rushing these things, pressure will only make the matter worse–Shikaku is prepared to be patient with his daughter.
Patience is not the problem.
“You want… what?” Shikaku asks, blindsided for the first time in three years–the last time had been when the ambassador from Cloud double crossed them and tried to kidnap the Hyuuga heiress–and by his own daughter no less.
His tiny, quiet daughter, who looks up at him, head tilted slightly, as if he’s the one acting oddly. “An engagement,” she says, with an odd twist to her mouth, as if the very word is bitter on her tongue, “to Sasuke Uchiha.”
He looks at Yoshino who also has an expression of bewilderment on her face.
“Shikako, sweetheart,” she says, stalling for time, trying to parse her thoughts, doing a better job than he is at the moment. “Just because you have a crush on this boy, it doesn’t mean you need to marry him. You can,” she pauses, glances at Shikaku, finding some sort of comfort from him, “Start small, honey, try being his friend first.”
It’s sound advice, truly; it probably would have ended the conversation if this were in fact a discussion about a girl with a crush on a boy.
It is not.
“I don’t have a crush on him,” Shikako says, entirely honest, no hint of embarrassed denial in her tone, “I don’t want this for me, I want this for…”
She drifts off. Neither he or Yoshino want to interrupt, and so they stay silent as she thinks. Searching for the right words.
“It’s the smart thing to do.”
[She is only a child, an untrained child, but what is the point of having this knowledge if not to save lives? She cannot stop this as a shinobi, not with her chakra hypersensitivity and her less than a year’s worth of training, not against S-class ninja who would sooner kill her than look at her.
But in this world she is not only a child. She is a Nara. The clan head’s only daughter, and that means something.
The Uchiha were isolated, seething and resentful, planning for a coup against a village that had already betrayed them. But what if she could change that? What if somehow, she could bring them back into the fold? The Uchiha were one of the founding clans of Konoha, and they just have to be reminded of this fact.
She is a Nara, and with her comes her clan. And where her clan goes, the Akimichi and the Yamanaka follow. And four clans is enough, has to be enough. Danzo cannot kill them all, not when the Akimichi are so deeply entrenched in the civilian sectors. Not when the Yamanaka pervade every branch of the shinobi forces. Not when her father is the Jounin Commander, as his father was before him, as, likely, his son will be after him.
She can do this. This isn’t something that requires chakra and jutsu and strength she doesn’t yet have and might never get. And, anyway, marriage is such a small thing to sacrifice to save so many lives and to prevent so much grief and hardship. It may not have to be a sacrifice at all. Sasuke, as she knows him from the past, was a product of his tragedy, twisted and angry and bitter but still with some moments of kindness and courage. Sasuke as she knows him now is just a little boy, but there is still kindness in him, and maybe some courage. More smiles, that’s for sure.
She will marry him and maybe they’ll become friends, maybe they’ll grow to love one another, maybe they’ll be happy together. But even if they don’t, even if they are cold to each other, civil colleagues forced to live together, then she’d still do it.
It’s the smart thing to do.]
A/N: Well… that was a quicker turn around time than I thought it would be. Also… I was supposed to go to sleep three hours ago but… oh well.
This is for you, anon, who wanted some Shikako/Sasuke. But that’s not all! As you can tell from the title I will be doing more installments of this in the future. Probably not as quickly–but it will definitely happen! Though, I’d definitely appreciate some Shikasuke-specific prompts to help with future installments
Title (or at least, the main title, not the subtitle) is from the song “The Only Dream” by Tyrone & Elina because it’s one of the few love songs in my favorites playlist and also it kind of works really well for the Shikasuke ship. Not this particular ficlet, but the general vibe I get of the ship from DoS.