Thank you for the prompt fill! ^_^ I’m not sure why, but I got the feeling of a time travel fic? I really can’t pin down why, tho :/ I absolutely loved the split between the frailty of her body and the strength of her mind.

You’re welcome! I filled it and then worried that it wasn’t anywhere close to what you wanted, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. 🙂

I suppose the time travelly vibe might come from the “current physical Tetsuki is frail, but past dream Tetsuki is as strong as ever,” so that back and forth between the two states mimics time travel in a way?

And just my constant love of weird time travel shenanigans leakig through.

(Also, please do send in a prompt for the ask box things you said event! I love receiving your prompts even if I’m never sure I’m filling them properly)

Oh haha, just like me to immediately be pessimistic about the loaded comment thing. :) good to know it’s all good, you’re awesome! Also, I keep rereading the prompt fill and the scene with shikako recounting her adventures to sakako as a “bedtime stories of mommy’s epics-filled but ocassionally (mostly) disastrous fun times” time is so sweet and kicks just the right place in my heart to make me so happy. And sakako just loving and enjoying it and melting in her mom’s presence (1/2)

(Bc it’s so ocassional that she comes back in that wanderlust!au or somethting — btw this is so sad that it hurts me) is just the right temperature to bake my heart into delicious goodness. I’m not sure what I just wrote really lol, but I love the time sakako and shikako spends together. Sooooo sweet 💕💕(2/2)

Thanks, anon! I’m glad you like it! (Sakako cherishing the rare moments of Shikako time is one of the best and saddest parts of the Walking Around series)

Haha no, it was never my intention for my ask to sound loaded, and I’m not sure I understand why it would. I know the barebones of the naruto series, and that crow summons appeared at least once in the anime with Itachi in the scene? Either way, I don’t mean to upset anyone. Just saw the recent post of a crow over at the main blog for DoS and it reminded me of sakako’s abilities since it was so creepy with all the haunting eyes staring at the viewer. But yea, love the prompt fill! Thank you!

Oh no, not loaded as in conflicting but loaded as in… loaded with feels. Because the fanon (or is it actually canon?) is that Shisui Uchiha–who is a Discord favorite–had the crow summons and Aoba also (somehow?) was a crow summoner. Along with Itachi, of course, which is canon-ish.

The only upsetting is the good upsetting, no worries, anon!

And I’m glad you like both the picture and the fill 🙂

Just wanted to say how much I loved seeing Sweeper’s second bit! I also loved the power-play Sister’s got going on, there. Can’t ask for help without reminding people you’re better than them, huh?

😀 Thanks! I think this might be that last part for now? It’s getting plotty…

~

For all that the outside of your sister’s stronghold is a mess–officially a foreclosed warehouse covered in grime and rust–the inside is well maintained and clean. One of the few things that you share. The hardwood floors practically gleam despite the dim hallway lights, not a cobweb in sight even on the obnoxious wall sconces or the pretentious drapes.

The fabric of your clothes may be old and worn in comparison to the luxuries of the place, but there is no denying they’re clean.

As you pass by, you nudge one of the trinkets on display; not enough to push it off the shelf, but just enough to offset it from its original spot. The metal still shines, no fingerprints, of course.

There is another guard standing outside an ornate door at the end of the hallway. You stop before it at the third door from the end, less ornate, but for all the meticulous tidying, the one with the most wears and marks. You knock.

The second guard stares at you, assessing, and does not look away. The first guard was more for appearances, in training perhaps, or your sister’s version of a receptionist. This second guard is tactical. Let her enemies think she is behind the guard, behind the nicest door, they walk right past her and within her second guard’s reach.

Alternatively, the second guard does have a better shot at anyone entering this third door from the end.

You do not knock again. You stare back at the second guard.

After what seems like a yawning eternity, the second guard nods, greets you, “Sweeper,” and walks over to open the door for you.

You nod back. You say, “Thank you, Deuteronomy.” You step through the doorway.

Your sister’s office is a disaster, desk overturned and files flung across the room. Shattered glass glitters on the floor, water and aquarium plants strewn alongside it, but that is not the worst of it. A body lies–blood pooling around it, gone dark and nearly matte with time–on your sister’s second favorite rug.

Your sister, sitting on the floor cross-legged puts out her cigarette on its face. Flings the butt carelessly into the pool, it sticks, tacky. There is no blood on her clothes, but there are still some spatters on her face, her neck, beneath her fingernails in crimson moons. Changed, then, but not showered.

It is quite the mess.

“Sweeper,” your sister says. She does not look pleased to see you, but this, of all things, you do not take personally.

None of your clients are pleased to see you.

You do another scan of the room, lingering on the bodies’ face. Not someone you recognize off the top of your head, but your sister has always been more of a people person, and no doubt she’ll tell you its identity soon enough. You eye the life size portrait of your grandmother, slightly askew from where it hangs on the wall.

“What is it you need swept?” you ask your sister, but you already suspect what it might be; you do not turn away from that askew portrait to face her. Your suspicions are confirmed when she, too, looks to the portrait.

Or, more accurately, to the vault door hidden behind the portrait.

~

16 days until the show!

Ooo~ Count me intrigued. Is Sweeper a name, a nickname, a title? I feel there’s an implication of extra-normal skills–my mind leaps immediately to the supernatural, but I could also see it being simply very high competencies. And it sounds like there’s an antagonism between “you” and the sister–is she your boss, or only that guy’s? I’m SO CURIOUS

Thanks! Uh…. actually this was meant to be more of a one-shot sort of thing, but since you expressed interest I suppose I could get into it a little more… I definitely did dream up the further world even though I only wrote this little snapshot so…

Enjoy!

~

You stand and feel the weight of yourself, your exhaustion, in your joints. Knees stiff and near to creaking, echoing up your nerves. Your calf itches. Slowly, so as not to move more than necessary, you lift your opposite foot to scratch at it. Quietly, you put your foot back down.

The man standing guard outside the door glances at you, then away, dismissive. Your weight resettles along the soles of your feet. You are so tired. Your sister is cruel.

Would it hurt anyone to give you a chair? It’s been almost two hours since you were ambushed on the train. What a hypocrite. You cannot keep her waiting, but your time, apparently, is worthless.

You tamp down the anger, will your heartbeat to slow, you do not have the luxury of anger here, not in your sister’s stronghold. The man standing guard, as if sensing your disloyalty to his boss, glances your way once more. This time his gaze lingers, his mouth twitches, but he stays silent and looks away again.

He wears a suit, well tailored, or so you think, you are not an expert in mens formalwear. So like your sister to multitask, make her employees protection and eye candy both.

You are not self-conscious about your own appearance, rumpled and casual it may be. You were on a train that smelled of piss, heading home after a day of cleaning more and other bodily fluids. If your sister wanted you gussied up just to wait two hours in her chair-less waiting room, she should have let you go home and shower.

Your knees start to buckle. You have no idea who you’re trying to impress. The guard? Your sister? Clearly you’ve already failed on the former, and the latter has never been impressed with you. You allow your knees to bend, let gravity pull you down further. You might as well sit even if there are no chairs.

You feel much better. From this new angle, seated cross-legged on the floor, you notice the scuff marks on the guard’s shoes. Your exhaustion pulses. You let your eyes droop. You could nap, maybe, just a quick one to shore yourself up before seeing your sister.

A beep sounds from the guard’s wrist. He glances at his watch, at you, at the door, before reaching for the handle. “Sweeper,” says the guard, “Boss will see you now.”

For a moment you are filled with hate before you tamp that down, too. As it recedes, you imagine saying something witty, something cutting, but you let it ebb further into apathy. This is your sister’s stronghold.

You get to your feet.

You know, if you look at it slant-wise, Shikamaru now has the soul of a god (in addition or in replacement of his normal soul)?

OOoooh! I hadn’t thought of it that way!

I don’t know if Shikako’s godhood goes along with her soul, though. Then again, I don’t quite know why it wouldn’t. I guess in my head existence is slightly different from soul, so the devil that is Shikabane is the god’s existence minus Shikako’s soul. And even though I’ve been conflating heart and soul, maybe they’re different?

Like… the heart is more a physical anchor/battery for the soul?

Shikamaru has Shikako’s original heart so that his soul could stay in the world of the living. Shikako tore out her heart and so her soul kind of split then left–some of it latched onto Shikamaru, but not all of it–and when she grew her new heart (out of her shadow powers) it wasn’t enough to entice her soul back?

I HAVE NO IDEA. I still don’t quite understand how Kingdom Hearts’ hearts vs bodies vs soul stuff works and that’s the closest equivalent I can think of

oh mmyyyyyyy gooooodddddddneeeesssss. that latest shikako snippet? whoa! just whoa!! i’m a mess????

😀 Yay! That’s what I was going for, anon.

it was an idea that snowballed–I went literal with the heart matter, then @donapoetrypassion added some spirituality to it (along with prompting the They Call It (Soulless) ficlet), so then I figured since we were escalating I might as well raise to divinity (or, rather, lower to devilry?)

It’s not really in theme with the ask box event, but I just re-read the Fear to Tread tag, and I wondered if Ibiki would scare Aoba in that because he was acting as the go-between between Kisuke and the real world, being in that department? But I’m not sure if ghost-ninja reports to anyone above the Hokage?

Oh, there’s no official theme of the ask box event, it’s just a pattern I noticed with ask box events–certain vibes happen and then compounds on itself, a little bit like ripples building up to a wave.

Fear to Tread is such a neat ‘verse isn’t it? We still get those delightfully angsty post Land of Hot Springs feels but we also still get to enjoy Aoba’s presence!

I’m not sure if I understand the question though… is the “he” acting as go-between for Kisuke and the real world meant to refer to Ibiki or Aoba?

I’m pretty sure Kisuke’s existence is an S-rank secret known only to Ibiki, Shizune, Tsunade, Sasuke, and Shikako? I don’t think they would have included another person even if it would mean less work for Ibiki.

Mostly I just mentioned Ibiki as being someone Aoba is afraid of because even if he is beyond death, he’ll probably always be scared of Ibiki a little bit. And part of it is hyperbole, a continuous exaggeration of Ibiki’s naturally intimidating presence, but some of it is legitimately respectful fear: Ibiki has been through shit and only come out stronger (and sadistic).

Yeah, I am a different anon. Thanks for the early bday wishes; I love all the detail you go into for the post! I am however also the Homeward Bounders / Gardens anon, which not to be too spoilery or anything but one line in one of your Counterclockwise works reminded me very much of said book. As for eaten asks it is a documented problem that if a user doesn’t use a space after an ellipsis that asks get eaten so I avoid that punctuation altogether.

image

Hello to both of you anons!

Mobius+birthday+homeward bounders!anon: thanks for the info! 🙂 I had no idea that ellipsis in asks make it more edible for tumblr! ~Learning new things every day~

I am both A) pleased that you’ve read my Counterclockwise works and B) a little concerned about what happens in Homeward Bounders–even more than what you’ve already mentioned–because I try very hard to make Counterclockwise kind of bleak and ominous so… oh dear.

Time-travel!anon: Hopefully mobius!anon’s tip about punctuation helps as well? I love hearing about–then brainstorming–about time travel shenanigans, so I’d hate to miss out on any cool asks on the topic.

So, I sent you an ask about how glad I was to see the time travel “would you ever” brainstorm, but with that last post, now I’m worrying you didn’t receive it? In summary: good, maybe Avatar the Last Airbender for the teacher/student dynamic, but otherwise, I can’t imagine a better fandom for either of the possible offshoots than what you’ve already got.

IS TUMBLR JUST EATING ALL OF MY ASKS?!?! I swear, anon, if I had gotten that ask I would have responded to it already. I just thought this particular ask box event was unappealing. T_T

I’m glad you liked the time travel “would you ever” brainstorm, anon! Though… I’m a little unsure what you’re referring to about the Avatar the Last Airbender for teacher/student dynamic?

Unless you mean the one in which the time traveller experiences their life out of order from everyone else but their loved ones are always there anyway so it’s okay?

I mean, that would work pretty interestingly with Zuko and Uncle Iroh? (OR MAYBE EVEN LU TEN AND UNCLE IROH?! Maybe Lu Ten never actually died–he just got thrown out of the normal flow of time?)

But yeah, ~time travel~ is always fun stuff 🙂

~

Check out the Ask Box Would You Ever!