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

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

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

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

LEE

Hitmonlee

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Eevee

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Aipom

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Spinda

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Mienshao

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Passimian

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NEJI

Hitmontop

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Gallade

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Medicham

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Xatu

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Claydol

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Oranguru

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TENTEN

Hitmonchan

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Lucario

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Skarmory

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Mawile

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Excadrill

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Aggron

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Thanks for the prompt, anon, this was fun!

Happy New Year, everyone! 😀

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

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

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

~

An Unbearable Weight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All part of big bad’s plan.

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

… yeah… I like this idea.

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

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

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

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

~

Ask Box Event Now Open!

Externality, part 5d (2017-07-12)

Every teacher at the Academy has an assistant.

Peacetime glut, Hikari-san says with a self-deprecating tone–after all, her store, too, can only exist because there is no war. If there were, it’d be absorbed into Intel, resources to be parceled out by the quartermaster general.

But the role of Academy teaching assistant has multiple purposes: training new teachers, off-field positions for chuunin on medical leave, increasing protections around Konoha’s vulnerable future soldiers, and on and on it goes.

Yanagi-sensei’s assistant is a chuunin on floating rotations who has taken the year off to train and boost his chances for promotion. Hinoura-sensei doesn’t really seem to care much for the job, but he’s not dismissive of Yanagi-sensei and the other Academy teachers the way she’s heard other field chuunin be, the way Hikari-san sometimes gets before she checks herself.

He doesn’t like Naruto Uzumaki, but nobody seems to like Naruto Uzumaki.

Before the exam started, Yanagi-sensei was the one distributing armbands and tokens.

The objective cards are in Hinoura-sensei’s handwriting.

Rock Lee’s card has a two prong objective:

The first is to collect the token matching his deep purple armband.

The second is to protect his copper token.

Tetsuki is pretty sure she knows what Naruto Uzumaki’s objective should have been.

Regardless of curiosity and conspiracies, they are still in an exam and Rock Lee does have the token she needs. Their objectives are mutually exclusive: there is no compromise to be made here.

“Thanks,” she says to Rock Lee, whose eyes are already beginning to close, “and sorry about this.”

It’s not hard to deepen the genjutsu–especially against someone who can’t fight back–make it spread, her chakra overwhelming his senses, until he falls asleep. He crumples to the ground.

After a paranoid moment to make sure he isn’t just faking it, she frisks him for the copper token.

Naruto Uzumaki drops down to join her, approaching with a mixed expression on his face. Confused and relieved that they aren’t adding Rock Lee to their alliance–or that she’s not replacing him with Rock Lee. “What was all that about?” he asks.

“Just… figuring something out,” she says, somehow exhausted. It has nothing to do with the genjutsu.

Externality, part 5c (2017-07-11)

Unlike taijutsu, Tetsuki is pretty fond of genjutsu.

She’s a somewhat malnourished, preteen girl: she’ll never be able to physically overcome anyone. She’s quick, but not so much as to be untouchable. And as her aches and pains lingering from yesterday can attest to, endurance is not the same as recovery.

But none of that matters with genjutsu.

It’s intricate and delicate, requiring intense focus, and it’s true that very few people can sustain a career in genjutsu specialization–especially not without some kind of blood limit–but there’s something about it that appeals to her, nonetheless.

Being able to control the world around her, even just that little bit, even if it is just an illusion. It hurts less to be an outsider, if being inside means not knowing the truth.

And it’s a tool in her arsenal that doesn’t need extensive, supervised training. She has the basics, after that all she needs is her imagination and the right opportunity.

Rock Lee is notorious for his inability to use chakra. There will be no better opportunity.

Naruto Uzumaki is reluctant to enact her plan, but dutifully circles around the clearing to wait for her signal.

Part of it is that she might not signal him–it’s boring, yes, but if she can talk this out with Rock Lee then she won’t need him to attack from the flank. The other part is that maybe she won’t need him. He’s probably worried that she’ll leave him for Rock Lee which is just ludicrous.

She got punched in the face multiple times, Naruto Uzumaki is not getting rid of her that easily.

But she does think that she can do this on her own. Or, rather, that she should do this on her own.

She has a suspicion about what that familiar armband color might mean. About Rock Lee’s objective and her objective and that of Naruto Uzumaki.

Rock Lee is known to be, if not honorable–because such a thing is pretty impossible in a world of shinobi–then fair. For all that he’s literally asking to be attacked, he won’t attack her until she makes the first move.

Still, just in case, when she goes down to meet him she places a genjutsu on him. It’s a mild one and, under ordinary circumstances, easily breakable; just a small, quick illusion making her seem a meter away from where she actually is.

“I, Rock Lee, will fight anyone who thinks–” he shouts, again, the same speech on loop to the faceless forest of Training Ground 53. She wonders if anyone else has actually taken him on it.

“Hey,” she interrupts, after leaping down in front of him, “I have a question about your objective,” she says.

His gaze fixes on the nonexistent figure a meter away and the deep purple armband on its bicep.

Externality, part 5b (2017-07-08)

The token they got from the campers isn’t copper, which is fine. That raid was mostly to complete Naruto Uzumaki’s not-so-impossible objective, and while it didn’t go perfectly she’d say it was a success over all.

He’s only missing one more token.

Technically, so is she, but percentage-wise she’s further from completing her objective than he is.

If they end this exam and her objective isn’t complete, she’s going to be so pissed off. And not even at Naruto Uzumaki–or, at least, not mostly–but at herself. She can already predict that awful self-chastisement telling her, see, this is why you should only look out for yourself.

One more day. Hopefully they can prevent that from happening.

The problem with using people as scapegoats is that, eventually, they’re going to find out about it. If she and Naruto Uzumaki are lucky, Neji Hyuuga’s intimidating ice prince personality will ward that eventuality off until after the exam.

She didn’t really consider how Rock Lee might react, mostly because she doesn’t know anything about him except for hearsay. And, unlike mister cardinal clan himself, Rock Lee doesn’t pose much of a threat.

She’s not expecting him to hear about it during the exam, either–as friendless as Neji Hyuuga for vastly different reasons–and she’s definitely not expecting him to have a positive reaction.

Then again, she didn’t expect to him to walk around, literally asking for people to attack him.

“This is a trap, right?” she asks, glancing over to Naruto Uzumaki for confirmation. Between the two of them, he is the one that would have more experience with Rock Lee.

“Eh…” he says, gaze locked on their classmate on the forest floor below them, “Maybe?”

Trap or not, what’s interesting to Tetsuki is that on Rock Lee’s bicep is an armband in a shade of purple so deep as to be nearly black…

… the same color as the armband in Naruto Uzumaki’s pocket.

469 for never lookin’ to come back?

It was a sweet day when I realized
legal and illegal had nothing to do with
right and wrong.
(Smash the state? Nah. I’ll just ignore it and hope it ignores me.)

(Never Lookin’ To Come Back)

If asked, each of them would say that it was the other who started it.

The smuggling, that is.

Sure, Kiba was the one who “found” that first crate of rations–marked as heading towards ROOT training facilities (and if they needed it so badly, they should have kept better track of it.) He was just being a dutiful XO when he brought it to the captain.

What happened after that was entirely her decision.

“I couldn’t just let that town starve,” she argues, magnanimous for a fleeting moment before continuing with, “… and we needed to offload it somehow.”

Kiba laughs, no matter how many times he’s heard it and the fact that he was there for it. It’s the telling of the story that makes it great, not the event itself.

///

According to the system, Lee has violated his parole.

The fact that someone as good and kind as Lee could ever even be arrested shows how flawed the system really is. The citizens of the small moon Lee calls home would say, too strict.

They would not say corrupt.

(Lee was arrested for defending a young girl from the mayor’s unwanted attentions.)

Not out loud, anyway.

The people of his hometown loved him, loved him enough to pool together their meager money and send him far away in a ship that could use another hand and didn’t look too closely at one’s legal background.

One day, Lee will go back home and free them from tyranny–until then, he sends the townspeople money and always wears the ugly orange leg warmers they send back.

///

No one outside of the Organization is actually sure what they are.

(“I’m putting my money on fancy hookers,” Kiba says, grin sharp and toothy and itching for a fight.

Not even the blankness of his face can mask the sheer irritation in Sasuke’s eyes.

“You better hope so,” TenTen responds, shifting over on the bench where Shino has kindly enough made space, “because if you’re wrong, you’re really gonna get it.”)

They’re beautiful and well trained, always on the arm of influential people and frequently at the scene of major incidents. Twice, they’ve had to make a quick get away at Sasuke’s behest, hours before news broke of some scandal and a sudden death.

Shikako learns it’s better not to ask.

Still, he does have very good connections to various port authorities, and so long as he pays his rent on time, she doesn’t mind what he might get up to.

///

According to the system, Naruto doesn’t exist.

If they knew he did, they’d kill him immediately.

None of them know it yet, but the most illegal thing on their ship isn’t the Hyuuga chancellor’s missing daughter, or the crates and crates of contraband.

No, it’s the key to the Core’s greatest and worst secret: the conspiracy to end all conspiracies.

The truth behind the destruction of Uzushio–the would have been fifth member of the core planets.

~

A/N: Just little sprinkles of backstory–I didn’t think TenTen would be an outright criminal, and Shino works more outside the law than against it so…

Thanks for the prompt, anon! 😀

apart from shikako and tetsuki, who do you think would be in qprs in the dos verse (or any of your aus) i also agree with the qpp you chose for shikako and i think it would work in an au not decorated with daily death or alive situations. maybe shikako would be in a qpr with both ino and sasuke but ino and sasuke themselves are just friends (or at least until they get to know each other better) if she considered it. (my second choices for shikako’s qpp was essentially naruto/gaara because (1/2)

maybe not necessarily in dos canon, but in your aus focusing on their relationships, it is easy to interpret their relationship as “more than friendship, but not less than romantic, just something different” (and there i would talk about alterous attraction but i haven’t really explored that term myself a lot more) (2/2)

Oh! I did not know about the term alterous, but I think that’s how I interpret Shikaara–as an ambiguous mix between platonic and romantic. Of course, not in canon but in a canon adjacent AU such as Dreaming of S(omething).

I think Naruto and Shikako are very platonic. Even in my post-series Waking Up Starstruck (which is my attempt to do a Narukako ship) it’s still not all that romantic. And not even because of my interpretation of Shikako as aro/demi, but because I cannot for the life of me understand Naruto’s character. He and I just are not simpatico. :/ I love him but I do not understand him. I don’t know if they would even have a QPR or maintain their less intense friendship.

Naruto and Sasuke’s relationship is too steeped in canon for me to disentangle (SasuNaru was one of my “Baby’s First Ships”) so I don’t know if they would have a QPR or a romantic relationship… But I do think Naruto and Haku would have a fantastic QPR in a canon adjacent AU, so at least I know him that much, right?

Let’s see, who else…

As Ino’s co-spouses, Sakura and Sai are not romantic with each other, but they do develop a sweet QPR which is very nice for their triad marriage.

I imagine Team Gai are not romantically interested in each other, but they are the closest thing they all have to family which would easily translate to QPRs. Especially when they’re older and their personalities have matured.

Actually, yeah, if I’m not restricting myself to canon. Then in a canon adjacent AU, that Kiba+Shikako QPR would definitely exist.

Oh, in the Team Medic!AU (Team One with Sakura, Youbirin, and Jiro passed with a combat medic jounin sensei)–or, at least, the How To Adult Properly series based on it–Team One definitely have QPR because they have no boundaries with each other.

I don’t know who else, this is a big question. There are so many characters that’s like an infinite number of combinations so…

But I do appreciate your question, so thanks for asking, anon 🙂

Okay that Colour Time AU cleared up my acne and also saved my soul. I, too, am here for Sai’s colourful animals THROWING THEMSELVES AT THE WALL in the most colourful nO YOUTHFUL DEATH EVER OKAY BUT TEAM GAI HELPING OUT AT COLOUR TIME

OF COURSE TEAM GAI WOULD BE ON COLOUR TIME! 😀

Lee, learning that Art isn’t about quantity or speed–there’s no competition in art–it’s about getting in touch with your emotions. Which is his JAM. Neji somehow despite all the paint flying around, remaining perfectly spotless. TenTen taking on Naruto’s challenge for most interesting methods to paint with a FLURRY OF PAINT COVERED WEAPONRY.

Now I’m not saying TenTen invents the Naruto world’s equivalent of paintball, but I’m also not NOT saying that.

Gai, unsurprisingly, is uncannily talented. At heart he is a True Artist. Martial arts, painting, singing, etc. He possibly teaches or shows up during kunoichi classes as a prime example of the “nine in one” ultimate kunoichi?

But yes. Colour Time. I’m sure everyone makes a cameo in Colour Time at some point or another. Unsurprisingly, Yakumo is a recurring guest. Possibly Kino-chan and his genin team are the most frequently recurring team as well.

Oooh, maybe Lee’d have a rockruff? Because according to the Pokedex they need a dedicated trainer because the closer to evolution they get, the rougher and roudier they get? And then he’d have a midday lycanroc post-timeskip because they’re really fast & loyal?

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Hm… while I am fond of the Lee and Rockruff parallels (and the pun), I actually would rather lean into more of a taijutsu-only equivalent team for him. Meaning only Normal and Fighting types for Lee.

Neji and TenTen would also have Fighting types, but Neji would have a few Psychic types (which parallels the Byakugan sort of an the idea that even though Lee is faster than god, Neji consistently beats him) and TenTen a few steel types.

They would have Hitmonlee, Hitmontop, and Hitmonchan respectively–their Tyrogues were gifts from Gai-sensei.

Now that I think of it some more, I do kind of like Lee having an unevolved Eevee on his team as per @to-someplace-else’s suggestion. Because there’s something very sweet about Lee accepting his Eevee the way it is and not pressuring it into changing itself one way or another. But, of course, if it wants to evolve, he won’t stop it! But what he wants is for it to be happy. (And, also, Green’s Eevee is so powerful. So majestic and fluffy)

Which I guess brings us to the next point with Shikako’s Deerling. And I suppose the problem there is that I’m not sure why the Deerling wouldn’t want to evolve? In comparison to Eevee evolving into a different Type entirely (generally dictated by the trainer and what kind of team they’re trying to form) or a Pikachu evolving into a Raichu which needs a Thunder stone, as far as I can tell Deerling’s evolution into Sawsbuck is just a level cap.

And it’s a natural (or, at least, simple) process for the Deerling line to evolve into Sawsbuck. It’s basically puberty turning from a child into an adult. Whereas Eeveelutions and Pikachu turning into Raichu are more deliberate, like a medical undertaking…

Is there any benefit to preventing a Deerling’s evolution? More specifically, in this world of shinobi-trainers why would Shikako deliberately hamper her Pokemon’s growth with an everstone? She needs to be battle ready, and a Deerling doesn’t have anything over a Sawsbuck–unlike (and I don’t know if this is game canon or just cartoon canon) Pikachu being faster than Raichu.