I once had this weird dream, where Shikako & Co. are on a haunted house mission. Turns out there’s an actual ghost taking people away into a parallel space, so Shikako starts panicking when she starts feeling chakra signatures just disappearing, one by one. Haha, I really can’t remember further than that, but I’d love to see if this can be extended?

A/N: I’m a bit late for your prompt, anon, because I considered it for few days and slept on it as well–which seemed to be in the spirit of it–and this is what my own weird dream shook out, so I hope you enjoy!

~

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Three kunai headed her way, she darts to the side.

Where is she? What’s happening?

More kunai follow. Trace the flight path. Keep moving.

Across the way is a smudge of color against the stark white room. Pink and brown and red. TenTen?

Ah, a spar, that makes sense.

She should pay attention.

TenTen isn’t saying anything, but that makes sense. Neither of them are particularly chatty.

She unfurls a scroll–a serious spar then.

“Earth Style: Earth Wall!” she calls out, chakra flaring, but nothing happens. The strange smooth floor is unchanged.

Where are they? Something is happening.

Shikako makes the sign for a timeout, but TenTen keeps going. She tries again with a forfeit sign, “Stop!”

That fails, too.

TenTen releases her armory, Shikako drops her resistance seals and runs.

Something is wrong.

They aren’t sparring, they’re fighting.

To the death, apparently.

Shikako wins. TenTen loses.

Which means TenTen dies.

Except.

Something is happening.

Shikako rushes over because, despite the fight, they are friends and she is so confused. In her arms, TenTen–still so strangely silent–begins to disintegrate.

“I didn’t mean to,” she says as particles of TenTen fade away into the expanse of the room, “I don’t understand.”

Before the body disappears completely, Shikako has one last thought:

Something is wrong.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

She’s on her knees in an impossible room, so empty and endless.

What was she doing?

There is a noise, like gears in a machine, and a doorway opens in front of her. Stairs.

There’s nothing for her here, and so she leaves.

Behind her, that same noise, the impossible room seals itself shut. Gone to the void like it never existed.

Upwards, onwards.

The stairs are smooth, white, surrounded by a void. They spiral up and up, unconnected steps of not stone and not metal.

A few more steps and the stairs just stop, nothing ahead but more darkness.

She extends a hand forward, meets resistance, and a noise like gears in a machine opens a doorway in front of her.

Another impossible room.

She looks back, there’s nothing there.

She goes in.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Dodges out of the way of a chakra covered hand aimed at her heart.

“Neji?” She asks, startled, bewildered.

He doesn’t answer, but the silence makes sense. He isn’t particularly talkative.

But what is going on?

That was definitely a killing blow.

Of course he’d want to kill her, she thinks, she did just kill [||||||||||||||]

… what was she doing?

He makes another move–no doubt as lethal as the last–and somehow Shikako knows better than to try and reason with him.

Taijutsu is out of the question, she would surely lose (would surely die?) but she’s always been better at a distance.

This time (was there any other time?) Shikako watches silently as Neji dissipates. In comparison to the room, even his white clothes and pale skin stand out, the black of his hair a long tail of defiance.

Even then, the room wins out. And she watches in mute horror as he fades away.

Something is wrong.

She feels like she had that thought before.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

A noise. Then a doorway. Then a curving set of stairs.

Upwards, onwards. There is nothing for her here.

The stairs are continuous, spiraling for eternity. If she looks up, she can see the helix continue.

But if she looks ahead, there are only a few steps in front of her. A new one being added for each one she advances.

What a strange place. How did she get here?

The stairs come to a halt, impossibly, nothing in front of her.

And yet.

She reaches out. A noise. Then a doorway. Then an impossible room.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

She knows immediately that the creature in front of her is not Lee. Oh it looks like him, its green and orange outfit almost blinding in this stark emptiness, but it is not him.

Never mind that it is trying to kick her head off her shoulders, clearly trying to kill her. She knows this is not him because its face is blank and empty.

If this were a spar, Lee would be smiling. If this were a death match, he would be angry.

The real Lee would be furious at her for killing [|||||||] and [||||||||||||||]

… why does she think Lee should be angry at her?

No matter. This obviously isn’t Lee, which means that she has nothing stopping her from going all out.

It is faster than her, like the real Lee, but she has a few tricks up her sleeve still.

She doesn’t feel remorse as this not-Lee creature fades away. Particles and pigments disappearing as if it were never there.

If it were really him, then she would. She would be sick and horrified at herself.

But it is not him, she is sure of it.

Something is happening.

A certainty that has been building ever since she fought [||||||||||||||] and [|||||||], cemented further after her fight with [||||||]

… something is wrong.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

A doorway is open ahead of her, an impossible exit from an impossible space. Stairs leading upwards and onwards.

She stays put.

“I don’t understand,” she says, looking around, “This doesn’t make sense.”

Nothing changes.

“What’s happening?” she asks, instead.

Nothing changes.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

A doorway is open ahead of her, an impossible exit from an impossible place. Stairs leading upwards and onwards.

She leaves the room.

There is nothing here.

After an uncountable number of stairs, steps spiraling for an eternity upwards and yet never complete ahead of her, Shikako stops.

The steps appearing for every one she advances also stop.

“No,” she says.

“Something is wrong,” she says.

She stays put.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

She is on a set of stairs, smooth and pale and impossible like starlight. They spiral upwards and onwards in the void.

On the step in front of her is a little ink bird, black like defiance.

It hops about and flutters its wings but doesn’t make a noise.

She picks it up and sets it on her shoulder.

She begins climbing the stairs until she can no longer, the steps ending at an invisible wall.

She reaches out, meeting resistance, before a noise like gears in a machine sounds off.

A doorway opens.

Shikako walks through.

In this room empty of anything, with smooth floors that are not stone and stark walls she cannot perceive, only Shikako and the ink bird exist.

No matter how far she walks, there is no end. An impossible room.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

Immediately rolls out of the way of a swarm of tiny creatures.

The ink bird remains on her shoulder, but it tugs on her hair, impatiently. Frantic.

Scared?

Something is wrong.

Across the room is Shino. Or a creature that looks like Shino. It hasn’t moved and it hasn’t spoken and maybe that isn’t unlike the real Shino, but she learned her lesson with [||||||]

… the swarm attacks her again, and she backs away, confused.

The swarm of creatures, dark against the starkness of the room, somehow feel strange. Wrong.

They are not like her ink bird, a different sort of defiance. They are not like real kikaichu either.

These aren’t kikaichu and that isn’t Shino.

Which means she won’t feel guilty when she destroys them all.

The room is immaculate despite the battle.

The creatures that were not Shino and his kikaichu disappear, as if they never existed.

The ink bird on her shoulder remains. Now that she has the time and space to give it attention, it has stopped its antics.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

A black blur whizzes past her face. Reflexively, she ducks to the side, but nothing follows.

Bizarrely, it didn’t come from behind her, it came from her shoulder.

An ink bird flies ahead of her, a single point of defiance in this impossible room.

It flutters its wings and hops about, as if waiting, impatiently.

A noise. A doorway. Stairs.

The bird flies ahead, upwards and onwards.

Shikako follows.

Upwards and onwards, Shikako follows the bird. Against the void, it is difficult to see, but there is only one direction for it to go.

After an eternity it stops, landing on a step made of starlight. Waiting impatiently.

When she reaches the top step, it flutters to her shoulder.

Together they watch as a doorway appears.

Together they walk through.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

The chakra covered hand aimed at her heart almost seems familiar. As does the movement to get out of the way.

A creature that looks like Hinata stares at her blankly, before moving to attack once more.

If it were really Hinata, Shikako would hesitate.

If it were really Hinata, they wouldn’t be fighting.

The ink bird on her shoulder tugs at her hair.

But none of them (none of who?) were really themselves.

In comparison to [||||||]

… no matter.

This creature that is not Hinata is trying to kill her.

There is no hesitation.

It is not Hinata, but Shikako still looks away as it dies silently.

Something is wrong.

She does not feel horror, nor remorse, but there is still a sense of familiarity.

Of exhaustion.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

She cannot remember how long she has been in this room, but it feels like a very long time.

A noise. A doorway. Stairs.

The ink bird on her shoulder flies ahead and she follows.

There is nothing good for her here.

The stairs are a helix continuing upwards and onwards.

Even with the little ink bird, it feels as if she is alone. A small, insignificant existence against the impossibility of this place.

Void and starlight and a spiral to eternity.

Where is she? How did she get here?

Something is happening.

What is happening?

Something wrong.

At the last step, the ink bird stops and waits for her.

It hops and flutters and, when she catches up, flies to perch on her shoulder.

A noise. A doorway. An impossible room.

She doesn’t enter.

The ink bird tugs at her hair.

As she steps through, she thinks:

Haven’t I done this before?

Next (after what?) is Kiba. Or not-Kiba as the case may be.

“You’ve gotten shoddy,” Shikako says to the creature that is not Kiba, as it swipes a clawed hand at her face.

“Where is Akamaru?” she asks, dodging and weaving away.

The ink bird on her shoulder tugs at her hair. Impatient and frantic and not-scared.

Probably.

If it were scared, it would fly away, wouldn’t it?

“You’re not even trying!” Shikako shouts at it. Something is wrong.

“You don’t even know how an Inuzuka fights!”

Without their ninken, Inuzuka are half of themselves. It’s part of the reason why they can’t be ANBU, too loyal and honest to a fault.

The creature that is not Kiba stops.

So does she.

A noise, like gears in a machine, and a doorway opens behind it.

The ink bird leaves her shoulder and flies past the not-Kiba creature. It remains still.

Shikako circles around it, confused, but follows after the ink bird to the stairs.

As she begins to climb, she looks back.

The doorway is closing, but she can still see the not-Kiba creature standing perfectly still in that impossible room.

“That’s not how that usually goes,” she calls ahead to the ink bird.

It stops and lands on a step, waiting for her to catch up.

“The other fights. Before not-Kiba. The ones I had with [|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||]

”… why did that happen? I remember Kiba. Because I didn’t kill the creature that looked like him?“

The ink bird hops and flutters.

“Why can’t you be more useful?” she shouts.

Shikako blinks. Dark then light.

She is on starlight stairs in an eternal void.

She is not alone.

“Sai?”

~

A/N2: This is longer than I thought it would be so here’s part one for now, and I should have part two up tomorrow.

But I suppose I ought to explain a little bit. I considered your prompt, anon, and I pondered the idea of the haunted house and I figured that DoS already covered it in a literal sense with the whole chameleon summons castle thing, and a more Scooby Doo interpretation with the Land of Birds. But I liked the idea of Shikako losing people and went a slightly more cerebral route a la Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories.

In part because my brain went Shikako & Co. is Konoha Thirteen… Organization Thirteen? And then, hey wait, Sai was with her on both the chameleon castle mission and the Land of Birds mission. Does that make Sai Namine? Yes, yes it does.

Pokemon trainers Team 7!!!

jacksgreysays:

jacksgreysays:

( ) Yeah!

Okay, let’s see, I don’t particularly want to assign different Elemental Nations to different regions, so let’s pull Pokemon from all generations, if that’s okay?

First off, single type teams just do not work because if Kakashi is any single type he would be Electric and there aren’t enough Electric-type dogs to make a full team. And I feel like him having dogs is more important than him having Electric type so he’s one of the Elite Four, but here that’s not a type thing:

Pakkun is most likely a Herdier/Stoutland–he was Kakashi’s starter, given to him by his father (a former Elite Four member himself) and, even though he doesn’t usually fight, his experience and knowledge is valuable.

Other members of Kakashi’s team includes Granbull, Mightyena, Furfrou, Lycanroc, and Houndoom. (Supposedly, Kakashi also has the Legendary Raikou, but surely that’s just a rumor.) Heck yeah, it’s an all dog team!

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The Nara clan are known for their herds of Sawsbuck, and all Nara children’s starters are Deerling. Shikako’s second Pokemon was a Growlithe which has evolved into a massive Arcanine that likes cuddling. The rest of her team includes: Sableye (who can now turn into Mega Sableye due to the Sablenite found in the Gelel Shrine?) and maaaaaaybe Onix, Staryu, and Voltorb?

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The Uchiha clans, likewise, used to give their children Fletchlings–even though there was no longer a clan to formally do so when Sasuke became of age, the Talonflame flocks stuck around and one Fletchling joined him on his journey. Other members of Sasuke’s team are possibly: Lunatone, Hawlucha, Cubone, Luxio, and Bisharp?

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It’s said that, if one should be powerful enough to live for over one thousand years, that a Ninetails can rival even a Legendary Pokemon and develop psychic powers. Of course, that’s just a story. There’s been no sighting of such a mythical creature in generations, and how would a human possibly control such a powerful Pokemon before the creation of Master Balls? Naruto’s team includes: Politoed, Scrafty, Solrock, Mimikyu, Sudowoodo, and Emolga.

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Probably the shinobi of this world are more like the Pokemon Ranger trainer class or police officers in that the Leagues/Villages of each respective area are in charge of making sure wild Pokemon and people are safe. The ones that end up on elite jounin-led teams are Ace Trainers.

Akatsuki are the bad guys, with some Oto and Ame sprinkled in for grunts, and the Kages are the Champions? And the other jounin sensei are the other Elite Four. So the coming of age for the Konoha Twelve is the first time that all of the Elite Four have training teams. And, like in canon, Team Seven’s missions are incredibly weird–it’s almost like they see Legendary Pokemon every other time they leave the village.

There’s no real plot, though, just fusing canon into a Pokemon world and replacing jutsu with Pokemon.

(Sorry this is so messy, anon, I’m having trouble organizing my thoughts for this. But if you’re curious about my choice in Pokemon for I can totally explain if you’d like?)

I think, if I were to write this, it would be more of a Naruto-style society except where Pokemon replaces chakra. Like, the shinobi are the full out teams of six battlers while the civilian are the same as people in Pokemon games who aren’t trainers but do own one or two Pokemon as pets. Then nobility is probably more about the pedigrees and possibly participate in the pageant-like competitions.

So there are still clans and such, and like in canon, being part of a clan is a head start–clan kids grow up around Pokemon their whole lives, while civilian kids don’t get their starter until after they graduate from the Academy? Hm… that’s a pretty big disparity. Maybe it’s something like… you’re legally only allowed to own two Pokemon unless you’re a League certified Trainer then you can get up to six.

So they’re not just thrown together with a strange Pokemon and two other kids on a team with an Elite Four and expected to roll with it. So students of the Academy do have one or two Pokemon, but they have to graduate to get more. Which makes more sense?

Okay, Pokemon team breakdowns:

Kakashi’s is fairly obvious, I think. There were some other dogs that I was considering, such as Manectric and Smeargle and Arcanine, but Arcanine went to Shikako because it fit super perfectly and I feel like Manectric and Smeargle are both too… cartoony. Also, I’m pretty sure if anyone owns a Smeargle it’s Sai.

The Nara with the Deerling and Sawsbuck herds were a must. And their medicine would no doubt be even more elevated by harvesting from a Grass type deers that also change every season. Arcanine, I’ll admit, is mostly because of the fantastic art by kristinaxx0 but the more I thought about it, the more it just kind of fit? Growlithe must be very common in Land of Fire, and no doubt Shikako stumbled on a lost Growlith puppy that just followed her everywhere.

Sableye as Dark/Ghost works pretty well for Shikako even before the Gelel arc leading to the stone and Shikako’s first in-world death. Reincarnated Nara, anyone? I’m less sure about the following three, but given her Earth nature and penchant for GIANT PILLARS OF STONE, I figured Onix would work quite well. And, well, as @to-someplace-else said, Voltorb? ~Self Destruct~

Staryu, I admit, is more to match up with the boys’ Solrock and Lunatone. DoS is Shikako’s story but there’s always going to be this back and forth between Naruto and Sasuke. So her star isn’t really part of the sun and moon of her teammates, but it still fits a little and I quite like that.

The Uchiha’s crest is a fan and their family jutsu are Fire natured and then the whole hawk contract, so even though it’s not as one to one as the Nara and the Sawsbuck, I think Talonflame works best. Lunatone I’ve already explained above. Hawlucha I think he gets later on, if not the last one he gets, because I kind of wanted to represent his time skip changes in DoS–hawk contract and ANBU and to reflect the fact that he is the taijutsu specialist among Team Seven.

Cubone is just, I mean, pretty obvious right? A reflection of his past as the last (loyal) Uchiha. Luxio is a bit of a mix to show–hm, how do I say this–what he inherited from the living. That is, the Chidori from Kakashi and coming to terms with the Itachi of the past and present via the Neko-baa and pawprint mission. Bisharp is… the way I’d express it, he would have had a Pawniard in canon or DoS but in DoS it evolves into Bisharp during the Sasuke Retrieval Arc and in canon it doesn’t until post time-skip. It’s a representation of Sasuke’s life choices, basically.

Politoed and all of it’s line, besides being the same as Naruto’s summoning contract, also has the Uzumaki swirl which *clenches fist* doesn’t drown me in Uzushio feels at all, nope, none here. Scrafty I think emulates Naruto pre-graduation, all mischief and anger and brawling. Solrock explained above.

I honestly think Naruto would empathize quite a bit with Mimikyu. Lonely but trying to make friends, disguising itself to be more approachable. Yeah, I think Naruto would love Mimikyu and vice versa. Sudowoodo kind of is a more light-hearted side of the trickster and disguise expert that Naruto was way in the beginning before canon just dropped that idea. But something that looks like a tree but isn’t? And look at how happy it is! And ~Konoha~

Emolga I’m least sure about, but I wanted a small non-bird Flying type and I also just like the idea of Emolga just chilling on Naruto’s head one second and then being all up in someone’s grill the next.

A huge list of Pokemon that I was considering but didn’t make the cut or didn’t fit one team member in particular under the cut:

Keep reading

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Ahaha, yeah, the Absol as a herald of disaster just feels right for Team Seven as a whole. 🙂

I don’t know if Lee would have an Eevee, but I do like the idea of Team Gai each having one of the Tyrogue line. Not as their starter, but probably a gift Gai gave them when they became his team? So Hitmonlee for Lee, Hitmonchan for TenTen, and Hitmontop for Neji.

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Lee’s team would be only Normal and Fighting type to reflect his taijutsu-only ways, whereas TenTen probably has some Steel types and Neji has some Psychic. Which also kind of goes with the whole “Neji always wins against Lee even though Lee is faster than god” given the type weaknesses.

Let’s see, as for Team Ten? Maaaybe…

Shikamaru: Sawsbuck (Normal/Grass), Slaking (Normal), Nuzleaf (Grass/Dark), Drowzee (Psychic), Lampent (Ghost/Fire), and Altaria (Dragon/Flying)

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Ino: Grumpig (Psychic), Nidorino (Poison/Ground), Kecleon (Normal), Roserade (Grass/Poison), Oricorio (Flying/Fire/Electric/Psychic/Ghost), and Smoochum (Ice/Psychic)

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Chouji: Butterfree (Bug/Flying), Darmanitan (Fire), Hariyama (Fighting), Quilladin (Grass), Munchlax (Normal), and Clefairy (Fairy)

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Like with the Nara clan, the Yamanaka and Akimichi give their kids their starters too.

(Mimikyu is a sweet darling angel that has done nothing wrong and deserves the world)

Breaking The Shackle, a Shikako/Neji fic (2016-11-13)

aka, Shikako and Neji’s Revolutionary Crusade of Fuinjutsu and Great Justice

She’ll admit it wasn’t a particularly noble beginning–certainly not on her end–it wasn’t outrage at injustice, or empathy for the oppressed.

It wasn’t even the opposite: scheming to overthrow the largest and most powerful clan in Konoha, or gain the allegiance of over a hundred people with a blood limit.

It was just curiosity… and not a small amount of ego. Riding the high of her own ability.

Because if she could outmaneuver Danzo, could best Orochimaru in sealing, could survive battle against a literal goddess–

(could defy death over and over again)

–what were the Hyuuga clan’s laws to her?

TenTen is a fuinjutsu master in her own right, though with a different specialty and style.

She’s been friends and teammates with Neji for so many years, as close to family as she’s ever known–she has nearly as much a stake in his freedom as he himself does.

But she is an orphan without a last name; the Byakugan has great worth to Konoha.

Neji has long since changed his view on fate.

Or, at least, his relationship to it.

He still thinks fate exists, but who is he to say what it might be? Who is he to say who will fail and who will succeed?

Lee has long since surpassed the predictions a younger, brattier Neji had once made for him. So, too, has his cousin grown into her potential despite his pessimistic bullying.

He has watched, time and time again, as his friends and his village have defied the odds–rejected what should have been their fated ends–and lived despite everything against them.

But perhaps that is fate. Perhaps fate is kinder than he thought. Beneath his forehead protector is a curse, but perhaps fate will be kind to him this once.

But if its not–if fate is not kind–then he will do as he has been taught and fight against it with all he has.

Sai has a scar on his tongue, a remnant of the seal of secrecy that all ROOT members once had.

Given the placement and size, it’s not noticeable at all–more importantly, it doesn’t hinder his ability to speak.

Sai has a scar on his tongue, a remnant of Shikako’s attempts to remove the ROOT seal of secrecy.

Shikako has many secrets, some of which she shares and some of which she will keep beyond her last breath.

One of them is simply this: she did nothing to save Neji’s life.

Oh, she never put him in harms way, always had his back in battle–she treated him the way she treated all of her friends and allies.

She would’ve died for him, if such a thing had been necessary, but she never went out of her way to save his life. Never warned him of his future, never even hinted at the possibility.

She did nothing.

And yet, somehow, he still lives.

She doesn’t know if this is some kind of apology that only she’ll understand, belated and inexplicable as it may be. Doesn’t know if this is out of guilt or some sense of debt…

But she thinks: late though it may be, she should do something.

Lee remembers the first time he actively noticed Shikako–surrounded by carnage and flames, the bodies of her enemies lying at her feet.

It’s the kind of first impression that lingers, on which every interaction after that is influenced by.

No matter how approachable and helpful she is after that, Lee will always remember that at Shikako’s core is ruthlessness and efficiency.

It’s not as if Neji thinks Hinata will renege on her vow to change the Hyuuga clan–she is not that cruel, not like he used to be–nor does he think Hanabi, if she is to be head instead, will do the same.

But he thinks Hiashi-oji-sama must have once thought the same for his twin, for his twin’s son, and yet Neji still bears the brand.

He knows that the Main Family is more than just his uncle and his two cousins. The Hyuuga Clan is expansive, numbering in the hundreds.

While the Main Family is a small percentage of that, it is still a few dozen. A few dozen who can inflict pain or death on the Branch Family at whim.

The Hyuuga Clan Elders won’t let their elitism be taken away so easily.

Promises are nice, but actions are better.

Kakashi figured that if ever one of his students and Gai’s students got together it would be the end of the world. He was only a few months off, really.

Hm, is it too early to joke about that?

The aged scrolls Hanabi passed along to them have been much appreciated, necessary for Shikako’s endless notes working out different permutations and removal methods. But there is a time for theory and there is a time to put said theory into practice.

Neji removes his forehead protector, hands trembling minutely. Shikako takes a moment to marvel at how green the seal is, before berating herself.

She looks away, to give him the chance to compose himself, and when she looks back it’s to a Neji with closed eyes, sitting with resigned patience.

One way or another, this will end his world as he knows it.

Closed eyes doesn’t mean vulnerability for a Hyuuga, not truly, but she can appreciate the gesture for what it is.

Absolution. Faith. Trust.

~

A/N: For @cadalie who wanted that revolutionary Shikako/Neji vs Hyuuga Clan fic and got… this.

I tried to make it less feels based, but lets be honest here, isn’t that my wheelhouse?

Unsure if this is Shikako/Neji proper or more pre-Shikako/Neji…

Also, unimaginative title is unimaginative.

Post Word Count: 907, Running Word Count: 4874

Ask Box Three Sentence Fic, 5/? (2016-10-28)

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(1 – anonymous – any!DoS, reality TV)

“Sensei,” Chef Uchiha hisses quietly, but not quiet enough that the cameras don’t pick it up, “we’re fifteen minutes into cooking and you haven’t told us the menu yet.”

“Maa,” says Iron Chef Hatake, in the classic blasé attitude which makes him a fan favorite, “I’m sure you’ll come up with something; I have very dependable and cute sous chefs, after all.”

And, as always at least once per episode: Chef Uchiha seethes, Chef Uzumaki shouts, and Chef Nara sighs, looking straight at the camera.

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(2 – anonymous – Kakashi as their teacher, modern!AU, playing favorites)

Every year, Professor Hatake chooses four students to intern at his law firm: this year’s a little different–not even counting all the murder and media and madness–because this year, he chooses five.

“I didn’t think he even knew my name,” Sakura says, a little bit in shock, “he just calls me Pinky.”

Tenzo–Yamato?–Hatake’s associate lawyer looks them over and says, “I’d offer congratulations, but I don’t think you know what you’ve gotten yourselves into.”

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(3 – anonymous – Shikako/Lee, fighting together)

It’s not that they complete each other,
two halves of a whole,
his taijutsu and spirit
with her ninjutsu and cunning.

It’s that they both share a rhythm,
an unbeatable upward climb,
no chakra, no chance,
every obstacle thrown their way.

They don’t need balance,
no grounding, no anchors,
they propel each other,
further, faster, forward.

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(4 – anonymous – Walking Around ‘verse Team Seven)

The first time they hear Boruto laugh–a bitter, vicious thing–Sakako and Mitsuki realize that good men do not always make good fathers.

The first time they hear Sakako laugh, bubbling quietly like a stream, Mitsuki and Boruto share identical expressions of victory.

The first time they hear Mitsuki laugh, a surprise for all three of them, Boruto and Sakako join in moments later, happy to be alive.

image

(5 – @byebyebriar – even more 3.4, Shikako/Gaara, modern royalty!AU and beleaguered PR person)

Jinzo fondly remembers the years when Gaara-sama’s need for public relations was minimal and manageable: unfortunately, his job has become infinitely more difficult since Her Royal Majesty’s coronation.

He has an entire team now, which is supposed to make things easier but in fact just means more idiot children to wrangle–not even including the recalcitrant Leaf girl who started this whole mess.

Jinzo presses a hand to the throbbing vein in his forehead and bites out, reluctantly, “What do you mean you can’t find His Highness?”

~

A/N: Some Iron Chef for anonymous 1 and some How To Get Away With Murder for anonymous 2. And I guess some pseudo-poetry for anonymous 3? Anonymous 4 may not have been prompting for three sentence fic, but they get it anyway, and @byebyebriar you are awesome as always! 😀

The Queen’s Guard (2016-08-02)

A/N: completed version of this post

~

Here’s the thing about being a member of the Hokage’s Guard: you are no longer a shinobi.

Or, rather, you are no longer just a shinobi.

It’s different than being ANBU–a little less, a little more. You are still yourself, but yourself has changed. Rather than getting hidden behind masks and callsigns, the Hokage’s Guard have faces and names that are out in the open yet overshadowed by their charge.

The Hokage’s Guard are chosen for a specific reason, because the Hokage’s Guard will never be more than that. They are the ones who survive, but don’t thrive. They are the ones who are steady and reliable, not flashy or impossible.

They are bodyguards to someone stronger than themselves and that means they were never meant for legends. Only footnotes if they get written in at all.

It’s not a bad role to have, necessarily. Not the most glamorous, but not all shinobi are made for that kind of life. And there is honor in being the Hokage’s last line of defense.

So long as your Hokage doesn’t die before you, that is.

This generation has a lot riding on them; a lot of expectations to live up to, a lot of sins and debt just waiting to be collected.

It’s not their fault, but that’s just how life is.

“We can’t do it,” Raido says, scarred face made grimmer with a furrowed brow. Beside him, Genma’s mouth is a flat line around his senbon. Iwashi, too, is a silent show of long-seated wounds.

It’s not often that shinobi–regular, non-elite jounin shinobi, that is–will refuse the Hokage. But this is a special case, and it helps that the Sandaime is only asking, not ordering.

Hiruzen sighs, less out of frustration and more out of grief.

“It wasn’t your fault, any of you,” he says, though it’s something he’s repeated many times before, “You did what you could–”

“Not everything,” Iwashi murmurs, interrupting just like usual–another thing that these three are given leeway with, “we’re still alive.”

Hiruzen sighs once more.

“Gai would be a good choice,” Genma suggests, sidestepping the drama and getting to the heart of the matter. A quality that makes–made–him a good choice for the Hokage’s Guard, “He’ll teach them well. They won’t–” fail, he doesn’t say; reconsiders, says instead, “–I trust him.”

The other two members of the disbanded Yondaime’s Guard nod in agreement, before they all leave at Hiruzen’s dismissal.

He has done poorly by those three, blinded by his own mourning and the sudden reclamation of a burden he’d thought passed on for good.

But the next Hokage’s Guard will be better–better trained, better treated, better prepared–they will be slated for this duty from the beginning of their shinobi careers and they will know, each step of the way, what kind of person their Hokage is.

Hiruzen isn’t sure who exactly their Hokage will be quite yet–though he has hopes for one in particular–but he knows it will be someone in next year’s graduating class.

For now, he’ll do his best to make the team from this year’s graduating class an unstoppable Hokage’s Guard.

The Godaime is still a little uncomfortable in her new position.

But that’s okay, so are her Guards.

After all, while the Sandaime might have prepared for the eventuality of succession, he didn’t plan for this exact scenario. Or for it to happen so soon–the Hokage and her Guards all barely teenagers.

But maybe it’s better this way, for the Guards to grow around their Hokage. To watch her become the legend she will one day be remembered for, to walk with her every step of the way. To know their Hokage not as a hero, but as a peer and a friend; a precious person to protect.

A nice thought, perhaps, but nice thoughts won’t protect the Hokage from assassination attempts. Of which there will, no doubt, be many.

Konoha has weathered the invasion well, has regrouped it’s strongest shinobi together, and lanced a corrupt organization from their core. They are by no means vulnerable, but they’ve also put a giant target on an untested child.

The Sandaime had become Hokage as a youth as well, be had been through war. Had shown all of the Elemental Nations his strength, had earned the hat undeniably.

The Godaime is not there yet, and neither are her Guards.

The Yondaime’s Guard might have to come out of retirement.

Despite Kakashi’s completely unsubtle preference, he cannot actually follow his student around for the rest of their lives as the most lethal guard dog ever.

Heh.

Jokes aside, Konoha cannot afford to have one of it’s strongest and most famous shinobi stuck in the village essentially babysitting the Hokage in her stronghold.

The same applies to Gai.

The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t really matter that his team isn’t yet chuunin–poor match ups and attitudes on their parts, anyway–it’s time for him to let them go. He knew from the beginning what he was training them for and it’s time for them to step up and for him to step back.

“Believe in them,” Genma says, looking unperturbed in the face of Gai and mini-Gai’s tears. That’s what being on a genin team with Maito Gai does to a person, “Believe in yourself, you’ve taught them well.”

Which begins a whole new bout of crying. But at least it’s more of the heartfelt kind rather than heartbreak.

Raido and Iwashi glance awkwardly at the remaining two genin, both of them thankfully not wailing and clinging to their sensei. Youthfully.

“You get used to it,” TenTen shrugs, almost eerily similar to Genma, no doubt having grown her own Gai and Lee-proof ways of coping. Neji scoffs but doesn’t disagree.

Iwashi turns to Genma, “You’re getting the mini-Gai.”

It’s not so much teaching or training as it is advising. None of the Yondaime’s Guard have Byakugan, and it’s safe to say that Lee is could probably kick all of their asses in taijutsu. And, given that TenTen survived being on a team with Gai and his mini-me, there’s no telling what kind of horrors she’s been put through for the past year and a half.

So mostly, it’s just advice. Passing on the baton, in a way. Just some veterans giving their successors some pointers. Ushering in the new generation, so to speak.

“I need to be drunk, like, five hours ago,” Raido moans, settling into the bar stool and immediately dropping his head in the curve of his arms.

Iwashi, already seated with his hands pressed to his temples, just grunts in acknowledgement.

“That bad?” Genma asks, smirk curling around his senbon.

“It’s my own damn fault,” Raido says, only looking up when the soft tap of a cup on the bar signals incoming alcohol, “I mentioned the Hiraishin and she just kept asking questions about it and–” he shudders, “Definitely Gai’s student.”

“And the Hyuuga?” Genma prompts Iwashi, who just sighs and downs the remains of his drink in response. Genma chuckles.

Raido eyes him, confused and possibly a little jealous, “How come you’re not all–” gesturing abstractly to his head, then at Iwashi.

“Lee’s a good kid,” he says, vague and unhelpful, “Gai did well…” he pauses, considers, gets to the heart of the matter. “They’ll be great.”

Iwashi waves the bartender for refills and raises his glass for a toast. “To the Hokage’s Guard,” he says, rueful smile on his face.

It’s not teaching or training or advice, not really. It’s closure, is what it is.

And maybe just a little bit redemption.

Raido and Genma mimic him, drinks and rueful smiles all.

“To the Hokage’s Guard.”

~

A/N: Okay so here’s the completed version, by which I mean I tried to continue it but I had no idea it would go in this direction and then I was just like… well, okay then. This has very little Shikako and Team Gai in it even though, given the title, it ought to be about them.

I dunno, I’ll post it to ao3 later, I guess…

You and Me and Baby (Makes Fifteen), part 2/2 (2016-06-02)

It’s not exactly a problem, but considering the make up of Team Seven–the fact that she’s the only non-orphan and the only one with siblings who didn’t leave the village after slaughtering their entire clan–she probably could have handled the matter of introductions better.

Shikako’s teammates take the sudden appearance of a baby as well as she expected. Meaning, not with any measure of grace or dignity whatsoever.

“What do we do with it?” Naruto asks, his hands fluttering around Kareru without actually touching. In contrast, Sasuke’s stare has only become more suspicious, arms folded across his chest.

“He’s a baby,” she answers, exasperated, “not a kunai. We don’t do anything with him except, probably, raise him into a decent human being.”

“We?” Sasuke prompts.

“Oh, well, no,” Shikako says, amending her statement, “Not ‘we’ as in us, but ‘we’ as in people in general. I was hoping someone else would be willing to raise him. And I could just let them take over. It’s not as if we can, there’s other more qualified people.” Although, said out loud, it does sound an awful lot like she’s shirking responsibilities.

“Why not?” Naruto says, absolutely entranced by what might be his only living blood relative trying to eat his own foot. Shikako shifts her hold on Kareru so his infantile acrobatics won’t lead to him plummeting to the ground.

“Why not what?” she asks.

“Why not us?” Naruto clarifies, “Why can’t we raise him?” he asks, finally looking up, blue eyes full of conviction. “We can do this.”

Shikako and Sasuke glance at each other, expressions far less skeptical than the other would expect–neither of them have ever been all that successful at denying Naruto when it really matters.

And, yes, she may have been doubtful of Naruto’s ability to take care of a baby earlier–long ago D-rank babysitting missions flashing through her minds–but he’s not asking to take care of Kareru by himself. He’s asking if they can do it, together. And, well, together they’ve done some pretty amazing things.

She bites her lip, though, still unsure. This isn’t just some one-off mission that they can complete and walk away from. This is a baby, an actual whole other person who will be their responsibility for years. For the rest of their lives.

But it’s Sasuke who makes the decision, carefully extending a single finger in the baby’s direction. Fascinated, Kareru grabs it, a pleased squeal erupting from his mouth.

Naruto’s grin is wide and bright, “We can do this!” he repeats.

Shikako nods, an answering smile of her own spreading across her face. “But,” she adds, ever the pragmatist, “Probably not by ourselves.”

It wouldn’t make sense for the Hokage to be informed of every new citizen of Konoha–frankly, it’s an inefficient use of the village leader’s time and with this particular Hokage, time is something that his horde of administrative shinobi have to schedule with frenzied exactness–but when it comes to this particular citizen, exceptions can be made.

Or, well, Team Seven will make the exception for him. After all, it’s not everyday a jounin-sensei becomes a pseudo-grandpa via his students collectively adopting a baby found in the ruins of a fallen village.

… Well, it’s not as if the paperwork ninja didn’t already hate them.

“Maa, not the mask, Kareru-kun,” Kakashi says fondly to the baby currently seated on his desk and trying to unmask him. Except for gently pulling the tiny hands away from his face, Kakashi lets Kareru do whatever he wants, crawling across the desk and drooling on no doubt very important files.

“That’s all you have to say about this?” Naruto asks, impatient, the first one to crack.

“Hm,” Kakashi responds, stretching the noise out until Sasuke begins to scowl, “He’s a little young to learn the chidori,” he admonishes, just to see the team twitch in annoyed unison.

“Sensei!”

“I have a lot of free time,” Kakashi lies, blatantly, “I guess I could watch Kareru-kun occasionally,” he says, so nonchalant that it’s obvious he cares.

Not that Shikako was really expecting anything else, her sensei awkward but affectionate in his own way–but it’s nice to be proven right about things.

Team Ten, thankfully, is far less uncomfortable about sudden teenaged parenthood–skipping over origins and uncertainty of what constitutes family, going straight into how to raise Kareru. Which, isn’t really a surprise considering their clans are known for strong family ties.

“I always thought I’d end up with a kid first,” Shikamaru says, one eyebrow raised. But there’s a smile on the edge of his mouth, his shoulder brushing against his sister’s. It’s nice to know he’ll support her even in this somewhat spontaneous decision.

Chouji, in far fewer words, also expresses his approval by reaching out for the baby. His bulky arms a gentle cradle for Kareru to observe the world.

“Can you say Ino-neechan?” Ino coos to Kareru, who babbles happily in response.

“Neechan?” Naruto asks, as tactful as ever, “Wouldn’t you be Ino-bachan?”

“Excuse you,” Ino says, “If you want to be called uncle, then that’s fine. But I’m going to be Kareru’s fabulous older sister.”

“He’s not even old enough to talk yet,” Sasuke says, though he stands on the opposite side of Chouji from her. Strategically.

“I’m training him early,” Ino says with a shrug, before turning her attention back to the baby, “You can pull off purple, right Kareru-chan?”

Which starts Naruto in on the sanctity of Uzumaki wearing orange and somehow devolves into an argument about who will be Kareru’s favorite.

Well, at least he won’t be lacking for attention.

It doesn’t take long for Kiba to find them–hand on the pulse of Konoha’s rumor mill and having almost as good a sense for inane competition as he does smells–the rest of Team Eight follow after.

Preemptively, Shikako says, “No, this isn’t mine and Gaara’s kid,” which sends Kiba into a fit of raucous laughter.

Thankfully, it’s Shino who responds. “I did not think so. Why? First, because you have only been gone for a few months–not long enough for the human gestation period, or for the additional months this child has of age. Second, you were nowhere near Land of Wind, and it is well-known that the Kazekage does not often leave Sunagakure. Third, while it is true that the child and the Kazekage both have red hair, it is obvious, even within such a short period of time, that the child has more in common with Naruto in appearance than the Kazekage.”

There’s a beat of silence as everyone processes Shino’s statement.

“Thanks for the support?” Shikako says, more question than not, but Shino nods and she supposes it’s close enough.

“I-if I can help in any way, I’d like to,” Hinata offers, once the story has been repeated for Team Eight’s benefit. Shino nods again, in agreement, while Kiba is more vocal with his.

“And anyway, babies love dogs! Me and Akamaru will definitely end up this kid’s favorite.”

Which restarts the argument all over again: this time, with animal summons for added silliness.

It’s not as if Shikako ever planned for this–her entire life has basically been rolling with the punches–so it’s not like she’s actively recruiting people into helping out with Kareru.

Try convincing Lee that, though.

“I will run around Konoha one hundred times on my hands!” he declares, eyes bright and filled with determination. “I, too, will prove myself a worthy caregiver for young Kareru! Superior, even, to my rival, Neji!” He points, at said rival who, despite the look of deep disgruntlement, has not pulled away from Kareru’s curious hair tugging.

Instead, to rile up his teammate, Neji says only one word: “Byakugan,” which… is a fairly strong point. The Hyuuga bloodline would make literally watching a baby almost ludicrously easy.

TenTen huffs an exasperated laugh, “Of course they’d find a way to argue over a baby.”

“They might as well join the fight already in progress,” Shikako says, gesturing to where some of their friends have set up an impromptu sparring tournament to somehow prove which of them will end up as Kareru’s favorite. As if they were waiting for permission, Lee and Neji–untangling himself from tiny baby fingers–go and do just that.

“Mostly, I just wanted to see how your mission to Uzushio went,” TenTen admits, “I figured you’d bring back some seal samples, though, I didn’t think you’d return with a baby.”

Well, technically, she came back with both…

“My missions always end up really weird,” Shikako muses, before glancing over at the baby, still comfortably perched in Chouji’s arms. Kareru’s eyes meet hers and he smiles, a wide, toothless, drooling thing.

She can’t say it doesn’t tug at her heartstrings.

Within the hour, Sakura finds them–not that they were hiding–and she comes armed with paperwork and an unimpressed expression.

“I take it you’ve figured out what to name him, then,” she says, channeling as much of her shishou as Shikako tries to channel of her sensei. Given how infrequently Kakashi ever pulled one over on Tsunade, that was probably a poor decision.

“Aah, Sakura, I was just about to… you see, I was on my way home when–”

“Save it,” she interrupts, thankfully, because Shikako’s Kakashi impression isn’t all that good to begin with, “What’s his name and who should I put for his official guardians?”

With all of her friends around her, knowing that she’s far from alone in this, it’s less daunting to say:

“This is Kareru Uzumaki. And I’ll be his guardian.”

~

A/N: Sorry, y’all. It’s a little abrupt and clunky, but I kinda just wanted to get the full fifteen of the title at least mentioned so I can safely stow this two-shot away in my imaginary completed fic bin… still have a lot of prompts to go through. Oh, dear.

Okay, so I know it doesn’t really fulfill the prompt but… I kinda wanted to do more “reacting to sudden baby” fic than “raising sudden baby” fic, if that makes sense. And,Tth, I kind liked part one as is? But the title wouldn’t make any sense unless I actually wrote the others, so I just kinda use this as an opportunity to explore writing characters I never have before. It’s harder than I thought–less the actual characters and more having them interact in a group setting. One on one from now on, please and thank you.

Anyway… I think I’ll post both parts as one chapter in Dreaming One Shots on ao3…


https://jacksgreysays.tumblr.com/post/142154798184/audio_player_iframe/jacksgreysays/tumblr_o51exlQk6u1u7pteb?audio_file=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tumblr.com%2Faudio_file%2Fjacksgreysays%2F142154798184%2Ftumblr_o51exlQk6u1u7pteb

Cross Post: Unintended Consequences (Ch01)

original here. dated 2013-11-24.

A/N: I’ve been doing some recording today for dosbysilverqueen and I guess my brain caught in that gear. Also, I’ve been meaning to do this to finish off the rest of my Unintended Consequences backlogs.

FYI, Unintended Consequences was the prototype for my Externality series in which Tetsuki Kaiza (one year older the the Rookie Nine) somehow helps Naruto graduate a year early–because apparently he tried to graduate twice before actually graduating with the Rookie Nine. Which still confuses me since the anime says he entered with their class but… oh well.

~

Her Academy career is nothing special. Due to her heritage, or lack thereof, there is no real pressure for her to succeed. Nor are there any real expectations.

For the most part, she does pretty decently. Like many other orphans who have decided to take the Academy track, she is better than the strictly civilian students. The ones who are, for lack of a better term, soft. They’re just playing, drawn in by the culture of Konoha and it’s almost patriotic glorification of ninja. They have parents to go back to, parents who are often just indulging their children and don’t really understand the horrible commitment until far too late.

But they do have one thing going for them, as she and many of her fellow orphans can feel all too keenly, they have a better support network. They tend to do better on the strictly academic tests–history and math in particular–because of superior literacy skills. Even if everyone in the Academy has technically gone through the same two years of free schooling, there’s a lot more reading and writing done outside of school for those with disposable income that can be spent on books.

And food.

It’s not that they starve, Konoha is too well-off for that, but there’s a difference between a two meals a day at specifically scheduled intervals and having access to food whenever one feels the slightest bit hungry. For some of the orphan students, it reflects in the physical classes–she knows of at least two fellow orphans in her class that simply can’t do all of the drills because of low blood sugar or malnutrition. One was flunked out in third year, the other most likely won’t be able to graduate. For the most part, it just makes civilian kids all the more coddled: during the annual “survival field trip,” which is basically camping in one of the safer, more forested training grounds, civilians tended to be the ones complaining and dragging the groups down.

But, if the orphan students just barely eke past the civilian kids, both are easily blown out of the water by Clan children.

Whatever support network civilian students may have, Clan students simply have larger and better ones. Even Branch Hyuuga, who are treated as servants by their Main counterparts, still have better books, equipment, and social groups than even the richest of civilians. Not to mention, Clan children don’t have any of the negative habits that civilian kids do. They aren’t spoiled like civilian kids by their support network, if anything they are groomed and trained and conditioned to be superior ninja.

If civilian kids are the raw meat left out in the open to rot, and orphans are the dry, tough, but still edible jerky, then Clan children are perfectly restaurant-prepared barbecue.

It’s hard not to feel jealous. Life isn’t fair, she knows that, but it’s not like she’s doing so badly. They get good results, sure, but hers are nothing to sniff at.

It would probably be an exaggeration to say she’s a genius. She still has trouble with academics–due entirely to her mediocre literacy skills–but during the few occasions where the questions and answers are verbal she does just fine. But that’s not really due to her intelligence as it is her ability to know what the teacher wants to here. It’s less “smart” and more “sharp.” Not all orphans have this skill, but a few do; there’s a shrewdness that comes with being overlooked and undervalued. What would be deemed precocious in other kids, is considered cynically canny in an orphan. It is both a blessing and a curse.

To her dismay, she enjoys genjutsu. She absolutely loves it. The logistics of layering genjutsu, the variations necessary to take hold of different senses, the open canvas to make imagination into reality. It’s like stepping into a dream, controlling every aspect of the surrounding world and the target in turn. It’s amazing.

Nonetheless, her skill and preference for genjutsu is problematic. It’s unfortunate because–combined with her adequate achievement in kunoichi classes, her unremarkable yet fair features, and her lack of social or political standing–her future will likely be filled with infiltration and seduction types of missions. While it’s not the worst that could happen, and her skill in genjutsu implies that she doesn’t necessarily have to have sex in order to seduce, if she continues along this path she’s going to end up a glorified prostitute before she turns fifteen.

It doesn’t help her case that she has a low ranking in taijutsu class. In her defense she does actually know the katas, but when it comes to the spars she dodges and hesitates when she really should attack.

Her saving grace is that she has larger than average chakra reserves: not just for kunoichi, but amongst academy students in general. She also has fairly good chakra control–not perfect like some of the other girls, not enough for the more delicate medical jutsu, but enough that she can understand and perform ninjutsu and chakra exercises within just a few tries.

She might be considered for light combat instead: guard duty and border patrol, which, though it isn’t the cushy administrative post or the relatively safe teaching position, is still preferable to infiltration, seduction or not. It’s one thing to build a temporary fake world with chakra, it’s another to actually live a lie all the time. She already feels like an outsider occasionally, she wouldn’t want to be one in a foreign country for the sake of a mission.

But that’s a matter for later, after the final exam. As it is, maybe she’s still looking too far ahead, because the semester just started and the final exam isn’t for another five and a half months. Then again, preparation certainly wouldn’t hurt her chances of passing, and it’s better to be eager and pass than under-prepared and failed. Speaking of, the new (older) additions to the class have already taken the final exam: they know what to expect, even if they obviously failed, but that knowledge should improve their chances of passing. And hers, if she can get one of them to tell her. Information is often more valuable than gold or steel for a ninja.

She doesn’t know what the returnee rate usually is, but there’s only four of them in her class and of that only one of them is a girl. She remembers her from kunoichi classes, which combine every two class years, and the girl was always complaining. Also, she wasn’t particularly good at any of the kunoichi skills–not that it’s so unusual. Another girl in their class, TenTen, usually only just barely passed those tests, but at least she had impressive shurikenjutsu skills to make up for it–the returning girl didn’t have any such specialties. Which explains why she failed. She never even seemed to want to be a ninja, really, but that’s not particularly relevant.

Nonetheless, maybe one of the others would be better. Knowing why they failed before approaching them would be helpful. She doesn’t want to waste her time on someone who can’t help her, but she has to give them incentive to cooperate. It would be best if they could help each other, though she certainly wouldn’t say no to free information.

Oh. One of them is Rock Lee. She’s heard of him, of course. The boy unable to mold chakra but wants to be a shinobi anyway. Why he failed is obvious, she can’t help him overcome that kind of handicap, though she admires him a little bit for his determination. But mostly scoffs at him for irrationality. What kind of ninja does he think he can become without even being able to do the Basic Three? And supposedly all he had going for him in the taijutsu classes was sheer stubbornness. No chakra, no academic intelligence, average at best taijutsu. How he even made it this far in the academy is a mystery to her.

She’ll pick from the remaining two, then. One of them looks sort of familiar, in a hazy sort of way. Perhaps he was at the same orphanage? But with his blonde hair and blue eyes, clashing horribly with his orange outfit, he’s probably a Yamanaka clan kid. He also looks kind of short, a definite reach disadvantage in taijutsu. She can’t really tell from this angle, and his clothes hardly help, but he looks like the kind of person who would fight with power more so than speed. Or at least, he will be when he gets a bit older. The other guy doesn’t seem familiar or outstanding at all. She’ll ask him first, then, after today’s classes.

It’s probably for the best that she decided to wait to ask about the final exam. The other guy was a total dick. Not to her personally, of course, because she hadn’t even approached him yet. But apparently he’s a long time tormentor of Rock Lee, which is just… dickish.

Ok, so sure Rock can’t use chakra and it’s probably stupid of him to keep trying to become a ninja. But there’s no reason to bully him for it. And what does that say about that beanie-wearing jerk that he didn’t pass either? At least Rock has the excuse of not being able to use chakra–from how the other guy kept lording himself, he should have been able to pass.

Well, the stuck up Hyuuga took him down a few pegs at least. Not for any nice reasons, though, because saying someone who has failed is destined for failure is also pretty messed up. But no one really wants to argue with the likely Top Rookie of the year, especially when he’s making an obnoxious jerk shut up… and when he sort of has a point.

If you didn’t pass the exam because of a low score, fine, maybe next time study harder or something–though if you didn’t bother to the first time you’re probably too lazy to the second. But if you didn’t pass the exam because you physically cannot and will not be able to do ninjutsu… they’re called ninja for a reason.

All of that just means she should probably reconsider the kunoichi senpai or ask Uzumaki. Because that’s who the blonde kid was: Uzumaki Naruto, not a Yamanaka clan kid. Although, that didn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t half Yamanaka, he might be a bastard child. But even in that case, Mochida-sensei wouldn’t dare be even half so caustic if he were related to one of Konoha’s major clans, unofficial as it might be.

Something about his name sounded familiar, despite that. Uzumaki isn’t a clan name, she knows, but it still sounds like she’s heard it before. Maybe he’s related to someone from their textbooks. Or, from the way the teacher has been glaring at him when not outrightly ignoring him, maybe someone from the bingo books.

She has no idea why he still seems familiar, even though she knows she’s never seen him in her life–she’d remember such a bright orange suit. But what really bugs her is that she doesn’t understand how Uzumaki could have taken and failed the final exam already but still be a year younger than her.

If he were a genius, getting admitted early or skipping a few years, then he should have been able to pass. Unless, since he failed, he’s not good enough at a specific skill or he has a lot of potential, but hasn’t been been taught how to reach it. With the way Mochida-sensei has made his day difficult, she can believe it.

She doesn’t want that hostility to be turned to her, even though Uzumaki looks like her best choice for the deal. He doesn’t have any grating character flaws from what she can tell, and his reason for failing may be something she can help him with. And if he’s really aiming to be Hokage, as he yelled earlier in the day, even though it’s unrealistic that just means he’ll be more desperate to pass. She’ll have more leverage during negotiations. As long as it’s outside of class it’ll be fine, Mochida-sensei won’t know. It’s not like she wants to be friends: their association will be strictly business.

what are your dos ships? (I’ve been lookin for a Neji/Shikako ship since forever)

… am I allowed to answer this? I kind of have this notion like, because I run the dosbysilverqueen blog, I’m contractually obligated to stay neutral. I mean, that’s a silly feeling, so I’m going to ignore it, but that’s my first gut instinct.

Let’s see, for DoS ships… I have to admit that I greatly enjoy how DoS is gen–more about friendship and family than romance–because I’ve always been the type of fan who prefers what the fandom comes up with for ships than what the original does? Or rather, that the original work picking a specific ship almost ruins the magic of it–it makes it real in a very specific way and it can’t be undone. Or un-canon-ed… if that makes any sense.

From a fan’s point of view I am, obviously, quite fond of GaaraxShikako (unsurprisingly, given that my Dreaming of S(omething) series revolves around the first Dreaming of S(erenity) that was inspired by their Grass Chuunin Exam battle), and I do think it is my most favorite? In the sense that, if something had to become “canon DoS” then I would mind that the least–because there have been multiple moments of creating a foundation for a romantic relationship. Not immediately of course, but if–for some odd reason–SQ did a sudden time skip straight to the epilogue and showed ShikakoxGaara then I wouldn’t be all that surprised or disappointed?

Same with KibaxShikako, though I find that less feasible only because I feel that Shikako views a lot of the Konoha-nin (especially the Konoha Twelve/Thirteen) as, well, assets? Or… characters. Well, no, but I’m unsure about how to say this… like, Shikako can’t view any of them in a romantic sense because she knows too much about them from her own reader’s POV that there might be… not necessarily a consent gap but like a… knowledge disadvantage.

And there’s also the Westermarck effect which, technically, only applies to children raised together from birth to six years old and so doesn’t actually apply to Shikako and the rest of the Rookie Nine. But I feel like it’s something that would linger with Shikako–they are characters, they are children, they are assets that need to be kept alive–and so she wouldn’t be able to view any of them romantically (at least, not for a long while).

Which is probably why I’m fond of a conflicted/unrequited!SasukexShikako; because not only is she basically the first girl to befriend him as himself (and not the school idol) but she’s also the closest thing he has to family? So, like I’ve mentioned before, there is no doubt that Sasuke loves Shikako but I don’t think even he quite knows in what way–romantic or platonic. And Shikako for sure loves him platonically, but I feel like the consent/knowledge disadvanatge applies to him especially–seeing as how Shikako has literally changed his fate on multiple occasions. She has way too much power over him–and way too many secrets she’s hiding from him–for her to ever feel like she can be in a romantic with him.

And with InoxShikako. Well, that ship is complicated not because Ino’s feelings are complicated for Shikako–I kind of feel like Ino would be okay with either a romantic relationship with Shikako or maintaining their platonic friendship, unlike Sasuke who is unsure what he wants–but because Shikako has also changed Ino’s fate for the worse (at least, given her latest feelings about damaging Team Ten…). So not only is there a power disparity and secret-keeping there’s also guilt on Shikako’s part–which there isn’t really with Sasuke.

That being said, I am now wondering about the SakuraxShikako ship. But like, way after everything in canon has been settled; like when everyone’s nineteen or so. Because Shikako has definitely changed Sakura’s life–majorly, considering she’s not on Team Seven anymore–but not necessarily for better or worse and not even on purpose. So Shikako would be free from any guilt or secrecy because any differences with Sakura–she’d have such different formative experience than the one canon Sakura had–aren’t really Shikako’s fault. It would remove a little of that consent/knowledge disadvantage because while Shikako knows what canon Sakura would be like it’s not some kind of benchmark that she keeps in her head about how she’s failed/succeeded (not like with Sasuke and Ino, probably). It’s just… different. Yeah, I think that’d be interesting.

As for the members of Team Gai. Well. If I had to ship one of them with Shikako I probably would have originally gone with TenTenxShikako given the steps between acquaintances to friends to lovers isn’t so off. But then thinking about it further (and also keeping in mind that Shikamaru and TenTen are dating, and it’d be really weird to date one twin then the other) that’s kind of… boring? Like… where’s the spark? The passion? And also I’d be a little worried about TenTen’s self-esteem? Like it’s one thing to be friends with a kunoichi who is from a clan and a prodigy at sealing and already a tokubetsu jounin at age thirteen etc. etc. But it’s another thing to date one? Like… ouch–I’d be torn between jealousy and guilt over being jealous constantly.

Given Lee’s eternal, unwavering love for Sakura and also his very disconcerting first/second impression of Shikako (post-Orochimaru battle in the Forest of Death, right after she totally demolished the Sound Genin even though she was so injured and tired and probably concussed) I don’t really think a romantic ship could form between them? Definitely not for a long time. Because Shikako is very clearly not what Lee is looking for–and because Lee is oddly sexist? Like, he doesn’t have anything against kunoichi being shinobi but his “ideal woman” is essentially a damsel in distress whose affection can be won by defeating Sasuke in battle (that’s straight up canon) or by rescuing her from the Sound Genin. And Lee’s continued crush on Sakura (in canon) is because she’s so overtly feminine, or his idea of femininity–pretty and passive–that it always made me very uncomfortable whenever his crush on her was brought up. Especially when she made it clear that she liked Sasuke and he’d still try to pursue her/impress her by trying to defeat Sasuke. I DUNNO. He grows out of his crush on Sakura (eventually) but I have no idea if he’s grown out of that weird idealized femininity, but either way Shikako wouldn’t want that. Like… at all.

And now for Neji. I’ll be honest, anon, until you brought it up I hadn’t ever really thought about it? But now that I do I’m just like… hm… yeah… yeah? Alright! Because Neji is one of the few of the Konoha Twelve that isn’t really in Shikako’s sphere of influence nor someone whose life she feels obligated to improve. Mostly because… she can’t do anything about his life. There’s no way she could have saved his dad, she can’t affect Hyuuga Clan politics, and Naruto has already changed his view on life/Hinata. So… it’s, much like the GaaraxShikako ship and the SakuraxShikako ship, something different and… freeing?

Now as for the specifics of the NejixShikako ship–I do enjoy how Neji’s first/second impression of Shikako is basically the same as Lee’s but instead of being discomfited, Neji is… impressed? He respects her ability and her decisions even if he doesn’t necessarily agree, or maybe because they are so different. Two points that I’d want to see addressed in this ship would be the topic of fate and the Caged Bird Seal–because these are both things which are vital to Neji’s character and which Shikako could possibly change. Because her very existence proves that fate can be changed… and given her reputation as Konoha’s newest budding fuinjutsu master. Well, it wouldn’t make any sense for her not to at least be curious about the Caged Bird Seal.

But these two matters would also be very… Okay so, it’s canon that Neji dies. And Shikako has already gotten in trouble with her fuinjutsu. I almost feel like Shikako would be, at least subconsciously, reluctant to be in a relationship with Neji–at least, before the whole Madara/Kaguya madness. Because then he’d be one more person she’s responsible for. And she’d put so much pressure on herself to prevent his death which would just… it’s a lot for her to juggle and it would absolutely wreck her if she failed. Of course, if this relationship starts after the whole Madara/Kaguya madness then that’s a different story. And, because she’s already been through the end of the world, she’d be more willing to get involved in the politics of the Caged Bird Seal. What does clan politics matter to her anymore? She can do whatever she want… essentially, timing is very important.