Would you consider a story in which Shikadai is biologically Gaara and Shikako’s and raised by Shikamaru and Temari. An oops baby, surrogacy, or genetic donation for possible senarios

Uh… not so much… I mean… I full on went into it here back when I was writing a lot of the next gen “Our Share of the World” ficlets, but basically… it’s not something that is compatible with my own personal headcanons of the involved characters.

And there’s also the fact that in my head it’s just: he definitely exists in canon Boruto which doesn’t have Shikako. (Also, also, according to DoS there’s basically birth control no jutsu which makes accidental pregnancy highly improbable).

I mean, definitely feel free to have that as your own headcanon for Shikadai; but it’s not something that I’d pick up for my own collection. I quite like the idea of Shikako just being Shikadai’s bewilderingly powerful aunt who is always on crazy adventures.

And I just really love the idea that Gaara would be the kind of person to adopt children leading into the next gen sand siblings (regardless of being in a relationship with Shikako or not).

Although even if Shikadai was biologically Gaara and Shikako’s, if he’s still raised by Shikamaru and Temari then I don’t see much of a story happening that isn’t needlessly “you’re not my real mom” or whatever which is unappealing on a huge level and also, irritatingly, maybe what’s going on with Sarada and Sakura? No, thank you.

Would you ever write a time travel fic where nothing needs to be changed? Like … like a domestic AU story, but with time travel, in concept? Nothing to prevent, no horrors to avert, just … life, but with a character that can time travel.

I think I’ve hit a point where every time I get a prompt for a concept I’m always just like: wait a second… have I already… seen this before…

And in this case, yes, sort of here, in which rockstar!Gaara goes back in time after both breakups to the day he and his siblings had their first official gig and the same day he met Shikako.

And, well, explained like that, I suppose it doesn’t match your prompt, anon, because while it’s not a horrible crisis, arguably Gaara starts off maybe wanting to prevent the breakups. But he quickly finds that there’s no big mistake he made…

But it’s still not quite what you want, anon, so I went back to the drawing board.

So… “life, but with a character that can time travel.” And again I stumble because my brain just automatically wants to make certain connections. “A character that can time travel” to me is my original character Leanne Peridot from my series Counterclockwise but then again her life is pretty awful. If anything, for her, the time traveling IS the horribly crisis that she’s trying to prevent.

It’s, again, not what you want, anon, so I went at it for a third time, trying my best to stay away from any preconceived notions, and I think I would say it depends on the mechanic/type of time travel. And I came up with two tentative possible stories based on different time travel mechanic/types.

A) The Accidental Rewrite

It’s, as you said, someone who goes back in time not to prevent anything horrible, but it just… happens. And I think, maybe, the time traveller has no say in it. One day they went to sleep the next day it was three years in the past. And the thing is, they didn’t have a shitty life… I mean, could it have been better? Yes, maybe. But it was a satisfactory life.

Except… was it? Now they’re starting to wonder, were they supposed to do something more with their life? WERE they supposed to prevent some horrible thing from happening and they messed up so badly to the point that they didn’t even KNOW about the thing they were supposed to prevent?

And at this point you have to wonder: is it a loop–which makes the time traveller doubt everything about their life–or, which I much prefer, is it just the once. And life moves on.

Because if it’s a loop then that means the looping becomes the center of the story. How the time traveller games the system and what differences they make between lives, not so much what they make of this new chance at life. So I think if I were to do this kind of mechanic, it would very much be a “it happened once and I still don’t know why, and maybe at first I tried to look into it but otherwise I just figured it was my second chance at the three years,” got a slightly better job, maintained my friends and family relationships better, etc. Maybe met a significant other when before they didn’t have one. The time travel is what causes them to change their life and it is a mystery but it doesn’t become their life.


AND

B) The Chronic Condition

(That pun though)

Basically, Counterpoise but without ALL THE HORRIBLE THINGS I DO TO MY CHARACTERS. Time traveller slides in and out of different points in time and lives their life out of order from everyone else, but it’s okay because they know people in each era and it’s kind of just like traveling and visiting friends/family except instead of around the world it’s across time.

Maybe at first it is scary. They can’t control it. They don’t know when they’re going or what will happen. But after a while, they grow accustomed to it. They can’t control when they’ll travel, but maybe they can control what era they’ll go to. Or maybe they can sense when they’re about to travel and maybe they can hold it off for a few hours or days just to get ready instead of just getting ripped away from what they’re doing. It becomes easier. Manageable.

And I quite like the idea that a person can always have loved ones even if they don’t see them often or even in the same order. My grandparents meet me for the first time when I am the same age and we are friends, then they meet me as after a few years whereas I am younger. Then they see an old, familiar looking guest at their wedding. Then every so often, I visit them at their house, give gifts to their kids (my parent and aunts/uncles). Then I am born and for all intents and purposes meet them for the first time and they get to witness the stages of my life as I grow up.

Like… who cares if the milestones are out of order so long as the people we care about are there.

So I guess what I’m saying is. Yes, anon, I would maybe write a story about time travel without a dramatic purpose.

Story A would work in any series–original fiction or fanfiction–whereas Story B is just me being nicer to Leanne. Which, I mean, I probably should be nicer to her anyway (because if her entire life is suffering, it won’t be as deliciously satisfying whenever I make sad things happen).

Is there a particular series/fandom you wanted to see either iterations in?

~

Check out the Ask Box Would You Ever!

can I prompt some of that foundation of yesterday outsider pov?

A/N: So… I know I just did a Into Thin Air ficlet which is, of course, set in FFVII but… the problem is anon, I haven’t actually played FFVII?

And like, that’s mostly the reason why Into Thin Air kind of rehashes the same ideas and is VERY VAGUE, because I don’t know the timeline in enough detail to make things specific (which is why Unto The Climate is easier for me since I’m more familiar with Naruto canon and it’s only Windy–and Kaguya/Jenova–who is from FFVII).

And given Foundation of Yesterday is primarily set in FFVII with Naruto characters being summoned/awakened there, that explains why the brainstorm was just a brainstorm and not a ficlet. And then there’s the whole… set up of it…. Although, to be fair, that was more of me stream-of-consciousness coming up with the idea as it came to me as opposed to attempting to write it so, what the hell, it’s the ask box advent calendar, I’ll give it a shot!

~

Foundation of Yesterday, Prologue (2017-12-15)

The Shichidaime Hokage goes missing without a trace. The Elemental Nations begin to freak out: it’s been decades since the world was so close to destruction, but that their primary defender has gone is alarming.

It is only the beginning.

Kaguya is uncovered from her icy prison and experimented on, the foolish mortals playing at gods, but their folly shall be her triumph.

Her first two sons were traitors, but her third? Oh, she’s certain Sephiroth will do her proud.

There is an unstoppable countdown, jinchuuriki disappearing despite everyone’s best efforts as if chakra itself were reclaiming them.

Shikako and Sasuke have not stopped searching for Naruto but their hope is steadily dwindling.

They are running out of miracles.

Vincent knows his eyes are unnerving–unnatural, demonic–but Lucrecia is the first to ever say she loves them.

Too bad she loves science more.

But honestly, the cursed existence that follows after his death isn’t entirely her fault.

“It’s time to sleep,” Gaara tells his children, a bewildering, solemn statement from the only remaining jinchuuriki. It’s the last clue they get before he, too, disappears.

For Shikako, it’s also the last straw.

When Yuffie is six, father gives her a necklace, the pendant a dark stone with shining green flecks–a family heirloom: if she protects it, it will protect her in turn.

Obviously just a superstition, Yuffie thinks years later as her homeland is conquered and destroyed.

Not quite.

The loss of the jinchuuriki is never solved, and though sad, time marches on. Children grow up, take their own place as heroes and leaders, and eventually it becomes just another tale to tell.

They never think to connect it to the vanishing Shikabane-hime.

Where a Strife walks, trouble follows, names well earned. They are living, breathing natural disasters, bringers of storms and change.

It’s not a coincidence that they end up in Nibelheim.

The Planet works in mysterious ways.

~

A/N: … hrm… this is probably overly referential to the brainstorm, but it just didn’t want to flow :/ Hopefully it’s still a fun read, though, anon!

Check out the Ask Box Advent Calendar!

Best Thing That’s Ever Been Mine. Rockstar or Royalty au

I had to look through my entire Sabaku no Gaara tag because I foolishly didn’t tag either AUs with a specific tag, mostly because I was probably hoping I’d make a title to attach to them and just never bothered…

Anyway…

Definitely Royalty!AU. I’m getting a vaguely Princess Bride vibe? But, like… also Titanic vibe. In the sense that it’s an older Gaara telling the story of his first love to, probably, the NGSS and the plot twist is that hey, what up, there’s no sad ending. Everyone lives, everything worked out, hooray, Gaara’s first love aka Shikako is in fact their adoptive mom so it’s all good.

Like a less bullshit/skeezy version of How I Met Your Mother, basically. But because Gaara is very solemn and surprisingly poetic it’d sound like an epic in the literal sense and not just a creepy guy complaining about his failed relationships.

I guess this would be a good title for the more action-filled version of Royalty!AU where, along with the sweeping fairy tale romance tabloid drama, there is also a sub-plot of the Akatsuki being an anti-monarchy terrorist group and feeling of betrayal when Shikako is believed to be involved in an assassination attempt against Temari.

But that’d basically be cheating on my part, so let’s see…

I guess this could just straight up be a bad ending!version of the Royalty!AU? Not ~dead~ bad ending, but a “it just couldn’t work out” bad ending… but that’s dissatisfying.

Hm… I don’t know, anon…

This actually feels more like a TemarixShikamaru B-sides of Royalty!AU than the A-sides that is Shikaara. And, like, in this AU Temari can’t abdicate her role so it is a “bad ending” for them…

OH! So it’d be more like the ClarissexJoe subplot from Princess Diaries 2–in that they never allowed themselves to be together because of ~duty and propriety~ until after her heir was established.

Which means it would still be a story to the NGSS (one of whom is taking up the throne) decades after the initial meeting and falling in love, but it’s not entirely cliche “this is how it happened” because their story isn’t done yet! 😀

Like. Everyone’s eyes were on the fairy tale romance of the century that was Shikaara, unbeknownst to nearly everyone else there was this drama of firstborns resisting love because of their duties. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Foundation Of Yesterday Shikako/Gaara

I’m getting definite “future people!POV looking back at the past” vibes and whether that means canon future people looking back at Gaara and Shikako’s relationship as distorted through time and drama (as with Winter in the Fields) or a historical!AU via epistolary and archaeological narration or some kind of “summoned and reunited in the future by heroes in desperate need of help” is a little uncertain.

Well… although I’m always somewhat reluctant to reuse ideas… this would be a pretty good title for that reverse Stories of Ancient Gods, aka the one where DoS is the ancient past of FFVII (instead of the other way around) and Shikako is a strangely proactive and human Summon while the bijuu/jinchuuriki are the WEAPONs.

And given Gaara and Shukaku are the Ichibi, it makes sense for them to be the first WEAPON that AVALANCHE (+Shikako) encounter.

Sort of this idea where Shikako and the bijuu/jinchuuriki are the failsafe to stop Kaguya/Jenova and were dormant for millennia until AVALANCHE awaken them.

So while Cloud and Company’s quest is to stop Sephiroth and save Midgar, Shikako (and Gaara’s) quest is to defeat Kaguya/Jenova once and for all. They’re in a strange world surrounded by strangers, trying to find and awaken the people they do actually know.

Obviously this fic would start with a member of AVALANCHE happening upon the strange Summon Materia that is Shikako’s Gelel stone. Whether or not it’s one of the team’s family heirloom or just something they stumble upon during their travels, I’m not sure…

I had considered it being Cloud’s family heirloom–in that, Shikako’s Gelel stone was entrusted to Naruto’s descendants–but given that Naruto is already one of the WEAPONs and will make his own, independent cameo that seemed unfair… even though appearance and the village pariah and naming convention parallels so nicely. Meh, that’s what Unto The Climate is for)

And then I felt sad because even though your prompt asks for Shikako/Gaara only, to have Naruto and Shikako appear and not Sasuke gave me feels. Team Seven must be complete!

So then, what, is it Sasuke’s descendants who have Shikako’s Gelel stone? Or does the Sharingan somehow enable Sasuke to manifest millennia into the future also?

If we go with the former, I was thinking maybe Shikako’s Gelel stone is just one of the many materia that Yuffie has without knowing what, exactly, it is. After all, it’s not the normal color for Summon Materia and she probably doesn’t use all of the materia she ends up getting. Alternatively, Sasuke has become Chaos?

He (accidentally) combined the Sharingan and the Curse Seal in such a way as to achieve (unwanted) immortality that Orochimaru could have only dreamed of, but the mortal mind is not meant to experience such a long period of time. The jinchuuriki are fine because they were mostly asleep while their bijuu are themselves walking forces of nature. Shikako was dormant in her Gelel stone. But Chaos/Sasuke didn’t have that cover. So he’s a little… crazy. Poor Vincent.

Although, Vincent being the only one to survive being imbued with Chaos because he was the only genetic descendant of Sasuke is pretty good? For an arguable definition of good.

Actually, yeah, I like that Sasuke-as-Chaos idea with Vincent-as-Sasuke’s-descendant. Perhaps Yuffie is just a descendant of one of Shikako’s brother’s? So as to keep the Gelel stone within the family even if they weren’t entirely sure what it would do.

… yeah, I like that better.

So with that foundation in mind, and through the lens of Shikako/Gaara, it would be Shikako and AVALANCHE (and Gaara and Chaos/Sasuke through Vincent) traveling around the world to stop Sephiroth, find the other WEAPONs/jinchuuriki/bijuu, and defeat Kaguya/Jenova ~forever~

And meanwhile there’s a lot of AVALANCHE!POV of these ancient beings and their bizarre conversations and behaviors.

Did Shikako and Gaara have A Thing before being turned into dormant last defenses for the planet but they hadn’t quite resolved their issues so now they’re tiptoeing around each other and AVALANCHE are just like… wtf. Even Ancients and WEAPONs have romantic drama?

~I don’t knoooooooooow, anon~

Changeling, Shikamaru, The Nara are not like the ninja clans that must pay the Fae in blood, or gold, or a child from their clan: whenever a Nara child is stillborn, the parents are bound to foster a Fae child their place.

donapoetrypassion:

jacksgreysays:

A/N: Hm… I kinda want to both brainstorm and write a ficlet for this prompt, because the idea is very lovely (as per usual, dona) but the brainstorm I have is different than the ficlet I want to write?

Like the ficlet is just a straight up narrative prose exploring the idea of some Nara children being changelings and why their clan are the exception, etc. etc. Whereas the brainstorm is a more expansive plotty thing about how having a changeling character would affect the story.

Hm, I guess they’re not necessarily exclusive to each other so let’s do both… ficlet first!

~

To say that the Shodaime Hokage created the forests around what would become the sight of Konohagakure is an exaggeration at best and an outright lie at worst.

It’s true that the Hashirama trees are the first type that villagers learn to identify as children–prevalent in most parks and training grounds, a protective ring around the walls–but the forest itself is far older than that; far greater.

Far less human.

///

Yoshino is in labor for a grueling forty six hours–more blood, sweat, and tears than even the worst battle–but she knows it’ll be worth it, prays to every god she can think of that it’ll be worth it.

When finally it’s done, that last exhausting push, she can barely catch her breath, barely stay awake, and yet she claws at consciousness desperately.

Why is there only one baby crying?

///

The Nara clan live close to the earth: their herds and their trees and theirs shadows upon the ground. They are intelligent, taking their own time and space, and for that they are looked upon fondly.

Most of the time, that’s a good thing.

///

There is a tree, deep within the Nara clan compound, old and gnarled and kept secret.

In that tree, there is a hollow, cleaned monthly but left empty.

Tonight, with Kasuga and Sembei at his back, Shikaku places the small, shrouded bundle inside.

///

It has been a long time since the Nara clan were given a gift from the other side.

An honor and risk, both.

The rest of the village has no idea what they’re in for.

OKAY! So, now it’s brainstorm time.

I made it vague because I wasn’t sure if, because you specified Shikamaru, you wanted him to be the changeling or if you wanted his POV of changeling!Shikako… or, I guess, now that I think of it, if you even wanted DoS? Whoops.

Anyway! The ficlet above would be the prequel basically laying down the groundwork of your prompt for a much larger story. What that story is, I’m not entirely sure…

Actually, I’m thinking something like Danzo has somehow gotten to the other side and that’s where a lot of his ROOT soldiers are from–changeling children that weren’t so blessed to be placed with the Nara clan, which sort of explains the affinity Shikako has with Sai, etc. etc–and the Fae kind of point Shikako in that direction and just, go wild, dispense our wrath…

… but I’m worried I’m focusing too much on Danzo as the big bad. I mean, the Fae could also be GREATLY DISPLEASED with the giant evil bijuu eating statue and that’s another task the whispers in Shikako’s mind point her towards.

I do like the idea that while the Nara are the only ones who get changeling children as a sort of active, deliberate exchange, there are other places (including outside of Konoha) where changeling children appear where there isn’t any established and known protocols for it. And so, like how Naruto has his not-so-secret society of jinchuuriki, Shikako has a slightly-more-secret society of changelings.

Sai is one, definitely. I’m thinking also Juugo? And maaybe Isaribi to incorporate her more into the story… I don’t think there’d be any overlaps in changelings and jinchuuriki (the only exception might be Sora at the Fire Temple who is only a partial jinchuuriki or something like that?)

Hm…

I mean, this would be in Shikamaru’s POV so as to match your prompt and also him as an outsider but close observer of this phenomenon would lend itself well into the whole–changelings LOOK human, but they aren’t, kind of thing. Yes, they’re mostly taught how to interact in a socially acceptable way, but they’re still Other.

Actually, now I wonder if even the bijuu are a little scared of the Fae (and, by association, the changelings) because chakra is a relatively new power in the world. The bijuu aren’t that old in comparison to the Fae. SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT FURTHER 😀

~

Ask Box Event Now Open!

Awesome! A brainstorm AND a ficlet! I love this so much- I totally hadn’t thought about the ROOT thing. …Man, the Fae could be PISSED about that. And …not concerned, but irritated at the instruction of the Juno. Yes, irritated. (Your suggestion also now has me wondering about the au of this au, where Shikamaru finds out HE’s the changeling. Oooh.) But I love the Shikako-Sai connection you did there. And for some reason I am thinking about the logistics of hiding this from the hospital. (Either the Nara blatantly take over that wing of the hospital, or Tsunade is left affronted that the Nara never go to the hospital for childbirth. Which makes one wonder if other clans try to take over one aspect of village administration/services in order to conceal/uphold their dealings with the Fae.)

…Wow, imagine if BOTH twins were Fae. Brings the ‘and one looks like the mother and one looks like the father’ to a whole new creepy level, right? Some Fae thing they do so that the babies blend in- maybe it involves a blood sacrifice from the parents. Or- no. Just the little bundle at the root of the tree. That’s enough to work with.

I think it makes more sense if Shikako alone is the Fae, though. Does she even know it? Maybe not. She tries very hard to be ‘normal,’ for a chageling.

…I kind of wonder if Orochimaru was a changeling. And maybe that was what got Danzo interested in them.

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Shikamaru as the changeling would be absolutely fascinating. Because Shikako is the “weird” one as compared to Shikamaru who is very traditionally Nara. But is he really? Or, rather, what is it to be Nara as compared to Fae?

After all, they do have the favor of the Fae, have had previously received changeling children as a gift. Perhaps it’s because they’re so similar?

There’s a post going around about how changeling children from the past were most likely autistic children which society at the time couldn’t put into any other words but having been swapped with a Fae child. And, well, the Nara are very… hm… the new Maori word for autism is “his or her own time and space” which I feel does describe the Nara clan as a whole.

They let their members grow as they feel, don’t push them to think one way or another, they’re very supportive when a member finds their calling, used to members switching between hyper-focus and scattered distraction. Cloud watching could very well be a way to reduce stimuli…

I think there are probably enough Nara who work in the hospital that whenever one is pregnant and giving birth, it’s not at all difficult to swap Nara nurses and medics into the delivery. Especially when it’s the clan head’s wife giving birth? It wouldn’t at all be suspicious for any Nara hospital staff to involve themselves in such a clan critical pregnancy, so then it wouldn’t be necessary to take over the maternity ward (just borrow it, for a little while).

Ooh, Orochimaru as a changeling… that makes a lot of sense, actually! Unfortunately for him, the Nara clan head at the time of his childhood hadn’t been as observant, or perhaps thought the stillborns for changelings swap was a myth, or was very clannish and didn’t consider it his responsibility to help. And it would, as you said, give an interesting spin on his relationship with Danzo and also his defection from Akatsuki. He’s definitely a Dark Fae, or a Fallen Fae, or whatever the terminology might be for a changeling that has broken so many Rules that the Fae no longer claim him as their own. Although maybe he redeems himself in their eyes (which explains better why he’s still walking around doing whatever he wants in Boruto)?

I’m a little hesitant about Gaara being a changeling as well as a jinchuuriki… maybe he’s of Fae descent? Like, Karura could’ve been a changeling… which explains why she died in childbirth (the bijuu chakra sealed into the as of yet unborn Gaara seeped into her own system, weakening her) but also how she was able to imbue her protection/love into his sand even after her death. And how cool would it be if that’s where Temari’s EXTREME WIND BADASSERY came from?

Shikaku is a very tolerant father, I feel like. Or, rather, accepting the fact that his clan has a weird trading system with the Fae means he’s just a very tolerant, not-easily-shaken man.

Indelible, a Dreaming of S(oulmates) tangent (2017-08-27)

A/N1: So psych_girl commented on the ao3 version of Dreaming of S(oulmates) about expanding on the different soulmate AUs, and I gave permission to write double recursive ficlets based on them (hopefully I’ll be able to reblog/post links here), but it put my mind on the subject and I hope I’m not swooping a ficlet out from under them.

So this one in particular is based on the AU (two: inkblot skin).

~

Shinobi will try to weaponize anything, a subconscious mindset more than active strategy: the symbiotic relationship of Aburame and their kikaichu, Inuzuka and their ninken, are just two examples of such.

Fuinjutsu had originally been created to transport Uzushio’s limited, but varied resources across their islands.

Even something as innocuous as flowers–the Yamanaka as much feared for their poisonous arrangements as their mind jutsu.

Soul marks–the transfer of ink and scars and blood from one soulmate to the other–are not exempt either.

///

The main issues preventing soul marks from monopolizing intel communications is that they’re not comprehensive and they’re not immediate.

Sometimes, something as insignificant as scraped knees or absentminded grocery lists will transfer over, while death blows and I love you’s remain on only one half. There doesn’t seem to be any correlation in emotion or strength of bond to explain what gets send and what doesn’t. And so something as important as mission specs or front line movements could never be entrusted to soul marks.

On top of that, any of them may transfer in minutes, in hours, in days–the longest recorded gap being three weeks. Again, nothing explaining the inconsistency: not distance, or age, or emotion.

But still, that doesn’t mean that soul marks don’t have very real, very dire consequences.

///

When his children are almost four years old, they both begin to wear headbands and refuse to take them off in front of anyone.

It doesn’t take a Nara to figure out the why, but the what, exactly, he will later admit to being… hasty.

In his defense, soulmates tend to be born near each other and there’s only one forehead mark in Konoha that is regularly covered up. Given that Shikaku has heard about what ought to be an internal Hyuuga clan matter–the marking of Neji Hyuuga at an abnormally young age, cruel even for a clan that habitually enslaves their own members–it’s a fairly logical assumption to make.

What he does afterwards is less logical and more… fiercely protective.

///

The Byakugan may not have been as storied as the Sharingan, but the Hyuuga’s dojutsu was more dependable and with the decline of the Uchiha–in both numbers and reputation–the Hyuuga enjoyed a loftier, more lenient position than many other clans. Even the other noble clans.

In comparison to the Aburame–whose southern apiaries had been decimated during the Kyuubi attack–and the Akimichi, who spent as much time cultivating their financial and political enterprises as they did their martial prowess, the Hyuuga were more invaluable to Konoha.

But invaluable does not mean immune.

///

They meet, once, while they’re both still at the Academy.

It’s difficult. They’re in different years, which is part of it, but primarily it’s because all of Konoha is keenly aware of the political cold war happening between the clans and all of the teachers are taking measures to prevent any incidents from happening.

Further incidents, that is: a spar turned hostile in the graduating class, resulting in suspensions for the Akimichi and Hyuuga involved. Invisible lines drawn amongst the students from clans, rearranging friendships and even future genin team proposals.

As the pair at the heart of the problem, they are especially monitored. But just once, just for a short time, they manage to meet.

Neither of them will reveal what was said, but afterwards Neji goes without a headband: baring his cursed seal provocatively, almost incendiary.

Shikako becomes all the more paranoid about hers.

///

Eventually, it’s revealed that Shikamaru’s forehead is as blank as the day he was born but, one twin or both, that doesn’t alter the path Konoha is already on.

In contrast, the Uchiha clan, sensing the winds of change, circumvent their fate entirely: allying themselves with the enemy of their enemy and integrating back into, at least, half of the village. Hundreds of lives are spared, though only Danzo, thwarted, and Shikako know.

Not all is good, though: Hinata, already shy and secluded, is deliberately isolated. Where Ino leads, the other girls of the class follow; even though Shikako tries to mitigate the issue, Ino is ruthless in defending what she considers hers.

The mood of Konoha is fraught, tensions high enough for even the civilians to notice, streets of peace and prosperity now dangerous opportunities for public altercations.

Such a small action leading to such far reaching consequences.

Time marches on.

///

Konoha puts on a pleasant face for the Chuunin Exams, united only on the surface in front of foreign shinobi.

Team Seven meets the Sand siblings, Shikako sees the match to her soul mark.

She hesitates.

~

A/N2: I’m not very satisfied with the ending–I had the greater idea but not an actual plot, as you can see–so I kind of just… mreh?

I guess another reason for this ficlet is that I wanted to explore how even things that are supposed to be romantic–like soulmates and soul marks–have non-romantic consequences. So even if this is set in a Shikaara soulmate AU, this ficlet is gen.

I was actually considering some other repercussions of the misunderstanding: Hiashi possibly buckling under external and internal pressures and disavowing Hinata as his heir early on and marking her with the seal–which further splinters the already divided Hyuuga clan–but that seemed VERY CRUEL to Hinata who I already had shunned by everyone in class.

And also, would Sand and Sound still invade Konoha if the Uchiha clan isn’t killed? The Sand Siblings would still be at the Chuunin Exams, of course, but I don’t know if they’d be there as part of the invading force. Konoha isn’t as outwardly weakened, after all.

It seems more likely that if Orochimaru were to invade still, he’d probably have Danzo and ROOT make up the other part of the invading force, but even then if in this AU “I’m a pacifist” mass murdering kin-slayer Itachi is less of a giant hypocrite, I wouldn’t mind him being seriously considered for Hokage which would seriously deter both Orochimaru and Danzo, right?

I don’t know. They were vague thoughts at best.