Not sure if you follow it, but there was a recent spate of ‘Shikako and Kankurou have a theatre war’ headcanons/ficlets over on the forum (and I think I remember you expressing something about them and The Arts at some point…)

Oh reeeeeeaaaaaally? Sounds like fun, anon, thanks for letting me know. I’ll check it out!

Well, my head canon regarding Shikako and Kankurou’s relationship is greatly based on their canonical theater war during the Land of the Moon arc. And how, even though Shikako would really very much like not to be on stage, she somehow ends up there and how hilarious Kankurou finds it.

Shikako is very accepting of Kankurou’s not-so-Inner Theater Nerd. It’s not as if others discourage him or anything–because the Puppet Corps are a key part of Suna’s culture and military–but I wonder how many support his passion outside of battle puppets.

And, also, all the weird shit that happens to Shikako is very good source material for his future play.

Can I ask for Haku/Shikako/Gaara?

This one is the last of the Ask Box Advent Calendar Event (for 2016), and what an interesting way to end it, anon. 🙂

Let’s see… I guess a Haku/Shikako/Gaara could be done two different ways. A “canon DoS” version and… I have this AU idea but I don’t know if I’ll be able to articulate it well.

So the “canon DoS” version would probably just be me tweaking Dreaming of S(omething). Where Shikako is the ambassador from Konoha and Haku is the ambassador from Kiri, and together they’re two fish out of somewhat literal water.

Fabulously deadly and beautiful fish that Gaara just kind of cannot function around because. Okay. One pretty long-and-dark-haired badass who sees the good in a former weaponized jinchuuriki is just barely manageable, but two? O_O That poor boy.

Gaara is a very competent Kazekage, okay, capable of wrangling the council and proving himself to his people. He’s no longer a thing to be afraid of, but a person that loves his village and who his village loves in turn.

But it’s very obvious that when both of the ambassadors are around that he gets all tongue-tied and flustered and the shy, sweet child that he used to be becomes prevalent due to the extreme crush he has on both Haku and Shikako.

Kankurou has not gone a day without laughing to the point of tears.

Shikako’s mostly oblivious, but I feel like Haku is savvy enough to know what’s going on. I do, however, think he’s enough of a trickster to not react so that someone else will make the first move. He is flattered and interested and amused and quite patient enough to see how the other two parts of this potential triad proceed.

So not too different from Dreaming of S(omething), but there would be a slight shift in the dynamics between Shikako and Gaara to accommodate Haku. (*dreamy sigh* They’d make such a beautiful tableau, wouldn’t they?)

The AU idea that comes to mind is a little…

Basically, spies. Or rather undercover bodyguards? But also spies? Benevolent mercenaries?

I’ll admit, part of it is influenced by the way my family and I binge watched the Netflix series Travelers (which I… tentatively recommend. It has potential, but the series was definitely made with a second season in mind so there isn’t enough to say I love it.) But only very loosely influenced since this AU is minus the main gimmick of the show (the time traveling, body snatching aspects of it), and more about the badass agents being undercover and an ultimate authority telling them to protect a person without questioning the reason why.

And, probably, when that ultimate authority tells them to kill that person instead they rebel.

So Agent Yuki and Agent Nara have both met each other before, and though their respective countries had sent them on missions that were originally at cross-purposes, they got along quite well. This time, thankfully, they are both assigned to protect Wind Country’s Prime Minister’s youngest son while being undercover and it’s kind of just like… I know who you are and you know who I am so let’s just vouch for each other and we’ll protect him together.

And the dynamic is much the same despite the AU setting–Gaara is a blushing, awkward mess around these two beautiful badasses (though he doesn’t know the extent of their badassery) and Shikako is too focussed on the job to realize anyone’s emotions much less her own while Haku sees all and is amused.

Neither Agents Yuki or Nara think to wonder why they were assigned to protect the Wind Country’s Prime Minister’s youngest son until, a couple of months into the mission, they receive counter orders to kill him.

Then there’s some misunderstandings–in which Agents Yuki and Nara fight, thinking the other will follow through on their new orders, only to realize that neither of them want to kill Gaara. And some cover breaking–because there’s no way Shikako can have a subtle fight (and Haku is, for all his soft touch in social matters, an agent on par with her). And some sleuthing–as the trio try to figure out what the hell is going on. And some confessions of feelings because high energy action means emotions are just erupting everywhere.

I have the feeling that Gaara in this world is a primary school teacher. And that Kankurou, while not an Agent, is involved in “The Game” as possibly an analyst or an informant or something like that and is the one who got both Agents Yuki and Nara assigned to protect his brother.

What do you think, anon?

For the rockstar!Shikaara I really love the fact that Shikako has a “What did you do this time?” song. Now imagine since Shikako and Gaara met before the Sand Trio hit it big and started touring then the press probably doesn’t know about her. Because Gaara is a private person, Temari too. Kankuro can pretend he’s not but those who really know him are few. So it’s a huge shock when this unknown girl slips into the band area just before a big show in their home town and isn’t thrown out. (1/2)

jacksgreysays:

I don’t know if that’d be the title, necessarily, because despite all appearances the Sand Trio are actually a kid friendly band. They have a surprisingly big pre-teen and teen following…

But that’s probably what it amounts to, yes. 🙂 

It probably is a very “no means no” and “anti-stalking” and “consent is not only beautiful but mandatory” kind of song without being a straight PSA. Which is a breath of fresh air in comparison to all the skeevy rape-y songs going around.

“Brothers, Sisters, Brutality” is a Temari song! I pulled it from the conversation the Nara twins had with her post Sasuke Retrieval. Good eye, anon! 😀

So is “Quality of Mercy” because, arguably, that decision to let the Sand Siblings go was a conversation between Temari and Shikako.

I haven’t really thought of lyrics for the songs, but I do have a general idea of what they might sound like. “Spark Boom Pow” is Kankurou’s and terribly catchy, I guess it’s a little bit like:

jacksgreysays:

image

“Always You” is hilariously misleading and romantic sounding if it were metaphors, but since Kankurou means it absolutely literally it really is a “Shikako what have you done?” song. Probably something like:

When the ground breaks,
and the sky opens up,
amongst all the noise,
it’s always you.

Then the earth shakes,
and the stars come to life,
sword through the chest,
it’s always you.

Doesn’t it sound like a really beautiful way to explain falling in love? But y’all know what I’m talking about here. 😀

Yep, Shikako and Gaara’s relationship really comes out of nowhere for the media. Like, first of all, tabloids mostly were keeping their eyes on the other two members of the Sand Trio–they never even suspected Gaara of dating someone. Second of all, Shikako is an unknown. She’s not a celebrity at all–outside of academia, that is–so it’s just like… whaaa?

I do think, though that’s they’d be a pretty careful about that sort of thing? Like, they’re not really a PDA kind of couple, and they always make sure Shikako has backstage passes and such, so on the surface reporters just think she’s a particularly devoted fan.

I more like the idea that it’s not the tabloids that out it but a fan who accidentally does so? Or it’s, like the relationship, out of nowhere. Like they’re getting interviewed and the interviewer asks about inspirations for their songs and their answers kind of accumulate into the idea that it’s the same individual for each of them.

And maybe some enterprising and devoted fan–not maliciously–pieces together from the different songs that, oh, the person they’re singing about would be this this and this characteristics. And another fan goes like, hey I’m looking through my pictures of the concert and I mostly focused on the foreground which was a selfie with Kankurou but now that I examine the background I notice that there’s this woman sitting rather close to Gaara.

And then it just starts pouring in–other fans are like, oh hey she’s in here, too! And then someone, probably an undergrad student in one of the classes she TAs for, is like. Hey, I think I know who this is–it’s Shikako Nara, etc. etc.

And THAT’S when the tabloids swoop in. And obviously they play on the whole “WHICH OF THE SAND TRIO IS SHE DATING? IS SHE DATING ALL OF THEM?” Because tabloids are awful.

And then people show up to her university. Non-students are trying to sit in on her lectures/discussion sections/labs and campus security has to basically assign her a bodyguard (her classes end up having perfect attendance without the threat of pop quizzes, though, so that’s nice. It’s less nice that most of the questions she’s fielding are about the Sand Trio and not, you know, curricula related).

Her friends are pretty good at helping her dodge paparazzi–swapping outfits with her or just getting in the way or giving her an escape route. At one point, Naruto takes all of his clothes off as a distraction. Sasuke just breaks their cameras. Kakashi, being somehow more and less subtle, just slouches around her strategically so any shot of her is obscured by his lanky body. Seriously, every shot he’s just there… somehow.

Shikamaru really does not appreciate these hordes of paparazzi harassing his sister while she does something simple like take a breather from all the research and rumors and get a fucking cup of coffee with him. He punches a paparazzo in the face.

The Yamanaka clan–along with being very PR savvy and already spreading word to stop stories about Shikako–has many members that are lawyers. Which is good for keeping one Nara twin out of jail and protecting the other with an entire MOUNTAIN of restraining orders. The Akimichi, consummate businesspeople, begin smothering the life out of the more venomous/less classy tabloids by getting advertisers to retract their deals and messing with their finances.

The Nara take care of their own, of course, and while I’m pretty sure they’re more into pharmaceuticals than private security, no doubt they have a decent amount of pull in certain areas, too.

And despite being musicians, the Sand Trio are very highly connected. They don’t like the way some of the tabloids have been talking about their muse.

Spark Boom Pow!
And the world goes crazy,
head turns hazy.
Spark Boom Pow!
Give a little push,
flip the ambush.
Spark Boom Pow!

And then a huge drum solo, which is why the club remix is very popular. His songs are mostly hook lines and repetitive beats, and it translates over to hiphop easiest.

Temari’s songs are a little more Bastille-y. Like, there’s definitely a story being told here and it’s in the format of a conversation and it just happens to in the medium of rock music. “BSB” plays a lot with the siblings harmonizing–even Kankurou who doesn’t so much sing as he does shout rhythmically–and each of them have different lyrics during the chorus. “QoM” is almost entirely Temari’s vocals–there’s one verse where Gaara joins in–and it has a vibe like this cover of Florence + The Machine’s Heartlines except swap Mike and Aleka’s roles around.

I feel like Sand Trio probably isn’t the name they chose, but that’s what their early fans called them and then it kind of just stuck when they became famous. It was probably something long and grandiose like “Scions of the Desert in Triplicate” so it’s just easier to refer to them as the Sand Trio. 😛

For the rockstar!Shikaara I really love the fact that Shikako has a “What did you do this time?” song. Now imagine since Shikako and Gaara met before the Sand Trio hit it big and started touring then the press probably doesn’t know about her. Because Gaara is a private person, Temari too. Kankuro can pretend he’s not but those who really know him are few. So it’s a huge shock when this unknown girl slips into the band area just before a big show in their home town and isn’t thrown out. (1/2)

jacksgreysays:

image

“Always You” is hilariously misleading and romantic sounding if it were metaphors, but since Kankurou means it absolutely literally it really is a “Shikako what have you done?” song. Probably something like:

When the ground breaks,
and the sky opens up,
amongst all the noise,
it’s always you.

Then the earth shakes,
and the stars come to life,
sword through the chest,
it’s always you.

Doesn’t it sound like a really beautiful way to explain falling in love? But y’all know what I’m talking about here. 😀

Yep, Shikako and Gaara’s relationship really comes out of nowhere for the media. Like, first of all, tabloids mostly were keeping their eyes on the other two members of the Sand Trio–they never even suspected Gaara of dating someone. Second of all, Shikako is an unknown. She’s not a celebrity at all–outside of academia, that is–so it’s just like… whaaa?

I do think, though that’s they’d be a pretty careful about that sort of thing? Like, they’re not really a PDA kind of couple, and they always make sure Shikako has backstage passes and such, so on the surface reporters just think she’s a particularly devoted fan.

I more like the idea that it’s not the tabloids that out it but a fan who accidentally does so? Or it’s, like the relationship, out of nowhere. Like they’re getting interviewed and the interviewer asks about inspirations for their songs and their answers kind of accumulate into the idea that it’s the same individual for each of them.

And maybe some enterprising and devoted fan–not maliciously–pieces together from the different songs that, oh, the person they’re singing about would be this this and this characteristics. And another fan goes like, hey I’m looking through my pictures of the concert and I mostly focused on the foreground which was a selfie with Kankurou but now that I examine the background I notice that there’s this woman sitting rather close to Gaara.

And then it just starts pouring in–other fans are like, oh hey she’s in here, too! And then someone, probably an undergrad student in one of the classes she TAs for, is like. Hey, I think I know who this is–it’s Shikako Nara, etc. etc.

And THAT’S when the tabloids swoop in. And obviously they play on the whole “WHICH OF THE SAND TRIO IS SHE DATING? IS SHE DATING ALL OF THEM?” Because tabloids are awful.

And then people show up to her university. Non-students are trying to sit in on her lectures/discussion sections/labs and campus security has to basically assign her a bodyguard (her classes end up having perfect attendance without the threat of pop quizzes, though, so that’s nice. It’s less nice that most of the questions she’s fielding are about the Sand Trio and not, you know, curricula related).

Her friends are pretty good at helping her dodge paparazzi–swapping outfits with her or just getting in the way or giving her an escape route. At one point, Naruto takes all of his clothes off as a distraction. Sasuke just breaks their cameras. Kakashi, being somehow more and less subtle, just slouches around her strategically so any shot of her is obscured by his lanky body. Seriously, every shot he’s just there… somehow.

Shikamaru really does not appreciate these hordes of paparazzi harassing his sister while she does something simple like take a breather from all the research and rumors and get a fucking cup of coffee with him. He punches a paparazzo in the face.

The Yamanaka clan–along with being very PR savvy and already spreading word to stop stories about Shikako–has many members that are lawyers. Which is good for keeping one Nara twin out of jail and protecting the other with an entire MOUNTAIN of restraining orders. The Akimichi, consummate businesspeople, begin smothering the life out of the more venomous/less classy tabloids by getting advertisers to retract their deals and messing with their finances.

The Nara take care of their own, of course, and while I’m pretty sure they’re more into pharmaceuticals than private security, no doubt they have a decent amount of pull in certain areas, too.

And despite being musicians, the Sand Trio are very highly connected. They don’t like the way some of the tabloids have been talking about their muse.

I don’t know if that’d be the title, necessarily, because despite all appearances the Sand Trio are actually a kid friendly band. They have a surprisingly big pre-teen and teen following…

But that’s probably what it amounts to, yes. 🙂 

It probably is a very “no means no” and “anti-stalking” and “consent is not only beautiful but mandatory” kind of song without being a straight PSA. Which is a breath of fresh air in comparison to all the skeevy rape-y songs going around.

For the rockstar!Shikaara I really love the fact that Shikako has a “What did you do this time?” song. Now imagine since Shikako and Gaara met before the Sand Trio hit it big and started touring then the press probably doesn’t know about her. Because Gaara is a private person, Temari too. Kankuro can pretend he’s not but those who really know him are few. So it’s a huge shock when this unknown girl slips into the band area just before a big show in their home town and isn’t thrown out. (1/2)

image

“Always You” is hilariously misleading and romantic sounding if it were metaphors, but since Kankurou means it absolutely literally it really is a “Shikako what have you done?” song. Probably something like:

When the ground breaks,
and the sky opens up,
amongst all the noise,
it’s always you.

Then the earth shakes,
and the stars come to life,
sword through the chest,
it’s always you.

Doesn’t it sound like a really beautiful way to explain falling in love? But y’all know what I’m talking about here. 😀

Yep, Shikako and Gaara’s relationship really comes out of nowhere for the media. Like, first of all, tabloids mostly were keeping their eyes on the other two members of the Sand Trio–they never even suspected Gaara of dating someone. Second of all, Shikako is an unknown. She’s not a celebrity at all–outside of academia, that is–so it’s just like… whaaa?

I do think, though that’s they’d be a pretty careful about that sort of thing? Like, they’re not really a PDA kind of couple, and they always make sure Shikako has backstage passes and such, so on the surface reporters just think she’s a particularly devoted fan.

I more like the idea that it’s not the tabloids that out it but a fan who accidentally does so? Or it’s, like the relationship, out of nowhere. Like they’re getting interviewed and the interviewer asks about inspirations for their songs and their answers kind of accumulate into the idea that it’s the same individual for each of them.

And maybe some enterprising and devoted fan–not maliciously–pieces together from the different songs that, oh, the person they’re singing about would be this this and this characteristics. And another fan goes like, hey I’m looking through my pictures of the concert and I mostly focused on the foreground which was a selfie with Kankurou but now that I examine the background I notice that there’s this woman sitting rather close to Gaara.

And then it just starts pouring in–other fans are like, oh hey she’s in here, too! And then someone, probably an undergrad student in one of the classes she TAs for, is like. Hey, I think I know who this is–it’s Shikako Nara, etc. etc.

And THAT’S when the tabloids swoop in. And obviously they play on the whole “WHICH OF THE SAND TRIO IS SHE DATING? IS SHE DATING ALL OF THEM?” Because tabloids are awful.

And then people show up to her university. Non-students are trying to sit in on her lectures/discussion sections/labs and campus security has to basically assign her a bodyguard (her classes end up having perfect attendance without the threat of pop quizzes, though, so that’s nice. It’s less nice that most of the questions she’s fielding are about the Sand Trio and not, you know, curricula related).

Her friends are pretty good at helping her dodge paparazzi–swapping outfits with her or just getting in the way or giving her an escape route. At one point, Naruto takes all of his clothes off as a distraction. Sasuke just breaks their cameras. Kakashi, being somehow more and less subtle, just slouches around her strategically so any shot of her is obscured by his lanky body. Seriously, every shot he’s just there… somehow.

Shikamaru really does not appreciate these hordes of paparazzi harassing his sister while she does something simple like take a breather from all the research and rumors and get a fucking cup of coffee with him. He punches a paparazzo in the face.

The Yamanaka clan–along with being very PR savvy and already spreading word to stop stories about Shikako–has many members that are lawyers. Which is good for keeping one Nara twin out of jail and protecting the other with an entire MOUNTAIN of restraining orders. The Akimichi, consummate businesspeople, begin smothering the life out of the more venomous/less classy tabloids by getting advertisers to retract their deals and messing with their finances.

The Nara take care of their own, of course, and while I’m pretty sure they’re more into pharmaceuticals than private security, no doubt they have a decent amount of pull in certain areas, too.

And despite being musicians, the Sand Trio are very highly connected. They don’t like the way some of the tabloids have been talking about their muse.

I’ve been on a pride and prejudice kick, so can I ask for DOS!regency au? Or an expansion on the rock star/muse thing from the three sentences

Let’s see…  Regency!AU… hm…

The problem, anon, is that although I do also love Pride and Prejudice I’m really bad at imagining things in the Regency setting? Like… I love historical fiction, and I’m all for when authors write time periods accurately, but I myself cannot do it. I’m more of an “ambiguously olden times” or “non-specific modern times” or, as I’m about to go into “historical influenced by magic.”

I once read–and to this day, even if it’s quite short, it’s my favorite–a Pride and Prejudice fic that was an AU fusion with the Temeraire series. And it’s so brilliant because it is set during Regency period but it also has DRAGONS. It still has the flavor of historical fiction, but the existence of dragons means some details can be hand waved away, some deliberate changes are grounded in magical world-building, and you can play around with how characters might translate differently. For example, in that fic, Elizabeth is part of the Air Force (because, get this, dragons prefer women as their riders so a majority of the Air Force are women but this is kept a secret from the general public) and it’s fantastic because it fits her so perfectly.

Because, okay, the human relationships and romantic dramedy that is Pride and Prejudice is still one of my favorites without magic, but I don’t think I’d ever be able to do a fic entirely around human relationship and romantic dramedy without itching to throw in some action or magic/scifi. Also, I’m not sure what the Regency era (or the equivalent thereof… mid/late Tokugawa Period?) was like in Japan. Also also, it’d be easier to translate the Naruto universe into a universe that has magic as well? Actually, I think I did a three sentence fic of Team Seven as dragon riders here, but I didn’t specify it was a Temeraire!AU.

Hm… the thing is, even if I were to lean into the Regency-like aspect, the respective clans would have to come into play. They’d haaaaaaave to. Shikako is the only daughter of the head of the Nara clan, yeah, but the Nara clan are subordinate to the Noble Akimichi clan so she’s not really that high up. 

Compare to Sasuke who is the only living/legitimate member of the Noble Uchiha clan which makes him THE most eligible bachelor. And then there’s Naruto who is also the last of his (most likely Noble as well) clan but the Uzumaki clan has long since been devastated which means he has no wealth to his name. On top of that his parents were probably not married or they eloped or–and is this fanon or headcanon or actual canon–even though Minato was well-liked he was still civilian stock orphan, so Naruto’s existence is no doubt scandalous not even including whatever the equivalent of the Kyuubi is in this world.

How would they even meet each other? Their class levels are all over the place. Their lifestyles are all over the place. Unless there’s dragons as the great equalizer. Yeah? 😀

Now as for an expansion of the rockstar and muse!AU… 

Honestly? I didn’t really think of that universe beyond the most basic to fill the three sentence fic prompt. But now that I consider it, how did they even meet? How did they fall in love? How does their relationship work? DO THEY OWN ANY PETS? (The answer to this one, unfortunately, is probably no. Gaara is on the road too often, and Shikako sometimes doesn’t come home for days if she’s in the middle of a project.)

Let’s see… how did they meet? I know for sure this is before the Sand Trio made it big–because in order for Shikako to be Gaara’s muse, she has to be the one to inspire him–so that means they were probably doing small gigs, like at bars and stuff, or maaaybe a Battle of the Bands type situation, but I like imaging the Sand Trio doing small time gigs in bars. The kinds of bars that graduate students might frequent because it’s one in the morning and nowhere else is serving food. And sure it’s bar food, but at least it’s not ramen or an entire bag of chips or the iffy three day old take out that’s in the fridge of the shared kitchen.

So, probably, their very first meeting, Shikako is at the bar run/owned by… Anko? Who she knows because the kunoichi group is still something that exists–maybe as a sorority or some other club–and also Anko works in the psych department during the day? So she has an entire corner of the bar to herself just absolutely covered in research notes and she is mainlining bar food and coffee unlike, probably, everyone else in the bar who is there to, you know, drink. Maybe dance, there are some live bands playing, after all.

And the thing is, Gaara is in the band for the music. He doesn’t (and will never, really) be in it for the audience or the scene–Kankurou and Temari are performers, Gaara not so much–so when he’s not on stage with a guitar in his hand he kind of just wallflowers it up. And Shikako’s corner has been strategically chosen for it’s lighting/minimal noise/proximity to air conditioning, etc. So he wanders over and sits and is like… this woman beside me has been consuming nothing but coffee and chicken wings and he is absolutely baffled. And a little concerned?

Because Shikako’s starting to approach that weird point of maximum caffeine intake/sleep deprivation and she’s about ready to vibrate out of her skin, I swear to god, if this formula does not make sense in the next three seconds I will set everything on fire! And Gaara’s just like–do you need help? And then they talk, Shikako starts off ranting about her current project and how she’s been brought up to the ethics board because one of her friends talked about it in front of the wrong person and it’s not that she’s mad at Sakura, really, but it’s still frustrating and now she needs to jump through all sorts of hoops and redundancies in order to keep her thesis on track and then it turns into a proper conversation about, I dunno, those late night thoughts about how you ended up where you are now and about the people in your life and how you do what you can to keep the people you love because loneliness is worse than frustration or anger and Gaara goes home and writes a song called “Wound of the Heart.”

It’s not the Sand Trio’s most popular song, but years from now music historians will consider this the beginning of the Sand Trio’s rise.

How did they fall in love? Well, probably much the same as how they’d fall in love in canon. With Shikako being absolutely oblivious until the last second and Gaara patiently seeking her out and spending time with her and being absolutely inspired by her. At one point someone–probably Ino–has to point out to Shikako that literally all of Sand Trio’s songs are, in some way shape or form, about her.

Temari’s a little sick of all the blatant emotions, and while she can’t completely understand the songs she can get them enough to perform them. Kankurou, frankly, has never seen his baby brother pining after someone before and while he’s never been in love he does like how the fans think he’s a huge romantic.

They both write a few songs, too–not nearly as prolific as their little brother, though–and somehow those are still also about Shikako: “Quality of Mercy,” “Brothers, Sisters, Brutality,” “Spark Boom Pow,” and “Always You.” (That last one, oddly enough, is not a love song. It was written by Kankurou and mostly referenced how, every time something really bizarre happened at one of their performances Shikako was always nearby if not the direct cause of it).

As to how their relationship works. The same way a lot of relationships work: negotiation and effort and knowing that–no matter how different they may be, no matter how infrequently they may see each other–they still love each other and want to make it work.

I’ve been on a bit of a modern-AU kick recently, and I’ve been thinking about a really cool Shikako in your Wanderlust!AU uploading photos of her journey on a blog or something. (It doesn’t even have to be a modern AU, since advancement in Naruto’s technology skyrockets in peacetime)

jacksgreysays:

image

Ahahahaha, I can totally imagine that with the twins:

“You went inside a volcano?!”

“In my defense, it was dormant at first.”

“AT FIRST?!”

Or,

“How did you get this shot of a giant shark?”

“… you probably don’t want to know.”

I also figure she really embodies Indiana Jones-but-real in her show:

“Let’s talk about the interesting agricultural based fuinjutsu of the ancient Gelel Empire!”

Turns into,

“Oh gods, why is there this shrine?

Why are there traps?

What do you mean a CURSE?”

I also, also think there’s probably one episode where it’s like:

jacksgreysays:

Ooh! Okay, so part of me feels like any weird technological gaps that canon has could easily be handwaved away in DoS specifically because they’re already on track for that and also Shikako just expects more from tech that even if she’s not the one inventing/improving various tech she’s at the least hinting at something like–hey wouldn’t it be neat if this phone was also a camera? Or, have you considered a wireless network?–but that still will take about a decade or two for the Naruto world to get to modern level.

I imagine, at first, since cameras have been noted to be like clunky for elites and still film based, that she would have to either pay ridiculous amounts of money OR justify why she needs one. The easiest reason I can think of is to further her fuinjutsu research. So at first its very official, almost like police officers with using their weapon: she has a set amount of film and has to keep account of every roll that she uses.

So most of her photos are very cut and dry “see Figure 3” in academic papers on the remains of the Gelel shrine or something like that. But as a sort of protest/she has a few more cells left over she’ll take some pictures of some really spectacular scenery: the view of the galaxy (are they in the Milky Way?) in the desert, sunrise on the horizon from Uzushio, etc etc.

Someone in Intel (maybe Shiho?) is in charge of directing her reports to the right places, but since the landscapes aren’t actually for intel, she just collects it (with proper labelling because Shiho is a proud paperwork nin) until Shikako returns to Konoha for a bit.

And it’s like: oh, I’ve collected your landscapes, Shikako! And there’s just this huge album of them neatly arranged and labelled that Shikako doesn’t actively remember taking. Like, she remembers taking these pictures but she didn’t realize how many of them there were that had accumulated.

And maybe this exchange is during a kunoichi meetings, so the other ladies see it and are all oohing and aahing over it (because no one really vacations as a shinobi. They travel for missions or for training, but hardly ever just to sightsee) so it’s greatly appreciated.

And then someone (probably Ino, because the Yamanaka own a publishing company on behalf of the Ino-Shika-Cho clans) has the idea to publish it. And it is REALLY well-received by the civilian population because they get to travel for sightseeing purposes even less frequently than shinobi. (And there are some views that literally no person has seen in decades or centuries because Uzushio has been abandoned or it’s a place that’s too dangerous with little return). So it’s really just accidental, I think, this following that Shikako garners from photography.

Then, as technology advances so too does her camera (and the Nara clan probably sponsors a really nice one both for the fuinjutsu research and the landscapes) and then the medium that its shared.

Copycats follow (because its an easy way for a shinobi to make money, and no doubt Cloud nin would be all about risking their lives for the perfect shot) but by the time blogging is around, Shikako herself has a following and that in itself has accidentally become a bit like “Man vs. Wild” even though she was originally aiming more for a “How It’s Made” or “Wonders of the Ancient World” or one of the other less action-packed National Geographic/Discovery Channel shows.

Whoops. (The Director of the Princess Fuun movies is probably involved somehow)

“This seal says something about ‘caging the dragon’ but considering chakra pathways used to be called dragon’s veins that’s probably just a metaphorical phrase. Most likely they mean harnessing a point of high natural chakra emissions.”

Twenty minutes later,

“NOT METAPHORICAL. I REPEAT, NOT A METAPHOR!”

Kankurou is her camera person just the once (he refuses forever after that) but it’s one of the favorite episodes despite the low-res video and frequent shaky cam and that static from corrupted data (this is pretty early on in the series, before heavy duty tech). After that, regardless if she’s the adoptive Mother of the NGSS, it’s poor Shinki who gets conscripted as her camera person.

Then again, I feel like The Director probably trained a group of similarly-minded camera people who would be not just excited, but honored to be official camera person of “Konoha Nara versus *insert adventure setting here*”

Ask Box Three Sentence Fic, 1/? (2016-10-23)

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(1 – anonymous – Shikako/Sasuke, jounin, realization of feelings)

Night has fallen, their mission completed, camp set up against a rounded cliff-face that can only very generously be considered a cave.

Sasuke has made a fire, but it’s the line of his arm against hers that makes her feel warm; solid and steady and supportive.

“I love you.”

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(2 – anonymous – Shikako & Kakashi, those left behind)

They left; she can still feel them slipping away, like water through her fingers, futilely trying to hold on.

She’s taken up a more nocturnal lifestyle–as if the light of day will make her loss seem worse–and their old training ground looks almost serene in the moonlight.

It’s the crackle of lightning, dangerous and familiar, that signals Kakashi’s arrival and there is comfort in knowing that someone else has been left behind, too.

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(3 – anonymous – Shikako/Kankurou, Chuunin Exams)

They are laughter and sarcasm and well meaning lies, shrugs and second-born children and casual competition.

He is a puppeteer for true–an enthusiastic prodigy of a dying art–but she is a Nara, shadow jutsu and shogi.

He thinks he is fighting for a father already dead; she knows what the real stakes are.

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(4 – @xxriverspirit – Shikako/Gaara, reincarnated modern!AU)

By the time she is walking and talking again, she has already mourned and moved on.

Or so she thinks.

But every time she spots–red hair, green eyes, dark tattoos on pale skin–it takes her a while to remember how to breathe.

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(5 – anonymous – Shikako/Neji, high school!AU)

There is a girl looking for TenTen that he doesn’t know–a second year, from the color of her tie, one year below him. At first he’s concerned it’s just a convoluted excuse to talk to him, but she’s really just here to drop of a notebook.

“Ah,” the girl says, eye catching on the advanced mathematics on his desk behind TenTen’s, “You might want to use a different formula for problem nine,” she continues, easily, and then turns and leaves.

~

A/N: I’ll post them up five at a time, I guess? This is fun! 😀

love all your dos stories! who do you think is the hardest character to write? I know you find kakashi pretty hard… anyone who’s harder to write than him?

Thanks, anon! ( ˘ ³˘)♥

The hardest character for me to write besides Kakashi? Hm… of the characters I’ve actually written, I presume you mean…

Surprisingly? Naruto is pretty difficult for me to write. It’s why Quest for the Queen gave me so much trouble (and why I was so surprised to actually finish it). If he were easier for me to write, I’d probably have him way more involved in Down Every Road or, I mean, if I could form a proper headcanon for a Team Seven OT3 I’d probably have a series for that.

It’s hard to get into his headspace. I admire him as a character, but as a person I just can’t relate at all. Shikako and Sasuke I can easily understand–part of what I love about DoS (and the reason why I went on to do the podfic) is that I empathize with Shikako so much. Sasuke is… well… his motivations and reactions adhere to an internal logic that, while not my own, is still realistic.

I have no idea what’s up with Naruto. He’s basically the direct opposite of myself–he forgives easily (instead of holding grudges forever and a day like myself), he’s excited about life (somehow without also being curious about the world), he’s generous and loving and he empathizes with everyone but it’s not tactful or sensitive: he doesn’t understand the consequences of his or other people’s actions. He doesn’t understand that there are some lines that should never be crossed.

And I know some of that is because most Shounen Protagonists are walking talking cliches of HEART and OPTIMISM, but it’s just so… I just can’t do it for some reason.

Like… this is also a part of the reason why I’m reluctant to write Boruto yet. Because my brain already can’t really wrap my head around Naruto, and then a Naruto who ends up with Hinata (I’m not ship bashing, I just honestly don’t understand they had so few interactions? It’s not even like Harry and Ginny where people were discontent with the epilogue definitively making them end up together, I’m like honestly baffled. It’d be like if Harry ended up with… er… which Creevey brother survived? Like… the fraction of “screen time” Hinata got in which she actually interacts with Naruto is probably the same as the Creevey brothers with Harry.)

And then there’s the fact that I’m like 90% sure that the Naruto in next gen canon has depression despite having achieved world peace and his childhood dream. And I’m not saying people can’t be depressed even though they are successful in life. But it just… it’s a very tricky thing to maneuver even though I myself also suffer from depression. There is this huge gap between teenage Naruto and adult Naruto that I can’t quite understand, and given that I already can’t grasp teenaged Naruto’s thought process it’s basically impossible for me to jump to adult Naruto and Boruto as his son from there.

Erm… sorry about that–hope it didn’t sound too much like complaining. Uh, but I can still occasionally catch on some points when it comes to Naruto (it’s more miss than hit, unfortunately) whereas Kakashi is meant to be opaque and it’s like… I can’t crack open his mystery. That’s who he is. He’s a carefully crafted construct of heartbreak and coping mechanisms and I just cannot do that to him.

I can get his external voice (like what he’d say to other characters), which is why it’s super fun to have Team Seven react to the occasional cameo, but his internal voice is just ??????

I also sometimes have trouble with Gaara… and also Temari. But that’s mostly because in comparison, Kankurou is waaaaaaay easier and my brain is just like–if you’re going to write about one of the sand siblings, why not Kankurou? He’s great.

And I’m usually like: sure, brain, you’re the boss. Let’s totally give Kankurou more lines than Gaara in the ShikakoxGaara series, that makes total sense.

Dreaming of S(haring the World) 2/3, (2016-09-16)

Kankurou will never say this out loud–and definitely not where Temari might hear him–but this is all her fault. (No, really.)

See, if she hadn’t faffed off to Leaf in order to marry into some other clan instead of telling that sleepy-eyed weirdo to marry into their clan then he and Gaara wouldn’t have been left trying to figure out what the hell to do when someone randomly tells them that hey, one of your ancestors somewhere along the line apparently had an illegitimate child, because we’ve found a kid who can use Magnet Release. Also, he’s an orphan–have fun dealing with this!

Technically, it should be Kankurou’s responsibility given that he’s older and clan leadership is passed down in birth order. But they’re called the Kazekage clan after all, and, well, Gaara is the Kazekage. It only makes sense for Kankurou to let the more qualified brother handle it.

And it’s not like Kankurou’s the one adopting an army of small children. (To be fair, there’s only two of them and Araya is a fairly mellow kid. Yodo’s the one who could put the entire Puppet Corps through the wringer, especially when she’s high on sugar from whatever sweets given to her by a certain someone who shall remain nameless. It would’ve been hilarious… if he hadn’t been tapped for babysitting duties that same day and realized he stabbed himself in the foot.)

So passing the buck it is.

He at least goes to pick up the kid–because Gaara does have an entire hidden village to run and, admittedly, Kankurou will be this kid’s clan head even if he won’t be this kid’s Father (the very idea of it makes him shudder; ugh, fatherhood, he can barely stand being an uncle)–and takes a nice, quiet solo journey to some tiny town in the middle of nowhere.

Gaara did offer to send some chuunin with him, but like hell was Kankurou going to put up with a bunch of brats just to pick up another brat. Never mind that most chuunin are about his age or even older. (And plus, it gives him some time to work on his playwriting without wind of it getting back to Sparky.)

He kinda has an idea of what he’s expecting of the kid–even though, beyond him having Magnet Release and being an orphan, the report didn’t include much. Not even a name which, what the hell, he’s going to bust someone’s balls for this. He doesn’t approve of shoddy work when it means he’s going into a situation blind. (Been there, done that, got the irritating friendships with Leaf nin to prove it.)

As it is, he ends up being completely wrong and, somehow, spot on. He maybe should have made Gaara come–or Sparky, even, given that despite having no blood relation and not even having met each other yet, this kid would fit in perfectly with her horde of hell-raisers. How someone could get into so much trouble in the boondocks is beyond him–but hell if Kankurou isn’t a little bit impressed.

(Shinki doesn’t mean for bad things to happen to the people around him, they just do. His first Mother had said that the things he could do weren’t bad, just powerful; all he had to do was learn how to control them.

But even with her own talents with metal–hidden in plain sight as the town’s blacksmith–she still looked at his ability with wariness and no small amount of fear.

He can’t remember what happened to his biological father, only that he disappeared one day and never came back.

That’s what Shinki used to think, anyway.)

The kid is nine years old and if Kankurou hadn’t grown up with the poster child for stoicism, he’d admit that the kid’s got a pretty good poker face. As it is, he can tell the kid’s about as nervous as Sparky in front of an audience older than Academy age–and, also, hiding something.

But despite being admittedly nosy, Kankurou stays silent on that matter; because he knows what subtlety is, unlike some people.

The shinobi dispatched from the nearest outpost meets Kankurou in the village and gives a rundown of the situation which for some reason wasn’t included in the original report.

“Bandits, most likely,” the chuunin says with a shrug, not bothering to temper his volume. Normally, surrounded by civilians, it wouldn’t matter, but from the small twitches on the kid’s face Kankurou can tell, even without the clan blood limit, he’s not just a normal civilian. “Tried to ransack the blacksmith’s shop, maybe to get supplies, and didn’t realize she was still in the forge. She put up a hell of a fight, though.”

Ah, shit. Poor kid, being forced to relive his mother’s last moments from the voice of an disinterested chuunin. But pity never helped anyone.

“Bandits?” Kankurou barks at the chuunin instead, edging it in a way that he usually doesn’t. Pity doesn’t help, but anger can, “This area is part of your outpost’s territory isn’t it? Were you just letting them run rampant?”

The chuunin straightens up at attention, suddenly faced with a superior officer not just a fellow shinobi. “No, sir. I mean, yes sir–I mean.”

“Spit it out,” Kankurou says, maybe amping it up because it’s possible there’s the smallest hint of a smile on the kid’s face.

“We’ve been gathering intel on them, trying to triangulate their base of operations. It wasn’t until the attack yesterday that we got enough to pinpoint it. We were going to do some more recon before requesting a team. But the, uh, witness seemed like a more important matter,” the chuunin reports, belatedly adding, “sir.”

“A team?” Kankurou scoffs, he’s a puppeteer–The Puppeteer what with being head of the corps, now–he’s basically a team all by himself. And besides, “Why do you need a team when you’ve got two scions of the desert?” he asks the chuunin, then nods in the kid’s direction, “Hey brat, you interested in getting revenge?”

What? Kankurou never said he was good with kids.

(A part of Shinki used to think that becoming a shinobi was inevitable. That even his first Mother knew it, too, despite not sending him to Suna when he turned six.

She had taught him what tricks she had learned from her own mother, and other things she had picked up or made up along the way. She had taught him about weapons and about tools, about the difference and similarities between them. About how neither could harm him–not so long as they were made of metal and sang like adrenaline in his blood.

He thinks she was preparing him for a future without her. He’s never sure whether or not he should be grateful for that.)

The bandits are a bunch of clichés–a group of twenty or so men all unwashed and rowdy, hiding in a cave. Kankurou is honestly a little embarrassed on their behalves. Or, you know, he would be if they weren’t the assholes responsible for murdering an unknown clan member and leaving the kid–Shinki, as he had huffed in response to being called brat–orphaned.

Okay, maybe Kankurou got a little attached. But he’s a good kid; keeping pace and falling in line and not at all rebelling and pulling some kind of bullshit impossible plan from out of nowhere that somehow miraculously works. (No doubt Sparky will ruin that given a few months, but he can appreciate it while it lasts.)

They meet up with another chuunin not far from the cave–who startles at seeing the head of the Puppet Corps and a nine year old accompanying his teammate, but maintains a sense of professionalism nonetheless.

“There’s two exits–this one’s the main one, big enough for horses and a cart, though I’ve only spotted two so far. The other one is around the southeast side of the mountain, pretty narrow, almost missed it, probably an emergency escape route.”

Unfortunately, cliché and filthy didn’t mean stupid.

“You two stay here, wait for the signal before you join us,” Kankurou says, “Us two will go through the other entrance. Catch them off guard, make sure none of them get away.”

“Uh, sir?” asks the first chuunin, nervously, “What’s the signal?”

Kankurou barely manages not to roll his eyes. Shinki and the other chuunin don’t bother refraining.

“The sounds of screaming, probably” Kankurou says deadpan, enjoying the way the chuunin flinches.

“Let’s go, kid,” he continues, before they waste more time on inanities.

The emergency exit is narrow enough that the three of them–Karasu included–have to go single file. The few traps are easily disarmed and Shinki’s silent nature thankfully extends to stealth.

Somehow, even though he’s on Kankurou’s six, the kid spots the bandits first.

Well, a specific bandit.

“That’s him,” Shinki murmurs, angry but still quiet, not stupid enough to give away their position.

Kankurou doesn’t need clarification–given the bandages hastily wrapped around the bandit’s torso and beginning to bleed through red, it’s obvious who he is.

“Stay here, kid. Any of them slip past me, you take them down, okay?” Like that’ll happen–Kankurou’s been too well trained (tortured by that old hag, more like)–but the kid doesn’t know that. “Let’s go sound that signal, then.”

Of course, Kankurou probably should have figured that the kid’s obedience would run dry at some point, because after only about ten minutes of fighting–most of the bandits incapacitated one way or another–he finds the kid standing over the prone body of a bandit. The specific bandit.

The kid’s shaking, the man is talking, and that’s never boded well.

“… I knew it. Should have known as soon as your mother brought you screaming into the world. Go on, demon, prove me right,” the bandit says, a sneer on his face for all that he’s the one at a disadvantage.

The kid has somehow ended up with a sword–poor quality, probably the bandit’s own weapon–but he shakes like he’s the one whose life is in danger.

“I-I c-can’t do it,” Shinki says, “I can’t.”

Kankurou sighs, waves Karasu closer to loom over the bandit who is finally beginning to look afraid. He puts his other hand on Shinki’s shoulder, turns him around. “Don’t look, kid.”

Shinki closes his eyes, presses close, and doesn’t look.

Neither of them mention it again.

(Sometimes, Shinki wishes his first Mother were still alive. Not that he prefers her over Mother–no, he loves this new family fiercely, wouldn’t trade them for the world. Even when he and Araya don’t quite understand each other, or he and Yodo get on each others’ nerves.

Sometimes, he wishes she hadn’t been afraid. Wishes that she had taken the chance to reach out, to be a part of this family.

He thinks she would have loved them, too.)

~

A/N: Kankurou, goddamnit, why can’t you stay on topic?

Technically this part ought to be third if we’re going chronologically, since I feel like Shinki would’ve been the last adopted (which kind of adds to his self-esteem issues re: succession and also his adoption sort of obligated because blood limit) but Kankurou is easier for me to write than Gaara. Which, yeah, spoilers I guess, Yodo’s part will from Gaara’s POV.