Smile At The Stars — Yoshino, Shikaku and their grandchildren

A/N1: … like a Yoshino&Shikaku!POV of Our Share of the World?

I mean, I guess I could try to come up with a plotty brainstorm of Yoshino&Shikaku with their grandchildren, but this just seems like a collection of five scenes of Y&S with their grandchildren.

Sorry this took so long, but since this isn’t really a fake fic title prompt, I just tried to fill it like a regular prompt. Enjoy!

~

Shikaku is the last to find out about his first grandchild, heading home after work to find his wife and daughter surrounded by piles of storage scrolls.

“This is archaic, Mum,” Shikako says, unsealing a scroll, glancing over the contents, then resealing them again. “Toddler clothes.”

“Oh, set those aside, dear, he’ll need them soon enough,” Yoshino instructs, going through her own set of scrolls–linens, hideous, but an heirloom of the clan head’s line–and putting them away.

“How are you supposed to find anything like this? I can make you a new set of sealing scrolls–or a custom Hammerspace!”

“These work just fine still, Shikako, it’d be a waste to get rid of them–ah! I think this is it.” From Yoshino’s scroll appears a crib, sturdy and steady and capable of withstanding a D-rank jutsu, the same one that carried all three of their children.

That seems like just yesterday, surely it’s not already time to pass it down?

“What’s going on here?”

He can’t possibly be that old already.

His wife and daughter both turn to him before glancing at each other, Yoshino’s expression clearly urging Shikako to explain.

“Well… Dad… um…”

His sons enter the hallway, Kinokawa making silly faces at the baby in Shikamaru’s arms. The red-haired baby in Shikamaru’s arms who reaches out towards Shikako upon spotting her.

He passes the baby over to his sister almost reluctantly and Kinokawa follows, adoringly.

“This is Kareru Uzumaki, he’s my son.” Shikako says, steeling herself unnecessarily; both of Shikaku’s sons take after him.

///

Shikako’s pregnancy is a frustrating, frightening time for all within her vicinity–nothing inspires crankiness and bizarre seals like consecutive nights of sleeplessness. Yoshino remembers being much the same during her own time with the twins, so she is patient.

Still, there comes a point when a mother is done indulging…

… which just so happens to be the same point as when said mother finds her pregnant daughter on the roof of the house in the middle of the night armed with buckets of paint and a brush.

It takes promises of hot cocoa and secrecy to coax her down, safely bundled in a blanket on the sofa, but Yoshino feels much better now that she’s on the ground.

“I’m so tired,” Shikako says, voice cracking with desperation, and so Yoshino tops up her mug.

“You can rest here, sweetheart, you’re safe.” She remembers the paranoia of her daughter’s earlier teen years, perhaps her hormones have kicked it into overdrive.

But Shikako just shakes her head. “I can’t, I can’t,” she repeats, “She needs me, she needs my chakra, I can’t go to sleep. She needs me.”

Yoshino feels a chill go down her spine.

“How does everyone else do this? I’m so tired.”

Pregnancy is supposed to be difficult, yes, but not like that. Not so consciously, actively, impossibly involved.

No more indulging, no more patience.

It takes more than hot cocoa to get Shikako to go to the hospital, but Yoshino knows best.

///

They do not often see their grandchildren from Sand, almost never altogether–that one trip to Wind Country aside, of course–and so it’s a pleasure to have the house full again.

Shikaku enjoys having extra sets of hand to feed the deer–especially ones that still find novelty in the chore, awed at the shy creatures and their forested homes–and Yoshino enjoys having victims to run through her morning stretches.

It’s unfortunate for them, of course, as they are not as flexible as their Konoha siblings and cousin, but they complain far less. Or perhaps are far quieter about it.

Shinki, at least, seems to take it as an opportunity to improve himself–never mind that his almost literal iron spine makes it more difficult–but Araya and Yodo spend more time trying to push each other over while Yoshino looks away.

Not that she isn’t aware of their little competition, but why not let them have their fun?

Shikaku is the one who rescues them and gives them a tour of the village, no better guide than the retired former Jounin Commander after all, before bringing them back to the Nara Clan compound where both their parents await them.

Which is still an odd thought–if anyone had told them that the Kazekage would one day be father to three of their grandchildren, well, the future is an interesting place, indeed.

~

A/N2: … so, um, it’s been a while everyone. Sorry about how long it took. Holidays then being ill and then three days of overtime which caused me to relapse… I’m not fully satisfied with this–much fonder of the original Shikadai’s POV, but hopefully it’s still nice.

Also, since December is approaching and I’ve got a few more prompts in the ask box, instead of sticking with the Ask Box Fake Fic Titles I might as well segue into the Ask Box Advent Calendar so send in those prompts! 😀

Dreaming of S(haring the World) 3/3, (2016-09-17)

Gaara isn’t often called in to deal with matters from the Engineering Department. Except for approving or vetoing certain village-sized projects, he doesn’t have much to do with them outside of paperwork.

Certainly not in person. Not anymore.

After the first incident–in which he was called in at three in the morning and all he did was stand around looking imposing as two engineers yelled, fought, cried on each other, then came to an agreement in the span of two hours. True, that first incident led to the village’s first successful hydroponics program, and later aquaponics program, but not as a result of anything Gaara himself did–he’s learned to use proxies since then.

But the young engineer standing in front of him looks like he won’t accept a proxy or no for an answer. Even if he’s nervously curling into himself.

Gaara doesn’t take offense. If he’s remembering correctly, this is one of the recent genin graduates. The one who had been slated for the Puppet Corps until Kankurou found out that he’d rather make puppets than fight with them, and so had shunted him into Engineering where he’d be happier surrounded by machines than people.

“Fukiya, correct?” Gaara asks, smiling to himself when the genin straightens at his name.

“Yes, Kazekage-sama!” Fukiya says, bows low, straightens back up, all in one enthusiastic movement.

“And you’re sure this isn’t just Yokume and Gosan arguing again?” He asks, just to confirm. He’s already standing away from his desk, gesturing for Fukiya to lead the way. Jinzo only raises his eyebrows instead of squinting angrily, so Gaara knows he’s not scheduled for anything else at the moment.

“Not this time, Kazekage-sama,” Fukiya says, sounding far less nervous the deeper into the building they go. The Engineering Department is underground. Deep underground.

“Was Baki unavailable?” It’s not that Gaara is trying to get out of it–he likes being involved in his village–but this is an unusual situation.

“We already called Baki-sama, Kazekage-sama, and he’s actually there now. But he said to go get you, Kazekage-sama.”

An unusual situation indeed.

They come to a stop outside a set of massive double doors. Fukiya glances around, looks sheepish when he catches Gaara’s eye, then enters a series of numbers into the keypad. A much smaller door opens up for them to enter through.

The first thing Gaara sees is Baki’s face, smirking. Then is Yokume and Gosan, eagerly shouting upwards. When he follows their line of sight, he sees a massive orb made of metal and glass…

… and what looks to be a small child inside it, happily fiddling with the wires of what he knows to be the Engineering Department’s ultimate pet project.

(Yodo doesn’t remember her biological parents and she doesn’t really care. As far as she’s concerned, they didn’t want her, so she doesn’t want them.

She doesn’t need them, either. She didn’t need them before, when she was just one of many Suna orphans running around the village, and she definitely doesn’t need them now that she has a family that loves her and actually wants her.

And plus, Father is the Kazekage and Mother is one of the most badass people in the world–Yodo’s not even exaggerating. Why would she care about some random strangers she’s never even met?)

The child is five years old, unbelievably smart, and–according to the engineers on the night shift–a stealth prodigy. Gaara will believe the first two, but given the way the little girl knows some of the engineers by name, he’s highly skeptical of the last one.

Both Yokume and Gosan are on the verge of tears, which isn’t an atypical state of being for them. But usually it’s over non-human matters.

“You can’t have a five year old working for the Engineering Department,” Gaara says, choosing to be the voice of reason here.

“Can she even read?” Baki asks, looking far too amused by the situation.

“I can hear just fine,” the little girl says, dangling from the catwalk, knees hooked around the railing.

She seems confident in her stability, but Gaara would rather not risk it. He sends a platform of sand up towards her and, after a couple of curious nudges, she switches perches.

“And I can read…” she continues, voice high and piping and offended.

“… most things,” she admits in a mutter after a moment’s silence, sand platform bringing her closer. “Math is easier, okay?”

Baki snorts.

Yokume and Gosan check on the orb, simultaneously gushing and arguing about the changes the child has made while Fukiya trails after them like an eager student.

“What’s your name?” Gaara asks, because for all that she knows the night shift engineer’s names, they don’t seem to know hers.

She seems to be content on the platform, even though it’s hovering close enough to the ground that she could disembark if she wanted to. She doesn’t answer for a moment, busy testing the pliability of the sand–it’s as pliable as he wills it to be. He lets her shape it as she wants and holds it still when she decides she’s satisfied with it. She appears to be building a model of Suna.

“The matron at the orphanage use to call me Yodo,” she says finally, possibly unused to someone patiently waiting for her to answer.

“Used to?”

Yodo wrinkles her nose in disgust, “I don’t go there anymore. Too many voices, it’s annoying. I come here instead.”

Gaara can feel his brow furrowing in confusion, hopes it doesn’t come off as irritated. His people are no longer scared of him, but he knows he’s still an intimidating figure. “For how long?”

Yodo huffs, as if she’s the one who should be annoyed by all these questions, “Almost four days,” she says.

Which isn’t as long as Gaara had feared, but definitely long enough that this should have been brought to someone’s attention earlier. Either as a missing child’s case or as an intruder in the Engineering Department–four days is too long.

“You’re not going to make me go back, are you?” Yodo asks him, blue eyes wide and staring into his.

Gaara doesn’t know what his face looks like now, but whatever it is, it makes Baki actually, audibly laugh.

(The Council talks about her as Father’s successor as if it’s a position she should be honored to have, instead of something they’re trying to force onto her.

She doesn’t know why they even think she’d want it–but then again, the only council member she’s ever spoken to is Councilor Odo who still thinks Mother is some kind of interloper or the most conspicuous spy ever.

She understands their reasoning, at least: Yodo may not be one by blood, but she’s still a scion of the desert. They don’t want her to end up like Temari-oba, married away in a different land and essentially lost to Suna.

No, Yodo doesn’t want to be Kazekage. But in this matter, she keeps quiet. As soon as she rejects it, they’ll turn to Shinki; and for all that he thinks he should be the next Kazekage, Yodo doesn’t think he actually wants to be, either.

Yodo can be a good sister.)

Yodo concedes to leave the Engineering workshop only when Gaara promises not to bring her back to the orphanage. She also demands dango, but after two years of raising a child, he knows better than to give her sweets without any substantial food to temper it.

They agree on takoyaki, which Yodo deems similar enough in shape to dango as to be acceptable, and which Gaara knows won’t lead to a sugar high and crash.

Between the Engineering Department and his office, Yodo sneaks her hand into his. He looks at her in surprise–it took Araya nearly a year to feel comfortable enough with him to do the same–and she begins to withdraw it, but he curls his fingers around hers and she smiles brightly up at him.

They pass by others at work. The administrative building is quite large, houses other departments besides Engineering, and someone must have sent word ahead because Jinzo is waiting for the two of them in Gaara’s office with a familiar looking set of forms.

“Another one?” he asks, almost as amused as Baki had been.

Gaara shrugs because he has no argument. Has nothing he’d want to argue against.

“Shall I have a runner go fetch Nara-san and Araya?” Jinzo asks, already flaring his chakra to summon one of the genin whose sole purpose is to do whatever he tells them apparently.

“And dango!” Yodo says, swinging their conjoined hands.

“Takoyaki,” Gaara corrects, considers for a moment, “And maybe some dango, too.”

Yodo cheers while Jinzo sends a second runner for the food and a third to prepare some drinks.

Gaara goes to sit at his desk. Rather than sit at the more comfortable couch, Yodo clambers onto the desk–taking care to avoid touching any of the paperwork, while she turns her head this way and that.

“Will this let me work in the Engineering Department?” Yodo asks, watching him write her name but not understanding the rest.

“One day, if you still want to, then you can,” Gaara answers, filling in the rest of the forms–his name, Shikako’s name, Yodo’s again. “This means that, if you want, you never have to go back to the orphanage.”

She looks up at him and in her eyes he sees maybe something like hope.

(Yodo thinks in terms of music. In tone and rhythm, tempo and frequency. She thinks of melodies and harmonies, instruments and voices fitting together into one cohesive song.

Machines are like that, too. Different components coming together to make something better and stronger than they are alone.

Sometimes there are problems–sometimes gears shift out of place and software doesn’t match up. Sometimes the drums go too fast and the strings screech instead of hum–but they can be troubleshot, they can be fixed. Music and creation and life are always open to additions and adjustments.

This is what family means to her.)

~

A/N: I really thought I’d be able to get this in before midnight :/ Ah, well, I guess this is just a very early post then.

I’ll post these three up on ao3 later

(Also, I don’t know if anyone noticed but Yodo is meant to be neuroatypical.)

Wait. In your Sakako spinoff, Sakura still had Sarada. Via being a surrogate? I would imagine so, given how you stated that Sasuke was strictly mono. If that’s the case…what’s stopping Shikako from being a surrogate for Gaara? She knows that he makes a decent father (though he’s probably never dealt with infants), and Sasuke can’t have a problem with it if he has made use of surrogates himself… Perhaps she doesn’t want to give the meddling old men what they want?

I am. I’m what’s stopping them. >:)

But in all seriousness, anon, if I’m going to be frank, it took me a while to understand your ask in a way that didn’t make me cringe or side-eye it. I know there was no offense meant and that you’re sincerely curious about why Shikako and Gaara don’t have biological children in my weird DoS next gen spinoff, but something about the word choice or maybe just the subconscious assumption beneath the ask itself just kind of… I’ll do my best to answer you, but please keep in mind that my first reaction to this ask wasn’t exactly positive and I had to step away for a while before I could answer.

Okay so let’s go:

Yes, in the Walking Around ‘verse aka the Sakako Uchiha ‘verse, genetically-canon!Sarada does still exist. Sakura wanted a child, but is romantically involved with Ino (who is also romantically involved with Sai). While Sakura could have asked Sai to be sperm donor for her child, Konoha is already trying to establish an Uchiha repopulation program and Sakura, being part of the Medic Corps (and possibly in charge of the program?) would no doubt know of it. So the efficient thing was for Sakura to be a surrogate so she could both have a child and contribute to the Uchiha repopulation. Or perhaps “surrogate” is the wrong word choice since Sarada is HER child that just happens to be half Sasuke’s genes and a member of the fledgling Uchiha clan 2.0

Sakako might or might not be an artificially inseminated baby. My interpretation of Sasuke is demi-romantic bisexual, and Shikako as demi/bi-romantic demi/asexual. So the demi part for Shikako’s sexuality is a little up in the air. (And anyway, it’s not as if ace people can’t have or enjoy sex, they just don’t actively feel sexual desire). But the point is, Sakako’s existence isn’t as premeditated as Sarada’s is–Sakura PLANNED to have a child, and DECIDED to be part of the Uchiha repopulation program. SAKURA was the active party between her and Sasuke in Sarada’s origin.

In contrast, I’m not entirely sure if Sakako is “officially” part of the Uchiha repopulation program so much as she is someone who just happens to be born Uchiha. If that makes any sense. Whether Sakako is the result of a night of passion, or Shikako acknowledging that Sasuke wants biological children with her and agreeing to bear A child for him, it was mostly SASUKE who wanted Sakako to exist.

Keep in mind, if all five of Shikadai’s cousins exist like in Our Share of the World, then Team Seven (+friends) have already collectively raised Kareru to approximately Academy age. Maybe, parenting Kareru made Sasuke baby-crazed, and seeing as how it was Shikako and Naruto who helped him with this first child, he turned to them (who are his “one and done + exception” anyway) for another child. Hence Sakako’s existence, even if it’s not specifically the Uchiha repopulation program.

In summary, Sarada is Sakura’s child who just happens to be part of the Uchiha repopulation program, Sakako is Sasuke’s child with Shikako.

Now what’s stopping Shikako from being a surrogate for Gaara? Nothing. 

Nothing’s stopping them from having biological children through sexual intercourse, either (even if they were both asexual–again, asexual people can have and even enjoy sex–it’s just that they don’t feel the desire for sex)

It’s not that Shikako thinks Gaara would be a bad father or that she thinks any potential kid would inherit his bijuu-related madness; it’s not that she loves Sasuke more than she does Gaara, either. She already has children with Gaara. Three of them, in fact. They don’t need to be biologically related to her for her to be their Mother. (This is what Gaara, in the deepest recesses of his mind, fears. But it’s doubt brought along by his shaky self-esteem and knowledge that Sasuke low-key resents him, and thus not true at all).

This isn’t about Sasuke not being okay with it or about Sasuke being a hypocrite or about Sasuke not giving her permission or whatever. This isn’t about Sasuke at all. Shikako just doesn’t want another child–she already has five children. (FIVE CHILDREN IS A LOT, OKAY. That’s more than a standard shinobi team. (Though I should say that her not wanting more children doesn’t mean that she wouldn’t totally step up and love and parent any additional kids that come along, but she doesn’t actively want to get more children. She’s content with the number she has.))

If I had to put motivations behind it… Gaara just wants family–he doesn’t want more clan, doesn’t want to pass on his blood limit–actually, Gaara just wants love? And, obviously, family helps with that. But biological children aren’t more valid as family, they aren’t somehow intrinsically more lovable than adopted children.

In contrast, Sasuke “wants to revive his clan.” That’s specifically the Uchiha clan with the Sharingan bloodline. If he just wanted (sorry to be crass here) bodies in houses, he’d just go to an orphanage and adopt all the children and make them Uchiha. But the premise of the particular spinoff world that Walking Around ‘verse is in has an Uchiha repopulation program specifically for the Sharingan.

Different motivations, so different goals, so different solutions, so different family structures.

I think Shikako doesn’t want biological children. Or rather, she doesn’t have a preference for biological children over adopted children. A close enough version of her genes are going to be passed down to the next generation anyway via Shikamaru’s child(ren) and a slightly distant but still related version of her genes comprise an entire clan. Her bloodline is fine–there’s no endangered blood limit attached to it, and so there’s no necessity for her to have biological children. To be somewhat crass again, she’s not a baby-making machine (and she’s especially not going to be one for the Suna Council.)

Let’s see… as a more concrete example: you might have noticed in Walking Around (Sharing the World) that bit about the empty room. The one that both Sasuke and Shikako were keeping silent on the matter. The way I see it, that room can be filled in different ways. If Sasuke found an Uchiha baby in a sealing scroll and decided to adopt it Shikako would agree to be this baby’s Mum.

Or, if someone volunteered to be a surrogate for the Uchiha repopulation program but didn’t actually want to raise the baby (maybe they’re a kunoichi who had been injured and would need to take a year off and decided, hey, why not get paid to be pregnant since she’s not going to be able to do missions anyway), Shikako would agree to be this baby’s Mum. Or, hell, if Sasuke decided to adopt any kid and raise that kid as Sakako’s sibling–Uchiha genes or not–Shikako would totally be okay with being that kid’s Mum, too. But if Sasuke asked for another biological kid from Shikako? … I don’t think she’d say yes.

I mean, there’s in vitro… like if Shikako donated some eggs and Sasuke donated sperm and then the zygote was implanted into some other woman. But at that point… it’d be better for the Uchiha repopulation program and Sasuke’s dream to revive the Uchiha clan if that other woman just… became one of the mothers in the program. Especially so that, if a generation or two down the line, the plan is to have the descendants reproduce with each other. Far enough that their relation to Sasuke isn’t too recent and possibly resulting in genetic problems due to inbreeding, but not so diluted that the Sharingan is lost. If there are two Shikasuke kids then their descendants are invalid to reproduce with each other without additional generations separating them.

But that’s getting away from the heart of the matter which is… I hope I answered your questions?

If you’d like to write about biological Shikaara kids, don’t let me stop you. The reason why I didn’t was because I found the NGSS while researching and it just felt right to me that the NGSS are adopted–in canon or DoS future–and in a Shikaara world, Shikako is an active enough parent that they do acknowledge her as Mother (I dunno if anyone noticed, but I figure it’s a regional dialect thing that people in Suna use Mother/Father and people in Konoha use Mum and Dad).

Our interpretations of the characters are different, so our predictions for their future will probably be different. I mean, I can even interpret the characters differently leading to different predictions–I can see a possible future where Shikako and Kiba end up together and have no children but are wildly and hilariously happy together. I can see a possible future where Shikako and Neji end up together and take on the fucked up system of the Hyuuga Main vs Branch families with fuinjutsu and REVOLUTION. I can see a possible future where Shikako doesn’t end up with anyone and is happy with her life and revels in her freedom.

Biological Shikaara children can definitely exist in some possible future; but in the particular future that I’ve somehow developed in the Walking Around/Sakako ‘verse there aren’t any.

Oooh!! Your Sakako ficlets gave me so many feels! Their family’s relationship just seems so real, and then Shinki! Poor guy. I can imagine him and Sakako becoming really close (same with Sakako and Kareru, their relationship would be too cute) if Sakako gets her Mangekyou, I’d imagine that it would be something happening to Shinki that would set it off

Gotta spread the feels, you know? 😀

I’m glad that you think it’s realistic–I didn’t want their situation to be perfect but I didn’t want it to be awful, so I was trying to keep to believability. Sakako is observant but she’s still a child and she doesn’t know everything–especially doesn’t pick up on certain nuances since this is the family she’s grown up with so she thinks this is normal–but I hope I was able to give enough clues that the readers can get a sense of the picture for themselves.

I don’t know why, but Shinki is my favorite of the NGSS to torment with feelings. Like, Yodo definitely suffers from occasional insecurities and self-doubt, but usually they pass. Araya–well, when I write Dreaming of S(haring the World) I’ll get into his dealio–but Shinki! He’s just going to have all these deeply running feelings. So many feelings.

Sakako is probably closest to Yodo–because they understand each other since they are both brilliant but isolated young girls–but I do think she and Shinki end up close as well. Definitely closer than Shinki and Shikadai end up, and possibly more than Shinki does with Yodo. Given the whole… passed over for Kazekage thing. (What if Araya is the one that ends up Kazekage? Wouldn’t that be great?)

I’m sorry about forgetting Kareru in Walking Around (Sharing the World) it wasn’t part of anon’s prompt so he just kinda slipped my mind. If I’m doing the math right, though–then again, Kishimoto is really bad at ages and timelines–the Konoha Twelve should be about mid/early thirties during the events of the Boruto movie so… Kareru is at least five years older than the next gen. He may also already be a chuunin, so he’s not around as much during the time when Walking Around (Sharing the World) happens. Which explains why Sakako feels alone more often than not.

But I do like to think that Sakako and Kareru are good for each other–even if I’m pretty sure Kareru is benignly haunted by a significant chunk of the Uzushio population. Uzumaki are good points of concentration for ghosts to haunt, I imagine.

I haven’t quite decided what sets off her Mangekyo, but I do think that of the NGSS it would be Shinki that is involved somehow.

image

~FEEEEEEELS~

As I said above, I am planning on writing a Dreaming of S(haring the World) but it will be more about the Shikaara side of things and their POV of their parents and their roles in their family and the village etc etc–I’m not sure if I’ll touch on the matter of the Uchiha since, you know, I’m not really sure if this is the same universe or not. (From the responses I’ve been getting, though, it does look like people are totally on board for all of Shikadai’s cousins to exist in the same universe. So… ?)

And, well, I feel like Walking Around (Sharing the World) already has enough of the NGSS that readers can kind of get an idea of how the NGSS feel about Sakako and Sasuke? Like, they’re wary of Sasuke definitely, and a little nervous and uncertain around Sakako. Because even though it’s not the candidacy for Kazekage, this is still their Mother’s biological child and the father of said child–they don’t doubt Shikako loves them, but it’s this thing separating them still. It’s not like Shinki’s low-key resentment of Shikadai… it’s more an insecurity about where they stand, especially when they’re in Konoha and face to face with the Uchiha clan of two.

As for Sakako’s meeting with Gaara, I left that open ended for a reason. Namely, because I don’t know what I want to do with that exactly and also I figure it’ll happen during one of those international crises when she’s already a genin and I don’t really want to write that. As it is though, they’ll probably stumble into each other, fight side by side, get saved by Shikako and Shinki and then have a very reticent but amicable talk.

They both find the night sky soothing; there are so many more stars to see in the desert.

image

Sakako is growing on me, too. I’m surprised by how much people like reading about her, actually, I did not expect this much excitement about her.

Yup, Sasuke is jealous of Gaara. Well, it’s a little… the way I understand their characters, Naruto is very free about loving people even if they don’t like him back. Shikako is a little more logical about it in a very basic sense that having more people that like each other is better than less people. Sasuke is very possessive about the people he likes. He only likes a few people and those he doesn’t like he’s just–get away don’t touch them *hiss*

In DoS the number of people he tolerates is much higher than in canon, but it’s still pretty small in comparison. Gaara is definitely not one of them in either iteration so… you know.

If it were Naruto that Shikako had another family with (not including Kareru who is the communal child of Team Seven/Konoha Twelve) Sasuke would be a lot less jealous even though he is staunchly monogamous. Er, maybe that’s a bad example since Naruto basically is his exception to the rule.

If it were Kiba, maybe? Yeah, as an example only, if it were Kiba–who Sasuke at the very least trusts in battle (which he never will with Gaara) and has friendly banter with–that Shikako had another family with, Sasuke wouldn’t mind nearly as much. It also doesn’t help that Gaara is Kage of a different village and Shikako splits her time between the two villages as well as her travels.  

That being said, his POV is difficult for me in normal fic, I don’t think I’m going to tackle a bitter and jealous Sasuke and especially not with him and Gaara interacting. Mostly because I think they take great pains never to do so? (I speak out loud when I type and my voice just went to high pitched and anxious I literally went outside of my range. And if you’ve ever heard me voice, you know that’s really fucking high)

Um, but I’m glad you like Walking Around (Sharing the World) it was… difficult but satisfying to write 🙂

Walking Around (Sharing the World), a Sakako Uchiha spinoff ficlet (2016-09-09)

Once, when she was younger, Sakako had asked Dad,

“Are you lonely?”

He had frozen in his seat, chopsticks halfway to his mouth, eyes gone wide with surprise.

Sakako knows her family isn’t like other people’s families. And not even in the way that clans are different from non-clans; or how Ino-oba, Sakura-oba, and Sai-oji are different from families with one mum and one dad.

People–even those close to her parents, even Baa-chan and Jii-chan and Shikamaru-oji–used to look at her and Dad with indignation on their behalf. Then with pity. Then just muted, ongoing confusion.

Dad put his chopsticks down, breathed, then turned his hand over so she could place hers in his.

“Why would I be lonely,” he had responded, fingers gentle around her own, “when we have each other?”

It’s not until later that she’ll realize that he didn’t answer her question.

She doesn’t ask again.

Sarada both is and isn’t her sister–shared genetics, but not shared homes or heritage or lives. She’s not quite a stranger–their parents are friends, after all–but despite blood, they’re not quite family either.

Yodo both is and isn’t her sister in a different way.

Sakako has never been to Sand–for somewhat obvious reasons, Dad’s jaw clenching at even the thought of it though he never says anything against it out loud–but Mum is still a shinobi of Konoha and besides, Temari-oba is Yodo’s aunt as well. Again, in a different way.

Whenever her siblings-but-not visit from Sand, they stay at the Nara compound.

Some nights, Mum does, too.

Sakako joins them, when Dad works night shifts, and it’s like having a sleepover. It’s nice.

“Your hair is so long and soft,” Yodo says, as she brushes the damp and wavy strands. Sakako leans into the touch.

They’ve pulled their futons together into a makeshift large one, their blankets mussed and overlapping. Mum’s futon is a few meters away, made up and untouched–she’ll join them later, after debriefing at the Tower.

“It’s hard to have long hair in Suna,” Yodo continues, exchanging the hairbrush for fingers, beginning to re-braid Sakako’s hair, “The wind and sand and all, but Mother taught me how to do this on her hair and I don’t think I’m too bad.”

Yodo is one year younger than Sakako and already one of Sand’s experts in engineering. Braiding hair is easily within her capabilities, but she sounds uncharacteristically shy, unsure.

When her hands pull away, Sakako checks her work: a single braid is more Mum’s style than Sakako’s, and it’s slightly loose and lumpy in places, but… it’s nice.

“My turn now,” Sakako says, wielding the hairbrush and a smile. Yodo gives a hesitant and somewhat bewildered smile back.

Mum returns to find both of them singing and dancing along to Yodo’s music player, short blonde braids and long dark braid bouncing in time to the music.

Once, when they didn’t know she was listening, Sakako overheard her parents fighting.

Fighting as in arguing, not fighting as in sparring. They let her watch their spars, so long as she’s finished all of her schoolwork and she stays behind the barrier seal. Arguing is a different story.

“I told you–years ago–that I’m not going to promise anything I can’t keep.”

“The situation has changed since then, Shikako, things are different now!”

“Things are always different, Sasuke! It’s only because you’re expecting something that I never agreed to.”

“You’re always away and she misses you, our daughter misses you–”

“Don’t put words in her mouth!” Mum shouts, a flare of chakra like the heat of a Grand Fireball, like the roar of an exploding tag. Sharp and bright and crackling like a sword.

The argument stops then, silence settling like ashes.

Her parents are too skilled as shinobi to make sounds when they move, but she knows they must have stepped closer to each other because their voices are quieter now. Intimate.

“I miss you,” Dad says, low and apologetic, confessing.

“I do love you,” Mum responds, steady and emphatic.

Sakako will wonder about the extra word for weeks.

Sakako doesn’t need to see Araya’s face to know what he looks like. Which is good, since she’s never seen behind his mask.

“He looks like me,” the ghost hovering behind Araya’s shoulder says, intangible hand resting fondly on his head, “Though he has Tomoka’s eyes.”

This must be his biological father, then.

The porcelain mask tilts, an obvious expression of confusion.

“Yes,” Sakako answers belatedly, “I’ve been learning kenjutsu from Dad. Sorry,” she says, pulling her eyes away from the ghost, “I must still be tired.” It’s earlier in the day than she’s usually awake, especially after a night of stargazing, but her siblings-but-not from Sand tend to rise with the sun.

Araya tilts his head in the opposite direction, this time emanating incurious skepticism. He shrugs, straightens out, asks, “Do you want to spar? Kenjutsu only,” he adds.

She hesitates, looks around. The clearing in the Nara clan compound isn’t technically a training ground–it’s okay to practice shadow jutsu in, but not much else. Unfortunately, the actual training grounds in the village can only be reserved by ranked shinobi, and both of them are Academy students still–Araya a foreign Academy student at that.

Sakako considers her options, before channeling chakra to her wrist. Kisuke-san appears after a moment and Araya startles back, sword at the ready.

“It’s okay,” she says, hands out in a pacifying gesture, readying herself to reveal one of her secrets. She took one from him, even if he doesn’t know it–it’s only fair that she give one in return.

“This is Kisuke-san,” she introduces, and her mentor bows shallowly. After a beat, Araya does the same, albeit with far more caution. “He’s a shinobi of Konoha… and a ghost.”

Araya takes to the revelation much better once she explains that Kisuke-san can reserve a proper training ground for them and supervise their spar. Afterwards, they are both equally eager for his observations and advice, the other ghost watching serenely from the side–no longer hovering, but definitely not forgotten.

A few days later when Araya and Mum leave, Sakako sees them off at the gates, even though it means she’ll have to run to get to the Academy before classes start.

Sakako gets a hug from Mum, breathes in her scent as she holds on tightly.

She pulls away, looks at Araya. “Until next time?” she asks him, offering her hand, the same one with her summoning bracelet looped around.

His grip around hers is firm. “Until next time,” he agrees.

Before they depart, Araya lifts a hand to his mask’s mouth–a promise to keep her secret. She grins back.

Once, when Dad had a break from work and Mum had returned from researching in Uzushio, the three of them went on a trip to Sora-ku.

Technically, it was a C-rank mission–transporting supplies for the Neko-baa–but while her classmates were jealous of her for going on a mission before graduation, she knows it’s really just the Hokage letting her family go on a vacation. They’ve been given more than enough time; they’re planning to visit Otafuku Gai on their way back.

For such a large city, there’s hardly any living beings. No ghosts, either, which is more unnerving to Sakako. She’s not afraid, because her parents are with her, but she can’t help the way she looks around, desperately trying to find a ghost, any ghost.

Ghosts, even without speaking to her, tell her much about a person or a place. Fallen enemies versus lost family members haunting a person; the old Uchiha compound has dozens of her kin, though they’ve begun to move onwards to the Pure Land in groups.

No ghosts, no knowledge–she’s going in blind.

Her parents notice her unease, glance at each other and nod. Dad takes point, Mum steps back, Sakako ends up in the middle of a standard protective formation.

Nothing actually happens–well, there was the whole thing with the black marketeers and Mum kind of demolishing a building and Dad ended up having to send a hawk to Konoha’s Police Force telling them to send a follow up team–but nothing they couldn’t handle easily and nothing to do with ghosts or the lack thereof.

Sora-ku is still unnerving for her, but she got a neat kusarigama out of it and she got to spend time with both of her parents, which makes it a trip she’ll remember fondly.

Until Araya and Yodo graduate from the Academy, Shinki is a genin without a team. Two years is a long time to wait, so until then, he’s to be Mum’s apprentice–an unusual arrangement given that they’re shinobi registered to different villages, but the few words of protest don’t actually have any power to prevent it.

Three days after Shinki and Mum arrive in Konoha–three days of Sakako splitting her time between the Nara compound and home–Dad goes to meet with Mum during work.

Sakako doesn’t know about this until she gets out of class for the day, coming home to find Dad and Mum and Shinki sitting around the table. It’s not a tense silence exactly, but she can tell that her arrival makes things easier, makes the air lighter.

“Dad,” she greets, his hand smoothing over her hair in return, “Mum,” she adds, leaning in for a brief hug.

She smiles at Shinki, silent, never sure exactly how to address him–if she should call him big brother or not–especially not with Dad in earshot. Shinki gives a nod of acknowledgement, which is about as much as she’s ever received from him before.

“Sakako,” Mum asks, “Can you help Shinki with the guest room?”

She knows that it’s really just a way to get the both of them out of the room, but the obviousness takes out any malice.

“Sure,” she says, because right now Sakako is glad for the excuse, on her behalf and on Shinki’s whose spine is rigid and hands curled into fists, “It’s upstairs,” she beckons, and her brother-but-not stands to follow.

The empty room next to hers isn’t really a guest room–they don’t really get overnight guests, and the occasional times that Naruto-oji sleeps over, he ends up sprawled on the couch downstairs anyway–it’s just a room waiting to be used.

Sakako knows Dad is keeping it available for a maybe-one-day potential sibling, though as far as she knows he’s never said as much out loud. She thinks maybe Mum knows it, too, and has been purposefully keeping just as silent on the matter.

When they get there, Sakako begins pulling out the futon, and Shinki shakes out of his weird robot act to help her.

With his help, they’re done in a few minutes, and they sit in not entirely comfortable silence. Mostly because they’re both sitting seiza style which Sakako hardly ever does–generally only during kunoichi lessons–but something about Shinki inspires proper manners even with his dusty brown clothes and armor.

“How long are you in Konoha for?” she asks. Usually Baa-chan or Jii-chan will tell her since, usually, that’s where her siblings-but-not stay when they visit. This is a new development and she’s not quite sure how to act.

“Another week,” Shinki says, “Mo-… Shishou said that she needs to formalize my apprenticeship so that I can get credit for any missions we do even if its from Leaf.”

“You can call her Mother, you know. I don’t mind. She’s your Mum, too, isn’t she?”

Shinki’s eyes flick in the direction of the kitchen, then back up to her face quickly. Nervously.

“She’s your Mum, too,” Sakako repeats, no longer a question. Firm and sincere and willing him to understand.

He nods in agreement, which is as much as she’s ever received from him before, but this time she thinks she sees the tiniest hint of a smile.

One day, when she’s old enough and strong enough and she can be sure that Dad won’t see it as some kind of betrayal, Sakako wants to go to the Village Hidden in the Sand and meet the Kazekage.

~

A/N: THROWS FEELS AT YOU THEN RUNS AWAY. I HOPE YOU’RE CRYING, ANON, LOOK AT WHAT YOU MADE ME DO!

Hahahaha, no, so… I hope I didn’t make anyone into a villain here, that’s not what I was trying to do.

The way I figure it is that Sasuke is monogamous. Suuuper monogamous–like, one and done. Maaaaybe he’ll make an exception for Naruto, but basically Shikako is it for him.

In contrasat, Shikako is poly, obviously, but more than that she doesn’t like being tied down. Technically I don’t think Shikako is married to either Sasuke or Gaara and I don’t think she’s likely to ever marry anyone. She’s very pragmatic about these kinds of things–she’ll make a vow to serve Konoha and the Nara clan and protect her teammates etc. But she won’t make a vow to love someone forever because even if she does love someone for the rest of her life, she doesn’t want it to become something that’s an obligation, you know? Something that’ll turn bitter and grudging with constant exposure.

Sakako is more like Shikako in that way–in the sense that she’d rather have her Mum only around one week every month and concentrated time together, than four weeks every month and maybe seeing each other only at dinners if that. Basically: the opposite of canon Boruto and Naruto.

I also realize that I kinda didn’t mention Kareru at all here. And that some parts wouldn’t really make sense if he did exist so… I mean… maybe he is mostly raised by Yoshino and Shikaku? Or at the very least, that’s where he lives and then the age gap between him and Sakako explains the rest of the distance?

Uh… I might have to reorganize Dreaming One Shots if I write more next gen stuff… or make a separate next gen collection on ao3

Your writing for next gen sand sibs gave me so many feels; like the resentment they must all low-key feel for Shikadai, cause no matter how good they are, no matter that he’s from a foreign nation, no matter that they call the Kazekage father there will always be people who insist that Shikadai is the rightful heir by blood. On that note, I could see a lot of pressure for the Kazekage after one of the next gen sand sibs to marry a child of Shikadai, to restore the proper line in Suna.

jacksgreysays:

Next Gen Sand Siblings (NGSS from now on) are so much more compelling if you interpret them as adopted; either canon or DoS. There’s just something fascinating about the idea that the position of Kazekage is restricted to a clan and yet the oldest child of the previous Kazekage has married into a clan of a different village entirely. It’s all the fun of aristocratic inheritance/successions but with ninja!

As I touched on in Our Share of the World, it’s probably Shinki that has the most resentment for Shikadai and even his is kind of tempered by the knowledge that his biggest competition is his younger sister. Yodo, I think, probably just doesn’t like Shikadai as a person–his possible claim on the position of Kazekage has nothing to do with it. Araya and Shikadai are friendliest by default.

I feel like, considering the Council favors Yodo over Shinki (even though, as I mentioned, he’s the one with the blood limit) that they’re not too focused on the matter of blood lines at this point. Especially since Shikadai has been raised as a Leaf shinobi. Though probably, earlier on when he was just born or even a little before then, there were negotiations to decide on that exactly.

They probably conceded to Shikadai being raised Nara because they figured that either Gaara or Kankurou would have biological children eventually (hahahahahaha, nope) and then by the time they began worrying, Gaara began adopting the NGSS and then a whole other round of debates were instigated on whether or not they were valid candidates and, if so, which would be the better one.

I can see them possibly considering an arranged marriage another generation down the line or some kind of Kazekage clan repopulation thing like what’s going on with the Uchiha repopulation in Walking Around (Like Regular People). But I also feel like, given the trend towards more liberal stances of marriages and families and that Temari has already no doubt flouted the Council’s authority and married Shikamaru despite their likely protests, an arranged marriage won’t hold up unless the NGSS that becomes Kazekage is just like, yeah okay why not.

(You may want to check out this post thread speculating how various Kages may be chosen in the Elemental Nations, which started with me wondering about Shikadai’s possible claim to the Kazekage position. This was before I discovered the NGSS existed, of course, but still relevant.)

image

Yeah, Suna’s Council from what I understand are the stereotypical old men grouching at things they shouldn’t have any influence on. Unlike Konoha’s Council who were three old (evil) badasses who lived to see that age, Suna’s Council is probably mostly civilians.

I can actually see maybe one of the NGSS going for an arranged marriage–but with A LOT of veto power in the process. Like, they get to screen through who, they get to meet the other person multiple times, it’s a long engagement etc. etc. and at each stage either party can veto the arrangement. Like, arranged marriage isn’t always bad so long as those who are going to get married have power and aren’t just shoved together.

I can see either Yodo or Araya accepting such an arrangement, especially if they’re anywhere on the aro spectrum and don’t mind having a life partner so long as said partner understands and accepts that they’re aro. (Shinki for some reason I’m pretty sure is not aro. I don’t know why, I headcanon him as the kind of person who just falls in love–not frequently, but easily? If that makes any sense)

Your writing for next gen sand sibs gave me so many feels; like the resentment they must all low-key feel for Shikadai, cause no matter how good they are, no matter that he’s from a foreign nation, no matter that they call the Kazekage father there will always be people who insist that Shikadai is the rightful heir by blood. On that note, I could see a lot of pressure for the Kazekage after one of the next gen sand sibs to marry a child of Shikadai, to restore the proper line in Suna.

Next Gen Sand Siblings (NGSS from now on) are so much more compelling if you interpret them as adopted; either canon or DoS. There’s just something fascinating about the idea that the position of Kazekage is restricted to a clan and yet the oldest child of the previous Kazekage has married into a clan of a different village entirely. It’s all the fun of aristocratic inheritance/successions but with ninja!

As I touched on in Our Share of the World, it’s probably Shinki that has the most resentment for Shikadai and even his is kind of tempered by the knowledge that his biggest competition is his younger sister. Yodo, I think, probably just doesn’t like Shikadai as a person–his possible claim on the position of Kazekage has nothing to do with it. Araya and Shikadai are friendliest by default.

I feel like, considering the Council favors Yodo over Shinki (even though, as I mentioned, he’s the one with the blood limit) that they’re not too focused on the matter of blood lines at this point. Especially since Shikadai has been raised as a Leaf shinobi. Though probably, earlier on when he was just born or even a little before then, there were negotiations to decide on that exactly.

They probably conceded to Shikadai being raised Nara because they figured that either Gaara or Kankurou would have biological children eventually (hahahahahaha, nope) and then by the time they began worrying, Gaara began adopting the NGSS and then a whole other round of debates were instigated on whether or not they were valid candidates and, if so, which would be the better one.

I can see them possibly considering an arranged marriage another generation down the line or some kind of Kazekage clan repopulation thing like what’s going on with the Uchiha repopulation in Walking Around (Like Regular People). But I also feel like, given the trend towards more liberal stances of marriages and families and that Temari has already no doubt flouted the Council’s authority and married Shikamaru despite their likely protests, an arranged marriage won’t hold up unless the NGSS that becomes Kazekage is just like, yeah okay why not.

(You may want to check out this post thread speculating how various Kages may be chosen in the Elemental Nations, which started with me wondering about Shikadai’s possible claim to the Kazekage position. This was before I discovered the NGSS existed, of course, but still relevant.)