Who do you think would handle knowing the original timeline’s future best, not just in DoS, but in your other works, too? I say original timeline in large part because surely even someone who wouldn’t want to would still find themselves making changes, right?

I’m going to assume you mean Naruto canon when you say original timeline, because otherwise to go through all of my fandoms would be O_O

I think there’s a difference in handling the knowledge in an internal/emotional way vs handling the knowledge in an external/make-changes kind of way. The first largely depends on how a person finds out–whether it’s something that, in the case of DoS, Shikako tells them or, somehow they find out from, like, a vision from beyond or a canon character dimension travelling and exposition dumping from there–whereas the second depends on their resources (whether they even have the ability to make changes on a significant scale) and personality (whether they would even want to.

Like, I’ve mentioned previously that Shino would make a good confidante for Shikako, not because he would particularly make a lot of changes, but because he would, if not believe Shikako immediately, then at the very least accept the knowledge with a certain level of proof (which is easy enough considering the Aburame’s history with Danzo.) So he’d be the first type of “handling” the knowledge of canon.

All that being said… I kinda want to do both for all of them mostly because this prompt would help me further conceptualize characters in a way I hadn’t considered before. So, both Emotional Handling and Influential Handling for DoS, Externality, (In)Difference, and Counterpoise? Hm, if there’s another series you’re interesting in, lionhead, just let me know and I can add that later.

Dreaming of Sunshine:

Emotional Handling – I’m going to stick with Shino for this one, actually. Regardless of if he finds out from Shikako or from some other means. Second place I would say Ibiki, but I’m reluctant to do even that much because of my own fanon that Ibiki and Yoshino are BFFs so he probably would be second hand messed up by the changes of Yoshino’s family composition.

Influential Handling – I don’t know if there is a singular person I would say is best for this, but the ones I’m thinking of all have a certain… flavor to them. In no particular order: Iruka, Ibiki, Aoba, and Shizune. And the thing they all have in common is that they have influence within the village but not the combat prowess to handle S-rank nin by themselves. So they would have to make changes with a softer touch. Would Iruka emotionally handle canon knowledge well? NO WAY. But he is in the position to not only influence Naruto (and other former students) directly but also to affect administrative decisions. Also, Danzo would never think of Iruka as a threat.

Ibiki, Aoba, and Shizune would probably handle the knowledge with better grace than Iruka, but they don’t have that direct connection with the kids that Iruka does. And this could be a positive and a negative, but they’re all also better than Iruka combat wise so they may be tempted to make changes in person which may cause them to bite off more than they can chew.

Externality:

So the thing about Externality is that even I haven’t decided whether or not Tetsuki knows about canon, or how–was Naruto a manga in the KHR world or can she perceive the canon version of the world in her dreams?–so I’m going to exclude her for now.

Emotional Handling – Weirdly enough, I think Naruto would handle it best. Not because he would use it, but because he would be galvanized into doing better. Whether that means keeping Sasuke in Konoha or being a better teammate to Tetsuki and Komadori or making sure to protect the people he couldn’t save in canon. Although, I suppose it depends on WHEN he gets the knowledge. Like, if he gets it before the canon graduation time, then it’s unprovable and basically a really weird dream to him–why would he be on a team without Tetsuki and Komadori?–but if its after canon graduation time, that is, after a genin-for-a-year Naruto gets put on a team with recent graduates Sasuke and Sakura, then he might take it as a challenge.

Influential Handling – Ibiki, Aoba, and Shizune for the same reasons as in DoS–since Externality is in a similar vein of OC–but instead of Iruka, since he isn’t the teacher for Testuki, Komadori, and Team Gai’s year, I would add Anko to the list.

Specifically after Tetsuki has joined Intel/T&I. Well, I mean, Anko knowing about Orochimaru’s future movements is already pretty good influence-wise (although, I’m concerned that Konoha would be “concerned” about how she got that information) but if it’s after Tetsuki has joined Intel/T&I and become Anko’s kouhai then Anko will know that she can use Tetsuki to act on her behalf as well as passing Orochimaru’s future movements along to Ibiki and such.

And I guess, for similar reasons, Tsunade would be good but only after she’s already become Hokage. Because her hands are tied as far as throwing down directly with Akatsuki since she has a damn village to run, but she’ll know that Tetsuki is a piece on the board that she can use in a myriad of ways.

(In)Difference

Since Kiyoshi definitely knows about canon and is trying her utmost to not get involved during her first decade and a half, then doing an abrupt 180 and getting overly involved in specific people’s lives, I’m going to exclude her.

This probably won’t make much sense given I haven’t actually written enough of (In)Difference to have a firm timeline and, unlike Externality and Counterpoise, it doesn’t follow the usual stations of canon. Which brings up the main point: except for a few flashback type situations, most of canon happens decades in the future. Any changes, even minute, will have massive consequences. Additionally, in a way, it’s harder to prove but easier to stomach so… hm… let’s see…

Emotional Handling – When they’re younger, genin/chuunin age or so, Orochimaru would handle it best. Not because he really believes Kiyoshi (if it is, indeed, coming from Kiyoshi) but because on the unlikely chance that it is true then he is still capable of course-correcting. Also, if he was, as I suspect, Nawaki’s jounin-sensei (or captain, if we’re going with wartime terminology) then being able to prevent his death–which Kiyoshi somehow does–will help a lot in keeping him sane and not completely evil.

Team White Fang would also handle it okay but only as a team. I don’t know why I feel certain about this, but, I dunno, they’re 2/3 my characters so there.

Influential Handling – Actually, all of the above wouldn’t be too bad in terms of influencing things. Orochimaru, obviously, just has to not be a complete sociopath and never work with Danzo (or, even, just kill Danzo outright) and already he’ll make the future a better place. And Team White Fang is either A) Sakumo, father of Kakashi who is in line to affect ALL the things or B+C) a shape-shifter and genjutsu mistress. So, not too hard to make changes. But I think the BEST person to make changes might be Nawaki.

Because just him being alive would mean so much in terms of Senju presence. And even if he doesn’t have Wood Release (but which I’ve written that he does so…) what his continued existence means for Tsunade and Kushina personally (who can then influence Naruto directly or not). Or what his continued existence might mean for the Uchiha clan… I suppose it’s more a potential of influence than actual influence, I guess.

Counterpoise

Konran definitely doesn’t know about canon. Immediately I know she would emotionally handle it the worst, because basically it’s a world in which her twin brother isn’t even a twin or a brother. Here comes an existential crisis. Because she’d emotionally handle it the worst, I’d be reluctant to predict how she’d handle it influentially. Obviously she’s in position to influence Naruto most directly, but will she want to? Will she do so in a positive way? I don’t know.

Emotional Handling – Zakuro. Hands down. I considered Ringo, because of the two Ringo is the “calmer” one, but then I realized: he’s a medic. He’s a taijutsu using medic. He’s as pacifistic and selfless as a shinobi can be. If he did believe the canon knowledge, however he got it, he would view all the deaths in canon and try his best to prevent them and only destroy himself.

Zakuro, in contrast, is a genjutsu and trap specialist. He knows that perception is more important than reality and for all his brash personality, he can be patient. Traps don’t always get sprung–it’s about preparing for possibilities, not getting directly involved. Zakuro wouldn’t lose himself to the knowledge. He’d take it, absorb it, learn from it, adapt.

The only hitch in this is that he wouldn’t want to keep the knowledge a secret from his teammates, but given their personalities, he would have to. So it’s not the knowledge itself that he would have trouble handling.

But to be clear, Zakuro is ony best at emotional handling. He’s not really in a position to make significant enough changes, for all that he has the mindset to do it.

Influential Handling – … the three people who I think could best utilize the knowledge and make changes are also the three people (besides Konran and Naruto) who would emotionally handle the knowledge poorly. Ringo is one of them–because for all he is the same rank as Zakuro, he does have sort of bonds with both Obito, though he doesn’t really know it, and Kakashi, and if he can figure out how to leverage said bonds he can mitigate a lot of suffering on their and everyone’s parts.

The other two are Kakashi and Jiraiya. The reason why I didn’t bring them up in previous series is because the nature of canon vs Counterpoise is a missing Uzumaki child. Minato’s child. And yes, it’s true, that shouldn’t be such a big deal seeing as how they they ignored Naruto in canon. But I wonder how much of that was the Sandaime’s terribad “don’t discuss the Kyuubi even though everyone and their monkey summons know about it” and how much of that was the village plausibly denying Naruto’s heritage.

So DoS brings up how Naruto could have been named Uzumaki because of his jinchuuriki status not because he’s actually related to Kushina. Additionally I’ve read somewhere that some people thought Naruto took Minato’s appearance because the Kyuubi was being deliberately cruel and kitsune are all about shapeshifting (which is why Naruto’s specialty before kage bushin is henge). And also, while I don’t know how canonical this is, there’s the idea floating around that Minato and Kushina kept the pregnancy a secret so enemy villages couldn’t find out and such. So, like, the village could have just been handwaving the obvious connections between Naruto and his parents. And because Kakashi and Jiraiya don’t get involved with him, there’s nothing to contradict that.

But Konran doesn’t have the Kyuubi. Konran has bright red hair and goes by the name Uzumaki. Konran is so undeniably Kushina’s child that there is no handwaving this away. It’s for this reason that I’m kind of playing around with the idea that the Cloud ambassador tried to kidnap Konran in addition to/instead of Hinata (which also explains why Konran becomes so desperate to keep her hair hidden when she’s a genin).

Anyway. That incident and the lack of plausible deniability means that Kakashi and Jiraiya kind of have to get involved and canon knowledge would only help them if they would get off their asses and do something. Don’t get me wrong, love the characters. But they are capable of making great change, they just need a massive shove to do so.

~

A/N: Uh… that got long and rant-y towards the end. Hopefully this was what you were looking for, lionheadbookends, and if not feel free to send another ask my way 🙂

Ask Box Advent Calendar is now open!

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19 for Team White Fang??

Team White Fang, 19) things you said when we were the happiest we ever were

“I’m going to ask Atsumi to marry me,” says an absolute stranger to Sakumo before sitting next to him on the park bench.

He doesn’t even blink, eyes fixated on the sight of Kakashi ever so seriously toddling after Tosa’s wagging tail, the rest of the pack lounging in a loose, protective circle. Sakumo is certain these are the kinds of moments he’ll want to remember forever, he almost wishes he has a Sharingan just so he could have the image literally seared into his brain.

“Hey,” says the strange man, jabbing two fingers into Sakumo’s bicep impatiently, “Are you listening to me?”

Reluctantly, Sakumo glances at the stranger, “Yeah, I heard you, Hozue.”

“Well?” Hozue says, expectant, “Don’t you have anything to say?”

Sakumo can feel his mouth twitch at the corners, a small curl of amusement making its way through the fog of exhausted satisfaction of being a single father of an overly intelligent toddler.

“It’s about time,” he responds, before turning back to watch Kakashi. His son has managed to get a pudgy hand on an indulgent Tosa’s tail and seems to be carefully contemplating his next plan of action.

Hozue doesn’t try to demand his attention again–never mind the effort she put into this latest identity–content to also watch the boy she’d happily call a nephew. But she does question, “What do you mean it’s about time?”

This time, the amusement bubbles up too quickly–Sakumo laughs, a huffing airy sound more suited to canine than human mouths, “I’m pretty sure you’ve been married to each other for years.”

The stranger’s face looks absolutely gormless shaped by Hozue’s stunned confusion. “What,” she utters.

“You live together, eat together, you’re each other’s emergency contacts, powers of attorney, and beneficiaries, you have sparring dates all the time, you have regular date night every week, every so often you’ll bring her flowers just because, you have three goldfish together that you call your children…” Sakumo lists, getting progressively sillier but no less factual as he goes on.

“Stop! Stop,” Hozue interrupts, blush bright on the stranger’s cheeks.

After a few moments of silence, Hozue murmurs, “Holy shit. Atsumi and I are fucking married.”

“Congratulations,” Sakumo finally adds, tone somewhat dry but no less sincere.

They let the silence resettle, warm and easy, watching as Kakashi somehow maneuvers himself onto Tosa’s broad back, the massive dog taking ginger, careful steps.

Sakumo knows that the future’s going to be bright.

~

A/N: Ahahahaha… so I don’t know if this is the HAPPIEST, but it’s definitely one of the happier moments before everything starts going to shit so… Sorry for no actual Atsumi presence!

Since you seem to like time travel and related tropes here’s a quote (that you could use as a prompt if you have the time) I found on an old drawing that I forgot the most of the context of: “You are not the man I love; and now you never will be.” I forget who is the time-traveler in that scenario; but good luck with your convention stuff!

A/N: Ooh, I do love time travel and sad things, anon, and this prompt is amazing… the problem is that my go-to gal for time travel and sad things, aka Leanne Peridot of Counterclockwise, is doomed to never be able to change anything so this wouldn’t work in that.

I do kind of have an idea to fill this prompt which I know is fairly bizarre and convoluted, but which I hope you enjoy anyway? Thank you for your patience!

(In)Difference Remix, Or: Kiyoshi Fixes Her Mistakes (and makes some new ones)

The Utsugi clan is small, barely worth the term “clan” all told. Their shinobi rarely rank higher than chuunin, never above special jounin, and they are more than satisfied with their niche role in the village.

Snipers.

No other bloodline or technique in Konoha is as talented at ultra long range assassination as the Utsugi clan, and for that they are regarded with mild distrust and disdain. For all that shinobi espouse hardening their hearts, cunning above valor, for the most part their warrior heritage runs strong.

There is no honor in the Utsugi clan’s abilities.

Honor does not get results.

That is what she needs now: more than honor, more than valor, more than the lingering, unbreakable ties of love, she needs results.

She needs to make things right.

///

Kiyoshi is not a fuinjutsu master–she knows the basics and just enough to tweak said basics–but one of her adorable genin is, with the chakra capacity to power even the most outlandish of seals.

“Sensei are you sure about this?” Kushina asks, even as she dutifully traces out the shapes onto the cave floor. Kiyoshi has sent Mikoto and Hizashi out to check the perimeter; with this team, that’s as close to a command for privacy as she can get, though given who is after them, it’s not entirely a throw away.

“Honestly?” Kiyoshi prompts, because for all that her students will always be adorable genin to her, they are adults now. Equals. She can be the confident jounin sensei or the honest fellow fugitive on the lam, but not both.

Kushina pauses, blinks her violet eyes up at her. For all that it’s her teammates with the doujutsu, Kiyoshi can feel that gaze pierce through her as sharp and thorough as one of her own arrows.

After a long pause, Kushina turns back to her work, answer received.

Kiyoshi, shamefully, is relieved.

///

The problem is Kakashi.

No, that’s not right. The problem is her.

The problem is that without her Kakashi wouldn’t exist–and he has to exist, he is so vital to success–but in order for her to restore the balance of the world, she can’t be involved.

As far as the story she knows is concerned, Kakashi doesn’t have a mother.

Or, no, that’s not right either. As far as the story she knows is concerned, Kakashi’s mother isn’t present.

That’s a very fine needle to thread, but she’s always had impeccable aim.

///

Sakumo is well protected, for all that he thinks he is the protector of his team. He is earnestly charming and charmingly earnest, but Atsumi and Hozue have always been more socially shrewd than him.

The first go around, Kiyoshi avoided him in a misguided and failed attempt to stay away from the thick of things.

This second go around, she seeks him out for one specific reason. It has nothing to do with love or affection–though that night, there is enough similarities to blur those lines–and everything to do with her using him.

The first go around, Atsumi and Hozue were amused by her. Fond and welcoming in their own way.

This second go around, they hate her guts. It certainly doesn’t help anything when, nine months later, she leaves her baby on the Hatake doorstep.

///

The man she loved, the man she married, eventually went on to become the Yondaime Hokage. The White Fang of Konoha who would guide the village through a world war and succumb to the poisonous whispers of hidden roots.

This man with the same name and the same face will never get that far. He is the scapegoat for the war, sacrificed on the altar of public perception, but no further. She will not allow it. She shouldn’t even be in the village now, she has far too much to do, but if there’s one thing she will allow herself it’s this:

The man she saves from himself is as much a copy of the man she loved as the gruesome corpse she left in the Hatake house. But there is something in his dull stare that belatedly flickers at the sight of her. Recognition, probably, but maybe something more.

///

They are not the same. They will never be the same. But that doesn’t mean that he won’t ever one day also hold a place in her heart.

~

A/N: … so… this is my Kakashi’s mom SIOC Kiyoshi Utsugi from (In)Difference who has already lived through a life in the Naruto world, witnessed the way her presence has made things terribad, then convinced Kushina, her student, to send her back in time so she can excise herself from the story. But she finds there’s a way to technically stick to canon without actually letting all those people die (basically, Kiyoshi builds her own secret society of canonically but not actually dead ninja)

I dunno. It’s convoluted. I think mostly I missed Kiyoshi and that almost cruelly knowing manipulation of the world around her.

Character Statistics: (In)Difference, Team White Fang

Genin

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Chuunin

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Jounin


Sakumo Hatake

Hozue Kedouin

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Atsumi Kurama

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~

A/N: So I wrote this thing about that mission that Sakumo went on that was doomed to fail and thus start a war and I had to make teammates for him, and I already headcanon-ed that his teammates on that doomed mission were also his genin teammates (which is why he was especially reluctant to let them die for the mission). And then I got very fond of the OCs I made for Sakumo’s teammates and what kind of people they must have been (and why they distanced themselves from him after he saved their lives). And while I haven’t written for (In)Difference recently, I figured it would be a good idea to make the teammates more concrete, hence these stats.

So, introducing Hozue Kedouin of an anime-only clan of face copiers/shape shifters and Atsumi Kurama of another anime-only clan of genjutsu specialists.

I thought it would be interesting if, part of the reason why Sakumo was so famous individually–along with him just being a VERY good shinobi, that is–was if both of his teammates just specialized in essentially being invisible. His role on the team is as the obvious tank-y heavy-hitter while his teammates are more behind the scenes and sneaky. Unsure if this makes them a Team Two or a Team Five, according to my list of Konoha Team Designations, but I quite liked the set up and I think I’m going to keep it as such until otherwise disproven by canon (and even then, I may just ignore canon).

I mean, he IS a consistently “better” shinobi than both of his teammates and (if you’ll compare to the character stat posts for the Sannin and Team TenChiKoku) others in his generation as per canon (he individually had a reputation as strong as the Sannin during the Second War) but mostly because he’s very well rounded. He doesn’t fall into the trap of “specializing” in any given direction and also he’s just very good physically.

Shikako Nara’s Guide To Delinquency and Military Insurrection, 1/? (2018-01-28)

(Rule One: No Dying)

Sakumo represses a grunt of pain as he drops to the ground, poorly bandaged slashes on his back throbbing to the rhythm of his own heartbeat. This sucks. This mission sucks. They might actually die this time

“Well if you think that then we’re definitely fucked,” Hozue murmurs in her own voice. Which only goes to show how well and truly fucked they are–the Kedouin clan’s identity copying techniques are flawless… within a certain duration of time.

Hozue is the clan’s pride and joy: she can maintain an identity for almost two weeks.

This mission was supposed to be five days.

“You’re both terrible,” Atsumi complains. This is not unusual. Atsumi is always complaining. She enjoys it. Especially when she hasn’t slept for nearly seventy two hours. But that’s what she gets for being one of the best–the only and true best, sorry–genjutsu user in the village, “You’re both terrible,” she repeats, “and I can’t believe I’m going to die with you.”

“You’re not going to die with us,” Sakumo says, never mind his own earlier prediction.

Hozue snorts, “Yeah, Atsumi, you’re not going to die with us,” She looks at Sakumo with the wrong eyes in the wrong face, but her voice is as clear and certain as ever, “You’re going to die with me. One of us can still complete this mission if the other two act as decoys… and only one of us has a kid back home.”

Sakumo bares his teeth–lupine habit, as if he could bite into the thought and squeeze the life out of it. Yes, he has a son at home–a son with no mother, no real pack to watch over him–but ever since their genin years he has been the protector of the team.

He cannot just abandon that. Them.

In another universe–in many other universes–he doesn’t. He will think he has found a way to win this impossible situation, to protect his teammates and return to his son. He will fail the mission, bringing all three of them home, only to find that he has started a war. His teammates will distance themselves from him, his son will be ashamed of him, and he will think there is only one way to redeem his honor.

In these universes, he will never know that their mission was always going to fail. That his team was sent on a mission designed to fail from the start because someone in the village wanted a war.

In a few universes he makes a different choice. In these few universes he still will not abandon his teammates, but he will agree that one of them could complete the impossible mission through the sacrifice of the others:

Hozue might return and take Kakashi under her wing for a brief, blessed, bizarre few months, before being sent out on yet another mission. She will not trust these people on her team, and she is right not to–Hozue dies from a sword through the back. The mission fails, the war starts.

Atsumi might return to the village terribly suspicious of all the issues that cropped up during the mission that killed her friends. For her teammate’s son’s safety, she does not get close to him but she makes sure he is cared for. She gets very close to the truth before dying of natural causes.

In even fewer universes, he makes yet a different choice to complete the mission at the cost of his convictions… only to be ambushed on the way home by shinobi in blank masks who will take advantage of his lone and weakened state. They will return to Konoha and report to their master who will send them on yet another mission to start his war.

For the most part, no versions of this story end happily. But this particular universe is not one of those versions.

“Huh,” says a completely unfamiliar voice from beyond Atsumi’s genjutsu. All three of them turn to look, startled.

It is a girl, barely a teenager, in a practical shinobi outfit and shadows across her face despite the angle of the light. She is, impossibly, staring at all three of them.

“I think this is the earliest I’ve ever been,” she says, which doesn’t explain anything but isn’t exactly threatening. Sakumo lurches into an awkward crouch between the stranger and his team anyway.

The girl tilts her head to the side, considering, before nodding to herself. “I could use a few tour guides,” it’s such a ludicrous non sequitur that for a moment the three of them have no idea how to respond.

“Well come on, let’s go stop a war.”

~

A/N: Inspired by wafflelate’s The Many Gardens of Shikabane-hime in which Shikako travels through a bunch of dimensions in a (futile?) attempt to get back home and wreaks havoc and acts of anti-Danzo destruction on par with natural disasters. She has an undeniable fond spot for Kakashi in both of wafflelate’s threads, so I figure it might extend a little bit to Hatake version 1.0.

I’m pretty sure future installments will be other teams’ near misses because of my commitment issues. Though I am weirdly fond of this team for all that I made up two of them just now: Hozue Kedouin–the Kedouin Clan is an anime-only clan of face copiers/shape shifters who I’ve tweaked to be much cooler than canon, and Atsumi Kurama of the same minor genjutsu clan that Yakumo is part of, yes.

I had considered a Nohara, but then I’d have to deal with the sudden feels that crop up of the idea that in a better world Kakashi and Rin would have been raised like cousins or something if Sakumo had a Nohara teammate.

And I mostly like the idea that Sakumo is by default the most truthful of his team because he’s the only one whose clan abilities have nothing to do with deception. And, also, him being the Kiba to Hozue’s Hinata and Atsumi’s Shino, kind of. I DUNNO?!

Ascendant (2018-01-24)

Tobirama-sensei chooses Hiruzen and something you didn’t even know existed within you shatters.

Everything after that is just collateral damage.

The first is an accident.

Or, at least, that’s what the report will say.

A training accident, two wartime soldiers unable to readjust to peacetime sparring.

A misunderstanding, you say, still covered in your teammate’s blood. You thought it was a genjutsu, luring you into a false sense of security.

It’s not completely improbable, is the thing. Kagami is–was–the most mischievous of the now disassembled Team Tobirama, with a flare for genjutsu and tricks. A smile and bright captivating eyes that had nothing to do with the Sharingan.

An Uchiha that even the most stalwart Senju trusted.

The first is an accident.

Decades down the line, you’re not certain if that’s true anymore.

Second and third are easy, the wrong words whispered at the right time.

You are not the only one who got skipped over.

Why Hiruzen? How is he more worthy than us? Were we not all students of the Hokage?

Politics, you’ll hiss at them, a blade sliding between ribs right into their hearts.

An enticing weapon, but ultimately a trap.

Shisui’s eye is a redundancy.

Fourth bows out before you can do anything.

Torifu was there during the first, he remembers it as well as you do.

Better maybe.

He steps aside and for that you turn your attention away from him, from his clan, and their vassals.

In your last moments, you will wonder if that was your fatal mistake.

For a while, you think that is enough. Prove your worth and sweep away those in front of you, it is only a matter of time before Hiruzen’s weakness provides an opportunity.

But time does not stand still. Soon fifth through seventh arise.

Children, compared to you. Literally. Hiruzen’s students. What do they know of war? Of sacrifice? They do not have the experience.

But youth and talent–and pedigree in young Tsunade’s case–is not something so easily dismissed.

For now you can do nothing–nothing overt, at least–but they are primed to tear themselves apart.

It doesn’t take much to help that along.

Eighth, you almost regret.

He is the youngest, certainly, but you were once a child in war–surely if your sensei’s grand nephew were actually worthy, he would have survived.

Perhaps it’s the loss of the Mokuton that you regret.

The ninth was never truly a threat, a dreaming boy with no real claim.

But Konoha was built on dreams and you will not let some upstart stand in your way.

The White Fang of Konoha, a silly moniker that somehow strikes fear into enemy hearts.

As formidable on his own as Hiruzen’s brats are altogether.

No, this won’t do at all.

It is not enough for him to die, you need to destroy him utterly–his career, his reputation, his spirit.

You are ruthless with the tenth.

Every so often, you push them along–fifth and sixth and seventh succumbing to their own flaws–weaknesses that would have been exploited by enemies of Konoha.

Cowardice, fear, so quick to run away from what should be her only priority.

Obsessive and vain, so easy to distract and lead astray.

Foolish and sentimental, desperate for approval.

You are protecting your village by exposing them–what else reason could there be?

(You overreached with The Salamander, the man who titled Hiruzen’s students. You thought it would be a simple trade of services, a mutual extermination of brats.

But foreign shinobi are hardly worth the effort; the deal is dropped.

Konoha first.)

(Uzushio is a separate matter, but their lives are long and their memories longer.

Mito-sama was always biased against you.

Konoha will never be able to achieve its true potential with them forever poised above.)

Time marches on.

You uproot those you can, prune those you can’t, but they sprout like weeds beneath your feet.

That absolute infant that Hiruzen chooses may have made a name for himself during the war, but he is nothing more than dandelion fluff easily blown away in the breeze.

Konoha is better off without him.

You remember the first.

Uchiha that even the most stalwart Senju could trust.

There might as well be no more Senju, but the sentiment applies. Shisui follows in Kagami’s footsteps and the clan head’s brat has far too much potential.

You remember the first.

You remember that Konoha was built by two clans.

One is near to extinct. Surely the village can also survive without the other.

Hiruzen is old, weighed down by years and loss and having to put on the hat for a second time.

Or so he says.

You wouldn’t know, you’ve never worn it.

He is so completely unaware of all that you do for Konoha, so blind and soft. He walks amongst the villagers, a kindly, foolish grandfather instead of the unyielding pillar of strength that he should be.

He is a disgrace.

(He was your friend, once.

Now he is forever imprisoned within the belly of the Shinigami.)

(Kagami was your friend, once, too.)

Everything is just collateral damage.

~

A/N: … EURAGHRURH!! I’m disgusted with myself. But, okay, like. This is not meant to be apologetic or sympathizing for Danzo–I literally just wanted to experiment and see if I could get into his headspace and it… I dunno. Did it work? YEURGH, gross gross gross.

Brought about because of the massive hate-on for Danzo that’s going on in the discord, and the ongoing theory that he sabotaged every prospective Hokage candidate in the past fifty years. If it’s not clear who is who: 1 – Kagami Uchiha, 2 – Homura Mitokado, 3 – Koharu Utatane, and 4 – Torifu Akimichi were the other members of Team Tobirama. 5 – Tsunade, 6 – Orochimaru, 7 – Jiraiya. 8 – Nawaki (aka Tsunade’s younger brother). 9 – Dan Katou (aka Tsunade’s boyfriend). 10 – Sakumo Hatake. And then Minato who did succeed at getting the hat because his career trajectory was frankly ludicrous and too quick for Danzo to squash. And then Shisui and Itachi because those dang Uchiha.

I am not too keen on the ending (as per usual for me) given that I didn’t think I should end at the Chuunin Exams but I didn’t want to get into the whole Tsunade is Godaime and the whole constant undermining of her authority, even though I did kind of want to get to the point where Danzo dies? Should I have just stopped at the whole Uchiha it comes full circle thing? … maybe…

Arguably, if you ignore the line in the Torifu section, then this could be Naruto-canon compliant? But obviously I wrote it with DoS in mind. And I am hoping that Shikako is at least tangentially involved in Danzo’s downfall which is another reason why I didn’t go past the Chuunin Exams because… I have no idea what that downfall is going to look like. Fantastic, I assume.

you have so many great stories and brainstorms and I love all the AU’s you create and I enjoy it when you do askbox events because it means there’s something new to look forward to each day. my fav might be Friendship is a Mutual Con so “FiaMC + headcanon” if you have any :)

Thanks, anon! I’m never sure if the ask box events are fun for anyone else besides me, so I’m glad to hear you enjoy them. (*⌒∇⌒*)

Here’s some… I guess background headcanons for what brought each of the team towards a life of crime.

~

Naruto bounces around foster homes and orphanages, a troublemaker and ticking time bomb that no one wants to be liable for.

Stealing things is just another survival mechanism, an especially useful one that he hones over time.

He has no idea he’s following in his parents’ footsteps.

Not even after Jiraiya takes him in and trains him properly.

///

Shikako becomes a thief inside out: building security systems first before realizing it’s more fun to take them apart.

Still, she has the locksmith shop–a legal revenue stream and alibi–and as far as her family knows, she just has very clingy and very strange friends.

///

Sasuke isn’t a thief, he’s a retrieval specialist.

Dutiful second son trying to bring honor to his family in his own way. The military has uses for boys who can fight, boys who have morals that aren’t… set in stone.

If you love something and you’re good at it, why not get paid premium for it?

An Uchiha doesn’t steal, they acquire.

///

Kakashi’s father will forever be known in history as the biggest scandal in the art world.

People don’t care that Sakumo Hatake had created organizations to promote the creation and preservation of art. They don’t care that his foundation sends hundreds of students each year to school on scholarships. They forget that art museums around the world have him to thank for donations and improvements and, in some cases, their continued existence.

Sakumo Hatake produced and sold over a thousand forgeries before getting caught by Interpol.

There weren’t many avenues left for Kakashi to take.

///

Ever since she was little, Sakura has wanted to save the world.

There’s a lot of pain and cruelty–an endless, constant amount, she knows this–but that doesn’t mean she won’t still try to help.

Her hero is the head of Doctors Without Borders.

Sometimes doing what’s right isn’t what’s legal.

///

Tenzo is framed.

(Yamato will never say so out loud near Kakashi-taicho, in anticipation of the inevitable painting pun)

He is framed and kicked out of Interpol–not quite on the run from his coworkers, but highly aware that he is being watched. Any false step and they will take him down.

He knows who framed him–or, at least, on whose orders they were acting on–but he doesn’t know why.

(Sai does. He’s been ordered to make sure Yamato doesn’t figure it out.)

~

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