Sasuke / Shikako – went on an ANBU mission, Sasuke was critically wounded and Shikako realized her feelings for him – no matter the guilt. 56) things you said in the spur of the moment

56) things you said in the spur of the moment

“Hawk-taicho,” Komachi murmurs before handing him their makeshift field teacup, medicinal powder mixed into steaming water.

There is no fire in their camp–for obvious reasons–she must have used a chakra trick. Maybe she has fire type like him.

“You don’t have to call me that anymore,” Sasuke says instead of asking because even if his identity has been compromised, doesn’t mean that hers should be just to indulge his curiosity. He takes the cup and tries not to grimace at the taste.

On his other side, Towa is the one who shrugs,  answers, “Mask or no doesn’t change who you are. We’re ANBU’s Red Team, you’re our captain.”

Easy for him to say. He’s not the one whose cover has been blown, painted ceramic shards all that remains of his ticket to freedom.

But there’s no reason for Sasuke to be petty, spite doesn’t suit a captain, de-masked or not, and it’s not like he’s actually irritated at Towa or Komachi.

It’s not like he irritated at anyone else in particular, either.

The stone pendant against his chest pulses with warmth. He hasn’t fully deciphered what it means, but he thinks maybe it’s a mix of teasing and chastisement.

He blinks, tries not to flinch at the crusting blood against his eyelids, and realizes his Sharingan is activated. He deactivates it, chakra drain immediately halting.

The stone washes cool–soothing, encouraging–and Towa and Komachi relax an infinitesimal amount.

“Thank you,” Sasuke says instead, belatedly, because without them he would’ve been captured immediately, no matter that his should-have-been lethal wounds were healing at an impossible rate.

Captured, Shikako’s sacrifice made obsolete. No, that wouldn’t do at all.

He can’t see Komachi’s face–the two of them have kept their masks on at Sasuke’s own orders though they had offered–but he can practically hear the eye roll in her voice. “We’re Red Team,” she says, parroting Towa’s words as if there were some deeper meaning than the obvious, simple fact.

Perhaps there is.

The stone’s temperature fluctuates once more, and Sasuke grunts as he feels rib fracture knit itself whole at an accelerated rate. Is this what it feels like for Naruto? How the hell does he stay standing?

The silence returns, weighted but not tense. They are waiting for him: for him to heal, for him to decide. They can’t move while he’s still recovering–though at this rate, it should only be at most an hour more–but it’s not as if he knows what to do anyway. The stone has no input for him to follow.

“We can’t achieve the mission objective,” he says out loud, more to himself than the squad, but any guidance is better than none.

“I don’t think we were supposed to, taicho,” Towa says after a pause, finally voicing what all of them were thinking.

“They were wearing Cloud gear,” Komachi adds, “But they weren’t fighting like Cloud nin.”

“They were fighting like…” Towa stops, unable to verbalize this particular bit of suspicion.

Like Konoha shinobi, he doesn’t want to say. Like Konoha ANBU, he definitely doesn’t say.

“They were targeting me,” Sasuke says instead, when the weight of that shared thought grows too heavy. “To capture, not to kill. That last blow was a miscalculation.”

Shikako’s existence forfeited because of a miscalculation. He feels his muscles clench with futile rage before they are forcibly made to relax. Relax, he thinks the stone is trying to communicate with it’s fluctuating waves of chakra, relax so I can heal you properly. Don’t be like sensei, he can practically hear Shikako say.

Or maybe he’s trying too hard to personify it.

“We’re not going back to Konoha, are we, taicho?” Komachi asks, somehow parsing a plan of from his expression when even Sasuke can’t figure out what it is he’s feeling.

But now that it’s been said out loud, he knows she’s right. They can’t go back to Konoha. Not yet. And not because Shikamaru will literally, completely, and justifiably kill him if they do.

“No,” Sasuke shakes his head, “We have to go help Naruto.”

Komachi and Towa exchange glances. If they have any objections, they don’t say, but even if they did, it wouldn’t matter: he would still go.

After all, it’s what Shikako told him to do.

~

A/N: … I’m 99% sure I did not interpret this how you wanted, anon, because instead of dying love confessions in the dramatic background of ANBU missions all I could think of was like… suspenseful espionage and sabotage with a hint of ANBU team means family, and family means only death can keep us apart. Maybe not even death? I dunno. It’s possible shadow!Shikako is pulling a Venom and literally healing Sasuke from the inside out and all of Sasuke’s angst and accidental Mangekyou activation will be a silly overreaction when she suddenly reforms in a few hours.

I dunno.

Shikako / Sasuke – canonDOS – 3) things you said too quietly

Down Every Road (four: hunter and nukenin, the remix),
3) things you said too quietly

He couldn’t have stopped her.

He never could stop her from doing what she thought needed to be done. Never thought he would need to stop her, because as far as they’ve known each other–for as long as they’ve worked together, fought together, been together–she was always right about what needed to be done.

Or, at least, that’s what he had always thought.

“Shikako Nara attacked the Hokage,” says acting Hokage Councilor Shimura, “She is guilty of high treason and must be brought to justice.”

Behind him, Komachi and Towa make no noise, ANBU stealth and stoicism combined. Sasuke struggles to make Hawk do the same.

“Hunt her down,” Councilor Shimura continues, voice apathetic and so hateful to Sasuke’s ears, “Terminate her,” he finishes, eyeing Hawk specifically.

The three ANBU bow: dutiful, respectful, silent. If ANBU Hawk’s bow is a little belated, a little too shallow, then who is to say?

Red Team–short one member, of course, and now he wonders how long it will take Komachi and Towa to connect the dots, wonders at the wisdom and cruelty both of Councilor Shimura to send them on this mission, if the latter had been so important to him as to outweigh the former–has barely spent a minute at HQ before another bird masked ANBU approaches them.

“I have been temporarily assigned to Red Team to aid you on your current mission. I am codenamed Crow.“ 

Behind his own mask, Sasuke blinks, perplexed. He knows this is Sai. He just doesn’t know what the play is here. More cruelty, perhaps. He knows Sai is one of Councilor Shimura’s, so this could be extra insurance that Red Team does their job. But he also knows that, beyond all reason, Shikako trusted him anyway. That Sai had gone above and beyond to save Shikako from Councilor Shimura, to break her out from her own mind when no one else could.

Sasuke is looking at either a spy or a saboteur.

He’s not sure which he would prefer.

Red Team with Crow in tow depart from the village as soon as possible. Standard protocol for hunting missions.

Red Team isn’t designed for this–Red Team shouldn’t even be on this mission, for logistical and obvious, possible emotional compromising reasons–but that doesn’t mean they won’t at the very least appear to be completing their mission to the best of their abilities.

Everyone knows that the first seventy two hours are the most critical when it comes to hunting nukenin.

Hawk doesn’t have a moment of privacy to create a shadow clone and send it back until four hours later, and so by the time Sasuke is able to ask around the news has already been twisted around into rumors.

Shikako Nara has cracked under the pressure. Accelerated promotions getting to her, unable to handle her rank.

Shikako Nara has been turned. A sleeper agent from another country, she’s always been suspiciously friendly to foreign nin.

Shikako Nara is just like that snake. Didn’t you know? They encountered each other during the chunin exams.

Shikako Nara isn’t the villain here–it’s the jounin commander using his daughter, trying and failing to enact a coup.

None of it is right. All of it is useless.

The only pieces he finds to be true are that Shikako really did attack Tsunade-sama, who is even now still in the hospital, Shikaku-san is in T&I custody, and Councilor Shimura is acting Hokage.

But he already knew that.

He thinks maybe the worst part about all of this is that he doesn’t even know what the worst part is.

The first awful part of it is that he can’t figure out why. Why would Shikako attack Tsunade-sama?

Then there’s the terrible part in which he’s being sent to on a mission to kill her–which is both cruel and doesn’t make any sense to him, either.

And then there’s the whole disastrous situation with Sai and whether or not he’ll help or harm the mission… and whether or not Sasuke can convince the rest of Red Team to not fulfill their mission.

No, that’s a lie. He knows what the worst part is.

They catch up to Shikako in Land of Rivers.

No, Shikako lets them catch up to her.

Sasuke knows how easily it would be for her to stay ahead of them. Or to stay hidden from them. Or even to fight them, knock them out, and continue on her way.

She did this on purpose.

“Go home, Red Team” Shikako says, and if, somehow, Komachi and Towa didn’t already know the identity of Bat, then they know it now. “Tsunade-sama will need her best to protect her.”

“Protect her from what?” Komachi snipes back, quick temper flaring, “You’re the one who she needs protection from.”

Shikako shrugs, posture loose and casual and an utter lie. Then, bizarrely, she sticks her tongue out at them. No, at Crow. 

“Beware the strangling roots,” she says to them all, before melting into shadows. Red Team tries to pursue, but there is no further trail to follow.

The worst part is, she didn’t even ask him to go with her.

~

A/N: Belated fill is very belated and doesn’t really match the prompt, but hope you still enjoy, anon!

I know it says canonDoS, but my brain just really wanted to do a swapped roles version of Down Every Road two: hunter and nukenin, but obviously instead of Shikako being the hunter and Sasuke being the nukenin it’s the other way around. So it’s sort of canon compliant in an AU divergence kind of way? Or, like, I mean. It’s not been jossed yet so it’s not NOT canon? Uh…

Maybe I’ll go further down this road? I dunno, I have an idea for what probably happened, but since this is Sasuke’s POV I figure it’d be more in line if he just could not figure out what the hell was going on because… well… Sasuke.

It is absolutely hilarious that Shikako didn’t realize Sasuke moved in–that’s the best thing I’ve ever heard! ^_^ :D I’ll admit, I’m not sure why Naruto was resting moving in somewhere? What was going on there?

Thanks! 🙂 Shikako’s hyperawareness of danger versus her obliviousness to the most benign things is one of my favorite things of DoS.

I think it was more like, people kept trying to offer places to Naruto for free–and in the humble way of heroes, he didn’t want to accept it–and this kept happening because, hey, hero of the world or something like that, that he didn’t have time to find a place for himself…

Or, I just wanted a reason for all of them to end up in the warehouse… 😛

team 7 living together scenario, 22) things you said after it was over

Team Seven Living Together, 22) things you said after it was over

They walk slowly, father and daughter, a leisurely pace through the warehouse district of Konoha. Members of the Nara clan walking slowly is not and unusual sight in the village, except that these particular members happen to be Nara clan head and his internationally acclaimed war hero daughter. Those who do recognize them stare in awe, some even stand at attention, saluting or bowing.

Shikako tries not to flinch each time, tries to hold her head high instead of ducking behind her father like the shy little girl she once was, but it’s difficult. Luckily, it doesn’t happen too often; the warehouse district is mostly empty save for the genin runners from the merchant district tasked with hauling scrolls of stock back and forth.

The streets empty further as they go deeper into the district, smaller warehouses less used or possible even fully abandoned. It’s here that Dad finally comes to a stop, nicking his thumb and swiping the blood over a fuinjutsu array on   one such warehouse door.

The security seal recognizes him–or his blood, at least–and unlocks. Dad pulls the door open with a creak of metal, the sound echoing. Though loud, it almost seems more of a yawn than a roar, a long slumbering beast stretching to awake.

The warehouse is empty of all but dust and rust, in great need of cleaning and modernizing, but there’s something about the space that still stirs something within her.

“Wow,” Shikako breathes, a smile stretching across her face.

Dad, quietly triumphant, asks, “So you’ll take it?”

“It’s perfect.”

Naruto comes home from the battlefield not quite a conquering hero, but a beloved figure nonetheless and a practical shoo-in for Nanadaime Hokage.

Of course, it could also be said that he doesn’t come home from the battlefield at all because, as it turns out, Naruto is technically homeless.

He laughs and smiles, hand scratching sheepishly at the back of his neck, but he emphatically refuses every offer of hospitality whether it be guest room, couch, or–alarmingly, three different times–a more innuendo laden offer of hospitality.

It’s not that Naruto is refusing out of pride–Shikako knows better.

“Can you help me with something?” she asks, a casual head tilt to her warehouse. In only a few short weeks, it’s already become the best place to find her at any given time.

“Of course, Shikako-chan!” Naruto agrees without even asking for details, ever so trusting and eager to give a hand to those who need it. She’d never betray his confidence in her, but a worse person would find it easy to do so.

The main space of the warehouse has been converted to a workshop, the main table covered with notes and a prototype of her newest project: a natural chakra circuit.

“You’re the only other sage I could ask about this,” Shikako explains, pointing out the flow of natural chakra and how it’s drawn in, cycled through, then emitted by the circuit. Naruto may not understand her notes, but when he syncs his chakra to the natural energy of the world around them he can feel it clearly. “And it’s just that I’ve got a mission starting tomorrow but I don’t want to leave this project unmonitored.” She pauses, as if considering, “I guess if you’re busy, I could just shut it down and try again when I come back–but then I’d have to restart, and–”

“No way! I can look after your stuff, Shikako-chan, believe it!” Naruto interrupts, grin wide and practically glowing at the prospect.

Shikako smiles back, “Thanks, Naruto,” she says and doesn’t feel at all guilty that she specifically created the circuit so she could bring him here, “It’d be best if you could stay with it overnight, too,” she instructs, guiding him to the back of the warehouse. It was originally meant for only basic amenities, but Shikako has fixed it up to be a fairly comfortable living space. “Sometimes when I have intense projects, I just sleep here instead of going all the way back to the Nara clan compound.”

Naruto’s grin begins to grow strained, a flicker of that same hesitance appearing.

“But I get it’s kind of messy,” she continues even though she knows for a fact that Naruto’s apartment was far messier, “So if you just want to use the loft, I’d understand. I was thinking about maybe starting a small garden up there, but you know me,” her shrug is casual, self-deprecating, and entirely calculated, “I’m not that good with plants.”

An almost devious gleam makes its way into Naruto’s eyes.

A week and a half later, Shikako returns from her mission and is only outwardly surprised to find that the loft has become a veritable forest. “I picked these for you,” Naruto says, showing off the flowerbed of snapdragons in a multitude of colors.

Really, Shikako is more pleased to spot the actual bed and other furniture hiding among the plants, along with the rest of Naruto’s things.

In contrast, Shikako doesn’t actually notice when Sasuke moves in.

She would have sworn that the walled office space was still filled with the unused lab equipment that she had found in the beginning–equipment that she didn’t want, but couldn’t bring herself to throw away given the name on the labels. Except during a particularly rambunctious attempt at creating three dimensional shogi with a set of Naruto’s clones and earth pillars, the both of them freeze at the sound of shattering.

Eyes wide, Shikako exchanges a glance with Naruto. Or, at least, the Naruto wearing the white Hokage robes. “Shit,” she mutters, leaping down from her pillar to the walled off space.

Instead of the shattered beakers she expected, she finds a shattered teapot… along with a completely furnished bedroom designed in blues and reds.

“What?” She asks, turning, blinking, checking to see if perhaps there were a genjutsu active. “When did this happen?”

“Like two weeks ago,” says a Naruto in a black chuunin vest, looking at her skeptically.

“Yeah, Sasuke asked if he could use this room,” continues a Naruto wearing a henge of Kakashi-sensei, vest and headband in white.

Shikako strains her memory for that conversation. Mostly what she remembers from two weeks ago was not sleeping for a few days, then finally making headway on her glacial translation of the Gelel shrine photos from Sand, then eating what must have been her own weight in gyouza, and then maybe passing out?

A set of Narutos, all in henges to be younger versions of himself in either black or white, cluster around the shards of the teapot. As if they really were his twelve year old self, one of them loudly whispers to another, “Maybe if we hide the pieces, he won’t realize it’s broken.”

“As if, dobe,” says Sasuke’s voice from behind the crowd of shogi clones.

Almost in unison, the clones begin to blame each other, which Sasuke ignores with the air of long practiced poise. Shikako is still baffled that he lives here, frankly.

Sasuke rolls his eyes and shoos away the genin clones, all of whom make childish faces back. He sweeps up the shards with a broom Shikako has never seen before, discarding them in a rubbish bin Shikako has also never seen before.

“It’s okay, I bought multiple,” Sasuke assures her, pulling out an exact replica teapot from a set of shelves on the wall. “Yoshino-san told me I should be prepared for something like this.”

“You told my mom you were moving in?” Shikako asks him, bewildered.

It’s Sasuke’s turn to look at her skeptically, “She helped me design my room.”

~

A/N: I have no idea why this took me so long, anon. I’m terribly sorry, but I hope you enjoy! I kind of wanted to play with this idea I used in Painted Red (To Fit Right In)–except, of course, fluffier given the lack of zombies–in that different MBTI designations have different ways of saying “I love you.”

Fire Fallow Cultivation, yoshino+sasuke, 58) things you were afraid to say

Fire Fallow Cultivation, 58) things you were afraid to say

None of Yoshino’s family–darling and miraculous and beloved they may be–have wings. Herself included.

Just as well, she’s never been able to articulate what the wings mean but she does know that those with wings tend to have… dynamic existences, to put it mildly. Which is not to say that those without wings are entirely without dynamics of their own–her daughter is proof of that–but there’s something mutable, even risky about the lives of those with wings and part of her is glad that her family do not have them.

After all, just look what happened to Sasuke’s family.

It takes her a while to figure out that Sasuke has the ability to see the wings as well. It’s not as if she’s never met a fellow watcher, but they’re rare enough that it’s always a surprise to find another.

It becomes apparent during dinner, when Shikako and her team come back from their first C-rank. The way Sasuke’s eyes follow the movements of Naruto’s bright wings instead of his wild hand gestures, how he reflexively winces when once such hand gesture passes through the already broken looking pair on Kakashi’s back.

But that night, and for many dinners after that, Yoshino doesn’t get the opportunity to speak to him alone and so she remains silent on the matter.

That’s just an excuse.

Fugaku’s wings were a sober, dreary piebald, about as boring as wings on a human being could possibly be; they were small, more scarf than cape, but far more expressive than his stoic face. Yoshino remembers how they would flare out, a futile, impossible attempt to protect the vulnerable of the village.

Mikoto’s were nearly the opposite, colorful and iridescent and sharp like a hummingbird but far larger and thankfully not so nearly as fast, or else it would have been a headache to look at her. Yoshino remembers how they drooped for weeks after the Kyuubi attack, mourning many, no doubt, but her best friend especially.

Yoshino remembers Itachi’s wings, massive for such a small boy, the plumage beautiful and nearly mesmerizing. She doesn’t know what they look like now.

She doesn’t want to know.

First, Yoshino hesitates. She needs to be certain, she thinks, can’t just assume and spill the secret.

Then, she prevaricates. If Sasuke doesn’t ask about his family, then there’s no reason for her to bring it up.

In most matters, Yoshino is bold. This is not one of them.

~

A/N: I’m back! 😀 Hopefully I can get back into the swing of things

Sakako with crow summons feels like the perfect mix between shadows and her dad’s hawks!

A/N1: OMG, anon! I’ve been going through Sakako posts recently as well and I was thinking about doing something in that ‘verse so…

I’ve consulted the Holders of Fanon™ over at the Discord (ie Pepperdoken! and frolic/wafflelate) regarding the… lineage?… of crow summoners because your statement is very loaded and I’m not sure whether or not you know that… so… um… here are some feels which are only peripherally related to Sakako that I’ll attempt to disguise with drama/mystery?

Walking Around (Flying Together)

After the sixth time Sakako summons Hansha on a mission–in all fairness, five of those were legitimate emergencies–the hawk gives her and Dad an ultimatum:

“It was fine when she was still a chick, but now she flies.” Hansha says, wings lifting partially in an awkward imitation of a human shrug. As if she, too, disliked the situation but had no choice but to comply. “She must sign a contract with us or I can no longer fly with her.”

Sakako and Dad exchange a glance. She’s not entirely sure what expression is on her face, but it must be telling, because Dad responds to Hansha with a firm, “One week. I’ll talk to Garuda-sama personally, if need be, but give her one week to decide.”

Hansha bobs her head, another borrowed human gesture, before she leans forward. Sakako, obediently and somewhat sadly, does the same, bowing her head so that Hansha can  fondly preen through her hair even if it’ll mess up her braids.

It won’t be the last time, surely–even if Sakako doesn’t sign the hawk contract, surely Dad can summon Hansha to visit–but it feels so much like the end of something that Sakako can’t help but think she already misses this.

Sakako knows that when it comes to personal matters–emotions and goals and friendships–she’s fairly… slow. She likes taking her time to think things over, analyzing all of her options and pondering the differences. Surely such important life decisions deserve proper consideration?

Mum says it’s definitely her Nara side showing through–“though I’m sure Ino will say it skipped a generation with me”–while Dad says it’s something that the Uchiha clan could have used more of. Either way, it means that her parents are indulgent when she asks them questions about their own choice of summons.

Mum explains her logic: variety in combat abilities, clan tradition, the ever present drive to be stronger, a desperate need for someone she could trust unerringly.

Dad’s reasoning is shorter, but equally weighted: “Hawks eat snakes.”

Her parents are not the only one she asks.

“What about cats?” Itachi-oji suggests.

Sakako shrugs, mouth matching with a twist of uncertainty.

“The Uchiha clan had an alliance with the Neko-baa for generations.”

Sakako nods; she is the heiress, she should know her clan’s past.“I’ve been to Sora-ku,” she says, then considers the possibility. Denka and Hina are competent ninneko, they and their clowder would be reliable and trustworthy partners… but it’s not…

“It’s not what you want?” Itachi-oji asks. Sakako shakes her head.

Back to square one.

Understandably, the rest of the Uchiha clan ghosts aren’t keen on sharing space with the man who killed them.

Sakako has been helping them move on–a blend of her heiress and medium duties–and while some of them eagerly went on to the Pure Land without a second glance, others have elected to stay. Similar to Itachi-oji, but in separate areas of the compound.

Shisui-oji is one of them, but while he also avoids Itachi-oji’s ghost, he does so for an entirely different reason.

She’s been told that the Uchiha bloodline is prone to madness. Obsessive, possessive, consuming love that easily turns into insanity. But Sakako knows better–the most powerful Uchiha manifestation of love is not madness.

It’s guilt.

Mum’s career is long and storied. Literally. The amount of plays and movies inspired by some of her Mum’s adventures would be ridiculous if some of the more accurate and educational ones weren’t also occasionally shown at the Academy. Maybe that makes it even more ridiculous.

But there are some stories that aren’t shared with the public. Some that are just for her, Sakako falling asleep to the sound of Mum’s voice, quiet and somewhat scratchy and soothing despite the action of the tale.

There are a few that Mum holds back–with promises to tell her in the future when she’s older–but there’s one that doesn’t even get a mention.

In fact, the only reason that she knows it exists is because she stumbles on it by accident.

To Sakako, the majority of ghosts look like the living except for a slight translucence that wavers. When she was younger–before she could more clearly discern between them–it used to get her in trouble. She would look at a ghost or move around one and garner attention for her strange behavior. Thankfully she’d never been caught talking to one, but that has more to do with her reticent personality than luck.

The majority of ghosts.

There’s one in particular that looks different.

He glows, which is the biggest difference, a light so bright that she can’t actually make out his features. Just a vague, general shape. The only reason she knows it’s a ghost is because she’s the only one who can see him during the sporadic visits. He only shows up when Mum is around and given her traveling lifestyle, Sakako’s not sure how frequent he checks in with her.

Sakako can’t hear him, if he even is trying or capable of speaking, but she’s pretty sure he waved at her one time.

According to Kisuke-san, his name Aoba Yamashiro and he’s the First. The first what, he won’t elaborate, but the name alone is enough for her to work with.

He died before Sakako’s time, but he is far from forgotten. And besides, death is hardly an obstacle for her.

There’s a lot about the Uchiha which Sakako isn’t proud of–these are the histories which she learns nonetheless, because to forget them puts her fledgling clan in danger and already she will not stand for that–but there are others which are valuable. Tales that, like her Mum’s stories, are an important part of her heritage.

She will not sign a contract with the hawks or the deer, but her parents’ reasons applicable in their own way.

A balance of clan tradition and personal necessity. Flight and shadows, sharp eyes and sharper minds. Someone that she can trust.

Crow summoners may not have had the kindest of fates, but Sakako knows that fate is something that can be changed.

~

A/N2: I’m not terribly keen on the ending… but hopefully it’s still a fun read? Also, for all my pestering of the Holders of Fanon™ I only barely mentioned Shisui?! Ugh, I’m awful… a disgrace to the discord.

13 days until the show!

team 7 moving into a house together tho. and then kakashi comes over and sleeps on the couch.

I kiiiinda ranted about something similar/related to this earlier (pre-Kinokawa’s birth, but the concept could still hold easily I think). It’s pretty short but it was fun to reread nonetheless, so hopefully you also enjoy it, anon 🙂