Would you ever write a fic set in the “(They Call It) Soulless” ‘verse? (Caretaker!Shikako in a universe where most people start getting soulmarks as babies, blanks are either killed as babies or monstrously consume spiritual energy/souls from everyone around (including themselves), and she discovers her younger brother Shikamaru is a blank the night their parents die. She feeds him (eventually, recycles) her own spiritual energy and hides the truth of his condition from everyone, including him.

Whoa! O_O Okay! I… did not know this ‘verse existed… let me go check that out real quick. I mean, I know about Caretaker!Shikako, but not about this particular iteration of it so… wow.

To the index page I go~~

Okay dona, I had to do some sleuthing because soulmate/soul mark stuff is no longer on the main index page since it’s become it’s own forum thread, but I thiiiink I’ve found what you’re talking about over on this index post.

Are there only the three installments? If not, uh… then this answer is only based on these three installments:



The feels! You always know how to get me with them feels, dona.

I’m gonna say yes, because it is an amazing ‘verse, and because I’ve said yes, here is your ficlet:


The first time Kako agrees to take a mission that will bring her more than a day away from Konoha (away from Kamaru) she is fourteen years old.

She is fourteen when she meets–and fights and kills–her first (real) Soulless.

The gnawing, gaping hunger claws at her even as she fights, even as she burns away at its empty vessel. It is excruciating, her teammates have fallen, screaming, the agony of their souls being torn out of them, breath into the void. She thinks, for the briefest of moments, that she might finally understand why there is a set procedure for babies without soul marks .

But she immediately bats the betrayal away, shreds it before it can take hold. It is because of Kamaru that she can pull through. The thought of Kamaru, figuratively and literally:

She cannot die out here, not when Kamaru still needs her, not when she hasn’t figured out a cure not yet.

But also the way Kamaru needs her, the manipulation of her own spiritual energy to sustain him, recycling it out and through and back in, that she can withstand what the rest of her squad cannot.

Genma-taicho bursts through the treetops, hoping for the best but expecting the worst and gets something in between.

She is fourteen years old when she earns her first service ribbon for surviving (killing) a Soulless.

It is not her last.

Genma keeps a better eye out for Kako Kinokawa after that. Guilt at first, then curiosity, then honest fondness.

Chouza-sensei was friends with her father, which in the convoluted bonds of Konoha teams, makes her something like a cousin.

A better cousin, hopefully, though considering his competition in the Nara clan… it’s not exactly difficult.

The second time goes, arguably, both worse and better.

Worse because she makes the mistake of letting it touch her. She screams.

She cares less about the nails tearing across her face and more about the way her life essence is being peeled away in vicious layers.

She kills it. (She has to)

Nobody (else) dies.

Gai’s specialty is taijutsu.

He is ineffective against Soulless.

But he was as much a student of Chouza-sensei as Genma, and just because he cannot help Kako in this matter does not mean he cannot help her at all.

The third she doesn’t remember so well.

“Severe head trauma,” the medic tells her when she wakes up in Konoha General, that stupidly familiar box with a stupidly familiar service ribbon on the night stand beside her and Kamaru curled up on the visitor’s chair, his hand gripped tight around hers.

“It must have been worse than previously reported,” the medic continues, “It took you much longer to wake up than expected. Your brother visited every day.”

Kako can only remember bits and pieces of the mission, much less the fight with the Soulless.

Spiritual energy contains memories.

The third she remembers mostly as a catalyst: she has to improve her control, it must be perfect–no, beyond perfect–she has to be able to do it unconsciously.

Jiraiya returns to the village a few months ahead of schedule.

It’s hard to follow up on rumors of Konoha’s enemies when all everyone wants to talk about is the shinobi from Konoha who specializes in killing Soulless, so he may as well meet her for himself.

Better now than later.

For one horrific, heart wrenching second, she thinks the Soulless screeching across her senses from the Forest of Death is Kamaru.

It can’t be, she tries to reason with herself, he can last so much longer now, it’s only been a few days.

A few days of exertion. Of high stress situations and jutsu use. He’d eat through the energy she gave him at a much faster rate.

No! It’s not Kamaru. It’s not. She won’t let it be

She enters the Forest of Death, Anko and ANBU on her trail, but until she locks eyes on the Soulless, she’s sickened, doesn’t know if she’ll be able to go through with it.

It’s not Kamaru. She knew it.

But Kamaru is there, too close for her comfort, frozen the way the other kiddies of Konoha are (she forgets, sometimes, that not everyone has built up the same resistance she has.)

It’s wearing the Oto headband, the soulless husks of its former teammates already collapsed around it.

She doesn’t hesitate.

Long ago, Orochimaru was just a little boy, smart and, more importantly, curious about how the world worked.

But then his parents died and instead he turned inward. Surely, there must be a better way to solve the problem of Soulless?

(Does this sound at all familiar?)

She feels bad about dragging TenTen into the fifth.

She hopes TenTen’s first service ribbon is her only service ribbon.

No one else should have to go through what Kako has.

After Tsunade is sworn in, she gets a breakdown of her forces. For genin and chuunin it’s enough to know them as rough figures per department–she’ll familiarize herself with them as needed, she doesn’t have the time to go further than that–but for those ranked higher than that, she needs to know the individuals and their specialties to effectively utilize them. Thankfully, most shinobi only get up to chuunin, and so the list of tokujou and jounin is not too long.

For the most part, the specialties are to be expected: a few medics, a few genjutsu users, some intel, some sensors.

“What is this?” Tsunade asks, finger tapping next to Kinokawa, Kako. She doesn’t recognize the symbol beside it–it might be a new one, it has been a few decades since she’s had to actually do paperwork.

Her Jounin Commander, a Nara of course, scans where she points. A furrow between his eyebrows appears then disappears, quick as a flash.

“Slayer,” Nara says, because why use a full sentence when a single word is much less troublesome? “Five Soulless,” he elaborates.

Tsunade blinks in surprise. With that context in mind, she takes a closer look. She remembers the tales her grandmother used to tell her as a child.

Not a new symbol, no.

An old one.

Konoha deals with the problem of infants-born-Soulless in the traditional, practical manner as it always has.

But there were Soulless before that.

If Kako is successful, there won’t be any after.


A/N: I kinda jumped about in places, so it’s not as coherent or cohesive a ficlet as I would like. I had a lot of different ideas tugging at me for this ‘verse and I also wasn’t sure which iteration of Caretaker!Shikako this was (like her teammates, for example, if this Kako would push so hard and graduation early with Itachi or would she hold back since she has to be able to take care of Kamaru?)

Anyway, I hope you liked it 🙂

Check out the Ask Box Would You Ever!

Externality 6e/? (2018-01-18)

In the orphanage, family is an impossible dream. Adoption an unheard of miracle, passed down as whispers from the older children to the younger in the dark of the night. The closest thing to bedtime stories they get.

But a team is more attainable and nearly as good–better, if you believe the propaganda. Good teammates will be in your thoughts and in your heart, have your back and your trust.

Together, the ideal team functions seamlessly, different parts of a greater whole. Together, the ideal team can easily defeat an army ten times their size.

They are not an ideal team.

They are not even a team.

Frankly, in all the chaos, it’s hard to tell if they’re on the same side.

Tetsuki jerks backward to avoid a hit, only to duck and get knee to the nose while avoiding a set of shuriken from the treetops. They embed themselves perfectly into her opponent’s calf–he howls in pain and she definitely takes the opportunity kick out at his other leg, bringing him down completely–but they could have easily stuck into her shoulder instead.

TenTen’s aim is perfect, but it doesn’t account for allies getting her way.

Naruto Uzumaki learned this the hard way, kunai sticking out of his shoulder until he pulled it out and used it for himself.

The both of them are absolutely filthy by this point: dirt and blood, a fair share of it their own, staining their clothes. Neji Hyuuga doesn’t have this problem–a neat pile of paralyzed bodies clustered at his feet.

There’s so much going on–so many people and weapons and other metallic knickknacks, zippers and buttons and jewelry–that Tetsuki can’t tell if any of them have tokens on them. She doesn’t have the time to more thoroughly search them, either, not when for every opponent she takes down another two pop up.

It’s no longer just the mob they’re fighting at this point–the ruckus of large scale battle attracting the more active and eager of their classmates. Only the light of the moon and the occasional flash bang illuminates the space, with clashing kunai and the scent of blood in the air, it really is like a true shinobi battle.

At this point, it barely has anything to do with the exam, hidden grudges bubbling up easily without adult supervision. Tetsuki herself is not entirely immune to the fever of battle:

“Hey you,” she says to the sensible son of a bitch Komadori. All the warning she provides before punching him right in his surprised face. But tit for tat is not the way of shinobi, grudges are not resolved by simply balancing the equation, and so what should have been a simple surprise hit becomes a prolonged fight.

This time Tetsuki uses everything she has, doesn’t limit herself or conserve energy for running away. Genjutsu falls over him in layers, shrouding his senses, but his memory and practiced motions pull him through, chakra flaring to throw off her efforts. She responds feral, brutal, and so does he.

They are still fighting when TenTen runs out of weapons, the clearing liberally sprinkled with her efforts, and she has to drop into the fray herself. They are still fighting when Naruto Uzumaki and Neji Hyuuga stumble into each other–the latter’s Byakugan deactivated for some reason–and are forced to literally fight back to back. They are still fighting when the sun rises, sky blazing orange, and the exam officially ends.

They are fighting up until Yanagi-sensei and Hinoura-sensei bodily pull them apart, well-rested adult selves easily lifting their exhausted child bodies, and it’s as if she suddenly wakes up.

Her entire body throbs furiously, painfully, adrenaline wearing off and leaving her with the consequences of her actions. She squirms in Yanagi-sensei’s hold to search for Naruto Uzumaki, to meet his eyes and apologize because–she forgot about the exam. Forgot about his objective and the token. Forgot about him.

Failed him.

Externality 6d/? (2018-01-17)

TenTen is somewhat skeptical, approaching with both hands on her kunai–Tetsuki doesn’t take it personally, she knows kunai are more akin to comfort objects than weapons to TenTen–until she reads the crumpled up objective cards:

At Tetsuki’s, she blinks curiously. At Naruto Uzumaki’s, her jaw tightens.

Tetsuki can’t help but to smile at that.

Even if they can’t convince Neji Hyuuga to help, she certainly wouldn’t mind having an expert in ranged weaponry on their side. And it’s nice knowing that TenTen is just as pissed off as she is–their personalities may be different, but their backgrounds may as well be identical.

On the streets, no one gets what they want. But that doesn’t mean they can’t get even.

“Assurance that we’re not here for your tokens,” Tetsuki says, gesturing to the pair of dark purple armbands still on the ground. “Not that we would have been able to get them anyway,” she adds after a slight pause, jerking her shoulder, her chakra-blocked arm swinging almost grotesquely.

“If your fate is to fight half the class then I’m not going to interfere,” Neji Hyuuga states, Byakugan deactivated no doubt due to how nonthreatening she and Naruto Uzumaki are compared to him.

TenTen shoots a glare at him, but stays silent.

Tetsuki can feel her heart crawl into her throat, though she doesn’t know why. This isn’t exactly a surprising outcome.

She doesn’t know what to say.

“You’ve interfered already, asshole,” Naruto Uzumaki says, lifting up Tetsuki’s right arm–so numb she didn’t even feel him grab it. “You could just say you’re too scared to fight. You think you’re great ‘cause you get shit just handed to you in your fancy clan and the teachers kiss your ass? We don’t need help from a stuck up coward like you!”

Tetsuki stares at him in open shock. In her peripheral vision, she can see TenTen do the same.

You can’t just say stuff like that to a clan member’s face!

But maybe having a last name gives him some kind understanding because instead of walking away, figurative bridge burned between them, Neji Hyuuga’s hands dart out in quick succession.

And suddenly Tetsuki can feel the grip of Naruto Uzumaki’s hand around her wrist… before a flood of static sweeps across her nerves, chakra rushing back into her arm without the Jyuuken blocks to hold it back. She hisses in pain.

“There’s not enough time for me to explain how wrong you are,” Neji Hyuuga says, briefly reaching up for the wraps around his forehead before deciding against it.

There is a story there, an open secret of Konoha–the Hyuuga clan is hiding something, but only the upper echelons know what. Even if Neji Hyuuga were the kind of person to share his burden with others, they are barely acquaintances, much less friends.

Maybe in the future.

Naruto Uzumaki twitches, head tilting one way then the other as if in confusion or–more likely, as Tetsuki picks up the sounds herself–in concentration.

Neji Hyuuga is right, there’s not enough time:

The mob is coming.


A/N: Whaaaaat? It’s back?

i would’ve thought that tenten definitely would have something from the aegislash line since they’re literally weapons (+ they’re ghost and steel type which is an awesome combination imo)

Anonymous said: I feel like Hitmontop fits TenTen more. It’s smaller and I can see it imitating its trainer spinning like a top and throwing weapons everywhere. I can also see Hitmonchan boxing with Neji as he practices his Hyuuga fists/palm attacks.

Anonymous said: I can totally see Sasuke with a Blaziken, or maybe Tenten has a Blaziken to help her forge weapons, since she does become something like a blacksmith in the future (even though I hate most of Boruto’s canon haha)

I was considering Aegislash for TenTen, but considering they’re specifically ghost swords and TenTen is more of a ranged weaponry (or, alternatively, giant spiky ball of death) I decided not to go in that direction. If I were to make a Pokemon team for Hayate Gekkou, then yes, ghost swords all the way–he is a kenjutsu user, after all.

I think my reasoning for Neji = Hitmontop had to do with the Kaiten? And how a lot of the Hyuuga taijutsu were very circular in nature.

Ooh, Blaziken, yeah… if Sasuke didn’t already have a Talonflame and a Hawlucha, I probably would have given him a Blaziken for sure…

And I do have a bit about TenTen working at a blacksmith in Externality (I get what you mean, anon, Boruto canon is kinda…) so I suppose I could have easily given her a Fire type too. Hm… I think mostly I wanted to lean in on that Steel type…

in the interest of rounding out the Pokémon headcanons… team gai Pokémon teams?? (aside from the tyrogue trio you mentioned before which is a great idea btw)

I think all of them have mostly Fighting types–given their jounin sensei is the master of taijutsu, and they themselves specialize in taijutsu–but each of them differ in their second types.

So Lee is mostly Fighting with some Normal (HARD WORK BEATS TYPE SPECIALIZING), Neji has Fighting and Psychic (which explains why he consistently beats Lee even though Lee is faster than god), and TenTen has Fighting and Steel.

As previously mentioned, all of them did get a Tyrogue from Gai (and each of them have a different evolved form). So while I’m not entirely sure what order each of them get these Pokemon, these are what I have in mind.








































Thanks for the prompt, anon, this was fun!

Happy New Year, everyone! 😀

Three Way Street, Tenten & Shikamaru (& Shikako), Flip to the Last Page AU

… aaaAAAAAHHHH! I hadn’t considered this before because like… HOW DOES PRIVACY WORK WITH TWINS IN THIS WORLD?

Privacy is a thing of the past.


Shikako only vaguely remembers what it was like not to have someone else in her head, listening in on her every thought and responding with their own.

Shikamaru has never known any different.

And, like, in theory that’s a compelling thought–BUT DATING?! PUBERTY?! HORMONES?! LIVING THEIR OWN SEPARATE LIVES?!


To be clear, though, they are definitely separate people. It’s not some kind of hive mind situation going on. It’s a two person wireless network, different distinct servers but connected.

So TenTen dating Shikamaru is definitely TenTen dating Shikamaru. She’s not dating both of them, even if Shikako is basically unwillingly eavesdropping on their dates.

… there has to be some way to shield thoughts to some extent.

Or maybe I’m overestimating the connection. Maybe they only share thoughts deliberately or while dreaming and experiencing extreme emotions/adrenaline?

Like a mental immune system of sorts? So when they’re younger it blends together a lot–to the point where they switch bodies accidentally–but as they grow older they get better at filtering out “unimportant” thoughts.

Which does kind of mirror the twins’ relationship in canon!DoS–that they are in sync when they’re younger and struggle to understand each other as they get older.

I’m getting away from the topic, I think.

Three Way Street would probably be from TenTen’s POV, just to differentiate how she witnesses the twins’ relationship versus from canon!DoS. And, like. It’s probably just small, somewhat bizarre things.

Like, while she and Shikako are working on their sealing lessons, Shikako looks up and is like “Oh, Shikamaru wants to know if you’re free tomorrow night for dinner? They’re coming back from their mission early.” And like… okay, convenient, but weird.

And then while she’s out with Shikamaru they’re in the middle of sparring date and he pauses and goes, “Shikako would like your opinion on X seal.” And, well, she does like collaborating with Shikako. She doesn’t really appreciate the spar being interrupted, but the seal idea is compelling enough that she doesn’t mind so much.

But then, well, does it get unnerving at some point? Like, while she’s with both of them there’s just complete silence and then they both react to something she can’t hear?

Or when they come back from the Land of the Moon it’s just so much bleed through of their strained relationship that whenever she hangs out with either of them it emanates out…

And now I have to get off topic again because, well, would the twins EVER be sent out on the same mission? That seems like the dumbest thing for mission’s desk to do. In which case, would the Gelel and Land of Moon missions even happen the same way?

AAAAAAAAGH, I did not think this through…

“An Unbearable Weight” … ??? I have no idea, I just had this sort of feeling of something pressing down on the shoulders and I can’t place anything else with the title (almost spelled it tightle, lol).

A/N: So the first thing I thought of with that title, anon, is the show Leverage. I mean, true, it’s not exactly far from my thoughts, but specifically there’s a spiel about how the crew of criminals is the leverage that normal people need to remove the weight that evil rich people have put on them, etc…

And so my brain followed that train of thought to my Friendship is a (Mutual) Con ‘verse, of course. And then, well, with a title like that… this would be a season finale-esque fic within that ‘verse. But what would it specifically be about? Hm…


An Unbearable Weight

Even myths can grow complacent: when that happens, the world shakes.

I’ll be honest, my brain went originally to Atlas Shrugged–as an idea, not the novel itself–but that was very western of me and so I decided to research the equivalent. Namazu is a giant catfish that causes earthquakes, Kashima is the god who is meant to restrain him to prevent that. However, sometimes Kashima fails.

Which I quite liked the idea of, but that seemed a little too specific to be used by name in the summary, so I abstracted the concept enough that really it could be either the western or Japanese myth that I’m referring to!

Anyway, from that summary, I suppose this is later in Team Seven’s “career” when they’re at the top of their game–no con is impossible to them–and they’ve unwittingly created their own enemy. Someone who knows them so well, knows their weaknesses and exactly where to hit.

Part of me, because of the word “weight”–the BEST scene in Naruto will always be Lee taking off his leg weights and beating Gaara’s ass (though I do love him, also)–wants to include at the very least Gai and Lee if not also Neji and TenTen… I wonder if they’re law enforcement who are supposed to be tracking down the “ruthless band of criminals” but are actually quite friendly with Team Seven, not knowing that they are the same.

Like FBI Agents McSweeten and Taggert from Leverage but more competent.

And like in canon, Kakashi and Gai are BFFs which would mean that whoever the big bad in this “episode” would somehow reveal to Gai that Kakashi is the leader of the “dastardly crew of renegades” that he’s been trying to catch for years. Which would, of course, strain their relationship but ALSO impede Kakashi’s ability to act on behalf of his team.

All part of big bad’s plan.

It would all resolve itself in the end–of course–most likely with Team Gai acting as Team Seven’s Detective Bonanno equivalent. That is, Team Seven cons the bad guys and gets the evidence that Team Gai needs to convict them.

… yeah… I like this idea.

So probably Team Gai has shown up in “previous episodes” individually–Shikako is TenTen’s go-to for locksmithing and questions on vaults/security systems, Neji and Sasuke probably met as kids during the upper class soirees that Noble clans all attend, Lee probably had an absolute SNAFU of a case and Sakura was the one who found/healed him… and, of course, Kakashi and Gai are BFFs… but while each of them probably knew Team Gai were FBI (in a vague sort of sense for Sasuke, probably) none of them knew that they were on a task force together and especially not that said task force was assigned to track down/capture Team Seven.

Until, you know, one of Team Seven’s normal milk run cons suddenly gets infested with law enforcement. Familiar law enforcement.

Sakura probably has to fake flirt some information out of Lee, Sasuke and Neji probably have a snooty “Hyuuga” “Uchiha” exchange before hella pummeling each other into the dirt, and Shikako definitely ends up promising TenTen that she’ll tell Shikamaru what it is she actually does for work.

Kakashi mopes around guiltily like the saddest string bean he is, until Gai forgives him in a heartbeat and challenges him to a push up contest.


Ask Box Event Now Open!

Externality 6c/? (2017-09-29)

She’ll admit, later, that she probably developed tunnel vision trying to find Neji Hyuuga while also avoiding the angry mob. She gets into the rhythm of a task–even if this particular one is frenetic and stressful–and tends to forget her surroundings.

Luckily, Naruto Uzumaki is there to shove her out of the way of a barrage of kunai. They thunk into the tree beyond her.

As Tetsuki regains her bearings, she notices they’re in the perfect outline of her body.


A different blur, much larger and closer, drops down in her peripheral, and this time it’s her own hasty reflexes that have her dodge out of the way of a jab glowing with chakra.


Well, they found him…

… hooray?

Neji Hyuuga is not their year’s highest ranked student for no reason and for all that Tetsuki is fast, no one is as fast as him.

In short order her entire right arm is numb and absolutely useless, swinging around and throwing off her balance.

Any thoughts to negotiate a truce flies from her head. In the face of such overwhelming power only one concept remains: survive.

She tries to fight back, he defends easily. She tries to retreat, he follows unerringly. She tries to hold off his stupidly undefeatable attacks, she fails miserably.

And maybe if it were just Tetsuki by herself, that’d be it. But she’s not alone.

“Wait! Hold on you bastard,” Naruto Uzumaki says, brash and somehow endearing now, “We’re not here to fight you!” he says even as he throws a punch, trying to take the pressure off her.

He means well. She does appreciate the effort. Unfortunately, two against one when that one is Neji Hyuuga doesn’t make much of a difference.

But it jolts her out of her hindbrain panic, and she still has use of one of her hands: Tetsuki grabs the two purple armbands and throws them to the ground between them, almost like a gauntlet.

Neji Hyuuga doesn’t look down–Byakugan activated, he doesn’t need to–but he pauses for a moment, almost curious, which gives her and Naruto Uzumaki a moment to breathe.

“We don’t want your token,” Tetsuki says, slowly, still functional arm raised slightly to show no harm, “Or TenTen’s,” she adds, remembering the kunai.

Naruto Uzumaki makes an indignant noise, high in the back of his throat, and she shoots him a look. Tetsuki hasn’t forgotten he still needs another token, but they can’t get it from Neji Hyuuga and she’s not going to let him take it from TenTen (even if he could–he’s not as terrible as he seems in the classroom, but she’d put her nonexistent money on TenTen any day).

Speaking of TenTen, another figure peers out from the foliage, a brace of kunai at the ready between her fingers.

“… we’d like your help with something.”

Externality, part 1d (2017-06-16)

After five years of being in the same class, Tetsuki is a little ashamed to say she’s only really on speaking terms with a few of her classmates.

It’s a matter of time, is all. Or scheduling, rather.

If she’s not at school, then she’s working. If she’s not working then she’s training. She’s quite behind some of her classmates: especially the ones who have the full support of a clan, tips and tricks passed down from older relatives who serve, generations of honing their members into efficient shinobi.

But even the ones from civilian families–those who don’t have to worry about where their next meal will come from, or how they’ll pay for their school supplies, or even just have an adult presence in their lives who put them first unconditionally–have advantages over her that she must work hard to compensate for.

It’s nobody’s fault. Not really.

Tetsuki is just one of many orphans of Konoha; a babe found in the rubble of the Kyuubi Attack’s aftermath.

TenTen is another.

Talking to someone who has the same background as her is just easier. Someone who understands what she’s going through, who knows what it’s like to crawl and claw and carve their way up and out. Perhaps it’s elitism of its own in a backwards, twisted way.

And also, Hikari-san orders kunai in bulk from the armory TenTen works at, so the two of them often see each other in a work setting. Passing off a storage scroll of kunai like a baton in a relay race or getting shooed away whenever the adults renegotiate prices.

Talking during taijutsu class–during the practice matches–isn’t outrightly forbidden, so long as it isn’t a distraction. But it’s pretty much expected. There’s only so many combinations of sparring partners available, after all.

After five years, even watching Neji Hyuuga stomp his opponent into the ground gets boring no matter how elegantly he does it.

Tetsuki leans in close–more out of politeness than any real attempt at concealment, if someone really wanted to listen they could–and asks about the four new students in their class.

Old students, TenTen corrects, from last year’s graduating class that failed to do just that. Determined and optimistic, Yanagi-sensei had said. Stubborn, foolish, a waste of his time, he didn’t need to say.

One shining example of that being Rock Lee who everyone knows can’t do even the basic three which requires the minimum amount of chakra. It’s no surprise that he failed. Just as it isn’t a surprise that he’d come back for more, a glutton for punishment. What he’s expecting to change in this year is a mystery to everyone.

There’s another boy and a girl, neither of whom seem remarkable in any way–not enough for TenTen to point out beyond a nod in their directions and their names.

But the final boy–short, blonde, and in eye catching orange–TenTen has more. “He’s younger than us.”

With a confused, prompting look, she continues, “He used to be at Enshoku with me, though he left before I did. I always thought it was because he got adopted out…”

At an orphanage such a thing is less a dream and more a miracle, both of them would know.

“… but he still has the same name as before.”

A second, more confused, prompting look. Why would getting adopted change someone’s name? That’s just asking for identity crises.

“Well, same names. He has the same surname.”

Which both clarifies things and brings up more questions. Why would someone with a surname be at an orphanage with TenTen? If they have a surname then they must have–a clan or a family or some trace of guardianship; a distant relative, a godparent, their parents’ teammates, a legal tie of some kind–someone who would take on a child rather than leave him to an orphanage with less than no support system.

Tetsuki is sure TenTen has had the same thoughts and, also, found no answers. It just doesn’t make any sense.

As Neji Hyuuga’s short lived spar comes to a close, TenTen concludes, “Naruto Uzumaki.”


A/N: Which is of no surprise to anyone 😛

14 – Poly!Lucky Sevens

I think I’ve got fireflies
where my caution should be.
(Instead of slowing down, I just shine brighter)


She’s thrown through a wall–one, two, three–comes to a rolling, tumbling stop against the crumpled steel of a dumpster.

She groans, body shrieking in pain–her floating ribs are probably broken, shit, and her vision is hazy with a definite concussion–but at least she’s still alive. Her armor has held up well: TenTen is definitely getting a raise.

A roar sounds through the streets, reverberating and ominous, straight out of her childhood nightmares of monsters under her bed.

What she wouldn’t give to be asleep in her bed right now.

Shikako coughs, brick dust and rubble in the air, ribs protesting angrily. She steels herself. Flipping onto her hands and knees nearly makes her weep.

She can’t do this.

Human criminals are one thing–she’s better trained and better equipped than anyone on the street–but creatures of this size? Rogues with superhuman abilities? Magic and other things beyond the laws of physics?

She can’t do this alone.

An extraterrestrial object crashes into Konoha’s Central Park during an R&D presentation to the board–Shikako’s presence is mandatory no matter how many wide-eyed looks of panic she exchanges with TenTen.

And so when the alien emerges, blindfolded and shackled but rampaging madly, it’s not The Dark Knight that makes first contact, but a graffiti artist on the run from the cops.

A graffiti artist that also happens to be a demigod.

By the time the presentation is over–rushed through as quickly as possible, but still far too long–the rampage turned battle has expanded to downtown Konoha.

Shikako arrives on scene and curses, futilely: there are news cameras–stupid and brave–and a ring of police cars–less stupid, but braver–lights spinning a dizzying red and blue.

Most of her power comes from reputation, the growing rumors of an urban legend that haunts the nights and minds of criminals. This is so public, too public, out in the bright glaring sunshine.

The officers that spot her, rumbling motorcycle engine loud and impatient, face their weapons her way for a moment. The Dark Knight, after all, is still a wanted vigilante–one that has caused conflicting opinions within the force. But their captain is quick to brush them off, in part for her benefit, but mostly for theirs.

“I hope you have better firepower than we do,” the captain says, opening up the barrier with a wave, “Because both of them are bulletproof.”

She does, but that’s not what is going to resolve this.

She goes through, prepared to enter the fray even if it means surrounding herself by people who want to throw her in prison, because maybe there’s a way to salvage this situation.


A/N: … I didn’t get to the actual relationship so much as it is the set up to it? Sorry, anon… 

Also I did try to write a third section to this but it didn’t fit so well and I already felt like this was taking too long so there’s a paragraph under the cut. I may use that eventually if I write more Insuperable, but so I don’t lose it I’ll just hide it here.

Number + Character/Ship + (optional) AU –> my ask box

[If anyone else wants to do a softer world prompt that isn’t on the list, you can just send the page id number for the original comic instead.]

The walls of their headquarters are covered in paint. Vibrant swirling colors and symbols that don’t match any living language. Naruto sees these shapes in his dreams, grasping at images that evaporate during his waking hours.

He is desperate for any hint of his past.

Sasuke wishes he could forget his own.