This is a story about mistakes.
Shikako makes the mistake of trying to help. It comes to naught–an entire clan massacred regardless of her attempts–and worse, she catches the eye of a predator far more dangerous than the rogue S-rank Uchiha.
Shikaku mistakenly tries to protect his daughter, rearranging team assignments to give her a less hazardous placement. But high risk yields high rewards, and he doesn’t know he is playing against an opponent with even more influence than the Jounin Commander.
But for all his power it’s Danzo that makes the biggest mistake of all:
When he takes Shikako for ROOT, he pairs her with Sai.
This is what her presence has wrought.
She thought she was helping or, at the very least keeping equilibrium, the mathematics of human lives.
Clearly not the case.
She has been preparing for a specific crisis, all of the villages against an elite twelve person organization. She hadn’t trained for a war in mind. The entire continent’s teeth and claws turned upon each other instead.
What can one sunny optimist do against politics and generations-long grudges? How can one bloodline heir stand up to armies?
The saga of Naruto and Sasuke had been a personal thing, intimate, a matter of individuals and differing beliefs.
They aren’t meant for war.
She needs a soldier, not a hero.
“I’m not a tourmaline,” Hematite says, factual but almost hesitant, as if he were internally considering the offer even while his mouth rejected the idea, “You should ask the captain.”
The native tourmaline–to differentiate from the tourmaline that is captain of their scouting team–gives a wry smile. “I know that, Hematite,” she says, and he’s grateful for that.
The human-amber fusion has taken to naming all of the gems. The captain and Morganite have both adopted theirs quickly enough, but he doesn’t understand what the function of it is. The native tourmaline, at least, as chosen to respect his reluctance.
“I already know what it’s like to be a tourmaline,” she continues, and reaches out her hand, “Don’t you wonder about being something–someone–else?”
It takes him a while to consider it, but the tourmaline–Shikako, if she respects his preference, then he should do the same–is patient.
He takes her hand; they dance, they converse, they fuse, they become–
Titanite stands tall and strong and powerful.
More than that: together, Titanite understands.
A/N: … sorry, I don’t know what that last one is about. But thanks for the prompt, anon.
[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.]