1123. Some friends you see / every day, / and some friends you see / when there’s blood / in the air. / You need both. / (Your daytime friends are no help in the dark.) Sai/Shikako

Some friends you see every day,
and some friends you see when there’s blood in the air.
You need both.
(Your daytime friends are no help in the dark.)

(the dark side of the moon)

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.

///

(The Queen’s Silver General)

A war.

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.

///

(Strong In The Real Way)

“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.

Meaning of Titanite! I also considered Diopside, but that seemed more in line with a Shikako/Sasuke fusion?

Number + 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 dark side of the moon”, dos, include sai please?

So my brain first went to Infinite Tsukuyomi because that’s how I filled the last “dark side of the moon” prompt I received but that’s not really sustainable for a full fic summary, so…

I know there are already a lot of amazing ROOT!Shikako fics which have gone in varying, fascinating directions, but I think that’s what would best match this prompt title. And also because the request for Sai and there’s only so many options that gives me. Aaand as a title it’s a nice foil to Dreaming of Sunshine, even though usually I thematically link Moon to Sasuke.

Which might be part of it, too?

(By the way, I don’t know if I’m rehashing someone else’s ideas but if I am, sorry…)

So Shikako tries to interfere with the Uchiha Massacre (by befriending Itachi?) and ends up in Danzo’s clutches. But maybe not a full time thing–I’m still pretty sure that Yamanaka Fuu had to be trained in the clan mind jutsu, so he couldn’t be completely disappeared off to the bowels of Konoha like with Torune and the many orphans–so she still gets to go home and learn shadow jutsu and despair about all the secrets she’s keeping from her family 🙂

Which gives an interesting twist on her determination to learn fuinjutsu if she’s got the secrecy seal on her tongue (… maybe not somewhere so obvious, but the idea applies).

Sai would act as her ROOT partner/handler (while she secretly acts as Itachi’s Konoha contact/handler?) and when the canon time for Academy graduation comes around, she’s still put on a genin team with Naruto and Sasuke as per canon but maybe she goes on more dangerous with Sai on nights after D-ranks with Team Seven?

Hrm… nah, I’m not liking that too much. There’s too many wheels and it’s not really feasible.

Sai is definitely still Shikako’s ROOT partner/handler (after they both killed off their respective training partners?) and I do think she’s only a part time ROOT member–in that, she’s still part of the Nara clan–but maybe she was ordered to flunk out of the Academy “because of chakra hypersensitivity” or Danzo used his influence to put her on Team One and have them failed? Yeah, having her on Team Seven AND a ROOT member would be way too much to juggle.

And any connection with Itachi would be minor or for much later in the fic. Maybe Itachi remembers the little girl who tried to help him, or maybe he doesn’t, but he definitely finds it suspicious that she’s one of Danzo’s agents so…

I wonder if Danzo tries to train her as a higher functioning agent–possibly his successor, if he were a smidge less delusional–and so her “surface” job is his assistant or something like that. And, well, even if he doesn’t want her as his philosophical successor, then having one of the two possible candidates for Jounin Commander in his pocket is a pretty smart idea.

Yeah, just a lot of precarious maneuvering as a secret ROOT member, trying to build up enough hard evidence to take out Danzo and making sure Sai doesn’t get punished for her own overreaches (Danzo normally isn’t one for whipping boys since that requires emotional attachment on one side, at least, but in this case it’s highly effective). The good news is, Sai probably begins his journey to emotional development and mental liberation much earlier. The bad news is, neither of them get to express that while under Danzo’s command for obvious reasons. So it’s just both of them mentally suffering, but at least they suffer together?

the dark side of the moon

Secrets and silence and synchronous rotations.

Shikako and Sai dance to someone else’s tune and try to stay alive the whole way through.

Oh, and help save the world–that’s important, too.