Legends of Sunshine (2018-02-09)

Three-Sentence Fic: Hibiki and the Kuwabara Clan

~

Her earliest days are spent quietly in the corner of various rooms of the onsen depending on who is available to watch her. Or, at least, anyone who is not too busy with their own duties to keep an occasional eye out for a single child prone to silent daydreaming.

Hibiki grows up as isolated a person can while being a member of a clan nearly one hundred strong.

The problem is that the nearest in age to her are either infants–too small and young to provide much in the way of playmates–or away in the village, soon to be genin and functional adults in the eyes of shinobi culture.

Between the one child who will soon be off to the academy anyway and the five babies who require near constant monitoring, it is no surprise which the clan caretaker prioritizes.

Still, it’s a little lonely.

Or perhaps the problem is her parents: so successful yet so far away. Her mother, Tamaki, the clan’s representative in the capitol–fierce and graceful, both–her father, Mitsuru, mostly brilliant, sometimes absentminded, but always devoted to his wife.

But if them being in the capitol is what is best for the clan, then of course that is what is best for her.

Hibiki is four years old when she chooses Shokupan… or when Shokupan chooses her.

To this day they can’t quite agree.

Regardless, it is the best day of their lives.

(The day they meet Suki is a close second, but that is a story for another time)

Before she goes to the academy, Hibiki meets her uncle Atsushi just the once.

She is trying to sneak an entire watermelon out of the kitchens for Shokupan, who is far too fat and spoiled already, the shape of it bulging unconvincingly under her shirt.

She is not sure who is more surprised, but she is certain that she’s been caught, wide-eyed and ready to drop her ill gotten gains–but all he does, besides huff a soft, amused laugh, is pat her on the head and continue on his way.

The next time they meet is a decade later:

She is a fully fledged genin of Takigakure, contributing in her own way to the Kuwabara clan.

And he is the head of said clan, informing her that she is one of the candidates to become his heir.

Hibiki loves her clan–how could she not? They have given her everything, have given her Shokupan, have given her what she needs to become a successful shinobi; one who will be strong enough to see a world she had only ever daydreamed of as that small, lonely child.

Hibiki loves her clan–this is not the problem.

~

A/N: Some three sentence fic about Hibiki and her clan for the Legends of Sunshine RPG.

… I also only now realize that Hibiki and Haru of (En)Closure have the same last name… hm…

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can I prompt some of that foundation of yesterday outsider pov?

A/N: So… I know I just did a Into Thin Air ficlet which is, of course, set in FFVII but… the problem is anon, I haven’t actually played FFVII?

And like, that’s mostly the reason why Into Thin Air kind of rehashes the same ideas and is VERY VAGUE, because I don’t know the timeline in enough detail to make things specific (which is why Unto The Climate is easier for me since I’m more familiar with Naruto canon and it’s only Windy–and Kaguya/Jenova–who is from FFVII).

And given Foundation of Yesterday is primarily set in FFVII with Naruto characters being summoned/awakened there, that explains why the brainstorm was just a brainstorm and not a ficlet. And then there’s the whole… set up of it…. Although, to be fair, that was more of me stream-of-consciousness coming up with the idea as it came to me as opposed to attempting to write it so, what the hell, it’s the ask box advent calendar, I’ll give it a shot!

~

Foundation of Yesterday, Prologue (2017-12-15)

The Shichidaime Hokage goes missing without a trace. The Elemental Nations begin to freak out: it’s been decades since the world was so close to destruction, but that their primary defender has gone is alarming.

It is only the beginning.

Kaguya is uncovered from her icy prison and experimented on, the foolish mortals playing at gods, but their folly shall be her triumph.

Her first two sons were traitors, but her third? Oh, she’s certain Sephiroth will do her proud.

There is an unstoppable countdown, jinchuuriki disappearing despite everyone’s best efforts as if chakra itself were reclaiming them.

Shikako and Sasuke have not stopped searching for Naruto but their hope is steadily dwindling.

They are running out of miracles.

Vincent knows his eyes are unnerving–unnatural, demonic–but Lucrecia is the first to ever say she loves them.

Too bad she loves science more.

But honestly, the cursed existence that follows after his death isn’t entirely her fault.

“It’s time to sleep,” Gaara tells his children, a bewildering, solemn statement from the only remaining jinchuuriki. It’s the last clue they get before he, too, disappears.

For Shikako, it’s also the last straw.

When Yuffie is six, father gives her a necklace, the pendant a dark stone with shining green flecks–a family heirloom: if she protects it, it will protect her in turn.

Obviously just a superstition, Yuffie thinks years later as her homeland is conquered and destroyed.

Not quite.

The loss of the jinchuuriki is never solved, and though sad, time marches on. Children grow up, take their own place as heroes and leaders, and eventually it becomes just another tale to tell.

They never think to connect it to the vanishing Shikabane-hime.

Where a Strife walks, trouble follows, names well earned. They are living, breathing natural disasters, bringers of storms and change.

It’s not a coincidence that they end up in Nibelheim.

The Planet works in mysterious ways.

~

A/N: … hrm… this is probably overly referential to the brainstorm, but it just didn’t want to flow :/ Hopefully it’s still a fun read, though, anon!

Check out the Ask Box Advent Calendar!

Changeling, Shikamaru, The Nara are not like the ninja clans that must pay the Fae in blood, or gold, or a child from their clan: whenever a Nara child is stillborn, the parents are bound to foster a Fae child their place.

A/N: Hm… I kinda want to both brainstorm and write a ficlet for this prompt, because the idea is very lovely (as per usual, dona) but the brainstorm I have is different than the ficlet I want to write?

Like the ficlet is just a straight up narrative prose exploring the idea of some Nara children being changelings and why their clan are the exception, etc. etc. Whereas the brainstorm is a more expansive plotty thing about how having a changeling character would affect the story.

Hm, I guess they’re not necessarily exclusive to each other so let’s do both… ficlet first!

~

To say that the Shodaime Hokage created the forests around what would become the site of Konohagakure is an exaggeration at best and an outright lie at worst.

It’s true that the Hashirama trees are the first type that villagers learn to identify as children–prevalent in most parks and training grounds, a protective ring around the walls–but the forest itself is far older than that; far greater.

Far less human.

///

Yoshino is in labor for a grueling forty six hours–more blood, sweat, and tears than even the worst battle–but she knows it’ll be worth it, prays to every god she can think of that it’ll be worth it.

When finally it’s done, that last exhausting push, she can barely catch her breath, barely stay awake, and yet she claws at consciousness desperately.

Why is there only one baby crying?

///

The Nara clan live close to the earth: their herds and their trees and their shadows upon the ground. They are intelligent, taking their own time and space, and for that they are looked upon fondly.

Most of the time, that’s a good thing.

///

There is a tree, deep within the Nara clan compound, old and gnarled and kept secret.

In that tree, there is a hollow, cleaned monthly but left empty.

Tonight, with Kasuga and Sembei at his back, Shikaku places the small, shrouded bundle inside.

///

It has been a long time since the Nara clan were given a gift from the other side.

An honor and risk, both.

The rest of the village has no idea what they’re in for.

OKAY! So, now it’s brainstorm time.

I made it vague because I wasn’t sure if, because you specified Shikamaru, you wanted him to be the changeling or if you wanted his POV of changeling!Shikako… or, I guess, now that I think of it, if you even wanted DoS? Whoops.

Anyway! The ficlet above would be the prequel basically laying down the groundwork of your prompt for a much larger story. What that story is, I’m not entirely sure…

Actually, I’m thinking something like Danzo has somehow gotten to the other side and that’s where a lot of his ROOT soldiers are from–changeling children that weren’t so blessed to be placed with the Nara clan, which sort of explains the affinity Shikako has with Sai, etc. etc–and the Fae kind of point Shikako in that direction and just, go wild, dispense our wrath…

… but I’m worried I’m focusing too much on Danzo as the big bad. I mean, the Fae could also be GREATLY DISPLEASED with the giant evil bijuu eating statue and that’s another task the whispers in Shikako’s mind point her towards.

I do like the idea that while the Nara are the only ones who get changeling children as a sort of active, deliberate exchange, there are other places (including outside of Konoha) where changeling children appear where there isn’t any established and known protocols for it. And so, like how Naruto has his not-so-secret society of jinchuuriki, Shikako has a slightly-more-secret society of changelings.

Sai is one, definitely. I’m thinking also Juugo? And maaybe Isaribi to incorporate her more into the story… I don’t think there’d be any overlaps in changelings and jinchuuriki (the only exception might be Sora at the Fire Temple who is only a partial jinchuuriki or something like that?)

Hm…

I mean, this would be in Shikamaru’s POV so as to match your prompt and also him as an outsider but close observer of this phenomenon would lend itself well into the whole–changelings LOOK human, but they aren’t, kind of thing. Yes, they’re mostly taught how to interact in a socially acceptable way, but they’re still Other.

Actually, now I wonder if even the bijuu are a little scared of the Fae (and, by association, the changelings) because chakra is a relatively new power in the world. The bijuu aren’t that old in comparison to the Fae. SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT FURTHER 😀

~

Ask Box Event Now Open!

Multiphenomenal (2017-08-02)

Hisae Kaiza’s calligraphy school is, in certain circles, well-renowned–just not in the world of professional, traditional calligraphy.

No, Hisae Kaiza’s calligraphy school is far more prestigious than that.

After all, no other school teaches its students how to mold the universe to their will.

///

She never did calligraphy in her first life: it wasn’t practical enough for her and so she went another route–aikido she did to spar with Ryohei, but archery had always been for herself.

A bow, an arrow, a target in sight; only one chance to make a mark.

She hasn’t felt peace like this in a long time.

///

Grandmother doesn’t care for the spirit world–it’s taken so much from her, she’d rather die than fall for Enma’s false promises again–but the human world is still hers to protect.

Or, at least, have Tetsuki protect it on her behalf.

“Hmph, mind control bugs, how unimaginative,” Grandmother scoffs, handing over a stack of ofuda and sending her off like a child on her first day of school, “There you go, my dear, and if you find those other students of mine send them my way.”

///

She doesn’t care about Shuichi Minamino’s true nature. She was friends with the host of a kyuubi–a single tail kitsune isn’t even a blip on her radar.

If anything, it’s his human side that’s the problem.

///

Maya Kitajima is her best friend: she only has the one friend, so it’s not a very difficult position to achieve.

“There’s something about him,” Maya sighs dreamily, while Tetsuki does the same in a far more exasperated manner–it’s fine, she won’t remember it in five minutes, “As if maybe in another life we might have had a fateful encounter.”

Tetsuki knows all about other lives: Maya’s situation has less to do with reincarnation and everything to do with the amnesia pollen that Shuichi Minamino dosed her with last year.

~

A/N: a few three-sentence scenes from Multiphenomenal because I don’t have any more prompts to fill 😦

The Ask Box Author’s Cut event is still on, if anyone else is interested in participating!

Word Prompts (I25): Introduction

Konran Uzumaki – Counterpoise

(Spiral in, storm out.)

She wears wire in her hair, braids of red and metal winding round and round her head. Pins blunt against her scalp, sharp points outward, everything hidden under a bandana rigged to blow.

Uzushio’s legacy, beneath dark cloth.

Kiyoshi Utsugi – (In)Difference

(Neutrality brings peace.)

Lightning thrums under her skin, running along her nerves, writhing. Wind at her fingertips, whipping at her cheek, waiting to be unleashed.

Conscious clear, target in sight: shoot.

Tetsuki Kaiza – Trailblazers / Externality / Iron Will

(Fate worse than death.)

The first time around she is furious-regretful-afraid-satisfied, at least, she will be swiftly avenged.

The second time she is desperate: she doesn’t want to go, doesn’t want to do this again, doesn’t want this curse.

By the third she is hollowed out and resigned.

Aomi (Inuzuka) – B*tch Please

(Humanity is beastly.)

The rage in her has nothing to do with the fangs in her mouth or the growl in her lungs. She dreams of hunting intangible things–justice, strength, the future–plans like shaky ground beneath her paws.

Truth and loyalty require sacrifice.

Windy Strife – Into Thin Air

(Steps ahead, left behind.)

The suit sits heavy on her shoulders, fabric stiff and blue still new. The bow, long carried, doesn’t quite match but it fits perfectly in his hand.

Zie is a weapon, forged and honed, then and now.

Reyniero Chason – Running Backwards

(Battle fiercely for the king.)

There are no options, train on the track, future written down and read in the past. And yet, here I am, poised to defy the fate put on him.

If anyone is the spare, it’s me.

Branton Evans – Growing Strong (Burning Bright)

(Thorns, sparks, and silver linings.)

He knows much about regret, had felt it even as he continued to walk away, needing to follow through. Time doesn’t always heal, sometimes it erodes instead.

Nevertheless, things can still be salvaged.

Haru Kuwabara – (En)Closure

(Winning might be everything.)

Go is a battle, is a conversation, is life–according to her grandfather anyway. But she knows death, so she knows that despite all the drama, go is just a game.

But against gods and murderers and the stark face of justice, it’s a nice thought.

Ember Ketchum – A Year With The Moon

(Knowledge is double edged.)

Sight beyond does not make her immune, does not make her anything but a liability. Her entire existence is a dilemma and now, it seems, she has made the wrong choice.

Behind a glowing wall in her mind, she watches herself attack her brother.

~

A/N: Surprisingly, the word prompt is relevant to the writing! Except for the last one, each section is basically a motto + three sentence fic (or four sentence fic) summarizing my various OCs. Almost like little trailers for the different series… (The last one isn’t because I realized that Ash having a twin during the first Pokemon movie, ie the one featuring Mewtwo, would have the potential for EPIC FEELS).

Basically, after my weird breakdown/rant/fit of low self-esteem that I had yesterday I kind of wanted to make up for that. Sorry, again, @to-someplace-else, it wasn’t your fault, I go through moods, I hope you (and other readers) enjoy this.

Post Word Count: 422, TOTAL Word Count: 10860

So… last day of November. Unsurprisingly, did not meet the NaNo quota but that’s okay because a lot of my posts this month (like this one) were three sentence fic and for some reason I wrote a lot of poetry…

Minor Miracles, 7/? (2016-11-22)

Carlin Frey

(blood is one thing, family is another)

One of her earliest memories is of her sister, big brown eyes filled with tears, and the stinging pain after a blow to the face.

“Idiot child,” says their brother or cousin or uncle, the Twins fill to bursting with so many Freys she’s not sure how they are related, “Learn your place.”

The House of Frey is not a family, there is no kindness here: Carlin learns never to ask for something when taking is much more efficient.

Roslin is gentle and beautiful and, if not loved, then regarded fondly by others.

Carlin is the exact opposite: rough and loud and brash and only loved by her sister, but she is satisfied with that.

She’d rather be brave than kind, would rather fight than cry, would rather have only Roslin than the dozens of other Freys.

When she and Roslin are six, Carlin dresses in clothes stolen from a brother or a cousin or an uncle, and lines up alongside the boys of her family who are beginning to train in swords.

Beside herself, there are four other Freys of age; the master-at-arms too busy to check if she should even be there at all.

Carlin gets callouses on her palms and scrapes on her knuckles and couldn’t be happier.

Roslin doesn’t approve, but she doesn’t tell anyone else about it either–that early memory is one they share, after all–and she is distraction enough that no one thinks to borrow trouble in the form of Carlin.

As years pass, House Frey seems to forget that the lord’s sixth wife had two daughters, not just one.

… until it’s time for the newest generation of Freys to become squires.

This most recent blow to the face leaves her speechless not from pain–for she is a knight in training–but from shock.

Carlin thinks this is the first time Walder Frey has ever touched her, much less spoken to her.

Just like last time, she sees Roslin’s eyes fill with tears and Carlin learns a new lesson.

Think fast, talk faster, and maybe she can turn shame into glory.

If she were a terrible warrior, then that would be one thing, but she has been trained well and is skilled besides–this can still be salvaged.

If she fails, then that would only prove Lord Frey right, but if she succeeds…

Women warriors aren’t common in Westeros, but Carlin isn’t the first: there are the Sand Snakes of Dorne, the Maiden Knight of Tarth, and the Lady Bears of the North.

Surely one of them will be honored at the idea of a noble born squire?

Roslin helps her write the letters and, for the last time, acts as distraction so Carlin can seal and send them off.

Ideally the Mormonts, Carlin thinks to herself at night, listening to the soft breaths of her sleeping sister.

Brienne’s storyline intwines with the Baratheons and the Lannisters too closely for comfort.

And though the Sand Sisters would be good for her personally–the name Frey would not be a death sentence in Dorne regardless of the path their lord father chooses–Roslin deserves happiness; it wasn’t fair that she should be used as bait in a trap.

The whole of House Frey could burn to the ground and Carlin would be fine with that so long as Roslin were safe and happy.

Carlin presses a hand to her throat, remembering the fates of those brothers, cousins, nephews, whose only crime was to be named Frey.

Nevertheless, Carlin goes North: she doesn’t expect to be spared if it comes to that, she hopes to derail that future entirely.

~

A/N: I didn’t want to write about whether or not Carlin succeeds because… that’s not the point of this series…

Post Word Count: 607, Running Word Count: 7911

Dreaming of S(oulmates), (2016-11-21)

one: red string of fate (ABTSF-15.2)

It’s a good thing soulmates are the only one who can see their shared string, Shikako thinks, staring blankly at the ethereal red thread tied around her pinky.

Otherwise, it’d be such a point of weakness for any shinobi.

“Soulmate,” says Gaara, voice raspy but still perfectly audible–of course, she sighs internally, ignoring the gasps around her, it only works if the soulmates keep quiet about it.

two: inkblot skin

Shikamaru is the first to see it–actually, for nearly a decade, he is the only one to see it–the dark ink on his sister’s face where before there was empty skin.

They are young, but not so young as to be naive.

From then on, both Nara twins wear headbands on their brows: one out of solidarity, one to hide love.

three: shared dreams

Perhaps they did, when they were children, but childhood dreams are easily forgotten after time and tragedy.

Gaara doesn’t sleep, and so he doesn’t dream.

For many years Shikako just assumes she doesn’t have a soulmate.

four: death clock

She chose the path of the ninja because there was no other choice–Shikako could never abandon her friends, her family, to the fate that loomed ahead.

(And also, maybe, because the timer on her arm only had a decade left; her soulmate had to be a ninja, too.)

Gaara’s timer had always been at zero.

five: shared injuries

Gaara knows pain: it’s followed him ever since he could remember, even if it’s never been firsthand. Rebellious chakra system to small scrapes and bruises, his soulmate’s medical history blossoming onto his own flesh.

Sasuke’s chidori breaks through the shell of sand; in the audience Shikako starts bleeding.

six: colorful eyes

Shikako can’t see shades of green.

Ino thinks she’s lucky, having a soulmate with such a beautiful eye color, but it’s pretty inconvenient considering they live in a forest.

… Almost as inconvenient as living in a desert and not being able to see shades of brown.

seven: first words

“It was just a misunderstanding. It was nice to meet you,” says the soul mark around Gaara’s bicep in hasty, slanted letters.

What mild words from the soulmate of a monster.

eight: polygraph skin

“I’m sorry for any trouble he caused,” an obvious lie, given Gaara’s complete lack of interest.

Elsewhere and elsewhen, Shikako would let it go, give a platitude of her own, and get the hell out of range–but here and now, his words are accompanied by a stinging sensation and the appearance of neat, blocky writing on the back of her hand.

“No you’re not,” she blurts out, less confrontational and more absolutely baffled.

nine: countdown to contact

The Nara twins grow up knowing that they’ll meet their soulmates within days of each other, probably when they’re genin.

The Sand Siblings grow up knowing the same.

Too bad they’re on opposite sides of an invasion when it happens.

~

A/N: Fill for this anon: three sentence fic with different Shikaara soulmate AUs! 

In case I wasn’t concise enough (though I hope I was) the AUs are the following:

1. soulmates are connected by an intangible red thread around their pinkies (visible only to the parties involved in this version)

2. whatever is written on one soulmate’s skin appears on the other

3. pretty self explanatory… presumably soulmates dream at the same time or dreamscape is outside of time–I liked this one better than the one dreams what the other sees while awake and vice versa

4. a timer on your body counting down to when your soulmate is going to die–luckily for Shikako, Gaara gets better. Luckily(?) for Gaara, Shikako’s a reincarnation and so technically already dead(?)… regardless, she gets better, too.

5. also self explanatory, I think… I feel like the Gaara of this world would be vastly different having grown up with Shikako’s pain, but I don’t know how

6. a person can’t see shades of whatever their soulmate’s eye color is until they actually meet. I’m a little unsure how this works with people who are soulmates with a Hyuuga, though…

7-9. Chapter Sixteen of DoS was very helpful. 7 is the “traditional” first words soulmates say to each other is their soul mark. 8 is less traditional, in that whenever soulmates lie to each other it shows up on their skin. 9 is also also self explanatory.

Post Word Count: 415, Running Word Count: 7304