Dropped Off Stitches (On The Loom Of Fate), (2016-05-17)

The first is a daughter born to the Uchiha in a time of warring clans. She is constantly crying and inconsolable, fussy even in Izuna’s arms–though it’s almost as if she tries to be on her best behavior for him. And on her worst for her other older brother.

No matter. She is a liability–she cannot become a future bride, much less a kunoichi if she does not live beyond infancy. The Uchiha has lost children before, ones far less unruly at that.

Left behind when her clan changes camp, Uchiha Hiromi does not live to see her third birthday.

(It’s unfortunate, but not terrible. She didn’t grow too attached this new family of hers, though she’ll mourn Izuna for showing her even a shred of kindness in this snippet of a life.

She didn’t finish Shippuden, so she wouldn’t have known what to change, anyway.)

The second, ironically, is a Senju, son of Hashirama and Mito, and an embarrassment to the family. Can you imagine? A Senju-Uzumaki child who cannot use chakra, can never become a shinobi. Luckily, he is not the first son and he’s a quick learner. Perhaps he can focus on fuinjutsu instead–a respectable calling, one that only requires the amount of chakra in living creatures.

Surprisingly, Tobirama is fond of him, for all his inadequacy as a warrior, but Tobirama was always more than just a warrior, too. Lawmaker, architect, seal master, inventor–a non-chakra legacy to be passed down from uncle to nephew.

It doesn’t hurt that Wataru is as suspicious of the Uchiha as he is.

(He dies again, from an illness that would make even a shinobi stumble and he without a chakra-enhanced immune system to fight it. He doesn’t even get to see his niece be born.

Some of his seals are life-changing, but not world-changing, and so they are not enough.)

The third is conflicted, always. Dead as an adult from relatively peaceful causes, born into a world that expects her to be a child soldier and kill other child soldiers. She thinks it will be difficult until she realizes when and where she was born. Who her brother is.

Surely Danzo will not expect an attack from his sickly sister, and wouldn’t the world be better without him? The first few attempts are so lousy that he doesn’t even register them as threats, and certainly not from her.

But as she improves, so does he, and he is a parallel path that Kanetsugu can never catch up to.

(The last thing she sees is her brother’s face as he kills her, tears dripping down his young, unlined cheeks.

Her last thought is horrifying: that perhaps she was the one that turned him into that delusional sociopath.)

Babies are born and die all the time, screaming and crying constantly. Some of them may have too intelligent gleams in their eyes, but surely that’s just a trick of the light.

The fourth might not actually be the fourth, it’s not like they know each other as such yet, but she is born in Konoha and to a clan at that. Surprisingly, it’s not her condition that prevents her from becoming a shinobi but rather her clan’s sickening practice of mutilating their children and stuffing them full of creepy crawlies.

She’s being unfair, she knows. It’s a bigoted view on what is an entirely consensual and symbiotic way of life. The Aburame don’t force children into becoming hosts and, actually, it would be a neat and logical solution to her condition.

But she just can’t shake the fear and disgust; Kamakiri wants her body–however ill-suited to this world–to be only hers.

(It hurts to breathe and it hurts to move, but she will pass through this life the same way she did her last–completely and utterly herself.

She’s in a lull of the timeline, anyway, there’s nothing that needs fixing now.)

Occasionally, the condition crops up again–in clan children and civilian children, randomly with no clear connection. One enterprising medic tries to make a study of it, but it is a project swiftly abandoned in favor of more important things.

They do not become ninja, these few individuals. The pain is too great, the need too little, but they do the best they can to improve things. Helping hands and listening ears and, sometimes, warnings disguised as advice though most of the time it’s hardly ever heeded.

It would be hypocritical for Hatake Kaju to convince his brother to leave people behind. Ichiraku Emi was never sure if she should tell a young Kushina to avoid a certain blonde. Shosho was already an old man when little baby TenTen appeared in the orphanage he ran, dead before she ever got to the Academy.

They are ripples against the current, quickly overpowered by the waves. But all of them hold out hope that maybe something can change.

Kamino Hoshi is an unmarried man with no family, one functional leg, and a small shop that sells the staples of ninja hood–kunai, soldier pills, etc.– he’s the only store that will charge Naruto market price, which is better than the others’ horrible markups, but which stings terribly in his heart. He has to make a living somehow, and eventually Naruto will learn that the best weapon in his arsenal is himself.

But that is not the most important thing right now. No, it is the twelve year old girl with brown hair instead of pink, wearing green instead of red, idly browsing through his store as she waits for her genin teammate.

A girl born with chakra hypersensitivity who went on to become a shinobi despite it. A girl who, just like him, shouldn’t exist.

A girl who can change the world.

~

A/N:… ahahaha, what the hell, no one even asked for this, but here you go. This definitely will not be continued because it’s pretty self-contained. Also, kinda horrifying and bleak especially in the beginning so…

Anyway, inspired by Silver Queen’s Reincarnation Roulette and my own throw away comment from this rant about all chakra hypersensitive people all having been reincarnated from our world.

Sorry about how shoddy it is, I’m very tired and spent all day yesterday traveling and the three days before that with my entire family so… super drained.

edit: now on ao3 as part of the Dreaming One Shots collection here