Nara Shikako/Uzumaki Naruto – Shikako still doesn’t know the meaning of moderation (nevermind she is about to give birth at any moment) and Naruto is trying to convince her Boruto is a great name, is not and is not happening thinks an unamused Shikako.

Um… I’m going to respectfully decline this one anon. Mostly because this seems like you have a very specific ficlet in mind, and if so I think it would be better for you to bring it into the world yourself. But also because I’m still trying to belatedly fill all of my ask box things you said prompts left in my ask box. And also, also, this doesn’t quite match up with my own personal headcanons for what a Shikako and Naruto family would be like.

[Also times three: Boruto canonically exists as a Naruto and Hinata child so… unless you’re saying that any first child of Naruto would be named Boruto regardless of who the mother may be, I think that might be a little confusing. It’s why I named Sakako separately from Sarada (and also so Sarada could still exist)]

But in all fairness, I could go a little bit into said headcanon for what a Shikako and Naruto family would be like since my wave of next gen fic didn’t really touch on it. I mean, there’s Kareru of course, who I still think would be the Konoha Twelve’s first kid (mostly because the idea of Team Seven accidentally acquiring a baby seems too improbable not to be true) but that wasn’t really specifically Shikako/Naruto.

I think, like Shikako/Gaara, Shikako/Naruto would primarily adopt unlike Shikako/Sasuke in which Sasuke specifically wants to revive the Uchiha clan and thus have biological kids (but that’s what the Walking Around ‘verse is for). 

But my personal headcanon for Shikako/Naruto future fic predicates on the fact that Naruto realizes that becoming Hokage isn’t something that he wants anymore. Like. He wanted to become Hokage so that the village would love him. But the village already loves him, so he doesn’t need to be Hokage anymore. Then that way, Shikako and Naruto travel around the world being the badass power couple that Tsunade and Jiraiya could have been had their collective and individual tragedies/issues not driven them apart.

And then Shikako and Naruto just stumble on a lot of orphan kids with crazy powers/abilities that ostracized them from their small towns and accidentally become a traveling ninja version of Xavier’s Home For The Gifted. So I guess in a way they do what Orochimaru should have done instead of being a creepy and evil scientist. Rectifying the injustices Orochimaru and Danzo have done to orphan kids around the world…

Maybe at some point they do have biological children who absolutely love their bizarre family, but that’s not really the point. (Although now that I’m thinking of it, I kind of wonder what their names would be. I don’t think I would have them be named Boruto to prevent confusing canonically Naruto/Hinata’s son, but there’s nothing quite as simple and obvious as Sakako was for a Shikako/Sasuke daughter.)

The problem is, I’m not sure whether or not Boruto (and by extension, Himawari) would exist in this world. Like… Sarada still exists in the Walking Around ‘verse, because she’s still the genetic child of Sakura and Sasuke even if it’s through a repopulation program and not a traditional marriage+procreation. But for Boruto (and by extension, Himawari) to exist, Naruto and Hinata would have to get together at least once. Which, I mean, Naruto could very well be poly (and Shikako isn’t possessive of those she loves given my entire next gen stuff could arguably be in the same ‘verse) but I don’t know how Hinata (and by extension, the Hyuuga clan) would look upon that.

Hm… sorry anon. I just really like the idea of Shikako and Naruto traveling around and every so often they go back to Konoha with like… fifteen kids in tow all of whom have amazing and bizarre abilities.

34 or 35(?) for waking up starstruck verse, tbh i’m not really experienced in understanding softer world prompts and the last one with narukako hurts so badly so i was hoping that either of those two would be fluff-ish

When you’re around I don’t know how to hide my feelings.
I count in binary in my head. zero one one zero one one
and you count clouds
(while you count clouds)

He learns a lot on his travels with Ero-sennin–cool ninjutsu and how to fight better, yeah, but lots of other things, too: like how to gamble and how to drink and how to figure out which brothels have valuable intel and which ones don’t.

Not that he went inside any of them! But the ladies who work there always appreciate it when he brings coffee and snacks, and he never minds acting as security and kicking out asshole perverts.

He learns about different people, about their ways of life and their personal stories. He learns about different cultures and their values. He learns about the things he didn’t pay attention to at the Academy and things they never mentioned at all.

He learns about himself. About being a jincuuriki, about his parents, about all the things that were denied him in Konoha–about legacies and secrets. But he also learns about himself.

As in, what he likes and what he doesn’t, his limits and his strengths and how to go beyond both, and what distances he’ll go to protect the people he loves.

When he returns, it’s not a surprise the rush of fondness he feels–Konoha, despite its sins, is still his home–and it’s not unexpected, the excitement he gets gets from seeing all his friends again.

But most of all, when he sees her, its like realizing something he already knew, like going to a place that he’s never been to before  but was made just for him.

Naruto learns a lot on his travels, but the most important is waiting for him at home.

///

I hate trying to put my desire into words
when my body knows exactly what to say.
Come home.
(You can’t start a fire without a spark.)

She’s not just waiting.

That’s part of it, yes, but not the whole of her, not the entirety of who she is, not even the majority. She has to get stronger, has to keep things running, has to try not to get tangled in all the different threads, stuck and futilely struggling like a fly in the web.

Things don’t stop just because these three years are a giant blank. Time keeps moving on, people growing and changing (and dying), like a river flowing even without someone there to witness it.

But it’s a definitive event. A start line. A point in time that creeps ever nearer and signifies the beginning of… something. Everything. The end of the world.

Sometimes it’s something to dread–when he comes back, that’s when it all goes to shit, that’s the make or break moment. She’ll have to find out if she did enough, if she trained enough and changed enough and made everyone strong enough to survive the oncoming storm.

Other times it’s something to anticipate, eager, when things stop being a vast unknown and her knowledge becomes relevant. An almost hunger to have it over with, the suspension looming over her heavier than her guilt. Make it now, she thinks, before I ruin everyone beyond the point of saving.

But that’s not really fair, is it? Reducing him to the harbinger of some story’s plot from a long ago life–he’s a person. Her friend. Its hard to remember that when he’s so far away, out of sight out of mind. It’s as if all she can think of is the name of a character and not the sound of his laughter or the gleam of his grin, strong arms wrapping around her.

It’s hard to remember his warmth when she feels so cold.

She lives and she fights and she survives, regrets and near misses and encroaching war and the fear that maybe she’s made mistakes so beyond herself that not even he can fix it, but somewhere in all of that she waits, too.

Shikako needs him to come home.

~

A/N: … this ship is like pulling teeth, I swear.

Anyway! I hope you enjoy this, anon, even though it’s not entirely fluffy. At least its not as painful as the last one?

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.]

2. + Shikako/Naruto

At my worst, I worry you’ll realize
you deserve better.
At my best, I worry you won’t.
(I’ve never been better.)

First rule of Team Seven: no dying.

But Shikako’s already broken that rule, a repeat offender even, so really what’s to prevent her from breaking others?

Even the ones left unspoken.

The problem is, Naruto is an optimist.

No, more than that: Naruto is a believer.

A believer of his nindo, of his friends, of a kinder, better world where peace is not only possible but within reach.

Some of it is naivety–for all his tragic background, death is not something Naruto has experienced firsthand–but most of it is an impossible, unshakeable faith that there is always another way.

She knows it’s not realistic; shinobi are warriors, assassins, killers at heart.

But gods, wouldn’t it be nice?

Or maybe the problem is that he’s the hero.

Not just a hero–though she would be the first to advocate that, has witnessed the way his courage and compassion have inspired hope in those around him, has been inspired herself–but the hero.

The protagonist of a story that she once knew from a previously life. A lovable character whose adventures she enjoyed, but still someone whose world was different from her own.

Someone whose world if not depended on him, then at the very least was greatly influenced by his actions.

The only thing that makes her different from anyone else in this world is the knowledge of Naruto’s character journey as the hero.

If he strays from that path, what would that make her?

(What would that make him?)

At the root of Naruto’s personality is a single emotion, the seed from which all of his other thoughts and feelings stem.

Naruto wants to be Hokage, this much everyone knows, he shouts it from the highest point and shares it with everyone who listens.

He wants to be Hokage because the Hokage is the strongest. Strong enough to protect the village, strong enough to protect their precious people.

He needs to protect his precious people, because if they get hurt, they might leave him.

He doesn’t want to be alone.

Never again.

“What did you do.”

She’s numb, can barely understand what she’s seeing, the wreckage that is before her.

“Naruto, what… what did you… what did you do? Why would you…”

She’s in shock, repeating herself, unbelieving.

“I can’t lose you, Shikako,” Naruto says, and maybe there’s some anguish in his tone–voice rough and raw and mourning for what he’s done (what he’s become)–but he is unapologetic, “Not you.”

There’s always another way.

She used to think that was such an optimistic way of looking at things: foolishly believing that life could be improved with a little hard work and luck and faith.

No one ever said that the other way wouldn’t make things worse.

She’s always wanted to be special.

She just never considered at what cost.

~

A/N: … sigh… sorry for the delay, anon. And it’s kind of short, too? I don’t know why this ship is so difficult for me? :/

I hope you enjoy anyway? Which sounds odd considering how bleak this is, but I hope an enjoyable bleak?

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.]

Waking Up Starstruck (2016-10-12)

It doesn’t take much, just a slipped word or two. Drained and distracted and done–just… done.

If it had been something like, “This isn’t right,” maybe that could have been waved away. Right can mean unjust, wrong does not necessarily mean incorrect. “This isn’t right” doesn’t have any additional, damning, connotations.

“This isn’t how it’s supposed to be,” could be interpreted in a different way, too. An acceptable way. One that wouldn’t reveal her secret.

Instead it had been, “I don’t remember this happening,” and that, well, that’s the problem right there.

Telling people has never been an option for her. Not a viable one, anyway, dismissed immediately as soon as it flitted through her mind–

They’d hate me. It’d be a betrayal. They’d lock me up. I can’t do anything. They’d never look at me the same way.

Keep it secret, keep it safe.

–and so she shoved it in a dark corner of her mind, at the very bottom of a heap of other troubles and doubts and secrets. No taking it out to peruse, no brushing off the dust and considering, no daydreams about what if. Just cold, straightforward no.

But maybe, if she thought about it, when everything is over, when it no longer becomes relevant.

Maybe.

Telling her family seems almost blasphemous, no matter that home has already been proven less than sacred.

She knows there is a strain in their family. Knows it’s mostly because of her–her recklessness, her paranoia, her secrets–but it’s not something she inflicts purposefully.

She knows they’ll love her regardless, knows that they won’t turn from her–knows, in a way, that it would make them safer. Strategy only works when there’s information to plan on.

But it wouldn’t be the same; no longer daughter, no longer sister. A stranger living in their house.

That’s what scares her the most.

It can’t be Sasuke.

God, no, that wouldn’t work out well for anyone. It would break their trust, break their friendship, break him.

I guided you down the right path won’t matter–not when the first part invalidates the second.

I guided you. Might as well be I manipulated you, I tricked you, I controlled you.

If she told him, what would he hear? A chain of people using him for their own ends–Danzo, Itachi, Orochimaru, Obito, Madara–a chain only prevented because she got to him. Took his leash and kept it for herself.

She did it for his own good. Oh, yes, isn’t that what they all say? Make him safe, make him stronger, make him happy, make him blind to the truth.

No, it could never Sasuke.

Maybe Kakashi, if it were just them. She knows he’d never do anything to hurt her.

But she also knows that most of his life has been cultivated around the loss of Obito, and to find that Obito had been alive all along–that she had known about it her whole life–well.

He would forgive her, maybe, but he would never forget.

Some things are better left unsaid.

If. The foundation of all regret, if.

If she had done it sooner. If she had said something earlier. Acted differently, made those changes.

If.

So much of Ino’s life changed because of her. Wounded, strained, broken. If only she had–if only there was–if only–if.

If she had told Ino earlier, it might have been fine. But that door has closed, now, and she can only think: if.

If ever. If anyone. Maybe, possibly. Not now, but one day.

In the future, when everything has been resolved, no clouds or blood moons on the horizon.

It would be Naruto. Of course it would. Who else could it be?

~

A/N: A little disjointed and not exactly shipping, but honestly what I think about the matter of Shikako telling someone the truth?

Ooooohhhh! I really love this Starstruck stuff! Can you do a wander!lust team seven??? I really love the idea that after the war for a while they just want to… Be Together. Platonically. Like, Naruto’ all, I know I screamed about homage for the first half of my life but no thanks, maybe later (kakashi is so proud) And Kakashi can come to! If he isn’t too busy as Hokage. Maybe Sakura can take over for a bit.

😀

Wanderlust!team seven I can do, but just to clarify, anon: did you want wanderlust!team seven platonically or wanderlust!team seven in Waking Up Starstruck? Because Waking up Starstruck is my NaruKako series…

If you want a wanderlust!NaruKako platonic-to-romantic thing (with platonic Sasuke third wheeling it up) that’d be Waking Up Starstruck, if you want platonic!team seven nomadic badasses that would be… well, I’m not sure. Probably a Dreaming One Shot?

AWW, that Naruto snippet was so good (my heart is crying). Thank you for writing! Gave me so much feels. I’m really digging the wanderlust!Shikako headcanon for post-plot, since you get so much angst. so. much. Angst. Gahhh<3<3

I’d say sorry about the heart crying, but you seem to like it so… 😛

I’m still exploring/figuring out the NaruKako ship–it doesn’t come to me immediately, but I think it has a lot more potential than I’ve been seeing before. Post-plot with wanderlust!Shikako feels the most DoS-canon compatible, but no doubt I’ll move on to canon divergence fics soon. Hopefully not all angsty 🙂

Waking Up Starstruck, (2016-10-10)

To this day, Naruto’s birthday is not really celebrated in the village, despite all the good he’s done for Konoha and the world at large. It’s nothing against him–not anymore–but the day of his birth still coincides with one of the biggest losses in Konoha’s history, and so long as there are living to remember them, the dead deserve to be mourned.

But after the somber memorial services held by their respective clans, Naruto’s friends have a small gathering. The dead deserve to be mourned and remembered, but the living are meant to live.

“Happy Birthday!” they cheer, the small ramen stand full to bursting with the majority of the most powerful teenagers on the planet.

Naruto is near to tears of joy–Lee is already there–which Kiba ribs him for before beginning a round of Hilarious Stories of Naruto Shenanigans. (Only within the past year, Sasuke, otherwise that’s cheating!)

It’s nice, it’s fun, it’s more than Naruto’s ever had before. And it would be perfect…

… if it weren’t missing a person

Months ago, after everything had been resolved–plots of world domination unraveled, ancient grudges finally laid to rest–Naruto thought things would be better.

Well, they were better–peace and a distinct lack of zombies couldn’t possibly be worse–but he thought things would… settle.

He knew his friends have also a hard time shaking off what they’ve seen and done, though as time passed they’ve mostly been able smooth out the worst of it. He’s been coping, too; properly, even, now that he has time to process things.

Except, months ago, Shikako left.

Every so often, Nagaoka will come to Konoha bearing coded reports, personal letters, and occasionally gifts from Shikako.

Glorified messenger hawk is not a proper use for a battle deer summon in training, but the young buck is always proud to do it, and easily bribed with salt licks. The letters are pleasant, but carefully worded–succinct paragraphs of understatements–and it’s easier to have Nagaoka tell them stories of his summoner instead.

In the days leading up to his birthday, Naruto is hoping for another visit from Nagaoka. He is only a little disappointed when he doesn’t show.

Night falls, and though shinobi aren’t exactly diurnal, everyone must go home or to work eventually–Ichiraku’s is a restaurant, after all, not a bar, and while the party could just relocate and continue, Naruto is more than happy with what’s been given to him already.

The air is cool, the stars are bright, and he’s another year older.

The five year old him could never have imagined something like today–friends celebrating his birthday–but that’s because five year old him hadn’t yet joined the Academy. Hadn’t yet met a girl with braided hair who invited him and included him and kept believing him even before he really began believing in himself.

He looks up at the night sky and wonders where Shikako is, hopes she is well and happy.

He still lives in the same apartment he did growing up–crappy and somewhat rundown as it is–though over the years it’s improved in terms of comfort and security.

When he walks through the door, he knows someone is in his apartment, but the seals are banked at their lowest, friendliest setting.

There aren’t many people who have been attuned to his security seals, and most of them have already said their goodbyes for the night.

The only one left is the one who created the seals.

“Happy Birthday, Naruto,” Shikako says, and Naruto really is crying tears of joy now.

~

A/N: I wanted to do a proper birthday thing for Naruto but I also haven’t slept in over forty hours so here’s this jumbled thing that my exhausted brain slow-churned out.

I’m just imagining, like, after the last body hits the floor in the Fourth Shinobi War, Shikako just … stops, for like, a month or two. Like, for the first time in her (second) life, the world /isn’t/ on a countdown to the end. And I imagine it’s a lot like falling into the black, but sort of in reverse, as everything she pushed aside because “there’s no time” comes back because now, for the first time, there’s time. And it’s a very clear scene in my head, but Shikako’s the only one in it?

image

(Probably not the same anon, but I saw these at the same time and so…)

Ooh, that does sound fantastic. I totally get what you’re saying, sort of like a montage with a lot of flashbacks to the last body hitting the ground interspersed with her mostly just staring off into space mid-action. To an outside POV, it probably looks like she has PTSD (and, maybe, she does) but what’s really bugging her is that she’s finally free and truly safe for the first time in her new life and she doesn’t know what that means anymore.

Consider:

The last body hits the ground.

There’s a blank paper on the desk in front of her, waiting to be filled.

Her journals are bursting with ideas–seals she had to set aside for the higher priority things that would help keep her and her friends alive. Some are ways to translate technology from her old world into her current one, others are just interesting hypotheticals that came to her in kunoichi meetings or in class, and some, still, are the fanciful daydreams of a person realizing magic is, at least partially, real.

But it’s as if everything is just scribbles now. Words jotted down without the thoughts to give them context. She doesn’t know what she was trying to achieve, doesn’t know where certain trains of thought were leading. There’s a diagram–or a doodle if she’s going to be honest–that she can’t interpret at all.

She sits there, pen in hand, staring at the blank paper waiting to be filled.

The last body hits the ground, and the fighting is done.

“-kako? Shikako… Shikako!” Ino says, with just enough of the lieutenant’s edge in her voice, that Shikako jolts out of her reverie.

She blinks and her hand drops away from the bucket of dahlias, petals so bright and red. She turns to Ino, avoids meeting that inscrutable gaze, and tries to cover her mistake.

“Sorry, I must still be tired,” she says, skirting around the counter to put herself back on the customer side. She doesn’t know what she was thinking–or, well, she knows what she was thinking, she just doesn’t know why.

Ino stares at her for a moment longer, considering, before shrugging one shoulder, “Sure,” she agrees in a tone simultaneously disbelieving and nonjudgemental, “I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night–it’s wreaking havoc on my beauty sleep.”

Shikako smiles, grateful for the opt out, “As if you need beauty sleep.”

Ino smirks back, “Whoever said I needed beauty sleep? Just because I don’t need it, doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate an uninterrupted rest. A lesser woman would have bags under her eyes by now. Ew, can you imagine? I have standards to uphold,” she continues, and Shikako lets the soothing sounds of familiar chatter carry her away from whatever that was.

The last body hits the ground, and the fighting is done.

Something within Shikako stops.

The moon is full and somehow, despite everything that’s been done or threatened to be done with it, it’s still a beautiful sight.

Everything is so peaceful now. No dangers impending–overt or hidden–nothing for her to prepare for, nothing for her fear.

And yet.

Paranoia doesn’t just go away–it’s not a logical thing. She’s spent her entire life in this world hypervigilant and it worked, it was worth it, it saved her life and so many lives over and over again.

But it’s done now. The fighting, the war, the story that guided her so far. Everything is done now.

She knows what it must look like on the outside, a soldier adjusting poorly to peacetime–she wouldn’t be the first, and she won’t be the last–and maybe that’s what some of it is. But it doesn’t feel that way internally, not really.

She’s not a soldier coming home, seeing battlefields on everyday streets. She’s a prisoner finally released: she served her time, and she’s glad to be free, but she no longer knows what freedom means.

There’s a step behind her, familiar chakra, wind and sunshine and warmth and safety. She hasn’t dreamed in a long time, but she wants to so much it hurts.

The last body hits the ground, and the fighting is done.

Something within Shikako stops.

What does she do next?

edit: Now chapter one of Waking Up Starstruck on ao3 which will be the place I put all of my attempts to write NarutoxShikako. O_O Let’s see how this goes.