Walking Around (A Softer World), (2017-06-07)

on the paper, she had written “you”
and she told me “that’s a list of the people
who are standing too close.”
(I ain’t your pal.)

The strange thing about it isn’t that they’re opposites clashing–two conflicting ideologies or personalities at war–but rather that they’re so similar.

The children of famously powerful shinobi, both of them with the same potential for greatness, the new beginnings for clans that had been near to extinction. Beyond that, their keenness and desire to be stronger (even if it is outside of the Academy’s strict curriculum) ought to make them, if not friends, then friendly.

People had expected that, because their parents were legendary teammates, some tiny bit of that would trickle down.

At best they find each other mildly irritating.

(The first and only time the Academy teachers make them spar, they destroy the training hall. To this day, no one can say who won.)

///

If something seems too good to be true,

quick! put it in your mouth!
(before anything can go wrong!)

They are put on a team together.

It’s not the end of the world.

(But it sure feels like it.)

Still, if that’s the way Konoha wants to play it then fine. They can deal with it.

They only have to tolerate each other until they make chuunin and given that the next chuunin exams are hosted at home, that only means a few months at most.

But what a frustrating and bizarre few months they are.

Missions gone askew, far too many television appearances, new jutsu and kata and, briefly, a shared pet capybara.

They’re still not friends, but teammates? Well, that they can do.

(But it sure feels like it.)

///

Our love is like.

Our love is only like.
(I like you. I don’t LIKE like you)

Mitsuki is the first one to say it, eyes bright and smile sharp, the thinnest veneer of mockery on top so he can take it back if he needs to.

He does not need to.

Sakako is caught off guard but not terribly surprised–she feels the same way, too, only hadn’t thought to say it aloud. No one’s ever accused her of being particularly chatty, after all–and she returns the expression easily enough.

Boruto is stubborn, though. He flushes and sneers and storms off, shoulders hunched up around his reddening ears.

It takes another week before he admits it, grudging and gritted out between his teeth, and only because they ambush him with hugs and refuse to let him go.

It still counts.

///

I cannot help but notice we are sitting-in-a-tree.
So, you know, maybe we could think of something to do…
verb-wise.
(I want us to gerund, essentially.)

“We are frequently sitting in trees,” Mitsuki says, skeptical yet concerned glance sent Boruto’s way, “We are in a forest.”

Boruto huffs an embarrassed, exasperated sigh, turning away pointedly.

“He wants to kiss you,” Sakako calls from her spot in the tree across the clearing, because while she may be oblivious to most things, not even she is that dense.

Konohamaru-sensei chokes on a laugh, quiet, but just loud enough to give away his position.

His students pounce.

The matter of the non-kiss is set aside for now, trying to find and beat their jounin sensei more pertinent at the moment, but it’s not quite forgotten.

///

I think you are beautiful and I would like to kiss you.
I can think up some clever lines, if you’d prefer.
But I wanted to say that, first.
(None of those lines seemed to be about you or me.)

She smiles, flattered and amused. She can’t say the idea doesn’t appeal to her and she can appreciate the straightforward and sweet delivery, but for now she just reaches out and takes Mitsuki’s hand.

He intertwines their fingers together, his skin pale against her own, accepting the affection easily after the years of knowing each other.

“We will,” Sakako says, answer and promise both, “but not yet.”

Mitsuki tilts his head, curious but not plaintive, and lets her guide them towards their team’s training grounds.

“I think this is a talk for all of us,” she finally says, including Boruto–who hears the statement, glances at their hands, and internally dies a little.

(It’s okay. It’s just a misunderstanding.)

///

I know your weakness.
It’s kisses.
You are doomed.
(Don’t worry. We’re all doomed eventually.)

~
A/N: Some Walking Around ‘verse with poly!next gen!Team Seven. I don’t know if this is the actual way I want to go with this ‘verse, but I saw a lot of the unused a softer world prompts and kept thinking–this would be perfect for them.

So… for those of you who might be fond Sakako and her ‘verse, and kinda in response to this anon who wanted more feels (though looking more for the angsty sort than this fluffy nonsense, probably… I don’t know why, I just want to do fluff with them, but maybe that’ll change in the future). Please enjoy. 🙂

51. “I don’t know if your wings are real / but I’ve never seen you without them / and I follow you everywhere.” Fire Fallow Cultivation

I don’t know if your wings are real,
but I’ve never seen you without them,
and I follow you everywhere.
(you have a nice living room)

When eight year old Sasuke wakes up after his aniki… after That Man killed… After…

When Sasuke wakes up After, hollowed out and muddled and crushed under the weight of his own grief, he thinks maybe he’s just dreaming. Not about what happened–he knows the truth–but now, currently.

Either that or maybe, instead of sparing him, That Man really did kill him. Maybe he’s dead.

The medic who checks on him has wings, feathery and small and light brown like a sparrow’s. He’s never heard of a bloodline like that. He must be dreaming, then.

He is not.

It takes a while for him to figure out what is happening, mostly because there are so many possible explanations for it and, frankly, he has other more obvious matters to worry about. But on the few occasions when everything grows to be too much, or he needs to just take a break, or on those lighter days when he can pretend that this mystery is the greatest problem in his life, he can ponder it freely.

It’s not a bloodline: The medic from that first day was civilian born, and more besides, he sees other people with wings around Konoha, none of whom are related to each other whatsoever and some of whom are in different clans.

It’s not a genjutsu either, he’s already learned how to dispel them with a kai, and the hospital would never let a patient leave while they’re under one.

He wonders for a while if maybe it’s the Sharingan. Other people can’t seem to see it, not even the Hyuuga, and its not as if it’s so far a leap.

But he doesn’t remember anyone from his clan talking about wings Before, and besides… he doesn’t have the Sharingan yet.

Not everyone has wings and, while he hasn’t exactly been taking notes, there doesn’t necessarily seem to be any correlation between the person and their wings’ size or colors.

Some people match what he’d think of them:

Kakashi-sensei has small, grey wings. A little darker than his hair but just as messy, feathers ruffled and out of alignment. Frequently they look like they’re broken, except they can’t be because they’re not real.

Naruto’s are a riot of color–though not yellow like his hair–they’re always up and reaching as if, maybe this time he’ll actually be able to fly.

Some people don’t:

Sai’s wings are fluffy, a white so bright they nearly hurt to look at, and constantly moving around.

Sakura’s are sleek, plumage dark but iridescent like the surface of a bubble in the sun. They only flare out when she’s angry, but are otherwise still for the most part.

Yamato-taicho doesn’t have wings–which somehow doesn’t seem like much of a surprise–but neither does Shikako, which is one.

Sasuke doesn’t either, and he’s not sure how he feels about that.

Tsunade-sama’s wings are massive, wide enough to touch either end of the Hokage’s office at the same time, and ever so expressive. There’s a few patchy, ragged places, but her wings don’t look any less magnificent for them.

He’s never seen her in battle–not one outside the political arena, that is–but he thinks such a sight would be awe inspiring.

This is what a Hokage is, this is what a Hokage should be.

(The Sandaime visited Sasuke in the hospital, once, After, but before the wings became his norm. Now, looking back, Sasuke remembers that there were no wings behind the robe and hat.)

He may be Hawk, but Tsunade-sama is the one who looks like she could rule the skies.

(The first time he sees wings without feathers, skeletal and horrific, sharply painful things, they are jutting out of Orochimaru.

The second time they’re on the back of That Man, a terrible silhouette to an already nightmarish figure.

It doesn’t take much to figure out what that means.)

Whenever he uses his Sharingan, Sasuke can no longer see the wings.

He’s not sure how he feels about that, either.

~

A/N: Um… so… very little Tsunade in this, anon, except for the section with Sasuke’s fanboying, but I guess my brain caught more on the “wings” part of the prompt and ran away with it. Please enjoy, regardless.

Highly influenced by the BBC Sherlock fic (written in 2010, so before all the awfulness of the later seasons) called A City on the Head of a Pin by Mad_Maudlin. I tweaked it a bit so that going bad didn’t lead to bat like wings but rather just skeletons.

Because bats are cool and fuzzy and great.

I guess if you really tilt your head and squint this isn’t necessarily canon noncompliant? (And if you tilt your head the other way and clap three times you can maybe consider this as part of the Walking Around aka Sakako Uchiha ‘verse. Sakako sees dead people, Sasuke sees angels in the living.)

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.]

967 ‘When I look at you / all I can see / are the mistakes / we’re going to make. / (The future’s so bright.)’ Parents of the Walking Around-verse

When I look at you all I can see

are the mistakes we’re going to make.
(The future’s so bright.)

“She loves me!” Naruto says, a wild smile bright on his face. After a beat–maybe too long of one–he continues, “And I love her!”

Shikako tries to keep the skepticism off her face, Sasuke doesn’t even bother.

“You love everyone, idiot,” he scoffs, but its softened by a rueful tone. He of all people knows and has benefited from Naruto’s boundless affection. “Doesn’t mean you should marry them.”

Shikako presses her lips into a flat line, catching her retort before it can be said. This isn’t about her and Sasuke and her unfavorable opinion of marriage, this is about Naruto.

His smile dims and his brow furrows, but his eyes are no less wild, “What are you saying?”

“Hinata is a great person,” Shikako goes for a more delicate approach, “And we both like her, of course we do, she’s our friend…”

She pauses, trying to find the right words.

“… we want you to be happy. If being married to Hinata will make both of you happy, then… we’re happy for you.”

Naruto smiles again, small but earnest, and he wraps her up in a hug. Sasuke attempts to meet her eyes over his shoulder, but she looks away.

She already knows what he’s trying to say.

///

It’s dark when Sakura goes home, sun long set and the village night life already in full swing. She creeps into the house and knows it doesn’t really matter–not in the heart of the Yamanaka compound, where everyone including her wife is a sensor–but surely it’s the thought that counts?

Or perhaps Ino is still mad at her, because it’s Sai alone who sits at the table, a plate of dinner wrapped up for her.

So obviously caught, she murmurs, “I’m home.”

“Welcome home,” Sai responds, words and smile placid, and gestures to the plate. Once it’s heated, she sits down next to him and pushes the food around instead of eating.

Silence reigns.

“Are you mad at me too?” she asks.

He shakes his head.

“… did I hurt you?” she asks again, almost timid.

Again, he shakes his head, “It’s not my place to be mad or hurt by your decision.”

He sounds honest, and Sakura does believe him, but she still feels the need to explain herself. “I… it’s not that I don’t–you would be an amazing father, Sai. And I would love it if you were to help parent my child.

“But I. This is my project. My chance to make a mark on Konoha. And I’m not doing this out of some lingering feelings for Sasuke-kun, Ino’s just being vicious, but–”

Sai puts a hand on Sakura’s and she stops rambling, “I would be honored to treat any child of yours as my own, no matter who their father is.”

~

A/N: Uh so… two different takes on the prompt, but hopefully you enjoy it, anon? (I personally like NarutoxHinata in fanfic–in which their relationship is better fleshed out for obvious reasons (DAMN IT, KISHIMOTO)–but in canon I’m just like… oh… oh dear… ooooh this is painful. This isn’t meant to be NaruHina bashing, and I apologize if it comes off as such)

I was also considering doing a third one with Chocho’s birth and the whole “hey, we were at war with Cloud not that long ago and now one of our noble clan’s future head is half Cloud” but, uh, seeing as how I don’t know how that will go or even much about Cloud nin at all I decided not to.

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 like what this anon did]

Can I just say, as an aromantic person that I absolutely LOVE AND ADORE your Walking Around (Sharing The World) AU. Like the feels man, the feels are KILLING ME. I empathize with Shikako so much BTW; you’re great.

🙂 Thanks!

I like to picture different domestic set ups, and while there are some problems in Walking Around (Sharing The World) that has more to do with Sasuke and Gaara not liking each other more than the actual situation of multiple households and partners (being aware and tolerant/accepting of each other. This is the important part. I do not condone adultery.)

I also have a soft spot for Sakako’s POV not quite understanding that her family is atypical, but being happy and safe and loved nonetheless.

Walking Around (the Sakako Uchiha ‘verse) — now on ao3!

jacksgreysays:

jacksgreysays:

Since apparently Walking Around (Like Regular People)–or at least that particular spinoff universe–is no longer a one shot, I’ve made an ao3 series to collect the two current installments and any future installments.

Part 1 aka the actual Walking Around (Like Regular People) (+outsider!POV) will still be Chapter 13 of Dreaming One Shots, so I don’t delete the comments, but Walking Around (Sharing the World) is now a separate work and Part 2 of the series.

Check it out here!

Part 3 – Walking Around (Glancing Through Windows) is up on ao3.

Check it out here!

Part 4 – Walking Around (Diamonds and Spades)

and

Part 5 – Walking Around (On Silent Feet)

are both up on ao3

Man, I’m thinking about Sakako coming across old spirits/ghosts and going off their mission agenda to help them pass on in peace, whether it’s to help them see someone they’ve been waiting for, or help with completing a quest/mission they couldn’t do while they were alive, etc. Basically a Natsume Yuujinchou -eque thing, if you’ve ever seen it. (If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. It’s a very good series. Made me cry once or twice)

image

I love Natsume Yuujinchou! (I mostly read the manga, but the anime is very sweet too).

I do think she helps out when she can, but she doesn’t go out of her way necessarily to help ghosts move on. I am thinking that at least one mission does revolve around her helping some noble’s ghost ancestor move on, and that would be when the differences in civilian’s opinion of mediums and shinobi’s opinion gets discussed.

Shinobi are more afraid of mediums, I think, than civilians weirdly enough. For civilians its the equivalent of a priest/priestess having a greater connection to the spiritual world. For shinobi it’s a person who has access to abilities/knowledge that they cannot control.

So, yeah, ironically enough Sakako is more frightening to shinobi than to civilians.

I do also think as the Uchiha heiress she’s been helping the ghosts of the clan move on–and there’d be an emotionally charged arc in which, once the rest of the clan has moved on, Sakako has to say goodbye to Itachi-oji because he thinks its time for him to move on as well. Of course, there’s probably a bit where Sakako uses her ability on Sasuke so he can say goodbye to Itachi, conflicted as his feelings on that may be. T_T

I mean, it’s not unprecedented, anon. Shikako already has three ghost related missions on her record (even though one of them was more a Scooby-Doo-esque who is behind the mask caper) and she doesn’t even have the ability to see ghosts so…

I don’t know if she can see other spirits though… I mean, ghosts of dead humans are one thing, but I don’t know if Sakako’s abilities extend as far as Natusme’s…

And I also feel like ghosts are limited in their range of movement as opposed to spirits. Like… spirits are free to come and go wherever they please, pretty much, but I think ghosts probably have to stick to the specific place/person/item that they’re “haunting.”

I think a significant chunk of Uzushio’s fallen population probably piggy-back off of Kareru and benignly haunt him so they can see more of the world than just their ruined home… Probably Minato and Kushina switch between benignly haunting Naruto and their grandchildren (and probably enjoy conversations with the other ghosts from Uzushio that they come across).

… anyway… I don’t think the ghosts can specifically seek her out to help, but maybe whenever they notice she can see them they call out to her and ask if she can help them. Or maybe if she’s on a mission, they’ll help her so long as she helps them in return…

Or maybe, in Lucky Seven tradition, whenever her team goes to the admin building for a mission she always ends up with one that has a ghost involved. Yes, even the D-ranks. And she’s not even the one picking them? Literally one time Konohamaru-sensei just closed his eyes and pointed and that mission ended up with three different ghosts so…

Awww, I love Sakako <3 That snippet was great! I love Sakako interacting with Momma Kako. (She came home for her bdayyy aaa my lil heart))) The part with Kareru and her grandparents were awesome.

image

Thanks and you’re welcome! Just trying express my Sakako feels, as one does 😛

I’m glad you liked these, admittedly, random glimpses into her life. 😀

Walking Around (On Silent Feet), (2017-01-19)

Sakako wakes up to the soft slide of her bedroom window opening in the middle of the night. She keeps her breathing slow, steady, but reaches out with her still developing chakra sense.

No point in giving herself away, though given the lack of alarms and the unbroken defenses…

Just as a hand reaches for her, Sakako springs from her bed.

“Mum!” she cheers, hands around her neck, hugging her tight.

“Shh, shh,” Mum hisses, but she returns the embrace, easily handling her weight as if she were still a baby. After a moment, she sits on the bed, Sakako in her lap, adjusting the both of them comfortably, “Not so loud, dear heart, we wouldn’t want to wake up your dad.”

Sakako bites back the question–why not?–and luxuriates in the scent and warmth of her mum. The way she runs a hand through unbraided hair, maintains contact, close and cozy.

Dad hugs like he’s trying an unfamiliar jutsu, cautious and methodical. Mum hugs like she’s trying to speak without words.

Right now, Mum’s hug says–I missed you, your hair has gotten longer, how are you dear heart–this is a moment for just the two of them.

“I’m home,” Mum says out loud, simply, as if she had just come back from getting groceries instead of having returned a week ahead of schedule from a three month long mission.

Sakako doesn’t need to ask why for that either–the reason is obvious.

“Welcome home,” Sakako mumbles into Mum’s shoulder, feeling absurdly bashful yet pleased.

“Happy Birthday, Sakako.”

There are wolves in the woods.

A phrase meant to indicate that there are dangerous people far more suited and equipped to handle an already treacherous world.

But Sakako has grown up in the heart Fire Country’s forests. Has walked the streets of Konoha alongside creatures that both evolution and humanity has trained into tearing out throats with long, sharp teeth.

She’s not afraid of wolves or the woods, metaphorical or literal.

Bull, older and grayer, but no less formidable, gives her a fond, wet lick up the side of her face. She laughs and pets him in return, before leaving his side to go to the kunoichi club.

She only wipes off some of Bull’s drool.

After all, not every girl gets a personal escort from one of the Rokudaime’s summons.

Sakako’s on watch–the unenviable second shift–when she hears the rustling of one of her teammates.

Boruto had first watch, no need for him to already be moving, and despite his behavior Konohamari-sensei is actually a jounin and not a large man-child.

Mitsuki it is, then.

In the waxing moonlight, it’s easy to spot him, pale hair and skin illuminated. She gives a soft whistle so he can find her in the branches above their camp.

An effortless jump and he joins her, the pupils in his gold eyes nearly round with how dilated they are.

“Couldn’t sleep?” she murmurs, shifting over to make space.

“My optimal sleep time is less than yours,” he says. Because I’m genetically superior, he doesn’t add.

It took a couple of weeks for them to get him to stop saying that.

As far as she and Boruto are supposed to know, Mitsuki is a clanless orphan who is convinced he has superior genes but is nonetheless a fan of their parents and their heritage.

She’s sure Konohamaru-sensei knows the truth of his origins or, at the very least, her parents and Naruto-oji do, but she’s not going to pry.

“What are you looking at?” Mitsuki asks, after the silence has settled. She wonders what he used to do before they became a team, who he turned to after he had finished sleeping but night still reigned.

How lonely.

“The stars,” she says with a shrug, because it’s true enough. She can spot some of the constellations through the canopy of leaves overhead, the brightest and most persistent.

Mitsuki glances overhead as well, before turning to her skeptically, “We don’t need to navigate,” he says, “What’s so interesting about that?”

She almost snaps at him, instinctively affronted, before she bites it back. She loves stargazing because its something she links to her relationship with her parents–the love they share along with stories and memories in the middle of the night.

Who did Mitsuki talk to before they became a team?

Instead of snapping, she begins to speak in the familiar cadence of her mum. “There are stories,” she starts, gesturing overhead, “of the heroes and mythical creatures so great and terrible that they were painted in the night sky as constellations…”

The mornings after she sleeps at her grandparents’ house tend to follow this pattern:

At dawn she’s woken up by a brightly grinning and demanding Baa-chan, who drags both her and Kareru-nii (when he’s in village) to the backyard for morning stretches.

After several missteps of sleepy bumbling and Kareru-nii’s complaints of him being too old for this–citing his official age instead of his physical age–which Baa-chan counters easily enough, they’re joined by Jii-chan who sits on the veranda and watches them with a far too amused smile on his face.

When they’ve finished the stretches, they all go to kitchen to begin preparing breakfast. Though a few minutes of cramped quarters and the problem of too many chefs prompts Baa-chan to kick Sakako and Jii-chan outside to feed the deer.

She and Jii-chan then go out to where the herds have gathered, expectant. Sometimes they talk–about her team, the missions she goes on, the braver deer who eat straight out of her hands–but sometimes they don’t.

These mornings aren’t really silent, but they’re steady and settled. She likes these moments, too.

~

A/N: … I dunno, I had some Sakako feels? Not really a prompt fill, though I did want to make a point of including Mitsuki and Kareru since they haven’t shown up much in previous installments.

About Sakako’s title: what about the “Tengu” (the bird-like Shinto god) if she gets into Anbu? From what I read, they appear to people as ghosts/evil spirits, or “ghosts of angry, vain, or heretical priests.” Unless it’s kinda funny-sounding, haha.

jacksgreysays:

That’s a pretty neat idea, anon, though I don’t think she’d have to wait until ANBU to get that title (and having a title as an ANBU that isn’t your animal codename might be a bit counterproductive anyway?)

Because if you consider it? Sakako (maybe) doesn’t have the hawk contract, but she does have an emergency summon and combining that with the idea that she can manifest people’s angry ghosts AND that Tengu (according to wikipedia, at least) “possess people, especially women and girls, and speak through them,” to a very superstitious person and in the right series of events she would look like a Tengu.

Especially if it’s… let’s see… a business mogul or corrupt noble who is going to deforest/mine a place that’s sacred to the local village. And the local village hired Next Gen Team Seven for a really small task (maybe help clean the shrine up on the mountain, or escort the village chief who is old up the mountain so he can clean the shrine, etc. etc.) but then business mogul / corrupt mogul shows up and does *typically upper class awful things* and obviously any Team Seven wouldn’t let this happen so they kind of stay and fight and… well.

What Team Seven doesn’t have a flare for the dramatic?

Sakako uses a genjutsu on the bad guy, brings their ghosts to life (so to speak) and maybe has to summon her dad’s hawk when she gets pushed off a cliff and it’s all just. Bad guy has had a religious experience and learned the error of his ways and, hey, the local village can actually help business person/noble how to mine/harvest whatever they were trying to get in the first place in a sustainable way without razing everything to the ground (and that brings new blood back to the village which was, admittedly, beginning to age out–no one in that village was younger than forty, so there wasn’t much future for the village).

… so maybe it’s not so much her title as it is a significant note that would be put on her bingo book page (“actually possessed by a tengu? can summon tengu and ghosts?” Poor Rock nin are so damned confused.)

image

For such a mythological nickname, I figured a dramatic incident conflated to an incredible degree would work pretty well. With Shikako’s Shikabane-hime, it was after her badass fight against Gaara–one time to make a massive first impression connected to an intimidating but easy to remember moniker.

Tengu are more connected to birds of prey than stags, so her connection to hawks via Sasuke is probably more relevant than her Nara heritage. And it’s believed that the long nose is reminiscent of a beak so a bird ANBU mask would be enough, I think, and I’m not sure ANBU masks are overly detailed?

I kind of like the idea that she begins collecting fearsome nicknames early on like her mum–ANBU has a bit of a sense of anonymity that I’m not sure will transfer over well? Like, when Kakashi was ANBU he was well-known as an elite ANBU and all the enemies knew to beware of the ANBU with a wolf/hound mask, right? But I don’t think they’d go as far as to call him something else like Raikou. They’d just call him Wolf. Likewise, they’d probably just call ANBU Sakako Hawk or Falcon or whatever mask she’s assigned.

But I guess a way that could work is if… hm… if Sakako inherits Sasuke’s ANBU mask which is Hawk/Falcon, she’d be stepping into this role with a lengthy and no doubt prolific career attached. And enemies are already fearful of Hawk/Falcon but they’ve notice that Hawk/Falcon’s fighting style/height/whatever has changed slightly and this is a new Hawk/Falcon. So to differentiate the two they call the first one (Sasuke) “Garuda Hawk” and the second one (Sakako) “Tengu Hawk” and then later just drop the Hawk part.

Or, well, maybe Sasuke doesn’t so much pass down his mask as he does part-time ANBU work and their masks are very similar… so still the same reasoning just now the enemies aren’t always sure which Hawk they’re dealing with (surprise, it’s both of them this time! Badass father-daughter ANBU bonding!)