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.

rsrw:

jacksgreysays:

rsrw:

jacksgreysays:

rsrw:

jacksgreysays:

donapoetrypassion:

jacksgreysays:

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 sight 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 theirs 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!

Awesome! A brainstorm AND a ficlet! I love this so much- I totally hadn’t thought about the ROOT thing. …Man, the Fae could be PISSED about that. And …not concerned, but irritated at the instruction of the Juno. Yes, irritated. (Your suggestion also now has me wondering about the au of this au, where Shikamaru finds out HE’s the changeling. Oooh.) But I love the Shikako-Sai connection you did there. And for some reason I am thinking about the logistics of hiding this from the hospital. (Either the Nara blatantly take over that wing of the hospital, or Tsunade is left affronted that the Nara never go to the hospital for childbirth. Which makes one wonder if other clans try to take over one aspect of village administration/services in order to conceal/uphold their dealings with the Fae.)

…Wow, imagine if BOTH twins were Fae. Brings the ‘and one looks like the mother and one looks like the father’ to a whole new creepy level, right? Some Fae thing they do so that the babies blend in- maybe it involves a blood sacrifice from the parents. Or- no. Just the little bundle at the root of the tree. That’s enough to work with.

I think it makes more sense if Shikako alone is the Fae, though. Does she even know it? Maybe not. She tries very hard to be ‘normal,’ for a chageling.

…I kind of wonder if Orochimaru was a changeling. And maybe that was what got Danzo interested in them.

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Shikamaru as the changeling would be absolutely fascinating. Because Shikako is the “weird” one as compared to Shikamaru who is very traditionally Nara. But is he really? Or, rather, what is it to be Nara as compared to Fae?

After all, they do have the favor of the Fae, have had previously received changeling children as a gift. Perhaps it’s because they’re so similar?

There’s a post going around about how changeling children from the past were most likely autistic children which society at the time couldn’t put into any other words but having been swapped with a Fae child. And, well, the Nara are very… hm… the new Maori word for autism is “his or her own time and space” which I feel does describe the Nara clan as a whole.

They let their members grow as they feel, don’t push them to think one way or another, they’re very supportive when a member finds their calling, used to members switching between hyper-focus and scattered distraction. Cloud watching could very well be a way to reduce stimuli…

I think there are probably enough Nara who work in the hospital that whenever one is pregnant and giving birth, it’s not at all difficult to swap Nara nurses and medics into the delivery. Especially when it’s the clan head’s wife giving birth? It wouldn’t at all be suspicious for any Nara hospital staff to involve themselves in such a clan critical pregnancy, so then it wouldn’t be necessary to take over the maternity ward (just borrow it, for a little while).

Ooh, Orochimaru as a changeling… that makes a lot of sense, actually! Unfortunately for him, the Nara clan head at the time of his childhood hadn’t been as observant, or perhaps thought the stillborns for changelings swap was a myth, or was very clannish and didn’t consider it his responsibility to help. And it would, as you said, give an interesting spin on his relationship with Danzo and also his defection from Akatsuki. He’s definitely a Dark Fae, or a Fallen Fae, or whatever the terminology might be for a changeling that has broken so many Rules that the Fae no longer claim him as their own. Although maybe he redeems himself in their eyes (which explains better why he’s still walking around doing whatever he wants in Boruto)?

I’m a little hesitant about Gaara being a changeling as well as a jinchuuriki… maybe he’s of Fae descent? Like, Karura could’ve been a changeling… which explains why she died in childbirth (the bijuu chakra sealed into the as of yet unborn Gaara seeped into her own system, weakening her) but also how she was able to imbue her protection/love into his sand even after her death. And how cool would it be if that’s where Temari’s EXTREME WIND BADASSERY came from?

Shikaku is a very tolerant father, I feel like. Or, rather, accepting the fact that his clan has a weird trading system with the Fae means he’s just a very tolerant, not-easily-shaken man.

Adding a note or two: Fae are rather possessive. Which would explain some of Shikamaru’s actions/ thought process after the Gelel arc. 

Also I don’t think Orochimaru actually broke the Rules of Fae

He may twist words and make the sky seem green but he doesn’t lie, even when he has a seal on his tongue keeping him from speaking truth. Even his experiments with the Jugo’s blood-limit (that Orochimaru benefits from but that’ could be seen him working towards what he said he would that’s fae to) he acts as his name and within his power, and he doesn’t try to mess with Fae courts (not established courts anyway) and the actions he takes are very much in the Human Realm.

He even takes in others that were in some ways abandoned or betrayed (Kimimaro being one example). Which fae are acknowledged to do

just thoughts to add

Even before the Gelel arc, Shikamaru’s concern over Shikako could read as fae-influenced possessiveness–though it is also just the whole “my sister is nearly dying on a monthly basis and then one time ACTUALLY dies” situation.

I think there’s a certain generalization that can be applied if Shikamaru is the changeling because his personality is notably VERY in line with Nara-typical personalities which means A LOT of Nara over the years have been changelings/are descended from those changelings. Whereas if Shikako is the changeling then her unusual determination for a Nara matches up with those rare enough (but memorable enough) Nara who make the “motivated Nara” quote a significantly prevalent saying.

I dunno, I’m kind of waffling back and forth on this matter. Because the idea that the Nara as a whole all have even some percentage of fae ancestry is kind of fun. But also the idea that it isn’t so common, and they’re still just Like That is also very fun. And, like, there’s a certain level of tolerance if the “second-born” non-heir is a changeling, but I feel like there might be some backlash if the heir is the changeling. 

Then again, the idea of Asuma having to deal with changeling Shikamaru is hilarious to me for some reason. Kakashi is already on a team with a bunch of weirdoes, he’s used to it. Asuma would just be staring at Shikamaru–who he has specifically been training to be team leader–in utter bewilderment as his genin follow the strangest (fae) whims. AAAAAHHHH I don’t know :/

… True, true. Orochimaru is one of those characters whose Watsonian motivations must be more complex and fascinating than the Doylist reasons behind his actions. So the idea that he’s beholden to laws that aren’t human is absolutely compelling. All of the partnerships/promises he makes then breaks does give off a very mercurial vibe, and the fact that he doesn’t seem to be majorly punished for any of them does kind of go with the idea that his sense of honor/justice is somehow beyond human reproach. And that would explain why he is walking around in Boruto if he’s “only” broken human laws and those don’t really apply to fae/changelings.

I loosely follow @blackkatmagic’s fanon that Orochimaru’s backstory is as tragic as Tsunade’s with some added deliberate manipulation from Danzo to ruin one of the potential Hokage candidates, so Orochimaru can’t be as completely evil as we see on the surface (although there’s definitely a point where his actions are nobody’s fault but his own, and he doesn’t get held accountable for those at all). I suppose if I were more ambitious I would try to do an Orochimaru centered fic about his progression to cold, but that’s a lot of nuance that I’m not sure I can do…

Why make just have one be active Fae. have one be a Nara changeling ‘just like his father’ be jounin commander, and clan leader. Have one inherit from her mother, she who throws the earth at her enemies and willing to do/ put up with so much for her family. Similar but not; so easy to confuse when small but growing so different.

————–

For Oro’s backstory: add in that Orochimaru generally doesn’t break promises either until someone else betrays him first. He was the Sannin that stayed in the village the longest actively working, didn’t go gallivanting off to teach ninja that weren’t even part of his village (which in some ways is giving village secrets/training away {traitor}), and he didn’t break and run away when his family died/students died the first time /teammates left him behind (the only reason Tsunade wasn’t a missing-nin was because the third said so {she betrayed him to, she left him in the dark and even then he still offered her a twisted safety with him}).

He only betrayed the village after the LEADERS OF THE VILLAGE attacked him for following their orders (Hiruzen gave him to Danzo, and Danzo ordered so many things For the good of the Village) He didn’t break his word, he was run out.

When he kills Hiruzen’s because JUSTICE/VENGENCE/ LOOKATME (what you made me). He even told him that he would kill him for the betrayal

Orochi said that he would help Suna invade Konoha (he did), he never said that he would let their Kage live after betraying their treaty {being forsworn in a fae’s presence is NOT a good thing to be}

You could also argue the only laws he broke weren’t ones talking about NINJA either (because he kept those, though he went semi-Samurai with his teacher making sure none could mess with his fight (edo tense counts as a weapon not as interference) 

That’s true! ¿PORQUE NO LOS DOS?

So the Nara clan does have a lot of fae blood, but Shikako is the most recent changeling so the whimsy and extreme retribution is even more obvious in her. And I quite like the idea that Yoshino’s sheer humanity gave the fae more to work with than they had before (because the exchange happens when the clan head puts the body in the hollow, if previous Nara bodies have all been distant cousins marrying each other, then there’s not much in the way of genetic diversity. But throw in someone from out-clan, and suddenly the fae on the other side of the Forest are all like, OOH Earth natured chakra. Oooooh, she’s got a temper and pretty eyes!!! Yes, we can work with this 😀 )

Yes! Orochimaru was very dutiful and obedient up until the point where that backfired on him. Like, this is part of the reason why his reaction to being passed over for Hokage actually makes sense/is vaguely sympathetic (As opposed to Danzo’s tantrum) because Orochimaru did everything rightUnfortunately for him, “right” was based on a lot of what Danzo was doing with ROOT. And, like, as you mentioned, Jiraiya was that one taught foreign orphans how to be shinobi first and he was never punished for it–is it so weird to then scale that up into a full village. Now, I’m not saying that it’s Jiraiya’s fault that Oto existed. But Orochimaru is all about doing things bigger and more dramatic so…

You know, I never considered the reason for there being an Otogakure being Jiraiya, but when it’s said it makes more sense then just naming his labs because “why not” it would also make a great “f* you” to Konoha when they realize/are told…

Also while that is a Great thought process for Shikako/Nara clan (and I would read it) I more meant something like… Shikaku was a still born heir, but his mother/aunt was able to get him to The Tree fast enough that barely any power was needed to make him breath again/for the first time barely one of the fae not enough). His son takes after him, except Shikamaru being twice born to the Shadow and given in partial exchange as a second so close to the first after so long, well… as much as he is his father’s son, he takes after the Nara-Fae lineage more than Shikaku ever would. 

And Yoshino, orphan, near abandoned, left by a mother whos line she will never know, is as much a fae as her husband; a bare trickle, enough to survive but not to live as one of them. Her daughter though? She who chokes on the air so tainted by the remnants of old battles forgotten beyond myth, she takes more after the Fae in ways she would never, will never know because that’s her legacy as Yoshino’s child. Both will move earth for their love ones; for a fae touched, such as Shikako, that means far more than any would realize.

So similar (the boy a child of a twice given line so close, given away, dead to the world. the girl dead in truth, come through the earth, of a line of earth callers, movers, born to a shadow touched line) so different (he given to shadow so he may survive, her so regularly given to death so that others may Live)

How they grow.so well and twisted.

After all why choose just one?

Okay, I definitely like the idea that Shikamaru by blood is as Nara as can be, but there was a little hitch during the birth that required him to have a fae/shadow resuscitation of sorts. Like, Sunshine Sidestories does mention that Yoshino being pregnant with twins would have issues with one or both, so it’s not being overly tragic/dramatic to say that both twins could have been stillborn. As someone who was born with water in their lungs, my first breath was particularly fraught, so perhaps something similar happened with Shikamaru?

I don’t think they’d need to get all the way out to The Tree, especially if all the medics attending the birth were Nara and knew of the myriad of possible complications. Maybe Kasuga was there? If he’s the closest to a spiritual leader as the Nara have, then that would kind of make sense.

Ah, I love Shikamaru being “twice born to the Shadow.” He is one of two–half of a birth–but being twice born brings him to one whole.

But Shikako is definitely the one who was exchanged in The Tree.

I still think that Yoshino being entirely, utterly human is what makes this particular changeling (ie Shikako) particularly exceptional. I mean the idea of Yoshino being stone and steel, iron-blooded, as opposed to the more flora and fauna and forests of the Nara is so compelling. Fae can only create changelings out of what they have–so most of the other changelings (Orochimaru and Sai, for possible examples) are nature and art, snakes and poison and ink–but because the Nara actively participate in an exchange that gives the fae more to work with.

And I like the idea that Yoshino’s unquestionable humanity is something entirely new to them. Maybe I’m leaning too much on this idea of the iron in human blood being the only natural defense against fae. Like, other clan bloodlines are too tinged with other concepts–Inuzuka and Aburame are of course very obviously canine and insects, the Nara are shadow and deer and trees before in that order–but civilian born, entirely human Yoshino is Iron. The Fae have never been given iron to create with.

Just like when humanity were given fire: Fae being given Iron is revolutionary.

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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.

rsrw:

jacksgreysays:

rsrw:

jacksgreysays:

donapoetrypassion:

jacksgreysays:

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 sight 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 theirs 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!

Awesome! A brainstorm AND a ficlet! I love this so much- I totally hadn’t thought about the ROOT thing. …Man, the Fae could be PISSED about that. And …not concerned, but irritated at the instruction of the Juno. Yes, irritated. (Your suggestion also now has me wondering about the au of this au, where Shikamaru finds out HE’s the changeling. Oooh.) But I love the Shikako-Sai connection you did there. And for some reason I am thinking about the logistics of hiding this from the hospital. (Either the Nara blatantly take over that wing of the hospital, or Tsunade is left affronted that the Nara never go to the hospital for childbirth. Which makes one wonder if other clans try to take over one aspect of village administration/services in order to conceal/uphold their dealings with the Fae.)

…Wow, imagine if BOTH twins were Fae. Brings the ‘and one looks like the mother and one looks like the father’ to a whole new creepy level, right? Some Fae thing they do so that the babies blend in- maybe it involves a blood sacrifice from the parents. Or- no. Just the little bundle at the root of the tree. That’s enough to work with.

I think it makes more sense if Shikako alone is the Fae, though. Does she even know it? Maybe not. She tries very hard to be ‘normal,’ for a chageling.

…I kind of wonder if Orochimaru was a changeling. And maybe that was what got Danzo interested in them.

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Shikamaru as the changeling would be absolutely fascinating. Because Shikako is the “weird” one as compared to Shikamaru who is very traditionally Nara. But is he really? Or, rather, what is it to be Nara as compared to Fae?

After all, they do have the favor of the Fae, have had previously received changeling children as a gift. Perhaps it’s because they’re so similar?

There’s a post going around about how changeling children from the past were most likely autistic children which society at the time couldn’t put into any other words but having been swapped with a Fae child. And, well, the Nara are very… hm… the new Maori word for autism is “his or her own time and space” which I feel does describe the Nara clan as a whole.

They let their members grow as they feel, don’t push them to think one way or another, they’re very supportive when a member finds their calling, used to members switching between hyper-focus and scattered distraction. Cloud watching could very well be a way to reduce stimuli…

I think there are probably enough Nara who work in the hospital that whenever one is pregnant and giving birth, it’s not at all difficult to swap Nara nurses and medics into the delivery. Especially when it’s the clan head’s wife giving birth? It wouldn’t at all be suspicious for any Nara hospital staff to involve themselves in such a clan critical pregnancy, so then it wouldn’t be necessary to take over the maternity ward (just borrow it, for a little while).

Ooh, Orochimaru as a changeling… that makes a lot of sense, actually! Unfortunately for him, the Nara clan head at the time of his childhood hadn’t been as observant, or perhaps thought the stillborns for changelings swap was a myth, or was very clannish and didn’t consider it his responsibility to help. And it would, as you said, give an interesting spin on his relationship with Danzo and also his defection from Akatsuki. He’s definitely a Dark Fae, or a Fallen Fae, or whatever the terminology might be for a changeling that has broken so many Rules that the Fae no longer claim him as their own. Although maybe he redeems himself in their eyes (which explains better why he’s still walking around doing whatever he wants in Boruto)?

I’m a little hesitant about Gaara being a changeling as well as a jinchuuriki… maybe he’s of Fae descent? Like, Karura could’ve been a changeling… which explains why she died in childbirth (the bijuu chakra sealed into the as of yet unborn Gaara seeped into her own system, weakening her) but also how she was able to imbue her protection/love into his sand even after her death. And how cool would it be if that’s where Temari’s EXTREME WIND BADASSERY came from?

Shikaku is a very tolerant father, I feel like. Or, rather, accepting the fact that his clan has a weird trading system with the Fae means he’s just a very tolerant, not-easily-shaken man.

Adding a note or two: Fae are rather possessive. Which would explain some of Shikamaru’s actions/ thought process after the Gelel arc. 

Also I don’t think Orochimaru actually broke the Rules of Fae

He may twist words and make the sky seem green but he doesn’t lie, even when he has a seal on his tongue keeping him from speaking truth. Even his experiments with the Jugo’s blood-limit (that Orochimaru benefits from but that’ could be seen him working towards what he said he would that’s fae to) he acts as his name and within his power, and he doesn’t try to mess with Fae courts (not established courts anyway) and the actions he takes are very much in the Human Realm.

He even takes in others that were in some ways abandoned or betrayed (Kimimaro being one example). Which fae are acknowledged to do

just thoughts to add

Even before the Gelel arc, Shikamaru’s concern over Shikako could read as fae-influenced possessiveness–though it is also just the whole “my sister is nearly dying on a monthly basis and then one time ACTUALLY dies” situation.

I think there’s a certain generalization that can be applied if Shikamaru is the changeling because his personality is notably VERY in line with Nara-typical personalities which means A LOT of Nara over the years have been changelings/are descended from those changelings. Whereas if Shikako is the changeling then her unusual determination for a Nara matches up with those rare enough (but memorable enough) Nara who make the “motivated Nara” quote a significantly prevalent saying.

I dunno, I’m kind of waffling back and forth on this matter. Because the idea that the Nara as a whole all have even some percentage of fae ancestry is kind of fun. But also the idea that it isn’t so common, and they’re still just Like That is also very fun. And, like, there’s a certain level of tolerance if the “second-born” non-heir is a changeling, but I feel like there might be some backlash if the heir is the changeling. 

Then again, the idea of Asuma having to deal with changeling Shikamaru is hilarious to me for some reason. Kakashi is already on a team with a bunch of weirdoes, he’s used to it. Asuma would just be staring at Shikamaru–who he has specifically been training to be team leader–in utter bewilderment as his genin follow the strangest (fae) whims. AAAAAHHHH I don’t know :/

… True, true. Orochimaru is one of those characters whose Watsonian motivations must be more complex and fascinating than the Doylist reasons behind his actions. So the idea that he’s beholden to laws that aren’t human is absolutely compelling. All of the partnerships/promises he makes then breaks does give off a very mercurial vibe, and the fact that he doesn’t seem to be majorly punished for any of them does kind of go with the idea that his sense of honor/justice is somehow beyond human reproach. And that would explain why he is walking around in Boruto if he’s “only” broken human laws and those don’t really apply to fae/changelings.

I loosely follow @blackkatmagic’s fanon that Orochimaru’s backstory is as tragic as Tsunade’s with some added deliberate manipulation from Danzo to ruin one of the potential Hokage candidates, so Orochimaru can’t be as completely evil as we see on the surface (although there’s definitely a point where his actions are nobody’s fault but his own, and he doesn’t get held accountable for those at all). I suppose if I were more ambitious I would try to do an Orochimaru centered fic about his progression to cold, but that’s a lot of nuance that I’m not sure I can do…

Why make just have one be active Fae. have one be a Nara changeling ‘just like his father’ be jounin commander, and clan leader. Have one inherit from her mother, she who throws the earth at her enemies and willing to do/ put up with so much for her family. Similar but not; so easy to confuse when small but growing so different.

————–

For Oro’s backstory: add in that Orochimaru generally doesn’t break promises either until someone else betrays him first. He was the Sannin that stayed in the village the longest actively working, didn’t go gallivanting off to teach ninja that weren’t even part of his village (which in some ways is giving village secrets/training away {traitor}), and he didn’t break and run away when his family died/students died the first time /teammates left him behind (the only reason Tsunade wasn’t a missing-nin was because the third said so {she betrayed him to, she left him in the dark and even then he still offered her a twisted safety with him}).

He only betrayed the village after the LEADERS OF THE VILLAGE attacked him for following their orders (Hiruzen gave him to Danzo, and Danzo ordered so many things For the good of the Village) He didn’t break his word, he was run out.

When he kills Hiruzen’s because JUSTICE/VENGENCE/ LOOKATME (what you made me). He even told him that he would kill him for the betrayal

Orochi said that he would help Suna invade Konoha (he did), he never said that he would let their Kage live after betraying their treaty {being forsworn in a fae’s presence is NOT a good thing to be}

You could also argue the only laws he broke weren’t ones talking about NINJA either (because he kept those, though he went semi-Samurai with his teacher making sure none could mess with his fight (edo tense counts as a weapon not as interference) 

That’s true! ¿PORQUE NO LOS DOS?

So the Nara clan does have a lot of fae blood, but Shikako is the most recent changeling so the whimsy and extreme retribution is even more obvious in her. And I quite like the idea that Yoshino’s sheer humanity gave the fae more to work with than they had before (because the exchange happens when the clan head puts the body in the hollow, if previous Nara bodies have all been distant cousins marrying each other, then there’s not much in the way of genetic diversity. But throw in someone from out-clan, and suddenly the fae on the other side of the Forest are all like, OOH Earth natured chakra. Oooooh, she’s got a temper and pretty eyes!!! Yes, we can work with this 😀 )

Yes! Orochimaru was very dutiful and obedient up until the point where that backfired on him. Like, this is part of the reason why his reaction to being passed over for Hokage actually makes sense/is vaguely sympathetic (As opposed to Danzo’s tantrum) because Orochimaru did everything rightUnfortunately for him, “right” was based on a lot of what Danzo was doing with ROOT. And, like, as you mentioned, Jiraiya was that one taught foreign orphans how to be shinobi first and he was never punished for it–is it so weird to then scale that up into a full village. Now, I’m not saying that it’s Jiraiya’s fault that Oto existed. But Orochimaru is all about doing things bigger and more dramatic so…

ask box event 5. things you didn’t say at all. for Stars Also Dream

Stars Also Dream, 5) things you didn’t say at all

Attachment is discouraged–no, worse than that–attachment is blasphemous.

And yet, what could the bond between master and padawan possibly be otherwise?

Still, you keep such questions to yourself. No need to cause complications for Master Bant, and you are reluctant to prove yourself anything less than the perfect student. (Pride, that’s blasphemous, too.)

The bond between you and Master Bant grow even as missions turn from tense assignments to fraught battles, the galaxy going to war. She teaches you negotiating and healing and fighting and how to tell when is the right time for each. She teaches you how to survive, she teaches you to be independent, she teaches you that sometimes the most important things are the ones left unsaid.

You never told Master Bant “thank you” because the relationship between master and padawan inherently revolves around teaching. It would be like thanking gravity for pulling you to the planet, or thanking the stars for burning bright in the void of space.

You also never told Master Bant “I love you.”

You didn’t have the words for it until long after Master Bant’s light had gone out.

The couple who find you–you and the wreckage of your emergency shuttle–stare at you with wide, kind, and concerned eyes, not a drop of fear in them.

How foolish. You could hurt them. So easily. Your lightsaber unlit but steady in your grip. You are mourning, ravaged with your grief, and you understand now how Jedi could fall to the Dark side. You are nothing more than your emotions, your loss, and these people mean nothing to you.

But they are kind and fearless–oblivious–they see only a crying child, and not the battle-hardened warrior you truly are.

But perhaps they aren’t entirely wrong, either. When the woman draws closer, labor rough hands gently wiping at your tears, you do not attack. You collapse into her embrace, body wracked with sobs, grip tightly, desperately, to the fabric of her clothes, aching to hold on.

A few days later, you erase this particular moment from their memories to keep them safe from your past–or to keep your past safe from them–but maybe, you think, in the future you will tell them the truth.

A few years later, another war of a smaller but no less horrific scale breaks out.

You are the last Kinokawa.

You have learned by now about keeping things to yourself. You know so well the poisonous coursing of regret in your heart. Words bitten back and left to fester because those who would hear them are no longer alive.

You want to tell your family. Or, rather, you don’t not want to tell them before it’s too late.

That deadline approaches, tensions rise, the familiar vanguard of war. Your family sent out to the front lines, in the thick of it, already scarred by the dangers you couldn’t shield them from. You have your youngest child to think of, but what kind of mother would you be if you didn’t do all you could to ensure the world Eerin grew up in were as safe and peaceful as could be?

Send me, send me, you do not ask, do not say.

You do not need to. You send yourself.

~

A/N: the last one isn’t really SAD canon compliant with the whole “post-Gelel Yoshino involves herself with the events of Episode IV” plot… probably it’s part of the post-Jashin!AU?

Also! In somewhat related news: I’ve maybe figured out how to get the DoS podfic onto apple podcasts/itunes? Still working on it–will keep everyone updated!

Fire Fallow Cultivation, yoshino+sasuke, 58) things you were afraid to say

Fire Fallow Cultivation, 58) things you were afraid to say

None of Yoshino’s family–darling and miraculous and beloved they may be–have wings. Herself included.

Just as well, she’s never been able to articulate what the wings mean but she does know that those with wings tend to have… dynamic existences, to put it mildly. Which is not to say that those without wings are entirely without dynamics of their own–her daughter is proof of that–but there’s something mutable, even risky about the lives of those with wings and part of her is glad that her family do not have them.

After all, just look what happened to Sasuke’s family.

It takes her a while to figure out that Sasuke has the ability to see the wings as well. It’s not as if she’s never met a fellow watcher, but they’re rare enough that it’s always a surprise to find another.

It becomes apparent during dinner, when Shikako and her team come back from their first C-rank. The way Sasuke’s eyes follow the movements of Naruto’s bright wings instead of his wild hand gestures, how he reflexively winces when once such hand gesture passes through the already broken looking pair on Kakashi’s back.

But that night, and for many dinners after that, Yoshino doesn’t get the opportunity to speak to him alone and so she remains silent on the matter.

That’s just an excuse.

Fugaku’s wings were a sober, dreary piebald, about as boring as wings on a human being could possibly be; they were small, more scarf than cape, but far more expressive than his stoic face. Yoshino remembers how they would flare out, a futile, impossible attempt to protect the vulnerable of the village.

Mikoto’s were nearly the opposite, colorful and iridescent and sharp like a hummingbird but far larger and thankfully not so nearly as fast, or else it would have been a headache to look at her. Yoshino remembers how they drooped for weeks after the Kyuubi attack, mourning many, no doubt, but her best friend especially.

Yoshino remembers Itachi’s wings, massive for such a small boy, the plumage beautiful and nearly mesmerizing. She doesn’t know what they look like now.

She doesn’t want to know.

First, Yoshino hesitates. She needs to be certain, she thinks, can’t just assume and spill the secret.

Then, she prevaricates. If Sasuke doesn’t ask about his family, then there’s no reason for her to bring it up.

In most matters, Yoshino is bold. This is not one of them.

~

A/N: I’m back! 😀 Hopefully I can get back into the swing of things

Would u ever write yoshino and sasuke interacting? Weather its canon dos or an au his ever so slow intergation into the nara fam is smth about alot

Yeeeeees. Yes I would.

I think really the only hesitation is that I’m not sure, as you mentioned, which ‘verse it should be in?

They have/would have a very interesting dynamic given that Sasuke deliberately curated his existence around his clan (or lack thereof) while Yoshino is a non-clan kunoichi married into one. It’s very different backgrounds. But they are united in their love/concern for Shikako which I imagine helps cross that bridge. And I think because of that, Yoshino helps Sasuke be himself as a person and not just the heir to a clan of madness and murder.

Which–that boy very much needs any help he can get.

That being said, here’s some small ficlets in various ‘verses because… funsies.

~

(DoS canon compliant)

Yoshino watches the boy, watches as he tries–so hesitant, so clumsy–to play along with her daughter’s whimsical mood. It is a bittersweet feeling, more bitter than sweet to be fair, that burbles up within her.

She smiles and tries to make sure there is no sadness on her face.

A part of her is ashamed. The Last Uchiha is not a person: the Last Uchiha is a symbol, an ideal, a risk in the making. The Last Uchiha certainly isn’t a child who doesn’t remember what it’s like to have family dinners. The Last Uchiha isn’t a younger brother who never learned to stand up for himself. The Last Uchiha couldn’t be this boy in her house so broken and scared but trying, trying so hard, in need of just one person to look beyond that title and see the truth.

There was no Last Uchiha, there was only Sasuke, struggling under the burden of his name.

Yoshino draws closer, places a hand on Shikako’s shoulder–a close yet not close enough proxy for the comforting hug she wants to give to her daughter’s teammate instead. Sasuke still startles at affection, though at least he no longer looks as hunted as used to in the beginning.

“Will you be staying over for dinner?” Yoshino asks, no pressure one way or the other. Still, he dithers, and so she has to add, “I bought some wonderful fresh tomatoes at the market.”

Neither her husband or any of her children have any strong feelings for tomatoes.

After another considering beat, Sasuke nods.

///

(Somewhere Down Road One)

Something about the situation still sits uneasily with Yoshino, even though she’s received assurances from everyone involved.

Fugaku and Mikoto are kinder than she had expected–than she had feared–polite nearly to the point of stiffness, but just as shocked by the proposal as she and Shikaku had been. Originally they were suspicious–perhaps they had heard about Shikako’s hypersensitivity–but soon enough they became not only accepting but excited… relieved?… at the idea.

Shikaku, she knows, only wants what is best for their daughter. He has no doubt run through all the possible outcomes and decided that if this is something Shikako wants–and it is, even after the tediousness of the discussions, something their daughter wants–then of course he will do his best to arrange this engagement.

Never mind their own rocky history with such things. Never mind that Shikako is still a child and yet devoted to this plan with a steely determination that has nothing to do with a newly blossoming crush.

Sasuke is a good boy, sweet and intelligent. He may one day be a good husband; Yoshino would understand her daughter having a crush on him. But Sasuke as a person barely seems to factor into the equation at all.

“Hello, Yoshino-san,” Sasuke greets her when she opens the door. She guides him inside and prepares some tea while he waits for Shikako. He is shy and a little nervous and halfway in love with her daughter already.

“Take care of your heart,” Yoshino says, warns, but does not ward off: she may be fond of Sasuke but Shikako is her daughter.

“Not Shikako’s?” Sasuke asks, innocently curious.

She shakes her head. No, it’s not her heart that Yoshino is worried about.

///

(Fire Fallow Cultivation)

“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” Yoshino-san says, and Sasuke glances up at her confused.

They are sitting at Shikako’s hospital bedside–a distressingly frequent settings for them–and until this moment Yoshino-san has been silent. Even during Tsunade-sama’s explanation, right before the Hokage left to deal with–in her words–literally any other patient.

“You don’t think they’re beautiful?” Yoshino-san asks, prompting Sasuke into responding lest he be considered rude.

“Think what is beautiful?”

Yoshino-san eyes him carefully and Sasuke has to remember to keep breathing: it’s far from hostile, but the assessing gaze is different than what he’s used to from Shikako. Similar to Shikamaru’s pointed analysis.

“Tsunade-sama’s wings, of course,” Yoshino-san says simply, as if she weren’t turning his world on its ear.

During his occasional research he was never able to find even a reference to the wings–for her to just casually mention them…

“You can see them, too?”

… he’s not alone.

~

Check out the Ask Box Would You Ever!

Smile At The Stars — Yoshino, Shikaku and their grandchildren

A/N1: … like a Yoshino&Shikaku!POV of Our Share of the World?

I mean, I guess I could try to come up with a plotty brainstorm of Yoshino&Shikaku with their grandchildren, but this just seems like a collection of five scenes of Y&S with their grandchildren.

Sorry this took so long, but since this isn’t really a fake fic title prompt, I just tried to fill it like a regular prompt. Enjoy!

~

Shikaku is the last to find out about his first grandchild, heading home after work to find his wife and daughter surrounded by piles of storage scrolls.

“This is archaic, Mum,” Shikako says, unsealing a scroll, glancing over the contents, then resealing them again. “Toddler clothes.”

“Oh, set those aside, dear, he’ll need them soon enough,” Yoshino instructs, going through her own set of scrolls–linens, hideous, but an heirloom of the clan head’s line–and putting them away.

“How are you supposed to find anything like this? I can make you a new set of sealing scrolls–or a custom Hammerspace!”

“These work just fine still, Shikako, it’d be a waste to get rid of them–ah! I think this is it.” From Yoshino’s scroll appears a crib, sturdy and steady and capable of withstanding a D-rank jutsu, the same one that carried all three of their children.

That seems like just yesterday, surely it’s not already time to pass it down?

“What’s going on here?”

He can’t possibly be that old already.

His wife and daughter both turn to him before glancing at each other, Yoshino’s expression clearly urging Shikako to explain.

“Well… Dad… um…”

His sons enter the hallway, Kinokawa making silly faces at the baby in Shikamaru’s arms. The red-haired baby in Shikamaru’s arms who reaches out towards Shikako upon spotting her.

He passes the baby over to his sister almost reluctantly and Kinokawa follows, adoringly.

“This is Kareru Uzumaki, he’s my son.” Shikako says, steeling herself unnecessarily; both of Shikaku’s sons take after him.

///

Shikako’s pregnancy is a frustrating, frightening time for all within her vicinity–nothing inspires crankiness and bizarre seals like consecutive nights of sleeplessness. Yoshino remembers being much the same during her own time with the twins, so she is patient.

Still, there comes a point when a mother is done indulging…

… which just so happens to be the same point as when said mother finds her pregnant daughter on the roof of the house in the middle of the night armed with buckets of paint and a brush.

It takes promises of hot cocoa and secrecy to coax her down, safely bundled in a blanket on the sofa, but Yoshino feels much better now that she’s on the ground.

“I’m so tired,” Shikako says, voice cracking with desperation, and so Yoshino tops up her mug.

“You can rest here, sweetheart, you’re safe.” She remembers the paranoia of her daughter’s earlier teen years, perhaps her hormones have kicked it into overdrive.

But Shikako just shakes her head. “I can’t, I can’t,” she repeats, “She needs me, she needs my chakra, I can’t go to sleep. She needs me.”

Yoshino feels a chill go down her spine.

“How does everyone else do this? I’m so tired.”

Pregnancy is supposed to be difficult, yes, but not like that. Not so consciously, actively, impossibly involved.

No more indulging, no more patience.

It takes more than hot cocoa to get Shikako to go to the hospital, but Yoshino knows best.

///

They do not often see their grandchildren from Sand, almost never altogether–that one trip to Wind Country aside, of course–and so it’s a pleasure to have the house full again.

Shikaku enjoys having extra sets of hand to feed the deer–especially ones that still find novelty in the chore, awed at the shy creatures and their forested homes–and Yoshino enjoys having victims to run through her morning stretches.

It’s unfortunate for them, of course, as they are not as flexible as their Konoha siblings and cousin, but they complain far less. Or perhaps are far quieter about it.

Shinki, at least, seems to take it as an opportunity to improve himself–never mind that his almost literal iron spine makes it more difficult–but Araya and Yodo spend more time trying to push each other over while Yoshino looks away.

Not that she isn’t aware of their little competition, but why not let them have their fun?

Shikaku is the one who rescues them and gives them a tour of the village, no better guide than the retired former Jounin Commander after all, before bringing them back to the Nara Clan compound where both their parents await them.

Which is still an odd thought–if anyone had told them that the Kazekage would one day be father to three of their grandchildren, well, the future is an interesting place, indeed.

~

A/N2: … so, um, it’s been a while everyone. Sorry about how long it took. Holidays then being ill and then three days of overtime which caused me to relapse… I’m not fully satisfied with this–much fonder of the original Shikadai’s POV, but hopefully it’s still nice.

Also, since December is approaching and I’ve got a few more prompts in the ask box, instead of sticking with the Ask Box Fake Fic Titles I might as well segue into the Ask Box Advent Calendar so send in those prompts! 😀

“No Shadows (Without something to cast them)” … I swear I had a pithier title when I thought the concept up (it’s spiraling from the musing on eeveelutions, but you don’t need to keep it to that universe). The idea that … you know, shadows don’t exist unless something else does? I swear I had a, like, three-word title for it right up until I started typing it out.

No worries, anon, I get you. Like, yes, shadows require light, but JUST light alone won’t lead to a shadow. There needs to be an object for the light to be blocked by…

Unfortunately… I’m not sure what else you’re looking for with this prompt? Obviously it’s a Nara focused story, but not necessarily in the Arm in Arm ‘verse?

… this title very much reminds me of “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln.

Or, rather, the DoS Switch variant of it “Family is like a tree and life is like a shadow.”

So along with your title suggestion, that would mean no family, no shadows?

Which would be a story about… how a lone Nara dies, but the pack survives kind of vibe? Or maybe extended further out–the Nara clan alone would die without the Akimichi and Yamanaka as allies? Or EVEN further out in which the Nara are in every department of Konoha’s administration contributing to the village as a whole because the strength of the village means the strength of the clan?

… I think that’s too far out.

Maybe a nice “behind the scenes” Nara members, supporting the main family as best they can (even when they cause irritation headaches that Kofuku-oba would have sworn she stopped having after Shikaku settled down).

But would anything ever be as sweet and heartening as Silver Queen’s own Sunshine Sidestory Chapter 21?

Eh, the clan is big enough, I can do other members and their tales. Tails? Heeeeeey deer herders. Or how the Nara clan changed over time?

Like, I don’t know if this is fanon or my own headcanon, but I claim that the ANY alliance was originally the Akimichi as landowners/nobles and the Nara and Yamanaka as their servants which then became allies then friends. So that journey of clan politics?

I’m floundering, anon, sorry.