Hey guys, how's it going? It's been a while, hasn't it? Well, I seem to recall that I promised you all a sequel, and it's almost here. But before I post the sequel, I was looking over this story, and realized that I wanted to rewrite it. There are a lot of reasons I made that decision, the largest being the fact that my writing style and technique has changed a lot over the last few years, and I don't feel like this original story accurately depicts who I am as a writer today.
I am now ready to post the rewrite, being ten chapters into it already. There are definitely going to be some differences between this story and the original, but nothing too huge. The only big change I made was with Shikamaru and Ino's daughter, who was named Temira in the original story. It bothered me how much the name looked like the name Temari, and whenever I wrote the name, I would write Temari's name and have to edit it. I faced the problem of changing her name, and in the end, I settled on the name Shikamira. It keeps the ending of her original name, and adds her father's family name.
Most of the other changes I've made were done to make the story more canon, or to allow my sequels to focus on different points. My rewrite will focus on a lot of other stories besides the ones outlined in the original, and the entire story will be much longer. Two points that I am making a big deal of addressing is the foreign/international affairs that Naruto must deal with as he transitions into the title Hokage and the question of where Mino got his Rinnegan from (now that we know more about the Rinnegan from the manga).
The prologue will be posted right after this, and it will focus on events in the Mist a few months prior to the start of our story in the Leaf. These events will have a huge role to play when Naruto becomes Hokage. The first chapter, which will focus on Naruto, will be posted this Wednesday 11/14/12, and each subsequent chapter will be posted weekly on Wednesday evenings. Because you are all familiar with the story, I would also like to give you a preview of one of my favorite scenes I've written so far, from chapter 8. This is the scene in which Shikamaru confronts Temari about keeping their daughter Shiminama from him. This scene is unbetaed, so there may be mistakes that will be corrected by the time it is posted.
When Shikamaru had first seen Temari standing by the village gates, he was incredibly nervous. He had never known why the blonde decided to skip town without a word to him, and he sort of wanted to find out. On the other hand, he didn't want to get involved and dig up old feelings. He was with Ino now. They had a kid together; they were going to spend the rest of their lives together. Why complicate it by dredging up the past?
So instead, Shikamaru resolved to focus on the present and the future. He didn't speak to Temari much, because it wasn't required for the mission. In fact, he would make sure to stay away from her. He would go and help unload the caravan today, and then maybe he'd find something that needed rebuilding and help. Stay as far away from Temari as possible.
That was the plan. And while Shikamaru's plans usually panned out, it seemed that this would be one of the exceptions.
Stay calm, Shika, the brunet had to tell himself. Don't let them hear you.
"Why?" he asked, not really knowing where to begin. This was just…so surreal? Why would Temari not even tell him he had a daughter? Suddenly, he wondered how Ino would react when she found out. Something told him she wouldn't take it very well.
"You weren't ready to be a father," Temari said, taking lengths to not have to look Shikamaru in the eyes. "I don't think I was ready to be a mother either."
"You still stepped up," Shikamaru observed. "I would have too."
"When I left," Temari began, "I was just planning on giving her up to adoption. There had to be some family who would give her the life she deserved, and I wanted her to have–"
"You knew?!" Shikamaru asked, his voice growing louder and louder in anger. "You knew that you were pregnant when you left?" How could she do that to him? "You had no right to do that. You had no right to make these decisions for me!" She at least had the decency to look ashamed of herself. "Answer me: if I hadn't been assigned this mission and I never came to the Hidden Sand, would I ever know that I had another daughter out there?"
"Probably not," Temari admitted.
Shikamaru had to close his eyes to keep his anger within. He couldn't allow himself to blow up. "If Naruto heard that Sasuke had married Sakura, then you had to have learned that I married Ino," he surmised. She nodded. "And after I had settled down and proven that I was ready to be a father? You didn't decide to show up in Konoha and tell me I have a daughter?"
"You were happy!" Temari exclaimed, finally decided to defend her actions. "I wasn't going to just show up and ruin your marriage!"
"You think getting to know my daughter would ruin my life?" Shikamaru asked incredulously. "I can't believe you." There wasn't much else to say. He turned around and looked around the room. It was some sort of living room. It had some couches settled around a coffee table, and he wondered how often his daughter found herself sitting on that couch wondering who her father was. Shikamaru didn't know what changed Temari's mind about raising Shiminama, but he was at least grateful that he had the ability to discover her. If Temari did give her up for adoption…Shikamaru didn't even want to know if he'd ever meet his daughter.
"So what happens now?" Temari asked Shikamaru, and the brunet realized that Temari was deferring judgment to him. But what did happen now? Did Shikamaru start making regular commutes to Suna to see his daughter? Did Shiminama makes those visits to Konoha? Would she move there?
"Here's what happens," Shikamaru said slowly, his anger palpable in the air. It took a lot to make him angry, Temari knew. "I don't care what you've told her about who her father is. Tonight, you tell her the whole truth. That you never told me about her, and that I never knew she existed. When Team Neji and Team 4 return to the Leaf with Gaara, Shiminama will join us."
"You can't do that," Temari objected. "She has her life here! Friends, a family. She's a kunoichi in the Sand's ranks! You can't just make her move countries!"
"I will get to know my daughter," Shikamaru insisted. "She'll have more family in Konoha than she will here. There, she'll have Gaara and Naruto. She'll have Shikamira and Ino. She'll have me."
"She's not going anywhere without me," Temari told him.
"Then I guess you're coming too," Shikamaru said, his voice not allowing any exception. "I don't care what you have to do, what strings you have to pull. You will pull them."
"And if I don't?" Temari asked. Shikamaru was taken aback by her brashness, and a part of him doubted that he could convince her to follow through with his plan if she didn't want to.
"You owe me for this," Shikamaru said, his voice dangerously low. "You left me, and I was broken. I didn't know what I had done to make you get up and leave. I analyzed every word I said; I went over everything that we did together. I couldn't figure out what it was, but I knew that I had done something so enormous that you couldn't even face me. When Ino started trying to get me to go out with her, I didn't think it was a good idea. I didn't think that I would be able to give her what she needed, because I knew I wasn't able to give you what you needed." His eyes and hers connected. "Now I find out that you just left because you were too cowardly to tell me you were pregnant. You left me scarred when you left without a reason, and you prevented me from getting to know my daughter." He took a deep breath as Temari allowed what he said to sink in. "You owe me for this," he repeated.
"I never meant to do that to you, Shika," Temari said. And she was telling the truth. She knew that leaving would tear him up, but she never expected something of that magnitude. She couldn't help but feel guilty about the way she had left things, but at the same time, she refused to uproot Shiminama's life.
"I'll think about it," she allowed.
Well, that's the preview. The prologue of the story is also up on my author's page. The name of the rewrite is Life Moves On: Back to Life. Please go over there and check out the story. It will be all this story was and more! You can get more information about my writing and my stories on my blog at fanfics-sm . blogspot . com (removing spaces, of coures) and by following me on Twitter at SMFanfics. So hop on over to the rewrite and tell me what you think of the prologue.