We're all just Dreaming of Sunshine
I've come to the realization that we fans of Silver Queen's "Dreaming of Sunshine" need a place to properly discuss this incredible story. So here it is, and have fun.
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ByeByeBriar

Oh, you guys make all the best stuff after I go to bed.

@Math, to your question, Naruto still went Kyuubi at the Bridge and Shikako wanted to get away for a little bit. She figured it would be okay to go to Gaara during her watch. Shikako is both better and worse at dealing with Tailed Beast chakra. Better because she doesn't freeze up anymore but worse because it hits her harder after fighting with Shukaku so much.

(FYI: Team 7 finds out about Gaara before the Chunin Exams and totally thinks he is a split personality. They are not prepared for him to be real. The revelation is glorious.)

I imagine that Shikamaru's behavior doesn't ring a lot of bells because it comes off more as 'Older sibling annoyed at Younger sibling' rather than something malicious. If you didn't know that Shikamaru is literally only mean at Gaara, then he's just acting like a normal boy who has no clue how to deal with a sister. I complete agree that Ino would totally see this and go 'you're an ass'. Hinata would look at it and see her and Neji and probably try to bridge the divide.

The Massacre, I'm an optimistic soul so I'm going to say it doesn't happen. Mostly because Shikaku and co. start working on Danzo and his power base. It starts out subtly but really ramps up when Shikako enters the Academy. Shikaku thinks he has time but this is where Shikako is most likely to be discovered and so there's a possibility that he won't have time. Danzo is caught flat footed because he has no idea where the hell this animosity came from or why the Akimichi-Nara-Yamanaka started befriend the Uchiha (hello, The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend.) The Uchiha aren't liked in Konoha but Danzo hasn't been able to give them his full attention so they aren't planning a rebellion. Also, this means a Sharingan!Free Danzo who has less options and a supportive Hokage because the Akimichi-Nara-Yamanaka are working well to bring the Uchiha back into the fold.

I'm probably going to write what happened during Yashamaru's assassination attempt but I'm torn. On the one hand, Gaara's not nearly out of control enough to justify sending assassins after him (Shikaku has worked shameless to get him stable as he can and having stable family has done wonders) but on the other hand, the Kazekage is a grade A asshole. He might just send Yashamaru after him any way. I'm not sure what wins out. I think the Sand Siblings relationship would be closer to what it was in Shippuden. Gaara's not psychotic and he wants to have what Shikako has with her brother. Kankuro and Temari are scared of him but it's less pants-shitting terror and more you-could-kill-me-without-trying. So, normal ninja fears. Mostly, they just think Gaara is weird.

Gaara totally snitched about the invasion. TOTALLY. Like, not even five minutes after that meeting, he's in Konoha spilling the beans to Shikaku.

@Catflower Queen: Gaara took one look at the test and switched out with Shikako. He didn't even try to solve anything.

Gaara's and Shikako's first actually meeting is great. I'm going to have a blast writing it and expanding on what the body-swapping thing aka "How you apply this to combat" and the other things that Gaara and Shikako can do now that they aren't a country away from each other.

12/31/2016 #2,971
StarOfTime
Question! Can Shikako apply her touch seals while in Gaara's body? I mean, it's literally 'this is what it looks like, my-will-be-done!' Right? I don't see why she couldn't because she is still Shikako, Gaara's body or no.
12/31/2016 #2,972
StarOfTime
Happy new year. It is now officially 2017 as of four minutes ago.
12/31/2016 #2,973
starsarebright
Haha, new year for some of you! Still December where I'm at!
12/31/2016 #2,974
MathIsMagic

It's still 2016 here for a while. How's 2017? Better? Don't tell me if it's not.

12/31/2016 #2,975
StarOfTime
Hi guys! So far, so good! I didn't actually sleep until around about 2 am
12/31/2016 #2,976
StarOfTime
I was waiting for my step-father to bring my sisters back from the midnight fireworks. And I know that it isn't new year yet for some of you, but it is for me! My resolution is to get the house actually clean and keep it that way, instead of in it's perpetually messy state. And I am turning 21 on thursday, January 5th. If anyone wanted to right some soulmate stuffI wouldn't mind...
12/31/2016 #2,977
StarOfTime
I meant write. And i just had a wonderful, terrible, awful idea. The Lost Tower. Soulmate Shikako and Kakashi meet there, considering the memory seal, does anyone want to write the angst that would result in Kakashi's first words to Shikako being then and technically hers to him, given the time difference, so they don't realise until Shikako actually remembers due to stuff like the shadow split, and is like 'gasping moment of realisation!', whereupon she removed ot from the others too. She would have to be caught in the first explosion of the Ryūmyaku, though, and the immense chakralanche would knock her out for a bit. Like when she dismissed her shadow clone. She could have a seal to prevent that, but I rather think the amount of chakra in a ley line would overwhelm it. On a side note, what would drawing on the Ryūmyaku power do if she was in her gele state, do you think? After all, Gelel was a dammed Dragon Vein.
12/31/2016 #2,978
MathIsMagic

Happy New Year, y'all!

I'm putting my resolution here, because it's most relevent, and peer pressure is a great motivator. My New Year's resolution is to try and write some of the stuff I owe people, probably over January, before classes start again. Things I remember I have to do (remind me if I made any other promises - this semester was rough, so I didn't get to many of the things I wanted):

1. The next chapter of Walk the Line (I lost my motivation because I lost my plot outline! D:)

2. I owe Book some another Atla/DoS cross

3. Someone prompted me "Shikako and Madara as soulmates that share dreams" on tumblr

4. Part 2 of that 'Obito's not evil because he saw Rin's death mark' fic from ages ago for Laural

5. Part 2 of 'Sorta Dark Hashirama because he had to save blank!Takako' from ages ago for me

6. Mikako's side of Childhood Scars for Laural

7. Some misc headcanons and word vomits for various verses I'm enamored with that won't leave me alone.

...Holy crap that's a lot.

12/31/2016 . Edited 12/31/2016 #2,979
Annab23
Good luck my friend, that is a lot of things to write! But I believe in you!!!!
12/31/2016 #2,980
skie89
I hope you get it all done. I know I have been waiting with bated breath forthe nexr installment of Matching Scars.
1/1/2017 #2,981
ObsidianSpade

Shikako and Madara soulmates that switch bodies for 10 minutes once every week (or month or year). So much potential as a crackfic. Like occasionally Shikako just monlogues about world domination and her parents don't realize it's switching with her soulmate at first because they think she's too young to switch, but then they do realize and it's just like "What megalomaniac is this even??" X'D

1/1/2017 . Edited 1/1/2017 #2,982
StarOfTime
Ooh! Ooh! What if Switch!Verse soulmates Shikako they switch and Shikako and Madara swapped times as well as minds, like Shikako swaps with Warring States Era Madara!
1/1/2017 #2,983
StarOfTime
Oops. It got messed up a little. It's basically they swap times as well as minds.
1/1/2017 #2,984
MathIsMagic

Oooh. Shikako-in-DoS switching with Madara-in-Warring-Clans-Era when each is the same age is interesting....

1/1/2017 #2,985
Canisse

Also way less creepy than current-Madara, so that's something.

1/1/2017 #2,986
Cats-in-blue-glasses
Oooh! I am up for anything with Madara & Shikako shenanigans!
1/1/2017 #2,987
RandomR15
Oooh if you guys go with the DOS!Kako and Clan Era!Madara switch you can make a snippet starting from Shikako's"Team World Domination" quip! That would be fun to read! XD
1/1/2017 #2,988
AmarySharr

Okay I haven't participated in almost a year, but we just got to one hundred pages! Hooray!

1/2/2017 #2,989
Taggg

Ooh, I love-love all Madara-Shikako interactions! Even better with more humour-fluff-crack than agst-creepieness :'D

1/2/2017 #2,990
ByeByeBriar

Day Eight aka actual progress is made and Gaara questions how Hashirama became Hokage.

The Sand Siblings have spent the days since the Second Exam trying to figure out how to inform Father of Orochimaru's actions. This cannot be ignored but it has to be handled delicately. They don't want to tip Father into attacking nor do they want to alert Konoha about their possible pact with the missing nin nor do they want Orochimaru to learn what their true goal is here. It does not help that the Hokage has yet to call on them. It makes even Gaara anxious. Did he mean what he said or is he stringing them along?

The Sand Siblings make a half-hearted attempt to keep up their skills in a Konoha training ground under Baki's critical eye to relieve some of the tension. Everything feels like it is on a knife edge. It is here that Shikako finds them in around sunset. Her hands are throughly bandages but she is walking fine. Oddly enough, her teammates are no where to be seen. Gaara assumes that this is a good sign. Shikako must feel comfortable enough to approach them with only the hint of back up. (Gaara knows that they are being watched even if he cannot tell by who.)

"Hello." She says a little awkwardly when they stop practicing and meet her. "How are you doing?"

"Well." Gaara answers her. "How are your hands?"

"They're alright. Medics told me that I should have full function back in a couple of weeks. Thank you," She aims the last part at Kankuro. "It would have been worse without you."

Kankuro shrugs her off. "You Leaf ninja aren't the only ones that know how to patch people up."

Temari is clearly trying to resist rolling her eyes at her brother. "We were just glad to help."

There's a beat of awkward silence as none of them know what to say next. Shikako says something thankfully.

"So, um, I wanted to invited you for dinner at my house tonight." That is excellent news.

"It would be our pleasure. Thank you." Gaara says.

"What time should we show up?" Kankuro asks.

"Well, dinner's in a hour but you can come with me. I was just about to walk home."

More time with one of the Clans of Konohagakure.

"If you don't mind, we'd like that." Gaara says.

They take time to clean up the training ground and do a circuit to make sure that they have not left anything but broken trees before following Shikako through the streets of Konohagakure. They are busy this time of day as people make their way home. Their group is given as much space as is necessary form them to move on but no more.

"My students tell me that you managed to do some impressive sealing during the Second Exam." Baki-sensei says. It's a leading statement but they have been walking in silence so it is welcomed.

"That was mostly my soul guide." Shikako brushes off. "Mito's speciality was sealing."

"Still, to do what you did is impressive." Baki-sensei repeats.

"No more impressive than taking down Lee without injuring him." Shikako insists. Gaara doesn't know Lee's standing in Leaf to know if that is a complement or not. "Have you seen much of Konoha?"

"No, there hasn't been much time." Gaara says. They also do not want to appear to be snooping around.

"That's too bad. There's a lot of neat places to see especially since it is spring time." Shikako starts to tell them about a few places they should see before they leave and Temari and Kankuro chime in with places that Shikako should look at if she ever visits Suna. Gaara would like to add but he suddenly finds himself busy with Hashirama.

"You need to get her a red pin wheel." Hashirama insists. He's even more energetic than usual. Gaara shoots him a look that asks 'why'? "They were Mito's favorite. You need to give her one."

Gaara wonders why Hashirama cares enough to want to give a gift to another soul guide when he remembers the name of Hashirama Senju's wife. He tilts his head in such a way that Hashirama knows he is asking 'are you sure it's her?'

"Absolutely! I thought at first Shikako's sealing style was just because of how much Uzumaki contributed to Konoha's style but Mito's name can't be a coincidence! It also explains how she was able to adjust the seal while it was forming. Mito was brilliant. She and Tobirama would compete against each other for the best sealing work all the time. It has to be my darling red lotus."

The look that Hashirama gets on his face is so incredibly sappy that Gaara has to look away. It doesn't help. Hashirama bounces between estacticness about Mtio being a soul guide at the same time as him to sulking over Gaara's refusal to do any of the things he wants to do to giddily trying to come up with a way to talk to his wife. Gaara wonders how on earth a man like this managed to form the first ever Hidden Village.

He also ignores him. Gaara is not going to make things more complicated by trying to woo the soul guide of Shikako for Hashirama's sake. Every ounce of willpower that Gaara has learned ignoring Shukaku is now directed at Hashirama. This is completely necessary. Hashirama gets increasing more persistent as the walk goes on. It is a good thing that he is naturally silent as no one questions why Gaara says little.

The gates of the Nara Clan are guarded but a wave from Shikako allows them entry. The compound is much more spread out than anything that Suna has. The Main Family houses is bracketed by forests and there are deer that nibble at the grass all around it. Shikamaru and what Gaara can only assume are the twin's parents are waiting for them at the door.

"Welcome." The father calls out. "I'm Shikaku and this is my wife, Yoshino. I'm sure you already met Shikamaru."

"Yes," Gaara says, still ignoring Hashirama. "Thank you for inviting us. We appreciate you allowing us to split bread with you."

Shikaku smiles a little. "There's no need to be so formal. We don't care much for ceremony here."

This seems to be a running theme with Leaf ninja.

"Sasuke and Naruto are putting dinner on the table." Yoshino mentions. "Come inside before it gets cold."

So, this is where Shikako's teammates have been. Hopefully, the Suna ninja will get a chance to continue building their friendship with them as well. There's a bit of shuffling as people find a seat but they manage it fine. The Sand Siblings sit on one side of the table with Shikako while Sasuke, Naruto, Yoshino, and Shikamaru sit across from them. Baki is on one end and Shikaku on the other. There's amibical silences as everyone passes dishes to each other and starts eating. At least there would be if Hashirama would shut up.

"Please! Just tell her I miss my little red lotus! Please!" Gaara feels a headache building. He's just lucky that Hashirama is still speaking from over his shoulder and isn't standing on the table in front of him. Hashirama goes to sulk in a corner and Gaara can now hear what the others are talking about. Naruto has gotten Kankuro into a conversation about movies that Sasuke and Shikamau have joined in. Baki and Shikaku are speaking about some battle where Suna wasn't fighting Konoha with Shikako and Temari listening interestingly. Gaara adds a few words to the latter until Hashirama starts pestering him again.

"Come on. Just one little gift." Blatant lies. Gaara knows that Hashirama never stops at one thing. "One little thing! Just tell her I miss my red home, the water of my life, and how beautiful she is and-"

"I am not saying that." Gaara finally speaks to Hashirama. There's questioning looks but most people clue in that he is speaking to his soul guide.

"Please!" How did this man ever become Hokage? Really, how?

"It is not going to happen." Gaara reaffirms.

"Problem?" Shikaku asks kindly.

"My soul guide wants me to pass on a message to Shikako's soul guide." That grabs the girl's attention. And everyone else's though most are politely attempting to eat and ignore it.

"Oh? Did they know Mito Uzumaki?"

"He was married to her."

Shikamaru spits out his drink all over Naruto who screeches in disgust. Shikako chokes on her food while Yoshino drops the bowl that she was holding out for Sasuke. Kankuro buries his face into his hands as Baki-sensei looks up to the ceiling as though to ask the stars why they chose this moment to punish him for his sins. Shikaku blinks at him. Temari smacks Shikako on the back before turning to her brother.

"You can't just drop that on a girl!" She hisses. Gaara blinks at her. He understands why it would be odd to say that Hashirama Senju is his soul guide but he doesn't understand why it particularly matters that he tells a girl this. His confusion must be obvious because Temari looks like she wants to go out into the desert and never be seen again.

"Who's your spirit guide?" Yoshino pulls herself together the quickest.

"Hashirama Senju."

"No way!" Naruto shouts. Gaara isn't sure if it is in disbelief or awe. He is still covered in water. "Really!?"

"Yes."

"Are you sure?" Shikaku asks. Gaara doesn't mind the question. At least he isn't out right dismissing the claim.

"Yes. If I had any doubts the Hokage Monument would have put them to rest."

Shikamaru is looking between Gaara and his father as though he is watching them throw kunai between each other. Shikako is staring at him with eyes so wide they threaten to engulf her face. Her head jerks upwards.

"Uh, Mito wants to tell you that it's good to know that her stupid little tree is okay." Shikako goes red at that but Hashirama is ecstatic. He keeps attempting to grab Gaara's shoulders to shake him. It is a very good thing he isn't corporeal. Gaara presumes it is only polite to answer her.

"Hashirama says he misses his," Gaara tries to pick the least embarrassing thing. "Little red lotus."

Shikako looks back up and seems to get confirmation that Gaara isn't lying.

"Thank you!" Hashirama says. Gaara goes back to ignoring him. Or tries to. The dinner is successfully derailed because Naruto can't get over the fact that Gaara has the First Hokage as a soul guide. He keeps pestering him with questions and speaking to his own soul guide and Hashirama keeps trying to get Gaara to say things to Mito which wouldn't be a problem accept Shikako is passing messages along from her soul guide and which requires Gaara to respond and the rest of the dinner is basically swapping messages and complaining about their soul guides. To which the soul guides are complaining back and it becomes very odd when a third of the conversation can't be heard by most people in the room.

The Suna ninja eventually leave. Gaara is not sure if that dinner went well or not.

"Mom just wants you to know," Temari begins. "That she loves you but you need to learn more about girls."

Gaara frowns. It never sits well with him when his mother reprimands him. How is he suppose to learn about girls away? Temari refuses to talk to him about after that one incident with the cactus and he knows no other girls his age. And even if he did, he has no time for this.

(Gaara has no idea that he might as well have firmly planted the seeds to a multi-generational alliance. Not a clue.)

~

Danzo snorts as Hiruzen tells him what Shikaku reported on the dinner between his family and the Sand ninja.

"Lies." He dismisses. "A ploy to get us to consider this farce of an invitation to an alliance."

"I'm not so sure." Hiruzen responds, talking out his pipe. "Shikaku says the boy was ernest and passed the tests."

"There are ways to gather information about the First and his wife. He merely did his research before coming here. Hashirama-sama would never guide a Sand ninja. The boy is merely using his name to his own ends."

"I think this is very in character for the First." Sometimes, Danzo forgets how old Hiruzen is. In these moments he is reminded that age has caught up to his friend. Butsuma agrees with him.

"You are senile if you think that." Danzo tells him.

"Really?" Hiruzen lights his pipe. "Are you telling me that attempting to get two nations to become friends solely because he wanted to end a feud that has been going on for generations, protect his home, and his family of spirit if not blood isn't exactly something Hashirama-sama would have done?"

There is utter silence in the room.

"...but he didn't." Danzo says eventually.

"We'll agree to disagree on that point. What we really need to consider is how to approach this alliance."

"You do remember that Sand is amassing their ninja correct? This alliance is clearly an attempt to get us to lower our guard before they attack."

"Quite possibly, but it wouldn't hurt to pretend to play along. If they are lying then we will take them by surprise and if the children speak the truth then we will gain an ally before the Fourth Shinobi War breaks out." It is good to see that Hiruzen hasn't completely lost his edge.

"The children might believe their words but the Kazekage will never ally with us."

"We will see when he comes to the Finals."

"If Sand was looking for allies they would have chosen Rock." Danzo points out, again.

"Something might have happened in the Land of Wind," Hiruzen repeats is point as well. "There might have been an incident that we don't know about but those children do. Onoki is old and has grudges against everyone. I wouldn't be surprised if he has done something to Sand in an attempt to sabotage their war preparations. You know as well as I do that Sand and Mist are dangerously weak right now. If Cloud targets one of them and they have no allies they will be crushed."

"Then let them be crushed. It will mean less enemies for us to deal with."

"It will mean that we will not have anyone to fight on our side. We still haven't recovered from the Kyuubi Attack or...the Massacre. It would be best to keep our options open."

Danzo chafes at that but the Hokage has made his decision. This time it is moderately rational. Danzo will let this play out at least until the Kazekage comes and he can show Hiruzen that he was being a fool.

1/2/2017 #2,991
Annab23
Love the it Briar!
1/2/2017 #2,992
MathIsMagic

Excellent reveal of Shikako's and Gaara's soulguides. XD Hashi and Gaara are such dorks. Truly, they were made to be a guide pair.

And Temari's too! Aw, poor thing, having her mom. It's probably mostly good, for the kids, I guess, but I bet it's suuuuper awkward for their dad.

1/2/2017 #2,993
donahermurphy

Awesome! (I love Shikamaru spitting out his drink onto Naruto. Hah. And the gloriously sappy couple Mito and Hashirama make.)

1/2/2017 #2,994
The Real Chys Lattes

"Arts and crafts time, since you don't sleep! Make her a card! We can deliver it tomorrow!"

*Gaara ignores him*

"There's a beautiful hairpin in that shop, it reminds me of one she used to wear. It would look good on Shikako, too!"

*Gaara continues to ignore him, and tries to forget what he keeps babbling about*

"Send my darling some flowers! That blonde girl, Yamanaka Ino, knows the best ones, and my darling will know Exactly what I'm trying to say- are you listening?"

*steadfastly continues to ignore him*

"Poems! I have dozens. Head over to her windo- Gaara?"

"....songs?"

"....do you want to train with her?"

"....."

"......do you want to build a scarecrow?"

*Gaara finally gives in and looks over only to be assaulted by puppy dog eyes.*

"....Don't you love me?"

*Gaara ignores the sniffles*

*and pleading eyes*

*and whines*

"Just do what he wants already you tiny little flea ridden monkey!" Shukaku has had enough of the first hokage, at this point.

*Gaara sighs*

.

(This Gaara has the patience of a monk.)

1/2/2017 #2,995
MangoPeanutSituation

LOOOOOOL That was hilarious lol! The embarrassing lovey dovey couple Soul guides and that part with Temari at the end? PERFECT! XD

1/3/2017 #2,996
PhaedraZev
You know you're annoying when even Shukaku is willing to go along with stupid lovely dovey whims (just to shut him up)
1/3/2017 #2,997
MathIsMagic

Happy Birthday, Star! I can't share a drink with you for your 21st, so here's a fic. I haven't seen that time travel movie, so I chose to go with the Madara/Shikako body switch instead, since you seemed interested in it. I hope you like it.

XxXxX

The first time Madara switches with his soulmate, it's like something out of a dream.

It's not often he hears children laughing in his day-to-day life, and certainly not so many, all at once, without any adults interceding to shush them. He can be forgiven, in his warm, comfortable, half-asleep stupor for not remembering that he went to bed last night almost chilled, on a much harder mat, with his little brother. The half-remembered declarations of a girl named 'Ino' and the grumbles of a boy named 'Shikamaru' over whether midnight pranks are acceptable 'sleepover' behavior are brushed off the next morning as the delusions of a sleeping mind. There are more important things to focus on; the compound was attacked last night, and even four-year-olds have been drafted to help with the clean up.

The first time Shikako switches with her soulmate, it's something of a waking nightmare.

Alarm bells are ringing and people are yelling and the young boy in her bed is thrust into her arms and she is sent running with a crowd of other children and elders down into a dark, damp bunker. Her mind knows the toddler isn't Shika, but her instincts scream, 'Brother!' and she goes a long with it. Nightmares don't have to make sense; you simply have to accept the logic of them, and hope for the best. So Shikako huddles in a corner, murmuring quietly to the brother-who-is-not-Shika in her arms, trying her best to drown out the sounds of battle above her without drawing attention to herself. It seems like an eternity before the sounds of fighting stop. Shikako is shuffled back out of the bunker, past bloody corpses and smoking rubble, and bundled back onto a rough mat of a bed. Emotionally exhausted, she closes her eyes and prays to wake up again. It's not soon enough that Ino is poking her awake in her own room, and Shika can hold her and chase away the last remnants of that all-too-real nightmare.

XxXxX

It continues that way for a couple years – short, infrequent switches when they're weak and tired that can easily be brushed off as sleepy dreams.

When they're seven, Shikako goes to the Academy and Madara is sent out to his first battlefield and the constant chakra usage means they begin to switch back and forth too frequently to deny it any longer. These are neither dreams nor delusions.

Shikako scours academy texts, and finally finds what she needs in the second-year book. Apparently, soulmate switching isn't meant to begin until both soulmates learn how to consciously manipulate chakra, so it's not taught until the beginning of that unit. Shikako practices those techniques with a fervor that had previously been reserved only for the chakra control techniques she needed to prove she could go to the academy at all.

After a good month, when Shikako is sure she can force a switch – and a switch back – Shikako locks herself in her room, writes a letter to her soulmate, reaches for her spirit, and tugs.

She tries to be gentle, to allow him to resist if this is a bad time, but her soulmate cedes his body to her easily.

She was lucky – it's dark and she's laying a pile of sleeping boys who seem undisturbed by their brother's sudden absence. Shikako breathes a small sigh of relief, and begins counting. Ten minutes, that's what she promised him in her letter, if nothing goes wrong and he doesn't try to come back sooner. She makes it to 497 before she feels a slight tug – and attempt to come back. She quickly lets go, sliding easily back into her own body.

The careful little note she had left, explaining herself and their situation to her soulmate now has a messy scrawl at the bottom.

Hi Shikako! I can't wait to meet you! You're my soulmate, so I can tell you and we can find each other; my name is Uchiha Madara…

Shikako sets the note back down without making it further than that, and tries very hard not to scream.

XxXxX

At first, Shikako wants to deny it – that's not how soulmates are supposed to work! – except that it fits with everything she's seen of her soulmate's life. And really, is out-of-time soulmates really any stranger than being reborn in an anime? Her soulmate's words just fit too well to be disbelieved.

Next, Shikako panics. If this is real, if she's giving Madara-freaking-Uchiha a window into the future, what does this even mean? Can she change things in the past? Can she make them better? Might she make them worse? How stable is the time stream? What if she makes it so Konoha is never founded, or so she and her friends and family are never born? How much damage might she do, and will it erase her before she can fix it?

Shikako feels the pulling that means her soulmate – that Madara – wants to switch. Then she really does shove her face into her pillow and scream.

XxXxX

Shikako had heard Uchiha could be… intense about finding their soulmates, but she hadn't truly anticipated Madara's fervor, when she starts trying to avoid him. He begins to try to switch with her almost every night. She can only put him off so much, and each time she allows the switch, she finds increasingly desperate letters to her.

I want to meet you.

I'm sorry we're not from the same clan.

I won't hurt you. I won't let you get hurt, either.

Don't be angry.

We can make this work.

Just… give me a chance.

XxXxX

[An: I'm so sorry, I'm breaking down on how to pull this out and I'm out of time. Like, the timey-wimy shenanigan would totally make Shikako angst and not want to switch with him or tell him anything, and that would drive Madara crazy with anxiety and sadness, and I could write tens of thousands of words of how they work that out, but I don't have the time or stamina to do that.

Suffice it to say, things get worked out, and one day, Shikako locks her door, writes a very careful message explaining things to Madara, including a (carefully chosen for the information it reveals) textbook to 'prove' that he's a historical figure to her. That same day, or a another day in the future, she sets up with her parents that she's heading out to explore on her own, but really switches with Madara and leaves him a map/scavenger hunt so he's forced to tour around Konoha and see how awesome it is, and how peaceful, and hey, isn't it great that 8 year olds are hanging out at the park playing instead of training or being thrown on a battlefield? Yeah. Strive for that.

So, Shikako and Madara become real friends, Shikako tries to impress upon him how awesome Konoha his and why he should work for peace, and just generally try to change anything that will avert the 4th shinobi war ahead of time without risking Konoha/her and hers friends existances too much.]

XxXxX

I passed the academy test, and my new sensei's test! I'm a genin now! And look, one of my teammates is an Uchiha. He looks so much like Izuna! He's gotta be your grandson or grandnephew or something, don't you think?

Congratulations! He does look like Izuna. It's almost eerie. I finally met Hashirama today. You didn't warn me he was such a ditz.

Hey, I didn't know! It's not like that's the kind of thing they put into history books. Lucky for you. Last night at dinner, your Aunt decided to talk about that time a fight broke out between you and some Akimichi in Otafuku Gai… with the noodles?

Don't listen to her! That story is all lies!

.....

What happened? Where have you been? It's been weeks! I could barely feel you, much less switch!

I'm sorry. I had a training accident with a clan technique. It damaged my spirit, so that probably screwed up the bond.

Are you okay?

Yeah, I'm going to be fine. Thanks. On a brighter note - I got to talk to a seal master the other day. I was embarrassingly wrong about how seals operate. My work's going much faster now, though! You should see the explosions I can make.

Explosions? Now we're talking. Tell me all about them.

.....

Um. Don't freak out about the rubble, okay? Some people tried to invade Konoha, but were repelled. I'm fine – so is my family and my team.

If your head hurts when you get back, it's from me slamming it against your desk. Repeatedly. "Don't freak out." I can't believe you.

.....

I am never taking a mission near Swamp Country ever again. I don't care how much the Uchiha earned for the job, it was NOT worth it.

No kidding! I could still smell it on you when we switched tonight. What did you do?

Don't ask questions you don't want to know the answer to.

.....

Our dads found out that Hashirama and I have been meeting. There was a confrontation. No one ended up getting hurt but… I don't know what to do now. I want Konoha to happen, but I couldn't choose Hashirama over my brother. I just couldn't!

It's okay! Don't freak out! I… I'm sorry that you've lost your friend, and that there won't be peace yet, but I'm sure it's only temporary! You'll both be clan heads eventually, right? You can make peace then.

I hope you're right…

.....

What happened? It's been a month, then I wake up in your hospital bed?

I got hurt. It's not a big deal.

A month.

Yeah, but I'm fine now. Perfectly healthy.

Shikako! Don't make me ask around the next time we switch. I'd rather find out from you.

…Have you ever heard of tsukuyomi?

That's an Mangekyou technique! An Uchiha hurt you? How dare they! Who was it? Who's line

I knew you'd overreact! Madara, you can't take out one of your innocent clan mates just because you're angry at one of their descendants!

Tell me who it was, and I'll decide.

Don't you order me around! …I'm only telling you because I don't want you wheedling it out of someone else. Promise me you won't do anything rash.

Fine.

…Uchiha Itachi. Your great grandson.

.....

You promised not to do anything stupid.

I haven't done anything stupid yet.

You're thinking about it, though.

I mean, Izuna's strong enough to carry on the clan, do I really need heirs of my own?

I can't believe you. Yes! You still need to live your life. I'm rather fond of Sasuke, too, thanks.

…Fine. I'm putting nasty notes in the clan registrar for my descendants, though.

.....

I was only on a mission for a week! How did you get so many people pissed off at you so fast?

The head of logistics insulted Shika.

That tells me nothing.

Doesn't it? Don't you remember what happened when Elder Fumiko called Izuna incompetent in front of half the clan?

…Have I ever told you how glad I am that you're my soulmate?

.....

Don't sugar coat things if you're going to leave you mission reports out where I can read them! You almost died! Again!

You went through my reports? Those are private! I let you in my head without locking up all of my things out of trust! How could you?

I had to! You're not telling me anything! You're not being careful!

Don't you tell me what to do! You're as bad as Shika right now! I'm my own person, and you don't get to tell me what to do, soulmate or no!

.....

Shikako! Don't be mad!

Shikako! Answer me!

Shikako...

I shouldn't have tried to order you around. I know that it's your choice to fight, to protect your loved ones. How could I not understand that? I just want you to remember that you're one of my precious people too, and it hurts that I can't do anything for you but worry.

I'm… I'm sorry.

.....

…Apology accepted.

XxXxX

Izuna is dying.

Madara's fool brother stepped between his father and his own foolish peril and he got hurt and they got him home but the healers can't do anything and he's dying.

At only fifteen, Madara is already the strongest shinobi in his clan, by far. Yet, there is nothing he can do as his brother bleeds out in front of him. He has never been so helpless.

He should be able to do something! He should be able to fix this! He may have failed his other brothers, but that's because he was younger, because he was weak. Because he wasn't there!

But he's stronger now, and he's here and he should be able to do something!

But he already destroyed the kunoichi who had done this, and it didn't make any difference at all. Healer Yori's still hunched over Izuna's gut, hope fading from her eyes even as she pours green chakra into Madara's last remaining little brother.

"This isn't a poison I've seen before. But… the clan's library is extensive. I'm sure I can find something in time…"

Madara brushes off her forced optimism as easily as he brushes off the comforting hand on his shoulder.

"Then go look. Quickly!" he growls, grasping desperately for something to do. That hurrying Yori along is all he can do eats at him. He knows she's doing her best, that he needs to be kind – Shikako is always saying-

Shikako.

Shikako.

Maybe- maybe he can't do anything. But he can bring his soulmate here. His soulmate, whose casual medical training is far superior to anything their clan could even dream of, who has sixty extra years of poison development at her disposal.

He knows Shikako doesn't want to mess up the time stream, but Izuna's his brother! He knows she loves him too, just like Madara has grown to care for Shikamaru and Sasuke and even Naruto.

Madara pulls ink and a brush out of the small storage seal Shikako had placed on his wrist last year, scribbles a quick message on his arm, and reaches for his soulmate.

.....

Shikako comes to, not alone, as usual when Madara summons her, but next to Izuna, who is- oh.

There's a short explanation of Izuna's state – a poisoned gut wound – and something she's never seen from Madara before. A plea.

Please.

.....

Finally, finally Madara feels the pull of Shikako trying to come home.

He's both eager, and terrified. He has faith in his soulmate, but there's still that terrible what if in the bottom of his gut, wondering if Izuna might yet be-

Breathing deeply, and seemingly stable.

There's fresh ink on Madara's arm.

Bed rest, 3 days minimum. Lots of fish, for the blood loss, and burdock if you can, in case there are still traces of the poison left. And take better care of each other next time, okay? But if you don't, don't be afraid to call me back, okay? Of course I'll do what I can.

"Madara, are you crying?" comes a weak voice from the bed.

Madara glances up and his brother's attempted mocking.

"What? Of course not. I'm just too disgusted by that terrible block to want to look at you right now. What the hell kind of rival are you supposed to be to me with bad habits like that?"

Izuna snorts at that, but lays back and closes his eyes. "Hn. Whatever you say."

"Exactly. Honestly, if you people would all just listen to me, I'd be able to stop things like this from happening."

Madara determinately does not glance at the neat message on his arm, evidence of how wrong that statement really is.

XxXxX

Shikako is only sixteen when the Fourth Great Shinobi war arrives. Kabuto resurrects the legendary Uchiha Madara and uses him to decimate the Alliance. But Shikako has studied and prepared for this moment for four years. Shikako can break the control seal, if she can get close enough to the murderous powerhouse to plant her counter.

Madara is only sixteen the last time he is able to switch with his soulmate.

1/4/2017 . Edited 1/4/2017 #2,998
donahermurphy

Oh, oh WHY that last sentence?

...I am going to assume you stop being able to switch the moment you meet your soulmate in person. Yes. Yes, that is the reason.

1/4/2017 #2,999
FallTigerKisa
No, no, it's obviously a side effect of the seal she created. It disrupted something within his soul and had the unfortunate side effect of disrupting their time exchange too. I'm about 90% sure that's it, though Dona's explanation is about 9% plausible too. But no where in that 1% is there a chance that it's because Shikako died
1/4/2017 #3,000
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