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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Imagine that he does find her as the Oto-hime/Kage of Otogakure. I wonder if he would be proud because his soulmate was able to become the kage he dreamed to be or something.

5/15/2016 #481

We both started out looking like we'd get nowhere in our ninja career (Obito not having the Sharingan and the chakra hypersensitivity diagnosis), and later became leaders of hidden villages away from Konoha (Kiri and Oto)! Truly, she is my soulmate.

5/15/2016 #482
And spent ages under the power of weird experimenting S-class ninja's
5/15/2016 #483

Exactly! See, they have so much in common already.

5/15/2016 #484

Hmm. This might seem a little late, but I felt the need to comment on it. When it comes to Obito and redemption, I don't actually think that he got one. I mean, sure - he turned sides and helped fight Kaguya, but he died before he could actually redeem himself. I mean, it was clear that he wanted to, but... he never really got the chance to actually do that. So I don't quite get why people feel that Obito's redemption was handled badly, because I never really got the impression that it ever happened in the first place.

5/15/2016 #485
C. S. Stars
I want to read all of this. All of the AU's for Shikako with soulmarks and Obito as her soulmate.
5/15/2016 #486

@einargs. It comes from the fact canon made it very clear he went to heaven, where Rin was waiting for him. So basically, he got his dream.

5/16/2016 #487
Ashen Author

Japanese tradition (which it looks like Naruto has been following) doesn't have the same concepts of Paradise or Hell as espoused by Christianity. IIRC, they have the Pure and Impure Worlds (as in Edo Tensai, Impure World Resurrection). We live in the Impure world, and then after death all souls go to the Pure world for Reincarnation. Rin (like Sakumo) just delayed her reincarnation until she could speak with Obito, I believe the suggestion was.

5/16/2016 #488

reminds me of this comic:

http: // www . awkwardzombie . com/ index . php?page=0&comic=092406

5/16/2016 #489
The Real Chys Lattes
It comes from the fact canon made it very clear he went to heaven, where Rin was waiting for him. So basically, he got his dream.

I still don't see it as his redemption being handled that well, but I'm still fine with how it turned out. He couldn't really make up for all the bad things with what little he did but he acknowledged them as wrongs and so moved on with a knowing conscience. Didn't redeem him though. I have a slightly differing perspective on the issue: The way I see it, it was RIN whom got what she wanted by having Obito come to her in the Pure World. She probably wanted to be reincarnated alongside him, and so waited for him. I headcanon that after all of that, they're (all three of them with Minato) waiting for Kakashi, too. After all the unfortunate and unnecessary evils that happened to her while she was being used in the plot against the world, it was good to see her get something she wanted in the end. It wasn't totally about redemption then, though, so it becomes a moot point. There's always the next reincarnation, after all.

EDIT: OMG idea:

The names of your soul mark are the names of the people that have died, been transferred to the Pure World, and are waiting for you to come to them so you can be reincarnated together. (A long enough string of these across different people and generations has been theorized to mean that No one ever gets reincarnated, and instead lives together in a limbo, waiting for their loves ones to come to them. Or when their last living loved one finally dies, and leaves no one behind that they love, they all move on as a group. There are jokes about baby booms being soul groups reincarnated.)

Minato's name wouldn't appear, due to his soul being taken by Shinigami, thus never actually reaching the Pure World.

Obito's name never appeared for anyone because he didn't die- but they could think he moved on and didn't have the decency to wait for them! (But who would believe that Obito didn't actually love them? Especially Rin.)

5/17/2016 . Edited 5/17/2016 #490
Laural Rose

Some of ya'll (sorta) saw this coming. Good on you!


Matching Scars Part 3

"Madara, I know what you're planning, and you have to stop." Madara raised an eyebrow at his infuriatingly adorable baby sister as she stormed into his office, her expression mulish and her eyes blazing.

He usually enjoyed their little spats. She couldn't come close to matching him physically, but her mind likely surpassed his, despite her being less than half his age.

But, right now, he couldn't do this. He wasn't in the mood for friendly spars, he needed to tear into something until it was a bloody husk, and the monster he most wanted to rend was right here, within these walls, but he couldn't so much as bruise the bastard without—

The battle had left him raw, terribly raw. His Sharingan had seen Izuna's danger, but he did not have that snake Tobirama's speed, nor could he afford to disengage with Hashirama; they were too evenly matched. Then, as if the universe had heard his soul's anguished cry of denial and specifically twisted itself to spite him, it was not Izuna held prone on that bastard's blade, but Mikako, who shouldn't even have BEEN there.

His Sharingan had not given him any warning as to her arrival. His vision, it seemed, was dangerously narrowed where Hashirama was concerned.

It didn't matter that Tobirama had slumped with her, had born the same wounds. He'd hurt Mikako, a child. Surely with his speed, his reflexes, he could have stayed his hand, if he'd wanted, he could have turned his blade when his target changed.

But he didn't. That he'd had to suffer for that sin was merely the universe restoring a modicum of balance.

Tobirama would continue to suffer for that sin, because he was dangerous and not to be trusted. As long as he lived—and Madara would ensure it was a long, long life—he would be repaid in kind for his lack of mercy.

Hashirama, Madara was almost willing to trust. Hashirama was different, so very different from anyone Madara had ever met, he'd always had difficulty looking at the man—even on the battlefield, while staring at that most hated clan symbol proudly displayed above soft, sad brown eyes—and thinking 'Senju'.

Tobirama, though; he was a Senju. He was one of the murdering bastards who'd killed Madara's brothers. He was an enemy.

Madara and Izuna had had a wordless conversation on the trip home; Tobirama was ever Izuna's opponent. Izuna knew the man, knew how he thought, how he moved, how he acted and reacted. Izuna would therefore be better suited to tailoring an appropriate punishment to Tobirama's mind. As much as Madara wanted to see the worm writhe at his feet—but then, that was the problem.

Madara was a physical man. When he used his Sharingan, it was to see through and counter attacks. When he struck at an enemy, he wanted their blood on his hands, he wanted proof he was the victor. Proof of his strength.

Izuna was the subtle one. He understood the efficacy of sliding beneath an opponent's skin without spilling a drop of blood and making their souls bleed, no wounds required. He could break a hardened warrior with little more than eye contact and leave them a husk without ever landing a blow. That was his mastery; his proof of power.

Madara could recognize and respect that, even if he didn't share his brother's views. So, he had left Tobirama to Izuna.

Clearly, his little sister didn't know so much, if she had missed that. It was rare he ceded control over anything; she should have noted it.

Nothing for it. He'd just have to keep her occupied and let Izuna work.

"Hashirama is your friend. Tobirama is his brother. What if the positions were reversed? What if Izuna were in Senju hands, and was only returned to us after he'd been tortured? What would that gain, but more hatred between us, more wounds that will never heal?" Mikako braced her hands on her hips, her temper clearly rising, though he suspected she thought she was being calm and reasonable.

She always saw herself as calm and reasonable, even when they were in a shouting match.

"Hurting Tobirama won't help anything; it won't change the past, it won't build the future you want, don't give me that, we both know you never really let go of your dream. You fought against it because you thought it was something you couldn't have, and you were afraid to hope for it, but you never stopped wanting it." She glared at him, daring him to contradict, and he met her eyes, making a show of looking, really looking, and—

"You woke your Sharingan." Madara blinked, frozen for a moment, before standing to hurry around the desk and get a better look. Sure enough, three tomoe were spinning lazily around his sister's irides.

"Don't try to change the subject! And of course I did; Izuna nearly died!" She wagged a finger at him, and fearing he'd accidentally break it was the only thing that kept him from rushing her, grabbing her, and shaking her.

"You nearly died!" He bellowed, because for some reason his adorable baby sister couldn't seem to get this through her head.

"I didn't! Because of Hashirama! Which is why we should do him the courtesy of not mentally traumatizing his little brother!" She retorted, lips curling back into something still a little too delicate to be called a snarl.

"He did that to save—"

"Brother, you are not a fool, stop acting like one."

He would have bristled, but there was some glint of danger in her eyes that chilled him enough to pause.

"Izuna may be too blinded by hate to see what is before him, but you know Hashirama. His entire dream, his entire reason for fighting, is to protect children."

"Senju children—"

"Why are my boys always such idiots!" She flung her hands in the air dramatically before taking a step forward, closing the distance between them. It was a charmingly familiar gesture; she likely learned it from Izuna.

Who most assuredly did not pick it up mimicking Madara.

"Mikako, I know its hard to imagine this, but you're still so young,"

The glare she leveled him for that was three parts exasperation one part resignation and a dash of some dark humor he filed away for later contemplation.

"People change, over time. Hashirama and I are no longer the little boys with silly dreams who skipped rocks by the river."

"But they're not silly, brother! They were never silly!" Most times, Mikako is his vibrant baby sister. But, every so often, her eyes grow very old. A sadness settles on her, dimming her, and Madara has tried for years to chase it off, to shield her from the darkness of the world and nurture her tiny, precious light.

Losing their brothers was hard on her. Far harder than it had been on Madara; he had barely had time to know them, between deployments. For Madara, he'd lost the idea of brothers, the possibility to see them grow into men and discover the people they would have become. For Mikako—she had adored them, as hard and as deeply as he did Izuna, then, and as dearly as he does her, now.

There is a moisture to her eyes, and he refuses to admit that she is close to tears, because Mikako hates crying even more than he does, and never shows her tears to anyone. That he's the one who wrung them out of her this time—

His chest contracts, or maybe his heart expands until there's not enough room for it between his ribs. Either way, it squeezes painfully, and this time he drops to his knees and gathers her up.

Because if her head's tucked into the crook of his neck, they can both pretend he doesn't know she's crying.

"Mikako, I know he's your soulmate, so you feel an attachment to him. But look at all the pain he's caused you—" Madara murmured into her hair, the hand rubbing her back tracing the scars he'd memorized on her skin from so many nights sat up tending wounds she'd never earned.

"The bond has caused me. It isn't Tobirama's fault; he didn't create the bond any more than I did." She took a breath, as if hesitating, then plowed on all at once. "And it was Uchiha weapons that scored most of these scars."

She could not have stolen his breath more effectively if she'd buried him with an earth jutsu.

"Tobirama is a dangerous foe; if we hadn't fought him with everything we have…"

It was inadequate, neither explanation nor excuse. Because he should have recognized the pattern, should have seen…

"Don't you think I know that? I never wanted anyone to die, I always hoped you'd bring back as many of our people as left with you, but you never could, because we're at war, but it's all so stupid." Her breath hitched, and he resumed rubbing her back in slow, soothing circles, pretending not to notice the growing dampness in his hair and on his shoulder. "It's stupid." She repeated, voice firming, like she'd made a declaration.

And she was right, of course. He'd known it since he was as young as her. But knowing things needed to change and being able to change them…

Some things just couldn't be changed. He'd learned that the hard way. She would too, in time, though he'd mourn her innocence when she did.

"You know what else is stupid?" Something sly slipped into her tone, and Madara rolled his eyes even though she couldn't see him. Which was just as well, because his lip was quirked at the corner.

His sister was never more endearing than when she was trying to manipulate him.

Not that he'd ever admit how often it worked.

"What?" He asked once he was sure she'd had sufficient time to build up the drama.

"If Tobirama's as dangerous as all that, why do you want him as an enemy? He could be a sword in our hands if—"

Terror roared through him like a wounded, rampaging beast, and rage followed on its heels, obliterating its trail.

Mikako, bleeding in his arms with injuries with no cause. Mikako, collapsed again, overtired and aching. Mikako, with a blade through her chest.

"He is never stepping foot on a battlefield again!" His voice was low and fierce and wild and he has terrified grown men with that tone and he hated scaring her but if she was scared maybe she'd finally see reason—

"Fine, fine." She waved a hand in his face, dismissively, like she was humoring him.

He stilled, mind spluttering.

"He's still a genius; Izuna goes on and on about his clever seals and jutsu. He can still invent, still do seals, still teach. But he can do all that for the benefit of our people, too, not just the Senju. Besides,"

And there was that sly tone again, the one he was sure she thought he couldn't hear, but he was too flat-footed to offer his usual resistance, and was growing rapidly alarmed about what his baby sister would come up with to wheedle him.

"If you really want to keep him off the battlefield, you need to negotiate peace. And the first step to that is making a good faith effort at not abusing your hostage." She leaned back in his arms, fixing him with her blood-tinged gaze, something like triumph curling her lips.

His heart sank. She—actually had a point. Trying to imprison Tobirama Senju for longer than he cared to be detained would be taxing at best. Doing so without causing him physical injury, or allowing him to injure himself—

The Uchiha could well lose many warriors just to that alone.

He stood, buying himself time before he had to answer, and perched her on his hip. She went unresisting; she very, very rarely turned down physical contact unless she was hurt, always preferring to be hugged or cuddled or simply held.

He ached for the day when she outgrew it; she could never know how much those simple touches meant to him, how grounding and steadying they were, how they always came exactly when he most needed them.

She pulled back to give him a small twist of the lips that was close enough to a smile, mischief dancing in her eyes as if to say 'I know what you're doing, but I'm going to let you do it because it suits me.'

But, after a moment, her expression clouded. Her eyes lost their mirth and their youth, and despite the red seeping around them, despite the tear-tracks staining her pale skin, she looked worldweary and ancient and solemn.

"And there's one more thing to consider." She said it softly, almost gently.

Something twisted inside him; he did not want to hear this.

"If he does return to the battlefield, if the fighting continues, you have to know I won't allow him to hurt our people. If it comes to it, I'll kill myself—"

His grip tightened around her because he could not breathe. He closed his eyes but all he could see was her too-small body, pale and still in a pool of its own blood, and that was not allowed to happen.

His eyes snapped open, but before he could yell the stupidity out of her tiny, tiny skull, her finger pressed against his lips, startling him to silence.

"I will do whatever it takes to protect my family, Madara. I thought I had made that clear enough today." Her voice was low and cool and held more authority than any Daimyo's proclamation.

He shivered. His ears rung, battered by the obdurate, indubitable truth of the statement.

"Tobirama, as you said, is a dangerous and powerful threat, as an enemy." Her eyes bored into his, and there was no doubt, no hesitation. Fear chased itself around the edges, but she held it back with a will of iron their father would have bent under.

Each word was threat and promise; if peace failed, he would lose her.

To think, Izuna had feared Tobirama doing harm to himself to hurt them. He doubted Hashirama knew his brother's danger. And that—bothered him.

"So, if fighting resumes, when he returns to the Senju, I will stop him. I don't want to, but this is the only blow I can strike, for you, for the Clan—"

"Then the fighting must stop." He whispered, feeling something break inside him, because it was a promise. He may well be dooming his clan, but her life was not a price he was willing to pay. Not even for the Uchiha.

With that resolve, that revelation, it was like a floodgate opened. He remembered things, saw things differently, and…

Her words reverberated inside his head. What if it were Izuna, at Hashirama's mercy? But—he swallowed hard, forcing down the truth he'd been unable to force into himself while in the grips of his anguish and anger—he would not need to fear for Izuna, if Hashirama had him. Because Hashirama was merciful; Hashirama would never hurt his friend's brother. It wasn't—that wasn't the kind of man he was.

But clearly it was the kind of man Madara was, and that was—uncomfortable.

"We will fix this. We will end this." More promises. Promises he would keep.

Because his baby sister had already stepped in front of a blade once to protect her family. She would not hesitate—she was no coward, she was braver than most of the Uchiha combined, even he could admit that—if she felt it necessary to repeat that action.

Because he could have lost his brother today, and if he did not tread carefully, he would lose the friend he had only just regained the chance to have.

And he was tired of taking losses. The whole world was tired of taking losses.

He strode forward, determination beating out self-directed anger, and readjusted his grip on her in order to open the door.

But then, the light leached from his world.

His baby sister, his little firebrand, the light in his darkness that he would cling to and would forsake almost all others for, went slack in his arms. She nearly tumbled from his grasp.

It was the second most terrible moment of his life.

"Mikako?" He fumbled for her pulse. His knees nearly gave out in relief when he found it, strong and metronomic, not gone, never gone, she couldn't be gone—

Her breathing was shallow but steady against his throat as he raced back to his desk, a reminder that she was alive, that nothing was broken in ways that could never be mended.

He cleared the desk's surface with a sweep of his arm—nothing on it was as important as her—and laid her down. Her eyes were rolled back in her head when he pried up the lids. He shook her, gently at first, then hard enough the desk creaked.


She was not lost to him; he would not accept that.

But she wouldn't wake.


When Izuna entered the room, the Senju was arrogant, a hair's breadth from outright mocking the Uchiha for believing they could restrain him. Izuna knew the devil had some plan—to escape, to do damage to the clan, to run wild within their walls because he could not be physically damaged—could use himself as hostage against the Uchiha. And the wily snake no doubt thought his twisted, steel-edged mind proof against mental attacks; he'd broken Izuna's Sharingan-driven genjutsu before, many times, even in the heat of battle.

But Izuna had never demonstrated the true power of his eyes in combat; the chakra cost and preparation time were too great. In a true battle of the mind, the enemy was unprepared and did not know his peril.

For years, Izuna has watched his sister bleed, has counted the ever-increasing scars on her body, and cursed the demon who kept driving her closer and closer to an unearned, early grave. Driving her toward a brink beyond which he couldn't hold her, couldn't carry her back, couldn't follow—

The presumption that the beast before him had shown; as if Izuna would ever again let this animal near his baby sister, much less allow them to get to know each other better. The self-satisfaction on the fiend's face had nearly overthrown Izuna's reason. He could not have launched a physical attack—he knew it was impossible for him to forget what that would cost Mikako; those memories were buried so deeply within his soul they would haunt him even in death. But, he very nearly sunk the smug snake into a Sharingan genjutsu before they'd even left the field.

But now Izuna stood a breath away from the Senju dog, their eyes locked. A breath away from absolute victory. A breath away from perfect vengeance.

There was only one piece missing, and he would not be denied.

The beast needed to know, to understand it was caged and beaten and would never escape. It needed to see whatever hopes of treachery that had bolstered it were as shapeless and unattainable as clouds. As ill-founded as it's fool of a brother's ramblings about 'peace'.

He'd cracked the Senju's armor with his jab at Hashirama. It hadn't even been intended as more than a glancing blow; the depth of the wound he'd scored was satisfying. And enlightening.

Izuna had intended his Tsukuyomi to take the form of Izuna killing the bastard over and over again, repaying every wound Mikako had ever suffered from that wretch ten, no, a hundred fold. But, thanks to the Senju's slip, Izuna was able to adjust—perfect, tailor—his plan's to the Senju's psyche.

That there was just enough love in the animal to care about his brother was fitting; hurting him by hurting even an illusion Hashirama would repay a pittance of the pain he'd caused Izuna and Madara over the years. This should not be about the brothers, true; this should be Mikako's vengeance. But, Izuna was not so unaware of his own heart and mind he couldn't acknowledge that for himself, also, he sought satisfaction. And it was very satisfying, crafting the scenarios that would best strip away the brute's psyche, using the Liar as leverage. Soon, Izuna's supremacy would be undisputed, and he could unleash his utterly merciless master stroke.

The Senju held his gaze; he'd give the bastard that much credit. Even Uchiha shrank from meeting the Mangenkyo.

Though it could just as easily be misplaced pride.

Then, he glimpsed it; like a revelation.

A bead of water slid down a phantom-pale neck like a melting ice sculpture.

The monster wasn't unmoved; he was petrified. He wasn't trembling because he was beyond fear, in true terror.

He knew, not what was coming, but what his conceit would cost him.

Izuna, at long last, was the acknowledged, absolute victor of their long contests.

It had very nearly come too late, and it had cost far too much, but he took comfort where he could; in ending it, he could finally protect his Clan.

Satisfaction crescendoed within him, a triumphal march he knew would sing him to sleep from this day forward, no matter what came of this moment for him, personally.

He had done his duty, and it did not matter that his sister came first in his regard.

Izuna caught the body as it crumpled and, with the gentleness of a mother, lay it on the bed. The Senju's mind was well in Izuna's grip, now, methodically disintegrating under Izuna's onslaught. This body would be treated with the same care as any Uchiha would give Kako, because it was hers. The Senju would never again have use for it; Izuna would not allow it. Physical comfort could not reach him where he was, Izuna had seen to that. So, the body would be well preserved, for Kako; Izuna would assure it.

Izuna stepped back through the door, his lips curved up; he knew his expression was too predatory to be called a smile, but in this one act, his long-standing craving for requital was sated.

In this one act, too, the superiority of his Sharingan was incontestable. He had struck down his Clan's greatest enemy, and in so doing, validated himself as the greatest wielder of his Clan's greatest asset.

He allowed the small bud of pride within his chest to unfurl and swell, brushing his heart with a petal-soft caress, as he gave quick orders to leave the room undisturbed and for healers to rotate in to maintain the physical health of the body. No one else would be permitted entrance.

In that moment, he felt like a seer. A beautiful, peaceful future stretched before his mind's eye. The Senju had fallen, and the other clans feared the Sharingan too much to challenge the Uchiha. Mikako was whole and healthy, safe and happy, laughing freely without the twin shadows of pain and fear clouding her bright features.

Madara moved through the compound clearly at ease, no longer needing to hide wounds or carry the weight of a Clan at war on his shoulders—there were no threats left he needed to guard against. His face was no longer seamed just with the echoes of scowls and snarls, but also with laugh lines. He was allowed to gentle his expression; he was acknowledged as the strongest, he no longer needed to prove it.

With how things had turned out, Izuna could almost be relieved that Kako was so enamored with the Liars's peace. Izuna had taken that illusion from her—she would never forgive him that, after how far she'd pushed herself in its pursuit—but he would give her something real in return. That she would never thank him for the substitution meant she wouldn't miss him, when he was no longer of use to the Clan.

Madara, likewise, would no doubt blame Izuna for the loss of his so-called friendship with the Liar. When one enjoyed a magic show, he did not thank the companion who whispered how each trick was done. So too would Izuna be received thanklessly when he stripped away the false doors and showed Madara's long-treasured bond for the one-sided Senju trick it truly was.

Izuna was not in this vision. Unlike his brothers, there was no memorial of his passing; he was not so dearly missed. He was content with this; pleased, in fact, even with the pulsing pang in his chest when he thought on it too long. One such as he still had no place in a peaceful world. But, he could see that world now, just within reach. If he could pass from that world unremarked, all the black bitterness in his siblings sweet hearts chasing him out and following after him, all the better. He did not wish for his death to darken their joy.

But soon, achingly soon, he could finally rest.

Izuna's exaltation lasted until a bellow of rage, grief and terror moved his legs toward the sound before his stuttering mind processed it.

Madara. Something was wrong; something had happened to Madara.

He skidded to a stop outside Madara's—strangely open—office door, and inside—

No. No, she was supposed to be safe, she was supposed to be—

The devil had—must have—somehow he'd bested Izuna again, grasped victory even in his absolute defeat—he had to have—

Because if he hadn't—if he didn't—

Izuna had—

Madara looked up, Sharingan spinning, and for the first time Izuna realized why the other clans feared it so, if this was the face they saw wielding it.

"Izuna." His voice rasped, no, growled, and Izuna shivered. He was used to being a predator, perhaps not the strongest, but not weak, not prey, but here, now; Madara was his better, and there was nothing but bleak madness in that blood-tinged gaze. "What did you do?"

What did he—

He didn't—

He couldn't have—

He'd protected her, saved—

She was supposed to be safe.



So, yeah. MathisMagic pointed out that the Tsukuyomi likely has a physical component; it wasn't a Yamanaka that pulled Kakashi or Sasuke or Shikako out, it was Tsunade. So, this isn't meant to be 'Mikako is sharing visions with Tobirama' but rather 'Tobirama getting shoved into an angst-coma sent a remote shut-down command through thier connection, so Mikako's offline for the duration, too'. This is both because Izuna needs to get his head out of his ass, and because it neatly ups the drama. And it's the only way I could imagine the brothers NEVER DOING THIS TO TOBIRAMA AGAIN. Which would be super important for future cooperation and Tobirama's continued mental health.

5/17/2016 #491

Nice idea about the reincarnation-soulmarks!

And personally, what bothers me about Obito's "redemption" is that he never gets really called out on his mistakes. I mean, Death Equals Redemption and all that, but it's like with Itachi. Yes, his original motivations/goals weren't bad, yes he's just as much a victim as tiny!Sasuke in some ways. That doesn't take away that he still murdered his family and mind raped his little brother. Twice. And they just... don't consider that important after they learn he was "a good guy all along". It doesn't work like that. Actions have consequences, and a good redemption is in large part about confronting characters with the consequences of their actions. Same with Obito. He basically gets instant forgives the moment he says sorry. That's what bothers me. It's also what bothers me about, well, every "redemption" in the Narutoverse basically.

Edit: omg, the Matching Scars snippet was so amazing! Both Madara's and Izuna's POV!

5/17/2016 . Edited 5/17/2016 #492

I love that Mikako just gets knocked out like that.

And... Tsunade, the greatest healer in the Elemental nations, managed to heal Shikako (who had no Sharingan) and Kakashi (who had one implanted, which she said protected him at least a little.) But Tsunade isn't born yet.

Can the Senju healers do it?

(Well, they likely have a lot of practice trying.)

5/17/2016 #493

In the vein of pain connecting you to your soulmark: Shikako felt Lee's punch, in the exam.

But here, when Shikako and Shikamaru and Naruto confront Gaara, Gai was just a few moments later.

Shikako readied her chakra for a lightning jutsu.

And another. And another. Each one halted the onslaught of sand for a second, at most.

Shikamaru held Gaara in the Shadow jutsu still- preventing hand motions that would possibly create even stronger attacks. Naruto was still recovering from chakra exhaustion- Shikako could see him wanting to get between Gaara and herself, but that would put him in her line of fire, and he knew it.

And then her chakra was out, and Naruto moved in front of them, and the sand was just starting to wrap around him, when she realized-


Gaara let out a short scream of pain.

Shikako didn't make a sound. Her teeth were gritted.

Stab. Stab. Stab. She knew all the non-vital areas that would still cause pain. Hard to cause a lot of pain without causing some damage. But hell, she was in a hospital. They could fix it.

She dug one in and twisted-

Her brother's arm caught her own, a grip like iron as he pulled her and Naruto out the doorway. He dragged her out so fast she didn't even feel her feet touch the ground. Which was good, because putting weight on that one leg seemed... not advisable, currently.

"What are you-" Shikamaru started, real terror in his voice.

"Shikako-chan, why are you blee-" Naruto's words overlapped him.

"Lee's still in there!" she hissed at Shika,(he'd taken them away and who was going to distract Gaara now?) and grabbed for a second kunai with her free hand- a hand quickly caught by her brother-

The doorway exploded with sand.

Happily, it seemed Gaara had forgone his attempt to kill Lee. Unhappily, it seemed he had merely redirected his attention.

Shikako couldn't help fight Gaara off- couldn't even distract him- her brother was holding both her hands- was being dragged down the hallway and she wasn't fighting Shika in that, although she doubted they'd actually be fast enough to get away

Gaara was limping slightly, though, and Shikako jarred her bad leg deliberately against the floor a couple of times, in order to encourage that development.

She heard Shika hitch his breath, and knew that- even if he hadn't realize immediately in Lee's room- Shika damn well knew her her soulmate was now.

And Gaara knew, if his narrowed eyes were any indication. ...That was probably why he was following them, actually.

And then they heard a beautiful, beautiful voice.

Telling Gaara to save it for the Finals.

Gaara turned, slowly. Locked eyes with her. "You're not fighting in the finals," he said, eyes narrowed. It was almost a question, except there was no life in his voice.

His chakra felt... considering. Not like the way it was when he'd been looking at Lee. No real killing intent, yet.

It wasn't a reassuring feeling. The absence of that thick malicious chakra felt like the moments before an avalanche. The avalanche would come, in time. When the slightest trigger sent it off. (When Gai-sensei wasn't there, probably.)

Shikako met his gaze, and felt curiously calm, and still.

She was very aware that Shikamaru was behind her, and above all she didn't want him to interfere. Didn't want to risk him getting hurt. But was very likely she would have to do something about Gaara, at some point.

...She wondered what would happen if she planted a touch blast on his face. Would she even be able to get close enough. She was fast, when she wanted to be. Could she get close enough, fast enough?

Gaara narrowed his eyes. Like he'd seen something in her. His gaze flicked briefly to her damaged leg.

It still had a kunai sticking out of it. She probably shouldn't be standing on it, but this was not a situation where she wanted to look helpless.

Shikamaru was stiff as a board next to her.

Slowly, Gaara turned away.

There was dead silence as he walked down the hall.

"Gai-sensei," she managed weakly. "Boy, are we glad to see you."

Shikamaru was very quiet, as Shikako got her leg bandaged and they went to give Chouji his food. Just as quiet as Naruto.

They talked about it, later:

"Don't- don't hurt yourself like that." Shika said, speaking at last. His voice was different. Too old and flat and scraped and raw.

"I was only trying to distract him," Shikako reassured her brother."I was right in the middle of the hospital, and we didn't have any better plans."

Shikamaru flinched.

Shikako blinked. "That's... that's not your fault. You know that right?" Shikako asked uncertainly.

Shikamaru ran his hand though his hair. "Don't hurt yourself like that," he asked again, but this time his voice sounded younger. It was a question, a plea.

Shikako bit her lip and thought- it wasn't a very effective advantage, anyway, temporarily distracting Gaara while giving herself a permanent injury, and anyway, next time they'd have water scrolls.

"All right," she agreed, and her brother slumped like a string had been cut.

He wrapped his arm around her, and helped her walk home.

5/17/2016 #494

Funny enough, being a supposed 'prophet' as Songbird!Kako could be made as the reason she has no soulmark in this universe. And that would hopefully protect Shikamaru from Danzo.

Also, absolutely loving Matching Scars and this Shikaara shared-pain snippet!

5/17/2016 . Edited 5/17/2016 #495
C. S. Stars
Holy crap! Those were amazing and beautiful!
5/17/2016 #496
Fuck! IZUNA!
5/17/2016 #497
The shared-pain snippet is great. We have actually seen 'hurt yourself' used as a ninja tactic with things like breaking genjutsu and Kiba fighting sakon, so it's not even so surprising she would think of it.
5/17/2016 #498

@donahermurphy: I was inspired by that Shikaara snippet (the shared pain one, on this page as well) Here's my version of Gaara's POV of that scene (just what immediately popped into my head when reading your snippet :p)

Gaara had always known his soulmate was weak.

Weak, because when he'd been young –so very young, before Yashamaru, before understanding, before knowing– he'd been in pain for every. Single. Moment. Weak, because that pain never really went away. Even now, so many years later, that particular pain was still there. Muted, but still present, a background hum he'd been forced to get used to, a sensation as constant as Mother herself.

It never went away.

And then, as he'd begun to grow older, he'd learned other forms of pain. He'd learned all of them from –Yashamaru– his soulmate.

Pain on his knees, a scraping sensation that stung. Pain on his knuckles, until they felt raw and tender. Brief, sharp, always surprising flashes of pain that constantly caught him off guard. On his knees, back, hands, arms, head, one time even his tongue. But eventually, even though the flashes were still surprising, he'd gotten used to the different types, could categorize them all.

But a few months ago, the types of pain had changed.

Stabbing pain, pain that pressed on his chest, choking him, pain all over his body, pain that broke every concentration, pain, pain, pain!

Gaara hated –pain– his soulmate.

Mother didn't. Mother laughed and cackled and whispered. And it was so easy to listen, so easy to take out his rage –confusion, fear– to paint his sand with red, to hurt others. Not simply to prove his existence –always to prove his existence, he was alive, would force others to acknowledge that, acknowledge him, he mattered– but because he hated, hated –pain– his soulmate. And he could not strike back at them –couldn't make the pain stop

So he struck out at those he could instead.

But Gaara had always known his soulmate was weak. They were constantly being hurt, were always in pain. So how could they not be weak? How could they not have learned to avoid it, to improve, to make the pain stop –stop, please stop, just make it stop

They were weak.

Except, suddenly, she wasn't.

His soulmate had looked at him, had known she couldn't take him. And instead of running, instead of avoiding the pain that she knew would come...

She had hurt him. She had hurt him by hurting herself, by forcing him to feel her pain, distracting him, drawing his attention away from his original goal. And she had done so on purpose. But more than that, as she hurt –him– herself, as he felt every stab of agony she was inflicting upon –himherself... She had ignored it.

His soulmate had been in pain.

And she had not cared.

For the first time, Gaara didn't think his soulmate was weak. He couldn't. Not when she turned pain into a weapon to be used. Both his, and her own.

His soulmate was strong.

And Gaara couldn't help but wonder. If his soulmate was strong because she could ignore the pain she always felt, could live with it, could ignore it, could accept it...

Then what did that make him?

5/17/2016 . Edited 5/17/2016 #499
Oh, this is perfect! And that reassessment was something I was going for, in my description of Gaara! (Now I kind of want Shika's POV. Or when the Sand Sibs, who know Gaara's soulmate 'is hurting all the time' to mention something to Shikamaru. Heh. Or even the "When Thibgs Had to Be Explained to Naruto" scene.) So glad to read Gaara's POV- you did an awesome job with it.
5/17/2016 #500
Of Chaos and Destruction

A Fathers Despair: Part 6 Sword, Gelel, Ambush

Shikaku had been lulled into a false sense of security. He had observed, and Shikako had not come close to dying during their 'Search and Rescue' mission, or bodyguard mission to The Land of Snow, or the Events in Hidden Waterfall, or The Land of Tea.

He thought that there would more time, but time remained the precious commodity that it had always been.

When the twins and Naruto came back from the mission about the ferret – a ferret! Of all things to cause this! A C-rank to find a pet ferret! Shikaku almost met a premature end via heart failure when he heard the details he was permitted to learn. Never mind the Kanji for 'Duty' that was stamped blood-red on his right forearm.

It was serious enough that his Genin daughter was ordered to keep secrets from him, The Jōnin Commander.

Everything was different after the ferret mission.

One of Shikako's deathmarks had bled out (Heart) and another had been transcribed into gold on his sons chest; vanished from her skin forever.

It was one of those confusing ones that happen sometimes. People don't always understand what killed them, and the marks are usually a combination of what the aggressors and victims view of the attack (at least in the ninja world). The word was meaningless to Shikaku, but if the way Shikamaru rubbed the mark and shuddered periodically was any indication – it wasn't a good thing.

Shikaku burned to ask what 'Gelel' was, but he wouldn't put his children in that position.

He did, however, take special delight in crushing Danzo into an interrogation cell with Inochi after the old traitor had orchestrated the 'Ambush' which had killed his daughter.

In the Hokage's office, after she returned from a mission critically injured and informed their 'guide' that she needed medical treatment.

Specifically going against said Hokage's orders.

They had the old bastard when he used some undetectable genjutsu on Inochi – Shikaku knew that one must be in place when the man began behaving out of character; the Yamanaka's low, smouldering anger at his unfair and illegal treatment of Shikako faded away to nothing; and if that wasn't proof of serious mental manipulation, then Shikaku doesn't know what is.

Danzo must have some serious stones to try something like that on a Yamanaka.

Wordless, Shikaku send the signal to the control room to gas the interrogation chamber.

Then they found the arm full of Sharingan, and the chest with the First Hokages face on it.

What even?

5/17/2016 #501
Oh, WOW. I definitely want to see more of this. Also, I love how Shikamaru has changed fate, in this story. I love how Shikaku is the protagonist. It's awesome. I really reall hope nobody dies. (Hey, Shikako and her dad can be hospital buddies!)
5/17/2016 #502
Laural Rose

@Of Chaos and Destruction: What even, indeed. For it's simplicity, this was an incredibly satisfying take-down of that old bastard. Very nicely executed!

5/17/2016 #503
Ashen Author

@ Of Chaos and Destruction: This is awesome! And congratulations on your most recent chapter too.

And Gelel is one of the deaths that actually got to Shikako because it was related to know cannon that she knew of and she needed the biggest Deus ex Machina to survive, so how is she reacting. And how does she react when she hears that danzo is down for the count? I see super-ecstatic relief and she can't explain to people why she's so happy when she nearly died but she's practically bouncing and singing in her hospital bed.

And she only hears about Yakumo in the aftermath of Gelel in DoS, so how does she react this time without Danzo to be listening in?

5/17/2016 #504
Hang on, he was gassed before he even had time to respond, wasn't he? Okay, that's utter hilarity. I hope they cut that damn arm off, or at least dig out all the eyes. Actually, never mind about cutting the arm off, chakra restricting seals probably WOULD be effective. You cat Izanagi out of them if you can't use chakra for the Izanagi.
5/17/2016 #505

Odds of Danzo being sent to the Blood Prison in that scenario?

5/17/2016 #506
He knows so many secrets, though- I feel like Blood Prison is for the ones that are Powerful ( in the chakra sense), and can... Not exactly be used as hostages in so many words, but it's better politically to keep them alive? Whereas Danzo's danger comes a LOT from his networks and experience and patience, not just his flat- out Power-from-chakra.
5/17/2016 #507

@donahermurphy: here's Shika's POV of the Shikaara shared pain soulmates, and finding out his sister is "constantly in pain"

Shikamaru glared at his sister's soulmate. Gaara Of The Desert.

"...So, Gaara-san, how are you enjoying Konoha?" his mother asked, trying to fill the strained silence. And why oh why had his mother decided to invite him over for dinner? He hurt Shikako –she hurt herself–

"It is... interesting. We do not have our shinobi rotate through the academy." Gaara Of The Desert, Shikako's soulmate, who hurt his sister, answered calmly. His mother smiled back at the guy who'd hurt his sister.

"Really? I thought that was pretty standard actually." Shikako mused, completely relaxed, uncaring of the fact that, not so long ago, her soulmate had been a murderous, psychotic jinchuuriki who'd hurt her –made her hurt herself

"No, Konoha is the only village who does so, and we only implemented it about a decade ago ourselves. The results are very positive though." his father answered, body language completely at ease, acting in no way out of the ordinary.

His eyes were almost too sharp as he watched the guy who'd hurt his sister.

Gaara Of The Desert nodded in return. And Shikamaru bit back the words he wanted the scream, the accusations, because he hurt his sister! –he hadn't had a plan

Gaara Of The Desert turned to look towards Shikako –he hurt her!– and that same, what could almost be called awkwardness, appeared as he did. As it had from the moment he'd arrived.

"So it's just permanently assign–"

"Why are you always in pain?"

The sentences tangled over each other, Shikako and Gaara Of The Desert speaking at the same time, almost indistinguishable. Except it wasn't, it wasn't, Shikamaru heard every word. And could only stare.


Shikako herself fell silent with a surprised look, and what? What? What did Gaara Of The Desert mean by that?

"I'm not." his sister answered, sounding so confused, and honest and of course she was, because she wasn't "always in pain" that was the most –frightening– bizarre thing he'd ever heard.

"You are. Constantly. It's always there." Gaara said, near awkwardness growing even greater. And Shikako's confusion grew.

"But I'm not. I'm not in pain right now." she pointed out, confused and casual and friendly and honest. Because of course she wasn't –he would've known, she was his twin

"Yes you are. It's... it's always there. For as long as I can remember. This... It feels like what I imagine burning feels like." Gaara Of The Desert said, full focus aimed towards his sister, same as Shikamaru's, and his mother gaping in shock, and his father who– who...

He didn't look confused. His father looked... Shikamaru couldn't read what he looked like, not exactly. Not when his father didn't want him to. But he didn't look confused.


It was a visceral, purely instinctive reaction, a way to shield himself from the rising horror, because no. That was impossible.

His father didn't look confused.

Shikako opened her mouth, still looking so bewildered. And then realization crossed her face.

"Oh. That."

Shikamaru's world tilted sideways.

"I have hyper-chakra sensitivity. I'm pretty sure that's what you're feel– wait, you're hurt by that?" his sister asked, bewildered once more. His sister, who'd had hyper-chakra sensitivity her entire life. His sister, who was always–

"It is pain. I have accustomed to it's presence. But I do not like it." Gaara Of The Desert answered calmly. "So it is a medical condition?" he asked, interested and calm and his sister was always

"Yes, it basically means my chakra sense is too overdeveloped. It makes me feel chakra in ways most people don't. But... it's not really pain, is it? It's just an awareness. It doesn't hurt." his sister answered calmly.

And Shikamaru wanted to scream. Because of course it hurt!

Her soulmate wouldn't be able to feel it otherwise.

And Shikako, his sister, his twin, was always

He'd known she had hyper sensitivity since forever. But he hadn't thought– she never showed– it couldn't be– except it was, because her soulmate felt it, and that meant–

"It is a constant sensation, and it is not pleasant. But I... have grown glad for it's presence. It means you are well." Gaara Of The Desert said, and Shikako blushed, and smiled awkwardly, and Gaara Of The Desert's mouth twitched into something that might almost be a smile, and his mother was trying to suppress her own horror, and his father didn't look confused and his sister was always in pain!

And Shikamaru, frozen in shock, in horror, couldn't help but –scream, he couldn't prevent this, couldn't plan, couldn't fix this!– wonder.

Was this why his sister never seemed to notice when she was hurt?

5/17/2016 . Edited 7/25/2016 #508
Ashen Author

They wouldn't send him to Blood Prison with all those valuable kekkei genkai samples attached.

Hey, is Shikakau has "Duty", and Shikako stole Zabuza's and Haku's, what are some other death marks people have or that she took?

Actually, what happened with the sound trio's marks? Is there like an opposite of Kintsukuroi, where you kill someone despite them not being destined to die? What would their marks have said? Cannonically, Dosu would probably not have picked a fight with Gaara if he had "Sand", so something like "Demon," "Moon" (because the full moon gets Shukaku's blood boiling, and isn't that so much more meaningful when we know about Kaguya?) or something to do with trying to attack Gaara early?

And then Kin and Zaku would both have "Sacrifice" or something. Then Shikako comes along and, and…

I just though of other people Shikako 'saved'. Tayuya, Sakon, and Jirobo presumably didn't survive the cannon retrieval arc, but Shikako's rapport with Sasuke and tactics had them captured instead of killed. Would she get Jirobo's "Butterfly," Tayuya's "Log", and Sakon's "Puppet"?

edit: got ninja'd, but Loeka I love Shikamaru's rising horror. Could you pretty please do something similar from Shikaku or Yoshino's point of view? Or if someone from/all of Team Seven hears about this?

5/17/2016 . Edited 5/17/2016 #509
This is amazing, and I love it so much. (And Yoshino invited Gaara over for tea once Sand are allies again. Of course she does. Yoshino is so underrated. And of course Shikaku and Shikamaru just HAVE to be there, watching. And Shikamaru is glaring- hah!
5/17/2016 #510
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