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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Kakashi had to admit, he wasn't attached; he was so far beyond attached, it wasn't even funny.

Thank you. His POV was so sweet and aching.

9/12/2016 #2,071
"He seemed easily distracted. Are all operatives like that?"

Adorable. Both of them.

9/12/2016 #2,072
Zabuza doesn't really do affection.

To be frank, he doesn't know how.

Kudos for pulling this off.

9/12/2016 #2,073

So all the talk about how all the soulmates for Shikako seemed a bit one-sided with the other party seemingly getting the most out of it made me wonder what kind of soulmate would be best for Shikako. This is the 'short' result of that.

In all the wonderings Shikako had done about her 'soulmate', she had never thought that the other person would also be like her. A misplaced soul who remember another life. And not only remembered another life, but had read a manga call Naruto.

Shikako didn't know how to feel. Here, was someone who could actually understand. Who knew what was to come. Someone she could actually work with, fully. A part of her felt like crying just from the sheer relief of being able to share the burden that was the future. And she could finally understand what people meant when they said a soulmate was the best person for you, the other half of your soul.

I also ended up with 2000 words of what is turning into a story that I really don't want to write but can't seem to stop involving one of my SI/OC being Shikako's soulmate. Though if people are really interested in that, then I'll finish and post something with that when it's not my bedtime and I can think straight...

9/12/2016 #2,074

Chiyako would be cute, but goddamn if the idea of Shikako having someone weaker than her for a soulmate doesn't stress me right out. Shikako is already breaking so hard trying to protect people who are at or above her level. Giving her someone who's basically defenseless before all the Akatsuki/Madara/kaguya?/shinobi war stuff is resolved would probably ruin her.

9/12/2016 . Edited 9/12/2016 #2,075

Aside for the Soulless!vese - Do the Senju still have way better medical capabilities than the Uchiha? I'm just wondering if injuries that Tobirama would consider crippling to someone with Senju medical care might actually be lethal for an Uchiha?

9/12/2016 #2,076
The Real Chys Lattes


It would make the most sense that someone from her Before world would be most like her in how their souls are constructed at the very least, (for lack of chakra in reincarnating) even if it's not an emotional and mental correlation kind of thing. Someone else who was originally without chakra, which in Naruto-verse is canonically passed on with the soul, so the world decided 'eh, let's connect these two like-souls since there's nothing else to connect them to' sort of thing. Interesting idea!

9/12/2016 #2,077
ocean's pebble

@MathIsMagic I have to say, I really enjoy that thought of "this is a crippling injury" versus "strung out deathblow" in the Senju versus Uchiha. (Yes, I am a horrible person.)

And I actually think that this might even apply to Hashirama more than Tobirama, because Hashirama doesn't want to kill off this clan that he wants to ally with, but if he can injure enough people then maybe the Uchiha will consider allying with him as they have fewer warriors to field but still retain clan members that now need a certain amount of care.

But from the Uchiha point of view, the guy who says that he wants to ally with them keeps dealing out these horrible injuries that won't kill outright but the bloodloss/infection/etc will. So the message he's sending is "Ally with us, or I will kill you in horrible ways." So even if they do ally with his clan, they have no idea how he's going to treat them - Senju are also known to have multiple techniques, they don't focus on a single skill set, so if the Uchiha ally with them are they going to be turned into experiments by the Senju? The clan head clearly has no compunction about (essentially) torturing them to death, what else is his clan camp able of?

And Madara is just... How? Has my childhood friend who was this goof that dreamed of world peace? Turned into monster?! What?

...Especially if Hashirama convinces the rest of his clan to follow suit, because, y'know, he wants the Uchiha to be allies. Oof.

(Okay brain, please stop giving me nightmare fuel. Enough is enough.)

9/12/2016 #2,078
Well, who says the Uchiha seal mistress just does sealing? Or doesn't dabble in medical sealing as well? Maybe Mikako has just recently introduced new healing techniques that make these wounds survivable, and the Senju are acting so confident that the wounds ARE survivable, that the Uchiha go instead: "Even IF she was mobile and going around in the battlefield healing people in plain sight, it's not like Mikako's new advancements in healing had time to spread by word or deed- OH CURSES! The Senju are showing off their information-gathering prowess- WHERE ARE THE SPIES? Who is their spymaster? Also, WHERE ARE THE SPIES? ( In this verse, half the Uchiha therefore believe Hashirama is a devious and clever spymaster; others have voted for Tobirama or Toka. The attempts at alliances go even more poorly with Uchiha leaping from the trees shouting SPIES! Seemingly at random. (But mostly when outsiders go near the increasingly-annoyed-by-this Mikako.)
9/12/2016 #2,079

Oooh. I didn't think that through, but yeah, that is the logical conclusion, isn't it? "Torturous Senju bastards" indeed.

I totally believe Mikako will come up with a bunch of medical seals - it seems like a ton of surgical medicine in the show is done with seals anyways, so it's likely she can do a pretty good amount. And, between her work for Shikamaru and the inevitable attempts she makes to fix her own mobility, she might even come up with some stuff that makes the Senju's crippling blows not crippling. (This is when some of the other Senju start following Tobirama's example and going for the eyes.)

So really, it's half the Uchiha believe Hashirama's efforts and think the Senju just have ridiculously good spies and can't be trusted, and the other half think Hashirama was trying to torture their clan to death/submission, and that he's only spinning this 'mercy' line because he didn't anticipate Mikako's seals saving so many of them.

(Personally, of Laural's options, I'm headcanoning Mikako's legs are mangled or crushed, because I feel like missing legs are relatively easier to make chakra prosthetics for, and total paralysis doesn't let her have any mobility, which might be fitting, but would be annoying has hell to deal with in a world that doesn't have wheel chairs or handrails or anything.

Tobirama eventually has a massive side project in seals and/or medicine to help crippled shinobi, especially Mikako.)

9/12/2016 #2,080
Jade Estrella
Ok but in a world where no legs is *easier* than crippled legs......... Wouldn't Mikako/Shikako just cut them off? Imagine Madara's reaction to that.... And then in soul-less mate au tobirama would h e the conflicting views of 'good weapon; she did what she had to for her con and clan head' and 'that's my SOULMATE she's worth more than that(me)'. Meanwhile Madara and Hashirama are commiserating over idiotic you get siblings that have screwy priorities.
9/12/2016 #2,081

Thinking on Briar and Juno's comments of a good soulmate for Shikako, I tried to think about what Shikako actually needs in her life (mainly romantic soulmates, sue me, I find them adorable). A few thoughts came to mind.

  1. A soulmate is for life, not just the length of Naruto Canon. Whomever is Shikako's soulmate should be someone that's good for her during and/or after canon ends.
  2. Shikako's good points that should be reflective in her soulmate: good person, intelligent or witty, cares for family.
  3. Shikako's bad points that should be countered in her soulmate: over-worked, worried for the future.
  4. Shikako finds rambunctious personalities overbearing.
  5. I feel like it would be nice to have someone that isn't a major character. Someone that doesn't reflexively make Shikako concerned that her presence is ruining someone's 'happy ending' e.g. Sasuke and Sakura

Thinking on that, I was thinking that a fun soulmate idea would be to have someone a couple years older that works in Intelligence or at the mission's desk. Let's call him Hideki. A guy who's generally laid back and good with paperwork, but could use some spontaneous adventure here and there. And, just when things seem to get boring at the office, the MDI start going into a hullabaloo freaking out over the Dreaded Team Seven taking a mission and gets a kick out of them running around like headless chickens and bringing some excitement into the office. (An exorcist? Seriously, guys?) Then one day Hideki spots the kunoichi member of Team Seven. He tells her some innocuous instruction (Aoba would like you to swing by the mission's desk, or something like that) just to see how the MDIs will react. He does this a couple more times over the years, and conversations start to get longer as they get to know each other. He finds that he likes this witty and wonderful girl, and is quite tempted to ask her out to dinner sometime. Maybe when her brother and teammates stop giving him death glares of doom. Then, one day, it dawns on the two of them that they're soulmates. The death glares don't stop, but Shikako manages to reel her boys in from tearing him apart. They go on a few dates. Relax in the park. Have heated debates over their favourite books. Sometimes when Shikako gets overly serious or when he screws up on romantic moments he'll sing My Heart Will Go On (and, to this day, Shikako hasn't forgiven Kiba for showing her boyfriend the Princess Fuu movie). Years go by. When Shikako's working on an important seal and ends up falling asleep from exhaustion, she'll wake up in the morning to find his jacket draped over her shoulders. When Hideki gets lazy about completing his weekly quota of physical training, she'll drag him to a nearby training ground (and, when she feels particularly evil, will enlist the help of Lee or Kakashi-sensei into setting up the day's activity). Sometimes Hideki will be upset when she goes on missions and winds up in the hospital, again. Sometimes Shikako gets upset when he spends all night at work or let's the kids into her study and spills ink all over the carpet. They have their ups and downs. It's not the sort of relationship they imagined for their futures. But, when all is said and done, they wouldn't have it any other way.

That ended up more detailed and fluff-filled than I planned.

9/12/2016 #2,082

@Jade - Oh, I'm sure Mikako would like to do that. But the thing is, cutting off your own legs would definitely put you into shock. So even if Mikako was able to create seals that would keep her form dying of blood loss and infection and replace her legs completely (much harder than replacing with some of her leg still functional) - and I doubt it, because otherwise Konoha would have had them by canon, with a hundred years of Uzumaki seal masters and Senju medicine to help - she would still need someone else to go along with her plan (and her UNTESTED MEDICAL SEALS) for her to pull it off, and nobody is going to do that. She'd probably realize she's better off trying to find ways to compensate for her legs or solve the rest of her family/clan's problems instead.

@Dragon - aw. That's cute.

9/12/2016 #2,083
I like that Dragon. Especially the implication that the soulmate matching power is like 'eh fate of the world? You've got it under control'. Though honestly when you started listing qualities I thought we were going to end up on either Kiba or Lee.
9/12/2016 #2,084

Honestly, after those Kiba snippets around 200, I've been silently shipping Kiba and Shikaka. When you were talking about the character traits I was silently hoping you'd go with Kiba. But this was seriously cute, so I'm glad you didn't.

9/12/2016 #2,085

I like Kiba too. He's house-trained, after all ;P (P.S. Tsume is hilarious). But then I considered those last two points and it kinda messed me up. Then as a joke I thought 'what if it was an MDI? That'd be hilarious', and somehow that joke turned into fluff.

9/12/2016 . Edited 9/12/2016 #2,086

(They Call It) Soulless


Kamaru's first memory was of Kako holding him, easing away a gnawing hunger, whispering soft soothing things into his ear and holding a warm bottle to his mouth. Easy does it. Tiny sips, Kako murmured.

He snuggled deeper into her arms, taking just a little of that soft warmth for his own- and giggling, turned his face away from the bottle. Leaned into her warm brightness a little more. Smart boy, good boy. You keep up those tiny sips, now, just like I said.

Kako was the best.

Kako's first memory of Kamaru was of a tiny, squalling thing bundled up in a blanket at Mum's side.

He was tiny and precious and her baby brother.

At that realization, Kamaru scrawled itself across her hand, a bright glowing green.

"Not the most inconspicuous spot," Dad chuckled, "we'll have to get you a half-glove, now."

Kamaru's name was already in glowing blue on his upper forearm, newly settled next to Kako's own.

"Where do you think his 'marks are going to come in?" she wondered, pondering with some concern whether he'd be one of those rare kids with the names of his loved ones written on his face.

"No need to wonder when we'll find out in a day or two," Dad replied, sharing a fond smile with Mum.

"Do you want to hold him?" Mum asked.

Kako absolutely did.

"Hungry?" Kako asked, as Kamaru dragged himself to the couch with a groan.

"Starving," he said.

He wasn't really- not the way Chouji was, with that kind of stomach-rumbling a steady supply of chips could solve. But somewhere along the way, he and Kako had developed 'hungry' as a bit of a code for that aching-gnawing-lonely neediness that just overwhelmed Kamaru on occasion.

Mostly when he'd been away from Kako for awhile. Either because of a mission of Kako's, or a school-sponsored camping trip, or just a bad day. It was probably homesickness, of a sort.

He leaned into Kako, and she wrapped her arm around him. Ruffled his hair and tucked his head onto her shoulder.

Slowly, his tense muscles relaxed.

After Mom and Dad died, after Kako found an apartment for them, got her headband, held her little brother tight and gathered herself together and spoke up to the clouded night sky said no, not him too, I can't and I won't give him up he's MINE-

After all of that, Kako started telling her baby little brother stories.

She started with 'The Little Dutch Boy" the young boy who saw a crack in the dyke that held off the sea, and so stood all night with his small finger pressed against the weight of that great water, preventing disaster.

It seemed appropriate.

"Don't I get some say in whether or not I learn healing?" Kamaru groaned. None of the other eight-year-olds were doing this.

Kako raised an eyebrow. "What sounds more troublesome- walking on a broken ankle for miles while behind enemy lines, or bothering to memorize some exceedingly useful little facts?" Left unsaid was the promise that she'd bug him until he did get those useful little facts memorized.

Her face was in peaceful, placid, I-love-you-and-I'm-not-budging-an-inch mode.

Kamaru sighed.

He knew the other kids at the Academy didn't have to learn this kind of stuff, except for maybe Suzu. Worse yet, Kako never let him use medical studies as an excuse to slack off at Taijutsu.

And, since she was his chief defender in keeping him free of troublesome teachers who wanted to 'push him to excellence' she probably did at least have a reason for it. Probably a good one. Kako was smart. As smart as him, even if she always talked like she thought he was smarter. (That made him a little proud, all the same.)

…Maybe Kako was worried about medical expenses. Kamaru wasn't a genin yet, but he would be, in a few years. Genin got injuries- minor ones fairly often. Sometimes major ones.

Kako mostly took care of her own injuries, now- even if she tried to hide having been hurt on missions at all- but Kamaru still remembered when Kako had gotten hurt protecting him from that Kumo nin. And later, when she'd returned from that courier mission to Suna. Medical bills could be expensive.

Kamaru never had anything wrong with him. Well, technically he had some sort of skin condition that obscured his soul marks, but Kako had never made a big deal of it, and it was at most an annoyance. Kind of like a birthmark in an embarrassing place.

Kamaru knew what color his 'marks would be if they were properly visible, anyway, and half the time Kako helped him trace all his soulmates names onto his upper chest before he left for school.

Even if some of the others had required a little thought at first, Kamaru had always known how Kako's name would be marked- bright blue, like hers was for him. (Kamaru understood that some people had difficulty sorting out their feelings without looking at their marks. He could even sort of see why. Luckily, though, all of his relationships were fairly clear-cut. That might change when he ot older and started getting into romance, but Kamaru hoped not. It seemed troublesome.)

It might have been more than an annoyance, if the villagers had used it as a reason to treat him like- oh, like how they treated Naruto. But Kako had warned him not to ever mention anything about his 'birthmark.' (As code names went, it lacked a certain something.)

He'd been young enough at the time that he hadn't gotten an explanation beyond Because People Can Be Dumb and You Don't Want to Deal With Their Troublesome Nonsense, and as he'd grown older he'd come to realize that actually, that was a perfectly fine explanation to give at any age. (See Exhibit A: Villagers treatment of Naruto).

And experience had also backed up the idea that People would be Particularly Dumb about the whole soulmarks business. Sure they hid soulmarks constantly, made a fashion of it, even. But most adults Kamaru had met honestly seemed kind of dumb- at least compared to someone sensible, like Kako- and Kamaru would not put it past some of his fellows villagers to equate a tiny pigmentation issue, with- oh, being one of the Soulless. (Not that any of Konoha's civilians had seen a Soulless. Some ninja had- usually those with ranged techniques were sent to deal with reports of a sighting- but ignorance would hardly prevent people from expounding on the subject. See Exhibit B: Villagers talking about Naruto.)

Kamaru hadn't personally confirmed that that would be Konoha's attitude, but he hadn't felt any need to test the theory, either. For one, anything obscuring or affecting soulmarks negatively was pretty much taboo to talk about. And, likely to satisfy some idiot's moronic idea of propriety, Konoha didn't even include unpigmented soulmarks as a proper medical condition in the textbooks. Albinism and various other skin conditions, yes. Intimations that such conditions could ever effect soulmarks? Oh no, of course not.

The point was, aside from that relatively minor little thing, Kamaru was mostly healthy, and Kako likely wanted Kamaru to keep up his avoiding-the-hospitals streak, or at least reserve medical funds for things she couldn't fix on her own. Kamaru knew how hard she worked to make sure he had the best equipment for school- he didn't need her working overtime to cover medical bills for him as well.

If studying to do his own field healing was how Kako was going to let him help contribute to the household- well, maybe it was time to buckle down and do it. (Not to say he was going to stop grumbling about having to study in the early hours before school. Kako could have chosen a far more reasonable time for this nonsense.)

A little chakra to her ears when she's in bed goes unnoticed, especially when her parents are preoccupied with other matters.

"Kako's marks took almost a full week to come in, remember" Mom said, her voice wavering. "It could be that."

"…It could be." Dad acknowledged.

There was silence.

"She's gotten so attached," Mom said, voice cracking.

Kamaru always got the impression Kako wasn't quite happy with the Nara's offers to make him heir. It was the majority of the reason why he hadn't said yes or no yet.

"You'd make an amazing heir, and an amazing clan head," Kako always said when he asked, not voicing whatever unspoken words Kamaru could hear lingering at the end of that sentence.

He'd look up at the clouds sometimes, guessing at those answers. Maybe 'But Dad would have been too, and they threw him away.' Or 'But I still don't trust them with you.'

Or 'But then I'll be alone.'

If it's the last one, Kamaru knows she'll never, ever say it. If it's the last one, Kamaru will never, ever accept as position as heir.

Honestly, Kamaru is thinking it would be less troublesome just to do the paperwork to classify the Kinokawa as a Branch Clan of the Nara. (Independent status, check. Blood tie acknowledged, check. Continuance of the traditions Shikaku Nara wanted to pass on, check. Freedom from having to obey the elders of the Main Nara clan, check. And if the Nara could chalk up the way they treat Kako to 'tensions with a Branch clan,' then maybe they could stop feeling like they had to blame Kako for the way they treat her.) It's a possible solution.


Kamaru's chakra had always reminded her of a little black kitten, twining around her ankles and mewling piteously to be fed.

The first two weeks after his birth, the feeling of his chakra- the crying, hungry mewling she could almost hear- scraped against her soul.

Until Kyuubi. She'd felt that choking malice in the air- felt Kamaru flinching away from it, crying, but still pulling at it, mewling, trying to gather it in- and thought, oh.

Because it wasn't Kyuubi's chakra he was pulling at- it was some wispy, not-quite-chkra thing that she hand're recognized as separate from chakra (or from chakra-in the-the-air), until just that moment.

As good as Kako was at sensing energy, at six she hadn't been very good at categorizing what she felt. Not then.

But that night, waiting in the shelters, she had decided to distract herself the best she could by focusing on the wispy back-and-forth of the bonds between people. (With the Kyuubi's chakra breaking around her like a Tsunami, it was certainly an exercise in concentration.) She'd felt the wisps of Kamaru's not-quite-chakra roil and churn inside him, trying frantically to pull on someone, anyone else. Clutching for stability.

His wispy not-quite-chakra was in so much pain and imbalance that the Kyuubi's not-quite-chakra was helping.

Well, Kako could use her wispy not-quite-chakra and find a healthier way to help. Surely she could do better than the wispy-energy of something that was actually trying to hurt her brother.

Within the first hour, she'd managed something. Not much. And it hurt a little bit, pulling out that wispy stuff to give to her brother. But enough that she felt like she could tell her parents- Mom, Dad, I've found out how to do a thing that I think might help 'Ru-chan-

And then, of course, they'd died.

"You save energy if you can figure out how to absorb it back into yourself after taking it out," Kako said, peering over the boys' shoulders as Kamaru and Chouji worked on their homework together. (Kamaru had long since learned that there were some times when avoiding doing his homework would take far, far more effort than at least writing something down.)

The words made sense individually, but-

"The teachers act like using chakra for a jutsu… uses it up." Kamaru frowned.

"It does sometimes," Kako said, shrugging. "But sometimes you let it out, circle it around where it needs to go, let it do what needs to get done, and then pull it back inside afterwards. You might lose very little, if any at all."

"Huh," Chouji said, tone contemplative.

"Although I have no idea how that applies to the Akimichi techniques, so don't rely on my advice in that respect," Kako defended.


Kako had met a (real) Soulless, once. She'd fought it. She'd killed it.

She'd felt the empty gaping pit inside it, seen the blazing eyes and manic insanity that resulted when a perfectly physically healthy brain was combined with… well. Such a grasping, all-consuming, immolating spiritual hunger. If there could be said to still be a spirit to be hungry.

She'd felt that pit inside the Soulless, and the pull like a black hole sucking in the spiritual energy of everything else around. And then the Soulless had seen them- seen prey, seen food- and started pulling on purpose, and she'd heard the agonized screams of many of her comrades as they fell. (Death would have been kinder for them.)

Kako had pulled herself back of course- she had practice enough, from feeding Kamaru.

(In the early days it had hurt and clawed and ached to feed Kamaru her spiritual energy, as much as she had refused to consider doing otherwise. But now she cycled her spiritual energy through Kamaru and lost only a bare dusting of that power. Now that Kamaru wasn't bleeding energy off trying to reach out to other souls, now that his energy was able to mimic the familiar pattern of share-cycle-share that soulmarked people in this world managed reflexively, things were a lot easier.)

Kako could fight the pull of the Soulless, too, not just escape it- and Kako credited that to practice slapping her little brother's energy away from other people (thank all the world no one in Konoha was as good as sensor as she, thank everything he hadn't hurt or killed anyone) until he'd reflexively sought out hers alone.

The Soulless had been mildly difficult to kill- fragments of cunning and intelligence still rested in that brain, as tattered as the soul was. Her captain, arriving late on the scene, had managed a weary 'well done.'

She'd gone home heartsick and with only half her squad.

Kako wonders what it says about her, that she developed a viable treatment plan to save an infant born without soulmarks, and infant who still didn't form them after week one, or two, or three… and kept that information to herself.

She can feel it. She can cure it- but only in someone she's willing to dedicate her entire life to.

And is it because she doesn't believe it would work if it wasn't performed by her, and she's not willing to kill herself in a year trying to save every afflicted infant in the Elemental Nations?

Is it because Konoha has always dealt with the problem of infants-born-Soulless practically, and Kako isn't sure that the promise of a cure, the evidence of zero associated fatalities, and years of good-endearing-child behavior on Kamaru's part would be enough to make them go against tradition?

Kako really doesn't know what this says about her.

Maybe she'll write down her technique in a will, to be read after herself and Kamaru have passed on. So some other sister, some other mother, can save the child they love from a destiny of despair and madness.

Kako was able to save Kamaru from that fate.

Or maybe someday she'll be able to do the same for others wihtout revealing Kamaru;s secret; with a seal designed for the process, if she doesn't have the capability to treat them herself.

But Kako knows she can never let Konoha find out about Kamaru.

She'll never tell him, if she can help it.

(He deserves better to have that weighing on him.)

She's lucky he's not gotten curious about why, despite studying medicine and having access to the same textbooks used by mednin, he's seen no evidence of skin conditions having ever affected the appearance of soulmarks.

She knew it was a risk when she started guiding him towards medicine. But the alternative was letting him work as a field ninja, letting him report his aches and pains and serious wounds and medical history to a healer who wouldn't think twice before writing up a report on the matter.

(People talked about Soulless like they were born monsters, born to eat the souls of those they come across, but Kako knows the first soul a Soulless succeeds in eating is its own. )

9/12/2016 . Edited 9/12/2016 #2,087

Oh, wow. Dona. Wow. That's just. Ooof. So dark and sad and sweet. Love love love this take on Soulless, and this care!Kako.

("She's gotten attached." Oooooh.)

9/12/2016 #2,088
The Real Chys Lattes

That was interesting. Makes me wonder what her parents would have done.

9/12/2016 #2,089
... What happens if / when Kako is knocked out, by tsukiyomi coma or otherwise, and Kamaru has to go the whole time without being 'fed'?
9/12/2016 #2,090
Best case scenario? That line about how he's learned to mimic the cycle thingy with Kako's soul would be enough to keep him stable. If he clings to her and refuses to leave her side then he might manage it. That's him though, he could do a lot of accidental damage to Kako while she's not awake enough to regulate things. That would kill Shika. He wouldn't forgive himself... Ooh can we have a snippet where he's on a long mission and someone else has equiv sensing skills to Kamaru? (I'm not quite ready for the angst of Kamaru finding out what he is)
9/13/2016 #2,091

Ooh. Just thought of an interesting scenario - this is a Care!Kako verse where Shikaku was just comatose, not dead. So eventually he comes in, all happy that his kids are alive and not Soulless (and furious at his clan and everyone for abandoning his kids) and eventually finds out that no, Shikamaru is indeed still markless and Shikako is feeding him pieces of herself (literally, not just metaphorical, working herself to the core to rake care of him because she was six when they all abandoned her- well, that anger is for later) to keep him stable and oh god what do I do???

9/13/2016 #2,092

...It occurs to me that a particularly nice time for Shikaku to wake up would be when Tsunade comes back. Hmmm....

(Maybe all the Ino-Shika-Chi are in stasis, here. I'm not sure how chill smol!Kako would have been about letting another infant in such close daily contact with Hungry!'ru-chan.)

And now I'm also imagining ten/eleven year old Kako returning home post-Gelel, with a crystal in her forehead as in Tir's fic.

Konoha General is a little concerned about a genin coming back with a mysterious crystal stuck on them, and tries to remove it. They DO successfully remove it. A person promptly grows from the crystal, a little genetic copy of Kako with gold hair and eyes and pale skin that faintly glows, and 'Kako' and 'Kamaru' and 'Gelel' all written in gold on her forehead.

After some discussion- and the revelation that Kako had an encounter with a giant chakra-being in Suna- the medic's eventually conclude that the baby is healthy, the baby's originals are super classified, and the baby will be going home with Kako and Kamaru.

(Soulmarks as indicators of kin are taken Very Seriously- no glowing-child nabbing for Danzo.) Kamaru, who was allowed to stay with Kako as the medic's conduct a 'minor incision to remove the crystal,' is belatedly introduced to his new 'little sister,' and later told Very Seriously that he has to say Reiko-chan was adopted, if anyone asks.

(Interesting fact: Kako introduces Reiko as Kamarus sister because she's thinking of Reiko as her genetic clone. Kamaru is thinking of Reiko as 'Kako's new baby.' Kamaru who has now been introduced to Reiko as his little sister. Kamaru maybe develops a private theory that HIS cover story is everybody pretending Kako's parents weren't his grandparents, instead. Clearly he came from a rock like Reiko-chan, after Kako ran into some Kyuubi chakra. He's vaguely aware this isn't how most adults become parents, but maybe Kako has a special bloodlimit. Even when he's older, Kamaru still secretly believes he came from a rock like Reiko-chan.

Kako spends the first few months of Reikos life being Very Stressed Out, becuase she's successfully taught Kamaru to only feed off herself, but baby Reiko's energy and her own are too similar for him to distinguish. It's more than a little agonizing, because she loves both of them so much already (Reiko's existence weirded her out a bit at first, but the baby is too bright and joyously HAPPY to possibly be her-in-different-body) but what if it's not safe for the kids to be together?

However, baby Reiko, while in many respects just a baby, has a good bit of Gelels tendency to just want 'to make the little glowing lights strong," and talent enough to do it without hurting herself. So the baby is fine. Is downright enthusiastic about sharing, enough so that Kako actually has to stop the kids energy from poking at other people and seeing if they need anything.

Kamaru is super pleased about being a big brother, (and he would be super, super horrified if he found out he was feeding from her spiritual energy during those cuddle sessions, even if the nature of Reiko's existence means she's less baby affected by that than any human ever.

Reiko is... Mostly human. A bit like Geles attempt to 'fix' Hayate, Reiko is Geles attempt to 'fix' Kako enough that she (or she-and-Reiko) won't be harmed by the strain of caring for Kamaru. Reiko Is good with spiritual energy (often converts natural energy ar Ume her into spiritual energy, which gave Kako another heart attack) but can't use chakra properly- that crystal is in her with gate, and the medic's understandibly a leery of messing with it. Instead she turns bits of herself into a weird starry glowing shadow- thing when she tries to make chakra. Kamarus name is on green and gold now-still on her forehead- and Kako's is blue-gold.

The Nara, under the assumption she has no Nara blood or at least is just too weird to deal with, have not offered to fold Reiko into the clan. ...Kamaru is totally establishing the Kinokawa as a proper Branch Clan here, with Kako as the head and himself as the heir.)

...And this was originally a response to the idea of Shikaki waking up. Well, the guy is going to be Very Cofused.)

9/13/2016 . Edited 9/13/2016 #2,093
I'm just thinking, what if Shikaku woke up and the first person he recognized was Shikamaru, who's calling him Gramps, and told him that he has been in a coma for a very long time.Then Reiko, who vaguely/completely looks like Shikako, comes in and Shikamaru introduces her as his sister. What are the chances that for the first 10 minutes or so (with his Nara Intellect at Work) Shikaku is 95% convinced his been asleep for over 20 years and these are his grandchildren. Especially with the Blue (parental) "Kako" marks on both of them and each others in Green?
9/13/2016 #2,094
Hah! Well, he probably doesn't see Kamaru's marks (as they're not there to see) but since Reiko's soulmarks are essentially a blazing neon sign on her forehead... Yes. I like that headcanon :) (Imaginjng Inoichi and Chouza in the background, thinking they e been asleep for 30 years
9/13/2016 #2,095
"Clearly he came from a rock like Reiko-chan, after Kako ran into some Kyuubi chakra." That's some fairytale level of WTH-ness going on here. It'll be funny if he subtly asks if Kako is pregnant/is incubating/has a rock after the Suna/Sound invasion if the Ichibi was released. We can totally link this up to the Itachi misunderstanding.
9/13/2016 #2,096

Read dona's snippet last night and this popped out of my head this morning, gotta get ready for work now.

Kakashi Hatake was a monster, he shouldn't be alive.

But he wasn't a souless monster.

Even though he should be.

He sometimes wondered, if it wouldn't be easier.

What use did a monster like him have for a soul anyway?

Then he stared at the memorial stone, remembered Rin and Obitio.

He deserved to suffer, and he wouldn't if he let the knawing hunger carve away his own soul.

At first he hadn't known, hadn't realized he was any different than the others.

Other than the obvious, his blasting through the academy when other children were still fumbling their kunai. He would come home and tell his father who would hold him close and tell him how proud he was. He had always felt strangely full and satisfied at those times, and there was a knawing unsettling ache whenever his father went away on missions. However his father went on less and less missions as he grew older.

He said he was tired. That spending time with his son was more important. Then one day he refused a long term mission from the Hokage, a very important mission, one people said could have prevented the war.

After that he was reviled as a traitor, his friends, his comerades turned against him. Then one day he came home to his fathers corpse and a note.

In it Sakumo told his son everything, that after his wifes death, during childbirth Kakashi had been all he had left of her, so when his soulmarks didn't come in after a while, instead of distancing himself, he held his son closer, used his chakra in the hopes he could form a bond that way, his soulmarks didn't come in, but something had worked because his son, grew up a fairly normal toddler, even though he could feel the drain on his own soul, his son was not growing up an empty monster. so he continued, but after a while...

He was a moster who had devoured his fathers soul in place of his own. After he realized what was really happening he became more aware of the hunger and learned to control it fairly quickly, to an extent. He was a genius after all.

Still he nearly lost his own soul in the beginning as he was accustomed to feeding from his father, and felt guilty about drawing from anyone else. Before he learned to feed just enough on the people around him that they wouldn't notice. Before realizing enemy ninja were fair game. Thankfully, or not, most people attributed his distant half empty state to grief. A part of him wished they would figure it out, put him out of his misery.

Sensei was there, however and later Rin and Obito, and slowly his soul began to heal, from both greif and the starvation he subjected himself to after the death of his father. Souls did heal, and rebuild, otherwise he would never have been able to sustain himself between missions.

He almost felt he could confide what he was to sensei, but then he lost Obito, and later Rin, and he couldn't bear to risk losing sensei too. Then he lost sensei anyway. Maybe the universe was trying to tell him that mosters shouldn't have people to care about, to care about them back. Even when he didn't feed on their energy He managed to kill them anyway.

So he lost himself in ANBU. Surely a monster like him was best inflicted on Konohas enemies, it was easier that way too, always a target to feed on, he was going to kill them anyway, why not have a good meal first. and it sustained him better and longer than the tiny bits and pieces from various strangers he got from Konoha.

But Recently the Sandaime had been concerned that he was working too hard, and insisted he take a vacation. Suggesting that perhaps he think about taking a genin squad, like a proper jounin.

What a brilliant Idea, starve him and then give him responsibility for three helpless children. Nope. so much nope. Not that he told the Hokage the first part.

.....' thats all I got for now...gotta go to work..said that allready

9/13/2016 #2,097
Huh, that's pretty interesting. Wonder how Kakashi would react to Kamaru (or whatever his name is in this verse). He could probably feel the passive soul sucking (Demetors? Lol) sensation Kamaru gives off, as one predator to another. Would Kakashi feel anger, jealousy, pity, envy or sympathy towards this oblivious little soulless? And what about his knowingly feeding sister? Because I'm trash for any Kakashi-Shikako interaction and I want him to subconsciously project Sakumo onto her and just ask her why is she raising this soulless kid at the cost of her (metaphorical and literal) life?
9/13/2016 #2,098
I'd like in that verse for Kako to be apprenticed to Kakashi. He has to draw out her potential (but slowly - she does have a kid), emphasise with her as one genius to another, and generally help her find a way to best help her with benefitting Konoha. Kako has to put up with a weakly sucking Kakashi moping around who is vaguely aware that something is up with Kamaru. But. He also teaches her little things. And while she isn't willing to feed him too - she can sort of maybe teach him herself?
9/13/2016 #2,099

These Hungry!Soulless fics are awesome!

9/13/2016 #2,100
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