Actions

Work Header

Bright Shade

Chapter Text

 "Speaking."

Jutsus – I don't know all the names and translations, so I might just write it in English if I do know the proper name I will write the translation in brackets

 


 

Nara Shikaku was considered many things. A lazy genius was a common description, but he was also considered a force to be reckoned with out in the field. He enjoyed his downtime, no doubt, simply laying under the lone tree that stood between his house and the Nara forest. However, he loathed being unable to help.

 

The end of summer was nearing, and the Third Shinobi war was raging. His comrades were out fighting for their country. He was sitting beside his sleeping wife in her hospital room, a scroll in his hands and his thoughts drifting elsewhere instead of the report he should have been writing.

 

He had just arrived from a mission when he was informed his wife had gone into labour and that he should go to the hospital to be with her. By the time he arrived his wife had already been asleep, and he had immediately called for the medic for information.

 

His daughter apparently decided to arrive a month early and thus made him miss her arrival by mere hours. Shikaku pinched the bridge of his nose, Yoshino was going to be pissed that he missed it.

 

He was pulled out of his musings by a soft knock on the door, Chōza opening it just enough to glance inside.

 

"Just a minute." Shikaku stood from his seat, rolling up the scroll and placing it on the bedside table. He walked out of the quiet room, shutting the door silently behind him.

 

"How are they?" Chōza asked as he and Inoichi leaned against the wall opposite of the door.

 

"Healthy." Shikaku sighed, tilting his head in a gesture to make them follow him. "Yoshino arrived early this morning at the hospital and the babe was born just an hour before we arrived."

 

"Yoshino will be so annoyed." Inoichi stated gleefully, causing Chōza to snort and Shikaku to let out a grumble.

 

"To be fair, your little girl was a bit early. I'm sure she won't hold it against you." Chōza pats his shoulder before they stopped in front of a window looking into the hospital's nursery.

 

There were several empty bassinets reflecting that they were after all still in the middle of a war. The three Jōnin peered into the room, eyes searching for the baby swaddled in a blanket with the Nara symbol.

 

"Nara Shizuka" Shikaku said pointing her out to the other two, a small smile playing on his lips.

 

"Akira and Miku will come later this evening to see Yoshino and the baby." Inoichi glanced at his comrade who still gazed at his daughter. "And us three will go get a drink."

 

"Yoshino- "

 

"Will have our wives for company. And we need to celebrate you becoming a father before we are sent out on another mission." Inoichi insisted, giving his friend a pat on his shoulder. "Now the Hokage has given you two weeks, but that isn't guaranteed since all Jōnin are on call."

 

"And Inoichi and I already have a mission lined up in four days. I believe your brother will be going with us as you are on leave." Chōza took a step back from the window as the three turned to walk back to Yoshino's room.

 

"Until later then." Shikaku waved as his friends left the hospital and continued on his way to his wife's bedside.

 

Shikaku relaxed into the chair with eyes closed. During war moments of quiet were rare, and moments in which a vision of peace became vivid were even rarer. As he waited for his wife to awaken he indulged himself in imagining his daughter growing up.

 


 

Shizuka was a Nara through and through. With her father's dark hair and brown eyes and nose, the father-daughter duo was often found napping together under the shade of a tree when he was off duty. Like most Naras, she was observant and clever, recognizing patterns from a young age.

 

Luckily for Shikaku, she was a quiet child who stayed out of trouble. For the most part. Her curiosity often led her into problematic situations, like reaching out to the shadows moving wildly when two Naras were practising and thus getting stuck. At least she was a quick learner and didn't make the same mistake twice, especially not after a scolding from her mother.

 

Not so fortunately, the quick learning and curiosity gathered a lot of attention that Shikaku did not want on his daughter. He tried to protect her as much as he could from the consequences of war and the scouts searching for little prodigies to train.

 

Although he did not wish for her to make genin anytime soon, and hopefully not before the end of this war, it did not stop him from getting her a retired Nara clan member to start her on regular lessons as soon as she was old enough. He had only started her on physical training a couple months after she turned six.

 

He was immensely relieved as the war dwindled down and victory hovered just out of reach. The arrival of her little brother, Shikamaru, brought out a bubblier personality from his daughter, much to the amusement of the rest of the clan.

 

Despite his daughter having the usual Nara temperament, she had that spark of curiosity that just pushed her to be more active and more dedicated than other kids in the clan. In the end, Shikaku knew he couldn't keep her from entering the academy nor could he keep her from advancing through her classes.

 


 

 

Shizuka enjoyed the academy. At least the part where she learned new things, but she didn't care for anything else.

 

She was the type of child that grew bored easily and even though her teachers placed her in more advanced classes whenever possible, she still found herself taking naps in some classes.

 

She knew her father didn't necessarily want her to graduate early and so she kept her grades high enough to be in the top of her class but not high enough to bring attention to herself.

 

Not that it worked so well.

 

From the very first day, her file stated she had above average intelligence and that she was a powerful sensor. Courtesy of her near fainting during the welcoming ceremony for the academy when she was seven.

 

The overwhelming amount of chakra signatures in the relatively small space was a bit too much for her and had caused her to stumble and clutch her head in pain. Her father had knelt down, a concerned expression on his face, but she could barely concentrate.

 

Sure, she had walked through the village and often played with children her age and also being constantly surrounded by her clan members. However, the theory stood that the number of strangers present, most of them adults, had brought on the lightheadedness. It had been too much chakra for her to handle at once.

 

Another thing that she did not particularly enjoy about the academy was the students. The younger kids didn't have the same mentality as she did, and she was often annoyed at some of the questions they asked. While she knew it wasn't their fault, she couldn't help but isolate herself from them.

 

Meanwhile, the older students often teased her for being so short and frequently called her lazy. Not that she minded that either. Her uncle Daichi often said she'd be perfect for infiltration and recon missions as she was small, quick and quiet.

 

She supposed it couldn't be helped, and instead turned her solitude into practice. She would observe her comrades, noting everything she could from a distance. Friendships, rivalries, strengths, weaknesses, habits and so on. She figured it would come in handy when she was assigned a team when she graduated.

 

She was brought out of her thoughts by Jun-sensei tapping on her desk, informing her it was time to go home.

 

"Sorry, Jun-sensei, I was distracted." She sheepishly tucked a strand that had fallen out from her braid behind her ear.

 

"It's not like you don't already know the properties of these plants." The woman shook her head and followed her student out the of the classroom. "But I do believe you will be better off paying attention tomorrow when I go over identifying poisons and antidotes."

 

"I'll be sure to stay awake, Jun-sensei!" She looked up to her teacher with a wide grin before spotting her mother and little brother standing just outside of the academy. "See you tomorrow!"

 

She quickly ran to her mother and brother and walking with them towards the market, talking animatedly about her day.

 

While Shizuka did get bored in a class or two, the fact that the graduation exam was just within her grasp gave her the energy she needed to push through those last few months of dull classes.

 


 

Shikaku knew she was bound to graduate early and so a few months later, just two weeks after her birthday, he was not surprised to see a new leaf headband tied securely to her head.

 

As he had promised her years before, the family went out to dinner at one of the Akimichi barbecue restaurants they often frequented. They ended up inviting Inoichi's and Chōza's families as well for the small celebration.

 

"To the newest Konoha genin!" The adults chimed, raising their glasses, snorting as the girl blushed tomato red before mumbling a thank you. For the entirety of dinner, the adults talked amongst themselves and the children all asked Shizuka what the graduation test was like.

 

On the way home, the family walked silently in the cool breezes of autumn. The two youngest Naras a couple of steps ahead of their parents.

 

"To-san, do you know who my team is? I didn't stay long enough to see who graduated." She looked back, matching her pace to her father's.

 

"I might. But you'll find out tomorrow." Shikaku smiled at his daughter's narrowed eyes.

 

"Not even a hint?" Now it was his turn to narrow his eyes. He knew his daughter kept tabs on all her classmates and he wouldn't be surprised if she deduced one or two team members simply based on that information.

 

"Shikaku…" Yoshino warned as he thought about her request.

 

"You heard your mother, no hints."

 

"That isn't what she said." She grumbled, gaining a stern look from her mother and a shrug from her father.

 

As they got home, the children quickly got ready for bed and the adults walked to their room once sure they were fast asleep.

 

"So, who are they?" Yoshino asked curiously as she lay down after having changed. Shikaku raised an eyebrow but put the scroll he had been reading aside.

 

"Team 4: Akiyama Masaru and Hitotose Kaito under Hori Kouta." He chuckled, and his wife snorted.

 

"They all have season's in their name. Except for their sensei." Yoshino turned to face her husband. "What do you think? Aren't those the boys she complained about for most of last year?"

 

Shikaku hummed thinking on the choice of teammates for his daughter. Masaru was strong in genjutsu and a decent tracker, while Kaito was better at ninjutsu and taijutsu. Personality wise Masaru was often described as a bully by his daughter and Kaito as a bystander who rarely took initiative. Their sensei was someone he had worked with personally and knew was a master in weapons as well as ninjutsu. Despite his intense expectations, he was actually a rather well-liked Jōnin.

 

"It's a balanced team." He finally answered. "I don't know what they were thinking putting her with Masaru, they had several disagreements over the years and she often made a point of beating him in spars rather dramatically." Yoshino chuckled and closed her eyes.

 

"Be ready for her rants to increase. She will, after all, be seeing him more often than she probably did in the academy." Shikaku groaned and his wife chuckled again before turning over and turning off the lights.

 

Shizuka might have ended up on a team with people she didn't necessarily like, but Shikaku had a feeling that it would just kick-start a friendship to last the ages.