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Kototama [AtLA/Naruto Crossover]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by LuceLucky, Jun 30, 2021.

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  1. Threadmarks: Prologue
    LuceLucky

    LuceLucky Getting some practice in, huh?

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    Synopsis:

    Ryuuko burns. There's lightning beneath his skin and fire in his lungs.

    Alternative Title: Adopting Shinobi One Tea Session at a Time and Other Sure Fire Ways to Die.

    (Excuse the pun)

    OR: Zuko is determined to teach his colleagues what the Gaang taught his hangry sixteen years old self, and Konoha shinobi are a little confused but they got the spirit.





    Kototama/Kotodama - 言霊, lit. "word spirit/soul". Refers to the Japanese belief that mystical powers dwell in words and names. The notion of kotodama presupposes that sounds can magically affect objects, and that ritual word usages can influence our environment, body, mind, and soul.


    Prologue


    Ryuuko is fourteen when he finds Kakashi and Rin in the aftermath of a bloodbath.


    He's fourteen (but also ninety-six and drawing his last breath on his bed, surrounded by his loved ones) and still far too young to find them amongst the remains of Kiri anbu.


    It was the smell that brought him here, that made him deviate from his mission and consequently break a couple of his mission parameters. But Ryuuko has never taken well to the life of shinobi or their rules, and well, any smell of blood and gore so potent and so close to the border between Wave and Fire country is worth investigating, right?


    Especially during war. Right!


    He's barely in a thirty-meter radius from the place when he retches, the smell too overpowering for his enhanced senses. Not for the first time, Ryuuko curses his Hatake genes, particularly his Hatake nose.


    He doesn't wear a mask like Kakashi, thinks if he puts one on he might never take it off, not for anyone or anything.


    Resigning himself to a negative overstimulation of his olfactory system, he grits his teeth and continues on.


    When he arrives at the clearing, Ryuuko is witness to the horrifying sight of Rin's cold corpse and Kakashi bathing in blood and mud underneath the full moon.


    His Sharingan unwillingly swirls to life, committing the image to memory, to his dreams, a source of inspiration for nightmares that will plague him from hereon.


    Ryuuko curses the Uchiha name. It's something that has become a habit.


    He breathes through his mouth, trying to alleviate the strain on his sensitive nose. The awful smell of death leaves an aftertaste on his tongue, in the back of his throat. His stomach churns with nausea.


    He studies the surroundings, careful of any sign of the enemy. Iron. So much red, glinting darkly in the light of the waning full moon. Wood. Branches and trees—bare, twisted, and deformed—bursting unevenly from the ground, from bodies. Unnatural. Unheard of. Ryuuko has only heard of one person who could wield wood like this.


    The smell of ozone—


    Kakashi!


    Any caution flies to the wind as Ryuuko sprints towards that smather of silver hair, darkened with blood. Kakashi is half-buried in the mud, and chakra pool so low he might as well be a corpse amongst many. Alive. Probably suffering from chakra exhaustion but no major injuries besides that.


    He'll survive their trip back to Konoha.


    He drops to his knees, uncaring of soiling his pants, and turns his cousin so that he's not facedown anymore, pulls his mask down and wipes his face, making double sure he's really breathing. He is. Alive, thank Agni, he's alive.


    The next step is hard, so hard. Ryuuko doesn't want to do it, doesn't want to look up and see what's left of Rin, wants nothing more than to bury his face in Kakashi's neck and go to sleep and wake up far away from here. And if he can't do that, then at least pick his cousin and flee back to Konoha, where the sun is warm and the walls of the village guard them in the night.


    Let a retrieval squad take care of this. He can't do this. He can't. He can't.


    But he has to. He owes it to Rin, his friend. Sweet-smelling, warm-hearted Rin, the girl whose smiles remind him of bright, careless days (of an older girl with dark skin and blue eyes and the power to shape water, to make it heal and cut through iron.)


    Ryuuko knows that he can't leave Rin here. The guilt will eat him alive. And this time, Rin won't be there to forgive him. (Katara won't be there to lay a hand on his scar and forgive him.)


    So he picks up his head and goes to her side.


    There's a hole through Rin's chest, and he's studied anatomy enough to know her heart has been thoroughly destroyed. Her torso, shoulders, throat, neck, what he can see of her arms—all are riddled with lightning scars. Her hitai-ate glints duller than the discarded weapons under the moon.


    His hands shake as he pulls out a scroll from his pack. He rolls it open and lays it on the driest place he can find closest to Rin. He never thought picking his friend's body and laying it on the scroll would hurt this much.


    He brushes matted her out of her face, uses his sleeves to clean it of most of the dirt and tears and vomit and blood, Agni, this is too much—


    There. Now he can see the purple markings on her cheeks. (Azula was fourteen when she stabbed him with lightning during their first and last Agni Kai.) He bites his lip so hard he tastes blood.


    "You were so young," he tells her, voice a trembling whisper. They are all so young. "You were brilliant and kind, and I'm so, so sorry. You will be missed." He strokes the back of his hand against her cold cheek. "You will be missed," he repeats, stronger this time, even though he nearly chokes on the lump in his throat. "Goodbye, Rin."


    His trembling hands form the Ram seal.


    A puff of smoke he breathes in—imagines it's a funeral pyre, not a dirty burial scroll.


    This will haunt him forever.


    Then he bows, his hands forming another seal. One of respect and recognition, of honor and hope, of peace and parting, of compassion and companionship.


    The fire gives and it takes. Ryuuko breathes in and breathes out, flames licking his mouth.


    A seal from a life ago and a world away.


    Agni's seal.





    "Ryuuko?" Obito pulls a face. "That's a girl's name!"

    "Obito!" The brown-haired girl scolds him. "That's not nice."

    Obito flails, "Rin-chaaan-"

    Ignoring Obito's dramatics, she turns to him, hands behind her back. The purple tattoos on her cheeks crinkle with her smile. She has Aang's eyes. "Sorry about that. He doesn't mean anything bad by it."

    "It's alright," Ryuuko says, "I get that a lot. My father chose the name before my birth. He was sure I would be a girl and after I was born… Well, he was so attached to the name that he insisted I still got it."

    "It's a nice name! Right, Obito?" She traces the kanji in the air with her finger. "Ryuu. Ko."

    Dragon child.







    My first crossover! Please, tell me your thoughts!

    *sighs* I miss AtLA, I miss Naruto.

    Fic premise for the confused among you: Fire Lord Zuko dies of old age and reincarnates as the child of a Hatake father and Uchiha mother.
     
    Elsepth, Venyr4434, caffeine and 29 others like this.
  2. Hammerfury

    Hammerfury Making the rounds.

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    Interesting... These things usually don't last, so I'm hoping you won't quit halfway through. It's a good concept for a story and it seems well written for now.
     
    LuceLucky likes this.
  3. Felius

    Felius Versed in the lewd.

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    It's a nice girl's name, Rin. :p

    Still, watched. I wonder how Zuko will handle the Naruto world.
     
    Venyr4434 and LuceLucky like this.
  4. ironbabyjones

    ironbabyjones Making the rounds.

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    Exciting- I’m a fan! Definitely looking forward to seeing where this one goes.
     
    LuceLucky likes this.
  5. 1eragon33

    1eragon33 Getting sticky.

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    this is really cool but the chapter needs a treadmark of your going to add more
     
    LuceLucky likes this.
  6. Threadmarks: Sakurai and Kagome
    LuceLucky

    LuceLucky Getting some practice in, huh?

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    Sakurai

    Hatake Sakurai loves Uchiha Kagome.

    He’s loved her since that first night in Koto Shuriken, a bar in Konoha West. A hole in the wall mostly frequented by artists, curious civilians with a thirst for adventure, and shinobi looking for a good 'docile' lay.

    Sakurai had been one of those shinobi, twenty and back from the battlefront, he’d been eager to blow off some steam and curious to see if having horizontal fun with civies was as good as with his fellow nin. The Second Shinobi War was in full swing and he barely had the time to go home and shower before his team came and dragged him there. He hadn’t managed to clean the blood from under his fingernails.

    He had no clue they'd picked Poetry Day.

    He's loved her since the first time she grabbed his attention by standing on that podium, proud, determined, straight-backed, and positively dazzling in that red dress (Kami, that dress-) under the headlights.

    "My name is Uchiha Kagome." Her voice, a clear bell that rang in the dim atmosphere of the bar, its boldness silencing the crowd better than any war gong ever could. "And tonight, I will read you a poem about what it means to be alive on this fucking earth."

    Some people cheered, “Hear! Hear!”, others whistled, a few clapped. She'd clutched a little note in her hand. Then she brought it up to her face and the way she held it changed—less a shield, more a kunai.

    Then, she opened her mouth and grabbed his damn heart straight out of his chest. She never gave it back.

    Later, much later, after a war that took everything and a night that destroyed the little they had left, the story of Sakurai's clumsy courting would be Kagome's favorite tale to tell her children.

    Kagome was not only an Uchiha, she was Uchiha Kagami's daughter, the Nidaime’s renowned disciple and martyr of Uzushiogakure. Two years of back and forth, of hidden smiles and stolen glances and bumping into each other in the grocery store.

    "Marry me, please," she'd asked him once, taking him by surprise. They were walking through a quiet park, watching the first snowfall in the dim evening light. Her hand was warm and sweaty in his, and her breaths came in short puffs of air. She'd looked nervous, as if he might reject her, as if he could refuse her anything.

    She was scared of rejection, of being just another tally on a promiscuous tokubetsu jounin, but she hadn't backed down and hadn't regretted asking. (She never would.)

    In the face of her bravery, he could only fall in love all over again.

    "Yes," he'd said, a little awkwardly. He never thought he'd be the one having to answer a marriage proposal. "You have my heart. Might as well have my name."

    She'd laughed then, a little wetly. "Don't be an idiot, Sakurai, my love. You'll be taking my name."

    Which he did, because you married into the Uchiha clan, the Uchiha didn't marry you. Eh, semantics. Kind of. Sakurai hadn't felt like going up against the Uchiha Elders, and he was more than happy to leave Sakumo the sole heir and holder of the Hatake name and title.

    What matters is coming back to Kagome's smile and dismal cooking and thick hair clogging the shower drain and warm flowing words reciting poetry on the engawa of their house. What matters is her belly swelling with growing life as the months go by and he takes mission after mission to win a war that does not want to fucking end already. Fuck.

    (It's taking so much from them, this fucking war. Sakurai's little sister, Tsuki, died a few weeks ago, along with Senju Nawaki and that Shimura kid. His cousin Sakumo has been missing for even longer. The Hatake has never been a big clan, but the war has dwindled their numbers so fast they can be counted on two hands.

    He misses Tsuki like air, wishes she was able to meet his wife, wishes she got the chance to grow up.)

    The war does not end by the time they come into the world.

    His twins, his cubs, his pack.

    His children are fire incarnate, neither of them having inherited his Earth nature. Sakurai’s nose has always been his greatest asset, his olfactory senses so advanced he's been classified as a low-tier sensor. He can scent their chakra, the heat of it so similar to their mother's and her clansmen.

    And yet, it would be remiss to say they're the same.

    The older twin is a quick, easy birth. She slips into this world kicking and screaming, healthy as a dog and with a chakra core akin to tightly controlled wildfire. Kagome names her Asuka, after her favorite poet of the Sengoku Jidai era, Haruno Asuka of Iron.

    The younger one is a boy, and unexpected. Both are pleasant surprises. His inner flame is a warm bonfire, and... freer than his sister's.

    When the midwife had first realized there was another one coming, Sakurai was so sure it would be a girl too, and he's gotten so attached to Ryuuko, the name he'd chosen for the daughter of his daydreams that he decides to give it to his newborn son, all the same. A girly name, yes, but a little deception has always proved advantageous for shinobi.

    And he has no doubt that his cubs will follow him on the shinobi path.

    "They took after you," he murmurs, awed.

    Kagome thinks he means their coloring—the dark hair and pale skin of the Uchiha is the opposite of the tan skin and silvery white hair of the Hatake—and so whispers back, "Don't worry, they both have your nose and ears."

    He throws back his head and laughs, handsome and loud and so secure that his place is to be by their side.

    His little pack.

    He could have gone without the diapering and potty training and teething phase—kami, the slobber. Not even Sakumo's dogs have this much saliva—but overall, fatherhood turns out to be one of his many talents. There's no better feeling than coming back from a mission, world-weary and drained and mourning the day's losses, to find his little pack all asleep in one bed. Slipping like a silent white shadow between them and waking up with Kagome's curls in his mouth, her leg thrown over him, half of Asuka's body on his throat blocking his airways, and Ryuuko drooling on his numb arm...

    ...makes it all worth it. The sleepless nights, the chronic chakra exhaustion, the nightmares, the doubts, the grief underlying his every waking thought like a stubborn cloud—it's all worth it if he can come back to this.

    (Sakumo comes back home with a silver-haired baby in his arms.

    As soon as Sakurai's done giving him the cold shoulder—desertion in the middle of war, kami, who does that? He's lucky he's clan head otherwise his head would be on a pole by now!—he'll suggest their cubs be playmates.)

    He insists on keeping the cubs with them in their bedroom even when the little guys grow out of that phase, because it's quickly apparent that they're a family of snugglers. Sometimes he summons Tama, his battle-scarred wolf companion, just to complete the pile of softness and snores.

    He doesn't regret that decision, not even when Asuka kicks him in the balls during her fitful sleep or when Ryuuko mistakes Tama's silver-white fur for his Tou-chan's and, yes, okay, Kagome tends to complain about waking up with a mouthful of fur but she's also always the one to volunteer a grooming session for Tama! Those two are thick as thieves when it comes to judging his every life choices!

    (The missions pile up, taking up less and less time but with infinitely more trouble to complete. He's sent to the battlefront more often than not. Misses his cubs' third birthday. The war is coming to a height and something's gotta give, sooner or later.

    Sakurai hopes it won't be his strength.)

    Kagome pleads with him to refuse the mission, to stay with her and the twins. She has already lost her father to the tricky whirlpools of Uzushio, she doesn't want to lose her husband. Why does he even need to go there? They're at war with Suna and Kumo. Last she checked, they are in the opposite direction of Uzushio!

    “Don’t be like this, Kagome,” he says, his amber eyes pleading where his voice is firm, unyielding, “You know I cannot refuse your godfather.”

    (Kato Dan is dead. They used to be on the same genin team and he doesn't quite know how to mourn him without losing half of himself in the process. He trusts Tsunade's grief is enough for the both of them, he has to.

    Last he heard of her she was in Ame with her team facing off against Danzo's forces, leaving a blaze of destruction in their wake.)

    "I'll talk to him," she says quickly. Shimura Danzo had been her father's best friend, and her doting godfather after Kagami died. He has never refused her anything before.

    "Kagome," he says with this terrible soft look in his eyes, "I'm a shinobi of Konoha before I am a man, or husband. Or father. You know I cannot stay."

    A renowned author—was it Haruno Asuka? He isn't sure—once wrote; Duty is the death of love. Love is the death of duty.

    Sakurai has made his choice. It angers her that hers and his diverge. They fight. It ends with Sakurai storming out into the sunset. He'll come back, she tells her heart. He always does.

    Sakurai does not come back.

    So, yes, Hatake Sakurai loves Uchiha Kagome.

    He loves her and loves their children and loves loves loves until he can't anymore.

    ◇◇◇

    Kagome

    It's a cloudy day, the rain having just let up, the sun peeking from little open spots and turning puddles and wet stone into mirrors. Kagome has spent all morning doing laundry while the cubs—kami, she's caught Sakurai's vernacular like a persistent cold—alternated between practicing their calligraphy and playing tag. It's not yet noon when his Summon trudges to their door on tired paws, Sakurai's beloved tanto in her bloody maw.

    Strength leaves Kagome's legs and she slides down against the doorframe. A cry of despair crumbles in her throat and her eyes burn, filling with tears.

    (There used to be a time when she longed to have the Sharingan, desperate to put a stop to the clan's disappointment in her and be just like her father. She'd asked him what it felt like, to wield the Sharingan.

    She doesn't remember her father's face—wouldn't have been able to see his features in hers and Ryuuko's and Asuka's faces had it not been for faded sepia-toned pictures of him—but she recalls the awful quietness in his voice when he answered. "Like crying. You know when your eyes are hot and puffy and sting? Like that but it hurts more."

    She made up thousands of plans to get herself to cry, peeling so many onions everyone started calling her Onion Girl, squeezing soap in her eyes, pinching herself, goading her cousins until one of them hit her.

    She soon stopped when she realized that life would give her ample reasons to cry her fucking eyes out. She would never awaken the Sharingan.

    Silver linings, huh?)

    The sound of little feet thundering in the wooden hallway.

    Horror grips her heart.

    "TOU-CHAN!" The twins come barreling through. Kagome is jolted by the thought that she does not want them to see the blood and she lunges for them. She manages to grab Ryuuko and make him trip into her lap, but Asuka’s kimono slips through her fingers before she can truly grab hold of it.

    (Fitting, she thinks. Her daughter has always been more unreachable to her than her son.)

    Ryuuko yelps at the abrupt switch in movement. He peeks up at her, his hands staining her clothes with ink where hes tentatively clutching them. "Kaa-chan?"

    But she has only eyes for Asuka, who screeches to a halt in front of the wolf. The three-year-old is barely half her size and Kagome can see the mournful look Tama bestows upon them.

    Tama leans down and waits until Asuka reaches both ink-smeared hands forwards to drop the tanto in them.

    “Kaa-chan, where’s Tou-chan?” Asuka’s eyes are wide as she looks back at her, clutching the tanto like a lifeline. Sakurai had likened them to kintsugi gold.

    (Asuka is the first to open her eyes. Ryuuko is quick to follow.

    Kagome gasps in delight. "They have your eyes too!"

    Out of the two of them Kagome is the forger of words, but Sakurai can only think of how, framed by their thick dark eyelashes, his children's amber-yellow eyes are reminiscent of kintsugi art.

    Sakurai tilts his head to the side. “Hm, not quite.”)

    Overwhelmed by grief, Kagome wraps herself around her warm son, laying her forehead on his soft curls. She desperately wishes for a fire so ardent it can smother the rage building up in her.

    Ryuuko whines in protest when her embrace turns painful.

    "Where's Tou-chan?!" Asuka's voice is high and garbled with panic.

    Kagome sobs. “The whirlpools took him."
    .

    ..



    The war ends.
     
  7. MasterKronus

    MasterKronus Pondera Librae

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    Intense start and sad start, but fitting for the setting. You've got the building blocks set for Zuko's original features to come through. Though... now I am suspicious that he wasn't the only one.
     
    LuceLucky and Shinichi07 like this.
  8. JackieorHyde

    JackieorHyde Getting sticky.

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    Just remember, Azula always lies
     
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