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Summary: In order to be Hokage, the council demands that Naruto have an heir. With so many obstacles in his way, Naruto believes all hope is lost…until a lazy genius comes up with an arrangement of sorts. ShikaNaru, Fem!Naru.

Chapter 2 – A Mother’s Demand


“Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him.”

||ShikaNaru||

Nara Shikamaru had never run so fast in his life. He was out of chakra, exhausted, and injured. None of that mattered, though. He needed to get back to Konoha as fast as possible. His gravely injured teammate groaned from his place on Shikamaru’s back and shivered. The mission was supposed to be a simple C-ranked escort mission. It was the only reason why he took it, really.

The entire village of Konoha knew how lazy the men in the Nara clan tended to be, and Shikamaru was no different. He absolutely loathed working hard (which was amazing because hard work was such a necessity in the ninja lifestyle), and that was the primary reason why he enjoyed his job at the Academy. Sure, he had to teach brats how to be ninja, but at least he could do it sitting down and using a pointer.

He really shouldn’t have agreed to go on this stupid mission. If he hadn’t, he’d be on the roof of his clan home, looking at the clouds and feeling his mind slowly drift into the sky. Because, after all, with a high intellect level like his, sometimes his brain got too crowded. Staring at the clouds allowed him to find peace.

Shikamaru glanced at the night sky. He’d been running for seventeen hours straight, popping a soldier pill when he felt his legs ready to give up. The mission seemed very simple. Escort the nobleman and his daughter, Rei, back to the Land of Waves. They were always prepared to face more danger than anticipated on a mission, because anything could happen, but even they hadn’t anticipated fending off missing-nin from Kirigakure on their way back to the village.

As a result, one of his teammates was dead, and he was fighting to keep the other one alive. As soon as the last ninja was killed, he barely had enough time to seal his dead teammate’s body in a scroll, throw the other one over his back, and run as fast as he could to the closest hospital—twenty-nine hours to Konoha.

It was one of the few missions where Shikamaru thought that maybe, just maybe, he wouldn’t make it home.

No, he thought viciously to himself, pushing his legs to run faster and ignore the throbbing in his shoulder, torso, and ankle. He was going to make it back to Konoha; he was going to make it in time to get his teammate some help, and then he would take a nice, sixty-four hour long nap. Another soldier pill was popped into his mouth, and he ignored the little voice in the back of his head warning him about using so many.

He continued to run for another few hours, barely stopping to rest. His teammate shivered violently, his wounds no doubt now infected. Shikamaru nearly cried out in happiness when he saw the gates of Konoha. He stopped only long enough for the guards to recognize him before heading immediately to the hospital. After hours of running, his teammate was finally receiving treatment and he could breathe a sigh of relief. Before he knew it, his body was finally giving out and his world turned black.

Shikamaru woke to the beeping of a machine. He bit out a groan of discontentment, which only seemed to make his head pound more. What the hell happened? Shikamaru lazily opened an eye only to close it again when the sun blinded him with a vengeance. When he opened his eyes again after a few minutes, he realized he was back in Konoha in the hospital. He frowned when memories of ‘C-rank turned A-rank from hell’ mission came to the surface. His stomach burned fiercely where he’d been viciously stabbed, and he winced.

Shikamaru sighed, annoyed. Now he’d have to wait to get better before training more, which would cut into his Shogi and cloud watching time, but he knew some sacrifices had to be made. After Asuma nearly died, Shikamaru had taken his training a tad more seriously and made sure he had enough endurance and chakra to run from an enemy that outclassed him. It obviously wasn’t enough, and that mistake nearly cost him his life.

“Shikamaru…?”

The chūnin shifted his gaze to the side of his bed where his mother sat. She was normally a strict and overbearing woman, and definitely wore the pants in the relationship with his father. Her eyes, however, seemed to speak volumes about the worry she felt.

“Hi, mom,” he said lamely. He winced as his mother’s eyes narrowed; that, apparently, had been the wrong thing to say.

“Hi, mom?” Yoshino hissed angrily, her eyes narrowed on her cringing son. “That’s all you have to say to me?”

Shikamaru shrugged his shoulders, but hissed when it ached uncomfortably. He wanted to comment on how troublesome she was acting, but from her posture he already knew he w as in for a thorough tongue lashing. He always was with her. She was too demanding, too nagging, and he absolutely hated having to listen to it. He was twenty, after all. He should have moved out long ago.

“Nice to see you,” he continued, though his tone held an uncertain note in it.

Yoshino seemed to swell with anger. “Shikamaru,” she said softly, making her son wince, “you’ve been in the hospital for two days with serious wounds, overdosed on soldier pills, and all you have to tell me IS HI?!”

Shikamaru nearly recoiled at her shriek. Troublesome, he thought miserably. “The mission went south,” he defended. “It’s not like I asked for my team to be attacked by missing-nin!”

“I’ve been worried sick and you don’t even have the decency to greet me properly!” she ranted.

Shikamaru’s nostrils flared, but he bit down his angry retort. His mother, no matter how crazy she drove him, was not a woman to be messed with. In fact, he was sure it was much safer to lewdly spank Tsunade and dye Uchiha Itachi’s hair pink than it was to provoke Nara Yoshino. “You’re right. I’m sorry,” he said half-heartedly. He was injured, tired, and really didn’t want to deal with his mother when she was on a warpath.

His mother temporarily deflated. “Oh, Shikamaru, why haven’t you taken your training seriously?” she asked. “You could’ve d-died.”

Shikamaru shifted uncomfortably, so unused to his mother displaying the vulnerable side his father always claimed she’d had. “I’m sorry,” he said, this time more sincerely. “I’ll train harder.”

That, however, did not appease Yoshino in the slightest. “No, you won’t,” she practically grit out. “Shikamaru, I can count on my hand the number of times you’ve taken your training seriously.”

Shikamaru sighed. “I don’t know what you want me to say,” he mumbled. He wished he’d taken longer to wake up. What a drag.

Yoshino sighed softly and rubbed at her temples, her anger ebbing away as she took in her son’s exhausted form. She licked her lips in a rare sign of nervousness. Shikamaru narrowed his eyes warily, a weird sense of foreboding. His mother was a formidable ball-buster and simply did not get nervous. Still, she took in a deep breath and began to speak. “Shikamaru, I can’t keep living like this,” she said softly. “I can’t get on your case for your entire life, and you don’t seem to understand that your laziness in this profession will get you killed.”

“I don’t normally go on missions,” Shikamaru bit out. “Teaching at the Academy does not require me to be a powerhouse. But if it’ll make you feel better, I’ll up my training with Asuma-sensei.”

Yoshino shook her head in frustration. “How many times have I heard that, but not seen it?” she demanded. “When you’re not working, you’re sleeping or watching the clouds or out with your friends.” She shook her head. “No more, Shikamaru. It’s past time you’ve learnt some responsibility.”

Shikamaru’s throat went dry, and he forced down his bitterness. His mom made it seem like he didn’t do anything. “I’m fine, actually. Thanks for the concern. I think I’ll take a nap now, if you don’t mind.”

His mother ignored him, not buying his act. He knew she wouldn’t. “I’ve thought long and hard about how you can possibly learn some responsibility, and I was only able to come up with two options: having an heir and becoming a husband.”

Shikamaru’s ears began to ring unpleasantly. “You want me to…?”

Yoshino continued, ignoring how red her son’s face was becoming. “I realize it’s a big step, which is why I’m going to give you a week to decide which you’re going to do.”

Shikamaru laughed coldly as his eyes narrowed considerably. “I’m not doing either,” he spat. “And you seriously wonder why I can’t stand to be in the same room as you sometimes? You always have to be in control, always nagging, and you know what? You can’t force me to do this!”

Yoshino regarded her son calmly. “I’ll think you’ll find that I can, actually,” she said coolly. “While the Nara clan does not necessarily follow a good many of the old clan laws, I am not opposed to pulling a page out of the Hyuuga clan’s book.”

Shikamaru froze. She wouldn’t… Looking at her face, however, he could see that she would. Never before had Shikamaru ever thought that his own parents would become like the more strict Hyuuga or even Uchiha clan leaders who had total control over their children’s lives.

If only it was merely restricted to that. His mother already had control over his life, so making it official wouldn’t have bothered him. Because his father was Head of the Nara clan, his and his mother’s word was basically law to Shikamaru. If he were to disobey, they could legally seal his chakra and ship him off somewhere—despite his age.

But his father wouldn’t… Oh, who was he kidding? His father was whipped and never would stand up to his mother.

“You’re aware such an occurrence helped Uchiha Itachi decide to slaughter his clan,” he said casually.

His mother’s lips twitched upwards. “You’re smarter than that,” Yoshino said. Her face became serious again. “Shikamaru, I know you’re upset with me, but this is for your own good.”

Shikamaru stared hard at his mother. “I’m not getting married or having a kid,” he said quietly in a surprising display of rebellion.

Yoshino cocked an eyebrow. “If you refuse, I will enforce a punishment in accordance to clan laws,” she said softly. “And you wouldn’t dishonor your father by bringing this in front of the council, would you?”

She had him there, and she knew it. He clenched his fists so hard his knuckles turned white. It wasn’t too surprising. Though her IQ wasn’t as high as Shikamaru’s, she certainly exceeded the average level of intelligence. Still, a part of Shikamaru was shocked that his mother would go to such lengths. He felt almost…betrayed, really. His mother had always been overbearing and irritating, but she’d never crossed the line and became cruel. The Nara clan—they weren’t like the stuffy Hyuuga or Uchiha clans. They were laid back—lazy in laymen’s terms—and the children were allowed a level of freedom the more ‘noble’ clans forbade.

Until now, that is.

Putting his fingers together in a circle, Shikamaru’s mind furiously worked in an attempt to find a flaw in his mother’s plan. He was partly impressed at how well thought out it was, and majorly infuriated at what she was going to make him do. He didn’t want children yet, or a wife. Women were troublesome, loud, nagging creatures, and for the better part of their early years so were children. Shikamaru was only twenty, and hadn’t even had the opportunity to explore the training grounds before battle, so to speak.

Still, he had to try to think his way out of this. His brain had never failed him before. If he were to fight against this, as was his right, Yoshino as his mother and wife to the Head of the clan had every right to contest his rebellion and bring it up in front of a council composing of senior members of the clan as well as two outside clan Heads as non-partial judges. To air their dirty laundry, however, was dishonorable and would shame his father.

Hyuuga Neji had dishonored the main branch of the Hyuuga clan during the Chūnin Exams a few years ago. While Hyuuga Hiashi, the Head, did not punish him as was his right, he’d received much grief for months until he’d almost killed himself during the Sasuke Retrieval mission. The mission’s success and Neji defeating Kidōmaru was the only reason why Neji’s honor had been restored.

It didn’t matter much to Shikamaru. He was too lazy to care about what others thought, but his disobedience would only result in causing his father grief. Shikaku was also too lazy to care, but it was about much more than just his or his father’s opinion. Because Shikaku had a seat on the council, Shikamaru’s rebellion could have a negative effect on Shikaku’s decisions regarding any manner of law.

Troublesome. The whole damn thing was too troublesome. Shikamaru sighed. There really wasn’t much he could do. It seemed the best option and the smartest way to go would be to marry or knock someone up.

He really should have napped longer.

“I have a week to decide, right?” Shikamaru asked quietly, staring at the sky outside of his window.

Yoshino perked up. “Yes,” she said, struggling to keep the excitement and happiness out of her voice. “After that, I expect six months to be an agreeable time to either choose a wife or find someone to bear an heir.”

Shikamaru snorted. “Sure, whatever,” he said lazily, knowing without looking at her that his mother’s eyebrow was twitching furiously at his casual dismissal. “You know I most likely won’t ever forgive you for this?”

Yoshino’s excitement immediately evaporated. She stared at her son, her expression a little hurt before it became unreadable. “I know it might not seem like it, Shikamaru, but I have your best interests at heart.”

Shikamaru finally turned away from the window and stared hard at his mother. “My interests?” he scoffed. “Forcing me into something like this is going to guarantee one of two things. One, I grow to loathe my newfound wife or child since neither are currently wanted at this time, or two, I end up having a divorce and putting the kid up for adoption. Which do you think is most likely?”

Yoshino reared back as if struck. Then she stared at him sternly, her tone becoming hard and strict like Shikamaru was used to hearing from. “This is for your own good,” she hissed. “You need to stop acting like a little boy and learn how to deal with your responsibilities.”

“Right,” Shikamaru replied, yawning and settling into his bed. “I’ll do just that, mother. If you’ll excuse me, I really don’t want to be near you right now.”

Yoshino swallowed whatever she was going to say as Shizune came in to check on Shikamaru’s status. She stood and smoothed out her shirt. As she made her way out of the room, she said, “Your father agrees with me, you know. I’ll expect your answer in a week’s time.”

A muscle in Shikamaru’s jaw twitched. So the old man was in on this? Damn pussy-whipped bastard.

“Are you okay?” Shizune asked with a frown. “Your heart rate is a little accelerated.”

“Fine,” Shikamaru groaned.

Shizune obviously didn’t believe him, but she nodded and left him in peace. He stared at the ceiling for a while. He wasn’t too sure if a week was enough time to consider what he would need to do, but then again if he had it his way he wouldn’t need to make that decision for another few years. Shikamaru bit back a groan of frustration. Why’d his mother have to be so damn troublesome?

Despite himself, Shikamaru found his mind going over the pros and cons of the different females he knew. For a grand total of twelve point seven seconds, he considered Ino but then immediately scratched that idea out. He knew the old saying, “You end up marrying your parents.” However, Ino was way too much like his mom, and he’d rather marry a dog than put up with her nagging for longer than necessary.

The door to his hospital room slammed open and his teammates shuffled in. “SHIKAMARU! We heard you were in the hospital!” Ino shrieked.

Speak of the devil.

vanilla cinnamon graham cracker ice cream


So ever since I bought my ice cream maker, I've been obsessed with making ice cream. Yesterday was 107 degrees (an absolute scorcher) and was the perfect day for a nice, cold treat. I never got the chance to make ice cream growing up, though my aunt used to make and sell limber de coco. It's a coconut icee that tastes amazingly good, and I somehow managed to recreate that yesterday with my siblings.

My little brother is just as excited, if not more, than I am about making homemade ice cream. He loved the strawberry cheese cake ice cream I made (which was obvious as it disappeared in a day), and practically begged me to make vanilla ice cream. I searched and searched and searched the internet for the perfect recipe, and finally found one. However, as I mentioned earlier, it was too hot to buy all of the ingredients, so I made some changes to the recipe. Hope you try it out!

You need:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups half and half
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 graham crackers
1 to 2 dashes of cinnamon

1. Combine the heavy whipping cream and the half and half into a bowl.
2. Slowly whisk in the sugar and vanilla extract.
3. Add the cinnamon.
4. Cover the bowl and put it to chill for three to four hours.
5. Put the graham crackers in a ziplock baggie and smash until they're practically dust (or at the recommended size for your ice cream maker).
6. The mixture is ready for the ice cream maker. Make according to your ice cream maker's instructions. In the last five minutes, add the crushed graham crackers.
7. If you're like me and like a thicker consistency, put the ice cream in the freezer for another few hours. It makes all the difference. ;)

And that's it! It tastes amazing, and my family already devoured it. =)

Summary: In order to be Hokage, the council demands that Naruto have an heir. With so many obstacles in his way, Naruto believes all hope is lost…until a lazy genius comes up with an arrangement of sorts. ShikaNaru, Fem!Naru.

Chapter 1 – On One Condition

“Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.”

||ShikaNaru||

Naruto felt like he’d been sucker punched in the gut. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t hear. His blue eyes stared impassively at the maliciously grinning members of the civilian council. The only evidence of his shock was his now pale face. Their words rung in his head until they were little more than an annoying buzz. This…this couldn’t be happening.

“Are you serious?” he asked incredulously.

Tsunade clenched her fists, her face tight with anger. “Unfortunately not,” she spat. Her normally warm eyes were frosted over as she attempted to glare holes into several council members’ heads. Many of them averted their gaze, and some even flinched. Still, it wasn’t enough to deter them from their decision.

Naruto’s eyes narrowed. “I thought we already proved that my seal would remain strong when we destroyed the Akatsuki,” he said pointedly. “And without another organization to attempt to capture the bijuu, there isn’t any threat of the Kyuubi getting loose.”

“We don’t know that for sure,” a council member spoke up, her cruel smirk marring her otherwise attractive features. “It’s been twenty years since that seal was placed on you, and nothing can be contained for so long. It’s only a matter of time until something happens, and we can’t have someone like that become Hokage.”

Tsunade smacked her hand down on the table, causing tiny cracks to appear in the wood. “I believe Naruto here has proven to be one of the most loyal and capable shinobi that Konoha could have produced, especially given his shitty upbringing on your orders,” she hissed, fixing the civilian council with her glare. “And whilst my knowledge on seals isn’t as great as my late teammate’s, I can assure you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Naruto’s seal.”

“You can’t know that for sure,” Utatane Koharu spoke up. Tsunade’s eye twitched violently; why, oh why, hadn’t that old bat croaked yet?

Nara Shikaku yawned before commenting lazily, “Jiraiya-sama’s knowledge in seals was only paralleled by his late student, our very own Yondaime, Namikaze Minato. How can you claim to have respected the man’s knowledge and skill as a shinobi yet fail to believe in the seal of his own design?”

“Namikaze-sama was truly a remarkable fuuinjutsu specialist,” Mitokado Homura admitted. “However, nothing was meant to last forever. Besides, only the Yondaime can possibly know how strong the seal would remain.”

Tsunade shook her head. “We still have Minato-kun’s notes on the seal, and have gone over them extensively. Unless someone forcibly removes the seal, the Kyuubi no Kitsune shall forever remain trapped within Naruto. You know this since we presented our findings years ago.”

The meeting had only been going on for barely an hour and already Tsunade was getting a headache. She had spent the past five years training Naruto to become a respectable ninja so he could finally surpass her and she could escape the hell that was paperwork. He’d been working so hard to reach his dream and now that it was within reach, the prejudiced old bats on the civilian council wanted to take it away. She would need more than her usual two bottles of sake later.

Hyuuga Hiashi nodded his head in understanding. “You must also take into account that Uzumaki here has had his seal checked every year by the late Sandaime accompanied by a Hyuuga. Hokage-sama here has continued to check the seal since her election into the position, again accompanied by a Hyuuga, and Uzumaki has always cooperated.” He activated his Byakugan and glanced almost lazily at Naruto’s stomach, making the blond feel a little exposed. “The fox’s chakra remains completely separate from Uzumaki’s and is in no danger of escaping. Now if you don’t mind, can we stop debating about the strength of the seal? This has been a reoccurring topic for the past twenty years with the same results and, frankly, I grow tired of it.”

Shikaku smirked as the civilian council fumed. “It is rather childish to be holding onto a twenty-year-old grudge against someone that had nothing to do it.”

“We have every reason to be concerned, Nara-san,” Koharu sniffed. “It would do no good for Uzumaki here to become Hokage only to release the Kyuubi no Kitsune and have Konoha perish.”

“You raise a valid point,” Aburame Shibi commented. “The fact remains that this point has continuously been disproven over the span of two decades. Uzumaki-san himself is a fuuinjutsu specialist and knows better than anyone how the seal is doing.”

When several people glanced at him, Naruto spoke up. “The seal doesn’t seem to be weakening even the slightest.”

“And we’re to take your word on it?” an unknown man sneered.

“And I suppose you’re a fuuinjutsu specialist?” Naruto retorted sarcastically. Tsunade glanced at him sharply, but he could see the amusement in her eyes.

“That’s enough,” Tsunade stated before anyone could remark any further. She stared at the council members. “I have not changed my mind. Naruto will be my successor and the Rokudaime Hokage. If anyone has legitimate objections, speak of them now.”

Shikaku yawned once more. “No objections from me, Hokage-sama.” His eyes drooped down ever-so-slightly.

A civilian councilwoman stood and spat, “I’d sooner die than have that demon become Hokage.”

He’d heard such vile insults all his life, and this time was no different. He should’ve expected the civilian council to never allow him to fulfill his dream. He knew becoming Hokage would be an uphill battle with no reprieve. He knew, so why did that abrupt realization hurt so much?

“You will do well to watch your mouth,” Tsunade said very quietly, her chakra slightly spiking in her anger. “The way I see it, the only demons in this room are the ones that blamed an innocent baby for crimes not his own. If most of the village can see that Naruto is not the Kyuubi nor has any intention of setting the fox free, why can’t the rest of you?”

The councilwoman flinched slightly, but jutted her chin out and kept her stubborn defiance. It was somewhat nullified by the undeniable fear and slight hesitation in her eyes. “I do not know how this thing has convinced everyone else otherwise, but I was there when the fox attacked. That kind of malevolent evil doesn’t just remain dormant for long. It will eventually bring about the ruin of Konoha. Just having it become a ninja was bad enough, but to actually allow it to advance further than the current rank of jounin? You ask for too much, Hokage-sama.”

Naruto clenched his fists tightly at the woman’s harsh words, but remained silent. He could see an inkling of truth underneath her prejudice tone. A malevolent being like the Kyuubi does not just go away, nor does it ever really remain dormant. However, Naruto had fought enough with the fox to develop a (barely) decent arrangement. Meaning, the Kyuubi stopped trying to take over Naruto’s body and only gave chakra when it was absolutely necessary.

Shikaku hummed thoughtfully. “You do raise a valid point,” he admitted. “Nothing so evil can really be contained for long. However, I also believe that Uzumaki here has enough control to not only maintain control of his body, but actually seek help in the event that the fox tries anything unsavory.”

Tsunade sighed, very much annoyed. “Naruto has proven his loyalty to Konoha through and through. He would sooner kill himself than let the fox do anything to hurt the village.”

“Now there’s an idea…” a man muttered not-so-quietly.

Tsunade glared fiercely at him, killing intent leaking from her. “Do you really wish to entertain the idea of murder in my office?” she asked quietly.

The man shook his head, shivering. “N-No, H-Hokage-s-sama,” he stuttered.

Akimichi Chouza frowned. “This is getting us nowhere,” he said, gaining everyone’s attention. “It seems like this issue will be continuously debated, no matter the evidence supported and the accusations refuted. We need to come up with some sort of compromise. Quite frankly, I believe Uzumaki-san over here will make a good leader. With Hokage-sama’s training and his own skills as a shinobi, I still don’t see why we’re still arguing over his status as a jinchuuriki. The Kazekage, Sabaku no Gaara, was also a jinchuuriki, as many of you may recall, and he became one of the finest Kazekages Suna has ever produced.”

Shikaku smirked. “Compromise, huh? I like your thinking, Chouza. Then we can end this troublesome meeting.”

Tsunade nodded her head in agreement. “A compromise, then.”

Homura and Koharu exchanged glances. “Could we have a moment to discuss what would make us more comfortable with the de—Uzumaki becoming Hokage?”

Tsunade’s eyes narrowed at the intentional slip, but nodded her head. The civilian council gathered themselves and quietly left, speaking in hushed tones that even Inuzuka Tsume had trouble picking up. During that time, Naruto felt a bead of cold sweat trickle down his back. They were up to something. There was no way they were just going to come up with a compromise. Most likely, they would come up with something impossible. Glancing at Tsunade, he realized she was thinking something along the same lines.

When the council returned, a satisfactory air hanging around them, Naruto and several others were instantly on edge. The blond tensed and waited for Homura to speak.

“We believe that at this point in time, many of us are wary of Uzumaki given his past nature. Loud, brash, immature—all traits unbefitting of a Hokage. Therefore, we ask that Uzumaki prove his growth as a ninja. We ask that he show us he has what it takes, and is worthy of our respect and loyalty.”

Tsunade’s eyebrows rose. “That’s it?” she asked, suspicion and incredulousness coloring her voice. “What do you require of him exactly?”

Koharu spoke up now, a spark of glee in her eyes. “Being Hokage is much like parenting, yes? You feel as if you are being pulled in all sorts of directions, you need to overcome obstacles. It’s a difficult, demanding job. We propose that Uzumaki has a child. Hopefully, having an heir will prove his growth as a human being and show that he has what it takes to perform in such a position. He will have to raise his heir as well as keep up with Hokage training.”

The silence in the room was palpable.

“Are you kidding me?” Naruto blurted out, his eyes very wide and his face pale.

Koharu almost sneered, but Tsunade’s glare changed her mind. “Many of the Hokages have had children, with the exception of Yondaime-sama and Godaime-sama.”

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Tsume barked. “You think Uzumaki is a demon, yet you want him to spawn children in order to take on the Hokage position?”

Tsunade narrowed her eyes thoughtfully. “That’s the question, isn’t it?” she murmured. “Why make such a concession as to allow Naruto to spawn children when you don’t want him in such a position of power?”

Homura sniffed disdainfully. “Our reasons do not matter. If Uzumaki wishes to become Hokage, we will allow it if he has an heir of his own blood. That is our decision. It’s not too much to ask for, is it?” His eyes twinkled unpleasantly.

“That’s the problem,” claimed a now wide-awake Shikaku. “You were extremely adamant that Naruto here doesn’t become Hokage, and now you give in so easily?” His eyes sharply observed their smug forms.

“Well, if the de—Uzumaki won’t agree to the terms,” a civilian councilman began.

“Can I have time to decide?” Naruto interrupted, staring at the floor and clenching his fist so tight his blunt nails were starting to cut into his hand.

The civilian council looked at each other smugly, as if they’d expected this very reaction, before Koharu said, “A week. We’ll give you one week to make a decision.”

Naruto nodded his head and directed his gaze out of the window.

Homura stood, as did the rest of the civilian council. “Hokage-sama,” he murmured, bowing. His lips were tugged in a smug smirk as he nodded his goodbyes and left.

When the civilian council finally filtered out of the room, Tsunade grimly announced, “They’re up to something.”

“Of course they are,” Tsume scoffed. “They wouldn’t have given in so easily otherwise.”

“But the question is, what are they up to?” Hiashi narrowed his eyes in thought. While Uzumaki wasn’t exactly his first choice to be Hokage, he couldn’t dispute with Tsunade that he was a pretty good choice. With experience, he was sure the blond would become most formidable. He did not, however, appreciate the civilian council’s plans, whatever they were, as they were sure to produce more trouble than the civilian members of the council were worth.

“It’s not like they were ever going to agree with my becoming Hokage,” Naruto said suddenly, still looking out the window.

Tsunade frowned. “What do you mean, Naruto?” she asked, slightly worried. It almost sounded like he was giving up, but that couldn’t be. Naruto never gave up.

Naruto finally directed his gaze at the Hokage. “You don’t think Jiji got me into the Academy without a fight, do you?”

Tsunade froze; the thought had never really crossed her mind. “How did…?”

Naruto sighed softly, a sad smile tugging at his lips. “It took a lot of convincing,” he said. “They didn’t want the demon to be taught how to fight, or kill. After months of arguing and whatnot, Jiji finally was able to get me into the Academy, but at a price.”

Shikaku narrowed his eyes. “What price, and why weren’t we informed of this?”

“I was still a civilian when the agreement was made, so the ninja council didn’t need to be informed,” Naruto said. “And the price? The seal was still thought to be unstable. In order for me to be a ninja, I was to have monthly seal check-ups for two years as well as monthly psych evaluations. I was also forbidden from having romantic and sexual encounters with any girl in the village.”

“WHAT?!” Tsunade roared, standing up in outrage. “Why would Sarutobi agree to that idiocy?!”

“He always did give the civilian council more power than they deserved,” Hiashi spat, not furious on behalf of Naruto, but rather upset that the council overstepped their bounds.

“But that agreement should be overruled due to your current ninja status,” Tsume argued.

Naruto shrugged. “Jiji didn’t tell me much, but after years of thought I got the impression that they worded it in such a way that only they can overrule the agreement.”

“That’s just ridiculous,” Shikaku stated flatly. “They don’t have the jurisdiction to dictate your life in such a matter now that you’re a ninja. And besides, you’ve had romantic relations before.”

“As my crush was never returned, not really, no,” Naruto admitted, blushing slightly as the thought of Sakura came into his head. He knew they’d never go out, even if that stupid agreement never happened, and was happy being good friends and teammates with the pinkette. Still, she’d always be one of the prettiest girls he’d ever laid eyes on.

“Where is this agreement?” Tsunade demanded. “Did Sarutobi ever tell you? I’ve never seen anything that stated such nonsense.” And she should have seen it. All agreements were written and given the Hokage seal to ensure authenticity, so a paper of such importance should have been given to her as the next Hokage.

Naruto shook his head. “I was six at the time. Whatever he did explain to me, I didn’t really understand until I got older.”

“Naruto, why would you agree to such a thing?” Tsunade asked, her eyes softening as she gazed at the young man that wormed his way into her heart.

“I was six,” Naruto repeated. “Why would I give having a family much thought? I just wanted to be a ninja.” He sighed and ran his hand through his golden locks. “Jiji did tell me, however, that after the Chunin Exam he was going to fight them over it again. But, well, he never did get the chance to…”

The room was filled with a solemn silence.

“Well,” Shibi said, “now we know why they gave in so easily.” When he had their undivided attention, he continued, “It’s a win-win scenario for them. Naruto says no, he doesn’t become Hokage. Naruto says yes, he still can’t become Hokage. Not unless we can figure out how to work our way around their ridiculous agreement, if not get rid of it altogether.”

Tsunade barely held onto her scream of frustration. “Okay, okay. We’ll figure this out,” she said quietly. She took a deep breath and turned to Naruto. “You’re going to be Hokage, Naruto. I’ll make sure of it.”

Naruto smiled a little weakly at her. He wasn’t too sure what Tsunade could do for him, but he knew better than to underestimate her. She was the Hokage, after all, and she’d take on the council if it meant helping him with his dream; she said so many times before. Spirit renewed, Naruto nodded his head and grinned broadly. “How’re we gonna do this?”

Tsunade smiled chillingly. “We need to find that agreement. Pronto.”

ice cream


Well, today's the FF.Net black out thingy, and I've never realized how obsessed I am with the website. I've been going on it since 2004, and there are several stories that I am anxiously awaiting updates. So, to distract myself, I went out and bought a Cuisinart ice cream maker.

The past few weeks have been very hot. The lowest temperature was about 81, and mostly it's been mid-high 90s. What better weather for ice cream, right? So I went looking for ice cream recipes, and found a Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream recipe. It looks amazing, and I've decided to try it out.

Won't know how it tastes until later, but I'm super excited. I hope it tastes as great as the pictures looked! =)

Tags:

obsessed


It's true. I am completely and utterly obsessed with the new movie, The Avengers. I've seen it in theaters five times already, and am going to see it once more at the drive-in along with Brave. There is something truly amazing about that movie. Perhaps because it has so many yummy actors (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo to name a few), or perhaps because it's like one giant crossover.

I suppose that's what led me to Harry Potter/Avengers fanfiction. If you haven't read Finding Home by cywsaphyre, that should certainly be at the top of your bucket list. It's amazing. There are, of course, other stories in this category, but I think that has to be my favorite.

So obsessed am I, I've written an outline for my own HP/Avengers story. I feel kind of bad doing this considering the fact that I have multiple accounts all over the web and at least six or seven WIPs that I haven't gotten to in over a couple of months. Still, it's the AVENGERS! They're absolutely amazing. <3

pet peeves


A few days ago, I was reading a really great Naruto story and quite enjoying myself. It was unique, and the characterizations were were well-done. Overall, it had everything I look for in a story.

Until, of course, the author completely ruined it by bashing random plot ideas/cliches in their notes.

Now, I understand that everybody has different tastes regarding stories and ideas that they like to read in the fanfiction realm. There are certain plots that I generally gravitate to, and some that I avoid like the plague. I don't mind someone having a different opinion than me regarding certain plots because, honestly, I don't think fanfiction plots are really worth developing a flame war for.

But to just bash random story plots because they don't fit into your comfort zone? That just reeks of immaturity and idiocy. I don't like plenty of ideas, and I certainly don't go bringing them down. I don't go to the people that like different plots than me and question their intelligence level. It's stupid, for one, and I have better things to do with my time.

And yet, it really bothers me when other people do it. It's a pet peeve, of mine. If you don't like something, don't read it. I don't quite understand why so many people don't seem to get this.

And, because I love playing Devil's Advocate, I'd like to respond to what the author (who I won't be disclosing) had put. (And it really is random. It had absolutely nothing to do with the story.)

'There are even more gay Sasuke/Naruto fics out than normal. [...MPreg bashing...] Heteros fight back and make more straight fics!'

Goodness me, that bit right there just really ticked me off. I actually stopped reading what was an originally phenomenal story because of something as silly as that. And I know it's somewhat silly, but the way that sentence computed in my head made it come across as something that would be said ignorantly and in a disgusted tone of voice.

Now, that isn't to say that the author is an ignorant person. As a matter of fact, they seemed quite intelligent.

But that sentence...

Yeah, it kind of sent me through the roof. The SasuNaru yaoi bit I've already explained in both of my previous essays, 'Why SasuNaru? An Explanation and Defense.' and in 'Why Gay Fiction? An Explanation and Defense.'

In regards to the MPreg bashing that I didn't add (because it was too long and annoyed me too much), male pregnancy happens in nature in the animal kingdom. The males in pipefish and seahorses are known to be the one to carry offspring, just to name a couple. It was also said that male pregnancy in humans is possible due to a process called ectopic implantation, but not ideal due to ethical reasons as well as a possibly high fatality rate. Why? Because the male body was not equipped to carry offspring.

Now, MPreg fans know this. Of course they know this. There is no need to insult anyone's intelligence, as it only shows that you have the maturity capacity of a newborn. However, and let me address this to the MPreg stories in both the Naruto and Harry Potter fandoms, if you can tap a certain number of bricks and have another world opened to you, speak to snakes, summon creatures to fight in battle, have a demon sealed in you, have a tent appear small on the outside but in all actuality have the size of an apartment, walk on water, and travel through fire, why is male pregnancy bashed so much? o.O

So, yeah, that's a giant pet peeve of mine: bashing story ideas you don't like.

I have others, but no desire to really write them down right now. =/

why sasunaru? an explanation and defense


Another question I get most frequently is, "Why SasuNaru?" There have been plenty of reasons given that could easily explain the love a lot of people have. Still, I sometimes feel that the existing reasons do not do the SasuNaru pairing much justice. Some that I heard consist of:

"OMG, THEY'RE SO HAWT TOGETHER!"

"They're complete opposites, and opposites attract!"

"They compliment each other, like the sun and the moon."

"They kissed so they must like each other!"

Sorry to those that have used the above excuses (eh, not really), but I feel that none of these adequately describe the relationship between Sasuke and Naruto. So, I shall try to rectify that problem and describe their relationship the way I see it. Before anybody get's their underwear twisted, I'll state that this is simply my opinion based on how I interpreted Naruto and Sasuke's behavior. I also realize that there will be the inevitable person who severely dislikes SasuNaru and will attempt to waste my time writing an angry comment or whatever. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

When I first started off reading Naruto (both the manga and fanfiction), I was a die-hard NaruHina fan who occasionally switched to NaruSaku and indulged in a splashing of SasuSaku. The more manga and fanfiction I read, however, the more I realized that the NaruHina and NaruSaku stories just weren't satisfying me. That is not to say that there aren't any great NaruHina or NaruSaku stories out there. I remember reading and quite enjoying Encyclopedia Ninja by drunkdragon. The problem was that there didn't seem like there was enough excellent NaruHina or NaruSaku stories out there. (Of course, I was several years younger when I began this search, and I could be very wrong about the abundance of great NaruHina fiction. If you know any good ones, feel free to drop a link.)

And then when I once again began my search, I was very surprised to find a story with the SasuNaru pairing. I was intrigued, a little freaked out, and confused. While I had no problem with homosexuals or anything of the sort, in my tiny brain, it hadn't really clicked that there would be fanfiction where Sasuke and Naruto were homosexual themselves. Eventually, curiosity won out. I read it, searched for more, read more, devoured every possible story I was interested in, and became a fan.

Now, onto the reason why SasuNaru has satiated my need for amazing fanfiction. It's really quite simple, to be honest. The relationship that the characters have. SasuNaru became my OTP because of the bond that Sasuke and Naruto originally shared. That type of bond is one that can grow, if nurtured properly, into a loving romantic relationship. Both boys were alone since a young age and can relate on a level that none of the other female characters in the Naruto series can (and I believe this is also why Naruto is paired with Gaara). 

Here are some moments that I feel show how much potential Sasuke and Naruto have as a pairing:


 

Pictures 2 and 3 are from Naruto and Sasuke's epic battle at the Valley of the End. Despite Sasuke trying to kill Naruto, there is clear remorse shown on his face. That is further proven by the last picture. Of course, this doesn't make what he did right nor does his need for power and revenge justify his horrendous actions. Valley of the End (except for the scene showed by the last picture) and current scenarios (like in manga volume 52, I believe) excluded, Sasuke and Naruto show excellent chemistry together. If they actually were gay, I believe they'd make a pretty damn good couple.

Now, onto several ridiculous claims in opposition of the SasuNaru pairing:

SasuNaru is written by girls looking to get off.
You know what they say when you assume. SasuNaru is written, read, and drawn by different age groups and genders. Masashi Kishimoto himself claimed that this was the most romantic pair of the series and admitted that he collects whatever he can get from them. Google an interview that he has with Shounen Jump and read it for yourself.

SasuNaru is so overdone!
I can admit that this is true. I myself need to take a break from the SasuNaru pair every once in a while because it's so abundant. I highly doubt that's any need to hate the pairing, though. o.O Honestly, SasuSaku, NaruHina, and NaruSaku are a few pairings that are excruciatingly overdone and yet nobody really goes batshit crazy over it.

SasuNaru is pointless because Naruto and Sasuke are not gay!!
No, of course they're not gay. We know this, you know this, Masashi Kishimoto knows this. In fact, Naruto's slight homophobia shows in this rather hilarious video:


Kakashi and Anko will not likely get together, but there's a shitload of stories in their favor, yes? The chances of Sasuke going completely crazy and deciding that Sakura is the greatest catch on the planet is currently in the negative numbers, but fans still have hope, yes? Besides, here's something to consider:

“...Masashi Kishimoto, creator of Naruto, who openly declared that he liked Shounen-ai, his favourite pairing was SasuNaru and that he was going to give the manga an end of that nature. Though it’s going to be an open-ending, it will be perceptible that Sasuke and Naruto end up together...”

This is further shown in the Konoha Gakuen Den (an OVA-ish special from the Shippuden DVD):

Sorry to the non-believers, but that looks like some good shounen-ai right there.

What about the females of Naruto? Why can't Sasuke or Naruto be paired with one of them?
There are some females that I love to see Naruto paired with. Temari, Kurenai, Anko, Tenten, etc. There are plenty of women in the series that could possibly make Sasuke or Naruto happy. There's a problem with most of the ones that he's paired with. Let's look at it this way:

Hinata - She's an amazing character, but Naruto thinks she's weird.

Sakura - She's abusive towards Naruto and a downright bitch most of the time, to be honest. Sasuke also despises her because she cannot understand him. None of the girls can; they've never been completely and utterly alone with nobody waiting for them to get out of school and ask them how their day was.

Ino - Another sycophant of Sasuke's that is slightly more powerful than Sakura, but equally useless until Shippuden.

And that is why I ship SasuNaru. =)


Well, for my first post on my new LJ account, I've decided to answer a question that has been chucked at me many times in the past. As the journal title says, "Why gay fiction?" I'll try to explain my position as best I can without stepping on too many toes (because, really, crushing a foot or two seems inevitable with a topic like this).

I should start off by giving away a little bit of my background. When I first delved into the world of anime/manga, I began with reading Naruto and Inuyasha fanfiction. Some of the first stories I read were NaruHina, NaruSaku, and InuKag. They were excellent pairings (and still are, to a good deal of people) and helped nurture this little fangirl over here.

And then, I saw a story with the SasuNaru pairing. That was quite bizarre to me, and my curiosity had me opening the story. Let's just say, I've been intrigued and somewhat addicted ever since.

Now, the question again, "Why gay fiction?"

To those of you that have read both straight and gay fiction, have you ever noticed some things that are different in the characterizations or handling of situations between the two genres? (And, yes, I said genres. In all honesty, I've come to regard straight fiction and gay fiction as different worlds altogether.) Perhaps it's just me, or maybe it's the way fanfiction has evolved over the years I've been reading. Now, what happens when enough people use a certain idea or concept in fanfiction often enough?

It becomes fanon. Here are two excellent examples: Merlin is now considered one of the founding fathers of the Wizarding world in Harry Potter, and Kazama Arashi (or Arashi Kazama to those that have a grudge against the surname-first name shiz) was Naruto's father before the Yondaime's name was released.

The same thing happens with straight and gay fiction. Certain things become fanon and those certain things appeal to different audiences. For example, I love how a good deal of Harry Potter slash stories have some sort of magical creature inheritance or something along those lines. There are plenty of people that come up with very creative ways of using this plot. Raspberry Jam and Desperate Measures (both by vvc) are excellent examples of this.

Now, I'm sure they're out there, and if you've read any feel free to drop a link, but I've yet to see a well-written straight magical creature inheritance story with Harry Potter (where Harry DOESN'T turn into something overdone like a vampire or a werewolf).

Another reason for my interest in gay (fan)fiction is because oftentimes, I see a realistic relationship developing between two male characters rather than female. An example of this would be Sasuke and Naruto. Many people have commented on how they're so different (and, please, no 'opposites attract' comments. It's a weak argument), but so many people also fail to realize they are also alike. Sure, one's hated while the other is praised, but 1) they were both left alone at a young age and 2) they both have a stubborn drive to keep furthering themselves.

To add further to the SasuNaru argument, their rivals-turned-best-friends bond is a strong one. (And yes, despite Sasuke's defection, I still believe it's a strong bond.) I find it hilarious how so many people seem to think Masashi Kishimoto would vehemently detest SasuNaru when he's said in interviews that it's his favorite pairing and he considers it to be the most romantic one in the series. I'm inclined to agree, for reasons I'll put in another essay entirely.

Now, onto my defense of gay (fan)fiction. There seems to be a ton of common misconceptions in regards to slash/yaoi/shounen-ai fans. I'd like to clear up some of them (especially the ones that severely annoy me).

Yaoi ruins anime.
This is by far one of the silliest, and weakest, arguments I've seen. Personally, I believe retarded fans ruin anime. Yeah, some yaoi fanfiction is god awful. The same could be said about straight fanfiction. Yeah, some yaoi art leaves much to be desired. The same could be said about it's straight counterpart. Really, I fail to see how a subgenre (because that's what it's become) is bringing about the demise of anime.

Yaoi has siblings and best friends paired together, and they're STRAIGHT.
It almost seems like someone's trying to blame yaoi for incest fanfiction, which seems ridiculous. (Um, ever take a peek into some of those NejiHina stories? Yeah, they're straight. And no, I'm not bashing this pairing. And yes, I know in Japan there are certain relatives that can get married. Point is, it seems like most of the disgust concerning incest pairings falls on yaoi couples instead of ALL couples.) Honestly, incest overall is not my cup of tea. I couldn't care less if the incest couple was gay or straight. I prefer to stay away from any story containing it, but I won't disrespect people who like it. Whatever floats your boat. (Oh, if only everybody had such an attitude.)

Concerning the best friends issue, I believe your best friend is the one that brings out the best and worst in you. If the best friends in question were a boy and a girl, there wouldn't be as big an uproar as boy/boy and girl/girl best friends.

Yaoi promotes OOC-ness.
I can concede to this point. A lot of yaoi does have characters not behaving like themselves for the sake of a plotline. However, this could be said for a good deal of straight fanfiction as well. There are a ton of excellent slash stories that have superb characterization. A wonderful example would be Secrets by Vorabiza. Despite being in a relationship with another guy, Harry doesn't lose an ounce of his character or spunk and is written admirably.

Yaoi allows pedophilia.
This seems almost too ridiculous to address, but it struck a chord in me. Why is yaoi the only genre to blame for pedophilia? I'm more than certain that if yaoi were to be removed, there would still be an abundance of pedophilia in the world.

Yaoi writers are only women with no lives.
To say this is to say there are no male romance writers. (Nicholas Sparks anyone?) And, to be honest, I had no idea that having a penis was a prerequisite to writing male/male stories. Your genitalia should never determine what you can and can't write.

Yaoi fangirls are rabid.
Are all anti-yaoi people assholes? No, they're not. There are a lot that are ignorant and rather set in their ways, but there are plenty that respectfully dislike yaoi and don't bash those of us that enjoy it. There are also plenty of yaoi fans that belong in the bingo book as an S-class ignoramus with a flee-on-sight order. Not all of us are like that, though.

Yaoi fans only like yaoi and hate other pairings or when people disagree with what they like.
Truth is, not all yaoi fans stick only with yaoi. There are certain fandoms where I absolutely refuse to read yaoi, like the Inuyasha fandom. Why? I just prefer InuKag or SessKag, though I confess to a recent craving of MirKag. Hell, I've even read a JakKag, and to those that don't know, Jakotsu is a gay character in Inuyasha canon. There are other fandoms where, if I have the urge, I'll read different pairings than my OTP slash ones. For example, Champions by Thor's Shadow is an excellent Fleur/Harry story that I had the pleasure of stumbling across and Harry Potter and the Summer of Change by lorddwar is one of the best Tonks/Harry stories I've ever read. I've even stumbled across excellent NaruHina and NaruSaku stories (though I can't really think of any at the moment).

Yaoi pairs male characters with other random male characters.
Now, I can again see some credibility in this statement. At times it truly does seem like in slash stories, some male characters are paired with every other male character under the sun. I myself am guilty of this, and I'll explain why. In the same way that some female characters are paired with whoever, this happens to male characters. (I call it whoring out characters.) To me, writing is one big experiment. You never stop learning, and you can only (hopefully) get better with time, experience, and criticism. If you can pair two random characters together in a fashion that seems believable, then I think you have some damn good skills as an author.

Sometimes, it's also fun to write weird, out-of-the-ordinary, never-before-seen pairings. I'm saying this from personal experience.

You don't have to change your opinion or anything, but I hope this explained some things regarding the yaoi genre. I respect other people's opinions, and if you believe yaoi is devil worship or whatever it is haters are saying now-a-days, I'm certainly not going to waste my breath trying to convince you otherwise. Criticism is very much accepted and appreciated.