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[Naruto Fic] The Fall of Icarus 05

ah. nothing like a two-week hiatus to see to other things; practice drawing, work on other fics, uninstall and Strike Sims 3 until they bring back weather. ah. good times.

Previously: Chapter 04
Currently:


=========================
The Fall of Icarus
By: Ken
Word Count: 4,208
Began: 09.15.2004
Pairing: Neji x Naruto, Gai x Kakashi
Disclaimer: Naruto is a product of Kishimoto Masashi. If i owned it there would be an answer to a simple question: Who raised Naruto before he started at the Academy? Poor Uzumaki Naruto to be the main character and never have any real answers to his life.
Comments: with Many Thanks to my beta TJ Dragonblade.
=========================


Chapter Five: Hyuuga’nomics

Neji stepped out of his bathroom toweling his hair, only half-revived from the shower he’d just indulged in. With his eyes, reconnaissance work wasn’t the chore it could have been for someone else. If he was willing to expend the energy he didn’t have to travel as far, or risk giving away his position. Neji had spent the better part of the week submerged in a cool stream, undetected by his quarry. While he was sure algae had started forming on his toes, it had been worth it to keep certain parts still, and take note of the decidedly odd traffic patterns going on around the border.

He’d reported his findings to the Hokage upon his return, and she had mumbled something unflattering about reports and punctuality before motioning him off to prepare for his ‘date’.

Neji scowled at the verbiage, picked up his brush and began to work it through his damp strands. This was more of a tragic coercion of two unwilling parties to sit in the same room together than anything so intimate as that word implied.

He’d been on a date before.

Well, he classified it as a date, though he knew it probably hadn’t registered on Naruto’s radar. The day before the blond had left, Neji had found him moseying down the street on the way to Ichiraku’s, hands behind his head, mouth puckered in defiance, face upturned toward the overcast sky and intermittent sunshine.

Neji had thought the sun was jealous of him, envious that no cloud would dare to keep Uzumaki Naruto hidden.

But that wasn’t exactly true. There was Sasuke; there was that battle Naruto had with himself over his own worth -- the worst kind of blight.

Neji had fallen into step beside him and been gifted with a smile. “Hey, what brings you out?” Naruto had asked him.

“I thought I would eat something before going to train with my Uncle.”

“Really?” Naruto had appeared puzzled and Neji couldn’t blame him. The last the Uzumaki would have heard, Neji and the Souke were still practicing mutual excommunication.

Neji had nodded. “Yes. Apparently my ‘Absolute Defense’ could be a little more absolute.” The corners of his lips quirked upward.

For a moment Naruto had looked guilty but then he brushed it off and grinned.

The Hyuuga had garnered his courage and made the offer as innocuous as he could. “Ichiraku’s is around the corner -- would you like to join me? It’ll be my treat.”

Naruto was not a person who would turn down free food.

Neji sighed.

He was so pathetic.

He pulled his hair into the usual ponytail and turned to look at the kimono he’d laid out before his shower. It was nicer than the plain green one he’d wear if it were an ordinary clan gathering. Midnight blue with embroidered cranes taking flight from the hem, it had been a gift from Nadeshiko on his last birthday. She’d claimed Ozora had never grown into it and Kuji wouldn’t do it justice, so he may as well have it. Neji couldn’t recall a time when she’d ever outright given him anything. It was always under guise of things going to waste if they weren’t used. After his father had died there had been no one but Nadeshiko carefully not mothering him, Ozora teaching him the things he’d learned at the academy to occupy his mind, and Kuji, barely older, but demanding Neji call him Uncle. Their only sanctuary had been The Aviary.

And then shortly after Neji had started at the academy Ozora had been found Locked and forced to quit as a ninja. There was no investigation. No one was punished for it. It was simply the fate of the Branch family to be treated thusly, and it would never change. First his father had been taken from him, and then his vibrant and capable cousin was reduced to nothing more than a drooling shell. Neji had shunned The Aviary as useless, his hatred for the Souke unable to be dispelled through Flight.

He pinched the bridge of his nose. He didn’t have time to wallow in his less than cheerful memories. He couldn’t afford to be angry if he was to see the one prospect he had absolutely no care for. He donned the kimono.

Hyuuga Kikue was exceptional in appearance. Her skin was flawless; her hair black as ink spilled across a page, always piled into elaborate twists upon her head. The beauty mark under her right eye was like a symbol of superiority. She was four years older than him. As a child, when his father had been explaining the Head Family hierarchy, he had pointed her out as the next in line for her family. Neji had thought that she looked like an empress, imperious as she ordered her friends around her like ladies-in-waiting. His father had frowned at that and Neji hadn’t understood why then.

But it was engraved into his forehead now.

Sometimes a life of privilege made people compassionate to the plight of others. And then sometimes it produced those like Lady Kikue who took their positions for granted. He couldn’t stop the thought that in a couple of years, if nothing was done about Hanabi, then that attitude was a possibility for her as well.

Finished with his clothing, he slipped on his sandals and tied his forehead protector around his head.

He had a difficult battle ahead of him. Somehow, covertly, he was going to have to be a perfect gentleman and a servant above reproach and yet still force Lady Kikue to Lock him.

Nothing said incompatible like one’s intended intentionally liquidating one’s brain.

====~- X -~====


Nara Shikamaru scribbled a note into the margin of his paperwork before tucking it under his arm and proceeding to his next destination. This was, without a doubt, the biggest pain in the ass the Lady Fifth had assigned him yet.

As he approached the Hyuuga compound he had to pause as he considered how to approach Hyuuga Hiashi for the information he needed. A moment later he saw Hyuuga Neji emerge from the gate. He was neatly folded into an elaborate blue kimono that had cranes embroidered around the hem. His long hair was pulled back into his usual low ponytail though it seemed extra shiny today; forehead covered as always with the Leaf bandanna. He looked decidedly harried, the vaguest of twitches present at his temple as he ground his teeth. Neji took a deep breath and then white, fathomless eyes zeroed in on where he stood.

“Shikamaru?” Neji said his name as he encroached, curiosity evident in the tilt of his head.

The Nara shrugged and decided not to shun a gift; if he didn’t have to speak with the Head of the Hyuuga Clan then that was just fine with him. “Hey. You’re just the person I wanted to see.”

An eyebrow rose in response, but they were interrupted before Shikamaru could expound on the details.

“Uh-Uhm, H-Hi Shikamaru. Hi, B-Brother.” Hinata mumbled the greeting. Her eyes watched the ground for sudden movements, no doubt, and her fingers couldn’t seem to stop fiddling with each other as she held them up before her chest.

Neji didn’t say a word.

The vein at his temple flexed again, and a sandal shifted in the dirt; as Shikamaru watched, Hinata forced herself to stand up straight and drop her protective stance.

Only then did Neji address her with a small smile and slight bow of his head. “Lady Hinata, how are you today?”

“I’m fine, thank you.” The smile she offered back was as free of anxiety as her voice now was. “Father wanted me to let you know that if you aren’t busy, Hanabi could use a sparring partner after classes end at the academy tomorrow.”

There was the briefest pause as the cousins regarded each other in a language Shikamaru supposed was purely Hyuuga. Then Neji nodded. “Thank you for telling me, Lady Hinata, I will be sure to make myself available.”

“I’ll see you two later then.”

With a brief nod of farewell Hinata turned and headed back toward the Hyuuga gate with her chin turned up and her shoulders straight, self-assurance radiating from her. Shikamaru kept expecting her to wilt back into the hunchbacked mumbler he was used to seeing, and he found himself slightly bewildered when she didn’t. His half-lidded, shrewd gaze slipped from Hinata’s retreating form to land on Neji.

“What?” the Hyuuga Bird asked, tone defensive. “She knows it annoys me to see her parrot-toed and sniveling. If she wants the title of Head of the Clan, then she needs to raise her head.”

The Nara raised a placating hand. He could understand Neji’s ire. One couldn’t have a cousin like Hyuuga Ozora and accept hesitancy in anyone else when there was no good reason for it. This would be especially true of a Souke member who would never have to endure the kind of trauma that had made Ozora the way he was.

Hyuuga eyes were blank, yet always seemed full of information, as though their intelligence couldn’t be caged with a proper iris. This was not the case for Ozora. That particular Hyuuga’s eyes were empty. Shikamaru grimaced internally, remembering the first time he'd met Ozora years ago in Neji's hospital room. Ozora had snuck away from home to come check on his favorite cousin’s health. Neji had begged Shikamaru to escort him back to Hyuuga territory; said Shikamaru could leave him at the entrance and someone would take him to his house from there. Ozora didn’t process the real world correctly, Neji told him. He functioned in it, but just barely, constantly scribbling reminders on his arm in little symbols only he understood. Neji had said Ozora had been Locked too young and his brain seriously damaged. His vision was now skewed. Knowing that, Shikamaru found it difficult to fault Neji for hating Hinata all those years. It didn’t excuse him for trying to kill her, no, but at the same time, Ozora was Hinata’s cousin too. From Neji’s perspective, she had no right to cower.

Shikamaru dragged his attention back to the original reason for his visit to find Neji studying him. “You don’t usually come around this side of the village,” the Hyuuga pointed out. He shifted and the cranes on his kimono gave the illusion of flapping their wings. Neji seemed annoyed to be seen so dressed up, or whatever had put him in a foul mood earlier had yet to dissipate.

Shikamaru opted to tread carefully. “Ah, well, Lady Tsunade assigned me the job of working out the schedule for those clans invoking that Familial Duties edict.” He glanced back the way he’d come. “I already talked to the others so that just leaves you.”

“Me specifically?” Neji asked. “Lady Hinata was just here.”

“Psh. Shy girls are just as troublesome as pushy ones in some ways.” The Nara exhaled gustily. “Look, it’s less of a bother talking to you than someone else.” He waved the folders as a visual explanation. “The other clans are really straightforward. When it comes to the Hyuuga, though, it’s a bit more complicated. I mean, I got a list from Tsunade on everyone eligible but it makes no sense.”

“In what way?” Neji wondered.

Shikamaru shuffled his papers around, then dragged his finger down a page as he read the list of names in his head. “Like, Hyuuga Emiko.” He scratched uncomfortably at the back of his neck. “She’s twelve. What twelve-year-old is thinking about marriage and making babies?”

Neji stepped forward and frowned down at the page. “She’s not.”

“Oh?” Shikamaru looked up from the lists and regarded Neji a moment. “Well, then there’s something horribly cracked with the person thinking it for her.”

“It’s not like that either.”

Shikamaru pinched the bridge of his nose and expelled a sigh. “Look, I’m pretty smart, but this would go a lot faster if you would just spit out the information I need so I can be on my way.”

“Right.” Neji glanced around, then gestured to a small tea shop up the road; Shikamaru nodded and they walked to it in silence. It was only after they were seated in a booth and served a cup of tea that the Hyuuga spoke again.

“Keep in mind that the Hyuuga clan is even older than the Nara. You’ve heard the story that the sharingan is a derivative of the byakugan, correct?”

Shikamaru nodded and folded his fingers around his tea cup.

The walk had seemed to calm to the Hyuuga down but now Neji’s lips bore the slightest tic, as though he couldn’t quite contain his frustration. “Because our bloodline limit is so unique the clan takes extra precautions to ensure it’s kept safe and pure. Another sharingan can’t happen again. Hyuuga can’t be allowed to defect. To that end all births are documented. All children fall under a certain founder of the clan. For each generation one child is named Head Family; all of their siblings are Branch and Caged. When a child turns twelve they’re given an inspection of their strength and intelligence, their birth is cross referenced to ensure inbreeding is kept to a minimum, and then The Elders choose an appropriate mate. Emiko is too young for marriage, yes, but there’s no reason why she can’t acquaint herself with her intended.” With white eyes riveted to the paperwork, he muttered, “In this case, Emiko’s future husband is me.”

“Really?” Shikamaru sat back in his chair. “So you’re all arranged marriages then?”

“Yes.”

The clan was fucked, Shikamaru couldn’t help thinking. There was no other way to put it. The Hyuuga were still adhering to a precaution dating back to before Konoha was even a village. And, if he was understanding what Neji said correctly, then the Uchiha were the reason they practiced the Bird in the Cage Seal.

It went against his nature to pry, but the Hyuuga had piqued his interest and Neji seemed willing enough to impart information as it was an order from the Lady Godaime. “Alright, I’ll play this game.” Shikamaru’s finger drummed his bottom lip as he considered the proper way to word his thoughts. “The Uchiha exist because of the byakugan, correct?”

“Yes.”

“Then what is Sasuke to you?”

If he paid attention, Shikamaru could see the faint lavender that indicated Neji’s irises had shifted to their corners as he formulated the response. “Sasuke,” he said the name as if it were a curse. “Technically we share an ancestor, so he is a very distant cousin.”

“So, if an Uchiha and a Hyuuga created a child . . .”

“We’re talking hypotheticals, now?” Neji queried, head tilted to study the Nara.

Shikamaru shook his head to deny the question. When he considered it properly, the Hyuuga would never forgive the Uchiha Clan’s betrayal and Shikamaru couldn’t blame them. The only Uchiha he had ever met had almost gotten Chouji killed for his selfishness. He had never liked Uchiha Sasuke, and after that, he never would. It was hard to digest that somewhere down the line, he and Neji were related.

“Let me put it this way instead. Your byakugan is a dominant trait, right?”

Neji nodded, though confirmation wasn’t really necessary when Shikamaru couldn’t think of one Hyuuga who didn’t have those eyes.

“But there’s no guarantee that two byakugan of considerable power create a stronger one, right?”

Another nod.

“Then why don’t your Elders allow outsourcing since your gene pool is getting a little too crowded as it is?”

The blank look Shikamaru received somehow conveyed Neji’s disappointment in his intuitive powers without saying a word. “Can you see any person of even the most miniscule amount of intelligence allowing this to happen to their children?” Neji asked with a light tap to his forehead protector for emphasis.

No, actually Shikamaru couldn’t. Nobody would put up with that kind of foolishness if they had the choice.

“Then I guess the thing that surprises me most is that Hanabi isn’t a candidate for you also. As I understand it, she should have been given your brand already, right?”

Neji shrugged. “I’m sure The Elders thought about it, but the problem is my Branch is already too close to the Main Family. They couldn’t risk it two generations in a row.” The Hyuuga fiddled with his teacup. “Besides, identical twins are considered the same person when it comes to genetics so by clan law I can’t marry into my own Head Family.”

So then if Hiashi and Hizashi were looked upon as one person from a genetic standpoint then Hiashi could claim Neji has his son.

“And that’s why Hinata calls you brother instead of cousin,” the Nara deduced.

Neji nodded. “As Nadeshiko explained it to me, a Bunke having a first child at twenty-eight doesn’t happen. My father was fine being considered my Uncle’s clone; he wasn’t so keen on having a child that would be a servant. But Lady Akahana -- Lady Hinata’s mother -- had trouble conceiving; it’s what happens when you’re too closely related sometimes and she was pretty fragile anyway from what I remember.”

The Hyuuga boy paused and swirled the contents of his cup absently; his expression was one that said memories flitted through his head. “But the Souke needed an heir. So, my Uncle chose a wife for my father from Lady Akahana’s Bunke. And when I was born everyone had what they wanted -- the Souke had an heir and my father had a son who wouldn’t be put into the Cage.” The Hyuuga boy shrugged again, allowed a chuckle to escape before taking a sip of his tea.

That sardonic little laugh said everything the Hyuuga Genius didn’t. It was simple for Nara Shikamaru to fill in the blanks. After going through all that trouble, the Lady Akahana finally got pregnant, and her miracle baby was worth more than Neji, who was ultimately the child of two Bunke -- genetic clone or not. Perceptive eyes studied the boy before him and saw powerful, smart, even-tempered, well-spoken; Hyuuga Neji looked like a leader. It must have been frustrating as hell for Hyuuga Hizashi to see Hinata be given the role his son was more fit to play.

Shikamaru grinned, his own intermittent titter unchecked. “I’m starting to see how you became a fatalist. Irony of that magnitude would shake anyone’s beliefs.”

Neji sipped his tea. “I don’t believe in fate anymore.”

Shikamaru stabbed the paperwork with an index finger. “You sure you want to say that with this looming over your head?”

The most tranquil smile Shikamaru had ever seen on Neji’s face emerged -- slowly, as though it was new to his mouth to perform it. With eyes downcast and far away he stated, “Well, a genius like me should be able to figure something out.” He met Shikamaru’s querying stare.

Game, the Nara thought. Neji was still carrying a thing for Naruto after all this time. Shikamaru doubted Neji had told him, and that was a damn shame.

“Yeah. Well. I’d figure it out faster.” Shikamaru sipped innocently at his tea. “When I was visiting the Fifth she mentioned fate was on its way back.”

Neji’s tea cup paused on its way to his lips. “Then I suppose I will gaze at the clouds for inspiration. It seems to be beneficial for you. Plenty of sizeable returns.”

And match, the Nara groused. Sometimes the Hyuuga saw too much.

“Next.” Shikamaru picked another questionable name off the list, and listened to Neji’s explanation of why they were eligible. By the end of the hour Neji had helped him draft a preliminary timetable for every Hyuuga on active duty and each of their intendeds if there were more than one. And when Neji yawned, reminding Shikamaru that he had probably just returned from a lengthy mission, the Nara waved him off to find some sleep. Watching Neji leave he couldn’t help but think that this was definitely a troublesome assignment, but it was also probably the most interesting one the Fifth had to offer.

====~- X -~====


Neji covered his mouth as another yawn threatened to crack his jaw with its intensity. He was tired. His highest ranked priority was another shower to wash the Lady Kikue and her poison from his system, and then to properly appreciate the bed he’d left behind. He didn’t want to ponder the Hyuuga; wonder why Lady Hinata’s name wasn’t paired with another prestigious Head Family, but it seemed to be all he could think about.

What he’d told Shikamaru was true. After his Uncle had explained the circumstances of his father's death, after the village began to recover from the Sand and Sound coup d'etat, Neji had returned to The Aviary for the first time in years. He'd sought out Nadeshiko and asked her for the truth of Hiashi's words. She had confirmed it and more. She had told him he had been born to be the next clan head; that his sister was a sweet girl, and Nadeshiko bore her no ill will, but the fact that she had turned out to be such a disappointment was no more than The Elders deserved for reneging on the deal. For Hinata to usurp Neji’s place hadn’t been what Lady Akahana wanted.

And now that he’d seen Hinata’s name linked with two candidates, one Bunke, the other the son of Hyuuga Kou -- someone barely Souke -- he could clearly understand what The Elders were doing. They were trying to tempt the Bunke in to accepting their positions in life; quell any rebellious thoughts by giving their children a chance at the life they would have had if there was no Seal. Encourage your children to be strong and one day they too can be Souke, was the message. It made him feel sick to his stomach. This edict was merely to switch the genetic line-up a bit, a bid to ensure the strongest and best the Hyuuga had to offer remained in charge. Neji had the uncomfortable feeling that this was inadvertently his fault. All of this trouble brewed just so that after a proper observance of at least three generations of gene dilution, The Elders could rope the children of his line back into Hiashi’s line, thereby correcting their original mistake. None of the them would even be alive then.

He thought his Uncle was beginning to comprehend the inanity of the Hyuuga. That was something. It was further proof that people really could change. Hinata was finding her spine, but so was her father in telling him to spar with Hanabi. His cousin was at the academy, but so was Emiko and they walked the same road home. Neji would be seen spending extra time outside of sanctioned ‘dates’ with one of his candidates and it would devalue any other claim The Elders’ preferred. Such a simple plan that could be ultimately devastating; Neji couldn’t find it in himself to be anything less than impressed with this Uncle for that.

But Naruto was on his way back.

Neji forced himself to walk normally instead of skipping down the street as he made a turn. It was a very roundabout way to the river, but that knowledge was worth a visit to The Aviary and a twirl around on the floor in step to the beat Kuji set. That was worth modeling the clothing Nadeshiko had made, and seeing that understated yet proud sparkle in her doe-shaped eyes. That was worth not brooding over his failure concerning Lady Kikue. He had no doubt that someone had taken her aside at some point, fussed at her to keep the juinjutsu from her fingers no matter the provocation. He was going to have to try harder. Maybe when Naruto returned he could ask him about the best ways to catch someone off their guard, as that was something Naruto had excelled at. It would give them something to talk about.

He paused and gazed up at the dusky sky to pick out the brightest stars twinkling overhead.

He had no idea what Naruto was like now.

Neji doubted he had even crossed the boy’s mind.

He shook his head and continued on. He really was going to have to stop being so pathetic.

There was no music playing in The Aviary.

Neji was instantly on his guard.

Cautiously he inched down the stairs and around the corner. The byakugan couldn’t be used here. He had always thought that concession to privacy when Bunke weren’t subject to it regularly was brilliant. He didn’t think so anymore. He eased through the curtain leading into the main room, chakra concentrated to his hands --

And saw Nadeshiko in Ozora’s arms as he tentatively dabbed moonblossom salve on her eyelids. Kuji looked murderous with drumsticks in hand. Hyuuga Tokuma had a kunai drawn. Madoka held senbon at the ready between her knuckles but seemed confused. And a stranger was curled up on the floor in the fetal position hands cradling his head as he groaned in misery.

====~- X -~====


~ Aburame Shino's Bug on the Wall Corner ~

Shino:
I am told to bring your attention to this article and point out the two boys on the far left and the woman in the far right with her head truncated in the Bunke picture.

Why?

Because you have just seen Hyuuga Ozora, Kuji, and Nadeshiko respectively.

Also.

If you are wondering about the conversation between Neji and Shikamaru at the end, then perhaps you have not read the Definitions Series. It isn't necessary, but it does take place during the same time frame as this fic.

End.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
entitys
May. 18th, 2011 05:06 pm (UTC)
don't look at me like that.

*looks guilty* dammit, how did she know?

that aside, that is probably the most convoluted 'Thank you for being your neurotic self' i've ever read. but i am ridiculously grateful for it. *sits down to cry* <-- these are very manly tears by the way. just needed to hear that lately ;_;
(Deleted comment)
entitys
May. 19th, 2011 02:39 am (UTC)
*wipes at eyes* sorry.

I'm glad you don't find my worshipping to be disturbing

*shrugs* i have low self-esteem combined with an overwhelming need to be acknowledged for the things i'm good at. there is a reason Naruto is my character of choice y'know. zero acknowledgement in my broken brain translates to 'you suck, just quit' and so i do. i mean i like doing this now, but i like doing other things too, and i feel bad eating up my Beta's time when her genius isn't being acknowledged either.

i'm not saying its logical, especially when i get such awesome, well thought out, in depth, and i know the reader is invested comments from those who do -- and i know that and yet just a simple thank you, for spending time on this when you could be doing something else just goes a really long way with me and i don't know why that is. it doesn't negate anything anyone else says or does, it just, in my screwed up brain, something so simple shouldn't be so vastly overlooked.

to that end. Thank you, May, for being you even though you see NejiShika when you shouldn't . . . because that wasn't my intention, not because you're not entitled. dammit. *sigh* talking -- properly expressing a sentiment -- is not something i'm good at. i should quit..

Edited at 2011-05-19 03:30 am (UTC)
bgreenwivy
May. 17th, 2011 04:33 am (UTC)
....*blinks*....annnnnnnnnd then what? *refreshes screen and frowns when nothing happens*

Wow what a chapter. I feel like I just am not sure what to think at this point. This story is very rich in texture. It seems as though characters, story lines and actual feelings are intertwined with such delicacy and thoughtfulness that I as a writer feel the urge to bow to you for keeping it up. I also hope that you continue this story to fruition whatever that may be.
entitys
May. 18th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
....annnnnnnnnd then what?

*twiddles fingers* um. lots of stuff?

feel the urge to bow to you for keeping it up

thank you so much! but please don't. i can't really take credit for this chapter's quality, that was the Beta keeping The Pimp Hand strong. but i do thank you so much for your continued comments and support, and i shall try really hard to keep the same level of intrigue and execution every time. *bows*
sagesasami
May. 17th, 2011 12:45 pm (UTC)
Yay
I really enjoy this I found your journal while reading your wonderful Hikaru No Go stories(Waves SaiHika flag). Can't wait to read more!
entitys
May. 18th, 2011 06:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Yay
wow. thank you! Welcome to HikaSaiHika Nation (well it's more like a tiny island), i see you've brought the flag. *smiles* shall work dutifully on providing more of both this and that in the future.
tj_dragonblade
May. 18th, 2011 01:52 am (UTC)
Who raised Naruto, indeed?  *sigh*
 
Like I said - Neji and Shikamaru have a really fun sort of co-worker/friendship dynamic going on here.  Especially the little pokes about each other's love life.  ♥  I laughed at the ribbing; it's just so perfectly IC and normal and just makes me grin.
 
Very interested to see what happens next.  Why was Nadeshiko Locked?  What sort of repercussions might develop from an outsider falling into The Aviary?  How will Neji and Naruto react when they finally see each other again?  Where does the Daimyo's missing daughter fit in?  And is Genma still going to ask out Tokuma once this curled-on-the-floor-in-the-fetal-position business is finished?  ^_^
 
This is such an engaging, enjoyable story.  Keep up the good work!  ^_^
entitys
May. 18th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
Neji and Shikamaru have a really fun sort of co-worker/friendship dynamic going on here

Bless You TJ. just bless you for that.

you have so many questions. you should be that announcer chic at the end of episodes who keeps everyone hype for the next one. but you forgot the 'dum dum dum DUM' with the ellipses.

guess you'll just have to tune in next week.

aside from that. Good Job and Thank You Beta for sprinkling on the Words and Slapping Proper Sentences out of me. if there isn't a Pimp Hand award for that then there should be. ^_^
tj_dragonblade
May. 19th, 2011 04:14 am (UTC)
Dude, you're the chef toiling away with your signature recipe for long hours in the kitchen making sure all the ingredients go in at the right place and it turns into what it's supposed to be. I just fuss with the presentation when you get to the plating stage. ^_^;;

Truthfully? I enjoy it. Maybe that makes me weird, but. ^_^

I will totally tune in next week. Believe it!! *is shot* |D

Edited at 2011-05-19 04:14 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
entitys
Jun. 15th, 2011 03:03 am (UTC)
*waves* . . . *sighs*

real life + story issues = delay. *shrugs* happens. good news is the next chapter will be out this week and it'll be a little longer to make up for this unplanned intermission. ^_^
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )