Naruto Writing Memes

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24 Hour Meme
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modpuppet wrote in naruto_meme
What time is it? Aaaaaadventure Time! I... mean... Time for the 24 Hour Meme!

All of this month's prompts must involve a time of day. It can be specific, as in, 'Gai is awake at 5:00 a.m. bursting with the power of youth! Kakashi is not, and Gai aims to change that!' Or it can be general, as in ' Tsunade invites Sakura out for Happy Hour.'

+ Your post most be ANONYMOUS.
+ Your post must fit the monthly theme.
+ For organizational purposes, please post prompt pairings/keywords in the subject of your comment.
+ Play nice. This should be fun for ALL.
+ For every request you make try to fill out AT LEAST one request. Give and you shall receive (and the meme shall live on!).
+ Do not CLAIM prompts. Any given prompts can be filled infinitely, so you needn't claim the one you're writing, out of fear someone else will write for it as well. The more the merrier!
+ Make sure to watch the threads you start, so you'll know when your request has been filled.
+ Feel free to rec this far and wide!

* PLEASE DO NOT "SECOND" PROMPTS. SECONDING INEVITABLY LEADS TO FICS NOT GETTING WRITTEN. 'Seconded' comments will be deleted. No questions asked. And the same goes for ridiculous hooting/hollering/'this turns me on' comments (instead of fills) on prompts themselves.

If you have any questions or concerns, please LJ message one of the mods ([info]thisl0ser[info]0mega19x or [info]anat_astarte) not [info]modpuppet !

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Anyone in Konoha

(Anonymous)
Things that happen in Konoha at 3 am.

Re: Anyone in Konoha 1/2

(Anonymous)
Sarutobi Hiruzen was the last person to leave the Hokage tower at the stroke of 3 A.M. Walking, head bowed, home where his wife and youngest son would already be asleep in their beds.

Regrets, shapeless and numerous, weighed heavy on his shoulders as he walked through the shadows which transformed the place he had sworn to protect at any cost.

Any cost, including his own life, his wife’s life, his sons’.

With that thought on his mind,he sought out his youngest son immediately upon returning home, driven to his son's room by the vague sense of doom that had haunted him ever since he’d opened that damned mission report.

As expected --but still much to his relief--he found Asuma in his bed, sleeping like the proverbial baby he had long stopped being. The boy had just passed his academy exam and was now a Genin; soon he would go on more than just D-Rank missions. Hiruzen himself would send him to fight.

And maybe one day he would come back with a report just like the one that had caused this nightly disciplinary meeting, and on that day Sarutobi Hiruzen wouldn’t be able to call him a traitor either.

Tonight, Hiruzen had granted forgiveness, but the village wouldn’t forget.

*~*~*

At 3 in the morning a former ANBU captain, recently demoted to jounin sensei (and no matter how the Third put it, he knew a demotion when he was on the receiving end of one), stood at the gates to the Hyuuga compound and hesitated. He wanted nothing more than to go to bed and forget all about the unpleasant hearing for a few blissful hours of sleep at least, and yet…

And yet he had that feeling again, the pesky one, the one that told him he had better check the training grounds, and once he had that feeling – premonition, really – he knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep until he’d done it, but if he did, and his suspicion proved right, he would feel obligated to go there to retrieve his burden. But what choice did he have, really?

He activated his Byakugan.

Of course

So, he went reluctantly, trying not to think too much about the previous hours and the endless talk that had filled the big room like clouds of smoke while he, the fallen hero, just sat there looking like he was slowly being smothered.

It was a strange sensation, losing that much respect for someone you used to admire in such a short amount of time.

Re: Anyone in Konoha 2/2

(Anonymous)
Still, he was lucky, a Hyuuga would not have got away with bringing this much dishonor to his name.

Especially not a branch member like himself.

But Sandaime-sama was a gentle man. Some might even say soft.

He took one last leap and landed neatly next to the bundle on the ground. He stared at it, the night feeling colder now that he wasn’t running anymore.

Sighing, he took off his vest… and stopped himself mid-motion. This was the kind of behavior that bred the kind of weakness they’d all witnessed earlier. Besides, his student had disobeyed his direct orders; the kid should be punished, not coddled.

He put his vest back on and gave the boy a kick that had him jerk awake and scramble onto his feet in an instant.

“If I were an enemy, you would be dead now,” he informed Gai coolly. “What did I tell you about sleeping out in the open?”

“Ummm…” Gai blinked, rubbing his eyes, clearly unable to remember anything he had been told. “If you were an enemy, I would fight you! With my new moves!” Gai punched the air to illustrate. The bandages on his hands had come loose; his knuckles were caked in dried blood the color of rust.

“Because I’m Konoha’s mighty green beast!” Gai shouted, one fist raised above his head.

“You’re Konoha’s biggest idiot,” he said without rancor.
“Come on, your hands need disinfecting.”

*~*~*

When the display of his alarm clock read 3:00 Kakashi still wasn’t asleep. His was waiting, his heart a tight lump in his chest. Without knowing anything, he knew.

He had known since his father had returned from his mission in the morning, far earlier than he should have. He had known that something was wrong then, but his father had said nothing.

Then he had left again, but not before ruffling Kakashi’s hair the way he only did before going on a mission.

But there was no mission. There was something else. He had heard it in the whispers in the street; he’d seen it in the shadows flitting across the people who saw him walk past.
Everything had changed.

Kakashi heard the door and squeezed his eyes shut. Then his father’s footsteps resounded through the whole house, leaden. They came to a halt in front of the door to Kakashi’s room.

The moment stretched into eternity then snapped back into the fraction of a second as the door was slid open, gently to avoid any noise.

He could barely hear his father’s approach, but he could feel him in the room, in the way his presence seemed to reshape the air around them, his breath and heartbeat pulsing through it, making Kakashi feel like nothing more than his faint echo.

He could feel his father looming over him; he could picture him there next to his bed, one hand outstretched, the fingertips just shy of brushing Kakashi’s cheek.

It’s okay, Kakashi wanted to say, you can go to sleep, I’ll watch over you from now on.

But he dared not speak, and the moment passed.

Re: Anyone in Konoha 2/2

(Anonymous)
Poignant and somber. Took a re-read to grasp what was going on, but that doesn't make it any less effective. I like the three different pieces of this picture, the three separate reactions. It's a good read.

~Non-OP

Re: Anyone in Konoha - Coping Mechanism 1/2

(Anonymous)
So I kind of mashed this prompt with my own below, in choice of 'who' at least - OP, I hope this is still alright. ^_^
~~~

Just past three in the morning, Anko slips out the window of her fourth-floor apartment and shimmies soundlessly up onto the roof. It's easy enough; she's done it dozens of times when she's had nights like this. They're less common now, when there are more years separating her from the past she only half-remembers, but they haven't faded completely yet and maybe they never will.

They aren't nightmares, not exactly, the things that still interrupt her sleep sometimes. She can't actually recall anything after jerking awake to the silent darkness, heart pounding and skin clammy. But there are fleeting impressions of images, sounds, sensations that leave her cold; there are phantom imprints of terror and confusion leftover just beneath her consciousness, and the mark on her neck burns. It leaves her unsettled, restless, and more than anything not wanting to be alone while the shadows whisper all around her.

It hadn't take her long to get used to Konoha when they'd first brought her here; it had quickly become 'home' and has only grown to be more so in the years since. Navigating the familiar layout of buildings and thoroughfares in the warm summer dark is second nature, whether on the sleeping streets below or the starlit rooftops high above; she is swift and silent, little more than a shadow herself.

She heads for one of the utilitarian residential districts several blocks over that caters extensively to the quirks of Konoha's ANBU population, where floorplans take into consideration defensibility of all potential entry points, where the neighbors are generally understanding if the occasional stray shuriken winds up embedded in their front door. She lights on the roof of a six-story apartment complex much like her own and drops down over the edge, landing cat-like on an open fifth-floor windowsill.

She knows she's triggered the chakra alarm infused in the wooden frame but leans inside anyway, fully expecting the kunai that appears at her throat, and grins.

"Hey."

Re: Anyone in Konoha - Coping Mechanism 2/2

(Anonymous)
The kunai disappears, and Tenzou--she's gotten used to calling him that by now--blinks blearily at her, understanding smoothing the fierceness from his features and leaving them sleep-fogged again.

He's used to her showing up like this. He's been a constant in her life since she was brought to Konoha; it had been his job in the beginning to show her around the village (and to keep an eye on her until the elders decided she didn't pose any security risk, but she wasn't supposed to know that). They've been friends a long time by now, have bonded over many things as the years have gone on. They've got each other's backs, whatever the situation--especially concerning the threads of intangible shadow lurking in both their pasts.

There is something about surviving Orochimaru that leaves a trace of horrific kinship in its wake, even when neither of them can consciously remember what he's done to them; each of them knows the other understands what it means to wake in cold sweat and not know why, to feel exposed, alone, vulnerable while the village sleeps on around them.

Tenzou makes a quiet little grunt in the eloquent language of the half-awake, draws back and jerks his head in invitation; Anko crawls in through his window and into his bed without another word. He climbs in behind her, not bothering to stifle his yawn. They squirm closer together, each turned outward, the warm length of his back pressed to hers; she faces the window, he faces the door, and they both close their eyes, secure in the trust that the shadows won't encroach past their united guard.

It's a ritual they've shared many times growing up, a holdover from their childhood that settles them both.

Anko is a fierce kunoichi, a fearless chuunin always striving for better than 'good enough' and never letting anything hold her back.

Tenzou is an exemplary shinobi, drafted into the elite ranks of the ANBU already, skillful and respected and steady in the face of danger.

But there is no shame for either of them in the comfort of sleeping with a friend at their back, in the childhood security that the nameless formless thing in the dark has little power if they face it together.

Re: Anyone in Konoha - Coping Mechanism 2/2 OP

(Anonymous)
Very sweet Anko and Yamato friendship, writer anon. It really makes me wish we could see (have seen?) them interact more in canon.
Love the last line especially, so heartwarming!

Re: Anyone in Konoha - Coping Mechanism 2/2 OP

(Anonymous)
Thanks! I would love to see them have more canon interaction. The idea of a long-standing friendship between them makes me happy, and I'm glad you like what I did with them here. Thanks for the nice wide-open prompt, and for the lovely comment!

Re: Anyone in Konoha

(Anonymous)
At three A.M., for many, Konoha has ground to a halt. Still, some people are awake. The ANBU ghost along their patrol routes, only detectable to each other, and keep their vigilance. Sometimes they'll sense an intruder and, just as quietly, just as efficiently, capture them.

Then the Torture & Interrogation Unit, operational at all times, will come to life, one of them taking care of the coffee and snacks as the unit flip through folders and discuss the best way to make this person not just break, but shatter.

The more ambitious ninja are still training themselves down into the ground, covering their hands in dirt and sweat and blood, not hearing the determined words I will tell you nothing, or, perhaps, the screams, the tears, and definitely not the secrets that will spill from the captive's defeated throat. Because everyone breaks eventually, and however it is they choose to do it, Konoha's T&I Unit are among the best at breaking.

Once in a while, an important visitor arrives so early in the morning. They'll be politely or sharply questioned, depending on who they are, and then, if let go, shadowed, of course, and watched over for signs of treachery. If not let go then... well, T&I will have another person to break, that's all. Or perhaps it'll be a team returning from a mission, blotches of dark red staining the green of their flak jackets.

It's a cell that's waiting for the man who has just assaulted a young woman, for the drunkards and the scoundrels and those ninja who have shattered without torture.

At three A.M., the Hokage is always awake and still working, sacrificing or saving (but mostly just sacrificing) pieces on a Shougi board with every document signed.

At three A.M., starlight shines down on a memorial stone and those who come to trace the names engraved there with reverence.

But meanwhile, for all this activity, most are just in their beds - the civilians simply hoping for a safe tomorrow and enough money to live on, the high-level ninja weary from assassinations and slaughters, the Chuunin who led a mission that went horribly wrong, bored and restless Genin wishing for a more exciting assignment tomorrow not knowing what that really means, and the little Ninja Academy students dreaming of wild, noisy battles with them as the hero, rescuing princesses and princes in towers.

Re: Anyone in Konoha

(Anonymous)
This is an insightful little snapshot of many different facets of the village. Nicely done!

~Non-OP

Re: Anyone in Konoha

(Anonymous)
Thank you very much! The openness of the prompt made me want to go for a general outlook rather than a personal story or stories; I'm glad you found it insightful. :)

Re: Anyone in Konoha OP

(Anonymous)
Beautiful fill! That last bit: and the little Ninja Academy students dreaming of wild, noisy battles with them as the hero, rescuing princesses and princes in towers. is really poignant and heartbreaking. I loved this *so* much, thanks for writing.

Re: Anyone in Konoha OP

(Anonymous)
Yay! You liked it, I'm so relieved. You're welcome for the fill - thanks ever so much for such an inspiring prompt, and for sharing your thoughts on this as well. ^_^

not OP

(Anonymous)
but that was probably one of the most real, most poetic portrayals of ninja life I've ever read. Anon, you're incredible!

Re: not OP

(Anonymous)
Oh! Thank you! While I do enjoy humour, I'm not a particularly big fan of fluffed-up portrayals of life as a ninja and what they have to do and endure. I'm really happy you thought that my interpretation seemed real, and as for poetic, that's a huge compliment, too. Thanks a lot! :)

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