anonymous asked:

Hi! Gonna ask if your Self Machine fic on AO3 is still ongoing, onhold or maybe discontinued? I like that story 😂 hope it gets an update soon 😍

I’ll probably take it down and rework it, since I’m not happy with how it was progressing. As consolation have a bit of where it was going?

Sakura manages to keep her curiosity—and her temper—in check until they’re deep in the heart of Upcity, where everything is gold and shimmering and intricate holograms hide the grim starkness that’s so prevalent in the other parts of Konoha. It’s only when they’re passing the massive Council Hall that she finally breaks the silence to demand, “Well? Are you planning to let me in on the secret, Sasuke?”

Honestly, Sasuke is surprised that she held off asking for as long as she did. With a faint sigh, he drags a hand through his hair and then jerks his chin at the high white gates off to their right. Sakura follows the motion, brows climbing towards her hairline at the sight of the rose-twined arches.

“The College of Robotics?” she asks skeptically. “Sasuke, Kiba and Hinata questioned practically everyone here after the theft. I know you read the report; I had to listen to you complain about it for a damned hour.”

“You’re exaggerating,” Sasuke says flatly, but can’t fight a faint wince as she turns to glare at him. Maybe she’s not. Possibly. Whatever. “We’re not here to question the staff, or the students,” he adds quickly when the threat of violence in her gaze doesn’t abate. “My granduncle has a lab on the far side of the building. He’s a recluse, but he’s the greatest robotics expert in all of Konoha. Kiba and Hinata would have missed him, since he’s not officially a member of the College anymore. The administration just haven’t kicked him out yet.”

Because Sakura is the very furthest thing from dumb, she pauses, eyes narrowing. “Granduncle. This wouldn’t happen to be Madara Uchiha you’re talking about, would it? Because last I remembered, everyone in Konoha was also fully aware that he’s insane.”

Sasuke gives her a smirk that’s entirely humorless. “Between me being the violent traitor who sold his soul to the police to get revenge on the Uchiha as a whole and Madara being a deranged lunatic who sees conspiracies around every corner, family reunions are never lacking in drama. Or gossip.”

Before Sakura can summon up some sort of response, the car pulls up against the curb and stops. With a soft click, the doors open, and Sasuke slides out, heading straight for the gates. A swipe of his police badge opens them, and he starts in, Sakura falling into step with him.

“I’m going to need more of an explanation than that, Sasuke,” she insists. “If we get anything from Madara that isn’t airtight—and I mean completely airtight—our case will get laughed right out of the courtroom. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer not to have to catch those two more than once. Especially since they’re murderers.”

“I know, Sakura,” Sasuke snaps, annoyed. “But there’s something bigger going on here, and I want to find out what. This isn’t just about the murders anymore, and it’s not just about catching two data thieves. You can see that, I know you can.”

Sakura’s mouth pulls into a tight, unhappy line, but she doesn’t argue. “You still haven’t told me what Madara has to do with this. I know he’s an expert on robotics, but there are others in the city. Who are sane. Seeing conspiracies everywhere isn’t exactly a sign of mental stability, Sasuke.”

“We’re not here to see him about robotics,” Sasuke counters. “Or not just about that.” He leads Sakura into the elevator at the back of the entrance hall, then hits the button for the ninth floor. Catching sight of the exasperated look she’s giving him, he just arches a brow in return. “Sakura. Conspiracy theorists tend to jump on dozens of theories at a time. Madara’s only ever clung to one.”

Despite herself, Sakura is starting to look curious. She chews on her lip for a long moment, then gives in with a sigh and says, “I assume this has something to do with our case, since you dragged us all the way up here on the clock? So which theory is it?”

Sasuke gives her a faint smirk. “I’ve never heard all the details, but from what I remember he put a lot of emphasis on the fact that things about Kaguya tsutsuki never quite added up.”

It’s a long shot. Even Sasuke can admit that, if only to himself and while Sakura isn’t looking at him like she can read his mind. But right from the beginning of this case, nothing has added up the way it should. Throw in a psionic who’s far more powerful than she should be, a man who’s definitely an android but who doesn’t show any of the usual signs of being one, a mystery with a high body count, nine incredibly powerful and unknown replicants loose in the city, and several powerful people warning them off the case, and Sasuke’s more than ready to do anything he has to in order to get some answers.

The elevator chimes softly as it comes to a stop, and the doors slide open to reveal an empty corridor. The air is almost eerily still, lacking the circulation of the other floors, and Sasuke feels a trickle of adrenaline as he steps out. By the tension in her shoulders, Sakura feels it too, and she trades glances with him as they head for the only door in the hall. There’s no nameplate, no number, no marker at all, but Sasuke knows they’re in the right place. He knocks, and when there’s no answer he touches his police badge to the scanner and watches in satisfaction as the door clicks open.

“We’re not waiting, then?” Sakura asks dryly, following him in.

Sasuke grunts in answer, because that should be clear, and glances at their surroundings. The lab is dark, only one row of lights still on, but there’s more light spilling from under a partially-closed door to the right. That’s invitation enough, and Sasuke makes for it immediately, catching the edge of the door and easing it the rest of the way open.

It looks like a hospital room, is his first thought. White and sterile and filled with machines, with a low bed against the wall. There’s a man lying there, perfectly still, and only the rise and fall of his chest gives any sign that he’s still alive. It’s unnatural, though—Sasuke can see the ventilator mask over his nose and mouth.

The man is familiar. Sasuke studies his face for a long moment, trying to recall where he’s seen him before, but—

“This is all long-term life support equipment,” Sakura says quietly, skirting the bed as she heads for the machines. A few taps on the display brings up a scrolling list of information, and as she reads it her expression grows grim. “Sasuke, what the hell is your granduncle doing with a coma patient? This man hasn’t been awake in decades.

“Forty-nine years, three months, one week, and four days,” a cool voice says from the doorway, and Sasuke flinches and spins, hand automatically going to his baton. Madara Uchiha simply gives him a derisive look, then turns his gaze back to Sakura, who’s pale but has the beginnings of true fury snapping in her green eyes. “I can give you the count down to the minute, Detective Haruno, if that would help.”

“There are laws about this,” Sakura says, and Sasuke hasn’t heard her this angry since a serial rapist they caught managed to ooze his way to a verdict of not guilty. “Several of them. Coma patients aren’t supposed to be on life support for more than twenty years. What you’re doing to him is—”

“Inhumane?” Madara asks mockingly, sweeping into the room and immediately heading for the sleeping man’s side. “Cruel? I suppose you could call it that. As for laws, it’s amazing what a little money in the right pockets can buy you. Everything you see here is legal. I can show you the paperwork, if you’d like.” His gaze flickers from the man’s pale face to Sasuke’s, and he smirks without any humor behind it. “Have you made the connection yet, nephew?”

Sasuke lets his eyes slide from his relative to the patient, lingering on silver hair and high cheekbones, a sharp red marking across each cheek and one down his chin. He hesitates, wavers, trying to remember—

It hits him like a punch, so hard he has to catch his breath. “Tobirama Senju,” he says, quiet and disbelieving. Acceptable, he thinks, when the man responsible for the creation of the evolving learning code all modern replicants rely on is lying right in front of him. “You have—he’s dead. He died fifty years ago.”

“He didn’t,” Madara counters, and now there’s an edge of fury in his red-and-black eyes that puts Sakura’s to shame. “But that’s what everyone was told. As long as I’m a good boy I get to keep him, but the moment I slip my leash, he’ll be dead. For real this time.” He holds Sasuke’s gaze for a long moment, then drags his fingers over his eyes and waves a hand. “Close the door. I assume you’re here for a reason.”

Still off balance and entirely unhappy about it, Sasuke does as he’s told. As soon as the lock clicks shut, he demands, “Leverage? Why is a dead man being used as leverage against you? By who?”

Madara laughs, harsh and empty, muffled by his hands. He sinks down into a chair beside the bed and leans forward, tugging the blankets up a little higher on Tobirama’s still form. “Not dead, weren’t you listening?” In contrast to his gentle touches, the words are waspish. “Poisoned. A particularly nasty injection of nanites, targeting his brain and clustered around his central nervous system. We got too close to something, and this was my warning.” He twists his fingers into his long hair, pulling hard, and bows his head. “He shouldn’t have gotten caught in the crossfire. I was the one urging us on, insisting we go forward. We were academic rivals, you know. Always competing. Learning about those replicants should have just been another race to the finish line. But…”

“Kaguya,” Sakura says softly. “You were working on something to do with the nine replicants found in Undercity, weren’t you?”

Surprise flickers over Madara’s features as he raises his head, followed by something almost like respect. He glances at her, then over at Sasuke, who’s still trying to fit the pieces together the way his partner clearly has, and nods. “Yes. Hagoromo’s creations had just been discovered, and they were nothing like any replicants we’d seen before. Brilliant, fascinating, so impossibly complex that we couldn’t hope to understand them without years of study—of course we tried to push on. But we were warned off, told to leave it be, and I made Tobirama move the project forward anyway, even when he wanted us to be more cautious.” He takes a tightly contained breath, turning his face away, and doesn’t move for a long moment.

Sakura looks at Sasuke, worried and tense, and he looks back with a faint, awkward shrug. She’s the one who’s good with people; Madara might be his relative, but Sasuke would rather sit on a cactus than try to comfort him right now. Judging by the glare Sakura shoots him, she can read that sentiment on his face, and doesn’t appreciate it. With a glance that promises retribution, she takes the chair on the other side of the bed, leaning forward slightly to catch Madara’s gaze. Deciding that the least he can do is offer solidarity, Sasuke slinks over to stand at her shoulder, and gets pinched in the thigh for his trouble.

He honestly doesn’t know why he bothered.

“You’re taking a risk by telling us this,” Sakura says quietly getting her temper under control. “Why? We’re grateful, but if Tobirama means that much to you, and you’re putting him in danger—”

Madara snorts, leaning back in his chair, and for all that the rest of the clan calls him a lunatic, he certainly has the standard Uchiha arrogance in spades. That casual motion turns the plain metal seat into a throne, and Madara is well aware of it. “Little girl, I wouldn’t risk his safety for the sake of a couple of children. I have cameras everywhere. Your conversation on the way here was nowhere near as discrete as you likely hoped. If you’re looking for Kaguya, things have started moving again. Tell me everything.”

It’s not a request, and Sasuke narrows his eyes at the demand in the tone. Even so, this is their best chance of getting information, especially since Madara was one of those studying the nine. “There have been murders all across the lower parts of the city, mostly criminals with a history of targeting replicants. Two killers, working as a team, somehow able to cut straight through flesh and bone like it’s nothing. Three days ago, the police network was hacked by a pair of data thieves—one was a psion whose power levels were off all known charts, with psychokinesis able to cut through steel like paper, and the other was a replicant, but…different. Strange. They took every bit of information the station had on a theft of nine replicants from a locked laboratory with some of the best security in the world, and then vanished.”

“We tried to find out who made the replicants,” Sakura says, crossing her arms over her chest. “But no one would talk. Finally we managed to find out they weren’t made, but recovered from below the city by a crew of men who wouldn’t name their employer, even after the city repossessed their find. The employer was a woman, by the way. Which led us to take an absolutely charming waltz through Undercity to the spot where they were found, only to get ambushed. One of the attackers gave us a name, but died immediately afterwards. And that led us here. Your turn, Dr. Uchiha. The full story, please.”

Madara doesn’t look even slightly unsettled at the rapid barrage of information. His eyes drop to Tobirama’s face again and he smiles faintly, just a bare quirk of his lips. He reaches out, smoothing silvery hair out of closed eyes, and sighs softly. “Your stolen replicants weren’t stolen. They escaped. Kaguya might be holding my leash, but she can’t control me forever. After she poisoned Tobirama I planted a time-delay command, setting the nine to wake when Kaguya’s influence reached a peak.”

Sasuke has to take a deep breath to rein in his temper before something explodes. “You,” he says through gritted teeth. “You set those damned things on the city?”

The accusation gets him a scathing snort. “Of course I did,” Madara snaps. “Kaguya was too close. Any longer in that vault and she would have taken them. Under no circumstances can Kaguya be allowed to get her filthy claws on those replicants. Better to have them wreaking havoc than under her control. And besides, it’s a good distraction. With Kaguya and her dogs hunting them down, her attention is divided. She can’t watch me as closely as she did, and that gives me the advantage.”

The tightly contained fury in Madara’s voice is enough to put Sasuke on edge. “You’re talking like this is some kind of fight between you,” he says incredulously. “Granduncle, this is about Konoha, and—”

“It’s not a fight, it’s a damned war!” Madara bellows, bolting to his feet and sending his chair over with a crash. His eyes are wild as he advances on Sasuke, grabbing the collar of his jacket and slamming him back into the wall before he even has time to react. “It’s a war that’s been going on for fifty years now! Every piece on the board is one that I put there, child, because this is personal.”

He bares his teeth in a snarl, and Sasuke can all but see the sanity slipping away from him. “That bitch took everything from me! She threatened my best friend, my brother, my entire clan, and she put the man I love in a coma that there’s practically no chance he’ll recover from. Mock me if you will, but I will get vengeance, and if I have to burn the whole city down to do so, then so be it.”

Sasuke’s hand is on his stun baton, but before he can draw it, a fist comes flying at Madara’s face. He jerks back, clearly startled, and Sakura slides neatly into position in front of Sasuke, settling into a ready stance. “Hands off,” she warns sharply. “I’m sorry for all you’ve suffered, but thisisn’t the way. Let the police deal with it. We’ll get her.”

Madara scoffs, turning his back on them. He rights his chair, then sinks back down into it, picking up one of Tobirama’s pale hands. “Because you’ve done so much already,” he mocks, cradling the limp hand between his own. “Leave, and don’t come back. We’re finished here.”

“I’ll see them out, Uncle,” a new voice says, and a hand grasps the back of Sasuke’s jacket. He jerks around, ready to hit whoever’s holding him, and immediately freezes.

“Thank you, Obito,” Madara answers. “Your new arm is on the second workbench. I trust you know how to install it by now.”

The third and final black sheep of the Uchiha clan nods, even though the older man isn’t looking. “I’ll leave the data disks in the usual place. Come on, Sasu-chan, you should know when you’ve overstayed your welcome.”

Sasuke makes a sound of deeply offended protest as he’s hauled backwards through the doorway. “Fuck off! Let me go, Obito!”

Trailing after them, Sakura conscientiously pulls the door shut, and then raises a brow. “Well, Sasuke, you failed to inform me that this was my day to meet the family. I take it you’re another Uchiha?”

Obito glances over at her, and Sasuke takes advantage of the brief moment of inattention to knock his cousin’s arm away and duck out of reach. Spinning back around to face him, he narrows his eyes at the sight of the smirk Obito’s wearing. “Bastard,” he accuses.

As always, Obito simply laughs, pulling himself up to perch on the edge of a lab table. In the dim light, his bionic left eye glows violet, and the sleeveless bodysuit makes it all too obvious that the majority of his body’s right side is synthetic, a strange mix of metal and silicone that almost—but not quite—manages to pass for human. Instead of answering Sasuke, he turns his slightly crooked smile on Sakura and inclines his head. “Since my cousin’s being inarticulate with rage again, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Obito Uchiha.”

“Also supposed to be dead,” Sasuke adds helpfully, glaring at the man. “What a pity you aren’t.”

“Brat,” Obito tells him, still smirking. “I used to change your diapers, you know.”

“And now you’re a mercenary. My, how you’re moving up in the world. From babysitter to hired killer.” Unwilling to be moved, Sasuke crosses his arms over his chest.

“I prefer to think of it as being a competitive problem solver.” Obito raises one interested brow. “I’m taking a break to do some family stuff right now, though. And you seem to have completely ignored my warning, Sasuke. Itachi will be sad if you get yourself killed, you know, and I’d rather not have to watch him mope. He’s already depressing enough as it is.”

“The city is being flooded with murderers,” Sasuke hisses. “I can’t just sit around and do nothing!”

Obito stares at him for a long moment, eyes steady, and then sighs. “You’re going to end up like Madara,” he warns, tipping his chin at the door.

“That’s something I don’t understand,” Sakura chimes in, tone politely curious, though her face warns that she’d better get answers or else. “Why is he going to these lengths? I understand wanting revenge, but making other people see him as a madman, risking his life and the lives of his friends…”

With a soft snort, Obito leans back. “He’s not really,” he says cynically. “Hashirama can take care of himself, Izuna is safe surrounded by the clan, and the Uchiha as a whole are too powerful to attack outright. If Kaguya is coming out of the shadows, things are headed for the climax. That means Madara has a short time where the gains finally outweigh the risks, and he’s taking advantage of that.”

“And you’re helping out of the goodness of your heart.” Sasuke fixes a skeptical glare on his cousin.

“I’ll admit that jumping you in Undercity was a perk,” Obito allows easily, smirking. He swings his legs, the picture of careless amusement, and then turns his head towards the main door just as it hisses open.

The man who steps through is tall and lean with flyaway grey hair, a dark blue mask pulled up to cover the bottom half of his face. Sasuke recognizes the type; it looks like simple cloth, but special operations teams use it for filtering out toxins in the air. His gaze lingers on it for a moment, assessing, and then slides up, and he stiffens reflexively at the sight of a familiar augmented eye staring back at him from an unfamiliar face. The other eye is normal grey, but the left—Sasuke knows the unique pattern; that’s definitely Obito’s eye.

The stranger gives Sasuke and Sakura a lazy once-over, then saunters across the lab—and yes, Sasuke thinks a little incredulously, saunter is really the only verb that fully encompasses that movement—and steps right in between Obito’s legs. That alone is enough to horrify Sasuke, but to make things worse Obito gives the man a warm, seductive smile and drapes his arms around his neck.

“Hey, handsome,” he says, curling one leg around the man’s hip. “What’s a nice guy like you doing in a place like this?”

The man hums, and the sound is almost smug. “I’m looking for someone,” he says easily, but the words are edged with something wicked. “Someone…dangerous.”

Obito’s smile curls into a crooked grin, and he inclines his head a little, lashes dipping across his eyes. “Oh? I might have seen someone like that, but I don’t know if I should tell you. Wouldn’t want you getting hurt, right?”

Long-fingered hands slide down Obito’s sides, then further (Sasuke can’t bring himself to check how far they go, no matter how much train-wreck-in-slow-motion horror the rest of the scene is providing), and with a sharp pull the man lifts Obito right off the table, pressing them together with his hands hooked under Obito’s thighs and Obito’s legs around his hips. He smiles up at Obito, just visible in the crinkling around his eyes, and says, “Ma, I think I can handle it. But if you’re going to be stubborn about this, I could always get…creative about how I ask.”

Obito laughs, low and rough, and leans down to kiss him through the mask. “Should I start begging for mercy now, or are you more a fan of delayed gratification?”

All right, that’s it. Sasuke feels no shame clamping his hands over his ears. “Oh my god, stop. Please.”

With a blink that says he had completely forgotten about the audience, Obito glances up. He flushes faintly and gives Sasuke a sour look, but doesn’t let it stop him from kissing the man one more time before he unhooks his legs. The grey-haired man makes a sound of faint disappointment, but lets Obito slide down his body, even as he keeps his hands where they are.

“Hello, Obito,” he says, eyes crinkling in another smile, and ducks down for a third kiss.

“Hello, Kakashi,” Obito returns, grinning at him, and Sasuke has never, for all of Obito’s faults, considered him to be idiotic—if anything he’s terrifyingly cunning and intelligent—but that expression is edging close. He curls his fingers around the nape of Kakashi’s neck, apparently in no hurry to let go, and waves a free hand at the other occupants of the room. “I’ve told you about my cousin Sasuke, right? The grumpy one. His lovely partner hadn’t managed to give me her name yet, because Sasuke is a brat, but we were getting there.”

Sakura gives Sasuke a pointedly judgmental look, and he knows that she’s going to corner him with a Relationships Are Important and Intimacy Isn’t Going to Kill You, Sasuke speech at the next opportunity. His poisonous glare in return doesn’t seem to affect her, because she offers Obito and his companion a bright smile that makes her look roughly six hundred times more innocent than she actually is, and says, “Detective Sakura Haruno. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Yo,” the stranger says with a cheerful wave and another crinkle of his eyes. “Kakashi Hatake, Obito’s partner.”

Sasuke really, truly does not want to know in how many ways he means that.

When Your Ship Isn’t Canon But You Remember There’s A Place Called Fanfiction

It’s kind of embarrassing how hard I laugh at my own memes.

Irrelevant Person: “Why do you ship those two? It’s not canon and they’re not gay!”

Me: WhY Do YoU ShIp ThOsE TwO? It’S NoT CaNoN AnD ThEy’Re NoT GaY

Is this meme old? Yes. Do I care? No 😂

Just let people enjoy their ships in peace.

When you revisit old ships and realize ‘wow they’re still very beautiful’

but then you also whisper quietly to yourself ‘not real’ and think about it for .03 seconds and then throw that terrible toxic thought into a trash can

hopefully we can keep all the ships afloat 🚢