Sunshine Sidestories

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Fanfiction
Title: Sunshine Sidestories
Author(s): Silver Queen
Date(s): 05 March 2012 - ongoing
Length: ~21k/23 chapters (WIP)
Genre: gen
Fandom: Naruto
External Links: [1] on fanfiction.net

Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Sunshine Sidestories are a collection of short scenes cut from Silver Queen's 700,000 word Naruto fanfiction Dreaming of Sunshine, which focuses on Nara Shikako, a self-insert OC. Where Dreaming of Sunshine is first-person from Shikako's point of view, Sunshine Sidestories is third person limited from the point of view of, for example, Uchiha Itachi, Mitarashi Anko, and various original characters. The chapters often offer an outside POV on canon events or a look at a part of the Narutoverse that Shikako wouldn't be able to see, such as the history of how her parents met and fell in love.

The author's note at the beginning of the first chapter notes, "If you haven't read Dreaming of Sunshine, then these will make no sense at all to you."[1]

Chapter order

As with Dreaming of Sunshine, Sunshine Sidestories has chapter titles mainly to aide reader in navigation, providing the POV character and the corresponding chapter of Dreaming of Sunshine that the chapter takes place during.

Below the chapter titles are reproduced as they appear on fanfiction.net. The chapter numbers indicated after the POV use Silver Queen's count of chapters, which is one less than fanfiction.net's count because of the prologue in Dreaming of Sunshine. Therefore, "Itachi POV - Chapter 41" means that the events take place during the forty-second section posted on fanfiction.net.

Chapters that take place before the start of Dreaming of Sunshine are marked with an asterisk.

Chapter order compared to chronological order
Sidestory chapter Sidestory title Chronological
order
1 Itachi POV - Chapter 41 3
2 Kakashi POV - Chapter 49* 2
3 Naruto POV - Chapter 50 4
4 Tsunade POV - Chapter 61 5
5 Hinata POV - Chapter 65 6
6 Sakura POV - Chapter 65 7
7 Tsunade POV - Chapter 65 8
8 Anko POV - Chapter 65 9
9 Anko POV - Chapter 74 13
10 Naruto POV - Chapter 70 11
11 Sai POV - Chapter 83 13
12 Sasuke POV - Patrol 14
13 Shikaku POV - Chapter 87 15
14 Gaara POV 10
15 Tsunade POV - Chapter 93 16
16 Shikaku POV - Chapter 98 17
17 Yoshino POV* 1
18 Tenzou POV - Chapter 108 18
19 Chapter 129-130 19
20 Shikaku POV - Chapter 134 20
21 Risshu POV - Chapter 134 21
22 ANBU POV - Chapter 135 22
23 ANBU - 149 23

Podfics

Many chapters of Sunshine Sidestories have been podficced, an effort organized and moderated by jacksgreyson, who records the Dreaming of Sunshine podfic.

These chapters have been podficced:

  • Chapter 1 — Itachi POV - Chapter 41 — EpicFailOnline/EFO[2]
  • Chapter 2 — Kakashi POV - Chapter 49 — EpicFailOnline/EFO[3]
  • Chapter 3 — Naruto POV - Chapter 50 — EpicFailOnline/EFO[4]
  • Chapter 4 — Tsunade POV - Chapter 61 — EpicFailOnline/EFO[5]
  • Chapter 5 — Hinata POV - Chapter 65 — EpicFailOnline/EFO[6]
  • Chapter 6 — Sakura POV - Chapter 65 — EpicFailOnline/EFO[7]
  • Chapter 7 — Tsunade POV - Chapter 65 — EpicFailOnline/EFO[8]
  • Chapter 8 — Anko POV - Chapter 65 — EpicFailOnline/EFO[9]
  • Chapters 9 — Anko POV - Chapter 74 — EpicFailOnline/EFO[10]
  • Chapters 10 — Naruto POV - Chapter 70 — EpicFailOnline/EFO[10]
  • Chapters 11 — Sai POV - Chapter 83 — EpicFailOnline/EFO[10]
  • Chapters 12 — Sasuke POV - Patrol — EpicFailOnline/EFO[10]
  • Chapter 13 — Shikaku POV - Chapter 87 — Unorganized_Shelf[11]
  • Chapter 14 — Gaara POV — Unorganized_Shelf[12]

Sidestories

Itachi POV - Chapter 41

This sidestory was posted March 5, 2012.

Comments by Fans

I just want you to know that I greatly admire the way you have expanded on Kishimoto's world without creating a Monster-Mary. All of the details you have added and the ways you have incorporated them (both in DOS and DOS Sidestories)leave me feeling a lot more satisfied with the crazy world of ninja than anything Kishimoto and a heck ton of fanfiction writers have done. I always look forward to the next chapter.

On to Sidestories specific critiques...

The opening few lines definitely set the right tone for Itachi. Since his big reveal he's always maintained an intense feeling of tragic helplessness (maybe he even has more power as a dead man). I think your representation of Itachi does him justice, the same as Shikako's thoughts on meeting him in the first place. He is still a very real danger. Itachi and the majority of the ninja are complicated characters (even if they all should be). Your characterizations seem well thought out and I haven't been upset by an individual's reaction yet. They aren't excessive the way a whiny emo Sasuke or a loud bipolar Naruto might be and I applaud you in that.[13]
Ho. Ly. Shit. This is amazing. Really seems to nail Itachi's character, and the part before those last 4 lines is just chilling.[14]

Holy crap. This was so good I think I drooled a little. I mean, you have Itachi down pat. Your portrayal of him is scarily accurate; I always thought that underneath all the love and junk that he felt for Sasuke, there had to be a little bit of resentment, a little bit of blame, because no matter how much Sasuke's life sucked Itachi's was infinitely worse.

But still. This was pretty awesome, and I think the differing perspectives will be refreshing, even if I love Shikako and I think she should be canon because she's that cool.[15]

Kakashi POV - Chapter 49

This sidestory was posted April 9, 2012.

Comments by Fans

This is amazing. More serious and dark than the main story, but equally awesome. You say we don't have to read this to understand, but I see a lot of things in here I'm glad to know. For example, the fact that his team dies or at least never came back to Konoha and that they didn't need to say the princesses will affect how much Kakashi will care for the princesses situation and safety in honor of his comrades sacrifice. And if he shows a bit more anger at her attitude of running away and being a spoiled brat is more understandable and emotional in my opinion. I'm really glad to have read this. I feel as if I have gotten closer to Kakashi you portray.[16]

I adore ANBU!Kakashi stories, so this was a real treat! I like how you wrote Kakashi as a consummate assassin but also a human being, someone who sees himself reflected in a person not at all a part of the mission. And how you note that Kakashi not having 'had to protect something helpless instead of just killing' means that his tactics aren't working as they should - very rarely do people portray ANBU members as specialized to the detriment of other skills, for some reason. There is no such thing as being good at everything, no matter what kind of genius you are and I think you captured that here. (I wonder if, after this mission, Kakashi retrained himself in tactics that would help protect people just in case this kind of situation might occur again?)

Also: The last line was perfect, pure emotion.[17]

And that's not the saddest last line ever, is it. This, like all your work, is beautiful. I especially love that line "But something in his chest aches." Just, the whole conflicted thing. And it gets worse, because he doesn't even get to say that he saved a life, since he very possibly killed his whole team and maybe he just didn't die with them, but he'll never know and he abandoned his team which makes him worse than trash. And then the whole thing with Obito - it's like, even though it's been so long, he's still not over his friend's death and maybe he's saving the princess for Obito even though he's also doing it for the him of all those years ago.

Basically, this is beautiful and heartbreaking and wonderful.[18]

Naruto POV - Chapter 50

This sidestory was posted Apr 15, 2012.

Comments by Fans

I think you have Naruto's voice down pretty well. He has that casual tone, and even when he's trapped you kept the upbeat attitude and "believe it" sort of feel. It's good, because we're all used to seeing things from Shikako's point of view. And in your other sidestories we see a stoic with a side of angst.

I like how you write the sidestories in 3rd person present; it gives them a very separate feel from the main story.[19]

I really like the effect that your OC has on Naruto, especially on his tactics and strategies (and on his use of clones - the Kage Bunshin Kunai technique he uses is genius). The only problem I've had with your portrayal of Naruto is that I feel you don't have him improvise in wild directions enough, but then, someone handing him plans that work seems to almost justify that.

I say almost only because I expect a little more crazy improvisation from him, especially for early-episode Naruto. He does tend, as a character, to fall into the trap of only improvising when inadequate, and the support he's been given has made that less necessary.[20]
I think you did pretty good on Naruto's voice. He really finds it difficult to understand why people would choose to be cruel or give up in the face of adversity when clearly the answer is to always be kind and make friends and always try until you succeed.[21]

Tsunade POV - Chapter 61

This sidestory was posted August 27, 2012.

Comments by Fans

This fits in so well with the main part, and I'm very happy you updated both at the same time. I love getting more of Hinata here - you *should* be proud of that tracking ability, Hinata - and getting little updates on everyone else's fights. I really like the Tsunade p.o.v. to start, too; it has to be difficult waiting to see who comes back.[22]
I liked this background bit - especially about Tsunade's guilt before it melts into relief. It makes her feel so human and relatable. And the backstory about Hinata "leading" the back-up team - we rarely see the rest of the genin in canon that it's nice that they're included.[23]

I don't see a lot of stuff with Tsunade's perspective on being Hokage. Even if she's pushed past her hemophobia, sending kids to die for her has to hold a special kind of horror for her.

Fun to see the ripples of effect Shikako has had in other people's lives as well. Sakura and Hinata both don't seem to interact with her much, but their lives are implicitly changed by her presence.[24]

Hinata POV - Chapter 65

This sidestory was posted January 14, 2013.

Comments by Fans

I forgot to mention this in my reviews to the main story, but I appreciate dhow you characterized Hinata as well. You portray her as reliable and strong, though still timid and lacking confidence.[25]

Go Hinata! Show your father what you're made of!

This piece made me smirk. The Naruto series and fandom is in desperate need of more strong females, and I always loved the weak-turning-strong trope. Especially when that "weak" person gets to show off some awesome moves to their disbelievers.[26]

A nice snippet showing that there are ripple effects from the altered Retrieval Arc.

It suits Hinata very much to use a defensive technique that draws in and destroys the aggressor.[27]

Sakura POV - Chapter 65

This sidestory was posted March 3, 2013.

Comments by Fans

I can see why Sakura was pulled back - even if she brought Tayuya down, she still paused in the middle of combat zone, and it's not a good idea. Having someone pull her to safety was sound idea.[28]
Wow! I almost missed this chapter, good thing I went back. Thanks for giving Sakura some screen time...she was very admirable in this scene. I loved the way you wrote her! I'm glad to see she's growing as a character, even if we don't really see her much.[29]

Ha! You go Sakura! X3

It is so perfect. I don't know how you do it.. *shakes head* How do you do it? How do you keep everyone's 'voice' separate and contained without letting another character's 'voice' contaminate it?[30]

Tsunade POV - Chapter 65

This sidestory was posted March 3, 2013.

Comments by Fans

Wow...ominous. The ending comments by Jiraiya and Tsunade forcefully bring my mind back to the Uchiha Massacre. Thanks for giving us an insight into Konoha politics. It really makes DOS seem real and gives it a lot of depth. :-)[31]
This chapter made me realize something important about Danzo. He has never gotten WHY people are loyal. He assumes that being born in one place, trained there, and living there is enough to make someone loyal to Konoha or that they SHOULD be loyal. He rejects emotions because he doesn't understand that when you remove them (truly remove them) all you get is a bunch of B*****ds fighting for self preservation. He doesn't seem to get that being kind, caring, and helpful to people could make them more loyal than anything else. People are loyal because they believe that their loyalty is held by someone who cares about them. This is kind of a cold thought, but why on earth would you do someone's orders without thought, risking life, limb, love in the the process, for someone that didn't give a rat's ass about you?[32]

Love these side stories. Fill up and add more depth to the world of Dreaming of Sunshine.

Loved the one before this one the best. Wasn't THAT exciting, but it's nice to see that Sakura isn't a pushover despite her Demoted to Extra position. And I'm looking forwards to her showing up in the main storyline, what with Shikako asking for help for her to re-inventing Tsunade's strength technique.

This one is also rather depressing...though it seems more butterflies are taking flight and nails are being dropped left and right...

-hands over platter- Magic cookies for you![33]

Anko POV - Chapter 65

This sidestory was posted November 11, 2013.

Comments by Fans

I really like your Anko. She doesn't seem to be an alcoholic or a nymphomaniac, and that's how she's usually portrayed. It must hurt her to feel like she's still not quite trusted, after all this time, considering how much she herself hates Orochimaru. Being thought of as maybe being in league with him must feel like an extra-special kind of insult.[34]
ou know what I really adore about you? It’s the way you show us so, so much more of this Naruto world that you so excellently made your own. Anko’s more touched up background story and the small peek on her actual feelings about being Orochimaru’s past student and the repercussions after is simply fantastic! And I totally admire that while writing from so many different perspectives, you manage to give each character a distinctive voice that is just SO like them. That just goes to show how much amazing a writer you really are. And you have my best wishes on the next chapter of DOS![35]
You've got a wonderful way of making me care about characters I don't care about. [36]

Anko POV - Chapter 74

This sidestory was posted July 5, 2014.

Comments by Fans

Nice job using this alt-PoV chapter to illustrate things about Shikako that she wouldn't really notice about herself. She's annoyed with Shikamaru for trying to sideline her, but this makes it clear that she really is having troubles and he isn't just being overly protective.[37]
Honestly, you could have slipped these in at appropriate times as regular chapters from other perspectives and not lost anything from the story- actually it helped to clear up a little confusion to read these, as some key points belonged in the main storyline, for continuity.[38]

Naruto POV - Chapter 70

This sidestory was posted January 18, 2015.

Comments by Fans

I can't tell if I love or hate where you cut that off at. I wouldn't mind seeing Naruto's POV more often 'cause I really, really like this chapter. Hmm, the more I think about it, the more I love that last line. I wonder if Naruto ever thought of Kurama's last line beyond shear relief or if Shikako and maybe even Shikamary piqued his interest. Well, assuming he ever finds out.[39]

Musical Bear chapter 10 . Jan 23, 2015 "Shikako was his first friend- the friend that he'd never had to prove himself to, or earn respect from..." Oh my gosh, that line killed me. I'd always imagined Naruto seeing Shikako as a sister type figure, the way he always refers to her opinion before even Kakashi's. He's such a sweetheart. Looks like he's gonna try and love on Kurama earlier than canon :)

The way you ended this chapter is...perfect? I can't describe it, but it felt amazing? Argh, your writing in general tbh. Looking forward to the next update[40]

Sai POV - Chapter 83

This sidestory was posted January 27, 2015.

Comments by Fans

Sai has always left me with a bittersweet feeling once his background had been revealed to us. The whole, Shin and tongue-seal thing, you know? He's such a quiet little sweetheart in my opinion, when he isn't being an asshole. (I could never tell if it was on purpose or not, frankly.)

To describe Shikako and Naruto as "a riot of colours and noise" and then to immediately stop that thought when Danzo demands attention broke my heart. Danzo is such a...I don't even know. Unknowingly power hungry monger? He only sees the value in people by their worth as a ninja. "She has a good pedigree. Nara would have great capacity if they weren't coddled," WHAT A CREEP like, imagine a clan kid in his hands? Poor Sai, your time in the sun will come hopefully soon, dear.

Also screw Danzo for looking down on girls. Granted, Sai made her come off as vapid. Still. You giving the kunoichi more opportunities to be badass is one of my favorite things about DoS![41]
You know, somehow I don't think Shikako will be disappointed to learn about Danzo's dismissal of her abilities and character. It's definitely in her advantage to be underestimated and overlooked-all the better to sneak up in the shadows and cut the enemy's throat so to speak. And yay for disinformation campaign-looks like it might be working.[42]

Sasuke POV - Patrol

This sidestory was posted February 17, 2015.

Comments by Fans

Oh my gosh. I lovelovelove how you wrote Sasuke's view. "Sasuke had SEEN HIM DO IT," "HE didn't have the Sharingan etching memory into his brain, so he had no room to complain, in Sasuke's opinion," "It wasn't, Sasuke reflected, TOTALLY his fault." You really captured his voice like how I imagined him to be in your story.

Poor Sasuke. Whatever admiration any he might have had for Jounin just fell flat on its face XD[43]

Honestly, the Special Jounin should be thanking their lucky stars that Sasuke doesn't have time to get bored or disenchanted with patrol duty. Because. It's *Sasuke.*

Anyway, just sped through DOS, and the way this series explores the both the Naruto universe (and... the sort of day to day, quotidian aspects of what it would be like to live in the Naruto universe- and seeing that through the filter of *clan life*) is so unutterably cool.[44]

Shikaku POV - Chapter 87

This sidestory was posted May 16, 2015.

Comments by Fans

Oh, this is just precious.

Reading the main story, I didn't even notice Shikako's progress was that out of the ordinary. Especially since she's - as far as we can tell - still behind Shikamaru.

Now I'm sort of curious about how that 'interrogation' will go.[45]

I like the mention of how 'she seems like she already knows and merely needs reminding'. It's not something that really gets mentioned in these kind of stories, and it really should be. Most of the time the character doesn't have the excuse of being born into a family where very high intelligence is somewhat expected and can cover for them.

It would be neat to see more from Shikaku's perspective after/while he looks into what she's been doing and whatnot.[46]

Gah, hit me in the Feels! again, why don't you?

Your writing has grown and evolved over the course of DoS, and it has been exciting! You appear to have found the ideal balance of detailed narative-to-necessary gloss-over, which most authors struggle to find, and it has been refreshing to deduce minor things (like how the majority of the trip to the Land of Birds with Chishima went) from context. It's almost a novelty to not be treated like us readers are simplistic morons by fanfic authors, so your efforts are appreciated! The show-don't-tell comment in the beginning chapters of DoS was a bit premature, as there was almost no other choice than telling during Shikako's early years (I will admit that it was difficult to tell that at the time).

I have often wondered what other characters are thinking in reaction to whatever-Shikako-just-did, and inferring their thought processes and general personality/mood by their actions and body language is enjoyable! One of the fasted ways to ruin a story is to describe a character's expression and immediately follow with a label explicitly stating their thoughts. I just finished the third read-through of DoS, and I haven't seen you make that mistake once. I cannot thank you enough! Reading these Sidestories simultaneously quenches the thirst to know the perspectives/thoughts of the other characters, and fuels the desire to know more. The rigorous analysis and contemplation you must have put into every character (and mechanics, and politics) study has definitely paid off and made this story shine; there's nothing that can bring the same depth of reality to a story.

I love it when you write scenes of Shikako's family, and I love all of the twin's interactions (Shika, Y U NO talk to 'Kako? 'Kako, Y U NO make time for your family or brother? D ). I hope that there will be something soon that will explore/demonstrate their bond as twins and how fantastic they are as a team and as siblings! (But not at the expense of plot.)

(Maybe Shikako can figure out how to make a Gelel stone like hers for Shikamaru?)

Fantastic work. 3[47]

Gaara POV

This sidestory was posted June 28, 2015.

Comments by Fans

The Sand Sibling bonding in here is adorable and touching to read about. I love how we can see the touches that Shikako has left on Gaara. Mercy. And an outreaching hand. His researching about Sasori is probably going to have strange consequences. For one, Gaara definitely gained brownie points with Kankuro for asking about puppets. And his relation with Chiyo is probably going to be better. Or worse. Hard to say. Either way she'll become his political ally to some extent. Something he didn't have in canon. Canon mentions that the elder siblings refused to interact much with the rest of Suna (until Shippuden obviously).

I guess that answers my question of what kind of politics Gaara would use. Being completely calm (doesn't anger easily from insults), passively forceful (won't take no for an answer and he doesn't want, he will), round about way of getting to the topic, and emphasizing what they would gain should they agree. I adored how he leads up to the point of wanting her to support him in becoming Kazekage. The underling, if I don't become Kazekage Sasori might not come to Suna and attack me outside the village, is priceless.

Thanks for the chapter. :3[48]
It's cool to see Shikako having an effect on Gaara like that, especially is what she told him is the ultimate reason he wants to become Kazekage. She affected the plot and didn't even know it.[49]

Tsunade POV - Chapter 93

This sidestory was posted August 4, 2015.

Comments by Fans

Oh my god. Politics, and Tsunade, and dangerous enemies left and right and then there comes the jokes that aren't really jokes but are ridiculous enough to be one. I so do not envy Tsunade's position. At all. This was one tense chapter.

Anyway, with so many kage watching, it occurs to me that if Naruto had taken part in this, stood out in anyway...that flimsy excuse 'Uzumaki-in-honour-of-a-person-who-died-that-day' would probably not have hold.

Very insightful as to what is going on on the broader scale of things, though.

Great job.[50]

Haha, this is an amusing perspective. It didn't occur to me when I was reading the manga, but the rest of Tsunade's life is just going to be one case after another of Meeting the Inlaws as Naruto makes friends with the village's lifelong enemies and all those cute little genin start intermarrying. At least, once she hands over the hat, there's no reason for her to burn ALL the alcohol out of the sake.

I genuinely enjoyed the characterization. It seems like you hit all the major points for the old fogeys, including Onoki carefully saying absolutely nothing at all. Hopefully there's more time and attention spent on Mist? They get so little love in canon, and I do so like the juxtaposition of Mizukage and bodyguard. It almost, but not quite, feels like he should have a delicate little collar with a delicate little leash.[51]

Haha, this one was fun. (Well they all are, but this one in particular...) What is Shikako's mission record anyways? I know she has at least 4 A ranks and that S rank, but she has to have others?

I feel like your writing style's changed from how it was before. Not a very drastic change, but it seems lighter. IDK how else to put it. Maybe it's because the latest chapters (in the main story) are more action focused, but there isn't as much introspection in Shikako's voice, like she's more sure of herself. Actually, now that I'm rereading the beginning, wow, she's actually pretty different from how she was before. Character development ftw.

Thanks for the chapter![52]
I like how every interaction between people is well thought out, and how each sentence seems to fit perfectly with the character of each person. (Raikage waving the betting book around like it was evidence, Kakashis nonchalantly blaming zabuza, etc.) Hope you keep the main story as priority, but that you update the sidestories every few chapters or something similar.[53]

Shikaku POV - Chapter 98

This sidestory was posted September 8, 2015.

Comments by Fans

I know that you said this adds nothing, but it absolutely does. I don't think we had any idea how badly Shikako had actually stretched herself, because Shikako herself didn't know, like Kakashi said. That fact alone puts everything else in the last two chapters into perspective. The fact that Shikako kept complaining about being babied-Shikamaru's not wrong about her lack of awareness of danger, or at least the strength of her denial. He's just handling it wrong.

And the darkness in the Nara clan Shikaku was talking about-well, I doubt any of them are reincarnations, but hopefully it gives him some insight about how to deal with the darkness in his daughter. Also, Kakashi needs help. Seriously, you write one of the milder versions I've seen (the non:crack ones, anyway) and he's still pretty fucking messed up, poor guy. I don't know if Shikako will be able to do anything about it since she herself isn't the poster girl for self care, but maybe once she gets her own shit together she'll reach out to him more, too.

All of this makes me wonder what these chapters would've been like with Naruto around! I wonder if he would've slapped Shikamaru and Shikako across the back of their heads and told them to calm the fuck down and talk it out.[54]
This chapter really sheds light on Kakashi's behavior. I assumed he fled the family dinner because he wanted to avoid unnecessary drama. But apparently the truth is probably that he couldn't stomach the possibility of failing another friend. Awww... He doesn't need to be so hard on himself. Shikako can still think of a way to thank him without stirring up his guilt, right?[55]
Man, these sidestories really complement what gets left unsaid most chapters. Truly essential to the story...[56]

kay, that,. that was just plain awesome.

I didn't even realise it, but this was exactly what was missing from the story, god I love this story. I know you mentioned pretty mch all of this in the first chapter of Dreaming of Sunshine, but it's nice to have a reminder of others' perspective since DoS is so entirely Shikao's perspective

It feels like a real part of it all and now that you are moving into parts of the plot that I haven't bothered with in the original, I can't expect anything other than continued greatness .[57]

Yoshino POV

This sidestory was posted September 13, 2015.

Comments by Fans

This is just gorgeous. It adds so much depth to Shikaku and Yoshino - I had just assumed she was part of the Nara clan before. I also love how in 2K words you manage to paint such a complex picture. The bits about Shikako being such a frail child, how Shikaku avoided teaching them so as not to separate the twins and how she made no friends was just...awfully beautiful. Thanks for posting![58]

The interesting most interesting thing about this to me is how it speaks to both the strengths and weaknesses of Shikaku and Yoshino as parents. Their strengths are obvious and have been for a while. Their weaknesses...

The "hands off" parenting style the two of them have is very convenient for child protagonists, but it has its down sides as well. Shikaku is so reluctant to control his son's life like the clan tried to control him that he fails to give Shikamaru the guidance and challenges he needs. Neither one of them is willing to push Shikako to talk about her feelings, preferring to stew in silence rather than be perceived as pressuring her. Sometimes that's the right approach, but sometimes it's not.

Even in the main story, I don't think either one of them has ever even spoken to Shikako about what she wants for her future. What is the purpose of her studies, what are her dreams, where does she want to be in ten years, anything like that. Kakashi has literally gotten more from Shikako then they ever did, since she had to at least confess to wanting to become a jounin during the team introduction.

This side story provides some good explanation for why they act that way. So reluctant to burden their children with expectations that they refuse to have expectations.[59]
It's the small things that we find in these, that truly make me giggle. Like Shikako "completing a small novel in place of the 'short answer' her instructors wanted". Or the one with Itachi, where she "makes leaps of logic he doesn't expect and he is glad". Which says a lot, since, you know, it's Itachi. Shikako impresses the people around her and she doesn't even seem to be aware of just how much.[60]
Of all of the sidestories, this is my favorite. While Naruto has some pretty hefty themes in it, it's still a comic for teens and preteens at the end of the day. You do such a good job taking those characters and making them feel more human in a more fleshed out and explicitly complicated world. I love how this chapter explores the dilemma any parent, even a ninja, faces in a world like that of Naruto. One minute Shikaku and Yoshino are powerful shinobi who can more than fend for themselves, the next they're helpless parents who can do little more than hope that their baby will make it through the night. It also helps that your dialogue is so organic and believable, even when it's just little lines from various contexts.[61]

Tenzou POV - Chapter 108

This sidestory was posted November 2, 2015.

Comments by Fans

As always I enjoy these snippets, and does this mean we're finally gonna see Tenzou in DOS? Now I'm super excited for the next chapter.[62]
How on earth can you infuse SO MUCH in so few words?[63]

Chapter 129-130

This sidestory was posted February 21, 2017.

Comments by Fans

"You're tearing me apart silver!" In all seriousness, these last few chapters have destroyed me. It's all I think about and I can't wait for the next one. If you were unaware, someone had calculated the blast radius of the events on the FF thread in general discussions using the power of maths.[64]
I love how everything is so much more CONNECTED in your fic than in canon like Team 7 and those around them have gone through some shit but the only ones who ever really felt any kind of repercussion were Naruto and Sasuke but in your fic like there's consequences and all these events tying them together and it comes BACK like this! Like omg you're so amazing for tying this all together ALDKDJHKJV I LOVE IT![65]

Shikaku POV - Chapter 134

This sidestory was posted May 7, 2017.

Comments by Fans

I am incoherent with glee. I didn't expect Shikaku to react this strongly, but now I realize - of course he would! I really hope he doesn't get any of them hurt, though.

(will we see their mission or at least the aftermath? Tsunade isn't going to like her jounin commander or three clan heads going out behind her back when the village is in a crisis.)[66]

Okay, I adore this side story chapter. I mean, you know my weakness for people being parental and protective, but I don't think we've really seen Shikaku be like that. I mean, it's implied - inventing the anti-sharingan jutsu, always being there to talk things out with his kids, adopt- I mean, including Sasuke in family things and so on - but I think this is the first time we've seen him first-hand sink to the dark-and-dangerous "he's threatening my daughter so I need to go rip him to pieces" that we so often get out of Kakashi. Love it!

I'm so worried about them, though! Like, I believe in these three - especially in Shikaku's planning - so they might be totally fine and then Shikako gets something unquestionably good coming out of all this - which would be good for her, I think - but I'm also like, "But What if Kakuzu or someone else scary and strong is there? What if Danzou tries to take them out on their way back? What if SQ throws something else out them so they don't all make it back alive and well?" My heart can't handle the stress![67]
This is exactly the add-on i needed after reading your most recent ch 135! Shikaku and the other InoShikaCho dads don't get enough screen time to show off their paternal behaviour. Thank you for writing it like this - I never saw it coming but it was super satisfying.[68]

Risshu POV - Chapter 134

This sidestory was posted June 2, 2017.

Comments by Fans

This is just the adorablest ... I couldn't think of a real word but yeah. Like really this is amazing really most of all for how Shikako is acting like honestly "The paperwork is easier." XD! This snippet really is magnificent and it is nice to know that during the times of trouble in Konoha there are still these wonderful moments going on. It is so rare to find an author who acknowledges that just because the main characters are gearing up for wars on big fights that there are other things going on there is the world beyond them and really that is one of the things I love the most about Dreaming of Sunshine. It isn't just the story of Shikako Nara, we get the story of the world Shikako Nara is living in. The extent and quality to which you do this is just... awe inspiring.[69]
') this is a great chapter. It coveys unspoken nerves wonderfully well, as well as the hidden uncertainties that can plague this kind of situation. And, the ending is super sweet![70]
Excellent character development. Subtle exposition. OCs are fleshed out as plot unfolds. Tangential, yes, but not so out of character as to be alien to DOS. Certainly the writing is of a piece with it. A rare Shikako scene in which she does not dominate the plot. Fine job.[71]

t's so cool how you made these new characters feel like we'd known them for a while so quickly. Also it shows that you had to do world building, in the details.

Ritsu is my kind of kid :)

So will we be seeing more of these people?[72]
This was sweet. Also, I like getting another perspective of Shikako. Of course I have my own idea of what she's like in my head, built off what she says and does and thinks and a little of the reactions of others (even if she doesn't always understand them, like the way people scoff when Shikako underestimates herself, and she notices but doesn't always understand), but it's nice getting a direct view of Shikako from the outside.[73]

ANBU POV - Chapter 135

This sidestory was posted Jun 15, 2017

Comments by Fans

Oh that's short, but it's tasty. I find it so amusing that the thought of someone NOT chakra boosting doesn't even cross their minds. Just goes to show there isn't nearly enough systemization on that skill. Also assuming Two was the only other trainee with speaking lines I agree with the prediction.[74]
Thank you for this! I always love seeing outside POVs on Shikako. That explanation of recyclers is really creative! It would definitely be hard to find 5 whole new trainees everytime, and considering how ANBU is, bad injuries are probably fairly frequent. I remember it being implied that some of Kakashi's drills for his cute little genin were stolen from ANBU, its great to see that coming to fruition lol. I wonder if Sasuke was similarly suspected at first, esp since his sharingan would aid in learning hand signs.[75]

ANBU POV - 149

This sidestory was posted February 8, 2019.

Comments by Fans

It may be the opposite of how ANBU arcs normally are but I love it to bits. Thank you for sharing! Natural disasters are totally a viable course of action, what are you talking about...[76]

Great chapter. It makes total sense that Shikako and Sasuke are so relaxed. Yeah, most ANBU arcs are all dark, gritty, PTSD riddled messes, but the bar for a situation to qualify as FUBAR is iso high/i that Shikako and Sasuke can't even register their ANBU missions with SNAFU.

Which makes this hilarious. Kudos to you.[77]

Thank you for sharing this! I really liked it. I think one of your underrated strengths as a writer is the ability to show "just enough". We get to see"just enough" of the main and secondary characters to reinforce their character traits, without drawing away from the core concite of the snippit. Meanwhile, we see just enough of the minor characters to let the reader understand that yes, this is a person with history and depth.

I once read a joke about a genre savvy reader always knowing when a major character appeared because they always had 3 notable traits. You always keep on the right side of the line without feeling flat or unimportant.

I really enjoyed the tone of this scene. This is a group of superhuman spies getting a top secret mission from their king/commander; yet the tone is somewhere between "another day at the office"/"woot, I love this job".

Regarding the AN: is that because they aren't technically doing this as Team 7, so their missions aren't doomed to be interesting, plot relevant, or horribly deadly?[78]

I think I can see why this was cut. It looks like it would be fun to read, but it wouldn't actually add anything new.

You set a pretty high bar for yourself, and I appreciate it.[79]

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Naruto
Characters Uzumaki NarutoHaruno SakuraUchiha SasukeTsunadeNara Shikamaru
Ships Sasuke x NarutoKakashi x IrukaItachi x SasukeShikamaru x TemariUchihacest
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