Chapter 7 Notes

Chapter 7 – Black and Blue, and Red

Chapter Notes:

• This chapter moved Sakura and Katsuro/Naruto to a place where they can rely on each other. Sakura has to trust Katsuro and let go of her belief that her “team” is coming to get her. Katsuro has to trust her, learn that there is something else than working together just to survive. It’s something he’s never experienced before. So for a bond to be established, they have to be physically separated from the rest of his group. Only then they can begin to move ahead as the teammates they’ve never had.

• “Stay there and guard the door. Don’t move,” Katsuro said in a threatening tone. “Understand?” An identical replica of Katsuro shrugged and rolled his brown eyes. — Katsuro’s clones do not behave like Naruto’s clones from the manga. His unique ability to create an unlimited amount of copies of himself comes at a hefty price. Not only are they physical copies, they are “emotional” copies as well. Each one is a facet of himself. Some troublemakers, some jerks, some with soldier-like loyalty. And most of them tip to the troublemaker side! All of them are unpredictable. And the more that he makes, the more unmanageable and rebellious they become.

• “Katsuro set to work on starting a fire. He fished a piece of flint out of his pocket, unstrapped the kunai from his thigh holster, and began the tedious job of flicking sparks onto the pile of twigs.” — think Kakashi, leaf nin outfits. He’s got the same. Basically any clothing or Naruto-specific thing is pulled from the manga as closely as possible.

Spoiler Notes:

More on Katsuro’s clones — A theme in this story is that all power has a pitfall. The bigger the power, the more variable the downside. Katsuro’s ability to make clones is fueled by his chakra as well as the Kyuubi’s. So it’s already infused with something that’s a little messed up. And the more Katsuro makes, the more wiley and squirrely the clones become. They become exaggerated facets of himself. So he has this power, but it’s absolutely unreliable. The clones also think that they can take over. They don’t like having a boss or being told what to do (very much like Naruto in the manga). So in the future, there will inevitable be one clone who thinks that he can take down the original. The number one knucklehead. This is the purest representation of the original Naruto in the whole story. Much, much later, this clone will also be the one that openly admires Sakura. 😉 And, like all powers, it is not how you control them but  how you work with them. And it will be one of Naruto’s milestones of self-love to figure out how to harness the power of all these disparate versions of himself and get them to work together.

• “No, he thought, that pale little slip of neck hidden beneath her hair was most definitely girl.” — The curve of Sakura’s neck, hidden most of the time by her hair. It is the first truly feminine thing he notices about Sakura. It also is brings to the surface the first sign of anger at her being hurt.

“There is a bridge,” she said, “over the river that runs through the center of Konoha. I used to walk there with my parents when I was young, and we would throw bread over to feed the ducks.” She smiled wearily, eyes closing. “I always liked that bridge,” she said with a long exhale. — Sakura tells him stories about her real life. It’s a counterpoint to the mythical stories from the painted panels. These are real, and they involve her life and the village the he was from. Sakura does it out of necessity, but they are captivating to him, and he unknowingly is getting a window into a life he’s never known. These scenes will come back around again, especially the yellow flowers beside the training field. And an older Naruto will carry these memories with him like they were part of his childhood.

• “This tranquil world was foreign to him, and he listened just as intently as he had earlier when she explained the old folk tale. In fact he was even more fascinated because these places were real, and they were connected to her. And through her, they connected to him.” — Literally. He comes to know Konoha through her, and her alone.

• “What?” he said, turning his hand over. “Oh. I’m a fast healer, don’t worry about me.” — He is a fast healer because of the kyuubi, and later on he will refuse her healing time and again in order to hide his malevolent chakra. Sakura thinks this behavior is suspicious though, that he’s hiding something. Because, in fact, he is.

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