Chapter 21 notes

Chapter 21 – Perfect, Part 1

Chapter Notes:
If she were a half-an-hour later, she would have missed the unusual peacefulness of the just-waking village. — Next two chapters are called “Perfect” because at everything is in harmony. There are certain moments that are only at the right time. Like morning dew. Katsuro’s habit of catching her at the right time for a prank. The prismatic light of a stolen afternoon. It’s not meant to be sad. Just the official stamp that yes, this is the good stuff. More on this in the spoiler notes.

Tsunade: “As a Konoha kunoichi, the only ones you can ever trust are your fellow Leaf nins.” — Inside joke, as Katsuro will grow to become a Leaf nin. So she’s not technically disobeying Tsunade.

The cool evening air scattered the papery leaves again, ruffling the edge of her hair. But the breeze that stirred around her throat was a little warmer, more tangible. Somehow, it reminded her of him. — Sakura has some sense of Katsuro’s wind element nature.

A soft breeze ruffled the hair along her shoulders, curled up the tendrils at her throat. Sakura smiled sweetly, almost knowingly, at him. — By the end, under the tree, Sakura has identified that the little wind thing comes from him. More on this next chapter.

“Tsunade-sama fought against Hanzo…. The leader of the Rain Village.”  Momentarily confused, Katsuro’s hand froze above a thin branch. “You know, way back in the Second Shinobi War…?” Oh. Way back….

— Foreshadowing some of Katsuro’s other dealings. His backstory and his dealings will be dealt with in detail from Chapter 23 on. More in the spoiler notes.

But there was still so much she didn’t know. His background, his likes and dislikes, his hopes for the future. His abilities. — Based on the questions Kakashi asked them early on in their Team 7 days.

• If he could pin time in one place, this would be it. He didn’t want to move, breathe, do anything that would disturb this fragile harmony. The angle of light was prismatic; for him, it banished the dark. — Chapter starts with Sakura thinking about the unique moment in time under a dew-bedecked tree, and the chapter ends under a tree where Katsuro is thinking about how this moment pushes all the dark stuff out of his life for a while. Little full-circle of themes.


Spoiler Notes:
If she were a half-an-hour later, she would have missed the unusual peacefulness of the just-waking village. — Next two chapters are called “Perfect” because at everything is in harmony. There are certain moments that are only at the right time. Like morning dew. Katsuro’s habit of catching her at the right time for a prank. The prismatic light of a stolen afternoon. It’s not meant to be sad. Just the official stamp that yes, this is the good stuff. And the title will carry a different meaning as the story progresses. Later, these scenes will not seem so perfect; but then later on after that, they will both recognize that their time together was something unique, even with all its flaws. It truly was a perfect time, a bubble in both their lives. So, like the dew, it can only happen for a little while. But for that moment, things are perfect.

• In the dying light, the river looked like a soft green ribbon winding through the town. Plumes of steam hung in the air. Only the red lanterns, just being lit along the streets, shone in soft rose spots through the cottoning drifts. … Katsuro stretched his arms out behind him, letting his fingers spread wide into the soft earth, and gave Sakura his full attention. He only moved when the low fire grew too warm on the fronts of his legs. — Both these descriptions will be alluded to in the ending of the next chapter. So the descriptions, though lovely and fitting, serve to reinforce this ending of their time together.

• Katsuro stepped out from between the long lines of bamboo and stopped, one hand coming to rest on a fallen trunk that slanted in front of him like a bar. —  visual of him behind a bar, held back by many unknown things. Sakura is hopping over the wall to go to him. Couple of themes: Sakura is from a neatly arranged, walled village. Katsuro has live his life in hiding, living as far from village life as possible. Sakura surmounts those walls to be with him, but even in the wilderness he was still hiding, still held back by things. So I want the picture to be not just of him on one side of the wall and her on the other. Even in the environment that he has chosen, that he touts as being safe and giving him so much freedom, he is still held back, concealed, barred. Sakura is coming from the area that is open. It would paint a completely different picture if he came to her, climbing the wall to walk down the clear path ahead of him, and next to her. But he doesn’t.

The woman from the inn: “I had a hired man, but he’s left to make his fortune.” — A wisp of information about events happening in the countries. But just as in the last chapter with the worrying innkeeper, its easy for her to dismiss this tidbit as just gossip. More to come in the next chapters.

“Tsunade-sama fought against Hanzo…. The leader of the Rain Village.”  Momentarily confused, Katsuro’s hand froze above a thin branch. “You know, way back in the Second Shinobi War…?” Oh. Way back….

— Foreshadowing some of Katsuro’s other dealings. His backstory and his dealings will be dealt with in detail from Chapter 23 on. Anyway, these comments, and others to come, set the stage for these developments and gently remind that he has other, darker connections. Whether he wants them or not. So this little quote speaks to some shady connections Katsuro has to the Rain Village. Hmmm. Just like with the innkeepers comment above (and from the last chapter) there is something else going on that they are not aware of. Yet.

Pink hair fanned out around her, tangling with the long grass that streamed away under her head. Still laughing, Sakura shifted her gaze from Katsuro to the sky above him. For a moment, Katsuro could see the reflection of clouds streaked across her green eyes. — Will be important for the next chapter, when Katsuro has his “It’s perfect” moment.

• Oops! I forgot I moved one of the chapter 21 preview scenes to the next chapter! So, sorry if you were looking forward to the little necklace scene, it’s coming in the next chapter!