Chapter 22 – Notes

Chapter 22 – Perfect, Part 2

Author’s notes: Ok, so this chapter was supposed to wrap up the Perfect with a Part 2, but there was more that insisted on being written. So there will be a Perfect, Part 3. Hurray for more naru/saku! And again, I can’t wait to share. So, next chapter in a few short weeks.

Chapter notes: Chapter starts with interaction with Sasuke, and the Uchiha manages to weave his way through the whole thing. Funny, lots of shifting disguises in this one — it just came out that way! Also, deepening the bond between Katsuro and Sakura, which forces her to compare her ties to her team. Anyway, I’m linking Team 7 together in a different way. Katsuro is encountering lots of new things, like Sakura’s very effective diplomacy skills and the little girl’s openess. And a lot of this will play out into the next chapter as well.

• Her words had been thrown away, dismissed as nothing more than empty flattery. He still saw her as beneath him! — a play on Sasuke’s attitude from the manga toward Naruto.

• “Or you could just kill each other, and save me the trouble,” he said dryly, pulling of another crate. — Sai is hard to write the way he is presented in the manga and have him not come across insane or stupid. He’s neither. So I’m writing him as emotionally stunted. He can show sarcasm or other emotions, but he is just woefully uncomfortable, so I have him simply opting out of a lot of situations. To me, it’s more believable as there are many people in real life who ‘fly under the radar’ that way. This works well for a Root agent, but not so much for a friendship or partnership. I hope it’s coming through in the few times I’ve written about him.

• This ridiculously happy Sasuke stopped in front of her and threw out his arms. “Whaddya think?” He spun around. “Better?” — so fun to write. — Twist on Naruto henging as Sasuke in the manga.

• Katsuro on Sakura’s medic skills and diplomacy skills — He watches her with fascination as she heals the grandmother. Similar to the manga, he thinks her skill is amazing. No one else really comments on it except him. And her diplomacy…. I’m trying to write about some other aspects of being a medic that Sakura might face. The whole yellow light, antiseptic smell, long hours at the hospital thing has been done and done again. So I’m trying to imagine other situations she might encounter. As a medic, she’s got to be a representative of her village, in all situations. She’s got to give orders, read the room, and tell people what they may not want to hear. So, in short, be diplomatic. She has additional duties here than just as a medic, but I think the diplomatic skills fall into line with her character.

• Sakura was wrong. Apparently, he still knew more about her own village than she did. Itachi had never been reserved about the dark side of Konoha. He knew there was a shadow group that sought out talented children to raise as weapons. Wasn’t he was living proof of that? — Reference to Root, Danzou, and some of the embellished stories that Itachi has told Katsuro to keep him from never seeking out Konoha.

• She paused for a moment. She supposed in that way he and Sasuke were alike. Both were bound by someone else’s orders. But at least here, Katsuro was able to shake free of it for a while. — No opinion here from Sakura, but a subtle recognition that Sasuke is also caught in someone else’s web. It’s a nice resolution to a chapter where he’s referenced a lot, but not often there.

Spoiler Notes

• She shook her head lightly. Sometimes his stealthiness startled her. Like Sasuke, he concealed his prowess. These little things made her wonder how much she really knew about him. — Brief moment of introspection about Katsuro. Later, she will realized she just accepted everything at face value when she should have been questioning more.

• “Got no help,” the man barked suddenly as if they’d been having a conversation. Sakura jumped. “All the boys around here have gone off to play ninja.” — So, something’s going on that’s enticing the local young men away. Not all of them, but enough. Again, a very oblique foreshadowing to future plot twists.

• “I know. It sucks I have to look like him of all people,” he muttered, inspecting his hands, then his arms, then his clothes. — foreshadowing. This disguise will play out in some good and not-so-good ways over the chapters to come. But Sasuke will never find out about it (so don’t get hopes up for a big confrontation).

• “Grandfather!” a little girl called, dashing towards them. — The child is sweet and innocent, and this helps Katsuro understand a little about protecting others who can’t protect themselves. This will amplify next chapter when thinking about Sakura being in danger. And much later, the child will come to represent the village for him — like the innocent people who live within the walls and rely on the nins for protection. Sakura is his love, the child will symbolize the village citizens.