Subject: [FFML] Re: [Fanfic][Naruto] Suiren, Chapter 9: Breath...
From: David Johnston
Date: 12/13/2006, 9:32 PM
To: Eimii

Eimii wrote:




"What exactly did you mean, when you told Sakura to 'remember her 

"Haha! Have you noticed something interesting, Kakashi?" Absently 
kicking his current enemy across the gallery, the bushy browed jounin 
looked over his shoulder at his comrade. "While I admit that the 
progress of your other students is truly impressive, you were foolish to 
ignore adorable little Sakura-chan!"

Though his tone bore only mild reproach, Gai finished with a 
self-satisfied smile that seemed to say, 'Haha! You are a worthy 
opponent, my eternal rival, but today, victory is mine!' Pausing, the 
mightiest taijutsu master of Konoha faced forward and motioned boldly at 
a pair of Sound nins that were circling just out of reach.

"You left your forgotten subordinate in quite a bind, you know," he 
continued, countering the attacks of the two hostiles with effortless 
ease as he lectured the gray-haired shinobi. "They say a maiden's heart 
burns like a beacon for the man she loves, but a kunochi is a warrior as 


well as a woman. Even if those boys shine brighter, that is no excuse 
for letting Sakura-chan's flame go untended."

Noticing that his rival was barely paying attention, Gai pressed on with 
a bit of a swagger, refusing to be defeated by Kakashi's hip, 
unconcerned attitude. "It is fortunate that she came to me for help. If 
it were neglected any longer, the determination in her heart might have 
simply burned out-"

"Hah!" Fading into view behind Gai's opponents just as the first one 
fell, Anko reached around and grabbed the remaining sound nin under the 
chin, spinning him like a top as she ripped out his throat. "I think I'm 
more worried about the way the she keeps sticking her hand in the fire!" 
she quipped, leering like a maniac and licking the blood from her 

*She- she _stole_ my metaphor! And before Kakashi could even react to 
it!* Trembling at the indignity, but still impressed by the brunette's 
ironic timing, Gai was reluctantly forced to call this match with 
Kakashi a draw on account of interference.

That didn't mean that he would be denied a victory, however. "That 
reminds me of a child I once knew," he mused wistfully, sizing up the 
younger woman. "I can remember how she used to come home with burned 
fingers and lumps on her head after trying to steal sweet chestnuts from 
street vendors..."

Anko's expression soured for a moment, but she recovered quickly. "Well, 
if we're talking ancient history here, I can remember a few things too, 
fuzzy," the kunoichi purred with a predatory grin. "I doubt _anyone_ 
could forget the time you-"

"Ahem, did you want something, Anko?" Kakashi interjected, clearing his 
throat. The copy-ninja's expression of inquiry was for the examiner 
alone; it was as if Gai wasn't even there.

*Such- such style!* It was all Gai could do to keep from crying in 
frustration. Kakashi's tone had struck the perfect balance between 
disinterest and impatience; he had completely taken command of the 
conversation, and now _Gai_ owed _him_ for that conveniently timed save!

*The battle rages on! I must not fail in my next attack!* Clenching his 
fist in determination, then planting it firmly in an unfortunate Sand 
nin's face, Gai valiantly sallied back into the fray. "Indeed, 
Mitarashi! What business do you have here? Shouldn't you be attending to 
your emergency duties?"

"I was on my way there when I saw you and broom-head here talking to 
those kids," Anko replied testily, flicking a couple needles over Gai's 

Maybe this is just my failing memory, but just as the last time you 
posted these, I felt a sense of discontinuity between this chapter and 
the previous one.  It's as if I missed a chunk of the story.  A bit more 
exposition would be appreciated.

"What would you know of it, Mitarashi?" he demanded, graciously taking 
point in their counterattack. When the laughing woman had spoken 
Sakura's name, the battle of words had unexpectedly come full circle, 
and _his_ time had finally arrived. "Though I am a fair man, and know 
better than to drink from the poisoned spring of gossip, even my 
wonderful, pure-hearted Lee has had his ears sullied by the rumors 
circulating about you and my precious new student- and now this! It just 
seems too coincidental!"

Standing back to back with Kakashi to show the righteous solidarity of 
platonic teacher's love, Gai pointed an accusing finger at the examiner. 
"If the girl who was here just a moment ago was truly a clone, then tell 
me, what have you done with my darling Sakura-chan?"

"I have her tied up in my closet.  Wanna see?

The edge of the clearing approached almost too quickly; it hadn't seemed 
nearly so close when she was stuck on the defensive. Surging up the tree 
that she'd pinpointed as the sniper's nest, Sakura was greeted by a foe 
with wild eyes and a ready sword. *Crap! Too tight!*

There wasn't any room to move in the branches of the tree her opponent 
had chosen, limiting her avenues of attack to a single path; one which 
the sound nin charged down sword first, straight through the gutted 
bunshin. Then, at the last moment, his attack faltered mid-lunge, 
allowing her to twist out of the way unscathed.

She's really going to have to get a grip on her control of those 
genjutsus.  Having them constantly go off without her being consciously 
aware of it is not going to make her popular.

I note, incidentally, that they seem to be acting more like a bloodline 
trait than a "true" genjutsu.  No handsigns, activating with nothing 
more than a thought...

"How am I the pervert? _He's_ the one with a hard-on!"

"And you rubbed up against it!"

"He started it! And it made 'im stop bonin' my thigh, didn't it?" 
Grimacing, Temari stiffly getting to her feet, the glanced down in 

then glanced

disgust. "Fuck!"

Jumping at the blonde's curse, Sakura glanced around warily. "What?"

Moving away from the group, Sakura changed directions as soon as she was 
out of sight; she wasn't getting any closer to that monster than she had 
to. *What he hell is with that, anyway?* She'd have to review her 


clone's memories carefully once they returned to her.

Rolling up her sleeve, Sakura examined the character for "evil" on her 
arm. Anko had told her that the technique would end when she 'defaced' 
the seal, but her so-called 'teacher' had never explained to her how she 
was supposed to do that.

Vainly, Sakura tried to recall any useful information about this 
technique that might have accidentally leaked into her brain. *Why does 
she always have to be such a fucking victim in her dreams?* If her 'Anko 
persona' ever bothered to try and defend herself from Orochimaru's 
nightly advances, Sakura was confident that she'd be able to remember 
any techniques she used. If only-

"Ah!" In a flash, a simple set of seals flickered across her mind's eye. 
She wasn't sure how she knew, but Sakura was _positive_ they were 
related to the 'Oketsu Bunshin' technique, and they weren't the same 
ones Anko had used to create the clone. *Damn, that's nice; I wonder if 
I can remember anything else.*

Practicing the motions a couple times, Sakura took a deep breath and 
focused, letting her body move on its own. It was hard to trade her 
normally perfect chakra control for the uncertainty of raw instinct, but 
there was a feeling of 'rightness' about the way the power moved down 
the pathways opened by her seals. As she reached the end of the 
technique, Sakura lifted her mask and bit her thumb, wiping a smear of 
blood across the mark on her arm.

At first nothing seemed to happen, but then she felt a presence nearby. 
Looking up, she saw her doppelganger land on a branch a few yards away. 
Crumbling where she fell, the pink-haired girl clutched the tree beneath 
her and started trembling like a leaf.

"Hey!" Sakura called softly, waving to the clone. "Are you okay? What's 

"...uuuuaaaAAAAGGH!" Emitting a barely human scream of agony, the 
bunshin tensed up like she was having a seizure and then suddenly 
_exploded_ into a fountain of steaming red blood and black serpentine 

"S-Snakes?!" Drawing her swords in an instant, Sakura knew she was 
already too late. She managed to knock a few of them out of the air, but 
was quickly overwhelmed by the cloud of slick, squirming bodies. Reeking 
of iron and decay, the snakes lashed out at anything within reach, 
including each other. Sakura was bitten over a dozen times before she 
managed to cut herself free and spring away.

Even for a snake technique, that's unsavoury.

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