The Isolation of Inner Sakura

Ch 35

Inner Sakura Released!

Everything seemed fuzzy as I fell into the darkness. The pain stopped, in fact, I felt as if I were floating. I wondered fleetingly if this was what it was like to be in the womb. In the dark, the buoyant and weightlessness surrounded by nothing, yet everything. Distantly I heard the cackling of Inner Sakura, yet strangely, her voice no longer resound in my head.

This left me confused for a little while. Where was I? Who was the owner of that voice, that voice that sounded so much like my own? But most importantly why couldn't I hear my inner persona inside my head like usual?

I'd spent my entire life with that voice in my head, and sure sometimes she was annoying, but she was my constant companion and confidante. Like my own invisible best friend who talked to me in secret…even when no one else would. I didn't like the silence in my head, it was terrifying, the thought of walking through the world without the person who affected my life the most. It was like when my father had died, the sudden and lingering silence that was so heavy it could be felt.

The cackling continued as I floated in the limbo of darkness. Was this some genjutsu?

I tried to put my hands together to dispel it, only to find that I didn't have any hands.

I started to panic, but the emotion seemed to be overridden by a sudden wave of desire. I would have been panting and groaning, if only I had a body to do either of those things with. I probably would have fallen on the ground and torn my own clothes off in a sudden rush to find that release of ecstasy called orgasm. Yeah, the arousal was that strong.

It was as if I'd been self stimulating for over an hour until I'd worked myself into a state, only now I couldn't find a way to push myself over the edge.

'What is going on?!' I thought. My thoughts screamed and echoed around me and the cackling got louder.

"Shut up, it's my turn to play." Came my own voice, but I identified it as Inner Sakura's from the inflection and her manner of speaking.

'No! What's happening! I want to know now!' I thought back at her as loud as I could.

"I said, SHUT UP! Can't you see I'm busy?!" She snapped back at me, and I cowered (if you could call it cowering since I didn't seem to have a body any more) away from her harsh words and tone.

But then suddenly I could see it, I understood, somehow we had switched places. Inner Sakura was now on the outside for the first time in our entire lives.

I hadn't even known that was possible, I mean, how could it? It certainly didn't make any sense to me, but it had happened nonetheless.

I concentrated a little, and faintly I could see what was happening. Sakura stood in front of Itachi, Kabuto was behind us.

'This must be what it's like to have Byakugan.' I thought to myself as I saw everything around my body, I could see three-hundred-and sixty degree's just like the Hyuuga's are purported to do with their bloodlimit through activating their eye technique.

All I could do was stare in astonishment. 'Hey, if this is how you see stuff everyday how come you never tell me when there's an attack coming from behind?!' I shouted back at the other part of myself as she formed seals that I'd never seen before. I didn't get an answer from her, as she simply knelt down on the ground, and bowed her head as if she was kneeling in front of the fire country daimyo.

But that's not what she was doing, I after all, could feel what she was feeling. And she was excited, so much so that it was crossing over to me. Apparently this was a real high for her, being outside and fighting a real battle.

Itachi and Kabuto charged in, Kabuto now had Itachi's katana and Itachi had several shuriken in each hand.

'Look out, behind us!' I shouted as Kabuto swung the daito.

But my worry, turned out to be unnecessary. Kabuto stopped mid-swing as if stopped by invisible hands, he just stared down at us. At first I wasn't sure why, but then I looked down and saw something that astonished even me.

I no longer had a body, there was no Sakura, instead it was as if I'd used Kawarimi no jutsu with an entire tree. It was as if I'd uprooted and replanted a gigantic cherry blossom tree right where my body had lain.

The tree stretched upward and the branches, boughs and limbs reached toward the sky and back down again, filled with the pink blossoms and green leaves.

'This isn't genjutsu or ninjutsu…What is this?' I asked the other part of myself who I'd unwittingly given control over to. "How is it even possible to turn yourself into a tree? A real tree out of our own body…"

"You'll see." She said playfully, giggling at her own joke. "Just watch, I'll show you how powerful we can truly be!"

So I watched, it wasn't like I had much of a choice, but still I was curious and wanted the answers to so many questions.

As I looked on, numerous petals flew off of the tree and formed four…clones?

'Hanabira clones? How do those work?' I thought at her watching as the clones dropped to ground just as I would've, only their hair was loose and flowing down their backs. 'Are you trying to sex them up or something? That's so not going to work on Kabuto, maybe on that perv Itachi, but I doubt it.'

"Just you wait and see. Besides, you shouldn't underestimate our skills." Her voice returned laughingly before going silent again.

I watched as the clones approached Kabuto and Itachi. Two clones for each man. The clones approaching Itachi behaved completely different from the ones charging at Kabuto.

The clones immediately began attacking the grey haired katana wielding healer. While on the other side of the tree the clones sauntered up to him seductively while trailing their fingertips upwards from their hips, chest and to their breasts. For the first time, I noticed that the clones while still wearing the anbu gear, didn't appear to have bound breasts and instead filled out the uniform so that their breasts strained against the leather. It was so much like when I'd come back from the last mission and Tsunade had 'accidentally' cut off my chakra bra that I wondered if that was where this inspiration had come from.

Kabuto was fighting both of my clones, but it looked more like they were taunting him and playing games with the man. He'd lunge at one of them only for her to dance back and laugh at him while the other would move in and kick him squarely in the seat of his pants so that he would stumble forward. Then both of them would laugh uproariously and it would start all over again.

With Itachi, the two women would occasionally attack or dodge one of his strikes, but unlike with Kabuto, these clones would 'cop a feel' every time he missed.

He had a red flush on his face, but I couldn't tell whether Itachi was enjoying it or getting pissed.

The echoing voice of Inner Sakura sounded outward booming across the field as if she were her own loud speaker or perhaps as if she were a god granting divine information from the heavens.

"You'll never beat me that way. Come and get me!" She teased and chortled at her own clever repartee.

Apparently Itachi was getting pissed, and he finally managed to put a kunai through one of the clones. The clone shrieked and all the petals fluttered out away from the weapon as if acid had dissolved her insides.

Except that wasn't quite accurate, the petals all flew away from the weapon as if blowing away with the wind, only to reform once more whole and unblemished a few feet away.

'Amazing.' I thought to myself. 'It's even superior to Kage bunshin, Bunshin Bakuha, or even my own developed keiryaku bunshin. Of course they were all different in their own ways, my 'trick clone' technique being a different and more advanced form of the other two. It allowed my clones to steal chakra from the enemy and feed it back to me, but it also exploded when the enemy dispelled it. Now, the petal clones didn't do either of those, but on the other hand, they were like Naruto's Kage Bunshin, only they couldn't be dispelled. So long as I had chakra to mold into those petals I could hold them forever.

I was brought out of my thoughts as Kabuto abandoned his impossible to defeat clones and charged at the trunk of the tree, aiming to impale it, in the hopes that my jutsu would fail and they would yet again be faced with only one, real person.

The boughs of the tree shook and leaves showered down on both opponents. Only they weren't just leaves, they were chakra infused and had razor-sharp edges, like a thousand miniature katana blades that could be flung at the enemy. Much like the sword Kabuto was holding onto, only much more lethal.

Itachi instinctively dodged the deadly leaves and deflected the rest with a kunai. Kabuto however was not so lucky. He took several of the quick and dangerous little things in his chest, arms and legs before he could dodge out of the way.

His clone opponents were right there to 'welcome' him back with a kick to the rear. He swiped at them with his katana and backed further away from the tree trunk.

Of course, Itachi, on the other hand, was now thoroughly engrossed with the shower of leaf projectiles on his side as he battled to get closer to where he had last seen my real body.

"Let's step it up a notch, shall we?" Inner Sakura chuckled, I had this image of her in my own mind of her teehee-ing into her hand as she snickered at our outmaneuvered opponents. She wasn't actually taking this battle seriously, she was just playing with them.

It made me wonder, for the first time, what she could really do if she became serious.

A rumbling briefly shook the ground underneath the feet of the two S-class criminals, before long tentacle like roots sprung up out of the earth.

Debris was strewn everywhere, and a dirty cloud puffed up with all the dirt flying into the air. It was like my own version of the kirigakure no jutsu, and I wondered for the first time why my Inner Persona had techniques like this, and even more so, why she hadn't shared the knowledge of them with me.

"You don't understand yet?" Her voice sounded within my black prison-like world. "You CAN'T do these techniques, and I CAN'T teach them to you. I'll tell you all about it later…"

Then her voice was gone again and the roots were wrapping tenaciously around Kabuto while Itachi dodged and dove around the roots, leaves and clones.

Kabuto was trying to pull out the now soft leaves from his body, without the chakra the leaves it seemed went right back to being soft and delicate. That made them harder to pull out because they tore apart and parts of them were getting stuck in his wounds much to his aggravation. Of course, it was a little harder for him to concentrate on getting all the leaf parts out while the root was holding him and waving him in the air as if the tree were some exuberant child with a lollipop. And then on top of that the clones jumped up and were poking him sporadically, he finally gave up and started screaming profanities at his tormentors. I just giggled to myself at the sight.

I wondered for a moment where the chakra in the leaves had gone, but only briefly, my other half showed me a mental image of the leaves and the poison that would seep into his body and attach to his organs once the leaves had penetrated his flesh.

For a second I wondered if that would be effective against the other medic, he did after all, have remarkable healing abilities. So far as I knew, it was limited to cell regeneration but, I didn't know if he also had some way to fight poison too, of course, the poison in our leaves was unique – so even if he did his antigen might not work at repelling it.

Of course, while all of this was going on, Itachi was wasting no time attacking the outstretched roots and lunging toward the base of the tree.

But unfortunately for him, he wasn't fast enough to avoid all of the swinging and flying weapons launched at him. He took a root to the chest and flew twenty feet away, hitting the trunk of a tree at the edge of the clearing. He was followed by Kabuto, who was tossed directly into the Uchiha.

They both hit the ground with a muffled, 'thud'. Itachi was immediately on his feet again, while Kabuto struggled to get into an upright position while tugging on Itachi's pant leg.

I could see that Kabuto wasn't doing too good from here, but Itachi seemed to be content to hurl himself back into the battle and continue fighting with me in this state.

However Inner Sakura wasn't out of Surprises apparently, as soon as he'd started to stand I felt vibrations all around.

I paused briefly in my enemy surveillance to look exclusively at what my own body was doing. My body, the tree that is, was now completely above ground and using its roots to mobilize itself. The roots swung this way and that, landing heavily on the ground and shattering it like one of my chakra charged fists.

Both Kabuto and Itachi watched with trepidation as I approached. Well, Kabuto looked positively terrified, while Itachi just looked slightly pale. I was betting that he had his usual expressionless mask in place, not that I could tell from that far away with all the blood covering him.

My tree form couldn't move nearly as fast as my human form, in fact, the lumbering movements were slower than a summoned snail oozing along the forest floor.

Itachi and Kabuto were suddenly gone though and I was faced with five of his Bunshin Bakuha to cover his retreat.

I looked over the charging clones warily and immediately was on the defensive. My own four hanabira clones stopped lazing about and charged at one clone each.

Explosions rang out all over the field in a chain reaction as Itachi's clones engaged in combat with my own. The sudden burst of heat and fire along with the force of the blast destroyed the petals, they caught fire and were burnt to ash within seconds. The last one, swifter than the rest, managed to use the distraction of the destruction around him to dive past my outer defenses and wrap himself around my trunk.

The subsequent explosion sent excruciating pain thrilling through my body and set my ears to ringing so that all I could hear was the loud echoing screaming coming from outside, getting louder and louder by the second.

Then all of a sudden, I could smell burning hair and flesh, my stomach turned over violently and I retched all over the ground helpless to prevent the vomit from splattering all down my front in the process. Every piece of flesh on my body was aching, stinging and tingling in varying degrees of hurt. My eyes were burning, and my legs felt like jelly as I struggled to get to my feet, wondering dazedly why it was so hard. Instead, I only managed to crawl a few feet forward before collapsing.

My last conscious thoughts before I surrendered to the agony were that I had at least made it out of the circle of vomit and didn't have to lie in my own bile. The next thought, was that I couldn't let myself die yet. I still had too much to do…

I awoke to pain. The pain was throbbing through my chest, my arms and legs, and took up a lot of room pounding away behind my eyes.

But the pain let me know that I was alive. Still, it took me awhile to get myself up from its prone position on the ground.

I sat in a field, confused for a few moments before remembering what had happened and why I was there. I tried to survey the damage to my own body, but realized that I didn't have enough chakra left to even do the most minor of diagnostic's on myself.

I settled for a cursory outward assessment. My body was coated with blood, most of it my own, in varying states of seeping out of my wounds.

I knew I'd never make it home with the wounds I had, not without being able to heal them, not unless I had help. I immediately felt for the equipment pouch I always kept at my hip and struggled sluggishly to pull it off and in front of me so that I could search for what I needed.

My fingers were shaking so badly, that I could barely open the top flap of the pouch. I struggled again to pull out the small travel kit I kept for emergencies like this. It was the first time I'd ever used it, and for once I was grateful for the extra space it took up in my nin-do pouch.

I sighed in relief when the pouch came free and I could pull out the items I needed.

First I pulled out the tiny packages that looked like they held large flower seeds in them. Three separate parcels containing the pills. The blood, food and soldier pills were really my only hope in this situation. So, I popped all three into my mouth and ground the nasty tasting supplements up between my molars before swallowing them.

The boost in chakra from the soldier pill was immediate and relieving, and I pulled out the Chakra bandages next. I still didn't have enough chakra to do anything major, but I at least had enough now to activate the release jutsu on my healing bandages.

It took forever to wrap the bandages around my body and would have been impossible if I hadn't just taken a soldier pill and a food pill.

Still, I had to struggle with the heaviness of my own limbs and the shaking of my fingers that came from blood loss, exhaustion and pain.

By the time I got to the point where I could force my hands into the proper seal positions, 'Dragon, Hare, Dog', I was thoroughly disgruntled, both with myself and with Itachi.

I was pissed off and upset with myself for slacking my attention during a fight even a little, it had nearly killed me. I shakily got to my feet and went in search of my swords, mask and cloak. I certainly couldn't go anywhere like I was, my clothes were in tatters and I was very recognizable without my mask and cloak.

It took forever to find my mask, but my swords were right where I'd left them, one still imbedded in my cloak and the log that Itachi had used to replace himself when I'd thrown my cloak into his face.

I cursed loudly when I cut my finger as I clumsily tried to sheath my wakizashi blades. By the time I was done and had covered myself I had to wrap another bandage around my hand. Unfortunately I had already run out of my precious supply of Chakra bandages and had to settle for simply covering the wound and stopping the bleeding naturally. Thankfully it wasn't a truly large wound.

Then I made my way towards Konoha to inform Tsunade that I had failed. Again. And then I would have to tell Sasuke the bad news, that wasn't going to be fun.

But that was all that kept me going as I stumbled along trying to move as quickly as I could. I just had to make it back home to Konoha and give them the intelligence that I'd gathered, I wouldn't let something this important die with me. I wouldn't allow myself to die until I'd fulfilled my duty.