Oiroke no Sakura
… … …
"C'mon Sakura," Naruto begged. "Pleeease."
"For the hundredth time Naruto, no," Sakura slammed her thick stack of filed down on the abandoned nurses' station. The top two slid off and fell to the floor, scattering white sheets everywhere. She bent down to gather them back up.
Naruto glanced around quickly before crouching down next to her, and whispering excitedly. "But it'd be fun! I just can't have my best friend not come to my bachelor party, and Ino made me promise to drag you to a party at least once. So, it's like killing two birds with one stone!"
"So, why not just let me come to your party? It's not like Hinata hasn't invited some of the boys to hers." The fact that they all looked rather panicked and quickly declined going to the 'hen night' as they called it, made Sakura wonder what exactly they thought was going to be happening. Papers gathered, Sakura stood and dumped them back on the top of the pile before turning her glare on Naruto.
"Kakashi and Kiba planned it," Naruto said mournfully. He hated being left out of anything, even something as tedious as planning a party. "No girls allowed except strippers and hookers. Neji's been roped into checking for genjustu."
Sakura fought the urge to slap her face in exasperation. Or his. "I would still be a girl. And why would I want to go to a party like that anyways? I already told you I'd stand for you at the wedding." Since Neiji was standing for Hinata they had initially considered swapping the formal roles, to have Neiji as the Best Man and Sakura as the Maid of Honor, but Naruto insisted that he wanted Sakura at his side. Even now, when she was about ready to strangle the idiot, the thought gave her a warm bubble of happiness in her chest.
"But you wouldn't be! Even the byakugan can't see through the Sexy Jutsu," Naruto exclaimed excitedly before hushing himself least someone discover his diabolical plan of sneaking her into his bachelor party. He hunched down and leaned in conspiratorially. "I had Konohamaru prank Hanabi, and it totally worked!"
"Which completely disregards the most important part of my last question," Sakura said sternly.
"Why would I want to go to your party?"
"But- You-" Naruto looked at her, blue eyes growing wide and innocent. More innocent than a pervert that almost rivaled Jiraiya and Kakashi combined had a right to be. After a long silence he just said quietly, earnestly. "I just need you there."
Against her better judgment her stony resolve melted at the naked hurt and longing in his voice. "Alright, fine. I'll go."
"Yes!" Naruto leapt up, one fist pumping into the air. "You won't regret it. Believe it!"
"Oh, I already do," Sakura said miserably as a passing nurse gave them a look. She smiled weakly at the woman's disapproving frown before chiding Naruto gently. "Keep your voice down."
"I'll meet you tomorrow morning," Naruto said in a stage whisper they probably heard in Water. "It'll take some training before the party, and shopping—you'll need clothes, and-"
"Okay, okay. I still have to make it through today," Sakura said, cutting him off.
"Right! See you tomorrow, Sakura-chan!" Naruto called as he dashed away, knocking the pile of folders to the floor without even noticing. She shook her head and bent to pick them back up with a fond smile. How such a skilled and powerful ninja, be such a graceless, knucklehead outside of battle she would never know.
... … …
Mid-afternoon the next day found Sakura sweating profusely as she focused her chakra through the ram seal. She released it with an audible pop. Her form wavered, but remained distinctly female. Naruto scowled at her a moment before collapsing with a melodramatic sigh back onto her couch.
"I don't get it, Kohonamaru didn't have this much trouble. I mean sure, it took him awhile to get the-" Naruto waved his hands in an exaggerated gesture framing the female form. "But the justu itself was fairly simple."
"Okay, so walk me through it again. There must be something I'm not doing right." Sakura demanded. Two weeks ago she would have sworn blind that she would never learn one of Naruto's perverted jutsu, but now that she was the idea that she couldn't do it was galling. She was going to learn this jutsu if it killed her.
"Right first you need to think about what you want," Naruto said, he pointed to his head and screwed his face up in an exaggerated 'thinking' expression until she threw a pillow at him. "Then form the seal, channel your chakra and poof." Even as he said the word there was a soft gust of air and sitting in Naruto's place was stunningly beautiful blonde woman with Naruto's familiar whisker marks, her hair tied up into twin pigtails, and absolutely no clothes on.
"Give yourself some clothes, you pervert!" Sakura yelled and threw another pillow at him. She was running out of pillows.
"Ma, ma, Sakura-chan," he waved his hand at her in a calming motion. "This is the basic technique. Learn to run before you can walk, and all that."
"It's 'learn to walk to before you can run.' Idiot," Sakura muttered. However, Naruto's inversion of the old saying gave her an idea. He had always done incredibly powerful, over the top the jutsu before he could master the smaller, simpler things that took more focus and less power. She remembered how his clones used to always look weak and sickly until after graduation, and his genjutsu was still crap. "Naruto? Exactly how much chakra do you use?"
He gave her a blank look, then shrugged. "As much as it needs."
"Alright," Sakura chewed on her inner cheek and thought about it. "Well, how detailed is the image you use? Is it- anatomically correct?" She blushed as she forced the last words out. In a genjutsu you didn't always have to know all the details, once you got the ball rolling the victim's mind will help you by filling in the blanks so that the illusion will mesh more coherently with reality. Unless, the person was trained to spot those holes, but that was not what she was dealing with here. This was an actual transformation ninjutsu. The ninja would, theoretically, have to know every detail of what he was creating or it wouldn't manifest.
"Sakura!" Naruto gaped at her for a moment, then wiped away an imaginary tear. "My little girl is all grown up! As much a pervert as the rest of her team."
Sakura glared at him and briefly considered throwing the couch cushion at him, except if she did, then what would she sit on? Instead she snipped at him. "Well, at least you don't deny that you're a pervert anymore." They grinned and laughed a moment. "No, seriously, how- accurate is this ninjutsu?"
"Wanna see?" Naruto asked, spreading his legs shapely legs wide. Sakura just registered a thatch of golden blonde hair almost as bright as the locks on his head before she did smack him with the cushion, knocking him backwards over the arm of her couch.
"Quit screwing around and answer the question," she growled at the calves and delicately turned ankles still sticking up askew over the edge of the couch.
After a moment the bare feet disappeared and Naruto once again male, and dressed, popped back over the couch to perch on its arm. "Well, it's more accurate than it was." Naruto said, staring thoughtfully out into space. "I didn't really know what girls looked like down there, so I just kind of used my imagination. Huge reason why I couldn't hold the Ninjustu for longer than a few hours, was because I had no way to go to the bathroom. But that won't be a problem for you." Naruto exclaimed happily. "You know way more about men's penises than I do!"
"Thank you so much for your vote of confidence," Sakura said dryly.
Naruto just grinned and gave her a thumbs up. "So, did that help or do you want another demonstration."
"No, just let me think about this." Sakura frowned at her hands in her lap and tried to put together how the jutsu worked in her head. Most E-rank and other simple jutsu relied solely on the hand sign to focus the ninja's mind through the symbolism and guide the chakra into its proper form. This ninjutsu though, was more like an advanced genjutsu where the ninja focused her mind on the image she wanted to create and the hand signs were simply a trigger to release the chakra. While Naruto's perverted Sexy Jutsu was without a doubt not a genjutsu, whatever idiot classed it needed to review the guidelines!
Sakura had been thinking about the jutsu like it was a simple ninjustu, focusing on powering the hand signs and with only a vague thought of what she might look like as a guy. Obviously, she needed to approach this like she would a high level genjutsu with more attention to the details.
She closed her eyes and concentrated, drawing up everything she knew about male anatomy and starting from the inside out. So much of the structure was the same yet subtly different. The angle and shape of the pelvis, broader shoulders, different mix of hormones and the sex organs were shifted from inside the body cavity. The urethra extended into the shaft of the penis along with blood vessels and nerves. The musculature over the entire frame was slightly heavier, a little bulkier.
Once she had the image of the body she wanted, once it was detailed enough that she could practically feel it around her, Sakura brought up her hands into the ram seal. She felt something click and it was like floodgates had opened and her chakra poured out.
As her chakra flowed out, it turned and spilled back in and through her. She felt like she was in the center of a maelstrom. No, she was the maelstrom, her body shifted and molded itself to her new form. Then it was done. Nearly drained of chakra, her fingers unlocked from the ram sign, and Sakura blinked up blearily at Naruto from the floor. "Did it work?"
"Take a look," he grinned at her triumphantly and got up to turn the full length mirror that she brought out from her bedroom at a better angle.
She was disappointed at the mess of pink hair. Failed again. Then other details started clicking in her brain. Like the large forehead that had plagued her as a child was better balanced by a stronger jaw. The line of her throat had a notable protrusion that bobbed as she swallowed, broad shoulders, and flat chest. Sakura got shakily to her feet. Her eyes not once leaving the mirror; she was still half-afraid to look down. She had a well-defined abdomen, narrow hips and long powerful legs. And yes, she was anatomically correct. She examined herself critically in the mirror. Her penis was well-proportioned for her height, not terribly large, she supposed, but nothing to shake a stick at either.
Sakura felt her face heat up in a blush and tore her eyes upwards to take in other details. Her skin was darker than usual, a perfect light tan that looked great with her jade green eyes and pink hair. A color she would have killed to have naturally, since her pale skin would rather burn than tan. Her hair was still bubble-gum pink, and it had grown out during the transformation, almost to the middle of her back. Somehow, the incredibly girlish color and length didn't look at all feminine on the form she wore now.
"So, what do you think?" Naruto asked, still grinning widely.
She thought she actually looked kind of hot. Sakura quickly quashed that thought and looked wide eyed at Naruto. "It worked."
"Yup! I knew you could do it!" he crowed. "So, you up for the advanced version?"
The thought of having to do that jutsu again today, much less something even more complex made her whimper. Naruto's happy expression finally faltered at the low noise.
"Sakura? You okay?"
"That- really took a lot out of me," she said, trying to be polite about the fact that it nearly drained her to the dregs.
"Huh," Naruto frowned, and then perked up. "That's okay. The first time is always the hardest. We have a couple days until the party so you can practice it. The jutsu stays put until you dispel it. That's a lot easier. The body knows what it's supposed to be."
Sakura nodded silently and looked down examining her hands. They were larger, the palms and pads covered in hard calluses that, as a female, she had worked hard to minimize even though she could never get rid of them completely. Her long fingers reminded her of her father's hands, a musician's hands her mother always said.
"So, ah. If you want to get dressed we can go out and, I dunno, train or something. You'll want to get used to the differences before the big day." Sakura didn't respond, still staring at her hands in fascination. "Or get something to eat."
At that moment her stomach chose to let out a loud rumble. Sakura jerked her head up and stared at Naruto. "Food. Yeah, that would be good."
"Great!" Naruto grinned. "You still keep some extra clothes for me and Sai don't you? I'm sure something would fit. Then we could go shopping for something for you. You'll want to have a good idea of how the clothes feel on you to create them with the advanced version, but once you do you can do things that you can't find in stores. It's awesome."
Sakura listened to him chatter as she went to the chest under her window. Inside along with a few extra blankets and her field triage kit were extra clothes that Naruto, Sai and Kakashi kept at her apartment since they'd rather go to her than the hospital.
She fished out the unopened package of boxers first, ripped it open and put on the black pair before throwing the other two back in the chest. Next she tossed out anything of Naruto's, she wouldn't touch anything orange with a ten foot pole. She tugged on the first pair of pants that looked like they might fit. The cloth accentuated the lines of her legs and butt, she had to creatively tug and tuck the boxer shorts under the waistband, but the trail of darker pink, almost magenta hair could be clearly seen from her belly button leading downward. Sakura blushed as her fingers combed through the fine hairs before digging around for a passable shirt.
"Almost ready to go," she told Naruto as she staggered to her kitchen for the rag bin, nearly tripping on her own feet on the way. She didn't have any sandals that would fit but she could just wrap the arch of her feet and ankles in some cloth strips and she looked like nearly any other Konoha guy. She kept a lot of odds and ends; you never knew when something might become useful. Ripped up clothes were great for cleaning rags or even undercover surveillance assignments. People liked to pretend that the poor didn't exist, and ninja who would pick up the lightest touch of genjutsu wouldn't look twice at a dirty face dressed in rags. After tying off the loose ends she rolled to her feet. "Okay, I'm ready. Where are we going for food?"
Naruto laughed. "You sound like a guy already. What do you think about ramen?"
"I think I might gag," she said. Naruto looked at her mournfully, and she caved with a loud sigh. "Fine." Damn, but he was getting mileage out of that look.
"Great!" Naruto grabbed her arm and practically dragged her out of her apartment barely giving her time to lock the door and reset the traps.
As they headed for Ichiraku, Sakura found that the unusual clumsiness she experienced in the apartment didn't let up. She felt like the ground was further away than it should be and her feet didn't always do what she wanted them to.
"Naruto, slow down," Sakura demanded, as she tried to figure out what was wrong with her.
"What? I thought you were hungry?" Naruto asked turning around to walk backwards in front of her but not slowing down one bit.
"I am," she almost growled at him, hungry and frustrated and tired.
"Trouble walking, huh?" he smirked at her. The bastard, this time she did growl at him, a low dangerous sound in the back of her throat. "Different center of gravity. Don't worry, you'll get used to it." Impossibly, his grin got even wider. "Hey, at least you can watch where you're putting your feet. I don't know how you girls can stand it."
"Not everyone has breasts like Tsunade's favorite sake jug," Sakura said.
"Aw, you're just jealous," Naruto said with a laugh. "Here we go. Hey, Ayame! Is the old man in the back?"
She followed Naruto as he ducked under the awning of the ramen stand. It was pretty busy, but that was to be expected for the noon rush. Sakura wished for a moment they had gone anywhere else, but no matter where they went it would probably be just as busy. At least there was no one they knew in the crowd at the busy stand.
After a few moments of meaningless chatter she and Naruto were soon ensconced in a booth towards the back, as a blushing Ayame placed the bowl of ramen in front of them (pork for Naruto, miso for Sakura) before disappearing to serve other customers.
"She doesn't normally do that does she?" Sakura asked.
"Do what?" Naruto asked around a mouthful of noodles.
Remembering how hungry she was Sakura picked up her own chopsticks. "Blush at you like that."
Naruto choked on his ramen. After a few moments of coughing he recovered enough to give her an incredulous stare. "Sakura, she was blushing at you."
"What?" Sakura froze momentarily in surprise at the revelation. Sure, even she thought she looked hot, that was the point of the jutsu after all, but actually seeing Ayame's reaction was still unexpected.
"Totally, and for the record I've only ever seen her do that to Kakashi-sensei," Naruto said with a sad shake of the head. "So unfair."
Sakura nodded absently and decided to focus on her noodles instead. While she would normally complain about the fat content and how unhealthy it was, after that massive chakra drain she needed to replace flagging energy stores as quickly as possible, and with taijutsu practice after lunch she didn't need to worry about anything sticking around either. "So, what do you think-"
"Hinata!" Naruto interrupted Sakura to wave his blushing fiancée over.
"Hi, Naruto," she said softly. Her voice was barely audible over the susurrus of the crowd, as she slid into the booth next to him. She blinked curiously at Sakura.
"Oh, hey, you know Saku-" Sakura lashed out, the ball of her foot connecting with his kneecap. Naruto didn't even flinch. "-mo."
Hinata blinked at Sakura again, and smiled shyly. "Nice to meet you, Sakumo-kun."
She smiled at Hinata. "Nice to finally meet you, Hinata-san, I've been hearing so much about you."
"Oh." Hinata actually blushed a brighter shade of red and tried to bury herself into Naruto's side. "Have you been friends with Naruto long?"
"Some days it feels like forever," Sakura said.
Naruto wrapped one arm around Hinata and smiled down at her. Not one of his stupid, shit-eating grins either, but a soft smile that he was genuinely happy to be there next to her. Sakura felt a momentary stab of jealousy that she had never had a guy smile at her like that. "I just ran into him again recently, and we've been catching up. So, I invited him to Kiba's party."
"Oh, that's nice," Hinata said. An awkward silence fell over them and as they focused on their food. Naruto feeding Hinata choice pieces from his until Ayame arrived with another bowl. "So, um. Sakumo-kun, what do you do? Are you a ninja?"
Not an unfounded assumption given that they were in one of the Hidden Villages. Sakura opened her mouth to answer 'no' when Naruto answered for her.
"Of course he is! Sakumo's an awesome ninja!" Sakura kicked at him again, but missed this time. Her foot connected instead with the bench he was sitting on with a solid thunk. Naruto stuck his tongue out at Sakura over Hinata's head.
"I wouldn't go that far," Sakura demurred through clenched teeth. "While I did graduate the Academy, my jounin sensei flunked me from the team. I still wouldn't be a ninja but they tapped all graduates for the Fourth War. I was just lucky enough to survive where so many others didn't."
"Why would any sensei flunk you?" Naruto asked, looking genuinely curious and a little surprised at Sakura's cover story. Hinata just looked mortified at Naruto's prying question into an 'obviously' sensitive topic.
Sakura shot Naruto an exasperated look, but just shrugged and stirred the remaining strands of noodles in her ramen broth. "Shallow chakra reserves. I was officially classed as a genjutsu specialist, but that wasn't good enough for the power team that my sensei wanted so he flunked me out."
She was rather proud of herself for the story she came up with on the fly. It explained not only Naruto's completely unhelpful remarks, but her unnaturally drained chakra reserves as perfectly normal. Best part was that it was entirely plausible, because everything she said was something that actually happened, just not to her. Lee was actually very fortunate that he got Gai as a jounin sensei. Many would have flunked him without a second thought.
"But, you're a chuunin now," Hinata pointed out, looking close to tears at Sakura's story. "So, it doesn't matter what your old sensei thought."
Sakura stalled for time to think of a response by finishing off her broth. It was true that the drafted genin who survived the war were promoted to chuunin, the ones that didn't were cremated with honors. "I suppose. To be honest, it's not as important to me as I once thought it was. Since the war I've gone back to doing odd jobs in the civilian sector. There's still plenty that needs to be done, and not just by ninja."
Naruto actually gave a skeptical look. She refrained from kicking him again (and not just because her foot still hurt).
"We should probably get going," Sakura said glancing pointedly at their empty bowls.
"That's right!" Naruto said brightly, before turning to explain to Hinata. "I promised Sakumo I'd help him shop for some new clothes, since, uh-"
Naruto trailed off, clearly at a loss for a reason to go shopping. Sakura fought the urge to roll her eyes. Did they really need a reason? Even guys needed new clothes once in a while. Instead Sakura picked up the thread and ran with it. "My apartment was one of the ones demolished by that wild earth release last week. I need to replace- pretty much everything." There, that would explain their selections if Hinata should decide to tag along.
"Oh, my!" Hinata looked at Sakura with large eyes. "Are you okay? Do you need a place to stay? I'm sure we could find room for you."
"No, no. I'm fine," Sakura hastened to reassure her. "I've been staying with my cousin until I can get back on my feet."
"Yeah, you know. Sakura." Naruto jumped in. Sakura kicked him again under the table, landing another solid hit, to his shin this time. Naruto's smile because a little more fixed, but he didn't make a noise.
"Sakura?" Hinata asked, looking confused.
"Haruno Sakura," Sakura supplied. "She's my cousin."
"Oh! I can see the resemblance," Hinata said with a smile. I bet you can, Sakura thought to herself. "So, are you a Haruno as well?"
"Um," Sakura thought for a moment then shrugged mentally. "Yeah."
"Well, I suppose that I should leave you two to your shopping," Hinata said, getting up to let Naruto out of the booth. "I would offer to join you, but I'm just on lunch break and have to get back soon."
"It was nice meeting you, Hinata-san," Sakura said with a polite bow.
Hinata bowed back. "Likewise Sakumo-kun. Will I see you later, Naruto?"
"Of course!" Naruto said and hugged her tightly. Hinata blushed brightly, still clearly uncomfortable with public displays of affection, but she hugged him back was just as clearly reluctant to let go. Eventually they disengaged and Sakura followed Naruto out of the ramen stand. At the first opportunity, she smacked Naruto upside the back of his head. "Ow! What was that for?"
"'Sakumo?'" She asked. "Can you come up with anything that doesn't sound completely made up?"
"It's not made up," Naruto protested. "It's a real name!"
"Uh-huh," she said, clearly not believing him.
"It is! The old lady has me studying Konoha history, and Sakumo's the name of one Konoha's important ninja that I have to study," Naruto said.
"Really?" Sakura frowned, it wasn't a name she recognized from history class back in the Academy. "What did he do?"
"Er, I can't remember," Naruto muttered. "But, who cares, let's get you some decent clothes. And shoes."
Sakura rolled her eyes with a sinking feeling that this was going to be worse than shopping with Ino.