I Think I'm A Clone Now
Chapter 20: Siblings
Sakurai yawed with the morning sun that woke her up she had been having a good time with her new team. Okay the new girl was taking some time to get used to she was so reserved that it was hard to get a handle on her. Well she was hoping that eventually the girl would come out of her shell somewhat. She got out of bed and went to the bathroom to wash up she paused at the mirror seeing her face. Turning her head slightly to the left and right she looked at the permanent whisker marks on her face.
Tracing them slightly she wondered if she was slowly getting used to it, it was a reminder of the Kyuubi's chakra that was mixed in with her own. So far she hadn't had any other incidents with it but she got the feeling that Yamato was going to try and train them in its use. She wasn't sure about that given what happened the last time they had tried, the sudden image of Minato on top of her kissing her neck causing her face to heat up before splashing water on her face.
She really needed to stop thinking about it but every time she was close to him some part of her couldn't help it. She sighed to herself as she needed to get this under control but it was like she felt this pull deep inside like when you placed to magnets close together they pulled at each other. Well they could also repulse depending if they were the same polarity but that was beside the point. There was a knock on the door as Sakura's voice was heard behind it.
"Hey Sakurai do you have a moment?"
"Sure," Sakurai opened the door to see the older girl standing there in front of her. "What's up?"
"I was wondering do you have the afternoon free?"
Sakurai thought about it, her team was meeting in the morning and most likely would get off in the afternoon. Her lessons with Kurenai wouldn't be until tomorrow as well, she was thinking of studying some scrolls on genjutsu to pass the afternoon but it wasn't something she had to do.
"I think so, is something up?"
Sakura shook her head, "No it's not that, it's just that I wanted to know if you wanted to spend the afternoon together. We've all been a bit busy and honestly I wanted to spend some more time with you. You know just some girl time between us"
Sakurai wasn't sure what to say about it but things had been a little stressful after all she had slowly gotten used to her new life and making a life for herself. Maybe relaxing a little would be helpful and she hoped that maybe some time with Sakura would help out a few issues of her own. She hadn't told anyone but it was always odd to see someone that was older than herself all the time, granted with the new whisker marks on her own face Sakurai wouldn't look exactly like Sakura at that age, but it was still kind of odd.
It was just kind of awkward around the older girl and she needed to get rid of that, she was a part of this family now and she needed to feel like she was a part of the entire family.
Sakura smiled, "Great, I'll meet you here after your free then."
-Later that Day-
Sakurai wasn't sure what to expect when she and Sakura left their home that afternoon but the last thing she expected was to be standing outside of what looked like a salon.
"Kunoichi Beauty?" Sakurai asked reading the name of the place out loud.
"Yeah they opened a month after the war," Sakura told her as they went inside. "It's run by former female ninjas and some civilians that cater to kunoichi. Ino took me here and I have to admit it's really nice and I think you'll enjoy it. It's getting kind of popular."
Sakurai noticed how the place smelled of hair products as well as scented candles. There were already a few women getting treatments as they walked in. There was a woman behind the counter as Sakura talked with her but Sakurai looked around. The place looked very nice, all white but the candles gave it a pleasant and soothing feel, there was calming music being played but it was at a low tone so people would be able to talk as everyone chatted with each other.
Some women were getting their hair washed, others getting their nails painted and various other activities were going on.
"Looks like they can fit us in," Sakura smiled as she led the way and Sakurai followed. "This place is getting so popular I bet that in a couple of months you'll need to start making appointments to get in."
"I don't remember ever going into a place like this," Sakurai commented as they were led to two chairs next to each other. She took one and Sakura took the other as they sat down, the chairs were laid back as their heads were gently lowered into the sinks as the women got to work running the water.
"I know, not normally my thing and Ino had to drag me here but just give it a shot, it's actually kind of relaxing." Sakura told her as she felt the woman working on her head and hair starting to run the hot water over it and started to gently massage her scalp.
As Sakurai was getting the same treatment she had to admit that she was starting to feel a little bit more relaxed as the woman's fingers started to do their work. The hot water felt nice as her hair and scalp were professionally washed. She could smell the lavender soap being put into her pink hair, when they were done they put towels in on their head while their shoes were removed.
Sakurai had never had a pedicure before but as soon as the woman's expert hands went to work she was starting to see the point of it all. Their toe and finger nails were also being done as well, since female ninjas worked a lot with their hands it took a lot to keep their skin nice and soft when needed. Plus there had been a few developments in nail care apparently, Sakurai noticed that a special coating was being placed on her finger nails.
She asked about it and was told it was a special protective gloss that would help keep the paint but also hardened to make the nail stronger so it was harder to chip and break. Apparently some female ninjas liked to use lots of it to keep their nails slightly long and sharp so that they could be used as claws if needed.
"So Sakura-san, I've heard that you've gotten together with Uzumaki-san," The woman painting Sakura's nails asked her.
The entire shop seemed to take notice at least to the two pink haired girls seemed that it felt like that.
"Yes, Naruto and I are together now," Sakura blushed a bit she was still getting used to telling people that. It still sounded slightly weird saying that to others but she was slowly getting used to it.
"Oh that's wonderful," The woman smiled at that. "There was a lot of people wondering who would get that boy, after all that he did recently he became really popular. Oh that reminds me," she turned to one of the other workers. "Who won the pool?"
"Wait were you all betting on if Naruto and I would get together!?" Sakura nearly sat up in her chair at that.
"Not exactly," Another woman admitted, "There was a lot of betting pools, it wasn't just you that was in the running. A few girls were in the running actually."
Sakura was about to ask how many but decided against that, she really didn't want to know after all. She felt embarrassed that there had been some kind of betting pool on who Naruto would have ended up with. She came here to relax and that's what she was going to do, well try to do when they started asking her questions about her love life with Naruto that's when she was starting to regret coming in here today.
Sakurai tried not to smile or laugh at how uncomfortable Sakura looked but at least no one was asking her odd questions. People had stopped looking at her funny so it was nice to finally feel like a more normal person for once. Maybe the whole Naruto/Sakura thing had gotten the attention of the village off her and Minato.
After getting both pampered a little and Sakura being grilled on her new relationship the two girls decided that they could use some new clothing as they headed to the shopping district of the village, it was one of the busier places because a lot of shops were here. The Haruno shop was also located near the area.
The two were currently shopping as Sakurai had enough spending money for some new clothing and Sakura felt she could use a couple of new items as well. The pair had split up to slightly different sections of a good clothing store in the market area. Inside there was a decent amount of costumers, all female since it was a female clothing store, and Sakura was hoping to find some new clothing that she could wear on dates. Since she now had a boyfriend she hoped that Naruto would take her on something that would require to dress up a little.
She wasn't going for full on gowns or anything too big, but it would be nice to dress up a little for him. She smiled wondering what he would think of her in this cute little skirt she found when she paused at the underwear section. She noticed a few of the frillier and even sexual styles and it made her wonder about when the time came for him to see in her in something like that. She blushed a little at the thought, they weren't even dating for a few days yet but part of her wanted to be ready. The last thing she pictured for her first time was in her simple and plain under garments.
She paused at a frilly red set of bra and panties and considered them they were in her favorite color.
"Picking something out for Naruto?" Sakurai had silently walked up behind the older girl, not on purpose or anything it was just habit. She had noticed Sakura looking at underwear she knew normally she wouldn't look at and pieced together why.
Sakura jumped and looked at the younger image of herself. "W-what's wrong with that? Besides I was just looking."
"You aren't thinking of going that far already are you?" Sakurai wondered out loud to her as Sakura was older than her so maybe she did things faster?
"N-no!" Sakura quickly said. "I just wanted it to be ready, I'm nowhere near ready for that I want to actually have some nice dates with Naruto and have us both ready for it."
"So you really do like him huh?"
Sakura smiled as she thought about it, "You remember how things were at the start, I was so obsessed that I didn't want to see anything else. Sometimes I wonder if I was just going along with the crowd with Sasuke-kun but with Naruto things are a lot different. It took time for our relationship to build you know but as we both matured and all the things we went through together it was slowly building over the years."
"He's always been there for me and I want to always be there for him. When I look in his eyes they have this look, this look of pure love and devotion towards me when we're alone at first it kind of scared me how someone could feel like that. But now I want to return those feelings and then some, when I'm with him I feel loved and safe. He makes me laugh and smile as much as he makes me frustrated, I know that my life will never be boring with him."
Sakurai could feel the emotions in Sakura's words and for that moment she really envied the older girl.
"I hope I can find someone that makes me feel like that," she sighed to herself.
Sakura heard it and draped an arm around her shoulders. "Hey don't worry about it, you're still young and you're a Haruno too. You'll find a good guy just keep an open mind and don't overlook someone like I did. Trust me if there is anything I can do the very least is to make sure you learned from my own mistakes."
"For a moment I thought you were going to try and push Minato on me," Sakurai voiced a concern she had for awhile now. "I mean he's Naruto's clone and I'm your clone and you two are together so I think people might expect Minato and me together."
"Okay first off," Sakura told the younger girl. "You are your own person, if you want to date someone for the right reasons it doesn't matter who it is. You could meet a new boy and totally like him and it doesn't have to be Minato. You've already proven that you're not going to just follow in my footsteps but make your own path in life."
"And although you are my clone that's only part of it, I also consider you my little sister."
Sakurai looked up at the older girl.
"You know that I always wanted siblings growing up right?"
"Yeah," Sakurai answered.
"Well I finally got the little sister I used to wish for," Sakura smiled at her and she meant it. It had taken time but getting to know Sakurai she slowly started to bond with the young girl. She didn't just see herself but a young girl that shared her blood, her family's blood. "That's why I wanted for us to spend some time together today I wanted us to be more like sisters that is if you're okay with it."
Sakurai felt her heart rising into her throat, she was already accepted by their parents into the family but with Sakura accepting her now it was like the final piece was together and they were a family, a real family. She smiled up at the girl as she found her voice again.
"I'd like that, plus you would be a pretty good big sister."
Sakura was touched by that, "Thanks. Now let's get something to eat huh?"
"Yeah I could go for something right about now," Sakurai was starting to look forward to trying to see Sakura as an older sister now. It might take some time to get used to it but she remembered always wanting a sister when she was young and had no friends. Maybe in a strange way for the both of them fate was giving them something they had once wished for.
As they passed through the streets they found themselves at a familiar store, Sakura stopped as she was biting her lip slightly. Sakurai knew that look all too well and she had a guess what the older girl is thinking. Right before Sakura was going to suggest going into the ramen shop Sakurai beat her to it.
"You just want to go in and see if he's there already," Sakurai grinned as Sakura stopped trying to think of something to say that could deny that but yet still let them go in.
In the end Sakura knew that Sakurai had her, could anyone blame her? She knew Naruto well enough that he was most likely in there already and she hadn't seen him all day. She just wanted to see him once, nothing major but it would be nice.
"Okay yeah you got me," Sakura sighed as she slumped in defeat.
Sakurai however decided that since Sakura had done a lot for the both of them today so going to get some ramen was a small thing she could do. "Well come one, if we wait too long I bet you'll miss him." She told Sakura walking into the shop.
Both girls entered the place and right there sitting at the counter were two very familiar blondes already eating it would seem. As they got closer Ayame was working the counter, her father Teuchi was most likely in the back. She welcomed them as they walked up to the counter which got the boys attention. Naruto's face lit up seeing Sakura walking to take the seat next to him.
"Sakura-chan!" He said happily and then paused as he looked at her. "You seem different."
"We just had a day out together and first stop was this beauty parlor," She explained to her boyfriend.
"Sakurai-chan you look good," Minato said although he said it through a mouthful of food making Sakurai roll her eyes as she took the empty spot next to Sakura away from him.
"You shouldn't talk with your mouth full like that," Naruto told the boy. "Girls hate that."
"Oh, sorry," He quickly swallowed. "I guess you know a lot about girls then huh?"
Naruto grinned as he was about to take credit for it before Sakura elbowed him into the ribs. "And who was the one that told you that girls didn't like it when you did that Naruto?" She asked him.
"Uh yeah you did," Naruto said a little embarrassed but then smile at her. "But you always do things like that to help me become better. It's one of the reasons I love you so much."
"N-Naruto..." Sakura said now it was her turn to feel embarrassed but he only just smiled even more at her reaction.
Ayame couldn't help but give a small laugh, "Oh this is just so sweat. I remember the time when you were just a little boy and here you are all grown up with a girlfriend. You know Sakura even back in school he would always come here and talk about you."
"He did?" Sakura perked up at that.
"Oh yes some days he would just gush about you it was so cute." The ramen girl laughed.
"Ayame-neechan you don't need to go into that!" Naruto told her not wanting Sakura to know about how he used to talk to them about it. He did talk to them about everything because they were one of the few people that would listen to him.
"Oh I remember that one day he said he always liked your pink hair and wondered if it was as soft as it looked." Ayame laughed as Naruto wished he could just shrink down in size.
"So did you ever get a boyfriend Ayame-neechan?" Minato asked wondering as she had known Naruto for years. She was still young but still in her prime, plus he always thought she was cute so she had to have gotten one by now.
Instead the ramen girl's good mood suddenly dropped as her shoulders slumped at the weight of it all hit her. She had spent so much time working here with her father she didn't have much time to meet guys. She had been single and now that she really thought about it, the little boy she watched grow up had gotten into a relationship before her. Suddenly she felt a bit depressed about her life.
"Minato!" Sakurai scolded him seeing her reaction. "You shouldn't ask girls questions like that. Plus you should eat with your elbows in table it's bad manners."
Naruto and Sakura shared a look it seemed like Sakurai was doing the same thing with Minato that Sakura had done with Naruto. Both seemed to know what the other was thinking and shared a smile as Minato thanked her before removing his elbows and saying sorry to Ayame.
"Don't worry about it Ayame-san," Sakura told the older girl. "I'm sure there are plenty of guys that would want to date you. You're pretty and really nice I think you just need to get out a bit more and it wouldn't be hard."
"Maybe but I'm always here," She sighed. "Maybe I should get dad to hire more people so I can get some time off."
"Yeah plus mostly everyone I know is single," Naruto added trying to show she wasn't alone. "I mean I haven't seen anyone like Iruka-sensei, Gai-sensei or even Kakashi-sensei with anyone but then again Kakashi-sensei is getting kind of old he's like what thirty?" He asked Sakura.
Ayame blinked as she blushed remembering Kakashi's face that one time with her father. "Actually maybe an older guy isn't too bad..." She trailed off.
"Okay what is it?" Naruto demanded seeing that look. "Sakura-chan and myself have been trying to years to see Kakashi-sensei's face and every time it's brought up you act like that."
"Yeah I'm curious too," Sakura spoke up as this was something she too had always wondered. She and Naruto had tried various times to see his face over the years they had known him but each time they missed it. Ayame was one of the few people to have actually seen it and every time someone brought it up or when Kakashi showed up she would always blush at the mention or sight of him.
Minato and Sakurai perked up as well as they took had always wondered what Kakashi looked like without his mask.
"It's...well it's hard to explain," Ayame told them. "I couldn't really do it justice."
"Awww man," Naruto moaned slumping down along with everyone else once again the mystery of Kakashi's face seemed it would remain a mystery. Sakura and Sakurai decided to make their orders since they were hungry and they could use a change of topics. Ayame took the order and went straight to work.
"So how are things going with the new team you guys?" Naruto asked the two younger ones with them. "How's the new girl turning out?"
"Yuki? She's okay but she's kind of quiet," Sakurai admitted that it was hard to get a read on the girl. The girl didn't show much emotion or really talked that much. She wasn't hostile or anything but the girl was like a block of ice.
"She's weird," Minato said crossing his arms. "She's like that Sai guy only not as talkative."
Sakura and Naruto shared another look they both knew how much it had taken Sai to 'open' up, he was more open these days than when they first met but he was still learning the more fine points of interacting with people. It didn't help that ROOT tried to get rid of a person's emotions from a small age and doing who knew what to them. Sai never talked about his past in ROOT the only thing they ever knew was from that book he made about his brother before he died.
They didn't pry since if Sai didn't bring anything up it might be for a reason.
"She just needs time," Sakura told them. "Trust us we know what it's like trying to work with someone that just got out of ROOT. That place is designed to turn people into just weapons she most likely hasn't experience much else outside of it."
"So what can we do?" Sakurai asked.
Naruto snapped his fingers, "How about spend some time with her? Take her out and see what she likes, maybe if you spend time with her she'll open up more. These things take time but the most important things is for her to make friends."
"Well it's not like we know many people," Sakurai sighed. "Everyone I remember is several years older now."
"Yeah that does kind of suck." Minato said looking at his ramen bowl. In his memories he had of Naruto's past he knew he didn't have those he would have called best friends or really close but there were times he used to ditch class with guys like Kiba, Shikamaru and Choji but they hadn't hung out together after school or anything.
"That only guys I know that are your age is Konohamaru, Udon and Moegi. Maybe you guys can introduce her to them and the six of you could hang out?" Naruto offered knowing how much friendships meant to him so making new friends for them would be important.
"I do need to show off the rasengan to him and I got something I'm nearly done with," Minato grinned.
"It might help to hang out with another girl," Sakurai admitted as having a new female friend would be nice and maybe together they could help Yuki in breaking out of her shell.
"Although we do have training and a D class mission tomorrow," Minato said thinking about it. He really hoped to have his little surprise ready by then. He had been working on this seal technique and he needed it to be tested out. He tried with shadow clones but they didn't work, for some reason having the same chakra was the problem. It took him a day of trying and then looking up a scroll to figure that part out.
He really wanted to get good at seals and the techniques behind it, but a lot of the stuff was kind of over his head. So he just went on instinct, somehow once he got the basic understanding down he started working with it until it just 'felt right' to him. Unfortunately he needed to improve on that feeling as most times it backfired on him but he was certain this would work. Well he hoped it worked at least.
"Hey didn't Yamato-sensei say he wanted us to try something with the Kyubi chakra we have?" He suddenly remembered.
"You know he has a name," Naruto told him as every time Kurama heard that word he could feel the fox inside of him almost grumble in response.
"Oh sorry," Minato bowed his head scratching the back of it. "I still getting used to that name."
"Just remember that he's a good friend of mine now and so you should use his name," Naruto told him placing his hand on the young boy's hair ruffling his hair slightly.
Sakura watched him and smiled, he had come a long way and looking at how he was now with Minato she could see him as a good big brother. For a brief moment she wondered if he would also make for a good father one day with his attitude but she quickly pushed that thought away. She was in no way ready to even think about things like that.
"So what's this new training?" Sakura asked wondering about it and hoping to change her focus to that.
"He wanted us to try and learn to control it," Sakurai told her as she was a bit worried about it. The last time hadn't been fun and she still couldn't remember all the details. Also she planned to hopefully keep her distance from Minato in case another incident like last time happened.
"Hey does Kurama have any helpful tips for us?" Minato asked looking up at Naruto.
"I can ask," Naruto closed his eyes as everyone watched. It was odd knowing that he was talking to a giant chakra fox creature inside of himself. Sometimes when he did this you could see slight facial expressions. Not for the first time Sakura wished she had Ino's ability, she would like to know what went on in his head. Naruto's eyes popped open and he scowled, "Well that wasn't helpful."
"Why, what did he say?" Minato asked.
"Figure it out for yourself I'm trying to get some sleep in here and you're too noisy." Naruto said exactly what the fox told him. He also said that it was impossible for him to tell how to control his charka as that was like telling someone else how to control their blood. It was just natural for Kurama to control his chakra because he was his chakra.
"What!?" Minato yelled out. "Thanks a lot for the help you lazy fox!"
Naruto's face suddenly twisted to look at Minato as his eyes changed as did his voice take on a deeper tone. "What was that boy?"
Minato flinched back before Naruto took control again.
"Damn it Kurama I told you not to do that!" Naruto hated it when Kurama popped out like that without at least warning him. This was his body and Kurama was the guest in here now so the least he could do was behave.
"I hate it when he does that," Minato muttered. "I swear he does it on purpose."
Naruto couldn't really argue about that as they all finished their meal. The four of them left the place together after paying both the boys felt filled at least for now. Sakura didn't know where they put it all, although she had noticed that Sakurai ate a bit more than she had as well. It was a little odd but Sakura shrugged it off.
"Where are you two going next?" Naruto asked them.
"Most likely to take drop off the bags at home," Sakura told him. "I don't want to carry them all day and it's on the way to this nice little sweat shop. I was thinking of getting something for desert after dinner tonight."
"That does sound nice," Sakurai did like a small sweat after a good meal.
"You want me to carry that for you then?" Naruto offered. "I mean that's what boyfriends are supposed to do right?"
Sakura smiled she didn't want him to feel obligated as they weren't that heavy but it was nice of him to offer. So she handed him the bags after all it was a boyfriend's duty to carry the girl's bags for her. They fell in step together started talking going into their own little world.
"Um...you want me to carry any?" Minato asked Sakurai and then quickly added. "Just as a friend! I mean we're teammates and should help each other out right?"
Sakurai had a feeling he wanted more than that but she didn't want to give him any false hope. She had no idea what to feel about romance and needed time to really know herself first. So she met him halfway and gave him one of her bags it was a compromise and she felt it was a safe way to let him help her out even a little. When they reached the Haruno home they found Mebuki Haruno sweeping the front steps.
The matriarch of the Haruno family saw her two daughters walking with two familiar faces.
"Oh are you four on a double date?" She smirked at them.
"I am not on a date!" Sakurai shouted out blushing as she quickly grabbed her bag from Minato.
"No mother we just ran into Naruto and Minato and we had a meal together. Naruto offered to help me carry my bags home as well when we were done." Sakura explained to her mother.
"Well that was thoughtful of him," She beamed at Naruto who grinned and scratched the back of his head a little nervous. She wasn't just the mother of his good friend anymore but he mother of his girlfriend he suddenly felt very self conscious when he was around her now. He wanted her approval after all and didn't want anything to really screw something up.
"Well I was just trying to be a good boyfriend to Sakura-chan is all." Naruto told her honestly.
"Aww isn't that just sweat of you," She smiled at him and then looked to Sakura. "You really should invite Naruto-kun here over Sakura. In fact why don't you both invite the boys over sometime for helping out."
"I-I will," Sakura said although mentally she put 'eventually' on the end of that because she at least wanted Naruto a little to herself before she let her parents get into him. Although she knew her parents liked Naruto she wanted Naruto to get a bit more used to them. Already she could tell he was nervous and decided to get him out of there because when Naruto got nervous sometimes he did or said things he didn't mean to.
"Well let's go put this stuff away first," Sakura said quickly grabbing Naruto's hand to take him inside.
"Just don't do anything in your room hun, I'm still too young to be a grandmother," Mebuki called after her daughter.
"Mother!" Sakura's embarrassed voice yelled out through the front door.
"Mom that was cheap," Sakurai told the older woman.
"Oh let me have my fun dear," she said smiling. "This is her first relationship so I have to have a little fun with her. Plus I know they wouldn't do anything so soon, so how about you two?"
"I got to get this away too!" Sakurai said taking Minato inside so her mother couldn't say anything to him either. She wanted to get out of there before her mother said anything just as embarrassing or filling Minato's head with unnecessary things. She would make him wait inside while she quickly placed her bag in her room and quickly got out again.
Mebuki watched them go inside and yelled out to them. "Just remember you two are too young for certain things."
"Mother!" Sakurai screamed out.
Mebuki only laughed a little as she continued sweeping the front steps, sometimes being a mother was fun when you knew how to have fun.
Next up Chapter 21: Resonance