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redeyedavenger in narukorp

Puppies'n'stuff [Sachiko, Kakami]

backdated to before certain rumors about Kakami begin circulating


Kakami wasn't in the house she was now sharing with Rin. (Still so weird to think, that Kakami and Rin-san were living together. Because for the longest time, Kakami had been such the bachelor, and now she was living with a tattooed guy...) The place was actually empty, so that meant Rin-san was on shift or whatnot. Sachiko, now in search of her old sensei, reflected upon the fact that at least she had another chance in which to practice the tracking skills she had been honing while playing a version of 'hide and seek' with Konohako and Moegi throughout the village. (Sachiko had a strong suspicion when Asuka made up this assignment/game/thing, the elder Sarutobi did it so she could go off and take a nap or something while her students were running amok around the village.) But the practice was useful. For all of Asuka's...Asuka-ness, the woman knew her stuff.

Dammitt.

But that was neither here nor there, not really. Sachiko was looking for her sensei more because she hadn't seen Kakami since finding Mareo and wanting Aki's help in getting the necessary supplies. It was still too cold for bringing Mareo out or doing more than stroking the soft, scaly body as he reclined in the tank. In warmer weather, she planned on spending more time with him. He just looked so sad in the tank, all by himself save for the company of the crickets that were his food. Really, the only times she took him out to let him coil around her neck was when she cleaned out his cage. ...Okay, those weren't the only times. But those were most of the times (thusly he had a very clean enclosure). But otherwise, he seemed happy, which made her happy.

Which in turn helped to tolerate Neko when she started sleeping on Sachiko's face. Sachiko went along with it, because of the conspicuous lack of a lot of heating. She did have it on a little, more for Mareo's sake, but she also wrapped the warm side of the tank in towels to help hold the heat, and only put a single towel around the cool side to keep out the worst of the cold. She and Neko, when Neko wasn't trying to smother her human, cuddled together in the futon. It was a nice way to spend the night, though sometimes she thought it could be a little better...

A mental shrug ended that train of thought. She was looking for Kakami, and tracking someone through an urban environment was never easy. Much easier outside the village, or just in places of non-peopled terrain.

After over an hour of searching, she finally came across Kakami - who wasn't alone. The white-haired jounin looked to have the entire cadre of puppies with her. And older dogs. Hm.

"Yo," Sachiko called, in blatant imitation. (For it was flattery, was it not?)



Kakami gave a slight wave as almost the entire troupe of puppies started barking and running towards the girl. Excited tails wagged vigorously as wet noses pushed themselves against Sachiko's legs and feet, inspecting her scent. Kakami and a few of the older dogs approached at a more relaxed pace.

"Yo back." the woman greeted back, with hands in her pockets and a smile behind her mask. Most of the puppies had been satisfied and trundled happily back to stand with their mother, but two of them seemed insistent to stay at Sachiko's feet - one seemed to still need time to catalog her scent while the other seemed to be waiting expectantly for a petting of some kind.

Kakami cocked her head to the side just slightly. "Fancy seeing you here." she said, with a quiet light-heartedness. She was rather happy to see Sachiko, whether by chance or the girl's intention, especially since Kakami had been intending on dropping by eventually to wish her a happy new year.



The initial small furry wave may've gotten their noseful, and Sachiko was saved from cold wet noses by the weight-hiding legwarmers. And the long pants she wore were regular pants, not the uniform navies; she needed to attain chuunin before she got those. Two more years... In response to Kakami, she shrugged and then crouched down to face the puppies still at her feet. The one hoping for a petting got it, while the one giving her a third-degree sniffing ended up getting both of Sachiko's hands rubbed all over its face to help it with scent-gathering. (Hey, it worked for the Inuzuka dogs.)

She straightened and dusted her hands on her knees before reaching into the hip pouch and withdrawing a small package wrapped with bright, cheerful paper and even a shiny bow. "Merry much-belated Christmas, sensei."



Kakami took the package with just a slightly surprised blink of an eye. Then she smiled a bit sheepishly at the Uchiha. "Thank you...and I've one for you as well. Stashed...somewhere."

Had there been days when she was just a little better at this exchanging gift thing? Kakami wasn't sure (and there did seem to be rather many holidays that required giving of presents, or at least it seemed that way sometimes). Nevertheless, she ripped off the paper quickly, balling it up in one hand while the newly excited puppies watched hopefully for a treat or a new toy. The gift itself...

...Made Kakami chuckle as she unfolded the socks scattered with little pugs from their neat square. Something to wear with her pajamas while it was still cold, perhaps. Kakami looked up and smiled cheerily at Sachiko, her eye twinkling a little with amusement.

"Thank you." she said sincerely. "They're...cute."



"You're welcome, sensei," Sachiko replied with a slight grin. "I figured that since Pakkun was the one of your dogs I've seen the most of, going with a pug seemed like a good choice." She gave the aforementioned pug a nod while the puppies danced in anticipation of something. "Don't stress about a present, too. I know you'll get it to me, eventually."

It was just how Kakami worked. Habitually late with everything that wasn't life or death. When Sachiko was younger, it had been annoying, but now it was taken as a good sign that nothing dire was happening. Kind of like a barometer in a way.



Kakami slightly grinned at the first statement - and Pakkun seemed amused as well, although he only briefly showed it before giving the puppies just a slightly dignified, disapproving look for their noisy and excitable behavior. The socks were placed in an empty pocket before Kakami gave the older dogs a few brief orders and then the puppies were herded off to start running in what looked a bit like laps.

"They need to burn off some energy," the woman explained, just a tad wryly. "Unless, you know, they become more wound up from the run." She gave a brief glance at the dogs that was accompanied by an equally brief, but fond smile, before looking back at Sachiko. "So, did you hunt me down just to give me the present?"

Her voice was light as she worded the question, but with a slightly more serious undertone, in case Sachiko did need something else. Just the present delivery would have been fine and if Sachiko wanted to stay and watch the puppies, it would be just as good really. Kakami would have liked to spend time with the girl just for the sake of spending time...but getting started on something like that could potentially be awkward. Dynamics were just a little different than being just teammates or even 'hanging out' with a subordinate rather than with a student, even if technically it was a former student. She should just get over it and learn really. Sakurai would probably appreciate it and she liked to think Sachiko might as well.



Sachiko nodded in new understanding when Kakami explained why the puppies were running laps. And the smile discernible through the mask made Sachiko think of a couple other things. One, how Kakami still managed to be expressive with it on, and two, Sachiko'd known the woman for almost seven years and had yet to see the woman's face. The momentary look Sachiko threw Kakami-sensei was considering, but there was a tinge of amusement to the seriousness. Maybe she could enlist Rin-san's help...? Even if the man didn't realize it. She'd talk to Asuka, maybe explain it as a mission to practice her stealth. Or! Better yet - pitch the idea to Kureno-sensei as a genjutsu challenge, especially considering Kakami had a Sharingan.

...Ooo, this could be fun~ And if she succeeded, she'd show Sakurai and Naruko what Kaka-sensei actually looked like!

All this thought took no more time than to give Kakami that thoughtfully amused-serious look. "Not just to give you the present," she explained, and when she saw the faint tensing of Kakami's muscles, Sachiko received a sudden flash of insight of how she seemed to go searching for Kakami only when there was a problem. At least this time the innate caution was unwarranted? "Wanted to see how you and the puppies were, too, as I haven't seen you for what feels like an age. They've gotten bigger."



"Yes, well, they tend to do that." Kakami stated, by way of light agreement. "How are your animals doing?"

Kakami wasn't very big on cats and she definitely did not like snakes but they were Sachiko's pets and it would be nice if they were doing well, even if only for the girl's sake. Plus, it was a reasonably smooth continuation of a casual conversation, which was something that Kakami was partly hoping for. It would be good to connect with Sachiko in a different way. Perhaps a better one? Kakami wasn't sure that was what you'd call it; nearly everything else that had happened between her and Sachiko had needed to happen at some point. Still...the woman liked the idea of seeing Sachiko for the sake of seeing her.



"They're doing well. Neko likes to try and smother me in my sleep when she's not curling up with me under the covers at night. She spends a lot of the time in the sun while it's up. I don't think she's ventured out much on her own since it's gotten colder. Probably prefers the warmth of the apartment to being outside."

Sachiko watched the puppies, continuing to catalog the differences between them and the Inuzuka's puppies. The Inuzuka puppies were more rambunctious, she thought, but then that could be because the human clan members tended to roughhouse and play on all fours with the dogs. Kiba had explained how it helped strengthen bonds between them.

"Mareo is doing well, and I'm being really careful about maintaining his environment so as to regulate his temperature. He sometimes strikes me as looking a little sad, being alone in his enclosure. So I take him out when I don't think it's too cold inside or I'm cleaning the aquarium. He likes his 'place' around my neck, though he likes crawling around, too. He's really tame - never once has tried to bite me. I like him," she finished with a slight smile. He was a cute little snake. After the visit with Kakami, she'd see about introducing him and Neko. Who knows, maybe they would get along. But just in case she didn't, she'd need to figure out some sort of barrier between them. Chakra, maybe? To avoid any bites or scratches.



Kakami chuckled, just slightly at the cat comment. She could understand that; there were times when the dogs tended to pile all over her bed if they could get away with it. She'd never had a dog "smother" her however (which she took to mean that the cat sat on Sachiko's head); Sachiko made it sound like a somewhat regular occurrence so perhaps it was just a feline habit.

"And are they getting along together? Neko and Mareo?" Kakami inquired. She didn't have much experience in getting two different species to cooperate; once occasionally had trouble with a pack of dogs when a new dog was introduced but that was more to do with rearranging pack order to make the new member fit. A snake and a cat though...they both seemed like such solitary creatures. Although, it sounded as if they both were social enough with Sachiko.



Sachiko tucked a long lock of hair behind her ear. Since deciding she would grow it out, the next question was how long did she want it? Not so long it could give an enemy a handhold. Maybe to just below the shoulders? She'd think on it. "I suppose, if you count how she'll spend hours on top of his tank. I can't decide if it's because she likes the warmth from the heat lamps or because she's plotting ways to get inside. They stare at each other a lot. I haven't let them actually physically interact at all because I don't know if they'll fight and I don't want them hurt.

"How are you doing, sensei?" she asked after a short lull. "I mean, I guess things are going well, but I haven't seen or heard from you or Rin-san for a while. Had any missions?"



Kakami nodded as she listened to Sachiko's first statements, although she could offer little advice when it came down to it. Dogs in some ways, did seem to be a little easier to predict...or perhaps that was only because Kakami had spent a great deal of her life with them.

At Sachiko's questions, Kakami glanced at the running puppies who showed no signs of slowing down, and then back at the girl with a quiet smile and a half shrug. "Things are good. I've had a couple missions, but nothing really out of the ordinary." Nothing that could constitute as more difficult or dangerous than was usual, at least. And there had been enough time to work on the puppies' training in between too. All these things took energy - sometimes more, sometimes less - but she hadn't really minded that much. Her and Rin's lives had definitely set themselves in a rhythm that was comfortable, which was probably why Kakami hadn't really been hanging around most of the places she used too - it was just nice to go home after all - and also why she hadn't really gone out to see anyone else for a bit. She'd really had hardly noticed hm, perhaps she should make a bit of an effort in the next few days to reconnect with a few people.

"And you?" she added, realizing she hadn't really asked Sachiko how she was - just if she'd needed anything.



"I've been keeping generally busy," Sachiko began. She told Kakami about the training stuff Asuka was doing and how more often than not it came down to Sachiko being the 'target' in target-practice, or in pretty much any kind of skills ("On the bright side, I've gotten very, very good at getting free of knots without using chakra."), the hide-and-seek training that was to work on their tracking skills, along with other exercises and how in general if Asuka was teaching something for which Sachiko already had an aptitude, or picked up on it quickly, Asuka then delegated Sachiko to then do the explaining.

"Reason being, she told me, I'm not going to really understand it until I'm able to explain it to someone else. It's a pain. First off because Asuka-taichou's really grinding us on the basics, so it's simple stuff that I'm having no problems with. Secondly, Moegi's bright so he can also grasp things with relative ease, but Konohako on the other hand... I can't say she's stupid, because she's not, she's just..." Sachiko trailed off, trying to think up a word. "...a Sarutobi." Meaning, stubborn and contrary and just overall frustrating. Probably why Asuka made Sachiko explain stuff to the girl, instead of doing it herself unless she had to.

Sachiko also commented on how training with Kureno was continuing, not saying too much because there wasn't too much to be said. Progress was purposefully slow on learning to mindwalk. Then she went into her own personal training regimen and how the running with (or without) Leigh was helping her endurance, and how she was keeping up on her projectile practice though not at Tentsuke's range. That range would be ideal if not for the awkwardness of knowing that it was his cousin there and not him.

"I've also been doing some thinking about jutsu and elements and applications, and I got to wondering a bit about chidori. Is the sparky-ball the only way to do it?"



Kakami smirked, just a tad, at Sachiko's description of Asuka's teaching techniques and her new teammates because it was a little funny and because most of it sounded just so much like the older Sarutobi...Kakami didn't exactly empathize but it was understandable that Sachiko would be just a bit annoyed.

As for the girl's other activities, Kakami gave a short nod of approval as Sachiko explained what else she had been doing. But it was the last words Sachiko spoke that made Kakami blink and smile again. Sparky-ball? Sounded like a very...Naruko-esque way to put it to the woman and made her, for a brief moment, miss the sunny blonde rather dearly.

"No, it's not," Kakami answered, glancing at the Uchiha, voice slow and considering. "I did develop another use for it and if you wish, we can train together and I'll teach you."

It would be nice to be teaching again and it might help Kakami somewhat as well. Her training with Kureno had fallen off somewhat and he had been her most dependable sparring partner - it would be good to have another one. That, and it would give her a chance to see Sachiko's improvements as well.



Another use? That immediately captured Sachiko's interest. "I'd like that," she said. "I've been wanting to do some experimenting with it myself, and not just in my hybrid jutsu, but I also don't want to end up electrocuting myself without someone around in case something goes badly." She did not honestly believe she would electrocute herself, but better to be safe. She had obligations, which meant no screwing herself up.



That perk of interest in Sachiko's demeanor helped to deepen the wish to teach her again. "Then it's settled." Kakami said with a sure voice and a small, but firm nod.

"Give me a few days and we can get started." It wasn't a technique she'd ever had to use that often and while Kakami could preform it just as fluidly as any jutsu she had memorized, there was a decided difference between performing something and teaching it, step by step, to another. She'd need a little bit to take it apart and put it back together, if only to be sure she really did know it from every aspect.



Haa, training with Kakami-sensei would be awesome. Learning something new was icing. And Asuka-taichou---

Nuts. Sachiko deflated some. "I forgot. Asuka-taichou's twitchy about my learning advanced jutsu until she's confident I've got the basics down," she explained to Kakami. "And she doesn't believe me when I said I'd already been paper-tested for elemental affinity. But it couldn't hurt for you to ask her?" And if Asuka still said no--she'd want to know the reasoning behind why Sachiko 'had' to learn something advanced and 'experimentation' was a guaranteed method of receiving a resounding 'no' as a reply--then maybe Sachiko and Kakami could come up with something else to work on together.

Time spent with Sakurai did much to make her miss her old team.



Kakami nodded. "Then I'll do that." she promised. She probably should have thought of bringing up to Asuka in the first place as the woman was now Sachiko's official teacher. She didn't really anticipate too much of a disagreement from the older Sarutobi, but it was better to just make sure and not tick the other woman off - not that she minded getting on Asuka's nerves for fun now and again, but that was somewhat beside the point.

"Well, you certainly are going to have a crowded schedule." she stated with a warm, light tone. So it was good that they would be training together - it would give them time to see each other regularly, something Kakami definitely looked forward too. And perhaps she could extend a similar invitation to Sakurai now and again (more of a spar, perhaps, to see how much he kept improving, if the boy had time).



"I've had a crowded schedule for some a bit of time now," Sachiko answered with a bit of dry humor. Between Asuka's training, Kureno's training, the art class, the calligraphy class, and her own training, she found it a little amazing she still had free time. Granted the classes were only twice-weekly, and Kureno's training once to sometimes three times a week depending on what they worked on, but it was still a lot. "It's been...interesting. I think not a year or two ago, I was the pariah with nothing to do. While I'm maybe something less of an outcast now, I've got considerably more to do that's--useful, I suppose."



"It can't really hurt," Kakami said, her voice encouraging. Being busy, seeking training...it always helped if only to give one a sense of purpose. It was on the tip of her tongue to tell Sachiko, again, how proud the woman was of her but considering how awkwardly she'd seemed to feel about it last time, Kakami held it in. For now. She'd see how Sachiko did with the Lightening Blade, and who knows? They could probably work on something else after that. Kakami definitely looked forward to it all.

All this passed through her mind as she glanced at the puppies - who definitely looked like they were starting to calm down. Good; then they'd be less likely distracted by every single new thing they saw or smelled.



Sachiko also noticed the puppies were slowing down, and figured it wouldn't be too much before the entire pack was herded on home. That was fine as she hadn't anticipated a really long visit anyway. But there was one more thing to ask before she went. "Is Rin-san doing well? He's not overworking himself like Sakurai has a tendency to do?"



"Not by much." Kakami said, her voice only just slightly wry. There were times when Rin did tend to forget the time because he was involved in something or the other, but for the most part he was home when he was supposed to (although in all honesty she didn't know exactly what his schedule was like when she was gone).

And Sakurai overworking himself didn't sound too off the mark, which was another reason to go pester him a bit for simple things like going out to lunch - which oddly was something she'd done often to Kureno too, after the two of them had become friends.

"How is Sakurai, by the way?" Kakami asked. It sounded as if Sachiko might have visited him recently more recently than she had at any rate. "I haven't seen him a while."



"Busy," Sachiko responded immediately, and then smiled wryly. "Between the two of us, we've been having to schedule hang-out time." And she proceeded to tell him about how he had helped her with genjutsu, and some other rather normal things while answering any questions Kakami interjected with. When the canines began making their way over, she began wrapping up the conversation.

"It's been good to see you again, sensei," she said quietly.



"And you." Kakami answered hoping the warmth of her smile could heard in her voice. "And fortunately, we'll probably be seeing each other again soon."

The puppies were jogging over, tongues lolling out of their mouths as they panted. The couple of the quicker pups glanced at Sachiko eagerly before sitting in front of Kakami, tails wagging excitedly before being joined by the rest. Kakami crouched to give pettings and allow the sniffing and licking of her fingers. She glanced up at Sachiko for a moment before she reached out to the dogs to exchange brief good byes with the girl before Sachiko turned to go. Kakami watched her for a moment, almost absentmindedly rubbing dog heads that bumped against her hands, feeling pleased. Both for the visit and for the training that was soon to come.

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