, the space between dream and reality
Disclaimer: Not mine. Kishimoto's.
Warning: some light lime content in the second half (rated R to be sure)Then.
“Stop hiding in your hair,” Ino snapped at her once in frustration, and then, smiling to soften the words, tucked it behind her ears for her. Her hair was sleek in her hands, and oh
, the color. “You look a lot prettier this way.”
After that, Sakura always made sure her hair stayed tied back when Ino was around; once their paths crossed on the way to a class and Ino caught her hastily fumbling with a clip. “The clasp’s broken,” Sakura said quickly, even though Ino hadn’t mentioned it and wasn’t going to.
So when Sakura came up to her, with the new hard cast to her face but with her hands shoving hair into its place, Ino smiled.
And then Sakura’s old smile, so soft and careful, bloomed on her face.
She woke up the next morning, feeling warm and bright inside. She promptly rolled over to bury her face into her pillow, but she did it cheerfully. Sakura, you idiot, she thought. She was a silly girl, but things were going to be all right now. She’d have to do something to Sakura to make her realize she couldn’t do that
to her, but she’d apologized, hadn’t she?
Okay, the smile. That was like an apology, or an apology’s prequel anyway.
Well, it was
, Ino told the sinking feeling in her stomach, until it overtook her despite her efforts.
The realization hit her then, and she blinked. All in one moment, she jolted upright and twisted to slam her fist into her pillow. She had not
, oh no she hadn’t, she was going to go over to Sakura’s right now and pound on her door until she appeared. The expression on her face would be uncertain, of course, because they had only just made up and Sakura wouldn’t want Ino to be angry at her again so soon. “Hello,” she would say softly, in just that tone, and Ino would remember her apology.
Her fist sunk into the pillow a second and a third time for good measure.
“I didn’t,” Ino whispered furiously. Her pride felt particularly flat at that moment, because she accepted it with a sigh: she’d dreamed it. Sakura was still stupid and annoying and ugly, and she had dreamed about her.
Ino drew her knees up to her chest, scowling at the opposite wall. Fine, she had dreamed about Sakura. Fine, she had woken up riding high on the dream. And oh, all right, she felt maybe the tiniest bit wistful. But there was one other important thing:
She was not going to cry.
Ino hovers in the space between sleep and waking, snug and content but hollow underneath her breastbone. She deliberately winds herself tighter in sleep, spinning out the rest of the dream before she loses the thread to consciousness.
Sakura smiles slyly in her mind’s eye. “Ino-pig,” she whispers, her hands curving on her shoulders. Her thumbs trace out the fine line of her collarbone, and Ino’s skin prickles.
Ino lets her hands, the one she imagines into Sakura’s, slip gently down the slope of her breasts, callused fingers circling around the peaks. Trembling a little, she draws one hand down her stomach, pausing at her bellybutton, then lower.“Hah,” says Sakura, mouth a smirk. “I can kick your ass at this.”
Ino snorts, arm dropping slack across her chest. Yeah right. Now there was a way to take yourself out of the moment.
Something better would be -Sakura smiles hesitantly. “I-I’ve never done this before, Ino-chan.”
Right.Sakura doesn’t say anything at all, because that’s a lot easier on the whole.
Better.Sakura doesn’t say anything at all, just looks at Ino and touches her fingers lightly to her thigh. Ino shivers then, almost violently, and brings her mouth down to cover Sakura’s.
No, it doesn’t work at all, because now she’s fully awake. Now she can’t suspend enough belief for it. She tosses off a quick finale—“You know, Ino-pig, I think I might love you. Let’s do this again sometime.”
Even with the insult and the might
, it rings untrue and Ino greets the morning with a scowl.