Sakura Haruno and Ino Yamanaka. Both of them secretly missed each other. They missed the countless night spent awake, eating sweets and sharing confessions. The afternoons spent training -- falling on the ice and laughing with each other.
Ino missed Sakura’s obsession with the color pink. She missed painting her friend’s hair, while smelling it when she wasn’t paying attention -- it smelled like peach and roses
Sakura missed going to the flower shop owned by Ino’s family, missed Ino’s voice when she was teaching Sakura the meaning of each flower -- so smart… she still kept the red hairband Ino gave her, keeping it with her during the ice skating competitions, like a lucky charm.
And now they were staring at each other, angrily. As rivals.
“Ino,” Sakura muttered.
“Sakura,” Ino replied and the pink haired girl could swear her eyes were as sharp as knives. “You planned this, didn’t you? The same hotel, just to piss me off.”
“I don’t care about you enough for that,” Sakura lied. She did care about Ino, more than she did about most people and things. The fact was that she simply didn’t know that Ino would stay in that hotel. “At least, not anymore,” Sakura whispered, for no one except herself to listen.
“You better not be on my way, Haruno.”
“Same for you.”
Sakura sighed as soon as Ino left. She thought the whole world spun around her and Sakura would like to think that Ino was just another spoiled, egoist girl, but… she was right. The world spun around her. Well… at least, Sakura’s world.
Ino got to her room, listening to her thoughts and her heels’ noise only. Sakura. Sakura on the same hotel she was in. It was like a mix of Ino’s dreams and nightmares. Sakura’s fragrant pink hair, her soft skin, her tiny body and her strong hands.
Sakura, Sakura, Sakura.
Ino quickly got up and put her training clothes on. She needed to take her mind off things -- off Sakura Haruno, specifically. In five minutes, Ino was already walking towards the elevator. She could already feel her mind and body relaxing… until she got into the elevator.
The first thing Ino saw when she got in was the color pink.
“Sakura!” she exclaimed, so loudly that it was almost a scream. “What are you doing here?!”
“I’m going to train,” Sakura simply replied, while the elevator’s door closed.
“Oh, are you going to train?!” Ino said, her voice full of sarcasm. “You aren’t, I am going to. I already talked to my coach.”
“Oh, you didn’t…” Sakura was wearing a malefic smile on her lips.
“My coach sent me a confirmation that the training room was reserved for us. See?” Sakura showed her phone’s screen to Ino, who sighed. Kakashi-sensei really sent her a message informing that the training room was reserved for them from 2pm to 3pm.
“Fine! I’ll have to check if there’s something else I can do to relax…”
On the third floor, Sakura finally spoke again.
“We can share the room.”
Ino didn’t know if what she was feeling was positive or not. Sakura still cared about her, even if just a little, but she wasn’t sure if it was enough. She didn’t know if she should smile about it. She didn’t know if it was worth the risk.
The elevator’s door opened and both of them walked out of it, towards the same direction, but not looking at each other.
Sakura opened the door of the training room, finding her coach, Kakashi Hatake, there.
“Ino Yamanaka?” He asked, confused, staring at Sakura and raising an eyebrow. Sakura nodded.
“We are going to share the room.”
Kakashi agreed and started explaining the choreography to Sakura, while Ino practiced some meters away.
Sakura started dancing. Third step and she lost a part of her focus. Fourth step, she noticed how Ino looked like an angel; fifth, Ino’s beautiful thighs and waist; sixth, she forgot the next step and fell on the ice.
Kakashi immediately helped her to get up. She could feel Ino’s gaze on her.
“You’re too distracted,” Kakashi noted, while Sakura nodded, agreeing, without an explanation.
“I’ll work on it.”
Sakura kept dancing. She made a few mistakes, but, thankfully, she didn’t -- physically -- fall again.
One hour had passed and they had to leave the room. Right after they did, Ino held Sakura’s wrist, so the pink haired girl couldn’t walk, then said -- surprisingly calm:
“Sakura, come with me.”
Also surprisingly, Sakura followed Ino without questioning. They walked for a few seconds until they got to an empty part of the hotel. Totally alone.
“Why couldn’t you focus today?”
Sakura panicked as soon as she heard it. That question was one of those she didn’t want to answer.
“I… I’m not good at focusing--”
“That’s a lie,” Ino interrupted. “You’re one of the best ice skaters I’ve ever known and you’re great at making a performance while ignoring the audience’s noises. Why are you lying to me?” Ino could hear the silence. “Is it because I was there?”
“Do I look like I care about you that much?” Sakura had a sarcastic smile on her face, but Ino knew it was fake. Ino still remembered how to read Sakura’s eyes.
“Yes. Yes, I do.”
Sakura’s eyes were wide opened now; she no longer could fake a smile. Ino answering her like that was… unexpected.
“Yes, it was because you were there!” Sakura exclaimed. “You’re always acting like you hate me, so I thought I had no other option except pretending the feeling is mutual!”
“It wasn’t your only option!”
Sakura laughed, but it wasn’t a joyful laugh. It was a painfully ironic laugh.
“If it wasn’t, what would you have done?”
Ino impulsively opened her mouth to answer, but she closed it again. The words didn’t come. She would’ve done the same thing.
“You hated me for no reason,” Sakura kept talking. “I didn’t know why, but I knew you enough to know that, if you hated me, you wouldn’t tell me anything, so it wasn’t worth it to insist. So I just kept going with that lie, that fake hatred, because I didn’t know what else to do!” Sakura’s eyes were so painful that she seemed like she was at the verge of a breakdown. “I loved you, and you left me.”
Those words were like a punch on Ino’s stomach.
“You… you loved me?”
“Yes!” Sakura didn’t seem to have full control of herself anymore. “I loved you for years! For me, it was always you, but apparently it had never been me for you!”
Now, Ino was the one who was laughing.
“It had never been you?” Ino repeated, in a mocking tone. “It had always been you. I’ve always looked up to you, you were so fucking important. You were so sweet and at the same time, so strong… I’ve been loving you since we were little kids! And you say it had never been you. And the reason why I seemed to hate you was because of that Uchiha boy, and I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t see you looking at him with so much love, I couldn’t see you holding his hand, I couldn’t see him kissing you, while I wanted you to look at me like that. When I wanted to hold your hand, when I wanted to kiss you instead. I just… couldn’t.”
“Did you… did you really feel like that?” During all this time, Sakura had no idea. “You shouldn’t feel like that. Because I’ve never really loved him. It was like… all this was something compulsive. It felt like I was making a social job. Keeping up to people’s expectations -- having a boyfriend, studying a lot… you shouldn’t want me to look at you the same way I looked at him, because everything was so fake and empty… he was so cold and was in love with someone else. And… well, I was in love with someone else too.”
“Yes,” Sakura answered, with a tiny smile on her face. “I was in love with a stubborn blonde haired girl who used to dye my hair and who taught me flower language.”
“Oh…” Ino’s face suddenly got red.
“Yeah. I wished this blonde haired girl kissed me soon, but apparently she’s really fucking dense.”
Sakura was laughing and Ino was impressed. She didn’t know her old best friend was so good at flirting. She had never showed those skills when she was with the Uchiha bastard.
“Maybe she won’t disappoint you anymore,” Ino replied, getting closer to Sakura, who made the same movement.
Now they were very close to each other. Both of them could feel each other’s breathing on their faces. So close, but it still wasn’t enough. They needed more.
Ino put her hands on Sakura’s waist, pushing her closer.
“I’m happy I won’t have to wait anymore.”
Smiling, Ino made the distance between them disappear. Finally, they kissed. And it felt like an explosion for both of them. It was like their chests were drums, so loud and beating so fast. Ino felt like Sakura’s lips were the whole galaxy, so many things to explore, so many feelings… Sakura felt like Ino’s lips were like a calm ocean. They gave her a peaceful feeling, like getting home after a long work day.
A peaceful feeling she was looking for her whole life.
“Ino?” Sakura whispered. Their lips now were a little more distant, even though they were still touching a little bit.
“You feel like home.”