Sakura’s on the ground, dropping quicker than Ino could blink.
Not getting up, not moving— not dead yet but definitely dying.
Seeing the blood that bubbles from her stomach is what has Ino reeling into reacting. she decapitates her enemy with barely a glance and little more than a harsh flick of her wrist. He wasn’t a risk, not even close to a challenge. But she’d been bored, antsy, itching for something more than just a spar. But that didn't matter. He didn’t matter. Not anymore.
Ino’s— she’s never learnt medical ninjutsu. Tried once, but all it took was that thinly veiled horrified look from the medic attempting to teach her and she quickly turned to other pursuits.
Sage, Ino wishes she kept with it now. They’re in the middle of a live battlefield. Their medics are minutes, possibly hours away. And Sakura doesn’t have that long. Not even close.
Sakura's body violently spasms and Ino doesn’t have any choice. With a quick, one-handed sign she brings raw, undiluted flame to her hand hovering over Sakura’s chest. She presses the fire firm against her skin, searing the wound on her abdomen shut. And not even Sakura, stubborn, strong Sakura can silence the primal scream of pain at the burning of her flesh.
It tears into the air like ripping fabric. It breaks something in Ino, too. Tears gather in her eyes that she can’t allow to fall.
Gaze darting around wildly, feverishly. Sakura fumbles at her stomach for Ino’s hand. No longer holding fire, she’s quick to give it to her, thinking Sakura's looking for comfort or an anchor but—
Somehow both comfortably cool and warm, there’s telltale medical chakra gathering at their entwined fingers. Not moving, not doing, just situated at the point. It's at the tips of Sakura's fingers, tingling Ino's palms. Waiting.
Sakura clenches her hand tighter, flaring her chakra pointedly. She wants Ino to channel it. Pour it into the hole at her stomach.
Oh. All right, Ino swallows, all right. She can manage this. She has to. Needs to ignore how shit she was in training and do what Sakura’s telling her.
At this point Ino knows Sakura’s chakra just as well as her own. And she’s watched her do healings— both on herself and others. What she wants Ino to try is an untried technique. Something that Ino knows only exists in theory and within the mess of Sakura’s notes. There’s no way of knowing if this will actually work. It could just kill her quicker.
But Sakura’s a member of team 7— her luck is absolutely batshit. If she can survive a fight with the demon of Kirigakure when she was twelve and an idiot, she can survive this. Ino won’t let her live it down if she doesn’t.
Sakura’s hand spasms in hers. Ino snaps her gaze back to her face. Sakura’s eyes, they’re fluttering. Fighting to stay open, stay conscious.
Ino can’t wait.
She closes her eyes, and breathes. Feels out the warm, autumn fresh cakra. Tightening her grip as her chakra snakes into hers, entwining with it.
Pushes it down, funnelling it harshly and with little finesse into Sakura’s wound. it’s far from the gentle, precise flow that Sakura holds. It’s fierce and burning. It surrounds them both in green flame, sicker and darker and more like Ino’s roaring blaze than Sakura’s raging water.
But it works. The skin under her tattered flak jacket is mending. Fading from bloody and blistered to red to pink to pale. The scars are going to be vicious, Ino can tell. But Sakura is healing. She’s going to live, not bleed out.
Ino chokes on the laugh that jumps from her throat. She’s relieved, so relived she feels sick with it. Thank fuck. Thank fucking fuck. Sakura wasn’t meant to die in the dirt like this. And now she isn’t— she’s going to live .
Sakura’s hold on her hand goes limp, but Ino doesn’t panic. It’s undoubtedly the exhaustion and shock that she’s finally allowing to get to her, falling safely into unconsciousness. Ino checks her over again. Just to be safe. She can’t be too careful.
She’s pale but there’s a healthy flush at her cheeks, red from the work her body is catching up on. A sheen of sweat shimmers lightly over her skin along with it. That's all. Aside from the blood and the tattered mess of her clothes there isn't anything that gives away the fact that she was dying just a moment before.
Ino sighs, dropping her head lightly down onto Sakura’s chest. Forehead resting directly over her soft but steady heartbeat. Nothing dangerous. Sakura's safe. She's safe. Ino carefully slides her arms under Sakura’s knees and back, mindful of her freshly healed state, hefting her up to carry her back to their camp.