When Sakura wakes up, it's to the faint smell of roses and something soft tickling her nose. It takes her a moment to will her eyes open, knowing full well that last night's lovemaking resulted in neither her nor Ino shutting the curtains. Only briefly does she spare the bedroom a glance around before settling her eyes on her sleeping, half-naked girlfriend whose long blond hair is a makeshift blanket for both of them.
Beautiful , she thinks. Her fingers run through Ino’s hair while she silently waxes poetry on its silky softness. Everything about Ino is beautiful; from her sky blue eyes to her long blond hair to the way she smiles when she’s happy and how she laughs when she finds something hilarious. Sakura feels very lucky to have her feelings, as complicated as they were, requited despite years of denial after breaking their friendship over Sasu 🤢 🤢 Sas - S- 🤢 Sasuke (even though the crush had become less superficial and more genuine with years although remaining one-sided in the end).
Sakura does not dwell on that. Sasuke is no longer in the village - choosing something similar to a vagabond life - and Ino has been at the forefront of Sakura’s mind since the end of the war. They had quickly engaged in the “thank fuck we’re not dead” sex in Sakura’s isolated medical tent the night before heading home; old emotions coming forth on Ino’s along with Sakura’s desire to figure out what she wants romantically both coming to a head that night.
Even now, years after the war, Sakura struggles with how she presents herself within this relationship with Ino. She’s much more sure about the romantic aspect of their relationship - they love each other, it’s a genuine feeling with not feelings for someone else, and the physical bit is fantastic. Her struggle comes with her appearance and how she absolutely, without a doubt , clashes with Ino.
Ino has a swimmer’s body, lean with curves, graceful on her feet with the ideal face. Sakura is stockier, more muscles and fewer curves. She’s also short while Ino is tall. And, of course, there’s her forehead. While having come a long way from her childhood insecurity, she cannot help but compare the size of her face to Ino’s. Sakura is a capable, leading kunoichi. She has surpassed her master in strength and medical ninjutsu.
But she’s still human.
And humans still have insecurities.
“God, I can hear you thinking.”
Sakura sighs. “Nice of you to join me in the living world.” She openly lets her eyes trail over a pale collarbone before following down the valley between her breasts. “You make a good heater. This year, we don’t have to worry about paying more for the heat.” At this, Ino laughs against her shoulder.
“It can’t be past 8 AM,” Ino states. “So why are you wide awake on your day off? What are you thinking so hard about?” Then, with a teasing smile: “I thought I wore you out enough last night. It certainly seemed like it~”
“Internal clock,” Sakura answers. “And you forgot to close the curtains last night.”
Ino scoffs. “ I forget?”
“You’re normally the one that does,” Sakura replies matter-of-factly. “You always complain about the morning sun disturbing your sleep and then make me get out of bed to close the curtains.”
“Whatever.” Ino huffs. “You still haven’t answered my other question.”
Sakura hums. “Just thinking about you...me...us and how beautiful you are and how lucky I am.” Ino adjusts herself against her, the tip of her nose trailing Sakura’s jawline.
“If anyone’s lucky, it’s me.” Sakura snorts. “It’s true! Not to mention, you’re gorgeous in every sense of the word.” There is no verbal response but Sakura feels herself smile just a bit. “Sakura...why are you so quiet? You know you’re beautiful too, right?”
“Okay.” Sakura moves her head to kiss Ino’s temple.
In a sudden burst of movement, Ino jerks away to lift herself up and over Sakura. Her long hair creates a curtain around their faces, something that appears even more intimate than lying together in their bed. Ino looks annoyed, but Sakura just smiles.
“As far as physical appearance is concerned,” Ino states, “you have it all and you are oblivious to the number of people who want you.” Sakura’s eyes widen. “I have to deal with those stares every time we go out together. But it’s okay,” Ino whispers, “because they’ll only ever get to look. And while they plead to their deities, I’m the one you’re sharing your bed with.”
A pleasant tingle runs across Sakura’s skin. “Ino - ”
She freezes when Ino firmly presses her lips to her forehead.
And then she does it again.
“I love you,” Ino declares. “I love everything about you. I love your strength, your loyalty, your kindness, your heart, and this - damn - beautiful - forehead.” She emphasizes her point with a kiss to Sakura’s forehead after every word. “My favorite thing about your face is this forehead and don’t you forget that.”
Sakura swallows. “Everything about me, huh?”
“Everything,” Ino confirms. “Do you understand?”
Sakura reaches up and wraps her arms around Ino’s neck to bring down for a proper kiss. “I understand,” she whispers against Ino’s lips. “I love you too.”
They don’t leave the bed for a couple of hours.