UchihaSaku Week: Day 5: Fashion Show (IndraSakura, Modern AU)
"Sorry," murmured Hinata, lips trembling as she caught sight of Sakura's tense jaw.
"It's okay," said Sakura, exhaling.
"Don't frown," said Ino, hair pins sticking out from between her lips at all angles.
"You reminded Sasuke to come, right?" asked TenTen from the far side of the room. She was bent over a pair of shoes, hurriedly polishing the sparkling crystals that adorned the straps of the heeled sandals. They would suit Sakura's costume perfectly… if they could finish in time.
"Of course I reminded Sasuke to come," said Sakura. She swallowed. "Well, I told him the original details and repeated it for him. I didn't call him this morning, I mean, since I was here."
Ino froze, her long manicured nails inches from Sakura's eyes.
"But he said yes, didn't he?" prompted Hinata, leaning over Sakura's shoulder from behind.
Sakura swallowed again.
"He, uh, he may have been a little… less than forthcoming… but he…He isn't the type to fail at things."
The women around Sakura stared at her.
"Let me check in with him," Sakura said, reaching for her phone while Ino's chest rose and fell with the first stirrings of a panic attack.
"What do you mean you're sending someone?" hissed Sakura as she hid in the bathroom, her dress pinned to her, her hair half-up and her make-up immaculate thanks to the setting spray Ino had vapo-misted around her like she was personally trying to decimate any remaining vestiges of the local ozone layer .
"I sent my relative. He can do your fashion thing. I gotta go, my brother's visiting—"
"Don't you dare hang up on me, Sasuke, I swear to God I will publicize your brother-fetish to the effing Inquirer if you—"
The call cut off and Sakura's face went white with rage.
Checking the directions on his phone, Uchiha Indra raised his hand to knock on the dressing room door.
—only to be greeted by the saltiest language he's ever heard exploding from the other side.
There was a brief pause where he schooled his expression—already he could feel eyes on his back, whispers following him at an increasing susurration—
Before him the door opened and a blushing, dark haired young woman looked up at him.
"Uchiha-san?" she asked.
Indra looked towards the back of the room where a second door muffled the shrieking curses emanating from within.
"Are you the one Sasuke sent?" asked another young woman with twin hair buns at the back of her head.
"—lieve he is sending a relative?! What the Hell is he thinking?!" a young woman screamed from behind the door.
"—I don't care. Right now we need to get you ready so that whenever his relative arrives, we're ready to go. Now sit down and let me finish your hair!"
"Uh, Ino? Sakura?" called Hinata, knocking on the bathroom door.
"You have a visitor," said TenTen.
A moment later the door opened slowly and the pair of freshly composed women exited.
Sakura's cheeks were pink from frustration and exertion, while Ino suddenly paled, her azure eyes widening as she saw who stood before them.
"Y-you're Uchiha Indra!" gasped Ino.
"Hn," he replied with a polite nod.
"Well, at least he showed," muttered Sakura, crossing her arms.
Ino made a gagging, sucking noise as her eyes widened comically in Sakura's direction.
"She doesn't mean that!" Ino gasped, hands trembling as she approached Indra like he was an immaculately conceived God, blessing them with his presence.
Indra looked between the two women.
Sakura sighed, her shoulders drooping.
"Hi Indra. I apologize, Ino's right. I'm mad at Sasuke, not you. I was rude because I'm nervous and upset. I'm normally volunteering at the Pediatrics ward at Konoha General on my Saturday afternoons and I had to cancel today, and I'm worried about some of my little ones since I may not get to see them until next week. And my best friend cancelled on me, and now I'm worried I'm going to make a mess of Ino's show because I've never done this before and—"
Sakura paused to take a breath, and Tenten wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
"You're going to be amazing," promised Hinata, refocusing now on calming Sakura. She squeezed Sakura's other hand.
Sakura nodded in thanks to her friends.
Meanwhile, Ino continued her fish-mouth impression and whimpering noises.
"Please come in and we'll get you fitted. Do you have any fashion modelling experience?" asked Sakura, turning to the steamer 'closet' where they'd hung what were supposed to have been Sasuke's clothes.
Ino wheezed again as Indra nodded once, his eyes shining darkly with amusement. As Sakura's back was turned to them, she missed the looks Tenten and Hinata shared over Ino's apoplectic form. Tenten rubbed Ino's back in sympathy.
"Some," he admitted, slipping off his sports coat and folding it over his arm.
"That'll make things easier. It's Ino's first big show and we need to make a bold statement," said Sakura. She turned back with the shirt, tie and accessories for Indra.
"You can change in the bathroom," she said, indicating the door she and Ino had emerged from a few moments earlier.
Indra accepted the bundle from Sakura and held her gaze before setting them down on top of his coat and reaching for the top button of his tailor-fitted Chambray shirt.
"No need, I'm not shy," he said, his smoky eyes never leaving hers.
… and undid the button, smirking when he saw the colour rise in her cheeks.
(Behind them, Ino wept soundlessly for the mixed blessing that was THE Uchiha Indra bestowing his presence upon her personal dressing room… and her best friend being utterly clueless and somehow still stealing him away. She had crossed the gods, obviously, at some point in her young life. Crossed them and they'd sought vengeance. Sinfully hot vengeance...)
"And now," the tuxedoed master of ceremonies read from the teleprompter before him, "we'd like to award this year's Best New Developing Talent Award to—Yamanaka Ino!"
The crowd erupted in cheers, and a brilliantly smiling Ino took the stage to accept the award.
"She worked so hard, I'm so happy for her."
Sakura, still in costume, leaned towards Indra and murmured in his ear as she applauded her best friend.
For his part, Indra looked at Sakura and nodded. "Beautiful."
"Mm," said Sakura, still watching Ino. "She did an astounding job."
Indra's brow arched a moment before he smiled to himself softly and turned back to the stage.
"I admit," continued the MC as Ino accepted her congratulatory bouquet, "there was a moment of indecision among the jury when we had to determine whether or not you were cheating by using a professional."
"What!" Sakura burst out, taking a step forward in anger. "Ino would never—"
Indra gently clasped her elbow to keep her at his side.
"A moment," he murmured, leaning close to her ear. His lips brushed against the tendrils of hair loose and framing her brow, sending delightful shivers down her spine. "Let them finish."
Sakura, suddenly noting their closeness and the warmth emanating from his body into hers, relaxing her, swallowed her words—he was right, this was Ino's moment. And they'd given Ino the flowers and award, so they'd chosen in Ino's favour. She shouldn't create a scene during Ino's big moment.
"—however as the competition is based on your workmanship and creativity, not your model, you are awarded the full scholarship, along with the mentorship…"
The MC's voice continued on and the audience cheered as Ino accepted handshakes from her fashion school supervisors, excitement clear on her flushed face.
There were more polite courtesies before the ceremony finally ended and Sakura and Indra moved to the wings of the stage to wait for Ino.
But Sakura's attention had been twigged by the MC's choice of words.
"Professional… model?" she mumbled to herself. She wasn't a professional model. Ino had asked her as a favour-slash-blackmailed her.
But who else could have been…
A gentle tap at her shoulder caught her attention.
"Good afternoon, Sakura."
Uchiha Itachi's smooth, cultured voice interrupted her musing and Sakura turned to find Itachi behind her, Shisui and Sasuke at his heels.
"Itachi! I didn't know you were coming!"
Sakura smiled widely at Itachi and his aloof expression warmed on his handsome face.
"Sasuke mentioned you were modelling this afternoon, and I was able to rearrange my plans to attend. You were very graceful and did Ino a great service." Itachi looked to her side and nodded at Indra. "Cousin? I did not know you were also visiting."
"Great job, Sakura!" called Shisui, offering her a small bouquet and a wink. "You didn't plank! When did you learn to walk in heels that high?"
Sakura laughed, shuffling to the side to accept Shisui's hug.
"Hours of practice in my kitchen," she admitted, returning Shisui's hug and Itachi's smile.
Sakura was not surprised that Sasuke hung back a bit; however, when she felt a hand around her hip nudging her closer, she glanced up at Indra's calm profile.
"We should change and return our clothes to your friend," he said, leaning in closer than necessary.
"Mm," Sakura agreed. She looked back at Itachi and Shisui, surprised to find Itachi levelling a strange look on Indra, and Shisui's brows lifted higher than usual. "Meet you guys back here for dinner in about twenty minutes?"
"My cousins are very busy, what with Itachi's visit. We wouldn't want to hold them up. I am happy to take you to dinner, and then home again afterwards if you are available," said Indra, his hand nudging Sakura along so she couldn't disagree.
"Well, if they're already busy, no, I don't want to intrude," Sakura thought aloud. She looked over her shoulder at the three remaining Uchiha. "Let me know what you're up to tomorrow! Maybe we can grab coffee together," she said before Indra hustled her around the corner and down the corridor to the dressing rooms.
"Don't manhandle me, you'll damage Ino's work!"
Sakura's stern voice reached the three Uchiha.
"I know how to behave around fashion and art, Sakura," drawled Indra. "I will not damage a single thread…"
Left on their own, Shisui and Itachi turned to look at Sasuke.
"She has no idea," said Itachi, chastising his younger brother.
"And she seems to barely notice how into her he is," remarked Shisui, impressed. "Is she immune to all Uchiha? Or did you just desensitize her with your assholeness, Sasuke?"
Crossing his arms, Sasuke glowered at his older brother and cousin.
"I thought you liked her?" continued Shisui, shaking his head. "Yet you served her on a platter to Indra. Wow. Just… wow."
"Itachi said he was coming in to town for a special event—" began Sasuke, but to everyone's surprise, it was Itachi who chuckled.
"You dumped her for me? Sasuke, I'm touched," chuckled Itachi.
Sasuke pressed his lips together so tightly they made a thin white line.
"I didn't know you were coming in for the stupid show!"
"Stupid show? Excuse you?"
The fine hair on the back of Sasuke's neck rose in warning at the icy edge to Ino's words.
"Right, well," said Shisui, clapping Sasuke on the back. "We must be off."
"Hn," agreed Itachi, following his cousin. "See you at home, Sasuke."
"W-wait," said Sasuke, reaching for his brother. Itachi was half-feline at times, though, and made use of his stealth to slip through Sasuke's fingers like water.
"Indra and Sakura went to change," Itachi said, addressing Ino. "I believe he is then taking her to dinner."
"Don't wait up," said Shisui with a wink.
"Ugh, kami, I should just go for supper now and come back later. They'll be in there forever. He made sure to let Sakura know earlier he 'wasn't shy' when he stripped in front of her, too," groused Ino, cocking her hip.
It was Sasuke's turn to choke on air.
"Stripped for her?"
"Yeah, way to go. I know you were just trying to help by finding a suitable replacement—which I really appreciate by the way—but you kind of dug your own grave this time," said Ino.
Beside her, Shisui nodded solemnly.
"The hell!—" Sasuke began, but Ino held up a hand.
"In the meantime, did I hear you heading out for supper? Mind if I join you?"
"It would be our pleasure," promised Shisui.
"I thought he was gay!" burst out Sasuke. "He never hooks up with the models he works with!"
"Indra prefers to keep his personal life private," said Itachi. "He would never date a model or celebrity. It would be all over the media."
"However, someone as determined and career-driven as Sakura," mused Shisui aloud, rubbing his chin. "She would be perfect for him."
"Hn," agreed Itachi as they moved down the corridor towards the exit, Ino sandwiched between Shisui and Itachi.
"But—he's been modelling since he was a kid! He designs his own line, now. He… He doesn't have time to date," said Sasuke, trailing behind them.
"He made time for that charity regatta," said Shisui, rubbing salt in Sasuke's wounds.
"Hn. And the children's hospital fundraiser," said Itachi.
"Children's hospital fund… what?"
Sasuke tripped to a stop.
"At Christmas. When you told him about Sakura after she invited you. You took him with you," said Shisui, looking over his shoulder at Sasuke like he was an idiot.
"You do know he has a thing for smart chicks, right? Ow!"
Ino retracted her elbow and gave Shisui a look as he rubbed his side.
"Intelligent women," she said.
Stunned, Sasuke stood there.
"He's been quite patient," said Itachi as they paused for Sasuke to make the connection.
"..." Sasuke's face contorted.
"Wait for it," said Shisui before he lifted his arm to deflect Ino's elbow again.
"You handed Sakura to him with your blessing. Almost literally," said Ino.
"You mean…" Sasuke gaped.
"Yes," said Ino, hungry and impatient. "Yes. I feel like shawarma, by the way."
"There is a restaurant nearby," said Itachi, checking his phone. "The ratings are acceptable."
"You mean, Indra…" Sasuke tried to form words.
"Yes," sighed Ino as they walked on, Sasuke finally taking a step to follow.
"For six months…"
"Has liked your almost-girlfriend but didn't make a move because he respects other people's relationships. Then you tossed her at him and he's taking that as permission and going for it. Congratulations. You need to register your elbows, woman."
"You need to smarten up," said Ino sweetly.
It was Itachi's turn to sigh.
"Shawarma it is. Sasuke, don't drive. You may join Shisui in the back of the car. Our guest is riding in the front."
"We could wait for them?" hedged Sasuke, looking behind him at the warehouse-turned-loft where the show had been held.
Behind him, Shisui and Itachi exchanged a look while Ino rolled her eyes.
"I'm happy to not see my best friend and her top-model boyfriend so soon post-coitus, thank you," said Ino bluntly. "And I'm getting extra meat at the shawarma place. I've barely eaten the last three days from anxiety about this show. Pile it on."
"Extra meat," agreed Shisui before snickering. Then, "Ow."
With another muffled sigh Itachi closed Sasuke's door behind him and took his place behind the wheel.
"But they just met—"
"She has four years of pent-up frustration to deal with after you didn't make a single effort," said Ino. "And I stuffed four boxes of condoms in her purse and a note promising I was staying at my parents' place tonight. She better."
Sasuke made a strangled noise while Shisui burst out laughing.
Even Itachi coughed to cover his chuckle.
AN: Written for the tumblr UchiSaku Week 2016 prompt, 'Fashion Show'.