Title: sexy/ugly

Pairing: Anko/Sakura, mentions of Ino/Sakura

Summary: Sakura needs to branch out. Anko has it going on.

Disclaimer: Naruto is the property of Kishimoto Masashi.


sexy/ugly

-x-

"I knew I was right about you," Anko says. "You have some serious deadweight issues."

Sakura snaps her eyes away from the assignment scroll and stares at the older woman incredulously. "I beg your pardon," she says slowly. "Did you just say I'm fat?"

Anko gives her a sort of look you usually use on small puppies when they've had a little accident on your brand new carpet: exasperation mingled with faint amusement. "No – though I'm sure a few rounds of Taijutsu won't hurt you any. I said you're a useless deadweight. I've known this since I saw you at your first Chuunin Exam. I don't know what brainless bureaucrats decided to pass you, but they're nowhere nearly as bad as the criminal who thought it was a good idea to pair you up with me for this mission."

"That would be the Godaime Hokage," Sakura deadpans.

"Right," Anko says offhandedly. "That's the one. Now will you hurry up? If you take anymore time to read that thing, the target will die of old age before we ever find him."

Sakura doesn't try to bash her partner's head in with her godlike fists, and she's not sure if that's because she's supposed to be the mature one on this disaster of a two-man team, or because it's two weeks since the breakup and Ino is still dating that D-cup floozy in billing. That's two weeks now Sakura's been walking around accusing people of calling her fat. No protocol can teach her how to cope with situations like that – no wonder she's been staring at this same passage of text for the last twenty minutes wondering if mission scrolls are supposed to be written in Yiddish.

Some of this irritation must be showing on her face, because Anko takes a beat and says, "Oh, come on. You can't seriously be upset. I mean, you two were never really into it, were you?"

Is Anko clairvoyant? Reads minds, plays with sharp objects… no wonder all the other examiners are calling her "Crazy Eyes" behind her back.

"Excuse me?" Sakura sputters weakly when she realizes her mouth has been hanging open weirdly for a good several minutes.

"You and that hoochie ex of yours," Anko says serenely. "Yay-tall, acts every bit as blonde as she is. You know, the one that looks like she has an eating disorder."

"Her name is Ino," Sakura grounds out ominously. "And she doesn't have an eating disorder – it's a complicated issue regarding carbs and fatty foodstuff." And fresh fruit, vegetable, red meat, white meat… the list goes on. She made herself memorize it when they started dating, and used every ounce of her medical expertise to keep Ino on a healthy, balanced diet. See if any two-bit tart in billing would care enough to do that for her.

"Right, and I'm sure that's what made her throw you over for that D-cup floozy in billing."

A pause, in which Sakura does a slow burn and feels sure her face is making a concerted effort to peel off under the heat.

"What?" Anko shrugs. "The whole village is talking about it."

"The whole village is talking about my sex life?"

And this is when she remembers that they are sitting at a booth in a crowded pub, and that everybody else in the room has (of course) gone silent and is now staring at her in various degrees of shock and discomfort. Classic.

Sakura leans back against the headrest and announces dejectedly to the ceiling, "My life is falling apart around me."

Anko laughs. "Regretting that last octave right about now, aren't you?" Then she actually has the grace to look sheepish, and grabs the mission scroll from Sakura and uses it to wave the waiter over to their table. "Let's just eat. We're never gonna get anything done at this rate, and it's not like the killing will go bad if it's held off until tomorrow. What do you want?"

Sakura peers at the menu with tepid interest. "Anything that'll more or less erase away this complete and utter humiliation?"

"That'll be this extra hefty sake. Warm or cold?"

Amazingly enough, by the time they've emptied the extra hefty, piping hot tokkuri, Sakura finds that her scorching humiliation has dulled considerably into a warm, snug glow.

"It never would have worked anyway," Anko is saying heatedly, and – if she's not mistaken – somewhat drunkenly. "You two together, it was just too femme. Like air on air. You made me think of generic made-for-men lesbian porn. There wasn't enough heat or friction between the two of you to make a real woman."

"I can't believe I'm hearing this," Sakura whimpers. "Also, what is that supposed to mean?"

Anko makes a vaguely placating gesture that could mean 'cool it' or 'spanking'. "Nothing against girly-girls. I mean, I only agreed to partner up with you because I thought you'd be fun to look at while I work, after all."

"That's funny," Sakura mutters in dull despair. "I almost thought the same thing about you, but it hasn't really worked out that way."

"My point is," Anko continues, "it's a big old world out there, full of shiny, terrifying things with leather and garter-belts and vibrating sex toys. I really think you should branch out a bit. You'll never know what you're missing."

The woman is mental – here's the proof, everyone's known it all along. "Buh," Sakura says, which is quite eloquent given that she's paralyzed with horror, but okay.

"And don't be turned off if they're ugly," Anko "Crazy Eyes" goes on sagely in her gleeful madness. "It's the ugly ones you've got to watch out for. The rule of thumb to remember is: it's okay if they're sexy-ugly."

There is a terrible silence. Fitting, considering she's losing all will to live. "Come again?"

"You know. Sexy/ugly." Anko pauses and glances frenetically around the pub. "Oh, okay, over there, at the bar. No, don't look right away! Okay, now look."

She looks, and sees: butch cut, cropped so close the strands of hair look like pine-needles sticking straight up. Unisex shirt, trousered legs defiantly uncrossed over the barstool. Yet there was something there, a certain je ne sais quois of the feminine, the slender frame, delicate hands, something in the egg-shape of the head, the suggestive curve of long, pale lashes…

Sexy/ugly, indeed.

"Wow," Sakura exclaims breathily. "You know, weird as it is, I get it."

Anko beams smugly. Sakura looks at her, and looks again, and feels the beginning of something rising to the forefront of her mind that she recognizes, rather belatedly, as a Very Bad Idea.

"How early did you say we have to start out tomorrow?"

-x-

So then, later, they're in bed and stripped down to their underwear.

Sakura doesn't really know how that happened. It just did.

At least, she thinks it did, because Anko's suddenly got a very strange and sort of ominous expression on her face and dove under the bed, leaving a nonplussed Sakura to clutch helplessly at the blanket covering her modest bosom, wondering maybe if she's gotten this whole thing wrong somehow and that the totally immoral, terribly pornographic but tragically hypothetical sex isn't going to happen after all. No, she's not freaking out, thankyouverymuch.

While she's meditating on this dilemma, Anko emerges, hair full of lint balls and brandishing a black box the size of a small trunk.

Sakura stares. "What is that supposed to be?"

Anko heaves the box onto the bed in a cloud of dust and pops the lid triumphantly. "Come have a look," she beckons, smiling in a winsome albeit terrifying manner.

Sakura does, and instantly wishes she had been born blind.

"Oh my God. Oh my God. Don't even think about coming near me with those."

Anko scowls at her with what might be a mildly offended look, then shrugs it off casually and soldiers on, "You are such a virgin. This is a time-honored tradition! Speaking of virgins, wait till you get a load of this…"

The knee-jerk reaction of Sakura's mind is to boggle, and boggle well. She opens her mouth, and is alarmed when no sound comes out. She tries again, "..."

"Yes," Anko beams, fondling a spiked, seven-inch, hot pink… object with almost – dare she say it? – maternal affection, which makes it simultaneously wrong and horrifically graphic in a way that is completely, unabashedly not okay. "I devirginized myself with this one. Summer of…"

"And that's an image I'm never going to get out of my head," Sakura declares hopelessly.

Anko grins, her expression that of pure evil mischief. "And that's a bad thing? If you don't like this one, you can have your pick. They're color-coded, you know?"

"I'm going to need liquor," Sakura decides, wrapping the blanket around her body and trailing off the bed in the general direction of Anko's kitchen. "Lots and lots of liquor."

Anko's kitchen turns out to be a tiny, cramped closet that is both dingy and predictably devoid of both running water and perishable food. Nevertheless, lots and lots of liquor are to be had, and after a short deliberating session, Sakura opts for the beer, popping open a bottle and taking a long, grateful swig. Ecstasy.

She considers the last bottle in the fridge for a moment before grabbing it and closing the door, making her way back to the bedroom. Prior to accepting this mission, the Hokage had given her a stern lecture concerning the professional hazards of mixing overworked shinobi and alcohol in a high-stress environment, but she also did it with a kind of mean look that mostly made Sakura think that the Hokage is full of hypocritical crap, and anyway, it's already a little late for that.

When she returns, Anko is (thankfully) no longer gazing at her first true hot-pink love with wistful longing, but has taken to updating the tags and scribbled notes of her titillating collection. Sakura wordlessly hands her the bottle of beer, which Anko accepts with a small nod, and settles down on the bed again to watch, and then it's just another quiet evening – two scantily clad women frolicking around with naughty toys and legally addictive substances…

Dear God, Anko was right. She is the poster-child for a middle-age pervert's decadent fantasy.

"This is almost like a date," Sakura observes weakly. "Except with more sexual kinks and colorblindness-inducing stimulators."

"Strange, that's exactly how all my dates turn out," Anko says seriously.

The effect of which has Sakura taking half a dozen desperate gulps of beer, the effect of which is a startling decrement in general inhibition and the ability to think rationally.

"How does that work?" she asks, pointing at a fascinating contraption of a peculiar neon shade with the black-marker inscription EMERGENCY USE ONLY blazoned across the label in Anko's childish hand. She is immediately horrified by the genuine tone of interest in her voice, and stares down at her bottle in betrayal.

Anko, to her credit or lack thereof, doesn't miss a beat. "Oh this? Well, first I strap this part on and…"

"Say no more," Sakura says, waving a frantic hand. "I think I need to spend a lot more time getting riotously drunk before I can properly appreciate the sentiment."

Anko flashes her another smile, and closes the lid on her scandalous effects. "I was just having a little fun with you. Seriously, you're so easy. No wonder you didn't get on with What's Her Face. You probably made her look right and left and hold your hand before crossing the street."

She's insane – most likely Orochimaru dropped her on her head as a child or something while testing out one of his innovative and probably illegal training methods, and now she's broken. And plus, what's that they say about nonsensical innuendos?

"That's not true," Sakura defends lamely. "We did… stuff."

Which is, in all probability, exaggerating quite a bit and a lenient way of looking at things at best. In actuality, she and Ino never technically got past second base, though whenever their in-bed petting got too heavy Ino would always grab her by the waist and wiggle on top and proceed to grind their narrow hips together, striving for friction, which did not always come but was shattering when it did, white hot sparks running in shards up and down the length of her spine.

It was in all fairness Sakura's first experience of the alternative kind, and she really, honestly thought that they were going slow and that things would progressively get better, but Ino probably didn't share her opinion. Come to think of it, one of her only distinct recollections from the teary and hideously embarrassing split is Ino saying in an exasperated voice better-suited for talking to very young children with mild to severe attention deficit disorder that she was tired of living like friggin' roomates and if that was all Sakura was comfortable with then she might as well put out room-to-let flyers instead of personal ads.

Come to think of it, she doesn't really relish that particular memory either.

Anko, misconstruing her glumness for silent shame, pats her shoulder in what she probably considers a soothing manner and says, "But there's no need to get fancy just yet. Really, there are plenty of fun, natural ways to go about this."

That makes Sakura look up with a jerk, and there's a moment of startling clarity in which the meaning of everything parses and she realizes that this is really happening, it's a sure thing and Anko's eyes are really, really bright and she's all up in Sakura's personal space and flicking her tongue out to moisten her lips, and Sakura becomes so caught by the simple eroticism of that gesture that something in her mind signals at her to BACK AWAY, BACK AWAY NOW WHILE THE BACKING IS GOOD.

She does, and effectively backs herself into a wall, and Anko just follows her. Brilliant, Sakura, she tells herself, corner yourself, that's genius. She looks up in pretend-annoyance and sees only Anko's predatory eyes and her mouth that's making a funny shape and then her mind starts screaming like a hysterical little girl. Oh. Dear. God.

Almost frantically, she begins calculating her escape route, and would have made it in a perfect world, but the thing about Anko is that she is really, almost preternaturally fast, probably because Anko spends all her time training and honing her ninja skills and becoming Jounin while Sakura spends all her time in an office learning about chakra manipulation techniques, how clever, like a fat load of good that's doing her now.

"Hold on a min…" she begins, but is promptly cut short when Anko bares her teeth and pounces. There's a flurry of blanket and the world tips over and Sakura finds herself, inexplicably and a bit dazedly, flat on her back, with Anko's head stationed above her nether region and the blanket settling over them both. Anko herself is visible only as a mound of mobile striped cotton, but Sakura doesn't need to see to know that the other woman is raunchily removing her panties with her teeth, and then everything gets hysterical again.

Except it totally doesn't.

Given her aforementioned lack of experience, it's probably natural that her expectations turn out to be unrealistic. The fact that it's Anko's mouth on her and Anko's flexible tongue flicking repeatedly over her clit is entirely secondary, but still, without casting any judgment on Anko's undoubtedly refined skills, there must be something out of sorts with her being utterly underwhelmed with the situation. She's getting cunnilingus, for the love of God, and why the hell is her mind still operating in four-syllable words anyways? Abort! Abort!

What is likely not secondary is the way that Anko's mouth has been working at her for upwards of seven minutes now and the only reaction it's managed to draw out of Sakura is a disconcerting desire to laugh nervously. Perhaps if she tried thinking about other things it'd help her loosen up a bit. Brushing up on human anatomy's always worked for rectal exams; it should do for this. Mon pubis, Sakura thinks desperately. Labium minora. Labium majora. Or perhaps that's not the best choice after all…

The blanket swishes up suddenly, interrupting the vaginal parade (literally), and Sakura squeaks in an all too undignified manner. She looks up to see that Anko is glaring at her, dark eyes the shape of bullets. Now what?

"Why'd you stop?" Sakura boggles.

Anko ignores her, scooting back angrily. "You know, not that I didn't get that whole vibe from you – I mean, I knew you weren't ready to go cold turkey or anything – but seriously, get a fucking clue! That bi-curious straight girl thing is so fucking passé."

"Oh," Sakura says. "Okay."

There's an awkward silence.

In many ways, it makes a lot of sense, and Sakura thinks that she's overthinking this, that there probably shouldn't be so much teenage angst involved considering she's not much of a teenager anymore, and perhaps she's just creating tension for the sake of it when really this night could have gone a lot easier. But between the whole Sasuke debacle and all the years back and forth with Naruto before she realized that his considering looks were actually longing glances, and finally Ino, god, especially Ino, she's just completely, undeniably, bone-wearily exhausted.

So she says, "I have emotional dependency issues. It kinda sucks."

For a moment, Anko just looks at her. Then she snorts and mutters darkly, "I'm getting too old for this. Apparently you need to propose marriage before you can get some pussy these days."

And for the umpteenth time that night, there is silent staring. Then Sakura bursts out laughing, and is surprised when she can't stop. Suddenly, the ridiculousness of it all, of going steady and being head over heel stupid in love and sharing beautiful flute glasses of fucking liquid sunshine, all of it just hits her with the force of a metaphorical bulldozer, and she doubles over laughing.

Anko breaks an ungrudging smile and looks on as Sakura laughs hysterically for a few more minutes before groaning softly into her hands, "God, you're so weird."

Anko shrugs, "We're all broken in some way."

And it's that mysterious quality in the gesture (has Anko always had a voice like that, all low and rough, at once thoughtful and lingering?), some sort of feminine je ne sais quois (sexy/ugly, she called it) that touches base with Sakura, makes her stop and decide that it really is impossible to resist. So then she's moving forward, and probably their lips meet halfway and all that crap, but more likely there's just a new synchronism to their movements now, a slow but sure beat, and mostly there're just a lot of rock-hard nipples and searing handprints involved.

"I thought you weren't turned on by bi-curious straight girls?" she asks between heated kisses, thrusting against Anko's hand.

"A lot of different things don't turn me on," Anko answers defiantly. "But I suppose it's high time I branched out anyway…"

-x-

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