The sun was high that noon, ready to provide everyone skin disease. It was mid-summer and the heat was unbearable. Not even Konoha's shady trees were able to provide refuge to those who were quickly deflating from dehydration. So when Sakura appeared in front of Ino's doorstep, inviting her to grab some popsicles just like old times, the blond agreed without a question.
Besides, only crazy people decline ice cream in blistering weather like this.
They stopped by Tenten's, dragging her along in their quest. The girl was reluctant at first, but the thought of spending the whole afternoon with her best girl friends; she joined them right after grabbing her sandals.
It was a little difficult convincing Tenten to cross the Hyuuga compound. Even though two months had already passed since the controversial wedding, Tenten still could not bring herself to speak to Hinata or to Neji himself. So when the two greeted them at their doorstep, Tenten shied away and look everywhere but her ex-boyfriend. Sakura took pity and told Hinata what they were up to. Neji didn't say anything and allowed his wife to be with her friends but only until nightfall. If Neji was an over-protective cousin, he was definitely twice as annoying and possessive as Hinata's husband.
It was understandable that their little group had encountered mishaps and developed a wound that would take years to heal. Sakura thought that even if the wound were healed, it would still leave a scar that's visible and never forgotten.
By the time they arrived at the ice-cream shop, the tension was slightly diminished, because Sakura and Ino loved strawberry popsicles while Tenten and Hinata preferred orange.
They found their usual spot empty and so the four girls took refuge under the waiting shade.
Hinata looked up at Tenten, popsicle between her lips. "Hm?"
The brunette chuckled, her eyes gazing distantly, "It wasn't your fault… it was nobody's fault. I was being an ass about it… and I'm sorry." She knew there was nothing they could do about it. Neji and Hinata were Hyuuga's and dedicated to their clan. She did them wrong by pushing Hinata away and by blaming Neji for breaking her heart. It was inevitable. And besides, even if Neji had pursued their relationship, nothing good would have come from it. They could elope, but both were too afraid to leave everything behind. The thought of doing such a thing and spending the rest of her life with Neji, guilt-ridden was not her idea of growing old happily.
Hinata gently smiled and made a move to grab her best friend's hand and squeezed.
That was enough to reassure Tenten that even though their friendship was not mended, there was still a chance that everything will turn out fine.
"How's your shoulder?"
Sakura balefully glared at the blond sitting next to her. "You're asking now?" Of course they were talking about the catfight they had months ago.
Ino rolled her eyes heavenward, "Well, I can't really just drop by your apartment and ask you, could I? You would have just snapped and tore my head off again." There was no malice in her accusation but she was for sure telling the truth.
"It's fine. No damage done." Sakura answered, meaning to degrade the loudmouth's ego.
"Impossible. I whipped you bad." Ino scoffed.
"Oh, please. It was nothing I couldn't handle."
"Are you trying to imply that I'm weak?"
"No, you said that yourself."
"Well then, do you want an encore?"
Smiling inwardly that she was pushing the right buttons, Sakura muttered, "I'm not in the mood." Her voice muffled by the ice cream in her mouth, partnered by a dismissive wave of her hand.
Ino was fuming. "You're getting on my nerves!"
"Good," Sakura stared at her strawberry popsicle in wonder, "At least we're not fighting over Sasuke for once."
Ino didn't say anything in return and the two shared a pregnant silence, eating their melting treat. Silence means 'yes' after all.
"Heard what happened…" Sakura opened the topic despite telling herself that she was not opening anything involving Sasuke.
"I'm not a slut. Someone has to slap that off his face." Ino vaguely said.
"Nah, just tell me Shikamaru got you whipped and being the possessive bum that he is, he doesn't like Sasuke hanging around."
Another silence ensued.
"So…" Sakura started casually, "How's he in bed?"
Ino chocked on her popsicle.
"Sasuke, are you gonna eat that?" Naruto was drooling at Sasuke's untouched ramen.
"You can have it." Sasuke pushed his meal towards the blond who took it without hesitation.
Kiba raised an eyebrow at the two. "You gave in that easily?" It was only proper for Sasuke to taunt the blond until he begs on his knees to finish Sasuke's unwanted ramen. It was casual entertainment that Kiba, Chouji and Shikamaru enjoyed watching.
Sasuke smirked and then reached out to ruffle Naruto's blond hair. "Tonight, he needs the energy. Food makes him more vigorous." Insert a very disturbing slimy smile that could make a brute man cringe.
Kiba and Chouji's jaws dropped as they watched Sasuke actually act civil and touchy-feely. Naruto in return ignored the intimate gesture and blissfully finished his ramen.
"I don't even want to ask." Kiba thought he was eternally scarred for the rest of his life.
Shikamaru knew letting those two sharing a tent last night was a bad idea.
"Sakura" Kakashi just arrived from a mission and was now lounging lazily on the couch, his arm draped around Sakura's shoulders as they watched another re-run.
Sakura moved her head from its perch on Kakashi's shoulder and looked up. "What?"
"Be a doll and get my latest Icha-Icha, will you?"
Sakura frowned. Not that she was still high-strung over Kakashi's obsession of his perverted novels, but because of a different cause. "You're actually going to allow me to touch your collection? I thought it was sacred." Kakashi placed a restraining order between Sakura and his collection after she threatened to burn them all after a nasty fight they had a few days ago.
"Only on special occasions." She didn't miss the suggestive wiggling of his eyebrows and the glint in his eyes before jumping up and grabbing the thing that usually spiced-up their love life.
Oh yes, life was good.
AN: After reading your reviews, I thought that I should give the story a justice and give it a proper ending. This chapter came out without base plot or anything. I just kept on typing, letting my odd humor control me. I hope you enjoyed reading it as I did writing it. And I'm sorry if I offended anyone with the 'Sasuke-Naruto' part. Haha! Didn't expect that, did you? Don't take it seriously, it's only fiction. I just happen to be one of those outrageous girls who are over-crazed with yaoi.
Now edited, thank you so much tootalltygerlily!!!