By: Karasu Kyra
Chapter Fifteen: Epilogue of The Pack
Ino sighed as she looked at her bandage-covered abdomen. She didn't hurt as much as she did when she first arrived over a week ago. Sakura was in the next room over, exhausted by both overwork and a sedative that left her system just a couple days ago. Itachi had already left the hospital only kept under watch for the first night. Naruto seemed the best off, not fighting too much. Sasuke had drained himself and was under the mother-hen care of his older brother. Shisui was under the same mother-hen care from the same person.
Sasuke now sat at her bedside looking irritated. "Shisui gets just as irritated with Itachi as I do. We're planning an escape."
That elicited a small smile from Ino. "Wanna' help me break out, too? I don't know how much more I can look at these fucking walls."
"I may not be able to get you out, but I bet I could smuggle you into Sakura's room," suggested Sasuke.
Ino smirked. "I guess I could live with that."
"Alright, come on."
Sasuke helped Ino to stand and guided her to the door of the room, where he held open the door for the blonde. She limped out it, leaning on the wall, waiting for Sasuke. The Uchiha came out behind her, glancing around and sending a harsh glare toward any nurse or doctor that looked like they had anything to say about it.
He then pushed her lightly, getting her to move toward the next room over marked, 'S. Haruno'. Sasuke shuffled the blonde in the door before leaving.
Ino quietly pulled up a chair next to the bed and sat. Sakura was asleep on her side. Thin eyelids covered eyes that the alpha knew to be a beautiful shade of green. Her head was turned so it was halfway tucked into the pillow. A strand of pink hair fell over her face, begging Ino to brush it back. Sakura had a hand splayed next to her stomach and the other tucked under her chin.
Ino just continued to stare, in a moment of peace, at her lifebonded, her mate, the love of her life. She didn't know how the girl had come to mean so much to her in such short time, but she suspected it had something to do with the lifebond.
Now, we know Ino will continue to stare, but what we don't know is what will happen after.
Let me tell you what will happen.
The blonde will continue to stare, watching the rise and fall of the pink-haired girls chest as she breaths in, then exhales. She will watch the girl mutter something in her sleep. She will just watch her be.
She will keep staring until emerald eyes start fluttering open. Then, even then, she will continue to stare and those green eyes will stare back. Both of the girls will get lost in each others' breaths until Sakura breaks the silence by whispering breathlessly, "Ino."
Ino will smile, a soft smile, as if afraid Sakura might break otherwise and whisper back, "Sakura."
"So I am."
Then they will stare at each other again, afraid to say more. They will be afraid of shattering the moment. They know that if they shatter the moment, it can be put back together but not exactly the same and it will have cracks, too easy to shatter again.
Then they will get lost in each others eyes, despite how cliché it is, for they don't worry what others think and aren't afraid of getting lost in the other. They know if they do, they'll be happy
They will then look down and Sakura will blush and Ino will give an awkward smile because they hadn't many moments to just be together. There was too much going on. So, it will be as if they just met all over again.
Sakura will look up first and notice a faint pink adorning the blonde's pale cheeks and it will make her smile. Ino will look up and notice Sakura smiling and scowl. She will ask, "What's so funny?"
"Nothing in particular, really."
Then let me tell you what will happen.
A nurse will come in and the moment will be shattered.
The nurse, realizing she'd interrupted something, said, "P-please, I'll come back."
Ino looked up at the nurse and smiled. "No, that's alright."
Then the nurse looked closer at the blonde. "Ms. Yamanaka? You're supposed to be in bed!"
Ino smirked sheepishly and let herself be led to her room, sending a fleeting glance toward her pink-haired lover.
Ino slipped on her clothes quickly and quietly. She then slipped out her door, silently walking over to Sakura's room and flitting in. She quickly woke the pink-haired girl and whispered excitedly, "Come on! We're breaking out!"
She fourced the pink haired girl up and stripped her of her medical gown before forcing some of her own clothes on the girl. Once Sakura was dressed, she scowled.
"Should we really be breaking out?"
"Probably not, but since when did I listen to humans?" Ino asked with a smirk.
Sakura jumped out of the window behind Ino and smirked back at her. "You listened to me."
"Yeah, well, you were a special case! Besides, we'd need to get out to hunt soon, anyway. We've been in there over a week."
Sakura just rolled her green eyes and ran along the ground behind Ino. The moon was full, illuminating the ground and all the objects on it. The pink-haired girl closed her eyes and used her lovers footsteps to guide her. She took a deep breath and exhaled loudly, enjoying the scent of the night.
Then the blonde took to the trees, leaping from branch to branch. Sakura then said, "You were right, I did get good with practice."
Ino glanced back. "It's simple now, no?"
The green-eyed girl just smiled.
Then the blonde took a sudden turn, heading in another direction before landing on a certain tree in particular.
Ino landed on a tree near a lake, startling a few sleeping birds. As Sakura landed on the branch she watched the birds flight, twisting and turning in the sky, seemingly weightless. Ino watched Sakura watching the birds.
"They're beautiful, those birds in the sky. They're just doing what they were born to do. We can leap and jump great distances, but we can't fly. When it's broken down, its just mathematics, so why can't we fly, Ino?"
"Maybe…we're afraid of the possibilities the sky holds." Ino looked at Sakura who was still looking at the lake.
"But, we can only go so high and so far before we're back where we started." Sakura whispered
"Then perhaps it's that; we're afraid of going back to square one." Ino looked down at her feet on the branch.
Sakura then looked at Ino. "I'd go back to square one. I'd go back to how we used to be before the war."
"I know, me too."
Sakura and Ino were silent for a moment before the blonde turned to her lover. "Sakura, I-" Ino broke off, suddenly, into a sob.
The pink-haired girl took her lifebonded into her arms without a question and the blonde buried her face into Sakura's chest, crying unabashed. "Sakura, I'm so scared! I don't want Tsunade to die! She's-she's the only one keeping me from having absolute power. Of having to make all the decisions and having no one to lean on!"
Sakura was quiet for a few moments while Ino finished crying. Then she said, "You can lean on me."
Ino nodded, still buried against Sakura. She'd just have to trust her mate and see what the future would hold.
AN: Well, there's the end. Though, as I've said (far too many times) before. There's a sequel called Book of Revolution. I should have BoR up in just a day or two!
Hopefully, I'll see you there!
I'd also like to thank several readers in particular.
GS Dragono who beta'd a few chapters, is one. Thanks so much!
darksoulwolf for his wonderful ideas and reviews that spawned a few side-fics.
BioDragon, Sharingan-Fer-Sure, Bad Girl762, Dreaded Demon of Night, and Pheonix To Flame, have all been very wonderful and constant reviewers. Their support has helped me a great deal and encouraged me.
To everyone who left a review, I thank you so much!
Until next time!
Karasu Lawliet Kyra