"Your mouth and your body are tellin’ different stories."
"What else d’you call followin’ me around all day? D’that slash-faced kid finally wise up and drop your ass?"
"Don’t flatter yourself! I wasn’t following you around. I was walking in the same direction as you."
"You wished a girl as gorgeous as me followed you. Don’t think that those moments where we swapped bodies made me like you. And as for Itachi-“
"I am his true love. How could anyone just drop their soul mate, ne?”
Amused, he pulled a jacket over his shirt. This too was buttoned up. He was only following the dress code provided for lecturers at the university.
"I think you might be overestimating my appeal, Ino."
With this done, he pressed a kiss against her cheek.
"I’ll see you later tonight?"
Once he pulled on the black jacket, buttoning it up around his slim waist and letting the fabric crease over his arms… Ino could not help but drool.
"Kami-Sama! He’s so hot!" She thought loudly in her head, dazed by the ensemble of pale skin with a dress shirt and jacket draping it.
Overestimating his appeal?
"You could wear that to bed."
Heart schmeart. Bazz-B had full control over his own, and it wasn’t latching on to anyone he didn’t want it to. Allies were expendable, material goods a temporary boon. Passion was worth a night or two, but anything more was just dead weight. It’d get you killed.
Plus he’d seen a few romance movies in his time. They were all so, so bad. Action beats drama any day!
A little disgruntled that Catnipp had had so long in the limelight but they were passing over Giselle so quickly, when the entire class had turned to wave at them on their teachers command, he figured maybe it was best to move on. “All these flowers have thorns. Most of them more thorns than petals.” Who was worth the next showing..?
Which was closer was an easier question. Steering towards Women and Gender Studies, a useless subject if he ever saw one, among the horde of lonely women was a certain boomstick. “Bambietta Basterbine,” he said, pointing at the bombshell near the back of the class.
Now to find something nice about her. “She’s the Explode, ‘cause she.. uhh.. her personality?” Weak. “The Wandenreich’s own little firecracker, she knows how to pop it, but she can handle a bang just as well.” Ha, that was better! “A temper on par with Catnipp though, so tread lightly.”
Ino returned the waves of the class, preening and milking the attention for all it was worth. She elbowed Bazz-B so that he would wave as well and not look like a sinister coathanger.
For some reason, he looked annoyed that Ino had not paid as much attention to Giselle. But that was sadly because Ino was shallow and Giselle looked like a vase. Maybe Ino had just become so used to looking at people like Itachi, only the really extraordinary beauties would garner her attention for long.
But why would Bazz-B care??
"Hmm… a thorny flower? My favourite one has plenty. It’s the same as love, isn’t it? Love is as pretty as a rose, but willing to draw blood in it’s defence."
This conversation about flowers- she had also pointed to a few growing around them- led them to Bambietta Basterbine. She was prettier than Giselle, that was certain.
"Why are nearly all the quincy so temperamental? Ooh… let me guess. You like violent women like that, huh?"
Just like Sakura and her mentor, Tsunade.
He supposed he ought to feel lucky she cared this much.
"Then know I wouldn’t have made it this far without you," he said, in an attempt to mollify her. Reaching forward, he gave her a small squeeze on her shoulders too. "It’s a process.
"Now, can we please drop the subject?"
It would be ridiculous to get into a fight over this. To Itachi, being in a state where he was now able to accept happiness was more than he had ever imagined for himself, especially after that lone pivotal event.
There were days where even the present felt surreal.
"No, the fact that you have grown so much is because of who you are and doesn’t have anything to do with me,” she replied, finally dropping the scowl and offering him a proud smile. Ino reached forwards to brush the hair away from his eyes, hand resting on his cheek for a moment.
She liked fixing things. Nurturing plants and urging them to bloom… to open up. Sakura had blossomed, but Itachi looked like he needed a lot more care.
Life was too long and hard without some laughter in it.
"It’s okay. I’m sure you’ll find something to laugh about. I am looking forward to that day!"
She hoped Sasuke gained weight quick. It would be funny to see him in shorts then.
The answer to that was quite obvious.
"No," he said gently, hands closing over her wrists. "But I can’t be late for it either. Would you accept a rain check?"
Or a small deposit.
"No, I won’t accept a rain check- but-" she planted a little kiss on his cheek and then stepped away, "-I’ll let you go to work."
Summer holidays were boring for Ino. Her university classes had finished and all she had to look forward to were her shifts at Florets and as a waitress.
"You’re planning to break hearts with an outfit like that, Professor~”
nobody does days off like team 10
"It isn’t," he said plainly. "It’s fact."
For now, at least. He could remember laughing openly in the past— but the memories were vague.
"Ino, it’s not your fault."
A fact that the fair haired girl was unwilling to accept. Ino scowled at him, eyes narrowed and hands on hips.
It was true that Itachi had led a rather unfortunate life, full of tragedy and difficulty, but now…
She wanted to hear him laugh. A house full of flowers and laughter is where she had been raised. Even though her father was gone, she could remember his warm, carefree laugh.
"Of course I know it’s not my fault. It’s that worm’s fault!" Ino decided, hating Bazz and Madara and all the others who had robbed Itachi of his laughter.
"But I do have work in a few minutes."
Which was why he had pulled on a nice button down shirt in the first place.
Well, that was a let down. She had obviously seen him dressed up, got excited and then he had to talk about work.
"Is work more important?" Ino pouted, but continued to allow her hands to roam against his chest.
my lil sis wanted me to draw ino theb this hapend
He giggled, enjoying breathing fire, it was making him feel like a dragon. Though he didn’t really get how it was like being a ninja, surely breathing fire wasn’t exactly subtile? And he’d always assumed that ninja’s were meant to be stealthy, not like a herd of flaming elephants.
His giggling increased when she did the same, the teen dodging the bursts of fire, but again her comment almost lost him. “You mean just set them alight?” Gremmy furrowed his brow trying to work out what she meant, but then she added the later and he thought he’d gotten it, “You mean like an emergency signal?”
"oooh~ Could use it like a beacon! Prank’s gone wrong, just breath fire."
He grinned widely, his mind going over all of the possibilities of what he could do with them, of various things he pull with them.
Gremmy really was like a child. Easily amused and distracted by the sweets, not at all concerned for what had happened to him or what was to come. He was living in the exciting moment, eyes bright, cheeks flushed as tendrils of smoke blew out of his lips.
"No. I mean you can set them alight," she answered him seriously, then winked. "But of course, these sweets won’t cause serious harm if you don’t aim at their face. Just scare ‘em a little, ne?"
She laughed at his idea. A prank gone wrong?
"Ara, you must not be very good at pulling pranks then. Mine never go wrong,” she boasted, tossing her hair behind her.
"Of course, I am a good girl. A lady doesn’t cause riots."
He gave her arm a small pat.
Fact was, he could not quite remember the last time he actually laughed aloud- or if he had, really.
"That’s nothing to be proud of!” Ino scolded him, frowning but not as angry with him as she was with herself.
She had failed to make him laugh.
This had to be rectified at once.
"What was that pause for?"