It's been two years since the end of the Fourth Great Ninja War. So far all of the nations have maintained piece with one another, even though they may not trust at the others one-hundred percent. Because of the lack of trust, there are still some nations that maintain closeness with one another, and some that keep their distance and a close watch, but still continue on with the act of friendliness. Suna and Konoha are among the nations, especially since Naruto was named Hokage. The fifth hokage, Tsunade, and my teacher, is currently heading the medical unit. Shizune is her right hand as always, and I have been promoted to head of the hospital. Naruto still sends me on missions from time to time though, but mostly if it's to go to another land to provide assistance, healing techniques, or just to maintain a medical class. I also get sent over for diplomatic reasons though, after all, being on a team with the current hokage and at one point the student of the previous hokage gets my name out there. I've been named the third most powerful medical shinobi, after Tsunade and Shizune of course. I'm happy with the way life has been since the war. I somehow all of the rookie nine and Team Guy made it out alive. The Suna siblings are doing well also, Gaara has been named as the best Kazekage in the history of their village. He protected each villager with all of his might and with the help of the allied Shinobi force as well of course.
"Forehead are you listening to me?! Hello! I've been trying to get your attention forever! What are you thinking about anyway?" Yup, some things never changed. Ino is still my best friend, even though she can be a loud-mouthed pain in the ass most of the time. I love her anyway.
"Oh, sorry Ino. It was nothing important, don't worry about it. What's up?" She eyed me warily as if assessing my expressions to see if I was hiding something, once she really believed that there was nothing I was hiding, she smiled.
"Well, I was trying to tell you about my date last night. Anyway, Sai took me to the training grounds and planned out a whole picnic. Well, took me is an understatement. Really he like, drew his bird thing on the scroll and we flew there. It was amazing; you should see the village from that height! "
This again. Ever since Sai realized that he was able to access his feelings and emotions again, and understand those of others, he had chased after Ino. Even though she was very open about how hot she thought he was, she said no for the first year of his pursuance. She thought it was a prank that Naruto and I talked Sai into playing on her. After all, she wasn't on his team, how was she to know that he understood feelings again?
"That does sound amazing. Maybe I should ask Sai to take me up to view the village from sky view as well." I made sure to send a wink to Ino as I taunted her. She was always so much fun to pick on.
"Don't you think about it Sakura!" She was livid. I'm sure everyone in the apartment complex could hear her. Even though her loud mouth tendency often resulted in headaches, it was still very much worth picking on her. "Although, when are you going to try and find a guy? I mean, Sasuke is still missing you know?" Ah, worry. That's the expression she holds now. Great. I don't like where this conversation is going.
I sighed, "Well Ino, I am happy with my life now you know… And you out of everyone knows that I'm not waiting on Sasuke anymore. I'm just always so busy, constantly at work and such. I just don't have the time."
"Yeah, you say that. And I know that you don't care about Sasuke anymore, we both gave up on him for the better, and he's too far gone. But you may want to try to make time. I mean, some of the guys our age are already taken. Naruto is with Hinata, Neji and Tenten have their thing…though, I'm not sure if they are off right now or on. Gah! I wish Neji would make up his mind; Tenten is obviously crazy about him. And Shikamaru is with Tamari of the Sand. Times running out. I mean, I guess in the end you'll always have Lee…"
Oh no, oh no no no no, NO! I cringed at the thought of being with Lee. Don't get me wrong, he's always been so nice, but I just don't feel anything around him. He's a good friend though.
"Yeah I know, and I think about it every now and then so don't worry. Also, no offence to Lee, but I'd rather stay single for my life. He's just too hyper for me. Too much, 'youth' I guess." Ino giggled as I flashed the 'bunny ear' marks while saying youth. "And I've already marked Neji off the list. Even if he and Tenten decided they were done, I don't think I could date him. Not unless Tenten didn't hold any feelings at all. She's too good of a friend to do that to. Anyway, you didn't finish telling me about your date, so spill it!" I changed the topic, hoping she wouldn't notice...after all, her date is the whole reason she brought me to sit at our table with her in our little kitchen. Though, now that I think about it, she did have cups of hot cocoa made. Crap, I think I walked into a trap.
"Oh, well, we got to the training grounds. Ate food. Talked about our week. Left. And he kissed me goodnight. Anyways, if not Lee than who?" Just my luck, she noticed and it was a trap after all, damn. "I mean, there's Choji I guess, and don't get me wrong he's really nice and I've enjoyed being on his team, but I just can't see y'all together. He likes junk food too much, and you, being well, you and all. A medical nin, lean more towards the healthy side. So I just don't see that working. Unless I'm wrong of course, I totally wouldn't mind talking to him for you!" I watched her face light up at the idea of setting me up with her friend.
"No thanks Ino-pig, he's nice and all, but you're right. The whole health thing would definitely get in the way. "There. Dodged that bullet. I wonder who she will try to set me up with next.
"Ok, so I was right on that one. Lets see, what about Kiba? He's not doing much these days. In fact, I think I heard Shikamaru say that Kiba was into you a few weeks ago. He just didn't know how to go about telling you. He's cute, right?" Hopeful. Hopeful was the expression on her face this time. If I let this go on much longer, I'm going to feel bad and she'll win this battle. Well, knowing my loudmouthed best friend, at this point no matter what I do I'll lose this battle. Damn, might as well go out somewhat graceful. "By the way, he's not the only one that I heard has the hots for you…."
"Ok Ino. You and I both know that no matter what I say you're going to find a way to hook me up with someone. So I'll give in and bite the hook. Who else have you heard has a thing for me?"
Nothing but pure joy was on her face. I swear, her smile at this point would put Guy-sensei and Lee to shame. Hands down, no ifs ands or buts. "That's right, you know I'll win! Don't worry you won't regret this. Now, lets see, hmmmmm.. I wrote down their names somewhere." Great there's a list. I watched in annoyance as she went through her purse trying to find it. "Ah, got it! Well first on the list is Kiba, but you already knew that. Next is Shino. What do you think about him?"
I face palmed. She knows that bugs creep me out.
"Ok then….after him is Neji."
"Seriously. I just told you I wouldn't date him because of Tenten. Next."
"Geeze Forehead, don't be too picky. The list isn't endless ya know. "
We starred each other down.
"Maybe Genma?" I won, she talked first. I pretended to pack myself on my back. Even though I'm not winning the war on my love life, at least I won that little battle.
"I thought you were trying to hook me up with guys our age. He's ten years older than we are."
"Yeah, but he's hot. And now that he's getting close to thirty, he's been thinking about settling down." Well this surprised me. Genma was an even bigger perv than Kakashi-sensei.
"And where did you get this info from? It's kind of hard to believe." Ok, so I was skeptical. I mean, it is Genma we're talking about. Though I will say, he is pretty nice to look at. Though, really all the guys in our village are. Being ninja and all, has its perks on the human body. And as a medical nin I'm one of the ones that get to admire the perks on a daily basis. Just doin' my job and helping society.
"Genma himself. Some of us went to the bbq place that Choji likes so much. He just came home from his first Anbu mission so we wanted to celebrate with him. I tried to reach you, but you ending up being on the night shift. Anyway, we all had a few drinks while we were there, and the talk got, well, real. Genma opened up some and was telling Kakashi-sensei and I how he wants to settle down. Kakashi didn't really believe him either. So, Genma told me to do my mind-transfer and I'd see the truth. Well I did, and though I didn't say it aloud, the only girl I saw in his head was you. I did notice that he still flirts with some of your staff though, but not nearly as much as he did."
"Really. Wow, that is…strange. Come to think about it, there have been less complaints coming from the nurses that do his checkups. Hmm, I guess he has picked up the banter in our conversations more, and he adds the occasional touch. Before he was all verbiage. Maybe you are right." I thought long and hard. I had a feeling that there wasn't really anyone else on her list. I weighed the pros and cons of each, and then a thought came into mind.
"Ino, if all those guys really have a thing for me, why haven't any of them come to me and asked me out. Why go to my friends instead I mean?" This truly puzzled me. I mean, when I had my thing for Sasuke I didn't go around and tell his friends about it. I march right up to him and stated it myself. Isn't that how people usually do it?
"Well, you see, they all think you're still into Sasuke, think about it. You haven't dated since after the war when he tried to stay in the village. Before he decided he just couldn't and left again. And your relationship was fairly serious with him. Can you blame them for not pursuing you?"
No, no I can't. Having Sasuke leave again, especially when we had something with each other took its toll on me. The guys were right to not chase after me. "I guess you're right. I would have said no anyway. I am over it all now though. It's really just lack of time that stops me from thinking about dating. Though, you are right, I should try. I guess I'll make time."
"Forehead, that's nice and all, but you never really answered the question."
"Ok, you're right." I sighed, I feel both excited and nervous. "I guess, umm, I guess I can go with Kiba."
"OHHHHH! I knew it! But why Kiba? What made him better than well, Genma. I can tell the others weren't really an option."
"Well, you said that Genma is ready to settle down. I just figure maybe since it's my first relationship in a while, maybe I should take it easy and slow. With Kiba I can do that."
"True, but don't forget he is going to need to pass down the clan name. His sister may be older and the head by birth, but she took her husband's name. So after a bit of dating, he'll most likely be getting pressure from his clan to move onto marriage. Just something to think about."
Crap, she has me there. "Well, I guess if that happens I'll just have to take it as I go. That is a maybe after all. With Genma it would be dating towards marriage from the start. I just can't handle that pressure yet." There, that should be enough.
"Great! I'll set it up! Kiba just got back from a long mission earlier this week. From what I know, he's got the next two months off work. Built up vacation time and what not. I'll double check though. So, when is your next day off?"
I stole a glance at the calendar that we have hanging on the wall. Of course her eyes followed mine.
"Saturday great. And Friday is a half day; I'll work on both of those."
Wait, both? "What do you mean both? I picked Kiba, I'm not going to go on a date with one of them one day and one with the other on the next day. That's rude!"
"Chill out. I just mean that you'll have a date with him on both days."
"Seriously Ino, I'm not helpless. Experienced yes, but not helpless. Just set it up for Friday and he and I will decide if we want to do anything Saturday. Ok?"
"That sounds good to me. I got it! I'll have him call you later. Well, my shift at the hospital is coming up, so see you tonight. Enjoy the rest of your day off." And with that she was out the door. I sat alone in our kitchen with two glass of cold cocoa. After all, we never even took a sip. With a sigh I headed off to the living room. Since this may be my last day all to myself, I might as well enjoy some of my favorite movies. Maybe I'll take a nap later…