dedication: to Mars, my Burning Lady of the Unrelenting Flames.
title: girls like you
summary: "Dandelions. Really." — Sarada/Inojin.
"Would you quit that?"
"That! You are making that face!"
"This is my face, Flower, it's the only one I've got," Inojin said, unperturbed. They were flopped down beneath the big tree in the Academy training yard, trying to escape the oppressively drippy summer heat. Their teams were squabbling in the distant flower field, Konohamaru-sensei was flirting vigorously with a smirking Hanabi-sensei, and Sarada's companion was drawing, like always, and he was making a stupid face.
"Don't call me that," Sarada said, deeply unimpressed. She pushed her glasses up her nose with a flick of her fingers, and scrunched her face at him. "It's degrading."
"What shall I call you, then? Cosmos?"
"Not cosmos," she warned him, dark eyes narrowing rapidly. They were both perfectly aware of their mothers' particular affection for the cosmos—Sarada understood shadows, because her Papa lived in them; she had no wish to stand in her Mama's, not now, not ever. Especially not to Inojin, with his stupid-nice hair and his stupid-nice eyes and his stupid-nice face.
(Being Uchiha Sakura's daughter was stress enough.)
"Dandelions, then," he said, head bent over his sketchpad. "Dandy, for short. I like that."
"Really," he said, and there it was, the dumb smirk, the way his lips twitched up at the thought of driving her up the wall a little more than was necessary. It made her hot and itchy all over, and like she wanted to dig her teeth into him until he hurt the way she did. It wasn't even sane.
"Why?" Sarada asked, instead of psychoanalyzing herself. Her Mama said she did it too much as it was.
And Inojin reached over to tuck dark flyaway strands of hair behind her ear. His hand lingered at her cheek for just a second too long, and then he was breathing deep to answer her.
"Because they remind me of you," he said.
Sarada coloured high in her cheeks. "Shut up, you, this is not a yes to ramen," she said, and punched him in the arm.
But it didn't stop her from leaning into his space just a little, little, little bit more.