Who wouldn’t love Sasuke?
I mean I respected him because he’s powerful. He’s also resourceful and often the most capable ally you can have in a pinch.
It is known that Sasuke defected and became an international criminal because he saw everything, everyone, including me, as an unnecessary obstacle to becoming more powerful than his brother. He cursed himself with hatred in the process. However, he was willing to become the global scapegoat to unite the warring world to end the Fourth Shinobi World War.
The irony was not lost on him; he knew he hated the world, yet he hated himself more than he wanted to end his own life to make the world a better place. As your global resident idiot, I talked him out of it because you don’t let friends die without any reason.
I do believe nobody is beyond saving. I have the power of Kurama; I will extend it as much as I can to save anyone I care about.
And even if I do despise many things about Sasuke, he was one of the people who raised my level to a power I cannot fathom. Adding value to someone’s life earns respect, at least for me.
However, before I urged him to go on living and to find redemption because he is not the same as his brother, Itachi, someone almost averted him from defecting from the village and joining an underground ring that soon boosted his power to great heights.
It was not Sakura, the girl he returned to upon his journey for redemption.
Rather, it was Ino.
You might think that Ino Yamanaka is just a girl who is self-centered and wanted to find love in all the places she can find, going as far as making herself pretty each time.
I can’t blame you. That rivalry she and Sakura had, while silly and entertaining, makes for some bad publicity.
However, Ino is a reliable ninja when it comes down to it. She has genuine care and capabilities. She would defend everyone she cares about. Even Sakura, with whom she carried the rivalry of affections with Sasuke.
You can imagine how much care she has for Sasuke.
When Konoha and the world had declared Sasuke the main enemy who needs to be ended, Ino cried. She probably contemplated having to kill him, something she cannot bring herself to do. I’ve seen Sakura break down in the same manner. I felt those jitters mostly because I wanted that idiot to survive and because I understand his pain of loss, but not his rage.
On the night Sasuke fled from Konoha and defected to the world because he thought everything was lost in the village, Sakura was the first to approach him earlier in the morning. Everyone thought I never knew about his leaving; the truth was, I was tailing him, thinking about his thoughts and what drove him to get out of this village.
I honestly wanted to talk him out of it because he’s my friend and from this village, we both swore to protect.
But before I could approach, I heard someone was running towards him. I took a step back.
It was Ino.
She was breathing hard. Sasuke stared at him, cold, hard, and soulless.
I have never seen him in this way. Not even during the moments he saw his brother.
He was dead set for vengeance through the force of will he had.
Sasuke stared at her.
“If you’re trying to stop me,” he said in an icy manner. “You won’t.”
Ino looked up at him with pleading eyes.
“You know that I will try my best to tell you why you shouldn’t pursue this anymore!” Ino cried.
“You’re going to lose your only family!”
Sasuke sighed. “I have no family. They were taken from me by my brother. He’s the last one I have, and it’s even painful things had to be this way.”
Sasuke stared outward. A sudden softness. Then it returned to original rigidness.
“If you have something to say, say it now.”
Ino just looked at him.
“Have you never thought of the people who will worry about you?” she said, tears in her eyes.
“And people you once considered friends who will die by your hands?”
Sasuke looked at her.
“When that happens” Ino said. “When the time comes you have killed me, then you will be just the same as your brother, Sasuke!”
His eyes widened. I was getting myself prepared to intervene just in case he would get violent.
“Ino.” He stared at her as if he was looking down at an ant. “I never considered you family nor worried about you. There is no reason for me to hesitate and feel anything when I kill you.”
He turned his back on her.
Ino rushed to him and locked her arms around him.
I was still primed for anything can happen, watching from afar.
“All I wanted” she said. “Was for you to live with us. To remember everything.
“To feel and revisit the good and amazing times we had. The victories we won together in this village.
“The people who love you and accept you for everything that you are.”
Sasuke stopped walking.
“You’re all only dragging me down.”
He gently removed Ino’s locked arms around him.
Ino looked defeated. Her eyes were red and swollen from crying.
“Out of all the boys in this village” she said. “You were the only one I liked.”
Sasuke wasn’t moving, his back still against her.
“I won’t stop you from leaving” she said. “But, if this is the last time I’ll see you like this, then please, give me something that I can remember aside from every happy memory I had with you.”
Sasuke looked to the side. “What do you mean?”
She walked in front of him. She took his hand and placed it on her face.
“Inside that tough and cold exterior you have” she said. “Is a softness that I have longed to touch.
Sasuke looked at her.
“You have a tender soul” Ino continued. “Which now you shroud with the hardness to ensure you will never get hurt again.”
She looked at the ground, still holding his hand.
“I know you will never care for me Sasuke. I know you won’t think twice about killing me. Maybe you will with Sakura, but me…” She looked at him.
“I’m just nothing to you, Sasuke. I’m just your teammate whose life you value because duty called for it.
“But just this once, please give me something I want. Because the next time I see you, I might not exist anymore.”
She slowly moved his hands towards her chest and gently applied pressure.
“You’re the only person I loved, Sasuke. I don’t care if you hate me for doing this to you. I don’t care if you won’t listen to me. I don’t care if you treat me less than Sakura.
Sasuke’s features were slowly softening. He looked awkward about the development of the situation.
“But I want to remember you as someone who was loving and valued his friends.” She looked at him.
“Because the Sasuke that will leave Konoha will be someone who has been dead to me for a long time.”
I was surprised to see Sasuke’s features fully soften. Ino did make sense. The Sasuke we’ll face is not the same one who saved and sacrificed himself for Team 7 and for Sakura when they both saw their deaths.
She did the right thing by asking this of him. Because given Sasuke’s aptitude, we might just be wiped out the next time we see him.
Sasuke closed his eyes. Ino just looked at him, teary-eyed, unable to utter any more.
Almost instantly, Sasuke’s eyes changed to something both Ino and I had never seen before. It was a split-second before he closed his eyes and leaned forward to meet her lips with his.
Ino was surprised. Her eyes widened before she closed them. She locked her arms around him.
“I love you, Sasuke” Ino said, looking at him. “You do not need to answer.”
She touched his face, which had a blank expression, yet had softened looking at her.
Ino removed her clothes in front of Sasuke. “You’re the only man I want to touch me. Make me feel who you are now, before you truly become who you wish to be, Sasuke.”
I’m not sure if Sasuke is doing this out of respecting Ino’s last wishes, or because he truly cares for her. As a partner, that is out of a question. But as a friend? That’s possible. I’ll never know.”
Sasuke let Ino remove his clothing and underclothes.
Ino then met his lips once again. It was almost like they were lovers.
One who wanted to die for his quest of vengeance. The other about to lose the only light she had in her life.
The world is unfair, really.
Ino laid Sasuke down. She ran her lips along his chin, down to his neck, to his chest, then to his navel. She proceeded to caress his manliness, pleasuring it, probably with the intent to make Sasuke stay because this pleasure is something he’ll lose once he goes out of Konoha.
However, I knew that wouldn’t deter Sasuke’s pain at all.
Ino kept bobbing her head, consuming Sasuke’s entirety. Sasuke’s expression changed to someone who felt the pleasure of personal intimacy. I’m quite sure Sasuke’s first experience is with Ino, and it’s the same with her.
Sasuke must truly care for Ino to give her something he can only give to a person he loves. But Sasuke does not know what love is; he has no time. But he knows the value of such. Or maybe he does not value it at all.
Ino mounts Sasuke, who did not move. However, his reddening face and pleasured expression showed it all. Ino was moaning in delight.
Another surprising moment: Sasuke reaches for Ino’s right breast with his hand. He then fondles it and brings himself to consume the pleasurable tips of her mammary. Ino reciprocated with moans and purrs of pleasure.
“I know you won’t ever love me Sasuke” she said in between her moans. “But I want you to use me because you’re the only one I want to have me.”
Sasuke’s eyes were closed. He kept his mouth tight. However, Ino and I knew he felt the pleasure and he wasn’t fighting it; he just didn’t know how to respond in the right way.
Ino leaned forward and met his lips once again. They exchanged tongues and fluids. Sasuke was aroused, but he cannot respond properly. But Ino didn’t mind at all.
His expression continued to change as Ino’s moans became louder and their motions became faster.
Then, a sudden halt from Ino and Sasuke.
What followed were heavy breathing. Ino’s eyes were closed from pleasure. Sasuke breathed hard, looked at the ceiling.
“This is the only way” Ino said, breathing heavily. “I know I can grab your attention.
“The only way I can make you happy. The only way I can show you how much I love you.”
Sasuke still stared at the ceiling.
“Even without this, Ino” he sighed. “I know how much you love me.”
Ino stared at him, surprised, still lying in bed.
Knowing Sasuke, he’s not dense or insensitive. He just didn’t know how to respond properly. Looking back, I myself didn’t know how to respond to Hinata’s confession during the time; good thing I wasn’t too late.
“I just can’t have these things” Sasuke said.
“But why” Ino said. “You’re a good person. Everyone loves you. I love you.
“Why do you not deserve this?”
“Because I need to do this for myself. I won’t be able to forgive myself if I don’t”
Ino looked downward. Again. Defeated.
“I won’t stop you any longer.” She said weakly. “Just promise me that you’ll survive.”
Sasuke looked at her. Tears started to form at the corner of her eyes.
“You don’t need to be with me Sasuke. You can choose Sakura. I’m not even jealous.
“I just want you to survive and be alive when you’re done with everything you need to do.”
Surprisingly, Sasuke smiled.
“I am truly lucky to have met you, Ino. You, Sakura, Naruto, and everyone. However, you are a family that I will put in danger because of the things I am set to do.
“This is why I must leave and do this on my own.”
Ino placed her left arm on his naked chest.
She leaned close to his neck.
“When you see me again” he said. “Don’t hold back, Ino. Don’t hold back.”
Ino kept crying, saying no.
“I’m glad I met all of you” Sasuke said. “Because by the time I leave the village, I will be dead to all of you.
“Thank you for giving me a gist of what a family truly is, Ino. And at most, a romantic and intimate love.”
The entire village was alarmed when Sasuke was nowhere to be found in the village. I wasn’t surprised. He ran off, and I let him. I knew his whole business of vengeance. But it was because he had to learn the right way and see for himself the things he planned to do.
Among all those alarmed, one was calm and quiet.
Ino sat alone in the council audience. I knew why. But I cannot speak of it with her.
She was not crying anymore. In fact, she looked determined. It’s as if she had accepted the hand she had been dealt.
Sai sat next to her. Both of them were quiet.
By the end of the war and the redemption of Sasuke, Ino met him and offered her sweetest smile despite Sakura being next to him. Seeing him in this way, I am always reminded of that night his features softened because he knew someone cared.
Now, his smile is consistent because he can now understand and reciprocate these cares, loves, and hopes that he could not bear on his shoulders until he unloads his burden.
Welcome back, you idiot.