Random, not quite relevant thought – I really hope that Ino and Sai are still technically married and that he totally lives with her and Sakura as their house husband. Maybe he’s still in a relationship with Ino, but not Sakura which is why she did the Uchiha route? Or just really wanted to be there for his kid. But he totally retired from ninjadom for the higher calling of caring for children while indulging in art as a hobby.

Hm… personally for me, depending on how liberal Konoha’s legislation is on the matter of marriage, I’d like for Ino to be married to both Sai and Sakura. But if bigamy isn’t allowed (and I can understand why that wouldn’t be considering CLANS and INHERITANCE and… you know… that can be exploited horribly as it usually is in real life) then I think I’d prefer it if Ino and Sakura were the ones married.

Then again, Ino and Sai being married would be nice because Sai doesn’t really have a family and being married would mean that he’s now officially part of someone’s family. (I’m not crying, you’re crying). But than can also be achieved by Sakura and Sai getting married?

But, yeah, in their ménage à trois, it’s definitely Ino at the point of their V while Sakura and Sai’s relationship is nonsexual romantic or just plain platonic. They do like each other rather a lot, though, and DoS!Sakura is a lot more accepting(?) of Sai than canon!Sakura who saw him as a shoddy Sasuke replacement.

They all live together, along with Inojin and Sarada (and I just realized that in this universe, Sarada’s last name would probably be Haruno making her Spring Salad), and Sai definitely had to step up and take on most of the child-rearing duties especially since I also realize that in order for Sarada to be genetically-canon!Sarada, Ino and Sakura would have been pregnant at around the same time. So Sai would have had to deal with DOUBLE THE PREGNANT LADIES. But, luckily for him, he does honestly enjoy taking care of the kids.

I don’t think he’d fully retire from ninjadom–mostly because I don’t think that’s really possible in a Hidden Village–but he does definitely orient his missions/duties for, oh I dunno, maybe he becomes a teacher at the Academy (for the younger years) or he learns medic jutsu and works in the pediatric center of the hospital.

(Oh! Another thing I found from narutopedia: whenever Inojin plays roleplaying games he chooses White Mage who are literally medics so, you know, being son of three medics–one of whom is the successor of Legendary Medic Tsunade–is probably heaven for him)

He does also write/draw children’s books on the side, because if Jiraiya can write porn and be a spymaster, Sai can definitely be a father, an author, and a teacher/doctor.

How did Ino, Sai, and Sakura end up together? I’d say it probably went something like this:

“Beautiful,” the cute guy calls her, and Ino just barely controls her blush.

“Obviously,” she says, flipping her hair, “but you’ll have to try harder than that to impress me.”

The cute guy, Sai, nods as if noting it, all but writing it down. “Do you have any advice? A book, maybe?”

Ino smiles; how does Shikako find these guys?

“You should come by the flower shop,” Ino suggests, invites, beguiles, “I can teach you far better than any book can.”

Sai shows up at the flower shop the next day and maybe he didn’t really understand what she was offering, but it’s a nice enough conversation.

He actually listens to her, not just stares mutely and tunes her out. He asks follow up questions and by the time an hour has passed she’s discussing the pros and cons of various flower arranging styles as methods of poison dispersal to a boy who actually wants to know more.

She invites him to come back.

Maybe it didn’t turn out the way she wanted it to, but she finds she doesn’t mind at all.

And anyway, he still calls her beautiful.

Ino looks forward to the kunoichi meetings, tries to go to as many as she can–it’s good for networking and collaborating, true, but mostly she just misses it. Misses kunoichi classes at the Academy, and sleepovers at her house, and the way things were easier and brighter and happier then.

Ino knows she and Shikako have changed too much–seen to much and done too much–to ever really get that kind of innocence back. Not that theirs had been all that pure, honed and shaped the way all clan kids are from birth, but still.

Sakura still has it, that brightness that has nothing to do with the color of her hair and eyes. That core of strength and beauty that no poisonous flower arrangement could ever match.

Ino looks forward to the kunoichi meetings because, at the heart of it, she looks forward to seeing Sakura.

Things… happen.

No, that’s not right: Ino makes things happen.

She’s never been one for sitting back and pining–she’ll play things close to the chest like any proper Yamanaka, but she’s always been vocal about her likes and dislikes.

This time around, she gets liked back.

Once, Sakura visits her at the flower shop at the same time Sai is there for their meetings–Sakura is usually busy with shifts at the hospital and her lessons from Tsunade-sama, and Ino’s not entirely sure what Sai gets up to when he’s not at the flower shop or going on bizarre missions with Shikako.

Once is all it takes.

Sakura skirts around the counter, presses a kiss to Ino’s cheek in greeting, and for all that it’s chaste it makes her blush.

Sai tilts his head, observant as always.

Sakura nudges her in curiosity.

“Sakura, this is Sai, cute artist,” Ino introduces, “Sai, this is Sakura, amazing girlfriend.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Sai,” Sakura says with a sweet smile.

“It’s nice to meet you, too, Amazing Girlfriend,” Sai responds, a smile of his own, “I appreciate having a senpai in dating Ino. Please look after me,” he adds a polite bow, oblivious to the reactions he receives.

Sakura blinks in surprise. Mostly confused, but a little… considering.

Ino looks between the two of them and has a revelation.

aka, how Sai instigates a poly relationship without realizing it 😀

edit: adding this to ao3 Dreaming One Shots as “Take A Step That Is New”

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