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- Naruto - Waking by lynnxlady - I am usually very, very wary of any InoSaku fics, because the way Sakura behaved in their friendship often makes me irritated and it'd be hard to get past that in a fic pairing them up, but... lynnxlady writes such smooth writing, has these beautiful little flashes of imagery embedded into her writing, captures that gorgeous feel of emotion and the space between dreaming and awake, the way Ino's thoughts and views of Sakura change between Then and Now, the way she grows up, the way things are different now, if still kind of the same. Almost worth reading more for the Ino characterization than the InoSaku, but both are absolutely lovely and just a hint of hotness that works so very well. (Ino/Sakura.)


- Naruto - Undone and Just That Good by lynnxlady - I've long had a fondness for the idea of Ino/Sakura, but it so rarely seemed to present fic that was longer than maybe 300 words. But I was tempted to this one for there being two short fics in one post and the call of NC-17 fic and I wanted to see if the pairing would work for me on more than just a "potential" level, if it would still seem like a good idea while they were having sex. And, wow, did it ever. The author has a hard-edged sort of style to her writing, even while retaining an essential feminity to it. Which might be an oxymoron coming from me, but the fic has it. The two of them with all that tension between them, fighting in different ways, sometimes physical and sometimes not, all over a layer of sexual tension and it's hot and they're girls and they're pretty and this totally worked. (Ino/Sakura, NC-17.)


- Naruto - That Damned Sexy-no-Jutsu by Aishuu - I was curious to see Aishuu's take on Sakura that was more than just a short drabble (if you can count 320 words as a regular-sized fic ^_~) and this was... this was one of those things that I didn't know how awesome it would be until I'd read it, because it's not just that the characterization and writing are lovely. It's also that it's humorous and fun and has a beautiful couple of ending lines. Fabulous, fun reading all around. (....straight and gay with Sakura.)


- Naruto - Anything For Love by Aishuu - A follow-up to the previous fic, this is even shorter, but it's an interesting one! Naruto's Sexy-no-Jutsu applied to Ino and Sakura this time, used with a bit more angst than the fun one and it's... interesting because it's harsh, even while it's not depressing. The fic really makes me like Ino's character even more than I did before, the ending lines of this one really pack the punch with this pairing. (Ino/Sakura.)


- Naruto - I Love The Sound of You Walking Away by horses_and_men - Oh, god, I'm terrible. I know I saw a rec for this in the last couple of days, but I can't remember where now. Sorry! ~_~ But I've seen it recommended a few times here and there and I finally settled into reading it because I have a lot of affection for Ino and there's precious little fic for her. It's a different take than I usually see, probably not one I would have seen on my own, but an interesting take nonetheless. The writing itself is gorgeous, it's one of the few multiple pairing (or slut!Ino fic as the author calls it, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that, even if it may be true in this story) that didn't have me running screaming, instead it actually worked for the fic and every time Ino slept with someone new, no matter how hot it was, the ache in my fangirl chest wound tighter. It's a beautiful exploration of her character in a way that I'm not used to and more of that harsh lifestyle of the Naruto characters that fascinates me. (Some Ino/Sakura, some Ino/everyone.)


- Naruto - All the Words by sintari - I've had a growing fascination with the idea of Ino/Sakura lately. Maybe this is because Ino is one of those characters I have a rather intense fondness for. Maybe it's the novelty of a yuri pairing that I actually think could work in it's own sort of twisty, complicated way. Whatever the reason, this fic was harsh and rather in line with what I want from the characters--life is difficult for kunoichi, especially the pretty ones and what that prettiness can be used for. Ino caring a great deal about Sakura, but she can't express it properly, so she ends up hurting her again, but it's still better than the alternative. The writing is lovely, it gets all these points across in such a simple scene and yet makes me ache for the characters with it. (Ino/Sakura implied.)


- Naruto - Rainy Night by vampirepenguin - I clicked onto this fic because it said it was InoSaku in the summary, but actually reading it... it's far more gen than anything, though, I suppose you should squint and see InoSaku if you liked. Instead, it's a piece about friendship and Sakura's hurt when she really realizes that Sasuke's not coming back, when Ino takes care of her. It's a nice insight into Ino's rivalry-slash-friendship with Sakura and the kind of person she is under the smirking and snarking. Very nice. (Not Ino/Sakura, this is gen, but fans of the pairing might like it anyway.)


- Naruto - Learning to Breathe by vampirepenguin - And she feels selfish and small for being glad that Ino's alive, that she's all right. Another InoSaku fic from the same author and there's... there's a certain sparse quality to the writing that works in it's favor, something that works with the tone the author is going for and fits together with the images of the characters in my head. This time, the fic is set from Sakura's POV and it's very well-done, the way she cares so much even as life is hard and she has to watch people she loves lose people they love. There are several points in this fic where my fangirl heart just aches for Ino and Shikamaru, then aches for Sakura as well, because it's so complicated and painful. One of the better Sakura fics I've read recently. (Ino/Sakura implied.)


Like a Cat For a Summoning Contract by Megan, ino/sakura, mildly nsfw, 1.2k

PAIRINGS/CHARACTERS: Ino/Sakura, mildly nsfw
    Ino's had a bad day; Sakura's there to help. Sort of.
    Because it's Femslash February (at the time of this rec), I decided to hunt around AO3 for more f/f fic to work into my usual recs this month, and this InoSaku fic was one of the first I stumbled over. It's a short piece, but it's very nice, just a quiet unwinding after a long day of training for Ino and I really love some of the details in this--like Ino training with Kakashi (as they're both people who copy others' techniques, if in different ways). But mostly it's the way this is a fairly laid-back piece, it's not about the snarling rivalry that they sometimes have, but neither does it forget that these are two brash, intense girls. Instead it's about these two girls who have such a solidity and confidence to themselves and how they've grown up but are still recognizably themselves and about helping each other wash the day's grime off after a long training session. Ahhh, sometimes I think this pairing might come close to being my Naruto OTP on the right days.

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