Stupid Scroll Thief


She pretended to be asleep, regulating her breathing, relaxing her body. In truth, she was pretty tired. After the night she had, anyone would have dropped off long ago. Her blue eyes were wide, staring intently at the window curtain that fluttered in the cool draft. The night air that came from the slightly ajar window caressed the naked left side of her body. Her long blonde hair was tangled under his head. She faked a moan of discomfort, pulling her long locks out from under him. She rolled, but his hand settled warmly on her exposed hip, his breath against her neck.

Huh, never thought of him as a cuddler the thought fleetingly and tried not to tense and he flex his fingers. She tired to relax again, tried to take slow calming breath to slow her hammering heart. She was afraid he would know she wasn't asleep, afraid that he would want to talk or something. She didn't exactly want to face him right now. It's not like she was embarrassed…well maybe a little. She never jumped anyone like she did a while ago. Her face flamed—correction, she never slept with anyone. That was the problem. All the awkward stares they would probably give one another was not something she wanted to deal with…

God, she just wanted to get away for now! Think things through—realize what she just did. Was that running away? She debated this for a second before her panic and desperation overwhelmed her and she quickly formed a seal, activation her Mind-Body-Disturbance jutsu. Ino knew it would have been harder if he was awake, but he was asleep, vulnerable and drunk as well. She forced him to keep sleeping as she hastily rolled away from him, scrambling off the rumpled bed. Her hair fell in disarray around her face. Quickly, still holding the seal with one hand, she managed to dress herself into a half hazard mess. Her charka was running a bit low when she finished. Grabbing her sandals, she silently slipped from the room. Her head hurt, a hangover beginning to press against her eyeballs. Pulling her hair into a bumpy ponytail, she slipped on her shoes. She didn't look back as she made her way through the forest. She was going to be late because of this little sidetrack, but she would get back by tomorrow if it killed her.

No turning back and most importantly, no looking back. She repeated this in her mind until she was a good twenty miles away from the little town called Fire Thistle.

Her tired body quivered with nerves. She was far away, he should still be asleep right? Ino took a quick scan of her environment just to make sure she was alone. With an aggravated sigh, she scolded herself. This was not like her at all—nerves and jumpiness. She calmed herself enough to take a quick nap, setting off again just as the delicate pink rays of the sunrise peeked over the mountains. Birds chirped and small animals scurried here and there and the leaves of the towering trees shifted as her feet made soft scratches on the branches she hopped on. The morning air made her feel better. There was no way he was following her she thought with a mental nod of persuasion. He was still a missing nin and the Leaf Village was the last place he wanted to be right now.

The large gates were a welcoming sight as she entered the village. She checked in, barely avoiding the Hokage's question concerning her lateness and giving a brief summary of her mission. After, Ino headed straight to her apartment. Her battered bag slumped to the floor with a loud clank. Kicking off her dusty sandals, she grabbed a towel from her bed and headed to the shower. The hot water pelted her skin, washing away sweat and dirt. Once the water was turned off, Ino wiped clean her foggy full length mirror, drying her body afterwards. It was then she noticed the small bruises. Ugly red splotches on her breasts, and bruises on her thighs and hips. She tried not to blush as she thought of the cause of those marks. They can be easily covered she thought dressing in clean clothes and brushing her hair out.

The Hokage had no more missions for her and for that, Ino was grateful. This last one had been longer and more troublesome than usual because the stupid man she was suppose to capture had gotten himself into trouble. But once she had caught up to him, she had a wonderful time extracting the information she needed on the stolen scrolls. When she was finished, the dude had to audacity to try to grope her! Of all—didn't he know not to mess with her after what she just did to him? Did he get off on pain or something?

"Idiot." She muttered, grabbing her bag from the floor and emptying it. After sharpening and sorting through her tools and weapons she pushed everything under her bed she looked at her soiled clothes. Then she had seen him. She couldn't believe her eyes. It was actually him…drinking. Ino had not expected him to be drunk. She didn't expect a lot of things…like joining him. He glanced her way and at first she didn't think he was drunk. His facial expression seemed normal and he didn't like—move like a drunk person would.

That night she had been brooding because after she dealt with the groping scroll thief (tying him up and dragging him behind her) they were attacked by pathetic looking robbers on their way back to the village. The stupid thief had gotten himself killed as he tried to escape. Dumb robbers! Now her mission was bordering on failure because the idiot man made a stupid decision! The Hokage wanted her to bring him back alive so Ibiki could confirm what she had found out. It was standard procedure. Now stupid Ibiki had to go into her mind when she got back. Bastard was nosey. Ino knew that he looked into her other memories as well. That was why she was brooding.

When Sasuke took another shot and slammed the glass down in a challenge, she knew it was on. So what if she was only nineteen? Her birthday was right around the corner and the dirty look she gave the questioning bartender made him pour her a glass without a word.

"Never expected you here." She downed it, wincing as the burning liquid slid down her throat and into her empty stomach.

"Hn." Same reply she heard at the academy. She didn't say anything else, just matched him drink for drink. Ino never drank as much as she did that night. Never lost herself like she did that night as well. Stumbling from the bar, she parted ways from him, holding her stomach.

"Sloppy." He commented dryly and she pushed him away with a glare.

"Go away." She mumbled, but he ignored her and clutched her arm. A wave of dizziness made her hang on his robe to gain her balance back.

"Where?" She just wanted to get back to her room, sleep away the eight shots she consumed on an empty stomach so she pointed to her nearby inn. When the door to her room was opened she bolted straight to the bathroom, puking. Ino pulled herself up and washed the taste away with a handful of water.

"Know your limit next time." His voice stabbed at her pride. And he was just standing there like he didn't drink half the bottle. How could he do that? Shouldn't he be more hammered than her? Did he think she was weak because she just spewed most of her guts out?

"There won't be a next time." She groaned and threw him a murderous look. He sauntered to her. She didn't realize she backed up from him until she felt the cold tile of the wall on her back. "Don't."

"Don't? You would have never asked me to stop in the past." He murmured. Ino blinked away her confusion, or tried to. Her brain was all fuzz and static.

"Is it the past?" She asked and winced mentally. Stupid—that sounded stupid. Jeeze, how messed up was she…wait is he touching me?

"Point taken. We're not thirteen anymore." His hands were on her bare midriff and all the air seemed to rush out of her lungs. Why? Why wasn't she moving away? "Right?" He breathed. She smelled the alcohol on his breath, felt a shaking feeling deep in her heart. She still wanted him? After all this time? After all he'd done? She thought her school hood crush was done and over with! She wasn't chasing a dream anymore…right?

"Right?" He asked again, pressing his body to hers. Ino didn't fully know why she answered him. All she remembered was that she launched herself at him, kissing his mouth hard as he crushed her against him. She knew desire when it sparked and spread like wildfire throughout her whole body. Even with her brain half working, living off of her impulses she didn't stop him from stripping her naked, or stop herself for that matter.

There was no going back when they tumbled on the bed in a tangle of limbs. She was kissing him like a madwoman, touching him, burying her hands in his soft black hair, arching against him. He broke away, kneeling between her knees. Ino screamed when they came together. He had a firm grip on her hips, panting, watching her face contort in pain and pleasure. His gaze was so intense that she couldn't look away, and she didn't want to. He was so beautiful she thought fuzzily.

It wasn't until they were on their third time that she actually sobered. It was when her body exploded into bliss, into a quivering mass of raw nerves that made her understand what she was in the middle of, and who she was doing. The first time had been rushed, the second more primal, but the third had been slow, exploring…

She felt herself clench him had he seemed like he had stopped. She was on her hands and knees, high pitched pants ended as he finished and pulled them both down. She fell on her side, cheeks flushed, sore, numb, breathless.

They didn't say one word. The only thing that was heard was their harsh breathing that turned into slow steady breathing after a while. He fell asleep before she did and she lay awake realizing that this experience was very very unexpected. Coming back from her memories, Ino sighed. The whole mission was messed up she thought with a scowl climbing on her bed and snuggling to a pillow. As soon as her eyes closed, she was out.


The next few days were uneventful. Ino stood behind the counter of her family's flower shop wrapping fresh lilies in pink and white paper. She smiled at the customers who were giving each other shy looks.

"Enjoy!" She beamed happily at the young couple blushed and muttered thank you in unison. The bell rang as they exited and she sat back down, pulling out a scroll she was memorizing. She had been neglecting her training and needed new jutsus to show Shikamaru and Choji.

As she scanned the list, she couldn't help but feel a little bored. Learning new jutsus took forever, but she had to do it. The Jonin exams were coming up and she was going to enter. That meant she had to have an array of new jutsus. Taijutsus. She had a few, but more was always an option. Wonder what Lee is doing right now? She glanced at the clock and smiled. Only two hours left until her shift was up.

The bell rang and she glanced up from her scroll and saw a bob of pink hair. Her heart sped up as Sakura greeted her with a smile.

"Hey Ino pig." Cool, calm, she's not psychic so she doesn't know what happened. She smiled, feeling as just as fake.

"Billboard brow. Come to buy something?" She arched a brow.

"No." Sakura scowled and grabbed a pen from the counter. It was then that Ino noticed the clipboard under her arm. "Your yearly check-up. When's a good time to come in?" Ino frowned. It was here already?

"I don't know. Maybe the end of next week."

Sakura looked up from her clipboard. "The Jonin exam is in six weeks. The sooner the better if you want to join." Ino gave an exasperated sigh.

"What? Next week is too late?" Sakura bristled at her hot sarcasm.

"Next week you might get another mission. Then what? I have to give you a rush exam an hour before you enter?"

"I'm not going on a mission. I asked the Hokage to give me time off to prepare." Ino shot back.

"Then make an earlier appointment. I don't want to have to go looking for you." Sakura punctuated the remark with a stab of the pen on the counter.

"I said next week. Deal with it." Ino huffed, rolling up her scroll. Her replacement was finally here and she took off her apron. Sakura sighed and scribbled Ino's name.

"Fine. Friday at 2 o'clock. Don't be late." Ino rolled her eyes and then caught Sakura's arm before she left.

"Do you know where Lee is?" They walked out of the flower shop together.

"Ask Tenten. She's at the dango shop with Hinata." With a quick smile, Ino waved bye to her friend. Sakura left back to the hospital. As Ino watched her get smaller and smaller, the feeling of guilt was getting greater and greater. Did she still like Sasuke? They never really talked about him since Naruto told them that Sasuke would be back. He had to tie up a couple of things, but he promised. She knew he would be back. Sasuke didn't make promises to just anyone. Ino felt cold all of the sudden. No, shake it off. He'll probably be gone for a couple more years and by that time, she would have gotten over this, and he would have forgotten. Then, why did he show up so close to the village? And where was his team?

"Ino!" She yelped when a booming voice screamed in her ear.

"What the hell Kiba?" She skewered him with a glare.

"What the hell is up with you? I've been calling your name for a while!" Kiba snapped back. His brown eyes narrowed, hair spiked out in different directions. His beige jacket was unzipped, opening to a dark red shirt. Black cargo pants with kunai strapped on his right thigh. Akamaru stood obediently at his side with the same expression Kiba had. (If dogs could have expressions)


"The Hokage wants you to see Ibiki." He finally said after studying her a bit more.

Damn! Not him! "Alright." She said as calmly as she could and gave Kiba a tight smile before heading (slowly) to meet with someone she really didn't want to see.

The interrogation room was daunting and intimidating place. One lone table, cracked and withered stood in the center. The low hanging light was a sickly yellow and dully illuminated the small room. The chair was a cold metal thing that saw much in its day. The green paint was chipped and browning.

Ino sat staring at the room from the hallway. The viewing window needed cleaning she thought with a wrinkled nose.

"Ready?" An ANBU appeared in front of her in a swirl of leaves. Not really, but she had no choice did she? Ino's bad mood came back full swing. Idiot scroll thief! She followed him into the room and slumped on the chair. She didn't have to wait long.

"Let's get this done with." She grumbled. Ibiki raised his brows.

"Of course."

She braced herself as he formed a seal and took possession of her soul. It always hurt, but she endured the pain until he combed through her memories and thoughts. He never tortured her, but it wasn't a walk in the park either. Ino's lips moved involuntarily, her eyes widened, her face expressing annoyance as he made her recall the past events. When he was finished, she felt totally drained. Her body felt foreign for a moment like it always did when her soul was released from Ibiki's power. Breathing a bit erratically, she stood up. Ibiki was smirking. She knew that he wouldn't tell that to the Hokage, but just him knowing was enough to really dislike him right now.

"Don't get off on it too much!" She snapped, pushing the chair back underneath the table. Ibiki's laughter followed her down the hallway.

By the time she got outside, evening already descended and the pale moon was making its appearance. Well, so much for training today she thought with a scowl that was fast becoming a bad habit for her. She didn't want wrinkles! Rubbing her forehead, she sighed. Might as well grab something to eat before heading home. But it sucked eating alone she thought and then spotted someone.

"Uzumaki!" She called out and the dark haired girl turned her way and waved. "Have you eaten yet?" She asked Hinata.

"No, not yet. Would you like to get something together?" She asked softly. Ino rolled her eyes and snatched Hinata's arm.

"Well duh. How 'bout Hiro's?" The small little restaurant served low calorie low carb meals while still keeping the flavor. It was a one of the few fast food places she allowed herself to eat at. Both girls settled in a comfy corner.

"Where's Naruto?" She broke a piece of complimentary seven-grain bread from the small loaf and stuffed it in her mouth.

"He left on a solo mission. I'm not sure when he'll be back." Hinata explained, delicately stirring her tea.

"Do you know where?" Hinata shook her head.

"He said it was secret. I never see him as much as I would like, but when he finally comes home its all that more special." She gave one of those lovey-dovey sighs.

"Rrright." Ino gave a strange look as the head-over-heels-in-love new bride. "That good huh?" She snickered and grinned at Hinata's blush.

"H-how was your mission? Didn't you just get back a couple of days ago?" Her cheeks were still a little pink as she met Ino's eyes. Ino was pretty good at composing her expression, but the earlier interrogation still hung in her thoughts and she felt her face fall.

"It went okay. The guy got himself killed." She said with a nonchalant shrug.

"Oh." Hinata stared at her for a little while longer. "And?"

Ino frowned, nerves suddenly running wild. "And what? That was all." She said too defensively. Damn, what was wong with her…its like as soon as she thought of him all her composure flew out the window and she was a unconfident girl of five again! Hinata's expression was blank, unnerving, just like the rest of the stoic Hyugas. How did they do that? Teach them when they're young?

"Alright. If you say so." Hinata said slowly. Man, how could that little phrase break her silence?

"I slept with some one!" She blurted out. Hinata's stunned expression only made her blurt out even more. "I didn't mean to, but I was so drunk and he was so cute! I didn't want to stop even though I knew I should have! It's not like I was really aware of what I was doing. It was stupid! Really stupid I wish I could take it back, but what is done is done. He probably won't show his face anytime soon, so it's okay to forget about it right? Right?" She sounded desperate, but this was the first time she was willingly telling someone and she had to make Hinata see it her way!

"I-I s-suppose you can." Hinata sputtered, totally taken off guard. "If it didn't mean anything."

Yes! She knew Hinata would understand—wait—mean anything?

"No" Ino said quickly. "It didn't mean anything. I mean, when I was younger it probably would have meant something, but those feelings have changed." She thought out loud with a finger to her lower lip staring vacantly at her lemon flavored water.

"Who are we talking about?" Hinata seemed really interested now. Ino blinked her mind suddenly blank once again. Damn, what was the use of secrets anyway? She grabbed Hinata's hand and wrote his name in her palm with her finger. Hinata gasped, clenching her hand into a tight fist.

"Really?" Ino nodded. For some reason, she felt better not saying his name out loud.

"Have you told—"

"No!" Ino gasped in horror. "And you can never tell her! I've worked hard to reclaim our friendship which was lost over him," She pointed out. "I don't want to lose it again after one stupid night."

"I see." The conversation halted when the waitress showed up with their food. Hinata pushed her dish to the side and leaned forward ever so slightly. Her pale eyes were warm, but troubled as well. "If you think that's the right choice then by all means. But if by chance Sakura does find out, it could be much worse than you might have originally thought. It's a huge secret. Are you sure you can keep it?"

Ino stared at her hot bowel of chicken soup. "I have to. Sakura is my best friend." She said quietly. Yet the weight of her resolve tore at her heart. Some kind of friend I am, she thought bitterly. If she had a weak will, this could have crushed her, but Ino was strong, confident, smart and beautiful. She knew herself, knew what she could endure. She would do anything…anything to keep Sakura from ending their friendship and if it meant holding something like this on her heart, then she would. That personal promise steeled her will. It would fade away Ino thought after she and Hinata parted ways. It would fade into nothing…just like night faded into morning.


AN: I don't know why but since one of my stories is almost finished, I always get into another one to keep my in-progress stories at five. Keeps me going…

ALSO—for those who read just to flame the paring needs to grow up. I know there are really die hard Sasuke and Sakura fans, but to review and say that I suck because I made a Sasuke and Ino fic are really immature. Get over it okay? I really like Naruto and Hinata parings but you don't see me flaming people who put them with other people…just wanted to nip that little concern in the bud.

For my Sailor Moon fans, like I said Moondusted will be updated by the end of the month…Anyways love you all a lots and lots KISSES :muh: