AN: So when I was writing Closer I had notebooks full of ideas that popped into my head. Some of them made the cut, some of them didn't and most of them were rewritten with the same basic ideas. Here is one…
Main Paring: SasuIno
Ino said nothing as she watched him riddle the poor tree with kunai and shuriken. His eyes were locked onto nothing else, his fingers nimbly tossing weapon after weapon until there wasn't a bare place on the trunk. Or so she thought. He stalked angrily to the tree and punched it with chakra induced strength, expertly bypassing the sharp projectiles and making the thick truck crack under the force.
As much as she wanted to stop him from pummeling a helpless tree, she let him rant. She sighed, looking around the secluded place, wondering why she was here anyways. The look he gave her in passing earlier in the village made her come. She had waited a few minutes before following him. Now standing behind him as he vented, Ino wondered if she read him right. He hadn't acknowledged her presence and she knew he knew she was there. Just how long did she have to wait? The thought made her feel annoyed.
Waiting for him. Why did she have to do that? She was about to turn away but he fell to his knees in exhaustion. Ino squatted down in front of him, feeling a mix of shock and concern.
"Sasuke?" Only silence greeted her tense question and he blankly looked at nothing. Her outstretched, hesitant hand dropped slowly to her side. She wanted to know what the hell was going on with him but forced herself not to say a word. With him, she was always unsure how he would take her worry.
She let out a quiet sigh and stood, deciding to leave him alone for a while when he caught her wrist and pulled her close to him. She stiffened in shock when he wrapped both his arms around her waist and placed his forehead on her belly. Her hands rested on his shoulders before shakily looping them around the back of his neck. Tentatively, her fingers stroked his sweaty nape and he tightened his hold on her. She could feel the heat of his forehead through her bandages wrapped around her midriff, feel his whole body tremble. So she just stood there, unwilling to move, unwilling to say or do anything. If he needed her like this then she would be there. She would share her strength with him for this moment…
Naruto scowled, whipping from one tree to another, Stupid Perverted Sage, making that side trip to Kohaku Spa! He told him he had to get back as soon as possible to check on Sasuke!
Adults are so weird he thought with a moody pout. Why would looking at naked women be considered fun? All they did was giggle and gossip. Please, if he wanted to be around that, he would hang out with Ino more. Speaking of which, he hoped she would like the present he got her. It was easy getting everyone else something but Ino was so picky!
Kakashi-sensei told him Sasuke was at the training fields. Naruto frowned. He just got out of the hospital and he was already training? Dumb ass was always pushing himself. Thought Naruto understood why now, having met scary Itachi. Even Jiraiya was concerned and that was a little disheartening. Were all the people in Akatsuki as powerful as Itachi? A cold chill worked its way down his spine giving him goosebumps. Kakashi and Jiraiya said that they would come up with a plan to keep him safe until he was strong enough to take them all on. Still, he was very uneasy. Being here around his friends made him worry for them.
He was near the training field and hoped Sasuke was still there. What he saw when he got there was something that totally took him off guard and made him slip to the ground. He scrambled to his feet quickly and dodged behind a tree. Did they see him? He wondered, peeking stealthily around the corner.
They were still in the same position that made him stare in awe. Sasuke was on his knees, hugging Ino around the waist. Did something happen between them when he was gone? They had been getting closer to one another recently, he thought back. He just watched them for a moment, taking in the peace and warmth of the sight. He didn't know how long they all stayed there but Sasuke finally let go and stood. Ino awkwardly linked her fingers behind her back. They both avoided direct eye contact. Naruto strained his hearing and blotted out his chakra signature further. They didn't say anything.
Ino just turned and left in the opposite direction and Sasuke went to the battered tree to remove his weapons, tossing them into his black bagpack that lay at his feet…