Notes at the bottom. I hope you enjoy my self indulgent fluff.
Naruto was sitting on a bench, near the park but just out of sight of the crowded playground area, elbows braced on his knees, face resting in his hands and an oddly subdued expression on his face, when Ino found him. His posture and expression was so off that she hesitated before approaching him.
"Hey Naruto," she said brightly, and then frowning when he ignored her. It was like he wasn't even hearing her at all. She leaned over, waving her hand in front of his eyes.
"Hello? Anyone in there?"
Naruto jumped slightly, looking up at her with wide eyes the color of summer skies. "I-Ino-chan!" He gasped, "You surprised me."
Ino straightened, hands perching on her hips, "well I did say hello. You were so lost in your own head you didn't notice me. I swear, you are almost as bad as Shikamaru. A paper bomb could go off next to him and he wouldn't notice some days."
"Yeah I guess I was just thinking too hard," he said smiling, reaching up to scratch the back of his head.
"Well knock if off before you hurt yourself," she replied with a smile, moving to sit next to him on the bench, "now tell me what you are stressing so much over and I'll tell you what to do." She turned to him and winked flirtatiously, "I'm good at that,"
Color flushed across his cheeks and he turned away quickly, "oh well, you see…" he stammered, grasping for the right words, any words to get out of this without angering the blonde woman. The last thing he was willing to do was have this conversation with her.
"Oh my god," she gasped, grabbing his collar and pulling him back to face her "you are blushing! Does Naru-chan have a crush?"
Naruto didn't response right away, he was far too flustered by how close they now where. Ino didn't seem to notice, or mind, but she had piratically pulled him into her lap, their faces closer than they had ever been before.
"So?" She prodded, "who is it? Do I know her?" She waited a moment for an answer before adding, "or is it a him?"
Naruto pulled away abruptly, jumping to his feet to put some distance between them. "It's a girl!" He explained and then mentally kicked himself. That was just opening the door for more questions. He knew Ino well enough to know that now there was no way she was going to let this go until she knew everything she wanted to know about it. And probably passed it on to the rest of the village.
Ino stood, smiling smugly, like a cat who had their prey in sight. Ready to pounce and show no mercy at all. He wondered if she would look so happy about this if she knew just what she was poking at.
"So you do have a crush on a girl and that's what got you so distracted?"
He stepped back, looking away from Ino, but giving into the inevitability that now he had to talk about it. Retreat was no good, if he just left she would find him and pester him until he caved.
"Something like that yeah."
Ino stepped around him, leaning forward so her bangs slid away from her face and he could see both of her sea-green eyes looking up at him curiously, "it either is, or it isn't so which one Naruto?"
He frowned, "I don't know I mean… maybe crush isn't the right word ya'know?"
"Then what word is right?" She asked, eyes carefully studying him, "like? admire? love?"
Naruto choked slightly at the last word, causing her to laugh softly.
"Well that's a good thing Naruto! Why are you stressing over that?" Ino paused, her smile fading slightly, "unless she doesn't like you? Or is with someone else? Who is it? Tell me! I can help you get her heart."
He stopped pretending the tree above her head was fascinating and met her gaze, "what do you mean?"
"Love is easy Naruto," Ino said with a bright smile, turning and starting to walk down the path as though she expected him to follow (which of course she did), "you show her how you really care and unless she is like married or something you will get the girl."
She stopped, turning to check that he was following and asked "she isn't married is she?"
Naurto laughed, "of course not."
"Perfect," Ino said, the cat-like grin back in place, before turning around and continuing to walk.
Naruto caught up to her quickly, his stride slightly longer than hers.
"So who is it?"
He shook his head, "I can't tell you."
"How am I supposed to help if you don't tell me?"
"You said this was easy, just tell me what yo do and I'll make it work." He answered, finally sounding like he was on board for this. Or just resigned to his fate. Either suited Ino just fine. "I mean," he continued, "how do you tell someone you love them? How can they know you mean it?"
"Well first you have to tell them, but you can't stop there. You have to show her, remind her always of your feelings. Even while you are together."
"Ino-chan, I don't know how to do that!"
She laughed, grabbing his sleeve with her hand and giving it a soft tug, "that's what I am here for. Trust me."
"Okay what do i do?"
"You have to show her that you need her, and don't act like she can read your mind, you have to physically do things to show it."
"And that will work?" He asked skeptically.
"Naruto remember this, everyone wants to live happily ever after. Even Shikamaru will ever admit it because it might consistent work. Everyone wants to be in love, and loved in return, and everyone wants to know their true love is real."
She smiled, "of course."
"So tell me, Ino-chan," Naruto asked, stepping closer to her, "what would a man have to do to show you he loves you."
Ino's expression was confused for a moment before she recovered from the quick switch of focus onto her, "this is about you, not me remember?"
"Tell me," he said with a smile, "I think that will answer all my questions about what to do."
"O-okay," she said softly, stepping back and taking a moment to think. "Well he would have to be romantic, like bringing me flowers and leaving me little notes. And… he could ask me to dance at the next festival, just to hold me close. Or invite me on a private picnic. Just you know, little things like that to let me know he is thinking about me even when we aren't together you know? Oh! And he would have to like my team, Shika and Choji are like my brothers after all. It would be nice if he wore my favorite color too."
Naruto, who had been paying uncharacteristically close attention made a soft choking sound at that.
Ino looked up sharply at him, "what?"
"I'm sorry Ino-chan," he said with a soft smile, "but I am so not wearing purple."
"Excuse you?" she said, eyeing him dangerously, "as if that garish orange you wear is better?"
Naruto put his hands up, laughing now, "no not at all. Purple just isn't my color you know?"
Ino's mouth was open, ready to retort angrily at him (because how dare he insult purple, it was by far the superior color of the two in question) when his words finally registered.
"Naruto," she said slowly, heart suddenly pounding loudly in her ears, "who's favorite color is purple?"
His face was flushed slightly again, and he scratched the back of his head nervously. "Well, it's yours isn't it?"
She nodded, miraculously lost for words.
Naruto smiled, satisfied, "well I'll do all that other stuff but I"m not wearing purple even if it is for you. Okay?"
She nodded again, her lips curling into a smile before she all but launched herself into his arms. He caught her, spinning around once with her momentum before pressing his lips against hers. Her hands gripped the fabric of his jacket, pulling him closer, his hands cupped the sides of her face.
When they parted for breath she smiled and he laughed. This was not how either of them thought the day was going to go, but that was alright. This was better. After all, everyone wants to be in love, and loved in return, and everyone wants to know their true love is real.
A/N: Written by request on tumblr (I'm Kunonichi-Ume there if anyone is curious) from a list of Disney Lyric prompts. Prompt was "Everyone wants to know thier true love is true" from the song That How You Know from Enchanted.