A/N: I like Inonaru. :D Blame uzumaki addiction for that- it is probably my favorite Naruto art site. The junk section is especially cool. There's just so much variety and originality and SUCH pretty works. My only complaint is that there aren't that many pictures of Iruka at all . . . maybe one that I can think of? T-T It's too tragic.

Anyway, Ino x Naruto. Vague description of sex. ^__^ You know you want it, minna-san.



"Acting Out"



Loose, sleep-rumpled blonde hair- and they'd never know it was her, with the way she was under the sheets. Only he would recognize her there.

It had begun badly. She had given up on her childhood affections and begun to search for a way to truly define herself as different from the rest, as daring and strong and beautiful and unique. She wanted to stand out, to be admired for her boldness.

Then it occurred to her, once, when describing a match that she had watched, how her parents winced, ever so slightly, every time she said his name. And she'd smiled, ever so slightly, and gone out the next morning and cornered him and told him that she liked him.

She'd been lying, of course. She hardly knew him.

But he was a little too trusting, and a little too lonely. So when she kissed him, he returned it. And when she told him to follow her, he did. When she held his hand and walked by her parents with her head held high, smirking like the Devil herself, he followed.

That night, she went home and had a row with them, and never even found out WHY they were so upset that she'd held his hand. But as long as she knew they would be . . .

The next day, she caught him after training and dragged him out a bit into the forest, and made him take off his shirt and jacket and told him that he was handsome and ran her hands over his chest and stomach.

He was, actually- she was surprised to find the truth in her own words. But when he wasn't acting so crazy- when he was nervous, shy, embarrassed- then he was attractive.

So she watched him for a while and smirked when he blushed under her scrutiny. Then she kissed him and slipped her thigh between his legs and smirked again when he moaned. She rubbed against him a little bit and gave him another, lighter kiss before she pulled back.

He looked cute blushing, she decided. She'd have to arrange for that to occur more often.

The next day, she saw him eating breakfast with his teammates and invited herself, and then asked what the others had done yesterday afternoon and said she'd had a lot of fun personally. He'd blushed and said the same and she'd grinned while his teammates both wondered if they were missing something.

And for a while, things had kept up like that: she would find him after training and they'd go somewhere private and kiss a little and one of them usually ended up shirtless- sometimes both, if she was feeling particularly rebellious. They didn't talk much during those times . . . but both had begun to watch the other a little more carefully when they ran across each other.

Because of this, she eventually decided that she liked him better the way he was when they were alone, and began trying to make that state of being last as long as possible: that mysterious time in which he seemed so much realer to her. When he let his guard down and showed his true weaknesses. So she would sneak up on him and make vague, teasing comments, and he'd blush and let her stand just a little too close to him.

It worked nicely. She'd flirt a bit, they'd have some fun, and her stomach would thrill at knowing how her parents would've reacted. How her friends would've reacted. And she felt brave and clever and beautiful; like an Amazonian goddess in battle.

But then things started to blur a little bit between the alone- selves and the public-selves. When she learned new things, it was he to who she would run, he to whom she wanted to show off. She brought him flowers once, and a month later she walked by his apartment and saw them dried and hung in the window. For her birthday, he made her chocolate and said that she didn't need to diet; that he liked her as she was. And on Red Day, she made HIM chocolate and he looked happy enough to die.

And again, it worked. Maybe she flirted a little more and maybe they were a little more likely to take off their shirts when together, but neither had even been to the other's house yet.

Until, that is, the day she came looking for him in hopes of a little more fun, snuck into his apartment, and found him in the shower.

He'd just stared at her. For a moment, she'd returned the gesture, but then she took in the full sight of him naked and the reaction he was having to her presence and asked if she could join him, because she felt a bit dirty.

The double meaning of that statement was not lost on him, and he stepped back, pressing himself against the wall to make room for her. And she'd smiled, and taken off her clothes and joined him. He'd stared at her again for a moment, and then gone down on his knees and put his mouth between her thighs, and made her moan this time, and the next morning they woke up next to each other, both still naked and in his bed, and badly needing another shower.

That was the point at which she realized it wasn't just a game anymore. Because when both had finished, she rolled off him, meaning to leave- and then he pulled her down again and wrapped his arms around her and told her that he loved her and that she was beautiful and fabulous.

And somehow, his opinion suddenly seemed to matter so much more than anyone else's.

So she stayed in bed with him all day and skipped training, and didn't care when her teacher punished her with laps around the village. Because the whole time, all she thought of was the bed, and the shower, and the sound of his voice when he told her that he loved her. And when it was done, she ran back to the village and found him at his favorite restaurant, eating with his team.

He smiled at her, and she was lost, running to him and throwing her arms around his neck, kissing him deeply and familiarly, and he returned it with equal pleasure despite his teammates' exclamations of shock.

It is something she had done a thousand times before, but it was a million times better this way, with no thoughts of her parents or need to play the cool, super-confident girl.

She loved every instant of it. It was perfect and fabulous and exactly the way life ought to be.

And while she was there, she took the opportunity to announce, quite bluntly, "I love you too, Naruto-koi."

She had to admit, he had a glorious smile.



* finale *



. : please, teach me how to feel . . . : .