"What in the world?" Ino had been taught that the mind was a reflection of the individual's intelligence combined with personal experiences. To conquer a person's body you had to make it past their own mental techniques to block out bad memories and intruders. Their personal experiences determined the setting their mind normally molded itself to. "This isn't right. He was just like everyone else all the other times… though a little louder and annoying." The water above her ankles told her otherwise.
"Now then… normally there's lots and lots of doors…" She looked around her, finding a long corridor with no doors, but possible paths on each side like some cookie cutter office building. "Doors are supposed to be the guardians of your thoughts… EVERYONE HAS DOORS!" She screamed at all the empty paths on her sides as she walked down the wet corridors. The doors were what contained all the thoughts… the important memories. If that blonde idiot was still alive, then he just needed to wake up from whatever memory he was stuck in. The only way to do that would be to find him, slap him around a little, and push him out of the memory… from behind the DOORS… usually the most current memory, which would be the last DOOR. "DAMN YOU NARUTO!!" She began to feel oddly alone as the scream echoed all around her.
"Well.. at least I can get out of here by canceling the technique when I'm done. I'll unstuck him and let him find his own way back to his current present state of moment." She nodded to herself. It still met the mission's requirements. She began to turn onto one of the paths, when a scream came from the path she was walking into. It was the one thing she had never wanted to hear again. The one thing Shikamaru had warned her about. Her curiousity from that night was about to be answered.
She walked down the path cautiously, expecting it to be some sort of trap. The corridor completely faded away, leaving the cold water near her ankles.
A memory unfolded before her. Naruto was sitting on a swing. It was graduation. Everyone that passed was being congratulated by their family… as he sat alone… just sitting before the glares and smirks that became progressively worse before the parents ushered their children home for celebration. She sat there with Naruto just watching him until everyone had left… the rain began as soon as she left through the memory.
She continued walking through the corridor until it too faded away… to the next memory. He was leaving Konoha with his team. They were ambushed by missing nin. Sasuke had deftly defended himself. Sakura had guarded the bridge builder. He… had frozen solid. Kakashi jumped in, talking of abandoning the mission so that they could take Naruto to the hospital… the memory faded away quickly, allowing Ino to keep looking for the memory that he was stuck in.
And so the flood of memories continued. Failure… after dissapointment… after failure played through this hallway. It was disturbing. It was the most one sided view of Naruto that anyone could ever see. It was like… it was like back when she thought Naruto was nothing but a class failure, and just when she thought it couldn't get any worse, she saw the mother of all failures. A waterfall… a runaway friend… and a Chidori… his best friend's hand was impaled in his lung. Ino was shaking "This isn't it. This isn't Naruto." A small pulse began in the water beneath her. She looked down through the hallway further. It was like this was a surface… something that outsiders saw at just a glance… a mask. That son of a bitch! "Naruto! I'm gonna kill you! It's me! Ino! We both know that this isn't you! Now show me where you are god dammit!" The pulse returned harder this time. Ino looked down as the water instantly became a red whirlpool sucking her down through a widening hole in the floor.
She was now lost, freezing cold, and thoroughly wet. No sooner had she stood up than the memories came back one by one, but this time the full story. She saw Naruto shove the knife in his hand to bleed out the poison. She saw him single handedly stop a summoned snake… completely cripple Kabuto… bring Tsunade to Konoha… every achievement that any average ninja would dream of accomplishing on their own. Just when she was beginning to appreciate who Naruto was, the whirlpool formed again. This time when she stood up, she knew this was different.
The water on the floor of this hallway wasn't sitting stagnant. It was bubbling with chakra. She heard his voice screaming… and every now and then… she could hear that same demonic roar that haunted her. She ran as fast as she could. She didn't know if it was curiosity, ambition, or fear that made her hurry. One last image and she would be there. He was close she could feel it. She turned the last corner and screamed falling down. Red bubbles of chakra floated around her, forming into a fox's head, echoing Naruto's screams of pain. Shikamaru was right. Some things weren't meant to be known. She ran past the chakra beast, her skin burning from the power of it.
When she made it past, Naruto was standing behind the largest control door she had ever seen. It was the biggest prison door she had ever seen, with the most complicated seal she'd ever seen. She ran up to the bars screaming at the top of her lungs. "NARUTO!" She looked through the bars as far as she could. Chakra seemed to be crawling all over the walls, like tunneling veins digging their way around the gate. She could hear him growling from forcing his spirit beyond its bounds. But the sight she wished she would be able to forget… All those tunneling veins of chakra tearing into the fleshy walls to force his body to stay alive, but at the same time his spirit was being slowly shredded away by before her eyes. She couldn't stand it. She ripped the seal off the door. Blue chakra screamed out from behind the gates knocking her into the flooded hallway… and into darkness. The next thing she knew, she was looking up into her father's eyes, small chakra burns sliced into his body… and hers. Hinata and Tsunade were crying and Naruto was twitching. She knew she had succeeded.