Notes: This story is Ino/Lee, a pairing which I honestly don't give a flying fuck about. It's sort of a humorous challenge that lodged in my brain. There will be assorted swearing and sexual references, which means I'll say 'fuck' a lot and there'll be badly-written smut. Oh, and I don't own Naruto and don't really care to. So there.
Part the First:
In which Ino makes several mistakes and Lee makes a single one. Or maybe more. Fuck.
It was all Shikamaru's fault. And Chouji's, as well, but I generally prefer to think of Shikamaru as the bad-guy in such situations since I have a great deal of difficulty working up a gob of irrational rage to hurl at Chouji.
Chouji had laughed and chortled merrily with his best friend, who had been the source of the problem, really.
"No, I don't mind you bringing your girl along," Chouji had said that sunny afternoon when the trouble started.
"I'm glad you're not pissed at the intrusion," Temari replied with a pleased smile on her face. "I tried to get Shikamaru to ask first before I tagged along, but you know how he is about stuff like that."
I glared, first at Chouji, then Temari, then finally at the true target of my ire, Shikamaru.
"How about you, Ino?" the idiot asked me lazily. "You mind if Temari joins us for lunch today?"
Was he honestly so dense that he couldn't detect the fury splashed openly across my face? Did he think he could just suddenly bring the Sand Slut in for our traditional weekly luncheons? This gathering had the weight of history behind it. We'd been meeting like this since we were 12 and suddenly, six years later Shikamaru thinks he can just spit on our friendship!
"Are you insane?" I goggled.
Shikamaru smiled vaguely. "Not sure how to interpret that one, Ino," he said.
"Ino. Shika. Chou," I spat slowly.
"And Temari," Shikamaru added, just as slowly.
With a howl of righteous outrage, I punched him in the nose and stormed out of the coffee shop.
Once I arrived back at my apartment I sat down to do some heavy thinking. This inevitably led to some heavy revenge-plotting. I'm very good at this, of course.
And one thing led to another and I ended up shacking up with Rock Lee.
You follow my train of thought, right?
Yeah, me neither.
Anyway. I decided that if Shikamaru could bring a date to our EXCLUSIVE AND EXTREMELY SPECIAL WEEKLY GATHERINGS, then I could certainly bring one. So I thought carefully and determined the person who would drive Shikamaru (and Chouji, mustn't forget his cheerfully smug face) absolutely and utterly mad with jealousy.
Well, I couldn't really bring Sasuke, who would have been the ultimate date, considering Chouji'd gleefully stab him in the eye and Shikamaru likes him even less. Unfortunately, Sasuke threw me bodily out of his apartment when I broke in to ask him, so I figured that wasn't going to work well.
So then I thought carefully and determined the person who would drive my two best friends absolutely and utterly mad with irritation. This angle proved more fruitful and, as Rock Lee was still having no luck whatsoever with Sakura, he agreed to join me for lunch the next week under the agreement that he was to pretend to be my boyfriend.
At the beginning, all went well. I personally picked out Rock Lee's clothes and needless to say, no one-piece body-suits were involved, green or otherwise. I fixed his hair up too, and had he not had those ridiculous bug-eyes and overwhelmingly huge eyebrows, he might have passed as attractive. I couldn't wait to see the expressions on Shikamaru and Chouji's faces.
Unfortunately, my vengeance was destined to be less simple. Upon our arrival, Lee and I found that Temari was again joining us, From my vantage point in the doorway I could see that she was idly stroking Shikamaru's shin with her sandal-shod toes.
Blood pounded furiously in my ears.
How DARE she pollute the meeting of three best friends who have the weight of history behind them with her DISGUSTING DISPLAY OF SLUTTINESS!
Only Rock Lee's firm grip on my arm prevented me from launching myself at her back.
"Ah, Ino, there you are," Chouji called out, eyes immediately fixing upon Rock Lee.
Temari turned in her seat but her slightly predatory grin was interrupted by Rock Lee, who waved back at Chouji and then gave Temari the Nice Guy Pose. Temari made a snorting sound that I hoped was her choking on her own tongue but which I suspect was an attempt to keep from laughing at me.
Shikamaru's expression, however, was the one that came closest to being at all gratifying. He raised one eyebrow in a sort of puzzled query, which I could totally extrapolate into a sort of wounded confusion at my sudden betrayal. I'm good at imagining things, you see.
"I hope you guys don't mind," I began, trying to sound natural and not like the smug bitch that I was. "I brought along my boyfriend."
Chouji smiled at both Rock Lee and myself. "Well, I certainly don't mind if you bring your boy along," he said, sounding completely natural and at ease.
Temari was still choking back laughter, I believe.
Shikamaru's other eyebrow joined the first, somewhere near his hairline. "Well, well," he said thoughtfully. "Didn't know you were dating anyone, Ino."
"It was sort of sudden," I said, smirking at Rock Lee in what I hoped was a suitably lascivious manner.
Rock Lee's answering grin was more of a leer than I was expecting. "Yes, I only recently got to know Ino-san."
I fought down a flush of something between anger and embarrassment. He was a much better actor than I'd initially thought.
Shikamaru blinked slowly at us. "Well, you might as well sit down, I suppose."
The luncheon progressed with the sort of awkward fits and starts of conversation as one might imagine. Chouji single-handedly kept the five of us from flying at each other with sheer force of his will. Temari smirked the whole time and Shikamaru had an odd strained expression on his face that was occasionally accompanied by strange noises that made it seem as though he was having digestive issues.
I wondered whether this meant that he disapproved of my "date," which would be perfect. Then we could ditch our respective escorts and discuss the matter like grown-ups, or at least as we usually did – with lazy, surly monosyllabic responses from him and roundhouse punches from me.
Just after we ordered dessert I happened to reach down for my purse under the table and I discovered why Shikamaru was making faces and odd noises.
Temari had slipped her sandals off and was resting her feet in Shikamaru's lap where her toes were . . . occupied.
I saw red.
"SO SHIKAMARU," I began without any sort of rational preamble. "Is Temari any good in the sack?"
Shikamaru, whose eyes had begun to glaze a little, choked on his cheesecake and began to cough violently. Temari shot me one of those glares of hers that can unnerve even me.
"Er . . . Ino?" Chouji stared.
Beside me, Rock Lee was motionless and I could tell he was waiting to see what I'd do. I wasn't sure whether he was contemplating following my lead or bolting for the door. He definitely hadn't signed up for this kind of absurdity.
"I ask," I continued in a voice that was only slightly less likely to draw the attention of the entire restaurant, "Because Lee and I might be able to give you some pointers."
Shikamaru coughed more.
"Yes," put in Rock Lee. "Ino-san and I are experts." His expression took on a dreamily triumphant cast. "We practice all night, proving that hard work can certainly outstrip genius!" He posed briefly before adding. "Sometimes Ino-san finds it difficult to walk in the mornings." He smiled benignly.
This time I stared at him as well.
"Lee!" I gasped. "Shut the hell up!" I paused. ". . . About our private activities."
Rock Lee looked instantly contrite. "Forgive me, Ino-san," he begged passionately. "I didn't mean to embarrass you, despite how fetching your youthful blush is."
I glared and he somehow managed to smile in the face of it.
"Is there nothing I can do to apologize correctly?" he asked, reaching out and cupping my face in both hands while giving me a soulful stare.
I jumped at his touch. "What are you . . ."
But it was too late to prevent what happened next.
With a hint of his characteristic speed, he pulled me into his lap and kissed me. And no, this was not the sort of kiss I was used to. It was neither the chaste embarrassment of my first kiss, age six, back when Shikamaru had a stupid crush on me, nor was it the adolescent fumblings of Chouji from our disastrous relationship last year. Rock Lee either knew what he was doing or was very, very lucky.
His lips were very warm and soft and demanding against mine. And then his tongue came into play and my eyes drifted closed and I completely forgot what the hell was going on.
And . . . was he channeling chakra through his tongue?
There was really no way I had the spare brain capacity to analyze his technique. It was only when he nudged me carefully with his elbow that I realized that the kiss had ended and the rest of the occupants of the table were staring at us in shock.
I laughed loudly. "Ha ha ha. Oh, Lee," I said, hoping I didn't look as dazed as I felt. "Of course you're forgiven."
He leaned in and made as though to kiss me again but I kept talking. "Shikamaru, Chouji, would you mind if the two of us left early?"
This time Shikamaru and Chouji raised eyebrows in unison.
"I need to . . ." I fumbled. "Talk a few things over with Lee."
"I'll bet," Temari put in.
I gave her a half-hearted glare and pulled Rock Lee to his feet. "Let's go . . ."
He followed obediently with a fatuously adoring expression on his face, his hand engulfing mine and gripping firmly.
"Enjoy your afternoon!" Temari celled after us in a cheerful voice.
The sound of choked snickering accompanied my departure.