A/N: This is a weird oneshot I came up with at five in the morning. Anyway, it was clearly supposed to be a longer story, and if I ever get around to it, I'll turn it into a long story and change some things around. But until then, I have this oneshot.
Summary: All those years ago, six-year-old Ino and Shikamaru made a contract together. Ten years later, when the contract is broken, how will Ino react? And how will Shikamaru? ShikaIno
The Nara boy ran, and he ran hard. Tripping over foliage and meerly his own feet. Every mucle in his body burned in agony, pleading desperatly for him to stop, but he couldn't. He knew if he stopped he would be dead.
The air that he absorbed burned his lungs painfully, and he never seemed to be getting enough of it. He pushed branches and leaves, anything he could to slow down his pursuer. His entire six-year-old life seemed to be flashing before his eyes, and he realized fully how short it was. There was no time for regrets now, he had to run.
He could hear the horrible panting of the giant dog behind him. Running just as fast as he. Playing with his food. The dog sped up and bit down on his heel, causing the Nara boy to move faster, although, with everything else that seemed to hurt, his ankle now hindered him as well.
He could see the lights of the festival. The spring festival. Oh, how could he be so stupid? Why did he have to wander away from everyone else? Now he was going to be ripped apart by this stupid dog, and no one would even notice.
He tried to cry out, but his voice was frail and weak, he only let out a small squeak. His mouth was parched and his throat hurt. He didn't know how long he had been running, but it felt like an eternity.
He burst from the trees and onto the hillside. He could see them! The lights of the people below! Oh! He was going to make it after all! If he could just get down there, someone could call off the dog and he would be saved! In his excitement, the brown-haired boy lost control of his feet, and he took a painful face-first landing on the hard ground. He whirled around, facing the dog at least twice his size, his fangs bared, drool dripping down his lip. A small, pleasurable growl escaping his lips, and, the boy could swear, a dog-like grin plastered on his face.
He was going to die! He was going to die here and now! All alone! Eaten by some mangey dog... his mind snapped over to the dog as it aproched.
"Hey! Who do you think you are! Messing with my friend!" the voice was so framiliar. His charcol eyes snapped over to the blonde aproching. Her hair was done up beautifuly, she wore her pink cherry blossom kimono she had been saving just for this night. She looked like one of those little china dolls he saw in stores, only, instead of holding a fan, she had a really big stick.
"That's right!" the girl continued. "I'm talking to you mister I-can-eat-anybody-I-want!" she marched directly over to the large dog, and whacked him hard with her stick. There was no fear in her large, innocent, blue orbs, the boy noticed.
The dog, more annoyed then scared, turning his fangs over to the girl standing next to him, and let a low growl escape from the depths of his throat. "Look out-" his words didn't even reach her as the dog bit down hard on the girls arm, tearing her kimono that she had been talking about (to Shikamaru) for weeks. He bit deeply into her arm, causing the girl to yelp in pain as he threw her back.
Her hair became messy, she fell in the mud, and on top of that she had a bleeding arm! Oh, that dog messed with the wrong six-year-old.
"Ino.. are you-"
"You wreaked me favorite Kimono!" the girl yelled, as she got to her feet, there were tears in her eyes, and yet he saw no fear. She ran to the dog and started beating his hard with the stick, the dog turned and snapped his jaws around it, instantly snapping it. That didn't stop her though, as she started kicking the dog, and biting, carefully avoiding it's mouth. Finally, as she bit down through his ear, he yelped and ran off in pain.
The Yamanaka girl, messy, bleeding, covered in mud, and her kimono completely destroyed, turning to the boy on the ground. He was in complete shock. He knew never to get Ino angry, but never had she seen her so fearless.
It was then she clutched her arm, dropped to the ground, and completely balled her eyes out.
"Ino..." Shikamaru muttered as he sat up. "Your an idiot..." He looked down patheticly at his torn and battered kimono, and sighed. He untied his Obi and gently wrapped it around her elbow, where most of the bleeding was taking place. He glanced down at himself again and frowned. Good thing he was wearing his normal clothes underneath.
Almost at once Ino stopped crying, and then went into rage. "That mean doggie wreaked my kimono. He'll pay for this." Her blue orbs shifted over to Shikamaru, who was looking down at his tattered kimono and trying to resove the problem of explaning this to his psycotic mother.
"You know Shika-chan..." she said, in one of her 'you-owe-me' type of tone. "I saved your life from that dog."
His charcol orbs snapped up to meet hers. "So?" he demanded, afraid of what she was going to say.
"So, I get a reward now. What are you, stupid?" she demanded, before softening into her mischevious tone again.
"What do you want?" Shikamaru asked, after a moment of silence.
"I'm going to make a contract," she said softly, as she started to draw circles in the mud below her. "That means, when we grow up, you have to marry me. And you're not allowed to see any other girls."
"What?" Shikamaru exclaimed. It wasn't the thought of not being able to date other women that bothered him, it was the fact that he'd have Ino as a bride for the rest of his life.
"Yeah! Yeah! That's how it works!" She exclaimed, balling her hands into fists.
"Where did you see that?" he asked, unsure if she was making everything up.
"My daddy told me about it." she said in a cocky tone. When Shikamaru seemed recluctant, Ino forced tears to her eyes. "Pweety pwease Shika-chaaaaan?" she asked, as cute as she could muster.
"No." he barked. The more he thought about it, the more it scared him.
"Fine then," she crossed her arms, instantly changing from her begging mood to her mischevious one. "I'll tell your mama that you tried to run away from the festival."
Shikamaru's eyes widdened, before he sighed. "Alright Ino, I'll be in your contract..." Ino's eyes lit up in sheer joy as the words escaped his mouth. She pulled him from the ground and dragged him back towards the festival.
She never liked those sand nin. They were always suspicious. The eldest boy, he was scary. He carried that creepy puppet everywhere, and had a really weird aura. He always wore paint on his face, and whenever he looked at her, it seemed to be in loathing. The youngest son was worse. He looked weak, being shorter then the other two, but she had seen him fight, and knew not to underestamate him. His eyes scared her the most. The way he could be so emotionless, so blank all the time. It just wasn't natural.
The eldest girl she hated the most. With her messy blonde hair, her giant fan, and when she looked at you, she seemed to be judging you, pitying you. Ino was strong, and the last thing she wanted was to be pitied.
The girl brushed the thoughts of the sand team from her mind, as she clipped up her hair. Tonight was the Spring festival, it only happened once every five years in Konoha, for some reason among the higher ups. She didn't care. They were sixteen and officially dating.
Ino hummed a small song as she looked herself over in the mirror.She was wearing a light violet kimono, with dark purple seeping up from the bottem, as though she had wadded through a pool of water. It was much different from her pink kimono she wore ten years ago.
The doorbell rang downstairs, she snatched her purse and hurried off. She opened the door to find Shikamaru standing uncomforterbly by the door. He had never been much of a romantic, she had learned. He was wearing a nice kimono with a dark blue top with grey bottems. He complained earlier, saying he wanted to wear his normal fighting clothes, but Ino scolded him, and he decided it would be easier to wear the damn kimono.
"Shall we go?" he asked, she nodded as he offered her his arm. The two set off down the street, the sun was setting, dying the sky in an eerie redish glow. Children were already having a water fight. Throwing water balloons they just won at each other, while their parents were yelling warnings and promises of later punishment.
The two walked silently down the road, oblivious to everything else. As they entered the deep part of town, where shopowners were trying to take advantage of the festival, offering goods at cheap prices. Ino imedeatly spotted three people she knew, and waved to them happily.
Sakura was the first she saw. Wearing a pink and yellow kimono, being chased by Naruto, who had for some unexplainable reason, decided to wear a bright orange kimono. He had a water ballon in his hands, and was saying he was going to soak her, while Sakura squeaked in delight, and tried to escape him. Sasuke was the next she saw, Naruto had managed to bring him back from Sound, and it seemed he still had a leigon of fangirls following him. She could see one...two... three ...four ...six girls around him. Dragging him this way and that, each trying to woo him in their own way. Sasuke just looked like he wanted to shoot himself.
"Hey... why aren't you over there with pretty boy?" Shikamaru hissed, leaning down next to Ino. She rolled her eyes, she had told him before but the man clearly didn't listen.
"After he left I realized what a jerk he was. We've been over this." Ino smiled as she saw the duo from team seven aproching.
"Hey Ino," Sakura said as she stopped next to him. "Having fun?"
"We just got out acctually. It's really pretty this year." She remarked, as Naruto came to stand beside her.
"We only get this once every five years, so they really try to go all out." Naruto said, still holding the water balloon. Sakura, while his guard was down, quickly smacked it out of his hand. The balloon landed at his feet and exploded, causing him to get soaked. Sakura giggled as she turned to run. "You'd better run!" Naruto yelled as he chased after her.
Ino laughed and looked up through the crowd. She saw something that made her blood run cold.
Temari, Kankuro, and Gaara were heading through the crowd, in their normal ninja attires, wondering exactly what was going on, and how they could avoide it.
"It the sand trio," Shikamaru pointed out, as he pulled his arm from Ino's. "I wonder what they're doing here." Ino gazed reluctantly up at him, and saw a small glimmer in his eyes. She bit the inside of her lip, and looked back over at the three nin, who had spotted a framiliar face and were heading their way. Ino had come to a conclusion; either Shikamaru was gay, or he had a thing for Temari.
She hoped to the heavens he was gay.
"Hey," Kankuro said, as they stopped next to them. 'It's good to see some framiliar faces."
Ino saw Shikamaru play eye tag with Temari, and ager flared up inside her. Shikamaru was hers. He belonged to her!
"What brings you three down here?" Shikamaru asked, as Ino continued to glare dangeriously at the Fan-user.
"The Hokage sent us a message saying that we needed to re-instate treaty arrangements. I guess she planned it so we'd be here for the party," Gaara said, with a bit of a bitter tone at the end. He clearly didn't like big celebrations.
"Well, since we're here anyway," Temari said, a flicker of need in those blue eyes that were so similar yet so different from Ino's. "Gaara, why don't you go meet the Hokage and spend the rest of the night in the hotel room afterwards, being the party pooper you are," Gaara sent out a growl at this. "And me and Kankuro stay out here and enjoy the festivities."
Gaara apparently agreed as he brushed past them and headed for the Hokage's office. Temari turned with a smile to Shikamaru, it seemed her plan was going well. "An if you're not doing anything, how about you and I bugger off someplace less...crowded?" she asked, a smile in her words.
Shikamaru turned and looked over at Ino, who had her lips peirced together in silence. She was leaving this to Shikamaru. He turned his charcol eyes back to her. "Sorry Temari, I'm here on a date."
Temari shrugged. 'Well, if things don't work out or you decide to ditch your date," Ino shot her a death glare. "I'll be at the nearest bar." She turned on her heels afterwards and walked off into the crowds. Ino sighed.
She didn't own him. It was a horrible fact. He loved that horrible sand woman, she could see it. Every move he made proved it. She could control his freedom, but she couldn't control his will. Normall, she would say "screw his will" and it would all be about her. But Ino realized something at that moment, it would be worse to live her whole life with him, and he would never look at her with those love filled eyes he looked at Temari with, then to let him go and try and find someone else to love her like that.
With a saddened heart, she pulled Shikamaru aside. She looked at the ground, mentally preparing herself for what she had to do. Tears sprung to her eyes but she did everything she could to keep them down. She was dumping him, therefore, she had to look like she didn't love him anymore.
"Ino, is there something wrong?" he asked, as he gazed down at her with concern.
"I'm releasing you." She said in a very cold voice, one she used often when on missions and dealing with enemies.
He looked at her, completely dumbfounded. "What?"
"I'm realeasing you. This contract is over. Your a free man." She repeated. Hoping he would get the picture and go.
"Why?" he asked, gazing down on her. For crying out loud, he had to ask why!
"Because, I realize now that the night I made this contract was so long ago. It was stupid of me to think I could control you and make you marry me." Ino answered, as she looked down and started smoothing out the wrinkles in her kimono.
"I'm glad you think that way," Shikamaru said with a sigh of relief. "I mean, that was just some stupid childhood thing right?"
His words cut deep into her heart. She begged him in her mind to stop. Just to walk away and leave her to be sad, but he continuted.
"I'm surprised it lasted ten years. But I'm glad you feel that way. Now we can just be friends again. Forget that stupid night ten years ago."
She loved that night.
"I mean it was no big deal. The dog wouldn't have acctually killed us."
She still had a scar on her elbow from where the dog bit her, but she always kept it covered.
"From now on we can put it all behind us and forget everything. Thanks Ino." He said with a smile, oblivious that everything he said, everything he did, was causing her extreame pain.
"Yeah," she answered with her best attempt at a smile. "It was stupid. Well, I'll see you around." She turned from the alley heartbroken. She started to stumble blindly through the streets back towards her house. She heard Shikamaru was off in the opisite direction. For some reason, his footsteps seemed to stand out from everyone elses'. The bam, bam, bam, continuesly, non-stop, echoed in her mind. She quickened her pace and accedeintly ran into someone, causing her to fall back. She gave a squeak in surprise and looked up at the man she had run into.
It was her good friend and ex-teammate Chouji. He smiled down at her, in his own wonderfly made Kimono. "Ah Ino," he said with a happy smile. "Where are you off to in such a hurry?" he asked, as he helped the hertbroken girl to her feet.
"Home," she answered with a squeak.
"Why? the night's only begun," she nodded in understanding, not trusting her voice. "You know this festival only comes around every five years. You've been talking about it for the last two months."
"I know," Ino answered, but before Chouji could ask another question, she slipped past him and disapeared into the crowd, wanting to head back into the solitary confinement of her house.
A/N: Acctually, now that I've read this, I might make it into a two shot, or make it into a longer story statring from this. Well, I'm going to leave it up to the reveiwers, if you want me to keep in as a oneshot, make it into a twoshot, or a longer story, please reveiw and let me know, because it's all good to me.