As always Naruto belongs to Kishimoto. Please review.


How to Marry the Girl of Your Dreams

(Or - A Mother's Story)

The small boy sat as still as a five-year-old could, his legs kicking impatiently against the couch as he waited for his father to finish inspecting his kikai. Beside him his mother held him in place with a gentle hand, from which she regularly blew away a few bugs straying from her son's control.

"Shino, you need to concentrate and keep track of them all," his father scolded lightly.

"Its not like Mama cares if they crawl on her," Shino huffed before calling back the wandering kikai. The two adults shared a knowing smirk. Shino hated it when they did that. "What? She doesn't."

Shibi's smirk got wider and a snicker could be heard from his mother. "I didn't always like them crawling on me," she said.

"What was it you told me when I first ask you out, Aoi? I think it was 'I have bug spray in my purse and I'm not afraid to use it.'"

"Shibi!" Aoi snipped playfully. "Don't bring that up again. You know I hated bugs. It took weeks of Mira-sensei forcing me to camp out before I could stand going on long missions."

"Mama...Mama hates bugs?" a tiny voice whimpered next to her. Shino had bugs, so did she hate him, too?

Aoi quickly embraced her son, bugs on his skin and all. "Oh, silly, Mama loves bugs now."

Shibi sent her a curious glance.

"Well, Mama loves your bugs and Daddy's bugs," she corrected. "I'm still not too fond of wild bugs."

"But...why did Mama try to spray Daddy?" Shino asked.

Shibi glowered. "Mama didn't really spray me or anything."

"It was a precaution," Aoi added cheerfully.

Shino pouted in his mother's hold. "Why'd Mama need a pre..pre..."

"Precaution. Cause your Daddy was a stalker." Aoi smiled as she spoke and poked Shino in the nose.

Shibi glared up at his wife. "I was not a stalker."

"Then why did I seem to find your kikai stuck to me randomly, and you always seemed to know where I was no matter how odd a place. After two weeks of that I started carrying industrial strength bug killer everywhere I went."

Shino watched his father's face produce a rather unnatural shade of red for an Aburame. "I just wanted to make sure you weren't seeing anyone before talking to you."

"So you say," Aoi replied knowingly.

"Why'd Mama marry Daddy if she hated bugs?" Shino was enjoying this now. He'd never seen his father seem so uncomfortable before.

"Ah, well, you see Daddy finally decided to introduce himself to me. And after about ten minutes I managed to figure out that his name was Aburame Shibi and he was happy to meet me. Your daddy had trouble talking to me at first."

Shibi glared again. "It's hard to get a sentence out when the person you're talking to has a kunai in one hand and bug spray in the other."

"You snuck up on me! What was I supposed to do when the buggy stalker guy suddenly appeared behind me?" Aoi just shook her head at her husband's exasperation and turned back to Shino. "Anyway, what your daddy lacked in common sense he made up for in persistence. Everyday both of us were in Konoha he'd come by, introduce himself as if I didn't know who he was already, and ask me to lunch."

"And everyday you told me to leave you alone, adding a new adjective to the name you called me. Though, 'Creepy, lecherous, buggy-afro stalker' was probably my favorite. I still don't know where you got the lecherous since I never actually got within ten feet of you."

Aoi shrugged. "It seemed to fit at the time."

"So why'd you go out with Daddy?" Shino whined. His father's kikai were working on checking the nests in his body and it always made him agitated. He wanted to hear more of the story.

"Well," Aoi continued, "one day I was training in the forest just outside the main gates, and right on time your daddy comes to ask me to lunch. By this time I'd gotten a little more used to him. At least I stopped trying to bug spray him every time. And like always I was about to say no when he runs forward and pins me to a tree. His kikai all swarm around us and I'll tell you if he hadn't held my hands I would have slapped him right there."

"Your mama," Shibi interjected, "had stepped on a underground bee hive and accidentally broken it open as she walked. If I hadn't surrounded us with kikai the bees would've swarmed her."

"Mama! Why'd you break the poor bee's home?" Shino was on the verge of tears. He always liked bees.

"I didn't mean to." Aoi consoled him with a kiss on his temple and tight hug. "So, there we were, your daddy finally telling me why we were there, and me realizing that was the first time I'd actually gotten a close look at the person I talked to every day for nearly three months. And since bees are rather temperamental creatures it took a while for his kikai to calm them down enough for us to move."

Shino felt his father's kikai leaving his body and crawled into his mother's lap happy to be free to move again. Aoi was looking at Shibi though, with a gentle expression in her eyes. "We talked while we waited, another first. Normally your daddy would just leave once I said no. And I realized that, aside from the bugs, he wasn't quite as creepy as I thought he was. That and he had beautiful eyes. Being so close I managed to see them behind his glasses."

"Is that why Mama always makes Daddy take his glasses off at home?"

"Yup, and why you can't wear yours at home either. I fell in love with your daddy's eyes, and I fell in love with yours, too."

"So you married Daddy after that?"

Both Shibi and Aoi laughed. "No, no, but I did agree to go to lunch with him. I figured he saved me from the bees so the least I could do was give him what he'd been asking for just once."

"So, of course, the next day I went back and asked again," Shibi said.

"Like I said, a stalker."

Shino laughed as his father's eyebrow twitched slightly. "I'd prefer the term determined. You did go out with me once. Never hurt to try for another."

Aoi sighed. "And for some reason, unknown to me, I agreed. Pretty soon he stopped having to come ask me, I was meeting him for lunch. My teammates thought I was crazy."

"One of your teammates tried to kill me at one point."

Aoi dismissed her husband with a wave. "Tsume always was protective of me. And her dogs never came near you again."

"My kikai won't let them. I still have a scar where her mutt bit me."

Shino kicked his feet against his father's lap and giggled. "Daddy's afraid of dogs."

"Oh, you should've seen his face after that," Aoi snickered. "Tsume would come by and all his kikai would suddenly be out and ready for a fight. I could barely keep them from fighting."

Shibi straightened his back. "I am not afraid of dogs. I merely dislike them."

"So when did Mama marry Daddy?" Shino asked.

"Well, your daddy started to grow on me, and eventually I even let his kikai crawl on my hands. Before I knew it I was spending a lot of my time with him, when I wasn't on missions or training with my team. We'd even train together, that was interesting to say the least, especially when Tsume joined us. Then, one day out of the blue he just comes up and asks me to marry him. Like he did when he used to ask me to lunch."

"And you said yes!" Shino finished the story for his mother.

"Actually, she said no," Shibi corrected.

Shino looked between them confused. "No?"

Aoi nodded. "Yup. I wasn't ready to be married yet, and I loved being with your daddy, but I didn't know if I loved him."

"It didn't help the Inuzuka was trying to get you to marry her brother," Shibi grumbled.

"Tsume was just looking out for me," Aoi scolded. "Anyway, I said no and your daddy left it at that. We still spent time together and after a month he came up and asked me again. And I said no. We repeated this for nearly a year."

"Like I said, I was determined."

"Stalker!" Shino piped up for his mother.

Aoi muffled her laughter, a little. "Finally, he came to me, and I could see he was going to ask me again, so before he could I told him I would marry him on one condition. He had to give me his glasses as a present right then and not get another pair until after the wedding."

Shibi smirked. "I'll never forget Tsume's face when we walked back into town and you were wearing them either. I thought she was going to pass out for a minute."

"So, then you married Daddy?" Shino asked. His mother was more stubborn than he thought.

"Yes, six months later I married your daddy, and since then I have learned to love your kikai, and tolerate most other bugs."


Seven years later...


Aoi cleared the table of breakfast and watched her son go put on his sandals. "You're meeting with your genin team for your first training session today, right?"

Shino nodded his reply.

"You never did tell your father who you're teamed with," Aoi said with a smirk.

Shibi handed his dishes to Aoi. "That's right, you were already asleep when I got in last night. Who're your teammates?"

"Hyuuga Hinata," Shino answered as he put on his glasses.

"A Hyuuga? What's she like?"

"She is very quiet and shy and doesn't seem very fond of my kikai."

Shibi just laughed. "If your mother can get used to them anyone can. Who's the other one?"

"My other teammate..." Shino paused a moment. "Inuzuka Kiba."

"Isn't that nice," Aoi said far too cheerfully. "He's teamed up with Tsume's son."

Shibi stood silent.