Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Pairings: Sasuke/Ino, Gaara/Ino, some Naruto/Ino, Neji/Ino, Neji/Hinata, onesided Naruto/Sakura, Sasuke/Sakura, Naruto/Hinata
In the process of mourning her fiancé's death, Ino stumbles upon the truth. He was a victim of homicide. Taking it into her own hands, she wants to find and avenge the one who murdered him. Enlisting the help of his former business partners, she finds herself in a web of conspiracies and plunged into another world of deals she'd never thought she would make. To live under a fake title, giving up her middle classed life and the unwanted attention from Konohagakure's most eligible bachelors.
Number Five With A Bullet:
Part I: Goodbye Apathy
I can't sleep now, no, not like I used to
I can't breathe in and out like I need to
It's breaking ice. Now to make any movement
What's your vice? You know that mine's the illusion
And all at once as I'm trying I can help you out just to keep things right
I'll be what you need I kill myself to make everything perfect for you
Goodbye apathy, so long apathy
The stench of alcohol cleaners, blood and rotting flesh hung in the air was overwhelming as nausea crept in. Her stomach lurched, and if it wasn't for the cold, stiff figure that lay on the dissection table she would've dropped to her knees and gagged. But the sight of it kept her rooted in spot, eyes not tearing away from the pale, bruised face of the young man she called her fiancé.
"Maa, can't you be quiet for once?" A brown haired man sighed tiredly at the blonde in front of him.
Brushing a stray strand of hair from her face, she lunged at him, arms latching around his neck, "It's rare I get to see you," Rosy lips pouted as she left the flowers unattended on the desk. She nuzzled her nose into his neck, catching the slight scent of his deodorant, knowing too well her lazy boyfriend wouldn't even give cologne the time of the day.
"Are we going to lunch?"
His hands seated on her hips as he pulled her off him, staring straight into her eyes.
"Iie, my plane leaves in an hour," He watched her expression falter.
"A-Ah…I see," He was always gone, and he didn't blame her for throwing a fit each time anymore. The job was demanding—even more now that the former President was dead. But she didn't know that. She didn't know anything that he did, and he wanted to keep her safe from all the conspiracies.
"How long are you going to be gone this time?" She knew better than to ask where he was going. The answers were always brief and uninformative. Like, no one else was supposed to know.
He sighed. How was he supposed to break this to her?
"A month, two months," She frowned at his answer, "It depends on how long my superiors need me there."
"Y-You're always gone," Her voice was low, "I never even see you anymore. What kind of job is this?!"
His arm snaked around her back and pulled her closer as she still demanded answers.
"You're supposed to be his business legality advisor. Not his personal advisor!" A pale hand clenched onto the black wool pin-striped blazer. She had met the CEO Shikamaru worked directly under during a dinner party…and she had overheard some strange things that day. But none of that would lead to the fact that Shikamaru would be leaving on so many business trips and working until the early mornings.
"Ino…" He rarely called her by her name, and she knew it was something important.
His free hand reached into the coat's pocket and pulled out a small box and opened it. Pale blue eyes could only stare at the object offered to her.
"I've put this off long enough," He sighed and rested his head against hers, "Ino…will you wait for me to get back?"
It was the moment she had been waiting for. Throwing her arms around him again, she sobbed into his chest, answering him with a muffled 'Yes'.
Ino twisted the ring around her finger. One and a half months. He was on the way back from his trip and was killed in a brutal traffic accident. She received the phone call about his death—not instantly but—three days after his death and now his body laid on the cold sterile room of a forensics lab.
What kind of traffic accident was this vicious?
She couldn't tear her eyes away from the multiple blackened spots on his pale face, the dried blood that clung to his forehead, the broken cheekbone and the multiple blows on his arms that peeked from under the sheet. Her breath hitched as she stared blankly at the scene. The rest of his body was mangled—or so they said—and had to be covered.
But for a traffic accident, why was his body in a specialized police forensics lab?
"Investigations are still under way, Yamanaka-san."
If the cause of death was imminent as car crash, then the investigations should be done. And why was she notified so late? She had to set an appointment to see the dead body of her fiancé.
"Ah—sorry!" A male voice brought her out of her musings. Swiveling her head to the right, she saw four men, dressed all in suits at the doorway. "We'll wait outside." The blond one spoke, giving her a sympathetic smile as he ushered the rest of them out.
Lowering her head, she said her goodbyes to him.
She turned to the left, where the man who led her into there stood.
"When can I have his body back for burial?"
Behind the mask, the uncovered eye broke her eye contact, "In a few days. We're not finished yet."
Her hands clenched as she choked back a sob, "What do you mean not finished?! He's dead," She managed to say the one thing she had been denying all day. "I don't want you picking at his body anymore!"
The four men, who had interrupted her earlier, peeked into the room at her outburst.
"Yamanaka-san, please understand that in our situation, it would not let—" The masked gray haired man was cut off by her screech.
"What situation?! You diagnosed his death! Why can't I claim his body?!"
Her breathing was ragged as the masked man stared at her, unmoved along with the four men at the doorway. Realizing that she wasn't going to get an answer, she kicked the nearby table in anger, sending all autopsy instruments scattering onto the white linoleum floor. She rushed out of the room, brushing pass a raven haired man brusquely as she slammed the door in her leave.
Ino blinked a few times as she stood with her back to the double doors.
Don't cry. You can't cry now. You promised him you won't—
Fighting the tears, she heard the muffled conversation behind the door.
"So it's true…"
"This can't reach tabloids. It was announced as a traffic accident, right?"
"Give the girl back his body and tell her to bury it as soon as possible. Keep the damages out of sight."
Her eyes widened. What were they talking about? Tabloids? Why would the news pick a random traffic accident to concentrate on?
She could hear their footsteps coming closer to the door and she spun around quickly to leave, ramming face-first into an attendant heading towards the room.
Blonde hair splayed over the ground as the five men rushed out to see two women sprawled on the floor, papers scattered in the vicinity.
"Sakura-chan!" The blond man rushed over to the pink-haired woman sitting next to her.
Ino brushed a stray strand of hair from her face as she pushed herself into a sitting position. "Sumimasen," She apologized quietly, bowing her head in the other woman's direction as she grabbed a few pieces of paper nearby to help.
Her eyes scanned over the documents as a pale hand extended into her vision. A name caught her attention, and she paused in accepting the help.
3 bullet wounds:
Upper right shoulder
Lower right-side abdomen (Fatal)
Investigations: Uchiha Corp. Underway Private
She could feel her fingers loosening as everything spun to a stop in front of her eyes. The rest of the document was left unread, but the first part told her everything she needed to know. He was murdered. They had lied.
Everyone had kept that from her. He had kept a secret from her. The papers in her hand fluttered to the ground as she swatted the extended hand out of her view and pushed herself roughly off the ground.
"He-He…He was murdered." She glared at all six of them accusingly, but mainly the forensics scientist.
The raven haired man, who had offered to help her earlier stepped forward, "Please understand our circumstances that this must not be—"
"Fuck your circumstances!" She exploded at them and spun around, sprinting for the door. Ino wanted nothing to do with them. Shikamaru was dead. He was dead by homicide and they had kept that from her.
"W-Wait!" She could hear the woman's voice call out to her blurred with the images in front of her, the only destination in mind was away.
Their sympathetic gaze, the inscrutable pity in their eyes—she wanted none of it.
Shoving the door roughly, she escaped the godforsaken building and onto the street. All she wanted to do now was run—run for her life, away from Shikamaru's death and away from reality.
I don't walk right, not like I used to
There's a jump in my step as I rush to see you
I could be happy here as long as you're near to me
As long as you're close to me
Now that I'm alright as I'm trying I can help you out just to keep things right
I'll be what you need I kill myself to make everything perfect for you
Goodbye apathy, goodbye apathy
The blond huffed, catching his breath beside the long haired man as they watch the girl run away from the glass doors. Scanning the area, the taller man noticed a black car with a familiar face.
"Kuso," He turned to the blond, "They're here."
They turned around to face the pink haired girl and the other three men.
"Sakura-chan, who was that?"
She paused as she looked at the visitation sign-ins.
Beside Naruto, Neji addressed the redhead, "Gaara, can you get numbers on that black Benz over there?"
"They're going to follow her, aren't they?" They watched as the expensive luxurious car u-turn and disappeared in the same direction as the girl had run off to.
The fourth man that had come with the group glanced at the forensics scientist.
"Kakashi, what was her connection to Shikamaru?" Ebony eyes scanned over the papers that the woman had dropped.
"I'm not too sure, Sasuke-sama," The gray haired man pocketed his right hand, "But by how she kept twisting the ring on her ring finger, I would say either his wife—"
"He's not married," Naruto cut in, only to be silenced by Sasuke's glare.
"Or his fiancée," Kakashi finished after his small interruption.
"Does she live with him?" Sasuke shuffled through the papers, stopping at one with his late business advisor's address.
Kakashi frowned, "Not too sure, but that's how we contacted her. His home phone."
"She's in danger, whether Shikamaru had told her anything or not," Neji nodded to his partners.
Sasuke handed the papers back to Sakura as he headed out the building followed by the other three men. "Naruto, how fast can you get us there?"
The blond man smirked, "Just keep your seatbelts on and hold onto your pants, guys. We're going to save the princess."
Neji could only snort in response, "Hardly."
So don't sit still, don't you move away from here
So goodbye apathy as I'm trying, so long fancy free
just to keep things right
Goodbye apathy, kill myself to make everything perfect for you
I don't wanna be you
Slamming the door open, Ino ran into the apartment, closing the door quickly and bolting it before sprinting to her late fiancé's study room. The paranoia caught her and she felt herself checking her surroundings twice the whole way back to the apartment.
She threw open the drawers, scrambling for something that would tell her of his death. There was something Shikamaru never told her and she was going to find it.
It was all random pieces of paper that he had scribbled on. Nothing of any value or information.
Flight 847 to Sunagakure
Departure: November 19, 2PM
She shuffled through everything. Stocks. Itinerates. Schedules.
Think, Ino. Think. Where would Shikamaru hide something important?
Tracing the mahogany desk with her fingertips, she frowned. Shikamaru was too lazy to do anything extensive.
"Ne, Ino," He nuzzled against her neck.
"What?" She was brushing her hair and that tone of voice only meant more work for her.
"Can you do me a favor?"
"Can you put this somewhere safe? Where people won't find it and we won't throw it away accidentally?"
He was holding a small blue case.
"You mean to hide it?" She was way too used to his way of talking around things that are important, "What is it?"
"Ah, just some papers for work," It was his way of answering things he didn't want to say.
"Fine," She sighed as she took the box out of his hands, "But someday, you're going to tell me what this wacko job of yours really is."
She jumped off the chair and ran towards her room, yanking open the dresser drawer holding all her cosmetics. Boxes lined across the whole space as she fumbled through each case.
Which one did I put it in?!
Grabbing an Estee Lauder bag, she dug into its contents, pulling out eye shadow cases until she reached the last item.
It was locked.
She tried to pry it open, but only cracked her manicured nail in half.
Her head snapped up.
Who was that?
There pounding against her door. She closed her eyes and shook. What was she going to do now? If…If Shikamaru had died protecting this…she couldn't let his sacrifice go to waste. And if…he was part of something…calling the police would be useless and she would have whatever he was part of after her.
"Don't give up so easily," Brown hair brushed against blonde as his head dipped lower to touched her lips, "You love flowers and you followed your dream. Now don't tell me you're cracking under a bit of stress."
He took her cut and bloodied hands in his own as he washed the blood away, applying disinfectants to the incisions. The broken vase lay on the ground in her shop.
"My job demands a lot," His eyes showed sadness instead of the usual lazy indifference, "I can't be here for you all the time. So be strong for me, Ino."
"I…" She took a deep breath and rushed to her feet, grabbing her purse to deposit the box as she headed towards the kitchen, staying low.
Thank goodness for long tablecloths
She was crouched under a small coffee table holding a vase of flowers right near the doorway. Her body shook as the anxiety crept in. Here, she was defenseless against possibly armed men. Scratch that, they were armed if Shikamaru's wounds signified anything. They killed him on a whim and she was a casualty of an unknown war. The purse was secured against her chest as her heart thumped wildly. What the hell was she getting herself in? Why can't she be like any other girl—who would hand over the item for their own life? Her eyes closed as she whispered to herself. It was for Shikamaru. She was going to find out—find out who did this against him and…and…She'll kill them.
The door gave in as splinters flew into the living room and three pairs of feet stepped in. She could only squint as she bit her lips to stop the gasp from escaping.
They were different from the guys she had seen earlier!
A woman with black hair stood at the doorway as the two men continued further.
"God, this bitch really is some fucking housewife or something."
Ino could hear the malice in the woman's voice as the man with short hair chuckled.
"Be nice Kin, she's going to be with us for awhile."
"Do you think she could be of any use?" The woman scoffed.
Footsteps came back as a deeper voice spoke, "She's not in her room or the study room. Though I didn't check the bathroom."
The first man turned to the woman, "Would you like to check the bathroom Kin?"
She could hear the woman shrug, "Sure, why not?"
As soon as she stepped away from the door, Ino bolted out from under the table and ran right out, barely out of the woman's grip.
"Oh what the he—"
She could hear the woman's footsteps behind her as she chased Ino down, grabbing the blonde's long hair, propelling Ino back at her.
Biting her lips, Ino turned around suddenly as she was falling backwards against the armed woman.
The cold metal touched her skin and Ino could only shiver as she watched the weapon come at her. Reacting on instinct, she grabbed the woman's other hand that was still attached to her hair and shoved her against the hallway's wall as the knife grazed her arm before dropping to the ground.
Kin glared at the persistent blonde before her and retaliated to the sudden counterattack with her fist—sending the smaller woman stumbling backwards against the ground.
Ino saw her coming again for a second hit and her stomach still throbbed from the pain of the last attack. She backed up fearfully as a sharp object pierced her palm.
As the brunette lunged at her, Ino picked up the knife and shoved it in front of her, separating the woman from her face.
Forcing back the lurch of her stomach as she felt the skin in the woman's abdomen break as the metal was plunged into Kin's body.
The brunette doubled back as she clutched her abdomen where the knife had punctured, the weapon still glued to Ino's shock-ridden hands. Blood dripped from her mouth as she coughed up more. The blonde saw nothing more than blood and death. They caused Shikamaru's death, her mind screamed as reflexes took over her fear and Ino found herself on her feet, springing at the woman with the knife hoisted. Her screams echoed through the empty hallway as Ino repeatedly brought the knife down until a gunshot ringed, embedding the metal into the woman's shoulder. Ino backed up in horror as the form crumpled onto the ground. Someone shot at her!
"Ah, gomen gomen Kin," The short haired man smirked, "But you'll be dead in a few minutes anyway. Blondie, don't try to go anywhere…or you'll end up like her too."
His threat didn't register in her mind as her legs took initiative and spun around—anything to get farther away from them.
The stairs were near and she fought back the urge to breakdown. She just stabbed someone and then almost got shot. In three hours, her life took a turn for the worse and now plunged into a whole new definition of unfortunate.
Something whizzed by her head and embedded into the wall ahead of her, throwing her off balance as she screamed and stumbled onto the ground.
"Don't kill her, Zaku," The bandaged man grinned from where they were walking towards her slowly, "Just make sure she can't run anymore."
Her eyes widened as he aimed the gun lower.
Something flew by her head again, this time from behind her. Before she could turn around, the guy 'Zaku' coughed up blood as he fell on his knees, a way behind the brunette's body.
A frown spread across the bandages as he pulled out his own gun and fired at her. Ino screamed again as she was pulled backwards forcefully as the bullet embedded itself into the wall where she was earlier. Another scream followed two gunshots from behind her.
"Naruto. Neji. That's enough," A deep voice behind her halted the two men in their firing and the bandaged man's body fell limply to the ground.
The two arms around her straightened her into a sitting position as she noticed the bright red hair that brushed by her cheek.
Blond hair, striking blue eyes and tanned skin smiled down at her, offering her a hand, "Hi, I'm Naruto."
What the hell were these guys thinking?! Did they expect her to trust them?
She scooted away from them, eyes narrowing and as the brown haired guy tried to touch her shoulder, she swung her bag at his face. Pale white eyes widened as he backed away from her.
"Who the hell are you guys?!"
Backing up against a wall, she was able to take in all four of them. Fear was eminent in her features but at that time, it was the last thing on her mind as she clutched the purse possessively against her chest. The action, however, did not go unnoticed by the four of them. She had something in there, and it was important.
Beside Naruto was the brown haired man with white eyes, then a redhead with the most intriguing sea-blue eyes she'd ever seen, but the last guy was the one that caught her breath. Dark blue hair with bangs framing a pale carved face and ebony eyes that was endless.
The redhead crouched down to her eye level as he answered her evenly, "We're his partners."
The white eyed man held out his hand for her purse. She shook her head violently and tried to bite him when he reached for it.
"Yamanaka-san, we're not here to hurt you." Sea-blue eyes pierced her thoughts.
"Says the gun!" She screamed as she wiggled out of the brown haired man's grip as he managed to remove the purse from her side. Immediately, she latched herself onto his leg, "Give me it back! It's not yours!"
The man pulled out the small case from her purse and handed it to the raven haired man in the back.
"No, it isn't his," The raven haired man finally stepped up as he handled the box with care, "It's mine." He tapped the carved emblem on the metal case.
Her eyes widened as the redhead backed up to let him crouch down in front of her held out the box, "Did Shikamaru tell you about this?"
Ino's breathing became ragged. What was she supposed to answer him? Depending on her answer, would they let her go? The man had turned his attention away from her as he regarded the other three.
"This is it, but I don't have the key," He put the box into his coats' inside pocket, "Search the apartment. If it's not there, then burn it."
"W-What?! Y-You can't burn my apartment!" She sprang on her feet, only to be grabbed by the raven haired man. Turning around in anger, she could only stifle a scream as a sharp object pierced her skin near her collar bone.
And she saw darkness as two strong arms caught her limp body.
Everybody is watching you. Everybody is watching me too…
End Part I: Goodbye Apathy
So…How was it? I was planning to make this a little more serious than No Laws to Love, but I don't think I can keep up with the suspenseful atmosphere. So it's going to be more of action adventure/romance/humor fic.
This idea came up when I was watching 'Deathnote' and 'Guns & Talks'
The song is Goodbye Apathy—One Republic. I love these guys since their first release of 'Apologize' in October '05, and they still don't have an album out. shakes fist
And if you know me well enough, I like to hit the couples where there's not much spotlight. t0xicmarker-chan was the one that insisted on a Sasuke/Ino series There's quite a few good Sasuke/Ino one-shots though…and I've started to like it. So this one's dedicated to her.
Please Review! The more I get, the sooner I get done with the next one. ;
Ame no Megami