A/N: Naruto/Ino shall rule the world! In my dreams. But still. I don't like the Naru/Hina or Naru/Saku pairings. They should not be allowed to occur! Besides . . . Naru/Ino is fun! Enjoy the mass mayhem . . . and no, I won't start a Saku/Lee book of one-shots. Not happening for the colossal reason of I don't have a clue, how I'd pull it off.
Disclaimer: Not mine! Not mine!
"Uzumaki Naruto! You have ten seconds to show your face before I crush you!"
Ino looked up in surprise at her boyfriend who was hauling large bags of fertilizer around the store for her. Naruto had paled, and he turned to his petite girlfriend with terrified eyes.
"Hide me?" he pleaded.
"What did you do to Sakura?" she asked curiously, moving out from behind the counter to open the door before Sakura knocked it down.
"Nothing . . . but she probably didn't like what I did to Lee."
Ino didn't get to the door in time. The chakra that suddenly filled the air sent her flying for Naruto's strong arms, the only really good defense against chakra. The door flew across the room, and a raging pink-haired medic nin stood in the doorway. Naruto released her and dove behind the counter. Now that chakra was out of the question, Ino took preventative measures.
As Sakura lunged forward, Ino hit the ground and tripped her friend, jack-knifing back to her feet and sitting square in the middle of Sakura's back to prevent her dearest friend and rival from murdering her adored boyfriend. She made a mental note to eat ramen with Naruto more often, she didn't weigh enough to really stop a determined Sakura.
Sakura was finally calming down (or building up a new rage now targeted at her best friend . . . it's hard to be sure). "Get off me, you fat pig."
"At least tell me why you want to crush Naruto, Forehead," Ino bargained, pretending that she actually had a solid chance at keeping Sakura under control. Morino-san swore that intimidation was really just bluffing with confidence.
"That . . . that . . . that blonde . . . !"
"Hey!" was the double outcry.
Sakura seethed. "That ramen-obsessed, ADD suffering, pig-attracted, twit . . . !"
Ino nodded, ignoring Naruto's pout. "Better."
"He beat Lee-san up in a sparring match! For no good reason!"
"Ah," Ino continued sagely. "Naruto . . . what was your reason?"
Naruto peeked over the counter again. "He wanted to date Sakura-chan!"
Sakura growled again, and Ino leaned over to look at the furious green eyes, weighing her options. She could further antagonize Sakura . . . remain neutral . . . or temporarily turn against Naruto to ensure that he remained among the living by the time this little scene concluded. She chose the last . . . Naruto would forgive her anything if she bought him ramen later.
"That's completely illogical," she complained, gaining Sakura's sympathy and Naruto's wide-eyed terror. He looked awful cute like that . . . bad Ino . . . focusing back on the matter at hand. She let Sakura up, and Naruto made a strange noise before diving back behind the counter. "What on earth was he thinking?"
"Naruto doesn't know how to think!" Sakura muttered in a vindictive fashion, ignoring the wounded noise Naruto made.
"He's not good enough for Sakura-chan!" Naruto protested. "And Kakashi-sensei told me to do it!"
Said-sensei wandered through the door at that moment, stifling a sneeze. "Hello, Ino-chan, Sakura-chan . . . have you seen Naruto?"
Sakura grabbed his book and glared up at him. "Kakashi-sensei . . . did you tell Naruto to beat up Lee-san?"
"Of course not, Sakura-chan."
"Liar!" Naruto shouted from behind the counter.
"Good afternoon, Naruto," Kakashi nodded in the general direction of the counter, having pulled out another book to continue his reading. Sakura stole this one too. "And I did not tell you to beat up Rock Lee. I told the misguided boy that he must defeat all the men on Team 7 before he could date Sakura. You're the one who took it further when he decided to challenge you first."
Sakura's eyes crossed as she stumbled back, sitting on a display garden bench hard. "But . . . but there's you and Naruto, Yamato-san, and Sai . . ."
"And Sasuke," Naruto added his two cents. "Cause even if he is evil right now . . . there is no way he'd let Fuzzy Brows date his ex-fangirl."
"Kakashi-sensei! I am almost sixteen years old! I'm chunin!"
Kakashi's eye curved into a crescent. "You'll always be our little Sakura-chan." The masked ninja now had a third book open. Sakura gave up on the futile cause of the book and turned to Ino.
"Did you hear that, Pig? Can I crush them now?"
Ino smiled. "Actually, I think that it's kind of sweet."
Ino continued smiling serenely. Sakura gaped. Kakashi read on. Naruto cautiously ventured out from behind the counter.
Sakura finally managed words. "Naruto didn't have to challenge your teammates and sensei . . . I'm sorry, Ino."
Ino smacked her across the head. "Stop feeling sorry for me already, Forehead."
Naruto wrapped his arms around Ino's waist possessively, head resting on her shoulder as he regarded Sakura. "And I did too. All at once. Kurenai-sensei stepped in for Asuma-sensei, and Shikamaru came up with the plan of me trying to out-eat Chouji at anything but ramen while under genjutsu. It took three whole tries, Sakura-chan. I didn't eat anything for the rest of the week."
Ino tilted her head. "How come I didn't know about this?"
Naruto grinned. "Cause even if I failed, it wouldn't have stopped me?"
"Bad boy. Go sit in the corner until I take you to dinner tonight." Naruto cheerfully moved to the chair by the door to obey his 'punishment.' Ino turned back to Sakura and shrugged. "You're never going to get them to change their minds. Lee's stubborn. He'll eventually beat them all or die trying. Stop worrying so much, Forehead, and go find the boy."
Sakura sputtered for a moment before deciding that Ino made sense, and disappeared to find Lee. Kakashi-sensei followed to chaperone. Ino crossed the room and sat in her boyfriend's lap, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissed her boyfriend.
"Bad boys don't get dinner."
Naruto grinned. "I can live with that."
Ino shut him up, and flipped the sign on the door to read closed.