Author's Pre-ramble: Alright everyone! This is a strangely sad day for me. The story I've been working on for almost a year is finally finished. On the other hand, it is refreshing to see my creation completed. My real job of working on a psychiatric inpatient unit is continuing to kick my ass, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I'm very proud and flattered to have so many loyal fans and minions who've read and reviewed my story.

A big thank you to all: Gothic-Fire-Wolf, ephona, FeatherGirl13, Saherah, Aralain, Kitty234, Cessations, SPDVengence, jajalang, DaydreamerMagby, xKokurox, BishiHunter123, Skarlet Rayne, simiashslittledemon, KiRa-NaRa, JasmineRiddleXAngelOfDarkness, tasuki001, SabakuNoGaara426, KerriKisses, stormofrage, Burgundy Wings, egyptian lullaby, Ghost Girl Sora, Sumikoa, Shenlong7, Asa Hoshi, prettygirlxuglythoughts, NicolettaStarr, HelKatz, LittleTidbits, soccergrl15, Philyra, DustBunnyQueen, JustWriter2, Sanity Overload, Miyuuki Aburame, Gaara's Pyro RACCOON, Sin Saiori, Dark-Essence94, HelKat, AgaruTomo, twiggy-shino, Myuuki Aburame, akire26, Little Evil Witch, XxShinoxX, Djinn Kai, Midnight Wolfy, Hiei81, Jonnoda, Dragon of Twilight, bookgrl, Lady Laran, Moongoddess97, WishingWanderer, Shadow Traveler, Wandering Hitokiri (And to those of you who have set me on fav authors or fav stories lists…I love you, just as much!)

Title: Reading Totems

By: GrizzlyTeddyBear

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, and this makes me sad. I do own Paige Stone, my OC! All information regarding animal totems was taken from the books Dancing The Wheel by Sun Bear and Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.

Main Pairings: ShinoxOC, NaruxHina, SasuxSaku

Rating: M for mentioned adult themes

Warning: AU, Post-series start time. Rookie 9 is 23-24 years old. Fic mentions pagan religions, if you can't handle it, don't read! Also is OC-centric. Hold your pants, all will be revealed as the story progresses. I like to take my time.

Chapter Summary: Four weeks of forced abstinence has interesting side effects, and a tail of two weddings.

Epilogue

She covered her mouth for what seemed like the hundredth time in an hour. For some reason she just could not get enough sleep this week! Paige smiled to herself. Every time she told Shino she wanted to go to bed, it wasn't sleeping that happened. She had been feeling a little off lately, though. There was just something that wasn't right since the beginning of the week.

Remembering how the week after she was medically cleared started caused her to blush a little, but it also brought a huge grin to her face. Paige calmly continued in her preparations for Shino and her first trip to their clearing since she was cleared from the hospital as she remembered all of the events leading up to now.

The four weeks of physical therapy hadn't been all torture and no fun. Paige had managed to convince Tsunade to let her out of the hospital 2 weeks prior to her original release date. She had to agree to have Hinata or Sakura check up on her 3 times a week so they could supervise the trainings she did with Shino for physical therapy, but that was a small price to pay for the freedom of sleeping in her own bed…next to Shino. A shinobi just as dedicated to her health as he was to the defense of his clan and village.

Paige had tried. Really really tried…but there was no budging Shino on Tsunade's ruling of no sex until after medical clearance. She secretly enjoyed exacting her own form of "physical therapy" during their unsupervised trainings to see if she could get him to snap. A few lingering touches, a few new stretches added to the routine…oh yeah, Paige had fun during those trainings.

To his credit Shino took it all in stride. There were a few times she could see he was wavering…cracking…but then the infamous Aburame self-control slammed itself into place. That all changed on the day she had to return to the hospital to see how Waboose's healing was holding up to all of the physical therapy and to see if she needed to extend her regimen.


"Can I have a doctor's note?" Paige asked.

"You want a doctor's note stating you can have sex?" Tsunade raised an eyebrow. "Don't you think that's overkill?"

She raised an eyebrow of her own. "Do you know who my future husband is? I don't know if 'overkill' is in the Aburame lexicon."

"You plan on jumping him as soon as you get back to the complex and want to make sure he doesn't have any excuses to say no," the Hokage and head of the Konoha Hospital smirked as she crossed her arms and leaned against the wall.

Paige tried her best to not blush, "There's that too…"

Tsunade chuckled to herself as she walked over to the counter in the exam room and produced a script pad. She scribbled briefly and handed the small piece of paper over.

It read, "Have fun."

Paige laughed. She had to admit, the note was short, sweet and to the point. Jumping off the exam table and making a dash for the door, Paige gave a "Thank you!" in the Hokage's direction as she began her run home.

It wasn't long into her impromptu exercise program that her mind began to wander away from the road in front of her into the—soon to be enjoyable—near future. The next thing she was aware of was coming to a sudden halt after literally running into a few Konoha shinobi face first and landing on her butt.

"Man Kakashi, you always get the pretty ones to run into you," sulked Genma.

"Are you alright, Paige?" asked Kakashi as she helped Paige back to her feet.

"Wounded pride…I'll recover," she replied with a sheepish grin.

"And where did you get all of your youthful energy my fair damsel?!" exclaimed Gai.

"Umm…just got medical clearance from Tsunade. I wanted to get home and share the good news with Shino." Paige figured that was enough of the truth to be considered not a lie…she couldn't tell them she was racing home to jump him... Well, she could've…but she figured Genma would've exploded.

There was a shifting under the mask of Kakashi which Paige associated with a knowing smirk. "Is that all?"

Paige figured it was possible Sakura had filled Kakashi in on some of her situation, but it was just as likely he had a dirty mind from reading all of his Icha Icha books. Oh hell, might as well see if she could make all three of them explode at once. "Mind if I borrow your book?" Feeling herself blush, she blurted out the first thing that came to mind. "My spring time of youth is in bloom, and I'm in a hurry to get pollinated."

All motion from the three shinobi stopped.

Seizing the opportunity, she grabbed Icha Icha and resumed her race towards the Aburame complex. "Thanks!" she yelled without looking back, waving the book behind her.

A few more close calls and a lot of excuses later, Paige stood in front of the entrance of the clan's holdings, contemplating just how…or if she wanted to plan this thing out. She decided on spontaneity. Walking through the gates after her short pause, she patted herself down in an attempt to find an accomplice.

Out flew a small kikaichu…Scarab.

"Help me find Shino?"

In response Scarab flew a zigzagging path that Paige was able to follow closer to her quarry.

She found him in the office of their home. He had been rummaging around the family archives during his down time. Besides their impending wedding, there was the fact that he was soon to be declared the head of the clan and his father was going to be "retiring" to be among the clan elders. It had created a small mountain of paperwork, and the necessity for lots of meetings with what seemed like the entire clan and heads of all of the other clans. Paige felt herself smile as she stood in the doorway watching Shino work.

"Enjoying yourself?" he asked without turning around.

"Immensely," she replied with her grin still in place. Realizing she was going to have to make Shino put aside his work and look at her, she finally walked through the doorway and into the room. Arriving next to Shino she peeked over his shoulder while holding the note from Tsunade and Kakashi's book behind her back in one hand. "Working on anything important?"

"More paperwork regarding our marriage and the passing of the clan from my father's to my hands. It's unfortunately more than just the final signing of the scrolls."

Using her unoccupied hand, Paige made Shino's comfy—and rolling—office chair work to her advantage. With a small tug and a slight swivel, she had Shino right where she wanted him…and sat in his lap facing him, wrapping her arms around his neck. "I just got back from the hospital," she breathed, their noses almost touching.

"Is everything ok?" he queried.

She shifted slightly in his lap, drawing their bodies closer. "More than ok…" Paige leaned back slightly and brought the note and the book in front of Shino's face. "We have a doctor's order to carry out. And Kakashi was kind enough to lend a book to the cause." Letting out a squeak of surprise, she suddenly found herself being carried.

"Office chairs are not made for what is in Kakashi's books," announced Shino as he purposefully strode towards their bedroom.

Paige found herself unceremoniously deposited on the bed. "You've read them?"

Shino slowly crawled up her body with the signature Aburame smirk on his face. "I know enough to know I don't need a book to give me any ideas." He began a trail of heated kisses starting at her mouth and slowly working his way down.

She writhed and moaned as he relentlessly assaulted her mouth and neck with kisses.

"Do you have any idea what you've put me through these past two weeks?"

Paige was hard pressed to find the verbal skills to answer the question put to her. She absently took note of her shirt and bindings having been removed at some point as Shino lavished attention on her breasts. "Sorry??" she managed to gasp. It had been far too long since they had done anything intimate. Shino didn't want to get carried away, so that had meant only chaste kisses. Paige decided she could die happy now that that was over with.

Shino gave another smirk as he tugged her pants off. "I don't think you're sorry enough yet."

Whatever smart response she was going to have to his comment was lost in a haze of pleasurable sensation. All she could do was feel as he used his mouth, tongue, and fingers to repeatedly bring her to the brink of orgasm…and then stop, idly tracing patterns on her skin between the kikaichu lazily exploring her body as well. He had managed to turn her into a puddle of sexually frustrated Paige-goo. She couldn't quite bring herself to be that sorry though. "Shino," she whined. "Please."

"Please what?"

"No more teasing," she begged. "Make love to me."

But Shino didn't stop entirely with his teasing. He slowly entered Paige, leaving her gasping at the slow change of sensations and constant build of pleasurable pressure.

She tried to get any of her muscles to respond enough to encourage Shino to move…or do something besides just sit inside of her. Although that was rather nice…

Slowly he began to withdraw.

Paige whimpered at the loss of the feeling of being filled completely by the man she loved.

He paused with just the tip of himself still inside of her. Leaning over he kissed her sensually.

She was left gasping for breath again when the kiss ended. Opening her eyes and blinking the world into focus, she found Shino looking down at her with a soft smile on his now flushed face.

"Paige?"

"Mmm?" was all she could manage to get out.

The soft smile turned into a small smirk. "Appology accepted."

Suddenly her world exploded into more pleasure than she thought was possible. She screamed out her appreciation at Shino's quick thrust to fill her again. Paige dug her nails into his back as she was forced to hold on to something to ground herself to reality from the fast pace he had set and seemed intent on keeping. It wasn't long before all of his teasing and his talented ability to please her sent her finally over the edge and into a mind-blowing orgasm that had her grasping desperately to him as her body bowed from the overload of sensations, mouth open in a silent scream.

Shino held still until she was able to come down from her high.

After she had regained some of her senses, she traced her fingers up his spine to twine in his hair and bring him down for another kiss. "Love you."

He broke his stillness and resumed moving inside of her, but this time at a more leisurely pace.

Paige groaned in appreciation, still hypersensitive from her recent orgasm.

"Love you too," he finally replied. Shino continued his slow paced in their love making, pausing every so often to kiss her breathless.

Her entire world had shrunk to just this place, this moment in time, with him. Paige could do nothing but enjoy the slow and sensual love making. She didn't no how long it lasted, and didn't care too much. But she felt another orgasm slowly building inside of her. Again she found herself grasping desperately to Shino in an attempt to communicate this to him.

He seemed to understand her. Changing his angle slightly, he slowly increased his pace.

She clung to him as the change in angle and pace brought her over the edge for the second time.

Shino groaned as he joined her in orgasm.

Paige felt him roll them onto their sides, and snuggled closer to him as he began to stroke her hair. "That was nice," she murmured dreamily.

He chuckled slightly in response.

"Can we do that again sometime soon?" she asked, shifting to look up into Shino's eyes.

Feeling all of him move with the slight laughter served to remind her he hadn't pulled out yet. Suddenly he rolled them again.

This time Paige found herself on top and looking down into his eyes.

Reaching out, he grasped her hips. "Who said we were finished?" He lifted her slightly and brought her back down again.

Paige gasped. "Oh…"


Returning to the present, Paige realized she had become lost in her own thoughts. Shaking her head in an attempt to rein in her wandering—and dirty—mind she resumed her task of preparation. She had joked to Shino that it was a second wedding, but really she was serious about going to their clearing again. Paige wanted to have the blessings of the spirits for their union besides the blessings of the clan. Shino had understood that it was important to her and said he would be happy to go through another ceremony with her.

Paige threw her medicine wheel bag over her shoulder and went to find Shino.

He looked up at her from where he was seated on the couch in the living room. "Ready?"

She smiled at him. "Let's go."

Hand in hand, they set out at a leisurely pace to their clearing.

During their walk, Paige reflected back to their clan wedding day and its preparations. Most of the preparations were already seen to and completed during the week Shino and she were distracting themselves with their new found freedom from medical restrictions. The ceremony was to be done in the traditional Aburame style…almost. A small controversy began with her refusing to wear a white wedding kimono…


"Why?"

It was such a simple question. It was the answer that was complicated. Paige took a breath and looked back at Shibi as she was trying to decide how to answer. She had already explained herself to Shino, and he didn't object, but said it was ultimately up to his father since he was still the head of the clan. "It has implications to me that I don't agree with."

Shibi raised an eyebrow.

She sighed. "Where I come from, it means purity of body and purity of spirit before a god in a religion that I do not believe in. I would feel like I was betraying my own beliefs."

Shibi turned his gaze towards his son next to her. "You do not object?"

Shino shook his head. "She proposed wearing the clan colors instead. I see no reason to object to that."

"I have a feeling you'll be the reason a few things are done differently," Shibi stated with a small smile.

Paige smiled in return and then acting on impulse, went over to Shibi to give him a peck on the cheek. "Thank you, Tousan."


The wedding itself was a rather lighthearted—for Aburame—affair. There were no outside guests allowed during the actual ceremony which was part wedding and part transfer of clan power to Shino. The reason no guests were allowed? In a clan that specialized in stealth and espionage, it was considered hazardous to their health to invite outsiders to one of the few events in which the Aburame did not wear their signature high-collared and concealing outfits in favor of traditional kimono in the clan colors of brown and green.

Paige was feeling a bit restricted in her own kimono considering she was used to the freedom of movement from peasant skirts and loose fitting shirts. It had taken a small army of Aburame women to dress her too. The browns and greens suited her though. And throughout the silken fabric was a multitude of tiny embroidered kikaichu.

The site of the ceremony was in a courtyard garden within the compound. The colors of all of the plants in bloom were the home of many of the insects the clan loved to study. She slowly made her way down the pathway lined with members of the clan on either side to arrive in front of Shibi and next to a smiling Shino. With irony she noticed she had butterflies in her stomach.

It was rather simple. There was no pomp and circumstance. Instead the wedding consisted of two nervous people pledging their love to each other, and Paige promising to uphold loyalty to the clan. Shibi oversaw the proceedings with a knowing eye and smile of encouragement for the two. After she gave her pledge, Shibi stepped aside to reveal a scroll in which all of the names of the members of the clan—past and present—were kept. With a wink, he added her name to the scroll next to Shino's.

For the second part of the affair, the clan elders escorted the couple and Shibi to the main communal building of the Aburame complex. They were lead downstairs to a room filled with scrolls.

Paige felt her fingers twitching at the site of so much to read and explore.

One of the elders, Shima, addressed them as he replaced the scroll that contained the names of the members of the clan. "This is the archives of the Aburame. It is held in trust for future generations by the elders and head of the clan." He turned to Shibi, "Are you prepared to step down as head of the Aburame?"

Shibi answered, "I am." He walked deliberately toward a single scroll on a stand in a line of such scrolls on stands. He turned to Shino and Paige, "Come here, both of you." He opened the scroll to reveal another list of names after some other text. "This is the scroll containing the responsibilities of the head of the clan, followed by the names of all who have carried the title." He beckoned. "By writing your name here, you agree to uphold these responsibilities that keep our clan safe and prosperous and effectively remove me from the position as head of the Aburame."

Shino walked forward and wrote his name on the scroll without hesitation in front of the elders. He handed the ink-filled brush back to Shibi.

Shibi and Shima turned to face Paige, but it was Shima who addressed her, "There was one final thing Shibi did before concluding his business as head of the clan." He motioned Paige closer. "Sign your name as well to the scroll."

Paige turned to Shibi as she walked towards the scroll, "Why?"

"You will help to balance the clan and keep us from straying to close to the analytical. You possess courage and compassion that the Aburame are proud of and need in our council," he replied

With a shaking hand, she wrote her name next to Shino's and handed the brush back to Shibi.

"And as head of the Aburame, you are afforded a seat on the village council… They need all the help they can get," Shibi smirked.

She gave a derisive snort as she walked back to stand next to Shino.

His hand found hers and gave a light squeeze which Paige returned.

Shima made a shooing motion with his hands. "Go forth and consummate. The rest is between us elders with inducting a new member into our ranks."

She blinked… Well, who was she to argue? With a grin Paige turned to Shino. "Shall we?"

Arm in arm they exited the main building and headed in the direction of their home to follow the elder's advice.


Once more arm in arm, Paige and Shino had arrived at their clearing. Placing her pack in the center, she turned to Shino to help complete the task at hand. Together they went about setting up her medicine wheel upon her blanket. Paige went about smudging and cleansing the wheel, herself, and Shino for the ceremony. But this was not a ceremony she would be performing on her own. Closing her eyes and concentrating on her gifts and connection with the spiritual, she attempted reached out to two very special friends.

A small intake of breath and squeeze on a hand.

Paige reopened her eyes to look into a pair of dark eyes in a large brown, fur-covered head and smiled. "Matohota."

The grizzly bear inclined its head slightly and turned its attention to examining Shino.

A flap of wings drew Paige's attention and caused her to smile again. "Kagi Taka."

The raven danced back and forth on his feet before flying in circles within the clearing.

Her attention shifted again as the grizzly bear got up to circle them both. "So this is your beetle." Matohota came in close to a very still Shino to get in a curious sniff. "He seems scrawny."

Next to Shino Kagi Taka and returned to ground and was now puffing up his feathers while hopping up and down in a futile effort of intimidation against a rival male while chanting, "Beetle. Beetle. Beetle."

Paige was unsuccessful in stifling her laughter. "Oh cut it out you two. I thought this was serious business."

With a snort that sounded suspiciously like laughter, the grizzly bear ceased his circling of the couple.

A short time later, the raven stopped his mock-attempts at intimidation.

"Now that we have the theatrics out of the way, I'd like to introduce Shino to you," announced Paige.

Shino's response surprised her. Bowing low he stated, "You were able to save Paige when I was unable to there for her. For that I am in your debt."

"Beetle happy Taksi make," replied Kagi Taka.

"And for her happiness we are in your debt," added Matohota.

A profusely blushing Paige cleared her throat. "Now that I'm thoroughly embarrassed, can we get to the matter at hand?"

Her totems turned her attention to her.

"We seek the blessing of the spirits: of Wakan Tanka, the Spirit Keepers of the four directions, and the spirits of the elemental clans," continued Paige. She clasped Shino's hand in her own.

Matohota briefly closed his eyes. "You have their blessings." Reopening his eyes he looked down at the couple. "Please close your eyes and open your hearts."

Taking a deep breath, Paige did so, feeling Shino relax similarly next to her.

The grizzly bear's voice was soothing. "May the Great Spirit always smile on you. May the rain always fall in due season. May the earth yield bountifully for you. May peace and contentment dwell with you and your children forever." (Quanah Parker, Comanche Chief)

Paige blinked. Children? She retried the last thought aloud. "Children?" She met eyes with Shino. "My abilities have been off for the past week."

Shino just stared back at her in stunned silence.

Matohota interrupted. "What are you going to name my niece? Would she be larva or a cub?"


Author's Post-ramble: Another big thank you to everyone. Please leave me a review or an email at to let me know I'm loved! I don't know about my next project. I'm waiting for inspiration for the next adventure for Paine Stone!