I Won't Let My Tears Fall

Ino's POV

I, a young kunoichi, sat on a gassy hill that over looked my village, the village of Konoha. Thoughts running through my mind as the setting sun turned my hair a tinted orange. Wind blew through the trees behind me, rustling the grass. Steps sounded in my ears, they were dragged and lazy. I knew them well.

"Ino."

His voice sounded behind me. I turned my head to look at my teammate. He wore a high ponytail and his hands were in his pockets.

"Hi, Shikamaru." My voice was lacking the energy and cheerfulness that it usually had; a fake smile was stretched across my lips. I knew his observant eyes could see through it so I turned my gaze back to the village. It's people and buildings covered in a veil of twilight, and also the few stars that were visible in to darkening sky.

"Come to watch clouds?" I asked.

"No. It's troublesome that I had to come find you… but you need to know." He said with a little more emotion in his words than normal.

"Hm?" My head turned once more to see his expression but I looked away again when I saw his eyes staring unmoving at me. I couldn't let him see. A few moments of silence passed before Shikamaru's voice spoke words that brought me to let a small gasp escape.

"It's Chouji. He's awake."

Our eyes locked instantly; my mouth agape. But Shikamaru continued to gaze at me with his blank stare. Suddenly, I realized what I was doing and broke the stare. I sighed and composed myself.

"Thanks."

I stood and walked toward my teammate. But when I reached him I continued on. The whole time both of us kept our eyes to the ground but focused on nothing.

Shikamaru's POV

When Ino was out of earshot I smirked.

"Heh, how troublesome, looks like I'll need to wait to see Chouji."


Ino's POV

I walked though the halls of the hospital, a bag of chips in my arms. I couldn't seem to remove my gaze from the ground as I approached the room I was told. Room number 319 was what the nurse had said. Suddenly, I came to an abrupt stop. My destination loomed in front of me. I had already prepared what I was going to do once I opened the door.

First, I would ask how he felt.

Second, I would give him the bag of chips.

Third, I would tell him to get well soon then leave.

I didn't want to be stuck all day talking to his battered frame. One of my closest friends had been beaten until he was on the brink of death. I wouldn't be able to look at him for to long. Otherwise… the tears I've been successfully holding back for so long might fall. And I wouldn't let him see me like that.

I had imagined a torn up version of his body all covered in bandages, but when I opened the door to his room the bag of chips I was holding hit the floor. In front of me was supposed to be my and Shikamaru's friend. And that was chubby, loves to eat, not so good looking Chouji Akimichi. But lying in the hospital bed before me was a thin, strongly built, attractive boy.

It couldn't have been Chouji… could it?

His hair was even the same light brown Chouji's had been but… This boy was taller; he was more than a little taller than me. Neither his face nor his body was chubby; it was thin like Shikamaru's. And his headband. It was on the table beside his bed; if it were Chouji's it would have been the awkward shape it had always been.

It couldn't have been Chouji… could it?

I walked up beside the bed and took a closer look at his headband. The top of it was torn. If it had been Chouji's I could see where the extension of his headband would have been.

It couldn't have been Chouji… could it?

The boy's face was covered in dirt along with a thin layer of dried blood. I glanced to the little table again. There was a shallow bowl of water with a white cloth. I gingerly picked up the cloth, wringing out most of the water, but leaving enough to wipe away the grime that coated his cheeks. As I rubbed the cloth over his face trace hints of a tattoo began to expose itself. I kept on rubbing, a little harder but still gentle enough to not hurt the boy.

It couldn't have been Chouji… could it?

That question kept running endlessly through my head ever since I stepped through this boy's door. And finally, it was going to be answered.

A lump of emotion clogged my throat. I could feel the tear glands in my eyes beginning to work. But I wouldn't let them finish their job. I blinked away the tears that began to gather. I wouldn't let them fall. The dirt and blood cleared from the boy's cheeks. The tattoo was clear. There was two of them actually, one on each cheek. Light pink swirls… they were Chouji's.

I fell to my knees, my fisted hands still on the bed, and my head down. It was him.

"Damn you Shikamaru… you said he was awake…"

Suddenly, I felt the bed quiver.

"Don't worry… Shikamaru wouldn't lie…"

I lifted my head to see Chouji sitting up smiling faintly at me. My own smile grew on my face.

"Chouji…"

Without any hesitation I shot up and flung my arms around his neck, digging my face into his shoulder. But… I wouldn't cry… I wouldn't show him my weakness… I wouldn't let my tears fall.

Chouji's POV

She was trembling, and her grip on me only tightened. But I could tell she was holding back. The Ino I knew wasn't one to hold in what she wanted to say or do. And for some reason, she was now.

I put my arms gently on her back, pulling her in closer to me.

"You know… it's okay to cry…"

She stilled, but then gripped me even tighter and buried her face even deeper into my shoulder. I didn't mind. And soon I could feel the presence of tears seeping through my tattered shirt. I could hear her soft sobs, and tears of my own welled in my eyes. I could feel them trickling over my tattoos.

That day, we both let our tears fall.


This story takes place after the first mission to rescue Sasuke. And Chouji and the others fought the Sound nin. And for those who have possibly read my Zelda story and are wondering why I wrote this instead of updating... well I have to feel inspired and lately whenever I try to sit down and edit it I get uninspired and do something else. Anyway, I've been dying to write a oneshot about one of my favorite couples so I chose this.

Navi, out.