Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or anything native to the Naruto world.
"Psst, where is he dragging us again?" Ino moaned to Sakura being hauled by an eager Naruto gripping tightly to their wrists.
"Take a wild guess. Tsunade-shishou said we'd be gone a month.. He's getting his fix." Sakura rolled her eyes as she worked to keep up with the ramen loving blond.
Ino nearly tripped at the pace and whined. "Didn't we do this before the last mission? Is this where he eats before every mission? I don't mind the occasional ramen, but this is ridiculous! And I thought Chouji was bad!"
"This is the only place Naruto eats usually… just smile and learn to like it. Besides… we can change his diet on this mission." Ino cackled madly at Sakura's suggestion as they reached the stand.
After finishing their modest proportions Ino poked at the all ramen-consuming Naruto. "Enjoy it while you can whiskers. We're handling the food for the mission. N-o ramen."
He pouted looking toward Ino. "But that's not fair! Sakura-chan back me up!"
Ino grinned and punched at his shoulder. "It was her idea."
He slurped at his next bowl of ramen amidst their giggles. "Traitors…"
Packing the supplies tightly in a bag Ino sighed. "You got the rest, Sakura?" We're going to have to live off the land, and make trips to the local village some days.
The pink-haired medic nodded, fastening her pack. "And Naruto can carry the other one. Where is he anyway?"
Ino smirked. "I sent him out to fetch some shuriken and other things." She elbowed her friend. "He'd of only gotten in the way and packed ramen." Sakura nodded knowingly.
"We can reach the border area Tsunade-shishou wants us to patrol in the late hours tonight if we travel fast. There are little settlements in this area, and according to our mission details a lot of ex-Sound ninja are terrorizing the few villages, and many are working their way across the border as nothing more than common brigands." Ino nodded dismissively at the repeat of the orders that were more for Naruto's sake than hers.
She let her mind wander on just what the mission would be like. Sure there would be some fighting here and here, but most of the month would probably be spent in relative quiet. Living alone with these two will be fun at least. She eyed the cozy tent they would be sharing packed tightly on Naruto's back.
The quarter moon shown high overhead when they finally reached the eaves of the forest overlooking the abundant fields ahead. "Let's search for a spot." Ino offered, gesturing toward the east along the forest's edge. Soon they had selected a small copse of trees that'd offer adequate cover for their small abode.
"You two want to handle the tent? I'll check to see where the nearest water is." Ino nodded to Sakura who disappeared into the trees.
She yawned widely sitting down on a large root. "Can you handle it Naruto?" He gave her a wide grin and thumbs before setting up the tent.
Shortly she was staring in fascination at the mess he had made. Here, the container of the most powerful bijuu, a ninja focused on becoming Hokage, and who had proved himself time again in the past, was losing miserably to a small pup tent. Maybe I should help him? A storm of curses came from the blob-like entity in front of her rolling into the side of a tree producing a resounding clunk. Nah…
"Naruto, Ino, there's a large stream about a quarter mile toward the east." She glanced at the spectacle in the clearing. "What the hell! Ino, why aren't you helping him?"
She shrugged at the pinkette. "I'm watching our future Hokage lose to a tent. I never knew they could be such fearsome opponents…" She sarcastically replied.
Sakura stalked over and bonked the writing mass of Naru-tent. "This is going to be a long month with you two…" She sighed wearily and hauled the dazed Naruto out of the material. "Ino-pig, help me get this untangled – Naruto, just uh, sit there."
"And why should I do that forehead?" She scoffed leaning against the tree with a yawn.
"Well… if you want to sleep on the ground." Sakura glanced to the dazed jinchuuriki. "You wouldn't want me to tell Naruto just where you're the most ticklish… and how you discovered that would you?" She wouldn't!
Ino shivered at the thought of that. Grumbling she stalked toward the collapsed tent. "Damn forehead… stoop to blackmail."
"Ticklish what?" Naruto rubbed at his head rising to his knees.
Ino wasted no time throwing her bag at him shrieking. "Go back to sleep!"
Tension was relieved only after the three had cuddled together in the tent. When Naruto awoke, he felt refreshed and ready for the new day. Right after I hide my stash… He glanced around the sleeping bag at the two still snug against him. Time for the kage-bunshin kawarimi!
After performing his new morning technique he used whenever he was the first to awake, he tiptoed with his pack out of the small copse they had selected as their camp. Once he was a small distance away, he unzipped the bag and rubbed his hands together at the stash of ramen cups. Placing them in a smaller sack, he smiled to himself at the hidden delectable rameny goodness under a mass of roots. And they thought it'd be that easy!
He clapped his hands together and turned around and shrank under the intense blue and green eyed stares. "Whatcha got there Naruto?" Nooooo!
Standing ankle deep in the water, Naruto was thankful he had the most gracious and understanding girlfriends. They had only settled on scolding and confiscating his supply saying he had to earn it back, rather than destroy the stock. Of course, attempting to hide it the fact in the first place rewarded him with the duty of catching their lunch in the cool stream.
Chasing a fish with his eyes, Naruto lowered himself and put his hand out ready to strike. "You're doing it all wrong!" The fish darted away and he dived for it falling face first in the chilly creek. First they take away my ramen, then they send me to fish, then they criticize and nag me while I do just that!
He threw back his shoulders and groaned. "You're scaring the fish away Ino-chan." Wrong thing to say to the blonde firecracker, who growled and threw the one fish he had managed to catch despite her criticisms at him. The creature flopped against his face before sliding back into the cool water. "Ino-chan!" He whined and looked about at the fish that had all scattered the disturbance.
She harrumphed, and blew at the strands of pale hair in front of her face. "Now look what you did! We don't have any fish now!" She… Threw… What… Grr… She huffed, and glanced up the stream to where many of the fish had darted.
Not one to take abuse lightly, Naruto grabbed at her ankles and pulled her into the stream. With a surprised shriek and splash, Ino crashed flailing into the water. Rising to her knees she glared daggers at him. "Na-ru-to!"
His eyes caught a trace of movement and he whipped his wrist out and held up his catch. Gripping it in his hand he thrust it toward her grinning at the sopping wet blonde. "Look Ino-chan, I caught a fi---" Naruto then learned never hold out a live fish to a pissed off kunoichi, as she started to slap him with it.
Sakura poked at the fire she had made, waiting for her two friends who had gone fishing. She stared in disbelief when they both arrived back at the camp laughing and drenched to the bone. "Please say you caught something?"
Naruto glared at Ino who stifled her giggles and shrugged shyly. "Oops?"
"I'll go get the cup ramen…" I must be the only sane one!
While they ate she glanced to Ino who gathered her trash and walked away from the fire. Taking the opportunity she nudged her elbow at Naruto getting his attention. "Psst Naruto… today is…"
Sitting on a tall branch with her legs dangling over, Ino watched the gentle rolling plains of the Rice Country. Hours had gone by with little change in the quiet scenery, and Ino's mind began to drift. Toying with Naruto was sure fun today… I wonder how I should torment him tomorrow. She pursed her lips, surveying the fields ahead. It was curious that the three of them were given this mission. This would have been better suited to team 8 which specialized in scouting and surveillance. A cracked limb derailed her train of thought, and she whipped her head toward the sudden sound.
She pulled herself onto the branch and crouched ready like a coiled spring poised to burst into action at a moments notice. What was that? She started to relax slowly when nothing revealed itself after a suspenseful minute. Ino let out a deep breath then froze as a pair of powerful arms wrapped around her from behind pinning her arms to her body.
Ino thrashed her body, and tossed her head to get a glimpse of the assailant. She then relaxed at the soft whisper and warm breath that caressed her ear. "Happy birthday Ino-chan."
Sakura jumped to the branch smiling in front of her. "You didn't think I'd forget would you? You two go relax, I'll watch for now."
She settled back against Naruto's chest. "You guys… did you have to scare me half to death?"
Naruto grinned and picked her up causing her to yelp as he hauled her back to the camp. "Sakura-chan also said you read Ero-sennin's book… so I stole you an unreleased copy of his newest volume off his desk."
He set her down back at the camp and handed her a small wrapped package. She unwrapped and read the cover. Icha Icha Dream? He sat down next to her and whispered pushing his fingers together while blushing. "Sakura-chan suggested if you saw anything you like…"
Ino grinned and started flipping through the first pages. Is this… Oh my god… Her eyes widened and gaped at the scenes being described.
He stammered out at her blank expression. "W-what is it? Y-you saw something you want to do?"
"Uh, that's the problem… we already did this." She tossed him the book and gripped the bottom of her skirt tightly. He slowly opened the small perverted book and began to read the opened page. His eyes scanned the writing then his jaw started to drop.
A/N: No real action – lot of fluff and just how a day of NaruSakuIno just might be. This did focus more on Ino moments… cause, happy birthday Ino!
No sorry, no incoming lemon, though I did consider it for a short while. (Perhaps I'll make a companion later that would be an insert here scene)
I think after this arc is resolved I may end this story (Still quite a few chapters left, I won't leave loose ends – don't worry). It is becoming very difficult to write when they already have an ebstablished relationship and the prospect of writing a fic all the way to Naruto-hokageism or whatever isn't appealing right now.
I think once I end this, I may have some companion fics (maybe a few One-Shots/lemons) or an epilogue later on.
Once I have finished the main story of Mind of Others, I may start another piece (either NaruSaku, NaruIno, or NaruSakuIno – prob one that includes Ino seeing as All I Have Left would be my NaruSaku fix). But I have no ideas yet for the premise of this next work may be. That said, if you have an interesting idea that you think my writing style would complement, shoot it my way and I'd be happy to discuss.