A/N: This is just another one shot idea that's been on my mind for the last few days. I thought that it turned out pretty good. But just the same read and review and let me know what you thought.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto clearly otherwise I wouldn't be writing fan fiction.
A beautiful blond haired woman turned over in bed; the light from the sun hitting her eyes. She sat up a yawn escaping her.
"August 12th." Ino whispered.
She turned her attention to the left side of the bed. It was the side of the bed he had always slept on. He had always preferred that side of their bed. After all this time Ino still missed her husband. They say that things get easier with time and sure that was partially true. She certainly did have time to heal, but you never really forget. As if she could ever forget her husband Uzumaki Naruto. He was the type of man that would not, could not be forgotten.
"Alright its time for me to get up I can't sit around like a bump on a log. I have to be active right hun." She thought to herself as she looked at the picture of Naruto on her nightstand.
Ino rose from bed putting her robe on. She walked down the hall entering her daughter's room. She smiled softly as she saw her child sleeping soundly with one arm wrapped around her teddy bear. Ino sat down on the side of her daughter's bed.
"Ryoko- hime wake up okay."
The young girl buried her face in the crook of her teddy bears neck. She scrunched up her face in discomfort. She clearly did not want to wake up right now.
"Five more minutes mommy."
"I know that you're tired sweetie." She bent over kissing Ryoko's cheek. "But you have to get up we're going to see your father today."
A pair of cerulean blue eyes slowly opened. Ryoko had her fathers beautiful blue orbs. It used to be painful staring into her daughters eyes. She looked into her eyes and naturally she was reminded of Naruto. Over the years though the pain had lessened; it didn't hurt nearly as much to look into Ryoko's eyes as it did before. Her daughter was really all she had left of Naruto. Ryoko was someone that was to be cherished.
"Okay mommy." The blond haired girl nodded as she got out of bed.
August 12th that date had been very important. At first of course that day didn't mean anything to Ryoko. She was unaware of why every year on this day; her mother seemed more depressed than she had ever seen her. The only thing that she had been aware of was that this was the day she had always gone to see her father. She had no real memories of her dad. He had died when she was a baby. She only saw the pictures of him and listened to the stories that her mothers friends had told her.
"Yes hime." Ino turned her attention to her daughter.
"Are you going to cry again when we see daddy? I know that you miss daddy but it makes me feel really bad when you start crying."
A sigh escaped Ino. She sat down again wrapping her arms around Ryoko.
"Okay sweetheart I promise you that I won't cry. Besides your father wouldn't want me to let's get ready to go."
In the bathroom Ryoko watched her mother as she fixed herself in the mirror. Ino had decided that she would wear her hair down today. Ryoko watched as her mother started to put on some makeup. She had always thought that her mother was exceptionally beautiful.
"I have the prettiest mommy in the world." Ryoko thought proudly.
Ino started humming a tune as she put a white lily in her hair. The five year old blinked in confusion. It was something that Ryoko never understood. She always wondered why her mother always put that specific flower in her hair. She noticed that whenever they went to visit her father's grave her mother would always wear that flower.
"Mommy?" she called out to her again.
"Why do you always put that flower in your hair? Why don't you use another type of flower? Like a rose, or a daisy, or a chry…chry…." She knotted her eyebrows together as she struggled to pronounce the word. Ino smiled at how cute her daughter looked with that confused expression on her face.
"Just like your daddy." She thought. "It's called a chrysanthemum honey."
"Yeah." She nodded. "That's the one."
Ino was glad to see that her love of flowers had passed on to Ryoko. It gave the two of them something to bond over. She appreciated that even if she never verbally expressed that fact. It gave her a sort of comfort.
"So you want to know why I always put a lily in my hair."
"Yeah I thought that roses were your favorite mommy."
"I love roses. But this flower in particular is very special to me. I wear this lily because it helps me to remember your father. He always gave me lilies more than any other flower."
Ino smiled as she remembered the first time that Naruto had ever given her a lily.
The young blond couple was walking hand in hand through the streets of Konoha. They had just come from their first date.
"Ino-chan did you have fun tonight?"
"Hai Naruto-kun I did."
He squeezed her hand tighter their fingers intertwined. Suddenly the spiky headed blond came to a stop; this caused Ino to stop as well.
"What's wrong?" she wondered.
"Wait here Ino-chan."
"Naruto where are you going?"
"It'll just take a second."
Ino only sighed as she watched her boyfriend run off in the opposite direction. She had no idea what he was planning or why he had run off that way. This was only their first official date, and she had thought that things were going pretty well. Okay so he had caused a scene at the restaurant which almost caused them to get kicked out. He had been very sweet to her despite that part. He had payed for every single thing; he held out her chair for her, he had even asked if it would be okay for him to hold her hand. She was actually wearing his jacket now because it had gotten slightly colder in the last few hours.
"If you keep this up Uzumaki Naruto you just might be the one I marry one day." She thought with slight amusement.
She was pulled out of her thoughts when she heard Naruto calling out to her.
"Naruto?" She turned around to see him holding on to a small bouquet of white lilies.
"Look Ino-chan aren't they nice."
"Yeah." She agreed. "But Naruto you really didn't need to run off to get those flowers."
"Yeah I know but I wanted to." He took one of the lilies and to her surprise he placed it into her hair.
"It just fits you Ino-chan don't ask me why but I like It." he smiled.
The platinum blond didn't know what to say to him. At the moment all she could do was smile. She then stood up on her tip toes pressing her lips to his. She normally did not kiss on the fist date, only right now she felt so comfortable to do so. She felt that it was right to go in for the kiss. That and it would be a lie if she said she didn't feel that urge to kiss him all through dinner. Naruto stood surprised at her actions. He hadn't expected to get a kiss from her tonight. He was soon able to relax into the kiss pulling Ino closer to him. Before long they broke away from their soft kiss.
"Wow Ino-chan." He spoke in a whisper.
"Wow indeed." She then reached for his hand. "Come on Naruto walk me home okay."
Ino turned her attention back on to her little girl.
"Ryoko- hime are you ready to go?"
"Hai." The young girl nodded.
Ino took her daughter's hand and they left the house. It was a warm summer day. August 12, Ino hated this day. It was the day that she lost her husband, the man that she loved, her Naruto. This day was always very hard for her. And every year on the anniversary of his death she would take Ryoko to visit him. It was something that she had always done.
"Look mommy it's Auntie Sakura." The young girl pointed to the pink haired woman. "Hi Auntie Sakura." She waved to her trying to get her attention.
Sakura then turned around to see her best friend and adopted niece.
"Hi Ryoko-chan." She smiled as she bent down to capture the little girl in a hug. "How are you?"
"I'm doing great." Ryoko gave her a bright smile.
It was then that she noticed the nearby field of flowers. Ryoko's eyes seemed to just light up.
"Mommy can I please go and pick some flowers. Maybe I can give them to daddy."
"Sure honey. Just stay where I can see you."
Ryoko nodded before running off to the field of flowers. Sakura then turned her attention to her blond haired friend. She knew that she had to be in pain on this date.
"Hey Ino how are you?"
Sakura knew all too well the importance of this day. It had an effect on everyone all their friends would deal with it in their own way. She was aware that Ino would take her daughter to Naruto's grave today. It had been a tradition of sorts. Sakura had respected that it was a family thing. So she had never asked to go with them on this day.
"I'm alright. Did you already go to see Naruto?"
"Yeah." She nodded. "Tsunade-sama and I went earlier. You know it's been nearly 5 years but that doesn't make it hurt any less. Every time I go there I still find myself hoping that it's not real."
"I know." Ino agreed. "I miss him too."
At times like this she had to remember all the good memories. She had to remember when she and Naruto were happy. She remembered when she first told him that they were going to have a baby.
Ino stood in the apartment that she shared with Naruto. They had been married for about a year now. And she had some exciting news to tell him. What made this day so special was that it just happened to be Valentines Day. This was just all too perfect.
"Happy Valentines Day Ino-koi." He spoke cheerfully as he entered the room with a box of chocolates. Instead of seeing roses like she had expected she saw him holding a bouquet of white lilies.
"Happy Valentines day Naruto-kun um hun you know that I like roses. Why do you have those lilies?" she wondered.
Naruto was aware that normally a rose would be given to the one you love on this day. But he had his own reasons for why he chose to give her lilies instead.
"Ino-chan I know that you like roses. This flower is sort of like our flower you know. It was the first flower that I ever gave you on our first date remember? And now it's our first valentines day as a married couple. I thought it seemed appropriate you know." He scratched his head in that adorable way that he often did.
Ino thought that his reasons were very sweet. Although roses were and would always be her favorite flower, she could definitely appreciate the importance of this white lily. Especially when he had said it was their flower. She liked the sound of that. She liked the sound of something being theirs.
"Okay I understand." She smiled. "I'll put them in water."
As she disappeared into the kitchen she decided to take one of those lilies and put it in her hair. She remembered that on their first date he had put one in her hair. When she came back into the living room Naruto's eyes seemed to light up.
"Wow Ino-chan you look beautiful."
"Thank you. Naruto hun, we need to talk. I've been thinking that we need to get a bigger place."
Naruto blinked in confusion. "Um why do we need a bigger place? This place is perfect for us."
"Oh I know that it's perfect for two of us. But well…" her cheeks flushed red. "What if I told you that it's not going to be just the two of us anymore? What if I told you we're going to have a little visitor with us soon?"
The blond man looked up into his wife's aqua colored orbs. A huge smile exploded on to his face. He couldn't believe that this was serious. He was going to be a father. Naruto stood up running over to Ino.
"Ino are you serious. We're having a baby?"
"Yep." She nodded smiling back at him.
Naruto laughed out loud as he swung her around in his arms. He put her down placing his hand to her stomach. She was not showing or anything but just the fact that he knew that something was there put a smile on his face.
"We're going to have a baby." He repeated in a soft thoughtful tone.
"Yeah we are." She ran her fingers through his spiky blond head.
"Well I guess you're right then we do need a bigger place." He shot her a smile. He reached up planting a kiss on her lips. "I love you Ino."
"I love you too." She smiled back.
"Ryoko come on okay we need to get going." Ino called out to her daughter.
"Okay I'm coming mommy."
Ino then turned to Sakura giving her a warm brave smile. She learned to smile even on this day. She knew that she had to try to keep smiling, if for any reason at all for the sake of her daughter.
"I'll see you around Sakura. You try and be good alright." She gently teased.
"I will." She smiled back. "Goodbye Ryoko-chan."
"Bye Auntie Sakura." She waved.
Ryoko had wondered why her mother never asked Auntie Sakura to come with them. For as long as she could remember it had always just been the two of them.
"Mommy how come on this day it's always just you and me. Why don't you want Auntie Sakura, or Granny Tsunade, or Uncle Shika to come with us?"
Ino squeezed her daughters hand lightly.
"It's sort of like tradition sweetie. I don't want to change things. It's always just been you and me on this day. I like it that way." Ino told her.
"Oh kind of like how you always put that lily in you hair whenever we come here."
"Yeah it's just like that."
Once they came to Naruto's grave Ryoko broke off into a run. She kneeled down in front of her father's grave. She took a deep breath before speaking.
"Hi daddy I brought you some flowers. Um I tried to pick all the pretty ones."
She placed the mixed bouquet of flowers on his grave.
"Hi honey." Ino spoke. "It's been awhile hasn't it? Our little Ryoko is growing into such a beautiful girl. Isn't that right hime?" she smiled as she gently pinched her cheek.
"Mom." She whined. "I'm not a baby you know."
"I know that but you're always going to be my little girl." She told her and placed the blond haired child in her lap. "Naruto hun I promised our daughter that I wouldn't cry today. So I won't besides I know that you wouldn't want me crying anyway."
The only time she could really remember crying so hard was when she learned of Naruto's death.
"You don't really mean that Tsunade-sama. It's impossible."
"Ino do you think that I want this to be true. I would give anything to make it so Naruto…" Tsunade stopped as she felt tears come down her eyes.
Ino felt her body stiffen. She did not want to believe what Tsunade had just told her. It was impossible. There had to be some kind of mistake. Naruto could not possibly be dead.
"I don't believe you." Ino shook her head.
Sakura came over to her best friend wrapping her in tight hug.
"I…I didn't want it to be true either. I mean it's Naruto he wouldn't just give up. But Ino I saw his body…." She too had tears in her eyes.
The blond haired woman pulled away from Sakura's embrace. She didn't want to hear that right now. That was the last thing that she needed to hear.
"NO! I told you that I don't believe you. He wouldn't just leave me this way. He…" she stopped talking. "He wouldn't do this to me. He wouldn't do this to us." She whispered.
When she had said us she was referring to both her and her 8 month old daughter. She wasn't ready to believe that he was now gone. He had a family that needed him. Wasn't that important enough for him to stay alive? So he could be there with them.
"Come on Ino you have to see him." Sakura spoke as she led her friend down the hall of the hospital. Ino was still hoping that she would walk through the door and only find him unconscious. She slowly entered the room there was a white sheet covering his entire body. There was no movements you could literally feel the stillness in the room.
Ino swallowed the lump in her throat as she pulled back the sheet. Her eyes fell on to the body of her husband.
"No." she whispered.
He looked completely unlike himself. There were scars, deep gashes, and his skin had been badly discolored in many places. She put her hand to his cheek.
"No this can't be. I refuse to believe this. Come on Naruto wake up." She shook him.
"Ino…" Sakura started.
"No! He's fine…." She cried. "He's just been badly beaten. Naruto! Come on just…. Just wake up. Open your eyes please." She fell on top of him the tears pouring down her aqua colored orbs. The pink haired woman could not control the tears that flowed from her eyes either. She was grieving for her best friend. Naruto had been very important to her too. But he was Ino's husband they had an infant daughter. She hated to see her friend in this state.
"Ino he isn't…."
"No." she shook her head. She stood up with a serious expression on her face. "Naruto Uzumaki! You get your ass up right now. We have a little girl to take care of. You can't do this to us…." More tears escaped her. "You can't leave us now when we need you more than anything." She put her hand to his face again. She knew that he was gone. There was no movement, no breathing, absolutely no life radiating from him whatsoever. It was too much to handle. She didn't want this to be her reality.
"Naruto I'd do anything to make you open your eyes and look at me again. I'd even wear that flower you like so much every single day of my life if it would mean that you wake up; and put your arms around me again." She wiped the tears out of her eyes. There was a sad, soft smile on her face ahs she leaned forward pressing her lips to his cheek.
"But you're not coming back to me are you? You're gone. You're gone and there's no way for you to come back to me. I will never forget you honey. I love you so much Naruto." She whispered to him.
"Mommy! Mommy!" her daughter's voice brought her back to reality.
"Yes hime what is it?"
"You were thinking about daddy. You always think about him when you get that look in your eyes."
"I always think about your father. I think about him everyday. Just because he isn't here that doesn't mean that we can't think about him right?"
Ryoko hung her head down low. Her shoulders stiffened as she leaned over. She felt tears coming down her cerulean blue orbs.
"Ryoko what's wrong honey?" Ino turned her daughter around so that they were now looking at each other.
"I feel so bad mommy. I want to be able to say that I love him. I wish that I could." She stopped wiping the tears out of her eyes. "I don't remember him like you do mommy. I don't even know if daddy loved me."
It pained Ino to hear her daughter speak like this. Not that she could blame her. Ryoko had been a baby when Naruto died. So naturally she had no real memories of him. Ino hugged her daughter.
"Your father loved you so much. He was beyond thrilled when he found that I was pregnant with you." Ino smiled. "In fact I remember a time when you were a baby."
Naruto stood with a 6th month old Ryoko in his arms. He lifted the baby up smiling warmly.
"Hey Ryoko-chan I missed you. Did you miss me?"
The blond haired baby did not smile back. If anything she only stared up at the whisker faced man in confusion. He frowned slightly.
"What's this? Well I guess that daddy's going to have to make you smile."
He started bouncing her up and down lifting her into the air. He heard giggling coming from his daughter. He smiled finally glad to see her smiling and happy.
"Naruto! What are you doing to my baby?" Ino shouted.
"Oh so now she's your baby."
The platinum blond walked over to her husband and daughter.
"Ryoko-hime is your baka father upsetting you?" she cooed kissing her daughter's cheek.
"No way Ino-koi. Ryoko-chan and I were having fun weren't we?"
Ryoko simply laughed at him clapping her hands together.
"See she's happy."
"Be careful Naruto. I just fed her a little while ago and if you keep doing that she'll throw up on you." Ino tried to warn him.
Naruto shook his head. "Mommy is crazy isn't she Ryoko-chan?" he spoke as he once again continued bouncing her up and down. It was no longer than five minutes before Ryoko had a look of discomfort on her face.
"Uh…what's wrong Ryoko-chan?"
She opened her mouth throwing up all over her father's shirt. Naruto held her away from him at arms length.
"Uh Ino-chan your baby threw up on me."
The blue eyed woman was now sitting on the couch reading a magazine. She had already warned him that this was going to happen. So right now she wanted no part in the aftermath.
"She's always my baby whenever she makes a mess isn't she? Naruto this is all on you. You're going to clean her up and while you're at it you might want to change your shirt."
"Hai." He nodded in defeat. "Don't worry Ryoko-chan." He smiled as he kissed her cheek. "I still love you even if you did just throw up on me."
Ryoko laughed as her mother finished telling her the story.
"I really did that?"
"Yep it was really his fault though. He didn't listen to me when I told him to stop bouncing you like that. But I want you to remember that he loved you okay. And that's not going to change just because he can't be here with us okay."
"Yes mommy I understand now."
"Good." Ino smiled. "Its getting late and I don't know about you but I'm starving."
"Me too." Ryoko nodded.
"Okay well then we should go. Goodbye Naruto. We'll see you again soon I promise. I love you." she then blew a kiss for him.
"Bye daddy. Next time I'll bring you some even prettier flowers."
As they were leaving hand in hand Ryoko suddenly got an idea.
"Do you think that the next time we come here I can wear a lily in my hair too? You know to honor daddy."
Ino smiled warmly and kneeled down to her daughter's level. She took the lily from her hair. She took it placing it in Ryoko's hair instead.
"You don't have to wait hime. You can wear it now. But I think that's a nice idea. Your father would love it. You look beautiful." She kissed her cheek.
"Thank you mommy do you really think that daddy would like it?"
"Yeah I'm sure that he would. Now lets get going he definitely wouldn't want us to starve." She laughed. "Not with the way that he used to stuff his face. So we need to go pig out just like he would.
Ryoko nodded smiling up at her mother.
"Alright mommy I bet that I can out run you back to the house. You ready 1….2…." before she got to three she was already running away. Ino looked on with a small smile on her face.
"You're just like your father. Naruto you would be very proud."
"Come on mommy you're not even moving at all. You'll never catch me that way." She shouted.
"You're right Ryoko-hime. I'll never catch up to you if I don't get moving."
Ino then broke out into a run chasing after her daughter. Normally ever year on August 12th she felt extremely depressed. But this year August 12th had gone better than it had ever gone in the last 5 years. She had felt closer to her daughter now that they had really spoken about Naruto.
"I guess we started a new tradition Ryoko-hime. Naruto I know that you're watching over Ryoko and me. I know that you're smiling down on us. I think that you and the story of that lily brought Ryoko and I closer together. I love you very much, thank you. Thank you Naruto for everything."
A/N: Okay that's the end of this little one shot of mine. I thought it was fairly decent. I hope you all enjoyed though. R and R plz.