It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in Konoha. Naruto had just come back from a mission with team Shikamaru. They had just defeated two members of Akatsuki. Naruto, Shikamaru and Chouji were joking and laughing while Sai was reading, the Kakashi and Yamoto were talking and Sakura and Ino were just looking at the village. Ino had her head down and was just thinking of the recent mission and how useless she was. How she couldn't do anything but watch. Everybody got to fight besides her, Sai and Sakura. But they were still pretty strong. Tears formed in her eyes as she realized that if she had stayed home nothing would change.

She needed to get stronger.

"Ino what's wrong?"

Ino looked up as she seen the one person who she would have never expected to ask her such a question.

Naruto.

"N-Nothing." She whispered as she put her head down and continued to look down on the floor.

Naruto wanted to continue to ask her what's wrong but he decided he would ask her after the mission briefing.

(Outside Hokage's office)

"So Shikamaru what are you gonna do?"

"I don't know Chouji, sounds troublesome but, I was going to go visit sensei's grave."

"I see; I'm gonna go get something to eat. What about you Sakura?"

"I'm going to the hospital."

"Ok. And you Naruto?"

"Uhh… I don't know really." In reality, Naruto knew full well were he was going. He was going to ask Ino what was wrong and why she was so down. He could tell she was hiding something. Because he was hiding something himself.

"Ok. And you Ino?"

"Me? Oh I'm going to the flower shop."

"Do you mind if I walk you to the flower shop?" Naruto asked quickly. He finally got an opportunity to get her alone. He was not gonna pas sit up.

"You…want…to walk me to…the flower shop?" Ino asked with her eyes widened.

"You really are unpredictable." Shikamaru muttered.

Naruto laughed. "If only you knew." He replied. He then grabbed Ino's hand with his left hand seeing as how his right one was in a cast and ran to the direction of the flower shop.

"See you guys later." Naruto said. Sakura looked at the contact of the two and felt a little bit weird watching the two run off but shrugged it off as something else.

Shikamaru watched all of this as the two of them ran off.

"Thank you Naruto. You have saved me from all the troublesome work."

(At the flower shop)

As they finally reached the door of the flower shop, Ino stopped running and let go of Naruto's hand slowly.

"So why did you want to walk me over to the flower shop?" Ino asked. She was really confused as to why Naruto wanted to walk her over and wanted to know desperately.

"Because I wanted to ask you what's wrong. You seemed a little down. Are you ok?" Naruto asked.

"It's just… I felt so useless during that fight. Like all I could do was heal you. I wanted to do more. I don't know." Ino said as she held her head down.

"So train and get stronger."

Ino head shot up.

"What do you think I have been doing? I have been training and training but it's not doing much. I'm still not strong enough. I want…"

"What do you want?"

"I want to be able to matter during fights. I want to be strong enough to actually fight someone on my own like you could. I want to be strong enough to defend myself and not wait for someone to defend me."

Naruto thought for a minute.

"So train with me." He said. "I will help you become strong."

"Why?' Ino asked as she looked up at him.

"Why would you help me?"

"Because we are comrades. Comrades help each other out." Naruto stated with a foxy grin on.

Ino looked at him before putting her head back down.

"Thank you Naruto."

He looked in confusion as silver sparkling tears dropped to the floor.

"Why are you crying?" Naruto asked.

"Cause … I just know I'll become stronger training with you Naruto." she said as she looked up and smiled at him with tears in her eyes.

Naruto smiled as he tried to scratch his head with his right hand but cringed as he felt a little jolt of pain. He put the arm down and chuckled a little.

"Yeah. I am pretty strong aren't I? Naruto said.

"Don't let it get to your head. You're still the same Naruto." Ino said.

"Whatever. We'll begin training after my arm heals ok?" Naruto said as he walked towards his apartment.

"Sure. See you later Naruto." Ino said as she went inside.

In the next few weeks, Ino and Naruto began training relentlessly. She excelled in taijutsu and became faster and her endurance increased simply running with Naruto for many hours. She also came up with a few of her own moves just by watching Naruto's. She continued training with Naruto and also Teached him many healing remedies with plants. Even when they were not training, they were seen walking around the village or eating ramen together…or more Ino watching Naruto eat the ramen and her asking how he could be the same weight after all of the ramen he consumed. Naruto also learned a lot about flowers and came to the flower shop to buy flowers to decorate his house whenever he had days off from missions.

"Alright. That's enough for the day." Naruto said as he collapsed on the floor.

"That's it Naruto? That's all you have. You sure are getting weak." Ino taunted with a cocky smile present on her face.

"Hey that's not fair. I already came from training with Kakashi Sakura and you know that." Naruto countered with a small grin on his face.

"Yeah yeah whatever. So what-." Ino never finished her sentence as a raindrop landed on her nose.

"Rain?" Ino asked.

"Huh?" Naruto said as he sat up and another raindrop landed on her. She said or did nothing for a while before looking in panic and grabbing her hair.

"OH NO MY HAIR! I GOTTA GO." Ino screamed as she ran away.

Only to be stopped as a hand grabbed onto her arm.

"What the… Naruto let go!" Ino said.

Naruto grinned as he shook his head no.

"Were gonna get wet." Ino said, looking at him in a panic.

"Exactly" Naruto said as he held onto her arm as she frantically tried to get him off of her. She even tried to kick and punch him but he kept dodging her.

She gave up as the rain began to really pour. Naruto then grabbed her and spun her around in the rain despite her complaints as they went upon deaf ears.

"NARUTO…. CUT IT…… STO……..I'M GETTING DIZZY NARUTO STO………HAHAHA." Ino laughed as the wind picked up and tickled her ear and the breeze and rain relaxed her fears and anger.

Naruto then put her down and took off his shirt.

"Naruto what are you doing." Ino said as a blush appeared on her face as she looked at Naruto's exposed chest.

"Trying not to get sick." Naruto said. "Not to be…perverted but you should…uh…" Naruto stopped himself and just got into a thinking pose.

"Should what Naruto?" Ino asked. She really hated when he went back on what he was trying to say.

"Well… how do I say this without sounding like a big pervert?" Naruto said.

"Pervert… how would you... Oh!" Ino decided to just tease Naruto because she found it cute when he was shocked.

"you want me to take it off don't you Naruto-kun"" Ino said with a hint of seduction.

"NANI? NO…I MEAN...YES I MEAN... AHH!" Naruto said as he waved his arms frantically and closed his eyes as he tried to explain himself.

"It's ok Naruto. All you had to do was ask." Ino said with a smirk she backed up and put her hands on her hips with a smirk still on her face.

"But I can't take it off because I have nothing under it." she said. She then giggled as she saw the shocked expression and the red blush appearing on Naruto.

"You…don't?" Naruto asked with his mouth wide open. He then wondered what exactly was under….no no no he was not ero-sennin.

"Yeap. Nothing. But it's nice that you were…"

BOOM!

Thunder struck and in speeds that rivaled lee without weights and his 1st gate open, Ino was in Naruto's arms as the rain poured and thunderstruck again.

"na-naruto." she stuttered. She began to feel warmth from his body and began to snuggle on him. Naruto on the other hand was going insane with questions flowing through his head.

"Is she on me, did she just call my name? Is she afraid of thunder? She is afraid isn't she? Should I take her home? Is she snuggling with me? Why do I not want her to let go? Why am I holding her too?"

Naruto finally broke out of his thoughts when he heard sniffling and felt someone shudder.

"Ino? Are you ok?"

"y-yes." She whispered.

BOOM!.

She screamed and held Naruto tighter.

"I'm going to take you home now ok?" Naruto said.

"I can't go home. My parents are out. They went on a mission and I left my keys inside." Ino whispered.

"Well… I guess…I'll take you to my house to keep you warm and get you out of this rain." he said with some uncertainty in his voice.

"Is that ok with you." He asked.

"Well…"

BOOM!

"YES, YES JUST GET ME OUT OF THIS RAIN." She didn't need to be told twice as he raced off to his apartment.

(At Naruto's apartment)

"Welcome to my apartment." Naruto said as he opened the door.

"It's kind of… clean." Ino said as she walked in there was a couch on the left side, a kitchen with a counter and stove next to the fridge and sink, and two doors that she assumed was his bathroom and his bedroom. A blush appeared on her face as she thought of what was in his bedroom.

"What did you expect?" Naruto asked as he closed the door behind him.

"Nothing. Nothing at all." Ino replied as she continued to look around.

"I'll get you some tea and some warm clothing. If you want to take a shower you can you know? "Said Naruto as he made his way to the kitchen and began boiling tea.

"I will." She replied as she shuddered from being cold.

"Ok" he said as he left and went inside a room she guessed was his. She waited till he came back out with a towel and an orange shirt and black slacks. He tossed them to her and pointed towards the direction of the bathroom.

As Ino was in the bathroom to take a shower, she began to think. Lately, she had been spending a lot of time with Naruto and it seemed like he was blowing off his own teammate Sakura more often.

'I thought he loved her, why is he spending time with me?' thought Ino. She resolved that she would find out once she finished showering.

As she put on the clothes, she found that they were way too big for her and resolved with just wearing the t-shirt. Naruto was sitting on the couch looking at the ceiling trying to get his own thoughts together.

'Why am I so nervous? I was never like this around Sakura. In fact, I barely spend any time with Sakura lately. Can it be that I have eyes for someone else?' He thought

"Naruto. Your sweats are too big so I'm only wearing the shirt. I hope you don't mind." Said Ino as she came into view and began blushing as she looked at a shirtless Naruto looking up at the couch.

"Just set them on the counter then." Said Naruto, still not looking at her and keeping his head looking up.

"So where's my tea?" asked Ino with her hands on her hip looking at naruto who seemed zoned out.

"Your tea is over th-…." Naruto's train of thought went right out the window as he took a look at Ino. Her slender legs going up to the shirt that he lent her, it was oversized but still showed off all of her curves, then her hair flowing all over the place as if she just let it go free. Then the color of her eyes that just had him mesmerized. The two looked at each other in silence before Ino's patience went thin.

"Where's my tea? Stop looking at me like that you pervert." Said Ino with red cheeks as she picked up the sweats and threw it at him. As they hit him, naruto snapped out of his daze and gave a playful growl before standing up with his hands out and his fingers outwards.

"You're going to pay for that Ino. It's time for my tickle no jutsu!" Said naruto as he slowly made his way over to her. Ino's eyes widened at what he was planning to do and slowly backed away.

"Na-naruto stop that. You know how I get when you do that. Please don't… no… no… NOO." Ino said as naruto closed in on her and began…

Tickling her all over her stomach. Ino's roars of laughter bounced off the walls as he picked her up and carried her on the couch before tickling her until she laughed.

"Stop (giggle) naruto (giggle)." Said Ino as the tickling jutsu continued.

"Say it then." Naruto said as he lessened the tickles and began poking her.

"No. I got something better." Said Ino with a glint on her eye.

"wha-…" naruto said as Ino sprung on top of him and began giving him his own medicine.

"(Chuckle) stop (chuckle) ok (chuckle) you win!" naruto said.

"Good. You should know that I always win naruto." said Ino. The two lessened their pants of tiredness and realized how close they were to each other. They soon felt each others breath on each other and before they knew it, they closed the gap on each other and united, their lips softly touched one another. The two backed away after connecting for 2 seconds and looked into each others eyes. The other wondering how they fell for the other so fast.

"Ino…" Naruto whispered as he rubbed the back of his hand against her cheek. Ino shuddered as she felt his hand on her cheek.

"What just happened?" He asked. He could not remove himself and he was desperately fighting his urge to kiss her again.

"We just… kissed." She whispered. She then slowly lunged on him and connected their lips again. The two felt satisfaction and wanting slowly growing with each kiss and the passion between the two slowly began elevating to new heights.

"I never knew that… I would… want… someone ….else… but …now I know for a fact I…. want you." Whispered Naruto between kisses as the two slowly began getting heavier into the passionate kisses.

"Well… I want you too… because without you… I would be weak… and you… you make me stronger." Gasped Ino as the two continued holding and connecting with each other.

It was that night that united the two forever and intertwined their lives. it was that night that the two became stronger not only physically, but emotionally as well.