"I need to get out of here."
Ino was a little panicky. But who wouldn't be? She just saw Naruto carrying her body away; and, what's worse, he probably thinks she's dead.
Ino slapped her hands together.
"What's going on?"
The previous memory had already faded and from within the darkness that followed, a low, throaty laugh.
"Why can't I leave?" Ino's voice cracked slightly, this wasn't supposed to happen.
"Maybe you can't leave because I do not wish you to do so."
"Who are you?" It was the same growl of a voice she had heard when she first entered Naruto.
"What do you mean 'who am I'? Do not tell me that you still cannot figure it out? Is it really true what they say about blondes and their intelligence levels?"
"Of course—who else could it possibly be? Besides Kit and I, none but members of your own family can be here. As for the Uchihas—maybe. And since I am sure that no member of said clans, besides yourself of course, would ever dare to enter a place as 'dangerous' as this…."
"Why do you think the Uchihas can enter here? Has it been done before?"
"Yes, but only by one of the remaining ones."
"As if that queer could ever manage." You could almost hear him rolling his eyes.
"He's not gay?"
Kyuubi snorted. "He's about as straight as that Haruno woman is useful."
"Which is not at all?"
"You got it."
"How do you know he's not straight?"
"Are you kidding me?"
"Has he ever had a girlfriend?"
"No, but that doesn't—"
"Has he ever had a crush on a girl?"
"Not that I know of but—"
"Has he ever been asked out?"
"By whom, may I ask?"
"Has he ever said yes?"
"No, but how do you know he's gay? Does he like someone?"
Ino's ears perked. "Who?"
"No." Ino said it in that oh-no-freakin'-way, gossip kind of tone.
"Yeah, Kit likes him too but not in the same way. It's more of a brother relationship to him."
"How did you pick up on it and not Naruto?"
"Does Naruto ever notice it when someone likes him?"
"You're talking about Hinata now, right?"
"The Hyuuga girl—yes, that is the one."
"Yeah, I guess you're right….Do you like Naruto?"
Ino wasn't expecting that answer. "…What? Why not?"
"I do not think I have a reason to."
"Do you have a reason not to?"
"His father trapped me in here."
"…Where in here?"
"There's a seal on his stomach. That's where I reside. I can visit his mind anytime I choose, but I'm down there the majority of my time."
"Is that why Naruto eats so much?"
"Yeah, I guess you could say that he is eating for two."
"Why can't I see you? Is it because the seal is on his stomach?"
"No. Do you want to?" The demon snorted.
Ino hesitated before answering. "Yes…yes, I do."
"Then step forward." The bitch purred.
Ino did as she was told. She jumped slightly when candles flickered to life a few feet away from her. The flames illuminated large, wooden pillars that had been invisible just moments before.
"That's right, come closer. You will see me soon."
She took another hesitant step.
"Don't be afraid, I won't hurt you."
"That's it, keep coming; just a little more."
She reached what looked like a giant cage. She couldn't see anything though.
"If you wish to see me, enter through the bars."
She reached out her hand and held the wood tight. She began to pull herself through the large opening.
"No!" A small voice screamed. Ino felt a hand grab her elbow and pull her backwards just as a monstrous claw scratched at the bar that she had released. A little eight-year-old looking Naruto stood beside her as she looked up from the ground.
"What do you think you're doing, you damned fox!?"
"Aw, Kit." The demon growled. "Do you really think that I've enjoyed living off of those disgusting noodles for the past six years? A fox has got to have 'variety', if you catch my drift."
"You can't just kill someone like that!"
"Oh, and how do you suppose I eat her—alive? Seriously, Kit, I never thought you the cruel kind."
"Shut up, that's not what I meant. I don't want you to eat her at all."
"Well you wouldn't let me eat you and since she's the only one to enter into here—"
"I feed you enough, don't I?"
"No, you don't."
"Well, its not that that easy collecting enough food for a four-hundred foot tall monster with a stomach the size of a small building."
"Maybe not for you, but it is for me. If you'd just break that seal—"
"How about not!?"
Ino just watched as the miniature Naruto screamed at the fox until she remembered her problem.
The boy stopped arguing and looked at the blonde girl. "What?"
"Why haven't you been yourself lately?"
"What do you mean? Why do you care?"
"…You see that seal?" He pointed up to the tag on the wooden pillar. "It's breaking."
"…I keep loosing." He whispered the words but the silence of the rest of the room didn't drown it out.
"What do you mean?"
"I keep loosing! That's what I mean! The villagers never liked me, I'm responsible for the death of Iruka and Kakashi-sensei's only remaining loved ones, I never met my parents because they were probably either ashamed of having a demon son or were killed by the demon, the only best friend I ever had left the village and tried to murder me in the same day, and the whole town probably thinks that I helped drive him away!" He child baled his hands into tight fist and glared at the ground. "I probably did."
Ino tried to reach out and hug the small boy but he put up his hand to stop her.
"Just leave." He said it without looking up.
"I tried that."
"Then try again."
Ino hesitated a little before slapping her hands together. "Kai!"
Everything went black.
Naruto stopped running when he heard the thought-to-be-dead girl in his arms speak.
"Ino! You're alright!"
He put her back on her feet and then pulled her into a hug. But when he released her, she was gripping him tight.
She didn't say anything.
"Hey, Ino…you alright?"
"Sorry? About what?" He pushed her off of him gently but kept his hands on her shoulders. She was crying. "Ino, are you sure you're okay? You don't have anything to be sorry for." Naruto studied her face for a moment. "Is this about Sasuke? Don't worry about it. I promised Sakura that I'd bring him back and I don't go back on my word. I keep my promises; that's my nindo." He reached out to wipe away some of her tears.
"It's not about him." Ino seemed to have stopped crying. "It's about him." Ino pointed to Naruto's stomach.
"Yeah…I'm…sorry." Ino started to cry again.
Naruto pulled her in for another hug. "There's nothing for you to be sorry about."
"He thinks that everyone will blame him for the last technically sane Uchiha leaving the village."
Ino was back in the Hokage office. Tsunade's wall had been repaired during her absence and the Godaime was currently leaning against it. Naruto was standing outside of the door waiting to be called upon.
"That's ridiculous. Why would they blame him?"
"He was the closest to Sasuke. He probably just thinks that they would blame him because he blames himself."
Tsunade thought about it and then nodded her head. "Sounds like it could be true. Naruto, get in here!"
The two blondes hugged each other in front of the large gate. All of the remaining members of the rookie nine along with Team Gai were gathered there.
"Bye, everyone! Don't worry, two years will just fly by and I'll be back before you know it!" Naruto imitated Lee's signature "nice guy" pose. "Sasuke can't stay away forever!"
And with that, he left. Ino and the others watched and waved as he disappeared into the forest.
Sakura elbowed Ino slightly in the side.
"Spill it." Sakura smiled slyly.
"When did you, you know, fall for him?"
"What!? I don't, I mean, I didn't!" Ino blushed.
"Uh huh, sure you didn't."
"I didn't" Ino shook her fist in the pinkette's face. "You know I only have a thing for ravens!"
As the sounds of bickering girls filled the air, the remaining people silently and quickly left the area to leave the women to their arguing.
How did you like it? If you loved it, you should try reading my other stories. I have thirteen and only two of them have pairings. Those two, I must warn you, are slightly SasuNaru. All of the rest are either hetero of no. Please review and I'll loves you.