Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Enjoy.

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Like most nights, the platinum blonde found herself tossing and turning in her bed, unable to sleep. Sighing, she got up and trudged to the place she went almost every night. It was her secret place, her haven, the place where she went to clam herself, to reflect, to think, to cry. It had become his too. She wondered if he was there yet. He probably was. So far she had never seen him not there. It was like he sensed every time she needed comfort. A small smile tugged at her lips as she spotted his unruly golden locks against a tree. His low chuckle sent warmth spiralling from the very pit of her stomach to her heart.

"Back again?" He hadn't even turned to acknowledge her presence.

"I could say the same thing for you" Another sigh escaped her lips as she slid down next to him and rested her head on his lap. She no longer had to ask; it was their nightly ritual. Stroking her hair he then proceeded to relate the events of his day. As she listened, she found herself smiling unconsciously. He always able to make her smile, laugh and he was certainly the only man that could send her heart over the edge with just one smile. The way he looked at her when they kissed made her feel like she was the only woman in the world. She could never explain why she felt so safe, so secure, so loved in his arms. She loved the feeling. The secret smiles they shared when they passed each other made her heart do back-flips. It took a moment for her to register the silence.

"What were you thinking about?" His voice seemed echo back at her endlessly.

"Nothing!" But her reply was a little too quick for him. She shot up so fast that all he saw was an after image. 'Oh no, you don't!' She knew that look all to well.

Breaking into a run she heard his voice calling to her "You can run but you can't hide!"

Laughing she shouted back: "Catch me if you can!" It wasn't long before she felt his arm close over her waist and yank her back against him. She should have expected it though. She never won the war. "Na...ru…to!! Stop…" She gasped in between giggles as his fingers relentlessly tickled her. Prying away from him quickly, she whipped around. Naruto, caught off guard, toppled to the ground with Ino right on top of him. A comforting silence settled around them as she laid her head on his chest to listen to his heartbeat. It had always, for some reason, clamed her. Naruto allowed himself to indulge in Ino's sweet scent. After all, it was at this time he could allow himself to do so.

"Naruto?"

"Hmm?"

"Naruto…why..." She paused. Frowning, he gently caressed her back silently urging her to continue. "Naruto…Why can't we act like a normal couple…" It was a mere whisper but it sent pangs of unimaginable pain through him. Pushing her off him, he started to back away.

"We can't Ino…You know why…"

"But why? WHY? WHY NOT? They won't hurt me! They CAN'T! Please Naruto. I can't do this anymore! I really LOVE you!" What started out as a scream ended with her crying in a heap on the grass. Naruto felt his chest constrict. Crawling back to her, he gathered her into his warm embrace, gently rocking her until she quietened. "I'm sorry, so sorry. I can't let us be seen together. I can't lose you. I love you to much to allow myself to see you hurt." He whispered as tears seeped from his closed lids. Hearing her relaxed even breathing, he gently lifted her up and carried her back. As he leaped away into the moonlit night, the words that escaped his lips were swept away by the wind, unheard.

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You're my everything. I can't lose you.

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He gently laid her down and kissed her forehead. "See you tomorrow…"

"Naruto-kun…" He turned around only to find her still asleep. "Don't leave…" A brief smile flitted across her face and she buried her face further into the pillow.

Glancing at her one last time, he sprinted off into the shadows of the night.

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Truth to be told, I didn't really know where I was going with this. I only knew that I wanted to do a NaruIno one-shot. And in the end, I came up with this. Hope you liked it. Reviews are greatly appreciated.