It started out with a simple spar. But in time, this simple start escalated into something much more... intense. Almost as much as the tension between them had escalated. It was inevitable that something like this would happen. Naruto/Ino NaruIno One-shot.

Naruto laughed out loud. "You want to spar with me? No way! I wanna fight Sasuke! He's the only one worth training with around here! Well, and Rock Lee."

Ino clenched her jaw tightly, her teeth grinding in her mouth. She wanted to get stronger, so Sakura had suggested that she ask Naruto. But Naruto was being a total jerk about it. He would rather fight that reformed traitor or that hideously enthusiastic strongman than duel with her?

"Come on, Naruto. I'll beat the crap out of you. You can't be that good."

Ino immediately regretted her words when she saw the mischievous sparkle in his eyes. With that sort of confidence, maybe he did have something up his sleeves.

"If you insist, Ino-sama." Now Ino was sure that something was up. "Let's go to the training area and I'll show you just how good I am!"

Naruto raced off in the direction of the training area. Ino, knowing that she had no other choice now, followed slowly after him. She had a vague feeling of foreboding pooling in her stomach. This might be more than she had bargained for.

Naruto was waiting for her in the clearing when she got there.

"Alright, Ino. Show me what you got."

The smug expression on his face ticked her off, and she channeled her rage into a quick charge, intent on wiping that stupid smirk off his face. But just before she connected, he grabbed her fist with a hand, tripped her with one leg, grabbed her waist with the other hand, and sent her spinning around into a tree.

Ino barely caught herself before she hit the ground. Damn, he knows what he's doing.

Ino realized that this was probably why Sakura had suggested training with Naruto. Learn from the best, or whatever. Ino clenched her hands into fists again, and charged for another attack.

Naruto raised one eyebrow as she approached, but said nothing. Ino lashed out with one hand in a feint, then struck with the second. Naruto dodged it easily, and, just as easily, dodged her follow-up punch, and jumped over her sliding kick, twisted under her high kick, stepped back from her kunai slash, and rolled out of her tackle.

Ino landed on the ground with a dull thud. The dust stuck to her lightly seating body, but she got up, ignoring it. Seeing Naruto's grin, she suddenly realized.

He was playing with her.

Ino growled, and curved her mouth into a grimace. "Dammit, Naruto! What are you doing?"

"I'm sparring with you, of course. Just like you asked." She could even hear the sarcastic grin in his voice. Her blood boiled, and her face flushed with anger.

For the next several minutes, Naruto dodged every single strike she tried, and moved away from every grapple she attempted. The only time they touched was when Naruto grabbed her and threw her away several times, when she had overbalanced herself while attacking.

Ino was shaking with anger. "What the hell is wrong with you, Naruto? I wanted you to help me, and all you've been doing is laughing at me while I make a fool of myself!"

Naruto's face reverted to a more serious, but still cheerful look. "Why do you think you look like a fool, Ino?"

"Because I can't land a hit on you! Not even one!"

"Why is that, Ino?"

His calm voice grated on her nerves. "Because you're faster than me! And stronger! And you can see what I'm doing before I do it?"

Naruto nodded. "So how do you plan to fix that, Ino?"

Ino opened her mouth, but no words came out. She suddenly saw that Naruto had been helping her all along, showing her what she needed to work on for attacking, and demonstrating what she could do for defense.

Closing her mouth quickly, she whirled away, her face red, but no longer from anger. When had Naruto gotten so… good?

Good looking?

Ino cursed her mind silently for suggesting it, but she had to admit that Naruto hadn't gotten that good without some serious toning and strength-building. Looking back at their spar, Ino could remember the way Naruto's muscles slid smoothly under his skin, and way that a thin layer of sweat glistened on his skin, and…

Ino shook her head to clear her thoughts. "I get it now, Naruto."

The blonde man grinned again. "Good! Come see me again when you've improved, and we'll try again!"

Ino found herself looking forward to that for reasons other than getting better at fighting.

It had taken a lot of begging, but Sakura had eventually shown her how to use her chakra to enhance her strength. Ino was proud of the way she could now shatter trees and stones with a single blow.

She had worked for over a month now, training hard when she wasn't on a mission, trying to reach the level that Naruto had demonstrated in their last fight.

Finally, she thought she was ready. She challenged Naruto again.

But now, standing in front of him in the small forest clearing, Ino felt very small. Naruto's whipcord muscles that she remembered from their last fight were much larger now. His entire body gave off an aura of power and energy. It showed in the way he bounced from one foot to the other, waiting fort her to make the first move. Obviously, Naruto had not taken a single break from training over the past month.

"Alright, Ino. Show me what you got." His tone sounded… flirtatious? Or maybe just cocky.

Ino smirked. This time, she would get him. Even if he had trained the entire, month, which would be just like him, Ino had improved too. She would show him.

But when she first attacked, it seemed depressingly familiar. Her super-powered punch was dodged all to easily. And with a sudden speed that made Ino gasp, he grabbed her fist with a hand, tripped her with one leg, grabbed her waist with the other hand, and sent her spinning around toward a tree.

Ino caught herself on the tree, and regained her balance. She looked back at Naruto, to see him standing with that smug, sexy grin of his, arms crossed over his large pecs and…

Ino's face flushed red. He had done that exact same thing last time, though more slowly. Ino felt embarrassed, and turned her head to hide her face. Naruto was different now. Stronger, and better looking, and…

Was he checking her out? Ino jerked her head back to look, but Naruto just stood there with his cocky grin. Maybe she had imagined it.

Taking a deep breath, Ino attacked again. More carefully. She didn't over commit. She swung and kicked and struck, watching while Naruto dodged her attacks. Then, seeing the pattern, she caught him.

A double feint, she attacked with an arm, then switched to her leg, before switching to her other arm. Naruto's eyes widened as a powerful punch connected with his sternum, sending him flying back into a tree, which creaked and groaned with the impact.

Naruto slowly got up, rubbing his chest. Ino's cheeks turned a deeper red as she watched him slowly press against his luscious-

She shook her head to rid herself of these perverted thoughts. When had her mind descended into the gutter?

She faced Naruto again, as the man began to laugh.

"Nice one, Ino! You're way better than last time!" Ino was sure her blush became even deeper, if that was even possible. "I'm gonna take you more seriously now, so watch out!"

Ino smiled and got ready. But before she could decide how to attack, Naruto went on the offensive. Ino dodged and blocked wildly for almost a minute before her defense slipped, and Naruto's hand slipped in and…

…poked her in the side.

Ino grabbed her stomach, smiling almost against her will. That tickled!

Unfortunately, Naruto seemed to notice as well. "Ticklish, Ino? In the middle of a fight, you succumb to tickling?"

Ino was not liking that devious grin one bit. "Naruto, I came here to spar, not to…"

"If you can keep me from hitting you, then you can keep me from tickling you, right?"

Ino sprang into frantic motion as Naruto closed in again. Desperate energy flowed into her, as she struggled to keep her dignity against this overly cheerful chuunin.

Ino wished that he had taken the jounin exam, just so that she wouldn't have to be losing to a fellow chuunin.

Her thoughts distracted her, and allowed Naruto to get in a quick attack.

Ino doubled over, giggling, and her defenses collapsed. Naruto had her now.

After almost a minute, he finally relented, leaving Ino on the ground, holding her aching sides, and slowly calming down from laughing so hard. He sat next to her.

"You're pretty good now, Ino. But you can't let your guard down like that during a fight. If I can get close enough to tickle you, other ninja can get close enough to hurt you."

Ino whipped her body into motion and pinned Naruto to the ground, her hands on his wrists, and her legs over his. "That's right, Naruto-kun. You should never let your guard down. Because if I can get close enough to do this…"

Ino swooped down and crushed her lips against his, tasting his pleasantly salty sweat and breathing in his scent, so overwhelmingly male. Her tongue traced his lips until they parted, ever so slightly, allowed her into his mouth, which she plundered with abandon. Naruto, finally over his shock, responded to her with surprising force, although she didn't let go of her hold on his arms and legs.

Finally, she pulled back, gasping for air. Her lips throbbed with pleasure, even as they felt oddly cool away from the pleasant warmth of Naruto. She slowly calmed her breathing.

"If… If I can get close… close enough to do that, then other ninja can get close enough… to hurt you…"

Naruto's eyes danced with a bright inner light. "You're right, Ino-chan. Maybe you could help me improve my…close range technique."

Ino smirked, knowing that he meant so much more than taijutsu.

"I'd be glad to, Naruto-kun."

Their practice session quickly escalated into something much more… intense.

I'm not big on writing this sort of thing, but I was just thinking of ideas for today's fic, and BAM, this came up! Hope you liked it.

Let me know what you think. Please, if you want to point out something you didn't like, offer and suggestion on how to fix it in future works. I would like to improve if at all possible!