A/n: Hey all, just another Ino x Naruto one shot to add to my growing collection of Ino x Naruto stories. I guess you can tell by now that they are my favorite couple, huh. So please enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto and co and I never will.
A blond male hurried up the block to his first day of volunteer work at the hospital. He was already running late as it was. He had not meant to oversleep, but seeing as how he barely got any sleep the previous nigh, it was expected for him to be late.
"Shit, Sakura-chan is going to kill me."
He picked up his speed and ran into the hospital. He was immediately greeted by his pink-haired friend. She did not look too thrilled to see at this moment.
"Um, hey Sakura-chan." He smiled.
"Where the hell have you been Naruto? You're late."
"I'm sorry Sakura-chan. I overslept and my alarm clock didn't go off on time." He explained.
"Alright, alright." Sakura ignored his excuse. "Well, you're here now. I almost thought that you weren't going to show up for a minute."
"Come on, have some faith in me. You know that if I have a job to do I'm going to do it."
"That's true." Sakura nodded.
"Naruto, Sakura get to work." Tsunade shouted.
"Yes Baa-chan." Naruto spoke.
"We're going right now Tsunade-sama."
The two friends split up so that they could each get to work. The blond male went from room to room checking on the sick patients, replacing empty food trays, and just being as cheerful as possible to them. He felt that if the patients saw a friendly face, it might cheer them up.
"Good morning Anko-san." The blond smiled for the sick purple-haired woman.
"Oh, hi there Blondie."
He pointed to the name tag on his chest.
"Yeah, yeah whatever. I happen to like Blondie better. So are you here to give me my sponge bath or what?"
Naruto cringed at the thought of having to perform that task.
"Um no, I don't do those, sorry." He added.
"Hm." She sighed. "That's really a shame. I could have showed you something worthwhile."
"Yes, I'm sure that you could have Anko-san."
"Just call me Anko. I'm not that old kid."
The blond male then placed the food tray besides her.
"Enjoy." He managed to smile.
As Naruto was leaving Anko reached over and pinched his butt.
"Nice backside kid." She noticed.
"Yeah." He breathed. "Okay, well I'm going to go now Anko-san. Feel better." He added before leaving her room in a quick manner.
"What a weird lady." He whispered to no one.
The blue-eyed male continued on with work, but soon stopped when he noticed an empty room. He wasn't sure what compelled him to go in, it was most likely curiosity. He walked into the room and noticed that the bed wasn't made up. This meant that someone had left unexpectedly.
"Here we go, back to your lovely five star room." Someone said in a sarcastic tone.
Naruto turned around to see a sandy-blonde haired woman pushing another blonde in a wheelchair.
"Who are you?" The sandy blonde asked.
"I'm Naruto, I'm volunteering here."
"Temari." She told him her name.
"Tema-chan, will you help me get back into the bed?" The platinum blonde questioned.
"Sure, of course."
The blonde named Temari rolled her friend over to the bed, and helped her up. She soon placed the covers over her friend.
"Hey, I have to go now. I'll come back as soon as I can, alright."
"I understand Tema-chan." The young woman in bed spoke.
"Take care okay. I'll see you soon."
Temari then hugged the platinum blonde. The sandy-blonde headed for the door but before she left she turned to face Naruto.
"Don't you dare hit on my friend or you're dead." She threatened.
The blonde in the bed laughed.
"Be nice Tem-chan."
"I'm just looking out for you. But I'm going to be late for work. I got to go, bye." Temari waved.
"Bye, have a nice day at work."
Naruto could only stare after the scary sandy-blonde. He was more than positive that he didn't want to go pissing her off.
"I'm sorry about Temari, she can be a little overprotective."
He turned to look at the platinum blonde. He then noticed her aqua-colored orbs. It was certainly a pretty shade of blue.
There was silence for awhile until Naruto remembered he had to give her the tray of food.
"Oh, yeah." He ran over to the food cart and grabbed a tray. "Here you go miss."
"It's Ino. My name is Ino Yamanaka."
"Naruto Uzumaki." He offered her his hand.
Ino shook his hand and gave him a warm smile.
"It's nice to meet you Naruto. I've never seen you before, are you new?"
"Yeah. I'm just doing some volunteer work."
Ino turned her attention to the tray before her.
"Hospital food." She smiled. "You can't live with it, can't live without it."
"Yeah, the food must be pretty bad, huh?"
"It's okay, I guess." A yawn escaped the blue-eyed female. "I'm sorry I didn't mean to yawn in front of you."
"Eh, that's okay. Hey, I have to go finish delivering these trays. Take care okay Ms. Yamanaka."
"It's just Ino," She reminded him. " Okay Naruto, good luck on your rounds."
"Thanks." Naruto smiled. "Maybe I'll see you around."
"Well, I won't be going too far, believe me."
"Hm?" He wondered. "Oh yeah, of course she isn't going anywhere she's in the hospital."
"Hey, I didn't mean to seem insensitive or anything. Sorry." He added.
"That's okay, you weren't being insensitive. Well, it was really nice to see a new face around here. Take care of yourself Naruto."
"I will, bye Ino."
She waved to him as he exited her room. A part of him wondered what Ino was in the hospital for. She was clearly ill he could tell that by her features. But just what did she have? She seemed to have a cheerful disposition despite whatever it was. He found himself unable to think of anything else besides the platinum blonde patient, even during his lunch break he couldn't pull himself away from thoughts of her.
"Hey Naruto." Sakura spoke as she sat down across from him.
He didn't respond to her right away.
"Naruto?" She questioned again.
"Huh, oh hey Sakura-chan."
"What's up? You seem a little distracted."
"I was just thinking about this patient I met today. She..."
"Oh so it's a girl? What, do you have a crush already?" Sakura teased.
"What? No, I mean I...well, she seems nice anyway. She kept a really pleasant attitude the whole time."
"Well that's good Naruto. Most of the patients in here can be really irritable. So it's really nice to see someone in good spirits."
"Yeah, Ino is..."
At the mention of Ino's name Sakura looked up.
"Did you say Ino? Yamanaka Ino, blonde hair, blue eyes?"
"Yeah," Naruto nodded. "Do you know her?"
"She's admitted here quite often. She's very sick Naruto."
"What does she have?"
"I'm not sure." The pink-haired woman said. "Or rather I don't know, it's not like I'm her doctor or anything. It's just she's often in and out of the hospital that's all."
"Hm." Naruto nodded and finished his lunch. It wasn't really his place to go prying into her personal business. He had just met the young woman today, but even if this was the case, he had to admit he was curious about her already.
"Is it wrong for me to be thinking of her this way?" He wondered.
The next afternoon as he was passing by her room. He saw her friend Temari sitting besides her bedside. Ino looked kind of pale as she laid there in bed.
"Ino, you know that you have to take it easy." Temari told her.
"Hai, Tema-chan I know."
She looked up when she noticed Naruto.
"Hey Naruto." She waved.
"Hi Ino." He gave her a smile.
"Why don't you come in, unless you are busy?"
"No, I'm actually on break right now."
Temari glared at the blond male. He swallowed the lump of fear in his throat and entered the room.
"Hi Temari." He decided to be polite.
"Hey." She nodded.
Ino stared at her friend and frowned.
"Please be nice Temari."
"I was, I said hey didn't I?"
"So." Naruto interrupted. "How are you feeling Ino?"
He probably shouldn't have asked that question. She looked worse than she did yesterday.
"I..." Ino started.
"Can't you see that she isn't feeling any better." Temari snapped.
"Geez lady, what the hell is your problem?"
"You'll have to forgive Tema-chan, she's just having a bad day." Ino explained. "But no, I'm afraid that I'm not doing much better today."
"I'm sorry." Naruto spoke.
"It's okay. It's no one's fault."
"Ino I think that you should probably get some rest." Temari suggested.
"I'm not tired. Besides all I do is lay here all day, I get plenty of rest." Ino reminded her.
"Just because you lay here all day that doesn't mean that you actually sleep."
"Alright, doctor Tem-chan if it will please you I'll get some sleep." Ino gave her a small smile.
"Good." Temari smiled back. "Come on Naruto, let's go so that she can rest."
"I hope that you feel better Ino."
"Maybe when I wake up, and you're not too busy we can talk again."
"Sure." Naruto agreed. "That sounds nice."
Once outside the room Temari pulled Naruto aside.
"What's your deal?" Temari questioned.
"What? What's my deal? What the hell is your problem?"
"Ino doesn't need any stress, she needs to rest. So stop purposely trying to find ways to sneak into her room."
Naruto looked surprised, that wasn't at all what he was doing. Sure, he might have found interest in the sickly blonde, but he definitely was not stalking her in any way. He never stalked anyone before and he wasn't about to start now.
"You've got the wrong idea miss. I work here, I kind of have to come in her room."
"Whatever." Temari sighed and the frown from her face slowly faded. "Look I'm sorry." She apologized. "I'm just very worried about her. She's my best friend, and I hate to see her like this."
Naruto nodded in understanding. He would have probably be just as protective over Sakura if she was in this situation.
"I understand, I have a best friend too."
Temari didn't say anything at first, instead she peered inside of the room to see Ino fast asleep.
"Good, she's asleep. Listen,um, Naruto. I don't know you very well but you seem like an okay guy, I guess." She added. "I can't be here as much as I like and Ino doesn't have any family. So if it's not too much trouble will you just check in on her for me?"
"Sure." Naruto agreed. "I can do that for you Temari."
"Thanks." She smiled. "And I'm sorry about earlier."
"It's okay." Naruto reassured her.
Temari left the blond standing there and headed to work. Naruto decided to go in and sit with her. She should awake to a friendly face when she woke up. He stared at her sleeping face, her beautiful yet sickly features.
"She is really cute." Naruto thought to himself.
Before long the platinum blonde was tossing in her sleep.
"No." She moaned. "No, please..."
She continued to toss around in her sleep, whispering more words. Naruto stood up, placing his hands to her shoulders in an effort to help calm her down. Slowly a pair of blue eyes opened. She focused her attention on to the blond male standing above her.
"Yeah, are you okay now?"
"Oh, was I dreaming again?" She questioned.
"Yeah, you looked like you were having a nightmare or something."
"I can't stop them, the nightmares." She added.
Naruto stared at her with sad eyes. He sat down besides her.
"Enough about my problems. Why don't you tell me a little about yourself?"
"Me? Well there's not a lot to say. My name is Naruto Uzumaki, I'm 19. Orange is my favorite color."
She gave him a funny look, clearly she did not agree with him on the color orange.
"Don't ask me why I just like that color. Oh, and I like ramen." He grinned. "I like ramen a lot."
Ino smiled at the childlike expression on her blond visitor's face.
"He looks really cute like that." She thought.
"My best friend is Sakura-chan. She's...well, I don't know if she's anything like your friend Temari."
"Tema-chan is just very loyal and protective of all the people she cares about." Ino explained.
"Yeah, I can see that."
"I'm sorry that she was so rough with you. If she gets to know you better she'll ease up I promise."
"Okay." He nodded. "Well, Ino why don't you tell me a little about yourself."
"Um, there's not really a lot to say. I'm 19, my name is Yamanaka Ino. Purple happens to be my favorite color. I guess you could say that I like flowers, yeah, I like flowers a lot." It was now her turn to smile.
"Really? Oh, hey you aren't making fun of me are you, because I said that I liked ramen a lot are you?" He questioned.
"No." Ino shook her head. "I wasn't I promise."
"Oh, okay then. Hey um, if you want to get back to sleep I can leave if you want."
Truthfully he really didn't want to leave right now. He actually wanted to stay so that he could talk with her some more.
"No." The platinum blonde shook her head. "I don't want you to leave Naruto. I don't get to meet many new people. So I really would like it if you stayed."
"Alright, sure I guess I could stay for a little while longer."
The blond's then carried on a long conversation. They talked, laughed, and really enjoyed each other's company. Before long Naruto was losing track of time, while Ino told him a story about her and Temari when they were younger.
"Oh shit, I have to run. I'll come back tomorrow okay."
"Okay, bye Naruto."
The blond male waved goodbye to the blue-eyed girl. He noticed how he late was. He had really lost track of time while talking to Ino. But he found that he really didn't' care too much. He enjoyed the time that he spent with her.
"She's a nice girl." Naruto thought to himself.
When he came back to visit the platinum blonde he found her wide awake in bed.
"Good morning Ino-chan."
"Oh, good morning Naruto. How are you?"
"I'm okay, it's really good to see you."
The blonde girl then turned her attention out of the window. He caught the somewhat sad expression on her face.
"It's just...well I wish I could go outside for awhile that's all. It's been so long since I've been able to."
The blue-eyed male stared sadly at the girl in bed. He had to be able to do something for her. He hated to see someone down.
"I'll be right back."
He ran to get a wheelchair. If Ino wanted to get some air then he would be the one to take her. He came back to her room with a huge smile on his face.
"Okay Ino-chan, your chariot awaits."
"Huh? Naruto what are you doing?"
"I'll take you outside, it won't be anywhere far or anything. We'll just walk along the hospital grounds."
"You would do that for me?"
"Sure." He nodded. "It's really no trouble at all."
He then helped the blue-eyed girl into the wheelchair. She was surprised that he was doing this for her, but she was definitely appreciative.
"So do you push all the girls around in wheelchairs? Is this a regular thing for you?"
"No, I only do this for the really pretty patients."
"Oh, so I'm pretty am I?"
A slight blush rose to Naruto's cheeks. He was grateful that Ino couldn't see it.
"Uh...y...yeah." He stuttered.
"You're sweet Naruto."
Naruto rolled the platinum blonde out into the fresh air. Her face seemed to lighten up from just being out for a change. It was better than laying around in that bed all day, that was for sure.
"It's better than sitting in that room all day, huh?"
"Yeah." Ino nodded. "Thanks again."
"No problem, it's a beautiful day you should get to enjoy it."
"It's nothing, never mind."
When he noticed the blue-eyed start to tremble he immediately took off his jacket. He then wrapped it around her.
"Are you okay?" He bent down and stared into her eyes.
"Yeah, I get shivers sometimes."
"I should take you back to your room then, sorry that it couldn't last longer."
"Okay." She agreed. "It was nice to see the sun like this, even if it was only for a very short time."
"Yeah, I'm sure it was. Ino, you'll get to go out more. I'm sure of it."
"That sounds really nice. It's not very likely but it's nice to think positive."
"What makes you say that you wont be able to go outside more?"
"I guess it just depends on what my doctors have to say."
Naruto nodded in understanding. The walk back to Ino's room was a silent one. It seemed as if neither one of them had much to say at this time. Once back in her room he helped her lay back down.
"Ino-chan, you're in the hospital a lot aren't you?"
"Hai." She nodded. "I'm always in and out of the hospital. I spend a lot of my time here actually. It's been that way ever since I was a child. I've always been pretty sick for as long as I could remember."
"I'm sorry Ino-chan."
"It's okay, at least I'm not alone. I do have Temari-chan. She comes to visit me as often as she can. She's like a sister to me in many ways, she makes things seem less lonely."
"She seems like a very good friend."
"She is, but she can't always be here. She has to work and take care of her younger brother's. That's why I'm really glad that you started working here Naruto. It was nice meeting someone different for a change."
"Yeah, I'm really glad to have met you too Ino-chan." He admitted.
Before the two blond's could continue their conversation a doctor walked in.
"Oh there you are Yamanaka-san. I assumed that someone must have taken you for a walk around the hospital."
"Yes, doc this is my new friend Naruto Uzumaki."
"Hello." The doctor spoke.
"Hi." Naruto replied.
"Well it's time for your checkup. Are you ready to go?"
"Yes." Ino decided.
Naruto helped her into the wheelchair again and waved to her as she left the room with the doctor. Suddenly an idea came to the blond. He wanted to cheer her up when she came back from her checkup. He ran out to the flower shop and picked up two different bouquet's of flowers. He then noticed a purple teddy bear. It was something he knew she would appreciate it because purple was her favorite color.
"Hey, can I get this bear."
"Sure sir. I'm sure that you're girlfriend will love the gifts that you bought for her."
His cheeks flushed red for a quick second.
"Oh, she isn't...well...she's just a friend. She's sick in the hospital. I just wanted to put a smile on her face."
"Oh, how sweet of you. I'm sure that either way she'll be pleased."
Naruto paid the money and headed back to the hospital. He grabbed the lunch that he was planning to eat, and took it back to the room with him. He decided that he wanted to share his meal with her. He placed the flowers on the table, then placed the teddy bear on the bed where she could see it. He had to wait awhile for the platinum blonde to come back, but he didn't mind.
"What's this?" Ino wondered as she re-entered the room.
"Hey Ino-chan. I just wanted to do something to cheer you up. I was also hoping that we could have lunch together."
Ino couldn't help but smile at the beautiful flowers. He had even brought her a teddy bear in her favorite color. This had to be one of the sweetest things that anyone had ever done for her.
"You're really sweet for doing this."
"I just wanted to see you smile." He admitted.
Ino turned to face Naruto, the two of them stared at each other for awhile before Ino gave him the smile he had wanted to see. The one that seemed to brighten up her entire face in many different ways.
"Let's have lunch then shall we?"
"Great, I hope that you like ramen."
Ino only laughed at the young man. His face seemed to brighten up at the mere mention of ramen.
"You weren't lying huh, you really do love your ramen."
He opened up the container of pork flavored ramen. The new found friends split the ramen between them.
"This is definitely much better than hospital food." Ino said right away.
"You got it. Hey Ino, if you don't mind my asking how come Temari is your only visitor? What about..."
"My family?" She finished for him. "My parents are dead and I was an only child, so I don't have any brother's or sister's. I've been on my own pretty much for awhile now. Tema-chan is like the only family I have."
"I'm sorry about your parents Ino-chan. I never had the chance to know my parents they died when I was a baby."
"Oh." She whispered. "I'm sorry."
"It's okay. It's in the past right, we can't dwell on the past."
"Yes, but they were your parents. I'm sure that you think of them."
"Yeah, I guess I do wonder about them from time to time. I wonder what they were like, if they would have been proud of me."
"I'm sure that they loved you Naruto. I'm sure that they are proud of you, you..." She paused and soon broke out into a fit of coughs. Naruto stood up with a worried expression on his face.
The coughing had yet to stop if anything it only seemed to get worse. He gently patted her back and handed her a glass of water. The platinum blonde soon began to calm down.
"Are you okay now? You really had me worried."
"Hai, I'm fine. I'm sorry if I scared you."
The two blond's stared at each other. He then realized that he was still touching her.
"I'm sorry." He apologized.
"That's okay." A slight blush rose to her cheeks. He removed his hand from her shoulder.
"I should go Ino-chan. I think that you need to rest."
"Alright, I'll try. Bye Naruto-kun."
He paused when he heard her call him Naruto-kun. No one had ever called him that before.
"What's wrong?" Ino wondered.
"It's nothing. I just...well, no one's ever called me Naruto-kun before."
"Is it okay if I call you that?" She asked.
"Sure, it's more than okay." He smiled.
"That's good. I'll see you soon?" She was hopeful.
"Yeah, definitely." He promised.
For weeks Naruto spent as much time with Ino as possible. They ate together, laughed, and spoke to each other about almost everything. They had truly become close, even Temari noticed how inseparable they seemed.
"You really like her, huh?" The sandy blonde asked him one day.
"If I say yes will you kill me?"
Temari grinned at the blond male. She didn't blame him at all for asking that question. The one thing she knew for sure was that her friend was happy. She preferred to see her happy this way.
"I just noticed how much time you two spend together. It's nice to see Ino smiling that's all. So, if you like her then it's fine with me."
The two of them walked into the room to see that Ino was not there.
"Huh?" Naruto spoke. "Hey Temari, did you know that she wasn't going to be here?"
"No." Temari shook her head. "Maybe she had some last minute tests or something."
But judging by the vibe in the room she might have been gone for quite some time. A sudden uneasy feeling came over the blue-eyed male. He didn't want to start thinking the worst, but he couldn't help it.
"You don't think something happened do you? And neither one of us was here for her."
Temari didn't even want to consider that possibility.
"No." She spoke. "Now is not the time to think the worst. She's okay, I'm sure of it."
"She looked really sick the other day Temari. She looked worse than usual. I...just need to know that she's okay."
Temari appreciated the concern that Naruto was showing for her friend. She began to see just how much Naruto had grown to care for Ino. The feeling was mutual, she was more than sure of that. Temari slowly put her hand to his shoulder.
"Don't worry alright. Ino is tough, she always has been. I'm sure that she's fine."
"You don't even sound so sure Temari. Maybe we should go..." He was going to suggest that they find a doctor when the sound of a wheelchair was heard.
"Geez, what's going on in here? Why the sad faces?" Ino's voice was heard.
"Huh, Ino-chan?" Naruto quickly turned around to see the blue-eyed girl.
"Yep." She nodded.
To her surprise he bent down and hugged her.
"You're okay." He whispered.
"Yeah, I'm fine. You're acting like you haven't seen me in years. I guess that I should go away for tests more often if I'm going to get this reaction." She teased.
Temari smiled as well. She was truly glad to see how happy her friend was.
"Hey, I'm going to leave you two love birds alone. I'll be back Ino."
"Okay, bye Tema-chan."
Naruto pulled away from the hug.
"I don't know why but this really bad feeling came over me. I hoped that you were okay."
"I'm fine Naruto, there was no need to worry."
"I just didn't want to go another day without telling you..."
Before he could finish Ino leaned up and pressed her lips to his. He was stunned for a moment but soon gave in. He returned her kiss with double the amount of passion. The two blond's soon broke away.
"Wow." Naruto whispered.
"I didn't want another day to go by without having done that. Naruto I..."
"Shh," He put his finger to her lips. "I get it Ino-chan. The only thing I have to say to that is this." He leaned down so that he could kiss her again. She placed her arms around his shoulders so that she could deepen their kiss. When they broke away she reached for his hand, giving it a light squeeze.
"Naruto, I think that you and I met here for a reason in this hospital. All I want to do now is be with you. I think that I've realized that for quite some time now."
"I want the same thing Ino-chan. I guess that we are official now, huh?" He grinned.
"Unless you don't want me anymore. Was it just the hospital element and this lovely gown that turned you on?" She laughed. "I'm sure that I'm wrong though." She had a playful look on her face.
"Very wrong Ino-chan." He left a kiss on her forehead. He then pushed her blonde locks out of the way. "All I want to do now is take you out of this hospital room, so that we can go on a real date."
"Then I should probably tell you that I'm going to be released soon."
"Really? That's great news Ino-chan. I can't wait to take you out of this place."
"And I can't wait to leave this place, with you." She added then hugged him again.
Naruto wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer to him.
"I'm really glad that I had the chance to meet you Ino-chan. I'm glad that I walked into your room that day."
"And you never left, I'm really glad of that. It gave me the chance to get to know you better. I'm glad that I did, because now I really don't want to let you go."
"You wont have to Ino-chan. It's a promise."
Unknowing to the two blond's Temari was standing in the doorway watching them. She couldn't help but smile at the two of them. They were really cute together. Seeing them made her think of her own relationship. She had been going through some problems of her own. And seeing Ino happy like this made her realize she could be happy as well. There was no point in wasting anymore time, Naruto and Ino sure weren't. She took out her cellphone.
"Hello." A male voice was heard.
"Hey Shikamaru, how are you? It's really good to hear your voice. I was just thinking about you."