Disclaimer:I do not own Naruto or any of its respective characters. This fanfiction is for entertainment purposes only. (Mostly my amusement.) However, if I DID own Naruto, it would be called "Neji and Hinata: Byakugan Babies Galore!" That has a nice ring to it...
Author's Note:Welcome, dear reader! This is Pink Love, my new shrine to ShinoSaku! Here, I will detail the sometimes smooth, often rocky romance between the blossom and the bug. Another Oneshot series folks, and yes, these stories will all be tied to the same Alternate Universe as my other fics. The events in this first installment occur right after Ino's party, in Attention. So, here it is. Pink Love!
Don't forget to review!
"Oh, where is she?" Mrs. Haruno paced frettfully about her kitchen, while her husband's path was cut decidedly through, then into the front hall, where he would lean solemly against the door, peeping outside for any sign of their missing daughter. It was late, and Haruno Sakura should have been home by now.
"I don't know," he answered, "but she'd better be here in the next four minutes, or she'll be grounded for a year." His prominent forehead wrinkled in annoyance. "It's that Ino girl. She's the bad influence," he mumbled.
"You really think it's her?" Mrs. Haruno frowned. "I think it's that Uchiha. You know how she follows him around!" She washed her hands for the tenth time in the last few minutes, angrily splashing the water around. "Maybe even that Uzumaki Naruto..." She snatched the dish towel off her shoulder, rubbed her hands and forearms with a vigor that threatened to scrape away skin, then folded it neatly before draping it back on her shoulder. Her husband pulled back the curtain in the window beside the door.
"I see someone!" He shouted.
His wife wasted no time. She rushed for the door, shoving the man aside and swung it open. Then, the middle-aged woman placed her fists on her hips, screeching loudly.
"Haruno Sakura!" The kunoichi nearly jumped out of her skin, hearing her mother's most sinister voice. "Where have you been!?" Shino held the gate open for her, and she passed in front of him.
"Uh-oh..." She cringed. "My mom's pissed..."
Shino squeezed her hand. "You snuck out?" He asked, locking the gate behind them while she waited.
"Of course not," Sakura answered. "I'm not crazy. I told them I'd be an Ino's, but..." She bit her lip.
"They gave you a curfew." He arched an eyebrow. "And you ignored it."
Sakura's shoulders slumped briefly, before she straightened up again. "How am I supposed to have any fun when my parents treat my like a two-year-old?" She scowled. "I'm a ninja for Gods' sake!"
Shino pulled her closer to himself, sliding his arm around her waist. The kunoichi stiffened slightly, until his fingertips started poking her in the ribs.
She giggled. "Shino-kun! This isn't the time!" She looked up at him, and he was focused elsewhere. Following his line of sight, Sakura met the preturbed and suspicious eyes of her mother.
"Sakura," Mrs. Haruno said, oozing contempt. "Who is this person?"
"Well, mom..." Sakura began, nervously rubbing her arm.
"Ahem," Mr. Haruno cleared his throat, stepping outside. Shino stood straighter, then peeled his arm away from Sakura. He bowed respectfully to her father and mother.
"I am Aburame Shino," he said. "I have come to escort your honorable daughter home safely."
"Well," Mr. Haruno walked toward them. He held out his hand, and Shino shook it, firmly and confidently. "I am grateful." He watched the nervous way his daughter fidgeted, shifting from one foot to the other. He watched the way Shino stood a step ahead of her, shielding her slightly. A protective stance. A common courtship gesture in the great shinobi clans. "But, Aburame-san. You should have had her back here four hours ago." He frowned.
"I apologize. I only became aware of Haruno-san's curfew a moment ago."
Her father gave a grunt of acknowledgement. "In any case, we appreciate your thoughtfulness." He turned his attention toward his daughter. "Come inside now, Sakura," he said. Soon, he was walking back through the door, dragging his wife by the arm. The door closed quietly.
"That was... odd," Sakura commented. Shino smiled. "I can't believe he wasn't mad..."
The Aburame shrugged, then turned to face her so that his back was all that was visible through the window.
"What's going on out there!" Mrs. Haruno pushed her husband aside, only to press her nose against the glass. "What is that boy doing to my little girl!?" She sneered at the man beside her. "I want an explanation! Now!" She hissed.
"That would be none of our business, darling." He smirked, and she scowled.
"What do you mean by that? She was late, and brings this boy home with her? A boy we've never even met, by the way! And all you have to say is 'you should have had her back here four hours ago,'" she mocked him, shaking her fist in his face.
He sighed at his wife's antics. The apple truly didn't fall far from the tree.
"Tonight is as good a time as any to meet such a polite and well mannered young man," he said, and she folded her arms. "Would you prefer she came home with that Uchiha?"
She glared at him, her frown digging deeper into her face. "No," she finally admitted.
Her husband sighed, before taking her in his arms. "Then, let's cut her some slack. Just this once."
"Sh-Shino-kun?" He leaned toward her, holding her body still with his arms.
"Good night, Sakura-chan," he whispered into her ear. "You are quite pleasant to be around, you know. I hope we can do this again soon." She swallowed. "See you tomorrow?" Then, he kissed her furiously blushing cheek.
"H-Hai," she answered, breathlessly.
Aburame Shino realeased the Haruno from his grip, reluctantly allowing her to take the few steps to her front door. She had no idea how long he'd waited to do that, and he was glad Kiba had convinced him to attend Ino's party tonight. He always recieved her invitations, but had only gone a couple of times, having been put off by Ino's obnoxious entertainment style. Of cousre, if he wanted to get closer to Sakura, he'd had no other choice. It was either a dance at the party, or a spar at school, and Shino had no intentions of being on the receiving end of her potent fists. He'd rather see some poor sucker on the practice field receive those honors.
She lingered at the door for a while, just watching him. Slowly, her arm raised and she wiggled her fingers in a cute wave, before smiling that sweet, girlish smile that he liked so much.
"Good night, Shino-kun," she said, then slipped through the door, her long locks of pink trailing angelically behind.
When she was gone, Shino took a deep, deep breath. He held it for several seconds, then it rushed out of his lungs in a tense shiver. He really did it. He really got Haruno Sakura to notice him. But, now he had quite a dilemma.
Shino turned from Sakura house, quietly walking back to the road. He wasn't blind. He'd seen how many boys had noticed Sakura during the party. Fools. She'd been to every single party that Ino had ever thrown, and not one of them had asked her to dance. It was no wonder they'd been as surprised as he to learn just how good a dancer she was, or how lovely she looked while her body twisted to the music. He passed through the gate. No, he wasn't blind, and he certainly wasn't stupid. He'd also seen Sasuke's eyes drifting toward the jade-eyed beauty more than once. Yes, Shino definately had a dilemma on his hands. Now that the others were aware of Sakura's hidden charms, how exactly was the mild-mannered bug-ninja going to keep her?
Soon, Shino veered from the road, stepping into the thick forest. He'd come up with something, even if he had to ask his father for advice. Because now, after waiting this long, after having finally worked up his courage, Aburame Shino sure as hell wasn't going to lose...
(or is this just the beginning?)