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:Hello, people! I'm back with another super cute ShinoSaku! Oh, how I love those two! I think everyone will enjoy this, so please tell me what you think. This is the same day as Protocol (from the Pink Love series) and Irreconcilable (from the Gifts series). ::takes a sip of something cool and refreshing:: Mmmm... tastes like pink lime-aid!

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Curious...

Aburame Shino led Haruno Sakura through the overgrown trail on the outskirts of the village. She'd released his hand a while ago, swinging her arms back and forth in merry amusment. He couldn't for the life of him figure out what was so funny, but it didn't bother him. It was a part of Sakura's personality, after all. And he, of all people had never found anything to dislike about Sakura.

"Where are we going, Shino-kun?" Her voice was light and inquisitive. The bug-ninja pushed his shades back up the bridge of his nose, concealing the fact that his eyes had barely left her since they'd begun their excursion.

"I thought I'd take you somewhere special. It's a very private place of my own. You'd be the first to see it, besides myself of course."

The kunoichi turned her sparkling jade eyes toward him. "Wow," she answered, her pretty pink flush driving him to distraction. "I'm really flattered, Shino-kun."

He smiled, gaining excitement from each flutter of her lashes. "Not nearly as much as I, I promise you."

Sakura looked a little shocked, but managed a retort. "Yeah, after this morning I bet you couldn't stop thinking about me," she leaned toward him slyly.

Oh, how right she was. He'd wanted to kiss her then, but they were interrupted and had to wait through the unbearable length of school, as well as the tension created by Sasuke's announcement. Luckily, he'd planned to ask Sakura to the Ball weeks ago, and had already commissioned her gift. He'd taken it with him to school everyday since its acquisition, just to be certain he'd have it when the announcement finally came. His smile shifted into a broad smirk as Sakura's blush deepened throughout his silence. Those who planned ahead...

The Aburame chuckled. "Sakura-chan thinks very highly of herself. I wonder if she can back it up?"

The Haruno blinked, then blinked again, halting as Shino continued down the trail. Her whole body flushed. He wanted her to prove her desirability? When he was the one leading her into the woods? She rolled her eyes. Shino-kun didn't have a clue...

She ran to catch up with him. "Is that a challenge?" She cooed, brushing her shoulder against him. If he wanted to be on the receiving end of her kunoichi training, she wasn't going to complain. How often did cadets get to practice those skills, anyway?

"Only a question," he answered, brimming with secret mischeif.

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Shino sent the Kikai bug to land on Sakura's collar, where it crawled unnoticed beneath the fabric. He was curious to know her reaction to the tiny parasite. And, if she could handle one Kikai, could she handle a swarm? His eyebrows arched at the prospect of Sakura screaming and flailing wildly to rid herself of his bugs. He prayed to the Gods that she'd have a more subdued reaction.

He felt the insect tugging on a thin line of communication. 'Flower smells sweet, but where is the nectar?' He sighed. So, they were back to that again...

'That's not what I sent you for,' Shino thought back at the bug. 'Just crawl around for a while and see what she does.'

The insect answered back indignantly. 'We want the nectar. Flower must have nectar.'

Dammit! This was getting annoying! 'Just do as I say!' He mentally hissed. The Kikai made some kind of high-pitched noise indicating its own displeasure, before finally succumbing to his will. Shino sighed, then smiled under his own collar while watching Sakura very carefully...

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Haruno Sakura walked along Shino's side, occasionally glancing up at the insect-wielding ninja. He was focused ahead on the overgrown trail, leading her through branches and vines, over gnarled roots and stumps. As she stepped over one particular grouping of roots, she felt a strange tickling on her leg.

She giggled, swiping at herself. "Must have been a spider," she smiled at Shino. "This trail really hasn't been used much, has it?"

"No, not much." He sounded amused, which only goaded the kunoichi.

Sakura intentionally stumbled, launching herself toward him. "Oh, Shiiiinnnnooo-kuuuunnnnn!" He caught her by the waist, holding her up under her arms, while she bent forward awkwardly. Her big green eyes stared up at him, and her lips were moist and slightly parted.

Shino just stood there with the girl dangling in his arms, enjoying the feel of her silken hair slidding over his hands; enjoying the unfamilliar spark she'd ignited with her curious jade eyes; enjoying the slow smirk tugging at her lips, and especially enjoying the way she gripped onto his shoulders, rubbing her chest against him as she finally began to rise from her position.

"S-Sakura-chan?" He questioned. The kunoichi sucked her bottom lip into her mouth, letting it slide back out slowly against her teeth. She was almost eye-level when she breathed the words.

"Shino-kun... you're so quick. I thought for sure I'd fall on my face." Her blush lit up her pale skin in the fading sunlight, enticing him, demanding his focus. His arms squeezed around her, and he felt her knee dip between his legs. He stiffened, fighting back a blush of his own.

"Ah... ah... are you... alright, Sakura-chan?" He somehow managed to ask. She giggled again, the sound as well as the movement it produced driving him wild, threatening to unglue him at any moment.

"I'm fine, Shino-kun," she twisted a lock of bright pink around her finger, innocently tilting her head. "Thanks to you..." She fluttered her eyelashes again, leaning forward.

Shino swallowed a large, sudden lump. "You're welcome," he quickly said, backing away. She just kept staring at him, luring him in with those eyes... Those bright, beautiful eyes...

'Flower!' The Kikai erupted. 'Flower, flower, flower!' Shino's jaw clenched, while his Kikai began their sudden exit from his body.

'What are you doing?!' He demanded of the parasites. 'Get back inside! Stop it! You're going to scare her away!'

'Flower has nectar. We will find the nectar.' Their answer was firm and decisive. Shino was starting to get worried.

He watched helplessly as a little over a dozen Kikai crawled onto the kunoichi, exploring and searching her body. They sent back the information in a jumbled rush and Shino closed himself off from their communications. He would have to sort through their findings, but not right now. Not while the female in question was still so threateningly close.

"Sakura-chan?" He asked, finally releasing his hold. He watched her run a hand through her hair, sweeping away three Kikai, who immediately flew right back into the nest of petal pink.

She scratched her scalp lightly. "You don't look so good," she said, pouting. Maybe she was being too forward. She blinked away a gnat or something that was pestering her eyelashes. "Are you sure you want to keep going?" Maybe he was having second thoughts.

"I'm fine," he answered, taking her hand as he attempted to call his bugs back again. "Please, let's continue." He lifted a curtain of vines, allowing her to pass in front of him. Shino's eyes grew wide beneath his shades, as he found the Kikai scampering around the backs of her thighs and up the inside of her dress.

Shit! What the hell was he going to do?

Sakura giggled once again, smoothing her hands over her bottom. "Shino!" Her head swung around. "Are you tickling me?"

Sort of...

"No," he answered. Yes...

She made it past the curtain of vines, stepping into a clearing. "Then what is that?" She shuddered. Then, her face turned bright red and she exploded in hysterical laughter. "What's going on?!" She cackled, gripping her sides.

Oh, dear Gods! They were all over her! Perhaps sending even one Kikai was a bad idea. He groaned. He should have known better...

Sakura bounced up and down, shaking and laughing voilently. "Shino! Help me! I don't know what to--" Her voice rose in uninhibited jubilation, laughing as tears formed in her eyes. "Aaahhhh!!!" She squealed.

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The kunoichi could take no more, so she did the unthinkable in any other situation. She unzipped her dress, straight down to the waist, sliding her arms free of the red fabric. Gazing down at herself, she finally understood what was happening.

She gasped. "Shino-kun! Your bugs are on me!"

The Aburame shut his eyes, wishing not to see the inevitable eruption of temper. He'd sure done it now...

A few seconds passed, and all Shino heard was another soft giggle. His eyes opened.

"Sakura-chan?"

"Hmm?" He found her sitting demurely, watching his Kikai run trails up and down her bare arms. The top half of her dress was pooled around her in the soft grass, and she was covered only in her standard kunoichi bindings.

Shino's cheeks flooded with heat. "Sakura..."

"Why didn't you tell me, Shino?" Her eyes darkened, and her smile was pure mischief.

"I... didn't think you would... take it very well," he admitted. She'd taken it well alright, lifting one Kikai up with a finger and setting it purposefully on the tip of her nose.

"Really, Shino, if you didn't think I could handle the bugs, you should've just asked." Her words sounded a little miffed, but her expression was filled with the same amusement he'd noticed at the beginning of their walk. "I mean, come on. I look and smell like a sakura blossom. I'm no stranger to insects."

Light dawned on him. "Then, you knew I was going to..." He trailed off, not at all wanting to implicate himself, even after knowing he'd fallen for her accursed kunoichi trickery.

"Test me?" She finsihed for him. "Oh, yeah... that was obvious." She snickered, patting the ground beside her. "I just didn't know you were gonna swarm me," she said. Shino came forward, then sat down where her hand was resting on the earth. "But what I want to know is..." She leaned toward him. "Why, Shino-kun?"

"Well, I... um..." The bug-ninja couldn't answer. Why had he done it? He'd wanted to kiss her certainly, but there seemed to be some pervasive reason propelling him toward Sakura, cost be damned. What was it? Why? All the reasons he came up with sounded lame in his own head.

'Because you want female,' his bugs answered for him. 'Female smells sweet. Flower so beautiful.' His jaw stiffened. They were teasing him! Dammit! They weren't supposed to do that!

"Shino-kun," Sakura gripped onto his jacket, pulling herself closer. "Do you want to make out with me?"

He gasped, leaning backward until he toppled over, with the kunoichi sprawled on top of him. "Sakura-chan..."

"Do you?" She flattened her body against him. What could he say? What could he possibly say?

He took a strangled breath. "Hai," he answered, and that was all she needed to hear.

Sakura's lips crushed onto his, and he was left in a hazy swirl of cherry blossoms. Her hair fanned out around them, and he was compelled to slide his hands through it, kneading her shoulder blades and stroking her spine. Gods, she smelled so good! The Kikai kept up their exploration, eliciting giggles or long gasps from the girl above him. Her tongue plundered his mouth, and the shock sent a sudden tingle throughout his whole body.

Sakura-chan...

"Shino-kun," she moaned into his mouth. "Mmmm... Your lips are so soft..." Her tongue taunted his, and he finally latched onto it, sucking until her eyes widened then slowly shut again.

The Aburame wrapped his arms around her waist, shifting her weight above him. Sakura straddled him then, planting her forearms beside his head. His hands explored her back, slipping under her bindings as she arched against him, writhing beneath his attentions.

"Oh..." She gasped. "Shino-kun..."

He loved the sound of her calling his name. He loved the feel of her, the smell of her. The taste...

'Nectar!' The Kikai barged into his thoughts again. 'Nectar! We found the nectar!'

Shino, in a state of blissful curiosity, decided to allow his bugs to form the image of where they'd found her mysterious nectar-- and instantly regretted it.

'Ahhhh!' He practically screamed out loud. 'Hurry up and come back! Get away from her, right now!' The bugs were disappointed, but obeyed, having already located their delicious prize.

He pushed Sakura away, crawling swiftly backward until he was pressed against a tree. "Ah... please stop, Sakura-chan," he said. "You're kind of... overwhelming me..." It wasn't a lie, but it wasn't quite the truth, either.

The Haruno smiled, not at all surprised. Shino-kun was so shy. She giggled. She would definitely have to be the aggressive one!

"Well, Shino-kun," she said, demurely rolling her shoulder and chest away from him. "I'm sorry if I came on too strong, it's just that I like you a lot, and I know you like me too." Her gaze fixed to his, daring him to answer otherwise.

He looked away. "I like you very much, Sakura-chan," Shino said. "Very, very much." He had to at least admit it to himself, even if he couldn't stand to look into her eyes. Then, after more than a few unexpected moments of silence, his focus shifted worriedly toward her, only to find shock and sincere flattery troubling her features.

Shino's brow furrowed. Dear, Gods... Had no one ever told her that before? Had Sasuke never admitted what was so painfully obvious? That he liked her? That he cared? As he watched, her expression became one of interest and intruige. Shino was suddenly aware of what she wanted, aware of what they both wanted. It was time he stared taking this seriously.

"Sakura-chan, the Kikai will always be around. Always. Are you sure you're okay with that?"

She bit her bottom lip, eyes rolling as more and more bugs flew onto and around her. "Shino-kun, I think they like me more than you do. At least they want to come near me today," she huffed.

Finally taking the bait, he stood. Shino sauntered toward her as Kikai flitted through the air around them. So, she was really alright with it? He leaned over her half prone form, taking her face in his palm, before drawing her up and forward. He instructed three of his bugs to exit from the burrows in his neck, then to land on her reddened cheek. Sakura didn't flinch. In fact, she looked outrageously gorgeous.

That was it. He could take no more.

Aburame Shino kissed the cherry blossom with a fervor that rivaled the heat of the sun's light on brilliant pink sakura petals. And as they continued on into the haze of darkness, the bug-ninja's last coherent thought, was to instruct the Kikai to keep all comments about the Flower, her nectar, and its mysterious location to themselves...

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At the stroke of nine, Shino stood before her father and mother as Sakura squealed excitedly, presenting them with the gift he'd given her in exchange for her company at the upcoming Ball. The three inch long, superbly sharp kunoichi hair-pin was topped by an intricately detailed blown glass butterfly. Its rich swirls of color glinted beautifully in the light of their front hall, unmarred by the little hinge on the insect's body that would allow it to lay flat, in order to become a more effective ninja tool.

"Isn't it perfect, mom?" The cherry blossom beamed with pride. "I mean, it's just gonna look so good on me!" She left the ornament/weapon in her mother's care, bouncing up and holding her fists to her face. "I gotta call Ino! She'll be so jealous!" She snickered. "Oh! Shino-kun, didn't you have something else to give my parents?" She asked, her attention shifting so fast, Shino could hardly keep up. The Aburame pulled a small envelope from his hip pouch, handing it over to the kunoichi.

Sakura turned back toward her mother, blushing madly before whispering. "Knowing him, it's probably a nice thank you note," she smiled coyly. Then, her expression changed into one of sheer mischeif. "I'll only be a moment," she winked at the bug-ninja, before bounding off to taunt her best friend. "She's missing out on so much! Humph! She really should've come to school today..."

Sakura's father took the envelope, peeling it open as Shino watched, intently glued to his spot in the hall.

"Aburame-san!" Mr. Haruno's eyes widened. "Is this what I think it is?!" Mrs. Haruno snatched the note away, her thirsty eyes soaking up the words so carefully written.

She inhaled a long, deep breath. "You mean..."

"Hai, honorable Haruno-san," Shino grinned.

Mr. Haruno stole a quick glance in his daughter's direction, as she cackled and hissed into the phone. "She's not easy to be around, is she, Aburame-san?" His wife elbowed him in the ribs. Despite that, he continued. "Are you positive you can handle her?" He rubbed his side.

Shino blushed beneath his collar, but didn't try so hard to hide it this time. "Absolutely," he answered, and her father arched an eyebrow.

"Even after today?" The man asked.

Shino didn't hesitate, didn't even have to think about it. "Especially after today," he said. And with that, he bowed to her parents just as the cherry blossom came bouncing back.

"Well," she said, casting her eyes toward the ceiling. "I guess I should say goodnight now..."

Mr. Haruno had to pry his wife away from them then, dragging her busy little body into the kitchen. When they were alone, Sakura wrapped her arms around Shino's neck, pulling herself closer.

She giggled. "Arigatou, Shino-kun."

"You're welcome," he whispered, slipping her a kiss, and the secret promise of a bright, bright future...

End