Author's Notes: "Agape" means "love" in Greek.
Tears: It is the day after Naruto's birthday, and he is still perched atop the Fourth's head uncertain of whatever he is supposed to feel. Does he hate her for leaving? Does he feel remorse for telling her? He contemplates jumping off the monument, but all he will manage to do is ruin his clothes, the otherwise lethal jump trivial to him thanks to his tenant's powers. Once more, his trained awareness detects Ino's presence behind him, so he turns to look at her.
"I don't care about the Fox," she says, tears running from her eyes. "I love you."
Foreign: Naruto finally finds Ino in her parents' shop and catches her humming a lovely tune. "Ino," he says as he gently grasps her from the shoulder, "we need to have a little talk." Ino smiles at him and asks for five minutes in order to clear herself up from the dirt she has been playing with. Naruto gently shakes his head and simply says "no time for that. I have a mission that's gonna take me overseas." When Ino asks what the problem about that is, Naruto's haunted look speaks by itself.
"They're sending me in the Broken Lands."
Sorrow: Tsunade squeezes Naruto's hand back one last time, the strain from her Souzou Saisei technique taking its vicious toll, and then goes limp. She dies content, surrounded by friends, and knowing that her most important persons are well taken for. Naruto squeezes until someone from the group gathered around Tsunade's deathbed whispers "she's gone." Then he gets up and, to everyone's surprise, leaves the room. Ino doesn't even budge. She makes certain Tsunade is properly handled, and heads to off for the training field in which Team 7 was born in.
Naruto shows his true sorrow in private.
Happiness: Ino has been busy working on an A-ranked mission report for the last three hours. The kitchen table on which she's working at is covered with scattered papers which, in turn, are covered with her neat letters. Finally, she takes a deep breath, gathers up the papers in a neat pile, and stacks them up in front of her. And then Naruto comes along wearing a sheet as a ghost costume, intent on waging a giggling war on her. She rolls and tumbles on the floor and sees her splendid report scatter in the apartment, yet does nothing other than laugh at her lover's antics.
Ino shows her true happiness in private.
Under the Rain: "I thought I'd find you here." Ino casually states as she sits next to Naruto under the ancient tree. She's barely finished her sentence when a lightning bolt crackles across the sky. She's drenched, her hair's a beautiful mess and her wet, figure-clinging clothes are doing wonders to her ample features. Naruto doesn't even notice her. She figures that's normal, so she plucks the sake bottle open, raises it high, and toasts. "To Tsunade." She drinks a deep gulp of the bittersweet alcohol, and then offers it to Naruto. Instead of taking the offer, he tastes the sake as he claims her lips.
The rain keeps falling. They don't notice it.
Flowers: "Red roses are a symbol of love, beauty, and passion. Poppies are a symbol of consideration in time of death. Lilies are used in burials as a symbol referring to resurrection. Daisies are a symbol of innocence." Ino's smile is that of a patient tutor, but it fades when she sees Naruto's baffled look. "Oh come on! This is the fourth time I've explained the symbolisms!"
"Ino, honestly; no matter how many times you explain that to me, I won't get it. Can you just tell me what your favorite flower is like I asked you to an hour ago?"
Night: He moves through the dark alleys and backyards like's he's been born to do so. He soars above trivial complications such as dogs and fences. He finally drops onto his target's backyard, climbs the wall, enters the target's bedroom and rids himself of clothing. With a sigh of content, Naruto slides next to an eager Ino. "Honestly, your dad's a Jonin – he probably knew I was coming the moment I left my home."
"Just because he knows I'm getting laid doesn't mean I have to rub it in, though." Ino says with a coy smile.
Expectations: Ino and Naruto are basking in the afterglow of their having sex for the first time. The two of them stare at the ceiling. Occasionally, they'll turn to look at each other, blush furiously, and then look back at the ceiling. Finally, Ino gathers up her courage and speaks up. "You know, me and the girls always discussed the boys' sexual prowess; well, everyone but yours, seeing how you were gone. I admit that the expectations were quite high. Sakura had bet that you wouldn't have the slightest idea of what to do with a woman."
Naruto gives her a dead-on stare. "I trained with the greatest womanizer of all time. Of course I know what to do with a woman!"
Stars: The 10th of October has resided, and in its trail is the 11th. The most surprising pair of Konoha is still perched atop the Fourth's head, their legs swinging lazily from one of his wild locks. When the lights from the festival ended, the celestial dome's wonders rushed to greet them gloriously. Endless stars above their heads, closure, and Ino on his shoulder, still with him despite the terrible, terrible truth.
All in all, Naruto thinks, this has been a heck of a day.
Hold My Hand: Ino's looming back and forth on her backyard swing when Naruto comes by. Her dad made it for her by Lianas that he had miraculously managed to grow in the family shop, and even though she hasn't used it ever since she donned her license to kill around her forehead for the first time. Naruto steps in front of her, making her indolent swings come to a halt and, with that last motion lost, she can't stop feeling helpless. Naruto doesn't say anything. He doesn't need to. He simply holds her hand as they walk towards her father's funeral.
Precious Treasure: Naruto regards 4 things as sacred artifacts – of all the tiny trinkets he has in his possession, they are the only things she has seen him neatly caress. From Iruka, he has his forehead protector. He might have changed the cloth, but the plating and the memories remain. From Tsunade, he has the First's amulet. From Jiraya, he has a unique volume of Icha Icha where the main character is a blond brat who gets his happy ending with the blond, equally alive gal that he loves. And from Ino, he has…
Well, Ino. It's all he needs.
Eyes: They look into each other's eyes. They feel the radiated warmth and love there. Suddenly, Naruto whispers: "…as neere is Fancie to Beautie, as the pricke to the Rose, as the stalke to the rynde, as the earth to the roote." Ino inquires as to what he means. He vaguely gestures with his hand. "I asked Jiraya to explain what they mean by 'Eye of the Beholder' once. He answered with what I quoted, and I have to agree." She nods her understanding, but insists on her question.
"It means that you are beautiful."
Abandoned: "…Naruto?" His side of the bed is empty. His equipment is missing. Ino doesn't know what's wrong. She feels drugged; every shadow smirks at her and dances around her fevered form. She has never been more terrified in her life. She mumbles "help" and knows that no one's coming. "Help!" Her mouth won't open for her to scream. She can't breath. She can't… Can't… She's all alone. Abandoned.
When she wakes up, she is standing above the cradle she and Naruto bought when they found out she was pregnant. She's looking at her two beautiful babies.
Dreams: Only Shizune and Tsunade knew of it, but Naruto's dreams are downright scary. He dreams of ancient battlefields, twisted spoils of war and Konoha in ruins. Death, ashen skies and emerald flames are the only things left in the world. And him. He's there, as glorious as a God can only hope to be as he twists reality itself into a gateway to Jigoku and claims it as his own. After he started dating Ino, the dreams resided.
He dreads of what will happen if he somehow loses her.
Teamwork: It has not reached the Bingo Books yet, but the Uzumaki-Yamanaka team is an absolutely terrifying pair in battle. No one could see it coming as well, not even the pair of brash lovers; after all, outside of combat the two bicker and play and give headaches to everyone else in their team. Yet in combat, the blondes' techniques seem to blend into one unique combat style that nothing can match. It's a little-known fact, but the Shintenshin passes through the Kage Bunshin. All Naruto has to do is mob against their enemy and suddenly Ino holds him immobile.
Teamwork at its finest.
Standing Still: Naruto dodges the Kusanagi's strike and viciously retaliates with a haymaker that sends the Uchiha tumbling away. The late Zabuza's Headcleaver meets a log as Naruto uses Kawarimi to appear ten feet high and dive Rasengan-first into Suigetsu. Ten feet away, Ino stabs Karin in the chest and leaps away from Juugo's mutated arm. A shrilling blast echoes in the field, sending water splashing everywhere. What neither blond calculated, however, was Sasuke moving away from Naruto and appearing behind Ino with murder in his eyes.
Sasuke's attack leaves Ino motionless and Naruto screaming her name.
Dying: Naruto rushes towards the prone form of Ino, but the hulking Juugo slams him away. He doesn't even halter as he gets up and rushes forward again. Sasuke slices a chunk of meat off of him, but he leaps away from the main blade and keeps his head – physically. Caught unaware and furious as he is, he fails to see a mutated bulldozer crash onto him with enough power to shove him into the ground. Attacks keep shoving him in and then Sasuke stabs him in the vertebra. Naruto relaxes and wonders if this is what dying feels like.
Then an image of Ino smiling flashes before his eyes and Uzumaki Naruto sees red.
Illusion: Akio says that he's hungry as he enters the room. "Ramen'll be ready in a minute, honey!" Ino smiles at him as she swirls the noodles inside the pot. Her eldest sits on the table next to his brother Junko and casually ruffles his hair and Junko smiles and shows him the picture he's made of their mother and papa. The twins remain silent as Naruto enters the room and hugs Ino from behind and then kisses Ino fully before his hands move lower in order to grope her bottom. "Naruto, not in front of the kids!" She pinpoints in the direction of their sons.
Naruto turns and sees two empty chairs.
Creation: "Mold your chakra. Twist it around and picture what you will. Feel the energy beneath your skin prick at your senses. Yes, I said prick, now stop snorting. Come on, focus. Okay. Good. Now, I want you to go through the seals. Okay, I'll wait for you to concentrate. Yes, I will be that way until you focus, this is serious, you know. You with me now? Okay. Go through Boar; Dog; Bird; Monkey; and Ram. Slam your hand on the ground and… Voila! Your Toad summon lies beneath or besides you. Cool, ain't it?"
Ino chuckles at Naruto and nods along. "Cool, yes. Useful, yes. Disgusting? Of course. I'm asking Kakashi to give me the Dog contract."
Childhood: Ino remembers the old days. She recalls her younger self in the playgrounds with Sakura. She sees a blond boy playing by himself in the sand. No one, not even Chouji and Shika play with him. Curious, she gets up and walks towards him. "Want to play with us?" She asks. He looks at her with doubt in his eyes and when she doesn't relent or laugh, happily nods. They are in the middle of playing 'tag' when a large hand grasps her by the waist and pulls her away. Same happens with Sakura. The two girls look terrified at Ino's father glaring daggers at Naruto. "Monster." He says, and turns to leave with the girls' hands in his own. They sadly wave goodbye.
In reality, Ino lays flowers on her father's casket. "I'll never forgive you for that, Dad. Goodbye."
Sport: Ino shakes her head."Play ninja? At this time and age? I don't think so. Okay, so it's snowing for the first time ever. I respect that. However, I just had a warm bath. There's no way I'm going out there in order to play around. Grab Kiba or Sakura for such an activity… Stop pouting!" She frowns. "Stop looking me like a puppy as well!" She rolls her eyes. "Damn it, Naruto, I don't want to!" She catches the undertone of Naruto's mumbling.
"Fine. I'll come down to play with you, you big baby. But first, you need to play with me." Her robe falls to the floor.
Breaking the Rules: Naruto has beencrashed, stabbed, burnt, electrified and then crashed once more for good measure. Nothing survives such an onslaught. Above him, Sasuke laughs contently. "He's finally dead!" The Uchiha laughs. Together with the only alive member in his team, they walk away. Sasuke reaches over to grab the scroll he dropped earlier in the fight, and then a very familiar redness nearly decapitates him. It's only the foreshadowing of the Sharingan that lets him live, and he doesn't need it in order to tell what is going on behind him. He already knows.
Stripes: It is the battle between the Konoha-Sand and the Akatsuki-controlled Rain-Stone alliances. A plant-like shinobi has just assaulted Naruto and Ino, and so far the battle is at a standstill. Then, right as each respective party falls back and prepares jutsu, the Akatsuki proves himself to be ambidextrous as he hits Ino with a whip-like vine and forms seals with his free hand. Naruto doesn't wait any longer – he channels the power of the Kyuubi and slashes the bastard in parts, sending green ooze and gore everywhere. Naruto stands still for a second, and then grins goofily. "Salad, anyone?"
It's such a corny line that Ino can't stop laughing.
Two Roads: "A ninja must bury his emotions." "Those who abandon the mission are trash, but those who abandon their comrades are worse than trash." Truer words could not be had, Naruto thinks as he jumps from branch to branch in pursuit of Sasuke and Juugo. With a mad laugh, Sasuke, who holds Konoha's Forbidden Scroll, separates from Juugo, who has the unconscious form of Ino in his hands.
Naruto doesn't hesitate in choosing his opponent and follows Juugo – the day will come for the Uchiha traitor anyway, and when it does…
Family: Naruto keeps his hands on the glass that separates him from his wife. The medical room is sterile and free from edged objects, while the leather restraints have been made to obstruct the greatest escape artists. "It breaks my heart to see her like that," he says to on observant Sakura, and it really does. "She's locked inside her own head, living a life where…" Sakura envelops him in an amoral embrace which he doesn't return. "…Where she needs so much more than me."
Behind the glass, Ino celebrates her birthday with her stillborn twins, dead father, and an inside-the-room Naruto.
Author's Notes: 50 done, 50 to go. Ino's madness is developed (yet not concluded), and so is her relationship with Naruto after the big secret is out – as requested. "Creation" really, really bothered me. Hope you enjoyed it. You'll have the next part soon, I promise.