I'm just going to take a moment of your time to mention... YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!

You, my dear readers, remembered that reviews fuel the muse. Ha... that rhymed.

Special shout out to:

Karl Skywalker for that lengthly review. Hearing your opinion warms my heart. Ramble as much as you wish to, I don't mind. ; )

To TorThaSuper for being the 50th reviewer.

Anyway, angst sucks (at the moment for me at least) and humor rocks which makes me obligated to give this to you soon.

P.S. I'm not actually sure but there's a certain scene in here that might actually be rated 'M'... if its not too much trouble, please let me know if it does so I can make the change accordingly... maybe things will get steamy later if it does ; )

Man, Naruto felt awesome.

He was positive that he had fallen asleep on the floor – the kink in his lower back was testament to that – but despite his less than comfortable bed (a.k.a the floor) he felt completely refreshed and ready to take on the day.

Maybe it had something to do with the warm and squishy thing in his arms...

"Nice... pillow."

And now the warm squishy thing was talking.

"Shu... up... ishy." Naruto murmured as he buried his face in it.

Hmm, already?

Slightly awoken from Kyuubi's musing he grew more aware and -

The warm squishy thing was talking?!?

As if the squishy thing came into the same realization as he, it went rigid, as if in tune with his own body and moved, assessing him.

And then he opened his eyes only to meet a lighter blue than his own.

Ino and Naruto stared uncomprehendingly before Naruto finally remembered to remove his arms from around her small form. Not once did they look away from each other's eyes as Naruto backed away from Ino as far as the wall would allow.

"I..." Ino faltered before looking out into the living room and through the only window Naruto had in his apartment, "-think we should get ready for... training."

That... wasn't entertaining at all.

Sorry to disappoint, Naruto retorted wryly.

He had been ready for a complete freak out (probably what the stupid fox had also been anticipating) but it looked like Ino was content with pretending like nothing ever happened.

And he was fine with that.

There was a few awkward seconds of silence (of which each of them pretended the other didn't exist) before Ino slapped her face lightly and shook her head.

"Alright! Time to get ready for the day." Ino rose and grabbed her toiletries and headed for the shower before a drastic drop in her chakra reminded her that she couldn't leave Naruto. She froze before spinning on the spot and sending a glare to the still flabbergasted blonde.

Naruto 'eeped' and followed her into the bathroom obediently.


Shut up!

"Alright, just sit on the toilet or something and look the other way. Take a peek and you die. Simple, no?" Ino said sweetly.

Naruto gulped and nodded vehemently.

"Good, turn around." Ino said with swirling motion of her hand. Naruto mutely complied and tried to think of something to distract himself in the meanwhile. He heard girls took really long showers, maybe he should have taken a scroll with him?

Why aren't you looking?


Shes naked. Right next to you. All you have to do is turn your body by an inch and a half and you'll be able to see her in all her glory. Your measly shower curtains weren't made for modesty... go ahead, she'll never know.

Can you stop trying to brainwash me!

It was just a suggestion... Kyuubi muttered annoyed, Prude.

Naruto let out a shaky breath.

After about twenty minutes of whining (because as much as the damned fox said it was healthy suggestions, they were far too sulkily said in his opinion) Kyuubi quieted and he felt at ease – until a flash of Ino's naked form passed through his mind.

Oh, kami! No!

Don't bother to resist, I've decided to declare chemical warfare. How do you humans say it? Your ass is grass! Bwahahaha-

Naruto sweat dropped and tuned out the rest of Kyuubi's maniacal laughter. But then he registered his words and mulled over what he meant by 'chemical warfare'.

How would he be able to-

And then it hit him like a rock slide off a mountain.

His heart rate suddenly sped up and the excess blood started rushing into the place he wished Kyuubi had forgotten. Taking a page out of Hinata's book, Naruto blushed a few shades of red before taking a calming breath... and another, and then another after the first few did absolutely nothing for him.

Okay okay... umm – imagine ero-sennin peeking the bath houses as girls clad in only flimsy towels wash each other's back slowly. Hands roaming over boo - ... Gah! Stop it Kyuubi! Naruto thought/yelled, as the focus turned to the half naked women Jaraiya had been prone to stalking, instead of Jaraiya's horrifying lecher face.

Naruto squirmed and struggled, valiantly fighting against his charged up hormones.


"Ye-yeah?" Naruto answered, clearing his throat as his voice had gone into a rather high octave.

"Can you hand me my towel?" Ino asked, turning off the water and peeking out of the shower curtain. "Its right over there." she said pointing to it.

"Su-sure." Naruto squeaked as he turned away from her. She had pulled the curtain against her form and her breasts were becoming all too clear.

No! Don't look away!

Kyuubi was ignored in favor of her light blue towel before he backed up without looking back and handed it to Ino.

"Thanks! You can get in now." Ino chirped as she wrapped the towel around her and stepped out.

Oh god, she's naked and right beside me! Please don't see anything. Please!

Luck was on his side because Ino passed him without preamble and he rushed into the shower. Removing his pajamas and throwing it out of reach, he turned the water so that it was blistering cold.

Don't scream, don't scream...

Naruto's mantra worked and he pretended the water wasn't freezing cold and pretended he didn't have his biggest erection to date.

Sheesh, I'll stop...

Humans were so sensitive.

After a good fifteen minutes of cold torture, it finally lowered and he thoroughly washed himself.

Ino had blow dried her hair and was already dressed and ready to go... problem was that he didn't get any clothes in his haste to follow her.

"Hey Ino, don't look!" Naruto yelled getting out and running into the room. Thankfully Ino turned a blind eye at the right moment.

Aww... he's shy

Naruto blushed as he heard Ino's laugh as he shoved on some boxers in his room.

This- this isn't a warm up!

Ino, admittedly, hadn't been keeping up with her taijutsu but she shouldn't have been this tired... or she shouldn't have been in a normal warm up.

And 50 laps and 500 push-ups and sit-ups was not a simple warm up.

"Wow. Your really out of shape Ino." Naruto commented.

"I-I just... don't make it... a habit... to train... with Lee." Ino gasped trying to catch her breath.

"Actually, if it wasn't for them, I would have been killed. Before I trained with Gai-sensai and Bushy Brows, I would have never actually learned a Taijutsu style." Naruto mentioned cheerily.

"What about the basic academy one?" Ino asked frowning. She tried thinking back to Naruto in their taijutsu lessons but she had never really paid attention to him until he did something stupid and got in trouble.

There was that guilt again.

"Well, they weren't exactly... helpful." Naruto muttered. "Anyway. I'm worried that all this constant drain and gain on your chakra at such an accelerated rate might damage your chakra coils." he continued.

"Like with soldier pills?" Ino asked.

"Yep. From the way they work I'm guessing it isn't good to suddenly gain all your chakra like that and drain it all again. Especially when its youki induced."

Ino paled at the implications.

"But, but! Maybe if you have more chakra then it wouldn't be as bad?" Naruto finished, seeing the worry on Ino's face.

"How'd you get that?"

"Well... the drain doesn't bother me at all. I barely even feel it." Naruto informed her. "So maybe if you built up your chakra you wouldn't be affected so quickly by it and we wouldn't have to worry about being so... close." he finished a bit awkwardly.

Ino found many flaws in that, like the fact that it didn't actually solve the problem of the strain on her chakra coils but looking at Naruto's sincere face (not that he wasn't ever sincere, now that she thought about it) she couldn't find it in herself to correct him.


Thus, began the grueling training schedule.

Naruto was impressed.

It was clear that Ino was suffering throughout the exercise but not once did she complain and she finished it all the way through...

And then she collapsed.

Apparently keeping leaves on every surface of your body using chakra while dodging deadly projectiles for two hours straight was pretty hard.

Especially when she couldn't get it right the first few times.

"How about we go for lunch?" Naruto asked, bending over her, casting a shade over her.

"I can't walk." Ino gasped, closing her eyes. It didn't seem like much but it was so tiring. The penalty for being unable to keep the leaves in place was ten laps along with a hundred push up and sit ups. Which was fine the first three times she messed up.

But then the seven times after that were excruciating.

Then, quite suddenly, Ino was lifted.

"Hey!" Ino yelled indignantly.

"You said you couldn't walk." He said, adjusting her on his shoulder.

"...At least give me a more dignified piggy back ride." Ino mumbled, not at all struggling.

"That sounds like fun." Naruto agreed, throwing her around. The girl was far too light. "Sheesh, what do you sustain yourself on, water and air?" Naruto muttered, not at all liking how light she felt.

"Shut up." Ino muttered, wrapping her arms around his neck. She set her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes... promptly falling asleep.

"Damn... she really is out of shape." Naruto muttered, opting to take the scenic route home.

All the while ignoring how he liked how she fit against him... like two pieces of a puzzle.


Shut up!

Naruto ran home just a tiny bit faster with a tiny flush on his face.

Short but I like it. Hope you did too : )