Twisted Luck

© an1m3.4sp


"I'm sorry my presence is such a pain in your side, but just rely on the consolation that when we return we will never have to utter a word to each other from then on," my heart was shattering more and more, I know you don't love me. I know you don't want anything to do with me, I know. Why do you have to make sure it's clear in my mind, why make it more painful than it should be? Why do you hate me?... Ino/Shika Lemon.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

I'm not really sure I understand what happened last night, but the awkwardness I felt when he walked into the jounin meeting wearing full ninja uniform flushed my face red. He looked handsome and alert as he walked slowly down the aisle of jounins. Why hadn't he at least visited me before this meeting and talked about what happened last night? I waited at home all day so that he would return and we could finally deal with the atmosphere between us.

His expression was grave as he stopped in front of the Hokage's table along with Naruto Uzumaki and Neji Hyuga. The three strongest ninjas in Konoha stood before the jounin, listening to the Hokage give a quick summary of their most dangerous mission. Shikamaru really was unlucky, he'd just arrived back home from an extensive mission in Suna and already he was summoned again to leave; is it intentional? Did he plan this to get away from me after last night?...

"Shikamaru Nara, you will be this mission's captain. You are to ensure that this mission is a success and the elite politician controlling the rain village is assassinated… Failure is not an option," Tsunade said gravely, holding out the paper the ninja had to sign to accept the mission. I stared only at his face, and he made sure he avoided my gaze like a plague. He was going to accept this mission, and he was going to leave me again. After reuniting and sleeping together, after I've made the same 'mistake' of confessing to him again. And this time, there was a very good chance that he wasn't going to come back.

Damn you Shikamaru! Damn you! You don't love me, I understand that. But why do you have to risk your life to run from me? I thought miserably seeing him move forward and accept the Hokage's ink pen. I bit my lip making a trail of blood roll down my chin, this isn't fair and he is leaving for the wrong reasons! I can't let him, I stood up so suddenly from my seat at the back that everyone turned their attentions instantly to me. Even Shikamaru, but this time I avoided his stare.

"I have a suggestion for this mission," I announced in a strong clear voice, I did not quiver or stutter over my words. "The group is incomplete… They need a ninja medic to heighten the survival rate of the whole team, I volunt-" I was cut off.

"This is not under discussion, Uzumaki, Hyuga and I have everything under control and don't need another life to risk," Shikamaru turned imploringly to the Hokage, who was considering Ino's outburst.

"She has a point, your survival percentage would increase more than 20%," she stared at me, thinking hard; weighing her options. I am one of the best assassins in the village, also top in seduction and infiltration… A very valuable tool in this mission.

"Yamanaka isn't one of the best medics, if you want to appoint a medic choose Sakura Haruno…" Shikamaru said cruelly, shattering my heart and humiliating me in front of all our peers. I wasn't only an emergency medic like Sakura was, which is why her ability was more mature than mine; but I was the best for these sorts of missions. He belittled my talents and pushed me aside just like that…

Why do you hate me? You came to me… My expression was stoic; he would not be allowed to see the pain I felt. To prefer Sakura's companionship than mine, that had been a low blow and slap in the face, but I took it. I love Shikamaru Nara, even though he doesn't love me, and I felt a slow resentment building in my gut because of this. I wouldn't let him die just because I let him leave with the wrong mindset.

"Sakura is best in missions without much conflict; she is not well equipped like Ino is in these sort of missions. You will be in the middle of a war, and Ino's specialty is assassination, infiltration, and seduction. Plus she can give emergency healing to wounds," she turned to me nodding her head, "since you volunteered Ino Yamanaka. You are assigned to this mission, and I hope you help bring everyone back home alive."

I bowed slightly, moving forward into the middle circle of the meeting. Where Naruto, and Neji stood waiting. Shikamaru glared at me livid with anger, I ignored him and moved before the Hokage lifting the pen to sign my name on the agreement. His hand was suddenly tight on my shoulder, "don't do this Ino… I get it, you're angry with me. We can figure things out another way, don't place yourself in danger." His teeth were grinding so hard he was so furious; it was hard to ignore him with his hand heavy on my shoulder.

What had happened to him over night? He wasn't mentally stable for a mission like this, something must have happened but he wasn't going to bother telling me anything. I was just another insignificant person in his massive world.

"There is nothing more to talk about." I state simply, leaning down over the paper and signing my name flawlessly, and then turning to him defiantly I whispered with all the hate I could muster plainly in my face, "after this mission, I want nothing to do with you." I practically spat the last at him, going around him and following Naruto and Neji out of the room.

We all walked in silence until we reached the main gate, Shikamaru finally spoke up after being the last to arrive. "We will run in two separate lines, one group 2 minutes behind the other. Neji will be in front, keeping a clear view for any traps or awaiting ambushes. Naruto you will follow him closely behind because you have the fastest reflexes and can react in a second's notice. I will be first in the second group so that I can be back up if any attack are to happen, my shadow can easily catch any hidden ninja's once they've attacked you. Finally Ino will come at the end, being the medic you must stay farthest from the conflict and be available for emergencies. I'll give further instructions when we reach the border. Everyone understand?" he asked looking around at our grim faces, even Naruto understood the importance of this mission. The usually happy loud man nodded without complaint, as did Neji. I grunted dissatisfied, but acknowledging my orders.

"Good, Hyuga lead the way," Shikamaru ordered, and instantly Neji and Naruto disappeared into the forest. Shikamaru and I had to wait 2 minutes before following. "Why are you doing this, really, Ino?" Shikamaru asked looking at his black timer, waiting for the two minute mark.

"Because I don't want any more of my friends to die," I answered shrugging; it was the truth after all.

"I think you're doing this to spite me," he said boldly, obviously indifferent about hurting my feelings much more.

"I'm sorry that my presence is such a pain in your side, but just rely on the consolation that when we return we will never have to utter a word to each other from then on," my heart was shattering more and more, I know you don't love me. I know you don't want anything to do with me, I know. Why do you have to make sure it's clear in my mind, why make it more painful than it should be? Why do you hate me?

He stared at me from the corner of his eye, and I kept my jaw tightened and my expression masked. He opened his mouth to say something more, but our time was up. The two minutes beeped and we were off through the heavy trees, he didn't look at me again and I was glad because a few tears escaped the corners of my eyes, but it wasn't my fault. Something must have gotten into my eye, but I was too proud to rub them.

We ran for 3 days, only taking short breaks at specified times. I was exhausted, my eyes demanded sleep; but I was too proud to say so. I didn't have the same stamina Neji, Naruto, and Shikamaru did… But I had more stubbornness than all of them combined.

I ran close behind Shikamaru, jumping onto a thin branch which cracked underneath me and threw off my balance completely. I didn't even have time to avert my fall and try to land on my feet because of the delayed reactions from lack of sleep. I braced my body, waiting for the collision with the ground that would surely take my breath away and break an arm or leg. But it never came; I peeked out of one eye and realized I wasn't falling anymore.

Blinking my eyes in confusing, I looked up expecting to see Shikamaru but to my surprise seeing a serene Neji. He had saved me from the fall, caught me before I hit the ground and helped me to my feet slowly. "What are you doing back here?" the question was ripped from my mouth, coming from Shikamaru who suddenly appeared behind me. He didn't look pleased, and stared at Neji's hand that had stayed at my arm to hold me steady.

"I noticed Ino's reaction time was slowing down in the last camp we had. So I left a clone behind to make sure that delay didn't get her hurt," the cloned Neji said in explanation removing his hold on me, "I suggest we rest at the next Inn we see, it's pointless to make it there without enough sleep and a proper meal." With that he disappeared, Neji had noticed my exhaustion and Shikamaru hadn't or maybe he hadn't cared… The latter was more likely.

"Try to keep up Ino, Neji can't be here a second time to save you," he snapped turning away and jumping off in the direction of our other teammates. My hands fisted at my sides, but then released giving up. 'After this I promise you'll never be bothered with my existence again, Shikamaru!' I swore to myself, jumping after him.

The Inn looked so welcoming as Shikamaru and I stopped before it, spotting Naruto and Neji just inside the lobby. They held up two keys as we walked towards them, Naruto grinned. "We managed to snag the last two rooms in the business, both have two beds and a private hot springs," he announced happily, jiggling the keys.

Only two rooms? I panicked looking at the two keys; I was hoping to get my own room. Frowning I glanced at Shikamaru secretly, who would sleep in the room with me?

"Ino and I can take one room since we're the most tired and will probably sleep the duration of the stay," Neji spoke up seriously, making sense in his explanation and giving me a way to avoid being alone with Shikamaru.

I quickly agreed, "That makes sense, you've used your Byakugan the whole time right, and exerted all that chakra." Naruto stared nervously at Shikamaru as if waiting for his approval at the arrangements. I moved up and took one of the keys without waiting, "Let's go Neji. I'm really tired." I yawned, stretching as I made my way to the specified room; Shikamaru didn't try to stop me or follow, I was relieved.

"He looked furious, our captain," Neji commented, as we entered the room and found the two queen size beds. "You shouldn't make him lose his cool this far into a mission, it'll get us all killed."

"I'm not sure why he's so angry with me, but I'm following his orders," I answered, dropping onto the soft welcoming bed and already feeling my eyelids close. "I don't know what his problem is," I murmured.

"His problem is of the heart," was the last thing I heard from Neji before drifting off into much needed sleep. I'm not sure what he meant, but I really didn't care at the moment. My body ached, and demanded sleep. So I let it take me into my dreams.

(For anyone that gets confused, this is after the 3 years in Suna. The day before Shikamaru, Ino, Naruto and Neji go on the mission.)

On his first day back from Suna, Shikamaru slipped into my bedroom so silently that I didn't realize his presence until he uncovered his chakra. I have always just been aware of him, in school, the city, and at work. I blinked half closed eyes to look around my room.

"Shikamaru?" I asked sleepily, looking up at the tall ninja standing in the shadows of my bedroom. "What has happened?" I asked, more alarmed, pushing up from my king sized bed to look at the silhouette of my close friend. I was in my purple silk nightgown, so I kept my covers to my chest and waited for him to answer.

He had just returned from a three year mission in the Sand village, and we had spent most of the day eating BBQ and catching up on old times. He seemed normal around Chouji and me then, but now something felt off.

He moved forward, the light of the moon outside my window let me see his face. "Nothing… I just wanted to see you," he answered, moving closer to my bed. That caught me off guard, after three years? "I missed you the most…"

"I don't understand… Shikamaru, you left because of me," I frowned confused, watching him get closer to my bed. The reason he left to Suna wasn't only to get over our master's death, but he left right after I had confessed my feelings to him. It had hurt my girl heart, but it had made me grow up and accept the rejection. When he returned so did the feelings, but I accepted his wish of only being friends and didn't make our reunion weird. Especially because I didn't want him to leave again…

"I left because I was a messed up teenager, it had nothing to do with you Ino," he sat next to me on the edge of my bed, "but I did come back to see you."

My heart skipped a beat, was I dreaming? "I heard you were datin, Temari…" I tried not to cringe as I reminded myself of that rumor. It had hurt when I first heard of it. I had cried myself to sleep for several days, but I had come to peace with it… sort of.

"Lies," he murmured, leaning closer to me and pulling me into a firm hug. I stiffened, alien to the feeling of having Shikamaru hug me, he's never been the touchy type. He was more emotionally deprived than a… I don't even know what.

"My feelings haven't changed," I said softly, relaxing into the hug. My heart was going crazy, and butterflies made my stomach feel funny. I've been in love with Shikamaru since I was 17 years old.

"I'm glad," he grunted, pulling back and kissing me lightly on the lips. It was bliss…

"Ino," I opened my tired eyes, only to see Shikamaru's stern face over me. It gave me a shock that I jumped awake, looking around the room since I've forgotten where I was.

"What are you doing here?" I asked, slowing my accelerated heart. "Where is Neji?" I asked, noticing he wasn't in the bed next to mine or anywhere in the immediate room.

"He went to a restaurant down the street to eat with Naruto, you slept the whole day and we leave in 4 hours," he explained, moving away from me towards a cart in the middle of the room. "I ordered you some food, since you haven't eaten and I thought you probably should before we leave again."

I stared at the cart then at him, why was he suddenly being thoughtful? "Why didn't you go with them?" I asked suspicious, getting up from the bed still in my dirty ninja uniform. I needed to get cleaned up as well…

"We have to be in two man teams at all times during this mission, Neji wanted to go out to eat so I was left here," he shrugged, staring indifferently out the window at the steaming hot springs just outside.

"I'm going to get cleaned up first… you can start without me," I mumbled, crossing the room towards the hot springs. I could feel his eyes follow me the whole way; he could probably even see me through the steam by the intensity of his stare. I know I probably shouldn't have, but I kept my back to him and removed me clothes. The intake of breath was audible, and I smirked with the cruel tease.

"Most women wear towels," he commented, having the decency to sound bored. I looked back, shrugging my shoulders and taking a step down into the hot springs.

"You've seen me naked already, what's the point of a towel," I sighed, closing my eyes as I soaked shoulder length into the water. It had been what I needed, instantly my muscles loosened and relaxed. I couldn't help but moan at the bliss my tired body was feeling.

"Women like you are troublesome," he grunted, almost angry. I frowned opening my eyes and turned to look into the room. He watched me from the glass doorway separating the hot springs and the room. His arms were crossed and he stared shamelessly.

"I don't know what your problem is Shikamaru, but drop it. Like I said before, after this mission I won't be so troublesome to you anymore," I keep thinking I can deal with his cruelty. That I'm ready to hear whatever hurtful thing he thinks of next, but it breaks my heart painfully slow each time. The blissful hot spring, suddenly felt cold…

"You will always be a problem for me Ino," he said angrily. Where is all this anger coming from Shikamaru? All I ever did was love you, why do you take your anger out on me? I wanted to ask and cry, but I didn't. I turned my back to him and continued my bath.

"No, I won't."

"Really? How are you planning on doing that?" he asked sarcastically amused, I hadn't even thought much on the subject. But the perfect solution bloomed in my mind; I'll do what he did. I'll run away, and start over elsewhere. At least till I recover and move on.

"As soon as we get back, I will volunteer for a long term mission overseas," that was perfect, I would be farther than even he had been. I would be so far away, in a different continent all together. That would have to mend my heart and allow me to recover. I would certainly forget him, if I'm that far away.

What happened next was disorienting, one minute I was trying to relax in the hot water and the next I'm being held at arm's length from a very furious Shikamaru; he'd pulled me up from the hot springs and shook me in front of him. "That I won't allow!" he raged, his finger digging into the flesh of my arms making me flinch.

"You're hurting me," I hadn't meant to sound so weak, but I was disoriented and naked. No other way to say something and sound strong when I'm naked. He loosened his hold on me instantly.

"I can deal with you hating me, but I won't deal with you disappearing! I won't let you leave!" he nearly screamed in my face, he shook me a little.

"I'll do whatever I damn well see fit, you have no say over me," I hissed, my old temper igniting. Why should he care what I do? He's insulted me, used me, and broken me. I ripped my arms away from his hold, and tried to walk around him towards the room but he grabbed my wrist and pulled me back crushing me against his chest. His arms went around my body holding me there; my heart gave that familiar strong beat.

"You aren't going anywhere… If you leave… I'll- I'll kill myself," he stuttered, I had been pushing against his chest trying to pull away from him until he said those words… I went perfectly still, feeling my blood run cold. "You said you still loved me, then stay and do your duty as a Yamanaka. Hate me, loathe me, but stay and move on," he was holding on to me almost desperately, there was so much pain in his words they made my eyes sting with tears. I wanted to take that pain away, why? What was wrong with him? What wasn't he telling me?

"You're scaring me, Shikamaru what's going on?" I asked fearfully, I've given up on holding my tears. They rolled down my cheeks and instead of pushing at his chest; I let my arms go around him hugging him tightly. "Talk to me please, tell me what's wrong?"

"If you leave… I'll die," he repeated, hiding his face in the crook of my neck and holding me tight. I suddenly didn't care about everything he's made me go through, I didn't care how much I've cried for him or how horrible he's made me feel. I just wanted him to be happy, even if it wasn't with me. Even if I suffered, I just want him to go back and be the old Shikamaru I love. I just want him to be care free and lazy, and watch the cloud all day long.

"Then I won't leave, Shika, please don't say that… I'll stay, I'll stay and do what you want me to do," I said trying to pull away to see his face, he turned away so that I wouldn't look at him. But I held on to him, and with one hand made him look at me. "If you die Shikamaru, I'll follow you… Don't say those thing ever again, please," I begged, unable to stop the tears.

He looked at me, and the look was pained; but he nodded nonetheless. Leaning up, I kissed him slow trying to take from him all the sadness that radiated off of his aura. It was a sad kiss, because I knew he would not give me anymore. He allowed me this one kiss, and so I depended it and he responded. Our tongues wrestled and tasted each other's sweetness trying to memorize the feeling, trying to stay in the moment. My hands went up into his hair, releasing the shoulder length tresses and running my fingers through the silky locks. His hands lifted me by the buttocks grinding out bodies together, letting me feel how much strength he had in his arms and legs.

I was still very naked, and he was fully dressed. He laid me down on the mattress slowly, running his hands up and down my body making me moan in need. Once we separated from the kiss, the magic was gone and he pulled away from me as if stung. Torment was evident in his eyes, and he ran his fingers through his hair before shaking his head and turning to leave the room. I made a noise of protest, knowing that if he left the room it would really be the end of it all.

"I'm sorry Ino, I can't. I can't, hate me, loathe me… but don't leave," he repeated what he'd said earlier, flinching since he knew it was selfish to ask anything of me. But I only nodded, covering my body with a sheet and sobbing into my hands once he left me alone in the room.

Four hours passed, and Shikamaru wasn't back yet. Neji and Naruto waited in the room with me, as I tried to force myself to eat something. My eyes were red from crying, but they didn't ask questions or point it out. Two more hours and finally Shikamaru came back looking composed, he glanced around the room before moving to a table and setting down maps.

"I've tracked our target; he's not in the rain village. But traveling with highly trained ninjas," he began, spreading out the land's layout across the table. "He's going to the water country, according to rumors he has very powerful connections there and is going to protect himself." We had all crowded around the table, trying to see what he was pointing at on the map. "We have to get him here, in the earth country; stop him before he gets to the water country. Since he's moving it should be easier, our only problem is his body guards."

"I can find a way to get close to him, and lock his mind permanently," I said instantly, this was my sort of job and the easiest way in was through seduction.

"I don't think that's a good idea…" before I began to argue he continued, "one of the body guards is a sensory type ninja, he'll instantly know you are a mind ninja and they'll attack."

"I am not the best in Konoha in assassinations for no reason, I can shield against those types of ninjas," I said proudly, having Naruto and Neji nod behind me. They both knew many of my skills from past missions. "I wouldn't have suggested this type of approach if he were in the rain village surrounded by allies. But since he's moving, it'll be easier this way, and a lot safer."

Shikamaru frowned, running his hand down his face trying to find a reason to disagree. Finally after he'd finished thinking of 300 other possibilities he relented. "Fine, but Naruto, Neji and I will remain in a triangle stance nearby in case something goes wrong," Shikamaru said placing down a marker in our location on the map. "Luckily, we just have to sit and wait. Their coming here next."

All our eyes widened in surprise, Naruto spoke up first, "if they have a sensory ninja shouldn't we leave before they get too close to detect us?"

"I know how to shield, so I will be staying in the other room in the Inn. Neji will be stationed in near the west side of the forest, and you Naruto will be the farthest since you leak chakra everywhere," Since this was the only Inn in the village, our target will have to come here. After another hour of reviewing and repeating the plan, we all went our separate ways and I 'borrowed' a kimono from a nearby shop.

I dressed quickly, leaving all my weapons in my room since they would give me away. Plus I didn't need any weapons for the technique I would have to use. I looked beautiful and elegant in the pink sakura kimono I've chosen, taking a seat in the lobby's bar and drinking warm sake. He would not be able to miss me, especially with the long revealing slit up my creamy leg. I've purposely allowed the kimono to be a little loose so that it gained me more attention.

My target entered the Inn; he was surrounded by many body guards all which noticed me drinking sake instantly, and like I'd thought he moved towards me instantly. I allowed my eyes to widen slightly, giving me an innocent and surprised look as all the men towards over me.

"C-can I help y-you gentlemen?" I stuttered, apparently intimidated by so many men. The bodyguards remained stoic, and the sensory ninja Shikamaru had mentioned remained at the back; watching me with more caution. I could feel his chakra tickled along my wall, trying to check me out.

"Clear," he called after he didn't feel anything. The faces of the bodyguards all instantly relaxed, and my target smirked pleased. I could instantly tell by the wolfish looks, I wouldn't have to do a damn thing to get alone time with the target. He would force himself upon me; I would have to struggle feebly. The pervert was a rapist. I could tell by the look in his disgusting eyes.

"Have you gotten the room?" my target asked no one in particular, looking me over like a piece of meat. I acted as if I tried to cover myself up more, since he was making me feel 'uncomfortable.'

"Yeah chief, the place is clear. Here's the key," one of his lackeys said, handing the target his room keys. Finally he addressed me, "why are you here all alone, darling?" he asked, leaning in close to me. I tried to move away, but one of his bodyguards took a hold of my arm painfully hard that I made a noise of pain flinching.

"Let go, you're hurting me," I said loud enough for other people to hear, and turn to the scene. Of course no one would do anything to help me, but it made me more believable to ask for help from passersby.

"You're coming with us," my target grinned, snapping his fingers and the guards pulled me off the stool I had been sitting in, and forcefully dragged me into the halls. I struggled, letting them feel my fear as my voice became louder. The pulled me into a massive room and pushed me inside the room with my target.

"We'll be just outside the windows and doors if you need us," the guards laughed, waving as they stationed themselves at every opening. Escaping would be harder than I had thought, but killing my target's mind would be a piece of cake. That's all that mattered after all, I had faith in Shikamaru.

He pushed me onto the bed at the center of the room, and grabbed me tight. I began to scream for help and he hit me enough times, that I acted disoriented. The bastard would pay, I thought forming the technique in my mind and getting ready to drop my shields and attack. Once I did, the sensory ninja outside would notice and rush in. But no one would make it in time. I dropped them all at once, hearing a yell from outside the door instantly. My target looked back confused, and my hand which was already glowing with all my chakra grabbed his head and instead of locking his mind permanently. I wiped him clean of all thought and memories; he would not even know how to eat.

"Bitch!" the guards screamed in rage as the target dropped, I jumped up and formed seals that would send out ice so cold it would stop their hearts if it touched them. Before they reached me however, a large shadow appeared and stopped them all in their tracks. The ones who had been outside the windows hadn't even attempted to enter because I could see now that Neji and Naruto had taken care of them.

I sighed heavily, letting myself slump onto the bed. It was a success and no one died. Thank the gods for hearing my prayer and keeping us safe. "Are you alright Ino?" Shikamaru walked into the room, after knocking the guards unconscious somehow. He looked concerned as he got closer and saw the injuries the target had given me.

"I'm fine, I'm just happy it worked out perfectly," I said shaking my head, "let's go before anything else happens." He still looks concerned, but nods nonetheless dragging the body of our target in his shadow. We would take him to show our success. I was afraid to get back to Konoha, because Shikamaru would keep his distance and I would have to move on. He wasn't telling me everything, but he'd made his decision and even if he told me what was wrong… it was over…

My childhood love was over, and I had to move on and just be happy with whatever he'd chosen. I just want him to be happy; I never want him to be so sad again. It had terrified me to see him act the way he did in the room.

I closed my eyes as I entered the gate of Konoha. Goodbye Shikamaru, somehow I know you're leaving again. And like that I made peace with myself as he walked away, he turned back to look at me one last time; and I kept a sad smile as I waved.

Shikamaru pulled away from the kiss first and grinned wider than I've ever seen him. I dropped my covers and kissed him again, throwing my arms around his neck and pushing my body against his. He pulled off his shoes, and I unbuckled his pants and pulled his shirt over his head. Maybe we were rushing things, but I needed to be with him. I've missed him so much it hurt.

"Confess to me again, Ino," he whispered in my ear, and instantly I remembered my confession. I smiled as his pants came off and he pushed the covers aside completely seeing me in only a nightgown.

"Shika," I whispered into his ear as he kissed my neck and slowly pulled the nightgown up. "I love you; I love you like a woman loves a man… I know I'm troublesome and loud, but I'm the only one that can make you happy," I repeated, gasping as removed my gown leaving me naked, and suckled on a pink nipple running his hands up and down my body. "You don't have to answer me right now, I'll wait for you. However long you need…"

He moved down my body and reached my womanhood, rolling his eyes up to look at me as he kissed my lower lips as if it were a second mouth. My spine bowed in pleasure, easily climaxing from the pure shock of it. Shikamaru would be my first, he would take my virginity. I've waited for him…

"You're mine, you know what that means right?" he asked, not missing a drop of my orgasm. Biting my inner thigh and slowly moving back up my body to position himself over my opening.

"Yes," I said breathless, licking my lips in anticipation. I wanted him inside me; I wanted to be complete…

"It means that you can never leave me, and I'll always come back to you," he smirked, kissing me tenderly before pushing into my virgin womanhood in one sharp thrust. I gasped in pain, my eyes instantly tearing up as he stayed perfectly still above me; kissing my tears away and soothing my pain away.

"I'll provide for you all that you need, and protect you with my life," he began to move and I saw stars at the new sensations, this was amazing! We made love the whole night, and I came screaming. Shikamaru and I have a connection, we've always had it. Tonight it was fully opened, and I finally felt complete. The last thing I remember that night was when he said goodnight, kissing my lips and whispering, "I've always loved you, Ino."

The next morning, he left early after an ANBU ninja woke us by knocking at my apartment door. I was too tired to pay attention, but he left without another word. Leaving me to wake up hours later confused and alone…

A month passed without running into each other, Shikamaru must have accepted another mission and left the village. I finally had the courage to ask Chouji one afternoon, while we ate at our favorite BBQ place.

"What's Shikamaru been up to?" I asked, looking up as he stopped eating and put his chopsticks down seriously. "Did you invite him today?" I asked, trying to keep it a light topic.

"No, he's out of the village right now… In Suna," Chouji explained, looking away from my gaze. I shifted my head to the side confused, why was Chouji acting so weird? Had they talked about me?

"In Suna? Again, a mission?" I asked nonchalantly, eating a piece of meat.

"I can't believe he left without telling you…" Chouji said shaking his head sadly, I frowned looking up worried. "Ino… He got Temari pregnant…"

I blinked.

"He told me that he got the message the next morning from an Anbu after he'd arrived back… He said that him and Temari had gone out drinking and he went overboard and the next morning he was naked and so was she… He couldn't remember anything, but according to her they had sex," Chouji looked away, ashamed his friend hadn't told the woman he'd been in love with the story himself. "I'm sorry Ino, that asshole should have told you himself instead of finding out like this…" Chouji said angrily, getting up as I did.

"I think I'm going to be sick," I covered my mouth and ran to the nearest bathroom, emptying my stomach in the toilet. I closed my eyes feeling the tears still leak through, so that was the reason he had a 360 the day after we slept together. I coughed, wiping the shameful tears away without much success because more kept slipping.

"Ino? Are you alright?" Chouji called, unsure if he should go inside the women's bathroom.

"Yeah, I just need a minute," I called back in a fake voice, feeling weak and shaky. So that was the reason he had been so torn in the Inn, why he didn't go farther than a kiss…

"He wanted to die, Ino… You saved him by going on that mission. Because of you he took his responsibilities and went to Suna," Chouji said softly, but I could hear him. That was all it took, I began to weep and he came in to console me on the floor of the BBQ restaurant's bathrooms…

Shikamaru had chosen Temari because of responsibility. He lied when he said nothing had happened between them, and he left the village without explaining it to me. I cried my eyes dry on Chouji's shoulder, and screamed my throat dry in Sakura's arms.

This has always been my twisted luck to lose him. When he became a chunnin and taken by work or Temari. When Asuma died and he preferred to cope with the loss alone. When I confessed to him and he volunteered for a 3 year mission in Suna… And now, that I had believed he returned to me. Only for a night, when I believed everything would finally work out… He left because of another woman, and I couldn't even begrudge him because it was his responsibility.

I could however resent him for not telling me the truth, and for leaving me alone with a child he would never know growing in my womb…


This story will have two chapters. I'm sorry I've been mission in action in lately, it's just life has gotten more lively and I can rarely find the quiet time to inspire myself enough to write. I'm planning on writing more often though, and even continuing my Undeviating Love story. Thank you all that haven't lost hope in me, and I hope you enjoy this short story. Thanks to 'Ray by Another Name' for beta-in for me!