Author Notes. Hey everyone this is my first story on FF. Net and I hope everyone likes it and reviews. I am a world class procrastinator so any and all reviews will hopefully get me to write on it sooner. So please read and let me know what you think and anything that I need to work on

Disclaimer. I Own nothing in regards to the characters and world of Naruto. I only claim rights to the original parts of this story and will not be making any money off of this fic so there.

A golden Tribute

Dark shades and golden hues basked the whole of Konoha in a seemingly euphoric scene that would have sent most painters running for their canvases, brushes, and paints. This was no different for the blue eyed, blond beauty that currently sat surrounded by a few dozen different kinds of flowers that she was ceremoniously placing into a large vase. She silently placed each flower into her growing masterpiece and smiled slightly as the color's meshed into the same hues of gold and yellow that were setting into the clouds outside her second home. Ino really loved working in her family flower shop, surrounded by the smells and the bright and colorful flowers that were all over. Ino thought that most people, in her opinion, never truly appreciated the simpler things in life and often over looked the smaller more delicate things that they would never have thought to have any value.

Her smile dimmed slightly as she heard the sound of the chime ringing at the front door. 'Who would be coming at this time?' she idly thought to herself. She was slightly shocked to see the bright orange color that she came to associate with a the normally bright blond from her academy. That smile vanished completely however, when she noticed the state the boy seemed to be in. He looked like he had been running for a long while and didn't even seem to realize she was there. She finally decided to see what was wrong after a few moments of silence when the blond boy finally turned. Gasping silently to herself in shock, as she saw blood all over the front of his cloths accompanied by large bruises and gashes that ran across his face and body. it looked like someone held him down, beaten him senseless, and then took a knife to his face and the parts of his body she could see . Her shock was soon replaced by horror when he passed out cold on the floor. "Naruto!" the blond yelled in shock as she rushed to the door of her shop.

It took her only a matter of seconds to get to him and check his vitals. Upon closer inspection she realized that he really was a complete mess. There didn't, however, seem to be any life threating wounds that she could tell. Gently flipping the boy over, she noticed a kunai sticking out his side. Seeing air bubbles mixing with blood every time he breathed, she realized in horror that it had punctured his lung and he was losing blood fast. Quickly removing the hard edged metal from his wound, she began a mid-level chuunin healing jutsu to not only slow the blood loss, but to also try and fix the damage to his lung. She silently thanked her mom for forcing the extra lessons on her. She pushed massive amounts of chakra into the wound, slowing the blood flow but not stopping it completely. Seconds later, it was all Ino could do to hold him in place and continue her work when he started to thrash about wildly and cough up blood. He finally hacked out a large amount of blood and then seemed to cease moving all together. Only the slight rising and falling of his chest kept Ino from freaking out too much.

She continued to work on the wound till the dark red liquid ceased coming from the gash under his arm. Ino was beginning to tire as she steadily depleted her chakra. She knew that she needed to get him to the hospital, but she wasn't sure how she could in her current state. Standing slowly, she staggered slowly up to her small room above the flower shop that was now like a second home to her. She had left her shinobi gear there after her third D-Rank mission since the academy. She knew there was some medical supplies in amongst her things and, hopefully, a few extra soldier pills.

As she staggered the last few feet to her supplies, she couldn't help but wounder how this could have happened to the unconscious young blond on the floor below. For Gods sake, they were in a freaking ninja village with guards and Anbu all over the place, So how on Earth could he, a fellow leaf ninja and protector of the village, have been so badly injured without anyone coming to his aid? Deciding she didn't like the answers coming to mind, she pushed the negative thoughts out of her mind and focused on the problem at had. Quickly checking her supplies she noticed with great relief that there were indeed still 2 soldier pills in her gear along with a few blood pills and bandages. She quickly grabbed one of the soldier pills and shoved it in to her mouth, feeling, with great relief, the effects taking place immediately. Energy flowed back into her diminished reserves, relieving her fatigue and sharpening her senses. She grabbed the rest of her supplies and all but flew back down the stair, hoping Naruto was still ok.

When she got to him, she sighed with relief as she noticed that his breathing seemed to be doing a little better and didn't seem as strained. Quickly pushing her relief aside, she force fed him two blood pills and the remaining soldier pill to help his recovery along. She then proceeded to work on bandaging his wounds for the long trek to the hospital. Ino was grateful that the worst seemed to be over.

Once she finished bandaging his more prominent wounds, she stooped down and, with little difficulty, hauled his smaller form onto her back and started out the door towards the hospital. She became grateful for his smaller form as the trek to the hospital in the growing dim light seemed to grow longer and longer. She was almost there and she knew needed to get him looked at fast, but the last few blocks to the hospital seemed to be up hill for Ino. Both figuratively and literally. Every step she took seemed to bring her closer and closer to letting her knee's buckle and surrendering to her growing exhaustion, but she pushed on, gritting her teeth in determination, finally making it to the hospital.

As she stumbled through the large double doors leading in the emergency room, she shouted to the closest medic Ninja she could see, who proceeded to rushed over to help at the sight of the trouble. The medic Ninja seemed to waver at the sight of the blond boy, before he grudgingly lifted him from Ino's back and led her farther into the hospital. She quickly filled the man in on the damage that she had found and what she had done to help alleviate his pain. The medic nodded slightly, but didn't even spare a glance at Naruto's wounds, which was really starting to confuse the new Shinobi. Medic Ninja were supposed to have been trained for just about anything and though this man did have the band of a medic on his arm, he seemed so apathetic, like he couldn't care less if the blond boy he was carrying was alright. As they reached the large double doors that led to the operating rooms, Ino was told that she would have to wait in the lobby and that she would be called when they had finished.

Nodding, Ino hauled herself over to the cushioned chairs of the waiting room where she sank into the plush fabric, letting her fatigued legs rest for the time being. She closed her eyes as she took comfort in the soft chair she was sitting on. Taking a couple deep breaths to calm herself, she opened her eyes and took her first real look around since she had entered the hospital. The waiting room she was in was a lot like the rest of the hospital, boring and white. Everything seemed to be white: the walls, the floor tiles, even the orchid that sat on the little off white table in a small clear vase. With a frown Ino was reminded of exactly why she hated hospitals. The lack of color, the smell of sick people, and the overbearing smell of disinfectant had always made her hate her stays while she had been younger.

Like the time when she had broken her leg while practicing jumping from tree to tree. She had been quite embarrassed about it. How many other ninja had broken a leg from just jumping from tree to tree? It was like an oxymoron, or maybe just a moron! She had been out of the academy for two weeks as her leg healed and she felt she never truly caught up to the rest of the group. Ino knew she was one of the weakest of the rookie nine and, while she would never admit it to anyone else, she knew she wasn't getting any better with her new teammates, Shikamaru and Choji. It had already been a week and a half since she graduated and they had been on three D-Rank missions that were nothing more then chores, in Ino's opinion. She had practically begged her two teammates to train with her but they never wanted to and their sensei, Asuma-sensei, really hadn't taught them much except for some teamwork. This left her to try and train by her self which she had never been good at, when push came to shove.

She was the type of person that could only really push herself when someone was watching and helping. Someone to push her, someone to compete with her. Her little rivalry with her pink haired friend/rival, Sakura, just didn't seem to cut it anymore since they had left the academy. Sakura was just as weak as she herself was, if not weaker. So there was little point in pushing herself against someone who didn't train either. Her thoughts veered off as she noticed another presence enter the waiting room. It was a plump nurse with black hair peppered with gray and a stern look to her. She was dressed in the tan that most medics were dressed in. She walked up to Ino with a clip board in hand.

"Where you the one that brought Uzumaki Naruto in?" she asked the blond before her,

"Yes. Is he going to be okay?" Ino questioned, her concern evident. The nurse narrowed her eyes at the blond in front of her, dislike already forming for the girl who would care if that demon was alright.

"Yes, he will be alright," she snapped. The angry tone wasn't missed by Ino, who raised a delicate eyebrow. "In fact he has already been released from the hospital, he just needs someone to be released to who will watch over him for a few days." The smile on her face didn't quite reach her eyes. Shocked, Ino realized this didn't seem like normal hospital protocol.

"Shouldn't you at least keep him over night too see if there are any complications or something? I mean, he did have some pretty serious wounds." Ino stated, slightly confused.

The nurse frowned at her, saying, "The doctor said he would be fine and could leave and since you were the one who brought him in, we have already signed him out into your custody." The nursed smiled devilishly at this. "We will have some one help move him to your place until he recovers." Ino's mouth started to open and close, no sound forthcoming. How was this happening? What was going on?! She was about to begin to argue but the evil nurse cut her off and handed her a note, telling her to take it to one of the male nurses so that he could carry Naruto home for her. She then turned on her heel and was gone down the hall to do God knows what. Glancing down, Ino looked at the small piece of paper in her hands. 'Great this is all I need. How did this happen?!' she asked herself once again. But no answer was forthcoming.

The time it took to get a nurse and get to her loft above the flower shop passed in a Daze for Ino. Her mind was processing so much information that she couldn't quit lock on to any one topic to focus on. But a couple things kept popping into her mind. What the hell was she going to tell her parents and why did it look like none of the bandages were changed at all. He almost looks like they didn't even see him.

The moment the Nurse dropped him in the bed he quickly left not even sparing a simple good by or instructions for his care, leaving Ino to her thoughts again, her dark thoughts. She decided that she should change his bandages, because of the blood that was seeping through some of them. She went to the small bathroom that was down the hall just before the stairs to the flower shop. To get some more medical supplies she kept there. Grabbing medical tape, gaze, disinfectant and some more bandages. She made her way back to her room. She looked at the unconscious Naruto for a few moments before moving from the door into the room. She blushed slightly at the thought of having to take off some of his clothes to treat his wounds. But quickly pushed them aside. She was a Ninja she could handle a little bare flesh.

She moved the blanket from his form and started to remove his orange jacket that they put on him before moving him from the hospital being careful not to damage him anymore.

Then she tried to slide the the torn and bloody shirt from his body before giving up and grabbing a kunai from her hip pouch and cutting it up the middle. When her breath caught. He was so thin, even thinner then her and she was always dieting. He was nothing but skin and bones. She also noticed the only wound that was bandaged where the ones she had done herself. Was that trip to the hospital just a wast she thought to herself cause there is no way they treated him. There weren't even any stitches. Ino grabbed the antiseptic and got to work cleaning his wounds. Her mine kept skipping to dark thoughts about the boy that lay in her bed. She wrapped his wounds before moving to his face. She removed the bandages that were in place and started on the gashes and scraped that marred him. She couldn't help but wounder who could have done such a thing and why the hell no one at the hospital did any thing. Nothing Naruto had done justified this kind of treatment.

She did the best she could do, bandaging and treating his wounds, but she knew with out stitches there would be many scars by the time they healed. She felt bad that he would probably never took the same again. With all the gashes that ran across his face. She tucked him in and made her way to the sofa she had in the corner of the room and drifted into an uneasy sleep.