A/N: Back with the next chapter. Got to say this fic is turning out pretty decently as well, even though FYI have basically no idea what to do next really but I think overall it is somehow flowing nicely. I guess it's because I finally decided to slow myself down and focus on a few stories at a time which is actually good since it's been working out and leading to better chapter updates. So yay for me I guess. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: Don't own Naruto and co.
A platinum-blonde haired female stealthily walked the halls of her fiancés home. She had seen his car pull out of the driveway a few moments ago and saw the opportunity to do a little bit of investigating. It was wrong and she knew that but she had already tried honesty and that didn't get her anywhere.
"I'm sorry Naruto-kun but you aren't making this easy for me."
She knew his room had to be around here somewhere but where exactly was an entirely different question. She spotted one of the servants up ahead, not wanting to risk being caught Ino slipped into a side corridor.
"Shit," She thought.
The servant however went down another hallway. The blue-eyed female breathed a sigh of relief.
"That was close,"
The last thing she needed was for words of her strange behavior getting back to Naruto in some way. She knew all too well that the walls had ears and those servants hired did indeed have them too.
"I need to find his room."
She put all those other thoughts aside for the time being. The blonde was soon passing the study where Jiraiya had taken care of most business matters. He wasn't in there she noticed because the lights were off and the door looked as well.
"Maybe Jiraiya-sama is out too, great that makes this whole thing a lot easier."
She opened a few doors only to find that they were only extra bedrooms. Not one of them looked like they might have belonged to Naruto.
"Jeez, this place has too many rooms, my god."
She turned another hallway at the same time she collided with one of the female servants.
"Crap," Ino shouted out and fell on to the ground. "What the hell," She looked up to meet the panicked face of the female servant.
"Oh my god, Ino-sama I' am so sorry. Here let me help you."
"It's okay, I…" but suddenly was being pulled up the brown-haired woman but she ended up tripping over her feet and bringing not only herself but Ino down again.
"Oh my god, what a klutzy bitch." Ino couldn't help but mentally scream.
She turned red instantly. She was certainly making a mess of things here.
"She's going to hate me I know it. Uzumaki-san will probably not be happy with me for this."
"Ino-sama, gomen-ne I' am so sorry." she tried once again to help the blue-eyed female up.
"Hah-Hah," Ino laughed nervously while backing away from this brown-haired clumsy woman. "I'm fine really. It's okay."
Ino got to her feet then brushed her clothes off.
"Um, Ino-sama what are you doing wandering the halls like this? Are you lost?" a light bulb suddenly went off in the young woman's head maybe she could try getting in good with the platinum-blonde. She was after all going to be the future lady of the house. It would be best to not get on this woman's bad side, although from the looks of things Ino certainly seemed nice enough.
"Can I help you with anything?"
"Help me," Ino wondered. "Absolutely not you clumsy, ditz…" but then a light bulb of her own went off. This kind of clueless girl could actually help her out. "Yes I think that you can help me."
The brown-haired female beamed. "What do you need Ino-sama?"
"Well I was hoping you could show me where Naruto-kun's room is."
"Naruto-sama," She wondered out loud.
"Yea this house is pretty big and it's so easy to get lost."
She nodded in agreement. "Hai, I know I've been working here for two years and I still get lost. Forgive me but why were you looking for his room?"
Ino kept a straight face but screamed on the inside. "He is my fiancé damn it, it's my business to spy on him if I want." She rationalized. 'Oh," Ino smiled. "I just wanted to be there when he got home. I kind of want to surprise him with something.
"Boy, will he be surprised then." She had observed how the blond male often spoke of his wife to be. For the most part he was not very enthusiastic. Yet she found that she should tell Ino since after all they were to be married. Ino would be her mistress and she'd eventually have to serve as well as dote on her.
"Naruto-sama's room isn't even on this floor." She began.
"Shit," Ino mentally cursed but of course it wouldn't be. She had basically been sneaking around for nothing.
"He kind of has two bedrooms, well the other is more of a game room sort of. He hangs out there with Kiba-san and Shikamaru-san, but his actual bedroom is one more flight up. You can't miss it because there is a carving of a kitsune on the door."
Ino's face exploded into a huge smile as the excitement washed over her. She ended up hugging the young woman. "Ah, Arigato you are a real lifesaver um…" she realized then that she didn't know the young woman's name.
"Hai, Ayame got it." she would make sure to never forget her name. "Thank you Ayame-chan. Oh and it would probably be best if you didn't mention any of this to Naruto-kun."
Ayame agreed with her completely there. She certainly wasn't going to say anything to the blond male about this. In fact as far as she was concerned she had never seen the blonde female.
"I never saw you Ino-sama,"
Ino then headed up the stairs thankful for the easy directions the brown-haired servant had just given her. This floor didn't seem as complicated as the previous one so that too had been a plus. Just as she said there was a huge carving of a kitsune on the door. It made the platinum-blonde curious to say the least. Did Naruto have a fascination with foxes? She'd be sure to ask him when he got back.
"Bingo, okay Naruto let's see what you're keeping from me."
The blue-eyed female put her hand on to the door knob and was moments away from opening the door when someone shouted out.
"Oh, Ino-sama what are you doing?"
Ino jumped up nervously. "What the…Shizune-chan?" she looked to see her dark-haired guardian. She looked less than pleased.
"Yes," Shizune nodded. "What are you doing Ino…" she was about to call her sama again simply out of the habit of it but didn't. "Ino-chan," She finished.
"Oh," Ino grinned rather nervously. "It's nothing."
"It doesn't look like it's nothing to me Ino-chan. You were planning to sneak into Naruto-kun's room weren't you?"
The blue-eyed female dared not try to lie to Shizune as if it weren't as clear as day anyway. Shizune simply knew her too well. She couldn't lie to the dark-haired woman with a straight face if her life depended on it.
"Hai," she sighed in defeat. "I was planning to do exactly that."
Shizune only shook her head at her young mistress. "Ino-chan, why would you want to invade his privacy in such a way?
Ino looked almost stunned for a minute because she of course wanted Shizune to be on her side no matter what, even if she might be doing something kind of crazy.
"Hey, you're supposed to be on my side here you know."
Shizune only gave Ino a bright smile before putting her hand on to the blonde's head. "Ino-sama," she spoke affectionately with an all too familiar tone that Ino had been used to since childhood. "I' am always on your side you know that."
The blue-eyed female nodded. "Hai, you've always been there for me. You know me better than anyone."
"Exactly," Shizune nodded. "So you know that I know when those wheels in your head start turning."
Ino mentally cursed. "Shit of course she knew I was up to no good. We shouldn't be so close if it's going to hinder my plans." She joked in amusement.
"Do you want to tell me the truth?" she asked.
Ino shrugged her shoulders. "I can't possibly lie to you Shizune-chan."
"Yes," she agreed. "You could never lie to me it was always hard for you to keep a straight face."
Ino took a breath before starting to talk again. "Shizune-chan," she gripped her fist. "Naruto is totally hiding something from me. I don't know what it is but I know he has something he doesn't want me to know so…"
"So you thought that you would try sneaking around in his room to learn more."
Ino nodded in confirmation because that had most definitely been the plan.
"Oh Ino-sama," she sighed in what felt and sounded like disappointment to the blonde's ears. It made her heart sin a bit. Shizune was a person she never wanted to disappoint.
"Shizune-chan please, I don't want you to be angry."
"No I'm not angry, don't worry I'm only concerned. Why didn't you try asking him?"
Ino wanted to scream out in frustration. The whole reason why she was even at this point was because Naruto flat out refused to tell her. She felt that she to resort to sneakier tactics.
"Shizune I did ask him but he wouldn't tell me. I need to know so in a way my sneaking around is really all his fault." The blonde smiled while trying to make sense of the situation.
Shizune looked suddenly sad for the blue-eyed girl. She wished that Ino hadn't felt the need to go to such measures.
"Ino-chan, do not feel as if you have to do such things. I want for you to have some patience with Naruto-kun. He is no doubt as nervous as you are, so be understanding. You both are just getting to know one another again. I'm sure you haven't exactly had the chance to get personal with him either."
"Well, am I right?"
She pouted slightly which made Shizune chuckle lightly as it brought back fond memories of when Ino was a little girl. Ino folded her arms across her chest.
"Shizune-chan you really should be on my side."
She gently pinched her cheek. "I 'am." she confirmed. "But trust me if you do what you were just about to do you won't feel any better. It would be wise to just let things evolve between you and Naruto-kun naturally."
Ino didn't know what to do for a moment. She was actually kind of curious to see what he had going on behind that door, but at the same time a part of her did see Shizune's point. More importantly she didn't want to disappoint her. Any advice from the dark-haired female was always appreciated and also wouldn't be ignored.
"You know," Ino began thoughtfully. "It would give me a chance to know more about him if I do go in there." She had her hand on the doorknob but soon pulled back. "I want him to invite me in there himself. It wouldn't really feel right doing things like this."
Shizune smiled brightly she had confidence that Ino would make the right decision.
"I knew you were going to make the right choice. Are you hungry Ino-chan? There is a huge lunch downstairs and I couldn't possibly eat it all."
Ino smiled back. "Alright let's eat then." She followed behind Shizune as the dark-haired woman led the way downstairs. She took one more look at the door with the kitsune carving on it. She only wondered if Naruto would ever invite her in there. She hoped he eventually would because she didn't want to sneak around.
"No I really shouldn't try to invade his privacy, but…" her mind went immediately to Shikamaru and Kiba. True they were his best friends and no doubt it would be difficult to get information out of them. She felt much more comfortable trying that approach instead of going into the young man's room.
"There is still Shikamaru and Kiba, one of them is bound to know something."
Meanwhile the whisker-marked male was busy trying to keep himself awake while he had supposed to have been listening in on one of his family's company meetings. Jiraiya was in charge of them unfortunately for him doing such a thing had been easier said than done. He could barely keep his eyes open as he rested his head on his hand, before he knew it the young man was sleeping. Light sounds of snoring filled the room. Jiraiya and the other partners turned to him. The white-haired male frowned.
"This is unbelievable."
"Um Jiraiya-san, should we wake him?"
Naruto's snores only became louder.
"What the hell," He mentally roared. He then grabbed a book. He slammed the book onto Naruto's head. The blond male instantly shouted.
"Ouch, goddamn it." he grabbed his head in pain. "Old man what the hell?"
"Brat," Jiraiya shouted out just as loudly. "What is wrong with you? I didn't ask you here to sleep."
He rubbed his head. "Well maybe if these meetings weren't boring as shit…"
Several gasps went around the board room. Then again Jiraiya getting into it with his godson hadn't been a new thing either. Several times they had all seen the two of them arguing with one another, usually over very silly matters.
"Naruto," he gripped his fist. "Just sit okay, sit down."
"That's okay Jiraiya-san I think we can conclude this meeting. We'll meet again next month alright?"
"Of course," Jiraiya nodded. "Good day gentleman, oh and lady." He nodded to the only female member of the group.
The partners then exited the boardroom leaving Naruto and Jiraiya alone.
"Honestly Naruto you need to take this more seriously. You will eventually be running things at some point."
The blue-eyed male nodded for as his father's only child and heir he'd have to take over one day, unless some other actions needed to be taken.
"I know but Jiraiya you know that I don't really have a head for this kind of thing."
He agreed business certainly wasn't the young man's cup of tea per say.
"This is Minato's legacy, naturally you and only you should have this. Don't worry Naruto I will help you until one day you're up and running this company just like Minato did. You do want to pass the legacy down to your own children one day don't you?"
He froze almost immediately at Jiraiya words because those eventual children would be with Ino, his fiancée and soon to be wife. Having kids with her had been so far from his mind especially when he was still finding it hard just to be alone with her.
"Hell," he thought. "We haven't even kissed yet. Making kids takes more than just kissing."
Naruto then gave a weak smile. "Um, sure, yes I want to secure a future for my children."
"Right," Jiraiya nodded. "Besides." He grinned. "I don't think Ino-chan will be too thrilled with you if you ran the company into the ground and couldn't support her and that future family of yours."
Naruto's eyes widened. He didn't want to even imagine anything like that. He'd die before not being able to take care of his family one day. Of course he'd do anything to take care of them. He found himself suddenly uneasy he should be getting so upset especially with matters so far away in the future. He hadn't even kissed the blonde yet. The wedding wasn't happening tomorrow. Having an intimate relationship and this alleged future family should most definitely be the last thing on his mind. It wasn't something that could be avoided forever though, since it would have to be discussed at some point.
"Heh," Naruto laughed. "That most definitely won't happen and if it does I can always live off of Ino." He joked. "Isn't she loaded too? Her family have as much as we don't they?"
Jiraiya nodded. "It's either equal or a bit more. Inoichi had a lot of different businesses. He was a brilliant man to do business with; everything he touched seemed to be gold. Just like Minato, it's not wonder why they got along so well."
"Yeah, so well that they decided hey let's make our children get married one day." Naruto sighed with Jiraiya laughing. He then placed his hand to his spiky head.
"It's going to be okay Naruto. You're overthinking too much that's part of your problem. You need to let go around Ino-chan and be yourself. I have a good feeling about you two, but you need to give it a chance. Speaking of which have you spent any more time with her."
Naruto shook his head. "We spent almost a whole day together but not again since then."
Jiraiya nodded. "I want you to try more Naruto. Take her out on a real romantic date, even if it's something simple each day from here on out do something with her."
Naruto knew of course the white-haired male was right. The only way to get more comfortable with the blue-eyed female was to spend time with her. It hadn't been so bad in fact he found some enjoyment out of it.
"I know I will." Naruto promised. "Hey did you know she speaks both Chinese and French."
Jiraiya could hear how impressed he sounded. "See the more you learn the more you'll be surprised, and don't be afraid to let her know you too, okay Naruto."
"Alright then," he pushed the boy slightly. "Get a move on Naruto, go on and surprise her with something. I'm sure Ino-chan will love it."
He didn't quite know what to do but he'd figure it out. "Okay I'm off then. I'll see you later."
"Yea, I'll see you later kid."
Jiraiya then watched the blond male leave the room. "You'll be okay Naruto I have faith in you."
Ino had decided she'd do some sightseeing of her own. She had no idea when Naruto was going to come back and there was the chance he'd go straight to his room and avoid her again. It made her kind of sad actually to think about.
"Oh well," she tried to smile. "It's a beautiful day. I might as well try to enjoy it."
Honestly a part of her did wish Naruto was here not only just for the company but also because he lived here. He knew the area well. He could be her tour guide but the plus side was that this did give her the chance to figure some stuff out on her own. The streets were so different, everything here was different.
"Yep I'm definitely not in China anymore." she blinked curiously at the different shops she passed. "I don't have the slightest idea where I 'am." luckily for her she did have a map. She almost left without it but Shizune had insisted on her taking it.
"Ino-chan you don't intend to go out all alone, do you? You don't know the area that well. Will you at least let someone go with you?"
Ino gave her guardian a determined smile. "Shizune-chan please, do not worry about me. I can't wait around for Naruto all day. I'm dying to see the sights."
The dark-haired female did not blame Ino for being so eager to get out there and see the town. She had been away for so many years. She more than likely wanted to get re-acquainted with things.
"I understand Ino-chan but please be careful and take this map."
Ino shrugged but still took the map from Shizune. "Thank you Shizune."
She then grabbed the young woman and wrapped her up in a tight hug.
"Whoa." Ino exclaimed. "Shizune…." She tried to breathe.
"Be careful and call me if you get lost or need me, okay?"
She felt the panic in the dark-eyed woman. She was truly beginning to freak out here.
"Shizune-chan please let me go. I can't breathe."
"Oh," Shizune realized quickly hot tight she had hugged the blonde. She didn't intend to over react that way but the thought of her little mistress hurt and alone in a new city didn't sit well with her. She'd never be okay with that.
"Forgive me, just stay safe."
Ino nodded then smiled. "Don't worry I'm going to be fine and I'll be back before you know it. Bye Shizune-chan."
She sighed while looking at the map unfortunately for her map reading wasn't exactly her strong suite.
"Heh," Ino laughed nervously. "I'll just go ask somebody. I'm sure people wouldn't mind helping out a poor, defenseless woman." She teased in a joking manner for she certainly wasn't defenseless by any means.
All she wanted to do was see some sights, maybe do a bit of shopping, and perhaps find somewhere to eat that had good food since Naruto refused to take her to his favorite place. She still didn't know the reason why that was.
"Oh well if I start walking maybe I'll run into someone who can help me."
The blue-eyed female picked a different direction and started. She had to admit the scenery here was really lovely, endless waves of green grass, tall gorgeous trees, and little ponds.
She knew now that she had definitely not been heading towards a city area.
"Well shit," she cursed. "I should have probably thought this out better."
She once again tried to take out the map and began doing her best in reading it. "I need to find a train or a bus maybe."
She turned back in the opposite direction. There seemed to be more people that way anyway. "I'll ask one of them."
Up ahead she noticed a boy walking a very large dog.
"Hey," Ino immediately recognized the boy. She smiled then waved to get his attention. "Kiba-kun," she shouted out.
The brown-haired male who had headphones in his ears did indeed see the platinum-blonde. He stopped his mp3 player then stopped in front of her.
"Hey," he smiled. "Hey Ino-chan what's going on?"
"Kiba-kun you have no idea how glad I' am to see you. I could hug you."
Kiba smiled with a slight blush on his cheeks. He nervously ran a hand through his hair. It couldn't he helped the girl was absolutely beautiful even if she was technically off the market in a matter of speaking.
"Heh, are you coming on to me Ino-chan. I guess now that you've met me Naruto is a thing of the past?" he joked with her.
Ino blinked but laughed as well. "Aw, Kiba-kun you know I'm very much taken, not that you aren't a cutie."
He blushed harder at her comment. "T-Thanks,"
"I have a friend back home who would be perfect for you." She immediately thought of her brown-haired friend named Tenten. She basically grew up with the girl back in China. Thinking about her made her feel quite sad at the moment Kiba noticed.
"Oh, hey are you alright?"
'Hai." She gave a bright smile. "I just got a bit homesick."
He understood it had to be difficult on her being so far away from the place she had called home for years. Up until returning she did have a life, friends, and a daily routine of her own.
"I know that you must miss China and we aren't much but you do have Shika and me now. We'll basically be family once you and Naruto tie the knot."
Ino agreed since the two of them were his best friends. They probably all felt more like brothers rather than best friends.
"Yes that is true."
"So don't worry about a thing. Naruto is a standup guy. I'm sure you'll find out more once you really know him."
The platinum-blonde hoped so as she said she didn't want either one of them to regret being married to one another, even if they didn't have some amazing epic story with timeless love and passion for the ages. She wanted them to at least be happy and care for one another. She truly appreciated Kiba's words.
"Thank you Kiba-kun,"
"Sure, why are you out here all alone? Isn't Naruto with you?"
"No." she shook her head. "I kind of wanted to see some sights. He left earlier to god knows where."
"Yeah, he's probably with Jiraiya-san. He'll have to eventually take over the business."
"Yeah he is Minato-sama and Kushina-san's only son. It'll be a lot of responsibility but," she paused. "I have a feeling he'll be okay. Jiraiya-sama is with him, and…" she felt her cheeks flush red. "He does have me now."
If he weren't a guy Kiba would have nearly swooned at the situation because of how utterly sweet it seemed. Ino was just as nervous as Naruto. She appeared to have better control over it than the whisker-marked male but both blonds were definitely uneasy.
"Yea he'll be fine. What's he got to complain about, he's rich, he'll be running a successful company, and he'll have a hot wife to come home to?"
Ino laughed. "Hey, are you coming on to me now? Kiba-kun if we're going to have a hot, steamy affair behind Naruto's back let me know ahead of time so that I can be prepared."
The brown-haired male laughed. She had quite the sense of humor. He knew he'd like having the blue-eyed female around. He also had a feeling she would be good for Naruto.
"Hah, oh yea I'm in. We'll be all hot and crazy too, fooling around every time he leaves the house. He'll never suspect a thing." Kiba joked. "Anyway I need to go I have to finish walking Akamaru." He referred to his rather large white dog.
Ino's eyes widened. She couldn't believe that they had been talking this long and she hadn't noticed the huge dog.
"Aw, he's the biggest dog I've ever seen but he's so cute." She bent down to pet the dog that didn't bark but only seemed to melt at her soft touch.
"Woof," he barked happily.
"Wow," Kiba whispered. "He doesn't usually let many people touch him. He must like you a lot Ino-chan."
"I like him too." She smiled. "We'll be good friends wont we Akamaru-kun?" she gently stroked his face.
"Woof, woof." He licked at her face which made her laugh.
"Okay well I have to go too. Kiba-kun where are all the shopping areas?"
"Ah," he nodded. "There are a lot of popular places but you need to head to the main shopping area. It can get kind of crazy but it's worth it. Just walk about two blocks and catch the bus it will put you off right in front."
"Arigato." She hugged him. "You're a lifesaver Kiba."
"Sure don't mention it. I'll see you around."
"Bye," she gave a wave then headed in the direction that Kiba told her. However it was when the blonde female had gotten on the bus and sat down only to realize something very important.
"Shit, I didn't find out anything at all." It had completely slipped her mind to ask. "Oh well," she decided. "I will ask next time."
Naruto arrived home as usual greeted by several servants on the way. He walked into the dining area to see Shizune sitting with a cup of tea kind of nervously reading through a newspaper.
"Hey Shizune-san, good afternoon…um…" he noticed her behavior right away. "Are you okay?"
The dark-haired female looked up to see Naruto.
"Oh," she smiled. "Good afternoon Naruto-kun. I'm well.
She didn't look like it too him.
"Are you sure? Is anything wrong?" He went to sit down.
"No, nothing is wrong. Thank you Naruto-kun for the concern."
He then decided to just leave it alone. "Alright as long as you're sure um, if you need anything at all though don't hesitate to ask. You're going to be family after all."
He knew how important Shizune was to Ino and how important Ino was to her. Shizune just gave a bright smile.
"Thank you Naruto-kun. I appreciate that." She then noticed that he had a bag with him. "Oh." She started. "Is that a gift for Ino-chan?"
"Yea," Naruto nodded. "I don't know if she will like it. You know her better than anyone so maybe you can tell me."
He took out the teddy bear that happened to be colored purple. Shizune's silence however made him nervous.
"Um, she doesn't like stuffed animals does she?"
"What," Shizune looked up. "Oh no, she still loves stuffed animals. She'd probably kill me for saying so but she has quite the collection back home. In fact," she looked closely at the purple bear. "This one looks very similar to one that Inoichi-san gave to her. It's also in her favorite color."
"Yea she told me that she liked purple. It's part of the reason why I got it."
"That was very good thinking Naruto-kun." She thought impressed. "Ino-chan will love this."
"Good." He sighed in relief. "I want to give it to her now. Is she in her room?"
Shizune who had stopped to finish the remainder of her tea looked at him. "Oh I'm sorry Naruto-kun she's not here."
"Hm," he blinked. "She's not here?"
"No, Ino-chan had been feeling rather restless so she decided to do a little sightseeing."
Naruto's eyes looked as if they were about to fly out of his head. Ino was out there all alone with no real idea where she was going. Anything could happen to her out there.
"What," he shouted. "You aren't serious?"
Shizune nodded in confirmation. "She left a while ago."
"Shit," he thought. "She didn't think to get someone to go with her? She doesn't know the area. She could get lost or…" He stopped for he didn't want to start thinking more bad thoughts than necessary.
"I gave her a map. Once Ino-chan makes up her mind there is little changing it, if at all." Shizune added.
"Oh boy," Naruto sighed. He grabbed his keys. "I have to find her right away. I'll let you know when I find her Shizune-san okay."
"Sure, oh and perhaps you should bring the gift. It will be a nice gesture."
He agreed then grabbed the bag too.
"Thanks Shizune-san, bye." With that he ran outside of the house and to his car. Shizune could only smile.
"It is nice to see you already begin to care Naruto-kun. Ino-chan you are in good hands."