This chapter, though long, is merely a branch between last chapter and the next. Once again, bear with me as I attempt to put that spark back into my writing.
Chapter 6: First Act Scene 2 of the Translucent Girl
"I'm a freaking ghost." Ino cried as she floated in front of a mirror but saw nothing at all. She floated upside down and right side up repeatedly in a cartwheel motion, tears falling both up and down as she did.
Inoichi sighed as he heard his daughter still complaining as she had been doing for the past ten minutes upon discovery of her body. "Ino, why don't you look at the bright side. You may be the first person to figure out what exactly this ability of ours does. Why don't you go experiment?" He called, hoping to just get the girl out of his hair while he had field medics take Ino's body to the hospital.
"I don't wanna!" Ino whined again, this time reminding Inoichi of how she had been when she was younger. Those were words he had hoped he wouldn't ever hear again, but unfortunately, his memory proved to be just as good as you would expect a Yamanaka's to be.
"Ino, eat your vegetables, it'll make sure you keep your figure!" Inoichi tried to feed his four year old daughter some broccoli but she turned away vehemently.
"I don't wanna!"
"Ino, eat your meat, the protein will keep you strong and fit!" Inoichi coaxed his five year old daughter.
"I don't wanna!"
"Ino, eat something please, you're wasting away to nothing!" Inoichi pleaded with his 12 year old daughter.
"I don't wanna! Now look out, our genin test is today!"
Inoichi sweat dropped. 'Was that last week?'
Ino had heard her father's thoughts and rolled her eyes before floating towards the door of the flower shop. "I'm going already daddy, geez!" She threw her hands up in frustration though she knew he wouldn't see it. Without so much as stopping, she flew right through the wall of the shop.
'Stupid water being slippery. Stupid daddy being so nonchalant. Stupid ability to walk through walls like a real...ghost...' Ino paused as she floated in the middle of the road. To confirm the realization she had just come too, somebody threw a ball that soared right through her. She hadn't even felt it. "HOLY CRAP, THIS IS AWESOME!"
Before she could think more on what she could do with her new 'ability', the boy whom had thrown the ball ran right through Ino as well. This time, she did feel something. Her entire being pulsed outwards and she could feel her heart rate rise exponentially. A bright flash occurred as this happened as well, and when Ino could see again, she had no control of her body.
She felt really short and stubby. For some reason, she was running after a ball with her hands outstretched. When she reached the ball, she noticed it was the same one that had flown right through her. However, the hands that picked up the ball were far too small and chubby to be her own. "I got it!" She felt herself call out, however it most definitely wasn't her voice. She wasn't a boy, and she had already hit puberty.
As the body that wasn't hers began to run back towards the other waiting children, Ino tried to stop herself from moving. After just a moment of resistance, another flash blinded Ino and she was on the ground, watching as the little boy she had just entered ran towards his friends. She floated back up right and patted herself down.
"What the hell was that?" She wondered aloud, frustrated that more weird things were happening to her. However, she wasn't so naive as to not realize that she may had just figured out yet another ability that came with being a ghost. 'It was almost like our shintenshin jutsu, but I couldn't control his body. Or at least, I didn't try. He didn't know I was there either so he wouldn't have been able to push me out with his will. That's pretty neat.'
Ino made sure to avoid running into people again, however, not being sure if the ability had any negative repercussions or not. She would really enjoy getting to understand the ability however, she was still more worried about getting back into her own body than into someone else...
"SASUKE-KUN!" Ino immediately thought and flew straight upwards. She spun around in a circle with a birds eye view of the village until she found the Uchiha compound. Just as she was about to fly over and see if he was home, Ino heard her father's voice again.
"Ino, go to the Hokage's office and see if you can communicate with him. I'll be there in a short while."
Looking down, Ino saw her father walking with two medic nin. They had a stretcher, no doubt holding her body, but the sheet was pulled all the way over as if she were truly dead. The sight made her stomach drop and the fear of being dead returned to her full force. Screw going to see Sasuke, her father was right. "B-but how daddy? How will he hear me? Only you can hear me right now!"
"You should still be able to use shintenshin baby girl, but I'm not completely sure. You're pretty bright, Ino, I'm sure you'll figure something out."
Ino wanted to scream that it was total bull, but not trying was worse than failing. With only a huff, Ino changed course and flew towards the Hokage's office. Inoichi knew she was gone as she said nothing else. What he really wanted was for Ino to stay away from the hospital, stay away from Sasuke, and actually experiment with being disembodied. This was a rare chance for the Yamanaka clan to possibly develop another technique that would put their name out their again.
With Ino, she realized she could fly extremely fast. Usually it would take at least five or six minutes to reach the Hokage's office from their flower shop, and that was through roof hopping. Being able to fly, Ino reached it in thirty seconds flat. Without slowing again, Ino flew right through the walls of the office. However, she hadn't expected so many people to be in the office at the time either. She saw the Jonin sensei for Sakura's team, Kakashi she remembered his name being. The Hokage was at his desk, Iruka-sensei was there for some reason and Naruto had just sat down. Having taken in all of the patrons of the office in literally moments, Ino didn't have enough time to slow herself down before she flew straight into Naruto.
Once again a bright flash blinded her and she felt her presence spreading outwards. Her heart rate sped up and when she was able to see again, she was looking directly at the Hokage.
'Shit, this wasn't supposed to happen!' Ino cried and immediately began trying to leave Naruto's mind. However, no matter how much she tried to remove herself from his mind, she couldn't so much as hear the outside world. It was as if something was blocking her from getting out. 'What the hell? Shit, I knew this ability was too good to be true!'
"Naruto-kun, I'm going to ask you some questions and I want you to be honest with me. There will be dire consequences to any lie that you tell me." The Hokage's voice spoke to Ino/Naruto.
Ino stopped struggling as she noticed how tense the atmosphere was. Naruto was scared, she knew. Not because she could feel his emotions. It was because the way the Hokage spoke frightened her as well. 'What the hell did you do now Naruto?' She wondered and took in the scene.
"A-alright Hokage-sama..." She felt Naruto tremble.
"What happened to you the night you fought and defeated Mizuki." The Hokage asked. Ino gasped.
"N-Naruto defeated Mizuki-sensei? But how, Mizuki-sensei's a chunin! I thought Iruka-sensei defeated him!" To answer Ino's question and then some, Naruto begin to explain that night...and everything that followed.
Ino was once again trying her hardest to break free of Naruto's mind. This was all too much for her. Naruto could see the future? Plus he had the Kyubi inside of him! On top of that, the things that he had said were most definitely within the books she had read. "This can't be real! There's...there's no way Naruto can see into the future!"
"Soul raping brat. Stop your miserable screeching and come to me." A booming voice shook Ino's very existence, and she dropped to her knees. To her surprise, she was no longer seeing through Naruto's eyes. She was in a long sewer like corridor. However, the voice took the forefront of her thoughts as she knew exactly what it was that was calling out to her. If what Naruto told the Hokage was true, then the voice could only belong to …
"K-Kyubi?" Ino whimpered out, realizing she would have wet herself if this was the real world.
Meanwhile, at Konoha Hospital...
"Um...Inoichi-sama, sir..." A Nurse, Ms. Naniko Aika, called to the Head Yamanaka. Inoichi was just finishing up legal documents to have Ino admitted into the hospital for an undetermined amount of time.
"Yes, what is it?" Inoichi handed another nurse the documentation and entered the room where his daughter was.
"Um...I don't know why...but your daughter just wet herself."
Inoichi paled and turned away. "That's...that's very unfortunate. Please undress her and burn the clothes."
"Sir?" Ms. Aika asked in confusion.
"If anyone finds out about this and Ino finds out, she'll kill everyone and then herself. Please be rid of the evidence."
"Yes sir!" Naniko cried, now seeing how dire the situation was.
"Very smart, brat, now make your way to me if you want to live."
Every fiber of Ino's existence was screaming not to do it. However, she was positive that the Kyubi would kill her either way. On a whim, she began to swiftly float through the sewer like space, rounding corner after corner with only one direction to go. Soon, she came to an opening that was of a large red cell with a seal on it.
"Welcome, Yamanaka brat." Kurama spoke directly to her now, his voice no longer echoing around her. Ino trembled and swallowed in fear before finding the sliver of courage to speak.
"Wh-what do you want from me?"
Kurama walked directly in front of the cell, letting Ino see just how large and menacing he really was. He sat on his hind legs and let his tails sway around him. Ino, not wanting to look the demon in the eyes, watched its tails hypnotically. However, that's when she noticed something.
"Only seven?" She asked aloud on accident, though she realized as she was, thinking would have done no different.
Before Kurama could answer her, everything around them changed once more. In an instant, Ino was surrounded by rapidly flashing images. Each one seemed to be set within a large picture frame all their own, but they were moving as if they were movies. She looked around in horror, afraid that the Kyubi was doing something to harm her. However, she saw the fox's eyes shifting rapidly and taking in all of the images as well. Calming down just a bit, Ino began to look at the images and put two and two together.
"The...the future?" She wondered aloud. Then some of the pictures began to burn away and in their places, new pictures formed. That part, she didn't understand.
As she raked her brain for a meaning, she saw a picture that showed Naruto sitting on Hokage mountain with Hinata on his lap. The scene made her blush and she smiled that Hinata would finally get her chance to be with Naruto like she had wanted. However, the scene burned away and revealed Naruto sitting with Sakura in the same position. Ino's eyes widened and anger filled her slightly. 'Is it showing what's going to happen or what could happen? Sakura did say she spent the night with him...'
Once more her thoughts were interrupted as the scene burned again. Ino's jaw would have hit the ground if it physically could. Sitting on Naruto's lap this time was Ino herself, a look of sheer joy and bliss shining through. The scene did not remain long and burned away to reveal other different scenarios, and though Ino didn't want to take it all in, she somehow was able to retain all of the information. Something that stung at her heart was watching her and Shikamaru's father be killed by the Juubi. All of it was clear to Ino now. Naruto really could see into the future, and things were changing because of him. Even with a clear concise view on everything, Ino forced herself to remember the picture of herself, Hinata, and Sakura with Naruto, more so than dwelling on her father's and uncle's demise.
"That's...that's just...not possible..." She tried to make herself believe.
"You are quite lucky. I was going to eat your soul, but now that I know the truth, I suppose Naruto could use a mate like you."
"I-I'm not Naruto's mate! I don't even like him much! I like..." Ino paused. "I used to like Sasuke-kun..." The images of Sasuke leaving and then returning just on a whim pissed her off. She wouldn't dare say she liked Sasuke anymore. However, she was still having a hard time believing and processing so much information anyway. Frustrated, Ino pounded the ground and shed tears. "Why can't I get out of here! I don't want to see what Naruto does! I don't want to feel what he does! This is messed up for both of us!"
"You cannot leave because of this seal, unfortunately." Kurama answered her. "Forcing yourself inside of Naruto wasn't very wise. The seal will not let any foreign entity leave him, regardless of if it is me or not."
"But I didn't force myself in!"
"Ino, the way you flew in here was like using your soul as a battering ram. Even if Naruto's mental defenses would have been ready to kick into gear, you would have broken them apart with little effort, and probably left the kit in a psychological shit storm."
Ino frowned. She hadn't tried to break into Naruto's body. She understood that she needed to be more careful about navigating as a ghost too. "How do I get out?"
Kurama did not answer her for a moment. His ears were perked up and she realized he was listening for something. Then he snapped his attention to her, making her flinch at the sudden movement. "Ino, come into my cage, Naruto will be here in a moment!"
"Wh-what? I don't want to go in there, you're going to eat my soul!" Ino started panicking. How could she trust the Nine-tailed demon of all things?
"You saw the truth, so I know you don't believe that! Unless you want to explain to Naruto why you're within his body, I suggest you get in here and hide, now!"
Ino could feel Naruto's presence coming. Her heart rate picked up again and with only a moment of hesitation, she flew into the Kyubi's cage. On his side, everything was almost pitch black. The air was humid and dank, but the most oppressive thing of all was Kurama's aura. Ino knew she couldn't dare stand as close she was to the Kyubi in real life. It would only prove to suffocate her.
"Be silent and watch." Kurama whispered, hiding her with one of his tails. From their distance, she didn't suppose Naruto could see the Kyubi within his cell either. However, the tail that she was hiding behind began to dissolve. Kurama tensed, she noticed, and planted his muzzle into the ground, clasping his paws over his snout. Ino could tell he was holding back from yelping out in pain.
"Wh-what's happening to you?" Ino whispered in a panic. Kurama didn't answer until his entire tail was gone. Being able to see clearly, Ino saw Naruto hugging a red haired woman whom she knew was his mother now and his father, The Fourth Hokage himself. "Whoa..."
Kurama shook himself of the receding pain and stood to his full height. "Just continue to watch, Ino. You'll know when to come out."
"FOR KAMI'S SAKE CAN YOU PEOPLE SHUT UP?" Kurama suddenly roared, making Ino cringe at the powerful wind that accompanied his roar. Her eyes widened as she watched him stride forward, most likely into the eye sight of the others. Naruto, on the other hand was simply laughing while his parents both looked to have been scared shitless from the roar.
"Kurama's awake!" Naruto called through his laughs.
"Dammit, can't a guy sleep for three years without disembodied chakra spirits and psychic brats waking him up every two days?"
Ino sweat dropped, having a feeling that both 'disembodied chakra spirits' and 'psychic brats' referred to her more so than Naruto and his parents. She wanted to call the fox an ass hole but followed its orders and remained silent. Ino felt different emotions as she spied on the conversations of Naruto and his parents.
When Kushina and the Kyubi bantered back and forth she wanted to laugh. When Kurama explained the reason he was losing his tails, she wanted to cry just as Naruto did. However, the scene that showed Naruto and the baby fox made her heart swell with admiration, joy, and sadness. She wanted to run and pick up the kit, but also to hug Naruto. The last thought made her blush a bit.
The thought grew even stronger however as Kurama began to question Naruto about taking care of his kit. Ino could feel the immense emotional pain Naruto was enduring. He was trying his hardest not to cry and Kurama was trying his hardest to get him to let it all out. Kushina and Minato knew what the Kyubi was doing as well and were on standby to comfort him once he broke down. Tears fell from Ino's eyes at the scene. She was understanding more and more what Naruto went through, and on a particularly off-topic side note, wondered if the three authors of the books she had read could see the future as well.
Once Naruto finally did break down, Minato and Kushina instantly began to comfort him. Ino hugged herself, feeling even more as if she were watching something she shouldn't be. After a short while, the cage to the Kyubi's cell suddenly opened and Kurama walked out to join the family. A bit after that and Naruto was soundly asleep.
"You can come out now Ms. Yamanaka." Minato called to her. She gasped, not having realized that he knew she was there. However, she should have known that the Fourth Hokage of all people would be able to sense her. Ino walked out, holding one of her arms sheepishly.
"I thought I felt someone in there, but I couldn't be sure." Kushina whispered while giving Ino a welcoming smile.
"I-I'm sorry to intrude. Now that the seal is down, can I leave?" Ino questioned. Minato shook his head sadly.
"Unfortunately, I didn't remove the seal. It's still active." He pointed to the ground where the paper seal that had been on the bars merely attached itself to the floor and kept glowing. "I've only allowed Kurama some breathing space."
"Which I'm thankful for Namikaze-teme." Kurama acknowledged politely.
"Your wel-hey, wait a minute!" Minato's voice rose. Kushina bopped her husband over the head.
"Shush you idiot! Don't wake Naruto up yet!" She scolded in a whisper. Ino smiled again, however, the scene kind of reminded her of Naruto and Sakura than anything else. The thought made her sad just a bit. Kushina looked to Ino and shook her head. "I hate to admit that my personality may be very similar to Sakura's, but believe me when I say that I love Minato with all my heart. If Sakura could find it in herself to truly love Naruto as much as I love Minato, then I would approve of a relationship between them. However, I can't see that happening in the near future, and apparently neither does Naruto."
Ino nodded at the explanation. She had forgotten that even while thinking, the others could hear her. So instead of beating around the question that she was going to end up thinking anyway, she asked it aloud. "What...what about me?" She blushed at her words. She wasn't asking because she wanted to be with Naruto. It was only because she couldn't avoid thinking of the question anyway.
Kushina smirked sadly. "Unfortunately, I feel the same way about you Ino. You're just as infatuated with the thought of Sasuke as Sakura is. I wish Mikoto were here to put that boy straight, but that's not to be. And you and everyone else stroking his ego twenty-four seven isn't helping. I think both you and Sakura need to take some time to understand what being a kunoichi is first before you think about dating."
"I'm definitely not infatuated with Sasuke anymore!" She said quickly. "After everything I've seen, I don't think I'll be able to look at anyone else the same, especially Naruto and Sasuke..." She sighed. What was unspoken, yet heard by all, was that she wouldn't be able to look at herself the same either.
"There is more for you to see as well." Kurama spoke through telepathy, making it so his booming voice was only heard by the three awake people. He obviously didn't want Mount Kushina blowing its top on him.
Minato nodded in agreement. "When Naruto awakes, there are a few more things that we will need to discuss with him Ino. I don't think he's ready to know that you also know the truth. We'll be able to do that later."
The Yondaime's words made Ino's stomach drop, as she realized she truly would be stuck inside of Naruto for a long time. "Wait, so you'll still be here even when Naruto wakes up?"
Both of Naruto's parents nodded. "I don't really understand it, but I don't feel the chakra that me and Kushina left inside of Naruto diminishing at all. It's only a theory, but I don't think we'll be disappearing until the points in time where Naruto was supposed to remove the seal and fight Kurama."
Ino thought about it. "So when Pein destroys the village and when Naruto is at the Falls of Truth with Mr. Killer Bee."
"Your perceptions really good, Ino. You should use it more often." Kushina joked. Ino blushed at her words and looked away with a giggle.
"Geez, you remind me of..." Ino stopped speaking, but couldn't stop her thoughts. 'My mom...' She thought and instantly flinched as she realized they had heard.
"Ino..." Kushina started, but Ino waved her hand.
"It's fine, Mrs. Namikaze-sama. I was just remembering her..." Ino explained.
"I didn't know your mother personally, I'm sorry, and Kushina is just fine. We can talk later if you wish."
Ino just nodded, her mood having fallen from the single thought.
"Naruto will awaken soon. I believe it best you escort Ino down into his memories." Kurama suggested.
Ino looked up in confusion. "Why are we going to his memories? I don't want to intrude on Naruto's personal space more than I already have!"
"I think it's a bit too late for that, Ino." Minato said with a chuckle. "Besides, you've already learned of his deepest secrets."
"He's right. Plus, there are some things that you need to see about his past that weren't shown in his visions. And some things that you may have forgotten yourself." Kushina closed her eyes and a cluster of chains wrapped around themselves right next to Ino. As the chains began to glow white hot with a red outline, the light took the shape of Kushina. As the light faded, a clone of Kushina stood next to Ino.
"Come, we can have that talk too." The clone offered.
As Naruto stirred, Ino knew she had no choice. With a sad sigh, she began to follow the clone as they made their way deeper inside of Naruto's subconscious.
Kushina's clone remained silent as they walked through what now appeared to be a giant movie theatre within Naruto's mind. Ino hadn't used her families mind walk jutsu very often but the few times she had always yielded the same result. Ino would simply be walking in an ethereal plane and the persons memories would be slightly translucent images that flew about the area. Never had she seen such an expansive and well organized memory hall before.
"This...this place is amazing..." She whispered. Looking about some more, she saw that each room had a picture of what would be playing inside of each memory. They were even labeled. Some were 'Romantic Comedy', usually showing a picture of Naruto and Sakura with Sakura hitting Naruto and Naruto smiling with hearts in his eyes as if he enjoyed it. A lot of them were straight 'Comedy' and Ino recognized them as times Naruto had pulled pranks. The warm feeling Ino was getting from the place would slowly start sinking however.
Soon enough, most of the genre titles began to start with 'Drama' and even worse, 'Horror'. Ino swallowed at the thought of what could be showing in some of those rooms.
"We won't go in there just yet. We'll start with the things that you need to see first." Kushina's clone spoke sternly. The warmth that she had initially been showing Ino seemed to have drained away. Ino just nodded and continued to follow Kushina as she turned into a room with the genre 'Drama'. She saw the picture that sat in front of each room showed Naruto sitting with his knees pulled up to his chest as Sakura and Ino glared at him from above. She swallowed and realized why Kushina seemed to be a bit pensive.
As she expected, the room was also in the shape of an actual movie theater. Kushina led Ino to the center isle and sat right in the center seats. It felt weird to be within such a place while knowing she was still within Naruto's mind.
Also like the actual theater, the lights dimmed. Both Ino and Kushina would sweat drop however as the screen before them actually started showing previews.
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't cleave you in two right now?" The voice of Zabuza Momochi asked on the black screen. There was a pause.
"Because I've got too many precious people to protect to die right now." Naruto's voice responded.
The screen flashed to life showing Zabuza standing with his sword pointed at Naruto and Naruto standing with his back to the camera. The two were on the Great Naruto Bridge as it had yet to be named. No one else was in sight at the moment.
"Why should I care about your precious people brat?" Zabuza sneered. The camera would switch to show Naruto's face as he looked down. It zoomed in slowly building tension. Naruto's eyes would snap forward and glow blue.
"Because you and Haku are part of them."
The scene completely switched again as epic music began to play in the background. "Kakashi-sensei, we need to get everyone to the bridge now!" Naruto shouted at what appeared to be a time before his confrontation against Zabuza. He had just rushed into Tazuna's house.
"I don't believe that's an option anymore!" Kakashi sighed as the door to Tazuna's house opened all the way and showed Naruto and his team, as well as Kurenai and her team looking at Naruto with worried expressions.
"Fuck..." Naruto called with panic still in his eyes. The scene would switch once again, showing a birds eye view of a clearing.
"...It's hard to believe, Haku-chan, but it's all the truth. How could I possibly have known the things I've told you?" Naruto asked. The camera would show Haku on his knees and crying, while hugging himself.
"I..." Haku began. However, he looked up with tears falling still, but his face shown pure rage. "I believe that you are a spy! If you're here to hurt Zabuza-sama, then I will show you no mercy Naruto-kun!" Haku took out several senbon and stood to his feet.
"Haku..." Naruto spoke his name sadly. Haku flinched but grit his teeth.
"Don't do that!" He screamed and launched the senbon at the camera.
The scene would fade to black as the music suddenly stopped.
"You better have a damn good reason for dragging me here Jiraiya!" A woman's voice that made both Ino's and Kushina's eyes go wide called out.
"Believe me, hime. That kid is reason enough." Jiraiya responded.
The images came back and began to show fast scenes as the music started up again and built towards a climax. From what Ino saw, it showed Naruto and Zabuza clashing on the bridge, kunai against giant sword. Then it showed Sasuke upside down, flaring through hand signs before unleashing a giant fireball at a target off screen. It showed Kurenai-sensei get knocked off her feet by a powerful blast of snow only to be caught by Kakashi bridal style, making the female Jonin blush. It showed Sakura and Hinata standing in a clearing facing each other before they both dropped into a fighting stance and Hinata activated her byakugan. Then it showed the silhouette of a girl with a long ponytail walking out of the moonlight towards a wide eyed Naruto before the music finally reached its peak.
'Is that...is that me?' Ino wondered.
The scene went black and immediately began to freeze with ice. The ice shattered and showed the title of the movie in big frozen words.
"Mission To Wave!"
As the preview ended, both Kushina and Ino stared at the screen with wide eyes and gaping mouths. Kushina was the first to speak.
"That was epic! I can't wait until that comes out!" She called.
"It's not a real movie!" Ino face palmed. Kushina just shrugged.
"And now, your feature presentation." Naruto's voice echoed in the theater, drawing both kunoichi's attention back to the screen.
To Ino's relief, the image started just like how she would have viewed any other memory. There was no title screen, music, or effects. It was simply showing what Naruto had experienced back then.
As it was, it was showing Naruto as a child, probably only around seven or eight years old. The view was oddly not from Naruto's perspective though. Ino chalked it up to a subconscious look at things since people could never truly remember their past with one hundred percent detail. Either way Naruto was sitting on the swing that sat outside of the academy. A date flashed on screen, making Ino sigh that the memory did have effects, however, as she noticed the date, she understood what was going on.
"It's the day we all started the academy." She said, though she wasn't very familiar with the events of that particular day.
"Leave her alone, or do I have to teach you all a lesson again!" Ino's younger voice rang out from nearby. Naruto looked up and spotted Ino standing defiantly against a group of girls with Sakura cowering behind her. At the head of the group, Ino noticed a young girl named Ami that had been in their class.
"Geez, I remember this now." Ino said with disdain, only to have Kushina shush her.
"You can't do nothing stupid Yamanaka! If you do, I'll tell Iruka-sensei on you!" Ami screeched.
Ino grit her teeth. "I'll tell on you first for picking on Sakura!"
"I-Ino, it's alright..." Sakura called from behind her friend. "Let's just go to my house please?"
Ino growled but seemed as if she would listen to Sakura. That was, until Ami threw dirt in Ino's face. Not a moment after and Ami had punched Ino right in the face, knocking the girl off her feet. The other girls joined in and began to kick Ino while she was down. Sakura was screaming for them to stop, but the girls just grabbed her by the hair and began kicking her as well. Naruto's heart skipped a beat as he watched it happening. Without hesitation, he stood to his feet. He knew he couldn't fight the girls, for more reason than one. However, in his fear that the two girls that were getting attacked would be seriously hurt, Naruto drew on a power that he didn't realize he had.
For a brief moment, Naruto's eyes began to glow red. He made a single hand sign and in a silent plume of smoke, transformed himself into Iruka-sensei. Walking over to the two downed girls, he shouted. "Hey! What are you doing! Get off of them right now!"
The girls froze in fear as they heard Iruka's voice.
Ino, in the movie theater suddenly gasped. She remembered completely now. Tears welled in her eyes as she knew how the memory would end.
"I-Iruka-sensei! This isn't what it looks like!" Ami sniffed and pretended as if she were about to cry. 'Iruka' just glared.
"You needed a whole group of people to mess with two little girls! You're pathetic! All of you are expelled! Get off of school property and never come back!" Naruto yelled in Iruka's voice. The entire group of girls gasped and began to beg for Iruka not to. Now, all of them truly did start crying. However, Naruto once again pulled upon the power that he didn't know he had and activated another jutsu.
"GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!" He screamed out using Iruka's big headed jutsu. The girls scattered after that. Once they were all gone, he turned to the two down and sobbing girls. In another silent plume of smoke, Naruto returned to normal.
"Are you two alright?" He asked kneeling next to them. Ino was the first to try and sit up.
"Wh-who are you?" She asked. She had seen him in their class, and was pretty sure she had seen him around the village a few times, but she didn't remember his name. Even more, the boy looked away in worry at her question.
"That's...that's not important right now. I should go get Iruka-sensei-" Naruto was cut off as Ino threw her arms around his neck in a hug and fresh tears flooded her face.
"We...we're gonna be ugly now! Look what they did to our faces!" Ino cried. Naruto was awkward from the position and nudged Ino off of him without offending the girl. Looking at her face, he saw that she had a black eye and a bruise on both her forehead and cheek. Her nose was bleeding and seemed a little pressed upwards, giving her the image of having slightly larger than normal nostrils.
"You're still pretty, Ino-chan. One of the most pretty girls I've ever seen. Sakura-chan too!" Naruto said innocently, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Ino's face flushed scarlet and she slowly stopped crying, wiping her tears but saying nothing.
Sakura began to stir and looked up at them, sniffling still. She had a big cut on her forehead, going up towards her scalp giving her the look of a larger than average forehead. She also had a black eye and bruises. When she saw who Ino was talking to, she shot up quick.
"N-Naruto-baka! Go away, we're not supposed to talk to you, monster!" Sakura cried and hugged Ino's back, as if trying to hide herself from him. She spoke in more fear than loathing though.
"Wh-what?" Naruto stuttered, fear evident in his face. Ino rose an eyebrow and craned her neck in Sakura's direction.
"What are you talking about Sakura?"
"Mommy said Naruto Uzumaki is a terrible boy! She said he turns into a monster at night and tries to steal away little girls like us so he can do dirty things to us and then eat us! That's why he's always alone, because he eats everybody that gets close to him!" Sakura's glare at Naruto did turn into scorn after that, and unfortunately, Ino's gaze followed as it landed back on him.
"That's not true! You're mom is a stupid liar!"
Ino gasped and then on impulse lashed forward with a punch, hitting Naruto right in the eye. Naruto fell back on his butt with a look of shock and hurt on his face. He looked up at Ino with tears in his eyes not from just the pain, but from the act itself. Ino stood up and glared at Naruto, though she was also conflicted on why she had hit him too. But she stood by what she was going to say.
"Mrs. Haruno is the nicest lady ever! If you call her stupid and a liar, then you must really be a bad guy! Go away you stupid monster and leave me and Sakura alone!" Ino yelled and for good measure kicked at Naruto, making him jump up in fear. However, as Ino looked into his eyes, it wasn't fear that he was showing. It was genuine hurt and sorrow. Naruto clenched his fist and looked down, biting his lip.
"I HATE YOU! YOU LOOK LIKE A STUPID PIG INO! AND SAKURA'S STUPID FOREHEAD IS BIGGER THAN STUPID INO-PIG'S BUTT!" With his shout, Naruto turned on heel and started to run.
The scene would fade with that, ending the memory. Ino had actually shed a single tear as the words were spoken and the actions of her younger self shown as bright as day before her. Kushina shook her head in disgust at the scene. However, she saw Ino's tear and remained silent, awaiting Ino's further reactions.
"I...I remember now. When I thought about that day, I forgot that it wasn't really Iruka-sensei that had come to save us. It was Naruto..." Ino closed her eyes and held back more tears as her awful words and treatment of Naruto repeated in her head, heard by Kushina non-the less. "That was awful...how could me and Sakura be so stupid as to believe that Naruto was a monster? He called Sakura's mom stupid and a liar and it just...made something snap in me. I didn't believe Sakura until he said that."
"Why? If Mrs. Haruno is so biased as to call Naruto a monster, then why would you believe she was the 'nicest lady ever'?" Kushina questioned with a knowing gaze. She understood the scene better than she let show, and hoped Ino would see it too.
Ino began to think of the time she spent with Sakura and Mrs. Haruno. Whenever they were together, Sakura's mom was always coddling them both. She pampered Sakura just as much as her father pampered her. She would take them out for ice cream and to the movies, and then cook them dinner before taking Ino home. She genuinely seemed like a nice person to Ino. However, she also began to remember the times she had been around Mrs. Haruno when they would see Naruto. The smile that was on the woman's face would fall and she would glare at Naruto, or sometimes even sneer angrily. Those were times in which she were slightly afraid of Mrs. Haruno.
"I..." Ino knew the answer now. "I thought she was nice because she treated me like her own daughter...because I don't have a mother and she was the closes surrogate to what I thought a mother was supposed to be like."
Kushina nodded and stood up. "Yet, that doesn't make you feel better about what you said and did to Naruto does it?"
Ino shook her head quickly. "Not one bit! I want to go in there and beat the shit out of me and Sakura for being so stupid! And I want to apologize to Naruto too..."
"You'll get your chance with that one Ino. But come on, this isn't over yet. There are a few more memories that Naruto has of you in a not so graceful light." Kushina's voice was once again neutral. Ino swallowed, not wanting to see anymore.
As they exited one room and headed towards another, Ino looked up at the genre again. "Wait...that was just a drama? That wasn't horror?" Ino asked.
"Not even close." Kushina sneered. "The things that Naruto has under horror will make you piss yourself in fear and kill yourself in sorrow."
Kushina said nothing else as she led Ino down the long movie hall. Ino looked down, not wanting to see the pictures and genre anymore. Trying her hardest to refrain from thinking at all, Ino accidentally ended up replaying the scene in her head.
"Mrs. Haruno is the nicest lady ever! If you call her stupid and a liar, then you must really be a bad guy! Go away you stupid monster and leave me and Sakura alone!" Ino kicked at Naruto again, however, he didn't budge. Instead, he began to cry just as she and Sakura were.
"Why Ino-chan? I'm not a monster! Please don't send me away!" Naruto cried out to her. Ino looked at Naruto and held her chest.
"I-I'm sorry Naruto-kun! I know you're not a monster, I don't know what came over me!" Ino said back.
"Then why did you say it? Why are you trying to hurt me like everyone else?" Naruto said wiping his eyes.
"I'm not Naruto-kun, I swear! I'll never do anything to hurt you again! And I'll stop everyone else from hurting you too!"
"Everyone?" A voice called from behind Ino and she turned around only to see the entire village of Konoha standing with torches and various weaponry. Ino snapped back to reality at that point, having walked right into Kushina.
"That was...interesting." Kushina stated with the first smirk Ino had seen on her face since they had entered into Naruto's memories. Kushina noticed that Ino had started calling her son Naruto-kun. Ino would have blushed but her mind was racing.
"You...I felt you! I didn't go inside you just now!" Ino said in amazement.
"That's probably because we're both ethereal right now." The red haired Uzumaki shrugged.
"And...is that what you were talking about?" Ino asked. "The horrors...are they...what the villagers do to Naruto-kun?"
Kushina's smile left again and she turned from Ino. "...Some of them, yes."
Ino's fist clinched subconsciously. Without following Kushina, Ino turned around and looked up at the genres again. Seeing the first horror label, she ran right in without hesitation. Kushina wasn't surprised. She let the trace of a sad smile form on her face again as she followed Ino in. "Looks like we're making progress." She whispered to herself.
Unbeknownst to Naruto as he exited the Hokage's office, Ino resided within his body along with his parents and Kurama. At the same time that Naruto had been speaking with the Hokage, Kakashi, Iruka, and Jiraiya, Ino had been going through his memories. Blissfully unaware of such, Naruto stepped out into the post-rain sunshine and took a deep breath. The smell of the lingering storm made him feel just as refreshed as he had that morning.
"This is going to be good!" Naruto thought as he made his way to training ground 7. Kakashi had told him that they would be having a training session that day, and that he would retrieve Sakura and Sasuke after he performed a few quick errands. Naruto shook his head at the thought. "Perverted sensei probably just wants to ask ero-sennin to autograph his porn collection."
Naruto made no detours himself as he ran towards the training fields. His mind was still on how everything had gone so well in the Hokage's office. He had allies in this fight now, and it truly made him happy. Saving the future seemed more and more possible. Also lingering in his thoughts, however, was the image of the three girls that had been with him on Hokage mountain. Naruto frowned and slowed to a stop, reaching the field. With a heavy sigh, he walked over to a tree and sat down.
"I want to believe that it means I'll be able to be with Hinata-chan...but why would I be with Sakura? And what the hell was I doing with Ino at all?" Naruto groaned. "I don't understand this anymore. The future keeps changing on me so I don't know what to plan for. And what happened to that 'Somethings aren't meant to be changed' bull crap? It seems like EVERYTHING has changed already."
A small breeze picked up, blowing gently over the area. Naruto calmed down from the natural occurrence, finding the wind to be his favorite element, even before he had known about his affinity. The wind didn't let anything stop it as it traveled, going any and everywhere. Even water had to follow a set path in its flow. The freedom of the wind made Naruto think of Hinata again.
"I still haven't saved her exactly. I...I want to tell her now. I don't want to wait any longer." Naruto closed his eyes and pictured Hinata's beautiful smile. It made him smile as well as it was directed at him.
However, the image of Sakura hugging him after the Gaara retrieval mission flashed into his head. He could vaguely feel it as well. It was a genuine and actual hug, the first real one that showed true affection from her. Naruto shivered at the image, only because he actually kind of liked it.
Finally, the image of Ino when they were younger popped into his head. It was the day they had started in the academy. Naruto had just told Ino he thought she was pretty, albeit, he said the same thing to Sakura too. Ino, with her hair short and picturesquely framing her face looked down and blushed. It was almost as adorable as Hinata when she smiled.
"You've got to be kidding me..." Naruto thought as he shook all of the images away. "What the hell did I do to start seeing Sakura and especially Ino like this? This just doesn't make any sense..."
"It's called the domino effect, Naruto." Jiraiya appeared before Naruto in a swirl of leaves.
"Ero-sennin, what are you doing here?" Naruto called, a bit happy to see his sensei again. Then his words registered. "Domino effect?"
"Stop calling me that, gaki. And yes, the domino effect. Every time you do something to change the future, it causes other variables that can have the same effect as well."
"I don't understand..."
"Let's say you're the first domino Naruto. When you are pushed forward in a row of other dominoes, what happens?"
"The other dominoes start falling, duh." Naruto spoke without sounding condescending. He was still trying to figure out what Jiraiya was getting at.
"At a certain point, the lanes of dominoes may become two. When the row that you pushed hits two dominoes at once from separate lanes, it cause two separate rows of dominoes to start falling. This can multiply infinitely in an open space."
Naruto rose an eyebrow, almost understanding what Jiraiya was trying to say but not quite. Jiraiya noticed and sighed.
"Look gaki, you changed one thing that effected someone else. Because they changed, they could effect other people as well. By using the rasengan before it was time, you changed Iruka and Hokage-sama's future. By changing them, they changed Kakashi and my future. From what you told us about the bell test, you completing the bell test must have changed your teammates. Get what I'm saying now? Your actions aren't the only ones that will change the future anymore Naruto."
Naruto had understood it partway through. It was so obvious! The future that he saw the very first time was what would have happened had he not performed the rasengan that night or used Kyubi's chakra. Or maybe even further, it was what would have happened if Kurama never gave Naruto a tail of his chakra.
'No, because I would be dead then...' A chill went down Naruto's spine as a very vivid and daunting image flashed into his mind.
"No...the future I saw...was if Mizuki-teme's shuriken never hit me..." Naruto saw it clearly. The shuriken had struck someone. But it wasn't Naruto.
It was Iruka.
The revelation would not have worried Naruto. That is, if the voice he had heard before wouldn't have spoken up.
"Something's aren't meant to be changed..."
Naruto knew immediately that he should have killed Mizuki. Because Iruka-sensei was still in danger.
A/N I honestly did not expect Ino's part to go on that long. It was supposed to be done in the last chapter, however, I see that would not have been a very good idea either. Anyway, thanks again for reading, both old and new readers. I wanted to put this chapter up as soon as possible due to the Ino scene so I could move on with the story.
I'm trying my hardest to establish all three girls parts in the story without moving too fast, but with the amount of things changing for everyone, it's getting harder to do without taking up a lot time that could be dedicated towards the actual plot line.
Forgive me for an obviously rushed ending and terrible cliffhanger, but I was debating on leaving this as a strictly Ino-oriented chapter, and I don't think many people would have liked that.
Well, with a blazing return like this, I suppose I should keep the momentum going and get started on the next chapter. (Already 4000 words into the next chapter before I posted this.)