A/N: Hey, everyone! Long time, no see :) Welcome to my ShikaxIno threeshot! I hope you all enjoy it! I'm writing this in lou of the time I've spent awayyyyy from FFnet! Hopefully, in the near future (for all those who have read my work), I will be able to FINALLY put up the sequel to One Step! YAYYY! Anyways, for returning readers, this story is different from the others in that I ACTUALLY HAVE EVERYTHING WRITTEN AND EDITED! This will all be done in the course of probably two weeks, TOPS! Excited, right?


Warning: This story has LEMONS so if you don't like, DON'T READ! It's rated M, soooo it's not for little kiddies!

Otay, ENJOY!

Therapy: A ShikaIno Story

Chapter o1: Babysitting Ino

"…Out on your own. Cold and alone again. Can this be what you really wanted, baby…?"

- Lacrymosa, Evanescence

She had been crying again. Any dumbass could tell by the woe-is-me face, and the way she tried to hide those big baby-blues behind her long, golden bangs. It was useless, though, really; like I said, any ignorant dumbass could tell. She looked different, though. The way she didn't pout her rosy, pink lips, or bitch and moan, or lie down with any Jack with a nice face that rounded the corner told me a lot, actually.

She was really serious.

She really did love him.

I rolled my eyes. Troublesome. Leave it to her to fall in love with some emotionless retard that wouldn't even change because he didn't know what emotions were. Leave it to her to reach for the impossible, because it was impossible. Leave it to her to try and change something unchangeable. And leave it to her to totally look past something that could actually be good for her…

I sighed.

What did he give her anyway—a few cold kisses, a warm bed at night, a couple "beautiful"s every once in a while?

Let it alone…

Leave it be…

"Ino." She didn't look up, didn't even move; didn't give any reaction to show that she knew I was even there. "It's two in the morning, you have an early shift today," I scolded, putting my hands into my pockets. "Let's get going."

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If you were to look into her opaque eyes, you wouldn't see anything except for the reflection of the sake cup sitting in front of her. A small piece of drool would probably be lingering on her lips, tears most likely mixing into it. Disgusting…and slightly…amusing.

I sighed and glanced at the bartender across the bar. He was cleaning a cup out, a pleading look in his eye.

I stuffed my hands even deeper into my pockets, and closed my eyes. This was getting tiring. I had just come home from a long mission, and napping was my top priority. Unfortunately, I had run into Yamanaka-san, and she was worried about her crazy daughter. It gets worse, though, believe me. Then she wanted me to find her so she could help with the flower shop. Yeah, me—the one who just got back from his mission. She wasn't with Sai or Sakura, and that said enough on its own. The girl hadn't been at the training grounds, and did not have any shifts at the hospital on Mondays, which lead me here.

Sad, the perfect princess everyone had thought her to be had recently made this her new hangout.

Oh yeah, this place was really jumping. I glared around at the dimming lights, and single drunk in the corner, and then at the queen of all drunks herself. She still hadn't moved; she was leaning on the table, and her hair was slowly falling into her mouth which stood ajar and onto her slumped shoulders. It was depressing, really.

"Ino, really, let's go. I'm tired, you're tired…"

I looked at the sole bartender that was now leaning against a wall and looking at the young Yamanaka in disbelief. "He's tired." I reached out with a click of my tongue and shook her shoulder. "Seriously, Ino!" Was my voice actually rising with her?

It was a full minute before I felt Ino twitch beneath my hand. She turned around and stared at me in astonishment. "Oh, Shikamaru!" She smiled, but the saliva still ran a wet, shiny trail down her chin. "I didn't see you there!" she slurred drunkenly.

I could feel my blood rising, but tried to calm down with another sigh and roll of my eyes. "I know, I know…" I murmured. "Now, can you stand?"

Why was I asking her this? Knowing her, she had probably emptied the whole bar. Some medic…

She closed her eyes, and wrinkled her nose as a throaty moan escaped her lips. "Stand?" A petite hand reached up to her tangled hair and scratched her head. "Why?"

"So that I can take you home," I answered.

"Home?" She sighed dreamily, and then laid her head on the bar top as if it was too much trouble to hold it up on her own. I was sure her world was spinning. "I don't have a home…" she moaned sadly.

I probably gave her the craziest look I had ever given anyone in my life, and then I sent the bartender a look of apology. "Ino." I gazed back at her, eyes tired, and hands on my hips. "What the hell are you talking about? Of course, you have a home." I had never seen the girl so drunk in my life. Well, maybe on some occasions, but Ino was usually very giddy, almost to the point of obnoxious slap-happiness at those times.

"No…" She shook her head, face still lying on the counter. "Sai…" she whispered sullenly, and I could hear the rising anger in her voice. "He kicked me out two days ago, that asshole…" By now, her head was already rising as well as a fist and she was shaking it at the worried bartender as if he were the cause of all her pain.

Her face was swollen and red, her eyes bloodshot and I knew what I was about to say would only make matters worse. "Ino, you were at Sai's house two days ago…"

I can promise you I'm not stalking this girl. Stalking Ino would be two crimes: one for stalking, and the second for it being crazy Ino. The reason I knew where she was then was the same reason I knew she was here. When sent by Chouji to go find her for training (it seemed like I was being sent a lot these days, but that's because everyone assumed I kept track of the chick 24/7), Sakura had said she hadn't heard from her in a while, it was too early for her Friday shift, she wasn't in her own apartment, and her parents hadn't seen her in the Yamanaka household the whole day. For an annoying bitch with too many mood swings to count, she wasn't really that troublesome to locate.

Ino looked straight ahead and then back down, slowly. "Oh," she whimpered, tears caught in her throat. I knew the water works were soon to come.

I closed my eyes and massaged the bridge of my nose as I heard another whimper come, and then another. "Alright, alright, enough already." I grabbed the girl's arm, turning her around in the stool, then bent over, hoisting the light girl over my shoulder. I wanted to take her somewhere where there were people to watch her, but I figured since Sakura's place and the Yamanaka household were all the way on the other side of town, and it was too troublesome to walk that far at night, that I would just drop her off at her place which was right around the corner.

Whose bright idea was it to house the girl right next to a bar, anyway?

The hiccup signaled her cries to stop, and I knew hell was coming. "Shikamaru!" she whined. "Don't hold me like this; I swear to Kami, I'll barf!"

I hissed as she punched me in the leg, then pulled her back over my shoulder and stared at the girl my arms were wrapped around. Her pretty aqua eyes were dimmed and half-lidded, her lips pursed and red and her red cheeks covered in part by both her long, blonde hair and a layered sheen of sweat. She was beautiful... "Ugh, Ino, you smell horrible!" I said as I inhaled the strong scent of liquor and saved myself from thinking about the girl as anything but annoying.

She groaned and tossed her head back, her knees buckling beneath her weight. If I hadn't been holding her waist, she would've slumped to the ground. "Just take me home…"

I did not even think of talking back and began walking out of the bar as quickly as I could. I glanced back at the bartender as I heard Ino moan at the movement. Her head was lying against my neck so it shifted slightly, and she closed her eyes.

"Sorry about this." I smirked at the bartender and rubbed the back of my neck sheepishly. Ino could be so embarrassing sometimes; I didn't even want to be associated with her. My tolerance for her foolishness these days was extremely low. "I'll be around tomorrow to pay for the princess' bill," I promised as I shook Ino a little to get my message across. She winced and then put her head into the crook of my neck.

"Shika…" she moaned, breath hot on my neck.

I felt my face grow hot, but swore it was because of the humidity. When she was like that, she was almost gorgeous... "Don't drool on me, Ino!" I barked. Another save.

The bartender chuckled. "No problem, Shikamaru, you guys have a nice night, alright?"

As I walked out, I waved at him and then shifted Ino around until one of her arms was over my shoulder. "You too. Goodnight."

Finally entering the warm summer air of Konoha at night, I gave a long, troubled sigh. Having to take care of Ino was being proven more than even a jonin like me could handle. I pitied whomever the girl ended up with in the end. The night was really quiet and peaceful since it was, I don't know, two in the morning. When I rounded the corner, I immediately saw the apartment homes in the distance, about a quarter of a kilometer away.

"Ugh, troublesome…" I murmured to myself. "Why me, anyway, huh?"

I heard Ino giggle. "Troublesome; what a funny word!" I rolled my eyes. She really was hammered; Ino hated that word.

I walked up the steps to Ino's two story penthouse (she was always so spoiled) and wiggled the doorknob. Locked. "Ino, give me your key," I ordered softly. Stupid command.

The blonde jumped out of my arms, and wobbled to the door. "You don't need a key, Shikamaru," she mumbled drunkenly. "Just open the damn thing!" She reached out, grasping at air.

"To your left," I sighed.

"I know what I'm doing!" she screeched, before finally getting her hand around the knob and shaking it forcibly. "You just gotta…shake it right, is all," she muttered to herself.

I stuffed my hands into my pockets, and leaned against the railing, allowing Ino to have her way with it for a couple of minutes. Finally, she growled, slamming her head against the door.



"The door's broken…"

"Of course it is…"

She let a few seconds pass.



"I lost my key…"

"I know."

Again, she let a few seconds pass and then sighed, a sign of her sobering up a little. With her head still against the door, she kicked it, before slowly slumping to the ground into one of those fetal positions. A small whimper passed through her lips and then she fell back, lying out on her porch, her sad, cerulean eyes sparkling like the stars in the night sky. After awhile her lips began to tremble, and she exhaled, closing her eyes tightly and throwing her arms over her face. Ino hated being seen while she was crying.

"Shikamaru, I'm so tired," she sobbed, shaking her head. I looked at her blankly, immediately knowing it wasn't just her state of sleepiness she was referring to. It was her relationship with Sai, her small (huge) drinking problem, and the pressure on her to become a great ninja. It was all too much for the girl to handle. "I'm just so tired…" she whispered, and then sniffled a little.

I closed my eyes, letting the blonde have a little time, and after a few sniffles and soft sobs, I knew she was done. She was quiet, adding in one more sniffle before exhaling deeply and moving one of the arms from her face. Ino let the arm dangle to the side and play with a plant in a flower pot next to her, not yet wanting to look me straight in the eyes while tears still danced and glided down her tan face.

Though it didn't seem like it, Ino was a big girl now. She didn't mope and cry for too long; the chick had her small time, and then went on with life. That's just how Ino was, and I found myself being a little proud of her.

I sat up from my comfortable spot on the railing and then leaned down, grabbing the girl's arm, and forcibly, but gently, pulling her up to her feet. "I know you're tired, Ino. You can sleep at my place." I didn't know what I was thinking in the first place. Leaving her alone could be dangerous, especially in her volatile state.

Though my apartment was pretty close, the Nara household was closer. We could stay there the night. It was funny; my parents loved Ino just as much as they loved Chouji. They would welcome the girl into our home with open arms.

I bent down and looked back at the blonde. "Get on," I ordered curtly. I knew she couldn't walk a straight line, let alone down stairs and all the way to my home. Without a word, my teammate jumped onto my back, and wrapped her arms around my neck. I stood up all the way, and wrapped my arms around her legs to keep her up, and then descended the stairs, beginning the short journey to my house.

"…The doctor tells me to relax and stand still, prescribes me a new pill to quell my anger.
Wish I could make her pull herself up off the floor

-Waiting, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Immediately, upon resting her head on my shoulder, Ino was asleep, and by the time we reached my house, I was dozing off as well. I walked up the long walkway and used my key to open the door leading into the courtyard. I saw a light switch on in the main house up ahead (both of my parents are light sleepers) and then trudged to the front door. When I opened it, both of my parents began to rush into the front room.

My mother had her arms crossed, and her dark hair was in a long braid over her shoulder. There were tired creases on both of my parents' faces, but mostly on my dad's who was rubbing his eyes at the moment. Soon, his stern eyes were on me.

"What's going on here, Shikamaru? Do you understand that it's almost three in the morning?" asked my mother demandingly.

I sighed and closed my eyes, reopening them to give my parents a pleading and grateful look. "I'm sorry to bother you two, but Ino and I need a place to sleep. Can we crash here, just for tonight?" Ino seemed to second that as she moaned in her sleep, and snuggled into my neck. I flinched away from her and then gave my parents a begging look. "Please?"

My father blinked at the girl quizzically and then walked over, beginning to take her from my back, and my mother frowned harshly at me as she helped my father out.

"Ino may, but I don't know about you," scolded my mother as I shrugged the girl from my shoulders and into my dad's sturdy arms.

My dad looked down at the girl like she was his child (though it was understandable since he had known Ino since she was in her mother's womb) and then looked back up at me with a sigh. "What your mother means is that we want a full explanation of this in the morning," he said calmly, and then arched an eyebrow. "Is she alright?" I thought he said we would talk in the morning. I was so tired, I was about to fall out.

"She's just drunk," I said dryly, trying to show them that Ino actually wasn't perfection at its finest. My comment, of course, did not make them like the girl any less.

My mother clicked her tongue. "Oh, the poor dear," she tsked, shaking her head. She wiped a few blonde strands from Ino's face. "She's going to have such a headache in the morning." I rolled my eyes. If it were me in Ino's predicament, they'd probably throw me an ice pack and shoo me off to bed while telling me how irresponsible I was.

I decided to try out my luck. "You know, Mom, I have a headache too," I said truthfully. Dealing with Ino after a mission didn't really leave the body in a happy state.

My mother waved me off. "Oh, shut-up, Shikamaru! You're just fine!" she reprimanded. "What did you do today anyway, sit around and watch clouds with Chouji?" I rolled my eyes. I had actually been on an A-rank mission today Mom, thanks for asking. I saw my father shake his head as my mother worried over Ino some more, and chuckle slightly.

I crossed my arms and began walking off. "Yeah, well, I'm going to retire to bed."

"Goodnight, Shikamaru," called my mother in a sweet voice before saying something to my father about putting extra blankets in the guest room for Ino.

"Get some sleep, son," said my father, before smirking at me and walking away.

I scuffled off to my room with one last sigh, and plopped on my bed, not even thinking to take off my shoes, clothes, or anything really. Closing my eyes, I laid face down on my pillow, and found enough energy to at least let down my hair.

I couldn't help but think about Ino as I began to drift off to sleep. She was going too far with this Sai fellow, and it definitely wasn't good for her. I had never wanted to be the overprotective type, but couldn't help it at times. The chick was the only girl in our three man squad and had a tendency to get into trouble that she couldn't always get herself out of (without causing a riot, that is). It was troublesome, but I always found myself helping her get out of that trouble, without even thinking on it. She was precious to me, a friend that I (maybe) could rely on at times when I needed help, and ever since Asuma passed, my want to protect her, and everyone else for that matter, had gotten stronger.

But Ino was…hard-headed, stubborn. She didn't want to have to rely on others, and wanted to figure things out herself, even if it meant figuring it out the hard way. Asuma had asked her to "take care of these two" and that was something she took to heart. She didn't want my or Chouji's help, she wanted us to want her's.

I chuckled into my pillow softly and then was out like a light. Ino…you're something else…

"…I've become so numb without a soul, my spirit sleeping somewhere cold
until you find it there and lead it back home…"

-Bring Me To Life, Evanescence

A/N: I hope everyone liked it! This chapter's pretty short, but the next one will be longer. I will update probably sometime this week, so hopefully all of you won't become too distant and forget the plot! No worries, like I said, I have EVERYTHING written and edited this time, so updating shouldn't be a problem! Oh! And LEMON NEXT CHAP, WOOOOHHH! Get excited! If you don't like...well...why'd you click on my story then? SHOO!

Anywaysss, everyone CLICK the BLUE BUTTON in order to REVIEW!

Alright, luv u and laterz!

-chewingonpearls (SAYURI)