Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Rating: M, for implied sex.
A/N: Honestly, I don't know what this story is about. You tell me, after you've enjoyed it. It is a little heavy on the drabble, but whatever, I had a fun time writing this thing. =)
Happily Ever After
Naruto had lost his virginity to Ino.
He found it hard to wrap his head around it, since he'd always had waited for Sakura. The stubborn part of his brain and the knowing part had been conflicting for a greater part of his life about this. He knew Sakura's heart was for Sasuke, but he had thought she'd see him in front of her and maybe give some of that secret love to him, too.
Then came Ino. Ino, her eyes full of mischief, her hands and lips soft, warm. He wasn't even entirely sure how it happened. They had met at one of Inuzuka's parties. Sai had Sakura preoccupied, and when Ino waved him over, a smirk on her mouth, he went because he was curious about what the joke was.
Somehow he'd walked her home and they kissed, and that kiss had seared itself into his brain permanently, and then his clothes were off, hers were off, and not long after, he had experienced his first orgasm.
The next morning when he woke up, he was sure there would be awkwardness, because he sure as hell didn't know what to do. But Ino's eyes fluttered open.
She'd smiled and said, "Be nice and offer to take me to breakfast."
So he did. Ino never made it very hard for him, and she soothed him when he felt flustered about being ignorant on the interaction between boys and girls. When she told him she'd like to go on a second date with him, he agreed, much to his surprise. Part of him hated Ino for breaking his vow to wait for Sakura, and part of him loved her for liberating him.
They met again for a second date. Ino was forever patient with him. She'd told him that she was okay with him touching her. She'd seemed to know he'd experienced so little physical contact through his life, so she helped him touch her the next time they went to bed. Each moment he spent with her, he grew more confident, more comfortable, until he was finally able to look at her nudity without blushing.
She liked to play with him. She taught him how to flirt with her, how to read the signals of her body and her words. A veil fell from his eyes. He found out that a great many girls flirted with him, and he knew how to be nice, but at the same time decline open invitations. Why had he not noticed before?
When the first time a long mission came up, he had worried that Ino would tire of waiting, but when he came home, exhausted and worn, she'd been seated at his kitchen table, reading a magazine like he'd just been out for errands. She'd smiled, massaged his aching shoulders, and made him dinner.
The other pattern he noticed was that Ino liked him so gentle in bed. The roughest contact they had was that first fumbling night together. He didn't expect her to like gentleness- -she was crude and unrefined at times, she liked telling it as it stood, but didn't expect it from others.
When he realized he wanted more from her, a year had passed. They'd not yet moved in together, but they had exchanged keys to the other's apartment, and they seemed stuck on a dating-and-sex plateau. It just wasn't satisfying to him anymore. He wasn't happy.
He came to her as she sat at his kitchen table. They'd slept together last night, and she had dressed already.
"Tea?" she offered him.
He accepted. Said, "Ino…I'm…I'm not right for you."
"Oh? How do you know?"
Her question made him hesitate. "I want to say 'I love you', but I feel like I'd be lying if I did."
"It's been fun, hasn't it?" she said. Her calm manner seemed to him…out of place.
"Yeah," he replied. "I'm sorry."
"Naruto! Never apologize for the way you feel." When she set her teacup down (because Ino never drank tea from a mug and had made him purchase a china set), it clinked. "What will you do now?"
Again, her response seemed weird. Hadn't other people told him about the anger, the grief, the tears? Where was it all? And then Naruto realized he really didn't know Ino, hadn't known her this entire year. She'd never told him her favorite color or her favorite dessert or her dreams or her deepest desires. Almost like she'd been a placeholder in his life.
"I suppose," he sighed, itching his head, "I'll find out after you leave."
She nodded. "You're a wonderful person." Stood. "You deserve someone who's the same. Find your happiness."
Then she kissed his cheek and pulled on her coat. Inside, that conflict was raging. He wanted to see her go; he wanted her to stay with him.
"Ino!" he called as she opened the door. She turned. "Meet me for lunch today? One o'clock at that restaurant near the Hokage's Office?"
"Sure. I'd like that."
She left. Naruto wandered aimlessly around the apartment for an hour before showering, dressing, and leaving for work. He noticed Ino's footsteps were in the crisp snow. He walked beside them a bit, imagining that someone would see the pair of footprints and think it had been made by a couple who'd walked together for their entire lives.
The Office was busy. Immediately he was pulled into a swirl of business, signing, and negotiating. He forgot about Ino until Konohamaru popped in his head and said, "Hey, Boss? You gonna go get some lunch or what?"
By then it was 1:20, and he was sure Ino would be angry for having to wait for him. Naruto rushed down the steps of the Office, and yanking on his coat, flew outside and down the street. A fresh shaking of snow fell from the sky. The restaurant was quiet when he arrived, breath going in white puffs of air, and when he swung open the door, he bumped into Hinata.
"Hinata!" he said, "Sorry! I was in a rush and wasn't careful!"
She shook her head, smiling. "No, no, I was in the way."
He noticed the pink blush on her cheeks. From the cold? He wasn't sure. His attention seemed to pick up on small details. The curve of her brow and jaw. The heavy fall of her hair. A heat stirred under his stomach, one that he recognized. Oh, God. He had the hots for Hinata hours after breaking up with his girlfriend of a year.
Would Ino be pissed? He didn't think so. She'd told him to find his happiness, and they'd ended their relationship this morning. In the most un-dramatic way, he might add. And Hinata was pretty…he'd always liked her because she wasn't loud or bossy or too beautiful.
"Anyway," she continued, "Ino asked me to wait for you. She said she was called in at the hospital and couldn't make your lunch plans."
"Would you have lunch with me?" he asked. "I ran all this way, and you were nice enough to wait." When she looked unsure, he dangled what Ino said was something no woman could resist, "It'll be my treat."
Hinata's eyes glanced down, then back to him. "Oh, okay. Sure. I mean, I haven't had lunch out in a long time." She tucked her hair behind her ears. "Are you sure this is all right?"
"Hinata," he said, smiling because of her nervous gesture, "I'm the Hokage. If I can't take a girl out to lunch then no one can."
Tapping on the window drew their attention. Kiba stood outside, Akamaru like an abominable snowdog beside him. He waved.
- -N- -
Naruto and Hinata waved back.
Kiba had just been passing by when he noticed brilliant orange. Through the front glass of the restaurant, he'd seen them standing together, quite cozy. He didn't want to intrude on their meeting, so he continued on. Ino had probably set it up, and if she found out he'd done something to ruin her long term plans, she'd murder him.
Their walk meandered around the snow-covered village, until they came to the training grounds. A bright spot of purple stood out against the pure-white backdrop and he stopped.
Yamanaka Ino, he thought, based on the stream of pale hair. She stood, hands in her pockets, staring across the grounds as though lost. She must've been there a long time. The tips of her ears and her nose were cherry-red. He approached her from behind and circled his arm around her waist.
"You look like you could use some coffee," he said in that cold-nipped ear.
She bolted out of her thoughts. Her breath increased, puffing through her mouth. He expected her to tear from his embrace, but she blinked, her eyes focusing on him. She nodded.
When he guided her to a nearby café, she didn't fight and most surprising, she didn't say much besides thanking him for opening the door for her and for helping her with her coat. He tested her by ordering her coffee, black and tall, but she accepted his control. Their silence stretched out, even as they slid into a booth tucked away from the main crowd.
"I know what you did," he said, at last. Ino's eyes were on the table. She nodded. "And I know why."
"Seems to me," Ino replied, "that you know everything."
He snorted. "No, not everything. But what did you get from it? Naruto got experience in dealing with women. Hinata gets Naruto…at least that's the plan, right? But," he tapped his finger on the table, "what does Ino get?"
She sipped her coffee, but her eyes were still down. "Ino gets to see two people love each other for the rest of her life," she answered, setting down the coffee cup. "Ino is happy she didn't hurt anyone, and that everyone lives happily ever after."
He smirked. "Ino's lonely."
The statement was ruthless. She visibly flinched under the words. Yes, he'd hurt her, but he wasn't sorry; he felt only infinite possibility with her and wanted to reveal that he'd fallen in love with her too many times to count. He'd hidden it well over the year she'd spent educating Naruto.
"Yes," her voice nearly lost in the murmur of the crowd, "I am."
"Come home with me."
That got her attention. She looked at him. "Kiba."
"Come home with me." He grabbed her hand in earnest. "Come home with me. Don't be lonely."
She peered at him in wonder and shrewd calculation. Her eyes were shiny, and the blue went on forever. Yeah, he could wake up beside her for the rest of his life.
"Yes, that sounds nice."
They left immediately, taking their coffee with them, helping each other with coats and collecting Akamaru from the front entrance. They walked hand-in-hand to Kiba's apartment.
"Wow. You've got good taste," she said, when he flung open the door.
He laughed at her impressed and slightly surprised tone. "I picked you out, didn't I?"
Then he kissed her. The kiss told him everything he needed to know, started the swell of emotion and arousal, the deep connection he shared with only her. She was gonna be his wife.
Their lovemaking was hard and sweaty the first time; her body seemed to have craved the roughness, the control he exerted over her. The second time was relaxed and tender. They woke up that evening entangled. He liked the absent way her fingers carded through his hair.
"Marry me," he told her.
Her lips quirked. She thought he was messing with her. "Marry you?"
"Yeah. Marry me."
"Kiba," she sighed, "I let you buy coffee for me, and I let you take me to bed. We couldn't even be considered a couple right now."
He caught her hand and kissed her fingertips. "We love each other. It's always been there under the surface, same as Naruto and Hinata."
They were so close that her face and eyes were out of focus, but he still saw that he was right. She drew in a deep breath, like she was readying to jump head-first into water that had no bottom in sight.
"Fine. I'll marry you." He interrupted her with a kiss. When he pulled back, he saw her smile. "Are you happy now?"
- -N- -
Both she and Kiba were invited to the wedding for Naruto and Hinata. The day arrived. Akamaru jumped on the bed to wake them up, and his cold nose in her neck roused her from comfortable sleep. When she opened her eyes, Kiba had rolled to his side to lean over her. It was their ritual.
"Good morning, wife," he said, grinning as he kissed her. She reveled in his warmth. His hand traveled up and over her enormous stomach. To the life growing inside her, "Good morning, baby girl."
She laughed when he smooched the crest of her belly. "Kiba! That tickles!"
The baby kicked, an infant's foot-sized ripple under the gauze of her night shirt. Kiba placed his hand there. The baby kicked again.
"See," he said, sitting up, "she's excited too!"
"Yeah, yeah." Ino couldn't stop smiling. "Help me up, will you?"
Always good-natured, Kiba hopped out of bed and came around to take her hands. He tugged her to her feet.
"Are you happy?" he asked, to finish the ritual.
"More today than I was yesterday," she leaned up to kiss him, "and more tomorrow than today."
A/N: See, I told you I didn't know what "Happily" was all about! This is one of those ones that I wrote, revised, and edited in a few hours. Expect some minor edits and revisions later on. And if you're wondering why I'm posting this, it's because I'm stressed. =)