A/N: I was inspired to write this by various time-travelling fics I have been reading lately as well as an episode from 'Medium'.
Constructive criticism is always welcome - how else does a writer grow? Yes, there will probably be things in this story some people don't like, appreciate, agree with or see as 'taboo' or 'controversial'. And that is fine. Because each and every single one of us have a right to our own opinions. However, I really don't want to see readers start fighting amongst themselves or with me over pairings or content of the story. This is fiction. Enjoy it and let others enjoy it. If you don't like it, then that is fine.
I do not own Naruto only my OCs.
Ino collapsed in a heap in the chair and slumped her head on the wooden bench. The delicious aroma of broth filled her nostrils which made her stomach growl. Ino groaned and looked up into the awaiting eyes of the Ramen stand owner.
"Bring me the largest bowl of Ramen you have ever seen," she ordered.
Teuchi laughed, "The only person who orders that is Naruto!"
Ino smiled then slumped once more. Her day was rough and all she needed now was some comfort food. She knew that overeating wasn't healthy and she preferred to stay slim, but when you needed comfort and there was nowhere else to get it, then food was the best. Her blue eyes fluttered open when she felt movement beside her. She turned her head and blinked when she spotted a familiar face staring at her with a goofy grin.
"Speak of the devil," Ino yawned and sat up, "hey Naruto!"
Naruto grinned, "Were you talking about me?"
"She ordered a large bowl of Ramen," Teuchi stated as he placed a bowl in front of Ino. Naruto seemed impressed that Ino was even daring to swallow down so much Ramen. Ino stared at the bowl and gulped. After dinner she will probably need a toilet break. A really uncomfortable toilet break.
"Old man, bring me the same!" Naruto exclaimed. Teuchi nodded. Ino grabbed a pair of chopsticks, pulled them apart and then dug in to her meal. Silence enveloped the two blondes. Naruto's order arrived and soon the two were slurping up noodles in unison. Ino felt oddly comfortable sitting next to Naruto while practically shoving her face with food. Usually she kept her binge eating to herself. All well, Naruto was stupid – he won't pick up any unhealthy signs.
Ino picked up the bowl and swallowed all the broth. When she finished she placed the bowl on the bench and sighed in contentment. She felt much better now. In fact, she felt amazing despite the fact that she just ate twice the amount she usually does.
"You know what?" Ino suddenly spoke out loudly, "Teuchi-san, bring me seconds!"
Teuchi smiled and nodded. Naruto stared wide-eyed at Ino.
"What?" she asked feeling conscious. Was there something on her face?
Naruto shook his head, "Nothing...just surprising, that's all. Girls usually diet and whatnot."
Ino averted her gaze. She really did not want to talk about diets with Naruto right now. Instead, she got a great plan, "Naruto, order another bowl and we'll have a race!"
Naruto's eyes lit up, "You're on!"
Naruto ordered another bowl. The two silently waited for their Ramen so that their contest could begin. Naruto glanced at Ino. She looked terrible. Her hair was a mess, there were dark bags under her eyes. It was a shock. Ino always looked alive and sophisticated. She would rather die than have someone see her in the state she was currently in.
Ino knew that Naruto was watching her. She fought the urge to look at him. He was probably wondering what happened to her. It did look like she encountered a tornado after all. Ino wiped some sweat from her brow and stifled a yawn. She shifted her gaze to the steam that rose from the boiling broth. Ramen smelled so good. Ino smiled as she stared at the puffs of smoke silently.
It almost felt like she was floating.
Ino snapped her eyes open and sat up. A blanket was draped over body. Ino frowned and stared at the couch she was resting on. Confused, she scanned her surroundings. She was in a unfamiliar living room decorated with fine furniture and paintings. Nervously Ino stood up and wiggled her toes on the wooden floor.
Where was she? Wasn't she at the Ramen bar just seconds before with Naruto? Confused, Ino moved towards the arch that led to the rest of the house. On her right was the front door. At least, she thought it was the front door. On her left side was a long hallway that led to the rest of the house and a staircase that led to the second floor. Opposite the living room was the dining room. Ino wearyingly entered the dining room. There no one there.
Ino groaned when she felt pain pulsate through her head. She rubbed her temples whilst trying to figure out where exactly in the world she could be. It wasn't Naruto's place – he lived in an apartment. It wasn't her house either, her parents could never afford a mansion like this. She highly doubted it belonged to Teuchi and Ayame either...that would just be weird.
The dining room was connected to the kitchen. In the kitchen all Ino saw was a cold cup of tea and a sink filled with cold soap water. Nervous, Ino opened some of the cupboards. They looked plain, filled with food and daily necessities to live. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. She also recognized some local produce logos – which meant she was probably still in Konoha.
That was good...at least.
Curious, Ino left the kitchen and headed for the stairs. She slowly ascended one step at a time, her heart was racing inside her chest. Ino sighed. Why was she so nervous?
'You're in a stranger's house, Ino!' she scolded herself. Of course she would feel nervous. Ino mentally made a note to search for some aspirin while she was upstairs. Maybe they kept their medicine in the bathroom? She hoped so.
Ino was halfway up the staircase when she heard the front door behind her open. She froze. She could feel her heart leaping in her ribcage. This was bad. What if a spy sneaked into Konoha and has been pretending to live here all this time? What if she was captured to use as a hostage? Ino tried to piece all kinds of theories together. Finally she decided to turn around and face the person who arrived. Inhaling a deep breath, she turned around. Her hand clutched on the wooden railing for support.
'Stop it, Ino! You are a ninja!' Ino scolded herself. She was acting like a baby. Ino finally shifted her gaze to the person who opened the door. She felt her blood ran cold. The figure was tall, dressed in red and white robes and a matching hat.
'The Hokage? Tsunade-sama?' Ino asked herself as she gaped at the figure. The person had his or her's back turned to her and was closing the front door. Ino frowned as the stranger turned around. The person's chest was flat. He or she was clearly missing Tsunade's well-endowed chest. There was no way it could be Tsunade. Besides, Ino's eyes were trained to find the difference between male and female and she could clearly tell by this person's broad shoulders that it was a man. Ino furrowed her brows. Who was this man? And why was he wearing the Hokage robes?
The man lifted his hands and pulled the hat from his head, revealing spiky blonde hair and two long bangs that framed around his face. The stranger then proceeded to pull the robes over his head, revealing long navy pants with a matching shirt and a flak jacket. Ino gaped when she recognized the three whisker marks on his one cheek. The man turned to face her and Ino's blood ran cold. Staring at her were two pools of beautiful blue. A blue so familiar, Ino couldn't believe what she was seeing. She opened her mouth to say something, but her throat was dry.
Naruto Uzumaki's face lit-up when he saw her, "Hey, you're home! I thought mother was going to keep you busy all day? All well, I'm not complaining!"
Ino was flabbergasted by Naruto's face. He didn't look like a sixteen-year-old boy anymore. He was taller, older and looked wiser. Ino couldn't help but notice that he has become increasingly handsome too. Naruto looked...looked like a man. And not just any man. He looked like the Fourth Hokage. Ino frowned. Was this a dream? Was she dreaming of an older Naruto? This had to be a dream.
Naruto pulled off his sandals and stretched his arms above his head. Ino noticed that he has hung the Hokage robe and hat on a coat stand beside the door. Naruto yawned then stepped inside onto the wooden floor, his shoes lay forgotten on the small tiled area in front of the entrance. Slowly, Naruto ascended the stairs until he reached the one just beneath the one Ino was standing on. They were exactly the same height this way. Ino gulped when she noticed the odd look Naruto was giving her.
"You alright?" Naruto asked, "You look pale...did mother overwork you again?"
Ino didn't know how to respond.
This is just a dream, Ino. Just a dream!' Ino told herself, but she was really starting to doubt it. Do people have headaches in dreams? She highly doubted it. Her headache felt real. Heck, Naruto's breath fanning her face felt real. He smelled like mint and coffee. It was a odd combination, but it was a familiar scent. Like Ino encountered it everyday.
'That's impossible!' Ino told herself. Her mother hated coffee and her father barely even ate mints. She never encountered it at home...so why was it so familiar?
"Ino?" Naruto's voice stirred her from her reverie. She blinked, but still could not find her voice. Naruto's expression suddenly became very worried. Ino was surprised. She has never seen him so concerned before. Her eyes widened when Naruto lifted his arm and reached out to her. Her cheek tingled when Naruto's hand cupped her cheek. She stood still. She couldn't muster the strength to push him away. Why was he doing this?
"Whoa," Naruto breathed, "you're really hot...do you have a fever?"
Ino once again remained silent. Her heart was racing at a deadly pace in her chest as Naruto's warm fingers tickled her skin. His hand moved to her hair where he brushed a blonde lock out of her face and tucked it behind her ear.
"N-Naruto," Ino finally mustered. Her voice croaked. She sounded like an old woman. Naruto's blue eyes shifted to hers.
"Hm?" was all that came from the blonde. Ino inhaled a deep breath to try and calm herself.
"Where am I?" Ino asked. Finally she gathered the courage to ask what has been bothering her since she woke up in the living room. She noticed Naruto's shock. His hand that had been affectionately stroking her blonde hair froze followed by his brows furrowing.
"What do you mean?" Naruto asked, "You're in Konoha...where else?"
Ino pursed her lips into a thin line. So she was in Konoha. But the question is where in Konoha? Or more like...when in Konoha?
"Naruto," Ino mumbled, "how old are you?"
Naruto seemed even more confused at her next question, "Thirty-seven...Ino, we celebrated my birthday two weeks ago!"
Ino froze. Thirty-seven? Did he just say thirty-seven? No, that couldn't be. There was no way he could be that old...because that would mean she was also that old. She was only sixteen! She was eating Ramen with Naruto earlier! And they were sixteen! This was a dream. Just a really bad dream.
"I...I don't think I feel to well," Ino breathed as she clutched Naruto's arms. She felt dizzy and her feet were wobbly. She was losing her balance. The front door opened and a cool breeze washed through the house.
"Whoa," a voice breathed, "hey Dad! You're home early!"
Ino stared wide-eyed at the blonde-haired girl that stood in the doorway. Familiar blue eyes stared proudly back at her, a light shade of blonde hair spilled from the girl's head. She looked in her young teen years. Ino gaped.
"Who is that Naruto?" Ino asked, "Did she just call you 'dad'?"
Ino felt Naruto tense, she also noticed the girl's confused expression.
"Ino," Naruto breath as he grabbed her forearms and tightened his grip on her, "You don't remember giving birth to her?"
When those words escaped his lips, Ino did the unimaginable. She fainted.