The orginal version of this Oneshot I wrote in 2007. (in german)
Now I finally translated it into english. There are sure some mistakes, but I hope you can overlook them and still understand the story. :)
Pairing: ShikaIno - I love them 3
Warning: It's a sad story.
Don't look back...
She didn't understand it. She didn't want to understand why this all happened. It tore her heart in two, when she still could hear the battle cries one fading after an other from up there. She couldn't turn away her eyes. She couldn't simply be in denial.
Fire was everywhere. The village Konohagakure with all their ninja was destroyed. Nobody could do anything against it. Not even she a girl with long blonde hair, who watched safe from a hill this sad end.
"INO!" He screamed her name and tried to get to her. What she was doing didn't bring a thing to no one.
"WE HAVE TO LEAVE!" He tried to drown the cries coming below from the village so that she heard him, but without avail. She didn't want to hear him. She didn't want to let her village, her parents and all her friends die here and being the only one, who would survive.
He couldn't wait any longer. They had to go. He had promised it to her father to look after her, so nothing happened to her. He couldn't break this promise.
In the middle of the battle he stood as well, fought against the enemies, who didn't get less. The village drew to a close. It was just a matter of time. No one could do anything against it. Not even he, who had a high IQ and should come up with a plan, but there was no plan how they ever should survive this.
"Shikamaru!" He heard someone close to him calling his name, turned around and looked at the father of his best female friend and team member. The blonde hair was stained in blood and in other ways as well the old man was seriously wounded. He stood barely on this legs, but Shikamaru knew that he wouldn't bear it any longer. Just as many others too. He ran to him, wanted to say something when Inoichi with a soft smile on his lips talked again.
"I know I never begged you for something. And this will be sure the first and the last time that I will ask you for something, Shikamaru." He spitted blood, but spoke further with the last of his strength.
"Search for my lovely daughter, take and protect her, even if it costs your life. I beg you, Shikamaru. Do everything for her, even if it's hard for you. Take Ino away from here. This is my last wish."
The Nara brat nodded lightly. He didn't want to refuse the last wish of the old man. He knew him for a whole lifetime, the same time as he knew Ino. He didn't even have to beg for it. Shikamaru would do everything to feel certain that nothing happened to Ino. Even if it meant giving his life for it. He would do it.
He ran, left the old man alone behind, on his search for Ino.
"We don't have time anymore, Ino!" He grabbed her wrist and at one go he turned her around to him. The tears rolled down her cheeks. With watery eyes she looked at him and asked: "Why, Shikamaru?" Her voice was faint, nevertheless he could understand every single word. Ino looked at him as if he knew an answer to her many questions, but not even he could give them to her.
"We have to leave. We have to bring everyone else in safety, Ino. This is the most important now."
All citizens of Konoha, the children, the mothers and the old people depended on them both. They were the only ninja, who could still bring them alive away from here. It was their task, exactly like everyone else was fighting for their beloved village.
"I can't leave, Shikamaru!" She wanted to wrest her hand away from his grasp, but he held her tightly.
"We don't have time for this, Ino! Don't behave like a small child. We can't do anything here!" He looked straightly into her blue watery eyes.
She knew that he was right and still she couldn't let go that easily. She couldn't turn her back on everyone else and just get herself into safety.
"Think at all the others, at all the little children, her mothers and the old people. Do you want to risk their lifes too?"
"No..." Ino looked aside. It was clear to her what he wanted to say with this and yet it was hard for her.
"Come now. There is no turning back." Shikamaru pulled her by her hand, didn't look back at the village, which they would never see again. It was the end, but it was also a new beginning for everyone, who would survive this.
They escaped with the risk being attacked from behind anytime. No one could assure that they could flee with ease. They had just two ninja with them. Shikamaru Nara and Ino Yamanaka. And even if both of them were good ninja, they hadn't a chance when the enemy was in the majority.
At the front Shikamaru backuped their way and in the back Ino watched out that no one followed them. Normally nothing could go wrong, but like often you shouldn't be delighted so early.
How small children just were they didn't recognize the danger of their situation and wanted to run around free. For a second the mother had avert her gaze and hardly when she wanted to look what her brat was doing, he wasn't anymore at her side. She already wanted to search for him, when suddenly a cry of a child went through the whole crowd. It was frightening.
Ino, who had witnessed the whole thing, reacted immediately, caught the small child and wanted to protect him of the attacker with her own life, but she felt no pain. There was nothing at all. Wondering she turned her head to the event and just saw his back how he stood protective before Ino and the child.
"Shikamaru..." She breathed his name softly and looked with wide eyes at him.
Blood ran down his upper arm, when he held the arm of the attacker. His weapon fell to the ground, but short before he had touched Shikamaru with it.
"No one..." He started to speak with a calm but serious voice. "...set his hands on Ino."
He ran, left Inoichi back, but short after it he was stopped again.
"Pops..." Shikamaru said briefly. He didn't want to show big emotions. He wasn't stupid. He knew that he would never see his family or all his friends again.
"Shikamaru... listen..." The voice of his father was calm and still something serious resonated. His son nodded gently. This would be the last words, which he would hear from his old man. He was never a person, who showed overly emotions, not even his inner wishes and longings.
"I know what Inoichi had begged you for."
"From where?" Startled Shikamaru looked at his father. Did he has such good ears, that he could hear them over such a range?
"Listen, Shikamaru. Inoichi is my best friend and I know that he only wants the best for his beloved daughter. Therefore..." Shikaku turned his face at his son and smiled honestly. "...he entrusted her to you. And even if he would never admit it, deep down he wishes that you both will become happy together."
Shikamaru blushed as he understood the meaning of his fathers words. Was this really what Inoichi wished deep down in his heart, but hadn't declared it?
Shikaku laid his hand on the shoulder of his son and grinned at him.
"Take good care of her, fulfill her every wish and father some sweet grandchildren."
"DAD!" Shikamarus face was now even redder, what you never had seen at him before.
"Now go and find her, son." Shikaku slapped his son on the shoulder and gave him a thrust that he finally ran further.
With a last glance Shikamaru looked back at his father, a soft smile on his lips he whispered quietly so no one could hear it: "All right, old man."
His eyes were narrowed to slits, furrowed his brow and pressed his hand firmly that he blocked the blood flow through the arm of the attacker. Anger and rage were written on his face. Never before he let himself go that far. Never before something was worthwhile that he wanted to protect it with every fiber of his body.
With only one hit, which was full of energy, Shikamaru send his enemy against a tree. He dashed groaning against it and collapsed senseless. He already wanted to go and give him the finishing stroke as a familiar and lovely voice stopped him from doing it.
"Don't... Shikamaru..." Her voice was so quiet and still he could hear her clearly. He lowered his hands, but didn't look back to her.
"...that's not worth it..." Ino didn't want to see how he killed somebody because of her. This person wasn't even worth it. She nearly begged him to stop and he did it.
While Ino brought the child back to his mother and assured that he was well, Shikamaru took care of the attacker that he wouldn't follow them again.
"Shikamaru, your arm..."
He looked quickly at his arm, then he looked back at Ino.
"That's no problem. Just striped."
"However..." Ino watched seriously at him. "Let me see it!"
With a grumble the Nara brat gave in to her and didn't struggle anymore against it. He knew anyway that it wouldn't help. Sometimes Ino was really stubborn.
Briefly she looked at the wound, noticed that it really wasn't so worse as she had thought before, but still put a bandage around the wound so that he didn't get an infection.
"So... it's already much better." She nodded and looked with a smile at him.
"Thank you, Shikamaru." A light blush was seen on her cheeks, when she looked a bit embarrassed at the ground.
"It's okay. After all I have promised it to him."
The night came. The first day was nearly over and this without any more incidents. They had found a safe place to rest and all went to sleep already expect of two persons, who sat at the campfire and warmed each other in this cold night.
"Shikamaru?" Ino leant her head against his shoulder and looked into the fire, which burned joyfully.
"Hm?" He didn't know how this happened that she was so close to him, but he also didn't want to push her away. He could guess what happened inside her. Even he could little do against it than being at her side and holding her.
"What do we gonna do now?"
Further on she looked with glassy eyes into the fire, she didn't looked up to her team member.
"Finding a new home for all these people." His voice was really calm and relaxed, as if it was the most normal thing on the world.
"Hm..." Ino on the other hand couldn't accept it that easily. Her eyes closed slowly, hiding the up coming tears under her eyelids.
"Sleep a little, Ino." Shikamaru looked up to the black night sky. Not even one star was seen. For a bit he closed his eyes too, thought at all the people, who they had to leave behind.
Bit by bit Ino fell asleep, her head slipped away from his shoulder and felt into Shikamarus lap. In her sleep she snuggled up to him and got him to get red a second time. He didn't want to wake her up, but at the same time this position was unpleasant for him. Never before was a girl so close to him. And Ino got often close to him, although it signified nothing. But now? When he thought at the words of Inoichi and his father, he wasn't loose and calm anymore. Was what his father said seriously? Should he do it with Ino...? Only if she wanted to.
Short after he slapped himself for his silly thoughts with the flat hand in his face. How could he think at something like this now? Ino was already a nervous wreck. He could feel it.
Gently Shikamaru stroke the hair of the sleeping beauty, noticed the small tears in the corner of her eyes and his glance became glassy. He wanted to spare her from it, but it didn't go. He couldn't do a thing. He couldn't bring the people she loved back to life. How much he wished he would have such a gift.
For a while Ino slept quietly in his lap, til her body started to tremble and tears ran down her cheeks.
"Daddy!" The small blonde-haired girl called. She ran through a meadow gay with flowers to her father. She beamed, was really happy, but her father showed her only his back for the whole time.
She tugged at his sleeve, called his name, but he didn't react.
"Daddy?" Her voice got quiet, the first tears rolled down her cheeks and she struggled not to cry completely. The small girl didn't know what was going on with her father. He was her daddy after all. Why didn't he look at her?
"You don't need me anymore, Ino." His voice was to hear. "You are already grown up."
She didn't understand his words. She wasn't grown up. She still needed her daddy.
But when she loooked closer at herself she noticed that she wasn't a small child anymore. She was a grown up woman. And still she didn't want to let him go.
"Daddy, don't leave me alone." She begged him, but he only smiled at her and departed from her more and more.
"You are not alone, Ino." She reached out for him, but couldn't take hold of him.
"DON'T GO!" She yelled out of her lungs, but he was already away.
"Why?" She felt to her knees, hugged her body with her arms and started to rock herself back and forth.
Still this one word echoed in her head. She couldn't understand it.
Abruptly she opended her tear-stained blue eyes and looked up numbly at Shikamaru. Still tears ran down her cheeks, the same as in her dream.
"Shika..." Faintly she whispered his name and clutched to his vest, her tear-stained face she hid at his chest. Her whole body trembled unsteady and her tears didn't stop.
Really carefully the Nara boy wrapped his arms around his team member, pressed her tightly to his chest and tried to calm her somehow. He was never good in comforting crying girls. Not even now.
"Shika... are they..." Her voice was fragile. "...are they all dead?" She clutched her hands tighter into his vest, asking him for an answer. He didn't know how he should give her this answer. He knew it clearly and she did it too.
"Ino..." He saw up to the night sky, tried to find an answer there, but without avail. How much he wanted to say that all would be well again. That all were still alive, but this wasn't the case.
"I'm sorry." He pressed her tighter to himself and laid his head on hers, tried to support her as good as he could by just being and staying at her side.
Ino cried unwavering, let it all out what lay so heavy on her heart. All the misery, the worries and the pain.
A few days passed without something happened. It got quiet about the small group of people, who were on the run. The attackers didn't seem to be interested in them anymore and nevertheless something had changed: The people themself. They were neither happy nor sad.
Most of all Shikamaru noticed that with one person, who lay at his heart. Ino hardly spoke a word, just when it was necessary. She got so quiet. It was almost scary. The Nara boy didn't like the change on her. He wanted the old Ino, who was noisy, cheeky and full of warmth, back. But she went further away from him, didn't let him get close to her, always stonewalled him when he wanted to speak about it with her. He noticed that her heart was hurt. It bled. And he wanted to heal it no matter what he had to do. Shikamaru would pay the price so that she would give him a smile again. The smile, which he missed so much and loved.
He admitted it freely, he was keen on for the Yamanaka girl and it was more than friendly feelings. Gladly he would show it to her, but he didn't know how. If just his beloved clouds, which he watched day in day out, could give him an answer.
A sign escaped this throat. He faced the person, who gave him so much trouble and sleepless moments. Ino walked infront, didn't deign to look at him and just starred ahead as if she was somewhere else with her thoughts. And that's what she was.
The cheerful laugh of a child was to hear, a bell-like voice of a small girl, who joyfully ran square to her father and showed him the beautiful which she had made. He smiled at her, lifted her up in his strong arms and went home together with her. The small girl cuddled against the strong chest of her father, which gave her shelter and safety.
Over and over her eyes shut down til she couldn't keep them open anymore and drifted into a sober sleep. Still in her sleep her litte hands clutched into the jacket of her father. Never ever she wanted to lose her beloved father, but when she opened her eyes he was away. He was gone.
Silent tears rolled down her cheeks, dropped down and left a big water stain on the dry ground behind.
"Daddy?" The small girl didn't know what was happening. Where was her father and why had he left her alone behind? What should she do now?
A hand was placed on her shoulder. It gave her support and comfort. But when she wanted to turn around to this person, she didn't see his face. She could just see some outlines, no more. Who was this person standing after all this still at her side?
"It will be well again. Trust me."
Ino started up from her daydream and ruffled through her own hair. What was this just now? It felt all so real. The tears and even the soft touch of this hand. She couldn't forget it. Most of all she couldn't forget these words, which seemed so familiar. Could she really believe them to be true? Would all became well again? Ino could only doubt it.
After a few hours more the group finally found a place, where they could stay for the first time. Shikamaru instructed the people to go through the gate. There was absolutely no danger for them anymore. He himself had to take care of something else first.
Ino stood there, the back turned to this new home, if she ever could call it like that, and gazed into the distance. The sun was already setting and bathed the landscape in a soft red. It looked beautiful, but it didn't seem as Ino was interested in it. She could only think at one thing. She couldn't let go of it.
Slowly Shikamaru walked to her, his steps echoed in the silence and his glance became sad. He couldn't stand on the sidelines how she tortured herself anymore. It hurted him even more as when she would entrust herself to him. The Nara boy wanted to be there for her and to make happy again even if it would take a long time.
Two strong arms wrapped around her petite body, pressed her more against the body of the young man, as the tears, which she had choked back all this time, came out. Ino didn't look at him, but also she didn't push him away. She enjoyed his closeness more than she would ever admit it.
"Ino..." His voice was close to her ear and made her flesh creep. "Let go finally." It were just three words and still she knew what he wanted to say with it to her. She tensed up, but didn't want to cry totally right before him.
"Shikamaru..." Her voice was fragile accompanied by tears. "It hurts so much."
"I know, Ino." He buried his face in her neck as he calmly spoke further. "I am still with you."
Really slowly she turned her face around to him and saw into his dark eyes. "Do you promise it to me? That you never leave me?" Her eyes were so full of life again, he couldn't resist her.
"Just trust me." He looked gently at her and gave her a light smile. She just had to trust him. It was so easy.
These words remembered Ino at her dream. Could he be the person, who whatever happened wouldn't leave her side?
She yelled his name so loud, that everyone could hear them, threw herself at his chest and hid her face in his vest. A second time she cried at his shoulder, but this time it was different. A smile, which he missed so much, was seen on her face.
"Thank you, Shikamaru."
The years passed by, the peace returned and despite what had happened in the past, the people found new courage to face life.
A blonde-haired woman, who had her hair up into a ponytail, stood before a child's bed and smiled gently. She looked down at the baby lying in there. He had also like her blonde hair and blue eyes, which were closed now since he slept peacefully.
A dark-haired man, whose hair resembled a pineapple, entered the room and stood the arm laying around the woman by her side.
"He is sleeping again." The corner of her mouth went up as she averted her gaze from the baby to the man. She could rightly refer to him as her man. A ring graced the finger of her right hand, exactly the same with him.
"Ino?" Asking she looked up to him.
"Have you decided on a name for the kiddo yet?" Shikamaru saw to his sleeping son. He left the naming to her, since he knew that it meant a lot to her.
She nodded slightly and smiled.
"Inoichi Nara, after his grandfather. He looks a lot like him, Shikamaru."
"You're right. A good choice, Ino." He pulled her into his arms and gave her a kiss on the lips.
Even if they had lost all the people, who were close to them, they still had each other and now even a small human to take care of and they did it gladly.
Shikamaru had fulfilled the last wish of his late father. He took care of Ino, was a good husband to her and had given his old man a grandchild.
The little Inoichi, shortly called Ichi, woke up and looked out of big, blue eyes to his parents, who held each other tightly and kissed. He chuckled and made himself felt.
"I think someone woke up." Ino grinned, broke free from Shikamaru and took her son out of the bed.
"Troublesome..." Shikamaru mumbled and ruffled through his hair. Their son didn't grant them even a minute in intimate togetherness. And still Ichi and Ino were the best what could happen to him. He loved them both over all.