Disclaimer: Naruto is the property of Masashi Kishimoto and Shonen Jump magazine as well as other license holders of the Naruto series. This chapter was fueled by Pringles and White Out Mt. Dew.

No Regrets

Chapter five : Is This What It Really Means To Be In Love?

The lights from below illuminated the night as a cool breeze blew acrossed her, chilling her a little with only a thin dress protecting her from it. Her hands were cold, but Naruto's were so warm. Ino stole quick glances of the boy beside her from the corner of her eyes, but he had yet to look at her. He looked so handsome in that traditional black tuxedo and matching black bow tie, his hair waving in the silent breeze. Naruto still held her hand firmly, but had yet to say a word, only staring down onto the village. Why had Naruto chosen to bring her back up to the monument of all places? Her chest tightened a little from anxiety. She wanted the silence to end, even if it only meant that Naruto would turn her down, the anxiety was killing her.

"Naruto, I..."

"I can't say I no longer love Sakura..." he finally spoke cutting her off. He had yet to look at her.

Was he really going to reject what had happened between them the day before? Ino gripped at he chest as if the act would calm it in some way.

"But..." he turned to look at her directly in the eyes. There was no confusion in his, only clarity and sincereness. "...I can say that recently all I have been thinking about is you and in all the time that I have chased after Sakura, she has never made my heart feel the way you make it feel right now."

Naruto brought her hand up to his chest to let her feel his heart beating wildly, it was even more chaotic than her own.

"I brought you up here because I wanted to do this properly, not that yesterday wasn't great or anything, it was amazing in fact. I just don't want you to think what I'm about to ask is a result from us kissing yesterday, but a result of my feelings when I look at you." he said firmly. "Ino...will you go out with me?"

Ino felt her heart jump up to her throat, back down to the pit of her stomach, and back up again as her face flushed with heat and her ears burned. She felt like her knees would give out at any moment if she did not brace herself and support them in some way. The platinum blonde jumped into the boy's arms, wrapping her own around his neck, giving him the most passionate kiss she could physically conjure up. Ino didn't know if the heat was coming from her or from Naruto, but her whole body felt warm from it and she lost herself. When she came to and finally broke the kiss, without her realizing it, the two of them had made it to the ground with her straddling him from on top. "You have no idea how much I've been wanting you to ask me that."

Naruto looked into her eyes deeply as he blushed and gave her a smile, the one smile that she had been wanting more than anything, a loving one.


With the comotion of Naruto literally swooping in and taking off with Ino subsiding, a group of certain Konaha kunoichi gathered together in order to discuss the latest event involving the whisker faced nin.

"What in the world just happened?" TenTen inquired in shock. "A million rio? That's an S-rank commission if your lucky! Not only that, but it was Naruto! Anyone else not see that coming?"

Indeed, Sakura was in shock over the recent events. She had anticipated that maybe a few girls would try and take a shot at Naruto's affection, in light of his recent growth in popularity over the female population. In fact, she had growing suspicions that even Ino might have been interested in the boy as well. However, what she had not expected was for Naruto to take the initiative with any other girl than herself. Did he not say that he loved her? She was so sure that no matter what she had done to him or how long she made him wait, Naruto would always be there for her. Perhaps it was just her own conceited ego, or maybe karma finally delivering it's justice to her for trying to hang on to two loves at once, but having Sasuke and possibly losing Naruto left a bitter taste of longing that she could not get rid of. She felt like she had lost the winning prize and was only left with a consolation. The pink haired girl hated herself for thinking that.

"Sakura, your his teamate. Did he say anything to you?" the twin bunned girl continued. She just shook her head in ignorance and remained silent, not trusting herself to not say anything she might regret later. Sakura knew that she had no right to feel hurt, especially after what happened with Sasuke the day before. It may have been Sasuke who took the lead, but she did nothing to stop it either. No matter how many excuses she gave herself, it did not make her heart ache any less.

"I don't know Naruto-san very well, but I was under the impression that he somewhat had a thing for Sakura-san." Shiho pointed out.

"Thats like old news." TenTen corrected. "Nobody hangs on to a one sided crush that long, especially one from that long ago."

"You're wrong TenTen-san." Hinata commented. "You don't know how devoted Naruto-san can be. Something must have happened." The shy Hyuga had a look of dismay on her face that matched how Sakura felt.

"Achaa..I'm so sorry Hinata-chan. I totally forgot that you confessed to Naruto." TenTen apologized.

"Its ok TenTen-san, I'm happy for Naruto-kun. As long as he is doing it for himself and not for anyone else, I'm happy for him, even if it isn't me that he chooses." Hinata said in a resolved tone.

"That sounds like the words of a quitter. I thought Naruto taught you to never give up Hinata." the Hokage butted in to the group conversation .

Sakura wondered if it was her master's secret talent to purposely interject with a quip. She always seemed to be coming into the room or joining converstions that way, probably to catch you off guard more than anything.

"Ah, Hokage-sama...we were only talking about..." the Hyuga girl stuttered.

"Its ok Hinata, no reason to be shy. Don't let what happen discourage you though, its not like he asked Ino to marry him or anything. It was a just a charity auction, I wouldn't put any stock into it." said the busty woman.

Sakura could have sworn that her master gave her a glance when she said that, as if trying to tell her to not give up as well. No, it wasn't that kind of look, there seem to be deeper meening to it than that for her. It was more of a "Sorry, but you had your chance. Its time to move on." look. She couldn't blame her master. Naruto's body language, his tone, his confident smile, something had definately changed within him and she knew that he had moved on. She shook her head to clear it, her thoughts were running away from her in a downward spiral of self antagonism. She had to leave there.

"You ok Sakura?" Tsunade asked in a concerned tone. "You look a little pale. Maybe you should have Sasuke take you home."

"No, I'm ok." she lied.

"Speaking of Sasuke, what in the world possessed you to be with him. I mean he's great and all, well...was great and all, but you had Naruto in the palm of your hands! I can't believe you let him go." TenTen snickered.

Sakura gave the girl a hurtful look. It was one thing to think it herself, but for someone to point it out was just salt in the wounds.

"TenTen-san is right. If I had Naruto-kun wrapped around my fingers the way you did, I would have never let him go. Not ever!" Hinata added.

Was everyone against her now? Even Hinata?

"You can only blame yourself Sakura, but whats done is done and you should move on. Besides, you have Sasuke, he's the one you were after from the beginning anyway. He may not be Naruto, but hey, he's a close second right?." Even her master was digging the knife in deeper now.

"She doesn't have a choice now, even if she wanted to choose Naruto over Sasuke." came from Ino as she joined the group while straitening out her dress, as if she was just putting it back on. "He's mine now."

Where had Ino come from? And why does she look like she just got done wrestling with someone?

"Too bad forehead. You have no idea what you missed out on. I'm talking wow!" Ino gestured suggestively as she made a measurment with both her hands. "Naruto just knows how to please a woman, if you know what I mean." Ino was mocking her now.

The room was spinning and she wanted to vomit. All the other girls were laughing at her with pointed fingers and mocking her for making such a huge mistake in loosing Naruto. She saw Sasuke from the corner of her eyes and tried to reach out for help, but he didn't reach back, he only stood there with that eyeless gaze of his.

"I'm no one's consolation prize. Especially not to the dobe." he said coldly as he turned away from her.

Sakura fell to her knees in tears as the mocking and laughter continued. She wished that someone would save her, save her like the way Naruto always use to.

"EVERYONE BACK OFF!" Naruto yelled out pushing everyone away.

Sakura looked up to see Naruto staring down at her with his hand held out. He was there to help her, despite everything, he was there to help her when she needed him, like always. She cried. He only smiled in return as he gently picked her up into his powerful arms, but he didn't need that power to save anyone, because that smile of his was enough to save her from anything. She continued to cry heavily into his chest as she clung to him. "I'm so sorry Naruto! I'm so sorry!" she cried repeatedly.

"Shhhh..shhhhh..." he comforted.

Naruto was the only one that could ever take her tears away from her, he was the only one that could ever make her feel better. She sniffed and looked up into that handsome whiskered face of his, but his smile was gone, only a expressionless face remained.

"You SHOULD be sorry." he sneered as he dropped her.

Sakura landed with a thud on her bedroom floor, tangled in her blankets, and face wet from crying as tears still fell from her eyes. She looked around the dark room to get her bearings strait and remembered the night's events. It was a dream. It was just a dream. It was only a dream. However, telling herself that repeatedly did not help her get back to sleep.


Ino stretched like a feline as she blissfully awoke from her slumber. She felt around her bed and pouted, remembering that Naruto was not there with her, the ex-rated parts from the night before were only her dreams. She recalled the night's events on top of the Hokage monument. The two of them were deep into their make out session as she reached the peak of her arousal when, surprisingly, Naruto stopped them from going any further. She felt a little embarrassed because her body didn't want him to stop, but instead wanted him go all the way. Judging from the large bulge that was pressing against her groin, Naruto's body was agreeing with her's as well. However he was right in stopping, taking things too far too fast could end up hurting their growing relationship. Their relationship...she could definately get used to that.

She continued to think about the boy as she made her way to the bathroom for a shower. Naruto had escorted her home and as they stood there at her door he asked her to go on a date with him the next day, to which she had no hesitation in agreeing. He gave a her a cute akward kiss with a blush, as if they had not just been kissing in such a graphic way that would make the great Jiraya-sama turn his head in embarrassment, and left, periodically turning to look back as he walked away to see if she had gone inside. "He's so cute!" she giggled to herself. She was still trying to get used to the idea that Naruto and her were now officially a couple.

As she showered, she could still feel where Naruto's body had pressed against hers. Just reminiscing made her body hot and her head fuzzy. She had no idea that anyone could ever make her physcially feel that way, even when they weren't with her. Thankfully she was already in the shower and would not have to take another after she was done fantasizing over the blond boy.


The time, noon, the meeting place, in front of the shopping district. Naruto had arrived an hour early, going over his date plans as he anxiously awaited for Ino to arrive. He felt nervous. Even during missions or battles that he had fought, he never felt like this. This would be his first date and he had dreamed many times on what it would be like. Although when he dreamed, the girl had always been Sakura, and even though it was never anticipated, he was glad that his first date was with Ino. It was odd. With Sakura, Naruto had always felt the need to be somebody else, someone like Sasuke. It was one of the reasons why he competed with him so much. However, with Ino, he didn't feel that way. He felt that he could be himself with her, it was an odd sense of comfort with the blonde girl that he never quite felt with Sakura.

"Sorry, were you waiting here long for me?" asked a voice from behind him.

Stunning. That was the first thing that came to Naruto's mind as he turned to look at the girl behind him, simply stunning. Her outfit consisted of a thin baby blue top that laced up from the front, a white under shirt, and white capri pants. It was simple enough, yet still had an impact on him. Her hair was tied up with a matching baby blue ribbon in that cute way he liked, the way that always made him feel warm inside. Is this what it really means to be in love? Somehow, he felt that he was getting closer to answering that question the more he spent time with her.

"You look beautiful." he finally replied to the girl, saying the only thing that was going through his mind. "I mean, no i haven't been waiting long at all." he corrected himself bashfully. How lame can you get! Come on get it together, don't screw this up!

She smiled at him. He could die right about now and still be happy. "You don't look so bad yourself."

Honestly, he felt a little undeserving compared to his date. He had on a plain white long sleeve shirt with an orange short sleeve button shirt over the top that was left unbuttoned, and a pair of jeans. Maybe he should have gone with more of a masculine color instead of his favorite orange. He decided that he should take the lead and nervously took her hand with his. "Lets start with a little shopping." he wanted to facepalm at his lameness. Why couldn't he be more smoother with words like Shikamaru, or even Neiji.

"Sure I'd like that." she smiled sweetly.

He took her to several shops, mostly clothing based and at each location, Ino had tried on different outfits for him. Naruto thought that she looked amazing in every single one of them. She could dress in men's clothing and he would still think that she looked great. He was the one that was suppose to be showing her a good time, but it seemed he was just enjoying himself by watching her. He really needed to step it up and give a her a good time. I'll definately show her a better time at the arcade!


It had taken most of the morning to get ready for her date. Tomorrow she would have to clean her room because her entire wardrobe laid strewn about. It wasn't like her at all to be confused about what to wear, but she wanted to look nice for him. She wanted to look elegant, but still be comfortable enough to have fun with him.

There he stood at the enterence to the shopping district. Orange wasn't exactly her favorite color and it was hard for people to wear it well, but Naruto always seem to pull it off no matter how he wore it. She thought he looked really cute. It was rare to see her fellow shinobi in such casual clothing.

Good, he hasn't noticed me yet. She took a deep breath before announcing her own presence. Don't screw this up girl! "Sorry, were you waiting here long for me?"

He turned to look at her and his gaze made her a little self conscious. "You look beautiful...I mean no, I haven't been waiting long at all."

Ino's face flushed. His compliments made her feel giddy inside and she didn't even remember what happend afterwards, but by the time she realized what was happening, Naruto had taken her hand and was leading her down the street to the different clothing stores in the district. She could die happy right now.

Naruto had an innocent and a bit of akwardness to him during their shopping. She found it rather cute and really enjoyed herself as she tried on different outfits for him just to see what kind of reaction she got from him.

The next part of their date, Naruto led them to an arcade. She thought that he would have taken them to see a movie or something like any other guy would, but she didn't mind at all. She found herself enjoying their time together much more than if they were to go and watch a movie. It wasn't a traditional date, but this way they were able to talk and physically enjoy each other's company and not have to worry about disturbing the people around them.

"Lets try this one out." he suddenly said, pointing to a large looking machine.

Couple's game? The game was simple enough. You put in your tokens and pressed a button as a light flashed around on different panels. Which ever category the light landed on was the one that decided the out come of the prize at the end. There were two parts to the game. The first part was choosing the type of prize and then second was the prize itself. Naruto put the tokens into the machine and they started the roulette together by pressing the big green start button on the control panel. The light bounced around from panel to panel in an over exaggerated flashy way as some fast paced up beat tune played.

"Stop it with me on three ok?" he instructed. "One, two, three!." They both pressed the button together and the light started slow down from each panel and after a few seconds it landed on one.

"Looks like we got stuffed animals." he stated. That wasn't so bad. It beat landing on matching couple's t-shirts. Next would be choosing the stuffed animal itself. The male stuffed animal was first. "You press for the male side and I'll press for the female one. It will be more fun this way." he smiled. "You keep the one you get and I'll keep the one I get, this way they can keep each of us company when we can't be together." She thought his sense of romance was cute.

The light flashed, bouncing along the panels once more. Even though it wasn't a game where you had to win since you always got a prize, Ino found herself watching the light trying to make it land on a specific panel. She slammed her hand on a button and the light slowed down landing on its target. "Yes!" she celebrated. The prize dropped down into the dispenser and she reached in to claim it. She stared at a spunky looking orange fox with sunglasses while posing with a victory sign, in her hands. It was perfect.

"Ok now its my turn." Naruto let the light flash for a few seconds before stopping it.

"No way! Definately not! I'm throwing this away and we're doing it over." she defied childlike as she reached in to throw the stuffed animal away, but Naruto was much faster than her and grabbed it first.

"I want to keep it. I think she's really cute." he said sinscerely. It was a stuffed pig with a flower on her ear, posing with an embarrassed look and a blush on her cheeks. Ino had to wonder if some twisted sense of fate made the light land on it or if Sakura herself was hiding in the machine somewhere laughing at her.

"Isn't that right Inoooo-chan!" he added playfully while giving the stuffed pig a kiss. The act made Ino blush furiously.

The sky had been dark for quite a while by the time they reached the restaurant where they would eat. Surprisingly, it wasn't Ichiraku's, but a steak house. I guess Naruto doesn't eat Ramen all the time. Ino giggled to herself at her own joke.

Naruto politely opened the enterance door for her and she stepped in, only to stop in the waiting room. What the hell were THEY doing there? In the waiting room sat Sakura and Sasuke who were waiting for a table.

"Ino! What a surprise seeing you here." Sakura truely did have a surprised look on her, but her expression changed quickly once Naruto entered behind Ino.

The blonde girl couldn't believe her luck, of all the people to see her and Naruto together on their first date, it had to be Sakura. Ino didn't even know what to say. "Sakura...this isn't what you think it is..." What the hell are you saying? Of course its what she thinks it is. Why are you being so evasive?

"Naruto...you're here with Ino..." Sakura said with a hesitant frown. Ino wanted to be somewhere else, anywhere but here. What was Naruto going to say?

Suddenly Naruto reached over and put his arm around her and pressed her closer against himself. "Yeah, Ino-chan and I are dating now." he said without a hint of hesitation. "It looks like there is a long wait. Don't worry I reserved us a table in advance. Sorry Sakura, normally I would say why don't we all share a table, but I kinda want to be alone with Ino-chan. You and Sasuke have a good time though, we'll catch up later."

Ino looked at the other girl as Sakura gave her a blank and unreadable stare. Naruto pressed her along past the other couple and she swore she could feel Sakura's eyes digging into her back all the way to their designated table.

"Sorry about that." Naruto apologized after the two of them sat down. "I didn't expect to see them here. I hope it didn't seem like I was using you. I wanted it to be clear with Sakura why I was with you so there wasn't any room for misunderstanding." Normally the misunderstanding would be exactly what Naruto was trying to be clear about. He may have been a little blunt, but he had taken that sense of uneasiness right from her and squashed it into oblivion.

"No, its fine. You were perfect." she smiled. "Will, you excuse me? I'm need to use the ladies room."

Once in the restroom, Ino stared at herself in the mirror as she washed her hands. "Don't worry, you don't have anything to worry about. Just believe in him and you'll be fine." she encouraged herself. She put on a confident smile and turned to leave when Sakura walked in. This time Sakura did not have a surprised look on her.

The two silently stared at each other, although, glared at each other would be more accurate. "I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to pull, but don't think that I'll give up that easily."

"Give up on what exactly?" Ino fired back.

Sakura seem to be taken aback at Ino's question. "It's like when we were kids all over again. I started to like Sasuke-kun, so you did too and now you're trying to take Naruto from me." she replied in a flustered haste.

Ino wanted to punch the girl out. She wanted to argue with her about Naruto, about Sasuke, about everything, but instead only said three words before leaving the other girl alone in the restroom. "Sakura...grow up."

To be continued...

Author's Notes:

Thanks again to all of you who are reading this story. I hope everyone enjoyed this chapter. One thing I would like to ask is if anyone thinks I need to make the rating M. I don't plan on Writing anything graphic, but I'm not sure how suggestive I can be without going overboard. As always I appreciate everyones feedback and I hope to deliver more interesting chapters for you soon.