The first time she cries in front of him, she is 6. Momma has died, the light in her eyes dies and tears fall at the funeral, her eyes of confusion meet his equally uncomfortable glance. That night, he cries in his mother's arms. He never wants to look like that.

The next time he sees those tears, they're 8. She' sitting on the school swing and he knows something is wrong from the moment he sees her. The pink haired girl isn't present. He finds her and wordlessly pushes the swing, letting the wind dry her tears. Sasuke-kun has stolen a friend from her, it seems. He thinks its troublesome, seeing her tears.

They're 11 when it happens again. She's holding some sort of ribbon in her hands. He could swear he's seen it a few years back, somewhere. She buries her face in it when he slouches into the seat beside her, offering silent comfort in the only way he knows he can.

They're 12. Teammates. She's hurt, but it's not her pain that have the tears streaming over her pink cheeks. She's frustrated. (I need to improve) she cries it out, screams at him, and hits him in the chest. He lets her.

They're 14. He's just been crying himself. She finds him in the hospital, crushes him in a hug, squeezes him close, buries her face in his chest and wraps her arms around his neck and holds him in a way he's never been held before. ( I was so worried about you!) Her words echo the long corridors, (Don't ever leave me behind again!) he focuses on the relief in his heart that he did leave her. He thinks he may be in love with her.

15. She's so sad. Sakura is stronger now, you see. So is he. And Choji. She feels left behind. She vows to work harder, she holds his hand and he wants to scream that she's perfect how she is, but that would be a lie. She does need to improve. Part of him wants her to stay left behind; part of him wants to help ease the tears in her eyes.

16. Asuma's death. Too many tears. Far too many tears from her pretty eyes.

16. A night of her tears because of his smoking. He stops. Troublesome girl.

16. Sasuke is an official threat now. He should feel bad, because he is the one who has pushed it this way but he had to- if anything is to happen to her, he will never, ever, ever, in a million years, forgive himself. He seeks her out in the darkness of night, finds her watching the river. He wants to shout at her all over again, because she is so oblivious to how she makes him feel. (How is Sakura going to cope?) when she mouths the words, his heart fits back together, his hopes, the ones he's swallowed long ago, the ones he swore he'd never let rekindle again, slowly begin to awaken. Shit.

17. Asuma has went and left them again. Ino is amazing. She has grown, he is so proud of her, and when he finds her at his grave, he does not hold back as he pulls her to his chest, lets her tears soak through his jacket. His chin rests on the top of her head as she smiles through her tears.

17 and 18, maybe. Its midnight, turning from his birthday to hers. She shouldn't be crying on such a day. But she is. They're happy tears. The first ones he's seen (this thought is rather bitter, you know) but she's so happy. Surrounded by everyone she loves. She kisses him rather pointedly that night, on the lips. It's not a lover's kiss, not a long kiss, or a deep kiss. But its with him and he thinks his heart is crying with her.

19. A patient has died on her surgical table. It's not the first time, but it hurts. She doesn't try to hide her tears as she walks through the streets. He's walking home from work, mission reports weighing his bag down when he spots her. She walks into his arms, clings to his shirt, cries for the young girl who died, cries for all that is life and that isn't.

19. He's actually seeking her out to ask her out for dinner with him and Choji. He'd woken up that particular morning and realised it had been too long. He finds her in the basement to the flower shop, crumpled on the floor. At first, he panics, rushes to her side, but soon he finds she's just sleeping. Tears strain her cheeks. He doesn't need to ask why. Her hands are grasping a small box. Her mothers box, one she'd handed to Ino as a child. Its terribly cliché and terribly like Ino to find something materialistic to cry over. But he sits with her, running his hand over hers until he falls asleep, too.

20. There's another war coming. He finds her in the dead of the night. They're supposed to go to battle the next day. She's awake, grasping a photo of team Asuma in her hands, delicate fingers sketching memories over the slightly decayed faces that stare back up at her. He creeps into her room as he has many other time, collects her in his arms, and she does not deny his touch. She's crying as she kisses him. It is not so pointed this time, not so controlled. Her lips are slow and longing on his, her hands slide to his hair, he's circling her hips, his hands are sliding up her waist and her tears are salty on his tongue as it runs over her lips. He doesn't tell her he loves her, it would just be too tragic, he thinks.

20. Everything changes. They both survive. Its two weeks before they can see each other again, though. Shikamaru has been caught up in work, in the aftermath, in the death. Ino is rushed off her feet with funeral arrangements; the bitter truth is that her family can eat because of this war. Somehow he knows she needs him. She leaves her door open and he enters without caution. She's not crying, not really, not until he kisses her. He pours so much into these kisses, his hurt and his guilt and she accepts it, she melts in them, she responds with her warmth, her sweetness. He thinks he shouldn't kiss her anymore, he doesn't want her to cry.

21. He's been on a mission for three months. Missed their birthdays. When he returns, a mildly broken rib and a bloody lip, he seeks out her warmth. She's not in her flower shop apartment, but he knows this. She's very banal. She's sitting in his favorite spot, atop a hill, illuminating it by far, as her hair is down for once, falling around her in the sunlight, her lips are full and red and he can swear he's fallen in love with her all over again. She doesn't expect him. He can't help but think that they've swapped positions (You're so predictable!) as her words swim in his mind. She radiates relief. Pulls him to her. She kisses him this time. But it wouldn't be a kiss if she weren't crying.

22. Another war is upon them. They've not seen much of each other for 9 months. Once or twice he slips into her room unnoticed, watches over her. She returns the favor by joining him on his one night off a fortnight, watching the rolling clouds in the sunset. But it's not enough. Neither of them really knows what they are, perhaps too afraid to admit they belong to each other. It's this that has her crying this time. Not his kisses, not his arms. ( Don't you die on me) her words are swimming in his heart, (we've got too far to go!) she's sobbing. He can't bring himself to say the words.

Still 22. He's ordered bed rest for two weeks. The battle has taken its toll on him (don't you die on me,) her words had pulled him through. She swaps her shifts so she's on duty. She doesn't leave the hospital, uses the showers there, sleeps in his room. He finds it's the best two weeks of his shinobi life. She retires from her shift one evening and files into his room, she looks so tired, he thinks. She doesn't hold back from crying. She's worn out. (we've got too far to go.) She falls asleep in his arms, tears soaking the hospital pillows and staining his heart once more.

23. She's lost her earring. The one Asuma gave her. She's shaking when she finds him, so angry, so frustrated. She orders him away from his desk, makes him come to her apartment to help her look. They spend three hours on their knees, looking under every piece of furniture (I never even take it off!) she ends up curling into a ball, trying to control what must be a panic attack. She's so used to that part of Asuma living with her, she can't comprehend the emptiness. Shikamaru holds her until her tears dry. The next morning, he finds the earring in her shower.

24. An eight-month mission is issued for her. She finds him the night before her departure. (Information gathering) she whispers, as he trails kisses up her neck, to her jaw line (I have to-) his lips find hers, she tastes of tears (I might have to-) he doesn't let her finish her words, he knows what she's going to say. She's pushed up against his bedroom wall now (I've never-) his hands sit patiently on her waist, her eyes shimmer with tears (I don't want my first time to be-) its enough of an invitation. He cannot help the pride that etches his heart that he is the one to share this with her, the first one to have her completely. There is a sense of relief there.. It hurts for them both, knowing what will happen to her in the months to come, but she is strong and he must be too. (I love you) he whispers to her sleeping form.

25. She returns. She cannot meet him in the eye. He knows what has been done. She avoids him for weeks to come, walks away when she spots him in the street. She's no longer at his cloud watching spot; her window is no longer left open for him. But he doesn't give up. He breaks in. It's not hard, he's done it before. She walks out the shower, not expecting him (You're so predictable) and he has her pinned to the wall. She can't look at him. He doesn't stop. He wraps her in his arms and she tries to push him away with her words ( don't look at me) and her body shakes. He knows why. He wants to heal her. (I'm disgusting) she whispers. (So am I.) The blood of those he has killed has seeped through his skin and into his very soul. (So am I.) He repeats. She's crying again, but really now. She looks so broken, her spirit is lifeless. (don't you die on me.) he's not sure how she hears his bare whisper, but she does, because she responds, her voice breaks ( we've got too far to go.)

26. It takes time to heal. Her lips finds his again. He finds the scars that litter her body. He kisses them. (I love you too,) she whispers, eyes glassy, as he sleeps in her arms.

They turns 27. This is it, the last war. She does not find him before battle, he does not seek her out, they do not have a moment to spare, they tell themselves. But its too tragic, they know. Somehow, along with Choji, they end up on the same battle field. She breaks into a beautiful smile, one that he misses even when its present, and they fight together as they're so accustomed to. The rays of dawn strike upon them as the war ends, the last of battle blood is spilt. Ino finds his arms, kisses him full on the mouth. (I love you!) and it really wouldn't be her kiss without her tears.

On their (her) 28th birthday, he proposes. He hadn't planned to, doesn't have a ring. They'd decided to spend it together, the war is over now, you see, there is nothing holding them back. The bloody crest has been carved. They are free from danger but not from the images that haunt their minds. But it only pulls them closer. (We've got too far to go) echoing in his mind, he asks himself why. So he gets down on one knee, right next to the riverbed, takes her hand in his. She's crying as she says yes. No ring, no plan, really. But the war has taught him too much about how you can loose so much so easily. She's flushed in the cheeks, eyes are sparkling. And then he finally says its. (I love you.)

They're still 28, and she doesn't cry as she kisses him on their wedding day. She just whispers, over and over again, between those sweet, little, undying with love, kisses (I love you, I love you, we've made it.)

I honestly don't know where this one came from, it ended up a lot longer than I'd planned, and a little too much detail. But yeah. Have some soppy Shikaino!