Author Note: Beware of spoilers for chapter 613 (and 614). Sadness ensues.


This isn't how she imagined her first time.

Pushed against a tree, bark digging into her back, his hands digging into her pants, Ino takes a large gulp of air and tries to clear her mind. Shikamaru's breath is fire on her neck, his teeth knives against her pale skin. Tan hands carve a trail down the warm flesh of her stomach, the thistles in his sleeves snagging on the jagged edges of her shirt where he dragged a kunai through her clothes.

She tries to push him away, her palms digging into the hollows of his shoulders to tell him to stop, that this wasn't right, wasn't how it should be, their fathers would never approve, it would only make the pain worse—

But he merely shoves her hands away, angry she would distract him from his goal, and she can see the stars dying in his eyes, the sun setting, and her heart breaks a little more at the sight of unbridled vulnerability in usually controlled, stoic eyes.

He reeks of sweat, grief, and death, and she imagines she can't be any better with her blonde hair matted with grease and disgrace. Her father gives his last breath to save the Ninja Alliance and here she is shoved against a tree, panting against her childhood friend like an animal, lying to herself that she isn't finding some relief from the pain in his tongue tracing its way between her breasts.

She adds their names to a list of fatherless children in Konoha, and her knees buckle at the thought. His hand between her legs and under her arm stop her from falling, but she's already long gone, six feet deep in despair and desolation. He steadies her by pressing their chests together, the hard flak jacket he's still wearing digging into her soft skin, but all she can see with the sun burning out behind him are broad shoulders and a strong neck, and she's thinking Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, I miss you please come home I need you.

His lips descend upon hers, shutting her up, because apparently she wasn't thinking those words, she was screaming them, her lungs burning for air and oxygen and for someone to fill this gaping hole where her father used to reside. He pulls away, breathing hard, and she's breathing even harder, but a shout in the distance has them freezing, stiffening in fear of discovery and shame.

Someone's calling their names.

Have they really been gone that long? Wasn't it only minutes ago when he slunk off to disappear into the surrounding trees, she shyly following at a distance because she had no idea what to do with herself? He knew she was following, had always known, and when they were far enough, he roughly pulled her with him, darting through the prickly underbrush and into the creeping darkness before slamming her against a tree and running a kunai down her shirt.

The voices fade.

He flicks a finger between her legs and elicits a startled noise from her, something unintelligible, a mix of a squeal and a moan. She shuts her mouth immediately, the probability of detection still unknown, but when no one pops around a bush or screams at the indecency of their actions, he pumps his fingers faster and hungrily attaches his lips to her again.

She moans, and rolls her hips against his fingers, her breaths coming in gasps and pants. There's a smoldering look on his face, lost somewhere between desire and disgust, but it disappears when she snakes her hands underneath his shirt and over his back, caressing the muscles jumping underneath her cold fingertips.

He knows she's moments from her high, so he retracts his fingers from her core, leaving her breathless and heated and incensed he would do such a thing, but he places his hands underneath her hips and lifts her away from the tree. He only makes it several steps before he drops her to the grassy floor, ripping off his jacket and shirt before joining her, and dragging her pants off the smooth expanse of her shapely legs. He runs his hands over her skin before prying apart her legs and dipping his head between her thighs, tasting her for the first time. She's sweet, and fragrant, just as he had imagined, but her tangy flavor does nothing to distract from the feeling of despondency and anguish raging inside him.

She digs her fingers in the grass to keep her hips from rising to grind against his tongue, a lame attempt at keeping them grounded, because if she doesn't do it, then who will? She's lost all rational thought, moans tearing from her throat to mingle with his jagged breath in the evening air.

When he finally slips into her, filling her like no one has before, she wraps him in her arms and threads her fingers through his dark hair, letting go of her last shreds of sanity and losing herself in the feel of his weight pressing down on her. They come together in a whirlwind of dissolving colors, green molding into blue, his brown blending into her blonde, swirling their lines together and erasing the division of self. He slips under her skin, swims in her beauty, and she drinks in the warmth of his soul.

Her spirit sings when he kisses her, pressing marks into her skin. They blend and blur, sunlight refracting off their glass hearts, a small beacon nowhere strong enough to illuminate their crooked path, but it's all they have and all they can afford.

He knows his father would be disappointed, humiliated to call him son, but Shikaku is long gone, and Inoichi merely a speck on the horizon. So he clings to her with all his earthly worth, because for once, he has nothing left to give and she has nothing to say.

One day, it'll be enough.

But for today, he'll lie beside her, carving the shape of her body against the night sky into his memory, and wish their fathers had a better ending, so they'd have had a better beginning.


Extraneous Author Note: Still grieving over Shikaku and Inoichi. (And Neji, my poor baby.) ;A;