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10 December 2006 @ 04:57 pm
Series: Naruto /Character: Ino Yamanaka /Prompt: 6  
Title: Without Chains
Character: Ino Yamanaka
Fandom: Naruto
Theme: 6. Of Silver and Gold
Rating: G
Warning (if any): Nada.
Summary/Note: Ino reflects on a necklace her mother gave her. And on how in ten years their dreams have changed. AU-ish.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. Kishimoto does. Unbeta'd, rough draft.

When she was six her mother gave her a necklace that was too long for her to wear. It had a silver chain and small twinkling gold heart and star charms hanging from it.
Once, Ino had loved it. Thought that it was the prettiest thing in the whole world. Not now.
Many things had changed. She was sixteen - or would be in a few hours - and the dreams that were wrapped up in the slender chain were no longer hers. Yes, she did want love. One day she planned to get married. Maybe even have children.
Ino knew however that her mother was hoping that that would come sooner rather than later. A shinobi's life was filled with danger. It was hard and unforgiving...
And her mother had never wanted her to follow in her father's footsteps.
Ino scowled. Her father was one of the few in his generation to marry a civilian without ties to the shinobi business. They were very happy - an oddity, since most civilian spouses couldn't take not knowing if their precious ones would make it make alive.
No. Her mother could handle her father risking his neck... but not her. Ino didn't know if it was because she was a girl or not. In the end the result was the same no matter what the cause. They'd had their first argument about it when she was six and wanted to start at the Academy. After several major fights her mother had calmed down and let it go. Then she had made Genin and the fights had started again.
It didn't matter to her mother that as a rookie Genin she would be assigned tasks like gardening and repairing roof tops. All her mother saw was that she was working as a shinobi...
And was happy about it.
That was, Ino thought, the last straw for her mother. She twirled the necklace around her fingers and let her breath out in a sigh. For some reason being happy about what she'd chosen to do... Something dangerous...
She'd made Chuunin four months ago. Finally.
Then she had come back from Grass Country, tired but flushed with her victory and her mother... Her mother had told her to get out.
Ino hadn't argued. Merely packed her bags and left.
Chouji had, storming over to the house she-used-to-live-in. Shikamaru had, though she'd only found out about that from over-hearing Asuma-sensei talk to him about it. Her father had. She swallowed against the sudden lump in her throat.
Her father...
He'd tried talking to both of them. Together or alone, it hadn't made a difference. Her mother had put her foot down for the last time.
It had taken her a while to get used to living on her own.
On a Chuunin salary she was comfortable, but it had been the silence that had gotten to her. Over time though she'd grown used to it. She laughed quietly, she'd also grown used to frequent visitors utterly convinced that she needed more company.
With a flick of her hand Ino snapped the silver chain. The gold charms went flying everywhere, sparkling as they fell.
That, she thought decisively, was how she felt. How she was right now on the eve of her birthday.
A little charm, a little flash. A little girl's stars, a woman's heart.
Without chains. Unconstrained.
She'd find her dreams.