Red and gold streaked throughout the evening sky as the sun went down on the Hidden Leaf Village. Mothers instructed their children to gather up their playthings and daytime vendors began to close up shop as the streets grew quieter, save for a few civilians and jounin working a graveyard shift. Birds nesting throughout the village chirped out the final notes of their songs before turning in for the coming night. All was peaceful in the village as the cliff-side monuments of the five Hokage kept ever-watchful eyes on their people.
It had been almost six years since the Fourth Great Ninja War had come to an end and peace had finally returned throughout the world. The countries of the Five Lands had since sought to maintain that peace by unanimously agreeing to sign into the world’s first ever Declaration of Coexistence, almost practically eliminating the borders between the various lands and single-handedly wiping out most every facet of aggression one ninja faction could hold against another. Every Hidden Village became known, and the Five Kage became council members of the world’s first United Senate. If the Great War, instigated by Madara Uchiha, had taught the people anything, it’s that the benefits of peace far outweigh the benefits of war.
“*sigh* That’s enough for today.” Said the customer, laying her chopsticks down next to a tower of empty bowls. She sat back on her stool to give her satisfied belly a rub amidst the creaks and protests of the wooden seat as it fought to support her weight. The cook behind the counter chuckled as he wiped down some dishes.
“Heh heh, you sure?” he asked. “You normally go for twice as much on Tuesdays!”
He rubbed his hands on his apron as he approached the big blond at the end of the counter. Although, ‘big’ might have been a slight understatement.
“And normally, today would be no different. Your ramen is still the best in the village!” she said, cheerfully as she gave him a smile. “But I have somewhere I need to be tonight and I don’t think I have a lot of time…”
The cook gave a knowing chuckle as he collected her bowls, setting to work as he ran water over the empty dishes.
“Must be one heck of a guy if he’s got a lady like you racing to meet him!”
The blond blushed at what he was implying.
“W-what? No…i-its not like that! I just… um…” Stopping to take a deep breath, but still blushing a rosy red, the customer calmed herself before addressing the cook once more, taking out a small pouch from her waist pocket. “…So how much do I owe you?”
“Ah, come on, Ms. Yamanaka, we both know I’d never charge a hero!” he said, not turning away from the dishes as he spoke. “And besides, you’re one of my preferred customers. You’ve been coming in here for over a decade. I practically watched all you guys grow up! And it’s been my pleasure and privilege to serve each and every one of you the best way I know how. Long as you keep telling me how good my food is, you’re square with me, kiddo.”
Glancing over at one of his best customers, the cook gave her a wide grin.
“Now shake a leg. You don’t want to keep your guy waiting too long!”
Despite all the times she’d frequented Ichiraku Ramen, Ino Yamanaka had never ceased to be touched by the head chef’s generosity. It had always put a smile on her face, and the atmosphere he gave off always made her feel as warm and cozy as the soup and noodles in her broad belly. He reminded her a lot of her father in that regard and never passed up a chance to dine there.
And she’d had a great many opportunities to take advantage of throughout the years.
Virtually unneeded for combat or intelligence gathering since the end of the war, the now 22-year-old Ino had since taken to helping her mother run their clan’s flower shop. And without the near consistent need of training or physical exertion, she’d taken to a rather sedentary way of life, selling and arranging the various plants and sometimes just watching others grow. And her constant visits to local ramen vendor saw to it that her clan’s flowers weren’t the only ones growing.
Having developed a friendly relationship with the owner and cook of Ichiraku, Ino had begun to eat there more and more as the years went by. At first, it was once every few weeks, then once every week, then a few times a week, till finally, there almost wasn’t a day that went by that she couldn’t be found sitting at the ramen vendor’s counter, sometimes for hours on end, chatting and eating her fill in the evening hours. And sometimes she’d go twice a day. This, coupled with her lack of physical activity, had seen the young Leaf Village kunoichi go from slim, teen, beauty queen at 101 lbs to buxom, bottom-heavy bombshell at over 350 lbs. There were some days she felt she’d need two stools to sit at the counter, much to her own chagrin. None truly minded, however, as everyone was growing up and going their separate ways. Some had even started families of their own. If anything, her heavy transformation over the last 6 years was a sign of lasting peace to those who knew her personally. Ninja-turned-villagers like her could afford to fill out.
“I just hope I’m not too late…” She thought she hurriedly half waddled half speed-walked her way down the main road. Having not seen any action in years, Ino had long since given up her old ninja garb for lighter, more civil, clothing. The long-sleeved purple gi she wore clung tightly to every curve and swell of her body as her shifting mass stretched the fabric around her arms, chest, and belly. The extra-long obi belt she wore did its best to hold the two halves of her gi synched together as her heavy belly sloshed this way and that as she walked, occasionally having to be retied mid-stride as she went along. Never have been one to bother with useless cloth, there were no binding bandages to be seen on her chest, as breasts easily outsizing cantaloupe melons jostled about within the V-neck split of her gi. Cleavage spilled out into the open as her womanly assets puffed up through the opening and threatened to burst free, kept in place in part by the shelf of belly they rested on. The length of the still undersized XXL gi did a decent job of hiding most of the black shorts she wore beneath as her voluminously wide hips and butt stretched the material enough to give a reflective sheen. She hadn’t had a chance to shop for new clothes recently.
Stopping at an intersection, Ino glanced all around, her expression growing more and more worried as she sought didn’t seem to be around.
“It’s no good…” she thought. “I’ll never be able to find him at this rate!”
Taking another deep breath, she closed her eyes and focused. Bringing her hands out in front of her, she weaved the signs of snake, bull, rabbit, and ram.
“Looks like I’ll need to use that! Kumo-me no jutsu (Spider Eye Technique)!
A deep calm enveloped her as her mind’s eye began to show her images of the village from all directions; left, right, above, below, inside, and outside. Using the minds of citizens and creatures within a 1000 meter radius as relay points, Ino briefly looked through all of their eyes at once, scouring roughly every inch of the village within her range. Streets and back-alleys, rooftops and open windows, trees and hillsides, she’d leave no stone unturned until she’d found what she was looking for.
“Ah! There he is!” she mentally exclaimed with a start. A roaming hawk had provided her the location of the individual she’d been looking for, standing alone amidst a field of green, spikey haired and no less blond than she. Instilled with new hope now that the object of her hunt was theoretically within view, Ino threw grace and caution to the wind as, with no small amount of effort, she shot herself into a near full-speed dash, her old training briefly resurfacing. She’d long since grown out of being able to sail through the air and soar over rooftops, her massive belly and unwieldy breasts being more hindrance than help, but her land-speed was still something to consider.
“I swear, if you move before I get there…” she thought as she ran. “I’ll turn you into a babbling idiot for the rest of your life!!”
Standing alone amongst the stone graves from all the heroes of the Leaf’s history, the village’s former self-proclaimed ‘Number One Trouble Maker’ stood before the tombstone of one of the most well-known heroes, the Leaf Villages ‘Yellow Flash’, Minato Namikaze, the 4th Hokage, …his father.
And respectably resting next to it was the equally revered grave of the former leader’s bride. The pair had been granted the blessing of being able to rest at each other’s side for eternity and it was here that Naruto Uzumaki had come to ask for their blessings and watchful eyes before he made an especially long journey. The last time he was here, he'd sworn he’d bring peace to the world and make it a place everyone could live without fear of war. Locally revered as the village’s strongest, he’d had no trouble sensing the arrival of the woman behind him, not even turning to face her as he spoke.
“Heh… I guess I lose.” He said with a chuckle, folding his hands behind his head.
“Eh? What’s that supposed to mean?” said Ino, panting heavily as she fought to catch her breath. She’d discarded her obi to that end as it made it much easier to breath, relying on the vacuum between belly and boob to keep the garment in place.
“Well, I made a bet with my folks here…” he said, turning back to her with a wide grin.
“That I could slip away without anybody seeing me.”
“Wha…what?” gasped Ino. “Get away without being seen!?”
“If I could, I’d take my time with my journey around the world, maybe even settle in a few other villages for a little vacation sometimes.” He continued. “And if I couldn’t, well…”
He turned to face Ino completely, the last six years had been kind to him as he’d grown into the very spitting image of his father. The long, white trench coat he’d acquired at Sage Mountain flowed out from him as a breeze swept over the area.
“If I couldn’t, then I’d do it in half the time!” he said, smugly.
“…So its true then…” said Ino, frowning as she approached him. “You’re leaving after all, aren’t you?”
“Yeah~” he answered somewhat bemused, running a finger under his nose as he looked out over the fields towards the village. “...I figure its about time I got out and stretched my legs some.”
Ino could feel a tear start to well up in her eye before she fought it back. What she’d feared for the last few months was actually taking place.
“Besides,” said Naruto, “I figure there’s not much for me to do around here anymore anyway.”
At this, Ino paused. How could he say that? As loved as he was, as much as everyone in the village looked up to him, he suddenly thought there was nothing here for him anymore? What an idiot!
“Not much for you to do…? …Not much for you to do!?” she said, raising her voice. “What are you talking about!?”
Naruto flinched as Ino exploded at him, both figuratively and somewhat literally. Her already large body seemed to puff up a bit more as she fumed in frustration. Her belly swelled slightly into view as she drew in breath necessary to bring her voice up. Her unbound breasts heaved with every syllable, threatening to force the two halves of her gi apart at the slightest provocation.
“The village still needs you! You’re the Hero of the Leaf! You’ve saved us more time than anyone can count! Even Lady Tsudane has recognized you on multiple occasions! You’ve even been nominated as a shoe-in for the next Hokage! How can you leave all of that behind!?”
Despite her heated words, Naruto expression became more and more content. Nothing she’d said was invalid, but he also knew that there was more to it than that.
“I get what you’re saying…” he turned back to the graves as he spoke.
“And I know you’re right. And I don’t have any intention of leaving anything behind, you have my word on that. But part of that is making sure that this piece lasts as long as it can. I don’t want what happened with Madara, Obito, or…Sasuke… to happen to anyone else. Call it ‘protecting an investment’, heh heh.”
Ino grimaced as she gradually lost the fight against her tears. The last few years had opened up new feelings within her as she took notice of everything this troublemaker had accomplished since she’d first met him as a child almost ten years ago. His fight to earn the respect of his own village, other villages, and even the enemies he’d faced down through his sheer willpower had finally had an effect on her. She began to see him in a completely new light and capitalized by spending more and more time with him. What had started with respect had grown into camaraderie, which had then blossomed into love. And now that she was finally ready to expose her feelings, he was about to disappear for who knew how long. First her father, then her best friend, and now the only person she’d ever felt this way about since Sasuke. It was too much.
“But don’t worry,” he continued. “Given how much everyone’s getting along, it shouldn’t take longer than a few years. Well, at least now, thanks to you, maybe three or four.”
His voice trailed off as he half spoke to himself. “I wonder how much the village’ll change by then…”
“…-ait that long…” came a muttering behind him.
“I…I can’t wait that long!” Ino shouted, her thick calves spreading as she widened her stance.
“Ino? What’re you- guh!” Naruto was suddenly overtaken by an invisible force holding him in place. He couldn’t move.
Sanchū-han no himitsu no jutsu: Seishin-teki kairi (Yamanaka Clan Secret Technique: Mental Dissociation)!
“I-Ino! Wh-what are you doing!?” Naruto gasped through strained teeth.
“If you won’t stay, on your own…then you leave me no choice!”
Against his will, Naruto was forced to do an about-face, facing Ino completely. His body was ignoring his commands as it took a step forward. Though his thoughts were still his own, Ino’s hold was tight as a vice in something akin to an almost ‘out-of-body’ experience.
“Ino, stop! Th-this is crazy! Let…let me go!” Fighting against it for all he was worth, Naruto slowly approached the flabby former ninja. He didn’t want to hurt her, but whatever she’d had planned, he couldn’t let her go through with it.
"Gurgh… No choice...I gotta go…Sage Mode!"
Shutting his eyes for a moment to focus on his chakra, Naruto felt an internal explosion of energy surge through his body as he finally managed to stop his progress, drawing on the reserve of energy he'd gathered from the natural world around him.
“Don’t try it!” Ino yelled. “At this close of range, not even Sage Mode will get you out of this!”
She was right, though he’d managed to keep himself from moving against his will, he wasn’t able to move on his own yet. The hold over his body still held strong.
“Wh-when did she…get so strong!?” he thought. He couldn’t believe it. He’d never gone up against the Yamanaka clan’s techniques before, so he’d had no idea of what they entailed. But to think they were this effective. And against him! He had to get out of there.
“Ino… Why are you doing this? I…I have to leave! It’s my responsibility!”
Ino’s only answer was to start walking towards him, maintaining her hold as she approached. Naruto’s field of vision was slowly consumed by purple-clad belly and breast as Ino got closer and closer.
“Responsibility?” she echoed, tears starting to stream down her face. “What about your responsibility to the village? To your own people? To...”
Her voice trailed off she stood point-blank before him. Only the broadness of her gut keeping them from being face-to-face.
“I…I don’t…understand…” he said, losing the fight against his own body as the close proximity only added strength to the technique. Despite his physical protests, his arms opened up, his hands finding their way to either of Ino’s shoulders. Ino frowned. She knew that even Naruto wasn’t this clueless. Not anymore.
“If words aren’t enough to keep you here, then…” she blushed furiously as she realized that this was the moment of truth. She’d bet everything on this one final attempt to change his mind. “…then maybe this will!”
Naruto’s body suddenly drew his face closer to Ino’s, using her shoulders for leverage as his body sank into the vast softness of hers. Her large breasts tickled his chin as she met him halfway in a kiss that caught him completely off guard. Grabbing his head to force his lips into hers, Naruto didn’t move a muscle…despite feeling control return to his body. In fact, his grip only tightened. The two stayed like that for what felt like minutes, engaged in a show of compassion that made all the rest of the world seem to disappear. What had been called into question before was being confirmed right then and there. As Naruto returned the kiss, Ino understood that he'd felt the same all this time. The thought made her want to fall apart right then and there.
The stars of the night sky had begun to appear by the time they’d separated. Still teary eyed, though for a different reason now, Ino smiled up at the village hero as he returned it in kind. He stroked her shoulder as he removed his custom headband, taking her hand and placing it in it. Her smile softened as she understood what the action meant. It was something to remember him by.
“Hold onto this for me, ‘kay?” he said, almost inaudibly as he swept a lock of her blond hair out of her face to wipe a tear from her chubby cheek. “I promise I’ll be back for it. …Believe it.”
A strong breeze picked up as it whipped the grass around them into a tizzy. Leaves from the surrounding trees blew all across the field, seemingly surrounding the two as the wind grew stronger. Only as soon as they grew numerous enough to hide each other from view did they immediately dissipate to flutter to the ground. The hero of the Leaf Village had vanished, leaving a somber, but satisfied, Ino alone.
Gripping the headband tightly in both hands, she held it as close to her chest as her breasts would allow. He was gone now, but at least she knew he’d be back. He’d given her his word after all. And as she looked up at the stars as night finally blanketed the village, she recalled his words from many years ago, the one thing he’d always been sure of, no matter what. And the one thing that would give her solace in his absence.
“I never go back on my word!!” He’d said. “That’s my nindo; my Ninja Way!!”
She took one last glance at the spot where he’d once stood before turning and heading home.