This was something they didn't tell you about when you signed up to be a ninja. Makes sense they don't tell you; what five year old would willingly want to do laundry in frigid-cold rivers? What adult would willingly want to do laundry in a frigid-cold river? Besides bloody and stinking ninjas, of course. At least, they were only the latter, Shikamaru reasoned, and not former. Still, this was a lot more work than he liked to do, and the chore was doubly annoying with Ino along, he thought, when the girl went down with a scream.
Shikamaru rolled his eyes.
"Of course its freezing when you decide to dunk yourself in as well as the clothes, Ino."
"Its not my fault! The rocks were slipperier than they looked!"
He bit his lip determined not to say anything. The sooner they got this done, the sooner he could go back to cloud watching. At least Chouji and Asuma-sensei were taking care of dinner in exchange for this chore. Chouji was a good cook.
"Look at this! I'm soaked, and all my other clothes are wet too. Stupid laundry! Stupid river!"
Finally glancing up, he could see Ino was right. The shirt she was wearing was just as wet as what was in his hand, only what was on her body clung oddly in places, curving out just a bit, and then there were these hard, little-
Oh, gods. His insides started, turning all funny. Look away. Look away.
Hair stuck to her cheek. Recently cut from the chuunin exams, Shikamaru had thought the short hair made her look younger, but suddenly he was the one feeling like a little boy. What would she do if he just reached out and pushed it back? If then he ran his hand down her face and neck, if he touched those?
Where had those even come from? When did that happen?
"Ah!" Ino whined. She also bit her lip. That was bad. Or...? No. Bad. She didn't seem to notice him staring though. That was good. "Now I'm going to have re-bandage everything when I get back to camp too! Do you have any idea how long that takes?"
And then she began taking them off, unwinding the bandages sopping wet twist by sopping wet twist. Shikamaru paled, felt all that blood draining somewhere...else, and turned his eyes back to his work, scrubbing harder than ever. Trust Ino to be annoying even when... wet. That somewhere else ached, and Shikamaru moved out into deeper water.
Don't think about it. Just. Don't. Think.
Its better to just try to get this chore done before an annoying Ino grew eyes and turned into a deadly Ino.
"Hey! Wait up!"
A splash and then he only had time to register his own back getting soaked before Ino jumped on top of him and dunked him under. It could have been the water burning his eyes, the mouthful of pond weed that somehow got lodged in his mouth and practically half way down his lungs, or it could've been Ino's breasts sliding up against his back, but he suddenly thought, death by laundry? There could be worse ways to go.