|Come Back Alive
Author: Youkai Koneko PM
5 Konoha shinobi are summoned to the dangerous mission of going into enemy territory and taking out anyone and anything they see. They're torn between love and duty, and their kunoichi fare no better. Will they keep their promises, or will they betray theRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 2 - Words: 9,899 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 03-02-09 - Published: 02-14-09 - id: 4862493
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This actually took me less time to update than my other fanfiction: I think it's cuz I actually have the plot in mind and the chapter was left open so I could use it better. XD Two thumbs up for me, I guess.
Here's the second chapter of Come Back Alive, with special thanks to Awaii, for being my first reviewer! This chapter's for you, I guess! XP
Come Back Alive
Chapter Two: Looking Closer and Lurking Shadows
Temari arrived at her apartment after much lump-swallowing and quick intakes of breath. The clouds above her mocked her with their carefree air, floating above her in fluffy puffs. She couldn't bring herself to glare at them, though.
They were like a piece of Shikamaru.
She opened the door and slowly got everything prepared: Playstation 2, DDR mat, cheesy romance movies, kick ass action movies, and gallons of comfort food, aka ice cream and chocolate. She moved the couch out of the way and got out some make-up kits, then sat down in the center of the room and cried. Just sitting in her apartment, surrounded by things that shouldn't remind her of her lazy yet ingenious boyfriend, crying. Not the hard, sobby cry, but the quiet crying where only tears fell and a sad frown was plastered to your face. Finally, she wiped her eyes and got changed into her pajamas at 4:30 PM, settling on the couch.
"Too early to sleep…. But if Shika can do it, I guess I could try," she mumbled, tucking her hands underneath her and closing her slightly red eyes, trying to dream of something other than her Shikamaru.
TenTen walked toward her house, taking a well known path that avoided the village and stuck to the cooling shadows of the trees. As she sped from branch to branch, she felt like she was stepping on a well-worn footprint in the bark. She looked down once and saw it to be true; and there were some footprints almost identical to hers beside her.
She closed her eyes and went faster, nearly flying out of the trees and onto the rooftops, resting finally at her apartment door, breathing hard. She fished for the key underneath the mat, finding it and unlocking her door. She kept her eyes closed as she walked into the apartment, not worried about running into anything, and headed straight for her small kitchen. Pouring some water into a glass she drank quickly and tried to drown the lump in her throat. She succeeded and put the glass in the sink, breathing a sigh of relief. Then she entered her room and the lump came back.
Hanging on her bedpost was Neji's old hitai-ate, the one with the straps hanging from the sides. She took it into her hands and held onto it, then pocketed it, not wanting to let it get lost. Then she turned to her dresser and eventually she had everything packed and ready to go for her sleep over at Temari's tonight: A pair of pajamas, a change of clothes, her iPod, toothbrush, her panda plushie, some extra hair ties, and a couple scrolls just in case. She decided against bringing any more clothes; can't bunk at Temari's forever.
She sighed as she passed through her living room with her eyes open this time, where pictures of Neji and her hung on the wall in a decorative pattern. They almost called to her, warping the actual images into something sinister and frightening. But when she blinked, they went back to being portraits; just hanging on the wall.
"Neji…" She shook her head and hurried out the door, hearing the 'click' of the lock behind her. Starting her way to the far side of the village, TenTen walked with what courage she had left away from her apartment and away from the stationary smirking faces of Neji and the forever present smiles of herself.
Hinata sniffed as she walked alone to the Hyuuga Household, her head bowed against the guards' apologetic looks and Hanabi's slightly concerned one. She went straight to her room and sat on her bed, looking at her wrist, where the bracelet Naruto gave her was fastened. She gingerly fingered the charms, stopping on the kanji for her name, her pupil-less eyes watering again as she remembered his words:
"The kanji for Hinata is on there cuz you're a part of me, Hinata-chan! You're everything I love and everything I fight for, and not to mention you're kawaii! Everything that makes me up is on that bracelet, and I want you to have it so you don't forget me, 'k?"
She covered the bracelet with her sleeve and quickly packed her clothes and toiletries into her travel bag, deciding to carry her fox plushie in her hand instead of keep it in the bag. With that she walked out, her head raised high because her father was just around the corner. She turned and there Hiashi was, waiting for her with his arms crossed.
"So Hinata, Naruto has left the village on an extended mission into enemy territory?"
Hinata nodded, fighting the tears welling up behind her eyes. "Hai. Neji-nii-san is on that mission as well." Hiashi nodded and closed his eyes, walking calmly past her.
"…Don't miss them too much, Hinata. You'll only regret it," he hissed as he walked past her, not stopping in his stride or breaking his posture. He just kept walking until he entered the darkness of the hallway and faded into nothingness. Hinata's eyes widened and she quickly stemmed the racing thoughts in her mind, settling on one: 'What does he mean "You'll only regret it?" Will something happen that will cause me to regret that choice?' Then she changed course and thought, 'Is something going to happen to them that will make me feel worse than I do now?'
She shook the thought from her mind and walked at a renewed pace to Temari's solitary apartment, determined to replace the new questioning fear she had bubbling in her stomach.
With Ino and Sakura
Ino had decided to go to her house first, for it was closer, and left Sakura on the couch with her father, and went immediately to her room. What she saw in there isn't what she was expecting. It was round, soft, warm, slightly scruffy, and it was…
"A puppy?" The white puppy turned around to look at her, cocking it's brown-marked head, then running up to her and jumping at her legs, yipping excitedly. She looked at the animal's neck more closely and saw a note attached to its collar. It read:
I hope you like her. She's one of Akamaru's pups: I'm gonna let you name her. She does look kind of like him, right? And her hair is kind of like mine: shaggy and soft. Take care of her while I'm gone, and think of her as a present. I made sure she recognized you, too. So she's not going to pee on anything of yours. Also, watch out for her—
Ino was interrupted by the tiny pup's teeth biting into her ankle. She shook her leg and the pup let go, whimpering.
"I'm sorry, puppy, but you can't bite Mommy like that," she said, then returned to reading.
--teeth; she likes to bite. Now you have a little piece of me to carry around with you, OK? And Ino-chan… I love you. This puppy will love you if you love it like you love me. That way it'll be easier for you and her to get along: can't have another Sakura on our hands, right?
Anyway, goodbye, Ino-chan,
She looked at the note for a couple more seconds before looking down at the whimpering puppy again. She reminded her so much of Kiba, it made her want to cry. Right down to the eyes. Then her sadness lessened, and she kneeled next to it. "Mommy's sorry, baby. It won't happen again." She pet the puppy's head and rubbed it's floppy ears, and that seemed to cheer her up. "Wanna help Mommy pack for a sleepover?" The small thing barked into response, and that got Ino to giggle. Her bark sounded so tiny, like a squeaky toy. Ino busily got everything ready, moving the puppy away from her shoes and picking up her clothes off the floor. Despite popular belief, Ino's room wasn't spotless.
When she was ready to go, she picked up the puppy and brought it down the stairs, then set it down next to the couch. She kneeled beside Sakura and lifted her up, draping the pinkette's limp arm over her shoulders again and walked out the door without saying goodbye to her mother and father, heading to Sakura's apartment next. It didn't take long, considering Sakura lived close by, but it was taxing on Ino's strength, lugging a dead weight everywhere.
"Man Sakura, you've gotta lose some pounds if you want to stay good-looking enough for Sasuke," she muttered under her breath, knocking on the door and waiting politely. It opened to reveal Sakura's mother.
"Why hello Ino-chan. My, my, what has my daughter gotten into this time," Mrs. Haruno said, ushering Ino inside and settling her on the couch.
"Actually ma'am, Sasuke knocked her out again," Ino explained, and Mrs. Haruno got angry.
"Did that boy break my Sakura's heart again? Because if he did, I'll--"
"No, no, no! They, Sasuke and the other boys, just left for a dangerous extended mission and Sasuke didn't want her to follow them. You know how she is," Ino said quickly, raising her hands up in the air in panic. Mrs. Haruno nodded.
"Well, alright. Let's wake her up then, shall we?" Ino nodded and they placed their hands on Sakura's forehead, their hands glowing green. After a moment, Sakura woke up.
"He left with the others already, Sakura. You're back home," Ino said softly, flicking some of Sakura's bangs out of her face.
"Yes dear, you're at home. Ino-chan brought you," Mrs. Haruno said, helping her daughter sit up on her elbows. Sakura shook her head and quickly got up, seeming to search for something. She bent down to look under the couch, then behind it, and then in other parts of the living room.
"Umm, dear, what exactly are you doing?"
Sakura didn't stop looking around, but answered, "Sasuke said that when I woke up there would be something there that would help me remember him: remember him as the Sasuke that loves me, not the bad Sasuke. So now I'm looking for it." Ino got up and helped her look, and after they had scanned the entire living room, Ino suggested they try the bedroom.
"Of course," Sakura said, running into her room and looking under her bed. When Ino finally got in the doorframe, she saw Sakura on the ground, holding a photo album.
"Sakura? Is that…?"
"Yeah. It's a photo album about me and Sasuke," she said quietly, opening it to the first page. There were a couple pictures of them from their Genin days, mainly of Sakura clinging to Sasuke and of Sasuke looking uninterested. She flipped another page, and they were of Sakura looking up at the sky with Sasuke on the Academy rooftop from behind. Their hands were brushing. Sakura smiled lightly at the picture before turning the page again. It was when Sasuke had been brought back to the village by Naruto, at the "Welcome Back Sasuke" party.
It was where they shared their first kiss.
She closed the book and sighed, looking up at Ino. "Wanna help me choose some clothes for the sleepover, Ino?" Ino nodded and walked in, her puppy following in faithfully behind her. Sakura raised a pink brow.
"What's with the puppy?"
"Kiba-kun gave her to me," Ino said proudly and the puppy barked in confirmation. Sakura giggled and Ino made another comment.
"The way she follows me, you'd think she were TenTen and I was Neji." Sakura lost some of her giggles, but nodded a little.
"Yeah, TenTen does follow him like a puppy; I personally think it's cute. Always having his back and all, the love and devotion… very romantic if you ask me."
"Yeah, whatever." They went back to picking clothes and were soon finished, walking out the door with the mementos from their boyfriends in their hands, Ino's puppy bouncing happily behind them.
Temari awoke to a soft knocking on the door and groaned a little. She stretched and tossed her four pigtails up before getting up and answering the door. It was Hinata, and off a couple yards away, TenTen was trudging up the dirt road. "Hey guys, come on in," Temari said, yawning slightly, covering it lazily with the back of her hand.
"D-Decided to t-t-take a leaf o-out of Sh-Shikamaru-san's b-b-b-book, I see," Hinata said quietly, setting her things down beside the couch as she slipped her shoes off.
Temari smiled slightly. "Yeah, Lazy-ass is rubbing off on me." TenTen came in and kicked off her shoes as if she owned the place, collapsing on the couch and throwing her bag of things over the other end. Temari raised an eyebrow. "Right at home, aren't you Panda?"
TenTen stuck her tongue out. "Your apartment is like mine: cozy and quiet. I like it a lot."
"Well, with those two Green foghorns you have to put up with, I'm not surprised," Temari joked, taking a seat next to TenTen. Hinata joined them on the end, pinching her fingers together awkwardly.
"Yes Hinata," TenTen asked, always the loving older sister.
"C-Can we p-please p-play DDR now," the heiress asked, pointing shyly at the muted game. TenTen's eyes got big, as did her smile and Temari grinned.
"Yes! Of course we can!" The bun-headed girl jumped over the back of the couch and grabbed her bag. "I just have to put up my stuff and Neji's--" She instantly stopped and the bag slid a couple inches off of her shoulder. She reached into her pocket and pulled out Neji's hitai-ate, gripping it in a remembrance sort of way. She put it back in and regained her smile.
"Just gonna put this up with my stuff and I'll come, OK?" Then she ran down the hallway, still smiling. Temari shook her head at the younger girl.
"She's a strange one, despite being sane," she said, stepping on "Start" on the DDR mat. Hinata shook her head.
"N-Not strange… j-just understanding," she said in defense of her friend. "She knows th-that Neji-nii-san would not l-like it if sh-she m-m-missed him too m-much. TenT-Ten is being st-strong, in h-her own w-way."
Temari nodded, understanding her shy friend's reasoning. "And here I was, crying in the floor like a widow," she mumbled, scrolling through the songs. TenTen came back, her smile not as full, but still there.
"OK, I've decided I want to dance to Angel's Song by Ayumi Hamasaki," she said.
Temari smirked. "Wanting to start slow?"
TenTen smirked right with her, revealing a prefect copy of Neji's patented Bastard Smirk. "Maybe… then work it up to something demonic. You in?"
TenTen stepped on the "Start" button and began to move, getting into the rhythm. While she was playing, the doorbell rang and then Ino and Sakura stepped right in without letting Temari get the door. Sakura smiled when she saw TenTen dancing.
"You guys at it again?"
Temari smiled. "Hey, it's a party!" Then she noticed the furry thing following Ino around. "What the hell is that?"
Ino picked up the puppy and held her to her chest defensively. "She's a puppy, and Kiba gave her to me! I can't just leave a puppy at my house y'know!" Then she eyed TenTen. "You'd better not eat her."
TenTen, who was still dancing, gave Ino a sideways glare. "Just because I'm Chinese-Japanese does not mean you have to bitch to me about what the Chinese do. In case you haven't noticed, my customs are JAPANESE!" She jumped in the air and hit the mat again, her feet moving a little faster. "And you don't see me heading over to the Inuzuka Clan to get some dinner, now do you?" TenTen furiously continued playing the game, her steps getting more forceful than necessary.
Sakura gave Ino a disapproving look. "Y'know, that was racist and really mean towards TenTen, Ino-pig." Ino flipped her hair and sighed.
"Whatever—Oh, and no target practice on her either," the Yamanaka said, wagging her finger at the weapon's mistress. TenTen sighed as she began the finishing steps to her song.
"God, who the hell do you think I am, Ino? A high treason criminal charged with animal cruelty and of being inhumane?" She made it sound like a joke.
Ino flipped her bang and sighed, repositioning the puppy in her arms. "Well, considering your boyfriend is a walking ice block, I'm surprised you haven't gained his hostile nature by being his lost puppy all the time." She tried to stop herself as soon as the words came out, but she couldn't stop herself in time. And the tone didn't sound one bit like a joke.
The song ended with TenTen shaking with anger, reaching for the buttons of her shirt. Sakura raised an eyebrow.
"TenTen, not to sound disapproving," she said warily,"but is stripping really going to help us out here--" Then she eyed the senbon between TenTen's fingers and tensed. "Oh shit."
The pissed off brunette took a step off the mat, not even blinking when her grade on the song was "A+" and her score was off the charts. The fury in her eyes was only for Ino.
"Yamanaka Ino, how dare you insult Neji and I like that? Especially behind his back; you should at least have the balls to say it to his face! And if you want a lost puppy, then lose that damned dog of yours, because I am NOT a lost puppy!"
"The hell you are! You treat Neji like he's some sort of God or something! I'm surprised you don't have a shrine in your room dedicated to him!"
"And this is coming from the one who tried to seduce him in the Forest of Death just to get a scroll? At least I don't degrade myself to get what I want!"
"I was only showing off my natural beauty, dear TenTen, something of which that you don't have!"
TenTen was about to throw the senbon when Hinata and Temari stepped between them.
"OK, listen to me! If you want to fight, take it outside! I brought us together so we wouldn't be damn depressed because our men left, but obviously you all can't last a day! You're all just angry and pissed off because they're gone and you couldn't stop them; don't take it out on each other!" The sandy blonde's voice rang in the fighting kunoichis' ears.
"W-We all f-feel your p-p-p-pain, but we're tr-trying to m-m-make the m-most of it. Y-You guy sh-should t-t-too," Hinata said, trying to be confident enough to attempt to heal her friends' harmful words.
They let the information sink in, and after a minute, TenTen let her senbon fall through her fingers and went into the guest room without a word, shutting the door forcefully behind her. Ino just flipped her hair again and scratched her puppy behind the ears.
"Heh, I would've gone for a fight." She sounded like Kiba when she said it.
"A fight you would've lost. You know her skills are superior to yours; you just can't fight her," Sakura reasoned, putting a hand on Ino's shoulder, which Ino moved away from.
"She still could've at least done something in her defense. I doubt those senbon could've hurt anyway," the blonde retorted stubbornly, setting the puppy down and taking off her shoes. Temari rounded on her, her expression furious.
"Unlike me, you don't have any wind ninjutsu to protect yourself from her attacks. And if you got her pissed enough, your vital points are clearly visible, baka. Now get your act together before I open up a can of whoop ass on you and throw your ass out of my home," the Suna kunoichi said with authority, going into the kitchen and busying herself with cooking dinner.
"Damn, what the hell did I do? I was just speaking the truth, right Sakura?"
Sakura shook her head and put a hand on Ino's shoulder. "Ino, you just insulted her, Neji, and their relationship. Don't you think that there's a much better time and place to do things like that? I mean, what would you have done if she insulted you and Kiba?"
"She did insult me!"
"But not Kiba. She just defended herself and didn't stoop down to your level. And seriously Ino, those comments about her Chinese heritage were uncalled for. She may have tried to joke about it, but inside she must be really hurt."
"She basically called me a whore!"
"And you basically called her a lovesick puppy that eats dogs and likes to rip things apart and said that her boyfriend was an emotionless ice block. I mean, maybe we all thought that he was at one point, but would an emotionless ice block really kiss TenTen like that?"
"What the hell do you know, you weren't awake!"
"I've seen them kiss before. I was walking by their training grounds in hopes that I could get TenTen to come with me for a girl's day since you guys were on a mission, and what I saw was--"
"Two teenagers sucking face? Jeez, Sakura, don't you know what it looks like? You've done it yourself!"
Sakura frowned and her pink eyebrows knitted together. "No, it was more than that. Neji looked pained--"
"She's probably a horrible kisser then."
"No! Neji looked pained and TenTen did too, and in between the kisses they were talking about something. Something involving the Caged Bird Seal and the Main house of the Hyuuga Clan, from what I gathered from the aggressive tone. And then Neji broke down: he wasn't crying, but he just looked weak, like he had lost something dear to him. Then TenTen kissed his forehead, which I realized was uncovered and said something else. Then Neji… he just lifted her off her feet and kissed her so passionately…." Sakura held her hand to her chin and thought, as if trying to remember what happened next. "Oh yeah, and when they finally stopped and Neji got his hitai-ate back on I came out and asked for TenTen. There was a longing look that I didn't miss and then she walked with me to my house, but she didn't seem very… attentive. It's like her mind was somewhere else entirely."
"Oh, I know where it was: she was probably wondering if she should've taken the kiss further and screwed Neji right there," Ino seethed, still angry because she didn't understand what she did.
Sakura threw up her hands and went into the dining room, seating herself in a chair and groaning, saying, "You're hopeless, Ino! Hopeless!"
Hinata didn't speak to Ino, but rather went quietly down the hallway and knocked on the door to the guest bedroom. "T-TenTen-chan? M-May I c-come in?"
"The doors unlocked," came the soft reply from the behind the wood. Hinata stepped in and saw TenTen leaning against the headboard on the bed, her shirt still unbuttoned, looking out the large window to the sunset beyond. Hinata slightly reddened; her friend's well-endowed cleavage was showing, along with some more hidden senbon and other such weapons in her breast bindings. She willed herself to ignore it and looked to TenTen's face. iPod earphones were in her ears, but Hinata couldn't tell whether the music was playing or not. The Hyuuga heiress sat down next to her and touched her hand. The older girl's eyes looked up into Hinata's, and then slowly turned away.
"H-Have you c-calmed d-d-down, TenT-Ten-chan," Hinata asked, trying to make eye contact again.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I just got a little… I guess you could say out of control. Gomen." TenTen's thumb twitched and Hinata could hear faint music from the earphones. She looked down and saw the song title and artist curiously.
"I'm A-Already There, by Lo-Lonestar?" She hadn't pegged TenTen as a country music girl.
"Neji made a playlist for me before leaving, apparently. This was the first song on it." She was staring intently at two birds, who were flying around each other, getting ready to rest for the night.
"But in th-the lyrics," Hinata stammered, making TenTen raise a brow; she obviously hadn't expected Hinata to know the song. "Y-You two d-don't have any ch-children... d-do y-you?" TenTen couldn't bring herself to smile at the innocence of her friend.
"No, not biologically anyway. We think that you guys, the Rookie Nine, are our children. We've always felt like that with you guys," she said, still looking outside to the two birds, who had now nested in a distant tree. Some water seemed to glisten behind her eyes. Hinata nodded, instantly understanding.
"S-So, are you re-ready t-to be in the s-same r-room with I-Ino?" TenTen was buttoning herself up now, something that Hinata was thankful for. She wasn't really comfortable with the removing of clothes amongst her peers.
"Not really, but we'll see when we get out there," she sighed, the song changing to the next one on the list. Hinata helped her up and tried to look into TenTen's eyes again, but she averted hers, instead looking at the iPod in her hand.
"Wh-Why won't y-you l-look at m-me, T-TenTen-chan," she asked, sounding hurt.
TenTen closed her eyes. "Your eyes are just like Neji's. I can't…" She slowly opened her eyes and looked dead into Hinata's. "Gomen nasai, Hinata-chan." Hinata gave her a hug and she returned it, gulping down a lump in her throat.
"It's alr-right, T-TenTen-chan. I understand," she said, patting the taller and older girl's back. Then she let go and took TenTen's hand, opening the door and leading her down the hallway. Temari noticed them from the kitchen's window-in-the-wall, so she waved and then went back to her work of making dinner, which was going to be spaghetti. Ino was sitting on the couch and watching her puppy try to play DDR, not noticing the bun-head kunoichi behind her until she cleared her throat.
"Oh," Ino said, turning around to face them. "Hey… well, I guess I should say I'm sorry, but I want you to say you're sorry too."
TenTen nodded. "Yeah, I basically called you a whore back there, but you called me way more. I don't have an animal cruelty bone in my body and I sure as hell don't eat them either. I may follow Neji around, but that's only because we promised to protect each other's blind spots. I don't want him dying on me. I may not be as beautiful as the rest of you guys, but you don't have to rub it in. I get it: I'm average. It's been said and done for the past 18 years. And Neji may seem an emotionless ice-block to you, but that's only because he doesn't trust you with his emotions. He trusts me and Hinata, and that's all." She crossed her arms and waited for Ino's response, turning up her iPod a little bit. They could now vaguely hear the song "If Everyone Cared" by Nickelback.
"OK, OK, I get it. You have reasons for doing what you do and all. But I had a reason to try and seduce Neji in the Forest of Death: get his scroll so we could pass. And like you know, it didn't work. He went straight back to you, if my sources are right. And yeah, I guess that picking on your Chinese roots and getting on about your weapons wasn't a good thing to do either. Just being a bitch, no offense puppy," she said, looking down at the puppy now rolling on the DDR mat. "And you really are beautiful, TenTen, in your own way. It's just not as obvious as ours is." She stood up and sat on the back of the couch, crossing her legs and looking at TenTen with a sorry expression. "And I guess I shouldn't have insulted your relationship: to be honest, you guys are strange to me. It's all so mature and devoted and stuff… It makes me wonder why. We're all sad and angry, so I shouldn't have taken it so far."
"I guess what Ino's trying to say is that she fears what she doesn't understand, and that's why she insulted you," Sakura simplified, getting up and walking over, leaning on the edge of the couch with one elbow.
"You say our relationship is mature to you? Mature in what way," TenTen queried, a little confused with Ino's meaning.
"Well, you guys are just... well, like a well-oiled machine. And the way you guys touch, no matter how rare that is... it's like you both know where everything is, what everything is, what it feels like..." TenTen reddened the tiniest bit. "Am I right? Have you guys matured that far?"
She recieved no answer, just a song change: "Better Than Me" by Hinder. Hinata raised an eyebrow; why would Neji choose that song for TenTen's playlist?
"You guys gonna say sorry now, or am I gonna have to throw your asses outside for a couple hours," Temari called from the kitchen. TenTen nodded.
"Yeah, we're making up now," she said, turning to Ino and smiling. "Gomen, Ino. Can I have a hug now?"
Ino laughed, uncrossing her legs and saying," Gomen nasai TenTen, and of course you can." They each took a step and hugged, then TenTen let go to give Ino a noogie. "Oi, oi, oi, watch the hair!"
TenTen looked up at the others and smiled devilishly. "DOG PILE INO!!" TenTen brought Ino to the ground, then Sakura went down, then Hinata on top of her, and then Temari ran from the kitchen and tackled all four of them, laughing like she was high.
"Gah, I can't breathe," Ino yelled, muffled by the bodies. "Get your fat asses off me, right now!"
"What's the magic word, Platinum Blondie," Temari asked, smirking.
Ino growled and tried to get up, only to be grabbed by Sakura and pulled back under. "Why me?"
"Because we love you, Ino-chan!" Ino's puppy barked and then jumped on Temari's lap, wagging her tail happily.
"No puppy, not you too! Get off of Mommy, right now!"
"Don't you think it's time you named her Ino? You can't just call her "puppy" forever," TenTen said, giving Ino an extra squeeze around the neck.
"If you let me up, I might just do that," Ino said, trying to wriggle from TenTen's grasp. TenTen let go and Ino broke through the rest, standing up and holding her hands above her head in triumph. "I LIVE!"
"Duh Ino, we weren't gonna kill you under there… without the proper tools," Temari said, causing Hinata to shyly giggle.
"Y-Yes I-Ino-chan, we w-would never t-take your l-life. Y-You're d-d-dear to u-us."
"Yeah, Ino-pig. Even if I hate you, I still can't get rid of you," Sakura said, giving Ino a big smile.
"I can't kill you; people would get mad at me," TenTen joked, and Ino smiled.
"Oh, you guys!" Ino's puppy jumped up at Ino's legs and Ino brought her up in her arms, letting her lick her face. "I love you too, puppy! It's time to give you a name!" Ino ducked her head in thought and paced around, her puppy still licking her and wagging it's small tail. "Hmm… how about Hane? How's that sound, puppy?" She yipped and squirmed around in Ino's arms in an effort to get in the platinum blonde's face.
"Aww, look: She loves it," Sakura said, smiling warmly.
"Fine," Ino said, lifting the puppy by her armpits and holding it in front of her face. "Hane it is," she smiled. Everyone laughed as Hane wiggled in the air and barked her squeaky toy bark again, so Ino put her down and let her run around.
'Arigato, Kiba-kun… I'll love her just as I love you. Please, don't die out there.'
With the Shinobi
Off in the distant woods, getting farther and farther away from the kunoichi, a certain Inuzuka sighed, and Akamaru did as well; though his ended in a high pitched whine.
"I know boy, I miss her too…" the surrounding woods were darker than the lively plants back at his home village, and he wasn't a fan of the ominous wind blowing through the air. It was laced with many unfamiliar scents, but none were of the enemy; not yet. It was slowly getting dark, though he was sure that it was only 5 PM.
"This place unsettles me," he heard Shikamaru say from behind him. Kiba nodded.
"I know, I hate it."
"Don't worry! After a little rest it'll all be better," Naruto said optimistically. Hinata seemed to be rubbing off on him. They were getting close to the rest stop that Shikamaru had mapped out before they left and were secretly wishing that they were there already. They were already so far away; the leaves around them had changed and the trees had gotten thinner. Konoha was a slowly fading memory behind them.
"I dunno," Kiba mumbled under his breath. His canine-like eyes narrowed as Akamaru's deep bark shook the branches around them. Shikamaru stopped the rest and turned looked to Kiba.
"Is it the enemy?" Kiba crouched down and sniffed the air, then growled.
Neji activated his Byakugan and Shikamaru and Naruto flanked beside him.
"I guess we're not getting to our rest stop as planned," the Byakugan wielder stated, dropping deftly into his Jyuuken stance.
"Get ready," Shikamaru whispered, and he and the rest concealed their Chakra, waiting for the enemy to pass them. Naruto couldn't resist the crippling pressure of the silence and eventually burst,
"WE'RE READY WHEN YOU ARE, DATTEBAYO!"
A low chuckle followed by the clink of chain links sounded softly in front of them, the body that created the noise hidden by the darkness of his clothing and the shadows created by the trees.
"Then let's go…" the adversary said, then quickly threw his kusarigama at the group. His pure black kusarigama.
A kusarigama no one but Neji could see.
OK, that didn't come out as well as I though it would. But still, it isn't like I had the time.
1) It snowed here and I was playing in it: I hardly ever get snow, so I was like a kid in a candy store.
2) I was... incapcitated. -slightly embarassed look- I hate female problems.....
3) My dog, Oscar, had a sort of seizure/stroke type thing. He scared us, but he's fine. It just totally destroyed my concentration and gave me writer's block.
4) I have a big history report, English project, and book report on historical fiction of the Japanese internment camps to do. So that took up most of my time as well.
5) Track. Enough said.
Anyway, those are my crappy reasons. I hope that you still liked it anyway.
NEXT CHAPTER: Fight Scenes!! The strange man with the kusarigama revealed!