Disclaimer: I would say I owned it, but I don't want some Jounin trying to kill me.

Ninety Eight

by ramasterharper

"That mission was so awesome, way better than those stupid D missions!" Kiba announced to the world that cared a lot less then he thought it did. "I mean did you see that guy I beat up! He was huge! Must have been as tall as a building!"

"T-true shinobi avoid fights were they c-can," Hinata reminded her teammate. Team 8 was walking home after a mission debriefing. Their latest mission had taken an unexpected turn when the pet monkey (Kiba was still scratching his head over that one) they were supposed to recover had been found at a bar full of very large men who had adopted it as a mascot and had not been willing to give it up without a fight. Fortunately, none of them had been ninja, so Kurenai had let the team take care of them. Ten men would recover within a week, five others were in the hospital, but one would have a paralyzing fear of insects for life.

"Well yeah, I guess, but those guys gave us no choice!" Kiba defended, careful not to do so angrily to avoid upsetting his female teammate.

"….." was the other male teammate's reply.

"Fine, so I kind of made it worse when I told the guy Akamaru was a hundred times smarter than him and maybe I didn't react real well when they said those….. things (both Kiba and Hinata blushed furiously at the memory) about what Sensei could do for them, but come on, it was a great fight!" He punched his fist into the air to prove his point. Kiba looked at his teammates for agreement. Hinata was still doing her tomato impression while staring at the road in front of her, trying to get those 'suggestions' out of her head and Shino continued doing his impression of a walking statue. "Right Akamaru?" Kiba asked the small dog perched on his head. Akamaru gave a short bark which apparently did not mean yes. "What do you mean I shouldn't have bit the guy! You saw those gestures he was making!"


Kiba stopped his ranting long enough to turn his head. "Yes Hinata?"

"I-I just wanted t-to say th-thank you for saving me," Hinata stuttered staring at her hands and continuing to blush. During the fight Hinata had stopped to help one of the more seriously injured men. Sensing a chance to get a small amount of revenge on the three children who were beating up his friends, another man had come behind her and was about to hit her on the head with a chair before Kiba stopped him. That man's recovery would likely take the longest out of the group.

Kiba blushed a little, it wasn't every day girls thanked him for saving their lives, and put his hand behind his head. "Don't worry about it, it's what teammates do. You'll pay me back. That's what? Two times over you owe me your life?" Hinata bit her lip and was about to nod when they heard an unusual sound. Shino suddenly became the center of attention. "Did you say something Shino?" Kiba asked uncertain.

"No," was the simple reply.

"No you didn't say anything or…"

"No Hinata does not owe you her life two times over." Hinata and Kiba looked at each other and shrugged, uncertain what he was referring to.

"If you say so Shino. So how many times does she owe me? One? Three?"

"Ninety-eight." Both Kiba and Hinata stopped in their tracks. There was no possible way that number could be right, but Shino never joked.

"Sh-shino…" Hinata tried to begin.

"Ah come on. There is no way she owes me that many Shino!" Kiba said while trying to laugh it off.

"She owes you nothing. You owe her ninety-eight times."

There was a significant silent pause. Then Kiba shouted, "WHAT?" He looked at his teammate like Shino's head had been replaced with a giant fly's head (actually Kiba had had a few dreams where that happened, still scared him that it might happen one day). "There is no way…. No way!" Kiba quickly dropped back so that he could see both his teammates. "It's not that I would mind being indebted to Hinata, I mean she's strong and our teammate, but there is no way I could possibly owe her THAT much!" Hinata for her part was nodding her head slowly in agreement, while blushing at suddenly being the center of attention. "I mean when has she ever saved my life?" Kiba demanded, only coming up with a couple of examples that he was confident he had paid back in full.

Shino stared at Kiba for a moment before replying, "Training."

"Training? We are never in danger during training!" Kiba exclaimed shortly followed by a bark from Akamaru. "Fine! We might have occasionally been in some danger, but not life threatening!" Hinata was now trying to blend into the shadows that were across the street while trying to remember when these events might have happened.

Shino for a moment didn't do anything, not unusual for him. He then reached up and used a finger to push his glasses farther up his nose and answered, "The fact that she was there has stopped me from killing you on numerous occasions." Silence reigned again. Shino was statuesque, Kiba looked at him in shock with Akamaru trying to maintain his perch, and Hinata tried to hide in her coat.

After a moment Kiba gave a shallow chuckle, which eventually made its way up to laughing out loud. Kiba began walking forward again and his teammates joined him, flanking either side. "Knew I was getting to you when we first started training. You act like you don't care about anything but I was getting a rise out of you anyway. Fine, I'm willing to owe Hinata here," Kiba patted Hinata's shoulder causing her to blush again, "my life for stopping you. Besides, I'm sure you got this killing-me thing out of your system. Right buddy?" At that moment Kiba did one of the stupidest things he had ever done. He hit Shino on the back in a gesture of friendship. A normal ninja would not take offense, but this was Shino, and the cracking sound of many bugs being crushed under his jacket from the force of the move quickly informed Kiba of the seriousness of his crime. Profound silence settled again.

"Sh-shino," Hinata tried to calm.

"Ninety-nine," was all Shino said.

A/N: Anyone want to take bets on if Kiba will live to see 20? Anyone? Review either way.