Sup? Okay, My KibaxIno sucked as far as I know… everyone freaking flamed the pairing… I LIKE KIBA x INO… but I was angry when I wrote it. It's no longer available, because I deleted it. This is my first attempt at Ino x Neji, so please try to flame as little as possible… It hurts ya'know… Maybe some constructive criticism, but no more than that! People told me my story sucked and they hated the pairing... It's not something you want to hear or read about your writing so be gentle. Anyway, I live my life sunny side up, but these first two chapters are going to be depressing… More Authors notes at the end of the chapter! Lots of Love R&R -HANL

Key: 'thoughts' "ANGRY RANTS" -flashbacks- "Speaking" POV's

-Chapter One- Mourning

Rain washed the streets as pain and suffering gathered around in Kanohagakure. It emphasized the pain everyone was feeling at that moment in time. Every shinobi and villager alike gathered to mourn the loss of an excellent student, fast learner, strong, elegant, goofy, and all-around trust worthy medic kunoichi. All of her graduating class was in total shock of the loss. She had given her life to save her comrades' lives. The girl in the front fell to her knees in tears. Heaving deep breaths and sobbing every tear she had. Her pale blonde hair cradled her nape as the girl continued to sob. Her teammate kneeled beside her, soothingly stroking her back, "She died saving this country… That's every shinobi's duty." The blonde swatted at the brunette boy, "It isn't fair! Why her? I should have been the one to go, not her!" He caught her wrist, "Calm down Ino, there's nothing you could have done. You were under a genjutsu. It isn't your fault." Ino furrowed her brows, narrowing her eyes at him, "I could have done something if I were stronger. I don't need you babying me Shikamaru." Shikamaru stood with a loud sigh, "Fine then. I'll see you later. Come on Chouji." The plump boy next to him waddled behind Shikamaru awkwardly. After everyone had left, Ino was left alone. Not even her best friend's teammates stayed behind.

The blonde walked to the coffin, gingerly fingering the oak, "Sakura… Why?" She traced her finger over the picture of her pink-haired friend and placed a beautiful arrangement of flowers before it. Ino smiled softly, placing a cherry blossom beside the picture, "You deserve the best…. Nothing more, nothing less…" She wiped her eyes with her sleeve, "Forehead girl." A cold voice sounded behind her, "Ino-pig." Ino spun around quickly, only to see two familiar milky white eyes staring into her moist blue ones, "What?" He placed a small flower on the coffin, "She was your best friend I take it?" "Why do you care?" She didn't mean for her voice to sound ruff, but it just came out that way. His emotionless glare found its' way back to her, "I don't." He patted her shoulder, "Good shinobi don't cry." Ino winced, "I'm not a good enough shinobi." He tilted his head questioningly. She sighed, "Go away Neji." Neji smirked, "I have a right to be here, Yamanaka." Ino grunted, "Yes, but you have no right to pry into my personal life." Neji sighed, "You act like you hate me." Ino growled, "I do. And you feel the same, correct?" Neji scratched his onyx locks, "You have no right to pry into my personal life." Ino twitched, "You…You…You…" Neji raised an eyebrow, "I what?" Ino started to sob again, "Just leave me alone!"

-The mission was to protect a rich man named Halle no matter the cost. He was incredibly well-known, and wanted dead by many missing-nins. Ino, Sakura, Kiba and Shikamaru were chosen for the mission. Halle was a plump, short man with a rather noticeable facial structure: a long, stick-like nose, green eyes that could bore through any soul, rather large cheek bones, and a defining mustache that ironically looked like a duck's butt. Ino and Sakura were territorial as they always were, but nether the less, their friendship was stronger than it had ever been. They were much closer now that Sasuke had left the picture. It's amazing what one guy could do to a friendship. Shikamaru mumbled random troublesome comments under his breath while Kiba was just there, Akamaru being the louder one. They had just set up camp, so Halle had gone to bed. Kiba and Akamaru sat in Halle's tent as he slept, keeping watch out for enemies. Shikamaru had dozed off against a tree, leaving the two girls to guard camp. Sakura nudged Ino lightly with her elbow, "Hey, any chance you and Shika-kun are going to date?" Ino smiled softly, "Nah… Been there, done that. It didn't quite work out as planned." Sakura hugged her knees, "Ah. So, any guys at all?" Ino glanced at her childhood friend, "No, why?" Sakura clasped Ino's shoulders, "Me and Naruto have just become more than friends. Can you believe it?" Ino blinked, "I never thought I'd see the day you two became a couple." She jokingly prodded Sakura's forehead, "Must be because you grew into your forehead finally." Sakura stuck out her tongue, "Nah…" She looked up, "I see so much more of a man than I did when we were twelve, you know?" Ino ruffled her pink tassels, "You are such a loser Haruno, but you two go well together." Sakura smiled, "I'm glad you think so." Ino smiled sincerely, "Whatever makes you happy is perfect for you." The two giggled, traveling further into the conversation.-

Neji sighed, "You sure are sensitive." Ino dropped to the floor, choking out the next words, "And Naruto! He didn't even stay after everyone was gone! I didn't see him cry, not one bit! They… they were together." Neji raised an eyebrow, "Listen Yamanaka, I'm not staying here all day, so I'm going to make this speech as quick as I can possibly make it. Haruno is gone. She died saving you, Kiba, Shikamaru and that Halle guy. At least respect her enough to stop sobbing. Carry on her story and let her spirit continue to live." Ino blinked at Neji forwardness, "I've never heard you talk so much." Neji sighed, "Hn. Training will help keep your mind from your loss. Join me." Ino tilted her head, "Was that a request or demand?" Neji glared at her, "Just come on." Ino scrambled to her feet, "Hai!" Neji rolled his eyes, "No moping either. It's too distracting." Ino followed silently, still bent on mourning her friend's death. Neji could sense it. He wondered to himself why it hit her hardest. Not even Sakura's parents mourned that much. He kept his back to her, "Why cry for Haruno more than her own parents do?" Ino glanced at him, "She's all I had left that was close to family." Her parents had both passed away a few years earlier, but Sakura was there to make the pain easier to get over. Sakura was her comfort zone, and it was just stolen from her in the blink of an eye.

She rubbed her arm, "I'm all alone now." Feeling sympathy for the pathetic female, he draped his black jacket over her arms, "You were shivering." Ino blinked. His Byakugan was so impenetrable; she couldn't read his thoughts at all. She sighed deeply, "I think I'm just going to head home… Can I take a rain check on the training?" Neji nodded, "Tomorrow after breakfast, meet me at the training grounds behind the Hyuuga compounds." Before Ino could answer, he was gone. She sighed, gripping the jacket tightly around her. She shook her head, "Neji comforted me? How…. Out of character." She glanced up, "Maybe there's something wrong with him." She shrugged and walked home.

Okie dokie, like I said earlier R&R, be gentle peas!

Lots of love -HANL