Not Love:Loneliness

In the forest, far from the village, the tired group rested. Sasuke and Ten-ten panted from high in the tree as they tried to catch there breath. On the ground, the others leaned against the trees. Sakura, Ino, Hinata, Naruto, Neji, and Shikamaru. Saino stood near Ino as he leaned on his knees.

"Say, why are they after you, anyway?" Naruto asked.

"Well, all of you are from the leaf village, right?" He asked.

"Yeah." Naruto said.

"Well, they don't like the leaf village too much. Then again, I don't either. That's why I lead you out here where they could ambush you."

"What!" Neji said. He was quickly becoming angry at himself for not paying more attention to his surroundings.

"You're lying." Ino said.

"Nope. When we saw you, the idea came to us to just lure ninja's out the village before we attacked. Since we saw you leaving we figured we'd test out that plan." Saino sain.

"Why you little--" Naruto couldn't even finish his statement. He punched Saino in the face and there was a puff f smoke as a log hit the ground before him.

"Substituition juutsu." Sakura said. She then shrieked as a kunai hit the tree right above her head.

"Split up." Shikamaru called. Everyone jumped out away from the spot they were in, not even paying attention to who they were with. Neji found himself with Hinata, Shikamaru and Ino found they were together with the addition of Sakura, and Naruto was alone.

"Hey what's the big idea!" Naruto yelled when he found no one was standing close to him. A ninja appeared before him and he ducked down to avoid a boot to the face.

"What are you doing near me!" Ino yelled.

"You're the one who jumped next to me." Shikamaru replied. He used his shadow possession juustu on a lone ninja. "Why don't you do something useful."

"Oh, shut up!" Ino said as she did her hand signs. "Watch my body, Sakura." Ino used her mind transfer juutsu on the ninja Shikamaru captured. Ino, in the body of the ninja, then ran off and Shikamaru followed.

"Wait, what am I suppose to do?" Sakura cried.

A ninja appeared immediately and reared to attack. Naruto and five of his clones knocked him out and completely pumbled him. "You should be careful, Sakura."

"Naruto..." Sakura looked up at him. Naruto prepared to hear her confess her gratitude and love. "What took you so long!"

"Geez, Sakura, you could say a little thanks." Naruto said.

Hinata and Neji were fighting back to back, Neji constantly telling Hinata not to drop her guard or lose focus. He had never realized how good a fighter she was, even if she wasn't as good as him. They were quickly taking out their opponents with just a few hits tothe right pressure points. Neither of them truly noticed how they were a compliment to one another in battle. Neji was on high guard to watch Hinata and himself and pushed harder than if he were alone or with one of his teammates. Hinata, in trying to male up for her under-confidence, was able to notice small things that Neji overlooked. Both of their skill made sure that neither of them had to take care of the other too much.

In the trees, Ten-ten was hitting everyone she could with paralysis needles and other fast acting poisons.Sasuke took out anyone who approached them or was in his sight with his fireball juutsu and a few quick powerful blows.

"This is all Kakashi's fault." Ten-ten said.

"All because he sent us on a fake mission." Sasuke continued for her.

"Wait until we get back, Kakashi." Ten-ten muttered.

Sasuke laughed slightly. 'I wonder how that will turn out.'he thought. Ino ran through slitting the throats of the ninja caught in Shikamaru's shadow possession. The fighting(or rather, easy killing) was a huge distraction for her and she was grateful to have it.

Everyone's thoughts were the same. 'Why was this battle so easy?'Whether it was everyone's teamwork, Ino killing anyone Shikamaru froze for her, or Sasuke and Ten-ten paralyzing, poisoning, and setting fire to anyone they saw, the battle went faster than it should have.

Naruto and his clones banged the heads of two ninja's together and let them fall to the ground. "See anymore, Sakura?" Naruto asked.

Sakura sat in a tree holding Ino's body. She had been acting as lookout. (being useless as anything else.) "No, that's the last of them." She was also guarding Ino's body.(She had to throw a kunai at this one guy. She did something.)

Naruto collapsed onto the ground. "Man, that was exhausting."

"Yeah." Sakura agreed. (Though she didn't do anything!!)

"You're telling me." Ino agreed, back in her body. Sakura jumped and dropped Ino's body. "Sakura!" She yelled from on top of Naruto who'd been under the tree.

"Sorry." Sakura called down. "You surprised me."

"Stupid, clumsy, Sakura."Ino mumbled to herself. She picked up and dusted herself off. "I have to go, don't tell shikamaru where I went." she ran off.

A few moments later Shikamaru showed up. "Either of you seen Ino?" He asked.

"She went that way." Naruto and Sakura both pointed.

"Thanks." Shikamaru said, going in the direction they said.

"Ino will be mad." Naruto said.

"Yeah, I think maybe you were right about them." She said, looking down.

"Really?" He scratched his chin."I think I was way off. I mean, did you just see that."

"How come you never listen to what I say?" Sakura explained. "You always say the opposite of what I do."

"I think you're wrong on this one, Sakura." Naruto continued.

"They're gone, brother." Hinata said. "We finished the last of them." Hinata slid to the ground, tired from fighting. Neji leaned his back against her and took a few breaths.

"You did good, Hinata." He told her.

"I-I just did my best." she mumbled.

"I'm glad I fought with you...sister."

Hinata looked at him, but his face was the same as always. She smiled. Neji finally respected her, even if just a little.

"Neji's getting along with Hinata." Ten-ten whispered.

"Who would have thought all she had to do to earn his respect was fight with him?" Sasuke said.

"I would." She answered. Sasuke looked at her. "I'm not saying I did, it just seems very...Neji."

"And you know all about everything Neji." He commented.

Ten-ten pushed Sasuke off the branch, but he simply landed on another. He smiled smugly at her. "So what if I used to like him, I don't anymore." Ten-ten said. "I haven't in a long time."

"Yeah, now you like Lee." Sasuke said. Ten-ten threw a few of her paralysis educing needles at him, just barely missing by millimeters as he tried to dodge. "It was a joke." Sasuke said as he tried to escape.

"So is this." Ten-ten cried as she threw a few more near misses. The two of the ran through the trees over Ino and Shikamaru but had no time to stop.

"Ino, wait up!" Shikamaru said as he was catching up to her. "Ino!"

Finally, she whirled on him. "Look, about what I said--" Ino never got to finish her statement because of a pair of lips that suddenly attached themselves to hers. She felt herself nearly fall to her knew at the kiss.

"It doesn't matter what you said before." He told her. "You still don't want to be lonely, do you?"


"Alright, then. That's all I need to know."

"But--" He kissed her again, cutting off her words. He backed her against a tree and slid his tongue into her mouth. It was the most passionate kiss that they ever shared, if they'd ever had a passionate kiss. Her knees started to go weak but he held her up.

"Ino." The way he said her name made her melt. So softy... "Don't you get it?"

"Get what?" She asked.

"We're already dating. We have been this whole time. It doesn't matter right now." He kissed her again. She noticed that there was real emotion in his kiss and let herself drown in it. He was right it didn't matter. Not mow.

For the first time in a long time; the first time since she was younger, the first time since she loved Sasuke, she did not feel even slightly that she was alone.

Bonus Scene

"Gai-sensei." Lee said. "I have returned with a message a message."

"A message? For who?" Gai asked.

"It is for Kakashi-sensei."

"Me?" Kakashi asked pointing to himself.

"Yes. The book you have ordered 'Lover's Paradise' won't be in for another two weeks."

"I see." Kakashi said. "Good thing the second copy I ordered has already arrived." He held up the book.

"So are you saying you sent those kids out there for nothing!" Gai questioned.

"Well, someone had to pick up the other book."

"Kakashi, you may be an excellent teacher, but you're an awful parental guardian."

Kakashi just laughed.

Yes, this is the end. So what do you think? Before you start whining I'm going to write a sequel. Or maybe it's just a follow-up story. The point is, It will be called Mental Chaliceand all you whiner will finally get your silly Ino/Shika fluff and love. There will be other pairings. People did get close in this story, and that affects there relationship in the next one. If you love me, this story, or any of the characters you'll review. The sand ninja's will be in the next on too. I love them(except Kankuro, he's just wierd) and I wish I could have had them in this story. (again, except Kankuro)

Review if you love us! I hope you liked it! And if you didn't, it's not to late. Give me suggestions, demands, anything for the next one. I promise, I really do read and listen to every single one. I even reply to all the signed reviews personally.

The sequel will be on hold for a while(or longer) but it will get done. If any can give me suggestions, DO IT!!Help me out! The pairing are probably going to be Ino/Shikamaru, Sasuke/Ten-ten, Kiba/OC, Naruto/Sakura but this is not final. Except for Shikamaru and Kiba's pair.