Chapter 1

"Naruto!" Shikamaru yelled, sweat dripping all over his face. "Slow down a bit! You're too fast and the team can't catch up!"

Naruto hesitantly paused (nearly almost falling off) and stopped at ten branches ahead of them. "You know that I have to get Sasuke back after this mission! The faster the better..Even I know that he might get stronger when the time goes past!"

Shikamaru sighed. His mouth formed a slightly crooked and rather strangely forced smile. "You still got two and a half years or so, besides, this-" He stared at the scroll Tsunade had given him, "…is a 'B' rank mission and we won't finish it till atleast three weaks or even more." He groaned when Naruto, being his stubborn self, continued to go faster than them, making the team more exhausted. "We won't finish this mission quickly if the team is tired! And we'll be out of chakra!" he yelled. "Meh..How troublesome."

Naruto moaned. "HAaaaaah? Oh great! What's the mission again?"

Shikamaru sighed again.

The team consisting of Tenten, Naruto, Neji, Lee, Chouji, and Kiba with Akamaru returned. They were many wounds and scars all across their arms and faces and sweat dripping down their muddy faces. Of course, Naruto, being the active one, yelled and stomped on the ground, grinning. Chouji grinned and said, "Naruto, I'll get you two bowls of ramen and four smacks on the head for the reward of you making us look bad."

"RAMEN!" the orange-coated ninja yelled, running to Ichiraku Ramen. Chouji, just as excited, running after him.


The chuunin pineapple-headed leader recognized the voice tiredly and rather quickly covered his ears. "Don't come near me, don't come ne-"

"SHIKAMARU! How dare you cover your ears like that, put them down this instant! Godaime-Hokage sama wants to see you with your report."

Sighing, he trudged slowly to the tall building with Ino prancing around.

"Can't you be atleast a bit happy that you're finally home?" Ino spoke, raising a brow. "You know how hard it was to be the only damn one on our team? Asuma-sensei made me train really hard! You should feel sorry for me, you know.." She glanced at Shikamaru, sighed, and gave a tiny smile. "Nevermind, I'll go home. Looks like you're tired so rest, okay?"

Shikamaru smirked and saw Ino prance home. Then, he looked back to his direction of walking and saw his dad leaning against the wall of the huge building.

"Yo, Shikamaru."

Shikato grinned and raised a hand up with two fingers raising towards the sky. "Good mission? Fail or success?"

"Success..But barely." He reported to Tsunade and put his hands into his pockets, walking alongside his father. He thought about how he acted towards Ino and scowled, feeling slightly guilty and also scared of what might come tomorrow. "Troublesome."


Ino walked around her room, pacing. She rubbed her shoulders and did a few exercises. "Ah, jeez! My body's aching all over and it's going to be hard to do missions on this-"

She sat down on her bed, brushing her long blonde hair. "My teammates are so clumsy. Chouji went to go treat Naruto and I say hello to the laziest person in the world. Why couldn't I have Sasuke on my team?" Sighing, she put her brush down and let herself fall to the bed. "Then again, I think I got over him, sort of. It's been a while since he was gone." Ino shook her head violently, "No! Sasuke's the only one for me!"

Not really able to fall asleep, she kept staring at her clock, thinking about childhood memories, Sasuke, Sakura, her teammates, and even her teacher. I wonder if I could even find who I'd like in Konoha other than Sasuke, who I don't even see anymore. There's nobody that could match perfectly for me.

Soon enough, Ino drifted into sleep.