Um... sorry for the delay in updating- gadzooks, I didn't think it would take so long to write this chapter. I love you guys for putting up with me and my schedule, and I must extend my gratitude to the following people: Lonniet84, NarutosMego, violet.fox224, SnowLion no Miko, RainAngelSong, animecupidgirl, TheNewKid25, lallyzippo, Kroung, Elsie-neechan, shoeythoughts, Milk Marshmallow, Kitty Harasser, Air Sniper, Hikari Midori-chan, NinaWilliamsSilentAssassin, CheerfullyPessimistic, 9-DArK-Moon-4, IAmCompletelyWicked, Andrew Joshua Talon, ravemastaj, Allie, shikaruTo, BlackMageRose13, AkatsukiAddict, Creative Tendencies, SharadaGirl, Kickass Kunoichi, D akatsuki admirer, and Temthasy -

Thank you all for your support!!

Also, if you haven't seen Bjorkubus' 'kibalicious' drawing on DeviantArt, I think you should check it out!! Too cute!!!

Hyuuga household, 5:06 pm...

It was a little known secret within the compound that Hyuuga Hiashi liked to watch "Ellen" before dinnertime. Believe it or not, Hiashi had a sense of humor, one he didn't want the rest of Konoha to know about.

"Today's celebrity guests are: Zach Braff and Donald Faison from the hit TV show, "Scrubs"! The smooth sounds of musical guest, Yanni! Male model, Derek Zoolander! And more fun with wacky Iron Chef Masahito Morimoto! And now, everyone's favorite lesbian real estate mogul, El-"


"Why am I watching a RERUN?!!" ranted a none-too-happy Hyuuga Hiashi as he threw the remote control through a shoji door.

"O-Our apologies, Hiashi-sama," stammered the nervous attendant, gingerly rubbing the new bump on her forehead, "but the young mistress wasn't seen since she left early this morning..."

There was something akin to worry when Hiashi spoke. "Find my daughter. NOW."

Ichiraku Ramen Stand, 3:20 pm...

Elsewhere, on his way to the training grounds, Sasuke had noticed a large crowd gathered around the Ichiraku. Relieved for the distraction that was drawn away from himself, as he hated being the center of attention, he continued to walk on undisturbed.

However, he came to a full stop when some of the murmured whispers wafted past his ears.

"How misfortunate, left all alone to fend for herself..."

'Che, I know what that's like, but I didn't want anybody's damn pity,' Sasuke groused inwardly.

"You know, it's no secret that Hiashi was extremely disappointed in that little girl... Remember that time he sent her away to live with Yuuhi Kurenai?"

"Tsk, tsk. What a cold, arrogant man. Awful. Poor Hinata..."

'Hinata? Kicked out of her house? Disowned?!!' The Uchiha shook his head in disbelief as his heart began to beat erratically.

Ba-dmp. Ba-dmp. Ba-dmp.

Forget practice, this was a matter worth investigating!

As the group finally disbanded minutes later, sure enough, a slightly dirtied and disheveled Hinata (who had fallen onto the dirt floor in the previous chapter, no thanks to her woebegotten crush on Naruto) lay across a bench slumbering peacefully. To her side, he saw several tin cans and buckets filled to the brim with generous cash donations from the villagers for the mistakably homeless kunoichi.

His eyes widened a fraction. So it was true! Hinata was kicked out of her former home, forced to live her life as a street urchin! Sure, he found it strange that he hadn't seen her at the Hyuuga Compound for the past few days (he was unaware that she and her team had been on a mission outside the village, and yes, Sasuke was secretly in love)... She must've been crawling out of her alleyway residence before he had a chance to find her, and she was far too ashamed to ask her teammates and sensei for help...

Ba-dmp. Ba-dmp. Ba-dmp.

Sasuke shook his head. No. She couldn't continue on like this! She could DIE!! How could he possibly go on, knowing the only girl that DIDN'T nauseate him with her presence would no longer be walking amongst the living?!!

He took a deep breath and boldly made his way towards the sleeping beauty.

"Hinata," he spoke, tugging on her jacket sleeve. "You need to wake up."

"Nnnghhh..." the heiress pouted softly. "Nii-san didn't eat his beets, I don't want to, either.."

Sasuke blush came to his ears. 'Too cute,' he thought. "Wake up. It's me, Sasuke."

One pale lavender orb opened curiously, followed by its twin. "U-Uchiha-san?"

He frowned at the way she said his name. It was much too formal. "Hai. Are you... are you alright?"

Startled by the concern in his voice (to her recollection, Sasuke had never spoken to her in the past, so she had no reason to believe he'd even care), she launched herself into an upright position, taking a look at her surroundings.

"W-What am I doing here?" she asked, paling significantly.

"You don't remember?"

"N-No! W-Why was I sleeping on this bench, and not in my b-bed?"

Sasuke resisted the urge to blush when Hinata said the word, 'bed'. Instead, he grabbed her by the shoulders, forcing her to look into his eyes. "Hinata. Your father has disowned you. You've been living on the streets, maybe for the last week or so. Does any of this ring a bell?"

Hinata frantically nodded her head from side to side. Homeless? For an entire week?!! She could've sworn she came back from her team mission yesterday.. Now... now she wasn't so confident about her memory! Therefore, Hinata did what anyone would do in her situation- she began to cry.

The Uchiha held the sobbing girl to his chest, combing his fingers through her hair. It was something his own mother used to do for him, whenever he woke from terrible nightmares. "Shhh, it'll be alright. You... you can live with me. I'll take care of you," he spoke, his cheeks darkening as he spoke honestly and earnestly about his feelings. "I'll be the only family you'll ever need." Ba-dmp, ba-dmp, ba-dmp, ba-dmp... His heart was beating rapidly.

Her watery gaze met his. "R-Really?"

He unwrapped his arms from her form and rose from his seat, holding out his hand. Hinata regarded it for a moment as he waited with baited breath. Ba-dmp. Ba-dmp. Ba-dmp.

As if it were her only lifeline, she held onto it dearly with both hands, eyes sparkling with hope. "Will you really take me home, Sasuke-kun?"

"Hai, Hinata-chan," he smiled softly, as he led her away. "Let's go home."

Sasuke hadn't been this happy in a very, very long time.

Kiba's house, 5:47pm...

"Shhh!!! He's about half a mile away!!! Everybody, stay quiet, and don't make a sound!!!" Tsume ordered. "HANA!!! Turn out the lights!!! I'll Febreze the house!!!"

After hours of roughhousing with Akamaru in the forest, the doggy duo returned home in time for dinner, though they weren't that hungry. Just a while ago, they came upon a large sum of money that was lying in front of Ichiraku's and bought copious amounts of teriyaki-flavored beef jerky and dried pig ears. Yum.

However, coming up towards the path that led to his home, Kiba found it odd that the lights weren't on and that he couldn't smell his family around. To make matters worse, the door was locked, and he didn't have a key.

The pup tore at a piece of paper pinned atop the duffel bag lying on their porch. Kiba grabbed the note from Akamaru's mouth, squinted for a bit, and huffed in aggravation.

"Damn it, can you tell me what it says, Akamaru?" Sadly, along with spelling, literacy wasn't one of Kiba's strongest suits, either.

His faithful companion explained that because his family was going to be out of town, they would have to stay over at his mother's friend's place until they came back.

Shrugging his shoulders, Kiba took his bag, stared at the map on the paper, and walked past the gates of his home, trying to suppress the un-kibalicious feelings that were bubbling in his gut.

"Well, c'mon, boy," Kiba said warily, walking towards the gate. "Maybe if we hurry up a bit, we can get to this place in time for dessert."

Akamaru whimpered, sensing his master's distressed aura, gave a weak look back at their home, and padded off after him.

Gai's house, 6:08 pm

The overly enthusiastic Green Beast of Konoha was adding finishing touches to what would hopefully be the greatest sleepover of all time. Tonight, he and Kiba would play Jenga, eat lots and lots of fresh fruits and veggies, watch Disney movies, and have special guy talks late into the night. He couldn't wait!

At long last, there was a bold knock on the door. Gai, smiling through tears, opened the door, finally allowing the two standing behind it to see where they'd be staying for the night.

Kiba and Akamaru shared matching pained expressions. How could any of this be happening to them?!!

"COME INSIDE, SPECIAL GUESTS!!!" bellowed the Jounin, blinding the two with his overly bleached teeth.


Somewhere Just Outside of Konoha, 6:10 pm

Shino was almost home, and he had a broad smile on his face, one that was hidden behind the wall of durable fabric surrounding the lower half of his face. Things were going to get a bit more interesting within the next few days, and the very idea of what mayhem would ensue because of that stupid little word sent happy chills up and down his spine.

According to Kankurou, Suna would be having some diplomats over to discuss fair trade between other nations. Shino knew that the puppeteer would use any opportunity present to use his new special word. Kibalicious would then spread like wildfire and travel to other locations. In essence, life was almost perfect.

Chuckling slightly to himself, Shino was glad to be back where it all started. The beautiful impending disaster would be well worth the wait.

Um, I'll end it here because that's all I have. XD

Review, onegaishimasu!!