Title: Promises to Keep

Fandom: Naruto

Characters/Pairing: Shino/Kiba/Hinata

Rating: PG.

Word Count: 360

Summary/Description: There are many miles to go.

Warning/Spoilers: None of either.

A/N: Written for the week two challenge at GreenBelow on LJ, travel. Takes place early on in the series; let's say not too long after they become a team. I wanted this to be romantic, but it's more a platonic team thing.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, and no profit is being made off of this.

"Do you even know where we're going?" Kiba growled, and kicked at a stone. Akamaru barked an accompaniment.

Shino didn't look at him.

"I do."

"Heh!" the other boy scoffed, walking a little faster to keep abreast of his team-mate. Hinata walked at a slightly slower pace behind them both. "Then why does that rock look so familiar? How do you know we're not going in circles?"

It took a while for Shino to answer; Kiba was beginning to think he was ignoring him when he heard,

"Because I pay more than superficial attention to my surroundings. Unless that rare flower next to the rock looks familiar to you as well."

Kiba glared, and cocked and eyebrow.

"Sarcasm, great. Try a little harder, and who knows? You might even grow a sense up humour."

This elicited a sigh from Shino, who still did not physically acknowledge Kiba.

"Must you be so obnoxious?"

"Must you be such a prick?" Kiba mocked, hackles rising almost visibly.

This time Shino actually turned his head to look at Kiba; whatever he had to say must have been important. However, Hinata spoke up before he did.

"Um… Kiba-kun? Shino-kun?" They both looked back to find her pressing her thumbs together in that way of hers. "…Please don't fight. W-we should concentrate on getting back to the village."

They stopped walking, and so did she. The two boys looked at each other hard and long before glancing at Hinata. Her wide were wide and sad, and they shifted a little, guiltily.

Shino moved first, bowing slightly in apology before continuing to walk. Kiba growled, and then walked back to Hinata, sliding his features into an amicable expression.

"Ah, sorry about that, Hinata-chan." He slung an arm around her back, and grinned at her charmingly, hoping put her at ease.

She smiled falteringly, and indicated that it was okay. He sighed with relief.

"So, hey. You got the map, don't you? Why don't you tell me; how much further until home?"

Hinata bit her lip, and looked ahead towards Shino's back. Beside Kiba, Akamaru whined a little.

"We still have a long way to go," she admitted.

A/N: Oh dear. I enjoy doing the subtext thing a bit too much.

And it is so blindingly obviously when I use poetry to inspire my work. (hangs head in shame) Whoever can guess the poem gets… nothing, sorry, 'cause it's pretty obvious.

Comments would be awesome. :D