Last Time

Ino slowly walks around and gets to the park. The blond-haired teen looks around and doesnt see a soul in sight.

"Ugh...guess I'm kinda early..."

Ino keeps on walking until she sees a small meadow of flowers where she was taught along with other girls on being kunoichis. She picks up a cosmo flower, puts it in her hair, and repeats her words that she said to Sakura softly.

"What do you think? Do I look like a cosmos flower?"

"Yeah. You do."

Ino turns around and sees none other than Sasuke Uchiha and slightly blushes,

"Uh...W-what are you doing here?"

The Uchiha shrugs.

"Tsunade said to meet someone here at this time. Guess it was you."

Ino's blood starts to boil because of that.

'He didnt even know it was going to be me?? Ugh...the nerve...!'

"So...why were you saying that?"

Ino surprised by what he asked, stands up and looks at him.

"None of your business. So...wanna do something then? Go to Ichiraku's or hang around here?"

"Hn."

Ino closes her eyes and then reopens them asking the question again.

"Hello? Wanna go do something? Eat, hang around here? Something?"

The cosmos flower falls out of place from her hair.

Sasuke closes and the opens his eyes. He picks the flower off of the blond kunoichi's head and places it back into place.

Ino suddenly starts to blush lightly.

"W-What are you doing?"

"Nothing."

The mysterious Uchiha turns around and walks a few steps and then stops.

"So what do you want to do?"

Ino, again surprised, walks a few steps towards him.

"Um...let's go to Ichiraku's. Kay?"

"Hn..."

Both of the teen-aged ninja walk towards Ichiraku's.


So what's gonna happen?? Let's see and yeah, kinda took the title from something...bet you know...maybe... rolls eyes with a smile


Love Blooms Twice

At Ichiraku's

Both 15 year-olds arrive at Ichiraku's and to their surprise, so were their friends. From right to left was Neji, TenTen, Lee, Kiba, Shino, Hinata, Naruto, Kankuro, Choji, Shikamaru, Temari, Sakura, Gaara, and Sai. Two seats were left next to Sai. One for Ino. And one for Sasuke. The 14 ninja turn from their food and own conversations. Ino can feel their eyes staring at her as she and Sasuke sit down. Ino hears a whisper from TenTen to Neji,

"What's happening? I though Ino gave up on him and stuff..."

Before TenTen could even finish her sentence, Ino shot her a glare which sent her to put her attention back to her food.

Ino sighs deeply and looks around the little shop. Everything was normal. Ayame was standing around in case anyone needed something like water. Teuchi was making another bowl of noodles with about everything on it.

'It's problably Naruto's'

Ino lifted her arm signaling Ayame to come over.

"Um...Ayame, can I get a glass of water?"

Ayame nodded with a small smile on her face and goes off to get her a drink.

There was a silence until Ayame came back with Ino's water.

"Here you go Ino-san."

"Thank you Ayame." Ino took a sip and places it back on the table. Sakura was the next to break the silence.

"Hey Pig. So how's the training going? You're so gonna lose."

Ino looks at her emerald-eyed girl with her own sky blue eyes thanking silently for finally talking.

"Heh. Forehead, I bet you have to ask me since you do want to know from the best. Which IS me."

Ino smirks with a smile on her face, and Sakura smirks back.

"You nervous at all? Especially since you're going against some of the best here."

"Which is not including you thankfully Sakura. All you can really do is well...not much...is there? Maybe that's why you weren't picked."

The 16 ninjas all laugh except for Sakura who was pouting.

"Dont worry Sakura...I was just kidding...well except the fact that I am better than you."

Sakura regains her posture and smirks back.

"Well...I better be going. I need to go back to the hospital to help out Shizune-san. Oh Ino...Shizune-san also asked to speak with you. Come on, we can go there now since I'm heading there."

Ino nods and says her good-byes to the others.


With Ino and Sakura Going Towards The Hospital

The blond and pink haired ninja walk side-by-side to the hospital.

"So Sakura...what does Shizune-san want?"

Sakura shrugs. "Nothing. I just thought you needed to get out of there."

Ino smiles at and then smirks.
"Thanks. I did..."

"Ino..."

"What?"

"What...are you doing?"

Ino stops and looks at her. "What do you mean?"

Sakura stops to look at the blond kunoichi.

"Why are you suddenly with Sasuke? I thought that you werent gonna do this. Especially now...the week before the Event! Ino..."

"Sakura...it's not my choice." Ino grips her hands into a fist.

"What do you mean by that?"

"I mean...that...I was ordered to start liking him again."

"By who?"

"Tsunade-sama..."

Sakura blinks twice before realizing what Ino had said.

"You arent serious, are you? I was beginning to feel that she was gonna ask me that. But...why didnt you say no?"

"You know me Sakura...I never decline a mission. And also..."

Sakura sees a small smile appear on Ino's face, but she could tell that Ino was almost crying.

"And what?"

"Oh nothing...heh heh..." Ino laughs nervously.

"Really...it's nothing. He's not gonna get to me. I'm just supposed to act like one of his fangirls. I was one of them, so this is gonna be easy. And it's just for a week. So yeah."

Ino smiles a genuine smile, making Sakura realize that Ino wasn't kidding at all.

"Now come on Sakura. We better go on to the hospital. I don't really have anything to do today, because my mom is taking care of it today. So should we? I guess I can help out there today since you already dragged me this far and cuz Shizune-san doesnt actually need me today, I'll just go and volunteer some time. You're not the only medic-nin around here ya know."

Ino smirks with a wink at Sakura and starts to laugh a bit.

Sakura smirks back.

"Come on Pig. Let's get going then. You're gonna get me late to work."

"I wonder...why Ino didn't say no to Tsunade-sama..."

"Whatever Forehead."

Ino and Sakura make their way to the Hospital, ending part of their day already.

"Sakura...you might find out later, you might not. But you better ask Lee out, or else I did all this for nothing..."


The Qualifier Events

Ino Yamanaka stood with Shikamaru Nara behind her. The other team representatives stood by each other. Sasuke Uchiha was on one side of Ino, with Naruto behind her. Hinata Hyuuga and Kiba Inuzuka were on her left, with Neji and TenTen next to them and Kankuro and Temari beside the Team 7 representatives. Ino looked at her competition. They were the best of the best, from their teams anyway, and that's why they were there. The only thing she didn't understand was why Gaara wasn't in the Event, instead were his older brother and sister.

"Hm...so this event is just going to be a survival excerisize like back then in the Chuunin Exams? Thankfully those sound ninjas and other ninjas aren't here...well besides the two from the Sand Team. I wonder why the Gaara guy isn't here instead. Maybe it's better that way...who knows what will happen? I mean--"


A loud voice shout towards the 10 ninjas, quieting both the chatter from the selected 10 and the huge crowd surrounding the Hidden Forest of Konoha.

Ino looked up at a woman standing before them. It was none other than Tsunade.

"OK! You guys know what's going to happen. You have three days. This is simular to the Chuunin Exams you had problably taken back then. But you will not be getting scrolls. There are ten items in this forest. You must find each of them and then navigate yourself around to go to this building in the very center. In this round, you may team up with your team's representative for now. You may regroup or such as desired, just get through this. So I expect some of you to get through this with flying colors, but some will be weeded out. And also if you are not there in three days, at exactly noon, you will be disquailified from going to the Beginning Events. Now...provided that you are all ready. Go to your designated gates and wait for my signal."

Each of the two-man representatives ran to their selected gates. Ino and Shikamaru were on the Western side of the large circular gates surrounding the forest.

Somehow, Tsunade's voice is heard, but just barely.

"Now. If everyone is ready. Begin."

Each of the five gates to the forest opens and the crowd cheers for whoever they wanted to survive, survive and get closer to winning. At the same time, each set of team representatives bolt into the forest.


..:With Team 10 Representatives: Ino and Shikamaru:..

At the sound of the fifth's voice saying "Begin", Ino swiftly ran through the rusting, metal gates with Shikamaru behind the blond as she started jumping from tree branch to tree branch.

"So Shika...what should we look for first?"

Shikamaru follows at a constant speed as he looks at the list of items. Most of them were plants and such, like flowers and plants on trees or in the ground. Lucky for him, his teammate was the daugther of a family who specializes not only in mind technique, but also in flowers and plants.

"This is going to be a long three days...we have a total of 20 items to find. All of what seems like are all over this place. So it will take a while to just find at least one or even two in a matter of five hours. But I guess...if we start now, we could find some that are around here."

The blond girl stops abruptly on a branch, making Shikamaru stop in his tracks before they crashed into each other.

"What is it?"

"Lemme see the list."

Shikamaru handed Ino the list and the blond eyed it, reading the items they had to find. Next she observed the surroundings around her. They were near marshes and some swampy areas.

"Come on."

Shikamaru tilts his head to side and looks down, rubbing his forehead.

"Heh. Troublesome as always..."

He quickens his pace to gain up with Ino who was already at their destination.

Ino squats down and looks at some plants.

"Dont just stand there Shika! Help!"

"Help with what? I dont even know what we are looking for..." Shikamaru replied in a lazy tone.

The blond throws the list at the pineapple shaped-hair boy. He catches it in mid-air and scans the sheet.

"What about it, huh?"

Ino sighs while moving around still in the squated position.

"Just help me look for the first one. The Barberry. It's location is usually in swampy areas. And so is #9, the Heloniopsis orientalis, it is found in moist soil. So keep your eye for these and tell me when you find either one of them."


..:With Sasuke and Naruto:..

"So Teme...where should we look first?" The energetic blond asked.

The Uchiha replys with a "Hn." and keeps moving along.

"Come on Teme! You have to talk or at least help. I cant do everything you know!"

An agitated vain is revealed as Sasuke grits his teeth and glares back at Naruto.
"Shut up! ...You loser..."

Naruto makes a "" face and fastens his pace to try to knock Sasuke on the head. But Sasuke beat him to it and stopped suddenly making Naruto run into a tree. The knuckle-head ninja digs his head from the tree and turns to look at the Uchiha prodigy and gives in with a sigh.

"Fine Teme...let's make a deal."

Sasuke crosses his arm in his usual way he always did and leaned against a tree.

"What kind of deal, huh?"

Naruto scratches the back of his head.

"Um...well...how bout we actually try to work with each other on this? I want to win this thing."
Sasuke sticks his hands in his pockets as usual and thinks.

"Fine. So what are we looking for?"

Naruto scans the list and starts saying the 10 items on the list making Sasuke sigh as the energetic ninja finishes reading.

"Any idea where we should look?"

Naruto shrugs.

"Hm...if only we had Ino-chan...you know her and plants and flowers and all that stuff. Too bad she isnt part of our team..."

Naruto crosses his arms and grunts looking around.

Sasuke stays quiet as he straightens up and looks around.

"Then come on, we'll go and look for some things. What's #1 again?"

Naruto scans the list again and stares at #1.

"Um...its the Barberry."

Sasuke yawns and closes his eyes.

"Then come on already." he says as he

starts flash-stepping from tree branch to tree branch again with Naruto following behind. But that's when Naruto stopped.

"Hey! Will you hurry up, you loser?"

But Naruto didnt move. He stayed in his spot and stared down. He found Ino and Shikamaru there, below them. Sasuke found that he had been running for the last five minutes with Naruto in the same spot he froze in. Sasuke was in no mood for Naruto's stupidity.

Suddenly Sasuke appeared next to Naruto and was about to yell his mouth off, when he saw that Naruto was staring at something...or someone.

"Naruto, you dobe! What are you doing?"


..:Normal POV/Slightly Ino's POV:..

A noise was heard up in the trees from where Ino and Shikamaru were.

Ino casually made her way to Shikamaru without making it obvious.

"Psst...Hey Shika."

"Wha-"

Ino put her index finger to her mouth, signaling him to shut up.

"Shh! There's someone watching us from up in the trees. Just stay put and dont make any wierd movements to make them know we know they're there. I'm gonna trap them. They shouldn't be trying to steal our answers or whatever we find."

Shikamaru sighs. It was useless to argue with Ino. Especially when it came to showing off any of her new techniques she learned for the last two years.

Ino casually gets up, pretending she was looking around for something else, when she was actually getting ready to use her trap she sets up everywhere she goes.

Hey, she has learned over the years that it was all that good at all do anything reckless and terrible. Her father would always scold her for not being more careful back then, and that just ticked her off. Like the blond didnt know what could happen if she left herself unguard.

Anyway...

The blond boy and dark haired boy stared down still, unknown to what was about to happen to them, when suddenly...

The dull blond haired girl bent down to look at a flower, when she cut some ninja wire that was neatly hidden to where she could cut both the wire and stem at the same time.

Leaves rattle lightly from above Naruto and Sasuke--who were still unknowing of what was about to happen when... whoosh!

A two seperate nets came swiftly from on top of Naruto and Sasuke capturing each of them, bringing them to a bruising landing.

Sasuke makes a "--" face.

"Not another trap...I should really stay away from this girl...or at least not sneak up on her..."

"HEY! WHAT WAS THAT?!"

Sasuke turned his face away from Naruto who was shouting.

Ino puts one hand on her hip, leaving the other to hang down her side. and sighs.

"Oh it's just you two. What were you doing up there? Trying to get some answers from us?! Geez Naruto...you're really hopeless sometimes..."

Naruto laughs nervously.

"Heh heh...sorry Ino-chan...but really! Did you have to do that?"

Ino smirks.

"Course I did. I mean, I might've done it differently if I knew it was you, but I didn't know it was you two. It could've been anyone, so whatever. Back to my question though! Why were you spying, huh? You heard the rules, only two-man squads. And I dont think Shika and I will really want to join your group. You can't even find a barberry or an onion or even...even...poison ivy! Come on. Why would we want to join your group? Huh? So you mind as well leave."

Naruto grunts.

"How can we go?! You have us caught in these thi--"

As Naruto finishes his word, within the blink of an eye, the two nets were cut into little pieces, letting Sasuke and Naruto go.

"I guess I spoke too soon..."

Ino smirks again and crosses her arms across her chest.

"Whatever. So you should get going. I mean...it's getting dark, and then tomorrow is the second day. There's no good reason for why Shika and I should join your group."

Naruto thinks for a minute.

"Um...Sasuke-teme is going to be in our group. How bout that? Huh? We know you still like him Ino-chan!"

Both Ino and Sasuke go a little wide-eyed, stimultaneously hitting him upside the head, giving him to lumps on his head.

"H-H-Hey...what'd you guys do that for...? T-That really hurt..."

Ino and Sasuke look at each other, with Ino, starting to blush lightly enough for no one to see, and quickly tries to change her face to her usual smirky cute "I dont care" look.
"Hpm. Thats what you get Naruto...talking about such things."

Naruto starts to get a sweat drop down.

"What? I didnt lie about anything...now come on Ino-chan...come help me and Sasuke-teme."

Ino shakes her head no, with Naruto pleading at her feet.

"Come on Ino-chan! They won't know what happens. I mean, so what if Granny-Tsunade hears about it. At least we are using teamwork. That should count for something. Right?"

Ino sighs. What was she going to do?


TBC...To Be Continued!! Whoo...lol. Yeah...i know i said i would update it sooner, but i had major writers block. But i guess will do...PLEASE REVIEW! lol. No flames plz and thank yaz! )

ino4life