I don't own Naruto.

Ino knows that she could never let go of Sasuke. Not from the first moment she remembers knowing him. SasukeInoNeji with SakuraNaruto hints

If I Could I Would Not Love You

"It's been two years, Ino. You think he'll come back." Sakura stated in the innocent way she seemed to have claimed all her own.

The blond girl smirked. The two girls were currently cleaning up the Uchiha compound... as they did every week... "Only because he realized he missed me so much. Not because of a forehead like you." The name-calling was always easier than facing the reality.

Sakura smiled, "Okay Pig. I have to go back to the hospital. Naruto got himself into some trouble earlier."

"Are you going to nurse him back to life? I feel bad for that poor boyfriend of yours!" Ino teased.

"He's not my boyfriend, you fat pig!" The blond girl laughed as her best friend stomped out of the house. A blush complimented her cheeks.

Ino finished her work inside the house. She locked and shut the door behind her like always. The Uchiha household had become a second home to her... well actually, it had always been a second home. The loud girl sighed as she realized that no one really knew why she was always so obsessed with Sasuke. Hell! She felt stupid for just thinking of it now and not years earlier!

"Then again... Years ago was... different." She spoke to herself. Ino decided to slip to the backyard and sit amongst the withered flowers. "Years ago..."

The blond girl remembered what she didn't want to.

"Ino chan, come on! Let's go see my older brother, Itachi! Maybe he'll train you too!" A young hyperactive Sasuke shouted. Ino smiled back, "Alright!"

It shocked her when he grabbed her hand, but she smiled even more.

XXX

"Sakura likes you, you know." Ino replied calmly. She had rehearsed this conversation for hours on end. It had been a promise to the pink haired girl to try to get them together.

"So?" Sasuke scrunched up his nose.

Ino giggled, "Maybe you two would be good together!"

"No thanks. I don't need a girlfriend when I'm gonna become as strong as Itachi! You're gonna become strong with me, right? After all you are my best friend!"

"Of course, someone has to make sure you stay in your place!"

"Hey!" Sasuke glomped her and they wrestled around until his older brother pulled them a part. The three of them laughed.

XXX

Sasuke smirked as he walked up to Ino and her friends. Sakura wasn't there, so there wouldn't be any problem. He was sick of girls liking him for no good reason. "Ino..."

"Yeah," Ino smiled at her friend, "Whatcha need, Uchiha?"

The pretty boy smirked, "This." He gave her a quick kiss on the lips as he saw his mom and dad do. "You're gonna be an Uchiha when you grow up!"

The shocked faces of her and her friends amused him and the happy boy ran off laughing.

XXX

The young Uchiha had found his blond friend crying under a couple of bushes near his house. He was instantly concerned for her. "Ino, what's wrong!?"

"You... should... KNOW!" She sobbed into his shirt after he hugged her.

Sasuke questioned her again. "No. I don't. Now will you please tell me what happened?"

"Some stupid person started a rumor that I liked you and Sakura said that we can't be friends anymore! She said that we have to be rivals..." Ino hic- upped.

The Uchiha glared down at the bush. "She shouldn't have done that." He said no more until Ino calmed down, "Don't worry, Ino. I'll always be your best friend!"

"Do you promise?"

"I promise."

XXX.

"They're dead. All of them are dead, Ino." Sasuke stated in an unemotional tone. "Itachi killed them all."

The blond girl could do no more than sit on the side of his bed and stare at the floor. She didn't know how to deal with it.

"I'm going to get my revenge."

Ino nodded. "I'll support you in whatever you choose to do."

Sasuke reached out his left hand to touch her chin and make her face him. "You promise? You won't get in the way."

"I promise."

The last Uchiha nodded. "I think it would be best if we not be friends anymore."

Ino cut him off from finishing his sentence, "But you promised you'd be my best friend!"

"Stop it, Ino. We'll still be friends, but we have to keep it secret. No one needs to know. If they do they could use you against me."

"Al-Alright, if you say so…"

"One more thing, promise you won't tell anyone of what happened to my family."

"Of course, Sasuke."

XXX

"What do you mean you're LEAVING!?" Ino screamed.

Sasuke sighed, "Listen. I came to tell you so you would know before anyone else. They'll find out on their own."

"You can't LEAVE!"

He glared at her, "Ino. You promised you wouldn't get in the way."

"Yes." Ino sat on her bed defeated. "Fine, then leave."

Sasuke kneeled in front of her. He stroked her cheek with his hand. "I'll come back for you. I promise."

The tears escaped from the blond girls eyes. She had promised him that she would never cry again, but she just couldn't bear letting him go. Ino thought it was a rare blessing on her when Sasuke's eyes softened and he let his guard down for her.

"Ino, I love you."

He pulled her head down gently to meet his waiting lips. They had kissed many times before without anyone knowing, but this felt different then the scattered ones of 'I'll tell them we're together later.' Moreover, 'don't worry about anyone else right now, Ino.' She knew what this one meant.

Ino watched Sasuke hop out of her window and into the night. The tears swept freely down her beautiful face. "You've never kept any of your promises, Sasuke. This is just another broken one... but I guess it was sweet enough to give me a goodbye kiss."

XXX

Ino gave a shaky sigh.

"Sakura was right when she said I would find you here."

Surprise etched into the blond girls features as she saw the Hyuga protégé staring down at her. Ino wiped the tears away, the signs of weakness. Neji ignored them for her.

"We are needed for another mission."

A year into Sasuke's absence from Konoha and Ino was placed with Neji to go on duet missions. Everyone said that their skills went supremely well together, but it was actually just a plot to get the two together. It was never going to happen.

The two walked silently to the Hokage tower Neji spoke. "Yamanaka, why don't you let go of the past?"

"Why didn't you when you were younger?" Ino shot back. She wasn't going to be buddy-buddy with someone who was a rival of Sasuke's.

Neji grabbed her arm. The two stared down each other. "You should trust me by now, Ino. I've proven myself to guard your body, why can't you tell me what's going on in your mind?"

"You wouldn't understand." Ino stated as she gazed at everything, except the pretty boy.

The Hyuga let her arm go as she stared at him again, "I might not understand it, but I do know that we've been working together for almost a year... I consider you important to me... No matter how weak you are."

"Gee. Thanks." She sarcastically shot at him.

Neji's eyes softened, "I've fallen in love with you, Ino."

Ino jumped back in shock, "Yeah right! All we do is fight and argue and almost kill each other!"

"However, despite that, I know it sounds insane. I never thought that I would want someone as loud and vulgar as you."

"You can stop now." Ino snorted as she stopped Neji from finishing his sentence again.

"It seems you're perfect for me actually." He stepped up to her.

"How am I perfect for you?"

"You keep me aware of things I would never otherwise think of, you fight with me when others would just do what I say. Ino, you do so many things that help and annoy me I can't think of anything else but you!"

Ino pushed him away. She wished that the Hyuga would have fallen, but she knew she wasn't good enough to do that. "It's not gonna happen, so leave me alone!"

"What do you think is going to happen, Ino? Sasuke is not going to come back. You should know that better than any of us." Neji glared at her for rejecting him.

Ino screamed at him, "Yeah, so! I' D RATHER DIE ALONE YOU ASS!"

Neji stopped her from running. The stubborn girl tried to get away, but the equally stubborn boy wrestled her to the ground. His legs tangled with her so she couldn't kick him and he held down her arms as well. "He didn't love you, Ino."

"SHUT UP!"

"He wouldn't have left if he did."

"I SAID SHUT UP!"

Neji sighed at her, "He would have listened to you."

"Shut up." Ino went limp as she broke down. He let go of her arms and picked her up. The pretty boy carried her over into the nearby woods. He sat down with the blond girl settled down on his lap. She was still crying.

Ino shook and pushed at him weakly, "Bastard! Don't you think I know all of this about him already?"

Neji didn't say anything. He just held her until she calmed down.

"If I could I wouldn't love him. If I could I would... be with you, but I promised." She stopped the Hyuga before he added anything negative. "I know that he'll never keep any of his promises, but I'll never break any of mine. I won't be like him."

Neji decided to let go of Ino's reasoning instead of arguing with her. "Do you love me?"

"What will happen if I say yes?" Ino tried to get up, but he held on tight.

"Then I'll let you keep your promises."

The blond girl finally managed to stand. She stared down at Neji, "Then shouldn't you already know the answer to your question."

"I do." He admitted, "But I want you to realize it as well that you love me just as much as him."

The two headed to the Hokage tower without talking again. Neji settled for a silent truce. He would bother her more later when she wasn't thinking about Sasuke.

Ibiki and Anko stopped them before they entered. Anko smirked at them, "Hey! Uchiha is back."

Ino's jaw dropped and Neji's clenched. The two older jounin left the couple there alone. Neji turned to her. "I will fight for you."

'What am I supposed to do?' Ino asked herself.

Review please. It stared out as inspiration of chibi SasuIno-ness, but turned into this. Therefore, if you're interested in more, you better review!