Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or characters or anything. I also do not own All the Same by The Sick Puppies.

A/N: This is my first fanfic. I know those words usually scare away readers but give it a chance. I'm also open to accepting pre-readers, if you're interested.

The title, "All the Same", is a play on words to Ino and Deidara's resemblance. And, FYI, I heard you say "No, duh!"

The timeline for this ff is before the Chunin Exams. I wanted Ino to keep her long hair while Sasuke was still in Konoha Village. If Deidara never joined Akatsuki by that time, then I apologize.

Oh yeah, I kind of marked this off as Drama/Friendship because I think I'm going to be more interested in Ino and Deidara's growing friendship. There may not even be a relationship.

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All the Same

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From the moment she laid eyes on him, it felt like she was falling in love. His black eyes were cold, yet, striking. She felt a dim sense of artlessness in his presence, although, his actions showed the opposite. That first second she saw him, she made a promise to herself to find that innocence.

Many failed attempts brought her to the realization that he wasn't what she saw in him the first time but she never gave up hope.

Desperateness became assertiveness. She soon became a bother. Anytime she saw him, she'd either follow him from a distance or attempt to have yet another failed conversation with him.

She tied her dull-blonde hair into a ponytail, leaving a long bang down the right side of her face. Then she threw a confident peace sign to herself in front the mirror. 'Today is the day', she repeated to her. Her cloudy blue eyes glimmered of anxiousness as she winked to herself.

Then, just like clockwork, she heard the familiar shambles through a rainstorm outside of her bedroom window. Sasuke was passing through. She took a deep breath, let out a girly squeal, and indiscreetly jumped from building to following building.

Sasuke, as usual, let out a silent curse and a grumpy sigh. Then, he muttered her name to himself in a very annoyed toned.

"Ino..."

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Chapter 1: Prologue

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Sasuke, despite being inscrutable, is predictable. His practices are like clockwork and his response, or lack thereof, to any question will more than likely be the same. Ino discovered that trait a long time ago. Instead of waiting for him to break out of his shell, she constantly poked at it.

Eventually, her curiosity turned into prowling activities. She followed him once and discovered that he always trains himself in the abandoned woods right outside of Konoha Village. Not long after that did she figure out his precision.

Through the windy and stormy weather, Sasuke would still go out and train under his specific hours. Today was a perfect example of his determination.

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Ino watched him in the distance as he trained below her. She sat in the same tree, on the same branch, and under the same thin leaves. Her gaze was locked on Sasuke as she admired his strength from afar.

Sasuke closed his eyes and did a number of hand seals before a fireball burned the bark of the tree she sat in. As he opened his eyes and glanced at tree in front of him, she couldn't help but wonder if she caught his attention.

There were times during his training sessions where she would swear he glanced up at her for a second. She was anything but discreet when she followed him and sometimes she would even recap the jutsu she spent many hours watching him perfect. She'd also spend most of her time thinking aloud. Despite that, he never really looked at her.

Sasuke squinted in the rain and looked up at the storm. "I think he just looked at me," she said under her breath. "He did! He looked at me!" She squealed excitingly.

Sasuke didn't budge at all to her jolly cries but she wasn't taking any chances. In a moment's notice, Ino left nothing behind in the branch but a few twirling leaves that spun in the direction she fleeted.

As she walked back to Konoha Village, soaking in the downpour and continuously combining her index fingers, she recited to herself subtle indications that Sasuke isn't annoyed by her presence.

"Sasuke-kun doesn't mind me watching him from afar. He knows I follow him and he still takes the same route. If he didn't like me, he would avoid me,"

"Sasuke-kun is becoming more and more chatty. He didn't even breath whenever I used to talk to him, but now he grunts and growls. I'm breaking him, slowly," she cheered.

"Sasuke-kun doesn't even know the other village girls' names but he chants mine to himself..." she paused and frowned, "in aggravation."

"Sasuke-kun catches himself before he swears whenever I try to talk to him," she smiled and continued to poke her index fingers. "That shows that he has some level of respect for me.

Ino began skipping in bliss at the last thought. As she danced in the water and splashed a melodic pattern in the puddles she noticed a silhouette against the dusk sky.

As she got closer to the enlarging figure, she started noticing subtle movement. It seemed to be breathing lightly but as she moved forward the breathing became heavier.

Soon enough, she began to point out characteristics that she couldn't see from the distance. Even in the dark rain, she noticed that the long blonde hair was much brighter than her owns'. The top of the hair was tied back into a upward-ponytail and the rest of the hair fell down on the over-sized black jacket. The jacket appeared to have red clouds that were outlined by a thick white.

Before she even realized it, she was standing right in front the kneeling person. The black nails were gripping against the rock solid gravel ground and the heavy panting were almost synchronized with the constant clapping of thunder.

Was this person training so hard that it hurts?

Was this person abandoned?

Today, Ino realized her motor skills worked quicker than her brain. She spoke words to the stranger before she even realized it is a stranger.

"What did you ask me?" The voice of this person was really rough and manly but when he looked Ino in the face she saw nothing but feminine features.

Ino bit her lip looked upward to the sky, trying to recall the sentence that left her mouth without permission. "I asked..." The stranger frowned. "If you needed any help?"

Ino couldn't help but notice the cold blue eyes shine at her every time lightning strikes. Sasuke's eyes always held an interest to her but they were lacking color.

The stranger scoffed and turned away, staring at the cold, wet ground once again.

Lightning struck twice in the same place.

Ino fell to her knees, similar to the position of the stranger, and tapped the black jacket lightly. As the stranger looked at her, she noticed a small, but visible, adam's apple throbbing in his throat. He was definitely a male.

As their blue eyes locked into each other's, Ino forced a smiled and tilted her head a bit. The stranger's face shifted from unforgiving and cold to apathetic and helpless for just one second. Ino stood up with her eyes continuously locked to his. As he looked up at her she reached out her palm.

He looked to the ground once again, his long bang nearly inches from touching it, and cleared his throat. Disregarding Ino's intention to help him on his feet, he stood up on his own. Ino swallowed her spit and smile. He 's taller than Sasuke, she thought.

As she continued to skip her way home the stranger followed by every step.

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As Ino walked into the door, she left it open for the stranger to follow her. He seemed somewhat timid when walking through the door but he still stood up straight and carried himself as if he was certain.

Sasuke, despite giving off superior energy, always looked lost.

Ino, while making comparisons between the stranger and Sasuke, looked over her shoulder for him. He was sitting there, Indian-style, on her hardwood floor.

"My couch isn't off limits." She said as she pointed towards a blue couch right beside him.

He wrung out the sleeves of his jacket and then looked at her.

"Oh... right! You're wet." She scrambled from left to right trying to decide in her head what she was going to do. "Stay here, I'll get you some clothing." Ino ran up the stairs in a hurry, leaving wet foot prints on every step.

While she was gone, he studied the room around him. As he walked to a counter he noticed a picture framed faced down. He lifted the picture frame and saw a picture of the girl smiling next to a pink-haired girl. They both look fairly young but very happy.

He stood the picture back up, assuming the face down position was an accident. Next to that picture frame was another picture of the girl. She had her arms wrapped around a black-haired guy from the back. Although she was smiling heavily, he looked rather shocked and dismayed. As he studied the face of the kid he noticed something special about him.

He looks like...

"Okay! Here I am!" Ino shouted as she ran down the stairs. Her tangled, wet hair ran down her back and she changed into more comfortable, dry clothes as well. While running down the stairs, she carried a handful of towels and bright-colored clothes. "Here is a towel," as she handed him the towel he took off his jacket. Bare underneath it, she noticed a large bandage on his chest before she turned around in full blush. With him drying himself behind her back, she pulled the clothes over her head. "And here are... some!... clooothes." She tried to refrain from stuttering or shouting in discomfort.

Unsuccessful.

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Ino bit her lip as she entered the living room. He was dressing in her bright pink st-hirt and a short brown skirt. The pink shirt fit him nicely in size, it was one of her biggest shirts. The skirt was also one of her biggest but it still didn't fit well in size.

Ino rubbed the back of her head and grinned. "I'm sorry, I don't have a lot of male clothes."

He looked away. "It's okay," Ino was surprised to see that he didn't mind wearing her clothes at all. He would make for a pretty girl and a handsome boy. He tapped his fingernails to the counter and picked up the picture of her and that pink-haired girl. "Is this your friend?"

She exhaled wearily and walked forward to him. She took a long stare at the picture. "Nnn-" she stopped herself and began stuttering again. "Well... her name is Sakura." She forced a smile and placed the picture frame back onto the counter. As it sat there on the desk, with the smiles in the picture smiling back at her, the smile she returned didn't feel so forced.

The stranger noticed a dull carving on a leg of the counter. He knelt down to the same level as the writing. "Ino," the way he stretched the word made it obvious that he was spelling-impaired. "Ino?" He asked as he repeated the horizontal carvings on the left leg of the counter.

"Yeah," she knelt down to the same level as him and looked at the carving. "That's my name." she said it with a genuine, welcoming smile. "What's yours?"

There was a long pause of silence. The stranger rubbed his fingers across the carving a few times and then started to follow it with his black nails. Ino frowned. His nails began to deepen the carving after he followed it for the 3rd time. Below Ino's name, he started to carve letters in romaji

"D," Ino barely understood romaji but she could easily recognize the first few letters in the English alphabet. "E," she was so busy trying to work out the letters in her mind that she didn't fret from the high screeching of the carving.

"I,"

"D,"

"A,"

"R?"

"A,"

He flipped his hair and looked at her. "My name is Deidara."

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A/N: Yeah... so, please review. I know this is like begging or whatever but reviews are a necessity to a decent FF(or a good effort). How will a casual searcher know he/she just passed up a good FF if only 2 people are reviewing it? So please, I'm prepared for all 3 Cs. Corrections/criticism/compliments. -Smiles and points to the bottom left-