A Man's Best Friend

"Kiba, wake up!" Inuzuka Kiba woke up to the shrill voice of his mother. "Lady Tsunade has a mission for you and said to go to the tower." Kiba lazily got out of bed and went into his bathroom. He looked at his impressive bed hair and began getting ready to go.

As soon as Kiba was ready, he ran down stairs and called to Akamaru. "Come on, Akamaru! Let's go find out what this mission is!" Akamaru bounded toward his master and tackled him to the ground. It was very easy to do since he was a lot bigger now. Kiba laughed and started playing with his dog. Soon enough Kiba's mom interrupted them and promptly reminded Kiba of his mission and that he had less than five minutes to get to Lady Tsunade's office. Kiba quickly regained his composer and started down the streets of Konoha with Akamaru following closely behind.

When Kiba arrived at the Hokage's office, he saw Shino and Hinata waiting for him. Shino just turned and slightly nodded his head. Hinata greeted Kiba with a friendly, "Good morning, Kiba-kun."

"Good morning, Hinata! And to you too, Shino." Shino just ignored him and remained emotionless as usual. "So, Lady Tsunade, what is our mission?" Kiba inquired with interest.

The Hokage stood and began with the briefing of the mission, "There is an "S" rank criminal that was reported being seen on the outskirts of Konoha. I want you three to track him down and bring him back for punishment. I figured this team would be the most ideal considering you have Akamaru." Kiba proudly patted Akamaru on the head before Tsunade continued. "The criminal's name is, Nemaru. You will go through the forest of Konoha heading east and continue for 7 kilometers. Now, go, you are dismissed." With that the three Chunnin left.

Akamaru started getting excited and nervous. Kiba looked to him, "What is it, Akamaru? Are we getting close?" The loyal dog grunted and snuffed an answer. "Alright, Hinata, turn on your Byakugan. Akamaru says we're close." Hinata obeyed and reported that she could see someone not too far away. The trio readied themselves for battled and charged ahead. Kiba confronted the criminal and looked at him, "We were sent to get you, now, if you come quietly, you won't get hurt." Kiba looked to the man for an answer, and he got one. The next thing Kiba knew the man was standing right in front of him with a kunai to his stomach. He was about to thrust it through when Akamaru attacked from behind. Kiba stumbled back and looked to Hinata and Shino for help, but to no avail. They seemed to be trapped under some sort of genjutsu. Kiba looked back to Akamaru struggling with the criminal. He charged in after them.

The battle had been going for an hour and Kiba was tiring out, but Nemaru seemed as strong as he was when they first started. Kiba was breathing heavily and bleeding from the many wounds the man had inflicted. The genjutsu was still in effect. How? Kiba thought, how is he doing it? His genjutsu must be amazing to last this long on them unnoticed. And his taijutsu! I'm losing! This guy's chakra level too! What am I going to do? Kiba heard a loud yelp and turned to see that Akamaru had been knocked aside and unconscious by the enemy. "That's it!" Kiba screamed, "That was the last straw! You're going down, and you're going down NOW!!" With that Kiba charged once again when he noticed movement to his left. What? No, but how? Kiba saw Nemaru charging at him from his left, he quickly looked to where he previously was and saw he was no longer there. Kiba was sent flying into a tree and things started going dark. He stayed awake long enough to see Akamaru wake up and come to his master's aid. As Akamaru came at him, Nemaru spun to the left and thrust a kunai into the dog's chest. Akamaru gave a slight yelp and fell to the ground.

No! Kiba screamed in his head, for he didn't have enough strength to say it out loud. Kiba lost consciousness as he saw Nemaru laughing loudly. No…

…………….

Kiba stood at a small headstone where his loyal companion was buried. He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned to see Naruto behind him, looking at him with reassuring eyes. Kiba silently wiped the tear that had made its way down his cheek and said good bye to his best friend…forever.