Burning on,
Just like a match you strike to
Incinerate...
The lives
Of everyone you know
And what's the worst to take?
From every heart you break
And like a blade you'll stain
Well, I've been holding on tonight

--

I woke up suddenly, my whole body was tense. Without opening my eyes, I listened intently, wondering what had caused me to wake up.

Then I heard it. It was barely a noise, and if I hadn't been listening carefully, I wouldn't have noticed. It was the soft sound of cloth hitting against something.

I felt around with my chakra, trying to figure out who was in my bedroom in the middle of the night, but I couldn't sense any chakra. Whoever was in here was either suppressing their chakra, or not a shinobi.

I figured that it was the first, because it was hard to believe that someone who wasn't a shinobi would have the skill or the bravery to sneak into a ninja's house.

Suddenly, a hand clamped over my mouth. There was a muffled squeak. I felt my face grow red. I'm a shinobi, darnit. I shouldn't squeak!

"I know you're awake," A voice said. The voice was slightly familiar. The way he pronounced his words…somewhere hidden in his voice was something my ears recognized.

"How?" I asked, though it sounded more like "mhmofwe," because his hand was still covering my mouth.

"I'm going to take my hand off your mouth. If you even try to scream or yell, I will kill you," He said and, for emphasis on his threat, I felt the cold steel of a kunai pressed against my neck.

"How did you know I was awake?" I asked, careful to keep my voice quiet.

"Your breathing changed, along with your chakra," He answered. I inwardly groaned. He knew I was awake, because I had been careless.

"Who are you?" I asked. He pressed the kunai harder against my throat.

"You aren't exactly in the position to be asking questions," He said, not answering my question.

"If you didn't want me to ask questions, then why did you take your hand off my mouth? Why are you in my room?" I said, asking more questions. He leaned his face close to mine, and I caught sight of onyx black eyes. With a jolt, I knew who it was. His scent clouded my senses for a few moments.

"I took my hand off your mouth because I had a nasty feeling that you would either lick or bite my hand," He said. He does have a point. I would have.

"Sasuke," I murmured, letting him know that I knew it was him.

"I'm really disappointed in you Ino, I thought one of my biggest fan girls would have recognized me right away," Sasuke said, his face still close to mine. Anger swelled in my chest.

"Jerk!" I hissed at him, "I am not your fan girl! You are dead to me."

"I recall a certain blonde competing with her best friend over my affections," Sasuke replied, seemingly unaffected by my anger.

"That was a long time ago! Before you ran away, like a chicken!" I growled. The kunai was pushed harder against my skin, and I squeezed my eyes shut tight and did all I could to keep from crying in pain.

"I am not a chicken!"

I smiled despite my pain. Finally, I had gotten a response to my anger. I had made Sasuke angry.

"Why did you come here?" I asked, even though it was painful to talk with the kunai pressed to my neck. Sasuke leaves Konoha, trains with Orochimaru, Sakura and Naruto try to bring him back unsuccessfully, and years later he shows up in my room. Something didn't add up.

"I killed Orochimaru," Sasuke said.

"Congratulations, do you want a party? Is that why you came into my room in the middle of the night?" I asked sarcastically.

"Hn," Came Sasuke's reply.

"Why didn't you go to Sakura's? She's the one who has been trying to get you to come home, not me," I said, not at all discouraged by his lack of proper response.

Once again, Sasuke leaned his face close to mine again. He didn't say anything, he just stared at my face. It was really uncomfortable with him staring at me and invading my personal space, so I pushed him away.

His hand shot out and he caught my wrist in his grip.

"Don't push me away," He said, squeezing my wrist painfully.

"You didn't answer me," I said.

"I need you, Ino," Sasuke said. I sputtered in surprise.

"What?" I asked a little too loudly, and he clamped his hand over my mouth again.

"Not that way, I need your jutsu," Sasuke said, his voice filled with obvious annoyance and disgust. I frowned.

"Who says I'll help you?" I asked defiantly, when he removed his hand once more.

"I had thought that you would be happy to see me and just come with me. I was counting on your undying love for me, but it seems you have grown out of that," He said, seeming to think about this.

"Damn straight, I have grown out of that!" I said, angry that he would have used me. Sasuke tilted his head down to look at me with an amused expression.

"Well, I guess I'll just make you," Sasuke said, as if this was no big deal.

"You can't," I said.

"Oh, but I can," Sasuke replied back, once again putting pressure on the kunai. I gritted my teeth as the blade cut into my skin. I wouldn't give in. He wouldn't kill me, he needed me.

"You are stubborn," Sasuke observed, taking pressure off the kunai. I resisted the urge to rub my new wound.

"Why do you need me?" My curiousness getting the best of me.

"I need your skill to find where Itachi is," Sasuke answered, nonchalantly.

"I'm not going to help you. So get out of my house!" I said. Sasuke frowned down on me.

"You are going to help me," Sasuke ordered.

"No!" I said, pushing him away from me with a strength that, judging by his wide eyes, surprised him. Quickly, I pushed off my covers and leaped down to the floor.

I now stood opposite Sasuke, with only my bed separating us.

"Ino, don't be stupid," Sasuke said, looking annoyed. What a freaking jerk!

"Sasuke, I refuse to help you in any way, you are a traitor," I told him, anger swelling up inside of me, "and If you don't leave my room, I will scream and alert som-"

Sasuke lunged across the bed, his arm extended. I had no time to dodge, as he pushed the needle into my arm.

Fire ran through my veins, and shock registered on my face. My limbs began to feel heavy, and I felt horribly off-balance. I stumbled forward, my body falling onto him. He caught me in his arms, and slung me over his shoulder.

"…Sasuke…no…," I said weakly, before passing out.

--

Helena by My Chemical Romance.

A/N: Hey, everybody! I originally thought, for the Fourth of July, I should update all of my stories--maybe even Neji-kun: You will love me. But, unfortunately, life didn't agree. With cheerleading, tumbling, helping my mom out for gas money, working, my discovery of Rurouni Kenshin, and tons of other things; it's not surprising that I am finding it hard to update these days. And, when I do get on the computer, my brain is either too fried to type anything good or I doubt that I have any writing skills at all. So, right now I'm suffering a writing slump. But, hopefully soon, I will be cured of this dreaded disease, something similiar to the horrifying writer's block, and update my other stories. (Sorry for leaving them both at cliffys and taking forever to update them. Forgive me, please! Anyway, I started writing this story a while back and was waiting for my other stories to come to a close or at least be closer to coming to a close, but I changed my mind and decided I'd give this to you as a Fourth of July present.

Happy Fourth of July!
(Hopefully you didn't have to work like I had to)

-Melchan