Ino sighed as she lounged on Hinata's bed, waiting for the other girl to come back from the bathroom. It wasn't that Hinata wasn't a good hostess, but it was just so boring in her Hyuuga style room without her around, looking around she sighed as she took note of the bookcase. It must have been truly boring for her to be noticing books like this.
Suddenly one caught her attention. It was mixed in with academy books on taijutsu and weapon maintenance, but it was an advanced medical herb book. Standing up, she walked over and pulled it out, giving it a once over curiously. Finding that the cover was a false one, she opened the book and smirked. It was prime, juicy gossip fodder. It was beautiful. It was Hinata's diary.
Looking around furtively she opened the book to the first page, seeing the tidy, neat writing Hinata had always used.
Today I started at the Shinobi Academy. It was mostly just getting to know the teachers, and the other students. It was pretty interesting seeing the other clans there. First was Uchiha Sasuke, he has a swarm of fangirls. Two of which are Yamanake Ino, and Haruno Sakura, I fear that they are going to be weak kunoichi like my father keeps talking about. I hope that I do not become one as well, but it looks to be my fate as Neji-nii-san says.
There was an Inuzuka with his dog, Kiba and Akamaru respectively. They sat near Akimichi Chouji because he had food, and Chouji-san's friend Nara Shikamaru, who was sleeping for most of the class. Behind them was one of those bug users, Aburmae Shino. He seems to be very in tune with his insects, and I hope that they help him in the future. Maybe I should sit with him, he could use a friend.
Those were all the major clan children, the only other one that I think is going to have a chance at being a ninja was Uzumaki Naruto. I felt a blush building on my face once I saw him. Those beautiful blue eyes, bright sunny hair, and vibrant clothing just made him so stunning. Added to those exotic whisker marks and that feral smile, he was just so foxy, I couldn't understand why everyone disliked him.
I think that he would be great to be friends with, but father told me I could only be friends with the clan heirs. I wish I was strong enough to stand up to father, but he would probably have me marked with the bird cage seal like Neji-nii-san.
I wish mother was still alive, maybe she could help me figure out what this odd feeling I have when I see Naruto-san. I must go now, father wishes to train.
Whipping her head around, Ino heard the sound of the toilet flushing. Pulling out her overnight bag she shoved the book in under her clothing for tomorrow.. She'd have to be careful not to arouse Hinata's suspicions now, but the reward would be definitely worth it. Sitting on the bed again, she looked up just in time to see Hinata walking in. "Hey Hinata, all set? Sakura's been depressed since Naruto went missing, and her mother's worried about her. So we should hurry, no?"
"Y...yes Ino-san... I... I am packed and ready to go..." Hinata responded quietly holding up her own bag with a slight blush.
Ino walked up to the shy young woman and hugged her close. "Don't worry Hinata, they'll find him. And then we can make sure he'll never be kidnapped again. You'll see."
Ino didn't see the little evil glint in Hinata's eyes, nor the sinister smile to the reserved young woman's face as she replied. "Y... Yes Ino-san... I... I know he'll be safe. Thank you."
Later that night, after Sakura had cried herself to sleep over both her missing teammates, Tenten had curled up with her plush-kunai, and Hinata had drifted off to sleep, Ino pulled away from the group with a flashlight and her ill-gotten diary. She wanted to read one more entry before going to sleep herself.
Naruto-kun tried to take the graduation test early, and barely failed. If I just told him that he's putting too much chakra into the Bushin no jutsu, he would be able to pass. But I didn't tell him... I wanted him with me. Maybe we could be on the same team, and I could see him all the time. I think that I am the only one that believes in him.
Am I horrible for wanting him to be around? That I long for the way he makes my heart race when I see him? That I've taken to using him as training for surveillance and tracking training nearly everyday? He still has that crush on that annoying, bubblegum brained, ad-space browed, pink haired tart, Sakura, and she still hits him every time he asks her out.
I think that's why I don't hold back on her during spars. Giving some of the punishment she gives Naruto-kun back to her. I need to stop letting my body run away and finally tell Naruto-kun how I feel. I really wish he'd notice me. Maybe then I could heal the pain that he hide behind that smile of his.
He really is such a kind and gentle boy, despite what other's say. Today I saw him share his ramen with a small fox kit that had wandered by the tree he eats under. It was so cute, that I almost squealed from where I was watching. That would have been embarrassing, to have to explain that to Naruto-kun.
It's time for sparring with Hanabi-chan. Ja ne.
Ino smiled at the cute way that Hinata was obsessing over the blond boy in her diary. Though anyone with two eyes could have seen it from an outside viewpoint. Hinata had a huge crush on him, and he was completely oblivious. In fact, she had gone out of her way to make him some chocolates in kunoichi class, only to panic and drop them at the base of the tree where Naruto sat.
Looking over at Sakura she sighed and shook her head. Sakura had accepted Naruto's offer for a date finally. But he was the wrong one for her, she needed someone else, someone more gentle and refined. A blond would be good for her though, with blue eyes, and an impeccable fashion sense. Pouting Ino huffed softly at the unfairness of it all. Naruto was all but branded for Hinata, and Sakura... could have been so much better off. Turning off her reading light Ino curled up next to Sakura, never once noticing a pair of pale white eyes being reflected in the mirror across the room, watching her.
Ino sighed as she slumped down on her bed. It had been a busy week hunting for Naruto, And that was just inside the village. The members of the Konoha 11 were considered too involved to search outside of the village. Beyond that, the Inuzuka dogs reported no scent of him outside of the village, so that meant someone inside of Konoha had taken Naruto.
Slumping back her eyes fell on a familiar bag, it was the overnight bag she had taken to Sakura's the after Naruto had disappeared. She hadn't gotten a chance to empty it out, mostly because she was searching until she dropped from exhaustion, but now that she had some time, there was some reading to catch up on.
Rolling off her bed she walked over to the bag, and tossed the dirty clothes into her hamper. After they were put into the wash hamper she pulled out the book that she had been searching for. Settling back on her bed she opened it up to a random entry past where she had been last time. Once she had more time, she would take and read it through properly.
It happened! Naruto-kun graduated! I knew he'd find a way! Now if only we could be on the same team, but sadly I'm paired up with Shino-kun and Kiba-san. I don't mind Shino-kun, but Kiba-san is just so mean to Naruto-kun. It's not fair! Naruto is MINE! But everyone refuses to allow us to be together.
I know what I'll do! I'll become a strong kunoichi, and show him that I'm to his level. Maybe I'll even give him some medicine. I know he heals fast, but the medicine would help with what he needs to heal faster, and would relieve some of his pain. I could offer him a massage... yeah,a nice massage. My hands running lightly over his muscular back, drifting lower as he lets out little moans of pleasure.
Yes, that'd make him see me as his perfect woman, not that annoying banshee he got paired with. Of all the girls in the class, why did it have to be her? I would love to get into a no-holds-bar fight with her. I'd Juken her into the ground, right to Hell where she belongs. How DARE she hit my future husband! I will show her... if I ever fight her, I will turn her into worm food.
And that cold hearted bastard Sasuke. I know he's got his eyes on my Naruto too. Now, while yaoi is hot, I think the fact that Sasuke is a complete and utter waste of talent would destroy any chance of that being any good. I know that Naruto will come to me, it's only a matter of time before he realizes his destiny...
I must go... Neji-nii-san has reminded me to leave for my team training.
PS: It just sounds so perfect doesn't it? I know it does, it'll be the future. Nothing will stop me!
Ino looked around the flower shop her family owned boredly, trying to figure out what to do. Since she had began reading that diary, she swore she saw Hinata everywhere.
While she was taking Sakura out for dinner, Ino noticed that Hinata, Neji, and Hanabi were sitting at the table next to theirs, with Hinata positioned so that she and Ino were facing each other. If it wasn't for Sakura blocking Hinata from view most of the time, Ino would have sworn that the other girl was glaring at her.
And then, during their walk through the park after dinner to get some air, and work off some of dinner, Hinata walked past them heading in the opposite direction. There was something off about this meeting though. Hinata smiled and nodded warmly in greetings but walked past with the slightest of nudges from Neji. Something about Hiashi waiting.
The next day, when Ino walked out to training grounds 8, she saw Hinata there, practicing her Juken against a post. This wasn't a problem as she wanted to go through some taijutsu katas off to one side. But when Ino walked past, she had to fight down a shiver as she could have sworn Hinata was watching her. When she looked back, she didn't see Hinata looking at her, and didn't notice the telltale bulges of the Byakugan. However it was unnerving to feel it.
As if that wasn't enough, everytime Ino got off from working at the flower shop, there was Hinata, casually walking past. It had only been a week since she had read the entry that had Hinata's crush becoming a dangerous obsession, and her mind just kept screaming at her to stay away from Hinata.
That was another thing, she had been caught reading other people's diary's before, but never had the guilt affected her like this. It was as though something was trying to get her to give Hinata back her diary and run away as fast as she could.
Looking around the shop again, she let out a bored sigh. Wednesdays were never good for business, and today seemed to be no exception. There had to be something she could do... or read.
Turning to look at the pack she carried with her occasionally on missions, she thought about taking a quick read, maybe putting her mind at ease about Hinata. But something was warning her that it would do anything but ease her mind.
Giving in to her curiosity, she opened the diary again to a new page past where she had read already. Checking the store again, she began reading again.
Naruto-kun returned from his first C-rank mission today. It was supposed to be a C-rank at least, but it turned into an A-rank all because of a lying, stinking, drunk, cheapskate of a geezer. Not only that, but he insulted Naruto! I should find him and make him pay for that.
Lousy, stinking, cheapskate bastard! Not only did he lie about the mission, but Naruto got hurt and nearly poisoned! Naruto's kindness wouldn't let him leave the mission though, such a loving and caring heart he has. Oh Naruto-sama, please let me return your love and kindness. I would never leave you alone when you needed someone, I would never hurt you. I would protect you from all of them.
That's what I should do... lock you away Naruto-kun, keep you safe from all those angry glares, the hateful words, the pain, and the banshee that's never going to be good enough for you. You might not like it at first, but after some time, I guess you'd come to accept it, and maybe even enjoy being in my care.
Ino's head snapped up at the ringing of the store's bell. Tucking the diary under the counter she looked up to see Hinata entering the store. Inside Ino's chest, her heart fell to somewhere around her toes. Hinata walked slowly and purposefully towards the counter, her eyes locking with Ino's. The normal warm pearly eyes taking on a icy quality of mid-winter in the land of snow.
Swallowing the sudden lump in her throat Ino put on a smile and greeted Hinata. "Hey Hinata, what can I do for you?"
"I was thinking of picking up some seeds... white Camellia, orange Lilies, yellow Roses, and Azaleas please," Hinata asked casually, as though the list was the most normal thing in the world. And that Ino wasn't going white out of nervousness.
Ino stepped back with a nervous smile on her face. "If you'll wait... I'll... I'll go get them from the back..."
Ino couldn't help but wonder why Hinata had chosen the flowers in that order, considering that they mean 'Longing for revenge, jealous but waiting.' in that order she gave. Maybe Hinata didn't know the meaning behind the flowers, yeah, that had to be it.
Straightening up from kneeling to pick out a few seed packets she froze as she felt a presence behind her. Turning around slowly, she found Hinata watching her closely, standing by the door to the main shop.
"I... I thought... I... I could help find them..." Hinata offered gently, her eyes not quite showing the same nervousness her stutter was showing.
"No... I have them... let's go back out front and ring them up," Ino replied, holding out the seed packets in her hands. "Is there anything else?"
Walking back around the counter Hinata seemed to tilt her head in thought for a moment before responding. "Yes there is... it... it seems that I misplaced a book... it's an Advanced Medical Herb book. The last time I saw it, was when you came over... did you see it?"
Ino stiffened, hoping the wall between them hide her momentary surprise. Recovering quickly she walked back out. "I might have, but I think it was in with some basic academy texts..." Ino offered.
"Yes, that would be it... I suppose it must have gotten taken after you saw it. It's... I know this is silly... but it's my diary. I fear what someone might think of me if they read it. I don't know what I would do..." Hinata whispered softly, her tone growing cold and hard as she went on, a hint of insanity behind the words adding to the fear factor Ino was feeling.
Hinata scooped up the seed packets from Ino's trembling hands and placed several ryo in their place. "Keep the change Ino-san..." Hinata told her while casually folding the blonde's shaking fingers over the bills. "I may have to come back for more seeds soon."
As Hinata left, Ino numbly stuffed the money into the till. Something made her swear up, down, left, and right that she had just had a brush with death. Maybe it was just her mind, but she felt as though Hinata knew she had her diary, and knew that she thought she had taken Naruto somewhere. Slumping back onto the stool behind the counter, she fought to still her shaking hands, and stop the impending flow that threatened to ruin her outfit.
That night, as Ino tried to sleep, she found that it was hard to do when you jumped at every little sound or air movement. Every second she expected an attack from the Hyuuga heiress to silence her suspicions forever. Getting out of the bed she began pacing her room nervously, until her toe stubbed itself on her mission bag from earlier. She had stored the diary back in there before she left, and now it was laying half outside of the bag, teasing her into reading more from it.
Licking her suddenly dry lips she bent down and picked up the book, holding it carefully. As though she expected it to explode at any moment. Carrying the diary over to the desk carefully, she gently set it down and gulped nervously. Really she should get rid of it, send it into the ANBU or something. But she had to be sure first right? She just had to know.
Flicking on her favorite reading lamp she opened to another page, this one nearer to the back.
My plan worked! Naruto-kun took and defended my honor beautifully during the final exams. I'm glad that I had Neji-nii-san play the evil villain and beat me up. Naruto-kun was cheering for me the entire time! And then he visited me while I was recovering, swearing to defeat Neji in that sweet way of his. Yes, I share your shinobi way Naruto-kun. Nothing will stop me from getting what I want... and I. Want. You.
Even father and Hanabi-chan don't even realize that Neji-nii-san had been holding back with those blows of his. It was a beautifully orchestrated plan, and it worked perfectly, until Sabuka no Gaara went insane and launched a massive assault from Suna and Oto against us. Right when I was going to walk past Naruto-kun and 'faint' from my injuries! I wanted to hunt down Gaara and shove his gourd up his ass!
I didn't need to however, as though knowing my thoughts, Naruto-kun went off to face Gaara bravely. I followed him and watched in awe as he brought down that psycho raccoon. He was so brave, so majestic, so powerful... I knew I picked a winner.
Soon Naruto-kun, you will be mine. I will lock you away from all the evils of the world... and be the only thing you ever need. You'll never need that pink haired bitch again, I'll keep you satisfied. It will be just you and me, until we have our first child. And then the next, and the ones after that. You will have your Uzumaki clan, and I will be by your side. I will help you. But you will always be mine.
Yes... you will be mine, and I will be your everything.
I can't wait Naruto-kun.
Ino sunk back in her chair, eyes wide and glancing around her room nervously. She could almost swear that Hinata was in the room, waiting for her to fall asleep before eliminating the threat to 'her Naruto-kun'. Getting up from her desk chair she went into the corner of her room and tucked into it, her back to the safety of the corner. Maybe it would be good training to stay up for the night. Yeah, it wasn't the fact that she was too scared to sleep that kept her up. No, it was training.
After a restless night of not sleeping, Ino found herself helping out at her parent's shop again. Once again it was a slow day, so her head was constantly drooping foreward, only to snap back up before she fell asleep.
Letting out a yawn she debated once again closing up early and locking herself in the Hokage's tower to get some sleep. She knew that she should turn in the diary, and have Hinata investigated. But she feared what would happen to Naruto if she did. Hinata might be his only lifeline to the outside world, remove her and he might die before they get to him.
Her musings, and sleeping with her eyes open ended abruptly by the sudden appearance of pearly eyes. Jerking back in shock she found herself face to face with Hinata again.
"Ino-san... are you alright? You look like you didn't sleep well last night," Hinata asked with concern.
"Yeah... just... had bad dreams so I turned it into a training excercise. You know, staying awake for guarding injured comrades..." Ino knew that it sounded lame, even to her own ears, but it was the best her sleep addled brain could come up with.
"Maybe I could give you some tea leaves," Hinata offered gently as she leaned against the counter. "I know a combination that will have you sleeping like a baby..."
Ino blinked in confusion, wasn't Hinata out to get her? Why was she offering to help Ino? Could it be she was trying to poison her? "Sure... that'd be nice..." Ino answered out of politeness.
Hinata nodded and started looking through the gardening trowels curiously for a moment before stopping. "Oh... I forgot... the listing for the leaves is in that advanced medical herb book... I might have to get a new book before getting you that tea Ino-san."
Ino smiled nervously and nodded. "That's alright... is there something I can help you find?"
"Oh yes... I need a hard trowel... one that won't break when hitting a rock.," Hinata replied, hefting one up like one would hold a dagger for a downward strike. She tilted her head slightly in thought, as the examining the trowel as a weapon. "Do you have one?"
Ino's eyes widened as she took an unconscious step back, sweat was beading her forehead as she looked for escape routes. "Y...yeah... the... they're in back... l...lemme go get one... at least... I think we have some in stock..."
Ino nearly ran into the back room, but even then she could feel Hinata's gaze on her back, as though aiming for a throw with the trowel. The fatal blow never came however, Ino heard the trowel in Hinata's hands clatter into the pile of the others over the pounding of her heart... barely.
Rushing over to the professional grade rock delving trowels, she picked out one at random. Looking it over she gulped as she realizes how easy Hinata could stab her with this tool. But she couldn't refuse service without making Hinata suspicious of what Ino knew.
Carrying the trowel out front, she found Hinata standing there waiting with a small smile on her face. "We had one in stock," Ino offered holding up the small shovel.
"That's good, I find it more satisfying to buy from people you know. Don't you?" Hinata asked curiously as she laid the Ryo on the counter.
"Yeah... it's great helping out friends..." Ino answered handing over the tool. "Is that all?"
"Yes, thank you. I have to go now, have a good night. And do try to sleep tonight, we are to go back on searching detail tomorrow," Hinata replied as she turned to leave. "Goodbye Ino."
After the heiress had left the shop, Ino's legs turned to jelly beneath her, forcing her to sit down on the stool. Her mind was whirling with worry and fear, but one thought came to the forefront. She had to make sure someone else got that diary if she disappeared.
That's when it hit her, the text copying jutsu she learned to be part of the infiltration squad would be perfect for it. She'd put copies into some scrolls and pass them out to Shika, Tenten, Lee, Chouji, Sakura, Shino, and Kiba with instructions to give it to the Hokage should she disappear. She'd do it tonight, and pass them out tomorrow, with one for Hinata and Neji too, just to keep them from suspecting anything. For some reason she though that Neji was her accomplice, and just felt the need to err on the side of caution.
Nodding to herself she called out to her father in the green house that she had to go for a while, and would see him at dinner. Running out of the shop, to the local shinobi supply store, she never once noticed the pair of icy white eyes following her as she ran.
Ino looked around the street as she walked along. Tsunade had taken to mixing up the teams, and walking right next to her was the two people she least wanted to be alone with, Neji and Hinata. She just knew something was going to happen.
To make matters worse, she had Hinata's diary in her mission pack. She just knew that Hinata would find it, and then Neji and her would do something to her... something to silence her about her suspicions about Hinata. Add to that, they were in all alone, not another soul around.
"Ino-san... why don't you take out my book," Hinata stated calmly, and Ino could feel Neji stepping up closer behind her. "I know you have it... and that you know what I've done. I will take you to Naruto, we're going there now in fact."
Ino considered denying the accusation of having Hinata's diary, but noticed the Byakugan veins on Hinata's temples. Instead she unslung her pack and dug out the diary, holding it out to the heiress mutely.
"Open it to the last page, and read it please..." Hinata purred softly, still guiding the group along.
Ino's eyes lowered to the page as she opened the book silently. Inside she found exactly what Hinata had done to Naruto, and it chilled her to the bone.
I did it! I captured Him! I will save him from dating that pink-haired banshee, and we will be each others first. It was a complete surprise with how it happened, even I am surprised that I did it.
I had gone over to His apartment with a bowl of ramen to try and get Him to acknowledge me, to see me as more than just a shy, weird girl. He should know that we were meant to be, it is fated to be. I managed to knock on the door, and stay around until he took the bowl from me. He even invited me in! I felt like I was walking on air.
He was saying something about me being his first friend his age to visit, and that he should really clean up. That's when it happened! He slipped on a scroll, slammed into the wall, stumbled across the room, and spilled His kunais that He had been sharpening. He had cut himself several times, one even spraying blood around the room
As soon as He had settled down, I scooped Him up, and took Him to the old, abandoned Hyuuga fall back shelter. Once we were there, I began to wrap His wounds, when I decided to keep Him there. So I coated a few of them with a chakra draining salve. They gave me enough time to get some chakra suppression ropes and bind him into place. Now He is mine!
I have moved into the old building above the fall back point so that I can keep near him without raising suspicions. But I must go now, Ino-san is coming over. She is in love with the banshee, but for hurting Him she must pay. All who hurt Him will pay.
Uzumaki Hinata, savior of Him
It wasn't the way Hinata had done it that scared Ino, but rather that she was treating Naruto like some sort of religious figure. Lowering the book she looked around and noticed that they were inside a Hyuuga building, with her standing at the top of a long flight of stairs, down towards darkness.
Turning around she saw Hinata smiling evilly, while Neji knelt behind her fist planted to the ground in submission. "Now you know everything Ino-san... it's a shame no one will ever learn it from you..."
"H...hey l...look... I... I can help you... I'll take Sakura-chan from N...Naruto... that way he's all yours, yeah?" Ino offered nervously, eyes searching desperately for an out.
"I'm sorry Ino-san... but now it's time for you to join Him," Hinata stated coldly before driving her palm forward. It wasn't a Juken strike, but it did serve it's purpose, sending Ino falling into the darkness.
Before Ino struck her head on the steps, something completely normal happened. She woke up, safe in her own bed. Sitting bolt upright she looked around nervously, noticing the hints of dawn rising over the edge of the horizon.
Looking at her desk, she let out a sigh of relief as she saw the scrolls, all rolled up and waiting to be given to the others. Getting up, she started to get ready for the day ahead. The Hokage wanted them to meet up at her office early this morning. As she passed the desk she saw the diary, sitting there, reminding her teasingly about the dream she had just had.
Why had she sounded like she wanted Sakura? If it was anyone else she would have sworn that she'd had a crush on the other girl. But that was impossible, right? Right?
Biting her lip in an effort to fight off the thoughts plaguing her mind she found her hands resting on the diary, set to open it. With a sigh of resignation she flipped it open, finding the last entry. As she read over the neat script on the page, the color ran out of her skin. It was nearly word for word what had happened in her dream. Slamming the book shut she pulled away as though it had bitten her.
Ino needed to get away from it, she needed to take a shower. Rushing out of the room, she failed to notice a trio of fine black hair, sweeping out of her window and into the early morning air.
Ino sighed as she entered Naruto's apartment. Team Ten was assigned searching here again, to see if there were any clues that had been overlooked. Slowly stepping over and around the kunai strewn about the floor an image started to come to mind, based directly from Hinata's diary. Kneeling down at a scroll that had been left on the floor she noticed a partial foot outline on the middle of it.
Tracing a path back from the scroll she found the center of the kunai mess. There was a small area clear of both kunai and blood. Looking around curiously, she stood in the middle of the clear area, slowly looking around. "Hey Shika... This is where we think Naruto got cut up, right?"
"That's right Ino... why the troublesome question?" Shikamaru responded from his spot by the door.
"Look at how the kunai are angled... the attack... came from..." Turning towards the opposite wall, where an overturned table blocked the path. "This way..."
"Yes..." Shikamaru answered as he looked at the table in interest. "There's sharpening shavings and cleaning fluids on the table..."
Chouji looked up from his inspection of the kitchen, to look at something curious to him. "Hey Shika, Naruto was poor wasn't he?"
"Yes..." the pineapple haired man answered while looking over at what had Chouji's interest.
"How'd he afford to get takeout from here? It's the most expensive shop in Konoha..." Chouji asked, pointing to a take out bowl, the restaurant's label emblazoned in plain sight.
"Good question..." Shika responded with a frown. "His kidnapper could have brought it... but it doesn't explain the kunai. It would make more sense to just drug the ramen, wouldn't it?"
"I think the kunai were an accident... Look how they were used... completely random, like someone just upset the table..." Ino muttered looking at the area. "We should have ramen tested... and the new evidence should be given to Hokage-sama." Looking out at the sun she sighed and shook her head. "We also should get some lunch... Chouji, go get some lunch on the team account, but anything extra you want for you comes out of your wallet, not my food. Shika, go talk with Hokage-sama, and take the ramen to get tested."
With a nod, the other two were wandering off, leaving Ino alone to protect the scene. Looking around she got the distinct feeling that she wasn't as alone as she had thought. She could almost feel eyes boring into the back of her skull.
Kneeling as though to inspect a kunai closer, she caught a glimpse of a blur of beige and black in the side of the blade. With an instinct born of years of being a ninja, Ino rolled foreward, kicking out behind her with one foot. Feeling the contact it made, she smirked as she finished her roll, coming up to face her attacker. That's when her fears came to life.
There stood Hinata Hyuuga, holding her stomach as though pained. Hinata smirked as she watched Ino quietly for a moment. "Hello Ino-san... I was coming to check up on you... I was worried when Shika and Chouji walked past my group..."
Dropping back into a defensive position, Ino frowned at Hinata. "Drop the act Hinata... you were sneaking up in my blind spot... you and I both know not to do that. You were going to attack me."
"You are trying to take Naruto-kun from the safety I've made for him..." Hinata responded, slipping into her Juken pose. A soft giggle escaped her lips as she watched Ino. "I know you have my diary Ino-san... surrender now, and I won't hurt you."
A short and violent battle later, Hinata stood over the bruised an battered form of Ino with a victorious smirk. "I told you to surrender Ino-san..." Picking up the unconscious blonde, Hinata slipped out of one of the holes in the walls, heading away from the building.
Five minutes later, Chouji arrived back at the scene carrying take out barbecue. He nearly dropped it when he saw the destruction of the scene. Looking around, his jaw hung open in surprise as he looked around curiously.
Unfortunately, he didn't keep track of where he was walking, and ended up skidding around the room on a jar of medicinal ointment. The barbecue falling all over the place.
His trip ended almost as nicely as it had began, with him embedding himself in a wall. And this is how Shikamaru, Tsunade, and Hiashi found him when they came a moment later. Immediately Hiashi used his Byakugan to search for attackers, only to kneel next to the jar that had sent Chouji skidding. "This was not here before..."
"No it wasn't... and I know Ino doesn't have anything like that in her pack... so where's it from?" Shika mused while helping Chouji out of the wall.
"I wonder..." Hiashi pondered while looking at the jar, it was familiar to him for some reason. "It looks like one of the jars that Hinata-chan uses for medicine."
Tsunade frowned as she looked at the scene. "It would seem that at least one more victim has fallen."
Mutely Shikamaru and Chouji looked at each other with concern written in their eyes. After a moment Shika nodded towards Chouji, and reached into the husky male's pack, pulling out a scroll. "Hokage-sama... Ino asked us for one of us to deliver a copy of this scroll to you, should she disappear. I believe that now is such a time."
Tsunade took the scroll and unrolled it, giving it a curious once over before lowering it. "Well... it would seem that Ino is missing on her own merit... At least that's what this scroll says..."
"If I may Hokage-sama... this seems suspicious..." Hiashi commented while looking at the scene. "May I please look over the scroll?"
Tsunade nodded and turned the scroll around so that all the guys could read it. "Please tell me what you three think..."
"It's troublesome... but I think it's a forgery..." Shikamaru stated first, pointing to the signature. "First of all, Ino always adds in a little heart to the end of her signature, not the beginning. Beyond that, the word choice is too formal for Ino, and the penmanship is too neat."
"I smell lilacs on this... Ino is allergic to lilac scented products..." Chouji mused curiously.
"Beyond that... this is my personal stationary, only Hyuugas have access to it. And judging by the color of the ink and the way it sits on the paper, I'd also say that it was done with my own pen and ink well. But it would need to be tested before I can say for certain."
"That's what I was thinking... Let's go to the Hokage Tower, I'll call the teams in. I think we're going to be coming up three short of today's roster." Tsunade ordered, driving the others outside.
Sakura looked at the building on the outskirts of the Hyuuga grounds cautiously. "I... I know that Naruto's here... it was in that scroll Ino gave me..."
"Very good for you Onee-san, it's a shame that you just walked into your doom..." a voice whispered in Sakura's ear, a moment before she felt a small poke at the back of her neck, and blackness claimed her.
Hanabi lowered Sakura to the ground gently, just in time to look up at approaching footsteps. "Hello Neji-nii-san... all is going according to plan..."
"Yes Hanabi-imouto... Hinata-sama's plan is playing out just as she decreed," Neji replied calmly as she checked Sakura, before lifting her up bridal style and carrying inside. "Fate is smiling on her now, and soon it will smile on us. Hinata-sama will help us get our loves to fall for us..."
Hanabi led the way inside the building, and down a hallway, until they stood before a dead end. Looking at the solid wall before them, Neji smirked as Hanabi poked a knot in the wood, revealing a switch that triggered a hidden door to open and reveal a rough stone passageway.
Neji entered first, taking great care to keep Sakura from bashing on the walls of the tunnel. "I believe you know what to do Hanabi-imouto..."
Once Neji had gone further down the tunnel, Hanabi smirked wickedly as she lashed out with a bit of ninja wire, pushing her chakra into it, she formed a whip of chakra. Twirling it around her body a few times she let out a slight giggle of pleasure at the feeling of power it gave her. It wasn't yet complete, like her sister's chakra blades, but this was a good beginning. Cracking out her whip she wrapped it around the nearest support column and yanked hard, slicing through it cleanly in several spots.
As the tunnel crashed down behind her, she began moving further down the tunnel. Once she found Neji waiting patiently for her, Sakura still in his arms she released the chakra in the whip, curling the wire back up.
A silent nod between the two and they continued walking along. Coming to an opening, Neji laid Sakura carefully next to Ino before walking away. "I have to prepare for the arrival of those that wish to stop us. Please secure these two."
Neji walked off to check the tunnel entrances, leaving Hanabi to tress Ino up in a position that made one wonder where she had learned to bind someone. Shortly after Hanabi had finished tying Ino into place, Neji returned.
"I thought you weren't going to look at Hiashi-sama's private magazines anymore Hanabi-imouto..." Neji groaned as he looked at how Ino was bound up.
Hanabi smirked as she looked over handiwork. "We haven't gotten to binding and restraints in the academy, so I took a guess. I think it looks good."
"And I'm sure that Konohamaru-kun would like to help you practice..." Neji teased gently with a smirk, as he turned to look at the far tunnel. "Hinata-sama will help you with that."
"And you with Tenten-kun," Hanabi responded with a nod and a smirk of her own. Looking at Sakura, she sighed. "We should get her tied up, before Hinata-sama begins... the ritual."
"I'll help you..." Neji answered, only to freeze in mid-step. "What the?"
Hanabi seemed to try to turn and look at what had Neji surprised, but couldn't move. "What?"
"Kagemane no jutsu... success." Shikamaru's voice spoke calmly from the entrance that the duo had entered from. "It looks like we are just in time Hokage-sama."
"Good," Tsunade answered as she walked into Neji's field of vision, followed by Shizune and Hiashi. "Neji, what is the meaning of this?"
Neji let out a derisive laugh as a cold smirk formed on his lips. "We are fulfilling Hinata-sama's dreams. And you are too late to stop her."
Hanabi let out a cackle as she began struggling against the shadow binds holding her in place. "Hinata will free our family of its curse. There is nothing that will stop Hinata-nee-chan now!"
Shikamaru grit his teeth as he felt his shadow's hold being tested by both of the Hyuuga prodegies. "Could we disable them? They're too troublesome to hold..."
Shizune and Hiashi moved forward in a blur, Shizune's needle poking into a vein on Hanabi's arm, while Hiashi using a chakra point to knock out Neji. Once the two were knocked out, Shikamaru released his hold, allowing them to slump forward into the arms of the two that had knocked them out.
Tsunade meanwhile knelt next to Ino and cut her binds with a chakra scalpel. "Hiashi... not to question your parenting... but the fact that I've seen less perverse binding techniques in Jiraiya's books is the least of my worries about your daughters and nephew."
"No offense taken Hokage-sama, I fear that I must admit to wondering about my own parenting right now," Hiashi answered, shame evident in his voice as he laid Neji and Hanabi down on the ground. "I fear that I may have spent too little time being a parent, and too much trying to make them strong."
"Stopping Hinata is our priority now, blaming yourself can wait," Tsunade ordered gruffly as she looked at the several tunnels that branched off of the cave they were in. "Which way?"
At Hiashi's point she nodded and looked at the four ninjas on the ground. "Shizune, Shikamaru, you two guard stay here. Keep the Hyuugas out until we can get out of here, if you can do anything for Ino or Sakura, do it. Let's go Hiashi."
As the two leaders ran down the tunnel, Hiashi used his Byakugan to look for Hinata. After a few minutes they came to an opening, where in the middle sat Naruto gardening away, happy as a clam. Not dropping their guards, Hiashi and Tsunade carefully approached Naruto, who seemed oblivious to them, sitting in a ring of light from the opening in the ceiling stories above.
Just as they were about to crossover into the light, Hiashi stiffened and fell over with a thud, causing Tsunade to whirl around with her foot slashing through the air in a kick. She was not prepared for her foot to collide with a solid body when none was present. And then as Hinata appeared in mid-air, flipping to land against the wall, she understood. Somehow the heiress had copied Jiraiya's invisibility jutsu, to the point it could fool even the Byakugan.
"Hinata, what do you think your doing?" the Hokage demanded as the younger woman sprang off the wall in an attack of her own. "Kidnapping not one, but three shinobi of the leaf. Attacking your father, and now your Hokage?"
"Naruto-kun is safe here..." Hinata responded softly, with a hint of insanity to her voice. "I won't let you take him away. You'll hurt him again!"
Tsunade blocked Hinata's strikes the best way anyone could, hitting the forearm to knock it aside. She really didn't want to hurt the girl, as she wasn't in her right mind right now. "What about you? You're hurting him by keeping him trapped in here like a pet."
The fiery attack from Hinata sputtered out as the words hit hard. "No... No... he's safe here... you're trying to trick me..."
"No I'm not Hinata, he's not exercising if he's trapped. That means if he gets attacked his muscles will be slower to react, and not as strong. He needs to be outside more Hinata..." Tsunade held her hands out wide, trying to placate the mentally unstable young woman.
"He exercises, we spar, he's getting faster," Hinata muttered weakly as she shook her head in denial. "I will protect him, I won't let you hurt Naruto-kun any more... I won't let you take him from me again... not like she did..."
"She?" Tsunade prompted trying to help work through to the Hinata she knew was in there. "Who are you talking about Hinata?"
"The pink one... Sakura... she's always hitting him... and then she stole him from me..." Hinata growled lowly as she circled Tsunade, putting herself between the blonds. "Naruto-kun is safe now... and soon he will have the family he wants... I will give it to him..."
Tsunade's eyes widen in shock at the declaration. "You... you're pregnant?"
"Not yet... tonight was to be our first..." Hinata murmured with a blush forming on her cheeks, then like flicking a switch, her body took on a dark, menacing aura. "But now you ruined it. Oh yes, I'll never forgive any of you for that!"
Tsunade took a step back, just in time to dodge a blade of chakra that whipped through the space her neck had been. Slamming her fist into the ground, she used the chunk of rock that shot up as a weapon, throwing it at the Hyuuga, who used her chakra blade to slice it in half, letting them fly past the lit area easily. "You almost hurt Naruto-kun... I will make you pay for that..."
With that, Hinata surged forth her arms blurring in strikes aimed at the Hokage's vitals, only to have them turned by said woman. As the pair broke from the trade of blows, Hinata panted with rage filling her eyes. "GO AWAY! NARUTO IS SAFE HERE!"
Tsunade glanced behind Hinata, where she saw an orange clad shinobi approaching. "I am not leaving without him... nor you. You need help Hinata... I'll allow him to visit you any time he wishes, ok?"
"No, you'll hide him away from me... you'll let those villagers hurt him again... you'll let that pink haired witch break his heart... you'll... you'll... you'll take away his gardens..." Hinata defended weakly, her voice shaking with uncertainty.
"She won't Hinata," Naruto's voice spoke from behind the pale eyed girl, "Baa-chan's good for her word. If she said I could visit, then I can. Besides, I'm worried about you, I have been since you brought me here."
Hinata's heart leaped to her throat as the thought of Naruto caring for her echoed in her mind. "B...but N...N...Naruto-kun... s...she hits yyyou... I... I don't want you to be hurt..." Hinata stuttered, her fingers playing in front of her nervously.
"Don't you think having one of my precious people sick hurts more?" Naruto asked, hugging her from behind, causing her color to reach fire engine red. "Come on Hinata, let's go back... maybe we'll get neighboring rooms at the hospital, ne?"
"No Naruto-kun... it ends now..." Hinata stated with a strange sadness as she turned around to face Naruto. "Gomen-nasai... my love..."
A gentle tap later, Naruto crumpled to the ground with a stunned look on his face. His entire body turned to jelly. As he watched in utter shock and horror, Hinata turned and ran past the surprised Tsunade, deeper into the caves.
Tsunade barely had time to move when the first explosion ripped through the stillness of the caves, causing large chunks of rocks to fall from the walls and ceiling of the cave. Tsunade dragged both Hiashi and Naruto together before shielding them with her body.
After the trembling caves settled down, Sakura looked at the tunnel that Tsunade and the others had gone down. All she could see was a wave of dust billowing out. Setting her teeth in determination, she pulled out her gloves and raced down the hallway. Arriving at the start of the cave-in, Sakura's heart dropped to her feet.
With nothing else to do, she began crushing and tossing the rocks, tears streaming down her cheeks. Moments later she noticed another set of hands moving along with hers, digging out the smaller rocks. Turning her head she saw Ino digging next to her. With a grateful nod she returned to her work, trusting Ino to grab the smaller rocks, and move them away while she kept crushing them.
Meanwhile, back at the opening, Shikamaru was using his Kagemane no Jutsu to have Neji pick up Hanabi and walk both of the unconscious prisoners out of the caves. "I'll send back some help, the Inuzukas enjoy the troublesome task of digging things up."
"Hurry Shika, and make sure that there is ANBU guarding these two at the hospital," Shizune ordered before turning to pursue her fellow Tsunade apprentices. The sight that greeted her eyes was less than surprising, but it was heartwarming none-the-less. Side-by-side were the two girls, long time declared rivals, working hard to save two people dear to their hearts.
Several hours later, Tsunade, Naruto, and Hiashi were pulled from the rubble, but only smears and splatters of blood were found of Hinata. The only place that was left unchecked was one tunnel that was far too unstable to be cleared away. Everyone agreed to leave it as Hinata's grave marker, everyone that is, save Naruto.
He merely sat in front of it in a stunned silence, long after everyone had left. Finally he stood up and summoned up a Kyuubi Rasengan, that he drove into the entrance of the collapsed tunnel, sealing the tomb.
Turning away he sighed, making his way out of the caverns slowly. "Until next time Hinata-chan. I'm sorry I never noticed you before."
He didn't seem to notice as a figure in a dusty gray cloak separated itself from the cave wall, walking away into the night. However, he did turn around when he heard a soft voice whisper back on the wind. "I forgive you Naruto-kun... I will be watching you, always."
Hinata set her pen down next to the completed manuscript on her desk. She had just finished her latest novel, starting off her long awaited Watcher Series. Looking over her shoulder, she giggled softly at the sight of her love sleeping peacefully in a patch of sunshine. He was curled up with a simple smile on his face, the sunshine causing even his sleeping form to radiate energy and action.
Getting up from her writing area, she crawled across the floor and curled up with her head on Naruto's stomach, letting the gentle rise and fall of it comfort her. She was just about to fall asleep when he opened his eyes, the blue shining with love. "Hey, all done?"
Nodding she gave a short squeak of agreement before letting the comfort take her away. A moment later Naruto's voice broke through her haze of contentment again. "We should get ready, Sakura and Ino's welcome home party is in an hour."
Whimpering playfully, Hinata nuzzled in closer to her husband. "Dun wanna get up..." was all she muttered before closing her eyes again.
Reaching out Naruto rubbed his wife's stomach gently, his eyes half lidded with suppressed mirth. "What do you think Neji will think of our daughter, Hina-chan?"
"I think he'll be proud of our son..." Hinata defended with a smirk. This was a joke with them since they had found out Hinata was pregnant. They didn't want to know the gender, or any details aside from it being healthy.
With a smile, Naruto scooped up his wife and mother-to-be bridal style, standing up with ease as he carried her to the bedroom. "Let's go Hina-chan. Have to let them see the most beautiful woman ever don't we?"
Hinata's blush was all the answer Naruto needed as he shut the door to the bedroom.
Two hours later found Hinata and Naruto arriving late for the party with blushes and no excuses. Not that anyone asked. They knew that if those two were late, they had been busy. After all, it's not like the next Hokage and the leading author of Konoha were quiet about it.
The party did however have questions aplenty when Neji walked over and asked. "When are the twins due?"