The four were now running through the woods. They had to since it was the fastest route and they all knew they were slowly running out of time. The only sound made was the sound of the wilderness. None of them made a sound, knowing the seriousness of their situation. They were running in an area they weren't familiar with, though Neji's Byakugan helped immensely, they were carrying an unconscious priestess. A very, very important priestess. And they had four high level enemies after them. Not including some they may meet on the way.
Yes, it didn't seem like their situation was getting any better. Though, Lee and Naruto were still jacked up on energy as they always were, a few minutes ago Neji had taken the priestess from Sakura seeing as she was getting tired. She had been carrying her for a couple days now.
Well it could be worse right? It always can be. Though it usually takes until everything blows over before people realize that. This is a similar case.
It was nearing two in the afternoon when Neji spotted two large chakra sources in a clearing up ahead. He cursed under his breath and stopped jumping, the other three immediately stopped as well.
"What is it Neji?" His comrade, Lee, asked him.
He wasn't sure wether he should tell them. He knew Naruto well enough that if he told them that one of the two was Uchiha Itachi that he would run ahead, they could try a detour, but that would take way too long. Maybe they could try to get by without fighting. He was their captain and the point of this mission was to get the girl to the temple not too far away, keep his team, and the world, safe. They couldn't let this distract them too much. Their weren't any good options, but he had to do something.
He was going to have to take the one with the only chance of making it there. They would have to go straight through. If he needed to, he would tell the others to go ahead and he would keep them side tracked for as long as he could.
He looked at Naruto sternly, "Naruto, do not disobey me." Was all he said before jumping ahead towards the clearing. He knew he should have told them, but he didn't seem to be thinking too well at the moment.
The other three were really confused, but followed him nonetheless. When they reached the clearing there was no one there. Neji knew though they were still there, he still had his Byakugan activated of course. The two were perched up in a tree waiting to see who it was that had found them. Neji jumped off the last branch and landed in the clearing a few feet in front of his comrades, and a yard from the two enemies.
He stood still, waiting to see what they would do.
Itachi didn't move at first, thinking this through. They had only three options, run, attack right away, or reveal themselves.
They weren't running. It was something that they rarely did, and they knew they were stronger so running would be pointless. They knew their ranks, since their clones had fought them not long ago. They looked like they wanted to talk, the Hyuuga had put himself wide open, and he was carrying a girl on his back. It didn't look like he was planning on attacking, or that he could attack properly.
The third option it was. He looked over at his comrade and motioned for him to follow him. Neji's three teammates were standing behind him now, wondering what was going on.
"Neji, what are we doing here? We have to hurry and finish the mission!" Naruto was getting frustrated.
Neji ignored him. He was looking towards where the two were, he noticed Itachi look over at his comrade, and in a second the two were standing a few feet in front of them.
"What the hell!" Naruto exclaimed, shocked by the sudden appearance of two people. Two people he does not like. Uchiha Itachi and Hoshigaki Kisame.
"Heh, look who it is. The Kyuubi brat." Kisame said with a smirk, shifting the sword on his back.
Naruto tensed, "I'm not a brat you overgrown fish!" Naruto yelled.
Neji stood still, keeping eye contact with the Uchiha. The sound of their voices unheard by him. He knew that it wasn't a good thing to stare right into the eyes of a Sharingan user, but he knew Itachi wasn't going to hurt him. He would never hurt him.
That's when he sensed something, "Lee!" He caught his teammates attention. Lee now sensed it, he jumped up and kicked the three kunai that were headed towards him off to the side.
"Who's there?" Naruto yelled out towards the area the kunai had come from.
Somebody jumped out of the trees, kunai in hand, charging at Naruto. Lee managed to intercept it.
"Neji, I'll take the priestess." Sakura headed towards him, wanting to take the priestess of his hands so that he could fight. But she didn't quite make it.
One of them came out of the ground right in front of Sakura, blocking the path to Neji.
He attacked her, and she was forced to stay in combat with him. Another appeared, sending a few medium sized balls of fire towards Naruto.
"Weren't we the enemies just five seconds ago?" Kisame asked his partner looking at the scene before him.
Lee, Naruto and Sakura were fighting three people that pretty much came out of nowhere while Neji was backing away from the scene, trying to put some space between him and them.
Poor Neji, he has one messy situation on his hands. Three of the four had come out, the fire user, the earth user, and the water. The only one missing was the one who used Lightning based jutsu's.
Neji jumped out of the way, narrowly avoiding a blast of lightning.
"Damn it..." He murmured landing not too far away from the two Akatsuki members, who were watching the scene role on with interest, or what could be thought of as interest.
He dodged yet another lightning bold. This situation wasn't getting any better. Landing again, he looked over at the missing-nin. If he was going to do this it was his only chance.
"Here." Neji said, handing over the priestess to the Sharingan user. He grabbed her and threw her over his shoulder.
He had no reason not to. Itachi could have ignored him, but he wouldn't do that. The girl must be important for them all to be so into protecting her. Yes, when you are asked to protect someone you try your best, but you don't give that person over to an S-ranked criminal. No matter how close the two of you are.
The others looked majorly confused. Why the hell would he do that? They couldn't think to much of it since they were in the middle of a battle after all.
Though that didn't stop Naruto's rant, "Neji! Why the hell did you do that? Do you know what you just did? Do you even know who that is?"
Naruto's words were once again ignored. Neji had learnt very early over the course of their mission that ignoring him was the easiest way to go. He rarely ever notices when you're doing it anyway.
"Itachi-san..." Kisame trailed off seeing the look the Uchiha gave him. Yeah, he was older and a very capable shinobi, but Itachi could still give him the creeps if he wanted to.
The battle raged on for another few minutes, but they found out that the four weren't very good when it came to conserving their chakra.
"I have no more chakra." One of them said, looking over at the red-headed member, most likely the leader of the group.
"Then we shall retreat." The others nodded and they all jumped away. The Konoha nin wanted to finish the battle, just to get them out of their way, but they still had the priestess in enemy hands.
Itachi pulled the girl off his shoulder and handed her over to Neji, who had come towards him to take her back.
"Thank you." Neji said grabbing the priestess and carried her bridal style.
"How could you endanger our mission like that!" Naruto was still ranting about the entire thing. He was really annoying Neji now.
"Naruto..." He spoke, a warning laced beneath his words.
He was going to say something else, but Sakura covered his mouth with her hand. "Neji, I'll carry the priestess for a while, if you like," Lee offered.
Neji nodded, giving her over to Lee who put her onto his back, "This mission is starting to get tiresome," Sakura sighed, pulling her hand away from Naruto's mouth.
"But it's also very exciting!" Lee, the usual voice of enthusiasm.
Neji then turned to look over at the two Akatsuki members who had yet to do much. He looked at Itachi a moment then looked back at his teammates, "Go on ahead. I'll catch up in a couple minutes."
"What are you talking about Neji?" Naruto asked him, "We aren't going to leave you here with them!" He exclaimed, pointing towards the two missing nin.
"Naruto, are you questioning my orders?" Neji asked him threateningly. He was getting really annoyed with the blonde by now, if only he would shut up for five minutes.
"Of course not Neji. We'll head out towards the village and try to make it there as fast as we can," Lee said and Sakura nodded, they dragged Naruto off, leaving him alone with the two Akatsuki members.
"Kisame." Itachi said, getting his own teammates attention. The taller male looked at him, then nodded, "Alright." And he too left the clearing.
"You..." Neji started, "You..."
"I think we've covered that already," Itachi said, his voice monotone.
"You bastard," Neji said putting his hands on his hips, glaring at the Uchiha, "You said two weeks, but it's already been three."
"My mission was a bit longer than expected. I was going to go see you in a couple days." Itachi replied walking closer to the still angry Hyuuga.
"You could have still found some way to tell me," Neji's glare didn't waver.
Itachi slipped his arm around his waist, "I'm sorry, I should have told you." He always was a suck up when he wanted Neji's forgiveness.
Neji leant his head against his chest with a small sigh, "Fine, I forgive you."
"Good." Itachi said then lightly pressed his lips to the younger male's.
"We don't have much time..." Neji mumbled as the other pulled back.
"I know." As they kissed again, Neji was slowly walking backwards, and let out a soft moan as he was pushed up against a tree.
He had his hands around his lover's neck, playing in his hair, while Itachi had his hands on Neji's hips. Itachi slowly brought his lips down to Neji's neck. He let out a moan as Itachi nipped at a sensitive spot.
"D-don't leave any marks." Neji breathed out. He felt his lover nod. There were very little chances that Itachi would actually listen to him.
A couple minutes later, Itachi asked something that surprised Neji a bit, "Will you be mine? Forever?" It was one of those rare occasions where Itachi actually asked something. He usually ordered people to do things. But this was something important to him.
Neji let out a look of confusion, but nodded none the less, "Yes...Yes I will." Even if he hadn't asked, he had always been his. And it will always be that way.
He felt something be slipped onto his hand, but he didn't look at it since his attention was drawn back to the raven-haired male before him as he captured his lips once again.
Itachi pulled back, realizing that it had already been 10 minutes. They shouldn't have taken that long. It didn't matter though, they couldn't do anything about it.
"I'll see you in a couple days." Itachi whispered and after receiving a nod from the brunette he said one last thing before leaving the clearing, "I love you."
"I love you too..." Neji whispered into the wind. Itachi was already gone. It was then that he looked at his hand to see the ring Itachi had slipped onto his finger. It was a silver band with a Saphire in the middle with two smaller rubies on each side of it. It was a really pretty ring. He let a smile form on his lips as he noticed exactly which finger the ring was on. His left ring finger.
That was when reality came back to him. His team and his mission were waiting for him. He let out a sigh, he really didn't feel like doing the mission right now, but he went anyway, hurrying to catch up. His time spent with Itachi had taken a bit longer than he had expected.
He saw his team a few minutes later. They hadn't gone as fast as they could, giving Neji time to catch up. He straightened his clothes and hair, making sure he didn't look suspicious. As he neared his team he could hear Naruto complaining about something.
"Why is he taking so long? We shouldn't have left! For all we know he could be dead!" It seemed he was talking about him. He figured as much.
"I'm fine Naruto." Naruto turned towards him with a look of shock. He then fell, not having payed attention to where he was going.
"Nice one Naruto..." Sakura said sarcastically.
"You're alive!" Naruto cried out jumping back up into the trees. Lee was in the lead, followed by Sakura then Naruto and Neji was next to him.
Neji really wanted to reply sarcastically, but avoided that temptation, "Yes Naruto, I'm alive."
"What happened? Why did you stay back?" Naruto started asking a bunch of questioins that he didn't bother answering, instead he jumped ahead catching up to his teammate. He ignored Naruto's rant about being ignored.
"That's a very nice ring you have Neji." Lee said for only him to hear. He looked at Lee who gave him a knowing look.
Neji mind stopped there for a moment. 'Oh crap..." He thought. He wondered wether or not he would tell, and since when was Lee observant?
"Don't worry, I can keep a secret." Lee smiled at him. Well that was reassuring. Lee just went higher on his respect scale that's for sure.
"Thanks..." Neji muttered not looking at him. He wasn't ashamed of it, it was just the fact that in a way he was betraying Konoha. It's not that he had meant to fall in love with the Sharingan user, it had just happened.
"One last thing..." This made Neji curious, "You should hide your neck."
Neji's eyes widened a bit before narrowing. 'Bastard...'
AN: This could be considered the third part of the two ItaNeji one-shots I have in my 'One-Shots Gallore' story. The sequel is up next! Hope you liked this chapter! (Yes, this is set during the first Shippuden movie.)
Thank you for reading!