I would very much like to thank Lightning Blade, not only for my first kind review but for pointing out some punctuation errors. I would like to think myself somewhat as a Grammar Nazi, but I do have a tendency to write extremely fast. So I'll promise to read through a bit better from now on.

Sakura is not my favourite character, in fact, not really at all. I detested her in Naruto, but whilst I think she's become fairly awesome in Shippuuden, there seems to be a fairly obvious "Twink" about her where her improvements seemed to have progressed further than any of the other females in the village. Somewhat surprising; since Kishimoto has stated that Ten Ten has his favourite female character design thus far.

I have tried to pump this chapter out fairly quickly for two reasons, firstly because I have a large drive for writing this story at the moment, and second because as stated by the kind jin, there has yet to be much action.

In this chapter there are some thoughts as well as speaking. Thoughts are identified as '…' and speaking as "…"

Nevertheless; onwards! And apologies for a rather large entry comment!

I do not own Naruto, this is purely fan fiction, the concept is not canon and all views expressed are entirely my own unrelated to the manga and Anime x3

"I wondered why it was taking you so long, yeah."

Ino's soft lips parted slightly in awe.

Ino stared attentively at the new enemy before her, captivated by his stature and elegance as he stood apparently unimpressed by their presence. He didn't look at all threatened by the five of them. On the other hand; this was a man who had convinced several powerful people with the idea that he had been dead, up until the point she had laid her eyes on him, confirming in her mind at least; that he existed.

It was rare that Ino ever found herself captivated with anyone. There was one time; where she would have liked to say Sasuke could grasp hold of the entirety of her obsessive devotion. Those times had long since passed and she no longer felt any admiration or hope in her heart for him to recognise this fact. She frowned, her beautiful face etched into an ugly and threatening scowl. He had yet to add anything more to his earlier comment; other than cast his gaze around them all again.

Deidara. On the surface it sounded beautiful and alluring, but Ino was far too smart to fall into that same pathetic trap of thinking she was in love with a beautiful and alluring man again; she was older now, not blinded by a silly crush, however exciting and romantic she could dream it to be.

Slowly she reached around to her pack. She knew she was there for medical purposes only, and whilst it would never normally bother her, why could it not be her for a change leading a full frontal assault like Sakura? She gritted her teeth, was she too weak again? Was she to stand at the side whilst her friends battled an Akatsuki? Was she really needed? Why hadn't Tsunade swapped her out for Sakura in the first place? When would she ever find her purpose?

Unbeknown to her; the angry intent look she was casting towards him had gained his attention and without moving his head his visible eye directed towards her, and a sudden change of emotion from complacency to curiosity became significant as he then turned his head to her. "What's this? Did I already do something to make you angry, hn?"

Ino's surprise at being addressed personally obviously became blatant in her features because his smug smile reappeared. It was not usually Ino, who became noticed first in a fight. The immediate feeling of superiority over Sakura she felt; rapidly diminished, as she remembered that being noticed by an Akatsuki first was never usually a good thing; usually leading to an imminent moment of regret. She wanted to curse under her breath, growl, hiss, but the conflicting feel of her emotions made it much too hard to concentrate and butterflies began to flitter and flutter uncontrollably in her stomach. She felt sick. "You could be pretty fun to play with, yeah? What do you say?"

Before Ino could retort, Sakura butted in for her, and Ino felt somewhat relieved… even more so when she felt Sai's calm and emotionless presence beside her. Of course, he'd been commanded by Kakashi to stay by her side in order to keep her safe. Typical, if it wasn't an over eccentric-pudding bowl-fuzzy browed-freak, it was a far too calm-emotionless-apathetic-liar to be by her side… was her luck with men just that ill-fated? Not to mention the only male to pay her any more attention than just annoyance, trouble or friendship was a psychotic evil mastermind that loved blowing things up as a hobby.

Well, at least he was hot.

Sakura's retort, Ino found out seconds later, had not been as menacing as Ino had thought it would be. "Deidara, what are you doing here?"

An obvious impolite demand, you would have thought he'd do either one of three things Akatsuki members tended to do when faced with impolite demands; Scoff, Laugh, or try to kill her.

Deidara did none; in fact he looked momentarily surprised as he looked to Sakura. "Sasori-Danna's murderer, yeah." It was far from a question, it sounded to Ino; although that would be impossible given the Akatsuki's non existent feelings for one another, like an accusation. An accusation normally meant anger, and anger usually strived from hurt. Sure enough as Deidara continued, his voice was persistent with spitting words violently at the pink haired Chunnin. "Well you killed him, yeah? I shoulda thought you'd know why I was here, Yeah!"

"Revenge." Kakashi was on guard, his lazy demeanour left behind.

It was here that the Blonde missing-nin simply scoffed. "Actually… I don't really care about Sasori, he did what he wanted, un. But you blew my arm off." Although speaking calmly, Deidara's chakra levels were rising dangerously and there was venom hidden in his words, "Then that brat Uchiha Sasuke, I was lucky to make it out alive, I doubt I'll be so lucky a third time, yeah."

"You still haven't told us why you're here." Sakura reminded him.

"Well that." He stopped glaring at Sakura and Kakashi and shrugged. "Is little of your business, un."

"You made it our business." Sakura reminded him, glaring slightly, "When you decided to trespass through fire country without trying to stay somewhat hidden. We won't let you go back to Akatsuki Deidara, and I don't think you'll be so luck to escape from five of us."

"I've no intentions of fighting you or Kakashi, yeah." He paused and licked his lips thoughtfully, "Tch, how'd Sasori no Danna get beat up by you, huh?"

Sakura had no intentions of being goaded into telling him the details of her fight with the Puppet Master; he hadn't stuck around long enough to include himself in it, and therefore the specifications of that fight were now hers and hers alone after the deaths of both Chiyo and Sasori of the Red Sand. Besides, her sense of honour was too great to dent itself to do anything for someone like Deidara. "It doesn't matter." She replied matter-of-factly and tutting. "What happened to Sasuke after he beat you!?"

Typical Sakura to get straight to the point. Why did everything have to revolve around Sasuke? Ino was getting annoyed. Sakura had interrupted his conversation with her just to demand ludicrous demands about Sasuke. It wasn't like Ino didn't care; she cared a lot for her best friend's feelings but… the relief of murderous intent being drawn away from her had simply ebbed into jealousy as she felt Sakura had centred everything on herself again.

Centred on herself? Or drawn away from Ino?

It just didn't matter, and Ino just couldn't bare the thought of shame and regret to fill her again if her rival came out above her. She knew she was being irrational and selfish, but she couldn't help it. "Sakura," She spoke softly keeping her eyes on Deidara. "If we apprehend him then it will be easier to get him to talk."

Ino could not prepare herself for when his attention was back on her. She stared into his eyes silently, precious moments passing by until he addressed her once more. She was getting a feel for speaking to him, she wasn't afraid any longer; it was a new feeling that took hold of her. Pride? Arrogance? Irrationality? No, no it was none of these, what she could feel was…


She was dangerously beginning to enjoy this new feeling. She knew it was in her heart to be superficial and attention-seeking despite her love and sincerity for everyone around her.

"You do wanna play, un. You look more fun than the rest of them… even if you're the weakest."

"What did you say!?" She retorted. Satisfaction turned to surprise, which turned to anger, which spurred her crave for being superior.

"Weak, Yeah?" he said "You're pretty weak compared to them, yeah."

"Ino calm down-" Kakashi's warning came far too late for it to have any affect on the incoherent thoughts running through her mind. Sai was far to slow to put any constraint on her infuriated and unreasonable actions as she impelled herself forward giving a frustrated yell.

It was like her feet were running alone and with the adrenalin running through her she covered the distance between them in seconds focusing all her chakra into her fist and aimed the punch straight at his face.

It stunned her when it connected, she could feel his jaw bone cracking under her strength and in that instant knew he hadn't dodged purposely and this only angered her if possible even more. It was well known she was hot-headed, easy to antagonise but this guy was the worst sort of person to annoy her.

Ignoring the cries of frustration behind her she forced her energy into the punch more; riding the rhythm of it through, until the feeling of him drifting away from her hand became apparent and she watched him crash through the trees behind him, satisfied as she heard the trunks and branches cracking from the force of her strong willed attack.

She wasn't finished however, knowing he hadn't dodged on purpose only caused more adrenalin; and she could only hear it pumping in her ears like a cacophony as she started after him ignoring the pleas and yells behind her like they didn't exist.

She sensed where he was still flying through the air and where he was going to land, and didn't notice the distance between her and her team become greater and didn't even blink an eye when she felt a gigantic boom from behind her.

The shockwaves of the blast forced her forwards, and riding the wave, followed the missing-nin as he landed awkwardly on his back metres away. She could smell the smoke now and hesitated for only a second before realising her team would be fine and against all her good judgement followed him as he jumped up and propelled himself into the air. Giving chase was not her style, but she was too far gone now to take any notice of the confusion happening behind her.

In seconds she was metres away from her team, in moments she was kilometres away, she stopped accounting for distance, her motivation concentrated solely on him as he leapt from branch to branch his long blonde hair trailing behind him like a whip in the harsh gusts of winds hitting them as she pursued him hastily through the forest.

It dawned on her too late that he was leading her away for a reason; mostly the non-existent attacks he wasn't barraging her with; and by then she was not about to blow catching him and getting berated for messing up the mission over the importance of her safety. Once he turned around to check if she was still following, he didn't stop running however but nor did he taunt her either. But none of that even mattered because it wasn't going to be over until she had him beaten to take back to Tsunade as a trophy.

"Stupid hot headed Ino!" Sakura yelled irately as Lee helped pull her out of a clump of tree branches. "Idiot!" She shouted to no one in particular "Damn idiot!" It was here that Lee backed off as she pulled her dark gloves on tighter. She was well known for hitting out at anything when angry, and Sakura wasn't angry right now, she was sourly pissed off.

Kakashi gave a sigh, "We should concentrate on tracking her as fast as possible so we don't loose her, but at the same time all of this could be careful plan to lead us into a carefully executed trap." He gave another sigh. "What an idiot, she's almost as bad as Naruto."

Sai's half lidded eyes cast around the surroundings. Deidara had obviously set those bombs off in those special places, knowing exactly in which direction the blast would go, in order to cause the most damage and interference. The problem now was that there was little way they could make through the trees so easily, and it was much to high to climb, and much to thick for Sakura to punch her way through. Having said that with her current temper…

He shook his head and rubbed it with his gloved hand; he was not going to be the one to ask. He had grown fairly attached to the pink haired girl, enough to warrant some sort of friendship with her. Though he had not ever had a true friend before, so he couldn't truly say whether it was exactly what he felt. The point was, he knew her well enough to warrant that he should not point out anything obvious or ask her dumb questions whilst she was ready to pulverise anything in sight.

Like Lee, he stepped back cautiously, namely, away from any precarious reach of her fists. He'd already been punched once by her in anger, he did not want to give her an excuse for a second round.

"Either way…" He explained inconspicuously backing away just a little further. "We will have to find another way around and hope that she can catch and hold him up whilst we find her. She's smart enough to know his fighting style, I'm sure she wouldn't use her mind technique on him. It should not be difficult to find her, the state her chakra is in…"

"Unless we get it mixed up with Sakura-San." He heard Lee mutter ever so quietly a little way away. It was fortunate Sakura couldn't hear him as she continued to malevolently cuss the long haired blonde Chunnin out.

Kakashi could only sigh once more, and shrug as he followed Sai to a different route in which to track Ino.

Only much later on when Ino had calmed down did she realise how far she'd covered in such a short amount of time and how stupid she'd been to let her emotions go uncontrolled again, and how ridiculous she was to have gone and gotten herself into a hazardous situation of following an S Class missing-nin through a forest on her own.

It was such a dumb thing to do; only Naruto could have possibly done it otherwise. She growled angrily, she really was going to get slated angrily by Sakura and Kakashi when they found her, and then again by Tsunade when she returned to the village. She'd be cleaning bed pans for weeks after this.

She watched him turn around once more, the jumping from tree to tree and running having become automatic too long ago and he called to her in an upbeat manner. "I'm pretty sure you broke my jaw, yeah! It kind of hurts!"

Ino gave a satisfied grin before understanding that he was damn well toying with her again.

He grinned slightly the next time he spoke and she sensed him slowing down ever so slightly as he did so, "I promise I'll show you my art, un!" She blinked and continued on her feet as she caught his next words, quieter than the tormenting calls. "It's a bang."

He hopped down from the trees to the soft grass, the wet dew of the morning slowly beginning to evaporate under the spotted flecks of light, shining through the leaves and branches of the trees. Any normal person would have been severely out of breath and tired by now, but Ino was too hyped up for anything less than a good beating… and she sure as didn't mean herself.

He was still running, continuing their game of cat and mouse, but eventually the inevitable happened and the cat caught its prey, toying with it viciously before it was satisfied.

Ino was far from satisfied now.

"You did good to catch up with me, un… But what will you do if you catch me?"

'Kick the ever living crap out of you for mocking me and making me run so far.' She thought personally.

"I feel kind of sorry for you, yeah, you'd never be enough to defeat me, and you just wasted your whole mission on getting yourself angry, yeah… you don't hit too hard either."

"UGH!" Ino felt her anger slip through her mouth.

He chuckled, and all of a sudden in mid air span himself around. The action proved to be far to quick for Ino to brace herself and his powerful kick connected powerfully with her abdomen. A surge of pain ricocheted through her curvy body and the strength sent her spiralling through the air into the trunk of a particularly large and thick tree. Luckily, unlike her own punch there was not enough force in his kick to damage the tree and whilst she felt all the wind knocked out of her, there was no damage to her back as she slid weakly to the floor.

She noticed a slight Shadow cast over her, and breathing heavily whilst emitting green healing chakra over her winded stomach, looked up at the Akatsuki towering triumphantly over her. He paused for a minute looking her over, apparently content he bent down and Ino closed her eyes regretfully.

She felt something touch her cheek and opened her eyes realising it was his hand on her chin forcing her to look at him. He tilted his head to the side again, his eye gleaming at her, a dangerous glint in the corner of his eyes. Close up she realised that actually, her first judge of his appearance had been correct; he truthfully was not that bad looking. Cussing herself inwardly for thinking such dumb thoughts in such a desperate and dangerous situation she took careful note and put what was probably too much attention on his fine looking lips as he spoke.

'Damn,' She thought, 'I really do have such rotten luck with boys, this is the closest I've ever gotten with one and he's about to kill me. I suppose my friends were right when they said that no guy is perfect, good looks obviously came with being a psycho.'

As it was however, his words did nothing but continue to shock her, "Maybe now, you're in a better mood to listen to me, yeah?"

Well that's basically it really, I am sorry for the swearing in this chapter, I know it was only one word, but I do try hard to avoid it.

I am unsure of when I will pump the next chapter out, hopefully before the weekend… or during.

I was very excited with the amount of hits I got for the first chapter! But I would be even more excited if those of you giving me hits would be so nice as to review this story for me. Kind words and constructive criticism make me happy and drive me onwards, so it can only be a good thing right!?

Until next time, I hope you all enjoy!

xXx Wiggle.