Lee and Misaki walked back into the karaoke bar area holding hands, Misaki was smiling genuinely for the first time in a while.

Neji looked over and saw them coming, and smiled.

Misaki and Lee sat down in their seats and watched the next three people sing before Lee stood up to go the bathroom.

"I will be right back." Lee said, kissing Misaki on the cheek.

Misaki smiled again. "Okay." Misaki watched Lee walk away and said, "You said something, Neji…didn't you?"

Neji nodded. "Yeah. It took him far too long to realize it, it was starting to piss me off."

Misaki chuckled. "Thank you."

"It wasn't anything."

Misaki looked over at Gai's seat and saw that it was empty. "By the way…where'd Gai-Sensei go?"

Neji sighed. "He signed up to sing."

"Oh my." That was all Misaki could really say, she was slightly scared of what Gai would pick to sing.

She had right to be scared, because Gai ended up picking the song "Macho Man". His students, once Lee returned, stared at him with an I-don't-know-him look. When Gai returned to his seat, there was no clapping, but many scared faces…and three mortified students.

When Team Gai left the karaoke bar, Misaki, Lee, and Neji walked much slower than him so as to not be too close to their crazy Sensei. When Gai stopped to see where his students were, they were near the pond.

"Come on now, hurry up!" Gai shouted for them.

Misaki, who was holding Lee's hand, shook her head. "Why do we have the eccentric Sensei?"

"Bad luck of the draw." Neji sighed.

Lee just laughed.

When the three teenagers caught up to their Sensei he nodded and told them to wait next to the pond while he went to go retrieve somebody. They sat down against the tree and waited for about an hour before someone asked where exactly Gai went.

Neji shrugged. "Beats me."

Misaki sighed and put her head on Lee's shoulder. She closed her eyes. Finally, someone to love and love me in return. Somebody who won't criticize me because of what happened with my other team.

"There he is." Lee said almost directly after resting his head on Misaki's head.

Misaki opened her eyes and saw Gai walking up with Asuma and Shikamaru. "Who're they?"

Gai had heard her when he walked up and said, "Asuma Sarutobi and Shikamaru Nara."

"Hey there." Asuma said, a cigarette in his mouth.

Shikamaru just sighed.

"Alright Gai, why'd you bring us all the way here?" Asuma asked.

Gai smiled. "Shadow versus water!"

"What?" Misaki and Shikamaru asked at the same time.

Gai smiled and gave Misaki a thumb's up. "You'll do just fine, Misaki!"

"So, Shikamaru is facing off with the new member of your team?" Asuma seemed interested.

"I'm not that new to the team anymore!" Misaki all but shouted. "I've been here for five months!"

Shikamaru sighed. "What a drag…"

Misaki laughed. "That sounded me when I had to fight Lee five months ago."

"You gonna fight him or not?" Neji asked.

Misaki stood up, letting go of Lee's hand. "Of course. I can never turn down a challenge."

"Go Misaki!" Lee shouted.

Misaki smiled. "Shouldn't be too hard…I mean, how strong could he be?"

Asuma laughed. "A little cocky, aren't you…?"

Neji and Lee exchanged glances, they knew how strong Shikamaru was…but how much of a slacker he was too.

Misaki ran at Shikamaru as fast as she could and kicked him in the side, sending him flying towards the middle of the pond. Shikamaru managed to focus some chakra to his feet before landing though, so he didn't sink.

Shikamaru sighed again. This one's strong and feisty, not a good combination… Damn! I hate fighting women!

Misaki ran towards Shikamaru again, but this time he jumped into the air and over Misaki's head, landing behind her.

"Shadow possession jutsu!" Shikamaru shouted as his shadow on the water raced towards Misaki.

Misaki jumped onto a nearby cliff and dug a kunai knife into the rock. "Can't get me up here!"

Unfortunately, she's right…what was it Gai said about water? Shikamaru thought, scratching the back of his head.

Misaki kneeled down on the cliff, concentrating some of her chakra to her right knee as she knelt. She quickly did hand signs and threw the kunai knife that was implanted in the cliff next to her into the water. "Water weapons barrage!"

Water kunai flew towards Shikamaru, who had to run all over the pond to avoid them. While Shikamaru was running, Misaki did the hand sign for water dragon and summoned it. She jumped off of the cliff and onto the dragon's head, canceling the weapons barrage. While Shikamaru didn't realize the 100-foot dragon just yet, everyone else did. Gai, who didn't see it before, and Asuma looked at the thing with their mouths wide open, the cigarette falling out of Asuma's mouth.

Shikamaru stopped running when he noticed a column of water rising from the pond and looked up to see the dragon. "Shit!"

Misaki looked down at Shikamaru and laughed, "You have two choices; give up now, or get eaten."

Shikamaru had thought about giving up until he saw that Misaki's shadow extended all way to the pond, and she didn't realize it. "Shadow possession jutsu!" Shikamaru's shadow sped towards Misaki's.

Misaki laughed again. "It's not gonna work. I'm all the way up…" Misaki was suddenly standing straight up. "Wh-What's going on?"

"Guess I should tell you that your shadow reaches the pond. Easy for me." Shikamaru said, shrugging.

The water dragon disappeared when Misaki lost her concentration and she joined Shikamaru on the pond. They walked towards each other, Misaki unable to stop no matter what she tried. Shikamaru would've won…but…

"Shikamaru Nara, where the hell are you?!" Temari shouted walking towards the pond fast.

Shikamaru stopped. "Now of all times…?"

Temari walked onto the pond and turned Shikamaru to face her, causing Misaki to turn too. "Why are you here? I told you I was coming today!"

"I'm sorry. I'm in the middle of—"

Temari started shaking Shikamaru back and forth by the neck of his shirt, causing Misaki to start swaying (for lack of a better word) back and forth violently. "You said you were going to pick me up!"

Asuma, Gai, Neji, and Lee all exchanged glances that asked "Should we help him for Misaki's sake?"

"You crazy bitch, stop shaking him!" Misaki shouted, getting very dizzy.

Temari looked over at Misaki. "What did you call me?! And why's it matter to you?!"

"Look at the water!"

Temari looked at the water and saw a shadow with Shikamaru on one end and Misaki on the other. "Oops." She let go of him and Shikamaru attempted to regain his composure.

Shikamaru sighed and released the shadow possession jutsu and Misaki fell to her knees, trying to not fall into the water.

Temari walked over to Misaki and held out her hand. "Sorry, I didn't realize that Shikamaru had the shadow possession activated. By the way, I'm the Wind Sorceress Temari."

Misaki took her hand and stood up, trying not to fall again. "Misaki Kurana. I guess I can let you off this time…but if it happens again, I'm gonna be really pissed!"

Temari nodded. "It won't happen again, I promise. But why were you two fighting in the first place?"

"Blame Gai." Shikamaru said, jerking his thumb over his shoulder.

The three walked back to where the others waited and stood talking for some time before Shikamaru and Temari left.

"I have to go as well…I have things to do at home." Asuma said, smiling.

"You and Kurenai have fun then." Gai joked.

Asuma glared at him and left.

Lee and Misaki walked off while Neji and Gai were sparing on the water, wanting some time alone together. While they were walking, Misaki rested her head on Lee's shoulder again. Lee just smiled, thinking that he should have noticed his feelings for her long ago.

"Lee, where's your family?" Misaki asked, she had noticed that Lee lived alone since she had moved in with him but never asked.

Lee didn't say anything for a moment but answered, "I do not know."

Misaki didn't say anything, she felt horrible for asking.

"Well, well, isn't this touching?" Someone said from a nearby tree with a sarcastic voice.

Lee and Misaki turned in the direction of the voice and saw Sakura sitting on a tree branch, staring down at the two lovers.

"Sakura?" Misaki was confused as to why she was here. "Shouldn't you be with your team?"

Sakura jumped down from the branch and stood in front of them. "I was about to ask you the same thing, Misaki. I need some alone time with Lee."

Lee sighed. "Sakura, I do not wish to date you any longer."

"What?!" Sakura seemed very angry. "I told you I was going to think about it! I reached my decision; I want to go out with you! You should be honored!!"

Lee shook his head. "I am sorry. I did not realize how much I truly cared for Misaki until earlier today. I do not love you, I love her."

Misaki smiled, lightly blushing.

Sakura became very angry in that moment. "You bastard! How dare you choose that bitch over me!!"

Lee took a step forward. "If you wish to challenge me, go ahead! Do not harm Misaki though!"

"Lee…don't. This isn't something to start a fight over." Misaki said, tugging on Lee's sleeve. "She can call me what she wants, it's not like I haven't heard it before."

"I know…but it just makes me mad to hear her degrading you!" Lee nearly shouted. "I made me angry when your parents said it as well."

Sakura smirked. "If her parents said it, it must be true."

Lee let go of Misaki's hand and punched Sakura in the face.

"Lee, don't do this! It's not worth it!" Misaki shouted to Lee.

Sakura flew back into the same tree she jumped out of and laughed. "Perfect, a fight. I'll prove to you that I'm better than her." Sakura activated the clone jutsu and seven clones surrounded Misaki.

Misaki looked around her as the clones entrapped her. "Damn!"

"Misaki!" Lee tried turning around to help her but Sakura punched the ground and Lee became trapped in a prison of earth.

"She can't see…she'll never know if you just give me one kiss." Sakura said innocently.

Lee glared at Sakura and shook his head. "I will never do that to Misaki!"

Sakura went back to her pissed off mood when Lee said that. "Fine then, lets fight!"

Meanwhile Misaki was trying not to get killed by the equally pissed off Sakura clones. Since there wasn't even a drop of water in the area they were in, Misaki couldn't activate the water control…which made it even harder to fight. Luckily, Misaki had spent a lot of time with her team the past five months training in Taijutsu. So, at least, she could fight using that to preserve her chakra for the time being.

Misaki turned around to dispose of one clone as another came from behind her and kicked her leg where the knee brace was. It caused her to fall to the ground in pain; there was no possible way she could fight while in pain on the ground. The clones took advantage of this and tried to attack her, but she activated the shadow clone jutsu and her clones managed to dispose of Sakura's clones before too long.

Misaki sighed in relief and, with the help of a clone, stood up and ran over to the area where Sakura and Lee were fighting. Sakura looked up and saw Misaki standing on top of the earth that had risen around where her and Lee fought and became even angrier.

Sakura glared at Misaki and sent a kunai with a paper bomb attached to it flying towards her. Misaki didn't know about the paper bomb though and, when she tried to block it with another kunai, it blew up in her face, sending her falling to the ground.

Lee, not concerned with Sakura anymore, jumped over the earth Sakura had raised and landed next to Misaki, who had passed out when she hit the ground. "Misaki!" No answer… "Misaki, answer me!"

Sakura looked down and laughed from on top of the rock where she stood. "Too bad the bitch is unconscious. I would really have liked to kill her."

Lee glared up at Sakura. "What did she ever do to you?!"

Sakura didn't answer, not really sure what to say, but said, "She took away my everything."

"I was never yours!" Lee shouted. "I am Misaki's! I love her, and she loves me!"

Sakura scoffed. "That bitch deserves to die anyway. What kind of kid gets their own parents locked up?"

"Her parents attempted to take her life away! They condemned themselves!" Lee shouted at the top of his lungs.

"Lee, Misaki!" Neji yelled as he ran up to the battle area with Gai trailing.

Lee looked over and saw Neji running over to them.

"You've gotta be kidding me." Sakura laughed. "Not more people who care for that stupid bitch."

"STOP CALLING HER THAT!!" Lee shouted, his voice was becoming scratchy sounding from yelling at Sakura.

Neji stopped when he was standing in front of Lee. He looked at the unconscious Misaki and saw Sakura. "What's going on?"

"Neji, put Misaki on my back. I must get her to the clinic, fast." Lee ordered.

Neji nodded and helped Lee get Misaki on his back. "Now, tell me what's going on."

"I will explain later." Lee said quickly. "Just make sure that Sakura does not follow us…her clones as well."

Neji nodded and activated Byakugan.

Lee ran passed Gai, who also wanted an explanation, but Lee didn't even slow down. He ran as fast as he could towards the clinic, not sure of how badly the fall had injured her.

Tsunade looked over at Lee as he ran in. "She asleep or something?"

Lee shook his head violently. "Sakura threw a paper bomb at Misaki and she passed out. I do not know how badly she was injured."

Tsunade sighed angrily; making a mental note to lecture Sakura later. (Lecture here having the meaning of going to kill.) "Follow me, lets get her in a bed, I'm sure she'll be fine."

Lee followed Tsunade and laid Misaki down in a bed in the room that Tsunade entered. Tsunade noticed that there was some blood staining Misaki's knee brace and removed it to find that Misaki's knee was split open.

"Dammit!" Tsunade yelled. "Lee, go get another nurse, I have to stitch Misaki up."

Lee nodded and dragged Shizune, the nearest person, into the room. "Lady Tsunade requires your assistance."

"Yes, Lady Tsunade?" Shizune was confused, until she saw Misaki's knee. "Oh my god! What happened?!"

"You're asking me?!" Tsunade nearly yelled again. "I need to stitch up her knee, you're helping me!"

Shizune nodded and, after grabbing what she needed, said to Lee, "I'm sorry, sir, you have to step outside of the room right now."

Lee slowly walked out of the room and back to front to see if Gai and Neji would show up. After five minutes, they ran in and saw Lee sitting in a seat.

"Lee, where's Misaki?" Neji asked quickly.

Lee looked at the ground. "Sakura banged up Misaki's knee pretty bad. It is split open. Lady Tsunade and Shizune are stitching it right now."

Neji sighed in frustration.

Gai shook his head.

"Did you take care of Sakura?" Lee asked angrily.

Gai shook his head again. "Sorry, Lee, but she used a substitution jutsu and got away."

"Damn it!" Lee shouted. "I will never forgive her for doing this!"

Tsunade walked out and stood in front of the three boys. "Like I said, she'll be fine. She's just unconscious right now; but she should be up in a few hours. I strongly suggest that she stays here for tonight though, due to her knee."

Lee nodded. "I will stay with her."

Neji and Gai nodded. "I'll stay too."

Lee shook his head. "I want some time with Misaki alone. You do not have to stay."

Neji and Gai hesitated but nodded; they knew an excuse when they heard one.

"Okay, and she will need to come back in a week to get the stitches removed." Tsunade said. "The gash on her knee wasn't too bad, but bandages wouldn't have cut it."

The boys nodded and went to Misaki's room, where she slept peacefully. After an hour, Neji and Gai left Lee alone with his unconscious girlfriend.

Lee sat in a chair next to Misaki's bed holding her hand, like a person about to lose someone they loved to death. I will not let Sakura get away with what she has done! She will pay, I swear to you, Misaki.

Not too much longer later, like Tsunade had said, Misaki woke up. She looked over at Lee and smiled. "Hey there, tell me that you kicked her ass."

Lee shook his head, smiling. "Neji and Gai-Sensei fought her, but she escaped."

Misaki sighed. "Damn!" She tried to sit up, but got a headache when she tried and wound up lying down again. "Ow, headache!"

"That fall must have given you a knot in the back of your head." Lee said.

"My knee hurts like hell too. Well, I guess that clone did kick it." Misaki sighed.

"Lady Tsunade had to stitch your knee." Lee said, yawning.

"Oh!" Misaki yawned, "How long am I in for?"

"Until tomorrow." Lee smiled.

Misaki smiled. "That's good."

It was around ten o'clock that night when Lee's eyes started getting heavy, Misaki looked over at him, after shutting the curtain next to her bed, and saw that he seemed tired.

Misaki moved toward the wall and said, "You can lay down if you want."

"I think I will." Lee said, lying down next to Misaki.

The two faced each other and smiled, wrapping their arms around one another. Misaki buried her face into Lee's chest and closed her eyes. Lee wrapped his arms around Misaki in a tight embrace and closed his eyes, both happy that they didn't encounter a totally enraged Sakura today. If they had, Misaki would've probably died. They had only encountered a mildly angry Sakura today, but there was no telling what would later come.

Next Time:

The Three Sand Shinobi;

Misaki meets the man who nearly killed Lee two years ago during the Chunnin exams, a man who has a bad taste for other men – she thinks – and she already knows Temari.