All right guys, chapter four's finally done. I've still got no idea what to write here; we're back to good ol' Inuzuka point of view this time… oh, and Akamaru's been going crazy today, I think he's sick of being cooped up inside. Eh, anyway, I'll just reply to some reviews, that'll be fun.

NaruKiba Lover: Thanks so much bud, I'm glad you like it, and bonus thanks for saying I write Shika well, I know someone who'll defiantly get a kick out of that. By the way, I've read some of your stories before; I think the last one I remember was 'Forgive Me', heh- dude, making blondie the seme? I'd so be in charge of Naru; Inuzuka's are born alpha-males.

Earthbender068: My first reviewer! Thanks for the support; it was so great to read what you had to say. I couldn't believe you picked up on that orange juice scene, that blew me away, here I thought I was being subtle for a change and you nailed it, way to go! Glad you liked the meeting too, what can I say, Inuzuka's have strong noses. I pounced onto your profile and checked out an old story of yours called 'Shadow Confession'. Heh, shadow hand-puppets? Defiantly made me grin!

CasterNox: Yo Shadow! I bet when you read this an offline message will bounce into existence on my screen, least it better or y'know… I'll have to bite you.

With all that said and done, enjoy!

All characters included therein belong to Masashi Kishimoto.

--

Everything was quiet.

Most Inuzuka's, most Inuzuka's who weren't asleep that is, would have probably picked up on the silence as a telltale sign that something was about to go down. Their clan had learned long ago to never trust the quiet, it probably explained why every last one of them was a shamelessly loud, short tempered bundle of untamed energy. They liked the sounds of the wolves howling, the constant laughs, cheers and barks; when things went quiet, you knew that trouble was soon to follow.

But as it happened, Kiba, a small line of drool escaping the side of his lip, was still nestled into Shikamaru's chest, affectionately chewing on some skin as he cuddled up closer. He was perfectly content, quiet or not.

And then…

"Wake up!"

Eyes shot open, his and Shikamaru's, the former wondering what the hell was going on while the latter promptly separated the two of them in a criminally sudden jerk, springing up off the bed and skidding to his feet, leaving a very perplexed, and now very upside-down, Kiba to stare blankly at him like he was some kind of madman.

"Kiba, quick," Still not giving the canine-nin time to get a word in, Shikamaru raced back over, righted the dumbstruck Kiba, and grabbed him by the shoulders. "You've got to run, quick! The window, c'mon hurry!"

The desperate edge to the chunnin's voice came hand in hand with shaking him at every word, that is right until Kiba roughly shoved the Nara off him with a growl, instinctively baring his fangs,

"What the hell Shika! I was sleeping, why do I have to go? You sai–…"

Then he heard it, pausing his rant momentarily and focusing his senses. Kiba blinked; gaze soon fastened to the Nara's bedroom door. It was outside, end of the corridor, down the stairs. Footsteps, one… no two, there was two people; one had a gruff voice, male, he muttered something to the other …'troublesome'?

Kiba's eyes went wide.

"They're back, my parents." The chunnin confirmed, "You've got to go now!" Panicked, Shikamaru's finger trained itself on the nearby window, practically commanding the Inuzuka make use of it as soon as possible.

It was all just a flash from then, Kiba looked back at Shikamaru with pleading eyes but it was merely met with a look of worry and alarm, he just couldn't argue with it. So he ran, leaping down from the bed and down to the cold floor, shooting through the open window like a bullet. You couldn't fault an Inuzuka for being slow, though he certainly didn't think things through. The point made only too obvious as he came to a landing a couple of blocks away to realise he had on nothing but a pair of boxers.

He couldn't even remember taking his pants off!

The dog-nin grunted, falling down on his butt and perching crouched in an awfully canine way, eying the house he'd basically sling-shotted from. Still puzzled, his head tipping to one side, he just continued to survey the place, his mind coming to life with questions. Weren't Shika's parents meant to be out? How'd this all happen so fast? The brunette cringed slightly when he remembered that look he'd received just before he'd made a break for it. What was Shika so afraid of?

"Arf!"

A floppy ear fell over the dogs face as he touched down, it wasn't often he saw his master with that clueless expression. The little dog was almost certain however that it was probably something to do with how he'd just seconds ago had to bolt his way from his comfy, curled up position on the sofa at the sound of the front door unlocking.

"Akamaru," the dog wagged his tail as Kiba acknowledged him, "Hey there boy, you managed to get out quick too huh…"

For a moment, Kiba almost wished his friend had stayed hidden so he could report back and tell him what was going on in there. To be fair though, it was probably for the best that he didn't. What if someone had spotted the white lump of fur poking out from under a cushion? Akamaru usually picked the worst hidi–

"Arf?" Tipping his nose into Kiba's shin, enough to get a rise out of the boy, the two looking back at each other again, at least until the Inuzuka remembered how to talk.

He brushed a finger under his nose and flashed one of his trademark smiles, "Ah, sorry buddy, I'm getting lost in thought aren't I?" The dog whined, pawing at Kiba's leg. "Heh, yeah you're right…let's get back home."

--

SLAM!

"What the hell Kiba! How many times do I have to tell you not to slam the–…" Lingering on the edge of that sentence, stepping fully into the room at the sight of her brother walking past in his skivvies.

Not exactly a rare sight for him, but odd at least that he was coming home this early like that.

"…and what have you been up to?" Hana smirked, folding her arms.

"Sleeping with Shika," Bare feet padded along the carpet as he crossed right by her, making his way towards the stairs, not so much as flinching at the stare he just knew was getting drilled into the back of his head.

The girls lip twitched, "You're sleeping with him now huh? Is he any good?"

Modesty was a foreign concept in the Inuzuka household.

Kiba growled. It wouldn't be easy to get Hana of his back once she started going, the last thing he needed was her prying for details all afternoon. His head languidly rolled back, making a full U-turn and folding his arms just as challengingly over his chest as she had hers.

"I meant sleeping-sleeping; the sex is still in the works." Offering her a scrap and hoping that would be enough.

It wasn't.

"See, I must've been confused then," She quirked an eyebrow, stating the obvious with deadly accuracy, "It's just when you come home looking like that, it usually means another unlucky someone's just become a notch on your bedpost."

He scrunched his nose up, toes clenched and an added snarl to his voice, "Shika's different."

"How so?"

"He just is!" He barked back, "So leave it!"

Her head leant down to one side, a common Inuzuka habit. "Well, I think it's adorable." She smiled deviously, knowing full how much he loved being called 'adorable'.

"Nee-Chan…" Kiba warned.

"Alright, alright!" Throwing her hands up in front of her in mock surrender, taking a step back and withdrawing from any challenging stances or body language, "Make sure to get your clothes back from the Nara kid later though alright?" About to leave it at that, she found she just couldn't help herself "…why was it again that you're back so early and half naked?"

By this point though, she was questioning Kiba's back, the brunette rolling his eyes and making his way swiftly up the stairs to his room. He didn't have the time or the patience to pander to Hana's insatiable curiosity all day.

Grunting as she heard Kiba slam yet another door upstairs, really, couldn't he walk anywhere without making a racket? Suddenly her nose twitched. Something was missing…

"Hold it."

Akamaru froze in place, so close to having made his second clean get away that morning. Time crawled to a halt and the two of them met each other's line of sight. The tension in the air was enough to spike the fur along the back of his neck.

"So… what's up his butt today?" Hana smirked, well aware of the pun.

A brief staring contest followed, Akamaru doing his best to look like hadn't the faintest clue what she was talking about. Fortunately for him, she made the mistake of blinking as they reached the sixty second mark, the dog being long gone by the time her eyes opened again.

"Tsk, of course." Should have seen that coming, "I swear there's more to this then they're saying. What're they up to now…"

Muttering to herself as she made her way back to the lounge. She had a hungry pack of dogs to feed and had already wasted enough time on this today. If they wanted to play it like that then fine, Kiba would spill the beans eventually. He always did.

--

He'd been staring for the better part of the last half hour, trying to work up the nerve to actually make his move. How embarrassing, he was going to be the Hokage someday and he couldn't even face up to one of his friends– one of his scarier, manic and probably more dangerous friends –but still his friend. Naruto gritted his teeth, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Think you're so tough with your claws, and your nose... and your claws… " He snorted at the open air in front of him. He was on a rooftop close to a mile away from the Inuzuka compound and preying that'd be enough to not betray his location to one or more of Kiba's ridiculous senses.

Ever since that episode earlier at the ramen stand, the blonde's curiosity had shot into overdrive. He'd been going over it again and again for most of the morning and he'd finally determined that he defiantly saw what he saw. Kiba had snatched up Shikamaru's hand, and not just that, he'd bumped shoulders as he did it. Being the genius that he was, with some more thought dedicated to it, Naruto had finally deduced that they must seeing each other.

Shikamaru brushed it off though, so maybe…

"No." Slamming his fist down into his palm, blocking that that train of thought from leaving the station "they're defiantly acting like more than friends, but…"

What exactly was he supposed to do with this information? Blackmail had sprung to mind initially, along with an evil smirk, cept' no one would believe it though; he could barely believe it himself! Then if he said anything to Kiba, he knew it wasn't going to be pretty, this was the same guy who'd left him hogtied in a closet all day once for talking to him during a movie.

"So what am I going to do-attebayo…" He could leave it, but- Kiba and… they were…

"Ragh! I gotta' know!" As determined as he sounded, a chill ran up his spine the moment he took one step closer towards that foreboding household.

Naruto laughed sheepishly. "Maybe I'll talk to Shikamaru instead…"

"About what?"

"Kiba. Wait…"

Since when was he talking to someone?

"I don't know why you'd want to talk to him about Kiba" Ino replied, hands on her hips and giving Naruto her general level of aversion. She didn't have time for his weirdness today, "but you better tell me where he is, right now! He was supposed to meet up with us today and didn't show up. Again."

A more disappointed looking Chouji stood beside her, trying his best to calm his teammate down some before she caused another fight. A lot of good it ended up doing.

Standing his ground, "Who says I'd tell you!" The kitsune jabbed a finger in her direction, along with a sneer. "If I was on your team, I'd be hiding too!"

There was a white hot flash of anger and before long, Naruto was instead addressing Chouji, the one thing standing in between him and the fiery death that roared just behind him, spitting all manner of curses and threats over his shoulders.

"I'm sorry Naruto," Soothing the situation with a smile, doing his best to talk to him and hold back Ino simultaneously. "We got up today to get an early meal at our favourite barbeque place," Chouji actually looked dreamy eyed as he said that, food on the mind, "Shikamaru usually always meets us there when our team gets a day off, and you know what he's like about changing his schedule…"

It was true, Shikamaru didn't like change, probably too troublesome to always remember new routines, it wasn't exactly a secret. Looks like he was right, naturally, Shikamaru had actually broken his schedule to spend time with Kiba.

"This is the fifth time he's done it lately, so have you seen him?"

Oh, shit.

The blonde practically erupted into fit of laughter, waving his hands up in front of his face. Smooth performance there Naruto. "You kidding? Why would I have seen him? I… just got up, I was… visiting Sakura, yeah. I mean he's… probably, watching clouds… right?"

… "Right?"

The two stayed silent, Ino peering over Chouji's shoulder and having to place a hand over her mouth to prevent a giggle. Did that idiot ever actually put any thought into what he said at all?

"Right, Naruto. Spill it, where is he?"

Not doing anything with Kiba? No, think harder, be vague, "uh…" c',mon she's looking…

Naruto wrestled with his brain some more before coming out with the most simple fall back he could manage, "at… his house?"

"He wasn't there earlier." Chouji retorted, he too questioning what had Naruto so wound up, well, more so than usual at least.

'Don't say he was out with Kiba. Don't say he was out with Kiba.'

"He was out with… his father?" Nice save.

Ino rolled her eyes. "Shikamaru's parents are away." From the looks of things the girl was fast becoming infuriated with the blondes flip flopping story, and Chouji looked too befuddled to interject this time if she rushed him.

Suddenly Naruto's face lit up, hitting his fist down into his palm at the revelation, "Oh yeah, I remember now." He lied, "I did see him in the market earlier, he said he had to get a few things and was on his way back home, I bet if you run fast enough you can catch him."

'Please, please, please, please, please, please…'

"…Tsk, Naruto, you really expect us to believe that?" Ino shook her head, punching her own fist into her palm but for a much different reason than the other blonde just had.

"Ino, it's worth a try! You know Shikamaru, maybe he fell asleep doing his chores."

It took a while, but she eventually relented. After fast regaining her self control, she save Naruto a parting smile that spoke wonders about what she'd do to him if this story was bogus, "Take care now Naruto."

He scowled in response.

Chouji just ushered her away, waving to his friend as the two of them leapt up and out of view. He was finally alone again, taking a sigh of relief and falling back flat on his back. This was turning out to be way more trouble than it was worth. Any doubts he might have had ten minutes ago were long gone, curling back up to land on his feet. He took one more look at the Inuzuka compound, nodding his head down solemnly and speeding strait towards it.

Neither Kiba nor Shikamaru had any idea of the twin calamities heading straight for them.