Everyone had always said that Ino Yamanaka was fearless. On the other hand, no one ever mentioned that she was irrefutably insane.

When the perky blonde had finally given up her crush on Sasuke everyone assumed that it was her childhood friend, Shikamaru, that she had finally been swayed by. They were all dead wrong. Her attraction to broody, unfriendly, slightly socially retarded men did not waver.

Her crystal blue eyes had landed on another, one she deemed to be of higher caliber than the punk ass Uchiha. He was one of the infamous Akatsuki members, the most dangerous band of thugs. His name was Kakuzu.

It had all started with the little Hyuuga girl. She was oh-so innocently cozying up to Sasuke Uchiha. Of course she'd been furious with the shy pretty girl from her middle school, at first, but it was Sasuke's actions that derailed her. For all the years Ino had known the Uchiha, he'd been cold and unresponsive to anyone, but there he was. Plain as day, the raven-haired heartthrob was smiling and flirting with a girl.

The first thought that came to mind was 'it was war'. Her best friend Sakura Haruno had come to the same conclusion. They upped their game, trying everything for their crush to notice them, but it was useless.

It seemed that Ino was the only one of her friends to see this. Hinata Hyuuga had won. So, why embarrass herself trying over a little crush?

The rest of the group thought differently.

"We just have to get rid of the bitch," claimed Sakura confidently. Inwardly screaming, 'Once she's out of the way Sasuke will definitely fall for me!'

However, when the almost evil plan the pinkette had cooked up didn't sit well with the Yamanaka and when she refused to go to such lengths over a girl that Sasuke obviously liked, Sakura dumped her. Just like that, their friendship was over.

It was more heartbreaking than realizing she didn't have a chance with the Uchiha. Her friend from way back, from kindergarten, had tossed her aside for a guy. Friends were supposed to be there for each other, not turn on one another.

Ino felt nauseas when she wondered, 'is this how Ami felt?'

It was too overwhelming, she went running from the school building. Without thinking her feet carried her far away from where she had been. Panting heavily, the blonde took in her surroundings. She was behind the bleachers of the football field.

Safe from prying eyes, she let the tears well up in her sapphire orbs and spill down her cheeks. Sobbing into her hands, Ino couldn't help, but feel betrayed and stupid.

The blonde wasn't aware of how much time had passed until her eyes began to run dry, leaving her sniffling miserably.

"Eto," sounded a soft low voice from behind.

Through blurry eyes, she span around to see an upperclassman standing a foot away. From how tall the person was and his tone she easily assumed it was a guy.

"Are you . . . alright?" he asked her uncertainly.

Hastily wiping the water from her face, she blinked in rapid succession to clear her vision. The boy had a muscular build to accommodate his height. His fringe was thick, shaggy brownish-black, matching his deeply tan skin. His burly shoulders were decorated with stitch-like tattoos.

His face was rather a dark kind of handsome structure to it. Though it was his acidic pools of bright green eyes, that seemed to bore into her own brilliant blue ones, that really made him standout.

"My bad," he said finally, waving a hand in a dismissive fashion. "Never mind." He turned to leave.

"Wait!" Ino called out, taking an unconscious step forwards, reaching out to after him. The blonde felt embarrassed because, she'd been staring at him blankly. She had to fix her blunder.

The boy halted, glancing back at her with a look mixed with expectance and puzzlement. His body was angled at the side of the road, his shoulder parallel to Ino.

"Ano, thanks," she thanked him, blushing. "I was surprised, but thank you for checking on me. I really appreciate it."

"It's no big deal. I just saw you crying when I was smoking my cigarette."

'So, he's a delinquent,' she thought to herself. It kind of gave him a bad boy image in her mind. The heat rose in her cheeks.

"What's your name?"


"Then arigato, Kakuzu-san," she thanked him once again. "I'm Ino."

Kakuzu nodded once and turned back around. Like an afterthought, he said over his shoulder, "There's going to be a party tonight on Mayonaka street. You won't be able to miss it."

Mentally chanting the address in her head, she enthusiastically reported, "I'll be there!"

"Okay, see you there. Oh, and cheer up, Ino-san." He lifted his arm as a gesture of parting.

The Yamanaka stood mesmerized, watching his retreating back.

The blonde inwardly decided, 'You can have Sasuke, Hinata. I found someone much better.' A smile graced her lips. Inwardly savoring the name, 'Kakuzu.'

Author's Note: I LOVE THIS PAIRING. KakuIno FTW.

I love Ino too much to have her be one of the antagonists of this story. D:

There will still be KakuHina, just with some added KakuIno.

Like it? Hate it? Let me know!

Review please~