Here's chapter 4, finally! I was struggling so much with this chapter and I really have no idea why. xD I just felt like changing it all the time, lol.

Anyway, hope you like it.

Please review. Seriously, all these hits and only one reviewer? That's not cool, guys. -.- (Many thanks to her, though. My first and only reviewer. She motivated me a lot!)

I do not own Naruto. Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto.

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Chapter 4 - I Told You So

This was starting to get rather stressful. She could feel it, someone was getting closer by the second, but how the hell was she supposed to find out who? Was it someone from her village? Was it an enemy? It was impossible for her to tell when she couldn't use any of her senses. At this time all she could do was sit there, hoping that the person or creature outside wouldn't find her. At least not if it turned out to be a foe. She was in no state to fight right now. The young kunoichi was shivering so bad it felt like her entire body was about to turn into ice. She had also used most of her chakra in her efforts of keeping her feet, and hands, on the ground. In addition to her being anxious, her inner self was also starting to get quite angry.

Frick! Why is it so much harder to stay cool when you're cold and alone? Get yourself together now!

Kaori didn't have to worry for long, fortunately. She might actually have preferred worrying instead of the surprise she was up for, though. Someone was in the opening of the cave. She still couldn't see anything, but at least she could hear someone moving now. That and…

"Arf!" A familiar sound made its way to her ears.

"A-Akamaru?"

"Arf!" The white dog repeated himself. He walked towards the girl and sat down next to her.

Kaori patted him on the back. "Aww… What are you doing out in the forest all by yourself?"

"He's not alone," she heard a male voice coming from the entrance.

"K-Kiba…"

Great. Just great. Of course he wasn't alone. Those two are inseparable.

"Hi Kaori. Need a little help there?" He tried not to laugh, but the tone of his voice immediately revealed the fact that he was finding her situation ever so amusing.

"No, Kiba, I do not need any help. I'm perfectly fine by myself," she answered.

Sure. That's why I'm sitting in here, practically freezing to death.

"Oh, you're fine? Then why are you sitting in an old cave at these late hours?"

Even with the dark surrounding them, making Kaori unable to even know where Kiba was standing right now, she could've sworn she saw him smirking. The picture of him, just feeding of her misery, was now more vivid in her head than ever. That says a lot, considering the fact that Kiba gave her the pleasure of seeing it in real life as often as possible.

"Actually, I was just going for a walk," she tried sounding as convincing as possible. "Then I decided that this, un, grotto would be a good place to get some rest."

Now he couldn't resist laughing anymore. "I see, so this is what you normally do when you're out walking? Crawl inside of the first rotten cavern you find? I guess that explains your personality…"

"Oh, shut it, dog boy," she replied, not trying to hide the fact that she was annoyed by his presence. "What are you doing out in the forest now, anyway?"

"A weak storm like this never keeps Akamaru and me from training. It only makes us stronger. You should try it yourself sometime, then maybe you won't end up like this the next time you decide to take a walk."

Kaori shrugged. "Listen, mister, you have a big attitude problem that you really need to w-"

"But," he cut her off, "I guess since you're fine by yourself, we'll get going again."

"Do not interrupt me!"

She heard Kiba starting to move as if he really was about to go.

Oh for the love of… Fine.

"Wait…" She said quietly, hating herself for not wanting them to leave her behind. "How did you find me? I mean, I know your senses are like a thousand times stronger than normal people's, but… In this weather, I couldn't even see where I was going. I couldn't smell anything because of the rain, and normally you wouldn't be able to either."

"That's the difference between a Nara and an Inuzuka," he replied insultingly. "When a challenge appears, we take it. We do not run off to find shelter."

Chill, Kaori… Chill. He's just trying to piss you off. Don't let him.

"You didn't even answer my question, moron," she said, trying to stay calm.

"Sure I did," he stated. "When I felt someone's presence I decided to find out who it was. Even though the weather made it harder than it would've been on a normal day, that didn't stop me." The Inuzuka took a short break. "I was, of course, hoping to find something a bit more challenging than a scared little girl hiding from the storm, but oh well… I guess even the life of a ninja can't always be thrilling."

"Excuse me!" Now she was furious. As usual, no matter what her head told her, staying calm with this guy around was impossible. "Last time I checked I was one rank above you, not to mention older than you!"

"Yeah, like eight months older than me… Whew!" He said sarcastically. "And sure, you're a chunin and I'm only a genin… Yet I find you out here not being able to get a way from a little stormy weather?" The shinobi clicked his tongue.

"Holy mother of… Kiba, I swear. I might not be able to see you, but if you don't get a grip - and this is a promise - I'll follow your voice and I'll strangle you with my bare hands!"

"Oh, feisty, are w… Ooow! Kaori, what the hell?!"

Before she even realized herself, she had gotten on her feet and somehow managed to find out where Kiba was sitting. Despite her words, she did not strangle him. She did, however, bitch slap him with all the strength she had left.

"I warned you," was all she said.

"Why you… You bitch!" Now he was angry, and not without a reason. Kaori didn't exactly have a weak right hand.

"I've always wanted to do that." She ignored his outburst, smiling like a fool. "Wow. I feel so much better now."

Kiba became quiet. The girl who had just bitch slapped him didn't say anything either, not to mention Akamaru appeared to stay strangely calm in all of this. Hadn't she just become violent toward the dog's owner?

Hah, even Akamaru seems to realize that Kiba had it coming.

---

They sat there for quite some time without exchanging a single word. Kiba was too outraged to say anything. Kaori didn't want to speak because she was afraid he'd take whatever she'd say as an apology, and she was by no means sorry for what she did. The three simply just sat there, not making a single noise. Well, that's not entirely true. Akamaru had fallen asleep after a short while and was now snoring so loud they almost didn't notice the violent weather still going on outside.

"Why are you still here?" Kaori finally decided to break the tension.

"I don't know," Kiba sighed.

"Don't say you're still pouting about that slap?" She asked, sounding annoyed.

"I'm not," he answered.

"Good, because you deserved it."

"I guess I did."

What did he just say?!

Kaori could not believe what she was hearing. "You… You what?"

"Don't push it," he replied. Then he got up, yawning and stretching a bit. "Akamaru… Come on, boy, it's late. Let's get going."

Kaori heard Akamaru get up to follow his owner. Before she realized it she had gotten up too, and whilst all her senses were telling here not to ask, her mouth just wouldn't obey:

"Can I come with you?"

She was beyond happy he couldn't see her as these words left her lips, the colour of her skin turning into a somewhat dark shade of red.

"I thought you didn't need our help?"

"I don't! But I guess it wouldn't hurt having some company on the way home…"

"Come here," he said, placing one of his arms around her waist.

"W-what are you doing?" She asked him, startled by his move.

"I'm trying to seduce you," he mockingly replied. "Seriously, what do you think I'm doing? I'm bringing you home in one piece."

The shivering that ran through Kaori's body and the fact that her knees were shaking could probably be excused by her freezing outside in this weather for hours. The warm and tingling feeling filling her stomach was a lot harder to explain.

---

He followed the female chunin all the way to her home, having a firm grip around her waist all the time. (If he hadn't then Kaori would be long gone at this time, that's for sure.) He wasn't even complaining. Well, complaining would probably have been useless anyway since the girl hadn't opened her mouth once during the entire trip, but still. He was pretty proud of his own behaviour.

"You don't live here," Kaori finally decided to say something as they reached her house.

"Really? Thanks for the info," Kiba replied, again sarcastically.

"No, I mean… It's not even the same direction as your h-" she was cut off when the wind suddenly decided to throw them both against the door, making sure Kiba's body was pressed up against hers.

Oh damn.

She was thunderstruck. Her hands were tightening around his arms, she couldn't think straight. When she looked up to see his eyes she found him staring back. He looked so serious, she couldn't remember ever having seen him like this before. The current position made Kaori scream on the inside. Feeling his body heat, being able to breathe in his scent, it was all just... She just wanted to...

Suddenly Kiba pulled back. "Sorry about that," he said, starting to scratch his head. "You should get inside now. You'll probably get sick."

"Uhm, sorry, right, yeah…" Even though she really hated it, she couldn't help but feel a little disappointed as she reached for the door knob. "… Are you sure you'll be OK? I guess if you want, you could come inside for a while to warm up."

I'd be more than willing to help you warm up…

No, no! None of these thoughts right now!

Concentrate on getting yourself out of this, you're acting like a fool!

Gaaah, stop talking!

"Uhm, I mean, you know, un, Shikamaru," she added, too stressed out by the situation to know what she was saying.

"Shikamaru? Kaori, what are you talking about?"

…And if she hadn't already been blushing since they left the cave, now would be a good time to start.

"I…" She forced herself to get a grip. After all, this was Kiba standing in front of her. She was by no means going to give him any more reasons to make fun of her. "I was just trying to say that if you and Akamaru want to warm up a bit before you head home, I guess Shikamaru is inside and that he wouldn't mind you visiting him."

"Oh. I see. Well, thanks, but we'll be fine," he replied. "No problem."

Kiba and Akamaru were gone before she could react. She quickly opened the door, as if she had forgotten about the weather for the last few minutes but was suddenly reminded, then she walked inside. Water was dripping from her clothes and her hair, but putting Kiba aside, she only had one thing on her mind right now:

Please, tell me Shikamaru already went to bed...

Of course he hadn't gone to bed. That would just be too much to ask for, wouldn't it? He was lying at the exact same spot as when Kaori had left. As his sister entered the room he slowly opened his eyes, a somewhat sly grin appearing on his face.

He studied her for a few seconds.

He noticed the water dripping off of her.

He checked his clock to find out what time it was.

Here it comes...

"I told you so."