A/N: The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1 to the sequel of this story – titled Shinobi of Pride

"No Hinata, she's…she's gone."

The words seemed to echo in her mind, spinning, twisting, spiraling and whirling around in her thoughts, making her dizzy and feeling faint. She'd found out only hours before about the death of her sister…she still couldn't seem to get past those words. Hanabi was, she was gone. She just sat there on the floor, numb from everything around her. She was alone, so very alone as memories of her beautiful, playful, and always so full of life sister danced across her mind.


It was time to face reality. The city was all but destroyed save for a few homes and businesses, luckily their home could be salvaged. Over two thousand lives were lost, including the Hokage…including Hanabi. Tenten knew first-hand how difficult it was when the one you love with everything you have is deployed. It hurt because you can't help but worry about that person, it hurts because you miss them and ache to see them, to hear their voice again. Yes, she knew all to well.

After all, her husband was a shinobi. And she already knew what she would soon be facing, because as soon as Neji was healed up enough, he would be sent out right alongside the Uchiha. This time, it really would just be her and Hinata. They would only have each other to lean on for support, and she just knew that Hinata was going to need her now more than ever.


"Hinata, I hope you can forgive me," Sasuke whispered to himself, needing to hear her name spoken aloud one last time.

He realized that he wasn't accomplishing what he'd set out to do. He was supposed to be concentrating on leaving her behind. All thoughts of her had to stop here; otherwise she would be in grave danger. That thought alone drove him forward, gave him the needed edge to completely nix her from his mind. From here on out, everything had to be focused on Orochimaru and bringing him down.

His country's survival depended on it.

Along with hers.

It was a shame that he didn't realize Orochimaru already knew all about Hinata Hyuuga.

A/N: Alright I finally started working on the sequel and have posted the first chapter, you can find it from my profile if interested. It's amazing to me that I still get reviews on this story, it always makes me smile when I see one come through. I really heart my fanfiction friends, you are all the best! XD ~Lady Crack