Chapter 20: Good-Bye Konoha

Previously On "The Many Tribulations of A Flower..."

"What do you mean it's over?" Ino shouted irritably, "What the hell is going on-" her comment was stop as she looked from behind them. Her conscious told her to stay where she was for some reason, knowing something bad was in the makes. She refused, suddenly pushing others aside harshly to her designation. "..Dad..." she whispered, looking at the pool of blood that was him. He was lying face down, scarred head to toe. The Blond didn't know what to do. She turned around abruptly to the others whom she know noticed were bloody also, "I-Is this a joke?" she questioned heart broken. They shook their heads simultaneously with saddened looks. How they wished this was a joke. A dream. A Fantasy. "W-what...is this..." were the only words that could come out of her mouth at the moment as she bent down and gazed at her father.

Sasuke immediately tried to get up but failed, his bleeding head didn't even allow him to stand, "...Ino.." he sighed, "W-Will someone get her out of here?" Shizune kept on with her job, still frowning.

"Ino." Shikaku stated, walking up towards her. He was still holding on to his bruise that Sasuke caused. But he couldn't complain, especially not at this moment, "...Your father didn't want you to see him like this. I'll take you home-"

"No!" she shouted back hoarsely, "It..this can't be him. He can't be..." Slowly, she cuddled herself as the tears that she had held back so many times poured out of her eyes. This couldn't have been happening. She had already lost her mom and now, her father, "This have to be a dream...a joke!" she shouted sorrowfully, "My father...dad, you can't...you said you were going to be fine! And I thought I could trust you...to be here! You didn't tell me what was going on! Why dad? If you knew you were going to be killed then why didn't you tell me..." the salty liquid streamed down her cold cheeks rapidly while her body ached of pain. Not only of the physically one but the emotional one. She didn't really know how to explain the pain she was feeling. At the moment, she just felt numb. Her entire body, "...What am I going to do now?" she cried out, turning to the others, "I have nobody, nothing! This is all my fault-"

"No it isn't..." Kakashi stated. He gasped as the girl shouted back towards him.

"Yes it is! I-Itachi's gone and now my father! I have no one anymore! I...am...nothing!"

The onyx eyed man felt her pain, like he always had did. He remembered how he was once he founded out that his parents were gone. Difference was, he had his brother. Ino had no one. They all stead quiet while the woman cried loudly and uncontrollably. Her bursts, her tears, her movements made a heart that he never knew he even had, ache, "Are they gone?"

Shizune nodded repeatedly, "..Yes...but we were too late." she whispered, not wanting the others to hear, "We were all helping the others that were attacked to no avail. And by time we got here, they were gone..."

"Who were they and how didn't any of you not know about this...day?"

The woman finished healing the man, "We...don't know. Still, Shikaku and Itachi were the only people Inoichi had told. He knew that they were coming after him. But Shikaku alone couldn't fight them off I heard. All the years he fought for this village...he was a true hero. His death...is a mystery."

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"..I-I should go home and check on Asuma and the kids." Kurenai stated after watching the Blond cry for minutes, "Ino, if you ever need to talk, I'm here..." nodding towards the others, the woman slowly walked out of the place. She felt so sorry for her husband's student. She wouldnt know what to do if her parents were both killed like this.

Shikaku turned towards the others, "I think we should go." he said calmly, "She probably needs her time alone." the others did as they was told, giving off more apologies before hand. The spiky haired man approached the woman who held her dead father in her hands, "...I'm sorry, I really did try to save him..."

Shizune stood up, impressed with her work on Sasuke. His bleeding had stopped and she wrapped his head up with bandages. Only his bangs showing. She turned to the young girl, "Ino...I'm really, really sorry. You need healing...but since I taught you so well, you should know how to do that." Her student didn't respond to her, "Um, it's ok if you don't wan't to come to College next year...I'll understand. I'll call someone to pick up Inoichi. See you Sasuke ." she waved off, being the last to go out of the room.

The only people left now were the two alive humans and Ino's dead father. Sasuke moved around a little, feeling awkward. Being compassionate wasn't one of his strong points but he decided to break down that wall, "...If Itachi was here, he would know what to do.." the man stated, walking over towards her. She wasn't crying anymore but still held her father, looking at him. Her long blonde hair hung down, covering up her probably pale cheeks. The man bent down beside her, twitching as he saw the man's beaten up body. And to think, they just saw him a couple of days ago, "Blond-, I mean Ino, is there anything I can do to help?" she shook her head slightly, not caring enough to look his way. Sasuke sighed, "...Look at me..." he whispered. She refused causing him to move her hair to the backside of her ears, "Is it alright if I stay here with you..."

The Blond couldn't make out what the man was talking about, all she was focused on was her father. Her dead father. The one that took care of her ever since her mom died. The one that fed her, dressed her, loved her and talked to her. "..I...I feel so bad, Sasuke..."

The man slowly wrapped his arm around her waist, gently stroking her well scented hair. He knew she was too sad to even be nervous or embarrassed of their closeness, "And why do you feel that way?" he asked. Sure, he was no physcatrist but he could completely relate to this.

"Because..." She felt comfortable in his arms at the moment, "I treated him so badly. Everyday since that day he kicked me out, I dwelled on how much I hated him. And when I forgave him, it was too late. Damn me! I'm so fucking niave! I should have stayed there with him when he said he was in trouble! I should have knew better, Sasuke! I have no one now! Not Itachi...and not my father..."

The man used his index finger to bring the woman's face toward his and looked at her dead in the eyes, "Ino, you know I'm not the kind of person to...say much. But when it comes to something like this, I can understand where you're coming from. Years ago, when my parents died, I was the same way. Still...you have someone."

The girl narrowed her eyes, "Who is that?"

"Me." he answered without hesitation, "You always...had me...and I know that this will not make you feel any better but, I'm there for you. All the way..."

The woman suddenly stood up, heading towars the doorway. There, she spotted out the people Shizune had called. They were wearing all white, giving their apologies as they pasted by her. Quickly, they zipped up her father in the bag and took him out immediately. Another man cleaned up the pool of blood and rushed out the room without a word. He looked as if he was scared to even glance at her. Watching them go, Ino sighed, trying not to cry again. Everything was happening so fast, it was almst unrealistic, "Sasuke..." she dragged on.

He stood back up, strolling her way, "Yeah?"

Crossing her arms, she turned around slightly, "It's late, you should go get some sleep. I'll stay at home."

"Home? What do you mean home? Home is where I'm about to go-"

"No..." she sighed, "My home is here. Where both of my parents are...who knows, maybe I can still channel their thoughts."

The man blinked. She clearly wasnt in her right state of mind. He couldn't blame her. Who would be in this situation? "Alright Ino. Just don't be like me."

"What do you mean?"

He swifltly pulled the woman in to a hug, her head lying down on his chest, "I mean don't become like me. When my parents died...me and Itachi did some things we regretted." He of course wasn't going to tell her about Itachi's. It would probably break her heart, "I basically, well, me, Suigetsu, Karin and Jugo, were a gang." Thats all he was going to say, "...Hn. Don't go to that darker place in life...I'm still battling trying to get out of it."

The Blond slowly eased herself out of the hug. Honestly, she couldn't even feel it. She still felt so numb, "I won't...and I know how much you care for me. It's realizble, no matter how much you try to fake it." she replied blutly. The man didn't change his expression one bit. "I'll see you tomorow then."

"Take care of yourself, Ino." he walked past her and felt something. She didnt even seem like herself anymore. Her usually bublly personatilty was dim and cold. It was almost as if she was becoming dark and darker by the minute. What was he going to do? Well, the only thing there was to do.

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-8:00 a.m-

"Everything should be alright. Everyone's getting better and better. The others are straighting up the village and are currently keeping a close eye on everything. As for the inruders, well, we are going to see what we are going to do with that." Tsunade explained to Shizune. They were both in the hospital, surrounded by hundreds of hurt women and men. Even children. It was a good thing they were only after one thing, or person. Not that it was a good thing that happened to Inoichi, but if they were out to get the entire village, more would be dead. And she would have had to interfere. "He was a good man..." she stated after Shizune told her the bad news, "He was as great as one of the Hokages."

She nodded sadly, holding Tonton close by her heart,"Yes, he was. I feel so bad for Ino though. You should have saw her, it was so sad."

Shizune followed behind Tsunade, she suddenly stopped in her tracks once she noticed a familiar face. A face she had seen over so many times again, "Sakura?" the Blond asked.

The girl's eyelids disappered, revealing kiwi eyes, "T-Tsunade? Where am I..."

"You're in the hospital, Sakura." Shizune answered for her, "..Naruto took you here last night."

At that moment, the spoken of and a group of recongnizable people all apeared in the room, each caring something for the girl. The spiky Blond was the first to come up towards her, nodding past Tusande and Shizune on the way, "Here you go, Sakura." he smiled while handing her a cherry blossom flower and kissing her on the forehead. The woman felt the blood rush to her cheeks, "I'm glad you're alright."

She took the object and sniffed it, realsing out a soothing 'aah' afterwards, "Thanks baby."

Tsunade and Shizune gave each other a look, "Baby? What did we miss?" they asked simantanesouly.

"They're together!" Lee shouted excitedly, "Youth! Youth! Youth!-"

"Lee."

The spandex wearing man turned around suddenly. His expression brought a smile to the others faces, "Valkyrie!" he shouted, alarming all the other hurt patients, "I thought you were gone!" he ran up to the woman in a speed, hugging her so tight she couldn't breath properly.

She patted him on the back, "L..e..e." he loosned his grip, "Thanks." she sighed, "I..just came back to see you."

He frowned, "...So, you have to go soon?" He did the cutest puppy dog face ever, she hated disappointing him.

Valkyrie nodded, "I'm sorry, Lee. But...I do have something to give you."

"And what is th-"

His comment was stopped as the Blond connected her lips with his, both closing their eyes and loosing there selfs in the moment. Choji cleared his throat after watching the two kiss for more than twenty seconds. She pulled back, "I have that." she stated, "..Um, am I interrupting something?"

"...Kinda." they all added simantanesouly.

The woman widened her eyes, a devilishy grin spreading across her face, "Oh..." she dragged, walking up towards the blossom, "Looky here. Sakura's hurt." she stated, whispering something in the mix, "My prayers have been answered..."

"What's that?" The pink haired woman asked, narrowing her eyebrows.

"Nothing, nothing." she waved off, "Keep continuing. I have to go anyways, bye Lee." pecking his cheek again, she walked away, the group looking at her in confusement.

Tenten shook her head, "...Ok, what just happened?" They all shook their heads and shrugged with the exception of Lee whom was still watching the woman walk out of the room.

Kiba broke the awkward silence, handing the woman a present, "It's umm...well, I don't know much about you so I just got you what all girls like." he watched as the bed ridden woman opened up the box, revealing a heart shaped contanoir.

She didn't dare spray it, knowing Kiba, it probably smelled like a thousand dogs. Or worse, dog crap.

"I'm not good with gifts." Neji stated, looking away from her, "So I just give you luck."

The woman nodded, she could handle that. Her and Neji barely even talked anyways.

Choji frowned, walking up towards her, "Sorry Sakura...I gave you this."he handed her a basket full of...wrappers. "But, I got hungry on the way so I ate it. Once again, I'm sorry." he stated, waiting for the next person to give it a try.

"Hello Sakura!" Lee stated, "As you can see, I am really zoned off...because of, well you know. But that doesn't mean that I didn't get you anything." Digging in his back pocket, he handed it to her like a trophy, "I give you this! A make-up kit for all of your needs. It includes eye shadow, eye liner, lipstick, lipgloss, your toned shades, fake eye lashes and some other stuff maybe!"

The woman smiled, "Thanks Lee!" she took the gift in a hurry, "I was running out. Wow, you're an amazing friend! One of the best!" she automatically lifted herself up to pull the bushy brow in a tight hug, Naruto stepping back as she did so.

Tenten cut off the hug, "..Well. Shino's on a mission with his dad right now, so...they saved the best for last." They all gasped as the buned woman pulled out the biggest box ever, "Since I am a girl, I knew what exactly what to give you, sweetie." she handed her the huge gift, "It's clothes. The best ever to be exact. But it's for you know, going out...and since you have one of the best men ever, " she smiled, turning towards the Blond, "It's best if you look good." her voice turned from sweet to serious, "And after that bad date you had...we'll make sure that won't happen again."

"Date?" Naruto questioned, "..It was when we were not together, right." she nodded,"...But um, who was it with?"

She couldn't tell him. She wouldn't. "Just some guy." she shrugged, "But he was a total jerk...and, he had someone else on his mind. Just like I have you on my mind now." she smiled, poking her lips out for a kiss. Naruto leaned down, giving in to his pleasure. Suddenly, a name pulled him away.

"Ino?" Tsunade and Shizune asked, "You're here..."

The Blond nodded, looking at the others. That morning, she hadn't even cared to brush her hair, only slipping in saggy pants and her dad's coat. Her eyes were almost as dark as Gaara's, for she had cried the entire night, not really getting any sleep, "...I came here to see-"

She stopped her sentence, looking at most angry faces, "..Don't worry babies." she stated coldly, "I'm not here to ruin your damn time..."

They all frowned, "What's up with her?" Kiba asked smuggly. Tsunade and Shizune both frowned, clearing their throats. They didn't know how to say it...

"Ino..." a sudden voice spoke up.

Ino turned her head around immediately, recongnizing the voice all to well, "Shika." she stated as he walked up by her. The others acknowleged his prescence with a smile.

The man frowned down at her, trying to keep his comments away about her appearance, "...My dad told me...I'm sorry I wasn't there for you." he stated.

The group all gave them confusing looks. What was he talking about?

The blond stood there open mouthed, trying to hold back her tears, "Shika, I'm glad you're here." she gave in, tears coming out immediately as she hugged him, "..I'm so scared Shikamaru. I don't know what to do anymore...I'm lost..." her tears ran down on his shirt like a waterfall.

"Ino..." he stated, "I-I..." he didn't know what to say to his friend, this was all too much. Instead, the man wiped away her tears with his finger, "Don't cry Ino, everything's gonna be alright..."

"Ino." Naruto commented, leaving his girlfriend and walking up towards her, "I'm sorry.I...was acting like a jerk just because of what you said about me. I should have did something, something to help you out. I know that you hate me but I would really like it if we could be friends again. I miss that..."

"Hate you?" she questioned, drying up her tears in a rush, "...I never said I hated you..."

"You didn't?" Most asked in surprise. Tenten said, "...I don't care about what you said, I really did miss us being friends. All of us. I hope we all can get back to that..."

The girl shook her head, a sudden anger covering up her sorrow, "I didn't say anything about Naruto or anyone."

All eyes went on the Blossom who was currently sniffing her flowers, trying to avoid the siutation. Was she lying to them the entire time? She actually did that just for attention? They wanted answers and they wanted it now, "Sakura, what the hell is going on?" Shikamaru asked for the rest of them. He hadn't known about the situation.

Choji spoke up, "Sakura here told us that you said you hated Naruto."

"And.." Kiba led on, "She said that she use to help you back in pre-k or whatever. She said they use to pick on you or something..."

Lee held up his index finger, "She also told us that you betrayed her for a guy."

The Blond stormed over to the crowd, "Pick on me!" she yelled, locking her blue eyes on the Blossom, "They use to pick on her! She betrayed me for a boy! And you know what else, she went on a date with him! And I sure as hell didn't say that I hated Naruto. I like Naruto! He's like my brother!"

Neji sighed, giving off his best 'I knew it' face.

Shikamaru frowned, "How can you guys be so stupid and so damn chldish that you actually believe something like that?..." His friends were idiots, besides Neji, he was the smartest of them all. Even if Sakura had told him that, he wouldn't have believed her one bit. Sure, he like Sakura but not more than Ino. Watching the girl suddenly sigh, he responded, "..Don't be mad Ino-"

"I'm not mad." she answered, "..Something this stupid...I'm not mad at all, I have way more things going on..."

"Things?" Tenten asked, "What do you mean?"

Ino sighed again, looking away from the group. She didn't want to answer them after she knew why they was mad at her. What kind of friends were they?

Shikamaru looked over at the woman, she had a sharp look in her eyes. He knew she wasn't going to say anything about it. "...Ino's father Inoichi is...gone."

"Gone?" Naruto yelled, "Ino's dad is dead? W-What...but i-it..." he sighed, he knew something was going on but he didn't know that. Slamming his forehead he exclaimed, "I'm such an Idiot!"

"Ino." Tenten spoke up sadly, "We're all so so-"

"Save it" She huffed, "I don't care about this anymore. I'm over it. If you all believed her then keep on believeing her. I dont need any of your apologies." she turned to her former friend and Shikamaru, "Naruto...I'm sorry..but we can't be friends anymore." her words broke his heart in two as he blanky stared at the woman, "..Shika, I gotta go." Looking at the others again, she walked out of the room in a hurry, not caring enough to look back. Life wasn't ever on her side so she wasn't surprised that something like this was happening. Losing friends..heh, she'd rather loose them then her father.

Shikamaru glared at them, mostly Sakura, "I hope you're happy."

She set down all of her gifts, looking towards the spaced out Tsunade, Shizune and the angry looking 'mob.' She couldnt help but feel sad for her former friend, and to think, she did that for attention. Out of them all, Naruto looked the most hurt, the most angry, the most confused, "Guys...I'm sorry, I just wanted to...I wanted the attention. You don't understand, when I was younger and even now, I never get any credit. I alwayswas Ino's back-wing or shadow. I was nothing compared to her...I-I just let jealously overtake me. It's understandble if you don't ever want me to talk to you again...and if you take your gifts-"

"What a drag..." Shikamaru led on, slipping his hand through his hair, "I get where you're coming from Sakura...but that was still cold. Do you know why Ino is a better person than you? Because, she would not betray her back on a friend for anything. Truth be told, you reuined your friendship back then and you ruined it again now. I never even knew you was like that..."The blossom lowered her eyelids, feeling guilty as ever. He had a way with his words like always, "But still, Ino wouldn't want your friends to treat you the way you all treated her. She had too much of a heart for that. I'm out of here..." he strolled out of the hospital at once, saying his goodbyes to the Hokage and her assistant.

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"How may I help you?"

The raven haired man stared at her blankly, frantically looking from left to right. He hated being in any kind of place where people were dead. It brought back too many bad memories, "...I need to see all of the, you know..."

The woman frowned, motioning for him to follow her. They entered a light room with body bags everywhere. He watched as she turned to face him suddenly, "And who are you looking for?"

He blinked. still concentrating on about a hundred dead bodies. Why did the intruder kill all of them just to get to Inoichi? "I'm looking for my brother...Uchiha, Itachi." He had long, dark haired tied up in a pony tail. If you want more deatil, he has long marks going across the sides of his nose."

The woman suddenly smiled, "Itachi Uchiha. A great teacher and a good looking man if I say so myself. I attended his class about two years ago."

Sasuke narrowed his eyes, not pleased with her comment, "And what does that have to do with anything?"

"Silly." she smirked, slapping him on the shoulder, "He's not dead. But, he in the hospital."

"...He's not dead?..."

"No." she answered, taking his hand and leading him into another room, "He's in a special room."

Sasuke noticed all the people. groaning in pain. She led him to a closed door, opening it at once. There he saw his brother, odly enough, he was the only person in the room. The left the area, whispering something. The man didn't care enough to hear or listen, "Marks, I'm surprised you're alive." he stated as he watched his brother open his eyes. Really was he? No. He knew his brother could handle himself. It came with the Uchiha genes. A long with great hair, powerful eyes, and a careless personality for most.

Itachi smiled, "Still calling me Marks after all this...I'm not surprised little brother." he lifted his body up, grunting while doing so, "I'm glad you're alright Sasuke. Now," she looked around the room, spotting out no one else. Disappointed, he asked, "where's my dear? I longed to hug her that night you took her away from me." he said his last sentence with autohority.

The man frowned automatically. Not only because of what he said and how he said it, but because he felt bad, "She's... I dont know. Inoichi died, and shes just out of it. I need advice, marks...

"Inoichi's dead? he asked. He knew that was going to happen. He just didn't wan't to admit it to himself, "Sasuke, I can't do much at this moment. But you." he took hold of his younger siblings arm, "You watch over her if it's the last thing you do. Inoichi last wish to me was to take care of Ino. I would protect her with my life, so I expect you to do the same."

Sasuke nodded once, "Itachi, you don't have to tell me that. I know..."

Itachi widened his dark eyes, "Sasuke..." he threatened, "your telling me that you will watch over my dear, you better keep your promise. I don't want anything happening to her, not even a scratch going across her cheek. At this moment, she is vulnerable, trust me, I know women." he used a different tone with his brother than he used on Ino and the others. He knew he needed to talk to him more blunt, thats the only language he understood.

"Itachi, I know." Sasuke sighed, "I will keep my promise. Hn, but what am I suppose to do?"

"You watch over her." he answered with a slight sharpness, "Simple as that, Sasuke. Do it now." His younger brother did as he was told, leaving the room at once. Sure he was glad that his brother was ok but he did get tired of 'marks' telling him what to do. His weird voice changes even scared him a little. Even though they were brothers, he didn't even tell him anything about...well, anything. His mysterious ways angered him the most. But still, he would watch over Ino no matter what. Not only for Itachi, but for him. He wasn't the only one who cared for the woman. He couldn't help it, they were friends even before they could speak.

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Hinata grinned, taking in the sweet smell of Konoha. She had been gone for quite a while, training for typical reasons. Her father and Hanabi had already went home, letting her get some free time. Thinking about it, she still felt horrible for hurting her little sister. On their way back, she hadn't said a word to her. She hadn't even spared her a glance while Hiashi congratulated her constantly for winning all of her battles. The moon eyed girl watched as everyone walked pasted her, all wearing frowns and some were even crying. She wondered what was going on? But most of all, she had finally gathered up the courage to say it. The only it that there was in her life. And thats where she was heading right now.

"I wonder if..." she suddenly squealed, just thinking about it made her heart burn with antcipation.

As the woman walked down the village, she saw even more weird things going on. Some people were rebuilding stores and houses. "Must be just reconstructing or something?" She took her time as she stepped on the steps to his place, knocking only once on the door.

The Blond opened it immediately, "...Hinata..." he dragged on.

Oh no. He didn't wan't to see her, "U-Um, yea it's m-me-"

"Hinata!" he shouted once again as he pulled her in to a close hug, "I missed you so much! How have ya' been?"

As usually, she blushed immediately, "I-I was um...t-training with m-my father..."

"Oh, yeah." he laughed, closing the door behind her, "Kiba told me, I guess I forgot. I just...have a lot on my mind." he sighed, sitting down on his couch.

She followed him, sitting on the side, "Alot on your mind? U-Um, do you want to talk about it maybe? I-I have a lot of time..." she stated.

He gazed at her, closely in her pale eyes. He loved the company of the woman, she made him feel at ease, "You missed a bunch of things Hinata. First off, Konoha was attacked." he heard her gasp and continued, "...Sadly, they took the life of Ino's father, Inoichi." he hung his head down, remembering the look on his former friend's face.

"W-What, that's horrible!Is...Ino alright?" she asked frantically. Even though her and the woman didn't speak anymore, she still felt so bad. Her, Sakura and Ino were the best of friends then. She even felt closer to Ino than she was Sakura. For some odd reason, she felt that Sakura didn't like her.

"Yea." he stated raspy, "She's alright but..." he suddenly stopped, taking her hand and holding it tightly. She moaned at his touch. Just by the hold of her hand, he made her want to change the world. These feelings, were so not like her. She was so innocent but at the same time, 'hungry', "I have a confession to make Hinata." she nodded once, "...These past days, Sakura had been telling all of us, lies."

"L-Lies, what do you mean, Naruto?"

"She told us everything that wasn't true. She lied about helping and protecting her at a young age when it was her that was helping Sakura. She told us that she betrayed her for a guy when it was her that did just that. She even lied and said that she hated me. I...just don't know what to do anymore."

"W-Well-"

"Hinata." Sai spoke up, approaching the two on the couch. He squeezed himself in between, "It's nice to see you again." he smiled famously, closing both eyes. All the time she was gone, he had done a lot of thinking. About how, his emotionless heart had somehow found care for the lady. He kind of didn't know how to explain.

"S-Sai." she was caught off guard with his presence.

"Oh, and yeah, Sai was here." Naruto added in for her, smiling for reasons unknown. He even seemed to be blushing...

When did they two get close? The grey eyed girl smiled at him. Her kind nature didn't even allow her to think any bad thoughts, "It's good ro see you again also, S-Sai. How have you been?"

"Actually," he suddenly took something from Naruto's back, "It's kinda of hard for me to say. So, I'll start off from the very beginning. As everyone knows, it's hard for me to show any feelings. Not a tear, excitement, enthusiasm, anything. But, I just um, have something to say, or should I say gi-"

She taped on his shoulder, "Yea, that's great Sai." she clearly wasn't really focused on him. She didn't want to loose her train of thought of what she wanted to say to Naruto. Looking his way, she responded, "Um, Naruto I was going to say that, u-um, I just wanted to give off my apologies to you. Your friend, S-Sakura...I hope that you two are still good friends..."

Sai blinked, looking from her to him, "S-Sakura? Hinata, may I please ask you somethi-"

The bright Blond gave her a confused look, "Friends...well, yeah I still like her. Like I always did. We're actually still together..."

"Together?" she questioned after gasping, "Y-You and S-Sakura...oh." This had to been the most embarassing moment in her life. Just as when she was about to finally express her feelings, this happened?Naruto and Sakura? This had to been a nightmare, "O-Oh, well I'm happy for you two." she stated while leaping off the couch.

"Thanks, Hinata." he smiled, "You know, it kind of gets lonely without her, her being in the hospital."

Oh great. Now she couldn't even feel any anger against her. Not that she would anyway, "W-well, I will pray for her. And you."

"Yea." he went on, "She did do a lot of things that wasn't good at all. And honestly, I can't one hundred percent forgive her because of how much I still care for Ino. But still, I knew her since I was little. She use to like Sasuke so much. And now that she finally likes me, it feels like I finally accomplished her...love, if that makes any sense. You know, that feeling of liking somebody that doesn't like you back?"

She nodded, "...A little to much." she stated. His words bruised her heart further and further with every word.

"And then, when theylike you back...it's like a dream come true." he declared in awe. He could confide in the woman about anything, thats one of the things he liked about having a friend like Hinata.

She lowered her eyelids, her grey tinted eyes turning darker, "I wouldn't know." she mumbled. Looking back up at him suddenly, she responded, "It seems that you love her. Congratulations Naruto." she headed off to the door.

"U-Um, Hinata!" Sai called after her. She turned back around, blinking towards him, "I-I..." he couldn't pull out the words, she seemed so hurt. And the bright Blond was too naive to even realized that she had liked him. Even he realized it. And now, there was no hope for him, "N-Nothing. I'll just see you around I guess." she left without a word. Not understanding what the man wanted to say.

Naruto closed the door behind her, frowning towards his teammate, "Well," he sighed, "How do you think that was?"

"Great..." Sai commented, "I think she actually believed that you were happy with Sakura."

"Yea..." he sat next to the man, "when the thing is, I'm miserable. I still..." he sighed once again, "I can't explain it. Ino just, was so hurt, I can't really forgive Sakura."

He knew exactly how he felt. He hadn't even been around when Sakura had did that to Ino. Naruto had told him earlier all about what she had done and said. And he didn't even get to see her. She was actually no where in sight. Sai responded, "So, are you going to break up with her?"

The blond shrugged, "I don't know, yet. I can't do it nowthat she's in the hospital. And I don't want to leave her when she first starts to think that...I just don't know..." turning his attention to his friend, he pulled out a bouquet of flowers from behind his back that Sai was about to give her, "So, why didn't you tell Hinata?"

The ink man wanted to just say it, but decided against it, "I'm not good with things like this. I feel that she doesn't really like me the way that I do."

"So?.." Naruto questioned, "You're over her...?"

Sai shrugged, "I guess I am." She obviously had him in mind. And he didn't wanted to be someones second choice, "...I just guess I am..." he repeated.

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-9:00 p.m.-

The Blond dragged her bags from behind her, it was full of all her things. Her pictures, her clothes, and the never fading flower that her mom had in the place. It took a while to pack up all the things but it was worth it. She wanted out of Konoha and she wanted out now. Almost out of the village, she passed the two men who blocked out intruders. They each gave her a sad look, nodding her way as she went by them. They were about to respond, the girl held up her hand swiftly, "...Guys, I have to go on a mission for Lady Tsunade."

They each blinked, "Well, why do you need bags?" one asked.

She hesitated, "W-Well, my mission includes this." They were about to speak up again as she cut them off, "Please...I have to be there fast. Give me a break, my father, Inoichi, the one that protected your asses his entire life, is dead. And because of all of you!" she shouted, "Can you at least trust me enough for this. Please...I wan't to carry out his legacy." she lied. She grinned past them as they nodded her way, whispering something like 'it's the least we can do', "Idiots." she mumbled to herself, "One of the reasons I'm leaving Konoha..." She waited until she got as far as she could to run, run and get out of this wretched. Abruptly, almost like magic, her feet stopped in it's tracks as she spotted something. She looked down, picking it up, "The star of Bethelamn." she whispered as the wind blew her way, "...How did this get here?"

"Because of me. You know, there is a way you can leave here without passing the guards."

She wasn't scared a bit as she turned the way she heard the voice. Spotting out the man, she frowned greatly, "...Sasuke...why are you here? Go back home." she demanded coldly.

He wasn't shocked that she so blunt. He actually liked it more than her being goofy. But still, he preferred the normal Ino. Walking up to her, he gently took the flower from her hands, glancing down at it, "Remember what you told me Ino?" he asked, not waiting for a response, "You said that this flower was for people like us. That hope would come our way. We...me and you, are both the same. So know matter what you do, I won't leave you. Me and Itachi don't want anything to happen to you."

"Itachi?" she asked, "...H-he's alive?"

Sasuke nodded, pulling out the camellia that she had gave him and comparing the both of them, "Yes, does that make you change your mind about leaving here?"

Itachi being alive took a huge burden off her shoulder. She was glad that he was ok...but, was her dad? No, he wasn't as lucky, "No, Sasuke. And you can't make me stay! You better not even try! I will fight you if it takes that! I don't care if I lose a thousand times, I will still try! Be-"

Sasuke sighed, "Blondie..." he walked over by a near-by bush, tucking both of the flowers in a bush, "Who said I was going to try to stop you? Let along fight you?" she narrowed her blond eyebrows, letting down her guard, "...I'm about to go with you. I will follow you no matter where you will go."

Ino gave him a pulled look, "A-And why would you do that?"

The onyx eyed man gazed in to her ocean eyes, "Hn. Let's go." he took hold of the woman's hand, leading her any place but there. He knew that his older brother didn't have this in mind when he said to watch over her, but he didn't care. If she wanted to leave the village, so would he. Where ever the wind might blow them, they didn't care. As long as they had the company of each other. After all, they were so much alike.