THIS IS GOING TO BE THE VERY LAST AND VERY ANTICIPATED CHAPTER OF THE MATING MOON. I know, it has been a good run. And this fic has been filled with such drama we almost don't know how to handle it without exploding. Anyway, REGULAR PV. I HOPE YOU ENJOY
-

Kiba's eyes slowly opened and for a brief moment he thought he had gone blind. His vision was blurry and white. He shut them quickly and reopened them to see everything was just fuzzy now. Kiba moaned as he tried to sit up but was rendered completely immobile by a searing pain in his neck. A scream burned his dry mouth and throat as it was ripped from his body. What happened to him? He rolled onto his side, bringing a bruised arm up to his neck. His body hurt. It literally hurt so badly that it was a gauntlet in itself to bring his arm up to touch his neck. Blood was trickling from it, staining Kiba's chin and streaking down his chest. He didn't know how long he had been bleeding from his wound but he could tell it was something bad. Even his new healing power couldn't make it go away. The flesh of his neck was raw, completely chewed to bits. If he had been human and sustained this, he would have been dead.

The brunet forced himself to roll onto his feet. The door of his cage was open. The silver wasn't impeding his exit anymore. He couldn't feel Sakon or Ukon close by either. This could be his chance to leave and find Shino.

When he tried to stand, it was a completely different story when it came to pain. He had forgotten in his previous escape attempt, he had been slammed into the ground. His back felt like if he took a single step farther his spine would crack. Why did he always get the raw end of the deal? Kiba fell to his knees, panting because of the sheer volume of pain in his veins.

He should just give up now. He should just lay here and wait. Shino would be coming for him eventually. Or he would just die. That sounded so nice. To just die, to be free of pain. He couldn't help but think that all of this angst and agony was going straight to his head. But he was too hurt to care. Shino would be devastated if he died. But it would free Kiba of all the misery.

He slumped forward, face against the cool cement ground. If he didn't know better, he would have thought he had a fever. The cold felt good against his skin. The pain was making his stomach twist in knots and making his spine cramp up. He needed something to comfort him. His eyes slowly started to close when he felt a sudden wave of exhaustion creep up on him.

Kiba wasn't a doctor but he was pretty sure that if he fell asleep right now, he wouldn't wake up. But, he was pretty sure he was going into shock. The pain was slowly, slowly, starting to dissolve into the back of his mind. Kiba took that as a bad sign but there wasn't much he could do now. Sakon and Ukon may have been trying to take him as a mate, but they might have successfully killed him instead. Kiba found no strength in his body. He couldn't fight this, not even if he tried.

"Shino, I'm sorry." Kiba brought his hand up to his neck and shivered as tears started to burn down his cheeks. "I wish I could see you, just once more."

Kiba's body stopped moving and for a moment everything was still, everything was quiet. His eyes were closed and his breathing was starting to slow. There wasn't much time now. Not much left. Kiba felt his body suddenly flush with warmth and he assumed it was the strong glow of death tolling for him. Kiba opened his eyes, not sure what to expect, he didn't see anything. Just the cell walls and floor and bars. He hadn't died. He didn't feel any better either. But there was something different about the surroundings.

"Shino?" Kiba's voice was weak in his throat. Even if Shino was right down the hall, he wouldn't hear the brunet's cries.

Kiba felt a wave of adrenaline shake his body to life and he slowly started to move himself up from the floor and back onto his feet. He made his way to the cage door, stumbling every few steps as he did so. He could feel Shino, he didn't exactly know where he was in this place. Hell, Kiba barely knew where he was in this place, but he wasn't going to give up if he was close. He could smell him, he could sense him. Shino was here somewhere and Kiba wouldn't allow himself to die if his mate was right around the corner. No, he couldn't do that.
-

Shino felt blood trickle out of the side of his mouth. He'd been fighting all night and he was starting to get tired. His body was aching and he was at a disadvantage. Two against one. It wasn't as though this would be a problem for him normally. The problem was that he been fighting from the battle to this moment and the constant changing in and out of form was starting to take its full toll on his body. Not to mention that now that his connection with Kiba was in the beginning stages of being severed, a part of his energy was going to reconnect them. He couldn't lose Kiba now. Not to them.

His legs were shaking as he stood up again. Orochimaru was holding Sasuke in his arms, smirking. His Beta was motionless. If it wasn't for the soft falls of his chest, Shino would have believed him to be dead. This wasn't just for him; this was for Itachi and the rest of the pack. He wouldn't allow himself to get knocked down again.

Sakon and Ukon were circling around him, slowly, their movements were teasing. Shino knew they were toying with him now. Enjoying the slow and painful death they wanted to bring him. Shino mentally cried; Orochimaru had kept the two of them off the battlefield to give them an advantage. He watched, his eyes training on Sakon's neck. Actually at this point, he couldn't tell them apart. He was exhausted. Almost too exhausted. If he took one more good hit he might pass out right then and there. It would all be over. He didn't know what to do.

In the entirety of the battle, he had only managed to land a scratch on Ukon. But that was already healing. Shino noticed a small scratch on Sakon's leg but wrote it off. It was so difficult to tell them apart anyway that he could have administered the scratch to either of them. In wolf form they looked the same, it was only when they were human he could actually tell the difference.

Orochimaru chuckled from his spot on his own very self-centered and vain throne. Shino snarled. He had been pushed out of his wolf form from exhaustion but a wave of energy began a cyclone within his body and he knew that he could change again. It would heal him faster and would put him back on his game. Sakon and Ukon were both watching as skin ripped into fur and felt the hackles of their necks rise. This didn't seem right, Shino should be right on the brink of passing out, not having renewed vigor. Shino's jaws were snarling, foam pushing around his gums.

Sakon started snarling too, a crazed devotion to spilling blood shining in his eyes. Shino knew there was no way he could take them on one on one, neither of them would sit out and let the other be slaughtered without some involvement to save the other. It seemed that their lives were almost interconnected and if one was severed, the other might also possibly fail as well. Shino thought back on the scratch, perhaps they were more connected than he realized. Shino saw this as a chanced opening. He could kill one of them and see if that would kill the other. He assumed it would since they lived in each other's bodies. They must share cells or something. He doubted their existences were completely independent of the other.

Shino's claws dug deep into floor and he burst forward, so unbelievably quick that whatever silver wolf he was approaching wouldn't be able to move with enough time to dodge. As Shino thought, the other wolf was following behind him, trying to act as a defense. He was going to try and catch Shino, probably try to trip him so he couldn't reach the other wolf. Shino knew he needed to act fast then…

In the blink of an eye, in one solid movement, Shino whipped his entire body around, fangs barred. The wolf behind him, he recognized to be Sakon. The annoying, snippy one with the shit attitude. He chomped down on the silvered fur, teeth sinking and ripping out chucks of hot flesh and spraying Shino was thick, crimson streams of blood. It felt good. The blood and flesh between his teeth. Sakon instantly returned to human form and Shino looked behind him to see that the injury was spread to Ukon as well. Luckily he had gotten a good enough grab to rip Sakon's throat out completely.

Orochimaru's laughter was filling the room before harsh, loud screams took over. Both of the silver wolves had reverted back to their human forms. Blood was pouring from both necks, spilling down their chest and in heavy pools on the ground. Sakon was coughing and his screams fell silent as Shino changed himself back into a human.

He didn't know what triggered that sudden rush of energy but he felt renewed like he just started fighting. Shino turned; Orochimaru was smirking, petting Sasuke's hair like he was nothing more than a lap dog. Shino knew now that since he had finished Orochimaru's annoying challenge that he was in a position to finally, after years and years of silence, to ask him anything and everything he had wanted closure for. Orochimaru was smirking, still coddling the unconscious form in his lap. The wolf's smirk annoyed Shino; it was like he knew something that…

Shino felt his leg being grabbed from under him and was pushed roughly to the floor. He hadn't kept his eye on Ukon who was holding and applying pressure to his neck. It wasn't coming out nearly as quickly or in such large amounts as his brother. His entire body was shaking with anger and Shino reached up, grabbing his face and grappling with the extremely angry wolf on top of him.

"YOU KILLED HIM!" Blood sprayed Shino's face and he managed to flip Ukon off of him. "I'LL DIE WITHOUT HIM!"

"Then die…" Orochimaru was in front of Ukon within a moment's notice and Shino's eyes widened when he the wolf's arm reach up, grab Ukon's chin, and snap Ukon's neck in one solid movement. Ukon made no sound as his body fell to the ground, eyes wide with betrayal and shock. But Shino himself knew that he should have been expecting a move from Orochimaru like that. Sakon and Ukon came in a pair; take out one of them, would lead to taking out the second.

Orochimaru held out his hand for Shino but he slapped it away. "You're really something, you know that?"

He just laughed at Shino's comment. "He was trying to kill you and now you're defending his death like he didn't deserve to die? You heard him, without Sakon, he would have died anyway." Orochimaru's off-handed attitude made Shino see red like he had never seen it before. He could forgive Sakon and Ukon, they had been led astray and drown in their own undoing. But how could he forgive Orochimaru? How could he forgive a creature so unbelievably wicked and cruel? How could he forgive a wolf who kills his own pack?

Shino felt his body move, he became a mess of all claws and fangs but was stopped very quickly by Orochimaru. "I would like to remind you that I am an alpha and more than that to you, I am your creator. You can't lay a hand against me." Shino's arm was in a vice-like grip and he felt the strength suddenly leave him. That couldn't be true. He could kill Orochimaru, just because Orochimaru created him doesn't mean anything. "I can see it in your eyes, the debate. Can you really kill me? Let me tell you something, you cannot kill what you did not create."

Shino felt the air leave him when Orochimaru's fist connected with his gut, making him slump to the ground, blood spurting from his lips.

"SHINO!" That voice…

Shino turned his head quickly and nearly cried when he finally caught the first glance of his mate. Kiba fell to his knees and then stooped even lower, coughing blood onto the floor. He tried to sit back up and just went limp and fell forward. Shino ignored Orochimaru. He couldn't deal with that wolf now, not with his mate in dire need of his help. Shino hands shook with fear as he picked his mate up. His neck was chewed to shreds, blood, muscle, and sinew all mangled together into a mess of browning, drying tissues.

Shino's eyes were burning with tears left unshed. Kiba's body had been fighting so hard to keep from becoming Sakon and Ukon's mate that it just started to almost deteriorate. He didn't know how fresh the wound on his neck was, but it wasn't healing. There were no signs of it anywhere. Shino's stomach was sinking fast and he had to suppress the urge to vomit. And it wasn't just from the wound, no, just from the sheer and utter agony sucking the bile up his throat. He never wanted this to happen to Kiba. And what was worse was that he felt more and more that his mate was slipping away, right through his fingers.

"What a pity. You came all this way and he might die right here." Orochimaru commented from behind Shino. The black haired wolf leaned forward and started to lick the wound, hoping, praying, that even just this could help Kiba hang on. He just needed to hang on until Itachi and the rest of the pack came. "Poor little wolf, so alone. Who will come to save you and your mate? Who will help something as pathetic as the two of you? Your choice of mate was deplorable. Look at him. He can't even heal himself. He couldn't even protect himself from a different wolf's advances…And then there's you. You, Shino, impressed and disheartened me. I'll admit killing Sakon was quite the feat, but then you fell flat on your back as soon as your mate becomes injured. I had so many hopes for you as a wolf but you're no better than the rest of Itachi's pack." Shino's entire form was shaking during Orochimaru's lording-over-everything speech. Orochimaru thought he was perfect, untouchable. But what had he really created? A misfit group of wolves who knew nothing about the society who wanted to save them from themselves. "However, as soon as I have Itachi, everything will change. He will bring your pack and I will bring the new wave of rules, of new and wonderful life."

Shino pulled Kiba closer into his body. He felt dirty, so unbelievably dirty. He was created by this monster and then created a different being himself. Shino shook his head. This couldn't be happening. Orochimaru seemed to be reveling in this, like he planned it from the start. He was picking them all apart and making sure to quickly and precisely destroy anything left of their will. He hit Itachi hard and now he was breaking Shino apart so that he wouldn't want to get up and fight him anymore.

Orochimaru started to chuckle to himself and Shino looked over his shoulder at the wolf, standing tall and proud behind him. So full of himself, so prideful. It disgusted him. Shino stopped caring about that man and his words; Kiba was still alive in his arms, in desperate need of help. Shino thought that maybe, just maybe, if he injected Kiba with the virus again, his strain, that it could save him. But he was unsure. The last thing he wanted to do was miscalculate how forceful his bite was and cause massive bleeding. Kiba was hanging on by small threads and Shino did not want to be the scissors that severed them.

Shino jumped a little when he heard Orochimaru's cry of pain. When he turned, he saw a full wolf Sasuke, hanging onto flesh of Orochimaru's shoulder, using his weight to try and pull him down. Shino and Sasuke's eyes locked for a brief moment before Sasuke started to gnaw and chew on the other wolf. Orochimaru was swearing and trying to grip Sasuke in a way that would pull him off, but Sasuke only continued to get more and more stuck into the flesh.

But that's when the change transpired, knocking Sasuke loose. Orochimaru's wolf form was one of the strangest things Shino had ever seen in his life. He had seen Orochimaru's wolf body once before but that was long ago. Even Sasuke, who had been a wolf a very long time, didn't quite understand what had just happened.

The basic shape was there, all fur and claws and teeth, the broadness of the shoulders and everything else wolf-ish. But there were modifications like Shino had never ever seen in a wolf. His tail was a whipping, biting, real life snake. And some of his body had bald patches of snake skin, almost looking silver plated scales. Sasuke backed up a little, face reflecting a lack of confidence that Shino had never seen in the Uchiha before. It was more than obvious that Sasuke wasn't sure how to approach this wolf now. He had made these modifications after the incident.

Orochimaru's body was fast and Sasuke almost couldn't move out of the way. He rolled to the side and starts to snap his jaws in warning. Shino could tell that Sasuke was fearful. He didn't know how to handle a new breed of modification like this. Orochimaru had obviously been delving in a lot of dark and powerful magic.

"Poor little Uchiha, where's your big brother to save you? I assure you, little wolf, even he, so beautiful and powerful, won't be able to stop me. I am perfection personified. You cannot stop me."

"Arrogant words from someone who left the front door wide open." Itachi muttered, his body seemingly appearing from the shadows. His hands were extended claws, streaked with blood. The bodies of the other wolves Sakon and Ukon had been with when Shino had first arrived when strewn across the floor. Naruto was standing beside his Alpha, eyes narrowed and lips snarled. Naruto and Itachi had silently taken out three other wolves. Their presences barely stirring a ripple.

"Do you think you can shake my resolve by killing off my underlings? None of them are worth more than your pack Itachi. I will have you and your pack soon and I will replace everyone who died today. All of them were weak but your pack is strong, perfect minds made for me to mold."

Itachi chuckled deeply in his throat. His eyes were dark under his long bangs as he looked up at Orochimaru, wolf features already pouring through. "You've already taken something very dear to me. I wouldn't allow you to take everything else."

Itachi's change was fast, his wolf form ripping out his clothes and quickly latching onto Orochimaru and knocking him down onto the floor. Naruto managed to leap over the battling wolves and race over to Shino and Kiba, Sasuke on his heels behind his mate.

"Shino, what the hell happened?" Naruto's hand was hovering over Kiba's wound, his eyes reflecting a very deep concern but they also blazed with conviction. It was obvious if something happened to Kiba too, he would be the one to personally rip the Orochimaru's head from his body and eat his heart out.

"Sakon and Ukon tried to reverse the bond Kiba and I had by injecting him with their own venom and replacing the mark. I…I don't even know what to do. Do I bite him again?" Shino looked pleadingly to Sasuke and Naruto, who exchanged glances between each other. Naruto looking unsure and Sasuke gaining a pensive quality.

"That might be the only option right now. To re-strengthen the bond between you could recharge his energy and metabolism." Sasuke muttered. "But I'm unsure…"

"Kiba can't die here Sasuke…" Naruto said, almost whispering.

"The only thing left to do is try it and hope for the best…" Sasuke's tone was a little stunted in his throat. The uncertainty of his Beta made Shino's hands shake. He was afraid he was going to mess this up.

But what else could he do? Shino tentatively licked the wound free of blood, making Shino's eyes flicker. Shino hushed his mate as a whine of pain slipped through his dry and cracked lips. "I'm sorry." Shino bit down into the pulpy flesh and Kiba's mouth opened in a silent scream before his eyes rolled back in his head and he stilled.

"Shino, Sasuke." Naruto had a weak smile trying to reassure them. "I'll take care of Kiba, go help Itachi. He's going to need it." Shino's body stayed in a kneeled position until Sasuke gripped his shoulder.

"Let Naruto handle this. He's bonded to Kiba too." Shino nodded and then was swiftly knocked off his feet by Orochimaru's snake tail. It wrapped around him and pulled him across the floor, Sasuke running after him. The snake whipped up, the head striking Sasuke in the arm. He hissed with pain as he fell to the floor, groaning and moaning. The snake head was venomous. Sure his healing abilities would kick in and help him but until then, he was in for a lot of pain.

"Itachi, watch the head. It has venom." Sasuke called out and his brother nodded. Itachi was seething at this point. He was still keeping himself calm and collected knowing Orochimaru would take advantage of a rage blinded Itachi. Itachi backed himself up and lunged forward, teeth colliding with the silver implanted scales. His teeth burned and felt like they were going to fall from his head. He growled.

Orochimaru's modified body was nothing like he had ever dealt with before. And it was obviously surprise for them, which was why he hadn't changed at the battle. Itachi could deal with Kabuto because it was something he had seen and could adapt to. But this was completely different.

The muscles of Itachi's body rippled as Orochimaru lunged at him. They wrestled around, exchanging bites and scratches. Fur and blood flew until Orochimaru yelped, rolling away from Itachi. Shino had changed forms and bitten straight into the snake's head. Shino freed himself from the constriction and jumped onto Orochimaru's back. His paws burned from hitting the silver scales but he ignored the pain as he clamped his jaws down on the back of Orochimaru's neck. The wolf wailed and howled, trying to wretch Shino off his back and throw him to the ground. Shino wasn't letting go. He wouldn't allow himself too. This wasn't just for him, not for Itachi. This was for Kiba. If he died here then he would be satisfied knowing that Orochimaru also died here as well.

Itachi rushed to Orochimaru's side, latching himself onto the side of his neck. Orochimaru's body stilled knowing if he pulled away, Itachi would have a thick chunk of his throat as a keepsake.

But that's when he did something neither of them expected. He changed back. His smaller body slipped easily from Itachi and Shino's jaws. He was able to roll out from under Shino's mighty paws, causing both wolves to snarl and growl as they surrounded him, eyes trained on his soft skin and under belly.

"You can't do this! I'm supposed to be the grand master of every wolf. You're weaker than me!"

"It doesn't matter if individually you can break us down, or if you're stronger when it comes to one on one. A good Alpha doesn't just rely on his own strength. He relies on the strength of his pack. That, Orochimaru, is why you cannot defeat me or my pack."

"I won't allow you to defeat me!"

"It's a little too late for that." Orochimaru turned and when he did so, a clawed arm burst through his heart and then a second through his throat. Sasuke's eyes widened to not only see Naruto but Kiba as well. Both of them were smirking, retracting their appendages. Orochimaru's body was stumbling backwards. Itachi grabbed onto Orochimaru, who reached up and cup Itachi's cheek one more time. The Uchiha's face scowled as he grabbed onto the limb and ripped it from his body.

"We aren't going to let you come back twice." Itachi said. Shino grabbed onto Orochimaru's legs, face as solid as stone as he helped Itachi rip Orochimaru apart, limbs coming undone like string on a sweater.

"Sasuke, would you like to have the honors of ripping his head off? Seeing as though you haven't had your fair chance to redeem yourself for being kidnapped."

Sasuke's eyes narrowed as he slowly got back on his feet. "I missed you too Itachi…" And to think he was worried about his brother's feelings while he was here…

Orochimaru's eyes were still open and he was slowly bleeding out. He was looking franticly around, hoping there was some way he could be saved. But when he felt Sasuke's hands on his head and a foot on what was left of his shoulder, Orochimaru knew it was over. Sasuke let out a mighty growl before completely tearing Orochimaru's head from the sinews and tissues. Blood splattered his face and shirt.

After this everyone felt a sudden flood of relief. It was finally over, all of it. Naruto ran up to Sasuke and threw his arms around his mate. The strong wave of comfort rolled over them as they kissed. "I missed you. I was so worried." Naruto was muttering between kisses.

"I'm sorry, Naruto. I love you."

Shino came up to Kiba and pulled him so direly close. They just stood there in such a delicate, heartfelt embrace. "I'm so sorry Kiba. I wasn't there to protect you. And you almost died. I'm sorry. Nothing I do now will ever make up what happened to you."

Kiba smiled as he pulled back a little. He went in for a kiss and then head-butted Shino, making the black haired wolf's glasses fly off his face. The wolf fell to his knees, curdling his new wound. He fell to his back when Kiba nudged his chest with his foot. The annoyance on Kiba's face was so apparent that the other three wolves just stared in awe. They all thought it would be a tearful beautiful reunion, but apparently Kiba didn't think that was the case.

"DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW LONG I WAS WAITING FOR YOU?!" Shino was cowering on the floor as Kiba was kicking him in the leg, his face flushed completely with rage.

"Is that what I look like when I'm mad?" Naruto asked and Sasuke nodded.

"Except you're way more physical. You would have probably punched me in the face three times by now."

"I don't understand you kids and your relationships." Itachi said.

"You've never had a headstrong female."

Itachi looked sideways at his brother. "Kyuubi wasn't headstrong?"

"Good point."

"I'm going to miss him…"

"It's okay, Itachi. He died protecting what he loved." Naruto muttered, gently patting Itachi on the back. "I'm just glad that was the case…"

"At least you'll share my pain for a while. I'll buy ice cream and tissues."

"You're a good man Itachi." Naruto said and he hugged his Alpha. Sharing warmth with him, even only for a second.

"YOU BASTARD!" They all turned to see Kiba on top of Shino, kissing him hard on the mouth. There were tears in his eyes. "I was so scared. I missed you so badly. I called for you and never thought you'd come for me."

Shino knew then that the strength he gained to kill Sakon and Ukon was from Kiba. Their bond had never been severed by them. If anything it was stronger than ever.

"I know this is a great reunion and all. But we need to go." Itachi said. "Sai's outside with enough lighter fluid and gasoline to burn down the Eiffel tower."

After the match was lit and the lair went up in flames the full realization dawned on them. It was finally over. Orochimaru had been found and put down for good. Countless wolves and vampires had laid their lives down to stop him and it wasn't for nothing. It was all finally to a conclusion everyone could live with. Kiba and Shino's fingers intertwined as they stood side by side, looking up at the orange and yellow flames.

Fire cleansed and purified everything it touched. And they all hoped that the flames of Hell would cleanse everyone's lives of Orochimaru and his poisonous existence.
-

A FEW WEEKS LATER (epilogue)

"Oh my God, it is soooo hot. I think I'm dying!" Naruto whined. All of the windows of Sasuke's car were down and there was nothing but cool air filling in. The blond was leaned all the way back in his seat, nearly smashing Kiba, who was sitting behind him.

"If you don't move your damn seat up, it won't be the heat that kills you."

Naruto sat up and the seat came up with him with just a pull of the lever. The blond huffed. "Would you just calm down, Naruto?" Sasuke muttered. "We'll be at the beach in a few minutes and then you can throw yourself in the ocean to your heart's content."

"But Sasuke!" The blond whined in a high pitched voice. "I'm hot and annoying now!"

"Yeah but we're not talking about your personality." Sasuke quipped.

The blond leaned across the stick shift and started punching Sasuke in the arm. Shino rolled his eyes and Kiba leaned over and rested his head on the black haired wolf's shoulder. He kissed his mate on the head. "They're so cute when they fight." Shino muttered and Kiba chuckled.

"Almost as cute as us." The brunet was smiling coyly and turned when he heard huffing coming from a shaky, sweaty blond from the front seat.

"No, no, Sasuke and I are way cuter." Naruto was glancing over the back of his seat so he could stare at the pair behind him. "You guys are boring. Sasuke and I are exciting. Dynamic."

"So that's what you call it? I thought random and idiotic was far more fitting." Shino replied and Naruto started pouting.

"Sasuke, Shino doesn't think we're cute."

"I heard…" Sasuke said leaning over to steal a kiss. "And don't worry, we're way cuter. They're just jealous."

"I love you!"

Sasuke pulled into a paved area where only a few more cars were parked and found a spot right under a large shady tree. The Uchiha popped the trunk as Shino, Kiba, and Naruto got out of the car. Naruto seemed to bounce with excitement as he grabbed a bag full of towels from the back, then quickly snatching up Kiba's hand and raced to the beach. That left the heavy cooler for Shino and Sasuke, who both sighed as they lifted it together. Truth be told, both were strong enough on their own to pick the cooler up but it looked more natural to share the weight.

Naruto was waving at the two males as he jumped in place. Ever since all the craziness happened they hadn't had much time to relax. Now that school was out and everything finally had a semblance of normal, it was nice that they could just enjoy the summer vacation before everyone had to start college in the oncoming fall. Shino and Sasuke put the cooler down and the Uchiha walked up to his excited mate, kissing him softly before grabbing onto his arm and dragging the blond to the water's edge, picking him up, and unceremoniously throwing Naruto in.

"Huh, I'm surprised you haven't let go more and jumped in with Naruto and Sasuke." Shino said as Kiba sat down on a towel laid out on the sand.

"My scar is still sensitive in cold water." Kiba muttered as he brushed his neck. The wound had healed within a couple days but there was a faint whiteness that hadn't completely vanished yet. For the first couple weeks Kiba kept his neck completely covered, not even allowing Shino to see the scar on his neck. It wasn't even from shame either, it was from the fear it represented. Kiba had almost died because of that wound. But after a few good talks with everyone, Kiba embraced his scar and realized it meant far more than just a battle wound. It was a sign that he was a survivor and that he was able to hold his own as a wolf, even if he was just a female.

Shino sat down next to Kiba and opened the cooler, pulling out an icy cold soda, and pulling a second one out for his mate. They smiled at each other and laid back, Kiba putting his head on Shino's chest. The soft rhythmic beat of the black hair wolf's heart seemed to comfort and calm the brunet. He smiled and kissed the smooth skin of Shino's chest. The day was perfect. It was lulling, warm, but calmed by the salt encrusted air.

"You know, mating season is over now." Shino said suddenly. "Do you know what that means?"

"I won't be bitten again for a while?" Kiba replied and Shino smirked a little.

"Oh I don't know about that. But it means that you'll be assigned your official pack ranking soon."

Kiba turned onto his side, resting his arm on the other side of Shino's body. "Females get ranked?"

"Of course they do." Shino replied with a soft smile. "Some Females are born Alphas and Betas; they're strong leaders, even if they are the Females of our species. Itachi should be ranking you soon and the lowest you'd go is just a step behind me. But the valiant effort you showed actually may but you in an equality position with me, same with Sasuke and Naruto. We're all pretty sure Naruto is a Beta like Sasuke. They're both good in leadership position and Itachi can entrust the pack to either of them really."

"Wow…" Kiba seemed a little elated when he heard that. He had a beautiful, wondered smile. Shino leaned in and gave his mate a very sweet, soft kiss on the lips.

"However, none of that Kiba, is as amazing as you."

Kiba felt heat sinking into his cheeks and he moved his face so that he could look into Shino's eyes. The black haired wolf was smiling at his mate and brought him up so they could embrace themselves in the full dance of a kiss. When their lips met, Kiba remembered exactly why he didn't give up when he had been captured. The electricity of love blistered his veins and made the pains disburse through his body. Shino was the one to make him whole, to love him in such a delicate and perfect way. It was all too good but not enough at the same time.

When Kiba pulled away from Shino, he was smiling. But all that happiness was erased when a cold shiver burst up his back as freezing ocean water from above came raining upon him. Shino looked un-amused as Naruto burst out in laughter, shaking his tank top free of its rolled condition and sliding it back onto his body. "Ooo, the lovebirds need to get a room. Oh wait, they can't we're at the beach!" Naruto kicked up a little sand as he jumped. "We need to have group fun!"

Kiba slowly got up as Sasuke stood behind his mate, 'tsk'ing his tongue as he shook his head. "Bad pet, you've made him mad."

"Pet?" Naruto couldn't even come up with a decent response for his mate's possessive comment before he was tackled to the ground by Kiba. They rolled around the sand and beach until they got close to the water. Both of them started to cough and choke as they were washed and pushed around by the salty water.

"Perhaps giving Naruto and Kiba higher ranks at the ranking ceremony isn't such a bright idea…" Shino muttered.

Sasuke was smiling though. "Well considering we'd have one less Gamma and one more Beta, I don't think, at the very least, Naruto will be gifted the honor of rank equality."

Shino looked at Sasuke questioningly and then followed the Uchiha's gaze. A stone's throw away was Itachi and Sai, Sai sticking like glue to his Alpha. His hand interwoven with Itachi and resting his head on the Alpha's arm. It had been a couple months since Kyuubi's death and at first Itachi had been inconsolable. But Sai had been there for him the entire time just like he always seemed to be since he first laid eyes on their Alpha. The only problem was that they missed mating season, but Itachi however seemed to be taking things slow anyway. They obviously could wait.

Kiba and Naruto came back to their mates and Naruto cuddled up to Sasuke. "I'm cold."

"There's no satisfying you, is there?" Sasuke replied.

Kiba lay down next to Shino, sharing the newly acquired chill with his mate. The wolf smiled as he took Kiba into his arms and kissed him on the forehead, the saline scent filled his nose as he did so. In that soft moment, Shino knew he had made the correct decision all those months ago. That Kiba had been the piece missing from his life and he was happy to have found it.
-

I did it! I finally did it. I finally finished an ending chapter without drawing it out even more. I'm proud of myself.

Kiba: took you long enough. You said you were going to have this done like a week ago
Me: I know. I noticed I'm extremely untruthful lately.
Kiba: You's a lyin' ass skeeze.
Me: What's a skeeze?
Kiba:...I don't know but it sound appropriate.

ANYWAY. I really hope you guys enjoyed the ride. We're all a little sad its over, I know. But as long as we liked what happened and are satisfied with it. Then it is all good.
ALSO: There may be a chance for a sequel. A CHANCE. there is no 100% sureness on this. If I did write a sequel i really dont know what would happen in it so that's why its kinda on the back burner of my mind..
Thanks again for reading, I love you ;o HITOKO-SAMA OUT.