So, one day, I decided to delete the KibaxOC story I had previously worked on and abandoned, and reconstruct it! This time around, it is my wish that it will generate better feedback and stuff. I know OC stories are generally unappreciated in the unpredictable waters of fandom, but if you try to read with an unbiased eye, hopefully you'll give me your honest opinion and construct an equally honest view on OC.

Disclaimer: Nope. I don't own Naruto or any of the characters you recognize here. All of that belongs to Masashi Kishimoto. I only own the ones that do not appear on Naru Wiki, and of course, the plot used in this fanfiction.

Warning: Coarse language will be a common occurrence throughout this entire story.


The massive population saw another typical day in Konoha; the sun was unhindered by the complacent clouds drifting lazily, cottoning the sky, a perfect shade of azure.

The friendly sunlight beamed down on whoever was game enough to face it without anything to block it, and a generous amount of the solar rays pooled and spilled all over the vast, fenced area of Training Ground Eight. It was mostly empty, save for a few figures that stood out against the field, colours of black, moss-green and lilac contrasting brightly against the bright celadon that covered the ground.

A russet-haired boy, who looked to be in his mid-teens, shifted impatiently against a tree that he was leaning against. His fingernails clung to the bark of the tree; the ebony leather of his jacket creased as he dragged his hands against the surface of the tree trunk, leaving imprints as they dug deeper. The dark shadow cast by the tree's dense canopy did nothing to mask the look of irritation etched across his face; his animalistic features fierce with impatience.

"Where is she? She said to meet her here early!" his voice came out in irked tones, "Good job in trying to teach us a thing or two about punctuality! Talk about contradictory!"

"Be patient, Kiba," one of his companions replied, pushing up his dark, rounded glasses up his pale nose before his equally pale hand returned into the pocket of the moss-green coat he donned over his dark, high-collared shirt. "Why? Because Kurenai-sensei must have had some important things to tend to, thus being late for our appointment,"

"Easy for you to say, Shino," Kiba muttered darkly, casting a glare towards the unaffected Aburame, "S'not like everyone has three tanks full of patience to spare like you,"

A loud, ragged bark resounded from the large dog that lay on the ground, curled up by Kiba's feet. "See? Even Akamaru agrees," Kiba gestured over to his loyal companion, "Why'd she want to meet us here anyway? A new mission?"

"Kurenai-sensei wanted to show us something... that's what she told me. She said it was very important," Hinata answered in her soft voice, her pale, timid eyes peering out from behind straight-cut violet bangs, "Maybe it's-"

"Hey! Kiba! S'that you with Shino and Hinata?"

The girl froze instantly; her lips parted and her eyes wide open. A red tinge colored her cheeks as her entire being started to quiver. Amusement took over his anger, as a fanged grin appeared on Kiba's tattooed face. "Naruto!"

Akamaru lifted up his shaggy head with interest, providing a few barks of his own.

A blonde waved from the distance through the wire fence, his orange and black attire clashing painfully with the red-clad dawn-haired girl that stood beside him. Naruto jogged through the entrance and towards his friends, a friendly grin on his whisker-scarred face.

"What 'cha up to?" Naruto asked as he gave a friendly wave in Hinata's direction, "Training?"

"I'd like to say that, but we're actually waiting for Kurenai-sensei," Kiba sighed half-heartedly, his expression clouding over now that he was reminded of his teacher's lateness, "Where are you headed?"

Naruto's nostrils flared as he pounded his fist against his chest; he was obviously proud of something, and was bursting to tell them. "I'm on a date with Sakura-cha-!"

A black-gloved fist slammed mid-sentence, into Naruto's face, sending him flying a few feet away from where everyone stood. A very flustered Hinata gasped and ran over to check on Naruto, concerned written all over her face.

"What was that for, Sakura? It hurt!" Naruto yelled as Hinata helped him up. One of Sakura's eyes twitched as she menacingly raised a fist, making Kiba snigger at Naruto's misfortune.

"Don't you dare make up stories! I only agreed to accompany you to Ichiraku because I haven't eaten my lunch yet either!" the medic growled as she pointed an accusing finger at the jinchuuriki.

Naruto pouted sulkily, nodding at Hinata in thanks as the girl poked her fingers together shyly. Shino's glasses gleamed, reflecting the light from the sun as he pushed them up his nose again. "I would like to ask the both of you if you have seen Kurenai-sensei," he said quietly, "Why? Because she was supposed to be here half an hour ago and has yet to make an appearance,"

"Kurenai-sensei?" Sakura tilted her head slightly, before realization dawned on her face, "Ah! I think I know why she's late. It's alright, just wait for her a little bit more. I'm sure she won't be long now,"

"Wait, Sakura-chan?" Naruto mumbled through a hand, "This is rich, coming from someone who nearly mauls Kakashi-sensei when he's late for missions,"

Sakura leered menacingly at Naruto, her fist raised again as a threatening aura radiated from her being. Naruto cowered and mumbled a quick apology as he stepped away from her.

Sakura threw a dirty look in Naruto's direction, "If you want to eat, then let's go now," She then turned to the members of Team Kurenai, "I'll see you around!"

"Bye," a sulky and terrified Naruto mumbled as he walked after his friend. "Hey, we're meeting Kyuusho at the ramen stand, right?" his voice got fainter and fainter as he jogged after the medic-nin.

Kiba laughed half-heartedly at the unfortunate blonde, while Shino's frown deepened. Hinata noticed this and asked, "Is something troubling you, Shino-kun?"

"Nothing that a nice cup of tea won't fix, perhaps?" a new voice interjected.

The three friends turned around at the familiar voice, faced with an ebony-haired woman in kimono wrappings who stood behind her subordinates with a hand on her hip.

"Kurenai-sensei!" Kiba exclaimed, a livid expression claimed his features again, "You're late! Are you trying to be like Kakashi-sensei?"

"Perhaps, she was with Asuma-sensei," Shino added quietly, "Why? Because it is common knowledge that-,"

"Alright! Quiet! Zip it!" Kurenai waved her hands in a flustered manner, a red that rivaled her eyes marked her cheeks.

The dark-haired jounin sighed, as Kiba and Shino backed down in their verbal assault. Kiba might have been more open about doing so, but Shino's cryptic sentences tended to be rather… worse, since he was able to lace his irritation in his words. And of course, Shino was good with blackmail, since Kiba was his teammate, which meant he got a lot of practice.

Kurenai's gaze flickered over to the Hyuuga heiress, and once again thanked whoever was up there for giving her at least one angelic subordinate, even if the other two were complete devils.

Kurenai sighed. "Well, you know Inuzuka Hana, your sister-," she looked at Kiba, meaningfully pursing her red-painted lips, "-has an apprentice under her, right?"

"Yeah," Kiba nodded, his hand snaking down to ruffled Akamaru's head as the canine lifted its head to receive the affection. A vague picture of a slight, young girl walking beside his older sister came to mind. He had seen her around the Inuzuka compound, but didn't know her all that well. Hana tended to talk about her a lot, but it was usually related to their work as veterinarians.

"It's Akemi Kyuushoneko, right?" Hinata asked, "She's the girl-,"

"-The girl who decided to apprentice under Konoha's most prominent veterinarian after graduating from Ninja Academy," Shino finished, "Why do we know? Because we have seen her working with Hana-san at the Inuzuka compound,"

"Hana told me that the kid's apprenticeship under her was very sudden…" Kiba mused thoughtfully, weaving his fingers through Akamaru's thick fur, "I've never really met her before, but what's what do you have for us got to do with her?"

"You never let me finish my sentences, Kiba," Kurenai muttered, her crimson eyes flashing with an annoyance that rivaled Kiba's. It was obviously something that the teacher and student had in common. "Hana requested that our team to take Kyuushoneko in as a genin under us and teach her for a while. A year, to be exact,"

Kiba quirked an eyebrow, as did Akamaru. "But then isn't she-?"

"Even though she's a qualified genin, she has no experience at all, since she's been apprenticing under your sister for quite a while," Kurenai answered promptly, "So I thought about it for a while. You're all chuunin, but you've never had anyone under your responsibility, so I thought this would be good experience. Of course, we'll still have to work out the details, since I don't want you slacking in meeting your missions quota, and training for your jounin exams,"

"When can we meet her?" The Hyuuga asked softly, causing her two friends to look at their teacher as well.

Kurenai's expression changed to a harassed one at the sight of three inquisitive expressions. "Well, that's the problem," she started to look around, "She's a handful… shall we say… sometimes has her head in the clouds... I told her to meet me at the training field beside this one and well, she wasn't there and I was late as the result of looking for her..."

Shino's head lifted up, his mouth appearing over the upturned collar of his shirt. "I believe I overheard Naruto saying that he and Sakura were going to meet one 'Kyuusho' at the ramen stand."

Kurenai sighed wearily at Shino's comment, while Kiba's eyebrow raised even higher at his friend's revelation. "Let's go," she rubbed a hand tiredly over her face as she started walking towards the gates of the field.

xxx

Various scents intermingled with each other as they wafted into Kiba's nose; he appreciated the savory smell of the sizzling barbecue of the shop they had just passed by three blocks away, and choked at the heavily perfumed air of the drugstore nearby that sold a wide array of bottled scents.

As the headed in the direction towards the ramen stand, the air around the three chuunin hung with anticipation, while Kurenai muttered several incoherent words under her breath, which sounded a lot like, 'Hana owes me!'.

Kiba wondered what his sister's apprentice was like. Seeing how she had completely forgotten that she had been supposed to meet Kurenai and the rest of her team at the training field, the Inuzuka felt like it was a foreboding of a very eventful year.

xxxx

Ichiraku Ramen was a place that never failed to sprout questions in Kiba's mind. It was no secret that the old man Ichiraku Teuchi was reputed for his famous ramen; it was easily the best in Konoha, if not the world. Why did he choose to continue his business in a small roadside bar that could only seat eight people at most?

"Like the old proverb says; the higher the bamboo grows, the lower it bends," had been Shino's cryptic explanation when Kiba had voiced his questions to his teammate as they neared their destination.

Shino nodded towards the direction of the ramen bar. Kiba could see the black sandalled feet that belonged to Naruto, as well as the familiar high-heeled sandals that Tsunade and her apprentices tended to wear, which meant Sakura hadn't reneged on her promise with Naruto, after all. Next to Naruto's feet were a pair of feet clad in black boots; those, he figured, probably belonged to the new girl.

Akamaru nosed his way in between Naruto and Sakura as the beast pushed its head through the sign-cloth that hung over the bar, covering the backs of patrons as they ate. Kiba could hear a startled cry from Naruto, and a surprised girlish squeal from Sakura as Akamaru barked.

"Akamaru!" an unfamiliar voice that belonged to neither Naruto nor Sakura exclaimed.

"I'll go get her," Kiba decided, "Since Akamaru's gone in already, anyway,"

Kurenai nodded. "We'll just be over here," she gestured to the empty street corner that was a little way from the ramen stand.

The Inuzuka walked towards the ramen bar, and Kiba pushed the screen aside as he entered, ducking his head as he went. A familiar, but repulsive, stench reached into Kiba's ultra-sensitive nose, clashing with the scent of antiseptic that he usually scented from Hana's clinic. An expression of revulsion found its way to Kiba's face as his eyes found the source of the smell that had put him off. The curled up on the ground was a calico-patterned bundle of fur, with tell-tale ears that were pointed like a cat's.

"It's a cat," Kiba muttered with utter distaste as a low growl reverberated from within Akamaru's throat. The canine had noticed the cat as well, and was now reacting with hostility.

"Wow, you noticed. A hundred points to you," the voice spoke again, this time with a less enthusiastic tone, but was instead, sarcastic.

Kiba's head snapped up from glaring at the slumbering feline, and at the owner of the voice. He immediately recognised her. Despite the ridiculously hot climate of Konoha, the girl wore dark clothes. The mark that signified her alliance to Konoha, the forehead protector, was tied around her neck instead of doing its original job of protecting her forehead. Her red-gold hair was thrown in a sensible braid over one shoulder, and the look she was giving him was one that Kiba did not like one bit.

Dark brown eyes met a curious shade of gold. They hit Kiba with a strange sense of familiarity - had he seen them somewhere else before? Maybe it was from those times he'd seen the girl briefly from a distance with his sister at the Inuzuka compound.

"And a hundred points from you, because you completely stood us up," Kiba growled. "Akemi Kyuushoneko, am I right?"

The girl's eyes narrowed into a suspicious glare; Kiba could tell she was attempting to add up what he had said to her. The wheels seemed to spin in her head, as she continued glaring at him, before finally, her eyes widened and her mouth popped open. "Oh fuck."

"Oh fuck, indeed," Kiba raised an eyebrow with a smug smile. There we go.

"Oy, Kiba!" However, Naruto had an expression of displeasure as he turned towards Kiba, interrupting the conversation between the Inuzuka and Kyuushoneko, "Train your dog to behave! He slobbered all over my ramen! Now you have to pay for a new bowl!"

"What's the point?" Kiba shot back at his friend, looking at the bowl placed in front of the blonde, "There's nothing in it anyway!"

"There is!" Naruto insisted vehemently, "The soup!"

"The soup-," Kyuushoneko decided to pipe in, having momentarily forgotten about her earlier realisation, "-is an essential component of ramen which without it would result in a completely different dish!"

"Which would be dry noodles!" Naruto added, closing up their seemingly well-rehearsed argument, "With toppings!"

"Twins, I tell you, twins!" Sakura interjected in exasperation at the unorthodox debate the two had presented, making Kiba sigh.

"I'll buy you the next bowl you eat next time then," Kiba decided to give in; one Naruto was fine, but with Kyuushoneko being a pseudo-Naruto, it was definitely better to retreat. For now.

"What are you doing here, anyway?" the blonde wanted to know, "I thought you had training with Kurenai-sensei?"

"No, we were supposed to discuss training with Kurenai-sensei," Kiba corrected, then jerked his thumb in Kyuushoneko's direction, "And this girl? She was supposed to be there too."

Kyuushoneko squeezed her eyes shut with a wince. "And I completely spaced. Now I'm going to get into so much trouble with Hana-sensei," she poked the bundle of fur next to her feet with a foot, and hissed, "Hey! Kinmaru! Wake up!"

A slight cat with the lucky markings of a calico uncurled from the bundle, and stretched languidly, unsheathing its claws as it did so. Akamaru growled at the slight of its claws, identifying them as a threat. The cat, however, seemed to ignore the much bigger canine, as it looked up at its owner. "What do you want, Kyuusho?"

"Remember what Hana-sensei told us yesterday?"

The feline's ears pricked up at the urgency in the girl's tone. "Vaguely. Let me see...," he paused momentarily, before his eyes widened in an almost comical manner. "Oh, shit."

"Oh shit, indeed," Kiba nodded sagely. He had to admit - he had had every intention to yell at the genin for standing them up, but the realisations on both her face and her companion's face were nothing short of amusing.

"Your commentary is completely unnecessary," Kyuushoneko snapped, "Where's Kurenai-sensei?"

"Waiting outside, with the rest of my team," the Inuzuka informed her dryly, "You do realise you're wasting the valuable time of a lot of people?"

"Shit. Naru, sorry, but I have to run," She hastily flung some paper notes and coins onto the surface of the table, "I'll see you tomorrow!"

She hopped off the stool, and dashed outside, with the cat following closely behind her heels. Kiba, without stopping to ask Naruto or Sakura how they knew her, simply nodded. He figured he had time to ask them afterwards, when things had settled with the new addition to Team Kurenai. "Later," he then took off as well.

"You were supposed to meet me at the training field, Kyuushoneko," Kiba could hear Kurenai scolding the genin as he walked towards where his teammates stood. "What happened?"

Golden eyes downcast, with hands clasped behind her back, Kyuushoneko was a perfect picture of remorse. Kiba almost felt sorry for her, but then he recalled the sarcasm she'd spoken to him with, and suddenly he was no longer sympathetic. "I forgot," she mumbled, "It completely slipped my mind."

Heaving a heavy sigh, the jounin leered downwards at the calico seated next to where its owner stood, a terrifying glare marring her beautifully sculpted features. "Kinmaru!"

Was it just the three of them, but did their team leader sound eerily like a livid Tsunade when she herself was angry? Hinata and Kiba exchanged sheepish looks, while Shino looked on with a stoicism that matched the masked ANBU.

The cat, Kinmaru as Kurenai had referred to him as, nervously looked upwards; frightened amber eyes met the glare, making the tom flinch back. "Y-yes, Kurenai-san?"

"You knew that Kyuushoneko was supposed to meet me! Why didn't you remind her?"

"Well...cats do have a tendency to be forgetful, you know..."

"You're her partner! Don't make any excuses!"

"Uh..." Kinmaru backed away as Kurenai's glare intensified even more, his ears drooping submissively as his tail curled in between his hind legs.

The glum expression on Kyuushoneko's face disappeared as she seemed to snap back into her normal senses. Her expression became alert, and her eyes widened as Kinmaru slunk behind her feet.

"Kurenai-sensei," Kyuushoneko interrupted, taking a step backwards, away from the seething woman, "Please don't blame Kinmaru. It's my responsibility to remember if I have any appointments,"

Kurenai glared at Kinmaru one last time before looking up. "Alright then, Kyuushoneko," she said grudgingly, casting a glare in the feline's direction, "But next time, please remember. If you can't keep it in your head, write it down. It can't be too hard, can it? Since you're already making records of other things, anyway."

The last sentence caught the Inuzuka's attention, as well as both of his teammates. Hinata had a curious expression, while Shino, who had been staring off into the distance with a lack of invested interest, had finally turned his head back to listen to the conversation between their captain and the genin. What had she meant by a record of other things?

The mutual question in their heads was immediately answered with Kyuushoneko's response.

"I solemnly swear," Kyuushoneko nodded, writing down something in a notebook that she had retrieved from her weapons pouch. She held it towards the older woman and held out a pen, "Please sign here,"

Kurenai sighed and tiredly took the pen and quickly scribbled her name on it.

All this time, the three members of Kurenai's team watched the two of them, excluding the extraordinary cat, converse in a slightly unusual manner. Kiba felt rather left out, so he cleared his throat expectantly, intent on reminding their captain of their existence.

Kurenai started a little, as if she just remembered that the three of them were waiting for an explanation of some sort.

"Oh, yes. Everyone, this is Akemi Kyuushoneko, the student you will be sharing," Kurenai introduced, casting a wary look in the girl's direction as she picked up her cat, "Kyuushoneko, these three will be supervising your training for the moment,"

Kyuushoneko blinked at them, a grin on her face. Kiba blinked back, suddenly taken aback by the sight of her teeth. Were they all… pointed?

The Inuzuka closed his eyes and shook his head, before taking another look. Nothing, except normal teeth. Incisors, canines and molars. Nothing out of the ordinary. Akamaru looked up at his master with concern at his strange behavior.

"Why don't you three introduce yourselves?" Kurenai urged.

Hinata took a brave step forwards and shyly introduced herself. "Um... hello there. I'm Hyuuga Hinata. Nice to meet you, Kyuushoneko-san,"

"That makes you Hinata-senpai, right?" Kyuushoneko tapped her fingers against her chin as she studied the well-developed Hyuuga, before her curious eyes landed on the enigmatic shadow that stood beside Hinata. "And you're the guy who buys a lot of honey and sugar at my favorite supermarket! What's your name?"

A dark eyebrow twitched at the girl's statement, as Shino opened his mouth. "I am Shino. Aburame Shino."

"That makes you Shino-senpai, then," Kyuushoneko nodded in satisfaction, before peering at Shino closely. "Do you have cavities?"

There was a brief awkward silence as everyone took in Kyuushoneko's straightforward honesty. Shino took a step backwards, obviously uncomfortable with the breach of personal space. Kiba scratched at his temple with a half-hearted grin; what is she asked him personal questions like that too?

Kiba sighed, and said, "I'm Ki-,"

"Inuzuka Kiba," Kyuushoneko nodded in his direction. "I'm familiar." The look she had on him was unnervingly invasive - it was as if she could see right past his skin and directly into his bones.

"That's Kiba to you. I may be your teacher's brother, but I am nothing like her."

"Oh, I don't expect you to be anything like Hana-sensei," Her tone suggested that she was not taking the Inuzuka seriously. "Don't worry about it."

"What's that supposed to mean!?"

Akamaru cocked his head, sniffing at Kyuushoneko delicately before butting his head into her leg. "Akamaru!" Kiba hissed, "Don't be so friendly towards a stranger!"

Kyuushoneko's face split into another exuberant grin as a hand shot out to stroke the canine's great head. "We're not strangers, are we? Kinmaru and I have played with Akamaru a few times, haven't we?"

he dog barked enthusiastically and gave the girl's hand a few slobbery licks.

When on earth had that happened?! Kiba suddenly recalled the times he had left Akamaru with Hana when he had low-ranked missions that didn't allow Akamaru to tag along - his partner, upon his return, had refused to eat the strict meals that the Inuzuka regularly gave him to maximise his growth. And Kiba had discovered the reason was because someone had been feeding Akamaru too many treats than he himself would've usually given, and his brain made the connection.

"You're the bitch who's been messing with Akamaru's diet!" he accused hotly.

"Kiba..." Shino warned quietly, but the tattooed boy ignored his friend's caution.

"You can't unscramble eggs," Kyuushoneko retorted, eyes narrowing, "And yelling at me about it now is pointless! Who the fuck puts a dog on a diet, anyway?!"

Kiba bared his tapered teeth at the girl. "And who the fuck are you to tell me how I raise my dog?!"

"No arguing, especially on the first day! Good lord, it hasn't even been an hour yet," Kurenai interjected with a loud and testy warning.

Kiba and Kyuushoneko were both locked in a glaring competition - it was clear that the both of them had gotten off on the wrong foot, and there was no sign of them making nice any time soon. Why did she have to be so infuriating? Kiba hated people with sharp tongues and wits that were equally as sharp. His opinion was that they were socially exhausting to deal with, and Kyuushoneko was a dead-on example of what the Inuzuka had no desire to affiliate himself with.

"Let's lay out some ground rules right now, and discuss what we'll be doing over the course of the next year. The both of you, stop your childish argument right now!" Kurenai's stern voice broke through his thoughts. "And watch your language!"

Before Kiba could snarl one last warning at the girl about feeding Akamaru again, Kyuushoneko immediately pulled away from the hard glare she had been focusing at the Inuzuka, and turned her attention towards the jounin.

"What kind of training am I going to do?" Kyuushoneko asked, her face imprinted with the mild curiosity, the hostile argument seemingly forgotten. Kiba found this scene to be exceedingly familiar. Hadn't this happened earlier?

Short attention span? Kiba was unsurprised by the girl's lack of attention - after all, she had forgotten about an obviously important appointment and had instead gone to lunch as if it were a normal day. The Inuzuka knew that targeting the girl's memory was a hypocritical move - he himself had been yelled at only too many times due to having forgotten to run an errand for his mother, Tsume. But he had a feeling that there was something different about the girl's carelessness, and it was definitely going to affect her training.

Whatever, Kiba liked a challenge.

"Well let's see..." Kurenai said, "Hana told me that you graduated from the academy with fairly good results, and you did exceptionally well in the ninjutsu area. You learnt the summoning technique long before your matriculation into the academy, am I right? That's probably why you're better at the basics,"

"But I sucked at Genjutsu and Taijutsu," Kyuushoneko interjected, as she scuffed a boot into the ground awkwardly, "I nearly failed,"

"Yes, I know that. That's why I'm going to teach you how to defend against and dispel genjutsu, even if you have no affinity for casting it. That's why Hana asked me to train you," Kurenai answered, "It's best to work on your strengths. Shino's ninjutsu is better than the other two, so he'll help you find your elemental affinity and teach you how to control it. Kiba and Hinata are excellent taijutsu combatants, so they'll be able to help you in that,"

"Yup," Kiba drew himself up proudly at being mentioned, "Just leave it all to me!"

"Us," Shino corrected coolly as he shifted slightly in his still position.

Kyuushoneko briefly pulled a face at Kiba's proclamation, but quickly turned her attention back to Kurenai, who had an eyebrow raised expectantly.

"Sorry, please do continue," she muttered meekly.

"So we'll focus on your taijutsu and ninjutsu, with a bit of chakra control and manipulation thrown in for the moment. Hinata, I'll leave it to you, alright?" Kurenai turned to look at the shy student, who flushed at the sudden attention she was receiving.

"B-But I'm not sure if I can do a good job…" Hinata meekly trailed off, her pale eyes shifting nervously towards the ground.

Shino frowned slightly, as Kiba sighed. "Kurenai-sensei trusts you, so trust yourself," came the sagely advice that Shino usually gave to boost Hinata's confidence.

"No sense in beating 'round the bush!" Kyuushoneko decided to add in with another wide grin that disturbingly reminded Kiba of Naruto. He once again wondered how they knew each other - and it looked like they were close, too, seeing how Sakura had referred to them as twins.

"So when are we going to start?" Kyuushoneko wanted to know, as all of them began to make their way back to the open field, "Tomorrow?"

Kurenai nodded. "These three usually train together in the mornings at seven. It'd be a good idea for you to join them,"

"So I'm free for the rest of the day?"

"So it seems,"

Kyuushoneko raised her hand and tilted her head slightly forwards and started to back away. "I'll take my leave now, if you don't mind,"

xxxx

"You know, Kiba," said Hinata had commented with timid casualness after they had said their goodbyes to Kurenai, who had declined to have lunch with them due to a previous engagement, which they all knew was a poorly-concocted excuse to cover up the fact that she was going to see her boyfriend, Asuma. "I think Kyuushoneko's not so bad, you know? I think she's really interesting."

"Eh," Kiba gave an unimpressed grunt as he thought back on the girl; she had been rather outgoing - most likely influence from Naruto, along with the coarse language - but for some reason, he had a feeling she was anything but a social butterfly.

He'd known of the girl's existence for two years now, but it just recently came to his mind that she was a rather intriguing subject. True, she was rather tall for a girl her age, being able to stand close to Hinata's height, but she wasn't much to look at; he'd seen girls with curvier shapes, more femininity and appeal than she had displayed in the short time they had met. She had a tongue as sharp as a knife, and swore like a sailor - every parent's worst in-law nightmare. Still, he couldn't shake off his thoughts about her.

Still, despite the lack of physical attraction, Kiba knew that with his own short attention span and hot-headed tendencies, being intrigued by a person was definitely something he needed to pay extra attention to.

"It's not a matter of liking her on a romantic scale; it's more like being interested as a person, right?"

Kiba wondered since when had he become one to have such insightful, contemplative thoughts.

Was their relationship going to be like the mortal enemies that were cats and dogs? Kiba didn't know, but with the erratic way Kyuushoneko was behaving towards him, it looked like it was going to take a lot of work for him to learn how to accept her.

A lot of work.


Constructive criticism and feedback are greatly appreciated!

Luv, Pichuzilla