Chapter One.


"I refuse to fall behind you...Sakura..." The words echoed in Ino's mind as she hid behind one of the large trees of their village's mighty forest. She couldn't spot either of her teammates; Chouji or Shikamaru, or even her teacher, Asuma-Sensei. After the word that the Akatsuki was on the move, it was recommended that all of the villages start preparing for the worst. Even though Asuma-Sensei had voiced that he believed in the strength of Team 10, Ino didn't believe him. She overheard what the other Jounins thought of them. Even though Shikamaru was respected by the Hokage, she knew that as long as he was teamed up with her and Chouji, he would be labeled as lazy. Sakura on the other hand, was noted for her strength. Then again, when you had to stand side by side ninjas like Naruto or Sasuke, it was expected.

With every year that passed by, she felt as though she were falling further and further behind. She was obsessed.

Suddenly she felt a sharp pain chop directly into her shoulder blades, causing her to tumble down to the ground unconscious. When she awoke, she was looking up at her teammates, and grimaced.

No one said anything at first. Asuma-sensei only scratched his chin as he smoked his cigarette, before glancing over at the boys. "I think we should pick up tomorrow. Remember, you guys aren't kids. On the battle field, I can't protect you." The words were like daggers. Ino didn't argue. She nodded her head and headed off towards her home.

' don't have a blood trait. You don't have a blood trait. You're not special...why are you so special,' she continued to think to herself. Instead of going home, she went to the medical center, determined to focus on improving her chakra control. She grabbed one of the fish and started focusing on healing the injured animal. She couldn't focus, and burned several fish in the process. She wanted to get in as much practice as she could before she was asked to leave.

She was making progress. Her mistakes were so small, it was beginning to aggravate her. All she continued to say was one more time. One more time. She was sure that she would get it by the next attempt. Ino quickly placed another fish upon the scroll and clapped her hands together to focus her energy, until her chakra burned a pastel green. Her fingers hovered above the fish. Before she could begin the procedure, the door opened. The shock of it all, caused her to surge too much charka, burning the fish in the process.

"Shit," she sharply cursed, before snapping her gaze over to the door to see Sakura. "Don't you have better things to do?!" she sneered. She didn't know what it was about Sakura that drew out this rudeness. She didn't know why she always had the urge to send the girl away. She didn't know why she felt her blood boil when Sakura moved over beside her.

"It's not hard," the pink haired girl explained in a matter-of-fact sort of way. "Here, let me show you-" Sakura had moved to grab one of the fish, but Ino suddenly voiced, "Don't bother," and turned to walk away.

"But I'm trying to help you!" Sakura tried to explain. "Medical Ninjutsu isn't easy! I had to work very hard—"

"There you go again, always acting like you're better than everyone," Ino scoffed as she glanced back at the other girl. "I'm not going to lose to you! Between us, I'll be the stronger Kunoichi."

"Why are you doing this?" Sakura asked.

A cocky little grin slipped onto Ino's lips as she walked over to Sakura and looked at her. "Why?" she repeated, "Why did you declare me your rival for Sasuke-kun? It's because you didn't want to lose to me, right?"

" gone," Sakura hesitantly spoke up. "You really shouldn't randomly bring him up."

"What, do you still like him?" Ino asked, "After all of these years, you haven't moved on? A little desperate, don't you think?"

"Well did you?!" Sakura snapped.

Ino stared at Sakura for a moment, unsure of what to say. There weren't any words to describe how angry she felt. She could have apologized, but she didn't. Instead she continued to glare at Sakura. Their eyes were locked for a few moments, before Sakura's gaze trailed away.

"Like I said, Sasuke is gone. Team 7 has moved on," Sakura tried to explain. "After all, I have Naruto, Captain Yamato and Sai...I don't have to rely on Sasuke anymore."

Sakura thought she was weak...Ino could tell. She thought that she stronger than her; that she was better than her.

"Maybe you should move on too," Sakura suggested.

Suddenly Ino pushed her down onto the table, and held her there. "You're not as fucking awesome as you think!" Ino snapped, causing Sakura to stare up her in disbelief. "You're not that special! Stop acting like you're the best thing that ever happened to anyone!"

It was when Sakura's leg brushed against hers, that Ino realized how weird she probably seemed.

"I have to go," she spoke up and quickly turned to leave.

"Wait, Ino!" Sakura called out, however Ino didn't stop. She hurried out of the room and didn't stop until she was able to leave the building as a whole. Her face was hot. Her heart was racing in her chest. She was so close to Sakura, without even regarding the fact that they were both girls.

'Argh, what's my problem?!'

"Ino-chan," Hinata spoke up, causing Ino to briefly panic, as she wondered if she had spoken her thoughts aloud. "I...I was wondering...if I could...well...ask you a question." Ino felt her body relax as her previous embarrassment began to subside. "It's personal...but...I...I don't know who else to turn to..." Hinata continued.

"We can go to my house," Ino suggested, "It's not far from here."

Hinata swiftly nodded, however she wasn't able to offer any kind of eye contact.

Once they were at Ino's mother's flower shop, she led Hinata up to her bedroom. Fortunately her parents were away. The shop was closed for the day. Ino would be able to give Hinata all of her attention, which would distract her from the incident with Sakura.

Ino sat down on her bed and Hinata sat beside her, however the ravenette continued to stare down at her hands. "Sooooo, what did you need to talk about?" Ino asked.

"Well, seem like a very flirty girl...and I was...uh...wondering if you...had um...well, how do you make someone...want to kiss you?" Hinata's voice fell softer with every word she spoke. There was something about the way Hinata worded her question that made Ino feel so incredibly...uncomfortable.

An awkward laugh broke from her lips as she suddenly answered, "You make me sound like a slut."

"I'm so sorry!" Hinata swiftly apologized. "I didn't mean it like that!"

Ino fanned her hand in a dismissive manner. "It's alright," she spoke up, causing Hinata to heave a heavy sigh of relief. That's when Ino found herself asking, "Why the sudden interest?"

Hinata's face was incredibly red at that point, and Ino was surprised that the girl hadn't fainted.

"Do you like someone?" Ino asked.

A squeak left Hinata's lips.

"You don't have to tell me who," Ino quickly added, causing Hinata's body to relax a little more. Ino kept her eyes ahead as she tried to think more about the question. "Well, I guess if you wanted to make someone want to kiss you, then you would need to give him a lot of eye contact. Tease him a little, play with your lips. You want to make him want to kiss you."

"But...what if you" Hinata's voice trailed off.

"You've never kissed anyone?" Ino asked with a light laugh, causing Hinata to sink even more into her shell. "Don't feel bad. I doubt that Tenten or Sakura have kissed anyone."

"Sakura-chan...seems very close to Naruto-kun," Hinata whispered with a heavy sadness mixed into her voice.

"Sakura doesn't like Naruto," Ino assured her, but Hinata didn't seem any happier.

"Or you could...learn how?" Ino suddenly suggested, causing Hinata to swiftly look over in her direction, as though what she mentioned was completely out of the question. "If it's a secret, then Naruto won't have to find out."

"But...who would help me practice?" Hinata mumbled as she continued to stare down at her hands. Her body language was stiff and completely closed off from the blonde, causing her to frown. Even though Ino found herself feeling insecure, Hinata took it to a new extreme.

"What about Shino or Kiba?" Ino suddenly asked, however Hinata shook her head.

"I...I wouldn't want to make things complicated," she tried to explain. "I'm...sorry...I'm sorry I'm such a bother. I...I shouldn't have said anything."

Ino suddenly turned Hinata's face towards her, and kissed her. The other girl hesitated at first, but Ino continued to hold her there, allowing her tongue to stroke against hers. Hinata's lips were much softer than any boy she had ever kissed. It was a little exciting how her body felt against Hinata's. Even though they were clothed, Ino felt her body tense up.

It was only when Hinata's gasped for air that Ino pulled away. Even she was blushing out of embarrassment, and it took a lot to make Ino feel bashful.

"Well, um, I guess that's your first lesson," Ino told her with a slight cough.

"'ll teach me how to kiss like that?" Hinata asked, showing that she believed Ino's lie.

Seeing no point in telling on herself, Ino nodded. "I'll even teach you how to be more likeable, and you'll have the relationship you've always wanted." Hinata suddenly wrapped her arms around Ino and hugged her tightly, catching the blonde off guard. Slowly Ino hugged her back, however it was difficult to not to think about the kiss.

Why was her mind all over the place lately?

As a shinobi, she needed to focus. As a teacher, she needed to be professional...even if she was teaching Hinata to kiss, she couldn't take advantage of her. As Sakura's rival, she had to control her jealousy. She didn't know why, but she wanted to control Sakura...she wanted to show that she was stronger. Somehow she had to bring her into submission.

"Can...can we practice again?" Hinata suddenly asked, before quickly adding, "I hope that doesn't make me sound like a pervert! I want to get it right...I was so surprised before that I'm not sure I did it right..."

So Ino leaned in and pressed her lips to Hinata's. This time she made her movements a bit slower and more gentle, so that Hinata could keep up with her. She slid her hand to the side of Hinata's face, to brush a few of the longer strands of black hair out of the way. She nibbled at her lips, before sucking slightly upon the other girl's tongue. Hinata had kissed her back, doing all that she could to keep up. She could feel the other girl slide closer to her until they were laying on her bed. As they kissed, Ino trailed her fingers down Hinata's jacket, unzipping it to reveal the mesh undershirt. Ino's fingers trailed against the netting, before teasing her hardening bud. It wasn't until a soft moan broke from Hinata's lips, that the dark haired girl realized what was going on.

Immediately she was embarrassed and sat up.

"I...I'm sorry," Hinata apologized before swiftly standing up.

"Wait, but what about the lesson?" Ino quickly asked.

"I...I...I'm sorry," Hinata voiced after she couldn't find any other words. She bowed her head, so she wouldn't have to give Ino any form of eye contact. "I really appreciate all that you're doing for me, but I...I can't."

"I promise no one will find out!" Ino blurted out, however Hinata shook her head.

Ino's body was on fire, she wanted to continue, but then remembered that Hinata was a girl. She liked Naruto...and she probably crossed a line. As much as she hated it, she looked down towards the ground.

"I'm sorry," she forced herself to apologize.

Hinata bowed her head once again as she sputtered out more apologies before hurrying out of her bedroom. Ino waited a moment before going after her. By the time she had made it downstairs, Hinata was already gone. She opened the front door of the shop and peered out to see if she saw the Hyuuga running off. Unfortunately Hinata was nowhere to be seen. Ino turned to go back inside, however noticed a note pinned to the door. Carefully she tugged it down to see it was written in Sakura's handwriting.


I guess you're not home. I guess I'll try back later.

I just want you to know...I don't hate you. Let me

help you.


Ino balled up the later and moved inside, closing the door behind her. "Stupid, why are you so stupid?" Ino whispered as she threw the note away. What made it worse was that she didn't know if she was talking about Sakura...or herself. All she wanted was to clear her thoughts.