*NEJI*

Neji walked carefully over to the two arguing teens and the other who was skulking behind the carriage.

"Hey Kiba calm yourself. Hi Lady Maeko, we're from the Leaf Village. We're going to be guarding you," Neji tried to give his politest smile. The short girl looked up angrily and huffed, "Humph. Why would Konoha send me such terrible ninja?" Everyone except Shikamaru looked at the girl with a face that said 'really?' Maeko gave another sigh, "But I guess that Konoha was very kind to me. They did send me someone." Kiba looked like he was about to give the girl a nice clobbering but Neji gave him a glare and he backed off.

"Please Maeko, we all just got off on the wrong foot. I'm Neji and I will be in charge of this team," Neji smiled again to show that he and his friends weren't all that bad. There was silence where everyone else should be introducing themselves. Neji quickly whipped around to see Kiba, Hinata, and Shikamaru just twiddling their thumbs. Finally Shikamaru caved at Neji's glare, "I'm Shikamru." Neji gave up on the other two and decided to introduce them himself, "That's Kiba and the girl is Hinata." Akamaru yipped in anger that Neji forgot him so Neji quickly added, "And that is Akamaru." Maeko didn't so much as say hi.

"Okay so I guess we should go to where I'm going to be staying while I'm in the Star Village," Maeko spook very unenthusiastically. The Leaf ninja nodded their heads and Maeko began walking away from the carriage she appeared from. They followed quickly behind and Neji made sure to be on his guard the whole time, never letting anything go unnoticed. But nearly ran right into Maeko when she stopped suddenly in front of a sort of house that the Star village had made available for Maeko. Maeko entered the house and didn't even take off the shoes she was wearing. Hinata followed without hestitation but she slipped her shoes off before she stepped into the large house. The three boys looked at each other uneasily but toed off their shoes and quietly followed the girls.

Maeko was already sprawled out on a very nice looking couch, with Hinata standing beside the big doorway. Neji looked around at the beautiful building. There was a huge, open kitchen with a long counter and the kitchen lead right into the dining room. The room he was currently standing it was spacious with comfortable looking furniture dotting main areas. At least there was going to be something good to come of this mission. Neji's gaze wandered over to Shikamaru who was dozing in a chair. He swears that boy could sleep all the time. He so badly wanted to hold the boy. To tell Shikamaru that he loved him. But of course he would never do that in front of company.

"Well you should all get settled in," Maeko said in an exasperated tone. "We're going to be staying for a while." The girl was right. This mission wouldn't be over until Maeko's attackers were comprehended and they had to wait until she had more control over her powers. Neji pushed these thoughts to the back of his mind a meandered down the hallway towards the bedrooms. He chooses a small room out of the many that were there to choose. Neji set his bag down and flopped on the bed. He didn't know how much longer he could go without having Shikamaru be his. There was a soft knock on the door, and Hinata entered cautiously.

"What's wrong Hinata?"

"Oh umm… nothing," Hinata smiled smally. "I just don't think I'm going to be able to handle her…."

"I don't think anyone will be able to Hinata," she chuckled.

"Well we need to get food Neji. There isn't much in the kitchen."

"Okay we-" Neji was cut off by Hinata, "No you and Shikamaru are going to go. Kiba and I will stay here with Maeko." Hinata stuck her tongue out at Neji. Neji gaped at her.

"What? Hinata why?" Neji stammered out at his cousin. Hinata didn't even answer, she only walked out the door to the living area. Neji grumbled under his breath and followed shortly behind. He found Shikamaru putting his shoes on and Neji blushed sharply as he walked over to put his shoes on as well.

"Be safe!" Hinata called at them when she heard the front door open. Kiba just remained in a chair pouting but Akamaru gave a woof. And with that Neji and Shikamaru were off to the market. As they were walking Neji tried his best not to look at his companion. He didn't want Shikamaru seeing the epic blush that was covering his cheeks and warming his face up drastically. Shikamaru Made a noise that sounded a lot like a chuckle and Neji whipped his face around only to find Shikamru staring at him. Neji looked away quickly.

"I know your blushing Neji," Shikamaru said teasingly. Neji didn't say anything. "You know its kinda cute when you blush." Neji's eyes widened 'He thinks I'm cute?'

"Well we gotta get food,' Shikamaru groaned as the two boys came to a large market square with lots of stalls for various things such as food, trinkets, jewelry, and children's toys. Neji oogled for only a few seconds before Shikamaru pulled him towards the first food stall. It went on like that for a couple of blissful hours when the boys finally declared that it had been a very successful food trip. They carried many bags full of apples, noodles, tea, meats, sauces, and so many other foods. They walked slowly back to where everyone was waiting, being slowed down by all the weight of food. Neji kept feeling Shikamaru's gaze on him but every time he looked over the Nara would deny everything. Neji's blush hadn't disappeared since they had left to get food. Neji became disheartened when the big house came into view. He was actually enjoying himself…. But he was on a mission. Hinata greeted the two loaded down teens before they could get to the door. she helped them inside and immediately she began cooking. Shikamaru surprisingly went about helping the Hyuga girl. And Neji, having no cooking talent, simply stayed out of the way of the two shinobi.

Soon there was a simple meal laid out on the table in the dining room. Neji helped to set the table so he didn't feel completely useless. Maeko sat without words and began eating as soon as Hinata said it was time to eat. Kiba and Neji glared at her rudeness but Hinata gave them a small look and sat to eat as well. Hinata was pretty sneaky… She had made sure to get Shikamaru to sit right next to Neji. At this rate Neji was going to die of embarrassment. No one was in a particular talkative mood that evening. Kiba got stuck cleaning up and doing dishes because he hadn't helped before with anything. He was complaining loudly and Maeko silently stood and went to her chosen room. Neji dismissed himself to shower and padded quietly to the shower that was adjacent to his bedroom.

Neji turned the water on and over to hot. He loved taking hot showers because they were so relaxing. He hurriedly stripped off his clothes and snak down in the wonderful water. He sighed contently and let his mind wander.

*SHIKAMARU*

He had hoped to come out to the Hyuga boy soon. He hated waiting for anything, especially love. He could only hope that Neji was a night owl and everyone else was not.

A/N: Sooooooo I'm so sorry that it's not 2,000 words :/ but I am trying! I just need to work it up to the good parts of the story… which will be really soon because I really want to make these two start canoodling :) And I have a question for you all, do you want there to be a pretty heated chapter later on? Anyway thank you all for reading, hope you enjoyed :)