"Ino, I'm coming."
My hands twitch as my leg holsters pop open; I draw my weapons silently and gracefully into both hands. My fingers caress the metal grips of my kunai as I grit my teeth. The ninja on the other side of this tree have no idea there about to be dead. With a swift turn the ninja jump, I fire twice both go down before even making full height or drawing their weapons. I press myself to the far edge of the dead ninja and peer around the corner, empty woods.
I pick the right side and spring with stealth and speed up through the trees to an open area; the ninja guarding Ino is dead in a heartbeat as my kunai guts his throat. On her knees with her hands behind her head, Ino turns up to me, her blue-eyes meet my green ones and a smile crosses her face. I drop from the tree lightly and open my arm's to welcome her as she is already running to me; I let myself smile as I wait for her sweet embrace that I always welcome, but then blood blossoms from her mouth like opening roses. My heart sinks into my stomach, the look of shock in Ino's eyes is more then I can bear as I drop to my knees and catch her deadfall.
Without thinking my hand works a kunai quickly and, the hidden ninja falls to the ground with a loud crunch, then silence again. Warm fluid drips on my shoulder, I hope for tears, but blood fills my nostrils.
"S-sakura, I think I-I'm used up..." Ino groans into my ear as she takes a shallow breathes. I'm frozen, I want to tell her she ok, but can't, I think she already knows. Her back is a mess
"I-I-I'm sorry..." Ino shudders breathlessly as her arms grip my body tightly. I feel the blonde's blood soak through my shirt; her limbs start to loosen around my body, her warmth slowly draining from her as she trembles. A hand tightens around my heart, as I know what I need to do. I start pulling kunai out of her back, she’s screaming as I lay her on her side carefully.
"S-sakura, p-please..." Her light blue-eyes shine cheerfully as dark crimson liquid slices down the sides of her mouth.
"K-kiss m-me." She asks in a soft whisper, I look her over silently; her color is slowly paling as I close my eyes.
“To think of all the times I could of kissed her.”
"I'm going to get you out of here." I tell her as I try to cradle her in my arms, she screams in excruciating pain as her insides rub and touch in ways they shouldn't. Panic and fear is slowly spreading through me, but…
“I have to fight it; I know more ninja are coming.”
I'm grinding my teeth now, the killer in me wants to clean house, kill them all for what they did to Ino.
“I can't fail her, not now.”
The hate and anger boils inside, every muscle in my body tightens, as the woods open up from all sides.
“Now Konaha will go to war…”
I don't even look up, my hands empty my holders in every direction in seconds, and I count six different yells and bodies hit the floor.
"Sakura jus’ leave m-me, get out of here." Ino murmurs as she coughs more blood on herself.
“I can't and I won’t, I will get her out of here!”
"Sakura, Ino? Come in, where are you?" Hinata’s meek voice cuts through on my commlink. I stare at it unsure what to say as I hear more feet heading towards us from the north.
"I'm here, Ino's hurt bad, and I need a quick exit put a couple mortar fire bombs, northeast, bearing 0069 on my position, fire for effect!" I'm yelling now, Hinata hasn't done anything wrong but I'm yelling at her, but orders must be followed now. I feel the desperation bearing on me like a heavy blanket, I have to move and fast. I wait for my exit to come, and like Hinata right on target
“Thank you Hinata.”
I cover Ino with my body as the tags explode. The woods shake violently as trees and branches smash every direction.
"Ino, we have to go." I tell her as I rip a part of my red tunic off and wrap Ino’s back and hold the up the ends.
"This is going hurt so bite down on these, are you ready?" She nods slowly as I lift her up and over my right shoulder. She yells painfully into the makeshift gag as I head north.
“Please be ready.”
I'm met with kunai and shirken; I throw blindly in every direction as a rain of metal death dances around me. Ino's tightens around me so I can use both hands to kill, I empty my holsters, and grab for Ino’s weapons waiting patiently in her holders, begging for action. I move behind some trees as a mortar lands, killing more ninja.
“S-stop S-Sakura, it hurts.” Ino moans shallowly, she's losing more blood the more I move. I check the corner; I see the exit, 20 feet a flat run across the open.
“I need to try...”
“No, I need to do this...”
I inhale deeply, exhale and…
I run, I run harder and faster in my life for that opening. I hear the yells of the ninja behind me as they start to track me with fire. My muscles are burning from the fires and carrying my injured friend, I’m tense, I keep count 5, 10, 15, and then it happens…
My left arm goes down by a well aimed kunai, I death grip the kunai in my right hand and turn to block two incoming shirkens, turning back to the opening I see two figures in full sprint for me.
“Wind scythe Jutsu!” Temari demanded proudly with her trademark smirk on her face as she waved her huge metal fan with a vengeance at the oncoming ninja while TenTen came up on the her left weapons drawn and ready to spill enemy blood as the ninja poured on. I don't stop as I run by them for the transport parked across the way. Hinata’s waiting by the open door of the truck as I race up into the back.
“We can’t get a hold of anyone, Kiba and Chouji’s groups are dead and the attack is heading south we haven’t got any word from the village, but all groups are in full retreat from Anko-sama, Defend the village at all costs.” Hinata reports as she helps lay Ino down.
“It was only a matter of time, war will come from the five nations and the Leaf village will have to fight.”
I sigh, as I look Ino over.
“The others…” Hinata began as I lift my hand.
“I don’t want to hear about the others, because I know some are dead, but I know Naruto is ok and that’s all we need.” Hinata just stares as she looked at Temari and TenTen fighting off wave after wave of ninja.
“HINATA!!! How about that new jutus you were talking about, any help would be nice right now.” Temari yelled viciously as she continued to wave her massive fan at the attacking ninja.
“Yes.” Hinata slowly turned and unlocked her cuffs on her coat, stepping out of the TPV as she lifted her arms. ''About damn time.'' Temari smiled as she reached in to her pouch and threw a stack of explosive notes in the air. Hinata formed her hand signs at a blinding speed as her charka threads grew from her hands as she twisted and folded her hands rapidly. The threads shot and tagged the fire notes and sent them snaking around trees to the groups of massing ninja.
“Firebomb thread jutus!” Hinata gripped her fists and punched them together. Suddenly a random barrage of firebombs went off in the short distant as Temari and TenTen hit the deck.
“Hinata! We’re right here!” Temari roared as she covered her head. Hinata finally stopped as a huge wall of fire burned around them.
“You couldn’t see the ninja massing up for a full-on attack, I did.” Hinata said sharply as she clipped her cuffs together.
“Let’s go! Ino needs help.” I yell as the weapon master and Sand kunoichi got up and brushed themselves off. TenTen was right behind Temari as a hidden ninja jumped from around the side of the truck.
“TenTen!” Temari snapped as she lifted her forearm took the kunai into her forearm. TenTen reacted instantly and killed the black-cloaked ninja as Temari stumbled back.
"Come on!" I'm screaming now as Hinata helped Temari in, and shut the door. TenTen darted for the wheel of the short-tracked vehicle and in milliseconds was racing down the road. I turn to Hinata, I see it in her eyes as she looks at Ino then to Temari pulling the blade from her arm. I head for the front with Temari. I look around and all I see is…
“Blood, and a lot of it.”
I feel my calm come back for some reason, but Ino is even paler as I check her pulse, its weak. I can hear TenTen screaming into a CB up from the front as Hinata grabbed the first-aid box; I lose myself for a second.
"Help me Sakura, or we're going to lose her." Hinata orders, ripping open Ino's shirt and rolling her over. I holstered Ino’s last kunai from my death grip and help her. We patch Ino’s back in a one swift motion as Hinata taps her with a bloodline. Ino’s eyes slowly open as she tries speaking again. I hush her softly as I lean down and kiss her blood-soaked lips. A smile works across the cute blonde's face as her eyes blinked ever so slowly.
“Ino, don’t, please don’t…”
I'm afraid for her, I look to Hinata, the nervous look in her eye is’ in helping.
"Is she going to be ok?" I'm scared by my own desperate voice as the white-eyed girl latched, and coupled Ino's body with a lifeline, and hose.
"She's sable, but I don't know how long, she needs full E.R. attention." Hinata figures as she checks and double checks everything. I stand up, I feel...
"... and Sorry."
I leave Ino's side for the first time and sit in the empty space between the front and back. I pull my knees in and cross my arms over them, bury my face, and for the first time in a long time...
“Fight, Ino, fight for me... Like I fought for you.”
My tears fall to the floor...
...then it happens.
To be continued…