The group of genin sat around the campfire laughing. It was one cool autumn night just after graduating and everyone was reflecting on their academy days. Everyone that is, except for one. Sakura was listening to one of Ino's ridiculous boy tales that she was never really into, when she noticed that Lee was missing from the circle. Her eyes quickly scanned the area and finally fell on a sillouhette 의해 the lake. He was standing there all alone. "Ha, ha. Right sakura?" Ino giggled and looked questioningly over at her pink-headed friend. " Huh....Oh, yeah," she said, pretending that she had been listening the entire time, "uh will 당신 exuse me a moment." Ino watched as she got up from her 좌석 and advance towards the lake area. "Such a party pooper. Both of them. We are celebrating shikamaru's making chunin and they have to be two gigantic sticks in the mud!" Ino wailed as she threw her arms into the air. "Ino, calm down. Im not that important to you," Shikamary stated hanging his head, "truth is 당신 planned this little campout so 당신 could be the center of attention." Ino stared at him with the eyes of a viper. "You know damn well thats not true," she muttered under her breath in a somewhat hissing sound. How could he do this to her? And in front of all of her friends! She took off in a mad war-torn rage down the gravel road of the park, stopping now and then to kick a pebble as hard as she could until it dropped lifeless on the dirt in front of her. Good, she thought. The fragment of rock had done nothing to her and did not have a way to fight back; however, she felt some slight satisfaction in seeing it lie therehelpless and lifeless as she looked down at it, having overwhelming power. "I.......I didnt know," she heard from the other side of the bushes. In her rage she hadnt noticed that she was moving ever closer to the lake. She thought that she had been alone until now, but then she remembered Sakura and Lee. Her curiosity consumed her and so she peered through the brush. Lee was standing 의해 the waters edge, the water splashing his feet, looking upwards towards the heavens above. His hands were in his pockets and his face was as pale as the nightly moon. He had a light blue 스웨트 셔츠, 셔츠 over his usual green jumpsuit. "Sakura," he spoke as his lips parted to take in a breath of the cool night air, "....It is okay.Everythin--will be fine. It has to. Itis going to. He fell silent for one long moment and as the crickets sang their nightly tune to fill the silence, it sounded different. Sad. Sorrowful. Ino didnt know just quite what to make of it. After a while longer Sakura began to speak. "Lee, 당신 have to be prepared for anything. 당신 do know what Guy-sensei has is incurable right? I mean, having hope is great and all, but if I can save 당신 the suffe----" "STOP IT!" Lee yelled as he collapsed into tears, "Just stop it..."
Guy-sensei? Incurable? What were they talking about? Ino looked somberly at the Lee she used to know as the happiest person in the world now in shambles as he leaned on Sakura's shoulder, searching for comfort. "Lee, these things are never easy, " She heard Sakura say from afar as she thought about the pebble that she had wanted to step on, "but they are part of life. Death brings forth new life......Im not saying that he will die, but i just want 당신 to be prepared for the worst. Cancer is an unpredictable ailment, just the same though, Lady Tsunade is doing everything in her power to help." she stroked Lee's greasy black hairand listened to his sobs. Maybe, she thought, this is what he needs to do.
Cancer. Ino had heard of the word, but never believed it would strike someone so close to her. Especially not Guy-sensei. The man ate right, had a strict work out routine and no care in the world could stress him out......so.....why him? as she thought about this her blue eyes widened in the darkness. She thought about her family. What if she was diagnosed tomorrow? Just like that. What would they do? What would she do? What would 시카마루 do? Shikamaru. Her eyes welled upas she thought about the state she had left their relationship in. She was mad at him. If she were to die tonight, nothing would ever be resolved. A hand laded gently on her shoulder as she ckoked down some tears. "Hey, Ino," the voice came from behind, "Ino whats wrong?" The voice startled her as she spun around. Through tear-filled eyes she saw Shikamaru. She lept into his arms and cried. Longer and harder then ever before.Happy just to be near him again she gripped the colar of his Chunin vest and kissed him furiously. 시카마루 endulged in the embrace of their lipsand when they parted he could see that Ino was still in tears. He lifted her head with her hands and wiped the tears away with his thumbs. "Ino, dont cry Ino," he said softly staring her straight in the face, "besides crying wont solve anything." He tried comfortingher the best he could while he escorted her back to his tent. When they got back to the campsite, Ino was fast asleep in Shikamaru's arms. She had cried herself to sleep and he hated that he couldnt fix that. He hated to see her that way. Although groggy himself he wondered what is was that made her that way, but being the level headed ninja that he was, he decided not to worry over it until he had had a good nights rest. All was quiet as the moon watched over the sleeping souls of the encampment below. Neveer before had Ino felt so small in the universeand now she knew for a fact that she was the pebble being kicked around 의해 an even greater force. They all were. They all were but pebbles whose future was handled 의해 someone elseand they were powerless to do anything...except watch and wait for the final call.