Oh gosh, the Izumi fic was perfection Kat <3 Can't wait for the next part filled with badass missing female nin! It does sound like someday they would go back to Konoha though. Would they actually, or would they change their minds when they meet Yugito? Speaking of waiting for the next part, hows the Akatsuki!Kiba sequels coming along?
Tbh I haven’t really decided yet? It’s one of those things that’s still in the works. As for the Akatsuki!Kiba fics, want a snippet? ^-^
Neji doesn’t know why the Suna mission leaves him so shaken.
No, that’s a lie, because he does know. He was familiar with Kiba even before his encounter with Naruto, knew his cousin’s team and its worthless members, the lack of skill that made him scoff when he heard they had been entered in the Chuunin Exams.
Inuzuka Kiba, he had thought, was the most worthless one of all, without Naruto’s hidden brilliance to redeem himself. Inuzuka Kiba was a clown and a loudmouthed braggart and an obnoxious façade of a shinobi, who would end up a chuunin when he decided to put in the effort and never rise higher than that. Even after learning the truth about his father’s death, Neji hadn’t spared the other genin a single thought.
And then he’d woken up one morning, barely a week after Tsunade’s appointment, to grim faces all across the village, whispered rumors that he couldn’t—wouldn’t—believe. He’d kept on not believing right up until he met with the rest of his team, and Gai had stared at them with an expression Neji had never seen him wear before.
Village elder Shimura Danzō is dead, he’d told them. Inuzuka Kiba, his murderer, has been declared an S-rank missing-nin and is to be captured alive by any means possible.
Neji had stared, uncomprehending. Impossible to imagine that the braggart twelve-year-old he’d watched fight just a handful of weeks ago could be a missing-nin, and especially an S-rank one. Ludicrous to think that he’d killed a war hero, a veteran noted for paranoia and caution, said to be nearly on par with the Sandaime Hokage.
It’s true, though. Neji hasn’t thought about much else in months, because that braggart twelve-year-old is now a dangerous sixteen-year-old, part of Akatsuki and trying to take over the world.
He rubs his arm unconsciously, hardly seeing the door to the Hokage’s office before him. Tenten is occupying Lee, mostly by waving her newest set of kunai under his nose and cooing over them like other people do kittens, and Gai is speaking with a tired-looking Kakashi, which leaves Neji alone with his thoughts.
It’s not the most comfortable place to be.
There’s a bone-deep bruise on his arm, shades of black and purple even days after the Suna mission. He can’t remember the last time someone bruised him, but Kiba managed it, even in the bare half-second they actually fought.
That encounter in Wind Country was the first time Neji has seen Kiba since the Chuunin Exams. Hinata and her team had encountered him a few months after he joined Akatsuki, and Neji can remember their faces when they returned, pale and horrified and shaken right down to the core. He thinks he understands it a little better, now.
Inuzuka Kiba is supposed to be loud and aggravating and loyal, steady and steadfast and devoted. The shinobi who stopped them outside of Suna, who barred their way and so easily tore through the Kiri nin accompanying them, was only the Kiba that Neji knew in the most superficial of ways.