A/N: I have nothing to say other than that I do not own Naruto, this is purely a fanwork that I will receive no money from.
"What do you do for work again?" Tenten asked, standing in front of Ino's car. The nighttime air was stiff and cold, as it tended to be in Suna. After writing a note to her family and putting everyone's dinner in the microwave, Tenten got dressed out of her pajamas and left the house with her former college roommate. Tenten was a bit of a car aficionado, and even though she preferred her used car – a four-wheel drive handed down from Kakashi that she upgraded, she could always appreciate a nice vehicle. Ino's was one of those extremely expensive, impressive custom-designed electric cars. The car had a deep blue metallic paint job, a glass sunroof, and black carbon twin turbine wheels. Tenten whistled as she walked around it, checking out every inch.
"I work at my dad's flower shop," Ino responded with a coquettish grin. Tenten eyed her warily.
"Your dad must pay really damn well if you can afford this on that salary." Tenten put her hand on the driver's side door, frowning slightly. "I didn't realize flowers were such a hot commodity in Konoha."
Ino laughed and shook her head, "actually, my super rich ex-boyfriend got it for me before he went AWOL. I texted him about returning it months ago, but I guess he's letting me keep it. He had his own, anyway. His family was loaded."
She tilted her head to the side, arms crossed, and stared at Tenten from where she was standing in front of the passenger side. "Do you wanna drive?"
"Are you serious?" She narrowed her eyes at Ino, who simply nodded. Letting out an uncharacteristic squeal, she opened the door and sat in. Ino did the same. Tenten held onto the steering wheel and looked directly at Ino, dark brown eyes shining. "When's the last time I told you that I loved you?"
"Literally, like, over a year ago, but its fine," Ino said with a roll of her eyes. She put her address into the GPS. "I hope you really like driving because my house is one hundred and forty miles away."
Tenten grinned so wide that most of her straight, white teeth were showing. "This thing can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds, Ino. Driving this will be better than sex."
"Um," Ino's eyebrows furrowed together and she pouted slightly, full lips downturned into a frown, "in case you can't tell, I could not care less about this car. Please, chill with the orgasm and just drive."
Tenten rolled her eyes and pulled out of her driveway. "Since we're going to be driving for nearly three hours, can you elaborate on this whole Hinata's boyfriend thing? Who is he, what are his powers, and why do the Akatsuki want him specifically?"
"His name is Naruto Uzumaki," Ino said coolly while looking down at her phone. Tenten stepped hard on the brakes – which was fine, because they had come to a stop sign, but Ino went forward a bit, and immediately slammed her hand down on the dashboard for leverage. "What. The. Fuck?"
"Naruto Uzumaki, as in, the son of the Minato Namikaze, former governor of Konoha, and Kushina Uzumaki, that really good-looking diplomat?" Tenten asked, eyes wide. "He has superpowers?"
Ino glared, icy blue eyes narrowed in annoyance. "There was absolutely no reason for you to stop that short, I almost flew out of the fucking car! Damn, and you call me a drama queen!"
"Sorry, sorry," Tenten said as she continued driving. Society had generally gotten more accepting in the past decade in regards to people having supernatural abilities, but that didn't mean anyone was eager to reveal themselves. Surely there were plenty of public figures that had superpowers, but Tenten was surprised to learn that the son of a politician would be so open about that. Even if he and Ino were friends, they couldn't have been that close because Ino had never mentioned him before. Tenten only knew who he was because tabloid newspapers would release stories about him some years back because he frequently got in trouble for underage drinking. Just on that fact alone, Tenten wasn't too surprised that he hung out with Ino. She felt herself reminiscing to their college days, when Ino would often drag her out to clubs and parties. Sometimes, they would get so wasted beforehand that they ended up too drunk to even go to wherever Ino wanted to take her in the first place.
"Why are you smiling to yourself like that?" Ino asked suddenly, breaking Tenten out of her memories. "Are you delighted that you nearly murdered me or are you just being a weirdo?"
"I'm just being a weirdo."
Ino watched Tenten in silence for a few seconds. "No surprise there. Anyways, Naruto is…Hinata called him a jinchuriki or something like that. There's a nine-tailed demon sealed inside his body."
"What does that mean?"
"It means Naruto has extraordinary power thanks to the demon inside him, but it also means that if the demon ever takes control, we're all royally fucked," Ino explained, eyes widening for dramatic effect. "Apparently, the demon specifically trapped inside Naruto attacked Konoha twenty-two years ago and in order to stop it, it was sealed inside of him when he was a newborn."
Tenten nodded, keeping her eyes on the road. "Ah, right, because the only way to stop a rampaging demon is by sealing it inside a baby. That's legit."
Ino snorted at her friend's sarcasm and rolled her eyes. "I freaking know. It's a good thing this isn't public record because if it was, Konoha would be in deep shit. The leaders at the time did everything in their power to keep this under wraps."
"Huh," Tenten said, frowning. "Sounds like a PR mess. What do you know about the Akatsuki?"
Ino shook her head and shrugged. "Nothing. The whole point of criminal syndicates is that they try to make sure as little people as possible know about them. I assumed you would know something because of your past."
"You know what they say about assuming," Tenten countered. "Also, if you don't know anything about them, how do you know that they're the ones trying to kidnap your friend's boyfriend? That seems like something they wouldn't want people knowing about."
Ino drummed her fingers on the dashboard and nodded. "You're right. We don't have legit confirmation that it's the Akatsuki but Hinata's cousin – who has a total stick up his ass, but is also a genius – is making a pretty safe bet. I honestly zone out most of the time he ever speaks to me because, God, he is such a dick, but he'll explain tomorrow."
"Uh, tomorrow?" Tenten raised an eyebrow and glanced at the blonde, who was back to texting. "I thought you were gonna drive me back home after this."
Ino stopped texting and shot Tenten a look. "By the time we get there, it'll be nearly nine and it would take us nearly three hours to drive back to your house, then nearly three for me to drive back to mine. You're staying with me for the weekend."
The two spent the rest of the drive catching up about what went on in their lives in the past year. Ino told Tenten about her ex-boyfriend, the wealthy son of a former police commissioner and a socialite, and about her graduate thesis. Tenten talked about the one topic that was always on her mind – her family. The time passed quickly and soon, the two were at Ino's apartment.
The next morning, Hinata, Tenten, Ino, Naruto, and two men that Tenten didn't know sat in Ino's kitchen.
"I'd like to introduce you all to Tenten," Ino said once everyone had a cup of coffee made to their liking, "she was my roommate and best friend in college. Even though I haven't seen her since last year, I would trust her with my life, just like I would trust the rest of you with it. Except you, Neji. I don't know you like that."
Neji shrugged, taking a sip of his black coffee. "That's understandable. I trust you about as far as I can throw you myself."
"Tenten, that asshole is Neji, the weirdo is Shikamaru, and the cutie with the Indigo hair is Hinata," Ino gestured around the kitchen, "and I'm sure you recognize Naruto from the tabloids."
"I'm totally not a reckless idiot anymore, though, believe it!" Naruto grinned, pulling Tenten into a firm hug. "It's so nice meeting Ino's other best friend, and thanks so much for agreeing to help us!"
Tenten patted his back, exchanging glances with Ino. "You're so welcome, dude that I barely know, but please get off me."
"Naruto, stop goofing off before you scare Tenten away, she's here to help you, idiot!" Ino snapped, shoving her friend. Naruto frowned, rubbing his arm. "Anyway, the reason I called you all here because Naruto's life is in danger and we have to protect him. You guys are some of the smartest, most powerful people I've ever come into contact with, so I figure there's no one better than us to do such a dangerous job."
Tenten looked around the room, surveilling her potential teammates. She noticed that Naruto had three whisker-like lines on each of his cheeks. According to Ino, he had extraordinary power due to the nine-tailed beast inside him, but she knew nothing about his abilities beyond that. Naruto himself barely knew anything about his own abilities.
Shikamaru sat on top of the counter, his head leaned back against one of the counters and his eyes closed. It was quiet, but Tenten could hear him softly snoring. She raised an eyebrow in confusion: Ino said that, though he had abilities related to manipulating his shadow, his real power was his brain. So far, he just seemed lazy and boring.
Hinata was quiet, but there was a passion hidden behind her milky white eyes. She held her coffee cup tight and stared with unwavering concentration as everyone spitballed ideas for keeping Naruto safe. It was clear that she loved Naruto and wanted him protected with all of her heart. Her cousin, on the other hand, sat with his arms folded over his chest and a facial expression that made him look like he was constipated. He had the same white eyes as his younger cousin, but his were narrowed in anger. Clearly, he was not happy to be here.
"For now," Tenten spoke up after some time, "I think you need to lay low, Naruto. I took the liberty of going through your social media accounts before I went to bed last night and you literally post constantly. Everyone can see your location when you post on Instagram, for Christ's sake. It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to kidnap you from Starbucks while you're trying to pick a filter for the photo of your latte you want to post."
"Wow, you really are an idiot," Neji said to Naruto, shaking his head. He pinched the bridge of his nose and looked at Hinata. "Why Uncle agreed to let you date this boy, I'll never know."
Hinata frowned and reached out to hold Naruto's hand. "Neji, please. How would he know that he was being targeted? I don't like this anymore than you do but…we have to help him."
Her hands were shaking and she stared down into her coffee mug when she finished. Clearly, she was not used to standing up for herself. Tenten found it admirable. "You're handling all of this really well, Hinata. Don't worry, we'll take care of your man."
After breakfast, in which they all exchanged contact information so that Ino could make a groupchat for easier communication, they all went their separate ways. Shikamaru left first, saying he had to take a nap before picking up his girlfriend. Neji drove away without telling anyone where he was going, or when they would next hear from him. Hinata and Naruto were going to walk to Hinata's apartment after getting ice cream.
"What did you think of everyone?" Ino asked, sitting down on the couch with her second cup of coffee. "It's a shame Sakura couldn't be here, she had to cover a co-worker's shift, but you would've liked her. She's buff, and I know you like biceps!"
Tenten laughed and collapsed onto the couch beside Ino. "Can't wait to meet her." She took Ino's cup and sipped from it. "God, there's more creamer in here than coffee. Your friends were cool, I guess. You were right about Neji being an asshole, though. And what was wrong with that Shikamaru dude? He was asleep the entire time!"
"He needs at least thirty hours of sleep a day," Ino responded with a shake of her head. "And I just wanna clarify that Neji and I are not friends. I barely know the guy, but he's basically Hinata's bodyguard so I have to deal with him a lot."
She stretched her legs so they were in Tenten's lap and rested her head on the arm of the couch. "This whole thing is so weird, don't you think?"
Before Tenten could answer, Ino's phone rang. Tenten reached out and grabbed it off the coffee table. "Hey, Hi – "
"Naruto and I are being attacked!"
End note: I'm so sorry this chapter if this boring but, look! Naruto and Hinata were introduced, Neji and Tenten have met, and the Akatsuki is attacking! Everything is coming together! I promise the next chapter's gonna be more active.
The main characters are supposed to be Neji, Tenten, Naruto, and Hinata but gosh, Ino is just so much fun.
EDIT (08/09/18) - Made some slight changes for the sake of continuity!