Hinata was late... VERY late. She had promised her cousin Neji she would meet him at the training grounds almost 45 minutes ago for a sparring session before he had to leave on his next mission. He had been sure to impress upon her his tight schedual, and that they would only have at most maybe 2 hours or so to get any work done. But leave it to her father to have other plans for her this morning. She sighed, matters with her family never went right... or quickly.
Now she was on a mad dash across the village to try and make it there before it was too late to get any training done. Neji would be angry with her for wasting his time like this... but she could only hope that he would understand she honestly had no control over this delay. Finally making it to the training grounds, Hinata turned towards the section he should be waiting in, at least, she hoped he was still waiting.
'Please still be there... please don't be angry with me... Please...' but she was pulled quite suddenly from her worries as her foot caught and the ground came rushing up at her. Finding herself facedown in the wet grass with a throbbing ankle, she quietly cursed to herself as she turned to see what she tripped over.
"This just isn't my day isn't it"
"Oof." Shikamaru felt the wind being knocked out of him as someone's foot hooked on his stomach, lying prone on the ground, and rolled him sideways. He spluttered indignantly for a moment, pulling himself into a sitting position and rubbing his abused midsection. The pain was dull, though, leading him to believe it was not a large person that had tripped right over him.
"This just isn't my day isn't it." A small voice muttered the curse from off to his left. Shikamaru's head swung around to face the culprit, unconciously trying to dash the water off of his jacket futilely. If he had been paying attention he may have recognized the voice, but it took until he had come face to face with her to realize that it was Hinata who had fallen over him. She now lay on the ground, nursing her ankle and looking as if she would much rather face hell than be alive. Instantly, Shikamaru regretted his thoughts of vengance on the girl and pushed them to the back of his head. Quickly he looked to the sky in annoyance. This is what I get for getting sidetracked, he thought bitterly, lazily pulling himself to his feet.
"Are you alright?" he asked Hinata, extending a hand to help her up.
Hinata stared at the lazy cloud watcher in shocked horror for a moment. It's one thing to trip over a stray tree root out here, they scattered about the grounds quite a bit. But for her to have run over Shikamaru like that... that was just beyond humiliation.
Pale eyes watched as he rubbed his offended mid-section, getting to his feet and reach back down for her. "Are you alright?" His annoyance was evident in his voice. Then again, he always seemed annoyed about something. She nodded meekly to him as she reached up to take his hand.
"Gomen, Shikamaru-san... I... I didn't see you there... Are you..." But before she could finish asking if he was injured, she found herself being pulled upright with a quick tug. Hinata gasped as the throbbing turned to a shooting pain as she tried to steady herself on her feet. With some effort she regained her balance, carefully holding her weight off her right ankle. 'So much for training today... Niisan is going to kill me for sure now'
With a short tug, Shikamaru pulled the small girl to her feet. However, no sooner was she standing than she gasped and wobbled precariously. He cursed lightly under his breath, attempting to give a hand to support her back as she regained her balance, quite obviously favoring her right ankle. A splutter of apologies fell from her mouth, though he didn't listen to a single one as he examined her ankle while still attempting to hold her up.
It was apparently swollen, maybe only twisted slightly when she had caught it under his body. He quickly felt sorry for the girl. Had he not been laying there, she would not have been so unfortunate as to come upon him when she was rushing so. In the back of his mind he wondered what had her in such a hurry, but his thoughts were primarily on her ankle and trying not to scare the girl.
"Can you stand on it?" he inquired, hooking one arm around her back so she could lean on him. "I'm sorry, I didn't realize you had hurt yourself." He tried to modify his voice, not letting the troublesome manner of their greeting intimidate here. She was a strong woman, but he sometimes wondered after her.
Whimpering occasionally, Hinata suffered through his inspection of her ankle. She tried continuously to tell him she was fine and he was the one who'd been kicked in the stomach, but he didn't seem to pay much attention to her. 'Big surprise there' she thought to herself.
What was a surprise was when he suddenly apologized to her, putting his arm around her in support. She knew he was only trying to help her, but the timid girl couldn't stop the claret as it rose to flush her fair cheeks at the gesture. The young Hyuuga barely heard his question as she began to gently try and push herself free of his close proximity.
"Anou... I'm fine... I've only twisted it..." mumbled as she tried to take a step back, unknowingly putting her weight on her bad foot and causing the joint to give out on her painfully. When it subsided she found she was clinging to him to keep from collapsing all together. Her pretty eyes drifting down with a sigh, she finally gave in.
"Maybe... maybe I twisted it harder then I thought..."
Ino sighed as she finished the last set of flowers in the display case before setting out of her home. The sun had only been up for a few hours, but her day had started when it had just peeked its head up from the pillow that was the horizon. She sighed and adjusted her skin-tight purple garb, giving one last pose in the mirror to make sure she looked especially sexy today before heading out.
The first task on her mind, for some reason or other, was to track down Shikamaru. Chouji had informed her (in the large boy's daily trip to the front of the shop to say hello) that Shikamaru had been called off to the Hokage's office for a mission. Since Shikamaru and Chouji were best of friends, she knew she could trust the robust ninja's words. Ino loved her teammates to death, but sometimes she swore she couldn't trust them anymore than she could throw them.
As she rounded the bend she bore witness to a peculiar sight. Near the Hokage's red-painted tower were Nara Shikamaru and Hyuga Hinata. The two seemed to be arguing about something, Hinata having clung to the other man's jacket after nearly falling flat on her back. Ino quickly realized that Hinata was in some sort of pain. With a determined smile on her face she quickly stepped over to them and barged in on the vent.
"Hey you two," she grinned, "need a hand?"
Shikamaru paused in his attempt to right the girl as he heard Ino's voice from behind him. He didn't know what she had been doing away from the flower shop, let alone near the training fields without either himself or Chouji, but it did occur to him that Chouji had opened his mouth to their partner about his summons. He sighed. Explaining this was going to be even more troublesome with dealing with Hinata, who he could obviously tell would rather be anywhere than where she had happened to fall. For a moment he flirted with the idea of handing off the shorter girl with Ino to deal with, but he could only expect a worse beating later on whenever the two of them managed to find Asuma Sensei.
"She managed to twist her ankle," he informed Ino instead, continuing to support Hinata's back off the side of the foot she had hurt. He assumed that she would much rather go home to find some medical help, as it would probably not rather go to the hospital to get it checked, but that also begged the question of whether or not it was worth taking her farther away from wherever she had been going with so much haste.
He eyed Ino, silently hoping that she would question the girl as to what they should do. He was willing to question her, but his previous show of concern had only been met with embarrassment and fear so he was not quick to repeat it. It was far too annoying to try to care and then be pushed away. However, he had to say that this whole experience did keep his mind off of what he had spoke with the Hokage about earlier that morning.
[Sorry I died.]
"She managed to twist her ankle," Shikamaru had said to her. That was all Ino really needed to hear.
Medical instinct kicked in as Ino moved around her teammate like silk, sliding past his shoulder and gliding to her knees before the Hyuga heiress. She looked u at Hinata and noticed the perpetual blush on her cheeks had not diminished, and sighed inwardly. The girl just wouldn't change, would she?
Removing herself from her gossipy thoughts she returned to the task at hand, reaching out and touching Hinata's swollen ankle. The slight gasp of pain told Ino that was probably twisted or worse.
That was when the twisted grin came onto her face. She had really been waiting for an excuse to show off her medical prowess, and what better way to start than with a mere twisted ankle. Clapping her hands together she gave the pale-eyed girl a confident wink.
"Just relax," Ino breathed. "It'll be okay in just a moment."
The blonde's palm began to glow blue as she focused the chakra into her medical ninjutsu, reaching out and clamping her hand around Hinata's ankle. The technique slowly worked its magic, repairing the damage that had been done and even reducing the swelling. Ino stood up and beamed proudly, her teeth aglow as she smiled broadly.
"So how's that?" she asked.