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- Ino Yamanaka was in love with Sasuke. This was deep, everlasting true love, not the shallow crush of a prepubescent girl who latched on to the cutest boy in her class.
- That didn't mean Ino was blind. She knew there were other boys around. That's how she knew Sasuke was so much cooler than everyone else; all the other boys were strictly inferior to Sasuke.
- With only one exception.
- Eiji Uchiha had had the supreme confidence to give Ino a passionate declaration of love in flower form and then walk off into the sunset, he was one of the Academy's top students, he was extremely skilled and talented and he was slightly older than Ino, which automatically made him 20% cooler than other boys.
- More importantly, Eiji was far more responsive to Ino's interest than Sasuke had ever been. Oh, the way Sasuke played hard to get was cute, but a girl needed to be appreciated. Eiji had been the one to approach Ino with his bouquet and when he started coming by the Academy to pick Sasuke up, it didn't take Ino long to realize it was just an excuse for Eiji to get close to her.
- Information was the most important part of being a shinobi, so Ino planned out a little mission for herself.
- Ino's alarm rang before dawn, but anticipation had woken her up much earlier. She turned the alarm off, got dressed, and jumped across the Konoha rooftops until she landed in a tree that had a very nice view of Eiji's room.
- Sadly, Eiji was an early riser as well, and Ino arrived just in time to see him pull his underwear up. Stifling a wail of utter despair, she focused on admiring Eiji's finely-sculpted chest before he put her shirt on and ruined her fun again.
- Ino's father had often told her that stakeouts and surveillance missions were often long and boring, so she had come prepared. She had plenty of water bottles and energy bars to keep her going for the whole day. Staying hydrated was especially important because, after breakfast, Eiji went on a very sweaty run. Ino wasn't the one sweating, but she was drooling all over the sight of Eiji's shirt sticking to his glistening body.
- After his jog, Eiji went on to train ninjutsu in the yard. Clans taught their children more advanced jutsu than what the Academy required, but Eiji was practicing Fire and Lightning jutsu, advanced techniques that normal genin wouldn't be able to pull off, and he didn't have the benefit of older clan members teaching him anymore. It was obvious that Eiji was a certified genius of a shinobi.
- Then a Hyuuga boy - Neji, Ino recalled - came to pay Eiji a visit and the two of them practiced taijutsu together. The sight of two sweaty pretty boys was too much for poor Ino, and she was forced into a tactical retreat before she died of dehydration.
- As she jumped across the rooftops once more, Ino thought about Sasuke and Eiji.
- Sasuke was cute, cool, talented, broody and he just needed a girl to love him and break his cold exterior to get to the warm, fuzzy feelings inside.
- Eiji was handsome, cool, talented and damaged in a way only the right girl could fix, but from what Ino had seen and heard, he was also more sociable and open than Sasuke. Eiji was willing to reach out to people like Neji to become stronger. Sasuke had shown no such inclination.
- Ino's second thoughts about her pure, true, unyielding love for Sasuke turned into third and fourth thoughts. Maybe Eiji was more than just a strict upgrade to Sasuke after all.
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