"Where is that Journal?!?" Ino hissed to herself quietly. Ino was currently in Sakura's room, alone, while Sakura had left Ino alone in her room to get some hair elastics for her hair. This was their usual Friday night girl bonding routine. Little did Sakura know, though, that Ino was up to no good. For Ino was in search for Sakura's "Wonderful news bringing Journal" or so Ino had called it.

"Ah Hah!" Ino cheerfully whispered to herself. Triumphantly holding the small, red, and worn out edges of a book in her hands.

Sitting herself down on the bed, she eagerly opened up the book to the last page that Sakura had written in. When she peers inside the book, she is met with small pictures of drawn hearts on the sides of the paper. The hearts containing the letters "R.L." Raising a questioning eyebrow she began to read:

Dear Journal,

I've been considering this for a long time and I'm starting to think that perhaps I should give him a chance. I mean he's not THAT bad. He just needs to not come on so strong. It just gets annoying after a while, you know? I remember when I first saw him I thought he was the freakiest guy that I had ever seen. Hell, when he winked at me, I thought he was going to kill me! I guess I started growing a soft spot for him when he showed up, with that small squirrel on his shoulder, to protect me. Who would have ever thought that I, Sakura, would fall in love with thick-brows?...

"THICK BROWS?!?!?!?!" Ino shrieked, completely forgetting that she was reading Sakura's journal in secret, meaning she had to stay quiet.

"What did you say Ino?" Sakura called, sounding like she was just a few meters away from the closed door.

"Crap!" Ino cursed, quickly shoving the journal under the bed mattress, where it's chosen hiding place was, and sitting down into the chair in front of the vanity mirror. When Sakura had entered the room everything seemed to be just like she left it.

Ino grinned from ear to ear, trying her best to look innocent, but failing miserably.

"What did you do Ino-pig?" Sakura asked while staring at Ino suspiciously.

Frowning a little at her nickname, she pushed out her lower lip in a mock pout and said, "I'm up to nothing. Why are you always accusing Lee? I MEAN... me? HAHAHHAHA! Of-course-I-meant-me-why-would-I-say-Lee. Its-not-like-I-read-your-journal-and-found-out-that-you-liked-him!", Ino blurted out, slowly growing more nervous with each passing second.

"What are you... INO DID YOU READ...!" Sakura said, her face growing redder as her temper rose.

"no-no-no Of course not! HAHAHAHA! Why are you looking at me funny! HAHAHAHA! Is it getting hot in here? OH MY! Look at the time! I have to go! I have, uhhh, stuff to do. I'll talk to you later then! Ok? OK! BYE!!!!!!" Ino stated, glancing around the room nervously while making a mad dash for Sakura's door.

"...Right then..." Was all Sakura could muster, as she blinked at the chair that Ino had been sitting in a second ago.


"Can you believe it!?!?!?" Ino practically shrieked to Shikamaru. Shikamaru just sighed, leaned back in his chair, and looked towards the roof.

'Geez. Ask a girl on a date to have some ramen and she ends up interrogating you about her friends. What a pain in the ass.' Shikamaru thought to himself, trying to avoid Ino's inquisitive eyes.

"Well!?!?" Ino asked impatiently.

Sighing again, Shikamaru looked back to Ino. Figuring that Ino probably wouldn't give up on questioning him until he answered, he told her what he thought. This earned him a chopstick being thrown at his head.

"YES!?!?" Ino yelled, bursting up from her chair and glaring back at Shikamaru.

Shikamaru stood up as well. "Yes. Anyone could tell. Haven't you noticed how she stopped chasing Sasuke around and how she blushes whenever Lee says hi to her?" Reaching into his pocket he pulled out the correct amount of money for their supper and walked over to the counter to pay the chef. Turning back to Ino he said, "I also had planned for us to go for a walk, but you seem kind of pissed at me so perhaps I should just take you home..."

He stopped talking when he saw Ino clap her hands together excitedly.

Raising an eyebrow he asked, "So you do want to go for a walk?" Smiling slightly when he saw her nod her head ecstatically. Taking her hand in his, they walked out of the store.

'I'll never understand girls. When I answered Ino's question, I had expected her to be pleased with me. Instead, I end up getting a chopstick thrown at my head, which would have hit me if it weren't for my training. Then she suddenly forgets that she's mad at me and agrees to go for a walk with me. What a pain in the ass!' Shikamaru thought to himself. Glancing at the blonde girl beside him, he saw her gazing up at him, then turn away immediately and blush.

'Maybe she's not THAT big of a pain in the ass.' He added as an afterthought, giving Ino's hand a slight squeeze.

"Shikamaru?" Ino asked, having a certain tone to her voice that seemed to be far too nice, as if she were trying to suck up to him.


"Let's play matchmaker!" Ino said excitedly while Shikamaru just froze in his tracks and stared at Ino horrified.

"I don't want to get involved. It's too much of a hassle! I don't want to do it because guys don't run around a play matchmaker like girls do!" Shikamaru blurted out before Ino could start adding reasons as to why they should play 'matchmaker.'

"Oh? Alright then..." Ino trailed off, sounding extremely disappointed as her eyes glazed slightly with her head hung low.

This, of course, caused Shikamaru to panic. "Uhhh, C'mon Ino Cheer up! Uhhhhhhh, It'll be more fun if we don't play matchmaker because we could play..... uhhhh...... "Monopoly" instead!"

Inwardly Ino smiled. It was very rare to see Shikamaru stumble on his words.

'C'mon Ino. If you just get the water works going, he'll be done for!' Ino thought to herself as she forced a tear to leak out of her one eye.

Shikamaru paled slightly. Rushing in front of her, he set both of his hands on her shoulders, and looked at her in the eyes.

"If it means THAT much to you I'll do it, ok?" Shikamaru asked, hopeful for Ino's tears to stop.

"Ok!" Ino said cheerfully as she went from a depressed state to a happy state in less than two seconds. Shikamaru just blinked, realizing that Ino had just set him up.

"Let's go and plan out how we are going to get Sakura to admit her feelings towards Lee. He stopped asking her out a long time ago when she kept rejecting him, so this may turn into a major challenge but that's nothing that we can't accomplish. Oh and..."

Shikamaru just nodded his head as Ino talked. Taking her hand in his again, he thought to himself, "To think I promised to myself that I'd never let a girl make me get whipped this bad."