A/N: AsumaShika- and hey, not shamelessly one-sided this time! Two hundred-word drabble . . . I need to start writing longer stuff again, don't I. ^_^;;

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"Just One More Stupid Thing"

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Asuma's head is wreathed in a halo of smoke, and he looks like one of those old-fashioned detectives out of a cheap comic book- the ones who nurse age-old broken hearts with bourbon and have such perfect aim that they could drop a fly at a hundred paces. The rest of the scene, though, does not fit in with that genre, because where such a man would be tangled up with a curvy blonde or a feisty brunette, Asuma has someone even more inappropriate dozing in his lap.

The problem with being really smart- really and truly better- than-anyone smart- is that you tend to feel awkward in your own age group, and the word "peers" becomes rather difficult to define. So sometimes you grab onto whatever you can get.

Shikamaru is a clever person. Lazy, grouchy, and generally operating under a condition of permanent irritation, but clever all the same.

That doesn't mean he's not stupid, though. But he's smart enough to know when he IS being stupid. Stupid, for example, is flirting with Asuma-sensei. Stupider is letting Asuma-sensei flirt too.

Stupidest is coming back.

But it is nice to have someone to talk to . . . to feel this way with.

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* final *

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. : just an old man with a knife : .