Shikamaru Plus Glasses Equals…

This fic, such as it is, is dedicated to Phishy-chan, who I don't even know and who probably doesn't know me! But s/he still gets credit for this idea…

After I took out two Hidden Mist nin with a Rasengan, some more of the assholes sneaked up and tried to get the scroll from the daimyo's bag, while their leader got me in some kind of weird whirling mist jutsu that ALMOST had me worried for a second, but I was just about to whip his arse when the Ice Bastard FINALLY decided to show up and help, not that I needed his help anyway, but those damn Sharingan can come in handy every now and then…but anyway,

Shikamaru grimaced and rubbed at his eyes, trying to dispel the nagging ache that had steadily been increasing in intensity for the last few hours.

Damn, Naruto's reports were painful to peruse. How many times had he begged Naruto to at least attempt to use slightly more formal language for official documents? If any outsiders ever read these submissions, it would be thought that Konoha was occupied by a bunch of hyperactive teenagers with too much testostereone too work off and the writing skills of a ten year old. And the blatant Sasuke bashing…Shikamaru groaned aloud.

"Those two will never grow up."

Long ago Naruto and Sasuke had stopped requesting each other as partners on missions; they didn't need to. For Tsunade-sama, the council, and Konoha's numerous clients, it had become a given that wherever the blonde Kyuubi container was, the Sharingan wielding, missing-nin-redeemed brunette would show up there soon after. And vice versa.

That still did not stop Naruto from calling the Uchiha a bastard and various other names in official documents, nor keep Sasuke from calling Naruto a dead-last and whapping him upside the head at every given opportunity.

Shikamaru sighed and, realizing that he was still rubbing at his eyes, stopped himself and picked up the page again.

Naruto's scrawled, childish handwriting, embellished with smudges and stains (presumably from spilled ramen), swam dizzily before his eyes. He blinked and squinted, trying to focus. Finding this tactic useless, Shikamaru laid down the page for a moment and leaned back in his padded chair.

He hadn't even realized he had been so hunched over until he stretched, hearing the satisfying clicks and pops in his back. He stretched further, arching, tilting his head back until his ponytail was flattened between his forehead and the tall back of the chair.

Damn desk jobs…what did I do to deserve this? Konoha's top strategist asked silently as he gazed wearily at the stacks of papers piled up on his desk.

The only problem with asking Nara Shikamaru questions, was that he ALWAYS knew the answers, even when he himself was doing the asking.

Don't you remember? Another part of his brain answered lazily, I think it all started with you deciding you DIDN'T want that troublesome Sound wench to turn you into a porcupine with her senbon. Then fighting Temari, becoming a chuunin at age 12, having the Fifth Hokage take an inordinate liking to you and you deciding that if getting stronger meant you could save your friends, then it was worth it…

Oh yeah…and that was how he wound up here, in an office two doors down from Tsunade's, three secretaries at his beck and call and a green jounin vest hanging over the back of his chair (the scroll pockets were too bulky to wear it all the time), all at the tender age of nineteen.

And I haven't slept in a day or two…damn Hidden Mist nin, poking their nose into Leaf business, that's the third case this week.

Shikamaru yawned, then relaxed back into his chair with a slump. The pain behind his eyes had lessened to a degree and he felt ready to tackle Naruto's mistake ridden scribbles again.

He began to read, unaware that he was slowly, almost imperceptibly hunching closer and closer to the page, his narrow brown eyes squinting further and further into slits.

So Sasuke- bastard showed up and started making himself useful (even though I already took out most of them) and I caught this one guy in a genjutsu so we could bring him back for questioning. Then the leader did this teleport and suddenly popped up right next to the daimyo's bag and went to grab it, but of course Uzumaki Naruto never heaves his laces unzovered, so hairgel a surprise when the frog threw up on his dress and that took care of him…

Shikamaru blinked once, twice, then shook his head violently.

I did NOT just read that…did I? What the hell? Laces? Frog? Dress? Has Naruto been drinking expired milk again?

Blinking one more time, Shikamaru unconciously brought the page even closer to his face and concentrated fiercely, eyes now slits. The characters stopped swaying and thankfully snapped into focus. He re-read the sentence.

but of course Uzumaki Naruto never leaves his bases uncovered, so the guy got a surprise when the bag blew up in his face and that took care of him…

Ok, THAT made more sense. Still completely inappropriate for an A class mission report which could have extreme political ramifications, but at least he could be assured that Naruto was not experimenting with crack-flavoured ramen…

Shikamaru winced at the onslaught of pain that throbbed at his eye sockets.

What is wrong with me?

He rubbed futilely at his head for a few moments, then, in an uncharacteristic display of energy, flung the page down on his desk, and tossed a paperweight on top.

"No more for tonight guys," he yawned. "I've got a bed that I haven't seen in a few days and she's calling me home. She'll be mad if I get home at…" Trailing off, he looked at the clock hanging on the opposite wall and frowned. All he could make out was the round circle of the white face against the pale blue of the wall.

About to turn on the overhead light for greater visibility, Shikamaru stopped when he realized that the light was on. His frown deepened as he took a few steps forward, keeping his eyes fixed on the clock face.

Magic! The thin dark shapes of the clock hands suddenly popped into view. The time was 2:30 am. He retreated and, just as magically, the clock hands faded in an instant and the a soft haze laid itself over the the pale circle of the dial.

Back. Forward. Fuzzy. Clear. The headaches and throbbing eyes. The endless hours of reading reports, coupled with late nights. The fact that his three brunette secretaries all seemed to look the same from a distance, and that even faces as hard and angular as Naruto and Sasuke's had looked soft and fuzzy this afternoon.

It all pointed to one thing…

Shikamaru sighed as he locked the door to his office and walked down the deserted hallway. First thing tomorrow, go to the optometrist…how troublesome…

AN: Little does our favourite shadow user know, things are going to get MUCH more troublesome. I decided to reload this story because I was so upset at how crappy it showed upthe first time - so many mistakes and words run together…it was awful. I hope this fixes it.