Author's Note: Sigh. Our spring break is over. I am sad. Now we have nothing to look forward to but AP tests and finals. Joy. But anyways, this story is a result of spring break withdrawal. After spending an entire week getting to bed at the wee hours in the morning, my brain refused to cooperate with me last night when I tried to force myself to sleep at 10. So by 12, I'm still lying in bed, trying to sleep when this suddenly pops into my head. So here. I spent a day at school as a walking zombie because of this. Enjoy.
It was his day off. And what better way to spend a day off than lying on a breezy hilltop and watching the clouds? He couldn't think of one either, and when it comes to Nara Shikamaru, that's saying a lot. Granted, he probably would have ended up on this hilltop regardless of whether or not he had the day off, but that was far from the point. The point is, he was free from his ninja duties for an entire day, and by golly, he was going to enjoy it.
So this is how it came to be that if anyone happened to pass by that breezy hilltop at the buttcrack of dawn on this particular day, they would have noticed a boy with a peculiarly manly ponytail lying on the grass using his arms as a pillow, seemingly staring up into space. If this person happened to pass by that same hilltop five hours later, they would have noticed that the boy was still there, his manly ponytail perhaps a bit unrulier than before on account of the wind, but otherwise undisturbed. Anyone who noticed the blank look said boy wore on his face might accuse him of being a bum and rant about how today's youth was completely useless with all they lazing about they did, but alas, they would have seriously misjudged the boy in the process. For as much as he would like to, Nara Shikamaru does not laze. Even whilst lying on a breezy hilltop and staring at the clouds with a blank look on his face, his mind is always racing at a thousand miles a minute, whether it be book-marking observations of the weather and comparing it to the weather from last year, organizing old thoughts into more efficient places, or processing information from that History of Genjutsu book he read a week ago. His mind was a well-oiled machine; he couldn't stop it even if he wanted to. And yes, there were times where he desperately wanted to. Like now, for instance. All he wanted to do today was relax, but that little traitor of a mind of his was sneakily wandering over to her.
Wonder what she's doing right now…
Is it wrong that I'm here by myself?
Should I be looking for her?
It IS our day off, after all…
She would want to spend it together…
In fact, she'd insist upon it.
Man, she's going to be pissed when she finds me here.
I really should have thought this through some mo-
Speak of the devil.
Sure enough, Yamanaka Ino soon appeared, tramping up the hill in all her raging splendor. Shikamaru, being a pretty bright person, did what any man with half a brain would do in his situation. He feigned sleep. He listened attentively as her footsteps stopped. A foot nudged his side, not hard enough to be a kick, but not exactly painless either. Shikamaru remained completely still. A couple minutes of silence passed before she let out a sigh and flopped down to join him on the grass, curling up under his arm and laying a hand across his chest.
"You know I know you're not asleep, right?"
Opening one eye, Shikamaru surveyed the situation. She seemed calm enough.
"You know it's our day off, right?"
"Our day off as in, the one day we have to ourselves every month?"
Ino had hit a breaking point. Frustrated by his monosyllabic answers, she hit his chest none to gently.
"Shikamaruuuuuuuuuuuuu, why don't you ever take me outttttttttt?" she whined.
"Aren't we out right now?"
"No. I mean like, out out, silly" she said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
"Why do we have to go out out?"
"Becausssseeee. Everyone else goes out out."
"I've never seen Sasuke take Sakura out out. And I highly doubt Neji has ever taken Tenten out out either."
"Neji and Sasuke are socially retarded, so stop comparing yourself to them. Why can't you be more like Naruto? He caters to Hinata's every need. He's like a little puppy with her."
"… Shush. You're disrupting the peace of my day off."
Ino didn't know whether to be appalled or angry. She decided on a middle course.
"Beautiful." He whispered this last one into her ear, his hand reaching for hers.
As their fingers twined, Shikamaru took the opportunity to put both their mouths to better use. When they parted, Ino was looking pleasantly surprised and much happier.
"Why, Shikamaru!" she teased. "I didn't know you had it in you to muster up the energy to do that!" she said with mock surprise in her voice. Frowning, Shikamaru settled back down, muttering under his breath about troublesome, unappreciative women. It was enough to elicit a laugh from his tormentor.
"I love you," she said, her voice slightly muffled by his shirt.
"Hn." he sniffed. "I know."
"And you love me too." She stifled a yawn.
Though they both knew that it was more of a statement than a question, he answered her anyway.
"Yeah." he said with a long-suffering sigh. "I know."
And as her breathing slowed down, becoming deep and even, her head found its way onto his chest and she snuggled in closer, radiating a warmth at his side that he didn't even know was missing before. Shikamaru's gaze rested on the sleeping woman cuddled up next to him, the clouds in the darkening sky above completely forgotten.
We need more days off like these…
Shikamaru was inclined to agree.