Author's Notes: Because Kidoumaru and Shikamaru should play boardgames together, since no one else wants to.

This was the third time in a week she had caught Kidoumaru staring at the clouds. If she truly cared about her teammate's psyche, Tayuya might have been worried, but as it was, she was just irritated. The most intelligent of her comrades had been acting strangely ever since their short side trip to Konoha. Kidoumaru had wandered off as he always did when he couldn't stand the arguments between herself and the twins any longer, but this time it had taken six hours for him to return.

It was with their return to Otogakure that the cloud watching had started. At random points in the day, Tayuya had come upon her dark-skinned teammate lying on his back and gazing up at the sky, not moving. Never before in their long acquaintance had Kidoumaru ever been 'not moving.' Even if he wasn't physically walking around, Kidoumaru was always doing something. And now he wasn't.

It was at the end of the week that Tayuya's patience ran out. Once again, she caught her comrade on his back, and instead of stepping over him as had become her habit, she kicked him in the ribs.

"Ow! Damn it, Tayuya, what the hell?"

"That's what I want to know. Did you get brain damaged in the Leaf Country and just forget to mention it to the rest of us, because that's all I can think of that would explain this new hobby of yours."

Kidoumaru gazed down at his hands, looking slightly embarrassed. "It's kind of complicated."

"I don't give a shit. Just tell me."

"I played a game of Go with a genin while we were in Konoha."

"Yeah? So?"

"I lost."

Tayuya blinked. "You lost? Board games are your fucking obsession. How could you lose?"

"I don't know. I just did. And I asked him what he did to become so good, and he told me 'I look at clouds.'"

"That's it? Some loser genin who sounds like even more of a retard then you tells you to look at clouds, and you just do it? What the fuck is wrong with you? That's the most pathetic story I've ever heard."

"Well, it seems to work. I beat Orochimaru-sama at chess yesterday."

Cloud watching as a path to genius. If that was the secret to life, no wonder everyone seemed to lack a brain stem. It just wasn't worth it. Who in hell wanted to look at clouds all day?

"I thought looking at clouds was pretty boring at first, but they are kind of pretty. . ."

"Go fuck yourself." And Tayuya left the (supposedly) most intelligent of her teammates to his questionable activity in pursuit of a drink. Who cared if she was underage. No way in hell she was prepared to deal with anymore shit after something so fucking weird.