Turning Your Back On A Family Tradition

First things first, let's break my heart...

Naruto isn't mine, nor are any of its characters --Okay, who just cheered in the back?

Now that's out of the way, here's yet another short piece of ShikaKiba I had on my computer for quite some time but never thought of putting up before. Pointless, just born on a reflection from my part, and I guess a bit of curiosity. Of course, I just couldn't keep myself from adding in the ShikaKiba. I'm hopeless, I know.

On another note, thanks to Angel in the Night for pointing out Kiba's sister name to me. I've now changed it, so there you go!

Well then, congrats if you've read this a/n and please enjoy the fic!

o0o

"Hey! Shikaku!"

Shikamaru flinched as he heard the name. He was positive that his father wasn't around. That could only mean…

They were doing it again.

People were mistaking him for his father.

Sighing in annoyance he turned around to be faced with one of his father's friends.

"Oh! If it isn't little Shikamaru!" Said friend remarked with a grin as he saw him, completely going past the murderous glance he was receiving. "Last time I saw you, you had just become a genin! And now you're a jounin! Time sure flies by! You look just like your father. In fact I even—"

"Mistook me for him." Shikamaru finished in a monotone. "Yeah, that happens from time to time."

Huge…Lie. Understatement of the year.

His father's friend laughed. "Well, I have to go! Tell your parents I said 'hi'!" And he left.

Shikamaru restrained himself from pointing out that he didn't even know the guy's name, and dismissed it with a shrug. He then continued his walk.

Seriously, that was becoming daily. It didn't matter that he was only seventeen and still shorter than his father. The only thing that people saw was his hair from behind, and that was it! It was really starting to get on his ner—

"Shikaku! Long time no see!"

Shikamaru groaned in frustration this time, and the other person immediately realized that he would be better left alone.

o0o

"What's he doing? He's twenty minutes late!" Ino complained as she and Chouji were waiting in front of the barbeque restaurant for their former team-mate to arrive.

Chouji shrugged as he sat on a bench while she walked around. "You know Shikamaru; he likes to take his time."

"Maybe," She conceded. "But still! You don't make your team-mates wait for twenty minutes when you haven't seen them in a month!" She stated stubbornly as she nodded at herself in approval.

"Yo. Sorry I'm late. I got sidetracked."

Ino whirled around about to reply that indeed he should be sorry, and that he better have a good excuse. But all words died in her throat and she had to sit down when she saw him.

"Shi-shi-shi-shika-ka-ma-ru you-your h-hair it's—it's…" She stuttered in shock.

He raised a hand to his now short hair and raised an eyebrow. "That bad?" He asked.

Ino closed her eyes and breathed in and out a few times before looking at him again. She then got up and turned around him, looking at him closely.

Okay, what made him look like a pineapple was definitely gone. The hair was now short – the short kind where you put gel to make it spike kind of short. Of course though, Shikamaru wouldn't go through something as troublesome as putting gel, so it kinda looked like he had just woken up, but that was in the end very in character.

She ran a hand through it once and then nodded in approval. "As strange as it may seem, you actually look better like that. Really handsome."

He raised an eyebrow at her again as if saying 'you mean I wasn't before?', and then smiled, letting out a small breath. "That's reassuring. I was afraid of the reactions I'd get."

Chouji got up and smiled at his friend. "You do look better like that." He agreed. "And less like your father." That got a nod from Ino and a look from the other boy that said 'if you only knew'. He then grinned before walking towards the restaurant. "Well, now that you're here, let's go eat! I'm hungry!"

"You always are…" Ino let out good-naturedly as she followed him.

Shikamaru smiled as he walked after them. He was glad they hadn't freaked out on him – well, not too badly at least. Truthfully, he had been thinking about it for some time, but never at one precise moment, like 'hey, I'm going to get my hair cut now', so he had always postponed it to 'later'. But then, that morning he had just had enough, and since he was near the barber-shop just had it done.

"What did your parents say?" Ino asked him as she slid in a booth.

Shikamaru stopped in the process of sitting down as he hadn't thought about that.

…What would his parents say?

o0o

"I'm home!" He called as he closed the door. He took off his sandals and hanged his vest in the corridor and then made his way to the living-room. No one was there but then his mother's voice called him from the kitchen.

"Shikamaru?"

"Yeah?" He replied as he walked to the door.

"Welcome home. Dinner will be ready soon, so don't laze away." She said calmly as she stirred her pot.

"You know me." He replied with a small smirk as he turned around, walking to the garden. Might as well do some cloud-gazing while waiting, then.

She hadn't turned around; he was somewhat thankful for it: he suspected they would have had to pick their dinner off the floor if she had – that, or she would have beat him up with a wooden spoon for impersonating her son before she recognized him.

Not much time later, he heard his father return home, and then it was a matter of minutes before his mother called him back for dinner. He took in a big breath before making his way to the kitchen. Once there, he strolled to the table and sat down casually. His father looked up at him and froze.

Shikaku looked at his son closely and then crossed his arms in thoughts. "I don't recall you had a mission outside the village today…" He said as he scratched his chin in thoughts.

"I didn't." Came the immediate reply.

"You lost a bet?"

"No."

"Were ordered to do it?"

"Nope."

"Were threatened and had to do it?"

"You know, normal people don't need to be threatened to cut their hair."

His mother walked in with the rice at that moment. "What are you talking about?—oh, honey, you could have told me a friend of yours would be joining us." She said somewhat reproachfully as she turned to look at the man's face.

It was then that Shikamaru was very thankful that the rice was already practically on the table before she dropped it. "That bad?" He asked innocently for the second time that day. As she didn't reply – and the size of her eyes didn't diminish – he decided a change of subject was in order. "You'll never believe what Ino told me about the librarian's wife." He tried – he knew from past experiences that she always loved a good gossip.

"Shikamaru!"

He flinched. "Yeah?"

"Did you make a stupid bet of sorts?"

"No, mom, I didn't."

"Is it to be more…fashionable?"

"No, mom, it isn't."

"Did someone talk you into doing it?"

This time he rolled his eyes as he replied, "No, mom, Kiba didn't talk me into doing it."

She frowned in confusion as she tentatively reached out a hand to touch her son's hair. She then pulled it back and looked sideways before she sat down, folding her napkin in her lap and smoothing it repeatedly. She then stopped and served the meal. They began eating in silence, but after some time she spoke again.

"Do you want to turn your back on us?"

"Mom…" He groaned out as he sighed deeply. "There isn't any hidden meaning behind it! I just wanted a little change, is all!"

At this she looked up at him hopefully. "So you'll let it grow again afterwards?"

"Mom…" He groaned again, this time letting his forehead rest on his palm.

Finally seeing his son's distress, Shikaku intervened. "Let the boy be. He's not a kid anymore, it's his choice what to do with his hair."

She wasn't really convinced, but accepted it nonetheless. "Are you going out tonight?" She then asked him quietly.

"Possibly." He replied after having swallowed a mouthful. "Haven't really given it any thoughts."

"See, not thinking about things isn't like you at all! What's happened to you? Now you're going to start going out trying to be popular to the ladies! You just wait!" She predicted in worry.

Once again he couldn't help but roll his eyes to the sky. "Mom, I just cut my hair, I didn't develop another personality!" He said patiently. "Besides, I'm already involved with someone and you know it." He added as he leaned back in his chair.

"Speaking of which," His father started as he put down his bowl to drink some tea, "What did Kiba say?"

Shikamaru stopped in the process of picking up his chopsticks as he yet again hadn't thought about that.

…What would Kiba say?

o0o

Shikamaru sighed as he stood outside his boyfriend's house. In a way, he dreaded seeing him – he was slightly anxious to know if his new hairstyle would be to his liking. Realizing he wasn't about to find out by simply standing on the porch, he raised a hand to ring the bell and Hana soon answered.

"Hey, Shikama—" She stopped in mid-sentence, round eyes soon replacing her smile. "It is you, right?" She asked dubiously as she leaned slightly closer to look at him more attentively.

He nodded and let out a sigh. "That bad?" He asked for the third time that day.

Hana shook her head as she pulled back. "Nah, I was just surprised. You actually look quite good like that. Come on in." She said as she moved aside to let him in. "Kiba failed to mention that change." She commented as she smiled at him while closing the door.

"Well…Kiba doesn't know yet." He replied nervously as he took off his sandals.

Hana bit her lip to hold in a chuckle. "In that case you'll definitely have to describe me his look when he sees you. Oh wait, got a camera?"

"What's the camera for? Sees who?" Kiba asked as he walked in.

"Guess I won't have to tell you…" Shikamaru told her as he braced himself for the boy's reaction.

Kiba stopped as he recognised him. His eyes widened and he pinched himself once before nodding and turning back to him. "Shikamaru is that you?"

Shikamaru just nodded, shooting a glare at Hana who was thoroughly amused by the scene. Catching the hint, she left.

"You look…" Kiba started, trailing off as he wasn't sure on which word fitted best to finish that sentence. Finally he chose his first idea. "…hot."

Shikamaru blinked in surprise. Hot was not what he had been expecting – but he didn't mind, of course. "Really?" He asked with a grin.

Kiba nodded and walked closer to wrap his arms around his neck, letting a hand run through the now short black strands. "Definitely." He assured him before covering his lips with his own.

Shikamaru happily obliged by wrapping his own arms around the boy, holding him close as he deepened the kiss.

"Why didn't you tell me you were planning on doing this?" Kiba asked once they parted, looking more closely at the new look it gave his boyfriend.

"Because I wasn't." He simply replied. At the other's puzzled look he explained himself. "You know I hate it that everyone always mistakes me for my father. Well, today it happened twice in ten minutes, and I would've been out for blood had it happened once more. So since I was next to the barber-shop, I just figured 'what the hell', and got it cut."

Kiba nodded as he kissed him once more. "But seriously, you look so hot like that…" He murmured against his lips.

Shikamaru smiled before kissing back. If he had known that Kiba would react like that, he would have done it a lot sooner!

He had always kept his hair tied up because he felt it was too troublesome to get it cut regularly, and because it was a family tradition.

But it seemed like Kiba really made it worth it engaging yourself in a somewhat troublesome activity, and turning your back on a family tradition after all.

End.

…now that I think of it, my hair needs a trim…

Anyway…if you've read this, please review! It's really gratifying when people appreciate what I do, and if you didn't, but have constructive criticism, then by all means please review as well!

Renn