Random pairing story, but I promise it's going to be cute, because Gaara deserves the love. May contain smut, but I'll warn you if the chapter does (I don't think the first few will). Gaara uke, Shikamaru seme. Choji and Ino together, but minorly.Shikamaru thinks Love is too troublesome, Gaara thinks you should only love yourself, but once they start talking about it, they find that havingsomeone make you realize Love's true potential can be thought-altering in the best way. (I suck at summaries.)

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, any of its characters, and what I have written does not portray what the owner and creator believe…until I finish my mind-control gun… stupid power converters.

Chapter 1: Love is Troublesome

"No, I don't think about that kind of stuff at all. It bugs me too much to think about because it's always so confusing. It's not like a problem you can solve because to solve the problem you have to fix the other person. You'd think people would just get their act together but no, there are always those stupid people that think they can some how use it to their own personal gain or something. People get mixed up in love for a lot of different reasons, but I don't think I ever will. It's too bothersome."

It was a nice weekend day, one of those few Saturdays with clear blue skies with no clouds, which meant that Shikamaru had to find something else to do with his time. Luckily, Choji had also been looking for something to eat up his time. The two boys sat at the counter in the Ichiraku Ramen hut Naruto was always bragging about ("It has the best ramen in Konoha, losers!"), doing little else but talk in between bites. Somehow in the late morning conversation the discussion had turned to love, which was not a favorite topic of Shikamaru.

"Sometimes it's nice to not know what's going on when you like someone," Choji choked out behind his mouth full of noodles and fishcakes. After a large gulp he continued. "The goal is to find someone you're compatible with, not just pick someone out and start dating them."

Shikamaru rolled his eyes. What a day for there to not be clouds out. "It's too troublesome to look for someone. I'd just as well avoid the whole thing. Love is stupid." Another tangle of noodles was shoved into his mouth and it was Choji's turn to talk again.

The big-boned Genin munched on the edamame sitting on the plate between his best friend and himself, and directly said, "It's not stupid, it just makes people do dumb things…"

Both boys stopped eating when Choji trailed off. Shikamaru knew that there was something more to what Choji was saying and it took him by surprise. Choji didn't want to continue, but he had to when Shikamaru finally said, "What did you do?"

"Shikamaru just don't get mad at me…" Usually a bad start to an explanation, but Choji went on very hesitantly. "Uh… you know… well… I asked Ino out."

"Tell me you're joking. Choji, this is Ino! Ino the devil-woman! Ino the 90-pound weakling of a girl! She's annoying, and she's so vain! How could you ask her out?" In truth, it wasn't the fact that Choji had asked her out that made Shikamaru mad, but the fact that he knew what the girls said about Choji behind his back, how he was so fat that he couldn't get through doorways, and it made him furious. Ino was part of it, and he didn't want Choji getting stood up or hurt by his teammate. That… and he didn't want to spend time without Choji, though he wouldn't admit to jealousy of the blond pig.

Choji glared a bit at Shikamaru and began his defense. "Hey, don't talk about Ino that way. I know she can be a pain but I think she's alright, Shikamaru. Besides, she said yes."


"Do you think it's that hard for me to get a date? I'm not ugly or anything!"

Spit flew out of Shikamaru's mouth as he yelled. "It's not about you Choji! It's her! All she ever thinks about is that jerk Sasuke, don't you find it a bit suspicious that she never gave you the time of day before and now she suddenly agrees to go out with you? Because it's damn-well suspicious to me! I don't trust her as far as I can throw her!" In all the years they had been friends this had been the biggest spat the two friends had had, further proving Shikamaru's point that love was stupid, pointless, and all together pointless.

Standing up, Choji bellowed back, "Well I'm going out with her tomorrow night! So you can just go be cynical alone! And with your bad back you shouldn't throw anyone anyways!"

There was a tense momentary silence between the two friends. Minutes passed, and Choji sat back down and began eating again, glaring pointedly at his food. Shikamaru just stared at his friend's round face and red spiraled cheeks. How could Ino suddenly find Choji attractive enough for a date? And since it seemed too troublesome to stop it from happening, Shikamaru decided not to debate it further and began eating again.

"So, then what am I supposed to do tomorrow night?" the Chuunin asked, swallowing a piece of leek. Choji shrugged and looked softly at Shikamaru. Suddenly a cocky smile formed on his round face as he said, "Fall in love with someone. That'll eat up your time."