The Fluttering of Wings
Summary: -Ficlet- Shikamaru does what no one else has ever dared to do as he walks a downtrodden Ino home. He dares to...lecture her?
Notes: This is dedicated to Imaginator, who's like -
seriously - the best reviewer out there! You rock! -huggles-
This is my second ShikaIno fic in two days. Why, you ask? It is all but a part of my diabolical plan to convert you all into ShikaIno shippers! -Evil maniacal laugh-
-cough- Anyway, I hope you like this. Here you are, The Fluttering of Wings.
Yamanaka Ino was in a good mood.
The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and Asuma-sensei had just given them the day off from training. Add that to the fact that the lazy Nara Shikamaru had agreed to walk her home and we get the best day Ino has had in a while.
Never mind the fact that Shikamaru had to be prodded and pushed before giving in. He was doing what he would usually refuse to do, and that's all that really mattered to Ino, who just wanted (and might just have needed) some company on the lonely walk home.
She directed a sidelong glance at her companion as they strolled through the streets of Konohagakure. The fact that Shikamaru had cut into his cloud-gazing time to walk her home meant more to her than she let on. She had been feeling under the weather for the past couple of weeks, after Sasuke had betrayed the village and disappeared. Her team had tread softly around her; careful not to upset her, but none had gone to the lengths that Nara Shikamaru had to help her feel better.
It had started out small.
He would pack her a lunch, shoving it into her hands before she
could say anything, and muttering a hurried excuse about his mother
wanting to make sure his team was getting adequate nutrition. Ino
would have believed him if he hadn't forgotten that his mother was
out of town for the week.
He would also pack Chouji one, but she couldn't help noticing the extra care he put into arranging her sandwiches, and the extra cake he packed into hers, probably because he knew she loved them.
He would even go so far as to open doors for her, carefully (and rather obviously) avoiding her eyes as she passed into the room.
And now, he was walking her home after only a minimal amount of prodding! The lazy Shikamaru was walking Ino to her home, and not complaining. At all!
It seemed he was making sure she was treated like a pampered princess, though all the while denying he was doing so. It was rather sweet.
Yes, it made her wonder how much she's worried her team over the past few weeks. She must have really concerned them, if even Shikamaru was going to such lengths. The butterflies in Ino's stomach sprung to life at the thought of his consideration.
Shikamaru's serious tone of voice made her stop in her tracks and look round at him, the butterflies still doing their dance in her stomach. He stopped also and frowned heavily at her, his brown eyes boring into her blue ones.
"Er, yes?" Ino's voice was higher than usual. The butterflies started attacking each other as his gaze grew more intense.
And then suddenly, he let his eyes drop to the floor. He rubbed the back of his neck distractedly. "We – er – we know you really liked that Uchiha."
Ino colored at the vicious way he uttered Sasuke's nickname.
Shikamaru continued still. "And we know you're upset about him leaving and all..."
"Shikamaru – I..."
But Ino was interrupted by the Chuunin, who suddenly snapped, "But please quit sulking!"
The blonde blinked at his outburst. "What?"
There was a red tint coloring Shikamaru's cheeks as though ashamed he had yelled. When he spoke, his tone of voice was gentler. "You have no right to sulk, Ino," he mumbled, his eyes landing on everything but her. "Not when you've got us, your friends." He paused to take a deep breath. "We've been waiting for you to talk to us, but you keep thinking you have to handle everything on your own. That's not true."
It was Ino's turn to look down at the ground.
"Ino, you have us for a reason."
Her blue eyes were still fixed on the ground when she felt something light – so light it could have been wings - against her cheek. She looked up, startled, to look at the boy in front of her. There was an intake of breath when she saw the tenderness in his brown eyes.
His hand lingered against her cheek for a moment longer, before dropping to grip her shoulder bracingly. "You have me for a reason."
The blonde flushed.
He gave her an awkward smirk, then turned. "Now hurry up."
"What are we doing?"
"We're going out for lunch."
"Why?" Even through her confusion, a smile lit up her face.
There was a grin playing about his lips as he replied, "My mother's out of town and I'm too lazy to make lunch today."
Er. I hope you got the joke. The last line is referring back to
when Shikamaru had made lunch for Ino, muttering something about his
mother being concerned for his team's health. But she couldn't have
been, because she was out of town. Get it? No?
-sigh- Well, I've never been a (purposely) funny person. ...So. Review, please, and tell me what you think! (And if you got my joke!)