Disclaimer: Naruto does not belong to me

I KNOW I KNOW! I said I wouldn't do anymore ShikaIno for a while but this struck me while coming back from school today and I really wanted to write it. Kinda got the idea from the one life part of 'Their Story.'

I'd like to dedicate this one-shot to Hikari-03. You've been such a faithful and great reviewer through all my stories and just wanted to offer this up as sort of an encouragement for your current venture into the land of fan fiction writing. ENJOY!

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Two Sides of the Same Coin


They were two sides of the same coin.

Shikamaru was strategic, making sure he was well-equipped with hundreds of alternatives in order to provide his team with an escape route.

He was sarcastic and blunt, choosing his words carefully inside his mind before resorting to his usual 'Mendokuse.'

He was surly and gruff, content with spending most of his time with his best friend rather than being dragged into energetic games with a whole bunch of people.

He was somewhat shy about girls, flushing easily whenever a member of the opposite sex got too close or displayed the slightest hint of affection.

He was the night moon, gleaming like a hidden jewel in the dark of the night, recognized and prized by those who recognized its worth, the way it reflected off the sun's light.

Ino was explosive, jumping into action without planning and more often than not, needing to be fished out of her latest spot of trouble.

She was loud and aggressive, commonly heard a block away from all the high-pitched shrieking she seemed to deem necessary in getting her point across.

She was open and friendly, irresistibly drawing everyone into her circle with her easy laughter and sparkling blue eyes.

She was highly demonstrative, giving out hugs like candy and unhesitant about walking down the village streets with her arm linked through a friend, male or female.

She was the afternoon sun, glorious in its radiant beauty and casting a golden warmth on all those its rays touched.

They complemented each another, filling in the areas the other person lacked in order to make one complete whole.

The problem was, however, that the two sides of the same coin never see each other.

He never saw the way her cheeks reddened and her lips curved in a gentle smile whenever he did something she thought was adorable.

He never saw the way she would glance at him hopefully every time she jumped onto Uchiha Sasuke's back.

He never saw the way her face would fall in disappointment at his determined attempts to look away in apparent disinterest.

He never saw the way she tossed her blonde ponytail over her shoulder and ground her teeth whenever Temari, the sand kunoichi, amused herself by flirting outrageously with him.

He never saw the way she spent night after sleepless night sitting up in her bed, trying to will the hours away until he returned safely from his mission by teaching herself to play 'Go.'

He never saw the way she screamed in hysteria when her parents tried to pull her away from his side, her flailing hands leaving long, red scratch marks down their arms as she huddled sobbing against his unconscious body.

He never saw the way she trained relentlessly for hours on end in order to be strong enough for him, her limbs raw and trembling from abuse, which she laughed off as a new trend in full-body bandaging.

She never the way his head would tilt to the side and his lips would twitch in a suppressed chuckle whenever she did something that made him proud.

She never saw the way his hands clenched into fists inside his pockets every time she babbled on and on about Sasuke-kun.

She never saw the way his lips thinned and his eyes would harden at the sight of her getting close to another unmemorable, faceless shinobi.

She never saw the way he would wordlessly whisper her name whenever he retreated to his solitary spot on the hill, his eyes closed as if to block out real life.

She never saw the way he watched her sleep during his turns to stand on guard, the flickering campfire illuminated the soft glow in his dark eyes as he gently tucked an errant blonde strand behind her ear.

She never saw the way he cried himself hoarse when she nearly bled to death from a failed mission, his body hunched over next to her hospital bed as he cradled her bandaged hand in his own.

She never saw the way he yelled at a stunned Hokage, furiously demanding that she would never be assigned another mission higher than B-class unless it was under his leadership.

Shikamaru never saw the way Ino flitted through life, waiting desperately for him to just say something, anything, that showed that he thought of her as more than just another teammate.

Ino never saw the way Shikamaru drifted listlessly through life, his body and soul aching to be allowed to reach out for her, for a single word or gesture from her that would give him the slightest glimmer of hope.

So even though they went through life side by side, even though they were born together, grew up together, went on missions together and essentially died together, they never really saw each other.

They never saw that they shared one life. That they were two sides of the same coin.

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The End.

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A/N: Hope you all enjoyed that! I'd originally intended this to be a fluff sort-of story given that the common concept of being part of the same coin is rather romantic. But then I gave it some thought and I liked this interpretation a bit better.

Please do review! Ok NOW I'm going on that ShikaIno break...