I'm still working on my other stories and that sequel/prequel, just be patient with me, ne?
Stil, I hope you all like this too! It's a one-shot mushy, fic, but I think it's cute. Classic Ino/Shikamaru pairing, just like all of my other fics.
Lessons and Surprises
Shikamaru awoke from his nap to the bright sun shining into his room, lighting every corner. His mom must've come in and opened the curtains… he specifically remembered closing them. 'Damned woman...'
He rolled over and glanced at the clock. 5:30. '1 hour 'til I've got to meet Ino.' He looked down at himself. His clothes were a bit wrinkled, and he was sure he didn't smell very nice after sleeping in the heat of the afternoon. He sighed and rolled out of his bed, heading for the bathroom.
After a hot shower and a feeble attempt to run a comb through his hair, Shikamaru emerged in a towel. He searched his closet for something clean to wear. Unfortunately, all of his ninja uniforms were either dirty or had multiple holes in them. He ended up in a simple t-shirt and pants. It was now 6:15 and Shikamaru could see out his window that the sun was about to set. He sighed, grabbed a light jacket and headed out the door, towards their meeting spot, mumbling "Troublesome…"
Team Ino-Shika-Chou were out at their usual café for a late lunch after training, Ino talking, Chouji eating and Shika spacing out.
"So, the autumn festival is coming up, guys."
Chouji looked up from his plate for a moment and swallowed. "I was wondering if they were even going to have one, it's gotten so late."
Ino continued talking about the many festivities planned; various games and prizes, ninja contests, attire competitions, and a night-long dance, with prizes for the best dancers.
Ino paused, waiting for one of them to say something, when neither did, she spoke again.
"So, who are you guys taking to the festival? Got anyone in mind?"
Chouji stopped, mid-chew. Shikamaru looked down lazily at the blonde across from him.
"Nope." They said in unison.
Ino smiled her devilish smile.
Shikamaru hated that face. It always meant something troublesome for him. With talk of a festival, him not having anyone to take, and that face all happening in the last few minutes, he knew this wasn't going to be good.
"My cousin, Kinosha is coming down for the festival this year. She's never been to Konoha before and it would really be nice to have someone show her around. I was thinking, maybe we could all go together! Like a double-date!" Ino squealed.
Shikamaru looked and Chouji, who grinned evilly, bits of food clinging to his lips.
"I'll volunteer to take your cousin out to the festival. I promise we'll have a great time. You can Shikamaru can go together. It'll be fun."
Shikamaru secretly wanted to kill his friend, so this is what he got for confiding in him? It hadn't been long ago that Shikamaru had told Chouji about his secret feelings for their teammate, which his friend had promised to take to the grave. 'So, this is his way of keeping secrets, huh?'
"That sounds fantastic! We're going to have such a fun time, Shika-kun!"
Shikamaru blushed and tried to focus on his drink.
That had pretty much been the end of the conversation, until it was time to leave.
The three friends stood outside the café, saying their goodbyes. "Goodnight Chouji, I'll talk to you again before the festival next week.! Shikamaru, walk me home? I need to talk to you."
Shikamaru sighed and Chouji slipped his friend a wink as he turned to leave.
They walked in silence for a while, until Shikamaru got fed up and asked, "So, what did you want to talk about?"
"Is this okay? You going with me? I mean, you didn't seem too thrilled about it… Even I don't want to force you."
Shikamaru was a little taken back. INO didn't want to force him? He felt the sudden urge to scan the sky for flying pigs. "Feh. It doesn't matter to me, I guess. It's better than going alone"
Ino stared at him for a moment, trying to decide if he was serious or not. She took his arm and continued walking. "I hope we win some prizes in the dance contest, that would be so cool?"
Shikamaru tripped at her last words.
"Shika! Are you okay? What happened?"
Shikamaru looked up, a bit red and sweat dropped. "Um...Ino? There may be problem then..."
Ino looked at him curiously, waiting for him to finish.
"….I've never danced before."
And that was why he found himself heading to the cloud-watching hill at this late hour. Ino was not going to stand for a date that couldn't dance, so she decided to teach him. 'You're a genius, you'll be able to figure it out!'
When Shikamaru rounded the turn to the hill, he found Ino already there, lying on the grass, looking at the few stars that had begun to come into view.
Shikamaru plopped down next to her, laying back on his elbows. "You're early"
Ino seemed a little startled at his sudden presence. "Oh! Yeah…mom decided to close up the shop for me today, so I had a good half-hour off. It's been nice to just lie here by myself for once. I can see why you like it."
Shikamaru huffed and made a move to lie fully down, stopped short by Ino grabbing him up. "Oh no! Don't forget why we're here!" She laughed, hoisting him up into a standing position.
Shikamaru groaned. "Ino, is this really necessary? It's so troublesome..."
"Oh, everything's troublesome to you, deal with it. Now give me your hand."
Ino snatched his hands, placing one on her waist and holding the other tightly, suspended in the air. Shikamaru looked at his hand…barely inches from her butt.
A small blush began to creep up into his cheeks, he fought it away with all his might.
"Now…this is the basic position. Usually, you'd be a lot closer, but we'll start like this."
'T-troublesome…' (Can you stutter mentally?)
The next few hours passed with a few stepped on feet, clumsy twirls and Shikamaru getting the basic hang of it.
By the end of the evening, he could go without stepping on her feet, if they were kept a decent distance apart.
Ino sighed, a bit tired out from the hours of teaching. "Let's call it a night. I guess that will be alright for the festival. At least you won't be stepping all over me!" She giggled, released his hands and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. She ran down the hill toward the village, yelling over her shoulder, "Good job! You'll be fine!"
Shikamaru flopped to the ground, slightly tired from the ordeal. "That…sucked. She was so close…I couldn't even concentrate." He breathed heavily, still feeling the effects of the workout. 'You'll be fine'
He had one week until the festival, he needed to be better than 'fine' by then.
Shikamaru got up and walked home, thinking about his lessons very carefully, going over every movement she had made in his head.
Before he knew it, he was home. He walked into the kitchen, spotting the one he was looking for. "Hey, mom, can I ask a favor? It's kind of important."
The days passed and the day of the Autumn festival finally arrived, his mother had bought him a nice outfit to wear and done her best with his 'special favor' over the week.
Shikamaru's phone rang about noon that day. "Shika! It's Chouji!"
"I don't know if I can do it, man."
"What? Take that cousin of Ino's? We've talked about this all week, man. You're fine. If not, you'll probably never see her again."
"Ino brought a picture of her over…she's…gorgeous. Not like Ino, but still really pretty..."
"So? What's the problem?" Shikamaru said, slightly sarcastic.
There was silence from the other end.
"Chouji, just try not to eat all night, and be nice. That's all that counts to girls. Be here at 5, we'll go pick them up together."
Chouji sighed and hung up.
Shikamaru went to take a shower, HIS confidence was pretty high, after his week of preparation.
The doorbell rang at ten-till 5, Chouji was always early. He found Shikamaru in his room, putting the finishing tie on his Hakima. His mother had chosen a prefect fit, of course.
Chouji looked good too, in his traditional yakuta. "You ready? We're going to be late."
Shikamaru turned to his friend. "Yeah, I guess."
The pair silently headed out of the house and down the street, towards the Yamanaka residence.
"There, perfect!" Ino squealed, putting the finishing bow in Kinosha's hair. They were dressed in kimonos of matching design. Ino's was a light purple, with white flowers, Kinosha's was Blue with light yellow blossoms. "Are you sure that I'll like this, Chouji? I mean, it's not like I'm like you."
"Don't worry, you'll be fine. I'll be right there anyways! We're going to have a lot of fun!"
At that moment, there was a slight knock at the door, Inoshi called up to them ,and the night commenced.
Ino shoved her cousin down the stairs where the two boys waited. "Chouji! Shikamaru! You both look awesome! This is my cousin, Kinosha!" She said, pushing the girl into view.
Both boys looked at the girl, she was pretty. She had shorter hair than Ino, pulled into a short ribbon in back. Her and Chouji's attires matched almost perfectly.
Ino snuck over to Shikamaru, as Chouji and Kinosha introduced themselves.
"You look so cool! I never thought you'd wear hakima! They look good on you."
"Mom picked them out. So, you look pretty good too, nice Kimono, is it new?"
"Yeah, we shopped for them yesterday."
"So…um…should we get going, I guess."
"Oh! Kinosha! Let's go, you'll have all night to talk."
The group departed, heading in the direction of the festival, passing many other couples in the process. Shikamaru and Ino slowly fell behind their friends, watching them with interest.
"Well, this seems to be going well. I knew she would like Chouji! Their so much alike, you have no idea. Kinosha loves sweets, she just has a really fast metabolism." Shikamaru nodded, seemingly uninterested. Ino just smiled and took his arm.
The evening went by nicely, Chouji and Kinosha spent most of their time at the food stalls, Shikamaru and Ino at the game stalls. Ino had already won a goldfish and a toy ANBU mask. Shikamaru, barely trying at the games, won a lollipop, a small box that he wouldn't show the contents to Ino and a water balloon, which he gave to a little boy whose had popped.
"Awww, that was so sweet of you, Shika-kun!"
Shikamaru blushed slightly, placing a hand behind his head. "Well, the brat wouldn't shut up, it was annoying..."
They continued to walk around until they came to the end of the line, where a dance floor and band were set up. The four casually sat down on a bench and watched the other couples for a while.
"Kinosha? Can you dance?" Chouji asked, whispering in her ear. "Yes, fairly well. You?"
"My parents taught me. The Akamichi clan is actually very skilled, despite their appearance." He took her hand and led her onto the dance floor, quickly blending into the crowd, Chouji winking at his friend before disappearing.
Shikamaru grinned, forcefully taking Ino's hand and pulling her to the dance floor.
"Just don't step on me, okay?"
"Trust me, I won't."
They were off full swing, Shikamaru spun and dipped Ino with and expert hand. When, the song was over, Ino could only gape at him. "W-what? When did you get so good? You've only learned last week"
Shikamaru grinned at her. "Practice, I guess. I am a genius, so they tell me. It wasn't that hard, once I didn't have you distracting me anymore." Ino blushed.
They danced for a few more songs, until Ino needed to rest. "Damn! I think you're actually better than me! Your stamina's amazing! You don't even look tired!"
Shikamaru stood before her, taking in the sight of her breathing heavily, trying to catch her lost breath. "Ladies and gentlemen, this will be the last song of the evening, thank you."
Slow music began, and couples slowed their paced along with it.
"Last song? You think you can do one more?" Shikamaru asked, holding out his hand.
Ino took one last deep breath and took his outstretched hand.
"You know how to dance slowly, right?"
Shikamaru smirked and pulled her body close to his own, wrapping a hand around her waist, the other holding her hand in the air.
They swayed with the music, Ino leaning on his shoulder.
Soon, the song ended and the couples dispersed. Chouji and Kinosha were nowhere to be found.
"They probably already went home, Kinosha's probably tired."
Shikamaru just huffed, reluctantly letting go of the girl in his arms. 'That actually felt kinda….nice.' He pouted to himself.
"So…I guess we should get going. Walk me home?" Ino beamed at him.
Ino took his hand and they started off in the direction of her house.
Shikamaru walked in silence, barely listening to Ino gab about what everyone was wearing and doing that night.
Sometime during her rant about Sakura's kimono, they reached her house.
"So, did you have a good time?" Ino asked, standing on her front step before him.
"I guess it wasn't that bad."
Ino just shook her head, giggling.
"Well, I had a great time, we should go to all the festivals together!"
Shikamaru smiled, blushed and placed a hand behind his head.
"Um…I guess I'll see you tomorrow, Asuma says training resumes full-on...get some sleep." Shikamaru mumbled, turning to leave.
"Hey, Shikamaru? Wait a sec."
Shikamaru turned back in Ino's direction, only to meet with her face against his, or rather, her lips against his.
Ino placed a hand on his cheek, kissing him gently.
Shikamaru was so surprised, by the time he realized what he should do, she began to pull away.
Acting on instinct, Shikamaru grasped her hand and pulled her close once more, taking another kiss from her.
They stood that way for a while, neither wanting the other to pull away, until Shikamaru released her hand, reaching inside his pocket.
He slowly receded from her, placing the small box her had won earlier in her hand.
He backed away into the shadows. "It's for you, don't open it until I leave."
After she could no longer see his retreating form, she opened her door and stepped inside, leaning on the frame.
She remembered the box in her hands, and fumbled it open.
Inside, she found a small sapphire bracelet, a small note scribbled on the side of the box said, 'Ninja shouldn't wear necklaces, they might get caught on something…'
Ino smiled and headed to her room, Kinosha wasn't home yet…
'This was defiantly a good idea!'
Well, I hope you liked it, my first one-shot! Well, I need to go run some errands now...back to the real world...
Please review and let me know how you liked it. And visit my profile page, so you can see what else I'm working on!