By Kimmy

Summary: ShikaIno ficlet - Shikamaru finds that maybe clouds aren't as lucky as he thought.

Notes: Well. What is this - my third ShikaIno? Wow, they're so addicting.

Inspiration for this fic? Nothing really. I actually had trouble in the beginning, but I woke up today and I had this huge burst of inspiration. Needless to say, I finished it.

The title...doesn't really have anything to do with the fic. I just like the word. But of course, it could be describing the fic. Sweet, sugary? Because this fic is pretty much 100 fluff. Yeah, let's just go with that.

I apologize if it's too stupid or too unstupid or too crazy or insane or not. (I tend to overdo things a lot.) Hopefully, though, I've done a good job, and not overdone the corniness? The fluffiness? The OOCness?

I hope you enjoy. Here's Saccharine.


Her arrival at his favorite cloud-watching site was greeted with indifference; he had been expecting it. In fact, she had turned up to meet him without invitation so many times recently that he might have been worried if she hadn't come. He surveyed her approach through bored eyes, barely raising a hand in acknowledgement at her cheerful greeting.

He thought of asking her why she was so cheerful, but thought better of it; he probably didn't want to know.

The kunoichi settled herself on the grass to his right, opting to stay upright for now, hugging her knees to her chest.

She asked him how he was, and he answered accordingly from his position, laying on the grass. "You?"

The girl waved a hand absentmindedly, her blue eyes sweeping over the valley. "I'm fine."

And that was it; he allowed a comfortable silence to fall upon them as he watched his clouds above and she watched her flowers below in the valley. It was a nice day, he thought, sighing contentedly. There were plenty of clouds, a soft breeze, silence, silence, silence.

He stretched out his hands above his spiky-haired head and yawned, bringing them back down to rest beneath his head. His thoughts were then up in the clouds, with the clouds; floating, free.
He had always envied the wisps of moisture for their lifestyle. Lazy, drifting, living out their life in the endless blue. They never had to worry about risky missions; never had to train until dusk; never had to risk their lives. They just were.
They never had to bother with the troublesome aspects of life: people, food, talk.

Love, and whom one was in love with.

That thought brought the boy back to earth, his dark brown eyes flying to find the girl next to him. The girl he loved was still sitting up, watching the multicolored wildflowers sway with a soft look in her blue eyes. She had grown out her hair once more, and it fanned out gracefully then, in the soft breeze sweeping the hilltops. Her outfit showed a lot of skin, and though it was rather impractical for the battlefield, he knew that amount of skin would prove a useful distraction for the enemies. Not that she needed to show that much skin to distract them; her growing knowledge of her techniques would be enough.

And as though she had sensed his eyes on her back, she turned her head toward him with a questioning look. Oh, those eyes were stunning.

"Nothing," he mumbled quickly, turning his eyes skyward once again.

He had hoped that would have stopped her from questioning more, but he should have known better. She fell back onto the lush grass next to him. "What is it?" she prodded.

He turned his head toward her, and met those same amazing eyes again. "It's nothing," he lied again.

"You sure?"

"...Yeah." Really, didn't she notice how close she was?

"Or are you just too lazy to explain?"

"That too." A faint heat began to light up his face.

"Shikamaru, are you blushing?"

"No." It was a lie.

She looked doubtful. "You're acting odd."

That spurred the shinobi to sit up quickly, which only succeeded to make the girl more suspicious. She joined him.

With a playful push of her shoulders against his, she said innocently, "You're kinda cute when you blush."

Oh, was he blushing now! But he wouldn't let her see that. He stubbornly looked away.

The girl was not deterred from her quest...whatever it was. She laced an arm through his and smiled sweetly.

Now the boy was confused. His female teammate had always been an affectionate girl when she was happy, but this was going a bit far. "Er, Ino?"

"Yes, Shika-kun?"

He blinked. Shika-kun? She had never called him that before. "Are you feeling okay?"

"Yes, why do you ask?"

"You're acting odd."

And her sweet disposition vanished as she unlatched herself from his arm. "That's my line, baka!" she said huffily.

Oh, he was downright confused then. "What?"

"You're the one acting odd!" she exclaimed. Her pretty blue eyes flashed angrily.

"Because you're acting odd," he said slowly, trying to keep his thoughts off of her eyes and be adequately indignant.

"And how am I doing that?"

"You just...are," he mumbled tiredly. His argument didn't really have any support to it. He was just avoiding an awkward conversation about his feelings. How troublesome.

"What? Excuse me!" She began her rant.

Maybe he should just damage his pride and get it over with already. It would, after all, be much more troublesome if he had to keep avoiding it.

"-stupid baka-!"

But then again, proclamations of love were troublesome in and of themselves. It would be even more so if the girl it would be directed at wouldn't shut up. "Ino."

"I try to help someone I care about, and what do I get? I'm mistaken for being delirious! Is it that amazing, that I - !"


"-never appreciated at all, am I? Maybe I should just not care, because it's not doing any good, is it? I mean – first, with big-forehead girl and then with - !"


"-the butcher, and I tried helping that stupid Hyuuga, but he was too busy not listening, and then stupid Ro – what are you doing, Shikamaru?"

"Just shut up, Ino," the shinobi said, his arms enclosed around the girl he loved.

But she didn't listen, trying desperately to hide the blush that lit up her cheeks. "Shikamaru - !"

He cut her off. After all, why talk when those lips could be engaged in a more enjoyable activity?

He drew back from that first kiss and her eyes – remarkably blue – seized him in all of their beauty. In them, he could see his reflection, swimming in the endless blue.

Of course, the proclamation of love didn't actually get to be proclaimed that day (because they were too busy). Shikamaru did find, however, that he didn't envy the clouds so much anymore. Because while he still risked his life every other week and still had to train until dusk, he didn't mind much anymore – he had found the endless blue in which he could live his life out.


Well? Did you like? Tell me, tell me!

I hope you got it. And I SINCERELY hope that the ending wasn't too stupid. I had been searching for a way to connect the blue of the sky and the blue of her eyes. And I did, but I'm not sure I did it in a way that did it justice. This fic, after all, didn't really start out to be this way.

Review, please, and tell me what you thought! Suggestions welcomed with open arms!