ShikaTen Friendship, NejiTen hints. Because I can't seem to write a straight ShikaTen, even if I really, really wanted to. Ah, and this is just me being too lazy to incorporate imagery and setting description, so please don't rag on me; it was deliberate.

For all of those people who asked for another ShikaTen outta me, here it is. Consider it a Thank You for all your great reviews. (I intended it to be a pairing but... Eh. Wasn't in the mood. XP)

Disclaimer: Naaaaaaaaat miiiiiiiiiiiiine, oraaaaaaaayt?


Exchange

-

"Shikamaru, how much do you like me?"

"...As much as you like me. Why?"

Takes his hand and makes as if to drag him. "Good. I want you to explain that to Neji."

Groan. Tugs back his limb. "Tenten, don't tell me you're still hung up on the guy…"

"And what is wrong with THAT?"

"He's really dense."

"He is not! He's just… slow… in some things."

"Uh-huh. Yeah. Sure. Slow."

Hits his head. "ARE you going to help me or NOT?"

Rubs the offended body part. "After that? I don't think so." Mutters, "I am beginning to hate Hyuuga."

"Don't change the subject." Frown. "Why?"

Flatly: "'Cause he makes you troublesome."

Rolls eyes. "You're such a lazy bum." Sweetly, "Don't you want to help a friend?"

Folds arms and closes eyes. "No, I'd rather not."

Whines, "Ah, c'mon, Shikamaru!" Shakes him. "Can't you just give him one little explanation? Please?"

Cracks open an eye, annoyed. "What the heck happened to you two, anyway?"

Stops. "Ah." Twiddles fingers, reddening. "He… he won't talk to me…" Looks up at him. "He thinks you and I are… are…"

Raises an eyebrow. "Are…?"

Gestures aimlessly. "…you know. Together."

Other brow shoots up. "But we aren't."

"Some people think we are…"

"Like Neji, you mean." Snorts. "I never thought he'd be the type to pay attention to rumors."

Defensively, "Well, it's not his fault!" Further reddens at the look he gives her. Insists, "What? It isn't!"

"Whose fault is it then?"

Throws arms up in the air. Miserably, "I don't know! You? Me? Everything?"

"Did Neji say anything?"

"No… Does he ever?"

"Mm, point taken." Shrugs and closes eyes once more. Thinking aloud, "Maybe I shouldn't have told Ino that I thought you were less troublesome compared to all the other kunoichis."

"Eh? WHY'D YOU GO AND TELL INO SOMETHING LIKE THAT! Ino of all people!"

"Why shouldn't I? It's true." Does not see the other blushing. "'Sides, she was the one who ask me why I hung around you so much."

Groans and drops down on her knees. "Argh! What a MESS!" Dismally, "I guess I shouldn't have told Neji about all those times we spent playing shougi… I even told him that you said I was actually getting better at it. Maybe he took it the wrong way…"

Thoughtfully, "Y'know, I can see one good thing in all this."

"Oh yeah? What's that?"

Smirks. "Guess."

Groans again. "Shikamaru, I have no time for mind games."

"No, just think about it… Hyuuga won't speak to you. Hyuuga thinks were an item."

"And so?"

Disappointedly, "Aw c'mon, Tenten. I thought you were smarter than that. The guy thinks you like me and reacts negatively to it. What does that infer?"

Annoyed. "You tell me."

Sighs and sits up. "It means," looks at her directly in the eye, "that he's jealous."

"…" Stares. "You're kidding… right?"

Now he's the one annoyed. "Do I look like I am? Honestly, Tenten, it's fairly obvious. You should stop hanging around him so much. I think you're catching his denseness."

Apparently did not hear his last statement. "Shikamaru, do you think that… maybe…"

Pauses. Then: "Yeah." Lets out a long breath. "I don't know what the heck you see in him, but yeah. He does." Afterthought, "You deserve better."

Smiles at him. "Nah, I think I'll stick with Mr. Ice Cube." Leans forward to give him a short hug. "I'm really sorry for having to bother you like this but… thanks."

"So I don't have to come with you anymore?"

Shakes head, gets up,and leaves. "I think I can sort this out on my own."

Calls after her. "Good luck." A single, lazy wave before settling down on the grass. Sighs. "Angsty guys get all the decent ones."

-

End


Maybe this can be considered as a one-sided thing 'caue of that last line, but... whatever. Hope you enjoyed. XD