Bet you all thought I died or something. Actually, I finished this a few months ago and forgot about it...what an idiot, huh? Anyways, who knows if this is going to be the last one, especially with the way things have been going lately.

I've been working on another new shika-ino story lately, but I just can't seem to find a good spot to end the chapter to post it, it's already really long too. Keep your fingers crossed.

And a huge thanks to all the people writing me to keep me going on these things. I probably would have given up if you weren't all nagging me all the time.

Enjoy. (Naruto is not mine and blah blah blah.)


"That was the longest day I've had in a long time." Shikamaru grumbled, flopping down on the bed and yanking at the tie around his neck until it was loose enough to fit over his head.

"I thought it was beautiful, that was the most adorable wedding I've ever seen." Ino sighed, taking out her earrings and placing them in the jewelry box on her vanity. "Made me want to get married."

"Hey."

"I mean, again."

Shikamaru scowled.

Sakura and Naruto's wedding had been beautiful, like a dream. They had all gathered outside, in one of the gardens in town and the ceremony had taken place under one of the large willow trees planted there. Sakura, in her stunning white dress was escorted down an aisle of pink rose petals. Tsunade-sama herself had presided over the ceremony, joining her two pupils. Shikamaru had to sit by himself in the audience, as Ino was the matron of honor, his eyes hardly left her visage, thinking how beautiful she was in her lavender bridesmaids' dress.

After the ceremony finished, all the guests re-convened for the reception. Ino told Shikamaru how her eyes went teary at the sight of Sakura's happy face as they exchanged vows. He danced with her more than she had expected-even at their own wedding he was reluctant to stay on the dance floor any longer than expected. They stayed out well into the night, rather enjoying the time, Shikamaru was much more affectionate than usual, for some reason; holding her shoulders as they mingled with other guests, commenting on how beautiful she was and even pulling her close to him on the dance floor. She also noticed the couple of jeers and taunts he got from Kiba and Naruto throughout the night, which he ignored as best he could.

At the end of the night, they bid their friends farewell, wishing the new couple their best and heading home under the stars.

Ino sighed, remembering how perfect everything had been.

"Our wedding wasn't that bad, was it? I think your dress was even more beautiful than Sakuras." Shikamaru asked quietly, beginning to unbutton his shirt, still not moving from his place on the bed.

"It's not about that. It's just that it had a different….feel to it, you know?"

"No. I thought our wedding had everything theirs had, nice location, you chose everything just the way you wanted it, what was our missing?" He sat up on his elbows, looking at her reflection in the mirror.

Ino closed her eyes and whispered.

"…love."

Shikamaru's face softened, her words taking the spirit holding his expression intact. "Oh..." Shikamaru whispered back, barely audible.

"I'm sorry." Ino mumbled, her head sinking. She heard Shikamaru get up from his place on the bed and closed her eyes, already regretting her words. He was startled when his arms enveloped around her shoulders, pulling her close to his chest from behind.

"Do you really think that, Ino? That we're just together because of the arrangement our parents made?"
"I…"

"I don't. I think it would've taken a lot longer, but I think the two of us would've ended up together in the end."

//flashback//

"Ino?"

Ino's eyes fluttered open, the morning sun blinding her for a moment before her vision focused in on her husband, who was resting his head on his elbow just above her.

"What time is it, Shikamaru? Why are you up before me?"

"Time to get ready, you're supposed to be at Sakuras' at nine, right? It's 8:00."

Ino stretched and began to get out of the bed, being stopped by Shikamaru's arm, still draped over her.

"And I'm up before you because I have a bit of a headache. Did anything happen last night? I must've actually drank too much for once…"

Ino blushed, remembering the night's events, and how nice they were, then remembering how abruptly they had ended.

"Nothing interesting." She said.

Shikamaru let her out of the bed, watching her get clothes together and rolled back over, stretching.

"Why don't you ever kiss me, Shika? I mean, really kiss me?" She blurted.

The question caught him a bit off guard, to say the least. "uh….I don't know."

"I mean, we are married, it's not like I'm going to get mad or anything."

"I guess…I'm just….waiting. For the right time or something."

"Oh."

"It's not like you do it either, Ino." Shikamaru mumbled, rolling over into his pillow again and covering his eyes, shielding them from the morning light. He felt a tapping on his shoulder and raised himself up…only to be met by Ino's lips being pressed forcibly against his. Shikamaru felt the elbow holding him up start to give way, but as he landed again on the bed, his wife only pressed against him harder, deepening their kiss. Her lips moved against his, until they had formed a unison rythem. Shikamaru felt himself blush…and react to their intimacy. Abruptly, Ino pulled away, turning on her heel towards the bathroom, pausing at the door shortly.

"Take something for your headache, before you get up." She exited the room, Shikamaru could hear water running as she started a shower.

After a moment, an asperin bottle landed beside him on the bed and she disappeared again through the door. Shikamaru remained motionless, unable to will his limbs to move. He released a breath he didn't realize he was holding and rolled over, burying his face in the pillow.

'That was….holy shit.'

He had just been thinking how she had looked so perfect, lying beside him there. So…innocent. 'Technically, she is still innocent…' his mind grumbled. Shikamaru had to admit, there was a certain part of his that longed for her, quite often as a matter of fact. In the rare times that he caught her sleeping, emerging soaking wet from a shower, walking around in those tiny clothes she wore during summer, even flipping her hair as they walked down the street together, there was a part of him that just wanted to start kissing her and never stop. Taste her, for real. It was almost carnal, the way he wanted her.

But, overlying that part of him that longed, was the stronger feelings of fear. Fear of rejection, disappointment, fear of Ino in general.

'And that did NOT help…'

//end flashback//

Her hair smelled so good, like….some kind of flower that he couldn't begin to recognize. The skin on her neck where his chin was momentarily resting was so soft. Holding her just felt so…right.
"Shikamaru…" She touched her hand to his arm, still holding her. " Why do you think we can't seem to get our words right? It seems like the longer we're together, the harder it gets to act like a normal couple."

Shikamaru's thoughts were broken, "I think this is just who we are, Ino."

"That's what I was afraid you'd say, Shikamaru." She whispered, her head drooping.

"Ino…I just." He stopped himself and tightened his grip on her shoulders. When she didn't look up at him, he took a deep breath and pressed his lips against the nape of her neck. He could feel her shudder under him, and he hope it wasn't because she was mad.

"S-Shikamaru?" Ino gasped, taken a bit by surprise.

"Do you have any idea how troublesome you are, Ino? We aren't a normal couple, and I don't ever want to be. We're different. And we're not together because our parents arranged it, I was given the chance to end the engagement, about a month before the wedding. Obviously, I didn't take it."

Ino smiled, blushing slightly, "I didn't either…"

Shikamaru's eyes widened.

"Ino…?"

"Do you remember last night at all, Shika?"

He shook his head.

"Well, you came home completely smashed, strolled over here," she pulled out of their embrace and went and sat on their bed, "and started kissing me. Forcing yourself on me, more like it." She giggled.

"Then you fell asleep on top of me, I was so mad at you."

Shikamaru sighed again and sat next to her on the bed.

"I'm sorr-" he started, but she brought a hand to his lips, halting him.

"I was mad at you for not finishing what you started, dummy." She retracted her hand and rested her elbows on her knees, head drooping. "It's been eight months, isn't it about time we consummate our love?"

"Love? I thought we didn't have that." Shikamaru smirked, craning his neck to look at her.

Ino frowned slightly, "We don't have to, I just thought…." Shikamaru stopped her, laying back on the bed, pulling her with him, her head resting on his shoulder.

"This is going to sound so stupid…" he sighed, wrapping his arm around her. "I….You….the thing is…the reason I haven't, you know, tried anything on you is…" He took a deep breath. "I'm scared to."

Ino sat up slightly, meeting his embarrassed eyes, giving him a questioning look.

"Why?" She asked innocently.

"I dunno. I guess you still seem like this unreachable thing to me. All my life you've been something I never thought I would have, and I had just made up my mind not to even bother pursuing you. I guess the mindset is still there." He said, casually.

Ino laid back down beside him, turning her gaze to the ceiling once more.

"I guess I was a little scared too, now that I think about it. Not of you, but of something changing. I thought, in the back of my mind that, if we had sex, we wouldn't be the same around each other anymore, our relationship would change."

"It probably would." Shikamaru laughed.

"But now, I kinda want it to. As kids, you think about being happily married and now that it's happened, I don't think we're happy how we are now. Couples should be able to…express themselves."

Shikamaru was silent for a while, the gears in his genius head turning rapidly. After a minute or so, he finially spoke.

"Well….ok then." And before he had even finished he had grabbed Ino's arm, rolling her over on top of him.

"You know Ino, this is going to be a big sacrifice, but I'm willing to do anything to make you happy." he said, his voice deep, a smile spreading across his face. He nuzzled against her neck, her skin felt warm against his lips.

It was amazing. The feel of her body so close to his. Their legs tangled, slightly hanging off of the bed. The way her breath seemed to be coming out in shorter pants as is hands roamed her back and his lips kissed her jaw line.

There it was again, the 'reaction'. Before he knew what he was doing, he had rolled her over and was now tightly grasping her hand, pinning it above her, while the other raised his body over hers.

"You sure…last chance? I don't think its going to be possible to stop after I start." He whispered, searching her eyes.

Ino reached up and placed a hand on his cheek, stroking it gently, her eyes soft and calm. She gently pulled him back to her, resuming their kiss.

Everything was perfect. Slow. Right. Almost like they were made to fit together.

After Shikamaru collapsed beside her, sweat clinging to his shoulders and forehead, Ino rolled next to him, burying into his shoulder.

"You know what, Shika?"

"Huh?" Shikamaru exhaled, catching his breath again.

"I think I love you."

He smirked, bring his outstretched arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer to him.

"I know I love you, Ino."

He could feel her smile against him, as they both drifted off to sleep.

The next day…..

"Naruto, you've got to tell us everything! It's your job as a veteran!" Kiba shouted from inside Ichiraku. Naruto only slurped his ramen in response, pretending to ignore the demand.

Kiba noticed Shikamaru strolling past and waved, trying to flag him down. "Oi! Shikamaru!" He motioned for him to join them. "Tell this baka that it's his responsibility to share his experiences as a married man with us, since you're still not worthy."

Shiakamru scowled at first but shook it off and took Naruto by the soulder. The blonde looked up at him curiously as Shikamaru winked. Naruto caught on and grinned widely.

"All right, Nara!" And the two slapped high fives as Kiba groaned.

"You guys suck…."

Some more time later….

"OH! Honey, it's Ino and Shikamaru!" Shika's mother ran to answer the door. She enveloped Ino into her traditional hug and led them inside, all seated around the living room.

"How's it going, you two? It's been quite a while." Shiakamru's father said, sitting down across from the couple.

They seemed a bit more affectionate, Shikamaru's arm was slung over Ino's shoulders and she was leaning into him gracefully. It had been months since the two of them had been over, they had become rather scarce everywhere, actually.

"We're just stopping in to tell you something, Mr. Nara." Ino said calmly, sipping the tea that had been brought out.

Shikamaru rested his hands on his knees, folding his hands seriously. "Sakura, it seems, is pregnant." He said. Rubbing his hands together.

Shikamaru's mother clasped her hands. "Oh How sweet! We'll have to send her something and make shure she's okay and..."

"And so is Ino." He added, sitting back in the couch, his eyes closed, a slight smile on his lips. Ino blushed and set her cup down.

Silence.

Until his mom let out the highest-pitched yell in existance. His dad just smiled from ear to ear. "Finally."


Based on all those emails I mentioned, I expect I'll be gettting a high number of reviews. I'm not complaining either :

Hope you enjoyed it, not sure it was worth the months of waiting though, sorry!

Love you all, my fellow copyright-infringers! Peace-out!