Ok, so this is brutally short too... But I HAD to put it up in honor of Shika and Ino's birthdays! Yesh, Septemember 22nd is our favourite lazy genius bum's birthday while September 23rd is our favourite bitchy blonde bombshell's birthday. Exciting, huh? Not to mention my own birthday is due on the 25th!

Give me reviews for my birthday, goddamn it! And thank you all for the previous ones, I love you!

Disclaimer: Not mine. If it was Sasuke wouldn't have left Konoha (Naruto) wouldn't have betrayed his friends (Naruto) and would end up with Naruto. Shite, I said that out loud, didn't I?


Yamanaka Corps is one impressive building, Shikamaru thought, as he craned his neck to stare at the majestic sky-scraping monstrous tower of glass and steel. Ino fidgeted slightly beside him, picking at her disguise. They had tucked her blonde locks into a cap, and pulled a gray hoodie over it. She wore loose, baggy jeans and converse sneakers, and reflective sunglasses, trying to pass off as simply a normal teenager. Shikamaru, however, was subjected to torture as he wore a stiff white shirt with a black jacket and black pants. He felt like pencil pusher. Ino said he actually looked kind of good like that.

They walked through the doors to receive a blast of air conditioning, and walked across the granite floor up to the counter. A young woman in her late twenties with a cropped haircut looked up from her 90-words-per-minute-typing to give them a friendly smile. It became a bit fixed when her eyes slid onto Ino.

Shikamaru pulled his license from his pocket and flipped it for the woman to see. She looked at it (the photo looked grumpy, which matched perfectly with the original) with a puzzled frown, "Mr. Nara, what can I do for you?"

"I would like an audience with Mr. Yamanaka. It's a bit of an emergency." Shikamaru mumbled, and stuffed his wallet back into his pocket. The woman (Claire, he noted, on the nametag,) nodded slowly.

"And your companion is -?"

"A friend, who has information Mr. Yamanaka would want to know."

"Wait a moment please, Mr. Nara." She picked up the phone and dialed some numbers. Shikamaru looked around the place as the woman talked into the phone. The place was huge, but there was only one counter here with a few potted plants. They need to seriously get a new interior designer…

The woman put the phone back into the cradle and gave him a genuine smile. "Please press the button for the top floor when you are inside the elevator, Mr. Nara." And she gave Ino a nod of acknowledgement. Shikamaru led the blonde girl into the elevator and pressed the button. Ino kept her head down with Shikamaru's instructions, and tried to quell the nervousness within her. The prodigy tried to not look so annoyed; he knew that they were being watched, and scanned for weapons of any kind, which was why there were only metal detectors and one woman to greet visitors.

They stepped into another waiting room just as Ino was about to smash the elevator's speakers, which were pumping out badly played classical music. Shikamaru wondered what idiots were manhandling the instruments; even he could play better. More potted plants, this time against foggy gray walls and dusty royal blue carpet, the chairs being of indescribable color.

"I've never realized how bland and pathetic this place looks." Ino whispered to Shikamaru, who agreed with her completely. A secretary looked up from the computer, and pressed a switch. She wordlessly waved them in, barely sparing them a look.

Shikamaru felt his stomach doing a few hurdles. If this went well, Inoichi would probably spare him; if it didn't, Shikamaru may as well end up as a listed missing. They walked into the office and felt the double oak doors behind them close with an ominous 'thunk.'

Inoichi looked up from where he was signing papers, and squinted at Shikamaru and Ino. "Nara Shikamaru! What brings you here? And who is your friend?" While his tone was friendly, it was laced with suspicion.

Shikamaru took a deep breath and let it out in a sigh. Here's for striking the stake, biting the bullet, facing the music and other such idioms, he thought, and pushed Ino forward. She shuffled forward, took of her hoodie, her sunglasses, and finally, her cap. In a truly dramatic fashion, her piled hair fell from its position on her head to tumble down her back in silvery gold waves.

Inoichi gaped, mouthed wordlessly for a full minute, and finally stood up from his desk. He ran forward, fairly smashing the desk in his haste to get to his beloved daughter. The duo ran forward with cries of "Daddy!" and "Sweetie-pie!" and crushed each other in a tight embrace, with Inoichi sobbing uncontrollably on Ino's shoulder, while the girl herself wailed. Shikamaru stood to the side and kicked at the carpet, feeling like an intruder on such an intimate occasion.

"Pumpkin! Daddy has missed you so much! Are you hurt? Where have you been all this time? Do you have any idea just how worried I've been?" Inoichi gabbled, clutching Ino to him as if he was afraid she'd disappear.

"No, daddy, I'm alright, I've been with… friends." Inoichi didn't seem to notice her hesitation.

"Friends? Who? I've called all your friends! And they've called their friends!"

"Um… Just a few people I used to know…" Shikamaru arched an eyebrow; she wasn't really telling a lie, he was considered a friend, he supposed, and she did use to know him.

Inoichi finally looked up from Ino to fix Shikamaru with tearful eyes. "Nara! How can I ever thank you! I never realized what a good son Shikaku had! I mean, we lost touch over the years when we moved abroad, but I see that Shikaku has raised his son well!" The huge man wiped his streaming eyes with a CK handkerchief, and blew his nose loudly on it. Shikamaru sweat-dropped, and shrugged. "I was just helping someone out."

Suddenly the man's head snapped up, and his eyes narrowed on Shikamaru. "How DID you come by her anyway? I've sent agents everywhere, and yet it was you who found her? And how did you convince her to come back? Where were you before you came here?"

Shikamaru sighed; he had decided that some manipulations of the truth would be the best choice. However, Ino beat him to it. "Shika helped me when I was in dire circumstances, and he's been SO nice to me, I owe him so much. We stayed at his apartment – sorry, penthouse for a while, and um, we're actually here to talk to you about something really important."

Shikamaru face palmed, knowing just what conclusions an over-protectively paranoid father would draw from her seriously misleading sentences. And as we all know, he was absolutely right.

"NOOOOO!" The man roared, jumping away from his startled daughter and clutching his head in his hands, he shook his head so furiously Ino was afraid it would come off. "YOU'RE HERE TO TELL ME YOU GUYS ARE MARRIED RIGHT? OR GOING TO GET MARRIED AND THERE'S NOTHING I CAN DO TO STOP IT AND YOU'LL ELOPE AND GET MARRIED IN BOCA AND I'LL NEVER EVER SEE YOU AGAIN, ISN'T IT! ISN'T IT! The anguished wailing of yet another Yamanaka echoed off the walls.

"We're not getting married!" Both of the younger adults replied at the same time.

"SEE! YOU EVEN SPEAK IN UNISON! AND YOU SHARE THE SAME THOUGHTS! I'M TOO LATE!" And before Shikamaru could tell him that his logic makes absolutely no sense, the man rushed over to the side where a small shrine was standing, and the picture of a beautiful woman was placed on the altar. "TELL ME, WHERE DID I GO WRONG, YUMIKO?" He clutched the photo as tears streamed down his face.

"Daddy!" Ino pouted, and stuck her hands on her hips, "We're here to talk about my supposed engagement to Sasuke!"

The giant man looked up from the altar with a hopeful expression. "You're willing to marry the Uchiha?" Shikamaru wondered if the man had selective hearing.

"No!" Ino yelled, frustrated with her father also. Inoichi almost cowered. "I'm NOT going to marry Sasuke! I've got my whole life ahead of me and I'm not going to be tied down by that anti-social prick! Even if he is really ridiculously good looking!"

Inoichi finally got up from his kneeled position on the floor to compose himself into a semblance of order.

"But… I thought you liked him?"

"Well, so did I, until you said you wanted to marry us off. I realized that it was just a simple crush. He's not… he's too 'Emo' for my tastes. I want someone more down to earth than that." Ino explained patiently, (amazing, considering her temper.) She motioned to Shikamaru to take a seat, which he gratefully did. The Yamanakas sat down as well, Ino besides him and Inoichi behind his huge (however destroyed) desk.

"So you won't marry him?" Inoichi asked, possibly still hoping for a different answer.

"I won't." Ino replied firmly.

"We are hoping, that in return for Miss Yamanaka's voluntary return, you will cancel the marriage contract." Shikamaru cut in smoothly, patiently watching the older man. Inoichi sighed, and rubbed his chin with one hand.

"Well, it's kinda hard. Both parties have agreed that the best way to merge our company is to marry our respective heirs, which in the Uchiha's case, is their legitimate heir."

"There are other ways of doing so, Mr. Yamanaka." Shikamaru continued, "Right now your daughter claims that her best friend is in love with the Uchiha heir, and that he is showing signs of interest in her. If all goes well in their relationship, everyone's happy and you will still have a guarantee for the merging."

The burly man stopped rubbing his chin and squinted at Shikamaru, as if scrutinizing him closely. "When did you get so smart?" Was his final reply after quite sometime. The lazy man with the pineapple hairdo sagged with defeat against the older Yamanaka's attention span, or lack thereof.

The blonde bombshell beside him bounced up and down excitedly. " Yeah, it'd be like, so awesome if everything worked out like that, right?" Shikamaru was feeling too defeated to explain.

"Alright," Inoichi said at last, "I'll discuss it with Fugaku and Mikoto."

"Yes!" Ino cheered, and jumped up. "Dad, can I go home and find Sakura?"

"Of course darling!" He pressed a button on his phone and roared into it "Escort my daughter home, pronto!" The reply was a very quick "Yes sir!"

"Now," the older man continued in a much quieter tone, "Run along, children, I have to make calls to stop the search."

"Ok. Oh and can you turn off that infuriating music in the elevator?" Ino asked sweetly. Inoichi sweat-dropped but agreed.

In a whirlwind, Shikamaru was dragged out of the office by Ino and into the elevator, this time sans boring music. A smooth and sleek black limousine waited for Ino outside of the building, its engines a barely audible purr. Ino jumped in without a second's hesitation. Shikamaru hung back.

"So… I've finished what I set out to do, right? You go home and I go home and everything's back to normal?" Shikamaru said quietly, the barest hint of hope in his voice. It was dashed, however, when Ino threw back her magnificent head and laughed.

"No, silly! I have to bring you home and show you off to the others!" Her arm shot out, grabbed the front of his shirt and yanked him into the car, whereas he was dumped unceremoniously onto the floor.

"I'm getting kidnapped, aren't I?" He mumbled into the soft wool carpet (wool carpet? In a car? What the hell was the world coming to?). Ino giggled sinisterly.

"Of course. You can't get rid of me that easily, I'm Yamanaka Ino."

"How troublesome." He groaned, and they sped off to the Yamanaka mansion.


Alright, let's have a vote. Who wants me to throw in a twist about Sakura, Sasuke and Naruto? And it ain't pretty, I assure you. In fact, people who support the SxS pairing will kill me.