Disclaimer: Don't own.

Summary: They knew each other since they were born, yet Ino has never seen what Shikamaru looks like without his pineapple monstrosity hairstyle. ShikaIno

Started: July 3, 2006 4:24

Finished: July 11, 2006 10:41


Pineapple Monstrosity

By Lily-Finn


"Ino, you're staring," Akimichi Choji pointed out. Ino was snapped out of her daze as she turned her head to look at her chubby teammate and friend. He was staring at her curiously as he ate his chips.

"What are you talking about, Choji? I'm not staring at anything." Ino declared haughtily. Was she that obvious?

"Yes, you were." Choji objected. He pointed to their other teammate. "You were staring at Shikamaru."

She had been obvious. She crossed her arms and stuck her nose in the air. "Well, it's okay to stare at my teammate. You want to make something of it?"

Choji stuffed more chips in his mouth, making Ino cringe. She had always detested that particular habit of his. He said no more, and Ino turned her head back so she could look once again at their other teammate. Asuma-sensei was telling him about a specific way to throw a shuriken. Her eyes traveled to his hair. It was always the same thing everyday, thrown up into a messy ponytail. She liked to call his hairstyle the 'Pineapple Monstrosity'. Because if you looked real closely, his head resembled the fruit, while his hair resembled the leaves.

"You're staring again." Choji stated.

Ino ignored his statement and asked him, "Choji, you're really close to Shikamaru, right?"

"So are you." Choji answered, thinking that Ino had forgotten that all three of them had grown up together.

"Right. So, you've seen him with his hair down?" she asked, frowning.

Choji stopped eating for one second, thinking her question over. "Can't say I have."

Ino nodded as she turned back to look at Shikamaru. If Choji hadn't seen his best friend with his hair down, then who had?


When Ino got home from training, she was immediately put in charge of the flower shop. She was still thinking about Shikamaru and his odd choice in hairstyles when the door to the shop opened and in walked Hyuuga Neji. She was startled out of her thoughts just long enough to screech and point at the boy. "What are you doing here?"

Neji looked annoyed, and Ino laughed nervously.

The Hyuuga looked at the flowers on either side of him. "I'm getting flowers for Tenten."

"Oh, yeah." Ino nodded in knowing. Tomorrow was Neji and Tenten's one-year anniversary. Tenten wouldn't shut up about it. For someone who was such a tomboy, Tenten was a big softie whenever it came to her boyfriend. "But don't you think Tenten would like something like…a weapon?"

"I'm already getting her two new sets of shurikens and a new katana. And I'm taking her to that fancy restaurant on the other side of the village. I think she won't mind if I got her some flowers, too." Ino's eyes widened, then softened. If only she had a boyfriend who would go to such extremes for her.

She gave a small whistle and said, "I suggest the orchid. I'm sure she'll like that." She went over to the display of orchids and brought them behind the counter where she wrapped them. Neji gave her the money, but she shook her head. "This one is on the house. I hope you and Tenten have a good anniversary."

Neji nodded and made to leave but Ino stopped him, "Neji, have you ever seen Tenten with her buns down?"

"Of course. Why do you ask?"

"How'd you get her to take them out?" Ino asked, knowing too well how stubborn Tenten was when it came to taking out her buns.

Neji blinked, not expecting that question. He hesitated before telling Ino, "When I showed up for training one day, Lee and Gai-sensei were running 300 laps around Konoha…

Flashback

Tenten was flinging a kunai at a target on one of the many trees. Neji watched as the kunai hit the bulls-eye, and Tenten pushed a strand of her dark hair away from her eyes. He noticed that several locks of hair were falling out of one of her buns.

He walked over to his girlfriend. She greeted him with a warm smile, and asked, "Ready to train, Neji?"

Neji nodded, but before they could begin, he pulled her towards him, his hand caressing her back. She put her hands on his chest, looking up at him curiously. He leaned down, closing the gap between them as their lips connected.

And while they were kissing, Neji's free hand was slowly sneaking its way to her hair. He took out the bands holding her hair and could feel her smooth hair falling over his fingers. He pulled away and took in the sight of her with her hair flowing down to her shoulders in wavy locks. He gave her a small smile.

Tenten slapped his arm. "You sneaky bastard! Do you know how long it takes me to put these things up?"

"It was worth it."

Tenten frowned. "What do you mean by that?"

He stroked her cheek with the back of his palm. "I got to see how beautiful you are. Not that you aren't beautiful with your buns." Tenten rolled her eyes, slapping him again, but he caught the blush on her cheeks as she turned around.

End Flashback

Ino cooed, "Aw, Neji, that's so sweet of you!"

She could see the light pink tinge on his face and giggled. Hyuuga Neji was embarrassed! She wished she had a camera on her so she could use it for blackmail later. That would've been priceless.

The kunoichi kept teasing him until he left the store, his face almost as red as Hinata's got when she got close to Naruto. Once she was all alone, she placed her head on her propped up fists, contemplating what Neji had told her. So he had used a cunning trick to get Tenten to get her hair out of their buns. Should she do that with Shikamaru? Could she use her own cunning to get his hair out of the Pineapple Monstrosity? And if she could, how would she do it?

She pulled a photograph out of her pocket. It was one of her, Shikamaru, and Choji. The picture had been taken at Ino and Shikamaru's eleventh birthday party. Seeing as Ino was born a day after Shikamaru and that their fathers were really good friends, their birthday parties had been conjoined. It had been that way ever since they were young. Ino had always hated having to share her birthday party with Shikamaru. She hadn't minded after they became genins and were placed in the same cell. In fact, after they became genins and had to spend more time with each other, Ino rather enjoyed looking forward to their birthday party.

Ino had noticed almost a year and half ago that her infatuation with Sasuke was dwindling, and that Shikamaru had become more…attractive in her mind. In a short amount of time, she was no longer mooning over the Uchiha like every other girl in the village (minus Tenten and Hinata because they had no attraction to him whatsoever). Instead, she found herself spending more time with Shikamaru, learning his likes and dislikes, training with him a lot more often, watching clouds with him, and one time she even had the guts to make lunch for the two of them when Asuma-sensei and Choji were on a mission.

She was transparent. All her friends could see instantly that she felt a certain fondness for the Nara boy. Even Sasuke had noticed that she liked Shikamaru when he saw them cloud watching together one day. The only one who didn't notice was Shikamaru himself. She laughed aloud when Hinata had told her that her situation with Shikamaru was just like Hinata's situation with Naruto before they started dating.

It turned out Naruto liked Hinata, so maybe…Shikamaru likes me? Ino shook her head. Shikamaru did not like her at all! He had once told her he preferred quiet, humble girls instead of loud brats like Ino.

But that was only when they were seven. Surely, his preference in women had changed.

She did see him sometimes eyeing Temari an awful lot. And Temari was tougher than Ino was. Temari was definitely not his type. Or was she…?

Ino shook her head again. Thinking about Shikamaru liking someone else just downright made her sick. She wanted Shikamaru all to herself. No one could have him. Not Temari, not some quiet, humble girl, just her, Yamanaka Ino.

Ino had been so deep in her thoughts that she hadn't noticed that her father had snuck up behind her. So when he greeted her happily, she jumped three feet in the air and screamed loudly.

When she caught her breath, she said nothing but instead chose to give her father a lethal glare. Yamanaka Inochi sweat-dropped at his only daughter's expression and explained, "Ino, I need you to give this to Shikato."

He handed her a package. She already knew its contents were the leftovers from her mother's miso soup. Ino's mother knew how much Shikamaru's mother liked her miso soup and had decided to set some aside for the Nara family.

Ino took the soup and left the shop as she hurriedly rushed over to the Nara residence. Maybe Shikamaru was home. She could talk to him before he ate dinner, maybe ask if he wanted to train the next day.

Unfortunately, Shikamaru wasn't home when she got to his house. She gave the soup to his father and headed back home. On her way though, she got the sudden urge to stop by Shikamaru's favorite cloud watching place. She skipped along happily in hopes he'd be there.

He was. She was overjoyed at the sight of him and ran over to where he was laying down. She sat next to him and greeted, "Shikamaru! I just stopped by your house, but you weren't there."

He merely nodded and asked, "Did you want me to be there?"

"I just wanted to know if you wanted to train with me tomorrow." Ino said cheerfully.

"Troublesome." He muttered. "I guess if you want to, I could."

"Good because I was going to make you even if you didn't want to." She laid down on her back next him and watched the sky. For the next several minutes there was a comfortable silence where the two gazed at the clouds. Well, Shikamaru was gazing at the clouds while Ino was stealing sidelong glances at the Nara boy's face.

After a while, Ino started to get restless and she sat up again. Shikamaru turned his attention from the sky to his friend. Ino stared forward blankly as she said to him, "You know, Shikamaru, we've been friends for a long, long time." He didn't say anything, but she could feel his eyes burning holes into her back. "And throughout the years we've known each other, I've actually gotten quite…attached to you."

Shikamaru sat up quickly. Had Ino just said she was attached to him? He had heard her correctly, right?

"I guess, Shikamaru, that I've become so attached to you that I've actually fallen…in love with you." She heard the small intake of breath from the boy, and stared through her eyelashes at him. His eyes were widened just a bit, but other than that, he didn't look much surprised. Then again, he was a master at concealing his emotions most times.

She leaned forward a bit and touched her lips to his without taking a second glance at him. His lips were warm and smooth and fit perfectly against her own. The touch sent waves of pleasure throughout her body. She didn't want to stop, but she had to see how he was reacting to all of this.

But just as she was pulling away, she felt Shikamaru's firm grip on her waist pulling her back to him. He pressed his lips against hers in a fiery, determined kiss. Ino kissed back just as passionately. She wove her arms around his neck as she deepened the kiss. Slowly, surely, her hands snuck through his confined hair until they at last reached their goal and pulled out the tie holding his hair in place. She could feel his hair fall over her hands and she pulled back from the kiss.

She gasped in awe. He looked even more handsome with his hair down. Shikamaru's dark locks hung almost an inch above his shoulders. She brushed back a strand that had fallen over his eye with the back of her palm. He caught her hand and held it resolutely, the touch sending shivers throughout Ino.

"Wow," she muttered, staring at him. "You look…wow."

"Did you just kiss me to see me with my hair down, Ino?" Shikamaru asked, not looking her in the eyes. He dropped her hand, making Ino miss the warm touch.

"Yep!" she answered cheerfully. She wondered if he would blush like Neji said Tenten had when he did the same thing to her. But, as she looked closely, he wasn't blushing. In fact, he didn't look happy at all.

"You could've just asked." Shikamaru explained. Ino's smile dropped. She could've asked? So she didn't have to go through the fear of him rejecting her when she could've just asked?

"So, what you said…that you loved me…that wasn't true. And the only reason why you kissed me was to see me with my hair down." He stated rather than questioned, as though he already what her answer would be. He knew better than to think that someone like Ino would love him.

He got up to leave, taking his hair tie out of Ino's hand. Ino stayed where she was, confused. After she realized that he thought she was lying to him about her true feelings, anger welled up inside her and she took off her shoe and threw it at the back of his head. It hit its target, dead center.

Shikamaru stopped after the shoe hit, but he did not turn around or acknowledge the fact his head was throbbing like crazy. Ino walked toward him and slapped him when she was standing behind him. She then screamed at him, "How dare you think for one second, Nara Shikamaru, that I was only kissing you to see you with your hair down. How dare you think that I was lying to you when I said I love you."

She emphasized her point by hitting his head on every other word. When she stopped hitting him, she asked quietly, "Do you know how hard it was to say that I love you when I thought that you wouldn't accept my feelings?"

Shikamaru was quiet for a moment. He turned around slowly to face Ino, to see that tears were welled up in the corners of her eyes. He asked in the same quiet tone that she used, "So…you really do love me?"

"Of course I do!" she burst out as the tears sprang loose. She wiped them away with the back of her hand, not wanting to him to see her in this vulnerable state.

Shikamaru pulled her towards him in a tight embrace. She cried silently into his chest for a minute before Shikamaru backed up a little and wiped away the rest of her tears for her with his thumbs. Ino stared up into his eyes, and she wrapped her arms around him in another embrace. Her love was bursting out of her, and she desperately wanted to show him how much she cared about him, how much she loved him.

"I love you, I love you, I love you, Shikamaru, and don't you dare think otherwise." She assured him.

Shikamaru nodded as he wrapped his arms around her, too. "I love you, too, Ino."

"Really?" she looked up at him, her baby blue eyes wide. "You mean you don't love Temari or some quiet, humble girl?"

He gave her a strange look at the mention of the sand sibling. He shook it off though and told her, "I love you, Ino, and no one else. Not Temari, or some quiet, humble girl. Just you. And don't you dare think otherwise."

Ino smiled when he used her own words. She kissed him again and was excited as he kissed her back. When they parted, she took in his features and commented, "You should really wear your hair down more often. It looks much better this way than it did when it was the Pineapple Monstrosity."

Shikamaru looked startled. "The pineapple mon—"

Ino put a finger to his mouth. "Don't ask. You really don't want to know."

Shikamaru gave her a light peck on the lips. "You really should keep a hold on your troublesomeimagination. What did you call Sasuke's hairstyle?"

Ino thought for a moment. "The Master Chicken."

Ino pulled on his hand as she led them back to his house, where she knew that his mother had miso soup waiting. "But you know what, Shikamaru?"

"What?"

"I like pineapple a whole lot more than I like chicken."


Ew, pineapple. It sickens me. Chicken is way better. Okay, I don't mean that in the sense that I like Sasuke more than I like Shikamaru. I'm just a proud chicken lover. Then again, I never really tried pineapple…I'm hungry. I always write about food when I'm hungry. In fact, most of the things I write involve food! I luv food!

But you gotta understand that Shikamaru's hairstyle does look like a pineapple! I'm surprised no one wrote a story like this before I did…or at least…I don't think anybody wrote a story like this before I did. Whatever, this plot is all mine!

Heehee, I actually got the idea for this fic after I saw this funny pic that had Shikamaru looking really surprised/offended when he saw someone put a pineapple on a stick that was wearing his jacket thingy so it looked like him. It was a really cute pic & it had my buddy Shikamaru! I luv my buddy Shika-kun! glomps Shika-kun