Requested by otakudazukage from I do not own Naruto. If I did I would not write "fan" fiction.
Pairing: ShikaSaku, divided into two sections--Intellect and Heat.
Bound Like A Book
Part 1: Intellect
Author: L.E. Death (Lady Eden Your Gift From Death)
The pink-haired kunoichi had a share of experiences with crushes. Being a bright ninja herself, Sakura was prone to falling for intelligent men. Her first had been the Uchiha boy, her second Hyuuga Neji, and her third was Lee. There had been a few unimportant attractions as well; unimportant because they had lasted a short period of time.
Finding herself between the age of fifteen and sixteen, the Haruno female decided it was time to finally act upon her feelings. Just recently she had found that a certain cloud-gazing boy was as much a genius as the adults gave him credit for. He was not that bad looking either.
She had dated a few times before and, as such, had become a rather skilled kisser. A few times her date and she would grope one another. Curiosity had played a huge factor in those times. The thought of taking all that a step further intrigued Sakura. Still, she wanted to wait for a candidate she thought worthy of possibly taking her virginity.
Thinking back to the first time she had taken the chuunin exams, Sakura recalled that it had only been Shikamaru to be promoted. In the back of her mind she added how hot that was.
The young kunoichi blushed at the thought of her newly developed crush.
Snapping out of her trance, the girl looked up when the bell above the door rang. Working in this bookstore was only temporary but she would work to the best of her ability.
A couple had walked inside, whom she recognized as the parents of the genius she had just been thinking of. Sakura smiled and greeted them as she would any potential customer. Shikamaru's mother returned the words while her husband merely nodded. A sigh of boredom that reached the female's ears caught Sakura off guard.
Her attention went back towards the door to reveal that the pair's son had come with them. "Oh!" she said, slightly startled. "Good evening, Shikamaru-kun."
The boy blinked as he did a double-take. He had not realized that it was Sakura who was the cashier. Shimaru muttered out a phrase almost identical and walked over to the desk.
"I wouldn't have thought you'd work here," he commented with a smirk. Sakura did not know if she was to feel offended by this remark. "Most girls like other jobs…salons and all."
Sakura countered his smirk, "Well it seems I'm not like most girls."
"Heh." The girl blinked. "What kind of books are you into then?"
She thought about this carefully for a few moments before the answer escaped through her lips. "Hmm…it rally depends I guess. I'll read almost anything wit a good plot that is well-written."
"Have you read A Separate Peace by John Knowles?" Shikamaru questioned after a period of the girl's silence. She shook her head. "It's not that bad. A group of boys attending a school by the name of Devon during a war. They are getting prepared to join from what they learn. The book tells how a certain section of those boys grow up because of some tragedy. Great symbolism too, but it's too troublesome so I won't explain it."
Hearing the boy talk about the book like that was a turn-on for the pink-haired teen. She made a mental note to read the book after she got off work. A smile remained on her face as she stared at the boy with interest. Shikamaru's smirk grew, aware of the reasoning behind the girl's attention. He had connected them with the looks Ino used to give when she spoke of Sasuke.
No further words were exchanged between the two. The elder Nara male had found the book he needed, and his wife the one she wanted. Seeing her purchase a smut book was definitely easier to swallow than watching her jounin sensei buy the latest volume of "Icha Icha Paradise". Sakura wondered if it were any good as she rung up the two items.
They paid cash then headed out on their way. The girl waved, "Thank you, have a good night."
"You too." She was greatly impressed with Shikamaru's manners. He was always somewhat respectful, especially when it came to females.
"He really is something," the girl said to herself a moment or two after they were out of hearing range.
Sakura took out a pen and wrote on a sticky note the title of the book the Nara genius had spoken of. There was a pause of the pen a moment after. Biting her bottom lip, Sakura added the name of Kakashi's favorite series. She had read her own share of smut so she believed herself capable of handling it. Besides that, Sakura was smart enough to close the book if she was proven otherwise.
The girl waited until her shift was almost over, ten minutes to closing time, before she sought out the two books. Rarely ever did anyone ever enter the store during this time the girl had learned over the course of the week. Taking the books back up to the register she run them up and paid for them. It was not a method considered legal, but she did not want anyone to know of a certain book she was purchasing. Not to mention the fact that she was actually too young to buy it.
Sakura put her books into a brown paper bag instead of the clear plastic, for obvious reasons. She then readied the store for closing. When finished, the girl finally took her leave and proceeded down the road to her home.
The kunoichi bid her parents a good night before she went to her room. Sakura immediately closed the door behind her. She decided that before she read A Separate Peace, she had to know what Icha Icha Paradise was all about.
Her bed had been made that morning, but the work was demolished as she climbed into it. The paper bag on her lap was being opened by her hands and the adult book was pulled out. Setting aside the other contents, Sakura opened the book.
It was not that bad, she decided after getting past the first ten pages. About twenty minutes later, however, she discovered the reason it always seemed to make her sensei blush. The sex looked like it had in her head all those times she had allowe3d her mind to dine on smut.
Sakura began to picture herself as the female in the story, except she would not be as fragile. The hero started to look more and more like Shikamaru. Rather than the cheesy clichés, he would be speaking words of intelligence. The concept of him smirking while they made love caused Sakura to feel a sort of wetness in her panties.
"Bad idea," the blushing teenager said, closing the book before she gave into the temptation to go any further. "Eh…I should get ready for bed. Then I can start on the other book."
Glad that tomorrow was her day off, the girl decided to have a celebration of sorts by reading the entire book that night. It was short enough for her to accomplish that task.
The kunoichi brushed her hair and teeth, washed her face, and dressed herself in some comfortable pajamas. It was a set; a pink tank-top and pants with little froggies on them. The frogs brought out her eyes and the pink matched her hair. Ino had bought them as part of her birthday present.
Sakura climbed back into her bed and took out the book. The sound of Shikamaru's voice summarizing it ran through her head. For once he had sounded interested instead of bored. It was nice listening to him when that was the case.
Her light-green eyes wandered across the sentences as she read the item's contents in her head. So far the book seemed well-written. Shikamaru had pretty good taste, she concluded. It took her a few moments to catch some of the symbolism but eventually she understood. The tree was man's fall from grace and the river was the passing of time.
This particular book held the girl's interest. She was able to relate with some of the characters and how they felt during different parts of the story. She found the ironic elements added to be a smart touch. The girl was almost disappointed to reach the end, but she thought Knowles had done an excellent job with wrapping things up.
Sakura set the book down with a smile on her face. "That boy…" she sighed. "He's different than I thought…better…" He probably seemed so bored because not many were on his intellectual level, she thought. Sometimes she found herself feeling the same. "Plus he's a very accepting person…" She thought of Chouji as she mentioned this.
The girl began to wonder why she had not noticed many of these things before. Most likely because she was always too obsessed with all her other crushes, she concluded. Not to mention she had been too young to know what was truly best for her.
Soon her thoughts became jumbled, the words clashing together. Finally it became a buzz as the world of conscousness left the pink-haired teenager.
The next morning she woke up to the sounds of theroaring of streets she thought she had grown accustomed to after having lived in Konoha her entire life.
Quite recently--for about two weeks to be exact--Sakura and Ino had one day each week during which they wuold visit a different restaurant for lunch. On this particular day they had chosen to dine at Niwatori, a popular chicken place. Neither of the two girls could recall which of them had selected the place. Soon they decided all that mattered was how good the food turned out to be.
Each held a menu in their hands as they picked out what sounded best. As for their drinks, Sakura was ordering melon soda and Ino had chosen strawberry. Ramune was a popular drink during the summer.
The blonde-haired teen decided that orange chicken and shumai sounded delicious. For her companion it was not so simple. A few meals appealed to Sakura's taste. When the waiter came by she chose to get afriend chicken and baked potatoe meal. Western food always struck her interest.
While waiting for their food to be cooked, the girls struck up a conversation. It was about time they were informed with what was going on in the other's life. Plus they needed something to make the wait not seem so long.
"So, Sakura," Ino began with a mischievious glint in her eyes, "anything interesting happen at your job?"
The Haruno girl paused mid-sip and stared at her friend. She set down her bottle of ramune as she shook her head. "Not really. People just come and buy the books they want, need, or have been waiting for. It was awkward having Kakashi-sensei get Icha Icha Paradise. A bit disturbing even."
Ino listened to ever word with a different level of interest depending on the sentence. Once she was positive Sakura was finished she spoke on the matter.
"I guess selling your teacher and adult book would be strange. Oh! I almost forgot. Shikamaru had told me his parents were forcing him to go with them to the bookstore. You see him there?"
Her eyes lit up at the mention of the boy's name, though this went unnoticed by the blonde.
"Yeah, I saw him." Sakura's voice was calm despite her racing heart. We talked for a few minutes...about books that is."
Ino sighed, "Such a guy. He's always been so boring. And he isn't much of a looker. How about that one boy--Sai, I think his name was. What's he been up to lately?"
Sakura did not even attempt to bite back her laughter. Ino's obvious crush on Sai amused her. Their personalities went together, she thought. the same could be said for her and Shikamaru. The lazy genius was most definately a man she could enjoy if he would talk more.
Answering the blonde's quesion, Sakura replied with the words 'I don't know'. This caused a look of disappointment to cross Ino's face.
Choji and Shikamaru were eating their own lunch at a buffet. The more plump boy possessed a larger plate than his childhood friend as was normal. Shikmaru was almost finished with his meal, whereas Choji was just getting started. As for their drinks, the lazy boy was still on his first and the other on his third.
Shikamaru sighed and mumbled, "Ino would be complaining if she were here."
"Are you going to eat that?" Choji questioned, pointing to a sushi with his chopsticks. It was obvious he did not care what the female of their team thought of his eating habits.
The raven-haired boy smirked and surrened the piece of food to his companion. He watched as it was devoured with a sort of silence that showed he was thinking. Choji noticed this but his attention quickly fell back to his food.
Done withthe plate of food in front of him, Choji decided to hold a conversation with his teammate before he picked out dessert. He thought of where to begin then said the first thing that came to mind.j
"What's your favorite food?" The other stared at him for a moment before he gave the nonverbal answer of shrugging. "Barbecue potatoe chips."
Shikamaru already knew this. "Did you read the book yet?" he asked.
Choji made a face, "I don't like books."
Disappointment crossed Shikamaru's mind. Books had always been one of his favorite things in life aside from cloud gazing and shougi. He was not given time to voice these thoughts since Choji had started to order his desserts. Books on his mind, Shikamaru did not desire any sweets.
The thought of Ino scolding their plump teammate came to his mind once again. He then recalled the blonde saying she was going to lunch with a certain pink-haired kunoichi. A Separate Peace wandered into his mind as did the conversation he had had with Sakura. She had always been an interesting girl, even back at the academy.
Sakura, as Iruka had mentioned on more than one occasion, had been one of the most promising kunoichi out of the class. Her intellect was unrivaled by any of the other female ninja. Shikamaru gave Sakura his respect because of this.
"Neh, Shikamaru," Choji said between bites. "Thinking about a girl?"
He was not one to be caught off guard. "Tch. They're troublesome."
Sakura tucked a strand of her pink hair behind her ear as she rung up an order that her current customer had a good hundred dollars worth of books was being purchased for eighty due to a sale they were having. The bell above the door rang but she did not look back, too preoccupied with her current task. The lady handed the girl cash as payment. Change was not required in this case, which allowed Sakura to look up sooner.
Her eyes widened slightly, "Shikamaru-kun."
"...yeah," his voice drawled out. "Ino wants me to pick up some manga or another for her. Tch. Didn't even say the title because you're supposed to know. Women...troublesome."
A chuckle escaped from her before she could contain it. There was a light shade of blush on her cheeks after that. Sakura pointed to the section where the manga was kept, saying the title only loud enough for the boy to hear. Barely at that.
Shikamaru muttered a thanks as he went in the direction pointed out by the cashier.Chocolat volumethree was easy enough to find amongst the rest since it was all in alphabetical order. For once the world accompanied his needs and made things easy for him. A part of him wanted to fall to his knees and thank God. But that was out of character and much too cumbersome for the boy.
Taking the manga back up the register, Shikamaru thought he would bring up a topic they could discuss, even for a short while.
"That book I told you about yesterday-"
Sakura cut him off. Not intentionally, but it turned out just all right. "I read it. You were right, it's great!"
A smirk crossed the boy's lips. Point one for him. He had at last succeeded in getting another being to read a good book. Ino was too into romance and manga, and Choji really was not into any sort of book.
"Are...are there any other books like that, that you have read?" the kunoichi questioned. The lazy genius nodded but said nothing. "Nine seventy-five."
He blinked. "Huh?"
"I mean...the price."
Mentally he cursed himself as he handed over the amount due. He had been too busy staring at Sakura. For some reason the knowledge that she had taken his advice made him see her in a new light. She was even lovier than before. The bud was beginning to blossom. What a wonderful flower it would make.
"The Collection by Bentley Little is good," Shikamaru stated, answering her previous question. He took the bag that held the manga before he continued. "It's a series of short stories. Most are morbid, but have great plots. If you're not squeemish, I recommend it."
"Well, you haven't led me wrong yet." His smirk widened. "Though...I'll have to wait until I get paid next. I'm out of spending money. Or at least for entertainment."
Shikamaru shook his head. 'So troublesome,' he thought. "I own it." The argument in his head ceased as the next sentence left his lips. "You could borrow it."
"That'd be great!" Her smile was gorgeous. The boy was able to see just how much of a woman she was becoming. "Could you swing it by my house later? You could stay for a while too if you wanted. I don't want to be rude."
He shrugged, "Sure." 'Women are so troublesome,' he thought with a sort of smile.
Shikamaru then bid the woman farewell, taking his purchase to its rightful owner. Ino would grow angry if he did not hurry back with the desired possession. Sakura watched him leave, her eyes not leaving his back until the crowded street took the sight away.
Sakura said her goodbyes to her co-worker that had come in to take over before she headed out the door. She went down the street, halfway to her home, when she recalled that she had not told Shikamaru what time she got off at. Mentally slapping herself, Sakura hoped that Ino had told him. If he had asked, that is. Who knew if the lazy genius would ask, he was much too...lazy.
Her mother would be making a large dinner, and Sakura was pondering over the idea of asking her if Shikamaru could stay for dinner. If he wanted to, that was. The pink-haired kunoichi thought it would be polite, plus she wanted to spend more time with him. He was the first male that actually apprecaited literature as much as she.
Sakura opened the front door, announced that she was home for her parents' sake, and then went up to her room. She wanted to change into more comfortable clothes. Her work clothes were black pants and a plain shirt. The clothes she desired was her usual outfit, a pink tanktop shirt and tight black shorts. Black gloves were put onto her hands, but she left off her kunai pouch. One item she never forgot to put on was her Konoha forehead protector.
The girl then sat on her bed, Icha Icha Paradise in her hands. Her curiosity was getting the better of her. Releasing a sigh, the girl finally gave into the temptation and opened the book to the page she had left off on. Blush filled her face immediately. She had almost forgotten that she was still on the smut scene. Smut books wtih pictures definately were not good for fifteen year olds, she decided. The pink-haired girl mentally scolded herself for giving in so easily.
Sakura had long passed the scene when her mother called up to her, announcing that there was someone at the door to see her. She also added that her daughter she should hurry up since dinner was almost ready. The girl remembered that she was going to ask if Shikmaru could eat over, and did so when she went past the woman. Her mother agreed then glanced at the door.
It was part way open and Sakura could just make out a figure standing behind it. The lazy genius had a book in his hand, the one he had promised to bring.
"Ano...Shikamaru, would you like to stay for dinner?" Sakura asked. Her mother gave her an odd look. She had obviously believed that her daughter had already asked the young man.
The boy blinked, slightly surprised. He let a moment of silence pass between them before he replied, "Meh...I guess." His answer caused a smile to grow on the girl's face. This pleased him as well, though he did not show it.
"Oh, you can come in," Sakura said at last, taking a step off to the side to allow him room to enter. He accepted the invatation.
Once inside the Haruno home, Shikamaru took a few minutes to observe his surroundings. It was a nice set-up, something his mother would do if she got her way. Well, she did get her way for the most part but there were limits his parents had agreed on so that they were both content. Shikamaru could care less so long as it was not too feminine.
There were a few ninja scrolls hanging from the wall in the living room, as well as a couple paintings. No doubt the girl's mother had collected these. They were interesting though, like scenes painted from a great book in his opinion. Lazy on the outside, Shikamaru's mind raced with many thoughts. It was how he stayed so thin--all the calories were mentally burned.
"Oh, we're having rice, shumai, and yakisoba. Terriyaki chicken too," Sakura informed the boy. His attention turned from the art to her. "Do you like those?"
The boy smirked, "Yeah." Knowing that the girl was so worried about his opinion gave a sort of cocky feeling to the boy. He had never really had a woman fuss over him, aside from his mother at least, this much. The boy extended his arm, offering the book to the female, "Here."
Sakura blinked, "Oh! Thank you." Her smile widened. "You can come to my room until dinner is ready."
Shikamaru felt odd about the statement, but knew it was for a perfectly innocent cause. Still, having a female invite you to her room when it is your first time over at her house is pretty strange. He just nodded and followed her down the hallway. They went up the staircase, the boy behind the girl. It was the second door on the right.
His hands had been stuffed in his pockets the whole time and his eyes had gone back and forth between her back and rear. An attractive woman wearing such tight clothing in front of a teenage boy, it was nothing surprising that he would be prone to do such things.
The room was nice, he thought. The typical bedroom really, or so he thought since it was something similar to that of Ino's. He had just been in his female teammate's room that day to give her the manga. A certain book then caught his eye. He did not comment on it, but his eyes were unable to peel themselves from it.
Sakura looked over her shoulder to see what the boy was doing. She then followed his gaze which lead her to Icha Icha Paradise. Blush flodded her cheeks and she moved to hide the book. It was a meaningless action, she knew, since the boy had already seen it. Still, it would make her feel somewhat better in the long-run.
"I thought you liked good books."
The comment did not help matters. Sakura was so embarrassed that she wanted to cry, but that would only make her feel like an idiot on top of things. She swallowed back the awkwardness and turned to the boy.
"I was curious."
"Curiosity killed the cat," Shikmaru replied in a sort of drawl.
Sakura sighed, "Yet everyone seems to forget that satisfaction brought her back."
"What about Icha Icha Paradise satisfies you?"
"That is NONE of your business!" she screeched. The wide-eyed face of the other told her that she had chosen the wrong set of words. Speaking of a smut book like that, it could easily lead one to believe the worse of her. "Not that, not that."
'Women are so troublesome,' Shikamaru told himself. "Ah."
Sakura let another sigh slip through her lips, "Can't you say something other than 'ah'?"
"It's too troublesome. There's no reason to."
'I'll give him a reason,' the girl decided. She was once again letting temptation get to her.
Sakura moved closer to the boy. Curiosity filled his eyes before they widened when the girl gripped his shoulders. Shikamaru allowed the lips to descend upon his own. They were soft. His first kiss had been with Temari and her lips had been rough. He liked this feeling better, he felt more in control. Man should be dominant over woman, he thought. It would be wrong if he lost to her.
Before he was able to fall into the kiss, Sakura pulled away from him. The pink-haired kunoichi then waited for a response.
This time it held some pleasure in it instead of a passiveness. She supposed it was some sort of improvement at least. Yet it was far from good enough. She moved forward once more and Shikamaru, being lazy, just stood there. When their lips were about to meet Sakura heard her mother call.
"It's time for dinner!"
A curse escaped from the girl's lips. Shikamaru supressed a chuckle. It was nice to know he was so important.
The pair went back down the staircase to the dining room. Again the boy was forced to follow the girl since he did not know where everything was quite yet. When all was said and done, Sakura and Shikamaru were seated beside one another, the boy across from the girl's father. Sakura's mother sat across from her with a small smile.
The children were drinking soda while the two adults drank a small glass of sake. One glass was supposedly healthy, unless one became an alcoholic. Once Sakura turned sixteen, or so her mother promised, she would also be able to have a glass with her dinner. Shikamaru was to wait until he was of age. He could care less though.
Dinner was eaten in silence, something Sakura was thankful for. Her parents sometimes had a tendency to reveal some embarrassing moments of her childhood, things she did not want Shikamaru to know about. Him discovering Icha Icha Paradise was enough for one day. The pink-haired kunoichi was pleased with the fact that he had not pressed on the subject in the bedroom.
-Three Days Later-
Sakura had finished the book lent to her by Shikamaru the previous day. Said boy had come to her work for the last three days to ask how she liked it. Never once did the topic of Icha Icha Paradise or the kiss come into play. Sakura was glad with the first part, but wanted to know what the boy thought of the kiss. She herself had enjoyed it, but could not tell if it had been the same for him.
As she handed the book to him, she decided to bring up the matter, "Uhm, Shikamaru-"
He cut her off before anything more was said. "Mom wants to know if you'll come for dinner."
"Sure!" she said with a smile. "My mom was just going to have us eat leftovers today so it works out perfectly."
There it was again. The annoying syllable that now reminded her of the kiss. That lead to her thinking of what she had been wanting to say to the boy. It was not like her to give up. She opened her mouth once more.
"Shikamaru-san..." her voice trailed off as she quickly thought of the right words. "About what happened in my room."
"It's all right. People are into different things."
She looked taken aback for a moment before she realized he was speaking of Icha Icha Paradise. The pink-haired kunoichi laughed and shook her head.
"Not that." He blinked then let 'oh' escape from him. "Yeah...uhm..."
"It was okay."
"Only okay?" Her heart dropped.
Shikamaru sighed, closing his eyes in annoyance,"You're so troublesome. I meant it's fine. It's not a big deal that you kissed me."
"So...so then...what did you think of the kiss?"
He peeked at her through half-lidded eyes. They opened all the way when he noticed the blush on her face. "Ah..." It would be rude to say anything that made her cry, so he decided to tell the truth. "It was nice."
A radiant smile came to the girl's face, as did a new shade of red. Shikamaru rubbed the back of his neck and excused himself. He called back to her that dinner would be at five thirty. Sakura said 'okay' just as the door closed.
There was a passing of fifteen minutes before another customer came into the store. It was her jounin sensei, Kakashi. Sakura sighed, remembering thata special of Icha Icha Paradise had come out. She wondered what was inspiring Jiraiya to write so much. The thoughts disturbed her so she stopped, and focused on her customer.
"Sakura-chan," her sensei started. "I noticed Shikamaru has come here a lot lately. So...is his mother reading another series?"
The girl cocked her head to the side, 'So that's where he got his interest in reading.' "No, he just lent me a book is all. I was slow in reading it because of work."
The Icha Icha Paradise special was set on the cashier counter. Sakura rung it up as she conversed with her sensei, completely forgetting her own experience with the series. Dinner at Shikamaru's was going to be a treat if his mother was really into books as much as Kakashi said.
Originally this was going to be a one-shot. However, because I do not want to spoil it with a rushed ending I have decided to have it in two parts. These two parts are the two elements otakudazukage had asked for in the fic: Intellect and Heat.
Next chapter WILL contain a lemon.
Thank you all and have a good day. And please be kind enough to review.