Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto

Started: July 31, 2006

Finished: August 1, 2006

Summary: They're best friends. It's always been that way. But this summer Ino was determined to make Shikamaru see that she could be more than that.

Pairings: ShikaIno, NejiTen, NaruHina, SasuSaku

Best Friends

By Lily-Finn


"Awesome! That was the best sale I've ever been to!" Yamanaka Ino cheered, stretching her arms. She glanced down at the bags at her feet and smiled brightly. Shopping always made her happy.

"Troublesome…" And what would shopping be if she didn't bring along her best friend Nara Shikamaru? She did need someone to help carry most of her purchases. Shikamaru was just the man to do it. That, and the fact he was the only guy who wasn't busy or on a mission.

Ino glared at the twenty-three-year-old man. Since his back was turned to her, he didn't see the deathly stare. But he could feel it. And if he didn't apologize quickly, she'd probably hurt him.

But Ino decided to spare his life and ignore his comment. She picked up her bags and thrust them into his arms, along with the other several million bags he already carried. Shikamaru frowned and told her, "I can't open the door if I'm holding your things."
They were standing outside Shikamaru's apartment door, and the man was just about to unlock it as Ino burdened him with her things. They had decided to stop by his place to have lunch (actually, it was more like Shikamaru didn't want Ino to force him to spend his hard-earned money on a restaurant and instead offered to make her lunch himself) once they were done shopping.

Rolling her baby blue eyes, Ino took his keys from his hand and opened the door successfully. After swinging it open, she turned back and smirked triumphantly at him. Shikamaru had to fight the urge to say troublesome as he made his way into his apartment.

Once the Nara placed all of Ino's purchases on his living room couch, he sulked into the kitchen. Ino was sitting at the table, her eyes closed as she wondered about what Shikamaru would make for lunch.

As Shikamaru prepared lunch, Ino went into the living room. She turned on the tv and flipped through the channels. In the next several seconds, she decided there wasn't anything worth watching, so she turned off the tv and discarded the remote. Bored, she walked around the room slowly, trying to find something that would entertain her. She finally came upon a radio, dusty from not being used often (Shikamaru probably thought even listening to music was troublesome). After turning it on, she fiddled around with it, trying to find a good song.

Ino stopped when she came upon a station playing an unfamiliar song. She listened to it for a second, and then turned it up when she decided it was good enough to listen to.

"Maybe some pretty girls are in your world
Excuse me, I could also be your girl
Lately, everyone is making fun
Na na na na na na na na na na na...

He's my best friend, best of all best friends
Do you have a best friend too?
It tickles in my tummy, he's so yummy yummy
Hey, you should get a best friend too!
My best friend!
Hoo ha, hoo ha!"

Ino's baby blue eyes widened in shock upon hearing the chorus. It was as though the song were made for her.

Shikamaru was her best friend, her best of all best friends, so to speak. Well, maybe her best guy friend since Sakura was her best girl friend. But still, he was a very dear friend to her, someone she'd probably die for if she were given the chance.

He had been by her side when she and Sakura had ended their friendship because of their stupid crush on Sasuke (even if he didn't want to be by her side). He always took care of her body when she was occupying someone else's mind. He worried about her when she got hurt (he tried to hide it in so many ways, but Ino just knew he was worried). He was always available for Ino's random shopping trips.

Shikamaru's characteristic trait of always being there for her was most likely the biggest reason why she had fallen for him. And fallen she had, like a bird who had just ran into a big shiny window. At first she was gliding along smoothly, when all of a sudden, bam! She had run straight into the fact that she had certain feelings for the certain Nara. And then she had fallen.

It was as simple as that.

But then the obstacles had shown up. There was the fact that Shikamaru, and everyone else in the village, for that matter (save Chouji and Sakura, because they just knew her true feelings), still thought she was 'in love' with a certain Uchiha Sasuke. If she started telling people she didn't 'love' Sasuke anymore, they'd stare at her like she were crazy and then start running around in circles, screaming about how the end of the world was dawning upon them.

Then there was always the fact that Shikamaru probably wasn't interested in her anyway. He had once told Chouji that he wanted to marry an average girl. Chouji had then told her this, and Ino was sure that Shikamaru would never take a second look at her. They were friends (Shikamaru would probably tell her falling in love with a friend was troublesome), and she was absolutely not an average girl.

The last problem was Ino's biggest threat: Temari. Of course, the sand sibling was also not average, like Ino, but Temari had somehow caught Shikamaru's eye. It was ever since the Sasuke retrieval mission. Temari had somehow saved him, or something to that extent, and ever since then, the two had become mighty close.

Ino didn't like Temari one bit.

Blinking, Ino realized the song was over. Sighing, she turned the radio off and headed back to the kitchen. Shikamaru was just setting down two bowls of steaming miso soup on the table. He looked over at her and said, "I was just going to tell you lunch was ready."

The woman nodded slowly, sitting down at the table across from Shikamaru. Picking up her chopsticks, she mumbled a half-hearted 'Itakadimasu' before starting to eat. Shikamaru raised an eyebrow but didn't say anything. The two ate in silence before Shikamaru asked, "What was the point of buying another bathing suit when you said you already have three other pairs?"

Ino looked up to see him smirking. She put on a defensive frown and kicked him. "For your information, I just might need a new bathing suit. What if my other ones don't fit properly? Or what if I grow tired of wearing the same ones over and over again? I must be prepared…" Shikamaru tuned out the rest of her reasoning. At least that got her talking again, he thought to himself. It was weird and unusually peculiar to not hear Ino talk her head off. Women are so troublesome…

A ring from the living room made Ino stop her rambling. The woman got up from her seat and went into the other room, returning a few seconds later with her cell phone in her hand. After checking the caller id, she put the mobile phone to her ear and chirped, "Hello, Forehead Girl!"

Shikamaru could hear Sakura from where he was sitting at the table. She didn't sound too happy. He rolled his eyes and stared at the ceiling. Was there ever a day where Ino didn't fight with the pink-haired medic nin?

"A beach house?" Ino inquired.

On the other end, Sakura sounded cheerful. "Yep! Tsunade-sama is letting me take some friends to my beach house. No missions for three wholes months. So, how about it? You wanna come?"

"Of course!" Ino practically screamed. Just think, three blissful months with no missions at all. Then, looking across the table, she saw Shikamaru lift his eyebrows in question. "On second thought, who all is coming?"

Sakura thought for a moment. "Well, there's me, Naruto, and Hinata. I asked Sasuke but he hasn't called me back. Tenten is forcing Neji to come. Gaara,Kankurou, and Temari were in town so I had to invite them.Then there's you. And," Ino could hear the sly tone Sakura used when she said, "I was thinking about asking Shikmaru."

If looks could kill people on the other end of a cell phone, then Sakura would've surely been dead. Because the look on Ino's face could've deflated a balloon.

There was no way she would let Shikamaru spend three months in the company of Temari. Even if Ino was there herself to supervise them.

The Yamanaka slammed her fist on the table.

Shikamaru yawned and mumbled, "Troublesome."She's going to break that table one day...

"Where are you?" Sakura asked, hearing Shikamaru's famous word.

"I'm eating lunch with Shikamaru. Why?" Ino frowned as she listened to Sakura. Then, she handed him the phone and said, "She wants to talk to you."

Ino watched as Shikamaru listened to what Sakura had to say. Finally, he told Sakura, "How troublesome. I guess I'll go."

He handed her her phone and she took it as he went to wash off his bowl in the sink. "What did you say to him?" she asked Sakura, who wouldn't tell her.

"So, you'll be coming, right? I promise it'll be the best summer you've ever experienced." Sakura pleaded.

Sighing, Ino replied, "I guess I have no choice but to go now." Then I can at least make sure Temari doesn't try anything funny with Shikamaru.

After hanging up, Ino left the room and traveled down the hall towards Shikamaru's room. Once she got there, she immediately opened his closet and rifled through it. While searching through the clothes blindly, she told herself, Shikamaru's my best friend. That's how it's always been. But this summer, I'm going to make him se we could be so much more than best friends.

Shikamaru could faintly hear Ino rummaging around in his bedroom. Sighing, he slouched and slowly walked down the hall, dreading what he would see there.

Ino was standing over a pile of his clothes. A huge pile, in fact. Practically his whole closet. She shook her head disappointedly and said, "These clothes just aren't good enough for a three month trip to the beach."

Every instinct told him to run. But he didn't. It was too troublesome.

"Shikamaru," Ino gave him a seriously dangerous look. "We have to do more shopping."

This story was inspired by a ShikaInomusic video I saw on Youtube. The song was Best Friends by Toy-box, and the more I listened to it, the more I realized the song fit their relationship perfectly. So I just had to make a story.

I'll be putting a link to the music video in my profile, for anyone who wants to watch it!

Leave some comments! I'm really excited about this story, and I hope other people will like it, too!