Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. If I did, I'd kill Temari, and Shikamaru would live happily ever after with Ino.
Author's Notes: Yes, I know. Yet another story...I'm sorry if people are waiting for me to update my other stories. It's just that I'm kind of like an Aries (even though I'm a Libra) because I always start a new project/story, but I never finish it. I'll try to wake up my muse and get to writing more chapters in my other stories. But until my muse wakes up, I'm not even going to try to write. Because story's never turn out good if my muse isn't with me...all right...I should shut up now.
Ino hated Shikamaru. It was as simple as that.
She loved hating him. She loved watching his face twist in annoyance whenever she disturbed him while he was watching clouds. She loved bothering him whenever he played shougi. She loved hearing him complain when she woke him up from a nap by yelling loudly in his ear. She loved telling him that he'd never compare to Sasuke-kun in her eyes because she hated him so much. She loved getting mad at him whenever he said troublesome.
Her hatred for Nara Shikamaru was as clear as the sky. Everyday she would tell at least five of her friends about how much she hated the lazy shinobi. Every morning she'd wake up knowing she would do something to make him see how much she hated him. Every night she would write in her diary about how she would hate him until her dying day.
Ino's hatred was simple.
So simple that she didn't even realize how much she was growing to love Nara Shikamaru.
Shikamaru loved Ino. It was as complex as that.
He hated loving her. He hated that he loved whenever she came by to disturb him while he was cloud-watching. He hated that he loved how she'd annoy him during shougi. He hated how he loved feeling her breath on his ear whenever she woke him up, despite the fact that the volume of her voice was unnecessary. He hated how he loved her so much that he'd get jealous easily at any mention of Sasuke Uchiha. He hated how he loved her so much that he'd let her beat him up whenever he said troublesome.
His love for Yamanaka Ino was as unclear as mud. Everyday he'd try to convince himself what he felt for her wasn't real, that he didn't love her, but it was useless. Every morning, he'd wake up knowing that Ino didn't feel the same way, and already his day was ruined. Every night, he'd try going to sleep, only to be kept awake by thoughts of her.
Shikamaru's love was complex.
So complex that he didn't even realize he could no longer hate loving Yamanaka Ino.
Everyone saw what was happening to the two. Ino wasn't stupid, but she was too wrapped up in her simple hatred. Shikamaru was smart, but even he was too wrapped up in his own musings to notice the beautiful thing blooming between them.
Suddenly, one day it hit both of them.
Ino's hatred wasn't that simple anymore. In fact, it was downright complex. She kept feeling funny around Shikamaru. She no longer told all her friends about how much she hated Shikamaru. She no longer wrote about how she hated him in her diary. She no longer compared him to Sasuke.
She noticed how Shikamaru gave her a small smile whenever she disturbed his cloud-watching. She noticed how he would invite her to play shougi whenever he and Asuma were playing. She noticed how he blushed whenever she woke him from his naps. She noticed a lot of other things, too, like how his tanned body had gotten a lot manlier. Everything about Shikamaru seemed maturer. He was no longer the lazy shinobi boy she had grown up with.
Shikamaru's love wasn't that complex anymore. In fact, it was pretty simple. He knew that when he was around her, butterflies floated in his stomach, his cheeks went slightly pink, and his heart flipped because he loved her so much. He no longer told himself he didn't love her. He no longer complained whenever she bothered him. He could finally sleep at night, knowing that when his head hit the pillow, he'd dream of her. He still felt miserable whenever he thought about Ino not reciprocating his love.
He noticed that Ino gave him small smiles. He noticed how her face lit up whenever they played shougi (even though she never beat him). He noticed that her voice volume wasn't nearly as loud as it used to be when she woke him from a nap. He noticed lots of other things, too, like how she never fawned over Uchiha Sasuke anymore. She was no longer the squealing fangirl he had grown up with.
It was Sakura who pointed out to them how they looked like a couple. It was at a festival, and all three former members of team 10 were meeting up with their friends. Chouji and Shikamaru were dressed in handsome yukatas, whereas Ino had dressed in a beautiful, flowing sky blue kimono that matched her eyes. Sakura had come with them to the festival, seeing as she was at Ino's house when Shikamaru and Chouji stopped by. Ino had been demanding that Shikamaru had to win her at least one stuffed animal from one of the many games at the festival. Shikamaru had told her that she was troublesome, but they both knew he would get her a stuffed animal, seeing as he thought the beating she'd give him if he didn't get her one would be too troublesome.
As they were debating about the stupid stuffed animal, Chouji and Sakura had smiled at them with an amused, knowing look. So that's when Sakura said it. The sentence that would make everything fall into place.
"You two look so cute together!" the Haruno girl giggled, running away when Ino tried to attack her.
Afterwards (when Ino decided that she would rather be enjoying the festival than chasing Sakura the whole night), Shikamaru won Ino a stuffed animal, just as they knew he would. Just as the fireworks started, he handed it over to her, he thought of one single wish. A wish that Ino would be able to see behind his mask of laziness and indifference. A wish that she would be able to see how much he loved her.
And Ino had taken the prize with a wish of her own. A wish that Shikamaru would see how she no longer hated him with a passion. A wish that he would see how she had gone from hating him to loving him with all her heart.
And there, in the midst of brilliant fireworks from the festival, they both saw it.
Ino smiled up at Shikamaru, leaning forward slightly. Shikamaru smiled in return and caught her lips in his. They were oblivious to anyone and anything but each other. Even when the more spectacular of fireworks were in the sky, and even when their friends started hooting and calling out embarrassing comments, they were oblivious.
Because they were both wrapped up in a love that used to be full of hate.
Yamanaka Ino loves Nara Shikamaru. Nara Shikamaru loves Yamanaka Ino.
It was simple as that.
She used to love hating him. He used to hate loving her.
It was as complex as that.
Either way, it's a love/hate relationship.
I hope you all liked this!
I've been on a ShikaIno fix lately, so I just had to write yet another one-shot of one of my fav Naruto pairings! I don't know how the idea for this story came to me. All I remember is that I thought Shikakun's and Ino's relationship was kind of a love/hate relationship, and thus, this one-shot was born.
It's not one of my bests, but I kind of like it. So, tell me what you think of it!