A/N: I decide to do one on the generation before, Nara Shikaku
and to-be Nara Yoshino. There's a lot of repetition in this one-shot...
I was in that mood. Enjoy!
Note: Yoshino and Shikaku are Shikamaru's parents.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
An Exception to the Rules
Nara Shikaku never liked loud troublesome girls. They were aggravating, spontaneous, bothersome, and a heck lot of surprises that Shikaku didn't like. They did wild things, lived the wild life, unlike himself, who enjoyed the pleasant, calmer aspects of life. Fortunately for him, there were very few girls like that in Konoha. He wanted to settle down and marry a pleasant rather pretty girl, and they would have a family, one boy, because two children was a bother. That was always the case, and whenever he thought of something, it became a rule. And like all rules, he made an exception. That exception happened to be Yoshino.
They went to Ninja Academy together; Yoshino was two years younger than himself. He never really saw the girl, he never really knew her. There was only one time, that he finally noticed her. Shikaku, Chouza, and Inoichi were bored one recess, bored of grades, bored of the Academy, just bored. And so they did what normal boys did when they got bored; they bullied the younger kids. Chouza ate his chips, Shikaku looked at the clouds, and Inoichi spotted their victim.
They found one bumbling baka, and called him names, saying he would never become a ninja. Shikaku held him in the shadow bind, scaring the poor boy when he realized he could not move. Chouza laughed, eating his chips and making a loud crunching sound, throwing threats to the kid. Inoichi probably went the farthest, and shoved the kid, but he couldn't move... and it hurt. The three boys laughed, feeling haughty and happy. All the children were laughing at the boy, and the boy was close to tears. These were the good old days they would grow up and remember. And they intended to remember it. That was until she showed up. She just barged up to the three boys, a hell lot smaller than them. She glared at the three bullies, a look of disgust on her face.
Shikaku didn't recognize her. She wore a normal outfit, just a shirt and skirt, her arms and legs full of scabs from falling. Her black hair was cut short in a bob. She was too skinny, and rather awkward-looking. Shikaku found the girl unattractive. Of course, she hadn't hit puberty yet. But those eyes, those eyes were what Shikaku remembered. Fierce and angry, but so unforgettable.
And then she stepped on Inoichi's foot and then punched Chouza in stomach, making the chubby boy spurt out his half eaten chips. Before she could hurt Shikaku, the Nara held the girl in a shadow bind. The girl glared at Shikaku, and Shikaku glared back, not very happy that she hurt his friends, but amused at her tries. He remembered what he called her. Troublesome. But it amused him. Didn't she know she wasn't capable of taking on three shinobi bigger and stronger than herself? When realization dawned on the girl's face, her features faltered. Her snarl changed to a frown and her fierce eyes changed to be... scared?
But before Inoichi, Chouza, and Shikaku could torment the girl, their fellow classmate, Inuzuka Tsume, stepped up and glared at Shikaku. And as Shikaku remembered, she didn't say anything, just glared at him with the infamous Inuzuka glare, and her puppy Kuromaru growled, and Shikaku released his hold on the girl who tried not to look frightened.
And then the bell rang, and Shikaku never knew that girl's name. And he watched her walk away, he thought how troublesome she was.
But he could make an exception.
He forgot about her, the girl that stood up to the Ino-Shika-Cho trio. It was the Chunnin exams, and Inoichi, Shikaku, and Chouza, Chunnin, who were bored, bored of the responsibilities, bored of the missions, just bored. They decided to watch the battles, commenting every now and then. They had seen the Forest of Death videos, the fights. Finally it was the last and final exam, and there wasn't much competition. There were no prodigies, there were no extraordinary ninja. Chouza ate his chips, Shikaku looked at the clouds, and Inoichi spotted the girl.
Shikaku didn't recognize her. The girl wore a short purple top and black pants, fishnets across her legs, body, and arms. Her black hair was tied back in a low ponytail, swaying as she moved. Her skin was pale, already seeing the horrors of the Forest of Death. She had small cuts, and parts of her body were bandaged, because of the dangers in the second exam. Shikaku found the Genin attractive. But those eyes, those eyes were what Shikaku remembered. Fierce and angry, but so unforgettable.
He told his companions. That the girl, who looked about twelve, had stood up for a kid during their academy days. Inoichi and Chouza scoffed, still mad that the girl had managed to moderately hurt them. Shikaku found it fascinating to see her again. Then when he realized he was excited, he dismissed it as troublesome.
He watched her fight a shinobi. He saw the same anger fill her eyes as she threw kunai at her opponent. He watched her move swiftly and quickly, almost gracefully. He watched her lose. He saw her body, on her hands and knees, panting heavily, her blood splattered in puddles of crimson, her opponent looming over her, glaring down. He heard the cruel words the shinobi announced at her, calling her a weak kunoichi, and that she could play with her dolls. And something inside him... something told him to go down their and beat the living daylights out of that haughty Genin.
But then, the girl dug a kunai into the opponent's leg, and struggled to stand, using one last move. Somehow, with chakra, the girl binded her opponent in a death hold. The opponent couldn't move. Shikaku stared. Her technique, which she must have obviously made up on the spot, was similar to his shadow hold.
And Shikaku watched the girl win and become a Chunnin. And as she walked out of the arena, Shikaku thought how troublesome and spontaneous she was.
But he could make an exception.
He forgot about her, the girl that stood up to the Ino-Shika-Cho trio and had used something similar to his technique to bind her opponent. Inoichi, Shikaku, and Chouza were bored one afternoon, bored of training, bored of life, just bored. And somehow, the three friends walked to the training field, again, so Shikaku could try out a new technique. Chouza ate his chips, Shikaku looked at the clouds, and Inoichi spotted the girl.
Shikaku didn't recognize her. The girl wore the typical Chunnin vest, and black pants that ended right before the knee. Her vest was opened a little to reveal a fishnets undershirt and more of the meshy fabric across her legs and arms. Her black hair was tied back in a high ponytail, swaying as she moved. Her skin was tan from being out in the sun for a while, there were quite a few cuts and bandages, and her hands were bloody. Shikaku found the Chunnin attractive. And when she turned her head, those eyes, those eyes were what Shikaku remembered. Fierce and angry, but so unforgettable.
She was slamming her fists against the training log, her hands bloody from the constant pressure. Inoichi forgot about his grudge on the girl, being more of a lady's man although they were only sixteen. He had the sleek blond hair and those blue eyes, so he easily attracted the attention of the opposite sex. Chouza ignored her; clearly his hormones were locked down and caged away. But the girl glared at Inoichi and continued slamming her fists against the log.
Inoichi somehow wheedled her name out of her. Her name was Yoshino. Shikaku watched the girl, unfazed, watching Inoichi work his charm. But the Chunnin didn't very much care about the blond boy, more interested to beat the wood then talk to the flirting Inoichi. Shikaku's friend and confidant glared at the girl, muttered something vulgar. That was when she attacked.
And then she stepped on Inoichi's foot and then punched Chouza in stomach, making the chubby boy spurt out his half eaten chips. Before she could hurt Shikaku, Shikaku held the girl in a shadow bind. Yoshino glared at Shikaku, and Shikaku glared back, not very happy that she hurt his friends, but amused at her tries. But he didn't call her troublesome, although she very much was. He had asked her out on a date. Actually, more like blurted it out.
Yoshino stared shocked, her eyes widening. Then her eyes narrowed, her lips curled downwards in a frown, and she growled, "Is this some sort of sick joke?"
Shikaku had shook his head, not knowing what demon had possessed him to ask this troublesome girl out. And much to the shadow binder's relief and disappointment she said no.
As the girl walked away, her posture rigid, Shikaku thought how troublesome, spontaneous, and aggravating she was.
But he could make an exception.
He forgot about her, the girl that stood up to the Ino-Shika-Cho trio, had used something similar to his technique to bind her opponent, and refused to go out on a date with him. Inoichi, Shikaku, and Chouza had been promoted to Jonin, and went on their first Jonin mission. They had to save a fellow ninja, one who was kidnapped, for who knows what reason by a missing nin. And when the three men, now fully grown up and considered an adult, were sitting in the forest. Chouza ate his chips, Shikaku looked at the clouds, and Inoichi spotted the girl.
Shikaku didn't recognize her. The girl wore the typical Chunnin vest, but it was tattered and black pants that were torn numerous times around the legs. Her vest was opened all the way, exposing the fishnet undershirt, ripped into pieces right below her chest. Pieces of the meshy fabric littered the floor around her, along with crimson blood. Her black hair was pulled out of its ponytail, the tresses scattering around her in a mess, covering her eyes. And across her stomach was a huge cut, deep and full of blood. A kunai was lodged in her leg, blood oozed from her mouth, and most of her body was covered in blood. Shikaku's breath was caught in his throat. He couldn't see those eyes, those eyes that Shikaku remembered. Fierce and angry, but so unforgettable.
The ninja dropped down, and Inoichi and Chouza battled him while Shikaku rushed over to the girl. Closing the top of her Chunnin vest to save what dignity the girl had left, Shikaku clumsily wrapped bandages around the girl's abdomen, begging she stayed alive, that she wouldn't lose too much blood. His hands were covered with her still warm crimson liquid, and he checked her pulse to see if she was still alive. He pulled the kunai out of her leg, wiped the blood out of her lips. He whispered the girl's name, Yoshino was it? It didn't matter, he quietly repeated her name, over and over again. Something tugged at his heart, making it hurt. Why though? It was just some girl, some girl that stood up to him, copied his clan technique, and refused to go out with him. He barely knew her, but he wanted her alive.
A good shinobi shouldn't allow his feelings to get in the way of the mission. So using the kunai in the girl's leg, he stabbed the missing nin through the gut with it.
And as the girl lay bloody in his arms as he rushed back to Konoha, Shikaku thought how troublesome, spontaneous, aggravating and bothersome she was.
But he could make an exception.
This time, he didn't forget about her, the girl that stood up to the Ino-Shika-Chou trio, had used something similar to his technique to bind her opponent, had refused to go out on a date with him, and who he saved from near death. He visited her in the hospital, convincing Inoichi and Chouza to go with him. He bought a couple of flowers from the Yamanaka flower shop, a beautiful bouquet or roses, daffodils, carnations, and other flowers he couldn't name. In the middle of the bouquet was a rather big, rosy red rose. And he placed it by the window in a vase. Chouza ate his chips, Inoichi looked out the window, and Shikaku watched the girl.
Shikaku didn't recognize her. The girl wore the hospital garb, white and plain, but her body was covered by the blankets. Her black hair was scattered on the pillow, bandages around practically every part of the girls arms (and legs) and some on her face and head. She was pale, almost as pale as the white sheets she was covered in, making her look ghostly. The slow beeping confirmed she was still alive. Shikaku didn't know why, but he found the Chunnin attractive, looking so fragile and miserable. He couldn't see those eyes, those eyes that Shikaku remembered. Fierce and angry, but so unforgettable.
And Inoichi and Chouza left, leaving Shikaku, as he usually did, to stay until he had to be kicked out. And Inoichi and Chouza, fed up with coming all the time, stopped joining Shikaku, leaving him to come alone, every day for the next couple of days. Or weeks. And when she finally opened her eyes, she only saw him, Shikaku. Although the young Jonin didn't know why, but it felt good to see her awake. Shikaku didn't know what came over him. She was troublesome, she was aggravating and she was a bother. Why did he spend every free moment here in this room and thought about this girl practically every minute? And why did he spend most of his money on the flowers the girl never even noticed.
Shikaku decided he must be sick.
Yoshino looked at him, her eyes no longer fierce and angry. She asked, quietly, why he was here, every single day, and why did he always bring flowers. And Shikaku didn't answer her. He didn't know what to say.
Then she quietly thanked him, thanked him for staying with her although she was a mess, thanked him for buying the expensive flowers, thanked him for making her feel like she really belonged. And Shikaku didn't answer her. He didn't know what to say.
And as he got up to leave, Shikaku thought how troublesome, spontaneous, aggravating, bothersome, and full of surprises she was.
He could make an exception, and he was willing to.
He didn't forget about her, the girl that stood up to the Ino-Shika-Cho trio, had used something similar to his technique to bind her opponent, had refused to go out on a date with him, who he saved from near death, and had thanked him for staying with her in the hospital. His thoughts traveled back to her, and he had done something different. He had requested at the office, to be put on the same team as her for a mission or two. Being the new Nara clan leader, and entering that tender age of seeing women as well, women, the Third Hokage obliged and Shikaku found himself on an easy, yet very long mission with the girl. And before he went to the mission office, he bought another bouquet of flowers, the exact kind he bought when she was in the hospital.
Shikaku recognized her. The girl still wore her usual Chunnin vest, with the black pants that ended right before the knee. Her vest was opened a little to reveal a fishnets undershirt and more of the meshy fabric across her legs and arms. Like usual, her black hair was tied back in a high ponytail, swaying as she moved. Shikaku found the Chunnin attractive, and as he handed her the flowers, Yoshino blushed. Her cheeks were tinged with pink, her rosy lips curved up in a smile. And her eyes, those eyes that Shikaku remembered. They weren't fierce and they weren't angry, but so unforgettable.
Shikaku spent time getting to know the Chunnin, finding her more interesting. He occasionally brushed against her arm, making her cheeks redden. And once or twice his fingers touched her silky black hair when the girl didn't notice. And Shikaku didn't want the mission to end, he wanted to stay and occasionally feel Yoshino's cool skin against his, her hair in his fingers... he wanted it all to stay like this, forever.
But that was too troublesome. So he asked her out on a date again.
And she said no, without an explanation or an apology.
And as she walked away, down the road, Shikaku thought how troublesome, spontaneous, aggravating, bothersome, and full of surprises she was.
But he could make an exception, and he was willing to. And he would, because this girl was not escaping if he could stop it.
He used his shadow imitation technique to bind Yoshino to him, Yoshino's face contorted in rage, shock, and overall... rage. She protested that he let go of her, but Shikaku took a step closer to the girl. He was not happy, and for once in his lifetime, he was losing his cool. He didn't understand why he couldn't forget this girl now, when he could easily do so in the past, why she never left his mind, how he thought she liked him, when she obviously didn't, why did he feel hurt badly that she rejected him when he really didn't care too much back then? There were too many questions, and Shikaku didn't know the answer to any of them.
He took a step closer, and Yoshino took a step closer. And he simply asked her why she refused to, when he thought she might actually like him the way he did her. Of course, his ego was slowly deteriorating into nothing, leaving him, if provided with a good reason, a pile of rejected human flesh. And then Yoshino broke out into a playful grin and simply said she wanted to see if Shikaku would stop her or not. She wanted to see if he really liked her, or just wanted some date.
Shikaku was shocked by the answer he released the shadow imitation technique unintentionally and Yoshino almost shyly stepped closer to the shocked Jonin until they were only a few inches apart. And then, she stood on her tiptoes, and kissed him softly. And Shikaku being a man whose love had just kissed him, deepened it, wrapping his strong arms tightly around her waist pulling her even closer to him.
Shikaku thought how troublesome, spontaneous, aggravating, bothersome, and full of surprises she was.
But he could make an exception, and he was willing to. Because this girl had scuttled her way into his heart, and he was going to keep her binded there.