A/N: This has been tugging at my mind for a while now...

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, or any of the characters mentioned here. Please review! 8D

Ino shot Sasuke her most charming smile, and he grinned back. "Are you ready for our date, Sasuke-kun?"

"Of course Ino. I've been looking forward to it all day." Sasuke was wearing a very formal outfit, and Ino had on a flattering blue dress to match her eyes. They looked as if they were going to the best restaurant in town, and they probably were. As they walked down the street, everyone commented on how lovely they looked, or how cute they were together.

"I always had hopes that he would choose you, Ino dear. I always thought you two would make a much cuter couple than tat Sakura girl would have."

"Thank you, Mrs. Sakakaki. Don't be mean to Sakura, now. She and I are still friends," Ino added kindly to the old woman. The woman just smiled, and turned back to what she was doing.

"It makes me SICK!" Sakura yelled, watching the couple walk down the street. She punched a wall, and watched as the wall crumbled beneath her fist. "They are the worst couple EVER! Saskue-kun is too good for Ino! Ino doesn't deserve him! That PIG!" She paced back and forth in her little alley between her and her neighbors house.

"I know, they are a troublesome couple," Shikamaru said bitterly from behind Sakura.

"Oh, hey Shikamaru! I didn't see you there," Sakura said sweetly, as she turned around to look at her friend. He wasn't wearing his chunnin vest, as tonight was his night off. He was gazing out of they alley, where Ino and Sasuke were still visible. They had been stopped by a few Sasuke fangirls trying to kill Ino.

"Well, my grandparents live next door to you, and they wanted to know why their walls were rumbling. So they sent me out here to investigate. And here you are: the reason the house is shaking." He looked at her. She too had a night off. Most of the chunnin were on their night off, actually. She was wearing a larger version of her old dress. They stood next to each other, both mad about Sasuke and Ino's date.

A thought hit the young medical nin. Why was Shikamaru so bitter about Ino's date with the man she loved? Did Shikamaru like SASUKE? She shuddered. Well, she couldn't tell people what to think... "So, erm, Shikamaru, why did you sound bitter about Sasuke and Ino's date?"

Shikamaru looked at her as if it was obvious. "Well, Sakura... I don't how to say this, as you two are such close friends. This is so troublesome..."

'Here it comes!' Inner Sakura screamed. 'No I've got someone else to compete for Sasuke's love with. CHAA!' Inner Sakura pumped her fists in the air, as she imagined herself beating up both Shikamaru and Ino for Sasuke.

"...I like Ino..." Shikamaru finished. Sakura's head shot up as his last words broke her from her mental images. Relief flooded over her. So she wouldn't have to fight Shikamaru for Sasuke's love. Not that Sasuke ever like a boy, anyway. Or at least, she hoped he wouldn't.

"Well then. That presents a problem both of us need to fix." Shikamaru looked at Sakura with a strange look on his face. It was the look of being totally stumped, which is a look not usually found on the tactical geniuses face. "You know, for a genius, you can sure be dumb sometimes. I mean, I want Sasuke and Ino to break up, so do you. For different reasons, of course." He nodded, now knowing where she was headed with this.

"So you are suggesting that we should work together to get Ino and Sasuke to break up... I like your way of thinking, Haruno." Shikamaru grinned, then put his brain to work. "And I've got the perfect way of doing it." He hold her his plan, and she snorted with laughter.

"Shikamaru, you obviously know nothing about love. If we could get Ino jealous that the boy she though had wrapped around her finger started dating me, the girl that she has a running rivalry with, then she might break up with Sasuke to get you back again." Sakura looked Shikamaru in the face. For a brilliant tactical ninja, he definitely needed a lesson in the more devious side of love.

"Eh... too troublesome for me, Haruno." Shikamaru stuffed his hands into his pockets. "Well, see you tomorrow. I'm bringing my little charges to see Hokage mansion sometime soon."

"Shikamaru! Wait! You want Ino just as badly as I want Sasuke. Just give it a chance. Lets go on a date the next time they do, alright? Then we can make sure they see it. I'll talk about it to Ino all week. If it doesn't work out the first time, then we can stop and go.. to your... plan." As she said the last bit, she had to hold back fits of giggles. Shikamaru's plan is what you would have expected from a tactic nin like him, but it was just so funny.

"Alright, one chance. But it better work, Haruno. I've thought up about 200 ways for this to end, and if everything goes right, it might work."

"Alright, then. If you can find out when their next date is tomorrow, we can set it up." Shikamaru nodded, and left. Sakura was left, standing alone in the alley way.

"I never knew Shikamaru's grandparents lived next door to me..."

Hope you like it! Sorry for any OoCness, I try my hardest, you know. I'm already almost done with the second chapter! Woot! Review, please?

Rai Lockhart