Disclaimer: I forgot this last chapter...heh, I always seem to forget the disclaimer. My bad! ;...Anyways, why do we need disclaimers? I mean, if I was Masashi Kishimoto, would I be writing fanfics about my own anime? I don't think so! I would be working on the next manga chapter of Naruto, not typing up this lame Sleepy Hollow spinoff...So yeah...I don't own Naruto...sorry for my rambling...On with the chapter!!!


----x----

The Legend of Creepy Konoha

Chapter 1

----x----


It seemed that since the last eleven years when he had been away, a dark, ominous cloud had settled over the leaf village. Konoha was the picture of despair when Shikamaru arrived. Gloom seemed to ooze from every corner, latching onto the gray buildings. A dense fog lurked in the air, causing the village to look even drearier than it appeared.

Shikamaru glanced around wearily. No one was in sight. It seemed as though some eerie silence plagued the leaf village. He walked towards his destination, observing his surroundings carefully. A shinobi never knew when his surroundings could come in handy.

A light in the distance brought a spark of hope into the Nara's heart. Propping his bag over his shoulder, he headed in the direction of the small light. The sound of musical instruments met his ears and his pace sped up. He wanted to find a sign of life, some sign that would calm his nerves. The Nara would not admit it, but the eerie quietness had upset him a great deal. The last time he'd been in Konoha, it had been full of cheer, full of everyday normalcy and normal people (if some citizens of Konoha could be called normal), full of life. The recent murders must've killed the happy nature of the leaf village.

The light belonged to a house at the end of the street. The music was vibrating about it, and Shikamaru could see people dancing through the windows. The celebration inside the house reminded Shikamaru of what the leaf village had been like when he had lived there. A corner of his mouth lifted in slight amusement as he walked towards the door.

Hand on the doorknob, he halted. Would any of his old friends be in there? Would anyone in there remember him? What if none of his old friends were there? What if the murderer had chopped their heads?

Shikamaru shrugged his thoughts away. He came here to solve a series of murders, not to socialize. Muttering a half-hearted 'troublesome', Shikamaru shoved the door open.

The music was intense and the many villagers twirled around in complex motions. Some loitered along the walls, conversing with friends and talking happily, appearing to not to be perturbed by the recent murders. Several other people lingered by a table set up at the back of the room, its surface piled with morsels of food. A ring of men were cornered on one side of the room, near Shikamaru, moving slowly in a counterclockwise fashion. In the middle of the circle they formed stood a young woman, blindfolded and reaching out as far as her pale arms could extend, looking as though she were a monster out to get someone. The woman chanted, "Who's got a kiss for the pickety witch? The pickety witch, the pickety witch. Who's got a kiss for the pickety witch?" (1) Shikamaru allowed the other corner of his thin lips to raise as he remembered how he had played 'the pickety witch' back when he lived in Konoha. His grin grew another two millimeters as he took another glance around the room. The liveliness of the party contrasted immensely with the doom-and-gloom atmosphere of the village.

Suddenly, the music stopped and all eyes were on him (excluding the woman with the blindfold, who was still chanting her rhyme as she walked around the circle of men surrounding her). The villagers stared shamelessly, their expressions telling Shikamaru that they were trying to process where'd they had seen his face before. Some of the younger villagers whispered amongst themselves, speculating as to where this strange man had come from and why he was there. One plump old man sitting by the table of food looked rather perplexed and even muttered, "Shikaku..."

The Nara opened his mouth a bit to explain why he was there when to small hands clasped on to either side of his head. Shikamaru looked down at the blindfolded girl, not at all amused that out of all the men standing near her, she had chosen him.

Giggling, the young woman announced, "I hope this is Sai!" And then, without warning, she pulled his head towards hers and kissed him fully on the mouth. When the woman pulled away, she yanked off her blindfold and looked at the man who had kissed the pickety witch. The hope in her eyes vanished, only to be replaced by horror and shock. She muttered, dumbfounded, "Y-you're not Sai!"

Several other villagers began to laugh, adding fuel to the young woman's anger. Anger that shown brightly in her sapphire eyes. Shikamaru couldn't help but feel that he had seen those eyes a long, long time ago...


----x----


Nara Shikaku had grown up with two best friends: Akimichi Chouza and Yamanaka Inoichi. Shikaku talked of his friends all the time, describing them to his five-year-old son in vivid detail. But Shikamaru could care less about two old men he had never met. Whenever his father had sought him out to try and discuss Chouza and Inoichi, Shikamaru would tune out his father's voice and fall asleep.

So, Shikaku decided that his son should meet his friends. The three old men decided on a date when their children would all meet. The next week, Shikaku was leading Shikamaru to the Akimichi residence. When they arrived, Shikaku introduced his son to his two friends and then to his friends' children. Once everyone was acquainted with each other, the adults ushered their kids into a separate room where they could become best friends like their fathers. Shikamaru had thought of them as foolish old men at the time. Akimichi Chouji he could stand, but there was no way he'd become friends with...Yamanaka Ino.

It's not that Shikamaru didn't like girls (he was well past the whole 'cooties' stage, as cooties were troublesome), but when he met Yamanaka Ino, he fell into a deep hatred for her. There were four main attributes Ino possessed that Shikamaru loathed.

1. Ino was rude.

Shikamaru was minding his own business, staring at the clouds from one of the windows, laying next to his good ol' friend Chouji (only ten minutes with the plump boy and Shikamaru had deemed him worthy of friendship--Chouji didn't disrupt his cloud-watching) when all of a sudden, Ino was standing in between him and Chouji, her beautiful blue eyes glazed over with disgust.

"Hey, fatty, don't you know chips will make you even fatter?" she inquired of Chouji, who looked down at the bag of potato chips in his hand with a sad expression.

With a barely audible sigh, Shikamaru told the little blonde girl, "Chouji can eat whatever he wants to eat." The plump little boy smiled at Shikamaru and delved back into his chips.

Daring to defy Yamanaka Ino--big mistake!

Fury evident on her face, Ino whipped around to face Shikamaru, slapping his face and yelling, "Shut up, Pineapple Head!"

She stalked away, leaving the boys to themselves. Shikamaru sighed, rubbing his aching face where she had hit him.

It was then that he realized girls were troublesome.

2. Ino was bossy.

Only fifteen minutes after Ino had called him Pineapple Head and walked away, she came back. This time she was carrying a box of dolls that she had brought from her house. Dumping the dolls before the boys, she commanded, "Let's play dolls!"

Chouji only glanced at the dolls with a strangled expression before going back to his chips. Shikamaru let out a yawn before returning to his cloud-watching.

But Ino just wouldn't put up with that. Grabbing two dolls from the box, she smacked each boy with one and threw a doll into each of their laps. She ordered again, "We are playing dolls...now."

It was then that Shikamaru learned that bossy girls were more troublesome than regular girls.

3. Ino was loud.

Shikamaru rolled onto his side, making himself comfortable on the floor, seeing as he had to resort to napping because his cloud-watching had kept being interrupted by a certain young blonde girl. Chouji had gone into the other room to get more snacks from his father. So Shikamaru was on his own, sleeping his time away.

That was, until a certain Yamanaka Ino started to squeal at the top of her lungs when she saw something out the window.

It was then that Shikamaru learned that loud, bossy girls were even more troublesome than regular girls.

4. Ino was Sasuke-obsessed.

"It's Sasuke-kun! Sasuke-kun!" A high-pitched squeal entered the young Nara's ears. He grumbled lowly so Ino wouldn't hear him complaining. The squeals had interrupted his nap, so now he was annoyed. Not only that, but then he had to listen to Ino's constant shrieks of 'Sasuke-kun! Sasuke-kun!'

Clamping his hands over his ears, Shikamaru rolled onto his other side, trying to tune out Ino's voice like he did his father's. But Ino's voice was too loud to ignore. It pecked at him like a bird would peck at a worm. It was horrible, and Shikamaru longed for the moment when he could leave the bothersome girl. How much more troublesome could this girl get?


----x----


Shikamaru was shaken out of his reverie by a slim finger jabbing at his chest. He stared down at the blonde woman who was rudely poking his torso, questioning him. "Who are you? Why are you here? If you've come to sell something, then you had best leave now!"

"Ino, that's enough. Treat our new guest with respect...even if he is trying to sell something." An old man with his hair pulled back into a long ponytail not unlike the young woman's stepped out from an adjoining room. Shikamaru recognized the man as his father's old friend, Yamanaka Inoichi. But Shikamaru definitely did not recognize the woman following closely behind Inoichi. She looked nothing like Inoichi's wife, from what Shikamaru remembered of her. Inoichi smiled welcomingly at the stranger at his door.

Shikamaru bowed to the master of the house (for the Nara recognized it as the Yamanaka abode that he had visited often with his father as a child). As he stood up, he announced to the villagers in the room, "I was sent here by the Kazekage in Suna to investigate the recent murders in Konoha. My name is Nara Shikamaru."


----x----


Yayness! There is chappie 1!!!!!!! It took me a couple of weeks, but at least I updated it faster than I did my other stories. Thanks for all the reviews! I'll try to make this story really awesome for all of you!!!

(1) I got this whole 'pickety witch thing from the movie Sleepy Hollow, for those of you who havent' seen it. The pickety witch scen was my most favorite scene in the whole movie, so I just had to include it into my story!!

By the way, I noticed I misspelled Shikamaru's dad's name. sugarmonkey778 even corrected me on this, so thank you very much sugarmonkey778!! And for those of you who still don't know, Shikamaru's dad's name is Shikaku, not Shikato as I thought it was.

And I'm sorry people but this is SHIKAINO!!! I might add a little ShikaTema and I know for sure I'm adding some SaiIno, but only to spice things up. Ultimately, in the end, this is SHIKAINO!!! Sorry for those of you who wanted it to be otherwise.

So, tell me what you thought of this chapter. Be nice and REVIEW PLEASE! This story needs some major lovin'.