Title: I See A Couple

Author: Marshie-chan

Anime/Manga: Naruto

Pairing: Shikamaru/Ino

Basis: Katie's Diary

Status: Complete

Dedication: The Troublesome Love: Shikamaru x Ino FC in Naruto Forums

Disclaimer: I don't own NARUTO

That afternoon, I caught sight of Shikamaru in the nearest restaurant from down the block, tapping his fingers on the tabletop and sipping his frap—his jaw clenching as he did. It's silly, I know, but I found it to be the most endearing thing. Today, we were going to discuss our team's next mission, and I couldn't be more excited.

"So, what's the first item to discuss in our agenda?" I said, breathless, but not from walking.

His brown eyes lit up showing his usual lazy expression, "The importance of not having someone wait for you for very long," he spoke and yawned, showing a sign of sleepiness, "I can get impatient and you might just regret if I upped and left… Things would have become a lot troublesome."

"I'll keep that in mind," I said quietly, wondering whether he was talking about something else other than my being 15 minutes late today. I looked around the restaurant, trying to catch a glimpse of Asuma-sensei and Chouji. Unfortunately, the two hasn't arrived yet.

This may be strange but for the first time in my life, I felt awkward towards my teammate, Nara Shikamaru. Since that fateful day he told me that he'd chosen our friendship and teamwork over his feelings, I had heard nothing else from him. From then on, things were back to normal and he had been to me, the way he'd always been: lazy, comfortable, patronizing, mostly annoying, sometimes supportive.

We watched each other for seconds then I gathered the courage to ask him. "Um… while waiting for them, shall we play a game?" He raised an eyebrow, feeling bored and sleepy. "It's called Couple Analysis and we were going to make it wild." I giggled excitedly as I watch the people around us, "We'll make completely unfounded assumptions based on what couples looked like. Okay, I'll start!" I stared at the one across from us—the guy was playing with small ninja action figures while the girl is powdering her nose. "She agreed to go out with him because she thought she could change him. Now she's realizing he'll always be a kid. She is now ready to dump him for an older guy."

Shikamaru looked at me, eyes widening, "Ino, I think they're mother and son." He whispered.

I let out a big laugh but was unfazed. So for the better part of 30 minutes, I played Couple Analyzer to whoever cared to walk in front of us. I rebutted all Shikamaru's analysis for nine couples out of ten before I finally grew tired.

"I'm out. Chouji and sensei must have forgotten about our meeting." I announced before I took a sip on the soda I ordered.

"I see a couple," he said quietly, and I looked up. I didn't see any one in sight… "He's been keen on her some time now. He wasn't upfront about it because they were very close, and he didn't want to ruin their friendship."…Unless he was talking about the old couple who was just leaving. "So he started dropping major hints. She didn't seem to notice until finally, he spelled it out for her—but it didn't go so well because he knew she likes someone else. So he felt monumentally stupid and stayed away from her for a while. But he ended up missing her terribly and crawling back saying sorry…" Surely Shikamaru wasn't talking about the pair beside them who looked like they were brother and sister.

"…insisting he didn't mean to like her and making things out like his feelings for her didn't run that deep anyway." And I finally looked at him looking at me. "She took it all in, I think." He continues, "But I have to tell you, Ino," he said, shaking his head as I waited to exhale, "that crazy guy was lying."