Once upon a time, there was a young couple. However, they weren't the couple most would stereotype. They hated each other, until one day… the princess was captured.

The knight was infuriated, now being forced into a new world where he had to battle monsters to save the princess. He wasn't one to like work. So the knight decided he would sit in a tree and wait it out. But his plan backfired-the tree was a monster as well! He was kept at bay for a few moments, but luckily our knight vanquished the tree. Unsure of any other resting places, the knight decided it was best to continue on this journey set unto him by the villain.

Meanwhile, the princess doubted the knight's success. She thought he wouldn't care enough to save her, so she tried to escape herself. But her techniques weren't enough to hold back her captor, as she was always one step ahead of the princess, so she had to sit and wait.

The knight's next foe was a sphinx that asked him three riddles in order to ensure him a safe passage beyond her property. The knight was, of course, a bright young lad, and answered every question easily. The sphinx nodded and let him past, and he soon ran into the third foe: a group of giants. A bloody battled ensued, but with the sphinx's help, he was able to kill the giants and move on.

Back in her prison, the princess's captor decided to release her from her cage. Unsure of what to do, she was forced out a door that ended up causing her to fall from a cliff. She screamed loudly as she fell. With a loud thud, she landed on bottom… but she wasn't in the vast plains she had expected… she was back in her hometown.

The knight was resting when he heard the princess's scream. He instantly got to his feet and ran for the source, vanquishing any enemies that came past. But when he got to the site, she had vanished. The knight fell to his knees, tired beyond belief, and fell into a deep sleep.

The princess went to her favorite eatery in her town, and ran into a few friends. However, her friends were acting oddly and could only talk about the knight. As an added bonus, the food was terrible! But as she stayed at the restaurant, the constant chatter about her and the knight caused her to think about her true feelings toward the knight. Did she love this man?

When the knight awoke, he had arrived in the town as well. He was surprised, and walked the length of the streets until he reached a lovely hill. Still low on energy, the knight decided it was best to rest until he was fully able to search for the princess again.

Later that day, the princess was sitting in town square, questioning herself about the knight. While thinking, her teacher showed up, telling her that her being with the knight would only bring sorrow. While the princess believed that she loved the knight, she wasn't sure it would be worth any pain. Seeking solace, she sought out a close friend, who reassured her that being with the knight would bring nothing but happiness. With these contradictory thoughts in mind, the princess wandered the town until she arrived at a hill, remembering it to be a favorite landmark of the knight. She decided it would be a nice place to sit at. The princess looked around, and noticed a person sleeping on the ground nearby. The person woke up, and turned out to be none other than her knight!

The knight and the princess discussed what had happened in the town, and came to the conclusion that it was an illusion set up by the villainess. When the knight had asked her if anything harmful had happened to her, she neglected to tell him about the contradictory ideas set into her about her relationship with him. Scared, she ran away.

The princess ended up in front of the eatery again, confused and frightened. She found her teacher there, who told her again that her relationship with the knight would only bring pain. Then her friend showed up, who urged once more that it was her destiny to be with the knight. Their urgings grew so loud to the princess that she couldn't take it anymore… she went insane.

The knight found her in her weakened state not to much sooner, and when he tried to help her out of this state, the villainess appeared and told him he had until midnight to cure the princess. The knight ran all over the town, but found no such luck. He inwardly cursed himself for being so inept.

In the princess's mind, everything was going haywire. More forces had joined to worsen her insanity, all yelling and screaming their views on her relationship with the knight. How she wished they would leave her alone! With a scream, they all disappeared. She collapsed, and whispered only the knight's name.

In the knight's world, he heard the feeble princess mutter his name in such a soft breath that the sound of a pin dropping could have covered it. He figured out that it was because of him and the possibility of something more than friendship sparking between he and the princess had caused this illness. But he had five minutes left now, and still didn't know what to do. In one last panicked attempt, he cried out to the princess that he loved her. Time froze, and the villainess appeared.

A battle began, and during this battle, the princess reawaked. The memories of everything having just happened in the last few hours swept through her, and she smiled as she though of the knight fighting for her. She joined to battle to help the knight, and they fought the villainess together.

After exchanging many blows, the knight finally defeated his nemesis, and the princess was freed. Though she was injured, the knight was able to heal her wounds and nurse her back to health. The bizarre town returned to normal, and they were released from their villain's illusion. The knight and princess fell madly in love, and lived happily ever after.

"What did the knight and the princess do!?"

"Well, they got married, I presume." The woman smiled her all-knowing smile. The young girl and boy stared up with her with eyes full of amazement. They were lovely children, the woman thought. "They had two children, a girl and then a boy, but they lived a far from average life, much to the disappointment of the knight."

"But if the princess was a princess after all, would that make the knight a prince?"

"I guess it would. Eventually, it would make them both king and queen, right?"


"Well I think your parents are here." The woman smiled when the couple walked up to retrieve their children.

The blonde kunoichi smiled back at the woman, "What story did you tell them?"

"My favorite one, about the lazy knight and the bossy princess," The all-knowing smile never faded.

"Troublesome woman," The black-haired shinobi sighed, "I'm sure you haven't put anyone else through that pain lately?"

"It's a helpful tactic," the woman nodded, "But after your lesson, I returned to combat. Many rogue ninja were put to rest thanks to my skills."

"And I'm sure everyone loves you for it."

"Of course, but I've retired. I'm just a simple storyteller now, no longer The Story Master. My time has come and gone, my apprentice now fills that roll."

Nara Ino hugged the woman, "I have to thank you for what you did all those years ago. It surely changed our lives for the better."

"Well that was the whole point right?" The Story Master patted Ino's shoulder and beamed, "I would be very disappointed if I hadn't succeeded."

Nara Shikamaru picked up his eldest, the young raven-haired girl with piercing blue eyes that almost rivaled her mother's. "I suppose I thank you as well."

"Always a lazy bastard, eh, knight? It never ends."

"I can't abandon old ways, its part of who I am."

Ino picked up the younger, blonde toddler boy who hadn't moved from his spot by The Story Master, "And his son mimics him in every way. If it weren't for the fact that he also has my genetics, I would think that he was his father's clone in baby form."

The Nara family said their goodbyes to The Story Master and headed home. The young Nara girl riding on her father's back began chatting excitedly, "Mama, Papa, she just told us the most awesome story about a knight and a princess! I can tell it to you, I can!"

Shikamaru and Ino exchanged amused looks, and Shikamaru responded lazily, "Yeah?"

"Well this knight and princess hate each other, right? So a mean lady decides to teach them a lesson."

As the young Nara girl started chattering away, and her younger brother fell asleep in his mom's arms, Ino giggled lightly, "Oh, I've heard this story too many times."

Later that night, Shikamaru was dozing off in bed. To his dismay, Ino woke him up when she plopped down beside him onto said bed.

"Mmmph." He grumbled. Ino laughed.

"They're all tucked in now, fast asleep," She said, reaching her arms around his neck and resting her head on his shoulder. Shikamaru merely grunted in reply, as he was still trying to fall asleep. "You know that was interesting today, the Story Master's return to Konoha and all. It's a shame she won't tell stories with her power anymore."

"Especially since we never really got to watch, right?" Shikamaru mumbled, giving up on sleep for the moment. He opened one eye lazily to look at Ino, "We had to actually witness it firsthand, the troublesome way."

"The end I didn't mind, but the process I did. I loved the ending, actually."

Shikamaru chuckled and opened the other, giving Ino his full attention, "The ending was the only part that wasn't a drag."

"Nara Shikamaru!" Ino gasped, amused, "Did you just say that something wasn't troublesome!?"

"No," He laughed, "I said it wasn't a drag."

"Alert the media! I can see the headline now: Lazy bastard evolved: Troublesome no more!"

"Ino, Ino," He sighed, but grinned, "You'll always be a troublesome woman."

"Will I, now?" She joked.

"Yeah, but I love you for it."

"And I love you for being a lazy bastard." Ino tightened her hold on her husband's shoulders and snuggled up to him. Shikamaru wrapped an arm around her waist in return and closed his eyes to sleep again. However, Ino would not let him go that easily, "Tell me the story again, Shika?"

"All right, all right." Shikamaru opened his eyes again and turned on his side to face her. He placed a hand on her cheek, and Ino smiled. "Once upon a time there was lazy knight and a bossy princess…"


Awwww, it's all over! That's sad.

Well, that was fun. I thoroughly enjoyed writing that story, but I'm kind of glad it's over, since I have so many other story ideas bottling up inside me I REALLY want to write them soon, so be prepared to see me start shoveling out ShikaIno one-shots soon. It'll be fun!


Save the puppies! And kitties, too!

(Interesting fact: This epilogue is actually longer than one or two of my other chapters, I think. Haha, that's FUNNY.)