Title: Shift
Author: desbutterfly
Genre: angst, drabble
Pairing: Shika/Ino
Rating: PG
Summary: Shikamaru gets what he wants, except when he doesn't.


She's being annoying again, and complaining about the dirt, the cold weather, the inconvenience of having to train on a weekend.

She's teasing Chouji about his weight, and making pouty faux-seductive faces at her reflection in the lake water. She's piling her hair on top of her head and demanding to know what he thinks of it, if Sasuke-kun will like it, if she should try to put highlights in it.

She goes on and on and Shikamaru wants to take her arms in his hands and shake her, tell her to grow up and act her age already, to stop being so damn childish all the time.

He doesn't, because he knows it won't make any difference. She never does what he tells her to do anyway.


He bumps into her outside of a bar, unexpectedly, and he has to blink twice to make sure it's her because he hasn't seen her in a few weeks.

She's dressed in extravagant clothing, a little low-cut, a little too revealing to be comfortable. Her face is caked with rouge and powder. Her hair is piled on top of her head in a complicated knot.

When he frowns and asks her if she's on a date she looks a little past his right ear, gives a crooked smile, and says yeah something like that.

Her sleeve slips off her shoulder for an instant and he catches a glimpse of a bruise before she catches the fabric with long red fingernails and tugs it back into place. There are senbon pins in her hair, and tiny speckles of blood ring the hem of her dress like decoration.

He frowns harder and squeezes her wrist in his hand, feeling the bones shift delicately against his palm. He wants to tell her to stop, to not do this anymore, to take her hair down again and stop being this woman he doesn't know and can't quite reach. He wants to wipe the gloss from her lips and hear her complain about the weather.

He doesn't, because he knows it won't make any difference.

He doesn't, because it's too damn late to admit he was wrong.