Disclaimer: I do not own any aspect of Naruto. Naruto is the property of Masashi Kishimoto and probably Shonen Jump, with license to Viz Media
Warnings: Major spoilers for manga chapter 342.
Summary: Some days getting into bed is the hardest thing you have to do. Shikamaru/Hinata. Set a few months after the manga chapter 342.
Dedicated to cabbitqueen. Thoughtful reviews and comments to me on my first FF To Change Hyuuga really made my day and helped build my confidence to continue writing.
Too Tired to Move
Shikamaru yawned as he fumbled with the key to Kurenai's home. He had slept six hours during the three-day mission. He wanted nothing more then to lie down and take a nap.
But it was his turn to pick up the groceries.
It was increasingly difficult for the eight months pregnant Kurenai to complete simple errands involving large bulky items. Like laundry or grocery.
A week ago Hinata moved in with Kurenai. She wanted to help Kurenai during the last few weeks of the pregnancy and after the baby came.
Ino, Chouji, and Shikamaru were vaguely surprised that when the Hyuuga Heiress easily brushed aside the objections of her clan to move out. Even if it was only temporarily, the Hyuuga did not like a main branch member to wonder too far from home.
Shino and Kiba were neither surprised at Hinata's desire to help nor her ability to bend the Hyuuga clan to her viewpoint.
Over the last few months, Shikamaru learned that Hinata, the shy and quiet member of Kurenai Yuhi's Team 8, was able to bend others subtly to her ideas. A combination of the Byakugan training, her political experience as heiress, and her empathy for others.
Of Kurenai Yuhi's Team 8 and Asuma Sarutobi Team 10, Shikamaru and Hinata had taken the most upon themselves to look after Kurenai-sensei. Even a Jonin needed a little help when thirty pounds heavier and flooded with hormones. During the last few weeks, they decided to take turns running errands for the household.
Unfortunately the ongoing conflict with Akatsuki members created a strain on the Konoha nin. Constant missions required every Jonin and Chunin. Meanwhile, an increasing number for Konoha nin were also pulled off duty to recover from injuries.
Hinata had been sent out for a weeklong mission the day before Shikamaru.
So it was his turn to pick up the groceries.
He dropped the fresh fruits and vegetables on the kitchen counter and quickly put away the refrigerated items.
The former slacker sighed and wondered when he had become so domesticated.
Chouji, Ino and Shikamru had started having weekly dinners with Kurenai shortly after they returned from killing Hidan.
At first they ate out. Then Choji suggested that they eat healthier food and volunteered to make dinner for everyone.
Eventually they developed a routine, Ino or Shikamaru would pick up the food, and Chouji would cook with everyone helping or hanging out together in the kitchen. However, with the hectic mission schedule, someone was always out. So eventually they decided to invite Kiba, Hinata and Shino to fill out the table.
It was nice. To be with friends and enjoy a meal together.
Every week it was a slightly different group, three or four of the rookie nine and Kurenai-sensei. On a rare occasion, all six of them would be there with Kurenai and then the only one missing was Asuma-sensei.
Shikamaru noticed as Kurenai grew heavier with child that the simple chores of shopping and laundry were more difficult for her. He volunteered to get groceries for her.
"Hey, I can get the food for our weekly dinners and your food for the week at the same time. No big deal." He had said.
Unfortunately with his mission schedule he couldn't do it every week.
One day he ran into Hinata returning from a mission just as he was leaving Tsunade's office. He passed Kurenai shopping list to the shy kunoichi and asked for a favor. Since then, Hinata and Shikamaru took turns. Whoever was in town would take care of it.
Occasionally, they were both in town and ended up with twice as much food as Kurenai (and her growing group of visiting friends) needed. But Chouji would usually take care of that problem. He whipped up extra meals and put them in the freezer them for later.
Hinata slightly modified the grocery list from time to time. Added or removed different foods as Kurenai progressed through her pregnancy. Shikamaru appreciated it, genius or not, he wasn't the type to pay attention to that kind of thing. That kind of female thing.
Shikamaru yawned again and rubbed his eyes. He needed sleep, damnit. These constant missions were exhausting. He decided to wash his face to wake up a bit before he headed home for his long overdue nap.
Half asleep on his feet, Shikamaru made his way into the guest bathroom. His groggy mind sensed someone else in the room moments before incredible pain flooded his body.
Through the pain he heard "Two! Four! Eight! Sixteen! …AH! Oh no!"
A very wet and very naked Hyuuga Hinata leaned over him.
At least he assumed she was naked under the loose towel wrapped around her body.
"Shikamaru-san! I'm so sorry!" she exclaimed.
Through the pain for sixteen closed chakra points, Shikamaru realized that he was still standing only because Hinata had pinned him against the bathroom wall.
"Can you move?" Hinata asked excitedly.
She eased her hold on him, only to have to support his weight as he slumped forward. "I'm sorry, you surprised me and I reacted without thinking. I-I can try to re-open the chakra points, but it might be better to wait for recover normally. I'm so sorry!"
He struggled to move his tired and chakra blocked body.
He sighed heavily.
"Hinata." Shikamaru finally managed. "I'll live. Just help me sit down or lay down somewhere for awhile."
It was his own fault for letting his guard down.
She nodded. Hinata shifted to half guide, half carry Shikamaru across the hallway into the guest bedroom.
"How long will it take to wear off?" He asked as he tried to move his fingers. Fine motor control was the first to go and the last to return. He wouldn't be able to untie his shoe much less perform a hand seal.
"Um, ah with sixteen points closed, it shouldn't be more then two or three hours. It depends on how strong you chakra system is to begin with. Your body and chakra system has a natural tendency to what to return to its normal state." She explained quietly.
Everything Hyuuga Hinata did was quiet. Shikamaru had noticed this over the years. She was so unlike is bossy loud mother or bossy loud teammate. Hinata had grown a lot over the last three years. She was more confident, more deadly. But still kind.
The shy kunoichi helped him sit on the futon. She then proceeded to take off his jacket, shoes, and weapons pouches.
Hinata's hands moved quickly and efficiently, but Shikamaru noticed a slight trembling in her figure. Her pale bare shoulders were dimpled with goose bumps from the cool air of the bedroom. She probably felt awful for attacking him.
Hinata didn't seem to notice that her towel was getting progressively looser as she shifted around. She was focused on making him comfortable. The injured genius vaguely wondered if he would get slapped for mentioning it. Or if it was better to get slapped after towel slipped further.
Apparently exhaustion combined with sixteen closed chakra points was the trigger for his mind to shut down and his hormones to take over. Shikamaru blinked at the thought.
"Don't worry so much Hinata, I was just going to wash my face and head home for a nap anyway. This will save me the walk home." He joked.
"When did you get back?" he asked tiredly.
"Just an few hours ago, we reported in to Tsunade-sama and I came straight here to clean up." Hinata replied automatically. She ran her hand along his chest. He arched an eyebrow at her, which went unnoticed.
"I'm going to take your shirt off and get some of my healing salve. It won't help your chakra points open, but it will help with the bruising." She blushed lightly and mumbled, "sorry about this."
"Hinata, stop apologizing. No permanent harm, right?" He smirked at her. "By the way, I pick up the food for the week."
"Oh thank you! I was dreading going out again." Hinata said as she worked his shirt off.
"You're tired too huh?" He half asked. Half assumed. The missions they were assigned to sure as hell weren't getting any easier.
Hinata nodded without looking at him
"Rough mission?" He asked softly.
"Very bad." she said softly. "People died before we got there. There was no one left to save."
Shikamaru winced. He knew that Hinata was the kind of shinobi that operated best when protecting rather then killing. He waited for her to continue or not. He didn't want to pry.
"It took us four days of constant pursuit, but we finally hunted them down. I-I killed four of them with my bare hands." She said so softly he could barely hear her.
He would have consoled her with a hand on her head or a pat on her shoulder. But he doubted that he could move that much.
"Hinata, you did what you had to do." Shikamaru replied.
She nodded, but he could sense the tears in her posture and her voice, even if he couldn't see them in her eyes.
"Lay down, I'm going to get that salve." Hinata said returning all her focus to him.
Shikamaru laid down on the futon and tried not to fall asleep immediately. Hinata suddenly reach over him. He looked up to be treated to a spectacular view. Hinata's towel had loosened from all the activity and was falling open.
Hinata exclaimed. "Here it is, right next to the bed."
Of course it was her bed since she moved in with Kurenai.
Hinata continued to lean over him as she applied small amounts of the salve to each of the sixteen points of impact that she could access on his upper body.
Shikamaru took a moment to enjoy the view. Hinata's cup-runeath over. Literally.
Shikamaru closed his eyes before the hormones of his sixteen-year old body made him say or do something stupid. Like try to get his chakra-blocked and exhausted body to move and 'accidentally' knock towel off completely. Or something.
Instead he said, "Hinata, your…your dripping on me."
"Oh my, I'm sorry Shikamaru-san!" Hinata replied. She suddenly became aware of her state of undress. She was wrapped (practically unwrapped now) in a towel and still dripping wet from her bath. Hinata blushed a deep red and stood up quickly to adjust her towel.
Unfortunately her fatigue did not reward her quick movement and she swayed heavily.
"Hey are you okay?" Shikamaru asked as Hinata nearly collapsed. She slowly lowered herself to a kneeling position to orient herself.
"Just...just very tired. I think." She replied.
Shikamaru took in her appearance. The darkness beneath her pale eyes. The redness of her face. The slight wrinkling of her finger tips. He wondered how long her had been in the bathroom washing away the blood and filth from her mission.
"It's hard to think sometimes." She finished quietly.
"Yeah...come on, lay down on the futon for a minute." Shikamaru suggested. "It's your bed anyway." He joked.
She looked at him like he was crazy. But in his eyes she saw the mirror of her own. Exhaustion. The drive to grow up as quickly as possible. No regret. No pity. No tears.
When she tried to stand again and found it harder then she imagined possible, she decided to take him up on the offer. She crawled into bed next to him and her whole body sighed with relief. Hinata smiled gratefully even though Shikamaru couldn't see it.
They lay there together quietly for a few minutes.
Precious peaceful moments.
"Sometimes it is nice to be held after a…difficult mission." Hinata said quietly.
Shikamaru didn't know if she was talking about her mission or his own.
He concentrated and was able to shift slightly. Hinata took the cue and cuddled up to him. She leaned slightly onto his bare chest as he wrapped his arm loosely over her equally bare shoulder.
"We should rest for awhile." He said.
Hinata nodded and tugged the covers over both of them.
"While we can." She replied.
They breathed in time with each other.
And were asleep within minutes.
Author's note: My first one-shot! And my second FF. I sorta-thought maybe I might write a little more Shika/Hina, but I'm not sure if I have it in me. That's why the title of the one-shot is different then the overall title. The overall title references the chapter342. Did this work? Vaguely believable? Please review.