Apple: Fuji

Title: Switching Teams

Summary: "Shikamaru…you're saying you can't love me because there's someone else?" "Yup" "And that someone else is…Chouji…?" "Pretty much" Somewhere in his apartment Akimichi Chouji suddenly tripped and landed face first on the ground.

Genre: Romance/Comedy with drama at the end.

Rating: T for language

Pairings: ShikaIno, implied ShikaChou and NaruSasu

Warning: Hilarity ensues! And perhaps oocness?

Notes: Sorry for the long wait…and before we start…

This work of fiction was NOT intended to offend anyone.


Akimichi Chouji awoke with a start.

And no, it was not because of the usual scenario of the insistent ringing coming from his alarm clock. It was not because he had had a 'bad' dream either, or even because of the construction that was taking place right next to his small apartment. Oh no, the cause of his sudden awakened state was none of those simple logical reasons. In fact, it was much, much worse.

"SHIKAMARU! OPEN UP THIS DAMN DOOR RIGHT NOW!"

A growl could be heard from the other side of Chouji's bedroom door.

"No! Go away! Chouji doesn't want a troublesome woman like you waking him up so early in the morning!"

A startled gasp.

"What?! Chouji ADORES me!"

A mocking snort.

"Yeah…just as much as he 'adores' diets…"

From inside his room the weight changing chunin tried his best to ignore his two sexually frustrated friends by pretending to be deaf while stuffing his face with his pillow. He squeezed his eyes shut and hoped that Shikamaru would do something wise but judging from the fact that his friend was fascinatingly ALWAYS STUPID around the blonde made the food eater's hopes begin to flicker.

"Argh! You jerk! Open up NOW!"

Shikamaru muttered a string of curses as he pushed against the front door, ignorant of the fact that the lock was already securely clicked in place. That fact didn't matter anyway; he was not going to risk letting this troublesome creature into his apartment. With his hands pressed firmly on the blue door he sighed in mock defeat.

"Alright, I'll let you in…on one condition"

Ino's attempts at blasting the door open came to a sudden halt.

The shadow nin cleared his throat, positive that he held her attention.

"I'll let you in…but right after that I'm leaving and you can't follow me"

The blonde's once curious expression quickly twisted into a glare and her eyes narrowed at the door believing that if she tried hard enough laser beams would shoot from her eyes. She gave a low growl and brought her hand to clasp the doorknob, trying to jiggle the damn thing loose.

"Hmm, how about this Shikamaru…" she began in a deathly sweet voice.

"You let me in without leaving and I won't have to hunt you down like THE LAST PAIR OF DESIGNER SHOES!!" she spat venomously. Shikamaru bit down his gulp and remained unfazed, eyes baring straight at the door.

"If you're not going to comply with my rules Yamanaka-san, then I'm afraid I will have to decline your entrance" he spoke in such an irritatingly exaggerated tone that made the blonde's eyes turn into deadly slits.

Ino raised her fist and banged on the door with all her might.

"You asshole! It's because of what happened that day right? Will you STOP acting like a goddamn flustered school girl and come out?!"

Shikamaru's face flamed regardless of the murderous glare he threw at the door.

"I am NOT acting like a freaking school girl!" he barked in defense.

Ino's snort resonated on the other side.

"Really? Then may I ask why you've been avoiding me these past few days?"

A frustrated growl came from Shikamaru's side of the door.

"I've just been busy…" he stated calmly.

Ino glared at the door. Who did he think he was fooling? Sure, to any other person Shikamaru's comment would have been believable but she was not just 'any other person'. She knew he had been trying to avoid her for the last few days now. And it wasn't because of his busy 'work schedule' either…

"Stop lying to me and just open the door you pusillanimous excuse of a man!"

Shikamaru had to remind himself not to get impressed by her use of vocabulary and instead somehow managed to stand his ground.

"Okay, call me a coward if you want but you're still not going to get in"

Ino glared at the door with such intensity that Shikamaru was sure he could feel it radiating off of the piece of wood itself. The blonde started to bang on the door once again, emphasizing her anger with each word that spilled from her lips.

"OPEN. THIS. DOOR. RIGHT. NOW!"

Chouji's eyes shot open in irritation when the voices he had prayed for did not silence. Staring at his closed door he concluded that praying was not going to cure the migraine he now had because the shouting contest had refused to simmer down. Throwing the covers off to the side reluctantly, the size changer slowly stepped out of bed, making the rusty metal springs of his king sized mattress creak noisily. Rising from his bed he could hear Shikamaru's voice on the other side of the door. It sounded like his friend was beginning to get the hint…

"Oi! Ino! I'm telling you the truth! Now would you please leave before you wake up Chouji? You know how he gets when he doesn't get his rest!"

The florist pressed her brows together.

"Who do you think you are to order me around?! And it's a good thing if Chouji wakes up! Then he can beat the SNOT out of you for me!" The mind user yelled and resumed her rhythmic symphony against the wooden barrier.

Shikamaru could feel the pull of anxiety when he heard the sound of shuffling feet inside his roommate's sleeping quarters.

"Ino!" he hissed quietly.

"Can't this wait until later? Like…maybe when people are actually conscious?" he said as his eyes darted to the clock that read 6 A.M.

Ino spared him no mercy and continued to violently assault the door.

"Don't think you're getting away that easily! All I want to do is talk and you can't even do something this simple!"

"There's nothing to talk about! I already told you!"

Ino growled in frustration.

"SHIKAMARU! IF YOU DON'T OPEN UP THIS DOOR RIGHT THIS INSTANT I SWEAR I WILL—!"

Shikamaru felt the blood drain from his face when Chouji's doorknob began to twist slightly and despite his past efforts at trying to stay away from the blonde, he wordlessly unlocked the door and threw it open, practically ramming the girl towards the floor. With a small shriek Ino hit the ground with a loud thud and grunted from the weight pressed against her. Shikamaru muttered curses and used his hand to level himself off of the blonde so he was merely hovering above her. The two teens brought their gazes to the open door where a sleep deprived Akimichi Chouji stared down at them with enough killing intent to wipe out the whole village. The shadow nin gulped and mentally prayed for his safety.

Chouji stood dauntingly in between the small doorframe of his front door, giving himself a terrorizing impression in front of his two teammates. His hazel eyes glazed over the two before knitting his brows in annoyance and slamming the door shut, making sure to lock the two human noisemakers out of his home for good. Ino felt her body relax when she heard Chouji's grumbles die out and the final slam of his bedroom door. The blonde sighed and closed her eyes, rubbing her temple to ease the headache that appeared after her rough encounter with a certain lazy chunin. When she opened her eyes again she was surprised to find the shadow user to be nowhere in sight.

Sitting up from her current lying position she caught sight of that same missing person rushing down the hallway with incredible speed. Cursing herself for making such an easy mistake Ino hurriedly stood up and ran after the boy.

He wasn't getting away from her this time!

X

O

X

Shikamaru mentally cursed.

Well this just sucked.

"Now, are you ready to talk?" Ino questioned calmly and stood in front of him with an expectant look on her face.

Shikamaru glanced at the two familiar faces on both of his sides.

"You traitors…" he concluded and tried to pry his arms away from Naruto and Kiba.

The two jokesters traded grins and tightened their grips on Shikamaru's arms.

"What can I say? I only agreed to help Ino to see the free show" Kiba laughed in amusement. Shikamaru glared at the boy. Naruto snickered evilly at the shirker's right side, displaying that annoying squinty face he always had on when causing trouble.

Ino ignored the little discussion amongst the three boys and stepped forward.

"So Shikamaru, what's your answer?" she asked calmly and crossed her arms under her breasts.

Shikamaru played ignorant.

"I don't know what you're talking about"

Ino remained unfazed by his faux exterior and stepped forward until she was merely a foot away from him.

"Fine. Then I'll say it again" The blonde announced easily. Ino raised her hand and gestured towards herself. "I, Yamanaka Ino, am in love with you" she declared with a surprisingly straight face. Naruto and Kiba felt their smirks wash away and both boys had their jaws drop at the sudden confession. Ino momentarily glanced at the two boys and wondered how they managed to keep their hold on Shikamaru when their minds seemed to be off somewhere else. The shirker mentally rolled his eyes and looked away, trying his best to keep the blush from spreading across his face.

There was no way in hell that he would believe her confession. She couldn't have just developed feelings for him over night! After all, just last week she was blindlessly chasing after Sai around the whole freaking village. For all he knew Ino just wanted to mess around with him to have something to laugh at later. His brows pressed together at the thought. Well Ino could confess as many times as she wanted, but it was he who would have the last laugh!

"I'm sorry. I can't return your feelings" he rejected calmly. Naruto and Kiba quickly snapped their heads to look at Shikamaru as if he'd just done the biggest mistake of his life.

Ino remained abnormally unruffled.

"And why is that?" she retorted quietly.

Shikamaru racked his brain for the first thing that came to mind.

"Because I have someone I like already"

Before the blonde could ask who, Shikamaru had already cut her off.

"It's Chouji"

No hesitation, no pause.

The chunin momentarily took the time to mentally applaud his acting skills when he felt all eyes on him.

At this point Kiba and Naruto had wordlessly released their grips on his arms, practically flying back several meters with girlish screams. Shikamaru simply raised a curious brow and gave Naruto a quick side glance. The kyuubi boy shuddered under his gaze and clumsily picked himself off the ground, turning around and running away from the shadow nin.

He could practically feel Shikamaru undressing him with his eyes!!

The pineapple-haired boy sighed when he saw Kiba scrambling to get away as well.

Idiots…

Ino remained ignorant of the two other shinobi and her cerulean eyes pierced his calm ones quietly.

"Shikamaru…so you're telling me that you can't love me because you love someone else?"

The shirker nodded slightly, his face remarkably calm.

"Yup"

A delicate blonde brow arched in question.

"And that person is…Chouji?"

Shikamaru stuffed his hands in his pockets coolly.

"Pretty much"

During this conversation between Shikamaru and Ino, in another location; while on his way to the bathroom Akimichi Chouji unexpectedly tripped over Shikamaru's shoe and landed face first on the wooden floorboards of his apartment with an earth shattering thud. If one were to stand close to this apartment complex they would have been eligible to hear a loud groan of displeasure coming from inside room number 10.

Ino's gaze remained fixed on Shikamaru and he was sure she was going to start yelling at him again. The chunin mentally readied himself for any flying objects the angered blonde would throw his way. But when Ino did no such thing he found himself a bit disappointed. Instead, the florist lowered her gaze to the ground.

"Alright…I won't bother you anymore"

Shikamaru could only stare as Ino turned away, making her way down the road towards the Yamanaka flower shop. His brows pressed together in confusion. That's it? She was giving up already? He had expected more then that. A yell or an accusation at least! Ino was certainly losing her touch…And was it just him or had the tone in her voice sounded bitter just then?

Shrugging to himself (at least she'd agreed to leave him alone), the shirker made his way towards his favorite cloud gazing spot. It was best to leave the matter alone…

X

O

X

Akimichi Chouji swallowed the ramen in his mouth ever so slowly.

Was it just him or were the villagers acting strange today?

His observation served him correct when he felt the many eyes watching his every move. He couldn't help but wonder if he had missed something here. Well at least they weren't bullying him or anything. But the rude stares proved to be a problem nonetheless since it was hard to eat when EVERYONE had their eyes on you. The atmosphere alone was suffocating enough!

When the chunin turned around, every person who had their eyes on him quickly averted their gazes and busied themselves with whatever they had been doing prior to his arrival. Chouji glared at them and tried his best to enjoy his meal.

A bright ray of light filtered through the ramen stand when a hand slowly lifted the linen flap to the side. A voice could be heard laughing.

"And so I said—AGH! CHOUJI?!"

The weight changer impulsively brought his eyes to the entrance of Ichiraku, landing his hazel orbs on the members of team seven. Naruto looked as if he had seen a ghost while Sakura rolled her emerald eyes. Sai on the other hand threw him a fake smile.

"Urr, Sakura-chan…it's a little crowded so maybe we should--eep!"

The blond ninja gasped for breath as the pinkette grabbed hold of his collar before he could make his way out of the ramen stand. She muttered something quietly to Naruto and dragged him into the shop, forcing him to sit beside her while she chose a seat next to Chouji. Sai decided to sit on the unoccupied side of the blond in case he decided to make a run for it.

"Well hello Chouji! What brings you here today?" she asked with more cheer then necessary while her hand still pinned a whining Naruto to his seat.

Chouji glanced at his bowl of ramen as if the answer to her question was quite obvious. Swallowing the food in his mouth his eyes darted to Naruto, making the genki ninja freeze in place.

"Just out for a snack…" he answered and casually peered behind Sakura where the future Hokage was trying to bite off his arm, "uh…is Naruto okay?"

He noticed that the blond had shivered at the sound of his name and arched his brow higher.

The pink-haired kunoichi laughed and just about cut off all of the blood circulation in her teammate's arm.

"Oh it's nothing! He's an idiot so don't mind him…"

Chouji nodded slowly and watched Sakura punch Naruto on the head to stop the boy from whimpering her name. He quietly gulped down his drink.

"So uh, have you guys noticed anything weird lately? For some reason I feel like I'm being watched…"

Maybe if he had other people deny it then he'd feel more reassured.

Sakura laughed as if he had said something funny and slapped him on the back, making Chouji choke on his ramen. The boy coughed and blinked his tear-brimmed eyes at her warily; he had forgotten that this was Ino's friend whom he was talking to...

"Haha! Good one! Being watched! HA!" Sakura laughed with exaggerated humor. She secretly jabbed Naruto in the gut to shut him up.

"You're probably just hallucinating…right Sai?"

Now this was the part where things get worse, for Sakura at least. All her efforts at trying to act natural around Chouji totally went to waste when Naruto's next few words parted from his fat, obnoxious mouth…

"You homo!" he practically screamed and after managing to free himself from Sakura's grasp, rushed over to hide behind Sai.

Sai, being the clueless person he was, took Naruto's outburst as a signal to 'let-the-cat-out-of-the-bag', because hell; he thought Chouji already knew about it anyways...

"I don't understand why you two are acting like this...I read in a book that sexual relationships between people of the same gender is credible to happen" he announced in confusion. Sakura slapped her forehead and resisted the urge to punch the living daylights out of the two boys.

"That's true Sai but--" Sakura began to explain casually.

"It's wrong! And disgusting! And you call yourself a MAN?!" Naruto declared as he pointed at Chouji accusingly. The weight changer could only take the opportunity to become even more confused.

"Wait. What are you guys talking about?" he asked in puzzlement. Naruto pointed at him accusingly.

"Don't play dumb! We all know that you're--"

"NARUTO!" Sakura snapped before the boy could say anymore. She hastily stood from her chair and grabbed her two teammates by the collars, hauling them outside after muttering an excuse to Chouji.

The team ten member could only sit and listen as Sakura's high pitched threats faded farther away from the ramen shop…

Shaking his head Chouji pulled out his wallet and slapped a few bills on the table. Well that was weird…he thought in amusement and thanked Teuchi for the meal, making his way out of the stall.

The eighteen year old paused when he recognized a familiar face in the crowd.

"Dad?"

Chouza spotted his son and walked over to him, placing his hand on Chouji's shoulder seriously.

"I'm glad I found you Chouji. I have something I want to talk to you about…"

Chouji could only give his father a confused stare.

X

O

X

Shikamaru frowned when the once warm rays of sunshine disappeared behind his closed eyelids and was replaced with cold shrouded darkness. He opened his eyes to find his best friend's shadow hovering over his, compared to Chouji, small petit form.

"Hmm. So I guess you know now…"

Damn did news travel fast these days…

Chouji knitted his brows in anger and nearly blew his top at Shikamaru right then. Oh wait. He did blow his top…

"Is that all you have to say? Do you even know what I've been through today?! Do you think it was pleasant for me to find out about your little confession from MY OWN FATHER?! I'll never forget the look he gave me for the rest of my life!" Chouji yelled and resisted the sudden urge to get in a fetal position and cry this horrible experience away. He couldn't forget the "we'll still love you no matter what you do" line his parents kept repeatedly feeding him every three seconds of their conversation.

Shikamaru rolled his eyes.

"Don't be such a girl Chouji. What was that saying about rumors lasting eighty something days?" he explained and waved his hand dismissively.

Chouji glared at him.

"Do you find this amusing? Because of you I'll never be able to walk the streets again!"

Shikamaru yawned and frowned at his friend.

"Well excuse me. I didn't know you were as homophobic as Naruto" he rolled his eyes.

"I'm not homophobic!" Chouji barked while throwing glares at the civilians who had the nerve to point at the two boys. This was all just too much to stomach. He didn't know whether he should laugh or cry!

Seeing the carefree expression on Shikamaru's face, the Akimichi junior sighed and plopped down beside him.

Crap. Shikamaru was like a freaking Saint! Just being around him made you lose every ounce of negative emotion inside you. Chouji scowled. It was probably because that lazy attitude of his was known to rub off on people…

He inwardly groaned and tried to calm his nerves by bringing his gaze towards the clear blue sky. Closing his eyes he exhaled calmly. Okay, let's try this again…

He eyed Shikamaru in exasperation

"Why couldn't you just use someone else as your 'love interest'? Like…Temari or something?"

Shikamaru immediately scowled.

"And risk getting beaten up for using her? I don't think so…" he countered.

Chouji collapsed on the soft grass with a groan.

"Dealing with this was not on my list of things to do this afternoon so you better make it up to me by buying me a feast!" he commanded indignantly. Shikamaru's eyes remained closed.

"Sure, sure"

"And another thing!"

The shirker silently sighed.

"You have to tell Ino the truth …"

Now this was Shikamaru's turn to sulk.

"I have no idea what you're implying" he replied flatly.

Chouji shook his head and folded his arms across his chest.

"Just admit it, you told Ino we were…we were—were"

"gay" Shikamaru supplied. Chouji eyed him pointedly.

"Right…just so you could stop her from bothering you"

Shikamaru shifted uncomfortably in the grass and scratched his ankle with the heel of his foot.

"That's not—okay. You're right" he added grudgingly and sighed, "…so what? I got her to stop before she ended up regretting it didn't I?"

Chouji raised an inquisitive brow.

"What do you mean she'll regret it?"

Shikamaru snorted as if the answer was obvious.

"Come on Chouji. She couldn't possibly have developed feelings for me over the course of four days. She's just looking for something to keep her from being bored" he stated impassively.

"That's how she is now. Although I never expected her be stupid enough to lump me of all people with her harem of boys. They do nothing but kiss her ass and follow her like mindless morons…"

Chouji's eyes hardened at the harshness in Shikamaru's voice.

"Shikamaru…" he tried to reason quietly.

"Don't even try to correct me Chouji, you know I'm right. It's like she never even listened to Asuma-sensei's words at all. She's always been like this…always--"

The chunin paused when he heard the sound of rustling from the top of the bank and both boys turned around abruptly.

Their eyes widened.

Chouji felt his throat dry out.

"I-Ino…" he managed to say.

The blonde simply closed her eyes and set down a plastic bag between the two.

"Was on my way to pick up some stuff and decided to buy you guys some snacks" she explained calmly and gave them a small smile. Avoiding Shikamaru's eyes Ino muttered something about needing to go back to tend the shop and she soon left as quietly as she had come.

Chouji watched as the girl disappeared among the crowded streets and released a sigh of relief once he was sure she was out of earshot.

"Well that's good…it seems she didn't hear us…"

He glanced at Shikamaru who had his face scrunched in a tight scowl.

"No…she did hear us…all of it…" the boy muttered coldly before turning his back on Chouji, ignoring the bag of sweets Ino had left behind.

X

O

X

Chouji sighed as he carried the plastic bag of sweets home. Shikamaru had refused to talk to him after their little encounter with the blonde kunoichi so he decided to let the boy be for once.

Stuffing his face with chips Chouji silently strolled down the main market area of Konoha. Fortunately he had already gotten used to the odd stares from the villagers.

Passing by a kunai shop he was surprised to find Naruto of all people curiously inspecting a top of the line brand kunai. Naruto caught sight of him and almost pierced a hole through his hand from the way he had almost dropped the priceless weapon. Chouji rolled his eyes when the ninja made something strangely familiar to a cross with his fingers.

He stepped inside the shop only to have Naruto back up against an old wooden dresser, nearly tripping himself over it.

Chouji raised a delicate brow.

This was actually proving to be quite amusing…

"You know that's not nice Naruto. You're going to hurt someone's feelings someday…"

Naruto glared at Chouji.

"I'm just reacting like how every normal person would!"

Chouji gave him a look.

"Aren't you being hypocritical? Everyone knows there's something going on between you and Uchiha" he replied bluntly, stuffing his mouth with another handful of chips.

Naruto choked on air.

"WHAT?! Sasuke and I aren't--!!"

Looking into the empty bag of chips Chouji sighed in mild disappointment. He crumpled up the bag and tossed it smoothly into the stores trash bin.

"If memory serves me correctly, I'd like to bring up an instance of lip locking back at the academy" he referenced knowingly.

The blond's face paled. Naruto glared and pointed a finger at Chouji.

"That's a freaking lie and you know it! It was an accident!!"

The Akimichi spawn waved his hand frivolously and stepped out of the small weapons shop. "Whatever helps you sleep at night…" he muttered sardonically and turned away nonchalantly.

He smirked evilly when he heard the blond yelling protests at him from behind.

This is fun!

X

O

X

Shikamaru stared up at the bright colorful sign of the Yamanaka Flower Shop that served as an oxymoron with his current emotions. He took a small step forward but paused when he heard signs of a conversation taking place within the shop.

"Ino sweet, what do you say we hang out after you're done with your shift?" a suave husky voice asked from inside the shop. Light beeps could be heard from the cash register as it binged open.

"I'm sorry, but I don't associate with two-timers" the blonde replied flatly and handed the bouquet of flowers to the young man. The young man chuckled and slicked his platinum blond hair back.

"Don't be like that cutie. She's only there as a replacement for you. You know you're the only one for me" he grinned dashingly. Ino rolled her eyes and handed the man his change.

"Let me tell you something Arai-kun." She began sweetly and leaned forward on the counter.

"I want you to go give these beautiful flowers to Mai-san. Tell her how much you appreciate her and thank kami-sama for even blessing you with someone who would be kind enough to get in your pants"

Ino ignored the boy's stunned expression and smiled prettily for him. Arai stood there motionless and had the sudden urge to shield his private parts. He swallowed at the tension growing inside the room and quickly nodded his head in agreement. Facing Ino's smiling face the young man quickly turned around and marched out of the flower shop without another word.

Ino smiled one last time at the open door and moved to switch off the small radio by the register.

"It's rude to eavesdrop" she finally stated as she wrote down her sales in a small purple notebook. Shikamaru slightly frowned and stepped inside the small shop, closing the slide door behind him.

"May I help you?" she asked casually.

Shikamaru winced at the politeness in her voice. He stuffed his hands in his pockets.

"Well…about what I--"

"Don't worry about it. I already knew it even before you mentioned it to Chouji" Ino cut in flatly. She walked around the counter to water the plants at the front of the store. Shikamaru watched her quietly.

"But…I guess it's true when they say knowing it and hearing it are two different things" she continued and brought her watering can over to water the plants on the other side of the room.

"You know Shikamaru…If you didn't like me you could have just told me so. It's not like I was going to force you to love me" Ino began quietly as she carefully watered the tulips growing by the front window of the store.

"I don't know why you think I'm lying when I said it…but I've never been one to take love lightly have I?" she laughed somberly.

The blonde turned so her back was directly in front of him. She placed the empty watering can beside her and just stood there, staring out the window of the shop.

Ino took in a calming breath.

"It hurts a lot when the person you love is trying so hard to avoid you…" she told him quietly and placed her hand on the window glass. Her eyes clouded with emotion and she brought her gaze to her feet.

"…but it hurts even more when that person has to lie to you just so he could avoid you"

Ino opened her eyes and tried to ignore the silent tears that streamed down her porcelain cheeks. Shikamaru's face twisted with guilt and he kept his eyes on her back.

"Ino…" he whispered quietly.

The blonde hastily wiped her tears and turned around, giving him a cheeky smile.

"Ah, sorry! Pollen must've gotten into my eyes!" she laughed quietly, wiping the stray tears away. The florist made an attempt to pass him but Shikamaru foresaw her move and grabbed her wrist gently.

"Ino, wait…"

The blonde closed her eyes and calmed herself before turning to face him.

"Um Shikamaru, I really have to go—"

"Just do it after we talk alright?!" he snapped in aggravation.

Ino stared at him in shock before slowly knitting her brows in anger.

"Why the hell are you shouting at me?!" she countered with equal resentment. Shikamaru returned her glare.

"Because you're being stubborn!"

Ino gawked at him as her fists clenched tightly.

"Stubborn? You're calling ME stubborn?!"

"That's what I just said!"

The blonde scowled, ignoring the sadness that engulfed her just moments ago. "You know what? I was wrong! I don't love you anymore! I take my confession back!" she shouted crossly.

Shikamaru released her hand.

"You can't take it back! Don't be stupid Ino!"

"And why not? You don't need it anyway so I'm taking it back!" she yelled as if they were talking about an object. The kunoichi crossed her arms and huffed, turning her head to avoid his gaze.

"I…I unlove you! There!"

The chunin narrowed his eyes.

"Do you have any idea what you're saying? You sound ridiculous!"

Ino glowered at the boy and took a step forward, stabbing her pointer finger at his chest.

"Then I guess I am ridiculous! After all, I fell in love with YOU of all people!" she shot back haughtily. Shikamaru grabbed her hand so she would stop her insistent poking. Ino intensified her glare and tried to wretch her arm free. How dare Shikamaru try and man handle her!!

Shikamaru returned her icy glare. "Yeah? Well that makes two of us then!"

Silence.

The blonde gaped at his words. She watched him with wide eyes.

"Wh-what…?"

Shikamaru scowled and scratched his head in frustration.

"Man, this is so troublesome…" he muttered under his breath and brought his gaze to meet Ino's confused expression.

"I…I'm sorry…for not taking your feelings seriously…" he apologized slowly. He mentally kicked away the idea of his that clearly stated 'men do NOT show their feelings'. The statement never did him justice anyways…

He scratched his temple and brought his eyes to the ground.

"It's just…how could I not take it seriously Ino? It's too surreal. We don't go together…it's not supposed to--"

"Shikamaru!"

He lifted his eyes to meet Ino's angry face.

"Now don't go saying things like that! Since when have you been so pessimistic?"

The shadow user blinked at her in surprise.

"I-I'm not! All I'm saying is that it'd be unlikely for us to end up together"

Ino crossed her arms and glared straight at him.

"Nara Shikamaru! It is not—"

"FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT TASTES GOOD WOULD YOU TWO JUST SHUT UP AND KISS?!"

The two friends froze and whipped their heads towards the entrance where Chouji stood tall, narrowing his eyes at the two blind fools. He crossed his arms.

"I swear! I'm surprised you guys haven't raped one another yet!"

The two could only watch on in bafflement.

"Shikamaru!" the stout boy shouted, making said boy stiffen in response. Chouji intensified his gaze on him.

"You need to put aside that low self-esteem of yours and tell yourself that there is actually a possibility for you and Ino to have a relationship. Stop looking at the situation as if it were an incorrect math equation and just accept the answer!"

Shikamaru opened his mouth to defend his self-esteem but quickly shut it with one look from his friend. Chouji turned his gaze toward the blonde.

"And you! You know that when it comes to women Shikamaru becomes as stupid as the next guy. He'll never see pass what's in front of him! Chasing after Sai will not make him realize his feelings for you! You need to give him hints before confessing to him or else it'd seem spontaneous and out of nowhere. It's no wonder he freaked on you Ino!"

Shikamaru glared at his long time friend. He did no such "freaking" thank you very much!

Ino parted her lips.

"Bu…But Chouji…"

"Enough is enough! You guys are going to kiss and make up—and yes literally Shikamaru!—or so help me I will find a way to force you guys to do it myself!"

The two blind fools traded looks.

Chouji had totally LOST it!

"This is all your fault!" Ino hissed quietly to the boy beside her.

"Like you're one ta talk" Shikamaru retorted behind his fake smile.

Chouji looked at them expectantly.

"You're serious?" Ino questioned when the boy did not move from his spot.

The look he threw her told her that why yes he was very serious.

Ino opened her mouth to protest.

"But Chouji! What if…What if he has bad breath or something?! Do you want to kill me?" she tried to reason miserably.

Shikamaru smacked his forehead. And this was the girl that I claimed to love?

"But...! He doesn't deserve it!" Ino added after gazing at Shikamaru. The shirker snorted.

"Like you're entitled to these lips of mine" he rolled his eyes.

Chouji's face turned dark red and if one squinted hard enough they could see the lightening bolts of fury encircle around the boy.

"SHUT UP AND KISS! NOW!"

And finally, after hearing threats involving explicit themes and small enclosed spaces…

They did.

And from the way Chouji had run off screaming bloody murder…

…they enjoyed it too.


The End

OMFG this is my 2nd fujking time re-editing! arghh stupid internet!!

Review if you must...