Dedicated to: Renalin, because it's her birthday, and of us Deliquents decided to surprise you with ShikaIno fics. Happy birthday love!

Disclaimer: Oh yeah, I DEFINATELY own. I can also sprout pretty wings and fly.

Shikamaru remembers a time before Sasuke; a time when Ino, Ino in all of her innocent glory and her shy smiles, depended on him. Back then, he was her best friend, the one she followed around.

"Shika-kuuun." Ino sang happily when she saw him. "Come swing with me?" The boy muttered his famous catchphrase but obliged, and he even pushed her a couple times.

Back then, he had thought of it as overly annoying, but when Ino discovered Sasuke…well, needless to say that Shikamaru remained undisturbed when he went to go cloud watching. At first this overjoyed him; after all, there was no annoying blonde tagging around and only able to stay quiet for ten minutes. As time passes, however, he realizes that he misses her. It annoys him.

"Shikamaru," Ino says, rolling those big blue eyes that made his eight year-old heart do funny things, "you just don't understand. Have you SEEN how gorgeous Sasuke-kun is?" Shikamaru grits his teeth every time he hears her say that: Sasuke-KUN. Because the Uchiha had stolen HIS suffix, and the pineapple-haired youth doesn't like it.

Years pass and Shikamaru learns to forget these feelings that he has; learns to shove them aside, though it still hurts every time Ino sighs whenever Sasuke passes her by, and resists the urge to punch the dark-haired male in the face every time he insults Shikamaru's blond teammate.

"Why do you like Sasuke?" He asks one day after training, because of course only Fate would be so cruel as to put the both of them on the same team. The only apology She offered was putting Chouji, the boy Shikamaru found after Ino had learned about boys, on their team as well.

Ino scoffed and flicked her annoyingly-long piece of hair out from in front of her face. Shikamaru remembers a time when Ino liked her hair short, but ever since she heard that Sasuke-kun liked girls with long hair, she didn't cut it.

"Honestly, Shikamaru. Sasuke-kun is gorgeous, he's a prodigy, and he's got a TON of money."

"Is that all you're after? Just a pretty face and lots of money?" Shikamaru asked in disgust. Since when had Ino been so shallow? Ino gave him a look.

"Kami-sama, no! You just don't understand, Shikamaru."

Maybe because I don't know who you are anymore he thought.

"If you say so, Ino." He said instead, and walked away to go cloud-watching.

A couple months later, Shikamaru's doorbell rang. He glanced at the clock and groaned. Who the hell would be ringing his doorbell at eight in the morning? How troublesome.

Not even bothering to put on a shirt, he answered the door. "He-"

A body flung itself into his chest. "Shika-kun," it sobbed, and Shikamaru froze, looking down. Long blond hair splayed across his torso.

"Ino?" He asked, and she looked up. Sky blue eyes were rimmed-red and puffy, and Shikamaru could feel his anger boil. Ino hardly ever cried anymore. Seeing as how she wasn't fit to move, he picked her up and walked into his living room, thanking Kami that his parents weren't home yet. "What happened?"

Sitting on his couch, she dabbed her eyes on the back of her hand. "Sasuke-kun is gone." Although he felt bad, especially for the Uchiha's teammates, he was glad, because now Ino couldn't focus on the Sharingan youth.

"I feel so sad, Shika-kun," Ino whispered, leaning her head on his shoulder. Instinctively he wrapped an arm around her shoulders, then frowned questionably at his actions. Tears leaked onto his shoulder and he held her tighter.

"I'm sorry, Ino." She gave him a watery smile and closed her eyes. Eventually her breathing deepened and evened out, and Shikamaru laid down, holding her to him.

And fifty years later, that still continues.