Disclaimer: Naruto is forever and ever Masashi Kishimoto's.
My first drabble collections. So if any of you have a request, just PM me your keyword.
This chapter is dedicated especially to Hlomondodeli Majoribanks. It's her birthday! Yay! Happy Birthday, Lima-chan!
Drabble One: Birthday
The pretty blond woman in her late thirties was surprised seeing one of her daughter's teammates appeared in front of the Yamanaka doorstep so early in the morning. "Shikamaru?" Ino's mother blinked a few times, as if it was an illusion that the lazy Nara prodigy actually there. "What brings you here?"
"Ino." Was Shikamaru's simple answer. Ino's mother mentally smacked herself. Of course. Anything that brought Nara Shikamaru to her house was indeed her one and only daughter. "Our team has a meeting early this morning and she's an hour late." Shikamaru breathed his trademark silently. "So I came here to get her. Is she up?"
"Aw… How nice of you, Shikamaru." Ino's mother welcomed the nicely grown teenager into the house. "I think Ino's already up. I heard her upstairs. Why don't you check on her yourself? You know your way."
Nodding without saying anything, Shikamaru wandered from the front door to the living room. In his way to the staircase located at the end of the said room, he confronted with another blonde in the house, Ino's father, Inoichi.
He was sitting comfortably on one of the armchairs, reading the morning news. Inoichi lifted his chin hearing the brisk sound of Shikamaru's footsteps on the carpeted floor.
"Hello, Mr. Yamanaka." Shikamaru greeted him first politely.
Inoichi nodded in acknowledgement. "Hello there, boy."
"I came to pick up Ino." Shikamaru explained the reason he was there. "Our team has a meeting today."
Inochi just hummed his acknowledgement in reply. And as Shikamaru preceded his steps to the stairs, suddenly Inoichi spoke.
"Just a little reminder, boy." His tone was serious. "I think I heard her scream as soon as she woke up this morning. You might want to be cautious."
Shikamaru winced hearing the warning. "Ino screamed?"
Inoichi raised his brows while sighing. "On top of her lungs. I think it's one of those days."
Shikamaru paled. Mendokuse…
He arrived at Ino's bedroom in no time. From outside, Shikamaru heard nothing. He raised his hand and knocked. "Ino?" He asked softly. When Ino had that kind of day, he needed to be extra careful, whether in words or in actions. Shikamaru remembered the first time he encountered a period Ino and unintentionally goofed around her. He went back home with bruised cheeks and black eye, and body all beaten up.
Since then, he vowed to himself to not let him experience the pains Ino had caused him, because her dangerous moody self certainly could kill a man.
"Ino?" After getting no answer and the door hadn't yet opened for him, Shikamaru tried the door knob. It was locked. "Ino, you're late for our team meeting. I came to pick you up."
He heard a mumble reply. "What?"
"I said I'm not going."
"Why?" Shikamaru groaned. Really, it really was one of those days. Ino usually didn't have trouble showing up for team meetings. "It's troublesome to come all the way here, Ino. I won't leave without you."
"No." She refused. "Just leave me alone."
Shikamaru stood motionless in front of Ino's door, not sure what to do. She had told him to leave her, but seriously, he just couldn't. How could he without knowing the reason why she didn't want to go? And that day wasn't just an ordinary day, as the team meeting itself wasn't an ordinary team meeting. He had to get her out no matter what.
"Are you sick or something?"
"Then why don't you want to go?"
"You know me better than this, Ino."
"Can't you just leave me alone, Shikamaru?" Her tone sounded angry.
"I can't." Shikamaru was a little bit afraid of the change of tone but he tried the door again. "Told you it's troublesome to walk all the way here…"
"Then why did you offer your lazy ass to come here instead of Chouji or Asuma-sensei?"
"I don't offer myself…" Sighing, Shikamaru leaned against the door. "They forced me."
"Oh, like I know." The truth, he was the only person who could deal with Ino without getting serious injuries. With his high and mighty IQ, he could've easily won their arguments, whatsoever.
"Tsk…" Shikamaru heard Ino snorted. "Whatever. I'm not going to leave the house for the day." She quickly added, "No matter what."
"Why? You can't skip today's meeting, you know that, right? We're going to celebrate Chouji's birthday. He's going to throw a fit if you didn't show up."
"I know…" Ino groaned. "But I just can't, Shikamaru."
"But why?" Shikamaru lost count how many times he had said that word.
"Because I just can't!" Ino insisted. "Am I talking French to you?!"
Shikamaru ignored her remark. After making sure that his next course of action was not going to put his life in danger, he pressed his hand more firmly on the doorknob. "Ino, if you're not going to open this door any second, I'm going to break it."
"Well, go ahead if you dare!" Ino yelled in response.
It only took him a few seconds to get through into Ino's bedroom. Focusing some amount of chakra into his palm, Shikamaru gave the door a quick snap and successfully had it open without damaging anything. Ino had her eyes wide and mouth gaped open once the image of the shadow boy appeared in her vision.
"SHIKAMARU!" She hollered at the top of her lungs. "How dare you barging into my room like that!"
And Shikamaru knew instantly the reason why Ino refused to leave her room. "Whoaa…" He stared slack jawed at Ino. His hand rose mid air without being commanded, pointing at the blonde's face, or rather forehead. A red, fresh pimple stood flaunting itself proudly on the smooth creamy surface. It was hard not to notice. It was so significant. "That's… Whoaa…you got it pretty big there…"
Then without warning, Ino came up close to him and spontaneously gave him a slap. "Thanks for pointing that out, genius."
Shikamaru rubbed his swollen cheek. "You don't have to do that…"
"You deserve it." Ino muttered angrily. "How dare you break my door just like that! What if I'm stark naked here?!"
Then I'm the luckiest guy in all Konoha… That pervy thought popped out of nowhere. And of course Shikamaru wasn't going to let Ino know.
"Now that you know the reason why I couldn't go out, would you kindly leave me alone?" Ino was still angry. Shikamaru didn't know why, but her pissed off face just made her pimple stood out even more.
"No." Shikamaru almost chuckled. That girl was beautiful even her mood wasn't at best. "It's just a pimple, Ino. So what?"
"It makes me ugly." Ino retorted furiously, moving to in front her vanity and viewed her face for the millionth times. "I don't want to be seen like this. I have a reputation to keep!"
"Yeah, sure…" Shikamaru silently muttered. He saw her point. People always see the Yamanaka as a girl of perfection, with her astonishing beauty and killer body. But that didn't mean Ino could skip the meeting and Chouji's birthday just because of the suddenly appeared flaw. "But you know Chouji will be upset if you don't come with us to celebrate."
"I know…" Ino groaned. "But what am I gonna do with THIS?! I can't pop it just like that!"
Shikamaru winced at her high-pitch tone. "Don't you have some girl thing named concealer?" He went to the mad blonde and peered through her vanity. He remembered Ino mentioned to him once about the uses of make-up things she was so crazy with. "A good concealer can cover up almost everything, right? And I think you have the best one. Why don't you try-"
"Shikamaru," Ino gritted her teeth hard. "If it works, I would've stepped out of that door centuries ago." She examined her pimple back and let out a helpless sigh. "It's too big and it's so hard to cover…"
"Well, you could always pretend it isn't there." Shikamaru shrugged carelessly. "We're late. Let's go."
"No!" Ino back off hurriedly. "I've told you I cannot go out with my face like this!"
"Nobody will notice, believe me." Shikamaru doubted his own words. But he just had to get her out of the house.
"But you, of all people, noticed!"
"Geez…" Shikamaru almost rolled his eyes. "I notice everything about you, Ino." Even the littlest thing, like split ends. "And you look fine to me, for Kami's sake…"
"Hmmph!" Ino stuck up her nose. "You just say that on purpose. Just to make me feel better!"
"I was being honest. Could you at least appreciate it?" Shikamaru sighed. "I am no different from other guys. I'd like to know my opinion counts."
"Of course it counts, you baka…"
"Then why worry?"
"I don't mind you, but…if other guys…"
Of course she didn't mind him because he already seen her in her worst so many times he lost count. Except in his opinion, she still looked cute. "Okay, okay… if the concealer didn't work, then let's just try another method."
The blue eyes lit up. "Any ideas?"
"Just part your bangs to the other side." Shikamaru plainly answered, slightly rolling his eyes as if telling her "Geez, have you not think of this before?"
He stepped closer to Ino and carefully adjusted her long fringe into place. It wasn't hard at all, seeing Ino's hair was so fine, smooth and silky. "There you go."
Ino eyed herself in the mirror. "Shikamaru, you're a genius!" She jumped in delight and closed their gap to give him a quick hug. "It's all covered!"
"So can we go now?"
Ino quickly pushed him out of the room. "Wait a sec. I'm going to change. And don't you dare peeking on me."
"I'll wait for you downstairs!" Shikamaru yelled as the door closed in front of his nose. "Don't take too long!"
He confronted Inoichi again in the living room. Upon his approaching, the blond man looked up and frowned seeing his face.
"I bet it hurts," he commented seeing the bruise on his swollen cheek.
Shikamaru touched the said area. "Yeah."
"She didn't hit you that hard, did she?"
Shikamaru shrugged. "It doesn't matter. I'm going to have her fix me later."
Inoichi smirked. "So what the fuss is all about?"
"Ah…" Inoichi nodded understandingly. "I should've guessed…"
Ten minutes later, Shikamaru walked out of the Yamanaka residence with Ino in tow, touching her hair self-consciously every fifteen seconds. Shikamaru sighed at this but made no comment; afraid that Ino would change her mind and decide to lock herself in her room all day, missing Chouji's birthday celebration. He almost let out his trademark line however, when Ino suddenly inched closer to him and grabbed his arm in order to keep her steps in sync with him. She had problem walking straight as she busily looking at her feet, didn't have enough courage to face the whole village. Furthermore, the wind was blowing quite strong that day.
"Oy, Ino." He spoke teasingly. "What are you afraid of? Nobody's looking at you."
"Shut up." Now Ino was half behind his back and her grip on his arm tightened. "What if someone else does?"
"They practically didn't see you since you're hiding behind my back." His tall form hid her petite appearance completely. "Arggh! Get off me! You're making it difficult to walk!"
"I can't! Someone might notice my…you know!" She whispered furiously. "And stop complaining and wipe that stupid smirk of yours! You're the one who wants me out so badly!"
"Right, my bad." Shikamaru rolled his eyes to the clouds, trying not to smile.
As Ino had pointed out, someone did notice her.
Her and her hair, not her and her pimple.
Naruto stared slack jawed at them both, but his finger was clearly pointing to the hiding blonde behind Shikamaru. "What are you doing here, Deidara?!"
Shikamaru burst out laughing at last.