Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Just the plotline. :D
Author's Notes: Had several weird pauses writing this which would explain awkard changes in the tone of the fic. They weren't really writer's blocks. They were more like… pauses of utter laziness. :D Warning: abuse of run-on sentences and of the word troublesome.
Of Troublesome Weeks
On Monday, she burst into his room.
Distressed or not, four o'clock in the morning was not Shikamaru's favorite time of the day (and would never be for that matter). Yet, despite his body's protests, he sat up, bleary-eyed and sore from yesterday's mission, and moved over to give her a place to sit.
He listened to her rant—some nonsense about not having a date for the stupid annual shinobi dinner on Saturday while stupid forehead girl was planning to go with so-and-so—and tried his best not to yawn (knowing very well that yawning would make her even more upset, thus making the situation more difficult then it already was).
When the ranting was done and there was nothing more to say, he watched in silence as she crawled under his covers, her lips forming a familiar pout. He watched, not bothering to protest (he was too tired to do anything in general), as she leaned her head on his shoulder, her eyes heavy with sleep and frustration.
Minutes later, they were both asleep. And that's when Shikamaru decided that being woken up at 4 AM on Monday, or any day for that matter, was very troublesome.
On Tuesday, she laughed for him, or rather, laughed at him.
As much as the sound of her laughter surprisingly pleased him, falling into the stream after carelessly tripping on a rock was not fun and not as painless as Kiba made it look. He knew that tripping meant nothing in front of his team, but as they laughed, he scowled and tried to force down the heat rising to his cheeks.
As his sensei, still chuckling, continued walking (followed hesitantly by Chouji, who felt obliged to stay with his best friend), Shikamaru stared at his scraped hands dully. They weren't in pain. They just looked… pathetic. He then came to the conclusion that he made a pretty lame ninja and an even lamer genius.
Then he felt her gaze, her cerulean blue eyes peering down at him. He refused to meet her gaze, brushing off the pebbles that dug into his palms. A slender hand suddenly appeared in front of his face and without thinking twice, he took it gratefully, grasping her hand lightly and hoping that he wouldn't soil her hands too much.
She helped him up easily, forcing Shikamaru to realize just how strong his companion had become (also forcing him to worry about the consequences of angering her in the future). By this time, Asuma-sensei and Chouji were already quite ahead and most likely discussing food (the subject being brought up by Chouji, of course).
He ignored her scolding, only to realize that her small hand was still grasping his larger one. What made him uncomfortable about the notion was, surprisingly, comfortable. He groaned inwardly at the cliché and tugged his hand away gently, trying to deny the regretful feeling that followed shortly.
She continued to scold him, as he pulled away, and barely caught the flash of disappointment (and slight confusion) in her eyes. And that's when Shikamaru decided that being clumsy, clumsy the physical sense and emotional sense, was rather troublesome.
On Wednesday, she cried in his arms.
It was rather awkward considering she wasn't really one to cry and he wasn't really one to comfort. Apparently, from what he made out of her mumbles, she was about to ask the Uchiha avenger to go with her to the stupid annual shinobi dinner, when she saw him asking Sakura to go with him (but as teammates, she chuckled between sobs). But Shikamaru knew that was a lie. She knew it too. Although the Uchiha claimed to be anti-girl, anyone could clearly see that he most definitely had feelings for his longtime teammate.
She cried into his vest, slender fingers holding his Chuunin vest in a death grip, muttering every so often about how she was over Sasuke and that forehead girl could have the crazy boy (and other things relating to the said couple). At first, he didn't know what to do about the ranting female attached to his front.
In the end, he sighed inwardly and decided to return the hug, hesitantly patting her in a slightly awkward manner in an attempt to calm her down. The rain outside his house poured harshly, filling the silence of his empty kitchen. When the crying was reduced to soft sniffles, Shikamaru wondered if it was okay to let her go. He wondered if she would be able to hold on her own, physically and emotionally.
But something told him, she was already holding up, and that her silly childhood crush was already placed in the past.
He held her a bit longer, despite the fact that his legs were beginning to get sore from standing. And that's when Shikamaru came to the conclusion that being friends with both large forehead-girls and crazy Uchiha boys could be, to say the least, quite troublesome.
On Thursday, she avoided him like the plague.
She avoided being near him and avoided eye contact when required to be near him. Needless to say, it got annoying fairly quick. And it was out of character for someone as boisterous as her. He couldn't understand what he had done to deserve such conduct from her but, whatever it was, he was sorry for doing it.
But he let her avoid him. He ignored it and allowed her to avoid him all day long. He figured she would get over it by midday, since, that was typical behavior for her. What luck… he was wrong. And although Asuma-sensei and Chouji repeatedly asked the two of them what was wrong, Shikamaru honestly couldn't give them an answer. What was wrong? He truthfully had no clue. And he didn't want to find out… it was too much work asking her himself anyway.
When he finally couldn't take it, he—grudgingly—confronted her, hoping that she wouldn't blow up in his face (it would be rather difficult to deal with if she did). And, little to his surprise, she blew up in his face.
She ranted and raved, throwing her hands in the air (and many times just narrowly missed hitting him) in a distressed manner. Truth be told, he really was listening to her, but it's hard to concentrate on utter nonsense. She scolded him on flowers, hairpins, mushrooms, cleaning… absolutely irrelevant and just plain stupid things.
It was actually rather bothersome. He thought it was bad that she had avoided him all morning, but hearing her ramble in order to evade his confrontation was worse, worse in the sense that not only did he not receive an answer from her, but he also had to stand and listen to her spout baloney.
He mused silently whether cutting her off would be more risky than letting her rant on for another hour. Cutting people off really wasn't his style but there was only so much of her lecture on poisonous mushrooms he could take. So he decided to do it and risked his face and inner dignity (if he had any inner dignity to risk).
He asked her to the stupid annual shinobi dance.
And although he originally came up with 300 different ways she could have rejected him or, in extremely rare situations, accepted his offer, what happened next was not one of those ways. Having the wind knocked out of him from a hug rather than a punch to the head was not one of those 300 ways.
And so, although she never really answered his confrontation, although she immediately agreed, although and forgave him on the spot, Shikamaru, along with his shock, was fairly pleased. And that's when Shikamaru decided that having the wind knocked out of him was very painful and, unsurprisingly, very troublesome.
On Friday, she kissed his cheek.
It was only a light brush, and very innocent, but to say he was stunned would be an understatement. Not only was he baffled, but Asuma-sensei and Chouji were also fairly stunned. The former nearly spit out his cigarette and the latter almost choked on his chips. It was very unlike her to do something so… affectionate and, well, intimate. He watched her sharply react to the silence and stunned looks with a deep scowl.
He pondered for a bit, while she was lecturing, shouting, and ranting (again) at the three males for looking shocked at her romantic gesture (something about being unaware of her womanly side), on what had just happened. Or at least, it had seemed romantic. Shikamaru wasn't really one to assume. He ignored her ranting and studied her face slowly.
Cheeks slightly pink and expression flustered (as well as annoyed), she looked more feminine in his eyes. Her eyes were wide, showing off her soft blue irises, and her light pink lips were pressed together. His eyes lingered on them. An unfamiliar feeling surged through him.
And without thinking, for possibly the first time in his life, he leaned forward and brushed his lips lightly against hers.
Right after he did so, the unfamiliar feeling died away, leaving him in an embarrassed and flustered state. She, too, was shocked and stood there, a finger subconsciously reaching up to touch her lower lip. Asuma-sensei and Chouji stood baffled as well, making the four of them look oddly alike with their dumbfounded expressions.
They stood there for a good while, wearing similar faces, too bewildered to say a word. And when Shikamaru's thoughts finally pulled together, he concluded that even the smallest of affectionate gestures, as nice as they were, were extremely troublesome.
On Saturday, she danced with him.
It was the annual shinobi dance, the one that Shikamaru had been dreading since the moment it was announced. Of course, it wasn't that he didn't enjoy her presence. Everything was fine. The food was pretty good; the music wasn't that crap his dad listened to… so, all in all, it was an okay night. He just wasn't the type to enjoy such functions.
Shikamaru knew as a fact that he wasn't much of a dancer. But nonetheless, he didn't protest as much as he should have when Asuma-sensei heartily shoved him onto the dance floor, lightly pushing her after him. He vaguely remembered blushing and muttering incoherent curses under his breath. He stopped abruptly as she slowly wrapped her arms around his neck, his breath hitching in surprise.
He hesitantly enclosed his arms around her waist, gently pulling her closer to his body. The song, in Shikamaru's view, was both long and short. Long in the sense that he could see Kiba and Naruto's stupid faces teasing him and making kissing motions out of the corner of his eye; short in the sense that although he was never one for dancing, there was something pleasant about dancing with her.
When the song ended, he let go of her gently, wishing his cheeks weren't so flushed. He looked down at her smaller figure to see that she, too, was blushing and sent her a lopsided smile out of sheer instinct. He must've looked like an idiot, but before he could mentally berate himself, she let out a pleasant peal of laughter and socked him playfully on the shoulder (it was hard, but probably unintentionally, so he decided not to point out how rough of a punch she had and ruin the moment).
He watched her, slightly dazed (both by the punch and the dance), as she skipped away to find some of her female friends and stood there for a moment, unaware of his surroundings. That was, until Uzumaki and Inuzuka stuck their stupid mugs in his face, startling him to death. He scowled as they pinched his cheeks and teased him, and as they continued to harass him, Shikamaru realized that dancing, in general, as pleasant as it could be, was pretty damn troublesome.
On Sunday, she gave him a flower.
Despite the fact that he had known her for a long time, ever since he could remember, actually, it had been the first time she had ever given him anything of the sort. Probably because he never really expressed any interest in such girly things and she had probably came to the conclusion that he wouldn't have appreciated a flower anyway.
And he wouldn't have, if it had come from anyone other than her.
He had been lying on a grassy hill, absently watching the clouds drift by and had just closed his eyes for a brief moment when she came over and sat next to him. He knew without looking that it was her, simply by her presence. And maybe a little by her smell, but he hoped that wasn't the case because it felt like such case would be on the borderline of being whipped.
She had poked his side lightly, making him crack open an eye to look at her, a slight frown appearing on his face from the rather ticklish contact. She sent him a casual grin that send odd and somewhat annoying fluttering feelings to his stomach, which he returned without second thought, a lazy grin making its way onto his face.
Her grin faded and he looked up to see her gently playing with the stem of a daisy. He turned his head slightly, onyx black meeting sky blue, and let out a barely audible noise of surprise as she leaned down and pressed a light kiss on his cheek, placing the daisy in his hand as she did so.
She stood up and brushed the grass off her clothes, waving a quick goodbye before hurrying off. He vaguely remembered that she had to work today and was rather pleased that she came to see him and sit by him during her break. Not that it was that important. But it was nice, and he supposed it was a nice gesture of thanks after his week of suffering.
When it rained, it poured, and falling for a girl like her, Shikamaru noted absentmindedly, a light blush dusting his cheeks, was probably damn troublesome, but he decided it was probably worth it. She was probably worth it.
And he would have her on any day of the week.