A/N: I wrote about what was going on with Temari between visits to Konoha, now it's time to tackle Shikamaru. There will be references to "In the Interest of Strong Diplomatic Relations", but this should be able to stand on it's own. I hope yal enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. Each of these chapters will include someone that Shikamaru is close to. Starting with...Yoshino-who is based on the mom of a childhood friend

BTW-I don't know if "waggled" is a word, but I enjoy saying it, so there you are.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or anyone/thing in this story, except a few random OC's.

Chapter 1: Yoshino

Walking out of the Hokage's building, Shikamaru shoved his hands in his pockets and sighed.

"Why the hell did I say yes? I had the perfect out." He remembered what he'd said to the Hokage in regards to setting an example for his students about having strong diplomatic relations between villages...where the hell had that come from? Then he remembered Temari's laughter as she was leaving.

"Troublesome." He muttered.

Lost in his own thoughts, he found himself strolling past the fish market when he heard a shriek that made his blood turn to ice.


Oh Kami, it was his mom!

"Shikamaru! Where are you going lazy? Why isn't the Ambassador with you?" At this she turned to the man behind the counter.

"Did you know, MY lazy son was chosen by the Kazekage himself to escort his sister, the Ambassador of Suna while she's in Konoha?"

The fish merchant was duly impressed. He'd have to remember to tell his wife, Miyako. It looked like the Nara boy was finally making good.

"And, " Yoshino continued, (drawing herself up to her full five foot, four inches) "she had dinner at our home her first night in town. Since then, my Shika-chan has been alone with her e-v-e-r-y night for dinner." Yoshino waggled her eyebrows.

The fish merchant was beyond impressed. He looked out his open door at Shikamaru, smiled and gave him a double thumb's up. Miyako would fall out of her chair! A pending engagement between that lazy ass and the sister of the Kazekage! His heart leaped for joy. This meant there was still hope for his son, Osamu (discipline study) who was, unfortunately, the complete opposite of his name.

The fish merchant gave Shikamaru another thumbs up, and told Yoshino that her order was on the house. What a cause for celebration!

Shikamaru was standing outside of the shop waiting for his mother. Hands no longer in his pockets, but clinched into fists at his sides. His face was alternating between avocado green and beet red. He was nauseated. He was humiliated. Mostly though, he just wanted the earth to open up beneath him and swallow him.

This was more than troublesome. This was worse than carrying home those awful flowers. He searched his vocabulary to find the right word for this situation. The best he could manage in his current state was "FUBAR".

Yoshino came out of the fish store looking like she didn't have a care in the world until she saw her son's face.

"Shika-chan, what's wrong with you?" She made to touch his forehead, he brushed her off. "Are you ill? Oh, I hope you don't get Temari-san sick. Of course, if you DO, you would have to give up your bed so we could nurse her back to health..."

Shikamaru could see the gears in his mother's brain working. He took a deep, shuddering breath.

"Okaa-san, it's not like that."

"What's not 'like that' Shika-chan? What are you going on about?"

Shikamaru rolled his eyes.

"Temari-san and I. I heard what you were telling the fish guy. Okaa-san, I saw you waggle your eyebrows! I don't wanna know what you've told other people. But you need to know that the only thing that's going on between Temari-san and me is that I'm her escort for the Chunin Exams."

"Oh, you know so much huh?" His mother was smirking. "We'll see. You invite her to dinner tonight. I'm making my famous fish soup. We'll see what's not 'like that'."

Shikamaru had closed his eyes while his mother was speaking, and his face had changed back to it's normal color. His fists had unclenched and were back in his pockets. Now it was his turn to smirk.

"Okaa-san, she won't be coming to dinner tonight."

Yoshino eyed her son suspiciously.

"I suppose you're going to tell me why not?"

"No problem," his grin got bigger. "Temari-san's gone."

"GONE?!" It was Yoshino's turn to redden. "What do you mean gone? What did you do Shikamaru? Why is she gone?"

Her son rolled his eyes again. If he did that one more time, she swore to herself that she would hit him with the fish she was holding.

"She had to go back to Suna. She won't be back for two weeks." He smirked again. Yoshino thought about hitting him with the fish anyways.

"No matter," she brightened. "She can come for dinner then. I'll make sure to tell the Hokage myself, that way you don't forget. Now, come home. You can gut the fish."

She started walking home looking as though she didn't have a care in the world. Her son, muttering murderous things under his breath, walked twenty paces behind.


Two weeks later, the fish merchant's son ran away to joing a traveling carnival. It wasn't the same as being engaged to an ambassador, but the merchant and his wife consoled themselves with a lower electric bill and more food in the house.

Three months later, they received a letter and a photo from Osuma. The letter said he'd met and married a wonderful woman. The photo showed him smiling and holding hands with a woman in a beautiful kimono, who was sporting a three foot long beard. Miyako fell out of her chair, and the fish merchant had the distinct "honor" of claiming the carnival's bearded lady as his daughter-in-law.