Happy Turkey Day to you all!


Benediction


I want to see the wind and light that pass through my imagination
On the path that I continued to walk
Even if there's no one there


Days go by, and she feels that he has never seemed so pale.

Tangled in the white sheets atop his futon they lay, the yellow light of dawn barely reaching beyond the curtains to his windows. She stared intently into his face, a mere three inches from hers. His hair, loosed from its semi-permanent standstill atop his head, was strewn across his pillow in waves of brown. Just... brown. She smiled. So simple...

He mumbles something that sounds oddly like 'troublesome' in his sleep and he shifts, but he does not turn away from her. He hasn't turned all night. And for that, she is thankful.

"Shikamaru."

He doesn't stir again and she smiles, closing her eyes once more. She can be at peace now... That is what she tells herself. But her eyes open once more, and she stares.

He is pale. Pale and terribly skinny, and his brow is slightly furrowed as though there was some sort of bothersome turmoil goin on in his head. She lets her hand slide from under the warm covers and graze his cheek. "Shika," she whispers again, but this time... softer. Lighter. Kinder. He frowns in irritation and she giggles. Even now, he does not seem to want to wake, and she lets him sleep. But she inches closer nevertheless.

The morning is cold and he is warm.

In his presence, dawn is slow in coming, and she presses against him, though not in the same manner that she had the night before. Now... now she just wants to be near him. There need not be lust involved here... just him with her. That's all.

But, oh, he is pale.

And how can he be so damned skinny when he has Chouji for a best friend? Why weren't the hours-and-hours a week spent at restaurants showing on his bones, which showed through his skin more than she would have liked. She frowned, forehead pressed against his chest. Why didn't he take better care of himself? Why couldn't he see past that haze of laziness that shrouded his entire being? Why wouldn't he take better care of himself?!

She could hear his hearbeat.

Suddenly... suddenly she feels like crying.

His heart beats evenly, smoothly, in a beautiful rythm. The night before, she'd learned that he tasted of tobacco and barbeque and life, while he smelled of his mother's chamomile shampoo, earth, and the unattainable sky. Under her fingers he feels like smooth leather, as though nothing could pierce through his skin (though she knew better). But now she cannot see him through her tears. She wishes that he would have a shirt on that she could cling to, but instead, she throws her arm over his side, and embraces him with a feverish, intent lightness. She does not want to wake him.

But nevertheless, he grunts, and she feels long, warm fingers run through her hair to cradle her scalp. "Ino?"

She looks up to see his groggy face staring into hers, and when he sees her tears he is awake in an instant. "Gah! What's wrong?!" he asked, bringin both hands to her face and lifting it so that he could view her features more easily. "Are you hurt?"

She blinks and slowly, a smile is born on her lips. "No, Shika. I'm fine." She gave him a constricting squeeze. "I'm worried about you, you skeleton man." She gave him a chastising scowl. "I have half a mind to make Chouji force-fead you, lazy ass!"

He frowns and opens his mouth to retort, and then she laughs. Glittering blue eyes add effect to the contagious grin spreading on her lips and he sighs, letting his lips quirk upward as well.

She is thankful that he smiles.


The stars disappear
The shadows disappear, too.
And that's fine

- Fin -


Lyrics: ARIGATO, by B'z
GOSH!! Do you know how freaking hard it was to choose which pairing to write this for?! I'm obsessing with my original pairings lately (it's Sasori's death all over again!!), and... and all of those AMVs don't help! So I went with my original plan; ShikaIno (NaruHina was my second choice and NejiTen was my third).
Written while listening to Beauty of the Beast, by Nightwish.
-Bya
It's almost one in the morning! YAAAY! (We're going to candy mountain, Charlie!!)