How I Met Your Father-in-law

Theme #15 Forget-me-not

Disclaimer: Naruto? Not mine.

Temari and Yoshino ambled through the streets of Konoha, side by side, surprisingly enjoying each other's company.

Yoshino glanced furtively at the blonde at her side, carefully taking in her strong, confident profile. Yoshino wouldn't admit it (yet) but she was quite fond of Temari.

Shikamaru had brought her to dinner several times when he had been her guide (by now, Tsunade figured that Temari didn't really need a guide anymore - besides she couldn't afford to place a brilliant shinobi like Shikamaru on such low ranking missions anymore) and she had found the girl to be quite interesting - not only did she remind Yoshino of herself in her youth but she was intelligent, outspoken and insightful. In other words, perfect for her son.

But perhaps she was getting ahead of herself. After all, Yoshino still wasn't sure exactly what the relationship between her son and the Suna-nin was (and she had a sneaky feeling that they didn't either) but she did know that she wouldn't mind at all if it were of a romantic nature.

"Yoshino-san?" Temari's voice brought Yoshino out of her reverie.

She turned to her, expectantly, "Yes, Temari-san?"

Temari opened her mouth to speak but just then, the rain began - one of those unexpected summer showers.

Yoshino looked around and instantly headed for the first sign of shelter, Temari following not far behind. After they ducked under the covered roof, the women looked around to figure out where they were. However they needn't even have looked because they were soon assaulted by the intermingling scents of various flowers.

When Yoshino looked around, the first thing that caught her eye was a large bunch of deep blue, yellow flowers. "Forget-me-nots!" She exclaimed before reaching out and picking up the bouquet. She then proceeded to bring it to her nose and inhale deeply.

Temari was watching her curiously, "You must really like forget-me-nots."

Yoshino turned to her and beamed, "Very much. They really live up to their name in my case."

Temari's expression went from curious to very interested, "How so?"

"Every time I see them, I think of the first time I met that no good husband of mine," she spoke forcefully but there was genuine affection behind her words. "I'll tell you all about it - but first, I'm going to buy these," Yoshino said as she turned towards the door.

She entered the store, so focused on the bouquet of flowers that she didn't notice the frown on Temari's face or the reluctance in her demeanor as she entered behind her.

If Ino had been the one manning the counter that day at the Yamanaka flower shop, Temari would have had no problem going in at all. However Ino wasn't there, instead the person at the counter was none other than Mrs. Yamanaka.

Now Mrs. Yamanaka wasn't a bad person per se but she was a snoop and a gossip and there were no two qualities that Temari disliked more which is why, instead of going up to the counter with Yoshino, Temari wandered through the aisles of flowers pretending to browse.

"Yoshino! I haven't seen you in quite some time. How is everything?"

"Fine, fine," Yoshino said as she placed the flowers on the counter, "I'd just like to get these."

"Of course. And is that that pretty Sand ninja who came in with you? What is she doing with you? I thought that your son was her guide."

"Ah, well Shikamaru isn't here right now - he's on a mission. Besides she doesn't have a guide anymore."

"I see. That still doesn't explain why she's with you though."

"Well, I ran into her on the street just now and invited her to lunch. We were on our way back to my house when the rain began."

Mrs. Yamanaka nodded, "Of course, of course." Then suddenly she leaned forward and began to whisper conspiratorially, "So I hear that something's going on between her and Shikamaru-kun - is that true?"

"It is most definitely not," Temari answered indignantly, emerging from the closest aisle and coming to stand next to Yoshino.

"Whatever you say, dear," Mrs. Yamanaka replied, straightening up. Then, intimidated by the fierce look on Temari's face, she shifted her gaze to the flowers for the first time, "Oh, these are beautiful flowers - you have exquisite taste, Yoshino." She picked them up and began to wrap them carefully.

"Thank you, Arisa-san but I should be the one telling you that - they are your flowers after all."

Yoshino and Arisa engaged in further small talk while the flower transaction took place, then Yoshino bid her farewell before leaving the store, flowers in hand.

Seeing the expression on Temari's face, Yoshino patted her lightly, "I'm sorry about Arisa-san. She can be a bit overbearing at times. Anyway, I've got a story to tell you. The day I met Shikaku, I fell for him...and I mean that quite literally."

Yoshino rushed through a field on the outskirts of Konoha - it was nearing twilight and she really didn't want to be stuck outside the village after dark.

To add to her anxiety, she was taking a new shortcut in order to get back to the village faster and naturally the place was deserted (except for the deer, of course) - or so she thought. She realized her mistake however, when she tripped and fell. Something soft broke her fall and when she heard a low groan come from the soft thing, she realized that it was, in fact, a person.

Yoshino scrambled up and quickly put some distance between her and the person - after all, there was no telling who he could be and really, what kind of person lies in a deserted field at dusk?

The person rose part way - just enough for her to see his untidy, brown hair and leaf hitai-ite. She was still suspicious though, "Who are you?"

He sat up completely and then proceeded to blink at her blearily, "..."

"Hello! Answer my question!"

He blinked again, "I'm Shikaku, Nara Shikaku and you're very loud."

Yoshino narrowed her eyes in annoyance but still made sure to keep her tone level when she spoke, "What are you doing?"

"Well, I was sleeping."

"Why are you sleeping out here?"

He shrugged, "Because I'm watching the deer."

She frowned, "What?"

"I'm watching my clan's deer - this is Nara property. Come to think of it, you shouldn't even be here."

Yoshino flushed and then decided to make an effort to be nicer, after all, she didn't want to get in trouble for trespassing. She didn't actually end up making that effort, however, when she realized something, "Wait a minute - how can you be sleeping and watching the deer? How lazy can you be?!"

Shikaku shrugged and looked unapologetic, "I was tired."

Yoshino rolled her eyes and turned away - she didn't have time to waste here.

"Wait," Shikaku said, getting slowly to his feet, "you haven't told me your name." Yoshino ignored him and started walking away. When it became apparent to him that she wasn't going to stop, a sly expression appeared on his face and he added, "I need to know who's been trespassing after all."

Yoshino froze instantly and then turned around, looking fearful, "You wouldn't..."

He smiled boyishly, "No, I wouldn't - but I'd still like to know your name. Just for the record."

Yoshino frowned and watched him for a long moment, then finally she replied, "I'm Yoshino, Takaya Yoshino."

Shikaku nodded, then bent down and picked a flower right next to his foot. Yoshino watched as he came closer and finally stopped a little way away from her. He held out the flower to her, grinning and said, "Well, forget me not, Yoshino-san."

"...and that is how I met Shikaku," Yoshino finished, just as they reached the house.

Temari laughed, "I see where Shikamaru gets his lazy streak from...too bad, he didn't inherit that romantic side as well - it might have balanced out."

Yoshino smiled and glanced mischievously at Temari as she opened the front door, "Who says he hasn't?"

Temari looked away then, suddenly uncomfortable, and then it was Yoshino's turn to laugh, "They say laziness is in the Nara blood and by 'they', I mean Shikaku and Shikamaru."

"Hmm, well no son of mine's going to be lazy," Temari said, then nearly gagged at the thought, 'As if I would have children with Shikamaru!'

Yoshino glanced at her curiously and she shook her head, uncomfortable again, "Forget that. I don't even know why I said it..."

Yoshino laughed, "I bet I do."

Temari was about to ask Yoshino to explain when the door opened and Shikaku walked in, "Surprise, surprise - I didn't expect to see you here, Temari-chan."

Temari usually hated it when people called her 'chan' - it made her think they weren't taking her seriously but Shikaku was the exception to that rule. When he said it, it always sounded so warm and friendly, almost fatherly if you will. Temari smiled, "Yoshino-san invited me for lunch."

Suddenly a loud "Humph," could be heard and Shikaku grinned and went over to his wife. "Hello, dear. That was very thoughtful of you," he said before kissing her on the cheek. Then he noticed the flowers, "Flowers, Yoshino? For me?"

Yoshino rolled her eyes and made as if to hit him with them. Grinning again, he grabbed her and pulled her into a kiss, then murmured, "You never did forget me, love."

Unable to take the public display of affection, Temari took the flowers, which were in danger of falling out of Yoshino's hands and escaped to the kitchen where she began to look for a vase to put them in. As she headed over to the sink to fill the vase that she had found with water, she caught a glimpse of Yoshino and Shikaku, still entwined and a frightening thought occurred to her, 'In twenty years, that will be me.'

The vase fell and shattered.

A/N: I love Shikamaru's dad - I wish he was in the show more. He makes me laugh. I'm sorry that I made Ino's mom the bad guy - I'm sure she's a nice person. Anyway I read some Shikaku/Yoshino stuff yesterday and wanted to add my own idea. What do you think?