The Best Medicine
Notes: I know, I know, I need to stop posting new stories and update the ones I have up already, but I have an excuse for this fan fic! What I do…no seriously I do!
-cough- This fan fic started by a little plot bunny that SpammishRice offered up to writers for SunnyClouds Shika/Hina LJ community to adopt, nurture, care for, then release it out into the realm of fandom so that it might bring joy…
Err…okay to be honest, I'm an inspiration hog. Not like I have enough of my own plot bunnies, but I must also adopt the adorable plot rabbits of others. There, that's the 'real story', happy now?
And if the summary didn't give it away, yes this is Shika/Hina again- I seem to be enslaved by this pairing. But I'm actually enjoying my stay in captivity, they feed me well here…
P.S: Check out SpammishRice's Naruto fan art on DeviantArt- same username- because her drawings are wonderful, plus she's the one who came up with this challenge… ah but not until you've finished reading this chapter first, m'kay?
Had enough of my author's notes? Tough because I have one more, albeit annoying and obligatory, thing to do:
Disclaimer: I do not own rights to anything from the anime/manga series Naruto, characters included.
Of Meddlesome Grandmothers
A small copper key inserted then twisted into the lock, a hand pushed lightly, allowing the door to swing open.
"Ah, you're here early…for once…" a old woman wearing a dark green kimono remarked, one wrinkled hand curled around the head of a cane, while the opposite hand moved to comb through shoulder length silvery-gray hair.
The intruder yawned once, black sleeve covered arms reaching up, "Good morning to you too, grandma," the young man said.
Dark brown eyes framed by the slightest of age wrinkles narrowed as the woman known as 'grandma' spoke up, "What on earth is wrong with you child? You drag in to help me at the medicine shop late in the morning, almost noon in fact. Yet you always sound so exhausted."
Shikamaru shrugged off a thick winter coat, his hands unwinding a scarf from around his neck.
"I haven't been sleeping well, that's all…" he admitted aloud.
"Oh really now?" Grandmother asked, a silver eye brow arched.
"Could your sleepless nights have something to do with a girl?"
The older woman watched in amusement as Shikamaru's shoulder blades tensed up, 'Ah ha! Got cha! There is someone,' the grandmother mentally crowed to herself.
Yet she was far too sly to mention it aloud. Instead she used the Twenty Questions no Jutsu- specifically designed for and by grandmothers to milk information out of their children's offspring.
"A girlfriend perhaps?" Grandmother 'innocently' inquired while combing through her hair, as if the woman hadn't a care as to whether Shikamaru answered her or not.
Shikamaru sighed a little, "No grandma, I don't have a girlfriend."
"A crush then?" Grandmother asked around a hair clap she placed between her lips to hold while her right hand moved to pull her hair up into a neat bun. Meanwhile, her eyes gauged Shikamaru's reactions to her questions.
"No, I'm almost nineteen, grandma. I'm too old for 'crushes', besides crushes are more of a girl thing…" Shikamaru mumbled under his breath.
However, the movement of his eyes from being level, to floor, to ceiling, did not go unnoticed by the old woman.
"Don't you dare roll your eyes at me child. When your father was your age, he pulled that particular stunt far too often for my liking."
Grandmother wore a smug smile as she saw to surprised look on Shikamaru's face, which quickly turned to an expression of remorse, "Sorry grandma, it won't happen again."
Grandmother snorted as she secured her hair bun in place, "It'd better not, or I'll take a couple of kunai to those eyes. That will keep them from rolling about in that pretty little head of yours, hmm?" she ribbed with a loud cackle.
"Ah ha ha…yeah that's really…funny grandma." Shikamaru said nervously as he edged closer to the wall, just in case the old woman made good on her threat.
"So," Grandmother said, seamlessly easing back into questions mode, "If you don't have a girlfriend, or even have a crush on a girl; then…are you gay?"
Shikamaru froze in place, his shoulders going tense again, which amused the elderly woman to no ends.
"I'll take that as a yes then." Grandmother said with a sigh, "Such a pity. I really wanted great-grand babies, but I suppose if you and your lover asked some nice woman to be a surrogate that could work out too…"
"I don't like guys!" Shikamaru blurted out.
"Are you sure?" Grandmother coyly.
"Yes! I'm not interested in guys, I just don't have a girlfriend yet." Shikamaru said, attempting to defend himself.
"Oh, okay then, but you don't have to act so offended. If you keep acting so high strung, people are going to think something aside from sleep deprivation is wrong with you…" the older woman said with a soft smile.
"Now," Grandmother said while pulling on a green apron over her kimono, "Let's get to work, can't keep the customer's waiting forever, can we?" she asked while leaning on her cane, carrying herself across the room to the door.
After following his grandmother out of the kitchen portion of her house and stepping across the threshold of the medicine shop, Shikamaru blinked, his eyes adjusting to the dim lighting as compared to the brighter florescent lights of the house.
"Shikamaru-kun," Grandmother began, "I think you've forgotten something?"
"Hn?" the young man questioned as he turned to the face older woman only to turn pale as she held up a frilly green apron in front of him.
"You know that this is the work uniform, but you keep forgetting to put it on." Grandmother said calmly, yet there was a menacing look in her eyes that scared Shikamaru.
"Uh its okay grandma, I don't need an apron. I know how to properly handle the medical ingredients…"
The old woman lowered her arm and gaze, "Oh I see…you're too old to wear something I spent hours…no days sewing just for you."
"Ah grandma please it's not that I don't want to wear it…" Shikamaru started, attempting to lie through his teeth.
"Then why won't you wear it then?" Grandmother questioned, yet interrupted before Shikamaru could stop her, "No…no don't tell me, I'm sure you'll only hurt my feelings. It really isn't my fault that I couldn't spoil you when you were growing up…or is it? Maybe it is…"
Grandmother sniffled, causing Shikamaru to cringe and feel like the biggest heel on the planet- he just made an old woman, his grandmother at that, cry!
But the question was, should he sacrifice what little was left of his male pride to wear a lace covered apron- and the cute wide-eyed chibi deer decal on the front wasn't helping the masculinity factor either- and make his grandmother feel better?
Or should he wallow in pride and leave the poor woman heart broken?
Swallowing a hard lump in the center of his throat, Shikamaru lowered his head in shame yet extended his right arm to take the apron from his grandmother.
"No you don't have to wear it…" Grandmother protested at first, but didn't do so strongly enough since she all but shoved the length of fabric at Shikamaru.
"It's alright grandma, I'll wear it." Shikamaru said shimming through the hole on the top for his head, then tying- though taking great pains- the little strings in the back.
"Oh, Shikamaru-kun...you look so…adorable." Grandmother said, wiping a crocodile tear from the corner of her right eye.
"…Thanks…" Shikamaru muttered dryly, trying not to think about what Ino, Chouji, or anyone he knew for that matter, would think if they caught him wearing the frilled monstrosity.
Wide pale lavender eyes blinked slowly as Hinata found herself at the very end of a long line of customers.
'Oh dear…' the young woman thought to herself as Hinata looked down at the long list of medicines her father sent her out to the Nara clan to retrieve. Most of the medicines Hinata could easily recognized by their main ingredients; but one item in particular puzzled the young heiress.
'Extract of deer antler velvet?' Hinata wondered to herself, her pale eyes looking to the right of the parchment to find out what aliment such a strange sounded concoction would cure or ease.
But unlike the medicines which their expressed purpose written beside the name, deer antler velvet had nothing written beside it; which Hinata found to be strange.
"Maybe it's something personal for father and he doesn't want anyone else to know what it's for…" Hinata mused aloud, only to give a short gasp, quickly quelling her voice when an elderly man in front turned and stared at the small Hyuuga woman.
"And then the sucker started to grow a little every day. I tell you, it made it a pain in the ass to sit down what with that big zit down there, ya know what I mean?" the old man said with a chuckle.
"Uh…yeah, unfortunately I know what you mean." Shikamaru grumbled as he tried to hurry up with gathering up the customer's medicines. Anything to get the guy to shut up about a disgusting boil located in an unmentionable place.
But even though Shikamaru tried his best to hurry with the medicine orders and shoo the old man away, the geezer kept telling his tale of horror.
"I guess that's what I get for wandering about. But ever since my good wife, bless her soul, passed on I've been very lonely…" the old man paused to sigh,
"So, I thought it wouldn't hurt to go to the brothel. Well…after the thing started to swell and ooze this funny looking pus, I figured there is a reason my mother told me to not touch whores with a ten foot pole; let alone with something like my…"
"Okay, here's your medicine." Shikamaru said abruptly, all but tossing the bag into the old man's chest, "You've already paid so good bye."
"But…I didn't have a chance to tell you what color the pus was!" the old man protested.
"Good bye." Shikamaru repeated, this time with a tone of finality which couldn't be argued with.
Behind Shikamaru, Grandmother sniggered to herself, "You didn't have to be so rude to him Shikamaru-kun. He is family after all."
A fine shiver of disgust rolled down Shikamaru's spine, "Yet another reason his story was making me sick to my stomach. I really don't want to know when one of my great uncles goes out to a brothel or what he comes back with…" he shivered again.
Another warm chuckle came from the elderly woman, "So…you never even entertained the idea about going to a brothel? You know for practice?"
Grandmother nearly fell off her stool as she saw Shikamaru's face contort into a mix look of revulsion and horror.
Shikamaru coughed once, not quite trusting his voice as he spoke, "No! Why waste time on some girl I'm never going to see again or have any plans of marrying."
"Pst, it doesn't have to always be about marriage." Grandmother said in a scoffing tone of voice, "Why when Shikaku was your age he had most of the girl's his age and even a few older than him coming to the house all the time. And I doubt they went upstairs to his room to 'study the finer points of ninjutsu'."
For a moment Shikamaru thought he would choke on air, "What?!'
Grandmother shrugged, "What…what? You thought your father was clean as the driven snow? Hn, hardly. He's probably done more girls than most young bucks your age ever dreamed of having."
"But…my mom…" Shikamaru said, close to sputtering so shocked about this little tidbit about his father.
"Shikaku married her of course, had you, and…do we really need to have a history lesson Shikamaru? We have customers to serve."
Shikamaru stood rooted in place. For one horrible moment he had a vision of having a bunch of illegitimate brothers and sisters who were older than him.
'When I was a kid and wanted siblings, I don't think I asked for something like that!' Shikamaru thought to himself before dumbly turning around to serve the next customer in line.
"Can I help you?"
Dark brown eyes blinked slowly as Shikamaru forced himself to come out of his daze to realize the customer standing in front of the counter was a very familiar face.
Hinata curiously tilted her head to one side.
'Shit…' Shikamaru thought to himself, remembering the stupid frilly apron he was wearing.
"Uh, could you wait right here for one second?" Shikamaru asked.
Hinata blinked, but didn't have a chance to say anything since Shikamaru quickly ducked behind one of the shelves, his fingers flying to unknot the ties of the apron, carelessly tossing it behind him.
The apron flew in the air, landing right on Grandmother.
Dark eyes blinked suddenly as her vision grew dim, "Oi! What prankster turned out the lights?!" she yelled while struggling to pull the apron off her head.
Hinata's eyes blinked slowly, bemused as Shikamaru returned, sans the apron.
'Ah…and it kind of looked cute on him too…' Hinata thought to herself with a small frown, yet her displeasure was forgotten in a flash as the Hyuuga heiress realized she just called Shikamaru- even if it was in her mind- cute.
A light pink blush graced the young woman's cheeks, a reaction Grandmother picked up on quickly.
"Sorry about that Hinata," Shikamaru started to say, "So, can I help you with anything?"
"Um, yes actually…" Hinata replied as she pulled out a folded piece of paper, "My father sent me to restock our clan's medicine supply."
"Ah, your old man has you on gopher duty again." Shikamaru said first, but then his face split into a cheeky grin, "Or did you volunteer to come just to see me?"
Grandmother blinked, shocked to hear what was being said.
'Is my grandson trying to…flirt with her?' she wondered to herself while watching the Hyuuga give a small 'squeak' her face turning a darker shade of flushed pink.
"N-no! I didn't even know you worked here!" Hinata protested quickly.
"I usually don't work…"
"Hm, you can say that again!" Grandmother piped up.
Shikamaru glanced over his shoulder to glare at the old woman before completing his sentence, "I usually don't work in my grandmother's medicine shop; but since her husband is gone my parent's pushed me into doing this."
Grandmother snorted, "Sorry if being here is such an inconvenience, brat."
Sighing once, Shikamaru turned a little to show Hinata the old woman sitting on the stool, "Hinata, this loud mouth toad is Grandma Miyako, Grandma Miyako, this is Hyuuga Hinata."
Hinata bowed once respectfully, careful not to hit the medicine counter when she stood up again, "It's a pleasure to meet you Miyako-san," the girl said.
"Ah, finally a child with some manners. You would do well to take a cue from her Shikamaru-kun," the crone said with a chuckle.
"But all the same, there is no need to be so formal towards an old woman like me, just call me grandma child and we'll call it even."
Surprised, Hinata moved to protest that she didn't feel right calling Miyako 'grandma'; but Shikamaru stopped her with a simple shake of his head.
"Let her have her way Hinata, it's easier that way." Shikamaru said in a low tone of voice in hopes his grandmother wouldn't hear him; yet Shikamaru didn't find himself to be so lucky.
"That's right grandson, you're learning fast. It is always easier to let a woman have her way. Speaking of women and their ways…" Miyako mused as she stood up, leaning on her cane to walk away from the stool to approach the medicine counter.
Dark eyes squinted as Miyako attempted to lean over the edge of the counter to get a better look at Hinata, who squirmed at the staunch stares sent her way.
'Hmm she's got rather big breasts for someone her age and height, even though she's well covered with a jacket I can see them from here. And those wide hips…good for child bearing…' Miyako mused to herself.
"Are you married yet child?" she asked.
Hinata's face flushed, "Um no Miyako-san…"
"Grandma!" the old woman said sharply.
"Grandma…" Hinata repeated quietly.
Shikamaru was tempted to rein his grandmother in, Hinata seemed to look more flustered with each passing second spent in the older woman's company; but the list Hinata handed him needed to be taken care of first.
However, Shikamaru found himself distracted by Miyako and Hinata's conversation.
"Betrothed to anyone?"
Hinata shook her head, "No Mi…Grandma."
"Hn, much better, you're catching on quickly. Seeing someone perhaps?"
Shikamaru looked up from the shelves of bottles, his right hand caught in air, just before he reached to grab something, his head turned slightly to the right waiting for Hinata's response.
"Uh no grandma," Hinata replied, her face turning a darker shade of blush as lavender eyes unconsciously looked up from the ground to where Shikamaru was working.
By chance both caught each other staring; Shikamaru quickly looked away first, but ended up knocking over a bottle of medicine in the process.
"Damnit…" the young man cursed while trying to get the scattered pills back into their bottle.
Grandma Miyako quietly watched the whole circus unfolding before her.
'So he doesn't have a crush on anyone eh? Well we'll just see about that won't we?' Miyako schemed.
"Ah! You would be perfect then for my grandson!" the old woman exclaimed, her hands clapping together, "He's single, round about your age…"
Shikamaru attempted to distract himself with the task of filling the Hyuuga clan's orders; couldn't however stop himself from listening any more than he could stop his ears from burning with embarrassment.
"O-oh really?" Hinata said, her face and ears were burning too, only her reaction was more visible than Shikamaru's.
"Yes, so what if I were to set up a date between you and my grandson…Shikataro?"
More bottles fell, followed by vivid cursing from an aggravated young man.
"Shikataro?" Hinata questioned, blinking wide lavender eyes while looking at Grandma Miyako, while wondering if Shikamaru was alright since it sounded like a lot of stuff had fallen in the back room.
Miyako nodded, "Now I'll admit he's a bit young now, just turned fourteen; but I'm sure a nice girl like you wouldn't mind waiting a few years. And despite being so young, Shikataro isn't half bad looking, he'll be a lady killer given a year or two," the old woman said with a wink.
"Uh I'm…flattered that you would consider me Grandma; but I'm afraid that I can't date someone so young." Hinata said, attempting to gracefully decline Miyako's offer.
The old woman frowned, "And why not? Is a boy from the Nara clan not good enough for the likes of the exalted Hyuuga?" she sniffed in distain.
"No…no that isn't what I meant at all!" Hinata said waving her hands, "I just meant that…while I'm not seeing someone…I…I have someone in mind," the girl admitted.
'Ah now we're getting somewhere!' Miyako thought to herself.
"Who is it then?"
"Ah…no one in particular." Hinata tried to excuse, finding she had talked herself into an awkward corner.
Miyako frown hardened, "But you just said you had some young man in mind. You wouldn't be trying to lie to an old woman like me, would you?" she asked, now playing up the pity card.
'Of course I wouldn't Grandma," Hinata said sincerely, "It's just…" the young woman muttered, self-consciously rubbing the fabric of her heavy winter jacket, "I don't think he likes me, so…"
"So you can date my grandson instead, there that's final." Miyako said with a chirp.
"No, that isn't what I meant…" Hinata said, honestly confused as to what she had agreed…or disagreed with.
Finally, Shikamaru came back to the front of the medicine shop, his arms loaded down with most of the medicine the Hyuuga clan head requested.
"Grandma, stop teasing Hinata." Shikamaru warned as he placed the bottles on the counter and pulled out a pen and paper to calculate the cost.
"Hmph, shows what you know! I'm not teasing her, I'm trying to secure a wife for your younger cousin." Miyako said with an innocent smile, which fooled only Hinata and no one else.
"B-but Grandma, I never agreed to marry your grandson!" Hinata said, trying to defend herself from premature marriage to a teenage boy.
"Shikataro is too young to date." Shikamaru interjected as he started to fill out the first column of figures.
"Who says he's too young?" Miyako argued, "Your grandfather pursued me when we were both twelve and we've been happily married for almost fifty years."
Shikamaru shrugged, "Maybe, but that doesn't happen with everyone Grandma."
Grandma snorted, "So say you, Mister- I'm- not- interested- in- girls."
Shikamaru glanced up at that moment, "I'm interested, I just choose not to act like a male whore out to get laid…" he grumbled, referring to his father and Shikaku's supposed conquests.
It didn't occur to Shikamaru Hinata was still standing in front of the medicine counter, until he heard her gasp in shock.
Daring to look up at her, Shikamaru swallowed uneasily, "Sorry, Hinata."
"It's okay…" Hinata said quietly, but it was clear the girl was still a bit surprised by Shikamaru's statement.
"Hinata-chan," Miyako said with a sigh, "Be honest, are you trying to back out of marrying my grandson because you think the Nara men are ugly?"
It was Hinata's turn to swallow as she awkwardly attempted to look anywhere save from Shikamaru's curious glance and Miyako's eager eyes.
"I…I don't think I ever said that boys from the Nara clan are ugly, Grandma…" Hinata said, trying to side step around the question.
"Unattractive then?" Miyako questioned.
Hinata shook her head as cheeks flushed with color once more, growing darker as she started to feel the weight of Miyako and Shikamaru's stares.
"What about this guy then?" Miyako asked, pinching Shikamaru's right cheek between her fingers.
"Ow! Grandma cut it out!" Shikamaru protested while trying to swat the old crone away from his face.
"Shikamaru-kun isn't unattractive or ugly, he's…kind of cute…" Hinata muttered softly, yet it was loud enough to get attention of grandmother and grandson.
Wide brown eyes stared at Hinata, only to cause the young woman to panic.
"O-or at least that's what I've heard other girls say about Shikamaru-kun! I…I really haven't thought much about it myself…" Hinata said, backpedaling away from her first statement.
The atmosphere between the trio suddenly became coiled and tense. Shikamaru broke the silence by coughing once, "Here's the bill Hinata, give this to your dad and tell him to send the payments before tomorrow morning."
Hinata meekly nodded, "I'll be sure to tell him," she said while taking the receipt and then reached for the bag of medicine.
However, Hinata quickly jerked her hand back when a cane swooped in between her fingers and the medicine bag.
"Grandma! What are you trying to do, break Hinata's fingers?" Shikamaru asked, while trying to move the cane.
'I'm not letting this one get away,' Miyako thought, 'This girl obviously likes him and I think Shikamaru is interested in her as well. This could be my only chance in pushing them along.'
"Ah, but I didn't want Hinata-chan to leave before I asked her one more question." Grandma said softly.
Both young adults stared in disbelief at the elderly woman, but neither had a chance to protest before Miyako leaned over the counter once more.
"How has your health been lately, child? I noticed that you look a bit pale around your face." Miyako inquired.
"Um well I'm still recovering from a cold I had a few weeks ago," Hinata admitted, "Other than that I feel fine."
"Colds. Bah! Awful ailments, especially in this chilly weather. I think we might have something for it though, wait right here," the old woman said as she turned to walk into the storage room of the medicine shop.
Leaving Shikamaru and Hinata to stare at Miyako's retreating form, utterly confused as to what was going through the old woman's head.
Sandal covered feet shuffled into the dark room as a hand rose up to grasp the metal rung. One tug and a single florescent bulb turned on providing a very dim light to work by. But light or no light, Miyako knew the medicine cabinets like the back of her hand, since she worked with the ingredients and the end results for fifty plus years.
Grabbing a bottle simply labeled 'Vitamins' off one shelf, Miyako then moved further back into the storage room until she came upon a large glass box-shaped case.
The rarest and most valuable of Nara clan medicines sat in neat rows of dark green colored bottles. Pulling out a key from a hidden pocket in her kimono sleeve, the old woman unlocked the glass case and pulled out a single bottle.
A yellow and fading label pasted to the bottle read, 'Deer Antler Velvet Extract'.
Eyeballing the contents, then lightly shaking the bottle, Miyako estimated there were about a hundred or so pills left of the potent medicine.
"Hm fifty ought to do for now…" Miyako mused as she uncapped both the Vitamin and the Deer Velvet Extract bottles.
She poured out half of the vitamin pills and deer velvet extract onto a wooden pill counter, separating the amounts evenly, fifty to fifty.
However, the even split left Miyako with a bit of a dilemma. She had fifty of each medicine, not enough to sell, but at the same time too much to simply throw away.
Then…an idea came to her.
Miyako grinned slyly as she recapped the 'Vitamin' bottle, pocketed the other medicine bottle along with an empty one she picked up, locked the glass box; then left the storage room.
Patting her concealed pockets, Miyako couldn't help but smile, 'If all goes well, maybe I'll be able to get a few great-grand babies from my lazy good-for-nothing grandson.'
While Grandma Miyako took her time gathering up the medicine, Shikamaru and Hinata were holding an awkward staring-yet-not-quite-staring-contest.
'She called me cute…right?' Shikamaru asked himself, his fingertips lightly drumming against the wooden counter top, 'But then she took it back…' the young man thought with a frown.
Hinata for her part kept replaying the same conversation and her almost confession.
In a few weeks, Hinata mentally marked down it would be a full year since she told Naruto how she felt.
One whole year…had it really been so long ago?
Hinata realized before now she had been too busy- with helping Kurenai-sensei raise her almost three-year old son, missions, and training for the Jounin exams- to think on how she felt about Naruto, Shikamaru, or any boy for that matter.
Shyly, Hinata looked up, stealing a glance at Shikamaru, who thankfully was too distracted to notice her.
'We do get along well together, but…' Hinata's gaze looked to the ground, 'I never thought of dating anyone other than Naruto-kun before.'
"Here we are…" Miyako said, interrupted both Hinata and Shikamaru in their silent musing by slamming down a medicine bottle on the counter.
Hinata reached over to pick up the bottle, reading the label, then looked to Miyako, "Uh thank you Grandma, but I really don't need…"
"Nonsense! Of course you need something to keep yourself healthy. You might be young child, but colds, flu's, and other nasty illnesses can make you older before your time. So, I suggest you take one vitamin pill every morning and at the same time."
"But this wasn't on my clan's list and I don't have any money with me…" Hinata protested, but it was in vain.
"Pst, nonsense think of it as a 'thank you' gift." Miyako said.
'Thank you? Thank you for what?' Shikamaru wondered as he eyed Grandma suspiciously.
"I really couldn't' take this without paying," Hinata started, only to be cut off yet again by Miyako.
"You'll take it, now you'd better hurry home to give your father that receipt. Hopefully the bastard will remember to pay us this time!"
"Grandma, cut it out." Shikamaru scolded as he watched Hinata's face pale.
"But…I…" Hinata said, still trying to get Miyako to take the medicine back, until Shikamaru reached out to lightly grasp her hand.
"Hinata, I think it's better if you quit trying to argue with her and just take the medicine," he then looked to Grandma, "She won't take it back even if you forced her to."
Gently easing her hand out from Shikamaru's grasp, Hinata nodded once, "Alright, I'll take it; but I will speak to father on paying you two promptly and give a bit extra for the vitamins."
"Good girl," Miyako said with a smile, "Now you'd better go, we do have other customers to serve today."
Hinata nodded once more, but then her gaze turned to Shikamaru. For a split second, Hinata thought about apologizing for her rather awkward statement; but at the last second lost the nerve.
Instead she bowed, "Good bye Grandma. And Shikamaru-kun…"
The young man looked up, a curious expression on his face as he waited for Hinata to finish her sentence.
The girl's face flushed, coughing once to clear her throat, "You'll be over at Kurenai-sensei's apartment to visit us soon…right?" she asked.
"If I have the time," Shikamaru admitted, a promise, yet not quite one at the same time.
Still, it made Hinata smile, "Ah, I'll see you later today then, goodbye for now," she finished before turning around to walk away.
If Miyako had so much as a sliver of doubt her plan would fail, it was quickly forgotten when the old woman watched Shikamaru's eyes follow Hinata as the girl walked on.
'Phase one is complete…' the old woman thought to herself, once again patting her kimono pocket, 'Though I think Phase two might be a bit more difficult to complete…' she thought while looking at her grandson.
Notes: I know this fan fic is off to a slow start, but I promise once the plot gets moving along there will be more romance, more humor, and the rating will climb up pretty quickly, so just bear with me for a few more chapters, m'kay? Thanks for reading!