Once Upon a Shogi-Playing Afternoon

"What's that behind your back Shikamaru?" Ino asked innocently. I just sighed, annoyed that I was caught. I hid the picture frame that was currently behind my back better.

"Nothing." I answered blankly. There was no way in hell she was going to see that picture.

"Shikamaru, it's not nothing. I came to pay a visit to my dear old friend and I find him staring at a picture. What do you expect me to think?" Shikamaru was pretty annoyed right now. He was having a lovely time to himself while staring at a picture with the most beautiful thing in it, when his troublesome teammate had to come in and ruin it.


"Is it a girl?"


"Is it me?"

"Hell no!"

"Good, cause I'm taken!"

"You're what?" It's not like I liked her or anything, but the news of her having a boyfriend was shocking. She had been eyeing that Uchiha for the longest time and I'm pretty sure he already has a girlfriend.

"Choji asked me to be his girlfriend yesterday!" I smiled at this. Yup, I smiled. I was so happy for my two teammates. I knew that Choji had had a crush on Ino for the longest time. Thank Kami she finally realized it.

"Now, if that's all, leave." I lazily pointed to the door. I wanted to get back to looking at her picture and daydreaming about her.

"Can I see the picture?"


"You know, I was having an interesting conversation with Choji the other day. Who knew that you, the almighty sexist genius, would fall in love?" I felt my hand clutch the picture in my hand in frustration. I had told Choji that I think I was in love with Temari yesterday. He promised not to tell anyone, but apparently not.

"H-He told you?"

"Yup, he told me everything; and I mean EVERYTHING!" I not only told Choji that I was in love with her, but was a bit obsessed with her. I have millions of pictures of her and usually listen to all the music she loves.

"I CAN'T BELIEVE CHOJI TOLD YOU THAT I'M IN LOVE WITH TEMARI!" I screamed while managing to throw the picture in my hand on my bed. Ino looked at me, in utter shock, but also in accomplishment. Then, she looked at the picture to see Temari and me smiling for a picture that my mom took one day when she came over.

"You're in love with TEMARI?" I gave her a puzzled look.

"What did you think?"

"Well, I kind of lied about the whole Choji thing. I asked him if you liked someone and he said he couldn't tell me. I knew I could make you think that I knew and then you would admit it." I thought I was supposed to be the genius here.

"Why you-" I was interrupted from yelling at here when I heard my cell phone ring. The Just The Girl ringtone was an indication to me that it was Temari. Every time that song played, my heart leapt with joy that she was calling me. Now, at the age of sixteen, we had become best friends and call each other often.

"Is that Temari?" Ino asked me slyly. I just shook my head. "Aren't you going to answer it?" I shook my head yes again and flapped the phone over.

"Hi." I said quickly. I was pissed that Ino was listening to me and Temari's conversation.

"Hey." Temari responded. She sounded happy to hear from me.

"What are you up to?" I started walking around my room, trying to get as far away from Ino as possible. She just followed him.

"Well, I'm pretty bored. I have no crazy brothers to maintain to. Kankurou is out training and Gaara is on a date with, his believe it or not, girlfriend." I was a bit shocked at this, being how Gaara is the anti-social type.

"Girlfriend?" I asked. Ino lifted her eyebrows when I said girlfriend.

"Yup. This Matsuri girl. She seems nice and all. You should come over and meet her one day." I liked that thought; being over at Temari's house. Ino smiled at me, being how Temari mentioned me coming to her house. I rolled my eyes in response.

"Yeah, I guess that wouldn't be too troublesome." I could hear her laughing on the other line. Oh how I loved that sound. My eyes soften and my heart melts every time I hear the sound. Ino smile grew wider when she noticed my face change after her laughter.

"So, I'm coming to Konoha tomorrow with Gaara."

"Ask her out!" Ino whispered. I just rolled my eyes and pushed her out of the way.

"Shut up!" I screamed at Ino.

"I didn't say anything!" Temari yelled into the phone. This is when I realized that I spoke a little too loud.

"No, not you. I was talking to Ino. She's so troublesome." Ino frowned at this.

"Hey! Don't talk about her like that! It's mean!" Temari yelled. Ino's frown turned into a large smile when she heard Temari defending her. "Apologize!" I sighed.

"Sorry Ino." I said, clearly annoyed.

"Anyway, I was thinking that maybe tomorrow we could do lunch and play some Shogi. I bet I'll beat you this time." I laughed at Temari's comment. She is always saying about how she's going to beat me at it Shogi one day or another. She never does but comes pretty close.

"And I bet you won't." I retorted and I heard her laugh. There goes that beautiful sound again.


"So, I'll pick you up at the gate at 11?" That was the usual time that I picked her up.


"Alright, I'll see you tomorrow."

"Wait!" Ino screamed.

"Huh?" Temari asked. Ino put out her hand as if expecting the phone to be handed to her. I just shook my head no and she looked angry. I wasn't an idiot. I knew that she was going to go and tell Temari that I loved her.

"Then just tell her about Choji." Ino gave in.

"Ino wants me to tell you that she and Choji got together." I said blankly while sighing. She did a girly scream that I never thought could come from her lips.

"She did! Finally! Put her on!" Temari screamed. Ino smiled and put her hand out to receive the phone from me, but I wouldn't be that stupid.

"Um, no, she can't talk. See ya tomorrow. Bye." I quickly hung up on her, knowing I'd get yelled at it for tomorrow.

"Jeez Shikamaru, you are the worst flirt ever! I mean, she is the one who asked you out! How pathetic is that?"

"Troublesome woman." I hated when Ino ranted. Why the hell did Choji like her anyway?

"And like the most important rule in a relationship is to not hang up on the girl! For a genius, you sure know nothing." This was true, he shouldn't have hung up on her, but he was risking the wrath of Ino here.

"And I couldn't have asked her out, I don't know if she likes me." I concluded. It was true, I wasn't sure that she liked me even though Choji says that she looks at me with love in her eyes.

"Are you kidding me? I know she loves you. I just never thought you loved her back!" Ino exclaimed with her arms flailing in the air.

"How do you know?"

"Do you see the way she looks at you? She has such love, passion and faith in just a simple look. It's crazy! I didn't even know it was possible to do such a thing! I was just too stupid to not see you give her back that same look."


"That's it Shikamaru Nara, tomorrow you are going to tell Temari you love her or so help me, I will do it myself!" Ino threatened while taking out her phone.

"Fine, just don't call." I gave in. I don't know if I'd really do that tomorrow, but I wasn't about to admit defeat.

"Good, now I'll see you later!" Ino said before leaping out my door. I lay down on my bed feeling all the sudden tired.

As I started falling asleep, I realized that I just let Ino out of my house, with her cell phone, Temari's number and the knowledge that I am in love with Temari no Subaku…

"Hey Shikamaru! What's up man?" Choji asked while walking toward me. I was on my way to the gate to pick up Temari.

"Hi." I answered, sounding a little grumpy.

"You okay?"

"Ino knows."

"Ino knows about what?"

"About it." Choji's face turned blank.


"She tricked me into telling her."

"I'm sorry."


"So, is it just me, or is your hair awfully spiky today. Plus, you smell extra nice." Choji started sniffing the air around him.

"I'm picking up Temari." I said in a monotone voice.

"Oh, well now it all makes sense." I rolled my eyes at his comment.

"Ah! Choji, you finally got her!" Temari screamed while running over to him and me. Choji smiled at me and then at her.

"Yup." Choji said. I was a bit jealous that I wasn't the first thing she noticed. Her hair bounced as she turned to face me. She had it down today unlike most where she had it in four ponytails. She was also wearing a tad of makeup. I was love struck by her appearance and couldn't bring myself to form any words.

"Hey Shikamaru." She said shyly.

"I'll leave you two alone." Choji said. He walked away probably to go find Ino or eat some chips.

"Um, hi." I responded. Then, it hit me. She probably dressed up because Ino told her last night that I was in love with her. Stupid Ino. Well, maybe it won't be so bad. If she got dressed up, that must mean that she likes me back.

"Temari," Gaara screamed from afar. We both turned to see him. He looked pissed…at me. "I'll meet you here at seven. Okay?" Temari just shook her head and he walked into the Hokage's tower.

"So, you want to eat first or should be just go and let me kick your ass in a game of Shogi." I suggested with a smirk. She just smiled.

"Well, two things. One, it's a bit early for lunch, and two, I'm going to be winning Shogi today." Temari concluded while smiling happily.

"Aren't you looking pretty today Temari-chan?" My mom said as we entered our house. I wasn't aloud to live alone until I was seventeen.

"Thank you Nara-san." Temari said while bowing her head. Usually at my house, she is loud and troublesome, but when she talks to my mom, she is nice and caring.

"No, don't call me Nara-san. Call me okāsan." My mom corrected as I rolled my eyes at her forwardness.

"Um, okay." Temari said, a bit nervous.

"We'll be going now. Bye." I said quickly while grabbing Temari's hand and taking her in the backyard to where his Shogi board was set up. "Sorry about that." I said this once we were outside, away from my troublesome mom.

"Don't worry about it." Temari said harmoniously while sitting down across from me. She was being extremely sweet today. Probably Ino. Damn Ino. I'll kill her later.

"So, ready to lose?" I asked while setting up the pieces.

"No baka, I'm going to win." I was about to retort but stopped when I glanced at her eyes that were sparkling blue. She looked so happy and real. I just wanted to tell her how beautiful she looked right now, but I couldn't do that. She would look at me like I'm a freak.

"Are you okay?" She asked while waving her hands in front of my face. It didn't stop me from staring at her perfect complexion.

"You're beautiful." I blurted out. I didn't mean to, but it had to be said. At first, she just looked at me as if shocked, and then she smiled.

"Really?" She asked coyly while coming to sit next to me. I just smiled at her and started caressing her face with my hand.

"Yeah." She squealed again, just like she had done on the phone last night. The phone. I suddenly remembered that Ino probably called Temari last night and I need to find out. "Did you talk to Ino last night?"

"Um, yeah. Why?" Great, just great. Now this is going to lead to a long and embarrassing conversation.

"What did she say?"

"She said that I should dress up for the guy I like." Wait, so that means she likes me! Score!

"She didn't say anything else, right?"


"Yeah right."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"I know the only reason you dressed up today was because Ino told you that I loved you." Temari froze at this as I realized what I just said.

"Baka! I didn't dress up because Ino said something, I dressed up for you because I love you!" Temari screamed. I just stood there in astonishment, looking at my soon-to-be-girlfriend.

"Y-you love me?" We both asked at the same time a few moments after Temari's confession. Then, we just smiled at each other.

I don't know what came over me, but I did it. I did it before she could say anything; before she could protest. Who knew that kissing was so fun and so totally not a drag?

We broke apart from the kiss a few minutes later, both smiling. We were about to go in for another kiss, but I stopped to speak.

"I knew playing Shogi with you wouldn't be troublesome." She grinned before leaning in for another kiss.

In the midst of our second round of kissing, I realized that I guess I really won't kill Ino…yet.

A/N: Okay, i was reading a lot of ShikaTema today and then I was all, i should write a fanfiction just for them! In the future episodes, i could totally see Ino setting up Shikamaru and Temari! And i had to make the Just the Girl song for the ringtone because i think that song describes them perfectly!

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