This is one-shot dedicated to Luh-sama, the one who requested for a sequel to 'Three Words: I Miss You or I Love You'. Yes, the series of sequels have been going on since 'Proof of His Love' so I promise that this is the last sequel I'll be making for the ShikaIno series. But this won't be the last ShikaIno fanfic from me!
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
"No! He'll come! He promised!" Ino screamed as some of the guests began to worry and some offered to go out to look for the groom.
She sat down in her white-laced wedding gown then shook her head, "Oh, Shikamaru. Where are you?"
Turning to Sakura, who was the bridesmaid, she began to cry.
"Ino, your make-up… it'll get ruined." Sakura warned, trying to wipe the tears off Ino's eyelids.
"I don't care!" Ino snapped back, sobbing, "All I want is Shika here. I hope he's alright."
She was beginning to feel stupid. She knew where he was. She knew why he wasn't there with her at their wedding. Ino tried to recall the last time she saw Shikamaru…
"A mission?" Ino repeated, "You have a mission on our wedding day?"
Shikamaru scratched his head then grumbled, "I tried to get myself out of it, honest. I was told at the last minute."
Ino clenched her fists then screamed, "Well, it's too late to reschedule the wedding! It's tomorrow! What are we going to do, Shikamaru?"
It turned out that Shikamaru had a solo Anbu mission on their wedding day. He wasn't sure if he'd be back in time for the wedding, but he couldn't let Ino down now… not today and not ever.
"I'll be back in time for the wedding." Shikamaru promised, "I'll start out this afternoon then be back tomorrow afternoon so we can get on with our wedding. How about that?"
Ino bit her lip then tried to talk, "You'll… be back, right? Your missions are always so dangerous and all…"
"Yes." Shikamaru plainly replied.
Ino gazed down at the ground then gave Shikamaru a tight hug. And as he hugged back, he said, "But, just in case I can't make it… I'm sorry. But I'll really try my best to make it. If I'm not there before 7:30, cancel everything."
"No way…" Ino mumbled as she buried her head onto Shikamaru's vest, "I'm going to wait for you."
Shikamaru lifted her face to see her captivating blue eyes. He loved how he looked at him with such a pleading expression but this time, we was also in pain as she looked at him, begging him not to go.
"And I'll get there for you," Shikamaru reassured her with a smile, "And nothing will stop me, okay?"
She sighed then heard the raindrops falling outside.
Indeed, it has started to rain. "Ugh…" Ino grumbled.
She stood up then crossed her arms across her chest. She was beginning to worry too much now.
Glancing at the clock, she discovered that it's 4:52. She's been waiting for him for almost an hour and she couldn't take it.
'I'll wait for you.' Ino thought, 'Just make sure you arrive.'
"Ino, we'll go look for Shikamaru if you like," Choji, the best man, offered. He still had a bag of chips in his hand like always but his expression was as stern as ever.
Shaking her head, Ino exclaimed, "No. That won't be necessary. Be patient. We'll wait for him. I know Shikamaru. He wouldn't break a promise… right?"
More tears began to form in Ino's eyes. It's beginning to seem like a hopeless case.
Choji walked to Ino then sat beside the crying bride, "Shikamaru told you where he is, right?" Choji asked.
Hiccupping, Ino muttered with a heavy heart, "He's on a mission. Just outside the village's territory. He's not that far but it's a B-class mission. It's fine if he doesn't show up now. What I'm thinking of is…"
Ino rubbed her eye then continued, "…Will he come back alive?"
Nodding his head, Choji got up then said before leaving, "Well, call me when you want a search troupe to look for him. Shino, Neji and Naruto are willing to do so."
Ino just mumbled something then looked away.
Trying to get her head cleared, Ino stood from her seat then began to check on the blooms she had ordered.
Each one was looking as pale as her. The petals drooped down and the colors seemed to be choked till lifeless.
Panicking, Ino's father, Inoichi and Shikamaru's dad, Shikaku (A/C: Did I get it right?) entered the room Ino isolated herself in.
"Princess," her dad lovingly began, "What's happening? Where's Shikamaru? And, goodness, don't cry! Daddy will make it all better."
Ino placed her gloved hand on her bare shoulder then kept her gaze on the floor. She watched her tears drop from her cheeks. She didn't want to talk anymore. She just wanted to keep silent and wait for her Shikamaru.
"He's not yet here…" Ino just whispered as a reply.
Inoichi arched a brow then exchanged glances with Shikaku, "My boy?" Shikaku said to Ino.
With that, Ino nodded then mumbled as she cried some more, "He's on a mission and he… he promised to be here tonight."
Ino's father drew nearer to her then patted her head sweetly, "Is that what's wrong, my princess?"
Not able to hold back, Ino blurt out, "Yes, dad! I just want to know if he's alright! I hope he is!"
She buried her head in her hands as she sat again on the nearest chair. Shikaku made a move then comfortingly said, "Knowing my son, he'll be alright, Ino. You'll see."
Straining to smile, Ino glanced at Shikaku, seeing him wear a reassuring grin.
He never really liked her. Only Shikamaru's mother had a soft spot for her. But, now, it was he who was comforting her when Shikamaru wasn't there.
"So, what'll we do now?" Shikaku asked the two Yamanakas.
Ino wiped her face then sat up, "We're going to wait for him, like I said."
The rain was getting harder and some elders could sense a storm. Of course, few believed them but it didn't really matter now.
A search party was sent to look for the missing groom an hour ago and half of them returned, saying that they didn't see Shikamaru anywhere in Konoha or outside the vicinity.
The news didn't make Ino feel any better. But, still she didn't give up. In fact, if it were possible she'd be the one to search for Shikamaru but of course, that couldn't be done.
Most of the guests have grown impatient yet only three left. The others stayed, having hope.
"Ino, let's cancel the wedding now." Hinata suggested, fidgeting with her fingers like always.
Upon hearing this, Ino's eyes grew then she slammed her hand onto the table, "What? No! No way am I going to cancel the wedding!" she shrieked back in fury.
Hinata backed away then explained, "We'll be wasting time if we keep on waiting for Shikamaru when we're not even certain that he'll arrive. And besides, a lot of the guests want to leave yet they wish to show support…"
"No…" Ino sighed, "I'm not going to cancel the wedding…"
She paused then looked over to the clock. Certainly, they were running out of time. Until Ino recalled…
And as he hugged back, he said, "But, just in case I can't make it… I'm sorry. But I'll really try my best to make it. If I'm not there before 7:30, cancel everything."
She promised herself that she wouldn't do it, but she was losing faith in Shikamaru, unfortunately.
"…We'll cancel the wedding at 7:30 if he's not here by then." Ino said. With a nod, Hinata left her alone again.
Regretting that, Ino sat again then pounded her fist onto the table near her. She nipped her lip in anger as she squeezed her eyes shut. Heaving another sigh, Ino thought, 'What am I supposed to do, anyway? Should I really wait for him?'
Then, there was a thud on the table.
Ino looked there then found the lone flower vase on the table that held a small rose bud, red as blood. She gazed at it and remembered Shikamaru's 21st birthday… the day he proposed to her…
He ransacked for something in his pocket then took out a small, red rose bud. "You like roses, right?" Shikamaru asked with a tiny grin.
Ino's narrowed her eyes, "Roses won't make me happy tonight, Shika!" she screamed. But, she drew back then mumbled as if giving in, "…Only you can, Shika…"
But, despite that, he handed the rose bud to her, which she held onto, twirling it round and round. And when she did a third time, something caught her eye, wrung around the rose's stem.
"Oh my Gosh!" Ino yelled in shock.
A diamond engagement ring hung from the rose's stem, making its way to Ino's finger and when it snuggly slot itself to her finger, she couldn't breathe.
(A/C: See 'Three Words: I Miss You or I Love You')
Yes, it was the very same rose bud that had their engagement ring wrung around it. She kept it as a keepsake from that memory and she said when the bud has wilted, she will press it between the pages of Shikamaru's book then preserve it as a bookmark.
Ino picked it up then smiled. She ran her fingers down the stem, noticing how Shikamaru was concerned enough to take the thorns off beforehand. She felt the petals, soft as felt then sensed a better feeling inside.
She fixed the upturned vase, careful not to touch the spilt water, then placed the bud back into the vase's mouth.
With that, Ino once again peeped out the window to check on the rain. It was still pouring hard but she managed to think of a joke in her head, 'The rain is the least of my worries,' she thought, 'Shika and I love to dance under it. He won't mind walking through it, in that case.'
(A/C: See 'Proof of His Love' Chapter 4: Confessions under the Rain)
Smiling to herself, Ino straightened her back then waited again.
They've been waiting for minutes and minutes turned to hours rather slowly. The noise outside Ino's room was getting louder. She could tell that many of them were getting angry by the minute to keep them waiting like this.
So, she gave permission that anyone who wished to return home may do so. So that's it. Few people stayed behind and a part of those considerate people were the other batch mates of Ino.
She went and glanced at the clock: 7:13 p.m. In a few minutes, she'd have t cancel the wedding if Shikamaru didn't show up.
Ino had realized that her mascara had run everywhere in her face so she went to the bathroom to clean herself up. She looked at the mirror and saw how horrible she looked. Sighing, Ino went on.
After a couple of minutes, Ino looked fresh once again with a new layer of make-up and neat hair. She couldn't even smile at herself even if she was satisfied at how well she has done.
She grabbed the knob then swung the door open to reenter her room. But, once she had opened the door, she received the shock of her life.
"Shikamaru!" she screamed with pure joy.
Lo and behold, her groom Shikamaru was before her, drenched and dirty. His vest was smeared with dirt and blood and his face was definitely not flawless for now.
"Oh my Gosh! You made it!" Ino exclaimed. Shikamaru looked back at her with a joyful smile.
"I told you I'd make it." Shikamaru said, grinning back at her.
She didn't hold back. She threw her arms around Shikamaru then almost squeezed him too tightly.
"Thanks heavens you're here. I was so worried." Ino said, near to crying again.
Shikamaru cupped her face then smiled, "Hey, you might get your gown dirty. Give me a minute. I just need to change. I'm fine, anyway. No bruises, no cuts… nothing!"
Ino nodded then left to tell everyone of the great news… well, not before smacking her groom lightly on the lips.
"You may kiss the bride."
Shikamaru lifted Ino's translucent veil then watched her smile ever so lovingly. The fathers have begun crying with joy while the mothers were eagerly waiting. Their batch mates looked on, more eagerly than the mothers.
With that, Shikamaru first whispered, "Hey, what did I tell ya? I made it. Not even the rain will stop me."
Smirking, Ino whispered back "Shut up and just kiss me."
Laughing together, the couple hesitated until they managed to think right. Their lips met and it felt like a dream for the two. The other shinobi cheered (especially Naruto) while the elders began clapping.
They let go of their kiss then Shikamaru mumbled to his bride, "Thanks for waiting for me."
"No problem, Shika." Ino said with a wink.
The two walked down from the altar and once they were down, Ino threw her bouquet of cosmos. The girls squealed and battled for the flying bouquet. But, a kunai flew to it, snatching it from everyone. The kunai drew to the brown-haired kunoichi at the side.
"Sorry, girls," Tenten said before hugging the bouquet, "I need this." At that, she looked at Neji then grinned. Neji hid his blush but didn't look away (A/C: GO NEJITEN!) as he smiled back at his girlfriend.
Rushing down the aisle was the newly wed couple. When they neared the close exit door, Hinata stopped them, "It's still raining…"
Ino went to her then pinched her cheek saying, "Don't worry, Hinata. We love the rain, right Shika?"
Shikamaru just snickered as they pushed the door open and ran out to the pouring rain.
"Just like old times, hm, Ino?" Shikamaru laughed as Ino ran around with him.
She just giggled then answered back, "Yeah, like old times."
Shikamaru grabbed Ino's hand gently then muttered, "I love you, Ino."
Ino looked back at him then sweetly replied,
"Shika, you know that I love you more."
Thanks for reading this and more thanks to you if you left a review! R&R! Thank you!