The song I used is "Teardrops on My Guitar" by Taylor Swift.

Note: Lyrics were edited to fit the story. Instead of "Drew", it's "He".

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or the song I'm using.


Ino forced a happy smile on as she playfully tinkled with her chopsticks.

There was something in her that was burning with rage and she was sure that sooner or later, it'd explode in her if she doesn't let it out now… and she was sure that it wasn't an upset stomach.

She clutched a portion of her mini skirt's hem under the table, clenching her fist with anger.

All she wanted to do was get up and leave the restaurant. But, she's going to go through this hell for Shika.

Just for Shikamaru's sake, she won't burst out with fury and kill the girl that sat next to him.

"Ino?" Shikamaru snapped her back to reality, "You're staring blankly at your barbecued pork. Are you okay?"

Blinking almost absently, Ino shot back an innocent look at Shikamaru then stammered, "Huh? Oh! Yeah, I'm fine. I'm… just resting so I can have more appetite for more later."

Then, she turned to Temari and asked, "What were you asking earlier, again?"

With that, Temari then grinned teasingly at her then asked, pointing at her plate of pork, "Are you still going to eat that?"

Ino just stared back at her food then shoved it to Temari with another one of her forced smiles. "Sure, sure." She explained, "I'm on a diet, anyway."

Shikamaru chuckled then patted his girlfriend's head, finding her adorable, "Temari, you can always ask for seconds. It's my treat!"

"Thanks, Shika!" Temari gratefully said, chewing on some pork.

Shika. It used to be a nickname only she could use but now, Temari used it, too. And she couldn't do anything about it.

"I'm so glad you could spend dinner with us, Ino," Shikamaru said, turning to Ino who was seated across him, "It means a lot."

"No problem." Ino cheerily replied, "I wasn't doing anything important, anyway!"

Glad, Shikamaru looked at her with a smile then said, "You're always there for me, Ino. Thanks…"

All Ino managed to do was strain to smile again and try to hold back for a while longer.

He looks at me,
I fake a smile so he won't see
What I want and I'm needing
Everything that we should be

Biting her lower lip, Ino then muttered back, "Yeah. Sure."

With that reply, Shikamaru snickered then turned to Temari once again and the two exchanged glances.

Feeling absolutely awkward and uncomfortable, Ino tried not to see how much they love each other's company and until now, she's still asking herself why did he invite her for dinner when he can have it with just Temari.

"So, Ino," Temari began a conversation, "How's the Yamanaka Flower going? Shikamaru said your family managed to get the shop renovated."

'He told her that?' Ino thought. He's been telling her too much.

Shaking her head slightly, Ino tucked a lock of hair behind her ear then cheekily answered, "Oh, the renovation was done the other day. We'll be opening again tomorrow morning."

I'll bet she's beautiful,
That girl he talks about
And she's got everything that I have to live without

"Oh, good!" Temari exclaimed, "See, my birthday's coming up and I was hoping to buy some of the flower decorations from the Yamanaka Flower. I need your opinion, okay?"

Ino nodded and looked eager to hear what she needed her opinion for then she listened well when Temari asked,

"What kind of flower looks best tucked in my hair? I'll be sporting that on my birthday party." Temari asked, waiting for an honest reply.

Nipping her lip a little, Ino looked deep in thought but she was really thinking to herself, wishing she could actually tell Temari, 'You know what's nice to see tucked in your hair? A Venus Fly Trap…'

"I'm not sure…" Ino shrugged, "I can't think of anything right now. Must be coz I'm full." She proceeded to making another grin out of force then started to giggle.

Temari also began to giggle, but she wasn't sure why. Shikamaru then softly and carefully played with Temari's hair, saying, "I think a cosmos will look just beautiful on Temari, hm, Ino?"

Ino sat frozen, almost staring back completely at Shikamaru. "Yeah…" Ino just mumbled, trying hard to hide her frown, "I guess."

She didn't like the idea of cosmos on Temari's hair. Shikamaru used to think that cosmos looked perfect on HER and her only. He even said once that she was as charming as a cosmos blossom.

Did he tell every girl he knew that they looked good with a cosmos?

"Perfect!" Temari happily exclaimed, "I love cosmos! So, Ino, maybe a day before my birthday party, I'll buy a couple of cosmos, okay?"

Nodding with another beam, Ino squeaked, "Why not, Temari?"

Shikamaru picked up a piece of beef with his chopsticks then joked, "Do we get a discount?"

The couple was back to laughing while Ino made an effort to even titter.

He talks to me,
I laugh cause it's just so funny
I can't
Even see
Anyone when he's with me

"Give me a minute, guys," Temari excused herself, "I need to go to the little girls' room, okay?"

Shikamaru tried to grab her arm playfully then chuckled, "Aw, do you have to go, baby?"

Giggling, Temari replied, "Just for a while, Shika! I need to go real bad!"

Before letting go of her, Shikamaru rolled his eyes then jokingly muttered at her with a smile, "Be back, okay?"

When Temari was away for the meantime, Ino leaned closer to Shikamaru then asked, "How long have you two been dating, anyway?"

Shikamaru turned to her with the same grin he had when he was teasing Temari, "Months… Not months, actually. I think we were already dating for a year…"

"And you didn't tell me till now?" Ino angrily said, clenching her fist under the table.

"It would've been too troublesome, you know." Shikamaru explained, "We were doing it secretly. The Kazekage himself didn't know. We just had to feel confident about it before we told anyone else."

It didn't make any sense for Ino but she let it pass. Shikamaru wouldn't do anything senselessly. If he did it, there was a good reason.

"I see." Ino muttered, nodding her head as if understanding it all.

She kept her gaze on her empty plate, pouting unnoticeably.

"…Ino?" Shikamaru whispered, almost doubtful. He was simply calling for her attention before he'd tell her anything. He knew very well how useless it would be if one spoke and no one listened.

Upon hearing her own name, Ino lifted her eyes to look at him and found a compassionate and charming expression on his face. He had the usual blank look in his brown eyes with straight lips with slight curves at the ends.

No one can tell if he was happy or disappointed with that face and not even she knew.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner." Shikamaru said, shifting to the pleased smile he kept earlier, "But I just got to tell you that it was worth it. My relationship with Temari is going well, perfect if you ask me."

Nodding once again, she spoke not a word and went on listening to him speak of what she never really wanted to talk about.

"She's a sweet girl." Shikamaru complimented his own girlfriend, "Her spirit is always so encouraging and she's really caring. It's hard not to love someone like her."

'And it's hard not to love someone like you, Shika.' Ino wanted to oppose of each word he had just said and tell him how much he was throwing away. But, she knew that she only felt that way because she had always hoped that Shikamaru would one day end up with her.

She found it so selfish of her to actually hate Temari for being Shikamaru's girlfriend. She continuously thought of what was best for her rather than what made him happy.

And with that quick realization, Ino then managed to answer, "I'm so glad for you, Shika… really."

But she knew how much she didn't mean what she had just said.

He says he's so in love,
He's finally got it right,
I wonder if he knows he's all I think about at night

The only reason why Shikamaru wouldn't ask her out was because she never told him that she was over Sasuke.

He has always believed that she was a loyal Sasuke fan girl, like always… which was now far from true.

"That's great of you, Ino." Shikamaru said after that, "You're always the best. Stay that way."

Another beam crossed Ino's expression as she held in the sobs that almost escaped her.

Before they knew it, Temari was back then took her place again beside Shikamaru.

"You know, Shika," Temari lovingly started, "I still don't know why you invited Ino and me over tonight."

Ino arched a brow, suspicious somehow. Why the heck would you ask that to your boyfriend? Why couldn't she just be thankful that Shikamaru was sweet enough to take her out for dinner tonight?

But then, she noticed that Shikamaru's face showed some anxiety and slight worry. He wrapped an arm around Temari's shoulders then stuttered, "I'll get to that later, Tem."

There was a sense of anxiety, too, in Ino but she made sure that no one could see it. She was used to hiding her real emotions through making up another expression in her face… but strangely, she was having a hard time hiding anything from Shikamaru.

He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star
He's the song in the car I keep singing, don't know why I do

"Shika! Come on! Tell us!" Temari begged, more like whined. She made her eyes sparkle before him and pouted like a cherub, clutching Shikamaru's arms firmly yet nicely.

Giving in, Shikamaru stammered (Surprising that he's actually feeling nervous), letting Temari loosen her grip on his arm, "Oh, fine."

He fixed his seat, trying hard to feel comfortable. Temari looked on at him, waiting for him to tell her everything. He sheepishly smiled at her then tried to clear his throat.

Ino was glaring at Shikamaru. She knew that he was acting really oddly and he was definitely not himself. All she couldn't understand was why he was acting that way.

"Uh, let's pay the bill first, shall we?" Shikamaru excused himself.

Temari rolled her eyes in slight irritation then mumbled, "Oh, fine."

She glanced around to catch a waiter to ask for the bill but no one was paying any attention to her as she swung her arm above her head.

"The people here are pathetic." She grumbled to Shikamaru so he grabbed her arm and placed it down saying, "I'll just go pay it myself, okay? I'll approach them instead."

Knowing Shikamaru, he'd even be too lazy to even call for a waiter. He was absolutely not himself tonight and he was probably just trying to stall from telling them the reason why they were invited for dinner.

With that, Shikamaru got up and went to pay the check. Ino saw him bite his lip as he opened his wallet to take out the payment.

Shikamaru passed her then moves off. She follows him with her eyes and for a second, she curves a goofy smile at him, feeling the same light feeling whenever she spends time with him.

He walks by me,
Can he tell that I can't breathe?
And there he goes,
So perfectly,
The kind of flawless I wish I could be

The two seated kunoichis watched Shikamaru pay the bill and every now and then he would glance back at Temari.

Ino still felt the harsh pain in her gut. She assumed that it was gone when she tried to force herself to think of Shikamaru before herself. But she realized that it's a feat that you can't do in less than 5 minutes.

She turned to Temari, finding her blowing kisses to her sweetheart. The sight made Ino a little sick but, mostly, it made her full of envy.

Shikamaru handed the money now and all he was waiting for was the change.

There were no words exchanged by the two women as they both continued to gaze at Shikamaru, who was across the restaurant.

To Ino, he still looked troubled, as if there was occupying his mind… as if he isn't prepared for something.

It was definitely that, but why was that feeling so?

She could tell that Temari must've noticed, too, but why wasn't she asking him out of concern? Didn't she care? Didn't she bother to know?

Or was she confident that whatever was troubling Shikamaru, it must be something petty?

Ino watched him take the change and soon, he was done after shoving the coins into his pocket. He heaved a sigh, unknown if of relief, then looked over to his table. There, both Temari and Ino were smiling at him with glee.

He mustered some courage to go back to the table then proceed to Temari's side.

But, he didn't sit down.

No, he knelt beside her and Temari scooted so that she was near him.

Ino now knew why he was anxious… why he was feeling troubled… why he had invited them to dinner tonight… and she began to wish that she never found out.

"Temari," Shikamaru began, "The only reason why I invited you to dinner tonight was because…"

He stopped there as he struggled to get something from his side pocket. He had a shy expression on and with every passing second, Ino was constantly thinking to herself, 'No, please. Please don't tell me you're…'

Obviously, he was.

"…Aw, what the heck…" Shikamaru mumbled as he took out a velvet ring case from his pocket and when he opened it he asked the very words Ino wanted him to ask her…

"Will you marry me?"

With those words, Temari's eyes grew and her happiness was showing. Her throat felt dry while Ino's felt like the tears were pilling up in it as she swallowed down the moment.

"Yes! Yes, Shika!" Temari screamed with so much energy, "Of course!"

She flung her arms around Shikamaru, giving him a huge hug in front of Ino, who was still looking on saying nothing. Shikamaru held the ring with one hand as he hugged her back, twice as tighter.

Ino knew her world was null for now. She could still see the couple with her slowly blurring eyesight. Temari sat on Shikamaru's lap when he managed to sit on his chair again. She slid the ring through her finger then gave Shikamaru a tender kiss on his lips.

Ino, on the other hand, could tell that she couldn't take it anymore. Yet despite the overwhelming feeling, she had to resist first. She was strong… she knew how to keep it in… right?

"Wow, what a surprise. Congratulations, you two." Ino stifled, trying hard to hide the shaking in her voice.

The engaged couple looked at Ino with smiles, "Oh, I almost forgot," Shikamaru added, "Ino, you'll be the maid of honor. Is that okay?"

'Great.' Ino thought furiously, 'Do I really have to attend?'

"Better than okay, Shika!" Ino eagerly replied, trying to conceal the real sadness she felt.

She'd better hold him tight,
Give him all her love
Look in those beautiful eyes
And know she's lucky cause

Ino went on watching the two hug each other and nuzzle, rubbing their noses.

Desperate to get out, Ino glanced at her watch then noticed the time: quarter to eight. It was quite early, but she made up an alibi.

"Hey," Ino tried to speak, "I have to go. I have to help fix the bouquets in the shop for the opening tomorrow." Lying was her specialty.

Understanding, Shikamaru nodded then waved, "It's early but go on, if you have to. See you around, Ino!"

But when he said that, she was well walking across of the restaurant towards the exit, feeling the tears well in her eyes. She didn't dare turn around to cast one last look as she went out.

He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star
He's the song in the car I keep singing, don't know why I do

As she briskly went through the streets of the village, Ino knew that the tears she's been holding have begun to flow out without halt. They ran down her cheeks as she hiccupped, forgetting that anyone could see her.

For now, nothing mattered to her. All she wanted to do was get as far as possible and let the true feeling invade her ego for the time being.

She knew it was going to happen one day, Shikamaru's proposal, but why did it have to happen in front of her? She couldn't blame anyone but herself for the heartbreak she feels. Shikamaru knew nothing about it and Temari was just like her… simply in love with Shikamaru.

If she was stronger, she could've told him. There could've been rejection and regret that way, though. But in this case, she was struck by something more painful instead.

Shoving her hands into her pocket, Ino tilted her head down as she concentrated on the ground below her. She watched some of her tears reach the ground and when she was clenching her fists in her pocket, there was a slight crumple.

Curious, she held it out and found an old picture of Team 10 back when they were genin. In the photo, she had a tiny smile on her face while Choji grinned making his cheeks puff. Taking a look at Asuma, she wished he was still alive and with every glance at Shikamaru, her crying just got harder.

So I drive home alone,
As I turn out the light
I'll put his picture down and maybe
Get some sleep tonight

Ino slot the keys through the front door and opened it without a fuss. She immediately went upstairs to her room and never bothered to turn on the lights.

She dropped the picture of her team onto her bedside table then fell onto her bed.

Trying to close her eyes, Ino thought, 'I wonder if I'll even sleep a wink.'

'Cause He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only one who's got enough of me to break my heart
He's the song in the car I keep singing, don't know why I do
He's the time taken up,
But there's never enough
And he's all that I need to fall into.

The tears still streaked her cheeks amid the darkness of her room.

Despair was eating her away and strangely, she felt tired. Soon, her eyes were getting heavier and heavier.

Before she knew it, Ino had already managed to shut her eyes but she was definitely not asleep yet.

And all she could think of was still Shikamaru and his images simultaneously flashed into her mind. She imagined him scowling… the usual. She saw him smiling at her like a child during Christmas and he remembered Shikamaru's own tears when Asuma died.

She'd never know why but when you love someone, you love him forever, no matter what.

Or at least, that was her case.

With an intention to go to sleep, Ino imagined Shikamaru, joyfully beaming at her and unconsciously, she absently smiled back at the vision.

But this time, the smile was real.

He looks at me,
I fake a smile so he won't see.


Was it too long? I'm sorry. Consider it something that I want off my mind. I needed to write it down so I could stop thinking of it.

Anyway, if it was too sad, let me know. Reviews are welcome and appreciated so please don't hesitate to submit one.