'Alo poppets. This isn't the first story I've written (nor is it the first I've posted here, but ..we won't talk about that), and it isn't even really my favorite of them, but I felt it was time to post something. xD Let the flames, compliments, and demands for updates (even if I've said it's complete) ensue!

For now, I only do one-shots. If by some miracle I get a request, yes, I will do any pairing. Will I do a lemon? Not so much, but you can ask anyways (not like anyone listens to me when I say not to ask...), if you'd like.

By any pairing... I really mean any pairing. Yes, even something as completely insane as Orochimaru and Temari. Do I have limits? No lemons till I know what the hell I'm talking about. Other than that, you can request anything.

Disclaimer: Why should I even bother with this? Seriously... it's called FANFICTION(dot)net for a reason. -feels tap on shoulder- ...I don't own Naruto. -twitch-

Without Further Delays, I present to you:

Love me, love me not

Ino sighed lightly, picking the petals one by one. She didn't even truly know why she bothered anymore; Sasuke was long gone, and probably without even a second thought of her. He'd barely even thought of Naruto, or, though she loathed to think Sakura had already won as best as she could, her pink-haired so-called best-friend.

'He loves me,' She though dryly, and another petal followed, 'He loves me not.'

"You know," She whirled around, having been leaning on a tree, relaxing when she saw a familiar face approaching, "That isn't the brightest thing you've done so far." Shikamaru quirked an eyebrow, nodding at the abused flower. "If you know the numbers, if even subconsciously, what you believe will be the resulting answer."

She scowled, then, scoffing. "Forgive me if, unlike you, I don't automatically know what I believe."


Absently, the chuunin picked up a flower of his own, and began picking petals as well. His lips moved occasionally with parts of the words she knew too well. Curiosity struck. "Who... who are you thinking of?"

He grinned, if only faintly and but for a moment.

"Well..." He began, but was cut off.


He sent her an odd look, before shrugging. "I can see why you'd think that, but no. She is blonde, though." His gaze slid to her; alas, she was oblivious.


Had he not known already how dim-witted she could be at times, -almost as if she had blinders on- he would likely have fallen over.

"Well," He said again, small traces of a smile breaking through, even when he told himself he'd act serious, "She's powerful, and talented... has a bit of a temper problem..."

"You aren't talking about Tsunade, are you?!" Ino demanded, obviously disturbed by the concept.

Shikamaru shot her a dry glare, "Yes, I am, Ino. I'm so obsessed with her, I've stalked her many times and know she's allergic to shellfish."

She shot him a glare, as well, at the very least recognizing sarcasm instantly.

"Anyways, she's smart when she wants to be, though sometimes not the brightest lightbulb there is," He twitched a bit at this, "Dependable, resourceful... beautiful... has blue eyes..."

Said crystalline eyes widened suddenly, "Are you sure it's a she you're talking about?" She asked, leaning away.

He narrowed his eyes, "Yes, Ino, I am."

"... Oh."

"And she is bitter rivals with the one who used to be her closest friend; one -no pun intended- striking Hokage's apprentice, by the name of Haruno Sakura."

Hopefully, this would get through to her at least.

The stem of Ino's forgotten flower drifted to the ground, a look of utter shock written across her features. "Ano-" She halted, then began again, "Me?" She managed.

He smirked once more, "Hai, Ino. I really was talking about you that entire time. ... Even the shellfish allergy."

"So that's where you got it from..." She muttered to herself, oblivious once again. She returned to reality, and frowned, "Demo..." You're not Sasuke...

He shrugged, picking the last petal and holding it between his first two fingers a moment before opening them and softly blowing it to guide it's course. It landed on the kunoichi's nose, "It's okay, though, that she loves me not." With that, he walked away.

"A-ano- Shikamaru!!" She called, catching up to him, a faint blush upon her cheeks. "Would you- like to get something to eat... with me?"