Inside Joke

Summary: Shikamaru loses a game of shogi for the first time. Warnings: pure crack, infidelity, yaoi, randomness

While it was not Shikamaru's habit to get drunk, it happened, and he accepted, like all things in his life. Once something happened, it was obviously too late to prevent it. It was better to plan as far ahead as possible, and if it didn't, fuck it. The best example was his marriage. He'd worked his whole life against marrying Ino, and yet, somehow, he found himself there at the altar. In his life stranger things had happened, but he sure as hell tried to prevent them.

Two things that he generally planned against happening were going to happen tonight, as far as he could tell, and it was just too late to try and stop it.

One, he was going to get completely plastered. This was inevitable because it was what would make the second thing that was going to happen a little less difficult for his keen mind to deal with. Two, he was going to screw Hyuga Neji.

He had known for weeks that these two things would happen. It had started with a gathering at Naruto's, which always meant Shikamaru got plastered. It wasn't intentional and he usually didn't even notice until he was already clutching the wall on some sidestreet, emptying the contents of his stomach and trying to sober up just enough for his wife to not kill him.

Yes, his wife.

Anyway. He'd been horribly drunk at that point, and Hyuga had challenged him to a game of shogi. He'd bet that if Shikamaru lost, Shikamaru had to come on a mission with him because he had been assigned a team of idiots. Shikamaru had obliged him, because he'd known he wouldn't lose, not even to the Hyuga. He'd ignored the fact that he was so drunk that he kept calling Neji by his cousin Hinata's name.

Two hours later he had a mission early the next morning and a screaming wife. The mission had involved Neji smirking whenever Shikamaru clutched his head in pain because of his horrible hangover and of course dealing with mentally challenged new jounins who Shikamaru wouldn't have trusted with a genin mission. God knows how they got to be jounin, but essentially Neji and Shikamaru told them to sit at camp while they completed the mission.

While working, Neji had mentioned something about his admiration for Shikamaru's incredible intelligence. At the time, Shikamaru hadn't been listening, he'd been throwing up and cursing Neji out.

"First fucking asshole." He'd said, straightening up and wiping his mouth. Neji had raised his eyebrows and Shikamaru wanted to punch him. So he did.

They didn't speak for the rest of the mission.

Four days later, they ran into each other at the market. Neji was doing his own grocery shopping, and Shikamaru was toting around Ino's purchases while getting screamed at. Their eyes had met, and Shikamaru, for just a second, got a weird chill up his spine. Neji had smiled at him, and kept walking.

A couple of days after that, Shikamaru was sitting in the park, playing shogi with Chouji (and beating the poor bastard by a scary amount) when Neji had shown up and challenged him again. Chouji had left, saying he had to get home to his own wife anyway.

For a minute, Neji had stood there, staring down at Shikamaru with those creepy ass eyes.

"I'm sorry for punching you. I think." Shikamaru had blurted out of nowhere. Neji had sat down and made a move, and an hour later, Shikamaru had beaten him so badly that it was something worth crying over. "Seriously, are you even trying?" Shikamaru had asked, scratching his head. Neji smirked.

"Of course. I'll have to get you drunk more often if I want to win." He'd said smoothly, and he gave him a smile that once again sent chills up his spine. Shikamaru had rested his elbows on the table, shogi forgotten, and stared hard at Neji. "I really do admire your intelligence. It's something to behold." Neji added. Shikamaru snorted, and their eyes met, and locked, and in that second, Shikamaru saw the future. He was going to screw Hyuga Neji, and he was going to feel both horrible and great about it for the rest of his life, and things would always be awkward and a little weird but a little awesome at the same time between them. He'd still love Ino, of course—that was a given.

"Thanks." He'd said shortly, and got up and left Neji sitting at the table, watching him walk away, hands shoved in his pockets.

In the next few weeks, he really did try to prevent it, because he knew he should at least give a fair stab at it, seeing as he was straight, and married, and morally opposed to random hookups. He didn't talk to Neji, he avoided all gatherings involving alcohol, and he didn't go to play shogi in the park.

But you can't stop the inevitable, and now, Shikamaru is in Neji's apartment in the Hyuga complex.

"Fuck." He swears, or rather, slurs. You can't stop the inevitable, so to deal with it, you drink. It's a great philosophy, he thinks. Not only are you dealing with the immediate problem, you're also killing off brain cells so that in future conflicts, you have even fewer cells with which to think and experience said conflicts.

He tells this to Neji after they kiss. Neji tells him that he has enough brain cells for that to take a lot longer than the average person.

Later that night, Shikamaru stumbles home in a stupor, laughing to himself. Neji wasn't into guys. He wasn't into guys. Neji was dating a woman that he loved and was going to marry soon, and he had been married for five years already and had two children. They both were against infidelity, dishonesty, and cheating.

He laughs again. Fucking hilarious.

The next time Shikamaru sees Neji, it's at one of Naruto's parties. Neji loses at shogi and punches Shikamaru, and Shikamaru says, "You're so fucking gay."

Shikamaru and Neji are laughing hard enough that it scares everyone. No one understands the joke, and somehow, for Shikamaru, that makes it even funnier.