Of the Leaf


Disclaimer: Not mine.

A.N.: I am here. With a token for those who are still out there. NOT up to par but I *wanted* to put this out. Enjoy. To those who have P.M.-d and reviewed your condolences. Thank you. It helped more than you know.

It was a rare thing to see any member of the Nara clan laugh. Usually when they did it was only a chuckle or a snort. So the sight of Shikato Nara sitting in his favorite chair in his home with his head thrown back in a full belly laugh was rather shocking. Yoshino was not that much better, with her hands folded over her stomach and the force of her laughter causing tears to roll down her face. Hinata simply sat on the couch in the family room with a finger in her mouth attempting to hide the grin on her face.

Naruto had the grace to look ashamed and flustered as he looked at his friend. Shikamaru on the other hand was stony faced and glaring daggers at the blonde man.

"YOU DID WHAT?!" he finally ground out. This sent his father into another round of laughter and his mother walking away with an exclamation about having to pee. Hinata simply bit harder onto her finger.

Naruto shuffled his feet and blushed. "I…uh…well…I…kinda sorta… 'malwaysoverhere and yeah…."

Breathing deeply and rhythmically did nothing to calm Shikamaru's temper. If anything it helped him concentrate on why he was so angry. Generally he could care less about girls and next to nothing about guys but this was pushing it! Pinching the bridge of his nose he sighed again.

A few minutes passed in relative silence (with the occasional snort of laughter coming from Shikato) before Shikamaru sighed again. When he looked up at Naruto again and saw the embarrassed worry on the dobe's face he shook his head again and heaved another sigh.

"Did you even think about the political ramifications? Like what in the hell will the Hyuuga clan think of this little bit of gossip? Do you think it will help our case with the Village Elders in claiming my child? Or perhaps what the other countries will think when yours and mine 'relationship' comes out? How about my own clan? Gahhhh! This is a hell of a mess you've gotten me into Naruto!"

"Shikamaru, you were already in a hell of a mess before he walked in the door. Don't take it out on Naruto. If anything we can work this to our advantage. You'll think of other ways before the week is out." Hinata reprimanded the dark haired nin. She turned to Naruto.

Blue eyes met pale Byakugan eyes. "It will be alright, Naruto-kun you did what you could under pressure. I suppose we should work on your lying skills and political savy. Especially if you wish to become Hokage soon."

Shikamaru simply glared. Naruto shuffled his feet and Hinata sighed. It was going to be a long night.