Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Naruto characters.

'Anything But Simple and Dull'

Hinata x Shikamaru

Summary: For a moment they just stared at one another, dull brown eyes on striking white. Then they looked away from each other and he began to wonder when everything became so complicated.


Prologue

"What…w-would you like for dinner?"

The question was softly spoken and yet the two people in the small squarish kitchen winced as the words echoed in the heavily silence, each repeat sounding even more hollow and mechanical then the original. The female wrung her ivory hands when the echoing stopped and no answer to her question followed. Her slim shoulders tensed and she opened her mouth to say something, anything, but she swallowed her words when the male suddenly stuffed his hands in his pockets and shuffled out of the kitchen. Her striking white eyes stared after the broad back and the dark brown spiky head for a moment before they slid to floor as a relieved sigh parted her pink lips. The sharp sound of the phone ringing startled her making her jump in alarm and surprise before she calmed herself enough to reach for the phone.

"Hello," she whispered the word softly and watched through half lidded eyes as her breath made strands of her blue black hair danced lightly around her face.

"Hinata? Is everything all right?"

Hinata's head swam at the sound of the voice causing her to lean against the gray wall to steady her body that threatened to fall. Her hand covered her eyes even as she closed them to block out the suddenly reeling room. Minutes passed and she could hear the person on the other line repeat her name over and over in worry. Suddenly she was angry and she snatched her hand from her eyes so that she could glare at the phone freely. She was tired of the same emotions. The pity, the worry, the disappointment, and even the anger she was tired of them all. The hand gripping the phone brought it slamming down on the receiver nailed to the wall as the rest of the body and eventually the hand also traveled downward until the young woman was sitting on the floor with her back against the wall.

There were footsteps in the hall again. Hinata cocked her head to the side as she listened. After a second she realized that he was pacing. She wanted to laugh at the realization instead she stood up and answered the phone that had started ringing again all most as soon as she'd hung up.

"Now." The voice on the phone was angry and she took the time to wonder over the fact that all men hated to be rejected by women. Even women that they didn't care for in the slightest. She wanted to gag but instead she sighed as she pushed back her hair from her face.

"Where?"

She only half listened to him as he muttered the same directions to her so that she could meet him in the same location that she never bothered to memorize how to get to. When they had first started her reason for not learning how to get there had been simple. She hadn't expected for them to continue for so long. Now she didn't even have a reason, neither for continuing on nor putting an end to the arrangement for once and all. The more she thought about it the more she realized that she didn't have a reason for anything.

Once the words were done she hung up and turned around preparing to go upstairs and freshen up before she left. She was surprised to see him standing behind her when she turned, however, and that delayed everything.

"Where are you going?" His words weren't spoken soft like her words earlier had been, but they weren't spoken hard either. They were spoken in a familiar way just like everything else in her life and just like everything else they made her angry because she was tired of familiar. She was tired of the dullness in her life that she'd never wanted.

"Where would you…ah…like me to go?" She had started off strong and angry, but midway she fumbled, stumbled, and stuttered. She could have lied to herself. She could have told herself that she'd ending up stuttering because her life was destined to be familiar, to be dull. That would have been a lie. The reason she stuttered was simple. That dull gleam in his eye had changed…no, it had disappeared. The man before her was determined and that made her nervous enough to stutter.

"I'd like for you to stay."

She fidgeted nervously before she opened her mouth. "Why?" Her confidence returned and she fixed her eyes on his. Her mouth quirked bitterly as she continued, "I thought you wanted something simple and dull, right Shikamaru?"

He sighed and ran his hand through his loose hair. Hinata watched the movement like it was something amazing and in a way it was. He so rarely wore his hair loose.

"I thought I did, but then…" his words trailed off as he looked at her. For a moment they just stared at one another, suddenly not dull brown eyes on striking white. Then they looked away from each other. He began to wonder when everything became so complicated and when exactly he hadn't minded it being that way.

"But then what?"

His eyes snapped back to her. "Then I realized that I was wrong."

"B-bullshit." She'd barely been able to stutter the word before she collapsed on the black and gray tiled floor and began to cry.

He didn't drop down to her level and hug her. He didn't even utter words of concern or comfort. He didn't do anything but sigh, and yet that was enough for her. She lifted her head, sucked back the unshed tears, and told him everything that she had been holding in.

"I never wanted you."

He sighed again. "I know."

"I never wanted to fall in love with such a dull person. I didn't want my love life to be simple and subdued. You were the exact opposite of everything I wanted."

"I know."

" Yet, still you made me fall for you. Then," she paused here to fix him with a glare. "Then, after I had given you everything, you threw it back at me!"

Shikamaru turned away from her, frustrated. "I know."

"Why?!"

He buried his head in his hands before turning back towards her. "It was too much. I couldn't handle how much you loved me, how much you clung to me, and how much you depended on me to make your life bright and happy. It was troublesome."

"You make me sound like a helpless puppy."

"In a lot of ways you were."

Hinata sucked in a deep breath. His words were so much like the words of others. How many times had she heard something along these lines? She closed her eyes briefly before she pressed the conversation onward. She had to hear it to the end. "And her?"

He snorted. "And him?" Hinata was silent and Shikamaru shook his head. " She was what I'd thought I wanted at the time. Someone who was simple, dull, and didn't demand anything from me."

"So?"

"So what?"

"Why aren't you with her now?"

"I realized that I didn't love her."

Hinata didn't say anything. She wasn't strong enough to ask the only question that could follow something like that.

"I love you, Hinata."

"I see…" she murmured. Her eyes were closed and she could feel her head begin to swim again.

"And him?"

She squeezed her eyes shut even further as if doing so would stop everything.

"Hinata?"

"H-he was all ways what I wanted. He was all ways bright, loud, and so open. A love life with him was destined to be amazing, but after a while I found that with you…"

Her voice was suddenly consumed by the sound of explosives hitting the pavement outside their small house. Screams and the ruckus of rubble falling as buildings collapsed instantly surrounded them. Their house began to moan and shake as more explosives hit, as a nearly unbearable heat began to creep up their backs.

Hinata screamed and moved towards Shikamaru. He watched her dumbly, like a passerby who was watching a ghastly scene that had nothing directly to do with him. When she fainted into his arms from the stress he snapped out of his stupor. He moved, he stumbled, he fell, he got up, and he struggled to get them somewhere even remotely safe. He failed. He felt the medium sized rock hit him in the back of his head. It alone probably wasn't enough to kill him, but he could feel his consciousness slipping from him. The darkness gathered before his eyes and he clutched Hinata close to him as her last words to him cycled themselves in his head. '…but after a while I found that with you…' His smiled softly to himself as his mind slipped into unconcioussness.

'But' was all ways a good sign.


Well, how was it? I know that Hinata and maybe Shikamaru might seem a bit OOC. This prologue is in the future though, so I plan to have the chapters after this go back into the past. Those chapters will have Hinata and Shikamaru growing up into the complicated people that they are here. So before you flame me for OOC characters wait until I have time to show you why they're the way they are.

Also this story is AU. There might be some mentioning of other characters of Naruto, but the only ones that will be making a real appearance are Hinata and Shikamaru, of course, along with Ten Ten and Naruto.

If anyone wants to know what happened to my other story, Lavender Bunnies, I've deleted it. Don't worry though, I plan to put it back up after I've done a few things to the plot.