Author's Note: Why hello, everyone! This story was inspired by Merzen who asked me to write a ShikaIno. I couldn't think of a good ShikaIno, however, I thought of a hopefully original NaruSaku plot, and decided to have both NaruSaku and ShikaIno. This story takes place between chapters 344 and 352 of the manga.
Who's Your True Love?
Emerald green nail polish sat at the tip of the small brush; it was just like her eyes. Sakura's navel sunk into the light pink blankets of her mattress as she continued to paint her nails. She blew on each completely care free. She scrutinized her work, making sure no paint dropped onto her skin. She finished her left hand, and now began to paint her right. She bit her lip in complete concentration, knowing it was the hardest part since she was right handed. She kept as still as possible, making little strokes on her nail as it brushed over the nub.
Knock, knock, knock!
A loud pounding was heard at the door.
Sakura gritted her teeth, her face wrinkling in annoyance. She turned to her nails, gasping when her hand went askew, painting over the nail to her skin. Her gaze of frustration went from the nail to the door that just wouldn't stop it's dissonance to her cringing ears. The banging seemed to be getting louder as time went on. She trudged her way over towards the door, clenching her fist in anger. She held on to the knob, angered as the noise continued, and then opened the door wide open. The door slammed open even more as Ino came bursting in. She was yelling something too loud for someone being this close to her ear. Sakura groaned, already knowing it must be the latest gossip. She raised an eyebrow actually beginning to listen to the cacophony of Ino's voice. Sakura crossed her arms as she listened carefully. It seemed like Ino spoke of nothing on who's with who, or what's happening to the kunoichi of the village; that was surprising. Instead, she was screaming in joy and glee. The look of happiness was smothered all over her face.
"What a great day it is today!" Ino exclaimed, raising her arms in the air. Sakura couldn't help but notice a blush adorning her cheeks. Sakura raised an eyebrow, wondering what was up with her. She didn't think she would ever see Ino this excited and happy before. She nonchalantly shrugged, deciding it was best to make the best out of this situation.
"Why don't you talk to me why you paint?" Sakura announced, holding her hands to show her nails.
"I was like 'What?,' but then I thought, 'that could work,' then I realized, 'I'm in love!" That was how most of Ino's explanation went. For anyone trying to understand the girl, they would have no luck deciphering her words. Fortunately for Sakura, she knew exactly what she was talking about, taking the role as Ino's best friends with years of experience in her dialect.
Sakura sighed. "Let me get this straight. You took a test called, 'Who's Your True Love?' and found out you and Shikamaru were the perfect match?" Sakura asked for clarity. She can understand the girl alright, she just couldn't believe it.
"Exactly!" Ino smiled, bringing her hands to her cheeks as she held them with hearts in her eyes as stardust formed everywhere. Sakura was confused and flabbergasted alright, only she couldn't help but feel joyous for the girl who was finally able to settle down and move on from her first love. It reminded her of her, only Sakura hadn't settled down with anyone yet.
"Nah, I don't need a boyfriend." She inwardly laughed at herself.
"You know, you should take the test too," Ino suggested.
"What? No way! I don't need a boyfriend," Sakura explained. She looked at both her nails, admiring the perfection.
"Stubborn as always. Come on! You know you're lying!" Ino tried to convince.
"No, I'm not," Sakura nonchalantly said, crossing her arms.
"Just take it, please?" Ino pleaded, pushing the magazine to her chest.
"So you brought it with you," she stated, sighing in annoyance.
"I wanted to show you. Good thing I did too." Ino smiled, continuing to shove it towards her bosom.
"You won't stop bothering me about it until I do it, right?"she asked, raising an eyebrow.
"That's right," Ino proclaimed with a gleam in her eyes. Sakura sighed.
"Fine, fine." Sakura walked to her room to grab a pencil out of her dresser, going back to the couch where Ino was patiently waiting. Maybe not patiently, since she was tapping her foot and her fingernails in anticipation. Once Sakura sat down, she was about to begin, however, she felt Ino hover over her shoulder. Sakura's vein popped out in annoyance.
"Ino, I was hoping you can stop reading over me!" Sakura calmly told her with some irritation in her voice.
"How will I know you're doing it right?" Ino asked.
"What are talking about? It's a written test from a magazine. There's no real grade or anything, and plus, it's not like if it's serious," Sakura reasoned.
"I know that, it's just that I want you to pick your best guy friend," Ino suggested.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Just wait here while I finish this in my room, got it? I can't take you looking over my shoulder," Sakura decided, standing up to walk over to her room.
"Fine, I get it. Just make sure you do it," Ino warned her. Sakura rolled her eyes at her best friend. She could be so frantic and hyper most of the time.
Sakura once again laid her petite body on her cherry blossom colored and scented blankets. She scanned the page of the test, reading aloud.
"Pick your best guy friend…Naruto," she automatically said, knowing no one else would take the role of her best friend that's a guy. She read through the questions, circling in her answers with the number two pencil she continuously bit down on. She purposely reread the same question twice, knowing Ino would be having a hard time waiting so long, and most likely thinking it was taken forever: a clear measure of hyperbole. As she completed the test, she smiled a bit, deciding to take Ino out of her misery.
Sakura smirked, knowing her friend too well. She was as anxious as ever, paranoid by being idle for once. She tapped her nails, forming a tune she had just created.
"I hope this works," Ino thought to herself. The last three minutes of waiting seemed as if it took an eternity to complete. Ino inwardly shook her fist at the girl, wondering how long it took to finish a six question test. Ino's head turned immediately at the creaking of Sakura's bedroom door. Her face brightened, alleviated of the built up tension in her stomach when she glanced at Sakura casually walking out.
"Finally! I've been waiting forever!" Ino dramatized. Sakura rolled her eyes, knowing her assumptions of her friend's reaction being accurate as usual. Sakura yelped a bit when Ino snatched the magazine from the her in anticipation as she reviewed Sakura's answers and checked her test results. Ino's hyperactive face became a monotone expression as she deadpanned.
"Sakura, what the hell is wrong with you exactly?" she rhetorically asked. Sakura's face scrunched up, not really liking Ino's tone of voice.
"What are you talking about?" Sakura asked, curious and annoyed with the girl.
"You have a score of zero!" Ino exclaimed.
"What's wrong with a zero? This just proves that Naruto and I are just friends and nothing more," Sakura reasoned. Ino face palmed, disappointed at her friend.
"Sakura, I hope you realize that you must stay honest when taking this test, right?" Ino asked.
"Well duh. Of course I was," Sakura reassured her. "What would give you an idea like that?"
"Okay, forehead, I'll show you," Ino spat, using Sakura's old nick name she had given her.
"Fine, Pig, we'll see about that. They're all answered honestly," Sakura retorted, following in suite.
"Is that so? Look at this question forehead," Ino told her, pointing towards the third question. Sakura glanced over, examining it thoroughly. "You see this forehead? That's the worst possible answer you could give. It's obviously wrong," Ino corrected, sighing at the girls naivety.
"What are you talking about, Pig? It's not wrong at all," Sakura countered.
"It says, 'Do you ever get jealous if your friend is near another girl that's not you?" Ino read aloud.
"And I answered it honestly: never." Sakura crossed her arms, knowing she'd win this battle. These answers represents Sakura's honest feelings, after all; she was the only one who could possibly know her own feelings. Ino sighed, knowing she'd win this battle easily. Any fool could observe Sakura's true feelings, no matter how much she tried to hide it. She smirked.
"Oh really? Then what about that time with that Fuuma girl? You were awfully jealous when he was worrying about her and not you," Ino reasoned, already knowing where this was headed. She crossed her arms, knowing that she would have to admit defeat at some point the more she gave examples. And there were lots.
"I was not jealous!" Sakura yelled, exasperated. Soon, a memory flashed in her mind of a time when Naruto helped that Sasame girl. He didn't even give her a second glance. He was only thinking of her, not Sakura. Sakura's eyebrow twitched in annoyance by thinking of the past memory. She crossed her arms flustered, knowing what Ino said was right. Maybe she did get a little jealous, but it was only that one time!
"Oh yeah? How about that time that Izumi girl started healing Naruto. You were glaring daggers at the poor girl!" Ino continued. Sakura thought back to that time. That's right, she was rushing all the way to Naruto's aid, scared to death that he might die. She had forgotten everything she needed to do and her duties, for him, when she sees someone else healing him. They were both laughing together while she healed him, too. It was her job to call him the idiot he was, later laughing it off when Naruto made some corny remark or lame joke.
Sakura sighed in annoyance, clenching and unclenching her fist repeatedly. Maybe she did get a little jealous. Was it really possible that Ino was actually right? It irked her to no end. Sakura's eyes widened, a thought coming along. How does she even know about their past missions when she wasn't even there when any of it happened?
"Or what about the time you-" Sakura clasped her hands to her ears, not wanting to hear anymore.
"Alright, alright! I'll admit I do get a little jealous sometimes, but that's just one question. How do you even know about those occasions when you weren't even there?" she screamed. Ino's smug expression appeared, placing her index finger to her lips as if she was hiding a secret.
"That will be something you'll never know forehead." Her smile was mischievous, and as much as Sakura didn't want to admit it, it scared the hell out of her. "About it only being one question: I bet you I can show you how all these answers will have a result to a perfect 18," Ino gambled. Sakura scoffed, laughing.
"Yeah, right. I don't like Naruto that way, Ino-pig," Sakura retorted, laughing at the mere thought.
"We'll see about that," Ino smirked. Sakura rolled her eyes and decided to just forget about this mess. She was not in the mood for such useless talk with Ino. she was really starting to get under her skin.
"Whatever, Pig. Now do you think I can spend my only day off stress free?" she asked, shoving the girl closer and closer to the front door.
"I'll show you forehead! Prepare to be amazed and fall in love!" Ino declared, causing Sakura to groan in annoyance. Sakura sighed in relief when she finally managed to shut the door behind the platinum blonde-haired kunoichi. Sakura locked her door, shaking her head in displeasure.
"I don't know what Ino's up to. I don't even know why she thinks I would want Naruto as a boyfriend. I mean, it's Naruto!" Sakura laughed. "Ino's trying to be annoying I guess." Sakura sat on the couch, grabbing the remote and turning on the television. After a while of flipping and seeing nothing good on, she fell into a deep slumber.
Ino still called out to Sakura in anger, but sighed, realizing she probably couldn't hear her now. She concentrated, muffled words being whispered as she walked throughout the village, plotting. She rubbed her aching head and grumbled out her annoyance. She stared towards her feet in thought, when she met a rather toned chest. She muttered incoherent curses, angered until she glanced up. Her face immediately brightened at the man in front of her.
"Shikamaru!" She exclaimed in glee. Shikamaru extended his arm, giving a small wave and an even smaller smile.
"Yo, Ino," he greeted. She glared at him, wondering if that was going to be his only response. He turned his face away from her stare, feeling embarrassed as his face heated along with Ino's.
"I have to tell you something," she merely said. Shikamaru sighed, hoping it wasn't what he thought it was.
"Don't tell me you dug up more gossip. How do you find out about those things, anyways?"
"Sorry, Shikamaru, but that is a secret," she told him with a smirk. She giggled. "Well, I might tell you some day, but for right now I need to talk to you about something important."
"Go for it." Shikamaru shrugged, his hands hidden in his pockets.
"Okay, well I went to Sakura's house today," Ino began, recalling the events at Sakura's apartment for Shikamaru.
"Wait, you used a test to find out you were wrong about Sasuke and that Sai guy?" he asked with a raised eyebrow. He wouldn't admit it, let alone show it, but it kind of hurt him. Ino pouted, making a cute face that was irresistible to Shikamaru.
"Do you really think I need a test to figure out my love for you?" she asked, caressing his cheek as she brought her fingertips down to his jaw.
"Women, always being so cryptic. Well, did you?" Ino scoffed, glaring.
"Of course not. I just said that so Sakura can take the test. I'm doing someone a favor," she proclaimed.
"Let me guess-"
"No, not Naruto," Ino interrupted. "He doesn't even know about it. I'm doing this because I just can't take seeing them both so clueless anymore. I don't see why anyone else didn't try anything to catalyze their relationship!" Ino called, her hands grasping her hips.
"Everyone else wants them to figure it out themselves," Shikamaru suggested. Ino groaned in anger and impatience.
"I can't wait that long! Do you know how long it would take for Forehead to realize what she's been missing, or how long for Naruto to finally admit he still loves her after all these years? You know he hasn't even been asking her out anymore, right?" Ino ranted. "Their relationship being anything more than friends won't survive unless I salvage it!" Ino explained. Shikamaru sighed, shaking his head.
"I get what you're trying to say, alright? Just, don't go overboard," he advised, his hand covering his forehead.
"Don't worry! With help, I'm sure things will go great." Ino smiled mischievously. Shikamaru frowned, already knowing where this was heading. She gave him those eyes once again, with that same pout he couldn't say no to.
"Fine," Shikamaru relented. He sighed at the girl's happiness. He knew Ino way too well, knowing what she wanted from him before she even had to say a word. She pulled out her hand for Shikamaru to grab. He smiled a bit, taking her hand into his. She had gone exceptionally close, walking off, all the while, a impish gleam sparkled in her eye. Shikamaru could already tell this was going to be troublesome.
Let the chaos ensue…
Author's Note: Edited on 12-17-2016 for grammar and spelling errors. The second chapter should be edited tomorrow. I hope everyone liked it, especially you, Merzen! Reviews are very much appreciated. Any questions or if there are grammar errors I missed, well, you should tell me. Bye until next time!