Title: This Fall
Author:
Bullwinkle's Lady
Rating:
PG ( K+ )
Challenge:
Falling for You
Pairing:
ShikaHina

We ask that you PLEASE refrain from reviewing this story here. If you would like to do so, the original is posted right here on ff. net in Bullwinkle's Lady's (aka, Amused-Death on DA) personal profile.

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They lay on the yellowing grass a few feet from each other. It was a cool day, chill, not harshly, but comfortably so. The air was fresh, and Shikamaru sighed, folding his arms behind his head.

The two were showered in gray petals of the dying cherry blossoms above them. The corner of his mouth twitched as he watched one drop to Hinata's lips. The heiress smiled slightly then blew it away.

"This is troublesome," he mentioned, and stared up at the sky. He found himself slightly peeved his sight of the clouds was obstructed by branches.

"Let's make it simple," Hinata murmured. Her face was pale, but cheeks slightly flushed. "I'm not cold," she mentioned, before he could ask.

"I didn't ask," the Nara drawled, turning away from her. He closed his eyes and wondered how she could embarrass him so easily.

"What kind of flowers?" Hinata inquired, turning back to the subject at hand, which consequently caused his stomach to clench. "Lilies or roses?"

"Does it matter?" he groused. "Roses."

"Blue roses..." the Hyuuga said thoughtfully.

Shikamaru felt compelled to throw her an odd look, but opted not to. "Do those exist?"

He knew she was blushing. He didn't know why, but knew. "It doesn't matter," she mentioned shyly. "We're keeping this simple."

"Doesn't that bother you?"

"Who will attend?" Hinata again ignored his remark.

Shikamaru turned onto his back again. He ended up closer to Hinata, and didn't know why. "Immediate relatives," he mentioned softly. "Closest friends."

There was a pause, in which the Nara clenched his jaw, more in apprehension than frustration.

"Good."

He blinked, slightly surprised she had agreed. "What?"

"I like that idea."

Shikamaru silently thanks the gods Hyuuga Hinata wasn't Yamanaka Ino.

"Spring or summer?" she murmured, turning to her side to face him. Shikamaru felt her watching him, but didn't look back. He imagined he felt the warmth of her breath pressing his neck.

It was a calm, collected, conversation. Too calm, actually.

Collected, but it made his head pound, vision blur, chest ache, and throat weak. It made him take deeper breaths than he would if he was alone, lazily cloud-gazing.

He closed his eyes, amending all appearances of anxiety. "Fall." He peeked at her through narrowed eyes.

The heiress blinked. "Next fall?" she said, deflating slightly.

"This fall."

Another pause, in which the kunoichi abruptly sat up, throwing leaves off and around her. "Wh-what?"

Alas, that cute little stammer. "This fall," the Nara repeated.

Her eyes were wide, her face pink. It made his heart hammer against his chest.

"Sure," she mentioned, breathless, her voice like a wispy breeze.

"Alright," Shikamaru muttered, if only to trigger a second affirmation.

"But that doesn't leave us much time," mentioned Hinata, nipping her lip and smiling slightly.

"No stress," Shikamaru's left arm returned to the back of his head. "You promi-mm..."

He'd let his fiancé bother him, just that once, as he pulled his free hand through her hair and kissed her back, in that pile of petals.