ShikaIno oneshot :P
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto…
He didn't know why he was worried.
He didn't know why his stomach felt like it was turning upside down with each passing second. Over and over again.
He didn't know why his mind was hectic.
Was it because of the very dark sky and horrid blustery weather?
Was it because everyone seemed so dull today?
…Or was it…
The said man turned his head to look at his long time best friend, blinking lazily. "Hm?"
"You okay?" The chubby man asked, his eyebrows creasing in worry. "You seem out of it."
The dark eyed shinobi shrugged so lightly it almost went unnoticed. "Something's off, I can feel it." He mumbled, glancing at the dark sky becoming darker and darker. He frowned. "I don't like the feeling." He muttered, sighing darkly.
Chouji gave him a half hearted smile. "Yeah, I can feel it too." He put a hand to his heart and frowned. "It might have something to do with Ino." He murmured, his eyes narrowing in compassion for the girl who seemed so falsely happy the day before.
His dark haired best friend raised an eyebrow. "What about her?"
Chouji jumped lightly, quirking a brow at him. "I thought you'd know why. This was supposed to be a get together with the team…" His voice dropped lightly and he looked down. "…or at least… what's left of it…" He finished quietly, clenching the area on his chest where his heart was.
It was silent for a few seconds and Chouji breathed out loudly, shaking his head at his best friend. "I'm sure you've noticed she hasn't shown up. She should have been here an hour ago."
Shikamaru shrugged again. "Yeah, I know. But knowing Ino, she might have just thought we weren't going to have that small get together because of the weather." He stated rather bluntly, pointing unsubtly to the dark sky.
Chouji's eyes narrowed. "Well if you know Ino, you should know just as well as me that she is the most fragile in the group and would not hesitate to pick any moment to have comfort. She…" He bit his bottom lip hard. "She's just as devastated as we are about Asuma's death."
Shikamaru suddenly felt nauseous as his teacher's name was mentioned and he swallowed hard, gazing out of the window as the lightning flashed, soon followed by a loud and terrifying crackling of thunder.
"I have to go." He muttered, standing up quietly from his seat.
Chouji looked at him in surprise. "Hey! Wait! What if she shows up!?" He called back, staring worriedly at the man almost out of the door.
"Tell her I had stuff to do." He heard the dark haired man call back.
Chouji sighed, watching as his friend walked away from the restaurant with his hands in his pockets, his eyes narrowing as rain started to pour down hard. Thick droplets crashed on the ground and soon, a river of see-through liquid cascaded down the pavement.
Chouji didn't like the bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.
The chunnin male stood in front of his strangely missing team mate's house, an umbrella in hand, examining the building through the water cascading down. He sighed before taking a few steps forward, raising an eyebrow as he noticed the house seemed so much gloomier and dull then usual.
Sure, there was a storm going on right now, but still…
His frown deepened and he started walking again.
He stared in shock as the wind carried away his umbrella, water pouring down freely on the chunnin. Shikamaru ran towards the house, slamming the door open and quickly making his way in, muttering an irritated 'troublesome' before looking around the quiet house.
Entering a house without permission was rude of him, but he knew Inoichi and his wife would understand.
…If they were here, that is.
He frowned and inspected the area suspiciously, wondering if her parents were gone, at the flower shop or simply hidden somewhere in the house. He took of his shoes and shook the water from his head, heading towards the stairs. He was still looking around cautiously. "Ino?" He called loudly enough so she could hear him from another room.
He received no response.
"Oi, Ino?" He called louder this time, stopping at the end of the stairs to look around the hallway.
There was still no reply.
Shikamaru sighed and ran a hand through his wet hair, grumbling a few things under his breath before a sniffling sound caught his attention.
"Ino?" He questioned quietly, approaching the room where the sound came from.
His hand had barely touched the doorknob as he heard a small whimper. He hesitated for a moment before opening the door gently, his head appearing at the doorway as he peaked in subtly.
The room was dark and barely any light came in seeing as the curtains of the window were closed. The darkness of the sky didn't help either. He took a quiet step forward, his mouth parting to speak. "…Ino?" He called softly, quietly.
The covers moved lightly as he heard a small gasp of surprise and he guessed she was buried somewhere within them. He took a careful look around, stepping in fully and slowly making his way to her bed.
The usually neat room was a complete mess.
Clothes everywhere, Kleenex covering the floor and covers, make-up thrashed all over the place, bed undone, curtains closed, picture books scattered all over the floor…
"Sh-Shika…maru?" He heard her hiccup, her dishevelled head appearing from under the covers. Her eyes were red and puffy, glimmering with heartbreak and pain, and her hair was down and messy, looking duller then what he'd seen her look like recently. Black pouches were beginning to form under her eyes and Shikamaru wondered if she had gotten any sleep lately.
Her eyes watered immensely and she bit back her tears. "W-What are you doing here?" She stammered, sniffing lightly.
He frowned. "You didn't show up."
Her eyes widen lightly. "O-Oh. I'm… I'm sorry… I… forgot." She murmured, wiping away the tears forming in her eyes.
A choked breath interrupted him and he watched, stunned and worried about the blonde girl whom was trying not to cry. "It's so hard…" She choked out, wiping away the tears beginning to stream down. "So hard…"
His eyes softened and he sighed quietly, approaching the girl. "It's going to be alright, Ino." He said, smiling lightly as he put a hand on her shoulder.
The next thing he knew, her arms were around his torso tightly, and she was crying. Hard.
"Shika—maru!" She choked, tightening her arms around him.
"Ino…" He whispered, pink slightly visible on his cheeks as he stared compassionately at the girl clinging to him for dear life and comfort she so desperately wanted.
"I can't take it… I can't pretend anymore… It hurts Shikamaru… It hurts so much…" She whimpered in his shirt, her voice slightly muffled.
Shikamaru's eyes softened and he gently wrapped his arms around her for what he hoped was a comforting hug.
She gripped harder.
He glanced in the direction of the sleeping kunoichi, sighing as he saw she was still fast asleep. It had been a while she fell silent. She had cried until she grew tired and fell sound asleep against him.
He shook his head lightly before carefully picking her up, trying hard not to blush as she sighed quietly and buried her head in his chest. He put her down on the bed as gently as possible, almost smiling as she whined for the loss of warmth. He started covering her quivering form before stopping momentarily as he saw her stir. Her baby blue orbs revealed themselves as she blinked sleepily at him, her lips pursing lightly.
"…Shikamaru?" She mumbled sleepily, rubbing her red, puffy eyes.
"You should rest." He replied lowly, staring at her in concern for a few seconds before he turned and prepared to leave.
But as he was about to walk forward towards the door, she gripped his wrist. "Don't go." She pleaded, swallowing hard as he turned and quirked a brow. "I don't want to be alone. I don't like it." She finished quietly, sadly.
"Aren't your parents here?"
She narrowed her eyes and shook her head dejectedly. "Not until tomorrow night."
He sighed, running a hand through his hair. "Troublesome… Can't you call Sakura or something? She'll come." He muttered, looking away from her.
"What? You don't care enough to stay?" She spat out, tears starting to form once again. "Yes, I could call her but I'm sure she wouldn't be able to come! She's been crazy busy with the hospital lately." She harshly said, glaring at him. "You'd rather just watch clouds, right? You wouldn't want to take care of me."
Her angry baby blue orbs stared right through him.
He sighed desperately. "Troublesome woman, it's not like that."
"Well it sure seems like it!" She retorted, her eyes firing up in hurt and anger.
He shook his head. "Fine. I'll stay." He muttered, his eyebrows twitching in annoyance.
The thunder was roaring outside, lightening flashing every few seconds. A young girl shuddered as a particularly loud thunder cracked and she whimpered lightly, burying her head in her pillow that she held tightly against her chest. Shikamaru raised an eyebrow as his team mate's non-shinobi like actions. "There's no need to be scared." He remarked, shaking his head lightly.
"Shut up!" She retorted, blushing lightly. "I never liked them. They're just… scary."
He smirked. "Hmm…"
A short silence settled and Ino shifted, sighing longingly as she leaned against her bedposts. "I miss him, Shika…"
He stared, nodding lightly. "Yeah, me too."
"It's… It's so hard to believe he's gone…" She whispered, her voice shaking lightly. "It seems like it was just yesterday when he… when he became our teacher…" She sniffed lightly, murmuring a curse as she wiped her tears. Shikamaru frowned. "It seems just like yesterday when he—"
Shikamaru cut her off as he put a hand on her shoulder. "Don't speak if you know it's gonna make you cry."
She hiccupped lightly. "But don't people say that crying makes us feel better?" She whimpered almost inaudibly, wiping her tears away.
Shikamaru hesitated before he nodded. "Yes."
"Ino, I don't like seeing you cry." He sighed, cutting her off once again.
She didn't mind, for once. Instead, she smiled at him. "I'll try not to." She giggled.
He managed to smile back a little, but it was barely visible in the darkness.
He heard her sigh and his dark eyes caught sight of her body moving into the covers, snuggling up into them. "Aren't you cold?"
A loud wind bristled and the thunder cracked again, surprising him lightly. But at last, he shook his head. "No, I'm fine."
"Thank you Shika…" He heard her murmur after a while.
He raised a brow. "For what?"
She smiled into the darkness, and it went unnoticed by the man. "…For staying with me tonight."
He stared at her through the darkness, squinting to see better, only managing to see her slightly. The room was very dark after all.
"Didn't give me much of a choice…" He muttered more to himself than to her.
There was no response, and he found himself staring at her sleeping form. "…But I don't mind."
The thunder roared terrifyingly outside, awaking a drowsy Shikamaru sitting near the window. He groaned and let his eyes flutter shut again, hoping he would fall back asleep but the thunder roared again, awaking him fully. He let out a small scoff and rubbed his eyes groggily, yawning lightly as he gazed out to the blustery storm. His eyes were half lidded seeing as he wasn't interested in those dark, menacing clouds.
The white fluffy ones were always better.
A small whimper caught his attention and he quickly turned his head to look at the girl in the bed, frowning deeply at her flushed face and sweaty forehead. She whimpered once again, shifting lightly in her bed, her hands gripping the warm covers tightly.
He stood up from his chair, approaching her slowly, his frown deepening at each step he took. As he was beside the bed, he stared at her flushed face, hesitating before putting a hand to her forehead. His hand jerked away and his eyes widen at the hotness. She was burning. A high fever, there was no doubt about that.
He clenched his teeth. "Kuso…"
She let out a small cry, her hands reaching out for something, which turned out to be his hands. She gripped his hands so tightly that he was taken aback at such a strong hold. Her eyes opened lightly, dazed and frightened, although Shikamaru was sure she was not actually awake.
A chubby man was standing outside his blonde team mate's house, frowning deeply. The house didn't seem to be animated, he noticed. It seemed empty, in fact. But the fact that Shikamaru's mom told him he was at her house to check up on her was all that Chouji needed to be proved that the house was not empty.
Chouji wondered why Shikamaru hadn't told him that the thing he was going to do was taking care of Ino.
…Then again maybe it wasn't what he was supposed to do.
Maybe the same thing happened to Shikamaru.
…maybe Shikamaru's instincts led him here. His instincts that told him he was needed.
Shikamaru was needed.
…But Chouji wasn't needed.
And he walked away, smiling to himself.
Shikamaru never liked being the one to take care of someone ill or sick.
He wouldn't mind leading a team, he wouldn't mind making plans, he wouldn't mind going on missions everyday, and he wouldn't mind taking care of a small genin team.
….but the one thing he couldn't do was taking care of someone sick.
It's not that he didn't know what to do…
…he just hated having to see someone he cares about being so sick and vulnerable. She was entirely at his responsibility. Her protection and her life were in his hands.
He frowned and sighed, putting a fresh, damp rag on her forehead, his frown deepening at her small whimper.
She was having nightmares, he knew.
She'd sprung up about five times in the last hour, crying out Asuma's name.
…And then her eyes would flutter closed and she would faint, falling into deep slumber once again. Into that slumber that would make her dream a bad dream.
A deep slumber that would make him worried once again.
He was snapped back to reality as a soft, shaking hand gripped his and he looked down sharply, met by baby blue orbs containing pure fatigue and fright. She shook so intensely that it made him ponder about whether to call a doctor or not. Like Sakura or something.
…Sakura could probably cure her right away.
"S-Shikamaru…" The fevered girl stammered, her eyelids dropping lightly.
"Rest." He responded, taking the rag off her forehead to damp it back in a small bowl containing cold water. He squeezed most of the water out before putting it back to her forehead, earning him a small gasp.
"It's so c-cold…"
"Don't waste your breath on me. Just sleep." He whispered to her, frowning as her grip loosened.
She smiled lightly, her eyelids closing slowly. "You should too… Shika…maru…" She whispered, closing her eyes completely.
"Sakura-san?" A nurse called softly, approaching the girl.
"Yes?" She answered gently, glancing up at the nurse as she finished bandaging her patient's arm.
"A phone call for you." The nurse smiled politely.
Sakura frowned and raised and eyebrow. "Is it important?"
Sakura frowned once again and hesitated before nodding. "'Kay… well take care of this patient for me, will you?"
The nurse nodded and smiled. "Of course."
"Mmhmm. Yeah. Sure. Yeah. Ja." Shikamaru sighed as he put the receiver down, glancing at the girl who had just awaken moments ago, looking pale and fragile. Shikamaru had grown worried and couldn't handle it anymore. He called Sakura.
Shikamaru nodded, sitting back on the chair near the bed. "She says she'll be here soon."
He shrugged, grunting lightly in response.
A silence took place as he eyed her, staring at her with an expression that resembled concern. She stared back for a while before straying her eyes away from his form, a sigh escaping her lips.
He kept on eying her.
"…How are you feeling?"
Surprised by his sudden quiet tone, she met his eyes again, blinking a few times before parting her mouth. "…Not too good." She answered back, her voice almost hesitant.
He nodded slowly and at that moment, there was a knock on the door.
"Ohayou! It's me!"
Shikamaru was staring at the door with questioning eyes. "Sakura?"
"Well, duh!" The girl laughed on the other side. "Can I come in?"
The door burst open, revealing a cheery, pink haired girl. "Hey!" She chirped, half running towards them. "How's it going?"
Shikamaru raised a brow and sighed. "Sakura, I called you to check up on Ino. How do you think we're doing?"
"Well, you're not sick." Sakura rolled her eyes. "You are fine."
He shrugged and sighed. "I guess."
"What does that mean?" Sakura queried, looking at him strangely.
"He's tired." Ino cut in quietly, coughing glibly.
"I'm not." Shikamaru retorted back calmly and defensively.
"You are Shika. You stayed up all night to watch over me and you didn't sleep much. Plus, after… after what has been happening lately…" She paused, closing her eyes and biting her lip. She took a deep breath before continuing. "After Asuma died… I don't think any of us has slept very well lately."
Much to their surprise, Shikamaru sighed irritably. "I slept fine. I'm not tired."
Ino stared at him, her baby blue orbs shining with hurt and confusion. She battered lightly, her breath hitching for a moment. "It… it didn't… keep you from sleeping?" She murmured, upset.
His eyes widen lightly, realising this is not what he meant. She—
"…It didn't affect you?" She whimpered, burying her nose in her covers as she hiccupped.
"Get out!" She snapped.
"GET OUT!" She finally shouted, a broken sob escaping her lips.
Shikamaru stood firm, his feet firmly planted on her wooden floor. "No." He quietly answered.
"GET OUT!" She screamed again, throwing him a pillow.
"No." He repeated, his voice just as soft as it had been a few seconds ago.
"GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT!" She repeated, her voice breaking each time she screamed the words.
Sakura wasn't sure what to do as she stared at the bickering pair. She wasn't even quite sure she should do something. She raised a hand to her heart, breathing in sharply as she saw Shikamaru walking towards the blonde slowly, almost in a trance.
"GET THE FUCK OUT!" The blonde screamed, launching her fist towards him as he was near enough.
A small shocked sound escaped the pink haired kunoichi's lips as Shikamaru caught the fist with ease, his other hand sliding to her forearm. She watched as the blonde struggled, screaming and shouting indecent words, trying to free herself from his firm grip. "GET OUT!" She screamed one last time, her voice broken and whimpering.
A choked gasp escaped Ino's lips as she felt herself being pulled towards him, her nose now buried in his shirt. His arms were wrapped tightly around her small, shivering figure, holding her protectively and soothingly against himself. She felt his nose brushing against her cheek, making her blush hotly. He breathed silently against her ear, almost mistaken as an exasperated sigh. "Ino…"
Her breath hitched, and she was not quite sure what to do or what to say.
"I lied." He breathed quietly.
Even if he didn't say what he lied about, she just knew.
Of course he had been devastated by Asuma's death. Of course he spent sleepless nights ever since his teacher's death. Of course he mourned over him. Of course.
Damnit! Shikamaru was just as close to Asuma as Chouji and herself were! She should've thought about that.
She fluttered her eyes a couple times, breathing in quickly as she felt something warm running down her own cheek. But…
…but she wasn't the one crying.
She tried to shift her head to look at him, to comfirm her thoughts, but his hold had tightened around her, making it impossible for her to even turn her head slightly. He pulled her even closer, holding her as tightly as possible, like a child looking for comfort. His head was now buried in the crook of her neck and he was almost clinging to her now, like his life depended on her.
"Ino…" He breathed, his voice almost broken.
"Shika… Shikamaru…" She murmured, her voice tentative and soft.
She almost caught her breath at that moment.
It's not that she never heard him apologize. No, no. She'd heard him plenty of times. Okay, so maybe he was a little lazy when he would apologize, but it was a truthful apology nonetheless.
It may be because of the fact he was apologizing so emotionally. So openly. So brokenly.
Or maybe something else.
She didn't really know.
Ino's eyebrows creased in disbelief. "What?"
"You're fine." Sakura repeated, gathering her equipment as she prepared to leave. "You're not sick, you don't have a disease of some sort. You don't have any problems."
"Maybe a little exhaustion would be the cause, but I don't think so." The pinkette glanced at the boy unconscious on the blonde's bed, sleeping like a poor exhausted child. She gazed back at Ino. "I think it's more because of…" She cringed lightly, "…Asuma's death."
Ino's face dropped into a blank look, and Sakura sighed sadly. She closed her small bag before quietly sitting down next to Ino, looking at her in concern. "I think it's more because of the exhaustion you're feeling inside." Sakura put a hand on her heart to emphasise. "Your emotions are such a wreck and you're not feeling too well lately because of all of this turmoil going around in your head and your heart. This might have caused a fever."
Ino was staring blankly at the floor, a look that almost scared the pinkette. She brushed a lock of blonde out of her best friend's face, and she smiled encourgaginly. "Just get some rest. You, Shikamaru and Chouji should keep company. Comfort yourselves." She stole one last glance to the sleeping boy. "Especially you and Shikamaru. He needs you too, you know?"
If Ino had heard, she didn't show it. Her eyes stayed as blank as they were, and they never strayed from the floor. But instead of frowning, of any sad reaction of the sort, she smiled.
…because she knew Ino heard her.
The blonde was not reacting, but Sakura just knew it.
"Get plenty of rest. Both of you." Sakura whispered softly, smiling one last time before she stood up and walked over to the small wooden desk, picking up her bag and slinging it on her shoulder. She beamed encouragingly, swiftly turning on her heel, and walked out.
A long silence settled, and nothing was moving. The click of the door had been the only sound for a while, until finally, a shuffling of sheets resounded lightly in the room. The sound reached Ino's ears, and she was snapped out of her melancholic daze, her head snapping behind her curiously.
She could only stare at the scene that met her.
Dark, smooth hair ruffled messily on one of her pillow, almost pulled out of his natural pineapple shaped ponytail. His dark chocolate orbs were hidden under softly closed eyelids, making her unable to stare into those dull orbs that soothed her, in a weird and unexpected way. His thin lips were slightly parted, shallow and soft breaths escaping them as he breathed at a steady pattern. His chest was heaving up and down slowly, shifting the sheets at each of his soft and quiet breath, and she had to resist the temptating of lying at his side and burying her head in his chest.
And then his hands.
His calloused hands.
One of them was laying somewhere close to his stomach, resting lazily and carelessly. But his other was sprawled across, pointing at her direction. His palm was exposed to her, seeing as his hand was open, the tip of his long and calloused fingers bended lightly. His skin looked pale, but also looked warm and soft.
She turned around completely to face him, careful not to move too fast or too loudly.
She didn't want to wake him up.
She hesitated before reaching out as well, her fingertips brushing his almost fearfully. The feeling of his soft skin on hers was nice. And so she continued to caress his hand, a slight giggle escaping her thin lips as he shifted and sighed.
She laid down on her bed, never latching her eyes away from his perfect, peaceful face. She resisted the enticement to reach out and stroke his face. She resisted everything she suddenly felt she should do.
Besides one thing.
She lied her head on the pillow his was on and she smiled, looking at him softly and entrancingly. Ino wrapped her arms around his torso, holding him tightly as she closed her eyes.
She was already asleep within a few minutes in presence of his warmth, scent and comfort.
He wasn't quite sure why his body was buzzing, or why his left arm was numb. He wasn't quite sure why something warm was whirling in his stomach, fluttering inside and making him feel hazy – in the good way. He didn't quite know why his body physically felt very warm, or why he felt a sort of heat radiating on his skin. Or why a hot blow of air washed on him every few seconds.
But he knew as soon as he opened his eyes.
And everything in his genius mind just froze.
She was looking rather beautiful (not that she never did - she always did) as she slept, her head pillowed on his left arm, her petite and fragile arms wrapped loosely around his torso. She was breathing in and out evenly, her shallow exhales blowing on his skin each time. He stare, utterly flabbergasted and embarrassed. Pink cheeks were slowly turning to red.
He started to relax after a while, starting to actually enjoy the fact he had woken up with Ino sleeping beside him. Almost against him.
But then reality hit him, and he remembered he had training with Chouji this morning.
'Kuso…' he cursed into his mind, trying to slip himself out of bed as quietly and as carefully as possible. She whined a little, making him flinch, but he relaxed as she simply shifted on her other side and snuggled in the warm covers.
He quickly and quietly trotted to the door, glancing behind him one last time. And then he found himself staring at her sleeping form. She hadn't woken up.
He turned again.
"Are you going?" A soft, quiet voice questioned.
He flinched, his back tensing intensely. "…"
A shuffling of sheets reached his ears and he slowly turned, met by a blonde blur launching at him. He froze for what seemed like the umpteenth time this morning.
"Have a good day, Shika. And thank you for staying." She whispered softly, burying her head in his chest.
He pulled her away, opening his mouth to speak, but he was cut off again by something warm pressed against his lips. His eyes nearly bulged out of his sockets and he flushed a deep red color. His heart had stopped beating and he couldn't breathe anymore.
The kiss lasted a few more seconds, but he was too shocked to respond. "Good luck!" She chirped, smiling brightly.
He was silent for a few seconds, his shocked eyes faltering back to his usual flat gaze. Her smile vanished as he looked down at her, something dark shining in his eyes. She opened her mouth to apologize, but she hitched her breath when a handsome smirk grazed his lips.
"I'm not going anywhere." She heard him mumble.
The next thing she knew, she was pulled against him and his lips were on top of hers.
…She never took Shikamaru as a man who took control in those sort of things.
Lol. I've had this in mind for a while… I don't really know if its good and I don't really care, to be frank. I just had to get that out of my system. xD
All you ShikaIno fans, I hope you enjoyed!
P.s. Before people can start questioning or correcting about having a fever when having an emotional breakdown, I'm telling you now that this is what an emotional breakdown can do to me. It can get me a high fever, only I'm not actually sick. It kinda disapears after the breakdown is done. Weird eh?