Disclaimer: Naruto is NOT mine :)
Tsunade sat in her office, brows furrowed. "Well...I guess this can't be helped." She murmured.
Sakura looked up from her work desk next to Tsunade, where she was currently studying some herb samples.
"Yes, Tsunade-sama?" Shizune rushed into the office, carrying a hand full of documents.
"Regarding that letter from Suna last week, I have decided on a mission, which involves Nara Shikamaru and... Yamanaka Ino. Shizune, please inform Nara; Sakura, inform Yamanaka, to report here in an hour's time. That's all."
It was an ordinary day at the Yamanaka flower shop.
20 year old Yamanaka Ino sat beside her flowers day-dreaming, lost in thoughts.
"INO!" a scream shocked the wits out of Ino.
Her head snapped up to face a pink-haired Sakura staring down at her, hands on hips.
"Wha-what was that about Sakura?!" Ino hastily got to her feet.
"Oops sorry 'bout that. Anyway, you're wanted at Tsunade's office in 45 minutes. Something about a mission..." Sakura's expression was thoughtful, when something suddenly crossed her mind. "OH! We so have to go shopping soon! Tenten and Neji's engagement party is just 3 days away and I realised I have nothing to wear! I'll call ya later! Gotta get that report done. Seeya." With that, Sakura dashed off, leaving Ino with an overload of information.
"A mission... I hope it doesn't clash with Tenten's engagement party." Ino thought. "Ah, I must look my best!" Ino mused, looking at her reflection in the glass panel, combing through her silky golden hair with her fingers.
Ino knocked on Tsunade's office door right on time and was greeted with Tsunade's firm and authoritative voice, "Enter!"
She entered the room, and the first thing she noticed was a figure slumped in one of the chairs in front of Tsunade's desk.
Ino immediately recognised Shikamaru but his spiky ponytail sticking out from the chair.
"Ah, Ino. Take a seat next to Nara. I have a mission concerning the both of you." Tsunade gestured towards the chair next to Shikamaru.
With that statement, Shikamaru raised a questioning eyebrow, but have not yet done anything to correct his posture. As far as his genius brain was concerned, it was a standardised rule that missions be carried out in at least 3 man teams.
Sensing that she held the couple's attention, Tsunade launched into giving a detailed explanation of the cause of this "special" mission.
"Last week, Konoha had received a letter from Suna," Tsunade paused, drawing a deep breath before continuing, "proposing an alliance in view of any unforeseen circumstances which the future might hold. The elders of Suna proposed alliance via inter-country marriage...between Suna's Temari; kazekage's sister, and an eligible shinobi from Konoha."
Without waiting for any sort of response, Tsunade hurried to continue. "Shikamaru has been chosen by the Suna elders as the groom, the marriage is to be held in Suna and you're required to live your married life in Suna." Tsunade jabbed her thumb in the direction of Shikamaru's shocked face.
"What!? Why the hell choose Shika?" Ino had a bewildered expression on her pretty face.
"Tsunade-sama please clarify..." Shikamaru's brows were knitted together and his fingers pinched the bridge of his nose.
Tsunade held up her hands, "Yes, I'm getting to the point."
"It looks like Suna is coveting after Konoha's top resident strategist and genius. If Shikamaru accepts the marriage proposal, he will have to work for Suna." Tsunade explained with a frown.
"Shikamaru is one of Konoha's prized possession and I would not allow for this marriage to seal the alliance...unless Shikamaru has any strong objections." Tsunade's piercing gaze held shikamaru's.
Ino slowly turned her gaze onto Shikamaru, who sat beside her with a contemplative look on his face. Shika can't possibly agree to this marriage, right?! We're only 20...
"So...what is this mission which can possibly get me out of this...predicament?" Shikamaru asked, while turning his head to exchange looks with Ino.
"The only way to reject this proposal and maintain an alliance...Shikamaru has to get married."
With his brain which can calculates 30 steps in advance, Shikamaru's eyes widened as realisation of Tsunade's intention hit him.
"What?! Tsunade-sama, how does that help the problem? What has my involvement got to do with anything?" Ino rambled on.
The next statement Tsunade made caused Ino to sputter and choke on simply just air, while Shikamaru slumped further down his chair, eyes tightly shut.
"Ino, you have to marry Shikamaru." Tsunade's voice seemed to boom in their ears.