Title: Flying Letters
Pairing: ShikamaruIno
Genre(s): Romance/General
Summary: "Paper airplanes make good letters!" "Letters?" "Yeah. Love letters."
Rating: PG-13. This is as innocent as it can get.
Word Count: 1235
Warning: Nooone!

First time trying this kind of layout. Sort of abstract, and different. Thoughts?

Beta'd by my dear xx. false - deception. (hearts)

Disclaimed.
read&review.


i.

Shikamaru thinks. He thinks, and thinks, and thinks.
He thinks, and he wonders why he's thinking. He's tired.

So, he stops thinking.

Shikamaru is four, and he's already getting lazy.

ii.

"What are you doing?" He peers sleepily at the blonde girl sitting beside him.

She grins as she folds a piece of paper.
"We never get co-ed classes, so I'm making it fun!"

She folds a paper airplane.

"Paper airplanes are troublesome," he tells her, yawning.

She pouts, and he thinks he can feel the wheels in his mind beginning to whir.

"No, they're not," she argues. "Paper airplanes make good letters!"
He thinks he catches something written within the folds.

"What did you write in it?"

She grins.

"A love letter."
Then, she pulls her arm back a little, and throws it across the room.

It hits Naruto right in the back of the head.

Shikamaru is five, and he realizes that if he stops thinking, he will be left behind.

iii.

He follows her, because there's nothing else better to do.

"Are you stalking me?" she asks curiously. He scowls.
"No. I'm bored."

"But, you're lazy. Don't you usually watch the clouds during recess?"

"I don't want to do that today."

She shrugs, and sits on a swing, a piece of paper in hand.

He scoffs. "Another paper airplane?"
"But they make good letters!"

"Good love letters, you mean?"

She gives him a look, and he feels smug. Good job, Shikamaru. Another girl hates you, now.

"I keep sending them," she says, folding the paper quite cheerfully,
"because I know that they'll reach the right person in the end."

He rolls his eyes. "So far, Naruto, Shino, Tenten, and Iruka-sensei received them."

She shoots him a glare.

She's only nine, he thinks. She knows nothing.

Those paper airplanes cause nothing but trouble.

So, he leaves to go cloud-gazing.

iv.

Shikamaru has never seen anyone cry.

He has never seen anyone cry, but, today, he sees Ino crying.

"S-Sasuke-kun left last night. I s-sent him a paper airplane, but it wasn't e-enough…"
She's a mess. Her eyes are red and puffy, voice shrill, and hair mussed.

So, he thinks. He thinks, and thinks, and thinks.

He's tired.
But he keeps on thinking.

"Let's write him another one," he suggests slowly.

She sniffs. "But I don't even know where he is."

And he thinks some more.
"The wind is smart enough to blow the clouds into my line of vision – it's smart enough to bring your paper airplane to Sasuke."

She smiles, very faintly, and he knows she believes him.

v.

He's lying on his usual roof, watching the clouds float by with a bag of BBQ chips sitting beside him.

He's almost about to fall asleep, until he senses something land near his head.

He turns.
A paper airplane?

He hears panting and quick footsteps, and sees Ino making her way to him. Her cheeks are flushed.

Cute.

"Do you think," she pauses, as if thinking, "that it reached the right person this time?"

He stares at her, and blinks.

He knows what she's telling him. He knows – he knows, he knows, he knows –
And he's afraid. But, afraid of what, he doesn't know.

This is a result of not thinking enough. He must think more.

"No," he tells her, sitting up and picking up her airplane.
He sees her neat scrawl inside, and is tempted to read it.
But he won't.

"Why don't you try again?"

Shikamaru is fifteen, and he resolves that he must play more shogi.

vi.

"I'm going out with someone," Ino announces one day at a Team Ten all-you-can-eat barbeque lunch.

Asuma seems to be the only one who shows interest.
"Really? Who?"

She grins proudly.

"Hyuuga Neji."

Shikamaru chokes on his soda, and even Chouji stops chewing for a moment.

"He must've bet something." Shikamaru waves a hand;
"There's no way that guy would go out with someone like you."

She glares at him, like she always does, and he feels that there's something right with the world again.

(He has recently realized that the world is constantly wrong.)

"And that's why you can't get a girl, Shikamaru!"

He doesn't pay much attention.
"Says the person who's liked me before."

She turns beet red, and he's satisfied.

At least, for now.

vii.

But, after five months, she and the Hyuuga are still going out.

Something is very wrong.

"Oi, Neji," he calls out when he sees him one day.
It's troublesome, but if he doesn't do it, he can't do anything else in peace.

The older shinobi nods at him, and approaches. "Shikamaru."

He stuffs his hands deeper into his pockets.

"You into Ino?"

The Hyuuga's eyebrow goes up. Not a good sign.
"I would've thought that was obvious."

It makes his blood boil, and he doesn't know why.

Ino doesn't belong to Neji. She doesn't, she doesn't, she doesn't –

"Are you saying I have competition?"
Neji smirks.

– because she belongs to him.

Shikamaru rolls his eyes.
"She can only wish."

As he walks away, Neji thinks,

He does not know the truth of his own words.

viii.

"You're just jealous because I have someone who loves me, and you don't!"

She's crying (again), he notes. So annoying.

"Having someone who loves me would only be troublesome," he responds lazily.
He's ready for a nap. He's ready to stop thinking.

She's angry. Those are angry tears.

Ino plus angry tears equals not good. That much, he can comprehend.

"Shikamaru, you're a moron."
She has paper in her hand. A crumpled piece of paper.

Not a paper airplane, as he had hoped.

There's no love letter for him.

"And you're loud." He clears his ear with a pinky. "Go on a date with your boyfriend."

Her bottom lip trembles.
"We broke up."

His world stops. In a good kind of way.

Because she belongs to him, to him, to him, and only to him –

"I'm surprised he even put up with you for that long."
He knows his words hurt her – hell, he's been her best friend since ever –
and they even hurt him

He doesn't let it show.

ix.

"You really hurt Ino's feelings, you know," Sakura tells him.

"Hn. Her feelings are annoying."
Shikamaru doesn't like being scolded about women. Let alone by a woman.

The medic scowls. "So are yours."
"What do you mean?"

"You're always being selfish and bending her to whatever you're feeling at the moment.

"If you like her, then you like her. God, and I thought you were smart."

He blinks, and his frown deepens.
Troublesome.

x.

He sits on a bench, and sighs.

He takes out a pen, and writes.

He stares at the paper, and folds.

He finds her near the academy, watching the children play.
He wonders if she's thinking about Sasuke. Or Neji.

Or him.

Hesitantly, he throws the paper airplane at her, and watches it glide to her feet.

Picking it up, she looks around, and finds him.
He approaches her. Slowly.

What a waste of time.

"Don't tell me it didn't reach the right person. I have an IQ of two hundred. I know I'm right."

She stares faintly at the airplane, then at him, looking all too hopeful.
Hope, he realizes, that he wants her to put in him.

"A love letter?"

Women are so fussy.

"What else are paper airplanes for?"


A/N: I don't have anything against ShikaTema, but if they were together, I wouldn't know who to pair Ino with, really. And I value Ino more than Temari.

So. I deleted my last ShikaIno, 'cause it was yucky. Thoughts on this one? (Hopefully, I improved from when I posted my last oneshot with this pairing.)