I got this idea from the LJ Community. I'm low on plot bunnies at the moment but while I was browsing through someones page, they said that they had a plot bunny up for adoption. It was originally a Hermione X Draco AU but I thought it would be much better as a ShikaTema. Credit to whoever came up with it for the idea. I've browsed around LJ, looking for your page but I can't find it! If you ever read this, let me know so I can credit you ^_^ I won't be following along the exact lines of the plot bunny but it'll be close enough! Thanks for reading :]
5 Dresses to Undo Shikamaru
Another day in the office. The beeping of the fax machine, the clicking of the mouse, the fingers pressing on grime covered keyboards and the slow sips of coffee. The SunaKonoha collaboration committee are working around the clock, trying to keep their ties strong and import whatever necessities there may be. The employees range from clumsy nineteen year olds, finally having found a job as the lunch deliverers to the old age-near retirement who are sick of the job. In the middle of these groups are the rising stars, usually around twenty three to twenty seven.
I hate this job. Time goes by agonisingly slow, always the same thing over and over again. It's my first day working with the collaboration committee. I'm usually downstairs dealing with deliveries and numbers. Not now though. The boss decided that my "talent" was being "wasted." Tcch.. Troublesome Tsunade. That's why I'm here, bored out of my mind while waiting for a fax to come through with the latest readings and surveys from all over the city. Picking up a stapler, I fold some of the sheets in front of me and stick them together to make sure they don't disappear on me again.
"There's a fax for you Shikamaru," says Ino, her long blond hair sweeping down towards the middle of her back. She's wearing her usual work clothes; a black pencil skirt with a white blouse that has one small tuft in the middle. Her eyes are shining bright blue and the clicking of her heels slowly fades as she returns to her own work station.
"Thanks," I call after her, not sure if she heard me. It doesn't matter anyway. She knows me well enough to know that I would have said it if she waited around any longer. Over in the corner is Akimichi Chouji, my best friend and co-worker in this godforsaken place. I pass him on the way up to the fax machine and raise my hand in greeting.
"Asuma wants to see you Shikamaru," says Chouji, smiling brightly and refering to my supervisor. Typical. That man can't let me work in peace for more than a few hours. I just want to go home and go to bed...
"Yeah, I got his memo this morning. Said something about the latest figures." Chouji nods; he probably already knew that anyway. Once I arrive at the fax machine, I see that this isn't the document I've been waiting for. In fact, it has nothing to do with my sector. Just as I was beginning to read it, a smooth hand covers the sheet of paper with perfectly manicured nails, each painted a light cream. Upon further inspection, I see a small scar running from the back of the palm to the index finger. Abruptly, I look up to see a pair of teal eyes staring at me, one eyebrow raised in question and a slightly crooked smirk.
"That's mine," she says and her voice is lower than I expected. Her hair is blond, not like Ino's though. It's more sandy, more rugged. Her skin is darker than mine and I can tell immediately that she doesn't work for the Konoha side of the collaboration. She's clearly from Suna. I hand over the document to her with a blank expression on my face, not knowing what to say. Before I can think of a coherent thought, she folds the document and walks away, hips swaying ever so slightly. She's pretty. Not the stunning bleach blond that is Ino but more earthy and wild. Her hair is tied in four ponytails at the back of her head.
As she walks across the large room to a work station I can make out what she's wearing. A forest green dress. One that matches the walls of my bedroom in my apartment. A deep shade of green that can usually be found on trees or maybe in a meadow. Thinking about the colour, I see the clouds on a bright and breezy day, lying on the grass with my hands behind my head.. If only. The dress is a V-cut, dipping into her chest but suitable enough to wear to work. It doesn't reveal much but it's not hermit-like either. Just perfect. Judging by the light, the fabric is silk chiffon. I imagine it would feel like liquid if I run my hand over it but that would be inappropriate. A sweet but unsentimental party dress. The silk chiffon floats beautifully as she walks and drapes over her figure in a flattering way. There's a matching forest green sash around her waste, just under her breasts to keep the dress in place and is ruffled in a messy way but it makes it look all the more form fitting.
There's something about her that I don't like. She has this "Don't mess with me" vibe going on and that spells out troublesome in big, bold, capital letters. That's the last thing I need. As I stand there like a fool, Kiba, another colleague of mine/drinking buddy passes by me.
"Look sharp Shikamaru," he says, patting me on the back. It's enough to wake me up out of my small little brain fart. I laugh nervously, glancing at him. He walks away grinning with a stack of papers in his hands and when I turn back to review the dress, the Suna woman is gone. I suppose this is for the best. I need to get back to work anyway..
Ugh... Terrible hangover. Stupid Kiba, dragging me out and turning my usual sober self into something of an animal. I feel like death at the moment. Whoever's clicking that mouse really loudly is going to have to suffer through my groans and mumbles of complaint.. Why is the room spinning?
"Jeez Shikamaru.. You don't look so good," says Sakura in her usual cheery voice. Why does it sound like someone is scraping a black board with their nails. Need... Sleep. The only response she receives from me is a groan. She rolls her eyes before walking away. I didn't see her do it though because my head is face down on my desk but I felt it. Almost like an evil glare.
Kiba (the lucky bastard) has no work today. He works during Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. I have to work throughout the week.. The weekend is my freedom. Need... Coffee... Or maybe a toilet? I need to get this alcohol out of my system. Thankfully, Tsunade's office is on the top floor and she rarely does inspections. She usually sends Shizune, her assistant to do it but I didn't see her car drive in this morning and I usually do. Maybe she's as stupid as I am and got drunk on a work night.. I doubt it.
That's when I see her.
As I take a sip of my scalding coffee (with no milk), she walks past my desk, this time clad in a jet black dress. It's sexy and mysterious yet sophisticated and elegant. It reaches just above her knees, swaying slightly as she moves. Small pleats adorn the end of the dress and the sash beneath the low V-cut is encrusted with rhinestone. Her hair is the same as it was yesterday but with black and white ties. Finally, I see the back as she moves towards Chouji's desk, asking him for some sort of e-mail she's been waiting for. While she's busy looking at his computer screen, I can see that the back is as low cut as the front, if not lower. It reaches the end of her creamy back, curving off a little to meet the pleated skirt.
She thanks Chouji with a small smile and makes her way back to the work station she was at yesterday. She seems preoccupied, like she's missing something but she doesn't know what it is yet. She looks around the room slowly, eyes resting on each face for a moment or two until she sees me staring at her. Instead of looking away like a normal person would do, she raises a tender eyebrow in question as though asking, "can I help you?" in that low voice of hers. I want to hear her speak again.. This time, more than two words.. But not now. My head is too sore. I look away after a minute, deciding then and there that I should really get back to work..
Ow. My head is killing me. I feel worse than death. Before I can go back to typing on my keyboard, I see the same hand that took the document from me yesterday afternoon. The same jagged scar on the back of her palm. It's not off putting which is unusual. It's so small that it's hardly noticeable. She doesn't try to hide it and that's admirable.
She has something in her hand and I find my eyes following it as she places two small oval shaped tablets on my desk with in graved markings on the front.
Aspirin. Oh thank Kami.
I look up just in time to see her walk away, hips swaying that much more than usual. Even though she has already turned around the corner and is gone from view, I find myself staring at where she was a few moments ago.
"Thanks," I say to no one in particular, earning a curious glance from Chouji. He doesn't ask though and I'm thankful for that. I don't think I can form more than two words without vomiting all over the carpet beneath my feet.
With my hangover completely gone I walk into work in my usual stride, hands buried in my pockets as my hair bounces up and down in the confinements of my ponytail. For some reason, I feel fresh. Almost as if I had taken a month off of work and had been relaxing since. As it is, I haven't taken a month of work and relaxation is null and void at this time in my life. For a twenty three year old single male, you'd expect life to be kind. Instead, it's troublesome.
I press the little red button at the side of elevators doors and wait for the nausea bringer to descend. I hate elevators, but it beats walking up seven flights of stairs. I step inside and notice that it's empty. At least now I have my personal space. My hands remain in my pockets and as the doors are closing, a slender hand pushes its way through causing me to jump slightly and the elevators doors to reopen. In steps the same woman from yesterday, clutching some documents to her chest with one hand and small briefcase in the other. She smiles politely at me as she takes a stand to my left. I open my mouth to say something but promptly shut it. Knowing me, I'd probably make some farm animal sound if I spoke and that isn't an option in present company. Instead, she speaks for me.
"It's lovely weather we're getting," she says, looking at me with mild interest as though regarding me as a client and not a colleague. No one ever said that the collaboration was a good thing. Not many people warm up to employees from a different company. It's easy to tell that she doesn't like small talk and that just confuses me more. If she was so uncomfortable with it, why did she start some?
"Yeah," I say, not knowing what else I should say. She's a stranger and all the people I talk to, I've known for over a decade. I've never tried to make friends. They always seemed to find me instead. I watch her for a second, to see if she has anything else to say. That's when I notice she's wearing a skin tight powder blue dress. There are no straps, only her breasts holding it on her. That, and the fact that it's clutching her skin. She doesn't seem restricted by it though. She can move with ease even though I've seen many woman try to wear those dresses and promptly fail. Their lips usually turn blue with the lack of oxygen reaching their lungs. I notice her lips are plump red. The dress itself reaches below her knees, barely covering the slightly bump of the bone.
She doesn't try to make anymore small talk and as soon as the bing of the elevator carries over the silence, she exits without looking back. I sigh and follow her out, heading in the same direction but at a slower pace. Upon arrival, I take my seat on the usual swivel chair and notice that my mail pile is significantly higher than usual. Tsunade's such a slave driver.. After having a quick scan through them, Hyuuga Neji approaches me with some formal documents in his hands.
"Hey Shikamaru," he says casually dropping the sheets in front of me. "Asuma told me to give you these."
I mumble something along the lines of "Typical" and he smirks at me with his white eyes... No, not white.. They're light violet. His dark brown hair sweeps over his shoulders and down his back, resting on his white shirt with a blue tie.. The same colour as the Suna woman's dress.
"If you want, I can take some of these off of your hands," he says and I know that he's feeling sorry for me at this moment... But I really don't mind at all.
"If you could, I'd be really grateful."
He smirks at me with a knowing expression that I don't really understand but takes about half of the pile from my desk. I definitely owe him one... The Suna woman sees me sighing with relief and gives me a small smile before resuming her own work. A few minutes later, while I'm supposed to be immersed in my documents she stands from the seat she had recently occupied and walks over to the fax machine. I take that opportunity and follow her up.
"Hey," I say, once I'm behind her and make sure that my gaze is level with her face. What red blooded male wouldn't look? But that's not the point now. She turns around and I can see that she's surprised.
"I just wanted to thank you for the Asprin yesterday. I'd have been lost without it."
She smiles at me and it's easy to tell that it's genuine. Her eyes light up and slightly squint and I can't help but notice that they are the exact same shade as the dress she's currently wearing. The smile is slightly frightening. It's as if she rarely bares teeth for such an emotion but when she does, it's joyous. I want to see her smile more.
"It's no problem," she says, placing her hands on her hips which are slightly cocked to the side. "I always carry a few spare with me anyway."
I extend a hand because I can't think of what else to say.
"I'm Nara Shikamaru by the way. I'm working with the Konoha side of the collaboration. I'm sure you've kind of guessed that anyway." Oh great.. That was sooo smooth (NOT!!). I feel stupid at the moment. I've never felt stupid before. Where did she get these super powers from? A valid question.
She extends one of her own slim hands and says: "I'm Sabaku no Temari, I'm working with the Suna delegation to build relations between the companies and yes, I've guessed that you're part of the Konoha collaboration committee because I know everyone that came here from Suna."
She said it all so smoothly. Why couldn't I deliver it like that? And she's also observant. That's strange. Not many women I know are observant. I don't know why but I feel like my insides are churning. Abruptly, a man about two years older than me approaches wearing a black suit (minus the top coat) with a white shirt and purple tie. He has tanned skin too so I'm guessing he's from Suna. Either that or he has been on a foreign holiday recently or maybe is attending some sun beds? Maybe a spray tan? I think too much.
"Hey Tem," he says informally and I can tell that he knows her well. So why do I feel a tinge of jealousy? They could be related for all I know.
"Could you give this to Gaara sometime tonight? I'm swamped at the moment," he says and stands next to her. He's only a few inches taller than her.. But she's wearing heels so it doesn't count as her actual height..
"Yeah sure," she says and takes the brown folder from him. He looks at me with mild interest, the same expression Temari had only an hour ago.
"I'm Kankurou," he says but doesn't extend his hand. "And I see you've already met my sister?" Sister? That explains a lot. They don't look similar and I suppose they're thankful for that. What man wants to look like his sister and what woman wants to look like her brother? That would just be weird...
"Hi," I say simply. There's no need for anymore words so what's the point in using them?
"I'll let you two go back to flirting now," he says, winking at Temari who punches him in the arm... hard. He winces but takes his leave anyway.
"I'm sorry about that," says Temari, still glaring at his fleeing back. "He's very inappropriate sometimes." I laugh lightly, only because my vocabulary is failing me.
She apologises once more before taking the fax that just came through with a small beep and nods slightly as she walks back to her desk. Her desk is in front of the window and the sky outside matches her dress perfectly. Why do I have the sudden urge to go and watch the clouds?
The sun is high in the sky as I look out the window, legs on top of my desk and a pencil in my mouth. Today went by really quick which is always refreshing. Tenten and Hinata wave to me as they enter the office. They take the evening shift so I don't see them often but both are pleasurable company. The two balance each other out in retrospect. Tenten is loud but composed while Hinata is shy but sweet. Both are opposites but best friends.
As soon as Tenten's buns come into view, Neji's eyes light up that much more and he goes to greet them. He bows politely to Hinata. I've never understood that. Something about family ties and branches. He bows to Tenten next and she rolls her eyes, pushing his shoulder lightly. He just smirks and hands them their assigned papers for the evening before returning to his work station with a bright (slightly uncharacteristic) smile. Today is going to be a good day.
I can feel it.
The sky is bright and the sun is high. The clouds are floating by happily, making looking out the window all that more enjoyable. I've been moved to the area near the back of the floor where all the main deliveries come in and I can hear almost every conversation. Tsunade says I work better when near the clouds; she couldn't be more right. I work better when I can relax. Don't get me wrong; I work well under pressure too. I just prefer to do it in my own time. And there's Temari, walking over in all her 5 ft 9 glory (including heels).
"Hey Shikamaru," she says, blond hair the same as always as she drops an e-mail in front of me.
"Yo," I say in turn. To be honest, I'm slightly surprised that she remembers my name. The reason I remember hers is because she's such a prominent figure. Temari. It just rolls off my tongue with a spicy taste.. no.. maybe sweet. Anyway, back to reality.
"Have you seen Kankurou?" she asks, glancing around the room once more to make sure that he hadn't just re-entered. She has this curious look on her face. I don't know how she does it. Her eyebrows are furrowed and her left hand is lying half hazardly on her hip. Now that I look, I see her dress is a sunset yellow; the same kind you see in Suna when on holiday. It's so rare that the colour is almost unheard of. It's a bright dress and she looks intelligent. I've never heard of that before. Looking intelligent? I didn't think that was possible, but clearly I was mistaken.
"Yeah," I say, taking my legs down from the desk. "I think he went upstairs to deliver something to Tsunade. If you see Shino, you'll know Kankurou's near. They're both working on the SunaKonoha collaboration products." She nodded, showing she knows about the project.
"Thanks a lot," she says and as she walks away headed for the stairs, I notice that the dress is billowy, flowing as she walks. Her stride is confident and even though her dress is so bright, everyone around her seems to dull in comparison. She brings light to the work stations and I notice Ino admiring her dress from the corner of the room where she's talking to Chouji. I look down at my desk and see what Temari has dropped off. It's an e-mail printed out from Shizune. She says that Tsunade is giving me tomorrow off because she needs someone to do some research from home and be ready and prepared to deliver a speech on the discoveries on Monday morning. Such a drag.. But I suppose it's better me than some other idiot. At least I'll do it right, no matter how much trouble it is. I suppose I can do most of the research tonight and maybe finish up on Saturday. That would give me enough time for some R&R. I think I need that. My neck is sore.
"Shikamaru," says Ino, standing in front of my desk just behind my computer screen. "I heard that you have tomorrow off from forehead but I was wondering if you'd be able to drop this in to the main office. I'm leaving on holiday with Chouji tomorrow but this still needs to be in on time." I take the official looking document from her.
"Thanks Shikamaru, you're the best." I don't mind coming into work tomorrow to deliver this. It's the least I can do; Ino has helped me out of many sticky situations before and Chouji is my best friend. Who am I to begrudge them time together? You can imagine my surprise when I found out they were dating. But both seem happy and that's always a good sign. If anything was wrong between them, I'm sure Chouji would tell me instantly. As it is, I haven't heard anything bad.
I pick up my keys and put Ino's brown folder into my briefcase before I shut down my computer. It's so unorganised. I have pictures from one of the parties I was dragged to mixed in with official and important documents. I seriously need to fix that.
As I walk out of the office with my suitcase in hand, I bump into Temari... Literally. As in I'm going to have a pain in my chest tomorrow.
"Hey, watch where you're goi-" but she stops short when she sees it's me. Instead of berating me for my lack of coordination and my instability of walking on a flat surface without bumping into something, she rubs her head furiously.
"I'm sorry about that Temari," I say and her name sounds different on my lips. Almost like a foreign word. One that's rarely spoken. She stops rubbing her head and smirks at me.
"That's ok.. But to make up for the bump I'm sure to have tomorrow, you have to walk me to my car." It's amazing how suave and smooth she can sound after being so frustrated only minutes ago. Maybe she's bipolar? A valid theory. I bow slightly and smirk at her.
"Why of course m'lady. A man cannot let a woman walk to her car at this time of night when she might be attacked and/or set upon." I'm rewarded for my efforts with a slight chuckle. I decide I want to hear that again. She likes this game.
"Thank you good sir," she says and curtsies. Her dress billows around her as she links her arm in mine (the one that isn't holding the briefcase). I'll be the first to admit that I have no experience with relationships. I mean, I've dated before but only for awhile. Is Temari flirting with me? I think she is. Ok, pause a second. I think I'm jumping to conclusions. Good luck tends to avoid me..
As we stand in the elevator, she doesn't let go of my arm and I don't particularly want her to either. When we reach her car, she finally lets go and opens her door before staring at me for a half second as though contemplating something. Her car is something you'd expect a man to drive. Giving up, she pulls open the door and sits inside. She opens the window and as she starts the engine she faces me fully.
"Thank you good sir," she says and drives off, leaving me to watch her car drive down the street. Even if she had given me a chance to say something, I don't think I would have been able to. I have incoherency issues when I'm around her. With one last glance down the road, I turn and walk in the opposite direction. After all, my own car is at the complete opposite side of the building.
Even though I don't have work today, I promised Ino I'd deliver this blasted document and if I'm anything, it's a man of my word. Shino holds the door open for me as he's only beginning work now. Poor bugger. Going to be stuck here for the rest of the day. As I thank him, I stride over to the elevator and find that it's relatively packed. How troublesome. I don't do well in crowded places. Methane gas and all that jazz.
Upon reaching the eighth floor, I knock on Tsunade's office door and am slightly surprised to see that she's the one who answers it. She usually sends Shizune to do her dirty work.
"What do you want?" she barks, eyes narrowed slightly. It's easy to tell she's had some sake in the past hour. I hand her Ino's folder without a word and she takes it with curious eyes. She thanks me half-assdly and closes the door in my face. Well, someone is grouchy today...
I know I should leave. Every bone in my body is telling me to leave. But why is my mind pulling me to the elevator to descend one floor. I think it's because I'm curious. I need to see what Temari is wearing. That sounds so pervy but I honestly don't mean to be. She's worn so many dresses this past week with no pattern to her decision. I need to know what she's wearing.
I have a plan. It's a stupid plan, but I don't have any better ideas. It'll do for now. And as I walk into the familiar office and place some documents on my desk, I see her. And all coherent thought leaves my head. My plan is forgotten because of that damned dressed.
Red... No wait.. It's scarlet red. A deep red. Red symbolises passion, hell, aggression, honor, violence, fire and danger. All of the things that I find troublesome. But why can't I tear my eyes away? If I do, I think it will cause me physical harm. It reaches her mid thigh and isn't as billowy as the dress she wore yesterday. One side is longer than the other and clings to her skin as though its life depends on it. I want to touch it. I want to see what her skin is like under it. The dress fits her small waist perfectly and the only thing holding it on her is two ties that extend from the chest area around her neck and tied in a small bow. Her hair is down, reaching just bellow her shoulders and is curled lightly. I want to run my hand through it. So.. badly...
Her personality is perfect, she's got a great sense of humour and she's drop dead gorgeous. This is just too good to be true. Oh crap. I can't stop my body moving towards her. She's sitting at her desk, pen scratching on some paper as she writes with an eased expression. My feet are moving of their own accord. I can't stop. I think my mind just shut down. I can only stop when I'm finally in front of her, peering over her computer screen to see her soft shoulders moving ever so slightly as she writes. Her fingers are tight around the pen and it's such a shame that those perfect hands must do work. She should be lying down and have people serve her, bringing her whatever her heart desires.
And then before I can stop myself, words come spewing out of my mouth. For what it's worth, I don't think I'm making sense because she's looking at me with a confused expression.
"Iasjuswonderinifyouwouldliketogooutwithmesometimemaybetomorrow," I say in a rushed voice, causing a few heads to turn in my direction. I take a deep breath and stuff my hands in my pockets, trying to relax.
"I was just wondering if you would like to go out with me tomorrow for dinner," I manage, and my voice doesn't sound as squeaky as I thought it would. She smiles, and I can tell she's completely flattered.
"Yeah, that sounds nice," she says and puts her pen down on the table to fold her hands under her chin, giving me a thoughtful look. We exchange details of what time I'll pick her up and where we'll go; apparently, a new restaurant opened up a few blocks away and she's really interested in trying it out.
I wave goodbye to her and I can see Kiba in the corner of the room with a smug look on his face. Money exchanges hands and I can tell that Kiba is victorious. Sly bastard.
It's amazing. What started out as an average week at work turns into my favourite week of the year. It only took five dresses and for some reason, one that I'm not completely sure of because logic defies: I think she planned this.
The dresses I had in mind can be found on my profile page. There's a link to each if you're interested in seeing them.
Well, I hope I didn't bore you to death. Please review :] I can't get better without feedback. I'm not sure about the tensing in this one so please forgive me for my terrible grammar. If you'd like to point out where I went wrong, it would be appreciated :] Thanks for reading. I hope you liked it! And if you've read some of my past fics, you'll notice that I tried my hardest not to bash Ino. I've been doing that a lot lately and haven't even been aware of it. Thanks to Lives-In-2D for pointing that out to me.
p.s I finally watched Twilight for the first time ever yesterday and now I'm utterly addicted! Sorry for the randomness but I feel the need to share it :P