Hello! So, this is my new fanfic, I hope you like it!

CHAPTER 1

"Wait, wait, wait," Nara Shikamaru said, stopping Lady Tsunade mid-sentence as she explained his new mission. "So…I'm going on this mission…alone? Why?"

"Because, Shikamaru-kun, it's a simple mission," she smiled. "You aren't afraid, are you?"

Shikamaru gave a gruff sigh. "No, it just doesn't make sense. Why me?"

"Simple. The woman who asked for help said she wanted her daughter back. The daughter went missing about a week ago, and, even though this is a rescue mission, it seems only one man has been going after her. A one man mission would be just fine, and since you are a Jonin and all, you'll be fine. You could always call for backup if needed." Tsunade explained. Shikamaru gave another sigh, shook his head slowly and rubbed the back of his neck as he gave it some serious thought.

"It's not going to be troublesome, eh?" He asked somewhat uneasily.

"It'll be a simple job, don't worry," Tsunade nodded with a slight smile. Shikamaru stared at her intently, trying to see if what she said was true. After a short moment of the intent staring contest, he nodded.

"Sure, whatever," he said with a shrug.

"Good, I expect you to leave as soon as possible."

Shikamaru nodded and left, waving over his shoulders as he walked through the door. His eyebrows knit together as he thought about what kind of mission that was going to be. He didn't quiet understand why Tsunade would want just him to go, but it didn't matter now that he took the job. It was troublesome, though, and he was somewhat expecting Uzumaki Naruto to be outside the tower to ask about what his new mission would be about. But he wasn't there, not that it concerned him or anything. Although, as he made his way through Konohagakure, he did run into some familiar faces.

"Oi, Sakura-chan!" Shikamaru called when he saw the familiar pink haired, green eyes girl. Haruno Sakura looked over quickly and smiled.

"What's up, Shikamaru-kun?" she asked, walking over.

"Where's Naruto-kun?" he had to admit, he was curious as to where the hyper blond was. Normally he would see Naruto running around doing random odd-jobs, or training.

"I dunno, I haven't seen him in a while," Sakura mumbled, glancing around, like he would pop out of nowhere. Of course, that didn't happen.

"So what are you up to?" she asked after a moment of silence.

"Nothing, just going on a mission…" he mumbled.

"Oh, good luck!" she said as they parted ways. He waved over his shoulder and continued on his way. Of course, he had to stop at home first to quickly gather up supplies, some weapons, and a few food and chakra pills, stuff like that. As soon as that was ready, he made his way to the gate, where Shizune, Tsunade's assistant, was waiting for him with the coordinates of where he needed to go. He took it, thanked her and hurried out. He heard Shizune's 'good luck' shout and, yet again, waved over his shoulder.

Piece of cake…he thought with a slight smirk.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

It took about a day of traveling, but he finally made it to a small town surrounded by woods. The house he was looking for was on the edge, the only small, old and shabby home that was the closest to the trees. He hesitated before knocking three times, and waited. The three-story home looked like it was close to collapsing any moment, and from what he could tell, there was a vegetable garden in the backyard. The door opened a little and Shikamaru flashed his Konoha headband into the crack. The door opened so fast that it bounced off the wall with a loud bang and slammed closed again. The woman that was inside opened the door a little more gently the second time and let him in, her whole body shaking.

"Th…thank you f-for coming so s-soon!" she stammered. She was a middle aged woman with frizzy, graying brown hair had half of the strands in curlers. Her grey eyes were sagging and red, like she had been crying for days on end, and overall she looked very high strung.

"No problem," Shikamaru said as she led him into a grey room with old furniture that was either broken, or near to it.

"I-I have to ap-pologize, we are v-very poor in this town, a-and we c-cannot afford much," she stumbled over her own two feet as she headed for what looked like a couch. Shikamaru took the chair across from her, his knees bumping into the handmade coffee table as he sat down. The woman looked upset, like her place should have been nicer looking for when he came.

"My name is Nara Shikamaru. You are the mother of the daughter that was kidnapped, right?"

"Y-yes…" she said quietly. "My n-name is H-Haruhina Nishiko. It's n-nice t-to meet you."

"Likewise," Shikamaru nodded, his expression looking blank. "Do you have any idea where she is or who took her?"

Nishiko shook her head. "I have n-no idea where she would b-be…Suzuka-chan is a sweet g-g-girl, I don't know of a-anyone who would want to harm her…"

"No suspicious activity…or anything?" he asked, seeing that if he didn't get any leads the job would hit a dead end. After seeing this woman he felt a twinge of sadness and pity for this poor family. He waited as Nishiko thought back, an unnerving silence followed by some loud creaks as the house settled rested upon the room. He looked around at the pictures on the walls, seeing pictures of a younger Nishiko with a baby in her arms, and several pictures of a precious looking, beautiful girl that must have been Suzuka.

"W-well…" Shikamaru looked over at her quickly. "There…there w-was this…new boy…n-nobody ever moves here, you s-see. He had…a…strange…o-obsession with Suzuka-chan. He d-disappeared b-before Suzuka-chan w-went m-missing…" Nishiko let out a choking sob, but no tears fell. She had used them up several days ago. Shikamaru's hard expression softened as he watched her try and calm down. Feeling useless, he got up and moved to sit next to her. He awkwardly patted her back and sat there for a moment.

"It'll be ok, Nishiko-san," he said. "I promise I will get her back, if that's the last thing I do." Nishiko looked at him with wide eyes, and a thankful look on her face.

"o-oh…thank you, thank y-you so much…!" she said, her eyes finally tearing up. But not sad tears, they were grateful, relieved tears of joy. Shikamaru nodded, stood up and looked around.

"I'll get right to it then."

"Wait!"

Shikamaru looked down at her, his eyebrows arched into a curious look.

"Y-you should rest first, I-I'll make you something to eat," Nishiko offered with a small smile. He couldn't refuse, and he was pretty tired.

"…fine," he smirked. She smiled even more and left the room to make him something to eat as he sat down again. He let out a muffled yawn and looked around once more, his eyes automatically drifting to the pictures once more.

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