A/N: Spoilers from Manga Chapter 247. It's a ShikaIno Oneshot.

This oneshot in the original I wrote 02-09-07.

Hope you enjoy it.

Beta by Narai Moroha

Always by your side

Naruto © Masashi Kishimoto

Fanfiction © Wings-chan

"So, are you on a date too?"

Why did it hurt so much to hear this?

Her heart ached as she saw him with her. It hurt so much, she couldn't stand it.

She ran away, not wanting to have to see it any more. She ran and ran, letting her feet carry her where they willed.


Finally she stopped, sinked under the tears together and hit the grass with her knies. She pinched her hands in the slightly wet grass, plucked it out piece by piece til her tears blocked her view.

"Why does it hurt so much?"

She couldn't find an answer. Letting the torn grass fall to the ground, Ino covered her face with her hands and wiped her tears away.

Her heart ached so intensely she thought her chest would burst. Eventually, the tears stopped flowing, the only sounds coming from her quivering body were heart-broken sobs.

"Ooi! I thought I'd find you here, Ino!"

She knew his voice well. What did he want here…and how had he known where she'd be?

"What do you want, Shikamaru?"

She gave her best so her voice sounded normal and not blubbering like before.
He didn't give her an answer. Instead he came over to her and sat down next to her in the grass.

"Can't I come here? You know this is my favorite spot!"

Shikamaru slowly leaned back, supporting himself with his hands on the ground, and looked up to the clouds. Ino turned away so that he couldn't see her tear-streaked face. It was too late to hide that she'd been crying, though.

"Why were you crying?"

He could still see traces of tears on her cheeks and little tear drops in her eyes. Why had she been crying? He rarely saw her like that. It really had to be something bad to make her cry. He'd almost never seen that side of her. She was usually confident, strong and determined. But now? Now she sat shattered on the ground, her nerves shaken and frazzled. How could he help her?


Shikamaru sighed. Why did women have to be so troublesome?
She didn't give him an answer. What could she possibly say? That she hated seeing him together with her? Of course not, not to him.


He sighed and sat up, then without warning, he pulled Ino to his strong chest and wrapped his arms around her graceful figure.


Ino paused. Her heart raced - he was so close to her! She even could smell the scent of his clothes! Her cheeks reddened as she thought of how much she'd wished to be this close to him, and not just when they were alone.

"It hurts so much to see you with that sand bitch, Shikamaru!"
"Temari?" He wrinkled his brow, but grinned.
"Are you jealous?"

It was so cute seeing Ino pout and press her face to his chest so he couldn't see how right he was.

"Ino…" With one hand he scratched the back of his head and saw to the side. "…you know I don't want anything from her. You're the one I love."

Shikamaru looked down to her and she up to him.
"I know. I love you too." Ino pressed herself again against his chest and kept talking. "But I can tell she's always flirting with you…"
"Even if she is, I'm not interested. You know me…"
"…it's too troublesome for you?" Ino had to grin. Yes, she knew him well enough to know that.

He nodded.
"But… still… why do we have to hide that we are together?"
She hated to act like Shikamaru and she were just friends when anyone was around. They were much more than friends.
"It would get too troublesome if everyone knew about it." He knew his friends. They would question him – especially Naruto - and that was the last thing he wanted.

Ino stretched herself high to him so that they faces were just a few centimeters from each other.
"Everything is too troublesome for you, Shikamaru! I want the world to know that you're mine!"
"I belong to you?" His eyebrow raised up and a wide grin was on his lips.
"Yes, mine and mine alone." She poked his chest to show it was just a joke.
"Hm… then you're also mine."

No sooner had he said it than he pulled her close and pressed his lips to hers. Here, they were alone, there was no one to see them. In public, he never kissed her or even took her in his arms. That was all she wanted. She didn't want to have a secret relationship, it hurt far too much.

Ino pulled away and gave him a look. She wanted to hear him say it before she succumbed to his lips.
"Okay, okay, we won't hide anything anymore. Even if it is troublesome, you're worth it!"
She smiled. "Thank you, Shika-kun!" She kissed him again – longingly.

Shikamaru grinned into the kiss as he laid his hands on her waist and pulled her tightly against his body. Ino wrapped her arms around his neck, and started to fight his tongue with her own. She wouldn't give up easily in the battle between their tongues!

"I love you, Shika!" She pulled away from his lips for a short time to breath this words to him.
"I know!" He grinned and took her lips with his.

A new day started. Again full of annoying tasks, all of which were too troublesome for Shikamaru, but he had to do them.
He was walking through the streets of Konoha when he heard someone shouting his name. Sighing, he turned around to the woman calling him, none other than Temari, the Kunoichi from Suna.


"Hey, Shikamaru!" She welcomed him already. A smile was on her face, but Shikamaru looked annoyed at her.
"Hey." He didn't want to be rude and not welcome her back.

Temari stepped closer to him and then, when she opened her mouth to start a flirt with him, two arms wrapped themselves around Shikamaru's belly. He was a bit surprised, but smiled because he knew to who these arms belonged. Who else would embrace him like that? Only her...

"I am happy to see you…!"

She grinned, her face hidden by Shikamaru's back. She wanted to show that Suna girl that she had no chance to be with Shikamaru, because Ino was his girlfriend.

Shikamaru broke her grip around his belly and turned around. He had promised it to her and now he wouldn't back out, because so many people watched them.

"I'm glad to see you too!"

He bent down to her and kissed her as a welcoming. Even they hadn't seen each other for a few hours, he missed her. Mostly her lips, which he gladly tasted now.

Ino's heart jumped for joy. That should be enough for Temari to know everything! She should let up on Shikamaru, he'd already been rewarded. She was so happy that he'd done it in public this time, even it was just one little kiss.

Temari was floored - she couldn't believe her eyes! She'd had her eye on Shikamaru for a long time, but he's never responded to her flirting.

Shikamaru turned around to Temari to say that he didn't have time to talk, and said goodbye.

With one arm around Ino's waist, he walked off with his now-official girlfriend, leaving behind a stunned Temari.

"Thank you, Shikamaru."
"Mendokuse… I can't refuse you anyway…"

Ino laid her hand above his, still on her waist, and brushed her fingers above it. He grinned and ensnared her fingers with his.

Now, nothing was in their way, and everyone would know that they loved each other.

Always by your side