Title: A Risky Game
Rating: K+-T for language
Extraneous Info: This fic came into being when I realized that there was little to no KakaHinaShika around. This love triangle has so many possibilities for dry humor, pained hearts, and confused heiresses that it's surprising to find that after thinking of such an awesome triangle, there's no fanfiction to be found for it. So in an attempt to fill in this void, I have decided to come up with a series of one-shots for it.
Spread the KakaHinaShika love! :D
I do not own anything.
Sending one of his pieces forward to attack the enemy's forces head-on would be suicidal, but to just sit and wait for their attack would only make him a sitting duck. However, if he bided his time and waited for his enemy to slip up, perhaps…
No, think! He couldn't just sit and wait for his opponent to make a mistake. The chances of that happening were slim to none, not to mention it would be irrational when going against such an opponent as him. Moving his chin to his other hand, Shikamaru focused on the array of pieces in front of him, multiple moves churning in his mind. If I move my knight here, and then send my pawn as a diversion…
From the side, someone shifted uncomfortably. The scent of lavender escaped into the tense atmosphere and momentarily distracted Shikamaru from his planning. Inhaling shakily, he shook his head and closed his eyes. Focus, he told himself. Finding the thread of his thoughts and grasping on tightly, he went through his battle plan a few times. Finding it sound, Shikamaru made his move. The soft clinking of wood signifying the end of his turn, he looked up to see his opponent's face… or what was visible of it.
"Interesting," murmured the silver-haired ninja facing him.
Shikamaru couldn't decide whether or not Kakashi meant the book the man was currently engrossed in or the move he had made in his precarious situation. He concluded it was the former when the masked nin sent his rook directly into enemy territory.
What the hell is he thinking?
Could he possibly be hoping that he'd take the bait and capture his rook, whilst ignoring the simple two moves it'd take to check his king? Or perhaps the man had just been too immersed in his book and had made an inadvertent mistake? Blinking rapidly, Shikamaru leaned back into the sitting position he'd been relaxed in until the man made his puzzling move. Why, though, would Kakashi even be trying to deceive him by reading his book when they both knew what was at stake here? Staring at the rook calculatingly, Shikamaru quickly narrowed down the probable reason for the evasive maneuver. Calm down, he sighed to himself, he's probably just trying to confuse you.
And, of course, thought Shikamaru with an analytic gaze at the deceptively unperturbed nin, it worked.
Now he'd have to scrap all the defensive tactics he'd planned out in advance and redirect his approach with this confounding wrench in his plans.
What a pain.
Forty minutes after Kakashi's apparent ploy and his subsequent shift in strategies, Shikamaru was shocked to learn that Kakashi hadn't been trying to trick him; there had actually been use in sending in the rook into his territory.
Damn it! I didn't read deep enough into his movements!
This revelation sending him backpedaling, Shikamaru racked his brain to find the most effective counter-attack for the now-offensive rook. I could send my pawn in… and…
Yawning softly, the single spectator of their Shogi game shifted again. Observing from the corner of his eyes, he watched as the indigo-haired teen settled into a more comfortable sitting position. Blinking once, he shook himself from thoughts that took hold of him when faced with her...
Staring sullenly at the Shogi board, Shikamaru mentally reassessed the board and the placement of the pieces. Scrapping the weak-structured plan he had thought up on the spot, Shikamaru ran down the list of obvious options he had: Retreat, swarm, or surrender.
None of them sounded pleasing to him—there were too many risks with attacking head-on, and retreating or surrendering could compromise him of his win.
Normally, he mused sourly, when faced with a board like this—one where, against all odds, there was slim chance of him winning victoriously—he would choose the easy way out and surrender. To not do so would be the same as losing all his comrades on a mission; there was no way stubbornness would get everyone home safely.
But, his eyes trailed off to the side, there's something else at stake here.
Lavender-tinted Hyuuga eyes met his in a questioning gaze.
"Are you alright, Shikamaru-kun? D-do you need me to get you something to drink?"
Dragging his attention back to the board, slightly dazed by the sight of worry and pure concern on her face, Shikamaru's eyes landed on his sole-surviving knight and the position it had against the rook.
Kakashi stood and stretched his limbs with a well-deserved yawn. Pocketing his book, he stepped off the wooden porch of the Shogi salon, letting the orange rays of the setting sun wash over him.
"That was a good game, Shikamaru."
The teen sent him a bored nod, the calculating look in his eyes betraying his true emotions. With a hidden grin, Kakashi turned to look at the Shogi board, the pieces still untouched in their places. He was quick to notice the Hyuuga heiress, who was currently bent in front of the board with an awed look on her face.
"I-I couldn't imagine playing such an intense game."
Involuntarily, both he and Shikamaru turned to look at each other. Kakashi was amused to see the hidden glare in the teen's dark brown eyes.
Not taking his eyes off the teenager, Kakashi said slowly, "Too bad it ended in a draw."
Predictably, Shikamaru flinched. Withdrawing his gaze, Kakashi turned to look at the frowning Hyuuga.
"It was still w-wonderfully played," said Hinata in protest.
"I agree." Sending one last glance at the Shogi board, Kakashi decided to turn in for the day. Not leaving, however, without plopping a hand on Shikamaru's shoulder.
"It appears," he said lowly, so as to not attract Hinata's notice, "that, for now, our… deal is to be held off."
"Unfortunately," grumbled the teen in just as low as a voice. "We both assumed we'd end up winning." Kakashi didn't miss the quick glance Shikamaru sent the puzzled girl. The teen sighed before continuing. "I guess we'll just have to settle this in a different way."
"On the contrary," murmured Kakashi, "If you would just give up, we wouldn't ha—"
"On the contrary," cut in Shikamaru in a biting voice, not even bothering to lower his voice, "I think you may be suffering from imbecility."
Kakashi chuckled as he released his grip on the young man's shoulder. Sending a casual wave to Hinata, he walked away from the predetermined place for his and Shikamaru's 'deal.'
"Just a suggestion," he said over his shoulder.
Turning the corner, he heard the distinct voice of Hyuuga Hinata ask, "Umm… Shikamaru-kun, w-what was that about?"
With a low chuckle, Kakashi brought his fingers together in a familiar seal.
Oh, she had no idea, no idea at all...
It'd probably be best, too, if she continued to stay in the dark on this matter. This was, after all, a deal between two men, and two men only.
In Shikamaru's own words: Whoever wins gets Hyuuga Hinata. With no interference from the other party.