"Shikamaru!"

See, now, anormal person would've jumped out of their pants if they heard their named shrieked out with such fury, with footsteps stomping towards them at alarming speeds.

But, of course, Shikamaru Nara is not quite normal.

He had heard her footsteps coming in this direction at least seven minutes ago. So, upon Ino Yamanka's angry call of his name, all he did was lazily open an eye, wondering what the hot-tempered, ever-so-troublesome girl was so angry about now.

The obviously furious kunoichi stormed towards him with surprising speed, looking quite bent out of shape. Well, not really. As usual, her hair, skin, and clothes were immaculate and clean, but she had a terribly angry look on her face that would've had you shit your pants.

But Shikamaru was used to Ino and her moods. He hardly flinched under her death glare.

Once close enough, Ino grabbed Shikamaru by his shoulders, yanking him up (waking him up completely, I might add), and shook him violently, "Do I look like a pig!"

Pause.

"...what?" was the Nara's delicate, clearly-thought-out reply,

"DO - I - LOOK - LIKE - A - PIG!" Ino shrieked, her voice raising several octaves as she punctuated each word with a violent shake of Shikamaru's shoulders. She started to sound quite insane.

"Ino...Ino, let's just, erm, calm down..." The young genius winced as her nails dug into his flesh.

The clearly frantic blonde stared at him for a few more moments, before shoving him back down on the bench he was sitting on before she had...erm, attacked him. She sat down next to him, her nails scraping at the concrete seat.

After shaking off the surprise of Ino's sudden anger trip, Shikamaru looked at her, "Fight with Sakura?"

His teammate nodded furiously, squeezing her eyes shut, tears visable on her eyelashes. Shikamaru sighed. He never cared much for Haruno. Back in their Academy days, she was kinda book smart, but really just another one of Uchiha's fangirls. And yeah, she was pretty impressive fighting Ino during the preliminary matches during the Chuunin exams those months ago, but he always believed that Ino could and would finally end the fight between her and Sakura in victory.

"Ino,"

The blonde slowly opened her eyes, feeling her friend's hand resting on her shoulder. He looked at her firmly, "You don't look like a pig. Really, you don't."

"R-Really?" The Yamanaka squeaked, eyes widening at Shikamaru's rare act of genuine kindness. "But, Sakura kept calling me 'Ino-pig' and other nasty names that somehow include the word 'pig', and - "

"Your name means pig, Ino," Shikamaru interrupted, "of course she'd hold that against you. You're too gullible, baka, don't believe her. You don't resemble a pig whatsoever. And even so, your name directly translates to 'boar'. Not 'pig'. So, Sakura's being stupid."

Ino blinked at him. She had practically never heard Shikamaru say so much, just to make her feel better. Why was he being so...nice? But, he did have a point, about the boar thing. A weak smile managed to twitch onto her lips.

He paused to notice this smile before adding, "And anyway, you should be proud your name means what it is. Boars resemble bravery, don't they? With, er, tremendous inner strength, or something like that."

Blue eyes stared at the Nara, and Ino felt her heart swell. She squeezed her eyes shut, this time trying to contain her happiness, as a bigger, toothier grin spread across her face. But, there was no avail. She let out a cheery squeal, throwing her arms around Shikamaru, "AHH! Shika, you're so kind! I feel loads better now!"

The hugged boy patted her back, "Yeah, yeah, okay, okay...I just didn't want you to start crying or something. Troublesome woman..."

Ino just giggled, leaning into the hug even more.

"And anyway," The ponytailed boy continued, voice slightly muffled by Ino's shoulder, "You make sense, calling Sakura 'Billboard Brow' and 'Forehead Girl'. That thing is huge. I bet if you stared long enough at it, it'll blink at you..."

At this, Ino pulled back, eyes wide, "That's what I said before!" She poked his forehead, "I bet we got some weird telepathic thing goin' on between our brains, along with Chouji too. Ahh, Shika, us three are such good friends! C'mon, let's find the big guy and get Asuma to take us to that barbeque place. How fun!"

Shikamaru Nara smiled slightly as Ino began to drag him through Konohagakure, listening to her endless chatter. Ino was loud, obnoxious, annyoing, and sometimes quite the bitch, and sometimes, he wondered why he loved such a troublesome woman.