!*!*! ATTENTION ... AIRD ... 注意 !*!*!
Disclaimer: Not one single piece of Naruto belongs to be, as is evidence by the fact that several completely awesome people died and didn't immediately come back as zombies. Or something like that. Read on.
Shikamaru vaguely noticed as the last house faded from view as he approached the forest. He was actually a little afraid of what would happen if Anko taught Naruto the arts of seduction. Naruto tended to throw herself into things completely and Anko was simply nuts… and that wasn't a good combination if they didn't want to create an unstoppable force of seduction that no man would be able to stand against… or something. Of course, it could just be his subconscious trying to make up excuses for why he didn't want Naruto learning how to seduce guys. Probably the second one, if he was honest.
He squinted at the path in front of him. In the distance, and rapidly getting closer, were two figures half dragging half carrying a third between them. After another few seconds, it was clear who they were. Konahamaru and Moegi were carrying an unconscious Udon between them, his feet dragging on the ground.
Now, the question was whether Anko or Naruto had done the damage and what exactly had happened. Shikamaru paused, coming to a stop, and stared at them. "What happened?"
Konahamaru seemed excited and not put out at all about the state of his friend. "It was awesome! Boss is going to be the best shinobi ever!"
That sounded… forbidding.
He continued, "Anko was teaching Naruto a seduction technique and then told Naruto to try it out and Udon volunteered and then he had a giant nosebleed and passed out. Isn't that cool? And then Anko made us leave because she said that the techniques that she was going to teach Naruto were apparently too powerful and that we'd have to wait a few years until we were older." The last sentence was said in a sullen, grumbling tone.
"I see…" Shikamaru said slowly. And he did. He needed to get to Naruto's before anything else happened.
Letting Moegi and Konahamaru drag their unconscious friend off, he started off again towards Naruto's house at a quicker pace.
Finally, the orange tower-like abode came into view. The front door was open, so he, thankfully, didn't have to climb through the little hole in the door for foxes like he'd had to the first time. He cocked his head to the side. The soft murmur of voices was coming from where he knew the living room was. As he got closer, the murmurs formed words.
"That's almost the expression that you want to make, Naruto, just arch your eyebrow a little," Anko's voice said.
"Like this?" Naruto asked.
"Uh huh. And thrust out your chest. You want to emphasize your assets. They can be really distracting to a male shinobi in a battle. Speaking of battles, sometimes you want to let them get you. No! Don't make that face. I don't mean to let them cut you, I just mean to let them cut your clothes. If you're good enough, you can control where they cut. Let's say that they attack you with a kunai. You can maneuver it so that they cut the front of your shirt over your breasts, exposing a lot of skin. A lot of the time that can get them to falter for a second, and that's all the time you need to attack."
Naruto's voice, slightly awed, said, "That's brilliant!"
And it actually made sense. Shikamaru could see how it could easily work on some less experienced shinobi and some of the more perverted ones. He came into the living room and came face to face with the expected sight of Naruto and Anko seated together on the black and orange couch.
Shino's kikaichū were gone and Naruto's bathing suit top was tied around her neck again. Briefly, he wondered what they would report to Shino before dismissing the thought. He was becoming a pervert. But, really, with all of the perverts around him, it was surprising he'd lasted this long without it happening.
Naruto's eyes lit up at the sight of him. "Shikamaru! Anko's been giving me some awesome advice and showing me some techniques."
An image of the unconscious Udon flashed before his eyes. What sort of techniques was she learning exactly?
Anko didn't look nearly as enthused about his appearance, but then a wicked smile formed on her face. "Nara! How would you like to be a test subject?"
That sounded… highly suspicious. Even though he already knew, he asked, "A test subject?"
"Well, our Naru-chan is going to need someone to practice on, although if you don't want to, I'm sure that we can find several other guys who wouldn't mind."
He just refrained from glowering. He could just imagine.
But, before he could answer, Naruto spoke up. Oddly enough, she didn't look pleased by the idea of him helping her practice. In fact, she looked a little uneasy. "There's no need for Shikamaru to do that. And we don't really need anyone for me to practice on yet, do we?"
He frowned. Why did she sound so against the idea?
Anko shrugged. "You're probably right. I need to teach you more and then make sure that you don't abuse your new found powers before we start using test subjects."
How on earth did she manage to make is sound so sinister? The answer? She was mentally unbalanced with a twisted sense of humor. Still, he could kind of see what she meant. It probably wouldn't be too difficult for Naruto to have a bunch of guys lusting after her, and by a bunch, he meant half the town.
Shikamaru glanced at Naruto and then back at Anko. "I'd like to talk to Naruto. Would you mind continuing your teachings tomorrow? And I'm sure Naruto's still a little tired from the mission. She should probably catch up on sleep."
In fact, there was absolutely no reason why Naruto would be tired, since it hadn't been a physically tiring mission by any stretch of the imagination, but he wanted to talk to her alone, and it was a good excuse as any. Now all he had to do was hope that Anko didn't decided to stab him with something. How good were his odds on that again? By his calculations, not that good.
Anko's eyes narrowed and she opened her mouth to speak, but Naruto interrupted her hurriedly. "He's right, Anko-sensei. How about we continue this tomorrow?"
Anko stared at the pair of them for a moment, gears in her brain visibly turning, and then a sudden look of understanding appeared in her eyes. "Oh, sure. I'll leave so that you can talk to her alone, Nara." She winked at him.
Great. She knew that he liked Naruto, although it probably wasn't that hard to tell. He had the horrible feeling that the teasing was going to be merciless. And she would probably gossip about it to Kurenai over dango and then the whole village would know that he was in love with Naruto. And then all of the other guys, seeing that there was someone serious about Naruto, would up their game. Or something like that. Once again, it could all be the imaginings of his jealous brain. It was still troublesome, though.
Anko stood up and addressed Naruto. "I'll see you tomorrow. We need to go shopping for some proper clothing for you."
The expression on Naruto's face was the same one she would have if she was told there was no more ramen. "But Sakura and Ino took me shopping already," she almost whimpered.
"That was for civilian clothes, right? You need some shinobi gear that actually looks good. And no jump suits. They're not sexy."
Shikamaru knew what Naruto was going to say before she even said it. "But jumpsuits are awesome!"
"No. Jumpsuits. Got it? Not unless they're made out of mesh or something even less substantial."
Having such a brilliant mind and imagination was a blessing and a curse, sometimes.
Reassured that Naruto understood about the jumpsuit issue, Anko walked out of the room with a, "I'll see you later, Naru-chan." And then she was gone.
Shikamaru blinked. He really hadn't expected it to be that easy to get Naruto alone.
Naruto stood up. "Do you mind if I go and change before we talk about whatever you came to talk about? I feel like I'm going to fall out of this at any moment," she said, plucking at the minimal fabric which covered her amble bosom.
He nodded, too lazy to actually waste energy on speaking and trying not to envision what she was talking about for fear his hormones would take over, and sunk back into the couch.
"Okay. I'll be right back," she said, and then walked out of the room.
Through half-closed eyes, Shikamaru watched her hips swish back and forth before disappearing.
He closed his eyes. Okay, now all he needed to do was figure out how exactly to tell Naruto that he might possibly be in love with her. It would probably be easier to say that he liked her first and then work up to the whole love thing later. But how to go about it? The easiest way would either be to kiss her or to simply tell her. Or possibly both. He needed to do something for several reasons. One, he just knew Sakura was going to meddle in it if he didn't do something, and, two, it had gone on like this enough. It seriously seemed like fate was trying to annoy him and make something interrupt every time that he tried to kiss Naruto or tell her how he felt.
A weight settled on the couch next to him and he opened his eyes. Wearing a baggy shirt that she probably of worn when she was disguised as a guy and a pair of short, she still looked beautiful.
"What? Not going to wear any of the clothes that Ino and Sakura bought you?"
Her face darkened. "I only did that under duress. You wouldn't believe the stuff that they had be buy. It's not functional at all!" And the male aspect of Naruto rears its head. She shook her head, as if trying to forget the horrors of shopping with two overly enthusiastic females, and then asked, "So, what did you want to talk to me about?"
He hesitated. To tell her that he liked her. He'd do it; he just needed a second to work up the courage. It really did seem ridiculous that he could kill people and face strong, ruthless ninja without flinching, but he was having a hard time telling her that he liked her. Even to his advanced brain it didn't make any sense whatsoever. Okay, he needed to be clear and straightforward about it, since she could be just a little dense.
Finally, he just said bluntly, "I like you."
He blinked. For all of the answers that he expected her to give, that one had been extremely low of the probability list. "I mean romantically," he added, just to make sure that she hadn't misunderstood.
"I knew what you meant, Shikamaru."
He stared at her. Okay, that was anticlimactic. And a little confusing.
She was staring at her intertwined fingers, looking embarrassed and sheepish. He didn't really have any idea what to say at this point. Thankfully, he didn't have to. Naruto cleared her throat and brought her head up to look at him.
"I've known that you've liked me for a while," she admitted, a blush across her cheeks. "It's just…"
What was going on? She knew? Why hadn't she said anything? And why had she acted like she'd been completely unaware of that fact? And what exactly was she going to say if she ever finished her sentence? If she said that she only say him as a friend, that was going to be completely troublesome. And suck. Extremely.
Then she finished her sentence. "I just didn't know what to do."
"Come again?" By now, he was really starting to wonder if things had to be complicated just because they had to do with Naruto and if it was part of her charm.
Her face seemed to be getting progressively pinker. "You heard me. I didn't know what to do."
And he was still completely lost. "You didn't know what to do about…" he prompted, trying to figure out what was going on.
She made a sound halfway between a sign and a groan and grabbed her head before jumping up off of the couch and starting to pace. "Shikamaru, I just didn't know what to do when I noticed that you liked me like – like that!" She stopped pacing and turned to face him. "Look, I was a boy for the first part of my life. I got most of my boy-girl interaction advice from Ero-sennin. I know thirty-five different sexual positions and how to proposition someone in two languages. I know the different ways to ask for specials in a brothel. What I do not know how to do is tell a guy that I like him!"
He choked slightly at the first part. Thirty-five different positions? And then his teenaged mind grabbed hold of the last sentence. "You like me?"
If possible, her face turned pinker. "I-I… Ummm…" she mumbled looking anywhere but him. Finally, she sat back down on the couch and said, "I think so. I mean, I like you as more than a friend, but then when I realized that I didn't know what to do. How do girls act around boys? And – and –"
She looked at him, vivid, sky blue eyes wide, pink lips slightly parted.
And then, before she could say anything else, he leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers. Her lips were warm and even softer than he imagined. The word perfect came to mind. He slid one arm around her waist, pulling her even closer, skin smooth under his callused fingers, and tried to express all of his feelings towards her in the simple, almost chaste, kiss. The affection and longing and relief that she returned his feelings and elation at what was happening.
Her arms wrapped around his neck, and then she hesitantly kissed back, lips moving in harmony against his own.
Slowly, he drew back, not because he wanted to, but because they were in danger of running out of air. Naruto's lips were pinker than usual and faintly swollen from the kiss, her eyes at half-mast. "Oh," was the only thing she said breathlessly. During the course of the kiss, she had somehow wound up in his lap, but she didn't move, either because she didn't even realize that she was in his lap or because she didn't mind.
He sincerely hoped it was the latter. As he waited for her to say something, his mind went back over what had happened. It actually made sense that she didn't really know how to act when she liked a guy. She hadn't had any parents to talk to, she'd been a member of the opposite sex for more time than she'd been a girl, and her sex education had practically come from magazines and the great, although highly perverted, Toad Sage. He could kind of see why she'd basically acted like she'd have no idea that he liked her, although it had made things a lot more complicated. But, then again, this was Naruto. Being complicated was sort of a given.
But they'd finally kissed and it had been… perfect. When had he turned into a complete and utter sap? He was apathetic and lazy and unemotional… unless it had to deal with Naruto, apparently. Troublesome, but not necessary bad.
"Naruto, it doesn't matter that you don't know how to act like you think a girl should act. Just be yourself. I like you," he said, putting emphasis on the last word.
She nodded, and then burst out, "That was my first kiss. Well, my first kiss with a guy."
He didn't even try and stop the grin from forming across his lips. Disregarding Hinata kissing her, he'd been the only one. And he intended to keep it that way. Someone's getting possessive, a part of his mind pointed out. He ignored it.
Then, after a moment of silence, she said, voice soft but sure. "I like you. A lot."
In answer, he kissed her again softly. Yep. He was definitely turning mushy, but only for her. When he pulled back again, there was a blinding grin on her face. It was her signature grin, only softer somehow. And it was for him.
He moved in for another kiss, only to jerk back as a voice called throughout the house. "Naruto? You here?"
They froze, and then Sakura walked through the door. She came up short, staring at them, green eyes almost bugging.
Shikamaru knew exactly what she was seeing. Naruto, on his lap, arms around his neck while his arms were around her waist under her shirt. Naruto looked flustered and like she'd just been thoroughly kissed and he probably looked the same.
"Oh, sorry! I didn't know I was going to be intruding on anything," Sakura said, voice slightly uneven. Then she shot two thumbs up at him and mouthed, "Way to go!" while Naruto looked completely confused.
Finally getting a hold on her self, she asked, face straight. "Sooo… When's the wedding?"
"Wedding?" Naruto squeaked and somehow managed to fall off of Shikamaru's lap onto the floor with shock.
Shikamaru closed his eyes, feeling a headache coming on and tried not to flush. Troublesome.
Sakura waited while Naruto managed to get herself back together, at least partially, before adding, "I came down here because Lady Tsunade arrived at the party and told me that the council is ordering you to have a physical examination, just to make sure that you're really… a girl. They want it done as soon as possible, so it's probably for the best if we just head down there now."
Naruto nodded, looking extremely grateful at the change in topic, and then Sakura added, "Oh. One more thing. They thought it would be best if you helped Keita, Hikari, and Shota get used to the village and show them around, so, if it's okay with you, they're going to stay with you, until they're settled in and have found a place of their own."
Apparently completely forgetting her embarrassment of the moment before, Naruto let out a whoop. "That's great!"
Sakura turned and called over her shoulder. "Okay, guys. You can come in."
A moment later, Keita, Hikari, and Shota stood behind Sakura. Keita looked happy; Hikari looked like her birthday had come early, and Shota was smirking.
Shikamaru felt his stomach plummet. He knew it. He didn't know how exactly, but he was now sure that the universe was against his relationship with Naruto going easily. A girl who had an obvious crush on Naruto was going to be staying with her. And, even more worrisome, Shota, who seemed to want Naruto, or maybe just to piss Shikamaru off was going to be staying, too, and Shikamaru had no doubt that he'd use it to his advantage. Briefly, he wondered about making the kid vanish and be left trussed up in a forest far away. It would solve some of his problems, but… it wasn't really morally right. Plus, Naruto was fond of him, even if she was far too innocent to really get what was going on. And, even if he explained it to her, she probably wouldn't believe him.
He sighed. Really? At least they wouldn't be sleeping in the same room. Thank Kami for little things.
And then Naruto said, "I only have one spare room, though, with a double bed, so one of you will probably have to share with me."
He really shouldn't have tempted fate.
Keita's hand shot into the air. "I wouldn't mind sharing with you, Naru-chan."
This earned his a quick elbow in the ribs from his sister, who was glowering at him. "I'll share a room with you, Naruto. It makes sense that the girl's would share a room, right?" she asked with a sweet smile and as if she hadn't just hit her brother the second before.
Well, at least they won't be sharing a bed…
"Okay. We'll have to share a bed, though. It's pretty big, so it should be fine," Naruto said in a cheerful voice, as if looking forward to a sleep over.
Shikamaru just stared in horror. Why was Kami doing this to him? No sooner than he thought of something to be grateful for, then the opposite happened. What the hell?
Naruto looked at him curiously. "Shika, are you okay?"
And then he realized that he'd been grinding his teeth. He forced a smile. "Yeah, fine. Although don't you have a cot or something that you could set up for Hikari?"
She shrugged. "I don't mind sharing a bed."
Of course she didn't.
Naruto turned to Keita, Hikari, who seemed way too happy, and Shota, who was still smirking, and said, "I'll show you guys your rooms and you can explore the house while I go get my checkup, okay?"
And then Shikamaru was left along with Sakura.
She sidled up alongside him and elbowed his in the ribs slightly as if to say, "You sly dog."
"Good going, Shikamaru. I didn't think you'd actually manage to do anything." It was so nice that she believed in him. "I thought I was going to have to intervene," she said, sounding almost disappointed, and then continued. "So, are you and Naruto boyfriend and girlfriend now?"
He hesitated. He wasn't quite sure what the heck they were. But probably? Maybe? Naruto didn't really seem like the type of person to date more than one person at once. They had kissed, several times, and she had admitted to liking him…
"Because I'm pretty sure Neji is going to make a move. I mean, he liked her when he thought she was a he, or maybe she was a he at that point? I don't know. But I do know that he'll like her even more now that his family will probably approve of the match. I don't think Sasuke-kun likes her like that. Kiba's taken by Hinata, although I'm not sure if Hinata still likes Naruto or not. That kiss was pretty intense. I'm pretty sure Shino likes Naruto, but I'm not sure he'd make a move. He's pretty shy. And then there are tons of other ninja and civilians in the village who are probably going to be drooling after her…"
Shikamaru rubbed his temples, feeling a definite headache coming on. Seriously? Troublesome. He wasn't sure the situation could get more – He hurriedly cut off that thought before something happened. Great. Now he was starting to get paranoid of what he was even thinking.
Sakura clapped him on the back. "Congratulations. You've just entered something like a relationship with the Konoha's number one unpredictable ninja. Life's only going to get more interesting."
She was torturing him on purpose. There was no other excuse for what she was saying.
He sighed. "It's worth it." And he meant it.
Sakura's jade green eyes widened in surprise. "Oh. You've really fallen for her, haven't you?"
He merely glared at her lethargically. He really wanted the conversation to be over.
She pinched his cheek. "That's so sweet! Your kids are going to be so cute. Super hyper genii with Naruto's blue eyes and-"
"Sakura, I am going to stab you repeatedly if you don't stop talking."
Her mouth snapped shut.
Ah, silence. He hadn't even considered doing that with Naruto, although…
Naruto came back into the room, interrupting his highly improper and hormone fueled thoughts. "Okay. Let's go see Baa-chan and get this over with," Naruto said, heading towards the door.
Sakura and Shikamaru followed.
He had the feeling that something weird and quite possibly mind-warping was going to happen. And this feeling seemed to occur more and more often in Naruto's company. He remembered the feel of Naruto's lips against his and smiled slightly. Troublesome, but worth it.
Anyone remember when I said that I would never discontinue this story until I finished the plot line? Well, I meant it. I will continue writing unless I can't get to the internet or die! And if I die, then I'll just come back as a zombie and keep writing... although it may be hard if my fingers fall off while I'm writing... Although I suppose I could always just use speech software... Can you all tell that my brain has become more melted and twisted since I've been gone? Anyway, I'm not dead, unless being brain-dead counts, and I have another chapter written. I haven't been writing because I've been studying (make that freaking out) about college, but I passed both of the placement tests, so it's all good. And then I got abducted by my parents... again. And, yes, these are excused, which are bad things. I will not blame you all if you decide to throw kunai at me. Just try not to hit my vitals, okay? And, I just want to say that I'm so sorry for taking this long. I really am.
Clow Angel: As you can see, Sakura's threat of interfering with Shikamaru's love life, or lack of one, actually resulted him in telling Naruto. Finally, he got some action. Only... I highly doubt everything's going to go smoothly.
Zlatka: I think... Yes, I have the highly disturbing idea that Shino's bugs will report about Naruto's breasts. Weird. I'm trying not to think about it too much.
DOOOOOOM Lord of Waffles: Yep. And I still think you have an awesome name. Shikamaru does indeed have lots of competition for Naruto. I think Neji's going to be a problem. And, in answer to your question, I don't think Anko's going to be trying to get with Naruto, although...
mugu: Umm... Just thank you. Thank you for liking my story so much and thinking those things about it.
ZAFO: I'm glad you like the humor. I seem to have at least a little bit of talent for it. As for Shota, I'm not sure what the heck is going to happen there. Nothing good for Shikamaru, though.
MegamiTenshiHime: Thank you, thank you, and thank you very much. I hope you enjoyed this chapter as well.
Nero Strauss: Don't worry about being insane? Well, that takes a load off my mind. You may be right about the best people in the world being bonkers. It has the ring of truth to it. As for the whole Kyuubi thing, you're right. I need to include her in the story more.
harlequin320: Hilarious? Wonderful. Thank you so much. I am really sorry that I haven't updated in so long. I do hope that you're still reading this.
animeboylover: I did mistreat Kakashi a little in the last chapter, didn't I? Well, I'll make it up to him with some perverseness at a later date. And I'm sorry, really sorry, that I didn't update sooner.
librarycat9: Come on, bugs aren't that bad... Okay, I don't like them, either. I much prefer snakes.
HPNU92: I'm not really sure if I've been asked about Jiraiya, but to answer your question, no, he doesn't really know and he is going to appear in the story shortly.
meglepetes: I made your day with my last chapter? That makes me happy to know. And I really enjoyed reading your review.
xbamsod: Naruto's first training session with Anko was actually pretty tame, besides the whole unconscious Udon thing. The next training lesson is going to be weird. And potentially dangerous to all males involved.
Anie6142: I think Anko freaks everyone out just a little bit. And now Hikari is going to share a bed with her! Shikamaru's in trouble...
Nerd4ever243: I think my ego just swelled to 2x its usual size from your review. And, if you really want to see Pervy Sage's reaction, just wait a chapter or two. The great pervert... is coming.
Jaycee: I guess I am sort of new to fanfictions... Huh. I didn't really think of that. But thank you for the compliments and I will keep writing.
JER: Yeah... Here's another update. Better late than never, right?
AdamEbe: You're certainly welcome! I'm glad that the last chapter made your day. And it would be Sir, not Madam. I mean, I know I'm pretty short, but...
Rockheart: The best ShikaxNaru you've ever read? There is no way I can discontinue this story when someone says that. Thank you.
Darkmaster of the Arts: Yep. Shikamaru is sort of a genius... except when it comes to girls. Or Naruto, apparently. But he finally made some progress. Go, Shikamaru!
NatalieNamikaze2006: Yep. Sasuke and Shikamaru are teaming up. Who would have seen that coming? And, per your wishes, Shikamaru finally made a move, although I know things are not going to be easy for him.
CloudedCreation: Do you still feel sorry for Shikamaru? He made a move and made some progress... but now Hikari and Shota are living with Naruto. Poor guy.
Beloved Daughter: Well, he finally made an opportunity to tell Naruto how he feels. But I don't think she really realizes all of the guys after her...
Aquilon: Thank you so much for the 400th review! Yes! And I'm happy that you liked the last chapter, too. I can only hope that you're still reading this story.
Blackrosebunny: An amazing fanfic? Wow. You really do like this story. Now I feel even worse about not writing it for so long... But I am happy that you noticed all of those details about my story. Thanks.
Mystia Katsuragi: Finally. A new chapter. What do you think?
KitsuneNaru: Ah, glad you think so. Thanks for reading and reviewing my story.
LadyKarma18: Naruto really is cute when she's confused, isn't she? Although, she wasn't as confused as we all though she was, apparently. Thank you for reviewing on my story, and I hope you enjoyed this chapter, too.
SinousFun-Keeper of Innocence: I just didn't want Sasuke and Naruto to have a romantic thing between them. There are too many fanfictions like that already. Nice to know you approve of it. And you have an interesting name, by the way.
Lady Kaiki: Thank you, and sorry for not uploading, or writing, a chapter sooner.
wolf girl811: I know, I like Shino, too. And the marriage proposal you wrote about will come back into play. The Kyuubi is indeed laughing at all of the stuff happening to Naruto, and I think Pervy Sage is going to appear soon.
EternalFire-IceDragon: Wow. Thank you. You love it? And you're grateful to me for creating it? I'm not sure I've actually read that in a review before. Your review made me grin like an idiot and I couldn't stop smiling for a while. So thank you, sincerely.
KamilahKaliope: Huh. I don't think Kyuubi taught Naruto how to seduce. Honestly, I didn't really think of that. But now Anko is going to. Be afraid, be very afraid. And... Yes, I'm glad you think the chapter is cute. I keep trying to write action stories, but they always turn cute. I need to just get used to it.
The Watcher4: Good thing, rooting for Shikamaru. And he actually made some progress! Only to learn that the siblings would be living with Naruto... He just can't get a break, can he?
First Lady Lestat: Sorry...
Candiiee: Well, you said that you wanted to see where Naruto and Shikamaru's relationship went. What do you think?
LOVE LOVE LOVE3: I promise I won't abandon this story, okay? It may be intermittent, but I won't leave it unfinished.
Grimm: Well, your wishes came true. They got together, sort of, and the only person that she's kissed is Hinata... and Hinata kind of kissed her first.
College6Jazz: I'm glad you love my story. It makes me happy to hear that. Do you feel a little better for Shikamaru, though? He finally got to kiss Naruto. Several times. I think he's beyond smitten at this point.
Guest: Sorry, I would send you a message, but your email didn't come through.
latindragon: Love? Well, thank you very, very much. I appreciate it.
Jess the Weird: The best you've read so far? Every time I hear that, which isn't nearly enough, I get this huge grin on my face. I just love writing and making people laugh and I'm glad I could do that with this story.
lunarmidnightwolf: I hope that you enjoy reading this chapter.