Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, nor any characters, places, things, or ideas therein. The aforementioned belong to Masashi Kishimoto and Viz Media, and I am making no monetary gain from this fic in any way, shape, or form.

Summary: Ino had been bragging for weeks about her prestigious role, but Shikamaru didn't really see anything amazing about throwing a bunch of dead flowers all over the floor. And his father kept slapping the back of his head every time he even peeked up at the clouds. Troublesome. Kid!ShikaIno

Rating: K+

Warnings: Fluff

Pairing: Shikamaru/Ino

Spoilers: None

Dedicated to: SeiraXD, whose beautiful Shikamaru/Ino Valentine's Day fic Sorry I forgot made me love the pairing even more than I already did and inspired me to branch out and try my hand at a Shikamaru/Ino fic of my own. Thank you!

Author's Note: My first strictly Shikamaru/Ino fic, though I have woven touches of their relationship into a couple of my other fics. This idea just randomly hit me over the head while I was talking to a friend of mine, so I had to write it out, and I thought I'd share it. Thank you all so much for checking this out, and I hope you enjoy it!

*~The Flower Girl~*


Ino had been bragging for weeks about her prestigious role, but Shikamaru didn't really see anything amazing about throwing a bunch of dead flowers on the floor. His friend (their fathers were friends and former teammates, which means he was forced to spend time with the troublesome blonde girl to carry on the Tradition) immediately took offense to his offhanded remark and punched him across the face so hard he couldn't feel his jaw for about three hours afterwards. And then he wished it was still numb, because it hurt so much.

Fortunately the bruise had vanished in time for today. Shikamaru had feigned several kinds of illness and would have tried running away if it hadn't been so troublesome to avoid going to this circus his mother was going completely starry-eyed over. Sheesh, girls.

It was a warm day, the sky cerulean and spotted with his favorite white fluff balls. It was a perfect day for cloud gazing, but his father kept slapping the back of his head and muttering for him to pay attention whenever he so much as peeked upwards.

And the worst part of it all was that he didn't even get to sit next to or even close to his best friend Chouji.

He wasn't usually the type to sulk, but today he was giving it his best shot since his mother seemed too focused on what was going on around them to pay him any mind (a minor miracle in and of itself). Shikaku, however, was giving him the parental equivalent of the Evil Eye, though as long as his son's eyes remained forward and not slanted upwards, he decided to leave the whole situation alone.

The tiresome music that had been playing underscore to the various conversations floating on the breeze picked up tempo slightly, and everyone around him turned in their seats. Sighing, Shikamaru followed suit, not wanting to be the only one who wasn't doing what everyone else was. (And he was pretty sure that was his mom's fingers pinching the back of his neck warningly.)

And there she was. Yamanaka Ino, dressed in her pretty blue dress (that just matched the beckoning sky, Shikamaru thought wistfully), skipped down the aisle, scattering flower petals around her as if she were throwing confetti at a New Years' celebration. A slower gait and more refined movements would seem more appropriate, but what did Shikamaru know (or care)? He just wanted this all to be over with so he could slip away from his parents' watchful eyes and go stare at the clouds.

A line of bridesmaids followed, trampling all over Ino's carefully thrown petals. But she didn't seem to care. She just stood at her place at the front of the meadow, clutching her basket triumphantly and smiling just like she had when she'd first told Shikamaru that her aunt had made her flower girl for her wedding.

Finally the bride arrived. Shikamaru slowly got to his feet, happy that she had at last shown up since this meant that they were getting down to business. This also meant that all eyes were on her, and not on him. Which meant he got to stare up at the clouds for thirty-nine wonderful seconds, even though craning his neck hurt a little, and his father's hand impacting the back of his head really didn't help matters any.

When everyone sat down again, Shikamaru slumped in his seat, letting his eyes roam the crowd (at least those sitting before the Nara trio) as he focused only a fraction of his brilliant mind on actually listening to the wedding ceremony. The Third Hokage seemed as caught up in all the romantic nonsense as everyone else, drawing out every word he said as if he were issuing a new, important decree to the shinobi world or some such thing.


The crowd was forced to remain standing by their seats until the bride and groom (not to mention the groomsmen, bridesmaid, and flower girl) made their way back up the aisle after the ceremony. Once everyone else started leaving, though, Shikamaru gladly made his escape. He knew Chouji would go on to the reception, though he'd be along later. Probably.

Who he hadn't expected to show up, however, was the one person who did. Shikamaru had expected Ino to go to the reception and bask in the glow of attention, drinking in every compliment she could garner.

So when she plopped down on the grass next to him, her blonde hair fanning out beneath her in as messy a way as Shikamaru had ever seen it, he was intensely surprised. "You'll get grass stains on your dress," was the only thing that escaped his mouth, though several other things came to mind.

Ino shrugged. "The only ones out here to see are you and me. You're not going to complain, are you?"

"No." Too much effort. Fortunately, he had enough sense not to say that last part aloud.

Satisfied, the flower girl settled back again and followed his gaze up into the sky. "I see why you like doing this," she sighed. "It's pretty."

"Hmm." Shikamaru crossed his ankles, wiggling his bare toes in relief to having them out of those constricting shoes his mother had forced on him. Also being able to shuck some of the other fancy, restricting things he'd been tortured into wearing helped, too. "Relaxing," he sighed. "I've been wanting to do this all day."

One of Ino's bright eyes rolled to look at him. "But you did watch me throw flowers, right? Please say you did, Shika…"

"Yes, Ino." Even if it was only his father that kept his attention on what was happening on the ground instead of in the sky.

The blonde was silent for a few seconds, which was a new record for her. "How did I do?"

Shikamaru blinked. She'd been talking of nothing else for the past two weeks, telling him each and every day about her dress, about the kinds of flower petals she'd be throwing, and about how amazing everything would be. But the quiet uncertainty in her voice at that moment left him nearly speechless. "Are you-?" He stopped.

Ino sat up, propping herself on one hand so she could lean over him. "What?" Her little teeth worried her lower lip as shimmering crystal drops formed at the corners of her eyes.

Aw, man, is she gonna cry? Shikamaru had no idea what to do when a girl cried. And since Ino was more the type to make others cry than to cry herself, he really had no idea what to do with her. "You did fine, troublesome. You were the prettiest girl there." He said the last more because he knew that was what she wanted to hear than because he actually meant it. He had expected her to smile, but of course she did the opposite of what he wanted.

She burst into tears.

For a few moments, Shikamaru was torn between the urge to slap his hands over his face and try to hide or make a run for it. But suddenly Ino's arms were around his neck, half-strangling him, and he couldn't move, let alone escape.

"Thank you, Shika," she sobbed into his shoulder. "Thank you…"

You troublesome girl… He would never, never understand girls. Patting Ino's shoulder twice, awkwardly, he then started trying to pry her off. She only clung tighter, mumbling things he couldn't understand. Sighing, he realized that his efforts were pointless because she wasn't going to move, and sat quietly until she finally pulled back, rubbing her hands under her eyes to erase her tear tracks.

"Thank you, Shika," Ino repeated. "Anyone could tell me that and not mean it. But you're one of my best friends. If you say it, it must be true."

Shikamaru blinked. Guilt poked at him since he really hadn't meant it - he'd only said it to keep her from crying, even though it had apparently been a pointless attempt. "Ino…" He stopped and sighed, deciding that trying to explain it all to her was too much trouble. And she'd finally stopped crying. He didn't want to have to go through that again. Instead, he leaned forwardly slightly and plucked a nearby flower, tucking it behind her ear so the fragile bluish-purple bloom was snuggled tightly against her pale hair. "A pretty flower for a pretty flower girl."

Ino smiled again, radiantly. Before he could stop her, she leaned forward, planted a wet kiss on his cheek, then stood up and skipped off without uttering another word.

"Troublesome." With another sigh, Shikamaru laid back and went back to his cloud watching. Girls.

*~The End~*

Author's Ending Notes: Well, there you have it! My first Shikamaru/Ino fic. Like I said, this is my first time writing a fic strictly focused on them, so I really hope it turned out okay. Also, I used a Western-style wedding, though I pictured everyone dressed up in more traditional Japanese clothing. Thank you so much for taking the time to read it, and I hope you enjoyed!