Immediately following the birth of their son, Yoshino Nara had honestly thought that there was
something extremely wrong with the newborn. Most babies, she would embarrassingly complain
to her husband, enjoyed breast feeding. Shikamaru, however, would just lay his head onto her
chest and close his eyes.
"I think he's dying!" she exclaimed with tears in her eyes. Shikaku sighed and rubbed a calloused
hand along the back of her neck. He wouldn't admit it, not even to her, but he was also worried.
It turned out that Shikamaru preferred milk when it was already in a bottle, for some reason. It
was strange, but Shikaku decided that it was better than his son just starving to death.
Next came talking and walking. Shikamaru was an intelligent baby, that much was for sure. He
was quickly able to differentiate between colors (something that Shikaku proudly boasted to
Inoichi and Chouza), learned what simple phrases meant by means of observation, and was quite
aware when nap time was. In fact, the young Nara would start to whine if Shikaku was even one
minute late for putting his son down to sleep.
Shikamaru wasn't stupid, definitely not.
Talking wasn't too much of a challenge. Especially when he picked up on one of Shikaku's
favorite phrases. And it wasn't until Shikaku was urging his son to play 'Patty-Cake' with him that
the young boy muttered, "Twubbesum . . ."
Shikaku stared in awe at the toddler. Now, he wasn't one for getting too emotional, so he would
forever deny running to his wife, child tucked under his arm, excitedly rambling on about how
much of a genius Shikamaru was.
To that, Yoshina would smile and kiss the top of her son's head. "That's what every parent says,
But Shikaku was a genius, too. And he was certain that he knew one when he saw one.
Walking, however, was the problem. Shikamaru couldn't care less as to how he got from Point A to Point B, so much as he didn't have to use any energy. This exasperated his father to no extent, of course.
Shikamaru seemed to indulge in being a silent genius, only taunting his father with his brains. He
wouldn't do that to his mother. No, it was a certain torture that only those who tried to play
And so it began.
When Shikamaru turned five, Shikaku arranged for his two friends to bring their children for a play
date at the park.
"Come on, Shikamaru. We're going to the park today, okay?" It was 9 o'clock on a wonderful and
sunny Saturday. As such, Shikaku stood against the door frame to his son's room, keeping a safe
distance from any stuffed animal projectiles that might come his way.
One 'Mr. Fluffems', a raggedy rabbit with a ripped ear, flew into the hallway. "Take Mr. Fluff,"
came the muffled reply.
"Mr. Fluffems," Shikaku corrected him.
If one couldn't tell by now, Shikamaru didn't even care to remember the names of his toys.
"Come on, I want you to meet some new kids! You like the park, don't you?" Shikaku inwardly
groaned at the soon-to-be snarky response.
"It's too sunny, kids are too loud, and there's nowhere comfortable enough for me to just sit and
watch the clouds."
It was like pulling teeth with Shikamaru sometimes. And if he wasn't his son, Shikaku would've mistaken his announcement as something an old man would say. "If you go to the park, I know you'll have a fun time and make new friends."
"If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, then we'd all have a merry Christmas . . ."
Shikaku, along with not being one for over-emotion, never got very forceful. So, he definitely did not march into Shikamaru's room, did not drag his sorry butt out of bed, and most certainly did not plant his feet firmly on the ground.
But if he did, which he didn't, he then rummaged around the boy's drawer and pulled out a pair of hunter green shorts and a slightly lighter shade of green shirt.
Green was a good color for Shikamaru, that much the family could agree on. For Yoshino, it was because she said that Shikamaru looked adorable in earthy tones; to Shikaku, simply because it was a common color for clothes.
And for Shikamaru, one might ask . . .
'It's the only color that doesn't make my eyes hurt.'
Yes, staring at things proved to be too troublesome for Shikamaru.
Shikaku slipped a brown sandal onto Shikamaru's right foot and then one onto the left. The unenthusiastic boy kicked his legs on the side of the bed absentmindedly before reluctantly pushing himself up. "Are you happy?" he deadpanned.
The two walked silently to the park, each lost in their own thoughts. Shikamaru was thinking about cloud gazing, while Shikaku wondered why such a smart boy didn't realize his own potential. Well, he probably did but just wouldn't admit it.
Shikaku found a nice bench to sit on and did so, his Mini-Me soon following. The two yawned at the same time, settling themselves further into their seats.
"Ah, Shikaku!" Inoichi called. His hand was grasping that of a small blonde girl's. She had been chattering to her father until she noticed Shikaku. With that, she hid behind her father's leg, furrowing her brow in confusion. "Ino, Sweetie, this is Shikaku Nara. He's an old friend of mine."
"Nice to meet you," said Nara smiled, extending his hand. Ino stared at it for a moment before shyly taking it.
Inoichi rubbed the back of his head. "She's usually not this shy, you know."
"Don't sweat it. Shikamaru's not great with new people, either. Aren't you, buddy?" He nudged the boy beside him, who only crossed his arms.
Ino, in curiosity, stuck her face far too much in Shikamaru's personal bubble. He reared back but she only moved farther. "Shikamaru?" she repeated.
This could be, in all history, the first time that Shikamaru was actually talking to a kid his own age. Shikaku might've started crying, but Inoichi was there, and he really didn't want to make a fool of himself.
"I can see that."
The girl gave a semblance of a pout. "You're mean!"
Formation Ino-Shika-Cho was starting off to a great success, Shikaku cynically mused. Why couldn't he have fathered a social butterfly instead of a wall flower?
Speaking of butterfly . . .
"Hey, guys!" Chouza roared, causing Ino and Shikamaru to jump. The children turned to the large man, who had a chubby child following in his footsteps. The kid was, in every sense of the word, pretty cute. He had chubby cheeks that would make any woman want to pinch. The boy, presumably Chouji, who seemed interested in nothing but the potato chips that he was eating, brightened when he saw Shikamaru.
"Shikamaru!" Chouji greeted, toddling over. Shikamaru waved friendly-like, catching his father off guard.
Shikaku watched as Shikamaru smiled and moved over so that Chouji could stand between him and Ino. The blonde seemed confused, as Shikaku could relate.
"Shikamaru, get over here," he said. The child took his sweet time getting there, looking up as if Shikaku was about to say something life altering. "Why didn't you tell me that you and Chouji were friends?'
"You never asked."
And this, Shikaku realized, was one of those moments where one begins to twitch. Shikamaru raised an eyebrow and returned to Chouji. "So, do we have to play with a girl?"
The slightly chubby child blinked and glanced over at Ino. She looked up from her sitting position and frowned. "What are you staring at, weirdo?" Chouji gulped loudly and turned back to his friend. Shrugging, the two looked to their fathers for support.
Chouza folded his arms. "Chouji, you know what we say about girls."
"To play with them . . ."
Chouji sighed heavily and smiled at Ino. "I'm Chouji," he said, extending his hand. She stared at it for a moment. "What are you staring at, weirdo?"
It seemed for a moment that she was going to smack that boy across the pavement, but Ino merely started to giggle. "Just you, weird~o!"
The two turned their attention to Shikamaru, who was beginning to look much more mature than he really was. "Come on, Shikamaru! Ino's gonna play with us! Come on!" Shikamaru slapped a hand against his forehead.
"How troublesome . . ."
When Shikamaru graduated from the Academy, he wasn't excited. In fact, he had been hoping that he might actually fail. Unfortunately, that was not the case, as Shikamaru's inner genius had chosen that time to show itself.
And when Shikamaru, Ino, and Chouji were placed into the same team with Asuma Sarutobi as their leader, Shikaku knew that these three would make wonderful progress. Chouji was a hard worker, Ino was quite the leader, and Shikamaru was, of course, a genius. Asuma would talk to Shikaku on many an occasion and tell him how lazy his son was.
He didn't deny it.
"I know what my son is. He's like his father."
Asuma sighed loudly and fidgeted with his cigarette. "I know, but he's also very resourceful. I figured that out on our first mission."
Shikaku raised an eyebrow . "How so?"
"It was a D-Rank mission, but our team might've gotten separated. It took me two hours to find them, and I was starting to worry that they got eaten by a bear or something. But when I got there, the three had started a camp fire and taking turns sleeping. What was the weirdest was that Ino had a bear hide wrapped around her . . ." Asuma stopped to take in Shikaku's reaction.
A simple raise of the eyebrow. "And?"
"He killed a bear!"
"How do you know Ino didn't do it?" Shikaku retorted.
The Nara head stroked his chin thoughtfully. "I suppose . . . Either way, I find that it's an accomplishment that Shikamaru was active enough to kill a bear."
Apparently, somebody else thought that Shikamaru was a genius. Which he was. Asuma, who had just become accustomed to the lazy boy, could've sworn that there was something more to him. As such, he decided to disguise an I.Q. test as a game, that way he wouldn't feel pressured about taking it.
Shikamaru never felt pressured about messing up. He just refused to do things.
But that was off-topic. Shikaku was just musing with the deer when Asuma came running up to him, looking quite disheveled. "Shikaku-san, may we talk?"
"Whatever Shikamaru broke, I swear that I'll pay for it."
"Not that. It's something much bigger, sir."
Shikaku looked up from the deer that he was absentmindedly petting. "What, did he kill an assassin this time? I still say that Chouji did it."
"First of all, Shikamaru killed it. I know it. Second of all, I gave Shikamaru a test. An I.Q. test. I disguised it as a puzzle, but that's irrelevant."
The older Nara sighed. "Is he unteachable? I knew he was lazy, but I didn't think he was stupid, either." He seemed nonchalant, but on the inside, he was freaking out. He was certain that his son was smart. Maybe not a genius like he had envisioned, but definitely not mentally challenged.
"Actually, I think your son is a genius. He scored very highly. Very highly."
Finally, Shikaku's eyes widened. "What? 165?"
"No. In fact, it's over 200. A twelve year-old has an I.Q. of 200."
"I did a research about the different numbers and what they mean, intelligence wise. An I.Q. over 200 means that he's an unmeasurable genius."
Shikamaru never cried. For one thing, it was draining. Emotionally and physically. Which is why he never cried when he was five and would fall down two flights of steps. The boy merely stared at his scraped knee before pushing himself up and staring at his father. "That hurt," he deadpanned.
Of course, as a father, Shikaku could make his son cry. Twice. The first time had been quite unintentional, as he had only scolded his son after the failed attempt at bringing back that Uchiha boy. Everyone but Shikamaru had been severely injured, as he had only broken a finger.
And, to make matters worse, he had cried in front of that girl from Sunagakure. Temari, or whatever . . .
The second time, Shikaku had meant to make him cry. It was after Asuma (bless his soul . . .), had been killed by those Akatsuki members. Shikamaru, being the stubborn boy that he was, just sat outside all day and watched a fixed spot on the wall. Yoshino had been worried and had ordered her husband to talk to their son.
Thus, Shikaku found himself staring at his son across a shogi board. His technique was haphazard, as he usually chose the Climbing Silver strategy. This time, the young Nara just seemed to slap random pieces on the board.
Then that little brat slapped the shogi board. It flew across the room, making a horrible cracking noise as it hit the wall. Shikaku only cursed inwardly as he met his son's dark brown eyes.
Naturally, being a father, Shikaku didn't want his son to start crying. Oh, and it wasn't just crying. He was sobbing. Fortunately, he was able to slip out of the room, only to curse his actions soon afterwards. If he were a teenager, he might've punched his father right in the mouth.
But Shikamaru probably found that sort of thing too draining.
And now, as Shikaku read through a few papers from Lady Tsunade, noticing where the Kazekage had chosen Shikamaru to be the Proxy Commander of the Allied Shinobi Forces. His eyebrow raised slightly as he skimmed through the paper, examining its contents.
"Do you think he's ready?" Tsunade asked, frowning lightly as Shikaku put the paper down. He stroked his chin thoughtfully, as he so often did.
"I like to think so. He's strong, so smart . . ." The Hokage paced the room quietly as Shizune walked in, immediately sensing the tension. "He might be a good leader."
Shikaku's hand fidgeted slightly in slight nervousness. "He's still young, you know."
"He's seventeen. It's now or never. Besides," Tsunade smiled, "I think that he'll make a wonderful advisor for the newest Hokage."
"He and Naruto have always gotten along."
It was funny, Shikaku mused, as he was feeding the deer, that Shikamaru had come so far. He had honestly expected his son to either give up on being a Shinobi or even being killed in the line of duty. He hadn't seen his son actually being second-in-command of an army.
Shikamaru was smart, so smart. He was such a genius that it was infuriating at times. But at other times, when his son was given a real challenge, that he actually let his advantageous side show.
He would, of course, never forget Shikamaru's first words spoken.
A.N.: Okay, so this took FOREVER to get done! This is probably repetitive and has been done about a million times! But I wanted to put my own spin on it, just because Shikamaru and Shikaku's father/son relationship always fills me with happiness! Hope you enjoyed! If you liked it, favorite it or review it. I own nothing!