Hola! I meant to post this a long time ago, but I forgot to do it…*nervous chuckle* Anywho~ this is for dreamheld . affinity. I absolutely love her (and she better like this -.-)! Go check out her stories! By the way, the little line is where your name goes! Now on with the story!

Clouds: A Shikamaru Story

The bass reverberated off the walls, music flowing though out the illuminated room. Crowds of teenage swayed to the rhythm, allowing their minds to shut down and their bodies to dance freely. I looked at them all with envy. They were having the time of their lives. Me? I was assigned a mission.

A fucking mission.

On the holiday break, no less!

Snarling, I glared at them all, before promenading away from the club, my club, and to the Hokage.

Konohagakure was a buzz on a day like this. People were out drinking, partying, singing, and anything imaginable. The couples pranced in the parks, dancing with each other to the festive Christmas Carols. In the distance, I could hear the melodic beat of Feliz Navidad. Scowling, I rolled my eyes. What was the point of holiday time?

Family bonding? Please! Any other day and children are practically begging to get away from their parents.

Love? Ha! They made Valentine's Day for that.

These holidays have no point. All they do is make those alone feel even more secluded, raid people or their hard earned money to buy others gifts they won't ever use again, and raise the hopes of children that a fat man will break into their houses and leave a gift.

Please, couldn't the world do without all that? I know I could.

Sighing, I pounded on the enlarged mahogany doors of the Hokage, bursting in a second later. The busted woman looked up at me, a smirk playing on her lips and amusement danced on her eyes. She raised a thin eyebrow at me, before setting her bottle of sake down and standing up.

"Ah! Miss _! Nice for you to make it! Now, about this mission," Tsunade smirked, her breasts bouncing as she slammed her hands down on the wooden table excitedly. "I have a lovely surprise for you."

"Yes?"

"Come in!" the woman bellowed, smirking at me. Behind me, I could hear the metal hinges of the door swing open, before I felt someone standing beside. My peripheral vision could make out jet black hair and a green vest. That color combination could only be found on three people, two of which scared the Hell out of me.

"_, I'm sure you know Nara boy here. He's here to assist you on your…mission."

"Shikamaru? Staying awake for a long period of time? Is that possible?" I quirked a brow at him, smirking at the hint of agitation that color his eyes. He shot me a side-ways glare, which was cut off by a ferocious yawn tearing its way out of his throat. "Point proven."

"Shut up, troublesome woman," he snapped, eyeing the growing smirk on the blonde Hokage's face. "Tsunade-sama, why am I here?"

"Because Nara," she drawled, "as you can see, _ here is a bit of a grouch. It's your job to get her into the festive spirits!" she beamed, raising her Sake glass before taking a shot. The silence that covered the office was appalling.

You would've been able to hear the party goers outside, along with the sounds of Shikamaru's and my jaws dropping.

"Excuse me? The reason you forced me out here, through masses of drunken teenagers and horny men, was so you could tell me he's going to be getting me into the 'festive spirit'? Whatever the Hell that means!" I exclaimed, pointing an accusatory finger at the blackette standing beside me, an equally distasteful scowl gracing his features.

"What exactly did you mean by that?" he hissed, shooting me a glare, before whipping a hand to cover his mouth as he yawned.

"Oh shut up Sleeping Beauty, use your imagination. There has to be some in that robot mind of yours."

Shikamaru opened his mouth to retaliate, only for Tsunade to cut him off with a booming laugh. She waved her fingers back and forth between us, pointing.

"You two are in love! You bicker like a married couple! It's too perfect!" she roared, wrapping an arm around her midsection. I could feel the warmth radiating towards my cheeks, glaring coldly at the half drunken Hokage.

"Hell would freeze over before I even consider dating this sloth!" I shot back.

The blackette nodded. "She's a troublesome little brat."

We then began an intense glaring session. The flickers of electricity could've been felt from the other side of town.

"Oh quite denying it and go have fun, you two. I'm about to get wasted, and I don't want you twerps here. Get out!" she smirked, waving her hand dismissively before chugging down shot after shot of sake.

We begrudgedly obeyed, scowling all the while. I could feel Shikamaru's stare boring into the back of my head, fighting the urge to turn around. Sighing, I let my eyes flicker to the side, causing him to glance away inconspicuously.

"So…" he yawned, "what exactly do you want to do?"

"Go home."

He rolled his eyes, shoving his hands into his pockets. "Yeah, well, too bad. What else so do you want to do?"

Letting out a huff of air, I ran a hand through my hair.

"Well?" he inquired.

"I don't know! Do whatever you want, I'm going to get some Ramen," I snapped, whipping around, (being sure to let my hair slap Shikamaru across his cheek), before striding back down to the main floor level. I could hear the sound of footsteps following me down the stair way of the Hokage building and onto the gravel. Scowling, I twirled around to stare at the blackette.

"Can I help you?" I hissed, clenching my fists. This boy was all but stomping on thin ice. What the Hell does he want? It's not like he actually wants to be here anyway.

Well it's not like you want him to go away, but you still snap at him.

The Hell? What was that? Surely it wasn't me thinking that. Last time I checked, I hated this fool. He's so lazy and useless. All he does is sleep, not to mention his best friend is a boy who eats all day and night.

Doesn't matter who his best friend is, you know you like him.

Okay, now would be the perfect time to shut the Hell up. It's probably all the-

"_? Hello? Anyone in there?" Shikamaru asked, waving his hand in front of my face, his eyes half lidded with mild to no interest.

"…Huh? What?" I jumped, looking around before facing him. He rolled his eyes, earning a scowl from me. "The Hell do you want?"

"Look, Naruto is throwing a holiday party later. Wanna come or not?" he asked, looking at anything but me at the moment. My eyes went wide and my cheeks flamed pink before I smirked.

"Shikamaru Nara, are you asking me out on a date?" I grinned cruelly, flashing my teeth at the flustered look he gained.

"W-What? No! I-I'm just trying not to be rude! Stupid troublesome woman," he grumbled under his breath, ignoring the dull stare I sent to him at the last comment.

"Yes, because Heaven forbid the two of us insult each other, right Sleeping Beauty?" I asked dryly, rolling my eyes.

He seethed at me for a minute, before growling. "Look, do you want to come or not? Personally, I think Tsunade wants me to make you come."

I opened my mouth with a snarky comment, only for a glass to shatter in between us. We looked up to see Tsunade herself, laughing particularly hard.

"That's what she said!"

"…"

"…"

Shikamaru and I blinked at her, before flushing. I could feel the heat radiate around my face. He didn't look any better either. His cheeks were a deep rose color, and his eyes looked about ready to fall from his sockets. He cleared his throat, eyes still wide and face still flushed, before shaking his head rapidly.

"That's not what I meant! I swear!" he exclaimed, waving his hands back and forth frantically. I raised an eyebrow at him, settling a hand on my hip and the other to dangle at my side. "D-Don't give me that look! I didn't mean it like that!"

We stared at each other for a moment, ignoring all the drunkards and horny men, particularly Jiraiya and Kakashi, who danced uncoordinatedly around us.

You know you wanna go.

Oh shut up. Going to a party with half drunken teenagers is not something I want to do.

Oh that's bull and you know it. You're dying to go.

You know what? Whatever! It's not like Shika needs to know that.

You called him Shika! You called him Shika!

Shut up!

Growling, I glared daggers at the floor. Damn it all. Da-.

I felt something being shoved into my back, launching me forward and into the nearest object. Shikamaru. Oh, how life is cruel, ne? I could feel his arms wrap themselves around my waist; his feet stumbling back a yard.

"_? W-What?" he stuttered, face as red as the Santa hat Kakashi was bearing. I flushed, immediately standing up ram-rod straight.

"S-Sorry! Kakashi p-pushed me…"

"Just trying to h-help!" said male hiccupped, raising his mug at us in cheers. I shot him a dangerous glare, shoving him off my back.

"E-erm, sorry Shika," I laughed weakly, shakily rubbing the back of my head.

"No…problem," he blushed, looking away. "S-So, erm, about that dat-PARTY! Yeah…about that…party."

"Huh? O…oh yeah! Um, sure. Yeah, I'll go."

And with that, we left the front of the Hokage mansion, making our way to Naruto's abode. Not once did he look at me, or I at him. Not once did he say a word to me, and I wasn't about to start a conversation. The 'trip' took all of ten minutes, an extra five to be sure to avoid the drunken perverts roaming the darkened streets.

"_! Shika! Glad you guys could make it! We're just getting ready to play truth or dare!" the blonde beamed, his excitement reminding me of Tsunade.

"I'll pass."

My flat look gave no room for argument, but Naruto managed, somehow.

"Aw c'mon _-chan! Pplleeaassee!" his cerulean eyes shined down at me, his lips in a pout and his hands under his chin in a begging motion.

"Fine."

Little bastard. You're lucky I like you.

"YAY!"

"Shut up."

Grumble, grumble.

"I'll just be sleep-."

"Oh no you don't. If I'm playing, you are too Sleeping Beauty," I snapped, taking his green jacket into a death grip and literally dragging him to the circle that contained Hinata, Tenten, Ino, Sakura, Lee, Neji, Chouji, Shino, Kiba, and Akamaru. The ten looked up at the entrance, smiling and greeting us, laughing at the glare Shikamaru sent me when I finally released him.

"Okay! Let's start! Um…you go first Kiba!" the blonde pointed, smiling his foxy grin. The brunette smirked, his eyes flashing to the innocent Hyuuga.

"So, Hinata. Truth or dare?"

"U-um…t-t-truth," she blushed, pushing her two index fingers against each other nervously. Kiba's smirk grew.

"Is it true that you have a crush on someone in the room?" he asked all too innocently. The girl became red faced, her eyes wide.

"W-w-w-well…y-yes…"

He nodded, grinning widely as Naruto plopped down at her side and began to pester her.

"U-um…Neji-nii-san. Truth or dare?" she asked.

"Dare," he drawled boredly, blinking slowly. Naruto seemed to get an idea and smirked, whispering something into her ear. She looked at him once he pulled away. He nodded, and then smiled.

"I…I d-dare you t-to kiss Tenten-chan!" she flushed.

The Hyuuga prodigy became red like his cousin, looking at Tenten nervously. Rock Lee was smiling broadly, shoving the brunette haired girl towards her teammate.

"Yosh! Feel the power of youth, young kunoichi!" the bowl haired male exclaimed, literally shoving her on top of him, their lips smacking as he caught her. The others grinned, Sakura pulling out a camera to take a picture.

"That's so going on the Christmas card," the pinkette smirked.

Neji pulled away quickly, both their faces rather cherry like. Tenten cleared her throat, sitting down beside him, as if nothing happened. The group only smiled when they saw the duo's hands met on the carpet.

"Shikamaru, truth or dare."

"Dare," he yawned.

I couldn't resist. Smirking, I leaned back, eyeing him.

"Shikamaru Nara? Doing something that involves energy? Willingly? It must be a Christmas miracle."

"Shut up, you troublesome woman!"

We glared at each other, completely forgetting the game. But, of course, life seemed to hate me.

"Shikamaru Nara. I dare you to confess your obviously fated love for Miss _."

"WHAT?"

It seemed the blackette and I shared the same thought and decided to voice it at the same time. We looked at each other, then at Neji, eyes wide. He seemed nonchalant, eyes half lidded and mouth in a cocky smirk. I shot up, bolting out of the door in about five seconds flat.

"_!" Shikamaru called, chasing me with surprising energy. "Wait!"

I skidded to a halt in the middle of a park five blocks away, panting. Without turning around, I could sense him come up behind me, standing a few feet away.

"What was Neji talking about, Nara?"

"Nothing."

"Bullshit!" I shot around, glaring daggers at the genius. He met my eyes with a challenging look of his own. "What was he talking about, dammit?"

"I told you, nothi-mmf!"

Apparently, my inner-self had grown impatient, and it decided to take matters into its' own hands. I shot forward, wrapping my arms around his neck and smashing my lips against his. My mind went blank and my eyes fluttered shut.

Slowly, Shikamaru's arms slipped around my waist, tugging me flush against his body. I gave a low moan at the tongue that rubbed my lips, gently asking for permission. Opening my mouth, I gasped at the rush of cinnamon that he tasted like. It was so sweet, and addicting.

We separated, panting and red, eyes still closed.

"If you still wanna know, he wanted me to tell you I love you," he whispered, kissing my eyelids open.

I looked at him, silently asking if he was telling the truth. He smiled and nodded, pressing his forehead against mine.

"I love you too."

"Good, damn troublesome woman. Making me run. Who do you think you are? I'm just happy I succeeded in my mission."

"Oh shut up and kiss me, Sleeping Beauty!"