There was something that Shikamaru never understood about his father. How he could handle living with such a bossy and arrogant woman. Shikamaru wasn't unintelligent by any stretch of the imagination. He was well aware of this. He was also aware of the fact that his father shared the same intelligence. Yet his father married an annoyingly arrogant woman. Why?

At first he thought that it was simply due to the household duties his mom performed. He would admit that with a very rare exception his mom's cooking was way above average. However this theory went out the window when his father finally cooked a meal. It turned out that his father was an exceedingly rare exception. After that meal his mother's cooking took on a sort of dull edge. Nothing could compare to the meal his father had prepared.

Next he thought, being in his teen years, that it was for the sex. Shikamaru accepted the fact that his parents had sex very readily. He didn't fantasize about it or anything but he appreciated that they did. After all without the act of sex he wouldn't be here. However this thought went out the window almost as quickly as it had come. He often over-heard his father complaining to his friends about how his wife had with-held sex once again. In a similar vein life had with-held it's answers once again.

The third theory occurred to him shortly before the Chunin Exams started. Perhaps it was simply settling? After all, his father wasn't the most handsome man in the village. Maybe his mother was the only one who could look past the scars? This theory stood the test of time much better than its predecessor. It wasn't until after the Chunin Exams that Shikamaru noticed that the scars seemed to translate to something else for others. Maybe it was that he was a man, but in Konoha, scars seemed to gain attention. So after the third woman had been shot down by his father on their trip to the Hokage's office Shikamaru was forced to admit defeat once again.

The fourth hypothesis that showed itself to him actually came from his friend Chouji. Maybe it was an arranged marriage. It wouldn't be unheard of. The Hyuuga and Akamichi clans partook in arranged marriages quite often. So maybe the Nara clan had made a deal with another clan to increase their standing. When he asked his father about arranged marriages however the arranged marriage idea plummeted from his mind. His father had said, in no uncertain terms, that the Nara clan viewed arranged marriages as slavery. Anyone in their clan was allowed to marry, or not to marry, whomever they pleased. He also laughed and told his son not to fall for anything the older boys said before he started a long story about how he had been told he was arranged to marry a fat ugly ogre in his youth. While not paying any particular attention to the story Shikamaru was finally forced to admit that he would never understand why his dad would love a hot-headed woman like his mother.

Several years later as he looked at the sleeping form of his wife did he finally realize the answer. With a start that nearly woke the blonde next to him he put on his clothes and immediately went to speak with his father. Seven minutes later father and son stood facing each other on the front porch of his childhood home "I finally figured out why you love mom."

"Oh?" Shikaku appeared to be confused by the sudden interest.

"Yeah. All that stuff that you said about a strong woman showing her soft-side to the man she loves. That was why."

Shikaku took a moment to respond "Well yeah. That's why I said it. You seemed so intent to figure it out while you were younger so I told you. You weren't listening though. You heard but you didn't listen."

Shikamaru couldn't help but chuckle at his father's tone "Yeah… guess not."

"Now if there's nothing else could you possibly get off my porch? I finally got your mom to say yes so I'm kind of in a hurry."

And as the door closed and he walked away a small smile formed on Shikamaru's face. He had finally figured out one of the greatest mysteries from his youth. It was only a couple steps later that what his mother had said yes too appeared in his head. This knowledge wiped the smile off his face and replaced it with one of intense disgust that his father had been so forthcoming with the information.

A/N: About ten minutes of writing. Why? Because I like Christmas and writing helps me focus my powers of necromancy… er uh… Christmas cheer. Yeah… Anyway it's a short thing and I just felt like putting it up. I hope you enjoyed it despite the shortness. Just a plot thingy that popped in my head. Happy Holidays.