Dear readers,

I just want to state that I'm not dead. In fact I'm so much alive that a friend right now is kicking me all over my room, saying things like "you promised them a sequel, just write it, will you!" and 'You need a P. account!" and all sorts of things in this manner.

If I survive I might start to actually write down the sequel that is a, already in my head b, will be long. I mean might be even longer than the previous part.

And I will make the darn P. account. And a ko-fi page. And I will ask you to donate.

Well, if I'm asking for money, I'm definitely not dead.

Later, but still in this century

I have a P. account and a Ko-fi page, thanks to my friend. I wonder if people are still interested in this story. My friend tells me to shut up and write.

Right now

The first chapter of Things we won't tell our friends is available p/a/t/r/e/o/n dot com/enodia, and if you'd like to just donate, you can do so on my Ko-fi dot com/enodia. I intend to upload the story here, too, but I don't know just yet when that will be or how I will manage the erotic scenes as right now ff seems to be rather forbidding about anything even remotely sexual. (Unleash your imagination but nothing so dirty as kissing, mind you!)

In case you are wondering if you're still interested, here's the first part of Chapter 1.

Shikamaru was a god in disguise, Sakura decided. His actions couldn't be foretold, nobody could ever tell what was on his mind, he... well, he didn't exactly disobey rules and laws, he even respected them, but he clearly thought that they were there for everybody else, and he wasn't everybody else.

Oh, and naturally he was able to walk on water.

But so was she.

Being shinobi made this possible for anyone who knew how to use chakra properly.

But still, but still...

Sakura was watching Shikamaru standing in the middle of her tiny living room. She could have called the room anything else, she thought, the truth was, she had two tiny rooms in her flat so the one that was a fraction less tiny became the living room by default. Shikamaru looked just as cool standing there as always, perfect in every detail – the sleepy eyes, the half-smile on his lips, the slouch.

It didn't matter that he was surrounded by friends who were congratulating him profusely on his engagement with the adequate amount of backslaps, handshakes and (in one case) unearthly shrieks.

"Ino, would you please STOP shrieking in my ear," Shikamaru said. "I know I'm getting married in the near future, right? I was the one who decided to ask Sakura to marry me so please stop making this ungodly noise. I can't tell you any details about the wedding yet since I have no idea about them myself. I'll have to discuss it all with Sakura and our families."

Sakura took a step toward Shikamaru. Ino, even when in the best of moods, did not accept a brush-off easily, and, Sakura decided, Ino might not be in the best of moods right now.

If anyone asked Ino or Sakura if they were still rivals, they would have laughed, both of them, and said "oh, no, of course not, we're not kids anymore", but the sad truth was, in their heart of hearts they both felt YES. They would never admit it to each other, of course, sometimes even failed to admit it to themselves, but rivalry was still present in their friendship. It wasn't such an utterly destructive force anymore – they both had boyfriends, jobs, plans, and their friendship survived a lot of hard times, but when Ino said "Oh, I forgot to mention – I've got a raise", and Sakura answered "Great! Did you get extra lab time, too?", they both knew what the real issue was that they were discussing.

Sakura was sure that although Ino wanted her to be happy with Shikamaru, it would have helped a lot if Chouji had offered Ino a diamond ring before Shika gave one to Sakura.

The diamond should have been bigger too.

Now Ino's eyes were the icy blue they usually were when things were not going quite the way she expected them to.

Sakura looked at Chouji who was laughing at something Naruto just said and seemingly had no idea that his girlfriend was somewhat less thrilled by the happy event than he was.

Maybe Ino was right in a way, Sakura thought. Ino and Chouji had been dating for quite a while. The match was approved by their families and friends alike. It would have been not only fair but sane, sensible and generally normal if Ino had been engaged first.

Sakura, on the other hand, had been dating Sasuke even a fortnight ago and if a fortune teller had told her that she would be getting engaged in a few weeks, she would have forced a smile on her face while she started to list all the reasons in her mind why Sasuke was not good husband material.

The smile, then, would have crusted on her face when Inner Sakura started to list her reasons why even dating Sasuke was a doomed affair.

Which only showed that the (imaginary) fortune teller and the (less imaginary) Inner Sakura ("Imaginary? Imaginary my ass!" Inner fumed) were both right in the end and Sakura was totally clueless, as always. That was why she was standing rooted to the floor of her living room in a Misaka coctail dress and with a diamond-and-emerald ring on her finger, utterly dazed, unbelieavably happy and scared to death, engaged to Shikamaru Nara.