"So, Ino, what did you want to talk about?" I asked. Ino had asked the members of Team 10 to come out to dinner with her to discuss some great idea of hers.

"Yeah, Ino tell us." Chouji asked apparently just as eager to hear the news.

"Okay, so as we all know, someone very important to us all has been taken away from us by a destructive, manner less, inconsiderate, horrible, despicable, disregarding-"

"Alright In we get it. Can you just get on with it for God's sake." I yelled. Everyone of those adjectives stung a little bit more than the last. Especially since I cared very much for the person she was referring to.

"Huh, but Shikamaru…don't you agree that…that monster should be brought to justice?" She gave me a confused yet serious look. I put the palm of my hand to my forehead and leaned on the table.

"W-whatever, just GET ON with it.."

"Okay…well, I was thinking that the three of us should go out and intercept the two Akatsuki members and take them down. Just like they took down Asuma-sensei." She concluded with a proud grin. I sighed.

"Troublesome…and do you even have a well thought out and accurate plan?"

"Well…no, that's where you come in." She said. I rolled my eyes.

"You two can't always rely on my wits to get you through difficult situations. I won't always be there."

"I think Shikamaru's right about us Ino. We rely on him a lot you know." Chouji said. "But, I think that's a great idea Ino. I've always felt these pangs of guilt for not avenging Asuma."

"Well, it's two out of three, you in Shikamaru?" Ino and Chouji looked over to me with hope in their eyes. I should be the one feeling guilty, as I'm the who has been secretly dating Asuma's murderer.

"I'm sorry…but I can't." They both shot me shocked looks. I decided to dismiss them, and myself from it. "Troublesome…look, I should go, see you guys later." I tried my best to ignore the disappointment in the air as I exited the restaurant and headed home to see my boyfriend.

"I'm home, Hidan?" I called out upon entering the apartment. When I didn't get an immediate response, I got a bit worried as Hidan was usually always waiting by the door for my return whenever I leave. I walked further into the small home, and head a faint shifting of water. It had come from the bathroom.

I stalked over to the door and knocked softly on the wood. "Hidan, you in here?" I asked.

"Shika? Yeah, I'm in here. Hey, where were you? You were gone awhile longer than you'd said you'd be."

"Yeah I know. Umm…Hidan, c-can I come in?" I asked. There was a pause.

"Well sure. I am your boyfriend, you don't have to ask to come in." He said matter of factly.

"Thanks." I said as I turned the knob and opened the door. I tried my hardest not to look at him, but it was very difficult to resist a few glances at the body mostly covered in suds that I, luckily, had the privilege of claiming.

"What's up?" he asked sitting up a bit. "You look shaken." He observed.

"I need to tell you something, so don't freak out, okay?" I said going over to sit on the ring of the tub. "Well, you remember Asuma, right? The one you…murdered?" I choked on the last part. His face fell some, nut he nodded. "So, my team kind of wants revenge on you. This means we need to up the security around you." I put my elbows to my knees and rested my head in my hands. "Because, if either of them find out about you, or even think they have any leads about your whereabouts…" I planted face in my palms trying to push out any thoughts of losing Hidan. Suddenly, I felt a chill shoot up my spine at the feeling of a hand lightly touching my back. The next thing I knew, I was hauled backwards. The contact of my body hitting the water caused a bid splash. But before I could begin to express my anger, I felt a totally different emotion with the strong embrace that had awaited me. Comfort. I buried my face in Hidan's chest, completely ignoring the fact that my clothes were soaked.

"It's alright Shika. No one can catch me. And besides, we've kept this up so far, who says we can't go on forever?" he said, letting his ego get the best of him. I rolled my eyes and let him stroke through my hair.

After awhile of just sitting there in contempt together, felt myself begin to drift off.

"Getting tired, huh?" he asked smirking down at me. I yawned and looked back up him.

"Yeah, it's been a long day."

"Let's go to bed then." He picked me up bridal style and carried me and himself out of the bathroom to our room. When we got in, we collapsed on the bed. "Let's get you out of these clothes." He said, beginning to undress me. I felt my face begin to heat up. When he got to the hem of my pants, I flinched away subconsciously.

"Hm? Shika what's wrong?" he asked.

"N-nothing's wrong…" I said trying to make my voice sound stronger than I really was. Hidan then put on that mischievous smirk I'd never really feel comfortable under. He leaned over me, and began nipping at my neck. I let out a strangled gasp. "Ah…H-Hidan, what are you doing?"

"Shika…say my name…" he whispered, moving down to my collar bone.

"Hidan~" I gave up struggling and allowed Hidan's actions to elicit several moans from deep within my throat.

"Heh. Not so tired anymore," My face probably turned five shades of red as his tongue traced a slightly wet path down my chest. "Are we now, Shika?" he moved back up and licked each corner of my lips.

"Tch…all thanks to you." I said kissing his lips. We battled for dominance for a bit, but I quickly lost as he slid his hand over my stomach. I threw my arms around his neck and tugged on him slightly to deepen the kiss.

"Hidan…" I tried. I wasn't even sure whether I said his name aloud, or if I had screamed them in my head.

"Yeah, Shika?" He responded, caressing my cheek in his hand, looking deeply into my eyes. I found it hard to communicate under his purple gaze. He reached up and pulled my hair tie out. My hair felt in a bit of a mess around my shoulders, tickling them a bit.

"I…I…Hidan, I…damn it, Hidan, I love you!" I screamed out as that seemed to be the only way to get those words out. His eyes began to widen as he stared down at me. My heart hammered in my ears as I waited for his sense. As cliché as it sounded, it felt as if an eternity had passed before he opened his mouth again.

"Shika…I…" he was interupted by the front door closing. I flinched evidently beneath him, finding it harder than ever to catch my hitching breath. There were only a select few people I deemed worthy and had granted them with a key to my home. After I had gotten through those few people, I thought about who I allowed to enter without my pre-consultation. When I could count those people on one hand, I realized the only one with key who had the nerve to enter my home without telling me first, and who had absolutely n knowledge on the concept 'personal space'. The one who was getting closer and closer to our bedroom, simply had to be none other than, Ino.

There was nothing I could calculate in my head to counter the situation at hand . All thee was left to do was hope Ino would think wasn't home or something.

"Shika…" he whispered, staring at the door.

"Just stay quiet, maybe she'll go away." I whispered back. All hope vanished like sand through my fingers as I watched in dread as the knob slowly began to turn. It just goes to show, NOTHING good comes from Hidan smirking.

The door clicked and opened so agonizingly slowly. Hidan and I shared quick glances between the door and each other. What made this even worse the compromising position we were currently situated in.

"Shikamaru, you in here?" Asked an all too familiar voice. A foot. A swing of blond hair. A shocked face. Yeah, I be shocked too if I found Ino in bed with Hidan. But considering the different circumstances, like maybe, the fact that it would be heterosexual, would have eased up the tension. Somewhat. But in mine and Hidan's case, this was just plain awkward.

"O-oh my…g-god…Shikamaru… is that who…are you seriously…no, I don't…I can't believe…" was the best she could come up with words after going through all the natural stages of shock. After a short hyperventilation session from the kunoichi with hazardously raging emotions, she could only stare at the sight. I felt as if we were some kind of statue in a museum displaying all the shame shared between the two of us. "Why?" was all she could muster, her voice cracking from the threatening tears.

"I-Ino, I can explain." I said.

"Oh really? I'm sure you can tell me exactly what you're about to tell me to Kurenai then? Or how about Asuma's baby? Chouji maybe? You're mother and father? Lady Tsunade? I'm sure they'd all be pretty interested in finding out you've been a traitor to the Leaf simply by harboring the enemy, ASUMA'S KILLER, and doing…god knows what you were about to do with…with…THAT EVIL GOOD FOR NOTHING MONSTER!"

Her words hurt. The guilt hurt. What she said about Hidan hurt. The truth hurts. No matter what perspective you look at it, I knew for a fact it hurt me, and I was sure that Ino and Hidan were just as hurt. I couldn't help but think this could have all been avoided. Where though? When Hidan began pleasuring me? No, I could've prevented this earlier. When I came home? Maybe, I could've better acted as if nothing was the matter. Although if I had just ignored Ino and chosen not to go out with her and Chouji, I would've never led on any nagging woman to intrude themselves in my life. It only now hit me so hard in the head, I had to push Hidan away to get some breathing room. He had a questioning look, but I ignored it. Perhaps, if I had chosen not to dig Hidan back up, and god only knows why I did it, none of us would be in this situation. But I didn't want to do that over. And even if I would somehow get the opportunity to go back in time and redo that day, I would only end up running away like the coward I really was.

"Hidan, Ino. I'm sorry…" I said keeping my head low. I couldn't bear to look at them. It was too embarrassing having to look the people I've betrayed in the eye. "This…this is entirely my fault."

"Humph! Dam straight it is." She gave us both a disgusted look. "And you," she directed her attention to my boyfriend. "I don't care how immortal you are. I'll make sure you turn up dead eventually. And hopefully, Shikamaru hear has had a change of heart, and will surely throw you away like the worthless piece of trash you really are." I lost it and got up from the bed a punched Ino square in the jaw. Normally I'd never hit a girl. But this time, she pushed me of the edge.

"Not another word, Ino. NOT ANOTHER WORD!" I yelled. She was struggling to retain her balance, then placed a hand against a nearby wall for balance. "There's no way in hell I'd ever just let you come into MY home, and repetiatly insult MY lover like that. You know what, go ahead and tell them. Tell everyone in Konoha if that's what you wish. You'll only be causing unnecessary pain."

"Shika…" Hidan trailed off in shock at my words. I'd have been surprised too, considering how calm I usually am.

"I'm not leaving Hidan. I love him too much."

"Shikamaru…you seem to forget…"

"Ino, I haven't forgotten. I can't forget. But I also can't let him go."

"Open your eyes! How could you be doing that," she gestured between u and the bed. "With him? Of all people?"

"My eyes are open. I know for a fact that they because…I'm in love with Asuma's killer." She clamped he hands over her ears.

"Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!"

"I'm in love with Asuma's killer, I'm in love with Asuma's killer, I'M IN LOVE WITH ASUMA'S KILLER! Accept it. Learn to live with it. Because nothing about that statement will change. It might as well be etched in stone."

"Stop it Shikamaru…please…just stop." She was beginning to cry. But I didn't care, she needed to realize the situation at hand, for once, wasn't going to go her way. Suddenly, I felt an arm snake around my shoulder. Hidan was trying to comfort me again. He sure did know when the best time was to do that, it was coming in handy. I sighed and was about to say something else, when Hidan began wrapping another arm in front of my chest and griping at my ribcage. I felt secure in the older man's grasp.

"I think its best you left now." He said in a dangerously low, monotone. She tried one last time to reason with my already made up mind. It's almost never a good idea to try and run away from the inevitable. And in this case, the inevitable was that she'd see me again and many ties after that. And with the sight of me, would bring forth several painful memories. Memories of this day and memories of Asuma.

"I don't even know you anymore." She said, her voice barely above a whisper, as she fled the apartment. I leaned further into Hidan's embrace, just happy for his presence.

"And I'm not sorry…" I said.

"I don't expect you to be. Don't worry Shika, she'll get over it."

"Do you think if I told her that I was just, getting to know my opponent's weaknesses she would've bought it?" I asked, a slight smirk on my lips.

"Depends on what kinds of weaknesses you're trying to find." He said a mischievous glint in his eye.

"The kind I'm sure you have quite a few of." I said sliding my hands from his ribs t his hips. He shuddered. My smirk only widened at that. "Well, I'm sure I'll find quit a few more some other time. But for now, I really am exhausted." I said yawning.

"Well I guess it really is time for bed then." We crawled into bed together. I cuddled up toward him. Whatever Ino was going to do next could be intercepted tomorrow. For the time being, I was looking forward to a good night's sleep.



"I love you…" there was a pause.

"You should already know, I love you, too."