Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Naruto Shippuden.

A/N: All I have to say is that I wish there was more ShikaIno to work with in the series.


Deluge


Shikamaru says he can predict the weather by simply observing the clouds.

Ino doesn't believe him, though; she says that just because he's supposedly a genius (he neither confirms nor denies this, but hates it when someone calls him a genius), doesn't mean he can start telling the future.

But she knows he's not telling the future, just stating things based on observational evidence.

Ino would shrug it off, though. "Yeah, okay deer boy."

Deer boy. He hated that.

But it was more endearing than insulting.

Ino trusts the weather girl more than Shikamaru's forecasting.

Shikamaru says he doesn't like to step out of the house on rainy days, and Ino agrees with that, but sometimes she'll find him at their teacher's grave, an expression that longs for yesterday haunting his features.

They're both liars.

On a sunny day gone sour, she sees him sloshing home in the rain, showing little urgency in his pace even as the rain washes over him, singing its melancholic drizzle all the while. He doesn't reach his own house before Ino finds him trudging by her own, an ebony umbrella in her hand, and tells him, "You complained about purple last time," as she hands it over to him.

This isn't the first time it's happened.

But Ino never tells him the weather girl was right. Or that he was wrong.

Maybe she's afraid he'll stop coming by.

And Shikamaru, who thinks bringing umbrellas on sunny days for precautionary reasons is a hassle, takes it nonetheless.

"I'll give it back to you tomorrow," he declares, voice smothered by the rain, but she can almost hear the defeated sigh in his voice.

The last she sees of him that day is his shrinking figure in the distance, but, as promised, he returns the black umbrella to her the next day, with only an offer of, "Here." The words thank you aren't mentioned, but she knows he's grateful.

Ino receives it with a smile, waiting for another sunny day with a fifty percent chance of rain.