Italics = Thoughts

Bold = Actions done in flashbacks

Bold/Italics = Things said in flashbacks

sub= writing on a note

"Gah…how did I get myself into shit like this…?" I say to myself,

In front of me is a pile of books on the dos and don'ts of romance, which Ino decided to dump on me today.

"Damn bitch…what's so important about romance?" I ask no one in particular, feeling a scowl tug at my face.

Why did said kunoichi drop off her personal collection of books? Because Shikamaru and mine's 3rd anniversary is today, and in her words, I haven't done anything to prepare for it yet.

"Prepared? What's the to be prepared about?"

It doesn't take much preparation to start making out with Shikamaru to the point where we're pulling each other into our bedroom. That's how it's always been on our anniversaries, so why should this year be different?

"You think relationships are all about sex?" I remember Ino scolding me, "Read these books and give Shikamaru an anniversary he can remember!"

"I know it's not all about that, goddamnit! I mean I protect him and take care of him!" I shout, pulling at my hair.

"Read these books and give Shikamaru an anniversary he can remember!"

"Fine you insufferable bitch…" I growl as I reach for the book at the top of the pile.

Twenty minutes later I can no longer handle the disgusting mushiness of this book. It's just not me. Hidan the former Jashinist just isn't a hopeless romantic, and quite frankly, I don't think Shikamaru is either.

I cross my arms and sit back in my chair, telling myself that I don't need to do anything different from years before. Shika loves things just how they are!

"Read these books and give Shikamaru an anniversary he can remember!"

Gah, but what if he doesn't love how things how they are?! What if he finds someone better and leaves me?!

My body reaches for the book again like an automated robot and before I know it, I'm putting up with the bullshit of each book and taking down notes.

According to most of the books, a person can be romantic in several different ways: giving gifts, writing poems, preparing candlelit dinners, cuddling in front of the fire place, telling significant other how much they are appreciated and love. But even with all those options, what would Shikamaru like most? That is the question of utmost importance.

I start to think of all his qualities and add them to my notes.

He loves to sleep. He enjoys strategy games and watching clouds. He likes to eat mackerel, kelp, and likes eating at Yakiniku Barbecue. But nothing that is associated with his qualities is listed in these fucking books…GAH!

Suddenly I hear our bedroom door open, signaling that Shikamaru has finally awoken to the world. Right now though, I wish he had slept longer, because I have all these embarrassing books cluttering the kitchen table.

"Damnit," I curse as I scramble to gather them up and hide them again, but I'm too late. Shikamaru has wandered into the kitchen.

He blinks at me with one eyebrow raised, and I can feel his question coming. "It's troublesome to ask…but…what are you doing?"

Damn that woman!

I plaster a smile over my face and continue to gather the books.

"OH nothing in particular," I say quickly, "just cleaning up some of the shit Ino accidently left over here when she visited."

I try to pull the pile of books out of his view before he can see what they are, but all the weight against my suddenly awkwardly balanced frame causes me to topple backwards. My world is black until Shikamaru removes the book that fell on my face during my crash to the floor.

He turns the book over in his hand and reads the title allowed, "Romancing Your Partner," he looks at me questioningly, "Why is she leaving her mushy crap here of all places?"

A nervous laugh bubbles up from my throat.

"Don't ask me Shika, ask her. She's the one that left them here," I tell a little white lie. Leaving out the real reason she left them here isn't full on lying.

"Medokusei…then we'll just put them away until she comes back for them."

"You'll have to do that…I…I have shit I gotta take care of," I say, standing up from amongst the pile of books.

"What? You're leaving me to deal with Ino's girly books?" Shikamaru protests.

I ignore his protest at first, and instead grab the list I made before Shikamaru can get a look.

"I'll make it up to you later," I tell him with a wink.

Shikamaru looks a bit pissed off as I leave the house, but I'll just cheer him up later with my anniversary gifts of awesomeness!

"Clouds? Sleep? Shogi?" Those words seem to swim around in my head like a mantra, but yet I still can't form them into coherent gift ideas.

Dinner was easy. I picked up some ready-made barbecue at Yakiniku's and some ingredients for the miso cooked mackerel from the market. I even decided to pick up some candles, like the book told me to.

I just left the Nara residence after pleading with Yoshino to give me the recipe from which to cook Shikamaru's favorite meal. That wasn't so easy, since she didn't really trust me with the Nara clan's cookbook.

"You better not lose those recipes, and you definitely better not burn the apartment down on your anniversary!"

I remember her warning and cringe. She's seriously the second woman to yell at me in 24 hours…no wonder I decided to hook up with Shikamaru…he's not so bitchy…

"Clouds…Sleep…Shogi…" I repeat, as I continue to wander the village for inspiration.

"You sir!" a man behind a small merchant stand shouts at me.

He's broken me from my thoughts so I have no choice but to wonder what he wants with me. The merchant grins upon seeing that he has my attention. He calls me over with his beckoning hand, and like a fish lured to bait, I come to him.

Maybe he can help out…

As I approach his stand, I look over his merchandise. I suddenly start to wonder though, because his counter is stocked with what look like girly spa care packages. What the hell?

"You look like you could use some relaxation."

"Huh, relax? How can I relax under all this pressure?" I grumble, now changing my mind about my assumption that he could help.

"And what is this pressure, sir?" the merchant starts to pry.

I grumble again and mumble a "mendokusei" of my own. "It's really none of your damn business, but I'm preparing for my anniversary tonight…"

The merchant's eyes seem to light up and his grin becomes more pronounced, like he's struck some sort of idea.

"Then perhaps your girlfriend could use some relaxation?" he asks eagerly.

My eye twitches at the word "girlfriend," but I play along. "Relaxation huh? Relaxation…as in sleeping too, right?"

"Of course! There is some lavender scented body wash; lavender is good for inducing sleep! As well as soothing bath salts and vanilla bubble bath for easing achy bodies!"

I could feel myself being swayed by his salesman charm, but I didn't care.

Even a stick in the mud like Shikamaru likes to be pampered.

"How much?" I ask

The merchant's eyes sparkle. "2,395 ryo."


"C'mon, your girl will love it~!" he prods with sugar in his voice.


"Get me one that's less girly looking…"

While the amount of items in my arms has grown, my wallet has lightened. I hope Shikamaru doesn't get pissed...

"Oi, you," another voice calls from amongst the merchant stalls.

Again I stop and look over out of habit. This time it's a middle-aged woman standing behind a counter show casing homemade pillows.


"You look like you could use a new pillow to rest your weary head," she chimes with her conniving sales pitch.

"No thanks, I'm shopping for my boyfriend…" I say dismissively.

"Then this is your last stop! Come look at my one of a kind, hand-made pillows!"

My a vein in my forehead starts to tick, but I remember Shikamaru still likes sleep, so what the hell? Against my better judgment, I step up to her stall and skim my eyes over each pillow. Most of them had gaudy patterns or sickeningly cute faces sewn on them, but then one stops me in my search.


The woman chuckles nervously and nods in agreement. "Yes that one is shaped like a nice fluffy cloud. Perfect for sleeping or day dreaming~"

I snatch it up and show it to her. "How much?"

Again with the sparkling fucking eyes...

"3000 ryo," she answers.


"It's handmade with quality material~" she sweet talks.

I growl as I fork over nearly the rest of my cash.

"What kind of gift wrap do you want?" she asks cheerfully.

I should tan your skin and use it for gift-wrap, lady…

Ten minutes later I'm finally nearing Shikamaru and mine's apartment. Yes I'm pretty broke, but I've redeemed our anniversary. There's no reason for that blond bitch friend of his to worry now.

As I walk along, I see an old man sitting in front of a shogi board, looking lonely and pitiful with no opponent. But something I remember Shikamaru saying about his own shogi game stops me in my tracks.

"Why haven't you been playing shogi, Shika?" I ask.

He looks truly sad as he answers, "The King piece…I lost it a few weeks ago. But I don't want to buy a whole new set to replace one piece. I'm sure it's around here somewhere…"

That was several weeks ago and still the damn piece was missing.

I return my attention to the old man and his board. He looks tattered and a bit poor. I reach back for my wallet as I juggle my special cargo in my arms. There's just enough in my reserves for the old man not to refuse my offer.

"Oi, old man," I call as I approach.

The man's bones look like they're creaking inside his flesh as he cranes his neck to look up at me. I have his humble attention.

I bluntly point at one of his King pieces and say, "I'll pay you 239 ryo for your King. I need one for my game at home."

The old man's eyes slowly follow my hand and then travel back up to my face. For a few moments he doesn't answer, making me afraid that he's gone senile or something.

"I'll take your offer, young man," he says finally and I sigh in relief, but then he adds, "On the condition that you play for it. You must beat me before I will relinquish my King to you."

"WHAT?!" I can feel my jaw hitting the ground.

The old man chuckles lightly. "Not everything in this world can be easily bought with money, and your generation needs to know the importance of the King. If you want my piece, you will have to fight for it."

"B-But…Goddamnit, I suck at this game!" I shout, feeling beyond frustrated.

"Then maybe you don't deserve this King," he taunts with a chuckle.

I don't have enough to afford a new shogi game, but if there aren't two Kings for Shikamaru's game, then he can't enjoy it any longer. So it can't hurt to fucking try. I flop down in the empty space on the opposite side of the board, settling my bags down next to me.

"You're on old man," I accept his challenge, "I may not be very clever, but I'll be damned if I'll just lay down and let you beat me!"

The old man smiles ruefully. "That's more like it, but we'll see at the end of this game who will be crying in defeat. I beseech the first move to you."

Looking down at the board is confusing at first, but slowly my brains starts to piece together the patchwork of things that Shikamaru taught me about the game, about the qualities of each piece. I know the Bishop and Rook are the strongest pieces so I think freeing them from behind my pawns would mount a good first attack.

Before I can move my pawn in front of my Rook to free it, some of Shikamaru's advice metaphorically slaps me in the face.

"It's about strategy, not attacking blindly. Remember to fortify the King in a castle before starting the offensive on your opponent. Think defense first."

My mind scrambles for one of memories of the moves I've seen Shikamaru pull at the beginning of his games. The first one that comes to mind is what he referred to as the "bogin" move. Finally everything starts to sink into my head and I instead move the pawn adjacent to my Bishop first. After a few moments of taking turns, I've got my Bogin formation set up.

"I see," the old man muses, "perhaps you won't be taken so easily as you say."

"I said don't underestimate me," I say with a smirk.

"Checkmate," the old man announces as he suddenly shifts his promoted Bishop to take my King.


"Hm? Shikmaru you say?" the old man asked.

I nod furiously. "I need that piece to replace his missing King, or else he can't play at all…"

"Why didn't you say it was for him in the first place? Here."

Picking up the King I used for my game the old man then takes my hand and turns it palm side up. Without any hassle at all he places the piece into my hand and closes my fingers around it.

"Take it," he says, "and tell Shikamaru that he owes me a real game of shogi."

All that trouble and all I had to do was drop Shikamaru's name to the old coot?

Still I swallow my pride and bow my head before I gather my things to leave. The old man says nothing more as I walk off against the mid day sun.

Once I get to my apartment, I carefully check that Shika won't be able to easily see any of my gifts; I want him to be surprised. Luckily all I see when I first poke my head in is Tomo, Shikamaru's cat. Quietly I tiptoe inside, place all the gifts inside an unused cabinet, and set the barbecue in the oven to keep hot. Lastly I pull out all the ingredients and Yoshino's cookbook so I can begin cooking Shika's special dinner.

All the while I notice there is no sign of my little shadow manipulator, and despite my search, I can't find him anywhere. Tomo lets out a purr as she starts to brush her face and body against my legs. I pause in my search to look down at her.

"You are such a little attention whore," I coo to her as I reach down pat her head.

That's when I see a note attached to her collar. Gently I pick Tomo up and free the note from her collar; and she takes that opportunity to nuzzle my face. As cute as she is, my focus is on the neat handwriting on the note.


Mom called wanting me to drop in for a bit, so I'll see you later I guess.


I get a strange feeling from the note, but I shrug it off; I can prepare our dinner and Shikamaru's bath easier with him not here.

"Keep an eye out for Shika, alright Tomo-chan?" I ask the feline in a "baby talk" tone (a tone no one but Shika and Tomo have seen me talk in). I pat her head and place her back on her feet on the floor.

I grab the cookbook first and look through the steps for miso-cooked mackerel.

Cut the fish crossways until there are three to four steaks…Alright…

My hand reaches blindly into the knife drawer as I continue to read the recipe, but I regret that action.

"Oww Fuck!" I yell as I yank my hand back.

Being immortal really does little to dampen pain, so a slice like the one I just received hurts me just as much as any normal person. I immediately duck my hand under the sink and turn the tap on cold.

I can't keep being clumsy like this or I'll ruin the meal.

Not letting my cut hand get me down, I bandage up it up, and this time carefully retrieved a knife. For the next few minutes, I score the skin of the fish, chop the ginger, and mix the liquid ingredients. Soon enough it was time to throw everything into the pan for cooking.

"This is easy enough, right Tomo-chan?"

Tomo responds by jumping up onto the kitchen counter. A chuckle escapes me, and in my sudden happiness, I share my feelings with Tomo by giving her a morsel of mackerel. My happiness seems to have transferred over, because after gobbling down the bite, her cheeks seem to puff out more in a smile.

"Today started off screwed up, but nothing can screw it up now, right Tomo-chan?"


Only minutes after finishing the food and setting up the table and bathroom with candles, I find myself walking to Shikaku and Yoshino Nara's house. I know Shikamaru rarely visits his parents, but this is our anniversary, and it's time for him to come home.

As I turn the corner onto their block, I see something that makes my blood run cold and then boiling hot in two seconds flat.

Standing in front of the Nara property was Shikamaru and another young man his age. The man had long, loose black hair and a chunin flak jacket, but his jacket gave him away as a Sunagakure shinobi. But that's not what bothered me…

They were too close…and Shikamaru was smiling and laughing, and this dipshit Suna nin had his arm around Shikamaru's shoulder, and he was smirking slyly.

Why was Shikamaru laughing?

At first I feel a sinking feeling, accompanied by a dry mouth and sweaty palms. I feel betrayed.

Shikamaru only laughs for me, Goddamnit! And no other man than me touches a fucking hair on his head!

Anger quickly replaces betrayal and my body tenses as if preparing for a fight. My sweaty hands clench into fists. Inside me, my heart is like a ticking time bomb on overdrive, pumping pure fury through my veins.

"Oi, you bastard!" I bellow, pointing directly at the foreigner.

Both Shikamaru and the dipshit cease their happy moment to stare at me with shocked expressions on their faces.

"H-Hidan?" Shikamaru asks, voice full of disbelief. The Suna nin opens his mouth to speak, but I cut him off.

"Get your filthy fucking hands off my Shika!" I demand. Both young men still look dumbfounded, so I stomp over and physically separate them.

"O-Oi, Hidan! What the hell are you doing?!" Shikamaru protests as I drag him away.

"Uh…I'll see you later then, Shikamaru?" the Suna nin calls after us.

Oh the nerve of that dipshit!

"No, not ever, so fuck off!" I yell back over my shoulder.

That's when Shikamaru digs in his heels enough to stop me. It irritates me and I whirl around to let him know my frustration.

Instead his fist meets my nose with the force to stagger me backwards a bit.

H-He hit me…

"You idiot! That was my cousin!" Shikamaru all but roared at me.

"Y-Your cousin?" I stammer then look behind Shika to the other boy. The more I look him over, the more I see the family resemblance. "Oh shit."

Shikamaru stomps past me. "I'm staying at Ino's tonight.," he growls.

I panic. My arms desperately grab him around the waist and haul his body back to me.

"Y-You can't leave!" I cry out.

Instead of relaxing into my arms, Shikamaru fights me. We've never had an argument like this, so his behavior frightens me.

"Let me go!" he demands and it hurts me deep inside.

But I just can't let him go, it'd kill me if I allowed that to happen.

"Forgive me, Shika," I plead as I shift and haul his body up to rest over my shoulder.

"Hidan!" he screams in surprise, but soon the anger returns, "You put me down right now!"

It's hard to hold him as his body thrashes and his fists hit my back, and it's causing a massive fucking scene on the street; still all I care about is getting him home. I can placate him there.

By the time I'm able to get him inside our apartment, Shikamaru has bruised up my back. It's him I'm worried about, though. I have to move carefully as I lower his frame back to the ground, and it's no easy feat. Once he's safely in front of me, I give him no chance to scold me again because I seal his lips with mine.

Shikamaru fights me again, but I respond only by kissing him deeper and deeper. Gradually his body seems to melt against mine, his lips kissing me as desperately as my lips are kissing his.

Feeling him accepting me fills me with relief, and my arms wrap possessively around him. We silently is press our lips together for what seems like hours.

Of course it's Shikamaru that breaks for air in the end. He's looking up at me now, confusion swimming around in his eyes. He's always cute when he's confused.

"Why were you acting that way?" he asks in a small voice, "You really thought I would let a guy hit on me?"

I look to the side, feeling an ashamed blush creep over my face.

"I…I thought you found someone that treated you better than me," I admit.

Shikamaru's face softens more into sympathy. "You don't think you treat me well?"

I fidget. "I mean I probably have been too stupid to know what you really want and need from me. I've fallen short every other anniversary-"

"Hidan…" he tries to interject, but I don't let him.

"But this time," I continue, "I'm going to make you remember this anniversary."

He still looks like he wants to say something, but then suddenly he seems to sniff the air curiously.

"Wait…is that?"

I smile and nod. "Yep, miso-cooked mackeral."

"Y-You made that…for me?" he asks, voice filled with surprise.

Sensing his surprise fills me with more hope and happiness, I can't get my smile to go away; I don't want it to.

"Mhmm…and Yakiniku barbecue. And that's not all."

Again, Shikamaru's face lights up in rare surprise. A chuckle bubbles up inside of me at the sight of his endearing face. I leave the warmth of his body to light the two taper candles sitting on the dinner table, and then dim the lights. His eyes watch my movements with a peculiar wonder and in the glow the candlelight, he looks more beautiful than I've ever seen him before.

I want to tug him back into my arms and ravage his body senseless, but today is his day too. His happiness comes before mine.

"Let's eat first, then I'll show you your other gifts."

"Mmm…when did you become so good at cooking, Hidan?" Shikamaru asks as he pops the last bit of mackerel past his succulent lips.

I blush upon realizing where I've been staring, but hide it with a chuckle, my mind shifting to all the trouble cooking caused me.

"Well at first it was a fucking pain…literally…I cut my finger pretty good…" Immediately after divulging that tidbit of information, Shikamaru looks a little pale, like he might be ill. "I didn't bleed on the food, I promise you, Shika," I add quickly. I don't need you getting sick on our anniversary…

Shikamaru lets out a visible sigh of relief, which also put me at ease. "In any case, you didn't burn anything…so I might make you cook me this more often," he smirks.

"I could try…but I seem to only perform well with cooking under pressure." Seriously, trying to get this anniversary dinner right about killed me!

"Oh?" Shikamaru muses, then glides over to me and takes a seat in my lap. My body instantly starts to respond to his closeness. His arms slowly snake around my neck, his nimble fingers threading themselves through my hair. Leaning in, he whispers gently into my ear, "How is this for pressure?"

Jashin FUCK~ Well…this is unusual…

"A-Are you trying to seduce me, Shika?" I croak passed the lump in my throat.

A silky chuckle caresses my ear, and I nearly lose it. "What do you think, Hida-kun?"

"Fuck…you're good Shika…but I can do better…"

"Mmm, show me…" he purrs then nibbles on my ear.

I have to inhale through my nose, because at the moment my teeth are biting into my lower lip. I can't talk anymore or I will lose control, so I quickly stand up with him in my arms and hurry into our bathroom.

"N-Nnnghh~ Oh god…mmm…H-Hidan~! T-That's…A-Ahh~! Right there~!"

I try to focus on Shikamaru's feet, but with the words coming out of that sweet mouth of his, it's making my job difficult.

Who knew Shika liked getting his feet massaged so much?...

Surprisingly that spa care basket works just as well on men as it does women. At first I thought lavender scent on Shika would seem too girly, but the smell was surprisingly alluring. It was also working wonders on getting Shikamaru to relax in the warmth of our tub.

I placed the bath salts into the water before he settled into the tub. Then I helped wash up his body, and then his hair and scalp – which Shikamaru also enjoyed. My last bit of business here has been massaging Shikamaru's shoulders, back, legs, and now his feet.

Since starting Shika's spa treatment, he had been making all sorts of delectable sounds of contentment, but when I started on his feet, it was like I found his second sweet spot. It was getting harder and harder to resist him.

"F-Feels so good~!" he moaned as I smoothed my thumbs over a tense spot in the sole of his foot.

T-That's it…

I quickly drop his foot and start to undress myself.

"O-Oi…why did you stop?" I hear Shikamaru ask, his town clearly wanting me to continue, but I pay him no mind.

All I want is to feel his skin against mine, right now.

I don't think at all as I sink my naked body into the tub with him, but then Shikamaru's eyes get huge and I hear and feel the water starting to swell until it starts to pour over the edges of the tub. I slowly realize my mistake, but I don't regret my decision.

"Oops…" I say half-heartedly.

At first Shikamaru looks a bit sour as I sit facing him, my longer legs trapping most of his body between them, but strangely his face cracks and laughter starts to pour out of him.

I lift my eyebrow, wondering what's gotten into him, but then I can't think of anything else but his rare, contagious laughter, and soon both of our laughter echoes through out the otherwise quiet apartment.

Sometime during our laughter, we managed to maneuver our bodies enough to step out of the tub and avoid slipping on the soaking wet floor. We take turns drying our bodies off while sneaking kisses and caresses in between. He's stoking the fires of desire within my loins again.

But I can't indulge in what I want just yet. Not until I give everything to Shikamaru first.

"I have another gift for you, Shika." I say as our nude bodies make our way from the bathroom to our bedroom.

Shikamaru looks up at me in astonishment. "You've…really outdid yourself, Hidan…"

"I'm making up for all the times I didn't outdo myself for you," I reply with a small smile.

Again he looks like he's going to say something, but I gather him up in my arms and all that escapes from him is a yelp. As I approach our bedroom I realize I can't open the door with out putting him down.

"Hidan…?" Shikamaru whispers, probably guessing my idea, "Don't you-"

Too late, my foot has a mind of it's own and it's determined to kick down our door. It crashes open on my second attempt.

"Mendokusei…Hidan, why are you so impulsive?" Shikamaru drawls.

"Because you love it and without my impulsiveness…everything would be a fucking drag," I smirk cockily.

Shikamaru simply shakes his head and reaches up to kiss me. My lips meet his half way and I carry him to our bed. I purposefully rest his head on his brand new cloud pillow and pull myself completely from him.

"So…what do you think of it?" I ask cryptically.


"Heh, look at what you're laying your head on, Shika."

Shikamaru blinks, but reaches and pulls the pillow out from under him.

"A cloud?" he murmurs, "No…a cloud pillow," he corrects himself with a fond smile.

"I figured having a pillow in the shape of a cloud would help you enjoy your sleep even more."

Shikamaru's smile never leaves his face as he places his new pillow back under his head. His arms pull my body back to his, catching my attention and making me aware of his naked body under mine.

"Why don't you help me get tired so I can try out this new pillow you gave me?"

I open my mouth to ask him if that's what he really wants, but he interrupts me by placing a finger softly to my lips. He then surprises me by turning us over so he is the one looming over me. Slowly his hands explore and caress over my body, making me ache for him in the most exquisite way.

"You've had a hard day making my day a good one, so let me help you relax as well, Hida-kun," he whispers his lips over my collar bone.

This time I can't refuse this rare brand of seduction from him, and I happily let him have charge of my body.

Something tugs me out of my sleep in the middle of the night. It's not Shikamaru, because he's sleeping like a baby against me, cuddling his new pillow around his head. For a few minutes my eyes can't leave his sleeping form, but I still get the feeling I'm forgetting something.

Forgetting what, though?

I don't want to leave the warmth of the bed or Shika's body, but the feeling is nagging hard at me. I caress my hand through his loose hair to reassure him that I'm not going far and then I get up.

Once I'm in the hallway, I notice one thing: water is seeping from under our bathroom door.

"Shit" I curse, remembering my earlier mishap, "Maybe that's what woke me up…man this is some shit to clean up in the middle of the night…"

I better clean it up anyway…Shika won't like the sight of a sopping wet bathroom in the morning…First I should take care of our clothes…

As I pick up our soaked pile of clothes to put in the wash, something drops to the floor.

"Huh?" I blink and stoop to pick it up.

It's the shogi piece I got for Shikamaru.

"The King…How could I forget?!" I cry out. I forget the mess in the bathroom and run to give it to Shikamaru. But before I can make it out of the bathroom, my feet slip out from under me and my back and head come crashing down to the hard tile floor.

"O-Owww…." My voice murmurs. I'm practically paralyzed from the shock of the fall.

"H-Hidan?" I hear Shikamaru's voice call from our bedroom, "Was that you?"

"I-In the bathroom…I fell on my back…f-fuck it hurts…"

There's a shuffling then Shikamaru makes his appearance, now dressed in his night robe. His face goes from surprise to concern as he sees my prone form.

"Oh Hidan," he coos as he stoops to help me up from the floor, "you didn't have to try to clean this up on your own…"

He carefully maneuvers my body to lean against his own as he walks me out of the catastrophe that is our bathroom, all the while mindful that he doesn't slip too. I still feel the solidness of the King inside my hand, reminding me that I have one more thing to give Shikamaru.

"Shika," my voice comes out in a croak, and I wince.

"Hm?" he murmurs as he sits me down on our bed and wraps my cold body in my own night robe.

For some reason words have escaped me, pretty rare as Shikamaru would say, so I simply present him with my hand and open it so he can see my palm. Shikamaru squints a little to see the contents of my hand, then his face softens so much, I wonder if he's about to cry.

"Hidan…y-you…" he whispers, reverently picking up the King to appreciate it more closely.

"Shikamaru…y-you're not upset are you," I ask with worry.

He shakes his head and wipes at a single tear, but he confirms that he's not saddned because he graces me with a small smile.

"It's not your original piece, I...i-in fact I had to sort of play shogi to persuade this old man to give it to me. I just hope it will fit well with your other pieces…"

"It's fits perfectly…you fit perfectly," he whispers, confusing me a little, before he presses his lips to mine in a sweet, loving kiss. His lips are so distracting.

"Mmm~ So you…got everything you wanted this anniversary?" I ask between our soft kisses.

Shikamaru pauses with his lips still against mine then looks into my eyes. At first his eyes seem confused by my words, but soon he's tickling my lips with small chuckles, perplexing me yet again.

"I've always gotten what I wanted every anniversary," he continues softly against my lips, but I'm still none-the-wiser. Shikamaru chuckles again before elaborating, "You really outdid yourself this year…but all I really wanted for our anniversaries…is you. But the gifts…they are just the icing on the cake."

As his words sink in all I can do is stare motionlessly up at him, in some sort of informational shock.

I was all he ever wanted? Just me?

"I fucking love you," I suddenly blurt out breathlessly against his lips.

Shikamaru winces a little at my harsh admittance, but seems to brush it aside with a smile. "I fucking love you too, you troublesome man."

After all that's happened today, and all the new things I've learned about Shikamaru, it seems like in the end romance was only a bonus to him.

Take that Ino and your goddamn mushy romances!

Still I can't bring myself to regret romancing Shikamaru tonight, but he is the only one that needs to know that…