OMG! I'm sorry guys! Its been FOREVER since I posted a new chapter! Please forgive me! Life got in the way! I hope this makes up for it. ;) Its a good chapter. Kinda short but good!
Chapter Thirteen: Good News and Bad News
Shikamaru sighed and leaned back in his chair as he watched the clock on the wall tick as the seconds past. The raven was sitting at the small table in Naruto's apartment. The blonde and his team had left for Suna earlier that morning and wouldn't be back for another week. What would the raven do with out his troublesome blonde? It had been a long time since they went more than a day without seeing each other. He knew what he was suppose to be doing which was training his own genin team but he found it too troublesome so he gave them the day off. He also knew what Naruto had asked him to do while he was away, which was talk to his parents again. His father got back from his mission about a week ago and his mother not long after that.
He was avoiding them like the plague.
The brunette slid his chair back, grabbed his vest then headed out the door. He was going to do this. It was now or never. Shikamaru jogged down the stairs and started to make his way to the Nara complex where his parents should be. It was mid morning, so at least his mother would be there.
Maybe I should try to talk to them separately? I guess it depends if they are both home or not.
Shikamaru slowed his walk as he neared the complex, then coming to a complete stop before entering the large arch with the clan symbol on it. He took a deep breath and walk straight to the center of the compound to the house he grew up in. He hesitated a moment before entering, reliving the moments when he was here last. Finally gathering up enough courage he turned the knob and opened the door.
To his surprise, or more like disappointment, he heard dish clanging in the kitchen. It was most likely his mother doing dishes, like always. He slid of his sandals and made his way into the foyer. Glancing around, he didn't find his father. Slowly making his way to the kitchen, he tried to be as quiet as possible, prolonging the discussion that was awaiting him. He entered the kitchen, still looking at the floor.
"Tadaima," Shikamaru mumbled.
"Hmm? Oh Shikamaru," a voice called back but it wasn't the voice Shikamaru was expecting.
The raven shot his head up and found him staring at his father's face, rather than his mother's.
"Dad?" Shikamaru mumbled again.
"Yeah?" Shikaku raised an eyebrow.
Shikamaru shook his head, "Sorry, I was expecting mom."
"Oh," Shikaku sighed and placed the dish he was holding back in the sink, "Your mom's not here. She hasn't been for a while."
Shikamaru shot his father a confused look. Shikaku nodded his head in the direction of the dinning room indicating for the younger to follow, which he obediently did. The younger Nara took a seat across from his father, who sat at the head of the table.
"What do you mean mom hasn't been here for a while? Where did she go?" Shikamaru asked.
Shikaku took a deep breath, "Your mom left to visit your aunt right before I left on my last mission. She's in a small village about a days travel outside the village. I expected her to be back before I got back but she wasn't here. So I went to see her, and when I did she said she would come back when she felt ready to face you."
Shikamaru dropped his head, "Oh, I see."
"Shikamaru, about your…" Shikaku started.
"Dad, I just want you to accept me and Naruto. That's all I want," Shikamaru said, "I know you don't think its right but, I don't want to loose my family over something like this. I love Naruto and it makes me happy to be with him."
"Alright," Shikaku nodded.
Shikamaru looked up at his father with a surprised but thrilled expression, "Alright?"
"Yes," Shikaku sighed, "After you told us, I thought hard about what I was going to do. How I reacted was wrong and I'm sorry. You are my son and I am not going to loose my son, just because he's gay. I don't know how your mom feels, but that is how I feel. Naruto is a good shinobi, well respected among all the nations. I mean look at what he has done for the shinobi world! If it was any man you chose to be with, I am glad it was Naruto."
Shikamaru smiled at his father.
"I just want you to be happy, Shikamaru and if Naruto is what makes you happy, then go for it," Shikaku smirked.
Shikamaru shot his father a grin that reminded the older of a certain blonde haired knucklehead, and it made him laugh, "You have spent a lot of time with that blonde, haven't you?"
"Yes, why?" Shikamaru replied.
"Oh, nothing," Shikaku laughed to himself again.
"When do you expect mom to be back?" Shikamaru asked, as he smile dropped.
"I don't son, I really don't know," Shikaku shook his head.
"Oh, ok," Shikamaru said, "Do you think she will come around?"
"I don't know, son," Shikaku shrugged, "I've never known your mom to be one to change her mind on something, but you never know."
"That's not very reassuring, dad," Shikamaru mumbled.
"Well, you're the one who decided to be gay, Shikamaru," Shikaku huffed.
"I didn't just wake up one day and randomly decide to be gay, dad," Shikamaru sat back in his chair and crossed his arms.
"How did you know?" Shikaku eyed his son curiously.
The younger Nara sighed, "I started to develop feelings for Naruto back in the academy, but shook them off as being ridiculous. But over time as Naruto started becoming a better shinobi, those feels started to come back and I couldn't shake them off as easily. Then after the war and before Naruto and I started to travel, I confronted them and knew that I was gay and I was in love with Naruto."
"So you two started dating before you left?"
"No," Shikamaru shook his head, "I didn't tell him because he didn't show any indications of being gay. I mean he had a crush on Sakura for the longest time. But he asked me to go with him on his travels, and of course I agreed. About three months into the trip, we had to share a hotel room and it came out that I was gay. He admitted to having feelings for me and I guess the relationship just developed from there."
"I see," Shikaku nodded, "You didn't have any feelings for any other… males?"
"Hmm, Okay," Shikaku shrugged.
"You don't believe me?" Shikamaru asked eyeing his father.
"Well, you and Choji spent a lot of time together when you were young…"
"Dad! No!" Shikamaru snapped then regained his composure, "Choji is like my brother. I could NEVER think of him that way."
"Okay, Okay," Shikaku chuckled.
It was quiet for a while. Not an awkward silence but a calm silence. Almost like the sea after a long storm. Shikamaru started feeling a lot better about being in the village. Shikaku was glad to be on good terms with his son again. Shikamaru took a deep breath.
"Thank you, dad," Shikamaru said.
"Hmm? For what?" Shikaku asked.
"For accepting me and Naruto," Shikamaru gave him a sincere smile.
"I would be a horrible father, if I didn't accept my son and want him to be happy," Shikaku countered.
"Still," Shikamaru shrugged.
"Do you want to stay for dinner?" Shikaku asked after a short silence.
"You're gonna cook?" Shikamaru smirked.
"Well, no, but I thought we could grab a bite or get take out or something," Shikaku shrugged.
"Sure," Shikamaru laughed.
"Mission completed, I assume?" Tsunade confirmed.
"Yes," Shikamaru nodded.
"Good," Tsunade nodded, "Dismissed."
"Um, when is Naruto and his genin suppose to be back from their mission, Tsunade-sama?" Shikamaru asked as his genin walked out of the room.
"They were suppose to be back this morning but we haven't heard from them," Tsunade reluctantly replied. She was hoping they would be back before Shikamaru would start asking questions.
"You haven't heard from them?" Shikamaru asked his face slowly starting to show worry.
Tsunade sighed, stood up and faced to window looking over the village, "No, we haven't. We did hear from Gaara and it seems that Naruto and his team have not arrived."
"Weren't they supposed to be there three days ago?" Shikamaru asked.
"Yes," Tsunade nodded, "That's what worries me, especially with Naruto's…"
"Tsunade-sama, with your permission I would like to go search for them," Shikamaru said.
"Please, Tsunade-sama…" Shikamaru begged.
Tsunade sighed in defeat, "Alright, but not your genin team. I was going to send another team but I guess I can send you. Take some of your old teammates."
"Yes, Tsunade-sama," Shikamaru nodded.
"Gather a team and come back here in an hour," Tsunade ordered.
"Yes, ma'am," Shikamaru nodded, then dashed out of the room.
Who am I going take? I've been gone for almost three years… who could I work well with? Asuma-sensei? Maybe Choji? Or Ino?
Shikamaru scratched the back of his head and sighed as he walked down the stairs on the side of the Hokage tower.
"Shikamaru?" a high-pitched voice called.
Shikamaru stopped in his tracks and turned to see who called him. What he saw was almost all his friends standing at the base of Hokage tower. He strolled over to where they were standing.
Well this will make it easier.
"I'm sort of in the middle of something," Shikamaru said as he reached the group.
"What?" Asuma asked.
"Naruto and his genin team have gone missing. I'm gathering a team to head out," Shikamaru said with a very serious tone.
"What?" or a gasp was heard through out the group.
''Who are you planning to take?" Asuma asked.
"I'm not completely sure, but people I can work well with and sensory type," Shikamaru said.
"How about the ole Ino-Shika-Cho?" Ino said.
Shikamaru smirked, "Yes and Hinata?"
"Yes?" The blue haired girl replied.
"Will you come? We can definitely use your Byakugan to search," Shikamaru said.
"Of course," Hinata nodded.
"Then lets get going. We don't need to waste time," Shikamaru said as he spun on his heel to head back up the Hokage tower with Choji, Hinata and Ino on his tail.
"Hokage-sama," Shikamaru yelled as he entered the office.
"That was fast," Tsunade said as she noticed Choji, Ino and Hinata follow the raven through the door.
"Well, they were at the base of the Hokage tower when I left," Shikamaru shrugged, "We need to get going."
"Yes," Tsunade said as she handed him a scroll, "Here are the details including which route they took."
Shikamaru opened the scroll and skimmed through it, "They took the route with bandits."
"Bandits are low life, Naruto would have been able to handle it if they were attacked," Ino said.
Not if he was forced to use the Kyuubi's chakra…
"Let's go," Shikamaru said as he spun on his heel to leave.
"Shikamaru," Tsunade called then after the raven turned to look at her, "Bring him home."
"I promise you, I will," Shikamaru replied, and then headed out with Hinata, Ino and Choji right behind him.