"Isn't it a bit convenient that I'm Ino's Secret Santa?" Shikamaru thought to himself as he held a small box wrapped in red paper with a red bow.
He continued, "I think Naruto rigged the name drawing so that I would get Ino's name. How troublesome."
Lady Tsunade was throwing a Christmas party at the Hokage Tower and Naruto was helping. He looked at the gift which only he knew what's inside. He may have gotten the present but he was more nervous if she liked it and that he was going to tell her he loved her.
It was ironic that Shikamaru would fall in love with Ino; he always said that she was the most troublesome woman he ever knew. So what exactly made him love her? It's simple really; he loved her for her courage, her strength and her compassionate heart. He always thought she was beautiful, though he never admitted it to anyone. He didn't know when he fell in love with Ino but he suspected always had, ever since they were kids. He felt that he should tell her because he was only making it harder for himself by keeping it inside.
So here he is, walking through the streets of Konoha to the Hokage Tower, wearing a green open button shirt with a black shirt underneath it and black pants with his regular sandals. He didn't want to go, but he went on Ino's request; he really can't say no to her even without her threatening him. He arrived there and almost all of the shinobi were there. Amongst them, he spotted Choji at the buffet table and went over to him and watched him eat. But he wasn't really paying attention to his husky best friend but he was searching around the crowded room for Ino. It wasn't until he found her conversing with Sakura and Hinata that he was unknowingly staring at her.
He was transfixed on Ino as he took in her appearance, she was wearing a strapless red dress with a sweetheart bodice that hugged her curves with a flowing silk skirt that went down to her knees and she wore strappy sandals with it. Her hair was fixed in wavy curls that cascaded down her back with her bang clipped back with matching red hairclips to show more of her face. She had on a little mascara and had light purple eye shadow with light pink lip gloss.
To him, she was breath-taking as he gazed at her until he was snapped out of his trance by Choji,
"Shikamaru, you have been staring at her for a while now. Why don't you just go and tell her how you feel already?"
Shikamaru sighed and was about to retort when they heard a song play and saw some people were dancing to it. So then Choji nudged him towards Ino, silently pushing him into asking Ino to dance. Shikamaru had an annoyed look, shooting it toward his best friend as Choji gave him a signal to go ahead.
Sighing in defeat, he slowly walked over to Ino noticing that Sakura and Hinata weren't with her anymore. He saw as she watched the various couples dancing, Naruto with Hinata, Sasuke with Sakura and many others. He was starting to get nervous but he was at her side and tapped her on the shoulder.
Ino turned her head towards him and smiled saying, "Shika, you did come!"
"You would have dragged me here so I came anyway. It would have been too troublesome," Shikamaru replied.
Ino had on a little pout but then it grew into a smile as she wrapping her arms around his neck enveloping him in a hug, making him stiffen.
"I'm glad you came, who else would I want to spend Christmas with than you?" Ino whispered in his ear.
He knew his face felt hot as he had a crimson red blush on his face and his heart was beating erratically. But he eased into the hug and slowly wrapped his arms around her waist, discretely noting that she smelled like roses. They pulled apart and he smiled at her.
"You look beautiful, Ino," Shikamaru said to her before he could stop himself.
He was silently cursing himself but he was surprised when he heard her say, "Thank you."
Ino had a light pink blush on her cheeks before she added, "You look nice too, Shika."
"Thanks," he mumbled.
Then there was an awkward silence as they heard the song end but then they started playing another slow song. Shikamaru looked down at his feet, blushing a bright pink before he rubbed the back of his neck again.
Then he sighed and asked embarrassedly, "Ino, this is troublesome, but would you… l-like to dance with me?"
Ino looked at him in surprise but then her lips changed into a wide smile before replying, "I'd love to, Shika."
Shikamaru was surprised but he had a small smile on his face as he offered his hand for her to take. She put her hand in his and he led her to the dance floor, he put his arms around her waist while she put hers around his neck. Then they started to sway peacefully to the music, in their own little world with only them in it. Ino put her head on his chest, breathing a sigh of contentment while Shikamaru put his chin on her head, inhaling her scent of roses. AN:(You can imagine what song they dance to, there isn't any specific song I could choose that would fit.) When the song ended, it seemed that both of them were reluctant to pull apart but they did to look into each other's eyes. Ino smiled up at him and that smile always made his heart melt inside so he couldn't help but smile back.
"Okay, now it is time for the Secret Santa gift exchange, find who you got and give them their gift," they heard Tsunade say at last.
With Ino still with him he impulsively grabbed her hand and led her away from the other people but not out of the room just underneath the door frame.
"Shikamaru, what is it?" Ino questioned him about the sudden action, while blushing a bright pink in annoyance and shyness.
"This is troublesome, I didn't want other people to see me give you my gift," he answered while pulling the present out of his pocket while there is an embarrassed expression on his face.
He held it out to her and explained, "I'm your secret santa, Ino."
Ino looked at the gift in wonder and she suddenly giggled and replied, "That's funny, I'm your secret santa too."
She pulled out her gift from her purse that she had with her, she held it out to him as she took his gift from him. Shikamaru took her gift out of her hand and smiled down at her as she opened it. He was satisfied with the bright smile on her face as she lifted the gift out of a velvet box and had a better look at it. It was gold chain with a golden rose pendant attached to it; the rose was red while the stem was gold.
"Shika, it's beautiful! I love it!" Ino exclaimed happily.
Then she wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly, while he held her in his arms to return the hug.
She let him go and asked, "Can you put it on for me?"
"Sure," he replied as he took the necklace from her hand and clipped it around her neck, his fingers lightly brushing against her skin, silently noting how smooth her skin is.
She turned around and smiled up at him as the necklace shown in the light against her skin.
"It looks better on you than in the box," Shikamaru said to her honestly.
"Thank you, Shika. Now go ahead, open yours," Ino said while blushing.
Shikamaru slowly opened his as he was curious to what she got him and how she was his secret santa in the first place. He unwrapped the green paper and opened the lid to reveal a green scarf with the Nara symbol knitted on. At this, he smiled and pulled it out of the box to get a better look at it.
He smiled at her and asked, "Ino, did you knit this?"
Ino looked to her feet as if they more interesting and she answered, "Yeah I did. I asked Hinata for help a few times but I finally finished it in time. What do you think?"
Then he wrapped his arms around her in a hug and replied, "I love it because you made it,"
Ino was bright pink but she smiled happily and returned the hug. While they were busy just hugging, they failed to notice a certain knucklehead ninja walking along the ceiling above them. Naruto quietly tiptoed sideways on the wall above the door frame and used a kunai to place something green above them until he disappeared in a puff of smoke, revealing that it was a shadow clone.
To make them aware of their surroundings, Naruto shouted very loudly with a cheeky grin on his face, "Shikamaru, Ino, look up!"
Shikamaru and Ino broke a little out of their embrace but were still holding each other and looked up to see, to their embarrassment, a mistletoe placed above their heads with a kunai. Shikamaru and Ino looked at each other with blushes on their faces, and looked to their friends who were waiting for them to follow tradition.
Shikamaru could see the stupid grin on Naruto's face and he thought to himself, "I am going to kill him."
Then he looked down at Ino as she was equally embarrassed and she said to him, "It's okay if you don't want to, Shika. I know that you would probably think this is troublesome anyway."
At that moment, he didn't know what came over him, at those words; he subconsciously decided his next action. He put his fingers underneath her chin and tilted her head so he could see her face, leant toward her, closed his eyes and gently pressed his lips to hers. It was only for a few brief seconds but it felt amazing for them and they couldn't help connecting their lips again. They deepened the kiss as Ino pulled him closer to her as he did the same with her. Forgetting they had an audience, they heard wolf whistles and cat calls for them. They broke apart and they stood there awkwardly until the others had left them alone.
Then with his scarf in his hand, he pulled Ino by the hand to go outside of the Hokage Tower and led her just outside of the building.
"Shika, what is it? Is something wrong?" Ino asked apprehensively.
"No, nothing is wrong. I just brought you out here, so I could tell you something." Shikamaru answered nervously.
"Oh, what is it?" Ino asked.
He was nervous and his eyes showed it, but he brought solely for this purpose so he just had to come and say it.
"Ino, I have wanted to tell you this for a long time and I can't really hide it anymore," he took a deep breath, held her hand in his and continued, "What I can't hide is how much I..I love you."
Ino's eyes widened and her mouth was agape and then he continued, "I would understand if you don't feel the same, I just wanted to tell you and I.."
But he was cut off by Ino hugging him and she exclaimed, "I love you too, Shika."
Now he was the one mildly surprised but he returned the hug and smiled at her. She pulled away from him to look up into his face and she smiled brightly.
"I wanted to tell you how I felt for a while now but I didn't know how to do it. So I took Hinata's advice with knitting your scarf, because she said that if you make the gift with enough of your thoughts and heart in it, it will relay my feelings to you." Ino explained.
Shikamaru then let out a small chuckle, "How troublesome,"
Ino smacked his arm and asked, "What's so funny?"
He answered, "I did the same thing with your gift, read the back."
Ino curiously took the rose pendant and turned it over to find an inscription on it, she read out loud, "I Love You, Ino."
She smiled happily and hugged him again tightly not wanting to let go and Shikamaru reciprocated the hug, pulling her closer to him. Then they pulled apart for a moment and slowly leaned in to the other and kissed again. It became sweet and tender to passionate and lustful in a matter of seconds. They angled their heads to make it deeper, Shikamaru traced her lips with his tongue and she opened her mouth for his access. He explored her mouth to his heart's content and he couldn't get enough of this amazing feeling of kissing her and her kissing him back.
Eventually, they had to breathe so they pulled apart, put their foreheads together and they had smiles on their faces.
"Merry Christmas, Shika," Ino said to him.
He replied, "Merry Christmas, Ino."
So then they walked hand in hand back to the party as Shikamaru thought to himself, "I guess I won't have to kill Naruto after all."
So both of them can honestly say that this was the best Christmas they ever had, because they had gotten what they always wanted; each other.