Summary: After finding out that Normani the Nerd was her secret admirer, Dinah Jane the Jock cut her off completely. What happens when Norminah are reacquainted in college a year later? Plot twist: Normani the Nerd isn’t how she used to be at all.
Imagine SaiIno with Sai and Ino meeting while fighting over the same crop top in a mall?
so somehow this turned into InoShikaSai and I don’t even know, okay, this is not something I was supposed to ship but now I do and it’s terrible, terrible
The holy grail of shopping with Ino is the moment when she
gets so fed up with him that she abandons him on a bench and stalks off to
entertain herself, Shikamaru thinks blearily. Of course, he’d rather not
go shopping with Ino at all, because she likes to drag him out of bed before
the sun has even risen and then make him walk
all the way to the mall. Bribes of coffee only go so far before Shikamaru just
gives up on life.
He’s been lounging for almost two hours now, though, and
while the middle of the mall is hardly a relaxing place to take a nap, Shikamaru
will take what he can get. A quarter of his attention is on those passing by—Naruto
has been known to drag his boyfriend shopping from time to time, and while Sasuke
is an asshole Naruto mostly makes up for it—and about an eight is on the store
Ino disappeared into. She can take care of herself, and Shikamaru honestly
pities anyone who tries anything with her, but it’s always better just to be
With a stifled sigh, Shikamaru checks his phone again, wondering
if it’s late enough that he can get Ino to swing by the food court. She’ll try
to drag him somewhere healthy, but Shikamaru thinks he can resist long enough
to get a pizza at the very least. She has to get done soon, after all—there’s only so long one can look at clothes, in
his opinion, though both Ino and his mother consistently try to prove him wrong
on that front.
Choji sends him a text full of laughing emojis when Shikamaru
tells him this, and Shikamaru has to roll his eyes. He needs better friends.
He’s focused on composing an appropriately scathing response
to this lack of sympathy—and really, Choji has gone shopping with Ino before,
he should at least pretend that he
cares about Shikamaru’s suffering—when the bell on the door in front of him
chimes, and he hears Ino call a cheerful farewell to the salesperson. That tone
means she’s happy, so the chances of Shikamaru actually getting his pizza just
increased exponentially. Without even consciously thinking about it, Shikamaru finds
himself smiling a little as he glances up, because for all the exasperation she
causes him Ino is still Ino and they’ve
been together practically since they first opened their eyes, and—
His eyes catch on twin expanses of bared flesh and he all
but swallows his tongue.
“Shika!” Ino says cheerfully from where she’s half-draped
over a teenage boy Shikamaru has never met before. They’re both dressed in
crop-tops, and somehow the stranger’s skintight capri leggings leave just as
little to the imagination as Ino’s miniskirt.
Shikamaru’s mouth is really, really dry right now, and it
has a lot more to do with the boy’s belly button piercing than he’d prefer.
“Ino,” he says, and is pretty pleased with himself when it doesn’t
come out as a croak. “I could swear they didn’t sell mannequins in there.”
Ino rolls her eyes, wrapping her arms a little more tightly
around the pretty stranger as she pouts at him. Shikamaru would protest,
because between her and the stranger that’s way too much pretty in close
quarters, but his tongue is sticking to the roof of his mouth again. “Don’t be
an asshole. This is Sai. Isn’t he gorgeous? We’re going to get married and have
lots of model babies and take over the world with our combined beauty.”
Shikamaru would protest this on the grounds of it being
another of Ino’s ridiculous ideas, but he’s not entirely certain that he won’t be
their first follower. Most of his thoughts seem to be stuck on the word babies and the mental images of Ino and
Sai making said babies and—
Normally Shikamaru would put the heat in his stomach down to
jealousy, but he’s absolutely certain that that’s not the problem this time. He
swallows, and with effort manages to add an exasperated edge to his voice as he
asks, “What, did you two get into a fight over a crop top?”
Golden hair slides forward over pale skin, and Sai absently
brushes it away, smile brightening. “Yes, actually,” he says, and that tone is
eerily similar to Ino’s breezy bullshit voice. “We decided to share it, though.
Beautiful here has the exact same taste in clothes.”
Oh god. If he’s calling her beautiful it’s no wonder Ino is
smitten. “Really?” Shikamaru asks dryly, and eyes their almost-matching outfits
in a way that’s hopefully closer to pointed rather than hungry. “I couldn’t tell.”
Ino laughs, which could mean he failed, but could also mean
he managed to pass it off but amused her anyway. “We apparently have the same
taste in men, too. Come on, Shika, Sai says he knows the best smoothie place in
the mall. Let’s go!”
With matching smiles that promise widespread mayhem, the two
of them link arms and saunter away. Shikamaru is left gaping on the bench,
suddenly in possession of six bags that aren’t his and a very, very strong
suspicion of where this day is going to go.
He’d be lying his ass off if he said he really minded.
“Troublesome,” he mutters, but he gathers up the bags and
follows the sound of Ino’s laughter as she drags Sai over to a stand full of
bracelets. They jostle each other playfully as they try to peer over the same
piece, and the moment Shikamaru joins them two more bags are added to his
Shikamaru sighs, but Ino winks at him, Sai offers him a sly
smile, and they both lean in and kiss his cheeks before they’re off to the next
“Troublesome,” Shikamaru says again, trying to pretend he’s
Uncommon success is found on the spiritual plane; you can’t get there through common convention or following others. Hard work is not enough; many work slavishly-hard for little reward. Intelligence is insufficient; how many educated and brilliant people there are who fail utterly and completely. Goodness is not enough; how many meek and good souls are tilled into the earth like manure by demigods to fertilize their golden crops. There is something more — it is the unseen essential, and everyone has access to it. — Bryant McGill