Title: Make Me
Disclaimer: I do not own these Naruto characters and stand to make no profit from posting this story.
Summary: Lazy jounin stuck grading genin exams with troublesome, type-A-personality chuunin. Sparks fly. Fluffy first kiss stuff. Rated T for a little language.
"Aren't you going to grade ANY of these?" Yoshino demanded, motioning at the stack of test papers in front of him.
Nara Shikaku opened one eye and looked at the stack beside the chair he was currently leaning back in with his feet propped up on the desk. He'd been trying to take a nap, however, it seemed the troublesome chuunin he was stuck with this evening was trying to ruin it. This job went a whole lot faster when he'd done it in the past with Inoichi or Chouza. Unfortunately, the two of them were on a mission tonight and he'd gotten stuck with this scrawny little chuunin.
"You're doing a fine job," he answered, yawning and stretching then closing his eyes again.
"Nara! We've got to have these done by morning. It's already midnight!"
Groaning, the black haired teen let his chair thump back level on the ground, his feet hitting the floor on either side of the chair. He studied the petite girl in front of him. "Listen, sweetheart, none of this makes a damn bit of difference…"
"My name is not sweetheart!" she snapped back at him before he could finish his sentence.
"Whatever," he rolled his eyes at her. "Look, the point is, none of this matters. Whether the genin pass or fail is completely determined by the practical exam tomorrow."
She actually laughed at him, "Right, Nara, the comprehensive review exam counts for nothing. Sure. I believe that. Hah!"
Shikaku was trying to nod back off. "Swear. Leaf-shinobi's honor. It's true. The exam's bullshit."
"So why have them take it, smart-ass? Why have us grade them?"
The shadow ninja shook his head, troublesome woman - wouldn't let him go back to sleep. "Okay doll, lemme see if I can explain it..."
"Will you cut out the diminutives? I've got a name, use it!"
"Sure. Fine. Whatever. What was it again? Yoshi something?"
"Ass!" she spat back. Yoshino was a morning person. Late nights were never her forte. Tired and testy she wanted nothing more than to finish this stupid assignment and go home and go to sleep. Unfortunately, her partner for the task was getting his sleep right here in the academy class room, leaving her to do all the work.
"Oh, so your name was 'Ass' was it?" he smirked back at her. He actually kind of thought he'd stick with 'doll' as a nickname for her. Three years his junior, at sixteen she was petite and dainty, hardly the image of a lethal Konoha kunoichi. But she was, chuunin-rank and all. Still it was rather funny to see her temper flare like this.
"My name is Yoshino," she replied, teeth clenched tightly.
"Okay, Yoshino," he smiled, drawing her name out pointedly. "Here's the way it works. I've been given this lousy task for three years now. What a drag. The only reason these exams come into play in deciding rank advancement is if there is some long-shot tie between candidates. And I do mean long shot. Down to ten-thousandths of a point. Astronomical, if your cute little mind can wrap itself around such big numbers."
"Don't call me cute," she threatened in a lethal whisper.
Shikaku paused, wondering himself just why he had used that term. It wasn't like him to compliment a girl and call her cute. Then again, he realized, the way he had used the word was rather derogatory. That wasn't like him, either. He was usually neither complimentary nor derogatory toward women. Frankly, he usually didn't even care, didn't notice them. Well, except for truly extraordinary ones like Tsunade, brilliant, powerful and with ample assets, too. Those he paid attention to.
"Well, whatever," he answered, wanting to get his explanation over with. "The point is, the likelihood that anyone will ever even care about these exams for advancement purposes is unlikely in the extreme, to the nth degree. And in the event there's a tie, the only ones they'll care about are those of the candidates involved in the tie. So, all you'd really need to grade are the ones in question. And there's plenty of time to do that should you be sent to "look for" the necessary exam papers."
Shikaku glanced over at her through slitted eyes. Tense, rigid, angry and tired she was ... cute. Adorable. Taking a deep breath to calm herself, he noticed that even though her assets weren't as ample as Tsunade's her chest still rose and fell nicely in time with her breathing.
"So what are we supposed to be doing, here, then?" Unsure of herself, the question lacked the sting from her he expected.
"We review them. Check them off. Make sure they're complete. Stack them neatly and return them to their respective village sensei's after the advancement announcements."
"And...and that's the assignment, then? Not to grade them? Not to mark corrections?"
"Well..." he really wished she'd just be quiet so he could go to sleep. Things were a lot easier his way.
"Nara? Answer me!" Now familiar sting back in her voice.
"You've...you've...you've done this for three years and you've been ... shirking?" She made it sound so dirty, he thought trying vainly to keep his eyes closed and ignore her. What did it matter? Why did he care what she thought, anyway?
The clock ticked as several seconds went by. He peeked up at her, unable to believe how angry she seemed, hands on her hips, snapping black eyes feeling like they were boring right into him.
Shikaku coughed. "Let's just call it process optimization..." he ventured.
"You've blown it off. For the last three years you've blown it off and skirted by," she accused.
"No," drawling back at her, "I've made it more efficient."
"But it's wrong."
"Nobody's complained yet."
"Well, I'm complaining starting now. Read them. Grade them. Correct them!" she demanded, thrusting a handful of papers at him.
"Make me," he sneered back at her.
"Fine!" Amazing how that single word came hurtling at him like a kunai. He felt almost like he should have dodged it. She continued. "I'll notify the other proctors that we've discovered an irregularity in the grading assignments going back three years. We'll need to retrieve them all from the various villages and go through them meticulously once again."
"In other words, you'll tell, little girl? Is that what you're saying?" There, he could pull off derogatory when he wanted to.
"You mean your teammates put up with this bullshit," she flung back. "Is this how you approach all your missions? Man, I hope I've never got another assignment with you, shirker."
"What difference does it make? It's not like it's a dangerous assignment or anything."
"What difference does it make? It's your job. You do it. Simple as that. Sheesh, what if the kunai manufacturers had that attitude. 'Yeah, sure, we tested the tensile strength' and then yours broke when you needed it most! This is the last chance we have to verify that these genin know what they're supposed to know. Somebody's life could very well depend on it and you don't care. As long as it's not you or another member of your renowned 'Ino-Shika-Cho team, you don't care. Assholes. I thought you guys were better than that. What kind of shinobi are you jerks?"
Oi, he could tell she was on a tear now. Give the girl a soapbox. But guiltily he had to admit to himself that she was right. He'd just never thought of it that way before.
"Just give me a damn paper," he grumbled, dragging the chair forward toward the desk. What a pain in the ass.
Yoshino sat across from him at the desk, dutifully grading her own set of tests. Somehow, though, she managed to watch him like a hawk. She kept up a steady commentary on things that he missed as he went through his pile of exams.
"You missed one," she tapped a pencil at a problem he had skipped on the current page.
"Double check that, I don't think the trajectory is right..."
"I know you're Nara clan, but I don't think that's the right antidote to the poison listed on 3B..."
Damn! Eyes like a hawk and clucking at him like a mother hen. And all the while looking...cute. Long dark hair, curtaining her face as she bent over her papers. Sweetheart face and flashing black eyes when she looked up at him. When she would lean over to pick up another exam from the floor he could catch a glimpse of cleavage. Cute. Anything more than a handful was a waste. Damn, why was he thinking of his hands and her breasts at the same time. Troublesome woman.
She prattled on. It gave her something to do other than to think about how miserable she was. When she'd first heard about the assignment with one of the Ino-Shika-Chou jounin she'd been excited. She might actually get a mission with the cute Yamanaka boy. Her first disappointment of the day had been realizing she'd been stuck with that Nara guy. At least it could have been Akamichi - he was at least polite. This guy was a jerk.
But then they'd all fallen in her estimation by Shikaku's lazy-ass attitude and his team members obvious willingness to go along with it the last three years. What a disappointment.
Still, at least Nara had come around, and was at least doing his job now. And even if he wasn't as pretty as Inoichi or as pleasant as Chouza, he was somewhat good looking in his own rugged kind of way. She supposed it could be worse.
"I don't think that's right..." she pointed to one of the answers he'd marked as correct.
"Look, you bothersome wench, quit second guessing me. Isn't it enough if I'm doing it?"
"Hn. Never enough time to do it right the first time, huh Nara? Well, I guess you'd rather spend the time to go back and correct your corrections later then?
"Look, Yoshino," he drew her name out again just to irritate her, "just shut up and let me finish. We'll get done quicker that way."
"Not if you keep doing it wrong. We'll be here all night." Tapping her pencil at the problem she wanted to draw his attention to.
He stood, running his fingers through his hair. This woman was driving him crazy. "Just be quiet, okay. I can't concentrate when you're rambling on like that."
Rising and stretching her knotted muscles herself, Yoshino's barbed reply came, "Yeah, right, you want me to be quiet so you can go to sleep. Jerk!"
"SHUT UP!" he slammed both his hands down on the desk bringing his face down to her level, his black eyes blazing into her own onyx ones.
"Make me!" she hissed through gritted teeth.
Infuriated, Shikaku did the only thing he could think of to force her to be quiet. He kissed her. He grabbed her roughly by her arms, jerking her across the desk to him and crushed his mouth to hers. Briefly, Yoshino tried to pull away. Shikaku held the back of her head tightly so she couldn't.
Yoshino managed to get both hands up to push against his shoulders, but it was in vain, his hold on her was like iron. And then, to her own amazement, she realized - it wasn't so bad. She'd kissed a couple of boys before, but never like this. None of them had ever held her as if they were never letting go.
Yoshino yielded. She melted. Her hands that had been pushing vainly against him circled around behind his neck. She parted her lips beneath his and he thrust his tongue fiercely, possessively into her warm and inviting mouth. He tasted her, exploring her with his tongue. The hand that had been holding the back of her head now tangled in the inky silk that was her hair. His other hand slid down her back to her waist, wanting to draw her nearer as the two of them tried to stand with the desk still stubbornly between them.
Shikaku paused and pulled back just a little, still holding her. He looked down and wondered if it was possible this was the same girl he'd been in the room with all evening. Her eyes that had seemed so flinty and sharp earlier were now two dark pools that he thought he could stare into the rest of the night.
With his arm around her waist, fingers splayed down to the swell of her hips he had to admit that she did have some curves to her. Nice ones, too, he added realizing her breasts were pressed against his chest. Maybe not as well endowed up top as some, but after all, anything more than a handful...
Everything about her seemed different, all soft and tender. Her lips curved in a gentle smile. She started to speak and he was surprised that even though the words were so very much Yoshino's, the tone was one he had not heard all evening, all throaty and warm.
"What the hell was that, Nara?" she whispered breathily.
He shrugged and smiled down at her, "Damned if I know." Then before she could say anything else he claimed her lips and kissed her again.
This time when they broke the kiss, Yoshino managed to stammer, "We, um…we should get back to work."
"You're going to be a whole shitload of trouble, aren't you?" he sighed and asked her as he reluctantly let her go.
"Nope. Just an observation, that's all," he answered as he sat down. Drawing a paper from the stack he started to work. It didn't take a genius to figure out that the quicker they got these finished the quicker the two of them could pick up where they left off.