Shikamaru/Chouji friendship. PG-13. 735 words. Shounen ai, if you squint while reading.
Disclaimer: Do not own the rights, written for entertainment purposes only, etc.
AN: Only my second ever attempt at scribbling for the Naruto fandom. Quality thereafter. Consider yourself warned.
Shikamaru craned his neck backward to remove a kink, then rested his head in his hands again, watching another piece of white fluff pass by far above. He let go a slow, content sigh. It was all so peaceful...
...except for the occasional crunching sound beside him.
Shikamaru had to smile. "Hey, Chouji."
A potato chip in his lips, Chouji gave him a look. "Mm?"
He pointed up at the sky. "What do you see?"
Shifting between the clouds and Shikamaru, Chouji finally snapped in the chip, crushed and swallowed. "Clouds?"
Shikamaru shook his head. "I meant, in their shapes. Like... that one?"
He considered it for a moment. "Mmm.... a fish cake."
It shouldn't have surprised him, but he still wrinkled his nose. "What about the one over there?"
Again, Chouji contemplated, chewing a chip carefully. "A strip of beef."
"Yeah? I thought it was a snake."
Chouji shook his head. "It's beef." he said with deep conviction. "And that one," he said, pointing at an oblong shape that bore a disturbing resemblance of Iruka. "That one's a pineapple."
Shikamaru made half a smirk and snorted softly. He was used to his friend's single-mindedness. It wouldn't be Chouji if he'd seen animals and faces.
Chouji nodded towards the horizon at their feet, where the puffy white merged into a mass of grey, darkening further away. "Looks like it's gonna rain."
He sighed. "...figures," Shikamaru mumbled. It was typical. Nothing good ever lasted anywhere near long enough. For a while, they simply watched the grim clouds approach.
"Maybe we should get off the roof," Chouji suggested.
Shikamaru shot him a look. "Not raining yet, is it? Why rush?"
With a shrug, Chouji reached for another chip.
Under the approaching dark skies, they watched where the remaining rays of sunlight hit tiny water droplets hurling towards the ground. "Hey... rainbow," Shikamaru pointed out.
Chouji's hand paused, deep in the chips back. "Pretty..."
"Yeah..." Shikamaru drew a smile. "Think it's true, that about a pot at the end of the rainbow?"
Another chip crunch. "Hot pot?"
With a roll of his eyes, he chuckled lightly. "No, gold." He got up on his elbows. "Is food really all you can think about?" he asked in jest.
Chouji clearly didn't take it as such, judging from the serious look he served, before shooting a guilty look at his bag of chips. "...not the only thing..." he mumbled, but did not elaborate.
They watched the skies for a while. Shikamaru resisted the urge to probe further. He was curious, but it'd be seriously annoying if his nosiness backfired.
Chouji saved him the trouble. "Friendship," he volunteered. "That's like a rainbow, too."
"Yeah?" he asked, sitting up. "How do you figure that?"
He took another handful of chips, chewed, swallowed - not all before he resumed talking. "Friendships never really end, either. Sure, the limits of a friendship shifts as you move around to a different point of view, and sometimes friendships go invisible for a while - but before you know it, it'll shine in your face again."
Shikamaru gave Chouji a long look and watched his friend stuff his face once more. It was rare to hear Chouji be that philosophical, but he knew Chouji had a big heart - in a way that had nothing to do with body mass. Still... "Chouji?"
"Can I have a few chips?"
Chouji paused, eyeing him carefully. He briefly checked his bag, as if considering. Then, he held the open bag out. "Only a few."
Shikamaru nodded. He picked one out and popped it into his mouth, chewing slowly as he leaned back down to watch the dark clouds sweep in over them. Distant thunder rolled in.
It didn't matter.
Come what may, their friendship had passed the test.