How and Why?

Chapter 1: Can't See the Forest for the Trees.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. This particular story isn't even mine, it's just my job to flesh out the plot and try to make it not so funny since the challenge was for a serious fic. I don't know how I'm going to make a Shino&Sakura fic well, not the funniest damn thing I can think of, but I will try. This will also probably end up as Humor/Romance+Seriousness with as much as the last two I can manage under my personality and as little as the first I can do in one thought process. It's not looking like I can manage that very well, if you read on.

A/N: So, welcome to my new project. I hope you enjoy yourself. This is mostly my plot but I'd like to thank Hajislover for giving me her plot bunny because, let's face it, she has too many. Anyway, let's get started. Sasuke never left the village so Sakura never blurted out her feelings. OH, And This Chapter Has Weird Kikaichū Reference! This story is not all gross! Please don't stop reading because the bug scenes gross you out. This is SHINO after all!

She looked over at her clock as she heard the shrill ringing from the floor. 3:30 am. She'd gone to bed two hours ago. She saw Sasuke pick up her cell phone on the floor. He looked up at her and had shaken her awake while trying to maintain his position lying face up on the floor with as little movement as possible, which made him quite graceless. He was very obviously more drunk than she.

He sounded exhausted and the Uchiha even had an issue trying to say her name. "Sa—ku—raaa, its Shino." He finally rose to his feet and all but dropped the phone on her head. She didn't expect... hell, she expected Shikamaru more at 3:30 rather than Shino but sure enough, it read across her cellular's screen clear as day and certainly clearer the Sasuke. She opened the phone, totally alert. "Hello, this is Sakura Haruno." It never hurts to be formal.

"Sakura-san, I need your assistance, please."

"Oh, I thought you were at the party, too. Where's Kiba and Hinata? Oh, hang on a sec." She walked over to Hinata curled up with Naruto and just under his right leg was Hinata's cell phone. "Okay, never mind about Hinata's cell, it's under Naruto. Where's Kiba? I think he went home. Or to a bar, as if that's legal."

"I called Kiba. He drunk himself stupid at the party, which I was at, might I add. I can explain if you'll come help me. You know the three trees outside your bathroom window upstairs. Well, I got stuck in the one farthest away. Stuck being a figurative term, but I'll explain that later if you wish. Just come get me. Please."

"Uh, sure... Shino. I'll be right out." She hung up the phone and tied her hair back. She went up the stairs and went through the window herself. She went to the top of an oak tree to find him stuck in a gigantic web. He couldn't even move his fingers. " Shino, who did this?"

"My dad's Kikaichū. Well actually, they were my dad's spiders, but you get the idea. My father discovered I snuck out rather than going on a mission with Hinata and Kiba when he found Kiba wasted in a bar while he was with Kurenai-sensei. So Kiba, being stupid, told him where I was and sent out the spiders to capture me. He's going to come get me tomorrow and I can't focus chakra like Neji-san can, so I obviously can't get down. Could you get me down, please." She flicked on a tiny flashlight that she kept in her pocket and tried to see the silvery spider threads.

"Sure. All in all that was a very interesting story. I don't want to slash you with a kunai while I can barely see with such a small flashlight, so I'm going to use chakra detection and my chakra scalpel. Where are you tied up?"

He almost looked like he could laugh, "Well, the holes in my face where my Kikaichū bore in is closed off so they're working on that as well as the holes in my stomach, arms, and legs. My fingers are bound every half inch then if you go up my arms down to my waist, to my legs and feet, I've been bound every three inches. All the Kikaichū holes are sealed. Um, if I could request, please pierce the holes in my face first. I know you won't like to, but it's very... uncomfortable with all the bugs trapped in my body."

"I think I understand that." She decided to go about this like he was strictly her patient and try to help him and make him as comfortable as possible. "Would you mind if I unbutton the top five buttons on your over coat to get a little more visibility of where in your face I'm reopening the incisions? I'd hate to miss."

"Sakura-san. I have just one question. How much alcohol have you consumed? I'd rather not have you slicing into my face if your drunk. You understand." She gave him a light smirk and blew towards his nose. As far as he could tell, she'd had one beer, maybe two, over last few hours. "Okay. I hope I didn't offend you so as to make you miss purposefully."

"Well. I do have to work tomorrow, and Tsunade-sama can smell a hangover a mile away. Literally, she has experience." She unbuttoned the top few buttons with her little flashlight between her teeth. She still couldn't see though, so she decided to try and feel where the bands were. It kind of freaked Shino out when she began to feel his jawline on the right side of face.

"Sakura-san! What are you doing? I had assumed chakra scalpel was a non-contact procedure."

"I'd like to get an idea where I'm aiming. I should have warned you, though. I'll be feeling along you hands and arms before I cut anything there either. It's, what now, 4:00 in the morning? When would your dad come to get you down? It'll be light in two hours." She backed up and tried to look again, unsuccessfully.

"Father will come back at six. It's his favorite time of morning when he wakes up. We don't have time to wait. I'll bear with it for a while."

"Okay." There was shimmering thread stretched, it seemed, from the top of his nose to around his cheek where the holes were, then he had another string securing that around his neck. "I'm going to get the one around your neck so I can get the one on your face. Uh... Do you think you can make your Kikaichū stop trying to get out of the holes on your face so I don't kill them. Somehow I think you'd be mad for that, but I'm not really sure. It's already weird enough poking holes in your face."

"Sure. Sakura-san, I've got holes in my face anyway, but the insects die every twenty four hours, which is why I really need the holes in my face open. So the ones dying can get out." The only thing bad about knowing this for her was the fact that he'd said it like it was so painfully obvious. She felt to where the kikaichū were trying to dig through and found something interesting. She reopened all three holes and then began to slice down his nose to get the chakra threads off.

"Shino, can you tell me something?" He nodded.

"Why don't the kikaichū just come out your mouth?"

"You wouldn't like having bugs crawling out of your mouth would you? Plus, we find that having bugs come out of our mouths or eyes or noses or ears just creeps people out more. So the bugs make their own holes and we make sure that those are not visible. I don't think you'd appreciate it if I opened my mouth and spat bugs on you anyway, Sakura-san."

"I guess that's kind of obvious isn't it. Were you grossed out at first? Did it make your skin all itchy? Or are you born with bugs?" She had his entire face uncovered. "I'm going to start working on your arms now. Don't let it alarm you."

"It won't now that I've got some advance warning. No, it doesn't gross me out and it never has. I also was not born with bugs in my body. When I young, my father gave me kikaichū."

"You weren't born with the holes that can't close. That sounds terrible."


"Are you kidding? That must hurt. Having a bunch of bugs making holes in your skin for such a long time so they won't close."

"I'd like to point out that they do close after a little while. In fact I can make them close in less than an hour if needed."

She had freed both his arms and his hands. Then she went back up to his face and cut off the band of threads around his neck and took that off. She started on his front then stopped abruptly looking down at her feet. "Can I see?"

Shino was a little more than hesitant. Mainly because she seemed so shy, which was marginally different than how she acted with patients. And at that point, with him. Was she asking to watch the hour process of the holes closing? "Can I see the holes in your arms?"

Oh. Just the holes.

"I suppose. You'll have to reopen them, though. That's fine. If you roll up my sleeve, there's two holes on the underside of my wrist, a hole on the underside of my arm above my elbow, and three holes on my shoulder." She proceeded until his lower right arm was free.

"Um..." She was holding his half-freed arm out toward her by his wrist. Hesitating again.


"Will me opening the holes hurt you?"

"Are you afraid of hurting me, Sakura-san? It's just strong thread and a sticky adhesive-like substance. The holes are already there. I'll be fine as long as you don't miss or aim to hit me."

"I wouldn't try to hit you and I'll try not to miss. It's kinda my job." She tried to go back into her professional mode. She leaned forward to see and sliced into the holes on his wrist very precisely.

"Sakura-san, could you step back for a minute." She jumped as far away as she could.

"I'm sorry. Did the proximity make you uncomfortable. I could-" Bugs began pouring out of the two holes on his wrist.

"They needed out. I didn't want them flying out of holes in my face because you were so close so they couldn't get out there. And you didn't move the web out of the way on my face so it just re-attached to cover the holes anyways."

"Oh. I didn't realize. I'm sorry. Just give me a sec." She walked back over and moved his coat out of the way. She leaned in, as he couldn't help but notice, extremely close to his face.

She sliced the three holes open and picked off the thread lightly just a little more relaxed. "Thank you, Sakura-san. That's much better."

"Really? Is it? Glad you think so." She looked instantly happy with herself.

"Yes. It is. Do you not get a lot of gratitude in your line of work? Aburames are generally polite."

"On the contrary, I don't get a lot of Aburame clan patients. Never, in fact. It's very odd. I didn't realize you all talked enough to be polite. Do the holes feel painful when they're covered like that? If they remain covered do they hurt? Why would your father do something to cause you uneasiness, if that's a word. It doesn't sound right."

"Only when I re-open them. He's my father so he has reasons all his own. He's secretive. Uneasiness is a word. And it does sound a little off when you stop to think about it. Oh, and to the statement before that long list of questions, we have special bugs so healing our own clan members is easily done so no, you won't get a lot of us and yes, we are a very old clan so we're raised to be polite. Was that all?"

"I think so. I see." She ran out of things to talk about momentarily so she just tried to hurry through her procedure while she digested and stored away all the information she'd received. Until she thought of something odd. "What do you mean by re-opening them, exactly? By the way, these things bored into you jacket so I'm going to have to open it rather than just slice it up. The threads are sticky."

"That's fine. Do what you need to. And about the holes. Well... I just... open them. It's a little hard to explain and I can't really show." She opened his jacket to unsurprisingly find a long-sleeved turtleneck sweater. Black, of course.

"Do you mind me asking why that is? Why you can't show me? If that's not rude." She looked honestly curious so he decided to answer honestly.

"Well, besides the pain, which really isn't a big factor at all, I'm used to it, it's just that I'll creep you out." She actually rolled her eyes.

"I'm a medic and I see weird things all the time. Even if I don't have Aburame patients."

"Do you really want to see that bad?"

"Yep I do. It's just naturally something I would want to know. That's why I became a medic in the first place. Please."

"You use your high standing job to get what you want whenever you can, don't you?"

"Yes, I do. If I asked randomly about your clan's secrets, such as your healing bugs, or the holes bored in your skin, would you tell me?" She laughed as she sliced a huge band of thread from his stomach.

"Fair point. Fine, I'll show you. Go back to my wrist and roll up the sleeve." She did and was just a little grossed out by it. Luckily the fascination kept her firmly locked in place. At first all she saw was four sets of three long, thin razors poking out of his skin. Then as she looked more closely she saw they were teeth. As she made this realization, they rotated fully in a circle and spit some goo around, then pulled the skin down and away to make four perfect holes simultaneously. She very slowly put her finger to the whitish goo and discovered it was just disguising and drying a small ring of blood around the hole.


"Told you. You think it's disgusting right? I shouldn't have shown you. Sorry."

"No! That was amazingly interesting but you have those holes nearly everywhere and that looks so painful. And you rip them open multiple times a day. I'm sorry I touched whatever I just did that was covering all the blood. Will you be okay if it's not all there?"

"Sure. Just something from the healing bugs to close the hole. Could you put my sleeve down, now? I usually dress in layers so I'm a little chilly."

"Right, it's almost sun-up and I've only got a little left." As soon as she got to his hips the threads holding his legs snapped from the weight and he torn them off.

"Finally. I guess I'm not getting caught tonight. That's nice. What time is it?" He put his coat back on as quickly as he could, needless to say.

"5:23 am."

"That's an inconvenience. Well I suppose I should probably go flesh out my alibi for father. Thank you very much for being up so early to help me down. It was an interesting conversation."

"Anytime, I suppose. If your ever stuck to a tree, please don't let your drunk friends cut you down. Go get the drunk person you don't talk to, right." She giggled.

"Sure. Thanks again. Goodbye Sakura-san." He might have smiled behind the coat. It was hard to tell. And with one swift jump upwards he was gone.

-5:53 am.-

Shino walked in the door and immediately ran into his father. He looked a little surprised to see him. "Morning, Father."

"I thought my spiders caught you."

"I suppose not." Shino shrugged the comment off coolly.

"Ah, I see. Well in any case I need to discuss something with you that I had intended to discuss with you after your... mission." Clearly that was the only acknowledgment he was going to get on his sneaking out, so he didn't mind listening.

"Okay. Go ahead." His father cleared his throat.

"Your birthday is something I've been considering lately with you being twenty on the twenty-third of this month."

"I am aware of when my birthday is and I also know how old I will be."

Shibi stood a little taller at the obviousness of this statement. Of course he knew what this meant.

"Well then, you are aware as first-in-line to inherit the Aburame clan, we expect you to be married soon."

"Yes." He didn't show his obvious displeasure to the idea. Shino believed he could still get out of it somehow.

"Well, you're not with anyone currently and that's a problem so I've found what I believe to be a reasonable solution."

"And that is?" He really didn't like where this is going.

"The older members of the clan would like to get more stability and trust with the civilian population so we've considered some who would suit this goal well."

"And? Are you saying you're simply arranging my marriage for convenience."

"We have a few girls to choose from." Now he didn't like where this was apparently ending. His engagement to some girl he didn't like or maybe even know.


"Yamanaka Ino. She very rarely takes ninja assignments and works in a flower shop instead. I thought you might be friends with her and that would make you more likely to..."

"No. She's currently with Nara Shikamaru. It's a good match." HE can handle her mouth.

"Temari of the Sand. Good standing with the Suna people and with our own. She'd also strengthen ties with the Sand Village and the Leaf."

"The Kazekage's sister. I've never said two words to any of them. I'd prefer not and I have a feeling she would also." Subaku No Gaara's brother-in-law. That would suck. No doubt.

"And there is also a purely civilian Merchant's daughter I've been considering. They're powerful in the non-shinobi class. Her name is Takamura Keiko."

"I'd like to marry someone I know if you don't mind."

"But you won't look. And you won't agree to anyone. That last girl is a good match. You need to be with someone who's not a shinobi."

"If you'd tell me sooner and give me a deadline then I would find someone to marry."


"Yes. Just let me pick."

"I would have to approve of her. She'd have to be mature."

"Do you believe I'd want to marry someone childish."

"You could do it to spite me. Maybe someone afraid of bugs?"

"You have terrible jokes. How long do I have?" Shibi thought it over for a moment while Shino dreaded the answer.

"I was going to announce your engagement at your birthday celebration. As the new Aburame Clan leader everyone from Leaf will be there. And of course whoever you and your... fiancé invite."

"So I have until my birthday then?" Not a lot of time.

"I suppose so. Good luck. If you're every bit as antisocial as I was, then you'll need it."

"Don't you mean as you are?"

"Hm. Guess I do."

Okay how am I going to find a bride in less than a month. Time to think of something. Maybe just refuse? Can't do that. I could ask someone to help me? But who could I possibly ask? This is really creepy.

A/N: Yes, this is supposed to be semi-serious despite the fact that I just stuck Shino in a tree. I just like writing humor but I'll slip in some good little romance bits and if you squint you'll start seeing them soon, okay. Hope you liked the first chapter of this. R&R please...

Chapter 1: End.