No one ever asks for Kankurou's opinion, but that's never stopped him from giving it.
Warnings: Bit of coarse language, maybe spoilerish depending on how far you are into the series.
Notes: So, Shikamaru wanted to mope and brood, but then Kankurou showed up and wanted to be an asshole. I decided to accommodate them both.
A Second Opinion
Kankurou regarded the man across from him with lazy interest. Nara Shikamaru looked like a good wind could blow him over, and had bags around his eyes that came close to rivaling Gaara's. He held a cup of tea and stared down into it like the damn thing held all the secrets to life. He was so sucked in by whatever he was seeing there that he didn't even notice Kankurou's presence until the cute waitress set another cup down.
Nara started and stared blankly at Kankurou for several minutes. Kankurou could practically see the wheels grinding in the other man's head. It wasn't a pretty sight.
"Kankurou," Nara finally said. "You-"
"You're as bad as Temari said," Kankurou didn't bother playing nice. Nara was too out of it to care, and even if he weren't Kankurou was pretty sure the guy liked to cut straight to the chase. "The hell're you doing feeling sorry for yourself?"
That brought a little life back into him. A flicker of anger crossed Nara's face, "You think I want to dwell on my failure?" Nara looked back into the tea, the dead expression from before back too quickly. "I can't make mistakes like that again, I have to learn from this. It's the least I can do for them."
"You're a fucking idiot if you believe that," Kankurou snorted. "There's a difference between dwelling over your mistakes and learning from them, and you," he gestured at the other with his cup, "are dwelling."
Nara's mouth twitched but he didn't look back up, already back to brooding over the mission. Just ignoring Kankurou's presence entierly. Lovely. He hoped the bastard knew how lucky he was that Kankurou was in a good mood. It wasn't every day that he felt like helping people out of the kindness of his heart. Maybe when Nara was outta his funk he'd be able to appreciate it. "Your first mistake was accepting the mission in the first place."
"What?" Nara jerked his head up. Indignation seemed to have a better chance of surviving than the anger did as he glared weakly at Kankurou.
"Thought you said you wanted to learn from this," Kankurou slumped in his seat and let himself get comfortable. "Just thought I'd help point out all the errors you made."
"Thanks," guess anger did have a chance, albeit a slowly smoldering one. "I'll be sure to keep that in mind the next time I'm given a mission."
"Mission. You Leaves are funny," Kankurou laughed loudly. "Man that wasn't a mission, that was a slaughter. A couple of Genin have no business going after a group of Jounin."
"The Village was-"
"Don't give me that shit!" Kankurou cut in with a scowl. "How's sending in a group of unqualified genin going to fix not having the proper resources? Way I look at it, all they were doing was sending out a bunch of sacrificial pawns. How the hell that could've helped your Village is beyond me."
Nara said nothing, lowering his head tiredly to the table. Least he was listening now.
"There was no way in hell you could've succeeded. Sending you out was the exact same as not sending anyone," Kankurou continued switching his empty cup for Nara's full one. "Except now there's a real chance that your Village could lose some shinobi that had the potential to be real good fighters," there wasn't even a twitch at that. Nara had better not've fallen asleep on him, he sure as hell wasn't going to repeat himself. "Sometimes the higher-ups just don't realize how screwed up their request is, as a leader you've got to know when to refuse a mission."
One of Nara's hands slowly clenched into a fist, but he stubbornly refused to say anything. Kankurou let the silence stretch out between them, taking his time in finishing the tea. Placing the empty cup next to the other he tossed a bit of money on the table and stood up. "See ya around."
Kankurou got a few feet away before Nara called out, "Wait." He was sitting up and looked faintly puzzled, "Aren't you going to point out the rest of my mistakes?"
"Yeah, just did that didn't I?" Kankurou smirked and turned back around. "Accepting the mission was your mistake. Logically every single one of you should've died. Bringing your team back more or less alive was a fucking miracle," directing a negligent wave over his shoulder he started walking away again. "Good job covering that first mistake up. Now stop being such an idiot about it."
Kankurou grinned into the bright light of noon, and began to head back to the Sand's quarters. It could never be said that he didn't do anything for anybody.