As Clouds Go By And Sand Swirls by invisible_habits
Summary: The slacker-nin of Konoha and the fan-using nin of the Sand have had a hard time forgetting each other. A kind brother and a not-so-rule obeying Hokage make sure they meet again.





Simply because I want to see those two together...
Categories: Het Romance > Top Six Pairs, Het Romance > Top Six Pairs > Shikamaru and Temari Characters:
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 12 Completed: Yes Word count: 7611 Read: 11867 Published: 27/03/07 Updated: 28/04/07

1. Chapter 1 by invisible_habits

2. Chapter 2 by invisible_habits

3. Chapter 3 by invisible_habits

4. Chapter 4 by invisible_habits

5. Chapter 5 by invisible_habits

6. Chapter 6 by invisible_habits

7. Chapter 7 by invisible_habits

8. Chapter 8 by invisible_habits

9. Chapter 9 by invisible_habits

10. Chapter 10 by invisible_habits

11. Chapter 11 by invisible_habits

12. Chapter 12 by invisible_habits

Chapter 1 by invisible_habits
Author's Notes:
Obviously I do not own Naruto, and I'm not in any way involved or related to the manga and/or anime.

Furthermore; I have only seen 143 episodes of Naruto, I haven't seen Shippuuden or read the manga. I do, however, know that the Sand-Nins are involved later on in the anime, and because of this things are bound to have happened that I have not included in this story. Please don't hate me. I just like the idea of those two together, that's why I wrote this story. Read, enjoy and review if you feel like it...

And I suck at Chapter titles, so you get none. Have an idea? Give it to me and I might add it :)
For as long as I can remember, I wanted a simple life. A wife neither beautiful nor ugly, a daughter and a son to fill my life with meaning, life as a ninja to support them until they had lives of their own, and then old age in peace with someone I could play shogi with. But since when do things turn out the way you plan them to? My plans scattered in the wind of a giant fan…

---

The first time I met her was during the Chuunin exams. She was one of the Sand Nins, traveling with her brothers Gaara and Kankuro. The first impression she gave off was that she was troublesome, but that is hardly unique. She was loud and obnoxious, but that cocky smile never left me alone after I saw it the first time. And she proved to be quite intelligent as we were put up against each other in the final matches of the exams; I figured she would be a good shogi player. But in the end I outsmarted her, even though I found it too troublesome to carry on in the tournament.

The second time we met she saved my life, and if I had had a hard time forgetting her it was impossible after that. She came like the wind, rescuing me just as I was about to accept that my time had come. Cocky as always she chopped down a forest like she was merely cutting paper. She even took the time to call mock me in the middle of a fight. Why I liked it, I shall never know. All I know is that I never saw the blonde hair or green eyes, but the intelligent personality and energy behind them. She sent knew winds blowing through me, effectively dispersing everything I had ever thought myself wanting.

Years went by, and I didn’t see her again. I remained in Konoha, a teacher at the academy and a Chuunin being sent out on missions ever so often. Naruto and Sakura managed to retrieve Sasuke to the village. Love conquered as Sakura got the man she had always wanted, and as Hinata finally managed to attract the attention of everybody’s favorite idiot. Life went on, through bad times and good, and Konoha rebuilt what it had lost. I will not say I didn’t contribute to that, but I don’t think I did as much as I could’ve done. Partly because it was too troublesome, I never concealed the fact that I am the laziest ninja of the village, but also because I had other things on my mind. Impossible things…
Chapter 2 by invisible_habits
Author's Notes:
Short, I know. Longer chapters are coming, at least I think they are longer... Just thought it was a nice way of dividing it up a bit... Easier to read, or something like that. Enough rambling. Enjoy.
He didn’t affect me. That’s what I tell people anyhow. Kankuro takes my word for it; he never was the most intelligent of people. Gaara knows better, I think he was always the smartest out of us. Or at least the one who understands feelings the best. Who knows loneliness better than Gaara? It should be Naruto in that case, or perhaps that Uchiha kid. Gaara could tell from the beginning that something was different, that I was different.

We met during the Chuunin exams. At first I took him for a slacker and an idiot, a boy who didn’t want to be a ninja and who was wasting everybody else’s time. But then I had a match with him, and he totally defeated me with his intelligence. I always think ahead, look beyond my next move to see one, two or sometimes tree steps ahead. How far ahead he thinks when acting I don’t know, but he played me like a boy pulling the wings of a butterfly. I never had a chance, on any level.

As we moved in to help the Konoha Genin that time, I instinctively went to help him. He needed help, and I needed to give it to him. It was the most effective split, Gaara against the strongest and Kankuro taking care of the one able to split in two. With his puppets he still had the chance to play him three on two, giving him the advantage after all. But I would’ve gone into a fight I could never have one just to help him, because I could never have let him go. I still can’t…

It has been years since I saw him last. Gaara is Kazekage and I have sworn to protect my brother against those who wish him dead. Not that he needs it; I now more than ever believe Gaara is undefeatable. But there is nothing else I can do. If I were to…what do they call it? Follow my heart? If I were to follow my heart I would go to Konoha, but I belong here in the Hidden Village of Sand. I don’t even know what would happen should I leave, there’s no logic in going. Perhaps one day I shall see him again, perhaps not. What happens should that day come, only time can tell.
Chapter 3 by invisible_habits
Author's Notes:
Chapter three. Again no title. I'm starting to enjoy this 'letting others read what I write stuff'...
“Temari.”

“Yes Kazekage.”

The shadow of a smile appeared on face of the Sand Village’s leader, the one that only those really close to him could tell was even there.

“I’ve told you to call me Gaara, I’m still your brother.”

“Forgive me, Gaara. What did you want?”

“I want you to go to Konoha, to the Leaf Village, in order to give this to Tsunade-sama.”

Temari stared at the scroll handed to her. Small and seemingly insignificant the thought that this was a setup crossed her mind. But she pushed it away, knowing that important messages were often carried in the least suspicious of scrolls. If she, one of the best Jounin in The Wind Country, was given the mission to deliver the message, then it had to be an important one.

“Yes, I’ll leave right away.”

Kankuro stepped out of the shadows as his sister teleported disappeared. The older brother and sister had long ago learnt to conceal themselves from the other, only Gaara was able to detect their presence at all times. Then again, his powers were beyond their understanding.

“What’s the rush? We don’t have no troubles.”

“No.”

“So what’s in that scroll?”

The puppet master twitched as the pale eyes turned towards him. The old fear of his younger brother still lurked somewhere deep inside him; the fact that Gaara had changed tremendously over the years hadn’t been able to erase it completely.

“An excuse for Tsunade-sama, my apologies for disturbing her with no news at all.”

“What?”

Kankuro was perplexed. Gaara turned his eyes out over the desert landscape again, following the trail of Chakra his sister left behind her.

“You really don’t notice much, do you?”
Chapter 4 by invisible_habits
Author's Notes:
Fourth chapter. Not much more to say. Hope you like it.
A minor smile was on the lips of the Hokage. The scroll was before her on the table, clearly explaining the reason behind this mission. Kazekage was not so stupid after all.

It’s about time those two met again…

---

Shikamaru laid flat on his back watching the clouds between the treetops, his arms folded underneath his head like a pillow. It was a beautiful day; blue sky with just the right amount of clouds moving peacefully over his head. He hadn’t changed much, his favorite pastime was still to behold study the clouds. There was a fan. And there spiky hair put up in four tufts on the person’s head. Yes, she was everywhere he looked. A little smile appeared on his lips. If this was the only place he could see her, then so be it. He still remembered the smile she’d given him the last time he saw her.

“Mr. Crybaby, huh?”

“You were a crybaby.”

The respond was so sudden, so unexpected, that he didn’t even react to it. How many times hadn’t he wished he could meet her again? That she would respond to one of his little statements, spoken only to the trees and the clouds. It wasn’t so strange that he heard her voice talking back to him.

“Was your next mission perfect?”

Temari took a seat next to him on the grass. It was not the teenager he had once met, this was a grown woman. Shikamaru stared at her, as confused as Naruto used to look when asked a serious question. No doubt was it she, in all those years he had never met anyone else using a fan like the one she carried. Now it rested next to her as she turned her emerald green eyes to meet his own dark ones. She smiled at him, the same smile that had followed him his entire Chuunin career.

“Almost,” he said and smiled back. “Nothing is every perfect, but it didn’t fail that time.”

“Have you failed many times since then?”

“Undoubtedly, but it’s too troublesome to remember.”

She laughed shortly, hardly more than a chuckle.

“You haven’t changed, have you?”

“Not much, changing too is too troublesome.”

He sat up, pulled up his knees and rested his elbows on them. For just a few moments he took her in.
Chapter 5 by invisible_habits
Author's Notes:
Fifth one. I hope I'm not abusing the characters too bad. They are older, how old I don't even know myself, so I guess that could excuse a bit of a change... Whatever, read on if you can accept they way I portray them I guess. :)
A long scar decorated her left thigh, but she didn’t bother to cover it with clothes it seemed. Her eyes told of many fights over the years.

“I hear you made Jounin.”

“I hear you didn’t. Too troublesome?”

His time to chuckle, or snort in a positive way rather.

“Definitely.”

“So you do what, teach at the academy?”

“Chuunin get missions too.”

They fell silent for a while. Temari was the first one to turn her eyes to the sky, watching the clouds wander by. Shikamaru followed her example, finding an incredible peace in having her by his side. She was not the ‘neither beautiful nor ugly’ woman he had always pictured himself with. Temari was one of the scariest females he had ever encountered, worse than his mother even, but whenever he met someone else the mere memory of her had killed off all competition.

“I think I understand now…”

His eyes were still turned to the sky as he spoke, but a small askew smile had appeared on his lips. She liked it.

“Understand what?”

“A long time ago, before I went out on that first mission, I asked my father why he married such an overbearing woman as my mother. He said ‘she has days when she has a kind smile on her face’.”

He turned to meet her eyes again, finding just such a smile on Temari’s face.

“That’s all?” she said in an amused voice.

“That’s what I said too, it just sounded so…small…”

He looked into her eyes, a small smile on his lips as well as hers.

“But now I understand…”

His eyes said the rest, and it caused Temari to turn her eyes away for a minute. She just so nearly blushed, but she was so not the blushing type of woman. Finally she returned her gaze to meet his.

“Are you saying that I’m bossy?”

“You’re scary!” he confessed and caused them both to laugh.
Chapter 6 by invisible_habits
Author's Notes:
Chapter six, last one for now. I need to go to bed, and I really need to study for the next couple of days. I'll write more when I can. Knowing myself, some smut might be coming into this now... We'll just have to see. Enjoy.
They fell silent again, watching the sky and enjoying each other’s company. Temari found it peaceful in the shadows underneath the trees. There weren’t many trees back home. Even the shadows were dry and hot. Sometimes The Wind Country wasn’t the most pleasant place to live.

“I should return.”

Her voice had a slightly sad tone to it as she spoke. The smile on Shikamaru’s lips slowly faded. Now that she was here he didn’t want her to go.

“It’ll be dark soon,” he stated. “You won’t make it back in time.”

“I’ve traveled in the dark before.”

She noticed that he hesitated for just a second before speaking again. Someone slower would not have noticed.

“You can stay here.” A short pause. “At my place…if you want to.”

He felt like a twelve-year-old boy again, hesitating and speaking in a low voice. Well at least he didn’t blush, for some reason that would’ve been embarrassing. Temari felt pretty much the same way, like a thirteen-year-old girl worrying about staying at her boyfriend’s place for the first time. Only this was not her boyfriend, she was too old to worry about boyfriends, this was merely a ninja who offered her a place to stay the night. It was the fact that he was the man who had occupied her mind ever since she was fifteen that complicated it all.

“Alright.” The word left her before she was aware of what her decision was. “Alright.”

The smile returned to Shikamaru’s lips. He feared what would happen, what this could lead to, but when the chance of a lifetime appeared you ought to take it. This was definitely one of those.

Not surprisingly Temari was the first to stand up. Offering her hand to the slacker-nin she smiled slightly.

“I don’t know the way.”

He took her hand, enjoyed the feeling of closing his fingers around hers.
Chapter 7 by invisible_habits
Author's Notes:
Woohoo, so I'm actually updating this. If anybody happens to read it, sorry it took so long. I wrote the following four chapters (7-10) on the train, but I do think they turned out way better than the first ones.

If you do happen to read this, it would be nice to receive some reviews... It feels slightly boring to get nothing for what I write... But only if you feel like it.

Disclaimer; You know the deal, I don't own Naruto or any other character in the series, yada yada yada and so on!
It was not a very long walk to his home, a small apartment in line with several others looking just the same. A corridor of doors, where one happened to have his name on it. Many ninja lived just like this. It was cheap, easy to look after and really the only thing you needed when you were away on missions ever so often.

“I haven’t cleaned in a while,” he excused himself as he unlocked the door.

“I wouldn’t expect you to be the cleaning type,” she said with a smile.

“Too troublesome.”

Unison voices carrying over in unison laughter. It felt so good being around him, so simple and easy. For a brief moment she wondered whether or not to send a note to Kazekage, Gaara, and tell him she would spend the night in Konoha. But something told her it had been his plan all along. The more she thought about it, the less could she find a reason to send a message to Konoha from The Hidden Village of Sand.

Did you want me to come her for some other reason Gaara? Was this your plan all along…?

Opening the door, Shikamaru cursed the fact that he never bothered to pick up anything. There were clothes lying over the back of the couch, and paper files, reports and grades decorated the kitchen table. Letting Temari go in first he closed the door behind them.

“Sorry…”

“Not as bad as I thought I’d be.”

She smiled that smile again, the one he could never forget. For a second he was twelve again and in the Chuunin exams, meeting a girl he feared but never would forget. He smiled back at her.

“Do you want anything?”

“Some tea would be nice…”

He nodded his head and disappeared into the kitchen.

“Just toss whatever is on the way to the floor,” he called out to her.

She had already done just that. Most of the clothes seemed to be fresh, he probably just found it too troublesome to iron, fold and put them into the closet. Not that she should be talking, she had others doing it for her. A little gift from Kazekage. Gaara.

Shikamaru returned with the tea and put their mugs down on the table, spilling a little and thereby soiling what looked like a report of some kind.

“Student work?”

“Yeah, she got an A.”

“You read it?”

“No, she always gets an A, so I don’t see why I should.”

Temari should her head and chuckled, sipped her tea carefully. It almost burnt her tongue, but it had a nice taste to it.

“Green?”

“With lemon.”

Silence entered the room, and it was one of those annoying guests that never wanted to leave.
Chapter 8 by invisible_habits
Author's Notes:
Perhaps a bit of a transport, but I felt it necessary...
Thirty minutes later they had finished their tea, and silence still lingered in the room. But it wasn’t uncomfortable. Shikamaru was rarely troubled by silence; he preferred it over meaningless chatter. Like Naruto always went on and on about everything and nothing. Or random girls screaming around Sasuke all the time. It was why he sought loneliness, the company of clouds and trees and shadows. Chouji was perfect; he was a person you could be silent together with. Much like he felt he could be silent together with Temari at the moment.

And she felt pretty much the same way. Temari had always been cocky as hell, never afraid to speak up around anyone but her youngest brother. But she had never had a big problem with silence, unless the other part of it was troubled. Then everything became awkward and uncomfortable. With Shikamaru it wasn’t so. For half an hour they had sat in silence, drinking their tea and just enjoying being with the one person they had thought about for all those years.

“I’ll try to find a fresh set of beddings for you.”

“Alright.”

She watched as he got up and left the room somewhere behind her. There was a little window right in front of her eyes, and she realized that the sun was setting. He had been right, she wouldn’t have made it back to The Wind Country before dark. Not that it was a problem traveling in darkness; she knew the way and she’d be more sorry for the soul that tried to attack her than for herself was she to be attacked. At the age of sixteen she’d been able to summon wind creatures strong enough to shop down forests in seconds, and she had not decreased in power after she became Chuunin and ultimately Jounin.

Shikamaru walked into his bedroom and quickly tore the old beddings off the mattress, pillow and cover. From his wardrobe he got a fresh set, all white, and made the bed again. It was his last clean set he noticed. He washed way to rarely obviously. Especially sheets and towels were always last minute calls in the laundry room.

“There,” he said as he returned to the couch. Temari was seated in the armchair on the opposite side of the petite table. “You can go to bed whenever you feel like it.”

“What about you?”

“I’ll sleep on the couch.”

She raised thin eyebrow.

“Seriously?”

“I sleep on the ground all the time, a couch will be perfectly fine.”

He smiled that half-way smile at her.

“Hm, so even you can be a gentleman when you want to.”

“I’m a Konoha ninja.”

A snorting laughter escaped her, but her eyes told it was an honest one. She knew the value of Konoha ninja. Kazekage…Gaara, always said he had a huge depth to Konoha. It was a certain blond and loud Konoha ninja who had brought the demon boy out of his shell, taught him the meaning of love and friendship. Gaara had changed after that meeting, and both Temari and Kankuro were forever grateful for that change. He became a brother to love instead of one to fear, and since that day they had not been defeated when they stood together.

“Would I be too troublesome if I asked for some dinner?”

“Not at all.”

He rose to go into the kitchen.

“I’ll help you.”

At first he thought about protesting, but meeting her green eyes that idea melted away. You didn’t oppose Temari.

“Alright, this way.”
Chapter 9 by invisible_habits
Author's Notes:
Wiiee, I like this chapter. They're so cute. Hope you enjoy it too. ^-^
Two hours later they had managed to cook ramen with a new twist, eat it and laugh more than either of them had done in years. They were not the best of cooks, but their meal had turned out rather nicely. Especially with a little bit of sake as desert. Not much, they weren’t drunk, but it had been a nice way to end a nice meal in nice company.

“Haha, I so wish it hadn’t taken all those years,” Temari stated.

Their shyness and inhibitions had long since passed, and now they could talk about pretty much anything without feeling awkward or embarrassed.

“What do you mean?” Shikamaru asked, drinking some water to sooth his throat that was dry from laughing.

“I mean, I’ve thought about our meetings so many times and wished I could see you again. But I never actually went here, I don’t know why.”

He had fallen silent as she spoke, looking at her in disbelief. A small smile decorated his lips and he looked like he was about to shake his head.

“What?”

“You too huh?”

For once it didn’t seem like she understood. Or perhaps she did, but just couldn’t believe it.

“I thought about you every now and then after the Chuunin exam, and pretty much every day after that time you saved me from the sound-nin.”

The same kind of half-sad smile had appeared on Temari’s beautiful lips. She did shake her head where Shikamaru had neglected to do so.

“So we wanted the same all along?”

He nodded his head slowly.

“It seems so…”

“Why did we never act on it before now? How come we never went to see the other, not even in disguise of some kind of mission?”

Shikamaru shrugged his shoulders.

“I guess we were too cowardly, too occupied and in the case of myself too lazy.”

“I told myself I needed to stick by Gaara, especially after he became Kazekage. And I was one of the best Jounin in the village, so I was often sent on missions.”

“You know I was appointed teacher at the ninja academy at the age of 13, and I’ve pretty much been working there since. Every now and then I went on a mission, but mostly I was here in the village.”

She laughed softly, a very pleasant sound to listen to.

“They’re all just excuses,” she said.

“Excuses to keep ourselves from going to see the other,” he agreed.

A short pause followed. Again not an awkward or uncomfortable one, but rather one that gave them both time to think.

“Why did you come here now?”

“Gaara sent me,” she answered, again with that little smile on her lips. “I think he knew all along…”

“That we would meet?”

“How I felt…”

“How do you feel…?”

This time the hesitation was obvious in his voice, as if he was afraid of what the answer might be. That it concerned him he understood, he didn’t need all those IQ-points for that. The words had escaped him before he knew if he wanted to ask or not, if he really wanted to know the answer.

And a questioned burned inside his own mind, puzzling him and demanding attention he could not give it if he wanted to pay attention to Temari; What did he feel for her?

“I…,” Temari hesitated as well. Meeting his dark brown eyes with her own green she more than ever felt like a teenage girl again. Only she had never had those problems in her teenage years. “I don’t know…”

Her head dropped again, but she had time to catch the faint smile on Shikamaru’s lips.

“I guess we are about as confused the both of us then,” he said.
Chapter 10 by invisible_habits
Author's Notes:
Last chapter in this update. I've started chapter 11, don't know when it'll be up. Hopefully it won't take too long. Please review, it would feel so good to get some...
A couple of hours of talking later they knew each other better, but their own feelings were still a puzzle to them. On first impression they were so very different; Shikamaru was the slacker of slackers, while Temari was energetic and always aimed for the next level. But on the inside, in their minds and way of thinking, they were pretty alike. Perhaps that was why they had never sought the other out to find out what their constant thinking of the other could lead to…

“I should go to bed,” Temari said, a smile that wouldn’t go away still intact on her lips.

She was a female behind the hard surface, and that femininity held a certain degree of vanity to it. It had pleased her to know that Shikamaru had never been able to forget about her, that her first impression had lasted all those years inside the mind of the genius.

“Yeah,” Shikamaru agreed. “It’s getting late.”

He stood up, a smile on his lips also. The afternoon and evening that had just taken place were among the best he could remember. Many, many times had he seen Temari’s face among the clouds and wished that she was there with him, tonight she was. Holding out a hand he helped her off the couch. She glanced back down at it.

“Are you sure you wanna sleep on this…?”

It was an obvious invitation.

“No…”

Her heart skipped a beat at the simple word. It seemed she had no control of her words today. She hadn’t meant to ask the question, but she wasn’t sorry she had. His hand still held hers and she took a step closer to him, decreasing the space between them to no more than an inch or two. He was taller than her, but she didn’t mind looking up at a man. The only man who had ever made her feel small was shorter than her, and he had fierce red hair.

“Then don’t.”

She didn’t need to let the desire into her voice; it was clearly visible in her green eyes. They had darkened in color and Shikamaru’s did the same at the sight of them. She was so much of a woman, the kind he had always thought he would be afraid of. But his father had been right, just the glance of a kind smile on an otherwise strict face was enough to fall in love.

Am I that, in love? I think I might be…

Slowly he wrapped his arms around her slender waist and pulled her even closer, closed the final gap between them. It felt so good, having her that close. She closed her arms around his body as well, completing the embrace. For a while they merely stood like that, feeling the other against their body. Brown met green and spoke a language that made words unnecessary.

Is this love? Could it be that I love a man I’ve met twice in my life…?

Slowly she let her hands wander up his back to land on his shoulders from behind. Holding on to them she reached up on tip toes. He understood and leaned down a little bit. Thin male lips met ample female ones in a soft kiss, a careful and searching one. A sweet one that felt close to perfection. Shikamaru hadn’t kissed many girls in his life, they weren’t interested in the boring guy and his mind was hooked on the one now in his arms. Temari had had several temporary relationships, but nothing had felt as good as this. Had she known how short Shikamaru’s list of kissing companions was, she would’ve called him a natural talent.

Breaking away she took the lead, seeing how she was the more direct of the two of them.

“Come.”

Still holding on to his hand she took a few steps towards the bedroom. Shikamaru didn’t hesitate anymore, he followed her. He was grasping the chance of a lifetime as it was presented to him.
Chapter 11 by invisible_habits
Author's Notes:
Omg, sorry for the long lack of updates. On top of that you only get one chapter now, but it is a juicy one. At least I think so...hope you'll like it. They're so good together, I've made myself fall in love with this pairing even more by writing this. Haha.

You know the usual stuff; I don't own Naruto or any characters from it, I'm not associated with those who own Naruto, I make no money from this fic & please review. ^-^
Shikamaru allowed himself to be lead into the bedroom. He might be a Chuunin, but he didn’t mind that Temari took the lead. His experience in this area most likely was less than hers. But the thought of feeling her undressed body next to his own definitely got a reaction out of the normally so indifferent man.

They didn’t bother to close the bedroom door as arms wrapped around bodies and lips met in a second kiss. A more heated one this time. Passion was getting the better side of them. Tomorrow was forgotten, the fact that she had to go back to The Wind Country as the sun rose ignored.

His lips left hers and traveled down her neck slowly. A low moan escaped her as a warm tongue traced a vein down towards the collarbone. Temari had always enjoyed sexual contact, but this was completely different from what she had experienced before. Better. Reaching up she released Shikamaru’s hair from the band that held it in place in the same style he had had as a teenager. The dark mess fell down around his face, longer than she had expected it to be, and she buried her fingers in it.

Shikamaru moaned deep down in his throat at the feeling of her fingertips gracing his scalp. His own hands were slowly traveling down her back, longing to feel bare skin underneath them. Finding the edge of her sweater he dug in under it, and finally felt her heated skin against his fingers. Caressing the small of her back he forced a short gasp and another little moan out of her. She caught his lips in another kiss.

His mere presence was intoxicating, and his caresses didn’t make it easier for her. Temari quickly retreated her fingers from his hand and shoulders, and used the now free hands to pull off his shirt. He was a Chuunin yes, but for some reason she was still surprised at how fit the chest before her was. Not too much, he was still lean and slender. The sight of him caused the pupils to eat the last of the green in her eyes. Shikamaru saw the reaction, and her desire only added to his own.

Hands quickly pulled over his abs and chest, leaving tickling trails behind them. Every nerve in his body was aware of her touches, where they went and even more so where they didn’t go. Temari was leaving his most sensitive spots alone on purpose; she never said she wasn’t a tease.

Tearing her eyes away from the too pleasant sight before her, she looked over her shoulder at the freshly made bed. The sheets hadn’t been ironed, but she hadn’t expected such a thing from Shikamaru. Besides, they were gonna be even more wrinkled before morning…

Placing her hands of his waist she firmly turned him around, so that his back was towards the bed. Shikamaru was slightly surprised by the movement, but he accepted it. Taking a few steps backwards, as instructed by the hands now placed on his naked chest, he allowed himself to fall backwards onto the bed. His eyes widened as Temari pulled the clothes off of her upper body, revealing a firm body with enough female shapes to satisfy any man. A very satisfied smile decorated her lips, as if his reaction was exactly the one she wanted, and she had confidence oozing out of her in every movement.

But as she tried to take more clothes off, Shikamaru surprised himself by sitting up on the edge of the bed and grasp her hips in a soft hold. Confusion shone from Temari’s eyes, but nothing in Shikamaru’s dark eyes spoke of a wish to stop.

“Don’t rush it,” he said softly. “This ain’t a mission we need to fulfill as quickly as possible. Just….let’s enjoy it.”

His fingers traced the line of her skirt so softly she could barely feel it. It tickled and burned at the same time, a sensation indeed. Nodding her head in agreement and understanding, reading between the lines the words he didn’t wish to speak; ‘We might never get another shot at this’. Temari took a small step closer to him, ending up standing between his knees as she reached up and released her hair from the four tufts she still kept it in. The blonde mess fell down around her face, framing it and causing the Konoha Chuunin to gasp.

His hands traveled further up her body, caressed the sides of her body and her waistline. She reached down and caressed his neck, shoulders and as far down the back she could reach without bending. Shikamaru pushed her back slightly and put his knees together, begging her to straddle him. It didn’t take more than that, for it was exactly what she wished to do. Placing one knee on either side of him on the bed, Temari straddled him and reduced the space between them to basically nothing. Her round breast brushed against his torso as he placed his arms around her fully, tracing the outline of her back with his fingers. She buried her fingers in his hair again, pulled them through it several times and discovered how thick it really was.

Tilting his head up somewhat, Temari brought their lips together again in a slow and very passionate kiss. Licking his lower lip caused Shikamaru to part them, and their tongues met in a slow dance all while his hands performed the same art over her back. Desire was building up by the minute, and Temari could feel the proof of it pressed against her thigh. Rocking her hips softly she drew and almost pained groan from Shikamaru. But his hands went down to her bottom, cupping it and by that pressing her closer to his own aching arousal.

Breaking the kiss Temari drew long moaning breaths. She had to force herself to pull away from the body wanting to hold her close, but there were far too much clothes on it still. Standing back up she was very thankful for Shikamaru’s hands holding onto her hips, as her knees threatened to give in underneath her. Taking his hands in her own she directed them towards the buttons holding her skirt up, wanting him to undress her rather than doing it herself. He wasn’t late to accept her invitation, and soon she stood before him in all her naked glory. Taking the hand she offered him, Shikamaru allowed himself to be pulled up and equally undressed.

When arms closed around bodies again, there was nothing keeping them from feeling the other’s skin against their own. Lying down on the bed they enjoyed the feeling for a little while longer, explored the other’s body with their own. Shikamaru closed his lips around an already erect nipple, one hand paying attention to the other while his other hand found its way down, down to regions both of them were dying to explore. Temari arched up into his touches as his fingers and tongue seemed to find sensitive spots she was hardly aware of herself.

Pulling him up to her she kissed the thin lips before rolling on top of him and giving him the same kind of attention he had given her. Shikamaru had never felt anything like it, and he responded to her treatment with moans and groans and body language. Finally she sat up, straddling his thighs once more, and their eyes locked. How long had passed neither could tell, but it didn’t matter. Taking hold of his erection, Temari guided them into positions. Shikamaru held on to her hips as she slowly sank down on him, both of them gasping but never breaking eye contact. He held her still as she was fully seated on his arousal, forever burning the image above him into his mind in case he would never see it again.

When they started to move in sync Temari was very glad her brothers were miles and miles away, unable to hear her shaking moans and cries of pleasure every time Shikamaru hit that special spot deep inside of her.
Chapter 12 by invisible_habits
Author's Notes:
Final chapter. I'll say no more than that. Please review, reviews is what made me write this chapter up when I really should be studying for my exam on Friday... Enjoy.
As lazy as he was, Shikamaru had a tendency to wake up in the middle of the night. He liked watching the stars almost as much as watching the clouds, not to mention how beautiful clouds were in moonlight. But this night he had something else to watch.

Temari was sleeping next to him in the bed, hair let down and the covering draped delicately over her beautiful body. He’d discovered several scars and old injuries on it by now, and he traced them in his mind even though they were covered. The lights that they’d left burning had been put out, only the moonlight coming in through the window made it able for him to see her face in the darkness. She was beautiful indeed, so peaceful and relaxed in sleep but still holding on to that strength she had within.

He rested on one elbow and wished he could caress her face, but he was afraid of waking her. She had a long way to go tomorrow, she needed her sleep. Reluctantly he lay down next to her, pulled her closer and felt her nestle in against his body. But he didn’t shut his eyes, didn’t want to go to sleep. Once he fell asleep he would soon wake up, and once he woke up she would have to go. He didn’t want her to go, didn’t want to lose her again now that he had had her. Placing a soft kiss on her smooth forehead, not decorated by any scars since she wore her forehead protector where the name suggested it be worn, and gave up as sleep pulled him down.

---

When Temari first woke up she was a bit disoriented. But the body that was pressed softly against her, along with the arms that held her, soon reminded her of the events of the past night. Her first feeling was comfort, then followed joy of finally being with the man she wanted to be with, and finally came despair. Today she was going home, back home to Wind and Sand. Sure it held her brothers whom she loved and longed for, but that longing was of a completely different kind than the one that had been in her heart for years and years. A longing she felt no traces of right now.

Stirring slightly she found that Shikamaru was not so easily woken. It shouldn’t have surprised her, and she didn’t know if it pleased or grieved her. What definitely pleased her was that though he was still asleep, Shikamaru tightened his grip around her when she tried to move away from him. That if anything told her that he didn’t want to let go of her, and for once such knowledge neither scared nor repulsed her. Temari had never wished to be captured by a man, held without being able to leave, but now it filled her with warmth as Shikamaru almost refused to give up his grip around her body.

Slowly she managed to slip away from him though, her body instantly cold and already longing for his embrace again, without waking him. Using the bathroom she very quickly, very quietly refreshed herself before pulling her scattered clothes back on. It was early, the sun had barely risen outside the window, and she took the time to watch him sleep for a few minutes before turning her back on him and walking out the bedroom door.

The petit living room already held a familiar feeling to it, and she didn’t even dare to throw a look into the kitchen where they had made dinner last night. How long had it been since she last cooked? She couldn’t even remember. Being one of the best Jounin in the country, not to mention the Kazekage’s sister, had some advantages. Thus last nights culinary escapades had been very special in more than one way. But she pushed all such thoughts aside, walked over to the door and opened it slowly so that it wouldn’t squeak.

“Is that all I get…?” The words caused Temari to freeze up by the open door. “You sneaking out without a word…?”

The words pierced her heart with pain even though they held no anger in them at all. Her forehead that had been so smooth in the middle of the night was wrinkled, her eyes closed as she tried to force herself to turn around. Shikamaru gave her all the time she needed, let her decide what she wanted to do. Should she choose to walk out that door now, all he could do was let her go. Right?

Finally she managed to gather up the strength to face him. He stood leaned to the bedroom doorframe, nothing but a sheet wrapped around his lower body. It seemed he’d woken minutes earlier, and it was the truth. His body had felt something missing, and once such a signal reached his brain he opened his eyes to find the bed empty. Never before had he been out of bed faster, the sheet pulled along as he stood up and wrapped around his body while he entered the living room.

Green melted into brown once more as their eyes locked, none of them moving either towards or away from the other. Yesterday’s desire was satisfied; today their eyes spoke of something else. Something deeper, more meaningful. But it was glazed over with sorrow, for they both realized what this moment meant. Shikamaru could ask her to stay, beg her to come live in Konoha. Temari could ask him to come with her back to the Sand Village, but she had chosen to sneak out. Or attempted to anyhow.

Unlike yesterday it was Shikamaru who took the first step. By just pushing himself away from the doorframe and taking a single step towards her, he broke the awkward feeling her failed attempt had caused. Temari gave in as well, meeting him halfway across the room and falling into the embrace her was offering. She’d never felt so vulnerable in her life, so torn apart and so close to tears.

“Don’t go,” he whispered into her hair, arm around her waist and the other around her shoulders. There was something sorrow in his voice, as if he already knew what her answer would be. Yet she couldn’t give any. She merely wrapped her arms around his naked torso and stood there, face pressed towards his chest as a few tears trickled down her cheeks.

When they finally pulled apart they already knew she was going, both of them. There was a smile on Shikamaru’s lips, but his eyes were grieving. Temari couldn’t even make a false smile. She felt…heartbroken, like that time when Gaara was taken by Akatsuki and Kankuro poisoned by Sasori of the Red Sand. Only this was on another level, an emotional level whereas said event had been on a family one.

Copying her actions of yesterday, Temari grabbed Shikamaru’s shoulders from behind and pulled herself up on tiptoes. He in returned leaned down in the exact same way as last night, until their lips met in a soft kiss. It was sweet and loving, but oh so sad. Like a goodbye.

Temari was the first to retire, eyes closed and a sob held back in her throat. “I have to go,” she said and looked up at him. “Sand is my home, just as Konoha is yours.” Shikamaru smiled that sad smile again and tucked a few strands of her loose hair behind her ear. He was not the ninja who had Konoha closest at heart, but even he would’ve had a hard time leaving the Village hidden among the Leaves. Temari had such close connections to her village, and to her brothers. How could he ask her to not return?

“Tell Gaara and Kankuro I said hello.”

It hurt so much to hear, and Temari could see it also hurt Shikamaru to say the words. He was giving up the grip around her she had so cherished when she first woke up in his bed. But he kept a piece of her heart, and she felt like she was taking a little bit of his with her too. She swallowed hard and slipped away from the warmth of his body and embrace.

“I will.”

She smiled; an honest smile that still rivaled his in sadness. Slowly she turned around and returned to the still open door. Holding on to it with one hand she hesitated to walk out, leave all of this behind.

“Temari.” She turned halfway towards him, her hair a golden aura around her as the sun shone down at her. “I love you…”

“I love you too, Shikamaru.”

And with that she was gone; out the door and out of the city before she had a chance to change her mind again. Tears flowed freely down her face and blurred her vision, but she hardly stopped to rest at all until she reached the Hidden Village of Sand less than three days later. Gaara never said anything about it, but he was surprised to see his sister back in the Wind Country.

Shikamaru closed the door behind Temari, having stood in it and stared out into the street for a long time. He didn’t regret anything; last night had fulfilled so many dreams. But as he returned to the bed, slipped in between the coverings and buried his nose in the pillow that still smelled faintly of her, he couldn’t keep a few tears from falling. He had a feeling he wouldn’t be seeing Temari for a long, long time. If he ever got to see her again.
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