SUMMARY:

While the great war was successful in getting the villages to cease fire against each other, many of the citizens were perfectly content with going back to be secluded in their respective villages. Eager to strengthen the alliance between Sunagakure and Konohagakure, the Hokage and Kazekage began to find ways permanently bridge the gap between the two nations. Being the Suna Ambassador, Temari's frequent trips to Konoha allowed for her kinship with the village to develop quite rapidly, specifically her relationship with Shikamaru and his friends. However, she begins to second guess her new relationships with the Konoha-nin when it became harder and harder for her to look forward to coming home. Remaining fiercely loyal to her brothers and her village, Temari attempts to distance herself from Konoha and tries to make her presence as the liaison as scarce as possible. She would have sacrificed anything for her home and her family, even her heart. Though, what will she do when she realizes that her absence is causing Shikamaru to fall to the darkness that stirred within his heart?

Edit (8/18/17): Rated M for language, smoking, drinking, (minor) violence, and smut cause I'm a total smut.

Just a few notes that I've collected throughout the chapters:

[1] Slightly crossover-ish but not really. I borrow some character designs from a game. It will be announced at the top of that chapter.

[3] I know this immediately plunges into some hardcore ShikaTema fluff and moments, but it will be a drama. It took me 11 chapters to cover Friday-Sunday of this universe so damn, I hope you're ready for a long journey with me!

Edit (09/13/20): I can't believe how some of my readers have stuck with me despite my long hiatuses. Multiple hiatuses! I started this fic when I was a lot younger and it's a little cringy for me to reread sometimes but, for some unknown reason to me, this fic was more of a success than I could ever ask for! I really appreciate all my followers, new and old, and look forward to finishing this fanfic for you.


Daybreak

Temari woke up to him scrambling to turn off his alarm. It seemed very out of character for the lazy shinobi as he never appeared to be the type to rush for anything. In fact, he was the one who told her there was no advantage in hurrying through life in one of their many conversations. Temari hid her eyes under her long lashes as she peeked at him fumbling with the alarm clock, but quickly shut them and pretended to be asleep when he crawled back into bed. He wrapped his arms back around her and let out a deep breath. She smiled against his chest when she realized that he had hastily turned off the alarm so that it wouldn't disturb her.

She felt him heave another sigh before he pressed his lips against her forehead. As he turned around and started to climb out of bed, she wrapped her arms around him from behind to pulled him close. Her legs snaked around his as she pressed her half naked body against him.

"Oi! I thought you were sleeping."

Temari hid her chuckle by burying her face into his back.

"You know… getting out of bed is already such a drag. You're not making it any easier," he mumbled through a smile as he scratched the back of his head.

"I'm not doing anything," she retorted. She felt him turn around to face her. He balanced his weight onto his forearm and stared at what he could see of her. She was thankful for the darkness that still lingered in the room. The sunrise was barely starting to peek through the windows just enough so that they could see each other's silhouettes. She wasn't used to being bashful around any guy and knew that Konoha's very own genius would have easily read it her face.

"You don't have to. It's like getting out of a warm bed on a cold morning."

"But it's not cold."

He rolled his eyes at her. "I'm just saying I would much rather stay here."

"I thought that was just you being lazy," she smirked at him.

"Tch. Well, if you're going to bed rude about it…," he said and climbed out of bed to make his way towards the bathroom. Temari sat up and chuckled. She knew he had to meet with the Hokage soon and didn't want to make him late.

Last night was her fifth "date" with Shikamaru. Their first date wasn't necessarily a date, at least it didn't feel like one. They had dinner and mostly talked about work. Unfortunately, that was nothing out of the ordinary for them being their respective village's ambassador. It made seeing each other a little awkward when they met the second time. The miscommunication about the honeymoon for Naruto and Hinata didn't help the situation at all. It still made Temari cringe whenever her mind wandered back to that day. Ironically, their third meeting was just supposed to be dinner, but ended up being more of a date. Their conversation ran so long that his two teammates retired from spying on them from the window. They didn't leave until the staff started to stack the chairs on the tables surrounding them.

Their fourth "date" was with most of his friends, although they continued to act like comrades in front of everyone. Naruto and Hinata had invited everyone out to celebrate their engagement. Now that there was nothing but peace amongst the villages, the shinobi directed their energy into having fun. The teams were finally allowed to relax, they took every opportunity to get wasted like most people their age.

The Sand Siblings were invited due to Gaara's close friendship with Naruto. However, he opted to retire early as he wasn't quite familiar with alcohol nor the sloppy behavior of the inebriated young adults. Not wanting Gaara to feel uncomfortable, Naruto finally allowed him to leave after drunk crying for fifteen minutes. Kankuro and Kiba engaged in competitive rounds of beer pong, refusing the share one of the tables due to their immediate rematches. Because the loser had to take a shot in addition to finishing all the beer on the table, it didn't take long before they were hanging off each other. Temari decided to leave after listening to her brother and Kiba slur nonsense and insults at each other for almost half an hour. Shikamaru walked her back to the inn. They've been working with each other for so long that it was no longer unusual for them to arrive and leave together.

That night, they shared their first kiss. They did their usual dance of verbal insults while laughing until she caught him with a comment that caught him off guard. He hated how she was the only person who was able to do that to him, but knew it was the mental challenged that kept him drawn to her. He rolled his eyes and called her troublesome, as he usually would. When she opened her mouth to say something again, but he captured her words by placing his lips on hers. Her body tensed up for so long that he almost broke away to ask if she was alright. Fortunately, she finally melted into the kiss just as he was about to. He pushed against her into the wall behind them, and cursed the alcohol for making it even harder for him to regain composure. When they finally pulled away to catch their breath, he took advantage of the broken spell and wished her a good night. He shared the emotions that was written all over her face. She looked flustered, frustrated, and relieved at the same time. Shikamaru was thankful that his face wasn't quite as expressive as hers. He remembered feeling so tensed that he had to smoke a cigarette on his walk home just to calm his nerves.

When they met again last night, everything was normal again. They closed out another restaurant with their thought provoking conversations about life, training, family, and friends. Not wanting the night to end, he invited her to the Nara forest. Temari's cerulean eyes sparkled like gemstones in the moonlight as they remained wide the entire time they were there. The smiled on her face gave his heart a full feeling that he'd never felt before. It made him forget about everything else when he was with her. She told him about her love for nature and plants, the "only" thing she jokingly claimed that she envied Konoha for. They continued to talk about her home and her family. No one would ever second guess Temari's love for her brothers, but her stories of their upbringing could have sunk anyone's heart to their stomach. Shikamaru was lucky that even though he was an only child, his bond with Ino and Choji was basically as thick as blood. Most importantly, it was full of happy memories up until the death of their parents and captain. He knew he'd never understand the loneliness that many of his peers experienced growing up. It was something he was thankful for everyday. As she continued to tell him stories about her life, he realized that these stories weren't ones that were often shared. These stories were ones that had to be earned. That he had earned.

They finally caved to the heightened emotions and the sexual tension when they reached the entrance of her inn, which led them to their current predicament.

Shikamaru looked over his shoulder when he heard her laugh. He let out yet another frustrated sigh. He didn't want to leave her, and if he had to be honest, he didn't want to leave the bed either. She wasn't wrong when she called him lazy.

Temari frowned. "What did I do now?"

She sat on the bed wearing nothing but the black long sleeve he always wore under his flak jacket. Her hair was out of the usual pigtails and were cascading down her shoulders. Temari was curvier than most girls he knew. A lot of kunoichi tend excel at genjutsu and chakra control, but Temari was also very proficient in taijutsu. Her body had a little more muscle and definition, probably from fighting with her giant tessen. He knew she was technically regarded as a princess, the same way Tsunade was because of their lineage. However, he learned that the people of Suna referred to her as the "Lady of War" because of her skills as a shinobi during one of his visits there. He felt that suited her better anyway.

"Nothing," he lied.

Temari mimicked his frustrated sigh. She sprawled out on her stomach and rested her head against her hand while she watched him get ready. He had outgrew her years ago. Shikamaru looked like a pouty little boy when he first defeated her at the chunin exams. That changed when she rescued him from Tayuya. He already passed her in height by then and no longer looked like an adolescent boy. She was relieved that his lazy ass was someohow the only one that got promoted. It made her loss a little less embarrassing.

Shikamaru grew up to be quite popular with the ladies as well. Girls approached him all the time when they were working together in town. Shikamaru was "traditionally" handsome. He was the type of good looking that looked amazing in formal attire, yet somehow managed to project a "bad boy" vibe when he wasn't. She summed it up to the nonchalant attitude and earrings that made his laziness come off as cool. Temari chuckled at the thought of it.

"What?" He asked her this time.

"You know, you're on Sasuke's and Neji's level of pretty boy with your hair down." It was true, Shikamaru looked like an entirely different person with his hair out of the usual ponytail. He definitely had the devilish charm with his hair up, but there's was something very sophisticated about him when it sat neatly against his back.

"Hm, so you like pretty boys like Sasuke?"

"What are you talking about? Your hair didn't fall out of your ponytail until after I was already in bed with you," Temari scoffed.

Shikamaru stiffen before mumbling how she was troublesome woman again. He then realized that he had another problem on his hands. "How do I get out of this inn without anyone seeing me?"

"Are you ashamed of me?" She pouted.

"No! I mean. Are you ready to explain… us… to everyone?" Shikamaru also realized then that he didn't even know that "us" meant.

Temari smiled, "I'm kidding. No. That's seems, as you would put it, too troublesome."

"Well, then what do you propose?" Shikamaru asked as he made his way back to the bed to sit next to her. He slowly peeled his shirt off her, hoping that it was still in decent shape to meet with the Hokage.

"You're the strategist!" He heard Temari giggled as he bundled her up with the sheets they slept on. That was another "secret" she shared with him. Temari of the Sand was not one to giggle in front of anyone, not even her brothers.

"So are you."

"Yeah. Well, deputy-commander of the Fourth Division, your second title was chief-strategist of the entire Allied Shinobi Forces. I'm nothing but a mere bodyguard and a diplomat."

"Huh. Well, if we're throwing titles around… Who would have figured? The princess is the Kazekage's bodyguard."

Temari narrowed her eyes at him. Terrified of the scowl she was giving him, he changed the topic. "Well, uh. How many days left do you have in Konoha?"

"I leave at the end of the week."

"Oh, well. Kiba's throwing a party this weekend. Did… you want to join us?"

"I'm not sure if it's really my place…" she mumbled quickly as she looked away and scratched her arm.

"What do you mean?"

"I wouldn't be too familiar with whoever you'll be celebrating."

"We're not celebrating anyone. We're just drinking... Again. I think Kiba has gotten bored of how quiet it's been around here and wanted to celebrate, well, just being able to celebrate."

"But still…" she protested.

"Temari, we all could have died on the same battlefield together. I don't know what your criteria for friendship is, but I can assure you that it's not that complicated for us here in Konoha."

"Alright, alright. I'll stop by then," Temari said, returning the smile he was giving her. "So, is that the next time I'll see you then?"

Hopefully not was what Shikamaru wanted to say. However, that was not the way they communicated with each other. He just smirked and said, "I might see you tonight if you're lucky."

"Oh? And where do I have to go in order to get lucky?"

Her witty attitude made him smile. "The barbeque joint."

"Eh?"

"You might get lucky there."

"Oh! They have their special seafood menu tonight. How lucky indeed." She was half joking. Like most girls, she was always ready to eat.

"Tch. Troublesome woman," Shikamaru smirked. He reached for one of Temari's hair tie that was on the nightstand. "Mine is nowhere to be found since you tore it out of my hair last night. I'm taking yours."

"Hey! I only wear two of those now!"

"Should have thought of that before ripping mine off," he mumbled with the hair tie in mouth as he started to gather his hair into his usual ponytail. With his eyes closed, he failed to notice Temari sneaking up behind him. The hair tie fell out of his mouth when he felt her lips kiss the back of his ear.

"Should have thought of that before you did this to make me squirm last night," Temari whispered before biting his ear lobe. She sat back down on the bed as she watched him continue to fumble with his hair in a frustrated state.

"I guess I keep more of those on me now that we're sharing," Temari said and rolled her eyes.

Shikamaru didn't respond. Turning his back to her, he sat at the edge of her bed brought his foot up to rest on his opposite knee.

"Do you think Ino and Sai share crop tops the way we will share hair ties?" Temari joked.

Normally, Shikamaru would have laughed at the mental image of Sai borrowing Ino's clothes. However, he continued to remain silent, causing her to crawl over next to him in order to inspect his face.

"Are you… napping? Don't you have to go?"

"I need a moment," he grumbled in frustration.

She blinked. "What do you mean?"

"Just give me a minute."

Temari looked at him in confusion. She blushed when she finally understood what he was talking about and started to laugh.

Shikamaru opened his eyes to glare at her, only to see her kneeling over the bed with the sheets barely hanging on to her body. "Okay. You in that position is not helping." Knowing that he would never make it out of her room if he stayed another minute, he threw on his flak jacket turned to leave.

"See you." Temari said briefly as she curled back under the sheets.

"If you're lucky," he winked back at her before closing the door.


Tell me what you like and what you don't like. I'll take any critic as it'll help me brainstorm and prevent writer's block!