I don't remember where this idea came from...but as soon as I had it I typed it up and I found it, worked on it and now I'm putting it up. It'll be short though...like...three or so pages.
I think I'm trying to be romantic again...I dunno. blinks Yeah...so... um...
Stuff. Read, review, eat a sandwich...or something!
Edit: went all retarded and cut out part of the story. This should be all of it.
The wind swirled around the two shadowed shinobi, howling as the rain pounded into their exposed bodies. Kankurou and Gaara searched tirelessly nonetheless. More was at stake than their comfort. Lighting cut the blackened sky and thunder complained as they would not give up. But the two sons of the desert sands were not afraid of being wet, of being cold, but they were afraid of losing those that they loved. However, their calls were being lost on the storm.
Kankurou landed near Gaara and wiped water from his face. "They don't call this Rain Country for nothing," he muttered. "We should turn back and search when the storm let's up."
"No!" the younger ninja snapped. His sand molded into a shell around them providing shelter fromthe rain. "Storms here can last for days. We don't have that much time to spare."
"But we don't even know where she disappeared, we haven't found a single hint of where she is..." Their hearts sank at this realization. "We'll keep searching but let's interview the natives one more time. Maybe they forgot something."
Gaara shut is eyes tightly, the rain pouring from his hair to his face almost appearing as tears. "Temari... Where did you go?"
A two weeks earlier...
Temari shoved another change of clothes into her bag. Last to be placed was the message to the Daimyo from the interim Kazekage. There were only three ninja villages between Sound and Sand. It was important to gain the people's trust and favor if they were to overpower Orochimaru's exceptionally dangerous village. It was an honor to be the messenger of the scroll though the mission itself could have been done by genin. As such, she would go alone in case a more pressing mission needed the talents of her brothers.
The two younger Sand Siblings were downstairs in a heated game. She could her their occasional shouts and furious tapping. Shouldering the small bag and tucking her tessen into her belt, she said good-bye to her room and went downstairs. Kankurou had Gaara in a headlock as they played.
"Isn't that cheating, Kankurou?"
"Yes!""No!" The both yelled. Gaara, however, did not seem distracted by the chokehold and scored a point. The game complimented his achievement with an exuberant "Great!".
Temari smirked. "Let him go, Kankurou. I'll be back in a week. Don't trash the house. Don't give each other a hard time. And don't go into my room. Got it?"
"Week. Trash. House. Hard. Room. Got it," Kankurou listed while his eyes and most of attention stayed on the television screen. She rolled her eyes and put on her sandals. Though he said nothing, she was sure Gaara at least had gotten the rules and was likely to follow them.
"I'm going," she called back from the open door.
"Bye." The door slid shut with a gentle click and Temari was on her way.
A week passed and the two younger ninja had succeeded in all of her rules except for giving each other a hard time. They were both ready for her to come home, expecting her any day. The sun shined past thick clouds one day as Kankurou was intensely reading a horror novel on the couch and Gaara perched himself at the window waiting patiently for her four pigtails to appear on the walkway.
"Do you think something happened?" he asked idly.
Kankurou turned a page and settled into a new and more comfortable position. "Nah. She probably just got carried away with shopping and all of that new stuff is weighing her down. She'll be back tomorrow, I'm sure." This satisifed Gaara, who left his post and went to his own room.
Three days had passed from her initial due date and indeed both were concerned. Kankurou finished prepping his puppet for travel. He's expression was contorted into deep thought. "Four days...both ways. Even if she stayed a day, she'd be back by now..."he thought to himself. That explanation played in his mind over and over again. Somehow it was irritating that she was not back. Worry, a silent voice in his mind answered but he ignored it.
Gaara opened the front door and picked up his gourd that he left behind. He offered to go to the central office to see if any word had been heard from her and what Temari's specific orders were. She was to deliver the message and return immediately. Something had gone awry. "The message never got to the daimyo."
"She was intercepted," Kankurou stated plainly. "Let's go. No rest until we reach Rain Country." He shouldered the puppet and left with his brother.
Unfortunately they found that Rain was going through it's appropriately named rainy season. It would be difficult to track her movements and time had already been against them. Kankurou realized almost immediately that finding her would be impossible unless the villagers had seen something. And they hadn't. Temari was as silent and unobtrusive as the wind she controlled.
When they entered a bar conversation ceased, as the two ninja's of Sand took a seat. Wet and cold, the ordered hot red bean soup and rice. The waitress delivered their order in a few minutes and left with a bow.
"What should we do?" Gaara spoke up. "No trail, no leads. If we don't come up with something, they'll tag her a Missing Nin."
Kankurou spooned some soup into his mouth and growled at this. "She's not a traitor. She didn't just run off."
"I know that," Gaara snapped. "But rules are rules." He tried some of the rice but he didn't have the appetite. He shoved his meal to Kankurou. "What if she's de-"
"Eat. You need the energy." Kankurou shoved the food back. "Temari would tell you to eat and you'd do it." This was true and the Sand wielding ninja began to eat. They finished their meal in silence and ordered a room.
As they settled into their beds, Gaara more to relax than anything, a crack of lightening illuminated their room and stark faces. "We should tell him... that she's missing."
"No... Shikamaru." Kankurou groaned loudly in protest. He didn't like the fact that his sister was messing around with a Leaf ninja, especially that one. "She'd want us to tell him. Better he hear it from family than rumors that she's a Missing Nin. He might even help us."
"If we can't find her then he can't help," came his dubious reply.
"Fine! We'll sweep the area one more time, if we don't find anything we'll go." The discussion ended with that.
Temari dashed through the tops of the trees dodging branches and vines. Her heart was pounding in her chest. She wasn't sure what was happening but a voice inside her head screamed for her to flee. Behind her she could hear the loud sounds of a predator chasing her and the voice became more frantic.
"If I stop, I die," she heard the voice tell her but she getting tired, he chest felt like it was going to explode and her arms were burning as she sped through the trees. To the west was home, but south was Konoha, and something told her that she would be safe there.
So that is where she headed, ignoring the pain in her body. Ignoring the sounds of snapping jaws and howls behind her, she went south until final her body could support her will no more and darkness swallowed her like the predator's she fled from.
Unlike Rain, Konoha was having some of the hottest weather that it ever had. Even for the early summer months. The solstice was coming up but if felt as though spring had relented tosummer without a fight. It was the time were the deer at Nara ranch were active and mating. Shikamaru and his father began to harvest the horns of some of the bucks before they got around to impaling each other on them.
Shikamaru wiped his brow with his forearm. He had stripped his vest and was only in his fishnet shirt and shorts. One of his favorite does was begging his attention and he obliged her, feeding her grain from his palm. "Hn, needy women," he joked. She bleated and nuzzled his stomach lovingly. He brushed his hand free of debris and stroked her neck. He took a quick look around before leaning into the does large ear. "Who's a pretty shika? Who's a pretty little deer? Yes you are!" The doe gaves him wet kisses on his cheek. He laughed and patted her strong neck.
He grabbed a rake that was resting on a tree and began raking up the fall leaves and debris. It was a job he had started yesterday, amassing an already large pile nearby. Thankfully, the deer hadn't gone and destroyed it by jumping in it. He pushed a pile towards the larger pile and almost collapsed it the soft grass and leaves himself when he noticed a beautiful bird lying, as if dead in it.
It had two long flowing silver tails that curled at the tips into crimson. The body was a light lavender and it had a yellow crest that fanned from his head. It was quite possibly the most beautiful bird he had ever seen. He knelt down and picked it up carefully. He put its chest to his ear and was surprised to hear its small heart beating, albeit slower than a usual birds. It opened an emerald eye and gave a weak chirp before closing it again.
"DAD! MOM!" Shikamaru called abandoning his duties. He ran home careful not to jostle the injured bird as he did so. His mother was at the door sweeping when he arrived. "It's dying. What should I do?"
She carefully took the bird and looked it over thoroughly. "Poor thing is exhausted... It must have gotten caught in a storm and lost its way. Go back to your chores, I'll take care of it, but don't be surprised if it doesn't make it. Birds are the most fragile things." Shikamaru scowled but didn't want to delay the bird's treatment so he begrudingly went back to his raking. The bird stayed on his mind for the rest of the day.
Night fell before the two male Nara's had finished harvesting all of the horns and putting the deer away. Both were exhausted and Shikamaru wanted nothing more than a hot bath and a nap. The bird crossed his mind and he went to the living room to check on it. His mother was sitting down, working with colored yarn similar to the bird's plumage.
"Ah...how is it?"
"Fine. It's stabilized but tonight is critical. If if makes it then I'm sure in a few days it will ready to go home," his mother explained with a smile towards a makeshift nest of old towels bunched at the end of the table.
The thought that it would fly away and never return made Shikamaru regretful. Perhaps he should have kept it to himself. "Can't we keep it as a pet?" he ventured, sitting at the table watching the sleeping bird.
"Shikamaru! That bird is too wild to be kept as a pet. You'd break its heart," she scolded.
"Fine, fine...whatever." He stood up and headed to the bathroom for his shower.
Sunlight poked his eyes the next morning and though he pulled his covers over his head, he the rays were persistent and waking him. Try as he might, Shikamaru couldn't get back to sleep so he hopped out of bed. The cold floor stuck to his sweaty feet as she shuffled to the kitchen for dinner. He was greeted by the beautiful song of a bird. He looked up and perched on the shoulder of his mother was the bird. It flew over to him and he caught it on his finger.
"You're all right!" He smiled and stroked its chest. "I'm glad, you had me worried." It chirped in response and flapped it's wings a little. "My mom's a lot of things and a good doctor is one of them."
"Those other things better be just as nice, Nara Shikamaru," she threatened, waving a large knife. He looked worried but assured her that they were, whether he meant it or not.
Temari was thrilled to see Shikamaru again. "Shikamaru! You don't know how happy I am to see you!" He simply smiled. In the reflection of his eyes, she saw herself. An elegant bird unable to be understood. But he's a genius, she thought, If I leave enough clues he'll figure it out in no time.
Shikamaru set the bird on his shoulder and sat down for breakfast. He scarfed it down, changed into his clothes for the day, and was ready to find Chouji for a relaxing day in the fields. His dad regarded the bird and was about to comment when someone knocked gently on their front door. Mr.Nara opened the door to find two young Sand ninja there. "Hm? Yes?"
"Can we speak to Shikamaru please?" Gaara asked. At this the bird went wild and landed on Gaara's head chirping madly. "...?"
Shikamaru ran over and grabbed the bird gently. "Sorry, it just kind of showed up. What's going on?" Their expressions told him that it was something painful. "Where's Temari?" The bird started chirping so he gently tried to silence it with his hand.
"She's gone. She went on a mission to Rain and she never returned. We were unable to track her," Kankurou explained. "So...we thought we'd let you know in case...you heard things."
Temari looked between her family and Shikamaru. "Shikamaru, Gaara, Kankurou! I am right here
The Leaf chuunin frowned at the news. "Missing? What kinds of things would I hear about that?"
"That she became a Missing Nin... She never complete her mission and she's been gone nearly a month."
"A month! It has not been that long!...Has it?"
Shikamaru shushed her and stepped out on the front porch with them. "So, you came here expecting she ran off to be with me?" he asked looking at Kankurou. He knew that of the two, he trusted their relationship least.
"Don't flatter yourself... Gaara suggested it because you got this thing for my sister so..." He shrugged.
Gaara reached out to pet the bird. "Will you help us look for her?"
There was a long intake of breath. "I would love to...but the odds are against us. If you went to Rain and didn't find anything then it's all be washed away. No leads?" Gaara shook his head. "Then we're shooting in the dark... We might have to wait until something comes up."
Kankurou grabbed Shikamaru's shirt and pulled him close. "Wait? Is that all you've got!" Gaara took the bird before it got hurt in the fray. "Our sister is missing and all you can say is wait! She loves you!"
Shikamaru looked at Kankurou with pained eyes. "I wish I could do more but I can't. I can't make clues magically appear and neither can you, no matter how hard that fact is. But if she was kidnapped, they wanted something. They'll be asking for it soon...so we wait."
"Let him go," Gaara whispered. "He's right." Kankurou glared into Shikamaru's black eyes for a moment longer before letting him go with a shove.
"Kankurou... I'm right here! Can't any of you tell?" She alighted on Gaara's shoulder with her slender black legs. "Gaara! Look at me! Look at me!" He did and petted her.
They three boys watched the bird for a second. "Nice parrot," Kankurou grumbled.
"She's not a parrot. She's some kind of tropical bird...I don't know where she came from but she almost died yesterday. She'll be strong enough to fly away soon." He stretched and jogged down the stairs. "Come on, let's go talk to Tsunade. Maybe she's heard something about kidnappings or at least she could help us out." Kankurou and Gaara nodded, following him.
Temari regarded her two brothers. They looked exhausted, even Gaara seemed more drained than usual. She pressed her body close to his face. Gaara's skin was cold and clammy. She flitted over to Kankurou and found some of the same. The older boy looked paler and possibly thinner. They were worrying themselves sick.
Kankurou looked at her and smiled. "Hey, you seen Temari lately?"
"Ha-ha! I'm right here, dummy! And what have you been feeding our brother, he's like a corpse." Temari chittered. She cocked her head to the side.
"Heh, I guess that's a no. Are you lost too?"
"I am not. Is your nose running? You were out in that rain! Geez, you two are hopeless. Big babies."
Shikamaru smirked looking back. "It's like she understands, isn't it?"
They arrived at the Fifth Hokage's office only to find Shizune and Genma there going over paperwork. Shikamaru rubbed the back of his head. "Say, you guys seen Tsunade-sama?"
Shizune stapled a stack and shook her head. "She's asked not to be disturbed. She's working on a case right now and needs to concentrate."
"What kind of case?"
Genma leaned forward and chewed the needle in his mouth, shifting it to the other side. "Nevermind that. She's got a lot of work to do so you tell us what you need and we'll do what we can."
Shikamaru looked to the two Sand Children. The two jounin realized they were outsiders and prepared for an explanation. "Well... their sister is missing and they'd like some help."
"Hmmm, that sounds like a Sand problem not ours," Shizune said apologetically. "But... if we hear anything, we'll be sure to tell you."
Gaara and Kankurou nodded defeated. They hadn't really expected that the Konoha force would help even the slightest bit. They were right, it wasn't their problem and they probably wouldn't get paid for recovering another village's ninja unauthorized. It was a good idea but in the end it failed.
The sadness on the three boys faces was more than she could stand. Temari flapped her wings and flew off. "HEY!" Gaara exclaimed reaching out with his hand but the bird had already taken off.
Shikamaru sighed. "I guess its all better now... Come on, let's go."