Note: This was done 1 week after the story finished. One week. Just one. I am a jerk. But obviously this one, far more than the other AFTERSHOCK (which I like a whole lot more, though this has its moments) relies on the sequel being ready. Indeed this is almost a prologue to the sequel . . . anyway . . . yeah. I wish to thank everyone who read, everyone who reviewed, everyone who put up with the wait, everyone who has just stumbled upon this story, read it and is wondering what wait I'm talking about. Now on to the show . . .
Something Like That . . .
AFTERSHOCK! (forgive the all caps, but its just so shocking!)
One Year After The Play . . .
Shikamaru grinned at the group of Genin coming in for the Chuunin exams, "Fresh meat, eh!" Mitarashi Anko sneered, and Shikamaru shrugged.
"I swear they're getting shorter." The fifteen year old said.
"No, you're getting taller." Temari said, and she shoved him forward.
He lost his balance and fell from the wall he'd been sitting on, a trio of young genin saw him falling and shouted, "Look out, he's attacking us! Get him!"
Shikamaru twisted in mid-air and landed on his feet . . . and then was beset by the three genin, they all leapt forward to kick him at once, and he barely managed to leap back up to the wall in time.
Temari however punished the brats with a wave of her fan, "Little miscreants, stay out of grown up conversations!"
"Conversations? You shoved him off a wall!" Anko said, then under her breath whispered "good girl" but Shikamaru heard it.
He scoffed at Temari, "Just because you're eighteen now you think everything's a grown up conversation, forgetting the fact that I'm just fifteen." He said.
"Yeah, well you were grown up even before I was." Temari shot back.
They stood there awkwardly for a moment, Anko coughed and said "I uh . . . I have things to do, so I'll just leave you two alone." She said and dashed off.
Temari stood there, waiting for something and Shikamaru didn't know what. "So . . . what's new?"
"Besides me becoming a Jounin? Not much." Temari grinned.
"Ah. Well, I knew you could do it." Shikamaru said with a nod.
"Bullshit!" Temari scoffed.
"Yeah, probably. Let's go get something to eat, huh?" Shikamaru said.
"Are you asking me out, Nara Shikamaru?" Temari asked.
"You're eighteen, I'm fifteen, it wouldn't be seemly. We're just friends getting something to eat together . . . we'll talk about work and celebrate your promotion." Shikamaru shrugged.
Temari smirked, gosh he loved it when she smirked-no hated it, he hated it.
They set off together towards the restauraunt district, not really sure where they'd go.
"Does Lee-san still rhyme?" Temari asked suddenly.
"No." Shikamaru sighed. "Now that he's a Jounin, Neji has convinced Lee that his making up rhymes is what's kept him from advancing as well . . . which is probably true."
"No, it's his creepy eyebrows, they're the size of pregnant cows, I think they're getting bigger, dont you?" Temari scoffed.
Shikamaru smiled, "Well that may very well be, but lets not make fun of poor Lee, it's not his fault he was overendowed."
The pair continued their walk and Temari said "Okay fine, Lee's alright, maybe those brows'll help him win his next fight, damn there sure is a crowd."
Shikamaru smiled, it was too bad the Talent Troop hadn't gotten back together to do another act, but everyone got promoted after that and . . . well, Chuunin didn't really get a lot of opportunities to do stuff like that.
Now Temari was a Jounin . . . private little walks like this wouldn't last them forever. Sooner or later she'd meet a guy her age and fall in love and that'd be that.
He looked at the ground as they walked, "Hey Temari, I'm curious, would you be terribly furious if I asked you what you're doing here?"
"I'm a go between as you know, I'd be fired if I didn't show, if you don't like it go kiss one of your deer." The blonde woman said.
"I mean here with me." Shikamaru said, giving up on the rhyming. "You're a Jounin but you can do more, you can be a captain of the Anbu or something like that . . . a go-between is a troublesome job."
Temari looked annoyed. "If you don't already know . . ." She grumbled.
They walked on in silence, trying to avoid making eye contact when suddenly "Shikamaru! Temari-san! Hey!" Sakura screamed at the top of her lungs! "Who do you think it is?"
The ninja teens slowed their pace and turned, Shikamaru's confusion was swept away by a most pleasant surprise!
"Hey! If it isn't Naruto!" Shikamaru exclaimed happily.
Two Years After The Play . . .
"Happy birthday, Shikamaru!" Someone screamed.
Shikamaru sat up quickly, hit his head against the screamer, fell back and hit his head against the wall.
"Son of a . . . ugh!" The sixteen year old groaned.
"Wake up!" Naruto cried.
"How'd you get into my house?" Shikamaru demanded.
"Your dad let me in. Turns out he isn't susceptible to sexy jutsu, but your mom is."
"You did what to my mom?" Shikamaru demanded.
"No, no, did it to your dad, your mom is just screaming at him for staring instead of slamming the door in my face, I snuck up here while they were arguing."
Shikamaru frowned. He had a really weird friend. He could hear several voices downstairs, "You turned into a woman and flashed my dad . . . because . . ."
"Seemed like a good idea at the time." Naruto said, he scratched his chin, "sounds like Sakura-chan is sorting things out. She's good like that, y'know?"
And no sooner had Naruto said that then Shikamaru's door burst open and his parents, Sakura, and of all people Temari came in.
"See Temari? I told you he'd be awake!" Naruto said, pointing at Shikamaru.
"You woke me up!" Shikamaru complained, "And what's she doing here?"
Boy did that not come out the way he'd wanted it to! He'd made it sound like he was annoyed to see her instead of pleased.
Temari glared at him, "It just so happens that my fantastic work as a go-between has finally led to a promotion, I thought you'd want to know, since you thought I was underranked."
"And you are." Shikamaru said nervously, not wanting the woman to explode.
And what a woman, Temari was nineteen now and becoming more and more . . . adult. Maybe it was just that he'd known her so long, or maybe it was really just that he was getting older and becoming aware of things his keen eyes might have missed before . . .
"So you came all this way to tell me about your promotion?" Shikamaru asked, Suna was a three day's track away from Konoha after all.
The nineteen year old-and it occured to Shikamaru that in another year they wouldnt been teenagers together anymore-smirked, damn he loved it when she smirked-no! No! He hated it, hated it, that's right!
Anyway she smirked and said "I came all this way to begin my new job, I'm the Suna ambassador for Konoha now . . . and I've reqested and been granted you as my escort, body guard, and tour guide." Temari said, "subtly" shoving Naruto away and sitting down on Shikamaru's bed. "Your duty kicks off tonight, you'll be showing me the most romantic restauraunt in this little village, then we'll go there together, and celebrate my promotion, as well as your coming of age."
"I'm just sixteen."
"But that's not what we'll tell the police, right?" Temari winked.
"Should we just leave you two?" Naruto asked.
"Gaara thinks I just want a vacation, so he'll probably reassign me eventually, but for now I'm here . . . and since I'm here we might as well spend some time together." She smiled.
"Yeah . . . I guess." Shikamaru said, scratching the back of his head.
"Uh . . . yeah we're gonna go, believe it." Naruto decided and herded the others out of the room. Shikamaru's mother began screaming about being told what to do in her own house, but Shikamaru ignored her and looked at Temari.
To his surprise she leaned forward and kissed him on the lips.
They parted and she looked into his eyes, hers clearly betraying her interest.
And Shikamaru, no longer fourteen, was finally up to the challenge.
"How was that?" Temari whispered.
"Like I always say . . . you can do better." Shikamaru said, adopting his own smirk now.
"Oh yes I can." Temari said, moving in closer to him when suddenly Naruto's head poked in to the room.
"Uh, sorry to interrupt you guys, I can see you're like, about to do it or something," Naruto began,
"Naruto!" Sakura groaned from the hallway.
"Blast it, she was this close to making my son a man, and then they'd get married and he'd finally show some enthusiasm for something!" Shikamaru's mother complained.
"Yeah, yeah, believe it." Naruto waved a hand to silence them, "Anyway Shikamaru, Ino and Chouji wanted to throw a party for you so we'd better get going."
"Ino would have understood being late if it were so that Shikamaru and Temari-san could--" Sakura began, coming out of hiding and hitting Naruto in the head, but Temari spoke up.
"Okay, Shika-kun is coming." Temari said.
"Shika-kun?" Shikamaru blinked.
"No, no, you two go ahead and consumate your relationship!" Sakura cried.
Shikamaru stared at her. "You're a bigger pervert than Naruto." He decided.
Three Years After The Play . . .
"It's real and official." Shikamaru said offhandedly as Temari looked at the small item in the box he'd given her on this, her twentieth birthday.
She realized what it was and shut it up tight, though the urge to look at it again was coming over her.
Temari stared in awe at the little box in her hands. Something so small held something so incredibly major . . . she almost couldnt believe it.
Gaara wouldn't be happy . . . he didn't have to know! No, no of course he did . . . but how would she tell him? Or Kankuro for that matter.
"It's no big deal . . . if you don't want it." Shikamaru said. "But say something, don't be so troublesome."
She opened Shikamaru's box again, just to look at the little item inside, to make sure it wasn't her imagination, that it really was in there.
She took a deep breath, "You're just a kid, you can't give me one of these." She said.
"Look if you dont want it I might be able to get my money back." Shikamaru said, his shoulders slumping a bit.
Temari hid the box in a pocket, "No you already gave it to me, you can't take it back!" She said, "Are you serious though? I mean . . . you want me to-"
"Look Temari, we've been together a long time, right? I mean as friends and . . . well I'm running out of excuses, running out of lies. They're not doing any good anyway, Naruto's such a loud mouth everyone knows what we are to each other. So we might as well make it official." He put his hands in his pockets, "Look, if you don't want to that's fine too. I can think up a few more lies, a few more good excuses to spend time with you . . . but it's getting troublesome."
Temari stared at the box again, taking it from her pocket and opening it up just a crack to see what was inside. It made her heart stop, "Shikamaru . . . I . . ."
"Are you going to wear it or not?" Shikamaru asked.
"Yes!" Temari snapped, then frowned at herself, "I mean no . . . no I mean yes but I . . . well yes I will but . . . it's complicated."
Shikamaru looked at her, "It's as simple as this: Can you see yourself being happy with this . . . if it makes you happy what else matters?" Shikamaru sighed, "I mean you practically live here anyway."
It was true, Temari even had a small house in the leaf village given to her graciously by the Hokage since an ambassador shouldn't sleep in a box in an alley . . . or in her body guard/tour guide's bed for that matter. It, like almost everything between Temari and Shikamaru, was unseemly.
The young sand kunoichi looked at her secret love . . . well it wasn't such a secret was it? Shikamaru had to know the depths of her feelings for him, the entire village certainly liked to whisper about it.
Why did the Suna ambassador still need a tour guide after almost a year in the village? Why did she keep turning down more able bodied guards?
Shikamaru was brilliant, and Temari wasn't trying to keep her feelings a secret from him.
But she hadn't expected this. Not from him, not now. He hadn't even turned seventeen yet-though he would soon-and here he was . . . did he really mean this the way she was interpreting it?
Maybe this was a misunderstanding, it was her birthday after all, maybe this was a birthday present.
She felt her cheeks burning, she hated it when he made her blush! "Shika-kun . . . I'll wear it . . . but you can't just throw it into my lap and expect me to accept it." She handed him the box, "I know you're lazy but there is a proper way to do this and I'd like you to do it properly."
"Do I have to? You know waht this is, you know what it means." Shikamaru said.
"If you don't want Kamatari to bite your ear off, you'll do it properly." Temari said simply.
Shikamaru groaned, "All right."
He got down on one knee, his cheeks were turning red and he cleared his throat, "Temari I-" he began but stopped suddenly as someone came running towards them!
"Shikamaru! Temari-san! Hey!" Ino screamed.
Temari didn't hate Ino. But she wanted her to die right then.
Wanted her to stop breathing, just stop being, go away, away, die!
Shikamaru froze as surely as if he'd been trapped with his own jutsu, Ino reached them and bent over panting and holding her stomach.
She held up a hand in the universal gesture for "please kill me for interrupting you".
It may have been a gesture to mean "just a second, let me catch my breath" but Temari was very tempted to believe instead that it was the "please kill me" gesture.
Shikamaru stood up and dropped the box in Temari's lap, "Wh-what is it Ino?" He demanded.
Ino looked up, still gasping for air, "Hhhh-ho! Hokage! Hokage wahhhnts-" Ino gasped and held her side.
"What does the old bat want?" Temari demanded angrily, "Do you have any idea what you've just interrupted?"
Ino looked surprised, "No . . . what were you two doing?"
"Nothing!" Temari screamed, "Mind your own business, deliver your message and then leave. Leave or so help me I'll-"
Shikamaru was smirking at her as he put a hand on her shoulder to calm her down. She blushed furiously and turned away. "Just kidding." She grunted.
Ino gasped for air a few seconds more then finally said "Temari-san, Shikamaru, I've got great news! Great news indeed, the Hokage, lady Tsunade has summoned us to her office."
"Us? The three of us?" Shikamaru asked.
"Us . . . as in all of us. The entire Yamanaka talent troop." Ino said with a grin, "I hope you can remember how to rhyme, because we're about to perform a play that'll go down in history! The Kazekage and the Hokage need us and our special talents!"
Temari felt deflated. Ino had interrupted her and Shikamaru to tell her that she had to do another stupid play? And worse she was ordered to do it by the Hokage and her brother, Gaara, the Kazekage.
Ino ran off without another word, presumably to summon more members of the talent troop. Shikamaru turned back to Temari but she held up a hand. "No . . . let's wait until after this new mission is accomplished . . . then we'll deal with this."
Shikamaru nodded and offered her his hand.
It was terribly unlike him, usually she had to snatch it or steal it, but it was nice to have it freely given just once.
And so together they walked hand in hand.
The talent troop was back together, and about to be sent on a mission by the Hokage and th Kazekage . . . probably it'd be humiliating or extremely dangerous . . . oh well. Things just didn't seem all that serious right enow. To Temari the item contained in the little box Shikamaru had given her, the things it meant the changes it would bring about . . . that was the most serious thing in the world, nothing else came close.
Not right now anyway.
but also More to Come in . . . Nothing Like That! (Oh heavens what have I gotten myself into?)
From GrimmZ with Love (or something similar but less creepy) Ah . . . at last it is finished. I really do like the other aftershock better, but this one has its moments . . . yes the whole reason I put this up was to let you all know that inbetween this story and the sequel Naruto came back and used the sexy jutsu on Shikaku . . . otherwise this is really a bit . . . cuter than I'm used to. But thank you all again, I hope to see you in the sequel. To those who rhyme, continue to do so and the world will be a far more poetic place.