Title: Lessons learned

Pairing: Shikamaru/Temari

Rating: R

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto

I once asked my dad why he picked such a troublesome woman to be his wife because I honestly didn't know. Had my dad been deaf to my mom's nagging voice or was their marriage arranged? My dad told me, dead serious, that he married the bossy woman because of her gentle side. I didn't believe that for a moment. I just rolled my eyes and finished my breakfast. My dad was weird like that.

I didn't know that my dad was talking about. At first I thought he was drunk but then he had a mission later that morning so that couldn't have been the case. Then I thought my dad was just pulling my leg. If my mother had a gentle side then pigs could fly and the last time I checked they didn't. MY dad was notorious for his bad sense of humor. If I fell for one of his lame jokes then the fault was entirely my own.

Yet, years later, I knew my crazy old man had been right all along. Even the toughest, hard-hitting women had a hidden gentle side.

When I first saw the older kunoichi from Suna I thought she was pretty hot. When she opened her mouth, it all went to hell though. Just like her younger brothers, Temari was brash, independent, and arrogant. She definitely was not a timid flower like Hinata or a girlie girl like Ino. No, this Suna shinobi held her ground and refused to give in just like any man.

I couldn't help thinking she acted just like my mom. That scared the hell out of me. So I decided to leave her alone. She would be too much work. Besides, what would she see in me? I was three years younger than her and not even a chuunin. She was practically Suna royalty since her father as the Kazekage.

Temari never hides anything – with a big mouth as big as her how can she? So when I got to know her, slowly over time because of Leaf's alliance with Sand, I saw her guards slowly lower. What I saw pretty much blew my mind.

Temari can be quiet when she wants to like the time she had flopped down next to me one afternoon in a field like she owned the place. She stayed silent as she stared up at the clouds with me for hours. Just before midnight I finally got around to asking her why she was there.

Temari can laugh. Apparently she is one of the rare creatures who understands my dad's dry wit and appreciate it until tears roll down her cheeks. Apparently my dad saw that as a good sign to go ahead and make a move on her. So he did and I almost broke his nose.

Temari can blush, which she does a lot after kissing me. The blush doesn't cover her entire face; it just brings some color to cheeks under her downturn eyes. Our first kiss hadn't been much. Just my lips pressing against hers for what seemed like an eternity. It was a nice kiss, I thought but I wasn't impressed. When I asked her why she didn't slip me some tongue, i was the one with the broken nose that time.

Temari is romantic. Instead of leading me inside her apartment, she took me to an open field as the sun slowly sunk behind the horizon. She sat down, drew her legs against her chest, and patted the spot next to her. I obeyed and sat down. It grew dark quickly and soon the moon was rising in the night sky. The cicadas were out, filling the air with their whirr. Temari told me that she loved the sunsets in Konoha the most. They were gentle, full of soft colors and light. At Suna when the sun sat it was like the sky was on fire. I kissed her after that.

Temari, despite her bark, is a kitten in bed. The first time we'd made love was on a night before she went back to Suna, duties as her brother's diplomatic ambassador finished for now. I walked her home and asked if I can stay the night. She said yes. Just like that. Her easy acceptance astonished me. It seemed that she was just as ready as I was.

I learned that Temari loves to be touched and caressed slowly, to take time to indulge and enjoy. I found out that I love that too.

Temari is beautiful naked. When she was lying to the green grass on our first night, her cotton yukata open and spread around her like a blanket, I thought she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Her sea green eyes were hazy and soft. Her pale skin was flushed pink and her lips were swollen from so many hungry kisses.

Temari is soft. Despite hours of training and grueling missions, her skin feels like silk. Her skin is warm and where my fingers touch, caress, or squeeze, she feels soft like I imagine a woman would be. Having never felt something so warm and supple, I am extra careful when I touch her belly and breasts. Having a limited knowledge of a woman's nude body, I am fascinated by her waist, the dip of smooth flesh I love to stroke when she lies on her side and the rise of delicate bones that become her hips I love to nuzzle. I kiss her throat and shoulders over and over. Her bones feel so small and fragile beneath my lips. Is this the same woman who wields the gigantic steel fan? Is this the same woman whose bellow could be heard for miles? Where does Temari get such power when her body feels so small in my hands?

Temari is not shy about sex. During our time in the field, Temari had caught one of my hands in hers and showed me a spot between her legs that, when rubbed like I was suppose to, made her moan softly. I hadn't known exactly what I was doing but Temari's reaction was addictive. I did it over and over again until she was writhing under me, breathless and hoarse.

Later, when I was clear-headed enough to wonder what I had done to Temari to bring her to the brink of an orgasm I consulted a medical encyclopedia and learned a new word: clitoris. Of course my dad had to look over my shoulder then and saw what I had been reading. It earned me a hearty 'Thata boy' and a manly punch on the shoulder.

Temari is a damn good strategist, too. She always keeps a condom on her when I complain that remembering to put a new condom in my wallet every time we have sex is too difficult because, well, we have a lot of sex. She glares at me and asks me if I want to be a father. That's enough to make me remember the next couple of times. Our first time she had had a condom in her bra. She fished it out and tapped my on the nose with it. I remember saying something like 'Thank god'.

Temari cries after we make love. It's not sobbing. Just a couple of tears and sniffles. When she cried the first time I thought that I had hurt her but she just laughed, red with embarrassment, and told me she was happy. I calmed down then and gathered her in my arms. She curled against my side like a kitten while I kissed her tears away.

While I have gotten acquainted with Temari's gentle side (and loving every moment of it) I have realized that my dad had been right all those years before. Being with such a bossy, arrogant, stubborn woman like Temari is troublesome but I know it's all worth it in the end.

I also realize that I'm completely whipped. Such is the fate of the Nara men.