Title: Three's a crowd

Author's Note: Just a random scribble. Takes place during the Time Jump.

Pairing: Shikamaru/Temari

Summary: Shikamaru, Temari, and a deer.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto

It was evening before Temari was finished with her diplomatic duties at Konoha but despite being exhausted and hungry, she bypassed her apartment for the sanctuary of the open fields were it was peaceful and quiet and the spring air smelled of flowers.

It was nice to get away once and a while. Though she liked the vitality of the village, Konoha could be a little too much to handle sometimes, especially in the evening when families were gathering in the streets and in restaurants to enjoy the nice weather and kids were free to run a muck everywhere.

There was a chill in the air as she moved deeper into the untamed forest but it didn't bother her. The low sun was casting long cobalt shadows around her, giving everything a faint bluish hue. Finally she came to a stop at a small clearing. Tossing her fan to the ground beside her, she sat down, drawing her legs up against her chest.

Twilight in the forests surrounding Konoha like an ocean of green was so different from what she grew up with in Suna. There it seemed like the dry air was baking in the heat and the sun was taking for ever to disappear behind the horizon before the chill of the night finally cooled everything.

She sat in the soothing silence of the woods for a while. She thought about her brothers back home in Suna. She wondered if they were okay and getting enough to eat no matter how foolish it was. Many of Gaara's admirers usually sent homemade meals to the palace in hopes of winning the love of the young Kazekage but those plans always failed. She also thought about her day and what tomorrow held. Often the faces of her friends and acquaintances here and at home ran through her mind.

But sometimes she just wanted a quiet place to be, where she could relax and forget, just a little bit, forget about her troubles.

She noticed a flower next to her and carefully picked it. It was small and white and smelled a little too sweet to her but it was pretty. Absentmindedly she ran the soft petals over her lips, enjoying the tickling sensation.

It took her by surprise when the silence surrounding her was broken by the soft pad footsteps on the ground and the ruffle of the brush behind her. Since the person hadn't taken the pains to arrive unnoticed, Temari saw no reason to be on the defense and remained where she was. A moment later, Shikamaru sat down beside her, close enough so that their arms touched.

As if taking a note from his surroundings like a good shinobi, he stayed quiet until Temari felt like talking.

"The more I stay here," she muttered with a small chuckle as she twirled the flower between her thumb and forefinger, "the more your annoying habits are rubbing off on me."

"You make it sound like a bad thing," he replied. "Makes it easier to find you."

"Oh?"

Shikamaru just nodded and leaned closer to kiss her gently. She closed her eyes, savoring the feeling of his mouth pressed against her and the warm radiating from his body.

On the other side of the meadow she seemed something small emerge from the shadows. It was a small deer emerge from the shadows. It was hard to hold her gasp as she watched the fragile animal venture cautiously from the green brush and into the opening. She stayed perfectly still, not wanting to frighten it away.

Of course she seen deer before but they were always far away in the distance. There was nothing like them back home. Suna only had camels – smelly creatures hardly as beautiful as a deer.

As it nibbled on the fresh grass, Temari couldn't look away. It was still pretty young, she reasoned, since there were no antlers. Its pelt looked soft and was the color of hot coco dotted with spots of white and the eyes were large and luminous. She wondered briefly if this was one belonged to the Nara clan.

"It's just a fawn," Shikamaru told her, looking completely unimpressed and a little offended that Temari had stopped kissing him.

"Shut up, deer boy," she hissed, jabbing him hard in the ribs. "You'll scare it."

Obviously the lazy Nara boy found her reply completely ironic from the way he rolled his eyes at her. Then he looked over at the deer and called out softly to it. Temari shot him a curious glance but before she knew it the deer stopped eating, looked up with its large ears twitching, and slowly made its way toward Shikamaru like some sort of family pet.

When it got close enough to Shikamaru it lowered its head and gently knocked its forehead against the boy's. He just chuckled and scratched the fawn affectionately behind its over sized ears.

Temari blinked a couple of time, not really sure what she was seeing. It was odd for sure but not because of his actions – he'd been around deer all his life. It was just strange to see Shikamaru shake off that his lazy attitude of his and actually grin instead of smirking sarcastically.

It was a little surreal.

The deer clearly loved the rare attention Shikamaru was dishing out. If it had been a cat it would have been purring and trying to get into his lap while hissing at Temari at the same time. Clearly it was very possessive of its master.

Well, Temari would have none of that. She was a powerful kunoichi so why that hell was she feeling so jealous because of a stupid deer?!

Shikamaru told her she was being ridiculous when she said that the deer didn't like her.

"It's true," she snapped. "It's practically glaring at me!"

"Temari," he replied in the no-nonsense voice of his that only pissed her off, "Kei's just a deer."

"Kei?"

"Yeah. We name all our deer." He said it like it was a painfully obvious fact.

"All of them? And you remember each and every one?" In retrospect that didn't seem quiet so impossible since Shikamaru was a genius but Temari was too annoyed to be retrospective. Nevertheless she could feel the jealousy inside her spread like wildfire.

"Yeah."

Temari frowned and crossed her arms firmly over her chest and suddenly Shikamaru looked very uneasy.

"What?"

"If you can memorize every name of your hundreds of deer, Shikamaru, how come you couldn't remember my name the first time we slept together?"

She could practically hear his mind snap in two. Temari smirked in victory.

Without looking at her, Shikamaru pushed the overly affectionate deer away and stood up. He offered her a hand.

"Buy you dinner?"

Temari continued to smirk. "Sounds good."

The End