AN: I needed something unangsty and un-328-related and I've barely written anything about my other OT3, Neji/Shikamaru/Temari. So...yeah. Set at some undefined future, completely ignoring 328. Unrepentant OT3 fluff. Warning for implied sex.
It's a game.
One Temari always enjoys, even if her boys are usually less than thrilled with it. Still, they all enjoy winning.
She drags herself out of dreamland before the sun rises, early in the morning, before even Neji stirs. She likes to watch them sleep like this, sometimes, when she's feeling oddly calm and patient.
Most times, though, she goes to work.
It's easy enough to slide the hairtie free from Neji's loose tail, looping it around her wrist. He never lets it down entirely of his own accord, but it's so pretty, Temari thinks it's a pity.
Shikamaru's is tougher. He's not a light sleeper, and the tie's usually worked itself loose a little from his own hair, but she still has to ease it out carefully, so as not to tug too hard and wake him.
It's like a training exercise, she thinks, as the second loop of elastic joins the first on her wrist.
Shikamaru's hair isn't as downright pretty as Neji's—it's thicker and coarser, scratchy where it touches her bare skin—but Temari likes it too. She thinks it fits him.
Her own hair is already down. She doesn't bother putting it up unless she's expected to fight something, or make an appearance. Her own hairties are safely hidden away—if they want to tie up all that nice hair, they'll have to fight her for it.
Temari smiles and snuggles back down in her place between them.
Let the game begin.
Neji is, surprisingly, the most irked by this provocation. Surely, Temari reasons, he's the one out of the three of them who's closest to having his hair down in the first place.
Still, three and a half ambushes before they've even made it to breakfast.
Temari counts the one in the shower as half, mostly because she's not sure if he was actually going for the hairtie or for the conditioner. What he got was a nice grope, so she calls it a draw.
Shikamaru has yet to actually get up. That's no fun.
She jabs him with a foot. "You're going to sleep all day?"
He makes an unintelligible noise, burrowing deeper into the warm spot her and Neji's absence left. She prods him again and gets a sleepy snarl for her efforts.
The fire alarm heralds breakfast, and Temari abandons him as a lost cause. Someone's got to go deal with whatever mess Neji's managed to make out of the poor kitchen this time.
Twenty minutes later, and Temari has all the windows open, trying to get rid of the pervasive smell of burned egg. Neji (up to five and a half ambushes) is doing his best to scrape the remnants off the pan. And the stove. And the wall, and the ceiling.
Hyuugas, it seems, are incapable of doing anything by halves.
Shikamaru is still asleep.
Temari frowns. "Are you still alive in there?"
She walks over, prods him with a foot. No reaction. With a sigh, she crouches by the futon. "Oi."
She shakes her head. "Last warning, you big idiot," she says, reaching for the covers in preparation to most cruelly expose his sleep-warmed body to the slightly chilly air of the room.
Almost quicker than she can follow, his hand lashes out unerringly. One finger loops around the hairties still on her wrist. She jerks back with a curse, but too late.
His head emerges from the blankets and he covers a yawn. "Sorry, you were saying something?"
That smirk! With a shriek, Temari dives at him. He fends her off with knees and elbows, flailing around to face the kitchen doorway.
"Oi, Hyuuga!" he calls, and Neji leans around the doorframe, looking irritable.
"Some of us are trying to—"
Temari tries to pin his arms under their combined weight, but somehow he manages to get his elbows underneath himself, twisting one of the hairties around his fingers.
It goes flying across the room, nailing Neji in the ear with a ninja's accuracy.
Neji catches it easily before it hits the floor, and Shikamaru's smirk grows a little wider. Temari winds fingers in his hair and yanks. "Cheater!"
He laughs at her, a little out of breath. "Didn't know there were rules."
"As I recall, war was never even properly declared," Neji puts in from where he's tying his hair loosely back up (a crime! something in Temari wails). He flicks the long tail of hair back over his shoulder and brushes damp hands off on his shirt, stalking over to the futon.
"That too," Shikamaru agrees, falling still under her, hooded eyes gleaming with amused anticipation.
Temari snorts. "Declare war? We're ninja, you idiot! We don't declare war."
"And we don't have rules," Neji adds, and when did he get so close behind her?
"So there's no such thing as cheating," Shikamaru says, propping himself up on his elbows, right up in Temari's face. "Right?"
Temari thinks maybe this is one game she doesn't mind losing, and tugs Shikamaru's hair imperiously. Feels Neji smile against her neck.
Next time, she'll just have to be more careful.
Endnotes: So. Yeah. Not an awful lot to say about this one. I think I might fail rather horribly at fluff. Feedback?