AuthorNote:Well, here's my first shot at ShikaTema... I've only recently started shipping this pair, and I love them to death ) I'm not sure if I really hit the spot with this, but I'd like to think I did alright. Just let me know, mmk?


Her baby.

That's what Temari teasingly referred to Shikamaru as.

He always took it, and rolled his eyes at the name.

Then retorted by calling her a cradle-snatcher.

This usually resulted in her smacking him with her fan. Lightly, of course. Couldn't have his almost insanely-developed intelligence being wrecked by her violent tendencies. He wouldn't last for a minute on the battlefield without it.

The nickname had only arisen once there was no physical evidence of the near three-year age difference between the two. It had been the only source of awkwardness, the only unspoken aspect of their relationship, which lead to them keeping it a secret for so long.

Age, at first, hadn't been a factor for Temari. It had shocked her at first when she found herself caring for the younger boy as more than just a kid she enjoyed teasing, but she quickly pushed such a worry aside. For a thirteen year-old, he was certainly a good conversationalist.

And a good kisser.

Oh god, she really was a monster.

Temari had leaded the way in their relationship, guiding him through all the 'firsts' that he had always imagined he'd experience with someone less worldly than her. It was only after their first time sleeping together that she'd felt like she was abusing some kind of position.

Shikamaru had the tone and intelligence of someone much older than he, and had shot up to match her height, and then settle at a three-inch height advantage. But… He was just a baby.

When she brought it up with Shikamaru, however, the fourteen year-old just laughed.

"You're not abusing anything. If anything, I am. I became a Chuunin a full year before you did."

Then, just two months later upon visiting Konoha, Temari announced to Shikamaru her promotion to Jounin rank.

"See, now you're abusing your position, cradle-snatcher."

And abuse it she did.

------------------------------------------------------------

Shikamaru hadn't worried about Temari's three-year seniority until she brought it up with him. It didn't worry him personally, but it kept him from mentioning it to anyone else for fear that they would tell him there was something wrong with it.

After Asuma died, Shikamaru grieved for the loss of the man who had taught him, amongst other life lessons, the importance of honesty by confessing to a sexual relationship with Kurenai.

"I feel you're mature enough to know what's going on, Shikamaru."

Yeah? Well, I'm not even mature enough to tell you about my own affairs. But, I don't want to hear any disapproval, so…

"Thanks, Sensei."

At sixteen, Shikamaru had taken to helping Kurenai with her child; Asuma's legacy. Two years ago, such a thing would have induced numerous complaints from him, but the infant was rather manageable, and when Temari visited, she was more than happy to offer her services.

Ino and Chouji joined them one time at Kurenai's, playing with the baby while her tired mother rested on the couch. After watching the secret smiles between the two for the bulk of the afternoon, Chouji, Ino and Kurenai shared knowing smiles of their own.

Chouji was smirking knowingly.

"So, was Asuma-sensei right about you two?"

Shikamaru was suddenly very interested.

"That depends, what did he say?"

"He said that the two of you are quite obviously doing the nasty while no one's looking."

Shikamaru blinked, and stared straight ahead into the fireplace.

Temari shot a fond smile at her boyfriend.

"That was rather perceptive of him, wasn't it Shika?"

Shikamaru mumbled something under his breath.

Ino glanced over at him, concerned.

"What's wrong?"

"He knew… and approved?"

Kurenai held her daughters' hands, assisting the baby in standing on inexperienced legs.

"Why would he disapprove? Why would anyone?"

Shikamaru's mouth curved into a smile, then a grin, and he shook his head. He leaned forward and wrapped his arms around Temari, resting his head on her shoulder.

"We really screwed that one up, didn't we?"

Temari kissed his temple.

"I guess so, baby."

Shikamaru rolled his eyes at the name.

But, looking at how Kurenai takes care of Asumari… I guess Temari helps me stand up, too.

Her baby.