Disclaimer: Tch, I thought we had this discussion already...you should know by now that Naruto isn't mine.

A/N: Wow...I can't believe it's the final chapter of the story! It feels like just yesterday I decided to dust of my Microsoft Word and write this story, and now it's finally over, awww. Well, I'd like to thank all of my readers and reviewers because my story wouldn't be what it is without you guys! Thanks for staying with me even through my blunders and everything. Putting this story away almost feels like that first time parents send their kids of the kindergarten. Heheh, well I hope everyone enjoyed this story, and I hope you'll look forward to all the new stories I shall be writing. I will be going on a short hiatus before my next story, but after my break I will be back in action again!

Chapter 18


Shikamaru sat across from Gaara and sighed. Although neither man had uttered a word in the past five minutes, Shikamaru believed this to be the most tiresome five minutes of his life. He watched Gaara leaf through the papers in front of him occasionally stopping to study a certain portion of the paper more intently. Finally, the crimson haired man looked up from the paper and nodded at Shikamaru.

"I'll accept Tsunade's proposal."

Shikamaru nodded and bit back the smile that threatened to disturb his calm appearance.

Smirking, Gaara pointed at the door. "She's listening through the door you know."

"Oh? Is she?" Shikamaru replied while chuckling quietly and quickly appearing in front of the door. Effortlessly turning the knob, Shikamaru pulled the door open and watched a surprised Temari tumbling toward the floor. Extending his well toned arms; Shikamaru caught the falling woman and kept her from making contact with the unforgiving, wooden floors.

Freed from their usual identical quadruplet ponytails, the thick, soft honey colored hair splayed over Temari's neck and shoulders as she leaned against Shikamaru's strong chest. Bringing her head up, she attempted to contain the scarlet splotches on her cheeks. Being caught red-handed was not something Sabaku no Temari was fond off.

"Can I help you Temari?" Gaara asked calmly while seated in front of his desk.

"Yes, are you in need of something dear?" Shikamaru echoed while emphasizing the pet name at the end of his statement.

Pushing herself away, Temari straightened herself and put on her typical confident smirk. "Well, I was just coming to tell you something when Shikamaru opened the door." Between the excuse and a feigned smile, she shot Shikamaru a dangerous look. Had he just called her 'dear'? He is so going to pay for that later.

"Oh really? If I didn't know better, I could have sworn you were eavesdropping." Shikamaru said teasingly.

"Eavesdropping? What? That's ridiculous. I was just coming to tell Gaara something and you just happened to open the door when I was trying to open it."

Shikamaru looked at Temari before turning and smirking at Gaara. Shuffling more papers around on his desk, the crimson haired man attempted to hide the amusement of his face.

"Well then, what did you come here to tell me Temari?"

"I came to tell you that Kana said she finished the paperwork you assigned her earlier." Temari clenched her fists behind her back and hoped she'd offered a good excuse.

"Is that so? Well then tell her I'd appreciate it if she brought them over so I could take a quick look at them before she sends them off." Gaara replied.

A broad smile crossed Temari's face. The excuse she'd concocted had actually worked; luck certainly was on her side today.

Turning towards Gaara, Shikamaru bowed lightly in front of him before speaking. "So, those things we were discussing...when will they be set into action?"

"They begin as of right now." A serious faced Gaara replied.

Shikamaru nodded and made his way in the direction of the exit. Temari smiled at her brother before skulking after Shikamaru. Quickly closing the door behind her, she looked down the hall expecting to see Shikamaru's figure walking down the corridor. She furrowed her brows at the sight before her. The long hallway was empty. That's weird. He couldn't have disappeared so quickly...

Slightly annoyed, Temari sighed and began walking down the hall. She'd only managed to take a few steps before she felt her appendages freeze. A familiar cold feeling mingled with exasperation and amusement settled in at the pit of her stomach. She knew exactly what was happening.

"Tch, kami Shikamaru. You really need to find another jutsu to surprise me with. This is the fourth or fifth time you've used this on me already." Temari said in no particular direction.

Chuckling, Shikamaru descended from his position on the ceiling and stood in front of Temari. "Well, at least I wasn't stupid enough to fall for the same thing multiple times."

"Nani?!" Temari demanded. "Well at least I have more original jutsu." She replied rolling her eyes.

"Right right. Whatever you say troublesome woman." Yawning, Shikamaru stretched and aimlessly glanced at the walls. Several moments passed before Temari finally broke the silence.

"Could you let me out of this jutsu some time today, Shikamaru?" Temari said still frozen in place.

"Hmm...I think that would be too troublesome..."


Shikamaru watched the wind kick up small clumps of sand and dust while carrying them across the barren land. Sitting against a large dune, he allowed the sand to warm his back, and Temari's warm hair to scatter around his shoulder as she rested against him. He and Temari had been discussing his new living arrangements in Suna for the past half hour.

After he'd arrived in Konoha, Shikamaru had requested specifically to be allowed to transfer back to Suna. Permanently.

Tsunade had been surprised at the usually lazy Shikamaru's suddenly zealous attitude, but after a few hours of haggling on both sides, the two finally managed to arrive at a suitable agreement. With Gaara's permission, Shikamaru would become a resident of Suna. Every four months he would report back to Konoha for at least a week and give reports of what he encountered and experienced in Suna. Although he would be residing in Suna, Tsunade insisted he return to his home village every so often. The agreement was drafted and a copy sent back with Shikamaru to give back to Gaara.

Now Gaara had accepted the proposal and in a few days, Shikamaru would be given a new dual citizenship plate to replace his former temporary one given to him for the shinobi exchange.

Shikamaru sighed and sunk down against the soft sand. Four months ago, he wouldn't have believed anyone if they told him he'd be leaving Konoha and moving to Suna. He certainly wouldn't have believed them if they told him he'd be doing all of this because of a woman; Temari nonetheless.

"Now that you'll be living in Suna, we'll be able to spar together even more often." Temari said mindlessly while fingering the sand on the ground.

"Sparring?" Shikamaru replied distastefully. "Why sparring?"

"Because it's good for you. We wouldn't want you to start getting slow in your movements."

"Slow in my movements? Temari, I'm not old."

"Yeah well you never know. You have to watch out for all these new chuunin and jounin."

"I couldn't give a rat's ass about that."

Rolling her eyes, Temari punched him in the arm. "I'll still never figure out what I like about you so much you lazy ass shinobi." She said muttering to herself.

"Maybe we'll never know." He said smiling lazily.

Temari scooted closer towards Shikamaru and allowed him to casually drape his arm around her.

"So, when are you heading to Konoha again?"

"Hmm, in two or three days; I need to bring over some more of my things for the move. I might rope Choji into helping me bring some of my things over."

Temari nodded absentmindedly. She vaguely wondered if he was having second thoughts.

"Ne...are you sure you want to move all the way here?"

Shikamaru opened his mouth to say something, but unexpectedly stopped. The whistling of the wind seemed to soften the sharp silence that suddenly settled in between them. She watched his eyes narrow slightly and the corners of his mouth twitch slightly. Lifting his face to the sky, he closed his eyes are sighed.

"And why would you think I'd be having second thoughts?"

"Well, I-I don't know. I was just wondering."

"Hmm...there are benefits to staying in Konoha." Shikamaru replied thoughtfully.

Temari crossed her arms and made a face.

"But then again...there are some pretty good benefits in Suna too." Shikamaru said while looking as though he'd come up with something justified.

"Like what?" Temari asked, thoroughly interested.

"Well you know...things like this." Shikamaru swiftly lowered his face and buried a kiss in Temari's neck. Pulling her closer, he bared his teeth and lightly bit her neck.

"Shikamaru!" A surprised Temari yelped at his actions. "Would you behave? We're at the training grounds." Temari sighed and dug her nails into the sand. Although she hadn't wanted to, she knew if she'd failed to resist him then, she probably wouldn't have had the willpower to resist him at all.

Smirking, Shikamaru shook his head. "That's a poor excuse you know."


Temari scooted back towards him and smiled. A light wind swept over the grounds and rustled his hair. The deep brown locks that managed to free themselves scattered around his face as he sat next to her. There was something about this man that drew her to him. What it was, she wasn't quite sure. Temari sighed quietly and smiled. Their relationship had come around in rather "interesting" circumstances, but it was all for the better. She would have to admit. She was smitten. In fact it was with a certain lazy shinobi. A certain lazy shinobi by the name of Nara Shikamaru.