Hey! This is a first fanfic for me, so for any errors I apologize and please let me know about them. I have no idea what "flames" are but going from the context, I don't want any please.

Please review!

Oh and: I don't own Naruto, and if I did he'd only escape anyway.


Chapter 1:A Ramen Mission

It started out simple enough, like these things usually did. Temari was in town to observe at the Academy since Suno had started training based on the Konoha ways. While Kankuro had only arrived this afternoon with a message scroll for the Fifth Hokage. They had met up and having decided that neither wanted to cook, had picked up a meal, deciding to eat outside an apartment the village kept for visitors. They'd only started to lay out the food when they were spotted.

"Ohayo guys!" Naruto yelled.

"Guys?" Temari growled.

"You can't kill him, Sister. Think of the treaty." A sobering thought. The last treaty between the Leaf and Sand villages had been broken by betrayal. And they'd been the centerpiece of that betrayal. The fact that they'd been tricked and deceived had salved the way with the Leaf villagers, but Temari still felt the bitter sting. Orochimaru had killed her father and his advisors, setting himself up as the Kazekage. An imposter. Impersonating her own father and sending her and her brothers out on a mission that betrayed the honor of her and her village. And she'd never even suspected.

Naruto came bounding up with energy to spare, forcing Temari's sharp smile to soften into the real thing. Annoying as he might be, she owed him. Her brother Gaara had not been the same since their fight, in a good way. With him was Sakura, who calmly finished walking over even as Naruto was already rocking back on his heels, his hands behind his head.

"Whacha doing?"

Temari held up the packets of food. "Guess."

Kankuro opened one the packets up and steam rolled off the buns.

"Oi! You don't want those!"

Kankuro stopped with a bun nearly at his mouth. "Poison?" Temari stared, surely not. The attitudes in the village had subsided considerably toward her on her official visits, she even had made a few friends. Things had gotten especially good after she and her brothers had been sent out by the Hokage to help on that mission to retrieve Sasuke. And then again after the leaf shinobi's help rescuing one of Gaara's students.

"Nah. Just, there's better places to get food around here. Especially ramen!"

"Oh!" Kankaro stuffed the bun into his mouth and chewed. Actually it tasted quite good. Temari tsked him as she calmly picked up her chopsticks to eat her dinner.

"Not everyone is ramen-obsessed like you are." Sakura lightly chided her companion. "Although, Naruto is right for once." Sakura smiled kindly as she eyed the name of the café they'd purchased the meal from.

Temari knew that the girl had been studying under the Fifth Hokage's personal mentorship, and while you couldn't see much of a difference … it was there in the way she carried herself. A little straighter, more confident. Temari liked the change, she hated girls who fell on the ground at the feet of guys. She shifted a bit uncomfortably as a certain leaf chuunin chose that moment to walk by. He wouldn't have stopped, she could tell, except that Naruto called him over. Maybe she had more than one reason to be grateful to the young blonde.

"Ossu." That was all he said. That was it, nothing more. And yet Temari's hackles rose and she wanted to say something, anything that would get a stronger reaction out of the young shinobi.

"Hey Shikamaru!" Said Naruto. "Tell these Sandies that there are better places to get food around here than this!"

"Sandies?" Temari put a hand on Kankuro's arm before he could move far. She mouthed "treaty". Kankuro curled his lips and settled back on the bench.

"Prove it." Temari spoke to Naruto, but in her peripheral vision was Shikamaru. He was standing there calmly, looking bored and slightly irritated to even BE in a conversation at all.

"Ok!" Naruto jumped up.

"No!" Sakura yelled, pulling Naruto back by the back of his jacket collar. "We don't all want ramen and you couldn't afford to buy enough for everyone."

"Oh yeah, sorry, forgot about that". Naruto sheepishly turned red, rubbing his foot in the ground. He'd forgotten that his frog wallet was currently flat and deflated looking. And it had all been ero-sensei's fault too. Again.

Temari felt the moment as it hit. The moment that this meeting would dissolve and everyone would go their own way. She didn't mind if everyone else wandered off, but she felt a strange dropping in her stomach at the thought of Shikamaru walking away. Calmly, with the smallest wave so as not to waste a motion where one wasn't needed he'd walk away and that would be that.

"You're on!" She grinned brightly, making Kankuro blink and nearly knocked him off the bench as she rushed up from her seat and handed Naruto some money. "Go for it kid, get enough for all of us and bring it back hot. I want to see how good this favorite food of yours can be."

"Huh?" Naruto looked down at the money, and then a big grin spread across his face. "Yeah! A mission! A RAMEN MISSION!" Then there was only a cloud of dust and the back of an orange uniform.

Kankuro stared at his sister in utter shock. Temari never parted with money voluntarily. Oh, for weapons sure, but not like, nothing like this. And he'd not thought she liked ramen all that much. Whatever happened to the girl who would 'conveniently' forget to bring any money, making her brothers always pick up the tab?


Temari turned and saw Neji and Hinata walking up toward them. Hinata's eyes were following the departure of the orange clad shinobi with a wistful expression. "Where is Naruto-kun going?"

Sakura laughed as she explained the situation and the "mission" to them as they joined the small group.

Neji grimaced. "Ramen? What you need to try is some of our nimono (simply means a stewed dish), forget the ramen. The best is served at our clan's complex though. The cooks are supurb."

Kankuro grinned, "Yeah, prove it."

Neji blinked.

Sakura suddenly grinned. "A party!" Hinata and Sakura laughed while Neji and Shikamaru suddenly looked panicked. Kankuro rushed over to plot with the two girls, always up for any kind of gathering, especially one involving food. Temari observed everyone, calculating.

"No, Temari can't buy all the food, it wouldn't be fair." Temari blinked as she overheard part of the conversation. She hadn't made that offer had she?

"Neji'll go get a pot of whatever Cook has been making, there's always plenty." Hinata said, then turned to Neji with a pleading look. He knew that look. He knew better than to fall for that … that …

"I'll do that if you bring tea and rice balls." Now, why had he agreed to this? Oh yeah, his cousin's sad eyes. Hinata had been terribly sad lately. Her father had removed her from inheriting because she wasn't strong enough, leaving her younger sister heir to the Main Family. Not to mention that Naruto wasn't paying her much attention, as usual, and he was due to leave shortly for an extended training period with the Toad Sage. A party might cheer her up, and if that was the case he'd go along.

"Shikamaru! Go grab Choji and Ino and pick up what okashi you can muster." Neji ordered even though the younger boy technically outranked him.

Shikamaru grumbled and complained, and everyone ignored him. Everyone except Temari who grinned evilly where only he could see and winked. He stopped and stared. Had she done this on purpose? But why? He turned and glanced at the group and caught Kankuro looking just as puzzled as he felt. Hmmph. Whatever, he turned to leave.


Shikamaru stopped and gritted his teeth. He turned his head and lifted one brow, "yes?"

"Well, at least you admit it." She smiled. "Hurry back, this is a hungry group."