"God, you are so pathetic Temari. Wasting your time, protecting the Nara boy? Are you stupid?" Tayuya ridiculed, scorn laced within.

"Oh shut it Tayuya. You aren't any better, what with those idiots Jirobo, and Kidomaru. And the twins? Sakon and Ukon? Please. Shikamaru is better then all of you added together," Temari shot back, waving Tayuya's comment away.

"Why you little—" The older girl jumped forward and grabbed a tight hold of Temari, throwing her to the ground. They hit with a terrifying 'crack' and hands latched everywhere. Hair, clothes, the neck, anyplace that would seem to do damage. Together they rolled around, crashing into school desks, punches flying left and right. The other students had made a ring around them, now chanting for the fight, eager to see violence.

Tayuya, now bearing a badly bleeding lip, pulled Temari up by the neck of her shirt and roughly shoved her towards the open window. She stumbled back, not baring any scars of battle, and clung to the window ledge keeping herself from falling out the wide opened panel.

But the fight wasn't over and Tayuya leapt forward with all her might, colliding head on with Temari. That was all it took and the blond girl was sent tumbling out the window and straight to the ground below.

She fell from the second story. At impact, everything went black.

The hospital room was white and dull as Temari opened her eyes to look around. She had momentarily taken a nap, the nightmarish fall replaying itself over again. Luckily, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. She had only come away with a sprained wrist, ankle, and some cuts and bruises everywhere. All of the wounds were healing nicely, leaving faint scars.

But what was worse then the minor injuries was her new fear. Since that day, she had not been able to go higher then ground level. When they had taken her to a third floor hospital room, she became hysterical until the doctors finally moved her down to the first floor. They had explained that because of the possible trauma the fall had caused her, she now suffered from Acrophobia, the fear of heights.

Her next week in the hospital was the slow healing of her wrist and ankle. It was also the attempt to rid her fear, but with no success. Whenever she was presented with a window, looking down a floor, she would immediately break into spasms of fear and coil up. It was no use. She had a death fear of heights.

It was Shikamaru who visited her the most during her time in the hospital. Gaara and Kankuro had come maybe once or twice, but Nara, he was there every day. He came as soon as visiting hours started and didn't leave until they ended. He just sat there, at the side of her bed, nervously twiddling his fingers.

They never talked about much whenever he came. In fact, she was surprised he would come at all. But they did make light conversation. He said he knew why the fight had started and was kind of guilty about the whole thing. He also mentioned that everyone at school was really worried and Tayuya had been suspended for two weeks. She took comfort in both little tidbits of information.

Other than that, they chatted about random topics. The weather, exams, friends, parties, what she was missing in school. It never got too deep, a threatening awkwardness always seeming to loom overhead.

One day, Shikamaru came up, just as visiting hours started, and smiled upon seeing Temari up and moving about.

"Hey, I have a surprise for you."

"Oh you do, do you? Bring me all the homework I've missed because that would just be the best news I've heard all week," Temari had the nasty habit of making everything she said sound sarcastic.

Shikamaru had grown used to this though and merely rolled his eyes, tugging out what looked like a scarf from his pocket. "Here, tie this around your eyes so you can't see and we'll be ready to go."


"You'll see…"


It was twenty minutes later and a car ride away that Temari finally got her surprise. As Shikamaru helped her from the car, she felt a sudden hard burst of wind. That didn't help her guesstimations at all, still at a loss to what this surprise was. Carefully, he guided her a few more steps and then gently tugged at the tie of the scarf.

"Spread your wings and fly Temari."

It fell from her face and she blinked a few times, eyes adjusting to the sudden eruption of light. After she got her sight back, she gasped to see where it was he had brought her. They were standing at the very top of the Hokage Monument, only a few feet from the edge, the bottom falling away below her.

So high. So very high. It all smacked her in the face and she felt her breathing go ragged. Curling over, she felt the pressure of fear settle itself in her stomach but Shikamaru was there, gently holding her steady. And with that reassurance, she was able to slowly open her eyes again to the sight before her. Her back straightened until she stood tall and firm, facing head on the fear that had so clenched onto her this past week or so. And it was surprising that it was all thanks to Shikamaru in one small motion that he had made.

"See, told you you could do it."

Temari grinned wildly, feeling her confidence inflate her again and she whirled around to face him. Quick as a flash, she gave him a small peck on the cheek.

"Yea, but it was thanks to you Shikamaru."