"Stupid sand, stupid sun, stupid heat," muttered Sakura as they walked over yet another sand dune. "Why do I have to go?" Shikamaru rolled his eyes as he glanced at the pink- haired Shinobi.

"Cause they need a medical ninja and you're the best," he said in a tone that told her it should be obvious. Sakura just glared.

"I am going to KILL her when I get back. I am NEVER going to be able to get this sand out of my clothes," she exclaimed before going off on another tirade. Shikamaru could only wonder what he had done to make the Fifth Hokage hate him so much. Here he was, one of the laziest ch√Ľnin ever, escorting an enraged medic-nin, hundreds of miles across the desert to deliver her to one of the creepiest guys he had ever laid eyes on.

FLASHBACK

"Oh hey Shikamaru," said Sakura as she ran into him outside of the Hokage's office, "She wants to see you too?"

"Yup," was his short reply. He raised his hand to knock on the door and almost hit Shizune in the face as the door swung open suddenly.

"Oh good, you're here," Shizune said as she showed them in. Tsunade was slumped in her chair with her feet resting on her desk when they walked in.

"There you are! I have a mission for you two." Shikamaru and Sakura looked wary. The last mission she had sent them on together had ended in disaster when Choji had caught fire.

"Which of my favourite medical ninjas is going to Suna?" Tsunade inquired.

"Ummm, Hinata?" guessed Sakura.

"Guess again," said the Hokage a little demonically.

"Me?" asked Sakura in a small voice.

"Ding ding ding! We have a winner!" exclaimed Tsunade.

"Why me?!" whined Sakura.

"Because they are currently experiencing some trouble with a group of rouge ninjas and are in need of medical assistance and me, being my generous self, agreed to send you! Besides it is always good to keep them indebted to us. Who knows when we may need a favour?"

"So why am I here?" asked Shikamaru, who up until that point had been completely ignored.

"Guess who will be escorting her."

END FLASHBACK

"FINALLY!" exclaimed Sakura as the village came into sight. "I feel like a piece of beef jerky." The two ninjas walked slowly down the street, getting many curious stares from the inhabitants of the village who did not usually see Shinobi from Konoha.

"Shikamaru, Sakura," they heard someone yell from behind. They turned to see Temari hurrying up the street towards them. "Great to see you both again. Was your trip ok?" Sakura opened her mouth to reply, but was cut of by Shikamaru before she could say anything.

"It was fine," he said quickly.

"That's good," said Temari, "Let's get to the Kazekage's office."

"What do you mean fine?" Sakura hissed when Temari had turned her back. "I have sand down my pants!" Shikamaru just grabbed her arm and dragged her down the street after the blonde.