Temari was a proud kunoichi of the Sand. She was at Jounin level before even having passed the Chuunin exams. But still, littered about her broken hands in sharp, invisible fragments, were her dreams.
As a girl of seven, she had dreamt of being the youngest Jounin Sunagakure had ever seen. It was shattered as she watched Gaara become the youngest Kage their world had ever known. At sixteen, she had dreamed tirelessly of beating that evil man Nara Shikamaru to a bloody pulp at the next Chuunin exam. She'd never gotten that chance. The annoying shadow-nin had had the gall to pass in one year, even when the process was ruined. Dreaming had managed to become, somehow, a burden.
And an annoyance, especially when referring to a certain blonde-haired blunder-mouth known as Uzumaki Naruto. All his rantings connected to his one dream: becoming the next Hokage of Konoha.
She had to be grateful to him, of course. He'd helped Gaara tamp down his murderous tendencies. He'd saved her brother's life from the hands of Akatsuki. Managed to become the Kazekage's first real friend. She had nothing but reasons to be grateful to him.
But on this sweltering, humid-beyond-belief Konohagakure night, all the blonde Sabaku kunoichi could think of was how much she hated him. He had all his dreams just waiting for him to take them, while she sat here, mourning her lack of purpose for anything but serving her younger brother and countrymen. Temari stared up at the starry sky, her face blank, but eyes dancing in rage and turmoil. He'd asked her earlier that day what her dream was, and all she could do was shrug nonchalantly and walk out on him, doing her best to hold in her sadness and anger.
She flinched violently, surprised at the presence. Having been so caught up in her thoughts, she hadn't noticed someone approach her. But it wasn't just anyone; an old saying vaguely crossed her thoughts: Well speak of the devil… For, lo and behold, it was none other than Naruto himself. He sat next to her, for once without saying anything, and just followed the path of her eyes up to the stars. He smiled softly.
"I like the stars, too. Makes me forget about time. Every once in a while, I'll find myself wondering what Sasuke's up to, like he'd never left or something. Sometimes I wonder what'll happen to me if I don't fulfill my dreams… Do you think about stuff like that watching the stars?"
She was a bit surprised. Had he read her mind earlier when she'd so rudely walked out on him at Ichiraku Ramen? He chuckled lightly, his eyes remaining trained on the intensely black night sky. She didn't answer him, but he didn't seem to mind. He seemed comfortable to simply sit and watch the night sky with her, though she wondered what he was thinking about at the moment, if such thoughts as he had mentioned really crossed his mind, but she refrained from asking. He'd probably say something stupid and ruin the moment anyway. But he took the asking out of her hands. "Right now, I wonder about you; you seemed really angry at my question earlier, even if you tried to hide it."
Okay, that tears it. He has got to be reading my mind…
"It's none of your business."
He smiled sadly at the snappish response, but didn't move. She couldn't help noticing his eyes trailing across the etheria in a strange pattern. But, again, it was like he read her mind. He lifted his hand opposite her and pointed at the sky, tracing an outline of stars. "Since you're birthday's August 23, that means you're a Virgo, right?"
She could only stare at him blankly. He actually knew her star sign? He knew there was such a thing at all? He chuckled, moving his finger across the night air, tracing another shadow-pattern before her eyes. "Mine's October 10th. You can see Libra right there, can't you?"
"So how did you learn all these constellations and stuff?" she surprised herself by asking. Naruto, though he was a bit surprised, didn't miss a beat.
"Ero-Sennin spent more time blowing me off during those two years we were away than I would care to admit, but when I got too tired to train, I'd just let myself collapse and watch the stars. I got interested, and took it up as a kind of hobby. Guess I learned more than I thought," he chuckled, his eyes sparkling silver and blue, seeming like the night skies embodied in those two vivacious orbs. But the sparkle slowly faded, and it was a mere reflection, like white fire on water- not nearly as vivid as it had been a minute before. It nearly saddened her for that spark to go out. "Ano sa, Temari… was I being rude before? I know that I say things I shouldn't sometimes, but I didn't know that your dreams were a sensitive thing…"
"Now you do." She flinched inwardly. That had been harsher than she'd intended, but he didn't seem too angry with her. She took a deep breath, and decided it was time to clear the air. "Naruto, I don't have a dream. That's why I was angry. I envied you."
"I think that your dreams have already come true, haven't they-?"
"Not in the least!" she shouted, snapping around to look him in the eye. He was surprised at her impassioned outburst, but remained calm. He let her rant. She needed it.
"I've been waiting on useless dreams! Ones that I chased until I realized they were hopeless! I was happy for Gaara when he became the Kazekage, but it killed my dream of becoming the next one myself! I was the older sister! I was supposed to have the advantage! And of all people, that Nara Shikamaru beat me in the Chuunin exams as though I were nothing but a petty Genin who got herself in over her head with one of the ANBU ops! It wasn't fair! All the dreams I ever had came crashing down for the simple reason that everyone I know is stronger than me! I didn't want it this way! I wanted to be the best!"
After blowing off so much steam, it was inevitable. A single tear, the first shed in ages, rolled down Temari's cheek. She had wanted so many things, had so many goals as a child. None of them had been achieved. She had never had any advantage; her age served only to disgrace her the more. The Sand nin didn't realize when her head buried into the strong chest of the man at her side. There, in torment, she cried, allowing years of pent up pain and anguish roll off of her on salty tears to stain the shirt of the one she thought she'd despised the most. She had lied to herself, she knew- she liked him more than most dared guess. It was so soothing, hearing him comfort her softly, feeling his hands stroking her back, playing with her undone hair. And so she cried even harder.
"Temari-chan, stop crying for me, please? I don't like seeing you like this…"
Eventually, the sobs that had wracked her body subsided, and she lay there, her legs sprawled out to the side, arms wrapped tightly around his waist and a teary countenance hidden in his chest. It was the most vulnerable she felt she'd ever been. She had no guard up, and no secrets left, and no will or strength to fight. But she remained, laying there, and felt peace. Her shoulders were relaxed, and she was pressed comfortably against him, and felt no heavy pain in her chest for once in her life. Silence hovered around them like a familiar shadow, and she welcomed it.
Naruto continued to massage her shoulders gently, and found that the way her lips pressed against the open V of his light cotton shirt was sweet, and his skin tingled where her breath discovered it. Her breast was pressed tightly against his abdomen as she embraced him there. He knew she could feel how open she was being; any shinobi knew that a position like this was practically a textbook example of vulnerability. But she obviously didn't care, and neither did he. But really, what surprised him the most was a newly murmured sentiment that was whispered to him, full of heat and sultry in tone.
"I suppose… you might be my dream. You help others fulfill their dreams… so maybe you can fulfill mine, as well…"
But he would not have understood were it not for her next action. It was soft, but he could feel her. A hand snuck beneath the edge of his shirt, pressing to the small of his back, and a small, butterfly-kiss was placed on his collarbone. Frozen in surprise, the fox-child could barely make sense of his jumbled thoughts, though he could feel what she was doing to him, and how his body was automatically responding.
Fingers tightened on the back of her waist, and she placed another kiss a little higher, directly over his Adam's apple, and for a brief moment, she let her tongue flick out and taste him; it was a wild tang, like woods and rivers and fire. There had been a strange warmth seared onto her tongue the moment it touched his skin, and it had her craving more. Another stolen kiss, placed upon his jaw, and her hands searched higher beneath his shirt, fingering the contours of his abdomen and chest like feathers, and they trailed heat beneath them like fire mirrored by shadow. And at last, her lips met his.
Until that one moment, Naruto had only allowed his hands to loosen her obi a bit, but once her lips, soft as lily petals, hot as sunfire and smooth as silk, touched his… he was lost.
Suddenly, it was no longer Temari making the move; Naruto controlled the situation completely. Unaccounted for had gone the passion that would blaze within him. He pressed her onto her back, hands ripping open her obi, the kimono that draped about her figure falling open a little more, and even this restraint was pushed away as the Leaf shinobi's hands searched her taut skin, and for a moment, he could feel fear, but it was forgotten as he let his passion rage, and allowed himself make the kunoichi forever his…
The next morning, Naruto awoke first, and got dressed, draping his lover with her discarded kimono carefully before turning to go. But it was unexpected when he felt a light but firm tug on the hem of his pants. He turned to meet deep teal eyes that begged him through a sleepy state. He remained until she was awake enough to say, and the he smiled, leaving her for a short while. After all, those words would never allow him leave her for long…
Don't shatter my dreams… they're already in pieces…
AN: Tada! I FINALLY got around to EDITING this. XP I wrote this oneshot an age ago, but I still love it to pieces. Please enjoy the angsty NaruTema-ness of it all. REVIEW!