"But it's my birthday, and my day off," complained Shikamaru. Yoshino silenced her son with a glare. The boy raised both hands to ward off the motherly evil eye. "Fine, fine... I'll just go see what she wants."

He sighed as he threw on the flak jacket.

"And tuck in your shirt!" Shikamaru closed his eyes at his mother's parting nag.


Tsunade waited in the large chair.

"You're late, Nara Shikamaru," chided the Hokage. She waved him to a seat. "You know you're gonna be the proctor-intern this time round? Learn the ropes, sort of thing?"

"Yeah." It was all information he'd already known, so what was the point of the meeting?

"And I'm assigning you a new role."

"What? No nononono... I don't want extra responsibility. I'm already swamped!"

Tsunade twisted her mouth into a wry grin that warned Shikamaru to shut up and sit up. "You won't find this task too difficult, I think. Guide a lady around town."

"I don't know, Hokage-sama," drawled a feminine voice behind Shikamaru. "He'd probably just say it's too troublesome."


Shikamaru walked beside the kunoichi, unsure of what to say.

"How about 'hi, how are you?' I find that a great ice-breaker," said Temari. Shikamaru grinned a little and complied.

"Hi, how are you?"

"Fine," said Temari. "Just got promoted."

Shikamaru was surprised. "Jounin? That was fast."

"It helps that I'm the Kazekage's sister."

They walked on a little longer. At the junction Shikamaru paused. And he decided.

"Temari? There's a new shaved ice shop down this way. Try it out?"

Temari smiled prettily. "You're making quite a good guide, Shikamaru-san."


"So today is your birthday? Where are your teammates?"

"Ino's out with her dad, checking out a plantation for flower-related stuff. Chouji's in intensive training with his dad, won't be back in a couple of weeks."

"Hmmm," Temari commented. She winced at the ice-induced headache. "God this stuff is... cool. And tasty." Back to her original thought, she said, "So no one's celebrating?"

"I'm fourteen, Temari, no one celebrates fourteenth birthdays."

"I did."

Shikamaru raised a querying eyebrow. His lemon-flavored ice waited in the metal spoon.

"I did," repeated Temari, her eyes smiling at the memory. "We had a small gathering in my apartment, with all my girlfriends, and some half-hearted singing on Kankurou's part."

Shikamaru grinned his lopsided grin. Temari chuckled. "And then the girls and I played strip poker. That's when Baki walked in looking for Gaara."

"Man that must have been embarrassing," remarked Shikamaru. He noticed how her black robe rode up her thighs, and quickly took another mouthful of headache-causing ice.


Temari stood there, waiting for the next location.

"Um, have you been up our Hokages' faces yet?"


"Let's go there then." Shikamaru led the way. He was acting oddly, he knew; something twanged inside him when she walked beside him, her hand brushing her bangs back, the exotic scent that she wore...

"I asked who was the first Hokage?" repeated Temari. She waved a hand before his face. "Hello? Someone in there?"

"Uh, yeah. That is Shidai, that's his brother the Nindaime, Sandaime you know -" the mood turned a little awkward - "and that's Yondaime, he died protecting the village from the Kyuubi."

"And that's Godaime-sama," said Temari. "How does she maintain her splendid figure anyway? You people in Konoha really know how to build them."

"Sunagakure doesn't do too badly either," remarked Shikamaru without thinking. Then he realized what he said and quickly looked away. "There's the entrance to the stairway up the cliff."

Temari cast a mischievous glance at the spiky-haired chuunin. "And it's so conveniently dark and narrow, too."


"Nothing. Lead on, birthday boy," said Temari innocently.


Shikamaru took in the view. The breeze was stronger here, and he enjoyed the silence.

Temari did not say anything as she stood beside her chuunin guide. Shikamaru stole a glance at her. Temari's eyes were closed, a slight smile on her face. The wind was whipping color into her cheeks and her sandy blonde hair tossed in the wind.

"Like this place?"


"I like to let my hair down when I'm here," said Shikamaru. He released the hair tie and his shoulder-length hair started streaming in the stiff breeze.

Temari looked at him. "You look very different with your hair down."

"I've shown you mine, now show me yours." Two can play at word games, Shikamaru thought silently. I'll show you I can flirt as well as you can.

Temari's hands moved up and undid the knots of the ponytails. Her fingers ran gracefully through her hair, untangling the few knots that fought against her efforts.

"Your hair's shorter than I thought," said Shikamaru after a few more minutes of silence.

Temari smiled. "You think about what I look like?"

"Maybe," Shikamaru felt uncomfortably shy. She was not like the other females; Ino and Sakura would, undoubtedly, be filled with self-doubt and mar the silence of the peak. Temari knew when to shut up and when to play with words. It was exciting and new. And potentially troublesome.


They sat together, leaning against a grassy knoll. The wind tore away their worries. Without discussion, they both lay back and looked up at the clouds in the sky.

"I like stars better," commented Temari after a long pause. "But then, in Sunagakure, we don't get much clouds."

"Stars are fixed and unchanging," countered Shikamaru. "I like the clouds for their freedom."

"I haven't given you a birthday present," said Temari suddenly, changing the topic. She sat up and braced herself on her elbows. "So, Nara Shikamaru, what would you like?"

Having an inkling of what was about to happen, Shikamaru blustered, "I'd like a peaceful life, and a normal wife, and two children – one boy, one girl – and to die at an old age, before my wife does."

"That's a tall order for a birthday present," Temari mock pouted. She suddenly leaned down and kissed the chuunin on his forehead.

Shikamaru jerked to a sitting position, whacking Temari on her chin. He twisted his upper torso around to face her. "What – what was that for?"

"Relax, Shikamaru," Temari whispered as she leaned in again. She rubbed her chin. "You hurt me."

"I'm sorry, I just – just..."

"Y'know, Shikamaru? Just shut up."

Shikamaru froze as Temari placed a hand on the back of his head. She pressed her soft lips against his, light as feathers and amazingly electrifying. Shikamaru's fingers twitched but he dared not move any part of himself.

I can feel her smiling, he thought inanely. What do I do now? Think, brain, think!

Temari's left hand remained holding Shikamaru's head in place, while her right hand slid slowly up his arm. Her lips, curved in a smile, opened slightly to allow her tongue to flick at Shikamaru's closed mouth. The teenager swallowed nervously. The chills he felt on the back of neck was definitely not from the cold.

Temari tilted her head and pressed him closer. "Trust me," she mumbled against his face. Shikamaru gasped a little when she took his rigid hand and placed it on her waist. Taking the advantage, Temari slid her tongue into his.

Shikamaru's mind stopped working entirely. He closed his eyes and felt Temari's warm breath on his wind-cooled cheeks, her lashes brushing against his skin, her tongue tasting every inch of his mouth – I'm glad I had the lemon earlier – and the feel of her warm, yielding body pressing against him. She chuckled throatily when he attempted to imitate what she had done, his tongue sliding into her mouth to taste her. He was a little clumsy at first, but soon found the trick to enjoy the extended kiss.

Lime. Mmm, zesty.

They pulled apart to come up for some air. Temari was flushed with high spirits and her eyes were lit with dancing merriment. She ran the tip of her index finger along Shikamaru's equally crimson cheeks.

"How did you like your birthday present, Shikamaru-san?"

"It was... interesting." He pressed his lips together. Temari's eyes glinted. Her wind-swept appearance tingled parts of Shikamaru, and he silently cursed his extremely vivid imagination and overactive hormones.

"Interesting? That's not good enough." Temari took his cold hands in her warm ones. She noted the nervous swallowing and the twitches he tried to conceal, and again chuckled. "Don't worry Shikamaru, you're in good hands." She lifted his right hand, palm up, and began licking the lines on his palm. Shikamaru hissed in breath as Temari took his fingers, one by one, into her mouth and licked each of them. He could feel himself reacting involuntarily.

Oh god if she noticed...

"It's okay, Nara," Temari turned her attentions to his other hand, "you're perfectly safe with me."

Nara? Why did she call me by my surname?

His mind occupied – fervently – with that triviality, he could not hold back the soft cry when she nipped his index finger. Temari's eyes were narrowed. "Pay attention only to me, Nara, or else..." She left the threat hanging.

"Maybe we should... maybe we... should... stop, Temari," Shikamaru said haltingly. She was now kissing his wrists and accelerating his pulse. She glared at him. As if to stop him from making stupid suggestions, she grabbed him by the collar and locked lips with him. His hands flailed about, unsure of what to do. Temari solved the problem by placing both his hands on her hips. In one fluid motion she straddled him, smirking at his very attentive manhood now pressing against her. He gulped and tried to move away.

"It's okay, it's okay, Nara," she held him still, pressing his hands into her flesh. His fingers tightened with need. She moaned and, grinding a little closer to him, began kissing his face as thoroughly as she had his hands. "Trust me." Her lips brushed his forehead, her fingernails scraping the most sensitive points on his scalp...

Shikamaru closed his eyes. He felt her hot tongue flicking across his eyelids, her tender lips on the bridge of his nose, the long, wet streak she left trailing from his chin along his jawline and oh my god my ear she's licking my oh god oh god...

Temari felt his groan rather than heard it. She felt pleased with herself to be able to get a rise from this young man. She knew there was some lingering resentment on her from his becoming chuunin at that humiliating match – Temari ran her tongue roughly along his neck, her hips grinding down his body – but now he was under her control. She liked it.

They were now prone on the ground, Temari on top. She let him run his hands up her thighs but stopped them from exploring further. She kissed him, hard and long one more time, before pulling away from the birthday boy.

Shikamaru whimpered a little when Temari got off him. He struggled up, trying to regain what composure he had left. He tried to still his raging hormones and realized lust was being replaced by another feeling.

Quickly binding up her hair, Temari smiled demurely at him. "Where to next, Shikamaru-san?"

"Wha – you are the most irritating, frustrating, confusing woman I have EVER met! I mean, first you act so, so cool and aloof, then you just grabbed me to – y'know – and now you ask me where to next? You bloody, mind-bending, fan-wielding, manipulative, controlling - " Shikamaru exploded uncharacteristically.

"You forgot 'troublesome', Shikamaru-san," Temari added calmly when the chuunin stumbled for invectives. "What, you were expecting the full treatment?"

"N-no, what the hell are you t-talking about?" Shikamaru stammered, blushing furiously. Temari stood up and brushed her robe off. The tell-tale bulge in his pants was no longer there. Probably beaten by his annoyance. But then I can always put it there again, now I know how innocent he really is. Hmm... let's try out my hypothesis.

She suddenly bent close to his face. "That will be your fifteenth birthday gift. Remember that's when you come of age, Nara."

Ignoring the stunned silence behind her, Temari chuckled as she made her way down the stairs.