------Temari's account-----

I locked myself in my room and cried.

I hadn't cried for years; not since mother died and Gaara was born. I knew I had to take mother's place in the family.

It had been a thankless task and a long, hard road, but I didn't cry. I hadn't cried. I knew I had the strength to bear with all the crap the world threw in my life, and so I shouldered it.

But today I understood what it meant to have your heart broken. It was as if there was a rope around my neck, slowly choking me; the tears burned like acid onto the pillow, and I was probably bleeding with my nails digging into my arms.

I felt like I couldn't breathe, couldn't exist without pain wracking my frame.

The bastard.

The complete, utter bastard.

I actually kept myself for my first love, and I thought it had been him, and he had fooled me entirely.

No wonder they call him the genius shinobi.

I should have looked for someone stupider than I was. Someone too dumb to find ways to cheat on me. But he was the sparkle in the gray world of mindlessness surrounding me, the one person I could really talk to without feeling stifled by mundaneness.

He had been, I reminded myself fiercely, and fresh tears poured again out of my heart.

Knock knock.


"Go away!" I yelled at Kankurou. I felt bad immediately after; he was only showing concern. But I couldn't bear with pity right now.

"Sis, Gaara and I want to take you out for dinner." Gaara must have said something else to Kankurou, because the twerp added, "Please?"

I sniffed and wiped the tears away. The servants were dismissed, and no one besides me know how to cook a proper meal. And I certainly wasn't cooking tonight. I rubbed my cheeks with the back of my hand and tried to freshen up.

When I opened the door I was almost amused to see both my brothers lean back. Gaara regained his composure faster than Kankurou, and he tilted his head towards the living room. I smiled weakly. Kankurou scratched his cheek and then patted me on my head.

If it was a normal day I'd have slammed his arm into a wall, but strangely I felt better. I linked arms with my second brother and caught up with my youngest brother, burying the hurt and pain deep within.

I was strong.

I had to be.


When we got to the restaurant my resolve was almost dissipated. If not for Gaara's insistence I would've run back to the embassy and resumed my cry-fest.

"They have excellent dinner entertainment here, I heard." Kankurou's hand patted mine nervously.

I sighed inwardly and waited for the maitre'd to seat us. Taking one look at Gaara we got the best table in the house: secluded but not too far from the stage.

"It's a jazz band," I said. Glancing at the menu I slammed it shut. "I want salmon. And some wine."

"C'mon, sis," Kankurou urged. "It's Gaara's treat. You should rip him off."

Gaara ordered a steak, rare. Apparently his thirst for blood had been transposed onto food rather than prey ever since the chuunin exams. I tore her mind away from that memory; it was when I first met that lying jerk.

The silence descended like a thick fog. Kankurou was trying his best to lighten the atmosphere, I could tell, but I wasn't in the mood to humor him. Gaara was his normal self, silent and broody. The sandgirls had been upset by his ordeal, and secretly I wondered which girl deserved him.

Kankurou sawed through his own chicken, apparently giving up on the 'cheer my sis up' mission.

'You're just too good to be true

Can't take my eyes off of you

You'd be like heaven to touch

I wanna hold you so much'

The voice was familiar. I frowned; my mind was playing tricks on me. It was because I was thinking of the crybaby again.

It was a good, strong voice though, slightly husky but still smooth and warm.

"Is that-"

"-since when-"

'Pardon the way that I stare

There's nothing else to compare

The sight of you makes me weak

there are no words left to speak...

"-ohmigod, someone call the Naras-"

"-I can't believe this-"

Naras. My head snapped around. My eyes found the stage. My ears hadn't deceived me.

Nara Shikamaru, his hair licked into a low ponytail, crooning into the microphone. He had on black shirt and pants, and his eyes found my gaze. He nodded at me and smiled; the special smile he had on after our first night together.

'I love you baby

and if it's quite alright

I need you baby

to warm my lonely nights

I love you baby

Trust in me when I say...'

The band built the crescendo as Nara walked from the stage, holding the cordless microphone, towards my table.

'Oh pretty baby

Don't bring me down I pray

Oh pretty baby

Now that I've found you, stay

And let me love you, baby, let me love you...'

I couldn't stop myself.

I stared.

I giggled.

Then I laughed.

I kept laughing until I was crying, and he was holding me in a tight embrace, the microphone tossed back to the band's original singer. Then I was weeping, and hugging him like I would never, ever let go, and at the moment, I really believed that.


"So, can you trust me from now on?"

I pouted. He leaned in to nibble my lower lip and I ducked with a chuckle. "Yeah I do." My fingers traced the little fan he had tattooed on his right hip. "Did it hurt?"

"Not as much as the two concussions you gave me," he teased. I wrinkled my nose at the Nara. "But seriously: do you trust me?"

"I do," I repeated, and sealed the pledge with a kiss. "But do I have to trust her?"

He raised an eyebrow. "Might be a little hard for you."

"Darn tootin', Nara." I sniffed.

He kissed me again, not caring that my brothers were probably able to overhear whatever we were planning to do in my room.

They might learn something.

--------------Temari's account ends-------------

A/N: I know, Shikamaru singing?! But it was too good to resist :)