It annoyed Nara Yoshino to no ends when her "occupation" was belittled by some ignorant villager whose views on success were based upon mission stats and income. She takes great pride in the decisions she made that took her to the place where she is today, and not many are able to humble themselves to such an extent that she had over the past twenty-three years. The loving wife of Shikaku and the doting mother of Konoha's laziest ninja, Shikamaru, this is her life and the life she cherishes. Keeping those two in line and the house in order is more than a full time job but she does it day in and day out because of her unfailing love for the two most important men in her life.
She was currently standing in the living room separating the family of three's laundry into their respected piles and folding them at an astonishing rate. She held up a pair of Shikamaru's pants and looked at them quizzically. Her son had grown greatly in the past seventeen years and she was glad that his growth spurt was finally starting to level off. It was pain streaking to keep up with the growing teenager and it seemed that when she was finally able to replace all of his snug clothing with his current size he would just grow out of the new ones in only a few weeks. Even now she notices his pant legs not as seemingly long as they once were when he first wore them. She made a mental note to pick out a few new pair of pants for him next time she was out in the market. She quickly folded the pants and set them with the rest of her son's clothes. Letting out a deep yawn she glanced up at the clock and noticed that it was getting pretty late.
"All most eleven," she stated calmly. Shikamaru had already gone up to bed and left her alone to her work.
She normally did not stay up this late but her husband would be back from his mission tomorrow evening and she wanted him to come home to a clean house and a good meal. She put her and Shikaku's laundry in one basket and Shikamaru's in another. Lifting the basket in one arm she was just about to make her way to her room when she heard the knob to the front door twist. Setting the basket down she grabbed a kunai that was sitting on the coffee table. The likeliness of her being able to fight off the unknown intruder was most likely slim but if the late night visitor was of ill intent Shikamaru was only a shout away. Even though he was the laziest kid she had ever known she also knew he is a formable opponent who now even surpasses his own father when it comes down to strategy and skill. The door slowly opened and her heart skipped a beat when she caught sight of who just walked through the threshold. She let out the breath she was holding and allowed the arm that was clenching the kunai to fall to her side.
"Moron! I could have killed you!" She barked angrily- though her scowl quickly faded into an amused smile.
"Would you have now?" He replied, returning her smile with his equally amused side smirk. "Actually… I'm sure you could have. You can be quite fierce at times and it's not like I would fight back."
"Idiot…" Yoshino murmured as she slowly closed the distance between the two.
"Such sweet first words after a long miss-" Shikaku's sarcastic remark was cut short by the soft lips of his wife planted firmly against his. A long smile stretched across his lips as he returned the kiss, wrapping his strong arms around the woman he loved so dearly. After a blissful moment Yoshino pulled away and rested her head on his chest, allowing him to hold her.
"Mmmm… I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted." Shikaku murmured quietly. "I'm ready to sleep for a few days."
"Like hell you are!" She laughed, pocking her husband in his side. "I'll give you a day of rest but I need you to fix the door where you keep the deer feed. Some gluttonous pig forced his way in a few nights ago and had a midnight snack. Now the door won't stay shut."
"Why don't you just have Shikamaru do it? He's here."
Yoshino hummed in annoyance and waved her hand in the air flippantly. "That boy has been busy escorting that Suna liaison around for the past few weeks. I don't know what that Temari has him do all day but when she's here it's as if Shikamaru doesn't even live here anymore."
"Sounds like someone's jealous of another woman stealing away the attention of her baby boy." He said teasingly.
"It's not like that at all!" She replied defensively. "He even says that there is nothing going on between the two of them…" Ignoring the "yeah right" expression her husband gave her on the last comment she continued. "Don't get me wrong though. I would love for Shikamaru to settle down with a nice young lady soon. It's just him being with someone from a different village would be… troublesome."
"They both have good head on their shoulders. I'm sure if they had any on going romantic feelings for each other they could work something out."
"She's too old."
"That's not nice. Only three years that's not so bad."
"It's a little strange though. If it was vice versa it would be different."
"I don't know it just would!"
"Whatever…" He said yawning.
"How'd we get on this topic anyway? Whatever the reason I blame you for making me upset…"
"You look exhausted… All right I won't keep you any longer… I suppose the rest of the laundry can wait until morning… You may want to drop in and let Shikamaru know you're home. He was asking about you coming home yesterday."
"Was he now?" He replied, not really seeming that interested. They both began to make their way up the stairway toward the upper bedrooms hand in hand.
"He seemed happy to know you would be back soon. I'm sure he would like to know that you arrived a day ahead of schedule."
"I really think he would rather sleep. I think this could wait until morning."
"Mmm, perhaps you're right. Still, I want to check on him." She replied, reaching for the handle to Shikamaru's room.
"What is he? Five?"
"Shut it," she hissed warningly. She peeked inside the dark room and scanned over to where the youngest Nara slept. Her eyes widened a moment and her hand instantly hit the switch to turn on the light.
"Woman what are you doing? You're going to annoy him."
Ignoring Shikaku completely Yoshino briskly walked into the room and looked around nervously. Shikaku followed in behind her and eyed the room and the unkempt and empty bed.
"Oi," Shikaku muttered to his fidgeting wife. "Where's Shikamaru?"
It was all most eight thirty in the morning when Temari's daily routine was interrupted by someone knocking on her apartment door. She was here on official ambassador business since a few weeks ago to attend relation meetings with the hokage. All had gone well and the relation between Suna and Konoha were running as smoothly as they could possible go for now. It was now time for her to return to her home in the desert and give Gaara her report of the meetings. She let out an annoyed sigh from being interrupted, walked over to the door and opened it to find an awkward Ino and Choji standing before.
"Can I help you?" Temari asked, cocking an eyebrow at the pair.
"Sorry to disturb you so early in the morning Temari-san!" Ino exclaimed, waving her hands apologetically in front of her face. "It's just Shikamaru didn't come home last night and his mom asked us to help look for him."
"Haven't seen him." Temari stated bluntly and was now beginning to close the door when Choji chose to continue.
"We checked all of his usual cloud gazing spots but we haven't been able to find him anywhere. We were just wondering, since you were the last person to see him last night, if you might… know… where he might be?"
"… No clue." She stated nonchalant, ending the short exchange with Ino and Choji by closing the door in their faces.
"Well… That was… a little awkward…" Ino stated as her and Choji casually walked back down the hall of the apartment complex. "She's a little scary, don't you think Choji?"
"Definitely… But I think Shikamaru kinda likes her."
Ino shot Choji a suspicious look. "What do you mean by "like"?"
"You know," he said, illustrating with his hands. "Like like like."
"What!" Ino exclaimed, her eyes like saucers. She quickly regained composure and tilted her head smugly to the side. "Hah! No way. Shikamaru's too lazy to like anybody that way. Besides, she's not his type."
"Oh? And what is his type Ino?"
"Uh… Well, let's see…" She thought for a moment, placing her finger to her chin. "Well… I'm not sure. But it's definitely not her."
"What's wrong with her?"
"Nothings wrong with her she's just… a little manly."
"Oo, I dare you to say that to her face!" He laughed.
"Are you crazy? She'd kill me!"
"Yeah, probably. But seriously Ino, manly? Sure she's a little rough around the edges but manly Ino?"
"Yeah! Have you seen the way she eats? She's not feminine at all."
"You're not exactly the prime example of table etiquette yourself." Thought Choji silently, not daring to voice his inner thoughts. "Ummm, sure. Whatever you say Ino."
The two exited the apartment complex and continued their search for their missing comrade.
After closing the door on Ino and Choji Temari rubbed her fingers against the temples of her forehead and walked further into the living room. Her gaze quickly focused on the dark headed young man who poked his head around the corner, once he realized they were once again alone. He brought his hand over his mouth as he let out a loud yawn and ran his fingers through his dark tresses he looked at Temari lazily as she glared at him. "What?"
"You're friends were just here. They're looking for you."
"So I heard, how troublesome."
She gave him one of her evil smiles and slowly approached him. "Troublesome indeed. What are you planning to do about this?"
"Eh, I'll just find some arbitrary place and claim to have slept there over night."
"Oh? And what if they've already looked there?" Temari asked as she slowly wrapped her arm around the young Jounin's neck. "Plus your mother saw you go to bed last night. You're supposed to be home."
He shrugged and replied in a bored tone, "I'll just find a place they're least likely to check first and tell them I took a walk and fell asleep while star gazing or… something."
"What a brilliant plan. Now I know why you're known as a genius." She said, sarcasm dripping from her voice.
"Quite you troublesome woman." He leaned in and gave her a brief kiss across the lips.
Temari let out a content sigh and leaned against his bare shoulder, allowing him to wrap his arms around her. Closing her eyes she breathed in his sweet scent and smiled softly as she felt him beginning to fiddle with one of her ponytails.
"What a drag. And here I was hoping to lie around your apartment until you had to leave. I'm surprised my hag of a mom didn't send the ANBU after me."
She let out a quick laugh and pulled away enough to look at him in the face. "And what makes you think I'd let you lie around all day, stupid. And besides… you should stop complaining about your mother… You're lucky to have one that cares about you the way she does." She rested her head back on his shoulder, feeling foolish for saying something she felt was too sappy. She felt his chest rise and fall and his head rest on hers.
"I know…" He whispered. They both stayed like that in an awkward silence until Temari pulled away and walked to where a black shirt was thrown carelessly on the floor. She scooped up the shirt and tossed at her lover who easily caught it.
"You better start getting dressed. As much as I like looking at you in your boxers it would probably be best if you leave soon." She stated mater of factly with a small smile gracing her lips which soon broadened. "Besides, your troublesome mother might really send out the ANBU if Ino and Choji don't "find" you soon." Shikamaru sighed in compliance as he began to gather his clothing which trail suspiciously lead to the sand kunoichi's current bedroom. As for her she sat herself on the couch and waited for him to finish. "Hurry your lazy ass up!" She yelled after only a few minutes of waiting. "You take longer than me to get dressed!"
"Shut up!" He snapped back. "Why do you have to be such a… You're so impatient." He exited the bedroom, finishing wrapping his hair into his high ponytail.
"Happy?" He asked annoyed.
"Stop being such a crybaby, crybaby."
"Stop calling me a crybaby."
"Just stop whining and say goodbye to me. I won't be back for a while."
"Goodbye." He said unenthusiastically.
Temari let out a growl of anger, rose, and grabbed her fan that was leaning against her couch. She took a threatening step toward Shikamaru who in turn took a step back fearfully. He raised his arms in front of him defensively.
"Sorry, sorry!" He sputtered out nervously and sighed in relief as she set her weapon down with a loud "clank." She still looked extremely angry and he thought it would be best to be as nice as possible at the moment. He gave her one of his smirks as he quickly, yet cautiously, approached her. He cupped her face and locked his lips with hers. "Goodbye, I'll miss you." He said, much more sincerely than the last time.
"Better." She replied. She pushed her weapon back so that it would rest back against the couch only for it to slide and fall on the floor. She currently ignored it as she wrapped her arms around him and kissed him furiously. She hesitantly parted and stepped back. "You better go."
"I know. I'll see you in a few hours to see you off."
"You better or I'll beat you into a bloody pulp."
"What a violent woman." He said nervously.
Temari watched as Shikamaru walked towards the door and peeked out to see if anyone was around. There wasn't so he silently left giving her only a quick glance at her as he left. She knew what he would do. He would do what he always did. Make his way up to the roof and travel the rooftops until he was far enough away to travel on ground where no one could connect him to her apartment. Normally he would just head home and sneak into his room the same way he snuck out. But it looks like he's going to have to try something a little different today.
She went to the kitchen and began to brew herself some tea as she let her mind wonder. Like always she began to fantasize about more ideal situations. Like wishing that she was from Konoha or that he was from Suna so that they didn't have to sneak around and could see each other openly. Not that she liked open displays of affection or anything; she would probably treat him the same in public as she does now, even if their relationship was common knowledge. In the current circumstances if anyone found out about their secret "meetings" and the word got around it could damage not only Suna's but Gaara's reputation. Even though they are in the most fruitful alliance they and Konoha have ever been in Suna's council would twist the idea of someone with such a high position and closeness with Gaara as she did that there would be threat of classified information being leaked during "pillow talk". Even here many shinobi and civilians are suspicious of Suna since the last attack so many years ago. Openly or not, she couldn't help but notice all the suspicious glances of many of the town's folk especially when she was not being accompanied with Shikamaru or another shinobi.
"Feh, troublesome." She muttered as she hit her head against one of the kitchen's cabinets.
"Found him!" Ino yelled loudly gaining the attention of two other members of the search party. She looked angrily at the young shinobi who was snoozing blissfully high up in the braches of a tall tree.
"It's about time! I'm so hungry!" Choji sighed in relief as he approached his blonde teammate followed closely by Shikaku.
"Shikamaru WAKE UP!" Ino screamed as she threw a rather large stone against the shadow nin's left side. It jolted him awake as he rolled over the side of the branch and landed on another a few feet down. As if nothing happened he gazed lazily down at his female friend in annoyance.
"Woman, what did you do that for I was," he took a moment to yawn, "in the middle of a nice nap."
"A nap? A NAP!?" Ino yelled back furiously. "We've been looking for you all morning and you were taking a nap!?"
"All morning?" He asked, looking truly confused. "What time is it?"
"10! And we've been looking for you since 8!"
"Wow, I must have fallen asleep here last night during my walk…" Shikamaru said nonchalantly as he jumped down to the rest of him. Once he landed he was quickly met with the fist of Yamanaka Ino.
"Yoshino's been worried sick about you and you don't even care!"
"Ino, calm down. You're over reacting"
"Yeah Ino." Choji piped in. "We found him and he's okay like I said he would be. Can we just get over with it and get something to eat? I'm starving here." Ino visibly calmed down a bit but let out a "humph" as she crossed her arms and turned away. Shikamaru gave his best friend a smirk as if to say thank you and Choji returned the same friendly smile. "Come on Ino, barbeque, my treat." Choji said as he ushered Ino to the food district.
"What if I don't want barbeque? What if I want Kino's Soup?" Ino pouted.
"Seriously?" Choji asked, sweat dropping.
"Seriously," replied Ino gravely.
"Fine, soup it is. Coming Shikamaru?" He called over his shoulder.
"Yeah, I'll catch up in a second." Shikamaru replied standing next to his father who was eyeing him suspiciously. Shikamaru cocked an eyebrow at his father's expression and began to stretch out the kinks out of his back and neck. While stretching to the side some of the fabric of his turtle neck pulled away, revealing a stretch of normally concealed skin. Shikaku crossed his arms and let out an amused chuckle still watching his son.
"What's so funny Old man?
"I thought you weren't supposed to be back until later today."
"We arrived ahead of schedule. I actually got home late last night. That's when your mother noticed you missing."
"Feh, she worries too much." Shikamaru replied as he finished the last of his stretching. "Well, I'm going to eat with Choji and Ino. We'll hang out later today and play shogi or something okay?"
"That sounds fine to me." Shikaku said to the retreating Shikamaru but before he got too far he called after his son. "Oh and son."
"Next time you spend the night at a girl's house tell her not to bite so hard." He again chuckled as he saw his son freeze for a moment and kept on walking.
"I- I don't know what you're talking about. I think you've gone senile."
Temari and Shikmaru stopped in front of the exit of the Konoha exit just as they had every other time. She took a few steps forward of him and turned to face the young shadow nin.
"There will be a meeting between our kages in four months. I'll arrive with Gaara at that time. Will you be the one accompanying us?" Silly question yes, but she wanted to hold out some amount of conversation before she left again.
"Yes, Tsunada-sama assigned me to be the Suna representative's guide after all. Che, though it's troublesome."
"Heh, try not to be too lazy while I'm gone."
"Whatever." He replied lazily. She gave him a cheeky grin.
"Later." She then turned and left down the path away from Konoha and Shikamaru who was watching her retreating figure. He exhaled and blushing, he reached up to a tender spot that was left on his neck.
((Author's note: "Woot! First Oneshot finished! I hope you all enjoyed it as much I did writing it! I hope that I didn't make any of the characters too out of character… But it's kind of funny… I've never wrote a kissing scene before so It took me like three days to right the moment between Yoshino and Shikaku! I also don't curse but I see these characters cursing a bit… Mostly Temari… I did manage to type the alternative word for butt but I feel kind of bad about doing it… Well enough rambling about my personal convictions! Won't tell anyone that I curse like a sailor in my head… Um right… Well please review and tell me what you think! Advice is welcomed whole heartedly!))