Disclaimer: Naruto and any recognisable characters are not mine...

A/N: I have no idea where this sprung from. My mind works in strange ways I suppose - I have three SasuHina fics I have been working on since time immemorial (they only need a little tweaking to upload) and I can't get round to it, and this was finished in record time. Apologies for the title - I'm notoriously bad when it comes to thinking titles up. Enjoy!


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Laughter

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She was chewing on an apple and shooting him amused sidelong glances which he was manfully trying to ignore. But it was becoming harder especially since he had the uneasy suspicion that there was something wrong with him. But there wasn't was there? Not that he could ask, and especially not her. That would undoubtedly be bothersome and he had an avowed horror of anything that could bother him.

He twitched. There she went again, trying unsuccessfully to suppress a laugh. He wondered grouchily why she couldn't just tell him instead of making all this fuss. At the next snort, he gave up.

'What is it?' he asked her, with as much irritation as he could muster on such a beautiful morning. Really, all he wanted was to spend some quiet time, look up at the sky and enjoy watching the clouds float by, but she, being a woman, had to be exceedingly troublesome.

'Nothing,' she replied airily, biting nonchalantly into her half-eaten apple, and he watched as a little bit of juice dribbled down her chin. He wasn't fooled. Something was going on, and if she wasn't going to let him know the easy way he had to resort to one of his brilliant stratagems.

'Ok,' he said, shrugging his shoulders and lying back down in the grass, ignoring her completely. He closed his eyes and started counting silently: one…two…three…four…five…

...Forty five… forty six… forty seven…

Her deep voice stopped his counting. 'Oh, all right, I'll tell you,' she said pertly, and without opening his eyes, he felt her presence next to him as she sat down on the grass. He was impressed. Most girls wouldn't have lasted beyond three seconds before wanting to tell him what they thought would interest him.

'It's all right,' he murmured lazily, feeling strangely content as he inhaled her scent. 'I don't need to know.'

'Are you sure you don't want me to tell you about the pair of moustaches drawn on your face which you've been sporting all morning?'

'What!?' He jerked upright, galvanised out of his apathy, and stared at her grinning face, mischief written all over it. She shrugged her shoulders at his look and pointed to the lake. Striding over to the clear water he gazed at his reflection and groaned. Shikamaru wasn't a vain man, but… going around the village like this - the pointed glances and the whispers he'd vaguely noticed suddenly came back to him - and worse, looking like a damn fool in front of her…'Why me?' he asked grumpily to the world as he stuffed his hands into the pocket and glared at the innocent trees.

'You asked for it,' she said amusedly, coming up beside him. 'Falling asleep in a public place and in the path of an irredeemable prankster…'

'Naruto,' he groaned, swearing to badly maim the hyperactive ninja when he next saw him… unless it proved to be too troublesome of course. He had only taken a brief nap under a tree in the park while waiting for Temari, never thinking that he'd prove to be an irresistible temptation to Naruto and his eternal love for boyish tricks. It simply wasn't fair that one couldn't have a bit of peace in this world.

Grumbling to himself, Shikamaru rubbed his face with his sleeve and succeeded only in smudging black ink over half his face. Taking one look at him, Temari burst into peals of laughter as he moodily stared at her, noting with irritation the distracting slender curves of her white throat and her flaxen hair glinting in the sun. Troublesome woman! He would have noticed if he hadn't been so…so… preoccupied.

'Has the evil ink defeated the greatest genius of them all?' she asked lightly, wiping tears off her cheeks. He sighed and applied his sleeve to his face again. From the look on her face, he had only made matters worse, and he gave up.

'Given up already? Here, let me do it cry-baby,' Temari said teasingly, dipping a handkerchief in the lake and grabbing hold of his chin before he could dodge. Startled, he let her attempt to remove the remaining ravages of his moustache, while rubbing his face red-raw in the process.

And although he tried to be annoyed at her as she laughed at him and treated him like a child, Shikamaru could only think of how pleasantly warm her calloused fingers were on his skin, and how he wished that he had the courage to wrap his arms tightly around her and ask her never to let go.


I love these two people :)