Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto

A/N: I know, with 3 fics in-progress, probably not a good idea to start a new one… but what can I say? Variety is the spice of life… plus it was always my intention to have four one-shot collections up at once… (NaruSaku is next XP)

I wasn't planning on staring this collection for a while, but I was inspired to "continue" an underlining theme from "MYSTERIOUS VALENTINE," my latest shot in 1S:NxT…

So enjoy my 3rd favorite Naruto pairing… and forget about complaining that it's too short! (although it is almost 2000 words). I only gave myself an hour to write it and this is what came out.


"Troublesome." Shikamaru mumbled under his breath as he kicked a pebble in front of him, while walking toward the Hokage tower.

Moments earlier his father had asked him to deliver a package to the tower; just now, Shikamaru realized he had forgotten to ask who the box was to be delivered to. It didn't matter though; he had more pressing issues to concern himself with. Besides, he was certain he'd be able to figure out who the contents of the plain brown box were meant for when he got there; they didn't call him a genius for nothing.

"Troublesome Ino." Shikamaru muttered.

It was all the blond kunoichi's fault, after all. In fact, he wouldn't have even been caught up in this bothersome errand if she hadn't bailed on him. But what did he expect? He should have known better than to count on her. True, they were friends and teammates; they practically grew up together, what with their father's being best friends. Still, Shikamaru couldn't help but blame the gossiping Yamanaka and her eternal need to meddle in other people's affairs, for his present problem. He had actually been counting on her incessant nosiness to motivate her to help him with his current dilemma, but he never could have guessed that bigger gossip would have suddenly distracted her; leaving him deserted.

"Troublesome Ino." Shikamaru repeated, dragging his feet as he continued his slow walk to the tower. "Serves her right if Hyuga ends up killing her!" he mumbled, as he remembered his warning to the kunoichi about her current, self-imposed 'mission'.

Shikamaru was certain that if Tenten allowed the blond to live through the previous night's offence, Neji would certainly not be as forgiving. Shikamaru had tried to warn her to butt out; but that girl just did not know how to listen. It would be her own fault if anything happened; karma for flaking out on him.

It's not like I really need her though. Shikamaru told himself, as gripped the small box tighter in his left hand.

He had considered asking Choji for his help with the matter, but realized it would have been useless considering, what he needed, was a female perspective. Problem was, Shikamaru found the majority of the female population troublesome, including all those that he was acquainted with. But finding himself in such a desperate situation, Shikamaru was more than willing to deal with whatever troublesome girl he could find to help him out. Unfortunately, beside his own mother, there really weren't that many females he knew that well. There was, of course, Sakura, who wasn't all that different from Ino, as far as Shikamaru was concerned. She would have made an excellent substitute for the blond, if not for the fact that the pink-haired medic was current engrossed in the same idiotic scheme as Ino, so she was definitely out of the question. Besides, Shikamaru wasn't so sure he could put up with another Ino.

Then there was Hinata. She was a lot less annoying than the other two kunoichi of the rookie nine, but with her immobilizing shyness, Shikamaru doubted the Hyuga heiress would be of very much help; she'd probably be too passive to give any sort of opinion on anything anyway. The only other alternative was Tenten, who was probably the most logical choice for this sort of thing.

Tenten was different from the other three, and much more suitable in tastes and character to provide him with the most useful help anyway. The only problem was, she already had a lot on her plate at the moment. Of course, it was likely she would have helped anyway since she was, as yet, unaware of the current situation Ino and Sakura were developing for her. But still, unlike those two, Shikamaru had no intention of incurring the Hyuga's wrath upon himself by defying Neji's warning to mind their own business.

"Idiots!" Shikamaru scoffed as he thought of the trouble those two (and which ever of the guys they managed to dope into going along with their ploy) would inevitably face.

"ffh… aaaaaagh!" Shikamaru agitatedly rubbed his head with his one free hand as he tried to scan his brain for a solution to his problem.

Think Brain! He was beginning to grow frustrated with the whole situation. No matter what he came up with, nothing seemed right.

"Hmph." Suddenly the lazy shinobi plopped himself down right where he stood. Placing the small paper box directly in front of him, he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply; trying to calm himself and settle his restless mind. Bringing both hands together, in the form of a square made by his fingers, Shikamaru assuming his habitual thinking pose.

Flowers? Shikamaru thought. Too cliché. Plus, he reasoned he would have to see Ino at the flower shop, and chances were she and Sakura had already managed to get themselves into some kind of trouble. He didn't much feel like having them nag him into helping them get out of their problem; not when he needed help out of his problem.

Candy? He remembered that Ino and Hinata had been very happy to receive the chocolate filled, heart shaped boxes that Lee had presented them with the pervious night, but Shikamaru didn't think chocolate was the right idea. Plus, he wouldn't even know which kind to chose.

Jewelry? Lee had also given Sakura a small necklace, but Shikamaru dismissed the idea of jewelry quickly. It seemed much too sentimental. This was all still fairly new territory, and he didn't think jewelry was appropriate quite yet.

This is getting me nowhere! Shikamaru tightened his eyes in exasperation. Even though he had played out a hundred different scenarios and ideas, he couldn't seem to find something that would actually work. It was really starting to get on his nerves; and only further proved his point that all women were troublesome.

Think Brain! Shikamaru once more demanded.

THUNK. A forceful weight pushed him from behind, sending him crashing into the floor in front of him; resulting in him landing on top of the paper box his father had entrusted to him.

"What the - ?" Shikamaru lifted himself and the crushed box off the ground, turning with speed uncharacteristic to the lazy shinobi. "What's the big idea?" he demanded as he turned to face whoever had just kicked him.

"What kind of moron takes a seat in the middle of a crowded street?" asked a familiar blond sand ninja; a challenging smirk on her face.

Shikamaru was surprised to see the sand siblings standing in front of him. Taking in the kunoichi's words, Shikamaru realized for the first time exact where it was he had decided to take his strategizing pose. He had been so lost in his own thoughts that he had completely blocked out everything, even failing to realize that he had sat down in one of the busiest streets in the village.

"What do you care where I chose to sit?" Shikamaru replied defiantly, after he regained his composure.

"I don't." Temari retorted, falling back into their usual routine of bickering.

"Hey look Temari," Kankuro interrupted, "You made him break his little box." He pointed at the crushed box in the leaf ninja's hand. "Hope it wasn't anything important."

"Oh great!" Shikamaru irritatedly moaned, as if just noticing the object in his hand. The lazy Nara pulled the box up to his face to examine the damage caused.

"Let me see." Temari snatched the tattered box out of his hand, tearing it apart to look at the condition of it's contents. GASP. Temari flinched, before turning up face the lazy-nin. Taking a few steps closer to the younger shinobi, she leaned in and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. "Thank you Shika-kun." She smiled gratefully.

"Y-you're welcome." Shikamaru answered, too stunned to do anything else. He wasn't quite sure where that had come from; that is, until he looked down at the kunoichi's hands and realized she was holding a stuffed toy deer with a big red ribbon on it.

What the hell? Shikamaru wondered as he saw the stuffed animal.

"To Temari-chan, Happy Valentine's Day. Love Shikamaru." Kankuro read the paper tag attached to the ribbon. "'Love' aye?" Kankuro smirked teasingly.

Shikamaru immediate went red in the face. He was certainly grateful that his father had given him the solution to his problem, but did he have to go and embarrass me at the same time? He inwardly groaned, seeing the mocking look on Kankuro's face. He was pretty sure even the silent Kazekage had a slight look of amusement in his eyes. But at least Temari looked happy as she hugged the stuffed deer close to her.

What a drag. Shikamaru began walking off toward the Hokage tower, knowing that was the direction the three sand ninja were headed to. But at least she didn't find out I forgot


A/N: Okay, so it took a little under two hours… that's still pretty quick by my standards. Furthermore, I avoided the footnotes (though I had been tempted to use a few) and I managed to keep my objective of making this a little vague until the very end. Didn't want to make it too obvious what he was stressing about until Temari actually showed up. Anyway, that's my first attempt at a ShikaTem… well technically my second attempt… my first attempt was in Soraoi, but that one turned more into a GaaraOC than a ShikaTem… so this is the "real first"… XP

In the future I'll probably have more fluff in them, but for now, this will work.

I will be completely upfront with you now… don't even bother with the "update soon," because it isn't going to happen… simply stated, as much as I love ShikaTem (which I do, just like I love KibaHina and NaruSaku)… they don't even come within an iota of a fraction of my love for NejiTen… so all these other collections will likely be secondary (as in, if I update once a month, that would be a lot… come to think of it… haven't updated my KibaHina collection in OVER a month… yikes!)

This is basically my first real attempt at writing this pair, so I could probably use the feedback… Please REVIEW. XD