A/N: Ok, so this is pretty much my first venture into fanfiction fingers crossed. Read and review please. Critique is much appreciated.

Punch-Drunk Love


Temari awoke to the dreary lull of rainfall and the sounds of soft, barely audible breathing. Her head was throbbing painfully and her muscles seemed taut for some inexplicable reason. Grey light filtered in through a small window revealing to her an unfamiliar room. Glancing around the barren room she noticed a jumbled pile of clothes strewn across the carpet. Memories from the night before were scarce, but she knew two thing that were most definitely the root of her current situation: alcohol and the dishevelled looking mass of tangled hair peeking out from under the covers beside her. Scowling, Temari pulled back the blanket to reveal a rather startling sight. Shikamaru Nara lay beside her in the small bed, his hair was down and his clothes, like hers, were taking up residence on the floor of his room. A faint blush coloured Temari's cheeks as she put two and two together.

It just couldn't be possible, her mind screamed. That he..that he and I.. But she knew that it was true as the events of the previous night slowly came back to her.

The Chunin exams had finished yet again, making it the third consecutive year that Temari and Shikamaru had worked together towards making the exams a success. They were both exhausted and more than a little cranky (mostly on Temari's part), now that the hours of endless preparation and paperwork had finally payed off. Tsunade had been a long time observer of the pair. They had always seemed to have an affinity for each other, ever since the days of their own Chunin exam and the battles that followed. It was no coincidence that Tsunade had always paired them together on assignments. They worked well together and despite their constant banter, they seemed to genuinely enjoy each other's company. She was a "troublesome woman" as he put it and was on par with his own mother in that respect. He was a "lazy crybaby" in her eyes, someone who would be capable of so much more if he only had the will to get his head out of the clouds. But such was not the case. The lazy genius stayed set in his ways year after year and the fiery Kunoichi in turn remained set in hers. But not everything remained the same between them. There was a subtle difference after her tenth visit to Konoha. Shikamaru no longer seemed to complain about her presence quit as much as he once had. They would be seen walking together throughout Konoha on ordinary days when neither of them had any "official obligations". Although they both outright denied any claim to a relationship, the subtle, barely noticeable looks they sometimes shared told otherwise. Temari knew deep down that somewhere in her heart she had feelings for him, however faint these feelings were and no matter how hard she tried to suppress them. Temari was currently feeling rather uncomfortable as she sat in her seat, watching Tsunade consume rather large amounts of liqueur at what she had classified as a "celebration among friends to conclude another successful Chunin exam", but what Temari knew was really just a nice excuse for Tsunade to get rip-roaring drunk. Tsunade was not the only one, much to Temari's chagrin. She noticed that Rock Lee and Maito Guy had drank their fair share, as they were currently trying to challenge everyone who would listen to a fifty lap race around Konoha, with much zeal and more that a few slurred words. Temari herself had had a few drinks that night, with more than a little prodding from Tsunade of course. She was starting to notice the effects of the drink as she felt a soft chuckle bubble up from her throat while she observed a rather put out Sakura reprimanding a drunken, rowdy Naruto.

"Having fun?",a voice drawled from behind her.

Temari whirled around to see none other than the lazy ninja himself staring back at her with a suspicious glint in his eye.

"Humph, crybaby" she acknowledged him with mild contempt.

"You know that's starting to get a little old after all these years, woman" Shikamaru muttered, averting his eyes from Temari when he suddenly became aware of the distinctly low-cut neckline of her kimono and the undeniable heat that slowly fanned his cheeks as his eyes tried not to wander. Shikamaru edged away from her a little bit as he realized how close they had been standing. An awkward silence ensued between them. Shikamaru felt the woman's calculating gaze analysing him.

"Are you drunk?" she finally questioned, a hint of amusement in her voice and a tiny smile tugging at the corners of her lips.

Shikamaru glanced back at her, about to deny her question when instead he muttered "just a little."

Temari tried to suppress a chuckle, but to no avail. It wasn't everyday that she saw the ever so bored and unenthusiastic Nara Shikamaru lose his cool. A lazy grin spread across Shikamaru's face as he took note of her amusement. Temari's laughter died down as she locked eyes with Shikamaru, noticing the lazy smile and the way his eyes had softened considerably as he gazed at her.

"Wh...what's with you?" she asked warily, feeling a slight blush creep across her cheeks at the look he was giving her.

"Nothing" was his muttered response. Another awkward silence occurred between them as he seemed to consider her for a moment.

"Just thinking about the first time we met at the Chunin exams" Shikamaru mused quietly, "If I had known how troublesome you would turn out to be I would have never

even gone to that match or accepted the position as your guide" he chuckled thoughtfully, hands going into his classic thinking position.

This remark received a cold glare from Temari.

"Is that really what you think of me?" she whispered, just loud enough so he could hear. Shikamaru's eyes widened ever so slightly at the unmistakable sound of hurt in Temari's voice. He opened his mouth to speak but was cut off.

"Do you really wish we had never met? Am I that much of a burden to you?" Her voice rose in anger, "I thought we were friends Shikamaru!"

Her outburst had caused many eyes in the room to turn to them. They were both however, blissfully unaware of the attention they were receiving. Still in his thinking pose, Shikamaru opened one eye to peek at the angry blonde who was glaring back at him. Bemused, he chuckled softly. The drink was definitely getting to him.

"Friends, Temari?" he was looking at her with that glint in his eyes again. "I don't think that's possible. Not anymore".

Temari felt her anger increase tenfold. How dare he! She fumed inside. How can he act like this, disregarding all the years she had been a part of his life? Temari opened her mouth to speak but was cut off by the feel of soft lips pressed against her own. Temari's eyes widened so much she felt like they would pop out of her skull. Shikamaru was kissing her. Hell had officially frozen over. Blinking several times she felt her heart beat increase and her body subconsciously responding to the kiss. Her eyes fluttered closed as her heart pounded in her ears. It took Temari a few seconds to realize that she was kissing him back, her small hand gripping the front of his shirt for dear life, as if she let go he would disappear or the moment would reveal itself to be nothing more that an alcohol induced fantasy. His arms encircled her and the kiss deepened. Temari was on fire. She couldn't stand it. They broke this kiss, gasping for air. The room had grown suspiciously quiet, but neither one of them was aware of the fact that every single eye in the room was staring at them and that several jaws had dropped to the floor.

Hatake Kakashi whistled, reflecting the sentiments of almost everyone in the room. Tsunade smirked, casting her eyes to her assistant Shizune.

"Looks like I've finally won something. Pay up Shizune." The other woman sighed, taking out her wallet.

Temari, still unaware of the attention they had garnered, tugged lightly at Shikamaru's sleeve. He looked down at her, cheeks a little pink and eyes a little dazed. She looked up imploringly, as if demanding an explanation, either that or demanding that he continue, Shikamaru wasn't sure which.She made it easy for him to figure out as she roughly pulled him down into another kiss. It was so like her, forceful, rash and unapologetic. He smirked through the kiss as he felt her small hands sneaking their way under the hem of his shirt. He caught her hands in his own, breaking the kiss and bringing her back to her senses. Temari gaped at him, wide eyed and a little irritated that he had stopped her.

"Temari..." his voice was rough, like gravel. It sent a shudder through her as she recognized all of the want in that one word. All of his feelings for her were completely revealed by just saying her name.

"That's why we can't just be friends anymore" Shikamaru murmured, averting his eyes from the woman before him.

"Che..idiot" Temari smirked, "You could have just told me. Why the hell did you wait so long?"

Grinning back at her, Shikamaru stepped a little closer, leaning down to whisper in her ear so that know one else could hear, he murmured "I think we should continue this elsewhere" receiving a blush from Temari which was quickly covered up by a defiant scowl as she cast a glance around the room, noticing that they were being quietly observed by several rather amused eyes. Roughly, she grabbed Shikamaru's arm, leading him out of the room and into the fresh air of the night. They both blushed furiously at the sound of hoots and catcalls from within the room, one of which was done unmistakably by one Uzumaki Naruto.

Shikamaru lead her through the streets of Konoha in companionable silence. Neither needed to speak to know where they stood with the other at the moment, as Temari's hand gripped Shikamaru's arm a little harder and he looked down at her blushing face with a sly smirk. They had reached his apartment. Temari had never actually been inside, but she could only imagine how messy it might be, what with his laziness and the fact that he no longer had his parents to clean up after him. She felt the effects of the alcohol still lingering as she stumbled slightly on the threshold. Temari was surprised to see that the inside of Shikamaru's apartment was fairly bare. It didn't look very lived in and he didn't seem to have many possessions other than some furniture and the basics like pots and pans in the kitchen and other necessities. It made her kind of sad for some reason. She blamed the alcohol for her sudden sentimentality, but she couldn't help but feel that his house seemed a little lonely. As Temari stood there in Shikamaru's apartment she felt oddly vulnerable. She knew that he wanted her and she knew that she wouldn't be here if she didn't share those feelings too.

"We can call it a night now if you want" Shikamaru's voice cut through the silence. He had obviously noticed her apprehension."I don't–

"No",Temari cut him off with a determined look in her eyes.

"Do you think I would be hear if I hadn't already made up my mind?" smirking confidently, Temari grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and pulled him along to the door that opened to his room. Pushing it open she gasped as he escaped her grasp, slipping his arms around her and trailing soft kisses down her neck. A sigh escaped her lips as she felt his calloused hands slowly sliding her shirt up to reveal bare skin. Experimentally he trailed a hand across her abdomen, eliciting a strained whimper. She glared up at him, visibly annoyed that he had this kind of affect on her. With a soft "humph" Temari pushed Shikamaru back onto his bed with a wicked smirk forming on her features. There was no way she would lose to him. With a soft click, Temari pulled the door shut and moved towards the small bed.

Sitting in Shikamaru's bed, Temari's thought's continued to run over the events of the previous night. Even though her head pounded from the slight hangover, she felt undeniably calm and at peace for someone who had woken up naked next to one of their best friends. Her eyes drifted to Shikamaru lying beside her. She couldn't help the smile that spread across her features at the sight of his unkept hair and unguarded expression. Sighing happily she leaned a little closer to him only to gasp in surprise as his hand enclosed her wrist, pulling her into his embrace.

"Shikamaru!" she scolded him, startled and wondering how long he had been feigning sleep. A muffled chuckle sounded from Shikamaru as he buried his head in the crook of her neck. Blinking several times, Temari stirred slightly in his embrace, causing Shikamaru to glance up at her. His eyes were softer than she had ever seen them.

"What does this mean?" she questioned finally, voice a little unsteady.

Raising a brow, Shikamaru sighed in exasperation.

"Do you really need me to say it?" he drawled. "I thought I made it pretty clear last night don't you?"

That caused the heat to rush to Temari's cheeks a little as she recalled just how clear they had both made it. She glared at him stubbornly, eyes imploring him to say what she wanted to hear. Shikamaru muttered inaudibly under his breath, cheeks tinged ever so slightly.

"I didn't quite catch that", purred the sly blonde, rejoicing in his discomfort. With a sigh Shikamaru relented.

"Fine. If you really don't know already, I may be in love you" Shikamaru sighed again, glancing back at Temari to see that all too familiar wide grin on her face that just spelled trouble.

"Troublesome woman" he muttered quietly as an afterthought. And he knew, as he pulled her back into his arms with little resistence and slowly let sleep take over him, that he had landed the most troublesome woman of all. And he couldn't be happier about it.