I found a saying that I thought suited Shikamaru so I wrote this fic.

'You don't love a woman because she is beautiful. She's beautiful because you love her.' –Anonymous.


"I want to marry a girl who's not to ugly but not too pretty. We'll have a daughter first, then a son. I'll retire once the girl gets married and I'm going to be an average shinobi." Shikamaru sighed.

"Shikamaru, you can't be serious!" His long time friend Reiko protested.

She shook her head, laughing at the boy. She then sighed and stared up at the clouds. He didn't look away from the clouds. He was enjoying himself until she had decided to join him. It had been peaceful, quiet. Somehow, their conversation led them to their future hopes and dreams. Reiko hadn't shared her hopes or dreams and deliberately dodged any questions about it. She gave blunt answers like 'If I grow that old!' or 'Never really thought about it.'

"I never said I wasn't."

"You're only sixteen! You have a lifetime to make up your mind!"

"It's better to have everything planned out." He said.

"You can't say who you would fall in love with! Besides the girl you do fall for will be the most 'troublesome'girl you know!" She said. "And you can't decide whether or not she'll be pretty, Shika! You don't love a woman because she is beautiful. She's beautiful because you love her."

Shikamaru looked up from his clouds. The thought of him stuck to Ino or Sakura sent shivers down his spine. Tenten was okay but the two of them never spoke. It was so obvious that Hinata liked Naruto it was so troublesom that Naruto hadn't noticed yet. There was no hope for Konoha if he became Hokage yet he still didn't know why Hinata always blushed around him. But all of the girls in Konoha… They were troublesome. The most troublesome he knew… Besides, well… her. She was the definition of the word troublesome.

"I don't think so."

Reiko sighed. She sat up. She looked at Shikamaru skeptically. Shaking her head she got to her feet. He didn't move an inch. He wanted to relax and she was interupting the only time he's had in a week to watch the clouds. He sighed as she grinned down at him. The she leaned close to his head, not even bothering to move her hair back as it brushed against his face. He didn't mind. He just wanted her to leave him alone, even if she was his best friend, who just happened to be a girl.

"Temari's in town." Reiko said. "Want to come see her?"

"Why? She's too troublesome."

"Shika, please?" Reiko asked.

"I don't want to."

Reiko smirked. She started to walk off, sadly. Her shoulders drooped and her head hung low as she shuffled away from the shadow weilding shinobi. He watched her as she sadly walked away. Then he sighed and got to his feet. He followed after her, sighing but he knew Reiko meant for the best. After all, she knew about his crush on Temari, one that even he didn't even know too much about. She waited for him to catch up to her. He scowled at her but she pretended not to notice.

"I'm only doing this so you don't cry." He told her.

"Shika, I haven't cried for a long time and I won't. Especially over something so stupid."

"But you-!"

He sighed. She watched as he shook his head. Sighing she looked back ahead. She knew that the fellow comrade at her side liked Temari. He always tried to look cool in front of her. Despite his efforts Temari had lovingly nicknamed him 'Crybaby.'As much as he liked Temari he hated her nicknames for him. Naruto and Kiba loved to tease him with them and mock him whenever they see him with the fan mistress. She laughed along with them at his expense.

Reiko also knew that Temari liked the shadow user at her side. Though Temari had made her swear she would never tell a soul about how she felt on penaty that Temari would kill her in her sleep. Reiko doubted that Temari would do it but she swore nonetheless. Temari always acted so tough around him. Well, she was tough all the time so she acted even tougher than usual. Shikamaru might not have noticed it because he was normally only around Temari when he was alone or with someone Temari wasn't so tough on.

They looked up. Temari was standing at the gates. The guards were giving her a hard time. Reiko winced when she heard Temari yelling. They must have done something to make her mad. It didn't take much but when she got mad she got really mad! But then Temari spotted the two Konoha shinobi. She calmed down a degree and smiled at the two. She waved, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. Reiko smiled and waved back. Shikamaru gavea lazy wave of the hand.

"Temari, calm down! It's a surprise that Gaara doesn't hear you all the way back in Suna." Reiko joked.

"Not going to happen!" Temari assured the girl.

Reiko sent her a confused look, not understanding what the fan mistress was talking about. Temari merely smirked.

"That's because I'm not in Suna." A voice said in her ear.

Reiko stiffened. Slowly she turned to look at the person. Gaara was right behind her. She smiled.

"Reiko, I want you to escort me to the Hokage's office." Gaara ordered.

Reiko sent a look at Temari and Shikamaru. Temari merely waved her off. Shikamaru on the other hand didn't want her to go but he didn't say anything. He didn't want Temari to call him another name because he was complaining again. It annoyed him to no end when she would call him names. However if Reiko left it meant he was left alone with Temari. The girl merely nodded. But he said nothing.

He watched as Reiko walked off with Gaara. He looked at Temari slowly. She wore her black kimono with the red sash. Her fan was missing. He shook his head. He should've known he was going to get stuck babysitting the older girl. But she could take care of herself but if his father found out he left a woman on her own he would yell at him. A lecture wasn't something he wanted so he stayed. Besides he did actually want to be near the sand mistress.

"Looks like you're my escort for the day, Crybaby."

"Troublesome."

"Why do you always call me that?" Temari demanded, heatedly.

"I don't just call you that. I call everything that." He corrected.

He started to walk away. Temari followed him. When they were about halfway down the street she looked at him. People were watching them. He sighed. He hated it when people couldn't mind their own business. It wasn't like his life was any of their concern anyways. Yet the people just stood there watching the two of them as if they were the most exciting thing they ever saw before. Temari seemed not to notice the attention they were getting.

"Let's go somewhere. I'm hungry."

He said nothing as she dragged him into a small restaurant. The waitress looked at them sweetly. She smiled. Shikamaru sighed. He knew what it looked like. It looked like a date for the two of them. The look on the waitress' face clearly said that she thought just that. He was annoyed but it was too troublesome to go and correct her for something like that so he didn't. That and he didn't want to embarrass Temari in front of anyone.

"Can I get the two of you anything to drink?"

"Water." They said in unison.

They looked at each other mildly surprised. The waitress merely smiled. She went back in the back. When she got back neither Temari nor Shikamaru were looking at each other. Though there was an evident blush on both of their cheeks. The waitress gave a laugh and both of them attempted to glare at her. Neither of them were threatening in the slightest. The waitress wasn't cowed by their 'dark' looks. She smiled once more.

"What can I get you to eat?" The waitress asked.

They looked at each other warily. They both didn't want to speak at the same time again. Once was more than enough for that. Shikamaru merely waved his hand as if allowing Temari to go first. She nodded once and sighed. She then looked back at the waitress. Her impassive expression was back on her face as she stared down the waitress.

"Dumplings." Temari said simply.

"I'll have Miso soup."

"Alright. Your food will be up shortly." The waitress said.

She hurried back to the back to give the chef the order. Shikamaru looked at Temari. Her hair was covered in sand. She didn't seem to notice. She didn't notice he was staring at her eyes. They were such a deep blue. It reminded him of the sky when there were no clouds. He was surprised the sky didn't turn green from envy. Her eyes were completely mesmerizing and he felt like if he stared at them any longer he'd get lost so he quickly looked away.

Temariwas watching a couple next to them. The boyfriend gave the girl his chopsticks when hers fell to the floor. He kissed her cheek and she giggled. The two of them blushed when their hands brushed in the middle of the table and then they decided to hold hands instead of letting go of the other. Part of her wanted to scream at them for making their love a public display but another part of her sighed thinking of how nice it would be.

She was a girl so it should be expected that she wanted a guy to loveher. It's just that there were too many jerks and she didn't know who to or who not to trust. People tried to worm their way into her heart and into her life just because she knew Gaara as a sister and they wanted Gaara's power or a portion of his power. She looked at Shikamaru. She could trust him. He was too much of a gentleman to try anything on her or if he did she knew how to beat him.

Shikamaru's heart started to beat fast as Temari looked at him, intently with those blue eyes of hers. He stared back at her, impassively but deeply intrigued by her. He wanted to bolt but he wouldn't let his pride suffer like that. Besides, he was a genius. He could figure out what made the blonde drive him insane every time she was in town. But she was a genius too. Perhaps she already knew but he wouldn't dare ask her in fear of embarrassment.

He thought through every conversation they had held together. At first they merely held a neutral friendship. Then there was the Sasuke retrieval mission. She had come after him. Why? She could've helped Kiba or even Lee if she wanted to but she came to his rescue. Sure Gaara was making up with Lee in his own way but she could have gone to save Kiba. Kankuro didn't know Kiba at all so why didn't Kankuro go after him?

She stayed with him in the hospital when he feared Chouji would die. And she didn't mock him when his father was giving him another lecture. She let him cry and she said nothing about it until later when she was sure Chouji was okay and that he'd survive. Kankuro dropped Kiba off at the hospital and Gaara was rushing Reiko to the hospital in Suna, because it was closer than Konoha's hospital and she was in a critical condition.

Then there was the fact that she teased him constantly. That and he just let her tease him. Why would he let her?

Then he got up extra early just so he could walk her to the gates the day Gaara was kidnapped. He hated getting up early. So naturally he just blamed it on a mission. Was it really the mission that made him get up? Or did part of him really want to walk the blonde girl to the gates? He was slightly depressed when she left but that had to have been because he had to write a mission report, right? Those things were a complete and total drag.

He smiled more around her. Even Ino and Chouji seemed to notice that fact. They teased him about it whenever they coudl. But then there were the times he compared her to his own mother. He had asked his father for advice about women. Shikamaru froze. Realization hit him like a ton of bricks.

He loved her.

Reiko was right. Temari was the most troublesome woman he knew and yet he only had eyes for her. He never remembered Ino or Sakura always being there for him when he needed someone. It was always Temari. Sure, Reiko had been there from time to time but when he really needed someone Temari was there. That and Reiko loved Gaara but Gaara was clueless about love. He really pitied her some times.

"Are you okay, Crybaby?" Temari asked breaking the silence.

"Yeah, just fine." Shikamaru said.

"I thought you were falling asleep on me." Temari said.

"No. Just thinking."

"About…?" She asked waiting for an answer.

"Nothing too serious."

Temari was just about to press him even more when the waitress brought out their food and drink. She smiled at the woman and dug in. Shikamaru was a bit slower than the girl across him. He was still processing the information he knew. His only question was did she love him back or was he just a toy to amuse her? How was he supposed to go about this without informing her that he loved her?

"So… Temari, how are things in Suna?" He asked.

"Slow. There's nothing going on! When Gaara offered me the chance to get out of Suna I practically jumped at the idea." Temari admitted.

"We've been rather busy here in Konoha."

"How unfair that a crybaby like you would get more missions than I would."

"Maybe I should get Ino and Sakura over here so you could have a girl's day out. You can talk about whatever you girls talk about." He said.

"What do girls talk about Mr. Crybaby?" Temari asked heatedly.

"Boys, make up-"

Temari started to laugh. Shikamaru merely watched her. It took a lot not to smirk but he managed to keep his normal impassive face. This was going better than he thought if she was going to say what he thought she would. She didn't know he was weeding the information out of her very easily, just leading her on so he could get the information he needed. Once he got what he needed he'd act from there.

"As if I'm interested in any of that!" She laughed.

Perfect.

"So there's no guy in Suna that attracts your attention?" He asked.

"As if! They're pigs. They only want to date me because it'll get on Gaara's good graces since I'm his sister and all that bull."

"Anyone in Konoha?"

"Why are you so interested?" Temari asked.

Shikamaru kept his cool, though his plan just went down the toilet. He hadn't expected her to get curious. He expected her to get more angry than she was. After all with her temper he should considered it. Curiousity and defensiveness were on his list but he hadn't planned on those. He started to sweat a little.

"Well?"

"I'm not. I'm just trying to make polite conversation."

"Yeah, well… Forget you! I don't need your polite conversation."

She didn't know why but when Shikamaru said he didn't care it felt like someone had lodged a kunai in her chest and was trying to rip it out. She wanted to scream even more but she just slammed her fist down on the table and stalked out of the restaurant. Shikamaru didn't follow her. She didn't really know why that bothered her as much as it did. But it did all the same. Tears welled up in her eyes.

"What do I care?" She asked herself.

She stalked down the street ignoring the looks she received and glaring at anyone who looked at her funny. She wanted to just forget Shikamaru but even the clouds looked like his head. Growling she huffed over to the Tsuyoi compound. Reiko wouldn't mind if Temari slept over, in fact the girl welcomed them into her house at anytime.

A man grabbed Temari's wrist. He pulled her into an exceptionally dark alley. He shoved her against the wall, as she was about to scream curses at him. Her cry only came out as a hiss. Now she was just livid. She kicked him in the family jewels. He merely scowled and pulled her closer. She could smell the sake on his breath.

"I know you…" He said slurred.

"Let me go or else you'll regret it." She hissed.

"You're the Kazekage's whore sister!"

Temari's eyes went wide with rage. She brought her fist back to punch the man but someone beat her to it. The man was sent sprawling. She looked up to see Shikamaru standing over her. There was blood on his knuckles from where he punched the man. She blinked in surprise. He was shaking with rage. There was a strange look on his face that she had never seen on him before but there it was.

"You will never touch Temari!" He yelled. "Now take back what you said."

"Why should I?" The man asked cockily.

The shadows crept towards the man. They started to coil all around his body. The man gasped and struggled to get them off him. Shikamaru merely watched. There was a dark angry look in his eyes. Shikamaru grabbed Temari's hand. Her mind was numb. Her hand fit perfectly against his, as if they were actually missing pieces to a long gone puzzle.

He pulled her close to him, protecting her. She looked at him surprised. Shikamaru's face was in deep concentration. He wore a serious expression. She was amazed to see him trying to protect her. Part of her wanted to rebel, yelling she didn't need saving, that she was fine, but another part wanted to see how it was going to turn out. That part liked being in his arms. She felt safe there, like she didn't have to act tough and she could stop pretending to be so tough and cold to the world.

"Fuck, I'm sorry!" The man yelled. "I'm sorry! I don't mean anything I say!"

The shadows tossed him away from them. Temari blinked. Shikamaru's arm was wrapped around her waist. He seemed not to notice.

"Temari, I know what you're going to say but I just wanted-"

"Why'd you help me?" Temari demanded.

"Because I love you." Shikamaru said.

Temari's eyes went wide, even more so when his lips met hers. Her world froze if just for that moment. He tasted like vanilla and mint. When he pulled back he held her tightly against his chest. Temari's fingers drifted to her lips. They tingled as she touched them. Her mind was reeling, trying to keep up with what just happened but her mind seemed to be overloaded. She couldn't help but smile.

He had kissed her.

She was even more surprised that she had enjoyed it. She looked at Shikamaru surprised.

"You probably never want to see me again." Shikamaru said, as he was about to let her go.

Temari grabbed his face and pulled him in for another kiss. He smirked into it. He pulled back after a few minutes he held Temari even closer to him. She clung to him, not wanting to let go.

"Reiko was right."

"About what?" Temari asked.

"You don't love a woman because she is beautiful. She's beautiful because you love her." Shikamaru said quoting the other girl.

Temari smirked.


How was that? I'm not sure of how well I got Temari. Correct me if I'm wrong, please?