Chapter Six


I can't believe I agreed to this. Why in god's name did I agree to this? I mean, I could've pulled the it's my birthday and I'll do damn well what I please card. Or I could've pulled out the I'm going to beat you to a bloody pulp card. Hell, even the puppy-dog pout would've worked on them. Well shit. Way to go, Temari.

"Te-mari!" Ino called from outside as she began knocking on my door. Well, technically the door to her dormroom. I mean, I was just using it to get ready for my d-da-fuck this. Completely unwanted and forced meeting with Nara over dinner and a movie.

"I'm getting dressed, I-" I began, the lie coming out as easy as pie. I mean really, she'd be all pissed at me for not matching my earrings and shoes or something equally ridiculous. Well, it was more of a half-lie. I mean, I still had to put on my left shoe.

"Nuh-uh. You are not leaving for your da-ate without my stamp of approval." she said definitively as she opened the door and walked in, hands on her hips like a disapproving mother.

"Oh yeah, I totally forgot! I mean, I wouldn't want to leave with a sweater from last season on!" I exclaimed sarcastically as I brought my hands to my cheeks dramatically.

"Laugh all you want Temari but you'll be thanking me later!" she said knowingly as she began walking around me, examining every inch of my clothing. I have to say, I felt like one of those poor gazelles on Animal Planet as Ino, the lioness in this little scenario, circled me and looked ready to go for the kill.

"Cute jeans but that top looks like it's for a thirteen year-old. I mean, really? Graphic tees were in five years ago. How about something a little more...fun?" she asked as she rummaged through her closet, pulling out a few tops that looked like they came straight from the runway.

"You know, I'm really fine with what I have. Besides, if I rip one of your shirts trying to get it on I'm pretty sure you'd shoot me or something." I joked as I took in the tight tank top she'd pulled from a drawer.

"Oh please, Temari. You may be a little bit more filled out than me, no offense because I'd totally kill for your curves, but you're like really fit so you'll fit just fine in my tops. Besides, these are all from last season." she assured me as she looked from the top she was holding to me and back again.

"Erm, right. Thanks? So when are Hinata, Sakura, and Tenten coming?" I asked hurriedly as I glanced at the clock. 5:34.

"Oh they'll be here soon. Besides you still have T-minus, like, an hour until Shikamaru shows up. Well, probably a little more than that since he's practically chronically late." she joked as she began tossing shirts at me and motioning for me to try them on.

"Right-o. I'll just change in the bathroom." I said as I grabbed the five or so tops and hurried into the bathroom. I'd just gotten the first one on when I heard the unmistakable sound of Sakura's voice. She was practically screaming as she began telling Hinata, who I hadn't even heard come in, about some history test that she'd "nearly failed". Willing to bet the overachiever got a ninety percent or something. Yeah, best take my time changing, don't want to deal with Pinky when she's in freak-out mode. Maybe I can get Shikamaru to bring her one of those frappes, those always calm her nerves.

"Temari, you've been in there for six minutes! If you don't come out by the count of three I'm sending Tenten to kendo your ass!" Ino hollered from outside the door, probably only half-joking. I mean, she's threatened worse and carried out with it. Heck, one time she made Shikamaru watch a marathon of Project Runway with her simply because he forgot to meet up with her for another one of her "shopping excursions", AKA: blowing all her daddy's money on Prada purses and Gucci glasses. She's sweet but she can definitely hold a hell of a grudge.

"Yeah, yeah." I sighed as I played with the hem of the shirt that probably cost as much as three pairs of my best jeans. Don't get me wrong, I spent money like crazy when I used to get mad at my dad. However, I was never a shopping-obsessed whiny teenager. I just preferred to get my brothers to mess with his computer and delete a few files as revenge. I sighed and turned the knob, wincing as I saw their shocked expressions. At times like these, I totally wish I had looked at myself in the mirror before coming out and looking like a complete fool.

"You know, maybe this one isn't for me. I should just go change back into my ol-" I began hurriedly as I turned back around to change again.

"Hold it right there, Temari. You change back into that godawful t-shirt and I will personally see to it that Sasuke burns it, you know how he likes fire. You are going to wear that top tonight even if I have to hold a gun to your head." Ino said seriously as she turned me around and looked me dead in the eye. I have to admit, it was pretty fucking scary.

"T-that's a bit h-harsh, I-Ino." Hinata whimpered as she pulled the puppy-dog pout. Huh, I wouldn't be surprised if Kiba taught her that. Really, he's like the master of the puppy-dog pout. Actually, it's part of the reason why I didn't back out of the date.

"Yeah, you weren't even that crazy when you played dress-up with me when I went on my first date with Neji." Tenten threw in, smiling as she grabbed Ino by the shoulders and distanced her from me.

"Might wanna take it down a few notches, Ino-pig." Sakura joked as she gave me an apologetic look. Ino simply rolled her eyes at Sakura and went to grab a mirror from her closet. Why she needs a mirror in her closet when she has on in her bathroom I'll really never know.

"You have to see it yourself, Temari. Really, if I was a horny teenage guy I'd totally screw you." she said, only half-joking...again. It's times like these when I'm creeped out yet totally thankful for my friends. I really couldn't help but start laughing. Soon enough, everyone started laughing. That then evolved into me playfully shoving Ino who then grabbed a pillow and hit me over the head. Three minutes later and everyone had a pillow and was whacking each-other as if our lives depended on it. It then progressed from there, we even started making forts. It wasn't until I heard the knock at Ino's door that I realized we had just spent the entire time until the date in an epic pillow-fight. Ino then started freaking out, causing me to freak out, causing Hinata and Tenten to play the calm peacemakers...for like the millionth time. Poor girls, they have to deal with me, Sakura, Ino. Hyuga's like a freaking saint and I'm pretty sure Tenten's only calm because she spends so much time with Neji.

"Ino, it's Shikamaru. Erm-is Temari in there? Because she's not in her dorm room. That became obvious when I walked in on Kankurou and er-a redhead." he said from the other side of the door, I can practically visualize his face going red as he rubs the back of his neck nervously. Poor guy, never been exposed to Kankurou's...weird fetishes.

"Hmm? Oh yeah, she's here. A few more minutes though." Ino says, her voice at an unusually high pitch. She quickly directs me to the bathroom and sends Sakura with me, as if I'm inept or something. I sighed but gave in once Sakura began dragging me, rather forcefully, to the bathroom.

"I'm sorry about this." Sakura says apologetically, yet I find her remorse hard to believe when she pops open a giant makeup bag and eyes it all with a wicked glint in her eyes. You see, Sakura likes makeup as much as Ino loves shopping. Sakura doesn't like putting it on herself so much, she's more of the "less-is-more" belief when it comes to her own style and makeup. However, she can go all-out when it comes to other people. Trust me, if you'd seen the picture of Hinata at her halloween party after Sakura had completed her fairy look, you'd be convinced too.

The impromptu makeover happens in a blur of sparkles, dust, mascara, and lip-gloss. By the time she's done she's wiping her forehead and breathing heavily as if she's just completed a marathon. Jeez, didn't know I needed that much work done. Kind of a blow to the self-esteem but whatever, because it's time to face the music. I don't even bother looking in the mirror before I open the door, mainly because I think that I'd be tempted to just run to the sink and take all the stuff off.

"-and I couldn't just let Chouji gorge himself like some sort of ma-" Ino continued babbling to Shikamaru, effectively making him yawn as his eyelids began to droop. Great, now he's bored to death before the "date" even starts. God, I'm going to kill Kankurou.

"Ino, as much as I'm sure Shikamaru loves hearing about Chouji's eating habits, I think it's time to go." I interjected jokingly, although he seemed pretty thankful for the excuse to get away.

"Well fine, ruin my fun." she huffed as she began pushing us out the door.

"H-have fun, T-Temari!" Hinata said as she waved goodbye, smiling all sweet and innocent.

"Yeah, but not too much fun!" Sakura called after us jokingly. I simply rolled my eyes as I grabbed my jacket and walked out the door, Shikamaru following me.

"Oh, and don't forget to use protection!" Ino called after me, her head poking out the doorframe. I turned around, smiled, and extended middle finger.

"So, are you up for some Ichariku's?" he asked casually as we began walking down the stairs. I looked to him to reply and couldn't help but notice how well he cleaned up. His hair was down from it's usual ponytail-style and looks like it was actually brushed (a miracle for any teenage guy). Now, I'm definitely not a fan of long hair on guys (in fact I basically used to attempt to convince random guys to cut their hair if it got too long) but he wears it really well. Wearing khakis and a black dress-shirt he looked like he actually spent some time getting ready (instead of usual when he literally rolls out of bed and walks into class still in his pajamas). Needless to say, Ino probably texted him, demanding that he get dressed.

"Yeah, surprisingly I never get tired of that place...although, I think it's because Naruto's only dragged me there five times." I added, thinking about the blonde with a serious ADHD issue (although he insists that he's been tested and came up negative).

"Yeah, although I bet that you'll end up going there at least a dozen more times before the end of next month. Really, the longer you're here the more persistent he gets." he said knowingly. Ugh great, more bills to come my way.

"I swear, that kid's going to run me dry!" I complained as we rounded the corner and made our way to the restaurant. He chuckled and we sat on the barstools, causing Ayume to beam at us. She always was a really sweet girl, helping her dad out at the restaurant during the nights while she goes to college in the daytime. I have to hand it to the girl, she deserves every single penny that she makes in tips.

"Shikamaru! Temari! Nice to see you two. Is the vacuum coming around today?" she asks with a smile as she pulled out a notepad.

"Luckily for us, no he's not. I'll just have my regular and some water." Shikamaru replied with a chuckle. Ayume made a slight frown but then her smile came back about ten-fold.

"Oh! So you two are-! Oh!" she exclaimed, pointing between the two of us with her pen excitedly. What is this girl going on about? We're just on a da-oh. Good lord. Is this really such a big deal?

"Ri-ght. Okay, I'll just have my regular as well." I said, sighing as she hurried off excitedly.

"Look, I'm sorry about...them." Shikamaru apologized, rubbing the back of his neck as his cheeks tinged pink.

"Trust me, it's fine. Although, I still don't get why it's such a big deal. I mean, there's got to be more to talk about than two people going out to dinner." I insisted, rolling my eyes as Ayume began talking excitedly to another waitress whilst not-so-subtly motioning to me and Shikamaru.

"I'd wondered the same thing but then Ino explained to me that 'gossiping isn't something us girls do for the fun of it. We're, like, programmed to do it. It's like in our genes'. And yes, that is a direct quote." he explained, even raising his voice to imitate Ino's unnaturally high pitch.

"Well, I guess that you're stuck with the only genetically mutated girl at Konoha Academy." I said sarcastically, rolling my eyes at Ino's defense for her motor-mouth.

"Don't worry, Temari. I've always thought that deformities were real quality traits in girls." he joked, chuckling and revealing a set of pearly whites.

"You should feel honored to even be in my presence." I said as regally as possible, trying to hold back a grin.

"I'm sorry, fair maiden. How can I make it up to you? Have you an enemy that I can thwart in your name?" he replied in a remarkably good British accent.

"Well, good sir. I haven't any enemies that need thwarting, although I believe that I may need assistance avoiding the good maiden Ino for the next few days." I said, cringing as I pictured her cornering me in a classroom and bombarding me with questions about the "date". Shikamaru inhaled sharply and began shaking his head. Ugh, and I thought he'd help me keep her at bay.

"Unfortunately, nothing I do can keep Ino from you. If I took you out to a movie on Friday would that make up for the Ino-thwarting skills which I lack?" he asked, still in a british accent. Hell, if he wasn't blushing I would've thought that he was joking.

"Oh, erm-I'd love to?" I said, somehow making it sound like a question in my stupidity. When he looked away and began to straighten up I quickly patched up my mistake.

"I mean, I'd really like to. No, really I would." I said hurriedly, reverting back to my normal voice and touching his shoulder lightly. He gave me a small smile and moved so that the waitress could place the food.

"Well, milady it appears as if it is time to feast." he said as he motioned for me to eat first.

"Such a gentleman! I just must tell Mother I've found me a husband!" I squealed in a southern accent, sighing dramatically as I batted my eyelashes and pouted my lips.

"Eat now, woman! I gotta fatten you up to get ready for them child-rearin' years!" he commanded in a heavy southern accent, causing me to laugh hysterically as he began slurping the noodles as if there were no tomorrow. Although it took probably double the time to eat than it should have, he surprised me by making me laugh about every five seconds, we left Ichikaru's around eight and he took me to a small little candy stand and we had dessert on our way back to the dorms.

"I had a nice time, Nara." I said as I turned to him, still chewing on a candy that he'd insisted I try.

"Me too, Sabaku. I'm glad Ino didn't knife you for not trying on a shirt beforehand, or something equally stupid." he said in an incredibly serious voice, laughing only a minute later.

"Yeah well, I had a good time. It's nice to know that you don't sleep through your meals as well as classes." I finished, smiling a great big smile that was actually genuine. I turned to him and due to some really bad depth perception, and clumsiness on my part, he was about two centimeters from me and I could feel his breath on me. Oh god, he smells good. Not too much cologne but just enough to make me really want to-

"See you later, Temari." he said huskily-did I really just describe Nara as "husky"?-as his hair lightly brushed against my cheek. And then, before I could even really register what was happening, I kissed him. And not one of those little french greeting-type kisses. No this one was one of those kisses that makes you just burn. Actually, it kind of ended up being a make-out session where I ended up pressed up against the wall and my hands somehow ended up entangled in his hair. Yeah, just imagine one like the one in The Notebook (Ino and Sakura made me watch it, don't blame me) only times ten. And then I possibly whispered something in his ear and slipped back into my dorm. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that was a bit cruel. Just a little. Since I said something just a bit dirty. Okay, maybe a lot. I probably owe him for that (and the cold shower that most likely ensued). Hey, I may not be as obvious as Ino but I'm sure as hell not as pure as Hinata. Besides, it's fun seeing him so riled up.