Chapter 20

Two Years Later, Give Or Take A Few Months

'Oh my god, oh my god oh my god,' Temari panicked, turning around in frantic circles. 'I've lost Miaka! How do I lose my daughter?'

Yoshino chuckled from the corner. 'Temari, dear, she's two, it happens.'

Temari turned on her, her eyes wide. 'No! It mustn't happen! It doesn't happen! And how are you the nonchalant one?'

'Because you forgot a very important detail,' Yoshino replied calmly.

Temari blinked. 'I did? The door. She can't get out the door. Is she hiding under a table?' Temari crouched down to peer under a low desk, and Yoshino laughed.

'Miaka needed the toilet. Secchan's taken her,' Yoshino told her, and Temari scowled.

'And you couldn't have just told me that? That was mean,' Temari told her soon to be mother in law.

'Oh, I didn't mean to scare you. And you didn't exactly give me chance,' Yoshino pointed out.

Okay, wow, I thought you were going to have a heart attack. That was terrifying. But the lady speaks the truth.

Oh shush, I turned around for TWO SECONDS and she disappears. Yes I am going to freak out.

You got distracted daydreaming and didn't hear Secchan say she was taking the whining Miaka to the toilet, what's the betting.

My daughter doesn't whine.

Mmhmm, sure.

Shut up. I'm right. And the fact that she's walking now is going to send me to an early grave, I swear.

You'd rather carry her everywhere?

At least I know where she is.

Toddler leash. That's all I'm saying.

I'm seriously considering it.

'Okay,' Temari sighed, and smoothed her dress down. 'You're right.'

Just then the door opened and Secchan ushered in the little blonde girl who had caused Temari such consternation.

'You almost gave me a heart attack!' Temari exclaimed, rushing to pick up her daughter. 'I had no idea where she was!'

Secchan raised an eyebrow. 'Did you not hear her declare quite loudly that she needed a wee?'

Told you so.

Um, no. Secchan didn't say she announced she was taking her to the bathroom. And Miaka didn't whine.

Same difference. You zoned out.

'No, I didn't,' Temari admitted and put Miaka down. 'But I's my wedding day, I'm allowed to be distracted. And easily panicked,' she added, shooting a glance at Yoshino, who chuckled.

'Oh please, as if you didn't have enough time to prepare. Even Tenten managed to change her name to Hyuuga since Shikamaru popped the question,' Secchan said, rolling her eyes, and kneeling down to fix the ring of flowers onto Miaka's head.

Temari pouted at her, then grinned sweetly. 'You're next, then,' she told Secchan cheerily, and then went to check her hair in the mirror, reaching for the veil.

Secchan chuckled. 'Kiba and I are living together, we don't need to rush things. We're quite happy as it is.'

'That used to upset you so much,' Temari sighed, attempting to pin the veil in place, then relinquishing the responsibility to Yoshino, who'd hurried over, tutting.

'I've matured,' Secchan replied, as sugary sweet as Temari's grin had been.

'I know, you're actually having a grown-up relationship, I'm impressed,' Temari shot back.

Secchan smirked at her friend's reflection. 'I've always had grown-up relationships,' she replied, winking suggestively, and Temari shot her a mild glare.

'Shan, like your necklace,' Miaka piped up, reaching out to grab at the pendant.

Secchan smiled at her. 'Thanks, sweetie. Do you want to wear it?'

Miaka's face lit up with excitement. 'Uh-huh!' She nodded eagerly. Secchan laughed and reached behind her neck to undo the clasp, before fixing the necklace around Miaka's neck.

Miaka grinned at the necklace, threw her arms around Secchan's neck, then hurried over to her mom.

'Mommy, look!' she declared excitedly, and with once glance in the mirror, to make sure Yoshino was done, Temari turned to lean down to look at the necklace Miaka was holding up proudly.

'Oh, it's beautiful, honey,' Temari cooed, smiling indulgently at her little girl.

'Gammy, look!' Miaka cried, turning her attention to her grandmother, who scooped her up in her arms.

'A pretty necklace for a beautiful girl,' Yoshino said, cuddling her granddaughter adoringly.

'We should get going. Just about time for you to become a Missus,' Secchan grinned at Temari, who immediately became flustered.

'Oh my god, it's time, it's time, okay.' Temari took a deep breath and closed her eyes briefly, calming herself down. 'Okay. Do I look okay?'

Secchan laughed. 'Temari-biscuit, you look beautiful. An absolute vision. Shikamaru is going to die when he see's you,' she declared.

'You sure?' Temari grinned.

'Temari, darling, you're perfect,' Yoshino assured her.

Temari grinned in reply, biting her lip in excitement.


'She's sure taking her sweet time pitching up,' Kankuro muttered, and Gaara nudged him sharply in his ribs.

'Shut up, Kankurou,' Gaara muttered.

Kiba grinned next to Kankurou, and leaned slightly closer. 'Your sister's finally getting married. How does it feel?' he whispered.

'Horrible. Terrible. Worst day of my life,' Kankurou replied instantly, keeping his voice low.

Gaara rolled his eyes. 'Kankurou.'

'He asked me how I felt,' Kankurou replied.

Gaara leaned forward enough so he could see Kiba. 'He's talking bullshit,' he told him quietly, indicating Kankurou with a jerk of his head. 'He's been more excited than Temari.'

'Now who's talking shit,' Kankurou muttered.

'I wouldn't lie in a church, Kankurou, what kind of a man do you think I am?' Gaara muttered, and managed only an eye twitch when Kankurou ground his toes with his heel.

'Awfully chatty, aren't you,' Chouji murmured from next to Gaara.

'I hate ties, Temari's taking forever, and this is starting to get awkward,' Kankurou muttered in reply.

'He hasn't a patient bone in his body,' Gaara added.

'I've seen Miaka beat him in a staring contest,' Kiba put in.

'That is a bald-faced lie,' Kankurou insisted.

'Did she know you were playing?' Chouji whispered with a smile.

'Would you all kindly shut your traps,' Shikamaru hissed through clenched teeth from next to the altar, and his groomsmen suddenly all became quite interested by various finishings in the church.

Then the music started, and Shikamaru was so distracted he didn't even roll his eyes when he heard Chouji say 'Oh, look, here they come.' or Kankurou's mutter of 'Finally!'

First to come up the aisle were Tenten, Ino and Secchan who took their places opposite the boys as Miaka came walking up the aisle, sprinkling rose petals on the floor with intense concentration. About half way up the aisle she looked up and, seeing her father, dropped the basket and hurried up to him, hugging his legs tightly.

Shikamaru chuckled, and squeezed her shoulder, leaning down to give her a quick hug and to accept her kiss.

'Go stand by Secchan, love,' he whispered, and Miaka nodded, scuttling off to take Secchan's outstretched hand.

Shikamaru straightened up and couldn't stop the grin already on his face from widening as he saw Temari standing at the end of the aisle, smiling at him, her arm looped through his father's.

She looked breathtaking, and he felt that no one could love anyone more than he loved her at that moment, and when she joined him at the alter and he took her hand, he glanced briefly at his daughter, and he decided that he was blessed with what had to be the two most beautiful girls in the world.


'We're married!' Temari squealed, giving Shikamaru another kiss as everyone made their way to the reception.

Shikamaru laughed. 'Took us long enough.'

'Hey,' Temari told him, 'We had very valid reasons for waiting.'

'I'm just happy we're finally married,' he murmured, and leaned in to kiss her again.

'Oh, I hoped you'd stop kissing when you tied the knot,' Kankurou declared, crinkling his nose at them.

'What, you don't want another niece or nephew?' Temari inquired innocently.

'It's possible to have sex without kissing,' Kankurou said, and Shikamaru and Temari looked at him in surprise.

'Wait, is he actually accepting the fact that we have sex?' Shikamaru asked Temari, his arm looped around her waist.

'Most definitely not,' Kankurou told him, 'I'm determinedly not thinking of you two with that sentence.'

'So you're saying you've actually done that?' Temari giggled, 'Oooh, Kanky,' she teased, waggling her eyebrows at him.

Kankurou shook his head, his face remaining deadpan. 'That wasn't even a good pun, Temari.'

Temari snorted. 'I found it funny,' she giggled.

You are so lame, it's embarrassing.

Shut up, it's funny.


Your face is lame.

Your face is my face, dumbass.

I just got married. I don't care what you say. You can't upset me.

God dammit. How else am I going to amuse myself?

'What's up with her?' Secchan asked, strolling up with Kiba.

'Her funny bone's broken,' Kankurou informed her, and Secchan shrugged.

'Oh, that's old news,' Secchan replied airily.

'Oi!' Temari exclaimed indignantly and Secchan grinned at her.

'I still love you, Temari-biscuit,' she cooed.

'You're lucky I'm in a good mood,' Temari told her, and ruined the stern effect with a wide grin.


I got that.


Yes. And we're all very happy. You can stop saying it now.



'Next door there's an old man who live to his nineties and one day passed away in his sleep. And his wife, she stayed for a couple of days and passed away. I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong. That I know that I am, I am, I am the Luckiest.'

The last notes of the song drifted away and Shikamaru gave Temari a chaste kiss as they finished their first dance as husband and wife.

'I love you,' he whispered and she smiled back at him.

'I love you too,' she replied.

'May I have this dance?' Gaara asked politely, holding out his hand to his sister, who laughed.

'Be my guest,' Shikamaru chuckled.

'It being your wedding, I technically am,' Gaara replied, and flashed his new brother in law a smile.

'Smartass,' Shikamaru muttered as he strolled off the dance floor.

'Shikamaru. You wanna keep your daughter company?' Shikaku grinned. 'I would like to dance with my wife.'

Shikamaru laughed and took Miaka from his father. 'Hey, love, do you want to dance?' he asked, and Miaka nodded. 'Okay. Come on, love.'

He led his daughter out onto the dance floor and lifted her up, placing her on his feet and stepping lightly from side to side.

He chuckled as he passed Temari, now dancing with Kankurou.

'You dance, Kankurou?' he asked.

'Not very well,' Temari replied, grinning.

'I dance fine, thank you very much,' Kankurou declared indignantly.

'If you say so,' Shikamaru said, not bothering to keep the smile off his face as they whirled off.

'Hey, now, Shikamaru, you can't hog the prettiest girl here,' Kiba declared boisterously, and leant down. 'Miaka, do you wanna dance with Uncle Kiba?' He leant in and whispered conspiratorially, 'I'm a better dancer than your daddy.'

'Okay,' Miaka replied, and gave her dad a hug around the knees. 'Daddy, I'm gonna dance with Unca Kiba now, kay?'

Shikamaru laughed. 'Of course it's okay, Miaka.'

Kiba scooped Miaka up and placed her on his hip, holding one of her arms out straight and danced off, whirling her in circles.

'He's surprisingly good with kids,' Shikamaru remarked to Secchan, who'd been Kiba's previous dance partner.

'He's good at a lot of things,' Secchan replied.

'And now we're entering the realm of things I don't particularly want to hear about,' Shikamaru told her, smiling lightly. Secchan chuckled.

'Congrats, dude,' she told him.

He smiled at her. 'Thanks.'


It was near the end of the reception, and Shikamaru was sitting at his table, Miaka asleep in his arms, and Temari leaning against his arm.

'I'd put my arm around you, but…' he murmured to her and she chuckled.

'You don't have to. I'm quite fine like this,' she sighed.

Shikamaru pressed his lips to her forehead with a smile.

'Secchan and Kiba gone?' he asked.

'Well, they're not in the tent. But that doesn't mean they're gone,' Temari chuckled.

'There are children here,' Shikamaru said, in mock scandal.

'There's one, and she's asleep.'


His parents were swaying on the dance floor, as was Kankurou- most likely a bit inebriated it seemed- and Gaara was picking at the cake.

Sitting there with his daughter and his wife, Shikamaru thought that he really was the luckiest.

He had everything he ever wanted.


Wait. Shikamaru's parents are looking after Miaka tonight, right?

That's the plan.

Oh goodie.


A/N: Wow, it's actually finished. Forgive me if the end was a bit… meh, but I honestly didn't know how else to end it. Also. It's two in the morning. But even before I read those graphic novels, I didn't know how to end it.

Oh, so the song lyrics are from 'The Luckiest' by Ben Folds, and it is such a beautiful song, it really is, I adore it so much. It's just… Beautiful.

But. Well. Yeah. It's finished. After THREE YEARS, it's finished. Wow, this is gonna be a weird feeling. Like. Seriously. Next thing I gotta finish is 'Asylum Kids: Inmates' Profiles' and then 'Nursery Rhymes Are Murder' (Remind me never to right a crime fic again. It's really not my strong point)

So, thank you for sticking with me and this story, sorry for all the times I've left you hanging for months on end (I really did feel bad. All the time), and for the last time on this story, I hope you enjoyed, and please let me know what you thought!

I feel like this should be accompanied by rousing theme music and a slowly lowering curtain with echoing applause. I don't know. I'm tired. It's two in the morning. I made chocolate vodka. I didn't drink any though. I don't think drunk writing would be particularly good.

Although, actually, it can be quite amusing. If you're talking to someone. A friend of mine called a mutual (male) friend of ours her lesbian lover. But that was a rather funny night all round so.

But. Anyway.

Love you all loads. Please review.