Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, it belongs to Masashi Kishimoto, etc etc.
A/N: Just a little one shot I wrote a while back. Forgot about it 'til now. I've toyed with the idea of writing a Naruto story, but at the moment I'm too busy with my Harry Potter series. If I get a good response from this, then maybe I'll really consider it when I'm done with that. Anyway, hope you enjoy.
Baby for Bunk
It had been raining in the village of Konaha for several days now, on and off. The usually eventful streets had become abandoned and sodden, deep and shallow puddles forming in spiralling designs. The rain continued to fall heavily as night cast its shadow over the village.
Only one figure was still out in the rain.
Temari, of the hidden village of Suna, trudged wearily, and angrily, through the wet streets of Konaha, muttering under her breath the entire time. She plodded along, her outfit soaked through and stuck to her skin in the most uncomfortable way, making annoying squishy noises with every step. Fuming, she wondered, for the thousandth time, what had ever possessed her to agree to organise another Chunnin exam. She had arrived late to the village, so reporting to the Hokage would have to wait until morning. Luckily, she had a room booked at one of the finest inns in all of Konaha.
Unfortunately, her room had been flooded due to the heavy rainfall, and all of the other rooms had already been taken. The inn had sent her on her way with their most sincere apologies. Fat load of good they did her. Thus, she was fuming as she slogged along, drenched to the bone.
She had debated with the idea of just going straight to the Hokage, but in the end she decided not to. A better idea had already occurred to her. Oh yeah, that was why she agreed to organise another Chuunin exam.
Shrill wailing cut through the air, reverberating around the room and making Shikamaru's head pound. He sat up groggily, shrugging away his loose blanket. Across the room, the source of the wailing continued to cry. Shikamaru stumbled his way over to the baby, running a hand through his hair.
'Yeah, yeah, I'm coming,' he grumbled, muttering under his breath, 'so troublesome.'
He gently leant in and picked up the yowling little boy, nesting the infant close to his chest and rocking him. 'Shut up, will you?' he asked, wandering back over to his bed.
His new apartment was small, but as he was living on his own, it was big enough. It was only three rooms. The first room was a part sitting room, part kitchen, with an open archway leading into the second room, which was his bedroom. From here, he could access his third room, the bathroom. It was the perfect little apartment for a single ninja.
'What is it?' he asked the boy, checking his nappy at the same time. It was dry – thank the gods. 'You hungry, you little demon?'
The wailing slowly died down to a gurgling as the baby boy began to suck on Shikamaru's thumb.
'That's better,' he said with relief, closing his eyes a little and resting his head back against the bunk.
This newfound peace didn't last long. A persistent knocking began at his door, immediately making the baby cry again. Shikamaru closed his eyes in resignation, cursing in his head, and wandered over to the door to his apartment, the baby clutched securely to his chest. Who the hell was knocking at this time of the night?
He opened the door and stared in shock at a very bedraggled, angry looking blonde kunoichi. Temari glared at him through soaked clumps of blonde hair, raindrops leaving tracks down her face and dripping from the end of her nose and chin. He stared back at her, quite frankly surprised to see her.
'Well? You going to let me in or do you just enjoy seeing me get wet?' Temari demanded.
'What are you doing here?' Shikamaru finally asked, getting over the shock of seeing her at his doorstep.
'Getting wet,' Temari snapped. Her eyes found the baby in his arms. 'Why do you have a baby?'
'It's not mine,' Shikamaru said quickly. 'I'm looking after him for Kurenai.'
'Oh.' Temari paused only briefly. 'Can I come in or what?'
'It's a little late for a social call,' Shikamaru pointed out. 'Besides, I'm kind of busy.' He hefted the crying baby for emphasis.
'Well, why don't I help?' Temari said, pushing her way in past a startled Shikamaru.
'Hey!' Shikamaru protested, following after Temari as she strolled casually into his apartment. 'You're dripping all over my floor.'
'You're worried about me dripping on your floor? You might want to close the door,' Temari pointed out.
Shikamaru cursed under his breath and jogged back to shut the door. When he turned to face Temari, she had already made her way into his bedroom. He followed after her, bouncing the baby in an attempt to silence him.
'What are you doing?' Shikamaru demanded as Temari dropped her travel pack to the floor.
'Getting out of these wet clothes,' Temari said, 'what does it look like? A little privacy, please?' She didn't wait for a reply, only began to undress right before his eyes.
Shikamaru swiftly turned around. 'Can you slow down a little?' he asked. 'You don't just barge into someone's home and start getting undressed. What are you even doing here?'
'Put simply, my room at the inn was flooded and they have no room for me,' Temari replied.
'So you figured you'd just invade my apartment?'
'Pretty much,' Temari said. 'Why? Not happy to see me?'
'Like I said, I'm a little busy.'
'Like I said, I can help with that.'
'You know how to take care of a baby?'
'Probably better than you,' Temari said.
'Are you done yet?' Shikamaru asked.
'I just about have enough room for myself, what makes you think I have room for you?' Shikamaru argued.
'I don't mind sharing.' Temari – blunt as always. 'Do you have any towels?'
'What?' Shikamaru was still trying to process her earlier statement.
'Towels…' Shikamaru finally broke through his astonished stupor. 'Yeah. Bathroom. What do you mean, you don't mind sharing?'
'I think that's pretty self explanatory, don't you?' Temari's voice sounded from the bathroom.
'You want to share my bed?' Shikamaru imagined his eyes must have been almost popping out of his sockets in shock.
'Of course,' Temari replied, 'I'm not sleeping on the floor. Will you shut that baby up, please?'
Shikamaru glanced down at the still crying baby boy, quickly weighted his chances, and then looked back over to the door to his bathroom. 'So, let me get this straight. First, you barge into my home, disturbing not only myself, but the baby as well, who was actually falling asleep before you arrived. Not to mention you dripping all over my floor in the process. Then, you start stripping down right in front of me, which is not exactly what I want when I'm trying to take care of a baby. And now you're going to steal my bed from me?'
'I didn't say I'd steal it,' Temari said, finally emerging from the bathroom clad in a small vest and shorts, 'I said we'd share it. You'd be in there too. Besides, what do mean, you don't appreciate a beautiful woman getting naked in your apartment?'
'Not while I'm taking care of a baby, I said.'
'So if the baby wasn't here…?' Temari let the thought trial of with a saucily raised eyebrow.
'I'd still want to know what made you think I would be a gracious host for you in the middle of the night,' Shikamaru finished for her. 'Or, come to think of it, ever.'
'Here, give him to me,' Temari said, ignoring Shikamaru's last comment.
'So that I can get him to sleep and then we can go to bed.'
'I'd like to see you try,' Shikamaru said.
'Then hand him over.'
'Fine, but be careful with him,' Shikamaru cautioned. 'Kurenai would hunt me down and kill me if something happened to him.'
'I know what I'm doing,' Temari told him, taking the baby gently into her arms. She turned away immediately and started rocking him, cooing softly. Shikamaru stared in stunned silence as the baby quickly fell silent. He didn't know what was more shocking - hearing the baby quiet down, or seeing Temari rocking and cooing to him. After a few minutes passed and Temari was sure he was fast asleep, she tenderly placed the baby boy back into his crib.
'How? Wha - ? Huh?' Shikamaru fumbled in a whisper.
'Like I said, I know how to take care of a baby,' Temari repeated. 'Now, let's get some sleep, shall we?'
Temari didn't waste time waiting for a response, she instantly lifted the blanket and shuffled under and over against the wall. Patting the space beside her, she glanced teasingly at Shikamaru from under her eyelashes and spoke in a husky whisper, 'What are you waiting for lover?'
'Quit it,' Shikamaru returned grumpily, but he slipped in beside her all the same.
'Relax, I'm just teasing,' Temari said. 'No need to get prickly.'
'I thought you wanted to sleep,' Shikamaru pointed out.
Temari didn't reply, she just rolled over and faced the wall. After several minutes led silently staring at the ceiling, Shikamaru couldn't take it any longer.
'I never thought I'd see you taking care of a baby so expertly,' he said.
'What do you mean by that?' He couldn't tell if she was offended or not by his comment.
Shikamaru thought about the best way to phrase it, then said, 'you're so fierce when you're fighting, it's hard to believe you could be anything but,' he didn't think there was a nice way to say this last part, so he just said it, 'heartless.'
'You think I'm heartless?'
'No,' Shikamaru replied quickly, sensing danger, 'I certainly don't. Especially not after seeing you with Keitaro. I just mean people could easily get that impression if they didn't know anything about you. I thought that way when we first met, during the Chuunin Exams, but I know it's not true now.'
'Nothing is ever so black and white, Shikamaru,' Temari opined.
'I know,' Shikamaru said, letting out a little laugh. 'My father tried to explain that to me before, but I never understood it. I couldn't understand how he could love my mother, when she's such a bossy, domineering woman. He said that, even if she's that way sometimes, there are other times, when they're alone, that she lets him see a side of her others don't get to see. You're like that too, I think.'
'That's nice,' Temari said dryly, 'comparing me to your mother. Just what a woman wants to here when she's lying in a man's bed.'
'I didn't mean it that way,' Shikamaru said. 'We're not like that. I was just using it as an example. You and me, we're just friends. If that.'
'Why do you do that?' Temari asked sincerely.
'You always dismiss this thing we have,' Temari explained, 'like you don't consider me to be at least a friend. Yet, every time I'm in Konaha, we always end up together. Is it just coincidence?'
'I…' Shikamaru was stumped. 'What do you want me to say?'
'For once in your life,' Temari said, 'don't be a coward. Just be honest.'
A/N: The rest, my friends, is up to you.