Such infinite space. How small and insignificant this world must be to the stars watching above. Even the trees can't touch them. Not even the highest mountains can reach them. The clouds, the cotton that blankets the Earth from the Sun's glare, pass by without a care. The tranquil happiness that Shikamaru felt inside him went unnoticed as he contemplated the passage of time. He stretched, lying on the grass, his head resting on his arms. The war's finally over, Asuma…

His concentration was broken by a heated discussion coming towards shifted his head to glance at the brother and sister and then shifted his gaze back to the sky. Women…always managing to interrupt his peace. No matter how hard he tried, the voices wouldn't go away. Instead they came nearer. This was getting really annoying but he couldn't be troubled to move.

"Gaara needs to rest not play politics!" Temari fumed.

Her brother shook his head. "With Naruto as the new Hokage, Gaara prefers to help his friend out."

"He just got his demon back. He needs to readjust, not play Kazekage!"

Kankuro shrugged. "I don't know why you're arguing with me. It was Gaara's choice. I just happened to back him up."


"Look, sister, Gaara knows a lot more about being a container and being a leader than you or I. It is his right."

"But he'll exhaust himself. We have to—"

"It's not my problem. It shouldn't be yours either. He knows how to take care of himself. He can handle it. He's not just your little brother anymore. I think you forgot that the moment he lost the demon to Akatsuki. Not anymore."

There was silence and then the sound of retreating footsteps. Shikamaru let out a relieved sigh. Now he could think. There was motion next to him and the sound of a body shifting against the grass, presumably to get comfortable. He ignored its presence and watched the clouds shift and roll across the horizons. He could here her breathing, her impatience. Troublesome…"I can't see what you find so interesting up there. Ino says you do this for hours on end."

He continued to watch the sky. He shrugged. It was too troublesome to come up with an answer. "Do you think Naruto will be good for the job?" Temari asked, anything to break the silence.

"How much do you know of Naruto?" Shikamaru finally spoke.

"Gaara didn't tell me much. All he said was that he trusts him," she answered from beside him.

"Do you trust Gaara?" Temari whipped her head to the side, astounded by the question. She stared at her friend.

"Of course!" she retorted.

"Do you trust me?"

"Somewhat," she said gruffly after a few seconds.

"Well, then you can trust Naruto. I do."

"I remember when I first met him. It was right before the Chuunin exams. It was Sasuke who stood out as the most accomplished. Naruto just seemed like a loser."

Shikamaru shifted uncomfortably. Why couldn't he just float away like a cloud? It would be so…not troublesome. "He surprises everyone all the time. He likes doing that."

"Yes but he was so…I don't know. Seemed to me like he didn't care about anything except glory."

"Women are so troublesome," he murmured. His eyes were still trained at the sky but he wasn't seeing it anymore.

"Excuse me!" Temari exclaimed. "You are a degrading son of a manwhore! Why am I even friends with you?" She stood up and dusted her pants off before grabbing her fan and making as if to leave.

"Why did you come to me if all you wanted to do was talk about Naruto and a traitor?" Heat, so unfamiliar in the man, infiltrated his words, making them rough and uncouth.

Temari, unused to anger or any emotion coming from the ninja, paused and looked back. She almost felt repentant but was determined to hold out. She was in the right. It was he who had done wrong! "I just needed someone to talk to. What is wrong with you! Jealous?" She stormed off.

Shikamaru let out a sigh. He stood up and looked up at the sky one more time. "Why is it all so troublesome?" He shook his head at the all mighty, pompous sky and set off in pursuit. He found her not a minute later on one of the training fields. It was hard to miss her. She was letting all hell loose with both her fan and her tongue.

Temari saw him observing her from the treetops. Her hands were trembling with anger as she swung her fan at him. It wasn't right for him to look so dark and gorgeous in the middle of the day just after he might as well have called her worthless. He made her heart pound, which was not right at all. He was an emotionless bastard who cared about nothing and no one. He didn't deserve any woman's appreciative glance, especially not hers.

The blade of wind cut through the thick gnarled branch but he was long gone by then. Temari let out a frustrated snarl as she whipped around in search of the allusive shinobi. "So violent. I didn't even do anything," Shikamaru said, from behind her. Temari turned around and leapt away from him, or at least she tried to get away. "Trapped," Shikamaru explained the obvious.

Him and his stupid shadows! Temari let out a flow of curses that would've made Gaara's ears turn red. Shikamaru just smiled. He took a step forward. She involuntarily followed suit. He took another step and another and another until their noses were almost touching. "Hmmm…I like this," he whispered, his breath ghosting over Temari's already trembling lips. This was so not fair. "You're always moving. It's so troublesome trying to catch up with you." His lips curved into a gentle smile. He leaned forward slightly. "Just one more step."

His lips were soft and gentle against hers, just brushing. It was so tempting to take more. So using the excuse that he was forcing her to kiss him, she did just that. Untempered anger and lust made the kiss hard and burning. The fire spread down to her toes and then up again until it decided to nestle in the very tip of her stomach. His mouth was like an elixir. It wasn't fair that his could taste so heavenly. Maybe that's why he seemed to yearn to reach the stars. Would he take her with him or he would leave her here, earthbound? With that thought, bouncing around her head, she pulled away from his toxicating lips and shoved him away.

"What the hell do you think you were doing!" she yelled.

He looked up at the clouds again. "So troublesome." He looked back at her.

"Is it your practice to force yourself—"

"Hey!" he yelled back. He had already known that this was going to happen. It did not hurt any less. Temari fell silent at his shout. "I did nothing of the sort," he stomped over to her like a child throwing a tantrum. Temari found it endearing before she could remind herself that she was supposed to be angry with him. "You were able to pull away. I released the technique seconds before I started kissing you, more than enough time for you to blow me away with your oversized fan. You were the one who broke it off, remember." He was in front of her now, almost as close as he was before they had kissed but not quite.

Temari turned away from his angered gaze, fingering her fan with trembling fingers. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to accuse you of anything."

"Yes you did," Shikamaru whispered in her ear. She could feel his body heat behind her, warming her up in very pleasant places. She could almost feel his chest rise and fall. "And yes, I was."

"Was what?" Temari's voice shook before she could stop it.


Temari turned around and stared up at the lanky jounin. "No more shadows?"

"Can't promise that," Shikamaru smirked.

"Promise?" Temari whispered before sealing that promise with one more kiss.

AN: How was my first fanfic?