December 22nd- Two days until Christmas Eve

Temari paced the length of the gate entrance once more. Stopping on her what felt to be hundredth repeat of the small distance she stopped and stomped her foot angrily.

Where the hell is he!?! She thought angrily He should've been here at least ten minutes ago!

She huffed and leaned against the wall that helped protect Konoha.

The blonde crossed her arms and thought with furious frustration, He is always late! Damn that Nara! He better have a very good reason for being this late.

A smirk crossed her full lips at the thought o the lazy ninja simply stating that a nap under fluffy clouds was definitely good enough reason to be late.

Realization that she was smiling at his laziness snapped her out of that thought and she worked to returned to ranting mentally about her lazy ass guide who was growing later by the minute.

He at least better have gotten me a good hotel room. With it being Christmas there may be a shortage. So he'd better have booked it early. I mean come on. He was told of this weeks ago! So there'll be no excuse if I don't have a decent room to sleep in. If it's crappy his ass is so kicked.

"Hey…Temari. Been waiting long?" a familiar lazy drawl asked.

Temari whipped her head up and around to see Shikamaru Nara walking slowly towards her, hands in his pockets and his back slouched he looked to be in no hurry whatsoever.

She scoffed, Like he ever is?

Her blue green eyes hardened as she glared at him, "Shikamaru! You're as late as ever!! What the hell?! I was ready to leave this damn entrance half an hour ago almost!"

He raised one hand and replied, "Hey, hey. Easy now. No need to be so hasty. I was just checking up on your hotel room."

Temari's eyes narrowed, "Checking up on. As in you didn't have a room booked and you just now got me one!?"

Shikamaru shook his head and frowned, "Don't go jumping to conclusions."

Temari closed her mouth around the insult she was about to shoot off at him and simply waited for him to continue.

"I booked your room weeks ago. But because of the holiday festivals and stuff a lot of important people came in. I figured they may have given your room away for so many important people coming into town."

Shikamaru paused and looked as if he were thinking and then shrugged, "I guess I was right. They gave your room away."

Temari's jaw dropped, "They gave it away."

He nodded.

"They gave it away. To more important people."

Again he nodded.

Fire blazed in her eyes, "I'm the Kazekage's sister for pete's sake!! How much more important can you get!?"

Shikamaru smirked slightly and gave a half shrug, "Kazekage?"

Temari huffed and crossed her arms, "Yeah well he was busy so he sent me to do the whole ambassador thing. They should treat me with more respect."

Shikamaru nodded and sighed softly, "Yeah probably but you did come in later than the rest. There's only a few days until Christmas now."

"So where the hell am I sleeping Nara?" Temari snapped.

He grinned slightly, "Still working on that one."

The boy pondered it a moment and then shrugged, "Well you could…." he paused and then shook his head, "Nah, nevermind. That's probably not a good idea. How about Ino's?"

Temari snorted, "You're kidding right? Ino's always a bitch towards me. We do not get along well at all."

He nodded his understanding but remained silent.

Temari felt her eye twitch. "Well?"

He looked up at her, question in his eyes.

She sighed, "Where were you going to suggest? It cant be any worse than Ino's place."

He looked away and didn't say anything.

Just when she thought he was never going to actually answer he replied, still looking away, "I was going to suggest my apartment. But I'm sure we can find something better."

Temari glanced pointedly at the ever darkening sky that signaled the approach of night was not too far off.

Shikamaru sighed and glanced at her, "So…you'd rather stay at my place tonight?"

Temari shrugged, "It seems the best idea. No hotel rooms for the oh so un important Kazekage's sister, I'm not staying at the bitchy Ino's place, and I think its kind of too late a notice to put me anywhere else."

Shikamaru nodded and moved to take Temari's bags, "Alright then. To my place."

Temari was so taken aback by the sudden warm blush she felt heat her face she didn't bother fighting him off of her bags.

She was blushing?

Why?

Because of spending a night in Shikamaru's home?

That was just silly.

"You coming?" he called from a little ways ahead of her.

She nodded and hurried to catch up with him.

~ ~ ~ At Shikamaru's place ~ ~ ~

Shikamaru pushed open his door and held it open for Temari as she walked in.

He moved to take her things down the hallway and Temari stopped him.

"Where are you taking my stuff?"

"My room. You can have my bed. I'll sleep on the sofa while you're here." He replied like it was the most obvious thing.

Temari shook her head, "Nuh uh. No way. I can sleep on the sofa. I'm not going to kick you out of your own bed."

Shikamaru argued, "No. You'll sleep in the bed. You think I'd let a lady sleep on the sofa? My mother taught me better than that."

After a long argument that ended in Temari's reluctant agreement.

Shikamaru took her things to his bedroom.

She waited until he was out of sight and then she slapped her forehead, I gave in!? Why would I give in to him! I never give in… She huffed, Well I just couldn't take it any longer is all. All that you're a lady crap… well damn him and all his chivalrous thoughts. It doesn't matter.

Temari walked over to the window and glanced out.

It was snowing!!

How beautiful… she thought as she watched the fluff fall to the ground.

The ground that looked to already have been snowed on before…

Had it snowed the day before? Had snow been on the ground? Funny… she couldn't even remember. She just remembered getting to the gate and seeing that her guide who she knew was Shikamaru wasn't there just as she'd expected. And then she got angry waiting. And then he showed up. And then she walked with him to his apartment.

Surely she would have noticed the snow right?

It was obviously old though … so… why hadn't she noticed it?

Temari waved goodbye at Shikamaru who was now sitting on his sofa reading some book and headed for the door.

She stepped out and pulled her shirt closer to her.

Snow was nice.

But it was cold.

She chuckled at her own silliness.

Of course it was cold.

She turned and started to stroll down the street.

After awhile Temari was beginning to notice a trend.

Everyone was in a couple!

There! A couple just walked by snuggling to keep warm!

Over there was a couple sharing a hot drink!

And over there a couple was shopping and laughing together!

There were pairs everywhere! Romance all over the place!

Temari felt a tiny sadness well up in her.

I'm going to be alone this Christmas… just like I always am. But this year I wont even be with Gaara and Kankuro to have them as distractions. Great. Just great. Thanks a lot Gaara. For sending me all the way out here. I hope your stupid vacation is worth my misery.

She could almost hear her little brother's deep voice filled with the sound of a smirk replying, 'It is. Now suck it up and act like the shinobi you are.'

Temari had to stop herself from replying to her imagination's own creation.

She huffed and then a thought hit her. She wouldn't be alone. Not completely. She might still be staying at Shikamaru's on Christmas! So she could spend it with him.

Wait.

Why did that excite her so greatly?

It shouldn't… after all she wasn't that desperate for company. She was a big girl she could handle herself alone just fine. And he would probably spend the majority of it with his friends and family anyway.

So I will be alone for Christmas after all…

While she struggled to not let her suddenly sad thoughts consume her she failed to notice the person in her path and ran straight into them.

"Ugh, sorry,." she mumbled looking to see who she'd run in to.

The person just happened to be the one girl in Konoha she actually liked!

TenTen replied, "Ah, it's fine Temari. I'm okay."

Temari nodded and offered a slight smile, "Good. Hi, TenTen."

The smile wasn't a good one though. Temari could feel that it wasn't very real. How could it be though? She couldn't just smile brightly after thinking such sad thoughts as the ones she just was.

She wasn't Sakura after all, not everyone could jump from one mood to the other like the pink haired medic did.

TenTen being one of Temari's friends could tell the smile wasn't wholehearted and she frowned, "What's the matter?"

Temari shrugged, she then noticed that TenTen was alone.

Temari glanced around looking for someone that could be with her.

Was TenTen in the same boat she was?

"Aren't you with someone?" Temari asked.

"Huh?" TenTen obviously didn't follow her logic. What did that have to do with the question she'd asked Temari?

Temari huffed softly, "Are you not out shopping with anybody? Are you all alone?"

"Oh!" TenTen caught on, and her mind quickly caught on that perhaps this was what had also been bothering Temari, "No, I'm actually out shopping for Neji's present. That's why I'm alone today…he usually comes with me though." TenTen answered blushing brightly in the chilly late evening air.

Temari sighed silently, Oh, that's right… she's dating Neji now.

TenTen noticed Temari's quiet sigh and asked again, "What's the matter?"

Temari shrugged, what could it hurt to let at least one person know how she felt? She could trust TenTen.

"I was just thinking about how I would probably be alone for Christmas."

TenTen looked sad for her, "Oh."

Temari quickly switched subjects, "So are you spending Christmas with Neji this year?"

TenTen nodded, "Yep, and I really hope he isn't cheating or I will kill him if he does."

"Huh? Neji cheating on you or something? If he is I'll help you kill him."

TenTen laughed and shook her head, "No! No, no, no. Sorry. Not what I meant. See, we have this deal this year…if he doesn't use his byakugan to see what I got him and lets it stay a surprise for Christmas Eve then I promised to…" she trailed off and her blush intensified. She obviously didn't want to continue with that sentence.

Which was fine with Temari, she was clever enough and imaginative to at least fill in the blanks so she didn't really need TenTen to continue it.

Temari spared her and nodded saying, "Oh."

TenTen, looking relieved jumped at the chance to change subjects. She asked, "So, Temari, what are you here in Konoha for anyway?"

With a small shrug Temari replied, "Gaara, wanted me to come do a few ambassador obligations for the season in his place so he could take a vacation. A certain somebody probably had a little say in that matter. So I was all for it. It's not like they don't deserve one…so here I am."

TenTen nodded, "I see. Well that was nice of you. They do need a chance to get away as well. You're a nice sister. Anyway, I should probably go hide this somewhere Neji wont find it. Finding the present and peeking isn't included in the deal. Just using byakugan is prohibited." she giggled.

Temari smiled and nodded, "Sure thing. Nice seeing you again, TenTen. Have a happy Christmas."

"You too, Temari." TenTen called as she waved and walked off towards her home.

Temari sighed and shoved her hands in her coat pockets.

I soooo don't want to be alone on Christmas… I want what TenTen has with Neji…is that too much to ask for? Am I that scary of a bitch that all guys wont come near me? Heh, guess when I set out to make myself seem like 'one of the guys' I did too damn good of a job…

Temari turned to retrace her path back to Shikamaru's home.

Where she'd sleep in his bed… that had his scent all over everything. His scent, that was surprisingly nice.

Temari gasped.

Why had she noticed that his scent was nice? And was… was she blushing? But why!?

Because she'd be sleeping in his bed?

Temari shook those confusing thoughts away. It was probably best not to focus on them too long. It would probably only lead to trouble.

But you do have to admit he is hot. A tiny voice in her mind said.

Temari pictured the lazy genius and smiled softly, Yeah…he kind of i- hey! Wait! No! No! Absolutely not. No! Shut up brain!! Who asked you?

Temari walked faster trying to ignore the fact that she just had a tiny conversation with her own mind. She just may be spending too much time with a particular medic it would seem.

Yep you have. And yeah he is smoking hot and it'll do you better in the end to admit it now. Her brain retorted.

Temari huffed, I'm not admitting anything. I don't have to. So stop thinking like that and stop talking to me.
Heh, yeah you wish I would. You'll get used to me. Everyone else gets used to their brain talking to them at times. Its your turn. And as far as not admitting? Who the hell says you don't!? He's fuckin hot and you know it to be true!

Temari covered her ears. Then she quickly dropped them back down to her sides. The problem was her brain… which was between her ears. Covering them did no good at all.

She laughed softly at her own foolishness and decided to go with a mantra to drown out her persistent mind.

No thinking like that, no thinking like that, no thinking like that, no thinking like that, no thinking like that, no thinking like that, no thinki- You're being ridiculous! Just invite him to your bed tonight. Its his after all isn't it? Nice compromise I'd say! No one on the sofa! Sofa boo! Bed yay!

Temari paused slightly stunned and wondered why her brain was such a hyper little thing…

Cuz you aren't. It's simple.

Temari huffed, Yeah sure sure. Whatever you say…

Heh, now you're getting it. All you have to do now is admit that you are attracted to Shikamaru!

Nope. Not gonna happen.

Yeah, you're right he's so not your type anyway right? I mean come on. Its Shikamaru for crying out loud! Heh, what was I thinking?

What? What's that supposed to mean?! What's wrong with Shikamaru? He's great. And why cant he be my type? I don't have a type. He'd be a fine guy to like. So shut it you don't know what you're saying.

Heh. Yeah… sure…whatever you say. But if you dot like him then why did you just defend him like that? And defend the possibility of being with him?

I…I-because I…well because.

Because?

Yes. Just because.

Uh huh. You like him and you know it Miss Denial.

Temari stopped and stared at the ground in thought.

Was she in denial?

Did she like…Shikamaru?

No.

No way.

An image of his slow lazy grin came to her mind and she smiled.

Temari's eyes jerked open.

Oh god! She did! She did like him! She was falling for Konoha's number one lazy ass genius!!

A clicking sound brought her from her sudden realization and she was shocked to find that it was no simple clicking noise, it was the sound of her teeth chattering.

She'd completely forgotten it was so cold outside…

She hurried back towards his apartment hoping to get out of the chilly night air quickly.

When she reached his door she saw a note taped to it and pulled it off reading it as she entered the apartment.

I have something I have to do. Don't wait up for me. Sleep on my bed. I'll sleep on the sofa.

Shikamaru

Temari frowned.

She noticed and questioned that.

Why was she frowning exactly?

Because Shikamaru wasn't home? That was just silly.

Was it because he once again emphasized they'd be in a different room?

Wait! That's not what she meant!

Do we have to go through this again? Her little mind voice asked sounding irritated.

Temari shook her head, feeling silly as she did since she knew it was her own self she was answering to.

Good. Now. Why did you frown?

Because he's not here and I wanted to sleep with him… Temari reluctantly muttered.

Good. Good girl.

Temari thought more on it and imagined his strong arms wrapping tightly around her waist and pulling her closer to him as she drifted into sleep.

She shook her head.

Nah, it probably will never happen anyway. He probably likes Ino or a girl like her…not me. Oh well. Would have been nice I think.
Temari hurried to the bathroom and brushed her teeth and changed into her pajamas. After brushing her hair out she glanced at her reflection and momentarily wondered what he'd think when he saw her with her hair down.

Her eyes widened.

If!

If he saw her hair down.

Damn I need to stop thinking like that… she frowned.

Temari walked into his bedroom and after recovering from the euphoria the invasion of her senses his scent created she studied his big king sized bed.

It would figure that guy would invest the most in a nice big bed…

Problem was it was too big!

She could sleep in that!

Growling her frustration she turned on her heel.

Damn him and my irritating mind voice to hell! I'm sleeping on the sofa! Its smaller! And that's that.

Her frustration was quickly replaced with confusion.

Now where does he keep the blankets…?

A few minutes of searching random closets and cupboards later she found one and a spare pillow.

She laid down on the sofa and was asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow.

----------

Temari woke to the feeling of being lifted.

Her hazy mind worked to understand the situation and she realized Shikamaru was carrying her bridal style!

A soft gasp escaped her and he glanced down at her.

"I'm sorry I woke you." Shikamaru whispered.

"Where are you taking me?" Temari snapped quietly.

"To my bed, Temari. I told you to sleep there. You're so troublesome. Never listening to me…now I have to carry you there."

Temari huffed and struggled to get free but he held her tightly to him.

"Well dammit if I'm too troublesome for you let me walk back to the sofa!"

Shikamaru glanced down at her again as he walked into his bedroom.

"Never said you're troublesome was too much for me. You're just being you." he sighed softly and she saw a slight grin tug at the corners of his mouth "I'd expect nothing less from you, Temari."

A blush came on her cheeks and Temari was instantly grateful the darkness made it too hard for his intelligent eyes to see her completely.

It was then she noticed her teeth were once again chattering.

Temari clamped her mouth shut and watched him point to the bed.

"Go to bed now."

She shook her head, not sure if he could see but refusing to let him see her teeth chatter. It made her feel silly.

He waited and when she didn't make a move to obey she heard him sigh. "Why aren't you getting in it?"

She huffed and quickly replied, "Because I don't want to sleep on it."

"Why?" he asked stepping close to her.

"I just don't." she replied tightly, her teeth chattering slightly.

Temari internally groaned at the sound echoing through the darkness.

"Cold?" he asked softly.

"No…" she replied hesitantly.

Shikamaru smirked, she could hear it in his soft voice, "Your teeth are chattering."

"No they aren't." she insisted, though inwardly she knew as much as she knew he knew they were.

He placed a hand gently on her shoulder, "You'd be warmer under my covers."

"But the bed is too big…" she mumbled and then realized what she'd just answered without thinking and nearly froze with fear of what he'd say in return.

"Too big? How is it too big?" he asked sounding genuinely confused.

"It just is."

"But its good that way. Big with lots of room to stretch out on. Perfect for afternoon naps and sleeping in on mornings."

"Yeah yeah." she muttered.

"How is it too big?" he asked again leaning very close to her.

"Because its too fucking big for one person!" she snapped not liking how her heart sped up a little when he came closer.

Shikamaru chuckled, "Then maybe I don't need to use the sofa then?"

Temari's eyes widened as she caught on.

"No… I guess maybe you don't." she mumbled.

She added as an after thought, "And then I wont be cold anymore."

She gasped quietly and almost snapped her hand up to cover her mouth before something else dumb came out but she refrained from doing so and embarrassing herself further.

He laughed quietly, "No I guess you wont be. Get in the bed, Temari."

She slowly obeyed and watched him walk out and saw the bathroom light come on before the door was shut, closing the light off.

The covers began to absorb her body heat a little and Temari felt slightly warmer but not much.

She was still too cold to fall back to sleep. She closed her eyes trying to attempt to but it wasn't working.

Damn big bed and cold air…

She lay there until a few more minutes passed and then she heard bedroom door closed. She felt the bed shift under a new weight being added. Temari opened her eyes and saw Shikamaru sitting on the edge of the bed in just his pajama pants. No… shirt.

Great! Just great! She thought mentally cursing her luck.

She also noticed that even in the dim light of the moon his muscles were toned and perfectly sculpted to fit his body. From what she could see he had a six pack and perfectly shaped muscular arms.

Temari struggled to remain quiet and not squeal at the shockingly amazing sight of Shikamaru and then she noticed his hair and all of her hard work was almost wasted. It was down and she couldn't for the life of her see why he didn't wear it like that more often…

Then she decided that if he didn't he'd be much too attractive and he'd have to fight off more fan girls than Sasuke had.

Shikamaru caught her staring and smirked at her but said nothing as he lay down beside her.

"Do you mind?" she heard him whisper.

"Mind what?" Temari asked.

"This." he replied quietly as two strong arms wrapped around her and dragged her to his chest.

Temari calmed herself and whispered back still blushing, "No…I don't mind."

"Good." then he chuckled, "You know you're kind of cute when you do that…"

"Do what?"

"Blush."

"Oh…" she replied blushing even more to which he just replied with another soft chuckle.

Temari looked down to her hands that were resting on his chest…his hands were tracing small circles on her back… it felt nice. She could feel herself drifting. But she didn't want to sleep. She'd lose this rare and priceless moment.

"Hey…"

She looked up and suddenly his lips were on hers.

Temari gasped in surprise and Shikamaru took his chance to dive deep into her mouth with a slow swirl of his tongue.

She snaked her arms up around his neck eagerly returned his kiss, meeting his set pace of slow and leisurely, dipping her own tongue into explore his hot mouth. She ran her tongue along his and he gripped her tighter, the speed of the kiss picking up a little.

A few minutes later he drew back, nipping her lower lip softly before whispering against her lips, "You should sleep."

"Yeah…" she sighed almost dreamily. Damn the boy could kiss.

He pressed his lips to hers once more before laying down and closing his eyes.

"Oh, Temari." he whispered.

"Hm?"

"I like your hair down like that…makes you look…perfect."

"Same for you too." she mumbled sleepily as she snuggled deep into the covers, pressing herself against his chest seeking his heat.

She felt his chest vibrate with a soft laugh.

"Good night Temari."

"G'night…" she yawned ducking her head down into his chest and slipping peacefully into sleep.

---

Hello my lovely readers thank you for reading!!! I'm planning on posting the next chapter on Dec the 24th but then again I haven't started it yet!

I'm gonna thank my friend fanggirlX for reading this over and making it perfect!! I'm dedicating this story AND chapter to her I LOVE YOU!!! Moving on…

Please review!!! thank you!!!