Ino bashing. You have been warned. Don't like, then don't read. Kohai is used to refer to a Junior in school when you are a senior. It is like a term of belittlement. P.s I do not own Naruto or the song "You belong with me" by Taylor Swift.

Pairings: ShikaTema
Rating: T because I'm paranoid
Dedication: To all those people who were kind enough to read, favourite, alert and review my stories. It means a lot.
Summary: She didn't understand it. She was right there in front of him, ready to offer him the world. Now if only he could open his eyes...

You Belong With Me

You're on the phone with your girlfriend, she's upset
She's going off about something that you said
Cos she doesn't get your humour like I do.

I'm not going to lie. I realised a long time ago that I liked you. It started out quite innocently, right after the first day at my new school. Konohagakure no Sato high school offered a vast curriculum and I found myself in all of your classes. It was apparent that we liked the same things like Japanese culture and history. That was the first time I talked to you. You looked too young to be a senior. I believe our conversation went something like this:

"Do y'know where room 145 is?"

"Down the corridor on the right."

"Thanks"

"...Meh."

I sat next to that pink haired girl at the back of the class. She was itching to get up to the front to get better access to the black board so conversation was nul and void between us. I did catch a good bit of conversation between her and the brunette with the buns though. I heard her saying that you had recently gotten yourself a girlfriend. One Yamanaka Ino if I'm correct. I wasn't jealous at the start; I barely knew you. I didn't even know your name. That was until I heard a high pitched squeal as I exited the classroom right after the bell went.

"Shikamaruuu," she screeched in that unbearably girly voice, wearing a cheerleading uniform with the mascot printed on the back. I cringed the first time I heard it. She seemed angry with you for some reason; like you had forgotten something important but judging by your apathetic appearance, it wasn't that important to you anyway. With your hands in your pockets, you followed her down the corridor with your head staring at the ceiling. That was when I realised you had a nice as- um.. face? Well anyway, that was when I started liking you.

I'm in the room
It's a typical Tuesday
And I'm listening to the kind of music she doesn't like
She'll never know your story like I do

Time moved slowly in Konohagakure no Sato high school and I grew more comfortable in that environment... Except for the part where I was failing Biology. It wasn't my fault that I didn't understand the system because for one thing, I don't understand the reason for knowing every bone in the human body. I never wanted to be a doctor or surgeon so that shouldn't have really applied to me. Nevertheless, Kurenai-sensei thought it necessary for me to have a tutor and of course, she volunteered you. You belonged to Yamanaka-kohai and I'm not the type of girl that would attempt to severe ties between a couple so I acted normal. Like a student to a tutor:

"I don't need your help."

"Turn to page 369, Temari-san."

"Ugh, I hate you."

"The feelings mutual."

You came over to my house everyday or vica versa and soon, I found myself not only understanding the Respiratory System, but the nervous system too - a feat I thought impossible. When the next exam arrived, I managed to scrape a B-. I was a little more than please... Ok, I was ecstatic.

That was when I asked you did you want to go get some ice cream and you accepted ("only because I haven't eaten yet and my mother is scary as shit when I ask her to make me food.") So we went to the local ice cream parlor and I picked chocolate swirl. So did you. Another thing we had in common. I bet Yamanaka-kohai doesn't like chocolate swirl.

But she wears short skirts,
I wear T-shirts,
She's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers,
Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find
That what you're looking for has been here the whole time

She was the prettiest girl in the whole school with a killer body, bright blue eyes and bleach blond hair. I was average looking with a weird eye colour and sandy blond hair. But I was not going to change myself to make you like me. If there's anything I learned from past experience, it was to never change yourself for someone. If you liked me, you would like me for who I am and that's that. End of story.

And what makes it worse was that we started hanging out together. As in, you didn't completely detest my company and I think it's apparent that I didn't completely detest yours, even though I may have said I did a good few times. I laughed a lot more when I was around you and I noticed that you smiled far more often with me than you did with Yamanaka-kohai. Everyone had noticed it. Even Haruno-san made it quite clear. She asked me once, at the back of maths class while Kakashi-sensei had his back turned and was writing up some elaborate trigonometry question that he expected us to understand.

"You're quite friendly with Shikamaru-kun, aren't you, Temari-san."

It was a statement, not a question. I didn't see the point in lying to the girl. She was a big gossip so whatever I told her would no doubt make its way back to Yamanaka-kohai and all those other girls that sprouted false rumours about my being a "Cradle-snatcher."

"Shikamaru-kun and I are good friends. Nothing more than that."

The bell rang before she could ask anything else and I was entirely grateful for that. Shikamaru waited for me outside in the corridor because it always took me longer to pack away my books.

"That class was far too troublesome for my sanity levels. Do you think I could convince my mother that I've adopted a new religion whereby my going to high school would be against its practice?" he asked, all in one breath. I couldn't help but laugh, despite the feelings of unease spreading through my body.

"I doubt it. I've only met your mother once but she doesn't seem that stupid." He nodded slowly and then sighed, seeing the flaw in his own plan. We walked to the next class in comfortable silence. There was no need to talk right now. I would see him after school anyway.

"Temari," he said before we entered the next class. I stopped to listen and I'm sure the confusion was apparent on my face.

"I promised Ino that I would call over to her house today after school so I won't be able to make it to the cinema today.." He paused, trying to read an expression that I was trying everything in my power to hide. "Do you mind if we reschedule?"

I put on my best smile but I'm sure it didn't reach my eyes. In all fairness, who was I to refuse him? I mean, Yamanaka-kohai was his girlfriend and he had been spending an inordinate amount of time with me lately. The worst part was that it was he who was seeking me out. That had just given me false hope.

"Why would I mind?" I asked carefully, avoiding any sign of disappointment from my voice. Asuma-sensei ushered us into class before he gave me an answer.

If you could see that I'm the one who understands you
Been here all along so why can't you see
You belong with me

I didn't wait for you outside the school like I normally did. After all, you were going to Yamanaka-kohai's house so you wouldn't be passing my house like you normally did to get home. I didn't do anything that day. I was too bored to even move. All of my homework was left untouched and I didn't take my dog for his usual walk. I don't think he ever forgave me for that.. My brother Kankurou seemed to find it strange that I was staying in home when I was usually always out with you.

"Yo Tem.. Why are you here?" he asked with no tact whatsoever. I rolled my eyes.

"What? I'm not allowed stay in home for one day a week?" He looked slightly taken aback and I suppose it was because I sent him a deadly glare.

"No it's not that. You're usually out with your boyfriend. That weird guy. What's his name again?"

I growled, a very unfeminine sound. "Shikamaru isn't my boyfriend. He's dating Yamanaka Ino, a junior."

Kankurou mulled the information I had given him for a few minutes before snapping out of whatever thoughts had been rushing through his small little brain.

"She's hot," he said, and I just couldn't stop myself from picking up the pillow on my right and hitting him squarely in the head with it. Like I said, he had no tact whatsoever.

I went to bed earlier than usual and was really surprised when my phone buzzed and your name appeared on the screen in bright green writing; A text message. I quickly pressed the right button like a love struck teenager and read the message you had sent me. Only just got away from Ino this second. Do you want to go and get some late night ice cream? I'm ashamed to admit it.... But I squealed with joy... And the promptly slapped myself.

I grabbed some money from the top of the counter even though I wouldn't need it. You always paid for whatever we got, no matter how much I argued the matter. You were leaning up against the side of the wall next to "Ichiraku's Ice Cream parlor" just like I suspected and you waved slightly when you saw me approaching.

"Hey Temari," and it was only then that I realised you hadn't used a suffix to my name in a long time. I took that as a good sign. Either you didn't respect me or you knew me too well and I agreed with the latter. It was a much nicer thought. We ate the ice cream in relative silence until you decided to think out loud.

"Ino doesn't like ice cream." I snickered to myself.

"It's a pity. If she did, you could take her here instead and wouldn't need to waste so much money on expensive dinners." You smirked and I laughed. Things seemed to be okay between us and I had to repeatedly remind myself that there was no reason for anything to be wrong with us. We were just two friends eating ice cream. Nothing more.

Walking the streets with you and your worn out jeans
I can't help thinking this is how it ought to be
Laughin' on a park bench, thinking to myself
Hey, isn't this easy.

Things were simple. I was happy except for those days when Yamanaka-kohai demanded that you take her out. I had once worked up the courage to ask you why you dated her. You were short with your answer and I suppose it was enough.

"It makes her happy. She's my friend and I like to make her happy."

If it was possible, that made me like you that much more. I had to bite my tongue before I babbled on about how you would make me happy. From what you knew, I was already happy with the way things were. True, that I actually was happy but I was hoping that your relationship was short term. Already, three quarters of the school year was gone and you showed no prospect of finishing whatever relationship you had going on. Soon, you and I would be finished school. Maybe when we finally did, the little thing going on between Yamanaka-kohai and you would end. Here's for wishful thinking.

There's a part of me that knows you like me too. For one reason or another, I knew that if I asked you out, you would say yes once things were ended with Yamanaka-kohai. But I couldn't bring myself to do that. You had told me that she was happy and I didn't want to ruin that for a girl I had never met.

I think it was a Saturday when you invited the both of us out. According to Haruno-san, Yamanaka-kohai demanded that she meet me. She wanted to know who you spent most of your time with and why it was interrupting the time that she, herself, could be spending with you.

"Temari, this is Ino. Ino, this is Temari," you said awkwardly, scratching the back of your head as you faced the both of us. Being the polite person that I was, I extended my hand and she shook it. I think that meant a lot. I was basically telling her that I meant no harm. I was telling her that I wasn't trying to destroy what she had built and she was telling me that I better stay out of it. All that was exchanged in one hand shake.

"It's nice to meet you, Temari-san," she said, her voice the same high pitched girly sound. I nodded, smiling slightly.

"It's nice to meet you too Yamanaka-san."

I found no need to add on "Kohai." Before I had actually met her, I didn't think much of her. Head cheerleaders were never high in my books but I could make an exception for your sake. She wasn't a complete airhead but I could tell that she could change her personality to fit in with whoever was around her and that was dangerous. She could be very sneaky if she wished.

"Please, call me Ino. Shikamaru has told me a lot about you. Sometimes, it's hard to get him to shut up."

I laughed and so did you but it was nervous. I truly marvelled at this new piece of information but you didn't seem like you wanted me to know that, much less the fact that Ino was slightly irritated with it.

The rest of the day passed with ease until about eight that evening. We had spent the day going from shop to shop and Ino had great taste in clothes though admittedly, they were a little skimpier than the type I would have picked. I could see why she was so popular among the male population even though you didn't seem to show any interest in the clothes she picked out.

I was just finished paying for the new purple top when I heard you shouting for the first time since I knew you. Ino was shouting back a little more loudly but the anger in your eyes was so much fiercer that you were so much more impressive.

"What the hell are you talkin' about?!" you shouted, ignoring the many stares that glanced your way.

"You know full well what I'm talking about! You were staring at her! You've never stared at me like that! Tell the truth! You like her! Just admit it!" she screamed back, tears welling up behind her false eye lashes. I wanted to leave. I didn't want to hear anything else but my feet were rooted to the spot. I wish I had left when Ino pointed an accusing manicured finger in my direction.

"Tell the truth Shikamaru! You haven't stopped talking about her! You like her, don't you?! There's no point in us being together if you like someone else!" Right there was when I wanted to either scream or cry. And I never cry so scream I did.. And then walked back inside the shop because I knew my temper would get the better of me. I could still hear the argument going on outside.

"What are you talkin' about! Temari's my best friend!!" and that was when I completely blocked out everything that was said. About twenty minutes later you re-entered the shop with your face composed and most of the anger gone. You stared at me for a few minutes and I stared back, neither of us wanted to talk.

"Can I walk you home now? I hope you don't mind but I'd like to head back," you said, your voice masked perfectly. I nodded dumbly and followed you out with my purchases in my hand. We walked in silence until we reached the path that led to my door step.

"Are you okay Shikamaru?" I asked and I hoped that my voice didn't crack. It my fault that you and Ino were fighting and as much as I didn't understand it, I felt horribly guilty. I didn't want you to be unhappy.

"I'm fine," you said and then nodded before walking away. That, in itself was your admittance that you were not okay.

And you've got a smile that could light up this whole town
I haven't seen it in awhile since she brought you down
You say you're fine, I know you better than that
Hey, what are you doin' with a girl like that?

The next day, I called to your house extra early before school to make sure you were okay. I knocked on your door and Yoshino answered with a small frown on her face. I told her that I was there to see you and she didn't question why I was earlier than usual.

"He's upstairs."

As she had said, you were under your covers when I entered your bedroom, wrapped up in piles of pillows and sheets. Your messy ponytail was still up but some strands had tangled from movement in your sleep.

"Hey," I said and was delighted by the fact that my voice had returned to its normal self once again. You didn't answer me.

"How are things with Ino?" I asked, trying to get the ball rolling. Right now, it felt like the ball was square. You peaked your head out from under the covers and gestured for me to sit down on your bed. I didn't know whether to laugh or roll my eyes. I followed your basic instructions and waited for you to say something.

"Ino and I aren't together anymore," you told me and oddly enough, your voice wasn't strained.

I didn't say anything for a few minutes. On one side, I was extremely happy but on the other, I felt guilty and sad. I didn't want you to be unhappy, even if it meant you were happy without me.

"Listen Shikamaru," I said, trying to find my voice again, "if Ino has a problem with us being friends then I'll understand if you don't want to see me again. I mean, you like Ino right? And I think that if she makes you happy, you should be with her." It took all of my will power to not waver in my prepared speech.

You looked at me for a few seconds, shuffling the covers to get a better look. You looked really sleepy, like you hadn't slept at all.

"Are you insane? Troublesome woman," and then you kissed me. A fleeting kiss but a kiss nonetheless. It took me about twenty minutes to regain my train of thought and I was thankful that I left my house early.

"What was that?" I asked, surprisingly calm. On the inside, there was a parade with little banners of you and I together.

"A kiss," you replied simply and I wanted to laugh. Finally, my brain decided to work. You weren't mad at me. You were mad at yourself for not seeing what was in front of you the whole time.

I remember you driving to my house in the middle of the night
I'm the one that makes you laugh when you know you're 'bout to cry
And I know your favourite songs, and you tell me 'bout your dreams
Think I know where you belong, think I know it's with me.

If I hadn't known that I had like you at the start then I would have known as we walked to school; the way your warm hand fit perfectly into mine, the way you smiled every time I stuttered over my words, the way you smirked at the gawking expressions of the people passing by and the way you kissed my forehead before we walked into class.

Ino was relatively alright. She had found herself a new boy toy to mess around with and all was well in Konohagakure no Sato. As I sat down in my seat, you passed me a note that had obviously been torn from your maths book. It had a few simple words scrawled in your messy handwriting. I didn't expect them to make my heart sore through the ceiling, forgetting gravity and all of its laws.

"You Belong With Me"


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