Midday

noun; middle of the day; noon


"Hurry up, lazy-ass! I haven't got all day." Temari called over her shoulder to Shikamaru. He sighed and stuffed his hands in his pockets, grumbling about 'troublesome woman' and 'making me walk too fast'. She rolled her eyes and then a simply wicked smile came across her face. She glanced back to Shikamaru, who was still walking as slow as a snail, and then bursted into full-on sprinting.

"Oi, wait up! Damn woman." he grumbled as he started debated whether to catch up with her. His shadow obviously couldn't reach as far as she was away from him so that was off the list of ways to get the crazed Temari to stop. He finally sighed and began jogging after her.

"Come on, Shikamaru! Don't tell me a woman can outrun someone as manly as you!" she teased as she glanced over her shoulder. She gave him a wide smile as she continued wandering down the streets of Konoha, occasionally glancing at small shops.

"Damn troublesome woman. Gonna be the death of me." he groaned as he caught up with her, slightly out of breath.

"Oi! You hungry?" he asked as he spotted her eyeing a small restaurant. He wasn't trying to get her to stop running. Really, not at all.

"You just want to take a little break from all that strenuous activity. Besides, what's it to you?" she asked defensively, walking faster as she purposefully avoided looking at the restaurants.

"Well I can't have the sister of the Kazekage dying on me, now can I? Besides-wait where are your brothers? Aren't they supposed to be here?" he asked as he glanced around, somehow thinking that the redhead and brunette would randomly appear out of nowhere.

"Hm? Oh they can take care of themselves. Besides, Kankurou's helping Gaara prep for the meeting later today. We're both going, you know? Well, actually we're not exactly supposed to go but we think that it's in everyone's best interest for us to help keep everything in check." she said, smiling widely at him.

"You know I could get in trouble for knowing that and not doing anything about it?" he asked, having a feeling he already knew the answer.

"Yup. But that makes it all the more fun, 'cause now you can come with us. Help us spy on that creep Danzo. I'm seriously getting some bad vibes from that guy. Just seeing him when we came here was weird. I mean, I'm so used to seeing the eternally hung-over Tsunade." she said, smiling yet again as she thought of the old Hokage.

"Meh. Too troublesome. So, ready for lunch?" he asked as he pointed to a small barbecue restaurant.

"Huh? Oh no, I'm good." she replied nonchalantly as she continued walking down the street.

"Come on, even you need to eat. I'll even pay for it." he offered, resorting to his last, and least desirable, option. She did need to eat, after all.

"No, I'm good." she continued as she walked down a small side-street and peered into a few more shops.

"Okay then...so what do you want to do?" he asked, surprised since she usually was the one to drag him to a restaurant and demand the three-course lunch with a side of miso soup.

"I don't know, why don't we just cloud-watch or something." she suggested casually as she made a turn and headed for his famous "cloud-watching hill".

"Wait-is this some kind of test or something? You're the one that's always telling me that cloud-watching is practically a sin and that I should be doing something productive with my time instead of 'watching those enlarged blobs of cotton'." Shikamaru retorted as he looked at her skeptically.

"Well, now I wanna look at those 'enlarged blobs of cotton' and if you don't want to then you can leave." she huffed as she began climbing up the hill.

"Always such an absolute pleasure to be around." he said sarcastically as he trudged behind her. She smiled and turned around once they reached the top of the hill.

"Knew you'd make the right decision, lazy-ass." she smirked as she sat down and patted a patch of grass next to her, motioning for him to sit next to her.

"Meh. It was either sitting here with you and watching clouds or risk Danzo yelling at me when he finds out that I wasn't staying with you 24/7." he replied as he laid down and prepared for a nice long nap.

"Oi! What're you doing, lazy-ass?" she asked accusingly.

"Getting ready for a nap, woman. Your mom didn't wake you up at five this morning for no reason except to do house-chores." he retorted as he readjusted himself, prepared for the all-too familiar whack on the head.

"Oh quit your complaining, baka! I mean really, the people Suna are expected to be up by five every day for their training." she huffed, a hint of pride for her nation evident in her voice.

"No wonder why there's a high suicide rate in Suna, the men have to deal with bitchy women getting them up at five every morning." he retorted as he slowly sat up.

"I'll have you know that the men there are pleased to get woken up by their wives in the morn-hey! Wait, why do you think that only men are getting woken up? And why do you think that their meager housewives are the ones waking them up?" she screeched, attracting the attention of a couple passing by.

"Oi, calm down! Come on, we're going to lunch. I at least know that you have the decency not to cause a scene in a restaurant." he groaned as he grabbed her hand and practically dragged her to the closest restaurant.

"I can walk by myself, ass." she hissed as she pulled her hand away from his and straightened up.

"Konichiwa, welcome to Hirozen! My name is Emiko and I'll be your waitress today. Let me get you two seated." a black-haired, blue-eyed and quite peppy woman said as she led the pair to a small booth. She motioned for them to sit down and set their menus down.

"I'll be right back for your drink order." she said cheerfully as she gave them a very Ino-esque look.

"Something seems off about that girl. She's too...peppy." Temari said suspiciously as she slid into the booth, taking out her fan and placing it on the table.

"Well, that is what she's paid to do." Shikamaru replied as he picked up his menu.

"What kind of restaurant is this?" Temari asked incredulously as she scanned through the menu, grimacing as she read the cheesy titles of some of the entrees.

"Oh what is it now?" he groaned. She simply shoved her menu in his face and motioned for him to read it. Tempestuous Tempura, Rendevous Rice Patties,

"Oh kami this isn't Hi-oh damnit. It isn't Sunday is it?" Shikamaru asked anxiously as he looked around the place as if expecting somebody.

"Yeah, I think it's Sund-" she answered, still confused as to why he was freaking out.

"We have to leave now. Ino comes here every Sunday with a different date and if she sees us here she's gonna have a field day. God, the name of the restaurant totally slipped my mind." he continued as he slid out of the booth.

"I don't know, I think that it'd be nice to see Blondie again." she replied with a smirk, always looking forward to seeing the blonde.

"We are not staying here. Do you know how troublesome she is when she finds even the slightest hint of gossip? I'd never hear the end of it." he continued as he, for the second time that day, practically pulled her away.

"Come on, don't be such a wimp. Besides, she knows what kind of relationship we have and it's not like there's any underly-oh look, there she is!" Temari said as she spotted the platinum blonde and waved. Ino, having spotted the dirty-blonde, was quick to drag her seemingly disgruntled date towards them.

"Oh, Temari! It's so great to see you here! I mean, it's been ages since we've had a chance to talk. It's just d-oh my god! Shikamaru! I can't believe I didn't see you there! I mean it's so-oh my gosh! Did I just crash your date or something? I totally didn't even realize! I'll just leave you two alone then!" Ino said in a rush, leaving as quickly as she came, dragging her date away yet again.

"You know, if I'd blinked and gone momentarily deaf I probably wouldn't have even known she was here." Temari said dazedly as soon as she returned from her shocked state.

"You can't say I didn't warn you. I mean, she's probably already told half the town what she just saw." he replied as he took a sip of his water.

"Well...she should realize that it was simply a lunch between two colleagues. Nothing more than a meeting between friends." she reasoned as if she was trying to convince herself.

"Well then you clearly don't know Ino as well as I thought you did." he chuckled as a waitress came by with two glasses of water.

"Well, hello there! What can I get you two today?" Emiko asked, practically radiating exuberance.

"I'll just have some miso soup if you have any." Temari deadpanned, quickly growing annoyed at the waitress's peppiness.

"Great choice! And for you, sir?" Emiko asked, completely oblivious to Temari's annoyance.

"I'll have the same. Thanks." Shikamaru said, his voice retaining the same monotonous tone as ever.

"Great! It'll be up in a jiffy!" she squealed as she practically skipped back to the kitchen.

"Did she just say jiffy?" Temari asked as she looked at the waitress incredulously.

"It's August in Konoha and it's not raining. Everyone's entitled to be a little bit...sporadic." Shikamaru said amusedly as he glanced outside.

"No need to take up all of Konoha's quota of excitement in one person." Temari groaned, although her slight smile betraying her words.

"You know, maybe that's why Suna has a high suicide rate: because there aren't enough people like Emiko and Ino there." Shikamaru said faux-pensively, trying not to smirk.

"If anything they'd double the suicide rate in Suna." Temari scoffed, looking up just in time to see Emiko balancing their food as if she were some sort of act at a circus.

"And to think, it's only noon." Temari groaned as Emiko, and their food, toppled down and fell onto the floor.