04. Sloth

Sunlight wafts in yellow porcelain waves through the small gap in the curtains, but it's enough to brighten the room up, if just barely. Dust swirls around the morning air where the light touches it; Temari blinks her eyes open, slowly at first, and then more rapidly as she realizes where she is — and where she is is not where she should be upon the early waking of the morning.

Abruptly she sits up, and just as abruptly she realizes that she's topless. Startled, she yanks the covers up to her chin, looking around to wonder if anyone saw. But the only person who would even be there to see is lying right next to her on his back, his head turned to the side.

Temari settles back into the bed, the soft sheets, and looks at Shikamaru as he sleeps. His hair is down, soft and thin; it's splayed out on his pillow like a tangled spider web. With one hand she feels her own hair (still keeping the green comforter pulled firmly to her chin), which, bedridden and knotted, is absolutely ridiculous right now. Her hand retreats underneath the covers and creeps toward him until she finds the warm flesh of his abdomen; she realizes that he's naked too.

What happened last night?

She struggles to remember. Well, she can clearly remember what happened in this bed last night, but everything before that is a blur; there was dinner, and a walk, and then… how did she get here? She couldn't quite remember. It had happened so quickly that now, as she tries to reformulate the scene in her mind, all she gets are half broken images of Shikamaru's dark polished-stone eyes, his mouth curving into that all-knowing, familiar smirk, his hands on her hips, his mouth warm on hers. And somehow, all of that lead to her coiled on the left side of his bed, completely naked and somehow simultaneously exhausted and refreshed. As she yawns, she realizes that she must have only been asleep for those few hours before dawn broke, because she's still incredibly tired.

Cautiously, Temari inches herself closer to Shikamaru's slumbering form. Curling next to him, it strikes Temari that if she lies very, very still, she can feel his deep, rumbling breathing reverberate through him, and in turn, through her. Slowly, she manages to get her own breath in sync with his, and in the soft morning light, she tries to drift back to sleep. Shikamaru shows no sign of waking for a few more solid hours, so why move when she could just stay here, in his bed, wrapped around him? It's so much easier just to stay put. So much easier, and so much more enjoyable.

For the next few hours, Temari drifts in and out of sleep, hearing the noise of an awakening thump from downstairs and the sounds of birds twittering outside the window. Some moments she's conscious and some moments she's barely hanging on, trying to slip unnoticed back into slumber before she absolutely has to wake up. Outside the sun rises steadily, but inside this room, time freezes, the golden glow of the morning standing still, waiting for the two to arouse themselves from their siesta.

During one of her half-awake-half-asleep moments, she vaguely feels Shikamaru stirring next to her. Through partially closed eyes she watches him yawn and roll over to face her, his calloused hands finding the curve of her hip thoughtlessly..

"Morning," he mumbles incoherently into her hair. He still hasn't opened his eyes yet, but she can tell he's no longer asleep because his breathing is no longer deep and even. But she melds into him anyway, noting how her body and his body simply blend together so seamlessly. If he has no intention of moving, then she's perfectly content to stay in this warm bed with him all day if she can. They could just lay there and be lazy, and for once in her life, she doesn't think she'd mind it if they did.

Author's Note: I'm very attached to this piece for some reason. I think that's the only time in her life Temari would let herself be lethargic.

Up next: Greed.