Yo! This is NOT a continuation of the story, it's a Christmas special, which was too short to post as a one-short. So. I wrote this after Christmas, but only because my Internet broke. =(. I've also written another drabble for Shadows and Wind. As I write this, I'm about two hours from turning sixteen. Wow. Sorry, that just occurred to me. Anyways.

This is ALSO notification that I've finally started work (as in writing) on the first connecting oneshot. I'm calling it Rei. Becuase that's who it's about. Also. I'm thinking that the next story may feature Rei as its main character, because she's shaping up quite nicely in my mind. You'll see why. Lots of angst potential. I'm also working on a new chapter for Fighting The Shadows of Wind. No telling when they'll be finished, but...

Lastly, there will be very little Rei in this chapter, and no specifications as to her character. After all, she's only what, 9 months old?

So, there you are. And now...Man And Wife: Christmas Special.


Man And Wife Christmas Special: Happiness

"Christmas-time is here! Happiness and cheer!" sang Temari with Masaru, as the two of them ran up the steps of the Nara's house, getting out of the cold as fast as possible. Shikamaru opened the door for them, putting a finger to his lips.

"Quiet, or Rei will shatter your happiness and cheer with her wailing. I've only just put her to sleep, " he said. Masaru cocked his head at his father, as he began to take off his coat.

"Why does Rei have to sleep so early? It's not even lunchtime."

"Rei is sleeping early," Shikamaru answered, "so that she can stay up later tonight, when we trim the tree." Masaru looked at his father sollomly, then nodded, and ran away to play. Temari looked at Shikamaru, and the two of them laughed together.

"I know he's your son, but I still can't believe how intelligent he is!" said Temari, still laughing. Shikamaru smiled.

"I'm told I out-reasoned my father when I was 4. Masaru's already well on his way, and he's only 3!"


About seven hours later, night had fallen, and both Masaru and Rei were asleep in their beds. Shikamaru and Temari sat on the couch, basking in the glow of the fire. Temari yawned.

"I know we should probably fill the kid's stockings now, but I'm far too lazy to do so." Shikamaru nodded, agreeing with her, and replied.

"Let's just stay like this a little longer."

"I don't really remember last Christmas," said Temari.

"I think you were pregnant with Masaru then, yes? We just stayed at home and had a quiet time."

"Oh yeah! And you gave me the fat sweatshirt."

"Maternity!"

"Pfft, whatever." They sat in silence for a while, then Temari spoke again. "It's not going to get any easier, is it?" Shikamaru shook his head, and she continued. "As our kids grow up, everything's going to get more and more hectic. I doubt we'll ever have a Christmas this simple, this contented." Shikamaru nodded, and then spoke.

"So let's just enjoy this one, while it lasts." The two of them kissed, then got up, and filled the stockings their children ( or rather, Masaru) had hung above the fire. Then, as they walked to their bedroom, they stopped by the bedroom Masaru slept in. Temari smiled gently at her son, sleeping with an expression of bliss on his face. Passing Rei's cradle on their way to bed, the both glanced down at their child.

"I still cannot believe that you and I have created two lives together. It just boggles my mind," said Temari. Shikamaru hugged her gently.

"We've done pretty well for our first time at this." Temari laughed, and they went to bed.


As the morning dawned, Shikamaru awoke the sound of Masaru bouncing up and down beside their bed, shouting.

"Look! Mommy! Daddy! It's snowing!" Shikamaru looked out the window, and then at his family, Temari grinning sleepily, Rei laughed and standing up in her crib, and Masaru, bursting with energy. And he was content.


There you are. Merry Christmas, Everybody!