The Prologue where Shikamaru doesn't tell

"The Sunagakure ambassador will be here tonight before sunset so that means you're on duty for the next seven days, Shikamaru."

"Me, again? You know I'm still working on-"

"I'm giving it to Kakashi. You know, I assign you as her escort every time she comes here and for the last year, you've complained every time. Either you tell me what happened back then or you quietly accept this cake mission of following her around town until she leaves."

"Hai, hai. I'll take the mission."

"You're really not going to tell me what's going on between you two, are you?"

"There's nothing to tell..."

Chapter 1: The chapter where Temari and Shikamaru say "hi".

The fan strapped to her back felt like a ton of bricks by the time she saw the gates of Konoha. She had made the trek in two days through little sleep and taking to the trees whenever she could. Fortunately, she had been coming and going from Konoha so often lately that even with a little sleep deprivation, she could easily find her way to the familiar gates in front of her now. She dropped from the tree in a quick, efficient motion and dusted off her clothes before walking out of the woods and onto the main road.

It was easy enough with the failing light to stretch a shadow between the trees without it being obvious, even to her. It wasn't long, either, before he felt her shadow cross his and cast itself onto the road. He glanced up through his eyelashes to see the setting sun at her back and the orange light streak through the trees, crowning her head and glinting off the guardstick of her fan as she walked up to the gate. From her posture, he could tell she was exhausted. From the furrow in her brow, he could tell she needed a drink. He quickly looked back to the two gate guards who were rambling on about the commotion in town and smiled to himself. Not that she'd have one, of course, unless it was tea or water.

She walked up to the guardpost where Shikamaru was having some casual conversation with Kotetsu about local events – in other words, gossiping. Without a word, Shikamaru placed an uncapped pen on the register and moved aside just enough to let her sign in. As she filled out the information and signed her name, she watched the expressions shift across his face out of the corner of her eyes. It wasn't until she handed the pen to Izumo that their eyes finally met.

"Well, here we are again," she greeted him.

"Yeah," he replied, jamming his hands into his pockets. "I guess so."

A/N: Short, huh? Sorry... =_=;; This story is a total of 5 chapters, some longer than others...

As a general disclaimer, the fic is rated T for occasional swearing in later chapters, including one or two incidences of "f'ck". Also, I wrote this because I need to get used to writing on my new laptop (weird, huh?) so while I had this idea incubating in my head for a while, I ended up forcing it to hatch a little early. On top of that, I've never written either character before and I don't have the time to give it a good edit (sheepishly rubs back of neck), but I posted this anyway since there can never be too much ShikaTema. ^_^ I hope you enjoy it anyway and come back next Friday for chapter two!