Hey, a quick question...what are you supposed to do when your computer's internet filter blocks you off from one of your own stories because it thinks there's pornography in it?

Hello, this is A Procrastinating Writer with my fanfic, Lazy Day, rated T for sexual humor, sexual situations, and a highly improbable light fixture. This is my latest oneshot, and I fired that shot with a really big gun. 15,506 words. 26 pages single spaced, 45 double. And I keep my pages' margins slightly bigger than normal. Does that mean quantity is better than quality? Heck no, but I tried my darndest either way.

I must note before we continue, that when I originally got the idea for this story from the small beings who live inside my head, it contained a lemon. So I peeled that lemon, squeezed out the juices, watered it down heavily, and added sugar. LEMONADE!

Then I tossed out the lemonade and poured some chocolate milk in to replace it. Chocolate is better than lemons.

Out of left field: If Shikamaru's room has been shown in the manga or anime, forgive me; I didn't read it/watch that episode/just forgot about it. Also, I'm not sure exactly where in the timeline this story takes place. Nothing makes it necessary to Shippuden, but to be as old as the characters here are hinted to be, it'd have to be Shippuden...right? Right?

DISCLAIMER: Naruto and all related subjects and characters are registered trademarks of Masashi Kishimoto. This story idea technically belongs to me, but if you really want to use it you only need the permission of the webmasters since I posted it on their site. That said, I would appreciate it if you asked.

Well, get to reading already! Sheesh, I have to do everything for you guys...


Shikamaru woke up. This would have been a big surprise to anyone who knew him, but no one was around.

The boy sighed, sitting up slowly in his bed, in his room, in his house. A book fell off his chest as he did so. He looked at it. "How to Seduce Women". -Why was I reading that again?- he thought to himself. He picked up the book, turned it to approximately where he'd left off, and smiled. "These pick-up lines are guaranteed to work 100 percent of the time!" the book said in size 36 print. -That's right...the ridiculousness of it.- And he chuckled.

Although Shikamaru, being a teenaged boy, was never sure of what girls were thinking, he knew one thing: pick up lines don't work. Ever. -Naruto would probably think this book is genius,- he continued thinking as he read the stupid, stupid lines. The stupidest one by far was "Hey, are you into math?" (Shikamaru said out loud to himself, as mockingly as possible) "'Cause I was thinking we add you and me, subtract our clothes, divide our legs, and multiply!" And he laughed, long and hard. "I'll make sure to use that one on Ino if I ever have a death wish..." he finally trailed off, throwing the book off to the side and reclining again.

Shikamaru had the week off. Genuinely, too, because his parents didn't. They had business to attend to, and would be gone for at least three days. Thus, although even Shikamaru acknowledged that he would eventually have to get up, today was to be a day of nothing but staring at the ceiling and maybe reading a book or two. He would be watching the clouds, but there was a sound at his window that approximated an extremely tiny drumbeat; pitter patter pitter patter. That meant either A) it was raining, or B) the squirrels had finally revolted, and were now playing their tiny drums in preparation to sacrifice the humans to their gods. Either way, Shikamaru knew he wasn't going to get to go outside today.

He sighed, content for the moment to let his mind wander. Being a teenaged boy, his mind turned to thoughts of girls. He lingered there for a short time, then moved on with no trouble. In his mind, though girls were certainly good-looking, they were altogether too troublesome to be worth it at all. This was a bit of a drag for Shikamaru, because (though he'd never admit it) he really did want something to cuddle on great, lackadaisical days like this. He would never admit this to anyone because (in his opinion) this was a rather feminine desire, and therefore shouldn't be in his mind.

His next thought was -I wonder what I should have for lunch today.- Then, -I wonder whether it's lunchtime or breakfastime right now.- Then, -Eh, I don't really care.- Then, -I wonder what I should have for lunch today.- He frowned. It had to be something simple to make. Otherwise today wouldn't count as a day off.

Then he sneezed. He looked at his nose quizzically. Why would anyone be talking about him? He shrugged off the thought. He continued thinking about lunch. Lunch got him to thinking of Chōji. He smiled at the thought of his best friend and all-around awesome guy. -I think I'll make him best man at my wedding.- Shikamaru decided. Then he blinked and stopped smiling. Thoughts of his wedding. Where had that come from? He growled. - Right. Lunch.-

And that's when he imagined Sakura in a bathing suit.

Shikamaru sat straight up in bed, blushing. -What the...what is wrong with me today? I can't keep focused on anything!- He shook his head rapidly, attempting to clear out the cobwebs. -Maybe I should read another book,- he thought, picking up a random one off the floor. -One that has nothing to with troublesome women.-

The book he had picked up was actually a magazine, and the magazine was called Girlie no Jutsu. It was a magazine all about "kunoichi" who were obviously just models, and their lives and hobbies and how they looked in negative amounts of clothing. It was the January issue, and Fumiko was the centerfold. It was a very popular issue.

Shikamaru stared at the cover for a few seconds in disbelief before shouting, extremely loudly: "I DIDN'T EVEN BUY THIS MAGAZINE!" He then impaled the thing on a kunai, tossed that kunai out the window and attempted to calm himself down. After a few deep breaths, he decided that his dad REALLY needed to freaking hide those things somewhere else besides his room. He also decided that he would "accidentally" leave the April issue in plain sight for when his mom and dad got back home, and then would sit back and smile as his dad got beaten. Disproportionate retribution? Yes, and also a lot of fun.

He finally lay back on his bed. His train of thought had changed railways with that little burst of anger, he recognized. With a small smile, he settled back in to start daydreaming again, without having to think about any more annoying, domineering, loud, bossy, naggy, admittedly pretty, girls.

"Hey, Shikamaru?" shouted a decidedly feminine voice as the door opened.

-WHAT THE FREAKING HECK?-

"Shikamaru?" continued the voice as Shikamaru brought the pillow he was lying on around his head. It did nothing to block the noise. "Come on, Shikamaru, I know you're home!"

-Whose voice is that?...no, I don't care.- Shikamaru thought. Yet, against his will, his brain began to think of possibilities. -It's too low a voice for any of the kunoichi around here, or at least the ones I know of,- he thought. -So that means that this girl's from another village...what girls know me from other villages?-

"You going to answer me anytime soon, you lazy bum?"

Shikamaru bolted upright. Temari.

-What a drag...- he sighed. "What are you doing here?"

"What?" responded the fan-wielding ninjette, as Shikamaru heard the fridge door being opened.

"I said," said Shikamaru, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE IN MY HOUSE UNINVITED?"

"Ah, that's better!" said Temari, as if he had merely raised his voice slightly instead of shouting at the top of his lungs, quite angrily. "Well, you see," and here her voice became muffled, Shikamaru guessed due to food (HIS food!) in her mouth, "I wa ah ear ila mashin, eh I gah-"

"SWALLOW!" Shikamaru shouted.

An audible gulp came from downstairs. Shikamaru could almost hear the smirk in her next statement. "That's what she said."

Shikamaru groaned. -I swear I will kill her and hide her body under a giant...thing!-

Temari continued, "Actually, thinking it over, I guess I should say 'That's what he said', not 'that's what she said.'" There was a small silence. "You know, because if we're talking about swallowing..."

"I UNDERSTAND THE MECHANICS!" interrupted Shikamaru.

"Sure you do," said Temari, the mocking tone in her voice all-too-evident.

Shikamaru sighed. "Okay...back to my original question..."

"What?" shouted Temari, right after the sound of a bottle being opened occurred.

"WHY ARE YOU HERE?"

"Oh, right!" the fan-wielder said, remembering what she was saying before. "Well, I had a mission here, so I thought I'd stop by, since it got canceled just a little bit before I arrived."

"Why didn't you go to a restaurant?" agonized Shikamaru, looking up at the ceiling as if asking God that question instead of Temari.

Temari answered, and we can assume God laughed. Actually, Temari also laughed. And put on a valley-girl impression, too. "Like, I didn't just come here for food, you know! I'm also here for the, like, camaraderie!" and she laughed again, going back to her normal voice.

"Camader...oh sweet heaven..." said Shikamaru, deciding to just give up while he could. Besides, his throat hurt from yelling. He sighed, then decided to just...stop thinking about Temari being downstairs...in his house...uninvited...eating his food...interrupting his day off...he shook his head. -Anything else...think of anything else!-

Temari was gulping down the last of her bottle of soda (which she didn't get to have too often, since soda was a rare commodity in Suna) when she heard Shikamaru scream in horror. Choking and gasping momentarily, she shoved the mild pain in her chest out of her mind as she dashed up the stairs to see what was wrong. Opening the door, she found Shikamaru sitting cross-legged on his bed, beating the top of his head with both fists. "What the heck are you doing?" she asked, genuinely confused.

Shikamaru stopped pounding. "I'm trying to get the image of Neji and Sasuke waltzing out of my head!"

There was a long, long silence.

"...what?" finally asked Temari.

"Long story," responded Shikamaru, rather grumpily. Then he had a sudden realization.

He was in his undershirt and boxers.

He was in his undershirt and boxers and there was a girl roughly his own age nearby.

He was in his undershirt and boxers and there was a girl roughly his own age nearby and her name was Temari.

There were covers on his bed for him to hide under.

Shikamaru quickly did so, and it was so obvious from his blush exactly why. Temari resisted the urge to laugh. She did not resist it very well at all, bursting out in guffaws after just a few seconds. "What's so funny?" asked Shikamaru indignantly, all too aware of what was so funny and therefore embarrassed to death.

Temari just kept laughing as Shikamaru sulked. Finally, she managed to let out, "Wow, Shikamaru, I had no idea you were so comfortable around me!"

"Okay, get out of my house!" said Shikamaru, as Temari slapped her knees in laughter. Shikamaru momentarily considered using his Shadow Possession Jutsu to force her to leave, but decided against it when he realized he'd have to take off his blanket to use it. So, either she was going to leave on her own, or he was stuck with her.

Yeah, he was stuck with her. Troublesome, pretty, troublesome, smart, troublesome, feminine, troublesome woman that she was, there was no way she was leaving. What a drag.

Finally again, Temari managed to calm down. "Oh...wow. I'm sorry. I really am. I shouldn't have barged in."

Shikamaru raised an eyebrow at this. She was apologizing? Women never apologized. They always made the man apologize with their long eyelashes and pouty lips. "It's...alright," he finally said, bringing the blanket down to waist level. -No harm, I guess...she's already seen me.-

"Yeah. I just heard you scream and I thought...yeah," said Temari.

"You were worried?" smirked Shikamaru.

Temari fumed. "Yeah, I was worried! Geez...be a jerk about it, why don't you?"

"Consider it payback for the breaking and entering," said Shikamaru.

"Oh, like you didn't want to see me," said Temari as she took her turn smirking.

"No, I didn't," countered Shikamaru. "Today was supposed to be my day off. Then you showed up, annoyance that you are." And here he lay back down, staring at the ceiling once again.

"Hmph. So much for gratitude," said Temari, sticking out her tongue at him. She walked out of the room, leaving a suddenly very frustrated Shikamaru to let his veins pulsate.

-Gratitude? She BROKE INTO MY HOUSE!- he screamed inside his head. He shook same head for the sixteenth or so time that day. -I need some more sleep...- he thought, closing his eyes. He listened to the steady pitter-patter of rain at the window. This went on for a short time before he had a realization that quite literally opened his eyes. -It's raining outside.- He thought back a few minutes. He hadn't really noticed before, but Temari's clothes and hair were definitely wet. Wet and clinging...

Shikamaru rapped his forehead once, blushing heavily. NOT the time. The proper to time to think about stuff like that was, let's see, NEVER. He thought some more. -Part of the reason she came in here was probably to get out of the rain,- he thought, frowning slightly and actually finding some pity in his heart for her. He snapped out of that quickly. -Still doesn't give her any right to come into my house uninvited,- he thought, and rightfully so. He started to close his eyes again.

"Here."

Shikamaru opened his eyes and slowly turned his head. Temari was standing at the doorway to his room again. In her left hand was a bottle of soda. In her right was a plate with a rather generous sandwich on it.

Shikamaru blinked, a little stunned. Temari half-rolled her eyes. "I figure this is the least I could do to make up for coming in uninvited. That way," and here she began walking over, "You don't have to get up to make yourself lunch." And she set the sandwich and drink on his nightstand. She looked him in the eye with a sardonic smile. "Besides, as a chauvinist, I'm sure you've always wanted a girl to bring you a sandwich in bed."

In the silence after that, Shikamaru's chest suddenly started hurting for some reason. "What on earth makes you think I can eat all that?" he asked, indicating the sandwich and simultaneously covering up his real feelings.

Temari sighed. "Whatever. I'll leave now." And she turned to do so.

About when she had reached the door, Shikamaru spoke up. "There's a bathroom down the hall. Plenty of towels for you to dry off."

Temari stopped and looked back. "Did...you just say-"

"I'd offer you some of my mom's clothes," continued Shikamaru as if he hadn't heard her, "But I really don't feel that they're mine to give. I'd also offer you some of mine, but they're way too small for you. At least I assume they would be. You're way taller than me, after all." And with that, he sat up in bed and reached over for the bottle of soda. "Best I can tell you is too use a hair-dryer and trust I'll give you privacy while you do. Unlike the 'privacy' you gave me earlier." And he took a drink.

Temari smiled, then left and turned down the hall for the bathroom. Once she was gone, Shikamaru smiled too. His chest didn't hurt anymore.

0-0-0-0

He was expecting Temari to hang around the house until the rain stopped, but he wasn't expecting her to come back in his room. This is why he'd completely taken off the blanket, and eaten all of the sandwich he said he'd never finish. As soon as Temari came back in, clothes dry and hair back the way it was supposed to be, he forgot about the latter fact and once again panicked about the first fact, bringing the blanket up to his chin quite rapidly. Temari chuckled. "Aww, I was looking forward to seeing you in your underwear again!" she joked.

Shikamaru blushed and brought the blanket down to waist level again, resting his back against the wall. He didn't know it, but Temari wasn't entirely joking. True, Shikamaru was definitely not drop-dead gorgeous with ripped abs and a beautiful smile, but there was still some indescribable part of him and his personality that Temari found extremely...

...sexy.

She turned away quickly before Shikamaru could see her blush, covering up by looking around his room. It was a strange room, blue in color. There was a bookshelf at the back of it, full of eclectic books from the generic Ninja 101 textbooks she was surprised he bothered keeping to the Astronomy for Dummies book that looked very well thumbed through. His bed was located directly in the center of the room, but his room was small enough that it still reached the back wall. This fact did not seem to disturb Shikamaru that much. It was a lot less messy than she expected, but Temari supposed that was just because the shadow-nin was too lazy to get his room messy.

There were some other miscellaneous things in his room (Shogi board, closet, Lucky Neko, etc.), but the thing that made it strange was the extremely high ceiling. She had no idea why Shikamaru needed so little space in the x and y dimensions and so much in the z, but she could imagine he wouldn't tell her if she asked. Actually, looking at the incredibly high ceiling, she determined that there was something else strange about the room.

"What the heck is that?" she asked, pointing up at the glass light fixture attached to the ceiling. Not as in, hooked by a chain or thick rope, but literally attached to the ceiling. It took up most of the ceiling space.

"It's Naruto." Shikamaru replied, sarcasm dripping so heavily off his tongue one could be excused from thinking the floor could collapse at any moment. "I'm hiding him from a lust-crazed Lee."

"Shut up."

"You first."

Temari sulked. Then she started walking around the room. She nearly tripped over the messiest part of the room: a pile of clothing, not that big, but noticeable. She looked down and, after a moment, started gagging. "Honestly, your room isn't that dirty, but this part of it..." she fanned the air from her nose. "I mean, wow." She shivered. "And it's so cold! Why is it so cold in here?"

"Did you come in just to criticize my room," asked Shikamaru, "Or did you actually have a constructive reason for coming in here?"

"I just wanted to talk, that's all," half-murmured Temari, a small smile on her face as she turned and began going through the bookshelf.

"What now?" asked Shikamaru.

Temari turned again and looked under Shikamaru's bed. "Hmm. Nope, not here either," she said, smirking.

"What are you looking for?" Shikamaru asked, eyebrow raised and mouth downturned in annoyance. Temari walked over to the other side of his bed and looked in his nightstand before replying, a big mocking smile on her face.

"Oh, I was just curious where you kept your porn stash, that's all," she said, as if it were the most innocent thing in the world.

Shikamaru grinned where she expected him to blush and start denying, denying, denying. "Keep looking, but I don't have one." He chuckled. "Not that I'm some kind of saint or anything. It's just that, for some reason or another, that stuff just doesn't do anything for me."

"Really?" asked Temari, and that word alone was enough for her to be probing gently for information.

"Yeah," Shikamaru said, not noticing the warning signs. "Not for lack of trying either, because if you looked hard enough around this room you'd probably find some comic or two that barely has any story in it...just an excuse to draw women in small amounts of clothing." He shrugged. "Early adolescence...and wouldn't you know it, getting home after buying these things in secret and keeping them from mom and dad...and bam. Nothing at all." He chuckled again. "You know, for a genius, I feel pretty stupid sometimes."

"Hmm...so you don't like the girls in the magazines, then?" asked Temari, subtly working her way in for more information.

"Nah," said Shikamaru, "I like them, I just...I dunno. I don't like the situation of them posing for those kinds of pictures and...heh." He shook his head. "But, yeah, I'm nowhere near 'pure' just because I don't like that stuff. Chōji on the other hand, he's a good guy. Would never think of touching that stuff, and for all the right reasons."

"Sounds like a sweet guy," Temari said, sitting on the edge of the bed.

"All the girls say so, but none of them actually do anything about it," said Shikamaru, a small hint of anger in his voice. "All because he's, well, you know, 'big-boned'."

"Heh," said Temari. "I guess us girls are just as obsessed with the physical as you guys are."

"Believe me, I've noticed," said Shikamaru, smiling a genuine smile, Temari reached over, a smile on her face too, and smacked him lightly on the arm. He tried to dodge, failed, and laughed along with her.

"So," she continued, "What kind of girl would you like?"

"Well," he thought, then smiled again. He looked her in the eye while talking too. "First off, one who's real, not plasticized and airbrushed, or drawn on a piece of paper from some adolescent adult's fantasy."

"Right, I get what you're saying," said Temari, not snappishly, but encouragingly.

"Hmm. I guess..." and he closed his eyes, "That, I would like a girl who is not too pre-."

His eyes suddenly snapped open and his mouth formed an 'o' shape. He sat up yet again, looking at Temari in something kin to, but not quite, fear. "What?" Temari asked, putting on her best 'innocent' act.

"How?" he asked.

"How what?" she responded, and she barely finished before Shikamaru suddenly grabbed her by the shoulders.

"How are you doing this?" he clarified. "How are...you just made me spill my guts about, like, six different very personal subjects! How did you do that?"

Temari giggled. "I just listened, that's all. You did the rest." Her eyes suddenly went into a half-lidded stance, and her voice took on a more seductive tone. She gently placed her hand on his chest. "Now why would you do that, Shikky..."

"GET AWAY FROM ME, YOU DEVIL-WOMAN!" shouted Shikamaru, pushing her away. She laughed like crazy.

"Devil woman, huh?" she asked. "Aren't female demons supposed to be succubi?" Her voice had that tone again, and this time Shikamaru could hear this mocking edge to it.

"If you are one, you're doing a horrible job. Haven't felt a thing since you got here," Shikamaru lied.

Temari's eyes widened, and she blushed. Her face suddenly switched to one of anger. "Well, excuse me for being unattractive!" And she turned away again, heading over to Shikamaru's desk, across from his bed.

Shikamaru blinked. -That wasn't the reaction I was expecting.- He thought for a short time. "Hey, Temari."

She turned away from whatever she was inspecting, coming face to face with Shikamaru again. "What?"

Shikamaru was silent for a couple seconds. "What's your cup size?"

SLAP!

Temari moved awfully quickly. "What kind of question was that, you jerk?" she shouted, blushing.

-Now that, was an expected reaction,- said Shikamaru, planning out the rest of this conversation. Usually when he bothered trying to manipulate conversations, he was able to predict all his "opponent's" reactions. But with Temari...well, he was worried, to say the least. "Just the kind of question to help me answer yours."

"Wha...?" asked Temari.

"Part of my ideal girl is her chest, right?" asked Shikamaru. "Body is least important in a relationship, but it is an important part, right?"

"..."

"...right. So, I need to determine approximately what cup size my ideal girl is," continued Shikamaru, rubbing his cheek. It really stung.

Temari suddenly smirked again. She was doing that a lot. "So you think your ideal girl is about my cup size, is that right?"

"What?" asked Shikamaru. -Exactly as predicted,- he thought to himself.

"Hmm...I wonder what other qualities I share with this mysterious girl..." fake-mused Temari.

"No, Temari!" panicked-acted Shikamaru. -Good. She feels better about her looks...I think.-

Now a fake-gasp from Temari. "Could the mystery girl be me?" She suddenly swooned, also false, into his arms.

-Wait, hold on a second!- thought Shikamaru, mental eyes widening along with his physical ones.

"Oh, Shikky, I never knew you cared!" she shouted, cuddling him in "ecstasy". Shikamaru, meanwhile, had forgotten the next step in his plan. Heck, maybe this was the next plan...uh step in the...um, plan. The plan. Yeah, Shikamaru couldn't think clearly; all he knew was that he was being cuddled by an extremely attractive woman. And, since said extremely attractive woman was a little taller than him, the breasts he had been asking about were awfully close to his face. Hard to think.

She kissed him.

It was on the cheek, and it wasn't long, and it wasn't even serious, just a joke. But it was a kiss. And they both realized it immediately. This definitely wasn't part of the plan. Temari and Shikamaru both blushed, as Temari quickly got up. There was a silence that neither was sure how to fill, and Temari quickly walked back to the desk across from the bed.

Shikamaru lay back down, and breathed heavily for a few seconds. Despite the fact he was in his late teenaged years, that was the first real physical contact he'd had with a member of the opposite sex (unless you count people trying to kill him), and it left him a lot dizzier and warmer than any of the stupid comics he'd bought when he was younger could ever hope to do, even if he they had been able to turn him on instead of disgusting him like they did. Hard to think? Not anymore. But it was hard to think about anything else except...

Temari spoke up. "Hey, Shikamaru?" He looked up, his breath caught in his throat. She was looking back over her shoulder at him. "Thanks for making me feel better."

Shikamaru was silent. Then, he smiled. "Hey. I just didn't want you mad at me, that's all. You being mad with me...I think I'd just prefer suicide."

Temari giggled. "I'd have to agree. So don't try anything else." And she shot him a threatening glance that somehow wasn't threatening at all.

Shikamaru actually grinned. "I promise I will."

It was a purely innocent piece of banter, with no deep meaning attached to it. However, there easily could have been a much deeper meaning attached to it, and it could have just as easily been not-so-innocent as a result. Temari instantly realized both of these facts, and turned quickly to hide the blush that turned her into a beacon of red light that in some situations means 'stop' and in others means 'please, please go'. "Har, har," she said, trying her best not to choke on the words.

Shikamaru, being a teenaged boy, didn't get why she turned away so suddenly, and brushed it off. Temari, meanwhile, shivered visibly whilst thinking about the "anything" Shikamaru had not but easily could have promised to do. Shikamaru actually noticed this. "Why are you shivering?"

Temari turned, acting angry so that her blush could be mistaken for rage from annoyance. "Because it's freaking cold in here, you moron!" she shouted. "Why do you keep it so cold?" Despite the fact she was groping for a reason, it really was cold in that room. "I mean, seriously, I'm willing to bet money it's snowed in here before!"

Shikamaru blinked a couple times at this, and Temari stared at him "angrily". He blinked a few more times, then slowly bent over towards his nightstand. He opened the drawer, then methodically reached in and started rummaging. After a short time, he slowly brought his hand back out, closing the drawer behind it with his other. He looked at Temari and blinked a few more times, and then slowly held up...

...a plastic snowman figurine.

Temari looked at the snowman for about three seconds before bursting into laughter. The slowness, the timing, the deadpan expression on his face that literally never changed at all...but then, maybe you had to be there. Shikamaru joined in soon after Temari started, and they both laughed long and hard, eager to relieve the tension after the, erm, cuddling incident.

After a few more minutes' laughter than the whole thing was worth, they had calmed down sufficiently to start talking again. "Thanks," said Temari, on the floor, in between laughs. "I needed that."

"Heh. Thank Chōji. He's the one who gave me this little guy," responded Shikamaru, indicating the melodramatic snowman.

"Really?"

"Yeah," said Shikamaru. "It was after one of our first missions together, when-" and he stopped short. He frowned slightly. "Wait a minute, no. We're not doing this again," and he put the figurine back in the drawer.

"Doing what?" asked Temari "innocently".

"This...thing we did," disclarified Shikamaru. "Where I told you deep dark secrets about myself for reasons I don't fully comprehend."

"I think you're exaggerating just a little bit," said Temari, standing up. As she did, she noticed a book on the ground. An eyebrow lifted, and she picked it up.

-Oh, shoot,- panicked Shikamaru.

"How to seduce...oh my gosh." Temari turned to the room's, and therefore, the book's owner. "So THIS is why you wanted me around so badly..." she began to mock again.

"No, wait, Temari!" interjected Shikamaru. "It's SERIOUSLY not what you think!"

"Sure it isn't," smirked Temari, flipping to a random page. "Let's see...'A girl likes nothing more than a ripped set of abs?'" She shrugged. "Well, Shikamaru, looks like you're going to die single."

"Okay, seriously, I'm not reading that to do what the title says," said Shikamaru, eager to defend himself. "I just wanted to read something funny for once. And that book is perhaps the king of unintentional comedy."

"Excuses, excuses..." murmured Temari. "Ooh! Pick-up lines! Let us see what the 'wisdom of men' can produce..."

"Oh, this can't end well..." murmured Shikamaru. Temari read silently for a little bit, chuckling, groaning, or making a disgusted face every once in a while. Shikamaru was surprised at how well she took it all. -Seriously? She's okay with my reading these little abominations? If I ever actually said that to a girl...- He mentally shrugged, then decided on something. "Hey."

Temari looked up. "What, lover-boy?" she smirked.

"Page 58," Shikamaru said. "Last one. It's so stupid it's funny."

Temari blinked, then headed where she was advised. "Hey, are you into math..." and she read silently. Then she burst out laughing. "Oh my gosh, I would kill the guy if he was serious!"

"I know, right?" said Shikamaru, leaning back. "Honestly. Why do guys think they know girls, anyway?"

"Oh, tell me about it," groaned Temari, slamming the book shut. "Just last week this guy back in Suna..." and she suddenly realized what she was saying. She looked up, slightly mortified, at a smirking Shikamaru.

"No, please," he said, "Continue! I'm all ears!"

"R-right," said Temari, attempting to recover. "Like I'm gonna tell you all my guy problems." She turned away from him, tossing the book over her shoulder and "accidentally" aiming for Shikamaru's head. He dodged, stopping smiling while he did so. He started again, teeth showing this time, after he dodged. "Hmm?" Temari said, noticing something else interesting about Shikamaru's room. "Hey, what's this?" she asked, though the question was rather rhetorical.

She picked up the box with a clear lid, looking at its contents. Inside was a large collection of butterflies, some blue, some green, some red, some etc. Their designs were beautiful and unique, and there was a name under each one classifying what it was scientifically, and a little note on what made it different from all the other species of butterfly.

"Yeah, that's for Chōji," said Shikamaru, who was suddenly looking over Temari's shoulder. She jumped, but strangely enough he didn't make fun of her for it. "Or rather, that's to remind me of him, and to let me know whenever I'm thinking of doing something I shouldn't that 'Hey. Chōji wouldn't like this.' They aren't real butterflies, though, just pictures."

"I see..." said Temari, suddenly nervous, though Shikamaru didn't notice.

"There," Shikamaru said, and he pointed to a picture in the upper left hand corner. "That's the butterfly he discovered. Got to name it himself and everything. He named it after me. Can you believe that? As if I'd ever done anything to..." and here he noticed Temari looking at him very concernedly. "...hey. What's wrong?"

"Oh! Nothing!" said Temari, a little suddenly too happy. "Nothing at all."

"...right," said Shikamaru, doubtful.

Temari bit her lip. "Um, Shikamaru...you know I'll be friends with you know matter what, right?"

-Uh oh,- thought Shikamaru, oblivious to the danger ahead. -This must be serious.- Out loud, he coughed and said "Yeah, I know that."

"Good," said Temari. "Then you know you can tell me if...um..."

-Tell her something?- Shikamaru thought, still not catching on. -What's she talking about?-

There was a short, awkward silence, before Temari burst out with "A-are you and Chōji, like, in a relationship?"

"WHAT?" shouted Shikamaru, rocking backwards.

"There's nothing wrong with it if you are!" Temari said reassuringly, "I just really want to know so I can support you, and-"

"No, no, it's not...it's not like that!" Shikamaru said, unsure of what exactly was going to come out of his mouth next.

"You know, because it would explain why you seem to hate women so much," Temari said, thoughtful.

"I'M NOT GAY FOR CHŌJI, OKAY?" Shikamaru shouted.

There was a long, awkward silence.

"Oh, crud, I hope no one was walking outside just now," said Shikamaru.

"...so...you're not..." began Temari.

"NO!" said Shikamaru. "I'm NOT!"

"...are you sure?"

"Yes."

"Oh, thank goodness..." Temari breathed.

"Thank goodness?" Shikamaru repeated.

"Hmm?" asked Temari. Then she realized what she'd said. "Oh, I just mean that if you were, um, you know, well, then it would be really really awkward, you know?" And then she gave off a really fake laugh.

"...riiight," murmured Shikamaru, not sure whether to buy this or not.

"Um, so anyway!" said Temari, enthusiastically trying to change the subject. "This is a really nice collection you have here...I've never seen so many colors in one place!"

Dot dot dot.

"Is it just me or is it really cold in here?" asked Temari.

"You've already said that several times," said Shikamaru.

"...right," she said, putting the butterflies back.

Shikamaru sighed. "If you're that cold, go ahead," and he indicated his bed, which he was quite obviously not in at the moment, being over at his desk.

"Huh? Y-your bed?" asked Temari, blushing.

"No, my nightstand," deadpanned Shikamaru.

"You have a real talent for sarcasm, you know that?" grumbled Temari.

"Thank you. I try," he responded, with that stupid little smirk on his face, and that weird gleam in his eye and that...intoxicating smell Temari hadn't noticed before now and...just the slightest bit of stubble on his...

-Stop it, Temari!- the girl thought to herself. -You're gonna start blushing!-

"If it helps at all, I don't plan on getting back in that bed once you're in it," Shikamaru said. "In fact, I'll probably burn the whole thing and buy myself a new bed, so you may just want to take it back home with you."

"Such a gentleman," sarcasmed Temari. Then, "Alright, fine, if it'll make you happy," she said, making her way over to the bed. Inside her head though, she was anything but calm and in control. -A guy's bed...I'm getting in a guy's bed. I mean, he's not going to be in it, but still...what does it mean when a guy offers you his bed? Erm, without the usual stuff that implies, I mean...oh great, I'm talking to myself again. Super.-

And, all too suddenly despite her purposefully small and slow steps, she was there. She gulped, imperceptibly. Then, slowly lifting up the blanket, she gently sat herself upon the bed, and lay down, pulling the covers up to a comfortable position as she gently lay her head upon the pillow that, until just a few moments ago, Shikamaru's head had been laying upon.

Surprisingly, the world failed to explode.

"Warmer?" asked Shikamaru, with both a bit of bitterness and amusement in his voice.

"Much," said Temari, eager to outmatch. "The only downside is, it smells like you." She forgot to mention why this was a downside: -If I smell him too much, I swear I'm going to get high off my hormones and his smell and I'll never leave his room again.-

"Right," said Shikamaru. "Well, seeing as how I'm probably not getting back into bed anytime soon, I guess I'll put on some real clothes."

"Aw, but I was enjoying the show," pouted Temari.

"Yes, yes, yuk it up." Shikamaru suddenly grinned after saying this. "Tell you what, I'll stay in just my underwear, if you take off everything but yours."

"Hmm..." Temari pretended to think about it. "Maybe tomorrow."

"Does that mean you plan on staying the night?" asked Shikamaru, blushing slightly despite the obvious joshing nature of the question.

"Why do you keep it so dang cold in here anyway?" said Temari, changing the subject as fast as humanly possible.

"Because I'm secretly a werewolf, and if we sleep in a place that's too hot we start shedding like crazy," Shikamaru snarked. Then he walked over to his dresser. "Now onto more important things."

"Why more important things now?" asked Temari, shifting slightly, more deeply into the dark-blue waves of the blankets. She hated to admit it, but the lazy-bone's bed was actually pretty darn comfortable. -Figures he'd put the most money into the place where he sleeps.-

"Well, I figure now is the time when you'd be most submissive, having willingly gotten into my bed and all," and he immediately dodged his empty bottle of soda as he pulled out clothes and began to get dressed. "I kid, I kid. But seriously, this has been bugging me ever since you got here."

"What has?" asked Temari.

"Exactly what kind of mission were you on?" asked Shikamaru.

"How is that important?" indignantly asked Temari, subconsciously sitting up in bed to make herself appear larger to her opponent in battle.

"It's very important, Temari, because I have a certain sneaking suspicion about why you're really here."

Temari bit her lip, but only on the inside, so no body language could give her away. "What do you mean?"

Shikamaru frowned. "I don't know why, I mean, there's no logical reason for me to suspect this, but," And he bent forward slightly, "I have this weird feeling that you weren't really on a mission." In the silence that followed, he said: "Actually, I first began to suspect something when you said your mission was canceled. A mission important enough to bring in reinforcements from Suna is up and canceled...and no one hears about it?"

"No one who sleeps to 11:30 in the morning does," grumbled Temari.

"...okay, you have a point," said Shikamaru, getting out some pants. "Still, I have this weird feeling you're lying to me." Another long pause. "Tell me the truth, Temari," he said, and then turned around, fully dressed. "What's your secret?"

Temari stared at Shikamaru.

Shikamaru stared at Temari.

Temari narrowed her eyes.

Shikamaru raised his right eyebrow a few millimeters.

Temari crossed her arms, sitting up straighter.

Shikamaru put his hands in his pockets.

The melodramatic snowman was melodramatic.

Finally, Temari sighed. "Okay, I give in. I came to Konoha 'cause I was bored."

"That's it?" Shikamaru asked, a little stunned.

"Yep. Today's my day off, and I have nothing to do whatsoever," she sighed. "No one in Suna wants to be my gal-pal!"

"And you thought you'd make me your 'gal-pal' because..." Shikamaru prompted.

"Not you in particular," said Temari, "But then I realized that I don't really know anyone else here all that well...and then it started to rain, so that kept me from just being outside."

"Ah, so I was your last resort," said Shikamaru.

"It was either you or sleep," said Temari, shrugging as she got back under the covers, trying to make herself look like she was going to sleep as much as possible. She even yawned. "I figured with you there was at least a slight chance of activity. Guess I was wrong."

"Uh huh," said Shikamaru, slumping in unbelief. Not 'disbelief', which connotates surprise, but unbelief. Then something occurred to him. "Why didn't any girls want to hang out with you in Suna?"

Temari's eyes snapped open. But she didn't actually move. "No reason. Guess they're just...busy."

"Temari. Tell me the truth."

Temari sat up again, the covers falling off of her as she took a deep breath in. "Heh," she laughed, though there was no humor in it. "My brother."

"Ah, right," Shikamaru said. Then he smirked slightly. "Yeah, Kankuro's puppets are pretty freaky." And he dodged the plate, though several of the crumbs hit him. -Good. She's more angry, which for most people means less sad.-

"You freaking idiot!" she shouted.

"Alright, alright, no more stupid jokes," said Shikamaru. "But seriously, I get where you're coming from. I can't truthfully say I understand, but I do realize it must be tough, to say the least."

Temari gave a sad smile. "He isn't really like that monster," she said. "At least, not anymore."

"Right. But other people don't know that," Shikamaru said. "That's why it's tough."

"Yeah," said Temari, glad to have found someone who understood a lot more than he said he did. "I mean, everyone hates Garaa, and that bothers me enough, but..." she trailed off.

"Go ahead. You can trust me," Shikamaru promised.

"I know it's selfish, but as bad as he has it, sometimes I just," and she made some random gestures with her hands, unable to quite put what she felt into words. "I just," she continued, "Want someone to acknowledge that things are tough for me, too, with Shukaku..."

"Yeah. I get that," reassured Shikamaru, also getting all of the stuff she hadn't said, because she had articulated it quite clearly in different ways besides talking.

"Yeah, I mean...it just all gets to be too much for me sometimes, you know?" she looked up pleadingly. Then she started. "Wait a second..."

"Hmm?" asked Shikamaru, anything but innocently.

Temari suddenly got angry. "You just did that thing to me! You just..." and she made some more hand gestures, these a bit more violent and towards Shikamaru.

Shikamaru grinned. "I just listened, that's all. You did the rest." Temari fumed with all her might at this, slumping into the covers. Shikamaru just laughed. "You know," he finally said, "This is a bit of role reversal."

"Thank you for summoning up the spirit of Captain Obvious," grumbled Temari. She was doing that a lot lately.

"No, I mean," said Shikamaru, "Here it is, both of our days off, and I'm up and about while you're lying there doing nothing!"

Temari smiled. "It's only been, what, ten minutes?"

"Ten minutes of role reversal," stated Shikamaru.

"Obvious!" said Temari, complete with jazz hands.

"Your breasts," said Shikamaru.

"What?" asked Temari, a dangerous tone coming into her voice.

"I"m sorry, I thought we were playing the word association game," said Shikamaru.

Temari smirked. "Okay then, genius: cucumbers."

"Your breasts," said Shikamaru almost instantly.

"W-what?"

"I"m a teenage guy," explained Shikamaru, smirking.

"Oh," said Temari, realizing how much that explained everything. "Um, okay. You tell me words then."

"'Kay," said Shikamaru. "Puppies."

"Cute."

"Applesauce."

"Gross."

"Shikamaru."

"Annoying little dweeb."

"Saw it coming," said Shikamaru.

"Neji Hyuuga," said Temari almost instantly.

"Okay, we're done playing now."

"But I was having fun!" said Temari poutingly and (surprising enough for her, at least) meaning it.

"Fun time is over now," said Shikamaru. "It's lazy time now."

"Aww..." moaned Temari.

"Hey!" said Shikamaru. "If you want to learn how to be lazy from me, you're going to learn it right!"

"Sir, yes sir!" shouted Temari, giving a sharp salute.

"Horrible saluting form!" snapped the 'drill sergeant' Shikamaru. "Try again."

"Sir, yes sir..." mumbled Temari, with an extremely bored look on her face and pronouncing things as little as possible and twirling a single finger in the air.

"Much better!" shouted Shikamaru. "Now drop and give me twenty!" Almost instantly, Temari snuggled up in the blankets and started snoring. Shikamaru began counting the snores. "One!...Two!...Thr...heh heh...four! BWA HA HA!"

"Heh heh heh...HEE HA HA HA!" And they were both sent into laughing fits again. Temari slapped her legs again ,which seemed to be a habit whenever she laughed. Shikamaru actually had a few tears come out of his eyes. They stopped after a little bit. "That was fun," said Temari.

"Your breasts," said Shikamaru. Temari started laughing again.

"It's really freaking cold in here," Temari said after she stopped.

"Ooh, that sounds like such a drag." smirked Shikamaru.

"Believe it," beamed Temari.

"Okay, this game's not fun anymore," said Shikamaru.

"You just can't think of any other catchphrases," countered Temari.

"I could, but..." Shikamaru smiled. "It'd be too troublesome."

"You tricked me!" Temari said.

"What can I say?" said Shikamaru. "If I have to spend the day actually doing things, I'll at least do them right."

Temari was silent after this little sentence. -That's right, isn't it? I'm making him waste his day off so mine doesn't seem as bad.- She thought for a bit. "Alright, I see your point."

"I didn't have a point," said Shikamaru.

"Correction!" said Temari excitedly, standing on the bed and startling Shikamaru out of his wits, "You didn't have a point you were aware of!"

"What?" asked Shikamaru just before Temari grabbed him and threw him on the bed. "Oof!" he said. Then he blushed at the realization that Temari had just thrown him on top of his bed. "T-Temari...?"

"You," she said, getting off the bed and drawing up the covers to his chin before tucking him in, "Are spending the rest of your day off in bed, like you wanted to!" And then she stood up, tongue-in-cheek blew him a kiss goodbye, and began walking out the door.

A shadow hand suddenly popped up in front of her, stopping her from proceeding any further. "Uh, no," said Shikamaru as she turned around to see him out of bed against her orders. "Even if I am a chauvinist, I can still be chivalrous. You're the one spending your day off the way you want to."

She smirked. "What is this, an 'I'm-less-selfish-than-you contest?' You take the day off."

He smirked. "If it is, I want to win it. You take the day off." -That way I can spend more time with you.-

A record skipped inside Shikamaru's head when he said that. His outer expression did not change, but inside, chaos. That is all that can be said to describe what was happening. His first coherent thought: -Why would I want to...- Then he decided to face down his inner demons, or angels, or neutral mini-humans, or whatever, later so he could win this contest now.

"Look, you may be a genius," said Temari, "But you don't know anything about women. Rule one," and an evil smirk came across her face, "We always get what we want."

"Rule two," said Shikamaru, "When Shikamaru is involved, ignore Rule one." -Where the heck did that come from?-

Temari started. "Wh...what?" She could honestly say that Shikamaru was the first guy she had ever met who had not wilted when she did the whole 'rule one' routine.

"Let's compromise," Shikamaru said. -Not sure where I"m going with this.- "You come back into my room. I'll stay in bed. There, we're both happy."

Temari was upset. In her mind, this was a battle, and by not winning, she must be losing. "Your room is cold. I can't stand cold things. I have to have, like, six blankets back home at nights, 'cause the desert gets really cold, you know." Shikamaru raised his eyebrow and Temari grinned. "So, as much as I want to stay, I don't want to stay even more, because it's really. Really. Cold!"

"Alright, fine," said Shikamaru. "We'll both stay in bed!"

The record scratch might as well have been audible.

"WHAT?" stated Temari, rather calm under the circumstances.

-I did not just say that. This is all a dream. I'm going to wake up for real any second now, and I don't care how troublesome it is, I'm going for a walk because, clearly, I need fresh air.-

"How could...how could you even make that suggestion?" Temari wailed, shock on her face and embarrassment in her cheeks. But, as Shikamaru noticed:

-No tears in her eyes? And her voice...she's not upset, just...surprised?-

"I mean, I get you're a teenage guy and all, but...I mean...oh wow," and she started to fan herself.

-Maybe this situation can still be salvaged.-

"Shikamaru, I just...um...are you..." Temari began and trailed off, then turned around. She was mildly surprised when the shadow hand retreated into the ground and began heading back to Shikamaru. She followed the trail back to his legs, then looked at his face. He looked serious.

"Look," he finally said, "You do whatever you want, okay? You're a big girl, make your own decision. All I know is, I'm going to strip down to my undergarments again, and I'm going back to bed. I'm not asking you to jump me, I just wanted to let you know that, if you think you'll be comfortable, you can stay here and be nice and warm too. That's all." And he turned and began to take off his shirt. -Alright,- he thought. -That was good and rational, nice and calm. And she won't stick around any longer, and I can just put this whole messy situation behind me. After all, what kind of girl sticks around to get into bed with a boy, in his underwear, that she barely even knows? Not even a promiscuous one, since sex isn't going to be part of the deal. She'll definitely...-

"Fine."

"Hm?" Shikamaru turned to Temari, expecting her to say something about leaving. He wasn't expecting her to walk past him on her way to his bed. She got under the covers behind his back as his mouth tried to decide whether it should be frowning or smiling.

"Well?" she shouted. "I can see you're undressed. You coming or what?" She was obviously compensating with anger to hide the fact she was embarrassed. And yet, despite the fact he had given her every excuse to leave,

-She's staying.- thought Shikamaru. -Why? I don't understand.- he turned and looked at Temari, whom was blushing. -She's obviously uncomfortable. She has no idea what she should be doing with her body.- And it was true; Temari was neither lying down nor sitting up, and her arms were stiffly crossed in a weird way. He was pretty sure her legs were crossed, too, but he couldn't tell for sure under the blanket.

Shikamaru walked over to the bed and got under the covers, lying down like it was no big deal. "Right, anyway, if you have nothing else to say, I'm going to sleep." -That should get her talking again.-

She didn't talk again. Just kind of twiddled her fingers.

Shikamaru sighed. -Figures. Every time I've tried to predict her actions today, I've been at least partially wrong. And I get embarrassed or she gets angry, or...- And he considered everything for a second. -And yet...things have turned out okay anyway. Better than okay, actually. I've had...fun today.- He looked at Temari. -Things have been so troublesome since she got here, but definitely not a drag.-

It was at that moment that Shikamaru decided that he wasn't going to try and predict Temari anymore. He was going to be honest and playful and friendly and trust that she would know what she was doing, and that that was all that was needed. It was also at that moment that Shikamaru determined that he had found a very interesting new friendship in an extremely unlikely place. It was also at that moment that Shikamaru determined that he was glad Temari had broken in.

It was also at this moment that Temari decided to slap him upside the head. "You freaking idiot! Why do you keep this room so cold?" She was obviously, once again, trying to sublimate her embarrassment with anger. She suddenly softened a bit, but she still looked serious. "Seriously, why?"

Shikamaru rubbed his head and, for the first time that day, seriously thought about it. He remembered back to a time when he was a teenager buying comics with barely-dressed women in them. He suddenly laughed at the memory. "That's right..." he murmured to himself.

"What?" asked Temari, curious.

He looked at her, and for a second considered lying. Then he remembered: honest, playful, and friendly. She would take care of the rest, because of who she was. "Well...when I was like, twelve, and my parents built this room, I asked them to make sure it was really cold. They wanted to know why, and I refused to tell them. They could see I was adamant, so they proceeded according to my wishes, despite not knowing the reason, and built it so it'd be cold. Eventually I got used to the cold, and until just this second I forgot why I asked for that in the first place."

"And the reason was?" Temari prompted.

Shikamaru looked at her, a big grin on his face. "So that if a girl ever got friendly enough to come up to my room, I wouldn't need to put any effort into getting her into my bed!"

-That was stupid, stupid, stupid.- Shikamaru thought to himself, closing his eyes, and bracing for the impact and yelling.

A few seconds passed.

"HA HA HA HA HA!"

-What?- Shikamaru thought as he opened his eyes to see Temari...laughing? -Did she just...crack under the stress of it all?-

"Oh wow!" she managed to gasp out, "That is so like you to not even put effort into..." And then she laughed some more. She finally stopped, then swallowed, coughed, and looked at Shikamaru with a big smile on her face. "I really fell for that one hook, line and sinker, huh?" And she began to laugh again.

Shikamaru blinked. -What?- he thought, surprised as he actually saw the tension and stress of the situation leave her body, her muscles relaxing and her body deciding that she'd be more comfortable if she lay down. -Admitting that should've made any girl uncomfortable! Why on earth would it make her feel...forget it. I don't even know.-

Temari stopped laughing.

There was a long silence.

"Alright, this is awkward," said Shikamaru, smiling.

Temari laughed again. He was glad, but he couldn't pay much attention because something had occurred to him. "Actually, awkward as this is, it's probably a good thing."

There was an ominous silence before Temari angrily asked,"What do you mean by that?"

"I mean that we've been equalized."

"Um...what?" she asked.

Shikamaru sighed. "Before, we were in a power struggle in our conversation. And it seems to me that in those struggles, whoever was in bed was losing and whoever was out was winning, as a general rule. One person was naturally more outgoing than the other because the other was in a state of submission."

"I get it," said Temari. "One person was always in a state where it was impossible to attack physically, so subconsciously they wouldn't be able to attack in a conversation either."

"Exactly," said Shikamaru. "Now we're on even ground. Well, almost."

"Almost?" asked Temari.

"Well, yeah, I mean, I'm still in my underwear," Shikamaru pointed out. "Not that I'm asking you to strip down, but, yeah."

Temari giggled. "And heaven forbid you actually put on some clothes."

"Right. Too troublesome," said Shikamaru. Then he smiled. "Guess you'll just have to sit back and enjoy the view."

"Thank you. I think I will," intoned Temari. The tone was one of false seduction. They both laughed, and it occurred to each of them that, for some strange reason, things didn't seem so awkward between them anymore, despite what Shikamaru said.

"Although now that I think about it, we should probably get up," Shikamaru realized, and said out loud.

"Hmm?" asked Temari.

"My parents aren't coming back for three days. That's what supposed to happen. But there's always the possibility..." he left the sentence unfinished.

"Right," mumbled Temari. "Them finding us together like this would be a little more than troublesome, huh?" After a few seconds of silence, she got up and began walking to the doorway.

Shikamaru groused behind her back. -Hmm,- he thought. -I wanted to spend more time with her,- he thought. And there was no record scratch this time; he was thinking it consciously.

Click.

Shikamaru looked and was, once again, surprised at Temari's actions. She had closed the door to the hallway. She had also locked the door to the hallway from the inside. "There," she said, coming back to Shikamaru and getting back in bed. "Now they'll have to break down the door, and while they do that," and here came an evil smile, "We make our escape!"

Shikamaru looked at her for a few seconds. Then he smiled. "I like you. I think I'll keep you around."

Temari chuckled, then turned on her side so she could talk to Shikamaru face to face. He did the same, of course. As she did this, she said: "My, my, Shikamaru, with that kind of talk a girl could think you were trying to seduce her."

He smirked. "Nah, I"m not the kind of guy who manipulates girls like that. Guys who say 'all the rights things', love 'em, and leave 'em..." and he stopped smiling. "Those guys are scum."

"Your twelve-year-old self didn't seem to think so," noted Temari.

"What?...oh, you mean the cold thing," remembered Shikamaru. "Yeah, I meant that literally, not metaphorically."

Temari blinked. "You mean you just wanted to get a girl in bed..."

"...to literally have a girl in my bed. Not to have sex," Shikamaru finished for her.

Temari blinked again. "Well, I guess that's good, but...why?"

He forgot the 'honesty' thing for a second. "I dunno," he said. Another smirk. "I didn't know about the mechanics of things back then, after all."

Temari giggled. "You do now, of course."

"Of course," said Shikamaru. Then, keeping a straight face. "I know loads. Plenty of positions, tricks, you name it. Why do you really think I read that book?"

"Hmm. Sounds like I'll have to give that book a good looking over sometime," flirted Temari. She wasn't sure whether she was serious or not, and neither was Shikamaru.

"Heh. Hey," he said, face brightening. "Since we're both here, alone and undisturbed, how about I show you something?" And he was fully aware of the innuendo there. Temari's eyebrows made a jump-cut from her eyes to her hairline at that statement. "Something I've never shown anyone else." Her mouth dropped open like nobody's business. "Not like that. I mean a toy."

"Uhh..." said Temari, looking around nervously for an exit.

Shikamaru put on a disapproving face, "Geez, Temari," he said as he rummaged through his nightstand drawer again. "You really need to get your mind out of the gutter!" And Temari smacked him upside the head as he smiled and laughed. He finally found what he was looking for and brought it out.

" A metronome?" asked Temari.

"Not just any metronome," said Shikamaru.

Temari looked at Shikamaru, sensing that she was on the verge of discovering something new about her bed-mate. She looked at him with slightly widened eyes, hanging on his every word.

The suspense was wonderfully terrible.

"It's my metronome," said Shikamaru simply. Temari would have face-faulted, but she had nowhere to face fault to. So she settled for whacking Shikamaru upside the head. "Ow! What the heck was that for?"

"For being an overly-dramatic idiot!" Temari yelled, sitting up and looking down on Shikamaru. This would have been a position of superiority, body-language speaking, but Shikamaru almost immediately grabbed the side of her outfit and pulled her back down.

"Down, girl," he said as he did so and she squeaked. She put on an angry face, cheeks blushing with embarrassment and indignation. Shikamaru took no notice. "I was dramatic about it because this metronome is really mine. I meant it when I said I've never shown it to anybody."

"Why me, then?" asked Temari matter-of-factly, hopeful and fearful for the answer. Shikamaru looked at her for several seconds, and she felt her breath catch in her throat, along with her heart stopping, her eyes widening, her kidneys fluttering, all that stuff.

"I dunno," Shikamaru said truthfully.

WHAM!

"Will you quit doing that?" commanded Temari. Not asked, commanded. Despite the question mark.

"What?" shouted Shikamaru.

"Doing these big build-ups and finishing with...underwhelming results!" Temari said, frustrated.

"...no. No I will not," responded Shikamaru. Temari growled and lay back down, this time facing away from Shikamaru, upset with him for more reasons than she let on.

A short silence. "You ever played with a metronome before?" Shikamaru asked.

"Yeah, once or twice," said Temari, turning back a bit reluctantly. "When I was little. Why?"

Shikamaru had apparently only heard the first part. "You ever watched a metronome before?"

"No. I never watched any of the metronomes I played with when I played with them," said Temari, displaying a real talent for sarcasm herself.

"I mean really watched a metronome," clarified Shikamaru without clarifying anything.

"Okay, you've lost me," said Temari. "What are you talking about?"

Shikamaru had a small sincere smile on his face as he lay the metronome between them, above the covers, at about waist level. "Just relax your body and stop thinking about stuff. This gets old quick, I admit, but the first time you really look at a metronome...it's pretty cool."

"No, it sounds like it would get old as soon as you do it," said Temari, disbelief rather evident in her...everything.

"Just try it," said Shikamaru. "Relax and don't think too much. Trust me."

Temari frowned slightly, furrowing her eyebrows. "Alright, I guess," she murmured. She looked at the metronome.

"No, no, no," said Shikamaru. "You have to relax!" He thought a bit. "Just imitate me."

"Nah. Too troublesome."

"Now you're getting it," Shikamaru smirked. He reached over and brought up the right-most ball. He slowly let go.

Clunk. Clunk. Clunk. Clunk.

Shikamaru hadn't been lying when he said it got old quick, but he also hadn't been lying about seeing it for the first time. At least, he didn't think it was. He looked over at Temari to confirm.

Temari was more relaxed than she'd ever been before in her life. She didn't know quite why she was, but after relaxing her muscles and not thinking about anything but, well, nothing, and then watching the balls just sway back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, she felt genuinely good.

Shikamaru smirked. Confirmation: received. Temari had lowered her defenses towards life, if body language was any indication. Her eyes were half lidded, and there was a small, genuine smile on her face. Shikamaru was suddenly puzzled. Her face, or rather the expression on it, looked really familiar, and yet he could almost guarantee he'd never seen anyone with that expression before. Then it hit him.

-That's my expression!-

He couldn't confirm it, after all, as he'd never seen his face in a mirror when he was making that expression. And yet, remembering the way his facial muscles moved whenever he was on the verge of that sweet moment where, though one would not fall asleep, time seems to stand still and one's body and mind seem separated, he was almost certain that Temari's expression matched his own.

He blushed for reasons that he did not understand.

Finally, with one last, small click, the metronome stopped moving. Temari blinked a couple times, seeming to have regained her senses. Then, with that familiar sardonic smile, "Whoa. You, like, just blew my mind with that, man."

Shikamaru wasn't certain, but he thought he could see a bit of falseness around the smile. "I'll bet I did." He looked out the window. "Hey. Go see if it's still raining."

Temari frowned. "Why don't you go see?"

Shikamaru looked at her. "Because I'm lazy, remember?"

Temari shifted, going a bit deeper under the covers. "Well, I feel like being lazy too. And you're the guy."

"You're not in your underwear. Someone could be passing by."

"Put on some clothes, then!" rebutted Temari.

"Why do you care so much?" asked Shikamaru.

"Why do you?" asked Temari.

"Because being lazy is my lifestyle," said Shikamaru.

"Well, can't I be part of your lifestyle for just one day?" asked Temari. Then she blushed after realizing what she said.

"Umm..." Shikamaru blushed, too. "F-fine," he said, getting up and heading for the window. He'd have put up more of a fight, but he didn't want his blush to be probed into too much. Perhaps if he'd noticed Temari was blushing too...

Shikamaru opened the window and leaned out, looking up as he did. Blue skies with very few clouds. Complete 180 from the weather earlier.

"Hey, Shikamaru!" came a voice from below. Any other voice and Shikamaru would have backpedaled from the window like nobody's business, since he was, as he said, in his underwear. This voice, though, belonged to...

"Chōji!" Shikamaru shouted. "And Ino, too! What are you guys doing here?" He suddenly frowned. "Don't tell me you're going to make me train? It's my day off, guys..."

Ino giggled. "We know that! We're just done with our missions for the day is all."

Chōji ate a handful of chips. "Yeah!" he said, then swallowed. "We wanted to know if you'd go cloud watching with us!"

Shikamaru considered it. That actually sounded pretty good to him. It wasn't often they got a chance to hang out together without enemy ninja chasing after them, and almost never by cloud-watching, and never by their suggestion. And yet..."Sorry guys," he smirked, then looked back at Temari. "I"m kind of busy."

"Busy? Seriously?" asked Chōji, stunned.

"Yeah, right," mumbled Ino disbelievingly. "With what, you slacker?" she shouted up to Shikamaru.

Shikamaru winked at Temari, then looked back to his two other friends. "Well, you see, since my parents are out of town, Temari...you remember, that girl from the sand village? Yeah, she just thought she'd drop by." He could hear Temari trying not to giggle behind him. "She's in my bed right now, and I'm doing my best as a gentlemen to entertain her."

Ino rolled her eyes whilst Chōji laughed. "Good one, Shikamaru," he said, then ate the last of his bag of chips. Surprisingly, he did not pull out another.

"Will you be serious for just this once?" asked Ino aggravatedly. "Geez. Sometimes I get so tired of your sarcastic attitude..."

"What? You don't believe me?" asked Shikamaru, feigning hurt. He smirked again, shifting his position. "Well, that's a shame, because WHA!"

You see, while he was talking with his friends, Shikamaru forgot that Temari had not put "the" book back on the shelf, but rather had thrown it at him, and it had bounced off the wall and onto the floor. Right behind where his foot currently was. And now, in shifting his position, he had slipped on that book and was now falling forward. Out the window.

"Shikamaru!" screamed everyone nearby.

-This is gonna hurt,- Shikamaru thought, closing his eyes and bracing his body for impact. After several seconds, no impact came, and he was confused. He tentatively opened one eye, and saw the ground below him. But it wasn't rushing up to meet him like it should have been. Shikamaru, confused, looked up. -Oh. That makes sense. Temari caught me.- Shikamaru said to himself, looking up at the girl above him. -Not a bad view, actually. What's wrong with her, though?- for Temari had a rather shocked and embarrassed look on her face. -Why would she...- his eyes widened with realization as he snapped his neck around to look at his friends.

Chōji and Ino looked much less embarrassed than Temari, but only because they looked even more mortified. If that were even possible. Ino's left eye was even twitching. After several seconds of silence, Temari pulled Shikamaru back inside the house, slowly and with lots of awkwardness. More awkward silence occurred.

Temari finally spoke up. "Um...hi!' she said, blushing and waving.

"Oh, hi!" said Ino, the next to recover. "So, you're Temari! I remember you!" And she laughed, a little too loud and forced. In fact, everything Ino was doing seemed loud and forced. "Chōji! Remember Temari?"

Chōji just stood there in shock, an expression of horror frozen on his face.

"Anyways, we can see we're bothering you two," continued Ino, slowly backing up. "So, yeah, we're, um...we're just going to...um..."

"RUN LIKE THE FREAKING KYUUBI IS AFTER US!" finished Chōji for her before dashing off faster than Shikamaru had ever seen him go.

"...right!" said Ino, dropping the act. "Bye! Chōji, wait up!" and she ran after him.

Once they'd left, Temari and Shikamaru looked at each other.

Surprising enough for both of them, they both laughed, long and loud. "Well," said Shikamaru, finally, "It looks like we're a couple now."

"Looks like it," said Temari after a few last giggles. "So this is how rumors get started."

"Only in Konoha," deadpanned Shikamaru, causing Temari to laugh again.

She smiled. "I'll say this for you: you really know how to make me laugh." And then before he could reply...

GRRUMPH.

"What the..." Shikamaru was a little stunned. "Was that your stomach?"

"Uh heh heh..." Temari blushed. "It's been a while since lunch!"

Smirking Shikamaru returned. "Well, in that case..." And he began walking over to the bed.

"Watcha doin'?" asked Temari in a sing-song voice, as Shikamaru opened the nightstand drawer again. She blinked at what he pulled out. A bag of popcorn, unpopped, and a small tag. She watched as Shikamaru then got out a bowl and set it on top of the tag, then opened the bag of popcorn and poured it into the bowl. He then pulled on the tag slightly. It began to glow with heat. Temari's eyes widened. "Wait, hold on!"

Shikamaru had a grin the size of the unclouded sky on his face as he turned around. "Hey, sometimes even I like a little excitement!" And he ran towards Temari and grabbed her hand, dragging her along for the ride. "Come on!"

Too stunned and blushful to object, Temari was pulled along by Shikamaru who ran to the opposite side of the bed from the popcorn and got down behind it, pulling Temari down with him. He plugged his ears, and Temari followed suit. What followed next was easy to describe: ka-boom.

After several minutes of chaos, the room was quite literally covered in popcorn. Temari tentatively opened her eyes. Shikamaru began laughing his head off, while she attempted to get her heart to start beating again.

Shikamaru looked at her. "Well, dig in. There's free food everywhere!"

She threw a handful of popcorn at him out of anger. This was probably not the best idea. Shikamaru threw some back, grinning. Temari smiled slightly and threw some again.

Oh, it was on.

A few minutes later again, the food fight was over, and Shikamaru and Temari were lying on the bed again, laughing. Temari looked at him. "You do realize I'm not cleaning any of this up, right?"

"Of course," said Shikamaru, suprising her by offering no resistance. "That's where I come in." And he reached over to the bowl, got it, and started putting pieces into it. Once it was full (And it actually held quite a lot.), Shikamaru opened the window and began dumping the rest out there, figuring the birds would eat the popcorn. All in all, it took about twenty minutes, and Shikamaru didn't find it to be too much of a drag, actually. He looked at Temari once he was finished. "You're awfully quiet."

"Hmm?" she said. "Sorry. I was just...spacing out."

He smirked. "I do believe I'm beginning to corrupt you," he said. He handed her the bowl of popcorn.

"I sure hope so," she responded, smirking and grabbing a kernel. She suddenly stopped before it reached her mouth. "EWW!" she said, tossing the bowl back at Shikamaru. Surprisingly little spilled.

"Don't worry," he reassured. "I didn't get any of the popcorn from the floor or anything. Just the stuff that was on my bed, nightstand, that kind of thing."

"That's just as bad!" she said.

Shikamaru smiled that toying smile. "So you're saying you'll sleep in my bed, and you'll eat in my bed, but you won't eat off of my bed?"

"Exactly."

Shikamaru shook his head. "Alright, fine. You win." And he lay back down, not getting under the covers this time. He reached into the bowl and, as tauntingly as possible, brought out a handful and started chewing.

Temari's stomach growled again. "Give me that popcorn."

She grabbed the bowl from him and began to eat ravenously. After a few bites, she calmed down, especially after she heard Shikamaru laughing at her. "Shut up," she said.

Shikamaru shut up long enough to say "No," before laughing again. She growled and sulkingly ate some more popcorn.

They got a bit more relaxed after that, Shikamaru going back into his lazy persona and Temari coming with him. They talked about nothing, and used few words when talking. Mainly, they just ate the popcorn and enjoyed being quiet for a little bit.

Oddly enough, Shikamaru was the one to get tired of it first. "Hey. Troublesome woman."

"Yes, annoying dweeb?"

His brow furrowed. "Why do you act the way you do?"

Her brow furrowed. "What do you mean?"

He put his arms behind his head. "I mean, that you act different from other girls. At least, the girls around here."

She put her arms behind her head. "What, you thought I was 'just another girl'?"

He dipped his head to the side. "In a word, yes. I thought you were just another bit of trouble in my troublesome life," he said tiredly.

She dipped her head to the side. "But now you think I'm more than that?" she asked mockingly.

He looked at her. "No, I don't. And stop imitating my movements."

She looked at him. "Hmm, I think you do. And no."

He rolled his eyes. "See, that's exactly what I mean."

She rolled her eyes. "What is exactly what you mean?"

"Your attitude!" he shouted, sitting up and gesturing wildly. "You're just...you're the most troublesome woman I have ever met! And I mean that literally! No exaggeration!" and he pointed at her. "You are FULL of trouble!"

There was a short silence before Temari, smirking, sat up too, and copied his gestures exactly. Including the finger-point. As over-the-top as possible. Shikamaru groaned and slapped his forehead. Temari stopped copying him in order to laugh. "That's why I act like that," she finally said. He looked at her. "It's fun! And your reactions just make it so much funner!"

"That's..." Shikamaru stopped short. He was going to say 'that's not a real word' but she was probably expecting that. So instead, he just decided to be honest. "Yeah, it is fun." She seemed incredibly surprised at his choice of words. He had no clue why, but wasn't complaining. "I like hanging out with you, Temari. Yeah, you're troublesome, but you're a different kind of troublesome than other girls. You're not bossy or naggy like my mom is, or annoying like the older ladies, and you don't try and manipulate me like most girls my own age do. You treat me like..." and here he stopped for a second. "A friend."

"Sh-Shikamaru?" Temari asked, surprised.

He smiled. "Yeah, I know, this is really sudden, but I wanted to get it off my chest. I guess all I'm trying to say is that..." and he thought for a moment. "You're troublesome, but it's a kind of troublesome that...is kind of fun. It's worth it." He smirked. "I like you. I think I'll keep you around."

Temari's heart was going like a jackhammer. She really hoped he couldn't see her blushing. "Uh...th-thanks, Shika...Shikamaru." She began to fan herself with her hand, wishing she hadn't left her giant fan downstairs.

He looked at her, confused. -Why is she blushing?- he thought. -All I said is that she's a really good friend.- He shrugged and reached for the last bit of popcorn. She also did at the exact same time. Their hands touched. They rocked away from each other, almost instantly realizing they had probably overreacted.

"Um...you first!" said Temari.

"If I do that, there won't be any left for you," responded Shikamaru.

"Well, um...I'm not hungry anymore," Temari said as an excuse.

"Then why'd you reach for the bowl?" Shikamaru asked.

"Erm, I was bored," said Temari.

"Ah. Me too," said Shikamaru. "So...yeah. You should probably get the last bit, since I always try and be a gentleman-"

"A gentleman?" chuckled Temari. "You?"

Shikamaru looked at her, annoyed. "Alright, fine, I won't be a gentleman," he said, grabbing the last bit of popcorn.

"No! Wait!" said Temari suddenly. "I changed my mind. I"m hungry."

Shikamaru looked at her, then gave her that cocksure smile. Another challenge. "Too late," he said, bringing up the popcorn to his mouth-

"You give that here!" said Temari suddenly, making a grab for the buttery kernels. Shikamaru moved them aside, grinning. She made another grab, this time pinning his legs down with her own. Both were too focused on the challenge to realize what was happening here. Shikamaru, laughing, had no choice but to lay down and stretch his arms over his head to keep the popcorn out of reach. Temari, laughing as well, grabbed at his hands with her longer reach and he brought his hands down. She stretched over at his hand, which was now off of the bed. He began to push at her to get him off.

Then Shikamaru realized exactly where she was on the bed: on top of him. With her chest at approximately eye level, and her sitting in between his legs. And he realized all of this because of the realization of exactly where he was pushing Temari. He froze, blushing and awestruck.

She grasped his hand and pried it open. Most of the kernels fell out, but she grabbed a few and quickly put them in her mouth. She chewed and swallowed, then looked at Shikamaru (who had mainly stayed frozen, but had at least had the presence of mind to remove his hand). "Hah!" she said. "I win."

"Beautiful," he murmured, his eyes wide and his pupils dilated.

"Beautiful?" asked Temari, confused. "What's that supposed to mean?"

He stared for a few seconds, then shook his head rapidly. "Um, what I mean to say is, uh..." -Seven levels of CRUD, I said that out loud!- and he scratched the back of his head. "It's really a drag that I lost," he said, rather monotonously and without looking Temari in the eye.

-He's a really bad liar,- said Temari, smiling. Then she actually thought about what he said.

She gasped.

"W-what? What is it?" asked Shikamaru, worried.

Temari lay a hand on her heart to check to see if it was still beating. It was, more rapidly than it had ever beat before. -That's strange,- she thought, smiling a small smile, -I couldn't feel it, and it's going crazy...but then today has been really really strange.-

Shikamaru, meanwhile, had just seen Temari put her hand on her chest but had not seen her smile. He therefore assumed the worst. After saying a word I won't repeat here: "Temari, I am so sorry, I swear...I didn't mean to touch you there, i-it was an accident! I'm, I'm really, really, sorry! I'll-"

"It's okay," Temari said.

"...huh?" Shikamaru squeaked.

Temari looked at Shikamaru, and he started. There was a look on her face that he had never seen on a woman's face before. "It's really okay...in fact..." and she started to settle her body on top of Shikamaru's.

"T-Temari? What are you-"

"...I was just thinking," Temari continued, bringing her lips so close to Shikamaru's ear he could feel her breath on it. Her voice was some kind of odd whisper that made Shikamaru feel warm and weird. "That's it's really not fair."

"It isn't?" Shikamaru asked, confused. Then he realized what she was probably talking about. "Uh, yeah, you're right, it isn't. I'm really sorry for grabbing you there, I-I just-"

"I mean," continued Temari, drawing lazy little circles on his chest with her finger, "I break into your house to entertain myself, steal your food, make you lose your day off, and make you spend time in your underwear in front of me, and what do you get out of the deal?"

Shikamaru blinked at her, then breathed a sigh of relief. "Hey, don't worry, you already repaid me, believe me. You gave me a sandwich and a great day off, even if it wasn't the kind of day off I was expecting. We're good."

Temari pretended to think, finger tapping her chin. "Hmm...I guess that makes up for most of the stuff, but I still feel bad about all this time I got to..." and she gave off a smirk that could only be described as playful, "...see your delicious body without repaying you somehow."

"Delicious?" Shikamaru said, stunned.

"Very," purred Temari. "So, to pay you back..." and she grabbed his hand, "What say we..." and she guided his hand to her waist, where her ribbon was tied. "Even things up a bit?"

Shikamaru was a shade of crimson most people didn't think possible. He was sure his nose was bleeding, but he couldn't check because he was basically frozen, and his whole face was too warm too tell just by concentrating. As if he could concentrate.

"Aww, are you nervous?" Temari asked, moving so their bodies touched and simultaneously yanking up with Shikamaru's hand, forcing him to untie the ribbon on the last syllable of her sentence. She was blushing too, now, but definitely nowhere near where Shikamaru was and definitely a lot more in control. "Well, if it helps, don't think of it as undressing a woman..." and she leaned forward, looking him straight in the eye, so their lips came within atoms, it seemed, of touching. "Think of it as... unwrapping a birthday present."

-This is a dream,- thought Shikamaru. -A wonderful, glorious, troublesome, beautiful dream that I am going to wake up from any second now and that I really hope to have more often.-

0-0-0-0

Surprisingly, Shikamaru neither fainted after that, nor woke up.

Perhaps even more surprising, him and Temari did not have sex then. When Temari said "even them up" she meant it, and nothing more. But definitely nothing less, either. Shikamaru liked the way she looked with hair down. She made him keep his up.

And so they lay there and talked, about various subjects, cuddling and lazing about for several hours. Chōji's chips, the state of the world, the difference in climate between their two lands, why girls have only one bra and a pair of panties, how annoying certain authority figures were, the list just went on and on as they bounced ideas off of each other, laughing throughout the day, which rapidly turned to night before their very eyes.

And as they talked, they were aware that something had changed irreversibly between them. Shikamaru held Temari in his arms, thanking whatever gods were listening that this wonderfully troublesome woman had come into his life. Temari snuggled him a little, and he lay back, letting his mind wander. Temari had that same lazy look about her as before, and decided to use Shikamaru as a teddy bear.

-This is nice,- Temari thought. -I've never really been lazy before. And I've never had someone so interesting to talk to...someone so warm and cuddleable!- And she laughed at how much like a stereotypical teenage girl she sounded like and how much joy she felt in her heart.

-This is nice,- Shikamaru said, as Temari sighed contentedly. -Temari is warm and soft and she smells good and her laugh is cute. Today has been a great day. I'm glad I didn't go to sleep for once.- He blinked, unbelieving what he had just said to himself for a second. Then, he chuckled.

"What?" asked Temari, lightly massaging a small circle on his neck with her fingers.

"I was just thinking about how earlier today, I was doing everything in my power to stop thinking about women," said Shikamaru.

Temari smirked. "Hormone attack, huh?"

Shikamaru chuckled again. "Exactly. And you didn't help matters one bit, you know." He didn't stop smiling when he said that.

"I try my best," said Temari, placing a kiss upon his cheek.

"And I am so glad for it," said Shikamaru, grinning ear to ear. He suddenly stopped and looked outside.

"What is it now?" asked Temari, looking as well.

Shikamaru grinned again, but much smaller this time. Yet, somehow, it seemed happier. "No one has seen this."

"Shikky?" Temari asked.

"No one has ever seen this, including me," he said, grinning. "I hope it works. I hope tonight isn't too cloudy."

"What are you...oh my gosh," Temari said. She said 'what are you' because she was confused about what he was doing. She said 'oh my gosh' because Shikamaru had opened up a secret panel in the wall behind him. There was a wheel with a handle on it attached to a pulley inside the panel.

"Don't ever tell anyone, especially my parents," Shikamaru said to her. "They would freaking kill me if they ever knew what I had done." And he grabbed the handle. "But really, it's amazing what you can do with a bunch of simple machines." And he began turning the handle.

Temari heard a sound in the ceiling...something like gears cranking? She looked up and saw that the ceiling was moving away and upward. It was opening up.

"Shikamaru, what are you..." she began to ask, but Shikamaru just cut her off with an impish smile and one last, great heave on the handle.

The ceiling finished opening up, revealing that the glass fixture was not really attached to it after all. The fixture slowly began to raise up to the space where the ceiling used to be as Shikamaru grunted, toying with some other lever in another secret panel. "Took me a ton of money and calculations, but I think it'll be worth it..." he grumbled, putting more effort into moving that lever than...well, most everything he usually did. Temari looked at him, then at the glass...thing. Pictures were starting to appear inside of it.

As Temari looked up, she saw something strange out of the corner of her eye. She looked at it, and gasped. Shikamaru's room was melting away! "Shikamaru!" she shouted.

"Don't worry," he said. "Things are working just as planned," he said, as more and more parts of his room began to blur and melt. "Just watch."

Temari looked at Shikamaru, then decided to trust him. She looked around his room, trying to figure out what was going on. Then, with a final grunt from Shikamaru and a creak from some lever, the blurring suddenly sharpened, transforming the room into something different entirely. "Oh, wow..." she said in a trembling voice.

Shikamaru looked at his handiwork. He smiled, genuine. "Perfect," he said, drawing Temari in close to him. "Just the effect I was hoping for, and no genjutsu required," Temari had begun crying tears of joy and realization. "Just the power of reflection and a starry sky."

His room was now a purple void speckled with stars. He, Temari, and the bed they were lying on may as well have been teleported into the night sky. Temari looked around in overwhelming awe, crying and laughing and being utterly amazed. She heard another sound next to her. "Hm?" she asked, looking quizzically at the object Shikamaru was holding.

"Apple?" he asked. Amazing what one nightstand can hold.

Temari bit her lip to try and stop the tears in her eyes. "Apple?" she managed to choke out, disbelieving. She swallowed. "You...you freaking idiot!" she suddenly shouted, slapping the apple away. "Do you have any idea what I'd agree to do with you right now if you asked me?"

"That's not what I'm about," responded Shikamaru. "And even if it was, it's only our first date." He shrugged. "Kind of a strange thing to say when we're both in our underwear, I know..."

Temari chuckled. Then she giggled. Then she laughed out loud, but instead of slapping her knee, she just grabbed Shikamaru and held him tightly. She didn't stop laughing for a while, and neither did he once he got started. He held her pretty tightly too, actually.

Once they were finally done, Temari leaned her head on his shoulder and, there was no doubt about it, lazed there. Shikamaru knew that was the look he always had in his eyes when...-Nah, too troublesome to finish that sentence. And anyway, why tell yourself what you already know?-

Temari giggled, wiping away tears. "Looks like you don't need that book after all, huh, lover boy?"

Shikamaru looked at her and, somewhere deep in his hormones, felt a great longing. He shook it off, though. Because he was being honest: that wasn't what he was about. -But, then again...- and he looked at Temari, -Good things have come out of compromise before...- "You know..." he said out loud.

Temari looked at him. She could see stardust all over him. "Yes, Shikamaru?" she asked, feeling as if she would burst.

Shikamaru grinned. "Now that I think about it, I certainly wouldn't be opposed to just kissing, no sex. I mean, we are a couple at this point, right?"

Temari giggled wildy as Shikamaru leaned in close...

0-0-0-0

They never bragged about their "accomplishments" with one another, but it felt kind of good to know that each of them had something they could brag about if they wanted to.

Shikamaru could brag that he got his girlfriend in bed with him on their first date.

And Temari could brag that she and her boyfriend had once made out in outer space.


Alright, I just want to say a few things and then you all can leave. Unfortuantely, those few things make this and the other author's note together about half the length of the original story, so...hey! Where are you going? GET BACK HERE!

First of all, if you look carefully,(and by 'look carefully' I mean 'can notice the blindingly obvious') I used both Shikamaru's Japanese catchphrase ('Troublesome') and English catchphrase ('What a drag'). I like the English one better, but both have their appropriate times to use them. So I used them both. Hoorah.

Second, you can probably guess about where the lemon came into the original story, but I made an executive decision to simply hint at the lemon (lemonade!) and then another to just get rid of it entirely (chocolate milk!) and replace it with...I guess there's no other word for it; fluff.

Thirdly, please spread the word of the melodramatic snowman. I want to see other fics reference Shikamaru owning it. I have no idea where the little guy came from and I adore him so.

Fourthly, for those of you wondering about the long story behind Neji and Sasuke waltzing, check out my other story, Emotion! [/shamelessadvertisement] I must warn you before you do, however, that it is NejixTenten, so if you despise that pairing you should probably just let sleeping dogs lie.

Fifthly, I would like to thank Angry Joe of the Angry Joe Show for use of the pickup line. It is horrible, disgusting genius, and I have it on good faith it actually works...if you're good enough friends with the girl that she knows you're not serious. If you're not, expect to be slapped.

Sixthly, I would like to give special thanks to Linkara of Atop the Fourth Wall. Not because I made any major shout-out to him or used anything of his or anything, but simply because he is the most awesome celbrity I have ever heard of. Ever.

Finally, I just wanted to thank the six or so of you who have actually read to this point for reading. Thank you very much, and Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit bless you! (Even if you're an atheist, or a member of a religion that does not believe in Yahweh Adonai, may He/They bless you anyway. Because your personal belief does not affect my wanting you to have the biggest guns possible on your side.) Thanks again!