AN: More ShikaTema. Happy Halloween, everyone!


She had said, why don't you try being me for a day?- and if Shikamaru had learned anything from his first year of union with this unspeakable, unrelenting, fragile and wonderful creature, it was that her word was law…and obeying them usually cut down on his having to sleep on the couch.

"What are you doing?" was all she could ask, turquoise orbs shimmering like the surface of water in the sun with surprise. He loved surprising her.

"I'm just going to work!" he announced to the conference of Jounin in his best impression of her high, female register. "You told me to walk in your shoes for a day!" The room exploded into laughter, as her cream-colored cheeks flushed rosy. The lack of punishing desert sun in Konoha had softened Temari's harsh expressions, and faded her skin to a delicious and beautiful pale shade. She was beautiful even if she didn't believe it when he said it.

Towering over her head, six-foot-five Shikamaru stared down at his wife through a gob of misapplied eyeliner; this was difficult, of course, because now his eyelashes were beginning to stick together in a fashion that caused him to blink demonically. One of her summer dresses barely reached his knees, and the chest was taut with trying to contain his muscled forearms and broad shoulders. Pulled into four tails, Shikamaru's oily hair was unspeakably humorous; he was even wearing Temari's fishnet stockings, over the stunning hairlessness of his own, tanned legs.

He could never tell if she was on the edge of implosion, slapping him, or bringing down the Hokage monument around her ears when she broke down and cried (nothing could wrench his world like her woes, not earthquakes or armies-). A conclusion roiled up like a storm in her face, her pert lips ground together and iridescent eyes working- until she stamped her foot with frustration, what he regarded to be the cutest habit of hers in his own mind (It made her look like the little girl she had never been).

"Okay… but at least let me fix your makeup," she relented, with a knife-edge smile that still hurt him with it's beauty.


"God, you might as well have painted a drum of oil on your head with a paintbrush…" Temari scolded, her voice echoing on the plastic walls. Forced onto the seat of a toilet in the women's bathroom, Shikamaru stared blankly at their inverse reflections on the stall mirror as she orbited his head, doing occult things with a brush and powder.

"I can't open my left eye," he complained helpfully. Temari huffed, two inches from his ear.

"You idiot!" she snapped, shutting her compact at deafening proximity. "Why would you do this? You made me look like a fool in front of the entire Jounin counsel!"

"Oh, get over it," came his slacker tone. Temari opened her mouth, crimped her eyes to shout at him- but his broad fingers found her lips first, and his forest-eyes held the thought captive.

"- You're not the one with shaved legs, my dear. And you always accuse me of never getting off my ass and having some sympathy for you. I know you're tired," his voice softened now, to that low that he she could feel creeping up her skin, "-and I know that you have a lot of responsibility. But what I don't know is if you remember how to live, or smile- I haven't seen you do it in so long. Relax. Just relax, and laugh at me, okay? I'm wearing a dress and fishnet. To make you laugh again."

After a moment, she kissed him on the hair, which was pulled so tightly into ponytails of hers that his scalp was beginning to tingle; her face invisible, but her hand on his neck inviting again and warm with the passion and pulse that bled into everything she did and said.

"You are… the biggest freak I have ever met," she said at long last. Her porcelain face glowed like embers as she leaned against him, their proximity and their lives (stunning, impossible) suddenly heavy with a sweetness that silenced them for a few moments. "I'm sorry. Things have just been so- crazy. I don't know. I've been awful, I'm sorry…"

Shikamaru just leered into the small mirror. "So does this mean I can stop freezing to death on the couch, now?" She smacked him lightly on the top of the head, enjoying watching him flinching.

"Yes, you dimwit…now let me go back to the meeting and explain that my husband is clinically insane," she snarled, something in the tone and in her summer-smile lighter.

"I love you," he called retroactively, leaning out of the open stall to watch her retreat. "I shaved my legs for you."

"I know," she snarked, pointing over her shoulder. "And I love you, too. Clinical insanity, shaved legs and all."