Chapter 1

This I Swear

Gaara lowered his head in grief; After Naruto, Sai and Kankuro returned, they explained what happened. How Shikamaru was able to deliver a blow and how both he and Sasuke were buried, only Sasuke survived but Shikamaru was gone. Gaara couldn't help but feel remorse for the Leaf, who lost one of their best Shinobi; another victim of Sasuke's wrath. Worst of all, he couldn't find it in his heart to break the news to Temari who was sitting on her window sill eagerly waiting for him to come back.

Knock knock

Gaara and everyone in the room jolted as the door opened; Chouji, Ino and Sakura walked in with excitement in their eyes. They heard them returning so they made their to Gaara's room; only to be disappointed when only saw Naruto, Sai and Kankuro with Gaara.

"W-w-where's Shikamaru?" Chouji asked as he tried to keep his smile. Ino and Sakura both nodded their heads and looked at the tired worn out team of Shinobi, unable to hold their smiles.

Naruto walked up to Chouji and pulled out Shikamaru's sword; it was dusty and still had slight traces of blood. Chouji reached for it with a shaky hand and as he did, he noticed Naruto's face covered in tears; trying hard to put up a front for them.

"Shikamaru…fought…the cliff collapsed under his feet and then…" Naruto tried to explain but his tears stopped him.

Chouji limped back while Ino and Sakura began to sob. Naruto walked up to Sakura and comforted her as Chouji reached for Ino and comforted her as well.

"How…why would he…?" Sakura sobbed, her face covered in tears.

"He promised her…why would he do something stupid like that and get himself…" Ino stopped herself, unable to finish.

"We don't know if he's dead. We only found his sword so there's a possibility he's still alive." Sai pointed out.

"But what about Temari?" Chouji pointed out.

"What about Temari? What does she have to do with this?" Kankuro asked.

Gaara walked up to his brother and placed his hands on his shoulder. "That is something we will discuss in the morning. For now, we have to send a search party for Nara and someone has to go break the news to Temari." Gaara said somberly.

"I'll do it…I was there when it happened." Naruto volunteered.

"No, I'll do it." Chouji said as he broke free from Ino. "I have his last words to her just in case he didn't make it back."

Temari sat in her window sill, looking at the stars; waiting for him. However, she felt a lump in her heart, a heavy lump that wouldn't go away. She couldn't brush off this feeling and couldn't help but feel that something was wrong.

"Shikamaru…"

Knock knock

Temari jolted up and walked to her door. She opened and saw Chouji with a serious face as if he was trying to fight something. She looked at him with concern. "Chouji…is your leg hurting still? Do you want to sit down?"

Chouji shook his head as he lowered his head. The lump in her heart grew heavier as she continued to look into his face; pain written all over it.

Finally Chouji raised his head and looked into her eyes; trying to fight his tears.

"Mission failed…" he began. Temari tilted her head in confusion. She knew what was coming but tried to push those feelings aside.

"Did everyone make it ok? How's Naruto, Sai, Kankuro? Where's Shikamaru?"

Chouji turned away trying not to look her in the eye. He didn't want to say it; he was scared of her reaction and because he didn't want to believe it himself.

"H-he said that no matter what…he'll find a back to you. N-not even death will keep him from you…not until he tells you how he feels…" Chouji couldn't fight his tears anymore as he let them pour out. Temari just stood there and watched him crumble and cry. She bent down and wrapped her arms around his back; fighting back her own tears so he wouldn't see how heartbroken she was.

Ino walked up to them both and comforted Chouji as he continued to cry. After a while, Temari placed her hands on his head; he looked at her and saw she had a weak smile on her face.

"It's going to be ok Chouji. We just have to stand on our own feet and move on."

Chouji nodded as he continued to wipe his face. Ino helped him up and took him back to his room. Sakura walked up to Temari and patted her on her shoulder.

"You sure you're gonna be ok?" she said concerned.

"Yeah, don't worry. Things happen like this in missions so I shouldn't take it too hard." Temari replied with a smile on her face. She hugged Sakura goodnight and closed the door to her room. She waited to hear them close their doors and go to sleep and she walked to her bed and threw herself down. Burying her face in one of her pillows, Temari let out a small sob until she couldn't fight her tears anymore. She was angry; angry at Sasuke but most of all, angry at Shikamaru.

"You idiot…you promised me you were coming back! You stupid good for nothing lazy oaf!" Temari raised her head from her pillows and faced the night sky. The stars were still up; shining so beautifully.

As she looked upon them, she could think nothing but Shikamaru. The way he smelled, the way he made her smile, how he could fight back against her and keep going till one of them was exhausted. He made her weak; he made her feel like a real woman. But now he was gone…the only man who understood her; the only one, who could love her right. She felt her heart break even more; cursing the stars for not bringing back the man she loved back to her.

Then, Temari felt a strong chakra presence coming towards her window; from the outside. She quickly dug underneath her pillow, pulling out her kunai and hid against the wall next to her window. Once it got closer, Temari lowered her kunai; almost recognizing this presence. It was a weak presence and it was slowly fading. She slowly peeked to see who was standing next to her window; it was too dark to see but the figure was tall so she walked her entire body to the front of her window to get a better view with her kunai still in her hand. She dropped her kunai and stared at the figure with wide eyes; she couldn't believe it but she frantically opened her window. Once she opened it, he came in and collapsed onto her; wrapping his arms around her.

Temari cried in his arms as she snuggled against his chest. He was back, just like he had promised her; the stars brought her Shikamaru back.

Shikamaru cupped her face and looked at her with sorrowful eyes. "Sorry I took so long…but well…" he said weakly.

Temari looked into his eyes with watery eyes; seeing her own reflection in them. "It's ok…you came back and that's all that matters to me." She looked up and faced him, "Don't scare me like that ever again ok…" as she tiptoed up to him to give him a kiss. "I love you…"

Shikamaru buried one of his hands in her hair and pulled her towards him; both them sharing a passionate kiss. At last, he made it to her and he didn't want anyone to ruin this for him.

Unknown to them, Gaara was standing outside Temari's door; he too felt the chakra presence and walked towards her door. Along with him was Chouji, Ino, Sakura, Naruto and Sai; they all felt the presence and were about to break in but immediately recognized it as Shikamaru's.

Naruto walked up to the door; getting ready to open it when Gaara stopped him. "It's best to leave them be. We should respect their space; after all, she stayed up waiting for him and he fought his way to reach her." Gaara smiled as he led Naruto back to his room. Everyone else followed and quietly walked back to their rooms and slowly closed their doors.

Both Temari and Shikamaru were sitting on her bed as she slowly wrapped his arm; his wounds were painful that just by one touch, he jolted, "Ow…!"

"A-Are you sure you don't want me to wake up Ino or Sakura? I'm pretty sure they'll be really happy to see you." She pointed out as she finally finished the last of his bandages.

"Nah, then I'm just going to get a lecture and Ino gets really grumpy if she's bugged around this time." Shikamaru pointed out as he slowly stretched out his arm. Temari looked at him with relief; glad to see that he still had his sense of humor.

"Besides…" he began as he leaned against her. "…I came back for you. I only wanna spend time with you tonight." As he buried his face in her hair and slowly moved his way to her forehead and kissed it. He slowly glided his fingers against her face and aimed to kiss her but she turned away with a frown on her face. "We all thought you were dead…you scared us, you scared me so I'm not showing you any love to-umph!" she was interrupted by a sudden assault from his lips. He wrapped his arms around her tightly so she wouldn't escape. She didn't fight back; she didn't want to fight back anymore. She let herself as he slipped his tongue inside her mouth; wrestling with hers for dominance. He cupped the back of her head and pulled her even closer and tighter; making sure she wouldn't try to escape him.

Temari buried her fingers in his hair and gently stroked every strand she could feel. He pressed his body against hers and rested his hand behind her back; gently laying her down on her bed. He continued to kiss her passionately; tasting her sweet flavor of vanilla.

Temari placed her hands on his bare chest as she tore her lips from his, "Shikamaru…I can't…I can't breathe…" as she grasped for air.

"Then don't…" he rasped as he locked his lips with hers.

Temari gripped his arms and squeezed; she really couldn't breathe. "I can't breathe…but it's not because of the kissing…" she said to herself as she felt his hands slowly remove her robe; revealing her naked body.

Shikamaru tore from their kiss looked down, her body was perfect; her skin was soft and pale sending a shiver down his spine. Temari looked at him and stroked his face; her hands were shaky. Shikamaru wrapped his fingers over her hand and slowly kissed it. He leaned towards her; pressing his body against her's. "It's ok, I'm scared too." He whispered in her ear. She wrapped her arms around his neck and whispered back, "I'm ok with this. As long as it's you, I don't care…" a tear flowing down her face. He raised his head to look at her; looking at her smile as she stroked his bare chest and slowly traced the line down to his muscular four pack abs. She looked at him again and raised her head to kiss him.

"I love you…"

Shikamaru leaned towards her neck and slowly kissed it. He placed one hand behind her head while the other on her back and squeezed hard. He kissed and licked her beautiful soft pale skin; tasting her vanilla scent. Temari softly nibbled his ear as he continued to nibble on her neck; leaving more of his love marks on her neck and shoulders. He made his way up to her face; kissing her cheek, then her forehead, then moved down to her nose and finally reaching her lips. He locked his lips with hers as he gently caressed her breast, causing her to moan and tighten her grip on his back. Temari finally gently pushed him back as they both gasped for air; continuing to look into his eyes. She gently stroked his face with her soft fingers and kissed each corner of his mouth, his chin and his cheek. From his cheek, she slowly made her way to his neck and nipped a little at his neck; sending shivers of sensation down his spine and arms.

He then lowered his head and began to kiss her neck and slowly made his way down to the line of her breast. Once there, he looked at her and said, "You know…I never did finish my business in the forest." He joked. Temari chuckled a bit as she nodded her head; granting him permission. Shikamaru buried his face in her breast and slowly nipped and suckled on her nipple. Temari clutched onto his head, burying her fingers in his hair as she moaned and softly threw her head back in ecstasy.

"Shikamaru…" she choked out his name and stretched her body even further; causing Shikamaru to tighten his grip on her back, pulling her down. He raised his head to face her as he placed his hands on her hips. She slowly got up and helped him take off his pants until he was naked like her. He laid her down and kissed her lips as he gently stroked his hands on her hips; putting them in place. Temari wrapped her arms around his neck and tightened her grip; knowing what was coming up next.

Shikamaru slowly thrust himself inside her; ignoring the sharp pain on his back he felt as her nails dug deep into his skin. She threw her head back in pain; it hurt so much that she felt her blood flowing down, staining her bed sheets. She wanted to scream but she remembered that everyone was asleep so she bit her lip as he slowly pulled out and thrust back in. Her tears slowly flowed out and stained her pillow while she gripped his shoulder even tighter. She quietly moaned and shivered underneath his skin; hot, full of passion and desire for her.

"Shikamaru…" she slowly called out his name as she tried to fight the urge of screaming out in pain. He stopped for a while and leaned in closer to her. "You ok…?" he asked gently. Temari turned her head and faced him with wide eyes, still covered in tears. He gently traced the line of her lips with his finger. "I'll stop if it's too much."

Temari gently stroked his face, pushing his hair from his face and smiled. "It's ok…I'm f-fine with this…" as she tried to position herself comfortably so as he can slide in more comfortably. Shikamaru leaned down and kissed her forehead and whispered in her ear, "Just bear with it for a while." He thrusts himself back inside her while kissing her neck; trying to make her forget the pain. Temari's tears flowed even more, throwing her head back in pain as she sank her nails even more deeper into his back. She began to moan even louder unable to hold in her pain.

"Oh Shikamaru…!" she cried out at last. Her chest puffed up and down fast and heavily as she gasped for air; his air. She wanted to breathe him in for only he could fill her lungs so she sought his lips. She gently traced his muscular arms with her hands; feeling his tension and passion for her. She then traced his neck and went lower to his chest and muscular abs. She gently rubbed them, enjoying the smoothness and intensity of his skin; how it felt so good on her skin. Finally, she found his lips and pulled him into her, planting a hot passionate kiss.

"Shika…" she moaned between kisses. She didn't want to let him go; she wanted this to last forever.

Shikamaru tore from their kiss to gasped for air, then pulled back and then thrust in; the blood becoming the lube that allowed him easier passage.

Temari threw her head back, no longer in pain but in ecstasy and sensation. It no longer hurt but it felt so good. She locked her legs on his hips and shivered as he rubbed his hips on her legs.

"Temari…" Shikamaru whispered in her ear as he leaned in closer and licked her vanilla skin. As Temari wrapped her arms around his neck, she froze in place; trying to make out what he said to her as he continued to kiss her neck. Finally, he felt his world turn white and full of hot air and passion that he collapsed and slumped on her.

"Did he just say he loved me…?"

Shikamaru raised his head and slowly tilted it towards Temari's face and looked into her blue green eyes as they both gasped for air. He's never seen anything so beautiful in his life so he treasured this moment with her; remembering every curve and detail of her body.

"Shika…" Temari whispered as she gasped for air. Shikamaru gently stroked her face and implanted a passionate kiss on her lips; breathing in her sweet vanilla breath into his lungs that only she could fill. He broke from the kiss and laid next to her, pulling the covers on both of them to cover their naked bodies. He gently laid her head on his arm while the other one wrapped itself around her body. Then he placed his head next to hers and kissed her forehead and sniffed her hair…vanilla.

"Shikamaru…" she slowly began.

"Mmmm…" Shikamaru responded as he kissed her forehead again.

"Did you just say that you loved me?" she asked but wasn't even sure herself if she should've asked.

Shikamaru tilted his head and looked at her in confusion; not really sure exactly what she was asking for.

"W-well, before you stopped, I thought I heard you sa-" but she was interrupted by his lips as he locked them on hers.

He broke away from their kiss and looked at her with a smirk on his face, "You idiot, if I didn't love you, I wouldn't had slept with you."

She snuggled against his chest and pinched his cheek, stretching his face.

"Well, I want to hear it from you. I want to hear you say I love you…" she joked with a smirk on her face.

"Hmm…such a demanding woman." He joked as he kissed her forehead.

"I love you…" he whispered as he slowly began to fall asleep.

She snuggled in chest and slowly closed her eyes.

"I love you too…"

She never felt so happy and complete as she fell asleep in his strong muscular gentle arms.