Having issues with my latest Love at War chapter, so I wrote this quick little story to help clear my head. Sorry for the delay but the next chapter will be done ASAP.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, this story is for amusement purposes only. Naruto is owned by Masashi Kishimoto
Temari was enthralled by the beauty of her first real snowfall yet analyzed the tactical pros and cons to fighting in such weather. She had insisted on training as much as she could in the conditions, including stealth work. The four pig-tailed blonde worked until her hands and feet began to go numb and were on the verge of frostbite. Shikamaru had to finally force the kunoichi inside out of the weather using his shadow possession technique which he knew he would pay for later.
"What do you think you are doing?" Temari growled at him.
"Troublesome woman! If I let you go much longer I will have to take you to a medical nin. Which one would you like to visit, Ino or Sakura?" he smirked.
"Neither!" she shot back.
"Then it is time to get you warmed up unless you want to lose your fingers," he stated trying to look disinterested as he walked her towards his home against her will. Shikamaru shoved his hands into his pockets as he walked out of habit and watched the blonde try to do the same with her yukata which was rather comical. She was thankfully in front of him and didn't see him stifle a chuckle. The shadow user looked down at the sand nin's footprints in the snow before him, they were so small now compared to his. He absentmindedly began to walk in her footsteps as he directed her towards the main house of the Nara compound, which is where they had been training. His parents were gone on a spur of the moment winter vacation trip so he wasn't worried about getting the third degree from his mother about tracking snow and water all over their home.
The ponytailed Nara marched Temari straight to the fireplace, only pausing to have her remove her shoes just inside the door. "Now, I can release the jutsu and ask you nicely to take your wet clothes off in private or I can just take them off for you. It's your choice," he said yawning as though the action wouldn't be worthy of his attention. He was happy he managed to cover up the fact that the thought made his heart rate jump considerably.
"I think I can manage, you ass!" Temari hissed but she was beginning to shiver. The blonde hesitated for a moment and bit her lip as she realized, "I am going to need to borrow something to change into though."
Shikamaru released the jutsu as he grabbed a blanket and handed it to her. "Go ahead and get out of the wet clothes, wrap up in this, and come back out by the fire. I will find something for you to wear but it will take a few minutes."
The two had been seeing one another romantically for a few months now, but the shadow user was still surprised by some aspect of her with every passing day. She was always so tough and at times cold, but one on one; once he got her to let her guard down, she was an amazing woman. Shikamaru quickly put water on to boil for tea then scrambled to find some clothes he had outgrown that might fit the wind mistress.
He returned to the living room to find her sitting almost on top of the fire, wrapped up in the blanket. The kunoichi actually had her hair out of her signature four ponytails which was a look only Shikamaru or her brothers saw. As Shikamaru approached he could hear her teeth chattering.
"Here you go," the Nara said trying to sound bored as he sat the clothes down beside her. "I'll have some tea ready by the time you get back in here." He was already heading into the kitchen to find the cast iron tea cups trying not to think about the fact that Temari was sitting in his living room naked underneath that blanket.
"Thank you," he heard her whisper softly as she stood and left the room again with the clothes in hand. Shikamaru thought for a moment about teasing her, but decided against it. Temari thanking someone was a rare thing and he didn't want to ruin his sense of accomplishment at the moment.
The shadow user found a jasmine green tea that he thought she might enjoy and grabbed two cups. He went back to the fire and pulled the wire basket out of the cast iron tea kettle for the leaves. The genius measured out the tea leaves carefully knowing Temari was very picky about her tea not being too strong, but definitely not liking it weak either. When he was satisfied he left the cups in front of the fire and placed the kettle on a teapot warmer as the leaves steeped.
"Now," the pony-tailed Nara mumbled to himself, "I guess I could get out of my wet clothes." Shikamaru went back up to his room, stripped down, and found a comfortable long sleeve black shirt with some black pants. He walked back downstairs with the wet clothes and went to the bathroom Temari had been changing in. She had already neatly hung her clothes to dry, so he simply hung up his clothes as well.
"You're not trying to sneak a peek at my panties while they're drying are you?" came Temari's voice from the doorway. She stood there wearing a long sleeved green shirt with the Nara clan symbol on the left sleeve and black pants with the blanket draped over her shoulders. The blonde had her arms crossed and a smirk on her face as if she had caught him.
"What's the fun of seeing your panties if you aren't in them?" asked Shikamaru as he raised his eyebrow and smirked.
"Gah!" groaned Temari as she threw up her hands and turned to head back into the living room. "Who would have thought the lazy genius was such a perv underneath that somber exterior?" she asked to no one in particular.
"Wait a minute! I have behaved like a perfect gentleman and you know it!" argued Shikamaru as he followed her but still trying to sound slightly bored. He knew she was just trying to get a reaction out of him, so he didn't want to let her totally get her way.
"Yes, yes you have. I just wasn't sure if it was because you are a gentleman or were just too lazy to make a move," waved Temari dismissively as she sat back down in front of the fire. Shikamaru poured Temari a cup of tea as she smiled at him on the verge of laughter. He poured himself a cup of tea as well then walked over behind the blonde. He sat down behind the kunoichi, set his cup to the side, and grabbed her firmly around the waist pulling her back towards him. Temari let out a squeak and laugh at the sudden movement trying to keep from spilling her tea.
The shadow user brushed her hair to the side as he kissed the back of her neck gently. "I'm not too lazy in that aspect, I'm just old fashioned," he breathed. "That and your brothers have threatened to do unspeakable things to me if I should do anything they feel is inappropriate," he whispered as he moved his lips up beside her ear causing her to let out a small gasp. Shikamaru chuckled as he leaned back pulling her so she was seated between his legs with her against his chest. He grabbed his tea and took a sip as though he had done absolutely nothing, with his eyes gleaming.
"Tease," Temari sighed as she leaned into him, resting her head on his chest. She lazily watched the flames dancing in the fire. They both sipped their tea in their usual comfortable silence. Shikamaru occasionally ran his fingers through her hair or up and down her arm, which she would welcome by moving closer. She would rest her left arm and hand on his leg, sometimes absentmindedly drawing circles on his lower thigh. Temari found her eyelids getting heavy as she let the warmth of the tea and fire envelop her.
Shikamaru knew from her quiet, slow, and steady breathing that she had fallen asleep. The ponytailed Nara moved himself out from behind her and swept her up gently bridal style. He took great care not to jostle her too much and wake her up. The shadow user smoothly carried her upstairs and to his bed. Shikamaru covered her up and as he turned to leave he heard her begin to whimper in her sleep.
"Nooo," she begged softly with her forehead wrinkled appearing distraught. Temari's breathing began to go faster as if she were running in her sleep. The blonde rolled onto her side and curled into the fetal position with her arms covering her head. She was clearly having a nightmare, which Shikamaru wished he could stop. The genius crawled into bed on the other side, wrapped his arms around her and rested his head next to hers. She was actually trembling.
"Temari," he whispered, "I'm here and you're safe." Shikamaru had no idea if she was reliving a mission, her childhood with Gaara, or an incident with her father but she seemed to respond to his voice. The kunoichi was still asleep but she brought her arms down from where they had sheltered her head and they went on top of Shikamaru's. Her hand's fingers intertwined with his as her expression softened from one of fear to comfort. Temari's breathing slowed back to the soft even pace it had been as Shikamaru pulled her as close to him as he could. "I'm here, you don't have to do everything on your own anymore," the Nara sighed.