He doesn't like to waste time. Never did.

"Fuck, I'm so hard it hurts," he says and bends Sakura over the desk, then pulls down her shorts and her panties with one hurried movement.

"That's why we're here, isn't it," Sakura says and Shikamaru grunts. There's the sound of a zip behind her, then a gasp and he's inside her, moving fast and forcefully.

She's so hot she feels feverish. It gets more and more difficult to find a time and a place for their little meetings and they get more and more impatient and aroused and irritated when they can't meet for a while, but safety has to come first.

What they are doing is absolutely forbidden.

Sakura lets go. Her mind floats freely while her body is being treated like a ragdoll – Shikamaru has wrapped her ponytail around his wrist and yanks her hair when he feels like it while his other hand is gripping her hip. He uses all his strength to pound into her because he wants to and because she can take it and because that's the way they both like it. He doesn't have to hold back and she can let go.

They are more or less safe here, in the private archives of the Hokage's quarters. They often come here to work, sometimes alone, sometimes together.

And sometimes they come here to fuck.

Shikamaru bends her forward even more and starts to play with her pearl. He knows what makes her tick, they've been doing this for a while – fifteen years? Sixteen?

God only knows why they still find each other irresistible.

It's not that she has anything against Naruto, Sakura thinks, obediently gripping the edge of the desk when a hiss behind her tells her to do so. Most women would kill (and cheat, lie, steal and beg) to be in her place. She's the Hokage's wife, and he adores her.

It's just much simpler for Naruto, Sakura muses while she bites her lip to stifle her whimpers. He was always in love with her – even when she was weak and selfish and obsessed with Sasuke Uchiha. Sasuke's dead now, has been dead for a long time, and she is an awesome kunoichi, head of Konoha Hospital and the Hokage's assistant and the mother of his three children. She is still her husband's idol, his treasure, his everything – more than ever. She is above suspicion.

Sakura is careful, though. She watches and waits, she measures the gestures and looks of others, looks for hidden meanings in a word, in a frown. Sometimes she is sure that Kakashi is aware of what is going on behind the scenes, so to speak, but Kakashi is just as loyal to her as he is to Naruto and he's smart enough to know that if he talks a lot of things could be ruined but nothing gained. Her other big fear is the Inuzukas, especially Kiba and Hana, with their keen sense of smell, but luckily they are not very talkative. Sakura fears Kiba less – when he married Hanabi, they both wanted children but Hanabi had several miscarriages and finally it was Sakura who helped her through first one pregnancy, then another successfully, and ever since whatever Sakura wants from the Inuzukas and the Hyuugas, Sakura gets. She hardly ever pulls the strings though – both families support Naruto in the council but they do that of their own volition.

Anyway, Naruto would silence anyone who would even hint at her infidelity. It would take a lot of courage on anyone's part to even make that hint – Naruto is respected, feared and loved in Konoha, and where respect and fear may not silence the tongues, love will.

That is the reason why she is so careful, really. She wouldn't want to hurt Naruto. Or the children. The children must never, ever know about this.

Shikamaru feels the same, although his relationship with Ino is rather different.

Ino knows that Shikamaru is not a faithful husband. She knows his ways, his tastes – just like Sakura knows them. Shikamaru likes busty blondes, but he's not really picky. He prefers civilians, clerks and barmaids with big tits, older women who are not very clever but wise enough to accept without a fuss what he's willing to give.

Ino is always upset when she learns about a new lover. She usually comes to Sakura to cry on her shoulder. What does he see in them, she asks, why does he need this?

Sakura doesn't know, either. She can only guess - he's under tremendous pressure most of the time and these women help him unwind. She thinks it might be their silent understanding he enjoys or maybe the respect these women pay to Konoha's head strategist and, of course, they are grateful for the time he spends with them – he's a first-rate lover, with shinobi strength and stamina and some special clan tricks.

As if on cue, the hand in her hair lets her go, then she hears the murmur behind her and the shadows from the corners of the room lenghten, binding her and caressing her. She moans when she feels the shadows crawling under her shirt, grabbing her breasts, sucking her nipples, while other strands reach up her legs and caress her folds and her butt.

Shikamaru chuckles.

"Stop thinking," he commands.

"Then fuck me harder," she replies.

His control over his shadows never falters as he starts to move faster. Sakura groans in pleasure.

Ino knows about the other women, but she doesn't know about her. Sakura makes that sure, and it's not a difficult feat since they are best friends. Ino and Sakura share recipes, stories, memories. A man is just one more thing they share. Ino would never believe it if anyone told her what was going on.

Sakura is Ino's tower of strength. She was always there for her – when Ino gave birth to her babies she was the medic in attendance, when Ino fell seriously ill after a hard mission, Sakura cooked for both families and took Ino's children to the Academy with her own. There are some things that men cannot be trusted with – God only knows what Shikamaru was doing then, one thing is sure, he was not helping, and Ino's mother was busy attending Ino.

Sakura never expected Ino to be grateful. Ino would do the same for her if need be.

But strangely that is not the reason why Ino would never suspect Sakura doing this – moaning under Shikamaru's thrusts, opening her legs wider to make him go deeper inside her.

It's because they are still rivals in a way, and Naruto becoming Hokage was a stab for Ino's pride – that Sakura would have a better, a more successful husband than her. If she ever had to notice that her man favours Sakura, that they meet every week or sometimes twice a week to fuck each other lame... no, the very idea doesn't bear thinking about.

Sakura is in Ino's blind spot and she knows that.

Sakura has Shikamaru and they are safe, they are both safe, and their spouses are safe, and their children are safe, and because they have each other, Konoha is safe. Naruto is the Hokage and Sakura is Naruto's adviser and Shikamaru is the strategist and Ino works for Interrogation – the four of them can govern the village in a way that nobody ever did. But in the end it's Shikamaru who lays the plans but he always consults Sakura – at the end of the day it's the two of them who keep Konoha in their hands, who make sure that their people are safe, that their village is safe, and they work their hands to the bone so that everyone in the village would have enough food and could sleep in peace while they plan and plot and analyze and extrapolate to keep things running. In a way Sakura and Shikamaru are the ones married to each other, and the symbol of their union is the symbol of the Leaf they both work for.

Sakura loves Naruto. It would be impossible not to love him – the sincere blue eyes, the wild blond hair, the sunny smile... The late nights when he sits at his desk, thinking about a new treaty while he absentmindedly cradles their daughter in his arms. The early mornings when he kisses Sakura's shoulder and murmurs her name. The family dinners, Naruto sitting at their big oak table and eating Sakura's ramen while with endless patience he explains hand signs and jutsus to their older son.

But she loves Shikamaru, too – his dark eyes, his moody silence, his murmured whatevers and troublesomes... His hard cock inside her, his calloused hands, gripping her hips roughly.

He curses and she feels him swelling and shifting inside her and she trembles. She comes at the same time when he does, they are twin planets circling around the sun of their orgasm.

"Oh God, this just gets better and better," she says in an almost-whisper. At first she doesn't realize that she said it aloud, but then Shikamaru's rough hands softly caress her waist, her hips and he sighs before he pulls out of her.

She feels his seed running down the inside of her thighs and slowly begins to clean herself with a tissue. Shikamaru steps closer and helps her to get dressed, then they just hold on to each other for a minute.

He watches her, his dark, mysterious eyes following her every movement: as she arranges her skirt, as she checks her shirt, as she reties her ponytail.

It's a difficult moment. Sakura sighs and with a bit of a heartache inside, she makes the hand signs that serve as birth control.

She looks at Shikamaru and sees the same sadness in his face, in his eyes. He opens his arms and pulls her into an embrace. She raises her face to his, his lips find hers and they start kissing again. It's not a happy, sated kiss of shared bliss. It's a desperate kiss that tells of a forbidden passion.

Sometimes it's unbearable. It's not because they can never walk arm in arm at the summer festival. It's not because they can't kiss in the street. It's because of the child that cannot be born. Their child. The child with dark eyes and pink hair or brown hair and sea-green eyes.

They both have their favorites in the other's family. Sakura's, predictably, is Shikamaru and Ino's oldest: a carbon copy of his father, from the sleepy eyes to the determined chin and the pineapple hair.

Shikamaru's darling is, just as predictably, Sakura and Naruto's only daughter. The way Shikamaru's eyes soften when he sees her, with her chubby little arms and soft candy-pink tresses... But that is all. They are both careful not to show what they feel, but it's not easy. It has to be done, though – to protect their families, and to protect the village. A scandal and a divorce – or two – is not something they could afford or would be willing to risk. In their position, they have to be trusted and respected so that they could use their abilities for Konoha's sake. Unborn children they long for are part of the price they pay, just like the moments they can never share with each other: the goodnight kiss, the early morning caress, the Sunday dinner cooked together.

They are so close they can sometimes read each other's mind but they hardly ever meet outside work. It's too painful for both of them: when Naruto puts his arm around Sakura's waist, when Ino kisses Shikamaru on the mouth.

The world Sakura and Shikamaru live in is the world of government, diplomacy and war. They work together. They are a team of two, the very best there is.

He lets her go and looks out the window. He sighs again and puts his hands in his pockets, as usual. He could just as well hang a sign in his neck saying 'office open', Sakura thinks lovingly.

"Sakura... I know it's troublesome and all but what do you think about the latest report from Mist? Have you read it?" Shikamaru asks.

"The one about that missing nin who killed two ANBUs, isn't it," Sakura replies. "Well, it seems to me that..."

They both look back to the dusty little room before they shut the door and return to their everyday lives. Back in the saddle, they do what they do best – think and analyze, plan and strategize. Until the next meeting, that is, when they can't think anymore. They just want to feel.

Right now, they try to forget everything that has to do with swollen lips and sweat and bliss and the pain of separation.

The forbidden fruit comes with a price, too. It is a price they are willing to pay.