A/N: I don't own Naruto but most of you knew that. This story could be a second chapter for Disbelief but it is a stand alone. I would like to thank my husband, my darling unwilling Beta, who didn't realize this duty was in the marriage vows. Seriously its there, just Google it or look it up on Wikipedia or take my word for it like my husband does.


No one dared move. My eyes met my father's. His unbroken calmness guided me my whole life but right now his eyes were wide open in shock that mirrored my own. We were deer trapped in oncoming headlights.


"Good evening son, good evening Temari" My dad greeted us as we walked into the house that had been my home until six short days ago. "Your mother is in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on dinner". He gave Temari a quick hug before saying, "Temari why don't you help Yoshino get dinner on the table. Shikamaru, you up for a game of Shogi with your old man?"

My new wife and I shared a look of mirth. Her eyes seemed to say, 'This is where you get it from huh?' I shrugged lightly in acknowledgement. We had yet to make it to our one week anniversary. Leaving our bed was hard enough, leaving our home was harder, now we had to part company completely? I squeezed her hand. For the past six days we had been together constantly, exploring each other only taking breaks to make short forays into the village for take out. Our friends teased us but we had no time for conversation in our hurry to get back to each other. Her fingertips trailed across my palm before our fingers clasped once before we reluctantly parted. She looked over her shoulder and waved teasingly at me before leaving the room. I stared at the empty hallway, just staring and grinning like an idiot.

My dad interrupted, "Son, how do you like being whipped?"

"It's fucking fantastic." I scratched the back of my head. Dad's question jolted me from my daze I but still stood there, right where she left me.

"You'll see her at the dinner table, now sit down. I haven't had any real competition this week. Your mother's skills are rusty." I sat down at the familiar little table, my mind still on that amazing, beautiful, most wonderful creation on the planet-type woman. She actually left Suna, choosing me over brothers, over the people and land she defended. Temari put it perspective for me. I was not her whole world but I was the most important person in it. My mind was so engaged with thoughts of my bride that I almost got my ass handed to me. Dad sighed loudly calling my attention to his boredom. It wasn't long before I was fully engaged with the pieces on the board.

"Shikamaru! Shikaku! Dinner is ready, come eat. That game can wait." Mom called us in for dinner. Temari stood behind her smirking at us. I could read 'whipped' in her eyes. I couldn't disagree, my father was whipped and I followed in the long standing Nara tradition to be yet another whipped husband. Whipped, it turned out, was the most wonderful thing in the world.

Dad sat at the head of the table, Mom at the foot, Temari and I sat facing each other at the sides. Mom dominated the conversation providing me with the family gossip that I had missed while sequestered with my new bride. She had so much news to tell one could hardly believe it had been less than a week, unless one knew my mother and her ability to talk about anything and everything but mostly about everybody. All the while she gave Temari brief bios on the cast of characters in the Nara clan and made judgements on where she thought Dad should intervene as head of the family. Mom would have Dad be a tyrant like herself. Dad let the talk of what should and should not be wash over him. He wasn't one to interfere in a family member's household.

"Shikaku, are you even listening to me?" Mom yelled in outrage as Dad calmly continued his meal.

Dad put down his chopsticks to give Mom his full attention, "Woman, one would be hard pressed to do anything but listen to you. Why not be quiet and enjoy this delicious meal you prepared?"

Naturally this had the opposite effect on my mother who went off ranting about my father's many faults. I was used to this behavior but looked up to see how my bride was faring. Her eyes twinkled as she nudged me with her foot to let me know she was fine and maybe even amused.

With Temari's foot now firmly between my own, I settled back into the meal in front of me. Hunger was finally catching up with after too many days of feasting on love.

"And now you have raised Shikamaru to be just like you. Lazy and unmotivated." Mom unable to get a sufficient rise out of Dad decided to bring me into it.

"He married a beautiful princess and cemented a treaty that will ensure peace between our villages and alliance against all others. I would say he's done well." Dad picked up his chopsticks and resumed his meal.

Mom harrumphed ignoring Dad's comments, "He's not even a jonin, even after that bloody war. Seems he would have been promoted."

Again I looked to my bride, she had teased me about this earlier in the day. Instead of a twinkle in her eye, I saw a wrinkle in her brow as she kept her focus resolutely on her plate simply saying, "Shikamaru is as good as any jonin I've fought with. Better even."

"Shikamaru!" Mom ignored Temari's comment too and yelled to get my attention although we sat elbow to elbow.

"Yes Mom."

"What do you think your father should do about your cousin Shikari? She is pregnant, and now six months into it her lazy bum of a father has yet to make the ninja who got her this way answer for it. What would you do as head of the family?" This was a common tactic that had me staring up at the ceiling sighing. She was on a roll now. Too late to do anything but play out my part. I hated when Mom did this.

I groaned audibly before answering, "Shikari is an adult woman and a kunoichi at that. It is her matter to settle and hers alone. Dad nor Uncle has any real say. She has already informed the child's father discharging her only duty on that score." Then to deliberately displease Mom I infused the exact tone of boredom that still pushed her buttons even though I had been doing it since I was six, "I agree with Dad."

I braced myself for Mom's anger but it didn't come. A clatter of dishes replaced the solid 'thwap' I expected to the back of the head. Temari's dishes were overturned when she jumped up to intercept Mom's hand before it could make contact with my head. In a split second Mom's dishes went flying as she upset the table in the counter strike. Dad and I jumped back from the overturned table from sheer instinct.

No one dared move. My eyes met my father's. His unbroken calmness guided me my whole life but right now his eyes were wide open in shock that mirrored my own. We were deer trapped in oncoming headlights.

"Keep your hands off him." Temari bit out with determination.

"You overstep your place daughter. He is my son!"

"YOU WILL NOT HIT HIM! HE BELONGS TO ME NOW. MINE!" Temari roared, "I will protect him with my life even from a harpy like you!"

"It may take your life Princess!' Mom roared right back.

Dad and I stared at each other. Temari was in the grip of my shadow much like Mom was in the caught in his. It was a Nara's worst nightmare, an unanticipated situation. I didn't have a thousand different scenarios already played out in my mind. Even worse, this situation involved two of the scariest women I knew. I thought my mom and Temari, so similar, both loud and bossy, would get along just fine. Obviously I had a lot to learn about women.

I looked to my father for guidance, my shadow hold was not going last but for so long. Normally when Temari was this close I didn't worry about how long my hold would last. I set the enemy up with my jutsu and Temari mowed them down with hers. I didn't want my Mom to get that treatment. Even though her tessen was at home Temari was plenty deadly without it. Mom was no slouch either. I didn't call my Mom scary because of the incessant nagging. Granted the nagging was troublesome, her taijutsu made her scary. She kept Dad's skills sharp almost daily on our private training field.

"Yoshi," Dad started off appeasing mom with a pet name, "Shikamaru is not a boy any longer and Temari is more than his wife. She was his comrade in arms on the field of battle. She has killed many a nin for getting that close to him. Surely, you understand that's not an instinct she can just turn off."

"He is my son." Mom's face was still a contortion of rage.

"No one disputes that Yoshi, but as I said he is not a boy. He is a married man. Have you not done the same for me? Remember when I was first released from the hospital with these scars/ You tried to decapitate Inoichi for teasing me about them." My father forced my mother to look at him. She flushed under his attention. The slightest curve lifted her lip. Mom savored the memories of fights more than she ever relished naked baby stories about me. She had probably kicked Uncle's ass good.

I was sickly fascinated at the interaction. My mother's voice dominated our home as long as I could remember, drilling Dad and I, keeping us on pace for school, for work, training, meals and berating us along the way. Her voice was the loudest but when he chose to flex it Dad's was the strongest.

Dad inclined his head and I took the hint. Temari's eyes were confused. It didn't take a genius to know she was both angry and embarrassed. I thanked my mother hastily for dinner and carefully peeled my wife out the room not releasing her until we were clear of the house.

Temari's head hung low in the moonlight streaming on the path between our cottage and the main house. "I'm sorry for embarrassing you Shika."

"Don't be." I pulled her into my arms, "She had it coming."

Temari punched me lightly, "She's still your mother."

"A man can serve but one master. Its time she acknowledged my new one."

"Shika, be serious." Temari admonished. "You mother will never forgive me." She groaned against my shoulder.

"She will, after all she is my mom. Despite her bluster she loves me and now she know you love me too."

The next morning I stirred at the banging on the door. Automatically I reached out for Temari but didn't touch her. She was probably cooking breakfast. She wasn't a particularly good cook but it was it was better than having to do it myself. I stretched my arms and contemplated getting out the bed but instead wrapped my arms around her pillow to settle back down. She would call me when the food was ready.

The banging came again. "Shikamaru, wake your lazy ass up and open the door for your mother!" Mom's voice prickled at my halfway asleep conscious. There was no reason for me to stir, Temari could get the door.

It was not until I heard Temari's voice, "Good morning Yoshino," that the events of the night before rushed back to my sleepy brain.

"Good morning Temari. Shikaku suggested I apologize for my behavior last night." Mom said sulkily like a kid. I sat up in the bed and looked around for my pants.

"Are you sorry?" Temari challenged.

"No," Mom returned. "Are you?"

"Not at all. I meant what I said. I won't see him treated that way." I pulled my pants up around my waist trying to get to the door.

Mom asked, "Except by you? I have heard about how you dominate him. Ino's mother and I are very good friends, you know?"

Temari replied, "Evidently Nara men like dominance in a woman." They didn't sound hostile so I stopped out of sight in the hallway positioning my shadow in case I had to use it.

Mom laughed lightly, "Yeah they do. Whipped, the other men tease them but you won't see them complaining. They are as lazy and as unmotivated the day is long and we Nara women keep them going, forcing them to their potential. It's a hard job and you've taken it on voluntarily. You must adore my son, much like I adore Shikaku. You understand they won't do anything for themselves right?"

Temari laughed, "Shika on missions will go hungry rather than hunt or cook."

"Shikaku, would not do laundry. I think I married him just to make sure he was presentable each day. Not to mention that beard he was starting to grow because he didn't feel like buying a razor."

"Shikamaru once wore my..."

"Good morning Mom." I cut Temari off and kissed my mother's cheek before whispering in Temari's ear, "You promised to never tell anyone about that."

"Shikamaru," Mom said, "haven't I always told you, eavesdroppers never hear any good of themselves." Temari, did you finally wash his so he would leave yours alone?"

Temari frowned them admitted, "Yes, I didn't see any other way."

Mom threw her head back and laughed, "Welcome to the family, Temari-chan."