Now I'm a man

Out on my own

I am not ashamed

You broke my heart

You stole my pride

All you left me was my name

"That might be an understatement." She said in a quiet voice to keep it from breaking.

"What do you mean?" He asked. With a deep breath her hands moved to the bottom of her shirt.

Turning slightly so her back was to him she pulled up the shirt showing him her back wincing slightly. He looked at the dark marks that covered her back. It took him a moment to realize what he was staring at weren't shadows cast by the candles but tons of large overlapping bruises all in different states of healing ranging from blacks to purple to even yellow tint as they were starting to heal.

He lifted a hand placing it gently on her back noticing how she flinched ever so slightly though trying to hide it. He could feel anger start to boil inside of him he took a moment to collect himself before pulling away from.

"He did this?" Shikamaru asked she just nodded pulling her shirt back down.

"He drinks….a lot. And he's got that damn paralyzation jutsu." She said looking straight ahead avoiding looking at Shikamaru. He was about to ask if it's happened before but stopped himself when he realized he already knew the answer.

"Why didn't you leave sooner? Why didn't your brothers do anything?" That was one question he couldn't help but ask as it had started to nag at him the second he had any inkling something was wrong with her.

"You know where I'm from Shikamaru. Divorce just is not an option especially in a marriage like this. Things like this happen all the time Shikamaru. You are just told to deal with it." She explained knowing their cultural differences would probably still be lost on him even though part of her had wondered the same thing. Sensing her questioning he decided to drop the subject as he stood up.

"Where are you going?" She asked finally looking over at him.

"You need help. I'm going to go get Ino." He said walking to the door she stood up grabbing his arm.

"Look I'm fine." She said he turned & looked at her.

"You could have internal bleeding or something." He said she just shook her head at him.

"I'm fine. Please Shikamaru. Not right now." She pleaded he looked down at her he could see lingering tears in her eyes. He knew how hard it must have been on her pride to open up to him about everything. Letting out a breath taking a step back he knew he was defeated.

"Fine. Fine. But first thing in the morning Ino's going to come and check you out make sure your ok." He said she nodded sadly before he put his hands on her shoulders. "Hey we're going to figure something out I promise."

He would find a way to make everything ok he really would but the question was how? This was way beyond anything he had expected. How could he protect her when she wasn't his to protect in the first place? She belonged to another man in another country in another life he never would fully understand. He normally could plan 200 steps ahead but this he just couldn't figure any type plan that wouldn't hurt her in some form and it was driving him insane.

This crossed so many lines political, ethical, and not to mention personal issues that he didn't even know if he was ready to deal with it himself. His pride still never recovered. Sure he had moved on meet another woman even moved in with her but he never felt like he could fully be himself without worrying he'd be betrayed in some form again. He highly doubted his ego would ever fully recover but now it was just good enough to play it off like he was fine but damn it he knew he still loved her.

He was sitting on the couch so lost in thought he hadn't noticed he even assumed his thinking position.

"Don't strain yourself." Came a very familiar voice he opened his eyes giving Temari a look.

"I think I can handle it." He said she just gave him a smirk.

"If you say so." She teased slightly before continuing. "Hey do you think it's ok if I use your bath? I am a wreck."

"Of course"

I just wanna forgive and forget all about you

Why can't I just move on?

From this place in between loving and hating you

Don't know where to belong