A/N: This has spent a long time being written, not necessarily because I was a perfectionist about it, but because there was a certain mood I had to be in. I don't know why that seems relevant enough to include in my a/n, but it does. Also. REVIEW! :)

I hate how she knows everything.

Really, all I did was sneak a cigarette. And, just as I'm about to inhale, I find it blown out of my mouth, presumably by some sort of ninjutsu.

What the hell.

Then she starts rattling on about how cigarettes are detrimental to your health. And I'm expected to listen like a good little schoolboy as she tells me the risks, the dangers, the people that have died, like I don't know all the statistics already.

A sigh escapes my mouth and she doesn't miss it.

"This is for your own good, you idiot!" Temari shouts, slapping me across the face.

You know what would be good? If she would stop telling me what to do. I already have another troublesome woman, namely my mother, to do that for me. I rub the forming bruise as I contemplate telling her this.

I tune out the rest of her speech, idly wondering if Choji is finished eating yet. When she's done, she takes my cigarettes and walks away. I only watch as she leaves, too damn helpless to stop her, seeing as well, let's just say that I was a little preoccupied with where she took the cigarettes from.

You would think that a genius would know that your underwear is not the best place to keep a pack of cigarettes. Especially if a troublesome woman is out to take them away.

:::

I hate how she realizes that she's beautiful.

In my experience, girls think that just because they're female, they can get away with anything. Many of them also think that being female automatically makes them beautiful. Bitch, please, some of them... The problem is, she's not one of those that thinks she's hot. She is hot. And she knows it too.

So she comes up to me, calling a greeting ahead of her. (Not that she said my name.)

"Crybaby!"

Can't she cut a guy some slack? It wasn't the easiest situation and besides, I'm not a tough macho type. I'm just Shikamaru. Plus, that incident was years ago, and we are both different people. Well, kind of.

Anyway, she comes up to me, and surprisingly, I receive no whack on the arm. Now I know she wants something. Even though I know that, it still catches me way off guard when the most unfeminine kunoichi in the world bats her eyelashes, pouts, and tells me she hasn't had any food all day.

Well if she hasn't eaten, maybe she should go get some damn food.

I raise my eyebrow, about to make that very suggestion, but then she grabs my arm in addition to all the other pay-for-my-lunch tactics. This results in a very warm sensation shooting up my arm, so in the end, I nod and lie that I haven't eaten lunch either.

:::

I hate how she walks.

This may seem like a minor thing, but trust me, it's really not.

For the loudest, most obnoxious, most troublesome woman in the world, she really knows how to walk in a way that just… Well, it makes me, the laziest man in the world, want to run, not walk, run over to her, pick her up, and find somewhere secluded to, ahem, you know.

It's all in the hips, in my opinion. Her hips just swing, left to right, left to right, left to right, and really, it's just not normal for something to be so noticeable. And noticeable things get noticed. But if you're being noticeable while noticing noticeable things, you can get into major trouble.

Trust me, I know.

So here I am, just walking along, minding my own business, and suddenly, she comes into view, or more accurately, her back comes into view. And well, noticing that noticeable hip movement makes her notice my noticeable eye movement.

I wake up in the hospital, and by my side is a slightly pink Temari.

Not looking up, she apologizes for giving me such terrible injuries and smiles, barely looking regretful. Apparently feeling okay because I actually woke up after the incident, she looks at the time and says she has to go but will be back later. Getting up, she smirks and starts walking toward the door. Naturally, my eyes wander over to watch her go.

"Enjoying the view, Nara?" Temari calls back, not bothering to turn around and look at me.

Most people would've diverted their gaze at that moment, but I, entranced by the troublesome woman, just replied with a yes and kept on staring.

:::

I hate her cooking.

Really, I do.

She invites me over for dinner and then cooks for me. I expect people to get takeout or something, but no, Temari can't ever be predictable.

I get to her temporary apartment a few minutes late; I figured losing a little cloud watching was worth not being beaten over the head with a fan. As I walk inside, an aroma greets my nostrils and I close my eyes. I breathe in deeply, savoring the scent. When I open them again, there is a bowl of noodles in front of me.

"Yoshino-san said you like this," Temari says, smiling.

"Yeah," I manage to reply.

I take the bowl and sit down at the table with her. It's only then that I realize she's dressed up. Her hair is done to perfection, her skirt is kind of on the short side, and her shirt shows off her chest perfectly, which doesn't help the swirling in my stomach at all.

"It's good," I tell her, taking a bite.

"Of course it is," she snorts. "What did you expect, Nara? Just because I'm a kunoichi it doesn't mean I can't cook."

Temari takes everything the wrong way. I mean, I was trying to compliment the woman and instead I wake up some crazy feminist inside her.

"Not sure about that," I shrug. "Have you ever eaten Sakura's cooking?"

She laughs and I'm immediately struck by how pretty the sound is. A few seconds afterwards, I hate myself for having the word 'pretty' in any of my thoughts.

"Well, I make good food," Temari says finally.

I nod and take another bite.

"You do," I reply.

"One might even say," Temari continues, raising her eyebrows suggestively. "That I make things delicious."

The food catches in my throat and it takes all the willpower that I have to make sure that my jaw doesn't drop.

Her smirk is widening and I swallow uncomfortably.

"Chill out, Shikamaru," Temari laughs. "I was just talking about food."

I smile and nod in relief before catching the devilish glint in her eyes.

:::

I hate her smile.

It's insane and insanely attractive at once. She smiles during training especially. I think she likes taijutsu the best because the other day…

I'm walking toward the training grounds to meet Chouji when she intercepts me on the way.

"Chouji's busy today," Temari tells me briskly. "He and Ino have been sent out on a mission."

Without me. I spend five seconds feeling sorry for myself before shrugging.

"Guess I can spend the day at home then," I grin. "Good day for watching clouds, right?"

She looks at me incredulously.

"Why would you watch clouds on a great day like this?" she asks. "Come on, let's train. I haven't gotten the chance to practice my taijutsu in a while, seeing as I haven't had a sparring partner."

I see where this conversation is going. Must escape. That's the only thought on my mind.

"Well, it's been nice talking to you," I drawl. "See you around, Temari."

"Not so fast, Nara."

She yanks on the back of my collar.

"Don't be a lazy crybaby," Temari snaps. "You need some practice, boy."

She thinks she can call me boy because she's so old and wise? I don't even understand that. Even if she's older, it's obvious who's more mature.

"Fine, fine," I sigh. "Let go of me, you insane woman."

An hour later, I find myself sweating and under attack.

…Shit.

I land with a thump and Temari lands on top of me. I hadn't expected her to come from above.

"A little slow, aren't we, Shikamaru?" Temari chuckles.

She's about to whip out her kunai but for once, I manage to be faster than she is. With a few seals, her movements are under my control; her shadow is mine.

"Well, that was stupid," she says, rolling her eyes.

"What?" I ask. "How could you possibly find that stupid?"

She grins that crazy grin that terrifies me. Her teeth are a bright white, I notice. And her lips… Her lips are pink and full and unnaturally glossy for a girl who cares more about shinobi business than her appearance.

"Now I'm stuck on top of you," Temari points out. "What are you planning to do now?"

I smirk. That grin has tempted me for too long. I slowly lift my head off of the ground and her face slowly approaches mine.

"Nara!" she exclaims. "What the hell are you doing?"

I don't reply. Instead, I kiss her, barely registering what I'm doing. It takes me a few moments to realize that she's kissing me back; I'm not sure if that's the jutsu or if it's by her own choice. After a few seconds, I pull away and get up.

"NARA!" Temari fumes. "I'M GOING TO KILL YOU, YOU GOD DAMN IDIOT!"

I back away a good distance before releasing the jutsu.

And then I run like hell.

:::

Most of all, it's going to sound awfully cliché, but I hate how much I care about that troublesome woman.

One might even go so far as to say that I love her. And what she does to me scares the shit out of me sometimes. For example, a few nights ago, I was going crazy over what I should do.

Naturally, I'm pissed off when I hear a knock at my apartment door. It's the middle of the night and it's raining, and it's just the time I want to be awake. I open the door, preparing to be mad at whoever it is, but all I see is a crying kunoichi.

"Temari?" I ask.

I'm not sure because I've never actually seen the girl cry. I mean, she's Temari. She doesn't cry.

"Do you wanna come in?" I offer, not sure what to say.

The figure nods and I take her hand and lead her inside, to the couch. As she sits down, I start making coffee. She nods in thanks when I come back and hand her a mug.

"What's up?" I say, trying to keep my tone light.

Her shoulders start shaking and I sit down next to her, putting a comforting arm around her waist.

"I don't know if she's going to be okay," Temari whispers.

I pull her closer and she leans into me.

"She'll be fine," I assure her. "Don't worry about it."

"I tried everything, Shikamaru," Temari sighs. "I didn't mean… I wanted…"

I nod and gently stroke her hair.

"Let's go to the hospital," I suggest. "Ino will know what's happening. She's on call tonight."

Temari stands there numbly as I drape a coat over her shoulders. I grab an umbrella before we leave, silently cursing the training session I have in the morning.

Once we get to the hospital, my hair is soaking wet, seeing as I hold the umbrella over Temari the whole time. (On a normal day, I would tell her how wonderful that is, but I doubt she'll appreciate my sarcasm at the moment.)

The bright cleanliness of the hospital nearly blinds her and she shrinks into me. My heart sinks for the woman I'm supporting, because this, this is not Temari. I tighten my grip on her and we walk to Ino's office.

"Ino!" I call.

We walk in before she can answer the door.

Ino's hands are bloody and Temari pales at the sight.

"How's the girl from Temari's team?" I ask.

Ino glances at Temari before replying.

"It'll take a few days, but she'll be fine," Ino smiles. "It was all thanks to you, Temari-chan. You saved her life."

I finally see a hint of the Temari I know as her weight shifts and she stands up straight.

"Really?" she says, her eyes hopeful.

"Really," Ino assures her. "You have nothing to feel guilty about, Temari-chan."

She turns back to me and grins.

"She's going to be fine," Temari murmurs. "She's going to be fine."

"That's great!" I tell her. "Now, can we go back home?"

Temari nods and all the way home, she dances through the rain. I don't bother using the umbrella either; after all, I'm already thoroughly soaked.

"Shikamaru, she's safe!" she exclaims.

As I watch her, my heart floats right back to where it was before it sank, and I realize that, in this moment, my heart belongs wholly and completely to Temari.

And I'm okay with that.

…As long as she doesn't know, because let's face it, if I said that, she'd snort and slap me for 'lying'.