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 Title: This Is The First Day Of My Life
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Naruto
Pairing: Shikamaru/Temari, Shikamaru/Asuma (one sided)
Summary: Shikamaru knows he's got to let go sometime.
A/N: Only quick. I just felt like writing something I guess. And I love Shikamaru/Temari. They're lovely together. :)

Temari always asks him why he smokes, and Shikamaru, being Shikamaru shrugs and smiles and hopes she'll drop it.
He doesn't do it all the time, just when things get a little too overpowering and not even he, with his ability to ignore everything, can escape it.

They're the same brand Asuma used to smoke.
The guy was such a hypocrite - that time he discovered Shikamaru smoking, when he was fourteen, maybe fifteen?
He'd asked why as well.
Practically yelled the building down.
Shikamaru wouldn't, tell him either.

Because it's the closest I get to kissing you?
No. That was way too sappy. Too corny and too... Female.
Because I want to be like you.
Maybe that's a little closer to the truth -  although if he's being honest with himself, it's probably a mixture of the two.

He loves Temari - of course he does. She's infuriating, hot-headed and wonderful.
Again, not that he'd ever tell anyone that.
But there's always a small part of him, the one that clings onto those cigarettes, that wonders what sleeping with Asuma would have been like.

Shikamaru knows, in his heart of hearts that you can love two people at once - the two don't have to be entwined in anyway, and losing one doesn't mean the other one changes at all.

When he kisses Temari, he doesn't think of anyone else, doesn't imagine smoke, doesn't imagine a beard.
He respects that she's Temari, and he's not going to pretend anything otherwise.
Likewise, when he wakes up in the middle of the night with a hard-on from a dream he only remembers fragments of, he'll admit that it was probably Asuma's doing.

---

"Good morning," He says eventually into the darkness before dawn. The grave doesn't answer him, but he continues nevertheless.
 "Temari and I are getting married." He informs Asuma, kneeling down by the sunken earth, smoothing the stray dirt back down.
"You always said we would. And I always just groaned. It was troublesome, you know? I didn't love her at that point though." He sits down at the foot of the grave, regarding the flowers that are wilted and faded.

He sits in silence for a while,  pats the earth carefully, and regards the quiet of the graveyard.
"I loved you too, you know - I love you too." Unable to think of anything else to do, he pulls out two extra-longs from the pocket of his flak jacket, and places one on the headstone.

"Not a damn thing you can do to stop me, now, old man," He chuckles, and lights his own, clears his throat, and takes a drag. "You always told me I was too lazy - I needed to go out and get things for myself... I got Temari, right? That's gotta be enough. She's a handful. It's tiring, and troublesome, and I get attacked lots, but then... She's worth it. I think you taught me that. So thank you."
His mouth twitches in what could be a smile, and he pats the top of the gravestone, flicking the filter of his cigarette away into the shadows.

---

When he slides back into bed next to Temari, just as the dawn begins to break, she barely stirs.
"Where did you go?" Her voice is tired, and she's evidently not all there. He allows her to curl into him, letting her warmth seep into his cold skin.
"Just making peace with the dead," He shrugs, and she nods and accepts this, and Shikamaru lies there in the dark, dealing with the sudden, overwhelming sense of being alive.

 

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