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Sunday, May 4, 2008


Author: Lord Geryon

Our story begins with a pair of ninja strolling slowly through the nearly rebuilt Hidden Village of Konoha. The ninja are both blond, one is male and the other is female. The male's hair is unruly, sticking out in all directions. The female's is pulled back into four spiky pony tails.The female is wearing a low cut white blouse with a fishnet shirt underneath and a white miniskirt. The boy is wearing black slacks and a mostly black shirt with the tops of the shoulders and arms orange.

The sky is dark, the stars shining brightly. The pair are walking in the direction of a fairly well known hotel, the female's current residence. Their hands are linked, fingers entwined. They are both smiling, the girl's smile content, the boy's a wide grin.

The boy turns to the girl, asking, "So, how did you enjoy the night, Temari-chan?" His voice is a bright and cheerful as his grin.

Temari give's Naruto's hand a squeeze and bumps him with her shoulder lightly. "You know I loved it." Her own voice is much more sedate, but still quite happy.

"So, I guess this means I get a second date?"

She regarded with a raised eyebrow at that. "Getting confident, are we?" The twinkle in her eye gave it away for the joke it was.

"I'm always confident," Naruto exclaimed loudly, raising his left arm and pointing skyward.

Temari rolled her eyes, but smile anyway. "Cocky is more like it."

"Hey!" Naruto pouted for a moment, then gave her a grin. "You know you cannot resist my animal magnetism!"

Temari didn't deny that, her cheeks blushing ever so slightly.

When the denial he expected didn't come, he regarded her with a curious gaze. It was dark but his eyes could still see the blush, as faint as it was. Naruto grinned his biggest grin yet, but didn't say anything. He didn't want to ruin the moment. He gave her a hand a squeeze though, to let her know he knew.

Had this been any other boy or man, Temari would have introduced him to the painful side of her fan, but this was Naruto, the boy she'd been crushing on since he'd saved her from a life of fear. It was his fight with Gaara that saved her. Naruto had beaten the idea of love and respect into Gaara's head, and now Temari no longer lived each day with the dread that it might be her last, that her brother might snap and kill her. Naruto had rescued her from that, and Temari had fallen in love with him for bringing light into the darkness of her previous day to day existence.

Naruto knew none of this though, and despite how happy he was that she'd agreed to go out with him, deep down he was curious why Temari accepted. So, In typical Naruto fashion, he blurted out the question. "Why'd you go out with me?" He was embarassed to have just blurted it out like that, so he attempted to clarify it. "I mean, I'm happy that you did agree, I'm just curious why you went out with someone like me."

He wasn't the only one embarassed. Temari was too, not because he had asked, but at the answer to the question. She didn't want to admit how much she liked him, so she decided to tease him, trying to distract him from the question. "With that Uchiha gone, I guess you're the next best thing."

"I'm a replacement, is that what you're saying?" His voice had cooled considerably, and Naruto's eyes had turned cold.

"Yep. You're not a very good one though, you're not as cool or cute as he is," Temari replied, a faint teasing quality to her voice now.

She was surprised when he jerked his hand from hers, and turned to walk the other way without another word. Temari stopped, and looked worriedly at him. She hadn't meant that, and she thought he knew it. She hurried after him, and put a hand on his shoulder. "Naruto, wait."

He shrugged her hand of his shoulder, and said coldly, "Go wait on your precious Uchiha traitor. I have more important things to do than waste my time on a bored fangirl." With that, he leapt away to a nearby roof top and was gone.

Temari knew she'd not be able to follow him in his mostly black outfit, so she just stared in the direction he'd left in. The expression on her face was a combination of anxiety and horror. Things had been going so wonderfully that night, and then it had turned to shit in the blink of an eye. And it was her fault. "No... I didn't mean it, Naruto," she whispered, her eyes becoming moist.

She realized that if she didn't apologize right away, the hurt she'd dealt to him would fester and then she would lose him forever. And she couldn't allow that.

After nearly two hours of searching, she finally found him atop the Hokage monument. He was sitting on one of the heads, looking out over the village. She could tell he was hurting, by the way his shoulders were slumped.

Temari walked toward him, stopping several feet behind him. "Naruto, I'm sorry. I didn't mean any of that, I was just teasing you." Her voice was soft and it had a definate tone of genuine sorrow. "I didn't want to admit how much I like you because I thought you'd think I was just a shallow little girl." She took in a deep breath, and let it out in a hitching sigh. "Please... forgive me?"

Naruto didn't answer for several long moments, and Temari was about to turn away and leave when he spoke. "It hurt to hear that. A lot. He left Konoha to go to our enemy. He tried to kill me. He tried to kill Sakura. He even became that snake bastard's new vessel. And you know the worst part? It's been six years since he left, and yet almost all his fangirls are still devoted to him and they still hate me for not bringing him back." He laughed, a flat and unamused noise. "I'm second to a traitor and empty shell. Isn't my life grand?"

Temari had listened quietly, letting him speak. As he went on, she could see why he'd react like he had to her teasing. She closed the rest of the distance, and knelt behind him. Putting her arms around him and pressing her face into the back of his neck, she answered. "No. You're not second best to anybody, Naruto. You're the best person in the world, as far as I'm concerned. As as far as Sasuke... You're completely right, Naruto. He's a traitor, a betrayer, and he's not worth the mud you scrape off your shoes. I never liked him, Naruto. I'm not just saying that, I truly never did like him. I thought he was always too arrogant and stuck up." She took a deep breath, and admitted it. "I've loved you, Naruto, longer than he has been gone. I started loving you, I think, when you defeated Gaara and gave that speech about loneliness and loved ones."

Naruto, once again, was quiet for a while. Temari didn't mind too much. As long as he wasn't pulling away, she might still be forgiven. "I forgive you, Temari-chan. I understand you were teasing, and didn't mean it now. I just... I just thought that that bastard had come back to haunt me yet again."

"Thank you, Naruto-kun. I promise, I will never mention his name again." Temari was deeply relieved, and her voice expressed it. She slid around to sit beside him, against him actually. She caught one his hands in hers, and squeezed it.

He looked down at her hands wrapped around his for a couple minutes, and leaned over and gave Temari a quick peck on the cheek, which made her blush. "I like you, Temari-chan." She smiled at that. "It's not love, but it's a strong like."

She leaned over and returned the kiss, on the lips this time, just a peck. "That's ok, Naruto. I didn't expect that you did, but I'm happy to hear it's more than just being interested." Temari have him a happy smile.

Naruto returned her smile, and freed his hand from hers to put it around her and hug her. "So, I guess this means I get a second date?" She laughed at that.

Once again, an idea that just leapt into my head.

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