ShikaTema. They pass their years and she won't end up like that.
When she left the meeting he was standing beside the door waiting for her, smoking one of his innumerable cigarettes. She knew how, and why, he started, but the words had never passed between them.
She asks: "Have you been waiting long?"
He replies: "I just got here."
She knows that the pile of buts beside his foot means he's been waiting a while, and she also knows that he left them there intentionally.
He walks her to her intermittent apartment in the Leaf Hokage's compound and stands in the door while she takes her fan off and stretches to the roof. Then, she acknowledges him.
He buts out in a strategically placed ashtray and steps forward, smiling.
Sometimes he complains about how troublesome her high libido is, but she knows that he really likes it. She can tell when he really needs sex, and these times usually coincide with a moment in which she is willing to put out.
She remembers kissing him for the first time and being surprised that he didn't have to be taught how. She knew it was his team that had taught him, but things like that had never gotten in the way of things like this. All the better - now they could move on to something more interesting.
Sex moves easily between them, and she finds more pleasure in his body than she thought she ever could in a man. He seems to agree, because he hasn't left her yet. They don't kiss or hold hands in public, because that would be too cheezy, but she can tell he wants to sometimes. Wants to be a normal couple like all his friends.
But, since tomorrow is Sunday, instead of watching television all day or going out to get an ice cream, they walk down the street and around a corner to visit a mother and her child.
She is still awkward every time they make this visit together, but she has come to respect and appreciate the strong woman that stands before her. She is horrible with children and the moment the child is placed in her arms it starts wailing, but he is perfect with it. Watching them play together on the floor reminds her of Gaara as a child, but also makes her wonder about what this man would be like as a father.
They don't talk about this kind of thing, but it hovers in the air as they pass their years together. Finally, it comes to a head.
"I won't let you end up like her."
Lying in bed, being cooled by the cool Suna night air.
"I'm a princess of the sand, you know."
"I know. Troublesome woman."
Her body aches pleasantly as she rolls over to rest her cheek on his shoulder. His fingers rub against the back of her neck, but he doesn't look down. He's not smoking, though, and that's a sign for her to interpret.
"In Suna ninjas aren't allowed to marry each other."
"Your little brother is the hokage."
There aren't many more arguments, so she gives in and closes her eyes.
"Go to sleep, idiot."