It's Time to Say Goodbye
"YOU'RE LEAVING BY THE END OF THE WEEK?!" Everyone exclaimed in unison.
It was the day after the formal and everyone gathered to celebrate the great success at a café for lunch.
"Yeah, my stupid dad made it happen." Temari explained.
"No way! Surely there is something we can do about this!" Sakura debated.
"My dad's the principal of Suna Private High who decided this whole thing. Even Tsunade can't do anything about it." Temari sighed.
"Can't you somehow convince him? Why is he even forcing you to go back?" Tenten asked.
"Probably his sick way of punishing me. He would've made me return earlier like Gaara and Kankurou if it wasn't for the fact that I had a signed contract to fulfil."
"Punish you for what?" Kiba questioned raising an eyebrow.
"Well he heard about the whole Akatsuki thing…but mainly because we didn't bring Sasori back with us which is apparently 'top priority', like we give a damn about our family's reputation; but that's all he cares about."
"Can't you get your whole family to gang up on him or sumtin'? Like get your bros and your mum and stuff to convince him?" Naruto suggested.
"Well, even with me and my brothers all together, we can't budge him. If my mother hadn't passed, then who knows what would happen."
Everyone went silent.
"No~ Temari you can't leave us!" Ino started to tear up.
"Well just because I'm going back to my old high school, doesn't mean I'm never going to see you guys again. I'll make an effort to visit whenever I can and we can call each other and such." Temari spoke in a nonchalant tone hiding her own uncertainty.
"It's not the same" Hinata frowned for the first time.
"What have you got to say about this Shikamaru?" Ino asked.
Shikamaru looked up in a bit of shocked for suddenly being brought up, "Well, isn't it obvious?"
"It's a real shame Temari." Neji added.
"Is there really no other way?" Chouji asked.
Temari frowned, "Honestly if there was, I probably would've thought of it already. I've been wracking my brain ever since I was told and nothing is coming up."
Silence began to fall as a gloomy mood floated over the group.
"Your food." The waitress announced placing a few plates down onto the table.
Temari looked at the waitress noticing the large, thick spectacles she was wearing.
"Ah, Shiho." Shikamaru suddenly spoke.
"O-o-oh Sh-Shikamaru! What a sur-surprise!" she suddenly yelped with her face flushed.
"You're working here now?" Shikamaru asked.
"Y-Yes…ah good day to you too Ino!" Shiho spoke still stuttering.
"Hello." Ino simply responded.
'Shiho? I don't think I've met her before. Her and Shikamaru seem to know each other well. That look on her face could not be any more obvious…' Temari could feel her chest slightly tighten.
"W-Well I better get the rest of your food!" Shiho then ran off, almost falling over along the way.
The gloomy cloud returned to the group.
"W-Well then! There's only one thing I can suggest and that's to have the best send off party week ever for Temari!" Ino exclaimed.
"Yes! We shouldn't be acting so depressed. Instead we should make this the best time of our lives so we only have fond memories until Temari returns to us." Tenten joined in.
"When do you actually leave Temari?" Kiba asked.
"Next week in the morning."
Everyone nodded their heads and started discussing ideas and plans about the week ahead slowly getting more and more excited.
'I never would have thought there would be a day where I would have a large group of friends who care for me like this...better yet, that I care for myself'
Temari began to remember her days of solitude being the 'Privileged Ice Queen' of Suna Private and her stomach began to knot with the thought of returning to it.
No one missed her or even said goodbye when she left, except for her own siblings and barely her own father.
"Alright enough! We should make the rest of this a surprise for Temari." Sakura decided.
Temari broke out of her train of thought, "I don't really like surprises to be honest."
"Only because you've never had a good one!" Ino winked.
Temari smiled uneasily in response.
However; as happy as she was at that moment, all she felt like doing was curling up into a ball.
Temari woke up to her phone ringing in the late Sunday morning.
It was Shikamaru.
"Hey, let's meet up and go out."
Temari blinked still being half asleep, "Sure"
"See you in thirty." Then he hung up.
Temari lazily cleaned up and got dressed.
Then the door bell rang.
She opened the door to see Shikamaru standing there.
"Hey." He simply greeted.
"You're up early…earlier than me even." Temari tried to sound as shocked as possible playing dumb.
She knew the reason behind it.
They went off to grab lunch in a quiet café and then decided to walk around the main city.
They hopped around shop to shop laughing and talking the whole time.
Temari then spotted a photo booth and suggested it to Shikamaru expecting him to resist.
Although he didn't, he actually agreed immediately and walked to it.
Temari stepped back a bit in shocked, then followed.
She was only testing him; she didn't particularly want photos taken.
They took a set of proper photos, then they pulled faces within the next set; only the have the last couple of frames of them laughing.
Temari immediately cut out her favourite picture and stuck it on the back of her phone.
Shikamaru cut one out as well and stuck it on the inside of his phone case, not to be seen.
Temari could only think that it was very like him to do so.
Eventually their feet grew weary and decided their final destination to be at Shikamaru's favourite spot in the park.
They watched the sun set over the horizon and sat close to one another, although they were not touching.
Sitting in silence, they continued to watch until it had completely set and the sky grew dark.
"Thanks for the great day." Temari suddenly spoke after a long time of silence.
Shikamaru looked over to her, "How unlike you to thank someone."
Temari playfully punched him on the shoulder and he returned the favour by pretending to get hurt and laid down on the grass.
Temari followed suit.
After a few more moments of silence whilst watching the clouds slowly starting to dissipate into the darkness, Shikamaru spoke, "Y'know, you don't have to pretend to be so happy around me."
Temari looked at him in shock, then returning her eyes back into the sky slowly starting to feel the tears well up in her eyes.
Shikamaru held her hand, but said nothing.
After another moment whilst Temari pushed back the tears so she could speak coherently, she spoke, "I-I really don't want to go. I keep trying and trying to think of a way to stay to the point where I barely sleep and there's no solution. I appreciate everything you guys are doing for me, and what you've already done for me, and it only saddens me further that it's all going to disappear. I wasn't exactly loved in my old school. I didn't really care then, but now that I've experienced what it's like to have company, I don't think I can go back. The more I think of this, the more the knot in my stomach tightens."
At this time, the tears were streaming down Temari's face rapidly.
Shikamaru's grip on Temari's hand tightened, "It's not over for us, whether it's between us or the rest of the group. We will reunite again. We're young with too much time on our hands, no way would something like a transfer stop us."
"Yeah but," Temari suddenly let go of Shikamaru's hand to prop herself up to face him, "but what if things change? Who knows? After all it's only me being separated. What if you all grow together and gain all sorts of stories and inside jokes, whereas I stay the same, or even worse; return to being the 'Ice Queen' everyone hated. What if when we finally reunite, you all end up hating me? I don't think I can handle it. I-"
Temari knew that the words she spoke were slightly irrational; however she couldn't shake off the feeling that truth could be hidden in it.
Shikamaru cut her off by holding her head in between his two hands.
"Temari. Calm down. You know for a fact that you're speaking nonsense. I won't lie and say nothing is going to change between us; but change isn't always bad. Plus, we liked you when you first transferred to the school when you were still the 'Ice Queen', so even if you go back to it, we will still like you. Who's to say you're not still the 'Ice Queen'. It just sounds like a huge misunderstanding within your old school."
Temari sniffled, "I can't help but think pessimistically. It only grows more and more obvious how popular you are at school and I was comforted by the fact that you paid no attention to anyone else and that I was around; but soon I will no longer be there. Even if unintentionally, I will think about the possibility of you moving on whilst I'm not there. Then that 'Shiho'…" she stopped midsentence when she realised how she sounded.
Made her think twice about the 'chic-flick' movies she used to always laugh at in the sad scenes and pretend to gag when the female main lead goes on a sobbing rant.
Temari could hear herself blubbering, but it just wouldn't stop. The words kept flowing out without control.
"Shiho? She's just some family friend that I haven't seen in a long time." Shikamaru raised his eyebrow.
"Well, she sure remembers you" Temari sort of snapped back.
Shikamaru sighed and put his face close to hers giving direct eye contact, "I swear that my feelings will not waver. If all it took was a bunch of annoying screaming girls and a family friend that I say hi to, then I would be long gone already. You are the first person I have felt anything for in the seventeen years I've lived. You must believe in that if anything. Don't ever forget."
Temari could feel herself calm down unable to remove eye contact.
"Mhmm" was all she managed to say shaking her head agreeing.
Shikamaru smiled and kissed her.
The next day Temari entered the school and everything continued on rather normally.
She promised herself to no longer cry and act the same as usual as much as possible.
During the school week, there were a few slight differences as the word begun to spread.
People from her classes she only spoke to once or twice made an effort to speak to her more, sharing their feelings about how it was a shame she had to leave already and wish they could have more time to get to know her better.
Surprisingly, she also had a sudden influx of confessions from multiple guys, some she only recognised by face; which made it awkward to reject if they never told her their name.
Shikamaru mumbled a comment where he may need to be the one to worry about Temari being taken away from him.
Temari assured him that it wouldn't be the case as no suitor dared to take on the Ice Queen.
There were a couple of hate letters left in her locker too stating 'good riddance' to her.
Didn't take long for her to find the girls who sent it and gave them a piece of her mind.
She didn't need to hold back anymore.
Temari even joined Shikamaru on his rendezvous, in other words, skipping class.
They would simply lay in his favourite cloud viewing spot and find comfort in their silence.
Ino gave Temari a 'strict schedule' of when she had to be online to talk to them over video chat within the first two weeks. In those chat boxes, they had to organise the future weeks ahead.
Temari swore to be on time and never miss a minute; unless it's urgent where she would text them in advance and organise a different time.
Sakura made a Facebook account for Temari as she still found it disgraceful she never had one.
Temari insisted she didn't need it, but against her word she had to keep it and use it. The girls will be checking.
All of her teachers took the time to have a private word with her sharing similar words that the other students did.
Tsunade even called her to her office to speak the same words, but also apologising that she couldn't do anything about the transfer.
This made Temari realise that the principal was a lot sharper than she originally thought.
Shikamaru made another date on Friday after school to go out together.
Temari rushed to pack most of her belongings on Thursday so she wouldn't have to worry about it on their date.
The girls followed her home and pampered her in a similar manner as the day of the formal to have her ready for her date.
Temari told them she felt weird being all dressed up for a simple after school date and thought she looked ridiculous.
The girls advised her to stop being stupid and that she looked gorgeous.
When she opened the door for Shikamaru, from the look of his face, the girls were probably right.
She let the girls take care of locking up since they had all of the makeup and hair tools to pack up and they didn't want to hold Temari up on her date.
Shikamaru lead her to a picnic he had set up, probably with a bit of help, at his favourite spot.
Temari made a snide joke about why he had to wait for something like this to happen to make a romantic gesture.
Shikamaru smirked telling her to not push her luck.
This made her realise that Shikamaru was probably holding up the best out of them all.
She didn't want to question it.
Afterwards, Shikamaru walked her home only to open the door and find everyone jumping out and popping party poppers.
Temari felt like an idiot to be so surprised as there was only one night left until she had to go back home and she hadn't heard a word about the goodbye party ever since the cafe.
They had arranged a cake and a few drinks, as well as a Polaroid camera with plenty of film and decorations around the now rather empty apartment.
The main point of the party was to talk and enjoy their time together without any distractions and take many photos to keep on both the digital and Polaroid camera.
In the late night, the party finally came to a close and everyone got up to leave.
Temari advised them that they could all just stay over since it was so late.
They all rejected her offer saying that they would feel bad to make her unpack everything to find pillows and blankets, and that she probably didn't have enough for them all anyway.
When she again offered, but only to the girls since she had enough for them, they quietly commented suggestively 'wouldn't you rather have some alone time with Shikamaru?'
This caused Temari to blush aggressively and told them to shut their mouths as no such thought came across her mind.
They all giggled at Temari, who didn't find it all that amusing.
At the door, as Kiba exited, he quoted 'have fun kids' to Temari and Shikamaru whilst snickering.
Shikamaru blushed a bit this time and told him to hurry up and get lost.
Lee patted his shoulder and simply said 'youth' and walked out.
Naruto spoke not so quietly into Shikamaru's ear 'don't forget protection'.
At this moment Shikamaru yelled at them all to get out and pushed them out of the door with his ears bright red in colour.
After closing the door on them all, Temari and Shikamaru simply stared at the door for a moment in silence.
They looked at each other, and then looked away awkwardly.
Shikamaru walked over to the couch and dropped himself on it saying how exhausted he was.
Temari sat next to him stiffly and they talked for a while more.
After a while, Shikamaru decided that it was really late and he probably should head back.
They slowly walked to the front door and Shikamaru gave Temari a kiss before opening it.
With his body halfway through the door, he felt a tug at his sleeve.
He turned to see Temari with her face fully flushed.
She murmured quietly something along the lines of him being allowed to stay over.
He then responded that it'll be troublesome to try to tell his parents at such a late time and to make up some sort of excuse.
Temari pouted and huffed at him to then go as she felt extremely embarrassed.
Shikamaru laughed and grabbed the arm that was pushing him saying that he already told them that he was going to stay over at Chouji's.
Temari still continued to pout, but no longer had any force behind the arm that was pushing him away.
"I believe that's checkmate."
Temari woke up in a daze as the sun peeped through the gap in her curtains brightly.
She wanted to stay in bed all day as Shikamaru suggested, but there was too much to do as she was leaving that night.
She ran around the apartment packing up the last few things left over and Shikamaru helped her clean up the rooms and carry the heavy boxes around.
The rest of the day went by in a flash as by the time she had finished the rest of the chores, it was already dinner time.
Shikamaru and Temari went out into the town to grab something to eat.
When they returned, the rest of the group was already at her doorstep waiting for her.
She could feel the tears already starting to well up in her eyes, but she forced them back as she swore that she wasn't to cry until she already left.
After further talking amongst themselves, a limousine pulled up at the front with the chauffer knocking at her door that it was time to leave.
This triggered a chain reaction of crying amongst the girls as they quickly attacked her with a group hug.
Temari could barely withstand it, thus a tear or two managed to escape and roll down her cheek.
The boys assisted in carrying her luggage into the limo and the stack of boxes with the bulkier of her belonging were left behind ready for pick up tomorrow morning by the moving truck.
"Don't forget about the schedule okay? I won't survive if you don't keep to it!" Ino commented.
"And don't forget to check your Facebook either! We expect some sort of status update every day and you must put up a status as soon as you reach home so that we know you made it safely". Sakura demanded.
Tenten handed her a bracelet with two charms attached to it, one was the letter 'T' and the other was in the shape of a fan, "Hinata and I made these for all of us."
"We will wear ours everyday; so please wear yours if you like it!" Hinata spoke.
Hinata's had a sunflower on it.
Tenten had a kunai.
Sakura had a cherry blossom.
Ino had a heart.
"I love it, thank you." Temari quickly put her bracelet on.
"Say hi to Gaara for me!" Naruto asked.
Sasuke hit him on the head, "Dobe, this is about Temari, not her brother. Have a safe trip Temari."
"Keep in contact." Chouji smiled.
"If you don't, we will all be sad; especially the girls." Kiba stated pointing his thumb at the group.
"We will always be thinking of you." Neji smiled contently.
"Remember that youth is strength and with that strength we will surely reunite sooner rather than later!" Lee cried out.
"Thanks for everything guys! I honestly never thought I would be leaving like this with so many emotions flying around. You were all literally life changing for me and there is no way I would forget any of you." Temari smiled a large toothy smile whilst a couple more tears strolled down her face.
She looked at Shikamaru.
Shikamaru grinned like he usually does back at her.
She smiled sweetly at him, and then entered the limo without saying another word.
The limo then drove away leaving the rest of the gang to linger at the front of her now 'old' apartment.
"I don't know how you managed to hold yourself together like you are now Shikamaru! I feel like you should be the one blubbering, not me." Ino pouted.
There was no response.
"Shikamaru?" Ino said again and turned her head to look at Shikamaru's face.
His facial expression went blank with his eyes dead.
"You hung in there well Shikamaru" Chouji then placed his hand on his shoulder.
Shikamaru then collapsed onto his knees as though no life was left in him.