Genre: Romance, Hopeful Feelings
Rating/Status: G / 380 words, complete
Summary: A second in Tsukuyomi can last days, and minutes a lifetime. Shikamaru has lived it all, and he remembers too clearly, her presence. Reaction fic to Shikamaru's portion of the dreams in ch.678.
Author's Note: This came from thinking too much about the dream sequence shown in manga ch.678 and how we only saw one moment out of what may very well be a lifetime for them. There aren't any real spoilers per se, but it might be a bit confusing without having read said chapter (which, in itself is pretty standalone... I jumped straight there myself, after who knows how many chapters I missed). This fic is directly in response to the portion that has every ShikaTema fan out there screaming.
Applicable prompts: 500themes, #047 - One dream, one lifetime.
One Step Towards a Lifetime
A lifetime can pass by in just a fraction.
The first time Shikamaru sees her again, it takes him a moment to adjust. Not a very long moment — but enough so that his breath goes in a little too sharply and his footsteps fall just a touch uncertain.
She stands just ahead of him, to the right, with one arm poised to swing her battle fan at notice.
She stands right next to him, to the left, a slight smile on her face as she turns to say something.
And he has to look away to shake the images loose.
Only one is real.
Temari lifts one eyebrow up at him, and the sound that comes out of his mouth is a half-chuckle. Because even here and now, in this reality, she sees right through him.
His focus is off, and she knows it.
"Well?" she says. "The war isn't going to fight itself you know."
He blinks away the feel of her waist beneath his arms, the curve of her back against his chest, all the missing pieces. He shrugs. Lying has never been something he's particularly good at.
"The genjutsu," he tells her, and she stares at him, unwavering. "You were in it."
Silence settles in the three steps between them, and something that tastes like regret lodges tight in his throat. He wants to say it feels like an eternity, except he's just lived it a moment ago and it's nothing like this. It's another second, another eternity, and then her gaze is shifting away towards the battlefield — and he has to close his eyes against it, has to learn how to breathe again.
"I guess that makes the two of us then."
She says it quietly, and this time, when his eyes snap open, something flares bright in his chest and he can't stop staring.
Temari stands just ahead of him, to the left, two purple circles already visible on her fan. There's a half-smile on her face as she shifts her stance, ready for the world and an entire lifetime to live.
"Don't go dying on me now, Shikamaru."
The corner of his lips kicks up into a smirk, his mind already moving two hundred steps ahead.
Not a chance in hell, woman.
Sidenote: It's been shown that days can go by in mere seconds inside the Tsukuyomi, so I'm assuming the same or worse for Infinite Tsukuyomi. Running off of that, by the time these people popped out of the genjutsu, it'd be like they just lived a whole life in a blink... except none of it was real and that's gotta be at least a little disconcerting (if not downright depressing). I don't even want to think about the psychological effects of such a thing, though I chose not to tackle the whole of it here, obviously. ^^; I hope I wasn't being too vague and confusing.