And here is part 8, a day or two early.. My husband and I are planning on going out to the desert again. ;) I foresee myself trimming off the weaker storylines sometime in the future (ie they won't appear as often anymore), so do tell if there is a particular story in here that you want to know more about!
As usual, Naruto doesn't belong to me, and prompts are from LJ community 1sentence (I'm almost through writing with all their prompts!)
#141 - Wait
"I'll be out here until you're willing to talk, Tenten," Neji cedes, releasing the bathroom door; he steps back, searches for his discarded clothes and pulls them back on (a quick glance at the digital clock and- damnit, he's going to be late into the office at this rate); Tenten's perfume still lingers on his suit, teasing snippets of images from the night before, and Neji seats himself on the armrest of a couch in a bid to keep himself from pacing - what is a few minutes compared to the years he's been without her?
#142 - Talk
It takes Tenten long moments to decide that being involved with Neji is the one thing she isn't willing to sample again; they can be friends, perhaps, and maybe eventually return to the camaraderie of their school days (Lee would certainly be happy with all three of them hanging out together once more), but there is no way she's letting Neji break her heart a second time; she drags her feet over the hurdle of hesitation, and finally pulls the door open, meeting Neji's lilac eyes, "I'm ready."
#143 - Search
"I've been looking for her, Lee," Neji leans back into his seat, gin burning down his throat, "How is she now?" and Lee watches him solemnly, sipping from his own glass of Sprite, "Tenten's doing fine - your actions hurt her, Neji," and the lawyer dips his head in acknowledgement, "I'm aware of that," but shame and guilt rise like bile in his throat all the same, and it is with a touch of difficulty that he admits, "I would like to repair what I've done - will you tell me where she is?"
#144 - Hope
"The furthest you and I are going to get is plain, platonic friendship," Tenten tells him, scowling when his gaze slips over her bare skin, "And I'm doing this for Lee's sake," she adds, yanking a shirt over her head (he loves the way her chocolate tresses cascade messily over her shoulders, but Tenten hates that about her hair); Neji feels a pang in his gut when she makes her ultimatum ("Try to get any closer than that, and I'll cut you off, I swear," she threatens) but he knows that this is the first step in the right direction, and the first of many mistakes that need to be fixed.
#145 - Eclipse
She is panting, moaning, squirming beneath him and the whole point to Gai-sensei's lessons on intimacy is overshadowed when Tenten's body envelops him completely, and Neji is unable to think - he can only feel, and Tenten feels like Heaven with her heat and moisture; he presses further in and a little noise escapes her throat - her eyes slip shut and she tips her head back, enjoyment scrawled across her features; his name escapes her throat in a soft plea; her beauty is breathtaking and Neji is certain that this moment in time is forever etched into his memory.
#146 - Gravity
Tenten allows gravity to pull her back down, onto Neji's lap, and he draws a sharp breath; she grins, full of him, rising back up to press a dusky crest against his lips (a wet flick of his tongue, followed by a puff of air, and she gasps, her nipple growing turgid in response); Neji succumbs to impatience and guides her back down against him, so they fit snugly like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle (and he lowers her onto the bough when she shows no sign of ending the tease, and samples her flesh deeply, over and over).
#147 - Highway (my way or the highway)
Neji gets to his feet, checks the clock again (he really is late for work now), and pauses by Tenten on his beeline for the door; she watches him warily and he refrains from touching her; they exchange a tense look (he wonders how long it'll take to win her heart) and if it isn't for her ultimatum, he would have kissed her - instead, he holds the scant distance between them, and resolves to be the victor in this game of chess Tenten has created.
#148 - Unknown
Tenten is typically unafraid of the unknown, but this new Neji, the one dressed in a lawyer's suit, is not quite the one from the childhood she shared with Lee, and not exactly the law student she'd drifted away from, either - thus, she is wary, and uncertain what to expect when he suggests they start as friends again, only knowing for a fact that any relationship between them must remain platonic, if so her heart can be protected from being broken once again.
#149 - Lock
Neji steps out of Tenten's apartment and hears the door click shut behind him, the key turning in the lock; it is strangely reminiscent of the way she is resolutely restricting her relationship with him - perhaps meeting her and Lee at the same time will present him a chance to rewrite their story (and perhaps Tenten needs a little reminder that their estranged past is, in a small part, her doing, too).
#150 - Breathe
They gasp and pant and ride the building crest of anticipation, and when the wave of sensation crashes over them in that quiet bamboo forest, Tenten forgets to breathe (she arches and tenses around hard flesh), and Neji exhales sharply, spilling into her; the force of climax is humbling - they exchange an amazed stare afterwards, pull their clothes back on, and wonder why Gai-sensei didn't come up with his ridiculous lessons sooner.
#151 - Air
It is a hot summer day and the air is still, humid; Gai lands lightly on the branch of a tall tree and surveys the building before him (Tenten's apartment is the one on the highest floor, four down from the stairway) - he has a mission today and it is to ascertain that Tenten has not been misusing the information from his recent lessons on youthful intimacy (the flower's reactions to his questions were unnaturally suspicious earlier that morning).
No unusual sounds carry across to his vantage point, so Gai leaps over to the roof of the building and concentrates on the chakra signatures in the apartment below - there are little noises now, moans, and the chakra next to hers is very familiar indeed - Neji?
There is a sudden explosion above and a hole opens in her ceiling with a crash - Tenten jolts upright from where Neji has been weaving magic at her hips and grabs the handful of kunai beside her bed; they are on their feet in moments, Neji with his Byakugan activated and Tenten pulling open a compact weapons scroll she's stashed by her pillow, when Neji blurts, "Gai?"
#152 - Apples
Tenten has all of seconds to yank sheets over herself while the dust settles; their sensei emerges from the wreck, a menacing silhouette ("What are you doing to our flower, Neji?" he seethes) and Tenten doesn't know whether she is more astounded by the gaping new skylight in her room, or how Gai has mistaken apples for oranges (and she cringes at the prospect of ironing this out).
"What are you doing here, Gai-sensei?" Tenten strives to keep her tone level (but it's not easy when she is clutching sheets over her chest), wincing when the Green Beast angles a Look at her and steps towards Neji anyway (Neji, who is deliciously naked but this is not the time for thoughts of that nature).
#153 - Beginning
"We are in a relationship," the Hyuuga tells their sensei, and Tenten glances at him in surprise (they haven't broached this subject, not yet), though his explanation seems to float over Gai, whose drawn brows do not bode well for either of them; Gai opens his mouth accusingly - and she snaps at the tension between all of them, ordering Gai out of the room (through her door this time), so she and Neji can get dressed and start the conversation afresh.
#154 - Bugs
Gai is pacing in the living room when Tenten and Neji emerge, respectably dressed; he spins on his heels and arrows a stern look at the Hyuuga, then Tenten, and she has the grace to blush, now that there is only one direction for their conversation to head; "Tenten, I am ashamed at your actions," Gai begins, "The intimate dance is not to be performed without care," and Neji interrupts him in annoyance, "We are able to make our own decisions, Gai," to which the Green Beast rounds upon him, his eyes narrowed, "How dare you take advantage of our Tenten, Neji?"
#155 - Coffee
"This a consensual agreement," Neji bites (Tenten is especially aware of his temper when they are interrupted in the midst of something good), "And none of your damn business," his words furrowing their mentor's brow; he glances at Tenten, heat in his lilac gaze reaching into the tips of her appendages like a strong brew in the morning (she gulps and dispels the momentary distraction) and straightens her shoulders to face Gai, "I am in this of my own free will, Gai-sensei."
#156 - Dark
It is a long while before Gai leaves Tenten's apartment, and they wind up on the couch in the darkness, Tenten with her head on Neji's shoulder, absently trailing her fingers over his chest, and his thigh ("What you said earlier, about a relationship," she begins uncertainly, and feels his eyes intent on her; "What are we allowed to have?" he asks in return); when they do not come to a definite conclusion, she sighs, and presses her lips to his neck, because intimacy is always a solution when answers elude them.
#157 - Despair
The knot of desperation in Tenten's chest melts away like the ebb of a wave, when the moon turns its ringed eye on the world, and all are cast into an illusion; in Tenten's perfect world, she opens her eyes to find Konoha intact and bustling, and Neji strides up to her, calm and very much alive - he is there beside her when Lee and Gai round the corner, their green jumpsuits replaced with casual attire (oh thank Heavens), and she thinks that this is the happiest she's ever been.
#158 - Doors
Nothing can go wrong in a perfect world, of course, though Tenten is wary (because when do things go the way she wants them to?) when she steps up to Neji, wraps her arms around his shoulders and buries her face in his shirt (damn, has she missed his scent); he smells of soap and pine, and she feels his hard body against hers, comforting in every way; he pulls her into his embrace, strong arms gentle around her; his lips brush her ear, and Tenten wonders if this opens the doors to something more between then.
#159 - Drink
They are lounging under Neji's favorite tree and sharing a bottle of sake, in this world that seems too good to be true, and Tenten reaches over for his hand - Neji is the one to lean in and touch her lips with his, unlike before, where she would have to initiate all contact; "You are intoxicating," he murmurs, deepens the kiss, and she wishes that this will never end.
#160 - Duty
They stumble to her apartment that night, tipsy (the moon is strangely covered in concentric circles), and when the dawn sunlight warms their entangled limbs, they rouse from slumber, skin on skin; Neji responds when she rolls on top of him and kisses him hard, and they know it's not quite because of duty that he whispers, "Be my wife, Tenten."
Again, do leave a note if you would to see particular storylines in Postcards being continued! :)