Disclaimer: The characters belong to Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto, and I don't own them. But I do own the plot, so DON'T TRY AND STEAL IT! IZZZ MY IMAGINATION!
Hey! I'm back with another one-shot! Only this time, it's Neji x Tenten, not NaruHina. Sorrryy. But I absolutely love the pairing of Neji and Tenten, so I really wanted to write a fanfiction for them. I think the theme and plot for this one goes well with their characters, so please make sure to read it, enjoy it and REVIEW!
She heard the music again, that same melody.
This time I'm going to find whoever's playing it! she thought.
Tenten, a junior in high school, walked hastily through the empty hallways of her high school, Konoha High School. She had long, silky and slightly wavy brown hair that was almost always wound up into 2 tight buns on either side of her head, her side bangs framing her heart-shaped face. Her eyes were as warm and cheery as her personality that went along with the tall, slim figure she had.
Her sneakers made almost no noise in the hallways as she started to jog towards the sound of piano notes drifting softly in the air. She had been hearing the piano notes for 3 days, but when she tried to find out who it was, they were always gone, so this time, she was determined to find the person.
She ran towards the band room, where she felt the sweet melody was coming from.
The music became louder, fueling her to keep on going. Reaching the double doors to the band room, she opened the one on the right slowly, careful not to make any noise.
There, on the dark wood piano bench sat Hyuuga Neji, who was in her grade. His white, beautiful eyes were closed as his long, slender fingers danced around the white and black keys of the piano, making beautiful sounds.
Tenten closed her eyes, listening, leaning against the doorframe.
"I know you're there," he said in his low, confident voice, while still playing.
Tenten's eyes shot open, now realizing that Neji had stopped playing and his head was turned slightly to her. "H-How did you know it was me?" Neji and Tenten knew each other, especially since Tenten played on the boy's soccer team, which Neji was the captain of. They had seen each other in the hallways and were in a lot of the same classes, but didn't know each other personally.
"I didn't. I just knew that someone was there," he explained, shifting his legs so now that he was fully facing her.
"Oh," Tenten slightly blushed, still feeling his intense gaze on her. "Um, well, sorry to interrupt, but I just wanted to tell you that you're really good. I've been hearing you for days now."
Neji nodded, turning back to the piano, gliding over the keys with his right hand. His eyes had a sad tint to them and Tenten could notice that something was wrong.
Before she could ask, Neji said out of the blue. "My mother used to play piano."
"Used to?" Tenten asked.
Neji sighed and nodded. "Yeah, she died last Sunday."
Tenten gasped, she had a foster father who never cared for her and she never knew who her real parents were, so she could somewhat relate. "I…I know how you feel."
Neji turned to her again, with a raised eyebrow.
Tenten looked down. "I have no parents and um, I live alone," she said, not
meeting his gaze.
Neji nodded again, understanding. "My father is dead too," he simply said. Then he realized, why was he telling all this to a girl he had only seen, not known., He hadn't even talked to her much except for about a month ago, when Tenten had dropped her pencil and he picked it up. He had received a small "thank you," but he didn't say anything back.
Neji looked at her frame; well built, definitely not weak, after all she was the only girl on the soccer team and was a bit of a tomboy. She didn't fuss over makeup, hair and clothes. She seemed to carry a strong aura around her.
There was something about her that made Neji want to know her more, something that just made her really easy to talk to.
"Neji?" Tenten asked, snapping him out of his thoughts.
"Huh?" he said.
Tenten smiled. "I asked how long have you been playing piano."
"Oh," Neji said, slightly embarrassed. "Since I was little; my mom used to teach me."
"Ah," Tenten said.
Neji looked at her and after seeing her interested gaze on the instrument, he asked, "Do you want to learn?"
Tenten looked at his eyes, seeing if they were serious or not. "Um, really? You would teach me?"
"I never said I would teach you, but if you want I can."
Tenten thought for a moment, learning piano from one of the hottest guys in the school would be fun, but it would make a lot of enemies. Ah, screw the fangirls. I can deal with them. Tenten nodded a bit. "Uh, sure. Thanks."
Neji slid over to the left side of the large piano bench, motioning for Tenten to sit down.
Tenten hesitated for a while, but then walked over to the piano bench, sitting down next to the Hyuuga.
She blushed, feeling his knee brush hers. She wondered why she was getting so worked up over the smallest things; she never blushed!
"O-Okay. So, um, where should we start?" Tenten stuttered.
Neji shrugged. "Well, do you know anything about playing piano?"
Tenten nodded. "Yeah, somewhat. I know that the piano is organized in octaves and has accidentals, flats and sharps or the black keys, and the notes only go from A to G." (A/N: I play piano, so I know a lot about it.)
Neji nodded in approval. "At least you know some things."
"Did you write that song? The one you were playing earlier," Tenten asked.
"Ah," Neji looked away, somewhat embarrassed. "Yeah."
Tenten smiled. "Wow, you're pretty good."
"Hn," he grunted.
There was a silence and Tenten bit her lip, unsure whether or not to ask a question or not. But before she could ask it, Neji said. "You want to learn how to play it, don't you?"
Tenten grinned. "How'd you know?"
Neji shrugged. "I don't know."
Tenten laughed. "Okay, yes, Mr. Physic, I do want to learn how to play your song."
"Hn," Neji grunted again. "But first, you're going to have to learn some scales."
"Scales?" Tenten asked.
"Yes," he answered.
So for the next half an hour, Tenten learned basic scales like C Major, G Major, etc.
"Wow, it's getting late," Tenten commented, looking at her watch. It was already 6:00 P.M.
"Yeah. We should call it a day for today," Neji agreed, closing the lid of the piano.
They both gathered their things and head out the door together.
"Do you want a ride home?" Neji asked politely.
Tenten was not sure what to do. He wasn't a total stranger, but they didn't know each other that much either. Eh, whatever. If he tries anything funny, I'll kick his ass, Tenten thought. It was also getting dark and she always walked home, not having the money to buy a car.
She nodded. "Yeah, thanks."
Neji lead the way to his car and opened the door for Tenten, closing it for her when he saw that she was in the passenger seat.
Neji went over to his own side of the car and slid in the driver's seat. Pulling out of the school's almost empty parking lot, he drove the car skillfully onto the now busy road, full of people going home from work.
Silence ensued, but it wasn't uncomfortable. But Tenten still didn't like it. Wanting to know him more, she turned to face him instead of looking out of the window and asked casually, "So…what do you like to do? Other than play piano, I mean," she said, trying to start a conversation.
Neji glanced at her, before turning back to the road in front of him. He didn't answer until he stopped at a red light. Shrugging he said, "Reading, soccer, listening to music, painting."
"Painting?!" Tenten shrieked.
Neji nodded unsurely, wondering why it was such a surprise to the girl.
"I have always wanted to be an artist!" After glancing at Neji, she answered the unasked question as to why she couldn't be one. "I'm just not capable of having so much patience," she cleared up.
"Ah," Neji said. "But, you know, art isn't all about patience, it's also about having passion to do it."
"Yeah, I guess."
"What about you?" Neji asked.
Neji sighed, not liking to repeat his question, "What do you like to do?"
"Oh," Tenten said. "Um…not much other than soccer and listening to music," she said. "Oh, um, take a right here," she pointed the street you had to turn into to get to her block.
Neji obeyed, taking a swift right.
"So, um, how…how did your mother die?" Tenten asked slowly.
She could visibly see Neji stiffen and his jaw line harden, his eyes narrow.
"Y-You don't have to answer if you don't-"
"Is this your apartment building, Tenten?" Neji said in a cold tone, cutting her off.
Tenten looked outside the window to see her apartment building. "Y-Yeah," she grabbed her bag and started to open the door when she turned back to Neji. "I-I'm sorry, that was rude of me." She got out and before she closed the door, she leaned forward and said, "Thanks for the ride home."
"See you tomorrow," he said.
Tenten tilted her head questioningly. "Tomorrow?" her face lit up. "We can do this again tomorrow?" she asked excitedly.
Neji smirked slightly; it was hard to stay angry at her bubbly personality. She was so happy and Neji wondered why - after all, it wasn't like anything was terrific in her life, at least from what she told him. "Yeah, if you want to."
"Totally! That was so much fun!" she exclaimed.
"Hn," Neji said, a slight smirk still on his face. "Bye."
"Bye Neji! And thanks again!" she said, waving her hand.
Neji lifted a hand in acknowledgement before driving off.
Tenten ran into her apartment building.
"Hey, Genma!" she said cheerily to the security guard who was sitting at the front desk lazily.
"Yo. Why so cheery, kiddo?" he asked.
Tenten shrugged. "I'm learning to play piano."
"Really?" Genma raised one of his eyebrows. "From who?"
"A guy in my school."
"A guy?" Genma repeated darkly, he was quite protective of the girl.
Tenten laughed. "Oh, calm down, Genma! I don't like him!"
"Tch, just be careful."
"Yeah, yeah," Tenten skipped to the elevator doorway. Bounding in when the doors opened, she waved to Genma. "See you later."
He waved back as the door closed and Tenten pushed the button for floor 3.
Walking to door number 202, Tenten whipped out her keys from her bag and unlocked her door. Her apartment was small, with a small kitchen, a comfy living room and bedroom, with a small dining area near the kitchen. However, it was more than enough for one person and Tenten was content with it.
Tenten flopped down on the couch to start her homework. Finishing it quickly, she hopped up to make dinner since it was nearing 7:30.
After dinner, a quick shower and changing into her pajamas, she read.
Somehow, through all of this, Tenten's thoughts kept drifting back to Neji. His eyes, his fingers, his hair, his smirk, his way of speaking, his frame. Him.
It made her blush just thinking about him, which was out of character for her. She put her cool hands on her burning cheeks in an attempt to lessen the heat.
She decided to call it an early night, falling asleep around 10:30.
The next day, after school, Tenten raced to the band room, eager to start practicing and to, as much as she didn't want to admit it, see Neji.
When she opened the door, he was already there, waiting for her arrival.
"Hey!" she said.
Neji looked up from his phone, seeing her. "Hey," he answered.
She plopped down her bag next to the piano. "Shall we get started?" she asked eagerly.
Neji smirked at her. Her actions were that of a child's. "Sure."
He sat down next to her on the piano bench and they reviewed scales, before starting on the song.
After an hour of practice, Tenten flexed her fingers. "God, my fingers are starting to hurt."
Neji nodded. "Well, obviously. If you all of a sudden start doing something for a long period of time with your fingers, it's going to take a while to adjust."
Tenten and Neji practiced for days together. They started becoming better friends, learning to trust each other more and more, getting to know each other better. After about 2 weeks of practice, Tenten could play a page of the song Neji wrote well.
"I got it!" she exclaimed, jumping up. "I finally got the first page!"
Neji smirked. "Took you long enough," he teased.
Tenten punched his shoulder playfully. "Neji!"
His smirk widened.
Over another 2 weeks, Tenten could play the second and half of the third page, but that was it of the song, but it was still unfinished.
"You haven't finished it yet?" Tenten asked.
"Yeah. I don't know what else to write," Neji answered.
Tenten asked nervously. "C-Could I…maybe help you?"
Neji nodded, smiling slightly. "That would be great."
And so they sat together, trying to come up with more of the music that would fit in Neji's song, until Tenten groaned. "Oh, dammit! I have a science test tomorrow!"
Neji sighed. "Me too."
"I don't know anything about science!"
Neji looked at her. "Do you want me to help you? I have a 98 average."
Tenten glared at him. "Do you have to be good at everything?"
Neji smirked. "Yeah."
Tenten rolled her eyes and grabbed her things, Neji doing the same. Tenten talked all the way to Neji's car and once they had gotten in it.
They went over to Neji's house and into his room. Flopping down on his bed, Tenten opened her science notebook and started going through her notes.
Neji and her studied with each other, Neji somehow teaching the bun-haired girl ways to remember the biology behind cells and mitosis. Tenten understood more from him in about an hour and a half, then a whole 2 weeks of learning from the teacher.
Afterwards, Neji offered for her to stay for dinner, since it was already 8:00.
"Sure," she replied.
And since Neji and Tenten both enjoyed cooking, they made dinner together. Whipping up simple pasta as dinner, they ate quickly, while talking occasionally.
After dinner, the two went back to studying.
Slowly, Tenten started to drift off to sleep while reviewing the study flashcards Neji had made her.
Neji looked up from his textbook a while later, to notice the girl sleeping.
"Tenten," Neji whispered. "Tenten." She didn't budge or even groan, so he started shaking her, to get her up.
"Mhmmnn," she moaned, her eyes opening slightly. Then, they flew open and she sat up so quickly her head hurt. "S-Sorry. I guess I fell asleep," she said, holding back a yawn, but eventually failing to do so as she yawned behind her hand.
"It's okay," Neji paused, and a slight hesitation was noticed by Tenten. "It's getting late. D-Do you want to just stay over tonight?"
Tenten blushed, perverted thoughts immediately plaguing her mind. Of course, she didn't think of Neji in that way (or did she..?) but those kinds of thoughts just automatically came to her when he asked that question, even if he was just being polite and caring. God, I'm such a pervert. "U-Um, sure."
Neji nodded, going to dresser and taking out a old t-shirt and pajama pants, giving them to Tenten who took them and went to the bathroom to change.
After changing, Tenten realized how comfortable she was in them, even if they were really baggy. They were warm and they smelt like him, like fresh air and safety.
"You can take the bed," Neji said to Tenten once she reentered the room.
"W-What? No, you take the bed. It's yours!" Tenten protested.
Neji shrugged. "So? You're the guest."
"So, it's only polite," Neji clarified.
Tenten sighed. "I know, but still. I would feel bad. You have been teaching me piano, helping me study, making dinner and you're letting me stay over today. The least I can do is give you the damn bed, Neji."
Neji yawned slightly. Running a hand through his hair, he sighed. He was starting to get tired, and all he wanted to do was go to sleep, so he grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the bed. Her fingers...are soft, but strong. He gently pushed her on the bed, telling her to take it, but when he turned around, Tenten grabbed his hand again and pulled him onto the bed too. Then, she got up to leave, but he pulled her back by her waist.
Screw it all, he thought before saying, "Let's just both sleep here. I honestly don't feel like getting another blanket and pillow for myself and the bed is big enough."
Tenten blushed. "O-Okay," What the hell am I doing? I mean, he won't try anything...right? He's Neji! Of course he won't! Stop being ridiculous, Tenten!
They both climbed under the navy blue sheets, on opposite sides of the bed.
Tenten's dreariness seemed to vanish all of a sudden and she couldn't fall asleep, so she opted to just laying there. Turning on her back, she tried to forget the other man in the same bed as her, but it was hard.
"Neji?" she whispered so softly she wasn't sure she heard herself say it.
"Yeah?" he answered.
Tenten asked, "Are you awake?"
She could almost feel his smirk. "No. It's not like I'm talking to you right now," he turned on his other side so he could see her.
"Oh, shut up," she said annoyed.
"Anyway, what happened?"
Tenten shrugged, turning on her side so she could face him better. "I don't know. I can't seem to sleep."
"Yeah, me either," he closed his eyes. "It's funny; not even 10 minutes ago was I yawning."
"Do you want to know?" Neji asked after a while.
Tenten looked at him, trying to see his expression the dark. "Do I want to know what?"
"H-How my parents died," he replied, reopening his eyes and staring directly into hers.
Tenten was quiet for a while before saying, "Yeah, but only if you want to share it with me."
Neji nodded. "I want you to know. So that at least someone knows."
Tenten moved a bit closer to him so she could hear him better as he started his
"Well, my father died when I was younger. He… He died in a car accident. I don't really know how it happened. All I know was that my mom was heartbroken by it since she loved him so much. She was always sad and depressed; the littlest things used to remind her of him. It killed me seeing her like that. I didn't really know my father that well, since I was so young, so as awful as it sounds - I don't feel that sad about his death," he shifted in bed. "My mother didn't really work so we were financially falling, but then she met...another guy about 3 years after my father's death, around when I was 10."
Tenten noticed how his jaw hardened and his eyes turned cold.
"Years later, she ended up marrying him and she seemed happy so I let it go, even though I didn't like guy at all," he sighed. "But then, about 6 or so months ago, I learned that he had been...abusing her."
"W-What?!" her voice was caught in her throat. Abuse...just the word and its meaning to her made her shiver. After all, she knew it well enough...
Neji nodded weakly. "Yeah and…she told me that she was fine," his voice started to break, "so I left her alone, since she kept telling me that she could handle it. But...I always used to hear screaming in the night, but I used to ignore it, believing my mother's empty words. But then one night, I heard more screaming and yelling, but it only went on for about five minutes. And...and then, I heard a loud t-thud." His eyes collected tears.
Not knowing what else to say she whispered his name. "N-Neji."
He looked down, unable to look at Tenten. "Y-Yeah," he said, even though she didn't agree with him on anything. What else was there to say? And," tears fell down his face, "I ran in there to see him gone, the window open and my mother...d-dead."
He silently cried as Tenten lay there, in shock. After a moment, she moved closer to him and wrapped her arms around him. Neji didn't even flinch. In fact, he scooted closer and buried his face in the crook of her neck. It felt nice and warm there. It reminded him of his mother.
She rubbed his back soothingly and after a while, he calmed down, but he didn't move.
"What about you?" he whispered against her neck. His breath sent chills down Tenten's spine.
"U-Um," she blushed at his close proximity. "A-About my parents?"
He pulled away slightly, but still kept close to her. "Yeah."
She looked away. "Um, well. I never knew my parents. They died when I was really young, so I don't know how they died. And my foster father, who adopted me later on, he…" she smiled bitterly and unsurely, "he used to abuse me too; that's why I ran away."
Tenten side glanced at Neji to see his eyes in shock, but also care and protection over her.
Neji suddenly pulled her flush against him and whispered against her hair, "Did he ever try anything?"
Tenten closed her eyes, relishing the moment, but then remembered the question at hand. "I-I...um, well, usually he would just hit, or slap me for some reason that I don't know of. And there was this… one time. Only once though, he never tried it again. I was pretty young and he uh," she started to feel tears too, knowing the true meanings of her foster father's actions now. "H-He t-touched me in w-weird places and," she sniffled. "I don't know, I-I was young, but I don't-"
Neji pulled her away from him and shook her shoulders. "Tenten! What if he r-raped you?!"
Tenten shook her head. "No, no he didn't. I know that for a fact. D-Don't worry."
Neji looked at her caringly and hugged her again. "Why didn't you tell anyone?"
She laughed softly, a bitter sound to it. "Who was there to tell?"
He kissed her forehead. "I'm sorry."
"Not being there," he whispered, his lips still against her forehead.
Tenten was confused. "But you didn't even know me."
"And I regret not being able to meet you before."
Tenten smiled. "Thanks, Neji."
Tenten again started to feel sleepy. Maybe it was Neji's scent, or the way he was holding her so lovingly or maybe just the fact that someone, someone, was there next to her for once. She liked- no she loved it.
As she was drifting off, she heard Neji say, "From now on, I'll always be there to protect you. I swear."
Neji heard a small, weak, "thanks" come from her and he smiled, truly smiled - for the first time in ages - knowing that Tenten was truly grateful for him.
Kissing the top of her head, earning a small, tired smile from the girl, he showed through his actions what he couldn't say...not yet.
I love you.
Heyy! How did you like it? Was it cheesy? Bad? Good? Awesome? Okay? Meh? I thought it wasn't all THAT cheesy, except for the (I guess) last couple of lines and (I guess) the title...? I don't know, I'm not good at coming up with titles. I'm soooorrrryy! But the title does kinda go with the message of the one-shot.
I know that what happened in Tenten's childhood is terrible, but please don't say anything bad about that, or how I have a messed up mind. I only did it because I thought it fit well, it made her stronger eventually and it was a great way to introduce fluff (huuugs).
Please, please, please tell me what you think by reviewing! It only takes about a minute. Not even. PLEASE REVIEW!