Yea, I know, Neji's kind of out-of-character… but we all are when we're dead tired!
"Okay Tenten, truth or dare?" Sakura grinned, devilishly. Tenten, her poor innocent victim, took a moment to contemplate her answer. By nature, she was much tougher than the average girl, and a self-proclaimed dare devil – so she'd have loved to choose dare. But recalling the previous round in which her three closest girl friends dared her to go commando under her skirt for the entire school day on Monday, she thought against it.
"Truth." She begrudgingly answered, upset that her 100% dare acceptance and completion streak had come to an end.
Sakura's shoulders disappeared into her flowing pink locks as she assumed her infamous maniacal-position. Tenten had seen it dozens of times; namely when she cornered other girls through the guise of this "innocent" game. Rubbing the underside of her hands together, Sakura remained silent, purposefully forcing Tenten to dread in the uncertainty of the oncoming assault. Tenten gulped on her own saliva, finding herself struck with fear just from looking into Sakura's narrowed and glee-filled eyes.
"Alright, Tenten. You can't run away this time. Who. Do. You. Like?" The pink haired devil articulated, staring straight into Tenten's golden brown eyes.
Instantly as Sakura finished speaking, there was a collective gasp around the room.
"Oooh! Finally!" Ino cheered, overjoyed to finally witness Tenten being forced to answer the question they'd all been dying to know.
"A-ah, come on guys, you know she wants to keep it a secret… maybe we could ask her something else?" Hinata tried to reason, feeling bad for her brunette friend and also feeling guilty for hoping they would still force her to answer.
Tenten's eyes darted around, glancing from girl to girl. She knew Hinata was the only one who had a chance of keeping a secret, so trusting both Ino and Sakura with such an embarrassing one would be, in a word, stupid.
"L-listen, guys, I-I don't like anybody right now…" Tenten lied.
Sakura rolled her eyes at the pathetic attempt. "Oh come on, Tenten. A secret so good you actually stutter? I'm dying to know- so spill!"
"From her reluctance, it has to either be someone super out of her league, an uber loser, or… one of us." Ino surmised, feeling uncomfortable at the thought of her friend having a lesbian crush on her.
Sakura's face scrunched up in thought as she ran over a list of their classmates in her head. "So what, that leaves… Shikamaru and Kiba?"
"No, I don't think I've ever even said more than two words to them!" Tenten denied, deeply annoyed by the accusation and the subtle jab at her lack of popularity.
"So then who is it?" Ino persisted, leaning toward the brunette.
The girls put their pestering on hold as two solid knocks reverberated on Hinata's bedroom door.
"C-come in!" Hinata shouted, startled by the interruption. It was 3 a.m., she hadn't expected anyone to still be awake.
The door opened silently, and the masculine frame of Hinata's cousin Neji came walking in. "Forgive me for intruding, but I was wondering if you had any index cards I could borrow, Hinata." He explained, squinting as his eyes met the bright light in the girl's bedroom.
"Oh yes, most certainly." Hinata answered, standing up and moving toward her desk to gather a stack for him.
"Neji, what are you doing up so late? Shouldn't you be asleep? You look absolutely exhausted!" Tenten fussed, rushing to his side.
Neji blinked, feeling the weight of his eyelids only just now. "Is it late?" He asked, clueless.
"Yes, Neji." Tenten sighed, frustrated. "It's three in the morning. Have you been up all night studying for your entrance exam?" She asked, noticing the dark circles around his eyes and the infamous white and green sweatshirt he had been wearing much earlier – an article of clothing he wore quite often that Tenten had long since been in love with. He clearly hadn't gone to sleep yet, and from what she knew, the entrance exam he was scheduled to take two weeks later was all he had coming up.
Hinata finished locating the pile of index cards, and turned to look at the interaction between her friend and cousin. She hadn't ever realized the two were so close. It was understandable, she realized; Neji and Tenten were in the same class, and they were both close friends with Rock Lee, who was also in that class.
"No, it's not three, Tenten. I just looked at the clock a little while ago, and it only said nine." Neji answered back, shaking his head in such a sloppy manor that appeared comical coming from someone who was usually so controlled.
Suddenly, watching them, something sparked in Sakura. She knew who Tenten liked. "Oh my gosh, it's Neji!" She exclaimed, pointing at the supposed couple.
Neji turned his weary head toward the loud girl, his mind going a million miles a minute in an attempt to place her face. "Yes, I'm Neji… who are you, again?" He mumbled, uncharacteristically.
Tenten's face tinged the slightest bit of pink at Sakura's remark; she knew she was busted.
Ino looked between the boy in the doorway and her overly-excited friend, trying to understand what she was shouting about. And that's when it hit her, too. "Oh no way! Hinata's cousin?!" She added, embarrassing Tenten further.
Neji shifted his eyes to the blonde, still befuddled by their strange outbursts. "Yes… I am Hinata's cousin." He confirmed.
Hinata smiled to herself, genuinely happy for her close friend and her cousin. She realized that if they were to marry, she and Tenten would be related. She knew it was a far stretch from crush to marriage, though. "Neji, here's the index cards you were looking for." She announced, extending her arm and walking closer to him.
In an attempt to close the distance faster, Neji moved forward as well. His fatigue caused him to stumble, however, and he was unable to catch himself.
"Neji!" Tenten yelled, swooping in just in time to catch him before he fell face-first onto the hardwood floor. "Jeez, when was the last time you slept?" She huffed, pulling him back to his feet. Even as she stood him up, he was unable to stand on his own. He rested the majority of his weight against her, resulting in much more skin-to-skin contact than Tenten was used to with him.
"Mmm…" He mumbled, pondering the correct answer to her question. "I definitely slept on Wednesday. I think I may have slept on Thursday too, but… I can't remember."
Tenten's eyes widened in surprise. "Neji, Wednesday was three days ago!" She hollered, agitated by his unhealthy habits. "You need to sleep. Come on, I'll lie you down in Hinata's bed." She demanded as she began pulling his near-limp body toward the satin duvet covered bed.
Neji grunted, standing his ground. "It's too noisy in here; you girls screeching about fantasies and crushes… let's go to my room."
Tenten's face lit up red as she registered his words. Not only had he just admitted her could hear their game of truth or dare, but he also invited her into his bedroom. Neji Hyuuga's most personal and private space. And he invited her inside. "A-alright, Neji. Where is it?" She stuttered, walking him out into the hallway.
Neji picked his head up only long enough to evaluate their position in the large house, before resting it more comfortably on Tenten's shoulder. "It's right there," He directed, waving vaguely to the right, "I left it open, just a little."
Spotting the one door that was slightly ajar (which was just across the hall and the first room to the right), Tenten began pulling Neji toward it. As she pushed his door open further, she couldn't help the excitement she felt from seeing his most intimate place. The shape, the floors, and the walls were the exact same as Hinata's, but it was all the little things that made it special. As she scanned her eyes around the small space, she noticed an overwhelming amount of books, a handful of picture frames that she made a mental note to check out before she left, a shelf dedicated to small knick-knacks, and… was that leather-bond book on his dresser labeled "diary"?
As Neji made to walk toward his bed, Tenten was pulled from her stupor and went back to assisting him with his movements. "Okay, here we go." Tenten murmured, more so to herself, as she pulled the thick brown comforter back and eased Neji into a sitting position on the white sheet. "Neji, I'm unplugging your alarm clock, alright? I want you to sleep as much as possible." She mentioned as she reached over to unplug the black box on the shelf above his pillow. While she was doing so, Neji lied his head down onto his single white pillow and closed his eyes. Seeing that he was too exhausted to even pull the comforter back up, she was none-too-disappointed to do that for him. "Goodnight Neji, I'll see you tomorrow." She whispered, tucking the heavy blanket in at every curve of his body, to ensure he'd stay nice and warm through the night.
"Tenten…" He croaked, opening his eyes back up to look at her.
"Hmm?" Tenten wondered, surprised that he was still awake; she figured he'd fall asleep the instant his head hit the pillow.
Pulling the blanket back up, he grabbed her wrist and pulled her forward. Surprised by his sudden action, Tenten was unable to stop herself from landing on his bed. Neji moved his hand to her waist, and tugged her petite body closer to him, so that the blanket now fell over the both of them.
Tenten felt an overpowering blush rise to her cheeks as Neji made himself comfortable, nuzzling his head into the crook of her neck and covering her body with his left arm and leg and half of his chest.
"N-neji?" She managed to choke out in her frazzled state.
"Goodnight, Tenten. I'll see you tomorrow." He said, copying what she had said to him just a short moment ago.
Tenten silently let out her held breath and smiled. "Goodnight, Neji."
"…She's not coming back, is she?" Ino asked, looking toward Hinata's still opened door. Sakura and Hinata shared a look and smiled.
The next morning, Tenten was confused by how warm she felt. As much as she loved hanging out with Hinata, the sleeping bag situation usually really sucked. So why was she so comfortable?
Slowly blinking her eyes open, she began surveying her surroundings. It wasn't until her eyes found a familiar muscular back that she began to recall the previous night's events. Not knowing what to say, she noiselessly sat up in bed and just watched Neji as he quizzed himself with his flash cards. It amazed her how hard he was working. Usually people didn't start cramming until the night before the test, but here he was, studying his eyes out two weeks prior…
Neji let out a relieved sigh as he leaned back in his chair and set down the last card in his stack. Noticing a change in the background out of the corner of his eye, he turned the chair around, toward his bed. "You're awake." He said plainly, eyeing her.
"Yea… umm, good morning." She replied, awkwardly. She shook her head to disperse her nerves. "I thought I told you to sleep as long as you could."
Neji cocked his head to the side ever-so-slightly. "I did."
Tenten frowned. She moved her head to read the time on his alarm clock, but remembered she had unplugged it. "But you woke up before me. It must be early."
"You can disconnect my alarm. But you can't stop my internal clock." He explained, tapping his chest as if motioning to a real clock inside of him.
Tenten nodded slowly. "I see. So could you ask your internal clock what time it is?" she joked.
Changing the subject suddenly, Neji stared into her eyes, never once letting his straight face falter. "Tenten, I apologize for my crude behavior last night. I know a lack of sleep is no excuse for violating your personal space the way that I did… I realize there are much more polite ways of asking you into my bed."
"It's no big d- wait… what?" Her eyes widened a minuscule amount as she began to comprehend the entirety of his apology.
Neji stood up from his desk chair and walked toward her. "Tenten, I would be honored if you would accompany me on a date."
Tenten sat, stunned. "Neji, you… want to date me?" She babbled, still trying to wrap her head around the confession. It was a lot to take in just minutes after waking up.
Neji nodded just once, before continuing to explain himself further. "My heart has longed for you for quite some time now. I've spent many-a-night imagining what it would feel like to hold you, to spend every moment of my free time with you, and just to see you wrapped in my bedding…" He paused to look over her current state. "If you agree to see me, I will promise never to pressure you into anything, never to betray your trust, and do everything I can to make you happy. Tenten, will you- Oof"
He was cut off as Tenten launched herself into his arms. "I will date you on one condition." She began, before pulling back. Neji raised an eyebrow. "That sweatshirt you were wearing last night. I want it."
Neji couldn't fight the smile that tugged at his lips. "Only if I can take a picture of you in it. With your hair down."
"Deal!" Tenten grinned, already reaching to tug her hair ties out. She then quickly crawled over to the end of the bed, where she grabbed at the white and green hooded sweatshirt. As she was pulling it over her head, Neji took his cell phone from his desk top.
"Ready?" He asked, after Tenten finished pulling her hair through the head-hole.
"Do I look okay?" She asked, nervously trying to smooth down any fly-away hairs.
Neji smiled again. "You look beautiful, as always." And just like that, Tenten's face lit up with a smile, and Neji snapped a picture.
"Can I take one of you, too?" Tenten wondered, thinking of all the positions she could put him in. Neji outstretched his arm, offering his phone to the brunette. "No, don't worry. I've got mine here." She assured, dipping her hand in her polka dot pajama pants' pocket. As she unlocked the small device, she noticed a text from Sakura.
"Where would you like me?" Neji asked, not noticing her distraction.
"Hold on." She mumbled absentmindedly as she opened the text. She gasped as it finished loading.
Neji moved toward where she was sitting on the bed. "What's wrong?"
"I didn't close your bedroom door last night…" She remarked, turning her phone so he could see the image on the screen. And there he saw a photograph of him and Tenten lying asleep in his bed.
He surprised Tenten when he began chuckling.
"What's so funny?" she asked.
"It's just that I've been thinking all morning about how I wish I could have had a picture of last night, as I didn't think it would happen again. Please, would you send that to me?" He responded.
Tenten nodded, smiling. "I will. But first," she stood up from the bed, and quickly pushed him on it. "Look sexy." She demanded.
Neji raised an eyebrow once again, looking unsure at her. "Would you like me to take my shirt off?"
Tenten could feel a slight blush over her face as the butterflies in her stomach began to flutter. "No! No, that's okay. Umm, you're fine like that. Just…" She slipped her phone back in her pocket before repositioning his arms above his head. "Okay, hold still." She instructed as she pulled her phone back out and snapped a quick picture. She nodded her head as she appreciated the view on her phone screen.
"So, when would you like to have our first date?" She wondered, as Neji sat back up.
Neji cracked the faintest of smiles as he stared at the face he'd dreamt of so many times before. "Are you free right now?" He asked, already imagining a day at the ice-rink.
Tenten grinned, nodding her head. "Just give my five minutes to brush my teeth and get dressed."
"I'll be waiting for you in the living room." Neji announced, looking her up and down. "And… keep the sweatshirt on."
So that's it… it all started from a dream. I woke up in such a good mood from the cheesy romance that I wanted to revel in it, so, I made it nejiten and wrote it all down (with quite a bit more details and moments). I hope you all loved this as much as I did!