Part X: Fourteen Years Old
On their way to visit Haruto's father, they ran into Mirai.
"Hey, Haruto-kun," said Kurenai's daughter, grinning. "Ready for the Chunin exams? I'm going to be the only one in our whole team to get the title."
Haruto stared his teammate down coldly. He tilted his chin in pride. Tenten rolled her eyes. So much like his father.
"We'll see, Mirai-chan," was Haruto's only response.
Mirai raised her eyebrows challengingly and waved at Tenten before skipping away, recognizing a dismissal from her male teammate.
"She was just teasing you," Tenten said, resuming their walk.
"I know," Haruto answered. "But she was also testing me."
Tenten chuckled and ran a hand over her son's head.
At Neji's headstone were fresh sunflowers. Hinata had been there recently. Tenten watched Haruto bow to his father out of respect, then sit down, absently pulling up blades of grass.
He began, "The Chunin exams are next week, otou-san. Mom says that they made you Chunin at fifteen. Well, I'm going to beat you."
Tenten smiled, feeling her chest swell with pride.
"Hear that, Neji? Your son's going to show you up," Tenten repeated, poking the stone.
"Mom misses you," Haruto continued, shooting a glance at Tenten. "And I miss you too. But we'll see you soon, okay?"
Tenten exhaled heavily, grateful when her son wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
"Haruto Hyuga, your father would be so proud of you," Tenten said.
Haruto turned and smiled at his mom. "I think he'd be more proud of you, Mom."
Tenten smirked. "Well, who said it was a competition?"
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