Sasuke Uchiha was currently nursing a hangover, a consequence of last night's party. However, the pain in his head and stomach weren't the primary cause of his dour mood. That distinct honor went to the general female population of Konoha. While his friends had spent last night enjoying themselves, Sasuke found himself alarmed at the fact that he had grown bored. He had grown rather indifferent to the various girls that flocked to him like birds, none of them seemed to remotely interest him anymore. In the past, it was like barter to him: Trade a rose and he could lay claim to anyone he chose. Of course, everyone knew that what really caught their attention was his handsome face and charm, the rose was merely a formality.
To anyone else this attitude would be considered awful but Sasuke called it how he saw it. His current predicament was not one easily solved, most girls naturally bent to his will, even his own friends, well except Hinata.
Sasuke shuddered, he didn't exactly see the benefits of being in a relationship with someone that you had to worry would one day kill you. He was so engrossed in his thoughts that he only narrowly managed to stop himself from walking into the path of a stray kunai. His eyes widened at the sight of it and for a very brief moment, he wondered if Hinata had somehow managed to read his mind and was now after him. Luckily for him, he saw the culprit, and she at least had the decency to look embarrassed.
Tenten, the self-proclaimed "Weapon's Mistress of Konoha", Sasuke wasn't sure if she was using that nickname for irony's sake. The girl was notorious for being either the unluckiest or clumsiest person ever, on the bright side, she had become quite adept at first aid.
Sasuke pulled the kunai out of the wall it landed in, he gave it a wary look as it could have easily been his head that it pierced. With Tenten's meticulous care of all her weapons, the kunai was sharper than Menma's tongue on a good day. He turned around and tossed it to her, only for her to fumble around with it and eventually drop it. He couldn't help but avert his gaze as she picked it up, it was like a mother breastfeeding in public. It was just awkward to look at directly.
"So uh, doing a little practice?" Sasuke looked at the training grounds where she was practicing and raised an eyebrow. There were kunai and shuriken strewn all over the place, everywhere except one place, the target board placed on a tree at the other end of the grounds. Sasuke couldn't help but chuckle a little at the armoury that decorated the other trees, the walls, the... ground? Yet the target board was completely immaculate, untouched in a sea of destruction.
"I am so sorry! It really was an accident, I guess all this practice hasn't done me much good," Tenten avoided looking at him as she apologised, Sasuke also spotted a little blush adorn her features.
Sasuke felt a touch of sympathy for her, while he couldn't exactly relate to her, he could imagine spending so much time on something and having no results would be more than a little disheartening. He had nothing to do for the rest of the day and she had certainly piqued his interest. Her tenacity towards something that she clearly cared deeply about was admirable.
"Alright, let's see what you got," Sasuke said while walking over to the training grounds.
"Wha-?" Tenten's mouth was agape.
"I'm going to help you learn how to throw a kunai," Sasuke could hardly believe what he was saying, how had she even graduated from the academy?
"Forgive me for thinking you have ulterior motives but, why?"
"You're my ally and friend are you not? Konoha 12 and all that nonsense that Sakura normally preaches about."
"I guess..." Tenten felt even more nervous, it would be one thing to embarrass herself in front of no one, but in front of Sasuke Uchiha, she wouldn't ever live that down. Then again, she had nearly killed him so it wasn't like she could do much worse. She looked at him as he began to pick up the kunai that didn't hit their target, which was all of them really.
"Do you have a preference for which one you use?" he asked her.
"I'll use Pointy," she said simply, taking a random kunai that looked like all the others.
"Yeah, Pointy. That's the name of the kunai."
Sasuke blinked in disbelief at her little quirk. "But, how can you tell difference- You know what, it doesn't matter. Just try and aim for the board and I'll correct you where I see you're going wrong."
"Okay..." her tone was definitely unsure. It didn't help that she could almost feel Sasuke's gaze on her. She moved to where she was earlier and got ready.
Sasuke inspected her closely, her grip was good but her stance was all wrong.
"Tenten, let me fix your stance real quick," he stood behind her and placed his arms on her shoulders. The hairs on the back of her neck tingled as she felt his warm breath caress them. Sasuke on the other hand, was just struggling to not cop a feel. Standing this close to a female usually guaranteed that he'd soon have his hands everywhere. He cleared his throat as he stepped away.
"There, all better," his mind was so stuck in its perverted thoughts, he didn't even notice the light shade of red that Tenten's face had become.
"T-thank you Sasuke." What was wrong with her? Just a few light touches from the Uchiha and she was stuttering worse than Ino.
"No problem. Now, when you're ready. "
Tenten took aim at the board, brought the kunai behind her head, rocked her body back and just before she was about to throw... she closed her eyes.
Sasuke stood shocked as he watched the kunai veer off to the right of the target. It glided through the trees and he lost sight of it. Silence filled the training grounds until...
"Oh my god, my leg!" a shrieking voice screamed. It was on the other side of the training grounds so he had no idea who it was. Tenten opened her eyes and went a deathly pale before turning to him.
"Run, run away now," he said panicking. He placed his hand on her back and led her out of the grounds before breaking into a sprint beside her.
"I'll get you a new Pointy," he promised.
He had a feeling this was not going to be easy.
The next day, they met at the exact same training grounds. After Sasuke had told her to meet him there the next morning, they bid their goodbyes and Sasuke ran to check that nobody had died on account of Tenten's "throw". Not finding anyone at the other training grounds did not make him feel better at all...
"Alright. So yesterday didn't exactly go smoothly, but I'm confident you'll be throwing kunai like Anbu after today," he tried to inject some positivity into his voice.
"I'm pretty sure I horribly injured someone yesterday," Tenten's voice was completely dejected.
"Well they shouldn't have been in Pointy's path. Now, I got you a present for today," he held out a wrapped package that was suspicously in the shape of a kunai.
"Well gee, it could be anything," she said sarcastically. Unwrapping the present she was surprised to find two kunai there, one that was eerily similar to Pointy and another which was wooden.
"I give you, Pointy 2.0 and uh... Stick."
"I can tell you put a lot of effort into naming them," Tenten said, rolling her eyes. She surprised him by kissing him on the cheek. "But thank you, you didn't have to do that," she left him standing there while she went over to her spot.
He chuckled before joining her, just as she got into her stance, he grabbed her wrist.
"Not Pointy, today you use Stick." Why was he suddenly naming inanimate kunai? Tenten was already beginning to have an effect on him.
"You can't be serious? A practice kunai, really?" she was in complete disbelief.
"We don't want a repeat of yesterday, do we?"
She sighed before reluctantly moving over to pick up Stick, as she went to pick it up, she let out a yelp.
Sasuke was over to her in an instant. "What's wrong?"
"Stick cut me," she explained while clutching her bloody hand.
"It's- it's a practice kunai. How do you cut yourself on a practice kunai? I'd almost be impressed if I wasn't so genuinely puzzled on how you managed to cut yourself with a practice kunai- Come on Tenten!" Sasuke was practically jumping up and down. It was like his brain refused to process what his eyes were telling him.
After he had calmed down and helped patch her up, they walked back to the throwing spot.
"Now remember the stance I taught you yesterday, looks good. Now just throw whenever you're ready and DON'T close your eyes."
"Alright Sasuke!" her voice was full of enthusiasm.
"Tenten, relax. We'll take it nice and slow, I'm a patient guy," he said gently.
3 hours later...
"Just aim at the FUCKING board!" he said irritably.
"With Stick?" she asked meekly.
"No, not with the fucking practice kunai. We spent three hours with that and got fucking nowhere. Might as well try with a real fucking kunai and see if we get lucky," he continued to shout. He was pacing up and down the grounds, he kicked his backpack out of anger, causing the lunch he had made to spill all over the ground.
"So I'll just use-"
"Just use the fucking kunai I got you today. It shouldn't be this fucking hard to throw a fucking kunai at a fucking target, we're ninjas for god's sake."
3 more hours later...
Tenten shook Sasuke awake. "Sasuke, I'm getting pretty hungry. Any chance we could take a break?" she asked.
"What? Oh yeah, lets go to lunch. My treat," he said, feeling much calmer.
Tenten actually found his whole freakout earlier to be pretty hilarious. She had never seen someone so comically angry, much less Sasuke Uchiha. Sasuke himself was still in shock, she had managed to put kunai in every single place, except where she was aiming. He had a black eye at the moment from where Stick had hit him. He was standing to the left of her, how did she hit something that was 90° away from where she was aiming?
"Tenten, I'm going to ask you something that I hope you don't take the wrong way."
"Shoot," she told him, while stuffing another rice ball into her mouth. She might not have been offended by his shouting, but she was certainly determined to use his apologetic mood to her benefit.
"Why do you spend so much time on something you're clearly not very good at?" he braced himself for her to jab a pair of chopsticks into his eyes. Instead, she just sighed.
"All our friends are ninja, you don't really have much choice but to be brought into this life."
"But why weapons? Why not taijutsu alone? You're sensei is one of the greatest taijutsu users in the world."
"It wouldn't be practical to have three users of taijutsu on the one team. Gai and Lee are already great taijutsu users, Neji has the Byakugan, at least if I use weapons I can provide some variety and balance to the team."
"But you're killing yourself. Weapons are generally meant to hurt the enemy, not the user," he said sympathetically.
"A poor shinobi blames his tools. It's not my weapons' fault, it's mine. Besides, my team supported me throughout the Chunin exams, they're the only reason I made it through."
Sasuke could hardly remember anyone's Chunin exam aside from his own team's. He had spent a good portion of the exams ogling the Mizukage...
"You're an admirable woman Tenten, we really got to hang out more."
"I'm fairly certain the reason we don't hang out more is because you're too busy chasing after girls. Well there was that time at that little Konoha 12 get together that we hung out," she said slyly.
He did not like where this story was going. If she was referring to the time he thought she was, he might have been more than a little drunk.
"I believe you said something along the lines of: "Tenten, I really think your eyes are the shit. You get it because they're brown? Nah seriously though, your eyes are really pretty and your hair, you should really wear it down more often. Tenten, I don't say this about everyone but I would seriously take a shuriken for you, I mean that. I would dive in harm's way just to protect you. Out of the four girls in our little group, you're my favourite. Ino's boring, Sakura shows absolutely no interest towards me, and she's on my team! Hinata is absolutely fucking crazy, don't tell her I said that though, she will literally kill me. Then there's you, with your cute little hair buns. I know I do this to a lot of girls but I want you to have this rose, that one's special though, it's not plastic. At least I don't think it is, lemme check..." After that you proceeded to pass out while checking if the rose you gave me was plastic, it was by the way."
Sasuke's head was in his hands as she recited the embarrassing story. He... really needed to stay off the alcohol for a while.
"I'll tell you what, you don't tell anyone that story and I won't tell anyone about how clumsy you are," he was practically pleading with her.
"I'm not that clumsy," she scoffed. She took a bite out of another rice ball and immediately started choking. Sasuke didn't even allow himself an eye roll of satisfaction before he gallantly came to her rescue. After he dislodged the excess rice from her windpipe, he decided that was enough for today.
"Let's leave it at that for today, alright?"
"Sounds good, thanks for lunch Sasuke. Same time tomorrow?"
"Yeah. Hey, you don't need to be escorted home do you? You're not going to die without my protection?" he had a touch of sarcasm in his voice.
She flipped him off as she headed for home.
Once a week, Team 7 made it a point to meet up for dinner. It was Sakura's idea and Sasuke quickly agreed, Menma just went with the flow. Sasuke walked into the restaurant to find his two team members already engaged in a clearly captivating conversation, looking deep into each others' eyes. If they were trying to make him feel like a third wheel at these dinners... he didn't care.
"My dear teammates, as much as it pains me to break up this, what I'm sure is a, rather touching conversation, I feel the need to remind you that these are the Team 7 dinners and not the "Menma and Sakura, lovey-dovey date nights". Though I know it may hurt you to realise, I am still here."
"How could we forget," Menma muttered, turning towards him.
"Aw, I know you love me really bastard. Where's Kakashi, Yamato and Sai?" he asked.
"All on a mission together," Sakura answered.
"Tch, they get the replacements but not the originals to go on a mission, I'm hurt," Sasuke said, clutching his heart. Menma and Sakura chuckled at his overdramatics.
"So where have you been the past few days?" Sakura asked, scanning the menu.
"Well, my dear cherry blossom," he didn't miss the way Menma's jaw slightly clenched when he called her that. "I have been sharpening a few weapons."
"Is that a euphemism for saying you've been cleaning that disgusting, disease-ridden prick you call your penis?" Menma asked.
"No, asshole, it isn't. I'll have you know my penis is a gift from above," he said defensively.
"Damn, with such a small gift I'd be looking for a refund," Sakura snorted and Menma joined in.
"Ah, to hell with you guys," Sasuke pouted.
"Alright idiot, relax. Where have you been?" Menma asked.
"I have been training Tenten, the past few days."
"Huh, it's about time," Sakura said.
"Hey, that's not nice, she's been trying her best," Sasuke quickly said.
"What? I'm talking about how you owe her, idiot. Do you honestly think I'd badmouth my friend like that?" Sakura asked angrily, she was already cracking her knuckles. Menma silently willed her to calm down.
"What do you mean I owe her?" Sasuke asked, puzzled yet relieved that he wasn't going to get his head smashed in.
"Don't you remember our little get together a while back? After you passed out on her, she carried you home. I tried to insist on being the one to take you there but she wouldn't hear it, she was determined," Menma told the story with a hint of amusement.
Sasuke almost wished Sakura did hit him now, he didn't think he could feel worse than earlier, yet he was being proved wrong. So, not only did he horribly flirt with her, he also passed out on and was taken home by her. His appetite had suddenly vanished.
Menma and Sakura had resumed their conversation. It was going to be a long night...
Sasuke was acting strange, Tenten noticed. He hadn't given her one piece of criticism or advice since they had began an hour ago, he just kept smiling at her and offering words of encouragement. To be honest, it was a little off-putting.
"Nearly there Tenten," Sasuke lied, as he watched another kunai sail past the target board. He wasn't going to yell at her, he was just going to grin and bear it, she deserved that much.
"Alright, enough is enough, what is wrong with you today? Did that last kunai honestly look, nearly there?"
"Well... I mean, it was as close as it could be without hitting the actual target," he stammered.
"What are you talking about?" Tenten said in disbelief.
"Menma told me the rest of what happened that night. How I passed out on you and had to be carried home, again by you," he confessed.
"Ah," Tenten understood now, he was feeling guilty. "Well if it's any consolation, you're lighter than you look. Plus you looked like a little baby as your dad carried you upstairs. Your mom was really nice as well, she kept apologising for you and even made me tea."
"Oh fuck me," Sasuke's head was yet again in his hands. Why hadn't his parents mentioned that one of his friends brought him home? Then again they probably thought nothing of it, he was such a lightweight in everyone's eyes.
"Well I didn't really have a chance to," Tenten said sarcastically. "Your father tucked you in before I had a chance to."
"Yeah, keep dreaming," he scoffed.
"What's that supposed to mean? If I recall you already tried hitting on me," Tenten reminded him.
"Hn, being drunk while hitting on you isn't exactly a compliment, you were convenient," he said indignantly.
"Fuck you, Uchiha."
"Oh don't talk to me about being hurt. Every kunai that hasn't touch the target board is like a kick to the stomach, not to mention the ones that actually hit me."
"You have the Sharingan and can't even avoid a few kunai? Maybe you should give it to me so I can put it to good use."
"Even with the Sharingan, you wouldn't be able to land a single kunai on target."
Sasuke ducked underneath a punch before he had had enough. "To hell with this. Enjoy having your team bail you out for the rest of your life," he said while walking away.
Tenten didn't know how the argument got so out of control and right now, she was far too angry to care, she picked up Pointy 2.0.
"Hey asshole, you forgot something," She threw it towards Sasuke who was at the other end of the training grounds by now. Sasuke was about to turn around to tell her where she could shove it, when ironically, he suddenly felt an ungodly pain in that same area.
Sasuke shrieked in agony and jumped up in the air. He reached down to his behind and pulled out the foreign object, it was a... kunai? He slowly turned around to Tenten, who was very far away from him now. He estimated that she was almost twice the distance from him, than she was from the target board.
"You deserved that asshole," she shouted angrily. Surprise immediately dissipated any trace of anger from her, she watched Sasuke run towards her leaving a disgusting trail of blood from his beautiful behind.
"Tenten, you did it, you actually hit your target" he was laughing now. As soon as he got to her, he picked her up and raised her with his two arms, before the literal pain in his ass forced him to drop her.
"We should... probably get you to a hospital before you bleed out," Tenten said awkwardly.
"Yeah this, really really hurts," he said while grimacing. "I can't believe you actually hit your target from that distance, even I'd struggle to do that."
"Well, when the target is just right..." she said coyly.
"Heh, well then I guess I should apologise."
"I don't think you have enough time to apologise for everything before you bleed out."
"Ah, well then, how about I buy you dinner after I get patched up. Who knows? I may even let you get another shot at this target," Tenten raised an eyebrow. "Not like that! I'm not into that at all," Sasuke corrected quickly.
"Get moving to the hospital Uchiha, let me pack away my weapons and then I'll see if you're worth forgiving."
Sasuke nodded before hobbling away. She solved his boredom problem anyway, how many girls could say that they hit Sasuke Uchiha in the ass with a kunai? As soon as he made it back to Konoha and people saw where he was bleeding from, it seemed the whole village erupted into laughter. He wasn't sure if he was going to die from his wounds or from embarrassment at this rate. He wasn't going to live this one down for a while, especially when they heard who it was that inflicted this injury...
Tenten shook her head and laughed as she watched him limp away. She began picking up her weapons and neatly packing them away, now where had she put her bo staff? Picking up another kunai, she casually and expertly twirled it on her finger before lazily hitting the middle of the target board. Her plan had worked, this elaborate hoax to draw Sasuke in had not turned out exactly as she planned but the results were the same. She was almost amazed that he thought she couldn't hit a simple target, it was clear Menma and Sakura had the brains on their team.
Her inability to find her bo staff was starting to annoy her. All those times of missing the target purposely were painful to her also, well about half of them were on purpose. She really did cut herself on that practice kunai and she really was choking on the rice ball, but that didn't mean she was clumsy! Moving to pick up that kunai she had thrown at the target board, Tenten tripped over something. Looking back to see what it was, she answered her earlier question and picked up her bo staff. She couldn't help but laugh at the whole thing.
Alright, maybe she was a little clumsy. Still, she couldn't be doing too bad if she had managed to fool and nail her target... well, that last part would come later.