Disclaimer: Naruto is not mine. The characters in this story are not original.

This is a repost: reformatted, not much else changed.

Always Here

She watched him being carried away on a stretcher.

"Hey, Lee!"

He lifted his head up, "Tenten."

"Lee," she paused, biting her lip. "Good luck. I know you will become a shinobi."

He smiled at her and disappeared behind the swinging doors.

No matter how much she would like to believe it, Tenten knew his chances of surviving were equal with him…dying. Her wishing him luck hardly counted as anything. But, maybe, Lee's will mattered for so much more. He was always the hard-worker. He never gave up on anything and she shouldn't give up on him.

Tsunade-sama quickly brushed past her through the doors. Lee's life was now in her hands.

"Lee, I know you will become a shinobi."

Finding Neji's hospital room wasn't hard. It was the one with the big complicated machines and constant whirls. Even though he wouldn't be awake, Tenten liked to visit him everyday, with a fresh flower. With both of the members on her team out of commission, Gai-Sensei and her Jounin father always out on missions, she had no one to train with and a lot of time.

It had been a week after Shikamaru and his hastily gathered team brought back Sasuke. Luckily, Neji-kun and Choji had been found before then by scouting Anbu. Choji's cremation was scheduled for Saturday and it was a wonder that Neji was still alive after all those critical hits. The constant and complex care that he required added up to a large sum of money that the Hyuuga main family paid. He was the prize of the Hyuuga clan, the one loved by the Hyuuga talent more than anyone else; it was… obligation to keep him alive?

But he was hardly breathing and slipping in and out of comas. She set the flower carefully beside the window,

wary of the machines. It was a beautiful flower, not in season and not exactly right for the occasion, but Neji had once mentioned that he liked them, and she tried hard to get them for him. Sometimes Tenten would stay there for the whole day, just looking at his quiet form…

She was always watching him. Even without his Byakugan, he could see her studying him out of the corner of her eye during team practices. It never really mattered to him. He didn't feel flattered. Everyone watched him; he was and still is, the pick of the Hyuuga clan. Let them watch, and try to copy, what can never be their own.

But, somehow, sometimes, he had a feeling, that wasn't the reason why she was watching him. Her gaze held no expectations, no jealousy, only admiration, and at times, something deeper. He had to admit, that… frightened him. He didn't how to react, so he just ignored her, like he often ignored everyone else, yet, he knew that wasn't always right…

Even though he was barely conscious, he knew that she had been watching him these past days. She was here every day, her gaze always the same. Saddened, caring, hopeful.

"I wish to talk to you. Neji?"

"Hm." He glanced up at her from his cross-legged sitting position. Ten Ten smiled nervously. Two buns on top of her head, a sleeveless orient shirt and black pants. "What is it?"

"I…we… have been teammates for quite some time. And…I…I…" She fidgeted with her hands, uncomfortable. "I think that… You are a Great fighter!" She sputtered out, blushing profusely.

"Oh… is… that all?" He was unexplainably disappointed, "Okay…" And got up, ready to walk away.

"No, no!" She grabbed onto his arm. "Please! That's not what I meant to say! I mean… umm… w-we train a lot together ne? Neji-kun? And I have grown to admire you a lot." She squeezed her eyes shut, "Please, Neji would-"

"Hey! Hyuuga!" came a voice bursting from the bushes. Neji quickly turned away and Tenten let go of his arm, 'Damn.'

"Hyuuga Neji." Who Neji recognized as Naruto, the Chuunin Shikamaru and Choji appeared in front of him.

"Hope we aren't interrupting…" inquired Shikamaru, noticing their red faces, "But we need you. Extremely urgent. Please. Come with us, I'll explain on the way."

Neji looked to Tenten who was shaking her head.

"Go," she mumbled, "I'll tell you later." And he left.

She wasn't sure how it would have turned out. She wasn't even sure of what she was going to tell him. Now looking at him, he seemed so perfect to her. And she wished, she could have told him how… what she was feeling for him was far beyond admiration. She leaned over and laid a kiss on his brow, right where his cursed seal was.


And sat back down, watching over him, always.


My first fanfic
Gah, I love this couple

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