Title: Just Admit It
Pairings: Neji x Tenten
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto... I'd love to though. Lol. But this plot is mine!
Summary: When she trained, he watched her. When she walked, he followed. When she stopped, he hid behind the shadows. She knew he was there- but she never said a thing... until now.
She knew he was there, watching as always. He was always there like a second shadow, following. It was almost an unconscious thing for her now. It was hard - at first at least -to get used to. From the beginning she wondered why he did it. Later on when she looked him in the eyes, she had understood only parts of it. She never truly understood, and no one expected her to, mainly because no one knew.
He was her teammate, her partner, her companion and her friend. She had trusted him with her life countless of times, yet he was crossing the line. A line which no one dared cross, until now.
Tenten smiled, trying to keep a cool facade. Inside she was inwardly rejoicing. It was a great victory. She had managed to beat a chuunin, nonetheless. A victory well deserved for a genin of her age. It wasn't an easy obstacle to obtain however. She now bore the scars of the battle and her blood marked across the battle arena was like paint on a canvas. Crimson spots were almost everywhere; the dark dots making it seem as if blood had begun to rain from the clouds above. But not all of the red fluid had been derived from her; they had also come from the fallen shinobi who now lay motionless on the cement floor.
From the corner of her eye, high above the seats of the stadium, she could see Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke and even some other genins she didn't know, in joyful celebration.
Sakura waved at her animatedly, while Naruto grinned wildly, flailing his arms and hands in an imitation of a fish. Sasuke, the cute one, was just smirking in reply. It was almost as if he knew she'd win. As her gaze flickered around, she noticed Temari, the one person who had defeated her techniques in under five minutes; smirk in recognition of her talents. Beside her stood her two brothers, Gaara and Kankuro of the Sand.
The brunette kunoichi chuckled to herself in amusement, those new genins were amusing. She raised her right hand, which dripped with crimson blood in a balled up fist in reply. The crowd roared wildly in excitement.
She struggled to stand up, her stance defiant, as some of the spectators gasped thinking that she would just collapse after her extraordinary match. Some chuunins and even jounins were making a movement to come to her aid, but she shook her head. She didn't want help, for she was far too stubborn.
The weapon master was tired, that everyone could see. The match had been going on for almost an hour. Ninjas from higher ranks watched her, their eyes narrowed suspiciously, some happy, some the opposite.
She wasn't expected to win. She wasn't supposed to. But here she stood, the crowds of the Konoha village cheering her name. She had won and she would be rewarded. And the only thing they could do now was watch on, at the birth and rise of a new ninja.
Her teammates stood from the flanks of the arena. Her mentor was grinning from ear to ear, proud of his student. Her skill and her dedication at aiming at become the best, included. He could easily see her as a jounin and a wonderful teacher, maybe even so skilled to become part of the Anbu. It wasn't impossible to imagine, on the other hand, it was very possible. Rock Lee smiled that smile of his.
"She won!" he grinned and smiled to his other partner, who had his back to the wall.
Neji glanced at him, his white eyes hinting at something, yet he simply nodded. They were companions after all. They deserved respect at the very least.
"Ah..." he stated, with that he turned around and disappeared into the shadows. Leaving Gai and Rock Lee wondering about him and trying to figure him out, but they had gotten used to the rogue shinobi and took this off as just part of his personality.
Gai turned around and laughed as he saw Tenten approaching them. He grinned once again and motioned her towards him. Tenten smiled and nodded. Rock Lee gave her a hug when she came forward, almost stumbling into his arms. Through his wide eyes, he could see the reaction time when she fell, before he could react himself though- in a moment's fraction of a second she was wisped away. He blinked and whirled around. Where had she gone? Gai tapped him on the shoulder and pointed him to the right corner of the stadium.
Rock Lee shook his head in confusion, but realisation dawned on him when he saw Neji cradling Tenten in his arms. He turned to face his mentor who just smirked slyly, while both of them disappeared, departing, leaving Tenten and the elusive Neji alone.
She was evidently tired. Cuts had marred her once soft skin, leaving her scarred. But he knew she wouldn't care, she was a fighter, not like one of those girls who worried only for their looks and their bodies. Neji could tell that she would care less if she was ugly, but only if she had enough skill to become as strong as Tsunade. Her idol.
Her body was wracked with fatigue, something that could be cured with rest. He did a check-up on her, just in case she was injured anywhere else. No, nothing major, just minor cuts and bruises. The Byakugan inheritor let out a tiny sigh of relief. He laid her down on the bed of the infirmary room. It's immaculate whiteness annoying him. The nurse had told him to watch over her, saying a medical-nin would arrive in a few minutes.
Her eyes were shut in her sleep and he just couldn't help but stare at her. He kneeled down and leaned in to cup her face in his calloused hand, when- she moved.
Tenten had a kunai to his throat in a blur of motions and her hair had come undone, some strands falling on her face. Her ebony eyes shone wildly, it was clear she was unafraid and unawares.
She was quick, but he was quicker. Before she could do anything in her haze he had knocked the kunai out of her hand with one of his own. It landed point blank embedded in the wall next to them.
Tenten glanced at the kunai then to Neji, her hand came to her head and she groaned. "Geez... Neji! What did I tell you about doing that when I'm asleep? I know you're good, but one day I could really get to you!" Tenten exclaimed. That was her version of an apology. Neji shrugged in reply, he knew she was sorry but it was also his fault. He knew about her aversion to touch, she was the one who told him.
"I was simply testing you," he said. Tenten shook her head in annoyance.
"Come on! You were trying to do something weren't you? Damn it Neji! How many times do I have to tell you about-" she was blowing off wildly, her sentences drawled in exasperation when he leaned in and suddenly kissed her. It wasn't anything special. No fireworks, no tears, just contact, but it explained everything.
He slowly pulled away, watching her with those eyes of his. She blinked dazedly in her own way, confused.
"I don't understand..." she murmured softly, pulling her eyes away from his penetrating stare. She knew she would break if she didn't.
"Do you think I do?" he asked her, not intending to receive an answer.
She looked at him. She was hesitating, unsure of what to do next. She was the strategist of the team. The brunette always had a plan, a backup. But now, in the midst of something harder than missions, she was hesitating. This was not good.
"Why do you do it?" she asked in a faint whisper that he had to strain his ears to hear it.
He didn't reply, even though he knew exactly what she was talking about. "You follow me when I walk home, and you watch me as I train, but you act like you don't know me when we're with other people or even when we're alone! I don't understand you Neji, I really don't. You're almost like a stalker..." she whispered that last bit.
Neji flinched, as if he had just been slapped on the face, or more appropriately, stabbed in the heart with a kunai. It was a harsh term really, even though it was the truth.
"I don't know..." he replied just as quietly. The silence was stifling. It was almost painful. Neither would settle with just these simple answers, but neither were too eager to continue.
"Neji... do you like me?" Tenten asked. She met his shocked stare with her fiery demeanour. She expected answers, nothing less. This was the way she was, that was what had attracted himself to her in the first place.
"I don't know," he said. Tenten sighed. "However, what I do know is that I like watching you. I like seeing you smile, I like seeing you smile for me." Tenten let out a small smile.
"Then, I'll be smiling a whole lot more for you then, if you get your head in straight." Neji looked almost hopeful, then confused. And then he began to laugh and smile as Tenten rattled off things, which they could and couldn't do together.
She knew he liked her. He knew he did too. And sooner or later he would admit it. And neither would have to secretly watch each other anymore.
The end ...
Wow, finished this in an hour. Umm... reviews would be good. I'm not sure about a sequel. Maybe if I get enough reviews? I'm not sure though. But reviews would really be helpful . No flames please! Constructive criticism and helpful reviews only! Hope you like it!