"I simply cannot understand him!"

His pallid eyes looked at her briefly before sipping his tea. "Hmm?"

The young woman before him eyed him warily. "You weren't listening, were you?"

It was a particularly rainy and dark afternoon, too unsuitable for proper training, and so Hyuuga Neji had no choice but to say yes when Tenten had invited herself into his pad. He was able to dissuade her from even attempting to cook, but she still insisted to make tea for them, saying that every woman in the Konoha village should do so for the man of the house.

"I got distracted," he decided to say instead. "The tea's too good."

She rolled her eyes. "Men. They lie, and will die lying." She set her gaze at the window of his apartment. "I was talking about Rock Lee."

"What's wrong with him?" asked Neji in a tone that was devoid of convincing concern. He was more interested in finishing the drink already so he could have a reason to make his teammate leave already. He wasn't comfortable of being alone with her in his room, especially when he realized yet again that she looked like she perfectly belonged in his place, along with his favorite rug or his often-used mug for morning coffee.

Fortunately for him, she was too preoccupied with the thought of their teammate whom she had come to adore like a little brother.

"Does he find his happiness in making himself feel bad? Ugh, that girl he dreams of is in love with someone else!" She clenched her fists. "Why, just this morning, as I was walking downtown to shop for my grocery stock—"

"You actually shopped in a market?" he asked, privately amused at the thought of her holding a shopping basket instead of her usual kunai.

Her cheeks flushed in irritation. "O-Of course! I am capable of functioning as a normal woman too!"

"Heh." Normal. "I see." Woman. A smirk played on his lips.

She sighed, but continued with her narration. "Anyway, I passed by Lee's house to ask for rice—"


"—but he wasn't there. I asked his neighbors, but they didn't know where he was too." She crossed her arms in front of her chest. "So I checked on Sakura's house, and indeed, there was Lee himself, standing outside her house, watching. I asked him what he was doing there, and he told me that he just checked whether that girl had already taken her breakfast. He said it was his daily routine, since Sakura gets too caught up with her plants to remember eating most of the time."


"Oh?" Her hackles rose at his lack of empathy. "That's all you can say?"

"Whatever he does is his personal choice," shrugged Neji. "And his personal affairs too. He's seventeen already—he doesn't need you to worry for him."

Tenten looked at him in disbelief. "How could I not worry? He's laying his heart on the line just to be crushed by the sole of that girl's feet. He's a wonderful guy—he could always look for someone else."

"He could, but he wouldn't." At last, he finished his tea. "He wasn't programmed to be smart, I'm afraid."

She cupped her face sadly. "I could never understand him…even if I hope to the heavens that I could, so I could help him."

"He doesn't need you to understand him anyway," said her teammate. "What he would need right now is a little faith."

"Oh." Tenten's eyes softened at the thought.

"Give me another round," said Neji, pushing the cup her way. To hell with his worries about him, her, and their circumstances! A woman's presence was certainly lending some pleasant ambience to his place.

She looked surprised, but she nodded and served him another cup of her special tea that was bland, almost tasteless, and too weak, but hey, this was a product of her best efforts. "Wow, my expertise on tea-making must be improving."

"Don't fish for compliments," he replied. "If I could get someone else to make tea for me, I would."

Her whole system froze. "And why couldn't you?"

A pause, then a Hyuuga Neji smirk took place. "I guess I wasn't programmed to be very smart either."

Prelude: My Prayer

My belated birthday gift to Refin-chan. The main fic (My Prayer- LeeSaku request) isn't NejiTen, but well, I had to write something for the birthday girl whose actual gift is still in the works ehehehe. And btw, this is my first drabble that I –wittingly- made.