Those Eyes, That Smirk
A/N:- This is my first fanfic. Yay! It's a one-shot NejiTen, one of my favourite pairings. Enjoy, and please review. And to those who already have reviewed, thank so very much!
Disclaimer:- Insert appropriate denial of ownership here.
His eyes had always fascinated her. Sometimes they appeared to be a curious lavender colour, or a light smoky grey, and oftentimes a milky white. Those eyes seldom held emotions other than hatred, disdain and pain. Frequently, there was boredom, and on rare occasions, slight amusement.
Then there was that mocking smile of his that couldn't really be called a smile. It was just a smirk, really. When gracing his lips, it could be scorning you, jeering you, mocking you, or, in her case, teasing you. Still, she regarded it as his strange way of showing affection.
Tenten mused on these things as she travelled swiftly through the forest in the shinobi way, springing lithely from branch to branch. She and Neji had arranged a training session in the forest for five in the evening. Due to a misplacement of her hairpins, and having to go borrow some from Ino, (she refused to be seen without her buns) she was already a half an hour late. Neji would not be pleased.
He would wait on her, though. Since he'd begun training for the final part of the Chuunin exams, he would have no one other than her as a sparring partner. It had always been that way. While Lee and Gai were enjoyed the springtime of their youth together, the Hyuuga and the weapons specialist would practice together, strengthening each other. And now, when Lee was unavailable, and training alone with Gai was unspeakable, nothing changed.
Training together benefited them both. Her expertise with weapons was perfect in helping him to master the technique he had been practicing, the Hakkeshou Kaiten. If he could get past the full brunt of Tenten's Twin Rising Dragons unscathed, he could deflect almost any attack. Fighting against Neji's ultimate defence developed her speed, and constantly challenged her to find ways to get past the spinning wall of chakra. Impossible as it was, in the process, she formulated ideas of how to penetrate weaker defences.
Neji and Tenten. They complimented each other in so many ways.
She halted on a large oak tree, and peered down into the clearing. He stood there, arms folded across his chest, face stoic. His chocolate hair swayed slightly at the whisper of a zephyr. Tenten looked at him with brief longing, which quickly dispersed when she scolded herself. Neji respected her; if he thought she was becoming anything like Sakura and Ino, ('those rabid Sasuke-fan girls', as he called them) that respect would be lost.
The regal head titled indistinctly. Even though the Byakugan wasn't activated, Tenten could tell; he sensed her presence.
She vaulted down into the clearing, and he swivelled to meet her. The eyes were blank and impassive as she approached.
"You're late." It was a statement, and she wasn't sure whether or not he expected an explanation. She offered one anyway.
"I know. I'm sorry. I couldn't find my hairpins. I misplaced the whole box."
His face remained featureless overall, but an eyebrow slowly ascended. Tenten took this expression for one of confusion.
"Hairpins," she repeated, a bit annoyed. "To pin up my hair. I had to go get some from Ino."
He blinked, once, twice, then shrugged.
"It doesn't matter. We will just train for an extra thirty-five minutes."
She said nothing, silently acquiescing. That meant she would be going home around nine thirty.
"Well then….shall we begin?" The question was accompanied by another arch of the eyebrow.
She nodded, and pivoted with a back flip into the cover of the trees, out of his sight.
She crouched on a sturdy birch to his left, her breathing slow and laboured. She brushed impatiently at a lock of hair that tickled her ear. Damn these slack pins, she thought, but did not bother to re-secure her hair. It would just come undone again, like the last four times.
Instead, she concentrated on the figure in the middle of the clearing. He stood in a pit of his own making, her weapons scattered around him. Bathed in the twilight glow, he appeared to be as calm as he had been two hours before, but Tenten knew her continuous assaults were beginning to tire him. She just had to think of a way to get to him before he could use his ultimate defence.
An idea clicked in her head. She hadn't used this move since its devastating failure a few weeks ago in the preliminary matches. It might surprise him. And if she did it fast enough it just might provide an opening. She knew she would have to execute it perfectly though, as it would probably end up consuming the rest of her chakra.
Tenten took a deep breath, and calmed herself.
She extracted the two scrolls from her pockets and planted them on the branch beside her. She performed the seals in a blinding flash, and with a cry of "Soushouryu!", she leapt out into the cool, crisp air of the glade, the scrolls spiralling around her, while she herself twirled in a graceful arc. She rose higher and higher, eyes closed as the wind rushed about her. She slapped the scrolls, and a kunai appeared in one hand and a short katana in the other. Those she flung at the figure in the middle of the clearing, and they were followed in rapid succession by a flood of various other weapons, which she threw with deadly aim.
Effortlessly, Neji spun into his Hakkeshou Kaiten, deflecting every single weapon, just as Tenten had predicted. What she did not expect was that a kunai should shoot right back at her, piercing the flesh just beneath her left shoulder. She swallowed a cry and gritted her teeth against the pain, continuing her volley of attacks. Pins fell from her hair, and her chestnut mane swung loose, caressing her shoulders.
She flung the last shuriken, and shortly, Neji slowed to a stop. In a nanosecond, she gathered up all of her weapons with her chakra strings, and manoeuvred them towards her partner with incredible speed. Neji's eyes widened by a fraction. He had no time….
He scooped up a fuuma shuriken and spun it while simultaneously jumping back, blocking most of Tenten's arsenal. A shuriken still managed to graze him, and a senbon lodged itself in his thigh. By that time, Tenten was on the ground, racing towards him with a katana raised above her head.
For a few seconds, he was struck by what a striking picture she made; a young, nubile warrior, radiant in the moon's shine, hair whipping about her in reckless curls, jaw squared and eyes flashing with determination. Her lithe form moved with the grace of a maiden and the intent of a tiger. She was stunning…
And in a few seconds, she was upon him, the katana swinging in an arc to deliver a blow. He parried it with the folded fuuma shuriken, sweeping the sword out of her hands in the process, forcing her to retreat by a few yards. Neji smirked, and yanked the senbon out of his thigh before attacking her with a round of kunai. Those she caught easily, and vaulted into the air to attack him from above with a flurry of senbon. Dodging them with some difficulty, he sent the fuuma shuriken spinning towards her. She twisted awkwardly in mid-air to avoid it, but it still managed to catch her lightly on the stomach. She gasped in pain, and found herself falling to the ground. She landed on her stomach, and cried out in agony when the impact of her fall forced the kunai in her shoulder deeper. She cursed. She'd forgotten about that.
The shuriken boomeranged back to Neji, and he caught it with a practiced hand before discarding it and hurrying towards Tenten, where he knelt beside her. As gently as he could, he turned her unto her back, and grimaced. The kunai was buried into the hilt, and the wound on her stomach was bleeding profusely. He glared at her injuries, then at her.
"You were injured." He knew he was stating the obvious, but kami-sama, why hadn't she said something? He caught himself right after the thought formulated. Tenten, stop a training session to ask for help? The notion was ridiculous.
"It's nothing." She tried to sit up, and winced when it hurt to do so. Neji sighed, and laid her back down. He dug in his waist pouch for bandages and medicine. He lifted her shirt without ceremony to reveal her stomach and began to clean the wound.
"Neji, you don't have to do this. I can bandage myself…"
"No, you can't," he said shortly. "Stop arguing."
She looked up at him. His eyes glowed in the dark, narrowed into concentration. They held no emotion now, but a while ago, she could have sworn they were clouded with fear and worry. It was probably a trick of the light, though. In the meanwhile, she tried not to tense up noticeably as his fingers moved like whispers over the tight muscles of her stomach, quick and light. As he began bandaging her, she unconsciously lifted her hips to accommodate his hands.
He halted at the suggestive movement, his hands at the small of her back. Tenten's eyes widened, and she blushed furiously, looking away. He looked down at her intently, frowning. He opened his mouth to say something, but then closed it. He leaned in, then drew away, hesitant. They stared at each other for what seemed like minutes on end.
He delved in without warning, capturing her lips in a hungry kiss. His mouth danced over hers, slow, yet demanding, and she could almost cry from the sweetness of it. A hand snaked up her side to brush back her hair and caress her cheek. In return, she brought up her right hand to cup his jaw, and revelled in his masculinity. He smelt like earth, wind, and Hyuuga Neji.
He drew back, smirking down at her, amusement in his eyes. She was panting, lips ruby red and parted. Her cheeks were flushed and her honey eyes were wide with wonder and misted with something akin to passion.
He resumed his bandaging.
"N…Neji…" she stammered.
"Hush. I've got to finish this quickly, so you can hurry up and recover."
"Huh?" she asked, still in a daze.
"Who do you think is going to train with me tomorrow?"