Disclaimer: Um...if I owned it, why would I write fanfiction about it? o.o

Yeah...random NejiTen-ish drabble session. It appeared in my head and said "Write me!" So I did. Kinda short, and kinda pointless, but it kept me entertained while writing it. Tenten is cool.

...Another Disclaimer: Oh yeah. Named for/quotes the song "Echo" by Incubus, which I also don't own.


"As subtle as something someone contrives...

Your movements echo that I have seen the real thing."

—"Echo," Incubus

Tenten had always thought it was a beautiful thing to watch a ninja in their element. It was the very image of strength of the individual; it was what had played before her eyes as a child, and it was what had helped to steer her onto the path of the ninja herself. However, of all the ninjas she had seen doing what they did best, she was certain that none made it look as graceful and natural as Hyuuga Neji did.

Now, as she took a short break from her target practice, she couldn't have taken her eyes away from him if she wanted to. At the moment, he was in the middle of a kata, his Byakugan activated but his eyes distant, as he allowed the movement to carry him. She didn't have to see an opponent to know that if he did have one, not a single blow would be missing its mark.

I guess that's the mark of a genius, she supposed, absently twirling a kunai between her fingers. He makes it look like anyone could do it.

Despite whatever it seemed, Tenten was well aware that the world seemed to think she had a schoolgirl crush on Neji. The assumption didn't really bother her—caring about what they thought wouldn't make her aim any better—but she didn't quite agree with it.

She admired him, yes; that was a given. No one could deny that he was an amazing ninja. However, after being on a team with him for nearly two years, Tenten wasn't even sure what to call the way she felt about him. She would gladly give up her own training time to aid in his. Anything he asked of her, she would be more than happy to do, as a friend and comrade. There were times when she could have a conversation with him before either of them drew breath to actually speak, and a calm contentment seemed to flow through her whenever he confided in her on his own.

Given all those elements, she wasn't really sure if she could call it love. She didn't think of him as a brother, like she did with Lee. He wasn't just a teammate to her, though. Was it love if one glimpse of his rare, begrudging smirks made it a good day? Since meeting him in the academy when they were kids, it had always felt natural for her to back him up, for despite his talents, no one else ever seemed to. She didn't see herself being on any side but his in her future. Did that make it love?

Well. She wasn't sure. Love had never really been high on her list of priorities. She didn't want it to be; a ninja had to know how to concentrate, after all. It amazed her that some of the girls she knew had survived even at the academy, as the only thing they seemed to really care about was the pretty face across the way. If nothing else, their efforts seemed to repel the objects of their desire more than anything else; would make for a decent attack, now that she thought about it. Fangirl no Jutsu, she named it with a slight smirk.

"What's so funny?" Ah, she'd been caught. Her smirk remaining, she shook her head.

"Nothing," she replied easily, a smile in her voice. "Fangirl no Jutsu."

Neji frowned, as he usually did when he failed to catch her train of thought. "What?"

At this, Tenten stifled a laugh. "Never mind." Gracefully she stood up to face him, stretching her arms. "Ready to go?"

Neji only nodded, and without another word she followed him back into their clearing, mentally preparing herself to spar with the boy the world thought she loved. And maybe she did. But in the meantime, she was content enough to watch and marvel.

...Or throw sharp objects at him, she added as an afterthought, readying her kunai with a smirk. Whatever worked.


I won't beg you for reviews, but I can't promise I won't jump for joy like a little fangirl if I receive one.