A/N: Dear all, this is the response to the challenge of 'Indecent Proposal'. This is probably my highest rating fic yet! Hurrah!
Sealed with a kiss
"What do I get out of this?"
Suspicion darkened Tenten's eyes and she studied the pub. All the possibilities collided in her head and they all screamed: It shouldn't have come to this.
The surrounding was dim but she could still determine the closest (and safest) exit if the brawl across the room between the two drunken chuunin escalated. The crowd inside was more drawn towards the action than to the two quietly sitting occupants. She was determined not to look at Neji who sat next to her – not while she knew what was in her heart all too well – she would give in to his sudden burst of insanity too easily otherwise. He was bound to regret uttering those words any moment now, and there would be a fissure of awkwardness between them.
"A kiss." Neji replied, looking up from his glass with a deadpan seriousness.
"I meant," she sighed and reached for the alcohol in Neji's hand, "what are the benefits of agreeing."
She took a swig and enjoyed the slow burn as the drink traveled down her throat. Tenten set the glass down on the table before them and took a peek at her teammate next to her. She noted with satisfaction that Neji's face was fashioned into a frown and she could almost, almost, see the processing of her question in his face. "Well?" she asked.
"This is practice for the possible future arrangement," he said finally and leaned forward to get his drink. She reached out quickly to give his outstretching wrist a sharp tap before grabbing his glass again with her other hand and drinking the content down in one go. Tenten set the glass amongst the others on the table, sat back and gave him smug smile.
"You're paying for that." A pause. "As one of the benefits."
"You're drinking too fast."
Tenten smiled and didn't reply. Maybe she was drinking too quickly because she was feeling unusually bold with the tickling feeling in her stomach. She could almost, almost, feel Neji's gaze on her. Between them, everything was an 'almost'. They were always moving forwards, but when it really counted – when they should've pushed forward like children, consequences be damned – one of them stopped. Familiarity was a leash never quite long enough for them, Tenten thought resignedly and leaned back, surveying the busy crowd again, and let a sudden burst of headiness take her over.
This must be it – liquid courage. The rumbling heat. Freedom. And sensuality that consumed all but a selfish little girl who strived to live in that moment.
She reached for his hand which was resting between them and before he could react, deftly straddled his lap. Neji's eyes widened slightly; they quickly returned to their normal calmness but she noted it with satisfaction none the less. She rested her elbows comfortably on his shoulder and leaned in.
"You're drunk, Tenten." Neji trailed off, his voice sounding slightly strangled as she laid her forehead against his.
Tenten closed her eyes at the cool feel of the metal slate of his forehead protector against her warm skin and grinned. "Maybe," she agreed, "but you suggested it first."
With that, she moved in and tentatively pressed her lips against his. He was still for a moment. Probably from shock, she decided with her last wandering thoughts before focusing on the sensation of his lips gently massaging hers.
She smiled into the kiss, softly nipping and sucking. A shiver trickled down her spine as his hands settled on her waist and Tenten gave a gentle tuck with her teeth. The bustling of the pub was quiet in her ears and all her senses were beginning to swarm with the awareness of Neji. His lips caressing hers, his dark silky strands between her roughened fingers, his heady scent of fresh ginger tea and his strong powerful hands rested carefully on her…
"Your hands," she whispered against his lips, boldly pushing his palm down to her backside. "are too polite."
The recognition of a challenge flashed across Neji's face and Tenten leaned in again. Her hand, moving away from his palm, traced the material of his shirt before reaching his shaven chin. She took time to admire Neji's chiseled features, leisurely etching out the contours of his face, until his hand caught hers. He held it tightly and slowly, deliberately brought her fingers to his lips. An easy smile graced his face and his usual quiet confidence radiated as Neji deftly dislodged her straddling position before sitting her on his lap.
Neji loved challenges.
The predatory gleam in his eyes was the last thing Tenten saw before she found herself in a lip-lock with Neji for the second time. It wasn't a gentle meeting of lips but an aggressive, desperate dance with lips, tongues and teeth. And Tenten felt the love, the want and the dark, deep neediness to possess each other more than ever. It was breathtaking to no longer be able to pinpoint the moment when they were just teammates or family or when they were more than everything but still less than lovers.
She clawed at his shirt and let out a surprised gasp when Neji gave a particularly sharp nip to the corner of her mouth. He took the advantage of the moment to brush his tongue against hers. His strokes were tender and inquisitive. It was a funny feeling – his tongue against hers – each touch seem to send a jolt of heat across her skin and make her head even lighter than before.
The slight clumsiness as one of his hand found the hem of her shirt suggested that he wasn't as sober as he pretended to be. That hand found its way under the thin fabric and started drawing lazy circles. The rough pads and steady pressure of his fingers were both reassuring and enticing. They broke apart for air and Tenten gave breathy moan when Neji's finger pressed into a particularly sensitive patch of skin.
"Neji…" she sighed, arching her head in attempt to dissipate the heated blankness behind her eyes.
"Shhh…" Neji whispered in her ears, smoothly (like it was the most natural thing on earth) pressed the length of her body against him and starting to suckle and shower her exposed neck with kisses. His tongue laved leisurely at her pulse point.
It was a drunken feeling; she was drunk on the intimacy between them. Tenten gave another gasp. This time it was loud enough for herself to hear the unusually feminine voice in her haze. She stiffened in surprise and Neji paused as well. Suddenly, she became highly aware of how closely their bodies were wrapped around each other and the angry shouting behind her. She moved her hands (one of them inside his shirt, the other tangled in his hair) to Neji's shoulders and tried to prop herself up. She felt Neji give one last lingering kiss to her neck before letting her go.
"Wild enough for you?"
"Yes," she smiled breathlessly as she settled into the cold leather of the loveseat next to him, once again observing the fight. She wondered whether she wanted to curse or thank the two drunken men. "Was I any good?" she asked while dodging a glass pint thrown from across the room.
An exclamation of indignation was on her lips when suddenly a giant ball of fire caught her attention. She swore under her breath. Neji's hand grabbed hers ("We're going,") and led her out of the ruined pub.
At a safe distance away from the burning building and the commotion, she spun Neji around to face her. The chilled air of the night felt cool on her cheeks and she was sure her face was red.
"What was that you said about my kiss?" she demanded, glaring at him and silently berating herself for letting the kiss happen in the first place.
Neji's face softened (she glared more) and he turned around again, starting to lead her in the direction of her apartment. His fingers tightened almost painfully around hers. Warmth spread from where they were connected. An affectionate smile bloomed on her face slowly as she noticed the pink shade on the tip of his ears.
The words were lost but Tenten heard them loud and clear.
A/N: It's done. Hope you enjoyed!