A/N: Okay, this is a one-shot sidefic for Christmas Love. In chapter 2, Tenten mentioned about Neji going on a mission to rescue Sasuke (this actually happened in the anime; the Neji going on mission, not the showing whatever Tenten was doing or thinking about) and she was heartbroken. Well here it is!

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto!

Broken Serenade


I've been waiting.

Neji still hasn't come back.

I haven't seen Neji in a few days. I don't know exactly were he is, only that he is on a misson for Tsunade, the new Hokage. Shikamaru recruited him on his team along with Naruto, Chouji, Kiba and Akamaru. They went to find a missing-nin.

They all went to find Sasuke. The betrayer who left us for Orochimaru. He didn't deserve to be brought back, but the fact that if he fell into the hands of that man, all countries would be in danger. Sure Sasuke was cute at first, I hadn't known he would be so lustful for power that he'd go to the wrong side.

I attacked the dummy with various sharp weapons and lunged at it with a metal pole. Neji said I needed practice with close combat, and that is what I decided to do. Everytime I thought of the subject, I'd only train harder and practically destroy the poor excuse of a target.

Why did Neji choose to go with them? Why couldn't he just stay here? Oh, I know why. Because he's stubborn and thinks he can do anything! Let alone, why didn't they ask me to go with them? I could have been a big help.

Lee even left a day after them when he climbed up the steps he promised he would. He was quite happy. I don't know what happened to him either. The last thing he said to me was "It's for the good of Konoha". I noticed he had been quite distracted the day they all left because he was unable to do anything.

"Neji, I hope you're okay," I murmured to myself.

"Hokage-sama, if you were to rank this mission...what would it be?" I asked.

"A-Rank, considering the terms," Tsunade replied, crossing her arms deep in thought.

I froze in my spot. "What kind of terms?"

"There are four sound-nin with Sasuke. Most likely Orochimaru's best hench men that are protecting the "precious package". Sakon and Ukon, Kidoumaru, Tayuya, and Jiroubou. From what I've heard, they'll kill anyone who gets in their way. They aren't people you should mess with."

"Then why are you sending them on a high-ranked mission? Why couldn't you send others such as the Jounins?" I yelled, blinking back tears that wanted to spill from my eyes.

"You should know. All Chuunins and Jounins, excluding the ones supposed to stay here, are on other missions. I had no other choices." Tsunade said calmly.

Immediatly I worried for my teammates safety. But out of the two, mostly Neji. He could die. I knew he was in danger from the start but I didn't bother to stop Neji from going. He would've just told me that I was being irrational and that he had to do this whether he wanted to or not.

I am alone again.

I've been training since the break of dawn like me and Neji always had before he left. It was midnight maybe when I finally stopped from training so hard. I leaned against a tree to catch my breath. I felt quite tired at the moment.

I can't help myself from missing him dearly.

"Where are you?" I asked no one.

I gazed up at the night's sky wondering if this was all a dream, that I was imagining he had gone. However, I knew it was truely real. The stars reminded me of his eyes, I don't know why though. They didn't have the same similarities. His eyes were almost mesmerizing.

Beads of sweat dripped down my face. I didn't bother to wipe them away. I didn't care; there was no one to impress, there was no Neji right now. A cool wind blew, and it almost sounded as if it were singing to me.

Just like his birds.

I remembered every morning before we trained, the birds nearby would churp, singing the soft tune I had grown used to after a while. It would only be me and him. It made me think it was a special serenade from him to me.

"I'll come back. Don't worry," his words echoed in my mind.

"Sure. I'll believe that." I laughed and it sounded hollow to my ears.

My eyes started to slowly drift close untill I heard a loud, obnoxious voice call my name.

"Tenten!" A green blob jumped in front of me.

I sat up quickly noticing who it was. "Lee, what are you doing here? I thought you went to go help them."

"I did! Everyone's back, Tenten! Everyone except Sasuke that is."

I could care less about that bastard. My mind was really on how Neji was back. I jumped up in excitement and hugged my teammate. I am happy that he and Lee are back. He hugged me back and I pulled away to ask where Neji was.

"Where's Neji? I can't believe you guys are back so soon!" A smile graced my face, but soon faltered as Lee stiffened at the mention of our dear friend.

Oh no...

"Tenten," he started out quietly. "Neji has serious injuries. We found him almost...dead. He was bleeding profusely from all his wounds...and-"

I interrupted him, not wanting to hear any other details about Neji's wounded body. "Lee, where is he?"

He bit his lower lip. "In intense emergency care..."

I gripped his shoulders tightly to try and keep my voice from breaking. "The hospital then?"

"Yes."

"Show me," I demanded. And that's just what he did.

We arrived at the hospital and were now standing in front of the Emergancy Room #7. I started fidget slightly and began to wonder what he'd look like when I saw him. Maybe beaten and tattered? Wrapped in many bandages with blood still pouring out?

"Go on." Lee opened the door and pushed me in, then left to leave me alone.

The room was dark except for a bit of light from the lamp near the bed Neji supposedly was resting on. I didn't dare look at him and instead kept my eyes on the floor. But I could help but want to see his face right now, and I looked up.

An image of a injured bird entered my mind. It was laying on the ground helplessly with broken wings. It chirps were slowly dying down to where you could barely hear the cries. The bird couldn't fly, but it was free. It wasn't a caged bird anymore. No longer would I hear its song.

A broken serenade.

I gasped when I saw the figure of who I wanted to see more than anything. There was gauze wrapped around his bare chest and several other places on his body. A small bandage covered a spot on his left cheek. His forehead protector was taken off revealing his cursed mark.

It wasn't as bad as I had thought.

Unconsciously my hand lifted up to trace his features. He had barely managed to stay alive. Tears stinged at my eyes, threatenng to spill. My fingers lightly ran over his wounds. How could this have happened to him? I grabbed his hand and squeezed it tightly.

Lee had said before we came here that he was in a coma. If he didn't wake up soon, he was sure to die, that he might not make it.

"Please wake up, Neji...please..." I begged silently, to myself.

He couldn't hear me.

I scoffed. I spoke as if he would and he'd just wake up right when I wanted him to. I secretly prayed that he could. He just had to get up. He's strong right? He can get through this. I don't know what I'd do if he died.

My heart clenched at the thought that he might. It hurt a lot. I didn't want him to leave. And then the tears came down, I couldn't hold them back. It was just too much to bare this pain anymore. I had to let it out.

"Don't leave me...I need you," I pleaded.

My body trembled and I fell to my knees. I held onto the cover sheets as I cried, whimpering about how I wouldn't be able to stand it if he died and how much I had missed him while he was gone off on that damned mission that almost cost him his life.

"Stupid...you're so stupid! I told you not to go on it..." I cried softly.

Neji's body stirred, but I didn't noticed because I was too caught up in practically pouring my heart out to him. Then I heard a strained groan and his hand leaving my own to wipe a tear off my cheek. I soon heard his voice, as he spoke to me.

"Tenten...you're crying. Why?" He asked confused.

"Ne...Neji..?" I glanced up and was met with his orbs gazing at me with intensity.

He was awake! I hadn't known whether I should have been happy about it or angry because he didn't listen to me. I stood straight up, tears still streaming down my face. I just stared at him, completely forgetting his question.

And then I slapped him.

His face looked between shock and guilt. He touched his right cheek, but still his gaze didn't move from my own. I don't know what possessed me to do that, but I felt I had to. I was so angry at him for leaving. Still, the confusion never left his eyes.

I enveloped him in a hug after that, burying my head in his chest to hide the tears I knew he'd think that was weak. I didn't expect what happened next. I felt strong arms wrap around my waist and return the embrace.

"I'm sorry," he apologized.

Then the serenade began to play again. It wasn't broken anymore.


A/N: I think this went pretty well. I hope you liked it, and review please!

lonely bloodied rose