The Moon That Shines
fanfiction by omi

summary: Tenten and her fascination for the shining moon. Slight Nejiten hints. tensquared LJ contest entry. Theme: strength.

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"Look papa! The sky is so beautiful!"

A young Tenten looked on, fascinated with the night sky. The horizon, painted with red, blue, yellow and white slight sparkles that twinkle in gentle rhythm; grants peace to anybody who pauses and gaze at their captivating splendor. A tiny hand reaches out to try and catch one, but they seem too far for grasp.

Beside her stood a towering figure, a Jounin, beaming at the little one with pride. He always wished for a son, to inherit his weapon techniques and crafting discipline, but the heavens granted him a wonderful daughter instead. His bundle of joy has deadly aim and uncanny affinity to weapons to which, he was sure, will mark her someday as one of the best.

"See those stars Chibi-chan," she nodded enthusiastically. "Those are our ancestors, the brave warriors who guard and watch over the entire village and people of Konoha."

"So they watch over you and me and mama too?" she quipped, eyes glistening like the silent world above.

"Sou Chibi-chan"

The young girl of five creased her forehead, deep in thought. "So that's why wherever I go they always follow me around!" the small child exclaimed, pouting. Her father let out a loud chuckle. He crouched to until he was facing the little girl.

"When mama and me dies, we'll join them, in the sea of stars, and we'll continue to protect you, like those twinkling lights." the young kunoichi paused for a moment, digesting what her father just revealed, before replying. Her stubby little fingers, already calloused from projectile handling, grasped the outlines of his face and adjusted it to force him to look at her squarely.

"No papa!" Her answer filled with resolve. "You'll be the moon! The moon reminds me of papa, whenever I look at it when you're away, I no longer feel lonely." She gave him a toothy grin.

For the second time that evening, the old man gave out a heart-felt laughter.

………………………………………

"Papa, you're leaving?"

It was a bright sunny day, when she found her parents stocking up supplies after being summoned by the Hokage. Kunais, shurikens, senbons were arranged by dozens, along with medical kits which are then stored in their respective scrolls. He took out his favorite kodachi and inspected it; any sign of chips or cracks could cause him his life, he was well aware of it. Satisfied, the man returned the weapon back to its sheath to face the girl. He beckoned her to come closer.

"Be a good girl Chibi-chan. Papa and mama are going away on a mission."

"Will you be able to come tomorrow?"

The older man smiled. "We'll be back by noon I promise. I wouldn't miss my Chibi-chan's first day of school."

She remembered him hugging her tightly before finally going outside. She screams "kiwotsukete" as they disappeared in the distance, shadows bathed in the morning sun. They were shining.

Noon came, and soon evening. But they never came back. The following day she received word that both her parents passed away, they were proclaimed heroes, etched forever in the brilliant darkness.

She found she could no longer look at the night sky.

She didn't attend her first day ceremony, nor the week after that.

………………………………………

She was greeted by a pair of translucent orbs the day she decides to finally come to class. A boy her age extended his hand and introduced himself as Hyuuga Neji.

She found herself unable to tear away her gaze from his piercing ones. She saw in them, something that has been haunting her for the past week… something she loathes to see: extreme sorrow and the burden of helplessness.

She saw the moon.

It was an odd sort of comfort.

"Iruka-sensei asked me to help you out since you missed a week's worth of lessons." He began snapping her out of her trance. She examined at the boy before her and saw the masked grief reflected in his eyes, far greater than hers.

Tears slowly run down her face; soon she broke into sobs, unable to control the sudden swell of emotions she fought her hardest to conceal. The first time, since her parents died, she permitted herself to cry, her sudden outburst probably startled him, to which he didn't mind. He knows her pain far too well. That's the reason he allowed her to lean on his shoulders, trying to give as much comfort as he could, while her body shook with unwanted tears.

"I'll be stronger... I promise to get stronger." she whispered.

so that I'll be able to see the moon shine.

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/completed 061905 1106pm
/edited 062105 –thanks ximena-chan XDXD -