Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto -sob-
-The rookie nine are all seventeen, and Gai's team is eighteen.
The alarm went off, and Tenten groggily slammed the button to turn it off. She crawled out of bed and got dressed, preparing for another day of training, and ignoring the fact that it was her birthday, no one knew about it anyway.
As she walked down the path to the training area, she saw everyone (the rookie nine, the sand siblings, and her own teammates) talking and laughing. She went to find out what they were talking about, when she heard her name.
"I mean come on! When will she give it up? We're younger than her, and still stronger!" Sakura's voice floated to her.
"I know! I bet Hinata could beat her too!" laughed Temari, joined by the others. Only Sasuke, Neji, and Hinata weren't laughing, but that was no surprise, Hinata was too polite and shy, and Neji and Sasuke just don't laugh.
"She's my teammate, and my best friend, but she's fighting a losing battle, she'll never be 'the next Tsunade-sama'!" the group laughed again. Tenten had heard enough. She felt rage build up inside her. Her teeth clenched and she pulled out a kunai. With her expert aim, she threw it into the middle of the group, then spun around and walked the other direction.
"Tenten!" They shouted in unison. They ran after her, and since she was just walking, they caught her easily.
"Tenten, we're so sorry, we didn't mean any of it, honest!" pleaded Sakura, she placed a hand on Tenten's shoulder, but Tenten shook it off, and turned to meet their guilty eyes. Even Sasuke and Neji were taken aback by her glare. She didn't say anything, just glared at them and turned back around.
"Should we go after her?" asked Lee, "We can't very well leave her on her own, can we?"
"What else can we do? She doesn't want to talk to us right now." supplied Shikamaru.
Tenten trained for hours. She'd gone to her secret clearing. She'd stumbled upon it one day, and no one had ever walked in on her. She decided she'd stay out here. She lay down on the ground, under a weeping willow, and fell asleep.
-With the others-
Meanwhile, the others decided to check up on her, but she wasn't at home, or at the training grounds. They became worried, and decided to split up into groups. Sakura went with Lee, Hinata went with Naruto (A/N: YES!), Ino went with Shika, the sand sibs went together, and Shino, Kiba, and Choji went together. Neji and Sasuke went on their own.
-Back with Tenten-
Tenten woke up after very little sleep. She felt as though she'd broken into a million pieces. Her dream had gone over all the terrible things that had happened to her, her parents dying, the chunin exams (first time), many things, all leading up to the betrayal of her so called friends. Their words echoed in her mind. Still she refused to cry. Her body ached with the effort not to.
She stood up, and decided to continue training, despite her fatigue (A/N: one point vocabulary word!).
Neji was beginning to worry, though he didn't show it of course. He hadn't liked the things they were saying about Tenten. They hadn't seen her fight since the first chunin exams. He trained with her every day; he knew personally how strong she was. He also knew that she held thousands of emotions inside, and most of those emotions were pain.
He had realized a few years ago, that he had feelings for his female teammate, but thought that they would merely come endanger the fragile friendship that they shared. Now he was worried that she'd hurt herself, and that he'd lost his chance.
-At Itchikaru's ramen shop-
"We h-had n-n-no l-luck. I-it's like sh-she disappeared!" Hinata Stuttered, "We shouldn't h-have s-said those a-awful things about h-her." She burst into tears, and Naruto hurried over to comfort her.
"We tried our hardest to find her, Hinata. Don't worry, though, she's a ninja, she can take care of herself." He wrapped an arm around her and Ino leaned over to Sakura.
"They're so kawaii!" she whispered.
"Naruto is right, we tried our hardest, there's nothing more we can do right now. We should all get some rest. Besides, it's starting to rain." Shikamaru reasoned. They all agreed, and left for home, Naruto walking Hinata home.
Neji, however, decided to look for her again. This time, he had a hunch he knew where she was.
The rain was coming down steadily, and Tenten's chakra was nearly gone. She'd practiced her Tai and Gen-jutsu for eight hours straight. Refusing to give up, she pulled out her weapons. She continued to train, slipping occasionally in the mud. She had no idea how late it was, but judging by the black sky above, she'd guess sometime around midnight.
Her breathing was heavy and the cold was beginning to get to her through her sodden clothes.
"I should probably start home." She reasoned, and decided to go through the trees, so as to continue working with chakra control. She flew through the trees, but her body couldn't take anymore of her enraged abuse. The next thing she new, she was falling through the darkness, unaware of where she was and why she should even try living any more.
Neji was flying through the trees as fast as he could. The rain had become hard, and the wind blew fiercely. Suddenly he saw a body sprawled in the mud.
"Shit!" he cursed, jumping down to it. He recognized the clothing, and the auburn hair. Her usual buns had fallen out and now her soaked hair lay in clumps. He flipped her over, but she was pail and cold. Picking her up gently (bridal style) he sprinted off towards his house, not knowing where she lived.
Tenten woke up to find that she was lying on a warm, soft bead. She looked over to her side and almost screamed in shock. The Hyuga Neji was sitting in a chair, slumped over slightly, fast asleep. To her annoyance, she felt her heart beat quicken. She looked over at him, her eyes sweeping over the gorgeous scene in front of her. God, why does he have to be so god damn HOT! Wait...I'm in his room...that means he must have...saved me? She reached over to brush a wisp of hair out of his face when his hand snatched her wrist.
"EEP!" She jolted backwards, falling off the bed.
"I see your up, Tenten."
"No, really? I thought I was still asleep."
"That's nice gratitude for the person who saved you. What were you doing out there anyway? I'd think you'd be smarter than that by now!"
"It's not like you care anyway!" A hurt look passed over Neji's face, but in a second he had masked it. To bad Tenten had been training with him for six years. "N-Neji?" she whispered.
He glared at her and averted his gaze to the corner.
"Neji…?" something in her innocent voice, broke him. Without warning, he turned and pressed his lips to hers. Tenten's eyes widened in shock, but soon she relaxed. I'm in Heaven, is this really happening?
Neji broke the kiss, and almost immediately looked at the floor.
"I'm sorry, Tenten, I had no right to-" this time, Tenten cut him off, knocking him back on the floor, and kissing him with as much passion as she could.
"You have nothing to be sorry about." Neji pulled her down into another quick kiss, and as he pulled away, he looked at his glassy-eyed teammate.
"Just so you know, you're by no means weak, Tenten. In fact, you're the strongest girl I know."
A/N: Yeah for happy endings! I got carried away with this one, I didn't do much thinking, everything just sort of came out of me. I hope you guys like it! I'm planning to make it a one shot, but if you guys want, I'll make another chap./sequel.