Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Naruto.
GIFT FIC! This was my Secret Santa present to Lellian, via the wonderful LiveJournal Community, Naruto Wishlist! She requested a story that was Neji/Tenten, and luckily, right at the moment, I had brainstormed not one, but three Neji/Tenten stories! This one was the more humorous one, while one other, On a Bed of Thorns, is angsty, and the last one, Screwing Destiny, is drama-filled.
Sorry if this seems a little bit cliche–originally, Screwing Destiny was going to be the gift. However, it turned out to be a three-part so... yeah. It should be relatively humorous, though, so enjoy!
There are people who are obsessive-compulsive, and then there's people who take it to the next level.
Take Neji, for example. He trains like mad, he babbles about destiny, and he tries to kill his cousin. He didn't think he had a problem with his habitual obsessing, however, until he found himself knowing what pair of purple pajamas Tenten was complaining to him about–and where to find them.
"... That's why I'm so late! I couldn't find them, and I know they were on my sofa. I knew, and they just disappeared!"
Neji didn't have the heart–or the guts, for that matter–to tell her that they were stuffed between the middle cushions. He was too busy wondering when he had started following (read: stalking) Tenten around so much that he knew more about the position of her possessions than she did.
He heaved a sigh, more at himself than the fact that she was late to training. "It doesn't matter. Let's go."
She gave him a glowing smile, one that nowadays always seemed to make birds dive-bomb each other in his stomach, and picked up her pack. "Let's go, let's go!" She waited until he had gotten up and started walking, soon falling into step with him.
It was their ritual nowadays, to train with each other when there weren't any missions or Gai didn't have them train together. It was more simple that way; Tenten could practice her techniques in offense along with her accuracy and he could practice his ultimate-defense. Then, after they had tired themselves out, he would walk (read: follow) her home and make sure she had arrived safe, and maybe watch her for a bit from her windows to see what she was up to.
Okay, so he watched her a lot more than 'bit', but he didn't think it had been a problem until now. It wasn't as if he was using Byakugan to spy on her in the shower or anything, and the one time he had, he had convinced himself, was solely to make sure she was alright.
She had been in the bath for an awful long time, you know.
In any case, Hyuuga Neji realized that he had made a bit of an issue out of following his friend and partner home close to every night. It might have had something to do with the fact that Tenten was a bit of an enigma to him, it might have had something to do with the fact that she made him laugh more than anyone else in the world. It might have been anything and everything in the world, but he knew for sure that in the end, he was still watching her in her room everyday.
He studied his feet, which were currently kicking up dirty clouds as they moved him towards their regular training grounds. He closed his eyes when they arrived in the clearing surrounded by trees, as always, and waited for her to hide herself in the shadowing leaves. When silence had ensued for a minute or so, he opened his eyes again, and waited for her attack.
A volley of senbon whistled past his ear, but they were just distractions to the three kunai that came after them. He had successfully dodged all three when two large fuuma shuriken flew, one slightly after the other, towards his now open guard. Silver-moon eyes narrowed as he assessed the situation, he quickly whirled into action and blocked the projectiles with his revolving shield. But... Not before one of the windmill shuriken caught against his shoulder.
He hissed out in pain. He hadn't been expecting such a large weapon, as she had lately taken to using large volleys of one type of weapon instead.
She jumped out of her location and ran towards him. "Are you okay?" she called out, concern shining from her eyes. "I thought you would've blocked that!"
Under normal situations, he would have, he answered silently, but not today. Not while his head was busy trying to think of the reason why, at seventeen, he had become so attached to his only female friend.
"I'm fine." The wound was still bleeding heavily, but already it had become slightly more sluggish. "I'll just bandage it and we can keep going."
She bit her lip, furrowing her brow so she looked cutely anxious. "Well, at least let me do it so I won't feel so bad."
He nodded once in agreement and watched as she skipped off towards their packs. She came back bearing a bottle of antiseptic and a roll of bandages. Sitting him onto the dirt and gently grabbing his arm to pull back his sleeve, she began to smile slightly as she started cleaning the wound.
"If I didn't know better, I would think that the great Hyuuga Neji was losing his edge to a little weapons' mistress like me," she teased.
He hissed slightly. So she had noticed he had been a bit off. At least, he comforted himself, she didn't know what exactly had caused his hesitation.
She giggled. "I'll pretend that was the antiseptic causing you to hiss, and not your wounded man ego, okay?"
Other people would have snorted, but not Neji. He rolled his eyes instead, and remained silent as she began wrapping the bandage around his shoulder and arm, babbling all the while about the new set of shuriken she was having had made, the rebuilding of the West Wall Tsunade-sama was having done, and did he know why Lee was still chasing after that Sakura girl.
He focused more on her voice than he did on her words. It rolled over him like lazy summer sunshine like her presence, spreading a warm sense of ease over him. Maybe this was the reason he felt the need to follow her around everywhere.
A strand of her hair fell into her face, obscuring his view to her bright eyes. He fought the slight urge to hook it back behind her ears, knowing that gesture could bring some very uneasy situations amongst them.
Neji knew that his body was too old for him to blame everything on hormones, but maybe that was a reason, too. Tenten was pretty, though not breathtakingly beautiful, and behind the expressionless mask he wore, he was still male. Her long, shapely legs and rather–ahem–distracting curves, were enough to make any man take a second look. It didn't help that the one time he had seen her naked, he had seen all of her naked.
"All done!" she announced, stopping him from further digging his own grave. "Do you want to keep going?"
"Yeah." He pulled his sleeve down again, testing his shoulder movement from behind the snug bandages, and stood up again. Looking to her with a rather arrogant smirk, he suggested, "Let's see if I've truly lost my edge."
When they were done training, the sun was already beginning to set and they were both sweating and exhausted.
Tenten moaned as she raised her form, previously leaning against him, to pick up her pack. "As soon as I get home, I'm taking a bath and falling straight to bed. I'm sore all over!" She looked to him with a fresh smile, pointing towards his shoulder. "You better rebandage that again, Mr. I'm-Going-To-Work-My-Teammate-Like-A-Dog-Because-She-Teased-Me-Once."
He nodded once as the edges of his mouth quirked upwards in an uncommon smile. "I'll see you tomorrow?"
"Nah, I've got plans tomorrow." Seeing his expectant expression, she quickly elaborated with a grin. "I've got to pick up those shuriken and besides, we're not all machines incapable of normal human activities such as sleep like you."
He nodded again. Good. More time for him to wonder exactly figure everything out, and without her distracting him. "Thursday we have training with Gai," he reminded her.
She grimaced. "I'll remember." With an 'umph!', she picked up her bag and turned to go, allowing him to gaze at her retreating form.
Neji heaved a sigh. He normally waited a few moments before following her home, lest she realize he was shadowing her every move, so he stayed in his position until he felt the coast was clear.
He silently crept behind her, watching her as she trudged the now familiar route to her one-room apartment. Today, however, she seemed to feel the need to take a shortcut behind a narrow alley, cutting the route nearly in a third. However, as the alley was often home to more shady characters than in the open, she often decided against it.
He set his jaw as he watched her disappear into the shadows and slowly moved himself after her.
His suspicions about the alleyway were confirmed as a large, grimy handreached out and grabbed at Tenten's slim upper arm. Normally she would have reacted faster than that, but today, with him pushing her so hard, her senses were too exhausted to do anything other than reach for her kunai holster.
At that moment, he would have liked nothing more than to beat the man to a pulp.
That was the reason he kept following Tenten home, to make sure she was alright. He liked her. More than a teammate. More than a friend. In fact, for the first time in his life, Hyuuga Neji liked a girl. Romantically liked a girl.
The need to protect rose against his chest, and he forgot everything other than his desires. No matter what anyone said, or even what she thought, Tenten was Neji's girl, and the Hyuuga have always been possessive about what was theirs.
He was next to Tenten before she could even pull out a kunai. His fist was out and on Tenten's attacker before Tenten could even say anything. And the man? He was unconscious before he even hit the ground.
Tenten's mouth was opened in a perfect 'O'. That same mouth drew his attention, and following the suggestion of his newly found compulsive ways, Neji was kissing it before she could even speak.
When they finally brought apart, panting slightly as they leaned against each other in the narrow alley, Neji had already decided that it was something he would never regret. Now, to see her reaction...
His eyes slowly moved down onto hers, which were closed during their moment of passion. When they opened again, he knew he would be alright.
There was laughter in her eyes and joy in her smile. Mischievous sparkles lit up her gaze as she linked arms with him.
As she pulled him slowly forward, she offered one simple piece of advice.
"Next time, instead of following me home like you always do, walk me home instead, okay?"
Taking an obsessive-compulsive person and calling it a problem isn't always correct. Take Neji, for example.
He ended up doing pretty good, after all.