Disclaimer- No, I still don't own Naruto.
A/N -Written belatedly for Tenten's birthday. Inspiration dried up for a while, unfortunately.
Something was wrong.
Hyuuga Neji didn't just sense that fact, he could feel the wrongness in the air, practically burning into his soul, slicing into and under his skin.
Or rather, he could feel the simultaneously burning glares and cold shoulders that were sent his way by the normally quite chipper Tenten.
Frankly, it was unnerving, even for someone who could see in almost every direction.
"Tenten?" Neji asked quietly. "Is something wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong," she practically hissed at him, and he could swear there was some sort of fire behind her eyes, "So mind your own business, Hyuuga."
Neji refused to blink, but he couldn't hold back the widening of his eyes.
Hyuuga? Since when had she called him Hyuuga?
"Tenten." Neji tried again, but the bun haired kunoichi audibly sniffed at him and turned away, motioning toward Lee.
"Come on Lee. Let's go train." Lee looked like he was about to say something, but a vicious, spearing glance from Tenten silenced him in seconds.
"Alright." Lee's voice lacked its usual exuberance, and he gave Neji a pitying glance as Tenten practically dragged the spandex clad boy away without another word, back turned all the while to her other teammate.
What's wrong with her?
Neji attempted to ponder (not sulk) about these thoughts in his room later that day, since training seemed lackluster (most would say lonely) without a partner, trying to find that inner calm and awing perception that Hyuuga were known for.
He was failing miserably.
Instead, he was pacing frantically, idly muttering odd phrases such as "Why's she mad at me?" or "What did I do?", clenching and unclenching his fists.
For the Hyuuga Clan, it was oddly disturbing to see their prodigy acting like a madman (or just a lovesick idiot... which is about the same thing).
In the interest of not being wiped out in the style of the Uchiha, someone was elected to plumb the depths of this mystery.
Unfortunately, that someone had to be Hyuuga Hinata.
And so, Hiashi's eldest daughter watched with a mix of amusement and outright terror as her formerly psychopathic cousin seemed to be suffering from a serious psychological problem, so much so that he hadn't even noticed someone at his door (normally, Neji would have noticed someone even breathing in his direction).
"I don't get it," Neji muttered continuously, and Hinata barely repressed a terrified giggle.
"Maybe you should just go in already." Hanabi said loudly, standing right behind her older sister with arms crossed and an annoyed look on her face.
Hinata squeaked, turning and shushing her younger sister immediately, but it was too late.
Neji, mortified, resorted to the classic "Get Angry" ploy.
Hinata shrunk underneath the glare. Hanabi merely smirked.
"Wha-what's wrong, Neji-niisan?" Hinata asked, a testament to her strength as she withstood the glare of her cousin for a little while longer.
"Nothing, Hinata-sama." The Hyuuga's prodigy said, his voice brittle and barely keeping to the politeness required of him when presented with Main Branch members.
Hinata would have been satisfied with that- but Hanabi was not her older sister.
"It doesn't sound like nothing." The younger girl said sardonically, arching her eyebrow imperiously.
Neji clenched and unclenched his fists. Strangulation was too good for the girl.
Hanabi's smirk was like a devil's taunt. "In fact, it sounds like the great Hyuuga Neji has become most perturbed by something... from the sounds of it, a girl."
But then again, Neji would take what he could get.
Just before Neji could attempt homicide on her younger sister, Hinata intervened nervously, "Ne-Neji-niisan... is that true?" she paused, as if weighing how risky her next words would be. "Is it about Tenten-san?"
Neji practically flinched.
Hanabi could not have smirked wider. It was not physically possible.
Hinata continued, having already crossed the Rubicon and decided Rome was worth the risk. "Neji-niisan... did you give Tenten-san a bad present?" she asked curiously.
Neji gave Hinata the Hyuuga's version of "Huh?"
Hinata's expression had a dawning look to it now. "You... you did know it was Tenten-san's birthday yesterday, didn't you?"
Hanabi's smirk defied physical law at this point.
Neji almost felt like slapping his forehead.
Because staying in Hyuuga House any longer was life threatening (to Hanabi), Neji decided that a walk might clear his head. Going to the training ground ran the risk of running into the still incensed Tenten, and Neji was not one to risk antagonizing people without reason (his father being murdered had been the reason for antagonizing for most of his life, and that was not so viable anymore).
The walk wasn't helping.
If anything, it was letting his thoughts compound on one another, with wild thoughts such as "Should I have gotten her a present?" or "It wasn't my fault I forgot, she didn't tell me" or even "I hope she won't try to skewer me when I see her again".
Unfortunately, one should never walk when distracted, and Neji found this out harshly when he literally ran into a certain porn loving jounin.
Hatake Kakashi blinked down at the Hyuuga. "Well. Hi there." He said blankly, taking his eye off his Icha Icha Paradise for a moment.
Neji felt a bit of embarrassment as his cheeks flushed- he quickly suppressed the feeling. "My apologies, Kakashi-san. I wasn't paying attention." He managed as politely as he could- after all, this was the Sharingan Kakashi, genius among geniuses.
"Because you forgot your teammates birthday?"
Neji blinked. How did he-
Kakashi continued, sounding amused. "Gai told me all about it. You came late to train yesterday because of some one on one training with Hiashi, and missed out on the gift giving. Shame. It sounded like she had been really hoping you'd remember." Kakashi looked away, and even without Byakugan, Neji could tell the man was laughing inwardly.
Both seething and embarrassed, Neji attempted to salvage the situation. "If... If I were to go about rectifying the situation..." he began, because there was no way he was going to ask Gai for advice on this.
"You mean how do you get back in your girl's good graces?" Kakashi asked lightly, the smirk audible in his tone.
Neji refused to dignify that with an answer. Even his respect for ninja like Kakashi had limits.
Kakashi continued as though nothing had happened. "Well, I suppose the first thing you should do is get her a present." Kakashi began, looking thoughtful. "A really good present. Something she'll love. Next, it's the delivery." He looked down at Neji (not hard, considering his height). "How you give the gift is even more important than the present itself. Do it right, and she'll be all over you. Do it wrong, and you might end up impaled to a wall."
Neji stared blankly at the Copy Ninja.
"Well, I'm off." And with that said, the Hyuuga was left standing in the street, still totally lost.
A good present...
A shop nearby caught his eye, mostly because of what it sold.
His lips quirked for a moment, just a tiny bit as he walked inside.
The man at the cashier was elderly and graying, but his eyes were sharp and he made a slight bow toward the Hyuuga. "May I help you with anything, sir?"
Neji looked around for a moment, trying to find the right gift.
And he spotted it.
"I want that one."
After Lee had been carried off, bleeding from numerous wounds that were not entirely life threatening, and after Gai's inquiries about "disturbances of your YOUTH!" had been dealt with, Tenten found her fury unabated.
So she took her anger out on the nearest objects.
So far, this single poor plant had suffered the piercing blows of several spears, shuriken, kunai, and been sliced in several places by swords and fuuma shuriken.
Tenten still did not feel any better.
A low grow resonated from her throat until it came out as a fierce snarl.
"That jerk!" she snarled, and impaled yet another sharp, pointy object into the tree as she imagined the white eyed face of her teammate on the bark.
"... is this a bad time?"
Tenten's eyes widened, and for a moment, her fury was forgotten as Neji stepped out from behind her, looking impassive (inwardly though, he was terrified). She flushed slightly, embarrassed at being caught, before her face reddened out of fury. "What are you doing, lurking over there! I thought you went home!" she snapped.
"... I do not lurk." Neji said slowly, deciding to delay rather than face the judgement he had coming.
Tenten gave an audible sniff once again, and merely looked pointedly away. "Well, go away. I'm busy." She said coldly, turning away-
Only to be stopped by a hand on her shoulder.
"Hyuuga Neji. Let. Go. Of. Me." Tenten gritted out, itching to use her remaining stockpile of sharp, pointy objects to do cruel and unusual and generally unpleasant things to her teammate.
Tenten blinked as she was handed a long, cloth wrapped object. She looked up at him blankly. "What..."
"Unwrap it." Neji said flatly, his tone emotionless.
"... Oh... Neji... I..." Tenten smiled happily, a hint of wetness in her eyes. "It's so beautiful."
Beautiful was one word for it, Neji supposed. "You like it, I gather?" he asked, both relieved and amused that she had dropped any animosity toward him.
"I love it." Tenten pulled it free. The long, elegant katana glittered in the afternoon sun spinning out a myriad of lights. The blade was shining and pure, and its pommel was shaped like a dragon's head, its hilt covered in smooth leather molded and dyed into green scales.
"It's called Ginryu." Neji said, remembering what the shop owner had said to him. "Though it has a lot of aesthetic, it is still a perfectly capable weapon in combat."
Tenten's lips quirked. Trust Neji to comment on the killing capability of a gift.
"Thank you." She said, smiling widely. After a moment, she gave into an impulse and practically tackled Neji in a tight hug.
Neji, stunned, made no movements, but, although no one could see it, he smiled.
"So. I take it that means I'm forgiven?" he asked, as she pulled away, smiling still.
Tenten grinned widely, and made an idle swing with the sword. "Well... maybe."
Neji stared. What had he forgotten? He got her the gift, didn't he?
Tenten leaned in, so close that Neji could hardly breathe. Her face enveloped his vision. He could see every dip and curve on her face, her flushed cheeks, her large, soft earthy eyes, her lips that were suddenly demanding his attention like a siren.
"You forgot something." she whispered slowly, as a demure, mischievous smile played on her lips.
Neji shivered as he wondered exactly what he had forgotten, and if he could still make up for it.
"You forgot to wish me a happy birthday." Tenten said flatly, and then pulled back, giggling.
Neji, much to his chargin, blushed.
A/N - Ginryu is Japanese, and means Silver Dragon, something I took from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles.. I thought about a kissing scene, but it didn't pan out that way. Ah well.