Disclaimer: Once again, I own nothing.

Alright guys, an epilogue type series...thing...setting after My Choice. Please forgive me for it being so late, but I've been kind of busy with Spring Break over...boo...and school starting once again. I was thinking of having this...a three-part or possibly longer type of...story, so please, review and tell me whether to continue with it or not. I rather liked how My Choice ended even though I left it as an open ending, so if this story doesn't go, I will still be happy with my first fic., My Choice.

Please review, I took time to make an epilogue for you guys, so taking 5-10 seconds won't hurt, right? K then...enjoy!


To Defy Fate

"Move faster."

Those two simple words pierced her heart as she leaped from her sheltered spot in the covering of the trees; drenched and soaked to the skin with sweat and the pouring rain. Clenching her fists tightly, she paused as she fingered her shurikens. 'Faster,' she thought slightly mockingly, 'it's always faster.'

Throwing a couple of well-aimed shurikens with a rainfall of daggers right after, she watched as he repelled them away using his chakra once again. As she ran around him towards his backside, hoping to catch him off guard, she watched as he stopped his whirlwind and stood calmly. Frustrated, she foolishly sprung from her position, directly behind him, ready to strike with a new readied blade.

Always one step ahead, he turned effortlessly and evaded her 'surprise' attack. Pivoting and blocking her arm in one quick motion, he looked at her with his seemingly bored expression.

"You are being too careless."

Biting back a retort that was sure to come, she focused as she retreated back within the safety of the forest.

After six years of training together, Tenten never would have thought that she would be defeated so easily by Neji. Sure, he had always been the stronger and faster one, but she never would have thought that she would be as beaten as she was.

Panting heavily, she winced at the straining of her leg and arm muscles. For five straight hours, they had been training heavily in the falling rain; Tenten continually running, dodging, throwing. He was not training hard, she knew that for sure. Neji had greatly surpassed the House of the Hyuuga Clan and was deemed as one of the most talented ninja's within the land.

'So why was he training with her?'

Standing on a branch of a tree, she sighed softly, resting slightly against the stalk of the tree. Battered and bruised, Tenten felt like she could barely stand. His routines were tough and had gradually gotten harder every year.

"Is that it?"

She heard his voice clearly as the shattering of glass, cold and cutting. Looking straight at her through her covering of leaves, she glared as she saw a faint smirk on his face.

'Why? Why do you push me so hard?'

This was obviously not fair, he was clearly a genius, determined to be great and strong. He was just too strong, too powerful. She would never defeat him. It was fate.

No. Not fate. Fate could be broken. Fate was something that she never believed in. For hers, but also mostly for his, sake.

She watched as his eyes were still focused on her, slightly darkening, "You cannot defeat me, Tenten, it is fate."

"Fate can be changed," she called back softly from her branch still panting slightly, daring to defy him.

With his eyes narrowing slightly, he walked towards her tree impassively. "What would you know," he stated quietly.

Sighing again, Tenten closed her eyes wearily, catching her breath.

She watched as Neji walked to the same tree that she was resting on and sat. Finally, a break.

"If you believe that, then why don't you change it?" Neji asked quietly.

Tenten stared down at Neji in slight confusion. "Change what?"

She watched as Neji seemed to close his eyes and lean back onto the tree. Appearing to be in a relaxed state, Tenten wavered slightly as she heard his murmured answer. "Fate."

"What about it?" she asked nonchalantly, her heart slightly beating faster. Neji rarely wanted to talk about his fate lately, so it seemed, and she could relatively understand why. His clan was pushing him more than ever lately to find a suitable wife, one that would at least care for him and bare him a child. Tenten's eyes narrowed slightly at the thought, Neji being married to a woman just for a heir and for possible good relations? Not if she had any power to change it.

But sadly, she didn't, and she would watch the one man she had grown to love spend his time and dedication to a woman that might not even love him. They say the forbidden fruit was always so much sweeter and Neji seemed to be hers.

To look, but cannot touch.

In reaching distance, but yet so far.

His answer came after a moment's pause, breaking Tenten out of her train of thought. "Your fate…my fate," was his quiet reply.

Tenten tilted her head in confusion. "Care to speculate to me on your last thoughts?"

Neji sighed softly and positioned himself in a more comfortable position. Well, as comfortable as you can get leaning against a tree.

"No."

"No?"

"No."

Growing slightly agitated, Tenten snapped, "Can we get off the 'no's' and just get to the point?" The first time she had ever wanted him to get straight to the point, he didn't.

"No," was his simple reply laced with a hint of amusement.

"Ne-ji," she said as she pronounced his name by syllables slowly. 'How childish, really,' she thought as she rolled her eyes. But still…she loved him, even if he was a bit infuriating sometimes. It was her choice after all, she thought with a faint smile.

Moments of silence resounded between them as Neji rested and Tenten resided in her own thoughts. Her fate? His fate? What did that have anything to with her defeating him in battle? Was it some sort of a symbolic message that had something to do between her fate intertwining with his fate? Feeling rather confused and much too tired to care at that moment, Tenten followed suit with Neji and closed her eyes contently.

Feeling a sudden downshift on her branch, Tenten's grabbed a handful of shurikens as her eyes flew open to lock with Neji's intense pearl-like gaze. How did he get on her branch without noticing he moved?

"Up, Tenten, show me."

Gingerly sitting up, Tenten gave Neji a cautious glance. "We are still fighting?" Her question came out more of a tired statement than an inquiry.

"Of course," was his faint reply. She watched him as he suddenly pulled back and leapt off of her branch, jolting her more awake, and aware, in the process.

Tenten stared in disbelief and stubbornly shook her head, "I thought we were finished."

His reply came from out of nowhere as it caught her by surprise. "I did not say that we were finished. You just assumed it. Never assume."

A scream seemed to almost burst through Tenten's lungs as she growled in frustration. She was wet, tired, and her cuts were not healing as quickly as she would have liked. She was definitely not in the mood.

"Why are you pushing me so hard!" came her frustrated yell. All her pent up feelings and emotions were slowly drained out as she flung her kunais and various weapons towards Neji. With her breathing slightly shallow and her legs and arms still feeling like jelly, she jumped off of her branch to stand on stable ground.

Stumbling slightly as her feet landed on the marsh-like ground, she regained her footing after a moment. Anger seemingly threatened to burst through her chest as she narrowed her eyes. That was it.

"You always want to train, everyday, and if you think I'm not good enough to keep up with you, why don't you just say it!" Her scream seemed to resound throughout their training ground.

"Tenten, enough." His words came out stoic and cold, but she didn't care. She was just too fed up.

"Six years, Neji, six years, and I haven't been able to defeat you all this time. What makes you think that I could possibly defeat you now?" Her anguished question was followed by a choked sob.

It was one of those days for her. A day when she couldn't help but scream in frustration.

But it was never in front of him. Never.

She had never let him see her like this. And she never meant to.

"Show me, Tenten." She heard his somewhat soft spoken request. Show him?

Tenten glanced up at Neji. Show him…that she could somehow defy her thinking? That she could possibly defeat him, the Hyuuga prodigy?

Her brown eyes flickered with doubt. He wanted her…to defeat him? What good could come from that? Well, other than the fact that she could say that she had actually beaten the o-so-great Neji Hyuuga.

She felt adrenaline rush through her as she nodded slowly. If he wanted her to beat him, then she would definitely try. Besides, she thought optimistically, if he wanted her to beat him, there's a better chance that she could. Right?

Tenten began her assault, determined, but still confused at his silent meaning. Defeat him…what would the purpose be? It wasn't some petty little prize she would win, there was something that Neji was trying to teach…trying to prove?

Her eyes widened. He wanted her to defeat him…so she could defeat what he deemed fate.

It all made sense.

Tenten thought quickly back on her vow she had made. It was on that day when she asked him if he could marry her, if he could love her.

She stopped suddenly in her midway assault. She needed to remind him.

"Neji," she breathed, catching her breath, "I love you."

Tenten watched nervously as Neji slightly faltered in his stance. "I know."

Smiling a pensive smile, she tilted her head, seemingly waiting for a response she knew she wouldn't get. But she knew, she understood. He cared for her too.

And she was perfectly content with knowing that.

Readying herself once again, she prepared her onslaught of weapons. She knew Neji wouldn't hold back, in this now significant battle…he couldn't. His thoughts, his actions, basically everything he based his life on would ride in this battle. And on her.

Could she, Tenten, do this? Could she manage to fight him with everything she had, in an exhausted state like this? She could, and she would, she quickly resolved. She had all the necessary equipment; hope, will, and passion.

Tired and bruised, she breathed heavily, raising her fistful of kunais and shurikens. Doubt and reluctance shrouded her mind, but she pushed them aside. She was strong enough to do this, if not physically, then mentally.

But in the end, she knew that she had to prevail. She wasn't only fighting for herself now, but for him as well.

She launched at him, weapons positioned evenly between her fingers. The fight had begun, the battle to defy the odds of fate.

Her fate, and his fate.


VxS

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