A/N: The quote is from Neon Genesis Evangelion, said by Kaji, I think. Like Naruto, I don't own it. Never will. Special thanks to Chixon for the title.

PAYING LIP SERVICE

Which should I trust, your lips or your words?

There was something infused with the Hyuuga blood—together with the Byakugan, probably—that lent Hyuuga neji his cockiness. Fortunately, Hyuuga Hinata was spared of such a trait or else Konoha would've sunk with such unbearable amount of ego. Cockiness in Neji could be mistaken for confidence or even aggressiveness but Tenten knew better. Because Tenten was—let's face it—a nobody, Neji chose to direct his cockiness to her. After all, that's what bastards do, right?

They make you feel like nobodies.

Tenten watched from afar as Neji and lee sparred. As usual, Neji had the upper hand and he knew it; Lee was still giving all he can. The match ended with Lee on the ground and Neji looming above him.

Now that the Chuunin exam was drawing near, every aspiring Genin is busy preparing for it. Tenten though, could positively affirm that the Hyuuga genius could pass it without even trying. She has been watching him train ever since they became teammates, she should know.

Still, being a genius doesn't mean that you're immune from being a jerk. In Neji's case, he was both. Tenten accepted that fact. After all, they've been though missions together and even through life-robbing situations. It was hard not to accept him. If the girl were asked to say something about the Hyuuga though, she was prepared.

"Hyuuga Neji is a bastard and he knows it."

Unfortunately for Tenten, she's undergoing a love-hate crisis right now. Who could expect that she'll like and hate the same person at the same time? Even she was shocked at how the way things turned out. Sure, Neji could be a great guy. He's got great genes, a great body (what an understatement) and great intellect and skill. The moment they became part of a single team Tenten was able to see that when Neji's mouth was shut, he was an obnoxious, selfish and I-don't-give-a-damn-about-teams guy.

When it was open though, he was pretty much the same.

But Tenten can't help liking him. And hating him too. And for the sake of the authoress' plot, she can't tell him that.

There was an accident in the first part of the exam and Lee was forced to recuperate until his leg heals—if it will. Tenten and Neji were forced to do several missions together. Gai believed that with Neji's skills and Tenten's abilities, they could manage.

But nobody said that Tenten liked it.

"It should be here," Neji told her. She merely nodded. Many girls would kill to be in her position right now, to be huddled close to Hyuuga Neji. Uchiha Sasuke can't have all the fun. "I'll go and distract them. Go retrieve the stolen scroll."

Tenten nodded, for fear that she might say something to offend him if she opened her mouth.

The plan was executed smoothly. Neji beat the crap out of the thieves without using much of his chakra, and Tenten was able to retrieve the scroll without much effort. Near the end of the battle though, a dying thief threw a kunai as a last resort. Neji, walking towards Tenten, was oblivious to everything else. The impact of the hit made Neji lurch forward and then, the two ended up in a very awkward position.

With his lips on hers.

For the first few minutes of the kiss, Tenten wasn't able to think straight. Neji turned out to be a promising kisser. When she finally realized what was happening, she pulled away quickly. Even with the dastardly things Neji can say, he had a wicked mouth. She glared at Neji, who was frowning.

Apologize, she commanded mentally. Apologize.

Just as they started their staring contest, Tenten wondered why she came to hate him. She hated everything about him. Okay, that was not really true. She liked the way he was fiercely dedicated to his commitments, the way he always saves her when she thinks no one will. The way he…

Oh shut up, Tenten told herself bitterly. Hyuuga Neji s a bastard. That would never change.

"I hate you," she finally said. She was bruised, her hair slightly messed up in her pigtails and her body covered in sweat. And him, even in the same state, looked good. Damn him.

"Which should I trust, your lips or your words?" he smirked. "You're not a very good liar, you know."

She gave him a confused look.

"You're telling me something your lips aren't,"

Damn him.

At his words, Tenten did a quick analysis of herself. Sure, she liked Neji. She knew almost everything about him but even so, she still managed to like him. But when he opened his mouth, she wanted nothing but to strangle him.

Damn him for knowing too much.

Yes, she liked him.

Damn him for being a good kisser.

Yes, she hated him too.

Damn him for being so perceptive.

But…

Damn.

"What do you want?" she cried out. "Yes. Fine. I like you, I do. Even though you can be a big bastard, I like you. Is that what you want to hear?"

He just stood in front of her, his eyes devoid of emotion as they usually are. Then, in a swift move, he gathered her in his arms, hugged her fiercely and whispered in her ear: "Yes,"

And damn me for loving him so much.

owari

for Bashia

Lip Service is defined as verbal expression or allegiance, unsupported by real conviction or action; hypocritical respect. Again, the definition is from Chixon. :)