chapter 6:

the only one for me

Because in a world of a hundred million people, you came and noticed me.

She didn't fall in love at first. It started out just as…admiration.

-

Neji tied the ANBU mask around his head and adjusted it against his face. "Be careful when I'm not here, okay?" he reminded the young Hyuuga woman in front of him.

Hinata nodded and wiped some dust off of Neji's anbu armor. "Mm. Don't worry, Neji."

It was early dawn, and the skies were a dark blue. The air outside was crisp and cold as Hinata gently took the mask off

of Neji and smiled softly. "It'll be a while until I see your face. Let me memorize it before I forget it completely." she joked.

Neji touched the warm cheek of Hinata and ran his fingers down the locks of her hair. "Silly girl. Remember to lock up."

"Neji!"

The two Hyuugas turned around to see a young slim shinobi with short pink hair come up to the ANBU member. She smiled warmly at the two and waved. "Ohayou. Tsunade-sama sent me to accompany your ANBU group in case any medical treatment is needed. We should be going soon."

Neji nodded and put his mask back on. "Hai."

Sakura placed her hands on her hips and examined Hinata for a bit. "You look great Hinata. I heard from Godaime that you were going back to work in the hospital. That's wonderful. Konoha really misses their talented head doctor."

Hinata blushed embarrassingly but thanked Sakura. "A-Arigatou, Sakura-san."

"She sure is cute, Neji-kun. You better be careful around Neji. He might just kidnap you…oh wait. Didn't he kind of already do that?" the pink haired girl chuckled to herself.

"Ne, Sakura." Neji patted her head and cleared his throat. "Stop saying such silly things. Let's go."

Sakura gave a sheepish grin and followed after Neji. "Byeee Hinata-chan!" she shouted, turning her head back to Hinata and smiled.

Hinata watched the two in awe as they left. She had never known Neji and Sakura were so close. Something about the two's aura was peculiar. The Hyuuga heiress left to go back into the house. Her eyes were fixated at the floor as she remembered Neji patting Sakura's head casually. She closed the door with a gentle push as a discomforting feeling spurred within her. Was it jealousy?

-

"Tenten! Let's go! Let's go!"

Tenten opened a bottle of water and chugged it down her throat. "Hold up, Lee! We have all the time in the world."

A tall man with a bowl-cut hairdo grinned excitingly and threw a thumbs up sign at the young woman. "I'm excited! Its like our little date! Just you and me. No Neji, no Gai-sensei. Its actually quite weird to not have them around much but I think if I can be stuck with you-"

Tenten squeezed the bottle and splashed Lee's green jumpsuit. "Stop embarrassing me. Alright, lets go."

Lee looked at his pants and gasped. "Tenten! Now it looks like I've..I've had an accident!" He could feel his face turn pink. "I can't go like thiiiiis!"

"Stop pouting mister. Let's go already. Now you're holding us back." Tenten threw the bottle into her bag and walked ahead of her teammate. "Don't embarrass me okay?" She mentioned, as she turned around to look at him. Without noticing, Tenten had accidentally bumped into someone.

"A-Ah…" The person awkwardly lost her balance and tumbled down.

"H-Hinata-chan!" Tenten gasped to herself and quickly picked the Hyuuga woman up by the arm. "I-I'm sorry!" she apologized.

Hinata shook her head and wiped some dirt away on her jacket. "Ahaha. Don't worry about it."

"Hinata-sama. What are you doing here?" asked Rock Lee, running up to the two kunoichis.

"O-oh. I'm working at the hospital again today. I'm actually on my break." Hinata explained. Hinata's eyes traveled down Lee's jumpsuit and she gave Tenten a baffled look. "W-What are you two up to …?"

Tenten hysterically laughed at Hinata's strange facial response to Lee's clothes. "Oh, I just poured water on him. He didn't have an …accident. Haha. Lee and I have been training since early early morning and we're going for breakfast right now."

"Oh. Neji's on a mission right now, isn't he, Hinata-sama? Why don't you come with us to lunch?" Lee invited, grinning.

"A-anou…I shouldn't intrude…"

"You're not. Its fine, isn't it Tenten?" Lee asked.

Tenten stared at Hinata, but answered shortly. "A-Ah. Of course its okay. Let's go Hinata." She smiled, grabbing the arm of the heiress and leading her in a direction.

"Its fun to eat out with people. Now lets go eat!" Lee followed. "B-But…let me get a change of clothes first." Hinata giggled slightly. She remembered how Neji would often complain about how immature his teammates were, however he would always have that content look on his face. She was sure Neji had fun.

The three arrived at restaurant and Lee hurried into the men's restrooms. "Order dumplings for me! I'll be back." He sheepishly grinned as he held onto a new change of clothes.

Tenten sighed at her teammate and sat down. "Ah, that Lee. He's so strange sometimes. I mean, its just water. Of course it'll dry."

"Perhaps he doesn't want people to assume the wrong conclusions about him." Hinata giggled, taking a seat across her friend.

Tenten shrugged and rested her chin on her wrist. Her eyes wandered towards Hinata and she bit her lip. She looks much happier now. "Hm. Hinata, do you miss Neji when he's not by your side?"

Hinata gasped slightly and fumbled with her fingers. "A-Ah…w-well…Neji and I h-have gotten closer …and…"

"Isn't Neji such a dork sometimes?" Tenten laughed, changing the subject. She mentally smacked herself for asking Hinata that question. It wasn't right of her to ask something so personal and regardless of that…Tenten wasn't sure she wanted to hear the answer.

The Hyuuga heiress awkwardly agreed. "Y-Yeah."

"I mean, I've been in his team for the longest of times, and I don't think he's ever had a good laugh. Sometimes, he just needs to loosen up. Don't you agree?"

Hinata smiled softly and chuckled at this. "I-Its true…but, when he does laugh, I can't help but draw comfort in that." she pushed her fingers against each other and turned a light pink. "His smile…is like snow. Its simple and the more he smiles, the more it falls into a pile. And before you know it, it blankets you and…well, it clears my head."

Tenten widened her eyes and looked away from Hinata. "H-hah…that's…very interesting…" She pushed herself up from her seat and walked towards the restroom. "I-I'm going to use it really quick." And with that the, she opened the door to the one roomed restroom and closed it quickly. Leaning against the door, Tenten looked towards the ground and sighed. Hinata is falling in love with him… She bit her lip and shut her eyes. She didn't want this to happen. She didn't want Hinata to like Neji. Tenten clenched her fists and dropped towards the floor, covering her face with her knees. I don't want to lose Neji.

Her mind began to wander to the first time she met the Hyuuga prodigy. It wasn't anything special really. The day was more than ordinary but still laid embedded in her mind.

She didn't fall in love at first. It started out just as…admiration.

Tenten never had many friends. In fact, she had no one. She was never interested in playing with dolls, nor was she interested in playing tag. The real object of her admiration were weapons. Shurikens, kunais, weapon scrolls; anything that could have been thrown or were dangerous. She didn't mind being alone either. Since childhood, she was used to this and it was never a big deal to her.

(flashback)

"Stop playing with your toys!" a young boy had shouted as he pushed Tenten's desk, causing her weapons to fall on the ground. "You never talk. What, you think you're better than us?"

Tenten didn't respond. Instead, she fell on her knees to pick up her fallen belongings.

The boy's friends came and surrounded the young girl. He leaned against the desk next to hers and stepped on her fingers. "Answer you freak!"

Tenten could feel a spurge of anger shoot up within her. Before she could push the boy's feet off, someone had already done it. She looked up to see a boy with long hair and pearly white eyes.

"You're on my desk, you moron." he pushed the boy once more and sat down. "Your voice is annoying."

"A-Ah…s-sorry Neji…w-we'll go now." the boy backed away and left the classroom with his friends.

Tenten sighed to herself and picked up all the weapons. Great… she though to herself. Another macho-macho boy. She got back up and sat down. Spreading her weapons across her desk, she admired them once more. Her favorite one was the silver shuriken to the right of her desk. It was given to her by her father before he died. He had traveled across nations to have a customly made shuriken.

"That's a nice piece of collection you have there." mumbled the boy next to her. "Especially that one to your right. It looks like it was made in the land of lightning."

Tenten raised her eye brow and turned to the boy. "How can you tell?"

He got up and picked up the shuriken. "In Konoha, we don't have this material. Ours are comprised of a different metal. This one is made of a special metal that you can only obtain in the land of Lightning because of their different environment. When you melt this metal to make it into a shuriken, its durability and speed equals ten times the normal shuriken. Of course, it's quite expensive to make this and most of the times, people wouldn't spend that much just to have it thrown at someone else. Its usually for collecting."

Tenten widened her eyes and quickly took back the shuriken. "Y-Yeah…my dad was really into weapons…and he gave me this."

"You're father is a genuine collector then." Neji smiled.

She remembered his smile back then. It was much different from now. He was innocent and lively then, when the world's corruption hadn't yet breached him.

But that wasn't the reason she called out to him.

The days since their first conversation had passed but Tenten never once forgot it. In class, she would secretly peek at what the young Hyuuga was doing. He always seemed to be doing something efficient and Tenten sighed to herself. He was a prodigy and she was the below average student who only cared about weapons. Something about him made her want to make him look at her. Tenten bit the tip of her pencil as she looked up at front of the classroom. She wanted to talk to him…just once more.

The boys in the class would still pick on her.

It was that late afternoon that changed everything. Tenten had stayed late that day so that she could practice throwing her weapons. If there was one thing she was proud of, she was proud of her accuracy. No one could beat her at this; not even Hyuuga Neji.

She never used the special shuriken to throw however. It was like the soul of her father was in it. Instead, she left it untouched, as if her father was there to guide her with it.

"Hey, look who we have here?"

Tenten turned around and gasped. It was the boys of her classroom again.

"That's a nice looking shuriken." the boy picked it up and examined it. "You don't mind if we take it, do you?"

"STOP IT!" she yelled, running towards him. She was sure to tackle him until the other boys pinned her down.

Grinning, the boy threw his tongue at her and dashed out of view. Tenten felt a sickening feeling in her stomach as the boys all laughed. She was disgusted at them. Extending her hand to the nearest thing she could get a hold of, Tenten wrapped her fingers around a pile of dirt and threw it at the boys' eyes. The boys let go of her and her legs raced after the bully.

She could catch up to him…she knew it.

The boy had just crossed the bridge towards the other side of town when he turned around to see Tenten following him.

"GIVE IT BACK!" she screamed, when she reached the other side of the bridge.

The boy panicked and looked around him. His legs were cramping up and he knew he would be caught. Just under them was the drifting waterway that eventually led to a river. He smirked and held the shurikens hostage in his fingers. "Come any closer and I drop them!" he threatened.

Tenten clenched her teeth and glared at the boy. "Give it back!"

"This is a stupid shuriken anyways. I don't need crap like this." He cocked his head to the side and smiled at Tenten. She knew what was coming.

"NO!" her voice shaked as she tackled him. But it was already too late. He had let go of the shurikens and they were lost in the water now. Tenten could feel the tears well up inside of her. Her precious shurikens…were gone.

The boy pushed himself up and stepped on her fingers. "Don't touch me ever again." And with that, he left her by herself. Night was approaching but Tenten couldn't bring herself to get up.

It was gone… she thought to herself. Her father's last gift to her…was gone.

Tenten shook her head in disbelief and peered into the waterway below her. She couldn't give up that easily. If she did, it would be as if she was letting her father down. Tenten climbed the edge of the bridge and closed her eyes. She had to do it. It was at that moment that she jumped into the water with a splash. It was freezing cold but that didn't matter to her. She would find it, even if her body froze to death.

The next day, Tenten hadn't came to school. However, no one seemed to care about the missing girl.

"Tenten's mother called in to tell us that Tenten is sick." The teacher pressed her fingers against her lips. "Hyuuga-san. Would you drop off her assignment at her house?"

Neji nodded and put the homework assignment in his bag. "Hai."

Her house was in a small quiet neighborhood. When Neji rang the doorbell, no one answered. Turning the knob, he found that the door was never locked. "Tenten-san?" he called out.

Neji closed the door behind him and squinted his eyes. It was awful dark in the house. "Are you in here?" he continued down the hall and looked around. Ahead of him was an open door. Perhaps she was in there.

"H-Hyuuga-kun…"

Neji went inside the room to find Tenten on a bed. "You weren't here today. The teacher asked me to bring your assignment for you."

Tenten could feel her face burn up. She wasn't sure if it was because of her fever or because Neji himself was in her room. "A-arigatou…" She pushed herself up to sit but fell back down.

"Its okay. Just lay down." He sat on the side of her bed and sighed. "Are you always alone in the house?"

"Kaa-san is always working at the market." she shifted her body to the side. "And chichue is gone."

"Ooh. I see. You should take care of yourself then. I'm sure your mother is worried about you."

Tenten shrugged and coughed to herself.

Neji examined the room and saw all the weapons laid carefully on her desk. "You have even more in your house. But the one the other day is missing. Did you lose it?"

"They threw it in the water." Tenten mumbled. She tightly held the blanket around her. "I-I thought I could get it back…but its gone."

The Hyuuga turned to look at her. She was trying hard not to cry.

"Chichue gave it to me just before he was killed. H-He loved weapons and always talked about them. When he d-died…I thought if I kept his ambitions alive…I-I would stop feeling..so a-alone…" She let the tears drip down her cheeks this time. Tenten wasn't sure why she kept spouting out this nonsense to Neji. He could care less, she was sure. "But I failed. I'm nothing b-but a…careless stupid girl! I lost it…and tried to find it but its gone." Her voice was shakey now and Tenten was terribly embarrassed. "I-I spent all night looking for it under the bridge…but it probably drifted into the river b-by now…"

Neji got up and cleared his throat. "I should get going. Get some rest, Tenten-san. Please get better so you can come to school tomorrow okay?"

Tenten didn't turn to look at the boy. He thinks…I'm stupid now. She continued crying and covered her head with the blanket. Now I can never talk to him again.

The next morning was agonizing. Tenten's fever had gone away and she was slowly recovering. Her mother forced her to go back to school and Tenten dreaded the whole day. When she arrived at school, she saw the boy who had thrown her shurikens into the water but she looked away. All she wanted to do was avoid him, even if he would threaten her. However, he had seemed to be avoiding her too.

Tenten forced her legs into the classroom and sat down on her same old desk. She rested her head against it and sighed. Back to this terrible place.

"Look inside your desk."

Tenten shot up and saw Neji. He smiled at her and pointed at her desk. She raised an eyebrow and ran her fingers inside to find a box. When she took it out, she gave a puzzled look to the prodigy. He simply grinned. Slowly opening it, Tenten gasped. In perfect condition were the shurikens. "H-How?"

"I had some free time…so." Neji looked up to the ceiling. "How should I say it? I guess I found them under the bridge."

Tenten covered her eyes with her arm. "Y-You…actually…"

"And don't worry about those boys. They won't bother you anymore. I'm sure of it." Neji sat on his desk and sneezed. "A-ah…"

She was sure he was a hundred percent crazy by now. That boy who sat next to her, acted macho and tried to be like a gentlemen. Honestly, gentlemen in this time of era? She hiccupped as the tears streamed down her face. "N-Now you're sick…" she chuckled.

The prodigy laughed and sneezed once more. "Haha. That's alright."

That was the day Tenten fell in love with his laugh; his gentle, sweet, kind laugh.

"His smile…is like snow. Its simple and the more he smiles, the more it falls into a pile. And before you know it, it blankets you and…well, it clears my head."

Tenten snapped out of her reminiscing. She sighed to herself. She really should be going back to the table with Hinata and Lee. Pushing her legs up, Tenten splashed her face with water and forced a smile.

After that, Neji went through a sort of berserk moment of his life. When his father died, he never smiled like that again. But when I got put into the same team, I was still extremely happy.

She opened the door to the restroom and took a breath of air.

I wanted to be the one to put a smile on his face. But he let go of his innocence and all he could talk about was how he hated the Hyuugas…and Hinata-chan.

"Were you doing a number two, Tenten?" Lee asked.

"What the hell are you wearing!?" Tenten yelled, smacking the man with the palm of hand. Lee was wearing a red Hawaiian shirt with short beige shorts.

"Its my summer attire!" He whined.

When we became a team, we had great memories. But you were suffering all alone, weren't you Neji? Tenten sat back down and grunted. "I told you not to embarrass me. Hinata, isn't he embarrassing?"

Hinata giggled and shook her head. "I think its adorable."

But this girl changed you. You started to smile like you did once more. "I'll have soba!" Tenten excitingly called out. Now you continue to laugh and smile with no regrets, just like you allowed me to do.

"I'll have that too." Hinata grinned.

I wonder if you remember me crying so childishly that day. I guess that was when it happened…

"Where's the waiter anyways?" Tenten asked, looking around. "WAITERR!"

"Now you're embarrassing us. Tenten, stop it!" Lee whispered, trying to cover her mouth.

Tenten laughed and got up. "We're starvinggg! Waiter, waiter!"

When you changed my life.

Because in a world of a hundred million people, you came and noticed me.

I'm in love with you, Hyuuga Neji.

author: heeey readers! it has been quite a long time. haha. well this chapter was basically about how tenten felt about neji. I hope you guys liked this chapter. please review and tell me how you guys felt about it! hehe. thankkyou.