Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto in any way.
When Heaven Falls
Summary: 'Ten.' It means 'heaven.' 'Tenten.' They say too much of a good thing is bad for you. So what happens when Heaven tires of 'right', and decides to walk down another path?
Setting: Directly after the rescuing Gaara from the Akatsuki arc.
She had decided she had enough. It was too much of a sleepy village. A village of fools, surrounded by a perfect bubble of happiness. For sixteen years she'd lived in it. It disgusted her how she could last this long. It was time to leave. To quench her thirst with that darker yearning her mind sought. She didn't know what it was, and that was why she had to leave. To taste the life, the true life, that existed beyond this pathetic place. That night, she packed her clothes, weapons, scrolls, and discreetly fled the unsuspecting village. It was her last moment of innocence.
She thought she was sage, home-free. She was miles away. She chose a spot and decided it was a good place to rest for a few minutes. After she'd caught her breath, she resumed her journey, only to encounter him. She didn't know who he was then. In fact, she could barely see his forehead protector, his hitai-ate. Faintly, she made out a piece of a swirl. A Konoha nin. That, and the three-wheeled sharingan that declared him an Uchiha was enough for her to mind to register him as an enemy.
Without hesitation, she drew two fistfuls of shuriken and barreled them at him, an without waiting for a reaction, followed it up with a line of kunai. She swore and cursed the sharingan when he evaded the attacks with ease. It was too dark, and she couldn't read his expression, but she was sure he was mocking her. Determined not to be mocked, she flipped back and measured her distance, then immersed herself in a scroll. Hiding her movements from the sharingan, she began assaulting the Uchiha with various weapons. Kunai, shuriken, sickle and chain. They all rained down with random precision. She smirked in satisfaction when a kunai managed to pierce his shoulder. From what she could make of his form, he seemed shocked, as if he wasn't expecting to be hit. Arrogant bastard. She would have stayed to finish the fight, but remembered she was still within Konoha's border. Instead, she took advantage of the moment and fled, not noticing the stranger staring after her.
Finally, she was at the river. The border between Konoha and Oto. She stared at her reflection. An innocent-looking young woman of sixteen gazed back. She had two brown buns wrapped at the top of her head, bangs brushed back by a hitai-ate, and wore a Chinese-style pink shirt. Her eyes narrowed and hardened, destroying the image of innocence. She stomped on the reflection and walked across the river. She was on the other side. A full-fledged missing-nin. Then, she immediately proceeded to cast off her garments and pull her hair free of those stupid buns. Out of her pack, she pulled out and donned a completely different wardrobe. She quickly pulled on tight black capris and a black skirt with a side slit to accommodate her kunai holster. In place of her old pink shirt, she wore a black sleeveless turtleneck, then slipped into a pair of black boots. She pulled her hair into a high ponytail and looked at her reflection again.
'Goodbye, Konoha. . .Goodbye, Tenten.'
Hastily, she gathered her discarded clothes into a bundle and lit them on fire. She waited for them to burn, staring as they blackened and crumpled onto one another. When they had all turned to ashes, she slowly untied her forehead protector from its place. She looked at it one more time, then made to throw it into the diminishing flames, when a voice stopped her.
She spun around to meet the one who stopped her. It was him. She could see him clearly now, face illuminated by the fire. The sharingan eyes. The ebony tresses of hair tied in a low ponytail and framing his face. The black cloak with red clouds. And most importantly, the hitai-ate, with the mark that declared him a missing-nin. Just like her.
"And why not?" She retorted defiantly. She wasn't about to take orders from some stranger. Heatedly, she glared at his impassive face and made to throw it in the fire again. From nowhere, he caught her arm. She blinked and was unable to stifle a gasp of surprise. How had he moved so quickly? She tried to break away from his grip, but he was too strong. Instead, she resorted to just glaring at him. "Let me go," she demanded.
He glanced at her emotionlessly, then moved his head closer. She tensed at the movement. He opened his lips and spoke. "I could kill you right now." His tone was cold, ruthless. The feel of cold steel pricking at her neck sent shivers running down her spine. Then, he moved back and pressed his kunai into her free hand, maneuvered it over her hitai-ate, and let go. The action confused her. "Mark it," he ordered, as if reading her unasked questions.
"Why?" she demanded. "Why are you here?"
He gazed at her indifferently. She thought he wouldn't answer but- "It's been awhile since anyone has managed to injure me." He looked her in the eye. "I believe, you have much untapped potential." He threw an object at her. She caught it and found it was a ring. She looked at him, expecting an explanation. "It used to belong to Sasori, a late member of our organization, the Akatsuki. Hide it, and grow stronger. Then come to us when you're ready." She blinked and he was gone.
'Akatsuki, huh?' She stared at the ring. His offer was tempting her. It might be just what she was looking for, and she had no clear cut path of what she was going to do. With a quick decision, She took the kunai and slashed her hitai-ate, then tied it around her neck. The swirl was cut in half. Her ties as a kunoichi to Konoha were gone forever.
A figure discreetly made its way through various traps. It wore a black cloak, lined with pink trimmings. At a clearing, it saw its prey. "Uchiha Sasuke."
The mentioned was alerted by the sound and threw his kunai at the figure. It flitted away and appeared before him. He was it was a 'she.' In fact, a strangely familiar 'she.' He demanded her name and purpose.
"I'm known as Black Dragon," she replied. "But you may remember me as Tenten. As for my purpose. . ." she pulled off her cloak and unsheathed a katana at her waist. "I want a spar. A sword fight against one of the two remaining Uchiha."
It had been three years since her departure from Konoha and encounter with the Uchiha Itachi. Traveling from town to town, she quickly learned the hang-outs of the other rogue ninja and popular taverns for gathering information. During her first few months of freedom, she soaked up all the gossip she could about anything in particular.
It was in this fashion that she learned all about the history of the Uchiha clan, and the organization 'Akatsuki.' She felt fearful, yet honored with being regarded so highly by someone ranked 'S-class.' On her first night as an ukenin, nonetheless. It was also those few months hopping from one location to the next, on the outskirts of Fire country that she realized her status as a C-class missing nin. C-class. To think that Konoha regarded her so lightly. She remembered being highly offended. Ever since, she restlessly trained and took on missions as a mercenary, establishing the reputation of her second persona, the Black Dragon. It was a nickname given to her by the other ukenin for her knack of successfully completing every mission at night. She was now a high B-ranked missing nin in the bingo book, while 'Tenten' was forgotten. Seeing this, she decided it was time to test herself against a sharingan user, to see if she was ready to confront the Akatsuki.
Sasuke narrowed his eyes. "Very well then. I agree, since you managed to find me and get past those traps undetected." He drew Kusanagi. "But I assure you, you won't win."
She smirked at his overconfidence and made to attack him. He blocked. They parried blow for blow, but it seemed she had the upper hand. He cursed when she managed to slice his arm and immediately activated sharingan, deciding he'd begin to take her more seriously. Although her face remained indifferent, she smiled inwardly. The main reason in challenging him was to see the sharingan in action so she could develop a unique style to combat it's advantages. She pretended to attack and defend as if she were trying her hardest while analyzing the movements of his eyes and his reactions. When she'd gathered enough information, she allowed him to strike her blade away, as if he had won.
She bowed numbly, to avoid his suspicion, and bit her lip to suppress a smirk at his ignorance. "Of course. I thank you for the spar Uchiha-san." With that, she disappeared in a puff of smoke to create another fighting style with her weapons.
Five years passed since that day. She trained mercilessly through the span of that time, effectively mastering every weapon and technique that had to do with them. By then, she had furthered her name and reputation. An A-ranked criminal, her title was also elevated to Naraku no Kuroryuu, Black Dragon of Hell. Still, no one realized that she was the girl, now woman once known as Tenten. It seemed to Konoha, she had vanished without a trace. In her stead was the merciless Black Dragon who suddenly appeared as an ex-Konoha nin and rose high among the ranks of the bingo book in every shinobi country.
Her reputation, it was flawless. Her aim impeccable. She was known to accept any and all assassination requests and carry them out in under a week, making her a desirable client to the underground. Yet, despite her fame, she was untraceable. It seemed, in-between missions, she just vanished. Then one day, the Black Dragon of Hell just disappeared altogether. A year later, pinned by senbon on its front gates, Konoha found its own defected Uchiha, half-dead and draped in a cloth carrying the symbol of the Black Dragon.
She walked nonchalantly toward a rocky mountainside, as if she hadn't a care in the world. In her hand was a gold ring, once belonging to Akasuna no Sasori, given to her nine years prior by Uchiha Itachi. He had told her to grow stronger, then seek them. The former was complete. Now, with the help of her 'connections,' she was about to achieve the latter. Her grip on the ring tightened as a strange plant-man emerged from the ground. From her information, she knew the man was Zetsu, a member of the Akatsuki. Her other hand, hidden under her signature black and pink-hemmed cloak rested warily on the hilt of her katana at her side.
"What is your business here?" he demanded.
"I'm here to join your organization," her voice pierced.
His eyes showed disapproval. "We do not just let anyone join. I don't know how you managed to find out hideout, but now you must die."
She smirked and pulled out the gold ring of the Akatsuki. "I'm not just anyone. I know all about this organization. Go tell you leader that the Black Dragon requests his presence."
"The Black Dragon, huh? And you have a ring. Interesting. Interesting, indeed," Zetsu began to disappear into the earth. "Wait here."
After a while, a piece of the mountain gave way to make an entrance. Her eyes fell on two recognizable figures. Hoshigake Kisame, who she had faced with her former team in Sand country prior to her defection, and Uchiha Itachi. She noticed a look of satisfaction in his eyes. . .if that was possible.
"So, you're the kunoichi, huh?" Kisame eyes her critically. "I don't know what's under the cloak, but you seem too scrawny to have such a reputation. I was expecting someone buff, like me! Follow us," He turned, chuckling at his own 'joke' and began leading her along the passageways.
Soon enough, she found herself face to face with the leader of the Akatsuki, though that didn't really mean much, since he was enshrouded by shadows.
"So, Zetsu tells me you have our tenth ring and want to join us," his voice was deep and masculine. "Tell me, why should we even consider you? A kunoichi with an A-ranked status. Our Akatsuki only accepts S-class criminals. How did you manage to come upon the ring anyway?"
She answered immediately, showing not fear of hesitation. To do so would mean weakness. "The ring was given to me nine years ago, on the day of my defection from Konoha, by none other that your own Uchiha Itachi," she paused when a few of the eight members hissed angrily.
The leader called for silence. "Is there a reason for your actions Itachi?"
He remained emotionless. "I saw potential."
The leader scoffed. "This kunoichi is insignificant. She doesn't suit our purpose."
"If I may interrupt," she began, "I haven't stated why I should be initiated." She continued at the leader's gesture. "Your goal is to capture the nine biju. Among them, is the most powerful, the Kyuubi, sealed inside the jinchuuriki called Naruto. For the last decade or so, you have been unsuccessfully trying to capture him." Her eyes gleamed darkly. "I can capture him for you, in less that a week."
"And how, may I ask, can you do in a week, what eight S-class criminals could not accomplish in years?" the leader asked dryly.
She smiled. "Unlike the rest of you, I have an old acquaintance with Naruto. I believe, it can be used to my advantage."
"Very well, you have my interest. It will be your initiation test. I will judge you by how well you succeed. Itachi, since you see so much potential in this one, you and Kisame will be in charge of bringing the jinchuuriki here once he is. . .captured. . .if he is captured. Well then, Miss Black Dragon, your initiation begins now. You are all dismissed!"
Grinning, she made her way out of the hideout and sprinted toward Konoha alongside of Itachi and Kisame.
Thud. A snore that sounded from the apartment was cut short. She grimaced and picked another pebble to throw at the window. It had taken three days to travel there. Itachi and Kisame were awaiting her a mile from Konoha. Now all she had to do was to get the vessel of Kyuubi to notice her. Crack. That had to have gotten his attention.
Sensing his movement, she quickly checked her appearance. She had abandoned her cloak and instead, wore clothes similar to those she had before she left Konoha–the pink, Chinese style shirt and baggy, dark blue pants. Her hair was tied back up into her two buns. He should recognize her for sure. Her attention snapped up as he rolled up the window.
"Hey, who did that?" he questioned loudly.
"Naruto!" she whispered. "Shh! It's me! Tenten." She noticed his eyes narrow. It might take a bit more convincing than she previously thought.
"You." He jumped down, still in the black shirt and shorts he had been sleeping in. "You're the one who beat Sasuke."
She looked down, shyly fidgeting. "Th-that's what I wanted to talk to you about. Li-listen, can we go somewhere to talk. . .in private?"
"Huh?" he looked at her quizzically. "What'ya mean? You've been gone for nine years, then suddenly, you beat the crap out of Sasuke and we find out you're this 'Black Dragon' that has almost everyone talking about. Why should I trust you?"
"Be-because, everything I did was for you!" she burst. Then, as if realizing what she'd done, clasped her hand over her mouth. "I-I mean. . .please Naruto-. . .kun. Can we please talk somewhere in private?" she pleaded distressingly.
"Oh, alright," he gave in, confused at the display of emotion that just occurred from the older girl. After they made their way to the top of the high fence that surrounded Konoha, he turned to her. "Explain."
"Well, you see," she began timidly. "It started when I saw you beat Neji in the third round of the chuunin exam that year. All the things you said, and how you wouldn't give up. . it was. . .it was so inspiring. I-I guess I began to have a . . .crush on you." Her cheeks pinked convincingly, as if she was embarrassed of the confession, though it was too dark to tell. "When Sasuke left, you looked so down and broken, that, I thought. . .I thought if I could get him back for you, maybe you'd notice me. . ." she trailed.
Naruto was dumbstruck. "I didn't know. Well, I guess I am pretty amazing," he grinned. "But. . .that's no excuse for leaving Konoha! You could have still gotten him back if you wanted without leaving the village!"
"I-I know. I shouldn't have, but I was confused. I wasn't thinking right." Her eyes teared up. "Naruto-kun! Please forgive me! I need your help. Do you think you could explain this to Tsunade-sama and help me return to Konoha?"
Naruto fidgeted uncomfortably for a moment. "Well. I guess so. But just so you know. I'm going out with Hinata-chan. Sorry. I guess I'll just help you because you didn't know any better at the time."
"Oh! Naruto-kun!" She flung herself on him in a hug. "Thank you! Thank you!"
"Whoa! It's nothing! Really!" He smiled.
"Naruto!" she exclaimed softly before she pressed a pressure point at the back of his neck. His eyes widened, but it was too late to react. "You're so naive." When he passed out, she swung him on her back and made her way to the meeting point. After arriving, she handed Naruto over to Itachi and Kisame, and the three immediately made their way to the hideout. If all went well, they would arrive a day under the deadline she had given herself.
They stopped for a short rest only once a day to save time. It was almost dawn on the fourth day. While Kisame and Itachi kept watch on Naruto, she went off on her own to change. She couldn't stand wearing her old outfit again. It reminded her of how disgustingly innocent and naive she once was as a sixteen year-old teenager. She was different now. She felt darker–and she wanted to cut off all ties to her past. It was something that would only weaken her strength and undermine her power. When she finished, she bundled up her old clothes and pushed them into a pack. She turned and spotted Itachi.
"What are you doing here?" she scoffed as she walked past him. "Shouldn't you be helping fish-head with the Kyuubi? He's your charge now."
He stopped her by grasping her arm and whirling her around to face him. "We're leaving." Then, he let go and walked off.
Her eyes flashed angrily and she growled at him. "We just stopped, Uchiha. If you-" A volley of shuriken cut her words short. She blocked them and turned to face the intruder, as did Itachi. She gasped. Even after nine years of separation, there was no mistaking it. His form was leaner, more muscular, but it was definitely- "Neji."
She saw confusion past through his eyes. He didn't remember her? A hint of anger welled up inside her, but quickly passed when he whispered, as if unsure of himself. "Tenten?" A slight nod of her head seemed to break the dam that held back his reactions.
"Where have you been?" he demanded. "Why did you leave? And Uchiha, who you nailed to the gates. The Black Dragon. . ." he trailed off, getting hold of himself. "Why?"
She looked at him apologetically. She couldn't give him the answer she knew he wanted. "I wanted to."
"Nine years, Tenten. It's been nine years. You disappear without a trace and then suddenly we find out you're this Kuroryuu that defeated Uchiha Sasuke. All you have to say for yourself is 'I wanted to'?" It was difficult for her to separate his emotions. It seemed to be a mix of anger, relief, and something else. Then, desperation seemed to settle on him. "Come back, Tenten. Gai-sensei and Lee are still waiting. They believe in you. They never doubted your cause."
"Do you have any idea how pitiful you sound?" She couldn't hide her surprise when two hands grasped her shoulders and drew her backwards into a muscular chest. There was a possessiveness in it. "She's part of Akatsuki now. She's ours." Itachi let go and left, thinking the Hyuuga would not be much of a challenge.
For the first time in years, she felt fear. It was irrational.
"Tenten." Neji's voice was filled with uncertainty.
She snapped at him. "Don't call me that." It was too innocent. It sounded even more so. And innocent was something she was not. She had willingly begun stripping herself of it the day she left her village.
"Why not?" he demanded, becoming angry. "It's your name. It's who you are."
She, too, became heated. "How do you know who I am? Who are you to know? You're nothing to me!" It felt odd to see his expression twisted with hurt.
"Nothing? You can't possibly feel that way after being together for ten years! Tenten-I. Come back to Konoha. It's not just Gai-sensei and Lee. I need you back too. I-I love you!" he blurted out desperately. Her heart pummeled like a stone in a well, but all she showed was a raised eyebrow. "I've been waiting for you-" She wished he would shut up. "-for nine years!" She didn't like him that way. "Tenten-" Couldn't he see that he was nothing more that a teammate, a comrade? "-please-" She saw nothing in him. The only reason she helped him train in the past was pity. "-come back to us-" Didn't he understand?
"Neji." Her voice pierced his, halting him. It was time to sever the rest of her ties. . .for good. She smile lightly. "I don't feel the same way." She turned and followed Itachi's trail, not noticing the crushed expression etched on his face.
The leader was not amused with Itachi and Kisame at the moment. As it had turned out, Neji was only one member of the group sent to retrieve Naruto. His task was to stall them while the others overwhelmed Kisame, and stall he had, albeit not in a very professional manner. It had been a retrieve-and-run mission. They fell for it completely. By the time she arrived at the scene, the old Kurenai reconnaissance team and infamous Ino-Shika-Cho had already dealt their damage and were gone. She wasn't that upset though. She had completed her mission and passed with flying colors. The leader was very pleased with her. It was the Uchiha and fish-head that had failed theirs. She watched unflinchingly in her new Akatsuki cloak as the two were punished.
Eight years had come and gone. The Akatsuki had long since been disbanded after a furious Orochimaru killed the leader upon learning the one who took his vessel away was there. She had barely escaped with her life. Since the Akatsuki's fall, it was just the two of them–herself and Itachi. The others simply hired themselves out as mercenaries or disappeared, causing mischief from the shadows. It had been longer still since she had given herself to him. But it was not to be mistaken for love. Lust and possession would be more accurate. She was his toy. She had been bored, with nothing better to do than to follow him around. Like a pet cat, she had the ability to leave at anytime, yet did not. Eventually, some strange catalyst sparked forgotten emotions. One thing led to another, and now, the two were inseparable. Their ties weren't loyalty or commitment, but silent respect.
In the bingo books, which she obsessively collected, noted somewhere under 'S-class nuke-nin from Konoha,' and 'extent of skills unknown,' was 'often seen in companionship with Uchiha Itachi.' The same note was made on his page. Speaking of which, the book had updated information on her. She wondered where or how they had gotten a current image of her. It felt strange looking at the middle-aged woman. She looked so different. So worn from this life.
She shook her head and began thinking of more important matters. A hand clutched her stomach. In it lay a child. She had been pregnant for five months, and still hadn't broken the news to him. She supposed she feared his reaction. It was pure luck that the child was small and hadn't yet made much show. But still, he was suspicious. She was wearing baggy clothes under her cloak, instead of her usual, body-clinging ones, and had refused to let him so much as lay a finger on her. It wouldn't be long before he confronted her, and she didn't know why, but she feared he would find a way to kill the child. To make matters worst, she would soon become a liability to him.
"Kuroryuu." She shifted her gaze to the man sitting against the tree trunk beside her's. "Company."
She mentally scolded herself. To get lost in one's thoughts to the extent of not noticing the surroundings could mean death in the life she had chosen. She slowly rose and slipped a few kunai into her right hand. After a quick calculation, she threw them into the treetops, only to have them deflected. From above, three shinobi wearing white masks dropped, and by the unnatural rustling, there were a few more. The designs identified them as hunter-nin. Two immediately charged at her with their katana while the other headed for Itachi. She blocked them with her own katana, but the impact created a sharp jerk to her stomach. She let out a cry of pain. The two took advantage of it and soon, she was on the defensive, crippled by the new life within her.
Itachi, sensing the abnormalcy, finished his opponent quickly and began to assist her. Abdomen cringing with pain she'd never felt before, she crumpled heavily on the forest floor as he dealt with the rest of the hunters. When the work was done, he gathered her in his arms, a minute hint of worry in his sharingan eyes at the sight of her face contorted with pain and gasps for breath.
"D-don't ask. . .Take me. . .to a female medic-nin," was all she managed to say.
He was confused, but did as she said, taking her to one of the few medics they trusted, located nearby. When they arrived, she whispered her predicament to the medic, who promptly pushed him out the small cabin and warned him not to enter. She suggested he circle the forest for intruders a bit. When he was out of hearing distance, she turned to her patient and began a check-up.
"All that constant fighting wasn't healthy for it. I'm afraid it's going to be out early. It's already-" she was cut off.
"I don't care about the details, just save it! That's what you're for!" She was angry, in pain, and at her limit.
The medic immediately began the procedures.
Her forehead glistened with sweat and her eyes stung with tears. She forced herself into a sitting position, despite her body's complaints. Her eyes gazed to the medic-nin expectantly. "Well." Even in her weakened state it was intimidating. There weren't Itachi's soulless pits that screamed of perpetual torture, but had the same effect.
The medic-nin held the immobile bundle for her to see. Her hands trembled fearfully. "I'm afraid, it was too early."
She accepted the bundle and looked at it numbly. It barely resembled a human being. Fragile. Lifeless. Staring at it for what seemed like eternity, something in her snapped. She began to scream wildly from pain and somewhere deep within her as she pressed the dysfunctional creature into her bosom. Her free hand snatched a kunai and stabbed the unsuspecting medic. She kept screaming and sobbing as blood splattered across her half-nude form. The kunai took out her sorrow and shredded the woman to pieces.
She didn't stop when the door was kicked open, revealing Itachi. He grabbed her hand and forced the kunai away. Then he pulled at the bundle, and seeing the deformed thing, understood the situation. In her weakened, crazed state, she was unable to resist, and instead wept into his chest. She felt him carry her and wrap something around. Then, he took her away from the cabin with the two lifeless bodies.
A month passed, and she still wasn't the same. Her body held an air of defeat and vulnerability. She continued to follow Itachi, who, not knowing how, had been unable to comfort her during the episode. But something inside her clicked that day. She realized how tired she was of running, of living this life of constant fighting. Seventeen years and she was still in complete. Yet , she was tired of searching. It was time for her to give up. An so, she once again began to make her move after years of aimless wandering and following.
"Itachi," she said after she had his attention. "Let's stay at a hotel tonight."
He nodded. After her outburst, he had been more keen on following her suggestions. Perhaps it was to get her back to normal. Currently, they were in Tea Country, so they lodged at a fairly large inn on the outskirts of a town, a familiar destination for fellow missing-nin in search of a clean place to spend the night.
All eyes inside discretely followed them as they entered and requested a room. It was quite a hassle being 'famous' sometimes. While Itachi ignored them, she glared back from the corners of her eyes and forced them to look away.
The room was plain and standard. It contained two beds with a side desk juxtaposed in-between them. In another corner was a slightly larger table with two chairs and a couple bowls of steaming miso ramen they had ordered. She casually took out a pair of pure silver hair pins and dipped one in each bowl to check for poison. Itachi ignored the gesture, used to it after years with her. Apparently satisfied with the results, she began fishing strands of noodle out and devouring them. He soon joined her, eating in silence. They called for room service to remove the bowls after they had finished, then retired to their respective beds.
She lay on the mattress, quietly ticking off the minutes with her fingers while pretending to sleep. Twenty minutes. Thirty. An hour. She smiled coldly as she noticed his breathing slow down, and mentally congratulated herself for always thinking ahead. Although he didn't completely trust her, he recognized her routine of checking their food for poison as a harmless act. What he didn't realize, was that their insides were hollow, and could be filled with a tube of liquified poison that could inject itself outwards–exactly what she had just done. The poison was slow to take affect so that the victim wouldn't realize what had happened until it was too late. It worked even better when used before sleep so the effects wouldn't be noticeable. Two hours. It was time.
"Itachi?" No response. She raised her voice a bit more. "Itachi?" Still no response. She, a little too gleefully, rose from the bed and walked over to him, tapping him on the shoulder, then rolling him face up. Still nothing. Satisfied with the results, she began to speed through the next steps.
Within the next ten minutes, a body was decapitated, it's head stuffed into a bag, and a blanket thrown over it. She took the bag and hastily slipped out the window, making her way out of Tea Country before havoc rose with dawn. It was time to take up an old offer, long overdue.
Tenten allowed a small smile to grace her lips as she followed Neji to the Hyuuga compound. The idiots had fallen for her story. Even Tsunade. She couldn't believe she had once looked up to her.
After fleeing from Tea Country, she had immediately made her way to Konoha. The guards had been unable to detect her as she slipped through the gates and into the Hokage tower. It was there she gave her the head of the last Uchiha traitor and re-wove her practice story. How she had taken it upon herself to gain strength and trust so she could bring both Uchiha back to where they belonged. A private mission for the good of Konoha, and now that her task was complete, she was back. She spent a few days in isolation as they interrogated her. She had continued to fabricate the details of her story, twisting it here and there. When they deemed her 'safe,' Neji was already waiting for her.
She smirked inwardly. When it came to her, Neji was as simple minded as Lee. He welcomed her back with a light grin and eagerly invited her to stay at the Hyuuga complex until she settled down. She agreed, with the silent intention of settling down right there with him. It wasn't that she had changed her mind about him. She was weary and had nowhere else to go. She doubted he'd moved on, and figured she could spend the rest of her days in peace. Once again in the bubble of safety.
When they entered the compound, she could feel silent glares thrown at her back. She was used to challenging them, but remembered her current predicament and held her own glare back. Instead, she continued to follow Neji about the twists and turns.
"Neji. Are you sure this is alright?" she asked, feigning timidness.
"Hn." She grinned at his classic answer. 'Things are already back to normal with him. Too easy.' She felt free, like a burden had been lifted from her shoulders. She was 'home' now and didn't have to constantly watch her back. After years, she could finally let her guard down without fear.
"Tenten?" He stopped outside his door and turned to face her.
"Huh?" she took a step closer to him. "What is it?"
He paused, as if contemplating his next words, then distressingly moved to the other side of her, so she was positioned between himself and his room.
She thought nothing of it. He was probably just trying to find a way to express his love, she thought sarcastically. But the thought was cut short when he whirled around and aimed a kunai at her heart. It was the last thing she expected. Her guard down, she was only able to jump back and avoid it hitting her vital points. Her back pressed against the door as she looked for a way to escape when the door slip open and someone disabled her. She gasped in surprise. What were they doing? "Why?" she looked at Neji as he took advantage of her lapse and slammed a kunai into her heart. The same word that came from him years before.
"You didn't think we actually believed you, did you?" he asked coldly. "The testing and everything else, it was only to make it look real. Tsunade-sama never planned on letting you live." He paused as she slowly bled to death. "You didn't think we'd welcome you back with open arms, did you? We've moved on." The figure behind her moved around and positioned herself next to Neji. A Hyuuga. "I'm married, Kuroryuu. I have children."
Something seemed to dawn on her. He didn't call her Tenten anymore. She began to laugh bitterly as she slid to the floor in her own pile of blood, irony being thrown in her face as she accepted her fate. She had been betrayed by the same ones she turned her back on. She left disappointed with their softness, then came back, expecting to be showered in the very thing she rejected. She continued to laugh, surrounded by the Hyuuga. The last thing she ever saw was his face, filled with coldness and disappointment.
A/N: Wow, I bet a lot of you are just about wanting to kill me right now because I killed Itachi and Tenten, them married off Neji to a Hyuuga. Well, before you do, let me list my reasons/rationality for this kind of morbid piece of fiction:
1). We all (most of us anyway) agree that Tenten does not get enough spotlight in the manga. We only see a few panels of her already defeated. Joy. However, this lack of characterization allows us to use her in many aspects because we have no idea what she'd supposed to be like. Yet, even in fanfiction she's denied variety. Although I am a big supporter of NejiTen, it's tiring seeing it over and over again with the same plot: A problem happens between them, she gets angry, she leaves, they meet again, they resolve their issue, they live happily ever after. Come on people, is fate so against her that way? Well, if you agree with me, then I can refer you to Behind My Mask by Placebo Paradox, which is a great morbid fic.
2). Another reason for this one-shot is that minor characters never seem to go 'bad.' We have all these fics of Naruto and Sakura turning 'dark,' and joining the Akatsuki, etc., but minor characters like Shino, Shikamaru, Kiba, Lee, Tenten, etc. are always fated to staying in Konoha and defending a noble cause. I'm hoping more people will finally start taking consideration and incorporating other characters into their fiction.
3). Does anyone notice that Sakura is paired with practically every guy out there in the Naruto universe? I don't have a problem with her or anything, but it gets really annoying. Tenten is almost always stuck with Neji. Hinata is trapped with Naruto, with occasionally Kiba, Shino and Gaara. Ino has only Shikamaru and once in a while another guy. Temari is glued to Shikamaru and occasionally Naruto. Forgive me if I missed another female. Yet Sakura is paired with everyone imaginable–the good, the bad, it doesn't matter. Come on people! When variety is wanted, I think it means variety on both sides!
Okay, those are my three reasons. And if you've been at my author profile, you'll know this ideas been swimming in my head for quite a while. Also, if you are interested and are still reading this ('cuz I know half of you have gotten bored and scrammed in the middle of the Author note) I have two side stories for this fiction: Gold Equates to Heaven, which is in Neji's point of view and From Hell to Heaven to Hell Again, in Itachi's. The former will be out pretty soon. I'm hoping to get the latter out within the week. Well, that's about it. Now that you've finished reading, please make me happy and REVIEW!