Disclaimer: Boring. Standard ones, please.
A/N: Thankies for the reviews for the last chapter! I'm glad (smiles)! Here's chapter eight, please enjoy!
Chapter Eight: Disloyalty
"Hyuuga." Uchiha Sasuke acknowledged coldly, his tone flat as his grip on Tenten's fingers tightened.
The kunoichi almost flinch in surprise but her eyes betrayed no emotions as she smiled weakly at Hyuuga Neji and Haruno Sakura, who popped out beside the prodigy so suddenly that she almost yelps out of surprise.
"Uchiha." Neji retorted back equally, his voice evenly cold as his gaze shifted to Tenten.
Okay, so he was surprised to see her here, even if he was not going to admit it. With Uchiha Sasuke, holding hands and looking happy around these stupid girlish garments. He has thought that she disliked dresses and those girly things, but apparently he was wrong.
Maybe she loves dresses in actuality. Maybe she was just not comfortable enough around him to wear what she really likes.
He shuddered at the thought and turned away.
Tenten could barely handle her surprise - she really didn't expect to find the Hyuuga prodigy surrounded by frilly pink dresses, peach laces and stuffed animals.
The background just didn't suit him - and yet he was here, with a girl other than her, moreover.
She thought he was not capable of interacting with girly girls like Sakura, but today he had just proven her wrong.
So very wrong.
When Neji's hand wrapped itself around Sakura's slender fingers protectively, Tenten really flinched. And she couldn't seem to swallow that somehow familiar pang of hurt in her heart.
No, Tenten, she reminded herself, you are NOT jealous.
It was Sakura who then broke the uncomfortable silence.
"What are you doing here, Sasuke-kun?" She asked boldly, holding Neji's hand back as if there was no tomorrow.
Sasuke didn't reply immediately. He drew in a sharp breath and glared at the pink-haired kunoichi.
"It's none of your business, Sakura." He replied coldly, his eyes drilling holes into her emerald green orbs, "What are you doing here?"
"Mind your own business, Uchiha." It was Neji who growled protectively, making Tenten bit her lip so hard that it drew blood.
She has never heard him being so protective over someone like this.
Not even to Hinata, and she was his cousin, for heaven's sake!
Whatever happened to him?
She cleared her throat and tugged gently on Sasuke's sleeve.
"Sasuke-kun..." She said, her eyes pleading and her voice soft, "Let's just... go."
She stood on her tiptoe and whispered at his ears, "Let's have lunch in the food court. There's a new Chinese restaurant recently opened there, and I want to try!"
"Hn." The Uchiha prodigy agreed and stormed off, dragging Tenten behind.
Unbeknownst to them both, Hyuuga Neji's eyes shone dangerously as he released Sakura's hand, feeling terribly disgusted at his own action.
Why did he hold her hand just then?
It was not like he wanted to make Tenten jealous, of all people.
Why would he, then?
It's not like she felt anything towards him…
But then again, he could almost swear, too, that the weapon mistress was slightly distracted when he did that to Sakura.
Is she...? No, Neji, better not think about the impossible.
"Let's eat." He said suddenly, turning back to Sakura.
"Eh?" Sakura looked surprised, "But we just have breakfast!" She protested.
"Let's eat." He repeated sternly, leaving no space for arguments.
"I'm not hungry." She grumbled, but feeling his eyes drilling holes into her, she immediately lowered her head in agreement. "Where should we eat?" She asked at last, her eyes clearly avoiding his gaze.
"The food court." Neji replied casually.
Oh, right. She should have guessed.
Uchiha Sasuke watched in mild amusement as Tenten popped the last meatball into her mouth.
She licked her lips in satisfaction and grabbed a drink from the table. As she inhaled the warm liquid, Sasuke chuckled.
He didn't know that Tenten could eat this much, but maybe it was caused by their meeting with Hyuuga Neji just fifteen minutes ago.
She still have eyes for the Hyuuga, he knew that. And no, he was not going to let the Hyuuga have her. She was his. And only his. Tenten was not to be shared.
He didn't exactly know since when did he developed such strong, possessive feelings towards the weapon mistress, but that wasn't really the point.
She was his, and he better enjoy every second with her.
It's not like she was going to be his forever...
There was the Hyuuga, and there was Sakura...
Now, what was he thinking?
"Eat, Sasuke-kun." Tenten said all of a sudden, cutting his trains of thoughts as she took a napkin and cleaned the crumbs near her ruby red lips. "This is delicious! Or do you need me to feed you from my hand?" She grinned evilly, joking as she held the meatballs up to his lips.
"Sure." He replied without hesitation, his lips curving into an evil smirk as he chewed the meatball Tenten has just shoved into his mouth.
The weapon mistress blinked, but she forced a laugh.
"Good boooy..." She cooed softly, holding up another meatball with shaky hands.
After all, he was her boyfriend.
And puh-lease, how many times she needed to remind herself about that fact?
It was almost as if she wasn't ready… no, not ready… happy to have the Uchiha Sasuke as a boyfriend.
Tenten scolded herself as Sasuke chewed another meatball, his eyes fixing into hers.
"Tenten." Sasuke said suddenly after he drank his tea. "Can I ask you a question?"
"You already did." Tenten chuckled as she smiled gently, "But of course you can, Sasuke-kun. What is it?"
The Uchiha prodigy gripped her wrist tightly, his Sharingan activated reflexively.
He deactivated it quickly and asked, "Why do you call me Sasuke-kun?"
She gazed into his eyes, now really in confusion.
"Wh-Why do you ask?" She stammered, sounding so much like Hinata.
Her eyes fled to the table, clearly avoiding eye contact with his onyx orbs. Even without seeing the complete picture, in the corner of her eyes she could see that he was practically staring at her.
Staring and demanding truth.
She quickly controlled herself and forced to look at him in the eyes. "I call you Sasuke-kun," She stated firmly, "Because you are my boyfriend."
"Your boyfriend?" Sasuke repeated, feeling a little disappointed.
He was hoping for something else than that, but suddenly now everything had become clear to him.
He began to understand the truth.
… And the truth was not as kind as you think.
It was painful.
He let go of her wrist, controlling his face to look neutral.
Anything was better but expressive.
She shouldn't know that he was disappointed.
No one should ever know that he ever feels disappointment.
Tenten, however, felt the sudden intensity of his face.
As images of Neji and Sakura crept into her mind, in the corner of her eyes she could see both of them not far away from there - they were within the reach of hearing her conversation.
Determined to gain control of herself once more, the weapon mistress reached out her hand and took Sasuke's hand in hers.
She smiled softly, "And I care for you, Sasuke-kun." She retorted.
Sasuke immediately looked into her eyes, as Hyuuga Neji felt his world crumbling over all to him.
Sakura gave a loud cough, drawing attention to them as Tenten only lowered her head, blushing profusely.
"Thank you." The Uchiha said at last, leaning forward.
He reached out and pulled her closer, and then kissed her forehead gently and turned towards Neji and Sakura.
He was in a so much better mood today - it will be okay to be courteous and friendly and ask them to come join them and eat together.
"Hi." He said calmly, "Here. Just sit here and order whatever you want."
He looked thoughtful for a while. "My treat." He added kindly, eyes staring at Neji's pale and neutral orbs, almost demandingly.
Sakura squealed and quickly sat down beside Sasuke, leaving the empty seat beside Tenten.
Neji drew in a sharp breath and quietly sat beside her, his eyes stoic and his expression unreadable as always.
"Do you want to order anything, Hyuuga?" Sasuke asked politely.
"Yes, Neji-san! You said you're hungry!" Sakura said quickly, her eyes trailing the menus on the bar in front of them.
"Ooh! This looks delicious, now doesn't it?" She cooed to Sasuke, who winced due to the sudden romantics.
Neji looked at Sakura closely. "Not anymore." He replied coldly.
"Well, okay." The pink-haired kunoichi shrugged, "But not eating is unhealthy. I'll buy something for you - just a light meal - and we could continue our day." She paused, and added firmly, "Together."
She grabbed Sasuke's hand and suddenly pulled him away with her diagonally to the fifth bar from the door, leaving the heavy awkwardness between Neji and Tenten back on the table.
But no, Tenten was not going to lose to a silence that easily.
She turned at Neji, a soft smile on her lips.
"I don't know you are dating Sakura." She said, her voice cackling teasingly. "Aww, Neji! All these years and you never tell me? What kind of a friend are you?"
"I have no interest in her." The Hyuuga prodigy replied flatly. "I am here just to accompany her do some shopping in place of Uchiha."
"So, how is she?" Tenten asked, not wanting to draw in further into his reason - 'do some shopping in place of Uchiha'.
She never knew that Sasuke had a job to accompany Sakura shopping.
He has never told her about that - he only mentioned that they were best friends and good teammates, that's all.
Now that Neji mentioned the reason, she was getting a little curious. But no, it was quite unreasonable for her to be jealous because Sasuke has been very loyal to her.
A bitter smile crept to her lips. If anyone was being disloyal, it was her. She has kissed the Hyuuga Neji.
They were almost like couples - and she didn't even want to get started on how right being together with Neji feels.
It was just simply disloyal.
And Tenten hated being disloyal.
She almost hated herself, too.
Neji looked a bit thoughtful. "She is fine." He answered at last after a long thinking.
Tenten broke into a small laughter. "Everyone is fine for you, Neji." She said, pointing out quite the obvious. "What have you been doing?"
"Shopping." The Hyuuga replied stoically, shrugging. "And shopping. Nothing interesting."
The weapon mistress smiled again, but her heart was crying immensely.
Oh God, how hard was it only to build up a good conversation with the Hyuuga Neji when they were left awkward?
He seemed like he was being very silent today.
Oh, she couldn't think of anything except, this guy beside me is shopping with Sakura. With Sakura. Sakura. Sakura...
It almost felt like eternity until Sasuke and Sakura returned to the table, bringing food. They both looked also a little awkward, and Sakura even seemed a little flushed.
Tenten couldn't stop herself wondering what had happened between them. She wasn't really paying attention to either Sakura or Sasuke because she was too sucked up in her awkward conversation with Neji.
"Itadakimasu!" Sakura said cheerfully and quickly dug in, as Neji chewed an onigiri silently.
Tenten sighed. This is gonna be a looooooooong day, she thought.
When night comes, a gentleman must walk his lady home - that was what Tenten believed.
But in this case, who was the lady and who was her man?
The sunset had always attracted people with its most beautiful golden rays of light. It lied in the sky, so peacefully sinking down to the warm embrace of the sea. Water reflected back the orange arc, as the birds flew here and there.
Tenten held her breath instinctively, mesmerized by the view in front of her. This sunset was one of the most absorbing things she had ever found in her life.
So was Hyuuga Neji - his eyes, his smirk, and his coldness - they were all absorbing the hell out of her.
Another was Uchiha Sasuke and his well-being.
"It's so beautiful, ne, Sasuke-kun?" Sakura chimed in cheerfully as she sat next to the Uchiha, who winced slightly but gave a little nod.
Tenten flinched and shifted her gaze awkwardly from the sight of her boyfriend and his teammate, to her left.
Oops. Definitely wrong choice.
As soon as she turned away, Neji's eyes met hers, his pale orbs sucking the breath out of her.
His eyes, aside from the deepness and intensity of it, were also sharp and all knowing. They have always amused her - gazing into his eyes, she realized that he was a man almost with no emotions.
It has been a saying that eyes are reflective, but his eyes never reflected anything but boredom.
That was until these days... Until she was claimed by the great Uchiha.
Tenten managed to suppress the heat from running up to her cheek and quietly turned away, afraid of his eagle eyes.
It was not her idea to go sunset-watching from on top of the Hokage statues - it was Neji who silently suggested it.
"It has been what I like." He had said simply, but his eyes were glued to her meaningfully, as if he wanted to tell her something.
She had turned away, not wanting to care.
Or rather, she thought - no, she knew it was simply restricted yet inappropriate to set her eyes on another guy when it should be Sasuke who was demanding her attention.
"Is it beautiful?" Neji asked slowly, his voice low but gentle.
Tenten turned around at him again, as this time she couldn't stop blushing sweetly. She gave a faint nod and smiled, "The view is nice here." She said softly, gazing back at the sunset.
The chemistry between them has always been awkward yet strained ever since they met today in the marketplace, and she didn't like it.
As the sun sets down, Sakura stood up and smiled at Sasuke nicely. "I want to go home now." She announced, and Neji stood up too, remembering that it was actually his responsibility to walk her home - they were on a date, like it or not, and walking her home was just the last thing he needed to do for the pink-haired kunoichi.
But before he could even say, "Let's," Sasuke had stood up and gazed at him, a bit awkwardly.
"Sakura and I need to settle some problems, Hyuuga." He said, making Tenten wince uncomfortably as he picked up Sakura's shopping bags. The Uchiha then turned to her, "Sorry, Tenten... do you mind?"
She gazed at him and feigned a tender smile, "It's okay." She replied. Well, it really was okay – it's not that she really cared, anyway.
She almost frowns at the thought and scolded herself again. She should have cared – after all, he was her boyfriend, right?
She should have cared. But she didn't.
That made her complex.
"That's settled, then." Sasuke said, breaking her trains of thoughts, "Thanks. Let's go, Sakura."
"Yay!" Sakura chimed as she followed the Sharingan wielder down from the Hokage statues, leaving Tenten and Neji in silence.
She stood up and looked at Neji blankly, "I'll be going too, then." She said softly, "There's nothing more to do..."
"Wait." Neji reached for her wrist, touching her hand in process.
Tenten blushed sweetly, as she gazed back at him, her mouth gaping as she at last asked, "What is it, Neji? I… It's getting late…"
"I'll walk you home."
Tenten nodded, knowing that his words weren't a question.
He was insisting; it was a statement that she would comply even if she needn't to.
She didn't understand why, but she knew that he wasn't going to do anything bad to her.
They have been teammates for years, and he never really hurt her… well, that was until the Uchiha Sasuke came up, though.
The coming of Uchiha Sasuke into her life has changed everything… The relationship between her and Neji, the usual 'good' chemistry before…
But why should she care?
Neji, like it or not, was only her best friend and teammate. He was nothing more…
Or rather, he should be nothing more.
But is he?
Tenten didn't know anymore.
She didn't want to know.
What if the truth… What if the truth is more painful than what she could've bare? What if the truth isn't what she wants it to be?
She was a coward, Tenten realized as she bit her lip. Looking back at Neji, who was still waiting attentively for her reply, she nodded. "Come on, then."
They walked in silence, and arrived at her apartment not long after that, since her apartment was located not far from the Hokage statues.
Tenten inserted her door key and quickly turned back at him, smiling softly, "Do you wanna get any drinks first?"
Neji looked at the clock tower near the statues, and quietly nodded.
It was six PM, and he still has time before dinner comes. He could skip dinner and not eat for the night if he wants too, though.
Nobody has ever really care whether he has eaten or not, anyway.
Nobody except her, maybe. Worrying was already in her nature.
She led him inside her living room and proceeded to the kitchen to make tea. A few minutes later, she came back and offered him a cup.
"… Anyhow…" She began, leaving her question on her tongue, unspoken as he looked straight into her eyes, in a mix of confusion and fondness.
She let out a little sigh and continued, "I want to ask you a question, Neji."
The Hyuuga prodigy simply nodded, lifting the cup to his lips and sipping it a little. He was always fond of Tenten's tea – any of them. She has different mixes, and sometimes her tea tasted a little weird, but all of it was worth drinking, or so he thought.
Tenten glanced at Neji, and realized that he wasn't even half as nervous as she was!
She smiled to herself, her nervousness evaporating from her skin as she urged, "Don't take my question as anything personal, Neji. It's not. I'm just…"
She paused breathlessly, feeling his silver eyes looking at her, "I'm just asking."
He shook his head, "Just ask."
"Well, you spent the day with Sakura today."
"Yeah, you said that already." Tenten nodded unconsciously as she sipped her own mix of jasmine and chamomile tea – her personal favorite.
He thought that everyone is fine.
Then, what is her to him? Is she also fine like how other people to him are fine?
Why is it that all of a sudden she wanted more?
She shrugged off the thought and looked at him attentively, pushing down the sudden strong urge to ask him whether he thought of her 'fine', too…
What would he think of her then?
Neji arched his eyebrows cockily, "So what is it, then?"
"Do you like her?" The weapon mistress spat out, almost not believing that she was the one who asked that, of all people.
She was acting like a jealous, love-struck puppy towards the Hyuuga prodigy, and she couldn't tell whether he realizes it or not.
Neji tilted his head, clearly confused.
"No." He replied quietly, in his eyes not a layer of lies. "She's fun to be with, though almost annoying at glances, but no, I don't like her that way. What makes you think otherwise?"
"Mm… The fact that you seem to be distracted when Sasuke asked to walk her home instead of you." Tenten pointed out.
She realized that Neji winced a little when her boyfriend said so, but she never really knows why, not even after a momentary examination.
"You're like… jealous." She added quietly.
"Hn." Neji replied.
It was because of you, he thought, not Sakura-san.
It was because he never thought that Sasuke would be one to… leave him with Tenten alone together, just the two of them, of all people.
He thought that Sasuke was always too protective of the weapon mistress that he wouldn't leave the two of them alone, and brought Tenten with him instead.
Though, he knew whatever business Sasuke and Sakura have in hand, it was private.
"I'm not jealous. Not at all, though I was surprised." He admitted quietly.
"Why?" Tenten asked, almost urgently, "It's like you're… really jealous of Sasuke and Sakura walking together…"
"You're not calling him 'Sasuke-kun'." Neji realized, a little surprise in his heart, though he disguised it well.
He was a prodigy, for heaven's sake!
She nodded awkwardly, "I'm just… still not used to it." She sighed hoarsely, "Though I still call him with the suffix if I'm with him, or he'll just… get upset."
"You don't want him to be upset, do you?"
"Yes." Tenten replied, "He's my boyfriend."
"The word boyfriend doesn't really prove anything." Neji pointed out as he drank his tea to the last drop. "It really doesn't."
"I know." The weapon mistress sighed. "I've told you, it's my entire fault. Shouldn't have accepted him as my boyfriend from the first time."
"It's not necessarily your fault." Neji replied, putting down the cup. "Don't think too much about it, Tenten."
He simply gave a little smirk, interjecting her sentence. "It's not your fault." He repeated, firm and clear, his cloudy eyes looking straight into her orbs caringly, "Is that clear?"
"Neji…" Don't look at me like that…
"Hn." He replied, putting down the cup. "I'm going. It's getting late."
"Oh, okay." Tenten nodded, standing up, putting her cup down too as she walked him to the door. "Neji, you and Sakura…"
"We don't have anything between us." Neji repeated, firmly, "I'm not hiding anything from you." What for, anyway?
"Thanks." The weapon mistress smiled softly at him. "Goodbye. Goodnight, Neji… and… and sweet dreams."
He looked at her, almost hesitantly.
Though he was a prodigy, and he never hesitates long enough.
Or rather, he never lets himself hesitates long enough.
He leaned forward, brushed his lips on her forehead softly and quietly smiled back at her, "Goodnight, too."
Tenten blushed, but he was gone before he even realized that she was blushing.
Her hand moved to her forehead, where he has kissed her just then.
She could still feel the kiss…Neji…
Tenten smiled to herself, closing the door behind her.
Everything is back to normal.
Neji was smiling to her again.
Sasuke was not angry at her and still her boyfriend.
As for Sakura…
Well, she just needs to talk to her and maybe things would be clear.
Everything is back to normal again…
Boy oh boy, was she wrong.
To be continued.
Hiya there! I guess that wasn't much of an entertainment, too… The NejiSaku interaction is really weird. I couldn't imagine them getting together (because my head is still full of NejiTen flags shouting 'NEJI AND TENTEN SHOULD BE TOGETHER!!'), and I guess that's why. Gee, that was weird xP.
1. What do you think of SasuTen? The real SasuTen – the one outside the fics?
2. What do you think of NejiSaku? The real as well. :3
Thankies! Review please, and if you can, please answer my questions!