Title: Fighting The Inevitable

Author: ypaladinofchaos / YamiPaladinOfChaos

Theme: 2- Losing Control

Rating: PG-13/T

Word Count: 1787

Hyuuga Neji had never lost a battle, and he wasn't about to start now, at the age of fourteen.

Okay, that was an exaggeration. He had been defeated, but that was by the freaky powers of one Uzumaki Naruto. Okay, and he nearly died fighting the Sound Nin while on that disastrous mission to retrieve Uchiha Sasuke, but he still won, albeit with several new holes in him, where holes shouldn't be.

So what if he spent an extended stay in the hospital, or had come within an inch of death's doorstep? He still kicked that freaky spider-ninja's ass.

Anyway, the point was, Hyuuga Neji didn't lose often.

And he was definitely not about to lose to his goddamn hormones. No. He was stronger than that. He was better than that.

And he definitely wasn't thinking about doing naughty- and, quite possibly, physically impossible- things to his teammate. Nor was he experiencing desires sparked by loose strands of her hair, her legs, her slender neck...

Nope, that was one battle Hyuuga Neji was definitely winning. Yessir, Hyuuga Neji was in complete control of his hormones. After all, he is Hyuuga Neji.

Tenten waved to him happily from the training ground, practically bouncing...

Neji swallowed, hard, shutting his eyes before they betrayed him any further.

Okay, so maybe he wasn't winning as much as he thought he was.

---

Tenten frowned as Neji shut his eyes as she waved to him, feeling slightly hurt. She was used to his antisocial behavior, but the fact that he wouldn't even acknowledge her was something of an affront to her.

"What is your problem?" Tenten demanded as Neji walked past her, determinedly not looking at her. "What the Hell did I do?"

"Neji!" Gai boomed, "You mustn't hold any grudge toward your teammates! If you do, what will happen on the field of combat?"

The Hyuuga prodigy was always amazed when Gai-sensei came up with advice that was not only practical, but insightful. He was also annoyed as Hell when it happened.

Neji set his lips in a determined line. "I'm not angry." He said tersely, continuing to look away from Tenten.

"Neji! What could our dear Tenten possibly have done to incur your wrath?" Lee placed his hand on the Hyuuga's shoulder in a gesture of reprimand- big mistake.

"Lee. You have five seconds to let go of me." Neji warned, an undercurrent of acute danger running through his voice.

"Not until you tell me what's wrong." The taijutsu specialist replied determinedly.

"Five." Neji began, his eyes hard and sharp as diamonds.

"Lee, I think he's serious..." Tenten murmured, fears for her teammate's well being overriding her sense of injured pride.

"Four."

Gai started to look nervous.

"Three."

Lee stared at Neji, his unwavering grip continuing its hold.

"Two."

Neji's Byakugan started pulsing very dangerously.

"One."

Lee let go... or rather, Gai and Tenten pulled him, rather forcefully off of Neji, which caused Neji to jerk forward, losing his concentration from the violent movement.

"Okay, okay! Gai-sensei, Lee! It's fine. Neji doesn't have to apologize to me!" Tenten shouted, still grasping the back of Lee's shirt. "Really, it's okay!" her voice was desperate now, trying its hardest to reign in the more rambunctious members of Team Gai.

People gave Tenten a lot of credit and a lot of respect for being capable of staying same when your sensei is a nut job, your teammate is a clone of said nut job, and your other teammate was a psychotic guy with a whole crapload of psychological baggage.

"It's a tough job, but someone has to do it." Tenten had commented airily, when Asuma-sensei had idly passed her on the street and talked to her about her team placement.

"I told you. I am not angry." Neji said caustically, his Byakugan still pulsing dangerously. "But if you continue, I promise you that I will be very angry."

"Then what's wrong Neji!" Lee asked loudly, obviously unshaken by his barely avoided encounter with a fierce beating.

"... nothing." Neji replied tersely. He wasn't about to go to Lee or Gai-sensei for advice on this, and certainly not in front of Tenten. "Can we just train? The jounin exams are coming up."

Tenten, quickly assessing that Gai-sensei and Lee were not going to drop the subject, nodded rapidly and grabbed Neji's hand. "Okay, we'll go start sparring! Lee, you and Gai-sensei can work on your taijutsu again!"

---

Now Neji was faced with a rather precarious dilemma. On the one hand, he was getting away from Gai-sensei and Lee, who would have undoubtedly continued attempting to find the root of his problems (Gai-sensei had once tried to have a psychologist evaluate Neji- the man was committed to an asylum the next day) or alternately attempting to cheer him up.

On the other hand, he was going to be alone with Tenten, who had been the predominant star of more than a few illicit dreams and fantasies as of late.

Which was worsened by the fact that Tenten's weapon calloused (but still feminine) hand was grasping his own, causing him to look at her hands... which were much more slender and smooth than he had realized.

And her wrists... they're so... tiny...

Neji cursed his hormones. He wanted his eyes to gain more awareness and insight in combat, not to be fixated on Tenten's wrists!

"Sorry Neji," Tenten cut in through his self-recrimination, and he realized, much to his surprise, that they had stopped. "I know you hate it when Gai-sensei and Lee push you like that."

"Hn." Neji looked away.

Tenten scuffed her footwear against the ground, hating the fact that Neji could still make her decidedly uncomfortable at times. Absently, she tensed her hands... and squeezed Neji's.

Neji actually flinched, realizing with a start that his hand was still being held by Tenten's.

"Oh! Sorry!" Tenten let go rapidly, hoping that Neji wasn't about to think she was another one of those girls who went all starry eyed over the brooding type.

"It's fine. You were distracted." Neji said tightly, his hand feeling as though it had lost part of itself. "Shall we begin?"

Tenten nodded, grateful and envious that Neji's aloof nature made him immune to things such as embarrassment because of your hormones.

Of, if only she knew.

---

You know there's something seriously wrong with you, Neji thought darkly, when a girl who's trying to hit you with sharp and/or blunt objects looks incredibly sexy to your eyes.

Perhaps it was time to add more hours to his private training with Hiashi-sama. Say... seven days a week. Or just ask Hiashi-sama to place him in an institution. Either one would suffice.

His thoughts were interrupted as the second veritable hail of weaponry tore through the air with loud whistling, shrieking, or just loud noises.

"Hakkesho Kaiten!" the shimmering blue chakra slammed into the various weapons and sent them flying with harsh cracks and snaps, all in different directions with impressive force.

Neji had no time to admire his handiwork, knowing that Tenten would probably already have launched another volley. His guess was correct as a secondary volley came hurtling toward him, narrowly avoided as he sidestepped the barrage and charged forward.

Tenten, seeing that Neji was closing in too fast for ranged combat, summoned a long bo staff, one of her larger close combat weapons. The moment Neji was within range, she jabbed forward, which the Hyuuga predictably avoided.

Tenten snapped her hand to the side, catching Neji with a sideswiping blow from her staff, the solid sound of wood smacking flesh audible.

Neji was knocked backwards, pain flaring throughout his shoulder as it protested the solid blow. Quickly, he backpedaled, pulling free several kunai from his pouch with his uninjured arm. He threw them with deadly accuracy, hearing them whistle through the air like a metal rain.

Tenten, who had been charging Neji, stopped dead in her tracks and deflected the majority of the kunai, save for a stray one, which sliced the front of her shirt but missed her skin completely. However, it opened up, revealing soft, curved flesh beneath.

Almost immediately, Neji's eyes fixated upon that tear, which was tantalizingly blowing in the breeze, showing more, than less, of that wondrous flesh that lay beneath the shirt...

And distracted him long enough for Tenten's bo staff to smack him solidly, right in the noggin.

---

"I'm so sorry!" Tenten apologized again, crouching next to the prostate Neji.

"It's my fault... I was... distracted." Neji said slowly, and from Tenten's perspective, it looked like she had hit him so hard he had gone cross-eyed.

In reality, she still hadn't noticed the slight tear in her shirt, nor noticed the fact that she had placed that exposing rip dead center of Neji's vision.

"Well... I'm really sorry. How can I make it up to you?" Tenten asked earnestly, her big, doe brown eyes wide and pleading. "I'll do anything." The pleading, innocent tone sent his hormones into overdrive.

Oh dear God in Heaven, why do you tempt me so? Almost immediately, dozens of scenarios and fantasies were littering Hyuuga Neji's hormone controlled mind.

Really, what had he done to deserve this?

Okay, so he beat his twelve-year-old cousin nearly to death. And then attempted to do the same to Uzumaki Naruto, who, past his extremely annoying exterior, was an okay guy.

But really, wasn't that compensated by the loss of a father figure at an early age?

"Neji? Neji?" Tenten waved, looking worried again. "Are you okay... maybe I should take you to the hospital?"

"No." Neji said flatly, struggling to stand. "I'm fine."

"Then how about we go to my place? I can get you some ice and you can lay down for a while." Tenten suggested.

How can she be so oblivious? Does she know what she's doing to me?

Maybe she was trying out some kunoichi seduction technique on him. Or some new genjutsu she was tying into her weapon's training. There had to be a rational explanation for this.

Okay, other than the rational explanation where he really wanted to do perverted, nasty things to Tenten.

"I think... I think I need to go home for a bit." Neji said quietly, still struggling to stand.

"I'll walk you." Tenten said quickly. As Neji began to protest, she added wryly, "You can barely stand, Hyuuga Neji. I think you can let your pride rest for today, okay?"

Neji swallowed, hard, and gave in. "Okay."

And as Tenten grasped his hand firmly, tugging him back toward the Hyuuga estate, Neji decided that some battles weren't worth the effort of winning.