AN: So, the beta asked me to write her a Neji/Tenten. All right. I don't usually do the pairings-within-teams thing, but it's one of her OTPs. Hence, Neji/Tenten.


Tenten is usually quite good at being patient.

She has to be, after all, what with all the long speeches on the Springtime of Youth and whatnot she winds up sitting through on more or less a daily basis. And, of course, she has to out-patient Neji from time to time, which always tests the limits of her abilities.

A vicious flick of her wrist buries a kunai in a tree almost to the hilt.

She imagines the tree's a person—whoever the hell thought it was a good idea to split up teams based on rank—and smiles.

Just another reason to make jounin as quickly as possible, she tells herself. Lee's a good guy and she loves him to bits, but if she ends up on another mission with just him for company, she's going to snap.

Another kunai joins the first.

She'd been all right until today. Patience is a simple thing when you know exactly when you can stop being patient and start getting things done.

But he's a day late and she's all out of patience.

She's not worried for him. Neji is beyond capable—she, of all people, knows this like she knows her own name. He'll come back. He always comes back.

(Tenten knows he won't always come back, that someday, he just won't, but she doesn't like to think about that much. She's an optimist, after all.)

Hell, she's not even worried, not really. Just…impatient.

It's just like him, she thinks. Leaving her hanging like that.

A third and fourth kunai join the first two, marking a tight square on the tree's smooth bark.

Neji's never been very good with people. Everyone knows that. He's almost impossible to talk to when he's drawn back into that cold, superior shell of his. Of course, he can read people with a fair amount of accuracy, but it's not like he ever bothers to apply his understanding to his own behavior.


Their conversation the night he'd left had been characteristic of most of the short, awkward conversations Tenten has had with what she privately refers to as the real Neji. The real Neji is a funny creature, stiff and uncertain. Tenten wonders sometimes if he's as emotionally retarded as he sounds or if it's just the contrast from the usual ice-prince schtick that exaggerates it.

Anyway. Emotional retard or not, he definitely gives a new meaning to crappy timing. Although Tenten's reasonably certain that, at least, was on purpose.

Three more kunai, and the tree is oozing a little. With a growl, Tenten yanks them out and digs a cloth out of her pocket to wipe them down. She should have thought to bring some targets. That would have been smart.

"We have a problem," he'd said. Like it was a ripped hitai-ate or a broken kunai or something. Oh, she'll "problem" him, when he gets back. She'll problem his ass right into the ground for making her wait like this.

Who the hell refers to mutual attraction as a "problem", anyway?

Hyuuga Neji, apparently.



Neji arrives home the next day. Everyone's a little surprised when Tenten corners him by the mission desk, grabs a fistful of long hair and pulls him down for a thorough kissing.

This being a shinobi village, however, the surprise is quickly followed up by applause and wolf-whistles. Many are amused to note that a Hyuuga really can go quite that shade of red.

"Enough of a 'problem' for you?" Tenten says, still keeping a good grip on his hair.

Neji really should have known better.


Endnotes: Writing Tenten always makes me nervous. There's so little canon on her, after all...