Disclaimer: Kishimoto writes Naruto, not I.
Note: This drabble was inspired by a fanart by badllama001 at deviantart. Go to
http badllama001 . deviantart . com / art / Tenten-doodle-color-171510599
to view, minus the spaces and missing punctuation bits that ffnet tends to eat when uploading fics. :P
This is more of a slice-of-life thing than a fanfic with any sort of plot. Because, whoo-ee, I haven't written fanfic in ages…hope you guys enjoy!
When Neji and Tenten finally took their break after morning training, Tenten practically bounded over to where they had kept their packed lunches. She was starving, and today – anticipating that Neji was probably going to pound her into the earth since he wanted to practice the Hakke Kuushou while she tested out a new aerial technique – she had packed an extra large bento. For kicks and giggles she'd actually taken the time to artfully arrange some of her food to resemble her team members. Neji was a rice ball, and she had made several attempts of Lee-sushi (it'd taken her a while to get his eyebrows right).
Grinning, Tenten sat down underneath the shade of a tree and picked up her homemade bento, unwrapping the cloth and pulling out her chopsticks. Neji followed at a more serene pace, sitting down next to her and taking his own lunch that had been lying next to hers. Today, Lee and Gai were out training themselves, otherwise the entire team would have probably gone out for lunch. (Supposedly Lee and Gai were climbing the Hokage mountain using only three fingers from each hand. Tenten thought it might be an interesting challenge, but she wanted to work out her technique first. Neji just refused.)
As Tenten took off the cover to her bento box, she noticed that Neji was looking at her oddly. Or rather, at her lunch.
"Neji? Why are you looking at my lunch?"
It was the oddest clinical look Tenten had ever seen on Neji's face when observing something so mundane.
Neji hadn't even unwrapped his own lunch. "You have a homemade bento," he stated.
Tenten rolled her eyes. "Yes Neji, I have a homemade bento. What other sort of bento would I have? I live alone." Okay, she'd bought convenience store bento before, but it was cheaper to make her own and she didn't have loads of cash to spend like Neji did. Still, it didn't make sense – he'd seen her lunches before. She picked up a Lee-sushi in her chopsticks, turning it so Lee's smiling face was facing Neji. "Or are you that disturbed by my attempts at making food arrangements?"
Neji's mouth twitched at the beaming face of his male teammate in edible form and began to take out his own lunch. "You've never done that before."
Tenten shrugged, popping the Lee-sushi into her mouth. "I had some extra time this morning."
"I've never had a homemade bento before."
Tenten gaped at him, incredulous. "Seriously?" How could Neji not have a homemade bento? What was that sitting in his own lap, then? Plastic? Maybe she'd hit him on the head harder than she thought. But she hadn't been throwing anything large – all right, there'd been that tonfa, but it had just clipped the side of Neji's head, not beaned him outright.
"The Hyuuga kitchens make large batches of lunch for the entire clan every morning," Neji elaborated, gesturing at his own lunch. It was, admittedly, very plain, but Tenten had always thought that was just because Neji liked his foods simple. "I have never had one…personalized."
"Oh," Tenten said, blinking once as she picked up a bit of chicken. "Well…it just looks different, all right? It seriously doesn't taste any different from like, regular lunch— hey!"
Tenten hadn't even seen Neji's hand dart out and pluck her Neji-rice ball from her bento. "That's mine!" She grabbed for her perfectly-done rice ball – she wanted to eat Neji herself – and Neji leaned away from her, holding up the rice ball made to resemble himself with another odd look that made Tenten flush.
"Do I really look like this?" Neji said, turning the rice ball this way and that. Tenten had used dark seaweed for Neji's hair, and carefully cut out daikon vegetable for his eyes. He poked a bit of seaweed up, and saw that Tenten had even used a bit of wasabi to make the curse seal mark underneath Neji's headband. It was a bit messy after being squished by the seaweed, but it was there. Seeing that and looking back at his teammate, Tenten flushed even harder, embarrassed at putting even the most personal details into her lunch.
"Look, I'm sorry, okay? I just—I wanted to—I won't do it again, I promise—" Tenten babbled, no longer trying to retrieve her rice ball and instead trying to fix the Total Faux Pas she'd made. What had she been thinking this morning? Neji didn't have the same sort of burning anger against the Main Family anymore, but it was terribly rude of her to put something that gave Neji so much pain into a commonplace rice ball. She'd just…wanted everything to be perfect…
—And then Neji bit into the rice ball.
Neji chewed the little bit he'd nibbled off, and swallowed.
"I beg to differ. It tastes different."
Tenten had been waiting for Neji to Hakke 64 to death either her or the poor little rice ball, not a compliment. Instead, Tenten stared at Neji.
"I believe I like this homemade variety," Neji said, before taking another bite of the rice ball. He chewed carefully. "Next time, don't use wasabi. I don't like spicy foods. Try using some noodles next time. I like soba."
Tenten sputtered. "What? I'm not going to make you another—give it back!" She lunged for the riceball once more, and Neji held it up high, actually smirking at her. Tenten growled and lunged forward again, almost upsetting her own lunch as she tried to stop Neji from eating the rest of her – his – rice ball.
In the end, Tenten never succeeded at retrieving her homemade Neji-rice ball, and Neji had eaten it entirely, wasabi and all. The rest of their lunches had been forgotten at the base of the tree as Neji led Tenten in a merry chase, while Tenten made dire threats that the next Neji-rice ball she made was going to be impaled with seventeen different vegetables.