Title: Heaven in Threefold
Word Count: 1,123 (hah! And this was supposed to be a drabble.)
Summary/Description: Nothing can deny that this is where and when she is happiest; fighting and working, with the two men she loves.
A/N: Future!Team Gai. Beware my weird sentence structure. And if anyone has a title that doesn't suck as much as this one, feel free to suggest.
Dedication: For Lellian. Request: Throw me something Team Gai related (general or whatever) with the prompt of 'more heaven than a heart can hold' be it for inspiration or to actually be included . I hope I did good. :-) Not exactly what you wanted, I think, Lell, but it's NejiTenLee, at least…?
Disclaimer: Me no own. You no sue. Us all happy.
It is almost ridiculously easy to slit the throat of the sentry, the hand that she presses against his mouth simultaneously stifling his attempted warning cry and stilling his paroxysm of death.
Not so easy for her and Lee to take out the battalion of ronin in the clearing up ahead, making clear the path for Neji to advance onward to the temple, but what would life be without a few challenges?
As soon as Neji gives the signal, a subtle tilt of his masked head, she and the green beast are surging forward. Tenten digs out her pockets for the necessary scrolls to perform the Soushouryu. Lee's only armaments, his stony fists and his stout heart, are already at the ready, as they always are. They cannot hear Neji following them – the Hyuuga betrays not a sound to the humid forest air – but they can feel him.
They arrive at the clearing in seconds. At once, Lee is swooping down to meet the enemy like an erratic emerald blur, his cry of, "Konoha Dai Senpu!" splitting the skies. Tenten takes a spare moment to grin fondly at her odd team-mate's verve, before crouching on the tree limb to shape out the seals. Soon, she is slicing through the air of the clearing like an arrow, her scrolls whirling around her, and she begins.
A scythe, a dagger, a throwing star, a poisoned needle… one by one they leave her adroit fingers and home in on their targets. She spins wildly, and each time her fingers slap the scrolls, they yield another weapon to her. Vaguely, out of the corner of her eye, she can see Neji slipping past, shadowy and silent, like a daytime spectre. She distractedly follows him with her eyes with quick glances every now and again until he has successfully made it out of the copse. Then, she fully tunes herself into the battle.
Lee is whizzing about the clearing like a ball of energy, cutting down his enemies with style after style of the Gouken. He gives no care to the projectiles raining down around him like a death hail; he does not fear that his team-mate will accidentally harm him. Tenten hits what she aims at, and nothing else.
A minute after their entry into the clearing, only one fifth of the enemy nin are still standing. Tenten drops to her feet on the leaf-strewn ground as her weapons are exhausted, her scrolls fluttering down beside her. Immediately, she is pulling out another, summoning a nunchaku into her competent hands. Lee is standing a few yards away, chest heaving, hair tousled, splattered with blood and dirt, and looking absolutely euphoric for it. They toss each other quick grins that they know the other can see – what is a mask against the almost telepathic connection that team-mates of this calibre possess? – and flash forward.
Tenten doubts that there is a word, expression, or even an explanation for it; this intoxicating feeling of exhilaration that flares in her chest as she rips through the foreign shinobi, the rods of the nunchaku flailing and weaving. She just cannot stop grinning, and she knows that nothing can deny that this is where and when she is happiest; fighting and working, with the two men that she'd entrust with her life any day; the two men she loves.
One of the ninja manages to put a gash in her thigh; she is still smiling when she wraps the chain of her weapon around his neck, and crushes his windpipe. Her blood thrums through her veins like wildfire as she spins to confront the next incomer, and there is still that feeling in her chest that makes her feel untouchable, and at the same time, almost ready to burst.
The battle culminates far too soon, and almost abruptly. Adrenalin is still being force-fed to her muscles when she realises that the only two people standing in the copse are Lee and herself. And then, there are three Konoha-nin occupying the space, Neji making his arrival quick and quiet. Tenten notes him slipping the sacred sword, the object of retrieval for the mission, into his backpack, and nods in satisfaction. It is done.
When Lee tilts his head in question to the blood and dust that speckles the Hyuuga's clothes, Neji only gives a soft reply of, "There were additional guards at the temple itself," before taking to the trees, and heading homewards. He knows that they will follow.
They find a glade not too far away, near a stream, where they can rest, and replenish their strength. Dusk approaches like the plague, darkening the forest and stealing the sun. Lee and Tenten collapse on a patch of grass, his thigh pillowing her head, and it is left to Neji to scan the area with his Kekkei Genkai, making sure that it is completely safe. In the meanwhile, the weapons specialist and the taijutsu specialist relieve themselves of their masks, baring their flushed faces to the cool evening air. Neji follows suit in a few moments, in order to better accommodate the Byakugan.
He wanders over to them when he is finished. They shift a bit to make room, and he stretches out on his back next to Tenten. His head does not quite touch Lee's hip, but it is close enough that the black-haired boy grins down at the wavy brown locks, something like tenderness shadowing his smile. The girl's heart swells to see it.
Lee's fingers are combing Tenten's sweat-dampened bangs back from her forehead, Tenten and Neji's fingers have somehow become intertwined, Neji and Lee are touching, if not physically, on some other plane, and it is almost more heaven than her heart can hold. With her post-battle fervour still racing along her skin, the satisfaction of a mission well-completed, and her world sprawled alongside her in a boy who was becoming a man, and a man she could yet teach what it was like to be a boy, she feels almost like a creaking dam, holding a pulsing wealth inside of her that cannot be contained.
Three should be enough.
Tenten knows that they should be setting up camp, or tending to their injuries, or getting the mission report ready. There are, in fact, a million things that they could each be doing at the moment, and reclining on a damp patch of grass, watching the world turn to black around them, is not one of them. But yet, she cannot fight the urge to bask in this heavenly feeling for a little while longer. And she knows that once they stay together, like this, one unit, one team, heaven can hold itself within them for a little while longer.
A/N: It only dawned on me after I'd written this that ANBU platoons come in fours. Oops…
…Fourth member got a cold?