A/N; This is my Christmas NejiTen, and dedicated to my little sister Sofie, who's birthday was the 5th of December. She turned three, and I wish her a very happy birthday, and I wish you all a very merry Christmas.
Disclaimer; One can only hope. And Christmas is around the corner, after all...
Warning; Slight OOCishness (a word?). Ignore it if you like fluff, which you should.
Summary; Tenten has convinced Neji to spend the day with her, just the two of them, in Konoha. A story of a day in the life of the only sane people in Team Gai.
The Perfect Thing
White eyes swept over the small cafe, searching for one particular occupant. When they settled on their target, the man who possessed them smirked at her turned back and strode over to her. She was stirring a cup of steaming tea absentmindedly, her eyes staring off into nothing, a light smile on her face. Her cheek rested on her fist, and her menu laid open but neglected in front of her. She apparently didn't notice his chakra as he approached her.
"Mmm... Oh, Neji!" she exclaimed, snapping out of her trance. His smirk grew as he sat down across from her. She grinned at him.
"No. You're just early," he retorted.
"And why exactly would I want to be early?"
"... You missed me?"
"And then you woke up from that bad dream. Admit it, Hyuuga; you're late."
"Hah! I'm right; say it."
"Heh. In your dreams."
"Oh, but you know nothing of my dreams. Nothing at all."
"I could find out," he said casually, insinuating discretely about Byakugan. She snorted again.
"You wouldn't use your bloodline on me, Neji-kun. You love me too much," she chided, laughing at his blank expression. He was about to retort when the waiter appeared by their table. Tenten sobered quickly, giving the man a smile.
"My friend here needs a menu," she said, and the waiter smiled at her, laying one in front of the Hyuuga, then turning back to his companion.
"Are you ready to order, Miss?"
Tenten gave him a sheepish look. "Oops. I guess I was a little distracted." Then she grinned. "I'll be ready in a minute... Kano," she said, glancing at his name-tag. The young man returned her smile, nodded, and walked away. Neji kept his eye on Kano until he was out of sight. Tenten eyed him curiously.
"Earth to Neji?"
"Hn. You shouldn't flirt with random young men. They might get the wrong idea."
Tenten quirked an eyebrow at him.
"What wrong idea? It'd be nice to be in a relationship with a guy, preferably a young one." Then she grinned devilishly. "Why, Neji? Jealous?"
The Hyuuga boy scoffed, as if such an idea were preposterous. He would never give her the satisfaction of knowing that her jibes often hit much too close to home, and some right on target. So he casually switched the subject in a way that they could continue their banter.
"You are in a relationship with a guy. There's Gai-sensei-"
"Neji, I'd hardly consider him a guy."
"... Point taken. There's Lee-"
"Mmm, not much difference between Lee and Gai. And, besides, I don't really think of Lee as a guy, besides his unnatural obsession with his hair." Then, hastily, she added with his odd look, "He's my best friend. Best friends are a gender of their own."
"... And you have me. And that's not true."
"You're different, and what's not true?"
"You are my best friend, and I consider you whole-heartedly a female. Why am I different?"
Tenten was slightly floored. He thought of her as his best friend? That was news to her. A soft smile made its way to her features.
"You just are."
"I can't describe it."
She huffed frustratedly.
"You're just... different. You're different from Lee and Gai, in ways I don't need to even say. You're different from my girl friends, because, well, the obvious. I can't talk to you like I talk to any of my other friends, and I can't talk to them like I talk to you. For instance," she smirked, "it wouldn't take as much convincing to get my other friends to come to lunch with me than it does for you. And they wouldn't think that I owed them for the absolute torture of my company." And nobody else makes me feel the way you do.
Suddenly, Kano reappeared by their side.
"Are you ready to order?"
Tenten chattered away at Neji's right as they walked down the icy street. Neji, for the most part, looked forward, though sometimes turning his milky gaze on his rosy-cheeked charge. It was sort of nice knowing that his expected talking time was used up during their banter an hour ago. He was content listening to the voice of his female teammate.
"... and, I told him that there was no way in Hell that he could talk to me like that and get away with it. So, of course, he went into 'charm' mode. I think he seriously thought he could seduce me." The kunoichi snorted. Neji was all ears now. "Eh, that's why I dumped his ass. I swear, when the gods send me the perfect guy, I won't even hesitate."
Neji was startled. When did the one-sided conversation turn to this matter?
"Nobody's perfect, Tenten."
She gave him a sideways glance and grinned.
"So you were listening to me, huh?"
Neji grunted and she giggled.
"Well, maybe perfect's not the right word," she pondered. "Okay, I'll settle for semi-perfect." It only took a glance from the slightly older shinobi to continue. "He'd be a ninja, of course; no weaklings." She made a face that gave Neji the desire to laugh. "He'd respect women... or at least me. If he ever made one crack about how men are stronger than women, I don't care if he was the Hokage, I'd kick his sorry ass to Jupiter." She illustrated her point by pounding her fist into her palm. "He'd need to be smart. I enjoy an intelligent conversation once in a while, and need it thanks to the Green Beasts." Neji smirked at this. "Looks don't really matter," she shrugged. "They just help. I'd rather have an average-looking sweety than a drop-dead gorgeous jerk who's too self-righteous for his own damn good."
"Oh," Tenten added as an afterthought, "and he'd have to be taller than me. It's a little fetish I have."
Neji hesitantly nodded, though looking a bit confused. Tenten laughed. Unfortunately, doing so caused unbalance on her part, and with the reduced amount of friction they had been braving...
In short, she slipped on the ice. Her look of joy turned to one of surprise as she flew to the ground, and braced herself for a good kick to her butt and her pride. It didn't come. She opened her eyes (without realizing that she'd closed them in the first place) and smiled at her rescuer.
... While Neji watched, practically bubbling with jealousy.
"Thanks, Lee," she grinned, embarrassed. "I seem to be getting so clumsy lately."
"No need to thank me, Tenten! It it what friends do!" he exclaimed, helping her regain her balance. She gave him a bright smile when he struck a nice-guy pose.
"Yes, but thank you all the same."
Neji eyed Lee suspiciously.
"Come on, Tenten."
The girl waved to Lee with her free hand as Neji pulled her away by her arm. When they were out of the bowl-cut boy's earshot, Tenten frowned at her "captor".
"Neji, that was rude. He was just-"
"How do you think he got to you so fast, Tenten?" He cut her off. "Faster even than me." Tenten's scowl turned into a look of disbelief.
"No... He... They wouldn't..."
Neji's face darkened as he nodded, confirming. Tenten let out a cry of frustration.
"Lee!" she roared, flinging spare kunai at the surrounding snow-covered shrubbery. "Gai-sensei! Show your faces, you cowards!"
"Ow! Tenten, your youthful aim is both inspiring and painful!"
Neji smirked when both of the Green Beasts of Konoha stumbled out of the bushes. His smirk grew when Tenten folded her arms across her chest and began tapping her foot, clearly annoyed beyond recognition.
"Why were you spying on us? Explanation. Now."
Oh, they were in for it.
"Neji," Tenten said offhandedly, softly running her fingers over an compact obsidian fuuma shuriken. He glanced at her. "How do you think they put teams together?" At his confused look, her thoughtful look turned into a small smile. They were browsing the local weapons shop, as it was something to do that Tenten enjoyed and Neji found suitable. Plus... dude... weapons! Beyond the comprehension of fun! And soooo shiny...
"Compatability, most likely," he replied, his eyes roving over special-ability kunai. "Who's techniques work best with who's, and the like."
"Hm," Tenten hummed, fingering a curved dagger. She waved at the shop's owner, whom she was very close with (no surprises there). The old man was almost like a father to her. Sort of.
Okay, not really. But that's not the point. I digress.
"That's logical," she replied, setting the dagger back in its respective case. She turned and joined Neji at the katana cabinet. He saw her eyeing a particularly shiny one with a handle engraved with dragons. He even heard her mutter something about "damned expensive sonofa-"
He almost laughed.
Now, he had one less person to ask what they wanted for Christmas.
"Why did you ask?"
"Eh. I was just wondering why they would pair someone like you with someone like m- Lee. And Gai. Why would they pair a genius with two lunatics?"
"I've often wondered that myself," he muttered. She laughed. Neji glanced at her.
"And they put me on the team so you wouldn't murder our sensei and Lee."
Neji smiled secretively. No, Tenten. There's more to you than that.
"I don't know," he said, half chidingly, "I think you'd kill them yourself without me there."
"True," she replied, laughing as they exited the weapon shop.
"Gai-sensei," Lee stage-whispered to his idol from behind the bush they were hiding in, watching his teammates banter over ice cream.
"Yes, Lee?" said idol whispered back, but louder.
"Our plan is working!"
"Hai, Lee, you youthful kid, you!"
"Oh, Gai-sensei!" Lee cried, but caught himself. They knew better than to let their two sane friends hear them. Oh, the youthful torture...
"Let us continue to watch them... in YOUTH!"
"Oh, Gai-sensei," Lee whispered, tears of recognition streaming down his face. "Do let's!"
"Neji, do you like seafood?"
Tenten asked the question casually enough, but Neji knew the insinuation behind it.
"It's apparent that you do."
"Hai, but I didn't ask about me."
"... It's tolerable."
"Bastard," Tenten laughed, shoving him lightly in the shoulder. He smirked.
"We're eating seafood. Get over it."
Neji looked over at the kunoichi, and felt the strange urge to pull on one of her buns, just to annoy her. His pride, of course, kept him from doing so, but... He could still find time in the day to annoy her. Now seemed about right.
"I don't feel like eating out."
He glared at her, making her smirk.
"I know of this great seafood joint down the road, here, and I doubt it'll be busy today..."
"Shut it. I'll pay."
"It's the gentleman's job to pay."
"That cuts you right out, then, doesn't it?" she grinned devilishly.
"You're so immature."
She stuck her tongue out at him. He rolled his eyes.
"And that, of course, proves me wrong in the matter."
"Oh, you're such a party-pooper, Neji!"
"Hn," he replied, paying the check and standing up. Tenten followed suit, placing a tip on the table before walking out the door after Neji. Tenten sighed.
"As I said..."
The two were content to walk around Konoha, but... Really, walking got old after you've retraced your steps about five times.
"Movies?" both teens said simultaniously. Tenten laughed and Neji smiled. "What's playing?" Tenten questioned. Neji shrugged.
"Let's find out."
"Explain to me again how you convinced me to see a horror."
"Oh, hush. Violence is part of a ninja's life, you know."
"This is horror, not action."
"Blood. Guts. Scary stuff. Not that big of a difference, Neji."
He frowned as they settled into their seats.
"If you ever get scared, you can hold my hand. They say it works wonders on the nervous system."
She laughed when his face turned stern.
"You dork; I was only kidding!"
Tenten punched him in the shoulder, and shushed him when the lights around them dimmed.
You can hold my hand...
Neji's gaze flickered to Tenten, who was evidently absorbed in the large screen before them. She reached an automatic hand into their popcorn and took some. Neji caught himself, and looked back at the screen.
Apparently, the movie was about some sort of girl that babysat these kids, and this creepy guy calls on the phone and breathes hard. Neji rolled his cloudy lavender eyes. Hadn't they made this movie before?
The girl picked up the phone, and answered it cheerfully enough. Neji fought the urge to shake his head. Naive, naive woman. She should have watched the movie made before this one; then she might be more careful. And... Wait. Whenever Neji had tried that 'call your own house' trick, a machine told him that he couldn't call his own residence, properly chastising a young him without even trying. So, why could that guy call from within the house? Was he using a cell phone? If so, why would anyone sell a stalking psychopath a cell phone? Couldn't the salesperson tell he was mentally deranged? Neji scoffed. Apparently not.
"N-Neji?" Tenten whispered strangely. Neji immidiately snapped all of his focus on her. She (surprisingly enough) looked terrified out of her wits. Her hands trembled, but she seemed unable to take her eyes off of the screen, which was showing the panicking woman and the children. The lights were off in the house, power cut. Neji did the only thing he thought could calm his teammate without disturbing the few other patrons in the theatre; he covered her shaking hand in his, holding on tightly.
Her chocolate-colored eyes met his, and he smiled lightly to her terrified face. He leaned over to her, and whispered, "It's just a movie, Tenten."
She nodded slowly, seemingly a little more calm, on her face an expression of new hope and bravery. Neji looked down.
She hadn't removed his hand from hers... and he really didn't plan to.
"Better than a chic-flic?"
Neji, of course, had insisted on walking her home, the chivalrous bastard, and Tenten wasn't complaining.
When they reached her doorstep, she gave him a light grin.
"I had a lot of fun today, Neji. I'm glad I could convince you to spend it with me."
Tenten rolled her eyes, and unlocked her door. Pushing it open, she turned to him one last time...
... Only to be met, face to face, with his milky lavender orbs. Her own eyes widened as he quickly wrapped an arm around her waist, the other preoccupied bringing her face to his. He smothered her lips with his own, giving her no time to respond before pulling her tightly against him. When she was finally able to respond, she did so with full force. Tenten snaked her arms around his neck, pulling him down to her. Lips mingled in a way that warmed them like even the sun couldn't, and neither wanted to break apart, even for the much-needed air.
Tenten smiled softly at him when the parted, glancing upward at the mistletoe above with gratitude. Neji, of course, brought her gaze back to him.
"Merry Christmas, Neji."
-- . -- . -- . -- . -- ,, -- . -- . -- . -- . -- ,, -- . -- . -- . -- . -- ,, -- . -- . -- . -- . --
Me: "Fluff makes me smile when we hug!"
Fluff: "WTF?? Do I know you?"
Me: -sweatdrops- "Review please! -to Fluff- Of course you know me, you idiot. I use you all the time in my plots! Don't tell me you forgot about me so easily. We had lunch on the 2nd of December."
Fluff: "Hey! I'm a busy muse! I know many people! You can't possibly blame me."
Me: -grumbles- "... bastard... You're lucky I love you... Can't even remember me... bastard..."
-RD (the end)
Fluff: "Hey, wait... I remember that."
Me: "Oh, so you remember my username initials and not my personality! Hmph! Jerk!" -picks up Angst and begins to walk away-
Fluff: -sweatdrops- "Please put down Angst. You're scaring him."
Me: "NO! Thanks to you, I need him for my next story!"
Fluff: "...Oh, wait, I remember you! You're the one with the short temper and the violent intentions toward everyone you meet!"
Me: -tears up- "... You... You remember me! I kneeeeeeeew you woooooould!!" -hugs Fluff while sobbing uncontrolably with joy-
-RD (it's the end. Really, this time. Heh. Merry Christmas!!!)