6 Months with the Hyuuga Family
By: Whipped Coffee

I don't own Naruto.
If I did, I wouldn't be here, now would I?

Month Three
Day Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, Twenty-Six

Chapter 41—One Minute One Second

Life was like an ocean.

Well, not really.

But at this time, Tenten couldn't help but think that. Rain was all she could see, or even hear. Only moments after she had settled in the playhouse after getting her coffee did it start. It pounded against the hard concrete pavement, filling her eardrums with a constant reminder.

Neji left her.

She sniffed – not because she was crying, but because it was getting colder each second. Her nose had been running since ten minutes ago, but she hadn't noticed. She was too numb to notice. Tenten shivered, burying her face deeper in to her scarf, if that was even possible.

She felt stupid. Why was she still here? She didn't want to answer that question – she figured if she just left it alone, a miracle would happen. Maybe Neji would even show up. Tenten frowned to herself. She knew that wasn't going to happen. How many hours had it been already? She wasn't that stupid. Even if she didn't check the time, she knew that he had to be at least two hours late into their meeting time.

She sighed, finally getting up on her feet and out of the playhouse. She forgot to bring an umbrella, since she only thought it would be a quick meeting before they headed to somewhere warm and dry. But obviously that wasn't the case at the moment. It didn't matter much anymore – Tenten didn't mind getting wet.

She walked slowly towards the street, her heart feeling heavier with each footfall. Why should she feel guilty? It wasn't like it was her fault – it was his. He was the one who didn't show up, even after she waited all this time. So she shouldn't be feeling guilt. She should be feeling angry.

But she couldn't bring herself to be angry at him.

Neji wasn't the type of person to ditch. Tenten knew that. So what had kept him up? She thought back to what could have happened to him, and came out with only one explanation: Sakura. Her fist tightened in her jacket pocket, but she left it at that.

But Neji didn't know that Sakura was back. Tenten stopped walking, taking a moment to gather up her feelings to move forward again. Once her feet came in contact with the ground, the thoughts whirled up.

So Sakura called Neji earlier than she thought. But that didn't mean there would be a change in their relationship. It doesn't mean that he'll break up with her –

Tenten cursed to herself and smacked her head with her gloved hand. She shouldn't be thinking like this. She resumed walking, or rather, stomping down the street, her guilty mood suddenly turning into a foul mood. She didn't want to be the type of girls to constantly worry about the possibilities of what would happen if Sakura and Neji met up again. She didn't want to be insecure, nor did she want to be overly clingy with Neji.

But then again, she didn't want to be a lot of things.

Tenten arrived at the Hyuuga Manor shortly afterwards. She slipped by the gates and took her time getting towards the front steps of the Manor. She contemplated on what she would do if she saw Neji – ah, to heck with it, she would just have to wing it.

Gingerly putting her foot into the floor, she tried her best not to make any noises (or get the floor wet) while she silently proceeded to go to her room. She didn't bother to turn on any lights; it would only be of an inconvenience. As soon as she arrived at the stairs, she made a quiet dash for her room. She slowed down a bit when she found herself in front of Neji's room; she wondered if he was already asleep, or reading before bed like he usually does. As much as she wanted to find out, she tore her stare away from the door and continued to walk towards her room.

Once she was in her room, she closed her door gently, in fear of waking someone up if she slammed it. She slid down to the floor whilst leaning against her door, breathing out heavily. She was drenched from the rain, and although she was finally in a warm place, she still couldn't feel her feet.

She could feel a cold coming tomorrow.

"There's no need."

Hiashi knew that Neji was going to be against it. He knew from the moment that he mentioned the words 'Tenten' and 'job' together, it would all just go downhill from there. Hiashi also knew that change was difficult for Neji – but in any case, it had to change. Nothing can stay the same forever.

"Neji, you have to understand," Hiashi tried again. "Sheltering Tenten here would not do her any good. She needs to grow as a person, and so do you. If you two stay together here under the same roof forever..." He stared at Neji, trying to see if he understood. "You both will not grow as people."

Neji gritted his teeth, although he made no other motion to counter his statement. What could he do? Hiashi was the head—anything that he says, goes. Neji knew that his opinion wouldn't be injected into Hiashi's decisions. There was no point in even voicing his thoughts.

"Neji," Hiashi started again, knowing fairly well that Neji still didn't agree with him. "Think about Tenten. She would not want to be here forever, for the rest of her life."

"How would you know?" Neji spoke back harshly, having enough of Hiashi's lectures. He bowed his head a bit when he saw Hiashi's expression. "My apologies... I did not mean to say it like that."

Hiashi's eyes softened a bit, observing Neji's change in attitude. He too, had grown as a person. Now it was time for Tenten to grow. "I am not forbidding you two to date," he said in a softer, quieter tone. "You two will only live in different vicinities." It was more of statement than a suggestion.

Neji nodded his head slowly, since that was all he could do. Once he saw Hiashi's nod, signaling that he could now leave, he headed for the door. Once outside, closing the door shut without a noise, he let out a small breath that he didn't even realize he was holding in. He stood for a minute, gathering his thoughts, before taking a step towards his room.

Suddenly, something caught his eye. He studied the floor with curiosity, wondering why the floor was glimmering. Then it hit him—it was water. Following the puddles of water, he found himself standing in front of Tenten's room. He stared at the door, not knowing what to do. Not knowing what to feel.

No light could be seen from underneath the door, nor were there any noises to indicate that she was awake. Neji hesitated, his hand hovering over the door knob. "Good night, Tenten," he said softly, withdrawing his hand.

Day Twenty-Five

Tenten hated colds.

But even though she hated colds, she never hesitated to stay out in the rain to play.

It was back then when she used to play with the other kids at the orphanage. It was only then she hadn't developed her temper yet. The rain calmed her, soothed her, and provided a sense of relaxation for her. Of course, the other kids always thought that she was a freak, since no one seemed to be as obsessed with the rain as much as she seemed to be.

But she didn't care.

It was fun to play in it, even if she had been alone. None of the other kids had been willing to catch a cold by staying out in the rain storm, but Tenten didn't care. The consequences would be harsh, but she loved it anyways.

But getting a cold sucked.

Really badly.

She sneezed for the fifth time in a mere two minutes. Falling asleep with wet hair hadn't been too bad (she had taken a quick shower before jumping to bed), but waking up with a horrible headache and a running nose wasn't an ideal morning. She buried herself deeper into her warm bed as she tried to get some sleep before it was time for school.

And then her alarm rang.

She groaned, rolling over in bed. She felt like she was in no condition to go to school, nevertheless even get out of bed. She pulled the covers over her head, muffling out the sound of the alarm.

"Tenten-san?" A knock could be heard.

Tenten didn't bother replying as the maid opened the door slowly, as if scared to awake the girl. "Are you awake?" She asked, stepping into the room quietly. She looked at the bed, and frowned as she headed towards the windows. She pushed aside the curtains, although that hadn't been effective in waking her up since the sun had not rise yet. "It is time to get ready, Tenten-san."

"I'm sick! I don't want to go!" Tenten complained from underneath her covers.

The maid walked over, pulling at the blank. "You do look bad, Tenten-san," the maid commented. "I will go report this to Hiashi-sama."

After the maid left, Tenten fell back asleep. It was only a few minutes later (or so Tenten thought, but in actuality it was two hours) that she heard voices in the background. She ignored them, trying to block out the sounds. "Shut up," she mumbled a little, burrowing her head further into her pillow. At once, the voices seemed to vanish from her ears. A small smile bloomed on Tenten's face as she slept soundlessly.

Two o'clock in the afternoon rolled around quickly. Tenten opened her eyes slowly, wincing at the bright light that filled her room. She groaned in frustration, feeling her headache coming back. "Someone turn off the sun..." Tenten whined quietly to herself, knowing that no one else would hear her.

When silence greeted her back, she sighed. Used to the blinding sun after a few minutes of blinking, she opened her eyes wide to stare at the ceiling. How long had she been asleep? She couldn't remember, but she felt reenergized after sleeping for so many hours.

Hey face lit up as she noticed a tray of food set out for her on the table beside her bed. She quickly ran to her bathroom to brush her teeth, and then jumped back into her bed. She felt a lot better than she did in the morning—at least ten times better. Her nose wasn't as runny anymore, and the headache was gone. She sipped her soup with a content smile, savoring the slight warmness it still held after what she guessed, a few hours of sitting.

"And here I thought you were starving to yourself."

Tenten blinked at the voice. She turned her head towards the opened door, and smiled in confusion when she saw Ino with a white plastic bag. Kairi popped her head out from behind and gave her a frown. "You don't look sick at all!" She complained, pushing Ino aside, making way for herself to enter the room.

Ino glared at Kairi, but said nothing else. "Unlike someone here," Kairi glanced over at Ino, "I said that you probably weren't all that sick, but Ino thought you died in your sleep or something."

"Better safe than sorry!" Ino argued back, placing the bag of food near Tenten's bed. "She's just angry that she couldn't afford the parfait that she saw at Kiba's cafe."

"I could've gotten a discount if you didn't rush me," Kairi muttered to herself as she went through the bag of food, which resulted in a slap on her hand from Ino.

"If I didn't rush you, then you would've been there all day stuffing your face with food," Ino retorted back. "And I had to leave Shika too," she frowned to herself, eyeing Tenten's appearance. "She's right; you don't even look sick! Did you just say that to cut school?"

"I was sick!" Tenten defended herself, putting her finished soup aside. "I was worse when I woke up," she grumbled. "Did I miss anything at school? What's the special occasion, coming to visit me with food?" She asked curiously, eyeing the bag.

She was right—they wouldn't have come for the pure intention of just checking up on Tenten, and Tenten knew that. It wasn't because they didn't care; it was just their nature. After all, they could find the details from Hinata. Kairi looked at Ino nervously, who only ignored Kairi's stare. She shrugged, showing indifference. "Not my problem," Ino said, staring at her manicured nails. "She's the one who didn't contact me. I have no relationship with her whatsoever."

"You're being such a baby, Ino," Kairi glared at Ino, who pursed her lips but otherwise showed no response.

Tenten looked down at her hands. She could already guess what was coming; they were going to tell her that Sakura transferred to their school. It wasn't a big deal, really. She looked back up at Kairi, who looked like she was having a tough time trying to tell her. She didn't get why they always hesitated to tell her things like that. She sighed, deciding to put Kairi out of her misery by telling her that she already knew.

"Sakura transferred right?"

"I told you she knew," Ino muttered, still staring at her nails.

"It's like you're psychic..." Kairi laughed nervously, unsure of what was going to happen from there on.

Tenten only grinned at her.

"So, when do I meet her?"

Day Twenty-Six

"I thought you died, Tenten!" Misaki said with mock horror as soon as he saw her that following day. "Hinata-san made you sound like you were on the verge of falling into a coma!"

Tenten laughed at his attempt to greet her. It was kind of refreshing to see his lively face after hours of lost sleep the night before. "That was probably because I was dead asleep," she said as she thought back to when she was still sick. It was true—she felt like a rock back then. It amazed her how she couldn't sleep a wink last night before she went to bed. She leaned back in her chair comfortably, sniffling every now and then.

Misaki grinned widely as he heard this. "You have a lot of class work to catch up on, miss," he said in a teacher-like fashion as he bobbed his head up and down. He proceeded to pick up his book bag, slamming it down on the table, resulting in a loud thud. "I was out for only two days and I could barely understand half the words that came out of Asuma-sensei's mouth." He shuddered at what seemed to be a bad memory. "I failed that test," he moaned, lowering his head.

Tenten laughed at him. "You don't understand half the things Asuma-sensei says on a regular basis, anyways."

Misaki brought up his head and laughed sheepishly. "That's true..." He scratched his head as he struggled with something inside his book bag. The sight was quite amusing, really. It seemed as if he was fighting with a huge rodent that lived inside his bag, eating all his homework and papers. That could have been a great reason as to why he never had his homework when needed.

And knowing Misaki, the possibility of a huge rodent living in his bag was high.

"So, how'd you get sick anyways?" Misaki asked curiously, looking at her from the corner of his eye. He was still digging through his book bag for something. "You wouldn't have been that stupid as to stay out in the rain, would you?" As if thinking about what he just said, he laughed to himself. "Oh wait, it's you. Of course you would be the one to stay out in that crazy weather."

Tenten gave him a half-hearted smile as she coughed into her hand. She wasn't going to reply to his question – it seemed long forgotten as the next topic started.

"Oh hey look, your hubby is here," Misaki said in a voice that she'd never imagine him to have.

Tenten ignored his ridiculous antics and hesitantly looked up, noticing that Neji was approaching them. Which was to be expected, since he sat next to her. She braced herself for any words from him—any words of any kind. Truthfully, she was waiting for an explanation. She understood why he might've stood her up (Tenten cringed when she thought of the words—it left a sour taste in her mouth when she thought about it) since she couldn't cross out the possibilities of him being caught up in a troublesome situation, but she didn't understand why he couldn't have visited her when she was sick.

After all, his room was right down the hall.

Unfortunately, there were no words exchanged between the two. Neji passed by like nothing happened, and Tenten played the whole I'm-not-going-to-say-anything-until-you-say-something-first act. She frowned to herself at his lack of explanation. Was he just going to let it go like this? She sighed silently to herself as the bell rang.

This would irk her for the rest of the day.

How she ended up in Kakashi's class already, she did not know. Hours flew by her without her noticing, and before she realized it, there was only five minutes left until the period ended, before lunch started. To say that she wasn't nervous would be a lie, although she was not trembling with fear. She had yet to hear how Sakura was like – sure, the others talked of her countless times, but they never exactly described her personality. Sasuke hadn't been in class for her to ask either, and with the way things stood with Neji, it seemed like she wouldn't be talking to him any time soon.

The bell rang, signaling the end of the period. Students rushed out of the class without a second thought, ignoring Kakashi's futile attempt to shout the assignment due tomorrow. Tenten heard Kakashi mutter some incoherent words under his breath as he took out a rather interesting book. She stared at the others who rushed out of the classrooms with an unnerving feeling. Had it been any other time, she would've done the same thing. Things were different now; at least to her, things felt a lot different.

Sighing, Tenten gathered her things into her bag and stood up. She was the last student to leave the room, which was something odd. Usually all the students would jam through the door at the same time. Kakashi looked up and threw her an odd glance (or at least she thought it was an odd glance. She couldn't really tell since he was wearing that mask – which she was confused at; were they even allowed to wear masks in school?) before a look of recognition crossed his face.

"Tenten," Kakashi called out, motioning for her to come closer as he set down his book. As soon as Tenten did, he gave her a sheet with red marks. "I was going to give it back tomorrow, and making all of you retake the test after your horrible failures," he said in an unenthused tone, "and since you're the only one who has the small amount of respect left, you have the honor of getting yours back early," he said as his eyes curved in a crescent shape, which only meant that he was smiling. "Truthfully, I thought you would have done better than this," he suddenly said in a serious voice, all humor in his tone gone. "You've been getting a row of low grades. Normally I expect this from Naruto, but not you." He broke off in his thought and stared longingly at the lone book lying on his desk. "If you need any help—"

"It's fine," Tenten cut in, wanting to get out of the classroom as quickly as she can. She knew that Kakashi probably wanted her out too, so he can engross himself in his book again. Besides, if he was offering to help her after school... Tenten involuntarily made a weird face at the thought. It would be all too awkward, not to mention it wouldn't help at all.

Kakashi only nodded mindlessly. Tenten sighed. It was no use trying to say anything, since his mind wasn't even with them at the point. It was probably off in cloud nine, along with his perverted book. "Well, if there's nothing else you need help on, you can go," Kakashi said, reverting his eyes back to Tenten, wondering why she was still standing there. Usually, students would've ran off when he was distracted by his beloved book—why was she still there?

"Ah," Tenten nodded, and readjusted her straps on her shoulder as she walked quickly out of the room. She shook her head violently as she felt a headache coming along. It wasn't the best way to get rid of it, but it did help for the most part. She quickly walked down the stairs that led to the cafeteria. Spotting her usual table, she rushed along the small crowds of teens. As soon as she was in sight of the people sitting around it, she noticed a blob of pink.

"Hi Tenten!" Naruto's face came into view as he excitedly waved his hand at her. The smile on his face was contagious; Tenten found herself smiling along with him. "This is Sakura-chan!" His excitement made up for the lack of it at the table once she got there.

She could feel everyone's eyes on her. Her smile slowly faded away before she realized that they were waiting for to say something. Tenten cracked an awkward smile (although she hoped it wasn't that noticeably awkward) towards the said girl. "Nice to meet you, Sakura-san."

The pink haired smiled happily back, not noticing the tension at the table. "It's so good to finally meet you, Tenten!"

'If only it were the same for me,' Tenten thought dryly as she sat down next to Hinata. With that, the conversations resumed once again. Kairi was animatedly explaining something to Sakura, with every hand gesture and whatnot. Ino was of course, still sulking at the fact that Sakura hadn't even apologized for not contacting her over the few months that she was gone. Ino continuously poked at her salad, each poke getting harder and harder.

Only Hinata seemed to notice Tenten's discomfort.

"A-Are you okay?" Her voice was full of concern as she stared at Tenten's unhappy expression.

Tenten blinked at Hinata. "I'm fine," she said, clearing her throat as she unwrapped a sandwich. She took a big bite into it, so she wouldn't have to say anything else to Hinata. For some reason, she wasn't feeling very talkative today.


Tenten froze as she heard that word left Sakura's mouth. As much as she wanted to look up and see his expression, she refrained herself from doing so. No—she wouldn't. She wouldn't succumb to her wishes so quickly. There was a moment of silence at the table, as if every one of them was waiting for something spectacular. Tenten began to chew slowly again, and swiftly stole Kairi's milk seeing as though Kairi was too occupied with staring at Neji and Sakura.

If he wasn't going to talk to her, then she wouldn't acknowledge him either.

There was nothing more in the world that she wanted to do than have the ground swallow her up right now. Even if no one's eyes were on her—she assumed that all eyes were on Sakura—it was still mildly embarrassing for her. Tenten crushed the sandwich wrapper with unexplainable strength and shoved the rest of her sandwich into her mouth. Her lunch was finished, and all she needed to do was throw out her garbage, however little it may be. Her excuse to leave was soon gone when a lunch aid stomped by and grabbed her wrapper, throwing it into the movable garbage can that she rolled around.

And so Tenten was stuck in a predicament.

The interminable silence drove her to a wall—how long were they going to keep this up? Wasn't it the first time they saw each other? Why aren't they smiling, hugging, or at least even exchanging words? Tenten glared at a dark spot on the table, as an odious smell wafted up her noise, making Tenten grimace. It might have been just her imagination, since no one commented on it.

She felt sick.

Tenten abruptly stood up, exiting the table rather quickly avoiding any questions that they might have thrown at her. As soon as she neared the doors, she turned her head slightly to see if anyone noticed, or even cared, that she was gone.

Just as she thought, no one did.

"What are they doing, having a staring contest?" She muttered to herself as she saw how the two stared at each other.

Once inside class, Tenten felt more exhausted than usual. She guessed that the after effects of her cold were worse than she thought. Nasal congestion was the worst, especially when she had a headache and itchy eyes. Sniffling slightly, she tried to pay attention as Orochimaru continue on about something that sounded like a voltaic cell. What in the world was that, anyways? Tenten shook her head to get rid of the headache. She missed one day of school and they were already on another topic.

"Class dismissed," came Orochimaru's voice as the bell rang.

Tenten trudged her way to her next class, pointedly ignoring everyone who tried to speak to her. She was too tired to even care at this point, which reminded her; she still had to go to Konohamaru's later. The job was looking less promising every passing hour since Sakura showed up – she knew that Konohamaru would be talking about Sakura. It was just instinct.

"Good afternoon, Tenten. Did you have a nice day at school?"

Tenten was a bit surprised that Sarutobi was still home when she got to their apartment that afternoon. Usually he would leave only minutes earlier than she arrived, so she would usually see him on her way into the apartment. At least, that was the routine almost every day. What brought on this new change?

"I have news for you," he said with a smile as he gestured her to come in. As soon as Tenten took off her shoes and stepped in the hallway that connected to the living room, he continued to talk again. "The previous owners of the empty complex left their furniture there. They thought that it was too much of a hassle to bring everything with them, so they left them there. You can decide to throw it out though, seeing as though it might be odd to use someone else's furniture, but I thought that on your budget and since you're still a student, it might be of use to you."

Tenten widened her eyes in surprise. Truthfully, she hadn't thought of Sarutobi's offer for a while. Getting sick and meeting Sakura as well as other things made her too tired to even think about anything else.

"Well..." Tenten started off unsurely.

But in reality, this was a good deal. That much she knew. Eventually she would have to move out, find her own apartment, find a job, pay for the rent, buy furniture as well as other necessities... Now that she had this offer, she could cross out finding an apartment and paying for furniture off her list. She knew that she should say yes, but somehow she couldn't voice it out loud. It was as if an invisible force was holding her back.

"You don't have to answer if you're not ready," Sarutobi took notice of her hesitation as they walked towards the living room, where laughter echoed. "Learning how to live on your own is stressful," he commented as he stopped. He turned to face Tenten with a somewhat apologetic face. "Tenten," he suddenly said, "I'm sorry," he apologized "My stupid grandson wanted Sakura-san back as his tutor..." He trailed off as he stared into the living room.

So that was what the laughter was.

Tenten shook her head, giving him a forced smile. "It's fine," she said. "He seemes to be having fun with her." He never laughed like that with her.


"Yes I assure you, it's fine." He never smiled like that with her.

"Well then, I guess this is the last time I can ever pay you," Sarutobi said kindly as he handed Tenten an envelope. He held up a hand when Tenten opened her mouth to reject the money that he was offering. "Although you didn't tutor Konohamaru today, I still want to pay you, as a thank you for all that you've done. I haven't seen Konohamaru's grades this high in a long time," he added with a chuckle. "I do hope that you'll come visit sometimes. He's taken quite a liking to you, even though he doesn't show it."

"Really? It seems kind of hard to believe..." Because he never listened to her the way he was listening to Sakura now.

"Yes, I'm sure of it. Truthfully, this was how it started out with Sakura, too."

"Ah..." Of course. She was just Sakura's shadow.

"I'm truly sorry. If you need a job, the cafe down the block is hiring. I saw it on the way," Sarutobi said.

"I'll go see," It was like he was a different child. Not an ounce of malicious intent to run away was etched on his face.

"Thank you for understanding," Sarutobi said with a grateful smile. He looked back at the living room, "Kids these days," he said with a sigh as he escorted Tenten to the door.

Tenten smiled as she put on her shoes. Closing the door gently after her, she let out a slow breath. It took a minute or two for the news to sink in. She lost her job. To Sakura, nevertheless. Tenten smiled grimly at the sheer irony.

At least Neji will be happy that she didn't have a job anymore.

"Y-You're back already?" Hinata questioned as she saw Tenten walk through the main entrance of the Hyuuga Manor.

Tenten nodded unenthusiastically as she trudged her way towards the stairs. Hinata only stared with a timid expression, not knowing what had gotten into Tenten.

"I have to go o-out with Father somewhere," Hinata spoke up, stopping Tenten in her tracks. "Uhm... N-Neji-niisan will be coming along, as well as the rest of the family. It shouldn't take long, m-maybe... an hour or two," she added.

In other words, Hinata was telling her that she was going to be alone.

Tenten smiled grimly at that idea. She turned around, giving Hinata an assuring but tired smile. "Don't worry about it," the exhaustion was evident in Tenten's voice. "I'll be fine."

"Then..." Hinata trailed off as her eyes wandered around. "I'll see you tomorrow. Good night, Tenten," Hinata said as she scurried along the long halls of the Manor.

As soon as Tenten entered her room, she threw herself onto her bed, not giving a care in the world about her homework. She'll just have to make up an excuse—her dog ate it, she lost it, the wind blew it away, it was thrown away by the maid—there were so many possible reasons that she could make up, but she knew her teachers wouldn't believe her. Oh well; she would just have to make it up some other time.

"Tenten-san?" The sounds of knocking echoed in the dark room as Tenten silently groaned to herself.

She felt relaxed in this awkward position, and she didn't want to move any time soon.

"Tenten-san?" The knocks of the maid's became slightly louder. "Are you there? Your friend is here to see you."

Tenten's ears perked up at the words. Her friend? Who would come to visit her at nine o'clock at night? Tenten reluctantly got off her bed, kicking away the scattered books that were misplaced all over the floor. She trudged her way unwillingly towards the door, only giving the maid a tired smile on her way towards the stairs. By now, she could navigate around the Hyuuga Manor blindfolded—although she would never do that, because it would only result in disruptive chaos, along with a few broken vases that cost more than she did.


The pink hair was no joke. It stood apart from the white room, and occasionally a maid or two would glance about, wondering who the flamboyant girl was. Of course, Sakura seemed to be immune to the stares as she stood waiting nervously for someone, who apparently was Tenten.

"Ah, Tenten," Sakura gave her a polite smile as she wrung her hands behind her back. "Sorry for making you come down here. I guess they automatically thought that I was your friend..." She said in an apologetic tone. She suddenly widened her eyes as she realized how her words sounded. "Not that I'm not your friend!" She immediately cried. "But... I mean—"

"Are you here for Hinata then?" Tenten cut in quickly, saving Sakura the trouble of explaining herself. It felt like something heavy was sitting in her stomach, as if she ate a rock for dinner. Sakura gave her a shy smile that only made the feeling heavier and heavier.

"Actually, I'm here for Neji..." She said in a small voice as she avoided Tenten's eyes.

Of course.

"They're out," Tenten explained. "Hinata said that she had to go somewhere with Hiashi-san, and that the rest of them are going along too."

"Oh, really?" Realization struck Sakura's face. "I'm sorry for bothering you then," Sakura said in an apologetic tone. "I didn't think that they would be gone at this time, so—"

"It's fine," Tenten said, giving Sakura a reassuring smile. "Do you want to wait for them?" What was she doing?

Sakura blinked at Tenten, a bit shocked at the offer. "Uh..." Sakura mumbled unsurely as she wrung her hands behind her back again. "I... I don't want to impose since they might not even come back until tomorrow morning or something, so...."

Stop talking, stop talking. "Hinata said they were going to take an hour or two. You can stay and wait if you want, since you came all the way from your house at this time of the night...it's too late for you to be going home by yourself, anyways." What a lie. Sakura came here fine—why did she have to worry about Sakura getting home safely then? "Whatever you have to say must be important." It was like her mouth had a mind of its own. What was she doing?

Sakura looked a bit hesitant from the way she opened and closed her mouth. "...I guess," Sakura finally said after much thought. "If that's okay with you..."

Really, what in the world was she doing?

Sorry for the delay! I'm doing edits, once again, and I wanted to post this up when I finished editing the whole story... Although that didn't go quite so well. I'm only halfway through editing; you can see how obvious it is if you compare chapter 19 to the ones before. Bleh. I hate this. Hurm. Do you guys think I should delete the whole thing and just do a repost? 8) Nah. Too much work. So don't hate me for tweaking the chapters around a little You're all welcome to skim through it! Or reread it when the whole thing's done. And that's soon, which is awesome.!

& sorry if this chapter's confusing. Ish. GAH. I think I'm going insane.

So, on Thursday I had to do my oral part of my Spanish regents. I have to say, I failed that pretty badly even though my teacher said I got a good score... It's just the thought of not being able to think right at the moment and stumbling over my few words from pressure made me feel like I'm a total failure ): She was staring at me with a great big smile too. She's too nice. Way, way too nice. D:

So... next chapter, no idea when it's coming out. School's ending, finals are coming up... FML, I'm going to fail all of them(: But I'll most likely be procrastinating and writing new chapters, so no worries there I guess...

One Minute One Second – Epik High