Title: Counting Stars
Word Count: 891
Summary/Description: No matter what, he will always make time for her, and counting stars.
Warning/Spoilers: No spoilers, and nothing to warn about.
A/N: This is fluff. No, really.
Disclaimer: Naruto is not mine. There.
"We don't have time for this," Neji protested solemnly, raising his one free hand to ward off stray sticks and blades of grass that leant into the way of the moonlit path.
"No, we don't," Tenten agreed amicably, and continued pulling him along, smiling softly.
"The mission is over," he reminded her, speaking to her back. "We were due back an hour ago." She tugged harder, and he couldn't help but think that it was a little ironic, that in this instance, he was the one following her.
"Yes, we were." Tenten paused at a fork in the road. After a moment of deliberation, she went left. She held tighter to his hand.
"Tsunade-sama will not be pleased." Neji tried his best to sound grave and stern, but saw that it had not worked when she turned round to wink at him.
"No, she most certainly will not," she concurred, and abruptly, made a sharp turn into a clearing.
Brightness spilled down upon them. The moon was round and luminous, floating in the star speckled sky like a stationary pendulum of silver. The deep scent of a flower he could not identify perfumed the air, and all around them, the sounds of the forest rose and fell in an orchestra of nature.
If Neji had been the romantic type, he might have made mention of the panoramic beauty that they were in. As it were, he said levelly,
"We should not be here."
Tenten turned to face him, eyes sparkling, and gave him a smile to rival the brilliance of the moon.
"No, but you're going to stay here with me anyway, aren't you?"
Neji's resolve crumbled. He sighed, and was already closing his eyes when two arms swung up and locked around his neck. Soft lips pressed against his own, and he felt one of Tenten's legs twist between his own, taking his weight out from under him. He braced himself to cushion their fall, and secured his hold on her with one hand on the small of her back, and the other at the back of her head. All the while, her lips moved sweetly over his, tasting and teasing in a slow rhythmic dance.
The grass around them was soft and damp, its smell wrought with the freshness of spring. Tenten slowly pulled away in order to press a kiss to the bridge of his nose. She looked down at him intensely, as if trying to pour her eyes into his. Neji felt a gloved hand cup his cheek tenderly, and moved against it unwittingly, eyes beginning to flutter closed.
Tenten grinned widely, and Neji remembered himself, scowling slightly to save face.
"We still have to get back, and soon," he reminded her sternly, but could not manage a completely emotionless visage, not when her eyes twinkled at him so, and the moonlight seemed to stream from her pores. He could not fathom why she was suddenly so playful, especially right after a mission, but it was the happiest her had seen her in quite a while. And her happiness was nothing if not infectious.
"Tell you what," she proposed, rolling off of him and snuggling into his side. They both faced the sky now, and she raised an arm to point at it. "We'll leave, but only if you'll count the stars with me first." Her other hand sought out his to clasp it. "Each and every one."
He turned to face her abruptly, but his words of disbelief died on his lips at the simple, happy expression she wore. Neji felt his heart seize.
"No," he said plainly, brushing back her bangs.
"Why not?" she asked, mock-pouting.
"Seems like a pointless endeavour to me. Why bother counting the stars, when the only one worth notice is already within my grasp?" His white gaze was a caress that seemed even more corporeal than the hand that stroked her hair gently.
Her smile unfurled slowly, like a bud coaxed into a flower by the sun. She brought up her arms and relocked them tightly around his neck.
"So, that means you're staying with me?"
Neji knew Tenten was a frank person, not one for hidden meanings, but he heard one anyway. He kissed her forehead.
Her amber eyes were flecked with gold and Neji had never felt so loved.
Her kiss took him by surprise. It was sudden and fierce, all teeth and raw emotion. She rolled back on top of him, straddling him, and he held her neck in both his hands, trying to bring her closer to him. Her hands were in his hair, and her kisses bruised his mouth. He held tighter to her, angled his head, and returned the favour.
She was breathing harshly when they broke apart, but she did not take her eyes off of him. The fingers of her right hand played lazily in his hair. With her left hand, she cuffed him lightly on the chin, and then kissed the spot.
"I love you," she said huskily.
"I love you too," he returned solemnly. She began to stroke his temple with the back of her knuckles.
"I know," she replied, and that edge of playfulness invaded her inflection once again. She winked. "Which is why you'll be the one to explain to Tsunade-sama why we're late."
A/N: Now go brush your teeth. Or, you can risk cavities to stick around and tell me what you think. :)