A/N: Another Neji x Tenten one-shot. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own.
"It's pointless," his cold, cruel, voice echoed into the forest, "just stop running."
She gritted her teeth together, biting back a smart retort that was balancing precariously on the edge of her tongue. Saying something flippant at such a crucial moment would be a dead give away of her position and Neji did not need any help in finding her. Tenten pressed her back against the tree trunk, trying to hide. She watched as Neji's white eyes, brilliant and visible in the dark of night, surveyed the area. They landed on the tree and his eyes fixed on her position for the longest moment as she held her breath. Tenten was sure he had found her, but Neji turned and began walking back towards the clearing he had just chased her from.
Her pink shirt clung to her like second skin as the driving rain sent chills down her spine. They had been training for the entire day and, because Neji was Neji, they hadn't stopped when it began pouring because 'ninja must be able to fight in any element'. She didn't know why she'd agreed to such an asinine idea. Actually, she did know why. Tenten had been mesmerized by Neji's beautiful eyes, she found herself staring at them more than usual now, and she'd readily agreed without comprehending the situation.
Stupid, she berated herself mentally, stupid, stupid, stupid!
It had grown dark and she squinted through the rain and night to search for Neji. Where was he?
Her heart hammered in her chest as she spun around at the sound of his voice. Neji leaned casually against a tree, about five meters away from her, staring passively. He seemed impervious to the rain, much to her disappointment. Tenten had hoped it would slow him down a little but, as always, Hyuuga Neji was not one to slow down because he was wet, cold or hungry. She licked her cold lips and sagged against the tree.
"Neji," she said, shivering, "you found me."
"A-Are we done for today?"
Neji eyed her form. "You're shivering."
Tenten gave him a half-hearted smile. "It's a little cold."
He shrugged and made his way towards her, offering his hand. "Get up."
She was stunned. It was the single nicest thing he'd done for her that day. Tenten took his hand gratefully and he helped her up. "Th—"
"You're ninjutsu is weak," Neji stated matter-of-factly, cutting her off mid-word, "we're going to fix that now."
"No! No, absolutely not!" was what she wanted to say, but instead, Tenten replied meekly, "Ok."
Neji suppressed a frown that was itching to appear and turned away. Why was she pushing herself so much? He knew his request that they train, even in the pounding rain, was absurd, but he hadn't expected her to comply when he asked; he just did it to keep up his persona. Sometimes he really didn't understand Tenten. She was shaking, cold, hungry, wet, tired and probably pissed off at him, but she still trained. He found it admirable, though it could've been a case of stupidity on her part.
Neji turned around, glanced at her again. "Forget it. We'll train again tomorrow."
Tenten wanted to cry in relief, separating her hands which had been laced together to perform seals. Darkness encroached and Neji's figure began to blur. What the heck? Her head felt cloudy and she pressed her hand against the tree trunk to steady herself but it escaped. Crap. She crashed to the muddy ground, unconscious.
"Tenten!" He instantly appeared by her side and Neji picked up her limp body from the ground. To his surprise, her body felt hot. He pressed the back of his hand to her cheek, marveling at how soft her skin felt, and noticed the flushed color on her skin. Fever. Damn. Neji brushed a few wet strands of hair from his teammate's face and frowned. I guess I can take her back to the house. We have medicine and she can sleep off her fever. He absently traced the outline of her lips, which had turned a bluish color from the cold; he would never do this if people were around.
Neji sighed deeply, positioned Tenten onto his back and began leaping through the forest towards his house.
He pulled the blanket up around her body, tucking it around her. Tenten groaned in her sleep, her brows furrowed, and then her tensed muscles relaxed and the worry across her brow disappeared. Neji found himself fascinated by her extremely long hair; when he undid the buns she kept it in he was surprised to find that her hair reached down to the middle of her back. It cascaded in glorious brown waves and was soft to the touch. His fingers ran through them absently as he watched her chest rise and fall rhythmically, satisfied that she wouldn't wake up to witness this action.
Neji changed out of his wet clothes in his bathroom, opting for a dry white shirt and black pants, and then reentered his bedroom; his teammate and sparring partner hadn't woken up. He pulled up a chair beside the bed she laid in, his bed, and studied her prone form. Cream colored skin, dark brown, almost black, hair, red lips even without lipstick. Tenten was a very attractive girl in her own right, though not very outlandish like the other girls of the village and considered quite ordinary compared to Sakura or Hinata. Even if she didn't have an odd hair color or eyes that caused people to cast a second glance, he found her very pretty.
He ran his finger down her cheek, the skin under his fingers was soft and supple, down her jaw, back up to her nose, and then down her lips which parted as she breathed.
Sufficiently startled, he leapt away from her to the opposite end of the room. His heart pounded within his chest from shock, somewhat fear, and he cautiously walked back towards Tenten when she didn't rise from the bed. She groaned, rolled over in her sleep, and he breathed a sigh of relief. Neji stood over her body and watched her peaceful expression. She'd said his name so clearly he had thought she'd woken up in the middle of his ministrations.
She repeated his name and he was intrigued: Tenten talked in her sleep.
"What?" he asked, sitting back down onto the chair.
"I don't like getting wet . . ." she moaned.
He was beginning to find this entertaining. "I don't know anyone who does."
Tenten's mouth formed a thin line, as if she was going to snap at him for his nonchalance. "You're such an ass." she said.
Neji raised an eyebrow at her response, particularly her word choice, and smirked. "Hn."
"There you go using that 'thing' again," she murmured. "It's annoying."
"Is it? You've never mentioned that before."
Her eyebrows furrowed. "It's not important."
"I see." he replied slowly.
"Why are you so cold to everyone?" she asked, her voice barely audible, a whisper.
Neji was caught off guard by her question and stared at her for a few seconds, a pregnant pause between him and sleeping Tenten's rants about his behavior. Why was she asking this question now after having been on the same team for three years? "No one is worth being nice to," he said coolly. Neji's eyes stared in fascination as Tenten's bottom lip quivered. What was wrong with her?
"Do you really think that?"
Neji scrutinized her face. Were there tears on her lashes? "Are you crying?"
"No." she said hotly, turning onto her side and showing him her back. "'Ninja never show emotions'." she parroted word for word from their trustee Ninja Handbook, issued to every genin upon entry into the Academy.
He was surprised she was still asleep and gently prodded her in the back. Tenten squealed and her body jumped away from his hand. Deep sleeper, he thought wryly.
"Neji." Tenten said his name, her voice slightly muffled into his pillow, while rolling onto her back.
"What?" he asked irritably.
She seemed to sense his agitation and her mouth turned down. "Neji, are you angry with me?"
"No," Neji responded, rolling his eyes. "Just say what you have to say."
"Am I a bad teammate? Do you hate me?"
There was sadness in her voice and Neji's heart did something funny, like there was a tightening feeling inside his chest. "How can you even ask that?" he asked, shocked and slightly pissed. Neji couldn't remember a time when he'd given the slightest indication that she was not a good teammate . . . And he certainly didn't hate her . . .
Tenten bit her lower lip in her sleep. "You said you don't know anyone worth being nice t—"
"That didn't include you."
"Then why are you so distant?" she countered angrily, her emotions flaring. "Are you lying to me?"
"No," he said quietly, "I'm not lying to you." Neji frowned in concentration, organizing his chaotic thoughts, while he absently twirled a strand of her hair around his index finger. "It's just . . . Hard for me to become close with someone else. You know I don't like being with other people very much—"
"You're anti-social." she stated emphatically.
Neji's frown deepened but he didn't deny it. "I like being alone."
"Don't you ever get lonely?"
"Hn." He didn't like the turn this conversation had taken and rose from the chair and began backing away but Tenten's hand shot out and grasped the bottom of his shirt, not letting him go. How did she do that if she's asleep? "Let go."
"I made you mad." she whispered, tugging on the back of his shirt. "I'm sorry if I said anything I wasn't supposed to Neji. Please don't leave."
When Tenten said 'Please don't leave', those three words tugged at his heart and Neji found himself sitting down again. Her hold on his clothing released and a sigh escaped her lips. They remained in absolute silence for the longest time, the only sound was their breathing, and Neji's head dipped. His eyes drooped as sleep beckoned . . .
"I like my red panties."
Neji's eyes snapped open, alert, as he fixed his gaze on Tenten's still sleeping form. Did she just say what I thought she just said? "Repeat that." he said seriously, running a finger down her cheek.
"I like my red panties?" Tenten repeated, her tone questioning. "They make me feel sexy."
Why would she say that? he wondered as she unconsciously turned towards his touch. Her response, strangely, made him happy and Neji stared at her face. "Tenten, have you ever been kissed?" he asked, running his thumb along her bottom lip. Red makes her feel sexy?
She frowned in her sleep and sighed. "No guy has even asked me out on a date yet." Tenten replied sadly.
Neji smiled a little, satisfied that her first kiss hadn't been stolen by another. He sat upon the bed, it dipped slightly with his weight, and she shivered when he lightly trailed his fingers down the bare skin of her neck and shoulder. He gently cupped her face in his hands and Neji bent down and kissed her. Tenten's mouth parted under his lips and she kissed him back, despite being asleep. Neji caressed her skin and she moaned in response as he ran his tongue inside her mouth.
When he separated them, pushing her away with irresistible force, she lay back onto the mattress. Tenten was still asleep but her breathing was a little labored and Neji wondered if it was because of his kissing expertise. He traced her reddened, and slightly bruised, lips with a careful finger and smirked.
Tenten groaned as she stretched her arms upward, rising from the bed. Bleary eyed, she looked around the unfamiliar room and fear instantly settled inside her stomach. Oh god, where am I?
She saw Neji, gorgeous Hyuuga Neji, leaning casually against the wall and comprehension came to her. "Is this your room, Neji?" she asked, looking around at his choice of décor, which was white, white, white.
He ignored her question and asked one of his own. "Are you alright?"
"I feel fine." she replied, brows furrowing in confusion.
"What do you remember last?"
Tenten licked her lips and, strangely, Neji's eyes followed the path of her tongue; her lips tingled. "We were in the forest training, and then I collapsed. That's about it." Her chocolate colored eyes found Neji's blank white ones and she gazed at him in question. "Did you take care of me last night?" she asked, noticing how his eyes flashed momentarily.
"Hn." Neji felt uncomfortable as a slow smile appeared on her face. "Get dressed so we can train." was all he said as he walked out, not giving her a second glance.
She sighed deeply and made her way towards his bathroom, picking up the set of clothes, a red shirt and a pair of black pants, he'd left on the edge of the bed. Of course Neji would never admit doing something like that; he was too cold to care for someone . . .
Tenten frowned at her reflection in the mirror and tentatively touched her cheek.
Her lips were really red today, like she'd been biting them constantly during her sleep.
Like she'd been kissing a guy all night long.
A/N: So? What do you think? Please review.