Title: Singing Sirens

Fandom: Naruto

Pairing: Neji/Tenten

Rating: PG-13

Word Count: 5,123

Summary/Description: Modern day AU Everything about this says that it's not going to work. But Tenten has always specialised in disasters, and nothing in their world is a coincidence.

Warning/Spoilers: AU. Not OOC as much as it's just AU, but you reserve the right to say yay or nay. No spoilers.

A/N: Oh, man, did I have fun writing this. :3 Gyah, if I'm not careful, I'm going to start liking AUs. (Though some could argue that I already do, seeing how I'M ALWAYS WRITING THEM.) If you followed my other AU NejiTen this week, Notes, you'd have seen that I take certain liberties with my AU characters. But they're good liberties, promise. :P This fic was written with Radiohead's There There on repeat. The song doesn't altogether fit the tone, but the lyrics (http://www. seeklyrics. com/lyrics/Radiohead/There-There.html, copy and paste, remove the spaces) were particularly influential. A download of the song can be found here: http://www. sendspace. com/file/dr91py (copy and paste, remove the spaces).

Dedication: For Toboe Lonewolf, for the 2007 NejiTen Gift Exchange over on LJ. She requested: 'Flight. Or WEAPONS A MEGAPAWNZOR. Or...dude, AU. AU all the way. :D' I tried my best to fit all three in, though the two former are a bit vague. And no lime. ;; But I really hope you enjoy this, darling. ♥

Thanks to: My lovely friends, who take pity on my ignorance and folly in order to impart their knowledge. It was so wonderful of you ALL: Pikachumaniac, IgnoredFlower, Psychedelic Aya, and Ego-chan. ♥ I only used tiny bits of what you gave me, but I am so going to do another airplane fic sometime so that I can use it all. Thanks as well to dear, dear Rachel, who beta'd as much of this as she could on quite short notice. Thou art teh awesome. And she was also the one to introduce me to Radiohead in the first place, so ♥.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. Lyrics are taken from There There, by Radiohead.


There's always a siren, singing you to shipwreck… (don't reach out, don't reach out)

Lee, Tenten decided, was dead.

Well, not literally, of course. At the moment, he was probably off on some mission of his own, (a mission that had little to do with stealth, and a lot to do with cracking heads, breaking noses, and generally righting the evils of the world, if Tenten knew her partner well) having a grand old time. However, when she got her hands on him (providing that she got out of the knee-deep shit that she was currently in) she was going to wring his energetic little neck.

Lee had said (according to the information that he got from the spy network) that the Main Mansion of the Hyuuga compound in its entirety was usually asleep by two AM. Wrong. He had said that they kept no guards, as their extensive security system was more than enough to keep any intruders at bay. Wrong. He had also said that there was no one on the compound skilled enough to take her on in a fair fight. Wrong.

(This perhaps, was the most palpable error of all, seeing that she currently had a knife against her neck, her hands trapped behind her back, and a voice in her ear telling her that she had ten seconds to tell him exactly what in the hell she was doing in the Hyuuga compound.)

She might've sooner noticed the hollow familiarity of that voice if she hadn't been so busy mentally going through her options. They were currently in the hallway of the fourth floor, several doors down from the target's room. There was an open window about ten metres away, and she could spy a small, caged door high on the wall above the window that probably led to the ventilation shafts. Those were all she had to work with as far as escape routes went. Of course, there was always the option of going back the way she had come, but sooner or later, someone was going to notice the unconscious bodies of the guards she had taken out, and then there would be hell to pa--

Pain befuddled her thoughts, and she realised that the knife was sinking deeper into the flesh of her neck.

"Less plotting, more talking." It was said in a monotone, and brooked no disobedience.

Tenten, being Tenten, remained silent, which allowed for a bit of silent fuming. Damn this guy. He was the only one to have seen her, and certainly the only one to have laid a hand on her. If not for him, she'd probably be in Hinata-san's room right now. He'd been patrolling the hallway, and it would have been relatively simple to slip up behind him and render him unconscious with a few jabs to the right pressure points.

Except that this guy wasn't like the other guards. He could sense her, for one thing. And he was fast. He'd turned, disarmed and immobilised her before she could even catch a glimpse of his face.

But she wasn't completely in the red as yet. She had on a latex mask; he had yet to see her face. If she could just get out of his grip…

Blood pooled into the hollow of her neck.

"I don't have all night," the voice behind her said, a thin veneer of control masking its impatience. "You might think you do, but you're mistaken. I give you ten more seconds at best before this knife hits something crucial. Talk."

Tenten drew a deep breath.

"Okay, okay, I'm talking," she said, purposefully altering the tone and pitch of her voice, in hopes that it wouldn't be recognisable later on. "I'm here for a very serious reason. I have to-"

And with two sharp, quicksilver swift movements, she drew her head forward and backward. She didn't hear a loud crack as she would have liked, but the dull thud and grunt of pain were satisfaction enough for her as she sprang away. The knife clattered to the floor, and quick as a cat, Tenten grabbed it, retreated to a comfortable distance, and then sent it flying towards the guard, straight on a path for the middle of his forehead.

However, though his defences were down, and his hair covered his face, he still managed to evade it with careful manoeuvring. He was better than good; this guy was a pro. Tenten bared her teeth, and slipped a pair of throwing knives out of her back holster. A trio of shuriken whizzed at her; she blocked them expertly before ducking and charging him. She was just about to strike when he slipped into a stance that was all too familiar, and threw back his hair.

Tenten stopped dead in her tracks.

"…NEJI?!" she all but shrieked.

The man, who had been about to Jyuuken her into an early grave, relaxed his stance by a fraction. He stared at her curiously before straightening abruptly, as if he had had a sudden revelation. White eyes widened.

"Ten… ten?"

They stared at each other. Shocked didn't begin to describe how Tenten was feeling right now. Neji had been a part of her team, back in the Konoha Dojo when they were little, up to when they turned sixteen. They, along with Lee, had made up one of the tightest, most well organised groups that the dojo had ever seen, under the dubious guidance of Gai, forming close-knit bonds that ran deeper than friendship. When Neji had turned sixteen, his uncle had pulled him out of the dojo, saying that it was time for his nephew to serve the Hyuuga name as he was intended; as a member of the Branch family should. That had been the last time anyone had seen or heard of the stoic, white-eyed man. It had been assumed that he had been sent to manage the Chinese department of the family business.

Obviously, not.

Seeing him here was… was…

In a series of fluid movements, Tenten pushed the mask over her head, allowing her brown curls to tumble free, ran, jumped him, and kissed him soundly on his cheek.

And then she punched him.

The next time Neji looked up, Tenten was looming above him with a scowl on her lips and her hands on her hips.

"Where have you been for the past five years?!" she hissed sotto voce.

He rubbed his jaw, and glared at her.

"Here," he said shortly, and got to his feet.

Tenten threw her hands up.

"Well, yes, of course, but why are you here?"

He gave her an incredulous look before dead-panning, "I live here."

Tenten was beyond confused; she indicated it with the furrowing of her brows.

"But… weren't you supposed to be in China? And even if you are still in Japan, weren't you a part of the Branch family? Shouldn't you be across in the other compound?"

Neji gathered up his hair and flung it over his shoulder, shaking his head.

"That rumour about China was simply circulated so that no one would come looking for me. I am still a part of the Branch family," he explained in a tense voice, averting his eyes. "I simply live and work here, under Hiashi-sama's orders."

It was Tenten's turn to be incredulous as she took in this information.

"They're employing you as a guard?!" This was beyond ridiculous; Neji was one of the best fighters in the country; disciplined, trained, and talented beyond the imaginations of most people. And in this family of elite combatants, who made it their business and their lifestyle to fight, he would be an incredible asset. Why would they be wasting him here? As a common guard?

Neji answered with a shrug.

"Hiashi-sama does as he sees fit." It would take an old friend to ferret out the tinge of bitterness that pervaded the brunet's voice; it rang loud and clear for Tenten.

"Anyway," he continued, clearing his throat. "I'm the one who should be asking questions." He narrowed his eyes. "What are you doing here? I did not know breaking and entering was your forte," he added dryly.

She made an annoyed sound in his direction.

"You should know why I'm here." She lowered her voice. "We heard about what happened with Hinata-san. What your uncle is putting her through, how he is punishing her for not being up to his standards, not being his perfect paradigm of a leader. Hinata was always a bit softer than the rest of us." She shook her head. "We couldn't leave like this, locked away with no contact. She's our friend. We had to come for her."

"Wait… who exactly is 'we'?"

"The Konoha Corps," Tenten verified. "I work for them now," she added with a little bit of pride. "Most of the others from the dojo do, actually."

He sneered slightly.

"That bunch of do-gooders?"

Honey eyes narrowed by a fraction. She tried not to let the smidgen of hurt she felt manifest itself in her voice.

"I remember when you used to want to do good as well." She folded her arms and looked away.

He sensed her discomfiture, and sighed. He shook his head, berating himself mentally.

"That did not come out… I… I still do, Tenten. I just cannot do it as overtly as you do." He reached out and touched her shoulder gently, hesitantly, until she turned to face him again. "Look, I know about the situation with Hinata-sama, and I'm working on it. She wants to get out of this life, get out of this business, and Hiashi-sama will not tolerate it. I arranged to be the guard for her floor so that I could liaise with her. With any luck, my plan should be in action within a week or two."

She looked a little heartened, but dubious still.

"That's great, Neji; makes things a whole lot more simple for us, but… are… are you serious about helping her? I know you two weren't on great terms when you were younger…"

He shook his head.

"She is only a caged bird, like I am, and I will do anything to help her if I can. The past is in the past, and it will stay there," he said firmly.

Tenten raised a brow. Neji probably hadn't intended for that to be a double entendre, but she heard it anyway.

"Will it?" she asked in a feather light voice, something as bright and old as the moon glinting in her eyes. "Everything?" She took a step closer to him, and this time, when she moved to kiss him, she wasn't headed for his cheek. Two pairs of eyes flickered close, enveloping them both in the sweeping darkness of the hallway.

Heavy footsteps sounded on the staircase.

"Damn it," Neji breathed, glaring in the direction of the noise as he drew away. "Someone's coming."

"Several someones, by the sound of it," Tenten corrected him with a soft chuckle. She gave a rueful sort of smile as she donned her mask. "There's always something, huh?"

He didn't answer, and only said,

"You need to leave, now."

She nodded sharply.

"I guess I won't be able to take her now, though knowing you're here and helping is a big relief," she said, while walking briskly to the vent, looking up at it. "We're still on the case, though. We can't leave you two to do this alone. Will I be able to contact you?"

Right behind her, he shook his head.

"We can worry about that at some other point in time. Tell the idiots I said hi."

The finality of that last statement should have given her a clue as to what was going to happen next, but she was busy trying to figure out if the vents were large enough for her to fit through. As such, she was largely unprepared for Neji's next actions.

The bastard threw her out the window.


Stay away from these rocks, we'd be a walking disaster (don't reach out, don't reach out)

The next time she saw him, she greeted him with a kick to the ankle.

Although, that was somewhat inaccurate, seeing that kicking was something one did with the feet, and Tenten couldn't very well do that, seeing that one of her ankles was swollen to the size of a cantaloupe. In any case, her crutch was as good a substitute as any.

The rest of people in the line at Subway seemed horrified. Neji looked impassive, per usual.

"No hugs this time?" was all he said.

Tenten scowled, and cut into the line in front of him. A few people to the back had strong objections, but the weapons specialist quieted them with a barked, "I'm with him!" When she was sure that no one else was going to open their trap and give her an excuse, she turned to Neji and glared.

"No one has seen head or tail of you for the past five years, and now, right as we're preparing to bust the heir of the Hyuuga family out of her house, you pop up in fast food eateries. And they said Lee was the illogical one in the group."

He cocked a brow.

"I've been about since last Tuesday, when someone managed to break into the Main House, take out a dozen of our best fighters, and get away. I was ordered to go find and bring in the culprit, since I was the only one who had direct contact with him."

Being reminded made her kick him – or crutch him, whatever – again.

"You could have warned me," she hissed. "You could have warned me." She waved a hand angrily to her foot. "Do you have any idea how hard it is to do any kind of work with a sprained ankle?"

He shrugged, still impervious.

"The others were almost there. I didn't have any time."

Tenten fumed, fingering the bandage on her neck agitatedly.

"Three seconds, Neji, or five, tops, is all it would have taken to say, 'Tenten, jump out the window.' Or, 'Tenten, I'm going to pitch you out the window, maybe you should brace yourself.'"

Watching her try to burn holes into him with her eyes, he gave a small, barely-there smile.

"I knew you would survive it," he said softly.

The girl scoffed.

"No thanks to you."

Their conversation – if it could be called that – was interrupted while Tenten placed her order – Teriyaki chicken, with cheese, onions, tomatoes, the works – and then she turned back to face him.

"So, any leeway on that big plan of yours?"

Neji gave her a considering look.

"It is… funny that you should ask, because…"

She gave a small grin, suddenly in a better mood, while he frowned.

"Because I need…"

He faltered, her grin widened, and his frown deepened.

"I need your help," he ended with a scowl.

Tenten burst out laughing, which Neji didn't look too happy about.

"Somethings'll never change, huh?" Nostalgia chalked her face like words on a blackboard, before she wiped the slate clean. She leant awkwardly on the counter, trying to take some of the strain off of her legs. "What can I do you for?"

"I need to find someplace where I can get good, reliable fake IDs."

"Hm." Tenten mulled, a finger tapping her chin pensively. "Well, I suppose if you want the best, and you want to be covert about the whole thing, you'll have to go see Yakushi Kabuto on Sonido Street don't give me that look."

Neji was looking at her like she had sprouted a new head. Out of her eye.

"Why not? Last time I checked, he was evil."

"Silly boy; last time you checked was five years ago," Tenten reminded him dryly. "Ever since Orochimaru disappeared, he's mellowed down a bit. Most of what he does still isn't legal in a vast portion of the world, but we're on friendly, if shaky terms with him. He's not good people, but once you pay him well, he won't screw you over."

He sighed and nodded, but didn't look too pleased.

"Alright. I suppose I shall have to trust him."

He didn't have much of a choice, from Tenten's point of view, but she did not voice this opinion.

"So," she commented casually, raising her brows. "Fake IDs. Seems like these plans of yours are quite grandiose."

He gave a noncommittal shrug.

"I simply want to ensure Hinata-sama's safety." He sidled his silver-white eyes to her. "Did you tell anyone other than Lee and Gai about me?"

"Yes," she said very frankly, "everyone in the Corp that went to school with us. Lee and Gai were very… enthused, by the way. Oh, don't worry, they can all be trusted, for sure," she added when he gave her a look. "They know as well as I do the importance of secrecy."

Neji made a short, disbelieving noise at the back of his throat.

"Even Naruto?"

Tenten gave a short laugh, and smirked at her companion sideways.

"Yes, surprisingly, even Naruto. Actually, he seemed quite interested in Hinata's case. Has been since the whole debacle started." She smiled widely, but it withered a bit when it was not returned. Neji's eyes were downcast, and he was wearing one of his usual, serious looks.

"Listen, Tenten… I know that they have something of a… history together, but I have already advised Hinata-sama to forget about him." He gave her a hard look. "It is foolhardy, inadvisable and it will never work out."

Tenten scoffed, and cocked a brow.

"That didn't stop me from loving you."

As soon as the words left her mouth, she knew that it had been one of the worst things she could pick to say. Neji had known, of course; he had always known, because she always had. But she'd never said it before, using real words that couldn't be mistaken for anything other than what it was; an admission, a confession, love. He was giving her a static, stilted look; his version of a deer in the headlights.

She sighed. Oh, well. She had a thing for disaster, anyway.

"Well," she plodded on, pretending that nothing of import had happened, "when do you suppose you'll have everything in order?"

Back on familiar, comfortable ground, he shrugged.

"Hard to say. No longer than a week, hopefully."

He looked as if he might've continued, but then the attendant placed Tenten's order on the countertop, wrapped and ready.

"Well, good luck," she told him, straightening on her crutches. "Remember, the Corp is willing to help with anything you guys might have trouble with. You know where HQ is."

She turned to the cashier, grabbed her sandwiched, and nodded.

"Thank you." She jerked her head towards Neji. "He's paying."

Then she hobbled out of the restaurant, and didn't look back once.


Just 'cause you feel it, doesn't mean it's there (there's someone on your shoulder)

She didn't expect to cross paths with him for quite a while after that.

Naturally, she saw him again in less than five days.

She was having breakfast alone in a two seater in a small local diner. Her injury had healed to the extent that she could get by without the crutches, but she still wasn't able to go on missions, and mostly did paperwork around HQ. She wasn't exactly pleased about that, and as such, when he slid into the seat across from her, she was very much tempted to kick him again. Properly, this time.

Instead, she took another bite of her pancakes and raised an eyebrow.

"Small town," she said shortly.

"Hn," he replied.

For the next few minutes, Tenten ate in silence, and Neji watched her eat. A waitress approached them soon enough, and Neji ordered a cup of tea. Upon discovering that they didn't serve tea, he gave the woman a disgruntled look, and asked for a glass of water and a cheese sandwich. Tenten barely managed not to giggle into her plate as she asked for a refill on her coffee.

When the waitress left, they finally spoke.

"Help, I assume?" Tenten began, cutting a triangle out of the short stack in front of her.

"Not exactly." Neji leaned back into the embrace of the chair, one arm slung casually over the back. "We're leaving in a few days."

Tenten gave no visible sign of emotion.

"Where for?"

"I'm not sure," Neji admitted. "But we need to get out of here, and fast." Two fingers massaged his right temple tensely. "Hiashi-sama is becoming more agitated as each day passes. He sends Hinata-sama to the training grounds every day, and when she does not perform in accordance with his expectations, his ire increases." He pressed two fingers down on closed lids. "He's trying to make her someone she isn't."

"And you won't stand by and watch." It was a flat statement.

"No."

Tenten wiped her lips with a napkin. She waited until the waitress came back with Neji's order and her coffee before speaking again.

"Will you ever come back?" She turned her cup so that the handle faced her, and wrapped her hands around its circumference, absorbing the warmth. Warm things had always been a comfort for her.

"Someday," he supplied vaguely. "When things blow over. Maybe."

They lapsed into silence once again. Neji took a few sips of his water, and nibbled at the sandwich a couple times before pushing it away. Meanwhile, Tenten drank her coffee, and thought. She had never been one for soul searching, but now, she felt as if the ceiling was caving in on her, and she was hyperaware of just how very little time she had left. If she wanted to clear the five year old dust in the air, she had to do it now.

She put her fork to rest beside her plate.

"Neji, I…"

"EVERYBODY HIT THE FLOOR, THIS IS A STICK UP!!!"

Tenten's jaw dropped a little.

"You have got to be shitting me."

She turned slightly in her seat to see behind her, and sure enough, there were two masked men waving guns and shouting at terrified customers. It took her all of two seconds to notice that the guns were fakes, and that the would-be robbers weren't a day over seventeen. Rolling her eyes a little, she ducked under the table, and motioned for Neji to follow her.

"Please explain to me why we aren't up there, helping people in need," was the first thing Neji said when he managed to fold himself and fit beneath the table.

"Those guys aren't a threat, trust me," she assured him, scooting closer. "Listen, I just wanted to tell you that…"

He reached forward, grabbed her by the back of her neck, and kissed her.

At first, she was too shocked to do anything but stare at him with wide eyes, feeling herself melt into a puddle of pliancy in his arms. Eventually, her eyes fluttered close, and she touched his cheek, hesitantly at first, and then with the ferventness of a teenager in love with something she knew she couldn't hold on to. She felt her knees wobble, taking on the consistency of jelly with each flick of his tongue and movement of his lips. She held tighter to him. It had been far too long since she'd last done this. Far too long…

He pulled away, and looked her deep in the eyes. He seemed a little nervous, a little uncomfortable, as he always did when he had initiated physical contact.

"I know, Tenten, I know. So… so do I. But," he continued, with a tinge of urgency, "it will have to wait. I have to do this."

She nodded slowly.

"I understand," she said, and her voice only wavered a little.

"But it is there," he added firmly, squeezing one of her hands. "It's definitely there."

She smiled for him, because she felt like he needed to see it.

"Yes."

"GIMME YOUR CHAIN! THE BRACELET TOO!"

Tenten glanced up.

"I suppose we should…" She trailed off and pointed.

Neji nodded, locking eyes with her.

"Yes. Let's go."

As she threw two knifes in rapid fluidity, pinning one of the two teens to the wall by his sweatshirt, Tenten reflected. She wasn't exactly happy, but at least now, she had closure, something to work with, so that she didn't feel like there was a huge gap somewhere in her life. Neji was leaving, stepping out of her life once again, headed for unknown plains. Maybe he would, or wouldn't come back. Maybe it couldn't, and wouldn't ever work out between them. But at least she knew that they had tried. It wasn't the ending she had hoped for, but she could be satisfied with it.

However, she thought, looking over at Neji, who had the other guy by the scruff of his neck, and was disarming him, it had been a long time since she had last left Konoha, and even she could admit when work was getting to be a bit too much for her. Now that this chapter was coming to a close, and Hinata was going to be safe and happy, maybe… maybe she was due for a change of scenery.


Heaven sent you, to me, to me, to me…

She knew better than to write it off as a coincidence when she boarded the plane, wearing ugly floral print and khakis, hair in a ponytail in lieu of her usual buns, and found him sitting in the seat next to hers.

"Small world," she said shortly, stacking her bag in the overhead bin. She tried to contain the pure euphoria in her voice, and failed.

"Or not," Neji replied, and turned a page in the magazine he was perusing boredly. He pulled his legs back so that she could cross over and go to the window seat. She sank into the cushiony material, got comfortable, and then turned to the white-eyed man beside her.

"What are the odds," she asked, chin propped in the palm of her hand, "that we would both pick the same small, twin island state in the Caribbean to go to?"

He shrugged.

"Obviously more than you think." He turned another page. "It's purely a coincidence."

She gave him a hard, deadpan look, and he put away the magazine, glaring at her a little.

"Or, maybe I inquired around a little bit, found out where you were headed on your vacation, decided that it wasn't a bad place, and that Hinata-sama and I would be safe there."

Tenten faced forward, her smile as wide as the Cheshire cat's.

"How did you know that I was going on vacation?"

He shrugged.

"All it took was knowing you."

Tenten nodded, fighting the smile that threatened to get larger. She turned back to face him, and this time, it was she who grabbed him by the necktie and pulled him into a deep, savage lip lock, kissing him like it was both the first and last time.

They pulled away in tandem, each giving the other a lingering look, before settling into their seats once again. Tenten could see other passengers giving them strange looks, which she ignored for the most part.

"And Hinata?" she continued casually. She craned her neck, trying to see behind her. "Is she here too?"

"No, she went on ahead on an earlier flight," Neji said as he straightened his tie.

"Alone?" It was asked with no small measure of disbelief. No way Neji would leave Hinata to her own devices, or relinquish her care to just anyone.

Neji donned a sour look.

"No. She has a loud, crass, but admittedly capable bodyguard who insisted on going along."

Tenten grinned. Not even Neji could've stopped it, even if he'd tried. Neither of them said anything for a while. They watched the plane fill up, mostly with tourists and vacationers, but a few business men as well. The flight attendants made frequent trips up and down the aisle, seeing to the needs of the passengers. One of them stopped by Neji and Tenten once to ask if they would like refreshments; they politely refused. The quiet remained for a little while longer.

"When do you plan to return?" This from Neji, his right middle finger tapping against the arm of his seat.

Tenten checked for the flight attendant, took out a plastic-plated switchblade, flipped it open and began cleaning her nails before she answered.

"Dunno. I bought a one way ticket, not a round trip."

Neji glanced at her, a questioning look in his eyes.

"The Corp…?"

"Thinks I'm on a two week vacation in the Philippines."

Neji arched a brow high on his forehead.

"I'll contact them eventually," she said in mild protest, pocketing the blade with one swift motion when she heard high-heeled footsteps approaching.

Neji groaned a little.

"I'm beginning to think that you had this planned as much as I did."

"No, no, no," she assured him. "I only told them that I would be in the Philippines so that I'd be able to have a little peace and quiet; I didn't want anyone hounding me down. And I really was going to stay for only two weeks."

"But…?"

"But then I boarded the plane, and saw you." Her smile was large, simple and happy, and caused Neji to sigh as much as it made the corner of his mouth quirk up in a reluctant smile.

"They won't be happy," he made sure to say.

"Not at all," she certified cheerfully.

Silence crept over them once again. The plane was just about full. The head air hostess began to tell passengers to buckle up, and they were informed that the pilot was on the way. Outside, under the hot midday sun, the technicians were clearing the runway, and in spite of all the activity, the atmosphere was still and pregnant.

Neji gave a very soft sigh.

"So…" He paused, blinking. "You're blowing off work for an indeterminate amount of time to run away to an island in the Caribbean with a runaway heiress and her by now exiled cousin, all of which has the potential to launch you into a world of trouble, all because…"

"All because I love you," she finished for him.

He nodded thoughtfully.

"You know," he stated, almost conversationally, closing his eyes and throwing back his head, "this is a disaster waiting to happen." For all his foreboding words, he didn't seem too displeased at all.

Tenten reached over and took his hand, feeling his pulse, his warmth; feeling him. Her smile was wry.

"Silly boy. You should know by now that I specialise in disasters."


We are accidents waiting, waiting to happen…

A/N: Er, sorry about villainising Hiashi. (shrug) I needed a bad guy. I also apologise for making Hinata a wimp.

Boredly isn't a word. Shoot me.

It's weird, I know. A lot of it probably doesn't make sense, but I didn't want to over-explain, thinking that that would take away from the… I dunno, the atmosphere. The whole Hinata thing was a total crapshoot (which is funny, since it made up for HALF THE FIC), and the ending's not even necessarily happy. Toboe Lonewolf, you reserve the right to throw tomatoes. I promise to stay still.

And hey, the rest of y'all aren't excluded from the rotten vegetable/fruit fun either. :D

But, I'll stick to my original statement: writing this fic was FUN.