Title: Hallelujah

Fandom: Naruto

Pairing: Neji/Tenten

Rating: PG-13.

Word Count: 718

Summary/Description: Love is not a victory march. Her first kiss is her last, but this way, it is best.

Warning/Spoilers: A couple teensy spoilers for the latest Shippuuden (chapters 257-58, thereabouts?). Angst, death and unpleasant images.

A/N: For Whendee, for the first kiss drabble meme. And hey, for me apparently, first kiss equals angst like no tomorrow. A little AU-ish; I didn't take the last several chapters into consideration while writing it. Inspiration very obviously comes from Hallelujah.

Disclaimer: Nope. Not mine.


Her first kiss is her last.

She and her team fought Hoshigaki Kisame just a while back, and it had been one of the closest battles she'd ever been a part of. He was strong, and clever, and it had taken everything they had for the four of them as a team to retain the upper hand, for what it had been worth in the end.

This time, though, there is only Neji at her side, and the shark-man brought a friend.

Uchiha Itachi's eyes are truly terrible.

Neji is slumped against a tree, barely conscious. Their opponents are just beyond the ring of traps and jutsu that she had hurriedly laid out when Neji gave her that precious opening; it will not take them long to get past it. She has precious little time to do what she needs to. She can hear Kisame saying something about Naruto, making threats and dark promises, but she does not heed him. Meanwhile, Itachi's eyes dissect and analyse her traps. The very look of him fills her with urgency; they have already lost, and cannot afford to lose anymore.

Her left leg is broken in two places and her left arm belongs to Samehada; she has to drag herself over to where Neji is, and it pains her, each inch of the way. The stump at her elbow bleeds profusely, as does her leg, making the passage even more slippery, uncomfortable, and bone-gratingly difficult. Blood trickles into the crease of her eyelid, mixing with the sweat that has already gathered there. She closes her eyes and grits her teeth. If her wounds do not kill her, the pure, simple exertion will.

She almost cries when she finally touches Neji; it is such a relief. The blood-filled sockets of his eyes see nothing, but years of teamwork have inured him to her touch, and he knows her at once. Her fingers crawl their way into his pouch; the scroll is still there. A tear does escape her at that; they have been very lucky. Akatsuki cannot get their hands on this scroll.

She sets to work as quickly as possible. She still has quite a number of exploding tags with her; blood soaked and ragged, but they will still blow things to bits. She spreads them around their bodies as fast as she can with one hand, and set them to time. By the time they go off, they should already be dead.

Next, she bends her tongue back and starts working around her mouth with it. The capsule is retrieved from its place behind the last molar on the left side of her mouth with a little manoeuvring. She has imagined using it many times, but her psyche could have never come up with this scenario. Deep in the woods of the Fire Country, a thread away from death, their enemies close and menacing, sharing their very air, and the fate of the fate of their village resting in their hands.

Quickly, efficiently, she bites the pill in two. Holding Neji by the chin, feeling his noble's blood slippery beneath her fingers, she kisses him, pushing his half of the pill far into his mouth, feeling his tongue curl out to accept it. Blood and saliva help it to dissolve quickly. She can feel the poison numbing her mouth, and then flowing down her throat to do the rest of the damage.

She cannot hold herself up for very long, and soon slips away from his mouth to slump onto his damaged chest. She feels a phantom ache beyond the stump at her elbow, and wills it to stop. It will, in a short while. The poison is fast working, and hopefully, painless. Meanwhile, Neji is trying to say something to her through the blood that bubbles at his lips. She cannot make out a word of it. She smiles a creaky smile anyway.

She counts off the seconds in her failing heartbeats. Not far off, she hears a small explosion. The Akatsuki pair is getting in. They will not make it in time.

Blood slips out of Neji's mouth and begins trekking its way down his chin. She watches it, remembers how it tasted on her tongue.

Her first kiss is her last, but this way, it is best.


A/N: Why did I write that? It's so unhappy. :(

Comments, reviews, death threats, hate mail, fangirling like no tomorrow… all appreciated.