A/N; I didn't want to write anything drawn-out, but I really needed to write something.

Dedication; For Aly-chan. I'm so sorry that I left you like that yesterday!! T.T

Disclaimer; I do not own Naruto, nor am I making any profit from this work of fanfiction.

Building Bridges

She loved to look at him.

Not in a weird, obsessive way—she wasn't a fangirl. She loved to look at him; she loved to observe him. He was the epitome of perfection, and she enjoyed just sitting and dissecting that perfection. However, she rarely got the chance to simply sit and look, because he would become frustrated with her lack of action, and she'd know this, and they would fight. Well… technically, it wasn't fighting. They'd spar, and he would leave her exhausted and she'd leave him without chakra. He'd collapse, and she'd be in a fit of worry.

But of course it would be okay; they'd just pick themselves up and repeat the process the next day.

It was a routine that neither imagined living without.

- 0 -

He loved watching her.

He enjoyed observing her form; calculating what her next move would be.

He found her moves expected, but exciting all the same. How she would pelt him with a shower of shrill steel, and barely gave him a chance to hurl one back her way. How she was on her toes every moment with him. He knew she tried to impress him, even through her limit. He kept his cool air and cold stare just to be able to keep watching her dance before his very eyes. Every day he watched her like his marionette, dancing under his will and attached to his invisible puppet strings.

She was his to watch, every day. No one could take that simple pleasure away from him.

- 0 -

She watched him go through every day under constant rule of the Main section of his family. Through their many years of being teammates, comrades, cohorts, and (dare she say it) friends, and through her developing feelings, she knew not to get too close.

If it was his destiny, his Fate, then he would get no say in it. And if he had no say in his own piece of Fate, then there was no chance for her to change it either. So she wouldn't stand close to him—she would refrain from embracing him like she sometimes would Lee. She would keep their relationship strictly platonic.

But there were moments that she felt her feelings were much too obvious for comfort. Sometimes she couldn't hold back, and said something out of line, and once she even kissed him on the cheek. Each time he would gaze at her in slight surprise before once again becoming cold and aloof.

Maybe he knew what she felt—but he surely knew that they were destined to be apart. He was born to a family of higher status, and much more importance than she could ever dream to be.

To be frank, she was the dregs left at the bottom of the porcelain china teacup that was he. And as those dregs, the longer she was left there, the more attached she became to him.

The love would become her downfall, she was sure.

- 0 -

He disliked their mild game of cat and mouse. He could never tell his role, and it irritated him. He hated not knowing where he stood, and he hated not being able to control where she stood.

Maybe his Fate was uncontrollable. Maybe he had no say in it. Maybe his feelings were unimportant.

But they were far from insignificant—if they managed to break through his emotional barrier and dance about with her in front of his face, then they were anything BUT insignificant.

So he would take the plunge, if only to achieve an answer.

- 0 -

"Tenten, do you love me?"

She stilled instantly, and the kunai she was polishing slipped from her fingers and landed somewhere on the forest floor below her resting branch.

She could barely comprehend what he had said, and her heart was pounding against her chest erratically, making it difficult for her lungs to function.

He was staring at her expectantly, casually as if the question he'd uttered hadn't been one of the biggest turning point of both of their lives. In this, he perplexed her. As usual.

And suddenly, she felt the strangest urge to cry.

Almost everything about this pointed to something bad—if she tore down the wall she'd worked so hard on building over the entirety of the years she'd known him, it was practically guaranteed that she'd fall in love. It would be more than simply love; romance, passion, hearts and souls bonded to each other. In love.

But then, it would only hurt more (not just for her, but for both of them) when Fate; destiny tore them apart. They would be frowned upon for sure- he was the prodigy of a proud line of the famed Hyuuga clan. He was the successor of the Kaiten, the man who had fully mastered the Byakugan before age twelve. He was the next choice to be the Clan Head if the true heiress was to step down, despite the fact that he was a member of the Branch section of his family. He was a genius.

Whereas she was prided on her affinity for anything handheld and deadly.

There was no compatibility— there was only a line. A line; a boundary they would cross if ever exposed. Eventually, after a period of happiness, politics and honor would pull them apart, leaving her more alone than she had been before. It was a choice between a temporary high and then a sharp tug to the bottom, or remaining level, platonic, for the rest of their lives, to spare him the pain. If he actually felt something for her. But she loved him too much to risk hurting him.

So she followed her duty, and smiled brightly. Fake.

"Of course not, Neji. Whatever made you assume something like that?"

I fear I will never find anyone
I know my greatest pain is yet to come
Will we find each other in the dark
My long lost love


Forgive me, Aly-chan? –insert puppy eyes- I know this is all angsty and sad, but that's just the way it came out. I guess her devotion is a little too emotional for me to give a concrete happy ending.

((Cookies and love for those who know what song and band those lyrics come from. I know; they're one of my favorite bands. Just PLEASE don't automatically assume it's Evanescence –sweatdrop-))