Title: Angel
Author: Ugly.Beautiful
Genre: Romance
Rating: K+
Pairing: Lee x Tenten, Sasuke x Sakura one-sided Lee x Sakura, one-sided Naruto x Sakura, mention of Neji x OC
Spoilers: None
Summary: The lotus of Konoha blooms twice.
Word Count: 886

Disclaimer: Not even.

He had never given her a second thought. At least, not past her as a teammate and a friend. For two reasons. One, he was completely and hopelessly sure he would wind up with Sakura. And two, he, along with everyone else, just assumed she was in love with Neji.

Of course, he wound up being wrong about both things.

He'd never felt like he did that day. Naruto had wandered into Team Gai's regular training grounds wearing the dazed, glassy-eyed look of someone who has seen something he's rather not have. It take Neji long to throw a jab at the person who had defeated him during their first Chounin Exams.

"What's the matter dead-last?" He asked, smirk plastered to his face.

"Sakura," he said calmly, as if he were dreaming, "and Sasuke," he continued, not even taunting his rival teammate like always, "are getting married." Three people blinked at him, so he decided to clarify. "To each other."

And Rock Lee's world crumbled.

He couldn't tell you what he'd done during the next three months, even if you'd asked. Because everything seemed to pass by in a blur. Fighting Neji, training with Gai-sensei, none of it seemed to matter anymore. Sakura, his Sakura, was getting… married?

On that day, he had been sitting in the same spot where he had first met his teammates, wallowing in the self-pity his life had become. Of course Sakura would marry Sasuke. He was handsome, strong, a genius, a member of an illustrious Clan. Of course she'd marry him.


Glancing up, he saw Tenten in the stairwell, looking at him in concern. He turned away. He didn't need her to pity him; he'd been doing that enough himself. Besides, she'd probably just try and shake some sense into him.

Which is why he was completely shocked when he felt her sit down next to him, wrap her arms around him, and pull him towards her. His eyes wider than normal, he froze. Was she… hugging him?! Tenten didn't hug. Tenten was the Weapons Mistress of Konoha, who could pull swords out of thin air. She fought and yelled, she didn't hug or offer condolences to people.

By the time Lee had realized what was going on, she had pulled away, and the young Green Beast was startled to see the sheen of tears in her brown eyes. "You stop doing this to yourself, Lee." She told him, wiping at her eyes with the back of her hands. "You're supposed to be the lotus of Konoha, aren't you?" She placed a hand on his shoulder when he looked away. "Maybe you and Sakura weren't right for each other. Some flowers just can't grow next to each other." She smiled. "Sometimes they just get suffocated and die."

Lee was staring at Tenten with unnatural calm, stiller than he had ever been in his whole life. He was staring at her like he had never seen her before. "Not right for me?" He echoed. "But Sakura-san-"

Tenten was already shaking her head. "She'd good for the Uchiha. Her strength is hidden by her gentleness. You need someone who is strong, Lee. Stop crying over her. She's not worth it."

After than, Lee had felt better than he had in weeks. Gai-sensei wouldn't want him to be sad. Not in the springtime of his youth. Naruto had moved on and was (as the flirty Kyuubi-vessel liked to call it) "on the prowl."

And he owed it all to Tenten. They grew closer after than, hanging out more as friends instead of teammates. And so when Lee found out that his eternal rival had asked out (and was now dating) some kunoichi from Team Gai's graduating class, it was as a friend he asked Tenten if she was okay.

There had been a brief delay on her part, while she deciphered that question. Then she'd giggled. "Neji is great and all," she said at his confused glance, "but he's someone Sakura would fall for. Pretty and angst-y."

"I thought you-"

She rolled her eyes. "Why does everyone seem to think that?" She sighed. "Neji needs someone delicate, that he can protect," a shrug, "that's just the kind of person he is." She laughed loudly then. "Besides, how can I worry about him, when I'm busy looking after you?"

He had blinked his big, expressive eyes at her in confusion when she walked off. "H-hey! Wait up!" It took him a few more months before he realized just how much she was looking out for him.

After a time, the hurt he felt when he saw Sakura, or when someone mentioned her, began to fade. And soon he barely thought of her at all. And he owed it all to the Weapons Mistress, his angel, who dragged him out of his Haruno-Uchiha wedding induced angst-fest and made him smile again.

And as a brightly smiling Lee bounced the green-eyed, black-haired child he was babysitting on his knee, he couldn't help but think he was glad Sakura had married Sasuke. After all, he'd never have become so close with Tenten and he'd probably have wilted away by now.

"Hey Lee."

He glanced up, lifting his chin automatically so he could meet Tenten's lips with his own. He smiled back at her softly. "Hello angel."

A/N: Just a short "what-if" about what might happen if Sakura and Sasuke really did get hitched like she wants them to. The only other person I could see Lee getting together with would be Tenten. So this is just a brief idea of how it could have happened. XP