Summary: Hyuga Neji, a CEO of Hyuga Corps & the heir to the company, finds himself playing a game of tug of war with a bunch of middle-class 'peasants' at a local bakery… Only it isn't the knot in the middle of the rope they're after. It's Tenten.

Disclaimer: Don't own Naruto. XP

dreaming.sapphire:I hope you all enjoy this, leave me your thoughts!!

WARNINGS: May contain OOC-ness

Tug of War

Chapter 1

Life at the Bakery


Tenten gathered the desserts ordered and placed them at its respective table, placing the bill tray beside it. "I hope you enjoy your desserts and have a nice day. Please come again," she smiled and walked back to the counter.

Tenten – 21 years old – 5'7

Tenten's a pretty brunette living a life as a bakery manager. You see, Tenten worked at the bakery ever since her Aunt Anko took her in at the age of 6 – her parents having died in a car crash. She was raised by her Aunt Anko and her coworkers: Maito Gai, Hatake Kakashi, Yuuhi Kurenai, and Sarutobi Asuma. Each of them was protective of 'their little panda', so naturally, when boys began to take notice of her at the tender age of 13, they stepped in. Poor Tenten never figured out why boys didn't like her – she shared her thoughts with her 'parents' and they assured her she would get her chance at a boy friend. Thought they all knew it wasn't going to be until she was thirty...

Recently graduating college, she now takes care of Anko's bakery with a bunch of others. She tosses around the jobs of helping out in the kitchen, being a waitress, cashier, and the one to clean up. It was how the bakery worked, they each tossed around the jobs – with the exception of cook (a few of them burned down the kitchen once…).

Tenten's not your average girl, she may be pretty, but many have found themselves rolling on the floor in pain when they tried to cope a feel or they simply messed with her. She has an odd fetish for weapons and is a master of different styles of martial arts. But despite all of these skills, her coworkers silently and willingly took the job Gai, Kakashi, Anko, Kurenai, and Asuma once had; not that she knows this of course.

Unknown to her, the group of men at the table leered at her retreating figure, making small perverse comments as they snickered. As one took a bite from his tiramisu he immediately spat it back out, "Ugh, this is way too sweet! It's like someone dumped a pound of sugar on it!"

"Is there a problem with my baking?" A bone-chilling inquiry sent shivers down their skin and goose bumps to crawl their way in to existence.

"Erm… uh… no! Of course not," one of them chuckled nervously at the red-head that seemed to appear out of no where. "Good. I hope you enjoyed your stay, that cake may have been your last dessert." The red kanji for love tattooed on his forehead crinkled as he gave them a bone-chilling smile. The thick black eyeliner around his eyes made his teal blue eyes all the more menacing behind the tuft of red hair on his head.

Sabakuno Gaara – 21 years old – 5'8

See, Gaara is naturally menacing and he knows it – also not afraid to show it. He was taken in to Tenten's group of bakery employees. Of course, even four years ago he was menacing – even more so – and it took quite a while for Tenten to get past his wall of stone and ice, working through the walls of pain. He was the last to join her group of employees and was watched over like a hawk by her guardians (Gai, Kakashi, Anko, and etcetera). His siblings lived their life fearing him and broke off ties with him, until a certain blond managed to get them all back together. Mention how he can't bake/cook and you are a dead cookie.

"L-lets get out of here," one of them suggested and they were out before they could finish their tiramisu. A blond behind the cashier register grinned at Gaara, giving him thumbs up. Tenten stared at his thumbs, "What's with the nice guy pose?" The blond rubbed the back of his neck, "Erm… Lee told me to practice it, he said to 'pour my heart and soul in to it' – says I'm getting better!" He lied with a nervous chuckle. Tenten rolled her amber eyes within their sockets, "Whatever you say," she proceeded to check things out in the kitchen.
Uzumaki Naruto – 21 years old – 5'8

Naruto's a bit hyperactive and gullible; he'll believe anything that 'makes him stronger'. He was second after Tenten to actually get to know Gaara and the two are close friends – although Gaara may not admit that fact. Naruto was hired when he was kicked out of college for his pranks and was desperately looking for a job. Tenten hired him out of sympathy but Naruto proved his worth as a… "taste-tester". His 'bffe' (best friend forever) is the one and only Uchiha Sasuke, heir to the Uchiha Company – it was an unlikely friendship. He's a ramen lover also, having met Tenten at Ichiraku's. He even tried to have ramen at her bakery. Naruto usually waiters, but fills in any spot.

"How're things going?" Tenten queried as she walked through the swinging doors, watching the chaos in the kitchen. Since their main chef, Chouji, was out sick for the day, she was desperate for any one other than Naruto and Lee to cook – thus Gaara was chosen (she really didn't know his cooking skills, but anyone was better than Naruto and Lee); he swore to her he wouldn't poison any customer. A man dressed in green washing the dishes gave her thumbs up, "Excellent!" She figured their dish washer once again did nothing. Lazy ass...

Rock Lee – 21 years old – 5'10

Lee even more hyperactive and gullible than Naruto, his determination for anything was through the roof. He's a promise-keeper and does anything to fulfill keep it. He once went through a whole speech on keeping his promise of getting her a bag of pads when she was sick with the flu. Needless to say, Tenten was redder than an apple. Lee is also Tenten's child hood friend since the age of 9, only approved because he was Gai's 'son' and they figured Tenten wouldn't go out with Lee. He is a martial-arts expert; both he and Tenten were trained under Gai's tutelage. Lee also has the respect of Gaara and is another of Gaara's closest friends – along with Naruto and Tenten. Lee's a horrible cook with a dead sense of taste, he usually runs around doing works that don't involve baking. Oh yeah, Tenten got him away from the decorating when all he did was put green on each and every cookie, cake, and… well… you name it. They were even shaped like himself! Or maybe it was Gai... He practically worshipped the man.

Outside of the kitchen, Naruto grinned at Gaara, "So? You threaten the jack ass for looking at Ten-chan the way he did?" Gaara stared at him, "He insulted my baking." Naruto sweat dropped, "No offense man, as your buddy, I have to tell you this," Naruto placed a comforting hand on Gaara's shoulder; he promptly took it off from the glare, "but your baking and cooking suck Sasuke's balls."

"AHHHHHH!!!" Tenten shook her head at the horror and pain induced yell. She knew from experience Naruto must have insulted Gaara one way or another; Gaara didn't usually bruise up the blond too much; it all depended on the insult really. The chime of the bakery's door alerted them all that a customer entered, "I'll be back," she promised and hurried to the cashier register – Naruto usually ran away to the bathroom to take care of the wounds inflicted by Gaara. Gaara wasn't a good cashier because… well… if you saw him, you'd know; besides, Gaara was already making his way to the kitchen to help with the coloring of cookies. How fun.

"Hi! How can I help you?" She greeted cheerily, she was met with two pairs of silver moon-like eyes – one pair had a tint of lavender to them and was more timid, while the other's was solid and stoic. "Um… I-I'd l-like a… a Naruto cookie." As if on cue, Naruto burst out from the back doors, bandaged and bruised with a black-eye, a swollen cheek, and a band-aid across his nose and on his other cheek. "Did someone speak my handsome name?" He grinned. Tenten sighed and returned to her customers, "Anything else, ma'am?"

"A… a…" the timid girl could no longer continue as she promptly fainted under Naruto's expectant gaze. "Erm… miss?" Tenten leaned over the counter before she smacked Naruto, "Idiot! You just made a girl faint! It's rude to stare, you-!" Another chime stopped her in mid-sentence, "What did the dobe do now?" Sasuke glanced at the fainted customer and her stoic companion; giving him a nod, "Hyuga."


Uchiha Sasuke – 21 years old – 5'10

Sasuke met Naruto when they were eight when they were kids. Over the years, the two became the best of friends, although Sasuke likes to deny the dobe is his 'bff'. Sasuke regularly stops at the bakery and buys a snack or coffee for his day at Uchiha Corps. He's become close friends with Tenten and has even filled in once for Naruto in the bakery – although he should stay away from their kitchen… His older brother is the official heir for Uchiha Corps and Sasuke may be a bit bitter, but accepts the decision.

"I take it, her fainting is Naruto's doing," he deadpanned. Tenten nodded, "Erm… Would you like a complimentary coffee?" She offered to the male Hyuga. He nodded, "Black," nodding, she ordered, "Naruto, go get the cookie and Sasuke, give the guy a cup of coffee please." Sasuke rolled his eyes of ebony before walking behind the counter to fulfill his job.

"A friend?" Tenten blinked at the query before she nodded at the Hyuga. "Yeah, um… sorry about the girl." He shook it off, "It happens." Naruto came back with a freshly made cookie, shaped like himself as an orange blob with a mop of yellow hair for his head, "One sexy Naruto cookie right for ya!" Sasuke returned with coffee over his royal blue t-shirt and a cup. Tenten raised an eyebrow, "You do know the coffee's supposed to be in the cup right?" Sasuke glared at her, "Your pot's spout doesn't tip." She snickered but said nothing. Apparently Sasuke could neither cook nor pour coffee in to a cup… He'd make a terrible house wife. Er… husband.

"Here ya go, and come again!" Tenten gave him the wet cup of black coffee and the cookie in a bag. "Um… About the girl…" The male knelt down to poke her in her side, rewarded with a high-pitched 'eep' before he informed her of their leaving. With a blush, she apologized and walked hurried after the male. "Wow… They make a weird couple," Tenten remarked. Sasuke stared at her, "That would be incest."




"Idiot…" Sasuke coolly walked out the door with his hands stuffed in his pockets. "Hey, hey! The teme can't just leave like that!" Naruto protested. Tenten rolled her eyes, "He does it all the time Naruto, get over it."

Shikamaru lounged in the staff lounge blissfully. An arm was draped over his head and his legs lying on the couch.
Nara Shikamaru – 21 years old – 5'7

Shikamaru's a lazy genius that won't do anything unless you force it on him or he finds personal gain. He met Tenten through Asuma – his mentor – and they easily became friends at the age of 15, considering how he didn't find Tenten at all 'troublesome'… most of the time. He's their local dishwasher. That never washes the dishes…

"Shikamaru!" Said man sighed in irritation and aggravation as a familiar blond stomped their way to him, "You lazy ass!" She accused, platinum blond ponytail swishing behind her like a tail, "You were supposed to do the dishes!"
Yamanaka Ino – 21 years old – 5'5

Ino's a blond loudmouth who is fully aware of her pretty looks worthy of a model's. She only worked with Tenten because they're good friends since high school; she's planning on becoming an actress or model. As a horrible cook, Tenten made sure to keep the blond away from the kitchen, so she was given the position as a waitress.

"I'm sure someone else will do them," Shikamaru dismissed with a wave of his hand, not even bothering to open his eyes. He could feel her pretty blue eyes just burning a hole through his nose. "What?"



"Oiiiii!!" Naruto drawled out to the concentrating Inuzaka, "That cake looks like shit. Gaara decorates better than you; at least the fake blood on the cookies look cool!" Kiba glared at the blond, "I decorate way better than that freak!"

"What was that, Inuzaka?" Kiba froze up, "Um… Uh…" He coughed, "Nothing!" He then resumed his cake decorating; trying his best to ignore the glaring red-head.

Inuzaka Kiba – 21 years old – 5'9

Kiba met Tenten in college and when he complained about not having a job, she offered him a spot in her bakery. Kiba usually cleaned around in the bakery – much to his dismay.

Tenten sighed, closing up the bakery with a wipe of her brow. "Alright! Clean up time!" A bunch of groans were heard, "YOSH!!! With this rag-"


Yep, just another day in the bakery; Tenten vaguely wondered how she would break her news to her friends… Meh, she'll worry about it later...


So? What'd you guys think? I hope you all enjoyed it, leave me a review or some sort of feedback. I'll probably be hitting a writer's block soon, so give me as many ideas as possible. XD I'll be sure to credit if you've given me an idea I might use. And yes, apparently a good number of them can't bake or cook. XP Anyways! Leave a review!