Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto. Not me.

Author's notes: Just a short little something I wrote awhile back. Let's say this takes place between Naruto parts I and II. Semi-sequel to Confessions of a Weapons Crazed Kunoichi, but you don't need to read that first.

Material Girl

"Let's look in here, Tenten," Ino calls, grabbing her around the arm and pulling her forcefully into Morikawa's Jewelry. The store was not the kind of place Tenten would have ever stepped foot in, but she'd promised to spend a day out with the girls, who were growing quite interested in her non-existent love life, and Ino was slightly stronger than Tenten remembered.

"Oh, come on, all girls like jewelry." Ino huffs at her friend's unwilling attitude and hurries deeper into the store.

"But--" Tenten tries to step back, but the door shuts behind her. Trapped.

So here she is, standing in the doorway of the large store, being blinded by a million twinkling carats while the other girls 'ooh' and 'ahh' at every little thing. I should have stayed home. Those kunai needed sharpening…

"Look at this one!" Ino yells, pointing to what must be the largest engagement ring in the store. Even from the doorway, Tenten can tell it's worth her whole apartment. Ino presses her face against the glass case enclosing the ring and calls out loudly, "I can't wait until Sasuke buys me this!"

Her statement gets the predictable reaction. Sakura is at her side in an instant, peering at the ring. She gives a little snort. "That gaudy thing? Please. He'd never buy something as tacky as that." She makes it sound as though she's talking about the ring, but all the girls know otherwise.

"How dare you, Forehead?"

The two girls declare war, and Tenten finally steps into the store, wondering if she should stop them before they manage to break something. Seeing Hinata move off to the side though, Tenten changes her mind and joins her. "Do you like jewelry? I don't really care for it." She kind of hopes the heiress will say no. Then maybe she won't feel so unfeminine.

Hinata gives a little shrug, and together they move past case after case. Tenten gives the items inside barely a glance. I guess this conversation's over. Why didn't I stay home today?

She is surprised when, after a moment of hesitation, Hinata begins to talk. Her voice is quiet, but her speech is clear. "Not especially. I do think I'd like something like that--" she points-- "but my hair isn't long enough yet." Her silky tresses end right above her shoulders now, and Tenten wonders why she's bothering to grow it out.

The subject of Hinata's speech is a delicate silver hair pin with jade ornamentation. Tenten notices the girl's wistful look and realizes that her friend is in fact longing for something else. Naruto Uzuamki and his ninja way comes to mind, and Tenten smiles. Maybe, in that respect, Hinata isn't all that different from Ino or Sakura.

I hope she gets what she wants, but I just don't understand these girls…

Sighing, Tenten turns away and slips quietly to the entrance. She's about to leave and just wait outside when she spots it, sitting in a little plastic turnstile case. She doesn't know why the necklace catches her eye, but she finds she can't look away.

The other girls arrive and peek over her shoulder. Sakura smiles, and begins to recite from memory. "The pendant is a yin-yang. It's the symbol for balance: dark and light, good and evil, male and female."

Tenten nods, she knows all that. They learned it in the academy a long time ago. What she doesn't understand is why she likes it so much. Whatever stone they used for the yang is very interesting though. It seems to reflect all the colors, from white to beige to lavender and everything in between. Almost like…

Ino's hand on her shoulder startles her. "It's just a little girl's necklace. It's probably not even that valuable. Now let's go get something to eat." She's a little harsh, as they have been asked to leave by the manager for being so disruptive.

She makes it sound like being a little girl was a bad thing. I almost wish we could go back to that. Being thirteen had been so easy.

No one else seems to care though, and they follow Ino out. Tenten comes last, still lost in thought. The door nearly hits her, but she doesn't notice.

Hinata glances back at her friend and smiles. Even without using the Byakugan, she can see Tenten's feelings. The yin-yang and its principles of duality are important to the Hyuga and their fighting style. As for her attraction to the pendant, the yang could was the color of Neji's eyes, and the yin was the ebony of his hair.

Well, at least I'll be able to help Brother Neji pick out a birthday present for Tenten this year. Who said she didn't like jewelry?