I've been reading a lot of AU stories lately about Neji and Tenten, and I want to switch things up. It's always Tenten coming from the abusive family to live with the Hyuuga, but why not switch it up a bit?

This originally was a request from a friend for her birthday to write an AU fic where Neji goes to live with Tenten or vice-versa, and this is what came out of my mind.

It's so weird, I haven't been writing my usual crack lately…

I feel kinda bad because I already have like four stories going right now, though Wrinkly Old Senseis is going to be discontinued. I'll get around the updating the others eventually.

I'm real sad though cause my one specifically about Neji isn't getting a good review response… It has twelve faves at the current second, but two reviews! You can read it if you want, but be warned, it has some pretty heavy and mature themes. (Child abuse, cutting, later in the story there will be a suicide attempt, and mild drug and alcohol use.)

Edit: Thanks to everyone who went and reviewed Beneath The Surface! (The name of the story.) But, I deleted it, even though I got 34 reviews for two chapters. Why? Because this story and that one were WAY to similar. There were some subtle differences, but for the most part, it was very alike. I decided to instead merge the two stories, in some bizzare way. A lot of events and stuff I planned to happen in that story will take place in this one. Toodles!

Anywho, rambling over, here goes the story!

Full Summery: After Tenten's brother went to college, things were very lonely around the house. But then her family took in a foster child by the name of Hyuuga Neji. He was hurt, broken, and hadn't spoken a word in over two years. Tenten now has a goal- help him find his voice before it's too late.

Disclaimer: I own the idea for this story and the OCs, but Tenten and Neji and Lee and Gai…and so on and so forth belong to Mashahi Kishimito.

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"Do you really have to go?" Fourteen year old Tenten whined.

"Yes." Replied her nineteen year old brother, Keizo. "Don't you want me to get an education so I can make something out of myself and buy you nice things?" He teased.

Tenten pouted. "This isn't fair! It's going to be so lonely without you!"

"No, not really. Mom and Dad are planning something…" He said mischievously.

"And what's that?" Tenten asked, excited.

"Oh, you'll see." He said with the tone of a person that knew something that the other person didn't.

"Come on!" Tenten whined, stomping her foot. "I want to know!"

"It's a surprise." He said, winking.

Tenten crossed her arms and looked away. "No fair."

Keizo had to laugh at this. Tenten was just like a little kid sometimes. "I can give you a little hint…" He whispered.

Tenten's head immediately snapped back to him.

"What is it?" She asked.

"My room isn't going to be my room anymore…" He whispered.

This left Tenten incredibly confused.

"Are mom and dad turning it into a game room?" She guessed.

He chuckled. "You'll see."

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"So, this is really it?" Tenten asked, standing next to Keizo in the airport, their mother and father standing only a foot away.

"Stop sounding so dramatic, I'll be back for Christmas." He said, sighing.

"Yeah, in four months!" Tenten whined back.

"Geez…You're so whiney! The Tenten I know never whines. She's a hopeless optimistic." He said, smiling.

He then felt Tenten throw her arms around him. "I'm going to miss you!" She wailed.

"Get off Tenten, no hugging in public!" He whispered, looking around to make sure no one had seen that display of affection by his sister.

Tenten stood back and sniffled. "It's just that I'm going to miss you."

"I told you, there's going to be a surprise!" He said, exasperated.

"Keizo, don't tell her!" Tenten's mom piped in finally.

"Right, sorry." He said, looking down.

Tenten sighed. Why would no one tell her anything?

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Neji looked around the office. This was nothing new. In fact, this was the third time. It doesn't seem like that many, but to a fourteen year old boy, it was a lot.

The man looked up from the papers.

"So your name is Hyuuga Neji?" He asked.

Neji nodded his head.

"And you're fourteen, right?"

Neji nodded again.

"And in the past you have lived with your father, your mother, and your uncle? Legally?" He asked.

Another nod.

He looked at Neji for a few seconds, then looked back at the sheet of paper.

"And so now we're looking for a foster home for you?" He asked.

"Well, obviously, that's why I'm here right?" Neji replied.

But not really. He simply nodded.

"Do you ever talk?" He asked, sounding exasperated.

Neji looked at his feet, refusing to make eye contact.

The man shook his head.

'This one's going to be hard…' He thought.

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"So what's the big surprise?" Tenten asked, bouncing up and down in the backseat.

Her mother gave a quick glance to her father, who gave her a quick nod of approval before turning his attention back to the road.

"Well, we're going to take in a foster child!" Tenten's mother exclaimed, obviously excited.

"…What?" Tenten asked, in shock.

"We're going to take in a child who really needs a loving and neutering home." She said, smiling.

Tenten was in shock. They were going to let a stranger come and live in their house?

"But…why?" Tenten asked.

Her mother's smile faltered. "Aren't you happy?"

Tenten shook her head.

"Why not?" Her mom asked.

"We can't just let some kid we don't know come in and take Keizo's place!" Tenten wailed.

Tenten's mother glared at her. "Whoever said we were trying to get someone to take his place?" She asked in a cold voice.

"Well, they're obviously going to have his room, and they're coming right after he left so…" Tenten said. Tenten's mom sighed. "They're not going to be replacing him."

"It was Keizo's idea anyway." Her father added.

Tenten sighed and sunk back into the seat.

She obviously lost.

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Neji sat staring at the edge of the pond.

He was currently at the Konaha Child Shelter.

It was where foster kids stayed until they either got adopted or taken into a foster family. This was his first time really staying here, the other two times they had had a person in mind to whom they would send him.

He really didn't like it.

The other kids were always trying to get them to do stuff with him, or trying to get him to talk.

He wouldn't talk. He hadn't talked in over two years and he didn't plan to start now.

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Tenten sighed as she looked at her ceiling.

She couldn't believe it. Why would her parents want to take in a foster kid? She didn't even really understand the whole deal.

They had explained to her that the kid they would take in would probably have been abused, neglected, or both. She didn't believe such a thing existed.

Her mother and father said that not all of them were as lucky as she was and came from a nice, loving family.

She rolled over onto her side.

Maybe some good would come out of this. She would have someone to talk to! And play games with and such. It would be like a permanent sleepover!

Tenten smiled as she clicked off the light and went to sleep.

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Tenten yawned as she stepped into the kitchen. She hated Mondays…

"Well good morning sleeping beauty." Her father said, smiling at her above the newspaper.

She smiled back as she took her seat.

"Good morning to you too." She replied.

"Have you thought anymore about the whole foster child affair?" Tenten's mother asked nervously.

"Yeah, and I changed my mind. It might be fun!" She replied, smiling.

Her mother let out a breath. "Good because when you come home from school, you'll have a new sibling."

Tenten couldn't help but feel a little weird. Already?

"Pick out a good one." She said, smiling.

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Neji stared at the pond again. He had wanted to sit out there all night but the social workers said that he couldn't do that.

But that didn't matter. All that mattered was he got to sit there now.

He reached out a small foot and started tracing patterns in the water.

He wondered what was going to happen to him…

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"So you want a fourteen or fifteen year old?" The social worker said, looking at Tenten's mother and father.

"Well, Mr. and Mrs. Kouki, we really only have one fourteen year old here right now." She replied after looking at the roster of children.

"That's wonderful! What's their name?" They asked, delighted.

"Well, his name is Hyuuga Neji, and he's fourteen. He was born in July." She replied, though she looked worried.

"Is something the matter with him?" Tenten's mother asked, her bright smile slowly disappearing.

"Well, he has…speech issues." She said, seemingly choosing her words carefully.

"Well, what's a matter with his speech?" Tenten's father asked, worried. If he was one of those people that cursed a lot or spoke in a different language, then maybe it would be better to look for someone else…

"Well…you'll see." She said, sighing as she stood up. "Follow me."

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Neji's head raised about an inch as he heard footsteps and voices.

"He's over here." He heard someone say.

He kept looking into the pond, still twirling his foot. If he didn't make any sudden movements or sounds, maybe they would overlook him.

"And this is Neji." She heard a voice say.

Tenten's mother looked down at him with a smile.

"Well, hello there. We're Mr. and Mrs. Kouki. How are you?" She asked nicely, holding out her hand.

Neji flinched and scooted as far away from her hand as possible without falling into the pool.

Tenten's mother and father looked at eachother confused. Why did he do that?

The social worker, sensing their confusion, gently whispered to them, "He thought you were about to hit him."

"Ohhh…" Tenten's mother replied, and lowered her hand.

"So, how are you?" She asked again.

Neji gave her a blank, dead look, never responding.

"You know, it's good manners to reply to a question." Tenten's father said, in a gentle yet firm voice.

Neji still only gave them that dead, blank look.

The social worker looked at the three of them, then sighed.

"You see, Neji doesn't talk. According to his record, he hasn't talked in over two years."

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Tenten's mother and father sat outside the office door, talking.

"We can't take him, he doesn't talk. Tenten wouldn't like that." Tenten's father protested.

"But that means that he really needs us! Maybe he'll start talking now once he's in a good home!" Tenten's mother replied.

"We can't take that chance! What if he stays silent forever?" Tenten's father argued.

"Then he stays silent! I'm sure that there are other ways to communicate with a person. I know a bit of sign language."

Tenten's father sighed.

He was fighting a losing battle.

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"We'll take him." Tenten's mother said, smiling.

The social worker looked back and forth at them, then said, "You are aware of that fact that he is silent. One hundred percent completely silent. He doesn't even talk in his sleep."

The two nodded.

She sighed. "Well, let's get started. There's a lot of paperwork."

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"So your family's going to take in a foster child?" Tenten's friend Lee asked in awe.

Tenten nodded, grinning. "It's going to be like a permanent sleepover!" Tenten replied.

"Sounds like fun." Her other friend, Sakura said smiling.

"I hope he's hot so when we go over to your house we get to stare at them." Ino said, giggling like mad.

"I don't even know that they are getting a guy!" Tenten wailed.

"Well, I hope they do." Ino said.

Tenten rolled her eyes. "Whoever they are is going to be my sibling."

Ino was about to open her mouth to respond when Lee asked in a loud voice, "So, Hinata, what do you think about all this?"

Tenten smiled. That was the good thing about having a male as part of their close group, he always managed to keep her sane when surrounded by boy-obsessed friends.

Hinata just stared at her hands, where her fingers were poking together, something she did when she was nervous.

"Why are you nervous?" Sakura asked.

"It's just all this talk about foster kids is making me think about my cousin, Neji." Hinata replied in a small voice.

"Why is that?" Tenten asked.

"Well, he just got taken into foster care a few days ago." She said, even quieter then before.

"Why?" Ino asked.

"Well, he lived with us- my mom, dad, and Hanabi- but then-"

RING

"There goes the bell, we better get back to class." Lee said, picking up his books.

"Yeah, so see you guys after school." Ino said, starting to walk towards the school now that lunch break was over.

"Not me." Tenten said, a big grin on her face. "I'm going home right away to meet my new sibling."

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"I'm home!" Tenten called out as she walked into her house.

"Hello Tenten." Her mother smiled as she walked out of the dining room towards her. "How was school?"

"The same as every other day. Did you get the new kid?" She asked, looking over her mother's shoulder as though expecting to see the new kid there.

"Yes, but, Tenten, first we have to talk." Her mother responded, blocking Tenten's way to go and run into the kitchen.

"Okay, shoot." Tenten replied, bouncing on the balls of her heels.

"Well, you see…he's mute." Her mother said, wringing her hands. Sometimes it was better just to say it.

Tenten stopped bouncing, then looked at her confused.

"What?"

Tenten's mother sighed, then replied, "He doesn't talk."

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Wow…this isn't coming out anything like I thought it would. This is really just a prologue chapter. The real story will start in the next one.

I'm always open to suggestions!

Anywho, review!