I'm so amazed that people actually like this story! I mean, I don't even really like it. It got 14 reviews within 16 hours of it coming out. That's good! And people were leaving reviews like "I love this" "You're an amazing author!" and oh my god, some one actually said that they cried, but in a good way! You people are too good to me!
I'm pathetic. I religiously watch my e-mail after I just put out a new chapter or story. Like, I refresh it every four seconds.
Oh, and before I forget, I've been meaning to explain why I chose the name Kouki for Tenten's last name. I did a search of Japanese names, and their meanings. When I saw what Kouki meant, I knew it had to be it.
It means new hope.
Like a new hope for Neji.
Ack! So many people guessed that it was Sasuke! I mean, Nikki, who this story is being written for, guessed like 40 times, literally, and she didn't get it! And she specifically requested that Sasuke be one of Neji's old friends!
Gah! Was it really that obvious?
This chapter is dedicated to: Wolfie559933 for putting mashed potatoes in her review! Yay! The next word is Socks Okay.
But first I have to tell you a little story!
Yay! Story time!
Once upon a time, a 14-year old girl sat in her room at eleven at night writing a retarded story about two members of a manga series not suited for little children. As she typed in the word "Sasuke", it came up on spell check.
And it asked her if she meant "Socks okay."
Anyway, back to the story!
And Italics flashback
Disclaimer: I own nothing! –sob- Stop rubbing it in my face!
"Well it's about time you guys came back in!" Tenten's mom said, looking at the two who were just walking in the door nearly half an hour after she sent Tenten out to get Neji. "What were you doing out there anyway?" She asked, a knowing smile coming across her face.
"Mom! It was nothing like that!" Tenten shouted, a blush coming up across her cheeks. "Come on Neji, let's get away from this woman with dirty thoughts…" She said, dragging Neji away.
Tenten's mom chuckled as she heard the door to Tenten's room close.
"Well then, let's figure out how we're going to do this." Tenten said, sitting on the edge of the bed, patting the spot next to her as a gesture for Neji to sit down.
Neji shrugged as he sat down next to her, bouncing slightly.
"Well, I guess the first step is to figure out why in the first place you stopped talking." She said, reaching up to pull her hair out of her trademark buns.
Neji just shrugged, staring at her.
Tenten sighed. "Well, when did you stop talking? Well of course it was two years ago, but what happened two years ago?"
Once again, Neji shrugged, leaning back so he was lying down on her bed.
Tenten also flopped down next to him and said, "You know, we're really not going to get anywhere unless you tell me anything."
Neji turned his head without lifting it to give her a 'Well, aren't you trying to help me start talking again? How am I supposed to just tell you?' look.
Tenten sighed and went back to looking at the ceiling. "Fine, fine…Well I guess I'll have to figure out some way for you to tell me without actually telling me."
The two of them just lied in silence for a few minutes before Tenten sighed. "You know, this is going to be harder than I thought."
"I think you need to come to terms with things that happened to you in the past, and understand why it happened. Maybe once you've accepted it, then you'll be able to talk again." Tenten said, turning to look at him, propping herself up on one elbow.
Neji seemed to think for a second.
It made sense…kinda.
But he didn't know how they were going to do it.
Tenten sighed, and went back to lying down. "That's just a thought. In the end, it's really up to you."
Neji shifted a little bit, then looked at her and gave her a tiny smile.
Tenten, in turn, gave him a huge one.
Uchiha Sasuke slammed the door behind him as he walked into his house. "Itachi! Guess who's back!" He yelled to his twenty two year old brother and legal guardian.
"I don't know, and I don't care." He called from where he was watching the television.
"I think you will once you hear." Sasuke said, sitting next to him.
"I don't think I will." Itachi said, taking a sip from his can of beer.
"Oh yeah? Remember Hyuuga? Neji?" He said in a sly voice.
Itachi jerked his head to look at him. "He's back?"
"Where did he go?" Itachi asked.
"You think I know? And what's more interesting is that he's some girl's bitch now. She was dragging him everywhere." Sasuke replied, snickering.
Itachi's jaw dropped. "No effin way."
"Yes. Usually he's the one dragging girls everywhere. But the most amazing thing as that Gay-sensei or whatever his name is said that he didn't talk. I was listening outside the door."
Itachi just blinked. "Hyuuga? Not talk? I don't believe it."
"I didn't believe it either. But I'll find out if it's true." He said, smirking insanely.
Itachi went back to looking at the television. "This should be interesting…"
Ten year old Sasuke walked down the deserted hallways. Of course no one was there, it was class.
Why wasn't be in one?
Because he was cutting class.
He didn't see the point in going. When his parents died last year, he decided he wasn't going to go to college or anything.
He walked out into the courtyard and turned to walk out the front gates when he noticed a shadow across the ground. He looked up and saw someone sitting on the roof. It didn't look like the teacher or like a janitor, so he must be a student. He went over to the fire escape ladder and climbed to the roof.
There was boy up there with long black hair, just like his clothes. In fact, everything the boy wore was black and obviously too big for him. As soon as Sasuke was up there the boy turned to look at him, and Sasuke took note of his eyes- bright, big, and silvery. And yet dead at the same time.
"What do you want?" He asked.
"What are you doing up here?" Sasuke asked, sitting next to him.
"Cutting class, what does it look like?" He said, looking forward. "And what about you?"
"Cutting class too. What's your name? I haven't seen you around."
"Of course you haven't. This is my first day."
"And already cutting class?"
"I don't see the point in going. It's not like I'm not going to college."
Sasuke was shocked. This guy thought just like him.
"What's your name?"Sasuke asked.
"Why do you care?"
"Cause I just do, now what is it?"
"Hyuuga Neji. What's yours?"
Neji smirked. "It sounds like your saying 'Sauce Gay.' I'm going to call you that from now on."
Sasuke glared at him. "You've got to be kidding me."
"I shit thee not." Neji said, a big smirk on his face.
Sasuke couldn't help but smirk back. "Your name sounds like Wedgie. Mind if I call you that?"
"Yes, in fact, I do."
"And what will you do if I call you that?" He asked, snickering, before he felt a sharp punch to his face, causing him to fall over.
"That." The other boy replied.
Sasuke growled, then punched the other boy right back in the face.
Next thing he knew, they were in a full blown fighting match. Sasuke was the bad boy at the school, and no one could beat him in a fist fight. Until now.
"I win." Neji said, sitting on Sasuke's back, whose arm was twisted behind him and his head in a headlock.
"Okay, you win, get off!" Sasuke screamed, barely able to because Neji was crushing his air passage with his headlock.
Neji let him go and stood up.
Sasuke rolled over and rubbed his neck. "Damn, where did you learn to fight like that?"
"And why should I tell you?" Neji said, crossing his arms.
"And fuck you, dearest Sauce Gay."
It was a start of a beautiful new friendship.
"It's time for you guys to go to bed!" Tenten's mom called, knocking on the door.
Tenten sighed as she sat up. "Looks like you've got to go now…" She said, looking down at Neji before realizing that he was asleep.
Tenten stared for a second, then giggled. Neji just looked so…cute when he slept.
She gently got up and tiptoed down the hall to where her mom was. "He's asleep. Do I really have to wake him up?" She asked.
Tenten's mom sighed and said, "Fine."
"Thank you!" Tenten said, and hugged her mom. "Good night! And can you tell dad that I said goodnight? I know he's working late."
Her mom hugged back. "Of course. Good night."
Tenten smiled as she walked back down the hallway to her room.
She stepped in and wondered what she should do. She obviously couldn't sleep in the same bed as him, so did that mean that she should go into his room?
She sighed. This was so confusing.
Well, she had shared a bed with Keizo on several occasions. This shouldn't be any different.
She changed as silently as she could, praying that Neji wouldn't wake up.
Once she was changed, she gently slid into the bad beside him. It felt kind of strange because Neji was sleeping on his side and facing her. She could feel his hot breath on her, but it wasn't uncomfortable. In fact, it was quite the opposite. It made her feel safe and warm.
After a few minutes of debating, she turned towards him and pulled him close to her, resting her head on top of his so that his head was tucked beneath her chin.
Neji simply snuggled closer to her, his arms curled in between them, as though he was trying to shield himself from something, but Tenten reached down and pulled then out, and instead of putting them right back, his arms wrapped around her waist.
Tenten blushed as she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
Four year old Neji flipped through the channels, trying to ignore the rain outside. True, he liked the rain but he wasn't particularly fond of thunder and lightning. Not to mention that the fact that he was home alone wasn't exactly helping. His father had gone out with his uncle to dinner.
Apparently they hadn't seen each other in so long, so they went out to catch up.
He had always been slightly frightened by thunder and lightning, but the second his father asked if he wanted to stay home alone, he jumped up and said yes. He, like most four year olds, liked being treated like an adult, and this was a first step. Maybe next his father would let him drive the car…
In reality, he was really hoping that his father would get home soon. On days when it was rainy and stormy, his father would hug him while they sat on the couch watching movies and sipping hot coco. Most of his friends said that usually it was their mothers who did that, but Neji never knew his mother. He had seen pictures of her, but apparently his parents were "divorced," whatever that meant.
He never felt like he missed anything though. He had his daddy, and that was all he needed.
Neji gave out a loud gasp and pulled the blanket over his head as he heard a loud clap of thunder overhead and a blinding light filled the room.
But of course, life only got better.
All the lights when out and the television turned off.
He whimpered and tried to fight down the tears as the thunder only got louder and the lightning only got brighter. Without the T.V. on, he could really hear the rain pounding on the roof, the thunder that shook the floor, the lightning that filled the room with a blinding white light-
Boom Boom Boom
Neji actually screamed as he heard someone knocking on the door. His heart pounded and his body trembled as he heard people knocking on the door, even more loudly than before.
His father had left very clear instructions not to open the door, to answer the phone, or to touch the stove.
"Open the door! This is the police!"
Neji froze. He had heard stories about the police. They "arrested" people and locked them up for years when people did something bad. He wondered what he could have possibly done. Did they find out that he had taken cookies from the cookie jar without his father's permission?
"Open the door or else we'll pick the lock. Open it now!"
Neji was sobbing as he heard this, wishing that his father was home.
"We're picking the lock!"
Neji whimpered and buried his face into his knees as he heard the door open.
"Is your name Hyuuga Neji?" He heard them ask.
He was sobbing too hard to answer.
"Honey, shhh, calm down… your not in trouble…"He heard a soothing voice say to him, putting their arm over him.
Neji looked up to see a kind faced policewoman smiling at him, though she looked sad. "We're going to have to bring you with us."
Neji asked in a thick, high pitched voice, "Why?"
She sighed and refused to make eye contact. "There was an accident. A bad one."
Neji gave her a curious, frightened look.
"Neji…your father is dead."
Neji's eyes snapped open, his breathing harsh as he awoke from his nightmare. He often revisited his worst moments in his sleep.
"Shhh…Neji…" He heard someone soothingly whisper as they gently stroked his hair. "Everything's all right…I'm here…"
He was very confused, and frightened, right about now. He couldn't tell what was going on, and didn't remember where he was, who was hugging him, or basically anything other than that fear and numbness he had felt when the lady from the police station had told him that his father had passed away in a car accident.
"Are you awake? Do you want some water?" He heard the voice whisper, sounding slightly frightened.
Neji looked up to see Tenten, and memories of the past few days came flooding through his head.
The police finding him, his uncle refusing to take him back, court, becoming a part of the foster care system, the shelter, being taken in by the Kouki family, and most importantly, Tenten.
He gave a shuddering breath and buried his face into her chest, which coincidentally was quite soft, and tried to calm his racing heart.
Tenten sighed as she stroked his head some more, feeling his heart slowing.
She had woken up to him kicking her, and at first was frightened, not realizing that it was only Neji, but then remembered last night. After a few moments of observation, she concluded that he was having a bad dream, and tried to wake him up and comfort him.
"Are you feeling better now?" She asked.
After a few seconds Neji nodded and lifted his head to look her in the eyes with a look that would make even the cruelest being want to give him a hug.
She smiled and pushed his sweaty bangs of his forehead. "That's good to know."
Neji nodded and rolled over onto his back, hands folded across his chest, breathing still quite heavy.
Tenten amazingly was the one fighting down tears. She had always had hated seeing people in pain, especially someone she was really close to and really liked.
But it was all over now she thought, relived.
Neji was now sleeping peacefully in her arms again.
"You ready for your first day of school?" Tenten asked Neji as they sat at the kitchen table.
Neji shrugged. The weekend had been quite uneventful, and next thing they knew, it was Monday morning and Neji's first day back at school in two years.
Gai had given him a mini whiteboard and marker that he could write on at the end of orientation along with his schedule, which was identical to Tenten's.
"The classes are boring, but overall it isn't bad." Se told him, taking another bite of her cereal.
Neji shrugged. Truthfully, he didn't plan on even going to the classes, so it really didn't matter if it was boring or not.
Tenten sighed. "We're in for a long year…"
Neji took a bite of his cereal.
Neji stared blankly out the window of his science class when he felt something hit him in the side of the head.
He turned to glare at the source, Tenten, before picking up the object, a note.
He opened it and read-
Isn't science boring? Orochimaru-sensei is scary and is such a pedophile…-shudder…And we think he's gay. Oh, and he has the weirdest obsession with snakes. No one likes him. At least there's only fifteen minutes left, then we go to gym, which is oodles of fun of course.
He started to write back when he heard, "Passing notes are we?"
Neji looked up to see Orochimaru staring down at him, arms crossed and glaring.
Neji briefly wondered what kind of man wore purple make up before Orochimaru asked him, "So what's the answer to the problem on the board? You must know it if you don't think it's important enough to listen."
Neji quickly glanced at Tenten who looked worried, and slightly apologetic, before looking at the board.
The specialized structure(s) in snakes that help give them their keen sense of smell is/are the what?
Neji blinked.How easy was that question? It was obviously the Jacobson's organ…
"Please, sir, he doesn't talk so he can't answer the question." Tenten said quietly, but Orochimaru simply replied by saying, "As long as he has that white board, I don't care."
That caught Neji's attention. Even though he knew the answer he would never pass up the opportunity to piss off a teacher.
Neji stood up, never breaking eye contact with Orochimaru, lifted the whiteboard and…
Smashed it over his knee.
The room gasped as Neji gently put the pieces onto his desk and still looked at Orochimaru, who looked as though he had just been punched in the face.
It was taking all of Neji's self control not to grin.
"You did not just do that." Orochimaru said numbly.
'Oh contraire, snake man, I just did.' Neji thought to himself.
Neji was especially pleased to hear all the giggles going around the room. Tenten was right when she said no one liked him which gave him all the more reason to piss this guy off.
"Go to the office. NOW." Orochimaru said, anger showing.
Neji nodded and saluted, and happily walked out the door.
Tenten was absolutely stunned. No one had ever stood up like that to Orochimaru and for Neji to do it on his first day…
Tenten couldn't help it, but a large grin spread across her face.
"What did Tsunade-sama do to you?" Lee asked.
Neji reached into his pocket and pulled out a slip of paper. Ino took it from him and started to read, "Detention, fifth period." Neji nodded, confirming what she read was true.
"But this is fifth period." Sakura said.
"Do you plan on going?" Tenten asked.
Neji shook his head.
Tenten sighed. "It's your first day and already you've managed to make a teacher mad, break school property, get sent to the office, get a detention, and skip said detention?"
Neji nodded his head, grinning.
"Hey there!" They all head someone yell before they could respond, and turned around to see Uzamaki Naruto running at them as well as a couple other people.
Hinata squeaked and blushed, trying to hide behind Sakura.
Naruto looked at Neji. "That was awesome! I mean, that was so cool! No one has ever done anything like that! I've tried to make him angry ans stuff, but what you did was just…wow…"
Naruto looked at Neji in awe while Shikamaru stood behind him muttering, "Troublesome…"
Neji just shrugged, as though he did it all the time. Which, incidentally, he did.
Naruto suddenly seemed to notice everyone else and said, "Oh right. Let me introduce myself. I'm Uzumaki Naruto, this is Nara Shikamaru, and this is Inuzuka Kiba." Whenever Naruto said one of their names, they either nodded or waved.
Once again, they were about to respond when they heard someone say, "Hey there Hyuuga. Glad to have you back." Everyone turned around to see…
Okay, I'm done. This chapter is terrible. I'm getting sick of looking at it.
It's more of just a filler, like it's just there to introduce more characters and reveal a bit more about Neji's past and build on Neji and Tenten's relationship and blah blah blah…
Good night. Or morning. Or whatever. I'm going to bed.