Standard disclaimers apply.


By Cassandra's Destiny


Perhaps if she goes in hiding, take on a new identity and leave the village for good, things will be much easier.

"I, well, I…" she huffed. There was no way she can pull this off.

Lee gestured her to continue. If she wants it done, she has to do it herself. If she wants it done properly, she has to muster up all the courage in her body and say it loud and proud. No other person can replace her in this task. Had this been a mission, it would be a mission meant for her and her alone. All he can do is stand here, listen, and assure her that things are not going to blow up in her face once it's over.

"I don't know where to begin."

"The beginning would be nice." Sarcasm, perhaps, but Lee's nice guy pose emulated everything but. "You can always start from the beginning. I mean, that's always a good… start."

She let out a small laugh at how redundant he was being. Of course you start from the start because that's a good way to start. So, why can't she… start? "I might sound stupid."

"I don't think that's remotely possible, Tenten." It wasn't, really. She could do summersaults in her sleep while singing the alphabet backwards and he still wouldn't scold her for it. He, on the other hand, would stand still and still seem stupid to him. "Alas," he thought to himself. That was probably at the very core of their relationship.

"Lee, maybe I can just, you know, not tell him?" She was fidgeting, and that was never a good sign.

"That has bad idea written all over it, and you know that." He can only imagine his reaction when things get… apparent, and he's the only one who does not know about it.

Biting her lip, she furrowed her brows thoughtfully. Maybe there was some way she can make that plan work. "He doesn't really have to know, or not know. We won't talk about it; it'd be our little secret."

"You mean the town's little secret," he corrected. The women of Konoha would definitely find out soon – it must be some female ESP thing – and soon after, medical ninjas, staff and hospital visitors would know about it too. In a matter of weeks, everyone would be in on the so-called little secret. "Don't you think that would make him more upset?"

Her eyes widened. "Are you saying he's going to be upset anyway?" If she doesn't tell him, he would be more upset. Does that mean if she tells him, he'd be upset still?

"No, no! That's not what I meant, Tenten," he rushed to comfort her before she becomes more upset. "I was just trying to say that he's obviously going to go berserk if everyone in the village knew about it before he did."

"What if I waited a little longer?"

He took a moment to think about her suggestion. Sure, waiting longer might be another issue. There is a possibility that he will pull that "Why didn't you tell me sooner?" card. Then again, it is better than not telling him at all.

"So, what do you think?"

However, there is a good chance of him finding out before Tenten goes around fessing up. Then, things might get ugly. "I don't think you should try him. It would be best if you tell him as soon as possible."

Honesty in focus, he cannot comprehend why Tenten was feeling jittery about it. It's not her fault exactly. In fact, if they resort to pointing fingers, they would all be on him. "You want to try again?"

She gave him a blank look, one she usually had on when she has zoned out.


"Maybe," she began, obviously uncomfortable with what she was going to say. "Maybe I'm not doing it right with you."

"Excuse me?" Surprise, surprise.

"I mean, you're like my brother, Lee and I just…" Trailing off, she silently prayed he wouldn't take offense in her statement.

Lee nodded once. Anyone else would have been offended by such. Here he is giving his all just to help her, and she tells her she can't do it right because of him. Anyone else would get mad, really, but not him. After all, she does have a point. Before he was able to state other alternatives, he heard her mumble.

"I'm sorry."

The sincerity in her tone made him smile. Had they been siblings, who would and should be the older, more responsible one would forever be a mystery. "It's okay, Tenten. This conversation, or at least what would have been a conversation, has been pretty awkward."

"It is, it is… so what do I do now?"

"Listen, maybe if you try it with someone else, someone that might resonate the same response as—"

"Shikamaru!" She cut him off. Shikamaru was the first person who came to mind. In all truthfulness, he won't be able to give the answers and reactions she was hoping for, but at least he's intelligent enough to give nothing less than sensible replies.

And Lee shared her sentiments. "A possibility. If that doesn't work, you can always try Naruto!"

"Naruto?" He's kidding. He must be.

"Yes, or Shino… the serious aura is a shared trait, you know."

Serious aura. Tenten grimaced at the thought of prying out any emotional response from Shino. There is danger, actually. If she pushed the wrong buttons, he might… oh, should she bring bug spray?

"Oh well, if Shino doesn't deliver," she began with much finality. "I guess I can turn to Sasuke."

Now it was Lee's eyes that widened. Did she say Sasuke? "Tenten…"

She was already halfway to the door. "Thanks, Lee! You can come if you want; I'm off to Shikamaru's first."

With the sound of the door shut, he sighed. Shikamaru might have a problem with her asking this favor, Temari being in the village and all. As if that's not enough, Sasuke might glare at her at first. The possibility of him eventually agreeing is not slim to none though. Trouble is, sparks may fly – what kind of sparks, he can't say.

A part of Neji will flare to life to say the least.