And The Return to Fangirlism
Caution: High amounts of Insanity and cackling Inner!Nejis.
The Incident had happened on a clear Thursday afternoon. Of course, neither participants of The Incident found it to be a particularly fond memory; thus, it was coined by their stubborn, contradictory minds as a mere accident, and a curse of Fate, respectively.
When Naruto, an onlooker, was asked to recall The Incident, he would snicker, and between snorting down bowls of ramen, would say that the Hyuuga deserved it.
Oddly, both Sakura and Ino, and Hinata if you caught her on a better day, would say it was rather romantic.
Nonetheless, The Incident became well-known through Konoha-verse, and often brought up to haunt the Hyuuga's manly pride. His ego was never the same since.
Neji was having a rather good day. Fate seemed to be taking a lunch break, for once.
Tenten was coming back from her week-long mission in the Rice Country, and Neji had promptly taken Tower duty to watch when she'd get back. (It is common knowledge among the Hokage and anyone that pays attention that Neji never takes missions when Tenten is away since their Chunnin years. Usually they are on the same team, but on rare occurrences she is paired off with a hodgepodge of whatever shinobi is around to take on a B- or C-class mission. It is also common knowledge that this habit is not the same the other way around, and that Tenten often takes missions with a hodgepodge of whatever shinobi is around when Neji is away.)
She, and the rest of her cell, Shikamaru, Kiba, and Shino, were late. Neji, who never accepted tardiness, began to list in his genius mind reasons why they could and would be late.
They were merely on a scouting mission, and if ambushed by ninja, they could handle it, or at least, Tenten could. This morphed into thinking about Tenten, and strictly her abilities in close combat and long-range, and also targets. This thinking about Tenten had nothing to do with the way strands of hair would fall in wisps and frame her glowing face during training, or the way she could hurt with a blunt sword and two senbon, and not at all the way Tenten looked in a dress.
(Neji liked to lie to himself.)
Of course, this monologue had wandered to the infidelity of the men on her cell, growing in a fouler, sulkier mood as each minute passed and Tenten had not returned. He wouldn't expect Shino to do anything, and that Tenten would find a bug's nest appealing was slim to none. The girl did tend to throw senbon at random insects if they got too close, to the dismay of Shino and the rest of the Aburame clan.
Shikamaru was too lazy and smart enough not to get to close with Tenten. Not that Neji was jealous or anything, just that Shikamaru would understand the awkwardness and troublesomeness of Tenten being distracted. And Tenten had once commented it was a shame such brilliance (that part still irked him) would be hindered by such laziness.
No, it was the mutt that bothered Neji. He had heard from Lee who heard from Sakura who heard from Naruto who said Kiba said that Tenten smelled nice. When had the mutt get a good sniff of Tenten? Even he hadn't…
Neji beat and killed that thought before it could fully process.
The point was, the Inuzuka's hormones raged, and no doubt having Tenten, or any female really, on a cell would provide optimal alone time to pull… Indecent Moves on Her Well-being and Vulnerability. Although Tenten was above that, the Inuzuka may have forced himself upon her…!
Neji's look was getting murderous, and the other two ninja in the Tower began to exchange glances and break out into a sweat. The Hyuuga's face had suddenly turned from looking somewhat pleasant, to a bit glazed and now to murderous.
Maybe he was suffering from a heat stroke, leading him to attack them as if they were Cloud ninja. The two shinobi began to shift slightly away from the dark aura filling and suffocating the small booth. Just a precaution, they mouthed to each other. Closer to the door.
"Yosh! We're home!" the loud yell of a certain shinobi on Neji's Hit List broke through said shinobi's agitated mind, and he was instantly bounding out of the Tower, down the rickety steps and to the utter relief of the two other ninjas forced on Tower duty with him.
He met her at the gate before Tenten had even crossed through the border, and nodded once at Shikamaru and Shino and gave his best two-second glare at the Inuzuka. To the pride of his bodily establishment, Kiba had shivered, instantly nervous (but unknowing of why) of the sudden evil, hot, anger directed towards him.
Hinata had also come to welcome them back, for both her teammates were out, and they had promptly (i.e. Kiba dragging Shino and Hinata hesitantly following) headed to report to the Hokage. Shikamaru had rolled his eyes and groaned at the high-pitched scream of, "Shikamaru! Get your lazy ass over here!"
Neji couldn't tell if it was Yamanaka or the Nara's mother.
He had turned his attention back on Tenten, who was beaming at him, her buns slightly lopsided. She leaned up quickly and gave him a chaste hug, which was becoming more common between missions, and had, of course, brightened Neji's day and banished all thoughts of Kiba, Hinata, and Shikamaru's mother.
His thought processes for the first split-second that Tenten's arms were around his neck were, Mine.
Then, it progressed to the recent occurrences of Indecent Moves on Her Well-being and Vulnerability.
Of course, he squandered that when he became sound of mind after a mere two seconds, and pretended to listen to Tenten, nodding at pauses for breath.
She was his teammate, partner. He did not have any other feelings than teammate protectiveness. Tenten wasn't of interest, it would hinder their team dynamics, and she didn't like him (much to his inner grievances) and what if she rejected him?
No, he didn't like her, why would there be even a thought of rejection when all he thought of her was platonic?
He ranted on silently for a bit, still floating down Denial River, which of course, and very soon, led to Realization Waterfall.
Inner Neji pointed out that those nights under the covers reading Icha Icha Paradise and substituting the characters with his teammate was sure platonic (only Hinata and Hiashi knew Neji's a closet pervert, he is).
Before Outer Neji could think of a witty comeback to that (because all that wit is Inner Neji, really), he somehow opened his mouth to casually ask her if she'd like to discuss it over lunch. After those fateful words spilled from his mouth his mind instantly went into overdrive.
Discuss what? He wasn't paying attention! What if Tenten took it the wrong way? What if she thought he was trying to hit on her and pull Indecent Moves on Her Well-being and Vulnerability? Inner Neji reasoned that he did want to, but Outer Neji Gentle Fisted that part to unconsciousness. Not a good move, since Inner Neji, as stated before, contained all the wit.
He opened his mouth to take it back, that it was just as blank as his mind processes; the only excuses he could conjure up was that he wasn't taking in enough oxygen to his lungs. However, to his surprise, her mouth curled up into a smile, "Yeah, Neji, that would be nice!"
His mind halted, he shut his mouth and blinked.
"What?" he asked stupidly.
"Let's go have lunch," she grinned. Of course, being simple Tenten, she wouldn't take it as more than just a friendly lunch to further rant on about the mission.
Outer Neji was silently praying that Inner and wittier Neji would regain consciousness.
But other than that, Neji was having a pretty good day. Extremely good day really, since Tenten did indeed smell… nice. Her arm was looped through his, and their footsteps matched evenly. This was bliss.
Of course, Fate decided to come back from her lunch break, or maybe never left in the first place.
To Tenten, the day had started off well, since they were heading home, finally. Her teammates were good to deal with, sometimes even better than her own dysfunctional group. At least, Shino spoke more than Neji, and had (sort of) a sense of humor, well, at least better than her stoic teammate. Kiba was thoughtful and funny, more than she expected from the obnoxious boy, and Akamaru was fun to play with, making the scouting mission less boring. She could see why Hinata had been getting better hanging out with those two; they did do something to her, lifting a bit of the reserved Hyuuga ways that Hinata was brought up with, and Tenten had to deal (and rubbed off on her sometimes) with Neji.
Added to that was Shikamaru's dry comment that she was the least troublesome woman of the Rookie 9, and in general, which had somehow made her blush. It had been a long while since she had been complimented for being feminine, and not like the way Lee and Gai-sensei did, which made her feel like she could turn green and sprout roots and suck water from their sweating green bodies as it hit the dirt.
Besides, she liked to slice up flowers that Lee and Gai-sensei described her as when she was bored.
And when she arrived home, finally at the gates of Konoha, Neji was there, almost as if he was welcoming her back. A moment of girly weakness, it was almost like he was waiting for her, and she had leaned up on her toes to hug him. Of course, Neji had stiffened but she had ignored it, and launched into how much open field was in Rice Country, how they were almost attacked, and etcetera, just to distract him.
She smiled to herself, because Hyuuga Neji always smelled nice.
He then asked her for lunch, and she had said yes, because it would be a good way to spend some time with Neji, and continue on her rant.
She didn't think twice of his question, because, she, unlike Neji, didn't like to think too much about it. And because Neji was asking her to friendly lunches more often lately, to catch up, of course.
To Naruto and Sakura at the Ichiraku Ramen Stand (because old habits die hard) it looked rather normal, the two shinobi walking to have lunch. Tenten was talking animatedly about her mission, her gloved hands flailing to represent a battle of some sort. Neji was nodding, his white eyes glued on Tenten's face. Naruto elbowed Sakura knowingly, and she rolled her eyes.
"Naruto, don't even think about it."
"Sakura-chan, it would be fun!" he whined, slurping the rest of his ramen.
"You don't want to piss of Neji-kun," she said firmly.
"Ne, I can take him. I already beat him once."
"Once," Sakura emphasized, "And it was only luck."
Naruto pouted, and suddenly jolted when a shrill and fangirl-ish scream filled the air.
He turned and his mouth opened, agape, noodles falling from his mouth onto the floor.
Neji could deal with a lot of crap in his life. He could deal with platoons of enemy shinobi, he could (somewhat) deal with living with other people like him, but he could not deal with (or understand) the sight in front of him.
Tenten glanced at him, and bit her lower lip. She turned her head slightly, looking down at the smaller girl, who currently had her arms around Tenten's waist.
"Ne, you missed. Neji's over there."
The fangirl, who had been nuzzling her head into Tenten's back instantly let go, looking up at his teammate under sooty lashes. She had dark tresses, tied ridiculously up in two buns, bangs brushing into her eyes. She was wearing an Oriental shirt and dark pants. Neji frowned, scrunching his nose. The girl rather looked like Tenten (but Inner Neji decided to awake then and point out that he thought Tenten was much sexier than this poser was).
"My name's Kameko, and I really admire you, Tenten-chan," the girl practically purred Tenten's name, forcing a shiver down Neji's spine. He growled low in his throat, and moved in front of his teammate. His mind chanted Lie Lie Lie over and over again.
"That's nice. Go away now," he threatened. Kameko stared at him, and instead of the usual response Neji expected from fangirls, she gnashed her teeth together and glared at him.
"Hyuuga, you get out of the way, you prissy excuse for a man."
Instantly all barriers went up, and his Byakagun flared up, fists clenched. She did not go there.
Kameko stared at his eyes, not the least bit fazed, "You can put those veins away, they're not intimidating."
One hand landed on Neji's shoulder, and he bristled with anger.
"Neji," Tenten said calmly. He relaxed. Good, Tenten will handle the situation and beat the fangirl for him.
Then, Tenten had beamed at the girl, excitedly grabbing the fangirl's hands, "You really think so?"
Kameko nodded enthusiastically and Tenten's hands fluttered to her face, "No one ever says that to me."
Indignant, Neji couldn't help but disagree. Before the mission, he remembered specifically that he had told her that her kunai was well balanced. Tenten did not act all gushy when he said that.
Kameko's hands were in the air, and she was shaking, "Seriously, Tenten-chan? You're the best on your team!"
Tenten laughed, a high tinkly sound that softened Neji's thoughts, shaking her head embarrassed. Then he remembered that Tenten was not producing such sounds for him, but for the stupid fangirl.
"Tenten, we have to go," Neji said impatiently. He narrowed his eyes at Kameko, who ignored him, oblivious to his glare. He wondered why, since only a handful of people were impervious to the infamous Hyuuga Glare (patent pending) that kicked the Uchiha Glare and made even Jonin cower in fear.
Only Tenten was unfazed by his stare, which was of course, the prodigal Hyuuga Glare (which infuriated him).
His teammate did a surprising thing. She waved him off absentmindedly, her focus completely on Kameko. Neji stood there, quite possibly looking like an idiot, watching Tenten and the fangirl talk. Tenten was doing a lot of blushing, which irked him.
This was not happening. Tenten did not have a fangirl. (He remembered the fanboys Tenten used to have, and he wondered how their hospitalization was going.)
"You know, glaring at your noodles hard enough to make the seasoning evaporate isn't a smart idea, Neji."
He pouted, poking at his food with his chopsticks. Tenten rolled his eyes, "You were completely fine earlier, what's gotten into you?"
"You invited her to eat with us," he growled accusing, glaring at the girl on the opposite side of Tenten.
"I can hear you," Kameko said in a sing-song voice. She turned her dark eyes on Neji. He thought they were the color of mud, but decided not to voice his opinions.
"It's not like you're on a date with her," Kameko smirked. Neji was speechless, and his collar was getting hot and tight around his neck.
Inner Neji was dancing with glee, shrieking that Outer Neji was blushing.
Tenten laughed loudly as if it was the most absurd thing she has ever heard, "Of course not! We're here just to talk about the mission!"
Neji felt… disappointed. Did Tenten find the idea of a thing-sort-of-relating-to-maybe-maybe-not-date that unbelievable? (Instantly, he took that thought back. He didn't just think that.)
Kameko joined in on the laughing, "Thank god. You have better tastes than that, Tenten-chan!"
OH hell no.
That was the last straw. He stood, tipping his bowl of ramen over. Tenten's eyes only widened before he grabbed his teammate around the waist, throwing her over his shoulder.
"I don't appreciate your Indecent Moves on Her Well-being and Vulnerability, fangirl," he hissed to the equally shocked Kameko, before turning on his heel and storming out, Tenten shrieking on his back. (He didn't even bother to pay the bill.)
All the way to the training grounds, he, in no way or form possible, think of throwing Tenten on a bed and ravishing her.
"Did it work?"
"Of course," 'Kameko' smirked, pulling the buns from her hair to have to fall below her shoulders, pin-straight, "To think that idiot can't even recognize his own cousin."
She took out the contacts from her eyes, throwing them on the dirt and pressing her heels against them. Her eyes were now a milky white, and she barked at her comrade, "Did you get Neji's facial expression all on tape?"
"Of course, how could I miss the look of sheer jealousy and youthful passion on my teammate's handsome face?"
She sighed, shaking her head and cackling, "Did you hear what he said before he left? Indecent Moves on Her Well-being and Vulnerability?! What kind of person comes up with that?" She shook her hips, mimicking through her laughter.
He laughed, pumping his fists, "This is an important stepping stone between my eternal rival and the blossoming flower of my team!"
"And amazingly good blackmail," she agreed.
Notes: Why did I write this? No clue. I gotta lay off the crack. -cough- guess who this cute Hyuuga cousin is. (: