This is the Sequal to Waiting. One-Shot
This has been out for a while, I simply separated the chapters because it was really long.
Neji stalled in front of the flower shop. There were millions of multicolored petals and exotic scents that were appealing and appalling at the same time. The bright, happy positive shop made him mentally sick and upon hearing the loud biting voice of Ino, he shook his head continuing on. Not just because he did not want to force himself to step inside and deal with that annoying female, but also to the fact TenTen never liked flowers. She would have enough to greet her anyway when she does actually wake.
He stepped slowly down the dirt road of the marketplace, concentrating on what gift he should bring today to pay attention to the people that knew him. Finding a gift normally took him the whole eight hours of his break so wasting time on trivial matters such as manners was not an option. He past by the weapons shop and though it stalled him, he eventually moved on. He brought her a new weapon yesterday and a few other days before that. He really didn't have anymore pictures of the team to give her so that was not a choice today. Bringing nothing was not acceptable anymore but if it came down to missing time out from visiting her and finding a present, then he would have to bring two presents the next time.
A familiar scent stalled him in mid-stride and cut off all his distance thoughts. Neji turned his lavender eyes to an unfamiliar bath store. Momentarily intrigued and wishing to find the owner to that smell, he ventured inside the small building. He was instantly trampled by harsh and violent odors, he was forced to continue breathing through his mouth. He almost decided to leave but the fragrance that brought him in here kept him steady and he continued further in before finding the component.
Vanilla. TenTen's scent.
He lifted the lotion, looking it over skeptically considering he didn't think TenTen would ever own something so…faminine. But he breathed it in and his eyes shut in memory of her. This scent followed her everywhere no matter the workout he put her through. It wasn't until this very moment that he realized how long it's been since she had left him to live in her world of silence.
A month and a half now without seeing her gorgeous brown eyes, without hearing her soft womanly voice, and without receiving her full vibrant smile. A month and a half that he's been waiting to live again.
Neji quickly bought it.
Noticing the time, he realized he still had an hour before his scheduled shift. Soon it would be his turn to see next to TenTen's sleeping form. Showing up early would be inconsiderate of him. He wasn't the only one that cared for her and he had to respect that, no matter how impatient he was. But suddenly he blinked finding himself on the well worn path to the hospital.
Neji stopped himself if not reluctantly and took a seat at a nearby bench, placing the bag down by his side. His eyes shut on the will of their own. He had not slept last night even though he had been at TenTen's side, laying on a rough and lumpy cot. Usually it's the best sleep he gets, being lured off to dreamless sleeps by her deep breathing and the sharp beeping of her heart beat. Instead, last night he had stayed alert, waiting with eager anticipation for her to wake.
A few days prior, Sakura had told him that not only was she now a hundred percent healed but she would soon open her eyes.
The first two days Neji couldn't separate himself from the hospital, sticking to the shadows of the trees and keeping his blood limit activated trained only on her depressingly weak chakra signature. On the third day, he cursed himself for being so pathetic. He found himself directing his pent up frustration on the medical ninja. She was cruel to give him hope in an obvious hopeless situation. She couldn't possibly know if TenTen would wake so why tell him something so heartless?
Then that very same day TenTen had surprised them all. She had reacted to her name. Lee had happily reported this because it had happened on his watch. TenTen's heart had fluttered for just a moment when he had spoken her name.
Jealousy was not a familiar emotion for the Hyuuga prodigy. So he dealt with it as any man would…like a stubborn child. He refused to speak to TenTen his whole shift to demonstrate his anger. Of course the next chance he got he apologized to her but it only upset him more when her heart beat stayed the same steadied rhythm it's been in for forty-two days.
"Neji-nii-sama." Neji snapped open his eyes finding Hinata, Hanabi, and Hiashi staring down at him. He instantly stood and bowed respectfully. "We just came from seeing TenTen. She looks well." Neji knew a simple lie when he heard one but did not respond from his bowed position.
The male Main member spoke, "Hinata, Hanabi, go on. I must speak to Neji." Neji watched their footsteps disappear before he straightened himself, trying to ignore the gaze of his uncle. But when the older man didn't speak, Neji reluctantly connected his pale orbs. "You have not shown yourself in the compound and you have lacked in your training as well as your duties to the clan." Neji dropped his gaze but could give no response. "I will not tell you the way you are acting is unacceptable nor will I tell you being so attached is also unacceptable. I will say that you have a mission in two days and you are going. Do you understand?" Neji fisted his hands at his side, the only inclination that he would obey. Hiashi stepped passed him but then stalled. Their backs to one another in the rigid silence. "I understand your motive but its time to move on. This is not a way to live."
Neji waited until the footsteps faded and fell back against the bench numbly.
Was he really that out of it? 'Lacked in training?' Neji rolled the past six weeks in his head and could only see TenTen's sleeping form. He quickly fought in his defense. How was he suppose to train when he had no partner? TenTen always worked with him: two hours at sunrise, two hours at midday, and two hours at sunset. There was no other person that fit his schedule and no other person that could help the way she did. It wasn't that training had become unimportant, it was just that she was unavailable.
Neji switched the topic to his duties. It was true that he barely returned to the compound, never staying longer then showering and changing his clothes. He just didn't have time to do them. Searching for the right gift was very time consuming. And there was no point going back to the compound to sleep, when he could just as easily find a tree branch near the hospital.
'Not a way to live'.
Typical. His uncle understood nothing. Did the man except him to not care? Neji may not be the most emotional moron out there but he was not made of stone. TenTen was his teammate. She was…
...everything. She kept Team Gai from over-exerting themselves, placing limits on their training, making sure they ate and slept, making sure they were happy in the mind and in the heart. It was hard to keep track of time without her. Even now as she laid there speechless, she was in control of everything.
What did Hiashi expect him to do? Just forget all about her like she was already dead? Screw that. She has taken care of their team for too long to be thrown aside like some useless doll!
Neji calmed himself, taking a few deep breaths to relax his trembling enraged form. Hiashi was overreacting. But it was over nothing. TenTen would wake up soon and everything will go back to the way it was. Team Gai will be whole again and nothing will be changed except maybe a deeper relationship between them.
Neji stood, allowing Hiashi's words to roll off of him. Grabbing the bag he made his way to the now too familiar building.