Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. Never have, never will. And that's the end of that.
The village of Konoha was (in general), a very quiet, very peaceful place. People chatted lightly in the half-empty streets, the early morning light of sunrise still filtering over the horizon.
Sakura, after finishing her early morning briefing for a mission that was to begin the next day, was sitting at Ichiraku, idly tapping her fingers on the wooden counter as she waited for her food, admiring the pretty blends of blue and gold in the east. It was a calming sight.
Calming, until she heard her extremely loud, orange-wearing teammate huffing and puffing behind her, clearly out of breath, – yet he somehow still managing to yell her name repeatedly at top volume, she noted mildly – his physical state telling her he had just run a great distance very fast.
Slightly annoyed at the loud disruption of her calm morning, she snapped, "What?"
Naruto waved his arms around hurriedly, a wild look in his eyes. "You'll never believe what I just saw!"
"What?" Sakura repeated, losing any interest she had rapidly, accustomed to being notified of all and every little thing that caught her hyper teammate's attention, whether she liked to or not.
Eyes widening immensely, Naruto plopped himself down on the empty stool beside with a loud thump, and grabbed her forearms roughly, shaking the medic nin furiously. "Ne-ne-Neji and Tenten!"
Slapping his hands away, Sakura sighed as she dug into the steaming bowl of noodles placed before her, still not the slightest bit curious about the Hyuga prodigy and his bun-haired teammate.
"SAKURA-CHAN!? LISTEN TO ME! NEJI! AND TENTEN!" He was screaming directly into her ear now, and Sakura twitched madly as she mourned the lost of her hearing, raising a chakra fuelled fist that would meet Naruto cheek a moment later.
"SHUT UP!" She fumed, as Naruto toppled onto the floor rather harshly, "IT'S SEVEN IN THE MORNING, YOU MORON, AND I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY BE IT ABOUT NEJI OR TENTEN OR THE PLAUSIBILITY OF OROCHIMARU'S SEXUALITY."
Rubbing his cheek, and wincing at the sting of dry flesh meeting raw, Naruto turned his cerulean blue eyes to his fuming teammate, opening his mouth to complain at her aggressive temper, when another voice was heard in the distance.
"Oi, dobe, stop being such a moron. I think you're the only person who can piss Sakura off at seven in the morning." A smirking, lightly dressed Uchiha came strolling into view, not even bothering to glance in Naruto's direction before walking past him and taking a seat on the chair Naruto previously occupied.
"Sasuke-kun!" Sakura exclaimed, smiling brightly at him, pleased someone agreed with her.
"Sakura," Sasuke nodded, a brief smile gracing his lips, before finally turning back to the teammate that had now jumped up from the dusty floor, enthusiasm unsullied by Sasuke's name-calling or Sakura's temper. "What about the Hyuga?"
Sasuke, unlike Sakura, was rather curious about the happenings of his rival prodigy, inwardly proclaiming that whatever Hyuga had done, he would go do a thousand times better, should it be something of worthy reputation-enhancing.
Naruto, pleased that someone at last was taking interest in what he had to say, eagerly ploughed on, for this was a piece of gossip that would be undoubtedly be the talk of the village.
"This morning, I was walking toward Ichiraku, for my early morning ramen, when I just happen to see Neji and Tenten--"
"Did I just hear the name of my eternal rival and the flower of our team?"
"Indeed you did, my precious Lee!"
And defying all laws of physics, astronomy, and the time-space continuum, the Sun that was just rising began to set, and an over-done ocean materialized out of nowhere, framing the two spandex-clad, tearful shinobi.
Team Seven blinked, shielding their eyes from the blinding light, still not used to the emotion displayed by the two. When the obscure scenery faded away, the younger of the two 'green beasts', turned to his long-time friend/rival, smiling widely at the sight of the team that reminded him so much of his own.
"Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke! How are you today?"
Sakura smiled, Sasuke and Naruto nodded, and Lee and his sensei once again turned all the attention to Naruto.
"What is it you have to say about my genius prodigy and delicate flower, Naruto-kun?" Gai-sensei asked, with enthusiasm far to strong for such an early hour.
"I saw Neji and Tenten this morning, heading toward their training grounds," Naruto resumed, "and with them was..." He paused dramatically, "a child!"
Sakura and Sasuke blinked, before skewering him with expressions that clearly told him they thought he was wasting their time.
It was Lee, in the end, that broke the uncomfortable silence, his eyebrows knitting together, "I do not understand, Naruto," he said in a questioning tone, "the significance of your observation. Is there something unyouthful about Neji and Tenten's company?"
Naruto stood, baffled, wondering why his entourage was not displaying the wanted reaction of shock, before he understood he had not explained in enough detail.
"You don't get it!" he exclaimed, "It's not just any child, it was a little Hyuga!"
"Besides the fact that it seems odd for Neji-san to be in the presence of children willingly," Sakura said slowly, "That's nothing of great importance Naruto."
Naruto shook his head wildly, "I'm not done! The kid, she look exactly like Tenten! The buns, the clothes, everything! It was like a chibi-Tenten with Hyuga eyes!"
Eyes widened considerably as the implication settled themselves in his friends minds, Naruto ploughed on, "And not only that! Neji and Tenten were each holding her hands, and they were smiling. Neji was smiling! Neji!"
A shocked silence filled the street, and even Sasuke, usually so reserved, had his jaw hanging open slightly.
"But – but –" Lee stuttered, horrified, " Surely you must have been mistaken. Perhaps you saw someone else that resembled Neji and Tenten?"
"No!" Naruto denied, head shaking furiously, "It couldn't have been anyone but them! Long-haired Hyuga, girl with buns, who else could it have been?!"
Lee, who seemed desperate to deny all that was being thrown at him, stuttered out, "Surely they would have told us...oh GAI-SENSEI," he sobbed, throwing himself into his equally wailing sensei's arms, "WE HAVE FAILED NOT ONLY AS TEAMMATES, BUT TO PROTECT OUR DELICATE FLOWER!"
Sakura stared, shock evident in her green eyes, her full attention now on Naruto. "Naruto, but there's no way...Neji and Tenten are only nineteen, surely they couldn't have...How old did the child look?"
Pushing his eyebrows together in thought, he tried to recall the age of the child he had seen, before answering slowly, "I think she looked about two."
"Exactly!" Sakura nodded, "There's no way! Two years ago Neji and Tenten were..." Her voice trailed off, horrified as a thought occurred in her mind."
Sasuke stared from Sakura and Naruto's horrified expression, confusion evident on his handsome face, unable to figure out what had suddenly been remembered.
"Two years ago," Naruto blurted out, noticing the look on Sasuke's face, realizing Sasuke had only returned to Konoha the previous year, "Neji and Tenten took a year off and left the village!"
"Did they say why?" Sasuke didn't know whether horrified to envious that his Hyuga equal had completed that particular goal first, should this rumour be true.
It was Gai that replied this time, him and Lee still clinging to each other for support, "They told us it was for 'classified reasons', and left just like that! When we asked Tsunade-sama, she told us the same thing!"
A shocked silence was now settled upon the group, as they mused, slightly nervously, the news that had just been presented to them.
"Well...before we jump to hasty conclusions," Sakura said, biting her lip, trying to prevent them thinking too far into this, in case this was untrue, "Why don't we head over to their training ground now? See for ourselves?"
Lee and Gai bobbed their shinning heads up and down, desperately wanting to believe in the innocence of their beloved flower and their honourable teammate.
Glancing from Sasuke's expression of disbelief, Sakura's of nervousness, and Lee and Gai's identical ones of teary betrayal, Naruto and his companions set off for the forest clearing where Neji and Tenten usually trained.
The group of five traipsed carefully through Konoha's forest, looking out for any traps or bombs that the weapons' mistress might have set. Lee and Gai were now at the front of the group, as they were the only ones that knew the exact location of the clearing, being acquainted with it's users for so long.
It soon became clear they were heading in the right direction when mass amounts of kunai, shuriken, and senbon, as well as many, many other varieties of weapons were embedded in the trees they passed; no doubt Tenten's work. When the tree-dominated scenery began to clear out, five sets of ears heard the light voice of Konoha's weapons mistress, the baritone of the Hyuga prodigy, and the unmistakable cheerful, innocent, high-pitched voice that could only belong to a young child.
The thought of the child's parentage was being more deeply ingrained in the five intruding nin's minds as they neared the clearing, and with sweaty palms and rigid steps, they edged nearer to the voices.
Ducking behind a large bush on the edge of the deforested area that concealed all of them, five heads peaked over the edge of the foliage, all starting intently at the three figures sitting at the base of a large tree.
Neji, in his usual attire, was leaning back against the bark, his head every so slightly inclined to the side to rest on Tenten's head that was leaning on his shoulder. He had one arm wrapped around his teammate, hand resting on the curve of her hip, and pupiless eyes focused downward. Resting on Tenten's lap, happily giggling, was a small child of no more than two, one chubby arm around her holder's neck, the other reaching out to grab at Neji's robes.
All in all, they looked like the perfect happy family, and Sakura would have cooed if she currently was trying not to be seen, and was slightly traumatized by the whole situation.
Looking closer, the four nin realized that Naruto had been right, and that the child did look like a miniature replica of the woman holding her, with dark brown hair bound in twin buns, parted bangs hanging in front of a set of pearly white eyes.
The little girl smiled a toothy smile up at Neji, emitting a sound that wasn't quite a laugh, almost like a gurgle, and gently tugged on the Hyuga's long hair.
The five in hiding stared at each other, identical shock in all their eyes, as the usually so stoic genius gently removed the chubby fist from his hair, instead letting it grasp his finger, and smiling lightly down at the little child, before leaning down to brush his lips lightly against Tenten's cheekbone.
It was Tenten's voice that broke the comfortable silence between them, looking up at Neji, a light blush gracing her cheeks. Stroking child's cheek with the back of her hand, she said, softly, "She's adorable, isn't she?"
Her only response was nod of agreement, and the happy child's cry. Those hiding strained their ears to listen, the words carrying rather difficultly across the clearing.
"'kaa-san! 'kaa-san!" The child cried, using both hands to pat Tenten's own two buns, "Like me!"
Neji chuckled lightly, and reached over to pick up the child from his companion's lap, setting her down into his own. A rough, calloused finger poked the girl's own two hair buns, pausing in thought for a short moment, before lifting the child up until her face was level with Tenten's.
"She's right, you know," Neji mused, shifting his gaze between the two females, then suddenly smirking, "But she's got a Hyuga's eyes."
Rolling her eyes, Tenten reached over and smacked Neji on the head lightly, glaring half-heartedly. "Well, duh she does, considering her parentage. You said Byakugan's a dominant trait, didn't you? (1)"
Neji's didn't say anything, instead opting to circle both arms around Tenten and the child, nuzzling into her neck. Tenten's blush intensified, and pushed Neji away with a kind of awkward half-shove, not quite right since her hands were preoccupied. "Not here Neji! Hitomi will see!" she scolded, though a small smile was painted on her face.
Innocent white eyes looked up at Neji, blinking up at a similarly colorless gaze. "'tou-san! Bad?"
Tenten's smirked triumphantly, patting Hitomi on the head approvingly. "See Neji? Hitomi agrees with me."
Silence once again enveloped the clearing, though behind the bush that concealed five rather disturbed ninja, hearts pounded rapidly.
"See?!" Naruto hissed, motioning towards the three, "What did I tell you?!"
Sakura bit her lip, looking around at the other four, shifting rather awkwardly. "They probably have a really good explanation, it's not as if they could have hidden this forever."
Sasuke snorted, disbelieving. "The way I see it, the Hyuga simply knocked her up and got her pregnant, and now they don't want anyone to know so they took a year off for the pregnancy and hid the child all this time."
Sakura, Naruto, Lee and Gai stared at him with stupefied expressions.
"What?" Sasuke retorted.
"That is most likely the most words I have ever heard you say at one time Sasuke-san," Lee told him, his sensei and Sasuke's teammates nodding in concurrence.
After a quick minute of utter stillness, Lee and Gai bursted into an absurd series of sobs, seemingly both coming to the end of the same train of thought.
"GAI-SENSEI! OUR BEAUTIFUL FLOWER OF YOUTH HAS BEEN DEFLOWERED BY OUR NEJI-KUN! WE HAVE FAILED TO PROTECT HER!" Lee wailed, obviously very distraught.
"LEE, MY PRECIOUS STUDENT, AS PUNISHMENT WE SHALL RUN 5000 LAPS AROUND THE VILLAGE, AND IF WE CANNOT TO THAT WE SHALL – "
"Shut up!" Naruto and Sasuke hissed in unison, both clamping a hand tightly over the sobbing shinobi's mouths, "They'll hear us!"
"Too late." Realizing that sunlight was no longer reaching the ground, and a dark shadow was cast over them in its place, the party of five looked up to see a none-too-pleased Hyuga Neji glaring down at them, white eyes glinting dangerously.
"N-Neji-kun! My precious student," Gai cried boisterously, though somewhat unnerved by the murderous intent that surrounded the young prodigy. "How are you this fine youthful day?"
"Fine," Neji stated shortly, anger receding into utter annoyance. "What, may I ask, are you doing, with Team Seven, no less," turning an irritated eye onto the three younger nin, "hiding behind a bush, screaming at the maximum capacity of your lungs?"
"We weren't screaming," Naruto retorted, motioning to his own team, then pointing at Lee and Gai, "They were. We were being perfectly quiet, and you would have never found us if those two hadn't decided to sprout all their crap about youth and whatnot!"
Neji rolled his eyes, deciding not to exert the breath to point out that his Byakugan would have found them anyway, and raised a cool eyebrow, waiting. "That does not explain why you were hiding behind a bush. Ninjas do not hide in bushes, they hide in trees."(2)
"So you say." Sasuke shot back, not to be insulted on his ninja skills by the Hyuga of all people.
"Yes, I say, Uchiha," Neji noted, glaring at said other prodigy, "I and every other ninja in this village except you five."
"Neji's right you know guys." All six heads turned to the light, amused voice of Tenten, who had appeared behind Neji, arms around the young girl, who had her arms around her carrier's neck, sleeping peacefully. "I don't think I've every heard of ninja that hide in bushes when there are massive amounts of trees in the area."
"Though..." Tenten paused thoughtfully, glancing over at Neji, before returning her gaze to the other five, "Why are you guys hiding here?"
"And spying on us," Neji added, not quite in the same gracious tone as Tenten.
"Well..." The five of them trailed off uncomfortably, shifting their gazes to each rather than the two questioning nin above them. "We wanted to confirm..." Neji and Tenten exchanged looks, "...a rumour."
"A rumour?" Neji's eyebrow rose even higher, and Naruto was sure if it rose anymore, it'd vanish altogether in his hairline. "As far as I'm concerned, there are no rumours circulating around about me or Tenten."
Tenten nodded slowly.
"It's not a rumour per se," Sakura said, "More like an...interesting discovery."
"About us?" Tenten asked, confusion apparent on her face. "What about?"
It was then that Lee and Gai decided to voice their presence, far too hysterical to hold their emotions in any longer (not that they ever did in the first place).
"WE HAVE BEEN TOLD, THAT YOU, NEJI, OUR PROGIDY, HAVE SO UNYOUTHFULLY DEFLOWERED – "
Their loud yells were drowned out by the toddler jolting awake at the sudden loud noise, wailing as she burrowed further into Tenten's neck. Tenten immediately started rocking the child back and forth, cooing softly to her, rubbing soothingly on her back in a circular motion. Neji glared ruthlessly at his male teammates, killing intent returning, before sighing, and stepping over to Tenten to comfort the child.
When the sobs slowly faded into hiccups, and then into little sniffles, Neji leaned over to pat the little girl's head a last time, and turned to face Tenten.
"We should bring her home now. It's getting late." And true enough, when seven sets of eyes looked up, the sun that had been right above them was now setting in the west, and the air had a slight, bitter chill to it.
Nodding in agreement, Tenten turned to face the five silent nin – who were rather shocked at the emotion just displayed by the prodigy – and smiled politely at them.
"D'you want to join us for dinner after we drop Hitomi with her Uncle? Then can take the chance to clear up this...rumour."
The trek to the Hyuga compound where all Hyuga lived was a quiet one, filled with discomforted silence (Lee, Gai, Team Seven) and a soothing calm (Neji, Tenten, and their little bundle of joy), where all attention was focused keenly on the child, albeit for varied reasons.
The massive Hyuga manor came into view soon after, full of whites and beiges, a serene stillness cast over the structure. The large entrance gate was made entirely of a fine wood and steel combination, a simple sign marked to state it's occupancy to any outsiders.
The only Hyuga of their group led them up to the towering gates, nodding to both guards – they bowed back respectfully – and brought them into the long corridor that connected all the wings of the house together. Their party stepped lightly down the hallway, not want to stand out too much, as the wooden floors echoed every sound made upon it, and wide hallways magnified them further. Several pairs of moon-like eyes turned to watch them as they trekked down the corridor, unused to seeing the bright colors of the visitors' attire and features.
Neji suddenly came to a abrupt halt, causing everyone in succession after Tenten (who, used to Neji's behaviour, had paused with Neji) to crash into her, nearly pushing her down. She stumbled a bit, before tumbling into Neji, who had turned to break her fall. After setting her solidly onto her feet, Neji knocked firmly on the wooden oak frame of the shoji door screen, sliding it open after Hyuga Hiashi's voice drifted into the hall.
The Hyuga patriarch was seated at a low wooden table, calligraphy brushes and scrolls laid out before him, a small bottle of ink and silver bell at his side.
"Hiashi-sama," Neji intoned deferentially, inclining his head slightly, "I've brought back Hitomi," he said, motioning toward said child and Tenten.
"Very well," Hiashi lifted the small silver bell, and rang it gently, a clear, tinkling noise filling the room. "I trust all went well?"
"Yes," Neji affirmed, "She seems to rather enjoy the outdoors, and poses no bother to our training." he paused, and added an afterthought absently, "Her company is very enjoyable. Tenten and I are happy to bring her with us anytime."
Hiashi nodded approvingly, before turning behind him, to a young maid that had slid open another door so quietly no one had noticed.
"Bring Hitomi to the nursery. She is no doubt tired from the day's events."
"Of course, Hiashi-sama," She rose and walked over to where Tenten stood, noiselessly, without a single falter in her fluid movements.
Tenten gently shook Hitomi awake, tapping her shoulder lightly, calling her name softly.
Brilliant pearl eyes opened and closed sleepily, a large yawn escaping her small mouth. "Ne? 'kaa-san?"
Tenten smiled down at her, before setting her on the ground gently. The maid kneeled down beside her, lifting her up as Tenten's previously had, a small smile on her face.
"Say bye-bye to your 'kaa-san and 'tou-san, Hitomi-chan."
Hitomi waved a cubby hand, leaning over to press her mouth rather messily against Neji and Tenten's cheeks, and drew back, a slightly forlorn expression on her face.
"You play with me later?" She pouted adorably, her large eyes blinking innocently.
Tenten prodded the girl's two buns, exactly like she had earlier, and smiled down at her. "Of course Hitomi-chan! 'kaa-san and 'tou-san are just going out with some friends. We'll be back soon, okay?"
"Okie!" Hitomi gurgled, a wide smile spread across her face, waving merrily as the maid carried her away. "La-er, la-er!" Later, later!
"So..." Naruto started off, staring at Neji and Tenten. "Mind explaining to us?"
"Explain what exactly?" Neji asked coldly, eyebrow arching.
"The child!" Lee cried flapping his arms, attracting quite a bit attention from the other costumers seated at the restaurant.
"What about Hitomi?" Tenten said, eyes scanning her menu carefully, before writing down her order on the sheet of paper beside her. The waitress would come collect them later.
"Is she...yours and Neji's?" Sakura clarified, studying her expression for any hint of an answer.
Tenten exchanged looks with Neji, who was sitting beside her, and smiled a bit. "Of course. Who else would she belong to?"
"So – so – you and Neji...have a child?" Gai exclaimed, leaning across the table to seize his female student by the forearms, "Tenten! There is nothing wrong with wanting to experience the YOUTH of parenthood, but do you not think, that perhaps, you and my youthful prodigy are far too...young?!"
Lee nodded frantically in agreement with his sensei, "And how could you be so careless, Neji! Why did you not use protection? I understand that when you are blinded by the joys of YOUTH, your thinking is not as clear, but that one UNYOUTHFUL decision resulted in our precious flower becoming pregnant! And – "
"Wait, wait, WAIT!" Tenten exclaimed, interrupting Lee's rant, a deep flush on her face "What did you say?!"
"I said that it was an UNYOUTHFUL decision to ENGAGE in the JOYS of intercourse without using the proper protection!" Lee ranted off again, completely rewording his previous statement.
"Excuse me?!" Tenten shrieked, jumping up from her seat, startling everyone within hearing extent, "I was NOT – " she paused, when she felt Neji tugging lightly on her sleeve, and turned questioningly to face him.
"You should sit down, Tenten, people are staring." He motioned to the entire restaurant that they had become the center of attention of. Tenten plopped herself down in her chair, skewering Lee and Gai with a furious glare.
"Neji has never gotten me pregnant," Tenten hissed, her blush elevating to new levels, "Where in the world did you get that impression?!" She leaned over and gave him a hard smack on the head, still fuming.
"But – but, you said that the little girl, Hitomi-chan, was your's and Neji's!" Lee looked up at her with watery eyes, tears threatening to overflow at Tenten's rather harsh reprimand.
"Lee! I didn't mean biologically!" Tenten buried her face in her hands, mortified that her friends had most likely gone the entire day thinking that she had done it with Neji, and she had given birth to his child. She groaned as she realized that, if Hitomi was indeed her child, she would have been born when Tenten was only seventeen, not even an adult. Peeking through the spaces between her fingers, she looked over to see Neji's reaction.
Neji looked...interesting. His face betrayed a myriad of emotions, ranging from annoyed to...amused?
"So you were under the impression that Tenten and I were intimate and produced a child?"
Everyone else at the table were avoiding their gazes now, shifting uncomfortably in their seats. Thankfully, their food arrived that minute, a welcome interruption.
Sakura played with the end of the table cloth, twisting it around her index finger. "Well, you did that take that year off two years ago...we thought...maybe...you know..."
Neji scoffed. "Just because we both took a year off does not mean that it was for maternity reasons."
"Then why'd you leave for so long?"
Tenten looked over at Neji, and they nodded. "I suppose now's a good time as any, ne? We weren't leaving for my pregnancy, as you put it, but because Lady Tsunade sent us away."
"What? Why?" Their table looked flabbergasted, expressions filled with concern.
"No, no," Tenten reassured them, "It wasn't a punishment or anything. We were – "
"We were going to be admitted into ANBU, mostly to work as a tag team, so Lady Tsunade wanted us to train for a year together in all conditions, and we took a year off for intense training in all terrain." Neji finished off, dabbing at the corners of his mouth with a napkin.
"Wow! You guys are in ANBU now?!" Naruto reached over to pat Neji on the back, before recoiling at Neji's touch-me-and-die glare.
"Yea! Congrats guys!" Sakura chirped, happy for her friends.
"Sasuke-kun! Couldn't you at least be a bit more supportive?" Sakura looked disapprovingly at her brooding teammate. He was no doubt irked at the fact that one of his greatest rivals made it into ANBU before him.
"Yosh! YES, CONGRATULATIONS NEJI AND TENTEN. YOU HAVE YOUTHFULLY FULFILLED ALL MY EXPECTATIONS!"
"NEJI, MY RIVAL! BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEATEN ME, I SHALL TRAIN TWICE AS MUCH. AND IF I CANNOT DO THAT – "
"Yes, yes, thank you, Lee." Neji effectively shut Lee up with a few well placed thanks, not wanting to listen to rants about Youth for no more than he had too.
Tenten glowed happily beside him, smiling brightly.
"Wait! Why did the little girl call you guys her mom and dad then?" Sakura said, reverting back to the original topic, looking questioningly at the two ANBU members.
"Well," Tenten blushed sheepishly, scratching the back of her head. "It's complicated. Hitomi's parents died early, her father before she was born, her mother in childbirth, and her mother was Neji's father's closest cousin. So Neji was very close to her mother."
Neji nodded, confirming her story. "When she was dying at the birth two years ago, she asked me to take care of her daughter for her, because she didn't want her to grow up without a loving family."
"And obviously, you wouldn't call the Hyuga the most caring of families, no offense Neji."
"None taken. Anyway, I, obviously, am somewhat inept at childcare." Neji thought back to the disastrous D-rank babysitting missions Team Gai had in their genin days, and shuddered. Thank goodness for Tenten. "And so I asked Tenten to help me. I brought her over the day Hitomi was born to introduce her to my aunt. This was right after our year of training."
"I guess because Hitomi was practically raised by us that she calls us her parents." Tenten put a finger to her chin, mulling over the thought. "We don't mind much though. I guess we're just used to it."
Silence once again settled over them, as they savoured the taste of their food, mentally noting to recommend the restaurant to their friends.
"Are you guys dating?"
Neji and Tenten jumped at the sudden question, shocked expressions on their faces, before receding into light smiles.
"What gives you that idea?"
"Oh come on." Naruto looked teasingly at them. "You guys were cuddling in that clearing. And kissing."
Tenten, for the sixth or seventh time that day, flushed, and even the pale Hyuga had a slight tint of red on his cheeks. "We weren't kissing..." Tenten said meekly, though her weak objection went unheeded.
Naruto waved his hand dismissively. "Ok, so Neji was doing all the kissing. Even if it was on the cheek...and select other body parts. It's still kissing."
"So are you dating or not?" Sakura's beaming face looked eagerly at them.
Tenten glanced shyly at Neji, and Neji smirked, reached up to caress her cheek, before leaning in to meet her lips softly with his.
Taking in the shocked expressions of those at the table, he pulled back smoothing, smirking. "What do you think?"
"Oh. My. Gawd. You are dating!" Sakura squealed, reaching over to glomp Tenten. "Congrats!"
Tenten smiled weakly. "Thanks."
Lee and Gai were left to cry their tears of over joyousness at their teammate's 'blooming of youthfulness' at the restaurant, and Neji, Tenten, and Team Seven rose, readying to leave. Placing enough to cover their portion of the bill and a generous tip on the table, they all headed out the door.
Sakura and Tenten chatted idly along the way, giggling and laughing about who-knows-what, while Neji and Sasuke argued about the advantage of Byakugan over Sharingan, and vice versa, neither willing to give in. Clearly, they would never give that topic a rest.
Naruto was unusually quite during this walk, and if the others noticed the sudden change, they didn't mention it. The conversation was slowly fading out as topics ran out, and soon the familiar sense of tranquility was upon them again.
That was, until, Naruto decided to ask a question he had been pondering upon since Neji and Tenten first cleared up the problematic situation earlier.
"So, Tenten, you are still a virgin, right?"
(1)"You said Byakugan's a dominant trait, didn't you?" - About this, I read in a forum somewhere that said that Kishimoto-sensei had said, that Byakugan was a reccesive trait, but Sharingan was dominant. It wasn't an actual interview, someone just posted it in a post, and said that it was mentioned in an interview. Doesn't anyone know if this is true? Either way, for the sake of this fic, Byakugan's also dominant.
(2) "That does not explain why you were hiding behind a bush. Ninjas do not hide in bushes, they hide in trees." - Obviously, this is not canon. Nor is it mostly right. I've seen Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke, as well as lots of other ninja hide in bushes all the time. Though, if you're able to control your chakra, I'd say it's a safer bet in most circumstances to hide up a tree, rather than in a bush. I figure most jonin and chunin prefer trees over bushes anyway.
Author's Note: Yes! My first NejiTen oneshot, COMPLETE! I'm overjoyed. I've been working on my other NejiTen fic, but it's too angsty, and I've been reading a bit too much angst these days, so I'm taking a short break. I've had this idea boucing around in my head lately, and I wanted to write it down before my muse left me. I've drawn fanart for this fic, but I'm not quite finished yet. I still want to color it, and I'm debating whether I should computer color it, or by hand. I frankly suck at computer drawing/coloring. Hence, I don't touch photoshop a lot. Or anything of the sort.
When I get the picture done, I'll post the link onto my profile. I'll send out an announcement for those who care in a bonus chapter I have planned for this.
Also...anyone that has the time, please visit my profile and vote for your favourite pairing!