Owe this one-shot to Generation Kill, a series on HBO that focuses on the American front in Iraq. Support our troops.
I know that in Konoha guns don't "exist". But, for the sake of the Fic, imagine they do.
And you know what? This is my twentieth publication on . . . and it's August 20th! Muahahaha!
. . . Ahem. At least I think it's cool.
Anyways, Alternate Universe and all that, though Sakura can still heal people, and the Hyuga's have their Byakugan powers. Yeah, might not make sense, so just imagine: Half AU, Half . . . Normal.
Neji/TenTen pairing! Though, very slight. It's a possibility you might not read in-between the lines. . . .
Also, there is some strong language in this. Along, with some mature themes involving things that associate with war. Like: Killing, guns, blood, etc. I strongly caution you to proceed at your own risk.
Disclaimer: Masashi Kishimoto owns this. And I do not. Also, I don't own Thousand Foot Krutch, Generation Kill, or HBO, or , . They all belong to their respective owners/creators.
I highly suggest for your listening pleasure that you listen to Thousand Foot Krutch for this one-shot. I would recommend songs, but it's easy to find your own on . (Inhuman is my recommendation, though! :D)
Dedicated to any soldier who has ever died fighting for what he or she has believed in.
In a state of war, if you don't follow orders, you get into trouble with the enemy, or you die. There are only those two choices: To do as your told and maybe get by, or ruin your team with your decision and get one of them killed. What choice would you make if you had to sacrifice either way? To follow orders, or to die?
"Neji!" yelled TenTen, starting to run without thinking.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?!" Ino screamed to her.
"We're in a firefight, TenTen, you idiot!" yelled Sakura.
TenTen knew they were in a firefight; she had just been shooting, hadn't she? She wasn't blind, for St. Paul's sake!(1) She was dodging this current fire, was she not? TenTen didn't forget to shoot as she leaped and bounded across the narrow street, catching a few in the upper chest cavity. And then she was behind the solid and overturned scaffolding, assessing her comrade's wounds quickly. It was true, TenTen had little to no medical ability like Sakura, but she could at least assess wounds to see how bad they were. Neji's eyes were closed, and through all of his padding and protective plates, blood was matting.
So, it's kind of, sort of, bad, then, TenTen thought, the taste in her mouth turning sour. She tried to rouse Neji, but he wasn't waking up anytime soon. TenTen quickly lowered her ear to Neji's padding covered chest. He was breathing faintly. Very faintly.
"Sakura! Please!" screamed TenTen across from the street, unaware that she probably couldn't be heard over the noise.
There was no answer for a very long time, in which TenTen realized she was crying. She wiped away her tears hurriedly; this was no time to show emotion.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" hissed Sakura as she and Ino managed to make their way to their friend, leaving the rest of their squad on the other side.
Ino was currently covering the two, shooting like mad from behind the scaffolding.
"He's—I couldn't leave him!" exclaimed TenTen, eyes burning under the mask of tears she had failed to hide.
Sakura grunted, shoving her gun into TenTen's hands and muttering a, 'Make yourself useful'. TenTen nodded, hastily wiping her face so she wouldn't screw over her aim. With Ino quickly taking out the front, TenTen aimed for the back, taking out the sides first to get a clear shot. The street where the firefight had broken out was narrow, not leaving a lot of space, and plenty of room for their squad (being led by Shikamaru Nara) to be ambushed from behind. They didn't have many in their unit to spare, practically none at all. They were vulnerable. And vulnerability is not something you want in a firefight. Especially under these circumstances.
"You've got a shit job to do, TenTen, but at least do it right!" scolded Ino through gritted teeth as she took out a particularly large woman with huge eyes. "Orders are everything! Don't screw up next time."(2)
TenTen bit her tongue as she glanced at her friend and comrade.
"You know I couldn't leave him if I tried," was TenTen's reply after a minute.
"I know, but if there ever is a next time, at least consider the other lives you put at stake!"
Ino fired three shots into a man to prove her anger.
TenTen didn't reply this time. It would be too hard to defend her actions, when Ino was so right.
"Friggin' shithead won't die!" shouted Ino in frustration, gunning her trigger.
TenTen looked to the person in question, almost absently firing her gun at random people on the enemy side. There was a boy, maybe somewhere around their age that was menacingly shooting back and forth across the street. TenTen grimaced. Clumsy and careless shooters were the worst. They would kill their own people if they had to. What a pity.
TenTen began shooting at the boy also, and eventually they brought him down, with the help of Kiba on the other side of the street. With their apparent leader dead, the crowd of enemies dispersed quickly, ready to flee from the wrath of their adversaries. Ino stood immediately, wanting to go after them. TenTen just fell to the ground, her knees giving out on her. Ino looked down at her friend harshly.
"Come on. We follow orders no matter the circumstances," Ino told her, with a glance at Neji.
"I'm not going to leave him!" yelled TenTen, exhausted and irritated. "Not like this!"
"You follow orders. That's how it is; that's how a squad works. If you follow orders, you might not get one of your teammates killed!"
"You're saying I did this?! That I got him killed? I wasn't even over here when he got hurt! How do you blame this on me?!"
"Stop!" barked Shikamaru's voice, laziness gone temporarily. "Ino, you, I, and the rest of the squad will go after the targets. TenTen, you, Sakura, and Hinata stay here! Hinata, check to make sure that Neji's system gets back up! Let's go!"
And the rest of the squad left, Ino not turning to even assure her friends. Hinata hurried through the dust to TenTen's side, setting down her gun momentarily. She activated her Byakugan; Sakura still trying to heal him.
"He's . . . alive, but . . . it looks like he took the hit in his left shoulder . . . above his heart, hitting a major artery," Hinata informed in her soft voice.
TenTen barely heard her, she was scanning the surrounding buildings carefully, her gun raised. For some reason, even though she was worried to death about Neji, Ino's words had found TenTen and convicted her. And now, she felt guilty. The least she could do was the blow the shit out of the next person who threatened their small party; TenTen was a dead aim.
"TenTen, I swear if you do this again, I'm going to murder you myself!" hissed Sakura, her hands hovering over Neji's shoulder, sweat breaking out on her oversized forehead.
TenTen fired a useless shot at the sky as her answer.
Hinata flinched. Even thought the war had been going for a few years now, she still hadn't gotten used to the noise. . . . Or the killing.
"Wasting your bullets won't make him better," Sakura muttered, scolding.
TenTen huffed, her bangs flying up for a second before settling in their usual place.
Sakura grunted several minutes later, loudly. TenTen whipped her head around fast, giving her a crick in the neck, but she didn't care.
"What?" she asked, rushed.
Sakura didn't answer.
TenTen looked to Hinata, whose strained pale eyes were focused.
"He's fine, he . . . he's rejecting her help."
TenTen gritted her teeth. Stupid Hyuga. Now was not the time for rebelling!
"Neji, you stubborn ass! Stop acting the hero and let Sakura help you, so help me gods, I will murder you if you don't!"
Neji coughed blood, which TenTen figured was a laugh if he was able to. Not that Neji normally laughed. He just smirked that smart ass smirk that was trademark for him. TenTen wanted to slap him, but restricted herself from doing so, considering his current condition.
"You're . . . worried?" Neji coughed, his eyes still closed.
"Don't talk!" commanded Sakura.
"I'm not worried!" denied TenTen, her volume rising to a shout quickly.
Neji smirked weakly.
"Sure . . . you . . . aren't."
This time TenTen screwed over her own promise, and really did hit Neji. Neji winced, his forehead tensing. In return however, Sakura shoved TenTen away from Neji, her blistering gaze enough to say that staying away from Neji was TenTen's best option. TenTen looked at Neji from her sprawled position on the floor. If anything, he was whiter.
"Shit," she muttered.
"Yeah," seconded Sakura. "'Shit' is right."
"Is he okay?"
"He's fine, but you hitting him a second ago was a foolish move, TenTen," replied Sakura quietly, which worried TenTen.
TenTen would rather be yelled at than quietly reprimanded. She felt better if she was yelled at.
Hinata quickly flicked her gaze to TenTen before turning back to Neji.
"Hinata, can you call base on your radio? We need to get him to a hospital. TenTen, you get ready to go join Shikamaru's team. I don't need you being useless, waiting around for him, and bugging the shit out of us."
"No!" TenTen started to protest.
"No . . . TenTen," Neji managed to say. "Sakura's right. . ."
Even though Neji's eyes were closed, there was no way he couldn't feel TenTen's angry glare.
"You want me to just leave you alone, then?" she inquired, her underlying tone deadly.
"What use are you . . . to me?"
TenTen angrily picked up her gun and stood, gazing down at the Hyuga.
"You can't perform any . . . medical procedure. You're . . . wasted waiting with . . . me."
TenTen's eyes narrowed.
"Fuck you, Neji Hyuga! You can fucking die for all I care!" she yelled, before starting to run down the street, in the direction where the rest of the squad went.
Sakura turned back to the Hyuga, who had finally opened his pale eyes a crack.
"That was a good thing you did," Sakura told him.
Neji didn't respond, but his pale eyes were enough answer.
"And she didn't mean what she said," assured Hinata, coming slightly closer to her cousin and friend.
This time Neji nodded.
"You know she won't forgive you easily," warned Sakura, as she and Hinata started to lift Neji to his feet.
"I know. But I . . . have a means of enticing her."
"What's that?" asked Hinata quietly.
Neji didn't answer.
But Sakura had an inkling about what it was.
Gosh, I hope y'all got that. I might tell you later in an accompanying one-shot.
However, if you think you know what it is, feel free to review and tell me.
(1) I dedicate that sentence to jasper said who co-invented "Paul" with me. :D Paul! And Bob! :D
(2) I feel like Ino's so mean in this. Which, in essence, she is. But, she has quite a few points. TenTen acted foolish, and she needed to hear it, so there. :P