.:.: An Artist's Touch :.:.

: Sometimes it's best to express ourselves in different ways. :

1: Hiding Beneath a Smile - Neji was skeptical about watching over a kidnapped hostage for his boss. But the experience turned out to be quite unexpected…and so did the person. (NejixTenTen)


"Where am I?"

"I don't have to answer you."

"Ugh. This sucks. And I'm bored. Aren't there, like, mini portable televisions around here so you can at least keep people occupied?"

"That's stupid."

"Why am I here anyways? I go for a walk in the middle of the night to see a friend, and suddenly I'm yanked out of nowhere and my hands are tied behind my back and I'm blindfolded and stuffed into the backseat of a car and next thing I know I'm sitting here tied to a gigantic post in the middle of some random basement and you're here, whoever you are, not telling me anything! I'm seriously pissed off right now!"

"I could care less."

"…So…What's your job…?"

"Why would you ask something like that to the person keeping you captive?"

"Well, I don't know you, so I thought I'd strike up a conversation to get to know you, and to pass the time. So what's your job?"

"To watch you."

"To watch me?"

"And make sure you don't run away."

"So they're paying you to sit here and watch people all day? Pfft. Seems like a waste of time to me."


"Is that the only thing you can say? Of course no wonder. People with boring jobs tend to be boring themselves."

"You talk too much."

"My name's TenTen."


"You're supposed to respond."

"I don't know why I'm even telling you, but Hyuuga. Neji Hyuuga."

"Neji Hyuuga…Nice to meet you."

"You're an odd one, aren't you…?"

"I don't see how I'm odd. Just a little confused. Mind telling me why exactly I'm here?"

"You're related to Sai, right?"

"My ex-boyfriend."

"You know that he owes a lot of charities a lot of money after writing bouncy checks?"

"…Yeah. That's one of the reasons I'm not talking to him anymore."

"Well, my boss has some issues to work out with him, and so until Sai gives him what he wants, you're ours."

"Your what, exactly?"

"Captive. Ransom. Property. Whatever we want."

"And you decided this in the middle of the night as I was going to see my friend?"

"We've been keeping an eye on you for a long time. It was the perfect opportunity."

"Creepy. It's like you can't go out alone after dark anymore."


"So I've officially been kidnapped. Is there a chance I'll…die?"

"Perhaps. If we feel like you'll spill to the cops or whatever. And judging by that mouth of yours, that's very likely."

"So you're saying you're going to kill me even if I did nothing?!"

"…No, I was exaggerating. No one's going to touch you. Most likely once Sai makes a deal with my boss, we'll let you go."

"So I just have to wait."


"How long?"

"A couple hours at most."



"How old are you?"

"That was random."

"It was getting too quiet, and I'm curious."

"Well, how old are you?"

"Twenty three."

"I'm twenty six."

"Do you have any family?"


"I mean parents. Siblings."


"Same here!"


"Yep. I was raised an orphan. My parents died when I was really little, so I don't remember them. I don't even have a last name."


"Ha. I impressed you, didn't I?"

"Don't be ridiculous."

"Well you don't have to worry. Being an orphan wasn't bad."

"I wasn't impressed."

"You're lying."

"…You talk too much."

"You already said that."


"Neji Hyuuga, 26, no family."


"That's all I know about you."

"You're suddenly blabbing that nonsense out of nowhere?"

"Yup. I want to know more."

"I barely know anything about you yet. What gives you the right to know more, let alone anything at all, about me?"

"What do you want to know about me?"

"I never said I wanted to know anything about you."

"Okay, okay."

"…So why were you out there alone in the middle of the night anyways?"

"…I told you already, going to see a friend."

"In the middle of the night?"

"Is there a law against it?"

"Which friend?"

"Kiba Inuzuka."

"Kiba Inuzuka? I know him."


"He's part of this very same corporation."


"Yes, and he even knows about kidnapping you."

"He is so getting an earful after this is over."

"I don't doubt it. Why were you going to see him?"

"Um…he…I just wanted to talk to him."

"Really…? Why are you suddenly so nervous? Are you lying?"

"…So why are you here?"

"You're changing the subje-"

"Why are you working here? Are you like a security guard or something?"


"Then how'd you get here?"

"I'm friends with my boss. He got me a job as his executive assistant at his corporation."

"You're an executive assistant? I used to be an executive assistant."

"Huh, that's ironic."

"So what does this have to do with anything?"

"Well, in return for getting me the job, I do favors for him."

"Like watching over kidnapped hostages in the basement of his warehouse?"

"I admit I was a little hesitant when he asked me to watch over some girl he was kidnapping, but you won't be harmed, and there's a lot of money in the deal, so I accepted."

"Oh. So that's why you're here."

"Well, what about your job?"

"What I do for a living?"

"What you do for a living."

"I'm a waitress and a dancer."


"Not one of those, no! I don't work at some place called the Kitty Club or something sick like that."

"Then where do you work?"

"Well I'm a waitress at Ichiraku's."

"I know that place. It's really classy."

"It's a pretty popular restaurant. I work there during the night shift. And as for dancing, I put on shows at Las Angeles, New York and Las Vegas yearly and I have a contract with a pretty big agency, along with four of my friends. We're pretty popular around here too since we do shows sometimes at the community center, but I doubt a worker at a big corporation would be interested in something creative or artsy like dancing."

"You underestimate my imagination, but you're correct, I've never heard of you."

"I knew it."


"So are you ever going to tell me who you 'boss' even is? Or what this corporation is overall?"

"You sound irritated."

"Wouldn't you be in my position?"

"I'd have fought my way out by now."

"Yeah right."

"Well I wouldn't have been stupid enough to get caught in the first place."

"Aw shut up."

"Okay, okay."


"I don't think I should hand over that information to you so casually."

"Come on, I hate it when people keep things from me!"

"Well you'd better get used to it. Apparently people have been keeping things from you for a long time."

"So it seems…"

"Like Sai, Kiba…"


"Are you upset with them in particular?"

"Well yeah, of course. And kind of hurt…"

"Hurt? You hate it when people keep things from you that much?"

"…Never mind."

"…Sasuke Uchiha."


"My boss. His name's Sasuke Uchiha. Runs the Foster Child corporation known as the Lost Children Organization."

"The LCO?! I donate to it all the time with my friends since I'm an orphan! It's really old!"

"Huh. That's a coincidence. Uchiha took over as boss not too long ago. Sai owes us a lot of bucks."

"I can't believe it…After all the money I've given you, and you go ahead and tie me up in a basement because my ex owes you money?! Wow, that's buff! Jackass!"

"Don't take it out on me. I had nothing to do with it."

"…Y-Yeah, I know…I'm sorry, I didn't mean to call you that. I'm just so mad!"

"It's understandable."

"Thanks for telling me, though."

"Well you said you didn't like people keeping things from you."


"Uh huh."

"So…are you gonna be the only one I'm gonna talk to?"

"What do you mean?"

"Your boss isn't gonna come down here and question me, is he?"

"No, probably not. Most likely no one will even come down here. My boss is going to be waiting for your boyfriend to come get you."


"You seem quite proud of the fact."

"Mhm. I'm glad I broke up with the loser."

"Why did you anyway?"

"Because I could tell he was keeping things from me, and he was a real jerk. He owed a lot of people a lot of money, even when we were dating. It was getting more and more annoying. So I broke up with him."


"Good for me, right? Ha, see, now you're laughing!"

"If you think you're being a tease you're mistaken. I was only laughing at your stupidity."

"Haha, whatever you say."

"Yeah…So are you bored anymore?"


"I see."

"Hey, Neji?"

"We're on first name basis?"

"I guess."

"Alright, then what TenTen?"

"What time is it? You have a watch, right?"

"No, I always used to think watches were dorky."

"Haha, me too. Oh well."

"But I do have a cell phone. Let me see…Yeah, its one thirty a.m."

"Oh…Aw man, I was supposed to call Sakura at twelve thirty!"

"Why then?"

"…Er, no reason. But she's gonna kill me for not talking to her. Damn…"

"That should be the least of your worries."

"Really? Then what should be the most of them?"

"Hoping Sai actually gives in for your sake so you can get out of here. Any normal person would be scared at Sai won't bail them out."

"Who said I was normal?"

"Heh, true."

"I doubt he will, though."


"Sai. I doubt he'll give a shit about me. We don't care about each other anymore. Actually, I doubt we ever cared for each other at all in the first place. At least, I didn't."

"Then why were you going out?"

"Because he was my boss at work, and the way he talked about me made me feel like I was the most incredible person alive."


"Yup. He was one of those."


"Yeah, the people that give you compliments to try and soften you up to get you to cooperate. Then they reveal their true nature and it makes you sick."


"Have you ever had someone like that?"

"No. But I can understand how you feel for sure. Though I've rarely dated before, women seem to be obsessed with me for some reason."

"Haha, I'm not surprised. With your looks and that 'cool' factor, you probably had a whole fan club dedicated to you in high school!"

"Heh, how did you know?"

"I'm psychic?...Oww, my wrists are killing me…!"

"You're tied up pretty tied."

"Erg, this rope is awful. I think I'm bleeding…"

"Let me see…Wow, you are!"

"Whoa, you guys are, like, medieval."

"I told you before, I have nothing to do with any of this, so don't go accusing me as well."

"You're the one keeping me here."

"…Want me to loosen those ropes?"

"That would be nice."

"Alright, hold on…You're so manipulative, you know that?"

"Woman's intuition, I guess."

"There, they're loosened."

"That's better! But you know, why do I have to be tied up? It's not like I can get away, or take you on. You look like you could knock me out in a second, and I'm not the type of person to admit something like that…"

"You're saying you want me to untie you?"

"…Sort of implying it, yes."

"I'll tell you what, I'll untie you if you answer all my questions."

"Okay, it's not like I have anything to hide."

"Alright, it's a deal. I'll untie you first."



"No, it's not your fault…"

"Your wrists?"


"They're bleeding pretty badly…I'll be more careful."

"It's okay…"

"There, you're untied."

"Thanks. But are you sure you can trust me?"

"You're not very hostile. And you made some good points back there. I trust you."

"…Thanks, then. I trust you too."

"…Trust me…?"

"To not kill or rape me down here."

"I'm not going to do that."

"I know. That's why I trust you."

"…Thanks, I guess."

"Sure…Wow, it feels good to sit normally!"

"You're handling this quite maturely, aren't you?"

"Yes. And aren't you supposed to be asking me questions?"

"I just asked you one."

"…You're good…"

"Alright, lets see…First, why don't you tell me how you got your job…er jobs?"


"…I thought you said you'd answer all my questions."

"I did."

"You want me to tie you up again, I guess."

"Hey, don't touch me! You didn't ask a question!"

"…You're good at this too, aren't you?"

"Heh, I made you laugh again. Looks like I'm on a roll!"

"Okay, okay…Then…How did you get your jobs?"

"Now that is a question. Well, I was fired at my job as the executive assistant to Sai when I broke up with him."

"He fired you because you broke up with him?"


"Huh. That's lame. Doesn't take things like a man, does he?"

"Ha, no, he doesn't. I worked really hard to get that job and he ripped it all away from me in a second. So, I went around looking for a new one, and I met Sakura. When I moved out of Sai's apartment, I moved into a new one in the same complex as her. The complex was right next to Ichiraku's. We hit it off right away. When she heard I was looking for employment she helped me get the job as a waitress at Ichiraku's, because she knew the owner and chef of the place, Chouji. Then she introduced me to her friends; Hinata, Ino, and Temari. They were apparently all in the same dance team in high school before I moved here. When I told them I dance too they invited me to join their little dance group that they were starting, and so now we've created our own program. And that's where I am now."

"You really struggled, didn't you?"

"Yep. But it was worth it. I like my jobs now, they're fun and creative."

"They are…"

"Next question!"

"Okay…Then why were you really going to see Kiba?"

"…I-I already told you!"

"Answer with the truth or I'll tie you up again. You said you have nothing to hide, didn't you?"

"Okay, okay…I'll tell you…I was going to…er…um…"


"I was going to sneak into his house and steal his jacket, okay?"


"You heard me. That's the truth."


"It's an inside joke."

"Consisting of?"

"Long story."

"We have all the time in the world."

"Ugh…Alright, then…Well, I was cold the other day and I asked Kiba if I could borrow his jacket, cause it's all warm and fuzzy. He said no, so I tried to get it off of him by force and failed, and he said I wouldn't get my hands on it even if I tried robbing it from his closet. So Ino and Temari dared me to actually go along with it, and there was a lot of money in it, so…"

"So you tried it."

"Yup, that's about it. And that's why I was going to call Sakura at twelve thirty, to tell her how it went. Hey, I made you laugh again!"

"It's cause you're funny. I admit it. So…why were you so nervous when I asked you the first time? It's not that big of a deal."

"Because I thought it would come out wrong. Like you'd think I was a closet pervert or something sick like that. Besides, it's embarrassing."

"I don't think you're a closet pervert. But I do think you're very entertaining."


"Sure. I don't think I've laughed so much in a while."



"That's a good thing…"

"…Yeah…Well, I think I've asked all I need to."

"Oh no, you're not gonna tie me up again, are you?!"

"NO, no, don't worry."

"Good…Well, so I don't get bored, can I ask you some questions?"

"…I guess. But don't expect me to answer everything with the truth. Or answer all of them at all."

"I won't."


"…Yep! Okay, so…tell me about your parents."


"Oh, yeah, too personal…"

"No, you didn't ask a question."

"…Hey, you stole my lines!"

"Be flattered."

"Haha, okay, okay. Do you remember your parents?"

"Only one of them."

"Which one?"

"My father."

"What about your mother?"

"She died soon after I was born. I know nothing of her, I regret nothing that has to do with her."

"You said you're an orphan now…When did your dad die?"

"When I was about six."

"Oh…You…you don't have to answer this if you don't want to, but…How did your dad die…?"

"…There's no harm in telling you..."

"You don't have to…"

"It's okay…He…He was literally murdered by my uncle."


"No one knows. My uncle just got more and more senile as he grew older and finally he went after my father, his own brother."

"Were you angry?"

"Furious. They locked my uncle up in an insane asylum, but I wanted him dead."

"Do you still feel like that?"

"No. Two wrongs don't make a right. That was an immature wish that wouldn't solve anything."

"That's…Wow, I'm sorry I asked…"

"Geeze, it wasn't that depressing."

"No, it's just way worse than anything that's ever happened to me I have no right to be sad, do I?"

"That's not true. Sadness doesn't only come in murder and blood and tears. An ordinary person with an average, healthy lifestyle could be even sadder than you or I."


"Feeling like they could be something better than this. Feeling like there's more to life than this. Feeling like everyone else thinks more about them than this. Feeling like they're hiding beneath a smile."

"Aren't we all?"

"You could say that."

"So I do have a right to feel sad sometimes? I don't have to get all guilty and go 'hey, it could be worse off' or something like that?"

"Haha, no, you don't. But you talk as if you get like this all the time. Why? Is there a reason for you to be sad?"

"Aren't I supposed to be asking the questions?"

"We can take turns. I'm just wondering."

"Well…I guess it's because people always seem to be hiding from me."


"Yeah. It's almost like people pity me. They don't want to tell me their secrets cause they're afraid it'll hurt me."

"But by doing that they're hurting you anyways."


"I can understand why people pity you though."

"What? Why?"

"I just can. They're something about you…"

"Joy, I'm special."

"You don't have to get all sarcastic. I was complimenting you. You're…different…"

"…B-But…But even if you can see why people pity me, at least you're telling me everything…answering my questions…"


"And you're opening up to me."




"I like you, Neji. You're a nice guy."

"The feelings mutual. Doing this job wasn't as bad as I thought."

"Haha, you're funny too."


"I dunno, just the way you talk.

"Whatever. Oh, I got a text…"

"Good for you."

"Shut up…It's Uchiha, he says I can let you go now. Sai's waiting for you outside."

"Finally! Hurry up, show me out of here!"

"Calm down, I'm coming…Do you need me to drive you home?"

"Nah, I'll make the bastard drive me home. And pay me fifty bucks."

"Ha, I should have expected something like that from you."

"We're almost outside."


"Well…It was nice meeting you, Neji."

"Likewise, TenTen."

"Will I, um…see you again?"

"There's always coffee."


"Sure. I know a place up here. And I know your number already."


"My corporation got it from Sai a while ago."

"That's creepy…But I guess it works! So this weekend?"

"Okay. And I could see you dance sometime?"

"…I'd like that…"

"I'm confident my 'big-corporation' brain can handle something 'creative and artsy' like dancing."

"Hmph. You just enjoy mocking me, don't you?"

"Haha, yes I do. It's a little fun teasing you."

"That's called flirting?"


"Haha, never mind. Well, I guess I'll have to get used to it."

"Why's that?"

"I'll probably be donating a lot more to this place after this."


A/N: I've decided to create a collection of one-shots, most of which will probably have at least something to do with art. Yes, I know, this first one has very little to do with art besides dancing. That's going to be normal in these one-shots. It's not going to revolve around art, just mentioned here and there. And as you can see, this was a dialogue-fic. I love those. I think it's just the simplicity of them that touches me. -.-

But here's the catch: you guys get to REQUEST ideas and pairings! I will except any pairings, except anything with Neji, TenTen, Shikamaru, or Temari. So if you have any ideas for one/two/three-shots or pairings that you would like me to do next (I have loads of ideas for one-shots already so I'll probably get up a pairing request soon enough) then please tell me! I'd be so happy to write them! Enjoy! :D

thanks for reading!