Title: Three Words
Rating: T or PG-13
Fandom: Naruto
Genre: Fluff, romance, humor
Characters: NejiTen
Notes: Begun while watching the OC with my brother. Also inspired by having Coldplay on my iTunes. An old fic posted on LJ yeaaaars ago.

look at the stars, look how they shine for you
and everything you do
yeah, they were all yellow


It was a beautiful night – starry, clear, deliciously cool. The sakura trees were in full blossom and the tiny pale flowers fell like a fragrant snow. Tenten turned her face up to watch them float down, laughing in sheerest delight. Filled with a bright, perfect joy, she flung her arms to the side and spun, unselfconscious as a child.

A few steps behind, a quiet smile hovering on his lips, Neji watched her with his heart in his eyes. They'd had formal dinner at the Hyuuga compound, Hiashi inviting Tenten in an act of incredible symbolism. Neji, who hadn't thought Hiashi had even known who Tenten was, had been incredibly nervous, but Tenten had charmed everyone, gotten several of his younger cousins all but worshipping her, and generally been a raging success. She had disdained her usual practical garb for formal-wear; not a kimono or a yukata, but a waist-fitted qipao dress cut in the style of her motherland, in red-and-gold silk, with a high Mandarin collar and dragons climbing her length.

Neji thought she was stunning in it. He had almost punched one of his cousins who had loudly agreed with that assessment.

Tenten turned to face him, smiling widely. There were sakura blossoms caught in her hair, like starbursts against the night of her sable curls. Neji's own smile widened and he reached for her.

Tenten ducked away playfully, laughing, eyes bright. Then she came to him, folding herself against his body, tucking her head under his chin. Neji adored it when she did this; it always made his thoughts go hazy and soft, and he felt like he wanted to protect her forever.

His arms tightened around her; she moved her head from under his chin to look up at him, and he kissed her, with silk underneath his fingers, and the scent of sakura-blossoms in the air, and stars bright in the sky.

It was perfect. It was sweet. It was tender.

It was, of course, too good to last.

"I love you," she sighed.

Neji's happy daze stuttered to a halt. Tenten, feeling the sudden tension in him, snapped out of her own dreaminess and pulled away slightly to look at him.

Neji suddenly felt very awkward. "Um. Thank you?"

Tenten looked as confused as he did. "Er, you're welcome."

They stood together uncomfortably, while Neji reeled for mental footing. Tenten's expression grew uneasy, then cool, and she broke away. She brushed herself off, straightening her dress, finger-combing the blossoms from her hair.

"Thank you for dinner," she told him, politely. "It was wonderful. My compliments to your chef." She looked around, with the trained gaze of a kunoichi reconnoitering the terrain rather than the childlike wonder with which she'd delighted in stars and moon and flowers earlier. "This is close to my apartment. I can make it from here," she said, bowing to him. "Goodnight, Neji."

Neji was trying to speak, but his vocal chords were rebelling against him. And he was still wordless when she walked away from him, vanishing into the darkness.