A/N: This was supposed to only be a drabble written for the (livejournal) NejiTen community's meme... then it took on a life of its own and became a full-fledged oneshot. Didn't spell-check this. Didn't proof-read. It probably makes no sense, but it sure as hell beats writing scholarship essays.
...this would fall under the category of "Plot? What Plot?" wouldn't it?
Hell With a Cherry on Top
by Jade Rhade
Team bonding. That's what Gai-sensei called their expedition to the lake a few miles from Konohagakure. Had Tenten named the mission, she would have simply called it, "Hell with a cherry on top."
But that's getting ahead of the story.
Tenten wiggled her toes in the cool water and leaned back against the sand, closing her eyes and basked in the warmth of the sun. Further down the deserted beach, Gai and Lee were involved in some kind of... well, she wasn't quite sure exactly what they were doing, but if they it kept up as determinedly as they had been, there'd be no water left in the lake by the end of the day.
"I shall defeat you, Gai-sensei!!"
Opening one eye reluctantly at the force of his shout, Tenten sat up in time to catch what felt like a tidal wave smack her in the face. Gai and Lee froze where they were as water dripped slowly down her body. Her clothes soaked, her hair disheveled, she simply glared through her now loose hair and deliberately stood.
Wet. Soaking, sodden, wet. Not adjectives she liked to be. Without a word, she stalked away, knowing that her icy silence would be more of a punishment than any verbal abuse she could hurl. Her bare feet scuffed stone, and she glanced up to see Neji seated high upon a rocky perch, his shirt folded neatly on the ground. She waved, but he didn't seem to see her. Evidently lost in thought, he stared at the clouds overhead.
"Hey!" Wriging out her shirt, she started up the mass of stones piled on the northern side of the lake as if by giant hands, leaping from boulder to boulder like a cat until she landed beside him. "Were you ignoring me?"
Of course he'd sensed her coming, but he hadn't turned to look at her until she plopped down on the rocks next to him. He shook his head once, then resumed his study of the clouds.
Tenten wrung out her shirt again and followed his gaze, then glanced at the fishing pole held loosely in his hands. "Did you catch anything?"
"They're making too much noise for the fish to bite," he responded without looking. Tenten glanced to her left to see her other two team members obliviously splashing in the lake far below. "What happened to you? I thought you weren't swimming."
"I didn't intend to." Giving up on the discomforting scratch of wet clothes against her skin, she reached up over her head and yanked off her shirt, revealing her red bikini top. "I might as well have, thanks to the idiots down there." Tenten threw the sodden mass to the ground and crossed her arms, fuming. "This is hell. Why did we come?"
"Hell?" Neji raised an eyebrow, the tiniest of smiles crossing his face as he finally looked at her. "I wouldn't say that."
A flush spread across her cheeks at the heat of his stare, and she pulled her knees to her chest uncomfortably, pushing her damp locks away from her face as she turned toward the lake. "Well, I think it is."
He didn't answer, but she could still feel his eyes on her.
"Well, if you've got something to say, say it!" she exploded finally, unable to take it anymore as she turned toward him defiantly. Her breath caught in her throat as he leaned toward her, his eyes dark with some unreadable emotion.
"Do you really want to know what I'm thinking?" he whispered.
Heart thudding almost painfully in her chest, she leaned toward him as his voice lowered sensually. "I'm thinking... how damn good you would look..." Trailing off, he gently stroked her cheek with his thumb, turning her face as red as her bathing suit. "Soaking wet."
And the next thing she knew, she was in the lake, sputtering for breath. "Damn you, Hyuuga Neji!" she yelled finally, flipping her hair out of her eyes and glaring at his arrogant smirk.
He was too far for her to hear him snort through his nose in laughter, but she could tell from the way his shoulders shook that he was highly amused. Neji stepped back, shaking his head, and she could almost hear him sarcastically applauding her grace and skill. Taking another step back, his foot slipped against her wet shirt.
And that, boys and girls, is what's commonly known as karma.
Her laughter echoed from the rocks around them at Neji's shocked expression from finding himself suddenly in the lake. Tenten paddled backward to shallower water until her back bumped against the rocks smoothed by hundreds of years of gentle water, and she glanced up to see the clouds hidden by that same overhang upon which they'd been standing. "Welcome to hell!" she called through her giggles. "Not so fun now, is it?"
His muscles rippled as he swam towards her and drifted lazily in the water. "I was right, you know."
"You do look good soaking wet."
Pushing off the rock wall, she kicked him in the shin and glared. "Should I be complimented or insulted?"
"That's uncalled for." Injured, he crossed his arms and looked anywhere but at her, the beginnings of a flush darkening his cheeks.
"Oh really?" She rose to her feet in the shallow water, ignoring the water cascading down her body as she storde forward. "In case you forgot, you're the one who started this, Neji-kun." As she added the honorific suffix to his name, she reached out to playfully lay a hand on his cheek the way he'd done earlier.
Neji sucked a deep breath inward and jerked away. "Don't-- do that!" he growled.
Her lips quirked, and she leaned in until her breath caressed his cheek and their bodies were almost touching. "Why shouldn't I?"
"Stop," he hissed through his teeth, reaching up to grab her face gently with both hands.
And then he kissed her, slowly, carefully, as if expecting her to knee him in the groin as was rumored she'd done to the last man who'd tried something similar. He felt her tense in shock, then melt into him, her curves pressing into his body and sending tingles all the way to his toes.
Reluctantly, he pulled away as he realized the implications of what he was doing, his hands dropping from her face to his side as he flushed. "Sorry," he muttered. "I shouldn't have done that."
The fingers of one hand pressed to her lips, Tenten only stared at him, a matching flush adorning her cheeks. "Um," was all she said, biting her lip and looking away uncertainly.
Both flinched as Lee's voice rang through the small cove. His green swim trunks clinging to his body, Lee leaned out to beckon Gai-sensei. "This is indeed a place for the passion of youth, sensei!!"
If possible, their faces flushed deeper red. "We'll figure this out later," Tenten stated coldy.
"For now, we have an obligation to remove a certain member of Team Gai," Neji finished. In unison, both dashed forward and dove into the water.
If Hell is supposed to be red, red as her bikini or a strawberry sundae, then Hyuuga Neji is the cherry on top that makes it all the harder to resist.