Ah a quick update! Very unusual I know :P

He runs into her on the street.

It's accidental, he has given up moodily shadowing her every move nearly a week ago, chosing instead to spend any free time he has wrapped in increasingly downcast thoughts, alone, in his room.

Then suddenly, he turns a corner and she's there... just there... close enough to touch.

For a long moment they simply stare at each other.

She challenges him in that characteristic fashion of hers, chin tilted up, not backing down.

His own feelings reflects back at him in her brown eyes—the hurt, the anger and feeling of abandonment—

Without thinking about it he grabs her arm, making sure she can't run.

He can feel her stiffen, even through her arm, but she has made no serious effort to get away. He knows he should let go of her, but he can't seem to make his fingers loosen their grip.


"I told you not to ignore me!"

Her glare is fierce, her words rising in volume till she is practically shouting. He is aware they are attracting attention and perhaps it would be better if he was not seen restraining her like this...awkward questions could be asked.

"You are the one who ignored me..."

And here he is, after she has made her lack of interest abundantly clear, clinging to her like the...delusional idiot he is.

His shoulders sag and his grip loosens, till he is just gently holding her wrist...the merest twitch of her hand and she would be free of him.

"I apologise if I have misconstrued our relationship as something other than it is ..."

His words trail off again, and frustrated he wishes he had more elegance with words, that he could wield them even the slightest bit as skillfully as he does his kikkai.

"I thought..."

He whispers his words, hating himself for sounding so weak.

A hand slides along his shoulder, coming up behind him to rest against his neck and unexpectedly he feels the weight of Tenten's head resting against his chest. Her other arm slides around him until both are cluching at the fabric of his overjacket.

"You were avoiding me because you thought... I didn't want you."

There is a strange note of relief in her voice and she leans into him a little more as she whispers,

"You're an idiot."

His own hands come up tentatively to rest on her shoulders, then he pulls her closer. People will undoubtably still be watching, there will perhaps be even more awkward questions asked of this little scene but he cannot bring himself to care, cannot fight against the giddy thrill that seems to be surging through him as she embraces him so tightly, so...publically. In this moment Shino's universe narrows down to the places her skin touches his skin and the thudding of his own heart in his ears.

"Yes. I am."