a/n: Hey yall. This is my first Neji/Ten story and my first Naruto story period. I hope that I did fairly well in keeping the people in character since it seems to be a problem with my writing for many people that I make the characters OOC. Neji will probly by a little OOC in this one(I warn you now) but hey, it couldn't be helped. Anyways, yall please read and review and let me know what you think. I'm planning on this being a one-shot but it may not depending on the reveiws. Yall just let me know! ^.^ ON TO THE STORY!!!
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Naruto! At all! If I did Neji would quit being such a jerk to TenTen and she'd have a much bigger role in the anime/manga(whatever)!!!
Chapter 1- The Black Panther
It was around midnight in the densely forested area surrounding Konoha and even the moon was unseen; taking refuge from its nightly duty behind the large storm clouds that promised an onslaught of rain at any moment. The peaceful surroundings were jarred by the dark figure of a woman leaping through the branches moving swiftly towards the nearby village and the security it provided.
The woman was young, twenty-three to be exact, and if the black mask on her face was any indication, a member of ANBU Black Ops. Her lithe form was clad completely in black; clothing tight and form fitting to ensure optimum maneuverability, and shoes that much-resembled slippers for quietude upon assassination missions. Because that's what she was, an assassin. Her ANBU mask, also black and the only one of its' kind, was that of a black panther; its' markings drawn in faded silver.
Currently this ANBU was returning to her village after a successful S-class mission to assassinate a corrupt lord and retrieve important documents that had been stolen from the Hokage's office the day before. It was of the utmost importance that the scrolls were not viewed by anyone and that was why the Hokage, Lady Tsunade, had sent out her most skilled assassin as soon as she'd found the scrolls were missing.
And retrieve them she did. She had managed to sneak her way into Wind Country and into the mansion of this lord unnoticed and had found him in his office alone, just opening the scroll when she arrived. Her reputation had preceded her and the lord had cursed her calling her the "devil black panther" which had come to be her ANBU nickname, without the devil part that is. She promptly killed the lord, retrieved the scrolls, sealing them away in one of her own various scrolls for safe keeping as well as to insure that the enemy would not be able to retrieve them even if they were to kill her, and had quickly made her escape with many Wind Country ninja on her tail.
Speaking of enemy nin, the woman paused a moment on the branch that she'd just landed upon and threw three kunai at the ten to fifteen ninja who'd been chasing and attacking her since she'd fled the mansion. Satisfied as she watched at least one of her pursuers fall, the woman turned and began moving towards Konoha again, but this time at a slightly slower pace.
The blood she'd lost thus far was finally beginning to take its' toll on her body and she knew that she'd have to call for him soon or she wouldn't have the chakra to perform the jutsu that she needed. Her long brown hair flew out behind her as she jumped from the trees to the ground and, performing a few hand signs, sent out a massive pulse of chakra through her feet that, even at such a distance, the Konoha nins on the wall would be able to feel and would come to her aide.
Of course there was only one ninja that she was calling for with her chakra pulse and she was sure that he'd be on the wall awaiting her return. Her husband was, after all, extremely protective and paranoid, and whenever she came home so much as an hour late from a dangerous mission he was on the wall waiting for her. He was the one that had developed the chakra pulse jutsu so that were she ever to get into trouble while on her way back she would be able to let him know so that he could come to her aide.
'Hurry Neji,' she thought as she turned towards the ninja who'd also taken to the ground and were now surrounding her, 'I don't know how much longer I can hold them off in this condition.'
She was bleeding from numerous places, primarily from a deep wound in her right side caused by a spear that had been thrown by a ninja as she'd been exiting the mansion and had pierced her deeply just above her right hip. Taking it as the ANBU that she is, she'd wrenched the weapon from her side and continued on towards Konoha, refusing to allow such a wound to prevent her from returning to her village and her husband. She also had a kunai in the left shoulder, not life threatening but painful nonetheless, and numerous other gashes caused by kunai or senbon that she had barely managed to dodge.
She withdrew one of her weapon scrolls from the black pouch on her right side that was now covered in a wet crimson liquid from her wound and used that blood to release the seal on the scroll and summon a vicious looking staff that she'd made herself, containing a sharp blade on both ends.
"Bring it on boys," she said from behind her mask in a voice so cold that it brought chills to the lesser nin of the group, "Don't think that just because I'm out of chakra that I'm going to give up so easily. There are millions of ways I can kill you with this weapon, none of which require me to use an ounce of chakra."
The obviously chunin ninja of the group backed away at her fierce words. The ANBU and jounin, however, were a different story. They did not hesitate to attack the lone Konoha ANBU and their attacks were quick and precise. The woman did the best she could to block their attacks but with fourteen to one odds her chances were not looking so hot. Regardless, she slashed and parried with her long staff/sword-like weapon, killing three ninja that had unwisely gotten to close.
The more skilled Wind ninja stood at a distance and threw kunai and senbon at her while their less intelligent subordinates attacked at close range. Unfortunately, the black clad ANBU woman was beginning to become overwhelmed by the vicious onslaught and chose to continue to slice through those that attacked her outright instead of blocking the flying weapons and taking a hit from the ninja's swords.
'At this rate I'm not going to make it,' she thought sadly as an image of her handsome husband flashed through her mind's eye, 'I'm sorry Neji. I really did try to hold on for you.'
Just as she was about to fall the five ninja before her were all killed by a kunai to the center of their throat and suddenly her body was wrapped in the arms of a tall, muscular, white clad figure with long dark hair and pale lavender colored eyes. He swiftly scooped her into his arms and jumped away to avoid the flying weapons that the remaining five ninja had thrown at them.
"Neji…" she said wearily as she smiled behind her mask that now had a long crack were a kunai had glanced sharply off the middle of the panther's forehead.
"TenTen! Just hang on for a little while longer. I'm going to slaughter these bastards and then I'll get you to Tsunade. Don't you dare give up on me!" the Hyuuga prodigy said desperately to his blood soaked wife that lay nearly lifeless in his arms.
Disappearing and reappearing behind a large oak tree on the edge of the clearing that TenTen had been fighting in Neji gently lay her down with her back resting against the large tree and removed her mask gently. Laying the cracked mask on the ground beside her he quickly kissed her and promised that he'd return shortly before disappearing to no doubt make the remaining ninja suffer greatly for daring to injure the wife of the deadly Neji Hyuuga.
As promised Neji returned within five minutes and once again scooped TenTen's bloody form into his arms. In a flash he was running back towards Konoha at speeds worthy of Konoha's previous Yellow Flash himself and made it back to the village in record time. Not stopping at the gate, or even acknowledging Kiba and Shino's yells from the guardhouse, he made a beeline for the hospital using the rooftops to aide his speed.
Bursting through the hospital doors shocking Sakura, who was just beginning to show with her and Naruto's first baby, and the other nurses who were on duty Neji yelled for someone to get the Hokage while laying his still heavily bleeding wife down on the nearest gurney. Ino quickly ran off to get Tsunade while Sakura ran over as quickly as she could and began immediately applying green healing chakra to the wound on her right side until Tsunade could arrive and take TenTen into surgery.
"What happened Neji? I thought that TenTen's mission was only supposed to be a low class S-rank!" Sakura snapped as she pushed more of her chakra into stopping the blood loss; it was all she could do in her current state and it would at least help until Tsunade arrived.
"Sa-Sakura… It's o-ok. There was just more ANBU in the man..sion than first th-thought," TenTen said from her position on the gurney.
Neji immediately moved forward and grabbed her hand gently.
"Don't speak TenTen it'll only make you weaker!" Sakura said quickly despite the fact that her own chakra was being quickly depleted; being pregnant she wasn't supposed to even be using her chakra at all and when Naruto found out there was sure to be hell to pay.
Sakura's husband was going to take over Tsunade's position as Hokage soon and Neji knew that it'd probably be him that Naruto took out his anger on, but he didn't care if Naruto kicked him out of Konoha for making his pregnant wife use her chakra to heal TenTen; he'd do it again a thousand times over if he had to. There is nothing he wouldn't do to protect his wife and if it meant making Sakura use some of her chakra in her pregnant condition he didn't care as long as TenTen was alive.
"Sakura you stop that this instant!" a load voice came from down the hallway as Tsunade stormed through the hospital towards TenTen's bloody form, "I'll take over from here. You better go lay down and rest and I can only hope that Naruto doesn't find out."
With that said Tsunade grabbed the gurney that TenTen was lying on and immediately set off towards the closest surgery room that was actually two doors down the hall from their current position. Neji held on to his wife's hand for as long as he could until Tsunade wheeled her into the sterile room that he was not allowed into.
"I love you!" he yelled to his injured wife and had to strain his sensitive ears to hear her 'I love you' in return.
Taking a seat on the small bench across from the room that his wife was currently fighting for her life in, Neji hung his head and looked at the blood staining his hands and usually pristine white shirt. He hadn't been there to protect her. He should have been faster.
He stayed in that same dejected position for about an hour until Naruto came bursting through the doors at the end of the hallway that he, himself, had come through carrying TenTen a short while earlier. The now tall, muscular blonde hurriedly ran towards his pink haired wife who was doing as Tsunade had ordered and was resting in a soft chair just across from the door.
"Sakura are you ok? Shikamaru heard from Ino what happened and when he told me I came straight here," Naruto said worriedly. At receiving a nod from his wife he gently pulled her into a protective hug and buried his face into her soft, pink hair.
"Are you crazy? Do you know what could have happened if you'd used all of your chakra?"
Sakura simply nodded, tears flowing from her beautiful green eyes as she returned the heartfelt hug that her, no doubt, frantic husband was giving her. After releasing her Naruto seriously stared into her eyes with his own piercing cerulean orbs.
"Promise me Sakura. Promise me that you won't do this again," Naruto said in a tone that not many people had heard from his usually cheerful voice, "Please."
"Ok Naruto-kun. I promise," Sakura said softly; after all, how could she refuse him when he asked so little of her as it is.
Smiling at her now, Naruto stood from his kneeling position in front of his wife and looked towards Neji for the first time. Any normal person would have been scared of the intensely angry aura that suddenly emitted from Naruto but this was Neji Hyuuga and currently the only worry he had was on his injured wife.
He did watch, however, as Naruto angrily strode down the hallway and just sat there as the blonde grabbed him roughly by his collar and hauled him up off the bench. He looked impassively into the blonde's angry blue eyes but did nothing to remove his hands from his collar.
"You bastard! You just stood there and let my wife use her chakra knowing what it could do to her and the baby!" Naruto yelled angrily at the Hyuuga who still seemed nonplussed even as his killing intent surrounded him, "Give me one good reason that I shouldn't kill you for that right now!"
Neji now glared at Naruto with an equally enraged look and harshly knocked his hands away from his shirt.
"What would YOU have done if it was YOUR wife lying bleeding on that table!?! Would YOU have done anything different from what I did?" Neji yelled at the future Hokage with a voice so loud and angry that it startled Sakura who'd been standing beside Naruto trying to calm him down the whole time.
The blonde Hokage-to-be looked completely shocked for a moment but the killing intent that he'd previously been emitting had vanished. His cerulean eyes flashed between his pregnant wife and the blood covered Hyuuga for a moment before he sighed and hung his head.
"No Neji. I guess I wouldn't have."
With that said Naruto turned to Sakura and gently scooped her into his arms.
"Let's go home Sakura-chan," Naruto said as he walked towards the hospital exit, "Oh and Neji. TenTen will be fine. She's strong, you know that, and she's going to pull through."
The last statement was thrown over his shoulder just before he exited the hospital with his wife in his arms but Neji somehow found comfort in the blonde's words. After all, he did seem to be right about these things most of the time and he DID know exactly how strong his wife was.
Resuming his former place on the bench Neji sat and watched the door to the room that TenTen was being operated upon in. About two hours later the doors opened, with Neji on his feet instantly, and Tsunade emerged with a weary smile on her face.
"She's going to be ok Neji. A few days in the hospital and then you can take her home. Just make sure that she doesn't try to do any training for another week or two," Tsunade said as she pulled off her blood-covered gloves.
"Can I see her now Lady Hokage?" Neji asked quickly; he wanted to see with his own eyes that she was ok.
"Of course. She's going to be moved to room 113 so you can either wait for her there or you can walk with Shizune as she takes her down there," Tsunade said as she began to walk away.
Neji, of course, chose to walk with Shizune while clutching tightly to his wife's slightly pale hand. She was still unconscious but it relieved him greatly to see that she was alive and well. Upon arriving at the room Shizune set up all of the necessary monitoring equipment and silently left the room.
His hand still in hers, Neji pulled a chair up to the side of her bed and lay his head down next to their intertwined hands.
'She's ok now. That's all that matters,' Neji thought as he closed his eyes and listened to the steady beep of her heart monitor.
"I don't know what I'd do if I lost you TenTen," Neji said aloud to the woman who'd changed his life completely.
"You'd be fine," a weary voice said from the bed in front of him, causing his head to snap up and his eyes to lock onto a pair of weary dark brown orbs.
"TenTen," he breathed softly as he leaned forward to kiss her gently, "I would never be fine again if I lost you. I'd likely kill myself just to be with you."
"Don't talk like that my love," TenTen said slightly angrily, "I would never allow you to do such a thing even if I were dead."
"Then you must never leave me my TenTen. I would be nothing without you."
Smiling at her husband's sweet words she promised him once again that she'd never leave him before kissing him softly again. They shared a beautifully peaceful moment of relaxation before TenTen opened her mouth and shattered it completely.
"Well damn. I'm gonna have to go find me another black ANBU outfit again and I bet ANBU's gonna be pissed that they have to make me another Black Panther mask. Again."
'So much for a romantic moment,' thought Neji as he smiled and continued to listen to his wife rant about her outfit, 'Yep. That's my wife.'
a/n: Well there yall go! I hope Neji wasn't too OOC but hey, you'd be emotional too if your wife was dying in your arms. Well as I said before I think this is gonna be a one-shot but I'm gonna leave it up to yall. What do yall think? Should I continue or leave it as it is? Please review and let me know so that I can tell if you like it or not. I really appreciate any feedback you can give me. ^.^
PLEASE READ AND REVIEW!!!