Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of the characters
Summary: Tenten has never had much luck when it came to love, but at last she found someone with enough read experience to help her win the heart of her childhood crush.
Chapter 1: An Honest Attempt
There was only one word to truly describe what she'd just experienced: embarrassing. By "embarrassing," of course, she actually meant "complete and utter failure and humiliation displayed before her best friend, with whom she'd spent so many years trying to build a strong sense of respect."
Now that Tenten looked back at what had happened, she was shocked at how bold and stupid the idea really was. How Sakura and Ino had managed to talk her into doing such a thing was beyond baffling. Or... perhaps Tenten was more pathetic than she thought.
It was a day that began just like any other. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and Tenten was getting ready to go train with her team at the training grounds. Like many other days, she was leaving her apartment with a gray tank top, black sweatpants, and a pouch full of weapons strapped around her waist. Simple; nothing flashy or eye-catching. She didn't deem herself Konoha's super tomboy for nothing.
It had been three years since Pein's defeat and Konoha's reconstruction. The Akatsuki was no more, and Uchiha Sasuke finally came to his senses and returned, with minimal, but appropriate, consequences. In other words, things were as peaceful as can be, and it was a beautiful day for a good spar with her best friend.
Tenten was locking up the door to her apartment when she felt a pair of strong hands clamp down on her shoulders.
"Good morning, Tenten!"
She gave the ground the briefest of glares before turning around with a bright smile plastered to her face.
"Good morning, Sakura, Ino. What are you two doing here so early in the morning?"
The moment she saw them exchanging excited glances, she knew something was wrong. Something in her gut told her that they were here on account of last night, when the devilish plotters finally wrenched the truth about her crush on Neji from her, with the help of an overdose of alcohol of course. It would have been too good to be true to think there would be no consequences.
"My dear Tenten," Ino cooed, her face inching uncomfortably close, "Sakura and I have finally found the solution to your Neji problem."
Tenten felt her stomach turn at the mention of his name. "My 'Neji problem'?" she repeated. "I don't have a 'Neji problem.'"
The blonde folded her arms across her chest and sniffed in response. "You mean you won't have a Neji problem as long as you follow our instructions."
With bright smiles, Sakura and Ino took Tenten by her hands and began pulling her away, ignoring her cries of refusal. Those girls never did take "no" for an answer.
"What exactly are you guys planning?" Tenten asked with a groan. "I have to meet Neji and Lee at the training grounds in five minutes."
When there was no answer from either of her captors, she sighed aloud and began to make herself comfortable.
Ino and Sakura had successfully convinced her to make a short stop at Sakura's home before meeting her team. As the two girls chattered away in the bathroom, Tenten sat quietly on the living room couch, her legs crossed and hands fiddling with the hem of her shirt. With her trained ears, she strained to listen in on the excited conversation, catching a few words here and there that included "sexy" and "irresistible."
No doubt the girls were about to force her into a plan to catch Neji's attention. She knew it was a mistake to go drinking with them, yet she'd given them the benefit of the doubt and went along anyway. From what she remembered, they'd spent half the time at the bar drinking and used the other half gossiping and being drunk. If her pathetic, drunken self hadn't spilled the beans about having feelings for the white-eyed prodigy, she probably wouldn't be in this situation.
"Sakura..." she whined, tossing her head back on the couch.
At last, the duo emerged from the bathroom with suspicious materials in their hands.
"Here you go," Ino gushed, spreading some clothing out on the couch. "Wear this when you meet him."
Tenten took one long look at the outfit, then looked up at the blond with disgust.
From what she could see, the outfit consisted of two main pieces that showed too much skin for comfort. The top was light pink in color, strapless, and ended two inches above her navel. The bottom was a short black skirt that—Tenten could only imagine—barely covered the curve of one's ass. Following the pair of tube-like "clothing," Sakura handed her a set of underwear. Lacy black underwear, complete with matching high heels.
"You can't possibly expect me to wear that."
Sakura frowned and placed her hands on her hips. "And why wouldn't you?"
"As soon as I leave I'm going to go train with my teammates."
"Yeah, what's the problem again?"
Tenten stared at her friends in disbelief. "Did I mention I was going to be training?"
With a snort, Ino gave her a quick, dismissive wave of the hand. "Honey, please. If you're truly the great kunoichi we know you to be, fighting in high heels should be a breeze."
Fighting in heels is definitely easy enough. Fighting in stilettos includes a whole other field of problems.
"Also, with a skirt like that, you'll have no problem flashing Neji a bit of sexy underwear." Sakura added with a wink.
It took a great deal of will for Tenten to refrain from blushing at the thought of her best friend getting a glimpse of her underwear. It also took about the same amount of will to keep herself from punching her dear friends in the stomach.
"Don't be stupid," Tenten scoffed, forcing away the heat from her face, "Neji would never react that way. More like I'd humiliate myself in front of the guy."
She watched as Sakura flashed Ino a triumphant grin. What the hell is she smiling about?
"Oh, Tenten. Never overestimate a prodigy. Smart as he may be, he's still a man, and all men have their urges."
And so began Tenten's humiliation. Giving her friends a defeated sigh, she allowed them to dress her up in the skimpy outfit they so generously bought for her, lingerie and all. While they also offered to style her hair and pretty her face with make-up, Tenten assured her friends that there was no need, and that it would take too much time. For the moment, the buns on her head were the only things giving her comfort, and she didn't want that taken away as well.
Quickly, she thanked them for their "thoughtfulness" and headed out the door, relieved when they showed no indication of wanting to follow.
As soon as the door closed behind her, she immediately regretted accepting the clothing. The cool, morning breeze told her exactly how much skin was exposed, and it made her feel more vulnerable than she'd thought. She could even feel the breeze through her too-thin and too-tight shirt. It's a wonder anyone wore anything like this; it felt like she was just flat out naked.
"Damn tight clothes," she muttered, pulling down her skirt as far as she could.
She glanced up at the sky and cursed under her breath. It'd already been an hour or so since she left her house.
Team Gai was probably done with waiting for their fourth member and skipped group training to move on to partnered sparring. She imagined Gai Sensei and Lee off running laps somewhere and Neji sitting quietly—but impatiently—under a tree, waiting for his partner to appear. She could just hear him now, going on and on about how displeased he was to have to wait for her.
"You're late again," Tenten said, furrowing her brows as she tried to imitate Neji's voice. "I cannot possibly stress enough the importance of being on time."
"Hm? Are you talking to me?"
Tenten froze at the sound of the voice as her wide eyes stared ahead at her company. Immediately, she bowed her head to hide her face, and her hands flew down to her skirt, pulling it down further.
"Ah, excuse me! I was just mumbling to myself."
"Oh, that's good. I thought you came to lecture me about skipping out on Tsunade's meeting."
She glanced up at the figure with a light blush on her cheeks, ashamed that she'd been seen in such an outfit. Her blush deepened when she realized who the person was. Tilted headband, masked face, silver hair... It was Sakura's sensei. Tenten's eyes traveled down to the object in his hands. Icha Icha Paradise...
"Hatake Kakashi!" she gasped. What a day this was turning out to be.
He blinked a few times before closing his book and tucking it away. "Do I know you, miss? I think I'd remember such a..." He paused thoughtfully. "A lady such as you."
Tenten narrowed her eyes and continued walking, brushing by Kakashi as he gave her a curious look.
She walked as fast as she humanly could, trying her best to look calm and indifferent. Of all the people in the village, it had to be Hatake Kakashi to see her. From what she'd heard from Sakura, he was one of the most closeted perverts of the older men, always reading those dirty Icha Icha novels without actually acting upon perversion.
"I bet he fantasizes about those stories and women every night." she remembered Sakura saying one night, as the girls chatted about their senseis' strange habits. It was hard to believe he was such a great ninja. The famous Copy Ninja of Konoha; the biggest Icha Icha fan of all time.
"At least he didn't recognize me," she grumbled, doubting it was as fortunate a thing as she said. "He'd never know I was that pathetic kunoichi who got her ass kicked during the Chunin exams, or that I was the girl who had so much trouble fending off the Akatsuki while rescuing the Kazekage."
She sighed dejectedly as her pace slowed to the point of almost dragging her feet. Maybe she should have just let herself sleep in this morning.
"You're late, Tenten."
An irritated Neji sat below a tall tree, legs crossed, arms folded, and lips pulled into a tight frown. His eyes were closed, and his Byakugan wasn't activated. Tenten sighed with relief; she was safe from his sight for now.
"I cannot possibly stress enough the importance of being on time."
Tenten almost laughed at her correct prediction of his reaction as she approached the Hyuga. Oh, the benefits of being a genius's best friend. She then quickened her pace so as not to irritate him further.
As soon as she reached the tree and was standing before him, Neji opened his eyes. His steadily widening eyes suddenly reminded her of her situation, and she fought the strong urge to just run back home and burn her clothes.
"Where are Sensei and Lee?" she asked quickly, averting her eyes.
For the moment, she feared looking him straight in the eye; it would make it harder for her to keep her cool. Besides, Hinata made it clear that shy girls were very attractive, with all the guys who've gushed at how cute she was when she couldn't even make eye contact. She looks shy now, right?
"The green beasts of Konoha have gone to take a run," he replied at last, standing up and brushing the dirt off his pants. "They wish you well, in case you were ill."
Tenten noticed Neji looking at her from the corner of his eye, and it made her smile to think that this idea might possibly work, even on the coldest of ice cubes.
"Perhaps you should go home and rest for the day."
Tenten's eyes shot up to meet Neji's as he towered over her. "What do you mean?" she asked, furrowing her brows. "Is it because I was late?"
He slowly shook his head and looked down at her with a frown. "You don't seem to be feeling well today."
The look he gave her sent a shiver down her spine. It wasn't full of insatiable lust or desire, like she was led to believe, but disappointment and disbelief. His stare was known for its intimidation, and Tenten was all too familiar with it, but she'd never really seen him give her the stare, and it made her want to shrink down into the smallest hole she could find.
"Sorry," Tenten mumbled, looking sheepishly at the ground. "I was just taking up some heavily pressured advice."
She could tell that he was doing his best not to scoff aloud.
"No doubt Haruno and Yamanaka convinced you to wear that."
Neji sighed and turned his back to her. "Tenten, I'm surprised at how easily they were able to manipulate you."
Manipulate, he says. It was obvious that he was going to act this way; the little voice in the back of her mind told her so. There was just that tiny shimmer of hope inside her that told her to risk her pride. Too bad that tiny shimmer couldn't melt Neji's cold attitude. As she predicted, she was only making a fool out of herself. Out of all this humiliation, it was probably the disappointment in his voice that hurt her the most.
"Guess I'm not feeling well after all," Tenten whispered with an nervous laugh, "To have folded so easily."
"Let's hope that's truly the case."
Something about his reply set her off. All at once, there was so much she wanted to say to him.
Maybe if you weren't so damn distant or intimidating, I wouldn't have to demean myself by resorting to such tactics!
I'm a girl too, you know. Is it so wrong to dress and act like one for once?
Is it my destiny to have such a cold-hearted bastard for a best friend?!
She also wanted to punch him in the stomach.
Nevertheless, Tenten swallowed her sudden rage and smiled as brightly as she could. "I'm sorry again about being late. I'll definitely be on time tomorrow."
There was only so much she could stand from him. Without another look at the Hyuga, she spun on her heels and walked away, doing her best to blink away the tears from her eyes.
Tenten found herself ordering another drink from the bartender. It was probably her fifth glass, but who was counting? Although she made of point of avoiding alcoholic drinks, however many shots it took to get her drunk would be fine for her today.
Being a peaceful afternoon, there weren't many people in the bar, but every now and then, there would be a guy or two who would offer her a dance or another drink. There were so many other men who were willing to let loose; why did she have to fall for the most asexual man on the planet? Even that Uchiha Sasuke softened up for Sakura after returning to the village.
After leaving the training grounds, she'd chosen to keep on her revealing outfit for the day in an attempt to enjoy her temporary bravery. It's not like she'll ever wear anything like it again; might as well enjoy it while she has the gall to wear it. It gave her attention she never thought she'd receive, and in a small way, it made her feel better.
Still, no amount of attention could distract her from the horrible feeling she felt from the look Neji gave her.
End Chapter 1
A/N: Hope that wasn't too choppy or fast. I was too excited about finishing this, so I reviewed/edited it as quickly as I could. I know there are very few KakaxTen fans, but I hope I can entertain those who do enjoy it. :) R&R please~