Hello everyone! After having gone from for so LONG, I decided to come back! Some of you may have not noticed or known, but this is the first of my NejixTen based fanfiction. Starting from here - think of this as the re-edited version of the first.
Even though NejixTen never existed, it's still good to come back and pretend nothing happened to our favorite Hyuuga. Here's to good memories and bad writing. Cheers and enjoy!
I don't own Naruto. If I did, Neji would probably still be alive.
It was a fine summer's day. The shop she was working in usually opened from 8:00 am till 9: pm, where everyone in all walks of life – business related or or not – was hungry for a little hit of that caffeine. She worked here, in Haruno's Family coffee shop for almost 4 years now. Ever since she graduated from Journalism, she and her long time friend Sakura Haruno, the daughter of the owner of the coffee shop, have been trying to find a more suitable job on their majors. But that was four years ago and job opportunities? Well. That didn't exactly come as easy as coffee did. There goes the Major.
As she was in the comfort room of the coffee shop, she fixed her hair into two tight buns of chocolate brown and applied a little bit of color to her cheeks. Very soon, the morning guests would want a cup of hot coffee before hitting the desk. Staring into her almost exhausted reflection from lack of enthusiasm, she proceeded to slip on the usual white long sleeved shirt, carefully folding the cuffs and tucking it in her high waist charcoal black pants, pressed and properly ironed. Her golden locket, peered at her from her unbuttoned shirt as she looked in the mirror making sure she looked proper before gazing back at her own chestnut brown eyes. She took one long sigh and hoped that today was going to be a good and hustle free day. That of course, was nothing but wishful thinking. Adding the finishing touch, she pinned the silver name tag onto her chest that read the repetitive name of: "Ten-Ten".
Walking out of the bathroom, Ten-Ten spotted her pink haired friend, Sakura who was making sure that every table was complete with table napkins. The table cloth appeared to be spotless and clean and even along the edges of the table. Sakura may have been the lazy type around their college days, but four years of routine in the cafe business had taught her friend a lot when it came to presentation.
"Well, another day awaits us my Chinese friend."
"I'm ecstatic…" said Ten-Ten, rolling her eyes heavenwards and poured water into the coffee maker from behind the counter. Sakura approached her and placed a hand on the counter.
"Don't you sound so depressed." said the pink haired girl with a raised eyebrow. Ten-ten turned her back at Sakura and turned on the coffee maker.
"What?" she asked. Sakura could only scoff behind her.
"Don't 'what' me….You know, you could really enjoy it here once you let go of your angst against the counter."
"Okay, okay - I get it. It's just that," Ten-Ten sighed and looked towards Sakura, one hand on her hip as she contemplated on her string of words. "If I wanted to do this I wouldn't have spent all my money on college just so I can stand behind the coffee counter and serve people."
"Um… Correction… I'm the one serving them." Sakura stated, raising both her brows and a finger to emphasize the obvious.
"On some rare occasion that you don't have a date with that guy… Oh, what's his name…?" ten-ten said, trying not to sicken herself with the image that crossed her mind.
"I'm sure I don't know what you mean." said the other female as she approached the glass door to turn the 'Close' sign.
"Yeah, right." said Ten-Ten. Sakura has been dating Sasuke for some time now, and this meant a lot of covering up and a lot of over-time duties for the brunette.
"Your just jealous coz' I just so happened to be dating the hottest guy in the city and you aren't dating anyone, since, oh let me think… since birth?" scoffed Sakura in her defense. Ten-ten tried not to laugh at her friend's statement.
"If I wanted a 'hot boyfriend' like Sasuke I would have bought one right down the block in the ice factory. But since I have been oh so busy with covering up for your time slot, I can't find the decent schedule to get some fresh air." She heard Sakura gasp sharply at her statement.
"Well... It's not my fault he can't get enough of me." she told ten-ten.
"Oh please, you're the one asking him out. Not the other way around." Ten-ten replied. She knew Sakura was giving her the pink eye from behind her. There was no doubt about it. She could feel the intense gaze burn her spine. Ten-ten turned around to look at her disgruntled faced friend who now stood beside the door, and in return, Ten-Ten only gave her a sweet smile to annoy her even more. Sakura opened her mouth to say something but closed it again in defeat. Damn her snappy verbiage.
"I'll get you back for that, Ten-Ten…" she told her.
"Oh I'm sure you will…" Ten-Ten said taking the order slip and pen, walking towards Sakura.
"Serve with a smile, remember? You don't want to frighten our customers away with that freak war face you got on." she reminded her as Sakura took the pad and pen, tucking this into her red apron pocket with the shops name embroidered finely into the materials lower right hand side.
"Oh will you just shut up…" Sakura said with a sweet smile and smacking Ten-Ten's bottom playfully with her free hand. Ten-ten laughed at her and walked behind the counter, ready for customers. Just when the long hand struck 12, Sakura opened the door for a blonde male with spiky hair and blue eyes and greeted him with a smile. He was soon accompanied by a black haired male whose hair was shiny beyond imagination and horribly so, was fashioned into a bowl hair cut. Both wore black suites and ties.
This wasn't rare in their shop, lots of business men and women walked into their shop almost everyday. Ten-ten felt her gut kick, she wondered if she could someday wear custom made suits and expensive 5 inch high heels. Frowning at the sight of them, her demeanor soon changed into the preppy cheerful self as they walked towards the counter. The brunette could do nothing more than greeted them with a happy smile.
"Good morning Sir's, what can I get you?" she asked. Though Ten-Ten always gave off a happy aura when she served people; beyond the counter she felt like she would strangle herself in the storage area. The bowl haired man gazed at their menu with one hand cupping his chin while the blonde looked at her.
"Do you so happen to serve ramen here?" was his question. Ten-ten wanted to smack him straight in the face. If he wanted to eat ramen, he would have gotten into a Japanese ramen shop and not in a coffee shop. She only smiled at him and giggled, trying not to show how exasperated she was towards him.
"I'm so sorry sir, but we only serve coffee and dessert." She told him. The blonde looked away and looked at sakura.
"Oh, in that case Naruto, would you like a cup of cappuccino?" asked the bowl haired guy.
"Yeah sure…" he told him, allowing his blue-eyed gaze to fall on Sakura. Ten-ten looked at the bowl haired male and could only noticed now how round his eyes were. Simply unnatural. It was worse when he smiled.
"That'll be two cappuccinos please, Miss…" he said and squinting at her name tag.
"Ten-Ten." she told him and returned his smile.
"Ah! What a youthful name! Ten-ten!" he bursted out, making Sakura twist her head towards their direction.
"It's a pleasure to meet you Ms. Ten-ten! I am Lee. Rock lee." he said stretching a hand towards her. She looked at him and gave a smile, she could have swore his teeth glinted at her with a strange sparkle. Surprised by the sudden outburst of friendly introductions so early in the morning, she too his outstretched hand into her own and shook it before turning to the coffee machine.
"So Ms. Ten-ten, how is your morning?" he asked. Ten-ten filled the first cup of coffee before turning towards him with one hand at the coffee handle.
"Just like any other fine morning…" she replied, turning back to the coffee machine and releasing the coffee handle. She approached the counter and placed the coffee on top of a cork tray. "Here is your cappuccino with extra cream." She said sliding the tray towards the man named Rock Lee who took it happily.
"Enjoy." She added giving them a smile.
"Hey… What's her name?" the blonde suddenly whispered to her as he leaned towards the counter. Ten-ten blinked and looked at him with a raised eyebrow and averted her look towards Sakura who didn't seem to notice that she was the subject of interest.
"That would be Haruno Sakura. She's the daughter of the owner of this shop." She told him. The blonde nodded, a smile on his face. She looked at him then at Sakura and tried not to laugh as the blonde boy gazed intensely at her pink haired friend. Just then, someone's phone rang.
It was Lee's.
He placed the tray back at the counter in haste and fished out his phone to answer it.
"Would you like me to take your tray to the nearest table, sir?" ten-ten asked. Lee nodded with a smile and flipped open his phone to take the call. She took the tray and walked towards the nearest table followed by the blonde male whose gaze was still on the sakura.
"Hey... Is she dating someone?"
"Unfortunately for me, she is." Ten-ten grumbled more to herself. The blonde man looked at her in surprise.
"Oh… I didn't know you swing that way. You don't seem to be the girl-dating-girl type." He said with both eyebrows raised at her. Ten-ten almost dropped the cup at what the blonde has just said.
"Oh, that's okay… I mean, were all entitled to our own individuality." the blonde added. Ten-ten wanted to slap the cork tray to his face as he spoke.
"I mean, I know a lot of gay people..."
"And it's like the next best thing to being emo…"
"And I do know a lot and I mean… a lot of guy's dating guy's in the office I just sort of shrug it off you know…"
"And if you have the thing for her, I mean, I understand she's hot and you're hot…"
"SIR." she spat at him, before she could stop herself. He looked at her and blinked a couple of times.
"I don't think were on the same page here…" she added as she placed the cups on the table and placing extra table napkins below the cups. She took the cork tray and tucked it under her folded arms.
"I am not…" she tried to say but couldn't find the courage to say it, the thought of her and Sakura… her skin started to crawl.
"I don't like her like - THAT." it was hard trying to keep a straight face, "She's dating someone and no sir, you can't have her number. But if you want, you should go and ask her yourself. Now if you will please excuse me, I have to go vomit." she said, walking away from him and disappearing behind the counter where she was sure to avoid eye contact with the blonde. The way she had said it was so wrong in so many levels. Maybe next time, she would pick her words a little more carefully than she should. The bowl haired male was still talking on the phone and when he had finally hung up, Lee spun around in her direction to look at her.
"I would like to add another cup of coffee for take out Ms. Ten-ten." Lee told her as he placed his cell phone back to his inner jacket pocket.
"What would it be, Sir?"
"Please ms. Ten-ten, call me Lee."
"I don't thi-."
"Please, I insist. Should I beg on my knees?" he asked her sweetly, beady eyes gazing at her in his persistence. She couldn't help but smile at him. Sure, he was odd looking, with his glinting teeth and the strange choice of hair cut, but something about him made her feel at ease.
"Okay then, I'll just say it's the customers request and we never say no to our customers. What will it be Mr. Lee?" she asked. He gave her another smile that again, glinted at her.
"One black coffee please." He told her. she then took the paper cup and filled it with black steaming coffee.
"Is it for your girlfriend Sir lee?" she asked. He heard him give a loud laugh before he had fallen silent.
"You are far too kind Ms. Ten-ten. No, I have no girlfriend but if you would like, you can be my number one." He told her. He was teasing her and she knew it and she couldn't help but laugh out loud.
"I must warn you, I'm very feisty Mr. Lee, I might bite your head off if you break my heart." she told him taking the paper cup and sealing it.
"Ha-ha! On the contrary…" he said thinking to himself. She handed him the cup.
"Here… for your number one." She told him. He gave her a smile, she knew he was trying hard not to laugh.
"Actually Ms. Ten-ten this is for my boss."
"Ah. A woman?"
"No. A man, and a very strict and stiff one at that."
"Oh…" she told him and laughed.
"Well. I hope he enjoys his cup of coffee."
"I am sure he will." He added.
"Excuse me while I go and join my friend."
"Yes, he looks far to happy by himself there." she told him, nodding towards his blonde friend who was gazing at Sakura with a smile across his face. Lee laughed, gave Ten-Ten a respectful nod before he had started to walk away.
"Naruto, stop staring it's impolite."
"Shut up." she heard the man named Naruto say. Ten-Ten had to stifle a laugh before looking at the door that now opened, she gazed at the man much older than their first customer… And when she mean older, she really meant - way older.
He had age lines on his face, and on the sides of his eyes. His hair was sleek and silky and was far too long for old men like him. The color of his eyes intrigued her more. She has never seen anyone with pearl white eyes and if she wasn't smarter than she was, she would have said he was blind. His face was rectangular and stony, and even in his aged state he had a handsome look; if it wasn't for his evil glare towards the store. Lee and Naruto looked at him, both with shocked expressions on their faces, even Sakura was silenced by the mans presence. He looked at the ceiling at first then at the walls.
"Good morning sir, how may we be of assistance?" she asked him, not at all intimidated by his presence. He only gazed at her and looked away; her eyes could only widen in shock at his cold behavior towards her. She looked at Lee and he only gave her a warning look as not to continue.
"Where is the owner of this coffee shop?" he asked, finally turning towards Ten-Ten with eyes that only showed cruelness. Ten-Ten then turned to look at Sakura.
"Mrs. Haruno is on a business trip to America to extend the shop. Why may I ask are you looking for her, Sir?' Sakura asked in a kind tone. He flung her a evil glare and walked towards her.
"And who are you?" he asked as he squinted her eyes towards Sakura who moved one step back.
"I-I'm..." she stuttered, blinking intensely as she kept herself from looking away. Ten-ten gazed at her friend who now seemed to be under the control of her fear. Sakura never stuttered. Never.
"She is the daughter of the owner of this coffee shop. And who is asking?" Ten-Ten spoke, walking around the counter so she could face him. The man looked at her very slowly, turning his head to have full view of her. His eye wondered from her head to her foot, even with his glare that would have defrosted their walk in freezer she didn't take a step back but took one brave step forward.
"Do you see that building over towering the others from afar?" he asked her as he pointed a steady hand out the window. Ten-ten looked at the huge building and nodded.
"Yes, and what about it sir?" she asked in a more kind tone.
"I am the owner of that company."
"The B.Y.K Corporation?" she whispered more to herself.
"Then, you must be…" she looked at him, with the same shocked expression as Lee and Naruto had before.
"...Hyuuga Hiashi." she said.
"That would be Mr. Hyuuga Hiashi to you…" he snapped, correcting her. Ten-Ten then turned her head to look at Sakura who was, needless to say, frozen on the spot.
"Are you here for a cup of coffee sir?" she asked.
"No, I am here to shut down this establishment." he said. Sakura's eye's fluttered open.
"I have sent many letters. It seems that Mrs. Haruno has not paid attention to my warnings." he said.
"Why are you going to shut us down?"
"I'm sure we have paid all our taxes, the rent's everything." Sakura explained in panic over the news.
"Surely you have missed out on some more important things."
"You can't do this!" Ten-Ten yelled. She had no idea her voice had peeked in a short amount of time. She couldn't even believe that she had the guts to do so, especially to someone who obviously had so much power.
"How dare you…" he hissed. Ten-Ten curled her fists. Important person or not - Sakura didn't deserve this. Her mother left the shop to her only daughter, in hopes that Sakura could finally take over the establishment.
"How dare you raise your voice at me." he took a few steps towards Ten-Ten who stood rooted on the spot. In the midst of his threatening presence, Ten-Ten wouldn't falter. "For that I order immediate lock down of this establishment." he spat.
"Please, no!" Sakura finally spoke up, voice quivering in alarm. Green eyes now darted from Hiashi to Ten-Ten, practically begging her to fix this.
"I can't believe this…" Ten-Ten whispered to herself through grit teeth, turning to the counter and opening the box next to the cash register. The receipts were there, but there was no letter.
"I don't believe you have sent any letters to us. If there was, I'm sure it would be here and I never miss out on calls as important as this!" she tried to reason with him, but he gave her one displeasing look and begun to walk away.
Ten-ten ran after him and held onto his shoulder. Everything happened so quickly. She could feel herself falling forward and the sound of her surprise ripped through her throat. The next thing she knew, it wasn't just her voice that muffled the silence. It was the ripping noise of Hiashi's sleeve that accompanied her cry of clumsy surprise. Ten-Ten had tripped over her own footing in haste to stop the older male from leaving, and in the process, had yanked at the suits sleeve harder than she should have. Now, Ten-ten held the ripped sleeve in one hand. There was now a very very deafening silence between them. The brunette slowly looked up towards Hiashi with a terrified expression written all over her face. He could only look at her, veins in his forehead popping in his silent anger.
"What is your name?" he hissed through teeth pressed hard against each other.
"I-I'm so, very very-" she started, fiddling with the sleeve that now lay between her hands. She couldn't find herself to apologize properly nor give the right response. Ten-Ten brain was beginning to shut down as he gazed at her name tag before he averted his attention towards her frightened, pale face.
"Ten-Ten." he said, her name rolling from his tongue with that toxic, irksome tone. Taking one step forward, the older male forced a smile. It was not a pleasant one. Not the least bit. "I will make sure that you will be unemployed for the rest of your life." he whispered to her before turning abruptly.
She could only watch as he disappeared from behind the door of a black vehicle, leaving her and Sakura to the turmoil that was the shut down the Haruno establishment. Lee and Naruto disappearing without finishing their coffee, leaving a charitable tip for the females to collect later on, not for the inexpensive coffee which Lee has already paid for but for their sign of admiration to Ten-Ten's unbelievable act of courage.
We have a long way to go!