Author's Note: On a nice Friday afternoon, my sister told me how I was going to meet my husband and all the things he would do for me. I thought it was sweet and decided to make it into a oneshot. I tweaked and added a few things to her story so that I could make it work. So here you go, I hope you enjoy it and please review. :)
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters or anything else that might be mentioned in this oneshot.
Tenten sits at the bar counter and sips a coke. Around her are people that out-age her by a good few years yet there are some that retain their youth. She feels out of place, but at the same time like she belongs. The young woman sighs and stirs her drink with a straw. It's couples central in the bar tonight, a pair surround both sides of her. Couples make her envious for she has never had someone that wanted to commit to her. She is used to the loneliness and sometimes finds it comforting. Why bother involve someone with your sorrows when its not their burden to bear? In her head, she curses herself for letting her mind get this way. She always blames herself.
The bartender, a friend that had stayed by her side after college, refills her drink with a concerned look. She quizzes Tenten attentively, although she knows the answer she will receive.
"Are you alright?"the bartender asks, hand on her hip.
From the corner of her eye, Tenten could see the sparkle of the expensive engagement ring on her friend's finger. Jealousy and happiness mix in the mortar known as her heart. She was thrilled that her friend was getting married soon; she was to be one of the bridesmaids. However, she wanted that ring, but didn't quite know how to get one.
"I'm fine Sakura," she lies, but she knows that Sakura can see right through it.
Sakura frowns and Tenten mentally braces herself for what is to come next. They have this talk every time Tenten comes in for a drink. It has become like a ritual for them and Tenten does not want to hear it.
"You know, if you really want someone to propose to you, you're going to have to make an effort," Sakura states, cleaning a glass. "I don't mean like make yourself pretty, just come out of that hard shell of yours and make a move."
Rolling her eyes, Tenten replies, "I know."
The glass is slammed onto the counter, but does not break. Customers around them only glance for a second before returning to drinking and chatting.
"I don't think you do," her friend argues. "You come in here acting like you think that no one likes you, but you're so blind to realize that if you actually open your eyes and let people in, you'll see that they like you."
This part of the speech is new to Tenten. Sakura makes it sound like she blocks people out, makes them run from her, and she can see why. Never one for big parties or large groups, Tenten liked having a quiet and secure environment. Sure she could talk with people, but she was always so nervous that everyone is going to judge her that she sticks to the back of the group.
"You can change it," Sakura adds on. "Although, there are times that I think that you never will."
The last part stung, hitting Tenten in the heart. The rosette really thought that her friend wasn't capable of change? Tenten mixed things up all the time. She would be committed to a certain brand of cereal for months and then suddenly switch to a totally different breakfast item. But she knew that that's not what Sakura meant.
"I can change if I wanted to!" Tenten exclaims.
Sakura shrugs. "I'll believe it when I see it."
Just then the lights dim and a single light centers around a stage meant for small performances. The bar is filled with cheering and claps as a lone man takes the stage. Tenten raises her brow to Sakura, who is also cheering for this man.
"Tonight's Jazz Night," her friend explains. "Some of the other employees say this guy is really good."
Tenten is surprised. For as long as she has been coming to this bar, not once had they had a Jazz Night. Not like Tenten cared that much. She didn't quite care for that certain genre of music and heard it everyday when she had lived with her parents. Though curiosity overcomes her and she twirls on her bar stool to watch the performance. The man sits on a stool with a guitar in hand. He fixes the microphone and begins to strum. The sound that follows is so beautiful that the enter bar has hushed. The man does not sing, but nods his head to keep the beat. As the musician plays, Tenten finds that she recognizes the song and likes it. When the song is finished, the musician says his name and the name of the song, but unfortunately Tenten can not hear what he is saying for everyone around her is applauding.
The man gets off the stage and another one replaces him. As this new musician plays, the previous one sits at a spot where a couple has been recently vacant; right next to Tenten. Tenten's heart quickens since the guy next to her is somewhat attractive. But she doesn't let it get the best of her. Sakura said that she couldn't change, well she was going to be proved wrong. Summoning up all her courage, Tenten decided to strike up a conversation with the musician. She reached out and tapped him on the shoulder. Ready with the exact words she was going to say to him, she started to crumble when his eyes turned to meet hers. They were an amazing violet-white color that stared right through her. The courage she had worked up was melting by the seconds.
"Um," was what she first stuttered out. "You were really good up there."
There, she had said it! Her first step towards change was complete. Just to add on to her compliment, the brunette added a smile. The musician smirked and grabbed the glass in front of him.
"Thanks," he said, taking a drink.
"You played Mediterranean Sundance by Al Di Meola right?" she says, hoping that he'll continue to talk to her. "I'm just wondering cause I didn't quite hear what you said on stage."
He gives her a look like he is surprised that she knows who originally played the song. "That's right. You like jazz?"
Tenten shook her head. She was on a roll with this change thing."My father loves it, but that song was the only one that I really like."
"It's a shame," the musician says. "I bet you would really like jazz if you actually heard some more songs."
"Play some for me sometime and maybe I might like it," she replies, feeling suddenly bold.
Then her words come back and hit her when she realizes what she said. She did not just ask him on a date, did she?Well, sort of. They had just met and both did not know the name of the other. She had become rash with her words, not thinking before she said them. Now she just felt stupid and like she had just pressured him into doing something.
"Well how can I play songs for you if I don't know your name?" he responded.
Tenten was flabbergasted. Did he just accept? It was like a dream come true in a way. She looked nervously beside her and saw Sakura standing at the other end of the bar. Sakura was smiling, for she had witnessed the entire conversation. She winked at Tenten and continued to serve the other customers. Her friend's approval and smile in hand, Tenten took her new found confidence and beamed at the musician.
"My name is Tenten and you are?" she asked gleefully.
"Neji," he said raising his glass again. "Come by here tomorrow Tenten and I'll play you those songs."
Tenten woke up to Neji's sleeping body next to her. They have been dating for six months after meeting in the bar. And for two months now, Neji had moved into her apartment and her bed. She took in all his features as he slept. From his long dark hair that sprawled across the pillows to his pale chest that rose as he slightly snored, she didn't know how she got so lucky. He was perfect in every way. Four months ago, he had developed a habit of leaving a bouquet of flowers outside her apartment door every Monday morning. They always held hands whenever they walked together and stole food from each other's plate. When Neji had moved in, he began to leave candy hearts on her nightstand in the mornings.
Sighing, she rolled around to read what time it was on her clock. Grumbling and still a little sleepy, Tenten began to get out of bed. She was about halfway off when her wrist was caught. She was tugged back into a sitting position and released. Before she could move, arms wrapped around her waist and a head rested on her thigh.
"Don't get up," Neji muffled and then yawned.
She ran her fingers through his hair and smirked. "But I have to get up so I can go to work."
He moaned and tightened his grip around her waist. "If you aren't there when I wake up in the morning, then there isn't a reason for me to wake up."
It takes everything inside of her so that she doesn't squeal like a little girl. She moves his head so that he now looks up at her. His eyes are closed and he is close to falling back asleep. A quick peck on the forehead wakes him back up and she is now free from his hold. She tells him that she has to get ready and goes into the bathroom. Teeth sparkling white and hair into two messy yet stylish buns, she's back in the bedroom. Neji is fully awake and sitting on the bed with his guitar in hand. He is tuning it while playing a few random chords. When he realizes that she is back, he glazes at her and begins to strum the guitar. She is mesmerized by his eyes and the notes that his siren instrument sings. It's a new song, one that she hasn't heard yet, but instantly loves. She finds herself swaying with the music and when he finishes, she claps.
"What's that one called?" she asks, going into her closet.
"I don't know." Then he waits a couple of beats. "I made it up for you."
She takes a blue dress off of a hanger and is speechless. He wrote her a song! Never in a million years did she think anyone would do something like that for her. Tenten places the dress on a lone armchair in the room and stands next to Neji. She holds his face in her hands and thanks him in the best way she could think of. He puts the guitar down as they kiss and ends up on top of her on the bed. He pulls back from the kiss and tells her to close her eyes for he has something else for her. She closes her eyes with her hands and waits. For awhile she doesn't feel his presence anywhere near her and hears him walking around the room. Her heart races with excitement as the dresser is opened and felt around in.
Soon enough, he was back on the bed and on top of her. Neji laid his head on her stomach and something else was placed on her chest. She was instructed to open her eyes and she slowly did so. There, on her chest was a small black box. It was opened and inside was a dainty diamond ring. Tenten was so surprised that she started to cry. The ring that she always wanted to have was right in front of her. She looked to Neji who was enjoying her reaction. He pulled her into a sitting position and held both her hands, the black ring box placed safely aside. Neji wiped away the tears falling from her eyes and smirked.
"Tenten," he said, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "Would you marry me?"
She choked on her tears as she laughed. "Yes, million times yes!"
In a instant, she tackled him into another kiss. Tenten did not go into work that day.
Tenten has a terrible case of butterflies that refuse to leave her stomach. In front of her are tall white doors that await to be opened. Her palms are sweaty as she clutches a bouquet of red tulips striped with a shade of yellow. The guy at the floral shop told her that tulips represent the perfect love and she knew that she had to have them. Now here she was, two months after getting engaged and about to be married to her perfect match. She pulls up on the sleeveless bodice of her wedding dress so it stays in place. Then she hears the music and knows that the song is her cue. Right before the doors open, she quickly makes sure that the small tiara on her head isn't loose in front of her single bun.
The doors open and all eyes in the church turn to her. She slowly makes her way towards the front on a maroon carpet with her dress trailing behind her. Flashes of light surround her as friends and family take quick snapshots to keep this precious memory, but Tenten does not turn to look at them. She keeps her eyes on Neji who stands tall like a white knight. At the front, Tenten hands her bouquet over to her maid-of-honor, Sakura, and faces the priest before her. She feels Neji enclose her hand with his as the priest begins the wedding.
As the priest speaks, Tenten cannot hear him. She is lost in her own world and feels numb with realization that yes, she is in fact getting married and it isn't just a dream. When it time for Neji to say his part of the vow, she cannot comprehend the words that flow out of his mouth until she realizes that he has finished and she has to answer.
"I do," she says to him, her words filled with love.
Now its her turn for the vow. She does her best to repeat everything the priest says and waits. Will Neji say the two words that will change their lives forever, or back out at the very last minute? The question has a hard hold on Tenten's heart.
"I do," Neji replies, staring at Tenten with his abnormal white eyes.
They exchange rings and Neji takes both her hands. The priest can only get through, "You may kiss..." only to realize that the couple has already gone ahead and kissed. Around them everyone claps and a few people hoot and holler as the newlyweds make their way down the aisle towards the limo that will take them to their reception and their honeymoon thereafter.
The ballroom that they rented for the reception is bigger than Tenten's apartment. Their guests sit at pearl colored round tables along with themselves at a specially reserved one. After meals have been served to every person, Sakura stands up at newlyweds' table and taps her champagne glass. The room is hushed and Tenten fears the worst when her friend begins to make a toast.
"Hello everyone," Sakura says with a smile. "If you haven't noticed, I'm Sakura the best maid-of-honor Tenten will ever have."
There were a few giggles among the crowd of family and friends. Sakura continued on.
"Eight months ago, my friend Tenten was sitting at a bar saying that she didn't think anyone was going to marry her."
Tenten gave Sakura a questioning look. Why was mentioning that again?
"I told her that if she really wanted someone, she was going to have to change herself mentally to get what she wanted. Then I said that I didn't really think she could change," Sakura told everyone and then looked down at Tenten. "I never really meant what I said and only did it to motivate you. Now look where you are and who is sitting right next to you. I want to say that I helped you find him, but I can't take any credit. You did it, you found your true love."
About to explode into tears, Tenten waited until Sakura sat down to give her a well deserved hug. Sakura was right. Tenten did find the love of her life and did it all on her own. It was fate that she happened to be in the bar that night that Neji was to perform. It was fate that he sat next to her. And it was fate that he was meant to be hers. As Neji's best man started to make his toast, Tenten placed her hand on top of Neji's on the table. He glanced her way and gave her the first real smile, not the normal smirk, she has seen. Her heart melts on the spot. This man, Tenten can conclude, has saved her from letting her end up lonely and always believing that she would be. He has changed her life, just as she had his. She pulls him in for a kiss.
Author's Note: Hello again! So what do think? Like it? Anyway, yeah, I'm so not creative with titles at all. It was the first thing that popped into my head and I went with it. Well, it's back to finishing up my other story. Review please. :D