It's been so long! Three years to be exact, since I published my last story (which I believe was Royal Punishment) in 2007. I felt the urge to come back on this, even though I sort of 'quit' after my last story. But motivation came back, so here I am. Here's a story just to practice and get myself ready again. Hope you all enjoy!
I do not own Naruto, nor it's characters.
Just Admit It
"Neji, why do you like Tenten?"
Neji literally stopped in his tracks and looked oddly at his bowl-cut haired teammate of his, who was just munching on an apple as if it was a basic question. It was to him, obviously. But to Neji, it was more of a reputation-threatening question than a simple one. Lee took another bite of his apple while looking at Neji with curious eyes. Neji gave him a bored look, hopefully dull enough to have Lee lose interest.
"I don't," he said a bit too simply.
"Yes you do," Lee replied back, with no change in his voice.
"I don't," Neji repeated, with slight annoyance.
"Yes you do," Lee also repeated.
"Just admit it."
It became an awkward stare down between the two ninjas. Although, not one moved an inch. Neji squinted. As did Lee. Neji was hoping that he would stop staring eventually, but he didn't. Neji tried to break it off, but whenever he did, he could still feel Lee's questionable look on him. Shrugging it off, both of them started walking again. Lee's eyes never left Neji, nor did the apple ever leave his mouth. It was a rather big, crunchy apple, and Lee's bites and chews could probably be heard on the other side of Konoha Village. And if that wasn't enough to add to Neji's problems, Lee was STILL staring. They probably already walked a mile since Lee last asked the question. This was becoming a bit too uncomfortable for Neji. Lee, to Neji's relief, finally spoke.
"You're lying," Lee stated.
Neji raised a brow, "And you say so, because?"
"Because your actions does not match your answer."
"Again, you say so because?" Neji asked, gaining a little bit interest now that Lee is trying to prove him wrong.
Lee took another huge bite of his apple and spoke, "Let us examine this more carefully, yes? Whenever you are with her, you seem to be more, how should I put this, joyous than you are normally. Hm, even though normally you are not that joyous at all. In fact, majority of the time you are a cold-hearted, remote, impassive, human-being incapable of laughter and…"
"Get to the point.'
" Oh, right," Lee laughed, turning his apple to the part where it was not yet bitten, "In my opinion, and everyone's else's opinion, I notice that you have created a bond with our team's youthful flower, considering you have been training with her a lot lately."
"She just happens to always be available," Neji said bluntly, "Unlike you."
"Ohoho! I beg to differ!" Lee spat, unintentionally spitting apple chunks on Neji's face, "Have you ever ceased to think that she did not have the time, but instead, she made the time? That she made the time from her busy schedule to just do simple training with you?"
Neji twitched in disgust, feeling bits of Lee's chewed up apple slide down his face. What was more disgusting to him was that Lee just continued staring at him, again biting into that stupid apple. There was sudden confidence in Lee's eyes, feeling he may have got Neji thinking. He did, surprisingly. He did recall that whenever he asks Tenten to go training with him, she tends to hesitate to respond. It was as if she had plans already and was afraid to tell Neji about it and disappoint him. Although, now that he thinks of it, there was never a time where Tenten denied his request. Neji went deeper into thought, "Then she must have canceled her plans every time I asked her to train with me." He felt a small feeling of guilt on the bottom of his stomach, but it was soon forgotten about when Lee's obnoxious voice came about.
"I am correct, am I not?" Lee nearly yelled, with a huge grin, "And knowing so, you got used to asking her out to train that it suddenly became a habit. And as days and days go by of you both spending time together, you learn more about each other and start to notice traits about each other that you never noticed before! From there, you both go deeper within your thoughts and realize who you guys really are. Then you start to gain more reasons to admire each other both physically and mentally! You start to look forward to see her. You get this slight feeling of excitement whenever you see her near, and when she is not around, you start to feel depressed and disappointed that you have to go a day, or merely hours, without her! You begin to MISS her! Soon enough, you will start developing feelings for her! But not ordinary feelings you would feel towards a fellow, graceful teammate! No sir, Mr. Prodigy! But instead the feeling of happiness, excitement, and yearning that overwhelms that cold heart of yours! The…the feeling of everlasting, overpowering, and youthful LOVE!"
Lee gasped for some air and gave him a more bigger (and more creepier) grin through his excited, heavy panting. Neji just stared at him in appall, not knowing whether he should be shocked of his accuracy or freaked out by his dog-like behavior. His face softened, as thoughts of Tenten entered his mind. He started thinking about the times they spent together, and much to his surprise, Lee was right. Lee was absolutely right. That's something new. Lee's grin grew ear to ear, realizing that he had finally convinced Neji.
"Ha! Am I right, or am I right," Lee winked with a conceited laugh as his apple reached for his mouth.
Before the apple could even reach Lee's lips, Neji swiftly snatched it from his hands and threw it far towards the lake besides them. In all honesty, the apple was becoming more annoying to him than Lee was. Lee, with his hands still frozen near his mouth where his apple was supposed to be, stared at him in shock. Neji just shrugged and continued walking forward. Lee pouted and stuck his tongue out at him.
"You owe me an apple!" Lee yelled, catching up with him.
The next early morning,
Gai-sensei arranged a meeting for the team to arrive at their training grounds promptly around 6:30 AM. Knowing Lee, he was probably there by 5. Neji glanced at the clock, and nearly sat up in alarm. He was already 10 minutes late. "What the hell," Neji thought strangely, rubbing morning out of his eyes, "How did I lose track of time?" Normally he would wake up with just enough time to get everything ready. Then he realized he spent the whole night thinking over the words Lee spat at him the day before. Shaking everything out of his system, he got up. Quickly freshening up and grabbing his materials, he jolted out of his home and towards the meeting area. Lee, obviously, was already there. He looked around for his less annoying teammate.
But she wasn't around.
Unexpectedly, Neji started have this troublesome feeling at the pit of his stomach. Not a sick feeling, but a lonesome feeling. The more he looked around, the more the feeling got stronger. Suddenly, he remembered Lee's words: "and when she is not around, you start to feel depressed and disappointed that you have to go a day, or merely hours, without her! You begin to MISS her!" He grunted and almost pitied himself. He wasn't used to feeling weak just because of a girl; a teammate nonetheless. He realized standing there idle and staring blankly towards the tress made him look like a fool. Neji turned around, and the second he did, he bonked his chin against somebody's forehead. He fumbled back a bit, and so did the being before him. He blinked.
It was Tenten.
Tenten rubbed her forehead and smiled sheepishly at Neji.
"Neji! I'm sorry!" she said, giving Neji a bright smile with a shy laugh, "You turned around so sudden. I was just going to check up on you, you seemed to be a little out of it just now."
He just stared at her. He felt his face grow lightly warm as she continued staring at him in concern. Neji's eyes started to twitch a bit, failing to restrain himself. "Dammit," he thought frustratingly, "Lee's damn speech got me feeling so different around her." It was true; Neji couldn't help hearing Lee's words in the back of mind whenever he and Tenten speak. Tenten tilted her head and stared at him a bit more carefully. At this point, his face could of reveal an unwanted blush. To prevent himself from further embarrassment, he quickly turned his head to the other direction and cleared his throat.
Sadly, that was the only "word" he could let out of his mouth. He could practically feel the disappointment that fell upon Tenten's face. Which he did, for he winced a bit seeing her face soften down to a frown. She decided she shouldn't let it get to her; she was probably just overreacting. Her mood quickly changed back to normal as she stretched her arms towards the sky.
"Where's Gai-senseiiii," she whined, "He tells us to come here early, yet he shows up hours later!"
"You are right!" Lee yelled, giving a fake, obvious gasp, "I, uh, I shall go look for him! Do not, er, um, fret, my dear teammates, I will return shortly!"
Neji and Tenten stared confusingly at Lee for his random decision. If Neji didn't know better, he'd bet Lee was just using that as excuse to leave them alone. Neji glared. He did know better. The talk from yesterday. Tenten's awkward arrival. Lee's sudden departure. Who was Lee trying to fool? What was he thinking trying to fool the prodigy? Neji eyed over to Tenten, who still seemed confused as ever. He felt relieved for a bit; at least she did not know the idea that Lee was trying to point out.
"Well, bye!" Lee said as he ran off.
Both stared at their green teammate while he ran off waving them awkwardly goodbye. Tenten and Neji looked at each other for a bit. They stared at each other incompetently. All of a suddenly, Tenten gasped, realizing something. Neji jumped up a bit. A smile then formed onto her face. Tenten broke of the silence by clapping her hands together and giving Neji a motivating smile.
"Neji!" she exclaimed, excitedly, "Let's go do something today! Something fun."
At first, Neji didn't like the sound of that. He wasn't really the type of guys to hang out and chill. Or even have fun for the matter. He was focused mainly on training, which was kind of what he was looking forward to today.
"We can train in a different way, if that's what you're trying to imply."
Tenten shot at him a death glare. He just stayed perfectly still; he was quite used to that look already. She gave that look to him every time they train together. Not threatened by it, Neji just pretended to act like he didn't know what she wanted. He found it quite amusing, fooling around with her like this. She let out a frustrated sigh.
"NO, that's NOT what I'm trying to imply!" Tenten pouted.
She then linked her arms with his and looked up at him with such a serious expression.
"You and I are going to have fun today," she said, making it sound like a demand, "Hear that, Hyuuga? F-U-N. A prodigy such as yourself should know what that means."
Instead of being annoyed and insulted by such a remark, he couldn't help but stare at their link arms. This was the closet body contact he's ever been with her ever (counting aside missions where he had to carry her). This time was done by choice. She chose to do so, which made Neji feel even more flattered. The feeling of her warm, bare skin touching his cold one made him shiver. Again, he felt his face grow a little warm in embarrassment. Neji again looked away, but didn't release his arm. Tenten blinked, seeming to notice the soft red tinted upon Neji's cheeks. She just smiled and gave out a small laugh. Neji felt her stares, making him feel even more awkward then he already was. He cleared his throat.
"As you wish," he said, almost unwillingly.
Tenten's face lit up happily, and she literally hugged his arm tighter. Neji looked down at her in slight awe. Tenten noticed he was looking, so she looked back up at him and smiled. Neji twitched. Now she saw how flustered her looked. He just let out a slight sigh. There was no point of hiding it now. She was acting like her usual, childish self and now that Neji got to experience this side of her a little bit better, he found it kind of…cute. Besides, seeing how happy his teammate is just for hanging out with a dull, lifeless prodigy made him feel like this would all be worth it. Tenten flashed another smile before walking arm-in-arm with Neji out of the training area.
"It's a date!"
So, as I stated before, this is a short, simple love story that will hopefully bring me back on track for future fanfictions that I plan on writing. I hope you guys enjoyed it. The second, and last, chapter will be posted shortly. Until then, please read and review ! =)