A/N: Just a fluffy Nejiten piece I thought up while listening to Brad Paisley's "It Never Would've Worked Out Anyway." Come on - you KNOW Neji has the ability to be just that little mixture of possessive and crazy.
It Never Would've Worked Out Anyway
The sharp tap was what woke him. Pearly gray eyes snapped open, the only movement in his entire body. A second tap sounded, and a third. Sitting up carefully, Neji turned toward the window in time to see a fourth pebble bounce off the glass.
Getting up, he opened the window in time to be hit in the cheek with the fifth pebble as he leaned outside. "Ouch!" Rubbing the offended spot, he glared down at the person below. They were hidden in shadow; not that that was a problem.
Veins stood out along his temples as he activated the Byakugan - seconds later, the anonymous shape below resolved itself into Tenten.
"What are you doing here?" he hissed. "It's the middle of the night!"
A blur of motion later, she was crouched in front of him on the slanted roof outside the window, brown eyes angry and glaring in the dark. "Hyūga Neji, you'll be very lucky if you go back to bed without a broken neck," she snapped. Her voice was low; she wasn't just angry. She was furious.
"I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about," Neji said, as glacially calm as ever. A fist curled itself into the collar of his shirt, pulling him down to Tenten's eye level.
"Oh, you don't? Then do you mind telling me why my boyfriend just dumped me, saying he couldn't date a stripper, no matter how many kids were involved?"
S***. She knew.
"You need to calm down," Neji said, carefully reaching up to grasp the fist holding him in place. "There's no reason for you to -"
"Rip your head off-" Tenten cut in, her voice becoming dangerously sweet. "-as long as you tell me what's going on. Daichi told me that one of my closest friends had said, and - I - quote, that I'm secretly the mother of seven small children and I support them with my job as a dancer at that perverts' club outside the village."
She released him then, settling back cross-legged on the roof. "Now, tell me, Neji. Who do you think is my former 'closest friend?' I say 'former,' of course, because why would I stay friends with them after they told such a ridiculous lie in the first place?"
He had to be very careful with this; she was teetering on the brink of becoming totally unbalanced. "Tenten, there was a reason behind it. If you'll just let me explain -"
"So it was you!" she accused, her pointing finger snapping into place at the very tip of his nose.
"Keep your voice down!" he growled. Climbing out through the window, he closed it behind himself, sitting down beside her. "As I said - there was a reason behind it. Just let me explain."
Settling back into a comfortable position, he took a deep breath. "I'll admit, it wasn't the most intelligent idea I've had -"
"No sh**, Sherlock."
"- but I could see that the relationship wasn't going to work, and I didn't want you to have more time to get attached. So I insured he'd break it off as soon as possible, with less heartache for you in the long run."
She stared at him. "Are you f***king kidding me?"
When she fell silent for a moment, Neji merely waited. He could feel the waves of anger rolling off her - she wasn't done with him yet.
"I don't suppose I can blame you for my other boyfriends," she said at last. Her voice was tight, like she was fighting to keep it under control.
"Actually, I believe you can."
"What?" Her head whipped toward him, brown eyes narrowing. "The farm worker?"
"I told him that . . . ." Neji hesitated. "That you weren't naturally female."
"That you were already married."
"You spent a year in prison."
"The store manager?"
"You spend a lot of time near inexpensive hotels." Before she could continue, he said, "If you really think about it, I don't think those relationships would have worked out."
In an instant, he was slammed backward into the roof, Tenten's left knee on his stomach, and her hands on his shoulders, pinning him in place. "I won't even bother to ask what you were thinking," she snarled. "Because really? I don't want to know. You've gotta be a freaking psycho to ruin my reputation like that!"
"Didn't I say to let me explain?" Neji said, still calm, despite that the knee in his stomach was digging in as she applied her weight.
"I have been, and from what I heard, I don't like the sound of your explanation."
"It's because I hate the thought of you and someone else. Together." Anger was replaced by blank confusion, and Neji took the opportunity to press on. "To see you with another man makes me jealous, I'll admit it. It's not something I'm ashamed of."
"You're jealous," she repeated, frowning. "Why the -"
"Please, do I really need to spell it out for you?"
After a slight hesitation, Tenten rolled to the side, allowing him to sit up. Neither spoke; she was still processing what he'd just said, running through the implications, and he as waiting for her to make the first move.
"You could've found another way to tell me," she said at last. "Instead of sneaking around behind my back, telling lies."
"I'm sure I could have," he agreed. "Providing that I was thinking rationally."
"You're pleading guilty by way of insanity?" Tenten scoffed. "That's weak, Neji, especially coming from you."
"What do you want me to say?" he countered.
"An apology would be nice! Or is that to much to expect from you?"
He sighed, more out of exasperation than anything else. The unfortunate thing was, if he wanted to remain on her good side, then he was completely at her mercy right now. He'd done everything wrong, and she had every reason to be angry. He would just have to put his pride aside.
"Tenten - I'm sorry. I know I was wrong to lie about you to those others, and I swear on my honour that it won't happen again . . . as long as you forgive me."
It was her turn to sigh. "Apology accepted." A few moments of silence passed, both of them staring up at the stars above. At last, she spoke. "When you told Ririko that I was already married . . . did you say who it was to?"
Neji's lips twitched in a half-smile. "I may have said that it was me."
Glancing sideways at her, he saw her smile as well. "Hm. I guess I can live with that."