Tenten's back hit a tree, she slid down and crossed her legs. They were covered with smudges of black and blue. Her knuckles were grazed, and her arms scratched.

"Damn it Neji!" she exclaimed, "I'm gonna look real good with bruises down my legs tonight aren't I?"

"I say I'd go easy on you." Neji countered, "But you chose to deny you're 'Birthday bonus'" He soaked a cotton rag in solution and pressed them onto Tenten's cuts. She winced slightly.
"Thanks." she smiled, the corners of Neji's mouth turned up for the slightest of seconds before looking back down at Tenten's arm.

"...You're showing off you're legs tonight then?" Neji's face looked almost worried. He packed the cotton rag away into his pouch,

"Yes I am." Tenten replied, "Ino and Sakura are going to practically force me into a dress tonight." Neji chuckled. "Shut up Neji. As I am now a mature sixteen year old. I shall tolerate that chuckle and resist punching you." she smiled, Neji smirked.

He stood infront of her, "Come on Tenten." he held his hand out for her.
"Thanks" she said, reaching up for his hand. She heaved herself up and they began making their way out of the forest.

Tenten took in a deep breath, fresh air filled her lungs. She looked up at Neji, the sun beaming through the leaves played with the shadows on his face.
This forest was practically their second home. They'd seen many sunrises and sunsets whilst laying on the forest floor, leaves scattered beneath them.
It wasn't a patch of green they used for training. It was the first thing at dawn, and last thing before bed. It was their forest.

They reached the opening of the forest, just before the trees and silence are replaced by concrete and noise.

"Tenten." Neji said almost sharply, she felt his arm tense up as he was looking down at his left hand.

"Yeah?" Tenten following his eyes down to his left hand, "Oh. Sorry." she murmered, slipping her right hand away from it. Just as her hand was reaching the side of her hip Neji clutched it. "...Neji?"

"Tenten, I've got for..." Neji's voice uncharacteristically trailed away softly. He looked away from his hand holding hers, his right hand slipped into his pouch.

"Y-You didn't have to get me anything!" Tenten babbled quickly. Neji stayed silent as his hand fumbled around the bandages and training pill. Tenten blushed and slightly screwed up her eyes.

"...Here, I think you should.." Neji's hand let go of hers slightly, then held hers out so her hand was faced up.

"Neji, no, it's fine. Really you shouldn't have." Tenten started, she was silenced by Neji's soft 'shh'.

"Really Tenten, it's nothing."



firstly, thank you so much for reading. I hope you liked it, please review as I'd love to get some good critique and know what kind of vibe this is giving off at the moment.

If you have read my other story 'Counting Teardrops' then I hope you've read that I'll be doing a prequel to it..TA-DA this is it! I'm hoping for this to be a lot less angsty. Also, I'm hoping to do shorter chapters that will update a lot more quickly. I think the last four chapters in Counting Teardrops are too long to digest anyway.

Of course you don't have to read 'Counting Teardrops', just enjoy! and thank you!

~Dumplingdoo xXx