A/N: So, this is kinda incoherent – and quite probably totally ridiculous – but NejiTen is never a bad thing, so I offer this oneshot for your dubious reading pleasure. I apologize for any OOC-ness, and any other sucky things xD Please review and let me know what you thought!

Also, this was inspired and based on the song 'Twisted' by CrashCarBurn – but it isn't a song-fic.

Warnings: Little touch of language and smexiness, of course! You have been warned – if you do not like lemons or lemony/limey situations do not read this any further.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, or any of its characters, nor do I own the abovementioned song and I do not make any profit out of the use of either the characters or the lyrics in this piece of fanfiction.

Light in the Dark

It was a night like any other. The last rosy rays of the setting sun played peacefully over the roofs of the village far below.

Tenten's legs dangled loosely over the edge. Her neck was craned back, watching the emerging stars, but if she turned her gaze down she would be able to make out the contours of the faces carved into the rock of Hokage Mountain. A light breeze rippled through the air, making strands of long brown hair – loose around her shoulders for once – blow into her eyes. She shook her head impatiently and sighed.

No matter how she tried she couldn't relax; couldn't give in to the peace of the dusk that slowly fell to darkness. No, she couldn't push the memories away, much as she wanted to.

It was a night like any other – and yet it wasn't. There was something in the air, something turning her insides upside down, something she couldn't quite lay her finger on but that awakened every flight instinct that she possessed.

She bit her lower lip and forced herself to calm down. There was no need to be so ridiculous. She was alone up here – like she wanted to be – and could take care of herself quite well, all else aside.

The presence creeped up on her – she was so caught up in her thoughts that she only noticed his presence when it was too late for her to simply disappear. Or maybe she was so used to his presence that she barely registered it in her absentminded state. But now she had noticed, couldn't hide it, and he'd be able to see right through such a deception anyway, so Tenten straightened her spine, held her chin high and glared into the emptiness, ignoring the cloying fear inside. He could damn well make the first move.

Neji frowned as Tenten sat a little straighter, he could see the tension running in every line of her body and it … confused him. She confused him.

Which made no logical sense.

He'd known Tenten far too long for her to still be this confusing. Through the years he'd become accustomed to her insanity. She never reacted the way he expected her to, so he'd learned to prepare for the unexpected and, until recently, this approach had worked quite well with the volatile Tenten. Well enough for them to be good friends at any rate. She'd never shown even the slightest hint of being interested in him romantically, or even just physically, though he'd been quite aware of her occasional reactions to other boys. And when Neji had been younger, angry and defiant, this had suited him to a T. He didn't have time for a girl on his team who couldn't string two coherent sentences together in his presence, much less concentrate on missions and training. Tenten liked them pretty. He'd noticed. He could still remember how her slight blush and comments about the youngest Uchiha's cuteness had made the anger spike over the usual levels he maintained it at.

Long, dark hair fanned out and blended into the night as Neji shook his head in chagrined amusement at his younger self's actions: he'd promptly proceeded to challenge the Uchiha. Not the way Lee had done – not to a physical battle, he'd been sure he was far stronger than Uchiha anyway – but to a sort of mental challenge. Neji had wanted to prove that the Uchiha was nothing special. Of course Tenten had later berated him for his 'Alpha-Male-I-am-man-hear-me-roar' behavior and he'd swiftly resigned everything except anger and ambition to the deepest, darkest recesses of his mind.

But as the years passed – as he grew steadily closer to his uncle and through him to the rest of the clan – Neji found that having peace in one's soul led to thinking more and more about a certain weapon-wielding female who, unlike the rest of the female population, apparently did not find him pretty enough to notice. Neji sighed. He'd been called pretty by more than a few females in his life, (and he detested it – he was not pretty, damnit all to hell) and yet it had irked him that Tenten never had. He couldn't understand it. Or, more truthfully, he hadn't wanted to understand it. Because that would mean he had to do something about it.

Still, it had been inevitable, he supposed. The attraction was there – simmering beneath years of close friendship – and no matter how either of them avoided it, their … indiscretion … had been destined. He only wished that it didn't have to come at the expense of their friendship.

He pushed his hands deep into his pockets and allowed himself a small moment of remembrance; the way she'd twisted frantically beneath him, shuddered against him, around him …

Neji shook his head, frantically trying to clear that particular memory away. Resolutely he pushed forward, heading to the edge where the bane of his existence still rigidly waited for him to make the first move. As he neared Neji again found himself staring at her back with morbid curiosity. What was it about her? Was it the way she was both fire and ice – and he never knew which part of her was likely to erupt? Was it the way she was so incredibly brave that she'd never even once let slip how much she hated being alone? She was an orphan, he knew, but he'd never seen Tenten feel even slightly sorry for herself, never heard her express a longing after something she didn't have. Tenten wasn't a thinker – she didn't brood – she acted. When she was hurt or angry she vented the feelings by puncturing holes in whatever inanimate object was closest to her, but she'd borne everything bad life had thrown at her with an admirable aplomb – these days it made Neji feel slightly ashamed that the same couldn't be said of him. Was it the way she got under his skin so effortlessly? The way she prodded and poked and teased until she got a reaction from him? Most of the time she annoyed him to no end and yet, given the choice, he wouldn't change a single aspect of her excitable, slightly insane and bubbly nature.

But that one night had changed everything. He shouldn't have kissed her. He knew that. But he'd been unable to resist … and hormones had done the rest as years of repressed attraction had boiled over into outright lust.

For the first time he'd seen the vulnerability, the fear of abandonment, the terror she had of being left alone again and, in the aftermath, he'd watched stoically as her walls came down and she'd scrambled around, frantic to get away from him. Tenten, usually so brave, was even more of an emotional coward than he was. At first it had amused Neji to no end – he was sure that they'd be able to talk it all through once she'd calmed down a bit - but to his surprise she'd simply continued to avoid him. That was when he'd really started to concentrate on what his eyes had told him about her.

And that had forced him to start looking at his own motivations: what was she to him? A friend? A comrade-in-arms? More? Did it have anything to do with the way he relied on her to anchor him to this world, his only defense against destiny? Was it the way she sometimes seemed to shine at him, a light in the dark specially for him? Mostly Neji didn't know – he just knew that he could not allow her to go ahead with this foolishness.

Tenten was sure he could hear her heart pounding. She certainly could. And her heart had no reason to be pounding, for God's sake! It was just Neji.

Just Neji.

No one special. He was stoic, and cold, and socially retarded, and just solidly there. Just because he'd fucked her senseless a week ago didn't change any of that. Didn't change that he was simply just a friend.

Internally she winced at her vulgarity and a little voice she usually kept firmly suppressed piped up. If it had just been a quick one-night-stand then why the hell are you running as if the devil himself is after you? Tenten shook her head, once, decisively. She was definitely not running scared, not of Neji. It had absolutely nothing to do with the way he'd seemed to see right through her, into the deepest reaches of her soul; to all the horrible fears she was so adept at hiding away.

Impatient now, tired of waiting for him to stop lurking, she pushed herself to her feet and turned to face him. Sure now that her walls were unbreachable.

"What?" she demanded, one hand lifting to her hip.

Neji shrugged, "ANBU, Tenten?" he asked, a mocking smirk pulling at the corners of his mouth.

Instantly on the defensive, Tenten stalked closer and bristled up at him and Neji could feel the amusement building within him again – she looked like an angry kitten. Wisely he kept the amusement to himself; Tenten was anything but a defenseless kitten and he had no desire to be sliced to ribbons.

"Yes, Neji. ANBU. Do you have a problem with that?"

"That desperate to get away from me?"

One elegant Hyuuga eyebrow arched eloquently and Tenten forgot her training, forgot that she was the resident weapons-mistress, as the urge to simply pummel every inch of him she could reach with her fists rose inside her, hot and bright - a blazing inferno.

Tenten clenched her fists tightly, she would not give him the satisfaction of seeing he'd gotten to her, and spoke through gritted teeth.

"Don't flatter yourself, Hyuuga. It has nothing to do with you."


God, how she hated that non-word! Tenten could feel her nails biting into her palms and she gladly grabbed hold of the slight pain, anything to keep her from murder. She fought to control her temper – why did he have to be so good at annoying her? – and through the forced calmness she nearly missed Neji's next words because he was suddenly too close. Far too close and he smelled so good and …

"ANBU is not the place for you. Your individuality would suffer."

Startled back to the present by his harshly spoken words, Tenten stared at Neji in consternation. He was entirely right, of course. She had no real desire to join ANBU – never had. But it had seemed the only way to get away from Team Gai, and therefore Neji.

A bitter laugh echoed through the rocks and Tenten was shocked to realize it was her own.

"You'll have to come up with a better reason than that to convince me it's not the right decision," she said sarcastically, the underlying words clearly saying 'back the fuck off – it's nothing to do with you'.

For a moment they stood staring at each other, neither willing to back down, the tension palpable between them. Neji broke first. A groan fell from his lips, he ran a frustrated hand through his hair, and muttered, more to himself than to her, "This is coming out all wrong. God."

Tenten couldn't help the smile that played over her features at the low, but heartfelt, admission. It was very true; words did not come easily for Neji. The something she'd felt in the air earlier shifted again and suddenly it was warm … very warm, despite the gathering clouds. The fear rose again, and Tenten brutally suppressed the urge to put some distance between them – he would not see her weakness.

Suddenly Tenten was just so tired – tired of running and hiding and pretending and that little voice that she kept suppressed triumphantly shouted 'I told you so' but Tenten wasn't even paying attention anymore. Her eyes were riveted to Neji's, to his face, watching the frustration bleed out from his usual expressionless mask. Little lines drew his brows together as he frowned in concentration, obviously searching for the words he deemed appropriate for the occasion. Tenten smiled again. He wouldn't be able to. Neji did not like to talk, he liked expressing his feelings verbally even less, and talking about someone else's feelings was utterly beyond him, of that much she was sure. But he was trying and that Meant Something. Mentally she acknowledged the capitals – she knew that this must be very hard for him, and the mere fact that he'd put in the effort to even try and find her after hearing about her defection from Team Gai, softened her slightly.

Silently, and while Neji was pre-occupied, she allowed a little of the love to soften her gaze as it raked over his features, committing him to memory. How it had happened, and when, she had no idea. She'd never thought of Neji that way, but he'd kissed her and she'd been lost in the wonder of his touch, his lips, and her walls had come crashing down around her ears, and she'd had no choice but to admit that she loved him – and probably had all along.

But that was also the problem. Tenten didn't do love. She didn't do relationships, and she sure as hell didn't do commitment. And now she was scared – because Neji made her want to do all of those things she'd always promised herself to not get caught up in. If she wanted to be the first-class shinobi she knew she had the ability to be, she could not afford the time that would be spent on romantic entanglements.

But mostly she just didn't think the rewards were worth the risks involved.

How long before their personalities started to grate? How long before Neji would have to make a lovely, respectable Hyuuga marriage? Where would that leave her? She never wanted to feel the pain of abandonment again, and if that meant that she would lose out on certain relationships then so be it. All else aside, Neji had always been her friend – and she'd rather keep him that way than lose him in the bloody waters of relationship-hell.

Her eyes gradually focused again and she caught Neji's stare, he finally seemed to have made up his mind about what to say, but as always he'd seen far too much, and Tenten huffily turned her face away, ignoring the slight blush that stained her cheeks silver in the weak moonlight.

"You're like water – when you move, it's like I'm drowning in the waves you create."

The admission sounded torn from the deepest depths of his being, and unwillingly spoken at that, and Tenten turned slightly to stare at Neji, but he'd moved closer than he had been and her lips brushed against his throat.

Tenten gasped softly, tried to step away, but his hands had somehow taken hold of her hips and he wouldn't let her. Instead Neji stepped even closer…

And suddenly they were fighting for the air between them.

Their lips met, and Tenten could feel her walls crumbling some more at the slow, soft, hesitant touch of his mouth on hers, so she tried to forestall the breakdown, tried to replace the emotion with lust. But their bodies spoke louder than her attempts – the way she melted into his chest, the way his hands caressed softly, possessively down her back. Tenten stood on tip-toe to press closer, incoherently thinking that the action might spark the uncontrollable fires from before, and save her even as she burned in the conflagration.

The need to breathe wasn't yet overwhelming but Neji pulled back a little, breathing just a tad too fast, and muttered, "Stop fighting it, damnit."

Before she had the time to reply or even gather her scattered thoughts his mouth was slanting over hers again and, at last, Tenten gave up, gave in, and let her guard drop. He was in her blood anyway so what did it help to try and keep him out?

She opened her mouth and slid her tongue out to slide slowly over his lower lip. Neji reacted nearly instantly, pulling her closer, holding her hard against his body, his tongue slipping out and twisting sinuously with hers.

Tenten moaned softly, a breathy little sound, when he dragged her lower lip between his teeth, his hands sliding down her back and over her rear to lift her slightly. She took the unspoken invitation and wound her legs around his waist, before he promptly transferred his mouth to her neck. Licking. Sucking. Biting.

Through the daze that surrounded her, Tenten was vaguely aware of the way Neji gently lowered her to the ground and she distantly heard his heated whisper.

"Give me this one night to show you – to change your mind. You don't need ANBU."

He pressed heated kisses along her collarbone, biting softly at intervals, and Tenten arched into the touch, not even caring about his words, or his motivations, or about anything really. Nothing had ever felt this perfectly right and she was far beyond coherency so she simply gave in to the feelings swirling in her gut. She pulled his head up, their mouths met in a heated exchange of lips, teeth and tongue. Her hands tangled in his hair, nails scraping softly against his scalp and she exulted in the shudder that ran through him.

Then there was confusion – but through it all she was so aware of his hard body pressed against hers, of his strong arms surrounding her, promising obliquely to always keep her safe, and when the smoke cleared Tenten stared bemusedly at the interior of her apartment. Before she had a chance to really process the change of location, Neji laid her carefully on her bed but the familiar surroundings were like a bucket of ice-water thrown over her head and Tenten immediately began to push herself up. All the reasons why this was such an incredibly bad idea banged around in her head, making her clumsy, and before she'd really managed to get to her feet, Neji was hovering over her again. Their legs tangled, he carefully kept his weight off her with one hand braced next to her head, and his hair fell forward to cocoon her in their own private bubble.

Tenten could see the way his eyes shone in the moonlight – they seemed to glitter with some purpose she couldn't fathom – but fear of being hurt kept her from really trying to analyze the emotions she saw in his normally expressionless eyes. Neji, after all, had the power to hurt her as she'd never been hurt before. She hated that he had that power – how he'd gained it she had no idea – but instinctively she recognized that he held her heart in his hands and that he could crush it completely. Neji would break her and she would never be able to put herself back together again.

She tried to struggle out of his grasp again but her body betrayed her. Her body had no desire to move, wanted nothing more than for him to press even closer until air didn't even separate them.

Neji lowered his hips a little, and the involuntary gasp that rose to Tenten's lips when he rocked slowly against her, brought a self-satisfied smirk to his lips. But her eyes were distant again, the panic from moments before had been replaced by that far-away look he hated so much, it was the look that meant that she was distancing herself from him – from this. Whatever it was. All Neji knew was that, as difficult as they both found this thing, he was at least willing to brave the dangers. Where the words came from he would never know, his brain seemed completely disconnected from the rest of him at that moment and he found himself speaking words he'd never even imagined he'd say. They came from somewhere inside him – a place he refused to examine and explore. The place where Tenten was. And that alone meant that no exploration or explanation was necessary. She was there – inside – and that was enough, and he wanted her to stay there.

"I know you're scared," he told her gently, his free hand reaching to brush his knuckles gently down her cheek till he reached her chin and could tilt her face up to his. His mouth descended to hers again, his body moved against hers involuntarily, no matter how Neji tried to keep still, and just before his eyes slid closed he saw Tenten's lashes kiss her cheeks, a blush forming on her fair skin.

"But throw that fear to the dark," he murmured against her lips. And punctuated the short sentence with another roll of his hips. Tenten gasped, arched back, her eyes flew open and Neji drew back to stare at her seriously in the darkness.

For a long time she said nothing, her eyes filmed by tears, her fingers combing softly through his hair, then, at last, she seemed to come out of her trance. She blinked rapidly, the tears disappeared, and she smiled almost shyly up at him. Something in his chest seemed to contract at the fleeting look of trust in her eyes…

Neji groaned and buried his face in the crook of her neck, his lips moving softly over her skin, his tongue slicking out to taste her … his hands fumbled between them and her shirt was suddenly opened. Tenten obligingly arched her back, panting softly, as he pushed the fabric from her shoulders, pressing a hot trail of kisses on the newly-revealed skin.

Hands and mouths met and fumbled across their bodies as lust burned desperately between them. Finally all the barriers had been removed and Neji had gained enough control again to be able to send a questioning glance at Tenten; asking if she was sure …

Her legs wrapped around his hips, her ankles locking behind his back and she urged him closer with restlessly seeking hips. Her arms wound around his neck, hands buried in the dark fall of his hair, and the hectic blush that stained her cheeks silver was compounded by the glitter of her eyes. Her hands tightened in his hair and she pulled him closer for a kiss.

Her heat pressed intimately against him but Neji held back from simply thrusting forward until he was buried so deeply in her that they wouldn't be able to tell where one ended and the other began, sensing that she wanted to say something.

"Break my heart and I'll use you for target practice," she half-snarled into his mouth, pushing her hips up toward him.

Involuntarily Neji reacted and pushed into her smoothly. Sheathed to the hilt he fought to control the urge to slam his hips forward again and again, to reach for the ecstasy that hung so temptingly just out of reach.

Tenten moaned, tried to move her hips even with his weight pinning her down, and Neji started a slow, pulse-pounding rhythm even as he lowered his mouth to hers again.

"Never," he whispered against her lips, hoping she heard him.

Her body clenched around him and all sense of reality flew out of his head as he sped up – harder … faster … deeper. Her breathy moans rang in his ears, but all he was really aware of was the feel of her beneath him, surrounding him … so soft … so warm …

Desperate bliss clouded his vision, Tenten trembled and he knew she was close. He sped up to an almost inhuman pace, gratified by the way Tenten's body stiffened, tried to drag him deeper, and allowed the waves of pleasure to pull him into oblivion, too.

Dazedly, vaguely, he thought that his analogy hadn't been so far from the truth: she was like water. Stormy and unpredictable like the vast oceans, with more hidden depths than he would ever be able to explore fully. She swept him away, made him lose all control, but in the slowly settling aftermath Neji could admit, if silently, that he didn't mind drowning in her.

Without saying a word he pressed another kiss to her lips, falling onto his back next to her and drawing her into his arms.

He was sure that Tenten understood.

A/N: Review? o0