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Hollow

She performed the seal but it was not working.

Damn! her mind shouted. She was getting frustrated. Nothing in the world was working anymore: her breathing was in rapid succession due to exhaustion, her hair had escaped the confines of her ribbons which cascaded down her back and her concentration was faltering because of the presence of the man who was causing her heart to beat at an abnormal pace.

To top it all, her seal forming was not working. Her opponent was ready to attack any moment now. She tried one more time to form the seal but nothing happened. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath to calm herself a bit then did the ninjutsu one more time.

"You are doing it wrong," came the husky voice beside her right ear then warm hand enveloped hers from behind. She jerked in surprised but was held in place. "What's the matter with you? This finger should be down to get the seal working," Neji calmly said as he pushed her finger down with his own.

She noticed that his heart was rapidly beating as he stood so close behind her. She opened her eyes and stared at his hand that was holding hers. He shouldn't be holding her hand. Hell, he shouldn't be standing that close to her at all!

Neji was breathing almost at the same pace as his heart. With every inhale, he was becoming sensitized by her scent, imbedding the memory deep within the confines of his brain and his heart. He should let go but his muscles would not respond to reasoning.

To top it all, his left hand held her waist and he felt her intake a deep breath.

"Neji," she said in hushed husky voice.

"What?" he asked in deep tones.

Tenten's eyes closed and her shoulders sagged. It was not the place or the time and definitely she was not in the position to disclose her feelings.

As always, she will fade into the shadows with her unrequited love.

"Neji," she started again, trying hard to maintain her voice and praying that her tears would not fall. "You would be starting the next chapter of your life now."

She had no idea it would be that hard. Life, as she knew it, was supposed to be simple. But she felt the damnable tightening of her insides as she tried her best to sound as normal as possible.

"All these years," Tenten continued, "it has been an honor to be your teammate. As there is a beginning to everything, there is also an end," she stopped, collecting herself by taking in deep breaths.

Neji bit his lower lip to keep from responding and closed his eyes.

"You will belong to another starting next week. I don't think it will be appropriate for us... to meet like this," Tenten said in hushed tones. She then pried her hands loose from his then enclosed his hand in hers and clasping it near her heart.

Neji snaked his other arm around her waist, molding her to him. "Tenten, I-"

"I just wish," she began, cutting him off, "that next time I would see you a smile would grace your lips."

A tear fell down from her eye. "I wish she will make you happy when no one else can. I wish..." her voice faded away, unable to continue.

Tenten savored every second that she was held in his arms. She felt the rise & fall of his chest pressed on her back. She inhaled his musky scent. Then, she lowered his hand. She let it go then she turned around and faced him but her head lowered.

Tenten bowed before him. "Arigato... Neji-sama," she said formally. "For all the training we did, I finally had the courage to accept the promotion to be an elite ANBU."

Neji's eyes opened wide in surprise as the thought of the dangerous missions that were assigned to the elites.

"I guess the end will start now for us," she continued on with her head bent down. "This will be the last training we will have-"

"Don't... not the ANBU-" Neiji started.

"One thing I ask from you," Tenten began, cutting him off, and when she felt that the tears that were pooling from her eyes were not going to fall, she raised her head and looked at his pale eyes. "Please dont forget..."

Neji started to raise his hand.

"...everything," she finished, noticing what he was about to do.

All he wanted to do was touch her flushed cheek.

But she disappeared in an instant after making a quick seal with her right hand.

And Neiji was left there, frozen in place... numbed and shocked.

For the first in his life, he finally knew who held his heart- because the moment he knew she would disappear forever, he felt hollow inside.


Hope you, guys, would like this fic about Neji and Tenten.