Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of its characters...but in my dreams ROCK LEE IS MINE! He's just so damn adorable!

How do I tell him now?

Tenten sniffed miserably as she slowly picked up her brush. As it made its way down her chocolate brown locks she bit her bottom lip and sniffed again. After just passing her shoulder the hair stopped in a jaggard cut, and the brush only touched air.

Tenten's hand trembled as the brush fell to the ground with a loud clang and her frustrated sobs echoed throughout her room.

She had forced a smile throughout the rest of her mission. She had avoided mirrors until this moment. She simply laughed and waved a dismissive hand when Gai sensei offered to neaten up her hasty cut... a bowl and scissors in hand just sent chills up her spine and horrible visions through her mind.

But now she was forced to look at the sight she had avoided all this time and now her wet eyes became blurry and newly shed tears trickled down her cheeks and dripped onto her lap.

She always inwardly laughed at those stupid petty girls that thought the world was ending when their hair was cut off. She thought Ino and Sakura were insane for thinking they needed long hair to gain Sasuke's attention. And yet now...now she sympathised with them all!

Yes she felt her stomach sink and her heart stop when she saw her hair fall to the ground. Yes she suddenly felt awkward when He was near. She was petty and insane! Just like all those stupid girls.

A knock at her door stopped her sobs. She furiously swiped the back of her hands over her wet face as she tried to call out as calmly as possible,

"W-Whose th-there?" she was obviously unsuccessful. The door slowly opened with a creak and a shy voice answered,

"I-Its me." Tenten turned to see Hinata. Hinata wore a warm sympathetic smile as her clouded eyes gave Tenten a feeling of support. Tenten's eyes fell on Hinata's now long hair and immediately the tears started up once again. Hinata jumped with a little squeal of worry before running to Tenten's side and pulling her into a hug.

Tenten hugged her back and slowly stopped crying as Hinata's warm embrace and her hushed, calming words soothed her.

"Why are you here Hinata?" Tenten asked as she took yet another tissue and wiped her face for the umpteenth time.

"u-um... Neji s-said you were ups-set and i-I thought I could help fix it." Hinata stammered as she pulled out a comb and pair of scissors. Tenten smiled and nodded. As long as a bowl wasn't involved she should be fine.

Hinata's nimble fingers danced through Tenten's hair as she carefully, slowly and skilfully cut into it.

"D-does he know why I'm upset?" Tenten questioned as she hugged her pillow tightly. Hinata shook her head as she continued her work.

A few moments of silence past and Tenten finally spoke again.

"I-I overheard him talking to you two years ago. You where sad Naruto left but you still tried your absolute best to be better than ever when he returned..."

Hinata paused and went bright red, words failed to escape her mouth but Tenten ignored her reaction and continued,

"You were afraid he would still see you as that shy little girl and that's when Neji said it. He suggested that you grow your hair long. There were rumours that Sasuke liked long hair. Neji himself likes long hair and a few other guys Neji talked to liked long hair. I...I thought that if I grew my hair as long as his..."

Tenten's eyes threatened to release a new flood of tears as she buried her face in the pillow,

"If it was as long as he's...I would confess my feelings." There. She finally said it out loud. She loved Neji! She loved his clouded blue eyes. She loved his long black, silk like hair. She loved his serious, cold personality. She loved being by his side.

That's why...even though it meant she would never be able to confess to him, she sacrificed her hair to save him. Herself, Lee and Neji were desperately fighting an impressively tough opponent, maybe the toughest they have been in. Neji was exhausted, Tenten's hair bands had snapped and her hair that she had grown long for the last two years, was draped down her back. A Shuriken was headed for Neji, he knew it was coming but if he moved it would hit Lee, it was impossible to deflect the giant star. So He chose to die for his team mate...his friend.

Tenten dashed toward him, her hair flowing behind her. She tackled him to the ground and her hair slowly followed...too slowly. As the shuriken flew over their heads it went right through her hair.

What now? How could she tell him now? Her mark of confidence was nearly as long as his hair. It was almost there! And now...could she wait another 2 or 3 years till it caught up again?

"Tenten..." Hinata's voice pulled Tenten from her flash back and her thoughts. "I don't think Neji would hate you because your hair is short. You should talk to him. I-if only I h-had the courage to te-tell Naruto...M-maybe he would n-notice me." Hinata's stutter returned at the mere mention of her own love. Tenten Remained silent as she slowly released her killer grasp of her pillow and looked into the mirror.

"There!" Hinata said with a wide smile, hand's behind her back as she admired her handy work. Tenten smiled slightly. Her hair was just long enough for her two buns when she was on a mission but while she walked the streets, it was beautifully layered down her neck.

"That's amazing Hinata! I never knew you had hairdresser skills!"

"W-well... I cut Kurenai sensei's hair all the time so I have gotten so much better at it."

A knock at the door caught the girls attention and before they could reply it was thrown open to reveal Neji. Without a word uttered he stormed up to Tenten and threw a small bundle of black hair into her lap.

"There! Now you don't have to regret saving me. Hair isn't that important! To prove it I cut my own hair."

'that's barely enough to clean up the split ends.' Hinata thought as she shook her head shamefully at her cousin's idea of equal loss. Although she had to admit, the fact he cut off even that small amount was a huge step for him.

"I-I don't regret saving you." Tenten stammered in shock as she held the bundle of black locks. His hair was as silky and soft as she had imagined.

"Then why do you look all depressed since you saved me? Not that I needed saving." He mumbled the last sentence in the most disgruntled fashion. Hinata patted Tenten's shoulder and smiled at her encouragingly. She left the room, Neji barely noticing she was there in the first place and had focused all his attention on Tenten, awaiting a reply.

As Tenten looked up at him she could feel the hot tears stinging her eyes.

"N-Neji...do I still look beautiful without long hair?" This question nearly bowled Neji over and left him blushing as he stared back at her.

How could he say no when she had that beautiful creamy skin...those strawberry lips and chocolate hair and eyes. She was the most delicious thing he has ever seen!

His face softened as her tears streaked her cheeks and she forced that same smile she had been showing for the last few days.

"Sorry, that's a stupid question to ask. I am just a petty, insane stupid girl who was overly attached to her hair. I really don't regret saving you..." she gasped as Neji ran his fingers through her hair and tilted his head.

"I'm glad it's shorter. To be honest I hate the idea of both people in a relationship with long hair. It doesn't look right." And with that he kissed the tips of her hair as it slipped through his fingers.

"So now your hair is shorter it will work...Don't you think?" Neji asked as he tried to keep his cool attitude. His slight blush threatened to destroy his coolness but it was no match for the deep red of Tenten's cheeks as she finally smiled a large genuine smile for the first time in days.

"You look beautiful Tenten." Neji whispered his answer to her question as he passed her a clean tissue.

Authors note: this is the second fanfic of my series of Naruto pairing fanfics! The first is Dreaming of sleep- A Gaara x Matsuri fanfic. And there will be more. I'm planning on a Temari and Shikamaru one next :D please look out for my upcoming Nauto pairing fanfics and I hope you enjoy them!