A/N: Eh...well this is a looonnnggg way from what I usually write. I've never done any shipping with Tenten...or Shino for that matter. I blame Rel and Skitzofreak, for this newest pairing I've gotten in to.

A story that will be told in bits and pieces, updated infrequently.

Disclaimer: I do not have the privilege of actually owning Naruto. If I did…it wouldn't be pretty with the amount of shipping I do XD

It hadn't been a good day for Tenten. It had just been one of those days that had gone from bad to worse. Doomed from the moment she woke up.

It had been a sweltering summer night and she'd had little sleep the night before. Her eyes had opened to the shrieking insistence of the OVERLY loud bird that had decided to take up its abode right outside her bedroom window. She hadn't been able to catch the damned thing yet, it was far too canny for a regular bird. The window had been left open in the night in the vain hope that Tenten would get some relief from the nonexistent breeze. But all it really did was to let the bird's voice carry more easily to her sensitive ears.

She should have known as soon as she tried to get out of bed that it would be better just to never leave it. Falling flat on one's face because one was tangled up in the sheets is never fun and always embarrassing. Especially so for a kunoichi with Jounin status. In her quest to relieve her poor ears she'd forgotten how badly she'd slept, tossing and turning all night long. She growled rather realistically and pushed herself up before wadding the offending blankets in to a huge wad and flinging them with great accuracy out the window and at the bird's nest. The damned thing had dodged, as it usually did, but it was the only one, Tenten reflected with grim amusement as the sound of annoyed cursing rattled her windows.

Next thing on her agenda had been a cool shower to soothe her sweaty skin. Only that hadn't worked out well either. The moment she'd stepped beneath what she thought was going to be a cold spray she yelped and jumped out, bruising her funny bone in the process of getting away from the blisteringly hot jet of water. Apparently, she found out after one very annoyed phone call later, some punk had thought it would be funny to switch the pipes in the building around and make it so NO cold water came through at all.

At that point it was too late for much of a breakfast when Lee smashed her door open enthusiastically while practicing his 'Dynamic Entry #5: GOOD MORNING WORLD!' and shouting in her already abused ears about the 'The Springtime Of YOUTH!'

She only just refrained from sending a flurry of kunai at him.

From then, it only got worse. She'd totally failed in her team's training session. Triggering a bomb at the wrong time and nearly setting Neji's hair on fire. Seeing his wide-eyed expression at the slightly singed locks and Lee's own horrified expression while Gai actually ducked behind her to hide would have been funny…for anybody else. But you just DIDN'T mess with Hyuga Neji's hair. EVER.

"Uh Neji-kun?" Lee asked, stepping between the Hyuga's patented 'Murderous Glare of DOOOOM' (now newly charged with extra emo angst to really creep out your enemies!) and Tenten with a nervous drop of sweat sliding down his face.

"You…burnt…my…hair." Neji stated quietly, waves of killing intent rolling off of him. His eyes bulged with silvery veins. Even after all these years, Tenten could still find the Byakugan scary, when it was directed at her. So the wisest course of action to take then was to run, and run she did.

Thank kami Neji decided not to give chase. She mentally heaved a sigh of relief. She had escaped towards the next training area where it was completely silent. Tenten wiped another drop of sweat from her face.

Finally it seemed she would get some peace at last. It was blessedly cooler underneath the trees and she could no longer hear the loud declarations of her teammate and sensei.

Then the unexpected showed up in the form of a malicious tree root that just popped out of nowhere and tripped her up. Ungracefully she fell flat on her face and unfortunately she happened to be in front of a puddle. So now she was covered in mud.

She spluttered and sent a round of cursing in to the air before pushing her body up roughly and pushed her dripping bangs from her face. Her annoyed brown eyes lifted to see a pair of sandaled feet, possibly the most unwelcome sight that could have met her eyes.

Great, she was so humiliated by herself and now someone just had to go and witness said humiliation. She wanted to curl up and die. A brief glance up as she tried unsuccessfully to regain her composure, revealed her unwelcome presence as Aburame Shino. Great, the creepy bug guy just had to see her do a face plant.

Tenten's day had gone from horrific to nightmarish. An irritated anger and the impulsive recklessness arose within her and brought with it a tightness in her chest and a bright red flush to her cheeks. Her need to blame something, someone, anything for her shitty bad luck overruled her common sense. Shino had just presented himself as the perfect target.

A smooth eyebrow lifted above the dark tint of his glasses, clearly showing his derision of her ability as a kunoichi, or so she thought. She growled and got to her feet, swatting away the courteous hand he offered. She knew it was irrational, and even petty, but that didn't stop her from pointing her finger straight at him and growling, "It was all your fault!"

All the reaction she got for her hasty accusation was another eyebrow raise and a small twitch near his nose that may have been from his lips lifting in amusement. How could she know? He had that freakin' hood up all the time and his eyes were completely obscured by those dumbass glasses he wore! Seriously, how could anyone tell what he was thinking? It was so unfair that he was unruffled and cool, his composure unshaken while she was flustered and in complete disarray, her own composure cracked wider than a smashed walnut.

They stood there in silence, with her finger still pointed accusingly at him. Shino did not respond, he did not feel the need to reply to such an obviously ridiculous statement.

Tenten just felt angrier. Geez! The least the guy could do is to acknowledge her anger! "What, you're not even going to say that you're sorry for distracting me so that I tripped? Teme!" Tenten yelled out and glared at him.

Shino simply looked at her and shifted slightly. He wasn't sure what to do in this type of situation. Hinata got upset occasionally, but she never got angry and shouted false accusations. The poor shinobi had simply gone to investigate the source of the sounds of somebody crashing about in the forest. He expected to find some wet-behind-the-ears genin, scare him into being quieter, and then get back to what he'd been doing, training with his kikai.

He had not expected a flustered female Jounin with little regard to the status of his sensitive hearing.

Tenten growled again and stepped closer so that she could jab her finger in his chest.

"Seriously, what's with you? Why...don't...you...answer...me?" Each word was accompanied by a sharp jab to his body. It wasn't exactly painful, but Shino still couldn't stand his personal space being violated in any way. A flash of irritation shot through him. This petite little kunoichi was really confusing, and acting in a completely irrational way.

"Don't touch me," he said before he quickly reached up and grabbed her around her wrist before she could poke him again. Trying to be gentle and still get his point across, Shino twisted and pulled her arm around her back, while shoving with his free arm to push her up against the very same tree whose roots she had tripped over. Tenten didn't expect the maneuver from him and offered little resistance until she was already pinned.

"What the fuck Shino? Let me go!" she shouted, trying to twist out of his grasp. Her free arm was trapped between her own body and the bark of the tree, immobile, so she tried to kick back. The sudden pressure against her back and the heat of the heavily clad man behind her swamped her senses as he used his physically larger body to restrain hers.

A soft buzzing thrummed behind her and Tenten stilled completely. The noise sounded..irritated. Like she'd bumped in to hive and now its inhabitants were annoyed. Which, she realized with a gulp, she had and they were.

Shino on his part wasn't quite prepared for the reaction his body and his kikai had when she wiggled and squirmed against his body. It wasn't like he had never been aroused before, it was just that he'd never seen this particular female in that way. She was soft and warm, even though she smelled heavily of sweat it wasn't unpleasant. A musky aroma that tantalized his senses and made his kikai hum.

It felt almost like the breath had been knocked out of him. Like Kiba had jabbed him too hard in the ribs. He let go of Tenten and stepped back. The kunoichi felt relief as he let her go, though she wondered why. Shino was a mysterious guy.

He just stood there while she turned around and rubbed her wrist, waiting for her to make the next move. Tenten sighed and flushed with embarrassment. 'Looks like I'm the one who's gonna be making apologies now' she thought.

"Hey look Shino, I'm sorry I just attacked you like that..." she tried to smile self-deprecatingly, it came out strained and fake. Shino watched silently, wondering where her change of mood came from. One minute she was ready to tear in to him for something he wasn't accountable for, and the next she was apologizing to him for her behavior.

Tenten fidgeted in the silence. She was never good with silence. One of her teammates was quiet, but he did talk...and the other two wouldn't shut up.

"I just had a bad day today, yeah? Sleep deprivation and all that too... So, gomen nasai...it doesn't really excuse my behavior. It's a lame excuse and I...well. Kuso! Why can't you say something?" Tenten huffed, crossing her arms across her chest.

Shino tilted his head toward her in acknowledgment, "Why don't I speak? I don't have much to say about your irrational behavior."

Tenten flushed and even darker shade of red angrily and was about to open her mouth to shout again when Shino held up his hand and stepped closer, "Does that mean I think your actions inexcusable? No. Everyone is allowed to have a bad day."

All the anger she felt left her, like a deflating balloon. Well...

Shino started to go, walking in the direction she'd just come from. His kikai were now to agitated to continue training properly. He should have felt annoyed with her for interrupting, but he instead found that this odd woman was not really bothering him. He'd acted on impulse when he'd grabbed her and actually...her flustered anger was oddly appealing.

Tenten stood still as he walked by and came to a stop beside her.

"Your apology is accepted," he said quietly, "I hope the rest of your day turns out better...Tenten-san."

She nodded at him, a small smile making its way to her lips. She turned and watched him go. When he had vanished from her sight, Tenten sighed and slumped to the ground. She figured a little more dirt didn't matter since she was already a walking mud ball.

Man was Shino odd...but not in a weird or creepy way. Tenten tapped a finger to her bottom lip in thought. The way the elusive and mysterious guy acted wasn't exactly meant to be rude or off-putting...it was more like he had not a clue how to go about interacting socially with people.

Well, it wasn't her problem...