There it was, the slight warmth, a brush of fingertips. TenTen snuck a look at her team mate, counting it as the second time they had reached for the eraser at the same time. Doubtless, she was over-thinking the whole thing, TenTen told herself, and turned back to their paperwork, resisting twirling her pencil.
She hated this part. TenTen was action, TenTen was energy, accomplishment, movement, consistency. TenTen was the constant thud of knives into a target board. TenTen, however, was not was sitting with her team mate at a desk far too small for the both of them, in an academy and a situation she had long outgrown. The fact that the paperwork they were filling out was only for a C-ranked mission they had just finished only made her annoyance worse. The familiar rush of blood hit her cheekbones and she tilted her head towards her paper in a vain attempt to hide the blush, tightening her hand around the pencil without the slowest change in pace.
"Slow down." TenTen turned to face Neji, albeit slower than she would have normally. "What?" She questioned, not knowing his meaning. "Your handwriting is getting messy. You've been writing too fast," Neji said flatly, never once taking his eyes off his own paper. TenTen furrowed her brow in confusion and examined her paper further, seeing nothing out of the ordinary. "Neji, have you been straining your eyes? My handwriting is the same as ever."
He finally turned to her, and TenTen's grip on the pencil tightened further. Her fingers played along the side of it, just to have some movement in the room. Neji held eye contact for a long time, finally taking the paper from her. "You've been crossing all your l's into t's," He said, pointing it out in several lines. "Is something wrong?"
"I... I guess I'm just annoyed about being in the old Academy building," TenTen fudged, only half lying. "I always thought I would be done with it by now." And done with a constant crush on a certain someone I associate with it, TenTen completed to herself, feeling the blush take over her face. She focused on her paper, taking it back and working slowly. She would check every letter, if only it meant that he wouldn't notice she'd failed again.
She heard the click of a pencil being placed against the table, and paused in her work. "I too am annoyed at being in the old Academy building," Neji said, checking over his paper. TenTen snook a glance and realized he was merely going through the motions of doing so, as his paper was perfect. Typical. "It brings up bad memories."
TenTen held her breath. Dare she ask? With everything that had happened to Neji, could she intrude? He had been the one the one to mention it, but... "I'm sorry, Neji," She said, thinking of the mark upon his forehead. She no longer pretended to do her work, staring blankly at it to have something to stare at. "It's of no significance." TenTen couldn't help but whip her head up at that, staring blankly at him. This was nothing she was used to, considering the bitterness she usually felt from him about his past.
"...Neji?" She managed. He shook his head imperceptibly and finally set down the paper, turning to face her. "No. I truly mean it. Everything that happened to me-" a hint of the usual note of bitterness- "was done to me. Not a single bit of it was my doing. It makes it all the more fitting that the one thing I truly regret... Is what I didn't do then."
He reached out and simply held her face for a second or so, as if judging her reaction. TenTen wished for a moment that she could give more of one- she was far too paralyzed with shock to do much. He finally leaned in, and their lips met. TenTen found herself melt into it. Neji stopped -why would he ever do so? TenTen wondered for a second -and simply held her for a few seconds.
"Maybe the academy isn't all bad," TenTen whispered, trying to unfreeze herself with a little exhilarated laugh. Neji laughed quietly and leaned more into the embrace. TenTen heard the rustle of paper behind her, and felt Neji smile through her cheek. "Are these R's or N's?" She giggled and pushed him a little, a new kind of energy flooding her system. Energy not born from unease and a lack of confidence, but from hitting the only spot on the target board she'd ever really needed to hit. "All right, so maybe it still isn't great for our mental functions." She knocked the paper from his hands, knowing he'd have them much too full for that for a long, long time.