A/N: Hi guys! I know you missed me (JK!) I hope you enjoy this little fluffy one-shot!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Thunder rumbled in the distance. Tenten lay wide-awake, listening to the soothing rhythm of the rain.
Team Gai had just completed their mission in the Tea Country. It was a rather straightforward task: they were to escort a noble to a diplomatic convention within the Tea Country, fending off any foes and protesters all the while. It had been successfully finished, with relatively no violence during the entire ordeal. No matter the simplicity, however, all four members of the renowned squad were tired, and as a reward for their services, given an all expense paid one night stay at a local inn.
Neji was sleeping soundly next to her, his shoulder blade pressed against her spine. Lee and Gai were sprawled out comfortably on the other bed, snoring to their hearts' content. Tenten pulled the duvet over her exposed shoulder, shivering as she settled deeper below the covers. Her gaze slowly shifted from the pattern on the carpet to the curtained window. She narrowed her eyes, squinting through the lace blinds to read the signs of the shops across the street. She gave up after a minute or so, however, heaving a sigh and squirming restlessly on the mattress.
Neji grunted, nudging her gently with his elbow as he tried to still her. "Tenten," he grumbled when she refused to cease. He knew the mere mention of her name was all he needed to get his point across. It was as if they'd developed their own language throughout their years of comradeship: every noise, every word had a special meaning, one that couldn't be found in a dictionary. After a moment of silence, he heard a whispered "sorry" before the pressure against his shoulder was released and the bed felt a tad lighter. The fact that she'd gotten up registered in his mind, behind all the grogginess brought on by the early hour. And even if he did suddenly miss the warmth from having her next to him, he couldn't bring himself to make her stay, he was much too tired.
Tenten tiptoed towards the window, pushing back the curtains to reveal a door to the balcony. She grasped the cool metal handle and eased it open, slipping outside with not another sound.
It was only drizzling, the heavier rains still a good twenty miles away. Tiny droplets misted her skin and she wrapped her arms about herself, shivering despite the humidity. She needed to be alone. Traveling, eating, sleeping, talking, etc. with the same bunch of people for a good week did funny things to your mind. Tenten found herself easily agitated by Gai and Lee's antics, and at times, Neji's silence was the loudest sound she'd ever heard.
"You'll catch a cold," Neji warned, gingerly placing one foot outside, then the other, as if he were afraid the floor would collapse beneath him. Worry had wormed itself into his heart, so much that though every muscle in his body ached, he felt the need to confront her on the matter. Tenten had never seemed as far away as she did now. How foolish a thought. She's merely a few feet away. But I can't help, but feel that her mind is elsewhere.
Tenten lifted her shoulders in a shrug, not sparing a glance at the Hyuuga as he came to stand beside her. "I've always liked this time of day," she mumbled, gazing up at the sky. She closed her eyes, feeling the wind dance about her, and as she inhaled deeply, she smelled the rain. Neji followed suit, though he did not brace the elements like she did. Instead, his attention was drawn to a pack of migratory birds, making their journey south for the winter.
"You have a lot on your mind," Neji murmured, folding his arms over his chest. He eyed her calmly, assessing her mood, her thoughts, with such accuracy, it seemed as if it was second nature.
"I could say the same for you. You look… quite pensive this morning… troubled would be a better word I suppose, but all the same, you seem anxious to know some tidbit of information. Something you're trying to drill out of me," Tenten responded, watching him from the corner of her eye.
Neji's lips twitched into a smirk, though concern was painfully evident in his every gesture. "I'm worried about your wellbeing, Tenten," the Hyuuga easily admitted, leaving his teammate in slight awe. At times, she truly forgot how much Neji had changed through the years. He had gone from a heartless, destiny driven teenager, to a confident, caring young adult.
"Why?" the question slipped passed her lips before she had time to carefully consider the consequences. She didn't care much about the reasons behind Neji's motives, but curiosity got the better of her. She quickly averted her gaze, not wanting to see the Hyuuga glare at her this early in the day.
"I have faith in you, Tenten, and not often does this trust shake. But you seem distracted lately, different. I want to know what is troubling you. I want to help you," Neji said, turning to face her for the first time, "And besides: usually I have to drag you out of bed. You never awaken on your own will."
He watched Tenten's frame slowly shake with mirth. She punched him lightly on the shoulder. "Baka," she scolded, addressing him with the same tone she used with Lee when he did something extraordinarily senseless. However, Neji did take note of the underlying affection in her voice, and when she looked him in the eye, the love was there.
Neji felt his own gaze soften, and small smile flitted across his lips.
He took her hand gently, throwing his head towards the door, "Come. I know if you don't receive adequate rest, you'll whine the entire way back to Konoha. And if you fall asleep, I won't carry you."
But he would, he always would.
A/N: I think that will quench my need for fluffiness… for now. Thank you for reading and please review!