Disclaimer: Characters, etc, not mine. Enjoy. :)

Sacrifice

Tenten is a weapon specialist because she doesn't want to have to seduce anyone. The scars she gets from handling weapons, from tricks gone wrong, backfired, are enough to disqualify her from any mission where she might have to get naked. She's got nicks and slices all up her hands and wrists from misused ninja wire, or catching a blade wrong, or grabbing a set of kunai too fast – all so, so identifiable, and she loves them with a fierce obsession that she'll never tell anyone about. She actually gave herself her first scar in the Academy so she wouldn't have to sit through the kunoichi infiltration lessons – she claims she was 'playing' with wired kunai and swung wrong, leaving a ragged tear up her right arm in a hopelessly noticeable position. Suzume-sensei had sighed in disapproval and muttered about it being a waste, but Tenten is sure it's the best choice she could have made.

Lee has asked her about her scars on occasion, and she answers his questions in a friendly enough manner – hating, hating, hating that he never even had to think the way she did. She tells him that it's training, it's sacrifice for her art, and he cheers on her youth with reckless abandon. Neji looks disapproving, like she should have been good enough to prevent the damage. She can see him comparing her to the flawless skin of his Hinata-sama (who he detests and obsesses over in equal amounts). She looks at her imperfect, scarred body and she sees him thinking that she should have been male. He never calls her a kunoichi, and to him it's an insult. She's defying her fate in a way that will never leave her happy, he thinks.

She's proud of this. She'll be a soldier for her village, but she won't be a tool. She'll be shinobi, but never kunoichi. It's not a sacrifice, it's a selfish, wild pride and she's sure she'll never regret it.