A/N: I really should be working on my history project right now, but I figured I wouldn't be able to do anything productive until I had written yet another story devoted to me favorite couple. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Tenten looked out at the passing countryside, the grassy knolls and emerald green fields fleeting from her gaze just as soon as they registered in her mind. It was raining outside, the sky a dull gray and the sun shedding a sickly, nearly nonexistent light on the Earth. Tenten stared longingly at the miniscule droplets running down the glass of the window and on to the pane. Her heart beat painfully as she yearned for autumn, images of the jewel tones leaves of ruby dancing about her, flashing behind her closed lids. But then again, it had been a long winter, and autumn would only anticipate more snow and cold and ice. No, she decided, spring would be just as satisfying.
An unintentional grunt was enough to turn her attention from the view of her window to the gentleman sitting beside her. He was young, about her age, his skin untarnished and unwrinkled. His jaw was wonderfully structured, the bones meeting at his chin. His lips were twisted into a frown, but something told the female this was his usual expression. His eyes were alluring, white, but glinting lavender when hit by the light. His hair was a long mane of jet black, reaching to about mid-back. Tenten decided he was quite handsome and a suitable companion for a woman of much status.
He was pouring over an agenda of some sort, flipping back a page and then forward two, and then grunting when something proved unsatisfactory. Tenten watched him unashamedly, and judging by the way he didn't acknowledge her prodding, curious stare, she assumed he was use to the attention.
Sighing softly, her pink lips parting momentarily, she propped her elbow on the windowpane and rested her head upon her hand. Her dress was terribly itchy and uncomfortable, and it took all her self-restraint to not fidget like a fish out of water. Her hat rested on her lap, and Tenten eyed the flowers fixed along the bottom of the crown with mutual interest as she succumbed to boredom. She was restless and tired and somewhere in the back of her mind, the statement made sense. In fact, she had just nodded off into a light sleep when a question sent a jolt through her senses.
"Pardon me, Madame, but do you happen to have a pen? I seemed to have misplaced mine." Tenten blinked, staring bewildered at her fellow seatmate. The man she had been analyzing earlier, she realized, had a sensational smooth baritone voice. He had just asked her something, and now was looking at her expectantly, and Tenten could not remember the last time she had ever been so flustered.
"Excuse me? I'm afraid I didn't quite catch your inquiry," she said, avoiding his gaze. To her surprise, he showed no sign of irritation and patiently repeated his question.
"Oh, yes, yes. I believe I do have a pen," Tenten answered, bending down to retrieve her purse from beneath her seat. She hoisted her bag into her lap, searching for a moment, taking extra time to fight down her blush. She handed the pen to him, the feel of his skin brushing hers sending her into an excited mental frenzy. His fingers were rather callused, but the female quickly concluded she liked them that way. She turned her head ever so slightly to conceal the growing flush of her cheeks and silently berated herself from becoming so worked up over a stranger. Yet she could not resist watching him out of the corner of her eye.
He had stopped writing and was now turning her pen over and over in his fingers. Finally, he spoke: "Is this German made?"
Tenten breathed deeply to calm her heart and nodded mutely, "How could you tell?"
He turned his speculating gaze on her form, his lips curving into a small appreciative smile. This did not go unnoticed by Tenten, but she was sure that whatever the reason behind it, it meant that he liked her and he did not find her questions, intrusive as they, rude. "My uncle is a pen maker. Growing up in his household, I eventually caught on to some aspects of the trade," he answered, turning the pen over in his fingers one last time before handing it back to her.
"That's interesting," Tenten said, though the nonchalant way in which she spoke may have implied otherwise. The man was sure he was quite a fascinating subject for the female, and took pride in it. Tenten cocked her head to the side, her gaze burning with the same curiosity as his. "So why have you come here?"
"My friend, Shikamaru Nara, asked me to assess his work. He makes jewelry, and is always too lazy to simply send a photo in the mail. It'd save me some trouble," the man said, shaking his head disapprovingly.
" But a picture is never quite like seeing the real thing, is it?" Tenten asked softly, her mind scolding her once again for asking such a question. She really couldn't help it, her imagination too wild for her own good.
The man raised an eyebrow and after trying to make it seem like he was thinking and not staring at her, he agreed. "No, I suppose it isn't."
Tenten's heart skipped a beat. "What's your name?"
"Neji Hyuuga," the man responded. "And yours?"
"Tenten." Neji stopped himself from asking for her surname. Something told him the question would prompt unpleasant memories for his seatmate. Instead he gently took her hand in his and kissed it, just below the row of knuckles.
"Pleasure to meet you," he murmured. Tenten's face was scarlet the next time he looked up, and she was desperately shifting her gaze on anything that distracted her from him. She was sure, his body language was proof enough to her, that even if the gesture were not traditional in England, he-Neji- would have done it anyway.
Tenten struggled to regain control of her thoughts.
Neji, in the meantime, was debating whether to let her be, or continue their previous conversation. His fingers twitched, and after he could no longer bare any restraint, he laid them softly on her shoulder. "Are you all right?" He was sure he'd just caused her discomfort to sky rocket and the air weighing on their lungs to become that much more awkward.
Tenten nodded furiously, her face feeling as if it were pressed against a hot towel. Neji was sure a not so subtle shade of pink had risen to color his cheeks as well. He moved away, giving her space to take in a few long breaths. "It's rather hot in here. Would you like to stand by the door for a minute?" he asked, concerned. He eyeballed her dress, and concluded he would never be able to endure such a restricting garment. When Tenten failed to answer, he took her hand again and pulled her to her feet. He led her to the door of the car, the floor beneath them shifting as the train barreled along the tracks. Once they had arrived, he wound an arm around her waist to hold her steady. Tenten seemed to feel better, for her expression became less severe and strained. She, after careful calculations no doubt, lay her head on his shoulder, reveling in his comfortable warmth.
She inhaled the fresh air, her spell of flustering dizziness overcome. Neji gazed down at her lovingly, as a man would adoringly watch his wife. He kissed her forehead, feeling relief flood his system as a grin blossomed on her lips.
"You know, if you'd like, I can show you my uncle's shop some time. He had just finished embellishing a dainty ivory pen at the time of my departure. I think you'd like it, " Neji said, watching the rain pelt the ground mercilessly. Tenten giggled, knowing he was trying to make a second meeting inevitable.
"I'd love to," she answered, tilting her head so as to brush her lips against his cheek.
Neji decided Shikamaru wasn't such a bad friend after all. He even made note to ask if the Nara had made any wedding rings recently. He felt he would, after all, need one in short time.
A/N: Wow, you know I had originally wanted to make this story occur in recent times, and in the beginning, Tenten was supposed to be reading, but all my stories turn out to be different than what I plan. Oh well, I hope you enjoyed it!
Thank you for reading and please review!