A/N: This is going to be a two part story as an excerpt from my Shikamaru and Temari story- They Are Good At Many Things. You don't have to read that to understand this, but that has a lot of moments that come out of here. Specifically, this whole bar scene replayed from Shika+Tema's point of view (The Breakup).
Okay, review, enjoy. If it's confusing, let me know. Because honestly, I am confused myself, which is NEVER a good sign.
Her hips circled. Figure eights, round and round again. With her arms raised, pale skin exposed on her stomach, Neji could see the curve of her body: the jutting difference in size between her waist and her hip.
That girl had curves. Men liked curves. Neji liked curves.
And normally, this is what he would be thinking about as he admired her body.
He would be aroused by the way her pelvis could move so deeply and languidly, how her hair could fall in her face like she hadn't a care in the world; how the outfit she always wore when not on the job always seemed to show off less of her cleavage than her outfit when she was on a mission.
But he wasn't thinking like that. Not right now, anyways.
He didn't mean to be thinking of Tenten. He was hoping what had happened last night would be out of his mind by now.
But then he remembered the last time it had happened, and the time before that. It had taken a little bit to feel all right again.
To feel normal.
Maybe he needed a few days to recover. You know, get back in balance. Having a woman was difficult enough as it was, but having one that unnerved him every time they slept together… well, that wasn't an option. So there was no use thinking about Tenten right now.
He should go back to Ino's hips. Watching them swim in the basking lights of the bar. She really did have a body.
But again, instead of getting hot, Neji only could criticize. Sure, Ino had a gorgeous body, but wasn't that difficult? Didn't those curves get in the way of her work? Surely they had to. She was a good ninja, he wouldn't say otherwise, but didn't her body make her life more difficult? That body she slaved over, dieting year-round? She would be better suited for being an actress, or model maybe. Hell, she would make a damn amazing whore, but he didn't want to go there.
He looked on.
Sakura had no curves, but, if he hadn't known she could kill someone with one punch, he would have thought that one hug would snap her like a twig, she was that small.
Tenten had an average body. Square, short, and thin. But it was, as far as he could imagine, the perfect body for a kunoichi. And then as he pictured it more, the way her neck looked when she exposed it on a pillow, the light pink shade of her nipples in the lamplight, Neji felt himself fall deeper and deeper into his stupor.
It first happened when they were seventeen.
It was kind of out of the blue, but at the time, was expected.
Neji always liked her. She was his ally, his teammate, his friend. That feeling didn't turn into lust, not really. It had now, but back then, it had only been camaraderie; she was, after all, his best friend.
She had always been helping him train, helping him vent out the anger he always carried so close. She was the only one he allowed to see him like that on a daily basis.
Not because she was a teammate, or a friend- only because she was the one person who he knew understood. She understood. Even when he was awful to her, telling her that a woman such as herself could never be as good as him, she had held her ground, understanding him, and caring about him no matter how cruel he was.
He had always loved her. He had always cared about her. But now he found himself confused on the boundaries of this admiration. Was it possible that he was in love with her?
He remembered the afternoon well.
She had bought her first apartment then, finally moving out of her parent's home. He had stopped by, if only to see it briefly. After all, she was his teammate- it was his duty to protect her, even if she was more than capable to picking out an apartment on her own.
She had invited him in, made him tea. He sat; they talked about silly things, as if they both knew what was coming.
He wondered now, looking back on it, how he had anticipated it. It wasn't like he had ever had those feelings for her before, not really.
He hadn't planned it. He wasn't even sure he wanted to do it. But the instant he had walked into her new place, he knew they were going to make love. He didn't question it. He didn't know how or when, but he knew it was going to happen. It just was. It was his fate.
For some reason, they had had the same thought, because they started kissing. Again, he didn't know how it happened, nor did he really care. But soon his lips were on hers, not harshly, but softly, in deep movements.
The music blazed. The dancers moved. His eyes wandered from Ino to Tenten. He watched, the way her dress swung around her knees, the straps loose on her small shoulders. Her hair brushed her neck, down. It was never down.
That afternoon, he had barely been in her apartment for half an hour before they went at it. She never was very patient, leading him to her bed.
She had let him touch her shoulder; let him slowly undo the bindings around her small chest.
Of that moment, the one thing he remembered most was the look in her eyes as he finished removing the bandages. It was, as accurately as he felt words could describe it, the gentlest look ever worn by a woman.
And then he touched her chest for the first time, and he fell upon her, squeezing her into the bare mattress.
They hadn't broken apart. They had never switched positions.
Neji had had sex before then; only once, with one of the local girls whom he had dated briefly a year before.
But he had never made love before.
Never before and never since had he touched another woman like he had touched Tenten.
It had been painfully slow. But in the end, after the mind shattering orgasm had fully left his body, he knew it was better than fucking her would have been.
Afterwards, he left. And they didn't speak about it again.
He didn't pursue it. She didn't mention the moment. Maybe she wanted it to continue, maybe not.
Neji had gone to her place one night, a few weeks later. He was drunk; it was Kiba's birthday party. He wasn't depressed, or drinking to loosen up. He was just drinking. And then without thought, he had ended up at her place.
She was coming in for the night, and she saw him outside. But she was with a local boy. He had seen them around before, but never thought anything of it. He left then, after a few bland words about their impending mission and a 'good night'.
That was it, that time. And it was a long time ago.
Five years ago.
A bump on the shoulder pulled Neji from his thoughts.
Tonight was another party: Naruto was moving in with Neji's cousin.
Neji didn't particularly care. Not many of the people there did- everyone had expected it. But Naruto had thrown a party, and Hinata had invited him.
He looked on to see Sai weaving through the people, no doubt on his way to get more drinks. He had bumped him on the shoulder in a friendly pat. The two had become close since Neji became ANBU, as Sai was still there, although ROOT had disbanded years before. But Sai's pat was no call for attention; he was leaving Neji alone with his memories.
But refusing to fall into it again, Neji let his eyes wander back over to Ino. Next to her was Kiba, moving with her, occasionally digging his hips into hers.
Those two had been in a relationship a year or two before. It surprised Neji that they could still be friendly. Or maybe they were just drunk. Then again, Kiba got around so much; he'd have no friends if he remained enemies with all of them.
Neji cleared his throat.
Over by the bar, Shikamaru was talking with Temari, drinks in hand.
They were discussing something half-heartedly, but it must have been important if Temari's anger was growing so quickly. He could feel her heated energy from across the dance floor.
But as he watched Ino and Kiba's borderline-public fornication, and Shikamaru and Temari's growing argument, he felt his mind wander back to Tenten and the last time he had seen her.
What was it about her tonight? What was it that aroused him so much?
He had been aroused by her before. Once (he didn't count that first time). It was after he joined ANBU. But that was different. That time, he was sure any woman in her position would have gotten him hot.
This time -the second time- they were both nineteen.
He hadn't seen her for a while. A little under two years. He heard the rumors, the stories. She was doing well for herself. Jonin. Making money on a variety of missions, staying on teams led by the strategic Shikamaru. She had dated. Really dated (as in, he had been expecting an engagement from their on/off long-term relationship) Kankuro, the puppeteer from Suna. She had done other things too. Saved lives, killed important people, made a name for herself, etc.
It wasn't just her. He had heard bits and pieces about all his friends. The rumors about the Konoha 11 spread quickly. They were an extremely highly regarded group of ninjas.
Neji sipped the sake in his hand, swishing the liquid around in his mouth as he surrendered himself to the memory.
It was April. The snow had all but melted, and the leaves were beginning to grow. He had an assignment: to retrieve some scrolls containing secrets even Neji wasn't privy to.
ANBU, along with five of his old friends, had been secured for the mission- Kakashi: team leader.
He hadn't known she'd recognized him. Most people didn't. Hell, it took him months to be able to discern a person behind a mask.
But apparently, she had known it was him all along. He had been walking on patrol one day through the woods when he had seen her. This time, she was already naked, bathing in a small spring.
There were no other people around apart from their camp, which had been set up a mile or so away.
He had stopped briefly, watching her nude, wet, glistening back as she washed herself. Her hair was shorter than it had been, only reaching her shoulders when down.
He had been admiring her for the past few days, watching how much her skill had improved, how much she had matured.
It had been difficult to stay away from her.
Part of his job was to treat her as if they had never met. There were countless times over the past few days where he had been dying to whisper some remark in her ear, to voice his opinions to someone who would understand them. But he hadn't. And it would have been a mistake if he had.
He really shouldn't be alone with her now.
Suddenly embarrassed, Neji turned and walked away, but then she spoke.
"Neji-kun" she said softly, but loud enough to be heard among the various sounds of the forest, "I thought you would at least say hi to me after all this time."
He turned. She was still with her back to him, head turned sideways so he could see her profile, that ever present glint in her eye.
"I am not allowed to give my name, Ten" he cleared his throat, "you know that." Regardless though, he pulled off his mask.
He stepped over to the small pond, reaching to grab her clothes off a branch and extend them to her, turning his head and shielding his eyes.
This time, he was lustful.
She was there, wet, clean… naked. Looking at her for more than a second began to make him hard. He turned his head further, willing his erection to go away.
She didn't turn around though, even with his modest privacy gesture. Instead, she spoke, laughing. "What do you think you're doing, Neji?" He opened his eyes, looking between the back of her head and her extended clothes for some kind of answer. He didn't get any.
"Neji" she said, watching him, cool eyes observant.
He raised his eyebrows.
"It's good to see you."
He resisted the urge to smile, instead, turning it into a smirk. "Likewise."
She didn't have a retort; instead, she shook her head, drops flying in all directions. He jumped to avoid the bit of water, landing directly behind her, standing on the water.
"Aren't you cold?" He asked.
She shrugged, "when I'm numb, I can't be cold, can I?"
"You just can't feel the cold" he said, bending down, he brushed a hand over her neck. "But I can feel it on you."
She blushed, and then, after a pause, smiled.
"Do you remember" she whispered, turning her head to meet his eyes. He studied her as she did the same, words coming out without thought, "when Gai-Sensei made us spend the night along the bank in that river in the middle of the Water Country."
An image of her, Lee, Gai, and himself all clinging onto a wet, mushy river bank as the rapids threatened to pull them off came to mind. They had spent the night there, trying to fall asleep while maintaining their strength in the icy water. It was safe to say that that night wasn't one of his best, but when you considered that his Sensei was the Mighty Gai- well, that night had been one of the better ones in his post-genin, pre-jonin days.
The corners of his lips involuntarily pulled up, his eyes teasing, "he said we should do it to boost our appreciation of temperature in relation to a successful battle."
They both smiled now, but remained quiet, Neji kneeling above the water, Tenten beginning to feel some of the heat coming back to her body, mainly beginning to ignite that fire in her groin.
Finally, after the silence had gone past remembrance and become tense, she spoke. "You have accomplished much in your time with them, Neji-kun."
He pursed lips, pausing to eye her, the muscles in her shoulders twitching, drop of water beaded against her tan skin, breath becoming heavier- "I thought you were proud of me." He remarked, brushing his fingers against her neck again, surprising himself. His fingers paused, and he looked at her, and then back at his fingers.
"I am" she said with a half smile, "You are quite the warrior…Neji."
There was a moment of anticipation, an eagerness that hadn't been present the last time. With a small whimper from her throat, Neji replaced fingers with lips.
Her skin was soft, wet, and frozen. He was tempted to pull her out of the water, but instead, began pulling off his own uniform.
She took deep breaths, tilting her head to give him more access as he lowered himself into the water by lowering his chakra.
She moaned into his touch, the vibration spreading through her body, his hard arousal pressing into her rear. He began kissing shoulders, planting his lips softly against her pallored skin. It was only when he turned her around, bringing her chin up touch their lips together, struggling to get enough breath in as his lungs burned in anticipation, that she spoke: "What happened to us, Neji?"
They fucked against the bank.
Neji frowned, sipping his drink. After that night, neither of them had ever mentioned it again.
They had never mentioned anything about how he had went rough on her, ripping the skin of her shoulder as he bit into it. Slamming her body against the bank repeatedly, ramming his cock into her again and again until sweat had gathered on her brow and she was screaming.
She hadn't screamed the first time. .
Actually, they had stayed pretty clear of the discussion- neither wanting to mention it in the case that the other one had something to say, or worse, nothing to say.
He thought about it sometimes, as he thought about other girls.
The first time they had slept together, he had refused to think about it while getting off. She was his teammate- not someone to have sex with.
But ever since that go in the spring, he had allowed images of her to slip into his mind. He thought about other girls too, as he was still slightly uncomfortable thinking about Tenten in that sense. But other girls never worked- they could get him started, easily. But she was the only one who got him there.
It never resulted in a crush though.
After that, it had been a few more years until he had seen her again. But it wasn't until last night that he realized that he might be have a crush on her. Or maybe it had been the whole time, and he'd only realized it now?
He was in the midst of taking a break from ANBU- 'a few months', he had told his commanding officer. He was a Hyūga and he was a very skilled ANBU agent: he had enough status to get time off.
Neji had been talking with Shikamaru, who, standing by the gate waiting for his girlfriend (though they both readily denied they were dating) was there when Neji first came through. He had completed his last mission that afternoon, and was finally allowed to walk through the gates as a normal citizen again.
Shikamaru had said hello, they had talked. Tenten had been in Suna for a bit but was due back any minute, having come down with Temari.
Neji listened, not really paying attention. Right now, he was only thinking about going home, maybe taking a bath, combing his hair. But when Tenten came walking down the road, Temari by her side, fan and all, Neji's attention had been diverted.
He watched as Tenten's eyes widened, seeing him. "Neji-kun" she shouted, smiling. She ran up to him, eyes sparkly and cheeks pink. She stopped short in front of him, skidding to a halt. Temari rolled her eyes and continued walking at a lazy pace.
Shikamaru scratched his head, "I've been waiting out here for hours, woman. Do you walk so slowly just to annoy me?"
She shrugged, "If I wanted to annoy you, Nara, you'd know it."
He mumbled something that sounded like "troublesome bitch" but if Temari heard it, she didn't react.
"Hello, Hyūga -san" she said, walking up to them.
Neji nodded to her, and to Tenten. "Welcome back" the latter said cheerfully, but with a deep understanding in her tone, angling her head. "How long will you be here?"
He shrugged and stepped back, "undetermined." And then: "Come to dinner"
The offer was open to all of them, but Shikamaru and Temari shook their heads, Tenten agreed though, going off to find Lee and invite him.
They had an interesting relationship, Neji noted to himself as he watched Tenten walk away so soon after seeing her again. They had had amazing, mind-blowing sex twice, and yet, that was never an important aspect of their relationship, as one would expect. Had someone mentioned it to him, he could have recalled it perfectly. But when someone mentioned his best friend, it wasn't the fact that they had had sex that came to mind.
But that was before Neji heard what Temari said. That was before he had a perspective on his best friend's sex life. Now, it was different. Three years after the last time they had sex, and now it was all he thought about.
What Temari had said as she and Nara were walking away was now the plaguing thought of Neji's dreams.
"It looks like she broke up with Kankuro again." Shikamaru had muttered to Temari.
"Hn" Temari agreed, "they fucked a few times, and then got in some big fight, and she left. They're both pretty broken about it, but I don't think either of them wants to get back together. He threw some shit when I came over, still pissed. But hey, you know…Kuro."
Neji turned around, the conversation was over now, and Shikamaru and Temari were walking down another road, steps in time.
He thought of Tenten with Kankuro then. He never thought about her with anyone else. The thought never disgusted him, hell, it never even occurred to him. It wasn't like Neji assumed she hadn't been with anyone else- he just hadn't thought about it.
He knew he was her first. But after that, she had learned many things that he hadn't taught her.
That night, and the ones since, he was kept awake by images of Temari's brother's hands on her. He could see her, legs spread out on a bed in the Sand, hair wild, chest heaving.
He didn't like it. He didn't like the thought of anyone else getting to know Tenten the way he did. He didn't like that anyone else could touch her, could know what it felt like to be inside her, though in truth, Kankuro probably knew much more about the inner workings of her body than Neji did.
Neji didn't know where she liked to be touched, he didn't know where to kiss her, or how she liked it. He didn't know these things about her, these things known by Kankuro, and probably few other men at that, but suddenly, with sharpy clarity, he realized that he wanted to.
They had been together twice, two years in between each go. And now, three years since the last one, he wanted her again.
That was three months ago.
End Part One
I'll publish Part II soon.
(I own no rights)