a/n: So, here I am again xD … I hope you like it. I've done something a little different with Tenten's family situation. In fact, prepare yourself for all sorts of craziness … you have been warned xD
Credit where it's due: a very big thank you to Blade Redwind for all her help and advice -big hug- I couldn't have gotten this written without her.
EDIT: Blade Redwind and I are collaborating on the fic fully now - but she's been an invaluable help in this chapter also ^^
Disclaimer: We do not own Naruto or song lyrics below
Right Kind of Wrong
Know all about,
About your reputation
And how it's bound to be a heartbreak situation
But I can't help it if I'm helpless
Every time I'm where you are
You walk in and my strength walks out the door
Say my name and I can't fight it anymore
I know I should go
But I need your touch just too damn much
Loving you, isn't really something I should do
I shouldn't want to spend my time with you
I should try to be strong
You're the right kind of wrong
-The Right Kind of Wrong
by LeAnn Rimes
Late afternoon sunlight poured into the school hallway, making the chalk dust glint as it floated through the air. Students were laughing, talking loudly, as they slammed their locker doors shut; happy that school was done for the day. Tenten closed her locker and leaned against it as she stared with resigned pity at her cousin on the other side of the hallway. A light blush covered Konohamaru's cheeks and an uncomfortable hand wriggled in his dark, spiky hair as he approached a girl with glossy black tresses, standing in front of her locker with her friends.
Tenten could just hear his voice over the clatter in the hallway - asking the Hyuuga girl something about an assignment. Hanabi's eyes turned disdainfully away when she saw who it was but she nonetheless reluctantly answered his question, speaking into her locker more than to the boy who hovered excitedly next to her.
She really couldn't be blamed for that, Tenten had to concede. Konohamaru was more brother than cousin to Tenten and though she would always have his back, she couldn't help but sympathize with the younger Hyuuga girl in this instance. Throughout their elementary school years Konohamaru had gone out of his way to torment the girl in that typical way of little boys when they liked a girl: he pulled her hair, he tripped her in the lunchroom, hid bugs in her desk. Every day had been a challenge to his creativity as he tried to think of some new prank he could play on poor Hanabi. But Konohamaru wasn't eight years old anymore and, at the ripe old age of fifteen, he'd finally figured out that he liked Hanabi. Only, Tenten doubted that the passage of time had done anything to make Hanabi forget spiders crawling out of her desk and over her books.
'Five bucks says she hits him over the head with that book she's clinging to in the next ten seconds.'
Tenten turned slightly at Temari's voice just behind her.
'I'm broke or I'd have taken you up on that one,' Sakura's said, from just behind Temari, 'he's got to get some points for perseverance.'
'Hey, guys,' Tenten smiled slightly before turning back to the spectacle of Konohamaru trying to chat Hanabi up while she studiously ignored him. A sigh huffed from her mouth and she spoke over her shoulder to her two best friends, 'I don't really think so, Sakura. Would you forgive someone who put spiders in your desk when you were eight?'
The conversation behind her turned to Temari's favorite topic: lacrosse. All three of the girls played for the team but Tenten and Sakura weren't nearly as obsessed as Temari with the sport. When Temari's voice rose another pitch in excitement as she started talking about their upcoming match, Tenten tuned them out completely and focused on her cousin's attempts at flirtation across the hall. Her thoughts were drifting, she was waiting for the inevitable, any moment now Hanabi would slam her locker shut and walk away without another word as she'd done so many times before, but something else entirely happened. Or rather someone.
Tenten's eyes narrowed and her hand clenched around the strap of her bag so tightly her knuckles turned white, watching as Neji Hyuuga approached the duo. To be fair, Tenten couldn't say she had anything against Neji personally. She did, however, have quite a lot against his friends. The dark-haired boy was never part of the bullying, the teasing, the making life hell for some other unfortunate soul simply on the grounds of their socio-economic status, but he never did anything about it either. Simply stood, coolly aloof from it all, as if he couldn't bear to come into contact with the masses; as if he was too good for all of them. In a way that was almost worse; at least his friends acknowledged the existence of other people, even if only to make their lives hell – to Neji they were simply too insignificant to notice.
Blood simmering, Tenten watched as the tall, dark-haired boy pushed in between her cousin and his, one hand resting against the bank of lockers. Hanabi seemed to shrink behind her him; she quickly closed her locker and stood a little back, hugging her books to her chest. The taller Hyuuga stared down at Konohamaru, who defiantly stood his ground and raised his chin, glaring at the eldest Hyuuga. In contrast, it couldn't be said that Neji glared at Konohamaru, his gaze wasn't angry or vindictive, instead it contained only the barest hint of warning.
Tenten heard the words he spoke to her cousin clearly, though his voice was low and without inflection.
'She's not interested, got it?'
'Shit. Temari!' Sakura's voice was urgent as she interrupted the blonde's lacrosse monologue.
'What?' Temari asked, looking confused and turning to Tenten for explanation.
'Tenten,' Sakura groaned from the blonde's left.
But it was already too late. Tenten dropped her bag to the floor with a soft thump on the way as she stalked over to the Hyuugas. The sound of her footsteps, anger making her footfalls heavier than they usually were, alerted him to her approach and Neji's pearlescent eyes rose to meet Tenten's angry, hazel ones.
'How would you know? Speaking for your cousin now, Hyuuga?'
His gaze remained calm, unaffected and unruffled by her angry words, and he slowly dropped his hand from the locker and drew himself up to his full height. Staring down at Tenten he crossed his arms over his chest, 'And you can talk?' His gaze shifted back to Konohamaru, the meaning clear, as his eyes returned to meet hers.
'I only speak for others when they need my help. Like, oh, say, when some jerk thinks he can push someone else around.' Her eyes narrowed to mere slits. 'I'm not the one being a bully here, Hyuuga.'
'Yeah? Not from where I'm standing, but, hey, whatever makes you sleep at night, Sarutobi.'
The waves of anger rose higher and Tenten took an almost involuntary step forward as he sneered her family name at her, the word rolling off his tongue with great distaste. Neji tensed slightly but then Sakura and Temari were there, each pulling at one of her arms, dragging her away before she could do something she might regret.
Neji smirked at her furious face, clearly taking great delight in winning the round, and called after her, 'Tell your cousin to keep away from Hanabi.' The warning was back in his voice but he turned and grabbed Hanabi's upper arm, ushering her away without a backward glance or another word.
Temari and Sakura let go only once the Hyuugas were out of sight and by then most of the students had lost interest in them. Walking slowly Konohamaru joined the three girls, Tenten was still trembling with righteous anger but the look on his face froze her blood. The tips of his ears were still red and his dark eyes glittered accusingly as he met her gaze.
'Sorry,' she mumbled at Konohamaru, 'sometimes it's hard to remember you're not ten anymore.'
'Whatever,' he muttered, hands stuffed into his pockets, 'just don't try to rescue me again.'
Dinner was done, the table cleared, and Tenten was about to start on the dishes when her uncle entered the kitchen. Asuma - tall and dark-haired like the rest of the family with a neatly trimmed beard - was usually cool, more like an older brother than an uncle. He whistled softly under his breath, sauntered over to the fridge and selected a bottle of water before settling himself at the island in the middle of the kitchen. From the corner of her eye, Tenten saw him rifling through his pockets, searching for a cigarette, no doubt. Tenten sighed inwardly – he knew the rules after all.
'How's school?' he asked, opening the pack and tapping the bottom until one cigarette dislodged itself from the rest. He raised the pack to his mouth, taking the cigarette between his lips and flicked his lighter, raising the small flame to the dangling cigarette and drew on it until the tip glowed red. With a contented sigh, he leaned back in his chair, blowing smoke rings at the ceiling.
'You're not supposed to smoke in the house,' Tenten admonished him, turning to fix a disapproving glare on his slumped figure.
'Yeah, but I figure if the old man can break the rules in his study with his pipe, then I can break the rules too,' a laugh accompanied the words as he winked at Tenten.
Blowing out an exasperated breath Tenten turned back to the dishes, shaking her head. Honestly, the man was incorrigible and her grandfather was no better. It was easy to see where Asuma had gotten it from.
'So. School?' Asuma prompted around his cigarette.
'Not bad,' Tenten replied grudgingly, 'got a couple of tests coming up, but nothing huge.'
Asuma nodded as he blew more smoke rings.
'You're not going to put that out, are you?' Tenten finally questioned in defeat, drying her hands on a dishtowel and heading for a kitchen cabinet. She opened the wooden door and rummaged around inside until her hand touched cool glass. Ashtray in hand, Tenten walked back across the kitchen, plunking the glass bowl down next to her uncle on the table.
'Thanks, kid,' he muttered, tapping his cigarette on the side of the tray to dislodge the accumulated ash. 'And no, I'm not. Not unless you feel like elaborating about school and by that I don't mean more about tests or assignments.' He waggled his eyebrows at her in a comically exaggerated gesture.
For a few seconds Tenten stood frozen by the sink, then she plunged her hands back into the soapy water.
'Knock yourself out,' she muttered in her uncle's direction.
'Didn't think so,' he returned, smugly.
A comfortable silence fell, broken only by the clink of china and glass, the clatter of metal utensils and the small splashes of water Tenten's hands created. Together they listened to the domestic sounds interspersed with loud music from the floor above.
'What's up with Konohamaru?' Asuma asked, jerking his head at the ceiling.
Tenten blew her bangs out of her eyes. After picking at his meal Konohamaru had excused himself and now the only sign of his presence was the distant thumping of bass and wail of an electric guitar seeping through his closed door.
'He's pissed at me,' she finally answered, sticking her hands into the soapy water, glad of an excuse to face away from her uncle's piercing gaze.
'Yeah? What did you do?'
Asuma's tone was nonchalant but Tenten read the worry there. Usually Konohamaru was excitable, loud and boisterous; it was unnerving to see him sunk in gloom. Deciding that she couldn't really piss her cousin off more than she already had, Tenten opened her mouth.
'There's this girl he likes. He always has. But he teased her a lot when they were younger so now she won't give him the time of day.'
'Ah,' understanding dawned on Asuma's face and his expression cleared only to fall into lines of confusion again, 'and that's your fault?'
'No,' Tenten sighed, 'thing is … the girl's really popular and pretty and she's got this … cousin.' Involuntarily Tenten's tone darkened at the thought of Neji and she washed the plate in her hands with more vigour than strictly necessary.
'I take it you don't approve because of this cousin,' Asuma stated from behind her.
'It's not a case of approving or disapproving. If he likes her he likes her, you know? It's just that her cousin is a total self-satisfied jerk. And today, when Konohamaru was trying to talk to Hanabi, said jerk decided to butt in and tell Konohamaru to get lost. So I, very intelligently I might add, went and told him to let the girl speak for herself. I think I embarrassed Konohamaru.'
Tenten hung her head, focusing on the knife she was scrubbing and waited for Asuma to confirm her fears.
A deep, gruff chuckle from behind had her whirling around, soap dripping from her hands.
'It's not funny,' she said, brandishing the soapy knife at her uncle.
He raised his hands in surrender, 'It kind of is, sorry, Ten. No fifteen-year-old boy wants to be treated like a kid in front of the girl he likes. I know you were trying to help but maybe just apologize, huh? Then he can go back to being Konohamaru and this cloud of gloom can lift from the house.'
He took a last, deep drag from the cigarette and stubbed it out on the ashtray she'd placed on the table, and stood, stretching, before he headed for the door, ruffling Tenten's hair on his way out. With an impatient huff Tenten turned back to the washing up. But her uncle's advice wouldn't go away and the guilt wouldn't stop gnawing; she hated being on bad terms with her family. They were all she had left. Before them her life hadn't been anywhere near as good – though they never starved her parents never had much money – for reasons she couldn't dwell on. The Sarutobi residence, now her home, could've housed the entirety of the apartment she'd grown up in. Here noises in the night were cars backfiring not guns being fired.
At first, when she'd been sent to the grandfather she only saw at birthdays, Tenten had constantly wondered how on earth her mother had ever given all of this up to go and live downtown. Slowly, as she'd gotten to know her new family, she'd realized that money meant very little to the Sarutobi's – they had it and it eased the way but it didn't define them. Hiruzen ensured that his grandchildren and his remaining son understood the value of hard work and perseverance. The lessons of early childhood combined with Hiruzen's guidance had only made Tenten that much more determined to be independently successful; to not be overly reliant on a man the way her mother had been. Their approach to money and status didn't really endear the Sarutobi's to their neighbors, though. Tenten snorted; people like the Hyuugas looked down on her family; they were too liberal, too at ease with the lower classes, not at all interested in preserving the elite.
Her thoughts returned to the problem of Konohamaru and, with a sigh, Tenten decided that she had to apologize. It wasn't his fault that she'd never seen eye-to-eye with Neji's crowd. When she'd started at the school they'd been friendly, because of her family name, but she'd quickly come to realize that she could not stand the way they treated the rest of the student body. To be fair, it was mostly the girls who were so very sure of their superiority but the fact remained that even if Neji never participated in the cruelty he'd never done anything to stop it either. Tenten had quickly distanced herself from them and gained brand-new enemies when she stood up for less fortunate students who ran afoul of the privileged few.
The dishes were done and Tenten could delay no longer. She quickly grabbed a couple of sodas out of the fridge and headed up the stairs, aware of the glances she received from Hiruzen and Asuma when she passed through the living room. She ignored Asuma's smirk and held her head high. In front of Konohamaru's room, she paused for the first time, took a deep breath and knocked as loudly as she could over the noise from inside, hoping he'd hear her. Without waiting for an invitation she eased the door open and waited for a few seconds. When no demand to get out came from inside, she pushed the door open further and walked hesitantly into the lamp-lit room. Konohamaru was sprawled flat on his back, the green-checkered bedcovers bunched untidily beneath him, an arm across his eyes as the music blared. Tenten placed the soda on the bedside table and grabbed the remote, turning the volume down.
The silence was almost as loud as the music had been moments before.
'I'm sorry, okay?' she finally said in a rush, 'I didn't mean to embarrass you, I just didn't think.'
'Yeah, you can say that again,' came the sarcastically mumbled reply from beneath the shielding arm.
Tenten sighed, 'Let me make it up to you. I'll help you with Hanabi, if you want, just don't sulk anymore, okay? It's getting us all down.'
Slowly the arm lifted, then dropped to his side and his dark gaze was fixed intently on Tenten's earnest expression.
'How can you help?' he asked sceptically.
'I'm a girl,' Tenten pointed out.
'Hey! Just because I'm not a girly-girl doesn't mean that I don't know what girls want or how to go about getting one interested in you' Tenten said, hitting him in the leg.
'Okay, fine, so you're a girl,' he muttered, pushing himself into a sitting position, 'what do you suggest I do then?'
Tenten leaned across him, grabbed the sodas and handed one to her cousin before popping the tab on her own.
'We're good?' she asked, holding out the can.
A reluctant grin pulled at the corners of Konohamaru's mouth, 'We're good,' he finally agreed, clinking his can against hers.
'Okay, so, let's see … where to start,' Tenten mused as she leaned back against the footboard, getting comfortable. She was so deep in thought she completely missed the look of half-alarm, half-wariness that passed over her cousin's face.
The sound of the book slamming shut wasn't nearly as satisfying as Neji hoped it would be. He sighed and rested his elbows on his desk, homework forgotten, as he stared unseeingly out the window. Much as he hated to admit it, that girl had gotten to him. The disdain in her voice and the barely contained fire in her eyes when she'd called him a bully caused some unexpected consequences.
Neji didn't get angry. He didn't get excited and he didn't let other people get to him. He was a Hyuuga. But today, when she'd stood there, glaring up at him, nearly vibrating with half-checked rage that he'd dare speak to her cousin, he'd felt it.
It bubbled sluggishly through his veins; it was the reason he couldn't focus on anything tonight. How could it be possible for one girl to break through the layers of calm so easily? She wasn't important – just a nobody with delusions of being some kind of modern-day Robin Hood of the high school; the champion of the underdog, as if her childhood on the wrong side of the tracks somehow qualified her to do this. Neji leaned back in his chair, folding his hands behind his head as he stared at the ceiling, eyes burning into the white plaster.
She didn't understand – he wasn't trying to be an ass. He wasn't like the others, didn't need to rub it in people's faces that he had all the opportunities money and influence could buy. Being a Hyuuga meant certain things were expected from him; protecting his cousins from unwanted attention being one of them. Nevermind the spider and hair-pulling incidents, Neji was quite sure Hiashi considered Konohamaru Sarutobi unwanted attention. Tenten should be grateful … in a way he was saving her cousin from his uncle's wrath before things went too far. But what did he get for his trouble? For walking away? Unfounded accusations from someone who didn't know him, creating a public spectacle he hadn't appreciated at all. Abruptly Neji sat up straight, his teeth grinding together nearly audibly and he firmly told himself that she was not worth all this effort. A stupid hallway showdown over something so inconsequential did not qualify as being worth it.
He shouldn't even be thinking about her at all.
'There,' Tenten sat back in Konohamaru's desk chair, with a satisfied smile pulling at her lips, 'that should do it.'
'Let me see,' her cousin demanded from his perch on the bed.
Tenten moved out of the way, sitting down on the bed while her cousin took her place in front of his computer and began to read the email she'd typed to Hanabi, supposedly from Konohamaru.
'I'm sorry about today – my cousin's a psycho. All I was really trying to say, what I've been trying to say for a long time, is that I want to apologize to you. For all the things I did when we were younger; I never meant to upset you. I only did them because I was trying to be your friend, I suppose. That doesn't excuse my behavior though and I just wanted you to know that I really am sorry,' Konohamaru quoted with various notes of disbelief playing through his voice. 'There's no way she's buying that, Ten,' he said sceptically as he looked over his shoulder at his cousin.
Tenten arched an eyebrow, 'Send the email and see,' was all she said as she stood and dusted the seat of her jeans, 'now, I'd better get some homework done.' She completely ignored the worried frown that drew Konohamaru's brows together as she swept from the room, feeling much better about the afternoon's events. As long as she didn't think of Neji Hyuuga she was even in a relatively good mood, despite the homework that awaited her. Shaking her head vigorously, Tenten yanked her bedroom door open and stepped inside before turning on the light and closing the door.
Her bedroom was the very antithesis of her personality – pink and frilly. But at the age of fourteen, when she'd come to live with her grandfather after her parents' deaths, the old man had gone to the trouble of having an interior decorator fix a room for her – and she'd appreciated the gesture far too much to hurt his feelings by showing that she wasn't really a frills-and-lace kind of girl. So, the room had stayed, Tenten had proclaimed to love it, and now, years later, she was so used to the off-white walls and the princess bed with its pale pink covers and the matching curtains that she barely noticed the color anymore. She sighed as her gaze landed on the pile of books waiting for her on the white lacquered desk.
Trying to prolong the moment before she had to start just a bit more she carefully, slowly, walked over to the desk, taking note of all her possessions scattered around the room. Maybe it was time to ask if she could have the room done over, she mused, after all this time it shouldn't offend anyone and she really was a bit too old for the current look.
To her delight, her cellphone buzzed on her bedside table before she had even drawn the chair out, and with a happy little cry Tenten pounced on the small object and flopped onto her bed with it in her hand. She read the text messages from Temari and Sakura and replied, her fingers flying over the keys. As she waited for their responses she lay quietly staring at the ceiling … and her thoughts turned to Neji again. For the first time a slight twinge of guilt flowed through her, she had been rather unfair – attacking him like that. But it was Konohamaru and she didn't care who she had to go up against, she would not let anyone hurt her cousin, not if she could help it.
With a deep sigh Tenten pushed all the thoughts away and forced herself to stand up and grab her books from the desk. She spread them out on her bed and firmly focused only on her schoolwork. For the rest of the night the approach worked perfectly – as long as she stayed busy she could ignore the events of the day. But as she lay in bed that night, waiting for sleep to claim her, she couldn't quite ignore the sinking feeling that, if Konohamaru sent that email, she would be squaring off with Neji far more often than she'd like. Everything else aside, she wasn't sure he had the imagination to carry on a fully-fledged feud, and where would be the fun in that?
'It totally worked.'
Tenten closed her locker, arching an eyebrow at a shell-shocked Konohamaru leaning against the one next to hers.
'The email,' he elaborated impatiently when she didn't reply, 'Hanabi spoke to me.' He stared at his older cousin, speaking the words with reverent warmth, as if he couldn't quite believe it.
Tenten smirked at him, satisfaction evident in her body language as she leaned a shoulder against the bank of lockers, her head moving closer to his. 'I told you so,' she said, smugly.
'She actually talked to me.' He shook his head. 'She thanked me for the apology and said that it was okay, it's in the past.' He stared at Tenten for a moment as she just smiled at him and then continued, a note of panic making its way into his voice.
'What do I do now?'
Tenten tilted her head to the side, giving her cousin a considering look, 'Now you just be nice to her. Pleasant. You say hey, she says hey … and then you give your undivided attention to one of her friends.' Ignoring the incredulous way he gaped at her she continued. 'Preferably a girl who's not quite as pretty or as popular as Hanabi.'
'Wha-what are you talking about?' he gasped, standing up straight. 'Ignore her and hit on her friends the second she's actually talking to me for the first time in her life? Are. You. Insane.'
A light laugh bubbled from her lips and Tenten patted him on the shoulder, 'Relax. You don't have to hit on the girl – just be very nice and attentive. Trust me, she'll come running.'
Konohamaru shook his head, staring at Tenten with disbelief still painted on his expressive features, 'You're crazy. Scratch that – I'm crazy for having listened to you in the first place.'
'Come on, have a little faith. This is a tried and trusted method. Trust me.'
'Tried and trusted?' The words were laced with scepticism but Tenten just shrugged.
'Yes. How do you think chronic playboys get all the girls despite their reputations?'
The final bell rang and Tenten couldn't help the sigh of relief that escaped as she closed her heavy history book. Last period history was torture – trying to stay awake while their teacher droned on and on about dates and battles was not easy. She quickly grabbed her bag from the floor and stuffed her half-hearted notes into it before slinging the strap over her shoulder. Heaving the book into her arms she walked the few steps to Temari's desk and waited while the blonde finished packing her things away. She listened with half an ear as Temari picked up right where she'd left off before they'd entered the class: telling Tenten exactly how she could improve her game, preferably before the upcoming match on Saturday.
Her friend was still talking in an unbroken stream when they reached Tenten's locker but she snapped her mouth shut in the middle of a sentence and Tenten followed her gaze to the other side of the hall where Konohamaru was leaning casually against a locker talking to one of Hanabi's friends while the Hyuuga girl stowed her books away, shooting small glances at the boy and frowning. The smile that lit Tenten's features could only be described as devious and she just barely kept from crowing like a loon.
'Is that Konohamaru?' Temari asked in an undertone, sounding unsure and looking at Konohamaru as if she couldn't quite believe her eyes.
'Yeah,' Tenten laughed, 'he's taking my advice.'
Temari glanced at Tenten and back at the younger kids again as if the sight might have changed, 'Since when are you an expert in flirting?'
Tenten shrugged as she spun the combination on her locker and opened the door, 'It's working, isn't it? I'm not an expert at picking up girls, this is just the classic playboy maneuver.'
The blonde's expression cleared, understanding dawning in her aquamarine eyes, 'Ah,' she nodded, 'but … er … correct me if I'm wrong but any method employed by playboys, though undoubtedly effective, will be geared more towards scoring a one-night-stand than starting a relationship. How's that going to help your cousin?'
'It'll work, Mari. Trust me. And I'm sort of bargaining on Konohamaru's distinct lack of bad-boy smoldering to save it from having that end,' Tenten laughed.
'Whatever you say,' Temari motioned for Tenten to hurry as she started towards the bathroom, shooting a questioning look at Tenten over her shoulder.
'I'll wait,' Tenten muttered, stowing her book inside the locker, sneaking peeks at her cousin periodically.
'I thought I made myself clear.'
The silky voice broke through her thoughts and Tenten started, wide hazel eyes flying to the source only to narrow as she took in the sight of Neji leaning gracefully against the metal next to her. Somehow his proximity made her uncomfortable; a tingling feeling rushing down her spine. She quickly closed the door and took a step back.
Crossing her arms and glaring warily at the Hyuuga she asked, 'About what?'
Neji jerked his head towards their cousins, long hair flowing silkily over his shoulder with the motion. It always amazed Tenten – with hair so long he should've looked ridiculous … girly even, what with his pretty-boy features but somehow he didn't. And it definitely didn't detract from his threatening aura, she conceded, forcing herself to stand straight and meet him head-on.
'It's a free country,' she said, her clear gaze daring him to make an issue out of it.
Neji straightened up, towering over her, and Tenten swallowed. How had she never noticed just how much taller he was?
'You don't want me as your enemy,' he said slowly, shooting another glance heavy with meaning at their cousins before meeting her eyes again. For a moment they glared at each other before the Hyuuga stepped forward, making sure to brush closely past her on his way to collect his cousin.
Tenten stood frozen, inwardly fighting for composure, refusing to let his intimidation have the desired effect, forcing her heartbeat to calm down, waiting for the anger to override the other feelings. Finally, she turned slightly and watched as Hanabi quickly left her friends with a wave, and a small smile at Konohamaru, before falling into step with Neji just as he drew level with her. Tenten couldn't quite keep the smug satisfaction from zinging through her as she noticed that he didn't even look at her cousin this time.
a/n: … review?