Ms. X

For Nokito-chan who has been asking for me to write a NejiTen fic for a while now. Thanks for all your support and help on my other work, hun!

Part II




She swung, heavy block of steel in her hand falling ceremoniously against molten-red metal. With each strike the thin, flat, alloy shaft echoed a vibration up her arm and across her chest. She reached up with the other hand, hammer still grasped, and wiped the gathering sweat off of her brow with the back of it. A streak of black traced in its path, staining.

Strands of her hair came loose from twin buns, sticking to the back of her neck; her bangs were soaked and dripping, making it hard for her to see even as she pushed them away. A thick leather apron hung over her chest, legs and hips, tied with thin straps over her shoulders; it protected her from the embers, from the occasional splash of liquid steel. The sleeves of her dirty white shirt were rolled up to her elbows and her hands were swathed in thick leather gloves.

With each strike the sound cut through her ears, piercing her.

She exhaled, but didn't stop even as a pain crept up her back, warning she'd been in here a little too long. Copper-brow hues remained fixed on the job at hand, disregarding the ache running up her arms and down her spine.

What was wrong with her? Why hadn't she just said something? Why hadn't he?

She blew air out from between her lips in frustration.

It was obvious, wasn't it? ...Wasn't it?

She didn't deny she was attracted to him; she had been as a Genin. Like a lot of young girls her age in the Academy, she'd looked to him. Then again, she'd also held an attraction for Uchiha Sasuke who was a whole year younger than her. Who hadn't, right? You'd of had to be blind not to; and even that was questionable…


He was beautiful; almost too beautiful. He wasn't that type of beautiful that Sai or Sasuke were. He was elegant, in his own way; he was polite to a point. She'd been lucky enough to get close enough to him to know what was under all of that, right?


She'd grown out of it, sure, but, she'd never denied the attraction; she wasn't going to lie to herself. She was happy being his friend, the one he came to when there was no one else to talk to or listen to him. She was happy to have his respect, his acknowledgement. She was happy just knowing he depended on her.


Teasing him was a favorite past time of hers. She could rarely stop herself from saying something just to push his buttons, to get a rise of him—anything. There were days that teasing bordered on… flirting; she could admit that. She was a grown woman; she'd been with men before; she'd dated and had her fair share of fun; she knew what flirting was—the kind that got you in trouble in all the right ways.


The point was she'd just never really considered being with him, not on a serious, adult level; especially not since she'd grown out her young infatuations. The thought did cross her mind now and then, faintly; like, when she saw him with his shirt off on a hot day, when she curled up next to him on a particularly cold night on duty, or, there was that one time she'd accidentally walked in on him the shower…


She sighed and stilled her hand, staring at it.

Sex wasn't exactly an option. She wasn't going to just sleep with him to get it out of her system; and, damnit if she hadn't know this whole little game was a bad idea to begin with. She should have stood her ground and not have given into that look he always gave her; she was weak enough against his eyes without him telling her she was the only one suitable to help him.


She tossed the blade she'd been working on into a tub of water; it sizzled, cooling quickly. She dropped her hammer on the anvil and stepped away, her footfalls heavy as she ripped and tugged her apron off, her gloves, and threw them at the work table.

At first it'd been fun to chase his dates off. It'd been fun to doll herself up and watch him squirm; Hyuuga Neji didn't often put himself in a position to squirm, and, damnit if she wasn't going to take advantage of that. But, the more she did it, the farther she dove into the game she played with him and the girls she ran off… the more she pushed the envelope; subconsciously, she's wanted to see when he'd break, when he'd do something about it; do something about her.

She hadn't exactly expected the look on his face after she'd kissed him, after he'd dragged her across his lap and very nearly made love to her right there in the restaurant. It's not like she meant to kiss him; she never really meant to do any of it… she just couldn't stop herself.

She sighed and reached for a towel on her table; she wiped her face with it, exhaling softly.

Where did that put her in all this? Did she really want to go on scaring women off for him? He'd have to find a girl eventually; and then what?

She frowned, staring down at her work table.

The very idea of him marrying someone else no longer sat well with her. It had been perfectly fine when she'd just been his friend, his confidant, the girl he would come and talk to when his (future) wife pissed him off. Now…

She closed her eyes, leaning into the work table with both palms flat on the wooden surface.

But… but what if he didn't want to be with her? It was one thing to have an attraction for another person, but, that didn't make them a good mate—wife. And that's what he was looking for; a wife. Was she even ready to get married? Did she love him?

Her heart hammered in her chest; hard.

They were good friends; they were attracted to one another, but, that didn't mean too much either. Tenten opened her eyes and stared down at her hands.

Those hands… they were hard, calloused, scarred, blistered and maintained a broken bone on more than one occasion; they were a blacksmith's—a shinobi's—hands. Her hands weren't still; they weren't meant to lie idly in her lap while she sat aside taking on the air of a china doll. They made weapons, molded steel; those hands cooked and cleaned; those hands took lives; those hands hefted swords, kunai, shuriken; those hands…


She closed her eyes again; she sighed and pulled away from the worktable. She turned and stared at her forge, not really seeing it as she placed her hands on her hips.

There was almost no knowing what Hyuuga Neji wanted; and, it didn't really matter much what she wanted if she didn't. So… question was…

What was she going to do about it?


The air was cool; the breeze was soft. Opaque-violet hues watched as a tumble of leaves rolled along the road; he watched as frustrated shop-keepers tried to sweep the paper-thin, varying shades of orange and red off their store fronts. They drew further upward as three young shinobi hopped from one rooftop to the next. Laughter sounded to his right; a child burst into delightful screams as they beat feet in a retreat of another. He could smell barbeque, fish, and rice; they mixed together and blended with burning oak.

The sun was high; arching just past the point of noon and closing in slowly to descend beyond the Hokage mount. A coalition of odd shadows danced off buildings and stone renditions cast in either advertisement or remembrance.

Neji sighed and stuff his hands into his pockets, staring down at the beaten path his feet followed on his behalf; he wasn't really looking at it.

He could still feel her, in his arms… warm and wanting. He could still recall the way her body molded against his, the way her nails dug into the skin of his shoulders. He could still smell her, scent pervading his other senses. He could feel her thighs rubbing his, her hips thrusting that ache towards something.

He closed his eyes, digits curling into fists in his pockets.

He wanted her.


He wanted her legs wrapped about hips; her bare breasts pressed up against his chest, skin to skin; her hot breath in his ear; her lips on his throat, along the underside his ear; he wanted his name wrapped around her tongue, crying out for more as he flattened her back against a viable surface.

He considered himself a controlled individual; he made his decisions with the upmost concern and deliberation. And yet, there was nothing controlled, careful or deliberating about the way her hips moved wrapped in satin… her calves flexed in an arch, or… the way her hair—down and wild with abandon—made him want to run his fingers through it.

He was an addict and she his drug.

Had she done it all on purpose? Did she want him as well? Or, was that little act last night just another part of the game, the show, they put on for the unfortunate soul across the table from him on a given evening?

He stared down at his feet again.

Any sane person would just ask her, confront her. They would say, do you want me? Do you want to make something more of this? There was that obvious part, the part that feared she'd reject him. Then, then there was that other part that worried she'd want more… but not beyond what he imagined.

Sex wasn't a viable option. He wasn't going to just sleep with her to finally get past what it would feel like, what all the hype his body was making over it. She was his friend, his teammate, the girl he ran to when there wasn't much of anyone else suitable to tell his concerns and worries to—to help him sort it all out in his head when he couldn't. He didn't want to risk losing that and he didn't know if he had the strength to tell her no if all she wanted was the sex—the endorphin rush in the dark.

He stopped walking and looked up, eyeing a cloud trekking across the expanse of blue. A breeze tousled his strands; they kissed and tickled his cheeks with each soft movement.

He'd never paid too much attention to her as a girl in his class. He recalled one of her finer points being that she never trailed after him like a besotted child. She occasionally blushed when he caught her looking at him, but, she never went beyond that. It didn't really help that she had no clan; a trait made notable by her lack of a last name—something almost always associated with a clan or a large, wealthy family. At the time he'd been convinced if you weren't a genius you were nothing. While she came from a long line of smiths who provided the best weapons for the long-lived clans of Konoha, to Neji she was nothing; she was the first in her family to be a shinobi and thus used her family trade to create her trademark jutsus.

He still hadn't thought much of it when she made the only female spot on his team; at best she'd been a good tool to test his abilities against—nothing more. As they grew, as he'd grown beyond his own flawed ideals, they become friends; good friends. Inadvertently, she had become the only person he could talk to in the three-man group; it's not like Lee or Gai were good at being serious or understanding. He hadn't exactly planned on getting that close to her; but, what friendships were? Planned, that is.

He didn't really mind it when she laughed at him; she reminded him it was good to smile when he had a habit of being silent, stuffy and stoic. She upset his routine by just being herself; he found he didn't mind it. He liked her spontaneity, her spunk and her ability to ground him.

He closed his eyes briefly and turned to look at a store front as something caught his eye. His twin depths narrowed as he watched the brunette in question, basket in hand, exit with a man. She was smiling and saying something to him; he couldn't hear her from this distance. He watched as she waved the guy off when he left. His lips parted slightly as she caught his eye and blinked. She smiled at him, but, it wasn't as bright as he was accustomed to.

He looked at the street, making sure there wasn't anyone coming or going and crossed the way to her; his hands were once again in his pockets.

"Hey," she said softly as he stopped in front of her.

"Hi," he replied and looked down at her basket. "Supplies?"

She glanced down and nodded, looking at him. "Mom needed some things for dinner tonight. I offered to come to market for her because I had a few vendors to see about restocking their inventory."

He nodded.

"Do you have a date tonight?"


Copper-browns eyed the prewrapped snacks, cookies, cakes and candies lined up on the shelf before her. Her finger ran across the brands and types, thinking perhaps they were once again out of her mother's favorite comfort food. She put an arm under her breasts, hugging herself slightly while her free hand came up and a single digit placed itself on her jaw.

Ah well, she would just have to make do with the chocolate doughnuts. Tenten snagged a bag and dropped them into her basket as she went towards the back of the store. She still needed to get milk and eggs from the cold section.


She blinked as someone called her voice from her right. She couldn't see beyond the fog forming on the clear, glass door where she'd been bending over to grab a carton of eggs. As she placed the item in her basket she pulled back a step, looking to see who had called her. "Yes? Oh," she said as she smiled. "Miki-san. Hi."

He had a nice smile; always did. His blue eyes were almost the same shade as Naruto's, but, lighter; more crystalline—icy, she decided. His shoulder-length strands were darker than Neji's; black, even. He wasn't tan, but, he wasn't pale either; not like her teammate. He was about as tall as she was.

"How are you today?" he asked.

"I'm alright." She glanced down at her basket. "Just getting a few things for my mom while in the vendor district. Actually, that reminds me," she murmured. "Did your dad did need anything restocked?"

He looked to be thinking about it, eyes wandering upward in thought. "I don't think so…" he trailed off. "You might want to come by the tent and ask him yourself."

She sighed; so much for saving herself a trip out of twenty. It wasn't a big deal though, really. She was just being grumpy, she supposed. "I will, thanks." She kept her smile in place, trying not to look too unhappy.

"How are things at home? Your mom?"

"Pretty good." She glanced back in the cooler and reached for the half gallon of milk her mother requested. "She's been busy with the store, mostly. Taking orders. You know how that goes, I'm sure."

He chuckled and scratched the back of his head. "Yeah, pop keeps me pretty busy. He wants to make sure I know the business inside and out before he retires."

She snorted and shut the cooler door. "Your dad? Retire?"

"Yeah, I know."

She stepped down and isle with breads and inspected the shelves there, her eyes running over the rolls. She noted he was following her, but, didn't think much of it.

"Say, Ten?"

She looked between two brands as he spoke to her. "Yeah?"

"Are you seeing anyone?" As she reached for the first bag her hand stopped, poised for a moment. Once the question settled she reached for the bag and placed it in her basket. She turned slightly to look at him. "Why…?"

He swallowed and stuck his hands in his pockets. His feet shuffled a bit. He wasn't looking at her; his eyes glanced about at the shelf she'd just taken the bag of rolls off. "Well… I was wondering… if you weren't doing anything tonight…"

It didn't take a genius for her to figure out what he was trying to say. "Are you asking me out on a date?"

A stain of faint red trailed across his cheeks as he met her eyes. "Ah… yes. I am." He tried to make his voice sound confident.

She stood there for a while, staring at him. Words sorta left her; and, not because she'd never been asked out before. It just came as a bit of a surprise to her; she hadn't exactly been making herself available for a month. She just realized it herself as she did the math in her head. She hadn't been out on a date since… Neji.

She blinked a few times and then her eyes softened, narrowed as her gaze drew past Miki's.

Did she want to? Should she?

No… well… hell what was stopping her, right? Miki was a nice guy; he also had the benefit of being, as her mother called it: easy on the eyes. His father was a well established merchant who dealt directly with providing shinobi with gear; he bought directly from her, even after her father passed away. His father's family had been good friends with hers for a number of years. His family, unlike some of the other merchants—while they sold to shinobi—had no problem with her career choice; they actually commended her for her achievements when she came in to do business with her mother. Actually, if she really thought about it… if their relationship went far enough to consider something… more serious… than it would work in their families favors from a business vantage point. But, that really didn't matter to her; it was just another point… She wouldn't marry for anything less than love, anyway…

She resisted the urge to sigh. In truth… there was no way she could, in good conscious, take Miki up on his offer; not with the way her insides were all mixed up.

She opened her mouth to say as much, but, stopped short as another thought hit her.

Honestly, she didn't know where she stood with Neji. That was the problem, wasn't it?

"Tenten…?" He scrutinized her, worry apparent on his face.

If she agreed to the date she would just tell Neji; and if he had any feelings for her, and problems with it… she'd know. He would say as much; he was the direct sort. If he didn't… then, she would be no worse for wear. At least she'd know where they stood so she could pick a direction; she would have a good time with Miki and maybe it would turn into something more.

"Tenten?" this time she heard him. "Are you—."

She blinked out of her reverie and smiled brightly, mind set. "I'm free tonight, yes. What time would you like to pick me up?"

His face brightened almost instantly; he looked a little relieved. "Is six ok? That way we can make it to dinner by seven."

"Perfect." She glanced down at her basket. "I think I'm going to cash out and head home, though."

"I'll walk you out."

"Sure," she replied as she turned around and headed for the register. She waited as the clerk rang up her things and placed them back in her basket.

"Are you still going to stop by the shop?" he asked her as they stepped out together, one after the other and down the small shop steps.

"I'll have to," she said with a smile, stopping to face him before he left.

"I'll let dad know about it then. That way he'll expect you." He smiled still and stepped back, leaving. "See ya tonight."

She waved back. "Bye." She let out a little sigh and turned to go; she stopped short as a set of very familiar eyes caught her gaze. She forced a smile as she watched him look for traffic and walk across the street to her. "Hey."

"Hi," he replied; his eyes traveled down to the basket she held. "Supplies?"

She followed his sight and then looked back up at him. "Mom needed some things for dinner tonight. I offered to come to market for her because I had a few vendors to see about restocking their inventory."

He nodded.

She supposed if she wanted to find out, now was a better time than ever. She summoned up her nerve and asked, "Do you have a date tonight?"

He eyed for a moment, perhaps confused by what she asked.

"I mean," she explained, "do you have a date with another girl tonight?"

He wasn't saying anything right away; he was thinking, she knew. Maybe he'd forgotten? Maybe he didn't know?

"…Yeah," he replied, his voice careful and guarded.

"Oh," she replied. She shifted from one foot to the other, but, didn't remove her gaze from his. "Well, I can't make it tonight." When all he did was stare at her some more she elaborated. "I have a date with someone. I'm sorry I can't make it." She continued to watch him, trying to gauge his reaction. It was never easy to gauge Neji's reaction.

Did he care?

Was he going to say anything?

Was he—.

"I suppose it can't be helped."

Oh, she thought; she couldn't really find it in herself to voice it. She gave him a smile, again, forcing it. Her eyes closed slightly with the action. "You'll be fine without me. Right?"

He nodded, but, it was slow and unsteady. "…Yeah."

"Great, well, I'll see you tomorrow. Bye, Neji." She turned swiftly, leaving in the first direction she could find. She wasn't sure she wanted him to see her heart hammering in her chest, or her face as it burned red while she tried to hide tears—where were they coming from?

At least she knew, right?


What happened?

What in the hell happened?

He was left with the sudden awareness of certain feeling: bereft. Swiftly, the game had ended; the teasing was gone. She hadn't been laughing at him; she didn't tease him about the next damsel in his lineup as he would have expected her to.

For a moment, he'd wondered if she was going to ask him out. He'd been stilled by her inquiry, wondering—with a blank expression and a bated breath—if she was going to. It had been on the tip of his tongue to tell her he would cancel for her; he would cancel it all. But then, before he could continue, he heard that dreaded word; it was the same one that started this whole damned thing: date.

She had a date.

He had been… disappointed? It wasn't a feeling he was entirely use to; not in regards to her. Words left him standing there, stupidly, as he tried to find where all of his brain cells had rolled off to. All he could manage to say, while trying to salvage the broken pieces of his pride was: I suppose it can't be helped.

Had he read it wrong? Had it all been apart of the show, as he'd wondered previously? Was she really just teasing him; had she been? It shouldn't have hurt, but it did. He shouldn't feel… jealous; but he did, he realized with the all the grace of a child who'd just discovered it was very unwise to stick a screw in a light socket.

Then he couldn't quite stop himself from imagining her hand on someone else's thigh, her breath in their ear, her lips on their neck and their name wrapped around her tongue in a fit of pained and partial ecstasy. He couldn't stop himself from wondering, would she let them drag her across their lap; would she let them run their hands up her skirt, barely grazing the lace of her panty line with the bite of their nails; would she let them kiss her until they were both breathless, beyond the bounds of normal PDA in a restaurant booth? Would she leave them with a pained, sleepless night because they needed another hit, another shot of what she was providing, teasing them with like a dog salivating for a scrap… Would she leave them too with a serious lack of answers in regards to what had just happened?

He wanted to let it go. He now knew where he stood with her; something he'd wanted from the very start. He'd been telling himself for hours now that very same thing. He could move on; after a few weeks things would be normal again; he wouldn't wonder who she was raking her nails across as their name passed the breathy passage of her mouth; a mouth he wanted very much in places he shouldn't.

He wouldn't care.

He would go back to being oblivious; thinking she never dated, never slept with, or, otherwise felt anyone up in a dark corner while they slammed her up against a wall in the same dangerous, animalistic fashion he's wanted to last night.

At least he knew… right?

"Neji-san?" A bright smile greeted him across the table.

He raised his eyes up, opaque-violet meeting green.

"I asked if you were enjoying the meal."

He nodded, vaguely and looked back down at his plate.

His date frowned at him. "You seem distracted. Are you alright?"

"Yeah," he breathed out in a half sigh as he took his chopsticks in his hand and moved food around on his plate. "I just… didn't sleep well last night." At least it wasn't a lie.

"I'm sorry to hear that…" she murmured, touching her lips momentarily.

"It's alright, Noriko-san… You were saying?" He glanced up at her.

She brightened immediately. It was as though he hadn't been distressed at all. It took her mere moments to dive right back into her story. Her voice hovered in the background as he allowed himself to be sucked back into his own thoughts.

He was happier being her friend anyway, wasn't he? He enjoyed being the one she came to talk about the little things to, the ones people usually found unimportant. While he never held a lot of interest for her father's trade, now hers, he didn't find it dull listening to her talk about it with the voice and expression of an animated child.

He liked it when she teased him, when she poked him in his side and told him he was pouting; his heart always lifted a little when she laughed at him, even when it was at his expense (as it usually was). He liked it when she argued with him over who was paying for the drinks; he always paid, but, it was fun to watch her pout a little when he acted like he wasn't. He liked it when she snuck into his room and stared at him until he woke up, until he glared at her through hood lashes while she grinned like a maniac at him.

"This way, miss, sir."

"Thank you, very much."

His head turned slightly to his right and behind his date as she continued talking animatedly. He still wasn't hearing her; all he could hear was the hammering in his ears and her voice as she laughed. He could only watch her as she grinned, scanning the menu no more than ten feet away from him with…

…someone else.


Copper-browns scanned the listed menu items as she bit her lower lip. She could vaguely hear the waiter setting their drinks on the table and Miki telling him thank you.

"Do you know what you want?" he asked her.

"Why don't you order for me?" she said as she closed it. She could feel his eyes on her as she handed the menu over and forced hers to look at Miki. She placed her elbows on the table and her chin just behind her interlaced digits.

"She'll have the same as me," he responded to the waiter before handing his over as well. "Have you ever been here before?"

She raised her brows. "Michiru's?"

"Yes." He reached for his glass and swirled it around as he waited for a response.

"…A time or two," she admitted. "But, not often."

He frowned a little and stilled his glass. "If I had known I would have brought you somewhere else."

"Oh, no, it's fine!" she said with a little laugh in her voice as she reached over and smoothed her fingers over the top of his hand in a gesture meant to be comforting. "I love it here. It has a nice atmosphere."

He smiled, looked appeased. "I'm glad." He gave her hand a soft squeeze before she released it and took a sip of his drink.


The hell?

He watched as her hand smoothed over his, caressing his knuckles. He felt the heat in the backs of his eyes—pulsing—as he grabbed her hand and squeezed. Something inside of him dropped as he heard her laugh, saw her smile and the way her eyes lit up in pure, unadulterated joy.

He couldn't stop looking at her; at them.

He watched as she leaned forward, exposing the sweet skin between the layer of fabric that drew over her shoulders and slipped down her back. Her delicate fingers reached up, fanning out across her cheek as she flashed a smile, laughing again; her eyes danced as she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, copper-browns focused on the boy across the table from her.

It wasn't too hard to notice the way her date's eyes drew downward, looking at the focal point the little number she swathed herself in made no attempt to hide.


Tenten laughed softly as Miki told her a story about his brother involving a can of paint, a cat and his very angry mother. She inhaled deeply, catching her breath; she used that to hide her more pressing reason for needing air. She covered her mouth as she did and continued to smile behind her hand as she urged the beating in her chest to still. She released another breath, more slowly, through her nostrils as she placed her hands in her lap and leaned back against her chair.

He was still watching her.

His eyes raked across her skin as she crossed her legs under the table; she felt his glare from a mile away. She forced her eyes to stay on Miki; she did her damndest to look like she was paying attention. But then… Neji had never been an easy man to ignore, had he?

Chocolate-browns slowly traveled on their own, disregarding her. Her head turned slightly and her eyes locked on his. She was still, but, not frozen.

He wasn't smiling at her; he was just looking at her; stoicism and suppressed ferocity spun in his gaze. His cold pools cut through her, holding her there as a pacing animal trying to find escape, release, as he called to her. She found herself wanting to know what he was thinking; she found herself aching with a want that sent a rush through her veins, coating her insides with liquid fire. She felt it in her ears, pounding as it rushed to her heart and constrained suddenly and unexpectedly.

She tightened her hands together; she was clasping them, clenching them and wondering why she was doing so as his eyes penetrated her, cut through her, isolated her in a silence so loud it was deafening; she could hear nothing but muffled voices around her.

She didn't understand why he was doing it; she didn't understand why her throat was catching and choking her mercilessly as his depths imprisoned her. He didn't have a reason to look at her like that; to look at her as though she'd left him confused, aching and wondering what in the hell was going on. He hadn't wanted her; she was going to be ok with that because he hadn't stopped her.

She was on a date with someone else because she couldn't have him, because she was going to have to be ok with being what she'd always been to him.

Her eyes softened as she broke the mold of her thoughts, letting it go, letting him go. Her expression was one of pained serenity as she smiled sadly, faintly and turned back to Miki.

Because, it didn't matter anymore, right?


His jaw flexed painfully; his chest tightened, knife twisting; his pulse beat an erratic, unforgiving scream into his ears. His fingers curled, nails unwilling weapons against his palms in unconscious self-affliction.

It burned when he touched her, as he ran a hand across her arm and she smiled. There was an unrelenting pressure on his chest as his eyes roved over her unabashedly. Air locked in his lungs; the only release the occasional exhale from his nostrils.

And then she smiled at him—sweet, bittersweet serenity expressed there as her eyes softened, saddened and defeated; she turned away.

The world stilled.

He was angry, he realized suddenly, clarity slicing through him and hitting him like a ton of bricks. He was angry that she'd taken someone else; he was jealous that someone else was making her smile, making her laugh, touching her, sharing things with her.

Things he should be.

He didn't want to be the one she ran to when she got angry at guy in her life, when he made her cry, or happy and excited because he'd done something right—he wanted to be that guy. He wanted her to tease him mercilessly every day, for the rest of his life; he wanted to wake up with her smile in his face while he glared at her through hooded lashes between his sheets; he wanted to be the one to she got kicked out of a coffee shop with when things got a too heavy, too hot for them to stop or to care.

He wanted to listen to her ramble on about what she loved; he wanted her to poke him in his side and snicker that he was pouting again; he wanted her to argue because it was his turn to buy drinks; he wanted to watch when she smiled, when her face lit up and her eyes danced into his; he wanted to be the only one that noticed she had amber in her gaze, sparking brightly when she got mischievous—spontaneous—and tried to hold in her laughter at his expense and no one else's.

He wanted to make love to her until they both hurt; he wanted to hear his name on her breath as she arched into him, sweaty and wet with want because of him; he wanted to lay with her for hours, exploring every crevice of her skin, every curve of her body; he wanted to drink her in for hours, as she crawled under his skin and pervaded his senses until there was nothing else—until he couldn't see straight unless she looked at him with breathless abandon.

He wanted to be that guy.

"Neji-san?" He didn't hear her. "Neji?" He didn't see his date frown as he stood. "What's wrong?"

All he could see was her; her eyes turning to him, looking at him with questionable surprise. He watched her stand and take a step back, chair hitting back of her legs before it fell.


His lips were on hers; his arms were around her, holding her, pressing her to him like a man without just cause, control or morals; without conviction, concern or careful deliberation. For once he just acted and to hell with what came, with what anyone else thought. To hell with the shouting he couldn't hear behind him; to hell with the cries of surprise; to hell with the stares and the claps or the hoots of joy; to hell with his date and hers.

To hell with it all.

He invaded her mouth with his tongue, tilting his head as he pressed into her, as he curled his fingers into her bare skin along her spine, as he poured himself into her, breathed into her, wove himself into her with unbridled abandon.

He would be the one loved her, laughed with her, made love to her, listened to her, let him tease her, poke at him and laugh at him with wild unsuppressed joy when he told her it was alright as he feigned vexation. He would be the one to pretend he wasn't paying the bill, to let her invade his life like a euphoric infection he couldn't stave off; he didn't want to stave off.

"Love me," he whispered across her lips as he pulled away, lungs seeking air. "Love me," he said again, pressing his forehead to hers, refusing to release her, to let her leave his embrace.

The sound came softly, slowly; laughter was a throaty constrain caught in her throat expelling from her lips as she spoke. "All… all you had to do was ask, Hyuuga."

And then he kissed her again. Because once wasn't going to be enough.

AN :: So… I wanted to write lemons for this. But, honestly, at this point it seems overkill. You got the gist, it was yummy and mushy. And it was all for Noki-hime. It's over and it's her pressy! So, yosh!

I wasn't sure how I felt about the whole changing perspective things in this towards the end. I didn't feel like it flowed right. I wanted more of that rage burning under Neji's skin that he wasn't really aware of… but, I'm happy with it. So you tell me: Did it flow?