Title: Favorites

Characters/Pairings: Neji x Tenten

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

A/N: Something quick pulled together in order for Neji Week. Set across the Naruto Timeline and Universe. R & R !


Neji likes scars;

He likes the way it reminds people of their past doings. Like an open history book, he can read himself and read plenty other's scars. Some, from doing stupid things like burning himself with hot soup. Others, from doing important things like taking down 6 enemies at once.

He likes how some people question his curiosity and liking for the ugly marks. Few have even noticed it, though, because he will never directly ask for the nature of how one got it. He will silently dissect it in his Hyuuga tinkering mind, and find different causes. He will smirk that knowing smirk of his, or nod that solemn nod, and move on to find out how he can avoid such a situation.

Neji loves the marks his actions leave behind on his body, because he knows that his marks on others are much worse. It helps to ease his conscience (yes, he has one), even if only for a little while. He especially likes to see her scars, for he knows she's stronger than all of them.


Tenten likes hair;

She likes the way it's like the perfect accessory. She supposes she's girly in this aspect, but she keeps it mostly to herself. She will never spend hours fawning over other girl's hair like the underclassman Yamanaka girl (or the Haruno girl for that matter). She does, however spent hours in front her vanity, twisting and curling her long hair into buns (and the occasional braid) nearly every day.

She likes the way it can define a person. The Uzumaki boy has wild blonde hair that shakes almost violently in the wind. The Haruno girl has short, cropped pink hair with a few rebellious swirls at her face. The Uchiha boy has a high, arrogant cut with black strands that tease at his cheeks. The Hyuuga boy has dark, long hair that frames his strong, handsome features...

She loves the way she can surprise people with her hair. She loves the way she can surprise him with her hair. She absolutely adores the surprised look on his face when he sees her back-length chestnut locks pour past her shoulders on a mission as genin. She's only slightly disappointed that that look fades. But that feeling washes away when he sees that lust-filled look directed at her nowadays.

Neji likes Herring soba;

He likes (secretly) how rudely his plate is slammed down on the hard wood of the table, and the imprint his hot dish leaves behind when he leaves. He's not a Hyuuga when he eats his favorite food, just Neji (or whatever alias he's using that particular day). His chopsticks are not perfectly straight (they're crooked and one is bigger than the other), the bowl is not made of fine glass (it's made of cheap porcelain that smells slightly like a rotting bird), and the one serving him pays him no attention other than for the bill (even then it's just a glance).

He likes how warm the thin noodles are when they slide in his lips. They warm up his mouth to the point of burning (although he's sure to have them in shape for a certain teammate), so he can run his tongue along the bumps it creates. The hot broth makes his throat warm, and he can feel it spread across his chest in an embrace. It's a great way to wash away the metallic taste of blood.

He loves how he can eat his favorite food with her and not feel like he has to be formal. He can just sit and watch in amazement as she picks at it curiously. He knows she doesn't like it, but the reason she eats for him means something.


Tenten likes sesame dumplings;

She likes how delicately they're placed in the little paper wrappers, and the stain they leave behind after eaten. It isn't symbolic, she decides, but it could be if she gave it more thought (but she doesn't, because there are too many things like that in life already).

She likes the texture of prickly seed edges that rub against the inside of her lip when she eats it. It reminds her vaguely of a mission she did once as a genin when she was moving giant bags of the stuff. She remembers seeing if they tasted good uncleaned and plain (they didn't), and vomiting seeds for a month.

She loves it when he takes her to the shop for the first time, and knows exactly what she's getting. For a moment, she contemplates getting miso soup in rebellion, but thinks against it, opting to let him win this time around. And the next few.

Neji likes white;

He likes how much potential it has. Like a blank canvas, anything can happen on it. Perhaps it's just that expectant and anxious feeling that brings him to it. It's like his own easel, the world it's paintbrush. The rare occasions he stains his white shirt, it reminds him of how easy it is to ruin perfection. So he takes pride in scrubbing it out, and watching it sparkle blankly again.

He likes what it stands for. The spotlessness of innocence, natural and untouched. The start of a new day, fresh and untamed. The calmness of peace, still and unattainable. The face of kindness, clean and generous. It pushes him into a new dawn in the shape of his drapes, and brings him to sleep in the comfort of his covers.

He loves how it looks on her when she walks down the aisle, highlighting the blush beneath her shiro-maku. Every time it catches his eye in their attic, he doesn't forget how pure they both looked. Running his hand over the layered, yellowing cloth, he can honestly say he's never seen a prettier peice of clothing.


Tenten likes red;

She likes the way it's a part of her. The way it clashes with her white shirts, and brown sandals. How it highlights her auburn twin buns, and makes her feel slimmer. The way it can spice up a room (especially his), and make her feel totally at home wherever she is.

She likes all that it symbolizes. The blood of a fallen comrade, strong and loyal. The warmth of a cozy winter night, comforting and subtle. The scandal of lust, sexy and fierce. The throws of passion, spicy and daring. It kisses her good morning in the form of her comforter, and throws her into slumber in the confines of her bare walls.

She loves it when Neji makes their first purchase as a married couple a simple red throw blanket. When they wrap up in it, it never fails to remind her that it's the color of love as well. It makes her feel all the more happy when that's the only article of clothing she wears some days.

Most importantly, Neji likes Tenten;

He likes the way she's always there. When he wakes up in the morning, he can always count on a river of chocolate hair on the pillow next to him. When he arrives at home with his ANBU uniform torn in 14 different places, he knows she'll be there with a good take-out of herring soba and two hot cups of green tea. Next to his grave will be her's, and they will share a boquet of Yamanaka heliotropes.

He likes how she's changed him. When he finally croaks, he won't care anymore if she is left like a traditional widow. He still yearns for her to bear his children, but he will let it be by her own methods and caring. He'll never try to tame her, because she's only made him wilder.

He loves all who she is. She is the mighty flower of Konoha, a weapons expert and strong kunoichi. She is the kind and caring mother of the Hyuuga, defying the natural steel of the family in such. She is the driving force in their missions, the solid reasoning and the level-headed determination. To him, she is his life.


Most importantly, Tenten likes Neji;

She likes how she can read him. How she can tell when he's had enough of the world and simply wants to be entertained by the way he rubs his neck. When he quietly clicks the door closed after a long mission, and turns to her with his eyes soft and his jaw unclenched she knows that something or someone went wrong, and he just wants to be comforted. By the way his eyes fog over when she's doing the most menial things, she knows she's captured him all over again.

She likes her meaning to him. Not in all her years, even as a love-sick genin, would she think that a man would love her like he does. She didn't even know it was possible to have feelings for another like that. To throw away all ambition other than to simply be with that one person that never quite made you the same again. The power to break destiny like an ugly toothpick. She strives to be who he thinks she is.

She loves who he is. The way her head fits perfectly into the crook of his neck, and the way her calloused hand rubs against his. He is not the Hyuuga prodigy to her, he is Neji, the man who can kiss her and make her feel like the world has stopped. The man who needed no key to break free from his cage. The man, she insists, who can fly, but instead chains himself to the earth. The man she loves.


And although no one ever asks what they like, they're sure it's each other.