Title: Talk on Corners

Characters: Tenten, Hyuuga Neji, Rock Lee, Maito Gai

Special Guests: N/A

Summary: Contrary to popular belief, Hyuuga Neji was, in fact, not Tenten's first crush.


Prologue

Contrary to popular belief, Hyuuga Neji was, in fact, not Tenten's first crush.

Oh, but she got there.

Eventually.

i.

Tenten laid eyes on the future Hyuuga prodigy for the first time during their first day in the Academy. He still had a father back then, and so appeared less bitter about life in general, although Tenten had read a certain degree of anger, and even sadness, behind his gray, almost lavender, eyes.

(She would later find out, much, much later, that it was because of the cursed mark forced upon his forehead.)

ii.

The young genius-in-the-making did not really leave an impression on the young girl. On the contrary, she completely forgot about him and his sad eyes until news spread of his father's death, a few weeks after the opening of classes.

The next time Tenten saw the young Hyuuga, his eyes reflected only anger and resentment.

(For the Hyuuga clan, she found out a few days after their genin team was formed).

iii.

He finally left an impression on her.

(It wasn't a very good one, though.)

iv.

From then on, Tenten was almost always aware of his presence whenever he was around, but not because she felt something for him. Or if she did, it was only a mild curiosity, coupled with a tinge of pity, because he seemed so alone.

(Later, when she mentioned it to him, almost in passing, while they were on their way home from one of their easier missions, Neji stopped dead on his tracks, looked at her with those expressionless eyes of his, and said not a single word until they reached the gates. Lee explained, much later, that Neji wasn't necessarily angry with her; it just didn't sit well with him that anyone, not even her, should pity him. He was a Hyuuga after all, and Hyuugas were a prideful people.)

v.

She was a late bloomer, and she had her first crush months after she graduated from the Academy, while girls her age (and even those who were younger) were already proclaiming their undying love and affection for various goodlooking (and not-so-goodlooking) shinobis in their village. When she finally felt those weird, infamous butterflies in her stomach, it wasn't for the genius in her team.

Heck, Neji wasn't even in the running then.

(When Tenten accidentally told Neji about this, years after they received their Jounin status, the Hyuuga gentle fisted the unfortunate guy so hard during their next sparring session he had to brought to the hospital to get his ribs checked. Which, on hindsight, probably was a well-calculated move, because said guy spent the rest of the afternoon being cared for by the beautiful flower Sakura-san!)

vi.

Who was Tenten's first crush?

Why, it was Rock Lee, of course.


I'm back! I just couldn't stay away for very long, I'm afraid. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Anyway, I don't have a list of songs for this series, but I do have a list of names—eight names, to be exact. Which means, including the prologue and epilogue, this series will have ten chapters all in all. Hoorah for advance planning.

This is the promised series for the winning pair in the poll I did for my Beginnings series. If you haven't gotten the chance to read it yet, please do so. Yes, shameless plugging FTW. As for the runner-up (ShikaTen), I will write a separate series for them (I already have a list!), although I may have to wait until I finish this one, because I'm not sure if I can handle writing two series at the same time (I still haven't even finished Kill the Messenger yet). But I promise that I'll get to it as soon as I can.

Anyway, I hope the prologue intrigued you guys to continue to watch out for this series. I'm really excited to see how this will turn out. What, you think I have an outline or something? Pft.

Reviews will be awesomesauce, and flames will be used to make hot chocolate.

(Because I've used up all my marshmallows in the last series. Not from your flames though. Although some of you tried to flame me for the sake of getting some of those roasted marshmallows.)