Disclaimer: Not mine!
She arrived at Team Gai's training ground, a present wrapped in hot pink clutched in her shaking hands. Hot pink. Neji twitched involuntarily, then closed his eyes again.
Lee, however, had halted in the middle of his 394th kick to stare. She was pretty, that was undeniable. Almost Yamanaka Ino pretty. And she was wearing a bright green tank top. He made to introduce himself.
She had other plans though, none which included him, and all which included one Hyuuga Neji. Accordingly, she ignored the green boy bounding up to her and his declarations of undying love, and instead focused on the quiet boy sitting underneath the tree.
His eyes were closed as he meditated (though he was more likely to be mentally chanting for the girl to leave him in peace, but she didn't know that) so she coughed pointedly.
"Neji," she began uncertainly. The mentioned boy turned his calm white eyes onto her.
She was definitely a civilian, he concluded. Her lithe form, far too dainty to be one of a kunoichi, was barely concealed by a green tank top and a short white skirt, and her green eyes were darting around nervously.
He wondered how this girl, who he'd never met before, could address him so casually. It had taken Tenten 2 weeks for him to consent to it, and Lee longer. Far, far longer.
Neji inclined his head slightly as a sign that he was listening.
"This is for you," she said, her words sounding rehearsed. They probably were. "Um, I know this is sudden, but I've liked you for a long time. Neji, would you consider... going on a date with me?"
Neji politely took the present, but swept his gaze over her impassively. "I apologise, but I have no interest in romance. Shinobi such as myself have no place for those kind of emotions. But thank you."
With that, he placed the pink parcel down beside him on the grass, his eyes sliding shut again.
Unsure of what to do, the girl slowly wandered back to the entrance of the training grounds, the sting of rejection fresh and raw.
Though, she mused, it didn't sting all that much- as far as rejections went, that was pretty civil.
She wondered how her friends would react. Sure, she had a crush on Neji. But her friends... they were on another level altogether. Hell, they'd started a fanclub in his honour. Hearing that Neji wasn't into dating would surely break their fragile little hearts.
She smiled weakly, hoping that she had enough tissues and low-fat frozen yoghurt to last them until they'd gotten over Konoha's resident heartthrob.
Lost in her thoughts, she didn't see another girl around her age rush into the clearing, hastily tying up her hair into two sloppy buns.
They collided with a thump, sending them both flying to the ground.
"Oh! Sorry!" Tenten flipped herself back onto her feet gracefully and offered a hand to the other girl. "Didn't see you there! We don't usually get visitors here, you see. So, whatd'ya need?"
The girl took her hand cautiously, and after being pulled to her feet, brushed herself off, hoping that her new skirt wasn't grass-stained. All thoughts of her expensive skirt flew right out of her mind, however, at the sight of chocolate brown eyes boring curiously into her own.
Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap ran through her mind as she took in the chinese-style shirt, the large scroll on her back, the signature twin buns. It was the famed Weapons Mistress of Konoha herself, the one who allegedly carried around half of Konoha's weapon supply on her back.
The girl paled, suddenly feeling a sick. Tenten only laughed cheerily. "I won't bite, y'know."
Bewildered, the girl let a weak smile cross her face. "Umm, actually, I just wanted to talk to Ne- Hyuuga-san."
The kunoichi blinked. "Neji? What for, A mission or something?"
It wasn't unheard of for a civilian to occasionally be assigned to deliver messages regarding ninja duties, especially when the messenger birds were extremely busy. And this girl was certainly a civilian. No respectable kunoichi would ever wear what looked to be a brand name miniskirt.
Well, maybe except a certain Yamanaka Ino and one Haruno Sakura.
The girl shook her head. Tenten's brow furrowed in confusion. "Then what...?" Her eyes lit up suddenly. "Oh, I know! You want to see us fight, don't you? You're in for a treat- I've just decked out my scrolls with these awesome explosives! And Neji's developed this amazing new technique- I mean, we probably shouldn't be showing you this stuff, but since you came all the way over here... Come with me!"
She didn't have much of a choice, since Tenten had a remarkably strong grip, even for a kunoichi. It didn't quite match with her childlike grin and sparkling, wide eyes as she dragged her into the middle of the training grounds.
The girl was beginning to think that this Tenten wasn't at all as scary as her friends had made her out to be. She'd been expecting to come face to face with an evil, vicious, cruel, possessive, aggressive, fire-breathing... She blinked. Maybe her friends weren't really reliable sources of information.
"Good morning Neji, Lee!" The green-clad boy seemed ecstatic to see the pretty girl back again, his shouted greetings to the both of them even more enthusiastic than usual. Neji, however, didn't so much as crack an eye open, but the girl could've sworn that she'd seen the tiniest of smiles break over his face.
She gaped openly when Tenten casually twirled a kunai on a finger, then carelessly flung it in Neji's direction. It landed a finger's width to the left of his head, embedded into the tree.
"Good morning, Tenten," he replied quietly, eyes still closed. Then, "why is she here?"
The girl only stared in awe at Team Gai. Lee's physic-defying speed as he ran circles around them all, Tenten's deadly accuracy and Neji's ability to see without even opening his eyes- the power of the byakugan, wasn't it?
"I brought her as a guest," Tenten chirped. Her eyes narrowed at the sight of the pink package lying next to Neji. "What's that, hmm, Neji?" Her voice was light, teasing... with undertones of something else the girl couldn't place. She suddenly felt extremely awkward- this was, after all, the guy who'd rejected her minutes earlier.
Neji finally opened his eyes. He nodded in the girl's direction. Kill me now, was the only thought in her mind as Tenten's gaze shifted to her. She noted that her eyes were a little less bright than it was a moment ago.
"Y-you see, I know Hanabi. Uh, this is for her," she lied. Neji raised an eyebrow but shrugged it off. What a strange girl. "It's... it's chocolate," she offered lamely.
Tenten, however, cheered up considerably at her words, a smile forming on her face again.
"Well, shall we spar then?"
Neji nodded as he rose to his feet. He led them to the worn forest clearing where countless battles had undoubtedly taken place; trees were scarred, charred, and the ground was riddled with numerous kaiten craters.
It seemed more natural than anything to see them both take their battle stances, and the girl instinctively stepped back.
It started in a flurry of movement- a scroll being unravelled, a lunge forward, a quick maneuver to evade an attack. Soon enough, the ground was being littered with all sorts of weaponry, more than half which the girl could not name nor recognise.
She was hypnotised, though their movements were so quick her eyes could barely follow them. The pair moved so gracefully, Tenten with weapons exploding from her like fireworks, and Neji's hands, his own weapons, moving with such accuracy and precision that she couldn't help but watch their every move.
And when Tenten's scroll began to rain down thousands of weapons so fast that they were only streams of white light to the girl, Neji easily spun into a dome of blue. His ultimate defence, she'd been told. It was beautiful.
When the girl could bring herself to tear her eyes away from that stunning technique, her eyes settled on Tenten, who was suddenly barrelling down, down to the ground, just as the kaiten began to slow. She gasped.
Neji's eyes widened, feet skidding as his kaiten came to a premature halt. He was all too aware of the sharp, dangerous weapons cluttering the clearing. Realising she would hit the ground in a split second, he leapt to catch her... the same moment that she launched her attack, unaware of the fact that he was jumping right for her.
Neji let himself be bandaged by his assailant, his eyes everywhere except on her. Luckily, Tenten had known some basic medical jutsu, enough to heal up the shallow cut that spanned his chest. The visitor was watching their exchange intently, transfixed by everything going on.
"You should've known I had it under control. You're meant to fight, not try and save your opponent!" Tenten scolded, but a massive grin was spread across her face. Neji turned away, the slightest tinge of red on his cheeks.
"There! All done!" She drew her hands back from his newly bandaged chest, but he caught one easily in his own.
"N-Neji?" He only grew more red, apparently having acted on impulse. He finally settled on a small smile, despite feeling extremely confused regarding his own actions.
Tenten looked up into his eyes, as if searching for something in them, then slowly, a smile began to blossom over her own face.
The girl wondered if the pair simply forgot about her, but found that she didn't care much.
"I have no interest in romance. Shinobi such as myself have no place for those kind of emotions."
She grinned, glancing at the two team mates sharing secret smiles. Liar.
Woah, this is old. I found it in an old notebook, collecting dust- must've written it a couple of years ago. But I made a few adjustments, and it seemed okay to publish. I think that I wanted to create a fangirl that wasn't your stereotypical queen bee type, or a total Mary-Sue. I'm actually kinda fond of her :3
Hope you enjoyed reading this!