Something light, because I miss summer. Posted originally on my LJ, now slightly re-written.
Tenten pads down the hot wooden planks striping the dock, shading her eyes against the sun with a hand that is faintly sticky with vanilla ice cream. An atrociously large sun hat flops from her other hand, trimmed thickly with an ivory ribbon. ("It's pretty," she had told Neji when she bought it from the overpriced beach store.) Footprints gleam wetly behind her, each toe defined into individual coherence with saltwater and sand. ("Like you," she had added, teasingly, sliding a fingertip along the underside of his jaw. "Pretty Neji.")
She finds him lying on a deckchair at the end of the dock, eyes closed and arms crossed stoically over his bare, thoroughly sunblocked chest. He is not asleep; Tenten knows this because she knows that Neji dislikes falling asleep around strangers, and there are plenty of those about on the beach. She also knows that he really, really likes the olive green bikini she is temporarily covering up with a small towel, even if he hasn't said anything so far to suggest that he even realises she has on something other than her normal prosaic training outfit. (She had startled the rest of their holiday troupe by wearing something distinctly and almost gleefully girlish, stepping out of her usual tomboyish practicality with an ease that proved the smooth duality of her character, the girlishness wrapped carefully in steel. Her teammates had been the only ones left unsurprised.
There had been the obligatory wolf-whistles from Kiba and Naruto, both boys who appreciate a good opportunity to irritate a Hyuuga genius as much as they do a good ass.
There had also been a lot of obligatory glaring from said ruffled Hyuuga, though the effect was much dampened by the fact that his sunblock rendered him rather glittery.)
She moves deliberately into view in front of him, stopping right at the edge of the dock. Her shadow slants over the water underneath. Gai-sensei and Lee are a couple dozen metres from the shore, strenuously powering through the water in an intense display of youthful vitality.
"I think they really like it here," she says, knowing that Neji has opened his eyes and is looking at her.
She glances at him over her shoulder, a messy braid of hair swinging softly against her back. "Wanna go swimming, Neji?"
"Later, maybe." He has a book next to him, a blade of grass slid between pages two hundred and forty-three and two hundred and forty-four.
"Join me when you feel like it, then." She smiles sweetly, and suddenly her towel has been discarded like a badly-kept secret, crumpling onto the ground along with the hat, and Neji is rolling his eyes and smiling at the same time while getting to his feet, because he really, really likes that bikini on her, even if he is far too much of a gentleman to ever admit it aloud.
(He doesn't bother to ask why the hat had hit the ground with a heavy, metallic clunk, denting the deck slightly in a most un-hattish way. Partly because he knows that she has probably hidden enough senbon under the ribbon to wipe out the nearby marine wildlife, but mostly because he is far too busy following a pretty brunette kunoichi into the water.)