A/N: First and foremost these characters don't belong to me. I plucked them out the Naruto-verse to play with a little bit more. This is more fluff, I freaking love the stuff. Third, thank you to all the people who reviewed, favorited or followed the first chapter. It was meant to be a one off but some of you, SerenaRose9, Nyoon, julia-reads asked for more so here's more as requested.
Shikamaru's and Temari's engagement sparks consequences in Konoha. Shikamaru's tactic of dating Temari without bothering with the romance bit got lovelorn TenTen thinking and acting.
"Neji," TenTen approached Neji after a workout on the training field. She adjusted her top pulling it down as though she was simply straightening her clothing while knowing full well she was trying to display some cleavage with the new shirt Lee had helped her pick out. "I was thinking of catching that new flick and I hate to go to the movies alone. It makes me seem like a friendless loser." It was so easy to be natural with everyone else but as she became more aware of Neji, working into this mega crush she was dealing with, it was harder and harder to just be herself with him but she tried giving Neji an impish grin, "You don't want me to look like loser do you Neji-kun?"
"No, TenTen that would be unacceptable." Neji replied solemnly,"Give me an hour to make myself presentable and I will join you in front of the theater."
Neji, I have to take my clothes off," she wriggled out his grasp and looked at him oddly. Her date, non-date approach had worked well. They watched the movie, stopped for ramen and as casually as possible TenTen invited Neji to her apartment. It went better than she hoped. The moment her door shut Neji's lips covered hers and things had gone fast with Neji quickly carrying her off to her bedroom.
"Oh I'm sorry, I got excited I didn't notice you were still dressed." Neji apologized.
"What?" The strange statement had her confused.
"To me," Neji lifted her chin closing her gaping mouth. "You're always naked. TenTen, I've been looking at you naked for years, watching you bloom from the bud of a girl into the full blossom of womanhood . It has been my greatest joy and distinct pleasure."
TenTen sputtered, confused and pleased, "But your byakugan isn't even active."
"The byakugan is for the hard stuff, seeing women naked is easy. It comes to all Hyuga men at puberty. Hyuga women don't talk about such." Neji's smile was barely perceptible but TenTen having been obsessed with him for years knew that glint of a smile was the equivalent of him rolling on the floor with laughter.
"Wait, wait, do you see all women naked all the time?" She wanted to know that what they were about to do was special, that she was special too. She accepted she was going to take him anyway she could get him but it would be nice to know she was special, that way she could look forward to a repeat.
"Yes and no. Well, I did at first and it was amazing but I quickly learned how to turn it off and on. Seeing Hinata naked was slightly more painful than a kunai attack. I protect her but you must understand that when I saw her I realized her I love her like my mother or maybe even my grandmother, or both combined." Neji cringed with remembrance.
TenTen giggled but her curiosity was peaked and she became less concerned with behaving properly for Neji and slipped into her comfortable self. "So who do you see naked? I mean, do you see the Hokage in the nude?"
Neji considered the impropriety then gave in to the sheer pleasure of talking to someone about long kept secrets. Hyuga men with their strictly controlled nature didn't gossip. He and Lee were tight but Lee was too...Lee. "No. Tsunade-sama is well endowed but has saggy bits that are not pleasant to the eye."
TenTen laughed wanting more, "What about Sakara?"
Neji was embarrassed that he had been so indiscreet but making TenTen laugh felt good. He couldn't remember making anyone laugh before,"Sakura-chan binds her breasts to be more effective in combat, which is wise. But she really has no need to."
TenTen laughed again delighted with the way Neji arched an eyebrow when he gave his punch line. She made a note to kiss that eyebrow and the other one too just to be fair.
"You should never bind yours." Neji flushed.
TenTen suddenly felt like teasing, "It is wise for Sakura-chan but not for me. I am a weapons specialist. Some women have been known to remove a breast to improve aim and efficiency." She jiggled herself in exaggeration pleased to see his eyes move with her.
He mock gasped in horror. "That is a sacrilege, a crime against nature. It is a wise for some well endowed women, therefore it is unnecessary for Sakura but good for Shizune."
"Really, I had no idea she was stacked." She scooted back to lean against the headboard. The intense urge to get him done had been replaced with joy at finally being able to be at ease with him. Tonight, although they long years of friendship behind them, had been awkward at times.
As casually as he could Neji sidled up beside TenTen against the headboard and lightly grasped her fingers. "I suppose not, that's a Hyuuga secret much like who shaves what and when."
TenTen didn't take that bait, she was eager yet dreading knowing what Neji thought of her friends and if she had any real competition. "What about Temari? Is she really that stacked or is that a push up bra?"
"I don't look at that one. She is the woman of a close comrade." Neji was emphatic in replying.
"You're trying not to answer. They just admitted their relationship. What about before then?" Tenten pushed. Temari was taller and more curvaceous than herself. She wanted to know what body type he was into.
"Yes, but you had to know they were a couple. It has been apparent for a long time. Years ago Tsunade-sama asked those of us who had made chunin at that time who would volunteer to escort the Temari on her first visit as ambassador. I shot my hand in the air and had it promptly snatched down. It caught me off guard then Shikamaru volunteered by saying, "Tch, its a pain in the ass, she's loud and bossy but you can trust me Godaime to keep my cool and represent the Leaf in relations with Suna."
TenTen laughed again at Neji's impression of Shikamaru. He had even slouched in the bed and ran a hand in his pocket to drawl out what Shikamaru said. Neji pulled his hand out of his pocket to reclaim TenTen's. "That's an unfair advantage you had in knowing they were really a couple."
"He had an unfair advantage over us. We had to sit there while he held us immobilized as though we were a bunch of hot heads. He diminished my trademark Hyuuga cool. Besides he calls her troublesome all the time. I have come to realize it's a term of affection with him."
"So there's been a Shika and Temari for a long time. What about Ino? They are new, therefore you can't claim Choji loyalty." She wanted to know if she was into blonds.
"Now that one does wear a push up bra and she stuffs it too. Please don't share that."
TenTen guffawed, "I won't Neji-kun. You can trust me."
"I know I can." He kissed her lightly on the cheek. At least he tried to, with dead on accuracy TenTen caught his lips with her mouth. Neji broke the kiss which dismayed TenTen until he said. "I can see any woman naked any time but when I close my eyes the only woman I see is you."
With dead on accuracy again TenTen flung herself at Neji. The target was pleased. This time their attempt at lovemaking was not awkwardly fueled by hormones. There were plenty of hormones at work but now they were at ease with each other and taking time and asking questions rather than trying to just get it done as soon as possible.
When they were spent and TenTen was wrapped tightly in Neji's arms she told him, "You're the only one I see naked too."
He kissed the back of her neck before saying,"I figured that out on my own."
"Ugh, I don't mean my recently changed virginal status. I mean, you're the only one I want to see naked."
"Yes, TenTen, I figured that out on my own too."
"How long have you known about my massive crush on you?" TenTen was beyond being embarrassed at this point with Neji's strong arms around her. He showed no intention of leaving her home.
"Hinata warned me a month ago that you had designs on me however I knew before then." He licked the back of her neck this time. "Now I have a design on you." He blew the back of her neck chilling her wet skin.
"Again when did you know?" TenTen longed to turn around in to see him but Neji's hold was pretty firm. "I had my suspicions before Lee approached me to let me know man to man that your heart was a tender petal of youth's wondrous spring. He said I must tread lightly lest he be forced to kick my ass in ways unknown to man."
TenTen laughed out loud shaking her whole body. "Lee so didn't say that. He is incapable of speaking, you know, coherently."
"No, he's not. When it comes to you he can be explicitly clear. Men also speak differently when there are no women about. He wanted to make sure I understood him and I did. I am jealous of your friendship with Lee. You never ask me to go shopping with you."
"Neji-kun you still haven't answered my question, when did you know?" TenTen tried wiggling around again. This time Neji made a show of adjusting her so they faced each other and every limb was carefully placed to maximize comfort. Once in place she did her best to glare at him in the darkened room because she knew he could see her with crystal clear clarity. "Now Neji."
"I've known you were in love with me for as long as I've been in love with you." Neji revealed to a stunned TenTen for although she knew that wasn't an answer the impact of Neji saying he was in love with her was enough to quieten even her indomitable spirit.
It was the next morning before such a distraction could be bothered with again as they engaged in love rather than speaking of it. "Neji-kun if you had such strong feelings for me since your injury at the hands of Orochimaru's henchman, why has it taken so long for you to act on it?" TenTen stretched languidly in the bed beyond pleased that he was still there far past dawn and showing no sign of leaving.
"I didn't have anything to offer you. I am not of the main family." He tapped the visible reminder of his servitude etched into his forehead. Our children will never be free." Solemn Neji had returned.
"Dude, you have to slow down. We don't have to worry about kids and marriage. We can simply date and get married later or never if it stresses you out so much. I am in no rush. You're so serious." TenTen forced a smile. She had always known she wanted Neji but her wanting had been centered on the physical.
"Of course I am serious. It's part of my charm is it not? How would you feel about marrying into a life where your kids are marked."
"Yikes, Neji. We don't have to cross that bridge for ages." TenTen replied wanting to say more but she was interrupted by a insistent pounding on the door. "I'm coming. Hold your horses!" She yelled while scrambling for clothing.
She opened the door an inch leaving the chain in place only to have it flung open wide by Gai holding a bouquet of flowers followed by Lee. "Gai-sensei, what a surprise!" She left the unwelcome part unsaid. Gai never visited her home, he said it wasn't proper, " What brings you here this morning?"
"I am overflowing with the joy of combined youth. The fountain of happiness runs abundant!" He swept her into a great crushing hug. "Where is Neji-san?"
TenTen although somewhat embarrassed that Gai-sensei knew Neji had spent the night really wanted to tell him none of his business. Alas, she respected her former sensei far too much.
"Right here Gai." Neji answered walking forward from the bedroom with nary a hair out of place. For a moment TenTen hated him for his calm put together appearance as she stood there disheveled in a tatty t-shirt and shorts.
"Good, very good. I am here with united with Team Gai to begin the celebrations of your engagement." Tears streamed from Gai's eyes and with great delicacy he dabbed them with a tissue. "Hurry TenTen go get dressed."
Lee gave her a gentle nudge towards the bedroom virtually demanding she stop and dig her heels in. "Hold up! Hold the fuck up," momentarily respect for her sensei was suspended, "Aren't you all jumping the gun? One night does not make an engagement."
Gai laughed loud and hard, much like he did everything," Of course it does. As I said to Neji-san, after you started making cow eyes at him, if you deflower the blossom the bloom will be yours forever more." With an until now unheard menacing tone, Gai prompted, "You do remember this Neji?"
Meekly Neji merely replied, "Yes, Sensei."
"And you have asked TenTen to join your clan, to be your most honored wife and for once giving her a name." Gai went on.
"Not yet Gai-Sensei." Neji admitted.
As Gai started moving in on Neji, TenTen had to have a quick debate as she placed herself bodily between the men. Give Lee and Gai and earful for showing up at her home demanding Neji marry her like some weak female that needed a man's protection or recognize Gai was off his damn rocker like always and she had to save Neji's ass. "Gai-Sensei he was just getting to it when you came to the door," she replied honestly because it was easy for her to now see that's where Neji was going.
"Ah my genius pupil, I interrupted your most special moment, but perhaps I can make it more special with this. Gai dug through his flack jacket with his one free hand while the other held the impressive bouquet. He eventually had to hand TenTen the bouquet to continue his search as they stood by waiting with the acquired patience one learned when dealing with Gai on a routine basis. "TenTen, hurry and go get dressed. Hurry!"
She handed off the bouquet and left the strange trio in the room while she went to the bedroom thinking about all the times she had tried to get Neji alone with casual invitations to ramen or bbq and he gently but firmly refused. He had been saying "No, TenTen I'm not ready for marriage yet." Had she been a pathetic waif waiting for him? She was more pathetic than Hinata. She had wanted Neji and Neji had wanted her but she didn't understand until now how big a commitment catching a movie with him was going to be. When she clumsily asked if he want to come to her place she had no idea it was the equivalent of asking Neji-kun to marry her and damn if he hadn't said yes. She had to sit down to digest that. She had proposed to Neji last night. And he said yes.
She couldn't help but think, damn that was easy.
"So then what happened?" Ino demanded. "At some point you came out the room."
"Be patient Baka! This is my story and I want to tell to the fullest!" TenTen shouted.
"The fullest? It seems pretty darn g-rated to me. What happened to all your big talk about blowing him first chance you got?" Temari stretched languidly on the divan in Hinata's room. Girls night had a different venue. Usually Ino's was the spot because her room was large and full of girly things to play with, tonight Hinata issued the invitation. Her room was large too, but had all the comforts of a museum. Ancient furniture that was better suited to being looked at than actually used dotted the room along with a multitude of figurines. Temari had one of the few comfortable perches in the room. The Huuyga servants, more excited about Lady Hinata's first sleepover than the lady herself, kept the room stocked with delectable refreshments.
TenTen sniffed, "As I said be patient and I will tell you all about that experience." She lifted one eyebrow adding, "Blow by blow," taking great delight in seeing them flinch.
"TMI!" Ino screamed. "That's too much information. We don't need or want a lick by lick re-telling."
Sakura launched a grape at Ino before hissing, "Hypocrite. Choji would absolutely die if he knew how much you shared about his oral talents. I swear everytime I see his tongue I feel like a pervert."
Ino, far from feeling chastised nodded, "You should, his tongue is amazing or O-mazing rather." She sniggered at the uncomfortable silence she created. "Sakara, don't let me catch you looking at his tongue, it's mine."
"Never have I said this in a more fitting manner, Ino-Pig!" Sakura yelled.
"Umm Hmm, I'm my Choji-dumpling's favorite; barbecued pork and he can't enough of me!" Ino stuck her tongue out at Sakura, who hurled a pillow at her.
"Is there anything I can say to insult you? I'm trying my best over here." Sakura threw another pillow at Ino.
Ino dodged the flying pillow and said, "You generally suck at everything, so probably not. But I love you despite your incompetence."
"Is the Ino-Sakura show over? I was just telling my story of how the finest, most gorgeous jounin in all the land succumbed to my charm."
"We are listening TenTen." Hinata assured her friend. She had heard Neji's version but she really wanted to hear TenTen's. Neji's version for instance never included him spending the night. TenTen had of course omitted Neji's byakugan side effect, so her story up until that point has been movies, ramen, he rocked my world and then Gai and Lee came over.
"I dressed and came out the room slowly and demurely in my best kimono, dragging ass because at that point Lee was banging on the door and jumping up and down. Petals were strewn across the floor leading to a chair. Neji was on one knee waiting. Lee escorted me to the chair to sit upon the cushion..."
"Oh Kami, that sounds so romantic!" Ino screeched earning a glare from TenTen.
"It was romantic except for Gai-Sensei standing behind the chair weeping. He was trying to be silent but failing. His tears were falling down the back of my collar. But anyway, I sat down and Neji took my hands and looked into my eyes and he said...Wait I wrote it down." TenTen stopped, reached into her top, and extracted from her bra a folded note. "He said, TenTen, I have loved you with the enthusiasm of youth unbridled and it has grown to the passion and strength of a man. I promise to love you all the days of your life, to protect and provide for you, and to honor you forever. I give you my solemn promise. Will you accept my hand in marriage?"
TenTen sighed pressing the paper to her chest. "Isn't that the sweetest thing you ever heard?"
Hinata sighed,"I can't believe Neji-kun had it in him." She also couldn't believe Lee and Gai were there however Neji's retelling had been at the dinner table where he announced, with Father's permission, that he had asked TenTen to marry him.
"I can't believe you wrote it down. Do you carry it everywhere?" Temari asked.
"Absolutely everywhere. I don't want to forget a word."
Sakaru questioned, "With the enthusiasm of youth? I don't recall any enthusiasm from Neji..like ever." She paused for a moment searching her memory, "Never. Not even slightly. Had he said dutifully, I could dig it but enthusiasm. Lee has enthusiasm down pat. Naruto? Absolutely. Neji, not even full of sake."
TenTen grinned and said, "I know right, but he was on one knee proposing to me. I wasn't going to argue besides he showed me his enthusiasm and passion in the bedroom so I was good." She laughed, "I was real good."
"Wasn't it coming at you too fast?" Temari questioned from the divan where she had been contentedly chewing her fingernails. "You talked about blowing him, using genjutsu and crap, but you never said you wanted to spend the rest of your life with him."
Suddenly all eyes were on Temari. The focus was shifted. Ino led the charge to get all up in Temari's business. "Did Shika come at you too fast? He did date you for a good little while before proposing?"
"Hey this isn't about me and Nara. Tonight is about TenTen's capture of Neji. Right TenTen?" Temari tried redirection.
"Ha! Did you really think that was going to work?" TenTen fairly danced over to the divan to nudge Temari back into laying down and in her best soothing voice said, "Now Temari you are in a safe non-judgemental zone and we, the four of us, promise complete confidentiality.
Sakura, Hinata and Ino swarmed over to crowd around the divan where Sakura took the lead to say, "When we last met you contended that you and Nara Shikamaru were only friends, yet his ring is on your finger..."
"And is his mother is telling anyone who will listen that she is getting a princess for a daughter." Ino chimed in. "Aunt Yoshino is insufferable, but even more so than normal."
Sakura went on, "It seems your engagement may have happened too fast."
"Too fast, they dated for a year at least." Ino snorted.
Temari looked at the inquisitive faces surrounding her. Sakura knelt at her head, next to the divan. Hinata sat on the divan at her feet. Ino and TenTen sat on opposite sides. Temari looked into TenTen's eyes and decided to share. "Okay, Shika and I dated a year, but I didn't know that. Don't give me that look! I didn't think about him like that. Shika was right, I had my responsibility as Gaara's advisor and bodyguard to focus on. I didn't look at any man like that or even think about that path in life. My path as the kazekage's sister was set. So you might have seen a year of dating, but I had twenty minutes of knowledge before this." She held up her hand to show off the intricate metal band engraved with the Nara clan symbol.
"Poor Shiho, you scared her terribly." Hinata reminisced.
"If that scared her she has no business calling herself a ninja!" Temari thought back to seeing that woman smiling into Shika's face, in memory it made her blood boil. "She had better keep her distance." Hinata wished she had kept her mouth shut.
"I can see how this is moving too fast you jealous witch." Ino intoned flatly.
"Look, don't get me wrong. Shika is mine and I dare anyone to challenge my claim, but it still happened too fast. I ran across the street to defend my right to bear his children, call his mother my own, generally to be a part of the Nara clan, but even then I wasn't thinking I sure would like to get buck naked with the dude standing on the sidewalk yawning and scratching the back of his head."
"What are you saying, Temari? You don't want Shikamaru like that?" Ino spoke defensively. Shikamaru was like a brother to her. Their birthdays were a but a day apart. She had grown up with him and Choji due to the closeness of their families.
"I didn't at the time, I do now. His body is like fucking perfection. His cuts have cuts, its kinda hard to tell because his slouch has a slouch but Nara naked is pretty much all I think about all day everyday. Not completely naked, oiled up all over. But only if I do the oiling. Yeah, all slick with oil and sweat. I want to oil him up then make him sweat. Umm..." Temari's eyes glazed over.
Sakura screamed, "What the hell? You can't have it both ways!"
"Yes, I can too!" Temari screamed back. "I can want to fuck his brains out, be a member of his family and it can all be too fast. TenTen understands."
TenTen nodded but didn't say anything as Temari went on in a rush. "Shika admitted to me that we were dating seriously on the walk back to his house. We had our first kiss at his gate. Then before we went into the house he said, "It will be be awhile before we can do this again. He kissed me at the front door and it was sweet and perfect until Yoshino opened the door and screamed, "She said yes! She said yes! Shikaku get the camera! She said yes!" My mind was still reeling from the shock that we were even together but I still had presence of mind to say, "He hasn't asked me anything". By then Shikaku had arrived to say, "Son, what are you waiting for?" Yoshino yelled at Shika, "Get on one knee. Do I have to tell you everything?" Then she wrenched off her own ring and pressed it into Shikamaru's hand. I expected him to complain, everything is troublesome to the boy but his parents ramming an engagement down his throat he says nothing but sinks to one knee and takes my hand."
"Do you understand that not even twenty minutes before that I denied we were together and to my mind it was the absolute truth. I pulled my hand back saying that without the kazekage's permission I couldn't accept a marriage proposal. Don't look at me like that." She addressed the room. "As a member of the ruling family I can't marry without Gaara's consent and that of the council.
"Yes but this is just the proposal." Ino pointed out.
"Don't worry about your precious Shikamaru. We are engaged are we not?", Temari sucked her teeth and continued. "Shikaku said, "That will not be a problem. Gaara and I have spoken of your union at length. It has been apparent for years that you two are well matched and have chemistry. The articles of marriage have been settled on both sides"
Then Shika interrupted Shikaku to one up him with, "I formally asked Gaara for Temari's hand in marriage when I was in Suna for her birthday. Gaara gave his permission. "
Shikaku argued, "You two have been obvious since the arena. As the heads of your respective families Gaara and I have met with Tsunade to handle the official matters. Son your request was a mere formality."
Shikamaru reclaimed my hands, but looked at his father to say, "Gaara and I presented it the Suna council, which is more than a mere formality. The council approves the union."
"Are you guys getting this, it seems everybody in two nations knew Shikamaru was my boyfriend except me. Go figure right?"
"No it was pretty damn obvious if you ask me." Sakura disagreed.
"As obvious as your school girl crush on Uchiha?" Temari taunted back.
Sakura shrugged, "Yep, that obvious."
Temari continued her tale "Yoshino took over yelling, "You're both brilliant, geniuses, blah blah get on with it already and make Temari my daughter!"
"So you said yes because you were backed into a corner?" Ino asked going on the defensive again.
"No, when I'm backed into a corner I come out swinging a giant tessen and woe behold anyone in my way. I stood on Nara's doorstep with the scent of Yoshino's mackerel wafting out, smelling delicious and I normally don't even like the stuff, but the way Yoshino cooks it is divine. She normally won't serve breakfast so late but she was waiting for me. The whole family was waiting for me because I complete them. Then I looked down at Shikamaru...and don't you dare tell anyone this...my heart melted and finally Shika said, "Will you marry me Sabaku no Temari?" I cried like a bitch and said yes. Seriously don't share that, it would ruin my reputation as a hard ass."
"He didn't say I love you?" Hinata questioned incredulously.
"When he stood up he said, "I love you", then Yoshino threw her arms around me and said, "Me too!"
"So are you engaged to Shikamaru or Yoshino? Or are you engaged to Shikamaru and Yoshino?" TenTen teased.
Temari clarified, "Don't forget Shikaku. I'm engaged to all of them. Sometimes I feel like I'm engaged to become a Nara rather than his wife. It was all so damn fast. Within minutes he went from being my guy friend, okay maybe he is my boyfriend to being my fiance. Its a little hard to adjust to."
"You could have said no or asked for more time. I'm sure they would have understood." Sakura added reasonably.
"I did consider that but -and I don't suffer from any type of inferiority complex-they are all so smart, like scary smart. All of them, especially Shikaku. He's the smartest person I know and Shika is no slouch-well he is slouch but mentally he's a triathlete-any way Shikaku thinks I should marry Shika then its probably the best course of action-for the entire world because he thinks on that scale." Temari shrugged and the other girls understood having learned to never doubt Shikaku or even Shikamaru for that matter when it came to strategy.
"Uncle is wise, but you do want Shika right?" Ino asked, then to make herself understood added, "You want to see him naked."
Temari corrected, "Naked except for oil and sweat. You ruin the fantasy if you leave out the oil and sweat.
"Wait, hold up-you haven't seen him naked?" Ino asked amazed.
"Nope, Gaara made it clear that a royal bride would be given pure in marriage or he's going to kill my Shika. Frankly my brothers don't care who does the dirty deed, they are putting Shika's neck on the line. Fucked up, right? Maybe that's why he hangs around me all the time. Keeping a watch on my ass-ets." Temari grinned.
"Wow, that's a surprise. You don't seem the type." Ino spoke before thinking.
"The type to knuckle under my brothers? I'm not really. Gaara may not be a cold blooded killer anymore but he's nothing to mess with either. If it were just me, I might take him on but its Shikamaru's ass on the line so..." Temari explained.
Ino, still not fond of thinking replied, "No, you don't seem the type to still be a virgin. What are you twenty-one?"
The other girls, thinkers, drew back, "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
Ino continued, perhaps in a false sense of security in the heavily guarded Hyuuga compound. "Well the way you dress for one thing"
"What's wrong with the way I dress?" Temari hissed.
Ino took the spot vacated by Hinata on the divan to sit with Temari, like they were having a heart to heart, " You kinda set it all out there, low cuts tops, push up bra and short skirts. Not that I'm knocking your style. They are clothes I would choose myself but people call me a whore, although strictly speaking, just between us, it's not too far off the mark. I am a sexual being." Ino smiled at an incredulous Temari who was rapidly processing Ino's remarks to decide what to react to. Ino said Temari dressed like a whore. Ino called Ino a whore. Well fine, Ino could insult Ino all day and twice on Sunday but she would be damned if she'd let Ino insult Temari. Temari's eye darted around quickly for her tessen but it was out reach so she let fly with her hand. Ino's startled expression didn't change her mind.
Sakura's block saved Ino from a pummeling that TenTen, and uncharacteristically Hinata, felt like she had coming. Sakura too thought Ino had that coming fair and square but bestfriend duty required she step in. "Temari, Ino is sorry for being a dumbass but she didn't mean any harm."
"What?" Ino asked perplexed. "What did I say? People tell me I dress like a whore all the time. You don't see me going around knocking the shit out of them!"
Temari, no longer even vaguely angry at the girl responded, "You're supposed to. Everytime. Everytime you hear it. What kind of kunoichi are you?"
"The kind that would never hit my father." Ino stated pleasantly and shrugged.
"Oh you have Daddy-issues too." Temari answered sympathetically.
"No, not really. Daddy says "Put some clothes on, Ino you're dressed like a whore." Mama, who put the flower child in Yamanaka flowers always says, "Inoichi lighten up let Ino enjoy her youth. She won't come to any harm. At worst she will marry a fine shinobi who forgets what it was like to be young and free. A strong sex drive is nothing to be ashamed of after all you didn't ask me out for my demure manners" Then Daddy usually says something like, "Must you share everything with the child." Mama always says yes, then they reminisce about their escapades and I run out before its time to cue the porno music."
"So, um your mama's a freak?" Temari said in the silence Ino's comments created.
"Oh yeah. Well she was then she met my daddy and eventually became the sedate flower lady leaving behind her carefree ways." Ino shared happily. "Now, having sampled what Konoha has to offer I will settle down with its best, my Choji.
Sakura, familiar with Ino's whole life story said, "Moving right along-So TenTen your Neji obsession paid off."
"My Neji obsession? Oh you don't know the half about his TenTen obsession. See I was really okay with just having him as a friend with benefits, a booty call buddy, my smoking hot ninja toy boy, my sex on ..."
"TENTEN, we get it." Sakura interrupted.
"Okay so I didn't expect to marry a Hyuga. I'm a teme, a bastard who doesn't know her father, no one knows who he is not even my mother, may she rest in peace."
"I'm am sorry, but what?" Temari questioned feeling every inch the outsider.
"My mother worked in a pleasure house before my birth. My father was a customer but which customer? No one knows." TenTen shrugged having grown use to the circumstances of her birth.
Temari, more than a little caught off guard, couldn't keep the shock off her face.
"Now, don't fret Tema-chan. The circumstances of my birth no longer have power over me. I have been in love with Neji for ages but I never saw myself in the role of wife to one of the distinguished Hyuga clan. I didn't dream it in my wildest fantasies."
Ino rolled her eyes at the ceiling and then blew her bangs up, she had no patience for slow moving stories. "So what's this got to do with the Neji TenTen obsession you were about to brag about?"
"You ever wonder why Neji is so driven? He got to jounin before any of us. He takes on more solo missions than any of us too. He does it for me!" TenTen gushed.
"He likes to be away from you as much as possible?" Ino asked with a grin.
"No baka. Neji says he's been in love with me as long as I have been in love with him."
"So that's still your obsession." Temari clarified.
"Neji almost died trying to bring that psycho Sasuke back home. Kami, it almost killed me. If Neji had died, I would have died right along with him. That was a scary revelation. After that Gai-sensei said I started making cow eyes at Neji. He told Neji I was a blossom or petal or some sorta flower crap but that he must be careful of my gentle heart. So anyway Neji said he started looking at me different after that. He liked my strength, wit and determination, yada, yada. I'm wonderful."
"Yada Yada -bullshit I bet you have that written down too!" Sakura dutifully called TenTen on her blase attitude.
"So what if I do? I doubt you all want to hear how Neji worships my utter perfection. So anyway, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted; When Gai saw Neji making cow eyes, and yes he does use that term, he took him aside..."
"Are you saying Neji fell in love with you at a suggestion?" Temari questioned.
"Look, I don't care how he fell in love, I'm the girl who was willing to use genjutsu. Besides didn't you fall in love with Shikamaru at a suggestion? See, it's not so bad to have someone point out what you should have seen all along. Gai took Neji aside and told him if he deflowered the blossom, no if he plucked from the bloom...maybe he said..."
"Popped the cherry...", Hinata volunteered with some trepidation but it seemed to fit the category.
"Really Hinata? Really? Have you ever heard Gai say anything remotely to the point?"
"No, but it was cherry blossom related and it seemed in keeping..." Hinata defended.
"Good point, but whatever it was Gai said came down to this; Neji was warned that sex with me would be a lifetime commitment and you know how Neji is all fate and destiny?" TenTen clapped her hands together with joy of the memory Neji holding her. "He said, "TenTen you are my fate and my destiny, you are my reason for being. For you I began to work harder, trying to excel in the ninja arts to increase my income to provide a proper home for you. Gai said I had to give you a home of stability and respectability." He rushed to become a jounin to save up for our future. He takes on solo missions to bring home more pay for our nest egg. I couldn't think past the bed and he was buying the house. Everything he does, he does for me." TenTen was lost in her romantic musings.
"Aren't the Hyuga's loaded?" Temari questioned wondering what she had missed.
TenTen leveled her gaze and unabashedly explained. "They are, but as I said, my father is unknown and my mother was less than respectable. It was very likely Neji's choice would not have been approved by the main family in which case he was preparing to sever all ties in choosing me. Gai-sensei impressed upon him that this was his life's most important mission, therefore he would need to prepare. You have seen Lee's impressive yet overdone work-out regime and the ridiculous weights? Neji had fiscal calisthenics and investments portfolios to cope with."
"Wow that is deep. Neji has been planning longer than Shikamaru. That is something in and of itself." Temari reflected.
"I know right? It makes my interest in him seem trivial. It wasn't, but I felt like Neji and I were finally getting somewhere and here comes Gai and Lee to cram it down my throat..."
"Oh, you're getting to that part of the story." Ino teased leading all the girls to guffaw with laughter.
"No! No! No!" TenTen declared laughingly. "We haven't gotten to that..."
"In the story," Ino asked, wanting to get to the juicy stuff so she could top whatever was said with Choji tales. "Or do you mean after all your big talk you and Neji haven't gotten that far?
TenTen rolled her eyes hating to admit that after all her talk, "We haven't gotten that far, and if Neji has his way we never will."
"So let me get this straight? He turned down a blow job?" Sakura was surprised. From what she gleaned from Kakashi's books, men never said no.
"Yes, my Neji is uber proper, and I think because of my mother's past he is too diligent in observing proper respect for me. He said, "TenTen, it is not dignified and you can not derive any pleasure from it therefore I must say no." Seriously, we were in my room, I was naked and kneeling at his feet and he formally declined oral sex. So I said, "I hope you don't think this means you get a pass because I have certain expectations and I damn sure expect you to meet them."
"So did he?" Ino questioned liking the turn of the conversation.
"Oh hell yeah." TenTen grinned a self satisfied grin before volunteering, "Neji can see my g-spot. He says it glows. He would be worth a small fortune in a brothel."
Ino was ready to brag, "Choji can use his partial expansion jutsu even on his tong..."
"Weren't you about to say you felt rushed." Temari interrupted Ino's track. She was missing out, she knew she was missing out. Shika kissed her, held her hand, felt her up but otherwise never did anything that might get him killed by pressing for more. Temari wanted more, she wanted more all the time. She literally thought about it all the time. The words 'cat in heat' now evoked a sympathy in her she never knew existed.
"Oh yeah, I was rushed but knowing Neji-kun wanted me enough to sever ties with his family has made it easier..." TenTen started only to be interrupted by Temari yet again.
"Obviously," Temari gestured to the room ,"the Hyuga's have accepted you."
Hinata who had been naturally quiet, obviously not wanting to participate in a conversation about her dear cousin Neji giving or recieving oral sex claimed a moment to speak, "TenTen is a welcome addition to our clan. The bride price negotiated reflects her value to us."
"Bride price? She has no family." Ino remarked with a startling lack of tact.
"She has Gai-Sensei and that was more then enough for Father to deal with." Hinata informed them.
"Yes but the bride price is paid to the family losing a daughter. My father waived the notion, I think out of relief, to have me settled with Choji" Ino interjected, "Gai can't collect a bride for a price for a student getting married. He must be out of his mind...I mean more so than usual."
"My sensei is the best." TenTen defended, "He's not conventional or sane anything of the sort, but he is dedicated and loyal. The bride price he negotiated was more like... I don't know to explain it.."
"I do." Hinata interrupted, "Gai wanted the Hyugas to demonstrate the value of adding TenTen to our family. As he said, the money will be used as TenTen's security should Neji disappoint her by dying because he did not fight brilliantly. Gai's words not mine. Father," Hinata swept her lashes down, "did not initially approve of the match. He was most reluctant to pay a bride price as traditionally Hyugas accept substantial dowries when males marry and receive handsome sums in bride prices." She blushed bright, "It is the foundation of the Hyuga fortune."
The other girls looked surprised at this revelation but didn't say anything as Hinata continued. "Father shared his expectation with Gai by saying, "I'm sure TonTon is a wonderful girl, but that is not the Hyuga way." It went downhill from there."
TenTen popped up to exclaim, "He called me TONTON?" TonTon the fucking pig? TONTON!"
Temari pulled her back down, "Relax. It does sorta sound alike."
"Father made an honest mistake the first time. The second time he did it to anger Gai to make him reckless. Several hours and several thousands later Father said, "It is easy to underestimate Gai because of his general buffoonery, but it was a mistake to do so." Then he went on to say, "Let that be a lesson for you girls, never underestimate your opponent" as though we were the ones who called TenTen a pig."
"So let me get this straight, Gai outmaneuvered Hiashi? Doesn't seem possible." Temari commented.
TenTen known to be embarrassed by Gai explained, "Gai-sensei finished the academy at the tender age of 7 and made chunin by 11. None of us can boast that feat. Naturally, he did it because Kakashi did it, which is pretty much the reason he does everything. You can't take him lightly and you can't take him too seriously. As Gai-sensei would tell you, "You don't have to be the smartest, fastest or most skilled, you just have to want it more. He wanted Hiashi's money more than Hiashi so he came away with it." TenTen shrugged then gloated, "I'm rich bitches!"
The girls shared a laugh before Hinata shared, "He could have gotten more. You have no idea how badly father wanted Gai to leave. It is a wonder he didn't offer me or Hanabi as a bride for Rock Lee."
"Why was it so important to Gai?," Sakura started before pausing then going on anyway, "Do you you think he's your father? I mean, we know he's Lee's, but could he be yours too?" Then getting excited with her conspiracy knelt on the bed and whispered, "Lee is his most precious student and he wasn't trying to pair you off with him. Its because that's your brother. Omg! I can't believe I just figured that out. I'm so getting hair samples." Sakura rubbed her hands together with glee before snatching a hair from TenTen's head and asked, "Ino are you down?"
"Bitch are you fucking crazy!" TenTen yelled rubbing her sore head and jumping up to once again be restrained by Temari who stayed silent while thinking 'inquiring minds want to know' and acknowledging TenTen and Lee did resemble each other. Lee of course was a no brainer, no way could two people have eyebrows like that by coincidence.
"I'm crazy like a fox. Gai's your daddy and Lee is your brother!" Sakura held the hair in triumph. "I should have no problem getting a sample from Lee. If I asked him to he would shave his head bald. Gai will be a piece of cake too, a little flattery and he'll snatch a one out for me."
"You are crazy like a cat lady! What do you think Team Gai never addressed, 'hey sensei why does this kid look like your clone?' For your information Gai has never had sex! Not with a woman, a man or even his hand. He has a religious code of belief that energy begins in the sexual organs, they are the well spring of youth and vigor. To release the fountain of youth ie, bust a nut is to begin the path to death. So there! Gai didn't father me nor did he father Lee and please think about this; Gai is only thirteen years older than me and Lee. My mother, may Kami rest her soul, would never have seen a client that young. Now Lee could be my brother, Gai said his father was known to be a kimono chaser."
"Why...why do Gai and Lee look alike?" Hinata asked tentatively. She was intimidated by TenTen's attitude, but she was far too close to knowing something that had bugged her since the Academy. "They must be related."
TenTen shrugged,"Their families originate from the same village. They came to Konoha together many years ago after the village was first founded."
"The Village of Bushy Brows? What?" No way." Temari asked sure TenTen was bluffing.
TenTen smiled slyly then volunteered, "If you think the brow is bushy you should see Gai's back. He's like a bear and his legs. He gets everything waxed, religiously. It must cost him a fortune, but once when we were on a long mission he grew out." She laughed then laughed some more saying, "You know eyebrows that bushy never start as two separate brows. Forget caterpillar, untamed its like a freaking ferret."
Then she lowered her voice knowing it was wrong to share, "Lee's mother has a beard, she keeps it shaved but when we've walked home with him in the evenings her 5 o'clock could have rivaled Asuma's full beard.
"So Lee's part Yeti?" Sakura asked.
"Apparently." TenTen confirmed. "Too bad he's going to father your children."
The pillow Sakura launched caught Temari full in the face when TenTen ducked. Temari was dazed momentarily by the unexpected blow of a pillow launched with chakra fueled force. Hinata quickly defended her friend with a throw pillow barrage aimed at the pink haired kunoichi. For once Hinata was glad of the mountain of unnecessary fluff that adorned her bed. Ino was not passive, she owed Sakura for saving her earlier. She returned the volley aiming at their timid hostess. When Temari shook off her daze she used her wind control to batter the best friends with the pillows that were already airborne.
TenTen's eyes darted from one side to the other to spot the perfect opening. When it arrived she dashed for her pack and with no further delay drew forth a scroll and let fly her own impressive volley of pillows bringing everything to a screeching halt.
"You have a pillow scroll! Are you fucking kidding me!" Temari exploded.
"Hello, sleepover! Pillow fight-duh." TenTen said by way of explanation before giving warning, "Duck and cover!"
Temari, who wasn't a duck and cover sort of girl, grabbed a decorative fan from Hinata's wall to turn the tide from TenTen's second pillow scroll. This was war.
Team Himari was effective at turning aside and redirecting pillows. Hinata was primarily on recovering ammunitions and getting them airborne for the powerhouse winds released by an ancestral fan that had hung untouched on her wall for the past twenty years.
Team Sakuno's aim was to maim with pillows launched hard enough to break bone. Ino kept her friend supplied while not hesitating to take hold of the oppositions minds in turn to make sure they got a good pummeling. In the by and by their team won due to the other two teams needing medical attention proving although Sakuno were not the the most skilled fighters present, everybody needs to see the doctor.
Injuries treated by the victorious team, the girls eventually settled down for the night. Hinata invited Temari and TenTen to share the her massive bed and although she was still a little pissed with Sakura and Ino for thrashing her she had servants bring in cots to spare them the floor. She did however ask for the 'special' cots.
"Hey TenTen you never did tell us what Gai had in his flak jacket. You know the thing to make it more special." Sakura remarked from her cot placed at the end of Hinata's grand bed. She wanted to keep the conversation going regardless of her tired companions. The decisive victory had her too pumped to sleep.
"What do you think it was?" TenTen asked.
Ino volunteered, "A bowl to give Neji a proper haircut?"
"No, that was a pretty good guess though. Gai has gotten over that phase of trying to turn Neji. No, this is what Gai had in his flak jacket," TenTen raised herself to her knees and pulled on a delicate chain around her neck. "Gai gave Neji this ring to properly propose. Its a pearl and onyx meant to represent yin yang, the harmony of male and female. Sweet right?" She showed it off. The girls oohed and ahhed appropriately. TenTen stuffed the ring back in her bosom.
"So Gai gave you a ring, coached Neji to financial success and this has what to do with...Kakashi?" Sakura asked then explained, "Kakashi is the reason Gai does anything."
"Oh that? Gai wants grandchildren first." TenTen explained.
"Does Gai know how grandchildren work? I can easily believe he's never had sex but he should know enough of the basics...He's not your dad..." Temari started off.
"Nor Neji's" Hinata chimed in.
"So how does he expect grandchildren? Temari finished up
"You want me to explain leotard wearing Gai's logic? Okay, he calls us his fatherless brood. Neji has given up on correcting him that he had a father, but Gai always says, "He is dead much like Lee's father, then he goes on about how he is charged with being a proper father figure to us, to guide our path into being good shinobi and good people and blah blah blah and then some more blah blah blah that eventually led to Gai giving Neji his grandmother's ring to propose to me. So no matter how flawed his reasoning, he is serious about it. He intends to be grandfather to our children."
"The curse mark, TenTen, your children..." Hinata didn't finish her statement.
"Hinata how many times have you been kidnapped?"
"Three that I can remember and one that I don't." Hinata remarked thinking of the most recent attempt in which her captor's plan involved forcibly making Hinata a wife of a daimyo in a far off land. She knew she wasn't as strong as some but she was a kunoichi, neither of her would be abductors were even ninja. Frankly, she had been insulted.
"Like I was saying, I'm okay with my children wearing the 'Stop no kidnapping' sign." TenTen replied groggily.
"Did the shirts work?" Sakura asked still not ready to settle down to sleep on the iron springs and scratchy blanket trying to pretend to be a cot.
"The shirts?" TenTen asked.
"The one's Lee helped you shop for, the boob shirts meant to catch Neji's eye." Sakura reminded her.
TenTen laughed sleepily thinking back. After she and Neji were engaged and were out for dinner, i.e. their second date she wondered out loud if her new shirts had gotten his attention.
Neji looked confused and asked, "What shirts?"
She gestured to the one she on and said, "Shirts like this one Neji. I bought a dozen meant to catch your eye. "Come on Neji, tell me you noticed."
"TenTen, you need no adornment to catch my eye..."
"Cut the crap, Neji did you or didn't you notice?"
Neji sat in silence, dropped his eyes and the truth dawned on TenTen, "You really do see me naked ALL THE TIME!"
TenTen fingers grasped the ring, sighing happily she drifted off the sleep. She liked wearing her ring where Neji was sure to see it.