A/N-I've been thinking about this chapter for a couple of days, and have finally come to a conclusion. Contains traces of NejiHina, and ShikaIno. Please review at the end!
The usual blue sky along with the clouds faded away, though in went unnoticed by any of the villagers in Konoha. It was replaced by a grim, grey background with nothing to support it. Not even a single bird could be spotted making its way across the sky.
The news has been broken to everyone already, and they took it in slowly. Most of the kunoichi had to ask the Lady Tsunade to repeat what she had said to them, just to soak it all in. Some even started to cry a few moments afterwards. Every person from the Konoha 12 (excluding Sasuke) was present in the room at that time. Ino held on to Shikamaru to prevent her from falling down and crying on her knees. Hinata had to hold on to Neji for the same reason. Sakura, wanting more answers, swallowed her grief and finally faced Tsunade with a question.
"What happened to her?" She barely managed to choke out, sniffling out more of her wet tears. The other kunoichi joined her weeping as well.
Tsunade had to hold back her own tears as well. She regained her composture and looked at them, sympathy flooding her eyes.
"She requested an A-rank mission and was killed by a group of Kumogakure shinobi." She said plainly, although she was hurting inside as well. Tenten, she had to admit, was one of the strongest kunoichi she had ever met. Let's not forget that Tsunade was her idol or a period of time too.
Hinata dug her face into Neji's shirt, not wanting to hear anymore. Those damn rogue Cloud shinobi. What did they want from Konohagakure? Can't they just target another village? They've killed too much of their nin, anyway.
"Her funeral will be held this afternoon."
That afternoon? It was too soon to say goodbye to their life-long friend. They exited the room a couple of minutes later, by Tsunade's command. She herself couldn't handle all the sadness dwelling up inside the room. It was bad enough that one of her shinobi died! Now, she had to watch their mourning reactions? She sat back down in her chair, eyes closed, thinking about why Tenten asked for a solo A-ranked mission.
Her eyes opened quickly, and then slowly drooped back down. She understood.
She looked outside her glass window. She was the first person to notice the sudden change of weather. There was only one thought present in her vacant mind.
'Tenten, I'm sorry he didn't know.'
The funeral was, as Tsunade said, that afternoon. The majority of Konoha had come, even the people who she had only talked to once or twice. They were all dressed darkly, much like the expressions they bared across their faces.
Sakura, Ino, and Hinata did their best not to cry, but a few tears escaped their moist eyes here and there. Lee and Gai were surprisingly quiet, neither of them shedding any traces of tears. She deserved more than that. Kiba and Akamaru both had solemn faces. Kiba had to comfort his dog to stop him from whining. Those two grew close to Tenten over the years. Shino had the same look he always had printed on his face, but with slumped shoulders and low eyebrows. Shikamaru's eyes were closed the entire time, probably so no tears could escape. Thus, saving his pride. Not shockingly, he didn't think this occasion was troublesome. It was needed. Chouji didn't feel hungry at all during the ceremony. Tenten was actually a great friend to him. Naruto didn't have his usual trademark smile on. His sea blue eyes lost their luster and were replaced by raw sadness. He'd never lost a comrade for good. I mean, sure, Sasuke left. Naruto could bring him back, for Kami's sake! Tenten could never be brought back to Konoha ever again. And that's what he hated. He hated the fact that one of his friends was gone for good-and he couldn't do anything about it.
There were only a few people that didn't attend the ceremony. Them, being the Hyuuga heads. They had a meeting today, and couldn't miss it, no matter what the occasion. They let Hinata slide, because Neji was really all they needed...
They all went home in silence, no one even bothering to say a word to anyone else. Hinata ran back to the Hyuuga compound, her held back tears finally being let out. She locked herself in her room, and sat down on the wooden floors.
'Why did it have to be me? Why did I have to take him away from her?'
She crawled to a corner and pulled her knees against her, resting her forehead on her kneecaps.
Neji was also in their room, but he went unnoticed to her. He studied her features; bloodshot, puffy eyes, with her face nearly consumed by her wet tears. He stepped closer to her, and she scooted back.
"Hinata, what's the matter?"
"T-Tenten." She said between hiccups. She couldn't handle anymore guilt.
Neji furrowed his eyebrows, wondering why she was crying over her death. That's life, anyway. At least she died how she wanted to.
"What about her?"
She glared at him, hard. He had never seen this side of her before.
"She's dead. Dead, Neji. Don't you even care?" He was surprised that she didn't stutter during those few sentences. He started to choose what he was going to say next, careful about his next choice of words.
"Tenten died the honourable way, Hinata. Let her be."
Hinata stood up and scoffed.
"You really don't know, do you?" she puzzled him, crossing her arms tightly.
"Know what?" he said, with hints of concern on his Hyuuga features.
"She loved you Neji."
The sky was still grey, as he walked to the slab of stone. He outlined the engraved letters with his fingers. He thought about everything they've done together, and everything she's done for him. There were now eight birds circling his body high above in the sky. How ironic.
He suddenly realized how stupid he was for not noticing. For not being there for her. His thoughts were all jumbled, but he held onto one desperately. And it pained him to know that he could never tell it to her face.
'I'm sorry, Tenten. I love you.'
A/N-Yes, Tenten died. I asked some of my friends whether she should die in this story or not. Most of them said she should, so, here we are. Special thanks to Starlight280, Airi Shirokuro, and M for helping me! And M, you know who you are! Please review!