Summary: Ghost stories? Curry battles? Training with umbrellas? Yeah, really. NarutoSD is actually Tenten's drunken retelling of all of Team Gai's hijinks. But even Tenten misses a few things...most notably, why Neji just keeps acting funny around her.
A/N: What's this? Toboe's writing again? Yes really! (Don't hold your breath guys; I'm rustier than the Titanic.) For those that don't know, NarutoSD (aka Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth), is a chibi spinoff anime/manga, with Team Gai as the main characters. It is wondrously light-hearted and deliciously cracky. This fanfic is going to be a one-shot collection showing how all of that craziness that happens in the NarutoSD show totally could be canon. Except, with a fair warning: loads and loads of Nejiten shipping, because I AM a Nejiten shipper and if I want I can see everything through my Nejiten shipping goggles. Still, there will be plenty of Team Gai hilarity involved, because I will love this team forever.
A/N 2: A shout-out to riah_chan on LJ who first gave me this headcanon, Cheese1300 on DA/tumblr, and Wroathe for giving me the push to get this fanfic written.
Disclaimer: Toboe owns no rights to Naruto or NarutoSD, and knows very well there's a difference when one has shipping goggles on. Please remember that 1) it's for lulz and 2) you can wear whatever shipping goggles you want.
Chapter 1: Clueless
"It's like my team randomly turns into a comedy routine!"
Tenten rolled her eyes as she finished her drink, while Sakura debated patting Tenten on the shoulder…yet again. Hinata already was, as she had been doing for the last fifteen minutes. Ino, on the other hand, was snorting it up at the latest Team Gai story Tenten had just griped about at the bar.
While being a ninja did require being a little crazy (they began, after all, running around throwing fireballs and sharp pointy objects at the very mature age of six), it was universally agreed upon that Tenten was on the craziest team of all. No matter what bizarre story any of the girls had during their sporadic weekly get-togethers, Tenten always had a story to top them all. Which she did, in usually near-drunken levels, because that was the only way it made any sense.
Some people might be concerned that Tenten spent so much time grumbling about her team at a bar. But when Tenten tells you that she had discovered Lee and Gai-sensei trying to build a giant robot for the defense of Konoha in case Pein ever returned, in all seriousness…well. You couldn't really begrudge Tenten venting some steam or trying to wipe out the memories with a glass or two of beer. (Thankfully, it didn't take much, as Tenten – like the rest of her team – was a lightweight.)
From the look of Tenten's deeply furrowed brows though, today might require more than the usual round of drinks. Sakura motioned to the barkeep for another glass of beer for the kunoichi staring down at her empty glass as if it had the answers to all her questions.
Tenten gave a thankful nod to Sakura as a new tankard of beer was set before the weapons mistress. "Thanks, Sakura. Man, I don't know what's up with my team sometimes. I mean, sure, eventually you start to expect Gai-sensei and Lee's antics, but Neji…" Tenten waved a hand helplessly. "Sure, he's a genius shinobi, but sometimes it's like he's completely clueless!"
Ino snickered. "Uh-huh. What, he still hasn't figured out you have a crush on him?"
"What?" Tenten spluttered, then leaned over the bar to glare over at Ino on the other side of Sakura. "Ino! That's not— I don't have a crush on him!"
"Says the girl who's blushing…" Ino teased, lazily twirling and pointing a finger back at Tenten's flushed face.
Sakura jabbed Ino with an elbow. "Ino, maybe it's because we're at a bar—"
"I'm gonna need another drink," Tenten mumbled, lifting up her glass and taking a big gulp. Her face was red, but from her dark brooding look and the rhythmic clink of a kunai on the countertop dissuaded any more potential teasing about Tenten's crush.
But just because they weren't saying anything didn't mean Tenten wouldn't—
"Since when was Neji a romantic lover anyway?!" Tenten suddenly wailed, throwing her hands up in the air again.
Ino promptly went back to peals of laughter.
" 'S'not funny," Tenten muttered, a bit slurred as the alcohol began kicking in, happily fuzzing things over for the still perplexed weapons mistress. "He jest—just—asked, out of nowhere…No wait. Me'n'Lee were talking about movies."
A giant grin came across Ino's face as all the other kunoichi recognized this was going to be another hilarious tale about Team Gai. Hinata got ready to pat Tenten some more and Sakura got on guard to smash Ino's blabbermouth if necessary.
"Yeah, like, I was telling Lee needed to talk a break from his training or else he'd break something, and he just looked at me like I was an alien for wanting to take a break."
Tenten understood Lee's fanatic passion for training up to a point – it wasn't like Tenten hated training. Quite the opposite, actually. But Lee took it to such extreme levels that Tenten was always afraid that one day something would go terribly, horribly wrong – one too many weights, one slip on a too high clifftop, a stupid handicap that Lee wouldn't let go – and Lee would be stuck in the hospital again.
"I said maybe Lee could at least go watch a movie, 'cause it'd only be for a few hours and he wouldn't be doing five thousand pull-ups in the theater or something inane like that."
Lee wouldn't. He was just that polite and considerate. He was just completely inconsiderate of himself, the green goofball…
Tenten sighed. "And you know Lee. Next thing I knew I was telling him about every movie currently showing, because Lee had to know which movie would be best for training…"
And all of a sudden, all those mindless summer blockbusters suddenly became the Worst Idea Ever to Tenten. Because Tenten just knew Lee would try replicating whatever completely impractical action-stunts were in the movie, and no matter that it would be all CGI, Lee would take it all onto himself as a challenge and Tenten would go absolutely crazy.
"And then Neji walks in, and he asks us what's going on, and I tell him, and then OUT OF NOWHERE, he holds up three tickets for Huntsman and says we should all go!"
Tenten still didn't understand, but at least with the alcohol in her system now she didn't have to. Tenten was at this point happily fuzzed over, and it didn't seem to matter too much now that the Huntman was a romantic semi-tragedy about some star-crossed lovers – some brown-haired huntsman and one of those rare civilian Hyuuga that went into acting instead of being a ninja – probably how Neji had gotten advanced tickets, now that she thought about it – there'd been a lot of action in it, anyway, and the stunts weren't too ludicrous so Lee probably wouldn't kill himself, and the huntsman actor was kinda hot—
"The Huntsman?" Sakura asked, pulling Tenten out of her semi-dazed state.
"Yeah. The big romantic blockbuster," Tenten said, taking another sip of her drink. "Can you believe it? Seriously! I'd never pegged Neji to be the sappy romantic tragedy type!"
Sakura was chuckling, and Ino was right-out guffawing, but Hinata—
Hinata, on the other side where Tenten couldn't see at the moment, had big white eyes as if she'd had a Giant Revelation and a light flush that wasn't due to the alcohol because the Hyuuga heir didn't drink—
Because Hinata, unlike Tenten, knew the other half of the story. She knew, what happened that night before Neji asked Hiashi for advanced tickets. Even her father didn't know, although by now he might have guessed the true reason.
Because the night before, Neji – with such awkward stuttering, that Hinata had thought she was hearing herself – Neji had asked Hinata what girls liked. Not Tenten, which Hinata had thought was strange. And, since Hinata hadn't known, she had told her cousin the typical things like flowers and chocolates and romantic movies—
Oh. That's why Neji nii-san was asking what girls liked. He wanted to invite you.
Hinata glanced at Tenten, who'd face-planted onto the bar, clearly giving up at trying to understand her dysfunctional team. Hinata gently patted Tenten's back and Tenten inarticulately garbled something about "socially-inept teammates," and a tiny smile crept on Hinata's face.
Tenten-san, you're just as clueless as the rest of your team, sometimes.