Drabbles for the Ten for Ten challenge. *Bangs head on the table* My head's been hurting like hell for days now and it was only because I promised a friend (yes, it's you Khei. Because you're special) and, eh, well... the community that I'd contribute something to the festival even though I'm barely keeping my head from bobbing on the keyboards.... it's a miracle I finished these drabbles in one sitting. At one am, on a Sunday.
Eh... drabbles come in no particular order, right? ^__^ I did it in order (as in, I started from one and ended at ten) but I want to start with the one that did not come out as planned but I liked how the concept was twisted. >_<
Tenten on researcher mode was narrating to an amazed Lee how a person, who wore a powdered frizzy wig, named Isaac Newton discovered the workings of gravity. It was actually one of those hot days when you would consider idly lying down on the cool grass as your most favored past-time...
"He actually had the idea when an apple fell from the tree," said Tenten as she lithely jumped from branch to branch; picking off stray but edible fruits to throw at Lee and Neji while they rested on separate trees on the ground, "I still have to research on the details but I think he was resting beneath an apple tree when it occured."
"And then an apple suddenly fell?" asked Lee, "Tenten, from that mere concept, he must've been a real genius to have formulated a world-wide law accepted by scientists in all generations!"
She nodded solemnly, "Yes," she leapt on another branch, "he's really quite a genius--"
The branch that she had stepped on snapped, but before gravity could do its painful wonders on Tenten, a pair of strong arms caught her- the owner, smirking with the entire world's smugness.
"Hn... if he was such a genius," said Neji, as Tenten's face visibly turned pink, "how come he didn't catch the apple when it fell?"
Lee had a big grin on his face by then, "Maybe the falling apple that Newton saw wasn't really the one that caught his eyes."
She actually got the idea from Shikamaru but she didn't even know what in hell possessed her, in the first place, to actually challenge Neji into a shougi match. Well, pardon the thought that Tenten got really confident after earning a compliment from Shikamaru that given enough time, she just might beat him when it ran down to strategies since she had the knack already.
But she was talking about Hyuuga Neji here- Hyuuga Neji the prodigy.
And right now, after losing three out of five games in their proclaimed gamble, Neji was going to claim his prize.
Tenten's first kiss.
Some gambles are just worth the effort of losing, rather than winning. She had to thank Shikamaru for that.
Tenten's initial reaction when Neji told her how much he feels for her was a wide-eyed facial expression of shock. When his words sunk in though, she only looked at him; grabbed his shirt, shoved him angrily up against the wall and said, "Well aren't you too full of yourself, are you?" she exclaimed, her eyes flaming in fury, "Tell me, Neji, can you possibly take care of me without actually hurting me?"
He only answered with the gentleness he reserved only for her, "Of course," he said with utmost confidence; gently holding her closer despite the fact that her hands were tightly grasping his clothes, "and that's because I know you're mine for the taking."
Normally, when the word "running" comes to mind, any shinobi would undoubtedly name Maito Gai or Rock Lee since they always are the pair to proclaim at the top of their lungs that they are going to run laps for a few times- maximum of five thousand, by far and minimum of five hundred- depending on the situation. However, if you ask Neji's thoughts on the word, he would give you a seemingly unconnected answer.
"The sky," Neji stares up at the clouds with a wistful smile, "because a wise woman once told me that the only difference between birds and humans are their means of getting into a place to another."
A picture of Tenten, aged sixteen, glides in his mind, "While birds fly to express your sense of freedom, Neji; humans who run carelessly as if they want the wind to carry their weight expresses my sense of freedom," she smiles at him, "We don't have wings, but we do have our feet to lead us over mountains and seas."
At age twenty-eight, Neji interlaced his fingers in the spaces of his his wife's own, "Is that freedom for you, Tenten?"
"Yes," she looks at him while feeling his hand over her swollen belly, "especially if it means running away with you."
10. Razorblade Kiss
It was an accident.
Neji knew that Haruno Sakura only meant to be so steamingly angry at Naruto for being stupid again, she resorted to throwing a fuuma shuriken at him in a rampaging brutal way. Along with that information also went the fact that she didn't mean to let it go astray towards an innocent Tenten's direction, he had instinctively felt the need to jump on the shuriken's way to protect her.
Well, to say so honestly, he forgot the fact that Tenten is a weapon specialist, and that she could easily deflect it.
Now, he was stuck in the hospital wing after "catching" the business end of Tenten's newly improved steel bo staff and a couple of scratches from the fuuma shuriken that Tenten managed to save him from in the end.
His only prize for his impulsive act of heroism was out Tenten's amusement, she visited him in the hospital and had given him a kiss.
"I think you deserved to be compensated for your efforts; and also," her lips lingered on his for two seconds, it actually made him grin, "Let this be a reminder that razorblades weren't made to be kissed especially if its business end was hurled to kill, hmkay?"
Well, she only had to keep doing that to keep him reminded.
06. We Might As Well Be Strangers
Tenten's perception dictated that Neji's treatment of her after years and years of being teammates was nearly close to saying that their relationship was only an inch away from the lines of entrangement during their off-training days.
Neji's perception dictacted otherwise, since his reason was he only wanted to return the freedom Tenten had given him during the times when he felt most caged.
Prying wasn't part of his agenda; and, neither was eavesdropping, of course. It just so happened that he had to innocently pass by the four kunoichi of their generation, but he never meant to overhear their conversation. Of course. He is Hyuuga Neji- a person too regal to be caught under pretenses of eavesdropping.
"What's new about Neji, anyway?" Still, he couldn't help it when he heard it was Tenten doing the talk; albeit, frustrated, "He still treats me as his ever predictable and reliable buddy who happens to wear women's clothing and speak in a falsetto range."
Neji's forehead creased. Why wouldn't she wear women's clothing even if he did consider her as his buddy?
He heard somebody groan. "I wasn't asking about that!" It was probably Ino, "I was asking if you told Neji yet?"
"Why would I tell him I love him?"
"I don't know," Sakura butted in, "maybe because if ever you decide on throwing him hints, you have to do it with a large brick, ne? Hinata-chan?"
"W- Well, Neji-niisan... h-he could really be dense, at times."
"... a brick, huh?" whispered Neji as he slacked away from the girls with a grirk- grin and smirk; there was no other word for it. And, he couldn't help but think that they've actually thrown the brick right before they could actually hit him on the face.
Well, it only went to show that he should really pay close attention whenever the chance to "innocently" listen to conversations presented itself.
03. White Out
There is but one phrase to name the occurence wherein you've been hit by something hard and solid, you would see stars twirling around you in a merry waltz. The appropriate term for description is supposedly "black out", but in Tenten's case, as the stars that whirled around her subsided, she prefered to call it "white out".
The reason behind it was just so she could commemorate the day when Neji's proximity came close to what others would call "friendlier" for the first time, it added to her loss of coordination; and, that all she could see during her momentary loss of coherence was those enticing pair of pearly-white orbs.
02. Sincerely Yours
Due to Tenten's influence, reading messages from those little yellow post-it notes plastered on his desk had been a routine for Neji every morning and at the end of every day. Mission requests were the most common content of those miniature notes but of all things he could've read that was considered a mission, he nearly lost the potency of his brain cells when one fateful day, a mission request was made for him by someone whom he did not at all expect.
I have a mission for you, but the following objectives will depend on how you would take it.
1. I think you're just too full of yourself.
2. You should really burn in hell, by all means.
3. I'm not joking about the first two objectives, but it feels really weird since I'm finding myself in love with you despite your peculiarities.
4. Tell me what the hell are you thinking right now; and,
5. Rendezvous point at the hill's peak, adjacent to the Hokage monument.
Accomplish objective number five so we could talk about this mission's outcome and naming your prize for obliging my whim.
Now, Neji was considered a prodigy in almost all things but, seriously, this had made his brain blast off to some unknown realm of reality. It actually took him some time before he had fully digested the meaning of its content and by the time that he had fully grasped it, he suddenly let out a dangerous smirk and disappeared in a puff of smoke to accomplish the last objective. After all, aside from being known as a prodigy, Hyuuga Neji was also reputed for practicality and being realistic.
So, when asked to name his prize...
"I think you already named what I want through that note," his smirk turned dangerous as Tenten gulped in all the air that she could muster after being subject to a torrid liplock, "does 'sincerely yours', ring a bell?"
Tenten nodded dopily.
"Hn... I do hope you mean it," He took her hand and slipped a ring on her finger. "because from now on, you're stuck with me."
"B-But," Tenten flapped around like a bird, "you haven't even courted *me* yet!"
"I have a lifetime to do that, if you're serious about what you said in that note," he actually smiled, "because, I'm sincerely yours as well."
01. It's Been Five Days
"Shortest is five," Tenten drew a line on the ground, "longest is seven- or a week."
"That's impossible," Neji looked at her as if she grew another head, "if those nin-guards detected Lee's speed without his weights on, I'd have to honestly say that I'm not entirely sure either of us would make it."
"Neji-kun, it was just a scratch," Lee gave him a thumbs up, "besides, if we could work out Tenten's plan, accomplishing this mission's objectives would be easier than smelling the flowers in early spring."
Neji looked at him as if *he* grew another head. "Hn..." he decided, there was nothing new about Lee growing another head, "Five days," his head turned to the kunoichi, "what happens on the fifth day, then?"
"Don't fret, Neji." Tenten emanated confidence, although that was certainly the last thing that had ever crossed Neji's mind since she suggested her plan, "I'm quite sure I'm making it out of there. Just trust me. I'm sure they won't do anything for at least a week if nothing malicious had been imposed."
"Yosh!" Lee nodded enthusiastically, "Then, it's settled! If this mission doesn't go according to plan within five days then, I swear upon Gai-sensei's words that I'm losing a thousand battles to Neji-kun!" pinging smile at the pair, "And, if ever that happens, I will do a million laps around Konoha to atone for that mishap!"
Neji mutilated the idea of raising an eyebrow as Lee sped away to commence the operation.
"Give me five days, Neji." Tenten's voice snapped him back, "I swear I'd meet you again at Konoha's gates. At dawn."
"Five days," Neji looked at her, placidly. "What happens if it's been five days and you still haven't showed up?"
Tenten grinned at him, "Wait for a week, then-"
She found herself pinned against the wall by Neji's hands, "Five days, Tenten." he emphasized each word with deliberate seriousness, "If it has been five days and you still haven't showed up..." Neji planted a firm kiss on her lips, as if he wanted to prove and seal a wordless point, "In exchange of five days, all of them will die in half an hour, and you're paying as well for your recklessness. Severely. Do we have an understanding?"
The kiss that followed nearly burned them; and, a year later, Tenten still couldn't erase that dopey grin that spread across her face everytime Neji made her recall how it felt like to be back in his arms five days and thirty minutes later.
After all, it's been five days since they've had a taste of each other.
Later. I need to rest. Sorry in advance if the post is awry. My head is close to being pounded by a sledgehammer. I'll edit it when I'm human again. ^__^