And just because I can, I have four excerpts from a RP I did with my friend...Tenten's birthday! Once again, I was Tenten and Lee, she was Gai and Neji.
Neji was rather surprised to find that Tenten was not at home on her birthday. He would have thought that if not at home, she'd be out with friends, but her parents had been rather insistent that she was out training. Then again, that was his usual birthday routine as well, so he found himself approving of the way she chose to spend her time. Better improving her ninja abilities than obsession over that Uchiha with the rest of the village girls under 17. He quickly located which training grounds she was on, and approached, carrying a small box.
Tenten sensed the Hyuuga's presence before she saw him, and this alone kept her from hurling a kunai at him. Of course, on any other day, she might have done it to see if she could surprise him, but she had a feeling he wasn't here to train today. So she paused, yanking a shuriken from the dummy she'd practically impaled and turned to him with a smile. "Hey, Neji! What are you up to?" And what was in the box?
Neji cleared his throat. "I came to give you this. Happy Birthday, Tenten. Fourteen now, is it?" He walked closer to her now that it was unlikely that doing so would get him maimed, and offered the box out for her inspection.
"Ehhh?" For a moment, the brunette stared at him, then smacked her forehead with her palm. "Oh, that's right! It IS my birthday today! I completely forgot!" She grinned sheepishly, then took the box from him, tilting it carefully to examine it. "Thanks, Neji! Can I open it now?" It was sort of embarrassing to forget one's own birthday, but hey...stuff happened!
Neji smiled slightly at her display. But it really wasn't unexpected that she had forgotten. Both of them had faced harsh defeats in the latest chuunin exam, and Neji knew he personally was working hard to make sure that it would never happen again. It wouldn't surprise him in the least bit if she were doing so as well. "Go ahead."
Her poised training attitude discarded, Tenten carefully opened the box...and had to fight off the very strong urge to squeal like a ...well, girl. Senbon! Beautifully-crafted senbon that were disguised as delicate hair ornaments! Not only would they be extremely useful, they were also incredibly gorgeous! Screw the fact that Hyuuga Neji was generally one with a penchant for solitude. Tenten was so grateful that she threw her arms around him (but didn't squeal). "Neji, they're PERFECT! Thank you!!!!"
Neji smiled and tolerated the hug. After all, they were growing up and she was getting prettier in his eyes. "I figured they would be useful for missions requiring undercover. They belonged to my mother, so please take good care of them."
"Of course! I'll take the BEST care of them! I won't let anything happen to them, I promise!" Of course, Neji could've given her a rusty kunai and she would've been touched that he'd even remembered her birthday when she herself had forgotten. And to give her THESE...the kunoichi couldn't resist giving him another hug, before she looked up, hearing a not-so-distant call of "TENTEN!" Sure enough, there was Lee, running towards them and lugging...a large box. Whoa, he'd remembered too?
Neji turned to give Lee a nod of hello, a lot more of a greeting then he would have given a year ago, before the loser Uzumaki Naruto hammered it into his head to you know, be a civil and decent person. He eyed the large box and wondered what was inside.
Lee really hadn't changed. Well...at least, his enthusiasm on certain days. He paused to drop his box and give Tenten a birthday hug so exuberant that he almost broke a rib or two, before handing the box to her with a grin. "Open it, open it!" Wondering what THIS was, Tenten obeyed...and ended up with Bearzilla, the biggest Teddy Bear she had ever seen. Not only that, but there were three smaller bears with it. Two wore green bodysuits and one had white eyes. "They represent all of us!" Lee explained. "See, the one with the kunai attached is you, and the two green ones are me and Gai-sensei and the white-eyed one is Neji!"
Neji pondered where the hell in a ninja village Lee had managed to get custom teddy bears made. He also wondered how the small Tenten would manage to carry that gigantic bear home. The mental image brought a slight grin to his face.
Tenten was about to ask her friend what Neji had been thinking, but Lee beat her to it. "It was fun! Sakura-san helped me shop for all the parts and we HAND-MADE them!" This made the girl blink, then grin before hugging him happily. "Thanks so much, Lee! You and Neji...both of you...thank you!" She squeezed the Neji bear tightly, then hugged the huge one.
The thought of Lee and Sakura sitting there sewing the bears... it was very silly. Ninjas don't sew, they kill things! But, all in all, Neji did have to agree that it was a good gift, sentimental and girlish.
Suddenly, a larger green clad figure came bounding over the plains... MAITO GAI.
HE was coming...inexorably closer and closer...it had to be HIM. She could have seen that Colgate smile from miles away, and sure enough, Lee bounced beside Tenten with a happy shriek of "GAI-SENSEI!!!"
"MY YOUTHFUL STUDENTS! ONE OF YOU IS ONE YEAR OLDER, IN THE SPRING TIME OF YOUTH! YOOOOSH!" He carried with him a gift bag covered in turtles. He was a scary sight, so excited.
The turtles. The turtles burned her eyes. But Tenten made a valiant effort to ignore them and instead managed a grin at her instructor. "Uh...thanks?" Lee looked as if he were on the verge of bursting into tears and she carefully edged away from him.
"A GIFT FOR THE YOUTHFUL TENTEN ON HER FOURTEENTH BIRTHDAY! YOOOOOOSH! MY LITTLE GIRL IS BECOMING A WOMAN!" Tears of joy streamed down Maito Gai's manly and dignified face. He handed the bag to her. Carefully nestled in it was a Tenten-sized green jump suit, a box containing surprisingly tasteful pearl earrings (no doubt a female had helped him pick them out), and a small set of kunais of varying size.
Needless to say, the kunoichi was thrilled about the kunais and the earrings, but upon seeing the jumpsuit, she had to do her very best not to run away, screaming her head off. "I never expected anything so unique!" She said truthfully, and was spared from any of Gai's speeches by Lee, who now threw himself at the older male and began to weep. "SENSEI! UPON WITNESSING TENTEN'S MOST YOUTHFUL DAY, YOU HAVE RISEN TO THE OCCASION MOST MAGNIFICENTLY!!"
I decided to skip the lovely part on Gai's secret love, Anko. o.o We were weird that day.
Damn him and his pretty hair. Tenten couldn't stop staring at it. So she did a very mature thing and covered her eyes so she wouldn't have to look at it.
Neji stopped and noticed Tenten covering her eyes. He instantly turned bright red and his stomach dropped. He looked down to his fly, hoping that it wasn't open... And it wasn't. Relief coursed through his veins. He no longer blushed. But then why was she covering her eyes? He cleared his throat.
Tenten cautiously removed her hands from her eyes. "Hm?"
He just gave her a questioning look. How do you ask why someone was covering their eyes?
She'd known him long enough to get the question in those pale white eyes of his. "Uh...I felt really dizzy for a minute...."
"Dizzy? Are you ok?"
The correct answer in such situations was "yes". She knew that much. But then she looked into his eyes. Damn those eyes. Damn that hair. Damn Neji for looking so frickin' hot while she felt like a drowned rat! And there went the hands over the eyes again.
Neji knee-walked over to her and placed his hand on her forehead, to check for a fever. He felt his pulse quicken from being so close to her. What was going on? This was TENTEN, not some...!
As if she hadn't been blushing already, Tenten turned the color of a ripe tomato. She pressed her hands even tighter to her eyes. Don't look, don't look, don't look...
"You feel kind of warm, but Hinata-sama is much better at this type of thing than me," Neji muttered. He wondered if he should check her pupils for dilation.
Tenten muttered something under her breath, but didn't move her hands.
Neji gently put his hand on Tenten's and started to push it out of the way.
No, no, no! She didn't want to lower her hands! He was so close! And then, dammit, wouldn't you know? He managed to push her hands down anyway and the kunoichi found herself face-to-face with Hyuuga Neji. Oh damn.
"Your pupils look normal..." Neji trailed off. He blinked, clueless to what her ailment was.
"I'm...fine!" To her dismay, her voice cracked on the last word and Tenten was beginning to desperately wonder why he was so damned close!
Neji stared at her, still so close. He wondered if he needed to get a medic.
Maybe if I punch him, he'll lean back and I can run...no, that wouldn't work, and besides, he'd KILL me! Tenten was running out of options and growing pinker by the second.
"Your face is flushed."
She had to think, quick. "It's the blanket."
"Allergies?" Neji finally backed off.
She breathed easier. "Ye--no! Not allergies!"
"Then what?" This was really confusing poor Neji.
"Umm...the blanket was...really warm...and I got warm too..." Tenten said lamely.
Neji didn't need Byakugan to see through that. He eyed her.
"And you were really clo--" ACK. She hadn't said that out loud! She had to stop herself! So she threw the blanket over her head.
The blanket got her too hot, so she tossed it on her head? Neji was no mathematician, but he knew there were errors in this equation. He thought. This was Tenten, normal, sane, Tenten. Fourteen year old female Tenten. A light bulb went on in his head. "Is it a... girl problem?"
Despite being embarrassed, Tenten was not going to make herself even redder. "No, it's not," her voice emerged from the blanket, slightly muffled.
"Tenten?" He crept closer to the blanket bump. "Tell me what's wrong?"
"I don't know what's wrong," she muttered, unaware that he had come closer.
Neji activated his bloodline limit to look through the blanket to check on her. No signs of damage... How odd.
Tenten had fallen silent, feeling safe and sheltered under her big blanket. She was tired of feeling like an idiot.
Neji de-activated his eyes and just sat there. This was very, very strange.
So sat the Hyuuga prodigy and the blanketed lump formerly known as Tenten. Cautiously, she lifted up the hem of the blanket...just slightly.
Neji raised an eyebrow at her when she did.
Looking slightly disheveled and still a bit flushed, Tenten reemerged from the blanket with a sheepish grin on her face.
Neji gave her a questioning look but remained quiet.
The kunoichi heaved a sigh, then directed her gaze to rest on the floor. "Sorry again...I've just been acting weird today, ne?"
Neji neither confirmed nor denied. He simply was quiet, letting her speak if she wanted to.
Tenten was grateful that he hadn't said anything and went on. "I just...I don't know...everything's been sort of strange and I don't really understand it."
Neji was confused, but still let her have the floor for speaking.
"You...you used to scare me, you know. When we first met." The brunette drew her knees to her chest. "I thought you hated everyone...you never smiled or laughed and you glared at anyone who spoke to you. But...you laughed during that bonding thing and you smile ever since Naruto beat you. And I...haven't changed at all." It was sort of depressing. Both Neji and Lee had gotten stronger, but it didn't feel like she had. And on her birthday...she should feel different, but she had the innate fear that she was developing fangirly tendencies. After all, weren't they always cooing over Neji's hair and eyes? "Happy birthday to me," she mumbled sourly, wrapping the blanket around her shoulders.
Neji grinned wryly. "Are you sure you would have liked having deep-seated personality issues to work through? I had to catch up to you."
"Huh?" THAT surprised her. "Catch up to me? I always had to catch up to YOU!"
"You didn't ever need to have the crap beaten out of you by a failure genin who proved everything you believed in and stood for was false."
"I don't think EVERYTHING you believed in was false," Tenten protested. "And if it hadn't been for you kicking my ass in all those training sessions, I never would have lasted a minute against Temari!" She still hated thinking about that battle, the sting of defeat...
"It was bad luck," see, not fate, Neji had improved, "that lead you to an opponent whose strength was your weakness. And I would not have made my progress in the kaiten if not for your assistance."
Tenten grinned as wryly as he had done only moments earlier. "Let's just say we helped each other, then."
Neji smiled slightly, "It was a team effort."
^^ I found that one cute. Minor summary: Lee was going off about Sakura, so Neji and Tenten flee when he tries to hunt them down. Neji remembers a place he took his teammate when he..err.."kidnapped" her from the hospital (that'll be posted when I'm not grounded!) and so they end up in an abandoned gym while it's raining. Hence the blankets.
Tenten then got an idea. It was a terrible idea, to be sure, but she blames estrogen and all sorts of female hormones. But first...she held her breath, waiting to see if Neji would keep his eyes closed.
Neji did indeed keep his eyes closed, so relaxed was he, just enjoying the quiet moment.
He's gonna kill me for this and Lee will scream a lot over my dead body and give him a bad headache... Tenten cautioned herself, while another part of her mind--the RATIONAL part--was screaming not to do it. But temptation won out over logic, so the kunoichi leaned down and planted a very light kiss on the prodigy's cheek. Then...ZOOOOOM! She was suddenly at the farthest corner of the gym, away from Neji, while she studied the wall as if very intrigued. What the hell had come over her?! Damn birthdays. Damn them all.
Neji's eyes flew open. She didn't just...did she? His face immediately started to turn pink. It wasn't like she was a fangirl type, she was just his teammate Tenten. Rational, reasonable Tenten. Did she really...? Could he have just imagined it? No, it was real. He was sure. His teenage boy over-active hormones were extra sure. He stared at her, confused.
Tenten didn't move, feeling the heat of his puzzled stare boring into her back. What could she possibly say? "You looked extremely hot so I just had to kiss you?" Or just avoid it by commenting on the nonexistent weather in the gym? Her face was already glowing hotly and if she turned around, she was a goner.
Neji stayed quiet a moment longer. It was just all so surreal, Tenten out of the blue kissing him. Finally, the silence was broken. It wasn't so much that he chose to break it, however. It was a quiet sneeze that seemed all the louder in the empty, hollowed building. The whole thing was funny.
Completely startled by the sound, Tenten whirled around. For a moment, she just stared at Neji. Then the corners of her mouth started to twitch upward and before she could prevent it, she was laughing. This was just too strange.
Neji didn't quite laugh, but he did smile. That sneeze had luckily lightened the mood. Once it looked like the laugher would slow, he spoke, not really knowing what to say. "So..."
The kunoichi blinked, echoing his words uncertainly. "So..." She didn't budge from her spot.
This time it was Neji that laughed, but he did laugh very softly. "Are we going to awkwardly dance around it and pretend it didn't happen?"
"We could..." Tenten raised her head to look at him, then dropped it again. It was still too embarrassing. "But then it'd just keep getting more and more awkward, wouldn't it?"
"Most likely. It's often best to deal with things rather than slip them under the rug." As he said that, he thought of the years he had spent not dealing with things, and the trouble it lead to. Sure, it was apples and oranges, but the principle should at least remain partially intact.
"...Yeah." She settled herself on the floor, feeling safer this way. If she was close to Neji, suppose she did it again? No, better she keep her distance. "I guess I should explain, then."
Neji kept his face very neutral so she could indeed explain.
Tenten quickly ran through her options and her excuses, but could find none. So she had to tell the truth. "...You...were just sitting there...and...I don't know...I just got the urge to kiss you. So I did." Plain and simple.
Neji couldn't help an involuntary rise of the corners of his mouth, though he tried to keep his expression schooled into neutrality. Still somewhat damp from the run in the rain, and somewhat sheepish, his tomboy teammate was looking rather cute.
He thinks I'm insane! Tenten's inner voice wailed and she colored even more, dropping her head so that it rested on her knees. Her face was thankfully hidden from sight now and she felt like crying or pummeling the crap out of something. Why had she even done it?!
With a quick movement, Neji was right in front of her. He gently placed two fingers under her chin, and lifted her face up so he could look her in the eye. "Don't worry about it." He even smiled very slightly. Looking at her, so close, and on such a turbulent day, he was almost tempted to return the kiss.
Never, EVER wind up in an abandoned building with a handsome teammate on your birthday while the rain poured steadily down outside. It was a recipe for disaster. But Tenten was too busy being surprised at Neji suddenly being right in front of her and looking at her and telling her not to worry with a smile. "Don't worry about it?" She burst out. "Don't you get it? I acted like a FANGIRL! And you hate fangirls!"
Neji remained very calm to her tirade. He considered telling her that she wasn't a fangirl and he never thought of her like so, but decided that instead he'd just kiss her to better get the message across. It was quick and brisk, but it was a kiss. Once he drew away, he did the best to keep his features composed and neutral.
THUNK went Tenten's jaw on the floor as she suddenly stopped breathing. He hadn't just...he had! But...it hadn't been for revenge, had it? She hadn't thought she could turn any redder, but her face proved her wrong. "Ah..." she said intelligently.
"See? We're even now. If you're a fangirl, then I'm a fanboy." Neji couldn't help but smirk slightly.
"You. A fanboy? I didn't think those existed." She realized she could breathe again, but the blush wasn't getting any fainter.
"Sure they do. Just look at Lee. And at the way Naruto used to follow Sakura like a lost puppy." Neji was secretly glad that the topic was shifting, but even then her blush was triggering one in him.
And lastly...in which Tenten and Neji play the "I'm-Too-Stubborn-To-Back-Down" game. o.O
Great. She was going to be stuck in an abandoned gym with Neji, who she had...oh, that's right. "I almost forgot...we were going to talk when I woke up."
"We don't have to." It really didn't matter to him. As far as he was concerned, they were even. And that wasn't mentioning that his rash actions were sinking in and he felt sheepish.
She frowned, getting a stubborn expression on her face. "Yes, we do."
He made a gesture with a hand, "Ok, talk away."
Oh, boy. She hadn't really thought of what to say. Oh, well. "Tell me, Neji, why do you think I kissed you?"
Neji shrugged. "Impulse?" He really didn't want to think about it or the implications.
Okay...that was ONE reason. Tenten had never before realized how hard it was to confess her feelings to someone. "Umm...yes and no."
Neji shrugged again. "Just because?"
Okaaay. She was NOT going to lose her temper. "No."
Neji was not going to say it... So he decided to go with humor. He grinned, "Because I'm so sexy and irresistible?"
Ohhhh, he was good. But he wasn't going to get away. Tenten folded her arms across her chest and fixed her teammate with what she thought was an intimidating glare. "Nice try, but that's not it. All of it, anyway."
"So I am sexy and irresistible?" Neji felt like that Uchiha brat when he said such things.
"Yes, you are, but--aargh, Neji, stay on the subject!"
But that had been the point-- sneaking off the subject. He went quiet, presumably giving her a chance to say more.
"If you were completely sexy and irresistible, Sakura would be going after you instead of Sasuke," Tenten continued. "You're a genius, but do I have to spell out why for you?"
Damn. Busted. Neji stayed quiet, unable to think of a witty retort besides, 'Sakura would have gone after me if she had seen me before him.'
Tenten raised an eyebrow at him.
Neji's stubbornness was kicking in. She couldn't make him say anything.
Okay, fine. He was going to be stubborn? FINE. She wasn't going to let him have the last word this time. Tenten grabbed her teammate by the collar, pretending that it WASN'T a stoic Hyuuga she was grabbing and planted the fieriest kiss she could give on his lips. Then she stood up, glared down at him, shouted, "It's because I like you, you idiot!" and stomped out of the gym into the rain. Birthdays were indeed fun, weren't they?
Neji blinked for a moment. THAT he did not expect. Oh shit. Wait, where did she go? Neji jumped up and chased after her. "Tenten! Where are you going?"
Well, THAT was a no-brainer. She was going to stand out in the rain until she got pneumonia and died. It'd be a lot better than facing Neji right now, and she quickened her pace.
Neji caught up with her and grabbed her shoulder, spinning her to face him. Then he paused, awkwardly.
Why couldn't Neji have SOME sort of imperfection when it came to speed? Like a limp? Or better yet, one leg? At any rate, Tenten was cornered and all she could do was avert her eyes so she didn't have to look at him.
Neji stared at her for a moment, inhaled deeply to steady his nerves, and kissed her. His kiss was a very awkward one, as the genius had no experience in the field prior to this day, but it attempted to match the one that she had given him. After he pulled back, he said, "Now we're even again."
"Is this all just about getting even?" Tenten didn't know whether to laugh, kiss him, or slug him.
"Remember what I said before? If you were a fangirl, I'm a fanboy? Well, the same principle of equal exchange applies."
Both eyebrows rose this time. "Principle of equal exchange...?"
Neji was quiet a moment more, hoping she'd make the connection.
Tenten considered playing dumb. Then decided not to. "Either come out and say it straight or I'll kiss you again."
This was no decision at all for Neji. He'd easily take the kiss. He stayed quiet but smiled very slightly.
Damn. He'd called her bluff and now she had to respond or lose even more dignity. With a mental sigh, she yanked his head down to deliver a kiss that would make his toes curl. He was going to admit it, dammit!
Neji responded to the kiss as any normal young teenage boy would respond to a kiss with a cute girl. It looked like he won this round.
Now flushing a dark red, Tenten propped her hands on her hips. "What's it going to take for you to admit it, huh?"
Neji smirked. If not admitting it meant more kisses like that, then he didn't want to admit it. He wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her to his side. "Let’s get out of the rain."
And that concludes my presentation. *bows and scurries away* Some of it may seem OOC, but it was fun anyway. Comment if you want...the pug won't eat you.