fatal_red (fatal_red) wrote in nejiten,

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12 Days of NejiTen Ficcage?

>>; Uh. I feel semi-bad for interrupting all these beautiful fanart posts and the like. But, I bring two drabbles that hopefully don't fail like I think they do.

Title: Not Doves, Sir
Author: fatal_red
Rating: K
Warnings: My noobishness. ;_; I claim no expertise on either birds or NejiTen.
Summary: It's said, "Birds of a feather, flock together." The inevitable silliness that occurs with Gai's upcoming birthday.
Notes: For the "12 Days of NejiTen Challenge," Theme 2. Doves. (I honestly don't think I'll be able to finish them all. D8)

"Shh, not so loud, Neji!" Tenten admonished, glancing about warily. Ridiculous, unnecessary gestures, he decided, his unblinking eyes locked on her.

"What?" he repeated.

"They have ears everywhere." She gestured wildly. "You know that."

Now, Neji knew those outrageously dressed men he was almost ashamed to claim as his own did, at times, appear to possess a disturbingly accurate "sixth sense," but really. . .

"Tenten," Neji deadpanned, "Gai and Lee know you're planning a celebration come New Year's. It was impossible from their expressions not to know that."

Tenten contemplated it for a moment, before swiveling on her heel to face him, a slight, stubborn pout on her fine, plush lips (which, Neji decided, was quite an endearing expression). "Yeah..." she agreed slowly, before veering off toward her own argument, "but they don't know the details, right?"

"I suppose not," he replied.

"Then, we've got to surprise them," she concluded succinctly.

"Like that fruit cake surprise they jumped us with last year," she added.

Neji's insides twisted sourly. "Let's not relive that moment."

"Of course," Tenten acceded.

As they meandered down further down the warm, bustling village street (they were given free time on their mission in an exotic location), they came upon a group of children throwing enticing tidbits to white, winged creatures, perched atop nearby tree branches.

Tenten's mental processes came abruptly to a halt as something came into contact with her distractingly. "Wha--"

Two unusually large-beaked, puppy-eyed doves flew to her side, ruffling their feathers complacently as they took their seat on Tenten's crisp, white sleeves.

Neji stared a bit dumbly, before realizing Tenten was rather enjoying herself. She smiled carefully, eyes brimming with intrigue as she tried to bring them closer without alarming them.

Suddenly, she laughed. A pleasant sound. The birds were not frightened, but cooed happily where they were, exciting the children who had, too, tried to get close.

"Imagine what Lee would say if he saw this," Tenten told Neji over her shoulder, fond in tone.

"He would--" Neji automatically stiffened, truncated by the arrival of a dozen, feathered doves.

"Neji, what were you saying..." Tenten's amber rings widened as they caught sight of him. A grin broke across her face at the sight.

Neji stood still in irritation as the doves coveted him as one of their own, preening his long, silky mane, and occasionally getting into fights with each other over him. It reminded Tenten comically of Neji's days in the Academy, surrounded by hormone-driven fangirls.

"What is wrong with these animals?" he managed, lips pressed thin, in an expression of evident frustration.

"Mating, maybe," Tenten suggested devilishly.

Neji froze stonily, before realizing Tenten was merely teasing him. (It wasn't even mating season yet, how silly of him.)

"You're joking," he said.

Tenten hid a chuckle of amusement. Leave it to Hyuuga Neji to be that serious in stating the obvious. "It must be the figs," she offered. Neji did not voice his befuddlement, but revealed it in the form of cocking a single, dark brow.

Because Hyuuga Neji smelled bewitchingly of figs. (And everyone knows figs are aphrodisiacs.)

Losing his patience too quickly for his own liking, Neji turned to a boy next to him, communicating wordlessly his desire to be free of the beleaguering beasts. The boy chortled and stepped forward bravely. "Guess they just like you too much, mister," he explained, gently extending his hand out. The bothersome bird cocked its head tentatively at the boy. A long, solemn minute elapsed. Finally, the clingy creature hopped onto the proffered limb and off of Neji's rumpled clothes.

Having observed the first one, a second dove attached himself to the other boy. Then another, then another, then another, and soon--finally--he was free of them.

"I did not know doves were so affectionate," uttered Neji awkwardly.

The boy stared up at him, then looked at Tenten with some kind of hidden amusement.

"They're not doves, sir. They're lovebirds."


8'D I'm so glad I got the hang of these cuts. *feels accomplished*


Title: The Christmas Challenge
Author: fatal_red
Warnings: Uhm, does utter crack suit your fancy? Two mild swear words. >>; Pathetically anachronistic.
Summary: Between the students of Kakashi Hatake and Maito Gai. A mess with eggs and a challenge to see who can outshine the other.
Notes: For the "12 Days of NejiTen Challenge," Themes 1 and 6. Tree and Eggs. I was out of town Christmas day, and been--okay, I'll admit it--lazy these past few days. So I post it now. I hope it's not too out of place; maybe the Christmas cheer still lingers?

Hyuuga Neji was temporarily blind.

He blinked.

A fuzzy neon red buzzed everywhere.

Neji put his foot down. "LEE."

"I think it is brilliant, don't you, Tenten? Gai-sensei will be so pleased--"


"--Perhaps, another coil? Would that--"

A heavy sigh. "Lee, it's fine how it is. Another round of Christmas lights and I think I'll have seizures."

"But we have all this leftover--"

"Lee, please, for the sake of optical vision everywhere, submit."

Lee opened his mouth to argue in earnest, but saw the look on his eternal rival's face, and shut it again compliantly. However, a tiny pout of dissatisfaction settled on Lee's lips, forcing Tenten and Neji into a teeth-clenching trip of shame.

Tenten was almost in the clear, when--

"Gai-sensei will be disappointed, Neji," Lee whimpered pitifully.

Tenten broke. "Oh, heck, what's another couple dozen blazing green Christmas lights, Neji? Go ahead and decorate to your heart's content, Lee. The tree's all your's." She smiled fondly--with a rather strained expression, Neji noted--at Lee.

'Tenten, you traitor,' Neji cogitated bitterly, as Lee directed his large, round eyes in his direction.


"No, I will not help you." He'd be damned if he let himself stutter.

"Neji and I will handle kitchen duty," Tenten offered. His savior.

"Brilliant!" Lee exclaimed, clapping his hands together happily. Neji noticed Tenten always gave those endearingly affectionate smiles to the deranged green boy of their team. (It was almost enough to make him convert--no, what was he saying!)

He gave a start as Tenten clutched his wrist in her petite, rough hands and dragged him bodily into the nearby kitchen. "Be thankful, Neji," she hissed. "You were practically Lee-putty."

His eyes hardened. "I was not."

"You were going to do it. I saw it in your eyes."

"I was not," he reiterated, rising his voice slightly.

Her eyes crinkled at the corners with laughter, and her mouth curled ferally. "You were."


"Help me with the chocolate."

"I--what?" In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Tenten was on the other side of the small, square kitchenette. Amazing how much could elude a Hyuuga when distracted. She was ripping open a sack of palm-sized pretzels, her cheeks puffed out from exertion.

"Hey, Neji, it'd be great if you didn't look like a statue in the corner there."


"Catch this." In milliseconds, the sack of browned snacks were hurtling toward him. Neji caught them automatically, still slightly dazed at how everyone seemed to be getting the upper hand today. (Well, only Tenten, but...)

Tenten licked her lips lusciously as she spooned out a hot ladle full of melted chocolate fondue. "You think we'll have some left over, Neji?" she inquired breathlessly, her eyes lusting for the confection dripping from the utensil in front of her.

Neji gulped. He sure hoped so.

Tenten snapped out of it, immediately pouring the stove pot's contents into a more manageable container. She snatched the bag from Neji's hands and popped a single pretzel in her mouth before beginning to dip them in one by one. They emerged methodically, and she set them on wax paper to dry. With a hand, Tenten indicated Neji to do the same, to get the job done faster.

After a few dozen were successfully transformed, Neji spoke: "I did not know snacks were required for Gai-sensei's silly bet with Kakashi-sensei."

"Yeah, but you know Gai-sensei. Never wants to settle for less."

He snorted. "Of course."

After a few, silent moments, Tenten asked: "Hey, Neji, do you like eggnog?"

"Do I like...what?"

She blinked up at him. "Eggnog...you know, that...stuff..."

"Never had it."

Her eyebrows rose. "You don't even know what it is?"


"Oh, wow." Tenten set the last pretzel on the paper before wiping her hands daintily on the dishcloth by the sink. "It's like milk, sort of. But with eggs--and it's sweet. It's pretty good, when you make it right." A look at Neji's face made known his first impression of eggnog. "Well, hey, we have to make it, anyway. Gai-sensei drinks eggnog religiously on the holidays. And there's no harming Lee in it, either; it's non-alcoholic, so we don't have to worry."

Tenten rummaged through the refrigerator, bringing out a carton of milk and cream whilst balancing several eggs. She collected a sack of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and culminated them in a rather spacious, unoccupied portion of the counter.

She turned to Neji, placing two eggs delicately in his open palms. "You know how to separate eggs, right? Great. I'm going to check on Lee." She gave him a little wave before skipping off through the swinging door and disappearing.

Sure, Neji had seen the procedure involving the separation of eggs. But had he ever needed to attempt it? No, not really. So, he stood there, befuddled, with eggs in his hands, too dubious of his abilities to experiment with them.

x   x   x   x

"So, Lee, how's it coming along?"

"Oh, wonderful, Tenten!" Lee replied, happily stringing what appeared to be miniature green spandex suits around their already too-green Christmas Douglas fir. She stared, a little less enthusiastic about them than her strangely-appareled teammate.

It was a feat in itself that the poor tree hadn't snapped or sagged underneath the wealth of ornaments and decorations that Lee had subjected it to.

Lee produced huge, sparkly star-shaped light from the confides of a deep, cardboard box, lugging toward the ladder. Tenten crossed the threshold, holding the ladder securely as Lee climbed its steps to set the star where it belonged. Lee stuck out his tongue in concentration as he adjusted the finishing touch atop the very pinnacle of the Christmas tree. Half out of curiosity, Lee glanced down at his female teammate. "Where's Neji, Tenten?"

"He's making eggnog."

Lee's eyes glimmered with Christmas spirit. "Really? Then, I must see it for myself!"

"Yeah...I'm a little curious, too," Tenten admitted, helping him down before they both headed over, swelling with anticipation.

The door swung open to a picture of bare un-Christmas-y spirit. Neji was standing where Tenten left him. One of the eggs she had given him lay abandoned next to the mixing bowl. The other had been ruined in Neji's fatal attempt at cracking it cleanly. Eggshell pieces were scattered about the scene; yolk was smeared across the front Neji Hyuuga's clean, white jacket.

Hey, at least half of it got in the bowl.

"I tried," he told them plainly.

Lee and Tenten exchanged glances. "Alright, Neji, let's help you out here..."

x   x   x   x

"Don't tell me what to do, Sasuke!"

"You moron. I'll telling you, that's not how you separate eggs."

"It really isn't, Naruto. My parents own a bakery; I've seen them separate eggs, and that is not how you do it."

"Damn it! Stupid Kakashi-sensei and his dumb bets! He knows we're going to lose!" Naruto yelled.

"That's 'cause you won't let us help you, idiot!" Sakura snapped.

"Sasuke's hogging all the cool stuff," Naruto grumbled, watching the raven-haired prodigy plug in the adequately clothed Christmas fir. It lit up primly.

"You almost set the tree on fire, Naruto. Like we were going to trust you again with that," Sakura snorted, blowing petal-pink locks out of her eyes.

"Yeah, well, eggnog? I hate eggnog. And weren't we only competing to see who had the best Christmas tree?"

"Most 'youthful,'" corrected the Uchiha gruffly.

"Yeah," Sakura agreed. "Well, I think we did okay."

(Unfortunately, "okay" doesn't cut it with Team Gai, and they weren't prepared to get blown out of the water.)

x   x   x   x

They stared admiringly at their handiwork, a cup of eggnog clutched in each of their hands. (It wasn't bad, Neji thought, especially when they made it all together.)

"That's a great job there, Lee," Tenten said finally, breaking the tranquil silence.

"I must admit, it's something," Neji added. The ornaments were beautifully crafted, throwing rainbows across the room, courtesy of the dim light shedding through the blinds. The tree stood magnificently tall, grand and dignified, though ridiculous in its apparel as it was; kind of like Maito Gai. The golden crown at the top completed the picture, and it was as if it was too much to take in.

Tenten breathed in deeply. "Turn it on, Lee."

Lee complied quietly, unwilling to break the spell of the faultless moment. He plugged in the lights climactically; in a second, warmth spread, and every corner was illuminated by radiant color.

Neji suddenly went very blind.
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