Word Count: 474
Summary: Fear. It's a hindrance, even to a civilian.
Characters: Hyuuga Neji, Tenten
Warnings: Semi-fluff. Cross posted. Plotless
Because inspiration and ideas are always inescapable.
It’s a hindrance, even to a civilian. It makes you hesitate, makes you weak and your hands tremble.
And Tenten could not stop trembling. He could tell, even before he’d woken up. For a reason he’d been unable to fathom, nor willing to, she’d always feared going to hospitals. The combined smell of antiseptic, crisp sheets and bandages always seemed to have a strange effect on her.
“You’re… scared,” he murmured thickly, his tongue still a lump of lead in his mouth.
Tenten looked up. His eyes were still closed and his forehead, bindings removed, was smooth and warm. He opened his eyes only slightly, slivers of silver-grey beneath long ebony eyelashes.
She sighed with visible relief.
“You… You shouldn’t be scared,” he said, his voice rumbling deep in his chest. The words were coming out easier, now. “Especially not for me.” With a slight wince, he shifted over in the bed, and Tenten accepted his unspoken invitation, crawling into the bed and curling up at his side. He never really seemed to stop considering her, even if he never said a thing.
“I was worried,” she murmured, looking up at him with wide eyed wonder. She raised her hand and placed the tips of her calloused fingers on his shoulder. “It was so brutal, it was as if he’d made the pain and maiming of others into an art.” She touched his stomach, feather light, and then shut her eyes. He had not tensed beneath her fingers, too full of sleepy trust to doubt her.
“Shizune and her team had worked on shifts for hours at a time, but she never left.”
Neji seemed not to have heard her.
“Kidomaru,” he sighed, his eyes drifting shut once more. “He had six arms, like a spider.”
Silence permeated the room once again, and it seemed as if they’d both fallen prey to oblivion again.
“A weapons specialist,” he continued, listening to her slow and even breaths. “He liked to play games. He found my blind spot and abused it. It was like you on a bad day… but then again, no one ever fights fairly; even more so when so many things are at stake. It’s funny, even when we speak so much of honour, so many of us die without grace…”
“Still on sedatives, I see,” she rubbed her cheek sleepily against his arm. “You have the worst sense of humour.”
Neji sensed that she’d opened her eyes once again; she was going to leave. He touched her wrist with his fingertips, feeling her pulse flutter beneath her skin.
“You won’t stop trembling,” he said. “You’re scared.” It was a statement, free of judgemental inflection.
“You know I don’t want to be,” she replied softly.
She doesn’t say much else, but he knows that she’ll tell him if and when she’s ready.