Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto

For You

by story_master 0 Reviews

'It was hard and stressful but she wouldn't stop. No. She'd keep going. She'd get strong so she could beat him. Then and only then would she stop...' One-shot *My first Naruto fic. Plz R&R*

Category: Naruto - Rating: G - Genres: Drama - Characters: Neji, Tenten - Published: 2007/04/30 - Updated: 2007/05/01 - 7664 words - Complete

Tory:Okay this is my first Naruto fic. I thought I'd start my long list of Naruto fics with a one-shot songfic about my favourite couple :). Sorry in advance for any OOCness- I don't quite have the personalities down just yet. Hopefully I'll improve with the more stories I write about them. Anyways... on to the story... er one-shot! Oh happens after the time skip. Enjoy!

Disclaimer:I do not own Naruto or the song 'Stand In The Rain' by Superchick. I do own my story idea though. ;D

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For You

She threw another kunai at the target and hit yet another bull's eye. Smirking she walked over to the target and pulled out her weapons. It was early morning- just past sunrise- and she had been up almost all night training. She was going to become stronger. She was going to beat /him/. One day...

She walked back to her mark, over one hundred meters away from the targets. Readying her weapon she started the whole process again. It was a simple process; first she would work on strength in itself- no weapons, no jutsu- then she would work on her aim- it was nearly perfect already but practice never hurt did it?- then she would work on speed- running laps around the training grounds, leaping from tree to tree and so on.

By the time she was finished it was usually time for her to start training with her teammates Neji Hyuga and Rock Lee, as well as with her... /uess the right word to describe him would be eccentric/... as well as with her eccentric Sensei Might Guy.

She always quickly took a shower and changed out of her red training clothes back into her regular clothes. Then she would run to meet her team at the training grounds where she had already been for hours. It wasn't always this hectic for her. No. It was all because of him/. He /never thought she would be strong enough to beat him, but she'd show him. She'd show them.

She had started this extra training two weeks ago. At first no one noticed that she was almost always tired and looked rather pale a lot of the time. But lately she had been slipping up. In regular training she'd miss her target due to fatigue taking its toll, or she'd fail to dodge one of Neji's powerful strikes. That only added to the comments about her not being strong enough.

She didn't train all night. But she spent a good chunk of it pushing herself further. All for him. She'd wake at about four in the morning and start her training process. That gave her four hours to work extra hard before meeting with her team.

But the lack of sleep, eating and extra stress was starting to wear her out... and they were noticing it. Though, that was the only thing that pushed her on. Well that and one more thing. There was much more she was training for. It was hard and stressful but she wouldn't stop. No. She'd keep going. She'd get strong so she could beat him. Then and only then would she stop.

"Tenten!" Lee called as she reached them, snapping her out of thoughts.

"Hi Lee!" she replied as cheerfully as she could.

"You're late." Neji stated in his usual stoic tone.

"Sorry. I slept in again." she lied, rubbing the back of her head and giving a small laugh.

"Well let's get training!" Lee jumped up and walked onto the field, taking his position.

The three of them had a sort of training process too. First they would all do separate training. Then they would face each other. Then they would face their Sensei. It usually took until three in the afternoon. By then Tenten was completely wiped out, not that she'd let anyone in on that little secret.

"Tenten are you just going to stand there all day?" Neji asked, snapping her out of thoughts.

She smiled sheepishly before racing onto the field to take her position by Lee. Then they started their little cycle. Everything was going fine... that is until Neji and Tenten sparred off together. She was more worn out than usual.

"Come on Tenten, get back up. It hasn't even been five minutes. You're not giving up already are you?" Neji pushed her on, standing a good twenty feet from her bruised, aching body.

"You can do it Tenten! You just have to use the power of youth!" Lee called from the side, acting just like their Sensei.

She pushed herself to her knees and then up to her feet. She wavered for a moment before catching her footing. Then she focused on her opponent. The only problem with that was her vision was starting to blur.

"Ready?" Neji asked, a slight grin on his lips.

Tenten didn't reply. She just charged at him- full force. Racing behind him, she took out her one scroll. And leaping up into the air, she bombarded the Hyuga with her weapons. She landed on the ground, panting and shocked. She had missed him completely.

Lee and Neji looked just as shocked as she did. But she didn't get to see their expressions for too long before darkness had claimed her. She wavered once more one her feet as things faded in and out. Then she collapsed to the ground. Just like that.

"Tenten!" her teammates and Sensei raced to her side.

"Is she okay?" Lee asked, clearly concerned for her.

"She's still breathing." Neji replied, carefully examining her.

"She needs medical treatment!" Lee concluded.

Then Might Guy picked her up and raced off to take her to the hospital. Neji and Lee followed tout suite. They were all asked to wait outside while they examined her.

"What do you think's wrong with her?" Lee asked, breaking the silence between him and Neji- Might Guy had gone to talk to Tsunade.

"How should I know?" he replied coldly, trying to cover up any concern he felt.

In Tenten's room...

The medic nin had all left, finally finished with their tests, leaving Tenten alone in the orange glow of the sunset that was cast through her window. The room was still... except for the uneven, choppy breaths that came from Tenten. Beads of sweat collected on her forehead as she began to toss and turn.

"No...." she murmured in her unconscious state.

It's too bad that she was alone. At that moment she really needed one of her teammates- her friends- to be there for her.

Back with Lee, Neji and Might Guy...

"Is Tenten going to be alright?" Lee asked worriedly when Tsunade walked up to the three.

"She should be fine in a few days. Tenten just has a fever. There's no need to worry." she replied with a warm smile.

"Can we go see her?" Lee asked, determined to know for himself that she was okay.

"She's resting now. You'll have to come back tomorrow and see her." was the disappointing reply.

The three reluctantly left the hospital. They were worried about her, especially Neji- though he wouldn't show it. But actually he was the most concerned out of all of them.

Back with Tenten...

The wind whipped past her, blowing her loose hair behind her as she ran. She looked behind her for her pursuer, but found no signs of anyone. That didn't ease her worry though. She continued to run. Just because she couldn't see it, didn't mean that it wasn't there. So she ran harder.

Brushing stray branches out of her way she carved a path through the underbrush of the trees. She was so busy paying attention to the branches that she failed to notice the up rooted tree roots at her feet. Too late. She tripped and was sent sprawling onto the forest floor.

She pushed herself up, ignoring the scrapes and blood that decorated her elbows and knees. Why did she have to run from it? Why didn't she go for help? She couldn't- it's that simple. She couldn't have any help. This was her battle and she'd fight it alone... no matter the outcome.

As the shadows enclosed around her, she began to run again. She wouldn't let it catch her again. She wouldn't be dragged back in. She just wouldn't. Not after she worked so hard to get free.

She ran harder, this time not looking back. Not turning to see it gaining on her. She didn't need to... she already knew. Tenten hated this feeling. That feeling in the bottom of her stomach that tied it in knots, pulling tighter every second. It always happened when she was like this... alone. Alone and scared.

But she had faced this all before and lost. But before she didn't fight. She didn't care. Now? Now she was trying to win. Now she cared. And now it was hopeless. Her world always fell apart at times like this- when she was defenseless.

The shadows behind her were getting closer, nipping at her ankles. But she pushed herself on, ignoring the stinging pain in her legs that begged her to stop. She wouldn't let it win again. Not even if it cost her everything.

Tears threatened to spill down her flushed cheeks but she willed them to stay hidden. She wouldn't let the dam break... if it did there was no way to plug it and stop the never-ending flow of sorrow.

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She never slows down
She doesn't know why
But she knows that when she's all alone
It feels like it's all coming down
She won't turn around
The Shadows are long
And she fears if she cried that first tear
The tears will not stop raining down
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'How did she get sick? Tenten is always taking good care of herself. She'd never let something like this happen to her.' The young Hyuga sighed. 'Why didn't we see it earlier? Why didn't I see it earlier? Maybe... if we had noticed... she wouldn't be in medical care.'

He couldn't help but feel guilty. She was sick and he kept pushing her. He kept pushing her to do better. To get stronger. Boy, did he feel like a huge jackass right now. He just wished he knew if she was really okay. To be honest he didn't altogether trust medics.

He sat up and looked out the window of his room at the Hyuga compound. The stars were covered by a thick blanket of dark clouds. Neji's heart sank a little- he didn't like to admit it but the stars always reminded him of Tenten.

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Tenten continued to run from this unseen foe. One she knew all too well but had never seen. It sent icy chills down her spine and sank its deathly cold into her body. It was gaining on her again. She tried to focus her chakra to her feet to run faster but for some reason it wasn't working. She cursed under her breath and pushed herself forward some more.

A clearing was visible just up ahead. 'Sanctuary!' she thought happily. Tenten wasn't really sure why, but this... demon that haunted her never came out in the open. It only struck when she was alone, cornered and afraid. It played a cruel game of hide and seek with her- toying with her and trying to drive her insane. But she was always saved at the last minute.

She stumbled into the clearing and gladly collapsed onto the ground. She panted heavily as she tried to regain her lost breath. Rolling onto her back, she looked up at the stars. No such luck- a dark cloud blocked them from her. As if taking away her guide in this twisted game of fate. No, not fate. This game was too cruel for even fate. This was a game made by herself. She was her own worst enemy... and she had to face herself alone. Again.

She pushed herself to a sitting position and looked around. The shadows were kept at bay for now. But how long would that last? With the stars light sealed out, there was really nothing left to drive it away. She truly was alone.

The shadows took notice of the momentary eclipse of darkness and crept out of the trees, sliding towards a frightened Tenten. She reached for her kunai but found that she wasn't wearing her weapons holster. 'Just freaking perfect!' she thought in a rather sarcastic and bitter tone.

"Tenten... don't fight it. Give in." the venomous whisper seethed out of the shadows, closing in around her.

Suddenly a sting of pain shot through her body, forcing her held back screams to echo in the night air. She cried with agony as the pain forced her to the ground. To the shadows. To her inevitable fate.

"No. I'm stronger now." she breathed, pushing the pain from her mind and willing her body to obey her, to fight back.

As she stood up and held her ground, tears poured to the earth. No, not her tears. But the tears of the earth itself. It cried for her. It cried so she didn't have to. At first it was merely tiny droplets, but in seconds it became a downpour.

"You can't win. Just give up. You know it's what you want to do." the cold gripped her, sinking its claws into her and not letting go.

But she wouldn't give up that easy. She ripped away from the grip that was so cold it could only belong to death itself... and yet it didn't.

"No!" she shouted over the roar of the rain.

Everything was falling apart again. Falling apart into microscopic pieces that couldn't be put back together. Her body ached with pain and begged for her to surrender. But she wouldn't. She had lost herself once to it, she wouldn't go back. Ever.

Tenten stood there, preparing for another battle. The rain beating down mercilessly, the wind whipping by her. Determination burned in her soul. She would win.

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So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it's all crashing down
Stand through the pain
You won't drown
And one day what's lost can be found
You stand in the rain
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Suddenly everything went dark. Panic spread throughout her like wildfire as she looked for a way out. But slowly the darkness faded and revealed a white room. Confusion quickly replaced her panic and fear. But then it came crashing back.

She pushed herself out of the bed and let her feet brush the cool floors before walking out of the room. She darted out of the hospital, sneaking by anyone that she passed. Then she raced into the dark of the night, her feet padding against the terrain. The trees loomed over her as she an under them. The moon concealed by them, hidden from her.

Silently she crept away into the night to fight a hopeless fight. To end things one way or another.

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Neji suddenly felt a feeling he had never felt before. It was a strange mix of worry, anger, compassion, and... fear. But this wasn't his feeling. No, it came from somewhere else... from someone else. Instantly he knew it was Tenten. She was in trouble.

Instinct told him to go after her, but he couldn't just leave the Hyuga compound after curfew could he? Neji shook his head. He didn't care. Tenten needed him. And he'd be damned if another person he cared for perished.

He quietly snuck out of the compound, expertly sneaking past any guards. Then he too stole away into the darkness that was the forest. He really honestly had no idea where he was going, or where Tenten could possibly be. But... something told him to go there. Something deep inside told him that this was the right way.

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Tenten raced through the trees at an amazing speed. Her dream was too fuzzy to remember, but this all seemed so familiar- the running, the fear.

She passed so many trees and rocks that looked eerily familiar. She slowed to a stop and looked around. Something told her she wasn't in the forest near Kahona anymore. A light mist covered the ground as she started to run again. But the further she ran, the further in she was pulled. And no one was there to pull her out if she went too deep.

Silently she continued her journey. It all seemed so... right. She could tell the end was near- an end anyways. Whose? She wasn't sure. But only one of them would walk away.

Everyone had an inner evil that they battled, right? Well hers was a little too real. A little too strong. A little too evil.

She continued to run, dodging the obstacles the forest threw at her. The shadows once more closed in around her, trying to catch her and trap her. But this time something was off. It wasn't only shadows that closed in. No. There was something else. Fear- pure, raw, agonizing fear.

The clearing was fast approaching and she knew that she was close. Close to victory or close to death. Either way... she was close. She continued to push herself forward, keeping the shadows just behind her. Not close enough for them to consume her but not far enough away that they were out of sight.

Silently she stumbled into the clearing. Catching her breath she waited. Soon the fight would start. The most difficult of fights; much harder than the Chuunin exams, much harder than it would be fighting /him/... but those thoughts didn't concern her right now. All Tenten was concerned about was the creeping shadows.

Suddenly her feet were swiped out from under her, though it felt more like they were kicked. She landed roughly on her side on a rock jutting up out of the ground. The rock had hit one of her chakra points and sent pain jolting through her body. She stilled for a moment, deciding her next move.

She began to push herself off the ground to deliver an attack but the shadows wouldn't have that. No. They pushed her back down again; making sure she wouldn't get up again.

Perhaps this battle was meaningless. Tenten can't really remember where this foe came from. True it was her... to some extent... but it wasn't really a real foe was it? It wasn't real except to Tenten. She was the only one who knew of its existence. The only one to feel its wrath, and deal with the delivered pain. But now that she lay there, in a breathless heap, trying and failing to get back up, she realized that this wasn't a foe.

No, it wasn't. It was a manifestation of her mind... or well the dark corners of her mind. Her worst enemy... herself. Or rather her darker self. A figment of her imagination that could hurt her as much as Neji could.

'Neji...' upon the thought of him, Tenten immediately wanted him to be there. To be by her side. To be with her. To... protect her from this. But Neji didn't care like that; at least not about her. The cold grip of the shadows had sunk in again and she was starting to believe the whispers.

Those whispers that would undoubtedly lead to her demise. A perfectly unreal foe to give a painfully real attack to end it all. She knew all this and yet, she did nothing. She just stayed quiet- remembering when things were simpler, better.

She wanted Neji to find her. Even if he didn't care... she still wanted him there. He always knew where to find her if she was lost. Maybe he could pull her back from the numbing darkness. Just maybe.

But things were growing hazy and she no longer felt like fighting. She just wanted to get this over with- just give up. Her strength had long since deserted her; she couldn't do a single thing to save herself. So she just lay there quietly, letting the darkness win and take her.

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She won't make a sound
Alone in this fight with herself
And the fears whispering
If she stands, she'll fall down
She wants to be found
But the only way out is through everything
She's running from
Wants to give up and lie down
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"Tenten?" Neji's voice rang out, cutting through the dark, still air of the night.

Something wasn't right. That mixed feeling he had earlier had tightened into a knot in his stomach. He raced through the trees searching for his beloved teammate. But suddenly he stopped. 'Beloved? Where did that come from?' another mix of feelings settled over him. But these feelings were more... inviting. He started up his search again, this time more determined to find her. He had something to tell her and he wouldn't let her go without her hearing it.

"Tenten?" he shouted her name out again, knowing full well what would happen should he be caught... not that he cared anymore.

No. He cared only for Tenten and her safety at that point. Maybe that's where this new mix of feelings came from. True, he always felt something around her... something good. But he'd always smother that feeling, thinking it was something bad. Now he deeply regretted it.

"Tenten can you hear me?" he called out once more.

Sighing, he realized that this wasn't helping. He decided to use his Byakugan to find her with ease. Unfortunately all he could see was the forest around him, no Tenten. But he knew she was here, he just knew it. And if he had to search every inch of the forest just to find her then so be it. But he would find her.

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Tenten lost herself in her thoughts, releasing herself from her body... if only for a few moments. It was as if she could see the forest below her- she really had no idea what was going on, but it wasn't painful. No, at that moment she felt nothing but a numb tingling.

As she was looking down at the forest by some act of... someone or something, she noticed two things. Herself, slowly slipping away. And another person, running blindly around the forest searching for something. Looking closer she realized it was Neji.

'Neji! Over here! I'm over here!' she wanted to shout, but found she couldn't.

Her heart sank as he started to head in the opposite direction as her. Then she remembered all her training. All her pushing. She wouldn't give up. Not after everything she put herself through to prove how strong she was. Seriously, how bad would it look if she just let go without fighting when she was trying to prove how strong she was.

Suddenly she felt herself being pulled back down. Back to reality and back to her fight. She snapped her previously clamped shut eyes open and dug for the strength she knew she held somewhere inside herself.

"Tenten?" Neji's distant voice drifted to her ears.

"Ne-" but her cry for help was cut short by her enemy. It seemed to choke her somehow.

She struggled once more to gain control. To get free. This time she wouldn't give up so easily. She couldn't believe that she had almost done that moments ago. After minutes of more struggling and pushing herself, she was free. But not entirely. No, she still had to fight and win. Then and only then would she be free of this.

Limping over to a clearing maybe ten feet away, she took a fighting stance. Knowing that her kunai wouldn't be there, she didn't bother checking. Her inner flame of determination flickered back into existence and she wouldn't accept failure.

"Give up..." the whisper was back, sinking its claws into her once more.

"No. I won't." she nearly shouted, trying to block out that voice.

"Then die..." the whisper shouted... although it sounded just like a loud whisper.

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Neji stopped short as he thought he heard Tenten's voice. He looked around. It was really hard to tell where she was when he couldn't even use his Byakugan to find her. Especially in this dark.

He heard another voice too- it was like a loud, scratchy whisper. He started towards that sound cautiously, not quite knowing what he would find. And not knowing if he wanted to find it.

As he started towards the sound, and unbeknownst to him Tenten, something hit him. It was coming from above. He looked up and was hit by another. It didn't hurt- it was just rain after all. But something told him that this wasn't just any rain. Though, he wasn't quite sure what kind of rain it was.

He heard her voice again. 'Tenten...' he thought as he raced towards it. A clearing was just up ahead and he picked up speed.

But, just before he could break through the barrier that was the trees, he skidded to a stop. There, in the middle of the clearing, was Tenten. She looked like she was fighting... something. But, Neji saw nothing else there.

He wasn't really sure what to do. He wanted to go up to her and take her back so she could get better, but... something kept him from moving. What he didn't know was it was the same Tenten was fighting that kept him out of the way.

He tried to call to her, but found that no sound came out. He watched in awe and amazement at her technique and moves. He'd never seen her like this.

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Tenten fought against the unseen foe- though she could see it perfectly. Pushing it away with the last little bit of her strength, she stood and tried to regain her breath. For the first time she noticed that it was raining. Looking up, she let the drops pour down on her. It felt somewhat... relaxing. Like the rain was cleansing her of all evils. But one stayed.

She looked back to the fight at hand and watched as her opponent circled her, looking for an opening to strike. But she wouldn't give it one. The downpour seemed to give her extra strength. So, she took a fighting stance again and waited. Waited for it to strike. Waited to finish this fight once and for all.

It charged at her, and she blocked it. Again and again it raced towards her and Tenten dodged it or drove it backwards. With her mind, she had drawn a circle around her. It was her space, her sanctuary. And she wouldn't let it enter.

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So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it's all crashing down
Stand through the pain
You won't drown
And one day what's lost can be found
You stand in the rain
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It started to attack faster and faster, wearing Tenten out. Before she knew it, she couldn't keep up. It continued to circle her, hitting her with everything it had. She was knocked to the ground a few times. But, she wouldn't stay down so easy. She pushed herself up again, just in time to be hit by another attack. This was going nowhere and fast.

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Neji watched silently as Tenten moved about. 'Maybe she's just training...' he mused. But then she was thrown to the ground. Neji tried to go help her up but didn't move... couldn't move. Invisible binds held him back. All he could do was watch helplessly as Tenten fought.

He continued to struggle to get free, to get to Tenten. But it was hopeless- nothing would work. Not even using his jutsus or chakra. Whatever it was didn't want him to get to Tenten.

He watched intently, it was he only thing could in his position, and winced whenever she was hit. Because when she was hit by... whatever it was, she went down and hard.

Neji silently cheered in his mind for Tenten to keep going and win. He always knew she was strong, that's why he kept pushing her... maybe he should've told her that before. Cursing himself for being a total jerk, he refocused his attention on her fight.

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Tenten was thrown to the ground again... this time she didn't get up as fast... or at all. Sprawled across the ground she closed her eyes, trying to push this pain from her mind. The last time she fought it there wasn't this much pain... or any for that matter. It had never been real enough to physically hurt her, only consciously scar her.

She opened her eyes and tried to push herself up again. It took her a few times, but she managed it. To her it felt as if someone was cheering her on, little did she know...

"Give in..." the voice whispered again, trying to break her down.

"No! I won't give in. I won't lose to you again NEJI!" she screamed, not realizing that she had accidentally screamed Neji's name.

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Neji's eyes went wide as he heard her yell out his name. 'Did she just...' He wasn't really sure what to think. 'Am I reason she's like this? Did I drive her to this?...' He pondered for a while on why she had yelled his name.

He had guessed that she had been doing some extra training, but he didn't think that she... hated him for pushing her so hard. He knew that she was strong and knew that she could be much stronger. He felt so horrible at that moment.

But he froze when she continued to speak. It was quiet and hard to hear over the roar of the rain but he heard it- there was no mistake.

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"You kept pushing and pushing. You kept saying that I wasn't strong enough, I wasn't good enough. Well how about now? Am I strong enough for you now? Am I good for you enough now?" then her voice dropped to a whisper. "Will you notice me now?"

And that's when it happened. The dam had burst and everything came crashing down. Not just your simple break either- that could be sealed easily. No. It shattered into millions of pieces. All she could do was let everything she'd held in for so long out. Let everything wash away with the tears.

Turning all that raw emotion into anger and determination, she continued to fight. If she could beat this opponent then she could beat Neji. And that's exactly what she was going to do. That's why failure was not an option this time. There wasn't any way she'd slip up and let her guard down.

The rain raged on with the fight. Blow after blow was delivered. Hit after hit was taken. Little by little the fight came to a close. After a long time both opponents were thoroughly exhausted.

They squared off, each staring the other down. The end was near. Anticipation was thick in the now early morning air as they waited for the other to make their move.

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So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it's all crashing down
Stand through the pain
You won't drown
And one day what's lost can be found
-------------------------------------


Tenten went to attack her opponent but stopped short. Neji wasn't quite sure what had happened. She just stopped and after a few seconds, dropped to her knees. He looked for a while longer before he noticed that the invisible binds had vanished. Just like that- as if they had never been there at all.

He cautiously took a step forward, but raced forward as she spit up a small amount of blood. Then she collapsed. The fight was over, it was finally over. Neji dropped to her side, both their clothes soaked from the rain. He quickly checked to make sure that she was going to be okay before he let a small sigh escape him.

Then Neji looked around the clearing. It didn't quite look like a clearing. No, it definitely looked like a battlefield- which is was mere moments ago. There were sparse blood spots that painted the wet grass.

'Funny.' he thought, 'Tenten's barely even scratched, well except for a few deep cuts, but they aren't enough to leave all this blood.' He picked her up carefully and looked around. Whatever she was fighting wasn't there... though he couldn't see it before but he just had a feeling.

He raced back to the hospital, which seemed surprisingly close- he thought that they were deeper in the forest than that. He ran inside and took Tenten to Tsunade, who had been driving herself insane trying to find the girl.

"What happened? Where was she?" the Hokage demanded when Neji brought the soaking, bleeding, unconscious girl up to her.

"That doesn't matter now. You have to help her." he replied, seriousness in his voice accompanied by the slightest hint of concern.

The Hokage nodded and took her from his arms. Then, calling a few medic nin, she disappeared through a pair of doors and left Neji alone in the hall. He paced by the doors waiting.

He didn't have to wait long- well he did but it seemed to disappear in the blink of an eye... he was too lost in his thoughts to notice or care. All he could focus on was Tenten. Finally the doors swung open and Tsunade walked out.

Neji guessed that she wasn't expecting him to be there waiting, as she looked a little surprised to see him.

"You should go home and get some rest." she said, something in her voice bugged Neji though.

"I want to see her." he stated simply.

The Hokage looked a little uneasy before replying. "She's resting. You'll have to come back and see her later."

She made to walk by him but as she passed he stopped her. "Please... let me stay with her."

She looked at him and could tell from his eyes that he would fight her to stay there with his teammate. She sighed, tired and wanting rest herself, but walked back to the doors and held one open for him.

He nodded his thanks as he passed and she closed the door behind him. Looking around the room he spotted Tenten at the far end of the large room. The other beds that lined the walls behind and opposite hers were all empty.

Seating down in the chair next to her bed, he noticed bandages across her head, arm and few other places. He was going to stay there until she was fully recovered. He would stay there and protect her. That was his silent promise to her.

The night wore on and Neji fought with fatigue to stay awake. But in the end fatigue won and he drifted off to sleep. The night wore on some more and the sun rose, though no one in the Leaf Village could tell because of the clouds that hung over head.

Tenten awoke to hear the chirping of birds and talking of medic nin just outside the four walls that contained her. But she also felt something tug ever so gently on her hand. Shifting slightly to see what it was, a smile graced her lips.

She could hardly believe it- Neji of all people was there, by her side, sleeping and holding her hand. If her cheeks weren't still flushed from the fever that still hadn't broke, then you may have noticed she was blushing. Still drowsy from the long nights and fever, she allowed herself to fall back into the land of sleep.

Neji awoke many minutes after Tenten had fallen back asleep and a small smile also spread across his features. She wasn't as pale as before and it looked like her fever was going to break soon. He ran the back of his fingers, of his free hand, along her cheek softly. She was cooling down too.

Over the next few days Neji stayed by her side and made sure that she was okay. But he always seemed to be there and awake when she wasn't. Whether it was conveniently planned or not. In three days, her fever had broken and she was healing nicely from her wounds. She was also awake longer, which meant that Neji was there less.

On the fourth day she was allowed to leave, having almost fully recovered. She resumed regular training with her team, who seemed to be taking it easy on her... much to her annoyance. Even Neji was going easy on her... but she knew his reason.

A few days later she had regained her full strength and was ready to challenge him. Neji. She caught him after training, after Lee and Might Guy had left... or gone off to do some more training- she didn't know which.

"Hey, Neji." she said, walking up behind him as he picked up the last of his kunai from the grassy ground.

"Hnm" he replied like he usually would, but there was something different about his voice and Tenten caught it.

"Fight me." she stated simply.

"What?" he turned around, trying to decide if she was serious or not. She was.

"Fight me." she repeated, voice not faltering, eyes showing nothing but determination.

"You just got out of medical care a few days ago. You should recover before you decide to challenge me." he said, starting to walk past her.

But she wouldn't have that. She gripped his arm as he past her and not looking at him she spoke. "I did it because you, Neji." Her voice had dropped a little as if what she was saying was some kind of secret.

"Did what?" he knew almost full well what she meant and his voice showed it.

"For the last few weeks I've been getting up early and doing extra training. Pushing myself to be better. I wanted to prove to you that I was good enough. That's why I got sick too... my body was too tired to fight against anything." she explained.

"But you're still injured from... that night." he paused, not knowing if it was okay to let her know that he was there. Though, he kind of guessed she already knew.

A small silence covered them like a veil as they thought back to that night. They both fell solemn, lowering there heads if only slightly.

"I'm fine Neji." Tenten said finally.

He stayed silent. Then she tried to change the mood.

"Come on. Are you going to have made me go through all that for nothing?" she tried to laugh a little, to lighten the mood.

"Tenten..."

"Neji," she looked to him now, "I want to prove to you that I'm strong. That I'm good enough. You'll have to fight me one way or another."

He let a sigh escape him. Neji knew that once Tenten had set her mind on something she'd see it to the end. And this was something she wasn't going to let go. He figured that he might as well get it over with now. But he was still a little wary- she had just gotten out of medical care and he didn't want to hurt her.

"Fine. I'll fight you." he said after a few moments.

She smiled as she walked across the training field and took her stance. Neji walked opposite her and also took his stance. Looking at him, Tenten could tell he wouldn't fight his hardest.

"Neji." she called to him.

"Hnm?"

"Don't hold back okay." she said, a slightly playfulness to her tone.

The rain that had poured down since that one night, continued to pour down... with no signs of letting up. The grey clouds still stretched far across the sky. The training grounds were wet and muddy. That would make it a little difficult to fight. But it had to be done.

A few more moments passed before she started the fight. Charging at him, she drew three kunai and circled around him. She knew about his blind spot, but she wouldn't play that way. She jumped up and threw them downward. They passed through his blind spot and caught his arm, barely. She landed on the ground and readied her hand to reach for another.

Tenten knew that Neji was using his Byakugan; he never fought seriously without it. And by the way he tried to dodge her attack; she knew that he wasn't going to hold back. 'Good.' she thought as she cross stepped, still circling him.

Neji was a little bit shocked that she had hit him. A little bit. He knew, and saw, how strong she was, but now he knew that he hadn't seen everything. The match went on like this for a while. Each dodging and getting in a hit or two. Before long they were both gasping for breath, standing back where they started.

Tenten had long since used her three scrolls, and Neji had long since used his gentle fist technique... a few times. And both were still standing. They were both tired and wanted this to end so they could rest. Tenten charged towards Neji with a burst of speed. Using the last little bit of her chakra she was going to beat him.

Reaching him she knew that he was going to try and block her. She was right. He shifted his stance to a defensive one, not being able to use his best defense- he didn't have enough chakra. She slid down to one knee, just barely avoiding his swinging fist, and kicked her right foot up. Her kick landed square on the bottom of his chin, sending him flying upwards a little.

He hit the ground, causing a small splash of muddy water to spray up. Then, he laid there. His chest moving up and down with his sharp breaths, his eyes, now back to normal, closed. Tenten dropped to her knees and caught her breath, though a smile stayed on her face. She had won. She had beaten him.

After a few minutes, both their breathing had returned to normal and Tenten looked to Neji. He was still sprawled across the ground, making no attempt to get up or move. She pulled herself up and walked over to him. He was laying there with his eyes closed, enjoying the rain pitter patting against his skin- he must've liked it otherwise he wouldn't have been smiling... even it was a small smile.

He opened an eye when he could tell that Tenten was close. She smiled as she held her hand out to help him up. He accepted it and allowed her to help him up. She reluctantly let go of his hand and leaned close to him. Then, gently placing a kiss on his cheek, she turned away, blushing.

Neji was shocked for the minute, but smiled as he raised a hand to where she had kissed him.

"What was that for?" he asked, some of his shock showing in his voice.

"For you." she replied simply, turning to face him once she felt her cheeks were less red.

"Why?" he asked. He may have been a 'genius', as he was often told, but Tenten always left him guessing.

"Because you were there by me when I needed someone the most." she replied, looking to the sky- the rain was slowing down.

-------------------------------------
So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it's all crashing down
Stand through the pain
You won't drown
And one day what's lost can be found
You stand in the rain.
-------------------------------------


As she was looking up at the dissipating clouds, Neji leaned in a returned the kiss. Instantly she looked at him, both wearing the same crimson on their cheeks.

"What was that for?" she asked, clearly surprised.

"You won." he said as he walked past her, blush and smile still evident on his face.

He stopped a few feet behind her. "I guess I'll have to train some more and we'll have to fight again." he said, a slight playfulness to his tone.

Tenten spun around and watched his retreating back. She raised an eyebrow. 'When did he get so... playful?' she wondered before taking after him. The sun was finally free from the relentless clouds and shone down on the training grounds, on the world. Newly cleansed and refreshed.

Later the two found out from Kakashi's team that a new member to the Akatsuki came to the village earlier that week. The new member used a jutsu that manipulated shadows, and they planned to attack while everyone was sleeping. Kakashi had found evidence of them being there... as well as a fight that sent them running.

When Neji and Tenten heard this they swapped all knowing and surprised glances. They knew about that fight, but they didn't know it was a member of the Akatsuki that Tenten was fighting. Maybe she didn't have an inner evil. Maybe...

But she wouldn't have wanted to miss that fight for anything. It was the reason that she found out about Neji's feelings. Some of the best things do come from sorrow or pain. At least in this case that was true.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Tory: Okay thus ends my first Naruto fic. I hope you liked it. I'm not too sure about the ending- I think the characters are pretty OOC there. But overall I think it's okay. But I'll let you decide that in your reviews. So please leave one letting me know your thoughts. There wasn't a huge amount of fluff but it is my first Naruto fic so give me a break. ;P I'll probably have another fic up soon. It's going to be called "That Time" I was inspired by another story but I'll tell you about in the actual story. Okay I'll shut up and let you review now. Cheers!;D
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